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Bloggingheads 01-03-2012 12:26 AM

Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 

Peter Sibley 01-03-2012 12:55 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
I'm very sorry, Glenn. Condolences.

TwinSwords 01-03-2012 01:09 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Great to see you again, Joshua. And very sorry to hear about the illness. Best wishes for a full recovery. And condolences to Glenn. You both have enriched the intellectual life of the BhTV audience with your contributions in the past, and we look forward to many more in the future.

Cain 01-03-2012 02:26 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Geez, I really like these guys. Year of mortality.

sapeye 01-03-2012 02:46 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Glenn, I'm sorry for your loss. I hear the pain, and also the joy, in your voice. Thank you for pointing me to As I Lay Dying.

Hang in there, Josh.

Thank you both for your openness.

Bob

basman 01-03-2012 02:56 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
I'm very sorry to hear of all this bad news.

I hope things turn out for the best where they can.

Itzik Basman

sugarkang 01-03-2012 04:21 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Good luck to Josh and condolences to Glenn. The grim nature of the introduction makes it difficult to discuss the topic at hand. But if the heads can do it, commenters should be able to do it as well.

Josh's point about corrupting power is precisely right. Josh and Glenn both agree that libertarian arguments should be taken seriously and not dismissed casually as they've been on this board, amongst political pundits, and in newspapers and TV shows across the nation.

So where was the discussion? It most certainly didn't happen in the diavlog. Maybe our beloved heads ran out of time, so I'll ask some questions that I think should be part of the serious discussion.

1. Do racists have a right to prefer certain groups of people to associate with in their private lives?
2. Do racists have the freedom to speak or write freely about these preferences?
3. If racists do not have these rights, then why not add an amendment to the Marriage Act prohibiting persons of the same race to marry and procreate? If racism is the great evil that must be eradicated in our time, then why not use state power to enforce miscegenation?
4. If there is a greater racist government policy than the War on Drugs which systematically imprisons the most marginalized blacks at three times the rate of whites, then what is it? And if there isn't, then what gives Progressives the audacity to opine on matters of racism when a supposed racist is the one trying to abolish such policy?
5. Does Martin Luther King, Jr.'s espousal of Marxist socialist doctrine preclude him from being recognized as our great leader of the civil rights movement particularly during the time when socialism was an extant threat? If MLK hadn't been assassinated, would his socialist stances preclude him from running for the presidency?
6. If Milton Friedman wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve in 2006, what makes this idea crank? Are we now redefining what it means to be a crank? If MLK can be a legitimate candidate for presidency, what makes Ron Paul disqualifying?

If you want serious libertarian discussion, what's the point in having one left and one very left academic about views that they have no vested interest in advocating? At least bring Eugene Volokh or Glenn Greenwald or Brink Lindsey or Tyler Cowen in to be one of the heads.

miceelf 01-03-2012 06:06 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 235971)
1. Do racists have a right to prefer certain groups of people to associate with in their private lives?
2. Do racists have the freedom to speak or write freely about these preferences?
3. If racists do not have these rights, then why not add an amendment to the Marriage Act prohibiting persons of the same race to marry and procreate? If racism is the great evil that must be eradicated in our time, then why not use state power to enforce miscegenation?
4. If there is a greater racist government policy than the War on Drugs which systematically imprisons the most marginalized blacks at three times the rate of whites, then what is it? And if there isn't, then what gives Progressives the audacity to opine on matters of racism when a supposed racist is the one trying to abolish such policy?
5. Does Martin Luther King, Jr.'s espousal of Marxist socialist doctrine preclude him from being recognized as our great leader of the civil rights movement particularly during the time when socialism was an extant threat? If MLK hadn't been assassinated, would his socialist stances preclude him from running for the presidency?
6. If Milton Friedman wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve in 2006, what makes this idea crank? Are we now redefining what it means to be a crank? If MLK can be a legitimate candidate for presidency, what makes Ron Paul disqualifying?

