Can the Government Do Great and Good Things? by Michael S. Rozeff

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Pat Buchanan characterizes the progressive philosophy of government in this way: “…the fundamental progressive idea, the philosophy of the Democratic Party that government can really do great and good things and can do them well, given enough time and effort.” The part about the Democratic Party is irrelevant because the Republican Party acts the same way.

This summary of the progressive philosophy of government views government as an instrument or tool that can be used to do good. I’d add one thing, which Pat left out, which is “in the hands of progressives.” That is, they believe that government can do great and good things, with time and effort, only if government is in their hands or adopts their policies.

The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”, that taxation is theft on a grand scale, that government is a set of coercive monopolies, and that nothing done by governments cannot be done more efficiently by free individuals who organize their own activities voluntarily.

One can point out the sorry record of governments to progressives all day and all night for 365 days a year without their accepting the libertarian philosophy because they will argue that government is not in their beneficent hands and that their coercions will be beneficial ones. They will argue either that they haven’t been in control, or that their policies were improperly put into practice, or that others sabotaged their programs, or that new problems demand new government actions, or that more time and effort are needed before the good and great results become evident.

The progressive philosophy inherently divides mankind into a class of wise and knowing rulers (the progressives) who will organize the unwise and ignorant masses for their own good. In this sense of unequal rights being built into their view of government, progressives are inherently anti-democratic, no matter how much they may espouse goals of equality. However, progressives downplay, disguise and obscure their use of government force by the effective technique of publicizing “problems” and recommending simple mechanistic solutions for the “common good”. This technique gains public support and wins elections. It appeals to people who want to see problems solved and want to see visible action to solve them. The invisible hand doesn’t satisfy many people.

continued

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LysanderSpooner
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Comments

Government built Hoover dam. It provides water and power to adjoining states.

Government electrified rural America and built power-generating hydro electric plants to service it. Tennessee Valley Authority.

Private industry did neither.

Private industry didn't provide the research to develop technology for satellites and the means to get them into space...the backbone of modern communication. Government did it.

Life-saving drugs and medical procedures are developed with government funding and produced privately. We should probably get royalties on their bloated Pharmaceutical Co. costs.

National Institutes of Health website:

http://nih.gov/

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

With $3.5 TRILLION in tax or borrowed money to spend each year, no wonder so many swarm to DC looking for a handout. Liberals don't like the flaws in their arguments pointed out.

I like john Stossel's take on big government and giveaways.

"Politicians say, "We're all equal," and pretend that they represent everyone. But, in fact, they constantly pick winners and losers. America is now like the place described in George Orwell's book "Animal Farm": "All animals are equal," but some are "more equal than others." "Animal Farm" was about Communism, but today the allegory applies to our bloated democracy, too.

During the "fiscal cliff" negotiations that Congress and the media made sound so tough — as if every last penny were pinched — Congress still managed to slip in plenty of special deals for cronies.

—NASCAR got $70 million for new racetracks.

—Algae growers got $60 million.

—Hollywood film producers got a $430 million tax break.

When America's going broke, how do moviemakers get a special break? By lobbying for it. Movies are a sexy business, so 42 states offer film producers "incentives" to film there. (State legislatures are as shortsighted as Congress).

When America's going broke, how do moviemakers get a special break? By lobbying for it. Movies are a sexy business, so 42 states offer film producers "incentives" to film there. (State legislatures are as shortsighted as Congress).

Michigan offered the juiciest handouts until the state ran out of taxpayers' money. Now Ohio, Louisiana and Georgia (that's why the latest "Hunger Games" movie was shot in Georgia) offer the biggest handouts. The mayor of Los Angeles recently declared a "state of emergency" — not over an earthquake or storm, but because so much moviemaking has left California for states with bigger subsidies.

The U.S., which used to pride itself on being more free-market than Europe, is now hardly different from France, which crippled its economy by subsidizing all sorts of old industries, and even gives money to producers of American films that mentionFrance.

Politicians everywhere are always eager to help out people who helped get them elected. In the U.S., labor unions were big supporters of President Barack Obama, and — presto — unions got 451 waivers from Obamacare.

Congressional staff got a special exception, too. Funny how many of these laws are supposed to be great for all of us but, once passed, look ugly to the privileged class.

AD FEEDBACK

So they exempt themselves.

Even the crusade to save the earth is captured by the "special" people. Subsidies for "green energy" were supposed to go to the best ideas. Yet somehow your money went to companies like Solyndra, whose biggest shareholder just happened to be an Obama backer who bundled money for the president.

And somehow Al Gore, who had a modest income when he entered politics, reaped $200 million from brilliant investments after he left office. He must just be really smart.

On my TV show this week, progressive commentator Ellis Henican says this cronyism is "inevitable" and doesn't really bother him: "If we want roads and bridges and prisons and a military and a safety net, someone somewhere is going to benefit from that. But you can't use that as an excuse to not do important things for our society."

I say it's one more reason to keep government small.

Politicians doling out favors quietly shift where society's resources flow, who gets employed, what ideas are pursued.

It distorts the economy and the culture — and it turns us into a nation of favor-seekers instead of creators and producers.

