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Stefan Molyneux Hates Ron Paul

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Dang, it didn't post. Here's a copy & paste:

Ron Paul makes me sick

I've always agreed intellectually with Stef about politics and Ron Paul. But I was still wildly entertained by Paul and his campaign---checking his website, watching the YouTubes, listening to FTL, etc. But I say, in the past few weeks, I've been literally nauseated by Paul.

His anti-immigration stance hit me pretty hard after the Nov 5th money bomb. But the recent anti-immigration ads he's been running are racist, bigoted, authoritarian trash. And it literally makes me ill. I feel a punch in the pit of my stomach now every time I see or hear Paul's name, especially when spoken by a libertarian. Free Talk Live has become unlistenable for the past several days because it's three hours of Paul this and Paul that, and it's making me ill.

I am so glad he's not doing well in the primaries, and I'm so glad this whole fiasco is almost over.

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cab21 replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 12:45 AM

why would the goal of the free market not be to put money in people's pockets? people do need to trade to stay alive. why would someone work towards his/her own death, and if they do, is that healthy?

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thelion:
listening to Ron Paul, or other free market economists, or people like you and me, does nothing to change the minds of most people.

This is the kind of thing that more or less proves someone to be intellectually dishonest, or just plain ignorant.  Ron Paul's influence in changing the minds of masses, and changing much of the economic and political conversation is virtually undeniable.

For anyone to make a statement like that, it's almost as insane as saying "Snow still exists...even in the daytime.  The Sun does nothing to change the temperature of the Earth."

Realize that you're literally claiming that listening to Ron Paul does nothing to change the minds of most people, in a forum in which most of the people ended up here because they listened to Ron Paul (not Stefan Molyneux, much to his narcissistic chagrin.)  Just because "most people" aren't currently voluntarists, that in no way proves that the words of someone like Ron Paul, or free market economists, or someone in this forum "do nothing" to change minds.  There's obviusly no concrete way to prove this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were in fact true that "most" people who actually listened to Paul for a certain amount of time did have their minds changed.  Indeed that's preciesly the most common story I hear from libertarians on how they came to identify the way they do...quite literally from listening to Ron Paul, which inspired them to go do more research for themselves.

That's what all this and this and this kind of thing are about.

 

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@John James

Agreed. I started leaning libertarian in around 2002-2003 and after a few years I had gotten used to being completely alone, politically. I had never even MET another libertarian IRL other than the professor that introduced me to the philosophy. Then Ron Paul's 2008 campaign comes around and all of a sudden I'm hearing about all these young, enthusiastic libertarians. I was thinking, woah, where did all these guys come from??

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Sadly, it took Obama to wake me up. I noticed that it wasn't merely the fact that he was spending so much money on things I disagreed with as it was that he was spending so much money period! A little examination of American history taught me that with the advent of the current constitution, spending ballooned and here we are.

Ron Paul was most certainly a huge influence in my political leanings. The way he phrased things on a national platform made his opponents look like the fake sheep herders they are. And I have to say, Jan Helfeld (someone posted one of his videos on Mises a few times not long ago) has helped me with arguing against statists. The Socratic method, as Wheylous has pointed out, is a very useful technique: the worst case is that the person becomes angry at you and refuses to continue the conversation while knowing s/he is wrong; the best case is that the s/he actually changes his/her mind and, having stepped out of the cave, helps others to see the light.

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thelion replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 4:52 PM

I think it's totally incorrect to call Molyneux narcissistic.

I like Ron Paul, as I've said before, and support him in what he does; but Molyneux has done alot to bring people to libertarianism too. And they basically agree on everything, except that Paul can't be publically as open as Molyneux can on the web about anarchism ... and atheism. Molyneux brings those other folks to libertarianism.

Why can't more people like both?

Tucker and Woods and Molyneux seem to be very friendly when they make joint videos, and think almost identically in their respective videos. Molyneux always makes video linking to the Mises institute and publically stated that LewRockwell.com and Mises Institute are the best and only places for thoroughly learning about freedom in the entire world, in his opinion

I think the big issue between Molyneux and Paul supporters who are supporters of the one or the other but paradoxically not both is the religion/atheism question.

 

Edit 1: "To the Molyneux cheerleader above, I think it might be Stefan himself!"

Are you referring to me? No. I'm not Stefan. But I'm not a minarchist. And I'm an atheist, and believe religious belief in argument from authority and belief in government are very similar. Socialism is merely one religion. I say this because I am from Europe/Asia. So I sympathize with Molyneux to some degree, when he asks for consistency.

Edit 2: How did I come to libertarianism? Simple. I am a trained economist. I read Mises. And thought: This is true, for these reasons. I myself have never required popular speaking to persude me, although Kinsella's semi-popular books have changed my opinion about copyright.

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thelion:
I think it's totally incorrect to call Molyneux narcissistic.

