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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones
    #2772185 - 06/07/04 05:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

It seems to me that the difference between fascism and libertarianism is one of ideological assumption:

Libertarians assume that the individual is best off if he is free to make his own decisions.

Fascists assume that the individual is a moron who is incapable of looking out for his own interests, and therefore must be told what to do.

I don't subscribe to either of these assumptions as an absolute rule, because I think that niether assumption is correct 100% of the time. However, both assumptions are sorrect some of the time.

The fascist perspective, for instance, can easily be disproven by example. If an individual cannot make his own decisions about, say, what kind of food he eats, and is instead forced to eat a certain kind of food that the government prescribes, this will obviously cause problems. What if food which is tolerable to most people conflicts with a certain individual's dietary needs? Because a dictator won't be able to know what is best for every individual, some individual autonomy is necessary. Also, we have to consider the probable influence of corruption: putting a bureacracy in charge of food supply would not only be wasteful and inneficient, it would also encourage elitism and selective privelege (kind of like when the pigs got all the windfall apples in Animal Farm )

The libertarian perspective, on the other hand, can also be disproven by example. The fact of the matter is, when you let people do anything they want to with their money, often times they do stupid, wasteful shit with it that is ultimately bad for themselves and their community. The popularity of the SUV is a good example of this. These cars are terribly designed, wasteful, and dengerous, and yet people keep buying them!!! A capitalist might say: "Well, those people are idiots and deserve their fate." But they don't realize that 'their fate' is ours, too. Because of the high demand for gasoline caused by SUV's, I have to pay high gas prices, even though I drive a neon that gets 25mpg. Wasting resorces on stupid trivial bullshit doesn't just effect the owner of those resources... it effects everyone!!!

anyway, the main point of this post is to say that niether extrem of the political spectrum is always correct, and that we must instead use our better judgement on a case by case basis. Obviously there are certain times when the individual is the best person to make the decision, and there are certain instances when the individual's judgement cannot be trusted.


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772306 - 06/07/04 06:20 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

The fact of the matter is, when you let people do anything they want to with their money, often times they do stupid,



Their choice.

Quote:

wasteful shit with it that is ultimately bad for themselves



Their choice, again.

Quote:

and their community.



Let's see...

Quote:

These cars are terribly designed, wasteful, and dengerous, and yet people keep buying them!!!



Their choice, AGAIN.

Quote:

A capitalist might say: "Well, those people are idiots and deserve their fate."



I would agree if said capitalist could actually prove they're all idiots and will suffer some fate. They are simply making a choice which they feel will suit them. Perhaps they don't mind whatever downfalls you see with the purchase of an SUV.

Quote:

Because of the high demand for gasoline caused by SUV's, I have to pay high gas prices, even though I drive a neon that gets 25mpg.



What about someone who rides around all day for fun, using up an exuberant amount of gasoline and therefore creating EVEN MORE demand then random soccer mom and her SUV? What about some conspiracy theorist whose hoarding gasoline for the imminent invasion of the Zetas? Should the government intervene in these situations too? It is really the same effect, despite being on a smaller scale.

In addition, many choices are available to you. You are free to sell your Neon(Wait! I may want to buy a Neon down the road and your selling of this car is creating demand and raising the price...someone call the Feds!), utilize public(how I wish it was private..) transportation, walk, invest in the variety of alternate fuel methods being developed, etc.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772401 - 06/07/04 06:50 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

DoctorJ said:
Libertarians assume that the individual is best off if he is free to make his own decisions.



Actually, it depends on which libertarian you're talking to. Usually, the individual is better informed of his particular situation and has a greater vested interest in the outcome, therefore he is usually in a better position to make an informed decision (yes, I know you touch on that later in your post). Many libertarians adopt their political philosophy on moral grounds (it's wrong to initiate force against another individual to achieve political or social goals), so even though an individual's choice may be said to be ill advised (mainlining RCs, for example), it is his life to decide to waste and not another's to save.

Quote:

Fascists assume that the individual is a moron who is incapable of looking out for his own interests, and therefore must be told what to do.



Fascists, along with all other stripes of statists seem to ignore that bad choices can just as easily be made by those with power over others. Their bad choices are then amplified in effect through the coercive mechanisms of the state (just to add to your other points, which I agree with).

Quote:

Because a dictator won't be able to know what is best for every individual, some individual autonomy is necessary. Also, we have to consider the probable influence of corruption: putting a bureacracy in charge of food supply would not only be wasteful and inneficient, it would also encourage elitism and selective privelege



Goods points and they apply to any form of government, even one democratically controlled.

