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Keep getting called a "quack".

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LvMIenthusiast Posted: Fri, Feb 12 2010 8:53 PM

My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

 

What in the hell do I do? 

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Esuric replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 8:56 PM

Hahaha, classic. Call him a statist.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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Esuric:

Hahaha, classic. Call him a statist.

That's right, insulting your parents is a great way to spread libertarian ideas.

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try to get out of the habit of talking with politics with him.  He agrees with that as you quoted, "I don't want to talk to you about politics."  Why not honor that, why threaten him?  You both are only cornered, like a raccoon with no way out - that can only hurt in the end.  Don't take on what will only become more vicious, but you love him and want him to understand.  Maybe it hurts your heart to see your father get stuck in what you've become to identify as 'the enemy'.  I've been in situations like this before and my one higher calling has been peace.  Obviously you're not going to convince him.  And it only turns into an argument.  I wouldn't want to feel that.  Been there, done that, and it hurts.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 9:04 PM

LvMIenthusiast:
What in the hell do I do? 

Rile against Obama to get on his good side? Tell him Beck recommended For A New Liberty ? So he reads it? You're going to have to avoid stating it's anarchist. That's the beauty of that book, people don't know that's where it's leading them... Haha.

Otherwise:

www.freedomainradio.com, alternatively: itunes + freedomainradio -> podcasts -> subscribe and scan away, downloading the ones necessary. The focus is on personal liberty, relationships, logic etc.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Honestly, let it go. I think you might have approached him about it the wrong way. Instead of talking about Rothbard and the Austrian School, you should have gently introduced him to "this really interesting conservative, Ron Paul." Or, "hey dad, you know Judge Napolitano from Fox News? He's got a new book out." Also, "This book I read, Economics in One Lesson, totally shreds all of Obama's policies. You should read it." etc. You can't expect other people to take interest in the things that intrigue you, so you must understand your audience and shift accordingly. But really, if someone is stuck in a certain mindset and is getting that defensive about it, you should really let it go and concentrate your energies somewhere more productive.

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wilderness:

try to get out of the habit of talking with politics with him.  He agrees with that as you quoted, "I don't want to talk to you about politics."  Why not honor that, why threaten him?  You both are only cornered, like a raccoon with no way out - that can only hurt in the end.  Don't take on what will only become more vicious, but you love him and want him to understand.  Maybe it hurts your heart to see your father get stuck in what you've become to identify as 'the enemy'.  I've been in situations like this before and my one higher calling has been peace.  Obviously you're not going to convince him.  And it only turns into an argument.  I wouldn't want to feel that.  Been there, done that, and it hurts.

Yes, it's pretty hurtful. Honestly, this is why I really don't care for the Conservative echo chamber anymore. This is exactly why I can't stand FOX news. They have their chances to promulgate sound economics and ideas, yet they choose to vitiate minds instead. Now, we have legions of counterituitive Neo-Cons. Thanks so much.

 

 

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von Vodka replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 9:29 PM

It's a waste of time trying to convince older people. Their mind is like cement which has been dried long ago. Not to mention that people have a strong urge to not change their views because (1) that involves a lot of thinking and (2) they would have to admit that they've been wrong almost their entire life. 

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LvMIenthusiast:

...Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

Print out an aerial view of Area 51, give it to your dad, then, tell him that 40 years ago, Area 51 was a conspiracy theory.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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JosephBright:

Honestly, let it go. I think you might have approached him about it the wrong way. Instead of talking about Rothbard and the Austrian School, you should have gently introduced him to "this really interesting conservative, Ron Paul." Or, "hey dad, you know Judge Napolitano from Fox News? He's got a new book out." Also, "This book I read, Economics in One Lesson, totally shreds all of Obama's policies. You should read it." etc. You can't expect other people to take interest in the things that intrigue you, so you must understand your audience and shift accordingly. But really, if someone is stuck in a certain mindset and is getting that defensive about it, you should really let it go and concentrate your energies somewhere more productive.

 

He was actually originally very open to the Austrian School, he bought me several of Rothbard's books for Christmas.

He respects Ron Paul but dislikes him at the same time. He thinks he's a "one trick pony" who really has nothing more to do other than complain about the FED (which is obviously not true).

But, then as of November, I've really started to come out swinging with a bit of the more radical stuff.

 

Ending the FED, drastically reducing the  Armed Forces, getting out of the world affiars, signficatly lowering all taxes if not scrapping the income tax altogether, free banking, drug laws, gun control. 

(Again, this is all very approachable and it's not like I go around parading that I'm an AnCap in my house, it wouldn't get me very far)

 

 

 

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von Vodka:

It's a waste of time trying to convince older people. Their mind is like cement which has been dried long ago. Not to mention that people have a strong urge to not change their views because (1) that involves a lot of thinking and (2) they would have to admit that they've been wrong almost their entire life. 

