6/22/2006

Painting Ayn Rand On Velvet


"Ayn Rand is the Thomas Kinkade of radical individualism, and radical individualism is as true to the way things are as a painting of Elvis on velvet."Gideon Strauss

Who's Thomas Kincade?

According to Wikipedia, Thomas KinkadeThomas Kinkade (born January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, California) is an American painter most widely known for his mass-produced prints. He is marketed as the "Painter of Light", a phrase he has trademarked.

Kinkade claims to be placing emphasis on the value of simple pleasures and that his intent is to communicate inspirational, life-affirming messages through his work. A self-described "devout Christian" (all of his children have the middle name "Christian"[1]), Kinkade has said he gains his inspiration from his religious beliefs and that his work is intended to contain a larger moral dimension. Many pictures contain specific chapter-and-verse allusions to certain Bible passages. He has also depicted various Christian themes including the Christian cross and churches.

Ayn Rand [1905–1982] was an American writer born St. Petersburg, Russia. Her best-known novels include The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and The Virtue of Selfishness. In For the New Intellectual she summarized her philosophy, which she called “objectivism.” She is also a favored writer of those participating at the ontheborderline.net blog. The mission statement at OTBL states:

We aim to encourage the study, debate, discussion, and appreciation of the ideas of such pro-liberty thinkers as our "Big Seven": John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and the American Founding Fathers, Ludwig Von Mises, Ayn Rand, Frederic Bastiat, Adam Smith, Aristotle - and others.

Ayn Rand developed a cult following that persists today. The OTBL'ers are cult members. In his essay, The Unlikeliest Cult In History, Michael Shermer details the flaws in the Randian cultist. He writes:

"The cultic flaw in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is not in the use of reason, or in the emphasis on individuality, or in the belief that humans are self motivated, or in the conviction that capitalism is the ideal system. The fallacy in Objectivism is the belief that absolute knowledge and final Truths are attainable through reason, and therefore there can be absolute right and wrong knowledge, and absolute moral and immoral thought and action. For Objectivists, once a principle has been discovered through reason to be True, that is the end of the discussion. If you disagree with the principle, then your reasoning is flawed. If your reasoning is flawed it can be corrected, but if it is not, you remain flawed and do not belong in the group. Excommunication is the final step for such unreformed heretics."

Read Shermer's complete essay published in 2Think.org.

Here are some quotes by Rand as to her feelings about God and religion:

"The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive- a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence...Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God... Man's standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith....The purpose of man's life...is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question."

Ayn Rand
For the New Intellectual
---

"For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running a protection racket - by making life on earth unbearable, then charging you for consolation and relief, by forbidding all the virtues that make existence possible, then riding on the shoulders of your guilt, by declaring production and joy to be sins, then collecting blackmail from the sinners."

Ayn Rand
For the New Intellectual---

Q: Playboy: Has no religion, in your estimation, ever offered anything of constructive value to human life?

A: Ayn Rand: Qua religion, no - in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man's life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very - how should I say it? - dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.

Playboy interview with Ayn Rand---

"Faith is the worse curse of mankind, as the exact antithesis and enemy of thought."

Ayn Rand
---

"God... a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive."

"Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality."


Ayn Rand
The Objectivist
Feb 1966 WMail Issue #5

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Whatever they actually are -- or pretend to be -- over at the OTBL blog site, when they have those hot tub parties, there must be a mess of soggy fruitcake and abandoned nuts floating around the shallow end of the OTBL gene pool the morning after.

147 comments:

rene descarte said...

With all those skunks, Don't you mean
"I Stink, therefore I Yam" ?

666 said...

If we published that statement on this blog, we would get the "Chris of death."

However, that's a very insightful observation that pulls together bloggers from both coast of the Badger state.

Cato said...

Altruism, or "other-ism," is the belief that sacrificing for others is good. But what is sacrifice? Sacrifice is always forsaking good for an evil. It is a rather depraved view of human life -- that people should be throwing away good to pick up evils and should do so out of love for "fellow man" or fear of fire and brimstone from above -- and is rightfully rejected by Rand.

