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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:57 PM
Original message
Swimming in raw sewage
Okay, how many of you have already guessed what I've been up to? Yep, that's right, I've been haunting freerepublic.com. Not sure what possessed me, but I was honestly curious to know how repukes reconciled the whole issue of America's growing gap between the rich and poor and the daily increasing numbers of those slipping between the cracks of the current system of which they're so proud. So I set up a dummy email account with which to obtain a login and posted a thread there asking how people felt about income inequality (for anyone interested, here's the link: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1077508/posts).

Rather to my surprise, the thread took off, it was by far the hottest thread there. By the end of the day, there were well over 200 responses. It was actually sort of an interesting experience. The overwhelming majority of responses were what one would expect, the standard faith that the free market is the panacea to all ills, those who achieve more should earn more, and, of course, above all, why should those who have to work hard for their money be expected to subsidize the failed lifestyles of deadbeats who simply choose not to work hard. It's amazing how little compassion there is, just no sympathy at all for those less privileged - if there are people slipping through the cracks, tough shit, it's entirely their fault anyway. It never seems to dawn on them to ask how those "deadbeats" arrived at their unhappy circumstances, as far as they're concerned, all of these people voluntarily chose to be destitute.

Nevertheless, there were a couple of interesting replies. One person to my total astonishment admitted that it was labor unions that had created the middle class in America and safeguarded workers, it was a reflection of the poor health of the unions that we were seeing the kinds of income inequalities that we're seeing. I was flabbergasted to hear a repuke admit that. I also even got one poster there to admit that the growing number of uninsured in the US, which he had been inclined to dismiss as a "statistically insignificant" handful, actually was in fact quite a large group and maybe we should be concerned about that. I don't know, maybe I'm giving myself too much credit, but I almost feel like I managed to get through to a couple of them (at least those who weren't too busy calling me a brainwashed commie).

All in all, it was a rather mixed experience. On the one hand, it was kind of encouraging to be able to have any sort of at least tolerably civil conversation with these guys at all. At the same time, I was so struck by how divergent our starting assumptions are about the way the world works and how much hatred and resentment goes into their convictions. There just seems to be so little room for a middle ground, everything's a black and white imperative to these guys. And, if I'm perfectly honest with myself, I can't pretend I'm all that different: I pretty much believe that the shrub is just downright evil, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It surely is going to be a long, arduous process to try to bridge the gap between us, and it doesn't inspire me with much hope.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. They Hate Anybody Who Thinks Too Much
That's why they love Shrub!

This was an interesting read, thanks!
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Did you take a shower before coming back over here?
:D

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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Funny, that's exactly what my girlfriend asked
She wanted to make sure I'd thoroughly disinfected myself before she'd agree to be in the same room with me. Can't say I blame her, I sure felt like I needed a shower after the whole ordeal.
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. By the way...I was reading the thread over there
and it was very hard to follow who was replying to whom. Did you notice that problem as you were trying to keep up with the responses? Surely, Jim can get some better software.
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RoeBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. That is one reason...
...that I've never frequented FreeRepubic, I can't stand the layout of their message board. It must a conservative thing.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
64. Yes, its terribly annoying.
Cant imagine anyone thinking that layout is cool.
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
53. I did notice that as well
But hey, I'd just as soon these guys not have too easy a time getting together and sharing minds, if you know what I mean, so far be it from me to complain.
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11 Bravo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. I figured it had to be freeperville or GD 2004 Primary.
n/t
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. You know i just tried it
I went to free republic and registered. Then i read a few posts, and i would not dignify the viewpoints with any attention at all... Better to use real raw sewage, at least the experience will be more fulfilling... Perhaps dumping a huge load of sewage on the capital hill lawn, and then rolling in it dressed like a republican pig.

