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I am the 99%

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Clayton replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 4:08 PM

The naivete of people who lap up every superficially populist event as genuine grassroots never ceases to amaze me. The Tea Party was dismissed by pundits as "astroturf" which is an excellent term that describes a good deal of what passes in the US as "grassroots" movements. Everybody wants to be grassroots now. The US gov't is paying $5000 to YouTubers to come up with video ideas that show how you benefit from the Federal government - in the hope that these videos will "go viral". The Establishment always tries to dress itself down when it interacts with the masses.

But it's the very reaction of the Establishment that tells you whether it's real grassroots or astroturf. The major news media were anti-Tea Party and dismissed it as astroturf until it was dragged under the Republican tent by Sarah Palin et. al. and pacified. Now that it's under control, the Tea Party is treated as a genuine grassroots movement. But nobody in the Establishment has hinted that Occupy Wall Street is astroturf - it has been treated as "the real thing" from day one. Even its name is telling: "Occupy Wall Street" not "Occupy The Fed". Wall Street, in the minds of Americans, is a synonym for capitalism and protesting Wall Street is protesting capitalism. But the problem with America is not capitalism, the problem is the Federal Reserve.

While the people involved are flesh-and-blood Americans who are suffering under the boot of the Establishment along with the rest of us, that doesn't mean they aren't dupes and that doesn't mean that this particular protest is not a memetic vaccine. One technique to handle public outrage is to get out ahead of it, anticipate it, and give it vent in a controlled manner before the pressure builds up to the danger point. I call it memetic vaccination - introducing a weakened copy of a dangerous idea to innoculate against the real thing by instilling in the public the sense that "this is old news" or "asked and answered" if the real thing later tries to rear its head.

If Ron Paul continues to gain momentum, the mediocre majority who are (still) not familiar with the "End the Fed" mantra are likely to conflate it with "Occupy Wall Street" and less likely to be whipped up by anti-Fed furor. End the Fed? Isn't that what those smelly hippy slackers camped out in that NYC Park are protesting for? Who wants to cheer on a bunch of overqualified, unemployed artsie-fartsies who don't want to work for a living and choose instead to camp out in a NYC park? End the Fed? How about "Get A Job"!

Do you see how this works?

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Excellent insight, Clayton.

Following Dr. Gary North, I think a million-business-suit march on Washington would be much more terrifying to the Establishment.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Birthday Pony:
I can't imagine any of these posters in the hospital, in debt, or with a family member in the same situation saying, "Well you should have been more responsible, asshole."

And it's selective vision like that that's why you have no problem thinking it's moral and justified for people to steal money on your behalf.  And you're the one who said "asshole", no one else.

 

Just because someone is probably in a worse situation than me, I can't complain?

Flip that around sweetie and you'll understand a little better.  The only reason you're complaining is because someone has a better situation than you.  And you think "that's not fair".  That's all their is to your entire philosophy.  "X isn't fair.  I think Y would be fair.  My opinion should be made law."

 

Honestly, this is exactly the kind of shit non-libertarians expect from libertarians. You have no empathy for a situation that most of the country finds itself in. And we should support this ideology that lends us no support...why?

Because if you learn that it is not the role of an ideology to support you, you'll be much better off.

 

Like I said, you all can sit here being right all day long. You can be right when a mob of people charge into the teaparty you're having with world class economists, and you can be right as an angry mob burns down the capitalist infrastructure. Just sit here in you're unsympathetic echo chamber while the rest of the world is in revolt.

I don't know what all the rest of that stuff is talking about, but at least you agree libertarians are right.

 

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Autolykos:
People can look at their situations in life in one of two ways. One way is that they can be thankful for what they do have, for it could always be (much) worse. The other way is that they can be bitter and resentful that they don't have even more. It seems all too easy for many (maybe most) people to take what they have for granted, thus ignoring any possibilities that exist beneath it.

Hmmm.  I wonder which camp a certain celebration horsey falls into...

 

There's also the issue of expectations vs. reality. We're all displeased or get upset to some extent when reality doesn't meet our expectations.

Bingo.  See "How 'The Karate Kid' ruined the Modern World"

 

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Greg:
Just WOW. This really seems like the ever-present threat that exists in the entitlement camp - but before I make any assumptions, Birthday Pony, could I ask what your solution might be as opposed to the libertarians around here?

No, she doesn't have any solutions.  Just criticisms and complaints.  Have a look at some past threads.  Just like all socialists there is no "solution" other than: "take that stuff that someone else has because I don't have it."