1-2. yes.
3. N/a, because 1-2 was yes. Also because literally no one is proposing it. Not even sure the point, but if it's about public accomodations, there's a magnitude of difference in the intrusion affiliated with forcing one to (say) let Black people sit in a restaurant vs. forcing one to marry someone of a particular race. It also is completely irrelevant to the grievances that the civil rights law was meant to address. Most African Americans didn't regard white genitalia as a public good that they had a right to have access to. Also, us miscegenators want to have all the fun for ourselves.
4. It's been hugely racist in terms of effect, if not intent. This is irrelevant, of course to whether everyone who opposes the policy is absolutely free of racism and/or above criticism wrt race.
5.I don't think so, but as with 3, not sure what the parallel is supposed to be. It's also hard to disentangle what MLK thought about socialism from what he putatively thought according to his opponents. Certainly, people could and did disagree with him about politics. It would depend on the specifics of what he actually thought and said wrt Marxism. Certainly, no one believes that it was impossible for MLK to be criticised; had he, for example, also wanted women to NOT have the right to vote, or Jews, he'd be regarded very differently than he is. Is the problem that MLK had some views you don't like, and therefore others aren't allowed to dislike views that Ron Paul has (or seems to have, to some)?
6. (shrug). It would depend on his rationale, but Friedman is no more above criticism than anyone else. Also, did I miss MLK lobbying for the abolition of the fed, or running for president? He would definitely not have won, had he run.

Also, the point was, or seemed to be, not a complete and exhaustive discussion of libertarianism, but how liberals should and do respond to Ron Paul. When two libertarians are doing diavlogs, I don't recall any injunction that they not discuss liberalism.

TwinSwords 01-03-2012 07:19 AM

LOL
 
http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/9122/tnc.png

Taffy 01-03-2012 08:04 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Refuah schlemah, Josh. And Glenn, deepest condolences.

Flaw 01-03-2012 09:18 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
very sad, you have my thoughts.

bkjazfan 01-03-2012 09:34 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Unfortunate news about Glenn's loss and hope Josh recovers well.

My claim to shame, Stormfront, the white supremacist group, brainchild of Jamie Kelso a classmate of mine in the 60's. The man with supposedly a higher intellect whose main accomplishment in life turns out not to be another Plato but to spread hate.

thprop 01-03-2012 09:47 AM

Linda Datcher Loury
 
Obituary posted at Tufts University.

I am at the age (55) where the most common meeting place for old friends is funeral homes as we bury our parents. I went through an eight year long goodbye with my mother which ended a little over a year ago. I have come to the conclusion that extending condolences means "this really sucks and I should say something but I do not have a clue as to what to say."

I would like to thank Glenn for his appearances on BHtv. He made those eight years a bit easier. I wish him all the best during his time of grief.

ohreally 01-03-2012 11:42 AM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
The intro ran the whole gamut from the terrifying to the god-awful... Wish I knew the magic words. So sorry for your pain, guys. Healing thoughts to both.

ledocs 01-03-2012 12:00 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
What micelf said, in every instance. An only too believably tendentious post from the kangman.

I seem to remember anti-war presidential candidates like Eugene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, and George McGovern. Even Obama would have been a kinda sorta anti-war candidate, had not the financial crisis intervened to render foreign policy almost entirely irrelevant as a political issue during his entire tenure as candidate and president. But it's fairly clear that Obama had no intention of doing anything about the military-industrial complex.

The interesting question here, posed by Cohen, is that of what happened to the "peace wing" of the Democratic Party. I can't remember ever having heard a serious discussion of America's defense budget on bhtv, or any discussion of what America is buying with its military expenditures, over time. There is an imperium. How does it work? What is it for? Is it just a self-perpetuating machine, with its own inexorable needs, desires, and logic? Even the technocratic arguments for defense budget reductions associated with Gary Hart (and Al Gore) have vanished from the scene.

In the Nov. 28, 2011 issue of "The New Yorker," there is a profile of libertarian billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel by George Packer. It turns out that Thiel is some or much of the money behind dv'er Eliezer Yudkowsky, I think I've got that right. They are close friends, at any rate. I'm not a huge Packer fan, he's OK, the basic take of the article rings true, namely that Thiel's understanding of politics is highly deficient. When the profile begins, Thiel is reading obscure essays by Leo Strauss. So I'm wondering to myself, how do I get on this gravy train, how can I ingratiate myself with this guy, he sounds interesting. By the end of the article, Thiel seems much less interesting.

