Libertarianism and the Left

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Libertarianism and the Left

I have found an article that may be of interest to libertarians on this site. I believe earlier on this forum I mentioned that, oddly, I found myself more in line with leftists on political matters than the right. StumbleUpon has given me an article on this matter: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory54.html

While I think the author is far too optimistic about our ability to convince leftists that they are wrong on certain matters and he exaggerates their lack of understanding of economics, he has summed up many of the things I have been thinking about leftists quite nicely. I realize that leftists are not friendly towards libertarianism for the most part, and some are hard core statists, but they do seem to generally lack the right's zeal for authoritarianism. I was wondering if other libertarians here think along these lines, and also whether leftists think that this author or myself are anywhere close to approximating their political leanings.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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 I've had trouble with

 I've had trouble with liberalism and libertarianism for a while. The trouble I'm having is this: taxing the business cycle and redistributing the money is good for stability, but not perfect "efficiency". Most of the population likes stability much more than efficiency (as evidenced by recent reactions to the grey market set up around sub-prime mortgages), so democratically, a mixed economy remains the most successful political balance, regardless of its inefficiency.

IF we were rational, and IF we were grown-ups about our economic situation, then surely we would understand that roughly every 60-80 years, there's a recession, and possibly even a depression. But we are not rational. We are scared and we are greedy, and those two opposing forces rule our lives.

Of course, the government use of money seems like a squandering of resources, but it doesn't actually matter what they do with the money, economically speaking. They have already achieved the goal of smoothing out the business cycle (or tried), so nothing they do with it will be a waste. If they give it to homeless people who spend it immediately, then the economy is briefly sped up (and thus "improved" ). I know the libertarian economic stance on rewarding laziness, but lazy people are still capable of spending and lubricating the economy. (I acknowledge that consumption is more in line with a Keynesian world view, but it's difficult to dispute that the speed of the economy is the health of the economy.)

I suppose you're not happy that we've entered the greatest period of world socialism yet? I mean by all these countries buying up banks. But tell me: how is a state different from a corporation?

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I have a problem with the

I have a problem with the cold, heartlessness of Libertarianism. There's always going to be people that can't succeed for whatever reason, and I would consider a place to live, health care, decent food and SOME comforts as rights, not privledges.

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Quote:I've had trouble with

Quote:
I've had trouble with liberalism and libertarianism for a while. The trouble I'm having is this: taxing the business cycle and redistributing the money is good for stability, but not perfect "efficiency". Most of the population likes stability much more than efficiency (as evidenced by recent reactions to the grey market set up around sub-prime mortgages), so democratically, a mixed economy remains the most successful political balance, regardless of its inefficiency.

That's a very efficient way to explain what I've taken paragraphs to blunder through.

Quote:
I know the libertarian economic stance on rewarding laziness, but lazy people are still capable of spending and lubricating the economy.

It boggles my brain how many people don't realize this.  Well, now that I think about it, there's a sense of entitlement among many ultra-conservatives.  It doesn't seem to dawn on them that they couldn't make their million bucks if the economy didn't exist, and economies do better when there's a narrower income gap and something approaching parity among the working class.

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But tell me: how is a state different from a corporation?

umm.... I was going to say that corporations don't generally bail out states when they fail, but then I thought about how dumb that response would be.

It's a very good question.

 

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it's impossible to separate

it's impossible to separate economics from politics.  like it or not, even primitive trade and industry, beyond the most primal forms of tribalism, were regulated to some degree.  libertarianism has less historical basis than socialism, which is something to consider when libertarians tout themselves as "realists."  the closest thing to libertarian societies were the most agrarian societies, and agrarian societies are no longer viable these days.

the problem with the inability to separate politics from economics is that politics change daily, while the laws of the world's economy change very slowly or not at all.  this is why dogmatic liberalism or socialism can never work, and this was the biggest problem with leninism.  even a socialist revolution would have to be flexible in both its theory and practice.  look at marx, for example, who is often accused of being a dogmatist.  his political vision changed at least three times in his writings due to changing circumstances: in the communist manifesto, we have a jacobin republic; in the 18th brumaire of louis bonaparte, an authoritarian dictatorship; in "the civil war in france," a federal and even to some extent libertarian government.

while the perestroika and the subsequent rapid fall of the soviet union leave us the lesson that dogmatic socialism cannot survive without the strictest repression, libertarianism also will not work in a world of 6.8 billion people.  obviously, no society before us thought it would work with considerably fewer.  it would be the quickest road to revolutionary bloodshed and, quite possibly, a strong resurgence of fascism worldwide. 

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Libertarianism is bollocks

Libertarianism is bollocks as like communism it assumes most people are honest decent hard working people when in fact while people will cooperate if its in their interests most people are generally arseholes who want to get the most out of life while doing the least

 

 


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mrjonno wrote:Libertarianism

mrjonno wrote:

Libertarianism is bollocks as like communism it assumes most people are honest decent hard working people when in fact while people will cooperate if its in their interests most people are generally arseholes who want to get the most out of life while doing the least

 

 

communism doesn't assume that, or at least marxism doesn't.

i don't think libertarianism assumes that either.  it just wants everybody who doesn't "work hard" (conceptions of what this constitutes vary) to starve.

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mrjonno wrote:Libertarianism

mrjonno wrote:

Libertarianism is bollocks as like communism it assumes most people are honest decent hard working people when in fact while people will cooperate if its in their interests most people are generally arseholes who want to get the most out of life while doing the least

Most people are not decent, most are hard working only due to necessity. Most people are assholes. So what? Do you want some asshole in the government laying down economic commands? The sad fact that most people are greedy assholes does not negate my desire to have a high amount of personal liberty in my life. And if I (or others) use that freedom to give into my greed so be it. I would like to know where you got this idea that libertarianism hinges on most people being nice from. I know people aren't nice, but I also know that governments aren't nice. And that makes us all choose some sort of ideal amount of government influence we would like to have in our lives. Some people would like a lot of government influence (or outright control) and others want as little government influence as is reasonably possible.

For that matter I don't know that communism assumes most people are decent and hardworking either. Maybe it does, but I would question communists about that before stating it as fact.

 

iwbiek wrote:

it's impossible to separate economics from politics.  like it or not, even primitive trade and industry, beyond the most primal forms of tribalism, were regulated to some degree. 

We don't want to "separate economics from politics." Perhaps you are thinking about anarcho-capitalists. They want no government at all and the economy running everything. On the other hand, libertarians want to restrained government influence on the economy. It grinds my gears when someone argues against libertarianism by arguing against some from of anarchy in which there is no government influence on anything. We do want the economy 'regulated to some degree.' We would just like that to be a rather small degree as compared to now. I promise not to straw-man communism if you don't straw-man libertarianism with this.

 

iwbiek wrote:

libertarianism has less historical basis than socialism, which is something to consider when libertarians tout themselves as "realists."  the closest thing to libertarian societies were the most agrarian societies, and agrarian societies are no longer viable these days.

Many agrarian societies were not libertarian. Where did you get that from? Feudal Europe was agrarian, but it sure as hell wasn't libertarian. The Romans were agrarian, but they sure as hell weren't libertarian. There have been countless agrarian societies run by despots who made serfs or slaves toil to death in the fields. I really can't see how you are connecting libertarianism and agrarian societies.

As for lacking a historical basis: allowing women to vote lacks historical basis. Yet we let them vote anyways, since we don't care if how we do things lack historical basis. There is a LOT of historical basis for running your society off of slaves. In fact, not allowing slavery at all is a rather modern idea; ie. it lacks historical basis. There is a strong historical basis of societies being theocratic. Theocracies ran the world for most of history. Does that make theocracies a good idea? Should I go on with this, or is it clear that 'having historical basis' is worthless in politics thanks to horrible institutions have a strong historical basis?

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:I promise

Jormungander wrote:

I promise not to straw-man communism if you don't straw-man libertarianism with this.

fair enough.  absolutely fair enough.  to be honest, libertarianism seems to be sort of "in" among a lot of people these days and thus probably is often misrepresented.  back in my college days, when i actually used to argue economics and politics on a daily basis, few people identified themselves as libertarians, and thus my reading of libertarian literature is nil.

unfortunately, much of my view of libertarianism lately has come from the rantings on this site of exc.  no doubt this is much like taking your local campus greenpeace coordinator as representative of communism.  definitely my bad.

 

Jormungander wrote:

Many agrarian societies were not libertarian. Where did you get that from? Feudal Europe was agrarian, but it sure as hell wasn't libertarian.

by your own comments on libertarianism, i'd say it was pretty damn close (recall i said "closest thing to libertarianism" ).  feudalism, recall, was an agreement.  very few lords actually worked their tenants to death.  those that tried were usually unsuccessful, given the amount of peasant revolts on record.

i made this connection because in feudal europe you had no regulated economy or trade, very few taxes (and most taxes went to the church, which was really more like extortion than taxation), no really effective centralized government, no central bureaucracy, and almost no social services of any kind.

if this doesn't approach libertarianism, i have been grossly misinformed about libertarianism indeed.

Jormungander wrote:

The Romans were agrarian, but they sure as hell weren't libertarian.

well, not really.  let me qualify "agrarian": a society made up of small, independent landholdings where the people rely primarily upon domestic produce and bartering in farmers' markets for their subsistence and livelihood.  in this sense, roman society was not "agrarian." 

of course, roman society relied heavily on agriculture, but it had all the beginnings of modern capitalism.  it had regulated trade, social services, an extensive central bureaucracy, a more or less stable money system, booming industry (pottery, fishing, smithery, the staple roman fish sauce, mining, viticulture, mass agriculture, etc., etc.), and banks.  it even had honest-to-god capital, more or less.  investments were made and lost, and assets could be liquified.  of course, all this can exist under libertarianism too, but basically i'm just trying to demonstrate that the romans did not rely upon agriculture.  of course, they absolutely were not libertarian.

Jormungander wrote:

There have been countless agrarian societies run by despots who made serfs or slaves toil to death in the fields.

countless?  well, off the top of my head, i can count 4: 19th century tsarist russia, russia under stalin's first five-year plan, china under the ch'in dynasty (221-206 b.c.e.), and china under the great leap forward.  in all three cases, this was when the societies were moving away from agrarianism to rapid centralization and industrialization.  the serfs had to toil to death because of grain requisitioning.

Jormungander wrote:

As for lacking a historical basis: allowing women to vote lacks historical basis.

not always.  in certain tribal societies in both africa and north america, women make many, if not all, important decisions for the community.  also, contrary to what you might have seen in 300, women had a great deal of political say in ancient sparta.  the same goes with celtic societies in britain and ireland. 

Jormungander wrote:

There is a LOT of historical basis for running your society off of slaves.

depends.  chattel slavery, like what existed in the american south, was, historically speaking, a fairly novel and short-lived phenomenon.  the closest correlation in earlier history was slavery under a conquering civilization, but society was rarely "run off" such conscripts.  for the most part, the slaves that "ran" society in the mediterranean and the near east were more or less a servant class with legal rights and protections.  i hardly consider such a practise bad, only outdated.  

Jormungander wrote:

Theocracies ran the world for most of history.

really?  for most of history?  remember: a state religion doesn't necessarily make a theocracy.  i would hardly consider rome or athens or imperial britain "theocracies." 

