In the spirit of Christmas, please accept my deepest apology for my childish, miscreant behavior. I will use the next few days to reflect upon my flaws, and hopefully take the first steps toward building better character. Thank you for your patience and tolerance in this matter.
All best wishes
Notice the fuckwit didn't put his name to this shit? The cunt thinks he's smarter than me and is still banning me from BHL.
I emailed the body of this post to Jason Brennan and guess what that great big Bleeding Heart Libertarian, supposedly much exercised about Public Justification Argumentation theory, went and did? That's right, he banned me from the site, without any shred of excuse or appearance of fair play, and deleted all my comments. Fascist? Not at all. Just par for the course for the Credentialized Ponzi scheme that is Academic Philosophy of no matter what ideological stripe.
Still, as in a Greek Tragedy, or in the annals of Tacitus, what followed from Brennan's usurpation and exercise of absolute power was his own abrupt plunge into psychotic gender-bending criminality. He tried to extort money from me in the guise of some sort of Washington hooker or street solicitor and when that failed, he claimed to have received a large sum of money from the ghost of my former G.P.
I'm not kidding. This isn't an elaborate metaphor. It's what actually happened.
In nuce- Brennan starts by claiming to have a disproof or Hoppe's argument that the very act of making an argument presupposes his own theory of self-ownership. I point out that Brennan's argument fails. He then, as a matter of observable behavior, not theoretical observation, turns into a female extortionist who claims victory over me in a battle of wits by receiving ghostly money from a dead person. In other words, Brennan's disproof of Hoppe involved him in much more than Hoppeing mad self-ownership, he arrogated to himself the right to stipulate an impossible Universe, of his own choosing (one where he was a female criminal) as the only proper inter-subjective Reality for his interlocutor. It's a bit like Eric Cartman's Meinongian victory over Kyle in South Park's Imaginationland III.
This proves, or if does not prove then at least it illustrates, my thesis that BHL is essentially ontologically dysphoric. In the same way that a man trapped in a woman's body experiences gender dysphoria, so too does Brennan, when challenged, unman himself by retreating into a female criminal's body in an impossible Universe where he gets to extort money from ghosts.
How the story unfolds
I make some comments on Brennan's post against Hoppe on BHL and email him this blog post.
Brennan bans me
I complain to the BHL editors at this puerile display of pique and arbitrary and unconscionable violation of its own stated principles and get this Email in reply-
Dear Mr. Vivek,
We at the law firm of Edward Betten Williams have completed our investigation of your recent complaint on behalf of BHL. As the User Agreement at www.bleedingheartslibertarians.com notes, users producing spam, abuse, foul language, or the solicitation of illegal activities are subject to a site-wide ban. By posting at BHL, you are bound by all terms of the user agreement, including an arbitration clause, as well as a clause holding you responsible for all legal fees incurred during the review of complaints. Accordingly, one of our customer service representatives will be in touch shortly with instructions on how may remit payment. Please note that failure to remit payment within 30 days will result in us initiating a suit in small claims on our client's and our own behalf.
Debbie Dresner, Esq.
Needless to say- there is no such User Agreement. Would BHL, confirm they had authorized this criminal act?
10:28 (4 hours ago)
Dear Debbie Dresner,
Further to your recent extortion attempt, could you please supply us an address where you can be contacted? As things stand, it is the contributors to BHL, as identified on the page you linked to, whom we will have to pursue in this matter.
13:19 (1 hour ago)
Dear Mr. Iyer,
We can be reached at 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, USA.
We have determined that the legal costs of pursuing payment overseas outweigh the potential benefits. Accordingly, you may consider yourself to be let off with a warning. However, you are hereby reprimanded and advised to pursue no further contact with our law firm, with our clients, or with me. Any further contact can and will result in legal action, including action for criminal harassment. Remember that any email you end us, as well as anything you post online, can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Debbie Dresner, Esq.
Dear Ms Dresner,
You have not denied that you attempted to extort money from me. I signed no 'User Agreement' of the sort you referred to, nor is any such User Agreement mentioned on the page you linked to. You have said that your firm examined my comments and found them to be in breach of this supposed User Agreement. The costs you supposedly incurred became the basis of your attempt to extort money from me. This means that there are people employed by your firm who should be available for deposition if criminal charges are brought against you in this matter.
