We can't afford to be snowflakes, you have to deal with the fact that someone might offend you! (A reply to Kenny part one)

in philosophy •  2 years ago 

Okay, this started with me writing this. https://steemit.com/philosophy/@pomperipossa/so-you-re-an-anarchist
Which prompted my good friend Kenny to write this. https://steemit.com/anarchy/@kennyskitchen/as-long-as-it-s-voluntary-and-non-aggressive-who-gives-a-damn-how-others-live-a-response-to-pomperipossa-s-so-you-re-an
As I started writing my reply to him I realized a comment wouldn't do it, so I’ll just write a blog post. Then I realized that one blog post wouldn't cut it either so here's part one. :)
snowflake-1245748_960_720.jpgI didn't think you were going to answer my questions because I don't think you're against the free market. I didn't actually direct the questions to those who “identify as anarchists, but not as anarcho-capitalists.” It was almost what I asked. The questions were directed to those who identify as anarchists but are against the free market. As you state in your title “As long as it's voluntary & non-aggressive, who gives a damn how others live?”

The reason I’m such a strong advocate of the free market is the same reason that I’m a strong advocate of the fact that none has the right to not feel offended. If the government says that offensive speech is illegal and offensive speech is to have nazi-sympathies you might think that's all good and well. After all, no good person likes national socialism, right? A lot of people are offended by national socialists so what’s the problem? Well, let’s say you are an advocate for veganism and you don’t want people to consume animal products. You might have a blog dedicated to spreading your ideas.

Now let's say that the meat and dairy industries feel threatened by by the rise in the number of vegans. They could change their practices and reduce the amount of animal cruelty. They could decrease their use of antibiotics. They could farm grass fed animals instead of feeding them soybeans. They could invest in advertisement about how much more humane they are and now, how much healthier their products are, how they aren’t contributing to deforestation of the rainforest to grow soybeans.

This would be very expensive and it would force the industries in question to increase their prices. Now the consumers would eat fewer animal products because they wouldn't be able to afford it or they would rather eat alternative foods. This is the opposite of the goals of the industries. So what could they do instead? They are in the business of making money, they are accountable to their shareholders, People's retirement portfolios would get crushed! Workers would lose their jobs. The heads of CEO:s would roll.

As you might suspect it’s not likely that the industries would make this changes, not with all these incentives stacked against them. A much more likely scenario would be for the industries, unions, shareholders and any other interest groups that felt threatened by the rise in veganism to lobby the government to make it illegal to claim that veganism is a more ethical way of living. After all, a lot of people feel offended if you tell them that they are immoral because they eat meat. It is most certainly offensive speech! Since the government has already set a precedence and declared that you have a right to not be offended the meat and dairy industries have a pretty good case.

Unfortunately, this means that if you keep blogging the way you were to spread veganism you will now be a criminal just like the national socialists.

Wait a minute, what does this have to do with free markets and the questions that started all this you might ask yourself! Well, I’ll try to answer that in part two. Thanks for reading!

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I am not opposed to free markets in a very general sense, however I am "opposed" or rather do not believe in many of those who most loudly advocate anarcho-capitalsm and that particular take on free markets.

  • I do not believe that humans can own land. The Earth is an organism, and we are cells in that organism. The idea of land ownership, to me, is no different than thinking that a particular cell in your hand "owns" your hand.
  • I do not believe that competition is the best way we can handle things, cooperation and open-sourcing are going to lead to greater creativity, sustainability, and abundance.

To address some of the specific things you brought up here:

  • "that none has the right to not feel offended"
    • How can humans not have the right to feel something? Feeling offended is a purely personal experience. Now, from a psycho-emotional standpoint, feeling offended is generally a sign of self-judgment or some un-integrated trauma. Most of what you were talking about past that point was folks using violence & coercion to force others to not do things that trigger their offended feeling, which is of course foundational anarchy :-)

As far as the example of vegan blogger and meat & dairy industry goes, I feel that it is missing the reality of marketing in the modern world. 200 years ago, the only way for a business/industry to combat something like that would be to adjust their practices, or to use some level of force (generally governmental). However, with the work of Edward Bernays and everything building on it since, all they have to do is spend a little (relative term) money, and brainwash the masses... Exactly what is happening in the veganism/non-GMO/homegrown vs factory farming/GMO/meat & dairy battle right now. For every blogger, Youtuber, or documentarian bringing light to the problems those industries cause, there are hundreds of advertising campaigns supporting them, and reaching FAR more people (generally in subliminal, emotionally triggering, and other highly manipulative ways).

