Indecision 2012

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The Cid
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:34 pm

Deacon wrote:To me it's dangerous to be lured into the impression that there was once an era of civilized statesmen politely discussing matters of the day
I did not say this.
Deacon wrote:until a compromised was reached that left all parties equally satisfied
I did not say this either. You're drawing all of this from one word. I'm not talking about some mythical good old days. Hell, I'm not talking about anything I haven't already said dozens of times here.
Deacon wrote: Or at least much easier than it would be if you recognized that it's never actually existed before. If you have a goal, an ideal you'd like to reach, great, but acknowledge whether it would be A New Thing, and approach it as such so as to be much more effective at accomplishing it.
Why don't we start by acknowledging the problem that needs to be addressed? "It's always been this way" is no way for something stupid to continue. It was stupid before, it's stupid now, and it's going to continue to be stupid in the future to turn "the other guy" into "the enemy." It has to stop, IMO, no matter when it started.

In fact, why don't we try actually accomplishing something before we go back and even try to figure out where it started? What does it matter? it's here now, and it sucks, so it needs to go away. That there are people running for office out there that are taking some small measures to help alleviate what I see as a huge problem is a positive sign to me.
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Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:40 pm

The Cid wrote:
collegestudent22 wrote:in my view, the way they are campaigning is mostly irrelevant - like how nice a guy the Mafia boss was to get in charge would be.
I disagree. I think it's important to try and restore a sense of decency to our politics.
I view politics as the art of legitimizing theft and aggression, and thus have no care how "decent" those involved in it are.
Even if everybody's still lying through their teeth, at least these two aren't lying in order to get us to loathe the opposition. I'll take that in the absence of a larger victory.
Alright, I can at least see where you are coming from. Disagree, but I get it.
What I don't get is why you're under the impression that makes it illegitimate.
Replace it with the Mafia. Because they are virtually the same thing - the Mafia, as the government, did protect people from "the competition" (i.e. other criminals). They "stimulated" business - especially, and somewhat ironically, gay bars and the like. Even helped the poor. They did pretty much everything government does. Seems their only mistake was competing with the larger criminal organization of government.

I only view voluntary interaction as legitimate and moral. Thus, if you want to sell me something, and I wish to buy it, this is moral. If I choose not to buy, or you not to sell, forcing the transaction to occur anyway is illegitimate. Or if I invite you on to my property. Or we start a charity or club together. The only illegitimate action is the infringement of a person's will or their property. And the worst logical offense of the state is the idea that it can steal to protect property.
Are you a true Anarchist? Is there a form of Government that you could point to and say "THERE is a legitimate Government. Well done!" even if it doesn't exist today?
I am a "true" anarcho-capitalist. Meaning there is no government that could exist and be legitimate - they all violate the freedom of the individual. The core point is the non-aggression principle - that any action that is materially aggressive is illegitimate, including coercion. This does not mean I do not recognize the legitimacy of using force against criminals - I just reject the notion that putting one class of criminals "in charge" actually fixes that. I support a free market in personal defense services and private arbitration of disputes - where any crime is a tort, and any refusal to submit to arbitration (and people could refuse) would result in "extreme ostracization" (in other words, you wouldn't be able to leave your property, as people would refuse to let you on theirs - and all property would be private).
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:12 pm

collegestudent22 wrote:Seems their only mistake was competing with the larger criminal organization of government.
Your head would explode if you lived in a big city, Deuces. Those of us who do know that those two organizations merged a long time ago. :lol:
collegestudent22 wrote:I am a "true" anarcho-capitalist.
Good. NOFX hasn't put out a great album in a long time, go write something on the level of Punk in Drublic. ...What's that? There are anarchists outside of the punk scene? And nobody liked that cheesy ass band but Cid circa 1999? Damn.

Another election notelet: Want to know the greatest thing about being a Libertarian? Until a real one is actually put in something close to a position of power, all my ideas exist entirely in theory, and thus have not failed in real life yet. Until they inevitably do, I get to pretend I might actually be right about stuff!
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Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by Deacon » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:21 pm

The Cid wrote:I'm not talking about some mythical good old days.
Then what do you mean when you say "restore decency to politics" exactly?
Deacon wrote:"It's always been this way" is no way for something stupid to continue.
You're begging the question. Or propping up a straw man. Not sure which. Either way, nobody has argued that.

