[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Saturday, November 23 - 6:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Liberals love to tout the importance of "diversity", and pride themselves on being accepting and tolerant of differing viewpoints. Yet the liberals in power are so very fond of passing laws which impose their way of life on all 50 states. Obamacare is only the latest example, both Republicans and Democrats have been chipping away at state's rights for decades.

I say that the 50 states should be a proving ground for ideas. If Massechusetts wants universal healthcare, let them try it. If California wants to make it easier for illegal aliens to get by, so be it. Allow the states to run their own governments and see which ones succeed and which ones fail.

In order to make the experiment valid all of the states would have to be taxed equally. Our congressmen fight for appropriations for their districts, resulting in some states receiving more money than they pay out. Of course, if you could elect a Congress that didn't fall into cronyism, they would already be much better at fixing our nation's problems.



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 1

Sunday, November 24 - 10:58amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Welcome to RoR, Elijah. Your observation is cogent, of course. The overwhelming power of the central government is an essential problem in American politics. Before the War of Secession, the name of the nation was plural: "... the United States are..." The triumph of the Federal government laid the groundwork for the progressive structures of regulation and standardization.

(Not that they are inherently bad things. Imagine if screws and nuts never fit across manufacturers. But in that the makers come to voluntary agreements which have no enforcement. In fact, do you know about the reverse-threads intended for machines that rotate anti-clockwise? Clever solution...)

Anyway... the deep truth is that so-called "diversity" is just a ruse. Like the worn-out claim that "everything is relative" the call for "diversity" is always a call for a different standard. In a graduate criminology class we looked at Eliot Spitzer's indictments of insurance wholesalers for "price-fixing." My suggestion that they have a right to their own cultural norms failed to persuade.

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 11/24, 11:00am)




Post 2

Monday, November 25 - 6:54amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well said. It's "United we stand" ... not "United it stands."

Experiments in parallel, not 'the' single point of failure experiment.

But what if we just live in a tribe that today includes a preponderance of those who have excessive influence by their atavistic herd mentality genes-- who respond to their existential terror in a complex world they barely understand with an absolute urge to forever seek the safety (and equally, simplicity) of the greatest 'it?'

There is no reasoning with the existentially terrified; none. When that urge overwhelms, it just is what it is. Except that, apparently, one path to power is found in pandering to their fear.

regards,
Fred




Post 3

Wednesday, November 27 - 6:01amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I think that this 'diversity' issue can be used as a challenge to the Mystics of Muscle. Dare them to run their states by their socialist principles without using our capitalist states as a safety net. One of the problems with today's political climate is that power keeps swinging back and forth between two philosophies, the result is that neither one gets to fairly showcase the consequences of that philosophy.



Post 4

Wednesday, November 27 - 5:54pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen!"
Let them come to Berlin!

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/oEX2uqSQGEGIdTYgd_JL_Q.aspx

The case has been made. They just keep conveniently forgetting it.




Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Saturday, November 30 - 12:25pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Obamacare (and all other destructive policies in america) exists because nobody has any rights in this country and never did -- even when founded. America is just defined as free by the grace of it's urban legends.
In america, what are referred to as 'rights' are 'delegated' to winners of elections. These people convene at a capitol and in your place speak for you; and what they say goes. Not an acceptable system if you ask me.
No system that does not use force has ever been discovered. Therefore, observe a legitimate use of gov't (say a law enforcement), an identical procedural setup would take place and these politicians would decide the set up of the law enforcement agency. Upon doing so, however, because of their statue within the system as 'the delegates' nothing can stop these politicians from starting other laws and/or taxes.
Are you saying to yourself, "Yes, but the purpose of The Bill of Rights and the constitution was to limit what politicians could legally do. If politicians then obeyed the constitution the system would be free!"?
The very fact today's politicians are not limited by it proves Constitutional gov't is not effective at limiting gov't. If it did work we wouldn't be having this discussion.
As a method of governance, a constitution cannot be written in such a way so as to limit the gov't it authorises to be limited by its own constitution. It is tautological that if the gov't is authorised by the constitution, then any vote by elected members to end their own limits thereby makes their vote 'constituional,' the rest is academic and finding the right person with a strong enough stomach to butcher the citizens.
It is the wrong to think presenting better economic and/or social policies in political debates will lead to a free country; it's not even the right fight.
The effort needs to be both active and intelectual. The initial act is forming, within current law, a legally recognized forum and legal framework to demonstrate such a system to the general population of people who just don't give crap what kind of system they live under or are too stupid and/or gulable to be taken in by politicians. Anything else is a waste of time and energy.