The same time you spent on FR, making love to someone, or hugging your child and listening to them. Singing a song, going for a jog,
writing a poem. Oh, free republican is sillier than all that, downright neanderthal to see such folks feel it a healthy thing what they speak... it is mental illness sewage those pigs roll in... pathological anger and hatred... they're mommy's did not love them, so nobody should be loved... sick twisted little grinches indeed.
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earthman dave Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Cognitive dissonance
If you believe that the "free market" solves all ills, then you have to believe that poor people somehow "deserve" to be poor, which is quite ridiculous. Could this be why freepers get so angrily insistent about it? It's one of the weakest points in the Official Worldview, and they must surely know how nonsensical it sounds. Hence, this kind of shouty "I know I'm right" BS - you've hit a nerve, and they have to defend.
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Katherine2 Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
81. Freepers do definitely believe
that the poor do deserve to be poor. They think that someone on minimum wage is pretty nervy for wanting to eat out once a week and complaining that they can't afford it, and if they weren't such lazy deadbeats they'd go to college and get themselves a six figure career. But expect a freeper to pay for their own kid's private school without vouchers and you're a heathen.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. been there on another board
seems they feel anyone that can't afford to send their kids to college, afford top level health care, works in a service industry job , or in some other way isn't meeting the criteria, deserves to be on the bottom. For some reason, compassionate conservatism really means fuck you, I got mine. Gaud they make me so pissed.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Those Ive talked to havent been down this track...
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 03:28 PM by CosmicVortex11
Most just bring up the right to property and say that they dont mind giving to charity as long as they control their own property. I think theres a good point here. Doesnt charity lose its moral import if its forced charity?

Also, it bring up the point that once one accepts the premise that others can control your property, what recourse is there when they spend it on things you dont approve of - i.e. funding religious organizations, anti-choice programs, etc...

It becomes a battle of pressure group politics instead of genuine charity at some point.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. You have to believe it's forced..if
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 03:39 PM by camero
You believe that your tax money goes in a little piggy bank with your name on it. An easily refuted point that noone seems to get.

The government is not a bank, we the people are the government. We tell our elected reps where to spend the money.

Since everyone pays some kind of tax at some point it becomes a matter of everybody pays and everybody gets to play.

It has nothing to do with forced charity. It is simply the poor and middle classes return on thier investment in government.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Its forced no matter what.... try not paying...
It had nothing to do with going into any piggy bank. The govermnent IS a bank when its printing money and acting as primary lender for all other banks - but its not relevant to my point.

The idea that the masses have the right to control some percentage of my wealth is where I have the problem. By what right did they aquire this power? Only one place... force. If the masses didnt have a government to back them up, how would they get my wealth? They would have to take it directly instead of sending "representatives".

Im not even going to mention the fact that the poor and middle class "invest" less in government then the rich, thereby they should get a smaller return in all fairness. If I invest 1 dollar and I make 5%, its a lot less then if I invest 1 million dollars obviously.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. The government does not print money
Duh, the Federal Reserve is a Private Corporation. The leaders are appointed by the government to fixed terms.

If you didn't have a government to "protect" your property, then you would be at the whim of the impoverished masses. Which may actually come to pass if these attitudes keep up.

And you must pay for this "protection" because you use more of the resources. And yes, when you look at how low welfare and disability payments are, the return on investment is about the same as what has been invested into it.

The other question is whether that is really that person's "wealth" or what is really tantamount to stealing from the laborer. Which is all too often what that "wealth" really is.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. The fed may be private, but it functions in lock step with the govt.
The "system" is working together. If you think the fed is totally unrelated to the government, then you need to ask yourself where their power arises from.

There are voluntary alternatives to the government providing protection besides you having a machine gun on your lawn, wanna guess what some of them are?

The laborers wealth is his labor and what he can trade it for and save. A voluntary agreement between me and the kid cutting my grass is far from me "stealing" anything from him.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. another small L libertarian I see
So you have no problem with the tyranny of private power but complain when the same tyranny comes from government. An inherently hypocritical position I must say.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I see you didnt have any alternatives....
You should read around a bit more. Theres a ton of alternatives to force. The tyranny of private power as you call it is "private property". Exactly what problem do you have with leaving my stuff alone? I fail to see how me owning, trading, and saving has anything to do with tyranny over you? Maybe you should explain your line of thought as its not making a lot of sense here.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. And of what "morality" is this notion of "property rights" based on?
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 04:13 PM by camero
A further difficulty with moral accounts of rights, in particular of property rights, is the degree to which the property rights that people actually respect seem to depend on facts that are morally irrelevant. This difficulty presents itself in libertarian accounts of property as the problem of initial acquisition. It is far from clear even in principle how unowned resources such as land can become private property. Even if one accepts an account, such as that of Locke, of how initial acquisition might justly have occurred, that account provides little justification for the existing pattern of property rights, given the high probability that any piece of property has been unjustly seized at least once since it was first cleared. Yet billions of people, now and in the past, base much of their behavior on respect for property claims that seem either morally arbitrary or clearly unjust.

There are difficulties with this sort of explanation. First, there is the empirical observation that people do not feel themselves bound to obey laws; many, perhaps most, people feel free to violate those laws (speed limits, drinking laws, customs regulations) which they disagree with and believe they can get away with breaking. Second, to the extent that people do feel a moral obligation to obey social rules, it is hard to derive that feeling from any variant of social contract theory. The traditional variants encounter the difficulty eloquently described by Lysander Spooner;<6> since we ourselves did not sign the contract we are not bound by it.