God is supernatural and therefore beyond the realm of reason, which only deals with the natural.

S. Lumber said...

CATO:

What's your definetion of "evil" and "good?"

I suppose, if you look at the world only through the eyes of an individual, i.e., from the totally selfish perspective, there is merit to what you say. But if you look at the world with the perspective of the family unit, a team or a community where the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, I believe you perpsective deteriorates.

Very few of the pioneers headed West by themselves. They joined the wagon train and pushed the wheels of progress together. Many people see the benefit of working together as a community for many reasons: protection, education, infrastruture, governing. Others only see the need to invest in the community model when it is in their selfish interests.

Ayn Rand's character Howard Roark was a self-center egomanic who didn't catch the Frisbee on the concept of "community." He needed to be designing log cabins for the virgin wilderness of Alaska not skyscrapers impacting the whole community.

I don't believe Ayn Rand mentions anything about God being supernatural. God's a non-entity in her book.

Cato said...

A "good" can be any number of things. It depends on what the individual views as good himself. You can view giving money to charity as "good." You can view enjoying the fruits of your labor as "good." A sacrifice always forsakes a good for an evil. It is the definition of sacrifice. You cannot give up an evil for a good and make a sacrifice at the same time, for A is A and A cannot be B. I for one enjoy the fruits of my labor, and I and I alone deserve said fruit.

Working together is fine. I never said people shouldn't work together, and neither did Rand, for working together can still be selfishly motivated. There is quite a big difference between working with someone and being their slave, don't you think? What I was saying is that living for other people is evil (slavery). To love another is to give one's who self to them, according to many people's definition of "love." This is totally distinct from the type of living for another person that I am talking about when I speak of other-ism. I am talking about sacrificing one's self so that others—people you don't even know— may live at your expense.

As for Howard Roark, he was a heroic figure that did things as he wanted to do them. Some people didn't like his work, others did and those people paid him handsomely. He did not force his work on anyone, all he asked is that people did not mess with things that had his name on it. Unfortunately I do not have a copy with me at the moment but his defense in his trial at the conclusion of the novel explains this all quite clearly. He was trying to rip leeches off of him. He speaks of people who believe in altruism as slaves in spirit. At least the physical slave still has his honor; slaves of spirit have given in wholly to live for people they do not know. Think of, oh, Senator Dayton, the only Senator who pays his interns to "work" for him (he does such great work) since he feels so guilty for being rich.

As for Rand not mentioning God as supernatural and that God is an non-entity, that was my point. God is beyond the rational and therefore immaterial to discussions about reason and the rational basis for rights and what have you.

AndyRand said...

You objectivists must tote the same inverted dictionary under your arms on your way
to Ayn Rand Camp.
If you check the Webster Dictionary, (The non-objectivist version ) The following sentence
is given as an example for the word "Sacrifice".
"The general had to sacrifice several soldiers to save the regiment".Is sacrificing one's life for
one's country or any cause greater than oneself evil? Most would call it heroic.
Even a second grader could grasp this concept that one had to give up something of great value
for something of even greater value. I've heard you're rediculous definition of "sacrifice" before
from others in you selfishnes is virtue camp. What are you guys, some kind of cult. Even Bible thumpers
display more diversity than you Randites.

"A "good" can be any number of things. It depends on what the individual views as good himself."
This is "objective"? This is an undisputable standard of Truth that all can agree on?
This is as Subjective as anything could possibly be. The problem with your philosophy is that it
centers around YOU! Not God, not community, not even family. I, Me and Mine, end of story right!
Thank God you objectivists are a small yet disgustingly vocal minority. This planet couldn't survive
if you were anything else.

"I for one enjoy the fruits of my labor, and I and I alone deserve said fruit." I don't know about
you buddy, but I work damn hard to support my family, not just myself. If that makes me a "Slave"
I'm damned proud to be one.

