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Jon Stewart's 19 Questions To Libertarians

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"For a group that doesn't believe in evolution, it's awfully Darwinian."

What the hell is he talking about?

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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John James replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 12:08 PM

Just out of curiousity...why is Hayek not in that list at the top of the reddit?

 

:EDIT:

quick note...you might wish to post the link to the extended interview with the Judge:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/extended-interviews/400881/playlist_tds_extended_andrew_napolitano/400853

 

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 12:14 PM

Hayek was not a 'main line' Austrian economist.

 

Hulsmann explains (and brings up Hayek at 8m48s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV0OcvylweM#t=7m

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"For a group that doesn't believe in evolution, it's awfully Darwinian."

What the hell is he talking about?

 

Indeed.  I would say it would be the underlying ontology that was being flesshed out with Hobbes to Stirner is what makes the Darwinian (or at least neo-Darwinian) narrative even work.  We are forever tied to it - in fact our look at the world actuall preceeds it - which is why the British Empiricism of our days fails - and how Mill styled utilitarianism is out and out nonsense of the worst kind.

 

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Bert replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 12:31 PM

Jon Stewart's a tool.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 12:48 PM

Let's see:

1) By (our) definition, yes. Government requires a form of involuntary taxation for its function. Involuntary taxation is a violation of property rights.

2) Alright. Take the "nuts and bolts" industry. Imagine that the government nationalizes it. As is with all bureaucracy, they're not 100% efficient. But overall, we generally manage to produce the nuts and bolts the economy needs, with a few shortages here and there and little innovation. Now, fast forward 50 years, some old looney suggests privatizing the nuts and bolts industry. The public outcry is "ARE YOU FRIGGIN INSANE?" Arguments make sense, along the lines of "do you realize how important nuts and bolts are? Essentially all buildings rely on those things! Cars, airplanes, air ducts, all sorts of machinery, etc. The uses are endless! Allowing the free market to support the need for nuts and bolts is suicidal! One company could corner the market and essentially control the entire US!" These arguments would make perfect sense to the people of the future. To us, they're ridiculous. Same with privatizing the roads.

Never conflate "freedom" with "convenience" and "this is useful" with "we should use the government power of coercion to achieve our ends." Just because roads are nice it doesn't mean that government must build them. Just because nuts and bolts are essential, it doesn't mean that government must make those too.

Now, the argument could be made that the entrance cost to build nuts and bolts is tiny. You can simply find another (more expensive) industry and use that instead. The concept remains the same. The public's outrage at privatization is irrational.

3) "You" wouldn't do anything with them. You're again assuming that someone with power must come in and do something for them.

Remember, you are part of the free market. If a company fails, it's because you didn't buy their products.

4) We live in a society. A collective? Some might want to, it's their prerogative.

Everybody's success is predicated on the hard work of all of us

Ah, so he is actively helping BP create the oil spill? It's funny how quick he is to claim shared success but individualized failure.

Why should it be that the people who lose are hung out to dry

Hey, it's a free market. You don't want your local shop to close because it made bad decisions? Help it. Free market doesn't mean institutionalized loathing of a lower class.

For a group that doesn't believe in evolution, it's awfully Darwinian.

For a group which believes in government owned everything he's sure making a lot of money talking on TV. Oh wait, that's called a straw man argument that conflates two unrelated groups. Congrats, Jon.

Libertarians don't "not believe in evolution."

5) Let's try this litmus test for whether you are the government: can you go up to your neighbor's house and demand money backed with threats of kidnapping and theft? No? Then you're not the government.

Saying that you are the government is equating the power of 1/200 million with the power of 1. In a monarchy, the king is indeed the government. In a democracy there is no one person who is the government. You are not "the government." You are but one tiny drop in a bucket which might or might not be used to build a gigantic reservoir. Saying you are the government creates the illusion that "you can't hate government because you did this to yourself." This misses the fact that 1) You did not do it to yourself (many people did it to you and you did it a bit for some other people) and 2) Jon seems eager empathize with the "losers" in the free market who hurt themselves but not the "losers" in democracy who get hurt by others. Sure if you hurt yourself we'll help you, but if a mob comes and tears down your house, dude, that's what we're about.