Jormungander wrote:

Should I go on with this, or is it clear that 'having historical basis' is worthless in politics thanks to horrible institutions have a strong historical basis?

look, all i'm saying is that most of the people i know who claim to be libertarians argue for it on the basis that it's the only system that accepts "how people actually are."  i know you didn't say that, but others have.  my only point is, if libertarianism jives so well with human nature, why has it never been tried?  that doesn't mean it wouldn't work, of course: i'm just sick of all the (so-called) libertarians shaking their heads at me condescendingly, as if the whole world is already libertarian and i just haven't caught up yet.

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
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As soon as you accept humans

As soon as you accept humans arent very nice leads in my opinion to the need for control. Whether that control is from government/society (the same thing as far as I'm concerned), religion, parents,peer pressure, tradition, nationalism is of course up to debate but I really think is beyond doubt that this control is needed. 

This absurd cult of the individual where want you wants becomes the more important than everything breaks down


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iwbiek wrote:unfortunately,

iwbiek wrote:

unfortunately, much of my view of libertarianism lately has come from the rantings on this site of exc.  no doubt this is much like taking your local campus greenpeace coordinator as representative of communism.  definitely my bad.

Ah, yes, EXC. He is a libertarian under some definitions, unfortunately. I think that he is a great representative of what a rabid libertarian/anarcho-capitalist looks like. I like to make a distinction between anarchy and libertarianism, but if we include anarchy as just being a far extreme of libertarianism (and some people do define things that way) then EXC is a libertarian. Interestingly enough at my University in a libertarian meeting someone said that they wanted no government at all, and we told him that he wasn't a libertarian and that he was some sort of anarchist. He insisted that he was a libertarian, so I suppose there are anarchists that say they represent libertarianism.

I see we differed on the definition of agrarian society. I was using it to mean something along the lines of "most people in the society work in agriculture." If we only talk about small agrarian communities with little trading then my Roman example is invalid. I thought that feudal lords were brutal masters and that serfs could not move off of their land on penalty of death. Being born on a plot of land that you can never leave (leave as in move away from permanently) upon pain of death is not libertarian. I also thought that feudal lords took much of a serf's crops, which I define as being a huge tax on the serf's livelihood. There is a reason that serf rebellions were frequent: serfs were treated with all the respect and dignity that you and me treat a pile of dog turds.

I remember learning in some high school class that trade was difficult in feudal Europe because each feudal lord had to be given tribute to be allowed to cross through his land as a merchant. That means that a merchant traveling through ten feudal kingdoms ('kingdom' is the wrong word, but I can't think of the right one right now) would effectively be taxed ten times.

 

iwbiek wrote:

look, all i'm saying is that most of the people i know who claim to be libertarians argue for it on the basis that it's the only system that accepts "how people actually are."  i know you didn't say that, but others have.  my only point is, if libertarianism jives so well with human nature, why has it never been tried?  that doesn't mean it wouldn't work, of course: i'm just sick of all the (so-called) libertarians shaking their heads at me condescendingly, as if the whole world is already libertarian and i just haven't caught up yet.

I always thought that libertarians were fighting against people's natural urge to expand the government. People love trading away social freedoms for security and they love trading away economic freedoms for economic equality and/or security. The natural urge when someone doesn't like gays or the fact that CEOs make millions is to get the government to put an end to it. So we get the right wing trying to keep gay marriage outlawed by the government and we get people like MattShizzle wishing the government would set income limits on executives in businesses. If these libertarians are claiming that libertarianism is a  natural urge in people then I agree with you that they are dead wrong.

I think you should keep in mind that I do not represent other libertarians. I have no doubt that there are libertarians out there that would disagree with me on most issues. So if things that I say don't jive with what you heard from other libertarians (like EXC or those people who claimed that libertarianism is natural) then that just means that us libertarians don't have a single political philosophy to present.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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mrjonno wrote:This absurd

mrjonno wrote:

This absurd cult of the individual where want you wants becomes the more important than everything breaks down

I don't get that sentence. Could you explain what you mean by that?

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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I rhink the statement is

I rhink the statement is actually pretty clear.

The world does not revolve around your personal needs and wants. Your actions from your first breath to your last are linked in a web to every other person. You may have a degree of freedom of movement within a decent  society but you will never be seperate from it.

To me thats pretty obvious but to some libertarians at least it isnt, they think they are a 'independent' individual or that other vomit inducing word 'self sufficient'. Everything I have, every degree of freedom is due to a functioning society. I own a house because we have a functioning society/government (there are other reasons like paying for it but that is purely secondary), I can post on this board not because I'm born with 'freedom' because we have a functioning society that allows it (and Mr Sapient doesnt ban me)


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Jormungander wrote:and also

Jormungander wrote:

and also whether leftists think that this author or myself are anywhere close to approximating their political leanings.

To start I found it difficult to get my head into the US psyche on the policy issues, for an example he wrote:

"I’ve also made a good amount of progress talking to leftists on the gun issue. If guns are power, they belong in the hands of the people, I say."

All the talk about gun policy seemed to revolve around this idea of guns equalling power, I personally don't see it. Guns are machinery but unlike some machinery purpose built for making life easier, guns seem, to me, to serve no particular function but to be a massive pain in the arse.

I suppose you might want me to agree that holding a gun grants you power over others, but I don't, the only power you have in that circumstance is to shoot the person you are asserting power over, the more times you do it the more you raise the chance that your shot will be fatal and you go back to having power over noone cause he doesn't exist anymore. The guns as power mantra is, to me, contradictory and self-defeating, it's the power to take power away from yourself, what a waste of time.

That's my leftist opinion, guns are a pain in the arse they serve sweet bugger all purpose, the only thing that gives guns any purpose is more guns, but they take up so much of our worlds energy, time and resources building them, building defenses against them, making laws about them, looking for them, destroying them, building some more...  anyone would be forgiven for thinking they were God himself.

As for legislating about them, I would have to say a government should lead by example, if the country goes along acting like it needs a great big oversized cock extension of an arsenal, how can it tell the average Joe that they shouldn't also have one of these -- it's just hypocritical.

If you reduce the size of the country's weapons development and stock budget, and the propaganda surrounding the need for a massive daily splurge on making guns/missiles and putting people half-baked behind the trigger, people might start waking up to the reality that their territory was breached by a few blokes with $2 boxcutters not 50 million dollar missiles, the big substitute weapons penis is really a big joke. Eventually, lead by a revolution in thinking, maybe people will just stop caring whether or not they have guns at all and we can stop wasting vast amounts of energy debating over it.

 

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Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory wrote:

Indeed, I’ve made good progress with leftists on these issues, stressing the ways in which they hurt the poor and needy for the benefit of the ruling class.

OKay, I can see that, I see the potentially freer economy that would result from slimming down bloated government.  However, the lions share still goes to a ruling class and I don't have any more trust for a corporation than I do for a state.

So the question is should I place my freedom in the hands of my buying power or my voting power. Each system respectively places the discretion to yield my power in the hands of the ruling class. So is there an actual difference that makes me leftist rather than libertarian, seeing as though I can concede the merit of the argument? Yeah, it would be democracy. There is not enough democratic influence in a libertarian utopia for mine. It could and probably would, all too easily become autocratic by proxy of the interests of the ruling, and for the most part indomitable, class. I just can't see fit to suggest democratic rights should be distributed by a capitalist market via the economic system, and I don't know how anyone else living in these times can either.

 

That all said, ultimately I agree with what Anthony is saying, libertarians and liberals have a lot in common, I actually think that above all the scrapping over the details we, both sides, aspire to a very similar ideal. I mean, I personally would be all for an absolute libertarian society, and I'd be a libertarian, except that I don't have nearly enough faith in lassez faire capitalism to deliver us such a world and I really don't think any reasonable alternative exists.

So libertarian, for me, is wishful thinking and thus my political leaning is based on a practical medium term approach. ie I think left is the way to go now, in order to get where, I think, both liberals and libertarians want to be.

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Hambydammit wrote:Will

Hambydammit wrote:

Will wrote:
I know the libertarian economic stance on rewarding laziness, but lazy people are still capable of spending and lubricating the economy.

It boggles my brain how many people don't realize this.  Well, now that I think about it, there's a sense of entitlement among many ultra-conservatives.  It doesn't seem to dawn on them that they couldn't make their million bucks if the economy didn't exist, and economies do better when there's a narrower income gap and something approaching parity among the working class.

Libertarianism is often popular with people who have been lucky economically speaking, or have the benefit of a commerce-related education. They're making money, why can't everybody? If you're making a lot of money, it sucks to give a good chunk of it to the government. But giving the middle class and poor money seems to work out better than bailing out banks.

Hamby wrote:
Will wrote:
But tell me: how is a state different from a corporation?

umm.... I was going to say that corporations don't generally bail out states when they fail, but then I thought about how dumb that response would be.

Not really dumb, considering the implication. Saudi Arabia would be a lot of sand and some guys in tents without oil corporations, so there are subsidies both ways. It's my opinion that in the Libertarian context, a state is just a monopoly corporation that has an agreement with its customers. Since monopolies happen in a free market context, there's no reason to begrudge the state its monopoly on governance. Otherwise, we're objecting to monopolies, and we'd need some kind of anti-trust group to rein those in. But I would imagine that would be part of a state.

Here, the Libertarian objection is understandable, though. When someone is demanding my money based completely on precedent and monopoly status, it feels like a violation. There is, however, a path to freedom: one may remove one's self from the country and seek a country less enthusiastic about taking one's money. You would, in a market framework, be in the market for a new monopoly corporation. As with a corporation, you just buy the products of a totally different state.

Hamby wrote:
It's a very good question.

I hope so. With Marx's work, which frames capitalism as exploitation, and someone like von Mises, who frames the state as exploitation, I'd hope that we'd all get together and realize that we're talking about the same perfectionistic tendency applied to a dynamic that cannot by its very nature be perfected. Instead of saying "state" and "corporation", we might understand that we're discussing groups of people who congeal with a loose goal in mind. Every attempt at a group will have obvious flaws and inefficiencies in achieving its stated goals (Communism decries the ripping off of the working class, and Libertarianism the ripping off of the economically astute). That doesn't mean that we can't use the Libertarian and Communist ideals, since both are valid critiques. But they're ideals. As such, they're not going to be achieved in some pure and supreme organization of humans.

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Eloise wrote:I just can't

Eloise wrote:

I just can't see fit to suggest democratic rights should be distributed by a capitalist market via the economic system, and I don't know how anyone else living in these times can either.

Can you tell me which libertarians want the market to distribute rights? You do realize that libertarians want a government to secure some basic rights such as property rights and life. Please don't tell me that you think libertarians are anarcho-capitalists who want the economy to run everything. We like having a government, we just want a small government with minimal intrusion into your private life and economic affairs. Maybe we should all define what we think libertarianism is, seeing as on this thread and other threads posters have seemingly attacked anarcho-capitalism when talking about libertarians. Anarcho-capitalists are an absurd extreme libertarian position. I have only met a single anarcho-capitalist in real life, but I know many libertarians. I'm just saying this because it seems as though my definition of 'libertarian' is very different from other people's.