As for God being beyond reason. Of course He is beyond your punny little mind.( As well as mine.)
So that's your excuse for making God irrelevant to everyday life.
Let me make something unmistakingly clear. I dispise every thought that was ever imagined by Ayn
Rand and see the current resurgence of interest in her dispicable philosophy as a plague on today's
American culture.

JPN said...

Cato, you say "I for one enjoy the fruits of my labor, and I and I alone deserve said fruit."

I challenge you to deny that the fruits of your labor are got entirely by the strength of you own boot straps. Do you walk, bike, drive or fly in the gathering of your fruit? All of these are paid for through a joint effort of the community, i.e., it's a pooling of a portion of every body's fruit to pave the way for you to get your piece of the pie. Likewise, you are safe in your home, because of police protection and national defense. It is unlikely that you could provide you own personal national defense system.

Howard Roark is a fictional character who appeals to rugged individualism. I junior high, I wanted to be Pony Boy in SE Hinton's book The Outsiders. Reality is something different. Roark could not figure out the tipping point where the individuals contribution morphs into the community good or bad.

I think the original focus of this particular post was to point out that Ayn Rand was an atheist who put "God" into the category of fairy tales. This was aimed at some of the OTBL bloggers who want to wrap a selfish arm around the teachings of Ayn Rand and point with the other arm to the heavens above and wash themselves in the light of God.

When you say "God is supernatural and therefore beyond the realm of reason, which only deals with the natural," I assume you mean it's only about the hear and now. Faith in a Supreme Being is meaningless and "good works" are a character flaw that are instilled in people through parental shame and cultural manipulation that amount to brainwashing.

Cato said...

jpn-

Airports are run by private businesses. Now, government has been bailing out these businesses for years and years and years but they are private nonetheless. I do not see how me flying is done so through a "joint effort of community." Perhaps I was unaware that they are robbing me to pay for a service I rarely use, but of course, that is of no surprise. As for using the roads, yes I use public roads. I would refuse to if I could use private roads, however, on principle. I hope one day that they will all be converted (Italy is a prime example of a road system that is by and large privately owned) but at this juncture that is but a dream. Police protection, like fire protection once was, could be purchased. In fact, the only thing that can't be done privately that you mentioned is national defense. I do not think there is no need for taxes and I am a bit more pragmatic than some of the true liberals; at least all those things you mentioned benefits selfish me, unlike, say, welfare, food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, etc. I am not an anarchist; even though I have quite a bit of anarchist leanings I can see the need for a government body to administer the law. But the law, in order for it to be just, must be built upon a premise that man's rights are natural and innate.

andyrand-

While there are subjective values to things (for example, Ms. Kelo might have valued her house at $10,000,000,000, and refused to sell to Pfizer for anything less. The government thought otherwise, and valued it at "fair market value," as in what the house would go for without the emotional attachment that Ms. Kelo had to keeping her house that she lived in her whole life. She valued that at 10 million. Why can she not sell it for such? But I digress) there are objective standards. Basically, since moral creatures are only so because they are rational, rationality is derived from nature. Nature is what we can see, hear, and more importantly, study. There are therefore moral truths we can discover. When I said that something is "good" for each person I meant that whatever they feel they like, so long as it does not violate the reasoned rights of others (which stem from the right to life), is "good." Yes, this is subjective. No one ever pretended that people like the same things. But to achieve happiness one must live by a set of moral guidelines. Which includes, of course, working for one's own happiness. "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." -John Galt

Postmodernists--people who think that there is no truth--like to point out how different cultures have different standards and we should not judge. Perhaps it is because they do not like people pointing fingers at them that they will not judge. andyrand, you seem to like to point fingers. I do not think you are a postmodernist. Yet you criticize us for having moral values because they are supposedly centered on ourselves. I am sincere when I say I do care about my "fellow man." I will help a person out if I see them on the side of the road, but I will not give to beggars. I have worked in soup kitchens, but I detest the very idea of welfare. I want everyone to be happy. Really. But to achieve happiness they must work for it. I must work for my own. Robbing me to give them happiness does not bring joy to either party. I fell robbed (because I was) and they fell like they were owed something (because they were -- it's the law!). What some people fail to realize is government is not needed to help people. Furthermore, government makes the so-called "helping" of people unhuman and uncaring. It does not bring people to their feet it keeps them comfortable at whatever level they are at. Just because I would rather not be slaving away for another does not mean I am a heartless cruel person who does not care about the wellbeing of other humans. In fact, I can only possibly see the finger pointed in the other direction if you are saying it is good for me to be a slave (supporting YOUR OWN family is being selfish, for the record. Supporting someone's family that got hurt by the tsunami, at your expense? That's being sacrificial and slaving for another). Which is disturbing.

