Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succeeds

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Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succeeds

Postby mitchellmckain on June 15th, 2018, 2:21 am 

First of all, what is the objective?

The primary concern is not legislating morality -- not the sex trade per se, but human trafficking and the abuse of women and children that goes along with it. That is why legalization is sometimes considered as a possible solution.

And so legalization was tried in the Netherlands. But now the Netherlands admit that this experiment is a complete failure and is now making the move to shut down those red-light districts completely. Legal prostitution apparently only increases illegal prostitution and thus exacerbates the problem of human trafficking and abuse increases rather than decreases.

By contrast other countries have adopted legislation that has worked marvels, reducing prostitution by 80% in only 5 years. The success is due to targeting not the prostitutes but the purchasers -- after all, they are the ones with something to lose. This approach, called neo-abolitionism, treats the prostitute as the victim rather than the criminal. When you think about this a little, it makes a great deal of sense. Legalization only succeeds in creating an atmosphere of acceptance for a consumer market and that money attracts human trafficking. Eliminate the appeal for consumers and the whole industry falls apart.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby SciameriKen on June 15th, 2018, 9:38 am 

Does this work? I thought cities have been going undercover to get the Johns for ages with no results on curbing it?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby Braininvat on June 15th, 2018, 10:27 am 

Wondered that too. You don't get called "the world's oldest profession" by easily collapsing under enforcement sweeps.

A better solution is treating drug addiction and lack of education and poverty -- the social problems that propel women in the direction of whoring. But that takes hard work and finesse and compassion.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby Reg_Prescott on June 15th, 2018, 10:39 am 

Braininvat » June 15th, 2018, 11:27 pm wrote:Wondered that too. You don't get called "the world's oldest profession" .


This is an outrage. She makes good money and never nags before dawn
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 15th, 2018, 3:21 pm 

SciameriKen » June 15th, 2018, 8:38 am wrote:Does this work? I thought cities have been going undercover to get the Johns for ages with no results on curbing it?


Apparently it does work. This approach has apparently been spreading through Europe with great success (Canada too I think) and now looks like the prevailing approach to the problem. It was probably only a surprise to me because I am a USA American and we can be a bit backward on such issues.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 15th, 2018, 3:29 pm 

Braininvat » June 15th, 2018, 9:27 am wrote:Wondered that too. You don't get called "the world's oldest profession" by easily collapsing under enforcement sweeps.

A better solution is treating drug addiction and lack of education and poverty -- the social problems that propel women in the direction of whoring. But that takes hard work and finesse and compassion.


Remember, I am not talking about eliminating the sex trade. I have very little doubt that it will find ways to survive by simply changing its methods. But changes which improve the lot of sex workers don't really count in this analysis. I suppose the real question to ask is whether it is simply making the abuses and human trafficking less visible, but I suspect what is happening is that by becoming something which only the few wealthier dogs can indulge in that the human trafficking problems and abuses are becoming a bit more rarified -- not eliminated but reduced, and that is worthwhile, don't you think?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 16th, 2018, 1:57 am 

Worst thing you can do for a drug addict is give them money. Dry up illegal sources of income and provide treatment seems like a reasonable approach to help the most vulnerable who may be attracted to prostitution.

The question of civil liberties remains an issue for me. Prostitution, drugs and gambling can be victimless activities that the government has no justification to criminalize. Each of these activities has negative social consequences that can legitimately be criminal. From a libertarian perspective human trafficking, theft, extortion, and the numerous other consequences of vice are where the law enforcement efforts should be made. Unfortunately I'm not a libertarian my temperament and social engineering has an emotional appeal that I have to guard against. Limited government is not for the faint of heart nor societies where personal responsibility is uncommon.

We did not evolve to live in complex societies. For most of our history it is likely that the consequences of anti social behavior was death. Tribal life and poverty enforce egalitarianism. Each of the vices mentioned are facilitated by material wealth in excess of subsistence. If we are to be materially wealthy then the cure for the negative consequences has to be spiritual.

