Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

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Scott
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Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

I posit for your consideration that generally speaking, as a rule of thumb, when a murder or other act of non-defensive violence takes place, the primarily responsible party is almost never the one with the literal blood on their hands, nor the one who literally pulled the trigger.

For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?

Imagine a soccer mom buys soccer shoes from Walmart that she knows were made by child slaves, thereby paying the company that captures the slaves and forces the slaves to make shoes for the company's service. Is she as innocent and/or responsible as the mob boss? Does it matter that when she hands the cold hard cash to the clerk at Walmart her hands have no literal blood on them at all, just one big shiny blood diamond, glistening, maybe even shinier and more glistening than the mob boss's shined shoes.

Now let's consider the war on drugs and other victimless crimes. Actually, first let's consider omelettes.

You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Imagine someone orders an omelette... Who--if you can only choose one person--is primarily responsible for the broken eggs, the paying customer who ordered the omelette, or the cook making minimum wage who has yolk on his hands?

You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs. You cannot wage a war on drugs like marijuana without collateral damage. People will get killed, including innocent third-parties and kids.

If someone votes to criminalize marijuana, are they a murderer? If after voting for it they also happily help pay for it, are they a murderer?

If someone votes to force everyone making under $50,000 a year pay 90% of their income to a charity run by Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, and paid enforcers have to commit violence and killing to enforce that law, is the voter a murderer?

If someone in Staten Island had voted to place huge taxes on packs of cigarettes, taxes paid at the threat of violence, and voted to outlaw the sale of loose individual cigarettes, and thus voted to send groups of paid armed enforcers to hunt down and cage anyone selling a loose cigarette, is that voter as responsible for Eric Garner's death as is the hypothetical mob boss for the hypothetical death of the non-compliant business owner? Fundamentally speaking, is there a difference, and if so, what is it, and why does it matter?

Non-defensive violence is non-defensive violence, money is money, a paid job is a paid job, and you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

10,000 children starve to death every day. It doesn't seem like the average person, at least not the average American in my anecdotal experience (in America where I live), cares much about people dying. I see very few news headlines about the 10,000 children starving to death. I see very few Facebook and Twitter posts about the 10,000 children who starve to death every day.

But yet people in general do seem to get passionate and one-dimensionally divided about things like cops killing unarmed citizens, or kids.

Is that passion just a show of smoke and mirrors and cognitive dissonance because at some level they realize it's neither the cops nor the dead victims that are primarily responsible for the non-defensive violence? Is the system designed, whether intentionally by silly humans or more likely by the evolution of natural selection, to divide and conquer? In other words, is the system designed--even if unconsciously by cancerous natural selection--to make a show of divisive issues as a way to perpetuate and grow the status quo, with its bloated tumorous economies of violence and its bloated tumorous political systems that deal in power as much as money, both of which tend to act as indirect placeholders for the direction of violence commission. Is one wealthy because one is a mob bossm or is one a mob boss because one is wealthy? It really may be a mostly meaningless question, a play on semantics, like the chicken and the egg.

You cannot have a federal government that spends over $4 trillion dollars per year without non-violent people getting killed, killed by that government's paid agents. Possibly some state governments are even worse by that metric per capita. You cannot wage a war on drugs, loose cigarettes, or insufficient charitable contributions without breaking some eggs. You cannot wage a violent government-run war on any non-violent behavior without initiating extreme amounts of violence, violence that will at times turn lethal. When one successfully votes and pays to wage such a war, there will be violence, there will be killing, and there will be collateral damage, including innocent third-parties and kids slaughtered at the figurative but not literal hands of the voter and money-handler.