JPN said...

CATO:

You not serious about the your flight package being a full-meal, private funding package...

Who provides the funding to build the airport for financing construction, loan and bond issues? There is definately a government hand(out) involved. Who pays for security? Who controls the traffic in the air? Who makes sure planes are being inspected, pilots trained and operations are meeting politically agreed upon standards? I'm assuming you don't have a private road to the airport and are using public road systems.

Do you think Boeing is not receiving government funding in some way, shape or form that contributes to its ability to build 747's?

What other countries have massive private road systems? I'm sure there are unstable countries where the rich have their own private security to protect them from the criminal element. These ideas have isolated practical application in a country the size of ours.

Regardless of what fiction character you what to pattern your life around, the US has gravitated to a mixed system that mixes capitalism and socialism together. It's not perfect and their are definately compromises to be made. From Howard Roark's perspective this is bad for his pocket book and therefore is evil. Hence, we live in a country with a free flowing debate on how things ought to be. Is there a right or wrong or good or evil? I say that's in the eyes of the beholder.

Cato said...

While you want to take a postmodernist approach of saying there is a free debate about what is good and evil, I know where I stand. I understand there is room for comprimise about some things, but in any comprimise between food and poison, only death wins. One cannot comprimise on all things. Progressives always talk of how great this mixed system of ours is but how it "isn't perfect." Well of course it isn't perfect. It isn't lassiez faire capitalism! It's corporatism (which is also known as Fabian socialism and another name which, to say the least, is loaded: fascism).

Since government gives in to corporate intrests when it shouldn't be even considering it, we have taxpayer funded baseball stadiums, which are nearly always voted down by the consituentcy before the government just forces them upon us. Government knows whats best for everyone, after all.

AndyRand said...

CATO

I will give you credit for engaging in a debate instead of personal attack like your brethren at OTBL and frankly I have done toward you. I apologize for doing so toward you as an individual but will not apologize for my abhorence of your ideals.
I don't have time to address all the issues you've raised right now......


My heart really bleeds for you that you are being robbed to pay for Medicare. I only wish you could experience becoming a quadrapolegic
forced to spend the remainder of your days in a Nursing Home where the minimum wage employees ignore your pleas to wipe the spittle off your lip, or give you a glass of water when you are thirsty. Where you sit for hours in your own urine and feces as your family pays $65,000 per year for this "free enterprise service". Heaven forbid that the Government subsidize these worthless wretches. Frankly, as much as I dispise your philosophy I wouldn't wish this fate on my worst enemy, even the OTBLers.
I can't imagine the practical results of what you believe if they were actually implemented.
You rage against the government like it was some tyranical demon whom you have no influence upon. Have you ever heard of voting, is it not "We the People" not Me, Myself and I that's in the preable of the Constitution?
I'll agree with you on one thing that we live in a state of corporate welfare that is fast approaching facism.
What I don't agree with you about is that Reason is capable of comprehending Truth. Perhaps in your spare time you could browse through Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" and give us all your Objectivist review.

As for government making charity uncaring. Perhaps there's some truth in that. But I'm a pragmatist. Even Bill Gates who's contributed several billion of his private funds, does so with the realization that it merely suppliments what governments are able of contributing. Regardless of how charitable I wish to be, private contributions will always be inadaquate.( Then of course I would want to be a SLAVE either.) Consider on top of that the rash of scams and scandals that the lack of regulation has created. No one can contribute anything without the fear in the back of their minds that they are being had.
I find it appalling that families with members facing death because of inadaquate funds (usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars ) have to hold spaghetti dinners to raise a fraction of the needed funds.
Maybe that's the kind of society you see as liberating, but I do not.


