Saturday, January 29, 2022

Errors and slavery

 The case for slavery in America. 

Here. 


How did people defend positions we now think are obviously morally deficient? How do moral errors take place? 

234 comments:

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bmiller said...

The OP link is to a teacher's guide (and how to direct the discussion) rather than the original essay.
HERE is the un-annotated essay

The argument is basically that rich business owners who employ workers are morally evil because they merely pay wages to their employees without any concern for their life and well-being. Employees are on their own. The slave-holder on the other hand does have concern for and does provide for the life, health and wellbeing of his slaves.

Sounds like the arguments I've heard for global socialism and the "Great Reset". You will own nothing and be happy.

Kevin said...

There would be great comfort to not have to worry about any such things.

Of course, it only works in a system directly controlled by Jesus himself. Any system with a man or woman in charge is going to eventually become a disaster.

Starhopper said...

"Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man"

Ahh... I wish it was the 60s again (except for that Vietnam thing). The music was way better, TV was more entertaining, the night sky was darker, and I still had my health.

bmiller said...

There would be great comfort to not have to worry about any such things.

Part of the South's argument for slavery was derived from Aristotle's theory of there being people who's natural state was being a slave. It would be wrong to enslave people who were not natural slaves, but would be moral to keep natural slaves. Both master and slave would benefit. The slave would be taken care of and the master could direct the slave's activities to benefit society. Of course there is a down-side risk.

Starhopper said...

Slavery in the Classical world and slavery in the antebellum South were apples and oranges. They ought not to even be referred to using the same word, they were so utterly different in nature.

bmiller said...

THIS came up first in my search. The author didn't seem to think they were that different.

The interesting question is whether one thinks it's a good idea to give up one's freedom in order to be "taken care of".

oozzielionel said...

In the 1980's I had a boss who would give winter coats to all his laborers each year. On the one hand, it was an act of kindness. On the other hand, one wonders why these laborers could not afford to buy their own coats.

bmiller said...

oozzielionel,

Since you worked for him, did he pay so poorly that you couldn't afford a coat?

bmiller said...

Part of the equation of "being taken care of" means being told what to do and what not to do.

For instance, plenty of homeless people won't stay in homeless shelters because there are rules against drug use. Maybe you also have to listen to a sermon, or accept counseling.

Socialism "takes care of you" too...as long as you follow the rules.

Starhopper said...

Horrors, rules!!! Can't have those now, can we?

oozzielionel said...

No. I worked in a different state, different role, different time

bmiller said...

Horrors, rules!!! Can't have those now, can we?

Per the essay, laborers in the North and slaves in the South both had rules to follow. This response indicates that the slaves in the South had it better since they were taken care of. A tacit agreement with the author.

bmiller said...

Is it better to "be taken care of" at the expense of not being allowed to make your own decisions? Or is it better to be able to make your own decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions?

Kevin said...

Is it better to "be taken care of" at the expense of not being allowed to make your own decisions?

Depends on what is being taken care of and what decisions are being made on your behalf, but I suspect those with better health and more money would have a different answer than those less fortunate.

bmiller said...

It's probably also depends on things like culture, disposition, capability and experience.

Did the freed slaves of the old South think they were better off before being freed? I remember someone telling me that once.

bmiller said...

Depends on what is being taken care of and what decisions are being made on your behalf,

It also depends on whether we trust the ones in charge doesn't it.

Kevin said...

It also depends on whether we trust the ones in charge doesn't it.

That's why I say above:

Of course, it only works in a system directly controlled by Jesus himself. Any system with a man or woman in charge is going to eventually become a disaster.

bmiller said...

You can trust the government though. They'll take care of you. Right?

Starhopper said...

"You can trust the government though. They'll take care of you. Right?"

Yes you can.... as long as your government is democratic, believes that no man is above the law, allows for no demagogue to trash the Constitution, as long as all citizens have the right to vote with no obstacles placed in their way, as long as there is a peaceful and universally respected transfer of power after elections, as long as there is no Cult of Personality in which loyalty to an individual is deemed more important to loyalty to the people.

Then yes, you have good reason to trust your government.

Kevin said...

We had reason to distrust the government well before Trump.

Starhopper said...

But nowhere near to the same degree. It's like comparing a match to the sun.

bmiller said...

The Northern laborers could in theory change jobs while the Southern slaves couldn't leave their masters.

Aren't the people who want the government to run things asking to be slaves?
If people trade security for freedom, will they end up with either?

Starhopper said...

"Aren't the people who want the government to run things asking to be slaves?"

No. Because in a democracy, the people own the government. So rather than being slaves, they are their own master. And how can a person be both slave and master simultaneously?

bmiller said...

I don't live in a democracy.

Also, where I live, the government tells me what to do and punishes me if I don't do it. So this "slave" of mine is pretty uppity.

Starhopper said...

You live in the USA? Then you live in a democracy... well, at least you did until 20 January 2017. It may right now be on life support after a 4 year illness, but it's still a democracy.

bmiller said...

The USA is a Republic. A Presidential Republic to be specific. It was never a democracy.

The way I see it is that people who tend to vote Democrat want the government to take of them at the expense of their freedom, similar to the way the author of the essay thought the slaves of the Old South had it better. Every new program the government institutes that overrides what people have done and can do for themselves takes away a small or large freedom. The people who favor that are happily on the way to serfdom.

Maybe part of the strategy is to scare them by telling them a Big Bad Orange Man will get them if they don't give up more and more of their freedoms.

Kevin said...

The best way to secure power at the expense of others' freedom is indeed through fear. And it works on so, so many people.

Starhopper said...

In my experience, the only people who insist on there being a difference between a republic and a democracy are right wing extremists. To everyone else, the two are interchangeable.

A democracy is where people have a vote. A republic is where people are voted into office. Same thing, said differently.

Limited Perspective said...

"In my experience, the only people who insist on there being a difference between a republic and a democracy are right wing extremists."

In my experience, anyone who calls someone they disagree with on a word definition an "extremist" is friggin nuts.

Starhopper said...

However, it is a fact that extremists do exist, and it would be a grave mistake to not identify them as such.

Limited Perspective said...

Are you an extremist for opposing an potential insane war with Russia?

bmiller said...

When people start calling you names it's to distract from the fact they have no good arguments.

Looks like it worked this time.

Starhopper said...

Unless the names are accurate descriptions. "Extremist" is neither a name, nor is it an insult. It is simply a descriptive.

Limited Perspective said...

Yeah, like all the descriptives of people they disagree with: racist, bigot, homophobe, sexist, speciesist, xenophobe, islamophobe... We get it Star. That's what the "other" is by definition.

bmiller said...

Unless the names are accurate descriptions. "Extremist" is neither a name, nor is it an insult. It is simply a descriptive.

Fellow mammal.

Democracy is an ambiguous description of our form of government. In a direct democracy people vote on particular actions. In a representative democracy people vote for their representives to formulate and decide the issues. Like calling someone a mammal rather than a person.

But still a distraction from fact that Democrats favor voting away everyone's freedom so that Big Master Government will take care of them.

Limited Perspective said...

