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mygif

Uh oh, MGK, I smell a libertarian shitstorm approaching.

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CandidGamera said on January 21st, 2009 at 9:40 am

You know, the principle behind this post is something I’m planning to use for a Vandal Savage plot..

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mygif

Isn’t that mindset very much along the lines of anarchists who fail to realize that the first anarchic thing I’d do is smack them in their annoying faces and take their stuff?

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MDK: Not quite. Anarchists don’t want their to be any system around to hassle them. Libertarians want their to be JUST enough of a system for them to blame all their problems on and/or protect them from the other libertarians.

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Harvey Jerkwater said on January 21st, 2009 at 11:32 am

Oh dude…I’d never heard of the “Republic of Minerva” before. Comedy gold. Pure comedy gold. My thanks, MGK.

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MauvePornoRod said on January 21st, 2009 at 12:07 pm

This article unfairly smears the fine people of Libertaria and their colonisation programme.

Racist.

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mygif

I’d always imagined that every libertarian wants to be Richard Rahl, a man who sees the only moral, ethical, and intelligent thing to do is to massacre unarmed protestors with a heavily armed and amoral army at his back.

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mygif

Isn’t that mindset very much along the lines of anarchists who fail to realize that the first anarchic thing I’d do is smack them in their annoying faces and take their stuff?

That’s why Libertarians tend to be mega-rich captains of industry ruling over armies of (possibly illegal) employees, mobsters, and NAMBLA membership.

The libertarian philosophy is that they should be allowed to hit YOU in the face and take YOUR stuff, and no one should be able to stop them.

They also really don’t like unions, because its unfair when large mobs of poor people decide to not work for small collections of rich people at below living wages. Those large mobs are, after all, not playing by the rules of the free market. Which is to say, they’re regulating themselves. Which is to say, they’re instituting order to leverage their superior numbers against rich-folk superior monetary capital. Which is to say, they’re cheating and its not fair! And we should have rules against this shit. Which we will, when I’ve got my own floating island that has no unions. Because no one will be on it. And then everyone on it will be forced to work for what I pay them. And we’ll have blackjack, and strippers. And that’ll show’m.

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mygif

That suits me fine. But forget the blackjack.

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OctopusDropkick said on January 21st, 2009 at 1:32 pm

hahahahahaha. The Republic of Minerva is great. So much for their Homage to Catalonia, the spineless social retards.

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mygif

I wonder if Ron Paul knows about this place. Or Penn & Teller for that matter.

Libertarians are such political retards.

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mygif

There’s a degree of merit in libertarianism. I’m a huge fan of social libertarianism. Vice laws, for instance, we could really do without. If three women, a Catholic Priest, and a pair of box turtles want to get hitched by an immigrant hooker while they’re all jacked up on pot and cuban cigars, go for it.

I’m a big fan of unrestricted free trade and free immigration, because the free market is – at its heart – a good thing. My ability to write a piece of software or craft a coffee mug or grow forty acres worth of soil beans should be rewarded by the exact amount of currency or barter provided by the highest bidder, be he my next door neighbor or Fidel Castro. My ability to move from California to Mexico to Brazil to California again based on highest pay and standard of living shouldn’t be restricted by xenophobic bureaucrats.

Regulations are useful tools in promoting transparency and standardizing business practices – the FDA, for instance, sets acceptable levels of toxins in food and then screens for products that fail the test. The first order of business isn’t blocking Chinese spinach, it is identifying deadly amounts of lead or mercury (transparency). The active assumption is then that people won’t want to eat it. Likewise, the current banking crisis stems more from lack of transparency (people issuing mortgages to individuals with no credit or collateral, then disguising the debt as “safe” and putting it on the open market). After that, a “don’t buy / issue shitty loans” regulation is somewhat redundant. The free market can – to a degree – look after itself.

So, in that sense, libertarianism can be good and I’m a big fan. I wouldn’t throw it down the river on its face.

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mygif

The free market can NOT look after itself.

The first order of regulative departments like the FDA may be to determine what is within acceptable levels of “safe”, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t also have the authority to block potential or definitive health risks – not only to the public but to other industries as well.