And at some point you're going to have to recognize that if someone wants to use their governmental power to force your life to change in a way you believe to be detrimental then you will easily accept that person as an enemy, as someone working contrary to your benefit, who is not concerned with your well-being. And when that person is ferociously pursuing a plan that you feel will drive the entire country down a few notches (if not into the ground), that becomes a lot bigger than just personal. Eventually, despite a decent contingent of loyalists, Americans decided that England had become their enemy, to the point where they took up arms, fought, and laid down their lives to fight that enemy. But "enemy" is not a cliff, a binary condition where one goes from not an enemy to a creature clawing at your throat. It's a progression, something you can have in degrees.

The real problem, I feel, is not in our recognizing that the vast majority of politicians--especially on the national stage, and especially in the Oval Office--are generally egocentric megalomaniacs working the system and playing a deep game toward their own good on the strength of the special interest groups rather than passionately pursuing what they feel will prosper the country the most in the long term and campaigning honestly on what they believe that course should be. Instead, the problem is when we attach that same level of slimy evil to those of our peers who simply believe differently than us. It's true that an alarming number of citizens meet or exceed that level of slimy evil by demanding that those who succeed give up what they've earned in order to give them free stuff, voting themselves money from the treasury, government-enforced mugging, the closest thing to proper "theft" that CS22 keeps going on about. But it's also true that some of your peers simply have different personalities, world views, and no matter how much you think their beliefs are naive, harsh, ditzy, lacking compassion, or whatever else, many of them really are approaching it according to what they really and sincerely believe (at the time) the best way forward happens to be.

We hope that everyone changes at least a little as they grow older, wiser, more experienced, but there are only really two ways we can fail: 1) refuse to acknowledge when we've been wrong, to choose dogma over reality, and 2) personally attack our peers who sincerely disagree, which generally just leads to trench warfare.

If you try to apply can't-we-all-just-get-along strategies to political campaigns, you're not going to get very far, because of who we are as creatures in general and Americans in particular. The aggressor, when they play their cards right, will almost always win. I really hope the meek inherit the earth, because when they do I'll push them down and take it from them. I heard that somewhere, and it's true. It's not a question of culture, it's a question of nature. That's how the world works, from flowers to fish to lions to men.

And that's why I can't stand Obama. I continually get the feeling he thinks he's cleverer and more persuasive than he is and that I'm incapable of seeing it. He is that slimy evil. The few things it seems like he's not buying votes with are those things that seem to be leading the country face-first into a pile of shit. I don't like Romney all that much, but even if he's not my ideal candidate he's a lot closer than Obama.

Personally, I get a little nervous when I see what are allegedly two opposing candidates getting along like old chums ;)
The Cid wrote:Another election notelet: Want to know the greatest thing about being a Libertarian? Until a real one is actually put in something close to a position of power, all my ideas exist entirely in theory, and thus have not failed in real life yet. Until they inevitably do, I get to pretend I might actually be right about stuff!
Have there really never been a freedom-minded society? Or has it been only pockets of people throughout history who successfully looked after their own selves? The concepts are sound and have been shown to be largely successful. And when it fails, it errs on the side of freedom rather than fascism, which just plain sounds better to me.

Unfortunately I think it'll take a true global disaster to force humanity (or at least America) to choose freedom. It's dangerous--above and beyond the disaster itself--because you never know which way the mob will tip, whether they'll fall onto the grassy fields of freedom or the boulders of fascism. When you're afraid, you don't always reason things out so well or thing very long term.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:52 pm