I must inform you that your client's action in this regard have been highly prejudicial and I am actively examining my options in this regard. The criminal attempt at extortion, or conspiracy towards that end, which you have engaged in, aggravates the offense.
I must advise you that your conduct is highly unbecoming an officer of the court- assuming your styling yourself Esquire is to be taken as a claim to be an attorney. I treat with disdain your stupid and criminal attempt at intimidation.
Far from considering myself 'let off with a warning'- I consider myself to have been traumatized and subjected to criminal misconduct by your unfounded, highly prejudicial and illegal actions.
I will not warn you of the consequences of the malice and stupidity you have displayed in your interactions with me- suffice it to say that it will cost your client a pretty penny.
I say this because I am not able to find your firm at the address you have disclosed. Is it an accommodation address?
You were expressly advised that any further contact with my firm, our clients, or me would result in us pursuing charges of criminal harassment. Unless we receive a signed, notarized affidavit at our address in the next five days indicating that you promise to avoid any further contact with us, we will issue sub poenas in both District of Columbia and Nottingham civil courts against you. Be advised that failure to comply with our request likely will result in a summary judgment against you.
As you may be aware as well, in Her Majesty's Court and by the laws of the United Kingdom, complainants who initiate failed lawsuits incur both their own and the defendants legal expenses. In addition, the laws of the United Kingdom consider most unwarranted complaints against public figures to be libel. Thus, it is in your own interest to discontinue all further communication with or about our clients, both through email exchanges or on the Internet.
15:25 (4 minutes ago)
You were expressly advised that you have engaged in conspiracy to criminally extort money. You have not denied this.
Does your firm really exist? Are you a lawyer?
If it does and BHL is your client then it is your duty to advise them of what you have done and the manner in which it aggravates my Civil claim against them.
If I do not receive a full apology from your client and an offer of damages by the end of December, I will certainly exercise my right to legal redress both as a Civil and Criminal matter.
15:31 (5 minutes ago)
Expect a subpoena from us with the next five business days.
15:38 (0 minutes ago)
I expect nothing but stupidity and incompetence from you.
22:10 (12 hours ago)
I'm sorry if I was a little peremptory in my last.
Your stupidity and incompetence, after all, is the source of my revenue.
Do please remit the money you owne me for the many valuable lessons I've given you- a course of action to which, you are contractually bound by the User Agreement applicable to engaging me in Email intercourse.
P.S- a lawyer is supposed to intimidate the other guy. You did the opposite. You admitted you had no money and were a crap firm and then, quite gratuitously, showed me why any claim you might have against me must fail.
Prima facie, you have admitted that any Criminal action you initiate is mala fide and in furtherance of a conspiracy to criminally extort.
Meanwhile, I've been busy. I've evidence that other members of BHL consider me to be a very valuable commentator on their work.
You say you work for BHL. What if they deny that you do? Then you and you alone will face FEDERAL CHARGES of Criminal Extortion, Wire Fraud and Racketeering in this regard.
You have said that I should expect a subpoena from you. That was funny. But, of course, as you very well know, you violent criminal, though the word 'subpoena' is meaningless in the context of English Law (Since you have advised me, a Britisher, about British Law, you must be very knowledgble about it) BUT it has a very different, obscene, and utterly criminal meaning as used by people of your ethnicity and criminal antecedents.
Thankfully, I've read between the lines and taken EVERY STEP POSSIBLE TO PROTECT MYSELF AGAINST YOUR MURDEROUS AND SOCIOPATHIC KINDRED.
This does impose a cost on me- which I propose to recover- not from you- worthless person that you are- but your principals.
03:38 (6 hours ago)
Dear Mr. Iyer,
Thank you for your prompt responses to our inquiries.
We received today the sum of £4255, paid for on your behalf by a Mr. Grant Blair. This settles our civil proceedings against you, and so long as you keep to your agreement to discontinue harassing our clients, it also settles the criminal proceedings against you.
10:00 (12 minutes ago)
I know of no Grant Blair- unless you mean my Doctor who died a couple of years ago- what a preposterous lie.
