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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,715
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Increasingly people are born into a group without which they could not survive and grow up demanding that what they earn and own is theirs. They buy and brainwash parts of the group to take from other parts. Thus does individual competition against the group become subgroup warfare. One group is the group of individualists and another group is the group of groups, while another claims to be THE GROUP itself. Have fun everyone. Self hate is eternal war and the unconscious rules regardless of what you think. If you look outside for answers you will find nothing. There is only one enemy and he is you.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
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0
Originally posted by: bamacre
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: bamacre
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: bamacre
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
As I noted in that earlier post, when I referred to "libertarianism" I meant the kind of internet libertarianism found in the Ron Pual-bots here, and others who ascribe to an extreme libertarianism that doesn't seem to allow for any government whatsoever.
This is just ridiculous.
Uh, how so? Everyone who is a "libertarian" shares the same views? Are you saying its not possible that some people who consider themselves to be libertarians can't be opposed to essentially all government impositions on their liberties, while others who call themselves that can recognize the need for some level of government, and instead just want it reduced to some degree?
It appears that you should go back and read what I considered to be ridiculous.

I have not seen anyone calling for something resembling anarchy.
Then what level of government do you support? You say that the democrats wanting, for instance, a level of wealth redistribution (in the form of programs aiding the poor through aid programs funded by progressive taxation) is "much closer to mob rule rather than democracy" How is that not democracy? From that statement at least, it seems to me that your main opposition to such programs is not whether you think they are a good thing or not, but that you consider it wrong that the people through the government can decide to do that (i.e. wrong that liberties can be imposed on in such a way).

I could just be misinterpreting what you are saying, but otherwise beyond the initial post you have just complained a few times that I said "anarchy". If not anarchy, what do you support?
Uhh, well the Constitution would be a good start in answering your question. :D

How could I be an anarchist when I believe the Federal Government's job is to protect my freedoms laid out in the Bill of Rights? ;)

It is not so much that I want to see our government as it was in the year 1787, but what we have in 2008 is totally unacceptable. My focus now is more so on direction, not destination.
Well, as far as Constitutionality, I'd point you to my post I earlier made in response to Jaskalas:

"Yes, the 10th amendment does seem to limit the authority of the federal government, but there also exists the necessary and proper clause (and the commerce clause as well). They and the 10th amendment obviously conflict with each other, and I don't think you could say one is clearly more ?valid? than the other. Ultimately the Constitution is a document of compromise, one that intends a balance between the authority of the states to run themselves, and the ability of the federal government to supersede them to better carry out the will of the people. I think that balance has largely been met. For instance, the federal government carrys out some nation-wide regulation of education, yet does not violate the authority of the states so far as that states still run education. Its not as though federal schools exist around the state. The federal government has ?expanded? its powers so far as to address national concerns, not to take over the role of the states. Or, for instance, allowing the states to have wide discretion as far as carrying out elections, yet mandating that they cannot discriminate against certain voters. Thus, the ultimate authority under the current system is generally split between the federal and state governments."

I thus don't believe that the Constitution strictly outlaws much of the federal government today. The Patriot Act and similar Bush abuses yes, but I don't consider things like national regulatory measures in response to national concerns to be abuses of the powers of the states as laid out in the Constitution.

Though yes, I wouldn't then consider what you appear to be advocating as "anarchy".


Edit: Additionally, anarchy like other things exists in degrees. Jaskalas, for instance, believing in localism of some sort allows for the existence of state/local governments, and thus on that level is not advocating anarchy. But on the interstate level he clearly is in favor of anarchy (obviously, since his solution is for all 50 states to secede) - though I suppose even then if he was in favor of an Articles of Confederation-style organization strictly to maintain the army and conduct trade agreements with other nations, then that wouldn't strictly be anarchy either. Anarchy is simply the absence of government, so if you remove all third party arbitration in one area, than that area can be said to exist in an anarchic state regardless of the situation of others.

Edit 2: Ultimately beyond a few extremists everyone is in favor of some level of anarchy and some level of statism. I guess where most of us enter into disagreements is what is the proper level of each. Too little individual freedom reduces well-being by allowing for the possibility of authoritarianism, but too little regulation allows for the reduction of well-being (and in another sense individual freedom) for much the same reason (allowing some to have the liberty of abusing the liberties of others).
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
47,850
8,170
126
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I did say that, but I also edited in a few minutes after the clarification that when I said ?libertarianism? I was referring to the it in the extreme sense or in the way most of the Ron Paul bots here seem to view it. To some of the Paulbots, your acceptance of essentially any role of a third-party arbitrator means that you aren't a libertarian. Its that sort of view that I was mainly targetting.

I did misinterpret what Jaskalas saying ? he seems opposed to any federal imposition on liberties, but not necessarily state/local impositions.

While extreme libertarians do just want to be left alone to achieve an ideal, I wouldn't say that means they're necessarily less delusional than extreme communists. In large part that is because extreme libertarians want to essentially remove all regulation and etc, which in a perfect world would make things better, but in the real world simply leaves individuals to fill in the gaps and abuse the liberties of others. The problem with extreme libertarians is that, due to a idealist view of the world, they view government imposition as bad while ignoring that removing such impositions just leads to individuals imposing on the liberties of others. Giving people the ?liberty? to freely exploit others obviously leads to a reduction of liberty among many while a rise in the liberty of the few. For instance, if you were to allow business owners to do whatever they want, then you could wind up again with the robber barons, who obviously enjoyed nearly unlimited liberties themselves but constrained the liberties of their workers and etc.