I personally do not like firearms because they can be used to exert power over others. I value them because they are the most effective method of lethal self defense ever divised. I see my right to self defense as being unquestionable, so I value firearms as a means by which to exercise that right. As for the author talking about power: guns are a tool of power. They are a tool of intimidation. Telling a rapist 'no' does not stop him, telling a rapist 'no' with a gun in your hand intimidates him into backing down (and if that doesn't do the trick use the gun). The only situations that I can imagine using a gun to exert power over others are situations in which you would gladly kill them if they did not do as you say. If a home intruder or rapist disregards your command to leave them alone, then it is in your best interest not to let them live. Though I have also thought that it is hypocritical that the US government stockpiles weapons and then tells me that I can't have certain semi-automatic rifles and handguns thanks to 'assault weapon' laws.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:Eloise

Jormungander wrote:

Eloise wrote:

I just can't see fit to suggest democratic rights should be distributed by a capitalist market via the economic system, and I don't know how anyone else living in these times can either.

Can you tell me which libertarians want the market to distribute rights? You do realize that libertarians want a government to secure some basic rights such as property rights and life. Please don't tell me that you think libertarians are anarcho-capitalists who want the economy to run everything.

Well no, I was only thinking of one right at the time the right to an equally weighted vote on whose interests are served, and in what sort of measure, by the leviathan actions of the ruling class. Now I know in real life state systems an equally weighted vote is not exactly guaranteed but it is at least implied, which is just not the case with a predominantly capitalist run society at all. For the poor and working class (and what I think some libertarians fail to notice is that they exist because they are essential to a working society not because they're too lazy or disinterested to become wealthy) having any right to input into major decisions regarding the society they live in would be like wishing you could vote in another country.

Also, yes, I know that libertarians want a limited, not absent, state establishment, it's just that corporate policy is such a powerful and diverse ruler over a societies interests that every time you say, 'well with a limited government you fix that' there's yet another corporate strength to rein in -- on and on until the state gets big enough that it's a roughly equally mixed economy anyway.

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I see, you want a balance

I see, you want a balance between corporate and state power. You are afraid that a too weak state would lead to their being too strong companies. In that sense I too like a mixed market, I just would like a mixed market heavily leaning towards free enterprise rather than leaning towards state control or even being in the middle. I suppose (this may be an unfounded assumption) that you and I differ mainly on what degree of government control is needed in the economy. If that is the case, and if you support a high degree of freedom in people's private lives, then you are the kind of liberal that the article was talking about. You aren't with the libertarians on some things, but if libertarians had to support some kind of mainstream political philosophy, a moderate liberal one would suffice. Though I may be making incorrect assumptions about your particular political stances.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Jormungander wrote:I see,

Jormungander wrote:

I see, you want a balance between corporate and state power. You are afraid that a too weak state would lead to their being too strong companies. In that sense I too like a mixed market, I just would like a mixed market heavily leaning towards free enterprise rather than leaning towards state control or even being in the middle. I suppose (this may be an unfounded assumption) that you and I differ mainly on what degree of government control is needed in the economy. If that is the case, and if you support a high degree of freedom in people's private lives, then you are the kind of liberal that the article was talking about. You aren't with the libertarians on some things, but if libertarians had to support some kind of mainstream political philosophy, a moderate liberal one would suffice. Though I may be making incorrect assumptions about your particular political stances.

You're close I think. 

The central difference in my mind between myself and a libertarian is that I don't think a mixed market should favour either of free enterprise or state governance at all, whereas generally a libertarian sees the free market as being "as good a place to start as any". 

Neither free enterprise nor state control, in my estimation, are any kind of ideal of universally upholding people's liberties and rights; however since I'm essentially at a loss as to what serious alternative to bring to the table it is trusting in the principle foundation of democratic state which gets the temporary pass from me.

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I have much the same

I have much the same sentiments as Eloise.  And to apply an overused quote which I feel is very accurate, 'It has often been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.'

That is, I'm not terribly happy with democracy, but in itself and there being no tenable alternative I can put forward it offers the best place from which to move forward from where we are toward the inevitable endpoint, which in retrospect, I suspect, will appear ideal.

(Have I just written nothing, or only that which should be blatantly obvious?)

As for Libertarianism, I can't find myself a comforatable place within the ideology because it seems to deny, as much as many political ideologies, certain fundamental aspects of human nature.  I know that there is a happy middle and I look to sociobiology to proscribe it.

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HisWillness wrote:With

HisWillness wrote:

With Marx's work, which frames capitalism as exploitation

ah, but necessary, necessary.  this is where so many people jump the gun and misunderstand marx.  marx's view of capitalism wasn't fundamentally polemical, despite his more than occassional use of caustic rhetoric (engels tended to be more tempered).  marx viewed capitalism as a necessary stage of human development, but harmful when prolonged unnaturally.  marx, in fact, states quite clearly in many places that socialism can never be achieved without developed capitalism.  this is why, in marxist terms, leninism did not work and the soviet union was doomed to failure (of course, this wasn't the whole story).  this is also why lenin was forced to fall back on NEP.

if marx was fundamentally polemical against anybody, it wasn't capitalists but wishy-washy liberals like proudhon.  in fact, marx was strongly influenced both by stalwart reactionaries like maistre and saint-simon and bourgeois economists like ricardo.  he just took the opposite side of the dialectic.

HisWillness wrote:

and someone like von Mises, who frames the state as exploitation

not just von mises.  also marx, engels, and lenin.

HisWillness wrote:

But they're ideals. As such, they're not going to be achieved in some pure and supreme organization of humans.

quite right.  i've always hoped that those passages where marx most approaches idealism were whims of fancy and revolutionary zeal.

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iwbiek wrote:marx viewed

iwbiek wrote:
marx viewed capitalism as a necessary stage of human development, but harmful when prolonged unnaturally.

That's something I didn't get from my (admittedly half-hearted) reading of Marx. I probably missed it, but I'm not sure what you mean. Business corporations have a life cycle unto themselves, but how do you understand Marx to mean "prolonged unnaturally"?

iwbiek wrote:
marx, in fact, states quite clearly in many places that socialism can never be achieved without developed capitalism.

That I remember from reading Marx. I was surprised, but considering how well intelligent writing is usually interpreted, I wasn't that surprised.

iwbiek wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
and someone like von Mises, who frames the state as exploitation

not just von mises.  also marx, engels, and lenin.

Yeah, but with Lenin, he wins the award for really going for it once he knew. Not a big fan of Lenin, myself.

iwbiek wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

But they're ideals. As such, they're not going to be achieved in some pure and supreme organization of humans.

quite right.  i've always hoped that those passages where marx most approaches idealism were whims of fancy and revolutionary zeal.

Probably intellectual zeal. While I'm no expert on Marx's writings (obviously), his tone strikes me as someone like you'd find on this site: eager to discuss and debate ideas for the sake of ideas alone. I know his later zeal was for those ideas in a natural reaction to the terrible conditions of factory workers at the time, but he always struck me as an intellectual first.

Being a tempered and well-read Marxist has to be difficult for you. I've only met the zealous kind, and they're not usually familiar enough with the material to be any fun in a discussion.

So how do you think the view of the ideal state differs between Marx and von Mises, then? From my readings of von Mises, he sees little function for the state at all, whereas I understood that Marx saw government as ideally a protective organization.

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Jormungander wrote:Ah, yes,

Jormungander wrote:

Ah, yes, EXC. He is a libertarian under some definitions, unfortunately. I think that he is a great representative of what a rabid libertarian/anarcho-capitalist looks like. I like to make a distinction between anarchy and libertarianism, but if we include anarchy as just being a far extreme of libertarianism (and some people do define things that way) then EXC is a libertarian. Interestingly enough at my University in a libertarian meeting someone said that they wanted no government at all, and we told him that he wasn't a libertarian and that he was some sort of anarchist. He insisted that he was a libertarian, so I suppose there are anarchists that say they represent libertarianism.

No, a rabid libertarian would say no help for the poor and those that can't compete in a free market economy. I'm in favor of doing what works, not handing out welfare checks and free services in the name of compassion. This method doesn't work. So stop living in fantasyland that it could ever lead to anything but poverty, bankrupt governments and class warfare.

You can't deny that free market capitalism brings the most advanced technology, the best consumer products(for those who can afford them) and good jobs( for those with the right skills). The computer and Internet technology you are using now could not have been developed under a socialist or communist system. Socialism/communism eventually brings poverty to everyone.

I agree with the people that say capitalism is a flawed system. But don't throw the baby out with the bath water or in this case the goose that lays the golden eggs. Keep what's right about capitalism in giving people a motive to work hard, start new businesses and invest. Fix the problem of some people not having anything to contribute.

I would argue that the communists and socialist are more of anarchist than I could ever dream of being. Social order is maintained by having people work for their wealth. Anarchy would be to steal all wealth and just distribute it according to the demands of violent, angry mobs.

The more you understand the leftists, it is just people that expect life to be handed to them on a silver platter. Angry, lazy and jealous people that don't want to pay their dues to become successful. Whining has become their drug of choice.

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Or maybe it's people that

Or maybe it's people that aren't so cold hearted as to let those that can't survive in a bad system starve. Death to all capitalists! Execute them all and redistribute their ill-gotten gains to those they exploited for years.  I would execute all executives, redistribute their money to the poor and send anyone who supports capitalism in the slightest to a mental hospital. Most CEOs and executives should be executed and their money redistributed and capialism and corporations should be illegal under penalty of death by torture.

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HisWillness wrote:That's

HisWillness wrote:

That's something I didn't get from my (admittedly half-hearted) reading of Marx. I probably missed it, but I'm not sure what you mean. Business corporations have a life cycle unto themselves, but how do you understand Marx to mean "prolonged unnaturally"?

well, what i understand marx to mean is that only capitalism could bring humanity to the next level of development, first with division of labor and then with advances in machinery.  without the competitive drive to maximize surplus value and surplus labor time, these developments never would have happened.  however, marx believed that capitalism could not continue indefinitely without a. the increasing concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands, and b. the decreasing standards of living for the worker.  this would result in more and more economic crises of increasing frequency and severity.  this is the point where it becomes "prolonged unnaturally" (that term was my own).

now, in the developed countries of the world, history has not borne this out.  marx did not foresee, for example, the rise of small shareholders and the effectiveness of the labor union movement in increasing quality of life for workers.  marx, as is frequently pointed out, also did not see the rise of the tertiary economy, intellectual property, and the need for more and more skilled workers.

however, not every economy in the world can be tertiary, as long as 6.8 billion people and growing need food, clothes, and shelter.  this is why the buck for unskilled labor has been passed to the third world, and this is where the main repository of the world's proletariat lies.  this situation will never change until the day when, star trek like, we can just say, "computer, one pot roast."

HisWillness wrote:

Yeah, but with Lenin, he wins the award for really going for it once he knew. Not a big fan of Lenin, myself.

lenin is a favorite target of revisionist history these days, which is fine and all, but usually the revisionist books tell you nothing new, since lenin and trotsky were both very frank about the dictatorship of the proletariat.  they just go over the old ground and repackage it as something shocking.  historical perspective is important.  russia was a hell of a mess in 1917 and, contrary to what a lot of revisionists like to say, i don't think kerensky would have been able to bring enlightened bourgeois liberalism there.  russia historically just isn't an enlightened, liberal sort of place.  yeltsin tried it and look how long that lasted.  now we have tanks in red square again.

lenin's centralization was due mostly to the immediate needs of the civil war.  to his credit, he was very pragmatic in instituting NEP after the war ended, which relaxed things considerably--not to the degree of britain or the US, certainly, but russia was neither britain nor the US.

i don't think a careful examination of lenin's life bears out that he was a powermonger.  the bolshevik party as a whole, perhaps, was a powermongering party, but it was possible to argue with lenin, and even defeat one of his motions, without losing your home or family or life.  trotsky's autobiography is full of examples of heated and public arguments he had with lenin, both abroad and in sovnarkom.  in fact, lenin initially insisted that trotsky, rather than he, be the chairman of sovnarkom.