As long as "profit" is the driving factor of the culture, there is too much incentive for humans to act in ways that are not sustainable, mindful, or healthy.

I agree that propaganda and marketing is a big problem! Maybe no one could come up with a market solution for this problem, I don't know.

I definitely wouldn't mind if everyone focused less on monetary profits and more on sustainability, and health. But to my understanding, humans always seek profit, and I mean "profit" in a very wide sense here. Profit in the sense that I managed to meet my goal. If my goal is to help a hungry person and I meet this goal. I made a mental "profit".

So how do we shift peoples goals from "accumulating a lot of stuff" to "living in a sustainable way"?

I think it has a lot to do with time preference and being an educated and thinking individual, instead of being schooled. I think a free market would push us in the right direction. I think people today are scared and stressed. This contributes to not reflecting about what is important. It contributes to people buying more stuff and feeling the need to save more money. If we had a free market I think everyone would have more prosperity (except for the former rulers). I think that could give people a little pece of minde and maybe people would work less and spend more time whit their children.

What do you think we can do?

As far as I can tell, the most important thing is definitely shifting the cultural paradigm away from the fear & separation humans currently experience, mostly due to childhood trauma, lack of community, intentional programming (school, media, etc), artificial scarcity, and so on.

In terms of what we can do, ourselves, right now, to move in that direction, I see these as the key steps:

  1. Practicing radical honesty, forgiveness, and compassion. We have to integrate our own trauma (and that of our ancestry) in order to become healthy, joyous, whole humans ourselves, so we are not part of the problem.
  2. Communicating these healing journeys & ways of being to others. Shining our light as an example to all those we interact with.
  3. Raising children, once we have gone through this process ourselves, so that we don't pass these same traumatic & limiting patterns on to the next generation, allowing them to go much farther than we can even imagine.
  4. We must all act in alignment with our own morals & ethics. As long as humans are acting out of alignment with themselves, not only are they causing their own suffering, but they are feeding all the things that they claim to not want in the world. (Anarchists paying taxes, Vegans buying food from companies that sell animal products, etc)

Sounds great! I really think people need to build a community or a tribe from the ground up. :)

"I do not believe that humans can own land. The Earth is an organism, and we are cells in that organism. The idea of land ownership, to me, is no different than thinking that a particular cell in your hand "owns" your hand.""I do not believe that humans can own land. The Earth is an organism, and we are cells in that organism. The idea of land ownership, to me, is no different than thinking that a particular cell in your hand "owns" your hand."

That's an interesting take on things. I don't have any arguments I can think of to prove that one can "own" land. I do however think it would be a good idea if everything was privately owned. I know there are problems with corporations owning land but that wouldn't be a problem in a free market since there wouldn't be any corporations.

In a free market if you own a piece of land your incentives are to take care of it and make sure that it is sustainable. Today, on the other hand, the government owns a lot of forests and then they sell the rights to cut the trees to corporations. The corporations have no incentive to leave some of the government's trees alone or to plant new trees.

I do however think it would be a good idea if everything was privately owned.

I just had a realization around my thoughts on ownership. For something to be "privately owned" is based on the belief that all humans are separate from each other and the rest of life on Earth. The water flows to bring life to all things, the air blows to bring life to all things, the land stands firm to bring life to all things. For one entity to claim ownership over any of these things (meaning to restrict others from gaining the benefits of it), is an act of violence against all other life that would otherwise be able to access it.

The idea of land ownership is definitely based on the threat of violence. If I wander onto a piece of land, the only way to claim ownership of it is to put up a sign threatening violence if I enter there, which would by definition make the "owner" the aggressor in any conflicts (assuming the "trespasser" didn't come on to do harm to the "owner" or others.

In a free market if you own a piece of land your incentives are to take care of it and make sure that it is sustainable.

That depends. If, in this free market, I "own" a piece of land, and that land has millions of money-units worth of some kind of mineral underneath it, then my market-incentive would be to rip the place up and pull that valuable item out to sell it.

