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Bloggingheads 10-27-2008 09:22 AM

Intolerable Failure
 

ginger baker 10-27-2008 11:29 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
LIbertarianism will survive...unfortunately. But Weisberg's implicit point was that libertarians are in denial. If they actually ever walked the balk they would turn their little venal crusade supposedly waged on behalf of “freedom” and “the individual” not just at government infrastructure and moral doctrine but at the “private” realm of concentrated power and wealth which dominates their own lives – as well as the very economy they want to liberate. The ugly truth is that the banking and financial sectors are themselves the absolute epitome of hierarchical command and control, mindless paper trails, and a bunch of middle-class stiffs in business suits whose job it is to serve THE MAN.

The important political point in all of this is that libertarians have to face up to the fact that dissolving federal power is always bound to fail because such dissolve only ignores the very conditions that typically lead to the growth of centralization in the first place. They haven't seemed to figure that out yet. Indeed federalism was originally designed to promote self-governance by dispersing political power.

claymisher 10-27-2008 11:55 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
I admire libertarians for their dedication to what is mostly an aesthetic enterprise, replacing the institutions of government with corporations. It's like a game whose goal is to dial down government's share of GDP to the lowest level without turning the country into a dystopian nightmare. At least I hope they care about that last part. Too bad that's about as useful as a lipogram is to fiction.

Bobby G 10-27-2008 01:11 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ginger baker (Post 95424)
Weisberg's implicit point was that libertarians are in denial. If they actually ever walked the balk they would turn their little venal crusade supposedly waged on behalf of “freedom” and “the individual” not just at government infrastructure and moral doctrine but at the “private” realm of concentrated power and wealth which dominates their own lives – as well as the very economy they want to liberate. The ugly truth is that the banking and financial sectors are themselves the absolute epitome of hierarchical command and control, mindless paper trails, and a bunch of middle-class stiffs in business suits whose job it is to serve THE MAN.

That must have been a deeply implicit point in Weisberg's column. Are you sure it's not just your point? I could have sworn, having read Weisberg's column a couple of times, that his point was that this crisis discredits libertarianism as an ideology. And that's a pretty dumb point.

As for your point, you can't reduce libertarians' motivations to something monolithic. For many libertarians, the point is utility maximization. They happen to think that, overall, utility is maximized if we put a lot of institutions into private hands.

Second, libertarians know that a lot of private institutions are command-and-control. One response to that is: at least you don't have to work for those private institutions, whereas you do have to be subject to the government; another point is: command-and-control is not always bad. Arguably, your brain commands and controls your body, to no libertarian's dismay; similarly, in the case of some corporations command-and-control is fine. It is, however, particularly bad when governments do it, with regard to at least some policies.

Third, some libertarians care about rights. Regardless of the society that results from respecting rights, they have a menu of rights they think that it's important to respect, and they think we ought to respect them, let the chips fall where they may.

nikkibong 10-27-2008 01:27 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
from the esteemed translator and linguist matt welch:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/154...1:55&out=22:04

AemJeff 10-27-2008 02:21 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95429)
Third, some libertarians care about rights. Regardless of the society that results from respecting rights, they have a menu of rights they think that it's important to respect, and they think we ought to respect them, let the chips fall where they may.

I'm a bit off-topic, but you've just highlighted my main problem with capital-"L" Libertarianism. Their view of rights seems to lead inevitably to a Hobbesian hell. I'm a liberal, rather than a libertarian mostly because given a choice between power progressively concentrating itself in private hands, and a constitutionally constrained government acting as an equalizer and arbiter - I'll take the latter. (Imperfect as that can be, in practice.)