Miller,

Im not sure you understand the meaning of "speciesist." It's not mammals.

Species is often defined as a group of organisms that can reproduce naturally with one another and create fertile offspring. However, the classification of a species can be difficult—even riddled with controversy.

Anyway, people can be bigots against other species. That's the latest form of offense I've learned.

bmiller said...

Limited,

Yes, I've heard of specieist being a thing also.

My mammal comment was directed toward Starhopper's lame claim that I must be an extremist if I point out the distinction between the generic term "democracy" and the more specific term "republic". It would also be correct to call us both mammals but hardly extreme for me to insist upon being called a human.

Regardless he's been successful at changing the subject and dodged any meaninful response.

bmiller said...

Frédéric Bastiat: The Law

This pamphlet was written by the French economist in 1850.
Legislatures pass bills and make them "the Law". But what is the purpose of the "the Law"?

If you don't understand the goal, you will end up in a different place than you want.

bmiller said...

Life Is a Gift from God

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

What Is Law?

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

bmiller said...

A Just and Enduring Government

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.

Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.

The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.

One Brow said...

bmiller
My mammal comment was directed toward Starhopper's lame claim that I must be an extremist if I point out the distinction between the generic term "democracy" and the more specific term "republic".

That's not what you said. You said, The USA is a Republic. A Presidential Republic to be specific. It was never a democracy. If you think being a republic is a subcategory of being a democracy, the latter quote was flatly false.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
But still a distraction from fact that Democrats favor voting away everyone's freedom so that Big Master Government will take care of them

This is the type of lie that gets you categorized as an extremist.

bmiller said...

One Brow,

The USA is a Republic and was never a direct democracy. The statement I responded to did not qualify what type of democracy and so was ambiguous.

Many people don't know the difference, so that is why I point out the distinction at times. Maybe lefties think being specific is extremist. Who knew? Who cares?

But I guess calling your opponents names is all they can come up. Now I'm supposedly a liar because I've pointed out that Dems favor laws that take care of some group(s) of people at the expense of taking away freedoms. I could be wrong, but that's not what I'm being charged with.

I've certainly been given no reason as to why I'm either a liar or wrong. But it seems you're on a roll lately by falsely calling me a liar. You must have attending a new Commie seminar.

bmiller said...

When the Law is perverted:

The Complete Perversion of the Law

But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.

A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.

Starhopper said...

I love the projectionism that bmiller is forever engaged in. He objects when someone objectively calls him an extremist (which isn't a "name" but a descriptive), yet he casually throws around names like "leftist" (a term whose only definition is "everything I disagree with"), then makes patently false accusations against "dems", and finally labels One Brow a Commie, without asking him whether he approves of state ownership of the means of production (the definition of Communism, by the way).

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

You haven't explained why I am "objectively" and "extremist" because I correctly described the specific form of the US government. Unless you apply the same standard to all people who insist on specificity in a discussion your "descriptive" is not objective.

One Brow never denied being a leftist as far as I know, so why shouldn't I use that term? But yet again I've been accused of making "patently false accusations against "dems", without giving any reasons my claim was false.

Here is an example of my claim: Obamacare was favored by Dems because it supposedly provided healthcare to the poor (took care of them) but also mandated everyone buy insurance whether they wanted to or not (took away everyone's freedom). Looks patently true to me.

It's true that I speculated, tongue in cheek, that One Brow went to "Commie seminar". I may be right or wrong, but I get the impression I'd win the bet.

bmiller said...

I mean, you called me an extremist. I think you're wrong, disagreed with you and told you why I disagreed with you. I didn't call you a liar. One Brow has been doing that quite often now.

Like I said. Calling people names either intentionally or unintentionally is a diversion from the topic of discussion.

Starhopper said...

So what is your definition of "Leftism", because the term is meaningless to me. You're calling people "leftists" sounds as meaningful as calling them "flogtropotists".

Starhopper said...

Uh... that should have been "your", not "you're".

bmiller said...

We count on the Law to preserve our freedoms, but when the Law is perverted and does the opposite, it has a perverse affect on society.

Property and Plunder

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.

Starhopper said...

Why are so many of your recent postings in italics? Are you quoting somebody?

bmiller said...

Uh... that should have been "your", not "you're".

No worries. This is a comments section and as long as you get your message across spelling or grammar doesn't matter to me. I'm admittedly sloppy.

Regarding leftism.

I know you don't like to think of yourself as a politcal leftist, and don't much like being called one. It seems to me that you fall on the left side of American politics since I rarely seeing you defend stances associated with the right side of the spectrum and routinely see you defending stances on the left side. In fact, it seems to me that it shouldn't bother you to see me arguing against leftist views if you weren't a leftist. Yet here you are.

I don't mind being associated with right more than left and so I fit the right/conservative label more than the left/liberal label. I get the impression that One Brow thinks of himself as a proud leftist and doesn't mind being called one.

bmiller said...

Why are so many of your recent postings in italics? Are you quoting somebody?

Yes. Frédéric Bastiat: The Law.

I originally posted the link: February 05, 2022 8:25 AM.

It points out the purpose of the Law and the problems with using it in a way it was not intended along with why and how it's purpose gets perverted. It was written in France in 1850, but we can see the same thing in America 2022.

bmiller said...

So what happens when the Law takes from some and gives to others? The victims now have an incentive to write the laws. Either to return the Law to it's purpose or to make sure they join in the plunderer's side.

Victims of Lawful Plunder

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.

Starhopper said...

"the left side of American politics ... stances on the left side ... leftist views ... if you weren't a leftist"

Repeating a word over and over again does not define it. What are "leftist" views? If I knew what you meant by the term, perhaps I wouldn't mind being called one. But as it is, you seem to use the term as a catch-all for "I disagree with you". Not helpful.

bmiller said...

If I knew what you meant by the term, perhaps I wouldn't mind being called one.

Since you don't know what I mean by the term then why are you offended? Just think happy thoughts. If you have a complaint, then be specific. You know, because being an extremist, I insist on specificity.

bmiller said...

What would be more interesting though is a thoughful discussion of the Bastiat essay.

Starhopper said...

Bastiat's thinking has a fatal flaw, in that he so prizes the individual that he loses sight of the fact that Man is a social animal, and that society is equal to the individual. The well being of society/the nation/civilization is no less important and deserving of attention, efforts, labor, and resources than one person. We see this in the Old Testament, where Israel (the collective) is as important (if not more so) than any single individual. In fact, the two are often so intertwined that the actions of one can scarcely be separated from the other. A citizen of a state has obligations not only to his own health, safety, and prosperity, but also to those of others.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

THAT ought to be the guiding principle behind any government, and NOT "What's in it for me?". But I guess that makes Jesus a "leftist".

bmiller said...

Bastiat's thinking has a fatal flaw, in that he so prizes the individual that he loses sight of the fact that Man is a social animal, and that society is equal to the individual.

I don't see where you get that from his essay. It may be a mistake to start with the individual as the basic unit of society rather than the family, but if one substitutes "family" for "individual" then his theory is reasonable.

Even then, I think you misread his essay if you think he prizes the individual over society. He is arguing for what is best for society after all, but what is best for society is not always a function of the Law.

