Defining the noun "Liberal"

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    People have always, with all available means, defended their rights. A simple way to enforce contracts is reputation. If somebody does not fulfill his contract, the victim will distribute knowledge about this as wide as possible. This destroys the reputation of the contract breaker.

    Some of the usual means of defense of rights and enforcement of contracts are monopolized by the government. Which, of course, makes it much harder to do this without the government. But in the particular case, this is not really a problem. If the government offers some service to throw out trespassers from my property, I can allow them to enter my property temporarily for doing this job.
    The "strawman" is the guy presented as American liberalism.
    In a liberal society I do not have your claimed obligations. If and how one can survive in an optimal way in a non-liberal, totalitarian society is an interesting question, but off-topic.
    You are unable to argue without such defamation?
    There is, of course, an antisocial and antiliberal variant of supremacism, those who want slavery or the extinction of inferior races or so.

    But there is also a liberal variant. At least a possibility. How popular this variant would be among real supremacists is nothing I care about - but to accept and live along this variant would be the offer a liberal society can (even would have to) make to supremacists.

    In this variant, the supremacists would be allowed to organize on private property gated communities, where blacks would not be allowed to enter. With exceptions only for civil servants doing things where they are in general allowed to enter private property even against the will of the owner. Given that such a gated community is also a small society, to name those living there antisocial would be defamation. And, given that they would not violate any liberal principles, they are also not a danger for a liberal society.

    This is the liberal way to handle problems with supremacists. Divide at impera: To create a split among them between those who accept liberal rights of blacks, and those who don't. The are good reasons to hope that this split will end with a large majority on the pro-liberal side, because all what they really want they get, but there will be no conflict. The anti-liberal part, instead, intentionally creates violent conflicts essentially for nothing an average supremacist would care about. And this pro-liberal majority among the supremacists would not be a danger at all for a liberal society.
    A liberal society as I see it is also not a suicide pact. Those supremacists who accept liberal rules are not a danger to liberal society. They will isolate themselves in their racist gated communities and in this way reduce racial conflicts.

    Your beloved society, where white racists are degraded (in their opinion, which is what makes degradation important, because this is what motivates them fighting against this) every day by obligating them to serve blacks, even black racists, is much more suicidal. Because it creates and increases hidden (but therefore in no way less dangerous) hate.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Ahistorical Hate Fantasy, Generally Speaking, Is Generally Not Considered a Useful Argumentative Method

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    Altruism? Really? (chortle!)

    What part of history supports that?

    And how does good faith arise as the natural produce of broad-spectrum, large-scale bad faith?

    In other words, you don't really have an answer. All you're asking for is to freeload, to enjoy the benefits of society without attending your obligations thereunto.

    You should try making sense. Non sequitur is not generally considered a useful argumentative method.

    Well, at least we're getting to the heart of your problem.

    Non sequitur is not generally considered a useful argumentative method.

    You are unable to comprehend the word "defamation"?

    Schmelzer, you went and wrote it (1↑, 2↑, 3↑, 4↑, 5↑, 6↑). You compared skin color to willful offense. You cannot deny that you did so without lying. And if you're going to defame someone by falsely accusing defamation, you better be able to prove you never wrote it.

    Changing the subject is not generally considered a useful argumentative method.

    Changing the subject is not generally considered a useful argumentative method.

    Then again, there is utiliity; the rest of us watch what effort you put into justifying racial, ethnic, and other discrimination and, well, at least we know a little more about this character going by the name of Schmelzer.

    For instance―

    • In this variant, the supremacists would be allowed to organize on private property gated communities, where blacks would not be allowed to enter. With exceptions only for civil servants doing things where they are in general allowed to enter private property even against the will of the owner. Given that such a gated community is also a small society, to name those living there antisocial would be defamation. And, given that they would not violate any liberal principles, they are also not a danger for a liberal society.

    ―all it would seem you're asking is to accommodate white supremacist freeloaders who want the benefits of society without the obligations inherent in the social contract; and, yes, we are already aware that you reject the proposition that people have obligations under the social contract as such ("In a liberal society I do not have your claimed obligations"). And as I said, this gets to the heart of the problem. Your problem. These other freeloaders you describe, too.

    Note the key phrase, "as I see it". Yes, we understand you prefer your make-believe over reality. But you're also making up custom definitions in order to advocate social parasitism.

    So, yeah, Schmelzer, the rest of us kind of get it: If we don't grant supremacist dysfunction, then angry supremacists will go out of their way to disrupt function. We're aware of this; we've seen this dangerous behavioral pattern before.

    Where you and I seem to differ is that I won't validate your make-believe fantasy world.