Post 6

Saturday, November 30 - 3:02pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Obamacare (and all other destructive policies in america) exists because nobody has any rights in this country and never did -- even when founded. America is just defined as free by the grace of it's urban legends.
There are legal rights, and there are moral rights. Saying that we have never had any legal rights in this country makes no sense. There were, and still are, actions that people take and which are recognized and protected and effective because of laws that establish those legal rights. I understand that we have lost many legal rights over the decades, but it wouldn't make any sense to throw out the very concept of legal rights.

I assume that Mr. Betzing is saying that we do not, and never have had any moral rights. I disagree with that and think that it is a dangerous was to approach this issue of government power.

Ayn Rand defined our moral rights as "... a moral principle defining and sanctioning a manís freedom of action in a social context." Her different discussions of moral rights made it clear that they arise out of our nature and are independent of government. She saw government's only proper purpose to in the protection of those rights.

Mr. Betzing sees what we all see... politicians that are corrupt, incompetent, and/or ignorant who ignore the constitution and in doing so violate the constitutional rights we all hold. But this doesn't mean we don't have moral rights, and it doesn't mean that we don't have constitutional rights. What it means is that those rights are being violated. Only by understanding that we do have moral rights do we retain the moral high ground. Only from the intellectual framework of moral rights can we distinguish proper government exercise of power from abusive exercise of power.

He indicates that the system that exists isn't working. And that is true - to an extent. But it did work for a long time and it hasn't completely stopped working.

I'd say that it was corrupted over the generations since we were founded because the average person's level of knowledge has been too low and they have failed to stand up and demand that elected officials live within both the letter and the spirit of the constitution.

There will never be some magical system that is so good that it can be put in place but once, and then never again need to be monitored, understood or adjusted.

And, we make the mistake of thinking of the constitution as the foundation of our political and legal protections. It is the foundation of our law, but our law is just part of the protective elements of liberty.

The states were intended to be the most powerful political force blocking federal power grabs. And the media was assumed to be the force that would awaken the people when wrongs were being done. And the final backstop for protecting liberty was to be the people themselves. They would be warned by the media, they would drive their state representatives and the states would force the federal government back within the confines of the constitution.

Is it working now? No - there has been a steady downhill slide for many, many generations. But until someone shows me a better structure, I say we should push to fix the broken parts and get the entire system working again.

Constitutional amendments can be made at the state level, and nullification of inappropriate federal power use can also be exercised at the state level. The main-stream media can be exposed and pressures mounted that they return to more objective journalism. The GOP can be transformed into a more libertarian organization. These are still directions worth following.





Post 7

Sunday, December 1 - 8:14amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve says: "Rand and I both figure that people like us would all be better off if we traded with each other and respected each others' property!"

Manipulators say: "Steve is selfish" (Haha, Steve is a helpless whiner that we can steal from all we want.)

Parasites say: "Its not fair that we can't live with as much niceties as you. We'd be better off if we took stuff from you, whether you agree or not. We don't trust you or Rand, we trust what our leaders say because our leaders give us stuff but Steve doesn't give us anything! We don't care what Steve says la la la lalala we can't hear you!"

=====

A major problem is that banking & money is pretty much ran as a monopoly by the manipulators. So producers are forced to work for, save, and use fiat money if they want to benefit from trade... and then this gives the manipulators power because they can easily fabricate the same money that producers have to work for.

