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[P]
Libertarian Rhetoric is Counterproductive

By CaptainSuperBoy in Op-Ed
Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:14:24 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

There's a problem with typical libertarian rhetoric, and it's illustrated in this article in New Hampshire's Union Leader. When we speak like crazed Rand-worshippers, how do we expect people to react? Of course they're going to call us 'cultists.'

From the article: "if you care at all about New Hampshire, you should do everything in your power to cause the Free Staters and Towners to abort their mission. They're nothing but a selfish group of anarchist carpetbaggers whose sole purpose is to destroy a place and people they don't give two hoots about."

(I'm not a member of the FSP by the way, just taking an interest.)


The Free State Project is an ambitious undertaking, whose ultimate goal is to move 20,000 libertarians to the state of New Hampshire, in order to form a libertarian state within the US. The Free Town Project, an offshoot, wants to take this further still by moving to a specific town and establishing a libertarian town government, free from mandatory recycling and beautification ordinances. Needless to say, many FSP members are distancing themselves from the FTP.

And what's got Gregg Ramsay, the author of the op-ed, so hot and bothered? Crazed Free Staters on the Internet posting garbage like this: "We don't want their honey, we do want them out of their hives. If they sting we swat, and if they don't wise up we torch the hive." And this: "[we should] ensure that the Town Police are never allowed to waste valuable Town resources (taken from the residents as taxes AT THE POINT OF A GUN)."

The back-story is that the Free Town Project has chosen to colonize Grafton due to its lax zoning laws. But whose fault are those laws? There's not much you can do if people choose to buy land and build houses in your town. Still, they're going to put up a fight. I've experienced small-government politics and I know how ugly these things can get. Idealism goes right out the window when people feel their homes or their way of life is threatened. Sure it's xenophobic, but I'm just trying to be realistic here. The Free Towners (and Free Staters by proxy) should try to make friends, not enemies. After all these are their future neighbors.

Granted it's not wise for Gregg Ramsay (professor at Pace University in NY, according to the article) to respond to anything posted on the Internet. People say a lot of stupid things on the net and it's best to ignore it. I have a feeling that he found the worst of the several thousand messages posted to the Free Town Project mailing list and wrote an article about it. No libertarians have yet moved to Grafton and tried to take over his precious town, but he is worried that they'd "legalize drugs, prostitution, incest and other crimes they refer to as 'victimless.'"

I'm recommending that libertarians tone down their cult-like rhetoric, and in return non-libertarians should honestly consider whether the ideals of small government and personal responsibility are really that harmful.

To: Zealous Free Staters
Yeah, it's terrible that they're xenophobic and the landlords are refusing to rent to you. But you brought it upon yourselves for being SO confrontational. Did you have to call the townies socialists at the town meeting? Was that really necessary? Tone down the "omg government jackboots taking taxes at the point of a gun, I live my life for no other man, imperialist pig" talk. Even outside of the FSP, this kind of rhetoric does NOTHING for the libertarian cause. Lasting change doesn't happen overnight. You can't expect to achieve a free state tomorrow.

To: Gregg Ramsay
You're a big-government liberal, and we (libertarians) disagree with you. I understand that you think you're smarter than everyone else, and you want to ban things that you believe are harmful to society. Yes you do, it's your party platform. But saying things like "[their] sole purpose is to destroy a place and people they don't give two hoots about" isn't helping my estimate of your IQ. Obviously that's not the intent of the project. There may be a few bad apples, but hey: are the current Grafton residents ALL perfect? Don't think you're any better than the FSP members. And geez, toughen up a little. People say all kinds of things online. If you read something online that you dislike, it doesn't mean you have to write a whole indignant article about it.

Of course, maybe I should take my own advice on that one.

Kuro5hin previously covered the creation of the Free State Project and the selection of New Hampshire as the "free state."

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Poll
Is it acceptable for a political group to move to an area en masse and reshape its culture through legal, nonviolent means?
o Yes 75%
o No 24%

Votes: 108
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Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o this article in New Hampshire's Union Leader
o Rand
o Free State Project
o distancing themselves
o chosen to colonize Grafton
o Free Town Project mailing list
o creation of the Free State Project
o selection of New Hampshire as the "free state."
o Also by CaptainSuperBoy


Display: Sort:
Libertarian Rhetoric is Counterproductive | 548 comments (509 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
i respectfully disagree. (2.52 / 21) (#1)
by rmg on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 07:43:51 PM EST

i think libertarian rhetoric is a wonderfully productive and useful thing. without it, some of my most amusing bites would be flat and lifeless.

you see, i love libertarians, much as i love lambs and young, orphaned girls. they are such sweet, silly little creatures. their indignation and impotent rage is like ClearEyes to my sickly yellow corneas -- a nectar draught so clear and strong it washes away all the loathing and derision... their squeals are like none other -- no orphan of any stripe can match them!

if there is anything better, and there might be, it is a liberalist, but even they do not have the firey spirits and squeaky voices i've grown to love. they lack the arrogance (at least the degree), i think.

yes, i do believe libertarians are my favorites and i'll thank you not to discourage their defining characteristic!

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean

what about the indymedia crowd? (none / 2) (#7)
by Battle Troll on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 09:17:08 PM EST

The contradiction may be seen, on a less abstract level, in the altruistic and idealistic practice of, for example, the Russian Nihilists of the last century, a practice in flagrant contradiction of their purely materialistic and egoistic theory; Vladimir Solovyov cleverly pointed out this discrepancy by ascribing to them the syllogism, "Man is descended from monkeys, consequently we shall love one another."
-- Fr. Seraphim (Eugene) Rose
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
well, i got a lot on my plate (none / 1) (#12)
by rmg on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 10:01:12 PM EST

with the dailykos. maybe i'll check out this "indymedia" of yours later.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 1) (#60)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:03:32 AM EST

It would be interesting to try for a troll that would work crossposted to both... I'm just sayin'...
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
actually, (none / 1) (#61)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:13:28 AM EST

i've been thinking atrios might be the best way to go about that. i'll need another kos account, though.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Trying to troll indymedia (2.42 / 7) (#27)
by mcc on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:18:42 AM EST

Is like trying to warm the sun

[ Parent ]
0, unimaginative simile. (none / 2) (#169)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:08:13 PM EST

for god's sake, similes are made for off-the-wall comaprisons. come on. think!

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

you know, I wanted some mad pr0pz (none / 1) (#170)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:22:56 PM EST

For suggesting posting about Fr. Seraphim Rose on dKos. I guess I'm playing to the wrong crowd here :/
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
sorry man, (none / 1) (#179)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:09:48 PM EST

while i'm sure it's a great idea, i lack the background to do it. in fact, i have no idea who you're talking about, i'm slightly embarassed to say.

i recommend you try your hand. just be gentle with them and they'll bite it quite eagerly!

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

I win (2.71 / 7) (#43)
by Armada on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:09:46 AM EST

As a libertarian, I argue vehemently over the silliest things online.

In reality I work hard, treat others with respect, and don't argue politics.

When people at work asked who I voted for in the Iowa Democratic primary I told them I didn't go. They asked if I was Republican. I said I was not. They asked if I was Green. I said I was not. They asked what I was and I said my name. Frustration became evident.

They asked why I didn't go then and I said, "I was playing video games."

They threw their hands in disgust trying to figure out why a Democrat didn't participate in an important primary. I told them I wasn't a Democrat.

To this day they are still trying to figure out what the hell I am. They know my roommate ran for state representative. They know that I was involved heavily in his campaign, but they don't bother to figure it out.

So why bother to tell them? I just want to play my damned video games anyway. None of this political BS online matters anyway, and it gives plenty of room for me to let off steam. But so do video games. :)

I highly suggest you meet a Libertarian in real life for once and quit letting politics fuck up your life. If the only forum in which you meet them is in save tibet rallies then you're obviously going to have a skewed opinion. And yes, I'm drawing a straw man so I can beat him down with a stick. Still, the fact remains that you are one of two people, like me and don't really give a flying fuck about politics so you're only impression is of the online form, or do give a shit, and way too much, having been humiliated by one in the public in the past.

Why else would you paint a picture of someone unworthy of legitimate debate if you weren't wholly unable to debate them?

[ Parent ]

i've never met a real life libertarian (none / 2) (#57)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:14:05 AM EST

and i don't care what they do in real life.

you see, online, i am a predator who prowls message boards looking for amusement at the expense of others. i don't care where it comes from, only that it's the best i can find. libertarians are the best.

that's really all there is to it.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

i note that you (none / 0) (#103)
by WetherMan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:39:24 PM EST

are now referring to your own antics more frequently now, and i just thought you should know that it makes you look like an idiot.

just do your thing, and don't refer to yourself  doing it constantly.  it's one of the worst thing about the 'troll' clique at k5.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]

no can do. (none / 3) (#106)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:54:16 PM EST

pageantry and self-aggrandizement are too firmly entrenched in troll culture to just stop at the drop of a hat.

nope, i'm afraid i'll keep right on doing it.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

it's cool (none / 1) (#117)
by WetherMan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:59:12 PM EST

i'm having fun reading your antics on dKos for the last hour.  absolutely nuts, I haven't been near the place for a while, the group-think was becoming unbearable, and reminded me of FR or DU.  
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]
yeah, those are some high quality antics. (none / 3) (#163)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:26:36 PM EST

oh man, i even gave drduck a 1!

drduck, man!


your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Actually, you are like The Darkness (none / 1) (#346)
by Kax on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:00:04 AM EST

"If we say we suck first, you can't say we suck later!"

Or maybe like the ugly girl who puts her ugliest picture on hotornot.com, on purpose.

In either case, you are transparent and cowardly.

[ Parent ]

oh dear, the adjectives are after me! (none / 1) (#466)
by rmg on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 10:29:41 AM EST

your claim of transparency is meaningless as i am intentionally opaque. anything you think you see in me is an illusion i've created for you. given my history here, you claim of cowardice is just stupid. you simply don't know what you're talking about.

it's easy to score points flaming trolls, but i hope you feel satisfied nonetheless.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Cliches and assertions. (none / 0) (#492)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 01:48:25 AM EST

You're transparent.  Period.  You can't win, actually, because if you aspire to be a bad troll, that's ridiculous, and if you aspire to be a good troll, that is equally ridiculous.

You're a coward because you don't wish to state your goals in a straightforward fashion.  You leave yourself so many outs that whatever it is that you wish to communicate comes across with all the gravitas that Pee-Wee Herman could muster.

If I give you the benefit of the doubt, which I am wont to do, I am forced to conclude that you are not in fact a loser, but a teenager on the early end of the stick, and thus you should be able to relate to the previous cultural reference quite nicely.

Thank you for coming out tonight.

[ Parent ]

such awful charges! (none / 0) (#494)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 11:04:18 AM EST

like peewee herman, you say? i suppose when you wrote that, it never occurred to you that i might, at one point, have personally compared my little rmg character to peewee herman myself! i'd find a link for you, but it would be too much trouble.

you still haven't come forward with a definition of "transparent," so i'll assume you mean "obvious." you've missed the point again, i'm afraid. it's true i could slink around pretending not to be a troll and valiantly defending my honor whenever anyone suggests otherwise, but i've found that it is wholly unnecessary to do so in order to troll sucessfully. in fact, it even heightens the comedy of it all because i can then play silly games with troll hunters and other imbeciles like yourself who try to call me. for example, look at the hilariously lame defense i give in this thread. now if i were the type to genuinely claim not to be a troll, i couldn't have done that -- yet even though i essentially admit to being a troll, i get seven responses (though i think only three were solid bites... i don't quite remember).

now, since you seem so interested in my goals, as if they matter, i'll tell you what they are in a "straightforward manner." they're quite simple: to entertain myself and those others who are willing to be entertained. nothing more, nothing less. i try to be the kind of troll i'd like to read myself. so, so simple.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

What you fail to grasp: (none / 0) (#495)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 02:52:34 PM EST

It's not funny because it's so obviously wankery.  

What your goals actually are is a detail.  The important thing is you leave yourself easy outs, no matter what your goals are.  That makes you afraid.  That makes you like the Darkness.  That makes you like intentionally self-defeating ugly girls on hotornot.com.

me: "You suck."
you: "That's part of the plan!  You have unwittingly enhanced my comedic value!  Ho ho ho!"

Thing is, it doesn't work that way.  That might even make you even more pathetic-I'm not sure if it's worse to suck out of ignorance or as an intentional goal.  Probably the latter.

[ Parent ]

way out? (none / 0) (#496)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 04:25:46 PM EST

way out of what? this is the problem. your argument is based on meaningless phrases.

you can't get out if you aren't in. i'm not here to contribute to what you might call legitimate discussion nor am i here to advance or defend any particular positions -- it is my opinion that this is not an appropriate venue such things, at least, not for me.

allow me to co-opt your analogy. imagine there was a girl who was indeed hot, but posted a picture on hotornot.com of herself looking not hot. maybe she doesn't care about whether some losers on the internet think she's hot or not or maybe it's a joke on all the girls out there trying to look their best for the websurfing public. indeed, there are all sorts of possibilities. it's hardly cowardly, but it does show a good deal of contempt, which is probably really hate about me.

the fact is, i've seen all of your pictures, and for the most part, i'm not impressed. you're nothing but a bunch of computer janitors who pulled a stint at the local land grant school (well, the better amongst you) and call yourselves educated. well, i have no desire to talk politics or much of anything else with your kind.

but i do love to see you dance! and so do many others, it happens. i'll even dance with you when the mood strikes me! i think few have been the center of as much dancing as i have in my tenure, and in that sense, i hardly suck.

i'm sure you'll reassert what points of your "argument" you're not to embarassed to in your reply, along with some sputtering and equivocation to make them seem to stand. but that's good. that's the kind of thing i like to see.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Pedantic times. (none / 0) (#497)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 05:35:03 PM EST

Way out:

rmg: "I will toss out inflamatory statement X.  If none respond, I'm safe.  If people do, it was just a troll, you tool.  In either case, I win."

Your attempt to lash me into some group of kuroshin readers and then disparage me by proxy is, I hate to say it again, transparent.  If you want to talk about contempt, I'd suggest a page from my book: Just come out and say it.  Then if someone wants more details, you can enter into a discussion such that we are having now.

Regarding the end of your post, if you want to discuss whether you are an attention-monger or you are just pretending to be an attention-monger, let me know and we can go into that.

that's the kind of thing i like to see.

If you ever murder someone, will you also take the gun straight to the police station?

Laaa-haa-haaa-hooooo-zer.

[ Parent ]

i don't think i can explain this to you. (none / 0) (#498)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 06:55:27 PM EST

first, if no one responds, i'm a bit annoyed, because damn it, they should have. of course, that's relatively uncommon and when it happens, i learn from it. the rest of that paragraph is just bizarre. how could you possibly think that "logic" would even make sense, much less prevail on me?

second, clearly, you are exactly the type i'm talking about in the parent. there's no point in denying it. and as a matter of fact, i do "come out and say it" where contempt's concerned (as i just did, and it's not the first time). that's part of my game. frankness. however, i can't fill every comment that way and it'd be pretty boring if i did. (ooh, ooh! that's your opportunity to call me boring! go for it, man!)

it's not about attention, it's about entertainment. simple, simple, simple. if i wanted attention, i sure as hell wouldn't look for it on the internet.

and the rest... well, i don't think it needs any response. that sort of ham-handed argumentation is exactly why i hold your kind in such contempt.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Let's stay on target. (none / 0) (#499)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 07:46:26 PM EST

First, if no one responds, i'm a bit annoyed,

This does not contradict my argument re: the safety of your position.

You're still trying to deflect attention from the issue at hand with some sort of attack on me.  (though as an aside, we don't even really know if you really think I suck or not, do we?)

You haven't started showing contempt until far into this thread.  I was suggesting to you a more direct approach.

if i wanted attention, i sure as hell wouldn't look for it on the internet.
first, if no one responds, i'm a bit annoyed, because damn it, they should have.
i think few have been the center of as much dancing as i have in my tenure, and in that sense, i hardly suck.

daaarrrr.

But really, I have told you that you are a loser and a host of other negative things, and then told you why I believe it to be true.  I'm really not interested in talking about myself, or going off on other tangents.

[ Parent ]

see, this is what i'm talking about. (none / 0) (#500)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 09:03:33 PM EST

this is such a poor argument. honestly, have you ever taken a course in english at all? now look, if you want to continue this line of argument, you're going to need to answer some questions:

  1. what does it mean to be "safe"?
  2. how does my "safety" differ from that of anyone else on this site?
  3. how does being "safe" make one "cowardly"?
  4. what does "transparent" mean -- in very specific, definitive terms?
  5. what could be more direct re: contempt than immediately mocking you (which is what i did, though perhaps you are too dense to notice)?


you see, nonsense like this thread is why i don't participate here in the usual way.

also, let's be clear: this is about your characterizations and the cogency thereof. i completely understand why you don't like me and i encourage you to continue not to. i simply want to use your characterizations to delineate for the audience both why they are wrong and what, if anything, i'm about.... and of course i want to use them as an excuse to talk about myself. (one of my favorite things!)

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Exactly. (none / 0) (#501)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 09:39:46 PM EST

what does it mean to be "safe"?

You are in no danger of being shown as wrong.

how does my "safety" differ from that of anyone else on this site?
how does being "safe" make one "cowardly"?

Most people who post here like to discuss things.  This carries the risk of being wrong or shown up, or pride injured, etc.  How important that is depends on the individual.  It's just online, after all, but insofar as that goes, you are a coward.

what does "transparent" mean -- in very specific, definitive terms?

Making a post that is designed with the primary purpose of being incendiary.

what could be more direct re: contempt than immediately mocking you

You started debating me on the points (and going off on tangents).  "The past is the one thing you can do nothing about."

Here's more of why you are a loser:

you're going to need to answer some questions
vs.
i completely understand why you don't like me and i encourage you to continue not to.

You keep trying to pull away.  I'm telling you why you are a loser and a coward.  You aren't responding to those points.  You should.

[ Parent ]

oh good, now we're getting somewhere. (none / 0) (#502)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 10:21:13 PM EST

first, i don't think being shown up is all that likely in my case (were i serious) nor do i think being shown wrong is a particularly horrible fate. if i took this place seriously enough to care whether i'd be shown to be right or wrong, i probably wouldn't troll here. i think the proper way to frame your objection is to say "insofar as you care about being right or wrong online, you are a coward." to which i reply, of course, that i do not care at all!

your use of the word "transparent" is definitely new to me (and probably anyone else reading). i don't see any reason to dispute the allegation now that i know what you mean.

your X vs. Y contrast is characteristically nonsensical. there is no contradiction nor do i back off from any position i've taken. to clarify, by Y i meant to suggest that your claim that i am a "loser" have no clear basis other than blind hatred, which i can only expect from a nerd like yourself. your "cowardice" claim has been addressed in a variety of ways already.

i realize that you find my comments difficult to read, but if you want to argue with me, you're going to have to put forth the effort to understand them. i really don't have the patience to spoon feed you.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Tangents. (none / 0) (#503)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 10:55:50 PM EST

You keep going off on them.  You also keep trying to talk about me.  Don't do that.  It's not relevant.

You can't have it both ways.  Either you care about being right or wrong (in this discussion, for instance), or you don't.  Maybe you are just blind to your own position.  Do you care?  Is it 'just for entertainment'?  Thusly you don't expose yourself, you're 'safe' and it's, I hate to say it one more time: transparent.  A transparent ploy.

I can easily accept the concept of not having a vested interest in being validated on Kuroshin.  We are fully in agreement on that point.  But that's not my issue with you.

The loser part comes in when you start with the 'aw shucks I just like getting a rise out of you'.  That just makes you suck.

[ Parent ]

hm. (none / 0) (#504)
by rmg on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 11:16:41 PM EST

tangent? what the hell are you talking about? (maybe in your next reply, you could explain what you mean by "tangent," because you seem to be using a nonstandard definition.)

but you seem to be using the word "transparent" in the usual sense now, which is good. you're right, i am "safe" in the sense you seem so interested in, but then again since the question of cowardice is a strictly personal one and i've told you how little regard i have the whole matter of rightness and wrongness in this context, i'd say i'm no less "safe" in my current position than i would be if i were to get down in the trenches with the rest of you. thus, your argument is deconstructed.

as to your last point, i'm not quite sure where you're coming from. it looks very much like you're saying i suck because i'm a troll, but then i can't imagine you'd be so idiotic as to present me with such an argument. if that's all it is, again, i encourage you to think i suck and dislike me for being a troll. on the other hand, it seems but somewhat more understandable, but equally idiotic, that you can't wrap your brain around the idea that i'm just fucking around when i post my crazy stuff and that you think i'm somehow shielding myself from criticism by claiming to be a troll when in fact, you think, i'm actually stating a genuine opinion. well... i urge you to think harder about that logic if that's what it is.

of course, maybe it's something else entirely. if so, please enlighten me.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Ok. (none / 0) (#513)
by Kax on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 09:28:23 AM EST

You do suck because you're a troll.  I understand the concept of 'I don't care about right or wrong, this is online and I'm just fucking around' just fine.  I suppose our difference of opinion comes down to interpretation.  In your world, that puts you above it.  But to me, I think that's a convenient excuse which enables you to 'post your crazy stuff' while being safe and no risk to your pride.  Transparent.  Safe.  Cowardly.  See?  But I do have one thing on my side which tips the scales in my direction- By your own admission, I can't trust what you say.

It's sort of like you are going, "I don't care." to any assault, but the fact that you suck is because of that reaction, which is probably not even a genuine reaction.

The more you argue against being a web board dork, the more that you appear to be a web board dork (of course, to me it was obvious you were a web board dork from the get-go).

[ Parent ]

not quite. (none / 0) (#517)
by rmg on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 11:27:30 AM EST

there are approaches you could have taken that would have genuinely injured my pride, you were just too dumb to find them. your problem is that your argument was so flawed that i was able to force you off all of your points that might have bothered me and now all you can do is emptily reassert them (as if i'd care).

you're operating from a third grade mentality. do you honestly think i should be hurt when someone comes up to me and calls me names? you must be brain dead!

the real reason i'm safe is that virtually all of my potential adversaries are just too damned dumb to successfully attack me (and those who aren't either don't care or actually enjoy my antics). you simply have neither the class nor the intelligence to prevail on me.

finally, i'd like to address this delightfully silly point of yours: "But I do have one thing on my side which tips the scales in my direction- By your own admission, I can't trust what you say." while this is probably true, it doesn't change the weight of my arguments. that weight is carried solely by their content. as such, any substantive critique will still need to withstand my scrutiny. i feel supremely confident, based on what i've seen here, that any further whines from you will be easily parried.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

You are completely missing the point. (none / 0) (#518)
by Kax on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 12:13:19 PM EST

I'm not attempting to injure your pride.  Period.  So we can ignore most of your post.  You are, however, continually trying to injure mine.  If you weren't so obviously (transparently, I might say) trying to goad me, it would have a better chance of working.

My interest is (was) letting you know that I think you are a coward and a loser.  I'm happy to let it go at that, but you wanted to get into a discussion.  I'm happy to tell you why I think these things.  You've done nothing to demonstrate to me why I should not think you are a coward and a loser, but keep trying to go off on unrelated issues.  I keep pointing out what you are doing and draw you back to the original topic.  Like now.

"But I do have one thing on my side which tips the scales in my direction- By your own admission, I can't trust what you say." while this is probably true, it doesn't change the weight of my arguments. that weight is carried solely by their content.

I completely agree.  Problem is, your content is sabotaged.  Your game, even as you play it now, is ... let's hear it again: Transparent.

rmg: "Red is green."
Kax: "Ok."
rmg: "Stop signs are red."
Kax: "No, they're green."
rmg: "you dumb fuck, judge my arguments by their content!"
Kax: "I did, using the rules you set forth."

any substantive critique will still need to withstand my scrutiny.

That means little, as you've already said that logic won't prevail upon you.  But you are still dorkishly trolling, which is why I guess you say that.

So let's recap, to make this simple.

You're a coward because you are able to get your jollies with no risk to your pride under any circumstances, because of the final fallback "It's just online with a bunch of mouth-breathing dorks."/"I don't care." or whatever other variants.

[ Parent ]

babbling. (none / 0) (#519)
by rmg on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 12:40:44 PM EST

i've told you that there are circumstances under which you could injure my pride, you are just too dim-witted to discover them. that means: your argument re: cowardice fails. as such, your continued assertions are meaningless. that was the thrust of the previous comment (go ahead and reread it if you don't believe me).

if you were truly happy to let this go with your bald, unsupported assertions dangling in the wind, we wouldn't be talking about this. i, on the other hand, am happy to draw this out because i find you funny and your arguments reinforce my belief that this site is not an appropriate venue for serious discussion.

now then, i've told you in no uncertain terms why i find your arguments faulty and indeed rather pathetic, so to come back and say i'm irrational is pure dishonesty. and i certainly did not say "logic" would not prevail on me. i said your powers of reasoning are probably (only probably! keep trying!) inadequate for the job.

now then, in your post you've begged the question, misrepresented my argument, and introduced new names when the previous ones seemed weak. now would be a good time to claim you were trolling! if you'd like to continue, though, i am certainly willing. it's true i've been overtly (i.e. transparently) insulting you and doing a fine job of it if i may say so. indeed, it is too easy. if you'd like me to be less transparent, though, in future replies, i'll insult you in ways you won't understand. it'll be easier for you (the easy way out!) since you won't feel the sting of my words as they bounce off that shell of density you carry with you, but i imagine the spectators will find it more amusing.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Settle down. (none / 0) (#520)
by Kax on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 01:30:21 PM EST

there are approaches you could have taken that would have genuinely injured my pride, you were just too dumb to find them.

This indicates that you believe my goal was to injure your pride.  My goal isn't to injure your pride.  What sort a silly goal would that be anyway?  Clarity.

Now, since you are saying that there is some argument x which would injure your pride, that disproves you being a coward.  That's a fine statement to make, but you can't back it up, and indeed there are reasons to actively disbelieve what you say (your own admissions).  So I will still believe you to be a coward.

and i certainly did not say "logic" would not prevail on me.

earlier:

how could you possibly think that "logic" would even make sense, much less prevail on me?

Darrr.

[ Parent ]

my my. (none / 0) (#524)
by rmg on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 03:56:29 PM EST

i'll type this slowly, just for you.

if you want to call me names, that is fine and i encourage it. what i have done is meet what argument you thought you had to support your claims. as they have all fallen one by one, there's nothing more to discuss unless you want to bring new allegations to the table. this is argument is for the casual reader, not you. you are undoubtedly beyond help.

if you go back and reread the posts you have quoted, you'll see that when i said "logic" in the second, i was referring to a particular argument and i used scare quotes to emphasize the sarcasm you would have otherwise missed. somehow, though, even with the quotes, you have missed it anyway. in the first quote, i use the word logic in the sense of reason and argumentation in the abstract, not a particular argument. in short, your argument is based on a pun.

Darrr.

how apt.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

I think we're mostly in agreement by now. (none / 0) (#528)
by Kax on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 05:02:58 PM EST

Besides, this is not about you, this is about me. :)

I've called you names.  I've told you why I'm calling you names.  You have retorted.  I am not convinced.  My names stand.

if you go back and reread the posts you have quoted, you'll see that when i said "logic" in the second, i was referring to a particular argument and i used scare quotes to emphasize the sarcasm you would have otherwise missed.

Your second use of "logic" is:"and i certainly did not say "logic" would not prevail on me. i said your powers of reasoning are probably (only probably! keep trying!) inadequate for the job."  In other words, you were saying that logic can prevail upon you but that my logic in particular will not.  Maybe you misspoke.  Probably you are just trolling some more.

But ok, logic can indeed prevail upon you, but I'm just too stupid to do so.  It's still not relevant, as I'm not trying to convince you to change your ways.

This post, by the way, is mostly a tangent, from the point where I quote the parent onwards.

[ Parent ]

good lord... (none / 0) (#530)
by rmg on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 05:54:39 PM EST

when i said second, clearly i meant your second quotation that appeared in your comment, not the chronological order in which the original posts were written. again, i realize this is difficult for you, but please, try to keep up. i would very much like to keep this discussion on track, but you're constantly staggering off the path and i (perhaps overly sentimentally) feel the need to correct you.

the question is not whether i can convince you of anything. rather, i've shown that so far from having clear and intelligent complaints, you have mounted your attacks out of irrational prejudice and a failure to understand the issues in play.

it doesn't matter to me that you call me names. in fact, that's the kind of thing i like to see. anyone making himself look foolish on my account is doing right by me -- and name-calling certainly does look foolish. the way you presented your initial whine as though it were grounded in some reasonable argument, which you then failed to uphold, only makes it better.

i'm afraid that there's not much left in this thread for me, so unless you have something very interesting and novel to add, i'll say good day to you.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

off-topic. (none / 0) (#531)
by Kax on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 06:13:28 PM EST

Your post is almost entirely off-topic, since it's all about your interpretation of a variety of issues-This is about me, not about you.

If it's important to you (or has value, or however you want to phrase it), you may continue to defend yourself to me.  Or you may ask me for further clarification on why you suck/are a coward/are a dork/loser/etc.

I realize that paragraph is a restatement of my previous post.  That's ok, since you haven't addressed it.

[ Parent ]

You're still a really bad troll. (none / 1) (#344)
by Kax on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:58:08 PM EST

And a loser.

[ Parent ]
alright then. (none / 1) (#467)
by rmg on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 10:40:33 AM EST

despite the fact that of all the trolls here, i clearly do the best by far in terms of bites without ever having to resort to racism, sexism, or homophobia, let's hash this out.

if you want to claim that i'm a bad troll, you'll need to establish your ability to judge trolls (which is not by any means given -- it's completely standard for people to call trolls bad even if they know nothing about trolling). then you'll need to find an example of a good troll for comparison (which will be equally difficult since you're probably the type who thinks all trolls are bad, in which case your objection is entirely irrelevant).

finally, you'll need to account for the fact that i'm well liked amongst the best of the core last year's community (i.e. the old diarists) and amongst the only worthwhile users here (and no, i am not talking about trolls and you're definitely not amongst them yourself).

it's a tall order, i know, but if you throw around terms like "bad troll," you should expect to be called on it.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

You're transparent. (none / 0) (#491)
by Kax on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 01:37:25 AM EST

That's why you are bad.

[ Parent ]
One of my best friends is a libertarian... (1.75 / 4) (#76)
by lonelyhobo on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:29:15 PM EST

and I'm liberal.  Whenever we talk politics he's self-righteous, annoying, and won't shut up.  We don't talk politics anymore.

[ Parent ]
Sorry about your friend (2.71 / 7) (#79)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:54:02 PM EST

God knows, liberals are never self-righteous, annoying, or talkative. Yessir, you've described a trait that is exclusive to libertarians.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Libertarianism is based upon self-righteousness (2.10 / 10) (#81)
by lonelyhobo on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:09:14 PM EST

If you can't understand that libertarianism is an inflexible philosophy amounting somewhat to "if rationalism is right and i am more rational than you I am always right and better and fuck you catbird" then maybe you should go hang out with some real world libertarians.

(also your article was a great troll for you, huh?  post something you knew would elicit anti-libertarian posts and then camp the story like the whiny fucking bitch you are.)

[ Parent ]

"Whiny fucking bitch?" (none / 1) (#85)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:35:18 PM EST

Which one of us is being self-righteous and inflexible here?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
you (none / 1) (#171)
by IlIlIIllIIlllIII on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:30:52 PM EST



[ Parent ]
hits the nail on the head. (none / 1) (#109)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:12:44 PM EST

exactly. that's exactly right. that's what makes them so fun to troll.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Ad hominem again... (2.84 / 13) (#5)
by Arvedui on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 09:05:31 PM EST

Interesting article, and I was pretty much with you up until the "response" to Gregg Ramsay. Why are you (US Libertarians in general, and, often, you in particular) always so quick to start calling people names when they don't agree with you? The phrase "big-governmet liberal," for example, while it's managed to take on at least a negative cast to much of the US population, is a literal epithet when it comes from a Libertarian. It's the same as an ESL person who might use a foreign-language curse that only other ESL's would hear--the intent is there regardless of how it's taken, and that's the very first thing you say to him!

Regardless of the present tactlessness of your closing, I'll probably give this at least a +1 section, on the strength of the rest of it and the discussion it might generate. I'd probably go FP if not for the ending.

Maybe (none / 1) (#8)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 09:18:04 PM EST

I didn't intend it as name-calling, just representing his views in a short verbal package. It's true that those who decide to ban things because they know what's best for other people are implicitly saying they're smarter than everyone else. I'm attacking his article, but I think I explain my opinion when I criticize his intelligence. Keep in mind that I'm responding to an attack by him, and I'm also critical of the militant libertarians. This isn't a partisan thing here.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
So... (none / 3) (#30)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:42:35 AM EST

[people who] know what's best for other people are implicitly saying they're smarter than everyone else. I'm attacking his article, but I think I explain my opinion when I criticize his intelligence.
Now, you seem to believe passionately in US Libertarian-style anarcho-capitalist "freedom", to the point that, if you could, you would probably happily impose it on the entire state, country, or world, or at least not object if someone else did so. You would, in a sense, ban law-making and "collectivist" government. Because you're not evil (ie. self-interested to the point of psychopathy), you would be doing it because you believe a libertarian society would be "better" for people than a "big-government liberal" one.

Here's someone disagreeing by writing an article complaining about militant "freedom-fighters" threatening to burn down his town if they don't get their way, and you criticize his intelligence for it.

No, you're right, that's not at all partisan. Not at all hypocritical, either.

[ Parent ]

Silly (none / 1) (#36)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:26:44 AM EST

This is an old, tired argument that you've brought up here. The idea that freedom is something that can be imposed on people is just silly. Nature didn't create these laws, we did. You don't have a God-given right to your wars and your special-interest taxation.

Actually, I'm a pretty moderate libertarian. Certainly not an anarcho-capitalist. I don't know where you got this idea - read some of dh003i's writing if you want to see extreme.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Silly silly (2.85 / 7) (#47)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:11:44 AM EST

You don't have a God-given right to your wars and your special-interest taxation.
You keep doing this! Have you ever actually ASKED what I believe in? No. Where exactly do you get off talking about my right to my wars? (Incidentally, I did ask you to clarify your positions, but you got upset at me pointing out examples of rhetorical cheating and apparently didn't read that far.)

Regardless, you failed to address the point (again). Would you indeed protest vigourously if a true US-Libertarian-style state that otherwise met your every desire were established somewhere against the wishes of the pre-existing residents? Or would you go "hmm, wish they hadn't been quite so nasty about moving in... still, New Hampshire Free State, here I come!" Yes, I see you're asking some of the radicals to tone down the rhetoric, but if it were already over and done, how would you regard it?

You also failed to address the double standard of banning government for everyone else's own good (presumably because you think it's harmful), loudly doubting the intelligence of someone who disagrees, and then claiming that it's solely a trait of "big-government liberals" to ban things they don't like and think themselves smarter than everyone else for doing so.

I'm [...] certainly not an anarcho-capitalist. I don't know where you got this idea
You're on record saying things like "there's no difference between taxing speech and banning it" and "a tax would decrease efficiency [...] just like any other restriction on the market" (emphasis mine). Again, I asked you to clarify, but you didn't. As it stands, you're sounding pretty anarcho-capitalist (in the sense of capitalism-without-rules) to me...

Actually, I'm a pretty moderate libertarian. [...] read some of dh003i's writing if you want to see extreme.
Yes, I've been doing this over on the story about the announcement of the FSP and, scarily enough, I'm forced to agree that, on the US Libertarian spectrum, you would indeed count as a moderate. Further, you seem a reasonably intelligent individual. I just wish you'd answer straight and argue fairly about what seem like the very real shortcomings of your political philosophy, instead of just personalizing and dodging all the time.