What about all the new businesses that would have gotten investment money but didn't have Gore on their boards? What new ideas might have thrived if old industries weren't coddled? We don't know. We will never know the greatness of what might have existed had the state not sucked the oxygen out of the incubator.

Because of government's favor-granting, Washington, D.C., is now the place where the well-connected go to get rich. For the first time in history, six of the richest counties in the U.S. surround D.C. When a small group of people gets to dispense $3.6 trillion and set rules that can help or kill your idea, you want to suck up to them.

As long as government has the power to grant favors, cronies and their lobbyists will seek those favors out.

The privileged win. The people lose."

Poly, how do we know all of those things (some of which were done through cronyism) would not have been done, develpoed, whatever without government extorting tax money?

klb10's picture
klb10
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Aug. 13, 2013 11:24 am

You ask why would some of those things not be done without government money?

Probably for the same reasons private industry didn't develop the Inter-state Highway System. Costs are too great over a long period of time before there is any return.

It isn't likely that a private co would develop rocketry over decades of expenditures to put up satellites. There are quicker, better returns elsewhere. Currently, quicker returns seem to be in derivative markets....bets on financial paper going up or down.

The $700 Trillion in global derivatives exceeds the $47 trillion in global economic output many fold.

Not enough money on the planet to bail the next derivative collapse. Every private bank on the planet will become insolvent. The financial system inter-locks them. Kiss your checking/savings accounts goodbye.

I don't see private industry replacing the nation's bridges that are long past their 50-year life expectancy. The 100-year-old water systems beneath our cities continue to rust away. A nation in a death spiral is a depressing thing to watch.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I know what the "progressive" approach to the Dust Bowl was. Among other measures, it was to plant 220 million trees creating over 18,000 miles of shelterbelts to help stop erosion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains_Shelterbelt

So what would the Libertarian "solution" have been?

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
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Quote banned user Darlene, now klb10:When America's going broke, how do moviemakers get a special break? By lobbying for it. Movies are a sexy business, so 42 states offer film producers "incentives" to film there. (State legislatures are as shortsighted as Congress).

When America's going broke, how do moviemakers get a special break? By lobbying for it. Movies are a sexy business, so 42 states offer film producers "incentives" to film there. (State legislatures are as shortsighted as Congress).

Gee Einstein... that's states' rights at work... something the Right strongly defends. It permits companies to play one state off the other. Unless you're coming here to demand a strong FEDERAL response to ban this.

Which is it cupcake?

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
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Spooner, I'd like to see you have an idea of your own instead of dittoing some "big brother" of yours. Government already has done many good things. The last, perhaps the only time we had "capitalism with a human face" in this country was when we adopted the quasi socialism of the New Deal which lasted from the Great Depression until after Reagan. The depression ended in the United States because the government took over the economy during WW II and that was even before most of the shooting started.

The Post Office is a great example of the beauty of government. It's a lot different from in your namesake's time when the frank oligarchy that was the U.S.A. - which caused him to be a "libertarian" (although he wasn't one at all the way you pretend to be, he was a member of the Socialist International and a great supporter of the labor movement) - made the Post Office, effectively, an exclusive, rich man's delivery service even more than UPS or Fed Ex is today.

To say progressives believe that government can do good if it implements progressive policies is to be tautological, Spooner. Duh!

Progressivism is not at all opposed to genuine libertarianism, only fake shams of it. Progressivism, and democratic government, give freedom to all people, including the common people not just privilege to the rich and powerful like your so called "libertarianism". In fact, Spooner, your kind of libertarian is not against government, you are against democratic government. When you reduce democratic government big business becomes the government and controlls everything with no accountability or protection of anyone else's rights. That's authoritarianism, Spooner, not libertarianism.

Same with "privatized" government or governmental functions. You've got some asshole's private property functioning as the government with no control by or accountability to the people. That's feudalism more than anything else, Spooner, the opposite of freedom or liberty!

You can't adopt 100-150 year old ideas and not account for how the world has changed, Spooner, without becoming an anachronistic clown.

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Mark Saulys
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Quote Mark Saulys:You can't adopt 100-150 year old ideas and not account for how the world has changed, Spooner, without becoming an anachronistic clown.

I think what LS subscribes to is a bastardization of old fashion liberal libertarianism... and I think it was best summed up in the 1789 Rights Of Man

4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.

6. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp

Note the balance between a strong defense of liberty, social responsibility, and democratic lawmaking.

LS's libertarianism is a figleaf to allow the rich and those man-made creations called corporations to run wild.

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ulTRAX
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Quote In another of his repostings of other people's articles, LysanderSpooner:The progressive philosophy inherently divides mankind into a class of wise and knowing rulers (the progressives) who will organize the unwise and ignorant masses for their own good. In this sense of unequal rights being built into their view of government, progressives are inherently anti-democratic, no matter how much they may espouse goals of equality.
Gee... so slavery was a PROGRESSIVE idea? ROTF

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
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Quote klb10:

With $3.5 TRILLION in tax or borrowed money to spend each year, no wonder so many swarm to DC looking for a handout. Liberals don't like the flaws in their arguments pointed out.