Bitcoin is a new money & money transfer technology that is not vulnerable to theft like gold & gold backed banks. I think it will end governments' ability to gain market purchasing power via fiat, inflation, and direct theft/pillaging of fiat/gold. Bitcoin enable producers to defend themselves from manipulators and parasites via actual individual power over voluntarily acquired property rather than both relying on government to protect property and being vulnerable to government theft. If the government has the power to give stolen property back to you, it also has the power to steal property from you.

So in this way the nature of government will not change due to convincing voters to vote differently or convincing politicians or banksters to behave differently. The nature of government will change because it will soon have to balance its budget spending vs taxation instead of spending vs taxation & inflation.

With Bitcoins you can say "I have bitcoins and you can't take them from me haha la la lala lala la." Manipulators & parasites can't just kill you and take them from you, they can only kill you and lose your tax revenue. No voting or changing people's minds required.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 8

Sunday, December 1 - 9:12amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Dean,
The government has outlawed the ownership of gold and confiscated people's gold in the past. What's to keep them from outlawing Bitcoins? Or taxing away their value?



Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 9

Sunday, December 1 - 10:14amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike is completely right. If government goes rogue enough, it will oppress Bit Coin owners to the degree that it sees Bit Coins as a problem.

Either we learn what we need to learn, and then do what we need to do to put government back to serving it's proper purpose, or it will come after us. It is like fire, you either control it, or it burns your house down.

Dean wrote:
With Bitcoins you can say "I have bitcoins and you can't take them from me haha la la lala lala la." Manipulators & parasites can't just kill you and take them from you, they can only kill you and lose your tax revenue. No voting or changing people's minds required.
The purpose of government is to eliminate the use of initiated physical force - by anyone. Ignoring that, when government is not staying within its proper boundaries, won't make your problems go away just because you have to be tortured to give up what wealth you store in the form of Bit Coins! The problem of initiated violence, by thugs, by foreign governments, and/or by our own government remains a problem that Bit Coins doesn't solve.

Dean isn't understanding that no technology, Bit Coin included, will save us from a government that goes rogue. He can't eat his Bit Coins, and a rogue government can take away his liberty and leave him in a cell trying to figure out what good his Bit Coins do him there. And with enough people locked away for using Bit Coins, enough raids on server farms, enough people intimidated and the rogue government will happily settle for the tax revenues of those who aren't in prison.

No way will the rogue government look at Dean and say, "Well, we might as well be rational and instead of killing him or locking him up, and losing his tax revenues, we'll just let him go - we lose." Rogue governments would crush 95% of the population if that is what it took to get obedience out of the remaining 5%. It doesn't give a damn about tax returns for the money... it is in business for the control - the compliance - the submission.

I don't think many people see Bit Coins as currency right now (except for some drug dealers and some technophiles) - as a media, they aren't stable enough and there isn't enough trust in the technology or even awareness that they exist. It is still early days for Bit Coins. But, if, or when, they do acquire more popular support as a currency, then watch how fast, and how ingenious, and how unrelenting the government will be in going after anyone who uses them.

There is no magical technological solution to bad government. Children start out without political values and then, as they grow up they adopt political values. And they become voters. When enough of them understand and demand liberty, we will have tamed the rogue government - that's the good news. But, it is a generational process - that's the bad news. There doesn't appear to be a short cut. People who aren't happy with that don't do themselves any good by ignoring it.



Post 10

Monday, December 2 - 7:39amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike,

Again let me point out there is a fundamental difference between the properties of gold and Bitcoin. Gold banks can most assuredly be stolen by theft, while on the other hand Bitcoins can be protected via passwords so that its hard/impossible to tell how many a person has and impossible to steal. So this reduces the profitability to the government of enforcing the outlawment of Bitcoins, verses the profitability of outlawing gold banks.

