Response to mad dog in “one example of the approaching police state”

WordPress once again is messed up and isn’t allowing my reply to go through within the thread itself, so:

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Limiting us to the United States, the police are always on the right. They always serve those in power.

I don’t believe San Francisco activists are in support of gang injunctions as you claim. You’ll have to do some work in terms of evidence if you want to pursue that line.

At some point you also may want to provide evidence for your “big government” theories. Many on the left want higher taxes (especially for the rich) and a more European-style society in general. This is the Reformist Left though, not the Radical Left. The Radical Left usually wants a different kind of government entirely, whether Anarchist, Communist, Socialist. Tax rates vary by system and implementation.

What you claim is true of big governments is true of all non-democratic governments, whether on the right or the left. There is always corruption when people are controlled without having a say in the terms of the control. Greater problems occur not when government gets “bigger”, but when it gets more powerful, as we are seeing currently in the United States under the autocratic dictates of the Bush regime.

Your concept of degree of taxation = degree of power is false. Again, I refer you to Western Europe, with higher taxes than the US but less governmental power. The Bush regime is possibly the most powerful executive in the nation’s history (I think Kennedy’s was more powerful, but that didn’t last too long), and they have featured heavy tax cuts (for the wealthy).

All top-down governments have benefited the rich and well-connected.

The poor definitely do benefit from government. Even in Neoliberal America there is Welfare, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicare, Free Education. These are not insubstantial or meaningless programs.

The differences between Europe and America are quite substantial. Here’s an inequality chart by country:

http://www.lisproject.org/keyfigures/povertytable.htm

I agree that governments serve the rich. I just don’t take the simplistic views you do.

http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp

Now for the poverty statistics:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_pop_bel_pov_lin-economy-population-below-poverty-line

Notice that the United States is 20th in poverty, behind Libya, China, Croatia, and Syria. That’s pretty embarrassing for the richest country in the world. That is to say, embarrassing to good people. The rich don’t give a shit unless it impacts their bottom line (either political power or economic wealth). Perhaps instead of burying corpses we should pile them up on their doorstep – the cost it takes them to remove them might make them reconsider their policies.

Also, check out Israel, a rich country receiving vast handouts from the United States: 42nd in the world in poverty. That’s the sort of crime that governmental leaders should go to jail for. Instead they’ll go kill or impoverish some Palestinians and call it a day.

Somebody else can pay for their goons. Third world military dictatorships are some of the most harsh and brutal governments in the world, and they often have very low taxes. They don’t need taxes when the United States sends them plenty of arms. The United States is a bit different since they can’t turn to someone else to supply them with the kind of military machinery they need – so there always needs to be a level of domestic inflow of money sufficient to keep the machine rolling.

You’re correct: Europe has less freedom of speech than America has. Europe also has seen two brutal world wars on its soil producing many millions of deaths and if they see a 3rd that could end world civilization entirely. So you’ll have to forgive them for being a little sensitive about which words might lead to which outcomes. It’s a bit strange to honor America, who hasn’t had a multinational war on it’s soil in almost 200 years and is a more or less unified mass, rather than the fractional nature of European politics, for it’s “freedom of speech”. It doesn’t have that because of it’s nobility, it has that because of it’s historical and political condition.

I agree that freedom of speech is meaningful for citizens. Before you get too excited however, you might want to look into COINTELPRO and related programs to see just how little effective speech there is in the United States.

You’ll have few allies with the words in your last paragraph unless you present what’s going to occur *after* all of those things happen. For someone who dislikes anarchy, you sure want to make it happen as soon as possible. You seem to want the sort of anarchy where there is no social order and everything is disorganized, rather than an organized anarchic system.

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10 Responses to “Response to mad dog in “one example of the approaching police state””

  1. mad dog Says:

    You make a lot of mistaken assumptions about me and what I stand for. I did not say that the only destructive power of government is taxation, merely ONE of them. What is truly destructive is the lack of civil liberties, habeus corpus, property rights as well as the rule of law. What gives teeth to bad government is the lack of adherence to these basic principles.

    “I don’t believe San Francisco activists are in support of gang injunctions as you claim. You’ll have to do some work in terms of evidence if you want to pursue that line.”

    San Francisco nowadays is a miniature Nanny State. So much of a person’s life is regulated there. I was disgusted with that place for quite some time before you did that article.

