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I'm a hypocrite


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9 replies to this topic

#1
bostonPro

bostonPro
  • 8 posts

Hello All.

 

I've been researching and learning about anarchy for about a year now. I like to have debates/conversations with my friends (Libertarian/minarchist/constitutionalist) and put forth the anarchists philosophy.  Only problem is that one of my friends likes to point out the hypocrisy when i advocate for a stateless society while working for a state university.  I work in the IT department for a state university.

 

I certainly do see the hypocrisy in that.  And i try to justify it by putting forth the following arguments:

 

  • I'm just trying to make a living in the statist society I've been given. A squirrel trying to get a nut as it were.
  • I think the university could easily become privatized.  I think a lot of the university is already funded by student tuition, alumni donations, etc..  Really, the state tax money that is brought in is to offset the discounted tuition that in-state students receive.  Increase their tuition and i think the university could no longer be dependent on tax dollars.
  • Wouldn't you rather have someone working there who opposes the state and would be willing to privatize the university if given the chance. Or would you rather i leave my job for a private company and allow a true statist to fill my position. Its not as if me leaving my job would lessen the tax burden on the citizens.

 

So i guess my question is, are my arguments valid or are they bullshit?  Should i be ashamed to work for a state university?  Am i at a crossroads where i need to either leave my job for the private sector or stop advocating a stateless society?

 

Thanks.


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#2
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    :)


  • 1419 posts

I don't know, but it seems to me that a university is pretty low down on the list of places that might make you a hypocrite. Like the military, or the IRS for example.

 

I have done work for a company that sells a product exclusively to state employees, and Stef has worked at a company that took state contracts. I don't quite remember the rebuttal he had for people who pointed that out to him, but he didn't take any shit for that. I don't remember which podcast this was from. If someone can find it, that'd be awesome.

 

There are people who say that anarchists in general are hypocrites because they use public roads and went to public schools, which is obviously bullshit since there aren't really other options.

 

And on the other extreme there are anarchists in the military which I would consider very hypocritical, so I don't know where to draw that line exactly.

 

Just as far as picking a job goes, I think that it's unwise to choose on the basis of what you "should" be doing, since it's just going to feel like someone else's life you're living. Rather I think that you should do something that you enjoy, and better yet fulfills you. If you're current job does that for you, then I'd just stay there and make it work for you (even if you gotta compensate in some other way or something).

 

Sorry I don't have any clear answers.


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#3
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1334 posts

Welcome, non-hypocrite.

 

You are letting yourself get distracted. You do not have to work at MIT to be able to say that 2+2=4. If you did work at MIT, you saying 2+2=5 wouldn't make it so. Unless you or your employer initiated the use of force to establish your relationship, your working there in no way undermines the truth value of "the initiation of the use of force is immoral."

 

That's the other critique I would offer. Society doesn't exist, but people do. If you want to change society, you have to change people. Rather than focusing on the state, focus on the violence. You own yourself and people are not fundamentally different, so we all own ourselves. If we all own ourselves, then theft, assault, rape, and murder are immoral as they require exercising ownership over that which belongs to somebody else. If this is true, then you simply cannot have a state.

 

In other words, if you focus on the violence, you eliminate the state and every other evil in the world. It's important to stay on the moral argument and not let yourself get distracted by people making ANY excuse to ignore the truth. Because if you say, "the initiation of the use of force is immoral," and they say, "dude, you work at a state university," they're telling you that the truth isn't as important as conformity or the comfort of the familiar.

 

Was this helpful to you? I do hope you'll hang around for awhile. I've learned alot from the FDR juggernaut :)


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

dsay's audio reprocessing service


#4
bostonPro

bostonPro
  • 8 posts

Thank you both for your replies.

 

I'll be honest, i somewhat expected responses here to be that i should find a new job if i truly believe the state is evil. Its kind of neat experience to have this conversation though. To have someone else argue for my position while i argue against it.

 

I agree to try and focus on the violence and immoral aspect. Knowing theft is immoral and that taxation is theft, thus immoral.  How can i tell someone that the government is immoral because it exists by theft while a portion of my income is derived from taxation?

 

It reminds me of an analogy i believe came from Stefan, but could have been someone else, i don't remember for sure.  If an obese man approached you and tried to sell you on the perfect diet he created. You probably wouldn't pay much attention to him, not because his idea is invalid or has no merit, but because he clearly isn't following his own advice.  So if he isn't following his own advice, why should you?

 

This is sort of how i feel when trying to advocate against the violence that is the state.  Why should anyone take me seriously when i make a living from the state.

 

So deep down i feel like i should find a new job in the private sector, but to find a decent paying job in my field of work, i would likely have to commute 50 miles to a larger city.  I use to do this prior to working at the university but quit because i found the daily commute added a lot of stress (i easily get annoyed at idiot drivers).  So i have been much happier the last 3 years since working at the university which is only 2 miles from my home.  And chances are good that if i did get a new job, it would be working for a corporation, which is a product of the state.  So i'm not sure i would be much happier on the moral front.

 

Thoughts?


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#5
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1334 posts

I agree to try and focus on the violence and immoral aspect. Knowing theft is immoral and that taxation is theft, thus immoral.  How can i tell someone that the government is immoral because it exists by theft while a portion of my income is derived from taxation?

 

I have so much to say to this that I hope I can communicate them effectively.