Quote:

The libertarian perspective, on the other hand, can also be disproven by example. The fact of the matter is, when you let people do anything they want to with their money, often times they do stupid, wasteful shit with it that is ultimately bad for themselves...



Obviously they don't think so. How are you or I to decide what is right for another?

Quote:

... and their community.



Which community? Who defines community and towards what end? Their geographic community, such as Poedunk, ID? Their virtual community such as The Shroomery?

Quote:

The popularity of the SUV is a good example of this. These cars are terribly designed, wasteful, and dengerous, and yet people keep buying them!!!



My Ford Explorer is a very fine piece of engineering and has benefitted from years of experience of the manufacturers learning from mistakes and advances made by themselves and other manufacturers. Sorry, I tried keeping my sensible car, but after getting stuck 3 times going to and from my house, somehow it didn't seem so sensible...

Quote:

... I have to pay high gas prices, even though I drive a neon that gets 25mpg.



What's wrong with that? The owner of a car that gets worse gas milage pays even more for a given mile of travel than you, rising prices act as an incentive to alter behavior.

Quote:

Obviously there are certain times when the individual is the best person to make the decision, and there are certain instances when the individual's judgement cannot be trusted.



Like when individuals decides to lead their nation to war with deceptive propaganda? Like when individuals decide it's best to imprison marijuana users for their own good? Like when individuals decide to 'save the children' by pumping chemical weapons into their place of residence and starting a fire which burns them alive in their own home?

I understand what your point is, but on the balance by looking at human behavior throughout recorded history I am left with the impression that when people are compelled to support actions via the coercive mechanisms of the state for their own good or the good of the community (or nation, or humanity), we have had more bloodshed and terror visited upon us than by individuals freely screwing up their own lives and mistakenly screwing up their neighbor's lives. We should keep in mind that the same human failings which can make individuals unfit to govern themselves can make them unfit to govern others (quite a pickle...). So, what will keep damage to a minimum, individualism or statism? Does that depend on the situation? Who then decides and what are the motivations in their decisions?


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


Edited by Evolving (06/07/04 06:57 PM)


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2772405 - 06/07/04 06:51 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

all I am saying is that the basic assumption of libertarianism is inherently flawed because it is not supported by empirical evidence.  Anyone who honestly believes wholeheartedly in libertarianism probably doesn't have a very good understanding of the cognitive capabilities of the average person.  The field of social psychology, for instance, is dedicated to cataloguing the cognitive mistakes that human beings in the meat of the IQ curve make.  The field of marketing is dedicated to using these common mistakes to convince people of things which are not true.  And it works quite well. 

If one individual is stupid with their money, it probably won't have too big of an effect.  But if the majority of people are stupid with their money (a situation which I cannot help but see in the United States) it has a very bad effect on human existence.  And most people will be stupid with their money if they are allowed to be. 

The fact of the matter is that the general population is mainly comprised of idiots who make terrible decisions when left up to their own devices.  I really hate to admit that, but experience forces me to.  This isn't just bad for them, as some libertarians would say.  It is bad for the entire planet.  Because if the vast majority of humans waste their personal resources on ultimately pointless things, the important things (like scientific research and space exploration) remain undone. 

I really love your sig quote (from an idealistic standpoint) but I think it is unrealistic.  What the masses want isn't always right. 

you want an arguement against lassiez faire capitalism?  Take a look at the Top 40 billboard chart.  Thats the kind of stupid shit that people waste their resources and human productive effort on when given the freedom to do so.  People all over the world are starving and yet americans would rather spend $17 on a fucking Avril Lavigne CD than end their suffering.  What a waste :nonono:


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Evolving]
    #2772455 - 06/07/04 07:07 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

ahh, i see you've asked the toughest question of all:  "Who should be in charge?"

Personally, I think the smartest people should be in charge.  Unfortunately, our methods of assessing intellectual capacity are flawed and could be described as mired in a rudimentary stage of development.  This is something I hope to help change in my career as a psychologist.  We need objective means of intelligence assesment quite badly, IMO. 

I'm a big fan of socialist meritocracy.  It seems to work for the Indian Institue of Technology, which is arguably the best college in the world.  In that community, the amount of power a person has is determined by their class rank and GPA.  Students pretty much run the school, and they have been quite successful in doing so. 

Quote:

What's wrong with that? The owner of a car that gets worse gas milage pays even more for a given mile of travel than you, rising prices act as an incentive to alter behavior.





