A Philosopher's Blog

Who Represents the Group?

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on November 4, 2011
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 26:  A man kneels during...

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Protestors, or at least people characterized as protestors, engaged in acts of vandalism and violence in Oakland. These incidents took place after a peaceful protest in the same city. Not surprisingly, the non-violent protestors disavowed these destructive actions.

Not surprisingly, people who are critical of the occupier movement might be inclined to point to the incidents in Oakland and take them as evidence that the movement itself is radical and violent. This sort of “reasoning” is, obviously enough, the same sort used when certain critics of the Tea Party drew the conclusion that the movement was racist because some individuals in the Tea Party engaged in racist behavior. It is also the same “reasoning” used to condemn all Christians or Muslims based on the actions of a very few.

To infer that an entire movement or group has a certain characteristic (such as being violent or prone to terrorism) based on the actions of a few would generally involve committing the fallacy of hasty generalization. It can also be seen as the fallacy of suppressed evidence in that evidence contrary to the claim is simply ignored. For example, to condemn the occupier movement as violent based on the actions of those few in Oakland would be to ignore the fact that the vast majority of protestors and protests have been peaceful (at least on the part of the protestors).

It might be objected that a group can be held accountable for the misdeeds of its members even when those misdeeds are committed by a few and even when these misdeeds go against the general views of the group. For example, if an employee engages in sexual harassment while on the job, the company can be held accountable for these actions. Likewise if an  official engages in misdeeds while acting in her official capacity, the organization can be held accountable. Thus, it could be argued, the occupier movement is accountable for the violent actions taken in Oakland and these actions can be held against them and perhaps taken as defining the movement as violent and destructive.

In reply, the occupier movement is not, as of yet, a unified movement  with an official leadership and official set of positions and goals. As such, treating it as an organization with a chain of command and a chain of responsibility that extends throughout the movement would be rather problematic. To use an analogy, sports fans sometimes go on violent rampages after events. While the actions of the violent fans should be condemned, the peaceful fans are not accountable for those actions. After all, while the fans are connected by their being fans of a specific team this is not enough to form a basis for accountability. So, if some fans of a team set fire to cars, this does not make all the fans of that team responsible. Also, if people unassociated with the fans decide to jump into action and destroy things, it would be even more absurd to claim that the peaceful fans are accountable for their actions. As such, to condemn the rather vague occupation movement as a whole based on what happened in Oakland would be both unfair and unreasonable.

If the movement becomes organized and develops a clear leadership, identity and so on, then it would be reasonable to start considering the movement to be an organization that could be held accountable for the actions of its legitimate members. However, until that happens the responsibility must remain on an individual level. As such, the people who did the damage in Oakland are accountable but the general occupier movement cannot have these incidents laid at its collective doorstep.

Also, even if the movement does become organized to the point that it makes sense to speak of group accountability, this still does not entail that the movement would be accountable for the actions of every person who claims to be a member of the movement or who claims to be acting on behalf of the group.  This, of course, raises the question of the extent to which even an organized group is accountable for its members. One intuitive guide is that the accountability of the group is relative to the authority the group has over the individuals. For example, my track club has no meaningful authority over me and hence the other members have no accountability in regards to my actions. In contrast, my university has considerable authority over my work life and hence can be held accountable should I, for example, sexually harass a student or co-worker. In the case of a political and social movement like the occupiers, it seems unlikely that the movement would ever have a great deal of authority over its members and this would serve to limit the collective responsibility of the movement. Naturally, the same would apply to other political movements with a similar lack of authority (such as some of the Tea Party groups). This lack of substantial collective responsibility does not entail that individuals are not accountable for their actions-far from it.

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41 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on November 4, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Here, 31% of Occupiers polled “support violence to achieve their objectives.”

    74% of those who voted say they voted for Obama. Surprise.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/10/25/who-is-at-zuccotti-park

    “For example, to condemn the occupier movement as violent based on the actions of those few in Oakland would be to ignore the fact that the vast majority of protestors and protests have been peaceful (at least on the part of the protestors.”

    You mean like the German Nazi party in 1938? Most Nazis didn’t kill anyone.

    “Not surprisingly, people who are critical of the occupier movement might be inclined to point to the incidents in Oakland and take them as evidence that the movement itself is radical and violent.”