Of course nothing could physically or by physical properties stop the Feds from making laws that prevent larger by-the-books companies from using Bitcoins. Furthermore there is nothing that can stop them from having larger by-the-books companies from assisting them in collecting wage/trade information etc to assist in tax collection.

Without Bitcoin, this wasn't that big of a deal to compliant companies to comply with this, because small companies had to fully comply too in order to use the modern banking system. But now with Bitcoin, smaller grey market companies can compete against compliant companies at the global scale. So with Bitcoin, the costs of being compliant are now actually a disadvantage/cost (they have to sell at a higher price) which consumers & traders will look to avoid (by buying from grey market).

So I agree its possible the Feds might fight Bitcoin to the death. Never the less, in the long run (next 50 to 100 years) I think Bitcoin or related technologies will win out in the end, and systems of government that are financed by fiat inflation will no longer be able to exist.

1. Its debatable whether the Feds would outlaw Bitcoin, because it is so much better than previous money transfer systems. The Feds aren't just full of evil manipulators. I'm sure a lot of the people are good people too, and they will want Bitcoin permitted.
2. Its debatable whether outlawing Bitcoins is enforceable. Its kind of like outlawing illegal file sharing. There will always be a grey/black market. Many people will rather hold/save Bitcoins than USD, which effectively means USDs market purchasing power will be lower than in the case where Bitcoin doesn't exist, effectively reducing the Feds ability to create unearned wealth through USD inflation.
3. Its debatable to what extent the Feds can stop Bitcoin transactions and other countries from using Bitcoins. For example, could you imagine the Feds preventing people in Africa from using Bitcoins? Or India? In places where banking has never worked before, Bitcoin will enable people to safely and quickly trade like never before. Wherever people will be able to trade in Bitcoins, the economy will flourish due to the incredible trade efficiency improvement.
4. Via #3, there will be a "Brain Drain->Producer Drain" out of anywhere that outlaws Bitcoin, and producers will flock to places where Bitcoin business is permitted.

Below is a comparison chart comparing Bitcoin to previous money system technologies (particularly in our current political and historical state). Potentially most of the red and yellow marked features of Bitcoin will become green (if Bitcoin proves itself).

(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 12/02, 7:40am)




Post 11

Monday, December 2 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hm. Let me point out here that its a novice's mistake to conflate a Gold saving & trading system with a Gold Backed Bank saving & trading system. These two systems are entirely different. The former is fully decentralized, but has issues with how quickly ownership can be transferred, especially over long distances. The later is highly centralized, which enables faster transfer of ownership, but due to its centralized nature is much more vulnerable to theft, and introduces "counter party risk" because the depositors who supposedly "own" the deposited gold have very little control over the deposited gold.

So for example a novice will think about gold vs Bitcoin or gold backed banks vs Bitcoins... but not consistently and conflate the two. Please don't make this mistake yourself.



Post 12

Monday, December 2 - 9:12amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve,

I think our disagreements here are some due to your lack of understanding of what Bitcoin is and whats possible with it, and partially due to philosophical premise disagreements that we have already identified on other forum threads.

"[Government] will oppress Bit Coin owners to the degree that it sees Bit Coins as a problem.
How effective and profitable will this be for the government?

"The purpose of government is to eliminate the use of initiated physical force - by anyone.
No, that's the purpose that you want. An extant government's purpose is not as easily defined or observable, you have to look at what it does and what kind of things it causes to exist and be maintained.

"The problem of initiated violence, by thugs, by foreign governments, and/or by our own government remains a problem that Bit Coins doesn't solve.
Invalid! It has so far remained a problem that Bitcoin hasn't completely solved. But Bitcoin has improved some people's ability to avoid theft from inflation, once-monopoly enforced transaction fees, and corrupt regulation hindrances. And as more people adopt it, it will solve this problem more.

"Enough people intimidated and the rogue government will happily settle for the tax revenues of those who aren't in prison. Rogue governments would crush 95% of the population...
Potentially. This would be a very overtly oppressive government. I don't think such a government could exist everywhere around the globe, nor would it or could it be the most thriving powerful government over the long term.

