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  1. #61
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    You aren't very objective, are you?
    I can't say that was very well put, either.
    I still stand by the case that virtually everything in the world can be viewed as a two-sided coin or beyond. The more complex and vast an issue gets, the more possible sides and shades that need to be considered.
    Based on your original statement, one could conclude that you believe there's a 'good' way to practice pedophilia. And now you start talking about shades, which doesn't really have anything to do with your original statement.

    This is essentially a non-sequitur. Soviet gulags have no innate connection to the practice of Socialism. Let me give you a little example of how your logic works: Pinochet was a capitalist. Pinochet imprisoned opposition and had them tortured. There for, all governments that practice capitalism must imprison dissenters and torture them.

    Do you see how that is false? Do you recognize that this is the logic you are using?
    No, it's not non sequitur, unless you refuse to acknowledge the connection between economic and social freedom. Socialists like to pretend that connection does not exist. So, I can understand why the connection between socialism and gulags is completely lost to you.

    Hah, if you say so... what about Social Security?
    Social security is just as a bad. I know I'm never going to get the money out of it that I was forced to put in.

    Well, economically, much of those countries around Russia fell into greater poverty and debt than they had ever known as a part of the USSR. Russia itself was wracked with mafia style corruption that many felt was actually more harmful than the government corruption had been (this is part of the reason that mr. Putin gained popularity. He put his fist down on much of the turbulent business).
    Really? That's not what I've heard from the people I know that actually live there, people who grew up in the Soviet bloc without heat, waiting in lines for food, etc.

    What do you mean by this?
    The Soviet government was corrupt long before capitalism was implemented.

    This is a completely uneducated assessment. The systems I propose are actually Democratic in nature... more Democratic than anything the USA is doing right now. Nor is it collectivist in the way that you are connoting. It's a system where everyone gets a say, not one where everyone obeys.
    The US is a republic.

    I'd like to see your socialist system where people can disobey and it still works.

    And in fact, large groups can interact without physical threat. Why do you think societies ever appear in the first place?

    What do you say about countries like the USA, anyhow? It may not be collectivist, but it is still shockingly coordinated for a nation of hundreds of millions of people spanning thousands of miles. How did this happen?
    Societies formed because of voluntary cooperation, not coercion.

    And how could things be done any other way? Humanity has an exploding population with a limited range of resources and hospitable territory. Humans cannot afford to live in small factions clustered together like that. It will be violently anarchic. It will be tribal warfare.
    Why do you think people stopped living that way?
    Because order grants a better life than chaos. Even submitting to a despot is better than being raped by roving bandits day in and day out.
    I knew I'd see something like this eventually. The masses are stupid, so the masses should obey the intellectual elites!

    You need to study sociology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology.
    Human beings are a socialism species. We more complexly and deeply social than most. On top of that, an individual can find a lot of personal interest cooperating in a legal society. We return to my point about order and chaos, and despots and bandits.
    Humans are tribal. That's the only scale where socialism works. It doesn't work on a large scale because, while individuals are willing to give up resources to those they know and care about, they're not nearly as willing to give up those same resources to those they don't know. We don't have tribal lifestyles anymore and that's why socialism fails. That's why it has to be implemented at gun point by strongmen.

    There are pay-offs to collective action. Read some of Mancur Olson's work.
    The pay-offs would be great if that was mankind's nature, but it's not.

    First of all, you immediately made a huge error in stating that I like China, when I put so much effort into assuring that I believe it has made certain progressions, while still feeling that it is backwards in many ways.
    I didn't say that you liked China. I asked what you liked about China.

    You are also focusing on more civil and governmental matters than what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about those things, I'm talking about socio-economics. There was never any point that I advocated things like forcing abortions.
    You cannot divorce economic freedom from social freedom.

    The immigration issue is very complicated. It has to do with wealth, public relations, national policies, culture, and a lot of other things, some that are affected by socialism and capitalism, and others that have nothing to do with it at all (I would say the majority). Anyway, you're probably going to see that slow down anyway. The USA's PR is at an all time low, it's a declining power, and China is currently the number one cause of declining poverty in the world (I shit you not. They are going up, up, up). While much of China's practices are horrible, I think that as it's wealth improves, it will have a real opportunity to better itself.
    In my most wildly optimistic dreams, I'd want China to start converting to the sort of policies I promote, but I don't think it's very likely.
    China has improved quite a bit since it started to implement a little bit of capitalism into the economy.

    Now I want you to think good and hard about what I said, and try and hard to develop your responses to this post, because frankly, your mannerism so far has been ignorant, incomprehensive, and tactless.
    If you don't improve your style fast, I'm just going to put you on ignore so I can focus on higher caliber people, like ygolo.
    Go ahead and put me on ignore then, Dad.

  2. #62
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Believe me, it's not. I think the embargo is ridiculous, and it should have been lifted decades ago, but it's not the sole (or even primary) reason that Cuba is poor. Far poorer than it should be.
    Sounds to me like your own personal speculation or at least what you would like to believe. How do you know that the embargo is not the primary cause of Cuba's woes? How could anyone know that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  3. #63
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Well, let's see.