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2005/02/08/cstillwell.DTL
    http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780767924320

    Most unfortunate too. San Francisco was one of America’s greatest cities. Now it is overrun by a bunch of little, overpaid tyrants in City Hall. Fuck that place.

    “Also, check out Israel, a rich country receiving vast handouts from the United States: 42nd in the world in poverty. That’s the sort of crime that governmental leaders should go to jail for. Instead they’ll go kill or impoverish some Palestinians and call it a day.”

    I oppose even one single dime going to that land (from our taxpayers). In fact, I oppose all foreign aid. It ends up in the hands of dictators. If the Jews have a problem with that, and their stupid little country gets overrun, let em’ move back to New York. The Zionist lobby is perhaps the most powerful lobby in the United States. Some say they have ties to the central bankers. I don’t trust them.

    “Your concept of degree of taxation = degree of power is false.”

    I never made that claim. You just created a strawman. I only said that there was a correlation. But even Supreme Court Justice John Marshall once said “The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy”. Now, read very carefully. What separates a tyranny from a free society is RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL. It is not about the SIZE of government, but rather how much your personal rights are protected, not only from criminals, but also abusive bureaucrats, politicians and police officers.

    “Somebody else can pay for their goons. Third world military dictatorships are some of the most harsh and brutal governments in the world, and they often have very low taxes.”

    That is because there isn’t anything called “The Rule of Law”. There is hardly any formal or legal code down there to clearly define what a person can and cannot get arrested for. There are no laws down there to protect private property. There is no guaranteed freedom of speech. There is no codified habeas corpus. Without these things present ANY society is tyrannical. It does not

    “They don’t need taxes when the United States sends them plenty of arms.”

    One of the reasons why I am against foreign aid. All that “aid” goes to these dictators, who use the money to prop up their dictatorships. The so-called ‘foreign-aid’ usually has a net effect of making things WORSE.

    “I agree that freedom of speech is meaningful for citizens.”

    Meaningful? MEANINGFUL!? That’s like saying that AIR or WATER is meaningful to citizens, Brian. You simply cannot have a free or just society without guaranteed freedom of speech. When your right to speak your mind goes, kiss everything else goodbye. LACK of freedom of speech is tyranny. Always has been, always will be. Plain and simple. No ifs, ands or buts. Period. I am relatively flexible when it comes to economic manipulation. I can also tolerate a certain amount of reasonable taxation, as well as certain safety laws here and there. But what I will NOT tolerate is anyone saying we should not be free to speak our minds. And if anyone does, I will fight any such legislation to the death, as well as rip that politician a new one.

    ‘If someone tells you that you are too weak to live with freedom, they have turned you into a child.’

    “Before you get too excited however, you might want to look into COINTELPRO and related programs to see just how little effective speech there is in the United States.”

    I am a bit confused as to what you mean here. Are you saying that there are many draconian laws in America that are parasitic on freedom of expression (which I would agree with), or are you saying that there are not enough smart things being said by people?

    “You’re correct: Europe has less freedom of speech than America has. Europe also has seen two brutal world wars on its soil producing many millions of deaths and if they see a 3rd that could end world civilization entirely. So you’ll have to forgive them for being a little sensitive about which words might lead to which outcomes.”

    BULLSHIT. Europe created its own problems through too much statism. They refused to listen to the Americans and the Enlightenment Philosophers. They wanted to carry on their stupid little wars. They wanted to fight over chunks of the world. They thought they were smarter than John Locke and Thomas Jefferson and look where it got them. They descended into Communism, Fascism and Nazism. Why? Because THEY DIDN’T LISTEN. What made things worse was that idiot Woodrow Wilson, who also thought he was smarter than the founding fathers. He thought he would ‘Save the World’ from all its petty little troubles. To top things off, Wilson lied about wanting to keep the American People out of the War. HE ACTUALLY SAID THAT HE WOULD KEEP AMERICA OUT OF THE WAR. Then he started his stupid fucking League of Nations. Along with the stupidity and incompetence of Britain and France (especially that bastard Lord Chamberlin) , the disastrous events that led to the events of world war 2 occurred.

