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The most valid point in favour of drug legalisation

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Janig, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    I was under the impression that Rothbard was the first, with classical liberals being the natural predecessors. John Stuart Mill might have been way closer to the libertarian ideal than other contemporaries of his, but he wasn't a libertarian. Libertarianism and utilitarianism aren't really related, although of course some libertarians are also utilitarians.
     
  2. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    While I agree it's good not to apply modern labels anachronistically, not all of classical liberals believed in quite the form of liberalism that became libertarianism. Classical liberalism birthed a lot of different things, because all of it is based on rationalism, seeking universal truth, and the actualization of man. In their own historical circumstances, they came to different perspectives, and the one JSM articulated is a direct link to today's Libertarianism.

    It's important to understand this thread because none of these ideologies are remotely the "this is it! this is the forever truth!" All of them are logical reflections of the specific moments in time they lived.
     
  3. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    It may well be linked, he probably said a lot of good stuff, and he probably said a lot of stuff that had an impact on libertarianism later on. That doesn't mean he was an actual libertarian though. And its not just because he lived a long time ago. If you could find me someone who lived a long time ago that nonetheless had the same political beliefs of libertarians, I'd call them a libertarian even if they didn't actually use or know the word. And I wouldn't be surprised if most people in JSM's time had a more authoritarian attitude towards legal prostitution and gambling than JSM did. Doesn't mean JSM was actually a libertarian though. In much the same way, while the US Founding Fathers, particularly the anti-Federalists were far closer to the libertarian ideal than those who they had rebelled against, or most other people of their time, they still weren't actually libertarians. Jefferson is a huge influence on libertarians, but considering he believed in slavery* alone he wasn't a libertarian. I believe he wanted homosexuality criminalized as well.

    *There is a minority of libertarians (I know Walter Block takes this position, and I believe Block claimed that Nozick was the only other libertarian that agreed with him) who do believe that you should be allowed to sell yourself into slavery. I don't agree with this, and neither do most libertarians, but the (Very small) dissent does exist. However, there are no libertarians who believe you should be allowed to sell someone else into slavery, or who believe that a slave's children are a legitimate form of property.

    The difference between what is, and what is not, a valid libertarian dispute, is whether or not the debate is over the correct interpretation of the NAP to a given situation, or a debate over the validity of the NAP. The latter is not really an in-house debate.

    JSM has a great quote as well "Your right to swing your fist ends when you hit my face." It seems, unfortunately, that JSM did not believe his own quote.
     
  4. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Here, I fixed it so it's more obvious.
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    How do you figure? The first individualist anarchist was probably William Godwin, who published the pamphlet Political Justice in 1793. The first person to identify themselves as a "libertarian" was the French anarchist Joseph Déjacque, in an 1857 letter to P.J.Proudhon. The first person to use the term "libertarian" in your sense was (as far as I know) the American writer H. L. Mencken, who coined it (which is to say, stole it; how's that for irony) to describe his individualist views in opposition to the "collectivism" of Roosevelt's New Deal policies. Most of the economic beliefs associated with contemporary libertarianism were developed by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek in the interwar period. Rothhbard is to all this very much a latecomer, and whatever his role may have been in shaping modern right-wing "libertarian" thought, he can hardly be credited as some sort of Founding Father.
     
  6. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I'm really glad I didn't try to address that point because all I would have said was that Rothbard was way late to the game, and you did that a lot more justice.
     
  7. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    H.L. Mencken was more of a cynic (in the everyday sense of the word) than a libertarian, and often called himself "Reactionary" in a positive way as well. Note how he was opposed to the study of economics, which would probably disqualify him as a libertarian in the Rothbard definition.

    Note that the Austrian School of Economics was quite non-ideological from its inception in the late 19th century until von Mises, with representatives such Carl Menger who pretty much influenced all of non-marxian economics that were to come. The Austrian School got a Libertarian "image" when the burden of representation fell on von Mises, indeed somewhere during the interwar years.
     
  8. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I disagree. The Austrian School started out ideologically. You can see it in Menger's Principles of Economics. There's basically a "freedom quotient" in the "scientific" premises. The attempt was to be scientific, and objective, and to end the moralizing in economics. However it appended a very historically specific moralization into the core of its work.

    When Marshall in England took the same theories some 20 years later, he fixed the "freedom quotient" but most of the resulting math was the same. The Austrian School was irrelevant after that point, so to keep the identity, they had to up the ideology.

    That ideology transferred into the University of Chicago, which poisoned mainstream economics from a good few decades when they gained prominence. But U of C also contributed awesome good stuff.
     
  9. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

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    Nailed it. I voted for Ziggy's answer in the poll, since it was closest to this.
     
  10. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    The fact that criminalization has been a huge failure by any conceivable metric...
     
  11. Yeekim

    Yeekim Moderator Moderator

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    Maybe not illegal... But I would be in favor of "fat tax".
    Might even help to lose me some extra weight.
     
  12. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    It doesn't therefore follow that drugs should be legalized. Maybe they should, but there are other possibilities: maybe better enforcement is called for, maybe a programme of education to discourage their use.

    The criminalization of burglary/murder/rape has no clear effect on the incidence of burglary/murder/rape (that I know of), would it therefore make sense to legalize them simply because of that?
     
  13. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    Banning rape, robbery and murder doesn't reduce those crimes? Has the criminalization of murder been a huge failure by any conceivable metric?

    in addition to ag subsidies for the fat industry?
     
  14. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Well, on this issue opinions are plainly divided. I'm no criminologist, of course.

    Do you mean the only thing stopping you from being a thieving, murdering rapist is the fact that all three are illegal?