What if they can easily afford it and I can't?  Why should I suffer for their waste? 

Quote:

We should keep in mind that the same human failings which can make individuals unfit to govern themselves can make them unfit to govern others




A very good point.  I think its a matter of putting the right people in the right positions.  Which is something that Americans are absolutely TERRIBLE at.  Don't even get me started on the mistakes that Human Resources people make...  :nonono: 

Quote:

what are the motivations in their decisions?




The survival and prosperity of the human race.


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772531 - 06/07/04 07:27 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

The fact of the matter is that the general population is mainly comprised of idiots who make terrible decisions when left up to their own devices. I really hate to admit that, but experience forces me to. This isn't just bad for them, as some libertarians would say. It is bad for the entire planet. Because if the vast majority of humans waste their personal resources



Damn...and I thought I was cynical. I think you are significantly off-base in your thoughts on the majority of people. While not everyone is a Nobel Laureate, I would say there is a relatively small percentage of people that are truly idiots unable to make anything close to a correct decision for themselves. "Bad" decisions are also very subjective. While a mother of eight buying heroin instead of food to feed her children is a bad decision which should be the target of government(local) intervention, a mother of eight buying an SUV as opposed to a compact car is not.

Quote:

on ultimately pointless things, the important things (like scientific research and space exploration) remain undone.



Those things may be important to you(and me), but that doesn't mean they're important to Bob down the street.

Quote:

I really love your sig quote (from an idealistic standpoint) but I think it is unrealistic.



It looks unrealistic because of how ridiculously large the government of today is. There is time yet to change that.

Quote:

What the masses want isn't always right.




Er, that's pretty much what Thomas Jefferson is saying in the quote. Even though a majority of people like welfare, it is tyrannical to force me to be a part of the program if I disagree.

Quote:

you want an arguement against lassiez faire capitalism? Take a look at the Top 40 billboard chart. Thats the kind of stupid shit that people waste their resources and human productive effort on when given the freedom to do so. People all over the world are starving and yet americans would rather spend $17 on a fucking Avril Lavigne CD than end their suffering. What a waste



You, of course, don't spend any money on entertainment? I have no doubt that ALL OF YOUR excess money is diverted to NASA and the African AIDS charities?

I hope you'll tell me the last paragraph was a total joke because it's really disheartening to read that. If someone happens to gain pleasure from listening to Avril Lavigne and feels $17 for one of her CDs is a fair trade, who are you to tell them they are wasting the resources THEY EARNED?


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2772580 - 06/07/04 07:42 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

The fact of the matter is that the general population is mainly comprised of idiots who make terrible decisions when left up to their own devices. I really hate to admit that, but experience forces me to. This isn't just bad for them, as some libertarians would say. It is bad for the entire planet. Because if the vast majority of humans waste their personal resources on ultimately pointless things, the important things (like scientific research and space exploration) remain undone.




Ancalagon have you ever watched the episode of The Man Show where they try to get women to sign a petition ending women's suffraging? Did you see how many actually signed the petition?

It is possible I set my standards too high but every day I meet people that I can't imagine even being able to tie their own shoes.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772598 - 06/07/04 07:47 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Intelligence is not as directly related to ability to make good decisions as you might think.

Quote:

We need objective means of intelligence assesment quite badly, IMO.




In order to do that all we need is a scientific definition for "good decision".

To find that, we will need to understand the true meaning of "good".

We get a good scientific definition of "good", then we are ready to cook.


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: cb9fl]
    #2772602 - 06/07/04 07:48 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Bleh, don't reply to me then quote someone else, you're making me look bad!

I actually did see that episode...hilarity. You have to realize, however, that while they showed a few people idiotic enough to sign, they may have been there twenty days waiting for those few people. I still stand by my assertion that only a relatively small number of people are so completely inept at decision making that they need someone or something else to do it for them.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772740 - 06/07/04 08:36 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Personally, I think the smartest people should be in charge.



Being intelligent does not mean you have the best interests of others in mind.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2772741 - 06/07/04 08:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

In order to do that all we need is a scientific definition for "good decision".

To find that, we will need to understand the true meaning of "good".

We get a good scientific definition of "good", then we are ready to cook.




