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Thoughts on Force

Posted by khalling 4 months, 3 weeks ago to Philosophy
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Suppose I'm a mugger, and I shove a gun in your face and demand a single dime from you. You're surprised I only want a dime, but you comply anyway. Then I run away. In such a case, the cost that this mugging imposed upon you was greater than the dime alone; the very fact that someone threatened violence upon you is the greater cost to which the dime is added.- Stuart Hayashi


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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Initially income tax was 1% for only a few. The people should have known better than to allow that forceful theft by the state.
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    • Posted by CaptainKirk 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Income Tax IS Slavery because the TAKER also DECIDES the %.

      Which literally says "I own your output, but I will let you keep 48% of the proceeds, I need the 52% for other things. And those who are self-employed understand either flow through, or ~39% business tax + 15% capital gains.

      I start seeing the value of striking!
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    What I say is, that if a mugger shoves a gun in your
    face and demands a dime, if you somehow pull out a gun of your own and shoot him dead right there, as a matter of principle, you are totally within your rights. I am told that the law (in Virginia, at least) says that you may not take life
    in defense of property, but I don't care; that law is
    in violation of the rights of man. The issue is not
    life vs. property, or how much money is involved. The issue is, that he crossed the line.
    He had no right to force you to act against your own independent judgment.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    If we all operated under the Prime Law directive; which underlies our constitution and just plain common sense, there would be no problem.

    To recap:
    The Prime Law®
    (The Fundamental of Protection)
    Preamble
    The purpose of human life is to prosper and live happily.
    The function of government is to provide the conditions that let individuals fulfill that purpose.
    The Prime Law guarantees those conditions by forbidding the use of initiatory force, fraud, or coercion by any person or group against any individual, property, or contract.
    Article 1
    No person, group of persons, or government shall initiate force, threat of force, or fraud against any individual’s self, property, or contract.
    Article 2
    Force is morally-and-legally justified only for protection from those who violate Article 1.
    Article 3
    No exceptions shall exist for Articles 1 and 2.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Besides "protection", there is also "retaliation", that is, punishment after the fact. I agree that one should not take the law into his own hands_ after the
      fact
      _, unless the government has somehow been derelict in its duty to rectify injustice that has already taken place.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        Retaliation would be up to the courts...assuming the courts could be honest again...big question there.
        Protection, in the progressive brain can and has been taken too far; I fear we would have to spell it out fully. It's tough to get the concept across to the bicameral brained left. (meaning the two halves of their brain still, after 3000 years, does not cooperated to any sufficient degree.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Makes me wonder how Ragnar Danneskjold pirated a ship. Is the crew of a ship threatened in a similar fashion For cargo they were hired to deliver?
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      True: Atlas Shrugged never once discusses the origins of Ragnar Danneskjold's ship. To Henry Rearden, Danneskjold says he never robbed a military vessel, because the military of any country have a legitimate function.

      I had thought his vessel would have one of two origins.

      1. Francisco d'Anconia built it for him. Or:

      2. It is the former USS Enterprise CVN-65, which was on her way to the boneyard when Danneskjold's crew hijacked it. He might even have managed to insinuate enough of his recruits onto that ship, for what was supposed to be her last voyage, to represent a majority. Thus the worst crime anyone committed, was barratry--when the officer-in-charge steers a ship to a port other than where the owner wanted her to go.
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      • Posted by Animal 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        The Big E was (obviously) a carrier. No big guns, which were clearly described as Dannekjold's ship's primary armament. Also, there is no description of aircraft operating from the ship directly. And while I'm no naval architect, I'd guess it would be easier to build a new ship than to convert a big (and lightly armored) nuclear carrier into a armored battlewagon.