You should read more. Where was this "wealth" at the initial point of acquisition. From the laborer.


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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Initial property aquisition...
Sadly, true. But I don't see how repeating the process is any solution. Most of the 'stolen' property has had enough value added again to it, over enough time, that meaningful ownership does rest with the current owners. And, even if this is not the case, locating the original 'owners' is just about impossible. Anyone who thinks there will be no justice until all the world is given back to its original owners is hereby invited to found a 'Normans Out Of England' movement, and get back to me when the Saxons have their land back. Then we'll discuss the trendier, politically correct cases. 'Kay? (Of course, the Saxons took it from someone else, probably the Picts...)

Or to summarize: We can't all go back to Olduvai Gorge where we came from

As for Spooner - What Ive read from him rocks! Heres some of what Ive gathered from his stuff..

What is the fundamental means of production? The individual human mind and body. Who is the only rightful owner of an individual's mind and body? THAT INDIVIDUAL HIMSELF. Any system which denies ownership of the self, such as slavery, is inherently immoral and should be fought by all. Any system which preaches that the individual belongs to the state, or to society, or to the world, is a system which preaches slavery, and should be fought by all.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. It is morally correct to return stolen "property" to thier rightful owner
So if the individual has stolen from the person who originally had that "property" per se his labor. Then it is only right to return the original person his property.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Only if you can discover the first person it was stolen from...
Absolutely, if you can figure it out, then you would need to follow the line of causation out and correct ALL displacements involved.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Actually I can
Because capital is impossible to form without labor. Money doesn't grow on trees you know.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Who prey tell is the initial owner -- Adam or Eve?
If your refering to the labor point, I addressed that in my post. It sounds like you didnt read it.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. If you really believe that capital can be formed without labor
Then I suggest you do all of the work yourself. ALL of it.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Your the one suggesting returning property to its rightful owners.
Your thread was even called"

It is morally correct to return stolen "property" to thier rightful owner

I said yes, if you can find them. Why are you straying here? You said you knew the rightful owner of all property. I asked who?

Focus...
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #43
50. Yes I am
And the initial wealth is supplied by labor.

It is neither fair nor efficient for individuals to seek selfish private gain at the expense of their neighbors, of the environment, and of our unique historical treasures. As a matter of history and current practice, land use has always been subject to police power, which often has the effect of forcing land owners to address the costs of development rather than externalize these costs to society. Thus, owners have neither a "right" nor a "reasonable expectation" to use their property as they wish.

http://world.std.com/~mhuben/takings.html
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. Maybe all trades dont have a winner and loser?
What a bunch of condesending claptrap.

Land use may always have been subject to police power, but so have people always been subject to murderers, rapist, and robbers.... that dont make it right.

What I do belive in is voluntary trading between consenting peoples. If you think someone else is being exploited, then your free stew in a soup of your own propoganda, just leave us alone.

Owners can do anything they want with their property with the exception of violating others rights. YOU have no right to interfer.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. and when you fail to pay a living wage
You are violating the right to life of the laborer. Hence that makes you a thief no?
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #56
60. Fine, then dont hire them...
If you dont like the wage being offered, your free to negociate higher wages. If you cant, maybe its because your offering a product or service outside of market prices. Holding a gun to the employer's head and extorting money out of them hardly improves your moral standing of course.

I should note that it would be impossible to even define "living wage", what you would call a good wage, others would disagree.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #43
55. The state of course
Now, the Libertarian Party, is a *capitalist* party. It's in favor of what *I* would regard a *particular form* of authoritarian control. Namely, the kind that comes through private ownership and control, which is an *extremely* rigid system of domination -- people have to... people can survive, by renting themselves to it, and basically in no other way... I do disagree with them *very* sharply, and I think that they are not..understanding the *fundamental* doctrine, that you should be free from domination and control, including the control of the manager and the owner.
Noam Chomsky

http://world.std.com/~mhuben/quotes.html
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. I understand now...
Noam, along with you obviously and anarcho-socialists are under the deluded idea that working for someone else is exploitive. I disagree and think that the natural state of humans are as traders and that anything that stands between voluntary cooperation and trading is immoral. I dont think were going to overcome that particular gulf here.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #43
65. here ya go
The first man who, having fenced off a plot of land, thought of saying, 'This is mine' and found people simple enough to believe him was the real founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how many miseries and horrors might the human race had been spared by the one who, upon pulling up the stakes or filling in the ditch, had shouted to his fellow men: 'Beware of listening to this imposter; you are lost if you forget the fruits of the earth belong to all and that the earth belongs to no one.
Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1755

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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. I think that's close..
I would say.

