Microsoft Hatred FAQ

David Schwartz davids at webmaster.com
Mon Oct 31 21:36:09 CET 2005


"Mike Meyer" <mwm at mired.org> wrote in message 
news:86br1530w7.fsf at bhuda.mired.org...

> Of course, you've dropped the real point, which is your own inabillity
> to distinguish between, as you put it, "guns and arguments." You
> always act as if every mention of a crime committed by someone other
> than microsoft involved guns, even when most of them don't. You have
> as yet to offer any explanation for that other than that you're
> following MS's orders.

    Your sole evidence for this claim is that I once equated "theft" with 
force. Yes, you are correct that it's possible to steal something without 
using force. Even in this case, from context, it was quite clear that 
forceful theft was intended.

    There is a fundamental category difference between the fundamental 
inter-personal wrongs of force and fraud and every other invented wrong. 
People are making a concerted attempt in this thread to obliterate that 
distinction, and I include you in those making that attempt.

    The *only* motive I have ever seen to obliterate that distinction is to 
justify responding to arguments with bullets. And that is precisely what you 
advocate. Quoting you:

> If I convince
> everyone who might make food available to you not to do so - for
> example, by paying them more than their interaction with you is worth
> to them, I can starve you to death. I'd say I've used force against
> you - an economic force.

    Your convincing and paying is an argument. It's in no way analogous to, 
for example, hiring someone to kill me (wherein force is actually used). 
Certainly if I did starve you by force, you would be justified in responding 
with force, that is, with bullets if needed, to defend your life.

    What possible motive is there for making an argument like this other 
than to justify the use of guns in response to arguments? That's why you 
need to equate metaphorical "market force" with *real* force. But there is 
no more important distinction in the world.

    Again, I utterly reject your argument. The use of actual force is 
justified only in response to force, fraud, or things that *really* are 
force.

> I'm willing to admit this isn't a usual definition of
> force, and won't argue if you want to say that it isn't force.

    The point is not whether you call it force or not. The point is whether 
you believe it justifies the use of force in retaliation. There is no 
difference between someone who says "while arguments aren't force, it's okay 
to respond to them with force" and someone who says "arguments are force so 
it's okay to respond to them with force".

    The premise I utterly and totally reject is that good arguments, shrewd 
negotiations, and anything else that is not actual force, not fraud, not 
inducing others to use force, or anything like that are somehow the same as 
real force. You have an obligation not to use actual force against other 
people, you have an obligation in a negotiation not to misrepresent your 
product to induce a payment, and failing in these obligations are serious 
wrongs. But they are in no way comparable to trying to get what something is 
worth. They are in no way comparable to persuasive negotiations.

    This point transcends the issue of Microsoft. I would make this same 
argument regardless of whose non-force were claimed to justify a forceful 
retaliation. (And have done so consistently.)

    DS





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