The Fed’s bill of rights

July 30, 2010

From GBFM:

your daughter shall have the right 2 be assocked by thugmen of her choosing

men whose ancsetsors wrote greats books and classics of freedom shall be deemed guilty in any altercations and jailed lzozllzlzl

any attempt to discipline a girl who has a right to her own body and can let in any thugcocks as she siwshes will be a felony resulting in incacertaion

any attempt to impose deceny or standadrths on a owman above and beyond butthex will be riducled and castigated and impguned

the purpose of a man is to pay 4 thugchildren as teh fed grows the underclass and erodes freeedom

all men must pay for thugoffspring either by being cuckolded by tehri wives or cuckolded by a government which forces men to pay for chiclden that are not theirsz lozlzozzlllo

henceofrth only men who cooperate in secrteiv tapings of butthex and the fed’s deosuling progams wwill be wired fiat bernankecahs from powrful womenz ecxucitives lzozlzo

men sho suggets their are highter entiteis than getting it or putting it up the butt are to be exiled and defunded and denied bernankecash as tehir assetts are seized and given to the douchebagslututopia brave new neocon world lzozlzozlzlzllzlzlzlz

Translations here

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Denialism

July 30, 2010

Buckethead wrote a post on denialism that’s worth reading.

I’ve always admired, but never really trusted, people who think in a very questioning manner – i.e. people who are always questioning their beliefs.

That sort of thinking has never really worked for me. I have to try on new ideas. I’ve had better luck believing in ideas without reservation, finding someone smart who disagrees, and arguing with them a lot. Of course, one still has to be open to changing one’s position after the argument.


More liberaltarianism

July 30, 2010

On the definitional questions, this is where I usually hope Devin will jump in and clarify everything in a few sentences. I think of progressivism as the modern state religion. That makes it tough to define – how would someone in the middle ages have defined his religion? It would have been hard for such a hypothetical citizen of the middle ages. Religion just was for him – much like progressivism just is for us today. At best, you can only hope to catch dark glances of what progressivism really is. The reactionary seeks to escape this state of affairs.

Back to liberaltarianism, Aretae says:

While it is perhaps true that the Wilkinson/Lindsey project of convincing power-hungry DC Apparatchiks that a market would solve their problem better than the government is foolhardy…it is substantially less foolhardy to attempt to convince the black parents of the country, and many of their sympathizers that public schools are a government conspiracy to keep them down…and that a free market in education, perhaps (unhappily) voucher-funded, would be 100x better than the crap they’ve been getting for the last 50-100 years. There’s a real difference between addressing the concerns of the progressive on the street who thinks the poor need help, and addressing the concerns of the Washington establishment who thinks that the poor need to be managed.

I think this misunderstands progressivism. To "solve their problems" without government is not a possibility for progressivism. No such state of the world is possible in the progressive vision. Such a "solution" would not represent a compromise but a total destruction of progressivism.

Think of progressive achievements: institution of the income tax, direct election of senators, abolition of alcohol (this, by the way is simply unforgivable), women’s suffrage, the civil rights bill, affirmative action, equal opportunity laws, etc.

What do all these things have in common? They make government bigger. State intervention is equivalent to solving problems. This is true even for apparently "libertarian" victories. Progressives, for example, might claim credit for ending abortion (an arguably libertarian or un-libertarian view). But their victory came about in such a way that eventually still grows government. They want legalized abortion, so now you have to sell contraceptives if you own a hospital or pharmacy. To make the Constitution protect this right, they invented a new Constitutional protection. This precedent will allow them to expand and mold the state in any way they see fit in the future. This state of affairs is not a boon for liberty, unless liberty is so narrowly defined as to become meaningless or, at best, highly subjective.

If their goal is to make government bigger and your goal is to reduce the size of government, you cannot compromise.

I mock liberaltarians because it doesn’t recognize this obvious point (and one more, see the next paragraph). The best that can be said of liberaltarianism is that it politely asks government to please stop using some of its powers without doing anything to actually limit those powers. The net result is generally increased government powers that are temporarily used in more friendly ways. Could you possibly design a better losing strategy? This strategy makes modern conservatism seem brilliantly effective by comparison.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, progressivism doesn’t need to compromise. On a long time scale, it basically always wins (at least for the last several hundred years).


Heliocentricity

July 30, 2010

Ulysses is on a roll.


In which it is revealed that I am “pretty shallow”

July 30, 2010

Faster please, as Instapundit says


In defense of pessimism

July 29, 2010

Aretae is ripping on pessimism – thanks in part to Matt Ridley’s book.

Libertarians like to view progress one dimensionally, just like progressives. However, each group uses a different dimension.

Progressives use social justice (for lack of better term) as their dimension. For example, today is better than the ’40s because black people couldn’t vote then, or something. If you disagree with progressives, you’re a racist.

Libertarians use technological progress as their dimension. For example, today is better than the ’40s because you had to get chicken pox, you couldn’t access the internet and it took a long time to do the laundry and the dishes back in the ’40s. If you disagree with libertarians, you’re a Luddite.

Yet can one study history and honestly conclude that there has no decline along any variable? For (a mainstream) example, we used to live in a country in which a guy like Thomas Jefferson could get elected president. Now, the finalists are John McCain and Barack Obama. Do you really see no decline? I don’t think it takes much to see the incredible fall in quality.

If you really believe that the quality of government in the US hasn’t declined in recent decades, you may be past the point of reasoning with. I freely admit that some things have gotten better, why is it so hard for libertarians and progressives to admit that anything might be getting worse?


My beef with liberal-tarianism

July 29, 2010

I’ve taken swipes at "liberaltarians" before. I took another one today that Aretae didn’t like.

My more fundamental point is that when you stop talking about general and potential areas of compromise among liberals and libertarians, you’re left with some pretty small and lame actual policy compromises. In a liberaltarian world, you’ll be able to wear baggy pants and make pot brownies according to government-specified pot-baking instructions. I don’t see a lot of other areas for compromise – from a truly libertarian perspective, this "compromise" is also dubious, at best.

Libertarians may want to scale back government, but think of all the minorities and women and children that would be hurt by such action! What sort of libertarian changes wouldn’t have some kind of disparate impact? A move to a more libertarian world would require progressives to admit defeat. Progressivism is incapable of admitting defeat – by its definition of itself, what it wants is always "progress."

On a separate note, I must object to Aretae’s closing lines:

I’m with Matt Ridley here, requoting:

I find that my disagreement is mostly with reactionaries of all political colours: blue ones who dislike cultural change, red ones who dislike economic change and green ones who dislike technological change.

This counts as cultural change, offends the blue reactionaries, and its distastefulness is attributable almost entirely to prejudices of the current day. I’d think especially that a hyper-reactionary like Foseti would know this. It’s certainly no less ridiculous than togas or neckties.

I use the term reactionary to mean "opposed to democracy." Like Carlyle. I think any modern reactionary would like to see lots of cultural, economic and technological change. We’d just like to move away from the progressive definition of "change."