Words of wisdom.

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Cork replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 9:49 PM

Interesting.  I had my conservative dad read that book and he really liked it--even agreed with much of it.  He thought Rothbard's views on abortion and roads (probably most of the anarchy stuff as well) were a little extreme, but found it interesting nonetheless.

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Cork:

Interesting.  I had my conservative dad read that book and he really liked it--even agreed with much of it.  He thought Rothbard's views on abortion and roads (probably most of the anarchy stuff as well) were a little extreme, but found it interesting nonetheless.

 

He has a very soft spot for Limbaugh, I've been realizing this recently....

 

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Marko replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 11:13 PM

You may achieve a small measure of success by mentioning how certain aspects of the state hurt Team America. Talk like you are more of a Team America person than Limbaugh and point out to aspects where the state the most blatantly works to its de facto detriment. For example just how little regard is paid to the national interest in its foreign policy and how the military-industrial complex actually works against the effectiveness of the armed forces, definitely mention the USS Liberty. He should be more receptive of your opinions if he feels you share his values. He will never be a Rothbardian, but maybe he can be a Buchananite.

 

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My dad is completely opposed to my ideologies, but it doesn't really bother me.  He tends to agree with me when we talk about politics, less when we talk about economics.  He refuses to read any of the books I offer him (to be fair, he has a lot on his plate, and he reads a lot of Spanish and Russian books to keep up with the languages, as he teaches them).

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 11:43 PM

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
He refuses to read any of the books I offer him

Are they in Spanish or Russian? lol

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza88:

Are they in Spanish or Russian? lol

Hehe, most of my books on economics are in English; I only have one book in Spanish, on the Spanish economy during the 20th century.

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DanielMuff replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 12:05 AM

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:

 

My dad is completely opposed to my ideologies, but it doesn't really bother me.  He tends to agree with me when we talk about politics, less when we talk about economics.  He refuses to read any of the books I offer him (to be fair, he has a lot on his plate, and he reads a lot of Spanish and Russian books to keep up with the languages, as he teaches them).

Give him a copy of Dinero, Crédito Bancario y Ciclos Económicos by Jesus Huerta de Soto.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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Student replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 12:10 AM

Play Neil Young's song "Old Man" to him...then have a good cry.

then beat each other up for crying....

then play the song again. 

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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My parents are more open minded.  Your dad is a real zealot.

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My mom is married to the Democrats and talking to her is like talking to a wall. It's not even that she has a set state of thinking, its just that she's blissfully ignorance on any topic. If I go deeper than what she hears on TV, she softens up and lets me do the talking because she realizes she doesn't know anything past "Obama is snowed in at the White House!"

My dad, on the other hand, is a registered Independent but nearly always votes Republican. At least, he has been ever since Perot lost. I told him that the government taxes about half of his income away (which wasn't unrealistic. Maybe he didn't know I meant annually. Hell, my Personal Finance teacher said his taxes are at like 50%) and he was like "What? No they don't!" I also told him one time that taxes are theft (in a somewhat subtle way) and he got all cynical toward me and said "Yeah alright, Mr. No Government."

My family still thinks I'm one of those Libertarian Party fools, although I did tell them to vote for Joe Kennedy in Massachusetts' special senator election. If I can't/won't vote and they won't listen to my suggestions of not voting, then they might as well vote for someone worthwhile.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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Nielsio replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 1:49 AM

LvMIenthusiast:

My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

 

What in the hell do I do? 

Grunch,

When people pull out the "I'm older than you" argument, you know they are on weak ground; do you see what I mean? It shows a total lack of intellectual strength to resort to something like that.

If he actually knew what he was talking about, then he would be able to explain how he was right and you are wrong. He can't.

The thing you now have to think about is what you are trying to accomplish. Is it worth it trying to help him see the light. If so, what would be a proper approach. Is it even possible to help him? Is it an effective use of your time?

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LvMIenthusiast:

He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". 

Been there, done that mon ami. My dad's on the opposite end of the spectrum (has never voted for anyone but Democrats and never misses an election) but he's just as confident that I know nothing of "real-world" economics because I've never had a serious career, operated a business, etc etc.

 

I find it helps to establish common ground and build from there. When he complains about spending, egg him on and eventually point out that government spending soared consistently under the previous Welfare/Warfare administration.

You may never get him to agree and consider Austrianism. Some people just outright refuse to change because their political ideology has always been a major part of their identity. If this is the case, focus on teaching younger siblings if you have any.

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Hairnet replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:15 AM

LvMIenthusiast:

My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

 

What in the hell do I do? 

