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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Ask the Libertarian Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 147, 148, 149  Next
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rhahl
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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 1:11pm

 aflanigan wrote:

Most people who argue economics in these forums are aware that the Economics prize is not a real Nobel Prize, just like Economics is not a real science.

 
So was I. That story is very enlightening about how the libertarians came to power. And the picture is pretty good.


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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 1:04pm

 rhahl wrote:

The Nobel Prize in Economics? There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics
http://exiledonline.com/the-nobel-prize-in-economics-there-is-no-nobel-prize-in-economics/

 
Most people who argue economics in these forums are aware that the Economics prize is not a real Nobel Prize, just like Economics is not a real science.
rhahl
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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 12:59pm



The Nobel Prize in Economics? There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics
http://exiledonline.com/the-nobel-prize-in-economics-there-is-no-nobel-prize-in-economics/
miamizsun

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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 4:30am

 rexi wrote:
I like the term because it emphasizes property, as opposed to liberty, which is more in line with my perception. I don't like this particualr definition of the term because, judging by the tendentious wording, my guess is it was written by a libertarian.
 
the idea of wikipedia is great

the challenge is who edits (especially history and politics)

i think it is very unlikely that many or any "libertarians" are granted an editorial pass

there may be some editors who have libertarian notions or leanings of human rights, peace and/or prosperity, etc.

one notable hatchet job i found is on wiki is dr carlos finlay

so your inquiry is on liberty as opposed to property?

we would need to define property (which you didn't do)

my current definition of property, which i agree with isn't necessarily libertarian but obviously overlaps

there are three forms of property

from wiki

Property

Galambos’ concept of property was basic to his philosophy. He defined property as a man’s life and all non-procreative derivatives of his life.

Galambos taught that property is essential to a non-coercive social structure. That is why he defined freedom as follows: “Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full (100%) control over his own property.”Galambos defines property as having the following elements:

  • Primordial property, which is an individual’s life
  • Primary property, which includes ideas, thoughts, and actions
  • Secondary property, which includes all tangible and intangible possessions which are derivatives of the individual's primary property.

Property includes all non-procreative derivatives of an individual’s life; this means children are not the property of their parents,and also "primary property" (a person's own ideas).

Galambos emphasized repeatedly that true government exists to protect property and that the state attacks property.




rexi

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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 1:52am

  1. The bible reads: Thou shall not kill. For Christians, the bible is God’s word and not killing is thus a divine commandment and, conversely, not being killed a divine right.

  2. There exists an inalienable right not to be killed. For believers in natural law this is an ontological certainty from which one can derive justification for punitive state action on behalf of victims and / or personal retaliation.

  3. Personal wellbeing depends strongly on the integrity of one’s body and mind and history has shown that ignoring this will have deleterious effects on society. The best way to avoid such effects is by having the collective impose norms that prevent or at least minimize human casualties. Sadly, avoidance is not always in the interest of all, and thus there are exceptions to the rule, most notably when it comes to protecting  entities such as the nation state.

 

From a logical point of view, 1) and 2) are identical. Even if the believer in 2) does not believe in a deity, he or she will have to come up with some sort of origins story to justify the purported real existence of said natural law / to logically argue what is in effect a leap of faith. In the case of property rights, the Lockean proviso is such an origins story - or a convenient fiction, as Enzie puts it.

 

In all three cases, there is no way around getting together, finding a consensus and  fleshing out man-made laws which, in the best case, a majority will agree with and all will have to subordinate to. And the problem with having proponents of 1) and 2) at the table is the prejudice, quite literally, one has to first break through before a consensus can be found.


rexi

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Posted: Sep 27, 2016 - 12:40am

 miamizsun wrote:
a bit crushed at work

how are we defining propertarian? 

will this work? (from wikipedia)
Propertarianism is an ethical discipline within libertarian philosophy that advocates contractual relationships as replacements for monopolistic bureaucracies organized as states. 