If you are interested in continuing to try to persuade us on this blog, consider asking to become a poster at the e-mail at the top of the blog. Unlike OTBL, you will be free to speak your mind here no matter how vehemently we disagree with you.

jpn said...

Cato:

Concerning this statement: One cannot comprimise on all things. Progressives always talk of how great this mixed system of ours is but how it "isn't perfect." Well of course it isn't perfect. It isn't lassiez faire capitalism!
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I read an article by a local blogger, Mark Pribonic on the Ludwig von Mises Institute site that was an excellent argument for more progressive legislation control corporate bullying of government and individuals. Pribonic discussed the Eron verdict and how it was an example of government punishing evil actions by a corporation.

100 years ago when our country was just starting to move away from the lassiez faire capitalism model you speak of, nobody would have fliched over the Eronish manipulations that are currently working their way through the courts. In fact, had any of the worker bees protested the corporate evilness 100 years ago, the local militia would have been called out to mow down the workers -- most of them a mix of half-starved, ignorant immigrants. With progressive legislation, some of there has been a reduction in the evil presented by the lassiez faire capitalism approach to business. Progressive legislation works like the governor on an engine and helps introduce a more acceptable pace in the order of society.

Remember "the survival of the fittest" and "the virtue of selfishness?"

Cato said...

Jpn:

Corportism (Fabian socialism, fascism, all one in the same) exists because politicans allow corporations to do what they do, not the other way around. If politicans were not corrupt to a point where they disregard our laws on a daily basis, if politicans allowed for lassiez faire to happen, there wouldn't be corportism. It couldn't exist, period, for government would be disintrested and not doing things like creating quasi-executive, quasi-judical, quasi-legslative bodies like the FCC to regulate the airwaves (the pragmatic intrests in not having pirate stations that use the same frequencies are not something I think need to be discussed here, but I will say I understand the pragmatic reasons behind a governmental authority regulating airspace).

As for the Enron example, Enron cooked the books, thus robbing many many people of money (most people in this country own capital, not the bourgeoisie) and were rightly punished.

It was not progressive legislation that outlawed theft. In fact, I think "progressive legislation" and "outlawing theft" have never coexisted in the same sentance that was describing something that happened. And quite rightly so.

I'll have to admit I do not read the Mises Institute's website religiously as some people do, but I will try to find the article and read it.

Oh, and for the record, governors on engines are terrible.

AndyRand said...

CATO:

"As for the Enron example, Enron cooked the books, thus robbing many many people of money (most people in this country own capital, not the bourgeoisie) and were rightly punished."

Since the book cookers have been punished, does this mean justice has been served?
If you were about to retire from Enron and your pension evaporated, is seeing Ken Lay in prision going to pay your rent?

I'm dumbfounded how lassiez faire would prevent this type of abuse from happening. Please enlighten me,
Seriously.

Cato said...

andyrand:

Aside from the government, no one can legally steal in this country. Well, regualted buisnesses can, of course, but that's corportism.

Let's take another example. Enviornmental regulation. Buisnesses love it. Why? Well it's quite simple. They would rather be fined than risk being sued. They know exacly how much punishment they will get for spilling toxic agents into someone's backyard. But the violation of the person's property could be worth far more to that person than just what the government fines the company for. Heck, the indivdiual doesn't even get restitution other than presumably, cleanup. Without regulation, on the other hand, an individual can sue and potentially recieve large amounts of restitution for the wrongs the company did to said person's property (which is an extension of the person, since it is a piece of their past (time and effort) and thus to violate it is to violate their right to life).

jpn said...

CATO:

I know where you're coming from on the politicians v. corporations...but you are using the word "if" way too much. As my Mom used to say, "if wishes were fishes, there'd be no room to swim in the sea." If we substitute "ifs" for "wishes," I think we have some agreement here.