Wow.  I'm convinced.

 

I like Ron Paul, as I've said before; but Molyneux has done alot to bring people to libertarianism too.

And the Internet is pretty important, but velcro has done a lot to improve people's lives too.

 

Why can't more people like both?

Why does everyone have to like Molyneux as a person?  Or at all, for that matter?  Just because you like what he has to say, or some of the content he produces, that doesn't mean he's not a narcissistic asshole.  Why is it so important to you that everyone "like" some self-important philosopher that virtually only people who pretty much already agree with him, know about?

I've personally recommended several videos Molyneux has produced.  There is certainly a decent amount of useful material in his archive.  That doesn't mean I have to like the guy, and it doesn't change his personality or any of the idiotic/ignorant things he says and positions he holds.

He's a somewhat useful pretentious egotist who will never in his life come close to having the influence that Ron Paul has had, in virtually every area the Congressman has focused.  Here's a question for you, why can't you just accept that and move on?

 

Molyneux always makes video linking to the Mises institute and publically stated that LewRockwell.com and Mises Institute are the best and only places for thoroughly learning about freedom in the entire world, in his opinion

I find it very hard to believe that man would ever put any other site over his own in that context.  Link please.

 

I think the big issue between Molyneux and Paul supporters who are supporters of the one or the other but paradoxically not both is the religion/atheism question.

For one thing, you'd have to clarify how you define "supporter"...and for another, that is the lamest suggestion I've heard on this subject yet.  Case in point, (one more time), Walter Block vs. Molyneux, et. al, on Ron Paul.  (Walter Block self-identifies as a "devout atheist").

 

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thelion replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 6:45 PM

"Why is it so important to you that everyone "like" some self-important philosopher that virtually only people who pretty much already agree with him, know about?"

 

Because what he says is true. And in my real life I work on mathematics. I have a fetish for pure truth. And I'm happy to brag about it. I love absolute truth, pure and non-pragmatic. I like cynicism. I like people who are blunt and praise bluntness.

 

S. says: There is no strategy to getting the message out. Just repeating it, yelling or whispering, but not toning the message down. They either get or they don't.

J. says: Yes, that sounds very much like what Murry Rothbard said.

 

"Link please" on praising LewRockwell.com and Mises Institute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc5FQ7p0m8o

If I remember correctly. It was in this or his other interview with Jeff Tucker.

Edit: Link: if not in that one, then in this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnsn-opEEP0

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thelion:
Because what he says is true.

a) No, much of the time, it isn't.

b) What does the accuracy of anything he says have to do with you needing people to like him has a person?

 

 

And in my real life I work on mathematics. I have a fetish for pure truth. And I'm happy to brag about it. I love absolute truth, pure and non-pragmatic.

By all means, brag away.  I'm sure everyone is just dying to hear of your fetish for this "absolute truth" you speak of.

 

I like cynicism.

Then tell me again why everyone has to like Molyneux?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc5FQ7p0m8o

If I remember correctly. It was in this or his other interview with Jeff Tucker.

Edit: Link: if not in that one, then in this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnsn-opEEP0

...you seriously think linking to 2 hours worth of audio and just claiming "it's in there somewhere, I think" is equivalent to supporting your claim?

 

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thelion replied on Mon, Dec 24 2012 11:51 PM

I'll respond to your MOST important point first.

By all means, brag away.  I'm sure everyone is just dying to hear of your fetish for this "absolute truth" you speak of.

I shall. And I suspect they are. For that reason, I do so one more. Truth = Good. Good = Truth. My preference, I am merely informing you of this. It makes me happy to do this, no more nor less. Seeing people say true things makes me happy. I like those people. I dislike people who say untrue things. 

Why feel that way? But I learn nothing from false statements. People who say false things are useless to me. I dislike people from whom I do not benefit. They are no good, from my perspective. In the words of Stalin. :) Because I have preferences and must manipulate my environment to satisfy them. False statements don't help me do this but waste my time.

 

Next:

 

I agree with you JJ on most of the examples you linked where Molyneux has made errors. I have noticed another economic error in his interviews from time to time.

He often says that debt is resources withdrawn from the future. But that is impossible. The only resources that debt allows consumption of are present resources; future resources don't exist in the present, so deficit spending can't consume them. The present capital is actually consumed. This is the Craig, Mises, Hayek, Hahn view. If national debt = 2x national product then people have actually ALREADY worked for free for government for two years without their consent or knowledge, very roughly, and future income is lower because capital has been consumed. Molyneux merely views the system as unsustainable, which is true, but not for the reason that the debt is drawn from future income of childrenm which is what he said in the past in several videos.

 

Nevertheless, in presenting anarchism and MOST other topics, Molyneux is excellent, and by being so blunt, much blunter than many other libertarians, he does a lot of good. Bluntness is a virtue in these situations, since most people aren't blunt and don't present the logical conclusions to people when they suspect those others feel uncomforable.

