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  1. #131
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You could have just written: "I don't really know. It just sounds like there would be to me, but I have no proof."
    I could have, but that wouldn't really be what I meant, so it wouldn't be a very good idea for me to say that. In fact it'd be pretty misleading.

    We're talking about political philosophy, an inherently subjective topic, and you're asking for "proof." That alone is evidence that you're missing the whole point. Nobody has definitive proof that any governmental system is the best--otherwise there wouldn't be any debate on the topic. It'd be settled and anyone using a different system would be objectively wrong, and yet that's not the case.

    I can explain my position as to why Libertarianism is rife with problems that you don't recognize, but would it really make a difference? Since you refuse to accept any philosophical ideas without "proof" (which, again, is totally irrelevant in this context), I'm not sure how I'm supposed to explain it to you.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I could have, but that wouldn't really be what I meant, so it wouldn't be a very good idea for me to say that. In fact it'd be pretty misleading.

    We're talking about political philosophy, an inherently subjective topic, and you're asking for "proof." That alone is evidence that you're missing the whole point. Nobody has definitive proof that any governmental system is the best--otherwise there wouldn't be any debate on the topic. It'd be settled and anyone using a different system would be objectively wrong, and yet that's not the case.

    I can explain my position as to why Libertarianism is rife with problems that you don't recognize, but would it really make a difference? Since you refuse to accept any philosophical ideas without "proof" (which, again, is totally irrelevant in this context), I'm not sure how I'm supposed to explain it to you.

    There is more proof than you seem to be suggesting here. Of course there will be disagreements over what the government should do and what it should not do, but you CAN chart the course of what happens as a result to government involvement. Like, we know that high tariffs are bad for both countries that want to export into the high-tariff country AND for consumers in that country. We saw that poverty rates did not fall after years of a War on Poverty. We see that more drugs come into the country every year despite spending billions on interdiction and arrests. There are definitely things we can look at and say "This is bad. We should stop this and try something else." Some people hold beliefs that are based on mistaken information, or they are based on no real information at all. With democratic elections, they count just as much as everyone else.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #133
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    There is more proof than you seem to be suggesting here. Of course there will be disagreements over what the government should do and what it should not do, but you CAN chart the course of what happens as a result to government involvement. Like, we know that high tariffs are bad for both countries that want to export into the high-tariff country AND for consumers in that country. We saw that poverty rates did not fall after years of a War on Poverty. We see that more drugs come into the country every year despite spending billions on interdiction and arrests. There are definitely things we can look at and say "This is bad. We should stop this and try something else." Some people hold beliefs that are based on mistaken information, or they are based on no real information at all. With democratic elections, they count just as much as everyone else.
    I agree with you on a variety of issues, like the war on drugs, for instance. Seems like an awfully big waste of money for very little tangible gain.

    But every political movement has its benefits as well as its downsides; if the outcome were seen as universally bad by everyone then we would not use such policies in the first place. You're glossing over the advantages of things that you see greater disadvantages in, and then declaring that they have no advantage whatsoever.

    You really love to quote statistics but often you fail to combine your endless data sets into any real meaningful information. You love to just quote some numbers from one limited set of conditions and declare it obvious proof that your hard right thinking is objectively correct across the board again, and that's not how it works.

    Worse yet, you repeatedly refer to the entire school of thought of liberalism as ignorant and pretend that it would just go away if people had a basic understanding of economics, which is childish, naive and flat out uninformed about the principles of liberalism. As if liberals would all just turn conservative if they'd take Econ 101! What a joke...doesn't it seem more likely that you simply don't really grasp the value in these principles/don't understand the actual basis of liberalism?

    As for the problems with libertarianism--here's a nice empiricist, conservative argument for you: If it was really that great, don't you think more than 1% of the country would get behind it? Or is it just that you're part of the 1% of the population who's most educated about politics, and that anyone who isn't libertarian must just be uneducated? Somehow I doubt it.

    My basic issue with libertarianism is its rigid dogma regarding redistribution of wealth. Libertarians choose a hard right position on this issue in virtually 100% of situations, regardless of what negative consequences might result. Perhaps the biggest problem is the young white male libertarian front that simply reasons: "Well I'm a young white upper middle class suburban male, and I'm doing just fine economically. Why isn't everyone?"

    The implication, of course, being that anyone who isn't doing well is clearly not working hard enough. If you're doing badly it's totally 100% your fault, suck it up, loser! This all-too-common position totally ignores the concept of different socioeconomic conditions leading to different economic opportunities. Libertarians love to believe that all of their successes are due 100% entirely to their own hard work, because by God, we pulled ourselves up by our boot straps! Our success had NOTHING to do with random chance because we're the hardest workers EVAR!!

    Except not. One major problem with libertarians and their hypocritical socioeconomic philosophy: The same amount of hard work doesn't always translate into the same amount of success. And yet you parade "hard work" as the key to life as if once you start working hard, everything will just automatically fall into place! Ironically, many such young white male libertarians were born into their success, but they sure don't let that stop the delusions of grandeur/make believe that they did it all on their own. Oh gosh, it's so simple! HOW COULD I NOT HAVE SEEN IT BEFORE??

    "Not doing well? JUST WORK HARDER! I'm an upper middle class suburban white male and it worked for me!!!"


    EDIT: One helpful concept here is to consider a poker tournament. I dunno if you have any background on this, but basically, everyone pays the same amount into a big prize pot and plays until one person wins all the chips, and there's a predetermined structure as to which places get how much money. Roughly 10,000 people enter into the World Series of Poker each year.

    Hundreds of professional players, among the best in the world, play in the WSOP every year, and yet the last 6 years running, the winner has been some random no-name amateur. How can this be?

    Because life, like poker, is still ultimately dependent upon random chance in the short term. You can improve your chances of success by working harder/playing better, but even playing perfectly doesn't guarantee that you'll win anything. There are people who lucked into extreme success in life with very little work and people who have worked their asses off their entire lives and still have nothing. The libertarian fantasy that "Just work harder dur hurr hurrr!!" is always the answer to socioeconomic failure is childish, idealistic and short-sighted.

    (I can just imagine Jerry Yang saying to Phil Ivey--"Well, sorry you didn't win this year, Phil. Better step up your inferior game next year!")
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I agree with you on a variety of issues, like the war on drugs, for instance. Seems like an awfully big waste of money for very little tangible gain.
    It's a pretty obvious failure.


    But every political movement has its benefits as well as its downsides; if the outcome were seen as universally bad by everyone then we would not use such policies in the first place. You're glossing over the advantages of things that you see greater disadvantages in, and then declaring that they have no advantage whatsoever.
    Did Nazism and Stalinism have their benefits? Not really. Spiffy uniforms, big artillery pieces, and trains that run on time don't really count when your country has become a broke, homicidal nightmare.


    You really love to quote statistics but often you fail to combine your endless data sets into any real meaningful information. You love to just quote some numbers from one limited set of conditions and declare it obvious proof that your hard right thinking is objectively correct across the board again, and that's not how it works.
    How exactly would the data set become "real meaningful information" in your book? What happens when the data continues to pile up and it points in one direction? And don't call my thinking "hard right." That right there demonstrates a lack of understanding of libertarianism that should give you pause before you expound on it.


    Worse yet, you repeatedly refer to the entire school of thought of liberalism as ignorant and pretend that it would just go away if people had a basic understanding of economics, which is childish, naive and flat out uninformed about the principles of liberalism. As if liberals would all just turn conservative if they'd take Econ 101! What a joke...doesn't it seem more likely that you simply don't really grasp the value in these principles/don't understand the actual basis of liberalism?
    No, not at all. Many left-wingers would continue to be left-wingers even if they studied economics, because they wouldn't care about the economic considerations, which they would deem to be secondary, tertiary, or not at all important compared to their concept of social justice. However, there is no way you can tell me that many left-wingers' beliefs aren't based on opposition to right-wing thinking and that they wouldn't lean more libertarian if they studied econ more. Do you think that people get more economically conservative as they grow older for no good reason? Or do you think that it happens because they grow tired of paying excessive taxes? Life educates them as adults, but they may have been singing a more laissez-faire tune when younger had they had more education. As I've said, this isn't universal, but it is true in many cases.


