Differences in political views.
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07-09-2013, 03:38 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(07-09-2013 03:34 PM)frankksj Wrote:  @Chas, why comment if you're not even reading what I say. I read everything you wrote. In my last post, I copied/pasted from the dictionary the definition of violence, which is the use of physical force. Physical requires the use of matter. There has to be physical contact with 2 material objects. Like a handcuff around the wrist, or a bullet in your head, or a taser barb in your chest. How is a "fine", that you can never go to jail for, "physical"? Where's the matter? "Fine" as an abstract concept. It is merely a form of persuasion.

What's really bizarre is that I actually advocated the use of fines in the very post you criticized me for! See that 'scenario #1', where if you don't pay your property taxes, a fine and penalties with interest are assessed and a lien is filed? This is exactly how the Swiss system works. There's no violence involved (ie no physical force). Nobody is locked in jail for tax evasion. And the system works very, very well, and tax compliance is actually HIGHER than it is in the places where violence is used. You're just so convinced that violence (ie physical force) is the only possible solution to every problem you see that you're doing everything imaginable to avoid the issue that are non-violent alternatives that actually work very well.

I apologize - I missed that. However, other libertarians I have encountered equate coercion (fines) with violence.

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07-09-2013, 06:46 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(07-09-2013 02:48 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Views on the left specifically oppose violence/force

@TrulyX, did you read my post above, starting with “@Luminon, great post”, where I describe “Scenario 2”, and the subsequent paragraph about Bobby Fischer? All the people I've heard of who defend that policy, and those who wrote the laws in the first place, describe themselves as “Left”. Yet, I think it is one of the most violent policies imaginable. Hauling people back at gunpoint and locking them up because their only crime is trying to escape lifelong indentured servitude. If he continued to resist he'd get tased and eventually shot. That's not violent? To me, the meaning of these terms is pretty clear and black & white. Physical pertains to that which is material (ie matter). Force is strength or power exerted upon an object. So physical force is when some material object (a club, a fist, a bullet) is exerted (comes into physical contact with) a person to coerce him, as opposed to non-physical force like persuasion. Violence is rough or injurious PHYSICAL force. Those definitions came from the dictionary--I didn't make them up.

In my opinion, the reason the left THINK they're not violent is because they delegate the task of using violence to someone else, while the right is more likely to exert the physical force themselves. It's like if I hire a hitman to shoot my wife, and then insist I'm not violent because I never touched the gun myself. For example, Piers Morgan, who identifies as 'left', calls for a ban on guns and advocates a law ordering the police to make house-by-house raids to confiscate guns, which means that if someone resists this physical force, they will get arrested and/or a court order, if they continue to resist, they will get tased, and if they someone manage to still resist that physical force, they will get shot. Now, who is the violent one? Piers, or the elderly daughter of a cop who keeps her dad's sidearm in a momento box and has never threatened anybody. Piers would insist that he's NOT violent purely because he's not himself holding the gun—he uses his power of the vote to compel someone else (a policeman) to hold the gun at his behest (or he would if were able to vote).

When I say stuff like this people insist I must be an NRA card-carrying right-winger, because it's inconceivable that I might actually firmly oppose something and somehow resist the temptation to use force to get what I want. But, the fact is I've never touched a gun and want to live in a gun-free society as much as Piers. The only difference is that I want to find a non-violent way to solve the problem. I don't think a good solution to violence is to introduce MORE violence, and that a way to get guns off our streets is to use MORE guns. I understand that Piers' is the natural policy choice. Like everyone else, when I see something I don't like, my first instinct is to use force to make it stop. But I don't think it's fair to use someone else as my proxy to commit violence in my behalf, and then trick myself into thinking my hands are clean. Thus I would abstain from voting at all on a gun ban, like in the UK, no matter how badly I wanted to get rid of guns. I'd favor instead trying peaceful alternatives, which may be more complicated and even less effective, and reserve voting for the use of force only as a last-ditch effort if it was absolutely unavoidable. But I've never heard anyone on the left reject the use of violence—they just pretend that it's not force if they get the police to do it. However, by that definition, the SS wasn't violent either and the Holocaust was a peaceful event.

You are generalizing something that is not even general or representative.

The state, including the police, is a right-wing institution that specific left-wing groups, like anarchists/libertarians, oppose.

Piers Morgan? Really? You could have at least said Stalin. It is because of Stalin, also, that we all know that atheism implies violence and repression, so you might of as well used Stalinism as the example for why the left implies violence and repression.

But, pacifism exists.

It is not a requirement that people be consistently on the left with regard to every aspect, and absolute pacifism isn't a requirement, but there were groups of people like non-violent movements rejecting racism, segregation and inequality, unjust social institutions and state repression, in the South during the Civil Rights Movement, as an example.

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07-09-2013, 07:01 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2013 07:22 PM by frankksj.)
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:I apologize - I missed that. However, other libertarians I have encountered equate coercion (fines) with violence.

Understandable. Few people use the term the way I do. Remember, if you were to put my views on the political spectrum, I am definitely 'left', just like you. That's never changed. I still want to achieve the same goals that you do, like equality. And like everyone else on the left, I started out advocating the use of violence to achieve those goals, and convinced myself that it wasn't violence if the police held the gun and not me. The only thing that's changed is that I've accepted violence is violence no matter who holds the gun. And, purely as a practical matter, although violence can be used to achieve great things, looking at history, more often than not it's backfired horribly. So remember, we're on the same side and both trying to achieve the same goals, I'm just trying a different path to get there.

And this leads in to my answer to the question, “But don't we need governments to build roads and bridges”. First, the question is wrong. It makes absolutely no difference if a government or a corporation builds the roads. In fact most of the time the government doesn't actually build the roads anyway—a corporation does. So the real question is, “Should roads be built using force, where we're physically forced to pay for the roads whether we like it or not? Or should it be a voluntary choice?” Now here's why I think we made a huge mistake in the early 20th century when we abandoned the non-aggression principle and returned to using physical force to build transportation infrastructure.