MemeInjector3000 10-27-2008 03:13 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Even conservatives don't like libertarians:

The Marxism of the Right

An excerpt:

"If Marxism is the delusion that one can run society purely on altruism and collectivism, then libertarianism is the mirror-image delusion that one can run it purely on selfishness and individualism. Society in fact requires both individualism and collectivism, both selfishness and altruism, to function. Like Marxism, libertarianism offers the fraudulent intellectual security of a complete a priori account of the political good without the effort of empirical investigation. Like Marxism, it aspires, overtly or covertly, to reduce social life to economics. And like Marxism, it has its historical myths and a genius for making its followers feel like an elect unbound by the moral rules of their society."

This crisis won't be the end of libertarianism, alas. Until there is no longer a need to rationalize personal greed, it'll endure.

sealrock 10-27-2008 03:34 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
so. much. discussed. still. digesting.

pair these guys up again.

Malthust 10-27-2008 03:44 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Scheiber's observation that Obama tends to value expertise over ideology was more effective than he seemed to realize. Economics claims to be an empirical discipline, but economic policy has long been dominated by mostly meaningless quibbling between non-falsifiable philosophical ideologies. For about three decades, there seems to have been some fundamental confusion between economics and religious faith.

Wouldn't a focus on "good design" be a refreshingly technocratic end-run around the whole tired debate? And wouldn’t that represent a more fundamental change than simply a political "swing of the pendulum?"

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 04:00 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Good points by Ginger and a good response by Bobby.

A quibble:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95429)
Second, libertarians know that a lot of private institutions are command-and-control. One response to that is: at least you don't have to work for those private institutions ...

This drifts towards glibertarianism. It is not so easy to escape the company town, nor is it so easy to avoid having to do business with Microsoft or IBM or General Motors or Standard Oil/ExxonMobil (at various points in the past, I mean). True, over time we see an eventual response from Apple and Mozilla, Sun and HP, Toyota and Honda, and ... okay, Big Oil is still uncontested. But it takes time to get there, and a lot of individual pain is caused in the meantime. It's one thing to be a young adult without dependents -- quit working for The Man, pull up stakes, and seek your fortune elsewhere. It's quite another to be middle-aged with teenagers about ready to go to college, a mortgage, looming health costs and retirement, and not too many skills for other markets.

Unfettered capitalism always seems to move towards monopolies and monopsonies, and these last for non-trivial lengths of time, and they often are only replaced by other 800-pound gorillas (e.g., Microsoft replacing IBM).

I'm not rejecting the argument out of hand, nor am I saying -- by any means -- that it's better to have government controlling everything. I am saying, though, that it's facile to say that willy-nilly removing all regulation of the private sector means ponies for everybody.

I realize I'm exaggerating your argument, Bobby. it's just for the sake of contrast.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 04:08 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Shorter Matt Welch:
Quote:

People who worry about the financial system melting down are irrational Chicken Littles. Nothing drastic ever happens. The system takes care of itself. They need to get a grip.

But Obama and a Democratic Congress? ZOMG! Run for your lives!!1!
Notwithstanding this aspect, I did enjoy most of the diavlog. I thought Noam made a number of very good points (No Drama O'Scheiber FTW), and I found some of what Matt said useful, at least as cautions to keep in mind.

threep 10-27-2008 04:27 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Time to put words and concepts to the anti-libertarian ranting, guys. Compare and contrast. The two--capitalism and corporatism--get conflated pretty much constantly, but any "real" libertarian is against the latter. You can certainly argue that they don't spend enough time on it, or that they don't allot enough government power in order to combat it in their version of the imaginary world where everyone's personal politics are supreme. However, left-of-center people are still focused on ends instead of process, so it's a little like attacking green apples when you know you're gonna go with oranges. I.e. How much power corporations can be allowed to have is a question of what the rules of the game should be, whereas left-liberals just would like the government to have that power so they can use it to do something.

