27th May 2009
If you're not familiar with "libertarianism" (an ideology which stole the european name for anarchism, and supports the near dissolution of government with the replacement of unrestricted corporations) then you probably should be. These people strike me as politically uneducated and unaware of the correlations between the state and the corporations.
They seem to believe that the 'big bad government' is too 'socialist' and is harming the 'wonderful' spirit of the entrepenuer. they think that without government, unrestricted capitalism would bring untold wealth and prosperity to the world. They couldn't be more wrong.
The government has become so interwoven with the corporations that it is not unusual for arms dealers to press the government to go to war so they can sell their weaponry and make a profit. The supposed 'need' for a bigger, better army has led to militarization across all levels of society, and this is to help insure that arms dealers do not run out of users for their products. This is only a particular instance. The human toll is not an issue, since the puppet masters running society have little or no relation to people they order around. They pull a string here, and drops some bombs there, and society is firmly in their control.
When the economic fallout occurred a few years ago, many realized that the men who had created the crisis in the first place were the very ones who were paid millions in 'bonuses' and were now screaming for money to help them ''save the economy". These men, some of the most irresponsible and selfish men I can think of, received a total of 1 trillion in aid. In a week, the governments of the US and the UK spent enough money to end world hunger for 50 years.
Now, with the disaster in Haiti, the only 'aid' arriving in mass numbers is the ever present US army. Around a 100 million (equivalent to the amount the military spends in one week) has been promised, but so far, this has not arrived. The only country that has sent significant aid is Cuba, which offered the services of 400 of its doctors, no military men included. Besides, Haiti can owe its poverty to nearly a century of US intervention; their last president was overthrown 6 years ago during the Bush regime and replaced with a UN occupation.
Mussolini once said that fascism occurred when the state and the corporate monopolies became one. While businessmen, who set the stage for their own disasters, are paid trillions in return for their 'hard work', starving people of a dying nation are essentially left high and dry, an entire country less important than the salaries of the wealthy elite. Wars are waged for economic hegemony, while at least 1 in 8 Americans are dependent on food stamps for survival. Common people are manipulated into cogs of the machine, human resources to be used and then abandoned.
The state is supposedly separate entity from the big businesses, but in reality, it is simply a tool of the elite. By directing focus away from the large businesses, the propertarians (their proper name) serve the interests of the elite, since although the government in a pawn in their hands, it is not impossible than it can be used against them. It can pass laws to restrict them (not out of kindness, but as a means of appeasing the discontented people) and it stands in their way from attaining absolute power over the nation. Recently, the law restricting the amount of money spent by the corporations has been eradicated, meaning that they can spend all they want on whatever they want. If the government was removed in favor of the business men, what would stop them from raising mercenary armies to expand their markets and geopolitical power? What would keep them from using money to genetically engineer humans into mindless automatons? What international law would prevent them from massacring any who resisted their dictatorship?
They could do all of that, but the only thing that prevents them from doing so is fear of us. They are terrified that one day we may wish to be free of them, and dispose of the monetary system and class antagonism in favor of an egalitarian cooperative society, the idea that one day we could form a common government of worker's self management. For a thousand years, we have had the means to take the power out of the hands of the oligarchy, so why do we wait? I do not call for you take up arms against the corporate autocracy, I merely ask for you to consider the implications of their actions and how we can resist them.
23rd March 2008
I don't think we can just get rid of this ideology, there are too many crazy people who believe in it. Which is really too bad, it will be the death of us all.
I've defected to the Pies
13th August 2004
Specify who the elite is.
I'm too cool to Post
17th July 2003
Around here when the bank bailouts came you could hear lots of people muttering "Too big to fail my ass!"
28th August 2006
"unrestricted capitalism would bring untold wealth and prosperity to the world"
and you couldn't be more wrong
Federal spending was cut from $6.3 billion in 1920 to $5 billion in 1921 and $3.2 billion in 1922. Federal taxes fell from $6.6 billion in 1920 to $5.5 billion in 1921 and $4 billion in 1922. Harding's policies started a trend. The low point for federal taxes was reached in 1924; for federal spending, in1925. The federal government paid off debt, which had been $24.2 billion in 1920, and it continued to decline until 1930.
Lord of the Peach
19th April 2004
Un-restricted capitalism leads to monopolies and crazy schemes like the one that led to the meltdown of the housing market. Total socialism is not much better since innovation is stifled and there is no incentive for people to work harder/smarter. With a socialist system control of the economy is in the hands of a few leaders. Capitalism tends to put control of the economy in the hands of business owners/investors. Humans are naturally greedy, and trying to fight that natural urge is as stupid as telling people not to have sex. The leaders in a socialist system can get greedy and set up things so they profit.