Maybe the real blood is green, and it's not on one's hands, but in them.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 12:57 pm
Imagine a soccer mom buys soccer shoes from Walmart that she knows were made by child slaves, thereby paying the company that captures the slaves and forces the slaves to make shoes for the company's service. Is she as innocent and/or responsible as the mob boss? Does it matter that when she hands the cold hard cash to the clerk at Walmart her hands have no literal blood on them at all, just one big shiny blood diamond, glistening, maybe even shinier and more glistening than the mob boss's shined shoes.
My, you do a lot of imagining and considering. For the sake of clarity I'll address your specific subtopic that has the benefit of being realistic and germane.

The soccer mom is not primarily responsible. If the foreign subcontractor is breaking the labor laws in their country (of manufacture), then the leader of that company is primarily responsible. The head of the shoe brand who chose that subcontractor is secondarily responsible. The soccer mom is likely under financial pressure to purchase the cheapest possible shoes available and has been bombarded with psychologically tested advertising by multinational corporations. So although she is the ultimate payor, she is barely responsible, after all it is wholly beyond her individual scope of influence to change the situation.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Nick_A »

Hi Scott
10,000 children starve to death every day. It doesn't seem like the average person, at least not the average American in my anecdotal experience (in America where I live), cares much about people dying. I see very few news headlines about the 10,000 children starving to death. I see very few Facebook and Twitter posts about the 10,000 children who starve to death every day.

But yet people in general do seem to get passionate and one-dimensionally divided about things like cops killing unarmed citizens, or kids.

Is that passion just a show of smoke and mirrors and cognitive dissonance because at some level they realize it's neither the cops nor the dead victims that are primarily responsible for the non-defensive violence? Is the system designed, whether intentionally by silly humans or more likely by the evolution of natural selection, to divide and conquer? In other words, is the system designed--even if unconsciously by cancerous natural selection--to make a show of divisive issues as a way to perpetuate and grow the status quo, with its bloated tumorous economies of violence and its bloated tumorous political systems that deal in power as much as money, both of which tend to act as indirect placeholders for the direction of violence commission. Is one wealthy because one is a mob bossm or is one a mob boss because one is wealthy? It really may be a mostly meaningless question, a play on semantics, like the chicken and the egg.
The real question here is whose life has value? Do starving kids have value or does the government have more value? Does the life of cops have less value than the life of those killed by cops? Which lives have more value.

When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder. ~ Simone Weil

The Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority that the Chinese government views as a threat in part because some have sought autonomy. This is intolerable and they are now considered without value They must be eliminated.

Right now it is the government and people in power who determine which lives have value. Is there another way?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

LuckyR wrote: April 15th, 2021, 2:44 pm
Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 12:57 pm
Imagine a soccer mom buys soccer shoes from Walmart that she knows were made by child slaves, thereby paying the company that captures the slaves and forces the slaves to make shoes for the company's service. Is she as innocent and/or responsible as the mob boss? Does it matter that when she hands the cold hard cash to the clerk at Walmart her hands have no literal blood on them at all, just one big shiny blood diamond, glistening, maybe even shinier and more glistening than the mob boss's shined shoes.
The soccer mom is not primarily responsible. If the foreign subcontractor is breaking the labor laws in their country (of manufacture), then the leader of that company is primarily responsible. The head of the shoe brand who chose that subcontractor is secondarily responsible. The soccer mom is likely under financial pressure to purchase the cheapest possible shoes available and has been bombarded with psychologically tested advertising by multinational corporations. So although she is the ultimate payor, she is barely responsible, after all it is wholly beyond her individual scope of influence to change the situation.
Interesting reasoning and opinions, to which you are fully entitled.

I am curious how those options match or don't match your opinions regarding the paid enforcers for the mob boss who has a shiny suit instead of a shiny diamond ring:

Scott wrote:For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?
@LuckyR, I would love to know your answers to those questions.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

Scott wrote:10,000 children starve to death every day...
Nick_A wrote: April 15th, 2021, 2:48 pm The real question here is whose life has value? Do starving kids have value or does the government have more value? Does the life of cops have less value than the life of those killed by cops? Which lives have more value.