6) See # 1

7) Sure you do. And to gain amusement and satisfaction in life you have to go to parties and buy nuts and bolts. Does that mean the government should provide those two? No. If there is a threat of invasion there will surely be people willing to pay for their defense.

8) As soon as you build a government army, yes. That's why Republicans are inconsistent.

9) So? Russia had a monarchy, that didn't work, so they became a totalitarian dictatorship. Does that mean it was better? No. Point?

10) So let's do the same with the nuts and bolts industry. Or the utilities. Or cars. Or houses (oh wait, what caused the recession again?)

11) Does a corporation force me to buy it's stuff? Only through government coercion.

12) Government drives up costs. If you are looking to buy a house and Bob offers a house for a minimum of $20 and you only have $18, you can't buy the house. Now, if I publicly state that I will give you $10 for the house, Bob can easily increase the price for the house, because he knows you have more money. He may charge you $24 or $25 for the house.

About education: crowding out. Government education appears "free" to the public. The private school will cost some money. You would definitely go with the "free" one. Plus, you've already paid into the cost pool and can't get your money back.

13) Judge should not have backed off of that one. Check this out: http://mises.org/daily/1425 Our literacy was not really much worse before government schools. And still, there was also a lot of market intervention during the Gilded Age:

No Laissez Faire There

It Just Ain’t So!

The Robber Barons and the Real Gilded Age

The Gilded Age: A Modest Revision

14) Silly straw man built to be able to use rhetorical devices.

15) Again, see these:

 

No Laissez Faire There

It Just Ain’t So!

The Robber Barons and the Real Gilded Age

The Gilded Age: A Modest Revision

Government, if anything, caused the Robber Barons.

16) Government busted unions. That's regulation.

17) Let me clip that a little bit:

Without the government there are no labor unions, because they would be smashed by ... the government.

If you don't see it yet, then there's not much hope for you. Furthermore, many unions were actually violent and destroyed property, hence justifying an amount of force in dealing with the destructive unions.

18) 

Would the free market have desegregated restaurants in the South

Idk, but those gvoernment instituted Jim Crow laws sure didn't help. And if the entire South was racist, why pass the law anyway? It seems like it would have existed de-facto. This suggests that Southern leaders didn't expect that the free market would keep blacks out.

In fact, check this out:

http://blog.mises.org/13502/jim-crow-government-against-market-forces/

 In December, 1918, the validity of the Kentucky law for the separation of races on trains was attacked in appeals to the Supreme Court by the South Covington and Cincinnati Street Railroads and the Covington and Erlanger Railway Company. These companies had been convicted in the lower courts for failing to provide separate coaches or compartments for Negroes.

Government to the rescue of blacks, right? No, more like free market.

Now, was the general opinion racist back then? Without much readnig besides the mainstream, it appears so. However, it does also appear that the free market was progressive and made discrimnation actually expensive.

Marten Luther King have been less effective than the free market

Eh? He did in many cases act within the free market. Boycotts? Those are legit and powerful free market tools.

19) Government is unnecessary should be held accountable for all of its decisions.

 

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Autolykos replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 12:52 PM

Can someone PLEASE fix this absolutely broken text editor? Why in the world does it mysteriously and (apparently) non-deterministically lose keyboard focus - so when I press the Backspace key, it thinks I want to go to the previous page, and won't let me save everything I typed?

I had gotten to question 18 of my long, drawn-out response when BAM! Gone.

So I'll take another stab at it tomorrow, when I'm calmer. angry

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 1:29 PM

"Is government the antithesis of liberty?"

In most cases. Up until the point where the government does more than simply defend property through minimal taxation and arguably provide basic public services which would otherwise not have been provided then it infringes upon people's freedom of action in such a way which does not benefit them. However, I realize that unfortunately both liberty and government are kind of blurry terms in the first place

"One of the things that enhances freedoms are roads. Infrastructure enhances freedom. A social safety net enhances freedom."