But yes, the main point is that both extreme libertarianism and extreme communism, while theoretically exact opposites, are both similar in their ignorance of reality.
I think you've been having too many fantasy discussions with extremists on the internet, and have confused that with reality.

First, libertarians don't want to remove all regulation. They do want to remove regulations that don't work and/or harmful to small private business, while giving those that do work the force of criminal law, whenever possible. Like most socialists, you seem unaware that "regulations" are not something that hurts corporations, but what gives them legal advantage over individual citizens.

Second, the robber barons of the late 1800s did not acquire their positions of wealth and power by being allowed to do whatever they want in a free market environment. That's a myth. They got that way because govt was handing out "free" land and money to them like crazy. Need land for a new railroad? We'll just move these Indians to reservations so you can have it. Etc. Big business doesn't have enough labor? Let's just round up some Chinese or poor hill people. Not enough money? Here, have more subsidies. Anyone who confuses this with libertarianism is a moron. Seriously, take a history class besides some socialist website, eh?

Third, I don't know of any libertarians (besides a very few extremist nutjobs who are usually ignorant of their own ideology) who believe that "liberty" is the ability to free exploit others. That would be a contrary to the principle of the Rule of Law, which holds as inherent the individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Do you tell Christians that they don't believe in Christ? Or democrats that they don't believe in democracy? Just curious.

Fourth, the enforcement of their ideal through violent means is the very basis of marxism/communism (FYI, it's in the manifesto). You blew that off like it didn't matter, but I think that it's an extremely important point to consider when arguing the pros and cons of supposedly opposite ideologies.

You're decrying extremism, but by arguing these straw men from an obviously slanted point of view, you're just revealing that you're an extremist yourself. In other words, you're a hypocrite.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,793
3,308
126
I will owe up to flaws in some of my earlier posts. They were rhetoric borne in reply to specific posters who I already know oppose the very notion of anything other than a single centralized authority.

Which case, I will refer you to viewing and arguing over my last post ? which I feel is much more to the point of the ?solution? to the problem we face in our government today.

Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I agree that more local governments are more representative, since each individual's vote counts for more.
Not just voting percentages, but also it is easier to protest at a capitol 60-200 miles away from your home as opposed to a capitol 2,000+ miles away. So accessibility is an issue, which is part of holding them accountable.

But again, I ask you, how else do we solve national problems other than a national government? How do we, for instance, ensure that a company spanning multiple states follows environmental laws?
You?re asking me to come up with specifics for a new form of government. Not an easy task mind you, for if I alone had all the answers to everything ? I?d be much more useful elsewhere than at P&N. I will give it a shot.

Collectively, as a federal government the states may opt (they have the authority to deiced to participate) in environmental recommendations and studies. Then it would also be up to each state to individually have the authority to determine what to do about it.

If we left that solely to the states there would be no effective way to guarantee that
With regards to a company spanning multiple states, you?re right. The people of the states would have the inherent right of self determination and could decide for themselves if they wanted to apply the federal recommendations and/or apply their own local laws.

for instance, one state doesn't lower its standards to gain more investment, and thus the entire nation would eventually become more polluted (the tragedy of the commons sort of). For a real life example, Indiana has allowed BP to dump more pollution into lake Michigan, even though these new standards are lower than that of other states bordering lake Michigan. Without a higher power, what would regulate BP, and ensure that it does not use one state as an end-run to polluting a lake that is bordered by several other states.
The states negatively affected by lake pollution should have recourse. Perhaps the Supreme Court would hear and manage disputes among states. Then they (should) decide against the polluter and then what?

Your example is of a fairly bad scenario playing out where neighbors cannot get along. This is a dispute between states and I can see the role of the federal government is in solving this dispute. The authority they have to enforce a ruling, truly is a difficult answer. It needs to be effective, yet not undermine the state?s right of self determination.

I would argue that self determination ends when you negatively impact your neighbors, such as polluting a shared lake. The authority and teeth behind such decisions might come in the form of economic sanctions, or if necessary by force. The federal government must recognize itself as limited to settling disputes between states and use discretion in not using that power to determine the pollution levels of all lakes in every state.

In the end, my answer comes up short. I will have to research what our constitution says regarding disputes between states. For therein (I assume) lies the answer which pre-dates your question by 230 years.

I agree with you that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional (I consider myself to be closest to a ?liberal? or ?progressive?, certainly not a neo-conservative, which we both oppose). I oppose this because it clearly violates several of the amendments and other legislation already passed.
How do we repeal it when neither political party, the rulers of Washington DC, will listen? What recourse do we have for them not listening to us? The larger government is, the larger the organization required to change it.

You cling to me for the answers, but if we aren?t to use secession and state/local authority, then what answer do you have? How do you envision solving our corrupted government?