Likewise, as Sister Vivian used to say, "money is the root to all evil." Few politicians retire virgins. For the most part, the process turns them into pandering whores who will do their tricks for the highest bidder and corporations have the deepest pockets and have the ability to use expense accounts to further increase the dividends paid to their stockholders.

While you often see your favortie politician sampling somebody's mom's apple pie, you seldom see the on their knees in the backrooms of corporate America looking straight ahead at the belt buckle the holds up the money belt of corporate influence. If only..

Cato said...

Or, as Fransico D'Aconia used to ask, "Have you ever considered what is the root of money?" I do not consider money evil, nor is it the root of any evil itself. I do have pleanty to say about the Federal Reserve and debt money though, but perhaps another day...

Politicans are only as corrupt as the people allow them to be. But since they do things like provide for uber-awesome programs like Social Security, we forgive them for their failings. I cannot stand the one sided debate that happens on every issue in Washington, and, to a lesser extent, locally, and am awestruck as to how people think the sides are so split and different.

I live for the days when anarchy grips hold of us. Last year I ventured over (not on nor above, but over) the border during the crisis where all "non-essential" (the government's words, not mine! ha!) services were non-operational. Tha anarchy! I saw zombies roaming the streets, and feral dogs biting the wheels of cars. Oh wait, nothing bad happened. Could have been like that every day...

Most people would rather not work for what they have. They would rather be given it and would give up freedom for security. For all the rantings against the PATRIOT Act and quoting of Frnaklin, as I just did, people forget that Social Security and Medicare and all welfare programs are giving up freedom (to do what you want with your earnings and savings) for (supposed) security, and what did Franklin say? Oh yes, those who advocate such deserve neither.

AndyRand said...

CATO:

It seems to me that a lot of your arguements are based on presuppositions which many do not accept. All taxation is theft being one that comes to mind.
I frankly very surprised at how idealistic you are. It seems you think
there's a possiblity of some type of free market utopia.
Your example of sueing sounds good in theory. But you know it's usually the deeper pockets that win. Those who can afford to manipulate the system can usually out wait a real victim. By the time a case makes it's way though the already crowded
"government" courts, any compensation can be difficult to actually collect and in the end has
is usually a very hollow yet expensive victory.
Take the case of those victimized by Enron. They will never be fairly compensated.
Do you remember when K-Mart went bankrupt. Stockholders were told theire shares were worthless. Then the courts let K-Mart offer entirely new stock. The original owners were left holding the bag.


You say "Let's take another example. Enviornmental regulation. Buisnesses love it." I find this hard to believe. Give me an example of a business that loves regulation.
If this were true GM would be begging the government to raise the
milage standards.

S. Lumber said...

I agree with Andy Rand on the quality of your observations Cato. You talk in theorethical terms with a lot of ifs. Like in ecobnomics 101 when we talked about "perfect competition." Magically supply and demand curves cross and we have equillibrium. That is what's called an illustrative model -- rarely, if ever, does it work out that way.

Corporations are a legal entity incorporated on paper. They are run by people with a vast assortment of ideas, theories, grudges, personel upbrings, mental challenges, etc. That's where I see the "ifs" argument falling down in your defense of Ayn Rand's philosophy. I'm not necessarily looking at your argument from the outside. I've been there, done that and studied that perspective of thought and rationale. Rand's brand of objectivivism would work -- if everybody played by the established rules. Likewise, the teachings of the Bible and other forms of religious doctrines would work -- if everybody played by the rules.

Surely you don't accept everything Rand says as gospel? My guess is you -- like most of her followers -- look at her writings as a buffet from which to pick the quotes that will help you justify an argument for not paying taxes, etc. Rand says all taxes should be voluntary. That's called "charity." Rand says the concept of "public good" is evil. If you're a fiction writer you can create your own fantasy world where all the pegs fit perfectly into the holes. As people of the flesh, rarely to we fit in the community cattle truck without a lot of pushing, shoving and estimates that include the phrase "on average."

Cato said...