[ Parent ]
Failed to address what? (2.40 / 5) (#54)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:04:04 AM EST

I think I addressed your points just fine. Sorry if I didn't renounce my philosophy, which is apparently the only answer that's good enough for you. This isn't even a libertarian advocacy piece, and all I get is wild generic criticism. Sorry, I'm not going to hold your hand and patiently explain all my opinions to you while you continually tell me I'm "not addressing" this or that.

If you really want to learn more about libertarianism and read honest responses to its most common critiques, I recommend reading some of Harry Browne's work. If you just want to fight over me not "addressing points," once again we're done here. I'm not your personal libertarian answer guy.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

one thing about the free state project I don't get (2.77 / 9) (#21)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 11:04:02 PM EST

Why NH? Why do the existing laws of a region matter, when they plan to enact their own anyway?

All I know is, I see that omnipresent NH image of a snowy cabin in the woods and my brain deliberately misparses the state motto so it reads, "Live, Freeze, and Die".

Next time, pick a climate more conducive to, say, HUMAN life, as opposed to Plutonian life, k guys?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Don't know (none / 1) (#25)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:10:39 AM EST

Honestly, I don't know. I guess they're hedging their bets, it's not the worst state for a libertarian even if they don't manage to change anything. And they don't plan to enact any laws - they want them revoked, remember.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Not so fast (none / 0) (#45)
by theElectron on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:35:21 AM EST

If they really got control, I'm certain they'd pass some federal nullification laws. After all, from a Libertarian/smaller gov't perspective the real problem (in most states) is the Federal Government, and not so much the State/Commonwealth. So basically, the get control, stop paying income tax, and who the hell knows what happens next.

--
Join the NRA!
[ Parent ]
here's what happens next (none / 0) (#470)
by Rhodes on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 11:55:19 AM EST

20 years of litigation with the end result that Federal Income Tax is permissible and NH is in the hock for billions owed in back taxes.

[ Parent ]
yeah but (none / 0) (#489)
by speek on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 09:58:40 PM EST

Those 20 years are sweet!

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Leverage Existing Residents (none / 3) (#108)
by mcherm on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:01:08 PM EST

There were a number of different considerations in choosing NH, but the two biggest were (1) a state with a small population, and (2) a state which already has strong libertarian beliefs.

(1) is obviously in order to have a hope of moving enough people to influence things. But (2) is even more important. See, the free state project organizers don't think that they're going to be able to outnumber and thus outmuscle the existing residents. They simply want to tip the balance. They figure that NH (the state with "Live Free or Die!" on their licenses) already has a fairly strong libertarian sentiment, and the free state project just might be able to tip the balance.

-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]

Here's why (none / 3) (#457)
by Gregoyle on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 12:06:55 AM EST

I'm from NH, so I might be able to provide some insight for you.

First of all, the climate is not that bad. Yes it gets cold in the winter. However they have things like gas heat and warm jackets to combat this. Pretty neat stuff.

But seriously, why NH? Because it's a state with a strong tradition of telling the rest of the country to "fuck off, we're doing it our way". It's the only state without a seat belt law (for those over 18; up to a few years ago the age was 12), one of a few without a motorcycle helmet law. No state income tax, no sales tax. For years we didn't receive federal funding for roads because we refused to make the speed limit 55. A huge portion of the terrible "statist" fire departments are volunteer.

It's also a state with a strong political tradition, with a higher than average number of people who actually care. Also it's traditionally a state that will actually listen to what people have to say (rather than just voting a political ticket). We nominated McCain in 2000.

In addition, it's a state with a relatively small population (~1 million) where a small number of activists can actually make a difference. It's also close to (or home of) a couple big intellectual centers. It offers some of the best private schools in the country.
-------

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 1) (#459)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 12:46:43 AM EST

how did your roads survive the cold without federal funding or those state taxes? Property or estate taxes?

All in favor of eliminating silly meddling laws like seat belts, with one proviso: make it a law that no insurance company can cover injuries where the victim could have prevented it with a helmet or belt. You didn't use a belt and got whiplash? Tough, not a dime from your insurance. Why? To prevent the unsafe from becoming a burden on the premium costs of society in general.

It offers some of the best private schools in the country.

Replace the word "private" with "public" in that sentence, and I'd be impressed. I give less than a shit about private schools, it's just a way for the rich to keep their children from seeing the proles as equals.

As for the climate, I'm a Hoosier who's been transplanted to FL. The political climate is horrid, but the meteorological one is fabulous. I could give a shit if I never see snow again in my life - it is actually warm enough to walk outside comfortably all year around.

It still puzzles me why humans persist in living in places where you can't do that. But then, not everywhere can be perfect :)


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Florida ain't perfect either (none / 3) (#469)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 11:46:17 AM EST

If you're going to chime in on the topic of public schools, you may not want to live in one of the worst states for public schooling. It's clear that something needs to be done about the abysmal situation in our public schools. Every American student should have access to a first-class education, and that's just not happening in our "no child left behind," lowest-common-denominator public schools. Our current public schools are a failure. I believe in a complete restructuring of public education as well as a voucher program.

And for your insurance law, why would you force insurance companies not to cover these people? Shouldn't it be up to the companies and customers to decide what situations are covered under the policy? If I want to ride without a helmet, and I'm willing to pay a higher premium to be insured, I should be allowed to. It doesn't affect the premiums of lower-risk customers if the insurance company has accurate statistics.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Florida, largely, sucks (none / 0) (#484)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:55:00 PM EST

With respect to public schooling, at least.

However, at one time, Florida had the only Federally-funded program for "The Gifted" (damn, I hate that term) in the country. So it's not all bad.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
How will you ensure (none / 1) (#490)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 11:50:52 PM EST

that the insurance company is not sneakily foisting the costs off onto everyone's premiums? They'll have an incentive to do so.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
No they won't (none / 0) (#509)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 10:55:54 PM EST

If you think your insurance company is charging you too much, you can get a different company. Competition keeps insurance companies honest. If they want to keep safe customers, they won't spread out costs associated with dangerous customers.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Limits of competition (none / 0) (#514)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 10:01:40 AM EST

But what if ALL the insurance companies do it? Competition is great if you actually HAVE it, but all the major insurance companies benefit from being able to screw the consumer, and if they do, where is the customer going to go?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Insurance is a poor example (none / 0) (#515)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 10:22:23 AM EST

That's price fixing, and it occurs in industries with a high barrier to entry. It's one of the reasons we have antitrust laws. However insurance is a cutthroat industry and any competitors who colluded to raise prices would quickly be priced out of the market.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Wait, are you in favor of antitrust laws? (none / 0) (#522)
by grouse on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 03:44:15 PM EST

That doesn't fit with my preconceived notions of libertarian ideology. ;-)

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 0) (#523)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 03:50:35 PM EST

We also do not eat babies (we're trying to watch our carbs).

To be fair, some libertarians are against antitrust laws. It's not a clear-cut issue.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

You don't eat babies, either? (none / 0) (#529)
by grouse on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 05:31:38 PM EST

Whoa, you are a different kind of libertarian.

Seriously, how can you justify antitrust laws? Isn't it just an example of the state using its power to control what people do with their property?

Just curious.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

I'm not an idealist (none / 1) (#532)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 06:23:49 PM EST

Personally, I don't go for a lot of the idealistic libertarian stuff. We need antitrust law to protect us from practices like price fixing.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Idealism needs to be tempered with pragmatism (none / 0) (#534)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jun 29, 2004 at 10:09:57 AM EST

There are times where a "pure" capitalism breaks down. I'd have no problem supporting a Libertarian who recognized that, and realized that we need anti-trust laws.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Didn't care when the shree rajneesh invaded oregon (2.50 / 8) (#22)
by RandomLiegh on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 11:07:38 PM EST

and I don't care now, either.

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
I don't understand (2.70 / 20) (#23)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 11:24:16 PM EST

Are you saying the Libertarians aren't a cult?

Help me out here.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


good lord, libertarianism (1.89 / 29) (#24)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 11:45:56 PM EST

libertarianism is nothing but selfishness with a philosophical bumper sticker stuck on its ass that somehow purports to elevate it to respectability

libertarianism will succeed as soon as human nature is purged of empathy, sympathy, love for one's family, love for one's community, love for humanity itself

in other words, never

the only people who take this shit seriously are earnest but naive college students with too much philosophy classes under their belt and no real life experience, 40-something assholes behind on their alimony payments, and nutjobs who horde guns in the woods and consider themselves to be part of the minutement militia, 2 centuries hence

libertarianism has as much a tenuous hold on reality as the kkk and neonazi skinheads

they deserve our attention as much as the mating habits of dung beetles

oh yeah, i forgot, ayn rand is selfish racist classist elitist bitch

am i making an impression on you here you fruitcakes?

stay in the woods and spout your ignorant mumbo-jumbo, the real world doesn't need you

we'll take your selfish asocial bullshit seriously when hell freezes over


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

You know (none / 3) (#26)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:14:22 AM EST

Is your negative, acerbic bullshit really necessary here? The FSP is perfect for people like you, because surprise - you don't have to follow them to New Hampshire!

Anyway I've been down this path with you before, and this is the last you'll hear from me in this thread. Don't bother replying if you're just looking for another flamewar.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

i'm sorry for my harsh words (1.00 / 8) (#29)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:39:27 AM EST

next time i'll temper my words with the same level of care and concern libertarians show for their fellow human beings

read: 0

what a bunch of selfish assholes

a philosophy and buzzwords does not a respectable excuse for being selfish make


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I dated an Ayn Rand fan once (2.88 / 9) (#32)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:48:10 AM EST

I met this woman, who was really very educated and intelligent, and quite attractive too.

And she kept going on about this book called Atlas Shrugged, and how profound it was, and how everybody should read it.

And I said to myself, I know how I can impress her, I'll read Atlas Shrugged, and when I'm all done I can talk to her about it intelligently. I'd heard of the book before but had no idea of what it was all about.

And I bought a copy, and read some of it. I didn't get that far into it. And I said to myself, this woman is a freak, and I stopped seeing her.

Me, I'm married now to a Canadian woman, a Newfoundlander, and am very happy to be living in Nova Scotia now, and working on becomming a landed immigrant. I've been thinking seriously of becoming a Canadian citizen when the time comes.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

that is kind of weird, come to think of it (1.16 / 6) (#33)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:58:01 AM EST

why are all these libertarians concentrated up in new hampshire along the border with quasi-socialist canada?

makes you wonder at the social dynamics

anyway, i went to newfoundland as a kid, and loved canoeing there and eating blueberries on an island in the middle of a lake... but i didn't appreciate pitching a tent in 40 degree fahrenheit drizzle in july! ;-)

and what is with those 12 inch pitch black slugs!? only on newfoundland have i ever seen those things... some of them practically undead... still slithering around with mushrooms growing on their heads... like something out of the x-files! we made the mistake of leaving coleslaw out one night and in the morning it was covered with those freakish critters!

charismatic megafauna NOT ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

whoa dude... (none / 3) (#142)
by wakim1618 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:36:57 PM EST

there are lotsa silly things that self-proclaimed libertarians do and say. This is no different than those who hold other political creeds. Look for the worse and you will find it.

Ask yourself a question: would you like your parents making most of your decisions for you? I would guess you answer would be No. You may wish for their input but they shouldn't force you.

Some libertarians believe this is the starting point for serious discussion. Is it ok for me to send other young people off to die for my 'freedom for oppressed people' fetish? Is it ok for me to force this guy to buy his shoes from me because I am his neighbor? Is it ok for me to force my neighbor to contribute to my brother's schooling fees so that my burden is less?

I think these are serious questions about the basic principles of society.

Reading some of your posts, I wonder what your answer would be to the first question.


If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.
[ Parent ]

let me justify my animosity (none / 3) (#160)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:08:02 PM EST

i hate communism and libertarianism equally, as both are fallacies and failures in logic

both altruism and selfishness in balance in society, that is the only just, moral way to create a happy, prosperous, peaceful society: capitalism with socialistic safety nets, or socialism with a capitalist engine, either way, the society where altruism and selfishness exist in equal balance is the most successful society

the questions and discussions that you say i should listen to and that libertarians are engaged in eventually lead to this truth

i just don't want the libertarians to waste lives and resources and create injustice and immorality in their search for what is already patently obvious to the vast majority of us

the folly of lives and potential wasted by now defunct communism should lead you to fight libertarianism with equal veracity, since libertarianism is the same folly as communism, just its mirror image, with just as much potential to destroy communities as communism has


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I make a more subtle point... (none / 0) (#525)
by wakim1618 on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 04:07:25 PM EST

I don't think that communism as it has been practiced historically (e.g. Soviets) is a good thing. Hard to see 20-30 million dead as a good thing. But that is not the same thing as saying that some of the questions/issues raised by communists is irrelevant because they are still with us today. In fact, some would argue that health care and mass education (in most OECD countries) is a response to communism.

There are many wrong answers all about us. But I think that we should pick out the good ideas that we can use from other points of view.

the folly of lives and potential wasted by now defunct communism should lead you to fight libertarianism with equal veracity,

**Sigh**, I consider myself a libertarian, if anything, but there are fools everywhere. I cannot bother to argue with self-proclaimed libertarians who worship Ayn Rand. It is more useful and enjoyable to have a discussion with an intelligent person who disagrees with me.

the questions and discussions that you say i should listen to and that libertarians are engaged in eventually lead to this truth

I just don't think that you should dismiss it out of hand because it contains a single flawed premise. Would it be useful for me to dismiss ideas from all religions that posit the existence of a God that cares about human follies?

Cheers.
If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.
[ Parent ]

Holy shit, dude. (3.00 / 7) (#37)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:27:25 AM EST

This is totally unrelated to libertarianism, but I have seen some arbitrary number of your comments - enough to push me past a breaking point. That requires me to chime in and inform you that one of these days you are going to have to learn how to use the written English language to communicate.

You're like that circumcisiophiliaparafetishism guy. You don't want to be that guy.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

you're right, i don't want to be that guy (none / 3) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:37:58 AM EST

but my understanding of libertarianism is dead on, reference any number of other comments here, especially the one by Blarney just above my parent post


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
+1FP [nt] (none / 2) (#56)
by alby on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:12:47 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Maybe I should do that sometimes. (3.00 / 4) (#97)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:08:22 PM EST

I think an article inquiring into the nature and causes of a few people writing English in weird and incoherent ways despite the constant pleas of others might be interesting.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

0; vertical spam (2.40 / 5) (#65)
by sllort on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:30:30 AM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
I'm a Philosophy Taking College Student (2.50 / 8) (#115)
by The Solitaire on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:39:52 PM EST

And never once have I ever met a Libertarian that has taken more than first year philosophy. From what I can tell (and I haven't done any formal studies, no) the college libertarians all seem to come out of CompSci and Engineering (mostly CompSci). I'm sure some (mature) philosophically minded libertarians exist, but, please -- please don't blame philosophy classes for this load of crap that tries to pass as philosophy.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

ok, point taken (nt) (none / 2) (#124)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:11:15 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
indeed (none / 2) (#229)
by Delirium on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:17:57 AM EST

Real philosophy has enough loads of crap as it is. Wouldn't want to interrupt studies of the noumenal realm!

[ Parent ]
Recall, this is the person who appeals... (none / 2) (#116)
by RyoCokey on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:49:01 PM EST

...to mankind's "innate morality" and apparently believes, that left to a completely natural setting, humans act in a moral manner, rather than survival of the fittest, or at best, socially cooperative.

Given the rate of infanticide among both primative humans and animals, I find the innate morality of human kind rather hard to justify. However, this view would probably make Libertarianism look rather undesirable.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
identify where my analysis of your words are wrong (none / 1) (#126)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:14:44 PM EST

human beings have an innate desire to care for one another and empathize one another: you don't seem to get that

human beings have an innate ability for much senseless violence and to ignore the appeals of others: you get this

so i don't think your analysis of "primitive" humanity is correct

you magnify one aspect of natural human nature and ignore another

so your view is imbalanced

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's all about force (none / 1) (#157)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:35:57 PM EST

Yes, many libertarians are selfish assholes... or rather, many selfish assholes become libertarian because that's a political philosophy that allows them to continue to be selfish assholes in peace.

The thing is, most libertarians believe in the innate goodness of humanity just as much as you. They believe that, left to their own devices, people will voluntarily provide charity to help their struggling fellows. They believe that this innate goodness is so strong that it doesn't need a "nanny state" to prop it up.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

again, your view of human nature is imbalanced (none / 1) (#159)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:58:07 PM EST

it is very simple: altruism and selfishness both exist, and any society which leans towards dependence upon one or the other is bound for failure and injustice: communism is wrong, equally, as libertarianism is

the only just society is a capitalist one with socialist safety nets, or a socialist one with capitalist engines... altruism and selfishness in balance, none seen as the only source of truth... the closer a society has altruism and selfishness in perfect balance, the more prosperous, peaceful, happy, moral, and just the society is... you cannot depend solely on selfishness, you cannot depend solely on altruism... down either road lies ruin, in equal magnitude, the further you go down either road

i can say to you:

The thing is, most communists believe in the innate selfishness of humanity just as much as you. They believe that, when yoked together as a group, the selfishness of the group will provide the greedy impulse to ensure their prosperity. They believe that this innate selfishness of the group is so strong that it doesn't need a "capitalist marketplace" to prop it up.

and i would be wrong

likewise, your words in your parent post are wrong too:

The thing is, most libertarians believe in the innate goodness of humanity just as much as you. They believe that, left to their own devices, people will voluntarily provide charity to help their struggling fellows. They believe that this innate goodness is so strong that it doesn't need a "nanny state" to prop it up.

BOTH PARAGRAPHS ARE WRONG EQUALLY


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

There's a difference (none / 0) (#161)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:11:04 PM EST

Selfishness is a negative behavior (that is, it is the withholding of resources from another) while charity is a positive behavior (that is, it is the granting of resources to another). This makes the libertarian-charity statement of mine more stable than the communist-selfish hypothetical statement. They're not mirror-images of each other.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
you can say that (none / 2) (#164)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:28:13 PM EST

but you merely refute my poor allegorical skills, not my basic point: altruism and selfishness both exist and are inseparable from human nature, and any society which leans towards dependence upon one or the other is bound for failure and injustice: communism is wrong, equally, as libertarianism is

down either road lies ruin, in equal portent


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Why I'm libertarian (none / 1) (#172)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:43:29 PM EST

I pretty much agree with you. I just happen to believe that what most societies have now is way out of whack. I think we've swung waaay too far away from the libertarian side of things.

I think the FSP is a great idea not because it will create some idyllic paradise, but because it will show people that there's a viable alternative to the way we're doing things now. Hopefully, it will repollenate the country's political climate with the seeds of new-old ideas.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

i don't understand (none / 1) (#173)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:45:15 PM EST

how can you show people a viable alternative to things when the alternative isn't viable?

how do you show people the folly of their ways by advocating a philosophy which is worse than what we have?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Who cares about wholes? (none / 2) (#177)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:59:57 PM EST

We don't have anything approaching an ideal system. While pure libertarianism isn't likely to work as a whole, parts of it will doubtless be better than certain portions of our current systems.

You're awfully quick to damn a philosophy which, by all accounts, has never been practically tested. One would almost be tempted to label you as closed-minded.

Even though we seem to agree that balance is a good thing, we still disagree on where the happy medium lies. You seem to believe that the West is largely libertarian enough. I strongly disagree: I find it apparent that the scales are tipped too far away from it.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

dude (none / 1) (#184)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:29:24 PM EST

what we have is capitalism with socialist safety nets

you make our system more libertarian by removing the safety nets

is that really what you want to do?

"You're awfully quick to damn a philosophy which, by all accounts, has never been practically tested. One would almost be tempted to label you as closed-minded."

i think we should make economic decisions based on tarot cards and horoscopes... if you think i am stupid for saying this, does that mean i get to say to you for opposing my tarot card idea: "You're awfully quick to damn a philosophy which, by all accounts, has never been practically tested. One would almost be tempted to label you as closed-minded."

no, you don't get to say that, because you clearly see my tarot card based economics as stupid and crackpot, because you have a thinking mind and can use reason to reject the suggestion

libertarianism is nowhere near as crackpot as tarot card based economics, but the allegory to how and why i reject libertarianism is sound: i reject it because i have a thinking mind and can use reason, and reject libertarianism on sound, logical grounds

just because someone suggests a completely stupid idea doesn't mean we should try it, nor does it allow the suggestor of the completely stupid idea to criticize us as closed minded: the idea is still STOOOOOOPIIIIIIID!!!!!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Tarot cards... sure! (none / 3) (#188)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:46:05 PM EST

The thing is, it's been done already and shown to be ineffective. Try again.

I'm less concerned with mucking with the safety nets and more concerned with making the system less gamed in favor of corporations.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

then you are a socialist (none / 3) (#191)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:51:21 PM EST

if you are concerned with making the system less gamed in favor of corporations, then you care about the common good, you have altruism

so you are not a true libertarian

you can't win the debate with me on libertarianism by changing the definition of what libertarianism is, nor can you win the debate with me by suggesting that libertarians start doing non-libertarian things... and somehow still be allowed to be called libertarians

look, it's very simple: a healthy society needs a balance between altruism and selfishness

period

end of story

IT IS THAT FUCKING SIMPLE YOU DOLT

why are you trying to make an end run around the patently fucking obvious?

you can take libertarianism and mull it over in your mind and play with it, and extend its meaning, and apply creative extensions to the creed, but in the end, if your goal is the same as mine: a healthy society, then you are going to wind up in the same spot i am already standing in afte r along and arduous journey

or you can just fucking listen to me shouting at you, and walk 2 steps, and arrive at the destination you somehow fail to see , even though is already plain as fucking day apparent and incredibly fucking obvious

are you guys economically autistic or something?

so you go with your bad self, but nothing you ever say or do about or with libertarianism is going to change the patently obvious lesson about the balance between altruism and selfishness in a healthy society

get it?

got it?

good

geez you people are some serious thick headed dolts

  1. communism bad
  2. libertarianism bad
  3. capitalism tempered with socialism/ socialism tempered with capitalism good
there, 3 giant fucking rock of gibraltars on your horizon
blink twice, maybe you will see them, and stop navel gazing at the wild goose chase

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You're so shortsighted (none / 3) (#195)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:01:15 AM EST

It's easy to say that you want a medium. It's much harder to implement it. And it's not a simple linearity between two opposing sides: there are pulls along several different axes of theory. And here's the kicker -- depending on external factors , different balances of those axes will produce an ideal. There is no "one size fits all" system that works best in all cases. It's not as simple as saying "make a balance" and ending the conversation. There are an infinite number of balances, all of which are solutions in search of their particular problem; we need to find the solution to the problem we have, currently. And the only way to do that is to experiment. You seem to be saying that we already have an ideal system. I call that idiotic.

So if someone isn't an extremist, they're not a $(SCHOOL)ian? Do you have to create strawmen just to burn them in effigy?

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

now we are getting somewhere (none / 1) (#199)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:08:04 AM EST

It's easy to say that you want a medium. It's much harder to implement it. And it's not a simple linearity between two opposing sides: there are pulls along several different axes of theory. And here's the kicker -- depending on external factors , different balances of those axes will produce an ideal. There is no "one size fits all" system that works best in all cases. It's not as simple as saying "make a balance" and ending the conversation. There are an infinite number of balances, all of which are solutions in search of their particular problem; we need to find the solution to the problem we have, currently. And the only way to do that is to experiment.

i agree with you 100%

You seem to be saying that we already have an ideal system. I call that idiotic.

urm... where di you pull that from, your butt?

i seem to have been arguing against libertarianism for the last 100 posts (!?)

and now you say i have been saying that we have an ideal system right now... where the fuck did i say that?

dude, work on your communication skills, ok?

because you agree with me you fucking dolt!

WE BOTH WANT A BALANCE

LIBERTARIAMISM REPRESENTS THE EXTREME: SELFISHNESS, NO ALTRUISM

IT IS NOT "EXPERIMENTING" IT IS IGNORING THE GOAL: BALANCE

LIBERTARIANISM REPRESENTS THE OPPOSITE OF BALANCE

please you fucking dolt, experiment away! have fun

BUT LIBERTARIANISM ISN'T A VALID EXPERIMENT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT WE BOTH AGREE ON: SEEK THE BALANCE

jesus you autistic fucks!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

sigh (none / 2) (#204)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:18:49 AM EST

You seem to be saying that we already have an ideal system. I call that idiotic.

urm... where di you pull that from, your butt?

A few posts ago you said, "what we have is capitalism with socialist safety nets" and before that you said "the only just society is a capitalist one with socialist safety nets, or a socialist one with capitalist engines..."

So I guess I got an overemphasized impression. Thanks for being so eloquent about that.

Just because someone wants more libertarianism doesn't mean they want everything to be 100% extremist libertarianism. And yes, they'd still be a "libertarian". Labels are assigned WRT the status quo.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

now you are arguing about semantics (none / 2) (#210)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:32:14 AM EST

"what we have is capitalism with socialist safety nets" and before that you said "the only just society is a capitalist one with socialist safety nets, or a socialist one with capitalist engines..."

within those terms are a billion experiments you can make to make things better

"Just because someone wants more libertarianism doesn't mean they want everything to be 100% extremist libertarianism. And yes, they'd still be a "libertarian". Labels are assigned WRT the status quo."

semantics, do you know what those are? they mean the definition of the word, you seem to be having a trouble with the definition of the word libertarian

a libertarian believes in selfishness

if you want MORE libertarianism you want LESS balance

this is a FACT that flows from the definition of what a libertarian is

jesus you are low iq or something


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, not semantics (none / 3) (#214)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:46:09 AM EST

Semantics is word usage, not definition.

a libertarian believes in selfishness

You conceded earlier that a libertarian believes in altruism.

if you want MORE libertarianism you want LESS balance

Only if you take as a given that libertarian-authoritarian axis is already balanced (or unbalanced in the opposite direction). You may, but I do not (as evidenced by our other discussion about the war on drugs).

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

it's like picking on a retarded person (none / 1) (#216)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:10:22 AM EST

"You conceded earlier that a libertarian believes in altruism."

show me! i did fucking not!!!

libertarianism is, by word definition, an extreme: selfishness over altruism

therefore ANY movement in its direction is AWAY from balance

how many times do you need to be smacked in the face with that fish before you see?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Always (none / 1) (#232)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:09:26 AM EST

Do you believe that society can be too altruistic? If so, such a society would need to more towards selfishness to restore balance. qed.

If not, you don't really believe in "balance", now, do you?

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

Humans have social instincts (none / 1) (#271)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:23:42 PM EST

...in terms of banding together, defending each other, but that's for survival purposes, and is common among lower beings as well.

The distinction is human morals that extend beyond what is good for either the person or society as a whole (I.e. caring for the mentally invalid.) This is not an extension of some base empathy. Humans possess the capability to care about things they couldn't possibly be empathic about, having never met or experienced them. This is, however, a learned behavior. Hence, my (somewhat off-topic) argument.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
Actually you are wrong... (none / 1) (#275)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:52:51 PM EST

Not only is cooperation the better strategy, it is found in nature, and is now beginning to be understood as an innate part of natural selection, more so than the old "survival of the fittest" method.

So, from a viewpoint of economic game theory and biological evolution, social cooperation and altruism are the "innate morality" that all humans (and other animals) have and act by. CTS is quite right that the best way is the balance of selfishness and altruism - its in our genes and is an active function in natural selection.

CTS is right again? Who'd ah thunk it?

If you have scientific evidence to the contrary, please present it.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

See my other post. (none / 0) (#391)
by RyoCokey on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:54:18 PM EST

Here.

Humans (and other creatures) do indeed have social instincts, which lead to them helping other members of their species even when no immediate personal gain is possible. However, that's not what he's arguing, he's arguing that humans won't engage in infanticide or other "immoral" practices (PDF) in the absense of civilization and/or religion. In my opinion, that's patently false.

If this seemed unclear, we had a long argument about it several months ago, to which I was making reference.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
[
Parent ]
Sort of, yes (2.75 / 8) (#138)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:03:16 PM EST

Another way of looking at it is that libertarianism is a rejection of altruism as the guiding principle of society. You can argue all you want about empathy and so on; it is not necessary to be a society of spineless whimpering children enthralled by a huge government that oppresses those who do not conform in order to feel empathy.

Rand, by the way, was expressly against racism, sexism, classism, and so on. She made a few mistakes in her understanding of sexism, but that's to be expected; nobody's perfect. She certainly was elitist and selfish; these are not bad things.

Oh, and since you seem not to know, your average libertarian is a middle class suburban sort with a decent job, substantially above average intellect, and far more knowledge than you can get from any formal education. Your violent disagreement with him notwithstanding, he's not a cultist, and he's not insane.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
here is the problem with libertarianism (none / 2) (#143)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:51:37 PM EST

in a way that you can understand:

human beings have an innate desire to care for one another and empathize one another

human beings have an innate ability for much senseless violence and to ignore the appeals of others

both are true

you understand why a society based on pure altrusim does not work

what you don't understand is that the inverse is also EQUALLY false and dangerous and full of injustice with EQUAL weight as you understnad the perils of your altruistic society

a society based on pure selfishness does not work TO THE SAME MAGNITUDE AS A SOCIETY BASED ON PURE ALTRUISM, just in different ways

so your view is imbalanced

"She certainly was elitist and selfish; these are not bad things."

yes, you are correct, these are not bad things... but they are bad things BY THEMSELVES

for example, there is no pure capitalist society in this world... all capitalist societies also have an aspect of socialism... likewise, all socialist societies have an aspect of capitalism... the only just, moral, happy, prosperous society is one in which these two tendencies of human nature: altruism and selfishness, balance each other out

so why do you libertarians fail to understand this extremely simple lesson, if you are supposed to be so smart?

how come you libertarians understand all too well how a society that bends too far towards altruism is injust... and yet you fucking morons cannot understand (and for the life of me i don't know why you can't understand) that the mirror image of that society, one which bends too far towards selfishness, IS EQUALLY INJUST???!!!

so all you guys are is just a bunch of naive idealistic fools, ignorant of some extremely simple lessons on very basic human nature

and all the net effect of you naive idealistic fools, all that your efforts can come to in a modern mature society, where altruism and selfishness balance each other out, is simply this: the spreading of injustice, unhappiness, to create poverty and to amoral behavior, in EXACTLY THE SAME QUANTITY AS COMMUNISTS AND PURE SOCIALISTS

do you understand, you simple fool?

god you libertarians piss me off

so much intelligence, so little common sense: there are college professors in advanced algebraic topology who can't balance their college textbooks: that is exaclty how your "intelligent libertarian" fits into the real world and real human nature and how the world and human nature REALLY WORKS

you guys are almost autistic in the incredibly pig-headed way you don't understand how human society really functions

stupid fucking dolts, simpletons, i hate you all, because you are not smart, you are INCREDIBLY STUPID AND DANGEROUS TO THE HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY OF YOUR COMMUNITIES

and you stumble blindly on, wasting your lives and resources and the lives and resources of your communities, in pursuit of a utopian vision which is fundamentally flawed in an extremely simple way a child can understand, but you autistic dolts somehow cannot

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

This could have gone anywhere in this thread... (3.00 / 4) (#178)
by sully on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:03:30 PM EST

But it seems you're overlooking the fact that a great deal of the serious discourse among libertarians is involved with finding non-coercive and state-free mechanisms for dealing with the "bad" half of human nature, as opposed to simply overlooking it. And most libertarians think that non-coercive charity works because they themselves are willing to devote resources voluntarily to bettering their communities. You can say that one or the other won't work, but to say that libertarians are simply ignoring human nature just doesn't seem very accurate.

[ Parent ]
what you are suggesting is not libertarianism (none / 3) (#189)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:47:55 PM EST

you can't win the debate with me on libertarianism by changing the definition of what libertarianism is, nor can you win the debate with me by suggesting that libertarians start doing non-libertarian things... and somehow still be allowed to be called libertarians

look, it's very simple: a healthy society needs a balance between altruism and selfishness

period

end of story

IT IS THAT FUCKING SIMPLE YOU DOLT

why are you trying to make an end run around the patently fucking obvious?

you can take libertarianism and mull it over in your mind and play with it, and extend its meaning, and apply creative extensions to the creed, but in the end, if your goal is the same as mine: a healthy society, then you are going to wind up in the same spot i am already standing in afte r along and arduous journey

or you can just fucking listen to me shouting at you, and walk 2 steps, and arrive at the destination you somehow fail to see , even though is already plain as fucking day apparent and incredibly fucking obvious

are you guys economically autistic or something?

so you go with your bad self, but nothing you ever say or do about or with libertarianism is going to change the patently obvious lesson about the balance between altruism and selfishness in a healthy society

get it?

got it?

good

geez you people are some serious thick headed dolts

  1. communism bad
  2. libertarianism bad
  3. capitalism tempered with socialism/ socialism tempered with capitalism good
there, 3 giant fucking rock of gibraltars on your horizon

blink twice, maybe you will see them, and stop navel gazing at the wild goose chase


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I've lurked here long enough to know better (none / 2) (#218)
by sully on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:25:48 AM EST

But I'm bored, so I'll jump into this anyways.

What sort of nonsense are you spouting? Libertarianism as a political philosophy is about restricting government powers. I absolutely have not redefined anything. Funding social programs through taxation is "non-libertarian" - charity is not.

What is patently obvious is that political philosophy is not the fucking tao. Attaining a mystical balance between positive and negative forces as a method of sustaining a society is a complete fucking absurdity.

Deciding on a system of government is about solving social problems. It has nothing to do whatsoever with attaining the embodiment of some aspect of human behavior. Libertarianism did not spring fully formed from some platonic form of "selfishness" in the heavens some where, and communism likewise is not the avatar of the goddess of altruism.

How exactly does your perfect balance of two urges that have nothing to do with government make a good government? If you're talking about capitalism with goverment funded health care, pensions, and the like, are you at all interested in telling us why this is best without relying on the feng shui of it?

[ Parent ]
you are not arguing with me, you arguing past me (none / 2) (#219)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:09:05 AM EST

"How exactly does your perfect balance of two urges that have nothing to do with government make a good government?"

are you honestly telling me there are no guiding philosophies or principles behind the decisions that are made in government?

"Deciding on a system of government is about solving social problems."

i agree wholeheartedly... and? are you saying i am not interested in real world effects? i thought all along i was voicing my concerns abou the real world effects and failures of libertarianism

"What is patently obvious is that political philosophy is not the fucking tao. Attaining a mystical balance between positive and negative forces as a method of sustaining a society is a complete fucking absurdity."

well that's a humdinger there isn't it now

politics, if nothing else is exactly what you say it isn't: finding a balance between competing views, leading a people by charting a course, dictating a social policy that takes as many needs and grievances and concerns as possible into account

so you have some very nice incendiary words there, but really not much of an attack on what i am saying

"How exactly does your perfect balance of two urges that have nothing to do with government make a good government? If you're talking about capitalism with goverment funded health care, pensions, and the like, are you at all interested in telling us why this is best without relying on the feng shui of it?"

exactly! capitalism with social safety nets... better than libertarianism, better than communism... libertarianism posits social darwinism: if you can't support yourself, die, no one is going to use my financial resources to save your ass... communism posits social biology: like an ant colony, everyone works unquestioning for the good of the hive, self-interests and self-improvement and personal accountability be damned

you apparently take umbrage with me establishing a "aoist ying-yang type tension between two poles of a political spectrum here, but i happen to see the world as exaclty how you say it isn't: an ecosystem of competing ideas, falling in different ideological spots

exactly what is wrong with seeing the world like that? libertarianism is exactly as i describe it, your anger at my using a "tao" notwithstanding


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps this is more clear (none / 2) (#306)
by sully on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:20:19 PM EST

First of all, look back at your parent post before you make note of my "incendiary words".