 
I like the term because it emphasizes property, as opposed to liberty, which is more in line with my perception. I don't like this particualr definition of the term because, judging by the tendentious wording, my guess is it was written by a libertarian.
NoEnzLefttoSplit
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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 10:53pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Equality of rights doesn't mean equality every aspect of life. My inability to play basketball like Lebron James doesn't mean my rights to play basketball are being violated. And if you want to find starving people the best place s to look is where rights are not acknowledged or respected.

Where the Enlightenment philosophers (including Locke) fell short was not in their formulation of the rights of humans but in who they considered human. We've made significant progress since then without changing the fundamental concept because the fundamental concept is sound.

Locke was not trying to justify the emerging new order, that order was (at least in the case of the American revolution) a hundred years in the future. He was laying the intellectual foundations that would inspire it.

We may disagree on what they are, but as to the question of whether they exist at all I'm going to repeat a question from an earlier conversation that you've never answered:

And—silly me—here I am trying to convince you that you have rights that I must respect. And I shouldn't try to impose this on you because it would violate your...rights? That I should respect?


 
Good morning.. sitting here with my first coffee of the day, it's tipping down outside and I'm contemplating how long I can postpone the trauma of getting out and facing the day... so my brain might not be firing on all cylinders at the moment..  whatever, 

Firstly, forgive me for not answering your question.. the reason I didn't is because it is a tautology (your point I guess). You are quite welcome to endow me with rights if you so wish. In fact I am quite partial to people, legal systems, foreigners and while we are at it, aliens, endowing me with rights. Experience has shown to me that I have a much better time of it when people endow me with rights so I have no problem with people doing it. My point is merely that this act of endowing someone with rights is in the head of the person doing the endowing. When we have a body politic doing this on a collective basis we even get something approaching a norm and by extension a body of law arising from it. I am a fan of this (when it suits me and the people dear to me). This doesn't make them any more or less a product of  a mental act, a fiction, a collective belief system.

This has two implications: first, an individual whose concept of rights is not shared (let's say by an invading army of sensate aliens or tax collectors) is bereft of all recourse to his imagined rights. Second, and the corollary of the first: rights only take on material substance when they are acknowledged and practiced by a collective.

you once argued that under my reasoning a political prisoner who is incarcerated or tortured under a brutal regime has no rights because no one in his environment acknowledges them except the prisoner himself.

Well, yes, precisely! This is an excellent argument, for it illustrates the power of the collective: only when the odd guard or two takes compassion, or a movement like Amnesty brings this situation into the collective consciousness, and there is a groundswell of opposition to the prisoner's plight will his rights "materialise" - in the wider sense of taking on material significance.

Now, maybe I should go and earn some money.   enjoy your evening! 


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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 10:24pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Ok, I get you. You are going back to the origins of the American Declaration of Independence and the foundations of the Enlightenment... a social upheaval that originated in revolts against various monarchies by "free" men in the colonies and the bourgeousie back in Europe and whose full implications are still getting teased out. In the beginning though, they were thinking of a certain class of individual when they came up with these ideas and this is why Locke had no problem with investing in slaves while simultaneously espousing the rights of man. Moreover, in a revolution, where the old authority is no longer recognised, there is always a scramble to install some kind of foundation for a new one. Locke, like many in his day, was struggling to find some objective rationalisation for the new order - one reason why he came up with his rather naive "mixing his labour" idea to establish the origin of property rights, basically a bourgeois reaction against the land-owning gentry. 

Now, before anyone gets me wrong, I am a great fan of the concept of inalienable rights and do believe they have led to an improvement in the lives of millions. That said, they are just as much a fiction as any religion out there. The Declaration of Independence even reads like the credo:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
This is pure fiction. A very nice fiction but it will only work when we all believe in it or, gasp, the elected governments resort to coercion against those free radicals out there who beg to differ with the elected majority. So my charge against Libertarianism still stands: it is a contradiction in terms. You can't simultaneously set as your credo a set of negative rights and then "impose" them on the wider population, for that would be an exercise of positive rights or coercion in your parlance. So you are left castrated, hoping that reason and argument will win over converts to your new church.