I take the "clean hands" (take what is good, ignore what is bad approach from Confucius). Monyleux's view of universals is not new. It's found in James Hutton's three volume work from 1794. Which is excellent. The brain is a system adapted to discovering universal rules and so quickly allows humans to adapt to the environment, making them more succesful in survival than any other animal. It allows people to tend to homeostatis under changing quantities of environmental input and output -- to "survive" -- in the language of mathematical biology.

 

Of the posts you linked, I actually only disagree with David Gordon's review strangely enough, since I mostly agree with what he writes.

Gordon does not accept Hoppe's argumentation ethics so far as I know. That leads to this dilemma. Molyneux's approach is more or less argumentation ethics plus some earlier defenses of property rights of the physical control and utilitarian school. Much of UPB is true with several exceptions that I ignore (remember: when someone comes to your house, you only make sure their hands are clean now, in your house).

 

Of course, I quibble with Hoppe and Molyneux that they are not quite universal: sadists and people who are not arguing but merely in process of attacking do not hold these ethics, but everyone else who has any other preferences does. So they're universals for all people who do not rank the thrill of violence for its own sake above other things.

 

Many of the rules in UPB are not actually new -- the thief example is from one of Leibniz's essays and restated by De Tracy and Bastiat for instance (and perhaps also Paley, although my memory can be wrong on that one).

 

Ultimately, everything goes back to this:

Mises/Hazlitt's utilitarian ethics + Hoppe's argumentation ethics => NAP as universal for every person who wants to satisfy their preferences most productively, which is implicit in having preferences (except if those prefences value violence for its own sake, which is not compatible with division of labor since that requires peace). This leads back to Spencer's distinction of two kinds of people: people who value coercion for its own sake and people who don't.

It's still subjective morality for humans as a species, since its "if you want X, then you must do Y", but its objective for all people who have any other preferences other than violence for its own sake (Mises called this the "warlike spirit"), since its invarient under change of preferences for all those other preferences.

 

Oh, and once again in 20 minutes, while listening to music, I've written another essay ... Copy and paste into a document so that I can recycle this more or less when a similar topic come up, as they tend to do in libertarian circles.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Dec 25 2012 6:23 AM

Re: Graham Wright writes "With regard to Ron Paul, I disagree with Molyneux.  Most of his criticisms of Paul fade away when you realise that Paul's primary goal is spreading the libertarian message, and being in office and running for President was for him purely a means or strategy for doing that effectively - for better or worse.  Molyneux is wrong to conflate Paul's strategy (i.e. Rothbard and Rockwell's strategy) with the flawed strategy of 'dismantling the state from the inside', which is what basically all so-called "libertarian" politicians that aren't Ron Paul are trying to do."

Yes. A million times over (see video below). As for Stefan, it's really quite sad(?) - given he could have supported the efforts making clear the qualifications (had he the intellectual honesty to attempt to understand them) - and in the process gained much further support (for himself), but then especially helped along many Ron Paul supporters along the path to voluntarism, as opposed to constantly (wrongly so) attacking their hero & turning quite a few off.

Had he understood that Ron Paul is a voluntarist (as we've both constantly indicated), I think it'd have changed the dynamic a fair bit.

Re: "Whether Paul's strategy or Molyneux' strategy has been or is going to be more effective at spreading the message of liberty is an interesting debate to have, but Molyneux never really gets round to that debate, because he never addresses Paul's actual strategy, just a strawman version of it."

Absolutely. But it need not be a mutually exclusive proposition (as you know). Consider it 'guerilla' warfare against the state; individuals specialise (divison of labor) etc. they go about doing what they feel is best. No doubt there are principles that can be passed on (why the worst rise to the top i.e be far more successful locally, than internationally/nationally if your actual goal is to "take over")... so as to help save all those potentially 'wasted resources' / hours "campaigning" for naught, becoming distraught as Ron Paul mentions in the video and essentially burning out.

Stefan has the 'educational' and 'philosophical' angle going outside of the beast, great. Yet, he's also wasting resources and time wrongly attacking Ron Paul.

Re: "Walter Block made some negative and entirely unjustified remarks about Molyneux recently.  And David Gordon critiqued Molyneux' UPB, quite reasonably."

Block's response was rather irksome. Both of them are wrong. As for David Gordon's critique of UPB, I have no qualms with it - in the sense that I see UPB as being an eminently more muddled, less accurate and un-refined when compared to Hoppe's a priori of argumentation & communication - which is the opposite. What also irked me was the general reaction from the 'consequentialists' as if a take down of UPD entails a take down of AE. Not even close.