    We get it, Schmelzer: Racists get pissed off about not being able to enforce their racism. Life goes on for the living, and advocating racism makes one a racist.

    Then again, so does the bit where you compare the fact of dark skin to willfully offensive behavior. And if for some reason you think it defamatory to point out your behavior, the question remains why you went out of your way to behave that way in the first place.

    But it is kind of fascinating, watching you raise straw men and cloud castles in such a desperate effort to justify lazy, selfish, antisocial behavior.
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  5. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Yes. So I would recommend you not to do such things.
    Altruism? What has the destruction of the reputation of a contract breaker to do with altruism? It is a powerful penalty for breaking the contract, and it is available to everybody. Reputation is the most important thing in almost all small societies.
    I see no reason to deny it. I always compare only different things. It would not make sense to compare things which are the same. This has absolutely nothing to do with racism.
    Why you name white supremacists freeloaders? In a liberal society their stupid ideology is irrelevant. They have the same obligations as everybody.
    First, there is no social contract, but a state, that means, an organization with military power, which enforces several monopoly rights for itself over a territory it controls. "Social contract" is ideological nonsense to justify the threat of violence against those who do not pay taxes.

    In a liberal state the obligations are well-defined by law and have to follow liberal principles. Which makes a liberal state less evil. But, whatever, the obligations are well-defined, and the supremacists in my construction have the same obligations as all other people. As well as the same rights.
    No, at least you have not got it. The mental dysfunction of suprematism is, as well as all the religions, ideologies and other mental dysfunctions, completely irrelevant in every liberal state. It does in no way change their freedom of contract, and their freedom to use their property as they like.
    Indeed, and now you have to live with the consequences of their reaction, four years with Trump. Have fun.
    I guess with the last phrase you want to suggest that my writings here make me a racist? Lol.

    Its rather funny to argue with totalitarian American "liberals". They cannot argue without personal defamation. Once I argue about Russia, I'm called a Russian, once I argue about white racists, I'm called a white racist. Once I criticize Clinton I'm called a republican fascist. But they have no problem to support white supremacists themselves. In the Ukraine, these Nazis are named "freedom fighters".

    Fortunately all your name calling is nothing I would have to care about. It does not harm me. Because I'm independent. I don't have to be politically correct. I have to care only about the opinion of my friends, and these friends do not care about my political correctness. So, if I would be really a racist, I would openly defend racism. But I'm not a racist, but a libertarian anarchist.
    It is defamatory, because, first, your intention is clear. In your environment racists are despised, so, if you name me a racist, your aim is quite obvious - you want that other readers here despise me. So, you want to harm me. Second, it is simply wrong. Actually I spend most of my time in Africa. Not because of a job or so, no, I prefer to live with the people there, instead of living in Germany.

    The interesting question is why American liberals behave quite consistently in such a way. In the past, I have thought that the explanation is simple - people without arguments about the content start arguments ad hominem. So, not much to care, once the opponent starts with ad hominem, you are the winner of the discussion about the content. But, even if ad hominem was always quite common in the internet, in this forum this seems much more frequent and much more obtrusive. The usual, classical way was some discussion about the content, then the loser makes a few ad hominem statements and after this no longer participates. So that these ad hominems are simply used as a cover, a justification for leaving without admitting the defeat.

    Here, the quality of the use of defamation is different. It looks like the aim of the discussion is different. It is not to win the argument about the content, but the personal attack itself seems to be the point of the discussion. The content seems more like a side issue, a pretense to start a personal argument.

    This is what makes sense in a totalitarian society. There is, of course, political discussion in a totalitarian society too. It is, formally, about politics. But it is not about the content, the particular political decision itself. This decision is prescribed by the Big Brother. In this sense, real disagreement about the content is simply not possible. It is simply too dangerous to disagree about the content. On the other hand, personal attacks become much more important. If one succeeds to defame an opponent, presenting him as an opponent of the Politically Correct Position, this becomes very dangerous for the attacked.

    Of course, the actual society is yet a little bit away from a totalitarian one. But there is no sharp border between a free and a totalitarian society, but a continuum of mixed states. And it makes sense that with increasing totalitarian character of the society the personal attacks will increase too, and discussions about the content will decrease.

    Just an idea. I have to think about it.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You've seen redlining by Chicago banks, and Michigan banks. You've seen employment contracts involving travel and access to services. You've seen access to medical care and government services. Here's another: Major league baseball prior to the advent of Jackie Robinson.
    Everywhere the laws against it are not enforced. And even where the laws are enforced, wherever loopholes can be found in them.