    As for the problems with libertarianism--here's a nice empiricist, conservative argument for you: If it was really that great, don't you think more than 1% of the country would get behind it? Or is it just that you're part of the 1% of the population who's most educated about politics, and that anyone who isn't libertarian must just be uneducated? Somehow I doubt it.
    No, I don't think so. Many (maybe even most) people are scared to death of untrammeled freedom. Most people like the puffy words of our Founding Fathers, and they maybe even love the idea of personal liberty, but they don't want the personal responsibility along with it, or they think that personal liberty is fine FOR THEM, but not for the poor, or the uneducated, or the immigrant, or whatever. Libertarians, on average, have had more formal education than liberals or conservatives, but that doesn't hold true for poli sci or econ. We usually seek those subjects out for fun and our own edification.


    My basic issue with libertarianism is its rigid dogma regarding redistribution of wealth. Libertarians choose a hard right position on this issue in virtually 100% of situations, regardless of what negative consequences might result. Perhaps the biggest problem is the young white male libertarian front that simply reasons: "Well I'm a young white upper middle class suburban male, and I'm doing just fine economically. Why isn't everyone?"
    Not at all. When you believe in PRINCIPLES, you want them applied equally throughout the populace. When you believe in rights to private property, you don't want them abridged. Taking from one group of people to give to another really is NOT fair.

    And stop writing "hard right." It's so incorrect as to be offensive.


    The implication, of course, being that anyone who isn't doing well is clearly not working hard enough. This all-too-common position totally ignores the concept of different socioeconomic conditions leading to different economic opportunities. Libertarians love to believe that all of their successes are due 100% entirely to their own hard work, because by God, we pulled ourselves up by our boot straps! Our success had NOTHING to do with random chance because we're the hardest workers EVAR!!
    When did I say that people who aren't doing well isn't working hard enough? That is a straw man of the highest order. No one with a brain would argue that someone who grew up wealthy and well-educated didn't have a better start in life than someone who grew up in a project with a drug-addled single mother. Your assessment is completely and totally invalid. You have no idea what you are talking about. For real.


    Except not. One major problem with libertarians and their hypocritical socioeconomic philosophy: The same amount of hard work doesn't always translate into the same amount of success. And yet you parade "hard work" as the key to life as if once you start working hard, everything will just automatically fall into place! Oh gosh, it's so simple! HOW COULD I NOT HAVE SEEN IT BEFORE??

    "Not doing well? JUST WORK HARDER! I'm an upper middle class suburban white male and it worked for me!!!"
    You're off the rails. This is the most full of shit post you've ever made. I highly doubt that you've even read a major libertarian text. You sound like you're quoting Anti-Libertarian FAQ or something.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #135
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Did Nazism and Stalinism have their benefits? Not really. Spiffy uniforms, big artillery pieces, and trains that run on time don't really count when your country has become a broke, homicidal nightmare.
    I know an INTJ who is a self-described fascist because he holds the good of the state above the good of the individual on principle. He's totally against most forms of civil liberties.

    I don't agree with him at all, but yes, his system does have benefits as did the ones you mention. Your last sentence here is an arbitrary value judgment--not everybody holds the same standards for what makes a "good society" as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How exactly would the data set become "real meaningful information" in your book? What happens when the data continues to pile up and it points in one direction? And don't call my thinking "hard right." That right there demonstrates a lack of understanding of libertarianism that should give you pause before you expound on it.
    American libertarianism is a hard right economic philosophy because it so completely opposes leftist economic policy. Terms like "leftist" and "rightist" only have meaning relative to each other, so in the context of modern American politics, being opposed to nearly all redistribution of wealth on principle is, in fact, a hard right position.

    According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.



    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, not at all. Many left-wingers would continue to be left-wingers even if they studied economics, because they wouldn't care about the economic considerations, which they would deem to be secondary, tertiary, or not at all important compared to their concept of social justice. However, there is no way you can tell me that many left-wingers' beliefs aren't based on opposition to right-wing thinking and that they wouldn't lean more libertarian if they studied econ more. Do you think that people get more economically conservative as they grow older for no good reason? Or do you think that it happens because they grow tired of paying excessive taxes? Life educates them as adults, but they may have been singing a more laissez-faire tune when younger had they had more education. As I've said, this isn't universal, but it is true in many cases.
    People tend to get more economically conservative as they get older because people are selfish. It's the same reason liberals tend to be people who have relatively little and want to change the system so that they'll have more, and that conservatives tend to be people who have relatively more and don't want to change the system so that they don't lose it.

    It's not because conservative policy is inherently better; it's because most people vote based on what benefits them personally (like libertarians) and ignore any broader socioeconomic implications. "If it helps ME then it's great!"

    And no, I don't think that studying more economics would make most liberals more libertarian. I think that's a wet dream of yours based on your own rigid pro-libertarian bias and erroneous assumption that liberalism is somehow synonymous with economic ignorance.

    Also, I'm not sure how you missed this obvious connection, but--higher levels of education are conducive to making more money, which is in turn conducive to holding more economically conservative views. You seem to have assumed that this is because libertarianism is simply a "more educated" viewpoint, but it's not--you've confused cause and effect.

    It's not "I have studied economics"-->"I now realize that libertarianism is fundamentally better in principle because I am more educated"; it's:

    "I have finished a degree of higher education"-->"My skills are now more marketable so I make more money"-->"I now support economically conservative ideals because now that I have more money, they directly benefit me."


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, I don't think so. Many (maybe even most) people are scared to death of untrammeled freedom. Most people like the puffy words of our Founding Fathers, and they maybe even love the idea of personal liberty, but they don't want the personal responsibility along with it, or they think that personal liberty is fine FOR THEM, but not for the poor, or the uneducated, or the immigrant, or whatever. Libertarians, on average, have had more formal education than liberals or conservatives, but that doesn't hold true for poli sci or econ. We usually seek those subjects out for fun and our own edification.
    Kind of like how automatic opposition to virtually all redistribution of wealth is great as long as you already have a comfortable amount of wealth, right?




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Not at all. When you believe in PRINCIPLES, you want them applied equally throughout the populace. When you believe in rights to private property, you don't want them abridged. Taking from one group of people to give to another really is NOT fair.
    Here's your problem again--you pick a generally good concept, like rights to private property, and then completely blow it out of proportion and get your panties in a wad if it's not enforced 100% of the time in 100% of situations. Nobody is suggesting that we do away with the concept of private property, just that it has limitations and there are certain situations where conditions necessitate that it be subservient to other values.

    That in itself is why I tell you you don't recognize the practical problems. You reason "Right to private property is good" = "No one should ever be forcibly separated from his private property in any case no matter what", which is unrealistic and naive.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And stop writing "hard right." It's so incorrect as to be offensive.
    Automatic opposition to virtually all forms of redistribution of wealth, as is the standard for modern American libertarianism, is a hard right position. Sorry, but it's true.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    When did I say that people who aren't doing well isn't working hard enough? That is a straw man of the highest order. No one with a brain would argue that someone who grew up wealthy and well-educated didn't have a better start in life than someone who grew up in a project with a drug-addled single mother. Your assessment is completely and totally invalid. You have no idea what you are talking about. For real.
    I can see that you haven't put together the pieces yet/don't understand how my argument here applies to libertarianism. Here you go:

    Libertarianism places individual property rights above basic human rights in any situation where the two are forced to conflict. Since libertarians see no reason to allow governmental redistribution of wealth in order to achieve any measure of socioeconomic equality, "Just work harder!" is literally the only option left by your philosophy for anyone who's having a difficult time economically.

    The answer always seems to be, "Well it's not MY problem!" Well, whose problem is it? If you oppose almost all redistribution of wealth on principle, what option do these people have other than the implicit "Work harder cause if you're struggling it's no one's problem but your own"?