Anyway onto this;

 

 

The essence of this video excerpt is three fold;

  1. to shut-down the strawmen aimed at Dr. Paul from the "purist deviationists" who deride all political action (a sole educational political strategy as outlined by Rothbard, and successfully employed by RP),
  2. to shut-down the "sellout opportunists" who support the Rand Paul "strategy" i.e not based on principle, or being primairly educational; and
  3. once again highlight that moving forward the appropriate strategy for libertarians is that we are neither "liberal" or "conservative" (left wing or right wing). And that no "thick"-ish concerns, and attempts at an alliance with either side - no matter what the current epoch is - will work. It goes without saying, as an individual most have preferences from one side, they may come to libertarianism through one of those wings and feel a continued affinity with it... however it is completely invalid to universalise this onto others.

Alternate title suggestions welcome.

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

Truth = Good. Good = Truth. My preference, I am merely informing you of this. It makes me happy to do this, no more nor less. Seeing people say true things makes me happy. I like those people. I dislike people who say untrue things. 

Why feel that way? But I learn nothing from false statements. People who say false things are useless to me. I dislike people from whom I do not benefit. They are no good, from my perspective. In the words of Stalin. :) Because I have preferences and must manipulate my environment to satisfy them. False statements don't help me do this but waste my time.

I would say truth does not equal good, but I agree that truth is a good thing--in other words, that truth contains goodness as a quality, but then again I suppose truth would be bad for a thief trying to trick people, right? I don't intend to sound like a relativist, but I viewed this Truth = Good as a generalization fraught with inaccuracy.

As for Molyneux, John James's links were excellent. I don't presuppose that Molyneux is attempting to mislead his audience...just that he's not as knowledgeable as he thinks he is or at least as he wants to be. No doubt, you can call him a philosopher, but more than anything I think he's an effective orator.

I've noticed that Molyneux rarely has conflict with anyone, and when someone (like the gentleman who interviewed him in the clip provided by John James) questions him on something he's not too familiar with, he's like oil in water, giving a roundabout answer and, ultimately, saying what something means to him, which avoids one's objectivity being criticized. At one point, Molyneux even repeated the question, saying, "What do I think about X?" This is a classic stalling tactic and my pet peeve: if you don't know something, say you don't know something, for if truth is the ultimate goal, one ought not be upset at being wrong. It seems he is philosophizing with a bit of ego (which may very well be the only way we humans can seek truth; not meaning to knock Molyneux, just pointing out that he struggled a bit). If a husband and wife were the only people in a room, and the wife asked the husband where he was at 9pm last night, and he responded with, "Where was I at 9pm last night?" I'm sure the wife would be a little upset because objectively speaking, the answer should be simple and almost knee-jerk in nature. He was using a stalling technique, which directly implies that he either didn't know the answer immediately or he had to fabricate one; deductively, though, we can be certain he's not as familiar with it as he perhaps ought to be in discussing the issue in an interview. A simple admission, "I'm not that familiar with it" would go a long way with viewers like me despite any slight loss in credibility.

I don't knock Molyneux at all, really, for being a writer, an orator and calling himself a philosopher. However, I say his strength lies in comprehending the outer limits of philosophy; in essence, I'm sure there are very, very few topics that you could throw at Molyneux that he hasn't already heard of or read something on. That being said, he does occasionally take the indirect persona of the neophyte by gaffing trite insights into more specific concepts, such as reserve capital in the interview. I say he just needs to research a bit more instead of glancing and formulating.

Back to the oil-in-water analogy I used. I believe that Molyneux has studied persuasive speakers, and he likely has accessed schematics of cult persuasion techniques, which are very useful to a certain type of individual. It's plainly obvious that cults don't allow their members to interact with their family because the family, who frequently cares most for them, would never allow their son/daughter to castrate himself/herself or drink poison-laced Kool Aid. This whole DEFOOING thing is creepy, I don't care who says what--that's my opinion and I'm sure a few others would gladly agree!

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thelion:

I agree with you JJ on most of the examples you linked where Molyneux has made errors. I have noticed another economic error in his interviews from time to time.

He often says that debt is resources withdrawn from the future. But that is impossible. [...] Molyneux merely views the system as unsustainable, which is true, but not for the reason that the debt is drawn from future income of childrenm which is what he said in the past in several videos.

Oh I see...So Molyneux is an economic illiterate who spreads a lot of the same kind of nonsense that the Stiglitz and Krugman's of the world (and in turn the general public) go around spouting.  In other words, a great deal of what the guy says is NOT true (despite your claim to the contrary).

Also I find it interesting that you feel your self-proclaimed fetish for "absolute truth" and cynicism is more important than your bald hero's ignorance and incompetence.  But then again, I suppose that would explain a lot.