Where's that $1.5 BILLION Trent Lott got for a carrier the Navy didn't want? Ya, it was to be built in Mississippi.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/06/23/us/lott-pushes-new-warship-for-home-st...

So how many of your complaints would fit into that 1.5 BILLION?

And wasn't Newt's districts one of the most heavily subsidized in the nation?

The problem here, Dar, is YOU want to blame everything on "liberals" and ignore how YOUR party has pillaging the Treasury directly with irresponsible spending AND indirectly with irresponsible tax cuts. Unfortunately Obama has seemingly joined in with this Free Lunch mentality.

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ulTRAX
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Quote polycarp2:You ask why would some of those things not be done without government money?

Probably for the same reasons private industry didn't develop the Inter-state Highway System. Costs are too great over a long period of time before there is any return.

It isn't likely that a private co would develop rocketry over decades of expenditures to put up satellites. There are quicker, better returns elsewhere. Currently, quicker returns seem to be in derivative markets....bets on financial paper going up or down.

The $700 Trillion in global derivatives exceeds the $47 trillion in global economic output many fold.

Not enough money on the planet to bail the next derivative collapse. Every private bank on the planet will become insolvent. The financial system inter-locks them. Kiss your checking/savings accounts goodbye. Where big corporstions will benefit the

I don't see private industry replacing the nation's bridges that are long past their 50-year life expectancy. The 100-year-old water systems beneath our cities continue to rust away. A nation in a death spiral is a depressing thing to watch.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

No, it was private industry (read big corporations) that got government to use taxpayer monies to develope those things Tax payers may have and will benefit from SOME of those things like roads but even those are being turned over to "private businesses" Where big corporate will benefit, those aging water and sewer systems will be upgraded (at taxpayer expense, of course) where it won't benefit them, the systems will rot away.

Exactly who benefits from taxpayer monies being used to build, say, utility systems? I would have to refer you to people like John Wilder, CEO of Texas Utilities, whose salary and bonuses amount to over $5 million/year, while my electricity bill has tripled in the last 5 years. I guess I should be thankful he has insured the reliability of my lights and heat working consistently. Eh?

In my electric bill there is a space where the customer can donate to a fund to help the poor pay their elctric bill called TXUEnergyAid. I have on several occasions told them I wanted to give every TXU customer $50 off every monthly bill and since I do not have that kind of money, they could just take it out of Mr. Wilder's compensation. So far, they have not acted on my suggestion.

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klb10
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Aug. 13, 2013 11:24 am
Quote klb10:No, it was private industry (read big corporations) that got government to use taxpayer monies to develope those things
NO, Dar... this isn't "theft". Business is just another interest group that can cry in the wilderness UNLESS there are dups in government that GIVE THEM the money. And who are the ones most out to let business feed at the government troth? It's the neo-libs... in BOTH Parties. While we know some progressives have sought earmarks... as a PHILOSOPHY, what you're complaining about are RIGHT WING ideas... even as you blame all your problems on the left. I have lived in towns with both public and private electric companies and I MUCH prefer the public companies... but you can be sure there are forces out there dying to turn them over to be pillaged by corporations.

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ulTRAX
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Our LS is kind of a bad knock off. The origional Lysander Spooner was a "Libertarian" but that meant something else back then in the 1860s. Then it was synonymous with "anarchist" which usually also meant socialist or communist (as the origional Lysander Spooner was, as I keep repeating, a member of the Socialist International and a great supporter of the labor movement) since there can really be no private property without government.

In Spooner's time government everywhere as well as the U.S. was frankly oligarchic serving only the rich and helping them enslave the poor and working people. It was libertarians or anarcho syndicallists and anarcho communists who led the labor movement of that time like the Haymarket martyrs who died fighting for the 40 hour week resulting from actions undertaken in the first May Day march in Chicago on May 4, 1886.

The modern "Libertarian" Party is essentially a marketing and PR sham by big business groups. Thom, on his radio program, described the founding of the Libertarian Party in the late '40s by, among others, real estate moguls who didn't like rent controls.

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Mark Saulys
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"Libertarianism" is anti democratic. You are not against government because government is necessary for there to be private property rights but you want that to be the only function of government so then you are creating hierarchies of power and privilege.

This modern "libertarianism" is a creation of big business people in the late 1940s and just a clever ruse. By taking away all functions of government other than enforcement of private property rights they give themselves all the power and they then become the government - with no accountability or responsibility to respect any other rights of anyone else since the governmental function of enforcing those rights is eliminated. So then, they give themselves all the power and relieve themselves of all the responsibility, the very definition of tyranny.

Thus, you are not against government, you are against democracy.

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Mark Saulys
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Quote Mark Saulys: "Libertarianism" is anti democratic. You are not against government because government is necessary for there to be private property rights but you want that to be the only function of government so then you are creating hierarchies of power and privilege.