HisWillness wrote:

I know his later zeal was for those ideas in a natural reaction to the terrible conditions of factory workers at the time, but he always struck me as an intellectual first.

well, don't speak too fast.  marx was definitely a revolutionary, albeit not a "professional" one.  he just didn't get any opportunities.

HisWillness wrote:

Being a tempered and well-read Marxist has to be difficult for you. I've only met the zealous kind, and they're not usually familiar enough with the material to be any fun in a discussion.

it's not at all difficult, though at times a bit lonely.  there aren't many people in the world anymore who are willing to read marx and marxists without a prejudiced eye.  one of my biggest arguments is always that the modern european social state owes as much, and probably more, to marx than the soviet union or china, even if you don't find his face plastered everywhere.  it's important to note that one of the most censored, edited writers in the soviet union was always marx himself.

marx did not consider himself a prophet, and altered his position throughout his life.  i think, if he were alive today, he would be writing mostly on the question of the third world, but we can only guess at what solutions he would offer.  still, some marxist constants would no doubt remain: 1. the revolution must be international in character and program, and 2. the developed countries must lead.  if we accept these constants as truly marxist, then it's easy to see why stalinism and marxism have little in common.

HisWillness wrote:

So how do you think the view of the ideal state differs between Marx and von Mises, then? From my readings of von Mises, he sees little function for the state at all, whereas I understood that Marx saw government as ideally a protective organization.

well, both marx and lenin were theoretically opposed to statism.  they believed that the bureaucracy was a tool of bourgeois interests; that the state apparatus and its accompanying police force were tools in the hands of rothschilds and morgans.  lenin writes extensively on the dictatorship of the proletariat (marx only wrote on it in passing) and sees its function as using centralized powers to nationalize the means of production and stamp out counterrevolutionary elements.  after this work had been completed, the state would "wither away" (both marx's and lenin's terminology) and leave the means of production in the direct control of self-managing workers.  government at this point would be at the commune level and mostly for the purpose of setting goals.  even a police force would be unnecessary, as the people would admonish each other.  admittedly, both marx and lenin are hazy on this, and i find that most modern marxists, even if they are dialectical materialists, are usually more concerned with applying marx's criticisms of capitalism than his visions of the communist future.

while i'm largely unfamiliar with von mises' theories on the state, it's my understanding that he was against statism for the opposite reason: that it puts a check on personal gain and private property.  marx believed that the state actually safeguarded the "rights" of private property for the richest of the capitalists.   

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EXC wrote:No, a rabid

EXC wrote:

No, a rabid libertarian would say no help for the poor and those that can't compete in a free market economy. I'm in favor of doing what works, not handing out welfare checks and free services in the name of compassion. This method doesn't work.

Ah, but it does. You can say what you like about handing out welfare cheques and services, but they've been shown to smooth the volatility of the business cycle.

EXC wrote:
So stop living in fantasyland that it could ever lead to anything but poverty, bankrupt governments and class warfare.

Class warfare is inevitable, so take that off your list. Poverty is an odd one to cite, considering poverty is usually more of a function of historical and geographic conditions than the type of government employed. And how would a government that provides services for the tax it takes become bankrupt?

EXC wrote:
You can't deny that free market capitalism brings the most advanced technology, the best consumer products(for those who can afford them) and good jobs( for those with the right skills).

Then you can't deny that everywhere that those things have happened, a government has provided a subsidy to the corporations involved.

EXC wrote:
The computer and Internet technology you are using now could not have been developed under a socialist or communist system.

You mean like the US military inventing dARPAnet and funding most of the early hardware AND software standards? The military counts as government. That's socialism.

EXC wrote:
Socialism/communism eventually brings poverty to everyone.

Apparently, so can the free market.

EXC wrote:
Fix the problem of some people not having anything to contribute.

You mean like providing services for them?

EXC wrote:
The more you understand the leftists, it is just people that expect life to be handed to them on a silver platter. Angry, lazy and jealous people that don't want to pay their dues to become successful. Whining has become their drug of choice.

That's an interesting angle, but there are, in fact, people who want to systematize the act of caring for others. They would acknowledge that sometimes, despite people's best efforts, they aren't lucky. There are certainly lazy people, but as you say: let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

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EXC wrote:No, a rabid

EXC wrote:

No, a rabid libertarian would say no help for the poor and those that can't compete in a free market economy. I'm in favor of doing what works, not handing out welfare checks and free services in the name of compassion. This method doesn't work.

Yes it does work, EXC. You are very wrong on this matter, I live in a probably one of the most far left leaning countries in the world and I have seen that good welfare systems have excellent outcomes. There are systemic problems with how welfare systems are handled, and often that comes down to attitudes like yours; people that believe helping someone out is 'bad for them', basically. That sort of thinking clogs up socially responsible systems and blocks them doing good necessary work on the socio-economic state. At any rate, serious failures of welfare generally come down to withholding aid rather than giving it (see New Orleans).

Moreover, to try another tack, if you're so for personal liberty why do you care so much about dictating what is good or bad for some other person, doesn't that make you a hypocrite? Consider, if you've "made it" in a capitalist society then you and several others own basically everything there is to own and I doubt you're thinking seriously about parting with much of it in the future, so what does that leave for the up and coming, then? When claim is already laid to most everything that is less liberty for others to lay claim, that is the simple fact of it  and there's no getting around it. The logical conclusion of a capitalist libertarian ideal is that the rabid libertarians, when all other injustices are abolished, become the last bastion of violating anothers liberty.

 

But there's hope, still. You might come instead to realise that healthy socio-economic system across the board is in your interest, (personally, I just don't know how anyone can not see that already). I mean, you want good services? right? When you take your car in for new tyres, do you or do you not want the resident minimum wage earning trainee tyre-fitter to be at the most top of his game that he can be Or would you rather he be dangerously distracted by the toothache, injury or illness he simply cannot afford to fix, the rent he can't pay, the disdain that you represent to his minimum wage-earning because everyone must start out kicking the shit for someone arse. . Think about that for a little bit you're talking about people who polish the floors you walk on, make the coffee and burgers you consume, service the sewerage pipes that you absolutely cannot live comfortably without.

 

 

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Eloise wrote:But there's

Eloise wrote:

But there's hope, still. You might come instead to realise that healthy socio-economic system across the board is in your interest, (personally, I just don't know how anyone can not see that already). I mean, you want good services? right? When you take your car in for new tyres, do you or do you not want the resident minimum wage earning trainee tyre-fitter to be at the most top of his game that he can be Or would you rather he be dangerously distracted by the toothache, injury or illness he simply cannot afford to fix, the rent he can't pay, the disdain that you represent to his minimum wage-earning because everyone must start out kicking the shit for someone arse. . Think about that for a little bit you're talking about people who polish the floors you walk on, make the coffee and burgers you consume, service the sewerage pipes that you absolutely cannot live comfortably without.

eloise, tell me frankly: are you rosa luxemburg reincarnated?

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
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iwbiek wrote:eloise, tell me

iwbiek wrote:

eloise, tell me frankly: are you rosa luxemburg reincarnated?

Thankyou, iwbiek, coming from you, that is obviously a compliment.

Seriously, though, I dabble, rather than dip, in economic theory and I don't always agree with the usual interpretations of leftist theory. For example, I don't agree with something I've read of a Marxist idea -- that value is a product of labour time. Although I do agree that value is a product in and of itself, ie it is not synonymous with money, I think value is a complex product of labour intensity, skill and environmental forces so even if you hold labour time constant, value can fluctuate wildly in a dynamic system. And the distribution of money drives all three arms of this fluctuation (as I attempted to demonstrate to EXC in the last post) so it's easy to see that qualitative enhancement underpins the justification for socialism.

Morevover since the dogma of unlimited quantitative growth has become a burden these days, I fail to see how every free thinking person isn't seriously tabling socialism. I can see why people brainwashed by remnant "red plague" propaganda aren't considering the merits of the left, but the well informed I just shake my head at and think what more could they possibly need?

At any rate, I think my approach might have been a little too soft for Rosa and my first love of course is physical theory rather than economics, so I guess I'm a little more a Marie Curie but possibly, maybe I was related to Rosa Luxemburg in some other life, Sticking out tongue

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Never really undeserved all

Never really undeserved all this rationality with politics and theory. Seems pretty obvious to me that some political systems are better for some individuals than others and no political system is any good for everyone.

If you are were a Soviet Party Politic Bureau member in the cold war then Soviet style communism was obviously good for you

If you are an investment banker that capitalism is pretty fab for you too, if you low skilled and lazy then a powerful welfare state will be great.

These are course all extreme examples but when I vote I tend to attempt to be rational (I probably don't have the skills/knowledge to achieive  that in reality and I'm reasonably well educated) but it is unlikely that my  attempts at being rational are going to bring up the same results as my neighbour for example.

 

 


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Eloise wrote: Seriously,

Eloise wrote:

 

Seriously, though, I dabble, rather than dip, in economic theory and I don't always agree with the usual interpretations of leftist theory.

well, i've never really pinned you as a marxist, i just wanted to applaud your monologue. 

Eloise wrote:
 

For example, I don't agree with something I've read of a Marxist idea -- that value is a product of labour time. Although I do agree that value is a product in and of itself, ie it is not synonymous with money, I think value is a complex product of labour intensity, skill and environmental forces so even if you hold labour time constant, value can fluctuate wildly in a dynamic system.

you're absolutely right, and marx talks just as much about labor conditions as he does labor time.  that's why he split the working day into necessary labor time, i.e., the time necessary for the value created by the worker to equal his total wages for the working day (the time necessary to sustain the worker), and surplus labor time, i.e., the time during which the value created by the worker is nothing but capital, either necessary capital for maintaining or replacing the instruments of labor or pure profit.  of course, the capitalist wants to minimize the necessary labor time and, since he cannot prolong the working day indefinitely, this provides the impetus for developing machinery.  also, marx was well aware that the worker fatigues and runs down after a time, which is also why the capitalist wants to create better and better machines to take out the human element as much as possible. 

marx definitely took labor intensity and skill into account, but, like most 19th century thinkers, he wasn't very concerned with the environment.  for example, it's clear from his writings that marx never dreamed that resources like fuel could ever run out.  now we know better.

Eloise wrote:
  

And the distribution of money drives all three arms of this fluctuation (as I attempted to demonstrate to EXC in the last post) so it's easy to see that qualitative enhancement underpins the justification for socialism.

it does indeed.  marx clearly found money absurd but was wise enough to know that humanity was too deep into the system to be weaned off it immediately.  in fact, a strong currency was yet another one of his requirements for building socialism (and yet another one the russians were unable to meet).