ginger baker 10-27-2008 04:35 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Hi, and thhanks for th thouhgtful reply. Ins hort, I have always found those who identify as "libertarians" to be exacty those referred to by weisberg, you know, the 14 yr old readings Rand thinking their radical. Libertarianism is a hollow political ideology which reduces politics to the thin veil of economic formula, and in its most desparate moments, to the simplistic slogans of Benthemite England...which no one takes eriously these days. Libertarian thought also hides its contempt for democracy...but because it doesnt have the guts to go to Nietzsche it is thoroughly bourgeois! Henxe my earlier comment about middle-class stiffs n business suits. It also reduces human beings to "rational" self-interested subjects who can be charted with graphs and other "methodoligical" bs yet its understanding of subjectivity is temporally parochial...if not laughable. It completely ignores the Continent, and I dont mean Kant through John Rawls.

you can have the last word...i have mor eimortantthings to do...

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 04:37 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by threep (Post 95453)
Time to put words and concepts to the anti-libertarian ranting, guys. Compare and contrast. The two--capitalism and corporatism--get conflated pretty much constantly, but any "real" libertarian is against the latter. You can certainly argue that they don't spend enough time on it, or that they don't allot enough government power in order to combat it in their version of the imaginary world where everyone's personal politics are supreme. However, left-of-center people are still focused on ends instead of process, so it's a little like attacking green apples when you know you're gonna go with oranges. I.e. How much power corporations can be allowed to have is a question of what the rules of the game should be, whereas left-liberals just would like the government to have that power so they can use it to do something.

Agree with your opening sentiments, although I'd say I'm hard-pressed to see how unfettered capitalism doesn't invariably lead to corporatism.

Toward the end, I think you're guilty of the same amount of over-simplification that you begin by criticizing. I am a lefty/liberal. I am also a big fan of letting things play out on the free market as much as possible and a bigger fan of keeping the government from over-managing. In my ideal liberal utopia, the government's main objectives are keeping the playing fields level, providing dampening effects on economic swings, and providing impetus to help new industries and technologies get off the ground.

threep 10-27-2008 04:54 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Well that just makes you a Kaus-ian neoliberal, if true.

There's a point about this, and basically I need to say something that can seem very disingenuous. It is possible (in fact I take your word for it!) that you in fact are a market-liberal-ish guy. There are a lot of people like that, I know. But it doesn't change the fact that the main thrust of the greater multifaceted social meta-organism that is "the left" or "left-liberals" is a desire to achieve results in social/economic equality, relationships between the individual and the collective/state, etc., nor the fact that they have a fundamental difference in opinion in what rights people have and what freedom means (positive/negative etc.). The disingenuous part is just that a lot of people may be moderate, but without pull from the other side or the need to compromise, they might never meet a leftish impulse they didn't like. Of course this is also true of conservatives who actually support a fairly liberal society, but if ideologues were able to continually press the national greatness/social cohesion/virtue/purity buttons they'd never quite find a reason to resist. I guess this is all just an argument for why sweeping generalizations about what animates people aren't entirely worthless.

And btw, unfettered capitalism certainly DOES lead to monopolies. I'm fairly certain that's inarguable at this point, and Matt Welch spent quite a bit of time in the diavlog railing against trusting corporate success stories to somehow be evenhanded in government, which I should take to mean he's no lover of corporate power.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 05:22 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by threep (Post 95458)
Well that just makes you a Kaus-ian neoliberal, if true.

You really know how to hurt a guy. ;^)

To the rest: well said. Agreed totally with the need for competing viewpoints to keep things in check. Minor quibble: I still think you're exaggerating the extent to which the old-style big-government left's views hold sway. I am inclined to think you're exaggerating for effect, so I'll just leave it at that.

It is true that we of "the left" would like to see more socioeconomic equality in our society. Surely, you don't think this is a bad thing? Again, though, I claim that many on the left, particularly those with clout, have learned from the past that there are plenty of bad ways to try to achieve this end.