This modern "libertarianism" is a creation of big business people in the late 1940s and just a clever ruse. By taking away all functions of government other than enforcement of private property rights they give themselves all the power and they then become the government - with no accountability or responsibility to respect any other rights of anyone else since the governmental function of enforcing those rights is eliminated. So then, they give themselves all the power and relieve themselves of all the responsibility, the very definition of tyranny.

Thus, you are not against government, you are against democracy.

Actually, I think it is the other way around. The Fourth Amendment says, "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The right to private property is the door that theoretically keeps government from knocking down, at least not with out probable cause and a warrant. Without the right to private property ther would be nothing to stop government from barging through that door. Private property is essential to keep an intrusive government at bay.

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klb10
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Quote klb10:
Quote Mark Saulys: "Libertarianism" is anti democratic. You are not against government because government is necessary for there to be private property rights but you want that to be the only function of government so then you are creating hierarchies of power and privilege.

This modern "libertarianism" is a creation of big business people in the late 1940s and just a clever ruse. By taking away all functions of government other than enforcement of private property rights they give themselves all the power and they then become the government - with no accountability or responsibility to respect any other rights of anyone else since the governmental function of enforcing those rights is eliminated. So then, they give themselves all the power and relieve themselves of all the responsibility, the very definition of tyranny.

Thus, you are not against government, you are against democracy.

Actually, I think it is the other way around. The Fourth Amendment says, "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The right to private property is the door that theoretically keeps government from knocking down, at least not with out probable cause and a warrant. Without the right to private property ther would be nothing to stop government from barging through that door. Private property is essential to keep an intrusive government at bay.

You do realize the the Fourth Amendement was in reaction to a monarchy's right to arrest/detain without reasonable cause of a crime being committed, don't you.....as under our Defense Authorization Act of 2012 and the Patriot Act....which both violate lthe 4th Amendment.

Supposedly, you are secure in your person and personal effects...same as in Native American cultures where private property was limited to your home, its contents and those possessions adjacent to it. They were inviolable. You didn't, of course, own the land your home sat upon...just free use of it as long as you retained habitation on it. The good news...no one could ever evict you.

Private property claims can be utilized in a restrictive manner or in an incluse manner depending on the social,political, economic structure. A vast commons, or a very restricted one.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote klb10:Actually, I think it is the other way around. The Fourth Amendment says, "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

So in the years between the ratification of the Constitution and the ratification of the BOR you're saying these rights did NOT exist?

The 4th was meant only to be an ADDED measure of caution that the new federal government could not do what it was never given power to do. Same with the Second... only in that case Congress DID have power to arm, organize, and discipline the new militia system. The Second blocks them from ever DISARMING it. Not that it's a problem now since the National Guard gets its weapons from the Feds.

Quote klb10: The right to private property is the door that theoretically keeps government from knocking down, at least not with out probable cause and a warrant. Without the right to private property ther would be nothing to stop government from barging through that door. Private property is essential to keep an intrusive government at bay.
Your ignorance of even the most basic understanding of our system never fails to amaze. Our system wasn't built on government being all powerful and the BORs was added to restrain it. It was built on the presumption of limited powers... and therefore the federal government NEVER HAD the power to just waltz into one's home. The 4th was just added for "greater caution". This didn't stop the states from invading homes... unless their state constitutions prohibited it.

The second differs from the fourth in that it's a POSITIVE right... created as a limitation on the new powers of government. This differs from any NATURAL right... say to property or to a firearm for self protection. These are protected by the Ninth as unenumerated rights... and left to the People and states to deal with. But the Ninth is under attack FROM THE RIGHT.

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ulTRAX
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Actually, if you have more than a month's supply of food of any type sufficient to maintain human life for a month, you are a terrorist suspect by definition in the Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Government may waltz in, handcuff you and detain you indefinately. You might consider limiting your flour/sugar storage to a cup each. Limit oils to a few tablespoons.

The quaint document known as the U.S. Constitution is by-passed. The means to quickly institute a full-blown police state are on the books by design, not accident.

Government takes the merging of economic, resource and environmental collapse seriously, even if the citizenry doesn't.

Seig heil!

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

And the 1% is going to use the force of a militarized police state to quell any kind of uprising of the lessor classes. They certainly aren't going to risk their lives to defend their assets or asses. That is, if they can get them to turn on their own people.

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klb10
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Quote banned user Darlene now klb10:who cares
BTW Dar, I love it when you ignore my posts because it just makes you look more ignorant and ridiculous.

Thanks Cupcake!

XOXOOXXO

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ulTRAX
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ulTRAX wrote: iMagUdspEllr

ulTRAX wrote:

iMagUdspEllr wrote:Shootings happen 30 times less often where law abiding citizens are free to protect themselves with firearms. Good pro-gun argument there.

30 times less often than what? Have a credible source for this study and the methodology used? Does it subtract from this number those whose guns were used against them?

How's Tylena?

ulTRAX wrote:

banned user Darlene wrote:Merely the first step. I, for one, do not think it wise to let foreign dictators of little tinpot countries dictate what our laws are and the rights afforded to US citizens under those laws. The same for leftist/liberal/progressive politicians that want to slowly erode mine and like minded others Constitutional rights away. Call it paranoid as the good little leftist/liberal/progressive you are. But I call it eternal vigilance.