In Midland, Michigan, Dow Chemical has pumped so many dioxins into the Tittabawasee river that the state government had to issue a warning that hunting or eating any fish or game within a 30 mile radius is harmful to humans. Which was followed by a counter claim made by Dow Chemical, whose findings surely weren’t cherry picked, that there was nothing wrong with any of the fish or game from the area.

When companies are allowed to lie about the contents of their goods without restriction or consequence, and “transparent” information is not always available (and it never is without significant government “intervention”), the public are always going to be at an unacceptable level of risk.

As for the social benefits, I can justify legalizing pot, prostitution and three-way marriages while supporting a communist government, too.

Libertarianism has nothing to be proud of in either case.

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mygif

I’m a big fan of unrestricted free trade

Are you also a big fan of unicorns and leprechauns?

What’s your level of enthusiasm for the Butterscotch Soldiers of the Toffee King of Candyland?

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mygif

It occurs to me that I don’t actually know the plot of Atlas Shrugged, so I went to Wikipedia to find out what it was, because that’s the easy brainless alternative. I’m slightly shocked to discover that it appears to be a Jackie Collins novel. Railroad exectuvie Dagny Taggart? Dashing playboy Francisco d’Anconia? Self-made man Hank Rearden? And there’s even a pirate?

I can only imagine Dagny’s heaving bosom and quivering lips as she tries to decide if she should go with Hank on an illicit weekend getaway at John Galt’s secret enclave, or return to the arms of her first and greatest love, Francisco. And what of her treacherous brother James, and the dastardly schemes of her rival Orren Boyle? What will Lucky Santangelo do next?

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Nora Bombay said on January 21st, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I find Libertarian=asshole is a 99.9% accurate indicator.

And I like the benefits of the US Government, what with my not having to worry about my drinking water, pirates on Lake Michigan, and the roads actually going places.

You know, peace and security.

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mygif

Man I miss Flap Jack

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Oh, that reminds me.

http://stuffgeekslove.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/libertarianism/

“Conservatives don’t care if you think they’re selfish pricks. Libertarians wonder why you don’t admire them for it.”

Seriously, that is one of the most painfully yet hilariously accurate blogs out there.

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mygif

Zifnab, man, if you give people free reign to do whatever they want, good things will not happen. Corporations use their freedom to dump shit into oceans and spew crap into the air. Regulations are what stopped it. The Free Market is temperamental and will always be exploited by those looking to make an extra buck no matter what it takes or who it hurts.

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mygif

The first order of regulative departments like the FDA may be to determine what is within acceptable levels of “safe”, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t also have the authority to block potential or definitive health risks – not only to the public but to other industries as well.

The FDA could simply require spinach salesmen to label all their toxic spinach with big “SPINACH WILL CAUSE DEATH” stickers. But we recognize that there is no market for poisoned spinach and we also recognize that some people will try to remove the labels and sell it as fresh spinach, so we ban it out of practicality.

But the FDA isn’t in the “Spinach Banning” business. It’s in the toxin identifying business. That’s a transparency issue, not a trade issue. There’s no reason to ban Canadian Spinach or Cuban Spinach or Venezuelan Spinach if it isn’t toxic.

In Midland, Michigan, Dow Chemical has pumped so many dioxins into the Tittabawasee river that the state government had to issue a warning that hunting or eating any fish or game within a 30 mile radius is harmful to humans. Which was followed by a counter claim made by Dow Chemical, whose findings surely weren’t cherry picked, that there was nothing wrong with any of the fish or game from the area.

Again, this isn’t a regulation issue nearly as much as it is a property rights issue. If my next door neighbor dumps a giant load of pig shit in my backyard, he’s violated my property rights. If he lights the shit on fire and it floats over into my air space (read: my yard, my kitchen, my lungs) he’s violating my property rights. When DOW pollutes like this, they violate their neighbors’ property rights. From a sensible libertarian perspective they are effectively vandalizing your property. Even libertarian philosophy provides for government action in public defense and to handle natural disasters. This is a public defense issue. The government has actionable authority.

