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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10747/michael-moore-kills-capitalism-with-kool-aid/

Michael Moore Kills Capitalism with Kool-Aid

October 1, 2009 by

Moore is a rather simple guy. He is likable. He sees the world as good guys (people with no money) and bad guys (people with money). His Flint, Michigan, union-worker upbringing is his worldview. If you did not have that upbringing or if your life started less severe than his, you are an evil capitalist. If, on the other hand, you are a laid-off factory worker with a sixth-grade education, you are a true hero.

I don’t care one way or the other that he has that view and I am not knocking union workers, but Moore sees the world through a class-warfare lens resulting in a certain agenda: force wealth to be spread amongst everyone regardless of effort. FULL ARTICLE by Michael Covel.

{ 104 comments }

Jonathan Finegold Catalán October 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Why doesn’t Michael Moore give 90% of his profit to the poor?

Michael Covel October 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

“The questions running through my head were immediate: how does one legislate words like useful, enough, recreation, adequate, decent, and good? Who decides all of this and to what degree?”

Sean Amavisca, if government takes care of all of this for you or anyone, why life a finger?

Michael Covel October 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

“I live near Westwood, and it’s true, these people aren’t “bad”. They wouldn’t mug you in the parking lot. But they will mug you at the ballot box, each and every election. They are kind enough to give to local beggars, but stonehearted enough to cheer violence against even poorer people around the world. What is “bad people”? An evil man is just a child grown strong. There are an awful lot of strong children in my neighborhood these days. Probably in yours, too.”

Point well taken.

Brian Drake October 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm

“The people in that theater with me, including Moore, were not bad people. They just seem to all have consumed a lethal dose of Kool-Aid.”

Another poster remarked on this and I think it requires further examination.

How would you define “bad people”?

Because to me, those who literally seethe with envy and hatred, and are chomping at the bit to promote aggression as the first means to every end are…. bad people.

How did they get that way? 12 years of forced State indoctrination, the media, well-intentioned compassion hi-jacked by Statist “morality”, or something else? Irrelevant. Regardless of what brought them to their current condition, they are currently bad people.

The “how they got here” is certainly cause for us to have compassion towards them, and strive to “convert” them. But unless we recognize them for what they are, we’ll always lose.

Franklin October 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

“Why doesn’t Michael Moore give 90% of his profit to the poor?”

Because he prefers that YOU give 90% of YOUR profit.

Sean Amavisca October 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I’ve observed that on this sight the articles receiving the most comments are often ones on fallacious ideology: articles on Keynesianism and Neo-Keynesianism (Krugman) and ones like this about a popular figure with less technical, yet equally misguided ideologies. The latter is in large, the result of the formers proliferation through formal education and its direct implementation into policy. Moore is a representation of this dependence on government in economic affairs, justified through government controlled curriculum. People educate themselves by what they deem to be validated knowledge and ideologies such as these being taught as truth in Universities works as validation. Hayek said that his biggest regret in a lifetime of writing was that he never wrote a book-length refutation of Keynesian economics. He didn’t think it could possibly catch on. His fallacy was failing to look at incentives: as in the massive incentive for government to take up such flawed “economics” because it provides a pseudo-scientific justification for more government control. We comment on these articles most because libertarians and Austrians know now more than ever that it is a mistake to simply believe logic will win out.

Victor October 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Everything to the extreme is bad. Capitalism at the extreme is bad, as well as Socialism. What we need is a balance, a middle point. A balance where some Socialism is allowed to protect the people, and some Capitalism is allowed to stimulate growth and prosperity.

Terrance October 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Okay Terrance,that is a very ,very idiotic comment.No offense. That’s like saying we need a middle ground with Science and Voodoo.
Protecting people is offered by both Capitalistic and Socialistic means.In the Capitalistic version,people choose for themselves how they should best be protected and may seek services of those who specialise at this,in exchange for a fee.
In the Socialistic version,one group of people(the state/government) chooses for everyone else how they should best be protected,and taxes everyone regardless of whether the service actually does what it is intended to do.
How do you balance free will and coercion? You cannot.