Society is more than just the laws that the government passes, or it should be. He's not arguing for selfishness, but rather that the Law should ensure that no one is deprived of life, liberty or property by others (or the state). Beyond that, things go south.

There are other societal institutions that have historically provided taken care and education of the poor and the sick and still do.

bmiller said...

He points to the US as the best example of such a government, but with 2 major flaws. Slavery and tariffs.

bmiller said...

We got rid of slavery, but took on water in most other areas.

bmiller said...

When the Law is unjust, it tends to pervert the morality of a society because people inherently think laws should be just.

The Results of Legal Plunder

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Maybe lefties think being specific is extremist.

Some lefties think being pedantic and inaccurate at the same time is annoying. If you aregoing to amke this correction, make sure you include the "direct", or get accused of being wrong/incorrect.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Now I'm supposedly a liar ...
I said (accurately) that a specific statement was a lie. I never said it was your lie. I'm very comfortable with the notion you don't know any better.

... Dems favor laws that take care of some group(s) of people at the expense of taking away freedoms

Everyone favors such laws, and we would agree on many situations were that applies. There would also be some situation where you protect one group at the expense of freedom for another with which I would disagree, and vice versa.

bmiller said...

One Brow,

I explained on February 04, 2022 10:36 PM that using the term "democracy" was ambiguous, so I was not incorrect in assuming that Starhopper meant "direct democracy" as I stated in that post since he didn't stipulate what he meant. I've had discussions with colleagues with graduate degrees that didn't appear to understand this. All of this was before you commented. I'm getting tired of explaining why being specific in a discussion is not a sign of exteremism.

Maybe you should read things more carefully before you comment.

bmiller said...

One Brow,

I said (accurately) that a specific statement was a lie. I never said it was your lie. I'm very comfortable with the notion you don't know any better.

So I made a statement. You claimed I lied, but it wasn't my lie? That's just weird.

You gave no evidence of why I "lied" but I gave evidence of my claim...Obamacare.

Maybe you should just ignore my posts. You don't seem to understand what I'm saying and I certaintly don't understand where you're coming from.

One Brow said...

bmiller,

The comment with the term 'extremist" has a timestamp of February 04, 2022 1:14 PM, your first use of "direct democracy" in this thread has February 04, 2022 10:36 PM. I agree being specific is not extremism. However, you were not specific until after Starhopper had used the term.

One Brow said...

bmiller,

I said, "This is the type of lie ...". I categorized the statement. I don't know if you were lying or just repeating someone else's lie, and don't particularly care.

Obamacare required most people to get private health insurance, not have the government take care of them. While I'm not disagreeing that some Democratic positions "favor laws that take care of some group(s) of people at the expense of taking away freedoms", as do some Republican positions, a law that requires private insurance is a poor example.

David Brightly said...

A thought that struck me while reviewing another thread is that the 'moral error' of slavery within a Christian society may have been acceptable because the Decalogue does not explicitly forbid it.

Starhopper said...

bmiller disagreed with me (big surprise) earlier in this thread, but I maintain that slavery in the Classical World and slavery in the Antebellum South are entirely different things. They ought not to even be called by the same name.

Related, but not quite the same thing, was the idea in the Middle Ages that the most pitiable (and dangerous) thing to be was a "lordless man".

David Brightly said...

Hello Star, I hope your recovery from the wretched virus continues. What do you think is the significant difference between the two kinds of slavery?

bmiller said...

The comment with the term 'extremist" has a timestamp of February 04, 2022 1:14 PM, your first use of "direct democracy" in this thread has February 04, 2022 10:36 PM.

Of course. This is how people clarify what they are talking about.

While I'm not disagreeing that some Democratic positions "favor laws that take care of some group(s) of people at the expense of taking away freedoms",

So since you think it's true, nobody lied. You should stop using that word.

bmiller said...

A thought that struck me while reviewing another thread is that the 'moral error' of slavery within a Christian society may have been acceptable because the Decalogue does not explicitly forbid it.

Right. Also slavery was not explicitly condemned in the New Testament. The fact that it wasn't condemned in the Bible was an argument used by Southern slaveowners.

Starhopper said...

Recovery is far slower than what I had hoped for, but I am steadily improving. I still find myself gasping for breath at times, and it doesn't take much for me to want to simply go to sleep, no matter what time of day. I am so glad I am retired! I can't imagine how I could possibly hold down a job the way I feel.

Slavery in the Classical World, although ultimately indefensible in the modern world, was probably the best way to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of people in those times. (Horrors! Consequentialism!) The economy of those days, the total lack of industrialization, the (to us) unfathomable scarcity of resources, the arbitrariness of local government and the complete absence of international law, meant that EVERYONE who wasn't independently wealthy and powerful was at the mercy of anyone more powerful than themselves. Thus, being tied to someone, anyone, who could provide stability and some degree of security, was superior to being a monad at the mercy of... well, basically of everyone.

The Ancient World was of course infinitely varied and what applied "here" did not necessarily apply "there". But by and large, the condition of slavery was not racially based. There was no nationality or ethnic group which was considered to be naturally slaves. Yes, conquered peoples were frequently enslaved for a generation or so, but not forever, and not as a matter of "superior and inferior" races.

Do not misunderstand me! I am not defending ancient slavery. But to compare it to what existed in the pre-civil war American South is apples and oranges.

One Brow said...

bmiller,

It's good that you clarified, and I'm glad we agree that you clarified, which means we agree you were not sufficiently clear prior to your clarification.

So since you think it's true, nobody lied. You should stop using that word.

I put in that clarification previously, and that point does not rescue you from having typed a lie. You said "Democrats favor voting away everyone's freedom so that Big Master Government will take care of them",
1) with the implication that Republicans do not, which is untrue,
2) with the implication that this is an effect of many/most Democratic policies, which is also untrue,
and 3) with the implication that you unilaterally favor macimal citizen freedom, as opposed to being occasionally in favor of limiting these freedoms, which is also untrue.

It's a lie.

bmiller said...

One Brow,

Like I said. You rarely understand what I say.

And I certainly don't understand how you can say you agree that something is true yet still call it a lie. But this is usually how it ends up. We really should stop meeting like this.

bmiller said...

Back to Bastiat.

First a recap:

The purpose of the Law is to defend individuals from plunder of their life, liberty and property. It is the extension of the individual's natural rights.

When the Law is perverted it ends up doing the opposite of what it is intended to do.

We count on the Law to preserve our freedoms, but when the Law is perverted and does the opposite, it has a perverse affect on society.

So what happens when the Law takes from some and gives to others? The victims now have an incentive to write the laws. Either to return the Law to it's purpose or to make sure they join in the plunderer's side.

When the Law is unjust, it tends to pervert the morality of a society because people inherently think laws should be just.

Next:
If you oppose an unjust law, you are an outlaw. So perverters of the Law use the Law to preserve the perversion.


The Fate of Non-Conformists

If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that “You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests.” If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought: “That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force.”

Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.

Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
And I certainly don't understand how you can say you agree that something is true yet still call it a lie. But this is usually how it ends up. We really should stop meeting like this.