Go liberaltarianism!

threep 10-27-2008 05:51 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Eight years of a nefarious common political enemy would probably tend to cause you to underestimate the number of people you would sharply disagree with if the focus was turned inwards.

fedorovingtonboop 10-27-2008 05:59 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
How can anyone be dumb or arrogant enough to still defend libertarianism? Did you watch Greenspan, possibly the top libertarian of them all, specifically admit that his IDEOLOGY was wrong??? Might want to try glancing at the front page of any newspaper. It's over guys...just let it go. Why do I suspect I'll still be hearing "Well, marketsmarketsmarketsmarkets..." for the rest of my life?

fedorovingtonboop 10-27-2008 07:21 PM

uuuuuhh, Matt?
 
oh................my..............god. both of you are absolutely insane. uh, Matt?
which deregulation? are you kidding me? now I know why I stopped reading Reason years ago.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...dia/index.html they're laughing, mr. welch
well, there's this one for starters. then we have Greenspan's fantastic choice to totally ignore Warren Buffett (you know, that investor guy?), etc. about the $62 trillion web of credit swaps.....
wow, I don't get offended by much but you have serious nerve to come on here, being as discredited as you can possibly be, and you actually think it's acceptable to go on the offensive??? as if it's somebody else's fault? i think you need to watch Greenspan testify again so you can see the unequivocal death of your religion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwpnH_OTZio
i don't think life could possibly get any more clear than that. now I'd suggest looking up "brain plasticity." you can't "detail" your way out of this one. i don't care how many numbers and facts you list, it's not like we don't all know what happened.
i couldn't even pay attention to noam 'cuz i was so distracted by the hot air from mr. welch but he didn't seem any better because he was partially agreeing. i mean, forgive me for pointing out the 800 pound gorilla, but man oh man.
wanting "less gov't and more markets" doesn't need an ideology. a normal person can just use their common sense to figure out what's working or not. if you're not going to be humble or apologetic, at least lose the twinkle in your eye.

bkjazfan 10-27-2008 08:26 PM

Re: uuuuuhh, Matt?
 
Come on Matt give "Atlas Shrugged" a run through. Her entire philosophy is in that book according to her protege Leonard Peikoff (an heir to her estate which means he must have a few bucks). Afterall, don't you want to know who John Galt is? I did.

It looks like the Libertarian party is tanking. Their candidates for pres and vp are former Republicans, Bob Barr & Wayne Allen Root, and are not true free market types like Harry Browne & Ron Paul. Also, if deservedly or not the meltdown of the free market banking system will cause them to take a hit. That said they are still around whereas the Peace and Freedom party an outgrowth of the Vietnam antiwar movement seems to have disappeared.

John

Ray 10-27-2008 09:52 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by threep (Post 95453)
Time to put words and concepts to the anti-libertarian ranting, guys. Compare and contrast.

Compare business and capitalism.

That's the distinction libertarians can't wrap their heads around.

Business has always existed. I mean: we're talking beginning of time, here. Business exists under totalitarianism; it exists under anarchism (or would!).

Capitalism is new, strange, and requires a strong government to function. It's hard to understand and make work, too.

That's why libertarians pretend capitalism is just business. It isn't.

Bobby G 10-27-2008 10:08 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 95492)
That's the distinction libertarians can't wrap their heads around.

You really need to talk to more libertarians if you think they're that stupid. Of course some are, but really we're talking about a lot of very smart people who know this stuff.

Quote:

Business has always existed. I mean: we're talking beginning of time, here. Business exists under totalitarianism; it exists under anarchism (or would!).

Capitalism is new, strange, and requires a strong government to function. It's hard to understand and make work, too.

That's why libertarians pretend capitalism is just business. It isn't.
I think you're confusing libertarians with anarcho-capitalists. Libertarians, whether rights- or utility-based, know that there have to be rules of the playing field before a market economy can function. Read Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty or Epstein's Simple Rules for a Complex World.