Still, this is quite funny.
Clearly you and your clients enjoy my attentions.
It is nice to be appreciated.
(I dedicated a book to Dr.Grant Blair a few years ago. The book is available on line- that's how Debbie got his name. Tragically, he died a couple of years back. Still, since BHL's 'philosophy' consists of nothing but raping the ghosts of Dead White Males, why shouldn't one such ghost pay off their stupid attempts at extortion, albeit only in their own greasy little imaginations? )
Update- it turns out Brennen is Debbie- they have the same email address- so the sequence of events is as follows, I email the post that follows to Brennen, he bans me from BHL, I complain to the Editor- also Brennen- who goes mad and turns into a (Jewish?) woman who likes pretending to be a lawyer and who tries to extort money from me- and, according to her own lights, SUCCEEDS because the ghost of my dead Doctor pays her £4225 in ghost currency.
Why did all this happen? I think Brennen teaches at a Jesuit Institution. Was he molested as a choir boy by this dybbuk Debbie Dresner dressed up in priestly vestments? Dunno. Gotta say, Brennen was right to ban me from BHL. I'm just not crazy enough for that august forum. I bet that's a thing you never thought I'd have to say...
Now for the post which sent Brennen totally round the bend-
Why Jason Brennan is Hoppe-ing Mad
What happens when, for the purposes of argument, you grant the other guy's assumptions not for the purpose of agreeing with him and making him more agreeable but for the fell purpose of taking his pants down and saying real mean things about his genitals?
The answer, I'm afraid, is you fuck up big time.
Take the case of Constable Brennan who enters Hans Herman Hoppe's illegal shebeen and says 'Just for the sake of argument, I'll assume your premises are licensed and will now drink a gallon of your moonshine. Ha! Ha! Just took down your pants. You gotta tiny weiner. What's more you are pissing my urine out of your urethra! Oh fuck, I just pissed on the Archbishop. How come all my Friday nights end like this?"
'I find it bizarre that anyone would find Hoppe’s argumentation ethics argument for libertarianism even slightly persuasive. It’s a string of non-starters followed by a string of non-sequitors. But I recently learned that at least one super-smart person found it convincing when he was younger. Thus, I think it’s worth showing how you can refute this argument in under a minute. First, I’ll give you terms commonly used in political philosophy. Then I’ll quote Hoppe’s argument. After that, the minute starts.
Begin with some terms from political philosophy:
'A liberty right is something that grants me permission to do something.
A claim right is something that entails others have obligations, responsibilities, or duties toward me.
So, for instance, suppose you believe: “Everyone has the right to do whatever he pleases; no one has any duties to anyone else.” This sentence asserts that people have liberty rights to do anything, but have no claim rights at all.
In contrast, take: “I have the right not to be taxed–the government shouldn’t take my money.” Here I assert a claim right to my money–I assert that government agents have duties not to take my money from me.
So, to review, by definition:
“X has a liberty right to do Y” means “It is morally permissible for X to Y.”
“X has a claim right to do Y” means “Others have a duty not to interfere with X when he Ys.”
You can have a liberty right without a claim right. So, for instance, Hobbes thinks in the state of nature we all have liberty rights to kill one another, but he doesn’t think we have claim rights not to be killed.
With that distinction, consider Hans Hermann-Hoppe’s argumentation ethics argument for libertarian self-ownership.
Hoppe claims that the act of trying to justify a theory that rejected libertarian self-ownership is a performative contradiction—the act presupposes the truth of libertarian self-ownership. As he explains in The Economics and Ethics of Private Property:
It must be considered the ultimate defeat for an ethical proposal if one can demonstrate that its content is logically incompatible with the proponent’s claim that its validity be ascertain- able by argumentative means. To demonstrate any such incompatibility would amount to an impossibility proof; and such proof would constitute the most deadly smash possible in the realm of intellectual inquiry … Such property right in one’s own body must be said to be justified a priori. For anyone who would try to justify any norm whatsoever would already have to presuppose an exclusive right to control over his body as a valid norm simply in order to say ‘I propose such and such’. And anyone disputing such right, then, would become caught up in a practical contradiction, since arguing so would already implicitly have to accept the very norm which he was disputing.