The first farmer that fenced off his land to keep his cattle contained, and after having raised these cattle from birth, had someone stepped over the fence and helped himself to the farmers cows, in attempting to feed his family - has every right to defend his food supply. Didn't he raised them and feed them? By taking care of the cows doesn't he have every right to them?

There were you to step over his fence and take his families means of survival?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. And what "right" have you to take mine?
You just do it in the private sphear. It's still stealing.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #68
72. What tha?
I take cows, mate them, grow them.. feed them on grain I produced, and Im stealing from you? You do see the idiocy in this dont you? Please dont tell me you belive the tripe your dishing out?
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
69. How about a different tack
You keep laying emphasis on "my property" and it's from the starting assumption that you have an intrinsic right to own anything which your hard earned dollars allow you to buy that the rest of your argument flows. You ask therefore what right the masses have to express any say with regards to your property.

Okay. Let's step back from the whole labor question of how property is attained and consider the following: what if your starting assumption is that the property to which you lay claim is part of a finite resource to which a great many more people than just yourself can lay claim? Take for instance oil. Oil is a nonrenewable and finite resource - when it's gone, that's it, there is no more for anybody. Your starting point seems to suggest that, as long as you have the dollars to pay the market price for it, you should be free to buy the biggest gas guzzler on the planet, a monstrosity that measures its fuel consumption in gallons to the block. Now, when I see someone driving such a gas guzzler, what I perceive is someone who is burning up 5 times their fair share of a limited resource of which everyone, including future generations, is equally entitled to partake. So the question in my mind is, by what right do you presume to use my grandchildren's share of increasingly scarce fossil fuels? Are you really prepared to look me in the eye and tell me that your "right" to drive a macho behemoth is so indisuptable that it's worth my grandchildren having to revert back to horses and buggies because you used up all of their oil as well as your own?

Wealth is not an infinite commodity; far more than it grows, it is transferred from one person to another. For you to be able to buy lots of cheap plastic crap at MalWart, Chinese laborers need to work long hours under appalling conditions for slave wages. MalWart employees here in the US have to endure similar conditions. Small local businesses have to be run out of business by the introduction of a MalWart in their community. Other retail chains need to feel the pressure to reduce prices and adopt similarly draconian approaches towards their labor forces. All of these people have to suffer for you to be able to save a buck on your cheap plastic crap. Your acquisition of property does not take place in a vacuum; it comes at the expense of others. So why doesn't it occur to you to ask by what right do you get to compel others to do without so that you can acquire "your" property? Because you have more little pieces of green paper than some others? Sorry, I'm not impressed.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Silly statists and the enablers
So everyone owns the oil of the planet eh? I dont see you digging any of it up? It comes into bein only after someone goes through the GREAT expense of researching locations, hiring staff and equipment to drill for it, processing it, shipping it and finally it comes to you... but your going to say it belonged to you to start? Laughable.

Someone else isnt driving 5 times the amount of YOUR gas up. You dont own any gas until you get it yourself or buy it from someone.

It would take someone so programmed on their own propoganda to avoid the obvious here. You just want a moral license to rob and redistribute as you see fit. Im not going to be the one to give it to you.

The masses dont have 1 inch of right to tell me how to use "MY" property, they do so only by force and you know it.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. The thing is "YOU" don't have any property
Since only the state gave you that property. Why is there a deed then?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #71
78. More libertarianism
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
James K. Galbraith

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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
79. Bullshit
Yes, everyone does indeed own the oil of the planet, as you scoff. Digging the oil up is a service - and one for which the oil companies are amply compensated, I might add - but their performance of that service of digging up a commonly owned asset does not impart any ownership rights, although I'm sure the oil companies are delighted that you're so eager and willing to give it to them for nothing.

You insist that my only claim to a scarce global resource is my ability to purchase it with small green pieces of paper. A fascinating supposition. So, let's pose a hypothetical: what if I had enough little green pieces of paper to buy all of the land on the planet. Would I be morally entitled to evict the rest of you off of "my" land? Sorry guys, you just need to find a new planet to live on because I own it all. Why not? According to you, the only moral authority that matters is imparted by possession of little pieces of green paper, so what's the problem?