    Slavery was never "abandoned". It was not inefficient. It was robust, profitable, and expanding throughout entire continents well into the industrial revolution. It was overthrown, forbidden, and banished by force of arms and enforced law.
    Another example of the bizarre fantasies you will spin up when a simple physical reality brings your presuppositions into question. You had the entire population of the United States dividing into opposing armies and slaughtering each other by the millions, over the question of possible future marginal tariff rates on some exports of cotton. And you held to that presumption in the face of eyewitness accounts and direct primary source claims of motive and justification, as well as the events and behaviors of the warring parties immediately following the end of the war.
    Since they aren't relevant, you don't need to post about them here. Return to the subject at hand, which was my observation that your formulation of "liberal" principles holds only in abstract, when your presumptions have not been contradicted by fact.
    Yes, it will.
    It did. It led to 100% preemptive (in advance) denial of many normal contractual dealings involving blacks - even with each other - in regions where most of the population was black, and much of the rest was non-racist (or at least willing contractor) white.
    But that destroyed freedom of contract for everyone else - and many other civil rights and liberties. Hence your problem: your formulation of "liberal" requires a liberal government to allow (even defend) the deprivation of civil rights and liberties among its governed citizens - to be not liberal. That's a conflict.

    Unless you are happy with labeling "liberal" a government under which white racists have freedom of contract, and nobody else.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    About telling everybody that X has broken a contract with me:
    I know the word. But the aim of distributing that information is harming the contract breaker - thus, retaliation for contract breaking. And retaliation is deterrence of future contract breakers.

    Yes, everybody who receives the information receives something useful for free. But, given that there is a completely egoistic reason for doing this, there is no reason to classify this as altruism. " although you do not get anything by doing those acts" is simply wrong. I have better protection from contract breaking if my partners know that in case of contract breaking their reputation will be destroyed.

    Throwing in a phrase does not mean that we have clarified what has happened. Some black people have some problems on the market, which is all we learn from such a phrase. But black people having problems on the market are not yet a proof that their freedom of contract was somehow violated. So, explain the details. Say, B is a black customer of the Chicago bank C. The bank offers him nothing or only for a high price because he lives in some redlined area. So what? Explain this slowly, in all details, you know, I'm completely stupid, so you have to explain this in detail.
    I disagree, but it makes no sense to discuss this with you. Because this would really require evaluation of historical facts, and presupposes that all participants are really interested in getting the facts correct. No chance with you, sorry. Seeing such summaries of the discussion we had in the past show me that there is no hope:
    Usually I would have given here my summary of that discussion, but this makes no sense. It is anyway obvious to the reader that this is cheap polemics.
    Learn to read. The subject of my remark was that your whole "subject at hand" is irrelevant, that your "observation" is not an observation at all, and your claimed "contradictions" do not exist except for some known and irrelevant trivialities.
    Fine. Now explain the details. Use some example, so that we can specify - for this example - everything so that we have a clear case. Black A, black B, the type of contract they want to have with each other, and the reason why this does not happen.
    This is what you claim. Without sufficient evidence. All we have are, up to now, claims that it is difficult, or even impossible, for blacks to get some contracts in US reality.

    In fact, we do not have even a single clear example. All what you have presented is among the following groups:
    (1) A simply refuses to have contracts with B because he is a stupid racist and other irrational reasons [no violation of freedom of contract].
    (2) A understands that signing the contract with B is not in his economic interest, because
    (a) C uses a threat of violence or some other threat of doing illegal things against A if A signs the contract [a violation of freedom of contract because of illegal behavior, thus, not a conflict with freedom of contract of others].
    (b) C uses a legal threat, like not to sign in future any contracts with A if A signs the contract [not a violation of freedom of contract].
    (c) Regulation by government makes the contract unattractive or illegal [violation of freedom of contract by an illiberal government].
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Pay attention, please: the cost of doing all this "informing" and "distributing" (and it is not necessarily a small cost or a small risk, especially if the contract breaker is rich and powerful) is born by the person whose contract is already broken, someone who gets little or no direct benefit themselves. It's charity work.
    The benefits are social and general, they accrue primarily to others - the public good is served, at the voluntary expense of the individual (and a prudent contract breaker will do what they can to make those costs as heavy as possible).
    Your entire system depends on the diligence and reliability of people donating their time and trouble, taking what are often large risks and incurring what can be considerable costs, for the benefit of strangers they do not know and will never meet. Altruism.
    The bank offers him nothing or high cost loans because he is black - the same reason he must live in the redline area, and has no chance of being hired by the bank involved. He cannot make contracts that white people can routinely make, such as purchasing a house in a neighborhood with a good school, because he is black.
    Nonsense. I quoted your remark, with its subject - an irrelevancy about the occasional need for courts, that had nothing to do with anything I posted - right there in it.
    I handed you the redlining, which is an easy and obvious netsearch. I handed you the famous and easily researched Jackie Robinson event. I handed you information, first hand and well informed sources (including myself, btw), for you to incorporate in rehabilitating your childish formulation of "liberalism" so that it can handle a real life situation: racial discrimination in US after WWII.
    Groups 1 and 2b would include a couple of my several examples of things that can, did, and will lead to denial of civil rights and liberties to everyone except white racists in the US. You keep saying - without evidence or argument - that this does not and cannot happen. I also handed you examples, such as redlining mortgage loans and refusing to sign competent baseball players and selective lack of regulation enforcement by government, which do not fall into your groups there.