    After the war, America helped Europe get back on its feet. It re-introduced capitalism. Europe made a comeback, except for the statist laws that they stubbornly refused to let go. I have NO sympathy for Europe when it tries to silence people. NONE. They brought the World Wars on themselves. They have no one else to blame but themselves. How dare they take away freedoms of people who had NOTHING to do with those times? Fuck them.

    If you won’t listen to me, perhaps you will listen to a particular distinguished Gentleman:

    And let me tell you something else about Europe. It is doomed. There are more people dying than are being born there. Very few people there are having children and families. Because of this population downturn, pretty soon, they will not be able to finance their welfare state. Right NOW, politicians in Europe are actually looking for ways to scale it back. There is simply not enough money for it, despite the fact that the Europeans pay most of their money in taxes. Why do you think the Capitalist Nicolas Sarkozy won the recent election in France? Why do you think Tony Blair got so unpopular? Why do you think the Dutch tried to get OUT of the European Union?

    To make matters worse, Europe is slowly being conquered by Radical Muslims. They want to make their voting blocks so large, that they will have enough clout to impose Sharia law on Europe. Right now, Muslim immigrants get all kinds of special privileges over there, even more so than the people who have lived there their whole lives. If a European offends one, he goes to jail. If a European EVEN FUCKING DRAWS MOHAMMED, he is in deep shit. The Muslims even get free welfare, groceries, healthcare, housing, social security, transportation, education, you name it, they get it. The government probably even wipes their butts for them!

    And in reference to what you were saying that Europe that it has lower crime than the USA, that is a complete lie. It has MUCH more crime. There are literally gangs running around. You see skinheads in droves over there. You don’t see them here. You better hope that your wallet does not have too much money in that part of the world. I keep hearing about how Europeans are far much more pessimistic than the Americans, despite the fucked up things that go on over here.

  2. mad dog Says:

    “You’ll have few allies with the words in your last paragraph unless you present what’s going to occur *after* all of those things happen.”

    Let me explain something to you. I don’t care about gaining followers if it means I have to sugarcoat my message. I call it as I see it. I come to the views that I do based on the evidence I see and the research that I do. If you have something FACTUALLY wrong with what I said, let me know. Otherwise, I don’t care. You just better hope that you can back up your claims, though, should you feel that you can challenge my facts.

    “For someone who dislikes anarchy, you sure want to make it happen as soon as possible. You seem to want the sort of anarchy where there is no social order and everything is disorganized…”

    When you say ‘anarchy’, what do you mean? Do you mean no law whatsoever? I don’t know what you are trying to say, but I will say that I am a supporter of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. I also like the Articles of Confederation.

    ” rather than an organized anarchic system.”

    WHAT does that mean? How can you have an ‘organized’ anarchic system? What do you mean by ‘organized’? Does it mean that there is a designated group for law enforcement? If so, then that is not anarchy. No matter, though. I am a supporter of an organized legal system, designed to protect personal and property rights. I also support documents like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to prevent the legal system from becoming the next fascist government.

    This may sound crazy to you, but the Constitution and Bill of Rights is quite anarchism friendly. The Articles of Confederation is even more so. Best of all, they were written in the late 18th century, so they’re not like some weird, untested ideas that have no history.

  3. briankoontz Says:

    My take on the “nanny state” is that A) It’s relatively unimportant in terms of effect – it’s overblown and B) People concerned about the “nanny states” are either exploited or willing accomplices in the machinations of the deregulators and other capitalist cretins.

    In any case, the nanny state goes away under a democracy, so rather than nonsense like “get rid of government!” forming a democratic government will solve the “nanny state” issue along with other issues.

    “San Francisco activists” are different from “San Francisco governmental leaders”, as your link refers to.

    It’s in the very act of protecting your personal rights that tyranny is pursued. Market capitalism leads to poverty and vast inequality, which in turn leads to despair and crime, which in turn leads to tyranny in order to “protect your personal rights”. After all, that’s what Bush’s “War on Terrorism” is about – protecting Americans. If you demand the right not to die in a terrorist attack you demand the loss of your right to privacy. If you demand the right not to be burglarized you demand policemen watching you, who might disagree with you about what your “personal rights” entail.

    The problem with freedom of speech is that there’s a need for it. In a democratic society there isn’t the issue of “freedom of speech” because there’s no force that can prevent freedom of speech. That’s when speech truly becomes like air. “Freedom of speech” is like saying “freedom to breathe”. Noone says that because noone (so far) can take away your right to breathe.

