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View Poll Results: Is law coercion?
Yes 9 31.03%
No 20 68.97%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 25, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Is law coercion?

Since a couple of our resident objectivists like to base everything on the idea that law is synonomous with coercion, I thought we should see what the spread is.

Is a police officer pulling me over and giving me a traffic ticket the same thing as a criminal pulling me over and demanding my wallet?
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Old May 25, 2006, 06:15 PM
Reduce the drama...
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A few wish for wide open spaces where they can answer to no one.
Some live like that in rural and urban spaces among the neighbors.
Because their lifestyle tends to disrupt the lives of the neighbors, they wear their welcome thin, and the neighbors have to straighten them out. If they persist, the neighbors may tell them to move on.

You can blow through only so many controlled intersections until the LAW of averages catches up with you. And the consequences thereof.

When a drunk driver blew through a stop sign and totaled my daughter's car, sending her to the hospital, I was glad the deputy and the fire responders already had the driver in hand. I was wanting to apply some "immediate action" to him.
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Old May 25, 2006, 06:23 PM
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Is a police officer pulling me over and giving me a traffic ticket the same thing as a criminal pulling me over and demanding my wallet
Yes and no. Both use the same method, but for differing reasons, one possibly just, the other entirely unjust by definition, both using coercion.

If you see them as the same thing when you mention coercion, then you have already short circuited the discussion by using a strawman argument. If you wish to discuss an objectivist idea, maybe it would be better to use one that is actually objectivist, not one claimed to be which isn't... if you intend to compare cops and thieves as exactly the same... if you do not, you should not have included both of them in the example as set up, IMO.
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Old May 25, 2006, 06:30 PM
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If the law is necessary, then it is coersive. A desire to avoid the consequences of breaking the law is all that keeps some folks from doing just that. Your poll question is fine, your first post is so slanted as to be useless as anything other than a discussion starter.
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Old May 25, 2006, 06:36 PM
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How about this, we cut out the middleman and quit arguing over what *label* to apply... and argue about the actions and intent actually occurring. when we speak of law we are speaking of rules applied backed by physical force, are we not?

regardless of the justification for any particular law, which is the usual diversion (everybody does it, it's necessary, etc etc), the fact remains that the intent is to force compliance...

and it is that intent I personally contend is in process when law is implemented.

why this is contentious i have no idea. it seems to me people do not want the bald fact of what they support stated because it looks mean or bad or insulting. when i support something not popular, i do so openly regardless of response because we should deal with each other *honestly*.

if people would stop trying to avoid what they are doing and work more on the justifications and not denying the tools they use to implement them, the discussions would be more honest.
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Old May 25, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MtnGoat
Yes and no. Both use the same method, but for differing reasons, one possibly just, the other entirely unjust by definition, both using coercion.

If you see them as the same thing when you mention coercion, then you have already short circuited the discussion by using a strawman argument. If you wish to discuss an objectivist idea, maybe it would be better to use one that is actually objectivist, not one claimed to be which isn't.
The police officer pulls me over and coerces my behavior because "we the people" have determined, either directly or through our elected representatives, that speeding is dangerous and shouldn't be allowed. I break that law, I'm subject to the police officers "coercion".

I didn't hurt anyone. I infringed no one's negative rights. I didn't think I was doing anything dangerous. But nonetheless, I'm subject to the law and pay the fine.

That whole thing seems necessary. I may not like that I have to drive at some arbitrary speed, but it's the law. If I want to be a part of some country or county or city, it's my responsibility to follow the laws of that place.

Now apply that same principle to (oh, I don't know) owning a factory that pollutes a river or puts out greenhouse gases or routinely ignores safety regulations. If that is deemed a dangerous or negative activity, shouldn't the gov't (we the people) have the right to coerce some behavior from that factory owner just as the speed limit is enforced by the street cop?

I'm the one arguing that law and violent coercion are two different things, for the fact that one is mandated by democratic processes and subject to review, the other is not.

You are the one drawing a parallel that is, in my estimation, ridiculous.

It just seems lately we can't have a conversation about global warming or about schools or about really anything without this same argument, that the gov't making a law is "forcing" some action upon people. Of course it is, but it's justified by the process of law and the wishes of the electorate.

That's as good as it get's. The voice of the people determining their own destiny. Everyone has the right to lobby or campaign against speed limits, safety regulation or enviro regulations. Everyone can be heard.

I think it's reasonable to ask the question when is a law necessary and when is it not. I think it's valuable to ask if the gov't really is serving the interests of the people. I think it's each of our responsibility to either support or argue some law depending on how we see it.

I think it's silly to put the process of lawmaking and enforcement on trial in every thread.