Yes, the 10th amendment does seem to limit the authority of the federal government, but there also exists the necessary and proper clause (and the commerce clause as well). They and the 10th amendment obviously conflict with each other, and I don't think you could say one is clearly more ?valid? than the other. Ultimately the Constitution is a document of compromise, one that intends a balance between the authority of the states to run themselves, and the ability of the federal government to supersede them to better carry out the will of the people. I think that balance has largely been met.
11% approval rating, and that ?Balance has largely been met?? I almost find that astonishing in light of modern discontent.

I believe we witness what happens in other nations when the balance of power in this equation falls to everything ?necessary and proper?. I look to Soviet Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, and other dictatorial governments. I look at our current Democratic Party professing a populist view in higher taxes while people ignore the ramifications of those taxes.

Power can corrupt. Taxes equal money, money equals power. So through the power to collect taxes directly from the people ? the state authority is supplanted entirely. If the federal government so much as WANTED to enact a federal school system, they?d have the money to hang over our heads ? and we would obediently obey. Just because they haven?t done it YET, does not mean they will not consider it ?necessary and proper? later this century.

Any hair brained idea these days is "necessary and proper". Nothing checks and balances that authority, and so I end up with nothing other than my solution.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
0
0
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I did say that, but I also edited in a few minutes after the clarification that when I said ?libertarianism? I was referring to the it in the extreme sense or in the way most of the Ron Paul bots here seem to view it. To some of the Paulbots, your acceptance of essentially any role of a third-party arbitrator means that you aren't a libertarian. Its that sort of view that I was mainly targetting.

I did misinterpret what Jaskalas saying ? he seems opposed to any federal imposition on liberties, but not necessarily state/local impositions.

While extreme libertarians do just want to be left alone to achieve an ideal, I wouldn't say that means they're necessarily less delusional than extreme communists. In large part that is because extreme libertarians want to essentially remove all regulation and etc, which in a perfect world would make things better, but in the real world simply leaves individuals to fill in the gaps and abuse the liberties of others. The problem with extreme libertarians is that, due to a idealist view of the world, they view government imposition as bad while ignoring that removing such impositions just leads to individuals imposing on the liberties of others. Giving people the ?liberty? to freely exploit others obviously leads to a reduction of liberty among many while a rise in the liberty of the few. For instance, if you were to allow business owners to do whatever they want, then you could wind up again with the robber barons, who obviously enjoyed nearly unlimited liberties themselves but constrained the liberties of their workers and etc.

But yes, the main point is that both extreme libertarianism and extreme communism, while theoretically exact opposites, are both similar in their ignorance of reality.
I think you've been having too many fantasy discussions with extremists on the internet, and have confused that with reality.

First, libertarians don't want to remove all regulation. They do want to remove regulations that don't work and/or harmful to small private business, while giving those that do work the force of criminal law, whenever possible. Like most socialists, you seem unaware that "regulations" are not something that hurts corporations, but what gives them legal advantage over individual citizens.

Second, the robber barons of the late 1800s did not acquire their positions of wealth and power by being allowed to do whatever they want in a free market environment. That's a myth. They got that way because govt was handing out "free" land and money to them like crazy. Need land for a new railroad? We'll just move these Indians to reservations so you can have it. Etc. Big business doesn't have enough labor? Let's just round up some Chinese or poor hill people. Not enough money? Here, have more subsidies. Anyone who confuses this with libertarianism is a moron. Seriously, take a history class besides some socialist website, eh?

Third, I don't know of any libertarians (besides a very few extremist nutjobs who are usually ignorant of their own ideology) who believe that "liberty" is the ability to free exploit others. That would be a contrary to the principle of the Rule of Law, which holds as inherent the individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Do you tell Christians that they don't believe in Christ? Or democrats that they don't believe in democracy? Just curious.

Fourth, the enforcement of their ideal through violent means is the very basis of marxism/communism (FYI, it's in the manifesto). You blew that off like it didn't matter, but I think that it's an extremely important point to consider when arguing the pros and cons of supposedly opposite ideologies.

You're decrying extremism, but by arguing these straw men from an obviously slanted point of view, you're just revealing that you're an extremist yourself. In other words, you're a hypocrite.
Well, how do you define a ?libertarian?? Some anarchists, for instance, might regard any level of regulation at all as statism/authoritarianism, and thus would consider you an authoritarian. Its largely a question of semantics I suppose, but obviously a quite significant one (one that I violate too in arguing against ?extreme? libertarianism).

Certainly the robber barons did not operate in a free market and etc, that was the point of my argument before ? that libertarians (again I use that term very lightly) argue against government imposition on their liberties while ignoring that the absence of much government control simply leads to individuals creating their own regulation and violation of the liberty of others. Additionally ?government? is far from a monolithic entity. Instead, it is simply a tool of control and regulation, a means for whatever ends. In the case of the robber barons, the federal government of the time was both weak and favorable to their interests.

What resulted with the robber barons obviously does not jive with the libertarian assumption of a free market and so on, but that's largely my point ? that in their opposition to government they ignore the fact that markets are not free and without something acting as a referee trying to ensure the game is being played fairly the playing field will slant in the more powerful player's favor.

I doubt that many libertarians would explicitly state that liberty is the ability to freely exploit others. But ultimately to constrain individuals from doing so is constraining their freedoms. To use your Christ example, all Christians say they believe in Christ, but you'd be hard pressed to argue that, say, slave owners in the past actually followed his example. Now, both of us clearly agree that there is the need for the rule of law to protect such infringements on liberty, my point is that doing so is to some degree a reduction liberty. Consider, for instance, prohibiting by law an employer from hiring children. He could argue that the government stepping in and doing so reduces his freedom.