All of the hypothetical utopian social systems require a shared morality that cannot be imposed by a government. That is the grain of truth in the libertarian philosophy. How we encourage individual morality in an increasingly atheistic society is proving to be an extremely complex problem.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby Reg_Prescott on June 16th, 2018, 4:54 am 

I didn't have time to read the whole thread.

How much for Wolfhnd in a jockstrap?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 16th, 2018, 3:57 pm 

Perhaps you can simply look at it from the point of view of how regulation increases or decreases chaos. Take prohibition for example. Alcohol consumption was a serious problem but prohibition created it's own problems. The lesson of prohibition however need a nuanced analysis.

https://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/16/opin ... ccess.html

There are more scholarly articles behind pay walls that show prohibition of alcohol had a positive effect on reducing domestic violence against women, one of it's major objectives. Defining the objectives transforms the measures of success. The fact that we do not have a shared grand narrative makes defining success nearly impossible and thus chaos and the culture wars.

When I said we need a spiritual solution I was not talking about religion but about a sense of meaning that keeps nihilism at bay.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 17th, 2018, 1:03 am 

wolfhnd » June 16th, 2018, 2:57 pm wrote:When I said we need a spiritual solution I was not talking about religion but about a sense of meaning that keeps nihilism at bay.

What in the world does THAT mean? ..."keep nihilism at bay?"
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby edy420 on June 17th, 2018, 3:57 am 

Thinking of a prostitute as a victim is an interesting concept.

I wonder how many prostitutes do it because they enjoy the work.
I suspect that most of them are forced to do it in some way, and really are victims.

But can we really say that the buyers are abusers?
If they had the option to spend their money somewhere legal, then I think not.
Prostitutes as employees have employment contracts to read, understand and sign.
In this environment, buyers are not abusive.

Why then, are buyers treated as criminals when trading on the street.
Is it because we simply assume that all street prostitutes are victims?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 17th, 2018, 4:48 am 

mitchellmckain » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:03 am wrote:
wolfhnd » June 16th, 2018, 2:57 pm wrote:When I said we need a spiritual solution I was not talking about religion but about a sense of meaning that keeps nihilism at bay.

What in the world does THAT mean? ..."keep nihilism at bay?"


Nihilism is a complex idea with both a philosophical and psychological meaning. Teasing it apart at length would result in a monologue not a discussion.

For simplicities sake I will simply assert that meaning is what motivates life. In complex societies that have reached a certain level of material and political security survival becomes abstract and in a way life becomes abstract as well as it's meaning. When you have the luxury to ponder the meaning of life and you have taken an incompatibilist point of view, as much of modern society has, then the meaning of your individual choices is reliant on your "spiritual" health. Much of the prevalent philosophy such as post modernism is antithetical to the biological necessity for meaning and combined with the materialistic nature of capitalism society falls prey to nihilism. What staves off spiritual malaise and nihilism is a shared grand narrative in the absence of which "morality" declines and social cohesion becomes impossible.

If we our to address social issues we must agree on a priority of meaning or motivation in the sense of what is important. Certainly a deterministic perspective can inform us of necessity but it doesn't provide the necessary meaning to effectively pursue individually and collectively survival strategies that have become dependent on abstractions. The fact that meaning like consciousness has evolved does not mean that a reductionist approach is sufficient to deal with the complexity involved. We can look to evolutionary psychology and other sciences only to set the rough boundaries of what is possible. Our morality is bounded by biology but developed by metaphysics. What is important is restrained both by competency and spiritual health.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 17th, 2018, 4:54 am 

edy420 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:57 am wrote:Thinking of a prostitute as a victim is an interesting concept.

I wonder how many prostitutes do it because they enjoy the work.
I suspect that most of them are forced to do it in some way, and really are victims.

But can we really say that the buyers are abusers?
If they had the option to spend their money somewhere legal, then I think not.
Prostitutes as employees have employment contracts to read, understand and sign.
In this environment, buyers are not abusive.

Why then, are buyers treated as criminals when trading on the street.
Is it because we simply assume that all street prostitutes are victims?