Don't you see? The end result of your argument is that might makes right. If you're bigger, stronger, richer, whatever, then you automatically have all of the authority you need to do anything you want to anyone, because, after all, all that matters is your ability to amass wealth. So why do we bother writing laws at all? Congratualtions, you've just returned us to the days of the lawless wild west. You should head over to freerepublic.com, you'd fit right in.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. I have my suspisions
He may actually be there. :shrug:
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #80
82. You could well be right
I suddenly noticed that his profile dates back only to yesterday, pretty much exactly the same time that I was making my foray to the dark side at FR. And his views correspond almost identically to those that I heard espoused there. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it wouldn't surprise me if a freeper, following my lefty thread at FR, were to conclude that turnabout is fair play.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #82
83. with post 79
I think you got him running home with his tail between his legs. Good job and great points. :)
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
10. I know freepers are reading this
Wouldn't you think that if we became more Socialistic in nature, that an American brand of Socialism would be better than the others? With this wealth and work ethic, I would imagine a very robust and successful type of Democratic Socialism + Capitalism that would be very successful. If you were to only suggest a socialized medical program, one that would also include incentives for doctors and researchers, think of the huge moral boost from the populace? My government wants me to live and be healthy. I for one, would have a new respect for my government and want to see it live and be healthy as well.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Im not a freeper, but maybe I can guess at it.
Im not a conservative or liberal. Im a proponent of freedom - social AND economic. Socialism by definition implies confiscation of wealth and systematic plunder. I always here about socialism being great in principle but bad in practice, but I think its bad in principle.

The concept that a person by forced to share their wealth inplies stealing that wealth (obviously since the definition of theft is taking without permission). Most socialist gloss over this loss of ethics by saying the end is more important then the means and that we "help people".
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I accept that if and ONLY if
that same freeper has the congruency to deny that "welfare" to corporations and politicians. If they bang on about individual welfare, and do not oppose free state benefits to business owners, then the position stinks. An example is the subsidy for cotton production, a taxpayer gift of, if memory serves: 280 dollars per acre of cotton in production, a gift from the taxpayer to cotton growing corporations.

As it stands, they are not actually against welfare at all... rather just the welfare of poor people. How ignorants like that can make
any claim to political coherency, i've given up wondering.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I agree with you... one should be consistant
I am, I think that corporate welfare stinks as bad as personal, its all the same principle and all backed by theft and transfering property from one person to another by force.
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Then could there be an argument made
that welfare could be viewed as the fine paid by corporate tax evaders? It's a messy system. But I know homeless people. Many are sick and of low mental capabilities. What should be done with them? Most of these idealized versions of the perfect model cannot include the misfits or recessive types.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I would say we need to help them best we can...
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 04:04 PM by CosmicVortex11
but without reaching in others pockets mind you. I would go a LONG way to help someone down on their luck, but I want to do it.

If I give some other entity permission to just tap into my wallet as they or the masses sees fit, it can grow far beyond my control and it may just end up putting ME on the street when taken far enough. I know how much I can spare and I dont think anyone else is qualified to guess those numbers..
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. Here's your entity
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 04:25 PM by camero
Taxation is theft because we have a right to squat in the US and benefit from defense, infrastructure, police, courts, etc. without obligation. But private abuse of power and unliveable wages are not theft?


Only government is force, no matter how many Indians were killed by settlers to acquire their property, no matter how many blacks were enslaved and sold by private companies, no matter how many heads of union members are broken by private police.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. You should follow the initial property thread
This line of reasoning is being discussed there.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. Your not doing very well
Because noone gets by without help. Noone.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Actually Im doing fine.
My lifestyle is ok. That is what your refering too right?

Help? What type of help. My kid helped me take out the garbage today. That kinda help?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #46
58. Did you pay him?
Guess not. :eyes:
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #58
74. Nope, I exploited him as much as I could
Told him to do it and be happy I didnt beat him and make him mine the coal out of the ground out back.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #74
77. I'm sure you did
How are things at FR anyway?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. Hooray for private power and individuals
It's time the new pro-freedom libertarian platform was implemented; child labor, orphanages, sweatshops, poorhouses, company towns, monopolies, trusts, cartels, blacklists, private goons, slumlords, etc.
:eyes:
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Sounds more like Soviet Russia
Besides, most of what you outline could be traced to government interference - which of course you would ignore.

Weve jumped far beyond the inital issues that were discussed and it always comes down to such muckthrowing when one cant defend ones position. But, lets see if we can disect this baraage of slurs..

1. Child labor - fine, let em starve... which is what happens in poor countries that do this before market matures. I think your being a bit mean towards the kids asking them to give away their means of survival.