I think what this requires is an objective perspective, which most people are completely incapable of, including myself to a certain degree.

from an objective perspective, the survival of our species is much more important than the comfort of one individual. But to an individual, personal comfort may sadly be more important than the ultimate survival of our species. This selfish flaw in human nature is what makes many individuals incapable of making objectively 'good' decisions.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2772770 - 06/07/04 09:01 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Damn...and I thought I was cynical. I think you are significantly off-base in your thoughts on the majority of people.




How I wish that were true.  But if I were to believe that I would have to burn most of my textbooks and somehow convince myself that the evidence that those studies have shown me is bogus. 

Quote:

I would say there is a relatively small percentage of people that are truly idiots unable to make anything close to a correct decision for themselves. 




Well, I'm not trying to speak in absolutes here, and I am certainly willing to admit that there are many instances in which the individual is the best person to make the decision.  However, there are well-documented cognitive deficiencies which studies have shown to afflict the vast majority of people.  Politicians and advertising agencies have been using them to manipulate public opinion for centuries. 

Quote:

Those things may be important to you(and me), but that doesn't mean they're important to Bob down the street.




But what if those things are important to Bob's (and our) survival and he is simply too ignorant to realize it?  Should we let his bad judgement seal our fate?

Quote:

Er, that's pretty much what Thomas Jefferson is saying in the quote. Even though a majority of people like welfare, it is tyrannical to force me to be a part of the program if I disagree.





I didn't see anything in that quote about welfare.  Its about forcing people to pay for propaganda they don't believe in.  I must admit, I generalized it the same way you did and took it to mean something more broadsweeping:  forcing anyone to pay for something they don't want is wrong. 

But the fact of the matter is that what people want isn't always 'right' in the objective sense.  What most Americans want is trivial and superficial:  they care more about maintaining the length of the grass on their lawn and buying a new car every year to impress the neighbors than things which are ultimately more important, such as the survival and prosperity of our species as a whole. 

Quote:

You, of course, don't spend any money on entertainment? I have no doubt that ALL OF YOUR excess money is diverted to NASA and the African AIDS charities?





excess money?  :lol:  I'm to smart to have money, dude.  In our society, money is awarded to idiots who jump through hoops, not people who think for themselves. 

Quote:

I hope you'll tell me the last paragraph was a total joke because it's really disheartening to read that. If someone happens to gain pleasure from listening to Avril Lavigne and feels $17 for one of her CDs is a fair trade




Well, i consider myself a patron of the arts, and i think anyone who had an education in music would agree that Avril's music is exceptionally bad.  The only reason anyone would buy it is principly because of a marketing machine which was carefully designed to take advantage of the intrinsic cognitive deficiencies of the masses. 

Think about what it took to produce that music.  Someone had to get her in the studio, record her aweful caterwauling, mix it down, mass press the CD's, someone had to come up with a marketing plan, clothes designers had to be consulted, and a huge media infrastructure was deployed to promote the shit. 

Thats a lot of productive human effort and resources which could have been expended to do something much more important. 

If we continue with our current priorties, we will all be watching television when the world ends, wondering if we could have done anything to stop it. 

Quote:

who are you to tell them they are wasting the resources THEY EARNED?




We must all earn our place in the universe, or the universe will leave us behind and we will fall into nothingness.  Right now I think we are losing the battle by allowing idiots to allocate finite resources to things which are ultimately of no benefit to our survival.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: silversoul7]
    #2772785 - 06/07/04 09:05 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Being intelligent does not mean you have the best interests of others in mind.






I think it depends on how intelligent you are. Hitler was very intelligent, but obviously he was not intelligent enough to realize his plans were doomed to failure. He underestimated the power of his two greatest weapons, fear and bigotry, in the hands of his opponents.

also, 'best interest' doesnt always mean the solution that everyone will like. Often times the best thing to do is what nobody wants to do. Often times the problems that the universe throws at us require discipline and self-sacrifice to solve. Who else but a fascist can force people to make the right decisions when they want so badly to make the wrong ones?


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772799 - 06/07/04 09:09 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

How can you objectively distinguish "good" music from "bad" music.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2772813 - 06/07/04 09:14 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

yeah, I knew I was gonna get in trouble for using an example that apparently subjective.

if I wanted to put a whole lot of effort into proving her music was objectively bad, I probably could, but its just not worth my time.

let me ask you this. How many copies do you think she would have sold as an independant artist with no promotion? If you were to take marketing and professional studio production (of both her voice and appearance) out of the equation, how well do you think she would have done? My hypothesis is not very.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772843 - 06/07/04 09:26 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

If Beethoven were alive today how popular do you think he would be?