Eloise wrote:

At any rate, I think my approach might have been a little too soft for Rosa and my first love of course is physical theory rather than economics, so I guess I'm a little more a Marie Curie but possibly, maybe I was related to Rosa Luxemburg in some other life, Sticking out tongue

hey, all i'm saying is you could have given the same monologue you threw at exc at any manchester picket line in the early 20th century and it would have gone over very well.

actually, now that i think about it, i am completely uninformed about the history of the labor struggle in australia.  was there ever such an upheaval there as there was in europe and the states?

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iwbiek wrote:actually, now

iwbiek wrote:

actually, now that i think about it, i am completely uninformed about the history of the labor struggle in australia.  was there ever such an upheaval there as there was in europe and the states?

Well no, not really we're pretty young over here for the most part we haven't historically been developed enough to accomodate major class warfare. We have a couple of heroes of the underclass like Ned Kelly (a kind of Australian Robin Hood of country Victoria) , Vince Lingiarri/ Eddie Mabo (lead the peaceful protest which secured aboriginal land rights), but otherwise our poilitical development has been relatively understated.

We've never been much of a conservative nation at all.

First we tend to shun tradition as a rule, but understandably since we started out as a nation made up of the people tradition rejected. That history of our rebuff by the bourgeios has been written right into the Australian way of life for a long time and here the proletariat is given the more affectionate moniker "the aussie battler". He is the working class man* and he's loved and even somewhat a symbol of worship to us, (at least historically, some of that started to change recently but that's another story).

And secondly, officially we're a centrist country, but technically both our major political parties are left. We did have at least one conservative party, but they were crushed by the electorate and had to merge with the most centrist of our left heavy political map to survive -- they're pretty much gone now though .  Australia's Liberal party basically represents the right since they're the closest to it.

so all told, in Australia the labour force hasn't had to fight too hard for the admiration they deserve (until fairly recently at least), and they've never really had to completely upheave an oppressive system on a grand scale outside of democracy, generally social conscience goes over really well with Australians; no hard sell required.

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Eloise wrote:Yes it does

Eloise wrote:

Yes it does work, EXC. You are very wrong on this matter, I live in a probably one of the most far left leaning countries in the world and I have seen that good welfare systems have excellent outcomes. There are systemic problems with how welfare systems are handled, and often that comes down to attitudes like yours; people that believe helping someone out is 'bad for them', basically. That sort of thinking clogs up socially responsible systems and blocks them doing good necessary work on the socio-economic state. At any rate, serious failures of welfare generally come down to withholding aid rather than giving it (see New Orleans).

I'm not against helping people. In most cases I don't think the government does enough to help people. They hand out welfare on a permanent basis which is just treating the symptoms and not fixing the underlying cause. I'm only against systems that amount to paying people not to work. In the case of New Orleans, aid should be given on a temporary basis as part of a national social contract.

But why did NO disaster happen? Generations of poverty where the only federal aid was some welfare checks and food stamps instead of training people how properly build and maintain levees.

Eloise wrote:

Moreover, to try another tack, if you're so for personal liberty why do you care so much about dictating what is good or bad for some other person, doesn't that make you a hypocrite?

When have I dictated what choices a person should make? I believe in make your own bed and lie in it. If you can't afford a bed, society can help you on a short term basis get a bed then own it for yourself.

When you have socialism, you effectively dictate the choices people should make in life. The lefties here all want whatever medical services are available to be paid to everyone no matter what choices people make with life. So then we must have a huge percentage of GDP going to the medical industry. So people don't have other options available to do with their money as they please.

Life is a series trade-offs. You have social programs that amount to paying for inefficiency and restrict everyone's liberties.

Eloise wrote:

Consider, if you've "made it" in a capitalist society then you and several others own basically everything there is to own and I doubt you're thinking seriously about parting with much of it in the future, so what does that leave for the up and coming, then? When claim is already laid to most everything that is less liberty for others to lay claim, that is the simple fact of it  and there's no getting around it. The logical conclusion of a capitalist libertarian ideal is that the rabid libertarians, when all other injustices are abolished, become the last bastion of violating another's liberty.

Why can't everyone "make it"? Why can't we have an education/rehabilitation system that enables everyone that wants to "make it" make it? And accept the fact that some people choose to be poor, rather than make the sacrifices to not be poor? A lot of the rich give it away, to start universities, charities, etc... or start new businesses that employ people. Even if they go out an buy a yachts and mansions, they employ a lot of blue color works that would otherwise be poor without a job.

 

Eloise wrote:

But there's hope, still. You might come instead to realise that healthy socio-economic system across the board is in your interest, (personally, I just don't know how anyone can not see that already). I mean, you want good services? right? When you take your car in for new tyres, do you or do you not want the resident minimum wage earning trainee tyre-fitter to be at the most top of his game that he can be Or would you rather he be dangerously distracted by the toothache, injury or illness he simply cannot afford to fix, the rent he can't pay, the disdain that you represent to his minimum wage-earning because everyone must start out kicking the shit for someone arse. . Think about that for a little bit you're talking about people who polish the floors you walk on, make the coffee and burgers you consume, service the sewerage pipes that you absolutely cannot live comfortably without.

 

In the case of public safety, the government has a strict role to play in regulating the quality of the work. We need to have work rules for Airline pilots, Train engineers and mechanics. So if the government did it's role, you wouldn't have workers producing shoddy products that endanger safety. The businesses  that have safety problems would be fined/sued/shut down, they are committing fraud. So they would need to do whatever it take to fix their safety problems. The consumer would pay a tax to make sure the products they use are safe.

With socialism, few people would want to be a tire fitter. The lefties here think you get basically the same pay/benefits no matter your career choice. So why be a tyre fitter if you can choose an easier profession and get the same guaranteed pay/benefits?

I would like the tyre fitter to have apprenticed in his field before he became one. Minimum wage/benefit laws may prevent this from occurring. I would like him to use the most advance technology to make sure the tire is safe. Businesses and engineers that could develop this technology simple are not going to develop this if income is taxed at 60% or more as in Denmark.

Basically your argument boils down to the governments suck at regulating business when it comes to public safety, so instead fixing this problem, we should create inefficiency in the market and reward people for NOT becoming productive.

And if you set the minimum wage/benefits at a high level, low skill people will be priced out of the market. Their jobs will be automated away or shipped overseas.

I don't have disdain for any workers, except union people that use violent threats to intimidate business owners.

I think you are enamored with being compassionate rather than excepting how the world really works and working withing those restraints.

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HisWillness wrote:Ah, but it

HisWillness wrote:

Ah, but it does. You can say what you like about handing out welfare cheques and services, but they've been shown to smooth the volatility of the business cycle.

At the expense of running up government debt so it can't solve any long term problems. The rich essentially loan their wealth to the pay for welfare which drives up taxes for everyone. The rich end up getting richer at the expense of the workers who pay higher taxes while the rich sit on their ass and collect interest guaranteed by the government.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Class warfare is inevitable, so take that off your list. Poverty is an odd one to cite, considering poverty is usually more of a function of historical and geographic conditions than the type of government employed. And how would a government that provides services for the tax it takes become bankrupt?

Warfare is inevitable when people are irrational. When people think that human relationship can be something other than mutually beneficial contracts. When people can be lazy, irresponsible and expect others to always fix their mess, yes we'll have class warfare and poverty.

Government provides services to whoever whines the most or bribes the best, that's why there're all going bankrupt.

 

HisWillness wrote:

You mean like the US military inventing dARPAnet and funding most of the early hardware AND software standards? The military counts as government. That's socialism.

In this case, the government paid people to work. Socialism is paying people NOT to work. I support some of the things FDR did in to give people jobs. Even the most hard core libertarian supports national defense spending.

One of the roles government has is long term investment because capitalists want their money back in a short period of time. Socialism is the opposite of investment. It is spending money knowing it's waisted, you get no money in return, just more poverty.

EXC wrote:
Socialism/communism eventually brings poverty to everyone.

HisWillness wrote:

Apparently, so can the free market.

I thought everyone here is bitching about the rich being too rich in the free market. The current crisis is cause by socialism/welfare for banks and the government allowing fraud in the system.

HisWillness wrote:

You mean like providing services for them?

On a short term basis, yes. If it helps them become productive in the long run. If it's "we'll pay you to sit on your ass", No.

HisWillness wrote:

That's an interesting angle, but there are, in fact, people who want to systematize the act of caring for others. They would acknowledge that sometimes, despite people's best efforts, they aren't lucky. There are certainly lazy people, but as you say: let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Well then start a charity to "systematize the act of caring for others". Get a second job and give all your extra money to the people you care about. Why allow the lefties to start a system that will destroy our liberties and eventually wreck the economy? Why must the leftist compassion always be with other people's money and not their own?

Look at the people that complain. They could be sucessful but their real problem is they don't want to kiss any capitalist pig ass to do so.

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Eloise wrote:For example, I

Eloise wrote:

For example, I don't agree with something I've read of a Marxist idea -- that value is a product of labour time.

i thought i might quote a couple passages to flesh out marx's idea of determining value a little more, if you're interested.  both passages come from vol. 1 of capital.  the first comes from chapter 1, section 1, and it explains how a commodity's value is determined by the amount of basic human labor incorporated in it.  it's useful to note that marx was well aware of the qualitative differences between skilled and unskilled labor, but for the purposes of determining value, he reduces skilled labor to a larger quantity of unskilled labor.  i'm quoting from the 1887 english translation by moore and aveling, which is in the public domain.

Marx wrote:

The value of a commodity would therefore remain constant, if the labour time required for its production also remained constant. But the latter changes with every variation in the productiveness of labour. This productiveness is determined by various circumstances, amongst others, by the average amount of skill of the workmen, the state of science, and the degree of its practical application, the social organisation of production, the extent and capabilities of the means of production, and by physical conditions. For example, the same amount of labour in favourable seasons is embodied in 8 bushels of corn, and in unfavourable, only in four. The same labour extracts from rich mines more metal than from poor mines. Diamonds are of very rare occurrence on the earth’s surface, and hence their discovery costs, on an average, a great deal of labour time. Consequently much labour is represented in a small compass. Jacob doubts whether gold has ever been paid for at its full value. This applies still more to diamonds. According to Eschwege, the total produce of the Brazilian diamond mines for the eighty years, ending in 1823, had not realised the price of one-and-a-half years’ average produce of the sugar and coffee plantations of the same country, although the diamonds cost much more labour, and therefore represented more value. With richer mines, the same quantity of labour would embody itself in more diamonds, and their value would fall. If we could succeed at a small expenditure of labour, in converting carbon into diamonds, their value might fall below that of bricks. In general, the greater the productiveness of labour, the less is the labour time required for the production of an article, the less is the amount of labour crystallised in that article, and the less is its value; and vice versâ, the less the productiveness of labour, the greater is the labour time required for the production of an article, and the greater is its value. The value of a commodity, therefore, varies directly as the quantity, and inversely as the productiveness, of the labour incorporated in it.

now the second passage fleshes out how the value of labor-power is determined.  it's taken from chapter 6.  labor-power, of course, is nothing more than another commodity, but it is the only commodity capable of spontaneously producing surplus-value.

