Who's responsible for the actions of your state?

Feckkit

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So, that looks implausible. Suppose you're deciding to give a loaded gun to one member of a group. If you don't take sufficient care when selecting the person to whom you give the gun, the fact that you give that person strict instructions not to shoot anyone does not absolve you of (all) responsibility for an ensuing bloodbath. If electors are careless, they can reasonably be held responsible for abuses by elected officials.
By whom?
 


GDPR

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Because that would lead to incoherent, contradictory policy; because functions of government are not independent of one another.
We have an incoherent, contradictory political system. It's like politics.ie. You might say the woeful state of this site is the fault of the members, but we really know the members have no say in anything and the likes of you run it as your own tinpot dictatorship. And any time we complain - we are told to call "Monte Casey." And when we ask for his contact details, we are told that nobody knows. In the same way, Enda Kenny shrugs off complaints and hints at the deep state, over which he has no control.
 

Feckkit

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I don't think so (though it might depend on whether or not you can act to recover the gun). But suppose you give the gun to A, having exercised due diligence and good faith, and A shoots and injures B. Suppose you can afford to compensate B (by assisting with medical expenses, for instance). Do you think that you owe B nothing more than I do? Assume you and I are equally capable of assisting B, but I had nothing to do with giving the gun to A, whereas you did. Some people might argue that you have a greater reason to assist B than I do, even though you did nothing wrong (you exercised due diligence and good faith).



Also true. But does that change the fact that you are responsible? (We might want to say that you are responsible, but not blameworthy, because you did the best you could.)
Much of that seems to hinge on whether or not you apply any responsibility - and to what extent - on the guy who pulled the trigger.

The PC assumption nowadays, everywhere one looks, is that the guy who did pull the trigger is really, really innocent, like.
 

GDPR

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But I don't have a role.
Your role in the democratic system is to pretend you do have a role. You do this by voting on the things the régime wants you to vote on, and in the way the régime wants to to vote. Including voting for régime approved parties at pretend election time.
 

Mr Aphorisms

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We have an incoherent, contradictory political system. It's like politics.ie. You might say the woeful state of this site is the fault of the members, but we really know the members have no say in anything and the likes of you run it as your own tinpot dictatorship. And any time we complain - we are told to call "Monte Casey." And when we ask for his contact details, we are told that nobody knows. In the same way, Enda Kenny shrugs off complaints and hints at the deep state, over which he has no control.
I would hate to think about the leaders you admire and what they would do if anyone disagreed with them, in fairness like.
 

Feckkit

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... If we want to deter bad behaviour, or encourage good behaviour, we need to be able to know which people to target. That requires knowing which people are actually responsible, and which are not.
There is an assumption here that the state has a role in deciding what behaviours are "good" and what behaviours are "bad" and also that the state has some function in regulating behaviour.

I find that to be a frightening concept.
 

GDPR

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I hate to think of the leaders you admire would do if anyone disagreed with them, in fairness like.
The leaders I admire would listen to what you have to say, and perhaps kill you for it. If you cannot be killed for having an opinion, then your opinion is worthless - as we see in the so called Western democracies. Here you can express any opinion you like - simply because nobody is listening to you, and nobody gives a damn. Why? Because their power is so total and totalitarian that nothing you could possibly think, or say, or do, could have any possible effect on the régime whatsoever. The people that you imagine might be leaders, from the local corner shop manager like Enda Kenny, to the big Tesco manager like Barack Obama, are just managers. They run things. They do not lead. They have no power to lead.
 

stringjack

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Much of that seems to hinge on whether or not you apply any responsibility - and to what extent - on the guy who pulled the trigger.