When companies are allowed to lie about the contents of their goods without restriction or consequence, and “transparent” information is not always available (and it never is without significant government “intervention”), the public are always going to be at an unacceptable level of risk.

Which is why the government’s job is to increase transparency and provide for the public defense. But needless government intervention – immigration limits, trade embargos and protectionist tariffs, restrictions on product sales based on taste or “values” (the recently overturned Texas anti-sex toy laws for instance) – don’t benefit people in the long run.

In that sense, the government that governs best governs least.

As for the social benefits, I can justify legalizing pot, prostitution and three-way marriages while supporting a communist government, too.

And you can eat french fries as a Buddist. Communism centers on the idea that government owns all property. That has nothing to do with pot, prostitution, or marriage rights, unless you want to make the claim that the government owns all the pot, all the legal papers, and all the sexual services and simply chooses not to sell them to you.

Libertarianism is more than an economic philosophy, however. It is – or is supposed to be – the opposite of authoritarianism. Unfortunately, American Authoritarians love to play wolves in sheep clothing. And that’s where you get the Randian nonsense about union bashing, military invasions, and anti-environmentalism.

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mygif

I’m a big fan of unrestricted free trade

Are you also a big fan of unicorns and leprechauns?

What’s your level of enthusiasm for the Butterscotch Soldiers of the Toffee King of Candyland?

Let us assume I have a donut and you have a dollar. And let us assume I want to sell you my donut for a dollar. You give me your dollar. I give you my donut. We are both happy. That is free trade.

Now draw an imaginary line between us. Your side will be called “Cuba” and my side will be called “The United States”, just for hypothetical purposes. You give me your dollar. I give you my donut. And our respective governments have us both arrested. Not free trade.

Free Trade > Not Free Trade.

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mygif

As I view it, there’s no absolute economic principle we can safely cleave to except “well-fed people in homes = good”. Yes, there should be sectors of the market where people are allowed to do whatever they want and be rightfully rewarded for it. But likewise, there should be certain industries that are tightly regulated to ensure the well-being of everybody who depends on them. Which industries these are… I can’t say. Certainly, those that provide basic stock items, but I think ultimately one needs to monitor the market and the standard of living and rewrite economic regulation as the situation merits. Good things do come out of free trade. But unlimited free trade, all the time, is every man for himself and I didn’t join up with 10,000 years of civilization to live in a fancier version of angry chimps wailing on each other with rocks. Libertarianism and anarchy would both were work if men were angels and it is the good in man that lends them their merits. But humans are by equal part devils and have shown time and again their ability to hanging themselves once you give them an appropriate length of rope.

I actually agree with some of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, but the problem with it is that people frequently interpret it purely in support of business owners. I think the best point she ever made was that you can’t depend on other people to make sacrifices for you own well-being and people shouldn’t be told to depend on you for their well-being — but mostly because the virtue of self-sacrifice does tend to create a number of martyrs who bitch that their good will in never reciprocated. But Rand’s grand vision of an Objectivist world is essentially silly, because it counts on strawmen opponents and assumes that people can be simply browbeat by the glory of the inherently successful — it never takes into account what I call the vital truth of human nature: that people is crazy and do stupid stuff for no adequately explained reason.

(I’ve never liked the idea of calling people sheep, because sheep aren’t psychotic hairless apes torn between a neurotic obsession with contact and power-mad ego with entirely too much killing power at its disposal.)

Of course, I don’t think that means Rand shouldn’t be listened to. Most good philosophers tend to break down when they start madly describing a world that follows their principles.