    But still, not a huge failure, I'll admit. Just that there's no evidence that it's been a success.

    What's the evidence that criminalization of drugs has been a huge failure? What makes you think that legalization would reduce the incidence of drug use and not turn out to be a huge mistake? How do you know this?

    And a failure for whom? Criminalization has made the fortune of many a drug cartel.

    Still, I'll throw my hands up in the air - I simply don't know what to think really. I was just suggesting stuff, to be honest. I have no case to make, one way or another.
     
  15. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    Those are actual crimes, drugs are not - hence the phrase "drugs and crime". Rape and murder have victims, banning them neither creates massive black markets or violates our freedom. Banning drugs does create massive, violent black markets and violates our freedom.

    Laws gotta have respect, bad laws dont deserve it. Prohibition falls into the bad law category and the evidence is everywhere - the black market is the most obvious. If millions ignore the law something aint right with it. Now I can run down a lengthy list of negatives stemming from the drug war, but I'd rather see supporters show us their successes. What has the drug war accomplished? Has Prohibition reduced consumption?

    As for legalization, I dont really care if more people use drugs - thats their decision. I just dont see the drug war reducing drug use, if anything, the war on pot led directly to the cocaine wars of the 80s and a doubled homicide rate under Reagan's drug war.
     
  16. Wondering Kid

    Wondering Kid Prince

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    I like your ideas, but I'd like to add a couple more points to it; if they have not been mentioned yet:

    Criminalizing drugs does ensure black markets, yes. And negatives are indeed belonging to a lengthy list. But the best one I can come up with, that should interest the US Government would be terrorism. Here in Peru, the Shining Path (has managed to avoid total defeat by selling drugs ever since their leaders got captured; and they in turn, allied with several drug lords in the jungle. The Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabab deal with opium. Cut off their income, and you kill them without firing a single bullet.

    If saying that drugs have to be kept illegal due to "moral concerns", just think about this for a moment: Are you really sure that you don't do drugs? Because, despite the known "It is not the same!!" argument, a drug can be defined as "a substance that alters or modifies the normal functioning of an organism's body". With that in mind, caffeine is also a drug; no matter how you look at it. And several people take it daily. Me included. Chocolate has alkaloids that derive into the production of serotonin. Are we gonna ban chocolate or caffeine because of it? Because, hell, if we argument that drugs are bad/sinful/not worth having around; why not just be done with it and get rid off all of them?

    And no matter what laws people try to enforce to keep drugs out the street, people will find a way. Just like they did when they created crack.

    The reality is, that there are ways to fight drugs; yes. But making them illegal is not one of them. Let every individual decide for him/herself whether they want to become a junkie or not. If you don't want to see those close to you do drugs, then go and convince them not to. Talk to them, show them that it won't lead towards anything on the long run; I don't know.
     
  17. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Absolutely. I agree. I've in fact gone to a great deal of trouble to deal with caffeine. Not because I think it's necessarily all that harmful, compared to say tobacco it may be relatively benign, but because it's simply unnecessary. And my continued consumption of it was just a blind habit that I was following for no real benefit that I could see. I do occasionally still use it. Just to see, really. But I've got off that 3 or 4 cups of coffee, and countless cups of tea, daily that I used to consume for sure.

    Why do people drink coffee? Especially first thing in the morning when they've just woken up. I could understand drinking it late at night if I had to drive a considerable distance and I felt myself falling asleep. But otherwise seems a bit daft.

    Chocolate has never been a big issue for me. Though I hear tell it's useful for very mild depression.

    Any other drugs you want me to eliminate from my life style?

    Anyway, the last two posts make a very strong case in favour of a blanket legalization, I must say.

    Ain't going to happen politically any time soon though.
     
  18. Wondering Kid

    Wondering Kid Prince

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    Hmm, does Civilization, or any computer games for that matter, count as drugs? ;)

    To be honest, those were the first two I could come up with. Some more research and I'm sure I'll have a longer (and very depressing) list of things that have drugs; and that "should be banned because of the children/religion/morals"

    Umm, forgive me for my ignorance but what do you mean for blanket legislation? :confused:

    And no mate, I don't want you to stop doing drugs... Ok, that came out wrong... What I mean is that you can do those drugs because... Ok, that's worse even... Just live your life mate, care to join me for a cup of coffee? :D :lol:

    Here in Peru, for example, pot consumption is a widespread "problem". While I don't consider it a serious issue (nor I care about pot at all, I've never smoked it, nor I plan to) our recently elected Mayor (back in 2010) once spoke in favor of eventual debate about it's legalization. A couple years later, and the woman is facing a popular consult for kicking her out of office; not only because her government with all due respect sucked, but also because of that small fact. And her admitting that she did pot. So yeah... Politics will prevent drugs from becoming legal for a while. Even the UN (what a surprise...) supports the War on Drugs...
     
  19. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Yup. I'd consider any sort of activity, like the internet, to be a kind of drug, provided it interferes with normal functioning and it involves some kind of compulsion. That sets some kind of alarm signal going for me.

    By blanket legalization (not legislation), I simply mean legalizing all drugs. Of all kinds. And simply because of criminals making money from illegal trading. Tax free. (Still, I suppose they have to pay some taxes in the forms of bribes to corrupt import officials and policemen.)

    Of course, I should emphasize here, when I talk about giving up consumption of any unnecessary substance, I only refer to myself. What anyone else does is entirely their own affair.
     
  20. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    I think the spanish did ban it, shortly after the conquest their nuns in Mexico came across the natives processing cocoa and got addicted. Some religious bigshot paid a visit and saw all these nuns hard at work making (and eating) chocolate
     

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