Now you are sounding like an objectivist. You have stated the libertarian argument of non compulsion pretty well but we all know that behavior has to be regulated by agreed on morality or chaos will set in making voluntary exchange impossible.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 17th, 2018, 10:50 am 

wolfhnd » June 17th, 2018, 3:48 am wrote:When I said we need a spiritual solution I was not talking about religion but about a sense of meaning that keeps nihilism at bay.
mitchellmckain » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:03 am wrote:What in the world does THAT mean? ..."keep nihilism at bay?"


Nihilism is a complex idea with both a philosophical and psychological meaning. Teasing it apart at length would result in a monologue not a discussion.

... then how does "keep nihilism at bay" not amount to making people think as you decide they should?

As such it may be a valid personal reason for what you do, but I don't see how this could stand as an objective reason for doing things. Trying to stamp out a philosophical point of view is not going to fly as a reason for doing something in a free society -- not unless you can show it to be incompatible with the ideals of a free society. I may personally disagree with the modern philosophical viewpoint that meaning does not exist, but I am not going to give stamping it out as a reason for secular policy.

wolfhnd » June 17th, 2018, 3:54 am wrote: but we all know that behavior has to be regulated by agreed on morality or chaos will set in making voluntary exchange impossible.

All societies must impose something upon its citizens... that is true. But in a free society we keep this to the minimal requirements for religious freedom and tolerance, where one person's freedom ends a the same liberty of others and where we can demonstrate objective evidence for harm being done to them.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 17th, 2018, 4:09 pm 

All societies must impose something upon its citizens... that is true. But in a free society we keep this to the minimal requirements for religious freedom and tolerance, where one person's freedom ends a the same liberty of others and where we can demonstrate objective evidence for harm being done to them.


I think we would agree that some level of voluntary compliance with a shared morality is required in a free society?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 17th, 2018, 6:14 pm 

wolfhnd » June 17th, 2018, 3:09 pm wrote:
All societies must impose something upon its citizens... that is true. But in a free society we keep this to the minimal requirements for religious freedom and tolerance, where one person's freedom ends a the same liberty of others and where we can demonstrate objective evidence for harm being done to them.


I think we would agree that some level of voluntary compliance with a shared morality is required in a free society?


As long as it is recognized that the shared morality is likely to be some minimal subset of a persons morality which is likely to include their own personal moral commitments as well, then sure. In other words, this compliance with a shared morality is not the same as an agreement on what constitutes morality.

So to be more clear we have at least three levels of "morality" implied here.
1. A secular morality which must be enforced in order for the government to protect the individual.
2. This voluntary compliance with a shared morality which may not be enforceable but without which a free society cannot function for long.
3. Personal ideas of morality which may go beyond either of those in 1 or 2, which one cannot reasonably expect others to agree with, like for example vegetarianism or the kind of pacifism which requires conscientious objection to participation in combat.

I can acknowledge the possibility of number 2 without being entirely sure what it consists of exactly. But I seem to remember cases where the law could do nothing about something which someone has done which is utterly contemptible. And thus perhaps there are things which cannot be enforced but which we must have some trust that people are in general not doing such things -- a basic sort of decency towards ones fellow human beings I suppose is what it consists of.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby SciameriKen on June 17th, 2018, 10:07 pm 

edy420 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:57 am wrote:Thinking of a prostitute as a victim is an interesting concept.

I wonder how many prostitutes do it because they enjoy the work.
I suspect that most of them are forced to do it in some way, and really are victims.

But can we really say that the buyers are abusers?
If they had the option to spend their money somewhere legal, then I think not.
Prostitutes as employees have employment contracts to read, understand and sign.
In this environment, buyers are not abusive.

Why then, are buyers treated as criminals when trading on the street.
Is it because we simply assume that all street prostitutes are victims?