2. Orphanages - these exist in any system as far as Im aware, but at least if the market was introduced, you could get a kid pretty cheap. Make up your mind, you want the kids in orphanages or with families?

3. Sweatshops - exactly what tempature is required to designate something as a sweatshop? I sweat all the time at my job, but its because Im working hard, not due to the thermostat.

4. Poorhouses - obviously the only way to deal with the poor is to destroy the free market where they might get a job.... ack!

5. Company towns - as long as all contract are voluntary, I have no problem here. Its not my or your buisness if a company buys large areas and its not our buissness if people choose to work there.

6. Monopolies - the only possible coersive monopoly is one created by government. Your free to compete in any field otherwise.

7. Trusts - These are legal creations made to avoid punitive confiscatory policies, take away the policies and trusts go away.

8. Cartels - the work for a while, but eventually, someone will enter the market and offer equitable goods or services for lower costs. Impossible to maintain in the longrun.

9. Blacklists - not sure how this is realted just to the market, dont you blacklist babysitters of your kids if the screw up?

10. Private goons - their better or worse then government goons?

11. Slumlords - obivously people offering less then mansion type housing for pennies should be shot... So evil.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Also Pre-New Deal America
Hilarious. All while denying that lassez faire capitalism also descends to this point. Excuses Excuses. :eyes:

Other examples: Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, Colonial Britian

All private Oligarchies
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. So you contract your statement....
You attributed all this to market economics, then you admit they exist in a practically all systems. Too funny.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. Which is what I have been saying all along
You are the one who sees no problem with private tyranny.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. libertarian eyes seeing human rights
I think the libertarians are right in many ways, especially with social liberalism. It makes me angry to see tax money wasted on repressing individual liberties.

I also believe that it is a human right to healthcare, and by ensuring decent public standards of care, the overall costs to society and individual liberty are lower than by not providing universal medical care.

If you can apply libertarianism to this universal declaration of human rights yet not violate them, then we're very similar indeed... just without some realism, libertarian's sound as barking mad as communist purists.

The following rights are the ones that america hates about human rights, and why america does not endorse them. How do you see them with libertarian eyes?

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. Some great points!
I agree with some of what your saying... but I dont understand others, like let me address these issues outlined in these articles.

Article 23
1. at whos expense? Who do I hold the gun to and make them give me a job? Why am I entitled to their capital, investment, etc...

2. What if the demand for a service or good is different in my area then another? Should an orange picker in Alaska make the same as one in Florida? Why do I get to interfer with a contract others have created - by what right? Should oil be sold for the same amount on the atlantic coast then Kansas? How is it my buisness?

3. Once again, at whos expense? Where do I point the gun?

4. I have no problem with trade unions, as long as they dont have government backing them. As a buisness owner, my property is mine and forcing me to deal with entities I choose not too is also immoral.

Article 24
Right to rest? What if that non-productivity means you go hungry? Does that mean you can then go over to your nieghbor and steal from them?

Article 25
Once again -- at whos expense, where do I point the gun?

Article 26
1. I get the right to force someone to teach my kids? What if they refuse? Is the penalty death or imprisonment?

2. Education should be determined by whoever owns the school. If what their teaching isnt wanted, thell go out of buisness pretty quick.

3. Finally! Something I agree with totally. If I dont like school A, I should be able to purchase this product from school B.

Article 27
1. I agree that people should be free to do anything they want except violating the rights of others.

2. Not sure where their going with this. Whatever art you make and sell is your buisness. If noone wants it, then it wont get sold.




Right to healthcare - at whos expense? I have to MAKE a doctor care for me? What if he doesnt want to? What is he doesnt like what Im paying? Do I just pull out the old gun again (or get my representatives to do it for me?).
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #34
63. You embed endemic viewpoints
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 06:00 PM by sweetheart
in your responses to the human rights articles.

Firstly, i respect your take, if this appears brutal, i apologize in advance.

Your views expressed involve "I", speaking regarding the only competent authority, the empowered individual, of the libertarian idyll. The rights you critique were drafted at the end of world war 2, by the survivors, to ensure that humanity would never again repeat the mistake they lived through.

I find your failure to recognize the entire human rights reference, a sign of glibness, as indeed, even you support that your grandparent has the right to not starve in old age. A minimalist system of administration in a government state, could ensure these paltry rights for citizens, at very tiny cost to free coexistance.

It is a sign, that in reality the economic system is highly planned, and that the best are not really the best, but the "chosen" and princes of the oligarchy. That "free" trade economic system today is practically centrally planned.