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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2772852 - 06/07/04 09:31 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

the fact that bethoven is still popular despite not being alive is a testament to the brilliance of his music.

however, that question is really difficult to answer. If he lived in this time period his music would be completely different, so I dont know.

also, bethoven was considered a genius mainly because of the time period he lived in. I mean, he was the first person to do certain things because music theory was at a different stage of its evolution back then.

Thats like asking if Newton would still be considered a genius if he did his work today... probably not, I mean gravity has already been enumerated much more accurately... but it couldnt have been so without him...

like I said, thats a wierd question involving temporal issues which defy logical analysis


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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772867 - 06/07/04 09:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

1.) Bethoven isn't really very popular... famous, but not popular

2.) Beethoven was marketed


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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2772967 - 06/07/04 10:16 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

How I wish that were true. But if I were to believe that I would have to burn most of my textbooks and somehow convince myself that the evidence that those studies have shown me is bogus.



I'm very interested as to what kind of empirical data exists that suggests a certain number of people would be better off with an outside person or entity making the decisions of their life for them.

Quote:

Well, I'm not trying to speak in absolutes here, and I am certainly willing to admit that there are many instances in which the individual is the best person to make the decision. However, there are well-documented cognitive deficiencies which studies have shown to afflict the vast majority of people. Politicians and advertising agencies have been using them to manipulate public opinion for centuries.




So because people have been manipulated and propagandized throughout history by government, therefore government should directly intervene in the personal decisions of individuals. I can't say I follow your train of logic.

Quote:

But what if those things are important to Bob's (and our) survival and he is simply too ignorant to realize it? Should we let his bad judgement seal our fate?



I think this is a main source in our difference of opinion. I personally feel you are being ridiculously sensationalist with regard to the survival of the human species. I have no problem with the government spending national defense money towards asteroid-defense systems(I'd bet a large sum this has been worked on for decades as is and multiple contingency plans are in place). HOWEVER, there is no reason for government to come to my house and seize my assets because money I am spending to further my happiness(entertainment) is a complete waste of human resources according to our Fuhrer DoctorJ and should go towards the prevention of a potential future asteroid.

Quote:

I didn't see anything in that quote about welfare. Its about forcing people to pay for propaganda they don't believe in. I must admit, I generalized it the same way you did and took it to mean something more broadsweeping: forcing anyone to pay for something they don't want is wrong.




I'd appreciate if you could show me where you acquired this enhanced insight into the quote through a PM.

Quote:

But the fact of the matter is that what people want isn't always 'right' in the objective sense. What most Americans want is trivial and superficial: they care more about maintaining the length of the grass on their lawn and buying a new car every year to impress the neighbors than things which are ultimately more important, such as the survival and prosperity of our species as a whole.




I would contend the examples above of the purchase of a service and the purchase of a product DO contribute to the prosperity of our species. Tell me, would you end the profession of gardener because the money going towards them could be used towards what you think constitutes the survival of our species?

Quote:

We must all earn our place in the universe, or the universe will leave us behind and we will fall into nothingness.



That's very cute and very meaningless with relation to this discussion.

Quote:

Right now I think we are losing the battle by allowing idiots to allocate finite resources to things which are ultimately of no benefit to our survival.



Which resources? Human wealth is NOT finite...that is fallacy.

There was a time when ALL humans cared about was their survival...society has advanced to the point where we can prevent the cataclysm an asteroid impact would have upon our planet BECAUSE we began to care about more than just survival.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Fascism vs. Libertarianism: philosophical undertones [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2773680 - 06/08/04 02:24 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I'm very interested as to what kind of empirical data exists that suggests a certain number of people would be better off with an outside person or entity making the decisions of their life for them.





I never said such data existed. I merely stated that people make mistakes in their thinking. These mistakes are common in most people, and tend to occur in specific situations.

The women's suffrage thing is an example of one of these mistakes. In this case, it was the hueristic governing the assesment of an unfamiliar word's meaning which failed the individual. The women used an ineffective hueristic to determine the meaning of the unfamiliar word 'suffrage', which caused them to come to the erroneous conclusion that the word had a similar meaning to 'suffering'.