Thank you Edy for putting my thoughts into words here. When industry at the turn of the century enlisted child workers we didn't call the people who bought the products criminals -- it was the companies people went after. In this case you have the business owners (if you will) who are enslaving women with physical and mental abuse -- and the answer to this is to go after the customers? Why don't we go after them?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 17th, 2018, 10:41 pm 

SciameriKen » June 17th, 2018, 9:07 pm wrote:Thank you Edy for putting my thoughts into words here. When industry at the turn of the century enlisted child workers we didn't call the people who bought the products criminals -- it was the companies people went after. In this case you have the business owners (if you will) who are enslaving women with physical and mental abuse -- and the answer to this is to go after the customers? Why don't we go after them?


Yeah just pull out those magical bad-guy elimination spells.

I am sure people said the same thing during prohibition until they were blue in the face. But the reality is that when there is enough money in it then corruption undermines efforts to solve the problem that way. In that case, legalization worked better and deterring the consumer market wasn't effective. People wonder if the same solution (legalization) might be needed in dealing with other things too. But apparently it doesn't work too well in eliminating abuse and human trafficking in the sex trade.

Just like then, different countries are trying out different solutions to see what works. Babble about who is really to blame just doesn't measure up to the realities of abuse and human trafficking. We are more interested in what is most effective in reducing the most human suffering we can. At least, that interests me a lot more than gooble-dee-gook about who are the real criminals.

You know... maybe it has more to due with the times than the solution. Perhaps detering the consumers would not have been so effective a hundred years ago, and it is only the entertainment options of today which makes it work so well.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 17th, 2018, 10:46 pm 

Some additional thoughts on meaning.

A women caller asked Sam Harris how she could raise a child to have positive values and be moral in a world in which freewill doesn't exist. Harris more or less replied that she should lie. To be fair I'm sure that Harris's argument is more nuanced than the story reflects. I would argue however that the incompatibilist argument implies that choices only have consequences not meaning. Remove meaning and formulating a morality becomes difficult. I would further argue that the lack of morality damages the individual spirit deprived of meaning and purpose.

For people like Harris for whom many doors are open meaning is inherent in their circumstances almost as birth right. Their intellectual gifts insure them a place in the hierarchy if they want it. For the vast majority of people a place in the hierarchy is out of the question. They have no way of competing in a world where increasingly IQ matters. That so many turn to drugs and prostitution is not surprising.

In the past family and community provided meaning for those with lesser intellectual ability. The sexual revolution, feminism, atheism, identity politics, the welfare state, capitalist materialism and neo Marxism has stripped meaning from their lives leaving them spiritually impoverished.

My focus on meaning spiritual poverty are in part a response to the Jordan Peterson phenomenon. He obviously has struck a deep chord with many people. I have a slightly different take on his message than most people. He seems to believe there is deep meaning in religious texts. I certainly wouldn't discount that religious text, mythology and literature are a relevant guide to cultural evolution. In some ways digging into them tells us more than materialists approaches of archeology and traditional history because they express the spiritual struggle for meaning. What I think Peterson is doing however is connecting the traditionally dead history to the emotional, instinctual, origin of meaning in our distant evolutionary past.

If you have time at the end of this video Peterson talks about the biological origin of meaning. Meaning it seems is built into life but the prevalent post modernist and neo Marxist ideas of social constructionism is breaking the necessary bond between meaning of and dignity of the individual leading to a culture that is fairly nihilist. This is not as Peterson seems to imply or as Fredrick Nietzsche may have believed unique to the 20th century. It can be seen in any successful society such as the Roman empire when luxury allows for it to germinate.

https://youtu.be/cRUj1toI_Jw

You could make a good argument that the post modernist and neo Marxist ideology is not prevalent as Peterson suggests it is in society and that a materialistic capitalist system is to blame for the prevalence of nihilistic attitudes. I accept that but I'm not making a specific argument as to causation because of complexity. My argument is only that meaning and morality are linked.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 17th, 2018, 11:33 pm 

SciameriKen » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:07 am wrote:
edy420 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:57 am wrote:Thinking of a prostitute as a victim is an interesting concept.

I wonder how many prostitutes do it because they enjoy the work.
I suspect that most of them are forced to do it in some way, and really are victims.