 

This touches on what I said at the end of my last response. "liberty" is subjective. Being provided with your entire paycheck regardless of what you do and being given free stuff enhances liberty for some, albeit restricting it for others, so why don't you advocate that? I would also like to point out that this is not a question,

"What should we do with the losers that are picked by the free market?"

 

Support them through voluntary association. If you woke up and the government was limited to just a nightwatchman state what would be your first reaction? "Oh well, I guess that the poor are just gonna have to starve"? No, you and everyone else if you actually care about the poor, instead of just having a talking point against libertarians, are going to have to put your money where your mouths are and fund or go out and actually help the poor. These organizations will actually function under financial constraints and be good enough to recieve funding from people. What will be more efficient? An organization with unlimited money and no market checks? Or one with both of these? If people will not fund these organizations then there's not even a significant MINORITY which really cares about the poor and America is in no way a democratic system, and you don't want democracy, you just want your policies supported. Big surprise.

"Do we live in a society or don't we? Are we a collective? Everybody's success is predicated on the hard work of all of us; nobody gets there on their own. Why should it be that the people who lose are hung out to dry? For a group that doesn't believe in evolution, it's awfully Darwinian."

 

As many have have said here... WTF?? No "we" are not a "collective" "we" are nothing more than a construct symbolizing a vast network of individual action and interdependence. Cooperation and mutual self interest is what causes us to ascend, not living in a society. Even if you argue we are a collective then where do you go from "hard work gets us places" to "we have to support others". I agree, I think that supporting the poor should be a moral requirement, but I think that cooperation supercedes it, because cooperation is the driving force behind society. If you consider that it's a moral requirement then YOU go out and make it happen. Your friends, your family, your associates, everyone can go out and help to support the unfortunate, I will be right by your side, just don't do it through force which produces suboptimal results anyway.

"In a representative democracy, we are the government. We have work to do, and we have a business to run, and we have children to raise.. We elect you as our representatives to look after our interests within a democratic system."

 

Democracy is flawed anyway. You don't have a right to someone else's life. You don't know what's right for a nation. Most people don't really care about the elections, exacerbating their ignorance and dumbing down the feedback of the elections even more. The democratic system supports short term utilization and wasting of resources. It also supports the wasting of resources of one group by a smaller mor numerous one. Democracy is evil and inefficient. Finally, how many people are really happy with the way that the representative system works? Also this is not a question.

 

"Is government inherently evil?"

 

There is no evil, there is just us.

"Sometimes to protect the greater liberty you have to do things like form an army, or gather a group together to build a wall or levy."

 

I agree. I simply admitt my ignorance as to whether or not the government should be the institution providing these things. I believe that it might, and I would not risk it in a world in which there are militaristic states like China or Russia. There should, obviously be major checks on this, as can be seen by the last few "wars"

"As soon as you've built an army, you've now said government isn't always inherently evil because we need it to help us sometimes, so now.. it's that old joke: Would you sleep with me for a million dollars? How about a dollar? -Who do you think I am?- We already decided who you are, now we're just negotiating."

 

Is it sometimes ok to have sex with someone? So then what's wrong with someone having sex with a child? .... See, not an argument then either.

"You say: government which governs least governments best. But that were the Articles of Confederation. We tried that for 8 years, it didn't work, and went to the Constitution."

 

How didn't they work? Shay's rebellion was supposed to show the weakness of the articles, and then soon after the constitution was put into action there was the whisky rebellion when the government was screwing over people just above the line of  the "losers" in the market you were talking about. The Whisky rebellion was supposed to show the strength of the constitution, Shay's showing the strength of the constitution. It's sensless. Furthermore I don't want the articles of confederation, which was technically more democratic than the constitution was.

"You give money to the IRS because you think they're gonna hire a bunch of people, that if your house catches on fire, will come there with water."

 

The IRS doesn't fund fire fighters. They are local and are likely to be collectively funded in a free society. The IRS takes money from me and it funds wars which make me poorer and more insecure. If I resisted I woiuld have been thrown in jail.

"Why is it that libertarians trust a corporation, in certain matters, more than they trust representatives that are accountable to voters? The idea that I would give up my liberty to an insurance company, as opposed to my representative, seems insane."