    So: Confronted with a conflict between your claims and the physical reality of the US for a hundred years, you simply repeat your claims, over and over and over.
  11. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Retaliation is charity work? Ok, I will take this into account if you in some future try to sell something as charity work.
    Retaliation is altruism? Ok, I will take this into account if you in some future try to sell something as altruism.

    Just to explain you what every child knows: If you don't retaliate, you will be the victim of everybody else in the near future. Simply because they all see that it is not dangerous to hit you.
    Not nice for the black guy. But how is freedom of contract violated? If you don't have enough money, you cannot buy a lot of things, but this unfortunate fate has nothing to do with a violation of freedom of contract.
    Whatever, your "observation" is not an observation at all, and your claimed "contradictions" do not exist. If a proof of this contains some superfluous parts, this does not invalidate it.
    But this netsearch does not answer the question why you think that this redlining violates freedom of contract. That means, you handed me some words which prove nothing.
    You think so? Details please.

    (1) A simply refuses to have contracts with B because he is a stupid racist and other irrational reasons [no violation of freedom of contract].

    If (1) would be forbidden, then A's freedom of contract is obviously and trivially violated. How (1) violates anything related with freedom of contract is not clear at all.

    (2) A understands that signing the contract with B is not in his economic interest, because
    (b) C uses a legal threat, like not to sign in future any contracts with A if A signs the contract [not a violation of freedom of contract].

    If (2b) would be forbidden, either C would have no freedom of contract (because he would not be allowed to stop making contracts with A for whatever reason), or A would have no freedom of contract (because he would be forced to contract B even if this leads to economic disadvantages for himself). On the other hand, how (2b) violates anything related with freedom of contract is not clear at all.
    Stop lying. I have repeatedly clarified that in the actually already quite totalitarian US almost everything can happen. To claim that something cannot happen in a state where the president drone-murders people he does not like and even some forms of torture are legal would be absurd.
    No. If you think you have, details please. Say, A is the chief of the baseball team, and wants to make profit with selling tickets for the games of his team. The fans of the team are white racists. If he signs the contract with black player B, his team may win some more games, possibly drawing some new fans to like to be on the winners side, but many of the white racist fans would be drawn to other, pure white, teams. This may be a loss. So, a clear case of (2b).
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Doing a lot of work and taking a lot of risk and suffering loss for no personal gain, but instead for the benefit of strangers you will never meet, is altruism. It's practically the definition of the term.
    You have repeatedly claimed that allowing racial discrimination in commercial transactions cannot lead to denial of civil rights and liberties.
    I have explained that three times now, at least: because one of its consequences in a situation like the US is that otherwise willing people will be prevented from making contracts with each other, while white racists suffer no such denial of their freedoms and liberties. When some otherwise willing and able people can't make contracts with other the way other people can, basic liberal principles have been violated.
    And this is verified by actual event: It led to denial of civil rights and liberties, many of them, including freedom of contract, in the US. Historical fact.
    Your imagination is not adequate.
    You were handed an actually relevant, real life example, to consider - that way you wouldn't be limited by your inability to foresee major aspects of reality.
  13. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    You completely ignore the reason for retaliation: Even if it has costs, and no immediate advantage, it deters future aggression against those who retaliate. And this is a very important personal gain.
    You have not. You have, obviously, refused to provide the details. You whine about blacks having worse possibilities to have contracts, put have provided nothing to justify the claim that their freedom of contract is violated by white racists applying their own freedom of contract. You have claimed the existence of contradictions in my concept of freedom of contract, but refuse to specify them.

    If there would be a contradiction, you would be able to show this in a simple way with a simplified theoretical example. You cannot, and that's why you refuse to do it.

    Instead, you refer to some reality in a state which was never completely liberal. Initially, it was very liberal, but only for white males. if we forget about equal rights for slaves, women and natives. Today, it is much more illiberal for white males, but now equally illiberal for blacks, women and natives. It may, yet, be liberal in comparison with a lot of other states, but this does not matter in our case, because what we have to consider here is the ideal of a liberal law. In this comparison, US law is simply illiberal, and always has been. So, some general phrases about US reality tell us nothing about liberal principles.