    The problem is the total lack of social support net due to overemphasis on individual property rights. Individual property rights are good to have, but that doesn't mean they should automatically take precedence over all other values in every situation. (This is what I meant about Ne--it lets me value certain principles while still knowing where their value stops for practical reasons. There IS such a thing as too much of a good thing!)


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You're off the rails. This is the most full of shit post you've ever made. I highly doubt that you've even read a major libertarian text. You sound like you're quoting Anti-Libertarian FAQ or something.
    Oh, please. The word "Libertarian" has a different connotation in modern American politics than it does in other places in the world or what it did in the past. Libertarian socialism, for instance, doesn't even believe in the concept of private property at all, so clearly the word "Libertarian" means many different things in different contexts. I've been to college and taken basic political philosophy and economics courses, so you can save the crass bullshit, thanks.

    As for modern American libertarianism, the term has come to mean very economically conservative+very socially liberal. (These terms are meaningless without a basis for comparison, but you get the idea.) The current American LP doctrine does include dramatically reducing the size of government and eliminating as much redistribution of wealth as possible, and this is why I continue to refer to you as economically hard right.


    P.S.,

    A quote from The American Libertarian Party's platform:

    Quote Originally Posted by Libertarian Party Platform
    2.0 Economic Liberty

    A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
    = hard right in the context of today's political climate. Sorry buddy.

    Why don't you clarify, then, exactly what form of "libertarianism" it is that you support, since you are apparently neither hard right nor in favor of the main principles of your purported political philosophy?

    Since apparently none of my criticisms actually apply to your belief system at all, I'd love to hear what it is that makes you libertarian!
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I know an INTJ who is a self-described fascist because he holds the good of the state above the good of the individual on principle. He's totally against most forms of civil liberties.

    I don't agree with him at all, but yes, his system does have benefits as did the ones you mention. Your last sentence here is an arbitrary value judgment--not everybody holds the same standards for what makes a "good society" as you.
    Those aren't benefits. I was being facetious. If the 20th Century taught us anything, it's that totalitarian governments are wrong. Morally wrong, economically wrong, wrong all over. If you haven't learned that lesson, then I can't do anything to help you.


    American libertarianism is a hard right economic philosophy because it so completely opposes leftist economic policy. Terms like "leftist" and "rightist" only have meaning relative to each other, so in the context of modern American politics, being opposed to nearly all redistribution of wealth on principle is, in fact, a hard right position.
    Incorrect. First of all, left vs. right in this instance doesn't leave any room for the vast array of different political beliefs one might have, and secondly, you're making a circular definition. "Libertarianism is hard right!" "No, it isn't! Why would you say that?" "Because it isn't left!" That is nonsensical and reductive.


    According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.
    I hate to break it to you, but those libertarian tenets come out of CLASSICAL LIBERALISM. Not the hard right. Not conservatism. Lockean/Jeffersonian classical liberalism. Learn your intellectual history.


    People tend to get more economically conservative as they get older because people are selfish. It's the same reason liberals tend to be people who have relatively little and want to change the system so that they'll have more, and that conservatives tend to be people who have relatively more and don't want to change the system so that they don't lose it.

    It's not because conservative policy is inherently better; it's because most people vote based on what benefits them personally (like libertarians) and ignore any broader socioeconomic implications. "If it helps ME then it's great!"
    So both conservatives and liberals want to change the system so they have more? Good thing I am neither one of them, then. I'd be a libertarian even if I thought that I'd end up worse off from the system, like if my parents worked for the government when I was a child. It's not self-interest. My philosophy is based on A) rights; and B) what is best for everyone. I think I would do better in a libertarian world, but it wouldn't make it any less right if I were to suffer in some way. I can actually step outside myself and assess the situation without regard to my own self-aggrandizement. THAT is what you do not get about libertarianism.


    And no, I don't think that studying more economics would make most liberals more libertarian. I think that's a wet dream of yours based on your own rigid pro-libertarian bias and erroneous assumption that liberalism is somehow synonymous with economic ignorance.
    And what you think is wrong. 100% wrong. Rock and roll, deal with it.


    Kind of like how automatic opposition to virtually all redistribution of wealth is great as long as you already have a comfortable amount of wealth, right?
    The existence of the bailouts for Wall Street puts the lie to your line of reasoning here. Redistribution is wrong whether it goes up or down. You really do not get it.


    Here's your problem again--you pick a generally good concept, like rights to private property, and then completely blow it out of proportion and get your panties in a wad if it's not enforced 100% of the time in 100% of situations. Nobody is suggesting that we do away with the concept of private property, just that it has limitations and there are certain situations where conditions necessitate that it be subservient to other values.
    Outside of absolutely vital eminent domain situations or physical emergencies, which conditions would necessitate taking my property away from me?


    That in itself is why I tell you you don't recognize the practical problems. You reason "Right to private property is good" = "No one should ever be forcibly separated from his private property in any case no matter what", which is unrealistic and naive.
    Things aren't RIGHTS unless they are unalienable. If you can take them away at any time, they're privileges. Do you understand the difference?


    Automatic opposition to virtually all forms of redistribution of wealth, as is the standard for modern American libertarianism, is a hard right position. Sorry, but it's true.
    No, it isn't, and don't tell me that it is. You are incorrect.


    I can see that you haven't put together the pieces yet/don't understand how my argument here applies to libertarianism. Here you go:

    Libertarianism places individual property rights above basic human rights in any situation where the two are forced to conflict. Since libertarians see no reason to allow governmental redistribution of wealth in order to achieve any measure of socioeconomic equality, "Just work harder!" is literally the only option left by your philosophy for anyone who's having a difficult time economically.
    Individual property rights ARE basic human rights. They do not conflict. And your assessment of "Just work harder!" is retarded. No one has argued that. No one believes that. You just keep saying it because you are misguided. Stop it.


    The answer always seems to be, "Well it's not MY problem!" Well, whose problem is it? If you oppose almost all redistribution of wealth on principle, what option do these people have other than the implicit "Work harder cause if you're struggling it's no one's problem but your own"?
    If you are this unimaginative when it comes to solving social problems, then you need to read a lot more and think a lot harder.


    The problem is the total lack of social support net due to overemphasis on individual property rights. Individual property rights are good to have, but that doesn't mean they should automatically take precedence over all other values in every situation. (This is what I meant about Ne--it lets me value certain principles while still knowing where their value stops for practical reasons. There IS such a thing as too much of a good thing!)
    Not when those things are rights. This is where your logic fails you.


    Oh, please. The word "Libertarian" has a different connotation in modern American politics than it does in other places in the world or what it did in the past. Libertarian socialism, for instance, doesn't even believe in the concept of private property at all, so clearly the word "Libertarian" means many different things in different contexts. I've been to college and taken basic political philosophy and economics courses, so you can save the crass bullshit, thanks.
    You wouldn't know it from your posts.


    As for modern American libertarianism, the term has come to mean very economically conservative+very socially liberal. (These terms are meaningless without a basis for comparison, but you get the idea.) The current American LP doctrine does include dramatically reducing the size of government and eliminating as much redistribution of wealth as possible, and this is why I continue to refer to you as economically hard right.
    And it's incorrect.


    P.S.,

    A quote from The American Libertarian Party's platform:



    = hard right in the context of today's political climate. Sorry buddy.

    Why don't you clarify, then, exactly what form of "libertarianism" it is that you support, since you are apparently neither hard right nor in favor of the main principles of your purported political philosophy?

    Since apparently none of my criticisms actually apply to your belief system at all, I'd love to hear what it is that makes you libertarian!
    That isn't hard right. It's never going to BE hard right. YOU ARE MISTAKEN. Believe me!
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  7. #137
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Those aren't benefits. I was being facetious. If the 20th Century taught us anything, it's that totalitarian governments are wrong. Morally wrong, economically wrong, wrong all over. If you haven't learned that lesson, then I can't do anything to help you.
    Wow, more statement of your opinions as fact. Fascism does have benefits and whether it's "right" or "wrong" is a question of perception. You really seem to enjoy thinking in black and white terms in situations where more complex reasoning is required.