And that is just the underpinnings of it. The last gazillion pages have covered how libertarianism might not even enshrine the very fundamentals of its credo. If all men are created equal, how can people be born into different (and entrenched) wealth regimes? What does equal even mean in that context other than some vacuous abstract right that doesn't even save you from starving when others are living in a world of abundance?

Equality of rights doesn't mean equality every aspect of life. My inability to play basketball like Lebron James doesn't mean my rights to play basketball are being violated. And if you want to find starving people the best place s to look is where rights are not acknowledged or respected.

Where the Enlightenment philosophers (including Locke) fell short was not in their formulation of the rights of humans but in who they considered human. We've made significant progress since then without changing the fundamental concept because the fundamental concept is sound.

Locke was not trying to justify the emerging new order, that order was (at least in the case of the American revolution) a hundred years in the future. He was laying the intellectual foundations that would inspire it.

We may disagree on what they are, but as to the question of whether they exist at all I'm going to repeat a question from an earlier conversation that you've never answered:

And—silly me—here I am trying to convince you that you have rights that I must respect. And I shouldn't try to impose this on you because it would violate your...rights? That I should respect?

kcar

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 9:27pm

 islander wrote:

Well said. I'm with you on this. I like a lot of the ideas of libertarianism, but I have real issues with the way they (general/larger they) refuse to acknowledge that we exist within a community that benefits us all, and that has value and should be supported. 

 
Not to be too much of a snark, but I sum up the boldfaced bit above as "they refuse to acknowledge reality." 

I got a bit lost in Lazy8's posts but it struck me that his mention of individual rights was overly broad and lacking in discussion of the scope or limitations of those rights. (I don't mean to pick on Lazy8 but he fleshed out a Libertarian position more than others). His positions seemed to delegitimize any attempt at collective action not solely focused on the protection of individual rights.

 

Lazy8 wrote on 9/16/16 @ 6:22pm (emphasis is mine):

"People enthusiastic for lots of laws to guide and manipulate society tend to look at the law as a fence, a boundary that keeps people on a certain path. This is absolutely not how laws work; they are more like a minefield. A wall keeps you on one side; a minefield punishes you for stepping on the other. It doesn't always punish you; sometimes you're lucky and your foot misses the mine, sometimes the mine is a dud, sometimes you're a well-connected person who can call on allies who administer the minefield to give you a pass. And sometimes mines go off and clobber you when you haven't left the path at all.

So having a lofty goal (reducing obesity, or preventing drunk driving, or whatever) isn't enough. You're threatening people with violence. There are very very few reasons worth that threat, and they directly relate to behavior that violates people's rights."
  

While certain sections of the law are in need of pruning (miamizsun, again, has pointed to lawyers decrying the excessive growth and vagueness in recent federal criminal law), the law in general is not an incomprehensible minefield. And every law, even Lazy8's best laws (the ones devoted solely to the protection of individual rights, if I read him correctly) has the threat of state violence behind them. Without the power of enforcement backing it, any law is meaningless. 

Communities of voters do have the right to enact lofty goals such as the reduction of drunk driving and the wearing of seat belts and the possession of health insurance, provided those lofty goals don't infringe on a core group of individual rights or violate commonly agreed-upon rules of government such as the Constitution. Not all individual rights are equally inviolable. Every community has to find a balance between collective action and individual rights, because any collective action will likely infringe on some individual rights. Without the ability to legally ground collective actions and enforce obedience to them, a community of voters wouldn't get anything done or even remain a community. 

I don't understand the Libertarian response to the notion of collective action. Maybe I don't have it right, but...
.