Gee... YOU claimed when you reposted your hit piece "46 Senators Voted to Give your 2nd Amendment Constitutional Rights to the U.N." Now you're saying it doesn't do this. It's a "first step". So you lied. Trying to repackage your rabid Right paranoia to sound respectable doesn't mean it's not rabid Right paranoia. And that's MY eternal vigilance against Orwellian Right propagandists like you talking.

iMagUdspEllr wrote:

uITRAX, I was directly addressing what douglaslee said in his inital post.

uITRAX wrote:How's Tylena?

How is your ability to debate the topic at hand instead of researching who your opponent's loved ones are and informing your opponent that you know who they are so that you can coerce your opponent into fearing for the safety of the ones they love instead of focusing on debating with you? Not doing so well in that category? It figures that the people I met here would be like this.

I think tampax is some kind of sick predator on these threads. He is always claiming someone as who they aren't and it is always with a female reference. And never makes a point, just accuses. You are one sick puppy, dude! I will no longer respond to anything tampax posts. His post are meaningless and ridiculous anyway. To me he no longer exists.

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klb10
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Challenging the message rather than the messenger is the way to abide by forum rules.

moderator

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Klb10, you are a good illustration that "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing", you know just enough to be dangerous about anything that I can see. Private property rights developed in tandem with government (in fact, government was invented for the sole purpose of enforcing them) but long predate democracy and are, in fact, where all tyranny came from. Before private property there were no hierarchies of power and privilege as anarchists like the original Lysander Spooner and the Haymarket martyrs well knew. Lysander Spooner wrote a pamphlet denouncing the US. Constitution and declaring it invalid.

Feudalism is a social, political and economic order that is nothing but government by private property which is what modern "libertarians" would return us to. Modern democracy was intended to limit the influence of private property on government and give rights and power to the common people, not just the rich and propertied.

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Mark Saulys
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"Some argue that a benevolent government should control property, because the government can distribute the fruits of ownership more fairly. This sounds good, except that these proponents can’t point to a single good example. Concentrated property ownership always inflicts oppression. This is not black and white. It’s a sliding scale. The more private property is protected, the freer the economic system and the more liberty is enjoyed by the citizenry. The more property and planning are centralized, the more liberty is eroded. It doesn’t really matter if it’s feudalism, fascism, communism, theocracy, socialism, or even crony capitalism. To one degree or another, liberty is eroded in all these systems.

The alternative to private ownership is to confiscate property through force of arms, taxes, or legislation and then place it in the hands of a few. It doesn’t matter if the property is confiscated by bullies, warlords, or government. It’s all the same. Individual liberty is destroyed. Here’s why:

  1. The people robbed fight back, politically or physically. Those resisting the will of the government must be suppressed.
  2. Government control requires bureaucratic judgment, instead of reliance on the marketplace. Bureaucrats always fail at this herculean task, but won’t give up, so the government ends up dictating more and more of the everyday life.
  3. Miscalculations result in scarcities. Complaints and criticisms must be suppressed. Black markets and underground corruption are overlooked.
  4. When events don’t go as planned, the government uses indoctrination—and worse—to create a common mindset. Leaders come to believe that if everyone has the greater good in mind, then everything will work as planned.
  5. Concentrated power corrupts.

If government allows bullies to take what they want, anarchy reigns. If government gathers up property unto itself, oppression reigns.

http://www.whatwouldthefoundersthink.com/liberty-and-private-property

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klb10
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Aug. 13, 2013 11:24 am

What unsuspecting, perhaps well meaning, perhaps more sincere (but certainly less informed) followers of modern "libertarianism" are anachronistically clinging to is the fact that capitalism is what brought down feudalism by giving private property rights to the common people - it was, in fact, "redistributive" in that way - and by separating property, and it's influence, from government. It made rich and poor equal under the law and protected the poor from abuse and exploitation by the rich.

Thus, democratic government - like they told you in school - is what, in fact, makes us all free. A legitimate function of government may be to protect the weak from the strong. Modern "libertarians" want to eliminate government because they are of "the strong" and want to be able to abuse and enslave the weak at will.

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Mark Saulys
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What genuine libertarians, anarchists and libertarian socialists like myself, are right about and differ with well meaning authoritarian socialists (Leninist Marxists) about is what is needed in society. We, unlike they, believe that what is needed is not a redistribution of wealth but a redistribution of power. If you try to redistribute the wealth keeping all the power centralized like in the Soviet system, you won't even succeed in redistributing the wealth. If you redistribute the power, however, you won't have to redistrubute the wealth because the wealth will redistribute itself. Anarchy is the ultimate democracy with no hierarchies of power or privilege..

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Mark Saulys
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Jan. 21, 2011 3:26 pm
Quote klb10:I will no longer respond to anything tampax posts. His post are meaningless and ridiculous anyway. To me he no longer exists.
As I said I love it when you refuse to respond to my posts because it just add more nails in the coffin of your ignorant claims and unsubstantiated allegations.