    Why didn’t what happened in Oakland happen at Glenn Beck’s huge gathering in Washington? Again, what is the number of violent acts that would have to occur before you called it violent? Only about 10% of the US Army actually fights. Is the US Army a violent organization? Clearly, in many cases there are people who are not willing to be violent themselves, but have little problem mingling with those who are since they hold their general world views. Such is the case with much of Islam around the world.

    “but the general occupier movement cannot have these incidents laid at its collective doorstep.”

    You mean the movement funded by ACORN? Perhaps ACORN can be held responsible, since it’s suspected they’re paying people to protest. See my other post.

    “If the movement becomes organized and develops a clear leadership, identity and so on, then it would be reasonable to start considering the movement to be an organization that could be held accountable for the actions of its legitimate members.”

    It has leadership that does not want you to know it is leadership. See the state funded terrorism model for details.

    ” In reply, the occupier movement is not, as of yet, a unified movement with an official leadership and official set of positions and goals.”

    Then why should anyone take them seriously, except to be bothered by the daily annoyance they’re causing working people who can’t find the time to protest for months at a time? Weren’t you critical of the Occupiers being characterized as a mob? Actually, seem to admit they fit some of the definitions of mob:

    The Free Dictionary:

    1. A large disorderly crowd or throng. See Synonyms at crowd.
    2. The mass of common people; the populace.
    3. Informal
    4. An indiscriminate or loosely associated group of persons or things: a mob of boats in the harbor.
    5. Australian A flock or herd of animals.

    “For example, my track club has no meaningful authority over me and hence the other members have no accountability in regards to my actions.”

    Now you’re making me angry. Mike, if your track club put together a 5k event at which a large number of the members masturbated in public, pissed and crapped on people’s lawns as they ran, and shoved cops off their motorcycles as they rode by, it would be safe to assume the track club as a whole would be held accountable in addition to the individuals who committed those acts. I’m sure when the next run came around people may be waiting with baseball bats for runners who chose to crap on people’s steps. And so no one has the obligation to *appreciate the Occupiers*. They’re a joke and you’ve given them waaaay too much credit.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Assuming a margin of error of just 3% that could mean that none of the violence folks voted for Obama. Maybe they all voted for McCain and Palin. If so, would that change anything?

  2. magus71 said, on November 4, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Oh, and before anyone mentions Abu Graib not being representative of the US Army, let me remind them that it was *the US Army* that identified, arrested, and prosecuted the wrongdoers. It was the US Army that released the photos to the public. This was not a crime that was broken open by the press.

    And so there is a point, and it is the same point that can be made with bad apples in the Occupiers and Islamist terrorists: They should be outing the bad ones but strangely enough the bad ones feel comfortable hanging out the crowd. They both have the same views but not all are willing to commit violence, just like Charles Manson never killed anyone. But he’s in prison for life.

    And I know that a large number of Afghans support terrorism in they’re country by refusing to tell Americans the details of what is going on in their villages. Looking the other way while someone plants a bomb and then giving the bomber a place to sleep does not mean you are absolved from violence. Someday I’ll write about what I saw in Afghanistan.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

      The Army has often been very good at policing itself, which is a testimony to the moral quality of our soldiers.

      Unlike the Army, the OWS does not have a command hierarchy nor the authority to actually police those associated with it. It is, I have noted, more akin to a gathering of sports fans-most are there for a common reason, but no one is actually in charge.

      I do not absolve the violent from their violence, but the OWS movement is not yet an organized movement that has the command structure and self-policing capabilities that would enable assigning blame to the OWS as an entity (since there is no real entity-just a lot of individuals).

      Now, if OWS forms a coherent movement with a command structure and an official program that calls for violence, then it would make sense to start saying that OWS is violent,.

  3. T. J. Babson said, on November 4, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Of course the occupiers are partially responsible for the violence because they created the conditions for the violence.

    Mike, if you cut off the power to a city and plunge it into darkness, are you not at least somewhat responsible for the looting and mayhem that is likely to follow?

    Also, the reasoning works both ways. Why should the banking industry be blamed for the behavior of a few bad actors?

    • magus71 said, on November 4, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Mike seriosuly needs to look at the definition of the word “meme”.