DW October 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Thanks to John and fundamentalist for answering my questions. Indeed, “mutual” is a far better way of describing that business model. This, of course, is not what people like Moore are meaning by Socialism, and I find it disturbing that the word has been mistaken for anything else than threats of violence over one’s legitimate property. It’s worse than Orwellian.

George October 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

“Socialism is used as a slur and a degradation – it is neither.
In fact, Socialism is just as viable as Libertarianism – it is a choice to live under the same rules and principles as your fellow man.
Libertarianism is more of a “anarchist” / “every man for himself”-way of thinking, which I find very distasteful when we’re talking about society.”

Actually, I see it as the other way around. Let’s take the principle of non-aggression, which libertarianism adheres to: nobody may initiate aggression against another; nobody may use force, commit fraud, or injure another. Essentially, people need to get along with each other and participate in voluntary relationships.

Doesn’t this sound more like “it is a choice to live under the same rules and principles as your fellow man” rather than “every man for himself”.

Then consider the alternative; which set of selfish attributes leads one to vote for the expropriation of revenue from one group to give to another; which selfish countries subsidize their farmers at the expensive of another, and which organization grants special privileges by decree to a privileged part of society? That’s right, Socialism and socialistic policies, not libertarianism.

The truth is you actually have your definitions backwards. Socialism is the selfish ideology which disguises itself as altruism, whereas libertarianism is actually an egalitarian ideology in the sense that there are no arbitrary constraints placed on you by somebody else’s decree, only fair constraints based on the principles of voluntarism and restraint against the initiation of aggression.

iamse7en October 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Great article. I just watched the entire Donahue show, and it was EXCELLENT.

I may not agree with everything that he says in relation to monetary policy, but his defense of freedom in markets is imperative to U.S. prosperity.

tlpalmer October 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Concerning Michael Moore, I am confused why anyone would listen to a person who appears incapable of working the order window at McDonald’s.

Caley McKibbin October 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Moore is definitely a bad guy. His presentations are obviously dishonest. Stupidity or ignorance is no plausible defense.

fundamentalist October 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Victor: “Everything to the extreme is bad. Capitalism at the extreme is bad, as well as Socialism.”

Extreme capitalism would be the rule of natural law, respect for others’ property, justice, honest courts and police, peace and prosperity. What’s bad about that?

Extreme socialism is NAZI Germany, communist China or the USSR. I can see the bad in that.

But what about the middle road? Less capitalism and more socialism would mean less of the rule of natural law, less respect for others’ property, less justice, honest courts and police, less peace and prosperity. Where is the good in that?

Probably what you’re thinking about is having more charity, not socialism. Socialism is the state taking by force the property of one person who has earned it and giving it to someone who hasn’t earned it. Charity is the acting of giving of one’s own property to help out someone less fortunate. Capitalism encourages charity; socialism destroys it.

Brad October 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm

The article hits the nail right at the point where no background is ever given as to WHY people are in the situation they are in – e.g. foreclosure etc.

In fact it is nearly forbidden under socialism to even ASK the question “why?”. It is merely to force equality of outcome. If no one produces a thing and there is just one Hershey Bar left, that will be subdivided amongst everyone until there is nothing left. And NO QUESTIONS ASKED. WHY is there only one Hershey Bar left?

That is the sickness and the diagnosis all in one – the system that asks no questions and forbids even considering it. And thus a goodly portion of reality is expunged from the ledger even before the “cure” is considered. So HOW is a logical, rational answer to problems supposed to be found when a huge chunk of reality is ignored and investigating it is suppressed?