 

Birthday Pony:
I want to be clear that I'm not making any threat. What I am saying is that no matter how self-evident or universal you think your ideas might be, a good portion of the world, dare I say, a majority seems to not really give a shit or operate on those ideas.

And you actually wonder why "offering them some hope that's not based on the traditional leftist solutions" isn't sufficient, Sphairon?

 

Birthday Pony:
@John James, as long as you know you're making a love it or leave it argument, I have no problem with you telling me I should be thankful we're not all hunter-gatherers anymore and that I can even survive is something worth praising Mises for.

Not saying you should love it or leave it.  I'm saying the simple fact that someone has something you don't doesn't mean an "injustice" has taken place that needs to be rectified.  And certainly not through stealing other people stuff to achieve some kind of arbitrary idea of "fairness" that you contrive in your head.

 

Birthday Pony:
@Everyone else, this is truly the most vulgar of vulgar libertarianism, especially considering that this group of protesters has no stated political intention or goals.

They don't???

 

Its truly ridiculous that there is so much criticism of the protesters and not an ounce of criticism of the people they're protesting from a group that is supposedly anti-corporatist. So maybe the protesters aren't entitled to anything, but what of the bankers? Has Goldman-Sachs made all its money fair and square? Is already existing capitalism the ideal and fair free market already, but it's just hampered by some red tape and beauracracy? Surely enormous corporate banks have benefitted from state aid way more than any of these protesters have.

a) If you seriously believe libertarians don't criticize corporatists and the system that enriches them, you're out of your mind.

b) the coporatists (bad as they are) aren't the ones taking to the streets claiming they have a right to other people's stuff, and advocating polcies that would make the world worse off.

 

To some extent, yes, the debt we incur is of our own doing. However, for many there is no way out of debt that can realistically happen in our lifetimes.

How the hell is that a "however" to the first statement?  You admit something is the result of your own choices and your responsibility, and then try to talk about how bad the result is as a way to skirt your responsibility for it?  Seriously what you just said is the equivalent of: "To some extent, yes, the jail time we incur is of our own doing. However, for many there is no way out of jail time that can realistically happen in our lifetimes."

uh.  K.

 

Then I hope you're not a Ron Paul supporter. He wants a government too.

Nah.

 

Birthday Pony:
I'm afraid of dying.  That's why I take political action to demand things like better wages or benefits, because the market solution has the risk of dying.

This explains a lot.

 

Daniel Muffinburg:
Birthday Pony:
Then I hope you're not a Ron Paul supporter. He wants a government too.
This is your best post ever. It actual tests the hardcore an-caps.  In my case, I support Ron Paul when is trying to reduce the state, but I would also disagree with him when a stance he has would be pro-state.

Please see the link above.

 

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Clayton replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 6:37 PM

Just had an interesting thought... many of these protesters are definitely well-intentioned and anti-some-pieces-of-government... Misesean activists (Rockwellites, if you will) may be well advised to show up and start handing out free copies of Bastiat's The Law, Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, Boetie's Politics of Obedience, Spooner's No Treason, Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, etc. While this will not turn leftists into rightists (which I don't care to do, anyway), it may have a de-radicalizing effect on many of those holding anti-some-piece-of-government sentiment and provide a more considered and well-reasoned basis for opposing government policies. This could help build coalition support with the left in opposing the Pentagon, the Fed, police-state statutes and the military-industrial corporatocracy more generally.

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BP, do you truly think that these people on Wall Street are not lined up for another government handout? Please tell me.

I'm all for libertarian compassion and helping. Some people just have bad luck. Help them, definitely. But I have little respect for those who say "I had bad luck, help me rob this other guy."

Alright, let's look at some signs:

http://pointsandfigures.com/2011/10/02/occupy-wall-street/

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2011/10/after-party-occupy-wall-street.html

http://hyperallergic.com/36431/signs-of-occupy-wall-street/

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=24781

http://egotvonline.com/2011/10/05/funny-occupy-wall-street-protest-signs/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/10/05/141089001/occupy-wall-street-gets-union-backing-approval-rating-tops-congress

http://www.demotix.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/large_652x488_scaled/photos/854164.jpg

http://www.theprovince.com/business/Best+signs+from+Occupy+Wall+Street+protests/5496384/story.html

Here is the breakdown:

- expressly socialist signs

- ambiguous signs of "we the people" and "we can do this", which could very well be libertarians advocating for collective action... But are not. It means "we can tax other people more."