      It exlains a lot of what I’m saying about the Occupiers.

      Merriam-Webster; Meme: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.

      It’s like fish swimming in an aquarium. Not all the fish inhabit the exact same point in space, and yet an accurate generalization can be made about their location by saying they’re all in the aquarium. So it is with most of the protestors. They are of a certain cultural meme. Not everyone will pick up a weapon and use it, but enough will to irritate a significant amount of non-protesters–not for political reaons. People dislike the Tea Party for political reasons and even accusations of racism are political be they true or not. Many of the people being harmed by these protests probably have little political thought.

      Yeah, Mike, I know this isn’t the Golden Hoarde. About the truly worst people to perpetuate violence are people with Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. It’s kind of like the slap fight between Napolean Dynamite and his brother near the beginning of the movie. But just because you’re not *good* at violence doesn’t mean you’re not violent.

      I will let a master historian and world-admired writer define exacly what I think of the Occupiers. With only a few differences, it fits pretty well. Here Max Hastings talks about the “protesters” in London:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2024284/UK-riots-2011-Liberal-dogma-spawned-generation-brutalised-youths.html

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

        Here is the main thing: the vast majority of those protesting are peaceful and have condemned the violence of those people who engaged in destructive behavior. Condemning everyone who is protesting based on those few would be comparable to condemning the peaceful civil rights protesters and activists because some people advocated and engaged in violence as a means of social change.

        The majority of the occupiers have it right: most of the folks in government are not acting for the general good and the economic system needs to be reformed.

        • magus71 said, on November 5, 2011 at 2:37 am

          “The majority of the occupiers have it right: most of the folks in government are not acting for the general good and the economic system needs to be reformed.”

          Like paying for their college tuition? What economic proposals are they making that anyone this side of Paul Krugman would endorse? Not to mention my sister who’s now taking part in “Occupy Maine.” She has no idea what she’s talking about but she went to college and is now just doing what she’s programmed to do. I guess that what a Sociology degree gets you nowadays. She went to college and came back worried about a 50 degree day in December, refusing to eat meat, incensed that the operation to kill bin Laden was originally called “Geronimo” and now she’s Occupying Maine. Personally I think she’d bring a lot more joy to the world by helping out with the local girl scout chapter, but that would be so….conservative. EEEEEWW!!!

          Occupy is primarily a group of classic leftist agitators. Why else would Noam Chomsky support them?

          http://inthesetimes.com/article/12206/occupy_the_future

          Did he support the Tea Party or did he, too, think they’re out to destroy democracy? And why are so many leftist organizations that are providing support trying to hide their affiliation?

          Not all are violent, got that. But most are listless agitators with no plan for themselves let alone our country.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

            It is important to note that this movement is in its larval stage. There is no command structure, no developed leadership, no committees to create solutions and requests. The majority of folks in it are not experts nor in positions of authority-hence it would be rather odd to expect that they can provide solutions that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men have failed to come up with.

            Once the movement develops more then it will make more sense to actually consider what it stands for and what sort of requests are being made. As others have noted , it should be compared to the civil rights movement in terms of its beginnings.

            I don’t think that free college tuition should be handed out to people-we cannot afford that. However, I am favor of grants and loans for college. This is a great investment (as you have argued education is the best way to boost one’s income potential). I’ve paid back my Pell Grant and other support many times over in taxes-thus making me a good investment. The same is true of most college students-they want to work and will pay taxes and contribute to society.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

      They did provide a context, but that would be like blaming the non-violent fans for the actions of the violent fans because the fans gathered together in a group, thus allowing the violent fans to meet up.

      Also, the folks who wrecked the economy and the folks who have done little to make things better also share some of the blame. The crowd would not be there but for those who battered the economy.

      I agree-sweeping blame should not be assigned to all bankers. My bank, as far as I know, did not engage in destructive behavior and did not get a bailout. So, I’m fine with my bank and many others. However, the have been systematic misdeeds and failures to hold those people accountable. As such, the Obama administration must take some of the blame as well.

  4. WTP said, on November 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Yet again, Mike sees fallacies in everyone else’s thinking but skips over his own.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

      As I always say, simply quote me and show the fallacy I commit.