When once a certain class of people has been placed by the temporal and spiritual authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value, then nothing comes more naturally to men than murder. ~ Simone Weil
I agree with that wise quote from Simone Weil. Thank you for sharing it!

In terms of the value of their life, I believe all conscious beings, especially all human beings, are equal.

Politically speaking, that generally means I believe in the fundamental political equality of all people, such that nobody--not even a majority--has any more right to use non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, etc.) than anyone else. Due to the fundamental equality of humanity, and by extension thus the equality of human rights as being universal to all humans, I see no possibility for a justification or right for any king or ruler or anyone to dominate (i.e. use non-defensive violence against) any one else. Political classism is ipso facto a form of non-defensive violence, and organized non-defensive violence is simply political classism, not a form of political classism but rather is what it is. To me the very idea that such a thing--namely non-defensive violence like murder and rape--could be 'justified' or 'moral' in some way is utter nonsense to me.

However, many people don't agree with that.

For instance, most violent racists seem to think that the lives of humans with similar skin color are worth more than the lives of humans with less similar skin color, or that people with certain skin color have more natural rights than those that don't have that skin color, if such an idea could even make sense. That is how violently silly humans are.

Many people don't share my perspective regarding the fundamental equality of humankind. Presumably, most don't.

Many people don't share my extreme unilateral distaste for non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.). Presumably, most don't.

Many people don't share my extreme unilateral distaste for anything and everything that would be used to rationalize or excuse non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.). Presumably, most don't.

Humans have a strong tendency towards violence and selfishness, and they have a strong tendency to put those things together, into selfish violence, and they have a strong tendency to claim they are the good guys and are trying to help as they selfishly engage in non-defensive violence against their fellow human--as if such an idea made any sense at all, as if there is such a thing as the "good guys", which seems to me to be modern slang for nonsense monarchistic nobility.

I believe no human is perfectly unselfish. I believe every human is on the addiction spectrum.

Needless to say, as a human, I am often hypocritical. Since I am a human, I could not be a benevolent dictator, not truly. No human could. Put any human in Congress and they'd probably violently cater to paid lobbyists and campaign financiers just the same. Man is not fit to rule man. Moreover, in that regard, humans are even worse in mobs than individually. A mob of humans acting as a collective benevolent dictator is usually even worse than one self-proclaimed do-gooder using massive non-defensive violence to try to help or save the world.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Robert66 »

Now imagine the soccer Mom at home, breaking eggs for an omelette, when who should come bursting through the splintered front door than a bunch of mobsters, angry as hell and followed by their very suave boss.

The angry henchmen have the soccer Mom surrounded, but it is apparent that they've got the wrong house, and the boss calls his men to back off.

The boss, no doubt a little embarrassed, attempts some soothing small talk. "You making an omelette? I love omelettes. My Mama used to make me omelettes."

But the soccer Mom can't find her voice to answer. She just stares at the mob boss's elegant shiny shoes. She has always had a "thing" about shoes, and if she saw a pair she liked, she wouldn't care if they were made by slaves - she would simply have to have them.

The soccer Mom is also a little embarrassed, as the men have caught her off guard, with messy hair and no make up. Little does she know, however, that the mob boss gets really turned on by messy hair and no make up - he is always surrounded by beautifully coiffed, impeccably made up women, and he is just bored with all of them.

Long story short - it was love at first sight for soccer Mom and mob boss, and she simply abandoned her home and family on the spot, to run off with him.

When her husband returned with the kids, to find a broken door, and a charcoaled pan in a smoke filled kitchen, he wondered what the hell had happened.

But neither he nor the kids ever saw or heard from her again.

