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Old 04-04-2018, 02:36 PM   #106
sebastian_dangerfield
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I like the way that Williamson waits until the very end to make it clear that no matter how libertarian he says he is, he is a conservative at heart. A whole litany of Republican offenses against libertarianism, but with one throwaway phrase, a hyperbolic overriding of a single op-ed, he manages to equate the two parties. No matter how bad the Republican Party gets on his issues, he's not willing to cross over.
He does admit earlier that the Democrats are now the party of free trade. It's a start.

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You and Williamson share a pathological need to find some excuse to never admit that Democrats are better on important things you profess to care about.
Democrats are better on a number of issues. I've never argued otherwise:

1. Almost all social issues;
2. Justice reform (except when they cave to the tough-on-crime crowd a week before voting day, as often seems to be the case);
3. Environment

I cross over. Hell, I voted for John Kerry.

But this doesn't undo the fact that, in aggregate, in general character, both parties are defined by and filled with groups of people who wish to compel others to live as they want them to live. That's authoritarian.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:47 PM   #107
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
He does admit earlier that the Democrats are now the party of free trade. It's a start.
His piece is a complaint about what has happened to his party, and it's clear that it's still his party.

Libertarianism isn't a substantive philosophy. It's a preference for having unelected judges make law, law which tends to favored moneyed interests, rather than having the law made by elected legislatures, which tend to support things that the masses like. The reason why it appeals to so few people is that not many people are both rich and feel a need to dress up their self-interest in a purportedly abstracted set of ideals. Many rich people are perfectly happy to act out of naked self-interest instead of veiled self-interest. What's the point in being rich if you can't be clear about who you're sticking it to, and why?

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But this doesn't undo the fact that, in aggregate, in general character, both parties are defined by and filled with groups of people who wish to compel others to live as they want them to live. That's authoritarian.
First, that's not really what "authoritarian" means. Second, to say that either party is "defined by" people "who wish to compel others live as they want them to live" is tripe. I mean, it's just complete nonsense.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:08 PM   #108
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
His piece is a complaint about what has happened to his party, and it's clear that it's still his party.

Libertarianism isn't a substantive philosophy. It's a preference for having unelected judges make law, law which tends to favored moneyed interests, rather than having the law made by elected legislatures, which tend to support things that the masses like. The reason why it appeals to so few people is that not many people are both rich and feel a need to dress up their self-interest in a purportedly abstracted set of ideals. Many rich people are perfectly happy to act out of naked self-interest instead of veiled self-interest. What's the point in being rich if you can't be clear about who you're sticking it to, and why?



First, that's not really what "authoritarian" means. Second, to say that either party is "defined by" people "who wish to compel others live as they want them to live" is tripe. I mean, it's just complete nonsense.
I think Libertarianism appeals to people who see the masses as fools who'd vote themselves into bankruptcy if allowed. In this regard, I tend to see a lot of merit in Libertarian arguments. We're a Republic and not a pure Democracy for a reason. A true Democracy would be a disaster.

But this lesson cuts both ways. Those "fuck the poor" sorts you describe, and the merchant class strivers behind them, have been pigs. They've taken too much for too long, and insulated themselves from the risk of their behaviors (Hi, Wall Street) to such an extent the statement, "the system is rigged" holds a lot of credibility.

In this regard, Libertarians are aligned against much of what the rich rely on to remain rich today: Rentier and Crony Capitalism. Libertarians don't care about you, or your family. But they don't desire to find a way to fuck the poor over and make them their debt slaves. There is a fairness to libertarians. It's the coldest of comforts, but it's there.

Regarding the meaning of authoritarianism, I know. I apply a broader meaning. I think anyone who thinks he knows what best for his fellow man and therefore thinks he has the right to enforce rules against his fellow man has authoritarian tendencies. He may couch his position as benignly as he likes, but at core, he's a dangerously arrogant person.

I think most people would do better to behave a lot differently than they do. But I feel much more strongly that they have the right to succeed or fail doing as they like, and I have no right to try to enshrine my personal tastes on how one should live in code or regulation of any kind. The right to free speech, where I might convince, cajole, manipulate, insult, or beg people to do as I think they should is all the right I have, or should have, over them.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:54 PM   #109
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I think Libertarianism appeals to people who see the masses as fools who'd vote themselves into bankruptcy if allowed.
What you mean is, it appeals to people who don't want to pay taxes for redistribution and/or government services that they can just buy private alternatives to. In other words, rich people.