I don't know what the statistical data is on that particular 'experiment'; since it was for a sketch on TV they probably didn't take any data, and who knows how they edited the clip. It could have taken several days or just 5 minutes to get that many women to sign. But I can tell you that the statistics behind real experiments have shown that the vast majority of people make mistakes just like this one quite predictably in certain situations. I'm sure that there has been a cognitive study on the hueristic failures of unfamiliar word assesment. Its common sense that if you run accross a word and you don't know the meaning, you will probably assume it means something similar to a word with a similar structure that you DO know... So the authors of this skit could probably predict pretty accurately that most people would make this mistake when presented with an unfamiliar word. The only thing that they left up to chance was the bet that most women wouldn't know what the word 'suffrage' meant. Which is a pretty safe bet considering the sorry state of our educational system.

Quote:

So because people have been manipulated and propagandized throughout history by government, therefore government should directly intervene in the personal decisions of individuals. I can't say I follow your train of logic.





please refrain from speaking in absolutes. I'm talking about specifics. The implied 'always' in your post is very bothersome to me. No the government shouldn't always intervene, but there are certain situations in which the individual isn't the best person to make the decision.

You need to stop blaming exterior influences for humanity's problems. Humanity's problems stem from humanity. Its easy to blame 'the government' or 'religion' for people's problems. But the fact is that these things are not exterior influences effecting mankind; they are creations of mankind. People created and continue to support the institutions of government and organized religion, despite the fact that they have often been detrimental to our existence. People rob and steal from eachother, kill eachother, of their own free will. No one has forced them to do this. It is intrinsic to their nature. Force and order could be used positively to enhance the human experience and our understanding and manipulation of the universe. But instead, people have used force and order to destroy eachother. This is not force and order's fault. It is the people's fault.

Its like I am fond of saying: You teach people how to build a cooking fire, next thing you know they are burbning eachother's houses down. Its not the fire's fault, its people's fault. people are morons.

Quote:

I think this is a main source in our difference of opinion. I personally feel you are being ridiculously sensationalist with regard to the survival of the human species.




I believe we have reached the point in our evolution as a species where we need to start realizing how fragile our existence is and take steps to strengthen our foothold in the universe. I don't see how that is a sensationalist viewpoint; I think it is very practical. I do however, think that it is impractical to conspicously consume resources for purposes which are non-essential to our survival. Especially given our increasing population and our decreasing ability to provide for it.

I'm not saying that consumption is wrong, nor am I saying that enjoying a decent quality of life is wrong. But if we are to keep living the way we do, and allowing more people to live the way we do, we need to set some serious resources aside for expanding our boundaries past the confines of planet earth. Eventually this planet will no longer be able to provide for us, and we will have to seek other sources of matter and energy. But unless we start investing serious energy and forethought into this right now, we will be unable to do what is necessary for our species to outlive the earth itself. The destruction of earth is an astronomical and statistical inevitability; what are you planning to do about it?

Quote:

HOWEVER, there is no reason for government to come to my house and seize my assets because money I am spending to further my happiness(entertainment) is a complete waste of human resources according to our Fuhrer DoctorJ and should go towards the prevention of a potential future asteroid.





Fuhrer? don't be such a well poisoner. You have no idea what my beliefs are. I happen to be quite fond of the libertarian ideals. But that does not make them immune to my scrutiny. When I have empirical evidence that contradicts the implications of libertarianism, I must examine it. As a scientist, I have no choice.

all I'm saying is that we should be producing as much or more than we are consuming. We need to stop living on credit and start putting some things aside for the future, which will undoubtedly be frought with challenges. This would be the wise thing to do. And yet people do not do it. When the human race becomes extinct because of this, it won't be much of a victory for me, because I won't be around to say 'I told you so'.

Quote:

Which resources? Human wealth is NOT finite...that is fallacy.





Ahhh, the old libertarian 'resources are infinite' thing... I've never quite understood that. Perhaps you could enlighten me.

In order to say that resources are infinite, you would have to prove that the universe itself is infinite, which I don't believe has been accomplished.

But assuming that the universe is indeed infinite, then you would be correct. But there is more to it than that. Although resources are infinite, our access to them is limited by two things: Our capacity for space travel, and our understanding of and ability to manipulate the fundamental particles and forces which make up and govern our universe. These two limitations might actually be thought of as the same problem.

Sure, there's a big universe out there. But we have to find a way to get to it. Or bring it to us. Once we have achieved this level of mastery over the universe, we can consume as much as we want. But until then, we would be wise to allocate our resources towards physics research and space programs.

Unfortunately we are spending 30 times more money on our military than we are on our space program. Why? Because george bush has convinced an entire population of american idiots that they need it to be safe. They are using fear to control the population. Fear is one of the worst human cognitive defecits. People like Hitler can use it to inspire the masses to do terrible things which aren't even in their own best interest.


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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