If you really find it confusing that I say we agree on A while B is a lie, perhaps yo should stop responding at all.

bmiller said...

B is what you imagined I said. So yeah I'll stop.

One Brow said...

Connotation is not imagination.

bmiller said...

I'll skip the quotes about voting since it is only an example (I assume will distract some people) of how the Law when perverted causes strife.

If the Law divides up plunder from some group(s) of people among another group(s) of people, then there will be a fight for who are the plunderers and who are the plundered. He uses the arguments over universal suffrage to illustrate his point.

If the Law only enforced the defense of life, liberty and property, and choose who is plunderer and plundered, there would be no urgency for many unnecessary political fights.

bmiller said...

Correction "choose" should be "did not choose"

bmiller said...

The US (in 1850) was considered an example of a nation that best kept to the true purpose of the Law. But even here there are 2 glaring examples of perversion of the Law. (We now have many more examples)


Perverted Law Causes Conflict

As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues — and only two — that have always endangered the public peace.

bmiller said...

In 1850, slavery was defended as lawful because, you know, it was the Law. That is how perverting the Law perverts morality. It must be OK because it's lawful. Lot's of Americans today think that abortion is OK because it's lawful.

Slavery and Tariffs Are Plunder

What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of a plunderer.

Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime — a sorrowful inheritance from the Old World — should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States — where the proper purpose of the law has been perverted only in the instances of slavery and tariffs — what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of the law is a principle; a system?

bmiller said...

If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that “You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests.”

You may even be called an Extremist! 😛

One Brow said...

bmiller,
If the Law only enforced the defense of life, liberty and property, and did not choose who is plunderer and plundered, there would be no urgency for many unnecessary political fights

This is naive in the extreme. When there is no counter-force to the tipping of wealth toward the already-wealthy, the process of wealth concentration accelerates; the results are corruption, misery, and the occasional revolt.

bmiller said...

Property and Plunder

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

bmiller said...

Legal and illegal plunder. The legislature is responsible for the latter.

Two Kinds of Plunder

Mr. de Montalembert [politician and writer] adopting the thought contained in a famous proclamation by Mr. Carlier, has said: "We must make war against socialism." According to the definition of socialism advanced by Mr. Charles Dupin, he meant: "We must make war against plunder."

But of what plunder was he speaking? For there are two kinds of plunder: legal and illegal.

I do not think that illegal plunder, such as theft or swindling — which the penal code defines, anticipates, and punishes — can be called socialism. It is not this kind of plunder that systematically threatens the foundations of society. Anyway, the war against this kind of plunder has not waited for the command of these gentlemen. The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Long before the Revolution of February 1848 — long before the appearance even of socialism itself — France had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder.

The Law Defends Plunder

But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder, and it is of this, no doubt, that Mr. de Montalembert speaks.

This legal plunder may be only an isolated stain among the legislative measures of the people. If so, it is best to wipe it out with a minimum of speeches and denunciations — and in spite of the uproar of the vested interests.

Kevin said...

To make sure I understand, is the point being made here that taxation is a legalized form of stealing the fruits of others' labor?

Starhopper said...

Taxation is what allows us as a society to do great things that either could or would never have been done, if we depended on private individuals to do everything.

Examples: roads, bridges, airports, public transport, putting a man on the Moon, public education, fighting pandemics, defeating the Nazis, making our food and medicines safe, police forces, national parks, disaster relief, bandwidth allocation, fire departments, wildlife management, the James Webb Telescope, our justice system, etc., etc.

I LOVE paying taxes. They're the price I pay to live in a civilized world.

bmiller said...

To make sure I understand, is the point being made here that taxation is a legalized form of stealing the fruits of others' labor?

Not at all.

As I understand it, the point is that the Law should be limited to it's purpose. You get in trouble when it exceeds it's boundaries. He points to the US of 1850 as a model aside from slavery and tariffs.

bmiller said...

The US in 1850 had roads, bridges, public transport etc. But no one at that time would have even thought of allowing the federal government to do what it's doing now.

In 1792 Congress debated a bill that would have the government pay bounties to people who fish cod in order to get more people into the industry and promote that business.

It was defeated because it was outside the limitations of the government as stated in the Constitution.

bmiller said...

I have to remind people that I'm an extremist, so I insist on specificity.

Most roads and public transportation are projects of local and state governments, not the federal government. We are discussing the limited role of the government of the nation. It's ambiguous to mix in local and state functions with functions of the federal government.

bmiller said...

The essay considers monopolies as examples of plunder that the Law needs abolish. It can because it is the largest monopoly with deadly power. We don't want any monopoly to be unrestrained, but especially that monopoly.

bmiller said...

I LOVE paying taxes. They're the price I pay to live in a civilized world.

I thought you said you lived in Baltimore ;-)

bmiller said...

In context, he is speaking as a Frenchman after the Revolution. Return to Monarchy is first of the 3 choices (few plunder the many). Socialism was the second (everyone plunders everyone). Limited government is third (no one plunders anyone).

The Choice Before Us

This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

The few plunder the many.
Everybody plunders everybody.
Nobody plunders anybody.
We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).

The Proper Function of the Law

And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.

Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?

bmiller said...

He's made the case for the Law restricting itself to preserving the life, liberty and property of all citizens. Should it do more? Should it do everything? Then it will haveu have taken away everyone's liberty.

The Seductive Lure of Socialism

Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

Enforced Fraternity Destroys Liberty

Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first."

In fact, it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot

Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.

At this point, I think that I should explain exactly what I mean by the word plunder.

bmiller said...

He is not attacking anyone personally who doesn't get it that it is an injustice when the Law is perverted by legislating outside of it purpose. It's systemic plunderism. Leftists can certainly grasp this concept.

Plunder Violates Ownership

I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance — as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere. When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed, and I add that from the point of view of society and welfare, this aggression against rights is even worse. In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering. The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger.

It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time — especially now — wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions. Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which appears to me to be unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.

Three Systems of Plunder

The sincerity of those who advocate protectionism, socialism, and communism is not here questioned. Any writer who would do that must be influenced by a political spirit or a political fear. It is to be pointed out, however, that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant in three different stages of its growth. All that can be said is that legal plunder is more visible in communism because it is complete plunder; and in protectionism because the plunder is limited to specific groups and industries. Thus it follows that, of the three systems, socialism is the vaguest, the most indecisive, and, consequently, the most sincere stage of development.

But sincere or insincere, the intentions of persons are not here under question. In fact, I have already said that legal plunder is based partially on philanthropy, even though it is a false philanthropy.

With this explanation, let us examine the value — the origin and the tendency — of this popular aspiration which claims to accomplish the general welfare by general plunder.

bmiller said...

Here is and example of false philanthropy. Government is doing the opposite of curing this man.

bmiller said...
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bmiller said...

Why is Biden getting us into a war with Russia over Ukraine?

Starhopper said...

It's not Biden. It's the hyper-militaristic culture that has consumed the United States for as long as I can remember. It's all the nauseating "thank you for your service" idiocy, the parading of servicemen at football games, the omnipresence of the American flag in our landscape. I have lived in 3 countries outside of the USA and traveled extensively in 22 others, and NOWHERE have I seen such flag idolatry as in the USA. It's like air to us, so we do not notice it, but when you return from abroad, it hits you in the face.