As for this topic thread's discussion of natural laws...were y'all referring to this sort of thing?:

"Natural law is a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature and can be universally understood through human reason. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze both social and personal human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The law of nature, as it is determined by nature, is universal."


Admittedly, I haven't read much at all on the concept, but it strikes me as a laughable idea best left back in the days of the Enlightenment era. 



miamizsun

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 11:26am

a bit crushed at work

how are we defining propertarian? 

will this work? (from wikipedia)
Propertarianism is an ethical discipline within libertarian philosophy that advocates contractual relationships as replacements for monopolistic bureaucracies organized as states. 



rexi

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 10:48am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Actually, I think our views are diametrically opposed. Where Lazy8 is of the belief that natural rights are founded in objective reality, I believe they don't exist except in the collective minds of citizens.

The distinction is important, as when you accept this, you can get rid of a pile of dogma and sit down around a table with people who believe in different fictions and hammer out some kind of consensual solution on an ad hoc basis ... whatever works best for all involved. All morals and rights have their sole foundation, not in God or objective reality, but in the collective fiction. 

It is the dogmatic approach of liberalism that gets up my nose most. In this I don't see the various shades of liberalism as being very much different to a religion. Their blind adherence to property rights and the preeminence of the individual over collective interests has real implications for others, which they do not want to acknowledge, or at least they wash their hands of it, e.g. someone in need has no "right" to my assistance but he could politely request it and I might, from the good of my heart, help out.

I don't know of any collective body where this has actually worked in practice. It is a myth born of the pioneering spirit when there was unlimited land and adventure available to indulge in such fantasies. 

 
That's what I meant with religious blinders. Makes all the difference. And yes, they probably apply to a bunch of other isms, too. Very much agree that the pioneering spirit and Propertarianism go hand in hand. It's a typically American disease. We Europeans have our own resistant strains {#Laughing}.
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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 8:55am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Actually, I think our views are diametrically opposed. Where Lazy8 is of the belief that natural rights are founded in objective reality, I believe they don't exist except in the collective minds of citizens.

The distinction is important, as when you accept this, you can get rid of a pile of dogma and sit down around a table with people who believe in different fictions and hammer out some kind of consensual solution on an ad hoc basis ... whatever works best for all involved. All morals and rights have their sole foundation, not in God or objective reality, but in the collective fiction. 

It is the dogmatic approach of liberalism that gets up my nose most. In this I don't see the various shades of liberalism as being very much different to a religion. Their blind adherence to property rights and the preeminence of the individual over collective interests has real implications for others, which they do not want to acknowledge, or at least they wash their hands of it, e.g. someone in need has no "right" to my assistance but he could politely request it and I might, from the good of my heart, help out.

I don't know of any collective body where this has actually worked in practice. It is a myth born of the pioneering spirit when there was unlimited land and adventure available to indulge in such fantasies. 

 
Well said. I'm with you on this. I like a lot of the ideas of libertarianism, but I have real issues with the way they (general/larger they) refuse to acknowledge that we exist within a community that benefits us all, and that has value and should be supported. 
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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 7:59am

 rexi wrote:

Sorry, thought you were consenting adults. {#Laughing}

Just joking, of course. But apart from the libertarian religious blinders, your respective views don't seem too far apart.
 
Actually, I think our views are diametrically opposed. Where Lazy8 is of the belief that natural rights are founded in objective reality, I believe they don't exist except in the collective minds of citizens.

The distinction is important, as when you accept this, you can get rid of a pile of dogma and sit down around a table with people who believe in different fictions and hammer out some kind of consensual solution on an ad hoc basis ... whatever works best for all involved. All morals and rights have their sole foundation, not in God or objective reality, but in the collective fiction. 

It is the dogmatic approach of liberalism that gets up my nose most. In this I don't see the various shades of liberalism as being very much different to a religion. Their blind adherence to property rights and the preeminence of the individual over collective interests has real implications for others, which they do not want to acknowledge, or at least they wash their hands of it, e.g. someone in need has no "right" to my assistance but he could politely request it and I might, from the good of my heart, help out.