    So, to summarize:

    1.) Liberal law is consistent and does not have any internal contradictions. The actual US law, as well as "principles" of American "liberalism", are, instead, illiberal, in contradiction with liberal principles.
    2.) One can reject liberalism. There are well-known and consistent arguments for this: An unjust actual distribution of property, which can be suspected to become even worse if it is protected by the government, would be one reason. The failure to support some moral principles by law - in particular helping the poor, the sick, and others in need for help, would be another one. Those who want equality, a society of equals, would reject liberalism too. It is a question of intellectual honesty to reject, in this case, liberalism openly. American liberalism, instead, rejects liberalism, but continues to use the "liberal" label to sell its anti-liberal politics.
    3.) The vague claims that "civil rights and liberties" of black people would be violated by consistent liberal law can be rejected. You have been unable to specify these claims, not even in a purely theoretical, hypothetical example. And you have, by ignoring in #309 my requests for details from #308, simply refused to specify them. As the "civil rights and liberties" claimed to be violated, as the situation where these "civil rights and liberties" would be violated, remain vague and undefined.

    It was a long way toward this conclusion, but the conclusion is now quite obvious.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    All it does is deter future contract breaking. And that is no gain at all to the one who has already been stiffed - surely they weren't planning on future contracts with the faithless?
    An entire community and region of black people who cannot take out a mortgage or otherwise purchase a house on credit, travel to the hospital at night, take jobs involving travel, connect to utilities or telephone service, quit their jobs or negotiate for wages, etc etc etc. The reason is that a sufficient proportion of key resources in the region - such as banking services, gasoline supply, road access, land, and so forth - are controlled by racist whites, who are in a position to punish anyone who contracts with black people and any black people who make contracts. By sufficiently controlling everyone's access to resources, they deny everyone else many civil rights and liberties.

    That's about the fifth time.
    I refer to a situation set up according to your liberal formulation - racial discrimination in commercial dealings with the public, in the US and specifically its northern areas, after WWII.
    We were discussing liberal governance.
    At least six specific examples were handed to you, with specific times and places,. from the larger situation defined as the governance of the US after WWII.
  15. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. If there will be no future contract breaking against me, this is clearly positive for me.
    Why so many etc etc etc, if all what is necessary is a single clear case for your claims? Don't forget, I have already acknowledged long ago several times that in principle, if I'm alone without property in a society which hates me, liberal law will not save even my life?
    As if the fifth repetition of the same nonsense would be an improvement.
    Stop lying. If you refer to US after WW II, you do not refer to something like "my liberal formulation".
    Liberal governance is, as far as it matters for people not working for the government, simply the rule of liberal law. So, for our hypothetical blacks as well as white racists, this is the same as liberal law. That a white racist as a government employee has to act in a non-racist way (but in reality hardly will) is a problem with possible illegal behavior, not one of liberal law.
    So, let's focus on liberal law. Not on a notion of illiberal "liberal governance", which governs without caring about liberal principles and liberal laws.
    None of it with any specific examination, thus, unable to support the claims you have claimed to support. And, again, we talk about liberal law, not US law after WWII, which was without doubt in many parts racist and illiberal.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No it isn't. It usually makes no difference to you. You've already been cheated, and there will be no future contract making with you (unless one of you is an idiot, I suppose).
    You are relying on altruism to establish enforcement of contract. It will only work where the cost of the donated "retaliation" is low.
    One single individual encounter does not establish the community denial, the denial of civil rights and liberties to many - even most - of the governed citizenry.
    One single clear example of the loss of the civil right is exactly what you were handed - six or seven different times. No black person could contract to buy a house in most neighborhoods of Chicago in 1960, for example, or accept and perform the duties of many kinds of employment, regardless of the willingness of the other party to the denied contract.
    Yes, I do. The relevant laws in the US aligned with your formulation perfectly. White racists were legally allowed to racially discriminate in commercial transactions with the public, and the justification was exactly what you post here as "liberal" freedom of contract. I have pointed this out to you many times now - with links to Lester Maddox defending his restaurant's refusal to serve black people, and other similar references.
    Not in the parts I handed you as examples. The laws involved in my examples were exactly as you describe "liberal" law should be.
    "Liberal law" being law that establishes liberal principles in the governed society - equal civil rights and liberties for the governed citizens, under the law, among them.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  17. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Complete nonsense. If I'm cheated once, nobody else will sign contracts with me? Why this?
    The cost of retaliation by information about cheating is low. In the past, in societies where reputation works, what you need was to tell everybody what has happened. In the reputational system I have proposed the costs will be low too.
    Oh, now you start introducing some new type of violations, "community denial". What is this? If that means racial restrictions for the use of public property, we have, without doubt, a violation of liberal law. Because public property should have equal access for all citizens. If not, what else?
    Ok, let's see. We have already clarified that the fact of impossibility of contract does not yet mean a violation of freedom of contract, because it may simply happen because there is no other side ready to sign such a contract.
    Stop lying. Jim Crow laws have been part of US law after WW II. claims they "continued in force until 1965", which sounds like after WW II at least in my version of history. And they are a clear violation of liberal principles in my variant. I have clarified this often enough.
    We have not even looked at the laws involved. So that this is not a fact. And it is not even probable. The American economy is, at least after the New Deal, heavily overregulated in comparison with what would be allowed by liberal principles. How such overregulation can effectively act as a racist tool, without even mentioning the race, I have shown using the example of minimal wage laws. Another example of effectively racist regulation: From a first look, nothing racist. To evaluate the risk of re-offending to decide about probation, parole or custody makes sense. To base this evaluation on the best available statistical data makes sense too. These are far from ideal, but so what, such is life. So, one takes the data which are available, and these data tell us that for a black prisoner the probability of re-offending is, in the statistical average, much higher. What causes this statistical correlation - racial prejudice of police or judges, worse economic conditions, the already discussed minimum wage laws or whatever else is nothing the statistical software cares about, it cannot, because to distinguish correlation from causation is a difficult scientific task. Moreover, it does not even matter, if the aim is to predict the risk of re-offending.