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In this regard, I tend to see a lot of merit in Libertarian arguments. We're a Republic and not a pure Democracy for a reason. A true Democracy would be a disaster.
One of the rules of libertarian self-interest is to cloak it in some high-minded principle. Like, "democracy would be a disaster," rather than "democracy would be a disaster for me."

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But this lesson cuts both ways. Those "fuck the poor" sorts you describe, and the merchant class strivers behind them, have been pigs. They've taken too much for too long, and insulated themselves from the risk of their behaviors (Hi, Wall Street) to such an extent the statement, "the system is rigged" holds a lot of credibility.

In this regard, Libertarians are aligned against much of what the rich rely on to remain rich today: Rentier and Crony Capitalism.
"aligned" in the sense of, "willing to occasionally say something high-minded and critical about but not interested in otherwise addressing in any way"

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Libertarians don't care about you, or your family. But they don't desire to find a way to fuck the poor over and make them their debt slaves. There is a fairness to libertarians. It's the coldest of comforts, but it's there.
The sort of majestic fairness that lets both rich and poor sleep under bridges, and leaves us all free to have armed guards who will shoot those who climb into our gated compounds.

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Regarding the meaning of authoritarianism, I know. I apply a broader meaning.
"broader" in the sense of, "entirely different"

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I think anyone who thinks he knows what best for his fellow man and therefore thinks he has the right to enforce rules against his fellow man has authoritarian tendencies. He may couch his position as benignly as he likes, but at core, he's a dangerously arrogant person.
I don't really think there are that many people who believe they think they know best for their fellow man and therefore think they have the right to enforce rules against them. I think people have complex ideas about what harms them, and seek to use politics to address what they see as externalities. For lefty environmentalists, they worry about pollution and seek to use government regulation to reduce it. For right-wing pro-lifers, they worry about modern culture's degradation of the traditional role of women and its endorsement by the government, and seek to use government regulation to outlaw abortion. In either case, they really think they are at risk of harm and are trying to use the government to protect themselves. If you don't care about the environment and are not sympathetic to environmentalists, then you discount the harms they see and complain that they are trying to control your life. If you don't care for traditional gender roles and want to treat women as equal to men, then you are not at all sympathetic to the harm seen by many social conservatives.

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I think most people would do better to behave a lot differently than they do. But I feel much more strongly that they have the right to succeed or fail doing as they like, and I have no right to try to enshrine my personal tastes on how one should live in code or regulation of any kind. The right to free speech, where I might convince, cajole, manipulate, insult, or beg people to do as I think they should is all the right I have, or should have, over them.
That, and you want the state to protect your money and and ability to use it to preserve a variety of benefits you have that others don't. Which seems like such a natural state of affairs to you that you don't even see it as an open question.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:06 PM   #110
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I'm curious why you say so, as I recall her spewing vile homophobic and racist stuff long before Trump became politically relevant.
I've always thought of her as one of the worst of the worst, myself.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:09 PM   #111
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
First, that's not really what "authoritarian" means. Second, to say that either party is "defined by" people "who wish to compel others live as they want them to live" is tripe. I mean, it's just complete nonsense.
I was going to go with, "I would tell you how this is ridiculous, but Ty yells at me when I'm too dismissive."
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:15 PM   #112
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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In either case, they really think they are at risk of harm and are trying to use the government to protect themselves.
Especially when conversing with Sebby, it is important to stress that the lefty environmentalist may also think that others are at risk of harm and trying to use government to protect others.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:31 PM   #113
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I was going to go with, "I would tell you how this is ridiculous, but Ty yells at me when I'm too dismissive."
Wow, this post made me unexpectedly happy.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:02 PM   #114
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Re: We are all Slave now.

I'm out of here for a while.

Your collective casual ignorance of the motivations and reasoning behind conservative thought has grown tiresome.

If I'm going to be insulted by idiots, I'd rather be on Twitter.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:28 PM   #115
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I'm out of here for a while.

Your collective casual ignorance of the motivations and reasoning behind conservative thought has grown tiresome.

If I'm going to be insulted by idiots, I'd rather be on Twitter.
Sorry to see you go, and I thought I'd been clear (at least on my own behalf) that I was describing the people who now support Trump and call themselves conservatives, not you and people who don't.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:35 PM   #116
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I'm out of here for a while.

Your collective casual ignorance of the motivations and reasoning behind conservative thought has grown tiresome.