Socialism is the heartwarming, semi-logical growth from a soil base of illogic and fact suppression. It makes some degree of sense, staggered toward feeling and emotion that most everyone has a capacity for, only after half the ledger of facts has been ignored or destroyed. And those who dare to present all the facts, present all the debits and credits to a transaction, find all the yangs attached to the yings, are dismissed as cold-hearted brutes. As a CPA I’ve been dismissed a goodly chunk of my life by idiots when I’ve had the temerity to present ALL the relevant facts in a discussion. I’m only supposed to think of the Good and Positives don’t you know? “Dragging us down with the costs and reality, is like, you know, a bummer.”

How do win against those who choose to be ignorant and attack those who do not? How long do you wait to be consumed by the State Machinery made by the well-coordinated minorities of half-thinkers – half of one’s labor carted off, soon to be much, much more? If only it were so simple to form a community of the productive off in the mountains somewhere and wait for the inevitable collapse of the system made by sleepwalkers. Unfortunately the real world version is going to suck down the productive and blame them and stone them to death once and for all. It would be interesting to still be alive just to see what the moribund, half-witted, unproductive left behind will do once there is only them left. Who is going to be the villian then?

Sean A October 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm

“Everything to the extreme is bad. Capitalism at the extreme is bad, as well as Socialism. What we need is a balance, a middle point. A balance where some Socialism is allowed to protect the people, and some Capitalism is allowed to stimulate growth and prosperity.”

Ok, Victor; straight out of the neocon/liberal handbook (essentially one in the same: one pretends not to be for social welfare and one pretends to not be a war monger). This is a good description of the current political philosophy and inevitably with monopolist control, control will shift towards the monopolist–the government. Extreme’s are bad is just the same vague phrasology spewed second hand out of the mouth of the political demagogue. People cling to these cliche’s that are so unclear they can be interpreted in many ways. What is too much capitalism? who decides the arbitrary line to draw? The government? With that power, would self-interest not necessarily exploit? Or perhaps the leader feels he knows enough to dictate what is to everyone’s benefit (which is again a movement towards an “extreme”). The chances of sitting back and maintaining an arbitrarily set implicit line is ZERO–this ideology may even be more naive than the socialist.

Michael Covel October 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Everyone here, regardless as to whether they can stomach it or not, should sit through this film. I have only hit some of the manipulation, but there is so much more. This entire film should be dissected and used as teaching tool for understanding and recognizing propaganda. A great video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9opv_xYnmw

Franklin October 1, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Juxtaposition of the challenge and the futility:

Ref. Sean:
“We comment on these articles most because libertarians and Austrians know now more than ever that it is a mistake to simply believe logic will win out.”

Ref. Victor:
“….What we need is a balance, a middle point. A balance where some Socialism is allowed to protect the people, and some Capitalism is allowed to stimulate growth and prosperity.”

Sigh.

And finally, the author:
“Everyone here, regardless as to whether they can stomach it or not, should sit through this film….”

Heh, you don’t ask for a lot, do you, Michael?

Michael Covel October 1, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Franklin, fair point. One of the reasons I say in my piece that we my have passed the point of no return. Personally, I think we have and I plan accordingly.

Poptech October 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm

“Everything to the extreme is bad. Capitalism at the extreme is bad, as well as Socialism. What we need is a balance, a middle point. A balance where some Socialism is allowed to protect the people, and some Capitalism is allowed to stimulate growth and prosperity.”

Wow, someone never studied economics.

Poptech October 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm

“As FDR concluded and the film ended, I was shocked at the reaction. The theater of 400-plus spectators stood and cheered wildly at FDR’s 1944 proposal”

Scariest part of the piece. If only they knew that FDR helped create the Great Depression.

Russ October 1, 2009 at 8:16 pm

tlpalmer wrote:

“Concerning Michael Moore, I am confused why anyone would listen to a person who appears incapable of working the order window at McDonald’s.”

Hah! Moore working at McDonald’s would eat all the profits!

Diane October 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Poptech in reference to Covel’s reporting that “the theater of 400-plus spectators stood and cheered wildly at FDR’s 1944 proposal” said, “Scariest part of the piece. If only they knew that FDR helped create the Great Depression.”