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mygif

>>>That’s a transparency issue, not a trade issue, Again, this isn’t a regulation issue nearly as much as it is a property rights issue

Awferfucksake…

>>>It is – or is supposed to be – the opposite of authoritarianism

It was. Three hundread years ago (and today as well, IF their views on power were taken to their logical conclusion to today’s scenario — instead of just repeating the cliches about the power centers of their days). In today’s Orwellian fashion in the U.S. (and by that coin, to the rest of the world as neoliberalism — the good old “kicking down the ladder by which we climbed”), it means total control under private tyranies that are accountable to no one and avoid “responsability” through purchase power and ownership. It’s quite a neat idea, but in the real world is quite different (and it should be quite obvious when the biggest and most obvious centers of power show themselves friendly to it). Bill O’Reilly calls himself (jokingly, but with some degree of seriousness) a “anarchist” and a libertarian, which pretty much shows a good portion of the true face of “anarcho”-capitalism (which really should have been clear with Friedman, Hayek, Greenspan, Reagan, Mises, Thatcher, O’Rourke, Goldberg, the entire republican party of liberty fighters, Bush, Iraq, New Orleans, Clinton, Nafta, etc etc and many others). It’s freedom for the very few of the ownership class with the most power to be able to do what it goddamn pleases. It’s for some to be free to buy slaves (and for others with no power, ie geeks, to feel radical without actually doing shit and paint their own adolescent selfishness — just a new face of people yelling about welfare blacks and unions — as some sort of anti-authoritarian stance while being complete and utterly subversient to power and privilege — specially the very little they have; they’d vote for Jeb Bush/Palin in 2012 if they say “big gov = problem” more than two times while calling themselves “small gov renegades outsiders” – like Bush in 2000 – and promising the most short-sighted of tax cuts no matter repressive shit they’ll so obviously bring on).

There’s really no point in pretending to be against the cutting of freedoms — even if most of the time it comes together with that RonPaul/ AlexJones/ Stormfront/ Federalists/ Gingrich/ John Birch veneer of ramblings about UN black helicopters, xenophobia, NWO, dissing Nafta for all the wrong reasons (a ill-defined mass of “satan gov + latinos”), hysteria about taking away their guns, etc.

Without mentioning some of the other pervasive notions from the peak of the patriotic-authoritarian cold war years that inform their thinking (freedom automatically = capitalism, while dissidence to the patriotism model is automatically some repressive communist shithole, the weird misunderstanding soup they have about the left spectrum of dissidence as european–> not-american–> enemy–> authoritarian –> communist-socialist –> islamofascism of the feminazi etc that they sometimes share with neocons and ignorant conservative republicans — see the way right-wingers mesh… Lou Dobbs, fox friendliness towards guys like Peter Schiff, Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul)… You just can’t trust people who call Bush a socialist (or secretly a liberal!).

I mean… “But we recognize that there is no market for poisoned spinach.” Seriously. It’s even worse when you actually are trying to believe it to yourself, instead of just being a prime liar.

>> I don’t think that means Rand shouldn’t be listened to. Most good philosophers

She is not a philosopher, man! It’s a cult no better than scientology.

I tried to revise the text, but I’m totally fucking drunk. Sorry if didn’t make myself clear. But damn by this point you’d figure there’d be no more apologist of power in that particular vein (and what d’ya know, there comes Rand, Austrian jokes and Ron Paul the fucking awful joke to breathe new life to that shit).

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mygif

The result of a truly free market with truly free trade is that everything goes to shit. The days of the snake oil salesman selling you some shit under the guise of another will be back in force. There’s huge incentive in making the shittiest product possible.

I think when you signed on to 10,000+ years of civilization, you can’t duck out of depending on people for your well-being. You can’t take the law into your hands – you need to depend on the legal system for that. You can’t spend all riding a bike to charge a battery – you need to depend on your hydro company or whoever make electricity come to your house. You can’t diagnose or operate on yourself – you have to depend on the healthcare system to train and certify doctors and nurses and pharmacists and the whole hullabaloo.

The only good thing you can take from Ayn Rand, really, is something you can get from basic fables: never stop looking out for what’s yours.

Government rocks. Some parts might suck (I think it’s bullshit that my taxes go to the DIA that’ll pay for status indians to get plain, over the counter acetaminophen or acetylsalic acid or ibuprofen for free, especially while other people need to pay the whole price out of their own pocket for stuff they genuinely need to stay alive), but on the main it’s kept us of caves and hurling shit at each other.

