A telling sign of where we should not tread

26 09 2009

Thanks to Noor on the LL forums for this one.  A quote by Walter Block, God bless him.  It’s pretty self explanatory and best left for the reader to savour, in all its vulgarity.  Enjoy.

“Consider the sexual harassment which continually occurs between a secretary and a boss . . . while objectionable to many women, [it] is not a coercive action. It is rather part of a package deal in which the secretary agrees to all aspects of the job when she agrees to accept the job, and especially when she agrees to keep the job. The office is, after all, private property. The secretary does not have to remain if the ‘coercion’ is objectionable.”

Edit: Credit must go to Dbo of A Division By Zero for locating, sourcing and originally publishing the quote.

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24 responses

26 09 2009
burstmode

I honestly don’t know what to say…

26 09 2009
Royce Christian

For me it starts with the words, “Hell no.” I think another contributor to the forum, Lordmetroid, put it perfectly when he wrote: “The secretaries body is not the boss’ property!”

27 09 2009
burstmode

Even if you could ignore the morality (which I could not), what a good admin does is so difficult to replace I would not dare think of ruining that.

In my company it is quite clear, if you have an affair with a subordinate, your career is over. You may not get fired but you are going to get transferred into a dead-end job with NO subordinates.

27 09 2009
Rorshak (1313)

Where is this quote from?

It is of course bullshit, and Block should know better. No one agrees to sexual harassment by it’s very definition, why the hell would it be considered part of a secretaries job?

27 09 2009
Royce Christian

It was originally posted on A Division By Zer0. I’ve posted there asking for a source.

27 09 2009
Royce Christian

Found it. Page 7, Part II, first paragraph.

You can also extrapolate the same logic here to other instances, such as those flag pole scenarios; if you own private property and someone enters it, the owner can do as he wishes, absolutely because their is implied consent on the behalf of the licensee/invitee.

27 09 2009
Rorshak (1313)

Oh man, he says some real stupid crap in there.

Usually I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, being that it’s from ’75 and he could have easily changed his views since then, but his newer writings give me no reason to believe he has.

27 09 2009
db0

Holy shit, this quote has exploded online ever since the Forums of the LL discovered it 🙂

27 09 2009
Royce Christian

Well I guess it’s one of those things that are defining the boundaries between the assortment of individualist/market Anarchists who now go under the label ‘Left-Libertarian’ from those libertarians, Paleo-Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists who prefer ‘Right-Libertarianism’.

And since everyone seems to be crediting you with the discovery, I think you should be proud. 😛

28 09 2009
Noor

Heh, thanks for crediting me, but I originally posted a link on Facebook to Db0’s blog post about it, in response to an Austrian ancap who’s continually been on my case nonstop.

I was in absolute shock when he said Block was correct (then he starts saying that I have nothing but emotional reactions to it), and I had to post it on two forums, along with three links on my Twitter. I was just flabbergasted that anyone could support Block on that one.

28 09 2009
Noor

I found another great quote from the original pdf Royce linked to:

“But if pinching and sexual molestation are outlawed in private places, this violates the rights of those who voluntarily wish to engage in such practices.”

Fucking sick. I’m gonna scram together a list of all quotes from that and post it somewhere soon.

28 09 2009
Royce Christian

Well, you were the person whom I copied and pasted the material from in the first place, so it was only fair. Though you’re right, I probably should update the post to give Db0 some credit.

When you originally posted it, I found it amazing; it read like something torn from the journal of a white, 40 year old military man from the 1950’s, and that it was being passed off as ‘libertarian’ was a joke. I am seriously thankful that the term ‘libertarian’ in Australia still strikes a chord with ‘Anarchist’ rather than the approaches to politics seen in various places around America that use the same label. Since reading the quote from the LL forums, I’ve posted it to another forum and here for maximum exposure. It really needs to do the rounds.

Oh, and I also have to give credit to Db0 for the pdf; he performed the google search and linked to it from his blog. I just passed it on.