 

The last bit is senseless. Corporations actually have to directly satisfy the wants of each of their consumers or else they will lose money and go out of business. The government doesn't have to. Democracy is in no way a reliable system.

"Why is it that with competition, we have such difficulty with our health care system? ..and there arechoices within the educational system."

 

Because there is little competition and there are government imposed limits to supply. Your government is literally killing people through their imposed shortages of medical care. There is very little choice involved with the educational system and you're forced to fund the public school system.

"Would you go back to 1890?"

 

No. If you lived in a monarchical United States would you go back to ancient greece?

"If we didn't have government, we'd all be in hovercrafts, and nobody would have cancer, and broccoli would be ice-cream?"

 

No, but the icecream would have more sprinkles on it.

"Unregulated markets have been tried. The 80’s and the 90’s were the robber baron age. These regulations didn't come out of an interest in restricting liberty. What they did is came out of an interest in helping those that had been victimized by a system that they couldn't fight back against."

 

Indeed, that's something that libertarians oftentimes have difficulty grasping, that there's no evil guy sitting in the white house saying "how can I restrict liberty... How about regulating millionares??". However, during the 1880's and 90's there was a huge increase in the standard of living for the common man. Regulations didn't and don't give people a say, they were also ruthlessly manipulated by corporations to benefit their own interests.

"Why do you think workers that worked in the mines unionized?"

 

To collectively benefit on a matter in which they could mutually gain. Weird how people can come together and do that without the government....

"Without the government there are no labor unions, because they would be smashed by Pinkerton agencies or people hired, or even sometimes the government."

 

And when unions practice force and intimidation? Also, there were unions before the government enforced them. That wasn't until the depression. Union membership was about as high as 30% before that.

"Would the free market have desegregated restaurants in the South, or would the free market have done away with miscegenation, if it had been allowed to? Would Marten Luther King have been less effective than the free market? Those laws sprung up out of a majority sense of, in that time, that blacks should not.. The free market there would not have supported integrated lunch counters."

 

The free market wouldn't have had laws against miscegenation, jim crow laws or any other type of imposed segregation. The very shift in public opinions in favor of black equality would have worked anyway, it just wouldn't have been enforced by government. Without government how would slavery have been enforced?

"Government is necessary but must be held accountable for its decisions."

 

Which is never going to happen. Ever. If it ever was then democracy would be fully unleashed and the full failure of a system that assignes the ignorant masses with other people's money will be fully revealed. Basic government might be necessary. Anything above a minimalist one is not.

 

Stuart, when did you decide that the government is necessary? My guess it was a subconcious decision in government run schools where they say government is necessary.

 

This is the first piece of unadulterated bull**** I've ever seen come out of Stuart. It's honestly as if he's thinking on a 2 year old level in order to be allowed to brush aside libertarianism and be allowed to return to his nice little world of left/right politics.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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I just wanted to make a comment on the nature of the interview itself.  This may have been more easy to spot since it was fresh in my mind, but I had just listened to an episode of The Peter Schiff Show in which Tom Woods (as guest host) interviewed the Judge.  Before Napolitano came on the show, Woods was discussing the oft brought up notion of the Judge being Ron Paul's vice president.  He mentions how the typical strategy is to get a running mate who has what the candidate doesn't...so as to "balance the ticket" as they say, and appeal to the widest possible spectrum.  But Woods makes a prescient point about the Judge...

Have a listen here.

That is exactly what I saw in this interview (Full extended interview here).  Listen to how much Stewart praises him and welcomes him.  I've never heard him give such an honest open invitation to be on his show before.  He genuinely likes the Judge, a lot, and they get along great.  And Napolitano is basically ancap.  He really does have a charm about him...an ability that allows him to disarm others and make them feel comfortable to a point at which a conversation can really take place.  Of course, part of that (at least in this interview) was the way he came off a little nutty.  It's easier for people to be less combative when they think they're dealing with a simple kookoo.

But when he got serious and Stewart really listened to him, and the way Stewart automatically wanted to keep him on the show and keep talking...I really hope those two start going out for a beers.  I guarantee you we'd start to see a change in The Daily Show.