Bobby G 10-27-2008 10:14 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 95449)
This drifts towards glibertarianism. It is not so easy to escape the company town, nor is it so easy to avoid having to do business with Microsoft or IBM or General Motors or Standard Oil/ExxonMobil (at various points in the past, I mean). True, over time we see an eventual response from Apple and Mozilla, Sun and HP, Toyota and Honda, and ... okay, Big Oil is still uncontested. But it takes time to get there, and a lot of individual pain is caused in the meantime. It's one thing to be a young adult without dependents -- quit working for The Man, pull up stakes, and seek your fortune elsewhere. It's quite another to be middle-aged with teenagers about ready to go to college, a mortgage, looming health costs and retirement, and not too many skills for other markets.

Yeah, I didn't raise that point because I didn't want to disturb the flow of my post. But you should have raised it. So, uh, good for you for ... doing what you should do. Anyway: sure, there are company towns, and it's certainly a delicate situation for those people. Often, they can't work anywhere else. But the point is, by and large people have the opportunity for exit. It's not only that they don't have to work for a particular business; even if there's only one business in town they can leave the town, not that that's always a great option. But regardless, it's unclear what the alternative is. Government make-work? A lot of libertarians would favor a Charles Murray/Milton Friedman style negative income tax so that even when the corporation goes away, people still have enough financial power to have an option.

Quote:

Unfettered capitalism always seems to move towards monopolies and monopsonies, and these last for non-trivial lengths of time, and they often are only replaced by other 800-pound gorillas (e.g., Microsoft replacing IBM).
I guess it depends on what you mean by monopolies. I don't know that it ever--and I mean ever--happens that you get a true, 100% monopoly without government assistance. You'll get your 90%ers, though. This can be bad, but of course curing this problem can often be worse.

I'm not rejecting the argument out of hand, nor am I saying -- by any means -- that it's better to have government controlling everything. I am saying, though, that it's facile to say that willy-nilly removing all regulation of the private sector means ponies for everybody.

TwinSwords 10-27-2008 10:28 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95494)
I think you're confusing libertarians with anarcho-capitalists. Libertarians, whether rights- or utility-based, know that there have to be rules of the playing field before a market economy can function. Read Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty or Epstein's Simple Rules for a Complex World.

What's Ayn Rand: anarcho-capitalist or libertarian?

rcocean 10-27-2008 11:36 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Please no more libertarians. These goofs don't live in the real world. Most are just Liberals that want to smoke dope and not pay taxes. The remainder are other-worldly capitalist ideologues - the nut cases who quote Ayn Rand and bury gold in their back yard.

GE, B-of-A, Exxon and all the other massive banks, hedge-funds, GSEs, and corporations that dominate our society aren't "free enterprise" and they need to be tightly controlled and regulated. Only a goof or a "libertarian" would argue otherwise.

fedorovingtonboop 10-27-2008 11:40 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 95520)
Please no more libertarians. These goofs don't live in the real world. Most are just Liberals that want to smoke dope and not pay taxes. The remainder are other-worldly capitalist ideologues - the nut cases who quote Ayn Rand and bury gold in their back yard.

GE, B-of-A, Exxon and all the other massive banks, hedge-funds, GSEs, and corporations that dominate our society aren't "free enterprise" and they need to be tightly controlled and regulated. Only a goof or a "libertarian" would argue otherwise.

no kidding, i'll second that. why have there been so many lately? is bob giving them a chance to defend themselves or is it that they're overrepresented on the internet? either way they can be done now

piscivorous 10-27-2008 11:43 PM

Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
Been absent from the comment section for awhile, a pattern that will persist through the election, but I couldn't resist making this post available to the forum. The Obama Tax Lies.

TwinSwords 10-27-2008 11:43 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop (Post 95523)
no kidding, i'll second that. why have there been so many lately? is bob giving them a chance to defend themselves or is it that they're overrepresented on the internet? either way they can be done now

Good question. This site has long overrepresented the fringe, lunatic theories of libertarians. I mean, it's interesting. I don't mind listening. But it's wacked, and grossly overrepresented on this site.