My general view is that Paul is far too imperfect a vessel to allow me to say anything approbative about him. I do think someone else needs to question the American imperium within the context of a serious presidential candidacy, the sooner the better. Again, either there needs to be serious reform within the Democratic Party, or there needs to be a third party.

Florian 01-03-2012 12:19 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 235993)
In the Nov. 28, 2011 issue of "The New Yorker," there is a profile of libertarian billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel by George Packer. It turns out that Thiel is some or much of the money behind dv'er Eliezer Yudkowsky, I think I've got that right. They are close friends, at any rate.

I always thought Eliezer was one of the more bizarre, not to say borderline insane, participants on bhtv. Now I know why.

Quote:

I'm not a huge Packer fan, he's OK, the basic take of the article rings true, namely that Thiel's understanding of politics is highly deficient. When the profile begins, Thiel is reading obscure essays by Leo Strauss. So I'm wondering to myself, how do I get on this gravy train, how can I ingratiate myself with this guy, he sounds interesting. By the end of the article, Thiel seems much less interesting.
Having read a few obscure essays by Leo Strauss, I want to get on that gravy train too!

Quote:

My general view is that Paul is far too imperfect a vessel to allow me to say anything approbative about him. I do think someone else needs to question the American imperium within the context of a serious presidential candidacy, the sooner the better. Again, either there needs to be serious reform within the Democratic Party, or there needs to be a third party.
Amen.

ohreally 01-03-2012 12:34 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 235993)
I do think someone else needs to question the American imperium within the context of a serious presidential candidacy, the sooner the better.

Some worry that an independent run by RP (RP because when you go by your initials it means you've arrived) would undercut Obama. True or not, it's not trivially untrue. And that's the scariest thing! In what degenerate political theater of the absurd has a radical rightwinger threatened to split... the leftwing vote! That's why I predict the Republican party will have two nominees: Romney and Obama.

ohreally 01-03-2012 12:53 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 235994)
I always thought Eliezer was one of the more bizarre, not to say borderline insane, participants on bhtv.

Not to mention his tireless dedication to keeping the maximum distance between what he knows and what he thinks he knows.

bkjazfan 01-03-2012 01:51 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
I think a diavlog on incarceration would be appropriate. Josh made a comment on this subject and as have a few others who have appeared on BHTV. He lives in California which has a unusually high number of people that are incarcerated. In the state prison system alone there are 160,000 inmates.

Some of the questions I have are how many are imprisoned due to drug offenses, violent crime, white collar, in other words a breakdown of percentages relating to what caused this large mass of people to end up behind bars? Why do some states appear to incarcerate so heavily compared to others if that is the case? Perhaps, a discussion on sentencing guidelines would be helpful. Also, the elephant in the room is the high recidivism rates. Why do so many (70%) end up back in prison time after time? My immediate answer would be institutionalization but that would be way too simplistic so there must be a myriad of other reasons but what are they?

Perhaps, I have missed it but I can't remember a well rounded diavlog on this subject having taken place.

miceelf 01-03-2012 03:17 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 236000)
Perhaps, I have missed it but I can't remember a well rounded diavlog on this subject having taken place.

In transit, and I may be confabulating, but wasn't there a cohen-kleiman diavlog about incarceration?

bkjazfan 01-03-2012 04:15 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 236012)
In transit, and I may be confabulating, but wasn't there a cohen-kleiman diavlog about incarceration?

Yes, they they did an 18 segment of a diavlog on incarceration in January of last year. Per usual, what Mark had to say was quite valuable. What I would like to see is a broader examination of the problem of high incarceration rates in the U.S.

whburgess 01-03-2012 04:26 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
First time I've ever pulled kleenexes while watching BhTv. I admire the sacrifice these two made in discussing their respective situations publicly like this. It was the profoundest contribution to the BhTv audience I've seen yet. I don't think I could ever be that generous. Thanks guys, for reminding me that I already know what matters most in life; it's easy to forget when you're always trying to learn something new.