But can we really say that the buyers are abusers?
If they had the option to spend their money somewhere legal, then I think not.
Prostitutes as employees have employment contracts to read, understand and sign.
In this environment, buyers are not abusive.

Why then, are buyers treated as criminals when trading on the street.
Is it because we simply assume that all street prostitutes are victims?


Thank you Edy for putting my thoughts into words here. When industry at the turn of the century enlisted child workers we didn't call the people who bought the products criminals -- it was the companies people went after. In this case you have the business owners (if you will) who are enslaving women with physical and mental abuse -- and the answer to this is to go after the customers? Why don't we go after them?


This is the argument for legalization in so far as without demand for illegal services there would be no criminals providing those services. The counter argument is that without demand there would be no criminal services or criminal service providers.

I saw a gay rights advocate today saying that it was bigotry and the resulting secrecy that made aids an epidemic. He completely ignored the role of irresponsible sexual behavior. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Similarly it is hard to justify illegal marijuana use knowing that the drug trade has almost destroyed Mexico. Nobody needs to visit a prostitute or buy illegal drugs and the moral choice is to not supply demand until you have exhausted the political process for legalization.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 18th, 2018, 2:34 am 

Daniel Dennett shares same formula for creating meaning as Jordan Peterson

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7fjkbm26loE
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby edy420 on June 18th, 2018, 3:50 am 

It would be interesting to see if the Netherlands does take this approach, and see how it affects the levels of victimised prostitution.

But there are other elements to consider that may be affected by such a big change..
Crime rates with regards to rape, theft and Violence.
Will the number of orphaned children increase or decrease?
Does drug use go down or up?

The ultimate question is, if successful in reducing prostitution, is it successful in reducing overall harm in society?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby mitchellmckain on June 18th, 2018, 4:10 am 

edy420 » June 18th, 2018, 2:50 am wrote:The ultimate question is, if successful in reducing prostitution, is it successful in reducing overall harm in society?

Well there is probably good reason to believe that many of the same people in prostitution will find some other way to make a mess of their life. Furthermore, even if neo-abolitionism reduces the human trafficking to that country because of the reduced consumer market, this doesn't prevent the human traffickers from moving their business and thus all the same victims to a country that does have the market for it. But then... that is down to those countries who are not dealing with the problem, isn't it?

But I don't think these arguments really succeed in shooting down the success of neo-abolitionism. It is rather unlikely that ALL the people in prostitution will simply mess their lives up in a different way. And less of a market in one country still means a smaller market globally. So I cannot see how this doesn't give us a positive net effect, no matter how hopeless particular individual cases may be.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby SciameriKen on June 18th, 2018, 8:08 am 

wolfhnd » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:33 am wrote:
SciameriKen » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:07 am wrote:
edy420 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:57 am wrote:Thinking of a prostitute as a victim is an interesting concept.

I wonder how many prostitutes do it because they enjoy the work.
I suspect that most of them are forced to do it in some way, and really are victims.

But can we really say that the buyers are abusers?
If they had the option to spend their money somewhere legal, then I think not.
Prostitutes as employees have employment contracts to read, understand and sign.
In this environment, buyers are not abusive.

Why then, are buyers treated as criminals when trading on the street.
Is it because we simply assume that all street prostitutes are victims?


Thank you Edy for putting my thoughts into words here. When industry at the turn of the century enlisted child workers we didn't call the people who bought the products criminals -- it was the companies people went after. In this case you have the business owners (if you will) who are enslaving women with physical and mental abuse -- and the answer to this is to go after the customers? Why don't we go after them?


This is the argument for legalization in so far as without demand for illegal services there would be no criminals providing those services. The counter argument is that without demand there would be no criminal services or criminal service providers.

I saw a gay rights advocate today saying that it was bigotry and the resulting secrecy that made aids an epidemic. He completely ignored the role of irresponsible sexual behavior. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Similarly it is hard to justify illegal marijuana use knowing that the drug trade has almost destroyed Mexico. Nobody needs to visit a prostitute or buy illegal drugs and the moral choice is to not supply demand until you have exhausted the political process for legalization.