I wasn't trying to blow off the violent means of communism as practiced in the real world, my point I guess was that you seemed to be saying one led to violence and abuse while the other, while delusional, was not deadly itself. Certainly communism was enforced through violence and was used as the justification by men like Stalin (rightly or wrongly) for totalitarianism. That's a fact, I'm not denying that.


Though again much of this is a problem of semantics and so on. I guess again it has much to do with a lack of any universal definition of ?libertarianism?, ?liberalism?, ?socialism?, and so on. Or, more to the point, the lack of virtually any people who conform to these standards. You say you're a libertarian, yet probably wouldn't fully agree with many others who also profess to be libertarians. I would say I'm a liberal or progressive, yet too certainly wouldn't conform to some standard mold if one existed.

Further, I think much of the confusion comes from American political culture. Namely, Americans generally fear/oppose ?big government? in the abstract, yet support programs representative of it. The average American would say they are in favor of a ?limited? government, yet would also be in favor of an activist government. This is the case with wealth redistribution: something most Americans oppose in the abstract, yet favor programs like welfare that accomplish just that. I think in your case you say you are a libertarian and oppose big government, yet favor one that acts as an third-party arbitrator. Or something like that...
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
0
0
Originally posted by: Vic
Here's an exercise in political thought:

Pete Seeger -- Libertarian or Authoritarian?
A communist :D


I wouldn't necessarily say either of those. From a brief look over of the Wikipedia page he seems to be a socialist, yet opposed Stalinism once its excesses became obvious, and at the same time stood up to HUAC with the first amendment. Additionally he said he wanted to return to the age of small villages.

So...I don't really know. Saying he's a libertarian would seem misleading when he still seemed in favor of socialism on some level, though saying he's an authoritarian seems blatantly false given his criticism of Stalin and Fascism.

I guess I'd say he's closer to a libertarian than authoritarian, though that should be qualified by him being in favor socialism to some degree (i.e. he's not fully a libertarian in today's sense of the word).

 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,715
3,521
126
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I did say that, but I also edited in a few minutes after the clarification that when I said ?libertarianism? I was referring to the it in the extreme sense or in the way most of the Ron Paul bots here seem to view it. To some of the Paulbots, your acceptance of essentially any role of a third-party arbitrator means that you aren't a libertarian. Its that sort of view that I was mainly targetting.

I did misinterpret what Jaskalas saying ? he seems opposed to any federal imposition on liberties, but not necessarily state/local impositions.

While extreme libertarians do just want to be left alone to achieve an ideal, I wouldn't say that means they're necessarily less delusional than extreme communists. In large part that is because extreme libertarians want to essentially remove all regulation and etc, which in a perfect world would make things better, but in the real world simply leaves individuals to fill in the gaps and abuse the liberties of others. The problem with extreme libertarians is that, due to a idealist view of the world, they view government imposition as bad while ignoring that removing such impositions just leads to individuals imposing on the liberties of others. Giving people the ?liberty? to freely exploit others obviously leads to a reduction of liberty among many while a rise in the liberty of the few. For instance, if you were to allow business owners to do whatever they want, then you could wind up again with the robber barons, who obviously enjoyed nearly unlimited liberties themselves but constrained the liberties of their workers and etc.

But yes, the main point is that both extreme libertarianism and extreme communism, while theoretically exact opposites, are both similar in their ignorance of reality.
I think you've been having too many fantasy discussions with extremists on the internet, and have confused that with reality.

First, libertarians don't want to remove all regulation. They do want to remove regulations that don't work and/or harmful to small private business, while giving those that do work the force of criminal law, whenever possible. Like most socialists, you seem unaware that "regulations" are not something that hurts corporations, but what gives them legal advantage over individual citizens.

Second, the robber barons of the late 1800s did not acquire their positions of wealth and power by being allowed to do whatever they want in a free market environment. That's a myth. They got that way because govt was handing out "free" land and money to them like crazy. Need land for a new railroad? We'll just move these Indians to reservations so you can have it. Etc. Big business doesn't have enough labor? Let's just round up some Chinese or poor hill people. Not enough money? Here, have more subsidies. Anyone who confuses this with libertarianism is a moron. Seriously, take a history class besides some socialist website, eh?

Third, I don't know of any libertarians (besides a very few extremist nutjobs who are usually ignorant of their own ideology) who believe that "liberty" is the ability to free exploit others. That would be a contrary to the principle of the Rule of Law, which holds as inherent the individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Do you tell Christians that they don't believe in Christ? Or democrats that they don't believe in democracy? Just curious.

Fourth, the enforcement of their ideal through violent means is the very basis of marxism/communism (FYI, it's in the manifesto). You blew that off like it didn't matter, but I think that it's an extremely important point to consider when arguing the pros and cons of supposedly opposite ideologies.

You're decrying extremism, but by arguing these straw men from an obviously slanted point of view, you're just revealing that you're an extremist yourself. In other words, you're a hypocrite.
Well, how do you define a ?libertarian?? Some anarchists, for instance, might regard any level of regulation at all as statism/authoritarianism, and thus would consider you an authoritarian. Its largely a question of semantics I suppose, but obviously a quite significant one (one that I violate too in arguing against ?extreme? libertarianism).