 

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thetabularasa:
I've noticed that Molyneux rarely has conflict with anyone, and when someone (like the gentleman who interviewed him in the clip provided by John James) questions him on something he's not too familiar with, he's like oil in water, giving a roundabout answer and, ultimately, saying what something means to him, which avoids one's objectivity being criticized. At one point, Molyneux even repeated the question, saying, "What do I think about X?" This is a classic stalling tactic and my pet peeve: if you don't know something, say you don't know something, for if truth is the ultimate goal, one ought not be upset at being wrong. It seems he is philosophizing with a bit of ego (which may very well be the only way we humans can seek truth; not meaning to knock Molyneux, just pointing out that he struggled a bit).

Bingo.  As both Gordon and Wenzel pointed out, Molyneux is an intelligent guy, and given the nature of his chosen field, he obviously spends a great deal of time (read: practice) not only in speaking in general, but in debating people.  And not in just any debate, but more or less on the same topics, and even same arguments...over and over again.  Being the smartest guy in the conversation all the time can be bad enough, but add to that the superior experience of being able to rehearse and refine one's arguments over hours upon hours of making videos and taking calls...one can get quite secure in himself.  Overly so. 

And this is to say nothing of the idol worship that comes with being at the helm any sort of cult (or to appease the cult members, "cult-like organization").  (Of course the comparison to the Randian tribe in this regard has already been made in this thread as well as many times in the past.)

Throw all this together and you've got a perfect environment for...a narcissist.  Throw an intelligent narcissist into a situation in which he doesn't know much about the subject, and you'll get the sort of reactions you see from Molyneux.

 

Back to the oil-in-water analogy I used. I believe that Molyneux has studied persuasive speakers, and he likely has accessed schematics of cult persuasion techniques, which are very useful to a certain type of individual.

I'd say that's a pretty good assessment.  As creepy as it is picturing a guy like that studying persuasion techniques, I'd certainly lay odds that's the case.

But at the same time, I guess it anyone's gonna be doing it, it may as well be someone preaching property rights and non-aggression...even if he is a self-important asshole who doesn't understand the economics behind it but pretends to anyway.

 

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thelion replied on Tue, Dec 25 2012 9:39 PM

John James:

Oh I see...So Molyneux is an economic illiterate who spreads a lot of the same kind of nonsense that the Stiglitz and Krugman's of the world (and in turn the general public) go around spouting.  In other words, a great deal of what the guy says is NOT true (despite your claim to the contrary).

Also I find it interesting that you feel your self-proclaimed fetish for "absolute truth" and cynicism is more important than your bald hero's ignorance and incompetence.  But then again, I suppose that would explain a lot.

That statement reveals only something about you, nothing about me.

1. There is a difference between being an economic illiterate such as Stiglitz and Krugman and people like Molyneux who make errors from time to time. Stiglitz and Krugman and their sort make errors all the time and say nothing that is true ever. Just because some apples are red doesn't imply that all things that are sometimes red are apples. There are things that are sometimes red that are not apples.

Scientists have often great insights combined with great or slight errors. Carl Menger, Jevons, and Gossen believed in cardinal utility; but they made very few other errors, and otherwise contributed great discoveries to the human race. Some have very few errors or none at all in some monographs, like Condillac.

2. According to you, they are economic illiterates that identical to fools and knaves such as Stiglitz and Krugman. Or is that something you only apply to Molyneux because you dislike him?

Menger, Gossen, Jevons, for instance, by the CLEAN HANDS rule, made contributions to revealing pure truth, while their errors drop away. If I apply the CLEAN HANDS rule to Stiglitz and Krugman, all their rubbish goes away, but they have discovered nothing. Most people are like them. They have said nothing to show that is neither false nor redundant. That is why they are fools and knaves, and on the contrary, Menger, Gossen, and Jevons are savants.

3. Stefan Molyneux has contributed many and mostly true statements, presented in a blunt way. I like truth, it being useful to me, so I like him. He said some erroneous things in a few instances; but so what?

Ron Paul has found sponsor to donate to supporting free market economists very succesfully, and in turn promoting further development of true economic science. He also has said many true things in public. That's why I like him.

I am consistent when I say I like them both, and that if you were consistent too, then you'd like them both also. I even like you, because you promote mostly truth (at least on this forum), despite disagreeing with you on this point.

You, however, are not consistent, and don't even value consistency, I gather. It's clear that you emotionally dislike Molyneux and everyone who disagrees with you on that point. It's not you whom I'd like to persuade, but the other folks in this thread.

I'm going to copy this into a document to post anywhere similar disputes come up. They are far too frequent in free market circles, because people do not think all the time from the third person perspective of scientists, and start personal disputes.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 4:38 PM
Stiglitz and Krugman and their sort make errors all the time and say nothing that is true ever.
if I find something true that Stiglitz or Krugman said, would that contradict your point or would your assertion just be a minor error that we could hand wave away?
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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thelion replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 5:00 PM

Notice what I wrote.

thelion:
Menger, Gossen, Jevons, for instance, by the CLEAN HANDS rule, made contributions to revealing pure truth, while their errors drop away. If I apply the CLEAN HANDS rule to Stiglitz and Krugman, all their rubbish goes away, but they have discovered nothing. Most people are like them. They have nothing to show that is neither false nor redundant. That is why they are fools and knaves, and on the contrary, Menger, Gossen, and Jevons are savants.