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mygif

Let us assume I have a donut and you have a dollar. And let us assume I want to sell you my donut for a dollar. You give me your dollar. I give you my donut. We are both happy. That is free trade.

And then my dollar turns out to be counterfeit and you can’t do anything about it because hey, free trade, right?

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mygif

And oh BTW it turns out you were under the mistaken impression that I was buying your donut, when actually I was buying your donut, your car, and your house. I’ll be taking posession on Tuesday.

Free trade!

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mygif

Why do these guys need to build an island in international waters to escape government? Can they not just move to Somalia, or maybe the Antarctic Peninsula?

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ps238principal said on January 21st, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Ha! I just sold some poor sucker a donut made out of dioxin-laden asbestos! Man, I love free trade!

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DIstantFred said on January 21st, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Jim- Because they don’t have enough money to buy an army to fight for them yet. See Minerva vs. Tonga. If they can fucking fight off TONGA, there’s no way their fighting off Somali insurgents.

And Antarctica is cold. What’s the point of creating a tax refuge if it isn’t a tropical paradise?! Who the hell is going to go to the Antarctic to gamble and engage in tourism and sex trade?

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mygif

A libertarian profesor in college tried to boil the philosophy down to returning government to Jeffersonian ideals. My reaction? Didn’t Jefferson design the government to grow with a nation’s needs and thus by turning back the clock, aren’t they actually repudiating Jeffersonian ideals?

I lost an ally in the faculty that day…

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Mark Temporis said on January 21st, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Hey, to give the Minerva dudes a bit of slack, I would bet on the Tongan Marine Corps Marching Band versus any number of gun-loving white geeks.

Those guys get really big and their national sport is Rugby.

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mygif

A libertarian profesor in college tried to boil the philosophy down to returning government to Jeffersonian ideals.

Keeping black people out?

…actually that would mesh fairly well with certain aspects of libertarianism.

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David Langdon said on January 21st, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Sounds liek the Island of Dr Yes to me… Though that’s probably too obscure, even for this crowd.

(and no, it is not a James Bond reference…)

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mygif

All human political ideologies are useless. I’m just waiting for the giant space ants to take over. They’ll tell us what to do!

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mygif

I for one welcome our new ant overlords.

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mygif

I have a donut and you have a donut. And I have a straw, and- wait, that won’t work, wait there a minute…

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mygif

It’s funny. I consider myself kinda objectivist – I mean, I don’t claim the label or anything, but I won’t duck it either – and yet I don’t recognize myself in any of the descriptions of or references to either libertarianism or objectivism in this article or thread. Those descriptions and references might accurately portray *somebody*, but I hope never to meet such a person; if they exist they’re ruining things for those of us who, for instance, don’t resent welfare recipients, tend to be on the side of unions, and think that no society built on a decommissioned oil rig will work unless its first principle is, “How ’bout we get the hell off this decommissioned oil rig and find land?”

I mean, whatever. My ability to persuade anybody of anything is famously deficient; I’m not trying to win an argument here. But just because Ayn Rand set up a few straw men in her time doesn’t mean it’s okay to do the same thing when arguing against those of us who thought she had some smart things to say.

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mygif

Zifnab, you really need to get this “One department, one job” bullshit out of your head. The FDA is indeed in the “banning business” when the products are NOT SAFE. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH PRACTICALITY, “TRANSPARENCY” or HOW ITS TRADED. If the food is poisonous or diseased, it doesn’t go on the shelves as food. Period.

“Again, this isn’t a regulation issue nearly as much as it is a property rights issue.”

The hell it isn’t a regulation issue. The pollution affects more than just the neighboring lands. It also affects the trade and the businesses in the area.

Even if it was “just a property rights” issue, no claim could be made against the polluters unless the regulations were in place prior to this.

“Which is why the government’s job is to increase transparency and provide for the public defense. But needless government intervention – immigration limits, trade embargos and protectionist tariffs, restrictions on product sales based on taste or “values” (the recently overturned Texas anti-sex toy laws for instance) – don’t benefit people in the long run.”