    COINTELPRO is the FBI’s program to eliminate political dissent in America. The FBI neither believes in nor pursues the concept of “freedom of speech” in America.

    It’s not bullshit. Also, you criticize wars, but American leaders have long disliked war, instead they rule by economic control and strangulation. The sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s killed half a million children, without the “horrors of war”. It’s only because military war as opposed to economic war has become so profitable in recent decades that our leaders have come to embrace it.

    The American government helped American corporations get on Europe’s feet (part of the Corporate Welfare State). The Marshall Plan positioned American corporations to have a key role in Europe’s present and future. Only after World War II did America become the global power it is today.

    I listen to you – I just don’t agree with you and you operate mostly by assertion. We agree on some things and not on others. My best advice to you is to listen to a lot of different people with an open mind.

    Europe is not doomed in particular. Third world countries are a lot more doomed if you want to have some kind of analysis. Also, there are many possible events that would doom pretty much the whole planet.

    Birth rate doesn’t matter. People who think so are always racist (whether they know it or not). In terms of Muslim takeover of Europe, honestly if one really likes Christian or Secular European culture so much that the introduction of Islam is horrifying then I’m not sure how to analyze those priorities. How many of these horrified people never speak out against nuclear war, global warming, global disease and poverty, but somehow think the slow encroach of Islam on Europe is *super-critical*! If we don’t solve some of the other massive problems there won’t be any Europe left to be glacially overtaken.

    Also, predicting the future is notoriously difficult, and that’s exactly what these people are trying to do.

    In terms of effect, the point of being outraged against Muslims in Europe is not the reality of their encroachment, but is undertaken in order to justify anti-Islamic practices, including of course the upcoming potential attack on Iran. So unless you like a war against Iran you are being exploited in terms of your anti-Muslim diatribe.

    If one takes every position you’ve expressed on this blog as a whole, one sees massive contradictions.

  4. mad dog Says:

    “My take on the “nanny state” is that A) It’s relatively unimportant in terms of effect – it’s overblown and B) People concerned about the “nanny states” are either exploited or willing accomplices in the machinations of the deregulators and other capitalist cretins.”

    I will concede that, by itself, the Nanny State is merely an annoyance. The problem, however, is that the politicians don’t just stop there. They are always trying to gain more power. I like to think of power as the drink that never quenches thirst. That is why the powerful will always try to gain more power, with the exception of those who happen to have extreme love of mankind and freedom.

    “Market capitalism leads to poverty and vast inequality, which in turn leads to despair and crime, which in turn leads to tyranny in order to “protect your personal rights”.”

    I thought we agreed that Lazziez-Faire (non-statist) Capitalism has either never existed, or at least only existed in small doses. Based on this, how can you be sure that it would lead to plutocracy, if it hardly had a chance to perform?

    “If you demand the right not to die in a terrorist attack you demand the loss of your right to privacy.”

    I don’t demand any such ‘rights’. I feel that all police should be localized, and that military be limited to voluntary militias, with maybe a limited permanent military to defend the coast, but little more. One has to understand the true cause of these terrorist attacks: American Interventionism. Our founding fathers did tell us to stay out of foreign wars. I think that we can agree that American foreign policy over the past 100 years can be described as ‘Schizophrenic’.

    “COINTELPRO is the FBI’s program to eliminate political dissent in America. The FBI neither believes in nor pursues the concept of “freedom of speech” in America.”

    Disgusting.

    “Also, you criticize wars, but American leaders have long disliked war, ”

    Wait, how can you say that our leaders dislike wars, especially with two started in the first term of the Bush presidency? Clinton marched into Sarajevo. Bush I fought in Gulf War I and sent troops to Panama. Reagan sent troops to Grenada, and funded the Contras in South America. The list goes on. Correct me if I am wrong, but haven’t you personally criticized our politicians for being warmongers? I believe that Chomsky has documented the numerous wars carried out in the past 50 years by the USA.

    “instead they rule by economic control and strangulation.””

    Well, yes. I agree with this part of the statement. The trade sanctions have only led to disasters throughout the world. They should all be lifted. They did nothing to get rid of any dictators. Saddam was not weakened one iota. Neither was Castro. Worst of all, these sanctions have served as a tool by foreign governments to rally their people. I, along with others, argue that the sanctions keep the dictators in power longer.