Have Stiglitz and Krugman and their sort ever said or written something that is both 1. TRUE and 2. NON-REDUNDANT? No.  Of course, a scientist can't get credit for saying true things said earlier and more clearly by other people (and I debate whether they have said true things ever -- they are pathological liars like Chomsky by their track record). This situation is called lack of scientific priority in their own field or in any field for that matter. They at least would need to say something true and in a clearer way than other people have said it. Preferably something true and original. But that's not going to happen is it?

If they have nothing over which they have scientific priority, then there is a special technical terms that applies to them. That's right: fools and knaves in the words of Schopenhaur. For instance, one more, Paul Samuelson, or for that matter, most academic economists in the mainstream or Keynesian circles.

Oh, and

if I find something true that Stiglitz or Krugman said, would that contradict your point or would your assertion just be a minor error that we could hand wave away?

If you do, then of course. I dispute that you will for those people. But sure, its a consistent rule that applies to all judgments; it comes from Confucius' Analects. If someone did anything good, praise them for it, whomever they happen to be. Hell, let it be communists. But did they ever do anything the market hadn't done better or would have done better? No. So they don't get praise.

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thelion:
John James:
Oh I see...So Molyneux is an economic illiterate who spreads a lot of the same kind of nonsense that the Stiglitz and Krugman's of the world (and in turn the general public) go around spouting.  In other words, a great deal of what the guy says is NOT true (despite your claim to the contrary).  Also I find it interesting that you feel your self-proclaimed fetish for "absolute truth" and cynicism is more important than your bald hero's ignorance and incompetence.  But then again, I suppose that would explain a lot.
That statement reveals only something about you, nothing about me.

My statement wasn't supposed to reveal anything about you.  My statement simply pointed out that your own comments do.

 

1. There is a difference between being an economic illiterate such as Stiglitz and Krugman and people like Molyneux who make errors from time to time. Stiglitz and Krugman and their sort make errors all the time and say nothing that is true ever. Just because some apples are red doesn't imply that all things that are sometimes red are apples. There are things that are sometimes red that are not apples.

Quite the contrary, as Wenzel revealed quite thoroughly in his interview (and elsewhere), Molyneux may get a few things right from time to time, but he almost invariably throws in something that proves he clearly doesn't grasp the overall essense of what he's talking about...and sometimes lacks even a basic understanding of it.

 

2. According to you, [Carl Menger, Jevons, and Gossen] are economic illiterates that identical to fools and knaves such as Stiglitz and Krugman. Or is that something you only apply to Molyneux because you dislike him?

Stefan B. Molyneux is not Carl Menger.  (I'm sorry to have to be the one to break this to you.)

 

Menger, Gossen, Jevons, for instance, by the CLEAN HANDS rule, made contributions to revealing pure truth, while their errors drop away. If I apply the CLEAN HANDS rule to Stiglitz and Krugman, all their rubbish goes away, but they have discovered nothing. Most people are like them. They have said nothing to show that is neither false nor redundant. That is why they are fools and knaves, and on the contrary, Menger, Gossen, and Jevons are savants.

I have to assume by "CLEAN HANDS rule" you're referring to the legal doctrine.  But even then, its application here makes no sense...let alone to claim applying it makes "errors drop away".  I don't know any other way to put it.  I could just as easily say: "If I apply the posting rule, all of your posts drop away, and you have established nothing."

It would be just as nonsensical.

 

3. Stefan Molyneux has contributed many and mostly true statements, presented in a blunt way. I like truth, it being useful to me, so I like him. He said some erroneous things in a few instances; but so what?

A "few" instances?  I'm sure if anyone were so inclined one could easily point out errors in virtually every instance Molyneux comments at length on economic topics.

"So what"?  Again, as pointed out by Wenzel, Molyneux's errors are quite dangerous.  His speaking style gives the impression that he knows a lot more than he actually does, and masks the fact that he is often times, in Bob's words, "full of shit."

 

Ron Paul has found sponsor to donate to supporting free market economists very succesfully, and in turn promoting further development of true economic science.

I don't know what this means.

 

I am consistent when I say I like them both, and that if you were consistent too, then you'd like them both also.

Unless you are arguing that Ron Paul and Stefan Molyneux are the exact same person, that honestly and quite literally has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard in my entire life.  If you in fact are arguing that they are one in the same person, then it is definitely the dumbest.

 

 

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thelion replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 7:38 PM

1. Excuse me, I assumed you had in fact read my first post in this thread prior to starting an argument. Of course, since you didn't my comment on Paul's actual success doesn't make much sense to you.