    This question depends on what you value most in terms of government. You can declare it objectively wrong all you want, but it doesn't grant your position any more credibility, nor does it make people want to listen to you.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Incorrect. First of all, left vs. right in this instance doesn't leave any room for the vast array of different political beliefs one might have, and secondly, you're making a circular definition. "Libertarianism is hard right!" "No, it isn't! Why would you say that?" "Because it isn't left!" That is nonsensical and reductive.
    God you're bad at this logic thing. Listen, libertarianism is a hard right economic philosophy because it's opposed on principle to almost all government involvement in economics. It's not because of circular logic or whatever nonsense you're making up; it's because this is how left vs. right is typically conceptualized and discussed in modern American politics.

    Obviously this simple dichotomy doesn't account for every issue, but it's sort of an average of one's sum total beliefs on economics and government involvement in them.

    A hard left position would be one that supports massive redistribution of wealth in the name equality, and really high tax rates to support that. Since libertarians support dramatic reduction in government and much lower levels of government involvement in economics than the average person, their position is necessarily hard right. I don't really care how many times you want to deny it.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I hate to break it to you, but those libertarian tenets come out of CLASSICAL LIBERALISM. Not the hard right. Not conservatism. Lockean/Jeffersonian classical liberalism. Learn your intellectual history.
    I'm completely at a loss as to how you find this relevant.

    Classical liberalism has a lot in common with what is now referred to as libertarianism, but the point still stands. The terms change meaning over time and the popular meaning for "libertarian" in America right now is economically far rightist. If that's not what you believe, you may want to cease referring to yourself as Libertarian until you know what the American Libertarian Party actually believes.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post

    So both conservatives and liberals want to change the system so they have more? Good thing I am neither one of them, then. I'd be a libertarian even if I thought that I'd end up worse off from the system, like if my parents worked for the government when I was a child. It's not self-interest. My philosophy is based on A) rights; and B) what is best for everyone. I think I would do better in a libertarian world, but it wouldn't make it any less right if I were to suffer in some way. I can actually step outside myself and assess the situation without regard to my own self-aggrandizement. THAT is what you do not get about libertarianism.
    No, you can't read. My post says that most conservatives don't want to change the system.

    lol "what is best for everyone" is completely relative. Not that you'd understand that concept, since you know what "definitely 100% right" and all.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And what you think is wrong. 100% wrong. Rock and roll, deal with it.
    Listen bud, do me a favor and read your own party's literature. Then compare it to views on government involvement in economics to those of American liberals. Then compare it to those of European liberals--if anything, once we consider non-American politics, the American left becomes more moderate by comparison (and the American Libertarian Party even more hard right) because American politics have more of a rightward slant than most developed nations.

    I'm still just shocked that you don't believe American libertarianism is hard right. Do you have any sense of global politics? If anything the AVERAGE American citizen is more conservative than the average world citizen, and yet the American LP is still very, very far right of the average American citizen's economic beliefs. Read your own party's literature.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    The existence of the bailouts for Wall Street puts the lie to your line of reasoning here. Redistribution is wrong whether it goes up or down. You really do not get it.
    Good lord...I don't agree; that doesn't mean I don't get it. Here you go again, automatically assuming that any redistribution is always inherently bad. You're so stuck in this viewpoint that anyone else is automatically wrong and inferior to you, and worse yet you don't even realize how far right the opinion that "all redistribution is automatically bad" is.

    Are you kidding? Do you have any idea what typical viewpoints on this are? You don't even know where your views fit into a broader political spectrum or relate to anything bigger than yourself and your own personal arbitrary morals. You can yammer on all day and type the word "WRONG" as many times as you want; it's not going to make you any less ignorant.

    Read your own party's literature and do some research on the average economic views of American (and more to the point, global) citizens.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Outside of absolutely vital eminent domain situations or physical emergencies, which conditions would necessitate taking my property away from me?
    Government isn't going to come to your house and steal your stuff; they're just taking a portion of your income, and a larger portion than you're comfortable with. This is typically justified in liberal philosopohy by pointing out that there are important causes (scientific research, medical advancement, etc.) that don't often show any real profit margin in the short term, so there's no real reason for private investors to fund them. Progress is slow and typically very unprofitable in the short term, and government is the only entity with the means and funding to do something about it.

    If you feel that you're being taxed too much, vote for someone else next time. If your views are really as common and non-extremist as you seem to believe, maybe you can get more than 1% of the country to support your candidate next time. Good luck.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Things aren't RIGHTS unless they are unalienable. If you can take them away at any time, they're privileges. Do you understand the difference?
    I don't understand why you find it necessary to operate in such limiting polar terms. Rights are conditional; you have the right to free speech but you can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater or threaten to kill the president. This doesn't man your free speech is being violated; it just means there are reasonable practical limits on rights because the real world rarely operates in absolutist terms. This is what I'm talking about with your narrow-minded black and white thinking and inability to consider politics situationally. You insist upon a degree of absolutism that is neither realistic nor particularly popular.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, it isn't, and don't tell me that it is. You are incorrect.
    Wow, terrific point, Merc. Way to go.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Individual property rights ARE basic human rights. They do not conflict. And your assessment of "Just work harder!" is retarded. No one has argued that. No one believes that. You just keep saying it because you are misguided. Stop it.
    sigh. Do I really have to explain the connection here?

    1) There are people in very shitty socioeconomic situations well below typical standards of living, due largely to crappy and unfortunate conditions which are out of their control.
    2) Such people typically get to live with a decent standard anyway as a result of governmental social support nets. This is society's way of temporarily supporting people who are in bad spots due largely to fluctuations of luck (life involves a lot of random circumstance.)
    3) If you insist that all redistribution of wealth is automatically wrong in all situations, you leave such underprivileged and unfortunate people no choice. They ask: "What am I supposed to do? I cannot generate enough income to sustain myself and my family." Your response: "That's not my problem, now leave my money alone!"

    The typical libertarian explanation for this is that all of these people are just lazy and should figure it out themselves, because hey, it's not my problem. Whose problem is it, then?

    The problem happens when every individual private citizen decides it's not his problem. Government is the only entity with the means to confront these sorts of problems.




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    If you are this unimaginative when it comes to solving social problems, then you need to read a lot more and think a lot harder.
    Unimaginative! lol, thx ESFJ




    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Not when those things are rights. This is where your logic fails you.
    No, my logic works fine because I'm capable of conceptualizing difficult problems in more complex and situational terms. I don't require the binary ABSOLUTE 100% YES NO MATTER WHAT or ABSOLUTE 100% NOT EVER simplicity that you seem to need so dearly, and it lets me see in much more realistic terms than you.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That isn't hard right. It's never going to BE hard right. YOU ARE MISTAKEN. Believe me!
    For the love of God, learn an argument line other than simple contradiction, and do some fucking research on the economic positions of typical Americans.

    Your position is much, much farther right than you think, and you don't seem to have any awareness of this sort of broader context at all. You reason, "boo hoo I hate when government takes my stuff away, all of my rights should be simplistic black and white and always apply no matter what the conditions!"

    Which is, of course, childishly simplistic. Rights are complex ideas that have to be placed in and evaluated in context to have any meaning. What you're doing is akin to whining that it's unfair that you can't yell fire in a crowded theater because it violates your freedom of speech, and it's indicative of a painfully simplistic understanding of the concepts of rights and civil liberties.

    Real life is a lot harder than a simple yes/no question, and you don't understand that at all. This is why you follow an impractical joke of a political system that 1% of the country supports, you short-sighted dolt.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Wow, more statement of your opinions as fact. Fascism does have benefits and whether it's "right" or "wrong" is a question of perception. You really seem to enjoy thinking in black and white terms in situations where more complex reasoning is required.