For the sake of argument, on Hoppe’s behalf, grant that by saying “I propose such and such,” I take myself to have certain rights over myself. I take myself to have some sort of right to say, “I propose such and such.” I also take you to have some sort of right to control over your own mind and body, to control what you believe. (Nota bene: I don’t think Hoppe can even get this far, but I’m granting him this for the sake of argument.)
But all I need to avoid a performative contradiction here is for me to have a liberty right to say, “I propose such and such.” I need not presuppose I have a claim right to say “I propose such and such.” Instead, at most, I presuppose that it’s permissible for me to say, “I propose such and such”. I also at most presuppose that you have a liberty right to believe what I say. I do not need to presuppose that you have a claim right to believe what I say.
However, libertarian self-ownership theory consists of claim rights.
So, by saying, “I propose such and such,” at most I presuppose the permissibility of my saying “I propose such and such” and of your believing “such such,” but I don’t presuppose that anyone or anything has any claim rights or duties at all.
Hoppe’s argument illicitly conflates a liberty right with a claim right, and so fails.
Since Hoppe’s argument is complete nonsense, it has other fatal flaws aside from the one I described above. For further refutation, see here:
Why is the above fuck-witted? Briefly, rights can be inchoate- indeed, must be so, if discourse regarding them is to be non trivial. Grant the other guy's (illegal) premises and you are estopped from urging Illicit conflation unless there is, indeed, an Omniscient Oracle able to do the relevant backward induction after having solved the underlying Laplacian problem.
Moreover, for any given X whose Natural Language assumptions, A, you accept- even if only 'for the sake of argument' - it must be the case that there is always another interpretation, I, which defeats the Interpretation which yielded you a disproof or impossibility result.
Well, the one incentive compatible minimal assumption a person makes when voicing a Natural Language proposition is that the proper arbiter, or Humpty Dumpty, of its Interpretation is the one which makes him look smarter than everybody else.
This could easily be strategic or instrumental or refer to currently Open Problems in Maths.
Speaking pragmatically, since only Computational Logic's Argumentation theory, currently, is recognized as potentially non-shite, Brennan's result can be known in advance to be a case of his pissing on the Archbishop.
Of course, that Credentialized Academic Madoff-wannabe never responds to my comments coz me is just a fat black guy wot don't got from edumification- and that's a good thing coz, as long- time followers of this blog will know, I really iz shite.
Still, I now extract my comments on this post and paste them up here.
Your argument fails because Hoppe is assuming that people have a duty to be consistent- so your liberty right to state a certain sort of proposition creates a claim right, to believe or act consistently with that shite, against yourself..
The fact is rights are rights whether or not the right-holder has an argument to justify that right or not. Indeed, I'd be suspicious of a guy who gives me an argument as to why he has the right to do something.(.e.g break a window to get into his own house) because people who genuinely have that right generally refuse to provide any argument at all but tell you to fuck off or they will call the police and get you arrested for trespassing.
Furthermore, there may be a duty for a certain sort of philosopher to always justify his action and to be consistent while doing so but this is not the case for non-philosophers or, indeed, for philosophers if you ring them up real late at night.
I don't know why you'd want to accept that- it is 'the ultimate defeat for an ethical proposal if one can demonstrate that its content is logically incompatible with the proponent’s claim that its validity be ascertainable by argumentative means'
By doing so you are binding yourself to play a particular sort of game- which we all know to be utterly pointless.
It certainly isn't a Libertarian game. Liberty aint about ethical proposals or what stupid Professors think is 'ascertainable by argumentative means' (spolier alert- it's the empty set)
A liberty right lets you do an immoral thing and the corresponding claim right makes it immoral for others to stop you doing that thing.
Both type of rights exist even in a Robinson Crusoe world. Crusoe has a liberty right to make a Trust in which he is the only beneficiary and also the trustee, prior to the arrival of Man Friday. He can then say, I homesteaded this Island and put it in trust for myself such that I'm forbidden. under its terms, to permit you to dispose of my property even if, absent that Trust, I'd have felt morally obliged to go halfsies with you.