I agree. The fervor of those spectators makes a person want to walk out those doors and lock them, leaving behind a note that says those trapped inside will be welcome to rejoin us once their own experiment with socialism is finished.

Tim October 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Americans remind me of livestock cheering every time the butcher brings down the ax on another one of their kind.

Mike C, October 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm

“The most successful accomplishment of socialism is the re-naming of all its failures as Capitalism.” – Shelly Peterson

You have that right Shelly; it is something that you might expect to see in an episode of the Keystone Cops where they lock up the victim and allow the villain to go free.

Libertarian Bullshit October 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

“He is an unapologetic socialist who really doesn’t care why the poor are poor or the rich are rich, he just wants it fixed.”

That’s right. The rich are rich because of the “PHR33 MARK3T” even though according to Austrian fascists we have never had a free market. So how did the rich get rich, IF WE HAVE NEVER ACTUALLY HAD A FREE MARKET, YOU FUCKING MORONS? Because they were the primary beneficiaries of government COERCION (for example, just happening to be born to people who owned the printing press). But “libertarian” Nazis will never admit that.

Mike C. October 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm

“I live near Westwood, and it’s true, these people aren’t “bad”. They wouldn’t mug you in the parking lot. But they will mug you at the ballot box, each and every election.” – Timothy

This is a connection that most people fail to make, most would not rob you personally, even if it was to pay for their own mother’s heart surgery, but they see no moral problem with hiring some political hood to do their bidding for them.

bernardpalmer October 1, 2009 at 10:38 pm

This ambiguity about the difference between Capitalism and Socialism has to be defined a lot better.

I’m of the opinion that Capitalism does not exist with a fiat currency, in fact nothing does for very long so with that in mind I suggest that Capitalism = a gold standard economy. Therefore in the modern age we can possibly look forward to soon trying out Capitalism.

As January 11th 1944 was my birthday I make this definition a proclamation.

Libertarian Nazis October 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Because “Liberatarians “don’t care about anything other than (RETROACTIVELY) justifying the CURRENT DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH, EVEN IF FORCE AND FRAUD WERE EXTENSIVELY USED TO CREATE THAT DISTRIBUTION.

Libertarianism 101: Libertarians are a bunch of HYPOCRITES unless they immediately commit suicide or something, because they are the direct beneficiaries of FORCE AND FRAUD.

American Indians were exterminated by European Genocidal Forces? Well I guess that’s too bad for the American Indians; if they used HOMESTEAD they would have magically been safe from the European Genocidal Forces, like ancestors of Libertarians (who obtained their initial wealth/capital by using force against you). Since American Indians couldn’t have used HOMESTEAD, (otherwise they would have magically been safe from the bullets of European Genocidal Forces had they been TRUE homesteaders), they deserved whatever happened to them, even if force and fraud were used against them by ancestors of Libertarians (who claim that force and fraud are no longer allowed. Why? SINCE THEY ALREADY HAVE ALL THE (STOLEN) LAND AND THEY DON’T WANT IT TAKEN BACK FROM THEM, SO THEY PRETEND THAT THEY HAVE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND BY FOLLOWING “LIBERTARIAN” PRINCIPLES).

Jero October 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Libertarian Bullshit,

First of all, do you even know what fascism is?

Second, do you realize that in a mixed economy there are also ways to get rich by satisfying consumers? Not all rich people got rich via use of government force.

Third, how can you hold such strong views when you are obviously so ignorant?

Jero October 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Libertarian Nazi,

You should learn about libertarian theory before you start ranting. You are making a fool of yourself.

Your first sentence shows that you know nothing of which you speak. And from there it gets even worse.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

Libertarian Bullshit October 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm

“Second, do you realize that in a mixed economy there are also ways to get rich by satisfying consumers?”