I don't know of any collective body where this has actually worked in practice. It is a myth born of the pioneering spirit when there was unlimited land and adventure available to indulge in such fantasies. 


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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 7:41am

 rexi wrote:

Sorry, thought you were consenting adults. {#Laughing}
 
to my own surprise (every morning), my body is indeed my own.
Edit: though I am not so sure it belongs to me or the godzillion of other organisms I share it with.
rexi

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 7:28am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

well, hang on a minute mate.. 

 
Sorry, thought you were consenting adults. {#Laughing}

Just joking, of course. But apart from the libertarian religious blinders, your respective views don't seem too far apart.

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 5:17am

 rexi wrote:

...Drop it and you're ready to get in bed with Enzie.

 
well, hang on a minute mate.. 
rexi

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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 4:37am

 Lazy8 wrote:
 rexi wrote:

Three part series in the Jacobin on Locke, Jefferson, the Lockean proviso etc.:

 

John Locke Against Freedom

John Locke’s Road to Serfdom

Locke’s Folly

 

Free yourself, axe the axiom!


When modern philosophers seek to bring down Locke they usually focus on one of the least important questions he addresses, that of who legitimately owns land. Fine, feel free to take him to task for that, but how does that invalidate the rest of his work? And what do his personal failings (his hypocrisy concerning the practice of slavery, for instance; or his failure to extend religious tolerance—which he called for—to Catholics) have to do with his philosophy?

John Locke owned shares in a company that owned slaves, therefor...
  • People do not own themselves and their own labor?
  • All men don't have equal rights?
  • Government need not seek the consent of the governed?
  • Church and state shouldn't be separate?
  • Government shouldn't be divided into executive, judicial, and legislative branches?
  • Oppressed people don't have the right to rebel?
  • People don't have a right to own property secure from confiscation by others? This last is particularly ironic as Quiggen half-bakedly suggests that Locke's theory of land acquisition by labor could justify the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.
This is fatuous sophistry.

Quiggen sees Locke's work in opposition to American revolutionary thinkers like Franklin and Thomas Paine without acknowledging the intellectual debt they owed to Locke. Franklin is known to have read Locke in his youth and quoted from him extensively in his own work. Paine extended Locke's ideas (aflanagen should pay particular attention to Paine's rebuttal to the Lockean notion of the social compact) whether he absorbed them from Locke directly or not*.

*Paine, largely self-taught, claimed to have never read Locke's Second Treatise on Government, for instance, but their ideas overlap nonetheless.

 

The reason Quiggin and others focus on the proviso is not because they want to reduce Locke to one argument but because modern Propertarianism, as the brand of Libertariansim in question is also known, rests heavily, if not solely, on it. So, if anything is being taken down, it is not Locke or the enlightenment, but propertarian Libertarianism.

It is the leap of faith embodied in the proviso by which the means of production are magically married with the human body and soul from which all 'inalienable' property rights and 'just' laws concerning them flow. In fact, any attempt to logically construct natural laws or inalienable rights will inevitably needs some kind of origins story such as the proviso. Propertarianism needs the proviso, or something like it, to get going. Because only once the divine ontological rules are in place, can derivative rules such as the the non aggression principle be stated in a meaningful way. Whithout them, they're vacuous political soundbites lost in space (oh wait...). The proviso is both the foundation and the achilles' heel of propertarian Libertarianism, whether you like it or not. Drop it and you're ready to get in bed with Enzie.


NoEnzLefttoSplit
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Posted: Sep 26, 2016 - 1:16am

 Lazy8 wrote:
NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Interesting take on it.. I would have thought his ideas on property were pretty fundamental to libertarian thought... but, now you have made me really curious. What aspects of Locke's philosophy are more relevant?