    But, of course, the consequences of a regulation to use such software will even increase the racist bias of the system - once, because of this risk estimate, blacks will get less probation and spend more time in custody, they will look as more serious criminals in the next iteration of the data.

    And, you know, even if you get rid of this particular software, by not allowing it to use the race as a criterion in the statistics, this does not help. Because in this case the next version of the software will use the place of living as a simple replacement for race. Like probably in your redlining example.

    So, even today (the article was from 2016) US regulation is full of racial bias. And this is essentially unavoidable. Every economic regulation has the danger to be economically more harmful to blacks than to whites.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If you attempt to retaliate against somebody you think is a cheat, other people might be wary of signing a contract with you, sure. Unless you are known to be infallible and perfectly just, and the cheat is somebody who cannot harm them or deny them something they want.

    But that wasn't the point. The point was that donating your time and effort to the project of warning other people about a cheat can be expensive and risky, and has no immediate or reliable payoff. So it's altruistic.
    Not necessarily, in real life. Consider, for example, the possible blowback from claiming to have been cheated by a wealthy and powerful person with lots of friends. Or the price of not being believed.
    It is the state of being denied any possibility of making a contract within a community - or in this case, large region - because nobody in the region will make one with you. The sum of universal and predicted rejection by all possible individuals in the region, in advance, due to race, regardless of their willingness otherwise or their personal racial attitudes.
    And we have clarified the irrelevance of that, because in this case no such circumstance obtains.
    Jim Crow laws were State laws - not US laws. The examples I chose were not from those States.
    Such legal overregulation was not involved in any of the examples I provided, or necessary in theory as I pointed out.
    It may be "essentially" unavoidable, but it is fairly simple to avoid - or prevent - most of it. And of course a liberal government would be bound to defend the civil rights and liberties of its citizens whenever possible.

    One way to avoid a lot of it is by forbidding racial discrimination in commercial transactions with the public. That prevents a lot the denial of civil rights and liberties otherwise inevitable in such circumstances.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    And that's why it works only if the information distributed about the cheater is correct. If you lie about this, you harm yourself.
    Yes, and my counterpoint is that the aim, which is retaliation, has the obvious intention to get a payoff. And if realized as expected or planned, it really gives the payoff.
    So what? My argument does not depend on a necessity.
    So, you introduce some "willingness otherwise". But freedom of contract does not care about some "willingness otherwise". It cares about the actual decisions. Of course, people are social, moral animals, so, if they decide what to do, they take into account the opinions of other people.

    You think that such a moral influence from other people on the decisions of what people do is evil? No problem, your moral decision to reject the moral influence of racists on non-racist whites as evil is ok. But freedom of contract does not forbid such a moral influence, and certainly does not make any difference between positive moral influence and negative moral influence. To boycott firms which use child labor is fine, but to boycott a shop which do not boycott blacks is not? From a moral point of view, ok. But liberal law cannot make such a moral difference. To boycott is simply ok, independent of the reason, even if it is a morally evil reason. It is part of freedom of contract.