FUNNY. GOVERNMENT DOESN’T DISTORT THE ECONOMY BY MAKING BAILING OUT RICH PEOPLE AND MAKING MORE RICH PEOPLE THAN THERE SHOULD BE (BY SUBSIDIZING MALINVESTMENTS OF THE WELL-CONNECTED)? OF COURSE, ONLY A SOCIALIST WOULD THINK THOSE THINGS.

THEOREM: ANY RICH PERSON IN A “MIXED ECONOMY” GOT RICH BY GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION.
PROOF: A MIXED ECONOMY IS DISTORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, CONSUMER WANTS IN A MIXED ECONOMY ARE DISTORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT? ANYBODY WHO SATISFIES THOSE WANTS HAS EXPLOITED AND IS THE BENEFICIARY OF GOVERNMENT DISTORTION.
Q.E.D.

Michael Covel October 1, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Maybe I missed the connection, but the plight of native Americans, which was not my doing, is some kind of rationale that buttresses Moore’s film?

Mike C. October 1, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Some would do well to grow up, and read and study a lot more before actually posting and showing what a complete non-sensible twit they are… it has to be miserable and embarrassing to be them even on a good day… but then they are probably too ignorant to even realize what a confused little simpleton they appear to be in the eyes of people with functional brains.

BWM October 1, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Great article. If you had included the words “blank out” after every rhetorical question (as my brain automatically did), it’d be nearly a tribute to Ayn Rand.

Ribald October 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

Jero,

I apologize for not responding promptly. The comment section moves a bit quickly, and I tend to be less than attentive on weekdays. I’ve replied to your response there.

Anyway, you make a good point about charity, although I disagree. Case in point: people without health insurance who can’t afford it. Charitable organizations aren’t large enough to deal with all of the needy. Why don’t they pool their resources together in a nonprofit insurance fund? Why does everyone else buy limited, yet expensive private insurance rather than contributing to a nonprofit insurance fund (especially since the percentage of income used on it is so high)? Is there some law against it? An explanation is needed: What does a for-profit insurance company provide that a non-profit cannot?

Furthermore…

If there were no taxes, people would still have to pay for all the services that government used to provide. Perhaps not as much. Maybe not even half as much, but the impact would be dulled all the same.

Some charity statistics:
http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/639_charity_contributions_percent_of_households_contributing.html

Ok, so about a third of households contributed an average of $234 to charity health providers in 1998, and 23% contributed to human services charities $250 on average (for our purposes we’ll assume both charities give 100% of contributions toward healthcare for the poor). Assuming a mean income of $34000 a year (of which we’ll assume 40% is taxed/inflated away), that comes out to about 2.4% of remaining income afterwards. 2.4% of the GDP in 2008 was 0.024 X 14.44 trillion ~= $350 billion. Just kidding! The charity statistic is for contributing households only, not overall. That means the numbers come out to….0.66% of remaining income X 14.44 trillion….$96 billion.

Let’s see…there are ~45 million uninsured. Since costs are at $2.5 trillion now (insurance + care), one can say the average cost is $8333 for all US citizens. With these assumptions (some quite generous), the cost of caring for 45 million more people in the current system is about $375 billion. Let’s assume that the free market would cut that in half to $187.5 billion, because you know, it could maybe do that.

Even with the generous assumptions that 100% of the charity funds go to health care (for the poor only!), that both health and human services are both health care, and that a totally free market would reduce total healthcare costs by a full 50%, charity contributions would likely still be less than half of what’s necessary to provide care for the remaining population.

Will people contribute a greater percentage of their income to charity in a totally free market? Perhaps. Double? Treble? We need to stretch it pretty far to give free healthcare to those who can’t pay on charity alone.

Hence, my skepticism.

Libertarian Bullshit October 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

THEOREM: Fractional Reserve Banking is not inherently fraudulent
PROOF: Let X be a bank. Let Y be a depositor. Let Y sign a contract with X to deposit money in exchange for interest. In return, X is allowed to loan out Y’s money for conservative investment projects. Y may or may not be able to get Y’s money immediately upon demand: the terms are specified by the contract. Y may not have read the terms when he/she tries to get his/her money back, but that is only his/her fault (because he somehow thought that certain contracts that he/she signed are inherently fraudelent even if no force or fraud has been used by him/her or against him/her).

