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  #1  
Old 10-27-2008, 09:22 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:29 AM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:11 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger baker View Post
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.
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2008, 02:21 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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.)
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Last edited by AemJeff; 10-27-2008 at 04:49 PM.. Reason: I really should proof read...
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Good points by Ginger and a good response by Bobby.

A quibble:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:27 PM
threep threep is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:37 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by threep View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:54 PM
threep threep is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2008, 05:22 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by threep View Post
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!
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2008, 09:52 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

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Originally Posted by threep View Post
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.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2008, 10:08 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
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.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2008, 10:28 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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?
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2008, 12:00 AM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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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.
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2008, 12:08 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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.
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2008, 08:22 AM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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.
Alan Greenspan.
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2008, 09:49 AM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Yes. Alan Greenspan. He also thinks there have to be rules of the playing field.
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2008, 01:05 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
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.
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2008, 08:34 AM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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).
That's still just business. Or greed or self-interest. None of which defines capitalism or is sufficient to establish it.

You're making exactly the kind of mistake I was talking about. Capitalism is what capitalism and capitalism alone does. Both the desire to maximize one's own gain and the practice of exchanging scarce resources have always existed. Capitalism is just a few hundred years old.

I should clarify what I'm saying about libertarians in this regard, in light of Bobby G's comment. Yes; some libertarians do know not to confuse business or self-interest with capitalism, but that's not how they sell their ideas, is it?

They don't exactly come out and say that you can run a successful business and work in your own self-interest without buying into the government-controlled (and necessarily government-controlled) monetary and fiscal system that establishes capitalism.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:42 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
You're making exactly the kind of mistake I was talking about. Capitalism is what capitalism and capitalism alone does. Both the desire to maximize one's own gain and the practice of exchanging scarce resources have always existed. Capitalism is just a few hundred years old.
Right. This is a point not well understood. Captialism is a stage of historical development based on the methods and means of production, and as you say, only dates back to approximately the 1600s. It didn't exist before that. Trade and motivation and greed and currency have always existed; but not capitalism.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:51 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
That's still just business. Or greed or self-interest. None of which defines capitalism or is sufficient to establish it.
Okay. But I still think that one of the things that defines capitalism is the admission that self-interest is a universal human trait, and that it's better to work with that assumption rather than to try to suppress it.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:02 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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I don't think Alan Greenspan was a libertarian when he headed the Fed since many of that party don't believe in central banking. In fact, I am sure they think it's one of the main culprits in this economic meltdown along with the billionaire Wall Street bailout (rescue) plan.

John
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2008, 10:14 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #23  
Old 10-28-2008, 01:12 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
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.
I agree in principle, but I want to insist that practically speaking, this is really hard for a lot of people.

Quote:
But regardless, it's unclear what the alternative is. Government make-work?
Put like that, no. On the other hand, the WPA was helpful for a while, and there remain lots of things that need doing that wouldn't just be make-work.

Quote:
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.
Don't know enough about this to comment meaningfully.

Quote:
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.
Oligopolies would have been a better word choice. As to the last sentence, that's too vague for me to want to take up right now.
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:35 PM
ginger baker ginger baker is offline
 
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Default 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...

Last edited by ginger baker; 10-27-2008 at 04:42 PM..
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  #25  
Old 10-27-2008, 11:55 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #26  
Old 10-27-2008, 01:27 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

from the esteemed translator and linguist matt welch:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/154...1:55&out=22:04
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  #27  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:13 PM
MemeInjector3000 MemeInjector3000 is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:34 PM
sealrock sealrock is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

so. much. discussed. still. digesting.

pair these guys up again.

Last edited by sealrock; 10-27-2008 at 03:35 PM.. Reason: plural
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:44 PM
Malthust Malthust is offline
 
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Default 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?"
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:08 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #31  
Old 10-27-2008, 05:51 PM
threep threep is offline
 
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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.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:02 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by threep View Post
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.
If this was a response to my earlier "Go liberaltarianism!", you might find this interesting reading.
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  #33  
Old 10-27-2008, 05:59 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default 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?
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2008, 08:49 AM
nyc123 nyc123 is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
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?
Because the alternative is a Washington bureaucrat setting the price of milk every week, maybe you think that's OK. The credit default swaps were only viable financial instruments with tax-payer insurance (Fannie/Freddie) "waiting in the wings" - so to speak. Ultimately, they amounted to little more than fraud. Now, if government were to actually enforce a few really sensible regulations, and enforce contractual obligations (something it can do better from the outside of the business world) I doubt anybody would mind; it's the government owning and running everything that they (and I would hope, you) want to avoid.
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  #35  
Old 10-28-2008, 01:01 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