What are your views on military spending and buildup on national defense, weapon sales abroad and 160 empire military bases? I would hope a true libertarian would be standing down on the primary cause of human misery in the developing world, light arms, broken states, and disease.

I would addend the friedman's perfect economic man, with a collectivist "transplant". In this sense, the enlightened individual who's walking the corrodors of chicago, might catch TB as she passes by a bus station. This individual's health is linked to the public health. It is an issue of biowarfare and public herd survival. Every "man" for himself, as noble the original principal is, can't deny the realities that sometimes the best action, in terms of his own long term health, is the erradication of public diseases by providing good public health. This argument is the libertarian POV, completely, just with the enlightened awareness that helthcare and some such public concerns really are issues of all citizens, not just orwell's pigs of the animal farm.

Ending the drugs war would cut most crime, however child labour is something a civil society can't regress on. There are global standards of civility, libertarianism shirks reality for fantastic unreality... as much as anyone suggests of anarchists or neocons for that matter ideological pure land, perfect ice, and a perfect vacuum.

I think that as a libertarian, if you crawl towards the trenches of real life, that a minimal state could have you much closer to your socially liberal friends than the business free marketeers of the opposite ilk. But social liberals will extract that labour rights, and healthcare consolation from the fantastic libertarian, and in return the libertarian gets a total end to social morality statutes, the drugs laws, prostitution, gay marriage, fundamentalist christian paedophilia and free gun ownership.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. All that and you missed the point....
First of all, I do think that Libertarians have a great deal in common with Democrats, which is exactly why I'm here. Of course my views expressed involve the I, the alternative course is to hold some other entity and is more competent to make decisions that I am , which would be very shallow sense of self and a very low self-esteem to boot.

As far as my views on military spending, I think there are better ways to handle national security rather than one giant monolithic system. The don't want to go into them now as I think they would distract from the central points.

I agree that the drug war should be stopped immediately , but I don't think that you can remove child labor from certain markets in the poor countries. After all , a lot of these families are dependent on their income. In time the market will mature to the point where there labor is not required.

As for the issue of biowarfare, I think a large part of the problem stems from the fact that we have made ourselves a very noticeable target. I think our interference in foreign affairs simply amplifies the odds of us getting attacked by foreign powers. Obviously , the more we meddle, the more were going to be targeted. As for general public health, I think statistically speaking, most people would choose to be vaccinated , if it were cheap and affordable to do so , as measured against the relative risk.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #66
84. Cool side of libertarianism
Even when i disagree with it, i find it compelling, and am sorta agreeable to the thinking.

Thank you for making a compelling argument. It is not made often enough.

peace,
-s
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Welcome to DU
:toast:
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Thanks... I know Im not the standard liberal but...
Edited on Sat Feb-14-04 04:01 PM by CosmicVortex11
Im definately against those wacky conservatives that want to control my social freedoms... it does seem hard sometimes as it seems like the left wants to interfer with my economic freedoms...

I know all lefties arnt like this which is why Im testing the waters here to see how hostile people might be to such crazy notions :)
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
48. Hey Cosmic?
The notion that you are the best resource for donations to the downtrodden is a formula for massive starvation. The most generous people I've ever met were poor, to a fault. I know very poor and very rich people. Without question, poor people give to poorer people, keeping them afloat. Rich people have been programmed to know that poor people are drug addicts, prostitutes, lazy bums, and overall evil. So, maybe you're a giver, but how can these folks survive on the generousity if there aren't enough generous folk?
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Isnt this the same answer given by that desperado....
when asked why he was robbing banks?

Because thats where the money is!

It doesnt matter if party X had a million dollars and party Y is starving. If party X wants to help party Y, he can... but hes not "obligated" to do so and you have no right to force him (and you have no right to send your "representitives" over to rob him).

The best we can do for these people is to assist through voluntary means, as anything else is unethical.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #49
57. Libertarianism is Anarchy
Anarcho-capitalists are against the State simply because they are capitalists first and foremost. Their critique of the State ultimately rests on a liberal interpretation of liberty as the inviolable rights to and of private property. They are not concerned with the social consequences of capitalism for the weak, powerless and ignorant. Their claim that all would benefit from a free exchange in the market is by no means certain; any unfettered market system would most likely sponsor a reversion to an unequal society with defense associations perpetuating exploitation and privilege. If anything, anarcho-capitalism is merely a free-for-all in which only the rich and cunning would benefit. It is tailor-made for 'rugged individualists' who do not care about the damage to others or to the environment which they leave in their wake. The forces of the market cannot provide genuine conditions for freedom any more than the powers of the State. The victims of both are equally enslaved, alienated and oppressed.
Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism

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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. Totally wrong....
Ancaps from what Ive read want a world without coercion. How you extrapolate all that nonsense from that is beyond me.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. Libertarianism technically is statism too..
They just want to be masters of the minimal state - and are incapable of answering on a justification on why they deserve to rule as much as democrats and republicans.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #62
70. Masters of slavery more like it
The argument for laissez-faire capitalism is built on a contradictory view of liberty. Right-wing libertarians understand that state control of all economic activity is tyrannical: that the power to determine if and how people make a living is the power to enforce conformity. But they don't see that the huge transnational corporations that own and control most of the world's wealth exercise a parallel tyranny: not only do these behemoths unilaterally determine qualifications, wages, hours, and working conditions for millions of workers, who (if they're lucky) may "choose" from a highly restricted menu of jobs or "choose" to stop eating; they make production, investment and lending decisions that profoundly affect the economic, social, and political landscape of communities and indeed entire countries -- decisions in which the great majority of people affected have little or no voice. Murray defines economic freedom as "the right to engage in voluntary and informed exchanges of goods and services without restriction." Fine -- but if an economic transaction is to be truly voluntary and informed, all parties must have equal power to accept, reject, or influence its terms, as well as equal access to information. Can anyone claim that corporate employers and employees have equal power to negotiate their exchange? Or that consumers have full access to information about the products they buy? And if we're really interested in freedom, the right to voluntary and informed engagement in economic transactions has to be extended beyond their principals to others affected -- whether by plants that reduce air quality or rent increases that chase out shoe repair shops in favor of coffee bars. The inconsistency of the belief that economic domination by the state destroys freedom, while economic domination by capital somehow enhances it, is often rationalized by attributing the self-interested decisions of the corporate elite to objective, immutable principles like "the invisible hand" or "supply and demand" -- just as state tyranny has claimed to embody the laws of God or History. But the real animating principle of a free society is democracy -- which should include a democratic economy based on enterprises owned and controlled by their workers.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #70
73. Like any party is any better?
Let me see if I can boil this diatriabe down.

You want to squash free trade amongst voluntary and consenting adults?
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. When one has more power than the other
It is neither voluntary nor consenting.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-15-04 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #57
85. pure and utter selfishness
What I have read on this thread from that one CosmicVortex is simple selfishness. "I got mine, to hell with anyone else". It is that attitude that has led to the Enrons of this world, to all those jobs being moved offshore. None of those corporations have any loyalty to this country.

I guess libertarians must not use roads, schools or libraries either. And I guess they better not call 911 since they don't want to be taxed to pay for it. Poor people are not poor because they WANT to be; it is because of the inequalities in our system. Housing costs alone eat up most of what anyone can make on minimum wage. THen there is health care. We all pay for those without health insurance. That is partly why your rates are so high. The other part is the obscene amounts of money given to the officers of these corporations.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
25. Hi, KevinJ
Welcome back from the dark side into the light!! :hi:

I read as much of that thread as I could tolerate but the lack of compassion and the pervasive, ill-informed belief that the poor are poor by choice and deserving of their fate just sickened me. I wonder if they'll be singing that tune when their jobs get outsourced and their unemployment runs out.

You're a brave soul and did a good job over there. That place just creeps me out. :scared:
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. Well, hey there, Gloria!
How are you doing these days? I haven't heard from you in ages! Please drop me a note some time if you can find a free minute. I'm back in grad school so am up to my eyeballs in reading, but I promise to take time out to reply! :hi:
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mountainvue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
27. Funny
my first thought before I read your post was "They don't care." I was right.
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CosmicVortex11 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
47. Response.
Q: Some people would say you are insensitive to the needs of oppressed people.

A: They'd be wrong. I'm insensitive, period. I scored a perfect 100 on the Thinking/Feeling axis of the Meyers/Briggs test. (I'm an INTP, if anyone cares) My childhood idol was Mr. Spock. (Also, Dr. Smith from 'Lost in Space', Gollum from 'The Hobbit', Scrooge (before he reformed) and the Grinch (ditto).)

:)
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Response to Original message
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 05:24 PM
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52. They forget to take into account that...
Public education sucks for most people living in poor school districts, the government is supposed to provide all of those services that they mention but doesn't because chimpy and Republican state governments cut their funding, and they forget that some people work 2 or 3 jobs and don't have time to go to night school.
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