- Signs saying "end corporatism" which could be the libertarian message of ending crony capitalism, but is not.

- Signs calling to end the FED, which are rare.

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Eric080 replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 7:44 PM

Two quick points to BP:

 

1.   Ron Paul is certainly sympathetic to anarcho-capitalism and may be one in disguise.

2.  The people protesting on Wall Street are there to protest capitalism, not "big business colluding with the government."  They may see the problem the same way we do (government and wall street in bed), but they think that is systemic of capitalism.  We think that is systemic of the government.  We want no government, they want no capitalism.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Eric wins "shortest answer to address concern thoroughly"

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2.  The people protesting on Wall Street are there to protest capitalism, not "big business colluding with the government."  They may see the problem the same way we do (government and wall street in bed), but they think that is systemic of capitalism.  We think that is systemic of the government.  We want no government, they want no capitalism.

Maybe you can compromise and get rid of both.

I think that would be totally awesome if you guys organized an anti-government Occupy Washington right now.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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This is just a quick response to everyone here.

1. That socialist need not mean statist is an ideological barrier that you need to overcome, just like how anarcho-communists may immediately conflate capitalism with statism. While it may not be something you want, it doesn't automatically equate to support of the state. That people here can't separate the difference between protesting Wall Street traders and someone stealing your shit is, well, kind of dumb.

2. I was unaware they had written demands at this point, and I'm actually upset that they did. However, I still view most movements as an opportunity to engage in dialogue with folks. I actually wouldn't be surprised if anti-authoritarians come out of this movement after their reformist demands inevitably fail to get the job done.

3. Given that this is a protest of already existing capitalism, and most people aren't aware of the capitalism advocated here, I was shocked to see absolutely no one suggesting that this was an opportunity to engage in diaogue with protesters. The immediate condemnation of an entire group based on a few internet pictures was probably what lead to most of my initial reactions.

4. The Tea Party can be easily traced back to a few think-tanks and big money. This protest can't. It can be traced back to AdBusters, who simpy called for it and did little to no actual organizing, and then anonymous who are probably the grassiest of grassroots, so much so that they have no face.

5. Slave contracts. They're no good.

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FOTH, there's already an Occupy DC planned. This shit is spreading like wildfire.

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anonymous who are probably the grassiest of grassroots

Anonymous is grassroots? If Anonymous isn't a conspiracy, I don't know what is: a small group of people wielding great power over others, bringing down corporations and governments.

I don't know why BP even bothers at this point. Rejecting property, you have virtually no reason to speak to us lower beings.

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For one, the whole "grassiest of grassroots" was suppoed to just be goofy. But Anonymous is essentially just a group of people. It's whoever decides to be anonymous. There are no "core members" or leaders, and most anonymous attacks have a range of different people.

Second, for someone who doesn't like Anonymous, it's ironic that your avatar is the lulzsec (a splinter of anon) guy.

Third, that I reject property, or at least the notion of it popular here, says nothing about how some of the conversations can be stimulating or insightful, even when I don't agree. For instance, the thread Bert started on Hegel was pretty interesting to me. It's a shame they got temp banned.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 10:19 PM

Anonymous is essentially just a group of people. It's whoever decides to be anonymous. There are no "core members" or leaders

Do enlighten me about their internal structure, since you appear to know so much about it.

Second, for someone who doesn't like Anonymous, it's ironic that your avatar is the lulzsec (a splinter of anon) guy.

I find them amusing. Nothing more. Plus, the guy is amusing.

Third, that I reject property, or at least the notion of it popular here, says nothing about how some of the conversations can be stimulating or insightful, even when I don't agree

The way I think you would be seeing the argument is "these people want other people's stuff. Ok. Move along." End of discussion. The fundamental difference in belief in property rights renders further discussion quite useless unless we want to disucss practical aspects (does X lead to Y).

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The internal structure of anonymous is that there is no internal structure of anonymous.

Just because I disagree, and know I disagree, does not mean I won't voice my opinion. Spending some time articulating why I'm offended helps me think about it in other situations and really test how far I've thought out some of my arguments, especially when debate is heated and fast paced.

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"How the hell is that a "however" to the first statement?  You admit something is the result of your own choices and your responsibility, and then try to talk about how bad the result is as a way to skirt your responsibility for it?  Seriously what you just said is the equivalent of: "To some extent, yes, the jail time we incur is of our own doing. However, for many there is no way out of jail time that can realistically happen in our lifetimes.""

