A Trolley Ride and Political Debate

Discussion in 'Your Shitty Projects' started by Stormtrooper, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. Stormtrooper

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    *The following excerpt is from a discussion I overheard between two fellow commuters on the San Diego trolley. As I wrote this from memory, of course some artistic license was taken to fill in any lapses in the following dialogue. For ease of writing, I've named the two stars of this tale the "Rebel" and the "Statist."

    Without further adieu..

    "Rebel: Tell me, do you think that violence is wrong?

    Statist: Yes, violence is wrong ' except in self-defense.

    Rebel: Agreed, except in self-defense. So tell me, how do you think that problems should be solved, if we should not use violence?

    Statist: Well, I think that people should become more active in government, and that governments should do ABC, X, Y and Z.

    Rebel: But how do you reconcile your objection to violence with your support of government programs, since government programs are paid for through taxation, which is coercive?

    Statist: Huh? What are you talking about? Taxation is not coercive.

    Rebel: Taxation is coercive, since if you do not pay your taxes, you are kidnapped at gunpoint and thrown in jail ' where if you try to escape, you are shot.

    Statist: But this is a democracy, where we choose our own governments.

    Rebel: Being offered a choice between two violent alternatives is not the same as being free to choose. If a store owner gets to choose which Mafia gang he pays 'protection' money to, can it be really argued that he is making a 'free' choice? If a woman can choose between two potential husbands ' but will be forced to marry one of them ' can she said to be really 'choosing' marriage? People can only freely choose governments, if they have the choice not to choose governments.
     
  2. Stormtrooper

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    Statist: Well there is a 'social contract,' that binds people to their governments.

    Rebel: There is no such thing as a 'social contract.' Unless they have been granted power of attorney, people cannot justly sign contracts on behalf of others. If one man has the power to unilaterally impose his will on another and call it a 'contract,' then logically a man can steal from a woman and call it 'charity.'

    Statist: But I accept the social contract ' and so do you if you drive on the roads.

    Rebel: First of all, your choice to honor a contract does not give you the right to force me to honor it. You can choose to buy a house, but you cannot justly force me to pay for it. If you forge my signature, I am not bound to honor the contract ' and I have never agreed to a 'social contract' of any kind. Secondly, it is true that I use government services, but that is irrelevant to the central moral question of coercion. If a slave accepts a meal from his master, is he condoning slavery?

    Statist: I suppose not. But still, you implicitly accept the social contract by continuing to live in a country, as Socrates argued.

    Rebel: Can I justly create a 'social contract' that allows me to rob anyone who lives in my neighborhood ' and say that if people continue to live in 'my' neighborhood, they are expressly consenting to my new social contract?

    Statist: Well, no, but we are talking about governments, not individuals . . . .
     
  3. Stormtrooper

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    Rebel: Is the government not composed of individuals? Is 'the government' not just a label for a group of individuals who claim the moral right to initiate force against others ' a right they define as evil for those they use violence against? If you take away all the individuals who compose 'the government,' do you still have a government?

    Statist: I suppose not. But that is beside the point ' you say that taxation is coercive, but I have paid taxes my entire life, and I have never had a gun pointed at my head.

    Rebel: Sure, and a prisoner is not shot if he does not try to escape. If a slave conforms to his master's wishes because of the threat of violence, the situation is utterly immoral. Does the Mafia have to actually burn your shop down for the threat to be violent?

    Statist: No ' however, I do not accept the premise that the government uses force to extract taxation from citizens.

    Rebel: All right - is there anything that the government does that you disagree with? Do you agree, for instance, with the invasion of Iraq?

    Statist: Now, I think that the invasion of Iraq was morally wrong.

    Rebel: Why?

    Statist: Because Iraq had done nothing to threaten the US .

    Rebel: Right, so it is an initiation of force, not self-defense. Now ' you do realize that the war in Iraq is only possible because you pay your taxes.

    Rebel: To some degree, of course.
     
  4. Stormtrooper

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    Rebel: If the war in Iraq is morally wrong, but it is only possible because you pay your taxes ' and your taxes are not extracted from you through force ' then you are voluntarily funding and enabling that which you call evil. Can you explain that to me?

    Statist: I pay my taxes because I'm a citizen of this country. If I disagree with the war, then I should run for office and try to stop it.

    Rebel: All right, if you were against child abuse, would you voluntarily fund a group dedicated to abusing children?

    Statist: Of course not!

    Rebel: And if you did claim to be against child abuse, and you voluntarily funded a group dedicated to abusing children, and I said that you should stop doing that, and you replied that you would not ' but that if someone did oppose this abusive group, they should try to infiltrate this group, take control of it, and somehow stop it from abusing children, would that make any sense at all?

    Statist: I guess not.
     
  5. Stormtrooper

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    Rebel: If you were against the war in Iraq , but volunteered for it ' and agreed to fight without a salary, and spent your own money to cover all your expenses, do you understand that your position would be utterly incomprehensible? You would claim to be against something ' and then expend enormous amounts of time, effort, money and resources supporting it?

    Statist: Yes, that would make little sense.

    Rebel: Thus do you see that your position that the war in Iraq is a moral evil, but that you are voluntarily funding it through your taxes, makes no sense at all? If the war in Iraq is a moral evil, but is only enabled through your voluntary funding, then continuing to fund it is to openly admit that it is not a moral evil. If you are forced to fund the war in Iraq , you can maintain that it is a moral evil, because it is the initiation of the use of force. However, the taxation that is also the initiation of the use of force against you must also be a moral evil, because you are forced to fund the initiation of force against others. Thus either taxation is coercion, or you are the worst form of moral hypocrite, by voluntarily supporting that which you call evil. Does that make sense?

    Statist: I can certainly see that position.

    Rebel: Can you find any logical flaws in my position?
     
  6. Stormtrooper

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    Then, of course, as all things are want to do, my part of bring the observer of this political diatribe came to an abrupt end, as it was my time to get off the trolley. With these thoughts, and other random musings going through my head, I began the short walk to my old, beaten Civic, and drove home.
     
  7. PerpetuallyAroused

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    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay tl:dr, post pics of your tits.
     
  8. Baya Rae 4900

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    As much as I'd like to believe that you have an amazing memory, I find it hard to believe you memorized that. Still, if you had listened to it then you're now much more in tune to how the world works, Stormy. I'm sure you better understand your position in it.

    My position on government is that it's a weapon.
     
  9. madh8r

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    fanfuckintastic. What's a trolley?
     
  10. Khanzer

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  11. Baya Rae 4900

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    Tram.
     
  12. Lloyd

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    I have a feeling that the day will come where there will be some sort of Waco Siege 2.0 in the greater San Diego area, and Stormtrooper will be part of it. And not on the law enforcement side.