For the first time, someone I loved dearly passed two months ago as well, (i've been lucky for a man my age), and I understand Glenn's world of darkness and confusion. Joshua's words of comfort were so incredibly poignant, as they were coming from a man who is facing his own mortality rather then a loved one's and therefore is not confused at all about how one left living should proceed. With strength, decency, contribution, friendship, and love. Thanks for reminding us, Mr. Cohen.

ledocs 01-03-2012 05:11 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
I'm reasonably confident that a third party run by Paul would draw more votes from the Republican candidate than from Obama, at least 60/40, I would think. I'm not a pollster, but it's not as though Wonderment is going to vote for Paul over Obama, despite the fact that Obama has overseen the escalation of two wars. But "the Left" is in a vice in the US, Nader gave the 2000 election to Bush. I don't have a solution for this problem.

badhatharry 01-03-2012 05:45 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 235971)
so I'll ask some questions that I think should be part of the serious discussion.

answers:
1) yes
2) yes
3) but they do...3a) as Paul has said racism is a sin of the heart. No law can stop it, nor should any law be enacted.
4) the policy against drugs is not racist.
5) no 5a) no
6) the question of whether the idea of abolishing the Fed is crank does not depend on whether Friedman thought it should be abolished but I didn't know he did. 6a) everyone defines crank for themselves...along with every other hyberbole in the language. Today I heard Chris Matthews compare the super pak money going into the Iowa campaign to the bombing of Dresden. 6b) Paul has qualified to run for president.

whburgess 01-03-2012 05:54 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 236026)
I'm reasonably confident that a third party run by Paul would draw more votes from the Republican candidate than from Obama, at least 60/40, I would think. I'm not a pollster, but it's not as though Wonderment is going to vote for Paul over Obama, despite the fact that Obama has overseen the escalation of two wars. But "the Left" is in a vice in the US, Nader gave the 2000 election to Bush. I don't have a solution for this problem.

I think you miscalculate. I'm not a pollster either, but I think Paul's supporters make up these groups listed in order of greater percentages:

1. People for whom ending the drug war is a top issue.
2. People like Wonderment, for whom ending the American empire is a top issue
3. People who are political libertarians, in that they actually vote libertarian.
4. Right wing conspiracy theorists, John Bircher types, and those who think going back to the gold standard would solve all our economic problems.



1 & 2 are people who would be much more likely to be Dems then Republicans, although they are obviously more independent (or they would not be Paul supporters.) If they can't vote Paul, they'll much more likely vote Obama.

3 are people who, in the unlikely case they won't vote libertarian, will split pretty evenly.

4 are people who will vote for the Republican, if they vote at all. I think these people compete with the stoners in group one in who would be least likely to vote if they can't have Paul, since they are the most extreme in terms of one issue voters and don't see any difference between the parties on their issues.

miceelf 01-03-2012 06:03 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 236023)
First time I've ever pulled kleenexes while watching BhTv. I admire the sacrifice these two made in discussing their respective situations publicly like this. It was the profoundest contribution to the BhTv audience I've seen yet. I don't think I could ever be that generous. Thanks guys, for reminding me that I already know what matters most in life; it's easy to forget when you're always trying to learn something new.

Amen to all.

stephanie 01-03-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 235965)
Great to see you again, Joshua. And very sorry to hear about the illness. Best wishes for a full recovery. And condolences to Glenn. You both have enriched the intellectual life of the BhTV audience with your contributions in the past, and we look forward to many more in the future.

I never know the right thing to say, which as others have said is what condolences tends to mean, but this says well what I'd like to.

