- Capitalism and Alternatives -

So There!

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, Uk ) on June 24, 1999 at 15:41:50:

In Reply to: because I want to! posted by Gee on June 24, 1999 at 14:40:37:

I really should be working...

: This contradiction was not really explained by the following statements made. The explanation was along the lines of "well, the state is here so I may aswell try and do my bit in it" If the state is set up so that 'your bit' can not achieve the end you desire, or that in achieving it the means are undesirable then how is it 'good'? Sitting on a jury may allow you to influence a better outcome (or worse) within a framework given you by others, but why are you obliged to sit upon it?

Because the duty of jury service makes me who I am, and secures for me my place in the world. The obligation to jury service if no different than the obligation to vote, or the obligation not to punch otehr people in the face. (although I would say legally mandatory voting is wrong, because not showing is a way of voting.). We should not need compulsory Jury service, refusal should be out and out unthinkable.

: It would be self delusion to suppose that sitting on a jury a few times would secure your freedom were you to be subjected to the judgement of other jury sitters in the future.

No, because I know that the courts are subject to me and my peers, and that as a society we concretely control the courts, whereas under a positive state society does not control it.

: It would be self delusion to suppose you are controlling the courts by sitting in their jury system following their laws whilst perhaps squeeking one little voice into the barrage of inertia and 'society'. Rigged, not the way criminals suggest, but rigged.

I agree current laws are not just, and the Jury service is a poor substitute for real and fuller control, nevertheless I support the Jury system over the continental tribunal system. I was using Jury service as an exemplar case in point of my general idea for what a free society means.

The advocates of Represetative democracy say the idea is to vote for people to run society for you, so you don't have to- but isn't working running society? Isn'tdeciding what to do today running society. This is what I am driving at.

: You actually do have those choices - you can do those things today - the choice exists, the constraint is *self* imposed, you decide not to do it because you think its wrong/fear of police etc etc. You are deciding.

No, its an illusion to think I have a choice, waggling my dick just doesn't occur to me, nor would it occur to me to leave a person lying in a gutter. There is, and can be no choice in that matter.

: It is your will that becomes your choices in negotiating the 'real world'. if a brick falls on your foot you choose how to deal with the reality of it (cursing, going to doc, bandage it etc). You can choose not to eat, but reality is what it is and the consequences will arrive. You are still choosing.

Can I chose not to curse, I doubt it, the illusion of choice comes retroactively when I see what else I could have done. I act, and then imagine choices.

: It does exactly that. Scary isnt it, having to accept responsibility for the consequences of choosing, however limited and however imposed by circumstance those choices can be. Its not, as some think, an easy way to live, a copout of responsibilitiy in the limited fashion most people consider responsibility, it is the highest form of it.

If there is responsibility there is no choice, you must do what you must. To talk about choices is to assume that moral/social law is optional (or even conscious). I am, on this point, decidedly anti-Kant. (Its not a good act unless you do it involntarilly under duty, he says).

: Did either of us say "right". What you choose to do is what you choose to do, whether its eat too much meat, smoke, murder, plant trees or dance in mud - each has its consequences, each choice is heavily influenced by you, your influences and the circumstances presented - at no point is it not your choice.

Borg's post about 'The Third-Way' attacked any form of legitimization beyond individual will, as soon as you say, 'ah, but there are external values' then you have to explain what they are, where they come from, and how to rlate to them.

: When we argue that the non-aggression principle is a good one it is in recognition that when others attempt to remove your free choice by force that you can no longer be self directing and self responsible. Some people prefer to avoid both.

But you are, then, appealing to legitimation by the Self, with the individual as the supreme good, which (leads us back to the authoritarian state, which such a conception of self inevitably creates: to remain individuated, and free, requires the externalised intercession of the state to gaurantee the rights *owned* by the individual).

: The 'meaning' is derived by your individual discriminatory values the standard for which is personal. People who want to earn millions do so because *they* want to. Poeple who want to save whales do so because *they* want to. Poeple who want a socialist world do so because *they* want to.

And each are equally valid, and each is infinitely exchangeable with any other set of values, and each, in the end, derives its main value, in true Liberal Pluralist fashion, through 'Because *I* Choose to...'

What if, following Sade, I chose murder and torture as my personal values?

So long as you are an individual, on guard against all interlopers, desperate to maintain property rights over yourself, then you aren't free, and can't be. Collectivism does not detroy individuality, it alows it to grow, and specifically encourages and enables individuality, but the Liberal state prevents and inhibits this.

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