Certainly the robber barons did not operate in a free market and etc, that was the point of my argument before ? that libertarians (again I use that term very lightly) argue against government imposition on their liberties while ignoring that the absence of much government control simply leads to individuals creating their own regulation and violation of the liberty of others. Additionally ?government? is far from a monolithic entity. Instead, it is simply a tool of control and regulation, a means for whatever ends. In the case of the robber barons, the federal government of the time was both weak and favorable to their interests.

What resulted with the robber barons obviously does not jive with the libertarian assumption of a free market and so on, but that's largely my point ? that in their opposition to government they ignore the fact that markets are not free and without something acting as a referee trying to ensure the game is being played fairly the playing field will slant in the more powerful player's favor.

I doubt that many libertarians would explicitly state that liberty is the ability to freely exploit others. But ultimately to constrain individuals from doing so is constraining their freedoms. To use your Christ example, all Christians say they believe in Christ, but you'd be hard pressed to argue that, say, slave owners in the past actually followed his example. Now, both of us clearly agree that there is the need for the rule of law to protect such infringements on liberty, my point is that doing so is to some degree a reduction liberty. Consider, for instance, prohibiting by law an employer from hiring children. He could argue that the government stepping in and doing so reduces his freedom.

I wasn't trying to blow off the violent means of communism as practiced in the real world, my point I guess was that you seemed to be saying one led to violence and abuse while the other, while delusional, was not deadly itself. Certainly communism was enforced through violence and was used as the justification by men like Stalin (rightly or wrongly) for totalitarianism. That's a fact, I'm not denying that.


Though again much of this is a problem of semantics and so on. I guess again it has much to do with a lack of any universal definition of ?libertarianism?, ?liberalism?, ?socialism?, and so on. Or, more to the point, the lack of virtually any people who conform to these standards. You say you're a libertarian, yet probably wouldn't fully agree with many others who also profess to be libertarians. I would say I'm a liberal or progressive, yet too certainly wouldn't conform to some standard mold if one existed.

Further, I think much of the confusion comes from American political culture. Namely, Americans generally fear/oppose ?big government? in the abstract, yet support programs representative of it. The average American would say they are in favor of a ?limited? government, yet would also be in favor of an activist government. This is the case with wealth redistribution: something most Americans oppose in the abstract, yet favor programs like welfare that accomplish just that. I think in your case you say you are a libertarian and oppose big government, yet favor one that acts as an third-party arbitrator. Or something like that...
I think you have been very fair and objective in your argument up to now. However, I don't think you can say that it was a weak government that promoted the Robber Barons. It was weak from your perspective, collectivism, perhaps, but not weak for the Barons. For them it was strong. You have a dilemma you have to face. Collective action is powerful, but it can be for good or for bad. Some think it is inevitable bad and because of its power the greater danger. Better that power not gather than run amok, say some.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
0
0
Originally posted by: Jaskalas
I will owe up to flaws in some of my earlier posts. They were rhetoric borne in reply to specific posters who I already know oppose the very notion of anything other than a single centralized authority.

Which case, I will refer you to viewing and arguing over my last post ? which I feel is much more to the point of the ?solution? to the problem we face in our government today.
Well, as I did in response to Vic I'll owe up as well to misjudging you at first as an anarchist libertarian (or something like that), whereas as you seem to accept government at the state/local level (so I guess you're a interstate anarchist, state/local conservative or something).

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I agree that more local governments are more representative, since each individual's vote counts for more.
Not just voting percentages, but also it is easier to protest at a capitol 60-200 miles away from your home as opposed to a capitol 2,000+ miles away. So accessibility is an issue, which is part of holding them accountable.

But again, I ask you, how else do we solve national problems other than a national government? How do we, for instance, ensure that a company spanning multiple states follows environmental laws?
You?re asking me to come up with specifics for a new form of government. Not an easy task mind you, for if I alone had all the answers to everything ? I?d be much more useful elsewhere than at P&N. I will give it a shot.

Collectively, as a federal government the states may opt (they have the authority to deiced to participate) in environmental recommendations and studies. Then it would also be up to each state to individually have the authority to determine what to do about it.
Well, that sounds like the Articles of Confederation, which failed to accomplish much given their requirement of state unanimity for anything to take effect.

I guess my main point there is that, while there certainly are flaws in a democratic government trying to be accountable to 300 million people, ultimately there is no better system. Or, to borrow the famous Churchill quotation, its the worst system except all the others.

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
If we left that solely to the states there would be no effective way to guarantee that
With regards to a company spanning multiple states, you?re right. The people of the states would have the inherent right of self determination and could decide for themselves if they wanted to apply the federal recommendations and/or apply their own local laws.


Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
for instance, one state doesn't lower its standards to gain more investment, and thus the entire nation would eventually become more polluted (the tragedy of the commons sort of). For a real life example, Indiana has allowed BP to dump more pollution into lake Michigan, even though these new standards are lower than that of other states bordering lake Michigan. Without a higher power, what would regulate BP, and ensure that it does not use one state as an end-run to polluting a lake that is bordered by several other states.
The states negatively affected by lake pollution should have recourse. Perhaps the Supreme Court would hear and manage disputes among states. Then they (should) decide against the polluter and then what?