Up until that point, at least in the US, all transportation was private. It was not considered a role of government. In the 140 years from the country's founding, with zero government involvement, the country went from having zero infrastructure to, in 1916, having a long-haul rail system with 65,000 railroad passenger cars most air-conditioned some traveling at speeds over 100 mph on 254,000 miles of track. For local transportation, nearly every city, town and village with a population over 2,500 had a mass electric transport system. There was vicious competition between 1,200 different privately-owned electric mass transit companies, carrying 15 billion passengers annually, and 90% of all trips were on mass transit. The country was covered with privately owned roads and bridges, had modern concrete and pavement, and even had synchronized traffic lights. The roads were used for local transportation only. It wasn't that the private sector lacked the means to build interstate freeways, it was simply that there was no demand for them because in a free market system without coercion, people will obviously take the safer, faster, more comfortable and less expensive product and pass on passenger cars that were hot, unreliable, uncomfortable, expensive slow death traps. If they needed a car locally, there were car rental companies anyway. And the latest innovation at the time was the design for a vacuum evacuated tube that could whisk passengers around safely and comfortably at thousands of miles an hour. Those are all facts I can substantiate if you doubt any of them.

But then everything changed... Politicians vowed to save the people from those evil private transportation companies. Fares were regulated, causing transportation companies to stop investing in infrastructure since the quality of their product no longer determined how they could charge for it. So, to help the people, in 1935 Congress passed a law mandating all those private transport companies sell their assets to 'National City Lines', which was, unknown to anybody at the time, secretly controlled by GM, Firestone, Standard Oil and Philips, who proceeded to dismantle the entire infrastructure that the private sector had built, and instead lobbied Congress to pass laws, such as the New Deal, forcing everyone to pay for a network of new highways. Passenger rail was ultimately nationalized, as the government-owned Amtrak. (Hypocrisy alert: The US embargo on Cuba is for nationalizing their industry).

Instantly, all innovation and progress in transit system reversed course. While the private sector exploded with innovation over the 80 years that followed, as for the nationalized rail service, it had only 10% of the track it did before, rail cars were actually running SLOWER, and few use public transport anymore. What's more, only a handful of major cities have local metro systems anymore, whereas before nearly every town had a metro.

Naturally nobody can prove what would have happened if we had continued to let transportation be handled by a free market system where travelers chose the mode of transport that provided the safest, fast and least expensive way to get from point a to point b, from thousands of service providers competing with each other to get their business. But, if you just plot the historic progress using some objective measure, like 'miles of passenger rail', the chart looks like ^ and, had innovation continued at the same pace it was before the change, my guess is we'd all be zipping around in vac-tubes right now, and we wouldn't spend years of our lives stuck on crowded freeways, suffering through 6 million accidents each year, resulting in 3 million injuries, nearly 50,000 deaths.

People say libertarians are pro-corporations for wanting to have unregulated, purely voluntary transport, but who were the ones secretly driving the regulation? It was the big corporations, like GM and the oil companies. The regulation was supposed to benefit the people at the expense of the corporations, but it got turned around and benefited the corporations at the expense of the people. So, I see myself as 'anti-corporation' because I want the people who are using the service to be the ones in the driver's seat, making all the decisions—not some politician who is in the pocket of the big corporations' lobbyists.

Next, let's look at the roads themselves. There've been tons of concepts for next generation roads, like embedded induction charging, built-in traffic monitoring with light alerts, machine-readable lanes to allow for self-driving cars, etc., etc. But, road technology hasn't changed since they changed to a force-based government system. It's the same materials that were used 100 years ago. In fact, it's a struggle just to get cities to synchronize the traffic lights. And, under the private system, the volume of roads was sufficient to ensure there almost never traffic jams, and the roads were well-maintained. Now, however, they're heavily congested and, ironically, the people who say government roads are necessary are the same ones complaining that our government roads and bridges are falling apart and woefully inadequate ever since they were nationalized.

Air transport. Same thing. The government took over and set all fares supposedly to protect passengers from the airlines. But the airlines were writing their own regulations in order to ensure maximum profit and stifle any competition. For example, in 1967 a young airline, World Airlines, applied for permission to operate a low-cost flight from LA to NY; the CAB studied the request for over six years only to dismiss it because the record was "stale”, so that “In 1974 [before the government deregulated air transport] the cheapest round-trip New York-Los Angeles flight (in inflation-adjusted dollars) that regulators would allow: $1,442. Today one can fly that same route for $268”. And that quote is from a leftist liberal, Supreme Court Justice Breyer.

Space travel. This is one area where a few years ago I would have conceded with the left that this had to be left to a system of coercion because the upfront cost is so high, and the payoff so far in the future, I thought it wouldn't be possible to get the private sector to do it. When Nasa announced they were privatizing space travel, I had my doubts. But boy was I wrong. In this very short time, private space travel companies have reduced the cost (ie price per pound into orbit) by 90%! Now there's thriving competition in the 'space tourism' sector with competing companies offering 'space vacations' for private citizens, and Mars One is recruiting volunteers to live in a permanent martian colony in only 9 years! This stuff was wild science-fiction that I never thought would come in my lifetime a few years ago. But the rate of innovation has exploded at a breakneck speed ever since the private sector took over.

So when people tell me “We must have taxpayer-funded roads because no voluntary organization could accomplish it”, I think that's ridiculous. The private sector can builds roads on Mars, but can't build a road from LA to SF? Really?

Lastly, look at all the other industries that are still regulated. In all major cities except Washington DC, the government took over the taxi industry requiring operators get licenses or medallions that go for up to $1 million per car. The public accepted the regulation that was supposed to protect them—but it was actually a cartel of taxi kingpins who took over the regulation because it keeps small competitors out. Entrepreneurs have tried to bring innovation to the sector, like Lyft, the pink moustached ride sharing system that allows it easy for the unemployed to make a quick buck, and for passengers to have a fun, affordable experience. It's a win-win breakthrough for everyone—except the taxi kingpins. So they used the regulation to get cease & desists to Lyft to prevent this innovation. Car rental, same thing. FlightCar came up with a brilliant system where they match up people flying out with those flying in so instead of paying to park your car at the airport, you just drop it off at the airport and actually GET PAID to let someone else use your car while you're gone. Another huge win-win for everyone except the rental car companies. So, again, they used government regulation (ie physical force) to drive them out every market they can. Car dealers, same thing. Tesla took car sales into the 21st century, letting people configure and order their cars over the internet without a middle-man dealership to drive up the prices. But, (from NBC) “48 states prohibit or limit the direct sale of automobiles, thanks to long-established laws requiring car purchases to go through a licensed third party. This is a major problem for Tesla, a company which is trying to reinvent not only cars, but also how they are sold.”