One way of paraphrasing Hoppe is to say 'assume that, when playing a certain type of Language game, any well formed proposition within it is a case of exercising a liberty right such that it creates a claim right against oneself of a particular sort.' In that case, his argument goes through. Don't grant him his assumption and it fails. This is because the assumption is specified in natural language and it always possible to find an interpretation of it, for example one which uses pseudo-random generators- which defeats any given dis-proof.
The scandal this creates for BHL thinkers is that an obviously silly argument obtains which is not refutable because, for some reason, BHL academics buy into Public Justification because like maybe it's in my job description and anyway all the cool kids are doing it?
The proper Libertarian response, surely, is to say 'a plaque on both your houses' and go back to fantasizing about teaming up with Sarah Palin to become like a real badass bounty hunter or something equally lubricious.
I think you are confusing moral rights and legal rights. Something may be legally permissible (no one has a legal claim-right that you not do it) but morally impermissible (someone has a moral claim-right that you not do it). Telling a lie or insulting someone may be examples.
I think you are also confusing power-rights with liberty-rights. You exercise a power-right when you alter someone's claim-rights or liberty-rights.
I think we are speaking of 'essentially contested' concepts here, so the confusion is baked in, though no doubt I bring some of mine own to the table as a sort of relish.
In general, I have no legal right to lie or insult someone except by reason of my own claim rights which ultimately derive from Public Policy pragmatics and thus are inherently defeasible.
Interestingly, the same Policy pragmatics may bar me from telling the truth or awarding condign praise.
Morally, I may have rights that conflict with claim rights- including claim rights against myself- and these can undoubtedly affect the prevailing distribution of power-rights.
I think it is true that- if we thinks Moore's paradox is a genuine scandal, or that Wittgenstein's private language argument doesn't have an algorithmic workaround- then we've boxed ourselves in and have no means to disprove in advance every possible interpretation of Hoppe.
One reason to think so is that 'following a rule' need not be deterministic. If so, by a Razburov Rudich type argument, our intuition about what is 'natural' misleads us.
The Research Program for Argumentation theory in Computational Logic is not obviously unsound, whereas it is self-evidently foolish in the context of BHL, and so perhaps the latter should use the former as forge in which to cast the silver bullet which will finally kill off Hoppe's undead beastie.
−'consider the proposition "One should never argue about what people should do." Belief in it is inconsistent with defending it argumentatively, but that tells us nothing at all about whether it is true or false. One could even imagine someone who did not believe in the proposition constructing a valid argument proving that it was true, although he would presumably stop speaking as soon as he had completely convinced himself.'
This argument, though meaningless in any strict sense, might appear not to be so because, at first glance, we feel that the introduction of impredicativity indicates that we have entered a higher order language and thus a different complexity class for the underlying Game.
However, by Razburov Rudich, we know we can't draw any conclusion from this.
Hoppe says ' For anyone who would try to justify any norm whatsoever would already have to presuppose an exclusive right to control over his body as a valid norm simply in order to say ‘I propose such and such’.
Apparently, self-ownership forbids leasing out one's faculties to wrath and lust and gluttony and drunkeness such that we can say with Agammemnon 'Not I, but my phrenes spoke' or 'Honey, it was the drink talking. I don't think you're a fat ugly slag at all. Honest.'.
Who wants self-ownership on such restricted terms?
"Who wants self-ownership on such restricted terms?"
Ha...funny response, but that proves the point too. For me, the point is even larger...you DO own yourself, in any semi-sane approach to ownership. I call it "axiomatic" because the only way out of it is to define ownership in some manner that precludes self-ownership.
And sure, there are lots of ways to do that, but not without stripping the essence of what ownership--actual, independent of judgment, objective ownership--is.
Also, it might be worthy to note that ownership itself, whatever it is, has existence only in a social context. Implicit in any concept C is the existence (or the imagined existence) of not-C. In the absence of a social context, there would be nothing that qualified as "not owned," and so "own" would carry no meaning. Well, except any that the actor wanted to fantasize into existence, of course.
I like this because it equates ownership with responsibility and thus serves a moral purpose even in idionomic discourse. For e.g. if Robinson Crusoe is an alcoholic, he still gets to 'own' the enormities he perpetrated, whilst drunk, in the sober light of day.