    This question depends on what you value most in terms of government. You can declare it objectively wrong all you want, but it doesn't grant your position any more credibility, nor does it make people want to listen to you.
    Really? "Fascism does have benefits?" Are you out of your MIND? This topic IS black and white! Even a child can understand that.


    God you're bad at this logic thing. Listen, libertarianism is a hard right economic philosophy because it's opposed on principle to almost all government involvement in economics. It's not because of circular logic or whatever nonsense you're making up; it's because this is how left vs. right is typically conceptualized and discussed in modern American politics.

    Obviously this simple dichotomy doesn't account for every issue, but it's sort of an average of one's sum total beliefs on economics and government involvement in them.

    A hard left position would be one that supports massive redistribution of wealth in the name equality, and really high tax rates to support that. Since libertarians support dramatic reduction in government and much lower levels of government involvement in economics than the average person, their position is necessarily hard right. I don't really care how many times you want to deny it.
    You're wrong. It's a false dichotomy. You're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Paleoconservatives would be "hard right" politically, right? They have a very uneasy relationship with free markets. How about National Socialism? Are they hard left because they want government direction of the economy? This paradigm doesn't fit, and it certainly doesn't fit libertarianism.


    I'm completely at a loss as to how you find this relevant.

    Classical liberalism has a lot in common with what is now referred to as libertarianism, but the point still stands. The terms change meaning over time and the popular meaning for "libertarian" in America right now is economically far rightist. If that's not what you believe, you may want to cease referring to yourself as Libertarian until you know what the American Libertarian Party actually believes.
    I am now thoroughly convinced that you have never read a leading libertarian text in your life. I never once mentioned the Libertarian Party, and you're bringing it up now. You actually just capitalized Libertarian for me, without me doing it. If you think that "libertarian" means "economically far rightist," YOU don't know what libertarianism is. That is your problem, not mine.


    No, you can't read. My post says that most conservatives don't want to change the system.
    So conservatives are all happy with Barack Obama as POTUS, $1 trillion budget deficits, and so on? They don't want to roll back gay rights or abortion? Everyone wants to change the system in some way. If you don't, you aren't political at all.


    lol "what is best for everyone" is completely relative. Not that you'd understand that concept, since you know what "definitely 100% right" and all.
    "What's best for everyone" is the whole point of libertarianism. Individual people know better about what's best for themselves than does the government or the voting populace at a whole. The public votes for things that are atavistic all the time. If it were up to the voting public, we'd lower taxes to nothing, increase spending, and go to war even more frequently than we do now. The average person can balance a checkbook, but has no idea how the government functions.


    Listen bud, do me a favor and read your own party's literature. Then compare it to views on government involvement in economics to those of American liberals. Then compare it to those of European liberals--if anything, once we consider non-American politics, the American left becomes more moderate by comparison (and the American Libertarian Party even more hard right) because American politics have more of a rightward slant than most developed nations.
    First of all, in Europe, "liberal" means what "libertarian" means here. Like the Free Democrats of Germany are considered the most "liberal" party there, because they are more laissez-faire both socially and economically. Liberal used to be our word, until it was hijacked. Second of all, you keep on mentioning the LP. Now, they are very libertarian people (when they aren't nominating Bob Barr as presidential candidate). However, you're not looking at the amazing expanse of libertarian intellectualism. You're completely and totally ignorant of this movement. You probably were unaware that the Libertarian Party was started by a coalition of Republicans/small-government conservatives who were fed up with Nixon (especially after the price and wage freezes of 1971) with members of the non-socialist New Left who were fighting for civil rights, lowering the voting age, opposing the War in Vietnam, and ending the draft.


    I'm still just shocked that you don't believe American libertarianism is hard right. Do you have any sense of global politics? If anything the AVERAGE American citizen is more conservative than the average world citizen, and yet the American LP is still very, very far right of the average American citizen's economic beliefs. Read your own party's literature.
    What libertarian literature have you ever read? I'm serious. I don't mean googling the LP platform. Any Milton Friedman? Murray Rothbard? Randy Barnett? Friedrich Hayek? ANYTHING?

    And I am very well-informed about global politics. I make it a point to be. You might want to try the same.


    Good lord...I don't agree; that doesn't mean I don't get it. Here you go again, automatically assuming that any redistribution is always inherently bad. You're so stuck in this viewpoint that anyone else is automatically wrong and inferior to you, and worse yet you don't even realize how far right the opinion that "all redistribution is automatically bad" is.
    When you have rights to life, liberty, and property, then taking forcibly from someone to give to another would be wrong. With your mentality, someone could say, "Here you go again, automatically assuming that a fair trial is always inherently good. We're in a War on Terror here! How are we going to win if we have to follow the Constitution?"


    Are you kidding? Do you have any idea what typical viewpoints on this are? You don't even know where your views fit into a broader political spectrum or relate to anything bigger than yourself and your own personal arbitrary morals. You can yammer on all day and type the word "WRONG" as many times as you want; it's not going to make you any less ignorant.

    Read your own party's literature and do some research on the average economic views of American (and more to the point, global) citizens.
    Learn what a libertarian is, or don't post about them. And let me point out the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum. People believe shit that is wrong all the time. There are like millions of people who think Barack Obama is a Muslim. You don't get to define what I believe, especially since you clearly are unfamiliar with the work of major libertarians.


    Government isn't going to come to your house and steal your stuff; they're just taking a portion of your income, and a larger portion than you're comfortable with. This is typically justified in liberal philosopohy by pointing out that there are important causes (scientific research, medical advancement, etc.) that don't often show any real profit margin in the short term, so there's no real reason for private investors to fund them. Progress is slow and typically very unprofitable in the short term, and government is the only entity with the means and funding to do something about it.
    Actually, medical advancement is one area in which the government does some of the most harm. Between insanely long and expensive trials to get drugs to the market and huge subsidies to major pharmaceutical companies, we get fewer advances with new drugs than we should, and Big Pharma gets a license to print money. They go for "sure thing" new drugs that will be popular, because it probably cost $80-100 million to get a new drug out there, and then they have to advertise and woo doctors about them. Smaller, more innovative companies that might tackle more uncommon (but devastating) illnesses or use a brand new technology have a much harder time. Medical advances would be even more frequent and beneficial if the government stayed out of things, other than making sure people aren't getting killed by quack medicine.


    If you feel that you're being taxed too much, vote for someone else next time. If your views are really as common and non-extremist as you seem to believe, maybe you can get more than 1% of the country to support your candidate next time. Good luck.
    EVERYONE is getting taxed too much. And again, argumentum ad populum. Being unpopular has nothing whatsoever to do with being right or wrong. Remember, the United States of America is NOT a democracy.

    Also, I am not even a member of the Libertarian Party. This is like arguing by correspondence with someone who is sending letters to the wrong person. You're making me laugh.


    I don't understand why you find it necessary to operate in such limiting polar terms. Rights are conditional; you have the right to free speech but you can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater or threaten to kill the president. This doesn't man your free speech is being violated; it just means there are reasonable practical limits on rights because the real world rarely operates in absolutist terms. This is what I'm talking about with your narrow-minded black and white thinking and inability to consider politics situationally. You insist upon a degree of absolutism that is neither realistic nor particularly popular.
    Rights are NOT conditional. If they are conditional, THEY ARE NOT RIGHTS. Get that through your head. Violent threats and the traditional "Fire!" in the crowded theater are not protected free speech. It's not that your right to free speech is abridged; it's that some things you can do with your speech aren't covered because there are attacks on others. Your line of reasoning is totally faulty. It's like you're telling me that I believe that, that, since we have a right to bear arms, I believe you can shoot someone in the face. You completely misunderstand the concept of natural rights here.


    Wow, terrific point, Merc. Way to go.
    Doesn't mean it's not true.


    sigh. Do I really have to explain the connection here?