    Other forms of intervention that I condemn are the things that G. Gordon Liddy did. His goal was to make sure socialism failed in South America. I argue that it should have stood or fell on its own legs, without wealthy foreigners creating trouble.

    “The American government helped American corporations get on Europe’s feet (part of the Corporate Welfare State). The Marshall Plan positioned American corporations to have a key role in Europe’s present and future. Only after World War II did America become the global power it is today.”

    This is correct. I argue that this is what started the downfall of this country. (Well, one of the main things). I predict that if the USA does not radically reverse this trend within the next few years, it will fall like Rome.

    “The problem with freedom of speech is that there’s a need for it. In a democratic society there isn’t the issue of “freedom of speech” because there’s no force that can prevent freedom of speech. That’s when speech truly becomes like air. “Freedom of speech” is like saying “freedom to breathe”. Noone says that because noone (so far) can take away your right to breathe.”

    That sounds good. I am just wondering how it would be implemented.

    “I listen to you – I just don’t agree with you and you operate mostly by assertion.”

    How can I make my arguments more persuasive?

    “Birth rate doesn’t matter. People who think so are always racist (whether they know it or not).”

    I would not have a trouble with the birth rates of Europe if they did not have a giant welfare state. Due to the amount of money they require for financing, there needs to be more people paying into the system than there are receiving benefits. If the birth rate declines, and goes into negative growth, there will be fewer people paying into the system for the others to receive benefits. By the way, I also consider these to be currently existing problems for medicare and medicaid, as well as social security in America.

    It is predicted that there will not be enough money for these programs within 30 to 40 years, by the time I grow old.

    “How many of these horrified people never speak out against nuclear war, global warming, global disease and poverty, but somehow think the slow encroach of Islam on Europe is *super-critical*! If we don’t solve some of the other massive problems there won’t be any Europe left to be glacially overtaken.”

    I do admit that such a position would be hypocritical, but are you sure that those same folks never talk about those other issues?

    “So unless you like a war against Iran you are being exploited in terms of your anti-Muslim diatribe.”

    First of all, I do not support a war against Iran. Second, there have been horrific cases over in Europe, in which cartoonists received death threats. Numerous other people in Europe have either been killed, or also received death threats for criticizing Islam. I would like to point out that one critic of Islam, a descendant of Rembrandt, criticized Islam. Not too much longer after, he was violently assault and killed in the streets of Holland. No one helped him. The next morning, his body was found in the street. A crowd gathered to look at the body. The police actually arrested people for ‘inciting hatred against Islam’.

    My whole take on the position on Islam is that they should be allowed to do whatever they want, short of violently hurting other people. That is where I cross the line. I also do not support certain people getting better treatment by the government than others. I believe in equality of law. Call me an old-fashioned guy.

    “If one takes every position you’ve expressed on this blog as a whole, one sees massive contradictions.”

    Give me some examples of what you consider to be a ‘contradiction’.

  5. briankoontz Says:

    “I will concede that, by itself, the Nanny State is merely an annoyance. The problem, however, is that the politicians don’t just stop there. They are always trying to gain more power. I like to think of power as the drink that never quenches thirst. That is why the powerful will always try to gain more power, with the exception of those who happen to have extreme love of mankind and freedom.”

    Sure, but then you are against the State, not just the Nanny State, correct? After all, the term “nanny state” implies that a state can exist that is not a “nanny state”.

    “I thought we agreed that Lazziez-Faire (non-statist) Capitalism has either never existed, or at least only existed in small doses. Based on this, how can you be sure that it would lead to plutocracy, if it hardly had a chance to perform?”

    Market Capitalism is one description of the system we have now. Free Market Capitalism is Laissez-faire.

    “I don’t demand any such ‘rights’. I feel that all police should be localized, and that military be limited to voluntary militias, with maybe a limited permanent military to defend the coast, but little more. One has to understand the true cause of these terrorist attacks: American Interventionism. Our founding fathers did tell us to stay out of foreign wars. I think that we can agree that American foreign policy over the past 100 years can be described as ‘Schizophrenic’.”