Marx wrote:

The value of labour-power is determined, as in the case of every other commodity, by the labour-time necessary for the production, and consequently also the reproduction, of this special article. So far as it has value, it represents no more than a definite quantity of the average labour of society incorporated in it. Labour-power exists only as a capacity, or power of the living individual. Its production consequently pre-supposes his existence. Given the individual, the production of labour-power consists in his reproduction of himself or his maintenance. For his maintenance he requires a given quantity of the means of subsistence. Therefore the labour-time requisite for the production of labour-power reduces itself to that necessary for the production of those means of subsistence; in other words, the value of labour-power is the value of the means of subsistence necessary for the maintenance of the labourer. Labour-power, however, becomes a reality only by its exercise; it sets itself in action only by working. But thereby a definite quantity of human muscle, nerve. brain, &c., is wasted, and these require to be restored. This increased expenditure demands a larger income. If the owner of labour-power works to-day, to-morrow he must again be able to repeat the same process in the same conditions as regards health and strength. His means of subsistence must therefore be sufficient to maintain him in his normal state as a labouring individual. His natural wants, such as food, clothing, fuel, and housing, vary according to the climatic and other physical conditions of his country. On the other hand, the number and extent of his so-called necessary wants, as also the modes of satisfying them, are themselves the product of historical development, and depend therefore to a great extent on the degree of civilisation of a country, more particularly on the conditions under which, and consequently on the habits and degree of comfort in which, the class of free labourers has been formed. In contradistinction therefore to the case of other commodities, there enters into the determination of the value of labour-power a historical and moral element. Nevertheless, in a given country, at a given period, the average quantity of the means of subsistence necessary for the labourer is practically known.

whether you agree with his analysis or not, i hope you can at least see that marx wasn't simplistic.

 

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EXC wrote:In the case of

EXC wrote:

In the case of public safety, the government has a strict role to play in regulating the quality of the work. We need to have work rules for Airline pilots, Train engineers and mechanics. So if the government did it's role, you wouldn't have workers producing shoddy products that endanger safety. The businesses  that have safety problems would be fined/sued/shut down, they are committing fraud. So they would need to do whatever it take to fix their safety problems. The consumer would pay a tax to make sure the products they use are safe.

So... you're saying you don't mind a large authoritarian state regulating the activities of the market?

 

EXC wrote:

With socialism, few people would want to be a tire fitter. The lefties here think you get basically the same pay/benefits no matter your career choice. So why be a tyre fitter if you can choose an easier profession and get the same guaranteed pay/benefits?

Another misconception on your behalf, EXC. There would still be a finite number of positions available in any type of job and usually those positions would be filled by the appropriate person with the appropriate qualifications, people qualified for tyre fitting wouldn't suddenly all become accountants, EXC, they'd just be more comfortably rewarded for tyre-fitting.

EXC wrote:

I would like the tyre fitter to have apprenticed in his field before he became one. Minimum wage/benefit laws may prevent this from occurring. I would like him to use the most advance technology to make sure the tire is safe. Businesses and engineers that could develop this technology simple are not going to develop this if income is taxed at 60% or more as in Denmark.

Ok, EXC, I'll grant you some of that, it is reputedly more difficult to get investor funds for innovation in a socialist environment, Australia has done reasonably well in the prescence of big unions, national health, education and saftey net welfare and heavy taxes, however some developers are forced to seek overseas money, evidently. There would appear to be no room for risking state money at present, but then the fact also is that the working class still struggles against the price index even here and that makes them feel insecure about the risks, it's possible that with more personal security the people might be more open-minded investors. I mean  even now millions plus of hard earned dollars are poured into Cancer (and other medical) research each year by the people and the state here. States are willing on a limited scale to invest in development even in uncertain times, it might be possible to increase on that. 

EXC wrote:

Basically your argument boils down to the governments suck at regulating business when it comes to public safety,

No it doesn't, that's ridiculous. I'm addressing libertarians who want LESS policing of businesses. At least I thought I was...  At any rate, I wasn't even saying anything about regulation, I don't even believe in large authoritarian states, you're projecting and it seems to be what you believe in, you're the one who seems to want to regulate every miscreant (by your estimation) out of civilised existence altogether.

You admit, clearly, that the market is no good at regulating the standards of goods ands services either. What my argument boils down to is that there is another way besides regulation to enhance the quality of goods and services in the market -- a fair and just standard for the worker.

EXC wrote:

And if you set the minimum wage/benefits at a high level, low skill people will be priced out of the market. Their jobs will be automated away or shipped overseas.

That's a myth, the only real world evidence I've seen of a downside here is a pinch on small businesses there may need to be a provision in place for them.

In any case, raising a minimum wage is only a very small part of providing a fair environment for workers, and you wouldn't raise it so high that skilled wages could no longer compete, where did you get that idea?

More important in giving the proletariat a fair go are subsidies for essential health services, a safety net of financial welfare that provides in real terms and doesn't outright attack the dignity and conscience of the jobseeker and pathways for education and re-education in transient periods.

 

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Eloise wrote:So... you're

Eloise wrote:

So... you're saying you don't mind a large authoritarian state regulating the activities of the market?

It's like a sports league. The government should be essentially the referee. Setting the rules for fair competition and making sure they are enforced. Now some libertarians would say let's not have rules or referees, so cheating takes place. The lefties would say in the 4th quarter if one team is ahead to forget what happened before, let's make the score even. So no one has an incentive to play the game to succeed. The game(economy) sucks because no one has much motivation.

 

I failed to make my point I'm not libertarian, I'm a rationalist. I'm hoping as part of move toward rationalism, we can not only dump religion but also political philosophies that don't work. Jefferson understood how an individual life and society must be structured: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. It's like building a house the foundation must be the things necessary for survival. You can't make these things a right, they must be created though work and innovation. It's ridiculous to make a law they everyone must have food, shelter, medical, etc... because they only happen  though work not by having government pass laws.

Then when people have enough to survive and they are granted liberty, they can pursue their own happiness and make their own choices and trade-offs that is not dictated by any government.

The libertarians fail because they put liberty above life. The lefties are worse because they put the pursuit of happiness above all else. They think you can make whatever irresponsible choices you wish and it's up to government to always bail you out.

Eloise wrote:

Another misconception on your behalf, EXC. There would still be a finite number of positions available in any type of job and usually those positions would be filled by the appropriate person with the appropriate qualifications, people qualified for tyre fitting wouldn't suddenly all become accountants, EXC, they'd just be more comfortably rewarded for tyre-fitting.

No you essentiall want to guarantee everyone can have a living wage no matter what bad choices they make.

Iwbeck admitted during the Soviet Union they had severe shortages of tractors, ie. tractor designers and mechanics. I don't know much about the history of the CCCP, but I'll make a wild guess and say they never had a shortage of musician and artists.

You're a woman, who would you rather date a musician or dirty tyre fitter mechanic, if they both made the same and had the same benefits? If you mess with the free market by guaranteeing pay and benefits for everyone, you will have severe shortages in the most vital occupations.

Eloise wrote:

In any case, raising a minimum wage is only a very small part of providing a fair environment for workers, and you wouldn't raise it so high that skilled wages could no longer compete, where did you get that idea?

You want to have very little difference between the net pay of skilled workers and unskilled workers. So what's one's incentive to become a skilled worker? Why pay a fortune for college, if it doesn't pay off?

Eloise wrote:

More important in giving the proletariat a fair go are subsidies for essential health services, a safety net of financial welfare that provides in real terms and doesn't outright attack the dignity and conscience of the job-seeker and pathways for education and re-education in transient periods.

I agree on help for temporary basis. I actually think they don't do enough for displaced workers. If a person asks for government assistance, they should evaluated by a social worker, psychologist and educator that will put the person in a program to quickly enable them to be self sufficient. But the lefties just want to pay people not to work, a recipe for everyone living in poverty.

 

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EXC wrote:Eloise wrote:So...

EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

So... you're saying you don't mind a large authoritarian state regulating the activities of the market?

It's like a sports league. The government should be essentially the referee. Setting the rules for fair competition and making sure they are enforced. Now some libertarians would say let's not have rules or referees, so cheating takes place. The lefties would say in the 4th quarter if one team is ahead to forget what happened before, let's make the score even. So no one has an incentive to play the game to succeed. The game(economy) sucks because no one has much motivation.

You have an extreme view of the left, don't you?

What you don't notice about what you've said is that if the lefties come in at the 4th quarter after de-regulationists have allowed cheating and demand a level playing field, then the lefties are being perfectly rational. 

You're trying to say the left just wants to wipe out competition cause we hate competition, but in most cases that's just not what's intended at all. The left, generally, doesn't have a problem with competition, it has a problem with competition not being put in proper and level headed perspective. We're the winning isn't everything team, the play for the fun of it coach and the do your best, live a good life and you'll make us proud parents of the political compass. The left believes there is life beyond "not being a loser" and it's just as valuable as the "insert national/cultural title" dream.

 

Quote:

You can't make these things a right, they must be created though work and innovation. It's ridiculous to make a law they everyone must have food, shelter, medical, etc... because they only happen  though work not by having government pass laws.

EXC there's just so many things wrong with this I can't begin to tell you.

For a start the market exploits the earth for resources, individuals have slowly lost all liberty to do the same (and thus take what is free) through capitalism.  Without secured basic rights for the individual the only ones getting free stuff is the big markets and we've effectively got a return to feudalism.

Secondly, I actually don't agree with the idea of "passing laws" that people should have rights to essential health care food and shelter, but I guess as long as there are people who could bring themselves so ignorantly to oppose and/or place conditions on the most skeletal of dignity for their neighbour we shall probably have to won't we? What a shame.

EXC wrote:

Then when people have enough to survive and they are granted liberty, they can pursue their own happiness and make their own choices and trade-offs that is not dictated by any government.

But people don't have enough to survive EXC, and you've just outrightly opposed them having any right to it. So which is it? Should every citizen of the earth be entitled to a basic starting standard or should they starting from nothing, be required to compete with everyone who came before and got a giant head start on them?

EXC wrote:

 They think you can make whatever irresponsible choices you wish and it's up to government to always bail you out.

That is bullshit, The lefties believe that everyone should have a right to some sort of support and incentive which they don't already get. There's no reason to believe that if a good system is put in place originally that anyone will necessarily be coming back for successive bailouts. You're scaremongering.

 

EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Another misconception on your behalf, EXC. There would still be a finite number of positions available in any type of job and usually those positions would be filled by the appropriate person with the appropriate qualifications, people qualified for tyre fitting wouldn't suddenly all become accountants, EXC, they'd just be more comfortably rewarded for tyre-fitting.

No you essentiall want to guarantee everyone can have a living wage no matter what bad choices they make.

Okay, how is cleaning for a living a bad choice, how is bagging your bread for you a bad choice? how is any low wage job a bad choice EXC? Your attitude to blue collar people is distasteful, they're good people providing a good service, don't try to tell me you don't disdain them and then put their having entered apt employment for their skill and interests down to bad choices. I will no futher dignify this ugliness from you EXC, get a clue.  Yes any permanent job providing a service for the community should be repaid with a living wage, anything less is just uncivilised.

 

EXC wrote:

Iwbeck admitted during the Soviet Union they had severe shortages of tractors, ie. tractor designers and mechanics. I don't know much about the history of the CCCP, but I'll make a wild guess and say they never had a shortage of musician and artists.

Do capitalist countries have an artist shortages? I don't think this is as relevant to the politics of the country as you think it is.