If I'm going to be insulted by idiots, I'd rather be on Twitter.
To be clear, motivations and reasoning I'm interested and sympathetic to, especially historically. Limited government, role of free market, personal versus collective rights - these are all themes that conservatives have thought on and that need to be reflected in some way in any reasonable person's thinking about the world.

Conservatives themselves, however, I'm done with. Fuck the whole hypocritical lot.*

* with a handful of exceptions, Ingraham definitely not among them, you, however, are among those exceptions. Probably some other company you feel half-ok about. Who are you on twitter, I'll follow and you can harass me there.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #117
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I'm out of here for a while.

Your collective casual ignorance of the motivations and reasoning behind conservative thought has grown tiresome.

If I'm going to be insulted by idiots, I'd rather be on Twitter.
Oh, and by the way, in particular, Fuck Ted Cruz.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:22 PM   #118
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Re: We are all Slave now.

You've got to lift your game, Hank.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:40 PM   #119
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Bob Mankoff has me on ignore?
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:34 PM   #120
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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What you mean is, it appeals to people who don't want to pay taxes for redistribution and/or government services that they can just buy private alternatives to. In other words, rich people.
That's not what I mean at all. I mean, if you create a system where people vote themselves benefits, they'll do so until the system collapses. We're seeing a variant of that right now in the 1-10%'s capture of the system. People will take until there's nothing left to take. True democracy doesn't empower the aggregate underclasses. It allows more people to vote themselves wealth transfers in smaller increments.

Rich, poor, middle - you can't allow people to grab economic benefits at the ballot box without causing dysfunctions and warped allocations.

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One of the rules of libertarian self-interest is to cloak it in some high-minded principle. Like, "democracy would be a disaster," rather than "democracy would be a disaster for me."
True democracy is a universal disaster. No exceptions. Do I think smarter redistribution would lift more boats over the long term than this short term rentier/crony/financial engineering economy we have right now? Yes. That's why I'm not a serious libertarian. I think universal income is a solid economic/society-preserving idea. Libertarians who'd rather see us turn into Brazil demonstrate the limits of the ideology.

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The sort of majestic fairness that lets both rich and poor sleep under bridges, and leaves us all free to have armed guards who will shoot those who climb into our gated compounds.
As opposed to the affluent Democrat ideal of redistributing so long as it doesn't hurt their bottom line? Say what you will of Rockefeller Republicans; they never felt the need to plead charitable bona fides while protecting their revenue streams. And Libertarians, of course, just don't give a fuck.

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"broader" in the sense of, "entirely different"
If you're telling someone what you believe they should do, and trying to pass rules to make him do it, for any reason, you've authoritarian tendencies. That you're a micro tin pot variety inflicting his will by encouraging others to vote a certain way just means you've less power and effectiveness than an actual one. If put in power, you'd try to compel people to act as you like. And that's on a continuum with Trump.

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I don't really think there are that many people who believe they think they know best for their fellow man and therefore think they have the right to enforce rules against them. I think people have complex ideas about what harms them, and seek to use politics to address what they see as externalities. For lefty environmentalists, they worry about pollution and seek to use government regulation to reduce it. For right-wing pro-lifers, they worry about modern culture's degradation of the traditional role of women and its endorsement by the government, and seek to use government regulation to outlaw abortion. In either case, they really think they are at risk of harm and are trying to use the government to protect themselves. If you don't care about the environment and are not sympathetic to environmentalists, then you discount the harms they see and complain that they are trying to control your life. If you don't care for traditional gender roles and want to treat women as equal to men, then you are not at all sympathetic to the harm seen by many social conservatives.
Sure there are. This place is littered with them. I even fall into it. Are you serious?

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That, and you want the state to protect your money and and ability to use it to preserve a variety of benefits you have that others don't. Which seems like such a natural state of affairs to you that you don't even see it as an open question.
I'd trade it all to see true creative destruction of the kind we prevented in 2008. And I mean that with every fiber of my being. The stretch from 2008 through 2010, when it was seriously hairy, was the most fascinating set of events. That's how the system is supposed to clear out the dead weight. That should have been a reset that gave the little guys a chance. Instead, we allowed it to more aggressively entrench a very fragile and cynical system no one trusts anymore. Hence, populism.

Wait 'till it goes next time. Will you argue for fairness then, or will you do what so many charitable Democrats and Republicans do in those circumstances: Plead for the fix that protects your retirement?
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