Who or what is to blame for this broken family?
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 3:28 pm
LuckyR wrote: April 15th, 2021, 2:44 pm
Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 12:57 pm
Imagine a soccer mom buys soccer shoes from Walmart that she knows were made by child slaves, thereby paying the company that captures the slaves and forces the slaves to make shoes for the company's service. Is she as innocent and/or responsible as the mob boss? Does it matter that when she hands the cold hard cash to the clerk at Walmart her hands have no literal blood on them at all, just one big shiny blood diamond, glistening, maybe even shinier and more glistening than the mob boss's shined shoes.
The soccer mom is not primarily responsible. If the foreign subcontractor is breaking the labor laws in their country (of manufacture), then the leader of that company is primarily responsible. The head of the shoe brand who chose that subcontractor is secondarily responsible. The soccer mom is likely under financial pressure to purchase the cheapest possible shoes available and has been bombarded with psychologically tested advertising by multinational corporations. So although she is the ultimate payor, she is barely responsible, after all it is wholly beyond her individual scope of influence to change the situation.
Interesting reasoning and opinions, to which you are fully entitled.

I am curious how those options match or don't match your opinions regarding the paid enforcers for the mob boss who has a shiny suit instead of a shiny diamond ring:

Scott wrote:For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?
@LuckyR, I would love to know your answers to those questions.
I, as most, would hold the mob boss primarily responsible. This would include the third case where the business owner died against his orders since the mob boss created the environment where the enforcer put the business owner at risk of harm. The fact that the harm was of an unintended variety, the prudent mob boss should anticipate that such an outcome was possible.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

Robert66 wrote: April 15th, 2021, 4:36 pm Now imagine the soccer Mom at home...
I created the hypothetical in the OP and asked my questions first, so I politely request that you answer the questions in the OP first. Then if you want to me consider a new hypothetical after that I'd be happy to, or alternatively you can make a whole new topic in the forums for your different hypothetical.


Scott wrote:
For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?
LuckyR, I would love to know your answers to those questions.
LuckyR wrote: April 15th, 2021, 6:25 pm I, as most, would hold the mob boss primarily responsible. This would include the third case where the business owner died against his orders since the mob boss created the environment where the enforcer put the business owner at risk of harm. The fact that the harm was of an unintended variety, the prudent mob boss should anticipate that such an outcome was possible.
I agree. :)

While the paid enforcers might have the literal blood on their hands, the mob boss is primarily responsible for the violence and killings, and in that way the mob boss is the one who has the real (albeit figurative) blood on his hands.

For the same reason, I think the primary responsibility for the slavery she funds voluntarily with her money arguably goes to the hypothetical soccer mom with the shiny glistening blood diamond ring on her hand for using that hand to voluntary paying for soccer shoes she knows were made by child slaves. Certainly, the mob boss as entitle to a nice fancy but expensive suit as anyone is to soccer shoes and a diamond ring.

You are wise to bring up the role of prudence, and thus by extension due diligence. I think we can agree that willful ignorance is no excuse for the wanton disregard of the effects of one's actions including those done vicariously by others for money.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 7:02 pm
Scott wrote:
For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?
LuckyR, I would love to know your answers to those questions.
LuckyR wrote: April 15th, 2021, 6:25 pm I, as most, would hold the mob boss primarily responsible. This would include the third case where the business owner died against his orders since the mob boss created the environment where the enforcer put the business owner at risk of harm. The fact that the harm was of an unintended variety, the prudent mob boss should anticipate that such an outcome was possible.
I agree. :)

While the paid enforcers might have the literal blood on their hands, the mob boss is primarily responsible for the violence and killings, and in that way the mob boss is the one who has the real (albeit figurative) blood on his hands.

For the same reason, I think the primary responsibility for the slavery she funds voluntarily with her money arguably goes to the hypothetical soccer mom with the shiny glistening blood diamond ring on her hand for using that hand to voluntary paying for soccer shoes she knows were made by child slaves. Certainly, the mob boss as entitle to a nice fancy but expensive suit as anyone is to soccer shoes and a diamond ring.