28 09 2009
Db0

Heh, cheers! I’m glad I could shine some light to the nonsense that we end up with when people fetishize “Voluntarism”

29 09 2009
Royce Christian

I think for many of us ‘Voluntarism’ as a doctrine has been discovered to be rather empty. Whether something is voluntary is a good indicator and element to establishing freedom, but when you fetishize is and focuss upon ‘voluntaryness’ over other concepts, then you wind up with what we see above. You provided the nails for its coffin.

Though I don’t necessarily use this like Franc is currently doing — as proof that property is evil, just that property as Anarcho-Capitalists conceive it is evil in that it becomes an absolute to which people are subservient.

29 09 2009
Db0

The issue with the difference in your take on Property and Franc’s is that you have different definitions. This is the curse of the mutualist/inidividualist use of “Property” to include all conceptions of “Ownership”. It would have been much less confusing if they simply used “Possession” like the Social Anarchists 🙂

30 09 2009
Noor

I’m arguing them on Facebook. They’re basically saying that pinching is aggression, regardless of whether it’s on private property.

30 09 2009
Db0

Oh man, the ideological hoops they need to jump through in order to argue their position…

Ask them, since pinching is now “Aggression” how about when I pinch my girlfriend’s butt? Am I “initiating aggression” against her?

30 09 2009
Noor

Well it’s not when the girl consents, though.

They’re continually arguing that Block is wrong and that property does not justify aggression done on it. This is my favorite line so far – “Misesians are not voluntaryists.”

30 09 2009
Db0

Well it’s not when the girl consents, though.

Which is the point. We do not call it “aggression” for a reason, and that reason is that aggression is a far more black and white concept. Either an act is aggression or it’s not. What changes is whether it is justified of not but it still remains aggression. The reason we use “Harassment” in such cases as the pinching of a secretary is because the act itself (pinching) can in different circumstances be considered as harassment or not, unlike aggression.

Perhaps they mean to say that pinching is “aggression” that is sometimes justified (a misuse of the word if I’ve heard any) or not justified and as such pass moral judgement from this. In short, they’re trying to hammer all ethical considerations in their own stunted moral framework which consists only of the Non-Aggression Principle and nothing else, ending up with absurdities like the above, or other inane concepts such as considering trespassing as “aggression”

30 09 2009
Noor

Yeah, I’ve noticed that. They’ll emphasize voluntaryism and non-aggression as a lack of force/coercion against property, but when you point out cases like these they quietly switch meanings to any situation where the person does not want it that way.

I’m glad I left that behind a long time ago.

1 10 2009
Royce Christian

Not necessarily, my issue is in the way that Franc is going about this crusade against former AnCaps. I don’t like the tone and I don’t like the criticism; Walter Block is an idiot and all those who follow him are fools. Problem is, not all AnCaps are followers of Block. Block and Hoppe deserve whatever they get, to be true. But this latest crusade by Franc is a farce that has more potential to polarise and prevent disillusioned AnCaps from broadening their horizons with other traditions.

The article, for me, goes to show exactly why Block and others like him are bankrupt when it comes to consistency and content because the same logic has been carried over from the 1970s, when the article was written, into today’s world (that property rights are absolutes). It’s a signpost that screams “Do not enter!” However, it’s not a sweeping statement against all of Anarcho-Capitalism, as Franc is currently using it for.

1 10 2009
Noor

I think Franc gets stuck on the way he uses a word, so for example when he uses the word “property” he means strictly Austrian ancap property, and thus ends up brushing off anyone who uses the term differently. So basically when he criticizes property, he’s stuck on thinking of property as in absolutist Austrian norms.

I’ve seen this happen with him for plenty other issues.

1 10 2009
Royce Christian

But I still do not think that excuses the way he is currently approaching… well everything. I mean, by the standards laid out in the FAQ you guys created, I’m essentially an evil, soul-less apologist for the status quo.

6 10 2009
Francois Tremblay

Hi, evil soul-less apologist for the status quo!

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