Thing libertarians need to grasp: People like government. The American people are never going to agree to throw out democracy and replace it with the tyranny of unchecked private power. We can see how that works in Haiti and we don't want it here!

TwinSwords 10-27-2008 11:47 PM

Re: Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
Welcome back! Hope you're doing okay.

Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 95524)
Been absent from the comment section for awhile, a pattern that will persist through the election, but I couldn't resist making this post available to the forum. The Obama Tax Lies.

OMGWTF! I haven't even clicked the link yet and I already changed my mind and am voting for McCain. ;)

fedorovingtonboop 10-27-2008 11:51 PM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 95525)
Good question. This site has long overrepresented the fringe, lunatic theories of libertarians. I mean, it's interesting. I don't mind listening. But it's wacked, and grossly overrepresented on this site.

Thing libertarians need to grasp: People like government. The American people are never going to agree to throw out democracy and replace it with the tyranny of unchecked private power. We can see how that works in Haiti and we don't want it here!

no fing kidding man...Haiti and the rest of the third world....the ultimate free market experiment! okay, Hossa just scored and i've officially missed most of the first 2 periods....i'm really gonna stop typing now, i swear.

piscivorous 10-27-2008 11:51 PM

Re: Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
From my study of your thoughtful comments you are not likely to click through to it and actually read it but such is life. http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/icons/icon12.gif I'm doing fine thanks just tired of the whole name calling and finger pointing that this form has turned into.

Bobby G 10-28-2008 12:00 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Good question. I would say she's a libertarian, although the fact that she thinks all taxes should be voluntary (paid for through a lottery, where one winner gets a lot of money, and the government gets to keep the rest) makes that a bit squishier. Still, most anarcho-capitalists say there shouldn't be a government-run military or legal system, and to the best of my knowledge Rand supported those. So I'd see her more as a libertarian.

Bobby G 10-28-2008 12:01 AM

Re: Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
Hey, I remember reading your name many moons ago. If you're a conservative who doesn't name-call, I'd love to have your support.

Bobby G 10-28-2008 12:04 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
What lunatic theories? Libertarians have been incredibly influential in the intellectual world--they have firm footholds in philosophy and economics and are respected in both.

And yes, libertarians know that Americans love government.

Hey, that reminds me: Americans hate gay marriage!

Do you think that last sentence is relevant? And don't respond by saying "it's not true." Even if it's not true now--though it still is--it was clearly true in 2000 and 2004. It was just as relevant then as is your statement that Americans love government.

TwinSwords 10-28-2008 12:08 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95531)
Good question. I would say she's a libertarian, although the fact that she thinks all taxes should be voluntary (paid for through a lottery, where one winner gets a lot of money, and the government gets to keep the rest) makes that a bit squishier. Still, most anarcho-capitalists say there shouldn't be a government-run military or legal system, and to the best of my knowledge Rand supported those. So I'd see her more as a libertarian.

Okay, thanks for the clarification. The majority of libertarians I've ever encountered are Randites, and they all seem to agree with creepy consistency that the only legitimate functions of government are police, military, and courts. In effect, this makes them anti-democracy; in effect, they want to ban government except within those very narrow confines (police, military, courts). And I think this is why libertarianism will never be much more than a fervent hope for a few extremists and ideologues: people will never agree to subject themselves to the tyranny of private power, or agree to wipe out government and their own voice in shaping the kind of society they live in.

TwinSwords 10-28-2008 12:19 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95534)
What lunatic theories? Libertarians have been incredibly influential in the intellectual world--they have firm footholds in philosophy and economics and are respected in both.

Okay, fair enough. I don't deny that. What I consider lunatic is the idea that we're ever going to consent to live under tyrannical systems of private power that deny people the right of government as a counterweight.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95534)
And yes, libertarians know that Americans love government.

Some do, some don't.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby G (Post 95534)
Hey, that reminds me: Americans hate gay marriage!