      • WTP said, on November 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

        Ohferchrisakes, nearly every discussion with you turns into something akin to the “fallacy of suppressed evidence”, though you weasel out of that one (hence the “akin”) because you don’t necessarily suppress evidence, you simply ignore it. The discussion concerning wealth being a prime example.

        Your posts are full of straw men, maybe not a LaBossiere fallacy, but a fallacy none the less. Many of the “fallacies” that you see are simply different perspectives based on context in which the so-called offending party has priorities that differ from yours. Thus they are not necessarily fallacies, but are only so in the straw man context that you present them. This is why I am more interested in the root ideas and concepts than these leaf issues.

        • WTP said, on November 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

          Which also raises the question, if Mike commits a fallacy in one of his many posts but no one calls him on it, is it still a fallacy?

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

            Well, yes. Being a fallacy or not is fairly objective (although there can be room for debate, especially for fallacies such as burden of proof).

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

          To properly accuse me of a fallacy you’d need to cite the text in which I allegedly commit a fallacy and show how it was committed. Just saying I am making straw men and so on is not enough.

          I try to be careful to present actual positions and address those. As such, I don’t seem to be making straw men.

          • wtp said, on November 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm

            Mike, anything you write about economics is based on fallacy. You do not understand the fundamental concept of wealth, where it comes from, and how it can be created and/or destroyed. You have bailed out of every discussion we have had on the subject. Questions posed that would undermine your position go unanswered or redefined in a manner that changes the context of the question. As far as I can tell, you are incapable of providing an objective answer to a question.

            Care to try again? Is there a difference between wealth and money?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

              Well, no. Fallacies are errors in reasoning and to simply say that anything I write will be based on a fallacy seems to be just a case of Poisoning the Well.

              Yeah, I do get the notion of wealth-at least various theories. I’ve read Marx, Smith, Mill and so on. Crudely put, wealth is based on what people value (typically taken in the economic sense). It can be created in various ways, such as making stuff, getting people to value stuff, and so on.

              Well, yeah, wealth and money are different. Crudely put, modern money is essentially a marker for value based on faith in the issuing body. Wealth is the value of a person’s assets minus the person’s debts. Money can be considered part of wealth (such as savings or actual currency on hand).

            • WTP said, on November 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

              OK, let me see if I have this straight…Previously you stated that you believed that wealth was a constant. That we are all fighting over pieces of a finite pie. But you now seem to be saying that wealth can be created. Which would seem to imply that you learned something, but you don’t want to admit it. If you did not understand this fundamental nature of wealth (and I’m not entirely convinced that you still do, but I’m willing to explore that further) then your previous posts on economic matters were based on a misunderstanding of the nature of reality, hence a fallacy. A false notion.

              Though perhaps you’ve given yourself an out. Previously you stated something to the effect that you could create wealth by printing more money and “calling it” wealth. Here you state “It can be created in various ways, such as making stuff, getting people to value stuff, and so on.” “Getting people to value stuff” seems rather omnipotent, doesn’t it? Do you believe you can make people value stuff if they don’t, at some level, want to value that stuff? The “value”, and thus the wealth, is not something you can force on people. Yet on the other hand, as you state “modern money is essentially a marker for value based on faith in the issuing body”, so you seem to grasp that part of the picture. So we do agree on something. It’s a start anyway.

              So, just to be clear, in my previous unanswered question, if I take a brand new Honda Accord and drop it to the bottom of the Marianas Trench OR I take $1 Million in US currency, put it in a pile and burn it, in which case has world, as a whole, lost the most wealth?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

              I did not say that wealth was constant, rather that the sum of wealth at a given moment can be seen as a single cake. We can, as I said, make more cake to divide.

              As far as “fallacy” versus “false”, people can make words mean whatever they wish (the Humpty Dumpty theory of meaning. However, it seems worthwhile to have technical terms that distinguish between errors in logic and factual errors. To use an analogy, it seems useful to distinguish between design failures (for example a collapse of a bridge because it was poorly designed) and failures of material (a bridge that collapses because substandard concrete and steel were used).

              As far as the Accord vs the burning of money, it would depend on what you mean by wealth and the conditions at the time of the burning. By cash value today you’d suffer a greater loss burning the cash. But, if the state fails and the money is worth nothing, then you’d be just burning paper or throwing away a presumably useful vehicle.