Glenn's discussion was quite moving.

sapeye 01-03-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
What I find interesting and troubling about some of the left wing's semi-embrace of Paul because of his foreign policy and wall-street stances, in spite of his domestic policy views, is that the left already has an excellent potential candidate who agrees with Paul on his foreign policies and disagrees on domestic policies. Kucinich is consistent, honest, fearless and generally makes excellent (progressive) sense. Yet for the most part he was considered a crank during the previous election. And we hear nothing at all about him as a possible primary challenger or third party candidate this time around.

benjy 01-03-2012 07:36 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
So sorry to hear about your loss, Glenn, and your illness, Josh. You've enriched all of our lives here, and it really is a privilege to be able to listen in on such rich discussion and deep analysis of the issues and moral questions of our time. My thinking and understanding of the world have been greatly improved by many conversations on Bloggingheads, and probably most of all yours, Glenn. Just wanted to pass on my thanks, and send you my condolences along with the many other viewers whose lives you've touched. You've provided us with a lot of light, and like Josh said, hopefully we can give you a little as well.

whburgess 01-03-2012 07:45 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 235971)
Good luck to Josh and condolences to Glenn. The grim nature of the introduction makes it difficult to discuss the topic at hand. But if the heads can do it, commenters should be able to do it as well.

Josh's point about corrupting power is precisely right. Josh and Glenn both agree that libertarian arguments should be taken seriously and not dismissed casually as they've been on this board, amongst political pundits, and in newspapers and TV shows across the nation.

So where was the discussion? It most certainly didn't happen in the diavlog. Maybe our beloved heads ran out of time, so I'll ask some questions that I think should be part of the serious discussion.

1. Do racists have a right to prefer certain groups of people to associate with in their private lives?
2. Do racists have the freedom to speak or write freely about these preferences?
3. If racists do not have these rights, then why not add an amendment to the Marriage Act prohibiting persons of the same race to marry and procreate? If racism is the great evil that must be eradicated in our time, then why not use state power to enforce miscegenation?
4. If there is a greater racist government policy than the War on Drugs which systematically imprisons the most marginalized blacks at three times the rate of whites, then what is it? And if there isn't, then what gives Progressives the audacity to opine on matters of racism when a supposed racist is the one trying to abolish such policy?
5. Does Martin Luther King, Jr.'s espousal of Marxist socialist doctrine preclude him from being recognized as our great leader of the civil rights movement particularly during the time when socialism was an extant threat? If MLK hadn't been assassinated, would his socialist stances preclude him from running for the presidency?
6. If Milton Friedman wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve in 2006, what makes this idea crank? Are we now redefining what it means to be a crank? If MLK can be a legitimate candidate for presidency, what makes Ron Paul disqualifying?

If you want serious libertarian discussion, what's the point in having one left and one very left academic about views that they have no vested interest in advocating? At least bring Eugene Volokh or Glenn Greenwald or Brink Lindsey or Tyler Cowen in to be one of the heads.

I think Badhat answered these questions well.

I thought they discussed libertarianism, but I think their arguments against it were not very good. The idea that roads wouldn't be built or education wouldn't happen if the federal government wasn't in charge of them is ridiculous. In fact, federal control of education is contributing to an education system which, in its incompetence, is literally destroying people's lives, IMO.

Also, I disagree that workplace sexual harassment laws are a 'liberty issue' as Josh says they are. Those laws aren't needed beyond laws that already exist that prevent someone from following a woman around in the mall telling her what a nice ass she has. Why not strengthen penalties against harassment in the mall, workplace, street, --wherever and when a someone harasses a woman at work, they risk stiff penalties. The company she's working for has nothing to do with it, it's between her and the person harassing her, and while that person should be punished, she shouldn't be able to make money off of it any more then the woman in the mall can. If she can't prove it, or if she's afraid of getting fired over it, then she can get another job. She doesn't have a 'right' to any particular job.

When I was a young man I worked in a fabrication shop that had nude girlie centerfolds, in chronological order, on the walls, near the ceiling, all the way around. The tradition was started when such posters were in black and white and had continued to that day. I found them to be of great historical interest. Shortly thereafter, the company hired a young 'hot' female accountant who worked in the office where there were no such pinups. The path to the cafeteria was perhaps 20 steps longer then if she took a short cut through the fab shop. Guess what she did? She would walk through the fab shop anyway fully cognizant of the inevitable attention her hotness demanded. The men behaved themselves well, but soon she demanded the posters be taken down. When management refused to make the men take the posters down, she got a lawyer. The posters were removed. Another event forming my political mindset.

sapeye 01-03-2012 08:16 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
I appreciate Josh’s point that an argument for public education doesn’t need to be grounded in the idea of the arc of history. Individual freedom is promoted by public education.