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Originally Posted by nyc123 View Post
Because the alternative is a Washington bureaucrat setting the price of milk every week, maybe you think that's OK. The credit default swaps were only viable financial instruments with tax-payer insurance (Fannie/Freddie) "waiting in the wings" - so to speak. Ultimately, they amounted to little more than fraud. Now, if government were to actually enforce a few really sensible regulations, and enforce contractual obligations (something it can do better from the outside of the business world) I doubt anybody would mind; it's the government owning and running everything that they (and I would hope, you) want to avoid.
I guess you're gonna have to convince me this is worth replying to...
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  #36  
Old 10-28-2008, 02:22 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Libertarians have lost some juice but they will still be around. One big reason for this is that many are not happy with our dominant 2 party system. From what I gather many are now eschewing any party affiliation and are registering as "declined to state." So, as off the wall some of these third parties are people will look at them closer due to fatigue with the same 'ole, same 'ole. Also, this particular party has a political/economic intellectual framework to work from that goes way beyond Ayn Rand. Sure, from what I gather most of their apologists seem to be Austrian econimists like Von Mises, Hayak, Rothbard and the like and appear to be weak on a social contract but these thinkers are way more credible than the Objectivist crew with Ayn Rand at their helm.

John

Last edited by bkjazfan; 10-28-2008 at 02:28 PM..
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  #37  
Old 10-28-2008, 03:38 PM
nyc123 nyc123 is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
I guess you're gonna have to convince me this is worth replying to...
I think it is important to find common ground. If you believe that the concept of individual private property exists, you have a bit of libertarian in you. I am not an anarchist, nor do I agree with "nut-jobs" but I do see where a drop of the libertarian axiom can help keep power in check.

You were speaking of Alan Greenspan recanting his ideology, I would ask you, what is (*was*) his ideology? You call it libertarianism, I don't recognize it as anything except power corrupted.

As the CEO of a (practically) unaccountable corporation that can print as much paper money as it wants and in so doing, set the price of it, I would argue that the Chairman of the Fed has far too much power. I would also argue that a congress with an ideologically-aligned president has too much power.

Greenspan held interest rates at impossibly low levels for so long (ignoring his own 1996 "irrational exuberance" speech) that a big contraction was inevitable. The longer we wait (and each bailout just kicks the can down the road a few months/weeks) the more painful it will be and the more we enslave future taxpayers.

Ken Lay et al were held accountable for their actions by government, which is very good, but we should all work hard to keep the government from becoming Ken Lay (x 100) - transparency and monitoring government in equal measure to business is a good thing, eh?

When I say "government" you say "George Bush"... wouldn't it have been nice to have a limited executive branch lately? Why not always?
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  #38  
Old 10-28-2008, 05:22 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

i can't find anything significant to disagree with there but as i said in another post somewhere...there's really just not much reason to have them around. all those common sense moves you described can just be filed under "common sense"....there's really no reason to have a whole separate category for it, let alone be forced to wade through numerous diavlogs about them where they exhibit a total lack of humility. if there were ever a time for them to shut up it would definitely be right now.

Last edited by fedorovingtonboop; 10-28-2008 at 05:27 PM..
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2008, 09:05 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
i can't find anything significant to disagree with there but as i said in another post somewhere...there's really just not much reason to have them around. all those common sense moves you described can just be filed under "common sense"....there's really no reason to have a whole separate category for it, let alone be forced to wade through numerous diavlogs about them where they exhibit a total lack of humility. if there were ever a time for them to shut up it would definitely be right now.
Well said. Can we stop with endless stream of "How many angels can dance on a pin" libertarians.? If BHTV wants out-of-touch intellectuals, why not try a few marxists or Monarchists. At least they'd be a change of pace.
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  #40  
Old 10-29-2008, 04:39 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Intolerable Failure

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Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
Well said. Can we stop with endless stream of "How many angels can dance on a pin" libertarians.? If BHTV wants out-of-touch intellectuals, why not try a few marxists or Monarchists. At least they'd be a change of pace.
Agreed. I'll leave it to The Editors:
Quote:
Libertarians are like furries: the internet’s full of ‘em, but they are not a significant political constituency.
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