Now, politics is finding a balance between competing views about how to do things in the real world, not between mutually exclusive abstractions. Yes, governments may have guiding principles, but "selfishness" does not qualify. A guiding principle behind a libertarian government would be more like "the government has no rights beyond those of its citizens." Libertarianism does not necessarily posit that people who can't take care of themselves must die. It merely says that the government must not provide for them through the use of force. That is a very big difference. Similarly, communism does not posit that we should live like ants in a colony, it posits that the people should communally own the means of production.

The point with which I'm taking umbrage is the idea that such remote and ambiguous concepts as selfishness and altruism somehow translate directly into systems of government. Yes, a society must balance the two, but do you balance them by strictly controlling the exchange of goods and labor, or by allowing market forces to strike the balance? No political philosphy says they shouldn't be balanced, the differences are over how to do it. My interest here is in learning why you think a mixed economy balances said forces more efficiently than a libertarian system, and in pointing out that you're assigning us an ideology that does not apply to every libertarian.

[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 1) (#323)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:07:12 PM EST

You do know that you're arguing with someone who has a simple (and wrong) idea and a lot of emotion surrounding it, and who is doing precisely NO thinking while he repeats that idea emotively over and over again, right?

Just want to be sure...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm not sure what I was thinking (none / 1) (#334)
by sully on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:00:19 PM EST

I suppose the thing about intellectual masturbation is that everyone does it, no?

[ Parent ]
Nope, sorry (none / 3) (#322)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:04:50 PM EST

Your analogy is compelling, but it is wrong. Socialism is a toxin; just as you would not accept "a little cyanide," so you should not accept "a little injustice," which is just another name for "a little socialism." You may feel good spending other peoples' money on causes that make you all weepy, but it is still other peoples' money, has still been stolen, and no vote or desire can make that right. What one person does not have the right to do, ten do not either. Or a thousand. Or a million. Or a hundred million. If it is wrong for ME to take your money on threat of physical force, then it is wrong for all of us to do so.

Furthermore, while shortsighted selfishness can in fact be evil, a reasonably long-view selfishness is a good thing in any quantity. Do you think Bill Gates is giving away billions of dollars because he feels guilty about being rich? No. Because he's ashamed of being comfortable while others suffer? Probably not. Why? Probably because he thinks living in a better world is a benefit to him. If so, he's right.

Socialists often say "we are all better off with these things done." They might be right, some of the time(not all socialist causes are worthwhile, but some are.) The problem is not the causes. The problem is the willful disregard for the rights of individuals. "Well, you have what I need to do this good deed, so I will take it. Don't like it? Fine, go to prison, loser." Of course, socialists don't THEMSELVES steal the money - they haven't the stomachs for it. They hire fascist goons for that job, and dress them in nice suits to cover up for this fact.

A question: "pure socialism" has at least been attempted(I would say they failed to achieve it, but that's because it is an impossible system that can only work by leeching off of a productive system.) Pure capitalism certainly hasn't ever been attempted - all supposed attempts were in fact fascist in nature, with government favors determining the successes and the failures. Why do you think that is? Certainly it has a better chance of success than pure socialism. So why?

The pure emotionalism you descend into every time you post on this topic suggests to me that I am wasting my time, but I figure I'll at least get some entertainment here even if you pay no attention to anything but repeating yourself over and over again. That said, try to reply to something I've said instead of just playing that broken record again, ok?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
The Brag of the Randroid (2.65 / 20) (#28)
by Blarney on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:26:55 AM EST

I'm better than you

Seriously. First of all, I'm smarter than you. Secondly, I'm an individual! Unlike you, I don't look to others to tell me what I'm worth or to give to me out of pity - no, I make my own way. Or at least, I would, if it wasn't for your collectivist laws and actions!

Who are YOU to tell me what to do, to take my stuff to fund schools for your rugrats, to build roads for YOUR vehicles, to hire police to protect YOU? Where do you get off taking my stuff and telling me what to do?

When we end your collectivist system, and replace it with our free-market society, me and the rest of us real men of ability will own all your stuff and will tell you what to do and if you don't like it you can die!

Oh, you want to tell ME what to do instead, you want to take MY stuff? That's cause you're a fucking COMMIE!

my humble respect (none / 2) (#31)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:42:38 AM EST

for saying the truth better than i could ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Just isn't the case (2.75 / 4) (#34)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:06:44 AM EST

You'll find few libertarians opposed to road budgets and police. And a good number of us aren't against the concept of public schooling. What you're describing is more in line with anarchist thinking.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
anarchy (2.75 / 8) (#35)
by Blarney on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:14:53 AM EST

I'll admit that the Brag above is modeled on little Anarkids around here and their philosophy, which basically boils down to "You deserve to get your ass kicked, and I'd totally kick your ass, if you weren't fighting back." Still, the Brag fits Objectivism as well (read the John Galt speech and notice how many times this iconic individualist blames other people for keeping him down) - and there is a substantial Objectivism component in the Free State Projects as well.

Libertarianism - like you, I don't see it as a monolithic block. It varies from Dr. Brin's "cheerful libertarian" pragmatism (which, in fact, probably would be a fine foundation for the Free State Project and might actually stand a chance of working) on one extreme to hard-core Objectivism tempered only by the lack of hero-worship of Rand on the other.

[ Parent ]

Rand (none / 0) (#72)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:53:56 AM EST

I've never read "Atlas Shrugged" but there is some merit to the idea that if you punish the capitalists enough, they'll simply stop creating value. It's not necessarily wrong to blame those who enact disincentives to produce. Someone has to support the world, and while we're not there yet, it's true that we're approaching a point where the John Galts of the world are resented for their success. If I create value for the economy, and you decide to have the government take my profits and give them away, who's to blame when I walk away and say "what's the use?" I stop short of coming to Rand's conclusion but I think her underlying logic is sound.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Flaws in John Galt, and in John Galt's World (none / 3) (#262)
by virg on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:25:21 PM EST

> I've never read "Atlas Shrugged" but there is some merit to the idea that if you punish the capitalists enough, they'll simply stop creating value.

This is the basis for the flaw in Randian thought. Mr. Galt (well, Ms. Rand through him) espoused the ideal of creating value in society. The problem lies in the definition of value, and its distribution. To give an example, let's say I make a chemical. I sell the chemical to person A. Then I dump the waste products in my back yard. Later, person B finds my wastes in his water supply. In such a simple example, it's easy to see that the value I created is tempered by the un-value I also created. The problem is that Rand's philosophy doesn't address the negative value. Therefore, when the big G comes and takes profits from me in the form of taxes to clean up the mess, I complain that they're taking my value away, and person A can easily agree with me. I didn't maliciously poison person B, he's just suffering from an externality of my doing business. The problem is that he's suffering nonetheless, but the Randian worldview doesn't care. However, the real world does, and so we agree to abide by no-dumping regulations to prevent injury by such externalities. The annoying part is that we then get to listen to my bitching about governmental regulation stifling my ability to produce value for society, because Rand's worldview conveniently allows me to sidestep externalities as long as they're not an "initiation of force" against someone specific. Back in the day, industrialists used to say "smoke means progress" and not one of them cared to say "smoke means pollution" as well.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
I can't speak for Objectivists (none / 0) (#282)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:29:02 PM EST

But most libertarians make room for the government to regulate negative externalities. This isn't an argument against libertarianism.

Since you're saying value doesn't actually get created, you seem to be saying that in all cases of capitalism, externalities outweigh the benefits of innovation. I.e. the industrial revolution was an overall negative due to pollution, medical science is an overall negative due to the population strain, etc. Is this the case? There seem to be a lot of closet Luddites here.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Oh, Come Now... (none / 1) (#297)
by virg on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:15:56 PM EST

> Since you're saying value doesn't actually get created...

Wow. Want to take another swipe at that? That's so far from right that we'll have to start all over. My posit is that negative externalities are often discounted by Libertarian thought, not that no value is created.

> you seem to be saying that in all cases of capitalism, externalities outweigh the benefits of innovation.

Again, so far from what I said that it's nonsensical. I'm done until you learn to read without hyperdefensiveness. Those two complete misses are embarrassing. You read WAY, WAY too much into what I said. I'm not circletimessquare.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
So that's not what you believe (none / 0) (#303)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:04:19 PM EST

Relax, I was just asking a question.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
The Problem (none / 0) (#373)
by virg on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:13:25 AM EST

> Relax, I was just asking a question.

The problem is that your question indicates that you badly misinterpreted my comment, and by implying things I didn't say made me look like a buffoon. Therefore, I pointed out that your interpretation was what was in error. As to relaxing, not likely here.

More to the point, though, how exactly does Ayn's idea of world compensate for externalities? Whenever one of the "haves" in _Atlas Shrugged_ does a number on one of the "have nots", there's never any repercussions at all. Sure, you're not allowed to step on other "haves" but that's not considering externality, it's biasing it based on who's paying. A good example of this that fits perfectly is safety standards in early 20th century industrial complexes. Back in the thirties, one could not usually afford to walk away from a job, because the jobs were relatively scarce and not having a job meant you didn't eat. As a result, working conditions in those factories were absolutely appalling, with owners doing such things as building plants with no fire escape routes to save on materials costs. The massive risk of working in a multifloor wooden building with no fire escapes is an externality, but until laws were forced by unions, none of the industrialists seemed interested in incorporating such things into their governments, and most decried the huge costs involved as being oppressive to business. This runs counter to your idea that libertarian thought will naturally incorporate such things into its plan. It would certainly compensate for it when the populace forced it to do so, but you'll have a hard time convincing me that if such laws were rescinded, that it would take long for the safety standards to disappear. When you tell a man in Detroit that he can work without fire escapes or he can leave and you'll move the plant to the Phillippines, do you really think he has much choice?

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Again, I'm not an Objectivist (none / 0) (#376)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:41:55 AM EST

Again, I'm not familiar enough with Objectivism to know Rand's answer but many libertarians recognize negative externalities such as pollution and understand that they need to be regulated.

However workplace safety standards aren't an externality, since they don't affect a third party. They're just a condition of the contract between employer and employee. To use your example: If the government mandates excessive safety standards as well as minimum wage, unemployment insurance, social security, and medicare, that factory is guaranteed to move to the Phillipines anyway. By imposing the restrictions on businesses, they are preventing employer and employee from coming to an agreement.

Still, I don't believe in eliminating safety standards. Their benefit outweighs the negative effect on market efficiency. But I do think we should take a look at many of the other artificial restrictions we place on businesses. They killed the manufacturing industry, now they are killing many other industries through outsourcing.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Good on You (none / 0) (#472)
by virg on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 01:25:45 PM EST

Firstly, good on you for responding in a well mannered fashion. It seems we disagree on some points, but civilly disagreeing puts you heads and shoulders above many on the site. Thank you.

> However workplace safety standards aren't an externality, since they don't affect a third party. They're just a condition of the contract between employer and employee. To use your example: If the government mandates excessive safety standards as well as minimum wage, unemployment insurance, social security, and medicare, that factory is guaranteed to move to the Phillipines anyway. By imposing the restrictions on businesses, they are preventing employer and employee from coming to an agreement.

I'll agree with your assessment that worker risk isn't officially an externality, but I disagree with the bent of this. Sure, regulations interfere with the employer-employee contract, but history has shown us that this relationship is virtually always controlled by the employer, at least so far as manufacturing goes. To be blunt, I don't see the moving of the factory as the worst case. I'd rather see it move than allow an industry to eliminate things like a minimum wage, because if the factory closes, the employees will move to other jobs. If it stays open and pays a dollar an hour, they won't likely move because everyone will be paying a dollar an hour. That's the way it was when the industry was allowed to set the work contract, and the workers just didn't have the option of "quit and go elsewhere" because it wasn't any better elsewhere. At least with the safety regs, you're assured that when you do find a job you won't be forced to accept hazardous conditions just to make a living. It's easy to say "it's the worker's choice", but when every employer is unsafe, where does that choice get you?

> But I do think we should take a look at many of the other artificial restrictions we place on businesses. They killed the manufacturing industry, now they are killing many other industries through outsourcing.

Herein lies the battleground. I agree that we should look at those restrictions, and review them on a regular basis. I suspect it's the level of those restrictions where we disagree, but hey, isn't that what democracy is about anyway?

Once again, thanks for going the high ground and discussing with me instead of making it a shout-fest. I hope others can take a look at your disagreement with me and learn how debating is supposed to work.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Substitution (2.77 / 9) (#39)
by Armada on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:37:00 AM EST

I suggest replacing the "your"s with "my"s and you'll get an idea of the 'owe-me' attitude that is precisely why Libertarians are who they are.

I don't want our roads, I don't want our public schools, I don't want our public sympathies.

I have a quote (from 1999) that applies here:
"I'm a product of a public school, therefore one should take heed when I say I am ashamed to be affiliated with such an institution."

I'm not a hypocrite (what you're implying) because I pay taxes. If I wasn't paying taxes, then you could call me one. But since I've lived with the benefits of all these social constructs and STILL find them offensive, my opinion becomes even stronger.

I suggest you look at how welfare, housing, and medical care worked pre-depression before you talk about how great I have it handed to me now. If I didn't pay for it, my father did, if he didn't pay for it, his father did. And so it goes on for, at least in my case, too many generations for me to know.

I say open up the borders to all and get rid of the federal aid. Unlike other Libertarians, my sole target is the federal government. As far as I'm concerned, states can be a socialist as they want, just as long as the federal government isn't.

I'm the most rabid Libertarian there is. Still, I know that I'll never see things the way I'd like to in my lifetime, which is why I'm more for legalization of drugs and the elimination of the income tax than I am for any other agenda. Any defeat against the Nanny state is a victory for me. I'm sorry you don't see it as a victory for yourself.

[ Parent ]

compliance or not..... (2.88 / 9) (#46)
by Blarney on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:35:24 AM EST

I'm not a hypocrite (what you're implying) because I pay taxes. If I wasn't paying taxes, then you could call me one. But since I've lived with the benefits of all these social constructs and STILL find them offensive, my opinion becomes even stronger.

Well, whether you comply or not with a "collectivist" social contract is beside the point. You're a hypocrite if and only if you 1) disagree with this social contract on principle and 2) want to institute a new social order where you exercise similar control yourself. Lots of people dislike the social contract where others can control their lives and property, but want to establish some fantasy land where they charge rent to airplanes flying over their lawn and tolls to cars driving by their house and hire people for jobs that they know might kill them and stuff like that. That is hypocrisy, whether they pay their taxes or not.

Basically, if you believe "dammit, I'd totally kick your ass if you'd do the right thing and not prevent me from kicking your ass..." it doesn't give you any credit to point out "but I'm not kicking your ass, see..." - I mean, that's the whole point. If you could, of course you would.

I suggest you look at how welfare, housing, and medical care worked pre-depression before you talk about how great I have it handed to me now.

Um.... you starved, you slept in an alley, you died anyway? I mean, medical care is the easiest to bust you on, because by the statistics it wasn't until 1945 that you could actually go to a doctor and get a better average outcome than you could get by not going to the doctor. The medical care of 1920 was damned cheap. So is a bag of dogshit. Why? Because they're worthless.

Housing? I mean, look up the dumbbell tenements and other housing of the time - for the poor who were fortunate enough to be able to afford it. We're talking fire hazards, vermin infestations, sewage dripping into the drinking water and epidemics of typhus. Housing is better today. A modern homeless shelter is a safer and cleaner place than the arduously-afforded tenement of 1920.

And welfare? You know, people in 1920 who couldn't afford food starved. They actually would die from not having enough to eat. I'm not talking malnourishment, or vitamin deficiencies leading to poor health, I'm talking about actual death. Do you have any idea how rare this is in the United States today? Now would you care to rethink your views on how we distribute food today as opposed to how we distributed food then?

Another thing you need to think about is that FDR, the great Statist who all good Libertarians despise, actually saved the United States from Communist revolution. People were hungry, and hungry people will revolt. There's no point clinging to principles when it could get you killed - and FDR knew that well, being an aristocrat who would have his head and the heads of all his relatives on the chopping block were such a revolution to happen. It was worth giving some handouts to people, it was worth the country and the lives of those who ruled it. Had the government held to the strict standards you think it should, the 1920s would have been the last of it and possibly the United States as well.

I say open up the borders to all and get rid of the federal aid.

Oh look, honey, there's a family of starving Ethiopians on the lawn! They're so cute! Oh look, they're trying to burglarize our house. Fortunately, we have our 2nd Amendment rights to blast them away!

There is much that is wrong about our immigration system now - I think that we shouldn't have H1B or Bush's gastarbeiter proposal, but we should be giving out full permanent residency rights to anyone qualified to be admitted. Still, you can't let people starve whether they be natives or guests - it's just a bad situation. Schemes for ruling the country must, above all, be practical! Ones which result in a large population who hate you and have nothing to lose by fighting you will inevitably lead to a bloody civil war.

Any defeat against the Nanny state is a victory for me. I'm sorry you don't see it as a victory for yourself.

The day they stop jailing drug users for their own good is a happy day, and I will celebrate it. But otherwise, I don't think any defeat of the State is automatically a victory for me. If it results in greater freedom and prosperity, I'm for it. But if it results in corporations and churches or State and local governments coming in to fill the Federal power vacuum, and has the further effect of creating new Hoovervilles, then I'm against it - no ideology is going to please me unless it has actual utility.

[ Parent ]

ah! ah! ah! but wait! (2.25 / 4) (#59)
by rmg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:40:50 AM EST

here's the coup de grace:

if there were a communist revolution, it would be immoral by libertarian morality, therefore it need not be considered and libertarianism is vindicated.

this is why i love libertarians.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

k (none / 0) (#543)
by Armada on Thu Jul 08, 2004 at 02:38:46 AM EST

Lots of people dislike the social contract where others can control their lives and property, but want to establish some fantasy land where they charge rent to airplanes flying over their lawn and tolls to cars driving by their house and hire people for jobs that they know might kill them and stuff like that.

Let's take roads and food. Why is it that I am forced to pay taxes for roads that I may never use but I am not forced to pay taxes for food that I may never eat?

I don't understand why the government is in the business of running a highway system but not in distributing foods. Both are needed. Neither are highly technical in nature. In fact, many railways were built by private corporations.

A common ploy of liberals is to talk about how much of a impossibility it is for airspace to be privately owned and restricted, yet they overlook the fact that the government does all this currently and with a hell of a lot more bureacracy than private enterprise would. I currently pay enough in taxes EVERY DAMN MONTH that paying money to keep planes from flying overhead is nothing. Don't even talk to me about there being outrageous charges, it isn't outrageous for me to live in a house away from a railroad. And it is certainly CHEAPER for me to live in a house near one. Any issues that can't be resolved in the market can be resovled by litigation. And yes, litigation is better than bullying or paying congress to make something a law. It's a jury.

So is a bag of dogshit. Why? Because they're worthless.

And so is the medical care of 1945 to today. A moot point.

You know, people in 1920 who couldn't afford food starved.

Your point? If I have enough to live it's okay to take enough away from me so that more people live? My life is important, but only in so much as that I remain alive?

We're talking fire hazards, vermin infestations, sewage dripping into the drinking water and epidemics of typhus. Housing is better today.

I should take pictures of where I live with 5 guys at 135 bucks a month in a college town if you think fire hazards and vermin infestations have somehow disappeared. Also, better structures come with the times, I would tend to argue that we should have even less issues than we currently do after the last 100 years. (Pre-depression doesn't mean depression-era, btw).

Another thing you need to think about is that FDR, the great Statist who all good Libertarians despise, actually saved the United States from Communist revolution.

Yeah, yeah, heard it before. So my question is, why are we still headed in the wrong direction and have been ever since? Why would it have been wrong for revolution to have happened? And btw, on the point itself, I do disagree. Nothing indicated that people were going to rise up against the government and overthrow it. Not even close.

Still, you can't let people starve whether they be natives or guests - it's just a bad situation.

Obviously we need to be debating utilitarianism since you seem to think it is my responsibility to keep other people alive. If I ignore the fact that someone is dying next to me, do you consider me equal to or worse than the person that stabbed them? Cause it seems pretty evident that ignoring it is going to provoke some sort of horrid emotion out of you. How about instead of you being upset that I don't care you put your energy into saving them rather than putting your energy into trying to convince me that I should.

I give a lot back to my community, but I'll be damned if I do it for any other reason than I want to.

[ Parent ]

Questions about the FSP and FTP (2.95 / 20) (#38)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:30:27 AM EST

It's an interesting idea, really, masses of like-minded people moving to a specific locality to live the way they want to live. A proud tradition dating all the way back to the Pilgrims! They can have things their way, everyone else is rid of a small but vocal minority of people who are always trying to rock the boat, everybody wins! Right? The problem, of course, is the way that they displace the people already living (presumably) happy lives in that locality before they got there.

Personally, I'm curious how those ruggedly-individualistic Libertarians would take it, if there they were living happy little small-government, personally-responsible, free-market lives, when suddenly the US Communist Party decided that they wanted to come flooding in with the Collective Town Project and form a nice central Worker's Authority to centrally regulate all economic activity in that town and share the products of economic labour with the workers who produced it. They might even choose the town because of its lax zoning regulations (there wouldn't be any! and anyway it'd be their own fault).

Would the newly-dispossessed Libertarians go "Oh well, it was nice while it lasted, but I guess they have the right to move here and live the way they want to, even if it messes up everything we've built here"? Or would they break out the shotguns their glorious 2nd Amendment rights insist they all carry and go around well-regulating the damn commies full of lead?

The FSP is even worse in that respect, because instead of just wiping out a civic government of a few hundred or few thousand people, it would be trying to recreate an entire STATE, whether all the millions of people already living there like it or not. If they were going to move to some big empty part of Utah or something, build a society from the ground up and secede, that'd be one thing. But to move to a populated area with all the infrastructure and services already there (paid for, true, by the deluded and collectivist masses, but that's their own fault), and then vote the people into dismantling their own government... that gives me serious pause.

man (2.00 / 8) (#41)
by Armada on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:40:02 AM EST

Or would they break out the shotguns their glorious 2nd Amendment rights insist they all carry and go around well-regulating the damn commies full of lead?

God, are you ever stupid. Have you only met Libertarians online? We're a hell of a lot more timid in person. And the answer to the communist party moving in is: do it. No seriously, good luck.

It was done in the past, and the result is Vermont.

[ Parent ]

Hey! (none / 1) (#90)
by danharan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:48:10 PM EST

Do you mind not calling people stupid? His stereotypes may need challenging, but the way you're doing it is... counterproductive.

[ Parent ]
I take your point. (3.00 / 6) (#137)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:02:53 PM EST

No, you're absolutely right, the shotgun thing was a bit gratuitous and thrown in primarily for humour. I'm sure a lot of people who consider themselves libertarian have never owned a gun and wouldn't care to. I can see the stereotype bothers you, and I can understand why.

That said, the point I was trying to make was simply: would a libertarian community stand quietly by while people supporting an ideology they despised came flooding in and started taking over, or would things get nasty?

Further, you have to ask yourself: The US Libertarian Party is stereotyped as a bunch of crazy gun-nuts... why, exactly, is this? I was on the Libertarian Party mailing list for awhile myself, and perhaps this goes to CaptainSuperBoy's point of Libertarian rhetoric being counterproductive, but gun-rights have become so deeply entrenched in the LP's philosophy, and Libertarian gun supporters are so vocal about both Libertarianism and guns (frequently tying the two inseparably together), I don't think it's an unfair conclusion for a casual observer to reach based on some of the words of current LP members.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#542)
by Armada on Thu Jul 08, 2004 at 02:10:43 AM EST

I guess that what really irks people about the LP is that you take any issue and they are radically set in stone on what is the "right" way. It's like the Republicans, but there isn't a religion as much as a philosophy behind it.

You will NOT find a libertarian that is willing to compromise on the gun issue. At least, there will most likely not be one that is vocally in favor of gun control and still considers himself part of the LP. It's because the main point of the party is accountability and freedom, and owning a gun, condom, or a tootsie roll is all the same, it's just a right.

Now in the same token, you'll probably never find a Libertarian that is going to be both a vocal member of the party and also vocally against the legalization of marijuana. It just doesn't happen. You should be free to do what you want as long as it doesn't harm another person. It's so simple to the person that believes it that when others try to argue the points they do, they are working within the construct of utilitarianism, which is a philosophy that a libertarian has rejected, while a Republican and Democrat think is still important.

That's why we seem isolated. I'm not going to argue on what's best for society, "the children", or humanity. Instead, I argue what is best for me, and that is that the federal government get out of my life. State governments, IMHO, should be much larger than they currently are. This isn't a federal system, this is a unitary system where one government supercedes all others. The tenth amendment is pointless.

[ Parent ]

3, Encourage for using "well-regulating" (none / 2) (#67)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:58:50 AM EST

... the way you did.

[ Parent ]
A better FTP (3.00 / 8) (#88)
by danharan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:46:15 PM EST

idea would have been to take over an abandonned town. You know, like one of many one-mill towns that were shutdown after their one and only industry disappeared.

Either that, or a place with next to no-population where everyone is either OK with you moving in, or is willing to sell you what's left. It would be a nice middle-ground between what they are doing now and choosing an empty part of Utah :)

For the record, I have strong anarchist leanings, but closer to Kropotkin than Bakunin. I fear a lot of so called Libertarians are the other way around, and they honestly scare me.

[ Parent ]

Libertarian FTP II: Resurrection (none / 2) (#132)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:46:05 PM EST

You're absolutely right, and this is something I had considered right after I hit the "Post" button. Resurrecting a ghost town or moving in to a tiny community with the residents' actual support would be something I could whole-heartedly appreciate and even encourage, for the same reasons several other people have mentioned (it'd be fascinating to test the principles and see if they really work).

It's just the "moving in with all your friends and voting a community out from under the people who built it" bit that bothers me.

[ Parent ]

Everything Kansas (none / 1) (#286)
by Belgand on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:38:46 PM EST

Perhaps you might be more interested in the very theoretical (many would call it a pipe dream) concept of Everything Kansas (note, the site is down ATM, this is my best guess for the proper node, simply visit E2 and search if it's wrong). As formulated on the site Everything2. The idea being to go to a small place in Western Kansas (i.e. absolute barren nothingness, trust me, I live in Kansas and there's barely anything here as it is) and build a small sustainable community.

The goals are a bit different, but the basic idea of rather similar. Of course, the libertarians lose out because I have absolutely no desire to go to New Hampshire myself. I wish those that do go the best of luck, but frankly none of this sort of thing really works out for you when you're a molecular genetics researcher.

[ Parent ]

Not much of a problem (2.50 / 4) (#259)
by roystgnr on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:47:42 PM EST

The problem, of course, is the way that they displace the people already living (presumably) happy lives in that locality before they got there.

They "displace" the people already living there by offering to buy their homes, and giving an agreed-upon amount of money to the people who accept.  Not exactly the Trail of Tears, is it?

The FSP is even worse in that respect, because instead of just wiping out

Enjoy the rhetoric much?  If you think voting to change the laws of a government is "wiping it out", then you're in the wrong country.

a civic government of a few hundred or few thousand people, it would be trying to recreate an entire STATE, whether all the millions of people already living there like it or not.

Who doesn't like it, whether they know it or not?  If you believe that government legitimacy comes from a majority vote, then you should be prepared and content to occasionally find yourself part of the minority.  If you believe that government legitimacy comes from its protection of individual liberties, then you should be happy to live in a democracy surrounded by more like-minded voters.  

I suppose the "divine right of kings" people should be ticked, but I think they mostly live in the South, not New Hampshire.  ;-)

[ Parent ]

About Ayn Rand (2.53 / 15) (#44)
by Armada on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:25:49 AM EST

I want to fuck Ayn Rand's rotting head in the eye socket. And thankfully, she's the kind of person who would fight for my right to say that. Just as I would fight for the right of others to fuck my decaying head in the eye socket. Err. I mean, to say that.

So anyway, what the hell is the deal with Randites and Libertarianism? Every god damn time I hear someone say one they say the other. I've read her books and they are fiction. They might have something resembling a philosophy to them, but she wrote a book about cheating on your spouse while she was cheating on her spouse.

I would tend to think she was more justifying to herself what she was doing that trying to start a religion. I think Atlas Shrugged would make a great movie, but I'm not exactly a fan of her novels.

IMHO, she's a bitch and I hate her. Maybe I'm just a different kind of libertarian because I don't think she was special or don't adhere to objectivism. Or maybe I hate her because her name gets associated with Libertarianism and not mine.

Did Ayn Rand ever own a gun?

If she didn't, then she's obviously not a Libertarian. After all, we have to own guns to be Libertarians, right K5? Not only that, but we have to be political whackos who want to sit on our front lawns getting blow jobs by hookers as we smoke our blunts and stroke our pump-shotties, right?

Man, I want to meet some of those Libertarians, they sound like cool people.

Not only was Ayn Rand a philosopher (2.20 / 5) (#48)
by RandomLiegh on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 04:44:30 AM EST

but she's probably THE leading philosopher responsible for libertarianism in its' current form.  She wrote a few non-fiction books including "capitalism the unknown ideal", "for teh new intellectual" and "philosphy -who needs it?" as well as a number of others.

While I would agree with you on pretty much every other point in your post (except for the rotting head bit -that's just gross) her philosophy did not simply come about to justify her dicking around on her husband.

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]

don't forget Heinlein (3.00 / 4) (#66)
by zenofchai on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:57:03 AM EST

"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is also a novel of libertarian philosphy. And, IMHO, very very much better than all of Rand's books piled onto one another. It's the book that made me a libertarian, the first one which asked me, out-right, "What is it moral for the state to do which is immoral for a single person to do?"
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
I loved that book... (none / 1) (#153)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:16:10 PM EST

The Professor was a great character... I loved his speech with the cautions and proposals for whoever was going to write a constitution. The funny one I remember offhand:
"If you choose to hold elections, why not let the person with the least votes win? Unpopular people may have something important to contribute as well..."
but some of the other suggestions sounded great.

TANSTAAFL.

[ Parent ]

I liked the Prof's idea... (none / 1) (#338)
by DavidTC on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:51:45 PM EST

..of having non-district representations. Instead, everyone just gets a petition with X amount of names on it. This would work well for the House.

Although I would change that to making it anonymous, and proportional, where you can have anywhere from, say, five million voters to, oh, 100,000.)

Of course, you'd have to have X number of votes to say, propose a bill, and X/3 or something to even show up on the floor and debate and propose amendments. (Or maybe make that the 'top 75' and 'top 200' or whatever.)

And if you didn't have enough, you could always grab some other people who didn't have enough and make a bloc showing on certain bills, even if they didn't choose to vote for those bills. (I'm sure the 'big' tiny parties in this country like the Communist Party and the Natural Law Party and whatnot could work some deal out where they will pool their voters enough where they each get to propose a bill or two a year, where their bloc temporarily overrides someone else's right to be there and they send a single person instead.)

And it would be nice if people could 'recall' their vote whenever they wanted, and pick someone else, but it's hard to see how that could be combined with it being anonymous.

I would just make this for the House, though, not the Senate. The Senate really is supposed to represent states.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

not really (none / 0) (#89)
by khallow on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:47:40 PM EST

Hmmm, my cursory review of the field indicates at least three people John Locke, Robert Nozick, and Milton Friedman who have influenced Libertarianism at least as much as Ayn Rand.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Er, no (2.80 / 5) (#139)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:10:56 PM EST

Those other authors are important people with good work, but their contributions are mostly academic in nature. No mass movement will ever be started over the writings of an academic or a professional number cruncher.

Also, the platform of the Libertarian Party was stolen wholely from Rand, and she hated them for it(because they ignored the rest of her positions, or actively opposed them in some cases.) The text is nearly identical; you can't miss this basic fact.

What's entertaining about Friedman is that Rand is often accused of being a stooge or an apologist for corporate bullshit(which isn't true at all,) while Friedman is revered by nearly everyone, regardless of whether they agree with him. Rand would not have agreed with the vision of America as nothing but corporate fiefdoms any more than she wanted it to be a police state, but Friedman, while he claims to be merely pro-capitalist, has been quite happy to let his name and writings be used without any complaint on his own part by people who very OBVIOUSLY are statist thugs, corporate thugs, and so on. Sure, Rand was pro-business - but the businesses she understood were owned by people, controlled by people, and so on - the idea of a business that could go on forever, span continents, and have more power than even a statist government without any one person really being accountable for its behavior would have appalled her had she come to understand it fully. Friedman seems happy enough with such entities.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Friedman... (none / 1) (#154)
by skyknight on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:17:24 PM EST

also invented income tax withholding. That, alone, is reason enough to hate him.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
[n/t] (none / 2) (#174)
by RandomLiegh on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:45:44 PM EST

"the idea of a business that could go on forever, span continents, and have more power than even a statist government without any one person really being accountable for its behavior would have appalled her had she come to understand it fully."

Granted it's been ages since I read (or cared about) Atas Shrugged; but I think that her discription of D'aconia (sp?) Copper, if not Taggart Transcontinental, fits the discription of nearly statist transcontinental coroporations to a tee.


---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#315)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:54:57 PM EST

The Taggart company, sort of, because it was run by a man she cast as a bad guy, but the copper company was intended to be an example of a private enterprise. It was, during the context of the story, nationalized - and the private owner deliberately destroyed it at that time. None of this really matters that much; the important thing is not details of the story, but the underlying ideas.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
mass movement? (none / 0) (#298)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:35:08 PM EST

Those other authors are important people with good work, but their contributions are mostly academic in nature. No mass movement will ever be started over the writings of an academic or a professional number cruncher.

Excuse me. We're not comparing the above list to say Darwin (evolution), Marx (communism), Adam Smith (capitalism), or Mohammad (Islam). Incidentally everyone I just mentioned spent some time as either an academic or in the case of Mohammad, a trader ("bean counter"). We're comparing these people to Ayn Rand, a flaky philosopher with a minor cult. She still sells a lot of books, but I think you need to be more realistic in your appraisal of her influence.

Also, the platform of the Libertarian Party was stolen wholely from Rand, and she hated them for it(because they ignored the rest of her positions, or actively opposed them in some cases.) The text is nearly identical; you can't miss this basic fact.

Interesting support for your argument. I see some evidence of copying, but the fact they ignore parts and oppose other parts of her positions seems to indicate to me that the platform wasn't "stolely wholely" from her.

What's entertaining about Friedman is that Rand is often accused of being a stooge or an apologist for corporate bullshit(which isn't true at all,) while Friedman is revered by nearly everyone, regardless of whether they agree with him. Rand would not have agreed with the vision of America as nothing but corporate fiefdoms any more than she wanted it to be a police state, but Friedman, while he claims to be merely pro-capitalist, has been quite happy to let his name and writings be used without any complaint on his own part by people who very OBVIOUSLY are statist thugs, corporate thugs, and so on. Sure, Rand was pro-business - but the businesses she understood were owned by people, controlled by people, and so on - the idea of a business that could go on forever, span continents, and have more power than even a statist government without any one person really being accountable for its behavior would have appalled her had she come to understand it fully. Friedman seems happy enough with such entities.

In other words, Friedman has shared his ideas and been more tolerant of applications of his ideas than Rand.

Hmmm, then there's Ludwig von Mises, one of the dominant forces of the "Austrian School" and another bean counter more influential in Libertarianism than Ayn Rand.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Nope sorry (none / 0) (#317)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:56:29 PM EST

You WANT those other people to be more influential, but there is zero evidence in history to support the idea of an academic being more influential in the world than a writer who has the intellectual capacity, but chooses to use it in a more persuasive role. In fact, all the truly influential(outside of academia) writers I can think of are NOT academics.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
don't be sorry (none / 0) (#385)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:37:55 AM EST

You WANT those other people to be more influential, but there is zero evidence in history to support the idea of an academic being more influential in the world than a writer who has the intellectual capacity, but chooses to use it in a more persuasive role. In fact, all the truly influential(outside of academia) writers I can think of are NOT academics.