Your example is of a fairly bad scenario playing out where neighbors cannot get along. This is a dispute between states and I can see the role of the federal government is in solving this dispute. The authority they have to enforce a ruling, truly is a difficult answer. It needs to be effective, yet not undermine the state?s right of self determination.

I would argue that self determination ends when you negatively impact your neighbors, such as polluting a shared lake. The authority and teeth behind such decisions might come in the form of economic sanctions, or if necessary by force. The federal government must recognize itself as limited to settling disputes between states and use discretion in not using that power to determine the pollution levels of all lakes in every state.

In the end, my answer comes up short. I will have to research what our constitution says regarding disputes between states. For therein (I assume) lies the answer which pre-dates your question by 230 years.
Well, ultimately the answer there is for the federal government to step in regarding the disputes, assuming of course the states can't work it out themselves.

I guess my point is that the federal government's ?expansion? over the 230 years since the Constitution was laid in place hasn't occurred at the cost of much, if any, state power. States still retain tremendous control over running their own affairs, such as maintaining a police force, running their schools, and so forth. Federal power has expanded largely in response to an increase in national issues, tied in to the growth of the nation ? for instance, arbitrating the above scenario. Now, obviously you could argue states rights have been infringed on in matters such as abortion (i.e. affectively forcing states to accept that), but in most matters of federal involvement today I wouldn't really consider state rights, or self-determination, to be violated.

I think a large part of state-federal power disputes come from federal aid to the states. States obviously want the money with no strings attached, while the federal government does want some conditions on its use, since after all its the federal government getting the complains for the taxation in the first place.

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
I agree with you that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional (I consider myself to be closest to a ?liberal? or ?progressive?, certainly not a neo-conservative, which we both oppose). I oppose this because it clearly violates several of the amendments and other legislation already passed.
How do we repeal it when neither political party, the rulers of Washington DC, will listen? What recourse do we have for them not listening to us? The larger government is, the larger the organization required to change it.

You cling to me for the answers, but if we aren?t to use secession and state/local authority, then what answer do you have? How do you envision solving our corrupted government?
We use the same means we do in the state government: pressure our elected officials to vote against such legislation, and if they do not then vote them out in favor of those who will represent our wishes. Now, obviously its harder to enact change in that way (changing state law requires a majority of a state to be mobilized against it, not a majority of the country), but ultimately I don't see any better way of running the federal government.

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Yes, the 10th amendment does seem to limit the authority of the federal government, but there also exists the necessary and proper clause (and the commerce clause as well). They and the 10th amendment obviously conflict with each other, and I don't think you could say one is clearly more ?valid? than the other. Ultimately the Constitution is a document of compromise, one that intends a balance between the authority of the states to run themselves, and the ability of the federal government to supersede them to better carry out the will of the people. I think that balance has largely been met.
11% approval rating, and that ?Balance has largely been met?? I almost find that astonishing in light of modern discontent.
The 11% approval rating has to do with the current makeup of Congress. That likely has nothing to do with voter's satisfaction or not with the current balance between state and federal rights, just as that 11% doesn't mean only 11% approve of democracy itself.

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
I believe we witness what happens in other nations when the balance of power in this equation falls to everything ?necessary and proper?. I look to Soviet Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, and other dictatorial governments. I look at our current Democratic Party professing a populist view in higher taxes while people ignore the ramifications of those taxes.
Those countries also had a lack of democracy and repression of the people (far more so than a democracy imposes on the people). All the necessary and proper clause say is that the federal government can make use of powers not explicitly outlined in the Constitution to serve the public interest.

As far as the Democratic Party, while they overall support higher taxes, with a skyrocketing national debt and a $2 trillion dollar war being fought and not being paid for with any new money, I don't see how we have any other choices (well, besides gigantic cuts in spending, but that would require the repeal of programs like Social Security and Medicare, which are supported by the majority of the people).

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Power can corrupt. Taxes equal money, money equals power. So through the power to collect taxes directly from the people ? the state authority is supplanted entirely. If the federal government so much as WANTED to enact a federal school system, they?d have the money to hang over our heads ? and we would obediently obey. Just because they haven?t done it YET, does not mean they will not consider it ?necessary and proper? later this century.
How is state authority supplanted by federal taxation? Does that mean local governments also lose their authority because states can tax?

I think you are also confusing the federal government to be an entity of its own. You forget that it is run by elected officials. If we do not like what they are doing, we have the power to deny them a re-election, and even to recall them (well, in some places at least). Ultimately a democracy rests on the support of the people. Without their support and tacit approval it cannot simply do whatever it wants. The federal government can only force you to do something so long as it enjoys enough support to remain in existence.

Originally posted by: Jaskalas
Any hair brained idea these days is "necessary and proper". Nothing checks and balances that authority, and so I end up with nothing other than my solution.
Uh, the voters check the authority of the federal government, just like the voters check the authority of state governments and local governments.

 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: Vic
Here's an exercise in political thought:

Pete Seeger -- Libertarian or Authoritarian?
A communist :D


I wouldn't necessarily say either of those. From a brief look over of the Wikipedia page he seems to be a socialist, yet opposed Stalinism once its excesses became obvious, and at the same time stood up to HUAC with the first amendment. Additionally he said he wanted to return to the age of small villages.