              The value of money is purely based on belief (we agree it is worth something) whereas the value of something like a car or food also depends on its physical utility. The value of food lies primarily in its nutritive value-which does not depend on an economic/social system. Money has no use (aside from physical tokens that might have some other use) without the context of an economic system.

            • wtp said, on November 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm

              You’re trying to make me cry, aren’t you Mike? My wife hates it when I cry. Why do you want to upset my wife? She’s never done anything to you. Sigh….

              Of course at any given moment things are static. That is what “a moment” means. You’ve said this before, I’ve said this before. I realize this is the closest thing to a point you have here so you like to repeat it, but let’s put it aside as I do believe we agree. Besides, it’s not the point. Though I should note that in a previous discussion, before qualifying the discussion within an instant of time, you did say “The pie has to be finite, at least on earth for the obvious reason that the earth is finite.” And also “To use an obvious example, there is only so much land that people can own on earth. So, if I have X property, that means that I have taken a slice from a fixed pie.” So don’t say that you never said such a thing.

              “By cash value today you’d suffer a greater loss burning the cash. “ – Notice, Mike, that my question was asked in the context of the world. As in “ in which case has (the) world, as a whole, lost the most wealth?” Don’t rephrase what I ask and then answer that. See above.

              “The value of money is purely based on belief (we agree it is worth something) whereas the value of something like a car or food also depends on its physical utility.” – Well, I gotta say you’re close here, but no cigar. The value of money is based on faith, not belief. You seem to view all things economic as some form of a swindle. People use money to transact business because they have the faith that the money will maintain its value through the length of the transaction or until they complete another transaction. Faith that its value will not be (significantly) diluted while it is in one’s possession. It has no value in itself except as a share of the economy in which it is denominated. If I eliminate $1 Million from the US Dollar economy, I have simply increased the value of the remaining money supply (M1) by $1 Million / M1. If I sink a new Honda Accord, as you note, I deprive the economy of its utility. Also, the labor and material that went into building it and all of its component parts will have been for naught. And yes, if the state fails, the money is useless anyway, but I presumed it was understood this was outside the problem space.

              As for “people can make words mean whatever they wish” – seems I made this point earlier in reference to your word play. Can I get a witness here?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

              Yes, making you cry is my prime directive.

            • wtp said, on November 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm

              Not that don’t I believe you, but that’s the first thing you’ve said that makes any sense…so I’m a bit suspicious.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

              As you should be.

  5. ajmacdonaldjr said, on November 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    You are incorrect Professor.

    The entire Occupy Movement has an invasion-occupation-invasion-occupation strategy.

    These groups invade and occupy a park, then they will leave the park to go on an angry march to a business or government building, then they will invade and occupy the building angrily shouting at customers and employees.

    The root inspiration of the entire Occupy Movement is anger, which is logically expressing itself through an organized campaign of intimidation tactics.

    See: Occupy Oakland, Oct. 22, 2011 invading a bank to intimidate and harass employees and customers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSn7Ep45stU

    Surely you are not defending these actions, which are occurring in every city that is “occupied”?

    See also: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/ows-occupy-oakland-lumpenproletariat-mobs-incited-to-revolt-against-the-capitalist-ruling-class/

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      I’m not in favor of needless violence or needless harassment, be it on the part of protesters or the state. My general view is that merely making life tough for people who are probably innocent (like the bank customer or the teller) is not an effective form of protest and can be regarded as morally dubious.

      That said, a protest generally needs to get attention in order to have an impact and the people that protests are aimed at are often safely out of reach of the protesters.

      While the legal system is rather stacked in favor of those with influence, seeking recourse within the system should be the first step. However, I do understand the frustration that can lead people to feel helpless and thus desire to take some action.

      Friends of mine have lost their jobs because of budget cuts and political machinations (I cannot go into all the details because I do not want any retaliation against my friends or myself). These are people who worked hard and did their jobs. They followed the rules and got screwed over by the whims of those with more power and wealth. In my own case, my salary has been cut and my workload increased significantly (and I am told that I am lucky to be working). So, I can understand the anger.