Deacon wrote:You're begging the question. Or propping up a straw man. Not sure which. Either way, nobody has argued that.
I would love to make an actual straw man and set it on fire for how much I hate terms like "straw man." What do I have to do, move my computer five yards backward before I can post again? :lol:
Deacon wrote:The real problem, I feel, is not in our recognizing that the vast majority of politicians--especially on the national stage, and especially in the Oval Office--are generally egocentric megalomaniacs working the system and playing a deep game toward their own good on the strength of the special interest groups rather than passionately pursuing what they feel will prosper the country the most in the long term and campaigning honestly on what they believe that course should be.
To call a politician an enemy, I would have to assume a level of competence that I don't think they have. I don't think they are any better or more devoted to their work than your co-workers or anyone else's co-workers.
Deacon wrote:Instead, the problem is when we attach that same level of slimy evil to those of our peers who simply believe differently than us. It's true that an alarming number of citizens meet or exceed that level of slimy evil by demanding that those who succeed give up what they've earned in order to give them free stuff, voting themselves money from the treasury, government-enforced mugging, the closest thing to proper "theft" that CS22 keeps going on about. But it's also true that some of your peers simply have different personalities, world views, and no matter how much you think their beliefs are naive, harsh, ditzy, lacking compassion, or whatever else, many of them really are approaching it according to what they really and sincerely believe (at the time) the best way forward happens to be.
Well no shit, Deacon. I figured you would put two and two together, and realize that I'm talking more about supporters than politicians.
Deacon wrote:We hope that everyone changes at least a little as they grow older, wiser, more experienced, but there are only really two ways we can fail: 1) refuse to acknowledge when we've been wrong, to choose dogma over reality, and 2) personally attack our peers who sincerely disagree, which generally just leads to trench warfare.
Completely agreed. This is exactly what we need to fix.

On point one: I wish people would recognize how limited every one of us is when it comes to politics. I'm an English teacher with a background in marketing and sportswriting. I feel I'm smart and my opinions come from very good places, but I could easily be wrong about a lot of crap, as most of our problems exist well outside of those realms. Likewise, you could easily be wrong about a lot of stuff that you have given a lot of valid thought to. All of us could be. As Bill Watterson once wrote: The problem with people is that they're only human. An ordinary person saying "I know what to do about immigration" is talking right out of their ass, even if they turn out to be right. I'm totally on board with you here.
Deacon wrote:Have there really never been a freedom-minded society?
Some people like to say the founding fathers were, but the fact that some of them kept other human beings as property kind of kills that image. Certainly no large government has turned to a freedom-minded system of governance. This means that I get to pretend I'm right because history has never directly proven me incorrect. Everyone come join me in my ivory tower, the weather up here kicks ass. :lol:
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Deacon wrote: Unfortunately I think it'll take a true global disaster to force humanity (or at least America) to choose freedom. It's dangerous--above and beyond the disaster itself--because you never know which way the mob will tip, whether they'll fall onto the grassy fields of freedom or the boulders of fascism. When you're afraid, you don't always reason things out so well or thing very long term.
Professor Robert Higgs has argued that fear is the main driver of support of the state, whether it be fear of external danger, internal crisis, or even of the state itself. I have very little faith that people, indoctrinated in public "schools", wouldn't turn to a charismatic state fearrmonger to "save" them. Not without serious pushes for actual education about liberty, similar to the "Ron Paul r3VOLution". Fascism hit the United States once under FDR, and many people actually clamor for a "New New Deal" to return to that.
Have there really never been a freedom-minded society?
I'd say no, but then again, I'd also say that a truly freedom-minded society cannot support the idea of the state.
the closest thing to proper "theft" that CS22 keeps going on about
"Legal plunder", as Bastiat put it, is theft. But so is any form of taxation. If I show up at your house and threaten to lock you in a cage, and possibly kill you trying, if you don't fork over 30% of your income, you would call that extortion, theft and robbery. But it ceases to be theft if I threaten you by mail at first, and have a fancy badge to go with my gun? How does that make any sense?
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:10 am

If there were no governmental controls, there would be corporate controls and they could be far more totalitarian than any government would dream of being.

Plus, I dislike how isolated anarchists tend to be, not even trusting a community situation. No man is an island, as the saying goes.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:52 am

ampersand wrote:If there were no governmental controls, there would be corporate controls and they could be far more totalitarian than any government would dream of being.
Common error. It stems from what they "teach" in government schools, along with the erroneous "anarchy = chaos" or "there would be no roads" arguments. Without a legitimate use of force, there would be no "controls" - there wouldn't even be corporations. Business would be required to serve the customer, and better than the competition, unlike now where it can subvert the market by lobbying for subsidies, "regulation" (providing a barrier to entry for new competitors), licensing of everything (including hair stylists and tour guides), and outright imposed monopoly (especially with utilities) and cartelization (taxi medallions provide a good example of this). The idea that "corporations would take over" ignores just how much the state is in bed with corporations.