    A) A lower GINI coefficient is not necessarily a good thing. Inequality is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. I am sure Zimbabwe has a pretty low coefficient right now. Not a good thing there.
    50.1, actually. Very high. It used to be higher, though. The only country I've ever seen get to 80. But naturally, such states cannot last.
    There really is no amount of poverty that is immune to hoarding.
    And yes, I would say that, all other factors excluded, more inequality is worse than less inequality, as a rule of thumb.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    B) It's not intellectually dishonest because you are trying to "con" the other people on here. It's intellectually dishonest within your own mind, because you are intelligent enough to know that the United States, even under Bush, is Shangri-La compared to Castro's Cuba. Trying to make the comparison/contrast into "Well, some of it is better; some of it is worse" is NOT objective. It's built-in bias.
    Well, first, since the US has such disparate living conditions, I would say that for a certain layer of America's population, Cuba is probably not any worse.
    In fact, given the kind of problems these people face, they might at least appreciate the health coverage in Cuba.

    But you know, I still don't think my point was intellectually dishonest, because I was making a point about the fact that even the worst people to don a socialist mantle had still produced some good results. My point is relevant, and my case to prove it is valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    C) When you said Russia has started to find its feet again under Putin, it sounded like an endorsement to me. If that is my misinterpretation, my mistake. For my part, I cannot be morally objective about tyrannical leaders. It is in my blood to hate them.
    I've observed this. I do not feel a hatred like that, though. I score people, plain and simple. I consider my dispassion a merit when it comes to politics, or other intellectual matters. It makes for clearer thought, I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    D) Government is, by nature, using a hammer to pound square pegs into round holes. There are VERY few things that the government does efficiently, and helping the poor is not one of them. Philanthropic organizations vary, but are usually more effective than government at their stated goals. Medicins Sans Frontieres (which receives some government money, but 80% of its budget is from private donors) and The Red Cross/Red Crescent are far more effective at providing medical attention to people in poor or distressed areas than are governments.
    Government is, in fact, the only thing that makes a society what it is. On what grounds should I believe that "private" organizations are any less blunt or more efficient than government? I'm never exactly clear on what the great difference is supposed to be. The difference I do know is that those who constitute the government in a Democratic/Representative society have more reason to concern themselves with what the public thinks because they have more riding on it. You can do more to change the government than you can to change a "private" organization, so I'd sooner trust the government.
    Always trust the force with the more encompassing interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    E) I don't try to impress anyone with profanity. If you think I was doing that, then you don't know me very well. I didn't mean to be offensive, but this is clearly something about which I feel strongly.
    Getting to angry about things can cloud judgement. That's why I try to keep my cool.

    F) I am cynical about politicians by nature, but some historical ones I respect include Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Cleveland in the U.S., and Lord Palmerston in the UK. Currently, I like the Free Democrats in Germany, Movimiento Libertario in Costa Rica, Sabine Herold in France. I don't agree with Ron Paul on every issue (the immigration and abortion stuff doesn't appeal, and I am not a goldbug nor particularly freaked out about U.S. sovereignty), but I respect his voting "no" on every unconstitutional bill that the House throws out there. Most politicians make me queasy, though. In general, they are power-hungry, bullying liars.[/QUOTE]

    Aren't most major business leaders power-hungry, bullying liars? I hardly see how they are different from politicians. Any position of power is going to be sought by selfish people. There is no where you can go to avoid that.
    The politician, the businessman, the priest, they are all made of the same stock. The good men among them are always few and far between.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #64
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Sounds to me like your own personal speculation or at least what you would like to believe. How do you know that the embargo is not the primary cause of Cuba's woes? How could anyone know that?
    Every other communist nation has had a crappy economy until they instituted some capitalist reforms, and even then, their standards of living are well below the standards of capitalist nations. Why would Cuba be any different?

  5. #65
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Go ahead and put me on ignore then, Dad.
    I'm afraid I'm going to skip right ahead and do that.
    Your respsonses are mostly insubstantial jives and sarcastic retorts, and it largely seems like you are responding to your own imagination of what I'm saying. It barely seems like you've tried to understand what I was actually saying.

    Ugh.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #66
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Sounds to me like your own personal speculation or at least what you would like to believe. How do you know that the embargo is not the primary cause of Cuba's woes? How could anyone know that?
    Because we're the only country in the world that has the embargo against Cuba. If there were a huge bloc of nations that had nothing to do with them, there may be an argument. That isn't the case. Real GDP per capita in Cuba in 1958 was $3,170. In 2007, it was estimated to be $4,500. That is an atrocious rate of growth in the world (absolute poverty worldwide fell from nearly 50% to about 22% in that same period; and the United States real GDP per capita tripled in that span). Is it THAT crazy to deduce that Cuba's negligible growth was due to its having had 75-90% of its economy taken up by the public sector for the last 50 years? I don't think it is, especially when you compare the stats with freer economies. Free trade and relatively low levels of taxation and public sector share of the economy lead to long-term economic growth. There is absolutely, positively no argument otherwise at this point in history. It's a settled issue.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  7. #67
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    On what grounds should I believe that "private" organizations are any less blunt or more efficient than government? I'm never exactly clear on what the great difference is supposed to be.
    And this is where your failure to understand the futility of socialism stems.