It's our military budget, which is obscenely, unbelievably large. We spend more on "defense" (sic) than practically the rest of the world COMBINED. This is totally bipartisan. It matters not whether a Republican or a Democrat administration is in charge. The armaments industry lines the pockets of our "representatives" and rakes in the Big Bucks.

The Merchants of Death require an enemy, and if there isn't one out there, they'll manufacture one. Anything to keep the populace cowering in fear while the money flows into the weapons manufacturers and their compliant congresspeople. Why our media are complicit in this Mother of all Scams I cannot fathom.

We as a country have learned nothing from Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq again. We pour trillions of our money down the rabbit hole of being the "world's policeman" when it is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. We "honor" MLK with a holiday, but ignore his warnings, indeed his condemnations, of our national obsession with militarism and violence.

Bottom Line: Don't blame Biden - look into your own soul. WE are the enablers of what Bob Dylan so righly called the "Masters of War".

bmiller said...

It's not Biden.

But it was Trump that was going to start WW3? I see how that works.

It's our military budget, which is obscenely, unbelievably large.

Have you ever thought that if we didn't still have troops in Europe almost 80 years after WW2 and 30 years after we wouldn't have such a big budget? And put us in a precarious situation where we will be forced to fight if those powers get in a fight? And that the "socialist" countries in Europe would then have to actually pay for a military instead of us paying them so they can run socialist programs at our expense?

Bottom Line: Don't blame Biden

Hahaha! Good one, after how many years of Trump hysteria?

bmiller said...

Why is Biden interfering in Canadian proletariat protests by sending US government forces to put down those protests?

Isn't that something Putin would do?

bmiller said...

Isn't Canada NONE OF OUR BUSINESS?

Starhopper said...

"Have you ever thought that if we didn't still have troops in Europe almost 80 years after WW2 and 30 years after we wouldn't have such a big budget?"

Yes, I have. We have no business still being there.

"But it was Trump that was going to start WW3? I see how that works."

As I wrote above, America's militarism and warmongering is bipartisan. Both parties are guilty.

"And that the "socialist" countries in Europe would then have to actually pay for a military instead of us paying them so they can run socialist programs at our expense?"

Europe has been wise in not spending trillions of Euros on completely unnecessary military expenditures. We have been the fools in dumping our own national treasure down the rathole of militarism. Just imagine how much better off we'd be today, had we not squandered so much blood and treasure abroad, and instead modernized our national infrastructure, created the world's best education system (to include affordable college), invested in clean energy, created a national health plan where people did not have to rely on predatory, commercial insurance, built a nationwide public transport system that alleviated the stranglehold that automobiles have over our country, funded scientific research in every field, and expanded the social safety net where no family need fear financial ruin because of a natural or medical disaster.

"after how many years of Trump hysteria"

The definition of Trump hysteria is still supporting him after all the revelations of his criminality and efforts to overturn a free and fair election which he objectively LOST. What do you make of his flushing documents down the toilet, which he was legally bound to preserve?

bmiller said...

As I wrote above, America's militarism and America's militarism and warmongering is bipartisan. Both parties are guilty.

Nope. Not gonna let you get away with that one. You claimed Trump was gonna start WW3 when tensioned actually eased. Now you're claiming Biden is not responsible for threatening war when he is moving troops to defend. Ukraine? Why?

Trump was the only one wanting to bring troops home from both the Middle East and Europe. He was the only one in my lifetime that wanted to curtail "completely unnecessary military expenditures. " to defend countries other than our own. The establishment really didn't like that did they?

You don't get my point. If we didn't spend all that money on defending Germany, we'd have that money for your pipe dreams and they'd have to spend their own money on defense so they'd have less money for pipe dreams that we pay for. Pipe dreams are not free. Someone pays for them. At least let's not pay for Germany's pipe dreams.

bmiller said...

What do you make of his flushing documents down the toilet, which he was legally bound to preserve?

I think you'd believe Trump was a lizard alien if the MSM told you so. Just like they told you Mueller was gonna perp walk Trump.

bmiller said...

Again.

Why is Biden interfering in Canada's internal affairs?

Starhopper said...

A global pandemic is no country's "internal affairs". The virus respects no borders.

bmiller said...

You just complained about us being the "world's policemen". But now you approve of using US tax dollars to put down a protest of the working class of a foreign country.

It's not enough just to plunder our own citizens, we have to plunder foreign countries.

Starhopper said...

Curtailing a global pandemic that has already killed millions is "plunder"? You certainly do have some strange ideas. Of course, we already knew that from every posting you've ever put here.

bmiller said...

I think it's a strange idea to advocate sending US federales to stop Canadian citizens from protesting their own government. Sounds fascist to me.

Starhopper said...

"Sounds fascist to me."

Well! You must be slipping. I would have thought that you'd say something like "Sounds leftist to me." After all, isn't everything you disagree with "leftist"?

bmiller said...

Maybe you forgot the point I made some time ago. Fascists are leftists.

Starhopper said...

Of all the many stupid things you have posted here, that has got to be the stoopid-est!

Fascism and "leftism" are polar opposites.

Kirk to Scotty: "I need more power!"
Scotty to Kirk: "Cap'n, ye canno' mix matter with antimatter!"

bmiller said...

Both aim to control citizens' life, liberty, and property.

Starhopper said...

Lots of systems (such as monarchy or feudalism) do that without being the same thing.

Do you think that an apple and an orange are the same, because they both fall to the ground when you let go of them?

bmiller said...

The Nazis were fascist.
They claimed they were socialists (it's even part of their name).
Fascism is just part of the spectrum of leftism.

bmiller said...

America on the other hand was based on the idea of a limited government. That is something that leftists cannot abide.

bmiller said...

World wide we are seeing citizens peacefully protesting their tyranical governments.

Leftists of the world unite! You must stop this dangerous outpouring of people demanding freedom! How can you boss people around if you let them have freedom?

Starhopper said...

"it's even part of their name"

And?... The Republicans claim to be in favor of a Republican form of government - it's even part of their name! But in reality, they are solidly in favor of a white nationalist authoritarian dictatorship. See how that game works?

The Nazis were in no way socialists. To the contrary, they banned the socialist parties in Germany, crushed the labor unions, and imprisoned and/or murdered their leaders. Naziism (and fascism) is the opposite of socialism.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

"Scratch a liberal and you'll find a fascist"

Kevin said...

There are intrinsic problems with political power that transcend simple definitions like "left" and "right". Both the Nazis and Stalinists shared a love of using the government to force their beliefs onto others and punish those who dissented. That willingness to harm others in the pursuit of power is a problem at all levels and on all sides.

bmiller said...

That willingness to harm others in the pursuit of power is a problem at all levels and on all sides.

That is precisely Bastiat's central point. His remedy is to limit government the function of the government to only it's essential function.