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 1:47 PM

Can someone PLEASE fix this absolutely broken text editor? Why in the world does it mysteriously and (apparently) non-deterministically lose keyboard focus - so when I press the Backspace key, it thinks I want to go to the previous page, and won't let me save everything I typed?

I had gotten to question 18 of my long, drawn-out response when BAM! Gone.

So I'll take another stab at it tomorrow, when I'm calmer. angry

I feel your pain, brother. I had done something very similar (pages of response text) and lost it. Know 100% how you feel. Note that when you press Backspace without having your cursor in a form you go backwards in history. Useful when surfing, disgusting when accidentally wipes out posts. I extend my condolences to you.

 

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"No, you and everyone else if you actually care about the poor, instead of just having a talking point against libertarians, are going to have to put your money where your mouths are and fund or go out and actually help the poor"

This is a great point because it really highlights the poverty of modern "liberalism". They only care about other people as long as other people actually have to do the work. They wouldn't actually lift a finger to help anyone if there was no state doing it for them.

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Lol, EXACTLY!

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Joe replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 6:21 PM

I'm glad there there is someone as libertarian as the judge out there on tv everynight, fighting the good fight, but he isn't the best person to be in that position either.  Too much focus on the same points over and over. He loves saying that 'our rights come from our humanity' but never bothers to explain how that is the case to anyone. He also turns into just a libertarian version of Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews at times and his show is a bunch of yelling or a 'don't you agree with this point I'm making' question?  Nothing much is covered too much depth because too many topics are covered (despite being not as libertarian, Stossel is much better at this) There were a bunch of missed opportunities in that interview with Jon Stewart.  I feel like Tom Woods would have gone for the kill on that gilded age point that Stewart tried to make that was simply ahistorical.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 7:01 PM

How do you think he would have responded?

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I tend to agree, but I could see a case to be made that there is a usefulness in having a libertarian-focused version of those shows.  Stossel provides a much more educational point of view because (a) that's what his show allows (time allotted, format), and that's because (b) that's what he's good at.  The Judge is able to cover more of a current news angle that I think there is a need for as well.

But I'm glad you mentioned Woods because that guy is like Stewart's kryptonite.  I can almost guarantee Tom is the last guy Stewart would ever have on his show.  Woods is sharp, and extremely articulate and eloquent.  He "gets it"...meaning he's never caught in a situation where someone is talking past him.  And he knows his stuff, and can not only break things down so understandably and so quickly, but he can do so in a way that rivals Stewart's smug "well-of-course-this-is-the-way-it-is, Stupid" way of presenting things.  That's one of Jon Stewart's and Bill Maher's greatest assets is the ability to pretend their opinion is not only the obvious and correct view, but also one that everyone agrees with...such that if you disagree you're either an idiot or insane.  This wins over a lot of people, and it's the way they are able to defuse of lot of debates that they would otherwise lose.  Woods has his own way of doing this that I find even more entertaining. 

And if you combine that with his understanding of economics and vast knowledge of history, he's simply devastating...but even more so to "whiz kids" like Stewart and Maher who pride themselves on being smarter than everyone they go up against.  I say Woods is their kryptonite because he's about the only guy who could totally defuse their modus operandi.  I can't think of many others who can even play their game, let alone beat them at it.

I think it's very much the same for Murphy and Krugman.  Bob is so the perfect matchup for Krugman...he's certainly one of the most qualified, well-versed Austrians active today, but can also talk the mainstream econ game, he's up to snuff on the econ blogosphere, and it goes without saying that he's well-read on Krugman's writings, as well as his MO.  That alone would destroy Krugman, but you throw in Murphy's "get it" factor, his ability to break things down like Woods does, and his personable nature...all the things Krugman doesn't have...he could probably come out ahead even if he didn't know anything.