Or enforced recalls on diseased spinach, toothpaste, dog food… damn those evil values.

ALL SOCIAL LAWS are based on values. When those values are no longer maintainable, the laws are (eventually) overturned. In protecting the society, the government has every right to ban any product the social values deem unsafe or unfit.

Don’t blame the government if you can’t argue against the values effectively.

Freedom within society != Freedom from society whenever it suits your economic growth

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mygif

This comment thread reminds me of the time I tried to explain Objectivism to my cat.

Related: Has anyone seen the Legend of the Seeker Sword of Ayn Rand tv series? Is it hilariously bad?

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mygif

I fail to see how much more hilariously bad the Seeker’s Sword program could ever be than the original material.

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mygif

And oh BTW it turns out you were under the mistaken impression that I was buying your donut, when actually I was buying your donut, your car, and your house. I’ll be taking posession on Tuesday.

Free trade!

Ha! I just sold some poor sucker a donut made out of dioxin-laden asbestos! Man, I love free trade!

Again, these are transparency issues and have nothing to do with libertarianism itself. Beautiful straw man though.

There are libertarian groups that believe we shouldn’t have courts or police and that everyone should self-enforce their own businesses, but that quickly descends into the absurd.

But, going back to the Cuba / America example, we aren’t refusing to trade with Cuba because they sell us poisoned food. We aren’t refusing to trade with Cuba because they make up bullshit contract laws. We’re refusing to trade with them because they choose to ally with a defunct enemy nation 60 years ago.

You don’t get charged with a crime for trading with Cuba because the cigars you purchased are tainted with arsenic, you get charged with a crime because you are undermining the US attempt at overthrowing the Cuban regime.

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mygif

Zifnab, you really need to get this “One department, one job” bullshit out of your head. The FDA is indeed in the “banning business” when the products are NOT SAFE. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH PRACTICALITY, “TRANSPARENCY” or HOW ITS TRADED. If the food is poisonous or diseased, it doesn’t go on the shelves as food. Period.

Take cigerettes and alcohol. Both of these products are certainly considered “poisonous” by any medical standard and yet the FDA continues to allow their free sale.

Why? Because there is a market for these products.

Compare that to poisoned spinach. There is no market for poisoned spinach. If you put up a shelf labeled “poisoned spinach” and loaded it with poisoned spinach at a grocery store, no one would purchase said spinach with intent to eat it. We all know this. So the FDA identifies said poisoned spinach and prevents its sale because we all know there is no market for the product. They could simply require spinach salesmen to list the amount of toxin in the spinach and let the retailer and the consumer make the decision “don’t eat spinach loaded with rat poison” but it is far more difficult prevent fraud with that method. So the FDA just bans the product out of simplicity.

“Again, this isn’t a regulation issue nearly as much as it is a property rights issue.”

The hell it isn’t a regulation issue. The pollution affects more than just the neighboring lands. It also affects the trade and the businesses in the area.

Even if it was “just a property rights” issue, no claim could be made against the polluters unless the regulations were in place prior to this.

Right. And a reasonable libertarian recognizes the necessity for SOME government, abet minimalized.

Pollution can be defined as a form of vandalism or negligence. There are certainly laws against vandalism and negligence that even the most hardened libertarian will concede. Ergo, pollution regulations can be allowed under a libertarian philosophy.

You still need standards and regulations to determine what is trivial and what is significant. For instance, how much mercury can a company dump into a lake before it has caused substantial harm to the surrounding community (odds are, not much). And the government is still necessary to arbitrate the dispute.

But there is a notion that environmentalism is by definition an anti-libertarian philosophy and I am explaining that it absolutely doesn’t have to be.

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mygif

No, the reason poisoned spinach is banned is because there is a market for it. OBVIOUSLY.

Libertarians are not too good with logic.