    1) There are people in very shitty socioeconomic situations well below typical standards of living, due largely to crappy and unfortunate conditions which are out of their control.
    2) Such people typically get to live with a decent standard anyway as a result of governmental social support nets. This is society's way of temporarily supporting people who are in bad spots due largely to fluctuations of luck (life involves a lot of random circumstance.)
    3) If you insist that all redistribution of wealth is automatically wrong in all situations, you leave such underprivileged and unfortunate people no choice. They ask: "What am I supposed to do? I cannot generate enough income to sustain myself and my family." Your response: "That's not my problem, now leave my money alone!"

    The typical libertarian explanation for this is that all of these people are just lazy and should figure it out themselves, because hey, it's not my problem. Whose problem is it, then?
    Since when? When did you ever read this? Who has claimed this? Cite a source, or don't claim this complete bullshit. The working poor would reap some of the MOST benefits in a libertarian society. After we declared War on Poverty, we spent hundreds of billions on transfer payments, and minority poverty rates remained stagnant. You assertion that government is the only thing that is feeding and housing these people is not supported by history. One of the worst things the government has ever done in this country was make the working poor wards of the state. Between transfer payments, minimum wage laws, and absolutely shitty education in the inner cities and poor rural areas, they've set up for failure people who might otherwise have very productive lives.


    The problem happens when every individual private citizen decides it's not his problem. Government is the only entity with the means to confront these sorts of problems.
    Is it? First fire department in the United States? Volunteer. First library? Donated by a rich guy. What happens when tax rates go down on the wealthy? Charitable donations rise. And you're not even addressing the fact that almost everyone would have more income if taxes and regulations would be whittled down as much as possible.


    Unimaginative! lol, thx ESFJ
    Yeah, unimaginative. Your thinking is so reflexively "government is so good, we need it for everything" that you are not even thinking about alternatives.


    No, my logic works fine because I'm capable of conceptualizing difficult problems in more complex and situational terms. I don't require the binary ABSOLUTE 100% YES NO MATTER WHAT or ABSOLUTE 100% NOT EVER simplicity that you seem to need so dearly, and it lets me see in much more realistic terms than you.
    Some things in life are black and white, right and wrong.


    For the love of God, learn an argument line other than simple contradiction, and do some fucking research on the economic positions of typical Americans.
    I am just going to shorten argumentum ad populum to AAP now, since it's coming up every paragraph or so. AAP.


    Your position is much, much farther right than you think, and you don't seem to have any awareness of this sort of broader context at all. You reason, "boo hoo I hate when government takes my stuff away, all of my rights should be simplistic black and white and always apply no matter what the conditions!"
    Yeah, that's EXACTLY what I am doing. Where is the jerking-off smiley when I need it?


    Which is, of course, childishly simplistic. Rights are complex ideas that have to be placed in and evaluated in context to have any meaning. What you're doing is akin to whining that it's unfair that you can't yell fire in a crowded theater because it violates your freedom of speech, and it's indicative of a painfully simplistic understanding of the concepts of rights and civil liberties.
    Wow, fire in a theater twice, huh? Awesome. I get to make fun of your constitutionally tone-deaf example twice in one post. I love it.


    Real life is a lot harder than a simple yes/no question, and you don't understand that at all. This is why you follow an impractical joke of a political system that 1% of the country supports, you short-sighted dolt.
    And you're still wrong, so I can be happy.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Really? "Fascism does have benefits?" Are you out of your MIND? This topic IS black and white! Even a child can understand that.
    I wasn't going to bother posting on this, but I'd like to cover explanations for the parts he skipped over since replies like this are just ludicrous.

    Every single government form has its' advantages, and its' disadvantages. If there were no advantage, it wouldn't be a form of government in the first place, it'd just be overthrown immediately.

    Many fascist states actually have *HIGHER* public approval rating than the USA's own government. Go figure.

    Specifically, there are some very strong benefits to fascist concepts; for example, a fascist leader has alot of power, some situations a country may face can often require a single leader with great authority to override red tape and political infighting. In the states, change is slow, and even perfectly good ideas are bickered over, then often given up on because people spend years quibbling over the fine details that don't even really matter all that much.

    A fascist leader can just override that and make stronger decisions with a unified implementation, allowing for change to occur far faster.

    The fact that a fascist government also has minimal dealings with the commercial and business sectors, allows for businesses to thrive fairly quickly, and theoretically, allows the average citizen far greater ability to move through the social ladder.

    There are, however, flaws to this reasoning. Like any government. The problem with fascism, and communism, isn't that they don't have any redeemable qualities, that's silly. It's that they assume that people will not abuse the system and that everyone is perfect. Obviously, these're flawed assumptions. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and fascism is pretty close to absolute power. Communism assumes everyone wants to work hard, and doesn't take lazyness into account at all.

    So yeah, those're just a few basic points, but to honestly believe it's black and white that there's *NO* benefit at all is something a child would understand... because they can't grasp the greater complexities of socioeconomic policies. To honestly believe it's black and white, is to either be a child, or to be fooled by propaganda.

    Communism and fascism are actually very powerful and useful tools. In basic theory, they're actually significantly much more beneficial than democracy. The problem is that humans screw everything up, and while there's greater possibility for benefit from these forms of government, there's also much much much greater possibility for abuse. The only stable form of communism ever maintained so far had uhm... 20ish scientists working in an isolated community. It was actually the best form of government for them at the time, and worked far better than democracy ever could've dreamed of doing.

    But... it was a small group, of hand selected people, all of which were dedicated to a specific task at hand, and none of which were attempting to abuse the system. As soon as someone attempts to abuse fascism or communism, both are very weak to that. Democracy has alot of crap that slows progress, but it also limits such abuses, though it can't prevent them. It just makes it alot harder to get ANYTHING done, including abuse.




    You're wrong. It's a false dichotomy. You're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Paleoconservatives would be "hard right" politically, right? They have a very uneasy relationship with free markets. How about National Socialism? Are they hard left because they want government direction of the economy? This paradigm doesn't fit, and it certainly doesn't fit libertarianism.
    Actually, he's not wrong.

    The terms "left" and "right" actually stem from economic policies first and foremost, with political views based upon those economic policies second. While we typically use them interchangeably these days, due to most people not understanding the conceptualization behind why the terms exist, it actually is pretty much as he described in terms of the basic structure.

    Yeu can be 'right' politically and 'left' economically, and may even try to claim yeu're 'right', but the economic policies are whot dictate the political ones, as politics in the states are based not off of personal political views, but off of the capitalistic approach of putting money before everything else. Left tending economics will invariably lead to left based political ideals in order to enforce those economic concepts.

    Check carefully the Paleoconservatives that yeu've mentioned as well; they actually *DO* have right leaning economic values, they just happen to look at things from a very long term point of view, with more or less no emphasis placed on short term policies and such. They want things to end up a certain way but don't care how they get there, and consider a short term victory in the moment to be pointless, regardless of whether that victory is required or not to sustain their long term goals. As such, their actual capacity for change is much less than it really should be due to this "can't see the trees through the forrest" perspective.




    I am now thoroughly convinced that you have never read a leading libertarian text in your life. I never once mentioned the Libertarian Party, and you're bringing it up now. You actually just capitalized Libertarian for me, without me doing it. If you think that "libertarian" means "economically far rightist," YOU don't know what libertarianism is. That is your problem, not mine.
    Actually... he's right, and he's kinda wrong too.

    The *POLITICAL PARTY WHICH CALLS THEMSELVES LIBERTARIANS* is actually quite far right on the spectrum. There is, however, a libertarian left group as well. Essentially, the right group is heavily right-leaning in terms of economic policies, but is a bit left on some social ones which don't directly relate to their economic plan, which is primarily the insistence that everyone has the right to keep their own property, and that said property is of more value than life itself. Theft would be a greater crime than murder to a true libertarian extremist. The leftist economic view, however, believes virtually the opposite despite having the same name 'libertarian'; where, instead of insisting that land, air, water, etc must be owned individually, they insist it must be owned communally and distributed in a method which is equal to all, or since we're using economic terms, egalitarian in premise.