The "left" and "right" in Wiemar Germany were (are) far different that left and right in the US. Historically, US politics have been based on sentiments similar to Bastiat's, while Germany's society has always been more socialist oriented. So from the US perspective both Nazi and Communist ideology are socialist, particulary in both of their insistence that people cannot be trusted to run their own businesses. The government or government committees have to be in charge.

bmiller said...

Trudeau is literally Hitler.

Starhopper said...

How so?

bmiller said...

Maher said so.

Starhopper said...

Whatever. Just wear a mask indoors in public, and get vaccinated.

bmiller said...

Worked for you didn't it.

Starhopper said...

It certainly did! My physician told me that my being vaccinated was the only thing that kept me out of being in the hospital on a ventilator... or dead.

bmiller said...

According to this, a 68 year old man has a 4% chance of death from Covid. Maybe closer to 6% with added commorbidities.

You can get the virus while vaccinated masked and spread the vaccine while vaccinated and masked. So an individual is not harming society by remaining unvaccinated any more than someone vaccinated. That is unless you want to say the government needs to intervene in individual health choices. Then you will have to give up your gin and cheese.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
According to this, a 68 year old man has a 4% chance of death from Covid.

You say that like it's a minor thing.

You can get the virus while vaccinated masked and spread the vaccine while vaccinated and masked.

You will spread the virus much less often if you are masked.

Do you really care so little for the lives of other people?

Starhopper said...

"Then you will have to give up your gin and cheese."

Out of my cold, dead hands!

But then, they harm me (no argument there) and no one else, and are not communicable.

Starhopper said...

"[Does bmiller] really care so little for the lives of other people?"

One Brow, have you not learned by now? No right winger cares a fig about the lives of other people. For them, it's all about the individual. Society can go to hell, as long as their personal property and their "rights" are not bothered.

bmiller said...

But then, they harm me (no argument there) and no one else, and are not communicable.

Since vaccinations have no affect on communicability (I've seen it argued that the vaccinated actually make it more communicable since they are more likely to be asymptomatic), communicability is irrelvant.

I care that you are harming yourself but I think it is immoral for the government to take away your cheese and gin. I also think it would be wrong for them to send a personal trainer over to make sure you did your exercises.

bmiller said...

Trudeau wants to take away your cheese and gin and then send Brunhilda over with a stick to make sure you do your calisthenics.

bmiller said...

Hope you like broccoli.

Starhopper said...

I LOVE broccoli. Next to asparagus, it's my favorite vegetable.

bmiller said...

Gonna have to eat a lot more to counteract the gin. And no putting cheese on it!

bmiller said...

It's official.
Trudeau is a fascist. Science denier.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
Since vaccinations have no affect on communicability...

This is a lie. The data is very clear, and has been for over a year, that vaccines reduce communicability. You may not have originated this lie, but it is a lie nonetheless, and you are spreading it.

bmiller said...

"the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion." Looks like he missed organizing everyone's health. You must take the injections for your own good, you must eat your (government supplied) broccoli (with no cheese), you cannot drink gin.

Law Is Force

Since the law organizes justice, the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion.

Why should not law be used for these purposes? Because it could not organize labor, education, and religion without destroying justice. We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force.

When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

Law Is a Negative Concept

The harmlessness of the mission performed by law and lawful defense is self-evident; the usefulness is obvious; and the legitimacy cannot be disputed.

As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.

bmiller said...

I've made this observation too. If you disagree with a leftist about a particular thing that the state should or shouldn't be doing, then you are accused of being against the thing itself. There can be no discussion of other methods of achieving the ends in a superior and more efficient manner within society. It's apparently because they see no distinction between government and society.

A Confusion of Terms

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

The Influence of Socialist Writers

How did politicians ever come to believe this weird idea that the law could be made to produce what it does not contain — the wealth, science, and religion that, in a positive sense, constitute prosperity? Is it due to the influence of our modern writers on public affairs?

Present-day writers — especially those of the socialist school of thought — base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general — with the exception of the writer himself — form the first group. The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain!

In fact, these writers on public affairs begin by supposing that people have within themselves no means of discernment; no motivation to action. The writers assume that people are inert matter, passive particles, motionless atoms, at best a kind of vegetation indifferent to its own manner of existence. They assume that people are susceptible to being shaped — by the will and hand of another person — into an infinite variety of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected. Moreover, not one of these writers on governmental affairs hesitates to imagine that he himself — under the title of organizer, discoverer, legislator, or founder — is this will and hand, this universal motivating force, this creative power whose sublime mission is to mold these scattered materials — persons — into a society.

These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees. Just as the gardener capriciously shapes the trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, vases, fans, and other forms, just so does the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor-corps, and other variations. And just as the gardener needs axes, pruning hooks, saws, and shears to shape his trees, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, tax laws, relief laws, and school laws.

Starhopper said...

Whatever...

One Brow said...

bmiller,
"the socialists ask why the law should not also organize labor, education, and religion."

Socialism lives alongside freedom of religion all over Europe.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
If you disagree with a leftist about a particular thing that the state should or shouldn't be doing, then you are accused of being against the thing itself. There can be no discussion of other methods of achieving the ends in a superior and more efficient manner within society.

You're just in denial that private distribution of some particular things is far less efficient and far less equally distributed than government distribution.

bmiller said...

"These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees."

I think this is very insightful. Maybe it explains why socialist countries become so inhumane. The misunderstanding of humanity. Humans are more than just inanimate objects pushed around by collisions according to the physical laws of nature, but these writers think otherwise and that people need to be forced to do things. That is people other than themselves.


The Socialists Wish to Play God

Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon. The popular idea of trying all systems is well known. And one socialist leader has been known seriously to demand that the Constituent Assembly give him a small district with all its inhabitants, to try his experiments upon.

In the same manner, an inventor makes a model before he constructs the full-sized machine; the chemist wastes some chemicals — the farmer wastes some seeds and land — to try out an idea.

But what a difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between the farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between him and mankind!

It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator's genius. This idea — the fruit of classical education — has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.

Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man — and a principle of discernment in man's intellect — they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts. They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.

bmiller said...

Case in point:

"The ACLU of Virginia is suing the state in an attempt to deny parents the choice to decide whether their children will or won't wear masks in schools. They want the state to mandate this decision for all parents rather than allowing parents the option to choose."

We live at a time when a "civil liberty" organization is suing to remove civil liberties.

One Brow said...

Infecting other people with disease is not a civil leberty.

Starhopper said...

Your "civil liberties" stop at my nose. No one has a right to spread a deadly pandemic around, especially when it is so easily preventable (like wearing the danged mask).

But allow me to repeat my comment from a few days ago: No right winger cares a fig about the lives of other people. For them, it's all about the individual. Society can go to hell, as long as their personal property and their "rights" are not bothered.

bmiller said...

No one has a right to spread a deadly pandemic around, especially when it is so easily preventable (like wearing the danged mask).

I'm going to be generous and just say that the idea that wearing a mask easily prevents the spread of covid is controversial. Aside from the fact that you told us you wore a mask and still got covid, your opinion is no better than anyone else's. If you think it protects you, then go ahead and wear it. Other people think it doesn't and that it, in fact, harms children (who are extremely low risk for bad outcomes from the virus) so they shouldn't be forced to wear one. Allowing civilians liberty to decide things is what a "civil liberties" org should be defending.