    The only thing which is forbidden is the use of violence against the shop owner or the shop.
    Whatever. I have given examples of regulations which exist even now, and which have, intentionally or not, clear and obvious racist effects. And obviously violate freedom of contract. So, any reference to US reality as liberal and non-racist according to my ideas about liberal law is wrong, and a defamation.
    Maybe, maybe not. We have already clarified that what you have listed as a consequence is possible even without any violation of freedom of contract. So, we don't even know if there was a violation of contract. And if there was some, we have yet to identify the reason.
    So, you introduce racial discrimination by government over-regulation, accepting even that it is essentially unavoidable, and then "avoid a lot of it" it by regulating something completely different, again violating, openly, freedom of contract. So we obtain a combination of several violations of freedom of contract, and all this justified by the claim of protecting freedom of contract. Usual 1984 newspeak.
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Or if people think you lied, or if they aren't sure. That's a risk, and large potential cost, you take for no gain.
    So you agree that without a secure and realistic expectation of a substantial payoff, it won't happen.
    That kills the idea. It won't work.
    It does. Without a net payoff, in the more common situation of high risk and no payoff, you are depending on altruism.
    No, I think the practical influence of white racists on freedom of contract (among many other freedoms) is effective, in a situation like the US. It can, did, and will deny freedom of contract et al to all black people and many other white people.
    The examples I provided suffer from no such defects, and align perfectly with your posted description of laws that agree with your posted conception of liberal government. They were even justified in your terms, exactly, by men such as Lester Maddox - I provided links.
    What I listed as a consequence was denial of freedom of contract to black people in the US.
    Nonsense. We establish greater freedom of contract for everyone in the society, by preventing denial of that freedom to black people by white racists. The prevention was simple: to the long list of reasons a person overtly engaging in commerce with the public cannot refuse commercial dealings with a member of the public, we added one more narrow and specific item: race.

    You do not like the solution, but you have yet to even acknowledge the basic problem: allowing white racists in the US to discriminate against black people in commercial dealings with the public leads to denial of civil rights and liberties to black people. So if one must allow such discrimination under your naive conception of "freedom of contract", you are faced with a direct conflict: Either the white racists or the black people lose their entire freedom of contract, under your presumptions.

    The question is why you attach so much significance to one, and only one, of the many reasons contracts may not be rejected or defaulted on under liberal governance. Any legal or otherwise governmental enforcement or defense of a contract requires that the terms under which it may be rejected or repudiated be defined and limited, after all. The normal liberal approach would be to impose the least limitation consistent with everyone enjoying the same freedom of contract.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    So what? As if a risk would change the aim.
    There has to be a payoff. And there is. Security is your invention, and unnecessary. By the way, retaliation is deeply enough ingrained, that it is even an independent aim.
    Nonsense. Reputational systems, and their use for retaliation against contract breakers, is known to work, it works in all societies small enough so that the knowledge distribution to everybody is not too expansive.
    The system I have proposed works without much costs. It is based on parts which are useful anyway (electronic contracts, electronically signed, and volitional arbitrage). The contract breaking is easily established - the arbiter has established, and signed, a decision about a penalty, the penalty is not paid. This fact is distributed into an open database. This costs nothing.
    Which is, again, nonsense. All they can prevent with legal means in a liberal government are contracts between blacks and white racists, or blacks and whites who are more interested in signing contracts with white racists than with blacks. For other people, their legal possibility to pressure - boycott violators - simply does not work.
    We have not even discussed yet such examples. Because of your refusal to discuss the details. Black A and black B want to make a contract with each other. They do this on black property, have the ability to come to each other. (Because the particular case of black property enclaves surrounded by white racists which do not allow to travel through we have already discussed, this would be a violation of liberal principles, but in this case one needs almost nothing to solve this problem.) The white power of blackmail reaches nothing here, because the white racists boycott above anyway, independent of what they do. So, what prevents them to have a contract?
    And these links were completely irrelevant. If Hitler claims 2+2=4, I accept this, giving you the chance for the defamation that I follow Hitler. This was the only point of these links.
    Yes, you have made a lot of unsupported claims.
    So, to the long list of violations of freedom of contract you add another one. Ok, in a non-liberal society you can solve any problem by some arbitrary law which forbids whatever you like, but how is this freedom of violence of a totalitarian government relevant for discussing a liberal society? In a liberal society, there is no such animal as greater freedom of contract, there is freedom of contract, or it is not a liberal society.
    Yes, and I do not plan to acknowledge nonsensical newspeak. Name the right to be served by white racists however you like, but don't name it "civil rights and liberties". That is too much newspeak for me.
    No. Above can have full freedom of contract. And above have none of your newspeak "freedom of contract", which is a right to receive services of partially enslaved people.
    Very simple, because liberal principles are absolute. Or you support them, or not. If you don't support them everywhere, you are not a liberal. But at best an American liberal, that means, a totalitarian ideologue who misuses liberal language in newspeak. If you would openly reject any other liberal principle, and defend its violation, but continue to sell yourself as liberal, I could use this other other violation too, to make the same point. It does not matter what I use, once the result is the same: American liberalism is not liberalism, but totalitarian newspeak.

    Don't worry, I can see the insinuation that the reason is that I'm a white racist myself. Sorry, but I don't care about such insinuations. I have learned the point of the Niemoeller quote, you know:
    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

    Nonsense. It may require a definition of a contract. Not every claim "suck my dick" is a sexual offer, and not every answer "yea, I have nothing better to do" means a legally binding acceptance of that offer. So, the government may be quite restrictive about the contracts it accepts as being contracts. Some paper with "contract" in the header and signatures of all participants. Once such a contract already exists, it may fix some reasons when it will not enforce the contract. Say, if one side claims it was illegally blackmailed to sign it. But these specified reasons to repudiate a contract which one has already signed have nothing to do with reasons not to sign a contract at all.

    So, if one white racist asks the judge to reject the contract as invalid, because he was cheated - that black guy has used colored hair and skin and plastic surgery to look white and cheated him to think that he is white - the judge may reject this as insufficient or irrelevant and nonetheless enforce the contract. But this is a completely different situation. Namely the problem when a contract is not really a contract because the signature was reached by cheating or force or other illegitimate ways.

    No. The liberal approach would be to give everybody full freedom of contract, and nobody even a single bit of that newspeak "freedom of contract".
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    A risk is a cost - costs born without expectation of payoff, as in most proposed "retaliations" for contract breaking, indicate altruism.
    Often - usually - there is not. That's the problem.
    The US is not small enough. None of its States and major cities are small enough, either. Meanwhile, "reputational" systems also work to deny people freedom of contract - and in this they work on much large larger scales, because they deny to entire groups based on visible race - detailed personal knowledge is unnecessary.
    It won't work at all. Your imagination has failed you - your system is a gift to pirates and conmen and organized crime, a playground for the rich and powerful to abuse everyone else.
    You missed the point: to follow your analogy, you were agreeing with Hitler that 2+2=7 because Jews are evil, and freedom of contract requires that this claim of Hitler's be the basis of everybody's behavior.
    They are better supported than any of yours, by examples and actual circumstances. All you have is repeated denial of the physical and historical reality of the US.
    Your formulation of them conflicts with itself, as soon as you apply it to the US.
    Not your formulation, in the US. White racists can have it, or black people, but not both.
    Irrelevant. Why do you deflect into irrelevancies?
    Exactly. And one of those restrictions, in the US, must be "equally available to black or white people". So: not nonsense at all.
    Not yours. Your approach leads to denial of freedom of contract to black people in the US.

    A consistent liberal approach would be to give everybody maximum freedom of contract, and prevent its unequal denial to anybody.
  23. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Repetitions of the nonsense claim that retaliation is altruistic deleted. Except for:
    Indeed, this is a point. States with more than 10 000 people are too big for reputational systems to work, and therefore have to invent other methods of contract enforcement - police and courts, in other words, a state.
    You are also correct that racism is a bad replacement for a reputational system. Other methods are xenophobia in general. Methods to restrict the number of those with the right to work in a given specialization (guildes, craftsmen's examinations) are also not only a method to reduce competition in the field, they also make systems of "professional reputation" possible.
    A system where you can cheat only once is hardly a gift to conmen. They have to develop tricks to avoid it. It will, of course, work for those who don't want to cheat the contract partner.

    This includes, of course, those who want to cheat, together with their contract partners, the state. Which includes organized crime, as far as it violates prohibition laws, prostitution and other volitional things and allows tax avoidance. You will not like it, because it makes, on the one hand, the state unnecessary for contract enforcement (and an unnecessary state has much less power) and, on the other hand, makes it much harder for the state to violate freedom of contract.

    A lot of repetitions, without any new arguments, disposed.
    Nonsense. Meaningful restrictions of what defines a contract (like written form with signatures under the paper) cannot tell something about these contracts "being available". Contracts in such a form are not "available", they exist if there is a paper with the signatures or not.
    Again, freedom of contract gives me nothing if nobody wants to sign a contract with me. So, there is no such animal as an amount of freedom of contract given to a particular person. This notion makes no sense.

    And the state cannot give any freedom of contract, because it is "given" to the people already by their ability to speak, to make promises to each other in exchange for other promises. All the state can do is to restrict freedom of contract, or to introduce obligations to serve other people.

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