Do you think that last sentence is relevant? And don't respond by saying "it's not true." Even if it's not true now--though it still is--it was clearly true in 2000 and 2004. It was just as relevant then as is your statement that Americans love government.

What Americans think about gay marriage or government is highly relevant when considering realistic political possibilities. I think libertarians should know that people are never going to agree to live under their system of tyranny. We've made too much progress to consent to become slaves.

At least in the case of gay marriage, attitudes can change quickly -- and will, because, I believe, hate and bigotry always wilt when exposed to sunlight. The more people get to know gays, the less they will want to go along with the hate mongering agenda of the Republican Party. But I don't see that happening with government. I don't think you'll ever be able to get people to change their attitudes on that subject the way they've changed on the right of gay Americans to live as equals in a free society, as abhorrent as that idea is to Republicans.

TwinSwords 10-28-2008 12:21 AM

Re: Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 95529)
From my study of your thoughtful comments you are not likely to click through to it and actually read it but such is life. http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/icons/icon12.gif I'm doing fine thanks just tired of the whole name calling and finger pointing that this form has turned into.

Well, in any event, glad to have you back. I think some of us regulars were thnking about you and hoping that you're doing okay. Glad to hear all is well.

And with that....

Let the name-calling begin!

;)

piscivorous 10-28-2008 12:32 AM

Re: Obama Tax Relief for the Lower 95%
 
Whatever floats your boat! Mine runs better on civility, until my patience has been tested, so until the election cycle passes and sufficient time for the gloating from the victories side and the whining of the losing side abates this comment thread will be one of the few I will participate in.

bjkeefe 10-28-2008 01:05 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ray (Post 95492)
Business has always existed. I mean: we're talking beginning of time, here. Business exists under totalitarianism; it exists under anarchism (or would!).

Capitalism is new, strange, and requires a strong government to function. It's hard to understand and make work, too.

At the risk of making more noise about very squishy terms, I'd argue that at least one fundamental aspect of capitalism has always been around, and is always around in state-controlled economic systems, too: the individual's desire to maximize his or her own gain. Even if money is non-existent or strictly controlled, and most every good or service is doled out by the government, and all work is supposed to be for the good of the community or the state, there are always things that people identify as scarce resources, and people will seek out ways to improve their chances of getting them (or more of them). For example: admission slots to better schools or the Party in the USSR were things that caused no end of wheeling and dealing.

Bobby G 10-28-2008 01:08 AM

Re: Intolerable Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 95538)
Some do, some don't.

OK, you're right. I overgeneralized.

Quote:

What Americans think about gay marriage or government is highly relevant when considering realistic political possibilities. I think libertarians should know that people are never going to agree to live under their system of tyranny. We've made too much progress to consent to become slaves.
Once again, I think you're equating libertarianism with Objectivism (Rand's system). Randroids are actually only a small subset of libertarians, albeit a loud and annoying one.

Also, I don't see why things like deregulation of the airlines, legalization of drugs, lowering of taxes, legalization of prostitution, elimination of the draft/selective service, and reduction of welfare services means living under tyranny or amounts to becoming slaves. I'm not a libertarian, but "private tryanny" seems far too strong for what would result.

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At least in the case of gay marriage, attitudes can change quickly -- and will, because, I believe, hate and bigotry always wilt when exposed to sunlight. The more people get to know gays, the less they will want to go along with the hate mongering agenda of the Republican Party. But I don't see that happening with government. I don't think you'll ever be able to get people to change their attitudes on that subject the way they've changed on the right of gay Americans to live as equals in a free society, as abhorrent as that idea is to Republicans.
They changed quite a lot during the Reagan era, and they've never changed back. Remember, we used to have a 91% marginal tax rate for the top earners before Kennedy. The top rate got steadily lower since then. In the 50s, conservatives were thought (by Walter Lippman, I believe) no longer to exist. That's changed a bit too.


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