    If we get the political system worked out to be some form of democratic socialism, then I want to have a transnational military. I’d like to have a military that is *actually* humanitarian, that stops human rights abuses around the world. Imagine the US military being *actual* freedom fighters.

    In our current system I more or less agree with you, since we can’t trust our leaders to use the military in our interests.

    “Wait, how can you say that our leaders dislike wars, especially with two started in the first term of the Bush presidency? Clinton marched into Sarajevo. Bush I fought in Gulf War I and sent troops to Panama. Reagan sent troops to Grenada, and funded the Contras in South America. The list goes on. Correct me if I am wrong, but haven’t you personally criticized our politicians for being warmongers? I believe that Chomsky has documented the numerous wars carried out in the past 50 years by the USA.”

    The US leaders always want to avoid war, if for no other reason than that they have a limited military. Only after World War II has the US been a true global military power, and we’re seeing that even a small war against a nothing military force stretches our military to near-breaking.

    It may seem that the US engages in a lot of military actions, but given that they control much of the 3rd world it’s remarkable how rarely they’ve had to use force.

    Except in the rare case of psychopathy, the school bully doesn’t *want* to beat people up. He just wants lunch money, and fear. If he gets the money he’s happy, if he doesn’t he’s unhappy and out comes the force of arms. That’s an exact analogy for US military policy. The only difference between the Bush regime and prior regimes in the post-WWII era is the degree of aggressiveness. So instead of just lunch money now the bully wants people to steal from their parents and hand that over as well. Since with increased aggressiveness comes increased resistance, such a demand leads to more “No” answers and hence more use of arms. As Chomsky says, the best way for the US to fight terrorism is to stop participating in it. It’s amazing how many fewer school fights there would be if the bully stopped being a bully. From experience I estimate a decrease of 60-80% in the number of school fights with no bully present, and the tremendous decrease in the amount of fear is not a bad bonus.

    “Well, yes. I agree with this part of the statement. The trade sanctions have only led to disasters throughout the world. They should all be lifted. They did nothing to get rid of any dictators. Saddam was not weakened one iota. Neither was Castro. Worst of all, these sanctions have served as a tool by foreign governments to rally their people. I, along with others, argue that the sanctions keep the dictators in power longer.”

    I disagree with that argument. Here’s the deal:

    As long as the foreign populace knows the policies of the foreign leadership caused the US to impose sanctions (at least the educated segment knows this) they know that deposing that leadership can lead to new policies and an end to the sanctions. That, I assume, is why the US imposes the sanctions in the first place.

    The problem, however, is that the policies that anger the American government are invariably ones that are nationalist, ones that benefit the foreign populace at the expense of American multinational corporations. So while the foreign populace knows it can end the sanctions by changing the policy, there is a tradeoff since the new “no more sanctions” policy itself greatly hurts the populace. Foreign populaces typically conclude that the tradeoff is not worth it.

    Venezuela is a perfect example. I don’t know if sanctions have been implemented yet by the American government, but if they were the people would know they could end them by supporting a leadership who opens up the country’s oil to multinationals, but it would not be *worthwhile* to do so, since they would plunging the country back into poverty and despair.

    Chomsky is wrong when he says this process *strengthens* the foreign leadership. In truth, all foreign leadership which is nationalist in the face of US might is going to be strong and popular, logically. It’s the same thing as having a friend who sticks up for you against a bully. Then the bully imposes sanctions (say, prevents the lunch lady from serving you). Do you then abandon your friend to stop the bully from blocking your lunch?

    “This is correct. I argue that this is what started the downfall of this country. (Well, one of the main things). I predict that if the USA does not radically reverse this trend within the next few years, it will fall like Rome.”

    They don’t care. US multinationals don’t care if the US falls like Rome. It’s part of the identity of being a *multi*-national. They can just operate in some other country, coerce some other government, feast on some other populace. They only like the US because of it’s military might and welcoming government. But if it falls, they’ll move to the next best thing. China, perhaps. Or Russia. Or be like Halliburton and move to the United Arab Emirates. Chomsky is correct in calling these things “unaccountable private tyrannies”.

    “That sounds good. I am just wondering how it would be implemented.”

    Popular organization, followed by revolution.

    “How can I make my arguments more persuasive?”

    Making an argument is like constructing a building. An assertion is like an image of the building – no substance. Describing the parts of the building and how they relate to the structure is useful.