I think the analogy you're looking for would be if someone walked into a jail cell and then found that they had been locked in as a criminal. Yes, getting a loan was a choice. No, working for the rest of your life to pay off someone else is not an example of choice. It's the complete negation of choice.

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Birthday Pony:
1. That socialist need not mean statist is an ideological barrier that you need to overcome

Please explain how you have "state-owned means of production" without a state.

 

That people here can't separate the difference between protesting Wall Street traders and someone stealing your shit is, well, kind of dumb.

I don't think anyone said anything about protesting traders (although I don't see what that even means...you're against trading on Wall Street and think it should be abolished?)...what people take offense to is the demands made by these protestors...which essentially is "stealing your shit."

 

2. I was unaware they had written demands at this point, and I'm actually upset that they did.

And yet you had no problem backing, defending them, and attacking any who would criticize, without any pause at all.  Again you should see my big surprised face.  You might actually try educating yourself even slightly about something before you speak on it (which I know would be a new thing for you, but still.  There's a first time for everything.) 

 

3. Given that this is a protest of already existing capitalism, and most people aren't aware of the capitalism advocated here, I was shocked to see absolutely no one suggesting that this was an opportunity to engage in diaogue with protesters. The immediate condemnation of an entire group based on a few internet pictures was probably what lead to most of my initial reactions.

I didn't realize anyone condemned an entire group.  Reading through this forum it sounds as though you were the biggest driving force behind conflating the criticisms about the complaints raised by the people in the photographs into the voice of an entire group of people.  (So that you could attack people here for not being sympathetic to a large mass of people, and make your veiled populist threats.)

 

Birthday Pony:
4. The Tea Party can be easily traced back to a few think-tanks and big money.

I would love to see this trace.  Please do share.

 

5. Slave contracts. They're no good.

Great.  So stop saying you have a "right" to the services of others.

 

FOTH, there's already an Occupy DC planned. This shit is spreading like wildfire.

You got that right.  I saw clips from a L.A. city council meeting where self-identified "occupiers" were making statements to the city council.  This can only mean good things for Ron Paul.

 

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Birthday Pony:
I think the analogy you're looking for would be if someone walked into a jail cell and then found that they had been locked in as a criminal. Yes, getting a loan was a choice. No, working for the rest of your life to pay off someone else is not an example of choice. It's the complete negation of choice.

So let me get this straight.  Entering a contract to borrow money and then pay it back is a choice.  But paying it back is not a choice.  Yeah I suppose that figures.  It makes just as much sense as pretty much anything else you've ever said.

 

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"Please explain how you have "state-owned means of production" without a state."

And there you go. What's the old joke? Libertarians are the kids that got an A in econ and an F in history. If you knew anything about socialism, this wouldn't be a question. At least Daniel and other folks here have some more nuanced arguments about the effects of non-statist socialism (as much as I may disagree with them) instead of instantly defaulting onto a Marxist understandings of it.

"And yet you had no problem backing, defending them, and attacking any who would criticize, without any pause at all.  Again you should see my big surprised face.  You might actually try educating yourself even slightly about something before you speak on it (which I know would be a new thing for you, but still.  There's a first time for everything.)"

Damn dude, no matter what it's always aggro from you. That's not to say I don't bite back, but jesus. Take a chill pill. I think pretty much everyone's calmed down a bit. They had no demands for, what, four weeks or so? They come up with a few in the past couple days, I don't check the news, and suddenly I've never educated myself about anything? That's pretty harsh coming from a guy that says all socialism is statist.

You know, I was actually going to put something thoughtful here about my take on the protests now and then realized none of it is really going to get through, so fuck it. Anyway, tell me how I'm a Maoist. You know a lot about, oh, everything. You and Mises deduced it all from your armchairs.

"I didn't realize anyone condemned an entire group.  Reading through this forum it sounds as though you were the biggest driving force behind conflating the criticisms about the complaints raised by the people in the photographs into the voice of an entire group of people.  (So that you could attack people here for not being sympathetic to a large mass of people, and make your veiled populist threats.)"

While I'm flattered that you feel threatened by me, I'm not trying to threaten you. Just demonstrating that people are in a tough spot and they're going to act crazy, and I can empathize with why. It must be a major ego blow to feel so threatened by someone you think is a girl. Must be why you keep calling me honey, sweety, and other names. It must also be why you go out of your way to throw in insults.

