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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Um...what? Stop trying to argue that Lat's concept of economic freedom is truer than mine with these subtle ruses. It's annoying and at least he has the aptitude to openly proclaim it.
    "um.....what?"
    What exactly is so baffling about 1 quote + 2nd contradictory quote + sarcastic invitation for you to demonstrate how they're not contradictory ?

    Or maybe you realize your blatant contradictions and you're just trying to deflect me from finding more by accusing me of some ulterior motive?


    And yeah, I do think that Lat's concept of economic freedom is truer than yours. That's because you can't even tell anyone what yours is or keep your simultaneously existing definitions story straight. If you can't decide whether your argument should be right on the basis of logic or linguistic relativism, then why should anyone else?
    I don't wanna!

  2. #32

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    This seems like it could become an interesting discussion.

    Quite frankly, I don't know what my political leanings are. I would prefer that decisions be left to only to the people that those decisions affect.

    I believe in attempting consensus whenever possible among people affected by the decision.

    When the groups of people become large, consensus becomes difficult, if not impossible, so we need other mechanisms (a democracy, a market, etc.)

    I think markets are vitally important for the efficient fulfillment of needs. Property (as Lee pointed out) is vital for capitalism to work. Read The Mystery of Capitalism for a fairly straightforward explanation of why that is true.

    Vital to the idea of property is that idea of "trusting the market." There are many viewpoints to this.

    1) The participants in the market must be able to trust the market in order to participate. This is most important. If I pay for something in a market, and don't get what I paid for, I will not use that market. Better trust makes whatever is being exchanged on the market a more liquid asset, more "fungible," if you will, and that is what makes the market work.

    2) The governments hosting the market must walk a fine-line of keeping the market trustworthy. This means proper regulation. If we have a market, where it is OK and common-place to make an agreement for a trade, and not have the assets/goods/services/currency/whatever assigned to appropriate parties at the agreed upon times, I would argue that we don't have a market at all.
    However, having seen where "regulation" came in the form of getting "officials" to agree with whatever trades needed to be done can be incredibly corrupt (read bribe-based regulation). These so-called regulations were nothing more than a way to buy loyalty to the government from those who were going to be successful in the markets.

    To believe that no-one will cheat if there are no regulations is naive. To believe that simply passing regulations will end cheating is equally naive.

    IMO, the government basically needs to be like a tournament director. They need to ensure fair-play, and nothing else. Of-course "fair" is an extremely loaded word. When it comes down to it, it is simply a matter of creating trust among the participants, which mainly means upholding property rights (this is also a tricky business).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  3. #33
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Kiddo,

    The claim 'if there is no property then there is no liberty' is not bullshit, and neither have you explained how liberty can be had without property: if we do not own ourselves then in what way can liberty prevail?
    I will not disagree with the idea that some concept of property is necessary for liberty sake. Only that it is foolish to assume that liberty only exist because of property.

    It is quite incredible that you think that 'free market theory is nothing but a hoax perpetuated by the ruling class to secure their interests'. The underlying point of my last post was that the principles of capitalism, liberty and property, when understood and applied are incompatible with the interests of those you refer to as 'the ruling class'. I understand that the rhetoric of free markets is often used as a smokescreen for policies which promote a closed market, illiberal legislation and the erosion of property, but it is a leap of the most bizarre kind to then blame the theory and principles of the free market, liberty and property for the hypocrisy of politicians. In other words, if property rights were actually enforced then what you blame on property rights could not occur, since what you describe is the gradual elimination of property rights and liberty.
    It seems to me that you are rather naive if you don't realize that we have a ruling class and it has utilized its wealth to manipulate the media, government, and the principles of capitalism in order to maintain its wealth and power.

    This naive idea seems to come from the convention I mentioned previously of calling anybody of wealth or involved in business a 'capitalist', even though the majority are generally opposed to the principles of capitalism. The equivocation leads people to then believe that anybody who is in favour of capitalism must also be in favour of 'capitalists'; that is, people of wealth or involved in business. That suggestion is absurd, and you only have to spend 10 minutes reading the work of those who have supported capitalism to note that they have no love, and are often extremely critical, of corporations, businesses and the wealthy. The solution preferred by the likes of Bastiat, Hayek, Friedman and many others is to restrict the discretionary power of politicians, since it is only because they have such powers that lobbyists court them in the first place. If it were not for the power and wealth centralised in Washington, the there would be little or nothing to gain from lobbying, and special interest groups and corporations would have to behave civilly (God forbid!), instead of uncivilly via the hand of government.
    None of this applies to anything I have said. I can only say that speaking in ideological terms is too simplistic, when I can actually see the corporations filtering the media and controlling government through lobbying and endorsement of politicians. Arguing how capitalism ideally should be is a load of crap when anyone with half a brain can see how it is actually being used in this country.