The best economic policies are a mix of capitalism and socialism which is usually called the mixed economy. There needs to be regulations to prevent monopolies. At the time small businesses should not be burdened with regulations on what they can do nor should they have excessive taxes placed on them. A safety net should be there for workers who loose their job, but it should not a person's only form of income for long periods of time. Personally I think the US has a good balance between capitalism and socialism, but things can be improved. Some loopholes in welfare need to be closed, and the government should not be allowed to "bail out" companies by giving them large sums of cash. If a company would need to be "bailed out" the most the government should be allowed to do is give them a break on their taxes until the recover and place tariffs on foreign imports. However the government should not be able to bail anyone out willy nilly. If a company is majorly screwing things up as was the case of the investment banks and GM they should not be offered help.
I didn't make it!
To summarize your argument.
Libertarians, who argue for small government, are stupid because governments are in the pocket of corporations?
I don't think you quite understand what we believe. When we say "small government" that usually entails getting them out of the pockets of business. And we certainly don't support the disbanding of government entirely. All libertarians support a government the provides essential services, though just what might constitute "essential" services might vary from person to person.
Why you are attempting to dictate what Libertarians believe in is beyond me.
And no we don't all wish for a "egalitarian" society. Why's that? Because I'm better then a lot of people, to put it simply. I'm worth more then most poor schleps simply because I am me. I'm an individual and consider myself part of no group and I value my own life more highly then all but my close friends and confidants. Why should I want collectivization?
Now all of that said I generally agree with pethegreat. I'm intensely pro-state power more then I am simply libertarian, though I generally also lean towards libertarian policies. Doesn't mean I can't make compromises to implement certain socialist policies, especially in regards to controls over business.
7th December 2003
Miliciano;5238162 They could do all of that, but the only thing that prevents them from doing so is fear of us. They are terrified that one day we may wish to be free of them, and dispose of the monetary system and class antagonism in favor of an egalitarian cooperative society, the idea that one day we could form a common government of worker's self management. For a thousand years, we have had the means to take the power out of the hands of the oligarchy, so why do we wait?
For two reasons: the current system works out well enough for most people. Europeans pay a bit more taxes for a bit more security and Americans pay a bit less taxes for a bit less security, but all in all the majority of the population keeps voting for centrist parties because the setup is working out well enough for them.
The second reason is probably that there is no realistic concept for an egalitarian cooperative society. The thread title says that the current system is tyranny. I think previous attempts to establish a communist society resulted in considerably more tyranny.
As for the rest of the post, there are of course a lot of problems with capitalism, especially with the approach of unrestricted magic free market capitalism, but it isn't as bad as you describe. There is no hard evidence for any wars being started by arms cooperations from what I know. They might profit from wars, but that doesn't mean that they cause wars. Also, that the US sends troops to Haiti isn't really a sign of a conspircay, it simply is a sign that when there is no infrastructure whatsoever and almost no security it might be a good idea to bring in an organization that can provide both. International aid organizations had problems operating there due to lack of security even before the earthquake.
Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Complete liberalism/capitalism would obviously be pretty damn bad. Wether it is less bad or worse then communism would mostly just be a matter of opinion. Both extremes don't work due to human weaknesses (corruption, greed, power). Which leaves us to a wide variety of options in between: ranging from socialism viademocratic socialist, social-democrats, liberal(libertarian)-socialism, to liberalism.
Certian countries are centrist to left of centre (generally speaking ofcourse, administrations come and go afterall), and thus a bit more social services at the cost of higher taxes. Other's countries are a bit more to the right and prefer less social services and lower taxes and to an extend, more liberties in some areas (social economic ones that is). Ofcourse the there is a wide range of accents, two regimes with roughly the same economical perspective may still be different from eachother in say social/society fields and have different laws and thus rights and obligations when it comes to aspects such as education, relationships/families (marriage, abortion, adoption and so on), culture (museums, libraries) etc. Parties might be progressive in some of those areas and more conservative in others.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Miliciano;5238162For a thousand years, we have had the means to take the power out of the hands of the oligarchy, so why do we wait? I do not call for you take up arms against the corporate autocracy, I merely ask for you to consider the implications of their actions and how we can resist them.
Given that injustice, where it may be inflicted upon others, is far more profitable to the individual than justice why would I support a more egalitarian society? It seems that socially minded laws arise out of fear that I might suffer the injustice of others - and so, since the current laws free me of that fear, why might I desire more of them?