The PC assumption nowadays, everywhere one looks, is that the guy who did pull the trigger is really, really innocent, like.
No, it doesn't. Your suggestion is based on understanding responsibility as a fixed quantity which must be distributed. But there's no particular reason to think of it as such. If X is responsible for Z, saying that Y is also responsible for Z does not imply that X is any less responsible for Z than before. We don't, for instance, think that members of a criminal gang should be allowed to share a jail sentence out among themselves because there is only so much responsibility to go around - you can't lessen your sentence by having lots of accomplices. The degree of responsibility one person bears for an action is not necessarily dependent on the degree of responsibility held by anyone else.
 

Mr Aphorisms

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The leaders I admire would listen to what you have to say, and perhaps kill you for it. If you cannot be killed for having an opinion, then your opinion is worthless - as we see in the so called Western democracies. Here you can express any opinion you like - simply because nobody is listening to you, and nobody gives a damn. Why? Because their power is so total and totalitarian that nothing your could possibly think, or say, or do, could have any possible effect on the régime whatsoever.
Seems like two bad choices. There's essentially, no freedom if your world or the latter. The latter, seems more tempting though. I actually agree with you on the latter that all of this stuff on here is guff and politicians probably in the Dail bar read this and wet themselves laughing. That said, better to be a p.ie chimp or pointlessly protesting down O'Connell Street than a slave or a statistic, in my opinion

With all that said, Irish people have consistently voted for the politicians who act as a comprador class for international finance, MNC and our own native middlemen scum. Ultimately, the electorate must be held accountable for the actions of the state. And I don't want to hear any Chomsky nonsense or Zizek guff in the digitized age trying to expiate for the western populations failure to do anything significant to combat their state's foreign policies.
 

GDPR

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Not if I don't want to.
Then you are not playing your role. But that doesn't matter. About half of the people don't vote anyway - but who cares about them - nobody. All that matters is that about 30% or 40% of people put a mark on a bit of paper every few years - and then we have "democracy."
 

Feckkit

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No, it doesn't. Your suggestion is based on understanding responsibility as a fixed quantity which must be distributed. But there's no particular reason to think of it as such. If X is responsible for Z, saying that Y is also responsible for Z does not imply that X is any less responsible for Z than before. We don't, for instance, think that members of a criminal gang should be allowed to share a jail sentence out among themselves because there is only so much responsibility to go around - you can't lessen your sentence by having lots of accomplices. The degree of responsibility one person bears for an action is not necessarily dependent on the degree of responsibility held by anyone else.
I'm thinking more practically than that.

In our compo culture, for instance, the courts have decided and set precedents based on these decisions, that if I fall down a hole by my own carelessness and negligence (or, as the world is, by my own carefulness in finding a hole to fall down) then the Corpo is liable to a percentage degree. So I can successfully sue for damages - even if I photographed the hole on Monday and fell down it on Tuesday.

In my humble, I should be run out of court.

And notwithstanding any court case, I should bear the full responsibility for my own actions to begin with. Like the guy who pulled the trigger in your previous example.
 

GDPR

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Seems like two bad choices. There's essentially, no freedom if your world or the latter. The latter, seems more tempting though. I actually agree with you on the latter that all of this stuff on here is guff and politicians probably in the Dail bar read this and wet themselves laughing. That said, better to be a p.ie chimp or pointlessly protesting down O'Connell Street than a slave or a statistic, in my opinion

With all that said, Irish people have consistently voted for the politicians who act as a comprador class for international finance, MNC and our own native middlemen scum. Ultimately, the electorate must be held accountable for the actions of the state. And I don't want to hear any Chomsky nonsense or Zizek guff in the digitized age trying to expiate for the western populations failure to do anything significant to combat their state's foreign policies.
I tend to think there was more freedom in places like the USSR, because people's opinions did matter. There is a certain freedom in doing or saying something that matters to somebody, because that means there is some sort of structure to society - and freedom needs structure. But it certainly is easier to get on with protesting and all that nonsense in the West. I used to go to protests, but then I heard someone saying that we were members of the "protesting community." And I realised he was right. You always saw the same faces at these events. It's a sort of hobby - like playing pitch and putt. Gives you a bit of a walk, and a few pints after with your "protesting community," and you feel you have done something.