"I don't think many people see Bit Coins as currency right now (except for some drug dealers and some technophiles) - as a media, they aren't stable enough and there isn't enough trust in the technology or even awareness that they exist. It is still early days for Bit Coins. But, if, or when, they do acquire more popular support as a currency, then watch how fast, and how ingenious, and how unrelenting the government will be in going after anyone who uses them.
We are seeing this process going on at present.

"There is no magical technological solution to bad government.
Bitcoin isn't magical. Its real properties give producers, savers, and traders more security and more ability to trade efficiently than ever before.

Children start out without political values and then, as they grow up they adopt political values. And they become voters. When enough of them understand and demand liberty, we will have tamed the rogue government - that's the good news. But, it is a generational process - that's the bad news. There doesn't appear to be a short cut. People who aren't happy with that don't do themselves any good by ignoring it.
That's your worldview. You think that everybody's the same and that everybody would benefit more if they just traded with each other. I completely disagree with this.

I think there are huge differences between people on: 1. Their mental & physical abilities; 2. Their current ownership of market purchasing power; 3. Their current set of valid and invalid information about the world; 4. Their current set of whom they've identified as trustworthy friends. I think all of this does lead to conflicts between rational men (rational self interest to be at war with another human)... which in the end means that friend/enemy/neutral relationships between people are kind of like a graph with groups of related people who have similar friend/enemy/neutral relationships with other particular groups of people. Hence a government that comes into power will not necessarily be the friend of all humans (Randian), instead it will only be the friend of particular groups within that graph.

Then next, real properties of entities within the groups in that graph determine which groups are the most powerful. As humans and technology changes, potentially different groups gain new abilities, giving them different properties which enable them to have more control over the world than previously, which necessarily makes them more powerful and the "most powerful government" over the world will then change to suit their needs more.

This is not to say that groups of friends who form a government can't make policy mistakes that go against their self interest. Lots of mistakes are made, having an optimal government is a very hard to have... in fact impossible, we can only approach optimal in any sort of decision making because an entity within our reality cannot omniscient nor omnipotent.

=== Reiteration ===

- You argue that we need to change the minds of parasites and manipulators. Change via past parasites and manipulators will majority vote with us for a government that is better for us.

- I argue that we need to develop technology and change our behavior in ways such that parasites and manipulators don't gain from their attacks. Effectively this "starves the beast", making the parasites and manipulators effectively have little or no power gained from parasitism and manipulation. Shifts of real power over resources in the world from one kind of group to another shift different groups into status as "The most powerful government over a geological region".

You can't convince a blood sucking leach to disconnect from your leg by suggesting its in the leaches best interest to find nourishment from some other source. But you can put on a wetsuit to shield yourself, or once attached you can cover its body with salt.

Similar goes for humans who for whatever reason have determined for themselves to be a parasite on you. I would agree that some humans can be convinced that such is not in their self interest, but this has so var proven too not be the majority. A great mass of humans exist which I doubt you will ever be able to convince due to the process of duty/hope/faith/god manipulation AND the existence of penniless people who for whatever reason would rather attempt to steal than work. Then back to my 1,2,3,4 "differences between people" which necessarily put humans into different friend/enemy/neutral relationship groups... you are never going to be able to convince everybody to be your friend.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 12/02, 9:14am)