You are making the broad assumption that Rand had a more persuasive role. I just don't see that. Further, every single person I mentioned so far wrote influential nonacademic works. Every single one.

And that last sentence is pretty messed up logically. Let me point out that Adam Smith, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx were all academics and profoundly influential.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Profoundly influential? (none / 1) (#430)
by trhurler on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:56:51 PM EST

Darwin was influential because his ideas created a shitstorm for Christian theology, and for no other reason; otherwise, he'd have been "influential" among biologists, and nowhere else. Smith influenced academia, but little else; his academic successors had more impact, but only theoretically. Marx, on the other hand, was more like Rand than like a traditional academic. He wrote clearly, powerfully, and for any ordinary intellectually inclined reader; you don't have to be a professional dissertation reader to understand him. He was a popularizer of ideas that, contrary to popular belief today, historians will tell you he did not invent.

As for Rand's influence, there is an essay entitled "the fountainhead" by a woman who doesn't even like Ayn Rand that might enlighten you, if you were to find a copy. (No, not the novel:) It turns out that she's been read by a lot of people you wouldn't think of, who credit her with inspiring them. A lot of things she started were carried on by other people, perhaps in different form, but still carried on. A lot of businessmen, a number of the more liberty-oriented politicians in the country, and many others say that while they've read lots of authors, for inspiration, they think Rand is where it is at.

One thing you have to remember: despite widespread academic disdain, by the end of her life, panels of PhDs were listening to her, doing Q&A sessions with her, reading her, travelling substantial distances to see her, and so on. Then she died, and a lot of her publicly visible influence was gone, because her designated "successor" is a complete tool.

I'm no Randroid, and she made mistakes - I insist upon that, rather than merely "admitting" it. But, if you want to know where the rising tide(fastest growing political movement since the creation of the blatantly status-quo-favoring FEC and friends,) of "libertarian Republicans" and millions of people voting for Libertarian candidates and so on came from, don't ask some economist(there are several, and they're all important in their own way - I prefer von Mises myself.) Most of those voters have never heard of him. Don't ask Locke; most of those voters aren't sure whether he was a philosopher or an English noble or something. In their economics classes, they were taught Keynes and socialist macroeconomic theory. In philosophy, Kant and his secular apologetics for the Christian ideal of sacrifice for others. A few of them look beyond that to find those who champion ideas they like, but the majority simply write academia off as a bunch of quacks patting each other on the back(which is more true than it should be, sadly.)

Almost all of them know who Rand is. If they haven't read some of her books, they intend to get around to it one day.

Go talk to Fortune 500 CEOs. How many of them have read Smith or Ricardo, let alone any modern economics? How many of them have read Rand at some point in their lives? Heh.

The difference will astound you if you look. Those who are generally thought to have influence do not always in fact possess it, and people will cite sources often ridiculed. It isn't just this one issue, or just Rand, or just those economists, or whatever. This is a general social trend. The reason a person is controversial and ridiculed is often precisely THAT that person is effective.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I've not read any of Rand's work... (none / 0) (#361)
by drsmithy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:32:43 AM EST

[...] the idea of a business that could go on forever, span continents, and have more power than even a statist government without any one person really being accountable for its behavior [...]

But isn't that basically a perfect one line description of "the corporation", the cornerstone of capitalism ? Isn't the whole _point_ of corporatisation to allow these things ?

[ Parent ]

Corporations (none / 1) (#365)
by Shajenko on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:18:21 AM EST

Corporations are not at all necessary for the operation of capitalism. Corporations are merely a legal construct, facilitating the organization of capital. There are other types of businesses, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships.

[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#423)
by trhurler on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:25:48 PM EST

Your history is woefully inadequate. Capitalism far predates the modern corporation. Early "corporations" were nothing like the modern version; they had limited lifespans, restrictive charters, and were expressly approved by the government, which could say no if it wanted to. But, capitalism even predates THOSE corporations. The first capitalists were sole proprietors, and then they formed partnerships. Two man partnerships were a favorite form of business in Italy a few hundred years ago, as one example. The modern corporation dates back no more than 200-300 years ago, and even then, there have been substantial changes in the last 100 years.

Capitalism and corporatism are not wholely dissimilar, but they are also not one thing. Confusing the two will lead you to condemn capitalism for the faults of corporatism. (And really, if the rules were a bit different, corporations would probably be ok. The real problem is that they're allowed to become essentially limitless powerbases of infinite duration, with no one in particular in control for any length of time.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#130)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:41:46 PM EST

Most of Rand's books were nonfiction, and if you don't know that, you probably shouldn't talk so much about her. You make yourself sound like some sort of expert, but you miss basic facts?:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
But seriously. (3.00 / 4) (#212)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:39:08 AM EST

Everything Rand wrote was fiction.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#548)
by Armada on Mon Nov 08, 2004 at 06:37:59 PM EST

Granted, this post wasn't intended to reflect my understand of Ayn Rand. I will be the first to admit my only interaction with anything of her was Atlas Shrugged, but I was also reading von Mises at the same time, and Mises appealed to me a hell of a lot more.

I heard that Mises attended a LP convention once though and stood up after an hour or so and exclaimed, "You're all a bunch of socialists!" and then stormed out. IMHO, there's parts to take from everyone, and I loathe the fact that someone would try to make a figurehead for the LP when the party itself is inherently individualistic. The idea of having one person represent all the views is simply ludicrous. It's the reason why I get called a "Randite" by those that have even a semblence of understanding about the roots of the LP.

Since I believe in a God, I can't be an objectivist, but that doesn't stop people from calling me one.

[ Parent ]

Best. Post. Ever. (none / 0) (#341)
by Kax on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:30:11 PM EST

23/2/1/111

[ Parent ]
Gregg Ramsay hates freedom (2.15 / 19) (#52)
by smg on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:32:08 AM EST

First they'd privatize the roads and the schools, eliminate mandatory recycling, and wipe out taxes for their fellow cultists but not for the "statists," that is, those of us who were already here. Once that's done, they'd legalize drugs, prostitution, incest and other crimes they refer to as "victimless."
Maybe it's a little ambitious, but what's wrong with those goals?

Doesn't Gregg understand the satisfaction of having a little road, street or boulevard all of your own, so YOU can decide who uses it and who doesn't?

Why should everyone be forced to attend and pay for an education that most, frankly, are too stupid to benefit from?

Mandatory recycling: that's simply a Stalinist and Nazi policy. First we're forced to put out our plastic and paper to be collected and crushed by the government. What do we put out next? Jews?

If Statists love taxes so much, why shouldn't they pay them? After all, they've forced us Libertarians to pay tax for years. It's about time we got our revenge.

Gregg's fear of prostitution shows his sexism and outdated social attitudes. If your daughter grows up to be the town prostitute, you should be proud, not ashamed.

As for drugs, a crack house can be a popular and lucrative local business. Why should we exclude our nation's ghetto entrepreneurs?

Although incest may be a distasteful concept, I'm sure many of Kurons reading this would either secretly like to be able to shtup your siblings without fear of prosecution or are the product of such a union.

In conclusion, I think Gregg Ramsay hates freedom and hates America. The article was a loathsome screed comparable to Mein Kampf in it's vindictiveness against a minority (Libertarians). In fact, I haven't read anything so prejudiced against the Libertarian brotherhood since Zack Parson's recent outburst.

I hope you're being satirical... (none / 2) (#92)
by Wouter Coene on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:55:03 PM EST

...it's hard to tell these days.

[ Parent ]
sweet jesus shut the fuck up (nt) (none / 2) (#224)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:23:00 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
just as long (1.14 / 7) (#55)
by the sixth replicant on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:27:15 AM EST

as we have no prisons and defence spending then i'm in! Even Noam Chomsky prefers anarchy to what we have now. Sheep!

ciao

What New Hampshire needs now is a serial arsonist (2.60 / 23) (#63)
by sllort on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:28:21 AM EST

What better way to delve into the mind of a libertarian than to put a match to his house and see  if he can bring himself to call the fire department.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
An easier "dilemma" (none / 2) (#84)
by khallow on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:29:44 PM EST

I bet there's an easier answer to whether or not that libertarian shoots said serial arsonist, if given the chance.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

What are you trying to imply? (none / 3) (#127)
by sllort on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:21:38 PM EST

That libertarians are mainly paranoid, angry, lawless fuckers?
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
nah (none / 2) (#299)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:38:49 PM EST

That libertarians are mainly paranoid, angry, lawless fuckers?

Nah, just that your example was flawed since you failed to take into account the survival odds of a serial arsonist who specializes in torching the buildings of "mainly paranoid, angry lawless fuckers".

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Fire departments around the world (none / 1) (#147)
by thanos on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:07:38 PM EST

Your post is funny, but misses the point.

Many countries have privatized their fire departments and have experienced greater efficieny and lower costs. Some municipalities in the US have also tried the idea. Many European countries have totally privatized fire services.

Here, try: privatization

And the good old UAW arguing against: privatization is naughty


Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

My family remembers private fire departments (2.75 / 4) (#156)
by epepke on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:31:49 PM EST

Here, in the US, in this century. When the fireman would come and, if you could not show the proper receipts, they would just let the house burn down. It was not such a great deal.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Receipts? (none / 1) (#162)
by skyknight on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:25:36 PM EST

Receipts for what? Am I to suppose that people paid for fire fighting contracts individually? That seems absurd... I would have assumed that private fire departments entailed a town contracting out to a company. Surely you are pulling our collective legs...

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Private fire departments (3.00 / 9) (#182)
by cdguru on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:19:15 PM EST

They were a function of fire insurance and paid by the insurance company. If you didn't have fire insurance, you didn't get any protection.

[ Parent ]
Harsh. /nt (none / 0) (#242)
by skyknight on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:39:17 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Terry Pratchett... (none / 1) (#339)
by DavidTC on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:56:42 PM EST

...played around with the other version of that..you just pay the fire department after putting out the fire, instead of having to purchase insurance.

It's amazing how profitable for the fire department that can be.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I'm sure... (none / 0) (#393)
by skyknight on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:23:45 PM EST

that doing that wouldn't cause an uptick in arson.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what you can believe (none / 3) (#352)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:54:51 AM EST

I meet people on this newsgroup every day whose idea of "building" a computer is slapping a "mobo" into a chassis with a power supply and plugging in the wires. The "mobo" and power supply, perhaps they imagine emerge fully formed from the sphincters of Asians. Many of them would go all gobsmacked to learn that once people opened up the backs of their radios and took the tubes to drug stores, all of which had tube testers and sold tubes.

But this is the way it was, when my grandparents came to the US in 1928 and 1929. The firemen would save the people in the house, but if you could not produce the proper receipts showing that your insurance was paid up, they would then sit around and watch the house burn down.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Incidentally... (none / 2) (#353)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:58:28 AM EST

The Volunteer Fire Department movement was largely a response to this, sort of the Open Source of its day. And, yes, there were fights, some of them quite literal.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Well, I am aware... (none / 1) (#366)
by skyknight on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:36:01 AM EST

that a hobbyist building a computer used to entail a guy buying a kit of myriad parts and proceeding to solder them together, praying that it worked well enough to run a Basic interpreter. I'm not old enough to have have experienced this personally, but I've read enough books on the history of the computer revolution to know that I've got it pretty good these days. Though, I think the memory chip in my desktop machine at home just had a meltdown, because I'm getting a blue screen when I boot. I had two chips in it before, and last time this happened I took one out and it proceeded to work again. Now I'm blue screening and I only have the one chip, so I'll have to buy another memory chip to test my hypothesis.

I believe your story about your grandparents. You'll have to forgive my original scepticism. It's often hard for anyone to believe anything about the way life was nearly a century ago. Just imagine the stories that we'll be telling our great grandchildren (or great-great grandchildren, depending on your confidence in biomedical and genetic engineering) about the way things were when we were kids: "back when I was a boy, we used to think that 640k would be enough forever!"



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Good for you (none / 0) (#397)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:35:58 PM EST

that a hobbyist building a computer used to entail a guy buying a kit of myriad parts and proceeding to solder them together, praying that it worked well enough to run a Basic interpreter. I'm not old enough to have have experienced this personally, but I've read enough books on the history of the computer revolution to know that I've got it pretty good these days.

Good for you, but it concerns me that this kind of memory (as opposed to history) is being lost. Cultures really do have short memory spans. It's dangerous, because the US and the West in general are losing people who can actually do anything except rely on an existing marketplace. How easy it is for people to believe that we were always at war with Eurasia. And as, at 43, I am somewhat geriatric with respect to other people on kuro5hin, there are often these culture clashes. But I digress.

believe your story about your grandparents. You'll have to forgive my original scepticism. It's often hard for anyone to believe anything about the way life was nearly a century ago.

Skepticism is great, and I don't hold it against you. But as I've grown older, I've learned something. People say that individuals become more conservative as they grow older; I think this is false. What I think happens is that as people get older, they acquire some direct personal knowledge of the past. The past becomes something they have experienced, which is a much more direct form of knowledge than reading from books. I would much rather listen to an old person's stories than read some academic's account. So, as people age, when somebody says, "Hey, wouldn't it be a great idea if..." they remember the five or six times in the past when someone said exactly the same thing and how it turned out to be the stupidest idea in the world.

Also, gotta say--1928 wasn't that long ago. Telephones and radios existed. General Relativity was well understood, and QM was on its way. The English language was almost indistinguishable from the modern variant. Pornography was the same as it is now, except on film in black-and-white and usually without sound. Surgery and sterile procedure were established to the degree of most modern standards, there were plastics on the market, machine synthesis of speech was possible, calculators were commonplace (though they didn't usually have long division), New York looked about the same, and hybrid electric/gasoline automobiles had been available for twenty years. And yet, there were no really effective birth control methods, antibiotics were just on the verge of being discovered, vitamins were only about halfway understood, trade unions were still considered revolutionary, and a lot of people who should have known better thought that fascism was a great idea. And, yes, a lot of fire departments were private.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
The saying goes... (none / 0) (#399)
by skyknight on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:10:41 PM EST

"those who fail to learn their history are doomed to repeat it", but alas that isn't quite right. More accurately, we're all doomed to repeat history because those who refuse to learn are are also the loudest, pushiest, most ruthless and prone to violence. In general, we tend to get the kind of government that the majority of people deserve.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
What if the receipts had already burned? (nt) (none / 0) (#357)
by Pseudonym on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:34:00 AM EST


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Then they're part of the house that burned. [n/t] (none / 0) (#406)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:26:03 PM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
What if it's a volunteer fire department? /nt (none / 2) (#151)
by skyknight on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:11:02 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Libertarianism, good bits, bad bits (2.83 / 12) (#69)
by brain in a jar on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:04:32 AM EST

I have sympathies with some libertarian policies. For examle the war on drugs in the US should have been over a long time ago. It is a policy which causes more problems than it solves, by criminalizing users and preventing them from accessing effective treatment for addiction, from accessing cheap clean supplies of drugs, and by feeding huge amounts of money into the black market with the inevitable violence this entails.

However, in many cases their polcies go to far, and approach anarchism. They see the opression of the state but not the murderous chaos that tends to ensue without its existance.

Without a state and the attendant police force/army the strong will inevitably exploit the weak. This can manifest itself in various ways, at the smallest scale it results in crime. As groups band together, this progresses to warlordism, with frequent, bloody and ultimately pointless conflict ocurring. This can be or has observed in any one of a number of countries where law and order has broken down, eg. somalia, afganistan etc.

In the case of modern N. America absent government the corporations are the strongest entities, and they would probably rule any post governmental future, and I suspect it would not be pretty, since a corporation is not in any way democratic.

Essentially, I think that libertarians see only the oppression of the state, but not the fact that it protects them from the oppression of other entities. There will always be a person, or organisation which is the strongest, and there will always be the temptation for this entity to abuse its power. A democratic government, is, in the light of this, the least worst option.

Moving on to details, the libertarian view often ignores the fact that when a number of people live in the same place, their actions influence each other's wellbeing, whether they wish to or not.

Consider what happens if we choose to privatise the sewerage system, but there are no laws forcing people to buy this service. Some people would inevitably choose not to pay the sewerage company and instead to chuck their waste into the street or into a watercourse. The impacts of this on the community in terms of public health (and the stench) are fairly obvious. In this case you could argue that the water course could be privatised, as could the road, such that there would be no option but to pay for disposal. But this too has problems. What if our troublemaker owns a short section of watercourse and dumps into that, how does the system deal with that. At best the result is complex and costly litigation by all of owners of downstream sections of the watercourse. It is far more efficient in this case to have a government to represent the public interest, and to legislate against activies that harm the common good.

To summarise, sometimes governments do go too far, they have their uses and extreme libertarians, never having lived without the protection of a government, often forget this. Moderation in all things boys.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

Sigh (2.87 / 8) (#70)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:20:42 AM EST

Like most armchair critiques, this one is a straw man. Very few libertarians are saying we should privatize the sewers or the roads or end democratic government. The policies approach anarchism in your mind, because they're closer to anarchism than what you believe. But most would stop far short of calling for an end to government.

I's possible to scale back restrictions on personal freedom and regulations on business without descending into a lawless hell-hole. Somalia and Afghanistan have had times of lawlessness, not libertarianism. We're not opposed to the concept of law. There's never been a real libertarian state.

As far as the strong exploiting the weak: No business can demand money from you and lock you up for failure to pay. No business can grow so big that it can send you off to die in a meaningless war. These powers are reserved for governments, and they need to be restricted.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Corporations and war (2.75 / 8) (#91)
by Wouter Coene on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:51:46 PM EST

No business can grow so big that it can send you off to die in a meaningless war.

Really? So all those wars over diamond mines are just silly rumours?

[ Parent ]
Key word... (none / 2) (#237)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:50:03 AM EST

Force. They can pay you a lot of money if you choose to go to war.

That's why corporations war for diamonds and governments war for dirt.



-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
of course you are right (none / 2) (#94)
by Altus on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:03:44 PM EST


very few libertarians are calling for the privitization of everything and the dismatling of much of the government.  UNfortunately, these few libertarians arent just calling for it, they are screeming for it.

like the people quoted in the article, it only take a few extremests with time on their hands to make a movement look like a bunch of kooks!

thats going to be the hardest thing for the libertairan movement to overcome.

 
"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Extremists (none / 3) (#101)
by bradasch on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:36:11 PM EST

Extremists exist in all political movements.

And anyone opposing a certain view *always* use and cite the extremists to demonize the whole movement.

But, you see, the extremists are what make news. So, a newspaper whose editor hates libertarian will only show the libertarian freaks subtitled "Here, see the libertarians!". Likewise, any leftist will show you the far-right nuts and their demands, saying "Is this what you want for your country?"

People believe in what they want to believe, and logic or reason has nothing to do with it. It's called blind faith, and I wish it only applied to religion, but we are all humans, and prone to bullshit like this.

[ Parent ]
The strong exploiting the weak (none / 3) (#245)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 10:02:25 AM EST

No SINGLE business, faced with effective competition, can readily exploit people. However, if businesses collaberate, they certainly CAN collectively oppress the people.

At one time, working 16 hour days was the norm. You couldn't just quit and work for someone else because they ALL did it! They only stopped because the government passed laws against such exploitation.

I agree that the government is too big, but I also think one of the things government SHOULD do is protect the people from the excesses of Big Business. And that's the one thing that NONE of the parties seem interested in doing.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Exploitation laws (none / 0) (#246)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:06:37 AM EST

At one time, working 16 hour days was the norm. You couldn't just quit and work for someone else because they ALL did it! They only stopped because the government passed laws against such exploitation.

Remember that those laws led to the death of the American manufacturing industries.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Remember as Well (none / 0) (#258)
by virg on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:39:42 PM EST

> Remember that those laws led to the death of the American manufacturing industries.

You'd do well to note that unemployment levels are about the same as they were back when a 16-hour work day was the norm, so it's reasonable to say that the excess work time was recaptured elsewhere. Also, manufacturing industries in the U.S. when people were working those hours were positively abysmal. Injury rates were very high, pensions and health insurance were virtually unheard of and working conditions were deplorable. Abuse of factory workers was widespread and appalling. The manufacturing industries did the damage to themselves by letting things get so bad that the workers voted themselves an administration that changed the rules by force of law. If the industries as a whole couldn't maintain themselves without abusing their amployees, then isn't it the way of libertarianism that they should lose out?

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 1) (#260)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:05:08 PM EST

But you do understand that the stuff has to come from somewhere, right? If every nation had the same employment laws as the US, they'd have to rename the dollar store to the 20 dollar store. We're pretty lucky right now, but don't forget that we have a huge trade deficit and most of our consumer goods come from Chinese sweatshops. National employment laws just drive businesses to other countries. A global "human rights" law would drive up prices, in the unlikely event that it was enforceable.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#267)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:08:42 PM EST

if every business could get away with paying their employees what they pay the Chinese sweatshop employees, who could buy their expensive crap? Somebody has to have money to buy stuff, and leisure time to enjoy it.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Right and Rights (none / 0) (#374)
by virg on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:27:44 AM EST

> National employment laws just drive businesses to other countries. A global "human rights" law would drive up prices, in the unlikely event that it was enforceable.

Well, your argument is one of differentials. The only way to argue your point of national employment laws in your context is to allow sweatshop conditions in the U.S. so that U.S. sweatshops can compete with Chinese sweatshops. That's not an acceptable answer because allowing sweatshop conditions to return to the U.S. would have more negative than positive effect. The best answer, which doesn't seem realistic in the U.S. at the moment, is not to employ sweat shops there, either. In the interim, raising costs will drive up prices, but as many in the manufacturing industries find, what it really does is drive prices up some and profits down some. Since that's a more equitable spread of higher cost (producers and consumers share the burden to an extent), that's what we have.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (none / 3) (#141)
by kcidx on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:32:13 PM EST

In the case of modern N. America absent government the corporations are the strongest entities, and they would probably rule any post governmental future, and I suspect it would not be pretty, since a corporation is not in any way democratic.

I don't know...but when you look at the amount of Government leaders who become business leaders after, or that were leaders of corporations directly before...the cynical among us might feel the corporate and governmental interests were the same, and oddly enough, run by mostly the same people

[ Parent ]

the war on drugs will never end (1.16 / 6) (#158)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:49:35 PM EST

nor should it

drug use, as you correctly point out, is a social disease, not a crime

but you still have to fight it... so then your problem is with the tactics in the war on drugs, not the war itself

hard core drug use threatens the social environment in which it resides: the hardcore heroin addict does not live in stasis with his environment, he becomes unable to contribute to society and turns to crime to support a habit... so hard core drug use, despite what libertarians would suggest, does not exist in a vaccuum, it is a direct threat to the social environment in which the hard core drug user resides

the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on pedophilia, the war on human trafficking: these things are never going away, ever... they are, really, just maintenance issues, maintaining civilization itself, police issues... people will always commit crime, so these wars and police are never going away

the war on terrorism is like the war on drugs: it will never end, but that doesn't mean we should stop fighting it

heroin appeals to people, heroin blights communities. therefore we should fight it, but also therefore heroin use will never truly go away

terrorism makes people pay attention to your cause, terrorism leads to hatred all around. therefore, we should fight it, but also therefore terrorism will never truly go away

we will always be at war with drugs, we will always be at war with terrorism, we will always be at war with pedophilia, we will always be at war with human trafficking and slavery, etc.: these things are always reborn in every generation of humanity

but that doesn't mean should ever stop fighting it

some liberal idiots think we should blame our own actions for these terrorist assholes, that we should, for example, stop the war on drugs because it doesn't work... as if you want to live in a community where drug addicts are everywhere and suck off the community like parasites?

but some conservative idiots take the hatred too far: instead of hating terrorists... they hate muslims!

both you conservative and liberal idiots are out there, and NONE OF YOU ARE DOING ANY GOOD OR HELPING ANYONE

there is no absolute solution to terrorism, there is no absolute solution to drugs

as long as we have free will as human beings, and as long as some of us are stupid and violent, someone somewhere will think it is a good idea to blow up the murrah federal building in downtown oklahoma city

welcome to reality

conservative assholes: don't give into hate, of drug users, or muslims

liberal assholes: don't give up the fight because it is too difficult, or you think it is your fault, or you think the fight is not worth it: you fight terrorism, you fight drugs, FOREVER! that is just the way it is! the fight will be with us FOREVER- BUT THAT NEVER MEANS YOU GIVE UP HOPE! it simple civilization maintenance, these so-called "wars"

HOWEVER:

i don't smoke weed, i don't drink

to me, the war against weed is racism: "my grandpa was a drunk in germany and beat his wife, so i am familiar with alcohol, it's ok, but them darkies and their weed scares me!"

the europeans who wrote the laws were familiar with alcohol, but unfamiliar with weed, so alcohol is legal, while weed is illegal, and so we live in a society where we have defacto prohibition against nonwhites

a society that says alcohol illegal, weed illegal makes sense

a society that says alcohol legal, weed legal makes sense

but a society that says alcohol legal, weed illegal is hypocritical and racist and morally bankrupt

laws against weed are racist, period

historically, weed was more of a source of inebriation for nonwhites, while alcohol was a european mainstay of inebretion for centuries

making laws against weed, but not alcohol, allows one to control nonwhites

study your history: weed was not the first thing europeans turned to for inebriation, but weed was used more highly among a number of nonwhite groups: asian indians, caribbean blacks, hispanics, etc.

laws against weed are hypocritical and racist... every single rationalization for making weed illegal can be applied to alcohol just as readily, so to apply that rationalization against one, but not the other has no other foundation or logic except in racist thought

it wasn't necessarily on purpose, but it was a matter of familiarity... alcohol was more familiar to europeans than weed was... racism is the same thing: a matter of familiarity with whom and what you know getting preferential treatment

we know what happened with prohibition in the 1920s: it didn't work and led to crime

so why do we think the war on weed is not the same stupid folly as prohibition?

either outlaw alcohol, or legalize weed, but the current state of laws is hypocritical and racist, and those who enforce the laws risk looking morally bankrupt and foolish on drug policy

so the war on drugs is not wrong, it is simply hypocritical and uses bad tactics: more treatment, more honest equity about what hard drugs should be verboten, and which should be tolerated


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Punish anti-social behavior? (none / 3) (#181)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:19:09 PM EST

hard core drug use threatens the social environment in which it resides: the hardcore heroin addict does not live in stasis with his environment, he becomes unable to contribute to society and turns to crime to support a habit... so hard core drug use, despite what libertarians would suggest, does not exist in a vaccuum, it is a direct threat to the social environment in which the hard core drug user resides

The traditional response is to point out that if the addict turns to crime, punish him for the crimes. You then counter by saying that it's more efficient and better serves society to "nip the problem in the bud" so to speak and simply make the addiction itself illegal.

I'll do some nipping of my own and drive past all that.

So, do you also advocate making other anti-social behavior illegal? Perhaps we should criminalize membership in non-mainstream political parties. Maybe we should ban books that encourage children to question authority. Hmm... it seems to me that Godlessness leads directly to crime; we better mandate that everyone attend church, too.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

good lord (1.00 / 4) (#186)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:35:29 PM EST

more examples:

let pedophiles live and let live

let human traifficking and slavery exist too

and why fight terrorism? nothing we do will prevent them from cutting off human heads

if you honestly want me to equate drug use with non-church going and membership in alternative political parties, i'm going to have to apologize to you, that is your assertion, not mine, and your extending of drug use to these allegories of human asocial behavior simply means you fail to follow the parallels in your poor allegories to their logical conclusion

rather than do it for you for 30 paragraphs, stating the patently obvious, i'll leave it to your boundless imagination as to why i think your allegories are dubious


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

good lord yourself (none / 2) (#187)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:42:21 PM EST

pedophiles, slavery, terrorism... all of those examples you cited directly harm people. Shooting heroin does not. They're not comparable. Please come back with a real argument.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
real argument (none / 1) (#194)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00:49 AM EST

addictive drug use on the order of heroin turns normal functional human beings into addicts who do nothing but seek the financial means to pursue their addiction

they withdraw from family, friends, community, and stop contributing

additionally, their drug use spreads, creating more drug addicts

unless you fight an addictive chemical substance like heroin, it devours society

do you not understand this very obvious threat to peace and prosperity?

or are you going to say well, it doesn't directly harm people, so its ok

by that simplistic judgement, you are correct

but, luckily for us, the world is not in the hands of those like you who can only understand the world from one brittle, simpleton pov

if everything can be judged by its threat to directly harm people, then we would have a wonderfully simple world and we wouldn't be arguing here

but it's not, and we are


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's a matter of level of harm (none / 3) (#198)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:06:33 AM EST

I acknowledge that addiction is harmful to society. I also acknowledge that abridgement of personal liberty is harmful to society.

I believe that the latter is more harmful than the former. If there were a way to curtail addiction without abridging personal liberty, I'd be all for it.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

but until there is a way (1.20 / 5) (#200)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:09:26 AM EST

to curtail addiction without abridging personal liberty, then you have to accept that under certain conditions, abridgement of personal liberty is perfectly acceptable

heroin addiction being one of them


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, I don't (none / 3) (#205)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:22:52 AM EST

I believe that the curtailment of liberty in this particular case does more harm to society than it does good, and hence it should be eliminated.

I believe that people like you who support the war on drugs are tearing at the very fabric of our society. We'll be reaping the damage for generations to come, and it's far worse than anything the addicts could have done.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

how nice of you to say (none / 2) (#207)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:26:34 AM EST

in your pleasant upper middle class suburban house

do you want to menaced by a drug addict?

try living in new york city circa 1980, and then tell me with a straight face "I believe that the curtailment of liberty in this particular case does more harm to society than it does good, and hence it should be eliminated. I believe that people like you who support the war on drugs are tearing at the very fabric of our society. We'll be reaping the damage for generations to come, and it's far worse than anything the addicts could have done."

frankly, your belief is based upon naive idealism, and has absolutely nothing to do with the real world

you are an idealist: you have some very naive, simple beliefs based upon theory, and you have very little experience in the real world

therefore, your beliefs are incomplete

given enough experience, your opinions will change

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Of course they'll change (none / 0) (#213)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:40:41 AM EST

I doubt my opinion of the War on (Some) Drugs will change, though. Just so we're clear, I don't live in the suburbs, and I doubt I'm what you'd describe as "upper middle class".

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
if you read my previous post (none / 0) (#215)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:08:17 AM EST

you would see that my opinon on marijuana use is that it is racism if it is not 100% legal like alcohol

and i appreciate the honesty that your opinion would change


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Heroin addicts need not be a waste of space.. (none / 2) (#360)
by brain in a jar on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:26:24 AM EST

The dutch have had the solution to this for a while. In fact the US and UK had the solution to this before the whole war on drugs madness started.

Heroin is dirt cheap to manufacture, and if provided with a cheap, clean, legal supply addicts can hold down jobs, and contribute to society.

Obviously having herion for sale in shops is not a good idea, as it is likely to increase the number of addicts. But having it available on prescription, or as in holland at specific locations where users can inject it under supervision, is a viable and humane solution.

Not only does it work in holland, but it used to work well in the UK and US. Diamorphine, to give herion its medical name was commonly used for pain relief for war wounded, many of them became addicted, but their addiction could be managed successfully by ensuring their supply.

The public image of the thin, pale heroin addict is entirely a product of herion's illegality. The drug itself does not make people sick, the problem is that given the choice between food and drugs the addict chooses drugs, and on the street supplies are expensive and dirty.

It is time to stop the ideological crusade, that is the war on drugs, the rhetoric of war has no place in dealing with this medical problem.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

Environmental protection (none / 1) (#185)
by sully on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:34:24 PM EST

What about a non-profit cooperative formed by the community specifically to sue to the crap out of such people? And would the litigation necessarily be more costly and complex than a government regulatory body (which, incidentally, is likely to fine a company $250,000 for billions of dollars worth of damage, making dumping pretty cost-effective)?

[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 2) (#209)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:31:58 AM EST

The problem with a lot of extremist libertarians is that they think that if the government sinks less resources, it's automatically a good thing. The real question is, "What's the total cost to society of each method of dealing with the problem?" I don't know the answer, but I know for damned sure that it's not easy to figure out.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
policed by the righteous (none / 0) (#239)
by speek on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:24:27 AM EST

Police are scary. Police that everyone hates and suspects are scary. Police that have a righteous cause, who are formed from a community "cooperative", to do something as wholesome as protecting the community from evil litterers, well, that's just stupifyingly terrifying.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

libertarian or Libertarian (2.95 / 23) (#71)
by zenofchai on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:25:53 AM EST

The Libertarian Party (hereafter LP) deviates to the Randian side of the economic spectrum from nominal "libertarian" dogma. Personally I agree with the LP that it is immoral for the state to oppress, but I agree with the libertarian notion that it is also immoral for corporate greed to oppress. The LP seems to disagree, believing that if you can out-smart or out-work everybody and thus become successful, even at the expense of others, this is moral. I don't believe greed to be a moral thing, and thus I don't agree with the LP and its notion of Randian "capitalism" as a government. I believe that my working harder than you or being smarter than you doesn't necessarily make it moral for me to gather wealth and comfort at your expense. This is why I reject the LP as amoral goons, even as I reject the Republican, Democratic, and Green parties as socialist goons.

Simply put: the LP has it half right, and half wrong in my book. Some of my being smart maye have been my own hard work, most of it was luck, parentage, and early environment. At some point, just because I can acquire capital and excercise it to keep the masses down, doesn't mean that I should. Unfortunately the LP has this uncaring, unfeeling, and IMHO immoral belief that it's okay to be a rich asshole living amongst the starving if you've worked hard for it or wanted it badly enough.

Capitalism always will result in the concentration of wealth. Always. The US is perhaps one of the strongest examples so far (the richest 1% have 40% of the wealth and this is increasing each decade). I simply refuse to accept that it is moral for me to needlessly increase my wealth at the necessary expense of others. There is a point at which I've got my house, my cars, my toys, my boat, etc, and you just don't need anything else, yet you pile up millions of dollars you've slowly sucked through the Wal-Mart receipts from people who struggle to have food, clothing, and shelter.

That said, I despise welfare and sternly believe that "the surest way to kill a man's soul is to give him money to do nothing". I haven't figured out a decent way of reconciling these beliefs, but they are the beliefs which I currently hold as of today. As always I am open to change -- as a kid my mother had me watch Pat Robertson's 700 Club and the Rush Limbaugh show and I thought George Bush (Sr.) was great. Then in college I "learned stuff" and became a "Liberal" (oh ye gods no!!) and thought Clinton was great. Then, through no small part the discussions I've had on K5, I slowly but surely started believing in stuff like force being immoral whether it is the state or another person.

One thing which I've always held constant, though, is a notion I've had since my days growing up on a farm. If you work hard (and I always have) you shouldn't go hungry. And being small-scale farmers in the late 1980s we went hungry a lot. Thanks to some generous programs, (1) food stamps and (2) the public school system, we (1) got through some tough patches as a family when times were tough, with our heads held high because we worked our asses off, and (2) my siblings and I bettered ourselves, got educations, and now let's just say we ain't farmers no more. My sister's a doctor, I'm a software engineer, my two brothers are medical technologists and electrical technicians. There are so many benefits of some parts of capitalism which my family is an example of: hard work can help pull you ahead. But so many other families and friends I've had in my life, who worked just as hard, not only didn't get out of poverty, things are even worse for them. Maybe they made some wrong decisions here or there, but in my heart I don't think it is right for someone to pile up fortune after fortune while middle America claws along in crumbling trailer parks, just because that someone was a better capitalist.