THEOREM: Intellectual Property (such as Copyrights) does not require the use of force to exist.
PROOF: Let X be an Intellectual Property. For force not to be used, let the government enforcement be replaced by a CONTRACT which has the exact same terms that the government automatically creates (such as, no unauthorized reproduction or whatever). Let owners of such property make it so that purchasing a copy of it requires signing that contract. In such a case, customers cannot reproduce or reverse engineer or hack such property (depending on terms), because they signed a CONTRACT forbidding them from doing so. The government (a contract by coercion) has been replaced by a voluntary contract (which allows intellectual property).

Libertarian Bullshit October 2, 2009 at 12:07 am

THEOREM: Any government service/monopoly/subsidy/protection can exist in a free market.
PROOF: This theorem is a generalization of the Intellectual Property Theorem. The proof (which requires only slight changes) is left as an exercise.

Libertarian Bullshit October 2, 2009 at 12:17 am

THEOREM: A government/state can be created through voluntary contracts
PROOF: Let X be a set of owners of property. Any x in X may be scared that y in X would use force or fraud against him, so all the x’s in X sign a contract to set up a private security service. This private security service is allowed to collect an annual duty from each owner of property in proportion to the income of each owner of property, with certain deductions allowed (the initial terms are agreed to by the owners in X; the private security service is given the right by the owners to change those terms afterwards). The owners also give the private security service the right to set up a post office (by including that in the terms of the contract) and the right to coin money in gold or silver and regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin (again, by including that in the terms of the contract). But then this private security service has all of the functions of a state. So a state has been created through voluntary action.

rwilson October 2, 2009 at 12:25 am

Great article Michael. I enjoyed it very much(I also enjoy your books). :).

I plan on seeing the movie tomorrow.

Gil October 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

“I’m of the opinion that Capitalism does not exist with a fiat currency . . .” – bernardpalmer

Hmmm, a real free market can’t force people to accept worthless ‘currency’ through decree backed by force hence any paper notes or electronic digits will be backed by some sort of anchor, e.g. gold. Yep, I’d say that “there won’t be fiat money in a proper Capitalist world” would be a pretty safe bet.

Libertarian Bullshit October 2, 2009 at 12:49 am

THEOREM: All property in the United States is owned by the Federal Government of the United States; any individual who owns property is merely renting from the Federal Government. Also, any “force” used by the Federal Government against renters of Federal Property was agreed to by such renters in signing a contract or oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. In the case that a renter has not signed a contract or oath of allegiance, then that person is obviously trespassing on Federal Property.
PROOF: The Federal Government of the United States was created by voluntary action among the several States. The governments of the several States were created by voluntary action among individuals. Those individuals were implicitly homesteading on all land claimed by their respective States simply by the act of claiming such land as theirs. Therefore, by the rules of homesteading, those individuals were the proper owners of such property, which includes all land currently claimed by the Federal Government of the United States. The current people in charge of the Federal Government are the heirs to such property.

rwilson October 2, 2009 at 1:20 am

“Hmmm, a real free market can’t force people to accept worthless ‘currency’ through decree backed by force hence any paper notes or electronic digits will be backed by some sort of anchor, e.g. gold. Yep, I’d say that “there won’t be fiat money in a proper Capitalist world” would be a pretty safe bet.”

There won’t be fiat money in a Capitalist society, but I still believe there will be fractional money or in other words all banks won’t practice 100 % backed by gold banking.

Brian Drake October 2, 2009 at 5:40 am

Libertarian Bullshit,

You are an ass. Your attitude is highly abrasive and it’s obvious you come looking for a fight, not a genuine discussion.

That being said, you are not ignorant as several other posters have written you off to be. Your arguments demonstrate a fairly good grasp of some of the concepts of libertarianism.