Its tough to answer your comments here without firing out a bunch of snark. Maybe just let mitchell answer it...

mitchellmckain wrote:Yeah just pull out those magical bad-guy elimination spells.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby SciameriKen on June 18th, 2018, 8:45 am 

mitchellmckain » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:41 am wrote:
SciameriKen » June 17th, 2018, 9:07 pm wrote:Thank you Edy for putting my thoughts into words here. When industry at the turn of the century enlisted child workers we didn't call the people who bought the products criminals -- it was the companies people went after. In this case you have the business owners (if you will) who are enslaving women with physical and mental abuse -- and the answer to this is to go after the customers? Why don't we go after them?


Yeah just pull out those magical bad-guy elimination spells.

I am sure people said the same thing during prohibition until they were blue in the face. But the reality is that when there is enough money in it then corruption undermines efforts to solve the problem that way. In that case, legalization worked better and deterring the consumer market wasn't effective. People wonder if the same solution (legalization) might be needed in dealing with other things too. But apparently, it doesn't work too well in eliminating abuse and human trafficking in the sex trade.

Just like then, different countries are trying out different solutions to see what works. Babble about who is really to blame just doesn't measure up to the realities of abuse and human trafficking. We are more interested in what is most effective in reducing the most human suffering we can. At least, that interests me a lot more than gooble-dee-gook about who are the real criminals.

You know... maybe it has more to due with the times than the solution. Perhaps detering the consumers would not have been so effective a hundred years ago, and it is only the entertainment options of today which makes it work so well.


The issue with legalization in Amsterdam is they are one of few places that offer the service. The result is that they have become a travel destination for prostitution and created a demand that can't be met by the natural population - to meet this demand criminal elements are forcing women against their will. There is a possibility that if prostitution was legal around the world that this effect would not happen - of course the other possibility that doing so would simply scale up the evil being done now.

The situation may be unique to Amsterdam - as criminal gangs underlying Nevada legalized sex trade does not appear to be as prominent - however, according to wikipedia, it is claimed the legal organizations that run the brothels can be just as bad (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Nevada).

Its a tough situation that there may be no correct answer in solving. "Going after the Johns" has been tried before and maybe it does keep overall demand lower - here's an opinion article about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/27/opin ... trade.html

However, other problems can come of it including prison over crowding - and you'd have to question if anything works considering it seems like child prostitution seems so rampant these days.

I guess all we can hope for is that these are just a few more of the jobs lost to AI robots :)
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby Braininvat on June 18th, 2018, 12:19 pm 

This topic makes for interesting political theory chats, since it touches on a basic issue of libertarian freedom versus government control. It does seem to be a case where identifying the "villain" is difficult and possibly counterproductive. Many young men, for example, find a particular joy in doing things they couldn't do as children. Entering adulthood means experimenting - driving fast cars, drinking heavily, trying mindbending drugs, getting tattoos...and for some, going to a brothel and perhaps paying someone to do all the stuff your GF refuses to do. Or, for some, just getting laid in the first place. Human behavior is complex and multifarious, and so legal nets often scoop up persons who are not violent and mean no harm to others. Many "johns" may not realize the exploitation they are supporting by seeing a prostitute. Ignorance is a big lubricant to many kinds of recreation. A moral young man may exploit a woman because he is ignorant, not because he has deliberately tried to abandon his principles. A moral young woman may turn tricks because she needs money to take care of an aging parent or a child - not every prostitute is an amoral crackwhore.

To really work out these thorny issues does require, as Wolfhound et al started to explore, an examination of your basic ideological principles. We all see issues where the Libertarian's freedom stops when the swinging of their arms happens to intersect with someone else's nose. All societies have basic common moral precepts regarding harm to others, murder, protection of the most vulnerable, and so on. Our society seems to prize the freedom to make a lot of mistakes and therefore accept somewhat reduced protection from an overarching authority structure. (that is the tradition - that's shifting these days, of course....) The question is, are we all agreed on the costs of that sort of freedom? As in: what if a young woman makes a mistake by getting involved with a pimp, and then finds herself trapped in a horrible exploitative situation?