   Well. I am very sorry things have gone this way with your father. I find that with my parents, my views have gotten me into some serious arguments that devolved into other forms of fighting that were much more personal. The strange thing is, that later on, my stepfather has actually grown to accept my views more and more.

   I think that not all people are capable of talking about politics. It might be because they appreciate their world view to much to here dissent. It might be because they have had people use political discussion as a method of psychological domination on them in the past. They might be someone who uses those sorts of ways of dominating others, and will only argue with people who are weak in the area of politics. If you want to discuss politics and economics with your father, then it might be a good idea to figure out whether or not he is one of these people.

   A couple of ways to find about this are to ask him directly, check out what he reads, and see what kind of forums he goes on. I wouldn't ask him directly since he has seemed to shut down on you. What exactly he reads should help you determine how much he is actually invested in politics, and then again, how interested he is. If he goes on certain kinds of forums, it might indicate that he enjoys flame wars and trolling (example, Perspectives.com, I used to go here when I was 13, terrible site).  If he does, then it might be that he either doesn't want to get into that kind of argument with you, or he doesn't feel capable.

   The thing with Libertarianism is that it upsets people. It is a radical set of beliefs that takes people out of their comfort zones as far as "what world view should I hold?" goes. Is your father connected to people who are political? Do his friends complain about certain political things a lot? Are any of them cops, feds, soldiers. politicians, social workers? Accepting a new world view might damage these relationships. Or he may perceive that it will.

   Another thing that is important is that certain authors will be much more accessible to people than others. I think for a conservative, I would suggest Hoppe.

   EDIT: What I am saying in short is that you may be threatening his identity/emotional-security by confronting his world view. I am 18 and that sort of thing is scary, and I speculate (rampantly) that it gets harder when one is older. So please try to be sensitive enough to know whether or not he can handle that sort of thing. It isn't your fault that he blew up on you, I am just saying don't stick your arm into a tiger's cage. His comments were clearly out of emotion not out of intellectual objection.

 

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LvMIenthusiast:
My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

Treat him like the state and the institute like an alternative means. Surpass him non-violently until he is just another voice in the static in the world of politics. Keep reading thought provoking literature and strive to be a better man.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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Raudsarw replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:26 AM

My mother calls herself a "conservative" too. She likes some libertarian ideas but thinks humanity is too selfish for anarchy to work. She keeps making emotional arguments, such as "Who will take care of the poor?" etc.

 

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Greg replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 7:44 AM

He's your Dad. Get over it, love him, and expect that he will love you in return.

Since you know that this is one of his "buttons", don't push it. See where you can affirm him and his beliefs, and you will soon find him doing the same in return.

Greg

 

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 9:15 AM

Greg:

He's your Dad. Get over it, love him, and expect that he will love you in return.

Since you know that this is one of his "buttons", don't push it. See where you can affirm him and his beliefs, and you will soon find him doing the same in return.

Greg

Aaahahahaha... (@ the "get over it", "love him" & "he will do the same in return")

No

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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He has a very soft spot for Limbaugh, I've been realizing this recently....

lolandhecallsyouaquack...

If you see your parents are not very open to proselytisation drop the subject. It's not worth falling out over, and it may be disrespectful to repeatedly antagonise them.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Kakugo replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 11:24 AM

How old is your father? If he's anything between 40 and 65 the best thing you can do is leave him alone. He's beyond redemption like all Baby Boomers. I am not adding details because I could become somewhat less than diplomatic.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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John Ess replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 11:41 AM

Send him this youtube video via email. (warning: language)

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 12:25 PM

LvMIenthusiast:

My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

 

What in the hell do I do? 

Learn the art of subversion.

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wilderness replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 12:39 PM

LvMIenthusiast:

wilderness:
try to get out of the habit of talking with politics with him.  He agrees with that as you quoted, "I don't want to talk to you about politics."  Why not honor that, why threaten him?  You both are only cornered, like a raccoon with no way out - that can only hurt in the end.  Don't take on what will only become more vicious, but you love him and want him to understand.  Maybe it hurts your heart to see your father get stuck in what you've become to identify as 'the enemy'.  I've been in situations like this before and my one higher calling has been peace.  Obviously you're not going to convince him.  And it only turns into an argument.  I wouldn't want to feel that.  Been there, done that, and it hurts.

Yes, it's pretty hurtful. Honestly, this is why I really don't care for the Conservative echo chamber anymore. This is exactly why I can't stand FOX news. They have their chances to promulgate sound economics and ideas, yet they choose to vitiate minds instead. Now, we have legions of counterituitive Neo-Cons. Thanks so much.

Smile your welcome.