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The problem with the Soviet Union, although it started as a well intentioned authoritarianism, was that ownership by the government was not the same as "ownership by the people" because it was not a democratic government and the government was not owned by the people. This contrasted with Western European socialism that didn't dispense with democracy and thus achieved a more genuine socialism.

The reason for the Soviet system is because of the Leninist philosophy of benevolent dictatorship as a transition to self governance by the people which was implemented because Russia was not industrialized and thus not yet ready for socialist revolution according to Marxist theory. The majority agrarian peasantry was not revolutionary but had a superstitious belief in the divine right of the czar and of the feudal aristocracy. Socialist revolution, according to Marx, was not for the dark, superstitious, agrarian peasant but the informed, urban proletariat.

Thus, Lenin was told by the Menshevicks that he had to wait for Russia to, first, industrialize, then, evolve through a period of capitalism before it could even think about socialist revolution. He replied, in effect, "Fuck that, we're doin' this now!" But then he had to, first, do it without the people's support, i.e., he had to effect a "palace" revolution or a coup de` tat rather than a popular revolution, and second, he had to, after the revolution, establish an authoritarian system to protect his revolution and to satisfy the peasantry's need for strong authority. In other words, the peasantry felt they needed a czar so he would be their czar for them, until he could get them educated enough to even want freedom and democracy. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Mark Saulys
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Jan. 21, 2011 3:26 pm

And as for the rest being history, look what that quickly evolved into. State or even collective ownership does not work. There is no incentive when an individual cannot utilize the surpluses of his labor to his benefit. China has sort of abandoned collective farming but villages still retain ownership of the land and it cannot be mortgaged, a farmer can now rent it for his own use.

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klb10
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Aug. 13, 2013 11:24 am

That that you said, klb10, is what is called a non sequiteur, i.e., it does not follow. Throughout most of humanity's time on Earth everything was collectively owned. China and the Soviet Union are not examples of collective ownership. They are examples of government ownership but the government was not, either in China or the Soviet Union, ever owned by the people. Western European democracies, on the other hand, were very successful in implementing socialism. In fact, the most efficient and successful business model in the United States is that of employee ownership.

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Mark Saulys
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Jan. 21, 2011 3:26 pm

But you're somewhat right, klb10, dictatorship can be benevolent as long as the benevolent dictator is alive and in charge and still benevolent. Usually, in the succession process it becomes an abusive tyranny, but not always. Cuba is a good example of Leninism as it was intended to be.

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Mark Saulys
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Jan. 21, 2011 3:26 pm

We elect people to use our government in our name to put a stop to sociopathic Fascist entities

http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/category/environment/

jeffro
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote klb10:

And as for the rest being history, look what that quickly evolved into. State or even collective ownership does not work. There is no incentive when an individual cannot utilize the surpluses of his labor to his benefit.

Tell that to the early Christians... not the fraudulent followers of Paul, but the actual followers of Jesus...

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%204:32-35

That being said, I do not share this view... though if people want to live this way... I'm sure if can work with those of good will. Otherwise I prefer incentives. But they can't be perverse as we offer Wall Street thieves, and they have to be sufficient to allow a person to live off their work. Our system fails in both those areas.

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Sophistry at is finest right there.

jeffro
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Government built Hoover dam. It provides water and power to adjoining states.

Government electrified rural America and built power-generating hydro electric plants to service it. Tennessee Valley Authority.

Private industry did neither.

Private industry didn't provide the research to develop technology for satellites and the means to get them into space...the backbone of modern communication. Government did it.

Life-saving drugs and medical procedures are developed with government funding and produced privately. We should probably get royalties on their bloated Pharmaceutical Co. costs.

National Institutes of Health website:

http://nih.gov/

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Polycarp,

It may interest you to know that Michael Rozeff, of the lewrockwell.com website and blog, actually responded to you comment about Hoover Dam, Rural Electricifcation,etc here and here on the lewrockwell.com, the most widely read libertarian website.

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LysanderSpooner
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Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

Libertarians are often accused of being idealists. Yet, when we point out how the government has actually functioned, not how it was allegedly intented to function, statists on the left and right get perturbed.

Libertarianism is older than modern liberalism. In fact, modern day liberals, or progressives, stole the word liberal away from classical liberals and turned it upside down.

LysanderSpooner's picture
LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote jeffro:

We elect people to use our government in our name to put a stop to sociopathic Fascist entities

http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/category/environment/

So we elect people to put a stop to fascists who got their power from people electing the wrong people in the first place.

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LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote jeffro:Sophistry at is finest right there.

How so? Or are you here just to accuse?

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klb10
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Aug. 13, 2013 11:24 am
Quote klb10:
Quote jeffro:Sophistry at is finest right there.

How so? Or are you here just to accuse?

Is your post a joke? Try reading some of your own posts. It pretty much all you do.

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ulTRAX
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Europeans cannot understand our Tea Party or much of our political crap for good reasons. klb10 continues to justify that analysis where if you think you understand, you know you are really confused.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

Libertarians are often accused of being idealists. Yet, when we point out how the government has actually functioned, not how it was allegedly intented to function, statists on the left and right get perturbed.