Supply and demand curves work everytime. Why would they not? They may take different shapes but it would seem off for it not to work.

If ifs were fishes..... well, that sounds a bit silly, does it not? Out of five "ifs" two of them were not "theoretical" (I said "if I see someone on the side of the road") while the others dealt with if X happened we'd be better off. I do believe I said more than five statements, however.

The established rules of Objectivism, if we may call it that, require that people respect the right to life of others.

As I have already stated I am a bit more pragmatic than most of the true liberals. Taxing productivity is awful wrong, but we do live in a society where some minimal taxation is necessary. I am not opposed to modest sales taxes, or, at worst, a flat tax that did not punish increasing productivty. I am not a rich man, for the record, and am far down on the income tax brackets. I, however, aspire to end up on top. Even if I never make it I still think it is very wrong to tax the most productful among us simply for being productful.

Doing things for "the public good" can be evil, for you do not know what I consider good. Once represenatives stop being delegates and take on a more trustee approach --which happens soon after they become incumbants (our national congress has a 98% retention of incumbents, since The Party rigs the districts)-- they are more inclined to think to "the public good" that some men in smoke filled rooms come up with, not what the people say. This is why there is a stadium being built for the Twins. You can make all the arguments you want about the wisdom or supposed wisdom in regards to the stadium, but it was overwhelmingly defeated everytime it went to the voters in a very leftist area.

jpn said...

Supply and demand curves don't wsork every time. Can you show me an S&D for oil that works? In reality, the curves get manipulated by cartels, greed, misinformation, crime. etc. Oil is a commodity like corn and soy beans.

Cato said...

Futures trading is still reliant on supply on demand curves. It is speculating that the supply will go up or down as will the demand curve, and it influences the current price. Just because these curves are rapidly changing does not mean they do not 'work.'

jpn said...

I'm not saying they don't work. I think they work fine for illustration purposes. However, there are a great many extrenalities that come into play. On oil, fear, covert information, ignorance, intelligence, politics and stupidty are external factors that can cause the position of the curve to change.

Cato said...

Well then, we are in agreement. Supply and demand curves work, and there is no magic involved. There are a vareity of factors and they can come out deviant from what could be (wrongly) be called "the norm."

S. Lumber said...

Cato:

So what parts of Ayn Rand's ideas to you think make sense and which ones don't? In other words, what do you select off her buffet and which do you ignore?

jpn said...

Cato:
Below is an article by a Hudson blogger that was posted on the Ludwig von Mises wedsite. Are you familiar with von Mises? Take a read of this articles and let me know what you think. I think it is an excellent justification for the need for progressive legislation to protect an individual's freedom by putting restrictions on corporations. Since corporations and businesses are not individuals, I'm sure that you would agree that restricting them to protect individuals would be in line with allowing more freedom in society.

---
The Case of Government Retirement Programs
by Mark A. Pribonic
[Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006]


Last week we were inundated with news stories about the verdict rendered in the case of two Enron executives, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, who were found guilty on multiple charges, which included various counts of fraud and insider trading. No doubt there are many, particularly the thousands of Enron employees whose pensions and retirement accounts were tied to the performance of Enron stock, whose financial welfare suffered due to the actions of these two executives and the subsequent ruination of the corporation.

But there was another story, highlighted on the front page of USA Today, which has far-reaching impact on the financial welfare of every citizen in this country and perhaps the world. The story, which received almost no attention outside of USA Today's report, highlighted the bankruptcy of almost every family in the United States due to the 57 trillion dollar liability of government retirement programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and government employee defined benefit pension plans. As pointed out in the article, this is a debt liability of $500,000 per family; an obligation that would cause most families to seek resolution through personal bankruptcy.

In the case of the Enron executives there was certainly harm done to individuals, specifically the Enron employees whose retirement was tied entirely to the performance of Enron stock. But what is forgotten is that most transactions in Enron stock were done in a manner that was totally voluntary. Those who invested in Enron (as with any other investment) did so at their peril.