I feel in these situations that if I can offer peace to the other person, ie. somebody like your father (or my sister or my mother who both of them after I don't know how many years can tolerate me talking about some of this stuff but I still try to avoid unloading a lot on them in my excitement, cause even though for me it's very joyful, for them it's scary and they wonder if I'm actually the bad guy since I want to destroy what they've become so used to, but anyways...), if I can share peace with them, then I feel I've got my foot in the door with the NAP.  They don't know what the NAP is, but if they see I'm sharing peace with them it helps discourage any threatened feeling they may have about me.  Keep in mind, at least this is how I see it, I'm destroying what they know.  That can be very threatening.  They feel they are in the right, and so I might be the apocalypse in their eyes for all I know.  It is destruction that I am sharing on a certain level, but obviously I'm not being destructive and I would never initiate coercion, it's actually the opposite that I really would like to see implemented more often.  I try to put peace into action in my life and see what happens.

I know there's so much more to this, but I'll leave this at that.  have a good daySmile

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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MatthewF replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 1:51 PM

LvMIenthusiast:
What in the hell do I do? 

 

Bring out the big guns!

Download FreeDomainRadio Podcast #302 : http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/FreedomainRadioPart2/~3/hcgxw1Zl2sY/FDR_302_Arguing_The_Military_Option.mp3

 

 

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John Ess:
Send him this youtube video via email. (warning: language)

 

I couldn't even sit through all that. It sounded like it was supposed to be his variation on that old Aristocrats anti-joke, and the fact that people actually laughed at it disgusts me.

 

So yes, if the OP wants to antagonize his dad - and to discredit his own argument - even further, then that is the perfect thing to send him. Even doing so anonymously would accomplish nothing.

 

On topic: I think what some of the earlier posters said about finding common ground was very insightful. While "converting" OP's father to libertarianism might end up an unrealistic objective, illustrating that he unknowingly agrees with "our side" on surprisingly many points should at least convince him that his son isn't a quack after all.

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LvMIenthusiast:

My dad keeps calling me a "quack" and says I'm out in space when I bring up the works of the Austrian School. I was talking to him about "Of a New Liberty" and saying how it was a great book, that he should eventually read. Then I began talking to him about how misleading Levin, Limbuagh, and Hannity are. He then proceeded to flip out and told me "I'm more than twice your age, I understand how this works, you don't!". He kept saying America was his team and that those conservatives commentators were far from wrong.....Then, he told me go back to "reading your Area 51 shit, I don't want to talk to you about politics". 

 

What in the hell do I do? 

It looks like you've made a mess of the situation to start off with, but it doesn't mean you can't sort it out. The problem is, you're being way too confrontational, even for someone like your dad. When (as a younger person) you talk to older people it's very easy for them to dismiss you as being "idealistic", which is, as we all know, an absurd accusation, but they seem to think it defeats anything you say since you're young. So you have to manoeuvre around the situation cleverly. Like people said, you've got to show your father the similarities between your ideas and his.

He wants the government out of your pocketbook right? He wants the government to get rid of most of all the harmful regulation? He wants a return to traditional values of self-sufficiency and responsibility for onesself right?

The difference between libertarianism and socialism is that libertarians will tolerate the existence of a socialist community, but socialists can't tolerate a libertarian community.

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I. Ryan replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:17 PM

Jonathan M. F. Catalán:

Hehe, most of my books on economics are in English; I only have one book in Spanish, on the Spanish economy during the 20th century.

If you are able to read Spanish, why do you opt to read "Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles" rather than "Dinero, Crédito Bancario y Ciclos Económicos"?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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I. Ryan:

If you are able to read Spanish, why do you opt to read "Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles" rather than "Dinero, Crédito Bancario y Ciclos Económicos"?

Because I mostly write in English, so I try to keep up to speed on the English language, and also because Mises.org doesn't sell the Spanish version.

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Stranger replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:43 PM

Thedesolateone:

 

It looks like you've made a mess of the situation to start off with, but it doesn't mean you can't sort it out. The problem is, you're being way too confrontational, even for someone like your dad. When (as a younger person) you talk to older people it's very easy for them to dismiss you as being "idealistic", which is, as we all know, an absurd accusation, but they seem to think it defeats anything you say since you're young. So you have to manoeuvre around the situation cleverly. Like people said, you've got to show your father the similarities between your ideas and his.

On top of that, you are basically telling your dad that he is just a dumb old fart and you will teach him the ways of the world. How is he supposed to feel about his children teaching him lessons?

If he is going to change his mind, it is because he has taken his own journey to the truth. Your task is only to help him on his journey, not to push him down it.

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bloomj31 replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:46 PM

My entire family's very liberal, they don't agree with much of anything I say.  I say just get used to it.  People are rarely convinced by words, but more by life experience.  If he experiences something that makes him doubt his beliefs, he may turn to you for answers.  Or not.  But really, what did you expect?

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