You are wise to bring up the role of prudence, and thus by extension due diligence. I think we can agree that willful ignorance is no excuse for the wanton disregard of the effects of one's actions including those done vicariously by others for money.
I think you are forgetting the responsibility of those you are trying to decide are responsible. In the mob boss case, the boss snaps his fingers and orders the enforcers to stop, and the problem evaporates.

In the soccer mom example, the subcontractor snaps his fingers and the slave labor is freed. The soccer mom does not have that power. Her response power is incredibly limitted, thus so is her responsibility.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 12:57 pm I posit for your consideration that generally speaking, as a rule of thumb, when a murder or other act of non-defensive violence takes place, the primarily responsible party is almost never the one with the literal blood on their hands, nor the one who literally pulled the trigger.

For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick?
In the examples you give, it is obvious that responsibility might be spread among many people. Why limit your correspondents by forcing them to choose one person? What is gained by your constraint, which prevents us from suggesting that many people share the blame?
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Steve3007 »

This topic appears to be the antithesis of the view of free speech absolutists who apparently take the view that the one who pulls the trigger is the only one with any kind of blood on his hands, and that the chain of command which led to the order to pull that trigger simply constitutes the exercise of morally neutral free speech.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

LuckyR wrote: April 16th, 2021, 1:57 am
Scott wrote: April 15th, 2021, 7:02 pm
Scott wrote:
For example, consider a wealthy mob boss in a shiny spotless suit with shiny shoes, sitting in a big powerful chair. His shoes and suit alone are worth thousands of dollars, enough to save countless starving children from starvation. The mob boss orders a hit on a guy named John and asks one of his enforcers to go collect from three different local business owners who are refusing to pay into the mob boss's protection racket. One of the mob boss's paid enforcers carries out the hit on John, shooting John dead. The other enforcer, part of the mob's MRS (Mobster Revenue Service), goes to each of the three small businesses owners, one after the other, like a wolf hunting three little piggies. The first small business owner is scared as soon as the enforcer walks in and threatens him, so the enforcer is able to collect the taxes from that first small business owner simply by threat of violence without actually carrying out any overt realized violence. The second small business owner is not so easily convinced, so the enforcer breaks his leg with a baseball bat, which convinces him, so he pays up. But the third small business owner still won't pay even after getting his leg broken by baseball, and in fact he tries to run away despite his broken leg, so the mob enforcer tries to tase him but confuses his gun with a taser and shoots the small business owner in the back, killing him, allegedly accidentally. Now the mob boss won't get his money; now the mob boss might be mad; this might be against his rules for collection: shooting the business owners is a last resort according to the mob boss.

If you had to pick only one person to hold as most responsible for each instance of violence, who would you pick? Would you hold the second non-compliment business owner responsible for his broken knee? Would you hold the third non-complaint business owner responsible for his own death? Would you hold the paid enforcer responsible? Or would you place the primary responsibility for each and every instance of violence described in the above paragraph on the wealthy mob boss, not his paid enforcers let alone the victims of non-defensive violence?
LuckyR, I would love to know your answers to those questions.
LuckyR wrote: April 15th, 2021, 6:25 pm I, as most, would hold the mob boss primarily responsible. This would include the third case where the business owner died against his orders since the mob boss created the environment where the enforcer put the business owner at risk of harm. The fact that the harm was of an unintended variety, the prudent mob boss should anticipate that such an outcome was possible.
I agree. :)

While the paid enforcers might have the literal blood on their hands, the mob boss is primarily responsible for the violence and killings, and in that way the mob boss is the one who has the real (albeit figurative) blood on his hands.

For the same reason, I think the primary responsibility for the slavery she funds voluntarily with her money arguably goes to the hypothetical soccer mom with the shiny glistening blood diamond ring on her hand for using that hand to voluntary paying for soccer shoes she knows were made by child slaves. Certainly, the mob boss as entitle to a nice fancy but expensive suit as anyone is to soccer shoes and a diamond ring.