"I would love to see this trace.  Please do share."

The Koch Brothers fund Freedom Works who helps fund the Tea Party. Hell, I think the Kock brothers help fund the Tea Party directly. There's the trace. It was (carry the three...) one step.

"Great.  So stop saying you have a "right" to the services of others."

Eh, I was going to respond to this, but I'm much more interested in the psychology behind your interest in me. You more than anyone else here seems pretty intent on engaging with me, in a really aggressive manner too. And you feel so threatened.

What was your relationship with your parents like?

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Eric080 replied on Wed, Oct 5 2011 11:41 PM

You and Mises deduced it all from your armchairs.

Can we stop with the "Logical Deduction = Making Shit Up" canard or no?

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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As soon as we can stop the socialism = statism.

I realize I've been a dick, but I pretty much stopped with the "I don't like it = statism," after thinking about it for a little while.

That said, my criticisms of logical deduction run far deeper than a critique of Austrianism, and don't really throw deduction out the window as a tool either. That's something I'd love to discuss here if I thought it wouldn't turn into accusations of me being a leftist emotional commie socialist marxist bitch. Hell, I'd rather just copy and paste Derrida under a new account that has a male avatar and an AnCap sounding name to be sure I was getting an honest response.

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Birthday Pony:
And there you go. What's the old joke? Libertarians are the kids that got an A in econ and an F in history. If you knew anything about socialism, this wouldn't be a question. At least Daniel and other folks here have some more nuanced arguments about the effects of non-statist socialism (as much as I may disagree with them) instead of instantly defaulting onto a Marxist understandings of it.

Unless by "history" you mean "etymology", that makes absolutely no sense.  And even in that case it's barely even relevant.  And most importantly, I didn't exactly see an answer in there, and I must have missed your explanation of this "stateless socialism".  So, if you please...

 

Damn dude, no matter what it's always aggro from you. That's not to say I don't bite back, but jesus. Take a chill pill.

Aggro?  I don't know what that means.  I infer by your invocation of the Christ's name and the 1980s slang you're implying that I'm upset.  It's just text, hun.  No need to get your panties in a twist.  It's not like I'm pressing the keys extra hard as I type them or something.  You ladies need to learn not everything someone writes has an emotional charge behind it just because you have an emotional reaction to it.

 

They come up with a few in the past couple days, I don't check the news, and suddenly I've never educated myself about anything?

Oh no.  Not "suddenly".  You've displayed that characteristic for some time now.  It was just one more example of you not having a clue what you're talking about and yet having no problem talking anyway.

 

Birthday Pony:
That's pretty harsh coming from a guy that says all socialism is statist.

Still waiting for that explanation dear.

 

You know, I was actually going to put something thoughtful here about my take on the protests now and then realized none of it is really going to get through, so fuck it. Anyway, tell me how I'm a Maoist. You know a lot about, oh, everything. You and Mises deduced it all from your armchairs.

Was there a point to any of this?  Or is this just you needing to take one of those pills?

 

While I'm flattered that you feel threatened by me, I'm not trying to threaten you.

You either didn't read carefully enough or your self-preservation bias got the best of you, but I said nothing of feeling threatened by someone who actually chooses the handle "birthday pony".  I said you made threats.  There's a big difference between threats being made, and anyone actually feeling threatened.

 

Birthday Pony:
someone you think is a girl.

Well, again, your handle is the gift of choice for every sweet 16 party, and your avatar was a smiling blonde girl until only recently.  And you never denied it when questioned.  Was I supposed to guess a homosexual male?  Or are you supposed to be an actual horse?  Or...is that name supposed to imply you're every 16 year old girl's dream?  Wait.  Your real name wouldn't happen to sound a lot like "beaver" would it?

 

It must also be why you go out of your way to throw in insults.

Please show me.

 

The Koch Brothers fund Freedom Works who helps fund the Tea Party. Hell, I think the Kock brothers help fund the Tea Party directly. There's the trace. It was (carry the three...) one step.

Wow.  Simply amazing.  So "the Tea Party can be easily traced back to a few think-tanks and big money" translates to "the Koch brothers gave money to some Tea Party organizations."  I'm sure everyone here is very impressed.