I would prefer that people look past your abrasiveness and address the points you bring up, but such is human nature.

It’s 3:30am (trouble sleeping), so I won’t respond to your arguments now. But I think in some of the cases you are correct in your logic, but incorrect to think your argument is counter to libertarianism (like contractual “IP”, unanimous consent to a private “State”). In other arguments, you are blatantly wrong, and I’ll try to address some of that tomorrow. For example, I’m not aware of a homesteading theory where “claiming” is all that is required (and thus we’re all trespassers on Federal land).

But everyone else, please look past his attitude and engage his arguments (which are much more sophisticated than the vast majority of attacks against libertarianism) if for nothing else, than an educational opportunity for those browsing this discussion.

Ivica2510 October 2, 2009 at 5:53 am

This one is great:
“We listen to Catholic priests who denounce capitalism as an evil to be eradicated. What would they put in its place and how would the new system work? The priests don’t tell us.”

I live in Croatia. Recently I escorted my 10 year old nephew to the church. The priest was talking about the evil capitalist system that works in Croatia. After the mess, I asked my nephew exactly the same question as cited above: But, what should replace the current system? He answered, to my amazement:
“Well, either the Fascists, or Tito and his communists!”

Ivica2510 October 2, 2009 at 7:11 am

Just let me add something, in order to avoid confusion. I was amazed for such a smart answer from a kid.

Of course, he has not read Mises’ Bureaucracy in which it is explained that there is no “third way” possible: it is either capitalism or socialism. But, the priests should have read this book.

Libertarian Bullshit October 2, 2009 at 7:32 am

“For example, I’m not aware of a homesteading theory where “claiming” is all that is required (and thus we’re all trespassers on Federal land).”

Well, the Federal government has done a lot more than just “claim”, wouldn’t you say? It even sends guys with big guns to enforce its claim.
You don’t pay your annual duty like a good trespasser on Federal land? You do something on its land that it doesn’t want you to do (like harming other customers and reducing the government’s taxable wealth)? Then guys with big guns will come after you. They know where you live; after all, they were there before you were, since it’s their property.
Don’t forget that your house can be turned into a tank factory whenever the Federal government (or your state puppet “government”) feels like it. You quite literally are renting from the government (which is actually a private corporation that just happens to own all the land in the country). Remember a private corporation can do anything it wants on its property, including turning your house into a tank factory, condemning you to involuntary military servitude (they can break their own rules; it’s their property), and taxation without representation (you’re also renting its currency). If you still have United States citizenship (if you’re a paying customer of the Federal government) then you clearly agree to those terms.

Simple thought experiment: anything that the Federal government does now can exist just as easily when the government is “privatized” (but that doesn’t mean that the Federal government is actually legitimate). Or maybe you actually don’t have a problem with private taxation, private eminent domain, private conscription, etc.

fundamentalist October 2, 2009 at 8:06 am

“So how did the rich get rich…”

According to Dr. Thomas Stanley’s research, 85% got rich by growing a business over 30 years. 10% got it from their job, for example as a pro athlete or actor or CEO. 3% inherited it.

Peter Surda October 2, 2009 at 8:07 am

While I have not read in detail what “Libertarian ******” wrote, I have to strongly object to this:

> For force not to be used, let the government
> enforcement be replaced by a CONTRACT which
> has the exact same terms that the government
> automatically creates (such as, no unauthorized
> reproduction or whatever).
You misunderstand and misapply IP. IP is the right to sue parties that do not have a contract with you if they interfere with your monopoly. By definition, you cannot mimick such a relationship with a contract.

Franklin October 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

Phew, lest there is some effort at moderating these blogs (hopefully through persuasion instead of deletion) I fear that the tone, and hence the quality, of the discussion and posts will devolve into the sad state of affairs at reason.com.

“Maybe I missed the connection, but the plight of native Americans, which was not my doing, is some kind of rationale that buttresses Moore’s film?”

Now THAT was funny. Thankfully.

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