So...I don't really know. Saying he's a libertarian would seem misleading when he still seemed in favor of socialism on some level, though saying he's an authoritarian seems blatantly false given his criticism of Stalin and Fascism.

I guess I'd say he's closer to a libertarian than authoritarian, though that should be qualified by him being in favor socialism to some degree (i.e. he's not fully a libertarian in today's sense of the word).
And yet, Pete Seeger is a hero of mine. He arguably did more to effect societal change in post-WWII America than any other person. And while he's been labeled a communist and a socialist, he has never approved of strong central government (or any other strong central collective institution, like big business for example) and has always been an adamant defender of individual rights. He is the one who coined the phrase "Think globally, act locally." And he effected that great societal change I spoke of, not through government or force, but by getting people together to sing folk songs. So while he is decidedly leftist, there is IMO nothing more libertarian than that.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam

I think you have been very fair and objective in your argument up to now. However, I don't think you can say that it was a weak government that promoted the Robber Barons. It was weak from your perspective, collectivism, perhaps, but not weak for the Barons. For them it was strong. You have a dilemma you have to face. Collective action is powerful, but it can be for good or for bad. Some think it is inevitable bad and because of its power the greater danger. Better that power not gather than run amok, say some.
Well, weak so far as the federal government played much less a role in national domestic affairs than it does today.

It was powerful enough to deploy the army to break strikes for the Barons and so forth though, so yes that was perhaps a poor choice of words.
 

Blueychan

Senior member
Feb 1, 2008
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Some of what he said actually actually make sense. Americans becoming labelers, we like to put a label on someone if he/she disagree with our thought.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
0
0
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: Vic
Here's an exercise in political thought:

Pete Seeger -- Libertarian or Authoritarian?
A communist :D


I wouldn't necessarily say either of those. From a brief look over of the Wikipedia page he seems to be a socialist, yet opposed Stalinism once its excesses became obvious, and at the same time stood up to HUAC with the first amendment. Additionally he said he wanted to return to the age of small villages.

So...I don't really know. Saying he's a libertarian would seem misleading when he still seemed in favor of socialism on some level, though saying he's an authoritarian seems blatantly false given his criticism of Stalin and Fascism.

I guess I'd say he's closer to a libertarian than authoritarian, though that should be qualified by him being in favor socialism to some degree (i.e. he's not fully a libertarian in today's sense of the word).
And yet, Pete Seeger is a hero of mine. He arguably did more to effect societal change in post-WWII America than any other person. And while he's been labeled a communist and a socialist, he has never approved of strong central government (or any other strong central collective institution, like big business for example) and has always been an adamant defender of individual rights. He is the one who coined the phrase "Think globally, act locally." And he effected that great societal change I spoke of, not through government or force, but by getting people together to sing folk songs. So while he is decidedly leftist, there is IMO nothing more libertarian than that.
Well, from what I read from the Wikipedia page he does seem to have been a very decent person, comparable to Bono so far as being a musician singing and campaigning for change.

While I'm not in favor of a "weak" federal government, I wouldn't say I'm in favor of necessarily a "strong" central government either, because such an institution can be used for good or evil, the latter of which I think characterizes HUAC's subpoena against Seeger. Instead I'm in favor of the federal government sharing a balance of power with lower levels of government (which I'd say is largely the case today), while acting as a referee of sorts over the national market - not participating itself in the market but ensuring the "players" play fairly, and having enough power to stop them if they begin to abuse others/the people. In such a capacity power is spread amongst the various actors in the political system, and thus no one side (be it business, the government, individuals, etc) can easily gain power at the expense of others. The diffusion of power I think is key, and I think the general intent of the Founders in the Constitution.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
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Originally posted by: Vic
PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
Well, I suppose Bono has never stood up to something like the House Un-American Activities Committee. Given that Seeger was well before my time, and I haven't paid a ton of attention to Bono though, that's an argument I'll stay out of :)
 

Moonbeam

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Nov 24, 1999
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Originally posted by: Vic
PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
Well for crap sake please don't focus on Bono and comment on his other part. I am trying to learn something here and understand the two points of view.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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Originally posted by: ZebuluniteV
Originally posted by: Moonbeam

I think you have been very fair and objective in your argument up to now. However, I don't think you can say that it was a weak government that promoted the Robber Barons. It was weak from your perspective, collectivism, perhaps, but not weak for the Barons. For them it was strong. You have a dilemma you have to face. Collective action is powerful, but it can be for good or for bad. Some think it is inevitable bad and because of its power the greater danger. Better that power not gather than run amok, say some.
Well, weak so far as the federal government played much less a role in national domestic affairs than it does today.