OK I've rambled long enough I suppose...
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Education (none / 1) (#87)
by Wouter Coene on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:46:12 PM EST

My sister's a doctor, I'm a software engineer, my two brothers are medical technologists and electrical technicians. There are so many benefits of some parts of capitalism which my family is an example of: hard work can help pull you ahead.

Sounds like those food stamps and the public school system helped a lot too.

[ Parent ]
exactly why I mentioned those 2 things (none / 1) (#93)
by zenofchai on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:57:05 PM EST

Sounds like those food stamps and the public school system helped a lot too.

This is why I mentioned those 2 things as the 2 primary factors.
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[ Parent ]

Wellfare (none / 1) (#96)
by Wouter Coene on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:06:57 PM EST

This is why I mentioned those 2 things as the 2 primary factors.

Why do you despise wellfare so much then?

[ Parent ]
because (none / 3) (#241)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:38:18 AM EST

it can't distinguish between people who are working hard and going through a tough time (drought, temporarily low grain prices, etc) and people who are just too lazy to get off their ass and do anything. my hard work should not pay for someone to sit on their ass and collect a check, unless I choose for this to happen.
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[ Parent ]
Alright... (none / 0) (#254)
by Shajenko on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:02:55 PM EST

So you just want to reform the system, rather than just scrap it (otherwise you'd hurt a lot of people who truly need it).

Now, how many people on welfare can work but don't, and have been on it for a long time?

[ Parent ]
no idea (none / 0) (#264)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:42:11 PM EST

Now, how many people on welfare can work but don't, and have been on it for a long time?

I have absolutely no idea to the answer of this question. Most government beaurocracies are so opaque that who knows what happens to the money once it goes into them. This is a fundamental problem with the US Government, there should be absolute transparency when it comes to government funds (a.k.a. our taxes). The only reason for opacity is to protect absolute national secrets (spy identities for example).
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[ Parent ]

I don't know about the US (none / 2) (#289)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:47:10 PM EST

but up here in Canada, in Ontario, I believe the figures were something like this:

About 80% of the people using social assistance or welfare were the disabled and single mothers - two groups that couldn't work in a regular job if they wanted too. The other 20% were made up of temporarily unemployed people (waiting for their federal Enemployment Insurance to kick in), seasonally employeed people and new immagrants (who spend on average less than 3 months on welfare before they have gainful employment). I believe fraudulent claims made up less than 1% of the total. Now, I'm doing this from memory, so don't ask me for citations cuz it may take awhile to dig it up.

My point is that the "lazy bums leaching off welfare" idea is a myth. Most users of the welfare system (ours in Ontario, at any rate) really deserve and need the help, much like your family did. Only a very small percentage defraud or abuse the system. To punish the 99% that use the system correctly becasue of the actions of 1% seems hardly fair. I guess its not news when millions of people are helped by a system, but it is news when 1 or 2 guys get caught bilking it.

Besides, I'd rather have a few people bilking the system sitting around their living rooms, than have those people waiting to break into my house or mug my wife becasue there is no system to bilk.

I will try to get citations for more accurate figures, but you get the idea...


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

I have some questions (none / 2) (#291)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:39:25 PM EST

Do your single mothers continue to have more and more babies so they can get more welfare? And how "disabled" were the disabled people? Some disabled people (not all, but some) could work with reasonable accomodation. I've known people with visual/mobility limitations who had full-time jobs.

Obviously, there ARE people who really do need assistance, but there are also leeches that have no business being supported by the rest of us.

Oh, and the guy waiting to break into your house and mug your wife: he's probably also using food stamps AND raking in big bucks selling drugs.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

Dunno (none / 1) (#269)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:19:37 PM EST

But, I, personnally have known several able-bodied people who were on welfare a long time, even during Clinton's "boom". I also know of a semi able-bodied person who could work, and wants to work, but can't without losing medical benefits. So instead of being partially supported by my tax money, he has to be 100% supported by my tax money? WTF?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Reminds me (none / 0) (#293)
by Shajenko on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:41:22 PM EST

That's one aspect of the system that I don't like; effectively punishing people for trying to earn money for themselves. I've read that welfare recipients, if they get a job, lose a dollar for every dollar they earn. So, unless they can make more than welfare provides them, they end up with less cash, what with expenses due to working (gas money for one).

[ Parent ]
How about... (none / 0) (#335)
by DavidTC on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:04:07 PM EST

...a negative tax that applies to actual income, based on disability or even as a emergency measure between jobs?

If you make below poverty level, you get some more money, matched with what you earn. Now, there would need to be some lines 'below this amount, you get triple what you earn, above, double, etc', but the important point is that you can't get punished for working, although at some point, of course, real taxes cut in, and will eventually counteract any negative taxes.

Actually, I've often wonder if we're going about this the wrong way...forget cash, let's give people who just lost their jobs interest-free (for a limited times) loans to pay for their houses or cars. (That is, each month the governments sends a payment directly to the landlord or bank or whatever, for whatever that business says they are owed, not some hypothetical estimated value.) After all, it's the loss of those things that makes the different between someone being out of work for three months and someone ending up on the streets for four years.

And best of all, it's not 'charity', it's a loan. And unlike trying to figure out the rules for how much unemployment you get, this is simple...you get X amount of money you can borrow. Pay any of it back, you can borrow it again when you need it...don't, and you can't. (Yes, yes, a hell of a lot of these loans wouldn't get paid back. But unemployment is never paid back.)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

It's pretty strange (none / 3) (#99)
by epepke on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:31:49 PM EST

Most of the comments seem to be using the small "l" and large "L" versions interchangeably. With a small "l," "libertarianism" is basically old-fashioned, enlightenment-style liberalism. "Libertarianism" with a large "L" is a political ideology which accomodates a fair chunk of libertarianism but has a fair amount of extra baggage and philosophical underpinnings.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
In Praise of Idleness (3.00 / 9) (#107)
by TuringTest2002 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:00:43 PM EST

"the surest way to kill a man's soul is to give him money to do nothing".

Bertrand Russel had an interesting position opposing to that belief. See his article In Praise of Idleness. Also related to this subject is the concept of basic income, which is hypothesized to have possitive effects for economy.

[ Parent ]

you are an honest person (2.40 / 5) (#155)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:20:42 PM EST

that is your greatest strength, and i commend you for that

as long as there are people who adhere to honesty as you do, in spite of all of the ideological rhetoric and propaganda and outright lies which spew from every angle on the ideological spectrum, we are ok as a people, as human beings

our fate, our future is with people like you

i commend you and i am heartened to find people like you out there, in spite of the hordes of those drowning in lies and propaganda


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Some thoughts... (1.50 / 4) (#235)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:32:28 AM EST

The LP seems to disagree, believing that if you can out-smart or out-work everybody and thus become successful, even at the expense of others, this is moral.

I think you are missing two things that would be the obvious reply:
  • In a true capitalism, you never make your money at the expense of others. Other individuals enter into contract with you freely, and therefore are also free not to do business with you. Therefore it is impossible to make your money at someone's expense, because it is only possible for you to make money by giving someone else a net benifit. Obviously in this world there are some things which are both necessary for life and are only supplied by a single group, therefore you don't get a choice. These items are open for abuse and therefore might be better suited for government. (some people might point to utilities here).
  • The second thing is that Libertarians believe that wealth is created not taken. Therefore, again, you aren't making money at the expense of others. American society hasn't been robbed of 57 Billion by Bill Gates.... Bill Gates added to society through his creation.


If you work hard (and I always have) you shouldn't go hungry.

Again.. this doesn't entirely hold true. I doubt you would argue all those really hard working horse shoe men 'deserved' something. They needed to adapt, and perhaps staying in that business wasn't the best idea.

Your example with farming is difficult because of all the Government intervention in the market (both raising prices, then lowering them with food stamps)

just because that someone was a better capitalist.

Again, I think that's your biggest disagreement with the Libertarians: You see it as a zero sum game. To Libertarians, people get rich because they offered society something society found valuable.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
globally isn't it a zero sum game? (nt) (none / 0) (#243)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:40:27 AM EST


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[ Parent ]
No (none / 1) (#244)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:44:40 AM EST

As natural resources are converted, value is created.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
'converting' natural resources (none / 2) (#270)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:21:08 PM EST

um... correct me if I'm wrong but when you 'convert' a natural resource it is no longer there. you haven't created wealth, you've converted it from potential wealth (natural resources) to actual wealth. you didn't create wealth which didn't exist -- demand for the resource created the potential wealth.
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[ Parent ]
perspective (none / 0) (#272)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:40:23 PM EST

I believe wealth `creation' is an economic model. True, nothing is `created' in the sense that you can not create matter. It is merely a convenient phenomenon modeling phrase.. akin to `information wants to be free'. When you raise an apple tree and harvest the apples, from the perspective of the economic world, you've `created' Apples, even though the chemicals always did exist in the ground.

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[ Parent ]
farming (none / 0) (#273)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:44:40 PM EST

My parent post was meant to apply to things generally labeled "natural resources": e.g. coal, natural gas, oil, etc.

One might argue that farming can "create" wealth, e.g., corn, soybeans, wheat, beef, pork, eggs, etc. But what have they been created from? In the case of the crops, seeds which have either been bought or grown (apply recursion here). In the case of the animals, breeding stock which have either been bought or raised (apply recursion here). So who "created" the wealth? The demand for food creates the wealth, it is up to the farmers to convert this potential wealth into realised wealth, much as it is the same for just about everything else. I don't know whom you can credit for "creating" the demand for a food market.

In the end I'm still sticking to my "it is a zero sum game" guns, but I'm open to discussion.
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[ Parent ]

and so on (none / 0) (#278)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:01:18 PM EST

But what have they been created from? In the case of the crops, seeds which have either been bought or grown (apply recursion here).

Zero sum game doesn't imply that wealth is created independently of something else. It implies that wealth is created at the expense of someone else. Similarly... if I develop a new mining method, and can get gold out of the ground somewhere where it was not possible before... I have effectively created wealth.

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[ Parent ]
Semantics (none / 0) (#274)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:49:58 PM EST

However you choose to explain the process, it doesn't change its function. If you call it "creating" wealth, the understanding is that value is created from nothing during conversion of natural resources. If you use the term potential wealth, you're saying the value innately exists in the resources. If you go this route you have to admit that the sum of the natural resources on Earth contains a massive amount of "potential wealth," several orders of magnitude greater than the world's economy.

Whatever we call it, we should reward people who "create" wealth by converting natural resources (intellectual property also fits better with this description), or people who are able to harness more "potential wealth" from our available resources.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

zero sum (none / 0) (#276)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:56:30 PM EST

I think semantics are important, as the question I thought I was debating was "isn't wealth a zero sum game". So if the potential wealth already exists (which it does) while those who convert it are rewarded, it reduces the remaining potential wealth.

However ,as you rightly point out, even mining all the oil on the planet would not be statistically significant when compared to sum of all natural resources on Earth. But I don't know of that many people who line up week after week to pump rock or magma into their cars.
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[ Parent ]

Zero sum (none / 0) (#285)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:38:45 PM EST

If you define wealth as something innate to resources, then yes it's a zero sum game but the vast majority of wealth remains untapped and available. I also don't know how intellectual property gets explained in this model. I'd guess that someone who believes all value already exists would be against IP law, since asking money for a bunch of bits or a patent is just co-opting a pre-existing resource for yourself.

I don't agree with this model, I believe that through innovation and labor humans can create value in both intellectual and physical property.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

If it was a zero sum game... (none / 0) (#280)
by poyoyo on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:27:27 PM EST

Then if no one did any work at all, we would have the same total amount of wealth as currently. This is the definition of zero sum: the sum of benefits to all participants in the game is always the same.

[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#304)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:08:35 PM EST

Then if no one did any work at all, we would have the same total amount of wealth as currently.

wouldn't we?
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[ Parent ]

Only... (none / 0) (#340)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:05:14 PM EST

wouldn't we?

Only if you believe your computer is just as valuable as unprocessed sand and oil. From reading your other posts, this appears to be the case.

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[ Parent ]
what? (none / 0) (#368)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:55:48 AM EST

Of course I don't believe that my computer has the same value as unprocessed sand and oil. But when I bought my computer I paid them money. I have less money and a computer, they have more money and one less computer. Zero sum.
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[ Parent ]
Circles (none / 0) (#372)
by thefirelane on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:51:44 AM EST

Ok, we're going in circles, so perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree. Of course, being an objectivist... since I'm right, if people don't agree, its obviously because they don't understand ;)

You are cheating somewhat in that example, because you are focusing on the macro. You seem to change the scope of your perspective when it suits your argument: In this case focusing on the macro transaction... whereas when the farming/mining example is brought up, you focus on the global resource amount.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.... The wealth creation model focuses solely on the amount of wealth in existence in an economy. The amount of a particular mineral in the ground is irrelevant to this model, because it has no effect on it until it is refined and brought into the economy. In this way... I can `create' wealth by growing Apples... because no one factored in the carbon atoms in the dirt as `wealth' before. Even if you did believe that... I've still created wealth by bringing energy to the earth, in the form of captured sunlight energy.

Unless you can explain... I can not see how one can reasonably think there is the same amount of wealth in an economy if one just does nothing, versus if someone farms/writes/mines, etc...

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[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#378)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:11:02 AM EST

Another argument would be, wealth can be destroyed so it can also be created. Someone can come along and raze my house or an evil genius could rob Fort Knox and launch all the gold into the sun.. this is destruction of value, and for all intents and purposes it removes value from the economy. Because wealth can be destroyed, it can also be created.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
destruction (none / 0) (#431)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:58:13 PM EST

how does razing your house reduce or increase wealth... it doesn't.

how does launching all the gold into the sun reduce or increase wealth... it doesn't. it decreases the amount of gold. the rest of the gold would be "worth more" I suppose but the total amount of wealth is constant.

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[ Parent ]

I think you're equating wealth with money (none / 0) (#452)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:29:00 PM EST

That's not right.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
I'll try! (none / 1) (#380)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:15:06 AM EST

The reason I might be shifting scopes is probably because I don't know how to debate, and I don't notice what I'm doing there.

But in my mind, let's say Joe and Bob both have $100. There is a total wealth of $200. If both Joe and Bob sit around all day, they still each have $100 for a total wealth of $200.

If Joe gets off his ass and digs up some gold and makes nice jewelry out of it... he still has $100 and Bob still has $100. Total wealth still equals $200.

If Bob decides he wants to buy the nice gold necklace from Joe, Bob gives Joe $50 and Joe gives Bob the necklace. Now Joe has $150, Bob has $50, total wealth still equals $200.

Joe could spend all day, every day, digging up gold and making necklaces out of it, repeating this process with 100 Bobs. In the end the total wealth would not have changed -- Joe would have a lot more of the wealth and all the Bobs would have a little less, but the total wealth would remain the same.

A thousand gold necklaces in Joe's workshop doesn't create wealth. It created a bunch of gold necklaces which other people might assign value to, but then again they might not. But even if everyone assigned a lot of value to the gold necklaces, they would still have to trade some of their wealth to Joe to get the necklaces they want.

It's a closed cycle. Digging up gold and making necklaces doesn't make you wealthy. Selling the necklaces to other people makes you wealthy (and in return makes them less wealthy). Total wealth is constant. We just assign different values to different things, maybe call a value unit a "dollar" or a "euro" to make things easier. You can create something of value (refined oil, gold necklaces, computers) but you're not creating wealth itself.

To me wealth can be expressed mathematically as a function of the total supply of a system. So, to create wealth you have to increase the supply -- raw materials -- good luck creating gold, oil, computers, or apples, from nothing.

Now about your intellectual property examples. If I write the greatest story ever told I have still not created wealth. If I develop the cure for cancer, I have still not created wealth. I could have bottles and bottles and bottles of the best anti-cancer drug, but if nobody has wealth to give me for it or wants to have their cancer cured, the bottles and drugs are worthless. If nobody has a dollar or simolean or peso to pay me to read my story, it is worthless. If they already have the wealth to give me for the story, how have I created wealth? I may have created a fetching reason to transfer wealth from some people to other people.

If we all started with absolutely nothing, with dirt, on some bizarre undiscovered habitable moon, the total wealth is already completely determined and will not change, whatever you burn, consume, mine, build, or grow.
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[ Parent ]

Last one (none / 1) (#465)
by thefirelane on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 08:41:39 AM EST

If Joe gets off his ass and digs up some gold and makes nice jewelry out of it... he still has $100 and Bob still has $100. Total wealth still equals $200.

This is the crux of your misunderstanding. What I am trying to explain is wealth is not the sum total of the numbers on X pieces of paper. Wealth is the total amount of goods/land/service and money currently active in an economy. You example above also only makes sense if you think the value of the money remains constant after Joe makes the jewelry

Here's a final example that I hope will be completely clear:

Imagine you create two small cities. Each city is started with the same amount of money... each is given $10,000. You then separate these two cities, and say that the currencies are no longer exchangeable. Since the currencies are equal... if you asked an outsider 'If you had to work for an hour, how much would you want to be paid in each currency' The person would answer the same number for each currency.

Now... suppose city A works hard, grows crops and raises livestock. Whereas everyone in city B just sits around and does nothing (magically they do not starve). A year later, city A has a thriving economy, with animals and grain, bread, food, presumably other goods as well. City B still just has the same amount of money. (City A still has the same amount of paper money, but you will see where I'm going)

If you were to ask an outsider: 'If you had to work for an hour, how much would you want to be paid in each currency' The amount would be much lower in City A's currency. City A's currency is worth far more than City B's, because you can buy things with City A's.

Therefore, city A now has 1) More goods 2) More Food 3) A more valuable currency. City A has created wealth.

Please remember. When we say 'created wealth' we mean from the perspective of the economy we are examining. You can obviously win the argument through simple expansion as follows:

Me: City A is more wealthly
You: But that wealth existed in the world, it just wasn't processed into usable goods... the vitamins existed in the ground before the plants took it up
Me: What about sunlight, that was brought to the Earth by the farmers
You: Yes, but the sun lost energy by giving it to the plants
Me: Fine, lets create an economic system whose goal is to delay the heat death of the universe

As you can see, this is absurd: We are only focusing on the existing economy: Minerals in the ground do not count because they do not effect the economy. When a plant is grown... from the perspective of the economy, it is 'created'... even thought, yes, its atoms did exist in the ground.


clear?

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[ Parent ]
hm. (none / 0) (#473)
by zenofchai on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 02:12:04 PM EST

Wealth is the total amount of goods/land/service and money currently active in an economy.

That's obviously not how I'm using the term.
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[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#477)
by thefirelane on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 03:33:38 PM EST

We've been trying to convince you why it should be used in the correct way: Wealth

1a)An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources; riches.

2) All goods and resources having value in terms of exchange or use.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
ok. (none / 0) (#478)
by zenofchai on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:23:03 PM EST

OK now I will attempt to use this definition of wealth. But I still believe that even given this definition that globally wealth is zero-sum due to a probably unfounded and easily destroyed notion: every bit of wealth "created" according to all the fashions listed in the threads I've seen has the minute byproduct effect of reducing the value of all existing wealth. Let's tackle that notion and keep guiding me towards the goal of accepting the following claim: "wealth is not a global zero-sum commodity". It's hard for me to explain my simplistic thinking on this issue: but in generic terms something like "Bob growing 100 apples into a system where 100 apples already exist will cut the value of all apples by half."

In another thread somebody was mentioning that this relationship is not linear -- however I do not understand this to be true. Demand for apples does not change due to the fact that there are more apples, so if you double the supply but keep the demand constant, doesn't the useable/tradeable value of the apple drop in half?
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Only if demand is constant (none / 0) (#486)
by curien on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 05:58:46 PM EST

Bob growing 100 apples into a system where 100 apples already exist will cut the value of all apples by half.

If the demand for apples were constant, this would be true. However, in a world with an ever-increasing population (and thus an ever-increasing demand), growing more apples does not make each apple worth proportionally less.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

Furthermore, it's nonlinear (none / 0) (#488)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 07:39:30 PM EST

Twice as many apples may mean that a few people might find it feasible to use ten times as many apples to make cider. This results in more cider, but it might result in fewer apples for ordinary apple use. The cider, properly fermented, might find its way into a trendy bar, and make way more money than the original apples would. Would this reduce the supply of apples even more, and would this increase the price of apples? Maybe. And then, would it become less cost-effective to make cider from apples, and would the cider disappear? Then, would apples become much cheaper, and everybody gets sick of them, and it isn't profitable to grow apples any more?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Furthermore... (none / 0) (#395)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:10:47 PM EST

Although CENGEL and you have done a pretty good job of trying to explain basic economics, it seems to be having little effect. Perhaps it's good to point out something abundantly obvious, that even if one fixates on natural resources, one still can't view anything as a zero-sum game, because by far the most important natural resource involved in the creation of wealth is sunlight. Your grown apples are, essentially, packaged sunlight. The atoms in them are simply borrowed for a fairly short period of time; the actual sunlight is used up.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I wish I had taken economics (none / 1) (#432)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:12:45 PM EST

Maybe then I wouldn't feel so stupid for not understanding your points, etc. In other words: I'm not equipped for this debate but I entered it anyway. Thanks for trying to be patient but I honestly just don't get economics at all. I also don't believe I'm stupid (1480 SAT, blah blah, IQ score, blah blah) just completely ignorant of this domain of knowledge.

But, gee, to keep pushing this stupid point from my point of view: I don't care how many apples you grow, or how much sunlight was "used" to grow them. I don't understand why having 100 bushels of apples means you've created wealth. You've created a bunch of apples, which others might exchange some of their wealth to acquire -- also, the value of an apple is reduced proportionally for every additional apple which is created, isn't it?
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Economics (none / 3) (#440)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:49:54 PM EST

There's a pretty decent introduction on this here website, something like How to Understand Everything.

I don't understand why having 100 bushels of apples means you've created wealth.

I'm not arguing that one has created wealth; one might simply be channeling or manipulating wealth. I'm just pointing out is isn't a zero-sum game. You can plant some apple trees, or you can ignore it. If you plant some trees, there are some apples that change the sum from what it would be if you didn't. Namely, to a sum with more apples in it.

As for describing how additional apples diminish the value of existing apples, that's a reasonable point, and it's called "diminishing returns." But it's not a linear relationship, which it would have to be for some idea of a zero-sum game to be valid.

As for the rest, let me remind you that in this thread there was the (correct) assertion that, for the zero-sum idea to hold, if nobody worked, there would be the same amount of wealth. If nobody worked, then nobody would work to build your computer, and you couldn't buy it. There wouldn't be computers, because nobody would be working to make them. This pretty much follows from the idea that nobody is working.

I think you are confusing the notion of a zero-sum game with the notion of balances of exchange, which is largely the Holy Grail of economic systems. Even this, however, is seldom attained, both because people take advantage of the system for personal benefit, and because of nonlinear relationships, random happenings, and human psychology.

However, I think that most reasonable people who are interested in an equitable distribution of wealth would think in terms of a system where the exchange balance was as close to equitable as possible and also that the system was as far away from being a zero-sum game as possible. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done. At the extremes have been trickle-down economics, which emphasized the non-zero-sumness but let the exchange take care of itself (which it only partially did), and communism, which emphasized the exchange balance aspect and hoped that the non-zero-sumness would take care of itself (which it basically didn't much, if at all).


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I'll tell you one thing (none / 0) (#479)
by zenofchai on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:25:41 PM EST

I'm certainly more appreciative of the intellect of people who understand economics that I was when I entered this thread. I can grok assembly and differential equations, matrix manipulation and non-linear algebra... but some of the stuff in these threads (particularly some of the analogies and explanatory stories) leave me wondering where I left my brain.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Economics is really hard (none / 0) (#483)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:50:04 PM EST

Back when I was at the Supercomputer Institute, I worked with some actual economists. It turns out that economics depends on some stuff that is really hard to do. For one thing, a lot of it reduces to finding the determinants of matrices that are so large that there is just no way to find them exactly before the universe fizzles out, so there are elaborate ways of approximating them, none of which are guaranteed to work. Another part of economics involves finding the global minima of functions, which are really hard to find, because the structures in the phase space tend to be these spiky little spider-web thingies. My attempt at a solution was to turn it all into 3-D movies, involving volume visualization and isosurfaces, and let the visual cortex of the economists identify places where a minimum was likely. This was somewhat successful, but not great.

If you want to talk about differential equations, consider that General Relativity reduces to 10 non-redundant differential equations, which would take several hundred pages to write all the terms. There exist only three (count them, 3) analytical solutions for GR in special cases, and one of them involves a linear approximation. This is peanuts compared to the equations that come up in economics.

As a result, when people talk about economics, they tend to resort to extremely rough heuristics. Which sort of seems to explain why nobody has ever come up with an economic system that really works without glitches.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
complexity of economics (none / 0) (#485)
by zenofchai on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 05:11:54 PM EST

I assume a lot of the complexity comes from the fact that we have trouble enough predicting what 1 human will do (are humans non-deterministic? let's not get into that here...) let alone a few billion :)
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Yes, basically (none / 0) (#487)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 07:35:04 PM EST

Even, however, when one does an approximation, say into 100,000 blocs or so (surely far smaller than the number of economic entities in the world), at minimum pairwise interactions are O(n^2), and a full graph is in NP-Complete-Land. Even with a simple linear model of pairwise interactions (which is probably not accurate), the sheer number of possible interactions is ridiculous. If I keep my Treo cell phone, does that mean I have to buy Spanish olive oil instead of Italian olive oil? OK, it's Friday, which was my last chance for keeping it, so I guess I've kept it. Will I buy Schlitz instead of Jamaican rum? Will I go to the Chinese take-out, or will I buy a Publix sandwich instead of going to Chilis? Will I instead go to Albertson's and get some cheap beef, which is cheap mainly because of the BSE scare, or is it really worth it? Might I instead stick to beans and rice, only to get sick of it, and decide that I need a nice steak?

That's just me, and a subset of my decisions. Try running an integration engine over several billion people. Send me a post card when you're done. Common economic methods involve doing approximations, but even so, economic problems tend to be the bad kind, with chaotic features, so it isn't always obvious that an approximation will give a decent result.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Try this (none / 2) (#377)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:10:51 AM EST

You had green paper. You wanted to access the internet. Green paper doesn't allow you to do that. You traded it for a computer that does. You GAINED.

The company that sold you the computer. They owned oil and sand, oil and sand aren't particulary usefull to them or anyone else. They turned that oil and sand into a computer. They want a machine that is more efficient at making computers. The computer they built isn't particularly usefull for that. They trade that computer to you for green paper, also not usefull for them, but they can trade that green paper to Bob for a machine that makes computers. They GAINED.

Bob, builds machines that make computers. In order to do this he needs to weld iron. Green paper will not weld iron for him. However, he can trade it to you... and YOU will weld iron for him. Bob GAINED.

In the above scenerio EVERYONE gained. It is not a zero some game. WEALTH != Matter. If it did THEN
, according to the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy, it would be a zero sum game. However WEALTH = Matter (or Energy) that is USEFULL to some-one. Money, or Value is simply an abstraction to represent that.

In order for economics to be a zero sum game... you would have to argue that we do not live longer, healthier, safer, more comfortable lives then our ancestors did 50,000 years ago.

[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#383)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:26:21 AM EST

That is an interesting example to be sure. However: In order for economics to be a zero sum game... you would have to argue that we do not live longer, healthier, safer, more comfortable lives then our ancestors did 50,000 years ago.

I don't understand how that follows. I would think that all I have to argue is that there is no more wealth in the world than there was 50,000 years ago, and I think that is an easy argument.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Remember (none / 0) (#386)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:40:17 AM EST

Wealth = Matter/Energy that is of USE. Tell me, are anti-biotics usefull? Did people have access to anti-biotics 50,000 years ago? Do people have access to anti-biotics today? Then there is more wealth in the world then there was 50,000 years ago.

[ Parent ]
I guess we disagree on the definition of wealth (none / 0) (#390)
by zenofchai on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:51:01 PM EST

I don't have a hard and fast definition, but yours doesn't seem to fit how I look at it. You've definitely given me some things to consider, though.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Unsupported assertions (2.80 / 5) (#249)
by wurp on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:38:34 AM EST

You say "In a true capitalism, you never make your money at the expense of others".  That's a very strong assertion that needs a lot of support.  If you are the guys with the guns, or you trick people, or you prey on their human weaknesses, or you are the only one with access to an essential resource, then you certainly can make money at the expense of others.

When you make money, that is a zero sum game.  There is a set amount of money (yes, I know about loans and wealth increase that way, but the money supply has an upper and lower bound, and it has nothing directly to do with this discussion anyway) and if you have that money someone else doesn't.  Of course, one common way you get money is to create wealth by turning raw materials into something more valuable, but I don't think you can contend that BG does that.  He is rich because he worked hard and was willing to abuse the law, exert unethical influence on powerful people, and copy from others while maintaining a firm stance against copying from him.

Well, I should be working, but I couldn't let your list of unsupported and IMO wrong assertions go unchallenged.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

Wrong Track (none / 1) (#253)
by Shajenko on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:00:33 PM EST

I don't think it's a great idea to argue that wealth is zero sum. But like you said, there certainly are ways to make money at the expense of others.

For instance, the privatization of roads. If somebody buys up the roads around a residential area, he now has a bunch of slaves. They can't get access to food, or their jobs, or anything else they need to live, so they have to do whatever the road-owner says in order to survive (which is pretty much the definition of slavery). He essentially gained wealth by depriving people of something they already had (freedom to travel) and then selling it back to them.

[ Parent ]
disagree (none / 1) (#255)
by thefirelane on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:08:02 PM EST

If you are the guys with the guns, or you trick people, or you prey on their human weaknesses, or you are the only one with access to an essential resource, then you certainly can make money at the expense of others.

I already disqualified essential resources. Furthermore, In no way can it be implied from what I said that I somehow endorse the legalization of extortion and/or fraud. As far as `human weaknesses' goes... what does that mean? I can't make or sell ice cream because someone else has a `weakness' for icecream?

When you make money, that is a zero sum game. There is a set amount of money and if you have that money someone else doesn't. Of course, one common way you get money is to create wealth by turning raw materials into something more valuable, but I don't think you can contend that BG does that. He is rich because he worked hard and was willing to abuse the law, exert unethical influence on powerful people, and copy from others while maintaining a firm stance against copying from him.

Wrong wrong wrong. It is precisely why currencies are allowed to float, and not tied to some finite amount of metal (gold) in the world. Are you seriously arguing that I've been robbed somehow by the creators of Google? Or that my `Google money sum' has been removed and transferred to someone else. This is not true, Google was created. All wealth is created... no taken from someone else. You don't complain that farmers are somehow `taking' your corn, do you? In the end... all money filters back to this, the creation of some good for someone.

If you re-read it, your argument against capitalism through BG sounds exactly like an argument for the libertarian capitalism I am describing... "willing to abuse the law, exert unethical influence on powerful people." Notice how these things are a result of government intervention in the free market? It was through these things that he was able to force people to use Windows. (if you accept the argument that people were forced to do so)



-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
alternate take (none / 2) (#331)
by krkrbt on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:47:56 PM EST

Capitalism always will result in the concentration of wealth. Always.

is this your opinion, or someone else's?  Your observation?  Of what specifically?  

The US is perhaps one of the strongest examples so far (the richest 1% have 40% of the wealth and this is increasing each decade). I simply refuse to accept that it is moral for me to needlessly increase my wealth at the necessary expense of others.

I would say that "the US is a strong example of people using government to become more powerful."  Seems to me that economic power was fairly balanced in the US, until certain industrial powers used the state to implement compulsory schooling laws (1850's - 1910's), "dumbing kids down" so they'd be good miners and factory workers.  Read The Underground History of American Education, by John  Taylor Gatto.

[ Parent ]

I wonder (2.81 / 11) (#73)
by Bill Melater on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:00:04 PM EST

Like the dog chasing the truck, you have to ask what he would do if he actually catches it. What if we took all these libertarians and put them on an island somewhere? Or simply abandoned the state of New Hampshire to them? (It's not like we're using NH for anything useful.) What sort of society would evolve? Personally, I'm seeing something roughly akin to "Lord of the Flies" ... they'd devolve into murder, cannabalism, and despotism within a few years.



Put them on an island? (2.33 / 6) (#74)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:11:47 PM EST

The evolution of the federal government is far from complete, and you seem to forget that the income tax and social welfare are all relatively new concepts. It didn't used to be like this - the US was founded with the goal of a small federal government and independent states, a goal that's been dropped in favor of central planning.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Yep (2.57 / 7) (#78)
by Bill Melater on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:51:02 PM EST

The states really are intended as a laboratory for the nation. It would be instructive to see how a libertarian society actually works in practice. As far as I know, it hasn't been done before. I think we should give them exactly what they want: just wall off the whole damn state and let the whole thing play out.

An island might be more practical, since convincing the current residents of NH to leave appears to be a problem, for reasons that are unclear to me. However, as a resident of a large, populous state far far away from the Northeast, I have no hesitation in recommending the immediate evacuation of NH. We could even forcibly eject them from the Union.

My personal opinion is that it would fail miserably, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't find out for sure. What if Communism had been field-tested in this manner prior to its' deployment around the world?

[ Parent ]

isn't there someone (none / 1) (#102)
by minerboy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:38:05 PM EST

Building this big ship ? its something like 20 times the size of an aircraft carrier, and it will remain at sea all the time, outside all territorial waters. The laws are essentially libertarian style, and it has the added advantage of being able to escape bad weather. It will earn money by charging non residents to visit - and live the libertarian lifestyle for a while - complete with gambling, pot and hookers.



[ Parent ]
How would that be better than Amsterdam? (3.00 / 4) (#105)
by ShadowNode on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:43:33 PM EST

The Dutch are probably friendlier, too.

[ Parent ]
much lower taxes (nt) (none / 0) (#122)
by minerboy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 05:36:57 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 1) (#125)
by Driusan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:12:38 PM EST

Because while the Dutch government needs tax money for things like building dikes to make sure they don't sink into the sea, the boat people will never need money for things like maintenance so that they don't sink into the sea. And if they did, surely all the libertarians will jump at the chance to selflessly pitch in whatever they can.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
But that's the beauty of it (none / 1) (#231)
by fenix down on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:54:57 AM EST

The ship's utterly socialist, so that's not a problem.  Real estate, food, water, power, sewage, everything's owned by the ship, so as long as they charge a bit for those, taxes are unneccesary!  The success of this ship will truly be the final proof of the superiority of socialism as an economic system.

[ Parent ]
No, it's an objectivist paradise (none / 1) (#337)
by DavidTC on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:28:44 PM EST

See, the great thing there is that they don't have to initiate force against anyone...all they have to do is not sell you water, power, sewage, radio access, or passage on a boat!

My god, it's an objectivist paradise. This is exactly where all objectivists think they'll end up...owning the ship. Instead 99.999% of them will end up being the poor sap who must pay 15 dollars a day to continue living, and wondering why the hell they seem to be unable to build their own boat in their 10x10 foot room 50 feet below the waterline using the wrappers from their microwave burritos.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I'm going to build my own ship (3.00 / 5) (#114)
by kjb on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:31:20 PM EST

with blackjack and hookers!  In fact, forget the blackjack!

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

I see more of... (none / 3) (#77)
by lonelyhobo on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:45:50 PM EST

a bunch of whiny white guys trying to enslave the island natives to oil up their coconut cars.  Then they'll bitch about how their slaves lack the entrepeneurial spirit and revel in their self-asserted elitism.