It works because Woods and Murphy are nerds in the best kind of way...they know their stuff, but they also understand people and how they think, which is why they are never caught off guard with an opposing argument.  They truly understand the arguments others make, and the way of thinking that leads to those notions.  This, combined with their people skills is a large part of what enables them to break things down for the layman so effectively.  (It's also why they're able to recognize and acknowledge they're nerds).  In contrast, guys like Maher and Stewart are the nerds who got picked on in school and then developed not only a "funny guy" defense mechanism, but also a "I'll get back at them" mentality such that they've now become the bullies.  Stewart tries to be a bit more subtle about it, and in public plays up the jokester role more than Maher, but he's just as much of a jerk.  The same almost goes for Krugman, except he's still just as awkward as he was during puberty, and doesn't have the social skills and isn't funny enough to handle anyone in an in-person format, so he retreated to academia and hides behind his keyboard, doing his bullying from a blog...(or possibly even worse, hiding behind his wife and letting her do the bullying for him...haven't seen any proof of this, but I've heard the rumors, and it's not exactly hard to write someone else's name in a byline).

But Krugman is still just an academic nerd that most people don't know and don't care that they don't know.  Stewart and Maher on the other hand have turned themselves into leftist icons, with drone followers so mindless that even Maher himself gets fed up with them.  Those two have become used to winning approval through their clever bullying-through-humor, so they have a need to always come out on top...either win the debate point, or, if that can't be done, just make fun of the other guy...which works even better than actually being right.  This is why you rarely (if ever) see anyone even close to Woods' caliber on their shows.  They (admittedly) won't book them.  As a producer from The Daily Show said, they "never book conservative pundits, we stick with conservative politicians, sometimes high-profile news anchors, and sometimes religious leaders"...in other words, people who have a professionally-tied public image to maintain, and therefore can't play Stewart's game.  He's never gonna put himself up against anyone who participates in the same arena and can therefore go toe-to-toe.

...Which is why I think Murphy has a better chance of debating Krugman than Woods does of ever getting on The Daily Show or Real Time.

 

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Joe replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 10:34 PM

I don't want to appear to be anti-Judge or anything, especially because I am sure the most we could get away with on tv right now is being on fox business and doing a 'libertarian version of hardball.'  Plus most liberty folks don't really have what it takes to be the host of a show like that.  Still, my pick would be Jeff Tucker.  He is eccentric in a similar magnitude to the judge, but in a totally different direction.  I struggle to think of others.  Mark from Free Talk Live, although he certainly isn't famous enough.  Penn could pull it off too, but his schedule wouldn't allow him to do a daily show.

 

But Tom Woods is like the Richard Dawkins of libertarianism.  He would have pointed out that we can only enjoy the 'benefits' of child labor laws and other regulations because we are already wealthy, and that gov't was simply jumping to the front of the parade. He could have given both the theory and the history to show how Stewarts view of history is not simply innacurate, but that it could not possibly be the case that the events happened with the causality that he is presuming.

 

Totally agree about Maher and Stewart, I still watch both of them just to keep on my toes about what kinds of arguments I am likely to see from your everyday leftists.  They are great at making themselves sound like any other position is ludicrous.

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Well well well...look who reads the Austrian Econ reddit...

 

 

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Neodoxy replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 10:51 PM

 

"Well well well...look who reads the Austrian Econ reddit...

I lol'd when I saw that. The still pic works perfectly too.
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Joe replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 11:11 PM

there is a lot of question dodging in there from Stefan, he keeps appealing to morality over and over, which if I was a lefty already, I wouldn't be satisfied with.  There is practically no econ theory other than the very general basics, and also almost no empiricial evidence.  SM is good at going off the cuff and giving the basics, but those questions could have been answered even more emphatically, and on multiple levels.  Its not like it was live or anything, he certainly could have taken some more time to do some proper research and put it on tape instead of saying things like 'read DiLorenzo' or that isn't even worth a response.