        The ship as described sounds like a battleship or heavy cruiser.
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        • Posted by  $  Temlakos 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          Nevertheless, Ragnar's ship had to be an aircraft carrier. He took off from its deck in a cargo plane laden to the top of the cargo bay with gold. I appreciate the statement about the heavy guns. But I wonder how reliable Rand meant that description to be. And where did his bullhorn voice come from? My guess: a UAV carrying a loudspeaker blared out his warning to evacuate. Then a squadron of bombers flew in and did the job.
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          • Posted by Animal 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            I may be remembering this wrong, but I don't remember any indication that the aircraft took off from a ship.

            A warship also needs support from a fixed port. They don't operate in a vacuum. They need supplies and fuel; even a nuclear ship needs food, fuel for any aircraft, ammunition and various sundries. Ragnar had to have a facility somewhere. That facility could well have included an airfield.

            Major point as well: Where would you mount heavy guns on a carrier?
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            • Posted by  $  Temlakos 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              Well, Ragnar said he had made the flight from the mid-Atlantic. Now where did he make it from? Did he, in addition to having a ship built for him (Francisco could have easily managed that), establish a base on a small island? Could any island base accommodate a battlewagon?

              By the way, the ship need not have had nuclear power. John Galt's electrostatic motor technology struck me as easily scalable, even to a scale to move a battlewagon and power all its systems.
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              • Posted by Animal 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                The Azores, maybe somewhere on the coast of Greenland or Iceland? Good point about Galt's motor (the Stark Industries Arc Reactor?) but it's also notable that even in WW1 heavy cruisers and battleships regularly launched amphibious scout planes from catapults and retrieved them with cranes after a water landing alongside. Not really a new technology.

                Still, while it's an entertaining discussion, we're also dealing with a fictional story that regularly relies on unknown technology as a deus ex machina. So...
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              WW II aircraft carriers had mount points for many self-defense guns (anti-aircraft) and even a few 3" or 5" guns for point defense against larger vessels. Even a 3" or 5" gun can sink a merchant ship - submarines during WW II used them to devastating effect not just their torpedoes.

              The bigger point is that of re-supply. Aircraft don't fly based on nuclear propulsion or Galt's theoretical device, but on fuel which must be drilled, extracted and refined. People have to have food, and a ship's stores can typically only hold enough food for a month. And there's the small detail that the ship itself would have had to have hundreds of active crew for daily maintenance, upkeep, and operations. A warship is a major undertaking.

              I think Rand left it intentionally vague not only because it wasn't a critical aspect to the plot but because she herself wasn't familiar enough with the military to write a convincing story. Hmmm. Atlas Shrugged Fan Fiction?
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              • Posted by  $  Temlakos 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                Atlas Shrugged fan fiction. Yes. I myself thought of the story of someone who has his own way of going on strike: he sets out in a sailing sloop to find Ragnar Danneskjold's ship, with a view to joining his crew!
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                  If you want a great author to check out, try Brad Thor. His military expertise as applied to modern problems with a philosophical bent are outstanding IMHO. He might be a fun one to invite to the Gulch for Q&A.
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              • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                Atlas Shrugged Fan fiction - sounds like a new market to me! The original Star Trek TV series was only 78 episodes, but look at all the books it inspired! (plus comic books, plastic model kits, movies, action figures, all the merchandising, etc.!)
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
                  "Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made. Atlas Shrugged-the T-shirt, Atlas Shrugged-the Coloring Book, Atlas Shrugged-the Lunch box, Atlas Shrugged-the Breakfast Cereal, Atlas Shrugged-the Flame Thrower."

                  --Originally from Space Balls
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    • Posted by Domminigan 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      The crews and guards of the ships were hired with money stolen from the people to deliver materials and goods also stolen from the people; this was done to the point that the people needed those stolen goods and materials to survive.

      When an individual is stolen from; the intent is to send the police to recover, using force, the stolen property and to punish those involved in the theft. When an individual has their life threatened, it should always be right and just to defend that life with whatever means at hand.
      The man caught eating the face off a homeless man a few years ago may have felt threatened by the police officer who shot and killed him; but his right to life and safety was forfeit by his own prior actions. Had he managed to kill the police officer who shot him; he would still have been in the wrong despite his fear of threat from the officer.