    The idea that the erosion of property rights/liberty can be blamed on the principle of property/liberty is just mind-numbingly dumb.
    What does that have to do with what we are discussing?

    You know? I find it really impressive how you have escaped the maufacturing of consent. You must be a really independent and transcendent thinker. Not like every other gullible fool.
    I worked for a newspaper and I know how it works. The ownership gets to decide what we can and can't print. Then we can't print anything that would endanger our advertisement, so the advertisers have power over what we print. Then we have to actually get a lot of our news from PR people in the government or from businesses which has already filtered quite a bit of the news. Then we have to cut out anything that would get us flak. Then we need to take what we have left and shrink it to fit, leaving just the "essentials". Finally what you have is so filtered and reduced that it might not even resemble the original raw news.

    The ironic thing is that I see your views expressed in the media, online and in books all of the time, so the 'ruling class' seems to be doing a shitty job of manufacturing consent, and so perhaps we are fortunate that our fellow human beings are not the dumb sheep which you depict them like. Here's something to think about. If a New York Times bestseller expresses views just like yours, then the likelyhood is that your views are actually somewhat mainstream and there are many people who think just like you.
    The ruling class is only human beings. They are not perfect and they can't control everything. But if they ever have any real trouble of dissension, then they just have to utilize the media and government to dismiss it by calling it things like "communism", “terrorism”, "socialism", and "left wing bias".

    Did Ron Paul win the nomination? Did he even come close? How many people do you think actually know who Ron Paul is? How many do you think even knew he wrote a book? What makes you think that the ideas I’m expressing were even expressed by that free market loving guy? Ron Paul supporters read Ron Paul’s book and that is how it got on the New York best seller’s list.

    By far, most people are simply draw into the partisan politics, between two parties that are practically the same. Republicans and Democrats provide the perfect “Us versus Them” situation that keep the majority in line. And very few would like to acknowledge the reality of how the United States really does business. So I would say 80% of the public are in the dark and 20% of the public are educated enough to know what is really going on. So the ruling class really only has to appease 20% of the population. So I would say it is far from mainstream, but I'm sure it pleases the ruling class that you think that way.

    In fact, I think the anti-capitalist views which you espouse are are a hoax perpetrated by the ruling class to secure their interests. It is clear that the principles of capitalism are incompatible with the corporatism, fascism, socialism, or whatever, which the 'ruling class' would prefer. Therefore, I think that you ought to open your eyes and recognise how you are being used and manipulated by these powerful elites to undermine the capitalism which they abhor. If you think that you are fighting against their interests by opposing capitalism then you are labouring under a fatal delusion.
    Please show me one example in the media. I would absolutely love to see it. I would say that you are talking out of your ass. Do you need an example or even fifty of what I am talking about? Because I can actually support my assertion with facts, whereas I would like to see you do the same. All you have is your ideology, and now, I bet, the sudden realization that others may be controlling you through that ideology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  4. #34
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    Or maybe you realize your blatant contradictions and you're just trying to deflect me from finding more by accusing me of some ulterior motive?


    It's called an evolving political opinion. I don't have to pick a side to suit you. I can argue this from all sides to improve my overall understanding and comprehension. Ultimately, I am shaping my political opinion around my values. For example, it violates my values when my country goes to war for oil or other corporate interests. Now that might be in line with your values, and so you might have no problem trying to convince me of your political philosophy, and how it is essential that we bring "democracy" and a "free market" to those countries, but I will not accept it because that has little to do with my values which do not allow me to support my country committing or supporting horrible atrocities to establish "democracy" and a "free market" in other countries just so my country can remain a superpower.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  5. #35
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I advocate market Socialism, my self.
    I agree that command economies are doomed to failure, and that markets are the better choice for innumerable reasons, but markets need to be carefully watched.

    I favor rigorous anti-monopoly laws, protected trade policies, wealth redistribution through taxation(and in general, I like those taxes high), democratic structures within businesses, and nationalized banking.
    I share very little views with Libertarians.