You are wise to bring up the role of prudence, and thus by extension due diligence. I think we can agree that willful ignorance is no excuse for the wanton disregard of the effects of one's actions including those done vicariously by others for money.
I think you are forgetting the responsibility of those you are trying to decide are responsible. In the mob boss case, the boss snaps his fingers and orders the enforcers to stop, and the problem evaporates.

In the soccer mom example, the subcontractor snaps his fingers and the slave labor is freed. The soccer mom does not have that power. Her response power is incredibly limited, thus so is her responsibility.
That's a good point, and I don't necessarily disagree. Though, the finger snapping is not simple in practice, in that for instance a weak mob boss might be killed and replaced by an even blood-thirsty 2nd in command. The mob boss might considers himself a benevolent dictator of sorts. If you have ever seen the movie 300, there are some scenes I really love where the invading emperor Xerxes keeps calling himself a "kind god". In one scene Xerxes says to a spartan traitor, "You will find I am kind. Unlike the cruel Leonidas, who demanded that you stand, I require only that you kneel."

To your wise point, LuckyR, we might consider a $10,000 blood diamond made by slaves is a thousand times more blood-ridden than a $10 pair of shoes made by child slaves, namely in terms of the amount of the market that would be removed if one chose not to participate. Thus, the one buying the $10k blood diamond is in a sense 1,000 times more responsible for that blood than the one buying the $10 shoes. The mob boss may be the primarily purchasers of hits in the hit-selling market, thereby single-handedly generated that market, or not.

A more specific and thus realistic example is the anonymous online viewers who literally paid Stas Reeflay to lock his pregnant wife outside in the cold. She died.

A cliché example would be a single guard working a Nazi concentration camp, just doing his job. If he chose to quit, or chose to never sign up for the SS in the first place, it's not like that would stop the holocaust.

Are we responsible for what we intentionally do or what we happen to allegedly cause? For those who answer in the latter, I'd point to my topic, The only true cause of death is birth, as a potential reductio ad absurdum.

Perhaps it doesn't matter that much if the person would die anyway, if the holocaust would happen anyway, if Stas Reeflay would eventually kill his wife anyway. Perhaps what matters much more is if one intentionally knowningly chooses to help make it happen when they easily could snap their fingers and withdraw their active financial support. What do you think?


***
Pattern-chaser wrote: April 16th, 2021, 9:03 am In the examples you give, it is obvious that responsibility might be spread among many people. Why limit your correspondents by forcing them to choose one person? What is gained by your constraint, which prevents us from suggesting that many people share the blame?
It's a bit off-topic why I asked the question I ask, since the topic is (1) the questions in the OP and (2) your answers if you choose to answer.

Nonetheless, off-topic as it may be to mention, some of the many factors when quickly and somewhat arbitrarily choosing to ask the question the way I did are as follows:

1. Simplicity

2. To be coherent with humans tendency towards scapegoating single individuals (e.g. using Hitler to symbolize the entire holocaust which was a group effort)

3. To make it harder for people to blame-shift, using the fact that there are others who are also responsible to distract from the one who is arguably most responsible, which can falsely give the impression that the one who is most responsible is not responsible at all. In other words, by intentionally and explicitly playing into the human tendency towards scapegoating as part of the question itself, I think it helps prevent that technique from being arbitrarily used later.

4. To hopefully prove the point that generally speaking the one who literally pulls the trigger is not the one who has the most figurative blood on their hands. That point can be most simply shown if we simply find one person who is more responsible than the trigger-puller (namely the person most responsible of a few options) and there's no need to keep going down the line to second most responsible and third most responsible etc. If and when we find that the one person most responsible is not the trigger-puller, the titular claim is already demonstrated and going further than that (i.e. looking into who else is responsible besides the most responsible) would be superfluous.

Nonetheless, even if I am wrong about the above four things, meaning my question as worded fails to achieve those goals, the questions in the OP still stand.