With other issues, like marijuana use, more consensus seems to be developing, because it's clear that most people would prefer freedom of choice on their recreational drugs, and legalization does seem to reduce some dangerous levels of criminality and violent turf battles. Also, MJ has great potential for tax revenue.

Prostitution seems more complex, because the commodity in question is a sentient being, a person, and our society has found some grave difficulties when human beings are turned into commodities (slavery, for example, didn't work out too well). And perhaps that should be the core principle that we home in on, in deciding how much freedom is proper. To be sure, there is a gray area there - when is a prostitute to be viewed as a trained sex therapist, rather than a commodity (a piece of meat, for a man's gratification?)? I think that's a very slippery slope, and there would need to be some seriously enforced legal structure to prevent exploitation and commodification.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 18th, 2018, 12:40 pm 

Go ahead and be snarky but I'm pretty sure that it would be something along the lines of don't blame the victims. That is fine up to point but pointing out how behaviour that makes someone more likely to be victimized is not improperly placing blame.

The conservatives have a point about family values that is relevant. What percent of the victims of prostitution come from fatherless families? The two best predictors of life success are IQ and coming from a two parent family. It's true that women were being victimized when traditional family values were the norm but how much of that was a result of broken families due to alcohol abuse? While I'm in favor of legalizing drugs we can be certain that we will have the the same problems as we have with legal alcohol.

Take the girls that are abused by grooming gangs in Britain. How many of those girls come from families that are characterized by healthy relationships? What are young girls doing on the streets unsupervised? What role does the welfare state play in broken families?

I'm pretty libertarian and would like to see prostitution and drugs decriminalize but I'm also prudish enough that I would like to live in a society where there is no need for prostitution because people are in happy monogamous relationships and people don't abuse drugs because they have meaningful lives.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 18th, 2018, 12:52 pm 

I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing my song but the question is what did you do today to make life more meaningful for your partner, your family, your neighborhood, and society at large. At least part of the problem is a culture that exhorts the pursuit of happiness instead of responsibility. Isn't prostitution and drug use just self medication for spiritual malaise?
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby Braininvat on June 18th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

wolfhnd » June 18th, 2018, 9:40 am wrote:Go ahead and be snarky...


I've found that many members here do not need permission to be snarky. :-D

I see questions there that require a lot more data - e.g. the number of prostitutes who come from single parent or dysfunctional family situations. Sometimes having one parent is a blessing, when the responsible parent has fled with the children from a parent whose presence was harmful. As Tolstoy says at the start of "Anna Karenina," each family is unhappy in their own way.

Family values approaches are constructive only when it's actually possible to determine how those values specfically affect child development and a good learning and growing environment. If a child with an abusive parent is then taken by the other parent to a more stable situation, that may prove to be in that case more nurturing and allow the child to absorb good values. A two-parent family is not always synonymous with a healthy nurturing environment, especially if the parents fight all the time and are abusive to each other and/or the children. Or one of the parents is a heavy drug user. That is precisely why social workers handle individual cases, and don't just push statistics around to make decisions.

Anyone who saw the excellent indie film, The Florida Project, may come away with a sense of the complexity of the prostitute's situation, especially when it is a woman with a child. What seemed key was that the woman seemed to have no other marketable skill and no other way to keep herself and her child from being homeless. Unskilled jobs were unavailable. If she had been effectively "enforced," i.e. the police had stopped her from turning tricks and prevented johns from hooking up with her online, then Willem Dafoe (the motel manager) would have kicked her out for not paying the rent and she and her girl would be homeless. What sort of protection would a Libertarian have to offer her then? Aside from "nyah nyah nyah, you were a bad mom and a naughty girl, and you deserve your fate," I mean. I'm not ready to become a social Darwinist, in this regard.
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Re: Prostitution: legalization fails neo-abolitionism succee

Postby wolfhnd on June 18th, 2018, 2:07 pm 

Bad parenting is secondary to bad social norms. I don't see how this got taken out of context.
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