But just for good measure...where exactly does money go when it is given to "the Tea Party"?  I mean, if someone makes a donation to the Republican Party, it essentially goes to the headquarters of the Republican National Committee at 310 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20003 and is ultimately handled by the chairman Reince Priebus.  Likewise, if someone gives money to the Democrat Party, it goes to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at 430 South Capital Street SE, Washington, D.C., 20003 and is ultimately handled by the Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Where does money given to "the Tea Party" go?

 

"Great.  So stop saying you have a "right" to the services of others."

Eh, I was going to respond to this, but I'm much more interested in the psychology behind your interest in me. You more than anyone else here seems pretty intent on engaging with me, in a really aggressive manner too. And you feel so threatened.

Smiley lol 030.gif

Gee, what a surprise.  The most important, most damning comment to your entire philosophy from the whole post and you want to change the subject.  You're just the gift that keeps on giving.  Maybe that's why you chose such a handle.

 

What was your relationship with your parents like?

Smiley lol 030.gif   Smiley lol 030.gif

This, from someone who voluntarily implies they are a male (and seems offended at the suggestion they are female), yet calls themself "birthday pony" and uses a blonde girl avatar.

 
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Clayton replied on Thu, Oct 6 2011 1:12 AM

BP: Socialism is, of course, distinguishable from statism or, to be more precise, the State. Socialism is a bundle of philosophical ideas about human nature and human society, most of which are easily proven to be false. The State has nothing to do with why socialism is factually incorrect.

The State and socialism are related because the State needs to disguise its true nature (plunder of the masses on threat of punishment or death) in order to retain moral legitimacy. States which fail to maintain legitimacy are easily toppled by ambitious, upwardly mobile newcomers who do a better job of maintaining an illusion of legitimacy.

In order to maintain the aura of legitimacy, the State begins to "take over" sectors of the economy. The Prince does not care whether you receive justice or not. He does care that you not bring legal challenges against his taxes and other decrees that end up making him look like the sociopathic control-freak, money-grubbing weasel that he is. In order to secure himself against legal challenges, the Prince begins to monopolize the court system and insist that all disputes be brought to his courts. In his courts, of course, the Prince need never worry about tax challenges or other legal challenges which might make him out to be the petty-crook-writ-large that he is.

And so we have socialism or, to be more precise, central planning and ownership of almost every line of production. As the system grows in size and complexity and consumes more and more resources, it requires an ever more hermetically sealed economic container from which capital cannot escape its inevitable taxation. Hence, the statutes, bureaucracies and regulations multiply. This is how socialism and statism are related.

Clayton -

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"Instead of saying 'I am the 99%' at the end, it should say: 'I should've been more responsible."

So a crisis (that from an Austrian perspective is caused by government intervention) leads to working people being made unemployed, and the response from so-called Austrians is to blame those who are the victims? You're kidding right? Even from your own standpoint, the people suffering under this recession are not to blame. So where the hell does "responsibility" come into it?

 

I smell an apologist.

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People are not themselves to blame for the debt they themselves went into? I smell an apologist.

Edit: At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

Notice I only said "debt". People are not to blame for losing their jobs, not getting jobs, their pensions/401k's/IRA's getting wiped out, etc. - at least not entirely.

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Even then, government is a big part of the reason  that college tuition and therefore- student debt is so high.  I'd say some of these protestors are more angry at the way of life they were promised by their culture. You know, go to school get your degree and watch the money roll in. But someone seemed to forget to tell them what kind of degree to actually get. Or that perhaps going 6 figures into debt is not the only way to get into different types of professions. 

 Growing up in public school all you learn is that whenever times were hard people would march and protest and the government would give them what they want- especially in New York there's nothing but socialist influence, its not that surprising to find that a lot of people at the wall street protest have those ideas. Its not that people just want a handout- but that were always taught that getting a handout was the way to prosperity unless you were born with a silver spoon.  

BUT....

I went to the occupy wall street thing(it was kinda fun, free food, dance party)- most of these guys are super young its real easy to talk to them and explain why we're in the situation we're in. No reason to paint them with a broad brush because of the "we are the 99% website" or the "official" list of demands or whatever. This is actually a PERFECT time for anyone close to these areas who's interested in spreading ideas to go out and talk to people. They don't know whats going on, and don't know what to do, and the demands are mainly just cries for help instead of real demands. Either anyone interested helps to shift their focus.....or its the same as always. 

 

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I fully understand that government is a big part of the reason why college tuition and (therefore) student debt are so high. However, the government doesn't (currently) aggressively coerce people into going to college.

Where and how did I paint "them" with a broad brush, exactly?