      Atlas Shrugged gave us a world where, knowingly, the government and police are the thieves; stealing everything they could, threatening the very lives of the people and even killing them.

      Ragnar used force to retake things that were stolen by force and deliver the value of those recovered items in as appropriate a manner as he was able. A job and a paycheck do not morally entitle anyone to steal or murder those they steal from.
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    • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      I've wondered about that myself. Sure his objective was to take what was theirs, the company or government, as an object lesson and means of protest. Even so, those he had to face were intimidated, threatened, FORCED into compliance and into surrendering their cargo.
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      • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        he only chose those who had already initiated force
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        • Posted by  $  Dobrien 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          Hi khalling ,
          I might be splitting hairs but the crew of a ship
          Delivering some goods to the people's republic of
          France are unlikely to have been involved in the initial looting.
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          • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            everyone must take responsibility for their actions. It is a major theme in AS. You cannot claim innocence by burying your head. Of course this is a literary device to demonstrate extremes. Remember there are SPOILER

            three students of philosophy here, each with their own convictions on how to destroy the motor of the world.
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        • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          But the crew are just employees carrying out their jobs for pay. On a ship very few are there for security, most are laborers, engineers, etc. No need for force on those folks, just the decision makers, the owners (who likely aren't even there).

          The ends justify the means? Robin Hood?
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 months, 2 weeks ago
            "The ends justify the means?"
            Maybe Rand wasn't holding up Danneskjold as a hero. Maybe she was saying a gov't that does not respect property rights turns even honest people into thieves.
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    • Posted by  $  BeenThere 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Ragnar only pirated ships carrying looted cargo, especially looted by governments. If I were a seaman I would not sign on to the crew of such a ship. BT

      P.S. If I could not identify the cargo as "not loot" I'd walk the wharf until I found one. If not that, I would seek other work.
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  • Posted by Donald-Brian-Lehoux 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Every time you are pulled over by the police it is the same thing
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      If you are pulled over by the police, you may have
      inadvertently been doing something to the detriment
      of the safety of the other people on the road; I do not think that simply being pulled over gives you the
      right to shoot the cop.

      It is true that the roads ought to be privatized, but until they are, you are not the only taxpayer/victim of the government.
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      • Posted by Donald-Brian-Lehoux 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        I was pulled over for putting only ONE foot down when I came to a stop on my motorcycle. The cop told me that they write tickets even if they have no chance of winning because it "proves" that crime exists and they will get more money. Cops are shooting people that exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Hello khalling,
    We had a home break-in years ago. They didn't get much (our dog apparently ran them off, or we came home and they went out the back) but the toll on our piece of mind was indelible.
    Best wishes,
    O.A.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    During the 70s I had my life threatened more than once (usually on the phone).and due to fear for my life I started to carry a gun.
    I never had a gun shoved in my face but I think I can kinda relate to how that must feel like.
    I'm quite certain that having my life threatened by a gun would have a larger impact on me than being forced to hand over a large amount of cash.
    Anyone who asked for a dime I may regard as the crazy humor of someone who is going to kill me anyway. I've been practicing a quick draw and point (not aim) while thumbing down the safety to off with my pocket pistol.
    Would I with a hammering heart pull that pistol or or freeze? I honestly don't know, but I keep my spare change in that same pocket and my wallet in the other.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    What bothers me the most is Federal Income Tax, people like myself paid into it my whole working life and really get no benefit from it. It's the Government slush fund. It's free money for the Feds to use, with little consequence to the future. It's not invested there is no earning's on it. The Government bureaucracy is still thieving. I hope Trump visits this part of the IRS thugocracy during his presidency.
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  • Posted by Jstork 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    I pay my taxes at the end of a gun. I think someone else said that. If you do not comply with the government's wishes, forcible and possibly violent detainment will eventually ensue.
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  • Posted by  $  Abaco 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    What if an official says, "Wear a seatbelt or I'll shoot you."? My answer - it's still wrong. But, I know many who call themselves Objectivists or Conservatives while taking the other side on this.