Gay marriage didn't arrive here because of protestors or political activism, it came here because the régime sees that it is good for profit - and in much deeper ways than the hotel bookings. Gay marriage opens the way to a whole new market in reproductive technology that might otherwise be resisted. It also helps to break down the cohesion of traditional society that acts as a barrier to the free flow of capital and labour. Likewise with abortion.
 

Feckkit

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Then you are not playing your role. But that doesn't matter. About half of the people don't vote anyway - but who cares about them - nobody. All that matters is that about 30% or 40% of people put a mark on a bit of paper every few years - and then we have "democracy."

But I can't play "my role" if I don't have a role to begin with - in the example under discussion.
 

stringjack

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I'm thinking more practically than that.

In our compo culture, for instance, the courts have decided and set precedents based on these decisions, that if I fall down a hole by my own carelessness and negligence (or, as the world is, by my own carefulness in finding a hole to fall down) then the Corpo is liable to a percentage degree. So I can successfully sue for damages - even if I photographed the hole on Monday and fell down it on Tuesday.

In my humble, I should be run out of court.
You're probably wrong about that. By allowing you to sue, we create an incentive for you to do so, and so (via a couple of other steps) create an incentive for public bodies to act competently. Overall, assuming the incentives can be calibrated correctly, that amounts to a social good. By suing, you are performing a public service. We owe you our thanks.

And notwithstanding any court case, I should bear the full responsibility for my own actions to begin with. Like the guy who pulled the trigger in your previous example.
This repeats the earlier mistake. Unless 'full' is understood in the distributive sense, it's perfectly possible for you to bear full responsibility for your actions and for someone else to also bear full responsibility. 'Responsibility' is not a finite substance.
 

GDPR

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But I can't play "my role" if I don't have a role to begin with - in the example under discussion.
Your role is to do and think what is profitable for the régime for you to do and think. It would be good if you would fully co-operate and do all the voting nonsense, but, if you don't, that's good for the régime too. In the Middle Ages, about the only effective protest the peasantry had was to not have children - or have fewer children. That was soundly condemned by the Church. Today, Europeans are doing the same thing. But now the régime can easily bypass this protest by bringing in millions of immigrants. You actually have less power than a Medieval peasant.
 

Mercurial

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There is an assumption here that the state has a role in deciding what behaviours are "good" and what behaviours are "bad" and also that the state has some function in regulating behaviour.

I find that to be a frightening concept.
What is a law against theft if not a regulation of bad behaviour by the state?
 

Feckkit

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You're probably wrong about that. By allowing you to sue, we create an incentive for you to do so, and so (via a couple of other steps) create an incentive for public bodies to act competently. Overall, assuming the incentives can be calibrated correctly, that amounts to a social good. By suing, you are performing a public service. We owe you our thanks.
I think you have to invest your idealism with the actualité of the real world here. The effect of my suing has been to increase costs for local authorities - for which we all must pay, to increase insurance premia, to establish a new and unnecessary army of HealthNSafety types along with a whole dead-beat industry devoted to the service thereof, to introduce profuse amounts of abhorrent red tape in the work practices of public & private bodies (and way, way more including, for instance, ultimately farcical set-ups where GPs will now withhold their true doctor-patient opinions and refer you on down the line instead, for fear of being sued). I have created havoc. Society should run me out the door.

This repeats the earlier mistake. Unless 'full' is understood in the distributive sense, it's perfectly possible for you to bear full responsibility for your actions and for someone else to also bear full responsibility. 'Responsibility' is not a finite substance.
But you're being choosy about the rules here, ebbing and flowing with circumstance. If I pull the trigger and you end up dead, say, then it doesn't matter where I got the weapon. I did it. I am fully responsible; and I'm fully responsible whether I intended to shoot you or whether it was an "accident" or whether I paid for the gun or whether it was given to me by the state. And Joe Smith, the elector, is not in anyway responsible for my actions.
 


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