But in any case, I actually agree with you that it's a good (if not great) time for people like us to reach out to people. Should the Occupy Wall Street protests spread to my area, that's probably what I'll do.

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That's certainly true no one was forced into it- but although you and me can understand that just fine - its not the first place I'd start in talking to anyone who has no clue about the market because of the emotional charge behind it. 

Not you that painted them with a broad brush- I'm just talking from my general experience looking at people's opinions of the entire Occupy wallstreet "movement" like in the Mises Daily article .  Unless everyone was just referring to the people in those "we are the 99%" pictures. 

I wish there were a bit more people in New York who could reach out, it feels like an endless sea of people who say "What!?! Who's going to pick up the garbage if we don't have the government?"

 

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People are not themselves to blame for the debt they themselves went into? I smell an apologist.
 
Notice I only said "debt". People are not to blame for losing their jobs, not getting jobs, their pensions/401k's/IRA's getting wiped out, etc. - at least not entirely.
 
Debts aren't a problem if you have a job. Getting a job requires education. Education requires debt. 
 
Now, you could point out that government encourages unnecessary use of certification, and thus raises the barrier to entry into the market and so effectively coerces people into college. You could point out that government causes education to be more expensive that it would otherwise be on a free-market. But no, instead you choose to blame the people who are subject to the results of the system, yet have no control over it. The same system that you lot CLAIM to be opposed to. 
 
I sometimes suspect that Mises.org is populated by sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because there certainly is a lot of hatred of the weak around this place. I suspect that you are mostly disingenuous in your libertarianism. Austrian Econ is just a tool to be used to rationalise away your inability to feel for others.
 
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Nope, you've just been reading too much of Bloom's posts.

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 I think its more that people here expect better from others.  There are other options that people could take they just didn't. The reasons could be endless.

 

I don't know how it is outside of New York but here education certainly doesn't require debt- most of the New York City kids can go to any 4 year CUNY or SUNY, pay a lot less(like $2000-$3000 a semester), and have just as good a chance as getting a job than anyone else with a degree from any expensive university. Financial aid wll also pay a good amount of the tuition if not the whole thing. A friend of mine I grew up with when upstate for college and has a huge amount of debt, it was his choice- the rest of my friends stayed in New York and didn't go into any debt unless they went to graduate school. He's no better off than anyone else. He got laid off from his job but instead of complaining he went off to do other types of work to earn cash. The government certainly makes it hard as hell for him to do it- but he knows that going to that particular college was his choice and his debt was his decision. He doesn't ask for a hand out- just wishes that the government would keep their hands out of his pocket so he can build himself back up. 

 

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Consumariat:
Debts aren't a problem if you have a job. Getting a job requires education. Education requires debt.

Not all jobs are created equal vis-a-vis "education". And "education" requires debt? Seriously?

Consumariat:
Now, you could point out that government encourages unnecessary use of certification, and thus raises the barrier to entry into the market and so effectively coerces people into college. You could point out that government causes education to be more expensive that it would otherwise be on a free-market. But no, instead you choose to blame the people who are subject to the results of the system, yet have no control over it. The same system that you lot CLAIM to be opposed to.

Certification per se does not aggressively coerce anyone to go to college - not "effectively" or otherwise. I don't know where you got that idea.

Yes, I think education would probably be cheaper under free enterprise. Even more importantly, I think it would definitely be cheaper to start and operate a business. And I would (try to) point these things out to people who are subjects to the results of the system, yet have no control over it.

However, the impression I got from the pictures posted in this thread was that the people in question didn't think that getting into debt was their own doing. It's blatantly obvious to me that, regardless of "the system" ruling over us, people are still responsible for their own actions. No one took those actions but them. Why is this so hard for people like you to understand? Maybe it's because you simply don't want to.

Consumariat:
I sometimes suspect that Mises.org is populated by sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because there certainly is a lot of hatred of the weak around this place. I suspect that you are mostly disingenuous in your libertarianism. Austrian Econ is just a tool to be used to rationalise away your inability to feel for others.

Do you really expect to intimidate any of us with this? Regardless, how in the world is maintaining that people are responsible for their actions in any way the same thing as "hating the weak"?

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Oh John James, you can pretend like you actually care about anything I have to say, but regardless of whatever is up here you're going to tear down as long as 'Birthday Pony' appears next to it. You can pretend like I've never explained anti-authoritarian socialism before and like this is really the time that you're paying attention, but I just don't believe it, sorry.