I think a more generic argument can be made based on the structure and functioning of systems in general. Systems are made up of subsystems, often multiple layers of such subsystems. The functioning of the subsystems depends on their context, which is provided by the system as a whole. If the larger system crashes, so do the subsystems. There are two main ways systems tend to crash: 1. Either the overarching functioning of the larger system becomes overly static or erratic due to control being too centralized and thus overly constraining the expression of self-organization by the subsystems, or 2. There is too little regulation of the subsystems and one or more of them can destroy those around it. When subsystems get too far out of balance in relation to each other, the system as a whole can crash. Thus dynamic tension between regulation and freedom is required to keep the larger system elastic and resilient and the subsystems interacting with each other in mutually beneficial ways.

There are a variety of potential traps built into systems structures, two of which are Success to the Successful and the Tragedy of the Commons. In the first trap, powerful individuals or corporations become more and more successful as they consolidate wealth and power. Sooner or later monopolies develop in which they have such an enormous competitive advantage others have no real possibility of competing. The free market crashes. Assuming healthy competition is beneficial, everyone eventually loses. E.g. the current financial situation.

A second potential trap, the Tragedy of the Commons, is a situation in which each individual makes rational decisions based on his or her short term personal benefit and yet the sum of those decisions leads to long term collective costs and the potential destruction of the commons. In that case, everyone involved loses, even the short term winners. E.g. current ecological destruction.

These traps are not a matter of moral good or bad, or of political orientation. They are built into the way systems operate, and the only way to prevent them from developing is through regulation, which limits short term individual freedom for the sake of the long term collective good. Libertarian arguments for extreme individual freedom without regulation logically lead to systemic collapse and potential chaos.

It can be argued that allowing systems to function without regulation is the healthy and natural way to proceed, and that sooner or later they will balance themselves. Perhaps, but the same can be said about any kind of social contracts intended to stabilize the context in which we live. Without any such agreements, we are back to dog eat dog.

Ocean 01-03-2012 08:38 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapeye (Post 236049)
What I find interesting and troubling about some of the left wing's semi-embrace of Paul because of his foreign policy and wall-street stances, in spite of his domestic policy views, is that the left already has an excellent potential candidate who agrees with Paul on his foreign policies and disagrees on domestic policies. Kucinich is consistent, honest, fearless and generally makes excellent (progressive) sense. Yet for the most part he was considered a crank during the previous election. And we hear nothing at all about him as a possible primary challenger or third party candidate this time around.

Wake up, America!

As much as you (and I) may adore his message, he's a non-candidate.

ohreally 01-03-2012 08:43 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 236055)
In fact, federal control of education is contributing to an education system which, in its incompetence, is literally destroying people's lives, IMO.

Federal control of education? Which country are you talking about?

Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 236055)
... if she's afraid of getting fired over it, then she can get another job. She doesn't have a 'right' to any particular job.

No, you don't mean that. You mean she doesn't have a right to a certain work environment that's not detrimental to her as a woman. Hmm... In Dickens's era, 7-year old kids might put in 15 hours a day in a spinning mill. No one forced their parents to send their kids to work. What's wrong with that? I suppose you'll draw a line between child labor and exposing women at work to playboy centerfolds. But which Libertarian principle guides the line drawing? Ludwig von Mises would say none. Lew Rockwell would say the same. I assume our resident Libertarians would not go that far. But here's the rub. Libertarianism cannot compromise without selling out, something that Rawlsians are immune to (after all, reflective equilibrium is all about compromise). So Libertarians flaunt the purity of their dogma, and then sell out. That's why I call that ideology juvenile.

badhatharry 01-03-2012 08:46 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapeye (Post 236059)
These traps are not a matter of moral good or bad, or of political orientation. They are built into the way systems operate, and the only way to prevent them from developing is through regulation, which limits short term individual freedom for the sake of the long term collective good. Libertarian arguments for extreme individual freedom without regulation logically lead to systemic collapse and potential chaos.