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mygif

Compare that to poisoned spinach. There is no market for poisoned spinach. If you put up a shelf labeled “poisoned spinach” and loaded it with poisoned spinach at a grocery store, no one would purchase said spinach with intent to eat it. We all know this. So the FDA identifies said poisoned spinach and prevents its sale because we all know there is no market for the product. They could simply require spinach salesmen to list the amount of toxin in the spinach and let the retailer and the consumer make the decision “don’t eat spinach loaded with rat poison” but it is far more difficult prevent fraud with that method. So the FDA just bans the product out of simplicity.

Oooooooooooooooooor what could ACTUALLY happen is food producers just stop screening their produce for contaminants cause all that costs like, money ‘n’ shit, let the FDA slap on whatever generic label about ‘hey everybody stuff in here could kill you’, and dump the shit-spinach off on economically marginalized communities where people have pretty much no option except buying the shit-spinach and hey, it won’t kill too many people except for children and the elderly.

But hey, don’t let that massive load of priviledge get in the way of your breathless ignorance.

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mygif

Again, these are transparency issues and have nothing to do with libertarianism itself.

Actually it has nothing to do with transparency and everything to do with enforcement mechanisms, but hey, thanks for comin’ out.

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lawnmower boy said on January 22nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Libertarianism: adolescence masquerading as a political position.

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mygif

The fundamental problem with free trade is that the more you have to begin with, the easier it is for you to get more by trading. Assuming physical violence is taken out of the equation, the Libertarian utopia would soon devolve into a circle-jerk of a few powerful moguls who own everything of value and a vast mass of the downtrodden with nothing left and no way to get more.

Of course, the physical violence can never BE counted out. When people realize they cannot win by playing by the rules, they will begin to break rules. That’s the point where your elite-friendly anarchy turns into a real one, one where the privileged are the first to die.

I do hope that one of these proto-Raptures one day gets really going. Its collapse will make for the best reality TV show ever.

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mygif

MGK, you might be unaware of this brilliant review of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy, including the never completed middle volume “Shrug Harder”. See here for details: http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/393124.html

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mygif

Oooooooooooooooooor what could ACTUALLY happen is food producers just stop screening their produce for contaminants cause all that costs like, money ‘n’ shit, let the FDA slap on whatever generic label about ‘hey everybody stuff in here could kill you’, and dump the shit-spinach off on economically marginalized communities where people have pretty much no option except buying the shit-spinach and hey, it won’t kill too many people except for children and the elderly.

Or they could dump it everywhere. I mean, now you’re arguing that if the regulators don’t do their jobs and the businesses cut costs then you’re going to get poisoned foods in the marketplace.

But this is true under any government model. What model do you prefer? A socialist government where the FDA doesn’t do its job? A feudal system in which corporations sell poisoned produce? An autocracy run by incompetent and greedy administrators? A pure Greek-style democracy in which we all get together and mandate by popular vote laws that don’t get enforced?

At this point, you’re just saying, “Bureaucracy failures are bad! Libertarians are stupid!” without drawing any connection between the two.

What’s your point? Perhaps next you can argue for fiat currency by telling me how the SEC isn’t properly monitoring equity markets. Or maybe higher taxes can be rationalized by telling me Michael Brown did a bad job running FEMA. There’s no correlation here.

A smartly run small government will kick the pants out of a sloppily run big government and a smartly run big government will kick the pants out of a sloppily run small government. That doesn’t say anything about the merits of libertarianism against the current capitalist-socialist hybrid system.

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...and drew rye in said on January 23rd, 2009 at 4:57 pm

MGK, I’m here to ask you a question.
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

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mygif

MGK, I’m here to ask you a question.
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

Nobody wants to buy sweat.

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mygif

“Or they could dump it everywhere. I mean, now you’re arguing that if the regulators don’t do their jobs and the businesses cut costs then you’re going to get poisoned foods in the marketplace.”

No, he’s not. He’s arguing that under your “transparency” system if the regulators do do their jobs and the companies cut costs, that you’ll get poisoned foods in the marketplace.

So…ban the poisoned spinach? My God, just look at the silliness of that question! Of course ban the poisoned spinach. And if you don’t ban the poisoned spinach…

“Can I help you, sir?”

“Yeah, um…I was looking for the poisoned spinach?”