I'll repeat myself even more bluntly. You can't teach functional retards, only make the already wise wiser, nor can you infiltrate a harmful organization to turn it around. That's why they are called stupid and a harmful institution, respectively.

What you can do is get all sorts of people to organize and to donate to places like the Mises Institute and FEE and so on, by promising to teach stupid people. THAT IS WONDERFUL (I think). It contributes to development of economics, provides resources to make wise people wiser, by helping economists of the Austrian school support themselves and their work and organize events and so on, which they cannot do when surrounded by an ocean of zombies, called average voters, who don't give money and deny them work positions. It does not, in fact, however, teach stupid people, which is the stated goal of talking to the media and being a representitive. Rather, he brings in donors by being in a respectable position. And he says true things proudly. But the key is that freedom is not advanced. The people that reject rational arguments still reject them emotionally.

2. CLEAN HANDS ... legal doctrine ... ? Did you seriously ask that question right after I said, in my last post, what I was talking about. I even cited where it comes from ... :O

3. Puff ... Wenzel said that ...  In the words of Edwin Cannan, so what?

4. And you don't like his speaking style. You won't like many Europeans either. I suppose you won't like my speaking style in person, too. Again, what does that have to do with anything?

5.

Unless you are arguing that Ron Paul and Stefan Molyneux are the exact same person, that honestly and quite literally has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard in my entire life.  If you in fact are arguing that they are one in the same person, then it is definitely the dumbest.

That does not follow from anything I said. Again, reading comprehension is ... Excercise logic. Yes you can. Write it out on paper if you have to. Some C's are A's. Some C's are B's. It does not follow necessarily that A = B. Only that B's and A's both have attribute C.

Edit: OKAY: in one sentence, since you must be busy, and won't bother to comprehend long paragraphs ...

SM has been useful -- he often states true things in novel ways -- and so has RP, by getting funding into the libertarian movement and who also says true things in a novel ways, and so how can you dislike either of them, given that they are both useful people?

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John James replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 10:00 PM

thelion: I am consistent when I say I like them both, and that if you were consistent too, then you'd like them both also.

John James: Unless you are arguing that Ron Paul and Stefan Molyneux are the exact same person, that honestly and quite literally has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard in my entire life.  If you in fact are arguing that they are one in the same person, then it is definitely the dumbest.

thelion: That does not follow from anything I said. Again, reading comprehension is ... Excercise logic. Yes you can. Write it out on paper if you have to. Some C's are A's. Some C's are B's. It does not follow necessarily that A = B. Only that B's and A's both have attribute C.

This has nothing to do with syllogism.  You literally picked one trait that you think two human beings have in common, and claimed that because of that one trait, you like both of them...and that that makes you consistent.  It doesn't affect your opinion in the slightest how different the two people are...you believe they have one thing in common, and therefore you like them both.

Once again, I'm sorry to be the one to have to point out something so obvious, but many people take more things than a single trait into account when "liking" someone or not.  I'm kind of baffled that something like this would have to be spelled out to someone who apparently has the mental capacity to understand basic English, but: just because you apparently personally like (and perhaps dislike?) everyone based on a single characteristic, it does not follow that anyone else who doesn't use your single-trait metric is "inconsistent."

As if liking people based on a single feature wasn't dumb enough, you have the gall to claim that anyone who does not follow the same idiotic litmus test is somehow "inconsistent".

 

thelion:
SM has been useful -- he often states true things in novel ways -- and so has RP, by getting funding into the libertarian movement and who also says true things in a novel ways, and so how can you dislike either of them, given that they are both useful people?

Hitler was useful in providing a default face and name for "evil".  Thanks to him, everyone the world over now has an easy personification of evil that they can call on when they wish to make a comparison, and it is virtually universally understood.  Stalin was useful in providing a shining example of how communism is an ideology that leads to misery and suffering.  (And some would argue he helped defeat Hitler, to boot!)   So how can you dislike either of them, given that they are both useful people?

 

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thelion replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 10:45 PM

I don't think you understand the word useful.

Furthermore, inconsistency is the only criterion in logic, because internal consistency of systems + consistency of all simultaneous systems  = coherence = truth. That's what truth is. "Platonic" truth, some people, positivists, call it, who use truth as something without definition and intuitive or mere result of observation; but they rely on authority ultimately in this way.

Anyway, this argument has basically become this.

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John James replied on Wed, Dec 26 2012 11:17 PM

thelion:
I don't think you understand the word useful.

use·ful

[yoos-fuh l]
adjective
1.being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, helpful, or of good effect: a useful member of society.
2. of practical use, as for doing work; producing material results; supplying common needs: the useful arts; useful work.
 

I think I understand just fine.