[ Parent ]
we couldn't have that (none / 2) (#83)
by khallow on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:27:43 PM EST

What happens if they succeed? There might be other parts of the country wanting to join them. You can't risk that.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

One way or another (2.87 / 8) (#100)
by Bill Melater on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:33:26 PM EST

It would be instructive. Perhaps it works, and a libertarian society is proven to be what it's backers say it should be (a meritocracy where hard work and intelligence is rewarded). Well, shit, if it works, we should learn from.

Or possibly it doesn't work, devolving into a defacto oligarchy where a small number of rich men build and use private armies to enforce their positions. Well, if that happens, then the libertarians can go sit on the sidelines of history right next to the communists as just another example of extreme ideology that didn't work in the real word.

[ Parent ]

All political systems work on a small scale. (3.00 / 5) (#152)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:11:34 PM EST

the problem is what happens when you scale it up from 2k people to 300 million.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
no they don't (none / 1) (#300)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:52:13 PM EST

I've seen political systems fall apart with a few people. For example, the "bad boss" syndrome (I consider businesses and even small teams to be mini-political organizations, but YMMV). I wouldn't organize a programming group as an alpha boss, his kronies, and worker drones. There's no room for expression of ideas except from the top. I definitely don't see that working at any scale above one person!

Also, large scale political systems may have very formal decision making processes. These processes scale poorly to small numbers. It's reasonable to take weeks in committee and on a legislative floor to hammer out a budget for a government that serves 300 million people, but far, far less useful for a fraternity house that's figuring out what to do with the beer money.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Democracy doesn't always work either (none / 3) (#419)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:10:41 PM EST

It works fine when my GF and I agree, but when we don't, we get deadlocked, and it changes from a democracy to a YesDearOcracy.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Sounds like DR Congo to me n/t (none / 1) (#166)
by livus on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:53:24 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Your poll (2.70 / 10) (#80)
by hatshepsut on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 12:54:31 PM EST

This has already been done: Utah

But what about the children? (1.76 / 13) (#86)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 01:35:25 PM EST

Just think what the world would be like if we all stopped and thought about the children.

This article is counterproductive... (1.64 / 14) (#95)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:06:40 PM EST

Getting through to libertarian fucktards is like trying to convert a jahovah's witness... No matter how much sense you make, they still think you're evil.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
How is it not sensible? (none / 0) (#238)
by trezor on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:24:10 AM EST

to seek personal liberty?

To minimize the effect of government where it is not needed?

Libertianism isn't anarchy.

And since when did political ideology equal the religious (superstitous) beliefs of a cult?

There's a major difference between saying "This is how I want things to be, these are my reasons" and "This is how I want things to be, because this was to told be the truth by some whacky guy claiming to have met GOD after eating mushrooms and peyote."

Since when was it against the law, immoral or not sensible to have a political view different from the current regime? Oh... I forget... Since Bush ofcourse. Nevermind.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
let me tell you how... (3.00 / 5) (#257)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:09:00 PM EST

How is it not sensible?

to seek personal liberty?

Um, I'd say pretty much every ideology is constructed around that goal. Libertarianism is no different. To say that libertarianism is the only ideology that "seeks personal liberty" is ludicrous.

To minimize the effect of government where it is not needed?

So, you mean everywhere that doesn't keep the rich rich? Sorry, government (at least in a democracy) has a larger role than simply ensuring the "free market" remains "free" (ie, those at the top stay at the top).

The "free market" for all its wonder is the most legislated and regulated system in history. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a natural occurrence. This is specifically true regarding property rights. Read up on some history regarding the birth of Capitalism and the "free market" in England.

 Also, Libertarians have nothing constructive to say regarding the concept of the tyranny of the majority. Any ideology that either neglects this or downplays it is doomed to turn into a totalitarian state.

Libertianism isn't anarchy.

Damn right it isn't. However, by definition "personal liberty" is anarchy. It's your position that is contradictory, not mine.

And since when did political ideology equal the religious (superstitous) beliefs of a cult?

Since the beginning of time. Examine the word "ideology" very closly. What do you think it means? Look it up.

I understand what you're saying, but frankly, it makes no difference whether or not there's a god at the end of your belief system or not. Blind devotion to a set of beliefs is the issue, be that in catholics, communists, vegitarians or economists.

Since when was it against the law, immoral or not sensible to have a political view different from the current regime?

I don't remember me saying it was against the law or immoral, do you? It is however, a ridiculously unsensible political view.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

What libertarian wants to keep the rich rich? (none / 0) (#329)
by malfunct on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:40:09 PM EST

So, you mean everywhere that doesn't keep the rich rich?

I not a libertarian so I wouldn't actually know, but aren't they arguing that you shouldn't have laws that prevent the rich from becoming richer so that poor aren't so poor? Thats not promoting laws to give money to the rich, just being against laws that give money to anyone for any reason.

My personal belief is that taxes should be used to lubricate the wheels of society. Of course that means some amount of money needs to be spent to prevent poverty from becoming crippling. Unfortunately the answer to poverty is not to give the poor more money, in fact giving money to the poor places some amount of incentive on being poorer. My thought in saying this is to think what I would do if I had an opportunity to enter a job that earned $10 a week, but if I didn't take that job a kind soul would give me $11 a week (heck even if it was $9 a week I don't know that I'd work) because it was felt poverty was bad.

Anyways the increasing levels of homelessness and poverty we see today (at least in my area of seattle) seem to be some level of proof that giving more money (in the form of supplies or housing or whatever) doesn't seem to be dealing with the basic issue.

I guess in summary no law should be written that specifically makes the rich richer, but no law should be written that takes money away from a person that has it to give it to a person that doesn't have it in the name of betterment of society. I think the majority of libertarians would agree with my thoughts in that area (at least based on what I've read about it).

[ Parent ]

They all do. (none / 1) (#333)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:19:33 PM EST

It's a byproduct of their principles.

Libertarians hide behind their stated goals of the reduction of government and the increase of "personal liberty", which I admit don't sound so bad. Libertarians however, oppose changing current hierarchy structures outside of the government.

Libertarians don't want everyone to start from zero. They want to maintain the status quo of most of the wealth being in the hands of the few. Their positions regarding the "free market" and property rights show this clearly.

This may still sound ok, but consider this: Even in uber-capitalist America, the government acts as a dampening force on run away greed. Although not always effective, it's purpose in this area is to redistribute the nation's income in ways that benefit the majority of persons. Taxes, regulations, legislation, etc. all have a role in tempering the natural imbalance* of capitalist society.

Depending on the country, there are varying degrees of government involvement. The US as it stands now, (at least at the federal level) is  not exactly action oriented, at least compared to  say, Canada or Europe. The result of this stance is that top 1% of the people process 40% of the nation's wealth.

Simply put, with the removal or reduction in the role of government in these areas (as the libertarians propose) this statistic will only stand to increase.

Hence, the same rich we have now will get richer, and the rest of us will either have to work harder to keep up, or join the ranks of a much larger lower class.

Libertarian society would resemble a 19th century industrialized nation, because this is exactly what happened then as capitalism grew and the government failed to recognize it's essential role in this area. The result? In some countries, communist revolution, in others socialaism (or aspect thereof - unions etc.), in others still, brutal dictatorships and death to desenters.    

*Anyone who argues that capitalism is naturally balanced is a fool, and would do well to pick up a history book, I don't care what you first year economics prof told you.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Hah (none / 1) (#349)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:28:07 AM EST

Corporations don't pay taxes, my man, and regulations are just the corporation that owns more representatives screwing the one that doesn't.

In true Libertarian-fantasy-land, the corporations might still have the advantage but at least the government wouldn't be on their side.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

um... (none / 0) (#411)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:36:43 PM EST

Corporations don't pay taxes, my man

Uh, yes they do. You might argue that they don't pay their fair share, but they still do pay taxes. Feel free to show an example otherwise.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Pick any corporation (none / 1) (#436)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:30:22 PM EST

That has a "headquarters" on the small island of New Taxhaven.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

what the hell are you talking about? (none / 0) (#444)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:11:21 PM EST

And how does it relate to my original comment?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
BULLSHIT (none / 1) (#355)
by Qwaniton on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:22:40 AM EST

"*Anyone who argues that capitalism is naturally balanced is a fool, and would do well to pick up a history book, I don't care what you first year economics prof told you."

Anyone who told you that is an Ivory Tower elitist with a naive view of the world and absolutely no knowledge of economics. I'll trust my economics professor before any meritless quack anyday.


I don't think, therefore I
[ Parent ]
no shit here (none / 0) (#362)
by the77x42 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:36:36 AM EST

i guess government taxes and unions do screw up a perfectly consistent capitalist system, but in economics everything is held constant; unfortunately, it isn't like that in real life.

the notion of capitalizing the future value of assets into their current price in order to reach equilibrium is a key economic principle. good luck trying to put that into action, however. prices are all over the place because interest rates are all over the place. there is no balance.

likewise, firms operating at equilibrium is ludicrous. especially in this day and age, firms are entering and leaving different markets all the time before an equilibrium can be established. microsoft turns a profit and now everyone is in the software industry... but i hate to break it to you, microsoft is nowhere near equilibrium, they are turning profit like crazy.

if everything in capitalist society were balanced, there wouldn't be room for entreprenuers. ask your prof what he thinks about them, or inventors even. economics assumes the word is in the best possible state, unfortunately for them, it sure as hell isn't.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]

No it isn't. (none / 0) (#412)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:37:41 PM EST

And your inability to come up with any concrete argument to my post proves it.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
so what... (2.66 / 9) (#110)
by wakim1618 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:14:52 PM EST

There are lotsa cranky republicans and democrats who say hateful and/or silly things. There are as many republican and democrat pet projects that are just as silly.

Consider pacifism. As an ideal to strive for, it sounds like a wonderful thing. However, pacifists do silly things like protesting foreign dictators (as if the tyrant will watch all those placard wavers and just change their evil ways). So what. Libertarians receive a similar treatment to that of pacifists from big media. Make a spectacle out of yourselves and maybe big media will show up.

It is part of a more general problem with media and politics as they are today. There are many many problems and issues that people IMO should think about. Purists (or extremists) will not get far with most people.

As a reminder,

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?" - Monty Python, Life of Brian


If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.

my 2 cents on the poll (3.00 / 7) (#112)
by eudas on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:20:50 PM EST

the poll is kind of a stupid question.

"Is it acceptable for a political group to move to an area en masse and reshape its culture through legal, nonviolent means?"

  1. as opposed to what? illegal, violent means?
  2. for what ends?
it's ridiculous to answer the question unless you have more information.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat

IAWTP and, legal where? (none / 0) (#165)
by livus on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:52:03 PM EST

wasnt that the whole justification of Cortez?

He could be talking about recruiting all children in Thailand to be kid prostitutes for all we know.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Oh shit oh shit (none / 3) (#167)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:57:39 PM EST

You figured it out. What's the best way for me to leave the country?

Sorry about the poll. It was sort of an afterthought.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Meh. (2.75 / 4) (#113)
by ZorbaTHut on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:27:55 PM EST

"You're allowed to be a radical. But you can't be *that* radical. Could you please conform *mostly* to the way we'd like to live?"

I get that what they're trying to do is make a vast major change to their living situation. And that's their right (IMHO) - but obviously that's not going to happen if they do it half-assed.

I'm not sure if I agree with their methods or not, but it seems like a bad idea to ask them to change their goals to be more acceptable.

people with the most guns initiate force (1.80 / 5) (#120)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 05:27:01 PM EST

NEXT!

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

Mao said it better. (3.00 / 4) (#146)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:07:34 PM EST

All political power comes from the barrel of a gun.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
How are Libertarian cultists (2.71 / 7) (#129)
by gr3y on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:29:13 PM EST

any different from other cultists? Like the Mormons (Salt Lake City, UT), or the Scientologists?

The result would be no different. They'd own the police and local government and basically drive anyone who doesn't agree with their politics out of "their" town, creating a terrifyingly homogenous and intolerant society. Interestingly, in both these cases, politics and religion are one, and I'd argue that an individual who would uproot him or herself to take over someone else's town is embracing a religious or near-religious ideology.

No. Better never to let violent extremists gain a foothold anywhere. Force them out of the country, make them roam the seas like Hubbard before Clearwater, or Jim Jones before Guiana. When they finally hit land, let them destroy themselves.

Giving violent extremists a home in the U.S. only makes Waco or Occupied Clearwater possible. We learned that lesson in the south after emancipation and in 1950s America. Why is everyone determined to repeat history's mistakes again and again and again?

The Libertarians would gain control over local government. That's all. Local government doesn't allow them to circumvent or supersede state or federal law.

What I don't understand is why they aren't investing the money in the Freedom Ship they would have spent uprooting their household and starting anew somewhere else? Outside the twelve mile marker, no one cares what they do, and they can live a true Libertarian lifestyle with minimum interference from government.

I am a disruptive technology.

Actually, (2.57 / 7) (#133)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:47:55 PM EST

The Freedom Ship is already doomed to fail unless it can make itself truly self sufficient, but in any case, nobody who isn't rich is going to have even a moderately decent standard of living on it. The big problem is simple: most countries will regard it as a criminal enterprise, and therefore refuse to let it resupply at their ports, if it doesn't obey a bunch of rules and regulations that its builders aren't interested in.

As for Waco, those people weren't violent. They never engaged in any sort of violence as a group until the ATF took a bunch of blank, signed warrants(highly illegal, but who's to prove it, if a judge is in on the deal?,) and invaded their home with automatic weapons. Even then, the FBI and ATF claims that the Davidians fired first have basically been proven to be lies.

Finally, the vast majority of FSP members, and even FTP members in all likelihood, are not violent people. At least, no more violent than your average person. One guy writes a rant, and you think that defines a movement of thousands, or tens of thousands?

Anyway, it doesn't matter, because the FSP people have miscalculated. There's no way they can take over a state government and wield enough power to fight the feds(which they'd have to do on MANY issues to get things their way,) with only 20,000 residents on their side. It isn't just about winning elections. That's the easy part.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
waco (none / 3) (#150)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:11:02 PM EST

extremists will continue to paint the events there like you do

the truth is that the federal govt prudently foresaw the inevitable outcome of a violent cult, and stepped in, preciptating its inevitable violent end, saving us all from perhaps more deaths, certainly of more innocents, in the future, did they not act when and if they did

thank you, reno and the fbi, for saving us from these assholes

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Um, yeah (none / 1) (#309)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:36:46 PM EST

So then, you think the federal government should go in shooting anytime they so wisely think they can "save us" from something? That's a fine precedent.

Moron.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Violent extremists? (2.50 / 4) (#134)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:50:11 PM EST

Libertarians aren't violent extremists. Where did you get this idea? The FSP isn't an armed revolution, they're exercising their freedom to move into an area and vote. Or would you like to deny them those freedoms?

The Free State Project isn't a cult, but it's in danger of being marginalized by people like you who call it names in order to dismiss it. It's also in danger because a small minority of members run their mouths and sound like cult members. The FSP doesn't have most of the requisite traits of a cult such as a messianic leader, brainwashing, asking for money, detachment from family members, and secrecy.

Any attempt to run a law-abiding group out of the country should be stopped. By suggesting that they be run out of the country, you're saying that the 1st amendment doesn't apply to the FSP.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

i'll let voltaire speak for me: (none / 3) (#148)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:08:10 PM EST

"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."
                                           --Voltaire

any belief system which is at odds with simple human nature, at odds with simple reason, such as islamic fundamentalism, racism, or libertarianism, is beholden to two fates:

  1. to fade away, to crumble over time, as human nature reborn in every generation supercedes the logical fallacies of the fundamentalist order... witness the death of the catholic church in europe in the past 30 years, since it no longer has any bite there
  2. to exert violent outward pressure, to excuse the proselytising, the conversions, the jihads, the zionists, the land wars, the crusades, etc., that occur in the name of the defense of the creed, as somehow moral and just, when they are the exact opposite
libertarianism: it will either melt in the sunlight of simple reason, or violently defend its existence from extinction, in the manner all fundamentalist creeds still around today in the world force their existence to continue, artificially and unjustly


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Third alternative (none / 2) (#175)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:51:56 PM EST

Maybe you're wrong. You probably don't think so, but you're not exactly an impartial judge, now are you? :-}

Right or wrong, as long as the libertarians obey the laws and maintain civility, they deserve their shot at success. To throttle the movement simply because it challenges your beliefs in human nature would be... inhumane.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

"third alternative"= my 1st alternative (none / 3) (#190)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:48:53 PM EST

"Right or wrong, as long as the libertarians obey the laws and maintain civility, they deserve their shot at success."

yes but the laws counteract what libertarians want to do, so you have a situation exactly as i describe: your "third alternative" has them watering down what being a libertarian means, so that it isn't even libertarianism anymore, because a libertarian who "obeys the laws" isn't a libertarian anymore

duh

you seem to be somewhat challenged in the logic department


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Logic 101 (none / 1) (#192)
by curien on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:52:07 PM EST

The point of the FSP is to... change the laws. Would you like to try again?

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
Logic 101 (none / 3) (#193)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:54:11 PM EST

"Right or wrong, as long as the libertarians obey the laws and maintain civility, they deserve their shot at success."

"The point of the FSP is to... change the laws."

these two statements of yours are mutually exclusive

Would you like to try again?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, they're not (none / 1) (#196)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:02:46 AM EST

Unless changing the law is against the law.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
the changes to the law (1.00 / 5) (#202)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:14:24 AM EST

that are necessary for libertarianism to be put into action are such that you are working under a system of laws which is alien to the system of the laws we have now

libertarianism breaks fundamental pillars of our legal system and renders it completely incompatible with our current system of laws

so yes, you can change the law, but the changes are so alien to our current legal system that you are in effect "breaking the law" as it is currently understood

so your logical difficulties have to do with the fact that you don't understand how different and alien libertarianism is from what we have now... it is as different from what we have now as soviet communism is


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

That's not logic, that's rhetoric (3.00 / 4) (#206)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:24:46 AM EST

so yes, you can change the law, but the changes are so alien to our current legal system that you are in effect "breaking the law" as it is currently understood

Very poetic, but not very rational.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

my statement is rational (none / 2) (#208)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:29:35 AM EST

the problem is that you don't understand the full consequences of libertarianism on our legal system, and the changes to our legal system necessary in order for libertarianism to be put into place

you have a belief in a system whose consequences you have not fully explored

not very responsible of you, unless you arguing me in jest, and are not really serious about what you are saying, because you come across as an earnest naive teenager with little real world experience, so bvious are your oversights between what you claim to believe and how human nature works

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, you're just waxing whimsically (3.00 / 5) (#211)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:36:43 AM EST

Repeat after me: "Changing the laws via democratic processes set forth in the US and applicable state constitutions is not illegal." If something is not illegal, it is, by definition, legal.

period

end of story

Changes of this magnitude have happened before. Reconstruction, New Deal, Civil Rights movement. It's not illegal to bring about a paradigm shift.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

all of your examples (none / 3) (#217)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:13:38 AM EST

happened within the framwork of what was possible as outlined by the founding fathers

libertarianism lies outside the realm of what is possible under the bill of rights, constitution, etc.

libertarianism contradicts some immovable legal obstacles to its implementation

and this is a good thing

because our legal system should not allow for movements towards extremist economic and social ruin

i really think that you don't understand what libertarianism is, and after 9 million posts, i don't understand why you don't see that libertarianism is an extremist pov, that moves AWAY from balance, not towards it

i don't get it????????


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Blatantly incorrect (3.00 / 4) (#234)
by curien on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:25:06 AM EST

The Constitution in no way, shape or form allows for Reconstruction. There was a great debate at the time about what was legal and what wasn't; Lincoln himself was of the opinion that secession was illegal (and thus the CSA states had never really seceeded) and thus Reconstruction as it was eventually implemented was invalid.

It didn't really allow for the New Deal either, which is why FDR had to bully SCOTUS like he did. He didn't change the letter of the law, but he changed how we interpret the law, which ultimately has the same effect.

Every "ism" is extremist... what makes it an ism. Successful systems don't implement isms purely.

You're making no more sense than if you said that socialism is extremist (which it is, when taken to the extreme), and so any movement towards socialism is a bad thing.

Which particular "immovable legal obstacle" stands in the way of libertarianism?

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

There goes your grammar. (none / 0) (#354)
by Qwaniton on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:19:31 AM EST

Interesting to note that as you keep getting more and more humiliated, your grammar breaks down. You are being beaten in this debate, and you're going nuts.


I don't think, therefore I
[ Parent ]
So you say... (none / 3) (#183)
by gr3y on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:27:32 PM EST

I heard their spokesman on NPR. The town they most recently wanted to move into, Grafton, is fifteen minutes away, and has been my whole life.

Amusingly, their spokesman seemed incapable of understanding why anyone would resist having a bunch of political ideologues descend on them from various locations within the United States and tell them how to live - to move into Grafton only to subvert the morals and culture of the community for their own selfish ends.

And believe me... If allowed to congregate in great enough numbers, like the Mormons before the 2d ACR put them down in the 1800s, or The People's Temple, Libertarians would most assuredly get violent.

I didn't say the 1st Amendment doesn't apply to the FSP. They're as free as I am to espouse an alternate political ideology, but the ultimate goal of the FSP is to secede from the union, and we already tried that. Admit the fact, and move on.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Subvert the morals and culture? (2.40 / 5) (#201)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:10:36 AM EST

You sound like McCarthy. Listen to yourself, and be ashamed.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
I work with people who live there, (none / 0) (#301)
by gr3y on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:56:04 PM EST

and you don't.

To repeat myself:

The Libertarian ideal is incompatible with the community. The FSP wants to move in and tell the residents of Grafton how they will be allowed to live their lives. They aren't the least bit interested in joining the community. They're only interested in subverting the already existing culture and infrastructure for their own selfish ends.

Just because you can do a thing does not mean you should do a thing. You'd realize this if you spent a little more time thinking and a little less time posting without thinking.

HAND, you hear?

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Violent libertarians who want to regulate morality (none / 0) (#307)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:20:30 PM EST

This is what you've claimed: Violent libertarians want to move to Grafton and create a terrifying and homogenous society, and use the power of the police force to drive people out of town. The libertarians want to impose their moral regulations on other people, dictate how other people live their lives, and use violence to enforce their will.

You're fucking insane! This is so diametrically opposed to the libertarian philosophy that I can't come to another conclusion. What you're describing the exact opposite of what libertarians believe in.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (none / 0) (#325)
by gr3y on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:12:25 PM EST

I said that Libertarians were violent extremists, not that "violent libertarians want to move to Grafton". I advanced the notion that libertarians are extremists, which I consider proven: any libertarians supporting the FSP are willing to sell their homes, move their entire household to a foreign community with their libertarian brethren, and seize control of the political process. That's an extremist point of view. Why don't they work to effect political change from within the communities they currently inhabit?

They're not fleeing religious or political persecution. They're not fleeing oppression. Being a voice among many simply isn't enough for them, and fuck that noise.

I'll grant you that the Libertarians haven't had much opportunity to actually engage in acts of violence... yet. That's because they haven't been able to congregate in great enough numbers... yet. Wait until the first father attempts to drop out of society by moving to this political "no man's land" the FSP wants to create, bringing the teenage daughter he was not granted custody of with him. Wait until he says he no longer has to pay child support to his wife, or respect the custody decision of the courts, and barricades himself into his house with a rifle. Wait until he threatens the process server with a rifle. Wait until it's on national TV.

Some "Libertarians" have too much in common with anarchists or fucking nihilists for it not to happen. The FSP will welcome them all by political necessity, to gain and maintain its quorum.

The very purpose of the FSP is to create a terrifyingly homogenous society, which is exactly what I said, not a "terrifying and homogenous" society. They want to do this because only in a society in which the libertarians control the vote will it be possible to live according to the Libertarian ideal, in other words, only through control of the political process will it be possible for them to accomplish their intent. The really amusing thing about Libertarians is that they believe they're a herd of cats, but they're really just conforming to a little less precisely defined ideal.

The FSP spokesman I referred to earlier had a similar inability to understand why a community might not want a bunch of political ideologues descending on them from god-knows-where for the express purpose of re-creating the government the community itself had created.

Same as you, actually.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Inherent problem with your argument (none / 0) (#388)
by curien on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:41:58 PM EST

How many people are in NH? 1.25 million. The FSP plans to move 20 thousand people there. There's no way that many people can "seize control" of the political process against the will of the rest of the population.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
There certainly is a way (none / 0) (#401)
by CwazyWabbit on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:11:12 PM EST

You are comparing 1.25 million people who will be pretty much an average sample of the population against 20 thousand people dedicated to using/subverting the existing system.

It would hardly be a case of us-and-them; plenty of the ideas the newcomers would propose would be appealing to existing residents. This gets you in and gives you a foot hold; from there the usual local politics mechanisms of nepotism and such could be used to gain greater influence. Corruption in local politics is pretty standard in the UK where it is carried out by greedy individuals scratching each other's backs. The effect of a large number of dedicated political activists would surely be stronger.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]

Non sequitur. (none / 0) (#441)
by gr3y on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:56:19 PM EST

We were talking about their attempt to invade Grafton, which is not New Hampshire.

The number of people necessary to influence a much-smaller, semi-rural city is less than twenty thousand - maybe much less if they're very active politically.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Then you're talking about the wrong folks (none / 0) (#453)
by curien on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:47:55 PM EST

You meant the FTP then, not the FSP.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
Yes, (none / 1) (#454)
by gr3y on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:35:54 PM EST

I realized that while trying to reconcile your comment.

My mistake. My comments stand, however. Substitute "FTP" for "FSP" as necessary.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, right (none / 2) (#135)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:53:04 PM EST

Because all those socialists who spent many decades spouting outrageous bullshit were complete failures. Socialism is dead!

Oh, wait...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

very simple lessons for the simpleton (2.12 / 8) (#145)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:00:48 PM EST

pure socialism is wrong, flawed

pure capitalism is wrong, flawed

only in a society where altrusim and selfishness balance each other out can happiness, prosperity, peace, morality, justice be maximized

that's the simple truth, right there

so, a simple, simple question for you: how come you libertarians understand all of the lessons against pure altruism... and yet you cannot understand one simplistic particle of the lessons against pure selfishness?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hm? (none / 0) (#226)
by kesuari on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:24:48 AM EST

I see no evidence that a fully altruistic cosiecy would not maximise happiness, prosperity, peace, morality, justice etc. Could you refer me to any?

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 1) (#310)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:39:02 PM EST

In its simplest form, it is called "white elephant syndrome." Put simply, individuals know what they need better than anyone else. Altruism says that the moral character of an action does not depend on its nature so much as on who benefits - if the actor benefits, it is evil, and if someone else benefits, it is good. The problem is, other people do not know what I need as well as I do, or as well as they know what they need. Thus, altruism is an inherently inferior mechanism, even to the extent that it works, which is minimal.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Sort of (none / 0) (#367)
by spiralx on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:50:35 AM EST

True to an extent, but an individual may not know how to acheive such a goal... but with cooperation and altruism with others they may be able to do so.

If altruism was such an inferior mechanism then it would've been selected against genetically. And yet it comes up time and time again in group behaviours. As long as there is some measure of reciprocality then altruism is a valid strategy to persue, often moreso than selfishness.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

The funny thing... (none / 1) (#428)
by trhurler on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:42:02 PM EST

When I want to cooperate with people, I do not need to pass laws requiring them to cooperate on pain of imprisonment, property seizure, and so on. Socialists seem to find that necessary.

Cooperation and altruism are vastly different things. The first can be a fair arrangement among equals. The second is a contest to see who can get the most stuff - by being the most worthless, incapable, useless bastard who ever lived - from those poor bastards who are not worthless, incapable, or useless.

When my friends and I consider building a garage in which to build sports cars and race cars, we do not discuss methods of forcing people to do things. We do not talk about means of extracting the talents of the strong for exploitation by the weak. We do, however, cooperate. Interestingly, the vehicle we consider to be most appropriate for this venture is a limited liability company owned by us. Why? Precisely because it makes us all equals in the endeavor, and because it gives us a way to measure exactly what each of us has, buy it, sell it, expand it, or whatever we wish to do. It gives us all our options. We do not want a "car cooperative," full of rules, regulations, and tie dyed shirts.

That said, I think I can make my point very simply, and if you want to reply, I suggest replying to this: cooperation is a great thing. Coercion is not. Altruism, insofar as it is not mere cooperation, is cooperation at gunpoint, whether that gun be a moral stricture, a tax agent, or whatever. If it is wrong for one man, ten men, or a thousand to force you to do something, then it is wrong for all of us to do so. Men do not benefit by being enslaved. I find this to be a simple, intuitive truth; I cannot see why so many people are blind to it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Nice redefinition (none / 0) (#471)
by spiralx on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 12:24:13 PM EST

Cooperation and altruism are vastly different things. The first can be a fair arrangement among equals. The second is a contest to see who can get the most stuff - by being the most worthless, incapable, useless bastard who ever lived - from those poor bastards who are not worthless, incapable, or useless.

I agree with your first statement... but your definition of altruism is somewhat odd. Strikes me as the tail wagging the dog really.

Altruism pays off in any situation where two people are going to interact on more than one occasion. You're a smart guy and I'm sure you've heard of the iterated prisoner's dilemna, where the best strategy is one in which altruism (albeit not blind altruism) is the most successful strategy.

So my reply is this... a) why are you talking about cooperation not altruism and b) why are you redefining "being nice" as "seeing who can get the most stuff - by being the most worthless, incapable, useless bastard who ever lived - from those poor bastards who are not worthless, incapable, or useless"?

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

That's the thing, really (none / 1) (#480)
by trhurler on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:27:38 PM EST

First of all, the prisoner's dilemma is not nearly as interesting as its many advocates would like to claim; in order to make it work, it has to have various special circumstances that just don't happen to your average person. Ever. Yes, you can find similar situations in real life all the time, but information flow is not as tightly controlled, authority is not as absolute, and so on, and as a result, there are optimal strategies that are not possible in the prisoner's dilemma.

Second, altruism is not mere cooperation or "being nice." Someone has fed you a line on that one. Cooperation and being nice have their own terms, and one can cooperate and be a very nice person without ever doing anything that would be termed "altruistic" by your average person. Altruism is an ethical doctrine, and it is one which says that the moral character of an action depends on who benefits - the actor, or someone else. When a small child is rewarded for giving away a piece of candy after being prodded to do so, it is not "cooperation" or "niceness" that is being rewarded. For you to give away that candy might merely be "niceness," but to a child, that candy has a value you might associate with a large sum of money, which you would not give away without some reason, whether that be to make yourself feel good, to benefit a cause you believe in, or whatever.

I am a stickler for these terms for two reasons. One is that without having these as distinct ideas, we cannot even discuss certain things which are in fact very real, because we have no words for them. The other is that people conflate them out of cowardice - they want not to have to think too closely about what they believe in. I think that's a disaster waiting to happen.

Now, why am I not talking about mere cooperation? Because we were talking about socialism. Socialism is not cooperation. Socialism is cooperation among those who agree, combined with the use of coercive force against those who do not. It is not the cooperative aspect that I disagree with. It is the altruistic ethics that is used to justify the coercion that I disagree with.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#512)
by spiralx on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 08:44:18 AM EST

I'm talking about the definition of altruism which applies to the subject I was talking about. You're trying to redefine it as being something completely different, thus changing the argument. It hardly seems worth continuing in this situation to be honest.

In this case altruism (more properly reciprocal altruism) is extremely well documented in the natural world amongst many species including primates. There's nobody forcing these animals to do these things, merely an evolutionary pressure towards a behaviour that wins out over simple selfishness in many situations.

Where do ethical doctrines and socialism come into this?

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#516)
by trhurler on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 10:51:47 AM EST

Either you didn't notice, or you have forgotten, but the conversation you stepped into the middle of was about socialism, and not altruism. The latter came up only in the context of discussing the former.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#533)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 29, 2004 at 07:49:49 AM EST

My point was that altruistic behaviour is just as valid as selfish behaviour - your argument that socialism is invalid because altruism is impossible isn't true. There are other reasons to attack it, but that's not a good one.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

iff (none / 0) (#536)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 29, 2004 at 04:55:38 PM EST

My point was that altruistic behaviour is just as valid as selfish behaviour - your argument that socialism is invalid because altruism is impossible isn't true. There are other reasons to attack it, but that's not a good one.
And if we take "altruistic" in the sense that biologists do, you're right. I make no argument there. BUT, assume for a moment the meaning of altruism that I gave(take this as a dictionary entry with two different meanings given) in which altruism bases the moral nature of an action upon who the recipient is. Now I think you might see my point, whether you agree with it or not.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
News for you (none / 0) (#311)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:39:36 PM EST

The opposite of socialism is not capitalism. It is fascism.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
quote... (none / 0) (#418)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:56:19 PM EST

Not arguing with you, just something to think about:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of the Corporation and the State." -Mussolini

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Exactly my point (none / 1) (#427)
by trhurler on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:34:21 PM EST

When socialists lambaste "capitalism" they are lambasting corporatism, really. And when they lambaste corporatism, they are really criticizing the sort of government involvement that creates unanswerable economic power. "Private" telephone companies, railroads, and so on, which were given their position by government fiat rather than any market forces, and which are utterly immovable without government action.

The opposite of socialism is fascism. They're both central control dogmas, but one focusses on economic production, the other on economic distribution. Capitalism is a different sort of animal; it is not a political system of control, but an economic system, and any centralized scheme of control tends to limit its effectiveness. But, it is the only effective system that has ever existed; to the extent that economies have succeeded, it was by adopting characteristics of capitalism, at least in some limited, perhaps perverse form.

I am against socialism, and against fascism. I do not believe that we need huge central bureaucracies, either governmental or private. I believe that our deployed technology has been shaped(consciously or otherwise, but certainly willfully,) in a manner conducive to centralized control by those who enjoy such control. Our laws have been shaped to reinforce this. I can cheaply produce all the electricity I need, yet it is illegal for my home not to be connected to an electrical grid regulated by the government, run by a company, and for which I will then be charged. Does this make sense? No, but it is the law. Such examples are endemic.

Mainstream politics is not about any real matter. It is a squabble over who will hold the gun pointed at your head. If you can't see that, you need to look harder.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Anyways (none / 0) (#463)
by bob6 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 05:54:28 AM EST

Purity is flawed.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Goddamnit (2.83 / 18) (#140)
by gumbo on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:27:31 PM EST

I wish those libertarians would just fuck off back to Libertaria.

LLLLLOOOOOOOLLLLLLERS (none / 0) (#149)
by McMick on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:09:05 PM EST

No real comment from me, except to say that libertarians are living in a fantasy land. I'd love to live in a libertarian society myself, but I'm willing to state flat out that it is as impossible a dream as true Communism is. What it really sounds like is just another word for "anarchy" (the political sense, not the chaotic sense).

[ Parent ]
actually (2.40 / 5) (#176)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:55:05 PM EST

American "libertarians" are quite the opposite of anarchists.

With their free market as God approach, modern libertarians are much closer in belief to Fascists.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Anarchism/libertarianism (none / 2) (#180)
by Driusan on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 11:13:45 PM EST

And for those who don't know anything about anarchism as a political philosophy: An Anarchist FAQ even has an entire appendix dedicated to why "anarcho-capitalism" (as some libertarians call their philosophy) isn't anarchism.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Personally, I'm all for them foaming at the mouth (2.50 / 6) (#168)
by livus on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:58:17 PM EST

the way they do.

If only Hitler wore his insane pox-addled heart on his sleeve the way Libertarians do with theirs today, he'd have never come to power.

The more apparent their psychosis, the better for us all.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

read history (none / 2) (#327)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:20:05 PM EST

If only Hitler wore his insane pox-addled heart on his sleeve the way Libertarians do with theirs today, he'd have never come to power.

Actually, Hitler was pretty blatant, but got in anyway. I guess the military establishment and the Junkers thought they could control him. After all, he was a decorated war hero who had some dealings with the military secret police.