I am NOT at all pro-corporation. I want to see the taxi kingpins dining at the soup kitchen, and read about Avis and Hertz in the obituaries. And even the ones I like, like the libertarians who founded Tesla, I want Elon Musk to tell his shareholders that he doesn't have any profits to distribute because the competition is so fierce they had to slash prices and invest every dime they had in r&d to find the next innovation. When I say 'deregulate all forms of transportation' it's only because I want to be whisked cross country for $100 at supersonic speeds in a comfy vac tube, not waste years of my life breathing in smog on jammed up freeways, not swelter in the heat from global warming because of all the horribly inefficient gas-guzzling greenhouse gas generators we drive, and not worry that my loved ones will be one of the hundreds of thousands of people who end up as road kill in their cars. It has nothing to do with me wanting to help corporations—it's the opposite. I want them to duke it out and I want to see all the stale companies that don't have any new ideas die instead of being to prosper because of government protection.

I know it sounds crazy to say we'd all be zip from LA to NY in 30 minutes by now had the government taken over, but remember that if 20 years I told you we'd all have super-computers in our pockets that let us video chat with anyone on the planet and access millions of hours of content on demand, you'd also have thought I was batshit crazy. It always sounds crazy to speculate about how advanced things would be 'if only'. However, I think if you're honest you'll admit that it's entirely possible.
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08-09-2013, 09:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 09:44 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Differences in political views.
(07-09-2013 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  There IS a peaceful, non-violent way for governments to get the tax revenue they need to function properly. Remember, in Switzerland, there is no criminal penalty for refusing to pay taxes—nobody is ever threatened with physical force (ie jail time) for refusing to send in their tax return (which is a postcard). Yet, their tax compliance rate is actually higher than in the US, and the government provides better services even than Sweden, light years better than the US, and the government gets its revenue solely from taxes, they have no natural resources, AND they generally run a budget surplus. And they do it simply by following the libertarian philosophy enshrined in their constitution—which is actually modeled after the US constitution. But, my experience is that every time I explain to Democrats and Republicans how our common goal of a functioning government can be accomplished without the use of violence, they refuse to listen. They're so programmed to think that violence is the only solution to all our problems that they cover their ears when you talk about peaceful alternatives.
Yeah, that's a problem. People expect violence everywhere, whether they want it or not. I have a problem with Libertarians who look for violence in TVP. They don't understand that TVP is a libertarianism taken for granted, emphasizing HOW do we get things done in such a way, that libertarianism becomes obvious and taken for granted.
Sometimes I think they speak more of the violence than freedom, just like churchmen often speak more of the fire and brimstone than holiness.

(07-09-2013 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  That's the underlying principle described by classic liberals, like Bastiat. As a side point, a lot of people falsely accuse libertarians of being pro-corporation. This couldn't be further from the truth. A corporation, like a government, is just an abstract concept used for convenience—it's still just a group of individuals. So, libertarians are equally opposed to the super-human powers given to corporations, like 'limited liability' and 'corporate umbrellas' that protect shareholders from prosecution for doing things that would be criminal to do as a private party. Even guys like Ron Paul, Milton Friedman, have been explicit in this. In fact, Friedman once researched all the myriads of corporate monopolies that have existed worldwide in modern times and concluded that except for DeBeers (the diamond company), all the rest got that way by obtaining special government privilege. This means the government used physical force and violence on their behalf to get them their monopoly, generally because unsuspecting voters gave their politicians powers to initiate force (regulation) on their behalf, but, since the the purported beneficiaries (the public) are very broad and generally disinterested and disengaged in the process, and since the target of the force (a handful of corporations) is very narrow and their very existence depends on the outcome of the regulation so that they focus all their energies into shaping that regulation. Therefore, in the end, the use of force (regulation) usually gets secretly turned around so the corporations end up writing the regulation and the public unknowingly becomes the victim, and the use of force does nothing but empower the corporations to plunder from the people that the regulation was supposed to protect. I'll give you some examples later.
OK. We agree, if corporations were people, they would be psychopaths. But on the other hand, is the current economic and technical prosperity possible without corporations? What would we do without Google, Microsoft, Ford, IBM, Sony, and so on? Somehow I don't see how freely operating individuals could build a sterile environment, cut silicon crystal plates, create less than 20 nm transistors on it and then mass-produce it. Perhaps computer geeks would have to join into a joint venture and work as comrades. Employment is, as Fresco puts it, a small fascism. So it's a little dilemma, you see. I wonder how Libertarians feel about this.

(07-09-2013 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  Now, although I agree with you that it would be great if all resources were shared, here's where belief in private property rights becomes practical. If you accept that individuals have the right to use force only defensively to repel physical force initiated against their persons or property, then governments don't need to have super-human powers that individuals do not have. If I, as a private person, have the right to defend myself and my home against the use of force, then I certainly can delegate my right to a protection officer, be it a policeman or private security, acting on my behalf to defend me and my property. Thus, in a libertarian society, individuals in governments or in corporations have no super-human rights—all men are equal and have the same rights. It's a neat, tidy system. Sure, TVP may at some time be a better system (I have no idea), but as of today, the libertarian system is the best I've seen. Many times objective criteria has been applied to rate countries based on how closely they adhere to the libertarian ideal: strictly defend persons and property from the use of force, or at least limit the use of force to a local area and let people leave without hindrance if they feel it's excessive. Then make a chart where the 'X' axis is 'how libertarian a country is' (0-100%) and put the countries on the bottom sorted by their libertarianistness. Then put objective measures of quality of life along the 'Y' axis, like life expectancy, infant mortality, average household wealth, etc. The dots always follow a general curve that the closer you get to 100% libertarian, the more you live long, happy, prosperous lives. It's not a bell-curve where you can be “too libertarian” and things start deteriorating. Switzerland generally scores near the top as being most libertarian, and they also score near the top on nearly every measure of quality of life. What, in my opinion, solidifies my belief in libertarianism is how, when you explain these things, liberals and conservatives heads explode and they spew all sorts of non-sense. Liberals will generally say, “But Switzerland is NOT 100% libertarian. I can find examples where the federal government used force. THEREFORE, we should move in the other direction, away from libertarianism.” That's literally the argument they use over and over! They'll look at these charts plotting infant quality of life and effectively say “We're here somewhere in the middle of the curve. Therefore, because no country on the chart is 100% libertarian, we shouldn't even try to head in that direction where people live long, healthy, prosperous lives. We need to run in the opposite direction, where people die young, miserable and destitute.”
Well, I don't see libertarianism as a system at all, more like a lack of a bad system. That certainly improves things. Every sociologist will tell you, we have technology of 21st century, but culture, institutions, mentality, from 15-17th century. So by giving up the big, old, powerful institutions we get closer to our true moral level, which is closer to 20th century, thanks to global awareness we get from the internet. But it's still not good enough, not 21st century awareness.