 

Furthermore, inconsistency is the only criterion in logic, because internal consistency of systems + consistency of all simultaneous systems  = coherence = truth. That's what truth is. "Platonic" truth, some people, positivists, call it, who use truth as something without definition and intuitive or mere result of observation; but they rely on authority ultimately in this way.

I'd love to hear what any of this has to do with your idiotic implication that anyone who doesn't determine who they like and who they don't by using your single-trait metric is "inconsistent".

 

Anyway, this argument has basically become this. [insert random video or graphic as if to appear to be above the fray]

Spoken just as well as every other demolished Internet arguer with nothing left to stand on.  I guess this means you're going on your merry tail-tucked way.

 

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Anenome replied on Thu, Dec 27 2012 12:14 AM

Internal consistency is only as good as your premises. Just look at communism :P

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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John James replied on Thu, Dec 27 2012 12:53 AM

Anenome:
Internal consistency is only as good as your premises. Just look at communism :P

Oh dear Anenome.  So much to learn...

thelion:

inconsistency is the only criterion in logic, because internal consistency of systems + consistency of all simultaneous systems  = coherence = truth.

Truth = Good. Good = Truth.

 

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thelion replied on Thu, Dec 27 2012 2:58 AM

In fact, I am above the fray. I observe that you missed the subtle point of that video.

I see also this as the Achilles and the Turtle argument that Dodgson published in the 19th century. One opponent merely rejects, no matter what X and Y are, that X AND Y imply Z. The solution to the paradox was the coherence theory of truth, i.e. logical platonism in its modern form. We define formal logic through identity relations and substitution, to preserve consistency, and use proof by necessity or empirical proof in ideal experiments.

However, now, you declare:

1. Logical consistency, avoidance of contradiction, you have not interest in, and

2. Utilitarian arguments don't peruade you.

If so, why are you guys interested in capitalist economics in the first place? What for do you like, for instance, Human Action? Do you like it? What makes you different from, say, Hegel? If nothing, what are you doing here? You morally like capitalism, but not for any reason?

I have a sinking suspicion on why this board is being closed by the Mises Institute. Can you guess what it is?

Another thing: Communism is not internally consistent. It is contrary to its own goals. Read Human Action and Theory and History by Mises.

But forums are a good training ground for training in dialectic, if not logic. (Google Schopenhauer's Art of Controversy. You've certainly used some of those methods to ditch any possible solution. For instance, refusing to accept any argument, whatever it is, and then claim that since you can verbally reject it, it must not be true. Leibniz in a preface pointed out, one can verbally claim not to prefer A to B. If you physically choose A instead of B, then your verbal claim to the contrary is not true, despite your assertion that it is. Because it's not consistent by substitution of things asserted to be identical. There is a difference between what is necessary or what is possible and what you say or what you believe.)

And furthermore, as pointed out by Joachim, coherence is general universe-wide consistency, not merely internal consistency of several systems that are side by side inconsistent or isolated and non-comparable. For instance, mathematics and logic is coherent: fundamentally incomplete and yet every proposition that is true but yet to be discovered fits in and does not contradict any other one proposition. It's everything or nothing, you gamble every time you lift your pen to write an equation, in the words of Hardy.

One of the attributes of truth is goodness, from the perspective of any person who wants to live and better satisfy their own preferences and who would have opportunity to do so if they knew the truth. This is a utilitarian arguement, and therefore subjective -- it does not apply to someone who wants to commit suicide or to someone who has not opportunity to do anything, like a person inside a house during a flood (e.g. according to Thom).

Let's follow Spencer's example. A mountain falls on village. This is neither good nor bad, from the perspective of science. It is, and neither more nor less. From the perspective of the people in the village, who die, this is bad. From the perspective of other people who dislike them for some reason, this is good. Subjective. From the perspective of the person who wants to have more control over their own life by knowing how to manipulate their environment to better satisfy their wants, truth is something good. If they want to kill themselves as soon as possible, it is something bad.

The statement, "the mountain fell on village X" is good, preferable to the statement "the mountain did not fall on village X", from the perspective of a person who does not intend to kill themselves, despite the event, the mountain falling on the village, being neither good nor bad objectively. The event itself may be viewed as bad, even, from the perspective of that person, if he or she liked the people in the village, or good if he or she disliked them personally; but the statement, "the mountain fell on village X", is good in both cases, because it is true.

And why? For instance, because then he or she know that the road passing through the village is blocked and the least costly way of getting where he or she wants to go is to avoid trying to travel along that road. 

Waddington the biologist, now that I think about it, also made a similar argument in a book once, if I recall correctly.

And now observe.

That turned out nicely. I use forums for playing around socially risk free with attempting to write popular versions of rather long technical arguments, in order to turn around and use later in conversations with people of all sorts that I meet. So despite you disagreeing with me, you were useful to me for provoking me to write it. Therefore I like you. Isn't that nice!

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