      Some people feel that they are powerless within a system that is, in fact, stacked against them. As such, they are hardly foolish for wanting to take some action and get attention for their plight.

      We can compare this movement to the civil rights movement, although the analogy breaks in places. People do have legitimate concerns about justice and if they cannot receive redress within the channels of the law, then they have a moral right to demand changes.

      But, as Dr. King said, moral battles are won morally, not through violence. We are promised justice for all and thus we are right to insist on it.

  6. magus71 said, on November 5, 2011 at 3:03 am

    The first link you provide Mike, a man says the Oakland issue was “just a bunch of kids letting off steam”.

    Really? Why is it the only person with enough balls to try to stop this is one girl with a mask on? Why don’t the “majority” of peaceful protesters step in? Dozens or hundreds of people standing around clapping as people smash windows. Did the Tea Party ever have these problems?

    • magus71 said, on November 5, 2011 at 3:04 am

      Wrong video above. Here’s the one I was writing about:

  7. magus71 said, on November 5, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Well–it’s not letting me embed the one I want. Here’s the link. Hopefully.

  8. magus71 said, on November 5, 2011 at 3:10 am

    I love the unity Obama has brought us. 2012 can’t come fast enough. Though I believe this is only the beginning of the civil unrest, the result of what Pat Buchanan talks about in his new book, The Suicide of a Superpower.

  9. ajmacdonaldjr said, on November 7, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I agree with this statement of yours professor: “But, as Dr. King said, moral battles are won morally, not through violence. We are promised justice for all and thus we are right to insist on it.”

    As far as OWS being in a larval stage, I must disagree. This movement has been financed, planned, and coordinated since late 2010. See: http://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/occupy-wall-street’s-strategy-and-philosophy-occupation-and-decommodification/

    This is a global movement with a very clear strategy and philosophy, which the organizers are keeping close and not revealing to the general public. Their strategy is Otpor (using Gene Sharp’s methods of “nonviolent” government overthrow) and their philosophy can be described, in their own words, as: “Peer-to-Peer Communism vs. The Client-Server Capitalist State”. Please study these aspects of the movement for more information, which is not getting any public media attention.

  10. Anonymous said, on November 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

    “But, as Dr. King said, moral battles are won morally, not through violence. We are promised justice for all and thus we are right to insist on it.”

    So violence is never moral?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      It depends on the moral theory. My considered view is that if a situation can be resolved adequately without violence, then the use of violence would be immoral. However, my moral view does allow for the ethical use of violence-most often in cases in which the violence is used to prevent a greater evil and viable alternatives were not available. To use a concrete example, shooting someone who is is in the process of trying to murder me or an innocent person would be morally fine if that was the only reasonable means to stop him/her.

  11. ajmacdonaldjr said, on November 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Check this out: 8 Points of Degrowth:

    1. Emancipatory orientation (but plural, not with a closed ideology).

    2. Typologically placed in some half point among the movements with orientation of power and the movements with cultural orientation.

    3. An antimodernist orientation or some kind of alter-modernization or criticism to the linear conception of history; the belief in progress as a material and moral perpetual development, nor the inconditional optimism towards science and technology and, mainly, the instrumental reason.

    4. Heterogeneous social composition with predominance of professional persons of social and cultural services.

    5. Differetiated goals and action strategies.

    6. Decentralized and antihierarchical organizational structure, networking with a low level of institutionalization and professionalization, with low confidence in bureaucracy and charismatic leadership.

    7. Politization of the daily and private life, with the attempt to develop alternative forms of communal life, production and consumption, transforming men and women who compose society into a concrete process.

    8. Pragmatic and flexible use (in general) of methods of collective action, from non conventional to more conventional methods. Non conventional will be understand as the civil disobedience, the passive resistance and the direct action, all with strong expressive elements and often pedagogic or counterinformative.

    Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/72006479/Towards-a-nonviolent-degrowth-A-glance-to-methods-and-techniques-of-nonviolent-action-as-a-tool-to-achieve-degrowth

  12. WTP said, on November 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Speaking of group beliefs and who gets to say what they are, perhaps an actual representative of the group would work better than the standard straw-man…

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100119741/memo-to-the-occupy-protesters-here-are-ten-things-we-evil-capitalists-really-think/


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