    Essentially though, in terms of economic stance, the actual party which claims libertarianism, is heavily right-leaning. Not all libertarians are, but if yeu're going to state the term, it implies that the usage is one of the accepted view, in which case he's fully correct in stating that it's a right-based concept.


    No, you can't read. My post says that most conservatives don't want to change the system.
    So conservatives are all happy with Barack Obama as POTUS, $1 trillion budget deficits, and so on? They don't want to roll back gay rights or abortion? Everyone wants to change the system in some way. If you don't, you aren't political at all.
    Uhm... think yeu're missing the point =3

    Conservatism concepts, by default, imply resistance to change. Once change occurs, they want to change it BACK to whot it was. Both of yeu are right, and both are wrong, on fine details and on semantics. Yes, most conservatives don't want change. And yes, once change occurs, the only change they want is to change it back to whot it was. The difference is that a strong conservative basically wants it to be the 1950's really really badly. All their changes are based on trying to reattain that perceived 'golden age', whether they realize they're actually trying for that or not. The biggest problem though, is they don't remember how much the 50's sucked >.>;

    That being said, someone who is happy with the system and wants to prevent other political groups from destroying it, is still political, even if they don't want change. Though admittedly, the concept of someone not wanting to change things to better suit themselves in some method isn't even a human concept, so, while they would still be *POLITICAL*, they wouldn't be *HUMAN*.



    "What's best for everyone" is the whole point of libertarianism. Individual people know better about what's best for themselves than does the government or the voting populace at a whole. The public votes for things that are atavistic all the time. If it were up to the voting public, we'd lower taxes to nothing, increase spending, and go to war even more frequently than we do now. The average person can balance a checkbook, but has no idea how the government functions.
    Unfortunately, the whole premise of government in the first place is that people *DON'T* know whot's best for themselves. If we all knew whot was best for ourselves, we wouldn't have a government in the first place. The reason why yeu elect someone, is so that yeu can go about yeur daily life, and let them spend every waking hour researching, learning, and applying the information required to make an educated decision. The reason *WHY* there's a government at all is because the average person seriously doesn't know crap all about economics, sociological concepts, nor international practices. Government exists primarily to do "whot's best for everyone". Or more specifically, "whot will best match the views of the people who voted for us".

    And this's why yeu're both right and wrong here; the average person *DOESN'T* know whot's best for them as a whole. They have more fine details and better how to handle the smaller aspects of their individual situation, but for their situation as a whole they're clueless on average.

    The problem with libertarianism is that it kind of assumes heavily that the "fine details" are broader in scope than they really are.




    First of all, in Europe, "liberal" means what "libertarian" means here. Like the Free Democrats of Germany are considered the most "liberal" party there, because they are more laissez-faire both socially and economically. Liberal used to be our word, until it was hijacked. Second of all, you keep on mentioning the LP. Now, they are very libertarian people (when they aren't nominating Bob Barr as presidential candidate). However, you're not looking at the amazing expanse of libertarian intellectualism. You're completely and totally ignorant of this movement. You probably were unaware that the Libertarian Party was started by a coalition of Republicans/small-government conservatives who were fed up with Nixon (especially after the price and wage freezes of 1971) with members of the non-socialist New Left who were fighting for civil rights, lowering the voting age, opposing the War in Vietnam, and ending the draft.
    Actually, it goes back to 1789, they just didn't happen to use the term 'libertarian' until later on. The concept has existed for quite alot longer than the definition.

    As for the 'group as a whole', yeu're missing the fact that there's actually a strong dichotomy of two groups both claiming to be libertarian, yet having virtually opposing viewpoints on most of the primary topics which defines them as libertarian.

    That being said, if yeu are going to claim yeu're a libertarian, the typical response will be to go with the libertarian party as the assumption of that's whot yeu mean. Yeu could be on the other side as well, but there's no way to know that.

    He is correct, though. If yeu want to maintain yeur beliefs, yeu'd be better off not calling yeurself libertarian, as yeu don't hold the views of the party associated with the concept. I'm highly liberal myself, but I don't call myself a liberal, because the liberal party *ISN'T*.


    What libertarian literature have you ever read? I'm serious. I don't mean googling the LP platform. Any Milton Friedman? Murray Rothbard? Randy Barnett? Friedrich Hayek? ANYTHING?
    Friedman discusses moreso information based on non-economic policies, such as the war on drugs. Rothbard wasn't much better on the economic perspective as can be denoted here:

    [T]here developed in Western Europe two great political ideologies … one was liberalism, the party of hope, of radicalism, of liberty, of the Industrial Revolution, of progress, of humanity; the other was conservatism, the party of reaction, the party that longed to restore the hierarchy, statism, theocracy, serfdom, and class exploitation of the Old Order…. Political ideologies were polarized, with liberalism on the extreme "left," and conservatism on the extreme "right," of the ideological spectrum.
    He wasn't arguing the meanings we use today. The "left" and "right" he refers to are political idealizations, not economic beliefs, and primarily focused on the history in europe, rather than the current situation, which's much different.

    Barnett I've never even heard of, and Freddy von hayek (he gets a claw hand! =D ) actually states that the "government has a role to play in the economy through the monetary system, work-hours regulation, and institutions for the flow of proper information."

    Barnett's the only one who even touches on economics, and he disagrees with most of whot yeu've said since he's the opposite end of the spectrum of libertarians =3



    And I am very well-informed about global politics. I make it a point to be. You might want to try the same.
    If such is the case, I advise yeu to find new sources of information, the ones yeu have don't seem to give the whole picture all that well.




    When you have rights to life, liberty, and property, then taking forcibly from someone to give to another would be wrong. With your mentality, someone could say, "Here you go again, automatically assuming that a fair trial is always inherently good. We're in a War on Terror here! How are we going to win if we have to follow the Constitution?"
    Hardly; the right to life, liberty, and property, also implies it must be at the expense of another, as it's impossible to do otherwise; taking from one to give to another actually is key within that role.

    If one requires property (a house, food, water) to maintain life, and another has an excess of property required for life, while another has not enough property to maintain life, to fail to provide such for the other is to tred upon the right to life of the other. In so doing, one gives up their own rights, and forcible action must be taken to correct such.

    Sadly things are not black and white, as much as we'd like them to be. It'd make these decisions so much easier; noone would ever choose black. But things really aren't that easy. People can study their entire lives on the topic, and change their minds repeatedly, the grey is such a blend that it's near impossible to differentiate.

    Unless yeu're a SITH! Yeu're not a SITH are yeu!? :O





    Learn what a libertarian is, or don't post about them. And let me point out the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum. People believe shit that is wrong all the time. There are like millions of people who think Barack Obama is a Muslim. You don't get to define what I believe, especially since you clearly are unfamiliar with the work of major libertarians.
    Actually he stated both sides of it quite well, and then also specified the accepted party as well as seperate from such. He seems to have a pretty good understanding of the concept, and was merely stating that if yeu claim to be such, then yeu need to realize whot the term is accepted to mean.

    I do disagree with the argument on the 1% vote thing, unfortunately if yeu had the option in the states to vote for bush, clinton, or jesus, jesus would only get a 1% vote or less because he's not a republican or democrat.

    That being said though, the other half of the argument he gave is also that the majority also look at the LP as the primary description of libertarianism; to maintain the title is to claim yeu hold the same views. If yeu tell people yeu're a democrat, they expect yeu to have vaguely similar beliefs as democrats do... funny how that works.




    Actually, medical advancement is one area in which the government does some of the most harm. Between insanely long and expensive trials to get drugs to the market and huge subsidies to major pharmaceutical companies, we get fewer advances with new drugs than we should, and Big Pharma gets a license to print money. They go for "sure thing" new drugs that will be popular, because it probably cost $80-100 million to get a new drug out there, and then they have to advertise and woo doctors about them. Smaller, more innovative companies that might tackle more uncommon (but devastating) illnesses or use a brand new technology have a much harder time. Medical advances would be even more frequent and beneficial if the government stayed out of things, other than making sure people aren't getting killed by quack medicine.
    Actually, it's also the same restrictions which severely reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from inadequate testing of side effects. There's the occasional one that slips through and makes the headlines, but the only reason it makes the headlines is BECAUSE it's so rare.