Frustrated with the lack of economic progress under the Weimar Republic, the Junkers, or manufacturing conglomerates, secretly supported the Nazis, who advocated rearmament. Some bankers also supported the Nazis, thinking they would get the freedom to trade they could not get under Weimar law. This union of capitalism and Nazism was key to giving the Nazi Party the funding to gain seats in the Reichstag and eventually control all of Germany.
Also, Hitler engaged in a lot of relative thuggery.

On November 8, 1923,Hitler, Hermann Goring and the Sturmarbeitelung surrounded the Bavarian leadership as they were speaking at a beer hall in Munich. Firing a pistol shot, Hitler ran to the podium and declared a revolution. Herding the Bavarian politicians into a back room, he tried to force them to step aside. When they refused, he announced their resignation anyway. Working with World War I hero General Erich Ludendorff, they held the leadership overnight and marched on Munich the next day. The Army did not join them, and sixteen Nazis and three policemen were killed. The Nazi martyred their dead, inscribing their names into every party member's identification papers.
The problem wasn't the obviousness of Hitler's psychosis, but rather that powerful interests were undermining the Weimar Republic. I think it's no coincidence that the terrible hyperinflation that Germany suffered lead to the strengthening of the Nazi party. That deed killed two birds with one stone. It undermined the huge reparations that Germany was required to pay by the Versailles Treaty, and it prepared the populace for a nationalistic government.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Even so (none / 0) (#462)
by livus on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 03:28:11 AM EST

Hitler was nothing on the average randroid. He may have written a dumb book but at least it wasnt Atlas Shrugged.

Meanwhile Henry Ford was spoting very similar rhetoric to AH on the other side of the world and no one stopped him either.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

An Essay on Limited Government. (2.87 / 16) (#197)
by ipoverscsi on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:03:54 AM EST

There are just as many types of libertarianism as there are christianity. In their Ideal form, not all of them are bad; it is the implementation of the Ideal that leads to its own corruption.

The Founding Fathers were smart enough to realize that people tend to gravitate towards like-minded individuals. These groups of people would tend to have similar beliefs and values which could be codified into local laws and customs. It is therefore at the local level of government that people can have the most influence through a direct democratic process. The idea that people -- like the libertarians mentioned in the article -- moving to a specific area to carve out a niche for themselves is one of the most fundamental rights a person can have. It's simply like-minded people getting together to form their own community with their own set of customs and laws. It is precisely this level of heterogenaity that makes a country strong. (Geek moment: Many geeks complain about the mono-culture of Microsoft and how the variety of FS/OSS is a good thing. It's a good thing in the Real World, too.) If you don't like where you live, you can always move to a place where you'll find like minded people.

The problem is that once you extend beyond a limited geographical area, you begin to intersect the spheres of influence of other local governments. These local governments will sometimes come into conflict, and it is the desire to arbitrate and resolve local conflicts that a heirarchical system of government is needed (city, county, state, federal). In the Ideal, these various levels of government should be only as large as is necessary to perform the duties of resolving conflict between their smaller consituents; this is "limited government". This belief is even codified at the federal level in the U.S. Constitution (following the strict interpretation).

The Framers (specifically in the Federalist Papers) knew that direct democracy has its limits, which is why levels of government higher than the local government are representative. The government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people", so the power should be concentrated where the people are -- the local level. Representatives do not always act in the best interest of those they represent, which is why their power and scope should be limited at the higher levels.

What I think most rational libertarians object to is the extension of Equal Protection to corporations. Essentially, virtual entities now have the same fundamental rights as people do. Equal Protection has been extended to companies under the aegis of the commerce regulation and free trade clauses of the constitution. Companies, unlike people, exist in geographical areas that extend across multiple levels of governmental authority. They also typically have more money (and thus power) than individuals. It is because of these two facts that laws which should typically be under local governmental control are passed further up the chain to higher and higher governmental authorities. Pushing the power higher up the chain leads to less control by the people and, since laws now cover wider geographical areas, homogenaity of social customs.

I should disclose now that I do not own a business, nor will I likely own one in the near future (too many hedaches). But I am sure there are people who would argue that it is their right to pursue and grow their business, and that simplifying the (tax) laws makes it easier for them to do their work and makes the goods and services produced cheaper. I would argue that the equal protection afforded their company robs the "little guy" of his rights to have a say in how his government operates; there is no way the local handy-man can compete on geographical or financial areas of influence that a company can.

Perhaps my view is a bit pedestrian, maybe even agrarian. But the voter apathy present in the United States can be directly linked to the fact that people do not feel they have any control over government. With the laws covering much larger areas and affecting more people, it is not inconceivable that people would feel that making such big decisions is left to "better people", or that their vote doesn't really matter because there are so many other people who will vote.

In summation, the fact that a group of people -- no matter how crazy or deluded they may seem -- have gotten together to try and affect their own government should make all of us proud. These people are willing to uproot their lives and challenge the authorities in an effort to say how they will rule themselves. Somehow, this doesn't sound much different than the mad ravings I saw in another document written in 1776.

++good (nt) (none / 1) (#222)
by kerinsky on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:15:24 AM EST



-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
well said (none / 2) (#223)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:20:21 AM EST

except that in 1776, the loonies were for representational govt instead of a distant uncaring monarchy

in 2004, the libertarian loonies are for social irresponsibility

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Social irresponsibility? (none / 1) (#415)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:46:55 PM EST

In order to survive in a libertarian society, you have to be responsible.  It's socialism that produces irresponsibility in the population by allowing its existence in the first place.

Unless you meant that the society itself would be irresponsible under libertarianism, in which case, we must agree to differ on the definition of 'responsible' because I certainly do not think it in any way responsible, rational, benevolent or wise to encourage irresponsibility in others.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

rights of companies (none / 3) (#319)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:59:26 PM EST

What I think most rational libertarians object to is the extension of Equal Protection to corporations. Essentially, virtual entities now have the same fundamental rights as people do. Equal Protection has been extended to companies under the aegis of the commerce regulation and free trade clauses of the constitution. Companies, unlike people, exist in geographical areas that extend across multiple levels of governmental authority. They also typically have more money (and thus power) than individuals. It is because of these two facts that laws which should typically be under local governmental control are passed further up the chain to higher and higher governmental authorities. Pushing the power higher up the chain leads to less control by the people and, since laws now cover wider geographical areas, homogenaity of social customs.

What's wrong with this? Companies are made of people who have rights, you know. Companies also do more and generate more benefit than a single person does. Also, I don't see corporations homogenizing the US. Rather it's the Republican/Democrat political favor oligarchy which passes as much law as you can afford.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Alright (3.00 / 4) (#350)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:37:47 AM EST

If people have rights, and corporations are made of people, then why do corporations need to be explicitly given the standard parcel of rights?

Even if they do, why are they then granted extra rights (e.g. limited liability)?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

in order to exist (none / 0) (#379)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:11:16 AM EST

If people have rights, and corporations are made of people, then why do corporations need to be explicitly given the standard parcel of rights?

This is just the way corporations were implemented. It allows them to use the legal system, provides access to a variety of legal protections (eg, freedom of speech, protection from siezure of assets by government). Also, do you really have a reason not to give corporations these rights?

I don't think so. The political bribery problem you mentioned before doesn't appear to be a problem of corporations having too many rights, but instead a result of the political system allowing bribes. Fix the political system since that is where the problem lies. Others have mentioned a "need" to restrict commercial speech . Again, I see no need for that either since the restriction seems to be intended to stifle an opposing point of view rather than to address any real harm.

Even if they do, why are they then granted extra rights (e.g. limited liability)?

Because the granting of those privileges yields tremendous benefits to society.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

It also does tremendous harm (none / 1) (#389)
by curien on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:47:19 PM EST

The cool thing about a person who is harmful to society is that we can physcially remove them from it. With a virtual entity such as a corporation, this isn't really possible.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
don't see the problem (none / 0) (#434)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:24:07 PM EST

The cool thing about a person who is harmful to society is that we can physcially remove them from it. With a virtual entity such as a corporation, this isn't really possible.

If a corporation doesn't have assets or employees (the only way you couldn't punish it), then it is irrelevant and it doesn't matter if it exists or not. Otherwise, you can sieze assets or jail employees. Presuming of course, that the responsible employees did something sufficiently naughty to justify jail time.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

If you don't see the problem, that's fine (none / 0) (#437)
by curien on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:31:46 PM EST

Please pardon me if I consider you blind.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
sigh (none / 1) (#442)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:09:23 PM EST

I'll live with your opinion. But I reread your post and it seems bizarrely illogical. You describe a corporation as a "virtual thing", but as I mention it has a physical manifestation that can be removed. we could for example, jail all the officers of McDonald's, sieze all property owned by the company or its franchises, and ban the use of the McDonald's logos and other intellectual property. Sounds like a complete physical removal from society to me.

If you're trying out some weird philosophical or sematic argument, then I just can't be bothered. I don't care that virtual things can't be handled physically. It's part of the definition of "virtual". Also, it's not clear to me how virtual things can cause "tremendous harm".

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

rights and responsibilities. (none / 1) (#414)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:43:44 PM EST

Rights come with responsibilities... what corporations have done is been endowed with similar rights as persons, but not the same level of responsibility.

Even if they do, why are they then granted extra rights (e.g. limited liability)?

Because the granting of those privileges yields tremendous benefits to society.

Benefits to Corporations != Benefits to Society!!!

In fact, many times they are in contradiction.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

fortunately (none / 0) (#433)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:20:36 PM EST

Benefits to Corporations != Benefits to Society!!!

I'm aware of this distinction. So yes, I'm claiming that granting of privileges like "limited liability" is good for society not just for corporations.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

let them try; a good experiment (3.00 / 8) (#203)
by davros4269 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:17:21 AM EST

Is there a successful example of Libertarianism at work in the world today? I am aware of none...

There are plenty of good working examples of other ideals...

As for making a whole state Libertarian, why not encourage them to do this, let them try! I'm all for experiment. All political ideals have some virtues, maybe we can learn something from it (I'm speaking as a liberal).

Carl Sagan mentioned in one of his books, either "Pale Blue Dot" or "Demon Haunted world", that, although not scientific, there are 'experiments' of a sort going on. He compared a Canadian city to Seattle, if I remember right, I forget which city, a city of similar population. In any case, one has gun control, the other, basically, does not. He then commented about the murder rate involving guns. His point was, I think, to put idealism aside and go with what the hell WORKS, while not being afraid to experiment.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.

i have a great idea (2.40 / 5) (#221)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:13:54 AM EST

lets base our monetary policy on tarot card readings

ok! everyone with me? lets run that experiment!

... ;-P

the problem with your notion of "throw caution to the wind, let's experiment!" is 2-fold:

  1. you ignore the potential for real damage
  2. you ignore the ability of human reason to disregard flat-out absurd ideas
libertarianism is such an absurdity that can be dismissed through reason alone, no real-world experiment need apply, and no real-world suffering either


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
well, ok (none / 0) (#251)
by davros4269 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:55:08 AM EST

"pure" libertarianism can't work, IMO, I agree, but this isn't going to just happen, and setup a 100% libertarian state, think about it.

The folks already there, opposition groups, little things like federal law, etc., will water down their "pure" state.

Change like this is also a slow process.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

I love politics (none / 3) (#421)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:18:19 PM EST

Only in politics do you see these kinds of arguments. You never see physicians, for example, despite any of their medical opinions, saying, "100% sterile procedure is impossible, so we all just might as well rub our hands in dog shit before performing surgery." You never see software companies saying, "100% bug-free software is not achievable, so we might as well just put software together randomly." Oh, wait. I lie already. I forgot Microsoft.

But seriously, folks. Libertarianism and libertarianism are directions. They don't generally hold up to scrutiny on the 100% level, but what the fuck does?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
experiment is OK, but not close to my home (3.00 / 4) (#228)
by Viliam Bur on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:06:38 AM EST

I think most people do not object to Libertarians making an experiment. The problem is that nobody wants this experiment be in his/her town. The idea that some thousand people will move to my city, to be able to change the laws as it fits them most... now if I do not like their policy, should I rather leave my home before I get over-voted?

If Libertarians would build their own city, that would be OK. But they are trying to take over existing city, where people already live, and some of them may even not agree with Libertatian world view. Those people do not want to become a part of Libertarian experiment; nor do they want to have to leave their homes, only to avoid it. They percieve it as an attack - and they are IMHO right.

[ Parent ]

those people are part of the experiment (none / 0) (#247)
by davros4269 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:26:11 AM EST

The folks already living there would be part of the experiment. Their opposition would be part of what's interesting to observe.

Besides, moving to an area and pulling this off is easier said than done, and would take a while.

I'm not too worried. Reaction from everyone else (not the libertarians) will be interesting to watch.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

HA! (3.00 / 4) (#250)
by kjb on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:47:29 AM EST

The folks already living there would be part of the experiment. Their opposition would be part of what's interesting to observe.

The folks already living there would be part of the experiment, against their will. How would forcing the current residents to be part of the 'experiment' be in line with libertarian philosophy?

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

who knows? (none / 2) (#284)
by davros4269 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:34:39 PM EST

I'm not a libertarian - I doubt it could work, lol, nevertheless, it will be interesting to watch! What they propose is legal. Other groups could just as easily use similar, legal, moves to counter if they wanted too...

Yes, yes, they would be "forced" to counter, you could argue, good for them - maybe more people will realize that if you just sit on your political ass, someone comes and sneaks up on you and pulls the chair out when u aren't watching...

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Funny shit (2.57 / 7) (#220)
by The Central Committee on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:13:06 AM EST

The libos are crying about State enforcing morality. While the libo haters are crying about the libos using the State to enforce their version of morality. Then the people in the town are scared of the libos and are not renting to them. While the libos are pissed off by this freemarket action. Why can't we just get along?

You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc

Neat experiment (2.77 / 9) (#225)
by Gooba42 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:58:23 AM EST

I'd like to see this tried. I'm not certain I want to live within the borders of the testing grounds however.

When every corporation in the country moves into the Libertarian state to avoid taxes, environmental protections and other "nanny state" items and to exploit all of the available resources human, natural and otherwise it'll suck to be anywhere near there.

It'll be nice to finally put to rest those "deregulate everything because somehow Capitalist magic will prevent greed from burying us all" types.

Restitution (none / 3) (#256)
by Wildgoose on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:08:11 PM EST

Libertarians believe that if you pollute the environment then you have to pay to clean it up.

"Less Laws" does not equal "No Laws", the basic principles of libertarianism are that you can do what you like to yourself, but that you must not harm others.

Unfortunately, there appear to be large numbers of people who are in favour of forcing other people to live their lives in the manner that they want them to.

I'm sure that there are plenty of socialists and their ilk who genuinely believe in forcing their discredited beliefs on people for "the common good", just as their are plenty of Islamic terrorists who believe that a world-wide Islamic state will save everyone from hell and damnation.

I just don't believe it myself, and object to people who try and force these beliefs on me.

Libertarians on the other hand just want to be left alone, and their propagandising is primarily based around achieving that objective. "Converting" people to their view point is secondary.

[ Parent ]

lol, dude. (none / 0) (#266)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:55:47 PM EST

Your first sentence is completely contradicted by the rest of you comment! Do you not see that?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
no, I don't see it either (none / 0) (#314)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:51:57 PM EST

Your first sentence is completely contradicted by the rest of you comment! Do you not see that?

Er, I don't see it either. Seems straightforward to me.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I'll spell it out for you. (none / 0) (#330)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:43:42 PM EST

Libertarians believe that if you pollute the environment then you have to pay to clean it up.

Unfortunately, there appear to be large numbers of people who are in favour of forcing other people to live their lives in the manner that they want them to.

Obviously, if "you have to pay to clean it up", then somebody is "forcing other people to live their lives in the manner that they want them to".

A little contradictory, no?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

well... (none / 1) (#345)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:58:35 PM EST

Obviously, if "you have to pay to clean it up", then somebody is "forcing other people to live their lives in the manner that they want them to".

You of course ignored that that the individual doesn't automatically gain the right to harm others. Pollution of course is a violation of that maxim and hence from the viewpoint of Libertarianism, one can be forced to compensate the victim for that harm and mitigate the harm (as much as possible).

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Isn't that coercion? (none / 0) (#358)
by Gooba42 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:01:47 AM EST

Libertarians don't typically believe in the use of force.

You're going to stop pollution because companies operate under pain of being disliked?

[ Parent ]

Initiation (none / 2) (#369)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:57:38 AM EST

Libertarians don't believe in the initiation of force. Since the hypothetical polluters are the ones initiating it, there's nothing wrong with punishing them.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
what constitutes acceptable force in this case? (none / 2) (#392)
by Gumpzilla on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:13:26 PM EST

Allow me to produce a contrived and admittedly ridiculous example for illustrative purposes. Say my kids are painfully allergic to cigarette smoke, and John Q. Libertarian who owns the condo next to me is a two pack a day smoker. All of that smoke is getting into my condo and making my kids ill. After asking him to stop, he continues to do this. Therefore, since he is causing harm to my children, there's nothing wrong with punishing him, so I shoot him in the head.

Obviously nobody is advocating this kind of thing. It's way out of proportion. But if one is not going to have this, one needs to delineate what kinds of force are acceptable responses to various crimes. Who decides this, and how is it enforced? Does the town as a whole enter into a contract where all parties agree to certain rules of engagement? If not, how else is the restitution extracted?

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 2) (#394)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:37:34 PM EST

Sure, you have to delineate what kinds of force are acceptable, and decide how society responds when people's rights are being violated. Libertarians aren't saying we should scrap the current system. I believe in the police and the court system. If laws are kept at the lowest possible level (i.e. no federal leash laws), it does amount to a town entering into a contract with each other. I just think we need to shift our policy towards personal responsibility. It's not too restrictive to ask John to install an exhaust fan or smoke outside, but it's unacceptable to try to tax or ban his cigarettes.

Ideally you and John Q. Libertarian should work out an agreement yourselves, but as a last resort you'd still use the court system - just like you would today.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Contract theory deals with this (none / 0) (#413)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:42:08 PM EST

The idea is that the real question is one of 'agent of change'.  If the smoker moved in after the others had been there, then they have reason to expect that it will remain that way.  Ideally, they would have signed a contract stating that no smokers would be allowed.

If the smoker is the agent of change, he must return the situation to where it was.  He has several choices.  He can pay for filtration of his neighbor's house.  He can pay his neighbor to do it himself.  He can filter his own smoke in his house.  He can move.

If the non-smoker is the agent of change, the onus is on him to handle the situation.  He can pay the smoker to smoke inside in a filtered room.  He can pay to have the smoker move.  He can install filters in his house.  He can move himself.  He can purchase drugs to deal with his children's allergies.

The problem comes when socialism or environmentalism compel liability, forcing the transaction one way, making most of the options disappear.

Also, the theory accepts 'reasonable expectation', meaning that if nobody smoked at all in the town homes, that might constitute a reasonable expectation, but if there were smokers in the town homes, then there isn't really a reasonable expectation, which means that it is on the one with the allergies to deal with the problem.

It is normal to get all emotional about this, but remember that smokers have rights, too...
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

contract theory is flawed. (none / 0) (#416)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:51:23 PM EST

Contract theory only works when both parties are of equal position.

You allude to it in the analogy. If for example, the entire town smoked, then the power of the non smoker to ensure his rights is severly limited, and the contract is less of a contract than an imposition.

This is a clear case of the concept of "tyranny of the majority"... which is a huge problem with the Libertarian way of thinking.

A similar situation existed in the 19th century between corporations and their workers.

Libertarianism ignores the rights of the few in favour for the rights of the many. This is called exploitation.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

You assume certain rights (none / 0) (#422)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:21:47 PM EST

Such as the 'rights' of the smoker.  I am allergic to grass.  Do I have a 'right' to make everyone around me not grow grass?

The problem with the concept of mandate as embodied in liberalism is that it is open-ended.  You can compel liability all out of proportion to the problem.  Take, for instance, the smoking problem where a non-smoker moves to a town full of smokers, making him, in the venacular, an idiot.

That aside, the position you espouse is to force all smokers to either install filters at great expense or quit smoking.  Tyranny of the minority is far worse than tyranny of the majority because more people are unhappy just because of above-referenced idiot.

Anyway, the cheapest solution is to have the idiot install his own damn filters.
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

you realize... (none / 0) (#425)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:30:37 PM EST

...that the position you are espousing is exactly the opposite the one taken in your constitution.

Right?


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

How? (none / 0) (#429)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:42:33 PM EST

Please explain.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Libertarians don't believe in initiation of force (none / 1) (#370)
by roystgnr on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:00:14 AM EST

They do believe that force (including self-defense, law enforcement, and legal punishment) is a reasonable response to someone who has already infringed on the rights of another.  IMHO that's the primary difference between libertarianism and anarchy.

[ Parent ]
Keen.. (none / 0) (#277)
by Kwil on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:59:19 PM EST

.. so, uhh.. how do you get restitution from a company that bought toxic waste from a secondary company, dumped it on your lawn, and then promptly declared bankruptcy?  

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
two ways (none / 0) (#313)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:47:13 PM EST

.. so, uhh.. how do you get restitution from a company that bought toxic waste from a secondary company, dumped it on your lawn, and then promptly declared bankruptcy?

There are two sources of restitution. The people who made the decision to dump on my lawn, and the people who originally paid the shady company to dispose of the waste.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Ah, I see.. (none / 1) (#336)
by Kwil on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:20:07 PM EST

..so you believe that:
A) Fault can always be traced back to the original suppliers, and
B) Perfect information exists, and we can always find the actual suppliers.

Nifty.
Now, let's go to second scenario:
Company A creates a product using and generating toxic waste.
Company A disposes of product on their own land. Yeah, they take a loss on their land value, but it's their choice.
Groundwater delivers toxic waste to your land unbeknownst to you or the company.
Two generations later, company is gone and your grandkids notice their crops dying.

Restitution comes from?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
insurance (none / 1) (#347)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:30:55 AM EST

Restitution comes from?

That's what insurance is for. Not every harm can be punished, and not every perpetrator can pay back the damage they inflict though they can be punished. A generations old thing is probably going to go unpunished, but that's not any worse than now. The point is that there is a mechanism for preventing environmental damage.

But let's go way back to the original assertion. Namely, that a libertarian town is going to be dirtier, nastier, and greedier than a nonlibertarian town. This may be so. But that's not backed by anything resembling fact. At least libertarianism recognizes that greed exists and is a fundamental problem of intelligent beings which is more than can be said for some political religions which seem to treat greed as an ignorance problem.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

The original assertion... (none / 1) (#359)
by Gooba42 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:18:55 AM EST

The original assertion was, more or less, that Libertarians are awfully optimistic about how the world would run if you stopped "forcing" people to do the right thing.

Even with the use of coercive force people test the limits of the law and abuse their power, money and influence. Why do you think it would be any different without?


[ Parent ]

see what you mean (none / 0) (#371)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:38:06 AM EST

Even with the use of coercive force people test the limits of the law and abuse their power, money and influence. Why do you think it would be any different without?

I think the prime difference would be who applies the coercive force. If I dump on one person's land, then I risk receiving an application of coercive force from that person and their neighbors and associates. If I did the same to a whole town or state, then that would be quite a number of people. Would it be better or worse than government applied force? I think it depends on how well the respective approaches are implemented.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Just an assertion (none / 0) (#410)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:31:47 PM EST

You don't back up your statement that lack of coercion by some entity will result in significant changes in how people believe.

I don't agree.  The idea you state is elitist and hardly egalitarian.  You basically state that you are more moral than your fellow man so have a right to tell him what to do.

Besides, inspect US history.  Tort law has done more to clean up companies than the EPA ever did.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

How about this... (none / 0) (#507)
by Gooba42 on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 04:21:05 AM EST

A man leaves his property to his eldest son who is as it happens, developmentally disabled. It's perhaps not a great choice but it's all the family he has left.

Does the son have a right to his property and the control of it? I would say yes.

Does the son have the ability to defend himself and his interests against a threat? Depending on how disabled this particular person was, I might say no.

Now, take our toxic waste dumping scenario and apply it here. His rights are being trampled but he can not defend them for himself. Since the Libertarian agenda does not allow for a law amounting to a pre-emptive threat of force what is to prevent this? What would stop it?

You can't tell him what to do about it. You can't do it for him. You can't make the company stop because what they're doing is unethical but entirely legal.

Do we write off people in this and other similar situations as a loss? Anyone who is unable to defend their interests is unworthy of having those interests defended?

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#511)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 11:04:49 PM EST

Since the Libertarian agenda does not allow for a law amounting to a pre-emptive threat of force

Who told you that?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Threat of force is coercive force.... (none / 0) (#526)
by Gooba42 on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 04:18:08 PM EST

Since the threat of force is effectively a coercive force unto itself and any pre-emptive legislation is by it's nature initiative of such force then doesn't it follow that such a law fits the criteria of initiating coercive force?

Or can the government make any law it pleases so long as it doesn't act on such law?

[ Parent ]

Again (none / 0) (#537)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 30, 2004 at 12:50:20 AM EST

Who told you that libertarians are against using the threat of force as a method of protecting people's rights?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Read the thread... (none / 0) (#539)
by Gooba42 on Thu Jul 01, 2004 at 06:51:15 PM EST

Earlier in the thread it was noted that the Libertarian position is that it is against the initiation of force.

i.e. You can't force people to pay a tax if they may not use the service, you can force people to pay a toll on a road they are using.

In the first case the government initiated the force by demanding paymnent.

In the second case the individual initiated the force by using a road or service.

[ Parent ]

Last response (none / 0) (#540)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Jul 02, 2004 at 12:30:12 AM EST

For the last time, just listen to me, OK? As a libertarian I am guaranteeing that you're mistaken about libertarian beliefs. In the case that we were referring to (seems like weeks ago because it was), the hypothetical polluter initiates force. Just like a hypothetical assailant initiates force. This is why laws against assault and pollution are justified.

All laws are a pre-emptive threat of violence. Libertarians aren't against all laws, therefore libertarians aren't against all pre-emptive threats of violence.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

I don't know (none / 2) (#348)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 12:57:47 AM EST

Where does restitution come from under the system you believe in? How is this problem made more difficult under laissez-faire?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
In the system I believe in.. (none / 2) (#356)
by Kwil on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:52:57 AM EST

..where regulation comes before the action, it is more difficult for the problem to occur in the first place.

ie, if it happens, you're still screwed, but at least with proper regulation it shouldn't be happening in the first place and there are some structures and organizations in place to attempt to ensure that. (How effective they are is another story, I'll admit)

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
No it's not (none / 0) (#409)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:28:55 PM EST

If they hid it from their neighbors, they can hide it from regulators.  The easiest way to support this is to point out that despite tight regulations, this sort of thing still happens.  Regulations don't help.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Did you know that.. (none / 0) (#438)
by Driusan on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:33:08 PM EST

If you wear a condom you can still get aids? The easiest way to support this is to point out that despite religiously using them every time they have sex, people still get the disease. Therefore condoms don't help.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
That's my lawn (none / 0) (#407)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:27:15 PM EST

I have a gun.  Nuf said.

In other words, dumping that stuff on my lawn constitutes an act of aggression in classic libertarian theory and can thus be met with directed force.

Also, most libertarians hold some sort of belief on how to make people liable for their behavior, whether protected by a corporation or not.  In other words, if that corporation dumps on my lawn, then whomever authorized the dumping, the guy who did the dumping and the corporation that paid them to handle the waste are all going to feel heat.

The guy who did the actual dumping is culpable.  He can be prosecuted criminally.  In an anarchist state, this means my security company would go after his person.  He can be held liable as well, meaning he must contribute to restitution.

The guy who authorized it is liable and culpable.  Likely, he is not a poor person, so money can be extracted from him.  If not, off to the work house he goes as well.

The company that contracted with the disreputable company is liable but not culpable.  Nobody there can be criminally prosecuted, but they can certainly be sued for damages and repair costs.  Tends to cause the company to think a bit before they contract for waste disposal.

Anyway, this isn't a common scenario.  Far more common for the government to be responsible for damages such as these...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Does any one else find it ironic... (none / 1) (#227)
by kamera on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:39:27 AM EST

that in the age of Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone," a harrowing account of decreasing social capital due partly to increased in libertarian individualism, Libertarians seem to be putting one of the more impressive showings of social capital in action?

Anyway, I recall something similar to this back in the 80's when a bunch of libertarians moved to Fort Collins and nothing much came out of that. It's hard enough to get people to vote, but it near impossible to get people to vote with their feet. So I doubt anythign substantial will come out of this movement. Nonetheless, this seems to me like a noble attempt by an under represented third party. (damn First past the post....)

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde

no I don't (none / 1) (#312)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:44:19 PM EST

that in the age of Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone," a harrowing account of decreasing social capital due partly to increased in libertarian individualism, Libertarians seem to be putting one of the more impressive showings of social capital in action?

You reached flawed conclusions from what appears to be a flawed book (ie, reviews claim excellent diagnosis but flawed solutions). For example, over the last twenty years, I moved seven times (ignoring five or so local moves) around the US. Sometimes, I had time for social activities and other times I didn't (say because I was spending 55-60 hours at a programming job). I moved because that was where the job/education was. That puts a cramp in any long term social activities. It puzzles me how and why to blame "libertarian individualism" for this.

Further, when one considers the influence of such things as immigration, government mandated social mores and programs, and the corrosive effects of urban environments, it's just not surprising that people don't have a stake in making "social capital" like they used to. What's in it for them?

I just don't see "libertarian individualism" as a contributing factor. A lot of this social capital is based on trust, time, and location. If I can be near people I build trust with for a long term, then I will build up social capital. If everyone were a "rugged libertarian individualist", it might actually make it easier to built trust between everyone else and hence build social capital. That's because everyone would take more responsibility in punishing cheating in the social network.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

That's just silly (none / 1) (#326)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:12:53 PM EST

You should have just collected unemployment and used the free time to make some friends. Why work if it's going to cramp your "social capital?"

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
brings tears to my eyes (none / 1) (#381)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:18:21 AM EST

I'm just thinking of all that social capital that I could have built at the local bar. Alas, I friviously hopped from job to job squandering my social capital. And for what? (*imagine handwringing sounds please*)

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

yep. (none / 1) (#328)
by kamera on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:39:37 PM EST

I don't actually buy most of what Putnam writes. I just found it ironic that at a time that Putnam's version of social capital is in the spotlight of the political science scene, Libertarians are in the spotlight of hte social capital scene. Nothing more.

However, it may be wise to be less presumptive about books you seem not to read. Libertarian individual is just one contributing factor Putnam writes about, he does mention several others -including working longer hours and greater mobility between locations and careers...

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

presumptive for a good reason (none / 1) (#382)
by khallow on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:24:05 AM EST

However, it may be wise to be less presumptive about books you seem not to read. Libertarian individual is just one contributing factor Putnam writes about, he does mention several others -including working longer hours and greater mobility between locations and careers...

That still doesn't mean that heis right about "libertarian individualism" being a factor in the current problems.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

WTF (none / 0) (#404)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:20:50 PM EST

What is 'social capital'?  How does one quantify it?  What are its benefits?  Who gives a shit if it goes away?

From what I'm reading, it's more of the 'community over economy' shit that liberals have been peddling for years now.  After all, we all know that 'It Takes a Village'.

I think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that liberals would rather have more friends.  As for me, I get plenty social interaction working as a contractor at 45 hour weeks with 16 hours of travel each week.  But, then, I'd get enough social interaction as an astronaut alone on Mars, so maybe I shouldn't be projecting my beliefs onto others, just like they should not do so onto me.
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

I understand Libertarianism (2.50 / 6) (#230)
by davidmb on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:40:19 AM EST

It's all about the White Educated Middle Classes re-introducing slavery for everyone "below" them. We all know America is dying to get that back.

If you honestly disagree with this statement, please explain what the less educated, less intelligent members of society are supposed to do in your Brave New World once all unskilled labour is automated?

I understand that small-l libertarianism is slightly less harsh, more like proper liberalism. Are these projects big-L or small -l?

I actually hope they succeed in their aims of controlling a state and a town, the best argument for or against a philosophy or religion is a living example of it in action.
־‮־

Big versus small "l" (none / 2) (#233)
by strawser on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:19:20 AM EST

I get your meaning with that. As far as I'm concerned, the concept of libertarian political philosophy is basically just live and let live. Stay off of other people's backs and they'll stay off of yours. It's keeping the government doing the public work, and nothing else.

The Libertarian Party isn't the philosophy itself, but one group's attempt to impliment that philosophy. When people as what party I'm a member of, I tell them I'm party independant, and would be a Libertarian if they weren't all crazy as hell. (Most people, especially Libertarians, get the joke.)

Oh, and 'libertarian' can also be called 'classical liberalism', which is basically what our Constitution describes.

"Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado
[ Parent ]

Question (none / 3) (#236)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 08:47:24 AM EST

Would you rather halt progress so that unskilled laborers can keep their jobs? You do understand that manufacturing savings get passed on to buyers, right?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
You didn't answer the question (3.00 / 4) (#261)
by saucepan on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:23:02 PM EST

I didn't see anyone argue that progress was bad and should be halted, or that manufacturing savings did not exist or did not get passed on to buyers.

I saw someone ask the straightforward question: "What [are] the less educated, less intelligent members of society [...] supposed to do in your Brave New World once all unskilled labour is automated?"

That is, what do you, personally, think that these people should do? Do you have a (preferably non-flippant) answer to this question or not?

[ Parent ]

Singularity (none / 0) (#279)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:09:06 PM EST

I believe that in the distant future, when all menial tasks are automated, we'll also be at a point where we've conquered scarcity and every human will be provided for. Scarcity, the fundamental economic problem of humanity, will be solved. Beyond that I can't really speculate on what this world will be like, but it'll probably resemble Marx's final stage of communism.

In the mean time I think that willing workers will be able to find something to do if they're flexible enough.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Fair enough (n/t) (none / 0) (#308)
by saucepan on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:30:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Answer. (2.75 / 4) (#265)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:51:18 PM EST

Would you rather halt progress so that unskilled laborers can keep their jobs?

Yes, if losing your job means what it does today, I most certainly would.

You do understand that manufacturing savings get passed on to buyers, right?

You understand that people get the money to buy things from being employed, right?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Yup (none / 0) (#402)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:14:28 PM EST

And, eating is an activity that requires some sort of income.  Excellent incentive to get work, any work.

What will happen?  There are still plenty of other menial tasks to be performed, if that's your bag.  I'd hope that some day we'd reduce the menial tasks to as close to zero as possible, to liberate all humans to pursue more creative activities.  But, nevermind, we can't have anyone lose their precious menial jobs.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Keep in mind (none / 0) (#417)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:55:29 PM EST

that not everyone is cut out to be a computer programmer, doctor, or lawyer. But, perhaps if forced out of their menial jobs, some people will become creative in the art of crime.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Hmm. (none / 0) (#424)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:26:38 PM EST

Can you name, offhand, seven jobs that did not exist before the industrial revolution that are menial?

Mechanic
Road crew
Baggage handler
Truck/bus driver
Fast food
Construction
Garbage collector

Think; the future holds much more promise.  Especially given that subsistence farming was replaced by above...

The static economy is a fallacy of socialist thinking primarily because socialist thinking assumes it and also causes it.  Anarcho-capitalism is a vibrant, changing economy.  People retool themselves all the time.  My friend in CO who used to drive truck now pours concrete.  He gets paid more, too.

There's absolutely no reason to believe that there won't be positions in the future for low-level workers.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

focus on the point (none / 1) (#305)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:15:57 PM EST

It's all about the White Educated Middle Classes re-introducing slavery for everyone "below" them. We all know America is dying to get that back.