EXC wrote:

You're a woman, who would you rather date a musician or dirty tyre fitter mechanic, if they both made the same and had the same benefits?

What? I'd do no such thing at all, good blokes work all kinds of jobs, I'm not in it for the financial benefits.

EXC wrote:

If you mess with the free market by guaranteeing pay and benefits for everyone, you will have severe shortages in the most vital occupations.

EXC you misunderstand. Health and safety net services secured through the state are merely basic and essential, in a mixed market there is still plenty of room for skilled positions to offer benefits as an incentive.

 

EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

 

In any case, raising a minimum wage is only a very small part of providing a fair environment for workers, and you wouldn't raise it so high that skilled wages could no longer compete, where did you get that idea?

You want to have very little difference between the net pay of skilled workers and unskilled workers. So what's one's incentive to become a skilled worker? Why pay a fortune for college, if it doesn't pay off?

One it doesn't very well pay off like it should to begin with in a capitalist run economy, the large proportion of wealth goes to whoever is ruthless enough to take it not to whomever worked so hard they earned it.

And for two I didn't say very little difference between skilled and blue collar pay, I said that a realistic income floor should always be established in the social interest because people take low income jobs and stay in them and raise a family and thats who they are, a decent living is the only fair way to reward them. Everyone else has no chance of the lifestyle to which they are accustomed without these people being who they are, so.. respect.. that's all.

EXC wrote:

Eloise wrote:

More important in giving the proletariat a fair go are subsidies for essential health services, a safety net of financial welfare that provides in real terms and doesn't outright attack the dignity and conscience of the job-seeker and pathways for education and re-education in transient periods.

I agree on help for temporary basis. I actually think they don't do enough for displaced workers. If a person asks for government assistance, they should evaluated by a social worker, psychologist and educator that will put the person in a program to quickly enable them to be self sufficient. But the lefties just want to pay people not to work, a recipe for everyone living in poverty.

 

You're pretty stubborn in your view of lefties as weak-willed enablers aren't you. Oh well, that may be as far as we get with this, then so be it.

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EXC wrote:Iwbeck admitted

EXC wrote:

Iwbeck admitted during the Soviet Union they had severe shortages of tractors, ie. tractor designers and mechanics. I don't know much about the history of the CCCP, but I'll make a wild guess and say they never had a shortage of musician and artists.

if you can't spell my screen name right, at least use copy and paste.  there's no fucking "c" in there.

sorry, exc, but "i.e." are not magic letters that make bullshit true.  do some fucking research for once in your fucking life before you make a fucking reference to a country you admittedly know fuck-all about.  there were plenty of capable designers and mechanics in the soviet union, you numbnuts, especially considering how late in the game the soviet union was industrialized (and many western historians who are unsympathetic to bolshevism, among them sheila fitzpatrick, admit that russia's rapid industrialization could never have happened under a liberal bourgeois government).  when you do see pictures of soviet tractors, they're not john deeres.  they're soviet tractors.  the problem was a shortage of resources, due to the blockade by the capitalist countries.

do us all a favor: don't make wild guesses.  the technical institutes in the soviet union and the eastern bloc were always crowded and the humanities got a firm back-seat under stalinist regimes.  i've met more mechanically self-reliant people in the czech republic, slovakia, and the former yugoslavia than in either the usa or western europe.

of course there were artists and musicians in the soviet union, but life wasn't easy for them.  if they bothered to go public with their work at all, they risked censorship and possible incarceration.  whether they did or didn't, it amounted to little more than a hobby for most of them.  if they didn't do their work--whether it was industrial, agricultural, or bureaucratic--they didn't get a welfare check.  they got thrown into prison or a labor camp.  it was a criminal offense to be unemployed in a stalinist country.

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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EXC wrote:You're a woman,

EXC wrote:

You're a woman, who would you rather date a musician or dirty tyre fitter mechanic, if they both made the same and had the same benefits?

this is a fucking insult, and a piggish one at that.  you basically just called eloise and all women really shallow.  i would tell you that were we in a bar back home, i would knock your fucking teeth out, but a "dirty tyre fitter mechanic" would probably get to you first.  you owe eloise an apology.

"I asked my father,
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The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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Another thing that hasn't

Another thing that hasn't been pointed out is that having a social welfare system is cheaper in the long run than an extreme lacking in social welfare system like EXC wants. As has been said before, most people if they can't get a job they're willing to do that pays enough to live on aren't going to sit back and starve - and that goes double if they have family to take care of. They're going to get it another way - whether that's selling drugs, theft/robbery or whatever. Besides the costs to individuals/businesses the crime itself costs, more crime means more police will be needed. The trials will mean more prosecuting attorneys and public defenders needed - all cost tax money. More people will get jury duty - disrupting their lives and costing them and/or their employers money. Then once they go to prison - do you know it would be cheaper to pay someone more than what the average person makes in a year than to keep them in prison for a year? If they have kids, the kids will need to be taken care of by the system - more money - unless you're heartless enough to have them cast into the street to starve (which wouldn't actually surprise me now. ) Anyway, having social welfare systems is better than nt having them in the long run.

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iwbiek wrote:this is a

iwbiek wrote:

this is a fucking insult, and a piggish one at that.  you basically just called eloise and all women really shallow.  i would tell you that were we in a bar back home, i would knock your fucking teeth out, but a "dirty tyre fitter mechanic" would probably get to you first.  you owe eloise an apology.

Oh, I'm so sorry. Women will never date a man with money. They will never date a man with a musical or artistic talent. They always go down to the local homeless shelter and find the dirtiest, poorest bum. To not do so would mean the woman was shallow. I'm so sorry, now I'll stop working, showering and saving as a way to all the world's women that are not shallow.

I'm sorry Eloise if I thought you might ever date a man that had anything going for him. Thanks for straightening me out on how the world really works their Iwbiek.

 

 

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Actually a tire mechanic is

Actually a tire mechanic is likely to make more than a "musician. " Unless the musician is both talented and lucky enough to get a record contract, he's going to be poor - playing in bars doesn't pay much - though his income likely depends on his day job. If it's the type of guy who plays music but doesn't get any deals and smokes pot all day, he's going to have little or no money. The tire mechanic may get dirty at work but may also make a decent income. By the way, when I was working at the corrections center - many of the guys who never worked a day in their life and were in and out of prison had girlfriends - sometimes more than one. Often the girlfriend sent them money to buy shit.

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By some scheme, I now have a

By some scheme, I now have a billion bucks in my account. How was it possible, and do I merit this kind of mega wealth for any acceptable helpful reason to the society from which I obtained this massive wealth, for any effort done by me?

Fuck no. Such a system of allowing mega individual wealth is obviously fucked up ... But the rich controllers like it that way .... so I say, "EAT THE RICH", no more dynasties .... basically, enact laws against our greedy nature. What is a healthy and fair doctrine of law and taxation? Why allow dynasties ????

  I still don't get you EXC .... I say, "out law blind greed", as you seem to say, just go with it .... ????

   Banging my head too, WTF am I missing ???


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EXC wrote:iwbiek wrote:this

EXC wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

this is a fucking insult, and a piggish one at that.  you basically just called eloise and all women really shallow.  i would tell you that were we in a bar back home, i would knock your fucking teeth out, but a "dirty tyre fitter mechanic" would probably get to you first.  you owe eloise an apology.

Oh, I'm so sorry. Women will never date a man with money. They will never date a man with a musical or artistic talent. They always go down to the local homeless shelter and find the dirtiest, poorest bum. To not do so would mean the woman was shallow. I'm so sorry, now I'll stop working, showering and saving as a way to all the world's women that are not shallow.

I'm sorry Eloise if I thought you might ever date a man that had anything going for him. Thanks for straightening me out on how the world really works their Iwbiek.

 

Come on, EXC. You clearly insulted mechanics and women with your remark. The criteria by which most women decide who is good to date is largely unknown to men, and probably doesn't involve income too much. Implying that Eloise is a gold digger is particularly mean thing to do. I agree with iwbiek that you would be getting an ass kicking if you made remarks like that in public. This is why I called you 'rabid' earlier. You show up in threads and troll us with comments like what I quoted above.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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EXC wrote:At the expense of

EXC wrote:

At the expense of running up government debt so it can't solve any long term problems. The rich essentially loan their wealth to the pay for welfare which drives up taxes for everyone. The rich end up getting richer at the expense of the workers who pay higher taxes while the rich sit on their ass and collect interest guaranteed by the government.

I'm not sure where I see your objection to this. The wealthy loan their wealth and get interest on it, and people who are naturally lazy STAY naturally lazy and don't start an uprising. Keep in mind that I'm arguing for a mixed economy, which has been the most successful thus far. There we have a market (taxes and government bonds, presumably) for services that's dominated by a monopoly that can be changed by popular vote. The main service that the government provides is stability. Not only are the poor and powerless invited to take part in the political process*, but they're also paid off to keep them from getting too excited.

EXC wrote:
Warfare is inevitable when people are irrational. When people think that human relationship can be something other than mutually beneficial contracts. When people can be lazy, irresponsible and expect others to always fix their mess, yes we'll have class warfare and poverty.

Right. Were you just airing that out? Because the inevitability of war is a given.

EXC wrote:
Government provides services to whoever whines the most or bribes the best, that's why there're all going bankrupt.

Who's going bankrupt? All governments? And does it really matter what they do with the money? I mean really? Any distribution system would be fine to achieve the economic goal of stability, really. They could run a lottery system and it would work roughly as well at redistributing the wealth.

HisWillness wrote:

You mean like the US military inventing dARPAnet and funding most of the early hardware AND software standards? The military counts as government. That's socialism.

EXC wrote:
In this case, the government paid people to work. Socialism is paying people NOT to work. I support some of the things FDR did in to give people jobs. Even the most hard core libertarian supports national defense spending.

Well, since defense spending is the biggest part of the US government's budget (approximate values here: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/) you're talking about the majority of the government's economic action. The military also pays people not to work. They're employed, certainly, but ... maybe that's a tangential point.

If a socialism doesn't pay enough for someone to live, how can that be a disincentive to work? The welfare amounts that go out to people in just about every mixed economy are so small as to be impossible to live off of. They're just enough to survive, but not enough to remove the greed instinct altogether.

EXC wrote:
One of the roles government has is long term investment because capitalists want their money back in a short period of time. Socialism is the opposite of investment. It is spending money knowing it's waisted, you get no money in return, just more poverty.

On the contrary, if you're in the business of selling goods and more people can buy them, then you'll do better. In paying the government taxes, it's like paying off the local mob, but with one very big difference: this is a mob that can be put to a popular vote. The average individual can feel like they have a part in the political process, and work towards that instead of revolution.

Socialism involves that process of long-term investment that capitalists aren't required to consider (and I don't believe that they should be - that would be futile). When you say one of the roles of government is long term investment, and then immediately presume that the money is wasted, and results in poverty, I'm not following the path of that money in your scenario. If the money goes back into the populace, there's an increase in consumer spending; if the government holds that money, it reduces the volatility of the business cycle. Where's the waste?

EXC wrote:
I thought everyone here is bitching about the rich being too rich in the free market.

Oh, I wasn't. Actually, I don't think anyone has said that the rich are "too rich", but I haven't been reading everyone's posts carefully. I was pointing out that paying taxes is socialist, and that's not a bad thing.