So let me tell you, I take the "lack of a bad system" for granted. I automatically jump to the question, "so how does a good system look like?" And I automatically answer myself, "a good system always uses latest scientific knowledge and grows with us, as our awareness grows." And the only thing that fits this criterion is TVP. Science really improves our lives and TVP is a system which poses least obstacles by far to direct application of science into our lives. That's how a good system looks like, not one that perpetuates personal opinions, be it through institutions or families. Libertarianism helps to contain the barbarism on personal level, which is a good start, but if bad things organize to be stronger, then good things can organize too.

The problem I see in America, some areas are so primitive, that it actually needs the government power to tell people what to do. It needs to regulate schools and child care, or Christians would teach creationism, lie about the history and science and let children die on curable diseases, because to take them to a doctor would be a lack of faith. Churches are like small theocratic governments.
What do you think is the church power tied to the government power?

Furthermore, how does libertarianism think of mass media? Will the problem of media solve itself without government? You know there is a reason why televangelism and commercials pay off so much.

(07-09-2013 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I'll get into your question about transportation later (this post is long enough). But, as you can see, to the libertarian there's nothing inherently wrong with taxation—it's a necessary price one must pay to have a functioning government that defends our liberties. The problem is with the use of force, violence and coercion, and stripping people of their freedoms. There are peaceful, voluntary ways to fund government without resorting to violence if you just have an open mind.
Wow, this situation in USA is like nightmare. It's feudalism all over again. We really are more peaceful and civilized. Considering what knowledge Libertarians have, they seem very nice and peaceful guys. Obama sends automatic weapons to rebels in Egypt to overthrow a government which no longer represents them. Then he says Americans have no reason to own automatic weapons. I'd say they do. But they should also stock up on non-lethal weapons, to not get portrayed by media as terrorists.

Well, I don't know how to fight the state power, but I might have an idea. What if we identified the families of policemen and got them to accompany the protests? I've seen many videos of policemen spraying tear gas into faces of peacefully protesting women. If these women were their mothers and wives, it might be a bit more difficult.
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08-09-2013, 11:35 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:Well, I don't see libertarianism as a system at all, more like a lack of a bad system. So let me tell you, I take the "lack of a bad system" for granted. I automatically jump to the question, "so how does a good system look like?"

I agree 100%. Even Milton Friedman said the exact same thing: libertarianism is NOT a belief that you know how things operate. To the contrary, it's a belief that, although we have opinions about how things work, we could be wrong. So we don't want to force those opinions on others who actually may have the right answer.

So how does a good system look like? What little I know about TVP sounds interesting. But I realize that whether I think it's good or not is totally unimportant. I want you guys to be able to try it out, and if it works, I'll come join you. So, I ask not 'what does a good system look like?', but rather 'how can we let the evolutionary process of natural selection run it's course so that all the systems can be tested and we'll see which one works best in the real world?'

So, let's assume that some billionaire owns an island in the Florida keys, and donates it and a bunch of cash to the TVP, and you setup a self-contained community to test things out and build your own infrastructure and start growing food. But sadly, a hurricane comes and wipes out your island, and TVP is on its last legs and you guys are starving. The non-libertarian argument is that the federal government should be granted the power to use force to compel neighboring states to donate food and humanitarian aid to rebuild your community. The libertarians, however, point out that the federal government (at least in theory) does whatever the majority wants. If the majority of Americans wanted to see the TVP succeed, you wouldn't need federal aid anyway because they would help you through voluntary charity. So the whole argument presumes that the overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to you and desperately want to see you starve to death and the TVP project die. Therefore, if the federal government is granted the authority to initiate force on behalf of the people, the force it'll initiate will NOT be to deliver aid, but rather to send in the military and haul you all off to Guantanamo for trying to setup what Americans would consider an illegal anti-american communist system. And we'll never know if TVP was a good solution or not because you never had a chance. Therefore, when libertarians say we want the federal government's role to be use force purely defensively, namely to defend the TVP against the threat of force, it's simply that, as a practical matter, under a libertarian system, you do have a fighting chance. All you need to do is find a handful of charitable people anywhere on the planet and you'll get the humanitarian aid you need to rebuild the TVP and get back on your feet. And that's a reasonable task. Getting 51% of the population to agree that maybe our whole concept of money is wrong and we should all support TVP, that's never going to happen.

I constantly hear the argument that libertarians focus solely on violence (physical force). And they say “What if a man is poor, sick, destitute and starving, sitting in a park begging for assistance, in the middle of a town full of rich people? You're cruel for suggesting the police need to play a purely defensive role, and not actively get involved, collecting taxes by force and using them to help the poor man.” But that's an absurd position. If the police's role is limited to defensive, defending everybody against force, the poor man needs to find only one decent, charitable person in the town to bring him food, and he will be back on his feet. If the townfolk, however, are so callous and cruel that they all want to let him starve, how is giving them the power to initiate force going to help? If the police's role changes from defense to offense, do you really think the police are going to take orders from the poor man? Of course not. To the contrary, at the town's behest, the police will simply imprison the man for vagrancy so that he starves to death out of their sight.

And so then the non-libertarian intellectuals like to switch to mental chess games, like: “Well, what if the police, instead of having guns with bullets, had laser guns? Photons have no mass, therefore it is not physical force, which is the definition of violence. So it's not violent to shoot him with a laser gun?” I love mental games too, so if were in a brain puzzle forum I'd say “Touche! You got me there.” But in a political forum, the goal is for everybody to throw out practical ideas to solve problems, not play games.