Graham
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by NewbieX

I'm the one arguing that law and violent coercion are two different things, for the fact that one is mandated by democratic processes and subject to review, the other is not.

Graham
Then you are partially incorrect. If laws have the potential of enforcement, then they almost certainly present the potential of violence during the enforcement. If violence is used during the enforcement of a law, then violent coercion is present. The democratic process is irrelevent to that fact. What IS relevant is that "violent coercion" and "wrong" are not synonymous. Society requires coercion. Argue the assertion that some violent coercion is necessary to the function of society as it exists in all forms today, and you would be presenting the better argument.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sarge
If the law is necessary, then it is coersive. A desire to avoid the consequences of breaking the law is all that keeps some folks from doing just that. Your poll question is fine, your first post is so slanted as to be useless as anything other than a discussion starter.
Why is the post "slanted"? It asks the same question the poll does.

And for the record, it was written as a discussion starter. I figured if we could come to some (oh the humanity) consensus on this simple question, then that would free up some of the other issues which have been entangled by it.

Life is subjective. Whether a country is a good place to live or a nightmare is subjective. The law is often subjective. The Rand filter can be very eye opening, but just as often can cause some serious clogs. I don't want a clogged, impotent gov't...as much as I may disagree with a gov't that over-reaches.

I'm full on in support of gov't coercion in support of those ideals, freedoms, rights and protections which I support...as I think everyone here is as well.

I mean, that's what we're arguing about. What is and what is not the just purview of various levels of gov't?

I guess the last few days discussions have got me thinking that "gov't coercion" is kind of a red herring. It turns people making laws governing their country into some kind of evil. It's not. It's just people making laws.

Admittedly, some better than others.

Graham
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:15 PM
Go get them Meg!
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It cannot be coercion if the effected parties are willing participants. There is no compulsion to remain under the legal authority that proclaims a 65 MPH speed limit.

Rule of law is a condition of living in the United States, and anyone who chooses to live in the United States tacitly excepts that condition by continuing to live here.

When someone wants to live here, there must be infered a preference for the type of society here that Rule of law helps provide. Wanting to belong but also wanting there to be no regulation strikes me as similar to wanting to join an glider club because one likes the peaceful nature of it but complaining that they don't allow power planes.

In fact, the United States is less conditional than that example, as in the United States, any individual is free to spend his resources to consensus build in an attempt to remove what regulations he feels create particularly onerous conditions.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sarge
Then you are partially incorrect. If laws have the potential of enforcement, then they almost certainly present the potential of violence during the enforcement. If violence is used during the enforcement of a law, then violent coercion is present. The democratic process is irrelevent to that fact. What IS relevant is that "violent coercion" and "wrong" are not synonymous. Society requires coercion. Argue the assertion that some violent coercion is necessary to the function of society as it exists in all forms today, and you would be presenting the better argument.
That's pretty much what I'm arguing, although less succinctly. Law enforcement involves coercion, but law is not synonomous with coercion.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:29 PM
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What IS relevant is that "violent coercion" and "wrong" are not synonymous.
precisely. good reduction to the basics, sarge.

for me, i have never stated violent coercion is always wrong, what i have stated is the *initiation* of violent coercion is wrong.

it's initiation innately validates a violent response in defense, after all the initiator has chosen to act upon the idea that violence is an acceptable act, thus the person responding is merely acting upon the already agreed upon basis proven by the initiator's choice to initiate.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Wanting to belong but also wanting there to be no regulation
who is this poster you are discussing? i know of a lot of people who disagree over the *basis* and methods to be used for regulation, i know of no one here who thinks law is not needed.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MtnGoat
What IS relevant is that "violent coercion" and "wrong" are not synonymous.
Agreed. Though I would argue that lawmakers (we the people) should take an interest in less, rather than more violence, whether that be official or unofficial violence.

Subjective, yes. Widespread acceptance that dead and injured people are bad news, also yes.

As usual, lrsudog, makes a good point. Just being here is tacit approval of the law of the land. I don't like George Bush very much, but I accept him as the President of the USA because that's the law.

And what choice do I have otherwise. Just like the speeding ticket.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:44 PM
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It turns people making laws governing their country into some kind of evil.
depending on wether the law takes negative rights, or protects them, it IS evil on the one hand and not on the other.

in *every* case you violate someone's negative rights, you are acting upon the basis that your judgement is superior to theirs and proving it by your willingness to make them do what you judge is correct against their will and threatening them into it.
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Old May 25, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Agreed. Though I would argue that lawmakers (we the people) should take an interest in less, rather than more violence, whether that be official or unofficial violence.
I agree, which is why it puzzles me that you are so invested in the official use of violence or the threat of it so darned often.
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