“All of our poisoned foodstuffs are in the ‘Poison’ aisle, sir.”

Let me ask you this, Zifnab: what about medications? What’s the role of the transparency agency there?

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mygif

No one is fully entitled to the sweat of their brow. Not when the fruits of their labor are heavily dependant upon those around them- which, in any civilization, is true.

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mygif

I think a lot of people here are missing out on the opportunity.

Libertarians.

Libertarians wanting to leave behind society.

Society is where we live.

Why aren’t we funding this?

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mygif
Consumer Unit 5012 said on January 25th, 2009 at 5:30 am

Heh. A friend of mine with a cynical mind told me that if she ever gets rich, she’ll buy an island somewhere, and sell shares in it Libertarians who want to establish their ‘perfect society’.

With hidden cameras everywhere to capture its inevitable descent into madness and ruin, of course. She figures it’d be the Reality-TV hit of the decade.

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mygif

I just hope all this gets used in BioShock 2.

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mygif

Damn, Justin beat me to it.

I was just thinking “Wasn’t this the plot for a videogame/criticism of libertarianism?” Is it just too obvious to warrant concern?

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mygif

Let me ask you this, Zifnab: what about medications? What’s the role of the transparency agency there?

My argument was that Libertarianism has some degree of merit. There is, in fact, such thing as “too much government”. In the spinach case, some could argue that simply forcing a food producer to label the degree of taint in his food supply would drive the bad producers out of business. I don’t really agree with that, but I do agree with the idea that the FDA’s first job is in identifying the safe food from the unsafe food and making any regulatory decisions from there.

This is in contrast to the current government system that bans trade with countries on ideological grounds – my example case being Cuba – and THEN tests the remaining allowed imports for toxins (and not particularly well, at that, in the last 8 years).

The former setup – test for toxins, then ban on toxins – is decidedly more libertarian than the latter – ban on ideological grounds, then test for toxins.

Medications are another perfect example. We have a de facto ban on foreign generic drugs. I can go to Sweden and buy allergy medication for 10 cents a pill that would cost me a dollar a pill in the states. Sweden’s meds are as safe as America’s, but American pharmaceutical industries have set up a sheltered little marketplace walled off by the US Government.

Again, the matter isn’t one of testing foreign drugs and banning those that are dangerous. We have a blanket ban and test only drugs allowed by an FDA in the thrall of major firms like Pfizer and Merck. A more libertarian-minded government would embrace foreign generic drugs on a “works / fails” basis. The goal would be to increase transparency on drugs that don’t work – Phen-Phen, Vioxx, etc – and decrease barriers to entry on drugs that do work. That should be the FDA’s top priority. Only after a drug fails testing should it be a candidate for banning.

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mygif

As they say, never trust someone who’s self-analysis of political affiliation can’t be differentiated from a self-compliment (or worse, a cult with a new gospel). “Objectivists” (that is seriously the most ridiculous name ever) or “libertarians” (“libertarians” not so much at first, but nowadays is just beyond silly — Bill O’Reilly might as well say “I’m a Kick-Ass Liberty Dude of Free Freeness of Freedom”)…

People might as well call themselves “Realisteans”, “Truthinessists”, “Freedomizers” or “Awesomenites”.

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mygif

Zifnab…

I’m sorry, I don’t really know where to begin. So I guess I’ll just say I think you’ve got hold of some bad information there, and I would urge you to do some further research into the matter.

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mygif

So I guess I’ll just say I think you’ve got hold of some bad information there, and I would urge you to do some further research into the matter.

Are you denying the Cuban Embargo?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

That’s pretty well documented.

Or is this about the regulations on imported generic drugs?
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/12/31/ap5871634.html
http://newsx.com/story/27790

Congress has been having this fight for the last 20 years.

There is a limited-government view on certain policies that make more sense than the protectionist corporatist racket we currently live under.

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mygif

No, I don’t care about the Cuban embargo, and one AP story is like another. But if your problem is “drugs are too expensive in America”, you’re sure taking the long way ’round to solve it.

Why are the Swedish allergy pills cheaper, eh? Really why.

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