Post 13

Monday, December 2 - 12:33pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
You said, "I assume that Mr. Betzing is saying that we do not, and never have had any moral rights."
Your assumption is completely wrong. I said there never was any legal rights.
You said, "The states were intended to be the most powerful political force blocking federal power grabs."
This confuses an intention with reality. An intention is irrelevant. Of course there were a few people who wanted a good system; this is very obvious.
(Not going to argue with you about legal vs. moral rights. This too is obvious. People for some reason have a strong tendency to argue semantics so I'm not sure if you're trying to argue semantics or just be condescending.)
(Also going to have to ignore your lesson on Rand as I don't need one.)
Whatever rights you are cite as existing in the start of the country they existed only as good will that politicians had toward citizens; they didn't constitutionally, i.e legally, in reality exist.
I can read the constitution as well as you or anyone else so don't bother starting to quote it; I also reject any notion your smarter then me. No matter what your quote would be the issue of legal rights existing or not under the constitution is strictly procedural. If procedurally possible to subvert your rights under the constitution then, by definition, they never really existed. This is just a cold hard fact whether you recognize it or not.
(I will say one thing about your knowledge of the constitution. Because I reject the premise it is possible to protect rights via a constitution, I don't waste too much time studying it. Yes I've read it, but there is no point in studying it and/or trying to trump someone in an argument by quoting it. It is kind of like when theists argue I need to read their 'holy book.' (Once a person understands the concept 'god' is invalid there is no point in studying a book about it.) Or, maybe, "I don't need to watch every episode of Jerry Springer to understand what the next show will be like."
Maybe it would be helpful to look at a different issue. Let's look at the issue of a president running for more than 2 terms.
Early in our country it was ungentlemanly, unsporting, uncordial, inappropriate, (however a person wants to word it) to run for more then 2 terms even thou there was nothing in the constitution stopping them from doing so. After Roosevelt was president for 4 terms this was changed in the constitution.
So did the constitution change prior to Roosevelt or was it the person? It is obvious it is the person.
By the same notion, early in our country's history, citizens didn't have 'rights' under the constitution; politicians being gentlemenly and cordial just choose not to infringe on them. The question is: Was anything stopping them? It is not by virtue of the Founding Fathers and a 'really, really, really, really well-written document' that subverted politicians and thus prevented any tyranny (this is such hogwash). What I reject is the that our constitution (or any) is (or can be) written in such a way as to stop a tyrannical government; the original one is no exception; 'legal rights' can never exist with such methodology. Constitutional government is ineffective at this; no better then a monarchy.
(And don't be trying to argue the constitution prevents presidents from running again. If enough politicians in enough states get together vote in favor of changing it then it can change. You are being willfully blind to not see this. Constitutions do not stop unconstitutional votes from taking place.)
In relation to Obamacare, constitutional government (however written) is not going to stop any statist from taking over a government. The Founders - using the constitution - could have constitutionally enacted something similar to Obamacare if they wanted to they just chose not to. It is a mistake to think as a system of government a constitution does anything.
There is nothing in the constitution stopping Obamacare even as originally written. Go ahead and try finding something (I know I'm right so I won't waste too much time responding); I am not even a law school flunkee and I can see this. Your legal 'rights' are constitutionally delegated to someone else, i.e. the politicians, and they voted in your place; that is the legal stucture whatever the intent was. The issue here is: Does the constitution transmit political power to someone other then the citizen? If you care to be honest, I think you can see it does and legal rights lie with them not you.
And any reasoning you cite has a 'built in' catch 22. If you bring a case to court to challenge a particular law the case can be appealed to the supreme court where if 5 of 9 of their members agree it is constitutional: then it is. You do not even technically have a legitimate say in what is or isn't constitutional.
{No you won't be thrown in jail for saying you do (though with enough votes you could be - yes constitutionally too, meaning, the proceedure does exists in the constitution) but with no political difference one way or the other your free speech is just academic.}
You said, "He indicates that the system that exists isn't working."
No. I said the 'system' never did work.
The 'system' and the 'people governing' need to be distinguished.
What if a king lowered taxes and regulations? Some did; history just remembers the really bad ones. Would this mean monarchies work? Educating people about Objectivism, or beating others in debate, or getting 'your guys' to win a majority of office isn't going to change the system.
A system of government needs to be judged on its design. The people running under a current one can be judged only if they are nice or not. If a system were designed properly, evil people could never get control over others.
P.S.
AND TO HELL WITH THE GOP!