    I see libertarianism as a primitive policy already long since passed. A rough blue-print for throwing any society that chooses to accept it into Feudalism.
    I find that its followers are almost religiously faithful to it, and have some of the most extraordinary rationalizing abilities I have ever seen.
    Needless to say, they are also usually selfish and insensitive.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I will not disagree with the idea that some concept of property is necessary for liberty sake. Only that it is foolish to assume that liberty only exist because of property.
    Whoah! Hang on there, Kiddo. So let me get this straight, the 'concept of property is necessary for liberty', but 'it is foolish to assume that liberty only exists because of property'? I know that you do not care for logic too much, and it shows.


    It seems to me that you are rather naive if you don't realize that we have a ruling class and it has utilized its wealth to manipulate the media, government, and the principles of capitalism in order to maintain its wealth and power.
    Huh? So the 'ruling class' maintain their wealth and power by promoting a capitalist/free market/libertarian/classical liberal philosophy which is principally opposed to the attempts by the 'ruling class' to maintain its wealth and power? Do you know how stupid that is? I mean, you have said yourself: 'the ruling class ... secure their interests through a double standard whereby they argue that natural competition will cause the best products and the best prices to prevail for the betterment of all, but in reality they manipulate the government and media to secure their own interests.'

    In other words, the "capitalists" do not support capitalism, and yet you seem to think that they can further their interests and secure their wealth and power by promoting an "ideology" which in principle opposes them on every front. Heads you win tails I lose. If I promote policies which prevent the erosion of property and liberty then, in your warped little world, I am therefore helping the evil "capitalists" tighten their grip on society. I can't win. If I oppose capitalism or prefer capitalism, either way I am helping the 'ruling class' on their march to fascism/socialism.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #37
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Whoah! Hang on there, Kiddo. So let me get this straight, the 'concept of property is necessary for liberty', but 'it is foolish to assume that liberty only exists because of property'? I know that you do not care for logic too much, and it shows.
    Consider this. The Native Americans did not have the same concept of property that you have. But it was not until Europeans came with their concept of property and stripped the Native Americans of the land and resources that they had enjoyed for centuries, that they needed such a concept to protect their liberty. So it is logical, that if people have existed without your concept of property and maintained their liberty, that it is possible that people can have liberty without property.

    At the same time, Africans had a concept of slavery, which is the concept of people as property. This also is a concept advocated in the Bible. This allowed Europeans to trade for African slaves and ship them off to America to live on land they took forcefully from Native Americans. So in this case, property directly violated people's liberty.

    So I wish you would stop trying to suggest that property is essential to liberty. It entirely depends on the concept of property as to whether or not it supports liberty.

    Huh? So the 'ruling class' maintain their wealth and power by promoting a capitalist/free market/libertarian/classical liberal philosophy which is principally opposed to the attempts by the 'ruling class' to maintain its wealth and power? Do you know how stupid that is? I mean, you have said yourself: 'the ruling class ... secure their interests through a double standard whereby they argue that natural competition will cause the best products and the best prices to prevail for the betterment of all, but in reality they manipulate the government and media to secure their own interests.'
    I think it is pretty stupid that you don't realize the implication there. You are pushing for freer markets, which means lower taxes, less regulation, etc. at the same time the ruling class is still manipulating the government into providing them "subsidies" and "contracts" which amount to little more than welfare for the rich. They do so by utilizing their ownership of the media to inspire fear in the public so they can promote "national defense" which leads to increased government spending which translates to the various "subsidies" and "contracts".

    So what you have failed to realize is that you are pushing a philosophy that gives tax breaks and eases regulations on the ruling class while they still reap the benefits of subsidies. You are so ideologically driven, that you haven't realized how things work in the real world when you push your ideology.

