The Tale of the Slave

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Goo For You, Nov 26, 2012.

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  1. Goo For You

    Goo For You New Member

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    Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you.


    1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master's whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
    2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
    3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
    4. The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
    5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three-sevenths of their wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking.
    6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.

      Let us pause in this sequence of cases to take stock. If the master contracts this transfer of power so that he cannot withdraw it, you have a change of master. You now have 10,000 masters instead of just one; rather you have one 10,000-headed master. Perhaps the 10,000 even will be kindlier than the benevolent master in case 2. Still, they are your master. However, still more can be done. A kindly single master (as in case 2) might allow his slave(s) to speak up and try to persuade him to make a certain decision. The 10,000-headed monster can do this also.
    7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vastrange of their powers.
    8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
    9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.

    The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a slave?

    (from Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, pp. 290-292.)

    Anyone else love these?:D
     
  2. Sponsor

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  3. SiriusDawg

    SiriusDawg New Member

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    http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2...top-worrying-and-quit-ideal-theory/?mobile=nc
     
  4. Goo For You

    Goo For You New Member

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    I like Yglesias a lot; he's one of the smartest pundits around. And I tend to agree that nonempirical philosophy has a somewhat limited use for making political decisions. However, I'm not sure that you can make this argument without pulling the rug from under liberalism as well (*). Also, if you already recognize that philosophy has limited use, Yglesias's point becomes somewhat a conversation stopper. I think he's at his best when he writes positive stuff.:thumbup2:


    EDIT: (*) MY may well be ok with this conclusion (i.e. he won't mind refraining from making arguments about how the mechanics of the "liberal" way of thinking are in some way intrinsically valuable for political discourse), but if so, he should be talking about nonempirical philosophy in general. As it stands, he's clearly trying to single out libertarianism, which seems to be the snarky leftist in him trying to one-up the opposing team (he seems to have outgrown this as of late, and he never was as bad as 99% of the academic left)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  5. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    I don't know what all that means and I don't care :mad: There's a liberal Reggie in the white house and queers are gettin' MARRIED. Our Job-Creators are just being pissed on, and living off dollar-store-bologna-sammiches, while the Entitlement/Welfare Culture rides around in limousines eating lobster and 2 pound Kobe Steaks.
     
  6. Goo For You

    Goo For You New Member

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    Cliff notes: Nozick is being a smart-ass Reggie and Yglesias is being a snarky-ass Reggie.:D
     
  7. I invented that

    I invented that VIP Extreme Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    mark's one of those odd ducks that thinks he knows how the other side actually thinks. in doing so, he actually shows us how he thinks.
     
  9. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    Gosh, nothin' gets by that Matthew. And I'm glad Mr. IIT enjoyed my explanation of a Straw Man a week or two ago.
     
  10. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    just sayin' you're not subtle dude :hat:
     
  11. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    I know, not trying to be. You wanna know what's scary? I sometimes get PMs and Reps( + and - ) from (sincere) posters here who buy into it 100%. I almost feel bad when that happens......I can't stay in character very long anyway; it makes me feel icky.....
     
  12. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    i think maybe they're just counter-trolling you dude :hat:
     
  13. Goo For You

    Goo For You New Member

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    When I repped him yesterday, I was playing along with him. Really sad to see he thought I bought into his act.:dontknow:
     
  14. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    I don't think they all are, Matty, I really don't.

    Ah, well there you go. :crazy2:
     
  15. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    :coffee:
     
  16. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    it's just that i see the left doing worse things than they blame the right for doing, and it's weird, like i'm in Carlinland and just watching a nuthouse.

    one side lies 10 times; the other side lies once; the first side says "see! both sides lie!"

    :tzone:
     
  17. HeinousMark

    HeinousMark Creepy-Ass Cracka VIP

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    Oddly enough, sarcasm aside, that's exactly how I feel about the "right".
     
  18. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    i figured as much. it's like living in bizzaro world
     
  19. Goo For You

    Goo For You New Member

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    Do the poll, bitches.:pissed:
     
  20. MatthewT

    MatthewT Awaiting The Rapture VIP

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    turrible thread imho :ucoffee:
     
  21. Bro

    Bro Namaste Gold

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    The right lies to you. The bible lies to you. You are one gullible person.
     

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