Post 14

Monday, December 2 - 2:00pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Paul, meet Dean. Dean sees Bit Coins as a mechanism that will deprive government of many of the evils they currently engage in. And he divides people into producers, parasites and manipulators - and Bit Coins will free up the producers, at least to a degree, from the the other two kinds of people.

Dean, meet Paul. Paul doesn't believe that a constitution is or can be a way to structure a desirable government. He says that a properly designed system would stop evil people from control over others and I'd guess that he might be sympathetic to your description of parasites and manipulators. (But I didn't find a description of what he thinks we should have.) He accused me of being condescending (not my intention at all), of giving him a "lesson on Rand" which he says he didn't need (I disagree with that), and he felt the need to say that I'm not smarter than he is - what was that all about? Good argument - logic - these are NOT joined at the hip to high intelligence (which can be verified in the halls of academia). I'm not eager to continue a discussion with Paul, but maybe you two can find some common ground.

p.s., if this post comes across as flippant... well, it is. So what?



Post 15

Monday, December 2 - 2:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Paul,

We are talking about a constitution, or a document that describes how a government should work.

I'm mostly in agreement, such a document does not control government's actions. It only describes what a certain group of people thought the government should do. The document by itself is not a means to keep a government in check.

But here's some utility of having such a document:
- Having a document that is readable, editable, version controlled, etc, then a group of friends can work together to put together an excellent document that they all find as an excellent description of how a government they'd establish should work.
- If such a document has a superb collection of ideas on how an optimal-to-us-producers government should work, then its worth reading so that we can compare it to how our existing government works and get ideas on what the biggest problems/needs for change are.
- People can compare what the government does with what the document says the government should do. If they find that the government is significantly deviating, then they can themselves be the motive force of change to limit/change the existing government's actions.

====

The document in itself doesn't make the government behave one way or another. Somebody or some group of people have to make the government work as the document describes... otherwise the document is just unrealized wishes.

====

Steve thinks: We only have to teach people Objectivism, and then they will all learn its in their own interest to be our friends and trade with us! Then all of these documents we've written will be followed! The documents will not explicitly control us, but they will be followed because they are fully consistent with how government should work given Randian paradise where all men are highly rational and want to be friends with all other men!

====

Edit: On Steve's note, I'd just like to comment that I'd further divide the parasites into manipulated parasites (parasites who would be producers if it were not for them being manipulated) and non-manipulated parasites (parasites who chose to be parasites on other people even given that they have real understanding of the world). Manipulators are then like intellectual predators who feast on producers and parasites.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 12/02, 2:23pm)




Post 16

Monday, December 2 - 3:24pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Dean
Steve thinks: We only have to teach people Objectivism, and then they will all learn its in their own interest to be our friends and trade with us! Then all of these documents we've written will be followed! The documents will not explicitly control us, but they will be followed because they are fully consistent with how government should work given Randian paradise where all men are highly rational and want to be friends with all other men!
That's not what I said. It is always best, and more honest, to quote my actual words and then provide your criticism of those exact words.

As it is, you put words in my mouth that aren't mine - not honest. And, you also engage in a kind of of unsupported criticism of Ayn Rand ("Randian paradise") - not fair.

I believe that people who are taught X when young, are more likely to believe X when they are older. And I don't believe that there is a gene for manipulators, parasites, or other personality types.

There certainly are people who behave in those ways, and who have become that kind of person, but what we teach our children, and the decisions they make, is going to make a difference in the portion of parasites, manipulators, etc., in our society. And the kind of system that exists is an influence on that portion.

And, clearly, I do believe that if more people learn the value of liberty, and about the design of a constitutionally limited small government, the more likely they are to accept and follow those beliefs. And, the more our system resembles that design, the more it encourages producers and and discourages parasites and manipulators.

I don't see anything that is terribly strange or radical about those beliefs of mine.