Quote:OK. We agree, if corporations were people, they would be psychopaths. But on the other hand, is the current economic and technical prosperity possible without corporations? What would we do without Google, Microsoft, Ford, IBM, Sony, and so on?

I guess I didn't make my point well. I'm NOT saying that Sergei and Larry shouldn't have been able to form a voluntary association that they call “Google” that operates according to a contract they mutually agree, and that Sergei and Larry couldn't invite other people to join the group, giving some of them a vote in management (ie shareholders), and others compensating them in some other mutually agreeable manner (salary). Thus, I think corporations, governments, clubs, secret societies, etc., are all fine. I just don't want them to be magically granted super-human rights by joining the group. If, for example, Sergei and Larry, as two guys, gave us written assurances that our emails are private and secure, when in fact they were secretly letting a 3rd party read our emails, then we could sue Sergei and Larry for fraud and collect damages. However, because they're hiding behind a corporate veil and granted immunity against charges of fraud for covertly helping the NSA and lying about it, they are given rights that individuals don't have. We are no longer their equals because they have the right to defraud us and get away with it, whereas we would go to jail.

Say we apply the libertarian litmus test “Is this ok for an individual to do? If 'NO', then it's not ok for a group to do.” That's not going to be the end of corporations. IMO, it's just going to make corporations more accountable, increase competition and result in consumers getting better goods and services.

Quote:It needs to regulate schools and child care, or Christians would teach creationism...

But if the majority of the population is Christian, which it is, the regulation is simply going to read that ALL schools must teach creationism—and in a generation, evolution will cease to exist and we'll all be creationists. I think it's MUCH better to NOT regulate schools. Sure, 90% may still teach creation. But, the 10% that teach evolution are going to do a far better job of educating their students, who are going to achieve more in life, and gradually win over the other 90%, eventually shifting the balance the other way. But if you regulate the schools, evolution has no chance of being taught. Don't forget that, even today, only 22% of Americans believe in evolution without god. And the only reason that number ever got to be 22% is because schools have, until relatively recently, NOT been federally regulated. If they were, that number would be 0%.

Quote:Furthermore, how does libertarianism think of mass media? Will the problem of media solve itself without government?

Jon Stewart had a great Daily Show episode about how the mainstream media placed a near-total moratorium on mentioning Ron Paul, the first libertarian candidate in decades to actually have a shot at the Presidency. But it was actually MUCH worse than even Jon acknowledged. Here's a video I highly recommend showing how blatant it got: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXlWiTPn7pQ

But, think this through.... Even leftist, liberal media channels were swapping results for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, making it appear that Santorum came out on top. Sure, the liberals won't like Ron Paul because he wants to reduce the size of government. BUT so did Santorum, and Santorum's policies were orders of magnitude more offense to the left. Ron Paul submitted a budget plan which included a pledge not to reduce social security, welfare or any entitlements, but rather to take the cuts mostly from the military. Santorum, however, vowed to INCREASE military spending and take the cuts from entitlements. Sure, both Santorum and Paul are Christian conservatives. But Paul said religion should not play any role in politics, whereas Santorum said the courts needed to start enforcing biblical laws and that he secular laws should be re-written to conform with the Bible (basically a Christian version of Sharia law). No joke. Sure, they're both anti-abortion. But Paul said it's just his personal opinion and he wouldn't support a national ban on abortion. Santorum insisted on a nationwide abortion ban. Sure, they're both homophobic. But Paul actually lost the first contest, the Iowa straw poll, defending gay people. The Iowa party called on all candidates to pledge support for a national ban on gay marriage, and Paul was the only one who refused, and so they urged a boycott of him.

The list goes on and on... I get why liberal media wouldn't like Ron Paul. But are we seriously supposed to believe that all the mainstream liberal journalists, all on their own, without outside influence, decided that Rick Santorum was SO much better than Ron Paul that they would abandon their journalistic oath and falsify results to boost Santorum and drive down Paul? It's just inconceivable. I'm a left-leaning liberal at heart, and Ron Paul is orders of magnitude less offensive than Rick Santorum. The fact that it was so universally coordinated with all mainstream media, there had to be some sort of external pressure on them.

Now, add to that how the GOP primaries went down. In Maine, in the counties where Ron Paul was polling way in top, voting was canceled. The official election results show '0'. But he STILL won Maine anyway, however at the actual GOP convention, security blocked his Maine delegates from entering. When he started winning Nevada, the GOP cut the power to the convention and circumvented the rules. However, at the GOP convention when he still had the majority of Nevada delegates, the bus driver carrying his delegates was ordered to drive them out of town. There were live tweets from his delegates while they were being kidnapped. And it went on and on. But despite it all, when it came to a floor vote at the GOP convention, he STILL had the majority of votes from more than 5 states, which meant he was required by election rules to be on the ballot.

So, at the convention while they're in the middle of voting for the candidate, Speaker of the House John Boehner proposes a rule change to bar Ron Paul from being on the ballot and he holds an immediate 'voice vote', and that's how he got removed. But here's the best part. There's cell phone video taken from behind Boehner as he's doing the voice vote, and you see that he's reading off a teleprompter, and the results of the vote were displayed on the teleprompter BEFORE the vote even took place. You can hear that the 'nays' were louder than they 'ayes', but Boehner just kept reading from the teleprompter 'the ayes have it', and so Ron Paul was barred. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...bAlY#t=113

Now, the laughable part is that Boehner is such a mindless robot that whoever was pulling the strings didn't trust him to handle a rigged vote and programmed him to read off the teleprompter. But, the one thing that nobody can deny is that SOMEBODY obviously loaded the election results on the teleprompter ahead of time. Surely the teleprompter operator didn't decide on his own to rig the election. And Boehner was supposed to be the most senior member of the Republicans. So WHO had authority over Boehner and was able to get the results loaded onto the teleprompter?

And then the biggest mystery of all, is that all the media at the convention was completely silent on everything that happened. They just happily reported that Romney won, and refused to talk about the rigged voting scandal that caused rioting on the convention floor. What if Russia did that? What if Putin, during the voting process, held a voice vote to strike his opponents' off the ballot, and video showed the results were rigged, but all the media turned off their cameras when it happened? It would be front-page news that Russia had a sham democracy and the media was censored.