Why do you say that? It doesn't follow logically.

If you honestly disagree with this statement, please explain what the less educated, less intelligent members of society are supposed to do in your Brave New World once all unskilled labour is automated?

There's several issues here. First, there's no reason not to set up a region where automation is banned and unskilled labor still has some value. Second, donate to charities that will educate and make more intelligent this group of people. Ie, these people don't have to stay where they are.

I understand that small-l libertarianism is slightly less harsh, more like proper liberalism. Are these projects big-L or small -l?

I get the impression, the New Hampshire project is small "l" with big "L" supporters.


Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Same as always. (none / 1) (#351)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 01:41:38 AM EST

They'll do something the fuck else. Used to be that the vast majority of people farmed, but that stopped. We got on.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Of course (none / 0) (#364)
by Shajenko on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:11:52 AM EST

Yes, they'll do something else, no question of that. Of course, a couple of the things they could do is to starve to death, or turn to crime. We'd be much better off if we could do something to avert that.

[ Parent ]
Criminal gangs of farmers (none / 0) (#400)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:10:58 PM EST

In Oklahoma, they're losing farmers right now, due to the tendency of truck farming to produce food for less money.  Of course, there's a large number of roving gangs of criminal ex-farmers running around.  Also, we've seen a significant increase in the number of starving deaths in Oklahoma.  It's so bad that when I drive home to Texas from Kansas, I go through Arkansas in order to avoid it.

Oh, wait, no, it's not happening at all.  I've yet to be mugged in Oklahoma.  Heck, some of those farmers even get jobs, all by themselves.  Damn.

Socialists have been hammering at this silly idea ever since the first machine was made.  Since then, we've seen massive improvements in everyone's lives, and the destruction of whole sectors of the economy due to progress, yet we still thrive.

But, historical perspective is lost on the true believer.  Some simplistic model insists it is so, so it must be so.  Nevermind that reality shows it to be false...
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Why the fuck is this all important? (none / 3) (#240)
by megid on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 09:29:54 AM EST

Honestly, why not let them? The worst that comes out is another ghetto, and it is not like there were any shortage of them.

Seems to be some kind of religious question, though. Duh.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."

Obviously... (none / 0) (#320)
by ShadowNode on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:02:16 PM EST

You don't live there.

[ Parent ]
Live here? (none / 1) (#396)
by MrPeach on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:12:26 PM EST

Well I do. What's yer friggin point?

[ Parent ]
Your ok... (none / 0) (#448)
by ShadowNode on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:11:10 PM EST

With them turning your home into a libertarian ghetto?

[ Parent ]
Well, then move on. (none / 0) (#464)
by megid on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 07:05:41 AM EST

I wouldnt live in any area that is so libertarian that some extremists would consider it a good starting point, anyway. Mind you, this is not just ANY spot in USia, its what they consider the perfect breeding ground.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]
Ok, I'll bite (2.80 / 10) (#248)
by weirdling on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:36:45 AM EST

I don't have a lot to do at work right now, so I'll wade into this here little flamefest.

See, I am a Freestater, signed up about three weeks ago.  That idgit that wrote the article never read the whole site.  For every 'get the f*ck out of New Hampshire' post there were at least three 'these are our kind of people' posts by non-libertarian current residents.  New Hampshire was selected by the Free State Project because it was determined after years of research and time on the ground in the finalist states that New Hampshire was closer to libertarian ideal in its laws as well as possessing a culture that would be compatible with libertarianism.  The site also has an area for New Hampshire residents to post questions to be answered by the libertarian multitude.  Except for the odd died in the wool liberal who is, understandably, afraid of libertarians, there have been no irreconcilable issues.  And, believe me, liberals are rare in New Hampshire, anyway.

In other words, the locals' feelings were taken into consideration, which is a major reason the FSP chose New Hampshire over, say, Wyoming.

The other thing that is missing in the article is that every other libertarian on the site has blasted the idiot that stood up in a town meeting.  I never found the other post the article refers to, but I'm sure that there would have been fifteen or twenty of the more prolific posters all breathing down his ass for it, too.

As for calling libertarianism a cult, at least it is no established religion.  The guy who wrote the article is apparently liberal, and there are some in New Hampshire.  They are fighting tooth and nail to stop the 'incursion' but they are a minority and not representative of what the rest of New Hampshire thinks.

So, now, a liberal fails to point out the whole picture, thus trying to paint libertarianism as a cult.  Members on this site, responding to the call for ad hominem attacks by their fellow liberal spin artists, characterize libertarians as naiive, stupid, young, arrogant assholes that do not understand the basic nature of mankind, which is altruism.  I want to know two things:

  1. If altruism is the normal state of mankind, why does it have to be enshrined into law?  Either you are wrong about it being normal or you are wrong to enshrine it into law.  BTW, 'normal' means that which pertains to the majority.
  2. Where is your altruism?  Shouldn't you be treating the wayward libertarian with compassion and understanding?  Why the vituperative, vindictive attack?  Doesn't your silly little platform espouse reducing 'hate speech'?  Or does that only apply to people you think can't possibly hurt you?
As for being a cult, remember that the only difference between a cult and a religion is one of scale.  Libertarians have the odd ad hominem attack, but look at the responses on this board.  Several advocate violence or aggressive behavior against libertarians.  Telling, isn't it?  The liberal religion has certainly shown its superiority today.  Dishonesty and misunderstanding are the two pillars supporting liberalism in America today.

As for me, I'm no Randian and no libertarian I personally know is acquainted with Rand.  Libertarianism may have come from Rand, but it is sustained these days by disillusioned Republicans and at least one social libertarian I know who firmly believes the Democratic party has abandoned its imperative to protect rights, which is, of course, correct, given that they all voted for the patriot act...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.

Lemme clarify for you (3.00 / 10) (#252)
by Hymen Restoration Surgery on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:55:16 AM EST

Libertarianism didn't "come from Rand". Objectivism came from Rand, and that is a completely separate concept. Libertarianism (or classical liberalism) has a thorough and robust tradition that existed long before Rand ever appeared.



--
H.R.S.
[ Parent ]
Eeeewwww!!! (none / 2) (#475)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 03:09:55 PM EST

"come from Rand."

Sends shivers down my spine.  I think I'm going to go puke now.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Stop it you're killing. (3.00 / 5) (#263)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 01:33:36 PM EST

You effete libertarians make SIGNOR SPAGHETTI laugh the way you worry the words altruism and selfishness. No such act exists described as selfish that cannot be explained as altruistic by someone with a different model of reality, and vice versa. Altruism and selfishness explain nothing by themselves. Everyone is exactly as selfish or altruistic as everyone else — why wouldn't they be, you silly? If you had a proper education, you would know human nature is divided between melancholic, sanguine, choleric and phlegmatic.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Sample (none / 3) (#281)
by jolly st nick on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:28:23 PM EST

For every 'get the f*ck out of New Hampshire' post there were at least three 'these are our kind of people' posts by non-libertarian current residents.

You realize this could be because that people in sympathy to the free state project are probably overrepresented on that group's web board?

[ Parent ]

Possible (none / 1) (#283)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:30:49 PM EST

But it's usually the other way around. In my experience most people who bother to respond to something are people who disagree with you and are pissed off.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Good question (none / 2) (#287)
by weirdling on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:41:45 PM EST

That board hardly constitutes a scientific poll.  As a matter of fact, many of the freestaters were already in New Hampshire and have friends and family that knew of the project.  But some of the comments went along the lines of 'welcome, provisionally', followed by a list of provisions such as respecting local culture and tradition and not getting in the way of freedom, things most libertarians want, anyway.  The 'welcome, provisionally' people often stumbled onto the website without having heard of it anywhere else.

But, the opposite side needs to be examined: how many of the 'bad' elements are actually liberals trolling as libertarians?

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Perhaps, but does it matter. (none / 3) (#342)
by jolly st nick on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:36:06 PM EST

But, the opposite side needs to be examined: how many of the 'bad' elements are actually liberals trolling as libertarians? Perhaps. But you still really can't make any judgement one way or another about how the people of the state feel about the project. The presence on the site of trolls and provocateurs on on hand, or friendly, well disposed indiviuals is not evidence of any kind of how people in New Hampshire feel about the projects. You would get a mixture of both as well if the project were targetting Massachusetts; people in either state fall in sufficient numbers along the entire political spectrum to consume plenty of weblog bandwidth. If you really were interested, a visit to the state would be in order, talking to as many people from as many walks of life as you could. An interesting question, though, is should you care? Isn't that the heart of the matter?

[ Parent ]
And that's just the point (none / 1) (#375)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:30:20 AM EST

The Free State Project planning comittee or whatever they call it did visit New Hampshire as well as several other states.  When they zeroed in on New Hampshire, they proceeded to canvas much of the state to determine the attitude.  It was, by and large, positive.

So, the FSP does care, and so do I.  I wouldn't be involved in moving to a state actively hostile to libertarian ideals, particularly given that the state I live in is not particularly against them.  In other words, I want to improve my personal freedom, not reduce it.

Besides, this is only 20,000 people max.  Not enough to seriously influence state politics.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

If altruism is the normal state of mankind, (none / 2) (#476)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 03:11:26 PM EST

If altruism is the normal state of mankind, why does it have to be enshrined into law?

If not committing incest is the normal state of mankind, why does it have to be enshrined into law?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

point? (none / 0) (#547)
by irrevenant on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:39:50 AM EST

Hmm, I'm genuinely unsure what point you're making here and whether you're being sarcastic or not...

[ Parent ]
Galt actually had something to offer the world.. (none / 1) (#268)
by purephase on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 02:14:00 PM EST

.. and it was the world that refused.

On the other hand, most Libertarians have nothing to offer and, for the most part, the world does not care if you leave.

Frustration with the "system" is natural. Hell, if you ever found someone who was not pissed-off to some degree, well, they are most likely lying their asses off.

But, you know what you do?

1. Enter politics.
2. Write a letter.
3. Form a coalition/lobby group.
4. Start your own business.
5. Campaign/protest.

This silly little self-absorbed opinion that you are better than everyone else or that the system is/has been designed to keep you down, to not recognize your full potential etc. is absolutely ridiculous. For that to be true, someone, or some group, would actually have to notice you in the first place.

Go. Be "self-reliant" and "self-governing". But, from my experience, when you get a bunch of Libertarians together and then remove what they have to complain about, all you are left with is uncomfortable silence, annoyed family members, and a failed experiment.

what happened? (none / 1) (#302)
by khallow on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:57:46 PM EST

Go. Be "self-reliant" and "self-governing". But, from my experience, when you get a bunch of Libertarians together and then remove what they have to complain about, all you are left with is uncomfortable silence, annoyed family members, and a failed experiment.

Ah, so you have experience in this matter? Let it out please!

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Idiot (none / 0) (#398)
by weirdling on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:02:20 PM EST

1. Enter politics.

Doing that.  Been doing that for some time.

2. Write a letter.

Do that all the time, to congresscritters and senators.

3. Form a coalition/lobby group.

It's called the Libertarian Party.  Oh, wait, Free State Project also qualifies.

4. Start your own business.

Done that.  Many libertarians are small business owners.

5. Campaign/protest.

Done that.  Many times.

This silly little self-absorbed opinion that you are better than everyone else or that the system is/has been designed to keep you down, to not recognize your full potential etc. is absolutely ridiculous. For that to be true, someone, or some group, would actually have to notice you in the first place.

Hmm.  Where to begin?  First of all, you, obviously, have a silly, self-obsorbed opinion of yourself.  Not to mention zero tolerance of other's ideas.  You think the libertarian system is designed to keep people down.

Nope, from where I stand, the only difference is that you're in power.

If you really didn't care, why so vituperative?  Why not just ignore libertarianism?  I'll tell you why.  Liberals are scared.  They are well aware that their programs have been largely ineffectual and the only fix they have is more programs because 'we must do something'.  Their tired rhetoric of altruism is being co-opted by Republicans.  Their abandoned principle of human rights is now championed by libertarians.

The Democratic party in the US is morally bankrupt and bereft of compass.  It is worse than irrelevant; it is dead weight.
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]

Assumptions. (none / 1) (#455)
by purephase on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 10:37:41 PM EST

1. Liberal by your definition (read: Democrat) does not even come close to defining my political ideology. I'm more libertarian in leaning that I would actually like to admit, and having spent a lot of time among like-minded individuals, the current state of the "movement" is pretty sad (at least according to my experience).

Some due-credit is deserving on your part because you actually seem to have some (if not a lot of) experience with the current "system", and your ideological/political differences are actually based on said experience. Unfortunately, this is not always the case (again, based on my experience).

2. I never said the libertanian system was designed to keep anyone down. If anything, all I saw was a bunch of people sitting around propping-up their own self-worth while painting enormous elements of society with a very, very broad brush. I'm not exactly sure where the humanitarian strain you mention above actually comes into play in libertarian rhetoric, but I'll allow that at least they honestly believe that everyone is being screwed equally. However, they also believe they are the only ones intelligent enough to notice and fuck everyone else.

3. Denying that either the Democrats and/or Republicans are "morally bankrupt" and "bereft of compass" is idiotic because it is so undeniably true (besides, I like the terms you used so much that I will probably use them myself). This is where I agree 100%, and where my initial interest in Libertarianism actually started.

However, my idea of Libertarianism, and yes, I blame myself for not understanding it enough before going in, was that it was a softer (*ahem* more liberal *ahem*) ideology akin to Anarchy. I strongly believe that breaking-off from your fellow members of society is the wrong direction to take. It not only divides and separates, but it does not hold the frauds, counterfeiters, and "morally bankrupt" accountable for their actions, thereby letting them get away green-pocketed.

Maybe I am just not ready to give-up.

[ Parent ]
Dodgy logic (none / 0) (#546)
by irrevenant on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:36:23 AM EST

<i>This silly little self-absorbed opinion that you are better than everyone else or that the system is/has been designed to keep you down, to not recognize your full potential etc. is absolutely ridiculous. For that to be true, someone, or some group, would actually have to notice you in the first place.</i>

I'm actually not interested in this argument one way or the other, but the above logic was so dodgy that I felt the need to comment.

A system doesn't need to single you out to have an impact on you.  eg.  Sales tax doesn't single you out, but it limits your ability to make use of your full income.  Similarly (but opposite, ideologically), an industrial system that promotes pollution of the air can limit your ability to breathe without that system ever registering your presence.

Noting that a system adversely affects you personally doesn't automatically mean that you're self-absorbed or paranoid...

[ Parent ]

Ayn Rand = L. Ron Hubbard with a vagina (2.33 / 6) (#288)
by revscat on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:45:06 PM EST

Sorry, but I see little difference between Scientologists and Libertarians. They're both cultists who brook no dissent, are utopian idealists, think they and they alone have a lock on the truth, and hold themselves up to be the victims of an oppressive society run by evil people (SPs for Scienos, Collectivists/Socialists for Libs).

Whatever. I'm for legalizing pot not just for personal reasons, but so that these dickcheezes will lose 90% of their audience.

And yes, for the record I think libertarianism is destructive. A just marketplace requires a government that sets up, enforces, and adjusts laws and regulations on that market. The drive to eliminate these regulations is frequently based on libertarian ideals, and are frequently destructive.

- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.

Again (none / 3) (#292)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:39:31 PM EST

Yet another attack on anarchists and Rand-worshippers, but you conveniently sidestep any actual libertarian beliefs. This is like me criticizing liberals because they want to socialize the implements of production and send dissenters to the Gulags.

To put it another way: wrong fucking group!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Canst thou readest, fair sir? (none / 1) (#384)
by revscat on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:34:44 AM EST

You: Yet another attack on anarchists and Rand-worshippers, but you conveniently sidestep any actual libertarian beliefs.

Me: And yes, for the record I think libertarianism is destructive. A just marketplace requires a government that sets up, enforces, and adjusts laws and regulations on that market. The drive to eliminate these regulations is frequently based on libertarian ideals, and are frequently destructive.

Not addressing beliefs, forsooth? Verily, how canst thou proclaimest such a thing when the proof be there before thine very eyes!

- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]

Gah! (none / 1) (#403)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:17:33 PM EST

I hate bad fake Elizabethan. It's "Canst thou read?" Only one verb gets conjugated to agree with the subject, the same as modern English.

So, "Canst thou read?" and "Dost thou read?" are grammatical, as is "Readest thou?" However, "Canst thou readest?" is as ungrammatical as "Can he reads?"


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Thanks! (none / 0) (#426)
by revscat on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:33:59 PM EST

I didn't know that, obviously. Where'd you learn that? I'm fairly well read, but don't recall ever coming across something explaining such things.

- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Gah^2 (none / 3) (#435)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:29:47 PM EST

I trained to be an English teacher; I studied linguistics for a long time; and I have learned some European languages other than English. So I can't possibly remember where I learned that.

In any event, it's simple. The rules are the same as modern English. English only has the simple past as a tense; all other tenses are formed using helping verbs. Sometimes some of these are called "modal" verbs. When you string a bunch of verbs together, only one verb is conjugated. This is usually the first or the most outside verb. Take a contrived example, "I will learn to facilitate a pickling." It's made of verbs, one pronoun, and two of what linguists would call "particles." Only "will" is conjugated. We don't notice it as much because, no matter how you congugate "will" in the present tense and indicative mood, it's still "will." However, Elizabethan English used the familiar second-person pronoun a lot more. That's "thou" (singular subject), "ye" (plural subject, though this was also used as a plural for the formal "you" and is entirely different from the "ye" in "Ye Olde Sweat Shoppe," which was always a typographical convenience and was always pronounced "th"), "thou" (singular object), "thy" (possessive adjective pronoun), and "thine" (possessive noun). So, in that case, you would conjugate "will" as "willst," but the remaining verbs would be the same. Unless you needed the subjunctive mood, in which case it would be "would" and "wouldst."

Incidentally, your use of "be" was grammatically correct, but it is a use of the second English subjunctive, which is used to describe things that are in doubt or may or may not come to pass. It's also used politely, as in, you and I know damn well that this is true, but I'll play the game and leave you an out.

Also incidentally, the reason the King James Bible uses the "thou" form so much was political. It was a Protestant document, and the main thrust of Protestantism was that individuals could have a direct relationship with God without a mediary such as a priest. So, whenever people and God talk, they use the familiar form. Ironically, nowadays most people think the opposite.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Additional info (none / 0) (#481)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:30:18 PM EST

"Willst" was also spelled "wilst," and "wilt" was an acceptable substitute. Spelling wasn't really all that regular back then.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
The difference is obvious. (none / 2) (#324)
by mcc on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:11:12 PM EST

Libertarians are not Clear.

[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#443)
by ghjm on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:09:43 PM EST

neither are most scientologists. And even if they think they are, their body thetans sure aren't.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Political Philosophies (2.57 / 7) (#290)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:54:17 PM EST

I know I wrote that I was going to leave K5 before but I stumbled across this article while surfing and I couldn't resist. The different political philosophies can best be summed up by thier stance on statues of the Virgin Mary made out of rat dung.....

Conservative: Making a statue of the Virgin Mary out of rat dung is irreverent. People shouldn't be allowed to do it.

Liberal: Not only should we allow people to make statues of the Virgin Mary out of rat dung, but we should force everyone else to pay for it with thier taxes. Additionaly, anyone that criticizes such a statue is being "judgemental" and needs to be sent to mandatory sensitivity training.

Libertarian: Make all the rat dung statues of the Virgin Mary that you wish. Just don't expect me or anyone else to have to pay for it. Additionaly, don't impinge upon my freedom to call it what it is..... a piece of sh*t.

That's why I lean libertarian.

P.S. For all you folks taking umberage at what the free staters/free towners are doing just replace the word 'libertarian' with the word 'immigrant' .... then reread your statements, you might find it illuminating.

try leaving the US someday (3.00 / 4) (#294)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:59:59 PM EST

There's a hell of a lot more out there besides "conservative", "liberal" and "libertarian".

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
liberal = socialist (none / 1) (#295)
by ambivalence on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:10:30 PM EST

wow... So the dictionary was wrong all along... and liberal doesn't
stand for free and openminded. Eventhough socialist would be a more
suitable term, that stands for fascist traitorous communist pig in the
'USian' language

Violence is the last refuge of incompentence
[ Parent ]
Immigrants... (none / 2) (#316)
by ShadowNode on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:55:54 PM EST

Generally don't move en masse to an area with the intention of taking it over.

[ Parent ]
What about Southern California? NT (none / 0) (#387)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:47:47 AM EST


Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Or Dearborne and Lansing Michigan (none / 1) (#408)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:28:26 PM EST

Or San Francisco. Or Utah. Or, hell, just about everywhere.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
take of the pointy white hat (none / 0) (#449)
by ShadowNode on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 08:12:30 PM EST

There's no conspiracy to annex southern California.

[ Parent ]
By whom ? (none / 0) (#461)
by blakdogg on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 01:04:54 AM EST

You do realize that California was part of Mexico, and that a large portion of the Hispanics in Southern California have lived there for some time.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
hey CENGEL3... (none / 0) (#332)
by zenofchai on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:53:27 PM EST

You are one of the points featured at the K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph mentioned in my sig (and now K5 ad). Welcome back.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Er, no. (none / 1) (#439)
by ghjm on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 05:44:24 PM EST

What you're calling libertarian is, in fact, the liberal viewpoint.

What you're calling liberal is nobody's viewpoint, it's some sort of nightmare vision from someone's propaganda.

But I'd be interested to hear how you want to fund the arts. Should all art be profit-seeking, or should some art be exploratory? If our society benefits from art that challenges our pre-existing beliefs (and therefore isn't popular or notably money-making), then how should those artists make a living? Who decides which of those artists get to draw a salary, and where do they draw it from?

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Arts (none / 0) (#447)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 07:53:46 PM EST

The NEA is unquestionably supported by liberals. You might be using the old 'freedom' definition of liberal. When people say liberal nowadays they mean left-wing, social program, safety-net type government.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Alternative naming convention (none / 0) (#450)
by curien on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:05:17 PM EST

"Libertarianism" (which would have a small el but for its position in the sentence) is sometimes called "classical liberalism" for a reason.

If it makes it more easy for you to understand, go ahead and substitute. Libertatianism (which would have a capital el anywhere in the sentence) is somewhat different, however, and defined by the party platform.

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]

Answer (none / 0) (#474)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 03:02:45 PM EST

Arts should be privately funded. That is if you can convince other people to give you their own money then knock yourself out. If you have enough of your own money to fund making art yourself, then knock yourself out. You don't have the right to forcibly extort money from other people so you can pursue your own passion (making unpopular art).

To me it is debatable whether "society benefits from art that challenges our pre-existing beliefs". This cuts to the crux of libertarian beliefs. You see libertarians believe that governments legitimate role is to mediate between the conflicting rights of the individual citizens not to make things "better" for society. Government can not be trusted to determine what is "better" for people...nor can any individual be trusted to determine what is "better" for some-one else. Besides "better" is an entirely subjective term.... remember one mans heaven is anothers hell.

Now certainly there is some debate as to what constitutes a "right" or not but it is a far more constricted debate (and therefore less prone to abuse) then simply argueing something is "of benefit". It is alot harder to argue that something is an inalienable right rather then arguing something is simply of benefit to society.

Now moderate libertarians, like myself, are willing to make concessions for certain things which are not neccessarly the rights but are neccesary to make the system work in practice....or are of such obvius benefit that they can be almost universaly accepted as being good and important. Public education is one of those things as are grants for important medical research. However the National Endowment for the Arts most certainly is NOT. It is a frivolous expendature run by a bunch of elitist pricks who distribute funding based upon thier own agenda and that of thier cliqish freinds DESPITE what the general public might think is good or not.

[ Parent ]

Come on, this is stupid (none / 0) (#527)
by mrcsparker on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 04:59:30 PM EST

Why should I fund the arts with my tax money? What does government have to do with the arts? Should art be profit-seeking? Why not? If art is really challenging there will be a market for it. Fringe market, maybe - but there are fringe markets all over the place that do pretty well (look at the various aspects of the sex trade for an example).

[ Parent ]
Argh! (2.75 / 4) (#296)
by duncan bayne on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:11:48 PM EST

As I've said elsewhere:

... sometimes, the RKBA movement is it's own worst enemy because of the hostility of many of its members; Libertarians & Objectivists often suffer from the same knee-jerk hostility. It serves no purpose other than to alienate open-minded people & strengthen the resolve of the close-minded.

I'm an Objectivist Libertarian - and I hold that benevolence is a major virtue. Sadly, many Objectivists and Libertarians don't - it's apparent from their writing & speech, and it puts people off. Alienating and insulting ones audience is no way to convince them of the merit of your argument.

It's difficult to remain level headed in the face of such strong, popular opinion - but it can be done, & should be done more often. I know I don't always manage it myself :-(



That's great... (none / 0) (#456)
by cburke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 11:02:29 PM EST

Though the need for an argument that "benevolence is perfectly consistent with an ethics of self-interest" sums up perfectly well my problem with Objectivism.

[ Parent ]
What is your problem with it? [n/t] (none / 0) (#506)
by duncan bayne on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 01:47:55 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The need for an argument for benevolence. (none / 0) (#541)
by cburke on Fri Jul 02, 2004 at 03:37:00 PM EST

A whole article, which is just a summary of a fifty-nine page paper about how helping other people without immediate personal gain is compatible with an ethics of self-interest, and thus not immoral.

An ethic of self-interest is not ethics at all.  That's the ethics of cockroaches.  Being able to apply higher reasoning ability to the problem does not turn the survival instinct into morality.

[ Parent ]

As a former NH resident there is so much I have to (3.00 / 7) (#318)
by skintigh on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:59:08 PM EST

say about this.

First of all, there are 2 things you can expect from the Union Leader: extreme-right-wing blathering and grammatical errors.  For the libertarians to out-extreme-right-wing the Union Leader is truly an unprecidented feat.  You libertarians and anarchists need to pat yourselves on the back for that one.

Second, NH is as right-wing as you can get.  Hell, they elected a Republican state senator whoe PUBLICLY ADVOCATED KILLING COPS.  If you can out-nut-case NH folk, you are in a league of your own.  I live in Texas now, and Texas is like San Francisco compared to NH.

Third, NH has the highest per-captia population of veterens in the US.  I.e. it is NOT the place to go around calling people socialists, nevermind threaten to torch their homes.

Fourth, NH is about as anti-environment as you can get.  They are the only state in the north east that does not recycle, does not have deposits on soda cans or bottles, does not have emmisions checks for cars, etc. etc..  If you can make NH folk concerned about the environment/recycling, man, I don't know what to say.  That's like getting Marylin Manson to call you a scary freak.

Side notes (none / 2) (#321)
by skintigh on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 07:04:02 PM EST

I neglected to point out that NH has some of the oldest, dirtiest coal plants in the world: http://cta.policy.net/dirtypower/map.html

I also forgot to mention how the town of Merrimack banned Shakespear because it had too much gay and liberal stuff in it.

And forget sex ed...

Anyway, if you can out nut-job NH, you need to get yourself some help.

[ Parent ]

Mindless Link Propagation (3.00 / 7) (#343)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:54:22 PM EST

Now this should scare the crap out of you:

Note that "Ayn Rand" is a registered trademark.

To illustrate what a bunch of freaks these people are, have a look at The Ayn Rand Institute's Microsoft Defense Site.

I'm very pleased by the fact that starting this year, since I now reside in Canada and am being sponsored for immigration by my Canadian wife, a large portion of my taxes will go to pay for socialized health care, rather than the support of the military-industrial complex, as was the case when I was a U.S. resident.

Thank you for your attention.


-- Could you use my embedded systems development services?


That Bob the Angry Flower was damn good! [n/t] (none / 0) (#420)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:12:11 PM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Bob the Angry Flower is one of my favorite comics (none / 0) (#445)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:14:01 PM EST

Link.

Been reading him for years.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Mine, too (none / 0) (#446)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 06:22:01 PM EST

But this one is so brilliantly and concisely to the point that it's, well, just one of those great cartoons. It's right up there with Ron Cobb's cartoon of a family saying grace over a turkey in a house over an Indian burial mound, or the single-panel of a crying Statue of Liberty with the images of the destruction of the WTC reflected in her eyes.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Libertarian rhetoric is indeed counterproductive (3.00 / 4) (#363)
by bob6 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 04:57:08 AM EST

Mundane: Libertarians are dangerous cultists because so and so.
Libertarian: You describe objectivism, not libertarianism. Please, don't confuse them.

A constructive speech and position would not lead to such a confusion. Also libertarians would appear less crazy if they didn't systematically use a Soviet Realism kind of style in their designs.

Cheers.
I really hope the FSP gets off the ground. (2.20 / 5) (#405)
by the on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 03:22:01 PM EST

It's tedious having to argue about an untried form of politics. Like communism, so-called libertarianism needs some failures in the real world to make our discussions more concrete. Of course we know what form those discussions will take: "but it wasn't true libertarianism" they'll moan. But it'll be better than having nothing to point to at all.

--
The Definite Article
Start a new damn town. (3.00 / 4) (#451)
by niku on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 09:22:22 PM EST

I have no problem with libertarians - I disagree with a lot of their issues, but that's OK; if they want to start their own town, that's great. America is a grand experiment, and I love the idea that people would still be getting together and trying to start up new towns with new forms of government, giving things a go.

The problem is these people are moving to an existing town, and trying to impose their ideals and lifestyles on the people who live there. People who, some of which, may have lived in that town for generations and generations. That's not right. It's disrespectful, and ignorant. The Motto of New Hampshire is "Live Free or Die" most people there would love to hear about the idea of Libertarians finding some part of NH that is uninhabated and giving it a go -- remember, despite NH being quite modern, there is a WHOLE BUNCH of space up there; They would almost certainly be given a charter.

This is the way to go.
--
Nicholas Bernstein, Technologist, artist, etc.
http://nicholasbernstein.com

Is this any different from anything else? (none / 2) (#482)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:38:21 PM EST

Is this any different from telling Black people to start their own damn town or at least their own damn neighborhood? (Which they did, and it became segregation.) Or Mormons? (Which they did, and it became Utah.)

It's funny how Democracy is considered all great and wonderful and all up until the point where someone one doesn't agree with might just win, and how equal housing opportunities are great and wonderful and all as long as Those People don't move into the neighborhood.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
As a NH resident (3.00 / 4) (#458)
by Gregoyle on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 12:24:21 AM EST

As a New Hampshire resident (although I'm in the military and stationed elsewhere) I think I might be able to add something here.

I think the author is largely right here. The FSP people really need to watch what they say very closely and try to think about what it would look like to an outsider. Talking about taking taxes at gunpoint and torching the hive might be commonplace in discussions among libertarians (or even Libertarians), but to normal people they make you look like a kook.

I have to assume that most of the FSP's objective is to make an actual difference in the laws and culture of a state. I'm saying this as something against which to compare what is being described in the article: following an ideology. When you are trying to actually accomplish something, you have to pay attention to what you look like to the people whose minds you are trying to change.

New Hampshire people are very independant, and very likely to tell you to fuck off when you tell them to do something. They will also actually listen to what people have to say, rather than just vote like sheep. If you come in breathing fire about the evils of statism and the violence inherent in the system, you will become the outsider to whom we say "Fuck Off". If you come in trying to understand the state, and simply vote and maybe run for office on your conscience, we will accept you and listen to what you have to say. New Hampshire has the second largest legislative body in the WORLD (next to the British House of Commons). I guarantee there is room for a few libertarians who seem like decent people and have interesting and fresh things to say. I guarantee that libertarians coming in talking about guns and fire will be lumped in with the rest of the country as someone to say "fuck off and go home" to.

As the license plate says "Welcome to New Hampshire, now go home."

You can either be the one saying it, or the one it's said TO.

Oh, BTW, as another poster said, NH has the largest per capita population of veterans in the country. The state motto is "Live Free or Die". Not people to start calling socialist or threatening with "burning the hive".
-------

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.

Yes (none / 1) (#468)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 11:27:43 AM EST

It's good to hear real New Hampshire points of view.

The "burn the hive" kind of rhetoric does occur, but it's not even common in libertarian circles. Most posters on the Free State Project forum have spoken out against this type of antagonizing. They recognize that if they're the ones moving to NH, the burden is on them to make accommodations, not on existing residents.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 1) (#521)
by grouse on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 03:25:29 PM EST

New Hampshire has the second largest legislative body in the WORLD (next to the British House of Commons).
It has the third-largest legislative body in the English speaking world, according to the N.H. House of Represenatives itself. Much less impressive.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Liberal ? (2.50 / 4) (#460)
by blakdogg on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 12:54:35 AM EST

To: Gregg Ramsay You're a big-government liberal, and we (libertarians) disagree with you. I understand that you think you're smarter than everyone else, and you want to ban things that you believe are harmful to society. Yes you do, it's your party platform.
There doesn't seem to be any evidence to support your statement that Dr. Ramsay is a liberal Democrat. Given that Dr. Ramsay is a retired Colonel with 22 years of service in the USAF, and a reader of The Union Leader it is unlikely that he is a liberal.
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
statism? (none / 1) (#493)
by enthalpyX on Sat Jun 26, 2004 at 02:03:09 AM EST

I keep seeing Libertarians refer to non-Libertarians as statists. Is this not a tad hypocritical? I mean, presumably a state still exists in a libertopia... if for nothing else than to wield force against those who would illegaly use force against others. This alone wreaks of propaganda. Sits well not with me.

The word (none / 1) (#510)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 11:02:37 PM EST

The word 'statist' has gone from being unknown to being an insult. Like 'leftist' or 'fascist,' it really isn't a useful word in any discussion. But on the off chance that a libertarian uses it without intending it as an epithet, it basically means "proponent of big government." Anyway, the wikipedia article explains it better than I.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
all in one spot (none / 1) (#505)
by ylikone on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 12:35:05 AM EST

like a post someone had put in the guestbook on that site, I think it is a good idea for all the christian fundys to gather and live in one central location, that way it will be an easy target for the mini-nukes.

Of Course It's Counterproductive (none / 0) (#535)
by czolgosz on Tue Jun 29, 2004 at 04:40:46 PM EST

Libertarian rhetoric reduces respect for Libertarians precisely to the extent that it accurately represents Libertarian beliefs. The more that people understand these, the less they take Libertarianism seriously.

Political bores always seem to think that the problem lies with the presentation and packaging of their views, rather than with their sheer odiousness. What seems pure and irrefutable to the zealot looks shallow, crass and simplistic to those who have not bought into it.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
Help a foreign ignoramus (none / 0) (#544)
by spammacus on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 10:26:02 AM EST

What is a "libertarian"?
-- "Asshole, deconstruct thyself." - Mr. Surly
Reasons for rants, and a suggested cure (none / 0) (#545)
by Julian Morrison on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 12:26:29 PM EST

Disclaimer: I am a libertarian, an anarchist. If I lived in the USA, I'd probably join the FSP myself.

Libertarianism does have a problem. It's not a problem with the theory, which is correct. It's a problem with the sort of emotions it evokes.

Basically, the problem is, libertarianism can easily turn into an anger-fest. Once somebody realises how much wrong is being done, and how much worse off they personally are as a result, it's really easy to  get into a "kill the bastards" sort of mood. Also, it's really easy to wind yourself into paranoid knots over every big-brotherish government scheme. (This especially applies to new libertarians, who haven't yet learned that government is always trying some shit, and mostly it goes nowhere.)

In the exclusive company of other libertarians, the above can get reinforced and amplified into cult-like groupthink.

The solution, in my experience, is to quit thinking you, personally, can or even should "change the world", and quit being worked up about it. You cannot force the world to be sane, you cannot talk it into sanity, you cannot trick it into sanity. Nor ought you to try. But you can act sane yourself.

Libertarian Rhetoric is Counterproductive | 548 comments (509 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
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