 

And of course if Stewart would have been talking to an anarchist as opposed to a minarchist the questions would have gone in a different direction, becasue as Stewart points out, once you concede the ligitimacy of the state, you are just agruing about degree.  Would love for someone to respond to his 'surely you NEED the gov't for SOMETHING' with a 'no, that is absolutely absurd'

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John James replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 11:39 PM

Joe:
there is a lot of question dodging in there from Stefan, he keeps appealing to morality over and over, [...] There is practically no econ theory other than the very general basics, and also almost no empiricial evidence.  SM is good at going off the cuff and giving the basics,

That's because that's all he has.  From what I've seen and heard, he doesn't even really understand economics all that well, and even still it doesn't even matter because there's no way he could try to claim it was all his ideas anyway, so it would be useless to him.  He's nothing but a pretentious narcissist who claims he thinks IP is not valid, but nonetheless maintains his copyright monopolies and wants to pretend all the moral foundation crap he peddles is completely original (even though it's not).  (And I'm not the only one who says so.)

He has to stick to moral arguments (and then try to maintain them through logical reasoning, as, of course he can't be appealing to some supernatural being) because he can't really make an economic argument.  And it's quite possible he can't do that because he has no interest (and therefore no knowledge) of economics because he has a need to take credit as the originator of everything he says like some kind of balding Canadian Ayn Rand.

 

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Nielsio replied on Tue, Nov 1 2011 8:43 AM

Joe wrote:

there is a lot of question dodging in there from Stefan, he keeps appealing to morality over and over, which if I was a lefty already, I wouldn't be satisfied with.  There is practically no econ theory other than the very general basics, and also almost no empiricial evidence.  SM is good at going off the cuff and giving the basics, but those questions could have been answered even more emphatically, and on multiple levels.  Its not like it was live or anything, he certainly could have taken some more time to do some proper research and put it on tape instead of saying things like 'read DiLorenzo' or that isn't even worth a response.

+1

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This is why you should never take celebrities, especially comedians, seriously.

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MaikU replied on Tue, Nov 1 2011 10:43 AM

*Cough cough*, as Kinsella pointed out somewhere and quite few times, Copyright is very sticky. You can't escape that in a statist society. So it's more rational for him to use it rather than not to use it and get sued by the same government if someone happens to "copyright" his ideas etc.

In short, he doesn't use physical violence against you. State (its mercenaries) does.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU:

*Cough cough*, as Kinsella pointed out somewhere and quite few times, Copyright is very sticky. You can't escape that in a statist society. So it's more rational for him to use it rather than not to use it and get sued by the same government if someone happens to "copyright" his ideas etc.

In short, he doesn't use physical violence against you. State (its mercenaries) does.

Um.  No.  Kinsella says copyright is sticky because you have it from the moment of creation (as opposed to having to apply for it...to "opt-in", so to speak), and there's essentially no clearly defined way to abolish your copyright.

That has absolutely nothing to do with "reserving all rights" (rights that Molyneux claims to believe are invalid and do not exist) on his published material.  In case you haven't noticed, everything the Mises Institute has legal copyright to is released under cc-by-3.0, which again, Kinsella himself has said essentially, in effect, removes the copyright monopoly and allows free use of material.  (I'm not appealing to authority, I'm just pointing out that your own source says this).

So yes, Molyneux is still a complete narcissistic hypocrite.

 

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I disagree with your Richard Dawkins assertion. Richard Dawkins view of the world has deep flaws whereas Woods is deeply consistent because he has done the research and reflection necessary to come to his veiw through logic. Dawkins' view of god is an emotional response. Taking his view of no existence of God (i.e. something inherently undefinable) because there is no empirical evidence is just silly. He dismisses all the personal evidence of shamans, monks, priests, etc are delusions. It's like saying there is no love because it's not possible to prove it empirically! Of course if you have experienced either the define or love than you can actually compare your experience with someone else. Which is what people have done in both cases. That Dawkins hasn't had that deep experience is just evidence of his limitations.

 

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Joe replied on Wed, Nov 2 2011 1:19 AM

you completely missed the analagy there.  Seems like you were blinded by a hatred of Dawkins.  I wasn't saying that Woods was an atheist (because he is very Catholic), I was comparing the manner in which he argues to Dawkins, who has been called "Darwin's Rottweiler"   Tom Woods is like Ron Paul's Rottweiler.

 

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Joe:
Tom Woods is like Ron Paul's Rottweiler.

Holy crap that's awesome.  You should just forward that over to the Mises art department and see what they come up with.

 

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