Plus the media LOVES sensational news stories like this. It gets viewers glued to their TV's and drives up ad revenue. So WHY would all the media outlets fall on their sword and sacrifice a HUGE news story? I can see why the right-wingers at Fox would. But the left media? Wouldn't they LOVE to show how the right-wing convention was a total sham? Isn't it in their best interest to expose this? After all, if Ron Paul was such an unelectable candidate, wouldn't it benefit the left to report on what happened so that Obama would have gone against Paul, rather than the mainstream Romney? It was in the interest of the Democrats and the media to expose this, and it would have boosted the Democrats position to show how corrupt the Republicans were. So it's undeniable that whoever was behind this must exert great influence on BOTH Republicans AND Democrats, as well as the media outlets.

It's not a conspiracy theory, then, to suggest that there are some “American Mullahs”, who like Iran's Mullahs, have the power to decide who is an unacceptable choice for President. At least in Iran they know who their Mullahs are and can protest them. But who are the American Mullahs?
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08-09-2013, 12:43 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
@Luminon,

Quick PS re: your insight that libertarianism is different from a typical political system because it's really the absence of a system.

Further support of this is that at all the libertarian gatherings I've been to, nearly always libertarians refer to themselves as 'agnostic', which means “an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge”, and not 'atheist' which means you know for sure there is no “higher power”.

I often get frustrated with atheists, just like creationists, because they insist they know how we got here. And I always ask “So where did all the matter in the universe come from?”, and the answer is generally “The Big Bang”. Ok, so a creationist says there's a god who waved his wand and BANG!, all the matter in the universe exists. The atheist says essentially the same thing, just without the wand of god. Neither one is scientific. They're both leaps of faith that ignore the laws of physics. Einstein's E=MC2 showed that matter can only be created with a phenomenal amount of energy, but that the net amount of energy + matter is always the same regardless. The only scientific explanation I've heard to explain how the energy/matter got here that doesn't involve some external source was watching Stephen Hawking's recent presentation on modified string theory, something about vibrating dimensions beyond the 3 dimensions normal humans can comprehend. It went way over my head, so I have to admit I remain agnostic. But if you've somehow got it figured out, please give Hawking a call and fill him in because last I heard he still said his theory had holes, couldn't be proven, and he still didn't know if there was some external force (ie a “god”) involved that's beyond human comprehension.

Similarly, libertarians say that although we may have ideas about what's an ideal system that everybody should be forced to follow, we can never know for sure and it's too risky. What if, for example, you TVP'ers managed to take over the government and force everyone to adopt your system, and what if it ended up being a total disaster and took us back to the stone ages unable to even feed ourselves? Can you concede that no matter how sure you are of TVP, you could be wrong? Do you agree with that the libertarian philosophy that the more intelligent one becomes, the more he realizes how little he knows, and only fools think they know everything? So isn't it safer for our civilization if, whatever physical force (ie violence) your experiment needs to function, that it be constrained to a local level and that we all agree that participants must be guaranteed the right to leave your system in case it's not working out? I think of it as a safety valve in case we've made a mistake, because if everybody is forced to adopt TVP, whoever is ultimately wielding the power is never going to give it up no matter how obvious it becomes that it's not working.
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08-09-2013, 12:48 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
I'm creeped out at your name being so similar to mine. I thought your posts were mine for a second, but then I noticed that all your posts are serious, so I knew you couldn't be me. Big Grin

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08-09-2013, 05:17 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Interesting thread. I think the common link between religion and social issues is the 'us vs. them' attitude that is so prevalent in any discussion involving either subject. The problem isn't necessarily the titles assigned to people based on their belief structure, arbitrary though they may be, but the degree of absolutism that so many people think of as a necessary element to the titles they adopt. Many Christians who may otherwise seem like logical and compassionate people oppose issues like gay marriage simply because of some perceived loyalty to the things they are told they have to be as Christians. Same goes for political affiliations. Many Conservatives may oppose something just because it is supported by Liberals, or vice versa. This creates the extreme polarity we see in religion and politics. People who are able to look beyond these perceived boundaries and define their beliefs on their own, even if such beliefs disagree with the mainstream belief structure they otherwise adhere to, give a more fluid definition to these titles. People who adopt a belief system with the understanding that what they think and believe, though right to them, doesn't make opposing ideas any less valid, tear down the walls that separate groups of different belief structures.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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08-09-2013, 06:33 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(07-09-2013 07:01 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Up until that point, at least in the US, all transportation was private. It was not considered a role of government. In the 140 years from the country's founding, with zero government involvement, the country went from having zero infrastructure to, in 1916, having a long-haul rail system with 65,000 railroad passenger cars most air-conditioned some traveling at speeds over 100 mph on 254,000 miles of track.
Quote:Those are all facts I can substantiate if you doubt any of them.

Well, then what do you mean by "zero government involvement" with regard to building the infrastructure?

State-owned versus private/corporate-owned is one thing, but zero role by the state is another.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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08-09-2013, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2013 07:09 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Differences in political views.
(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I agree 100%. Even Milton Friedman said the exact same thing: libertarianism is NOT a belief that you know how things operate. To the contrary, it's a belief that, although we have opinions about how things work, we could be wrong. So we don't want to force those opinions on others who actually may have the right answer.
I see. TVP is based on a different premise. The premise says, that we can know how things work, if we do a scientific test. Nobody makes any decisions in TVP, people just perform studies until the choice is obvious from the results. We may accomplish almost anything we want, and be limited only by two things, resources and results of study if that's a good step. Most of TVP is already laid down, there is no danger of tough scientific dilemmas for daily living. But, the scientific, R&D and academic sector in TVP is huge, every city is built as a university city and they're all interconnected. So there is a potential to have daily scientific breakthroughs that will make 20th century look like an amber and fox tail experiment.

TVP says, that opinions are not relevant. What is relevant, is the study, experience and test. We entrust our lives to professionals, because they are more competent. Some Libertarians refuse to obey anything that tells them what to do, just because. Even science is too authoritarian for them. Well, science and TVP do not order people around, only announce the results. Educated people have respect towards science and choose freely to follow it. If they don't, they'll know how to check the study if it's well-made and if other studies confirm it. So Fresco says, people must be educated in how science works.