EXC wrote:
The current crisis is cause by socialism/welfare for banks and the government allowing fraud in the system.

This one's difficult to address, because obviously you're right: the mortgage and credit collapse were seated in a couch made by the Clinton administration (when housing for the underprivileged got used by investment banks as a platform for an unregulated market). However, in '87 it was mortgage bonds, in '97, it was Russia and Asia, and now, it's giving credit AGAIN to people who are almost guaranteed to not pay it. So it's not really the governments who have an exclusive claim to the responsibility. The free market, composed of firms, screwed up just as royally, and with the same effect.

Large organizations are large organizations. Government = large corporation.

EXC wrote:
On a short term basis, yes. If it helps them become productive in the long run. If it's "we'll pay you to sit on your ass", No.

It's actually, "we'll pay you to spend." Most modern economists are Keynesians, remember. If they're sitting on their ass eating McDonalds and watching television, they're spending, and that's just peachy.

EXC wrote:
Well then start a charity to "systematize the act of caring for others".

Working on it.

EXC wrote:
Get a second job and give all your extra money to the people you care about.

What if the people I care about includes my entire country?

EXC wrote:
Why must the leftist compassion always be with other people's money and not their own?

Because it's OUR money. To take myself out of the context of my country and my society is ridiculous, and frankly childish.

EXC wrote:
Look at the people that complain. They could be sucessful but their real problem is they don't want to kiss any capitalist pig ass to do so.

Well nobody wants to kiss a capitalist pig's ass. That's not an enjoyable thought. However, as a capitalist pig, I'm still benefitting hugely from the fact that my country is socialist. I have to worry about less! Yes, I pay quite a lot in taxes, but the benefits are huge. Even in bungled government operations, a redistribution of wealth creates a more pleasant living situation for everyone. So why not pay the taxes? Especially when you don't object to the largest expenditure (defence)?

*unintentional alliteration - my apologies

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HisWillness wrote:I'm not

HisWillness wrote:

I'm not sure where I see your objection to this. The wealthy loan their wealth and get interest on it, and people who are naturally lazy STAY naturally lazy and don't start an uprising. Keep in mind that I'm arguing for a mixed economy, which has been the most successful thus far. There we have a market (taxes and government bonds, presumably) for services that's dominated by a monopoly that can be changed by popular vote. The main service that the government provides is stability. Not only are the poor and powerless invited to take part in the political process*, but they're also paid off to keep them from getting too excited.

My objection is that the justification given for socialism is the the wide disparity in wealth. The poor have to work their ass off to pay interest to rich lenders that just sit on their ass and collect interest. So why do we subsidise banks with bailouts and other subsidies? When the government borrows money to pay for socialist programs doesn't this just increase interest payments that must be paid back to the rich?

The other problem is when people do get into a financial pinch, they go to payday advance centers or borrow on their credit cards a ridiculous rates. Why not have a social services program that actually fixes their low income and high spending problems? Minimum wage and payouts are not solving the underlying problem of low productivity and living beyond one's means.

 

EXC wrote:
Warfare is inevitable when people are irrational. When people think that human relationship can be something other than mutually beneficial contracts. When people can be lazy, irresponsible and expect others to always fix their mess, yes we'll have class warfare and poverty.

HisWillness wrote:

Right. Were you just airing that out? Because the inevitability of war is a given.

Nothing is inevitable if we can understand how things work and apply a rational solution to a given situation. One could have said in the past "It is inevitable that man could never fly". But rational thinking people decided to study how flight works, come up with theories on how flight could be achieved, modify their theories though experiment and study. Then man could fly. Unfortunately the same process has not been applied to economics or politics.

Unfortunately, most people pick their politics and economics based on what is "fair" or what makes them feel that they "care" rather than what works based on how the universe really operates. That why politicians pretty much operate like preachers.

HisWillness wrote:

And does it really matter what they do with the money? I mean really? Any distribution system would be fine to achieve the economic goal of stability, really. They could run a lottery system and it would work roughly as well at redistributing the wealth.

OK, then what's wrong with distributing the wealth to the people who provide the best products and services to consumers?

HisWillness wrote:

You mean like the US military inventing dARPAnet and funding most of the early hardware AND software standards? The military counts as government. That's socialism.

HisWillness wrote:

Well, since defense spending is the biggest part of the US government's budget (approximate values here: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/) you're talking about the majority of the government's economic action. The military also pays people not to work. They're employed, certainly, but ... maybe that's a tangential point.

I agree the military has become too over bloated. DARPA is one of the few parts that has delivered value to taxpayers. The military has become has become much like the education system, more concerned with protecting it's members jobs than delivering value to the taxpayers. But still it is money that is better spent than giving it to people so they can not work, not develop a skill, breed like rabbits and buy drugs with the money.

HisWillness wrote:

If a socialism doesn't pay enough for someone to live, how can that be a disincentive to work?

It's a disincentive to become a productive worker. So you just get more people with not the right skills to meet the demands of the market. Over time it snowballs, you pay for low productivity, you get more low productive unskilled workers. Subsidising low skilled workers instead of fixing the problem is not the solution.

HisWillness wrote:

Socialism involves that process of long-term investment that capitalists aren't required to consider (and I don't believe that they should be - that would be futile). When you say one of the roles of government is long term investment, and then immediately presume that the money is wasted, and results in poverty, I'm not following the path of that money in your scenario. If the money goes back into the populace, there's an increase in consumer spending; if the government holds that money, it reduces the volatility of the business cycle. Where's the waste?

It's not usually used as investment. It like when you have money you could spend it on partying or make and investment. Taxes could be justified to invest infrastructure. Like if you're country wants to be a leader in IT technology, they could build a fiber optic network and trained unskilled people to be network administrators. Socialism usually ends up being paying people not to work, subsidising people so they have no incentive to get skills that meet the demands of the market.

HisWillness wrote:

I was pointing out that paying taxes is socialist, and that's not a bad thing.

If the person paying the taxes receive a net benefit in return. But if this is the case, why not privatize the service?

 

HisWillness wrote:

It's actually, "we'll pay you to spend." Most modern economists are Keynesians, remember. If they're sitting on their ass eating McDonalds and watching television, they're spending, and that's just peachy.

If you have a financial deficit, yes you can borrow money to temporarily alleviate the problem. That's what the government's been doing for the last 30 years. Encouraging easy credit and living beyond one's means. The latest economic crisis is just the chickens coming home to roost. Living beyond one means or having one group of people subsidise another can not be sustained over time.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Working on it.

Great if it works, I'll help support it. Just show me the data that it works.

There really should be no need for these angry political/economic discussions. We're supposed to be rational people, that are skeptical of claims. We have a method though observation and analysis to evaluate the validity of claims.

Now the communists make a claim about their way is best. We've seen the economic collapse of the CCCP and Fidel's Island paradise, which should make us even more skeptical. So, now they claim if a few things were different it would be worker's paradise. But we must have a world wide revolt where all the business owners and investors are killed or imprisoned and their property stolen. Why can't the Commies just form a small community where they demonstrate what a paradise the world would be under the right implementation of Marxism? Then we could evaluate the economic data and the wealth and quality of life to decide if Marxism would work on a larger scale. But they find it necessary to have a violent revolution because they are so irrational. Just like Al-Queda can't convice us that Allah is great through a rational process, so it is necessary to have a worldwide violent revolution to force Islam on us all.

The socialist from Denmark claims their way is best. Now their may be some good things about the system. I think high level of investments can be justified if their is a net benefit to the people making the investments. But they tax work at 60% level so these workers are paying way more than the benefit they receive. You can just work at a low paying job and get about the same benefits/quality of life. So I'm am highly skeptical that wealth producing businesses and workers will want to stay in Denmark. But let's see if the system can be sustained over time. I'll change my position if the data shows otherwise.

The theists claim that prayer works. They could easily do double blind studies to prove to us that their is a God that answers prayers. But they don't want to have a rational process to evaluate claims.

The RRS endorses Obama even though half the time he talks like the Messiah the other half like a preacher with his "hope". He makes claims about all the giveaways he can provide to people and give a check to everyone under $250K. Where is the skepticism like there is with religious claims? Let's put him to the test and the RRS members that think wealth redistribution with no strings attached can work.

HisWillness wrote:

Because it's OUR money. To take myself out of the context of my country and my society is ridiculous, and frankly childish.

Then great. All the people that feel like you can tell the government not to take your money in taxes. You'll spend it on the charity you choose. I'll spend it on the charity I choose. What's wrong with that?

HisWillness wrote:

Well nobody wants to kiss a capitalist pig's ass. That's not an enjoyable thought. However, as a capitalist pig, I'm still benefiting hugely from the fact that my country is socialist. I have to worry about less! Yes, I pay quite a lot in taxes, but the benefits are huge. Even in bungled government operations, a redistribution of wealth creates a more pleasant living situation for everyone. So why not pay the taxes? Especially when you don't object to the largest expenditure (defence)?

So, if the benefits where privatized, you'd still pay then right? Why can't you privatize all these benefits? I don't feel that I do get a return on investment when I pay taxes. So I'd rather only pay for something that is an actual investment or benefit.

I actually think governments don't do enough to help people with socialist programs. You just pass out money to people who can't pay. You don't evaluate their individual situation through a social worker and fix the problem. It's like a doctor that doesn't evaluate the patient and develop a plan to cure the problem. Social programs now just pass out welfare checks as a pain killer. Socialism, welfare and communism are the opiates of the masses.

It's like going to a doctor with a broken leg. The doctor just gives you crutches to hobble around on the rest of your life instead of setting and healing the leg. That minimum wage, you can be subsides from 18 till you die. Your problem of low wages is never solved. Same thing with food stamps and income tax redistribution. I'm not against crutches for a short time but most social programs amount to letting people hobble around on crutches their whole lives.

 

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There was a great article in

There was a great article in the latest issue of Time magazine addressing that redistribution is a good thing. It asked those with money if they want to live in armed compounds and have to hire armed guards like the wealthy do in countries with even less redistribution of wealth than the US. Notice the crime rates in 3rd world countries that don't have a welfare system, compared to the US and then compared to more enlightened countries that do have a strong social welfare system.

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EXC wrote:So, now they claim

EXC wrote:

So, now they claim if a few things were different it would be worker's paradise. But we must have a world wide revolt where all the business owners and investors are killed or imprisoned and their property stolen.

Please tell me you're kidding, EXC. You don't believe what's coming out of your own mouth here, surely?

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Eloise wrote:EXC wrote:So,

Eloise wrote:

EXC wrote:

So, now they claim if a few things were different it would be worker's paradise. But we must have a world wide revolt where all the business owners and investors are killed or imprisoned and their property stolen.

Please tell me you're kidding, EXC. You don't believe what's coming out of your own mouth here, surely?

That's the communist playbook, a worldwide revolution to take over all private property. Something like that's not going to happen without a lot of bloodshed. Marxism is continually inspiring violent revolts. Now the commies consider money it so "shallow" to earn money by investing. But yet they are willing to steal and kill to get it.

Look at all the people that have been killed or imprisoned in the name of Marx's revolution so far in history, as bad or worse than any religion. But that's all they have, they can't convise people though evidence or reason, so they must use violent intimidation.

 

Communism is the Opiate of the Masses

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca