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Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 324

by mfwitten (#47921889) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Somalia is the result of a failed state, what was formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, which was governed under a single-party, Socialist rule. The resulting mayhem has nothing to do with libertarian or anarchist principles, particularly the Non-Aggression Principle. Indeed, warlords are still governmental; they forcibly appropriate other people's resources under threat of violence.

In areas of civilization where governmental organizations have not been terribly imposing, Somalia has shown massive improvement even compared to the surrounding countries that have relatively stable governmental organizations; the collapse of an unworkable, savage organization like the "government" of Somalia was probably the best thing ever to happen to Somalians despite the statist culture that has persisted through the calamity.

That which actually gives you a functional civilization is a large number of individuals trading voluntarily amongst themselves to better their own situations; profit is not merely the transfer of wealth, but rather the creation of wealth.

Government is simply a bad company that doesn't go out of business because it is able to confiscate your resources by threat of violence; it doesn't give you the goods and services for which you personally think you are paying, but you have to pay them anyway—it's totally absurd and unconscionable.

Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 2) 324

by mfwitten (#47920697) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Yes, people willingly hand over their money in exchange for the goods and services that they value.

Education, transportation, sanitation, power generation, water management, contract enforcement (or "justice") are all just industries; there is nothing magical about them—specificially, there is nothing magical that government brings to them, unless you consider the forcible appropriation of resources to be "magical".

Maybe society would have more money for those things if resources weren't instead forcibly appropriated for mass surveillance of people's private lives, drone-bombing "citizens" without due process, and ripping millions of families apart because people were caught carrying the "wrong" plants in their pockets—just to name a few of the "services" for which you're being forced to pay.

In short, you are confused; you are confusing the desire for valuable goods/services with a desire for forcible appropriation of resources. Taking people's resources by threat of violence is not a suitable foundation for civilized society.

Comment: Re:Democracy is NOT freedom (Score 1) 326

by mfwitten (#47852619) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

You can't have your cake and eat it, too. Either government employees are magically more noble than the rest of humanity, or they are just as imperfect.

There is nothing magical about government.

Indeed, the only characteristic that sets a governmental organization apart from a non-governmental organization is that the governmental organization appropriates other people's resources against their will under threat of violence for noncompliance.

That is, yes, as you say, "such things seem to inevitably become some form of government", but that's because they start taking people's resources rather than convincing them to hand over those resources willingly; in short, you're saying that at worst, we could end up with government.

Comment: Re:Democracy is NOT freedom (Score 1) 326

by mfwitten (#47849775) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Rape, murder, and coercion are the forcible appropriation of someone else's capital.

Protection and enforcement of capital rights are not inherently governmental.

Justice certainly isn't inherently governmental; in fact, many would argue that governmental organization is inherently unjust.

Comment: Democracy is NOT freedom (Score 2) 326

by mfwitten (#47846913) Attached to: Stallman Does Slides -- and Brevity -- For TEDx

Indeed, free software projects aren't even run as democratic organizations; rather, they are emergent hierarchies formed via the spontaneous participation of individuals.

Each person involved in free software chooses how to appropriate his own resources—that is, how to appropriate his own capital, including time, intellect, money, etc. Democracy, on the other hand, is about choosing how to appropriate someone else's resources, especially against that someone else's will, especially by threat of violence as punishment for noncompliance.

Democracy is no friend of freedom, and certainly no friend of free software.

Comment: Re:The Compiler Knows... (Score 2) 102

by mfwitten (#47713871) Attached to: Interviews: Bjarne Stroustrup Answers Your Questions

returning anything other than an iterator from cbegin() is a gigantic misdesign

That's precisely the point, now isn't it...

You are begging the question; you are assuming the contract; you are programming by [implicit] convention—that which plagues dynamic typing.

That is to say, such informal programming tends to be practical in these cases, but don't confuse that practicality with correctness.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.