Libertarianism is older than modern liberalism. In fact, modern day liberals, or progressives, stole the word liberal away from classical liberals and turned it upside down.

Actually, libertarianism has a history older than the market economic system. In reciprocal economic systems, if functoned admirably. In market economic systems, its an invitation to corporate tyranny.

Early libertarians within the market economic system were opposed to capital and earning a living off of another's labor. It now holds two opposing ideas...freedom within the economic shackles of capital.

The term has been bastardized to mean the opposite of what it once stood for.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Mark Saulys:

What genuine libertarians, anarchists and libertarian socialists like myself, are right about and differ with well meaning authoritarian socialists (Leninist Marxists) about is what is needed in society. We, unlike they, believe that what is needed is not a redistribution of wealth but a redistribution of power. If you try to redistribute the wealth keeping all the power centralized like in the Soviet system, you won't even succeed in redistributing the wealth. If you redistribute the power, however, you won't have to redistrubute the wealth because the wealth will redistribute itself. Anarchy is the ultimate democracy with no hierarchies of power or privilege..

That's a very astute observation! Good job .In the historical past of systems we ignore, that's exactly what happened. Note that anarchy includes community organization....minus hierachies of power.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

Libertarians are often accused of being idealists. Yet, when we point out how the government has actually functioned, not how it was allegedly intented to function, statists on the left and right get perturbed.

Libertarianism is older than modern liberalism. In fact, modern day liberals, or progressives, stole the word liberal away from classical liberals and turned it upside down.

Actually, libertarianism has a history older than the market economic system. In reciprocal economic systems, if functoned admirably. In market economic systems, its an invitation to corporate tyranny.

Early libertarians within the market economic system were opposed to capital and earning a living off of another's labor. It now holds two opposing ideas...freedom within the economic shackles of capital.

The term has been bastardized to mean the opposite of what it once stood for.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You are confusing two separate things: politics and economics. LIbertarianism is a political philsophy, not an economic one. All that libertarianism says is that force is only justifiable in self-defense. It says nothing about which type of economic system one should adopt. If people want communes, fine. If they want reciproal economic system, fine. If they want to participate in an industrialized capitalist system, fine.

LysanderSpooner's picture
LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Suppose there was no profit in "electrifying" the countryside. Or damming up the rivers of Tennessee. Then people would have had to leave for places where the provision of those luxuries was available which would have left the countryside to nature.

Suppose the Canadian government hadn't built the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Great Lakes wouldn't now be filled with vile foreign invasive species, now would it?

Suppose the government's funny money bank, The Fed, hadn't made funny money loans to induce and subsidize suburban sprawl and built government freeways to help with the sprawl. Suppose it wasn't necessary to "develop" real estate in order to stay ahead of the government's purposeful dillution of its funny money currency in order maintain some real savings.

All of these government programs have induced the destruction of natural areas without reference to actual cost or actual demand. In response, "progressives" can blame all these predictable results of government interventions on "capitalism".

Bob Roddis
Joined:
Feb. 15, 2014 11:46 am
Quote Bob Roddis:

Suppose there was no profit in "electrifying" the countryside. Or damming up the rivers of Tennessee. Then people would have had to leave for places where the provision of those luxuries was available which would have left the countryside to nature.

Suppose the Canadian government hadn't built the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Great Lakes wouldn't now be filled with vile foreign invasive species, now would it?

Suppose the government's funny money bank, The Fed, hadn't made funny money loans to induce and subsidize suburban sprawl and built government freeways to help with the sprawl. Suppose it wasn't necessary to "develop" real estate in order to stay ahead of the government's purposeful dillution of its funny money currency in order maintain some real savings.

All of these government programs have induced the destruction of natural areas without reference to actual cost or actual demand. In response, "progressives" can blame all these predictable results of government interventions on "capitalism".

Well said Bob. Progressives constantly fail to look at the effects of the policies that they support. They look at "What is Seen" and not "What is not Seen" to paraphrase Frederic Bastiat's words. Bastiat's work was reiterated by the great New York Times and Newsweek economics columnist Henry Hazlitt. HIs book, Economics in One Lesson (free here) , is a complete refutation of the unsound economics you'll read on this forum.

LysanderSpooner's picture
LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

There's that new poll showing that 1/4 of Americans don't know that the earth revolves around the sun. The economic denialism of the "progressives" is in the same category of "wisdom".

Bob Roddis
Joined:
Feb. 15, 2014 11:46 am
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote polycarp2:
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

Libertarians are often accused of being idealists. Yet, when we point out how the government has actually functioned, not how it was allegedly intented to function, statists on the left and right get perturbed.

Libertarianism is older than modern liberalism. In fact, modern day liberals, or progressives, stole the word liberal away from classical liberals and turned it upside down.

Actually, libertarianism has a history older than the market economic system. In reciprocal economic systems, if functoned admirably. In market economic systems, its an invitation to corporate tyranny.

Early libertarians within the market economic system were opposed to capital and earning a living off of another's labor. It now holds two opposing ideas...freedom within the economic shackles of capital.