Right, regulation by a wise and unbiased class of rulers which has absolute knowledge of human nature and the way to ameliorate harm caused by humans. Too bad this doesn't exist.

Diane1976 01-03-2012 09:01 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Glenn and Joshua,

Thank you both so much for sharing these very personal and difficult experiences.

Glenn, my husband died a few years ago and my heart goes out to you. The beautiful memories of the time you spent with your wife, who must have been such a fine woman, seem very precious. I found your story about those very moving. I think they will help you through the difficult time ahead. And you have your children. I suppose one thing to remember is that each person experiences grief differently, even close family members.

Joshua, I wish you the best for a good recovery. I don't know if this is now an old fashioned belief, but I always feel that men find it harder to talk about such things as grief and illness, than women do, and, for that reason, I was especially touched by your conversation.

jimM47 01-03-2012 09:10 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 236063)
Libertarianism cannot compromise without selling out, something that Rawlsians are immune to

It is not uncommon to see libertarian principles explicitly and systematically justified and defined by means of arguments appealing the Rawlsian original position. E.g., Richard Epstein, Simple Rules for a Complex World.

Tyrrell McAllister 01-03-2012 09:42 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 235997)
Not to mention his tireless dedication to keeping the maximum distance between what he knows and what he thinks he knows.

I have pretty much the opposite impression of Eliezer. Do you have an example in mind?

Ocean 01-03-2012 09:46 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
To Glenn, condolences again. Time heals.

To Josh, best of luck with your treatments.

Thank you both for a thoughtful discussion.

Diane1976 01-03-2012 09:47 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapeye (Post 236059)
I appreciate Josh’s point that an argument for public education doesn’t need to be grounded in the idea of the arc of history. Individual freedom is promoted by public education...........

It can be argued that allowing systems to function without regulation is the healthy and natural way to proceed, and that sooner or later they will balance themselves. Perhaps, but the same can be said about any kind of social contracts intended to stabilize the context in which we live. Without any such agreements, we are back to dog eat dog.

Public education was traditionally the way of integrating immigrants also, the second generation, making sure that whatever message they got at home or from their religions, which might be fine, was supplemented by teaching about the values and expectations of the new country.

I noticed that large organizations, government, not sure about private, go through swings back and forth between centralization and decentralization, between tighter and looser control, less and more internal regulation. They always go too far one way and it results in some disaster, a huge financial scandal or a kind of paralysis, and then they move the other way. I, personally, think that systems overall have gone to some extreme resulting in the financial crisis. But I think the problem was too loose control by government, not too much, which is the opposite, of course, of what many people say.

I always want to ask libertarians why they seem to think the only source of power in a modern western democracy is government. That seems wrong to me, like something that was true of much more totalitarian or centralized systems of the past. I think of government as one source of power among a number, and it's the only one we all get to have a say in, so it doesn't make much sense to me to try to cripple it. That seems like an anti-democratic idea. I would say the point would be more to make sure it works as well as possible for all of us, as it should, and to make sure it's not overly beholden to any special groups, etc., as it may be if politicians are too much dependant on money to ever get elected.

sapeye 01-03-2012 10:06 PM

Re: Means and Ends (Joshua Cohen & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 236072)

I always want to ask libertarians why they seem to think the only source of power in a modern western democracy is government. That seems wrong to me, like something that was true of much more totalitarian or centralized systems of the past. I think of government as one source of power among a number, and it's the only one we all get to have a say in, so it doesn't make much sense to me to try to cripple it. That seems like an anti-democratic idea. I would say the point would be more to make sure it works as well as possible for all of us, as it should, and to make sure it's not overly beholden to any special groups, etc., as it may be if politicians are too much dependant on money to ever get elected.

Exactly. The apparently naive belief that because government is corrupt all that needs to happen is to reduce the size of government and all the huge corporations and other powerful entities will behave in ways that will enhance the general well-being and freedom of individuals.

Somehow, and I don't know how, the multiple voices and actions of individual citizens need to counteract the power of corporations and challenge the corruption of the government. It seems foolish to pretend that either an unregulated free market or an unchallenged government will solve the current problems.


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