    “I would not have a trouble with the birth rates of Europe if they did not have a giant welfare state. Due to the amount of money they require for financing, there needs to be more people paying into the system than there are receiving benefits. If the birth rate declines, and goes into negative growth, there will be fewer people paying into the system for the others to receive benefits. By the way, I also consider these to be currently existing problems for medicare and medicaid, as well as social security in America.”

    If a government is worried about low birth rates it just relaxes the immigration policy. Now if a government is worried about low birth rates and doesn’t like Muslim immigrants, then there could be problems.

    The American populace wouldn’t have any financial trouble if tons of money wasn’t being funneled into the military machine. There are easy ways to fix all of America’s economic woes. Easy if we had a different kind of leadership in Washington or a different form of government.

    “It is predicted that there will not be enough money for these programs within 30 to 40 years, by the time I grow old.”

    A lot of people make a lot of predictions. Many of these predictions are politics-based and not reality-based. America is a master of propaganda. It’s reality they aren’t so good at. They are salesmen, not scientists.

    “I do admit that such a position would be hypocritical, but are you sure that those same folks never talk about those other issues?”

    I’m sure you can find one or two. The issues I describe are all ‘leftist” issues, and the left isn’t worried about “Muslims taking over the world”.

    “First of all, I do not support a war against Iran. Second, there have been horrific cases over in Europe, in which cartoonists received death threats. Numerous other people in Europe have either been killed, or also received death threats for criticizing Islam. I would like to point out that one critic of Islam, a descendant of Rembrandt, criticized Islam. Not too much longer after, he was violently assault and killed in the streets of Holland. No one helped him. The next morning, his body was found in the street. A crowd gathered to look at the body. The police actually arrested people for ‘inciting hatred against Islam’.”

    I’m aware of all that. Yeah – it’s bad, it’s unfortunate that citizens aren’t more effective in fighting for freedom of speech, just like it’s unfortunate that Americans haven’t thrown out the Bush regime.

    But it’s like the case of the shooting deaths on a campus in West Virginia – there were like 32 deaths and it got tremendous press coverage, while the same day 100 people died in Iraq which got almost no press coverage.

    I don’t like any religion, certainly not Islam. I find it most curious that when a Muslim kills a Christian it gets tremendous press coverage, but that when a Christian kills a Muslim (like in Iraq) it gets no press coverage. You may notice the similarity here between when a black kills a white in America versus when a white kills a black.

    “My whole take on the position on Islam is that they should be allowed to do whatever they want, short of violently hurting other people. That is where I cross the line. I also do not support certain people getting better treatment by the government than others. I believe in equality of law. Call me an old-fashioned guy.”

    There’s a difference between believing you believe something and actually believing it. It matters what you look at, what you examine. Here’s a case-scenario:

    On the street in front of you at equal distance two crimes are committed simultaneously. An Arab-looking guy stabs a European-looking guy, while an American-looking guy stabs an African-looking guy. You can only go to the aid of one of the victims first, and you may only be able to save that person’s life.

    Someone who believes in equal treatment must necessarily treat the two crimes as equal and it’s therefore random which person he helps. I venture to say that no human on earth would treat that as random, however, not even Chomsky.

    Even if there was no such thing as racism, there would be such a thing as religious preference, cultural preference. Or kinship. There’s a billion ways to draw distinctions between two people, and those distinctions will always be drawn with concurrent differences in resulting behavior.

    I would help an Athiest over a Christian, all other things being equal. I would help a young man over an old man. I would help an attractive woman over an ugly woman. I would even help a white man over a black man, or probably a European over an Arab.

    Noone other than maybe a robot or an alien believes in total equality. It’s a matter of noting whether or not this lack of equality hurts other people more than is absolutely necessary, and if so then it’s a matter of correcting the inequality, whether by Affirmative Action, by raising consciousness about the damage of inequality, and/or some other means.

    I prefer that the US government consciously treat blacks better than they do whites, because I know that unconsciously they will treat whites far better than they do blacks. And as we know from the million dead in Iraq while engaged in “Project Iraqi Freedom”, the government’s unconscious effects are always far greater than their conscious effects.

    They are liberating Iraqis from their need for oxygen. I suppose that’s one way to fight global warming.