But allow me to repeat my comment from a few days ago: No right winger cares a fig about the lives of other people. For them, it's all about the individual. Society can go to hell, as long as their personal property and their "rights" are not bothered.

And again you give a great example of Bastiat's point. If you disagree with socialists about how prudential circumstances should be handled, you are accused of "not caring" about the issue at all. I wonder if they are incapable of anything other than emotional responses.

Starhopper said...

"If you think [a mask] protects you, then go ahead and wear it."

Are you an idiot, or do you just play one on the internet?

The mask doesn't protect you, it protects others!!!

Not wearing a mask is like getting into a car and unbuckling everybody else's seatbelts.

Not wearing a mask shows a callous (and, to be frank, sinful) disregard for the health and lives of others. Pure selfishness.

bmiller said...

So much for non-emotional responses.

NYT claims mask protects wearer. Medical professionals agree, at least that N95 masks do.

bmiller said...

I agree that sick people should wear masks if they have to be around others.

But if you're sick, you should stay home whether you have covid or not so you don't spread around what you're sick from.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
So much for non-emotional responses.
The appropriate response to misinformation includes emotions like frustration, disdain, etc.

NYT claims mask protects wearer. Medical professionals agree, at least that N95 masks do.

The NYT was also very clear that the primary purpose is to protect other people, and medical professionals (at least, those I work with every day) agree there as well.

I agree that sick people should wear masks if they have to be around others.

With covid19, you can be contagious before you are sick.

Kevin said...

If you disagree with socialists about how prudential circumstances should be handled, you are accused of "not caring" about the issue at all.

I reject the tendency to cast moral accusations against people who disagree politically. I live in an area that is overwhelmingly "right winger", and to say none of them care about anyone else would be ridiculously erroneous. Having different ideas about the best solution to a problem is not the same as not caring.

That said, wearing a mask does not prevent spreading covid, but it lessens the range you spread it via talking, breathing, sneezing, or coughing. The guy sitting next to you might catch it, but the guy across the room is much less likely to if you have a mask on.

Couple that with the vaccine, which again won't prevent infection but does lessen the viral load you carry and thus spread, and you have two very low burden strategies to mitigate the spread of covid. In particular the mask, which is about as much of a burden as wearing a shirt.

So at least on the issue of wearing masks, I am fairly surprised that it is opposed so vehemently. At least where I live, businesses like Walmart hand them out for free, so it doesn't even cost anything to wear.

Starhopper said...

"I am fairly surprised that [masks are] opposed so vehemently."

I'm not. The opposition is not medical, nor is it scientific, nor is it even at all rational. It is tribal. If you are a MAGA cultist, or someone who knee jerk despises "leftists" as evil, then you will not want to do anything that could conceivably be construed as agreeing with the people you regard as Satan incarnate. Not wearing a mask shows that you are not a RINO, or worse... a "progressive".

bmiller said...

Are you an idiot, or do you just play one on the internet?

The mask doesn't protect you, it protects others!!!


I'll forward your complaint to the CDC since they posted THIS

Here's a critique of that CDC misinformation.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

I am fairly surprised that it is opposed so vehemently.

I actually look better in a mask, so I mostly don't mind wearing one. Fogs up my glasses sometimes, but I've learned how to adjust it so it doesn't do that.

I suppose some people think it's useless in most cases and can't see a reason for government to impose arbitrary and unreasonable laws. Slippery slope.

That said, wearing a mask does not prevent spreading covid, but it lessens the range you spread it via talking, breathing, sneezing, or coughing. The guy sitting next to you might catch it, but the guy across the room is much less likely to if you have a mask on.

I just read a study that actually measured droplet sizes, ranges, etc. with people coughing spitting, talking etc using a variety of masks and no masks at all. What surprised me was not that N95 and surgical masks reduced the droplet spread, but that cloth masks were worse than no mask at all and that a plain paper towel was #3 after N95 and surgical.

Starhopper said...

I wear N95 masks when indoors with other people. I always have at least 50 of them in my car, so I'm never without, and can give one to anyone who doesn't have one.

bmiller said...

What if they won't take one?

Starhopper said...

That has never come up. But then, I don't live in a red state, so the majority of people here are sane and not right-wing whackadoodles.

bmiller said...

I see. You'd call them "right-wing whackadoodles." I think it's a good strategy for you to talk like that. It makes real life social distancing so much easier for you.

I doubt most people in your state wear correctly fitting N95 masks. More likely the ones that do wear masks that are cloth or paper. A sizable percentage of the people I work with don't wear their mask correctly and I don't think I've seen a single one with a N95.

Starhopper said...

It worked! I wrote that with the sole purpose of triggering you.

bmiller said...

You mean your other goofy posts were not intended to trigger me? I don't see any difference to be quite honest, and I'm long past being surprised by leftist nonsense.

bmiller said...

When this thing first started, I read that some hospital in Asia found that the best way to prevent the spread was properly washing your hands frequently. Better than masks or distancing.

And that was in a hospital where the staff knew how to properly wear their masks, were gloved with all the proper PPE.

bmiller said...

If I were of a dictatorial bent I'd at least try to make sense and be effective.

Old people and those with comorbidities are most likely to be hospitalized and the rest aren't? Then isolate those people from the rest of the public to protect them. Make sure they have access to the vaccine first. If you must mandate. Mandate it for them.

If you mandate that everyone gets vaccinated regardless of whether they already have natural immunity or unlikely to have a bad outcome, then get ready for people to think you're either stupid or evil. A smart, benevolent dictator would recognize that and would care. Not so much a stupid or evil dictator. You would never have gotten 100% compliance in the first place and you can see that today world-wide.

Same thing with masks. Count the number of people with masks you see and keep track of how many of those are N95...that are the proper size and are worn properly. The only effective mask usage. You won't even have to use the fingers of your second hand. Real people are not going to behave the way leftists want them to, and I doubt most leftists wear N95 either.

People who have an understanding of human nature would understand all this. Bastiat claims socialists think that human nature is to be forced into the shape the socialist wants it to be because people are merely particles in motion in a Newtonian universe....except for themselves.

bmiller said...

Seems like must Epstein have had some contagious disease that makes you want to hang yourself.

bmiller said...
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Starhopper said...

If I were mixed up with Epstein, I might consider suicide myself. Do you know what happens to sex offenders in prison?...

It ain't pretty.

bmiller said...

Interesting why Maxwell hasn't "hung" herself.

Starhopper said...

Hanged is for people.
Hung is for inanimate objects.

I hung the picture on the back bedroom wall.
They hanged ol' Billy Jack yesterday in the square.

One Brow said...

bmiller,
If I were of a dictatorial bent I'd at least try to make sense and be effective.

Old people and those with comorbidities are most likely to be hospitalized and the rest aren't? Then isolate those people from the rest of the public to protect them. Make sure they have access to the vaccine first. If you must mandate. Mandate it for them.


The infamous Great Barrington "Let-it-rip" strategy.

It's impossible to isolate just the elderly. The people who work with them, live with them, etc., are out-and-about in society.