 

First and foremost, be honest about the world you're living in. You literally cannot escape the state. I eat at McDonald's sometimes and just heard about how they used the state to have a monopoly on fries at the Olympics. Say you worked someplace that you somehow couldn't attach the state to. Your employer would still be taking money out for the state without your consent. If you own a car, you had to pay the state taxes on it and licensing, etc. You cannot escape the state. Just as if you did go to work for a corporation (which just about every business is, even as an LLC), that business would likely exist even without any state privilege, they'd just look a little different.

 

So let us look at your situation specifically. You didn't steal the money that gets paid to you. If you refrain from voting, you're not telling anybody it's okay to steal the money that gets paid to you. I'm assuming your position doesn't have you doing things that are immoral while hiding behind a state-created shield. Oh and you weren't the one who thought up that the initiation of force is immoral. So you're not the fat guy selling a diet book. You're speaking the truth, nothing more. If YOU feel uncomfortable working where you do, that's something you should address for your own well-being.

 

That's my thoughts. Feel free to argue the opposing position. I certainly want to know if I'm in error.


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

dsay's audio reprocessing service


#6
Prairie

Prairie
  • 121 posts

I was reading this and had a thought that the key factor is whether you are actively resisting ending violence. I imagined people living on a ship in the ocean, on which you're born. At some point you find out that the ship was stolen, and that other people know it too. You all want to arrange purchase of a legitimate ship and return the current one to its rightful owner, even though it would be a sacrifice of significant resources and be a lot of work moving everything over. Some people on the ship resist. Even though everyone is being supported by the stolen ship currently, some are willing to move to another (or dry land until they can purchase a new one). This seems the defining difference. Though, the state isn't like a legitimate owner of a small amount of property, instead it's like someone who tries to control the seas themselves, making survival outside of their realm difficult and costly, so it's not as clear-cut.
 


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#7
dsayers

dsayers

    man in a pink bunny suit


  • 1334 posts

Got my threads mixed up *blush*


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I am interested in the truth. I welcome all corrections and critiques.

 

dsay's audio reprocessing service


#8
bostonPro

bostonPro
  • 8 posts

Thank you both for your replies.  This has cleared some things up and made me feel better.

 

I like the stolen ship analogy.  Though if i were going to argue against my position, i would say that the analogy differs slightly from my situation in the following way.  If i were born onto a stolen ship in the middle of the ocean, i wouldn't really have anywhere to go until we were able to obtain a legitimate ship.  But in my case of working for the state university, i could reject the acceptance of stolen money and find a new job (however troublesome it would be).  So by choosing to stay at the university, i'm choosing to accept stolen money. Whereas on the ship, i don't really have a choice to jump off because i would likely die out in the middle of the ocean.

 

i think the main link i was missing in my train of thought is that i'm not actively resisting ending violence. On the contrary, i'm trying to promote the ending of violence.  I've never voted in my life and don't plan on it.  So I've never voted to steal money from others in order for me to have a job.


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#9
LovePrevails

LovePrevails

  • 1378 posts

hey if you live as a slave and can get special privileges from your master, taking them does not mean you support your servitude unless it actually feeds in to your masters power to control otehr slaves

 

anyway, the case is a logical fallacy, the tu quoque fallacy

 

Try saying this, if my doctor smokes does that make him wrong when he tells me that smoking is bad for me? if not then can you please address my arguments instead of my person


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#10
DaisyAnarchist

DaisyAnarchist
  • 66 posts

I wouldn't put shame on yourself if you do decide to work at the university. With the prevalence of the state, you're going to be paying into it one way or the other. If you were given the choice to somehow decide where this university gets its revenue, you know that you would choose for it to be totally privatized. You want the job because of its convenience for you, not because you directly sanction the use of coercion against other productive members of society. I wouldn't worry about whether you could persuade the university to become privatized. I don't know, maybe you could? Or maybe you could be out in the private sector leading by example? I think your biggest obligation is honesty to yourself. If you leave because of your own principles, good. If you leave because you feel a heavy weight from other libertarians or your parents in a figurative way to do "more" or to do "better," I don't think that is good. 

 

I was in a sort of similar dilemma for a little while with regards to attending a 4-year community college and accepting pell grants to pay for my education. It's not my fault that the state created a situation where it's statistically unlikely for students to afford education out of pocket, even at a small, local college. However, I ended up discontinuing my education there, but it was for personal reasons rather than it just being a matter of, "Well it's wrong because this money was stolen from people who are actually productive." That did factor in, it just wasn't the only reason. My reasons were that I wanted to find a job and earn my own money, which I did indeed do, to have more time to myself in order to heal, and to become more autonomous. I wanted to feel the anxiety of not being in school. I went to school for 16 years straight. I want to be out in the real world now. I know the latter reasons don't necessarily apply to you, but if there are personal reasons for getting a job in the private sector, it could help sway your decision. 

 

So again, don't shame yourself if you do decide to continue to work there. I think if working at the university is a step toward something greater for you, like saving up to start your own business, or who knows what, then it's especially fine for you to work there. But consider that you can go elsewhere if you want to, and that working at the university doesn't have to be the only step toward something else later on. I don't know what your long term goals are or if you have any, but those are worth weighing in as well.  


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My real name is Corey. You may call me that, or Daisy. 

 

"Our feelings will always reveal to us the true story, which no one else knows and which only we can discover." -Alice Miller, "The Drama of the Gifted Child."

 

"As Socrates noted more than 2,000 years ago, doubt is the midwife of curiosity, and curiosity breeds wisdom." Stefan Molyneux, "On Truth."





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