The term has been bastardized to mean the opposite of what it once stood for.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You are confusing two separate things: politics and economics. LIbertarianism is a political philsophy, not an economic one. All that libertarianism says is that force is only justifiable in self-defense. It says nothing about which type of economic system one should adopt. If people want communes, fine. If they want reciproal economic system, fine. If they want to participate in an industrialized capitalist system, fine.

Actually if you go back to the beginnings of libertarianism under the market economic system, in settling the economics issues, the political ones were seen to address themselves. In pulling minor aspects of it from the entire package, you're bastardizing it. Force is a function of the role capital plays within the economic system. Early liberatrians comprehended that. They sought to castrate capital The new batch of wanna be's celebrate it.

As far as I know, early libertarian thinkers didn't seem aware that libertarianism existed.....in total.... prior to the system they were born into. Few people are aware of it. You'll seldom see their functioning mentioned anywhere within the educational system and certainly never in the media. It's something usually reserved for economic/social historians....a small segment of academia.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Historical illiterates may find this stuff persuasive, but how the lessons of history have been learned or not is hard to condense into ideological consistency and coherence. Reality is a bit more complicated than that, and getting over the failure of "reason" to be the cure for the human soul is something all of us American Liberals, Left and Right, must deal with. A lot of our discussions here have to do with being open-minded and interested in what we are missing more than trying to defend what we think is true.

As we consider how to rid ourselves of "Corporate," that soul sucking institution of MONEY UBER ALLES, we might discover that our specrtrum has never accounted for the complexity of personal thinking about "politics." What people think their chosen label means is hard to guage in the abstract. Being able to see a collective consciousness about what is going wrong may be enough. For a start. People are sick and tired of funny money. They are not impressed by Corporate anything other than clout. They might even be sick and tired of being depressed.

Being fundamentalists about how badly government works does not address how to govern ourselves. Acting as if interdependence did not make collective responsibilities transcend volunteerism is just a dodge of the existential questions inherent in being human. Acting as if "the lessons of history" do not include examples of learning from trial and error is debating trickery. Of course Progressives shared the optimism about management, if not about bosses and owners of other people's businesses. We have even learned to get over the presumption of "progress" as we continue to stand for a broad and inclusive participation in power among the human beings living in this world.

We can still see advances and good examples of why wise public spending can beat the Myth of Privatization in any arena. Owning instead of renting the Commons pays us back what Corporate extracts as profit for mismanaging these systems. Even the best examples of private utilities or other providers of tax funded services cannot compete with civil service and public ownership. It is all part of the nodquist compost theory of government without any real attention to bottom lines.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Force is a function of the role capital plays within the economic system. Early liberatrians comprehended that.

WTF??? Hey LS, don't you love how these "progressives" are compelled to obliterate the meaning of easily understandable words and concepts?

Bob Roddis
Joined:
Feb. 15, 2014 11:46 am
Quote polycarp2:
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote polycarp2:
Quote LysanderSpooner:
Quote Dr. Econ:
Quote LysanderSpooner:...The libertarian philosophy of government directly opposes the progressive philosophy by pointing out that government-as-we-know-it, in the forms historically observed to predominate for thousands of years, is a “bandit gang writ large”,

You have the gaul to sit there and tell me my liberal philosophy is too idealistic?

Oh wait, you are not going to sit there - you have alread left - another hit and run copy and paste from the intellectual giant Lysander Spooner.

At least liberalism HAS a history!

What a joke.

Libertarians are often accused of being idealists. Yet, when we point out how the government has actually functioned, not how it was allegedly intented to function, statists on the left and right get perturbed.

Libertarianism is older than modern liberalism. In fact, modern day liberals, or progressives, stole the word liberal away from classical liberals and turned it upside down.

Actually, libertarianism has a history older than the market economic system. In reciprocal economic systems, if functoned admirably. In market economic systems, its an invitation to corporate tyranny.

Early libertarians within the market economic system were opposed to capital and earning a living off of another's labor. It now holds two opposing ideas...freedom within the economic shackles of capital.

The term has been bastardized to mean the opposite of what it once stood for.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You are confusing two separate things: politics and economics. LIbertarianism is a political philsophy, not an economic one. All that libertarianism says is that force is only justifiable in self-defense. It says nothing about which type of economic system one should adopt. If people want communes, fine. If they want reciproal economic system, fine. If they want to participate in an industrialized capitalist system, fine.

Actually if you go back to the beginnings of libertarianism under the market economic system, in settling the economics issues, the political ones were seen to address themselves. In pulling minor aspects of it from the entire package, you're bastardizing it. Force is a function of the role capital plays within the economic system. Early liberatrians comprehended that. They sought to castrate capital The new batch of wanna be's celebrate it.

As far as I know, early libertarian thinkers didn't seem aware that libertarianism existed.....in total.... prior to the system they were born into. Few people are aware of it. You'll seldom see their functioning mentioned anywhere within the educational system and certainly never in the media. It's something usually reserved for economic/social historians....a small segment of academia.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Did Spooner or Tucker ever advocate using the State to castrate capital? Or did they believe that the abolition of the State would do so?

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LysanderSpooner
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