Adults suffer much more strongly from measles, mumps, etc. than children do, but we still vaccinate children to control the spread of diseases. Why does covid19 need a different strategy?

bmiller said...

Hanged is for people.
Hung is for inanimate objects.


Thanks for that. It's always a good day when you learn something new. Here's Merriam Webster's story about the terms and their historical usage.

My term could still be considered correct if it wasn't really Epstein, but a dummy made to look like him ;-)

bmiller said...

I'm not gonna get hanged up on the usage.

bmiller said...

Dang

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

As I read through the Bastiat essay from 1850, I can see that many articles of the socialist faith have not changed.

For instance:
And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator.

There is a basic belief that if most people are left alone they will tend toward evil unless they are prevented from doing that by.......who? Not by a conversion to Christ, but by the socialists themselves, who are people, and so by the socialist's own theory are bound to choose evil. So their solution to man's tendency toward individual evil is to super-charge that evil tendency by concentrating power in a small group called the government. I've seen this reasoning first hand.

bmiller said...

What is interesting in the essay is that the socialists want to recreate the utopia they think societies of antiquity really were...before Christianity. Where people were to be ruled over rather than where people were no longer to be slaves.

The Socialists Despise Mankind

According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men — governors and legislators — the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world! While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race.

Open at random any book on philosophy, politics, or history, and you will probably see how deeply rooted in our country is this idea — the child of classical studies, the mother of socialism. In all of them, you will probably find this idea that mankind is merely inert matter, receiving life, organization, morality, and prosperity from the power of the state. And even worse, it will be stated that mankind tends toward degeneration, and is stopped from this downward course only by the mysterious hand of the legislator. Conventional classical thought everywhere says that behind passive society there is a concealed power called law or legislator (or called by some other terminology that designates some unnamed person or persons of undisputed influence and authority) which moves, controls, benefits, and improves mankind.

bmiller said...

I never used to pay much attention to the groups opposing vaccinations, but I remember all the protests in California when they passed a law getting rid of exemptions. The protesters made a lot of noise but they certainly weren't conservative. They were rich lefties claiming it was a "Big Pharma" plot and the like.

Before the pandemic, resistance to vaccinations in the US was fairly evenly divided between Left and Right, at least according to polling data. But the reasons were different, and telling. Conservatives were more likely to believe that vaccination should be the choice of a patient or parent, while leftists were more likely to embrace conspiracy nonsense. Many of the movement’s most ardent conspiracy-mongers were progressives and the largest pockets of anti-vaccine sentiment were in liberal US counties. The 2015 California measles outbreak, for instance, began in the wealthy, liberal enclave of Marin County, and the progressive San Francisco collar counties were the hotbed of opposition to the California law—passed in 2016 as measles cases soared—banning personal belief exemptions for children entering kindergarten.

As the left-wing publication Mother Jones noted last year:

The loudest [anti-vax] voices came from politically liberal, mostly white, and affluent enclaves—think famously hippie places like Marin County, California, or Boulder, Colorado—where parents worried about the side effects of what they perceive as toxins in vaccines. Anti-vaxxers in these places tended to pride themselves on the purity of their lifestyles—they bought organic groceries, railed against genetically modified food, and were suspicious of the electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones.

One Brow said...

bmiller,

The dove-tailing of antivaxxers and the right actually starts a few years before the pandemic, but the pandemic certainly speeded it up.

bmiller said...

The socialists don't just want to recreate an imaginary Utopia of antiquity, but to shape individuals to conform to their imaginary Utopia. What happens if someone doesn't comply?
Trample her with a horse!

Socialists Want Forced Conformity

Be that as it may, Rousseau invests the creators, organizers, directors, legislators, and controllers of society with a terrible responsibility. He is, therefore, most exacting with them:

He who would dare to undertake the political creation of a people ought to believe that he can, in a manner of speaking, transform human nature; transform each individual — who, by himself, is a solitary and perfect whole — into a mere part of a greater whole from which the individual will henceforth receive his life and being. Thus the person who would undertake the political creation of a people should believe in his ability to alter man's constitution; to strengthen it; to substitute for the physical and independent existence received from nature, an existence which is partial and moral. In short, the would-be creator of political man must remove man's own forces and endow him with others that are naturally alien to him.
Poor human nature! What would become of a person's dignity if it were entrusted to the followers of Rousseau?

bmiller said...

Although they think of themselves as "progressive" they really are regressive. Since antiquity the idea of liberty had grown with the spread of Christianity. They want to return to a time when only the government told you what your liberties are. It seems to me that it's no coincidence that socialists oppress Christian institutions for this (among other) reasons.

The Error of the Socialist Writers

Actually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything — form, face, energy, movement, life — from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere — in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome — the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

I genuinely hope you have been copy/pasting these extracts and not typing them out longhand, because (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) I haven't read one word of them since the 1st posting. If you can't post your own thoughts, don't bother. You could have saved a lot of ones and zeros by just providing a link.

bmiller said...

First of all, I've provided the link twice. The second time was in response to your asking if I was quoting something. So for the third time here is the link, http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html.

Second. You can tell what my own thoughts are because they are not quoted in italics. They usually preced the section I'm quoting.

Third. I'm not surprized you don't want to read a defense of liberty and interact with it. I'm posting this for people who are open to the idea of limited government and how socialism is antithetical to the foundations of the United States.

I think the essay also gives a great explanation of the origins of socialist thought and how those origins remain as a basis for socialist thought to this day. The most significant one being that people cannot be trusted with liberty and must be forced to comply to the fanciful ideas the government (who of course are the socialists).

Starhopper said...

"I'm not surprized (sic) you don't want to read a defense of liberty and interact with it."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm not reading it, because it is Dull! BORING!!!

I have much better ways to waste my time.

bmiller said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm not reading it, because it is Dull! BORING!!!

Yes, of course you think individual liberty is dull and boring. It always is to those favoring dictatorships. Even dangerous.

bmiller said...

Tin foil hat people may be onto something. Go to the 15min4s mark.

Starhopper said...

"those favoring dictatorships"

This is rich, coming from someone who couldn't bring himself to condemn the gravest threat to American liberty since the Civil War, our former loser president and wannabe Mussolini.

bmiller said...

Hillary was never president.

bmiller said...

Another tin foil hat story. Yesterday's conspiracy theories are today's headlines! ;-)

Starhopper said...

"Hillary was never president."

Our loss.

Kevin said...

I suspect every president wishes he could be a dictator, particularly after years of petty partisan bickering and media smear jobs. Most are just smart enough not to say it out loud.

bmiller said...

Most are just smart enough not to say it out loud.

I dunno. Biden admin is not condemning the tyrant up north. Sometimes silence says a lot.

Starhopper said...

So how is Trudeau a tyrant?

bmiller said...

NYT has given it's permission now for lefties to complain about the tyrant. They must see how Americans are connecting the dots from dictators to the Democratic party.

bmiller said...

Orwell was not wrong in 1984 when he attributed the slogan "Freedom is Slavery" to the socialists.

To them, people protesting for individual liberty are the tyrants and those who crush them are the "freedom" fighters.

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