    I find that funny...
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  • Posted by Technocracy 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    There are many dangers to initiating force. Not the least of which is the possibly mistaken assumption that retribution is not coming from the victim.
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  • Posted by chad 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    The act of declaring by the state that nothing you have or produce is yours to keep except with the permission of the state your property is then rented from the state (national or local level) and the amount of extortion can be changed at any whimsy. We are and have been slaves of the state almost from the beginning when conscription was used to force men into wars they disagree with. If the state has the right to your life so that you might have the right to rent your property from them you are not free men.
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  • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    This is a very interesting post and discussion. I have had a gun shoved in my face and he took more than a dime. I had no doubt I was going to die, but I had the choice to sit there and die or fight and die. I chose fight. By the way...I didn't die. edited for typo
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  • Posted by lonerinfl 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    There are a number of things wrong with violent force being used, but the greater problem of the concept of thought of force is the one a person applies on themselves. Not all force is obvious as a gun or knife, some is social pressure is more vulgar than any weapon simple because it requires personal acceptance and self violence to comply to be part of that society. We all need to realize that the pursuit of happiness is not the same for all people. Just because I prefer to give my assistance to a teacher of children, does not mean it is wrong or right just my choice. The point is force is only what we allow it to be.
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    • Posted by Kittyhawk 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      You believe that "social pressure" is a greater problem than the threat or application of actual physical violence? I'm not sure what kind of non-violent social pressure you mean, but I can't think of any example which would inspire me to agree with this statement.
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      • Posted by lonerinfl 4 months, 2 weeks ago
        how many times have people stood by when a bad event is happening and all they have to do is speak up, but they are afraid of what others will think of them. Germany in World War II, so many people stood by as one group or another was taken away by the SS, and when it was them that was being taken, there was no one willing to stand up for them either. In the USA, now there are people protesting in the streets about this or that life matters, yet when those same groups get violent their own do not speak out against such violence. In the world now days, terrorist are hijacking the religion of Islam, and most of the followers of the Prophet wont speak out against such violent acts because they will be seen as bad Muslims. There are way too many cases of people allowing and even participating in violence because they do not want to be the first to stand for rights of others and justice of law. Now do you see the self violence in the world today due to peer pressures?
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  • Posted by dscotese 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    I agree, and I feel that by giving up the dime so easily - without some conversation about what brought this mugger to this state - I would also have cheated myself of a great opportunity.
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      you ask questions when a gun is pointed in your face?
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      • Posted by dscotese 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        Absolutely. I am, perhaps foolishly, rather fearless for a little while. I think my reptilian brain has a timer on it or something.

        I was afraid of the dark as a child. I recognized over and over and over again that the fear was unfounded and the dangers way overstated. I may have subconsciously disabled my fight or flight response by recognizing it so often. I've lasted 48 years so far without that reactive response, so I don't have much interest in rejuvenating it.
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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 4 months, 2 weeks ago
    I see a much greater cost than experiencing the act and the dime--it's the personal and moral cost of complying with the demand. Many will reply that it's only a dime and more importantly that complying in the face of a weapon is the only sane option. I would argue that the victim has just abandoned his integrity as well as any Objectivist values and natural rights. That's a much higher cost than the realization that evil exists or that you alone are responsible for your own self defense.
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    • Posted by lonerinfl 4 months, 2 weeks ago
      I am what most in this forum would call and independent, I do not vote for something because one party or another says it is what is good, I look at the issue and weight the long term results before casting a vote. Still I am also an extreme Constitutional law believer. IT is stated: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Now I am maybe no lawyer, but necessary to keep is more than a right. So all that being said there is a point to standing up to the thieves and terrorist in the world even if it cost you your life. WWII was the greatest generation because they stood up and were ready to die for what was right, our current military members deserve our respect for being willing to do so.
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