Don't get me wrong. Some local Libertarians do get me wrong, they think I am some kind of science fanatic. Nothing could be further for the truth. TVP is heavily based on science, so I talk about science. But I personally have some very weird observations and conclusions about the world and I have held them for many years and I hold them still, against many voices of reason and lack of reliable scientific studies. I have held them as long as I could gather enough data about them and present a reasonable, testable scientific case. So I can think for myself and be critical even to science. But I would not claim my conclusions authoritatively nor with any government power, it is more like an anonymous presentation, a personal confession.

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  So how does a good system look like? What little I know about TVP sounds interesting. But I realize that whether I think it's good or not is totally unimportant. I want you guys to be able to try it out, and if it works, I'll come join you. So, I ask not 'what does a good system look like?', but rather 'how can we let the evolutionary process of natural selection run it's course so that all the systems can be tested and we'll see which one works best in the real world?'
The problem with TVP is, it's not a self-contained community. It's a design of global infrastructure. It's the replacement for four sectors of economy including all the industries and products, urban architecture, global traffic and protection of environment. It's the Economy 2.0. Civilization 2.0.
Any community or research center is by definition not TVP. It can research TVP, study it, simulate it and prove that it works, but it's not it. It does not start as a community to compete, it can start if a few nations come together and decide to rebuild their infrastructure and pool their resources. It would be ideal if these nations were neighbors and at least one of them had an access to the sea. But the design is global.
Fresco says global infrastructure could be rebuilt like that in 10 years and then it would basically keep rebuilding and updating itself. It's a very different method of erecting buildings and laying down cities from mass-produced structural elements.

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  . Therefore, when libertarians say we want the federal government's role to be use force purely defensively, namely to defend the TVP against the threat of force, it's simply that, as a practical matter, under a libertarian system, you do have a fighting chance. All you need to do is find a handful of charitable people anywhere on the planet and you'll get the humanitarian aid you need to rebuild the TVP and get back on your feet. And that's a reasonable task. Getting 51% of the population to agree that maybe our whole concept of money is wrong and we should all support TVP, that's never going to happen.
It could happen. In this system, most money in America belong to 0,1 % of the richest bankers. Most people don't have much money, never had them and they know they never will. They know the American dream is a lie and that money don't hold on poor people and flow to rich people. And if TVP offers them a world in which they can have a very high standard of life without money or work, they'll take it. Of course it will need a major motion picture to give them the experience and solid evidence that it's possible, that we have the resources.
In fact, we do not really want money, or the things that they buy. We want to satisfy our needs and then we don't basically want or need the thing anymore. We only want to keep the money and things to be sure they'll be there in the future, when we need them. If that can be done by some other comparable way, for example a public access, more people will choose it, if that means less time spent at work to pay for exclusive ownership of everything, that we don't use all the time, like a car.

Monetary system is like chains. If a slaver binds me by chain and forces me to work, or I'll starve, it's bad. What if the slaver gives me green rectangular papers for the work, which are the only way to get food and housing and secure a family? What if the slaver gives me only a little papers at a time, so I always return to work for more? What if the slaver promises me more papers if I work harder? What if there are many such slavers around? I'll still be a slave, bound to work involuntarily. What if there comes a machine that does my work a hundred times better? The slaver will ditch me without a second thought, or he'll get taken over by other slavers. What if still more slavers get the machines? What if machines can replace even fairly sophisticated jobs? What if humans as an economic unit are obsolete, except as automation engineers? Well then, how do money get back into the economy? And who's going to buy these goods? Where will the masses, crowds, millions of people get public purchasing power, not to go into riots?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oby0ZdDYwiI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8ZzMGuPtRo
I think money as a method of access to goods and services is doomed, no matter the political or economic system. One of my problems with Libertarians is, that they do not seem to recognize this fact. They seem to say that new jobs will be created as always, but statistics just don't support that. Some more progressive ones say, that taxing the machine labor and giving all people a universal income is a good idea and even cheaper than a standard welfare system. I say, let's just eliminate the middlemen and let the machines work for us directly with resources.
By the way, these videos with food robots are obsolete, this robot can cook 600 dishes and is more compact as well.

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  And so then the non-libertarian intellectuals like to switch to mental chess games, like: “Well, what if the police, instead of having guns with bullets, had laser guns? Photons have no mass, therefore it is not physical force, which is the definition of violence. So it's not violent to shoot him with a laser gun?” I love mental games too, so if were in a brain puzzle forum I'd say “Touche! You got me there.” But in a political forum, the goal is for everybody to throw out practical ideas to solve problems, not play games.
Laughat LOL, man, that's even better than the golden toilet argument Smile Yes, that is definitely an pseudo-intellectual thinking that I see so often. Destroy the definition, destroy the internet opponent. It's like when Willam Lane Craig debates in the public, Christians don't understand him and think he's making real arguments.

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I guess I didn't make my point well. I'm NOT saying that Sergei and Larry shouldn't have been able to form a voluntary association that they call “Google” that operates according to a contract they mutually agree, and that Sergei and Larry couldn't invite other people to join the group, giving some of them a vote in management (ie shareholders), and others compensating them in some other mutually agreeable manner (salary). Thus, I think corporations, governments, clubs, secret societies, etc., are all fine. I just don't want them to be magically granted super-human rights by joining the group. If, for example, Sergei and Larry, as two guys, gave us written assurances that our emails are private and secure, when in fact they were secretly letting a 3rd party read our emails, then we could sue Sergei and Larry for fraud and collect damages. However, because they're hiding behind a corporate veil and granted immunity against charges of fraud for covertly helping the NSA and lying about it, they are given rights that individuals don't have. We are no longer their equals because they have the right to defraud us and get away with it, whereas we would go to jail.

Say we apply the libertarian litmus test “Is this ok for an individual to do? If 'NO', then it's not ok for a group to do.” That's not going to be the end of corporations. IMO, it's just going to make corporations more accountable, increase competition and result in consumers getting better goods and services.
Very well. I still think corporations can get super-human power all on their own, all they need is to buy out all the competitors and innovators and lock their inventions away. Some are like small nations, controlling lives of tens of thousands of employees.
It is an interesting thought, that if corporations lose government benefits, they'll somehow lose power and start behaving sanely. Right now, the first official advice McDonald's employees get on how to make the ends meet, is "get a second job."