Not really. It was a burning issue at the time with the end of serfdom and the conquest of continents by Europeans, but those Europeans had their way and they're all dead, and somebody else owns all that land now. Thomas Paine had a slightly different spin on it (if you mix your labor with land held in common to improve it you still owe everybody else in the commons for the land they can no longer use) but once the commons is spoken for what's there to talk about?

I listed some of the more-important aspects (to libertarians) below: the concept of self-ownership; equality of rights; the authority to govern flowing from consent by the governed (and its corollary, the right to rebel against an unjust government); separation of church & state; the inalienability of rights; and the right to life, to liberty, and to own property (which in his day required some theory of the legitimacy of ownership, but which is less and less relevant as less and less of what we own is dirt). These are far more relevant today.

 
Ok, I get you. You are going back to the origins of the American Declaration of Independence and the foundations of the Enlightenment... a social upheaval that originated in revolts against various monarchies by "free" men in the colonies and the bourgeousie back in Europe and whose full implications are still getting teased out. In the beginning though, they were thinking of a certain class of individual when they came up with these ideas and this is why Locke had no problem with investing in slaves while simultaneously espousing the rights of man. Moreover, in a revolution, where the old authority is no longer recognised, there is always a scramble to install some kind of foundation for a new one. Locke, like many in his day, was struggling to find some objective rationalisation for the new order - one reason why he came up with his rather naive "mixing his labour" idea to establish the origin of property rights, basically a bourgeois reaction against the land-owning gentry. 

Now, before anyone gets me wrong, I am a great fan of the concept of inalienable rights and do believe they have led to an improvement in the lives of millions. That said, they are just as much a fiction as any religion out there. The Declaration of Independence even reads like the credo:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
This is pure fiction. A very nice fiction but it will only work when we all believe in it or, gasp, the elected governments resort to coercion against those free radicals out there who beg to differ with the elected majority. So my charge against Libertarianism still stands: it is a contradiction in terms. You can't simultaneously set as your credo a set of negative rights and then "impose" them on the wider population, for that would be an exercise of positive rights or coercion in your parlance. So you are left castrated, hoping that reason and argument will win over converts to your new church.

And that is just the underpinnings of it. The last gazillion pages have covered how libertarianism might not even enshrine the very fundamentals of its credo. If all men are created equal, how can people be born into different (and entrenched) wealth regimes? What does equal even mean in that context other than some vacuous abstract right that doesn't even save you from starving when others are living in a world of abundance?

 


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Posted: Sep 25, 2016 - 4:36pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Interesting take on it.. I would have thought his ideas on property were pretty fundamental to libertarian thought... but, now you have made me really curious. What aspects of Locke's philosophy are more relevant?

Not really. It was a burning issue at the time with the end of serfdom and the conquest of continents by Europeans, but those Europeans had their way and they're all dead, and somebody else owns all that land now. Thomas Paine had a slightly different spin on it (if you mix your labor with land held in common to improve it you still owe everybody else in the commons for the land they can no longer use) but once the commons is spoken for what's there to talk about?

I listed some of the more-important aspects (to libertarians) below: the concept of self-ownership; equality of rights; the authority to govern flowing from consent by the governed (and its corollary, the right to rebel against an unjust government); separation of church & state; the inalienability of rights; and the right to life, to liberty, and to own property (which in his day required some theory of the legitimacy of ownership, but which is less and less relevant as less and less of what we own is dirt). These are far more relevant today.
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Posted: Sep 25, 2016 - 12:50pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
When modern philosophers seek to bring down Locke they usually focus on one of the least important questions he addresses, that of who legitimately owns land. Fine, feel free to take him to task for that, but how does that invalidate the rest of his work? And what do his personal failings (his hypocrisy concerning the practice of slavery, for instance; or his failure to extend religious tolerance—which he called for—to Catholics) have to do with his philosophy?
 
Interesting take on it.. I would have thought his ideas on property were pretty fundamental to libertarian thought... but, now you have made me really curious. What aspects of Locke's philosophy are more relevant?


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