It was powerful enough to deploy the army to break strikes for the Barons and so forth though, so yes that was perhaps a poor choice of words.
OK, but it's more than a poor choice of words. The issue is Vic's, that it's government that provides corporations power, and you saying government should regulate. If government has the power to regulate it has the power also to facilitate, no?
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
47,850
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: Vic
PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
Well for crap sake please don't focus on Bono and comment on his other part. I am trying to learn something here and understand the two points of view.
Huh? What? :D Hehe

I didn't comment on that other part because, for the most part, we ceased to be in disagreement. Most of us can agree on the need for government, just like most of us can agree that that need should never be allowed to overshadow the dangers of government. In which case, the solution is to diffuse the power of government. To balance it and spread it out to as many people as possible and not allow it to consolidate.
Seeger said, "It is participation that will save the human race." That says it all IMO. It takes apathy for power to consolidate.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,715
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: Vic
PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
Well for crap sake please don't focus on Bono and comment on his other part. I am trying to learn something here and understand the two points of view.
Huh? What? :D Hehe

I didn't comment on that other part because, for the most part, we ceased to be in disagreement. Most of us can agree on the need for government, just like most of us can agree that that need should never be allowed to overshadow the dangers of government. In which case, the solution is to diffuse the power of government. To balance it and spread it out to as many people as possible and not allow it to consolidate.
Seeger said, "It is participation that will save the human race." That says it all IMO. It takes apathy for power to consolidate.
Thank you. I couldn't tell if you ceased to disagree.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: bamacre
As one who has always believed that light conquers darkness, as a citizen of the USA I still often find myself struggling to find the light switch.

Our two parties are failing the American people and working hard to destroy this country.
Excuse me.

Explain how it is the "two parties" when we have been dominated by one party the entire last decade?

Waiting for your answer...
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,034
1
61
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Originally posted by: bamacre
As one who has always believed that light conquers darkness, as a citizen of the USA I still often find myself struggling to find the light switch.

Our two parties are failing the American people and working hard to destroy this country.
Excuse me.

Explain how it is the "two parties" when we have been dominated by one party the entire last decade?

Waiting for your answer...
I could, but, you and I both know you'll never get it.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,393
3,035
126
Originally posted by: xochi
LOL, The first thing i thought of when i read the title is those rainbow gay pride bumper stickers/lapel pins.


I have nothing against gays, just thought it was funny.
Whaqt I read the title I thought it was going to be about Kermit the Frog and the Rainbow Connection.....I was sorely disappointed!!
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,034
1
61
Originally posted by: JEDIYoda
Originally posted by: xochi
LOL, The first thing i thought of when i read the title is those rainbow gay pride bumper stickers/lapel pins.


I have nothing against gays, just thought it was funny.
Whaqt I read the title I thought it was going to be about Kermit the Frog and the Rainbow Connection.....I was sorely disappointed!!
People often see what they want.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,912
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: bamacre
Originally posted by: dmcowen674
Originally posted by: bamacre
As one who has always believed that light conquers darkness, as a citizen of the USA I still often find myself struggling to find the light switch.

Our two parties are failing the American people and working hard to destroy this country.
Excuse me.

Explain how it is the "two parties" when we have been dominated by one party the entire last decade?

Waiting for your answer...
I could, but, you and I both know you'll never get it.
Typical. Can never explain the rhetoric.

At least you guys are not even trying to spew BS anymore.
 

ZebuluniteV

Member
Aug 23, 2007
165
0
0
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: Vic
PLEASE don't compare Seeger to Bono. Bono is talk. Seeger is walk.
Well for crap sake please don't focus on Bono and comment on his other part. I am trying to learn something here and understand the two points of view.
Huh? What? :D Hehe

I didn't comment on that other part because, for the most part, we ceased to be in disagreement. Most of us can agree on the need for government, just like most of us can agree that that need should never be allowed to overshadow the dangers of government. In which case, the solution is to diffuse the power of government. To balance it and spread it out to as many people as possible and not allow it to consolidate.
Seeger said, "It is participation that will save the human race." That says it all IMO. It takes apathy for power to consolidate.
Thank you. I couldn't tell if you ceased to disagree.
Oh, I never said we ceased to disagree...:D


But yeah, while I'm sure we'd probably disagree as to the specifics of an ideal system (e.g. whether something like universal healthcare is advisable), as our debate went on it became clear that both of us essentially agree in the larger sense ? that there is a need for a balance between the rights of society (protected via a government) and the rights of the individual (protected via individual liberties and freedom).

Conversely, we agree that unfettered individual liberties or government with unconstrained powers (e.g. anarcho-capitalism and Stalinist communism) both only work in the ideal, and in the real world lead essentially to the same thing (the domination of the many by the few, either through the inevitable corruption and abuse of an unconstrained government or the inevitable monopolization of a market and society "free" only in theory). But, of course, being grounded in the ideal proponents of either don't take these issues into account because they view them as impossible. A communist wouldn't consider individual liberties from the government necessary because they envision the government as something that could not be corrupted, and therefore wouldn't unfairly constrain the people in the first place. An anarcho-capitalist (or extreme libertarian, or whatever) similarly would view government as completely unnecessary because they believe that unconstrained individual liberties would not lead to individuals abusing others in the first place, and therefore there would be no need/use for a government in the first place.


So yeah, overall while I'd imagine we'd differ to some degree over the specifics in balancing the needs of society and the individual, I think from our previous posts that both of us clearly recognize the need for some degree of both government and liberties in the first place. Thus, in the big picture at least, we ceased to disagree or, perhaps more accurately put, realized that we don't disagree (since I don't think either of us came into the discussion as a communist or anarcho-capitalist or whatever).



And on a side note, from a quick overview of the wikipedia page it seems "anarcho-capitalism" best matches the "extreme libertarianism" that I was referring to (and criticizing) earlier.
 

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