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  But if the majority of the population is Christian, which it is, the regulation is simply going to read that ALL schools must teach creationism—and in a generation, evolution will cease to exist and we'll all be creationists. I think it's MUCH better to NOT regulate schools. Sure, 90% may still teach creation. But, the 10% that teach evolution are going to do a far better job of educating their students, who are going to achieve more in life, and gradually win over the other 90%, eventually shifting the balance the other way. But if you regulate the schools, evolution has no chance of being taught. Don't forget that, even today, only 22% of Americans believe in evolution without god. And the only reason that number ever got to be 22% is because schools have, until relatively recently, NOT been federally regulated. If they were, that number would be 0%.
You mean, a regulated curriculum is easy for Christians to change to creationism? That would be correct in places like Texas - school board controls the textbook market and it's full of people who adore Rick Perry. And most southern states use Texas textbooks. It's been hopeless until the electronic textbooks came.
But school board doesn't force schools to buy their textbooks, they just tie the question of extra funding with it.
So I'm not sure how would this deregulation look like, less taxes for families to pay for their schools, or a voucher program? What do you think about vouchers, I think I forgot the lesson.
Anyway, I think universities and employers will soon start asking their candidates what does evolution mean and how does it work. That'll say a lot about their schools and curricula.
Evolution through natural selection is a theory of change over time in populations on the level of genetic alleles due to random re-combination of genomes (or imperfect transmission) selected by non-random pressure from the environment. Evolution has been observed both in laboratory, wild environment and transitory fossils. "Congratulations, you're accepted! Sorry for the hassle, but we've got to watch out for those Louisiana college graduates with fake CVs."

(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  So, at the convention while they're in the middle of voting for the candidate, Speaker of the House John Boehner proposes a rule change to bar Ron Paul from being on the ballot and he holds an immediate 'voice vote', and that's how he got removed. But here's the best part. There's cell phone video taken from behind Boehner as he's doing the voice vote, and you see that he's reading off a teleprompter, and the results of the vote were displayed on the teleprompter BEFORE the vote even took place. You can hear that the 'nays' were louder than they 'ayes', but Boehner just kept reading from the teleprompter 'the ayes have it', and so Ron Paul was barred. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...bAlY#t=113
Man, this is terrible. I thought the two GWB elections were bad enough, one decided by a court and the other, the electronic voting machines were rigged, made by a company owned by Jeb Bush. And then remember, the first thing Obama did, was to bail out the banks.

Now, I don't think I see clearly what you say. I see Boehner reading about the rules and then about the ayes. I don't see the results displayed. Do I understand this right?
By the way, this is happening in my country as well, I was at an anti-government protests. The car with the organizers got ambushed by the police, and the main organizer got his hand hurt and was kept in hospital in cuffs. The car had loudspeakers on it and was kept for a day to keep the protesters from a planned march towards the national TV facility. The protests were based on people who had put the money together to buy 100 liters of diesel for an electric generator to power the loudspeakers. People don't protest here much, because they can't afford to travel.

A few months later the government scandals got so large and frequent, that we're having a premature elections in a few weeks. I'm afraid the socialists and communists are going to take most of the votes, but there might be some new parties in the house finally. My favorites are Pirates and Libertarians, but I'm going to give my vote to a man named Okamura who ran for a president candidate earlier and also got denied entrance. Imagine, a half-Japanese man, a former businessman comes here, becomes a senator and runs for a president. In a 100% white, isolated post-communistic Caucasian country, which means lots of latent xenophobia, and it doesn't stop him.
His votes were supposedly badly filled out, but he did not get the vote sheets back, so he can not verify the government claim. He got into debts over the election campaign expenses, but people backed him up. Okamura might clear the way for the new parties. I believe sometimes good program and arguments are not enough, we need a strong personality. Okamura doesn't lead a party, merely a political movement, there's probably a legal difference, probably no money for chairs in parliament, I think. His program is mostly criminal accountability for politicians and other very sensible things, which we do not have. I'd like to see more in his program, but unfortunately, politics is not a shopping bag. It's about people, not party programs.
I feel the Force is strong with this one, the light side of it, anyway.
I feel, the way I feel in relatively few people, that there is a light in their heads and they're not weak.

Politics is not about well-thought programs. A strong personality can bitch-slap the nation for 20 years, fuck it in all the holes, all positions (government positions), cum in its face and leave for retirement. Guess who did that, the pen-stealing president. You may laugh at him, but you might as well laugh at Al Capone for being fat. So as much as I'd love to see the rich, pristine and professional programs of my two favorite parties, they don't hold people by the heart. I believe that's the general Libertarian problem, they're just normal people who go into politics out of necessity, not because they have any talent for it. They are understood only by people of the same kind - intelligent, visionary, educated, dissatisfied... That's a very narrow band, a politician is someone who can broadcast on all wavelengths.


(08-09-2013 11:35 AM)frankksj Wrote:  It's not a conspiracy theory, then, to suggest that there are some “American Mullahs”, who like Iran's Mullahs, have the power to decide who is an unacceptable choice for President. At least in Iran they know who their Mullahs are and can protest them. But who are the American Mullahs?
I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but maybe there is something about all the good old big names - Rotschild, Murdoch, Buffet... I mean, all these people, their ancestors and their descendants went into the same colleges, joined the same frat clubs, appear in the same media and income brackets... I mean, the richer people get, the fewer of them and the richest must be pretty damn familiar with each other. It's a piece of cake to select presidential candidates who will do whatever they say no matter the party - bail out the bankers, first thing in the office, no problem. Bilderberg club or Trilateral commission, these names are thrown around all the time.

I believe the financial sector is responsible. The financial speculation has 76-times greater annual profit than all the GDP of national economies. That is claimed by Ignatio Ramonet, editor of the Le Monde magazine. This is quite insane, yet entirely real. Someone who controls this much money can control politicians, media and bring down economies. Recently I heard that all international media are owned by companies, which are owned by two companies. One of them was Reuters. The other is owned by Reuters.
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