    There's also the matter that costs must be relevant as well. If yeu could blow 1 billion dollars on the cure to cancer, or 1 billion on a cure to hypophosphatasia, I think most people would want to cure the cancer. Except for the people afflicted with hypophosphatasia.

    Medical advances would virtually cease if the government stayed out of things, due to lack of funding, as a company won't invest *ANY* money into a problem without a large enough target niche. Yeu wouldn't find any research going into anything other than aids, cancer, MS, and diabetes anymore probably, because anything else just doesn't provide enough of an economic return.



    EVERYONE is getting taxed too much. And again, argumentum ad populum. Being unpopular has nothing whatsoever to do with being right or wrong. Remember, the United States of America is NOT a democracy.

    Also, I am not even a member of the Libertarian Party. This is like arguing by correspondence with someone who is sending letters to the wrong person. You're making me laugh.
    His first argument is admittedly fairly flawed on that topic. The second, however, I think yeu have issues with. Which I've stated already. Repeatedly XD




    Rights are NOT conditional. If they are conditional, THEY ARE NOT RIGHTS. Get that through your head. Violent threats and the traditional "Fire!" in the crowded theater are not protected free speech. It's not that your right to free speech is abridged; it's that some things you can do with your speech aren't covered because there are attacks on others. Your line of reasoning is totally faulty. It's like you're telling me that I believe that, that, since we have a right to bear arms, I believe you can shoot someone in the face. You completely misunderstand the concept of natural rights here.
    When defining rights, they must be listed with conditions. Otherwise they aren't rights because they have nothing set to state whot the rights actually ARE.

    The mere fact that yeu can state that it's "Not protected free speech" is a condition, stating that "yeu have the freedom of speech in all areas, with the conventionalized exceptions of..."

    No, it isn't, and don't tell me that it is. You are incorrect.
    Wow, terrific point, Merc. Way to go.
    Doesn't mean it's not true.
    It's not a point at all, since yeu have to make an argument to support such. Just going "no u r rong" doesn't make it true in the slightest.

    Note the quote at the bottom of my post.

    "It doesn't matter if yeu're right, if yeu can't prove yeu're right, yeu're wrong. No matter how right yeu are."

    Even *IF* it were true, yeu need to know WHY that's the case, and explain such. If yeu don't understand, then yeu have no way of knowing if yeu're really right or not. Being right for the wrong reasons means yeu can't reapply that information in any context, and yeu don't really know that yeu're right in the first place.

    As such, no, yeu're wrong, period. Because yeu provided no argument or explanation. It is therefore impossible for yeu to be truly correct on the matter as yeu've shown no comprehension on it. Picking 50/50 chance on a yes/no test doesn't make yeu correct.


    (Edited the next part as it's directly requesting information from someone else, I can't provide information for them as it's their argument to make)




    Is it? First fire department in the United States? Volunteer. First library? Donated by a rich guy. What happens when tax rates go down on the wealthy? Charitable donations rise. And you're not even addressing the fact that almost everyone would have more income if taxes and regulations would be whittled down as much as possible.
    Most individuals WON'T do this though. The first may occur, but are abnormalities, and not persistant enough to be sustainable for any length of time.

    Do yeu really think that without ANY fire department funding, and without ANY government run libraries, that there'd be enough private donations? Such money has to come from somewhere, and most who have it won't donate such in every single way. How do yeu determine which person donates a school, which donates a library, which donates a fire department... have a fire in the rich part of town and 6 fire departments are funded. All around the rich part of town. It doesn't solve much of anything.

    Having organized infrastructure for everyone is not possible via volunteer work alone.

    And there is the fact that if taxes were lowered, the costs would increase. Yeu forget that money is a sliding scale; if yeu have more money, then things cost more. If yeu didn't spend money on taxes, yeur health care, fire department coverage, police payments, and so on would skyrocket beyond whot yeu could concievably afford. To be blunt, it's due to those taxes that yeu have as much money as yeu do have.

    Canada tends to have much higher taxes due to being a socialist country rather than a capitalistic one. If someone in the states gets cancer and couldn't afford insurance, or their insurance company ditches them because they're a liability now... they pretty much are screwed for life, and are destined to die, heavily in debt. Higher taxes in canada means if such occurs, if it were possible to treat that cancer form, yeu'd probably have lived, and not be forever in debt for the rest of yeur life doing it.

    Taxes suck, yes, we know. But they save yeu money in the long run, even if alot of that money is wasted. How much money is thrown at useless ventures, spent on the wages of the people who maintain the infrastructure, how much covers expendatures like heat and water to government buildings?

    The costs are high, yes, and yet they make yeur own cost of living substantially lower than they would be otherwise, to the point, that yeur costs are less than yeu put into it.

    Because larger corporations and individuals who are richer than yeu are, are taking a bit of the burden off yeur shoulders, because if there were zero taxes, yeu wouldn't be capable of surviving in today's modern age. It worked 100 years ago but it doesn't work anymore.




    Yeah, unimaginative. Your thinking is so reflexively "government is so good, we need it for everything" that you are not even thinking about alternatives.
    Government, by default, is not good at all. But it's necessary. It organizes things we don't have the time nor resources to organize ourselves. It lowers our living expenses, it maintains a balance of rights, and it does many other essential services.

    On the other hand, it sucks bad too, it can repress alot of stuff it shouldn't, can be the cause of completely destroying people for no reason (McCarthyism, many dictators, bush, most communism attempts, etc).

    While it's useful, it's also dangerous. Inherently, it's not a good thing, but it is a necessary evil.




    ...Well I told yeu guys I'd hit the character limit sooner or later.

    "The text that you have entered is too long (27287 characters). Please shorten it to 25000 characters long."

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    (part 2)


    Some things in life are black and white, right and wrong.
    And those things are: ...oh even black and white are actually inverted, and are aspects of how much light is reflected. Drat, even black and white isn't REALLY black and white >.<

    There is virtually nothing that's black and white, right and wrong. There are exceptions to virtually every single thing.

    To specify though, the matters of which yeu're discussing, such as political views, governmental forms, economics, and so on... as they *ALL* relate to large groups of people, and those large groups of people are heavily diverse, and individuals as well, it quite literally is impossible to be black and white.



    I am just going to shorten argumentum ad populum to AAP now, since it's coming up every paragraph or so. AAP.
    Actually this one isn't an argumentum ad populum at all. It's a statement that if yeu want to claim yeurself to be "right" or "left", that these terms are not static concepts, but are instead actually based off the current majority's opinion.

    The USA is a very right-ist country compared to the rest of the world. Even the "left" in the USA is farther right than most "right" in other countries. As such, it's not an argumentum ad populum at all, it's totally 100% necessary to understand the definition of where yeu stand.

    If everyone's standing on the right hand side of a large room, and yeu're on the left edge of that group, yeu're going to be considered 'left', even though yeu're on the RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROOM.

    It's a variable position, and one which yeu clearly don't grasp, otherwise yeu wouldn't've attempted to claim this to be a populum argument since it flat out ISN'T.

    Yeah, that's EXACTLY what I am doing. Where is the jerking-off smiley when I need it?
    While this's intended as sarcasm... unfortunately it's actually true >.>;


    Wow, fire in a theater twice, huh? Awesome. I get to make fun of your constitutionally tone-deaf example twice in one post. I love it.
    Aaaand unfortunately it still holds true. It really is a conventionalized form of freedom of speech. "Free speech" is only accurate within set conditions to define it. Without definition, it means nothing. Without conditions, it has no definition. There must be boarders for it to be defined.

    As such, yeu've failed the understanding of the concept twice in one post, despite being given two opportunities =3


    And you're still wrong, so I can be happy.
    And yeu still haven't managed to explain why.

    Rather than repeat myself from earlier, please see my signature, as it's the next thing under this sentence. ^^

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