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Johnny Mac

Role? Who defines that?, I need to get organized.

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Does "Liberty" mean the pursuit of one's self interest?

Explanation: Liberty in economic terms. By seeking one's own gain, they make gains for everybody. The economy is a mechanism for transforming private gain into public benefit. Each person is a cog in this machine.
Or are all social systems built on the proper understanding of the human person...This person I the source and end of all social and economic value. Which is it? or do you think it is something else?


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  • Jan 5 2014: if we were a population of one then yes, however we live in a society of many, and so where the pursuit of a person's own self-interest impedes the liberty of another, it must be restricted.

    there's nothing wrong with going for what you want, as long as you don't stop anyone else from also going for what they want in the process.
    • Jan 5 2014: Ben,

      My initial idea to respond back was along the lines that:

      -- There is something right with going for what one ought to seek and that is always in synergy with what others ought to seek IF going for what one wants corresponded with what one ought to seek--

      WHEN one is in harmony and doing what one ought to do, one collaborates with others who seek good one can pursue a person's own self-interests as one pursues one's own self-interests. The two tend to complement and enrich each other.

      The conundrum that a pacifist faces and has to deal with when interacting with a fighter involves doing something in order to win the fight; without in the process ceding into the fight nor forfeit the challenge. Note that the pacifist will lose if they forfeit the fight OR choose to fight. IF pacifist fight they end up losing the interaction even when they win the encounter. Consider that there exists a fighting virus and a pacifist virus seeking total control of the domain; or consider that there exists an intolerant individuals and a tolerant one that seek to establish the shared ways to interact. Should the tolerant tolerate the intolerance ways and cede to intolerance? Should the tolerant impose their ways and cede over into intolerance? That is does the tolerant who insists on tolerance by choice or by imposition behave like the intolerant who insists on intolerance by choice or by imposition? Seems to me that these are quite different in nature.

      Incidentally the resolution of a fight without a fight involves a graceful dance that guides 'the fighters' to become 'graceful dancers' (or choose to forfeit the challenge). Note that the pacifist will win if the other forfeit the fight OR 'choose' to dance; If fighters choose to fight they end up dancing throughout the interaction because of the pacifists movements converting the blows into caresses by directing the flows toward what ought to be a graceful dance in them and in others.

      Sometimes one may need to lead
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        Jan 6 2014: Hi Esteban.I actually thought about the "graceful dance" this morning! The win -win situation! It often occurs to me to ponder over how it is for myself or others to shush another person with even louder noise.
        May I ask what do you do to dance gracefully?
        • Jan 6 2014: Next time you get the urge to shush ask for attention or ask to listen... its curious how when one seeks to listen one becomes quite... of course one could also play the shush game to see how many will fall for it... its a bit like when being stuck in traffic and bored... one can honk the horn to see how many will do the same thing ... its amazing the symphony that one can initiate and many are oblivious as to the underlying reasons behind it all...

          In regards to the graceful dance... I am still working on it... and would be a bit like Po -Kung Fu Panda main character... a bit clumsy (maybe more than a bit - mostly clumsy)... In a way it could be like a bull within a glass store... every move seeks to cause something to fall and break ...
      • Jan 7 2014: i would contend that it isn't a conundrum at all. desmond tutu put it quite well: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

        the important thing to remember is the difference between claiming to be pacifist and actually promoting pacifism. if your action or failure to take action allows aggression to continue, how can you call yourself a pacifist? similarly, tolerating intolerance promotes intolerance. that said, we need to be careful not to take it too far by tolerating things that are harmful just for the sake of tolerance.
        • Jan 7 2014: Ben,

          The notion that if you are not a friend then you are an enemy hardly consider the alternative that one can be neither one ! I heard those who claim if one sees fraud and doesn't yell fraud one is complicit of fraud as a way to pass responsibility towards bystanders; when the truth of the matter may be that one simply chooses the alternative to let the elephant and the mouse deal with each other. You posted ' If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor' hardly reflects the truth of the matter; that one chose to remain neutral in such a situation ... reflects what one chose to do... In principle a free being has the choice as to how to participate in such situation...

          I find curious how you define the importance thing to remember about pacifist in terms of aggression rather than resorting to pacifism. The conundrum of tolerating intolerance promoting intolerance and the tolerant being intolerant of intolerance also promoting intolerance reflects how easy it is to be drawn away from a peaceful graceful tolerant dance into all sort of alternatives... that said, we need to be quite careful into what we choose to delve into, how far we go, the form and distinctions we choose to employ and the ideas we create and recreate and invite others to contemplate. things that are beneficial just for the sake of being ought be cultivated now and into the future.
      • Jan 7 2014: you've misunderstood. i didn't say if you're not a friend then you're an enemy. also, fraud is very different from aggression and oppression.

        we do indeed have the choice to participate, and sometimes that choice is between allowing oppression to continue and bringing it to an end. in these cases, doing nothing is the same as siding with the oppressor: help the oppressed and the violence ends, side with the oppressor and the violence continues, side with neither (let the elephant and the mouse deal with each other) and the violence continues exactly as if we side with the oppressor. we can't claim to love peace while doing nothing to stop war. leading by example is great and always the first choice, but it fails where the other party isn't interested in following.
        • Jan 8 2014: Ben,

          You stated " If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor"... which in principle is the same as ' if you're not a friend then you're an enemy" or ... stated in a different form when one isn't part of the solution one is part of the problem! All of these have a dualistic this side vs. the other and sort of ignore the possibility of other alternatives while to pass responsibility towards bystanders... one CAN claim to love peace while doing something to promote peace... as you said -leading by example is great and always the first choice, but it fails where the other party isn't interested in following- well let them stay behind sooner or latter they will die off... and only the peaceful shall remain....
      • Jan 9 2014: no it isn't the same. there's a difference between throwing fuel onto a fire and letting it spread on its own through inaction, but the outcome is the same, the house burns down when you choose not to intervene.

        you're assuming they'll eventually just give up and go away, but you have no reason to believe that assumption is correct. on the contrary, if someone has chosen to oppress someone else or another group of people, it's more likely they will continue to do so, caring little about how peaceful others choose to be, and probably even appreciating others' choosing not intervene which allows them to continue oppressing without obstruction.
        • Jan 9 2014: Ben,

          Each is responsible for what they do (and not do)... passing the responsibility towards bystanders... seems like a cheap shot that distracts from where responsibility resides. As absurd as it may seem someone today told me that I was responsible for what they thought of me! Imagine that, they want to pass the responsibility of their thinking to me rather than assume the responsibility of their thought themselves. BTW know that I do have reasons to assume that the notion I stated is correct.

          For clarity sake depending on what happens to be I may be in part responsible for what they think of me just as they are in part responsible for their thoughts!

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