Anyway, continue to be confused by someone's refusal to identify by gender and please continue to tell me how I'm a commie marxist bitch. Its really fun watching how smart you can be some times. Also, be sure to include that you don't hear an answer in this post. You wouldn't want a post to go by without reminding everyone that I won't repeat myself because you decided to forget everything else I've said here.

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Clayton,

That's amazing...I never heard of that...Thanks for informing me...really...thanks...

It's as if people here think I don't know about authoritarian socialism. How would you like it if I started telling you about authoritarian capitalism as if you'd never heard of it and as if it was the only kind of capitalism? I remember doing that when I first came here, and it lead to pages of debate. At this point we should both have a little more respect for each other's ideas. Otherwise this board is seriously not as respectable as I thought. I knew there were folks I disagreed with here, but I figured they were at least smart folks. It's starting to look like no one's read anything outside of the basic LvMI millieu.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Oct 6 2011 10:14 AM

auctionguy10:
I think its more that people here expect better from others.  There are other options that people could take they just didn't. The reasons could be endless.

Indeed. There's a scene from the movie Man on Fire that has stuck with me ever since I first saw it. Early on in the movie, when Creasy is helping Pita to improve her swimming skills, she says to him (paraphrasing), "Maybe I'm just not good enough." He replies, "There's no such thing. There's trained, and there's untrained." The point is that you can be good enough, provided that you put forth the effort. As the Cracked.com article that John James linked to points out, that effort may be quite a lot. Regardless, the point remains.

I think many people essentially get suckered into believing that they either can't do something or they have to do something. Believing either one removes the very possibility of choice from their minds. It's easy to justify (not) doing something if one feels like he has no choice about it.

auctionguy10:
I don't know how it is outside of New York but here education certainly doesn't require debt- most of the New York City kids can go to any 4 year CUNY or SUNY, pay a lot less(like $2000-$3000 a semester), and have just as good a chance as getting a job than anyone else with a degree from any expensive university. Financial aid wll also pay a good amount of the tuition if not the whole thing. A friend of mine I grew up with when upstate for college and has a huge amount of debt, it was his choice- the rest of my friends stayed in New York and didn't go into any debt unless they went to graduate school. He's no better off than anyone else. He got laid off from his job but instead of complaining he went off to do other types of work to earn cash. The government certainly makes it hard as hell for him to do it- but he knows that going to that particular college was his choice and his debt was his decision. He doesn't ask for a hand out- just wishes that the government would keep their hands out of his pocket so he can build himself back up.

I took a couple of classes at a nearby community college while I was getting my bachelor's degree. The classes were World Literature II and Physical Science (think meteorology, geology, and astronomy). What amazed me was that the quality of the teaching at the community college was at least roughly on par with the quality of the teaching I received at the four-year state university.

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Eric080 replied on Thu, Oct 6 2011 10:19 AM

I sometimes suspect that Mises.org is populated by sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because there certainly is a lot of hatred of the weak around this place. I suspect that you are mostly disingenuous in your libertarianism. Austrian Econ is just a tool to be used to rationalise away your inability to feel for others.

That's the way it works for everybody.  Conservatives are easily morally disgusted and generally afraid, hence conservatism appeals to them.  Liberals are more emotional thinkers, hence they become liberals.  Libertarians aren't amoral, they just feel less emotionally attached, so it's a different expression of the same moral emotions that mostly everybody else has.

 

You think a state socialist (I had to make the distinction) tries to justify his violent expropriation of private property in order to make himself feel better about stealing resources?  Of course.  "John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin and Paul Krugman are the shit and if my mind weren't already fallow for accepting the forced sharing of resources to satisfy my evolutionary communist emotions, they would totally convince me."

 

This whole thing about state vs. voluntary socialism is a misnomer anyway.  If voluntary socialism occurs, it is under the umbrella of a free society and private property.  In order to surrender your right to your property to some faceless collective or engage in some "workplace democracy", one will exercise freedom of choice over their labor and their property and will be able to freely exit the arrangement at any time.  That's why freedom doesn't necessitate a large-scale capitalist society nor does it inhibit voluntary socialism.  If voluntary socialism wins out, so be it; that will be evidence that it is more efficient.  We just don't think it will happen.  These people at these protests though want people's shit, they are not "live and let live."

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Wheylous replied on Thu, Oct 6 2011 10:20 AM

Education requires debt. 

Nah.

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