I don't suppose it matters very much if we substitute 'self-creation' for 'self ownership' or, indeed, attribute both efficient causes and 'ownership' to God or 'the Force' or 'The Tao' or whatever. The crucial things is to learn to 'own' one's errors and idiocies so that it becomes your responsibility to fix things.
Under Mrs. Thatcher, tenants were allowed to buy their houses from the Govt and, instead of turning into slums, owner-occupied houses showed superior maintenance and compliance with relevant by-laws against nuisances.
Even if this measure had not increased labor and social mobility, it would still have been a success even though nothing had changed except that the occupants now made mortgage payments whereas previously they had paid rent.
The argument was made that this 'privatization' would make people selfish and anti-social. They would retreat into a fantasy world fed by cheap Videos and frozen dinners. If someone broke a window pane or if the boiler burst or there was a spot of rising damp, people would just fix it themselves instead of making endless trips to the Council office. BUT, moaning about the Council's apathy Socializes you- i.e. coarsens you- the alternative being surrendering to Fantasy.
Anyway, this was Terry Gilliam's take on British Socialism, circa the Seventies, in his masterpiece 'Brazil'.
Nothing wrong with fantasy, so long as you fix the porch light when it goes out and insulate the loft in plenty of time for Winter.
Argumentation theory, on the other hand, except in a Comutational Logic type context, has always been a threat to Liberty- which is the leisure to dream rather than the lucid, too lucid, nightmare of Public Justification's Nakedness in the Exam Hall.
Having a way to translate a particular concept into the language of a particular analytical system doesn't strike me as "redundant".
*If* "moral" and "liberty right" are equivalent in some interpretation, I wouldn't call that a redundancy. I would call that an interesting result of conceptual analysis which enhances our understanding (in this case of morality, and of rights, and of their relationship). Saying water is H2O isn't a redundancy, it's a revelation.
In any case, if it turns out "moral" and "liberty right" are equivalent, that would only be in a particular application of the analytical framework. Take Hohfeldian analysis and apply it as a means of describing an existing legal system and you will no doubt find "liberty rights" that are immoral.
But if I infer correctly from Jason's example with the KKK's speech rights, I think Jason would say as far as ethics goes, we have a duty not to do immoral things (morality requires this of us). Since a "liberty right to x" is defined as the lack of "a duty not to do x", we do not have the liberty right to do anything immoral.
Perhaps for Jason morality requires we do what is moral (exerts a claim right on us). Then we end up with the result that we have a duty to do all things moral. Morality and immorality are then each a species of duty.
We've assumed that nothing immoral is a liberty (I guessed this to be Jason's view.) So let's get to the question of whether or not every liberty is moral. If some liberties are neither immoral nor moral, then this fails. If some moral duties we have we are not at liberty to fulfill, this fails. It seems to me both of those are likely, so I'd wager "liberty" and "moral" are not equivalent/redundant.
Not everything we are at liberty to do is moral: I am at liberty to prefer vanilla to chocolate. This is neither moral nor immoral.
We are not at liberty to do everything moral: I have made a promise which constrains my liberties, including my liberty to do moral thing X.
'*If* "moral" and "liberty right" are equivalent in some interpretation, I wouldn't call that a redundancy.'
What if the reason they are equivalent in that interpretation is because some notion of 'equitable estoppel' or 'substantive due process' makes the legal judgement dependent on the moral one? Surely that is redundancy?
Is there any way to get equivalence between two different types of rights, under an interpretation of a deontic logic, in which the one is permitted no recourse to the others meta-language?
As a matter of fact, not theory, it is in the nature of any transaction that it remains inchoate from some perspective, if it is indeed legally justiciable. This is because, as a matter of common experience, there is no offense without a defense- otherwise summary offenses wouldn't carry a right to appeal.
P.S. I don't actually live under a bridge. I just tend to wake up there after a night out with disturbing frequency.
At this point, Jason Brennan or whoever, decided to censor my comments coz them guys really are Libertarian and totally committed to Public Justification. I'm kidding. They are rent seeking Credentialist Fascists.
Good in theory turned out to be a guy in his mid twenties. I invited him to get out of the Academic ghetto and make some money for himself.