Today, on the other hand, the government owns a lot of forests and then they sell the rights to cut the trees to corporations. The corporations have no incentive to leave some of the government's trees alone or to plant new trees.

This is actually one of the places where the government (in the US specifically), actually causes these corporations to act in a more responsible way. If a corporation has lumber rights to National forest, they are held to specific requirements for re-planting, leaving a certain % standing, etc. Because of this (these requirements have been growing), many corporations have taken to renting private land or buying land, clear-cutting it, and then selling the bare land. (I come from a bioregion that has been greatly raped by the lumber industry)

“I just had a realization around my thoughts on ownership. For something to be "privately owned" is based on the belief that all humans are separate from each other and the rest of life on Earth”

Why would it have to be that humans are separate? I mean in a way humans are separate from other things, that is why the word "humans" is useful. The reason I think it makes sense to have certain agreements between people and not between people and other animals/plants/elements is because humans have a higher capacity for abstract thinking and can communicate with each other. Also, humans are the most dangerous form of life on earth at the moment, we have a huge capacity for destruction and evil. And even if a virus or bacteria became a bigger threat to human survival we wouldn't be able to reason with it. So it's important that people can agree to get along, and most disagreements are about ownership. So how do you handle disputes without land ownership? Let's say everyone agreed that no one can own land, would that not lead to avoidable conflicts?

"The idea of land ownership is definitely based on the threat of violence."

Well, I don’t see how. It's true that the way to protect one property can involve violence and probably will include the threat of it, just like self-defense. Is the idea of owning yourself based on the threat of violence? The question is who is the legitimate owner? We agree that it is the robber who initiates the violence if he tries to steal your wallet, right? But if you base your argument on the statement that no one can own a wallet then if you accept this premise the aggressor is the one that uses violence to defend “his” wallet.

"The idea of land ownership is definitely based on the threat of violence. If I wander onto a piece of land, the only way to claim ownership of it is to put up a sign threatening violence if I enter there, which would by definition make the "owner" the aggressor in any conflicts (assuming the "trespasser" didn't come on to do harm to the "owner" or others."

Well, you could just put a fence around the land without a sign. Let's say you do this and someone walks up to the fence. Wouldn't it be reasonable for the person to ask themselves "gee, I wonder why someone put a fence here?" Maybe they did it because they are growing food inside the fence or they have a dog or something. You could go around the fence or ask the owner if you could cross.

A reasonable person wouldn't kill the "trespasser" in cold blood as soon as he jumped the fence, especially not without giving a warning. A more likely scenario, if the fence is jumped, is that the owner asks what the trespasser is doing, if they need help with something or if they are looking for someone.

“That depends. If, in this free market, I "own" a piece of land, and that land has millions of money-units worth of some kind of mineral underneath it, then my market-incentive would be to rip the place up and pull that valuable item out to sell it.”

Is there something inherently wrong with mining? I can understand the moral objection if you own a house and someone rips out the ground under it causing your house to fall into a sinkhole. But if it’s your own house you have the right to destroy it if you want. Besides value is subjective so if you value not ripping the place up more than you value the millions of money-units worth of mineral you would choose to leave it in the ground.

"How can humans not have the right to feel something?"

Okay, I was being unclear, what I meant to say was captured nicely in your quote below.

"Most of what you were talking about past that point was folks using violence & coercion to force others to not do things that trigger their offended feeling, which is of course foundational anarchy :-)"

I figured :-)

Very well worded and as always thought provoking article

Thank you!

You are so right my friend... we are on a slippery dangerous slope here.
Censorship is on a scale like never before, if this keeps up there will be no such thing as freedom. This politically correct and offense speech BS needs to stop... 4real. All these crazy snow flakes need to gain some common sense and learn to grow a spine instead of banning to together , and trying to impose on every ones rights in the name of feelings... These people really need to get over themselves. When individual expression, and freedom dies so does society.

Well said, thanks for your comment!

I'm enjoying this open dialogue! Keep asking good questions!

Thank you, glad you enjoy it!

Free speech is extremely important and it's better to preserve it even if it means that you have to let the national socialists and white supremacists to spout their BS freely.

I agree, the best way to fight bad ideas is to expose them for what they are. Thanks for commenting!

It is. There is no better way except leaving the free marketplace of ideas to do its job.