    “Give me some examples of what you consider to be a ‘contradiction’.”

    Supporting Laissez-faire capitalism and equality at the same time… any capitalist system always favors those with capital, in the same way that a communist system always (in theory) favors those acting communally.

    Communism is repressive toward capitalists. Capitalism is repressive toward communists. Both systems are only “equal” with respect to the modes of behavior they endorse.

    You like Chomsky and Milton Friedman. not recognizing (or not caring) that Friedman is a key Neoliberal figure. Also, Chomsky and Friedman do not in any way agree about anything.

  6. mad dog Says:

    “Communism is repressive toward capitalists. Capitalism is repressive toward communists. Both systems are only “equal” with respect to the modes of behavior they endorse.”

    No, communism is repressive to everybody (except the ruling elite). Capitalism is only repressive when it is being dictated by the state.

    “You like Chomsky and Milton Friedman. not recognizing (or not caring) that Friedman is a key Neoliberal figure. Also, Chomsky and Friedman do not in any way agree about anything.”

    First of all, I shop around for a diverse range of views. You yourself have personally suggested that doing so is a good thing. Second, I don’t always agree with everything that either says. I take every view with a grain of salt. I recognize no person as a god.

    Second, there have been times when they have agreed on things. Like the war on drugs, the draft, vietnam, big government bureaucracy, the mutual agreement on the importance of Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke and the other Classic Liberals, plus some other things here and there.

    Third, I do not care if a person is a member of faction A or faction B. I only care about the individual arguments of that particular person. I judge all the arguments on a case-by-case basis. Understand that the world is a complex place. People are complex too.

    Fourth, I tend to see things from the Austrian point of view on economics. Friedman was of the Chicago school. The two schools have similarities, but there are also significant differences.

  7. briankoontz Says:

    We should probably have a more useful discussion at some point – one that speaks to our differences.

    One of my critiques of most schools of economics is that their reliance on selfishness is flawed (flawed both economically and humanly). They have a concept they call the “incentive” model, which states that people only work because they get paid, so apparently they would just sit around doing nothing otherwise. Jobs that pay more provide more “incentive” and hence are more desirable. In terms of all economics I’ve learned these models treat these conclusions as 100% accurate, but I’ve found in dealing with people that they are probably more like 25% accurate, and they’d be even less accurate if people weren’t taught that their main incentive is the level of their wage. One more value of “education”, apparently.

    This is what their concept of individualism funnels into – the notion of economic selfishness. The idea of each individual striving separately for wealth.

    The basic psychological concept they have is that this incentive for wealth – the notion of “greed is good” serves to improve the economy by encouraging work, removing the natural tendency for humanity of laziness. In fact, I suspect if you did a historical survey of culture the concept of laziness itself would coincide with the notion of “greed is good”.

    My view is the opposite – I’ve never seen actual laziness. What I *have* seen that other people confuse for laziness is despair, fear, oppression, depression, and otherwise debilitating emotions and conditions. Ironically, it’s the “greed is good” ideology that in part *causes* these debilitating emotions that these people then claim to be “laziness”. Cute and so very convenient.

    This concept of the necessity of selfishness destroys solidarity and places competition as the governing culture. This makes it quite a convenient culture for capitalists in order to divide and beat down the working class while simultaneously exalting themselves for being “masters of greed” aka the “most good” people.

    On the laziness issue: for example, I hear often that blacks are lazy. But when I examine blacks I don’t find laziness, I again find a lot of the things I talked about – despair, oppression, depression, fear, often caused by the very people calling them “lazy”.

  8. mad dog Says:

    You can criticize them all you like, but the fact is that they have been studying the issue for years and years. I think I am going to trust an economics professor with a PHD over some guy in his early 30’s.

  9. mad dog Says:

    Interesting view on blacks, but I suggest you read up on Bill Cosby and Thomas Sowell.

  10. briankoontz Says:

    A PhD is accreditation, not education. Only to an extent are the two things linked, and less of an extent than most people think. I don’t recall which accreditation Socrates had bestowed on him. Formal accreditation itself is only a very recent invention. Somehow education managed to occur previous to it.

    I’m not going to read Cosby – everything I hear from him is silly. He’s a black who hates blacks. If you’re going to hate blacks you can at least have the decency and historical consistency to have pink or peach or tan skin.

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