I have no doubt in my mind that the OP could have been written better to achieve any goals I had in mind when I wrote it, but the questions still stand as written.

I have no doubt that each and every post I have ever written on this forum could have been written better and more clearly or that we could spend long hours investigating the motivations behind any one of them, but ultimately those motivations are almost entirely irrelevant, and the questions int he OP still stand, as written.

Whatever the motivation behind writing the OP was, the questions in it still stand as written. :)


****
Steve3007 wrote: April 16th, 2021, 9:45 am This topic appears to be the antithesis of the view of free speech absolutists who apparently take the view that the one who pulls the trigger is the only one with any kind of blood on his hands, and that the chain of command which led to the order to pull that trigger simply constitutes the exercise of morally neutral free speech.
Perhaps. I'm not really familiar with anyone who claims to actually believe such a thesis so it's hard to say whether my point is the antithesis of that thesis, but based on your description it certainly sounds like the two views would be incompatible at the very least.

However, I think it's very different if someone merely uses speech to suggest somebody commit non-defensive violence (e.g. "Hey, Jim, why don't you go slap that baby?") versus when somebody hires or pays another person to commit non-defensive violence.

In other words, it's very different to verbally encourage someone to commit murder for free than to offer the person money to commit murder thereby hiring the person as a hitman.

In addition to "commanding" non-defensive violence using a chain-of-command, this financial way of viewing chains of command and commanding is useful for measuring cases of sexual harassment and assault. It's very different if your boss who pays your slavery asks you to do something (for money) versus some guy on the street asking you to do it but offering you no actual incentive, namely a financial incentive.

It's like the difference between writing a letter to child enslaveres that says "keep up the good work!" but without sending them any money or buying their product, versus buying the shoes they make despite knowing those shoes are made by child salves and the money voluntarily paid for the shoes is going to enslavers to fund child slavery.

It's like the difference between (1) verbally suggesting to a buddy at the bar who is thinking of starting a business that he start a brothel full of underage sex slaves, but not actually funding or helping him do it, versus (2) being a financial investor or paying customer of his, buying the services of child sex slaves, voluntarily funding the child slavery with one's own money.

If "free speech absolutists" are people who want it to be legal to hire a hitman for money, then indeed that would likely be the antithesis of what I am proposing in the OP. I would argue that the one hiring the hitman is even more responsible for the murder than the hitman pulling the literal trigger and getting the literal blood on his hands.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Empiricist-Bruno »

You seem to firmly believe that pulling the trigger is bad or reprehensible and I disagree with that. Propelling a bullet toward someone is bad and it's not what someone who pulls the trigger does; it's the gun that does the bad deed. So long as we can't to bring ourselves to that point, this discussion seems futile to me.

Guns kill and those who find them innocent (or present them in a context where they appear innocent) are guilty as hell.

If you want to improve your character, take responsibility for your own actions as taking responsibility for others' actions will not empower you and likely will not help anyone.
The most stupid and less educated will often appear to do the worst acts that were suggested by cunning others. They often don't know it's bad and have lost their moral compass. I think they are very responsible even if the power to stop themselves evades them.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Scott »

Hi, @Empiricist-Bruno,
Empiricist-Bruno wrote: April 16th, 2021, 9:47 pm You seem to firmly believe that pulling the trigger is bad or reprehensible...
I don't think that. I don't believe in badness or evil. I'm sorry that what I wrote wasn't clear and gave that false impression.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Paid enforcers only have literal blood on their hands.

Post by Sy Borg »

The chain of cause and effect goes for as long as one thinks it matters. What of the mob boss's parents? Or grandparents? What was the family culture and how exceptional was the family in the urban environment in which they came up? Or maybe the mob boss had a mentor / corrupter?

So I blame life itself (but would lock up the mob boss and the killers for the sake of social safety). The fact is that we all have to kill and/or exploit to survive and thrive. That's the overarching dynamic of life. At this stage.
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