Post 17

Monday, December 2 - 3:44pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve didn't mean to make you mad.
I know Dean exists on the site. He makes alot of sense but I don't know much about Bit coins.
Yes, by georgeI think you have it! Hope it's not misquoted. That's what I'm saying: Constitutional government is not a way to stop tyranny. Just like a monarchy cannot be constructed in such a way to stop tyranny. There may be good or bad people running it but that is not 'the system'. The system needs to be judged on the question if bad people wanted to, could they enact tyranny? The answer is: Yes, and there is nothing constitutionally stopping them. No constitution could be written in such a way as to stop bad people. All those in favor of a tyranny say I! Boom done! Game! Set! Match! There ain't nothing stopping it and never was. Just the better nature of people back then. That is what is being witnessed by people who today argue that the constitution is somehow different; just better natured people then as opposed to now. But the structure never provided for rights. Honestly this is almost self-evident.
This is a very important discussion to have?
No I didn't give a description. What's the point? Yes, I have a plan in mind but you are in no mood to listen to reason. At this point the most brilliant idea ever could be presented and you'd out it down out of anger.
Generally conservatives think we need to 'go back to the original meaning of the constitution.' This isn't any more likely then a King who figures out he doesn't need to give a crap about anything 'going back to the good nature of the Magna Carta.' Likewise it is senseless to bank on educating the masses on limited government. What incentive do the parasites who flood the polls have? So how is that constitution going to work? Several Founding Fathers observed the plan isn't going to work past the time the populous realize they can vote themselves money. Why get offended when I observe that?
Not accousing you of being condescending. Just saying, you were either being condescending or arguing semantics about legal vs moral right. I understand the difference between the two.
Not sure what you mean by proving logic and intelligence being joined at a hip in academia. There isn't too much intelligence in the halls of academia.
Dean,
in context of what was before the country's founding, i.e. a monarchy, I'll agree a constitutional government appeared at the time rational and maybe it helps to put it on paper. But now compare your idea of proportional vote with a person's contribution, there is nothing constitutional about that. A person has one vote if they live on their parents couch or not. Yes there is a procedure in place to vote on it but it wouldn't go anywhere. One person, one vote, if they live on their parents couch or not.
Such a system would be different (and probably could be constructed without the use of writing it down) because there'd be no separation between a person and their say. Under any constitution you can only have a say via a representative. Yes, people can talk to their reps, with each other, and share ideas but when the representative figures out he doesn't have to give crap what then?
To say, "The constitution provides for election so the people can have their say," is only a charade. A rich parasite does not even have to care to vote. Just sit out the election and bribe/buy the winner and the con goes on; all constitutional and legal like. If a good person or two gets elected it means nothing in the legal framework.




Post 18

Monday, December 2 - 4:00pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Paul,
No I didn't give a description. What's the point? Yes, I have a plan in mind but you are in no mood to listen to reason. At this point the most brilliant idea ever could be presented and you'd out it down out of anger.
I can tell you this... you are NOT any good at reading my moods. And, you are totally wrong - insultingly wrong - to say that I'm "in no mood to listen to reason."



Post 19

Monday, December 2 - 5:15pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Paul,

Under any constitution you can only have a say via a representative.
Invalid. A constitution can prescribe that decisions (such as legislative ones) are made via direct vote.

At the end there it sounds like you are promoting not having representatives, or in a more general sense you are saying that the more people doing the voting the less corruptible (via bribery) the voting is. I'd agree with this. Having a really small set of representatives for a large population makes it really easy for special interest groups to bribe all or a significant/effective portion to screw over the majority of citizens.

I'm not sure if you are for or against my idea of that voters should have voting power based on how many "shares" of the government they own. Can you clarify your thoughts on this? You say "There is nothing constitutional about [my proposed voting system]". You mean like American constitution? I reject the idea that something not being specified by or being contradictory to the original American constitution is necessarily a bad thing. You reject this too. So I'm not sure what your point is here.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 12/02, 5:18pm)




Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.