Another question: if the corporations could just take over under anarchy, or even the deregulation of libertarianism, why is that the corporations all support the "statist quo" (ha)? Why don't they support anarchy/libertarianism? I maintain that the worst threat to capitalism is the capitalist with access to state power. Goldman Sachs, for instance, doesn't donate to the anarcho-capitalists at the Mises Institute, or even Ron Paul - it donates to Obama and Romney.
Plus, I dislike how isolated anarchists tend to be, not even trusting a community situation. No man is an island, as the saying goes.
Anarchists are not a group, and I personally think this caricature, along with the idea that anarchists are anti-propertarians that throw Molotovs in store windows in front of G8 meetings, is erroneous. I specifically advocate a community situation as the solution to many problems. It is only when the community situation becomes "you are part of this community, so you are forced to do such-and-such to remain here" where it is a problem.

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Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:39 pm

collegestudent22 wrote: Goldman Sachs, for instance, doesn't donate to the anarcho-capitalists at the Mises Institute, or even Ron Paul
I'm going to use this opportunity to vent on how I lost all faith in Ron Paul. I feel so angry at myself. I bought another mainstream politician's bullshit for a moment there.

Oh, sure, when he sits down in front of a camera or in front of a group and talks about his beliefs on government, Ron Paul sounds like my kind of guy. Sounds awfully libertarian, but sound is all it is. When it comes time to stand up for those beliefs, suddenly doc goes quiet. He'll stray from the Republican mainstream, right up until the moment that they politely ask him to get out of their way, at which point he kowtows to the Mitt Romneys of the world.

I didn't expect Paul to win, but I expected him to back up his seemingly libertarian (right up until it's inconvenient) views and go down swinging. He didn't take a swing. I'm not just disappointed. I'm furious at myself. I should never have bought it in the first place.

No wonder he's an OB/GYN. Takes one to know one, right?
collegestudent22 wrote:Anarchists are not a group
...By definition, actually.

I've always found anarchists to be too optimistic for my tastes. Like the moment the government is gone we'll all get together and sing like the ending scene to Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by Deacon » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:44 pm

We're wandering pretty far from the presidential election topic, but I have no problem with the concept of government. I just don't believe what we have today is correct.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:35 am

The Cid wrote:I didn't expect Paul to win, but I expected him to back up his seemingly libertarian (right up until it's inconvenient) views and go down swinging. He didn't take a swing.
I'm not sure how you expected him to "take a swing". He is still in the race, by the way.
collegestudent22 wrote:Anarchists are not a group
...By definition, actually.
Yeah, seems I forgot a word. "Anarchists" is not a homogeneous group - the word is far too broad a descriptive label. It would be analogous to saying "the religious think..." The very idea that there is one frame of mind for all religious individuals or all anarchists is tenuous at best.
I've always found anarchists to be too optimistic for my tastes. Like the moment the government is gone we'll all get together and sing like the ending scene to Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
I'm not quite that optimistic. I'd be content with the expected result - suddenly, there wouldn't be a large, majority supported organization pointing a gun in my face to meet its demands. Frankly, I doubt life would change very much at all, minus a short transition period where the violent start behaving in line with their true nature, and the virtuous respond by filling their bodies full of holes.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:55 am

Getting back to the topic of this election, which non-political entity do you think will have the most influence on which way the majority will vote? I think it will be a combination of bad economic perception combined with Daily Show/Colbert Report/You-Tube rant that subconsciously gets people to make up their minds.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:20 pm

I'd agree with the bad economic perception point. The vast majority has no conception of actual economics - left or right. Hell, most economists don't have any conception of actual economics. (I'm looking at Paul Krugman type fools here.)
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:17 pm

Nah, that's too close to an issue that the president can actually do something about.

My guess is that it will be one of the following:
-A court decision, because everyone forgets during election years that the president can't just overturn court decisions.
-The endorsement of Justin Bieber. (I'm only partly kidding, because unfortunately that would probably be front page news.)
-How many people feel like they'd enjoy having a beer with a given candidate.
-Whether the Washington Redskins win on the Sunday before the election.
-How many people mistake former Governor Romney for Bruce Campbell.
-Which candidate is more physically attractive in the eyes of the majority.
-Aaron Sorkin. In his own mind, where television writers are influential on political opinion and people actually watch shows written by Aaron Sorkin.
-Liverpool Football Club, because they screw up everything they touch.
-A dirty joke. No, wait, we only care about dirty jokes when comedians known for making dirty or controversial jokes like Gilbert Gottfried and Jeff Ross make them.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:51 pm

And that Toshi guy. Don't forget him.

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