    The difference I do know is that those who constitute the government in a Democratic/Representative society have more reason to concern themselves with what the public thinks because they have more riding on it. You can do more to change the government than you can to change a "private" organization, so I'd sooner trust the government.
    Always trust the force with the more encompassing interest.
    This is simply not true. Virtually everyone is out of their own self-interest, first and foremost.

    Aren't most major business leaders power-hungry, bullying liars?
    This is such a fucked up view of things. Some business leaders are, but not all. All business leaders are looking out for their own interests, though. That is not the same as being a bully or a liar.

    Why do you believe that business leaders are bullying liars any more often than politicians?

    I hardly see how they are different from politicians. Any position of power is going to be sought by selfish people. There is no where you can go to avoid that.
    The politician, the businessman, the priest, they are all made of the same stock. The good men among them are always few and far between.
    Government power is absolute. If you don't like the laws in your country, suck it up and deal with it. Business doesn't have power anywhere near the level of government, and in cases where it might appear to have it, it's because government has handed them that power.

  8. #68
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Because we're the only country in the world that has the embargo against Cuba.
    We are the only superpower in the world and we have geographical position on them. You have yet to prove that Cuba's problems are more related to its socialistic policies than to the embargo. Only that you assume that is the case. Please, pure, have some respect for my intelligence. The only reason you want to call it settled is because you know you can't prove it either way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  9. #69
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    We are the only superpower in the world
    Please don't reinforce that falsehood. :rolli:
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #70
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    50.1, actually. Very high. It used to be higher, though. The only country I've ever seen get to 80. But naturally, such states cannot last.
    There really is no amount of poverty that is immune to hoarding.
    And yes, I would say that, all other factors excluded, more inequality is worse than less inequality, as a rule of thumb.



    Well, first, since the US has such disparate living conditions, I would say that for a certain layer of America's population, Cuba is probably not any worse.
    In fact, given the kind of problems these people face, they might at least appreciate the health coverage in Cuba.

    But you know, I still don't think my point was intellectually dishonest, because I was making a point about the fact that even the worst people to don a socialist mantle had still produced some good results. My point is relevant, and my case to prove it is valid.



    I've observed this. I do not feel a hatred like that, though. I score people, plain and simple. I consider my dispassion a merit when it comes to politics, or other intellectual matters. It makes for clearer thought, I believe.



    Government is, in fact, the only thing that makes a society what it is. On what grounds should I believe that "private" organizations are any less blunt or more efficient than government? I'm never exactly clear on what the great difference is supposed to be. The difference I do know is that those who constitute the government in a Democratic/Representative society have more reason to concern themselves with what the public thinks because they have more riding on it. You can do more to change the government than you can to change a "private" organization, so I'd sooner trust the government.
    Always trust the force with the more encompassing interest.



    Getting to angry about things can cloud judgement. That's why I try to keep my cool.

    F) I am cynical about politicians by nature, but some historical ones I respect include Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Cleveland in the U.S., and Lord Palmerston in the UK. Currently, I like the Free Democrats in Germany, Movimiento Libertario in Costa Rica, Sabine Herold in France. I don't agree with Ron Paul on every issue (the immigration and abortion stuff doesn't appeal, and I am not a goldbug nor particularly freaked out about U.S. sovereignty), but I respect his voting "no" on every unconstitutional bill that the House throws out there. Most politicians make me queasy, though. In general, they are power-hungry, bullying liars.
    Aren't most major business leaders power-hungry, bullying liars? I hardly see how they are different from politicians. Any position of power is going to be sought by selfish people. There is no where you can go to avoid that.
    The politician, the businessman, the priest, they are all made of the same stock. The good men among them are always few and far between.[/QUOTE]

    I am just going to have to disagree with you in general here. The worst socialist leaders have NOT always produced some good results. Poor Americans would NOT prefer to be in Cuba (ask them, seriously). Many businesspeople are NOT power-hungry, bullying liars (some are, but it's certainly not a job requirement, as it is in politics).

    And most importantly, government DOES NOT make society what it is. That it does is such a mind-boggling statement, I don't know where to start. Individuals don't make society? Families? Churches? Volunteer organizations? Businesses? That is absolutely shocking. Government has a more "encompassing interest?" They want to win elections. They want to appeal to the lowest common denominator of a politically-illiterate populus, and to stay in power. Most politicians don't even get things of importance produced. If you honestly believe that the government has a benign, altruistic nature, I am just going to have to believe that you are completely naive.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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