    In other words, the "capitalists" do not support capitalism, and yet you seem to think that they can further their interests and secure their wealth and power by promoting an "ideology" which in principle opposes them on every front. Heads you win tails I lose. If I promote policies which prevent the erosion of property and liberty then, in your warped little world, I am therefore helping the evil "capitalists" tighten their grip on society. I can't win. If I oppose capitalism or prefer capitalism, either way I am helping the 'ruling class' on their march to fascism/socialism.
    No, I'm afraid you are blinded by your ideology and you don't realize that the actual practice doesn't work out how you envision it should because the ruling class play both sides of the fence. You support a theory that in actual practice, helps those it is suppose to defeat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I advocate market Socialism, my self.
    I agree that command economies are doomed to failure, and that markets are the better choice for innumerable reasons, but markets need to be carefully watched.
    What does market Socialism mean to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I favor rigorous anti-monopoly laws, protected trade policies, wealth redistribution through taxation(and in general, I like those taxes high), democratic structures within businesses, and nationalized banking.
    I share very little views with Libertarians.
    1) Anti-Trust vs. Intellectual Property (the classic poles of suit/counter-suit). I think Anti-Trust makes a lot of sense in fast moving industries like computing, and electronics. There is healthy competition and we don't want an established player to stifle it.
    However, in Bio-tech, the situation is different. Often, there is a 15 year lead-time of R&D before a product gets to market. If we don't protect Intellectual Property in these circumstances, there is little incentive to do the R&D to make new products.

    2) I don't believe wealth can be properly redistributed with taxation. I believe charity feeding social entrepreneurship is the only way to get the leverage needed to actually solve problems like extreme-poverty, and preventable communicable diseases. Of course, the govenrment can help a bit with incentives, and tax-breaks. But simply "re-distributing" wealth is inffective in my opinion. What is needed is creation of more wealth ("growing the pie").

    3) I believe in democratic structures within organizations as well. This is rather different from the extreme of "everyone needs a vote"--that breeds stagnation. I think only those people who know and care about a decision should be involved in making it.

    4) I have yet to form an opinon on Nationalized Banking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I see libertarianism as a primitive policy already long since passed. A rough blue-print for throwing any society that chooses to accept it into Feudalism.
    What do the words libertarianism and Feudalism mean to you? For me these concepts are at odds.

    There will always be a super-class. I just believe that the more-or-less meritocracy-based formation of a super-class that comes out of a free-for-all of a free-market is better than nepotism, apointee-ism, and even populism. Each generation will have a new super-class. Many member will have working-class roots. I realize that there is still a lot of the Good-Old-Boy network. However, entrepreneurship (social entrepreneurship in particular) is often what gets people into the new parts of thes networks. (See Kliener Perkins Caufied & Byers).

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I find that its followers are almost religiously faithful to it, and have some of the most extraordinary rationalizing abilities I have ever seen.
    Needless to say, they are also usually selfish and insensitive.
    I am not sure what you mean by this. I often consider myself a follower of libertarianism, but not always. Hardly a "religous" faith in it. My rationalizin abilities aside, I am neither selfish nor insensitive (at least not most of the time).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    There will always be a super-class.
    I flat out disagree with that idea. There will always be a wealthy class, but a "super class" is an American notion.

    A free market system would be great if it wasn't so easy for those who already have economic power to hijack it and bleed it dry via their control of the government and media.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I flat out disagree with that idea. There will always be a wealthy class, but a "super class" is an American notion.
    Although, wealth and power go together, by Super-Class, I mean the relatively small group of people with the ability to influence world affairs to a great deal. I am certainly willing to change my opinon on this. But I see ne evidence to counter the opinion that there will always be a super-class.

    I also have some reasons do believe that such a class is fundamental.

    1) Although I believe in equal opportunity, I don't believe people are created the same. There are differences. Some of those differences will better equip them to be in a position of power. Right now, a lot of the reasons that people reach that power, is due to family history, color of skin in many western nations, being male in many nations, and simply knowing the "right" people. I consider these poor reasons for being in power, but it is what it is.

    2) Most people don't want power, while only a few do. Power comes with responsibility. I usually don't want power (in many contexts).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    A free market system would be great if it wasn't so easy for those who already have economic power to hijack it and bleed it dry via their control of the government and media.
    To me a "free" market is simply meant to be a market that can be trusted completely, is efficient, provides infinite liquidity to what is being traded, and is open to all.

    No such market exists. But I believe being close to that ideal has many advantages.

    1) Things can be traded to reach so they reach where they have most value.
    2) People can specialize and focus on what they are good at, and trade for the rest of what they need.
    3) New, more complex, products and services can be created based on what is traded.

    I don't "religously" believe in the free-market. If a group of people were to try to corner the water market, and charge exhorbitant prices for anyone who wanted water--well they deserve what's comming to them. A similar thing can be said for oil.

    As for a few people bleeding the market dry--I know there are many corrupt people in the world, and power has a way of corrupting people. However, in my way of seeing things, the market ceases to be "free" when controlled by some agent in this way, whether it is a government or simply corrupt individuals manipulating/breaking the rules of trade.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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