This is not to be taken as an exoneration of Lay, Skilling, and others; for at the core of any market transaction is honesty. Because of individuals who are less than forthright and seek benefit by cheating others, we have laws in place to provide the obligatory responsibilities of the parties in a transaction. The point is that since transactions in Enron stock were made through voluntary behavior associated with the free market, the number of individuals harmed by the activities of these executives was limited.

Every individual who invests had the opportunity to commit a portion of wealth in Enron stock. A great many did not for a variety of reasons; furthermore there were a great many investors, other than corporate insiders, who actually benefited from Enron stock either through personal investment accounts or mutual fund participation. As an example, an individual who bought Enron stock at $20 a share and later sold at $50 was handsomely rewarded; as was the short-seller who sold short at $50 and covered the position at $20. It is even quite possible that an investor who didn't trust Lay or Skilling could have realized a financial gain.

Contrast the case of Enron with the financial calamity of government retirement programs. This debt of $500,000 per family — which is growing at a rate of $25,000 a year — was thrust upon each one of us not by the free actions of the market, but as the result of compulsion and the coercion of governmental redistribution policies.

We as individuals simply do not have a choice as to whether or not we want to risk our wealth. Some may point out that we can make a choice through the political process by whom we elect, but this is wishful thinking: the political class of any form would never dare end a program of which they are beneficiaries. We as individuals do not have an option of withdrawing our risk at any given moment.

The misdeeds of government have harmed the totality of the citizens, including the future potential of those who now benefit. Since government creates no wealth, but only takes through compulsion and coercion, general economic ruin hurts even the government. A thief is unable to take from a house in which he has already stolen all possessions.

A wonderful history of a terrible disaster: $20
I call these programs misdeeds by the political caste because it has been obvious since their inception that there is not enough wealth created to ever sustain them but for a short period of time. The lessons of defined-benefit pensions, which Social Security is the largest example of, have been well documented in the recently revealed financial troubles of the domestic auto companies, airlines, and others. Ignorance of economic law is no excuse.

Where is it found within the framework of the Constitution — or more importantly in the laws of nature — that individuals have an inherent right to retire? The foundation of the crimes committed by Lay and Skilling is that they manipulated others to benefit themselves.

There is no moral rationale for dishonesty and fraud; as there is no moral reasoning that allows an individual to use force against another for personal gain. If the remedy for their crimes is life in prison and the confiscation of their wealth, then what is the proper remedy for government programs whose deception has far more ominous consequences?



Mark A. Pribonic is a Managing Director and Block Trader for an investment bank. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.

Cato said...

The rational basis for rights, the rejection of the concept of original sin, selfishness (in the way she defined it) is virtuous, the need for a standard behind money (as in that debt-money is a horrible idea) etc. Its hard to exactly say which I agree with and which I don't without someone bringing up the idea specifically, as I do not often think of what ways I differ with other people.

S. Lumber said...

Cato:

What do you agree with or disagree with that I have written?

Cato said...

That entire article was about how the money that was lost in Enron was lost by people who voluntarilly took the risk, whereas government is robbing us without any choice in the matter, and each family owes half a million in debt to the ever-growing socialist state.

"The misdeeds of government have harmed the totality of the citizens, including the future potential of those who now benefit. Since government creates no wealth, but only takes through compulsion and coercion, general economic ruin hurts even the government. A thief is unable to take from a house in which he has already stolen all possessions."

jpn said...

Focus on the Eron side. Ingore the government side of the story. As Pribonic states, the government side of the story was ignore when the Eron news was released. For the moment, I'm holding off any comment on the mordern day government problems and challenges.

Low-level Eron employees we locked of dumping their stock as the house of cards began to crumple. Their individual freedoms where denied by corporate adhoc corporate policies and the actions of the corporate exectuives -- who where dumping their stock while the low level employees where blocked from doing it.

The point I made yesterday was that 100 years ago this would not have made big news because it was laizze-fair business as usual. If the workers would have dared to protest this action, they may have been shot dead by the government troops controlled by the commands of elected politicians who were more intent on protecting corporate property than human life.

Without the progressive movement and the subsequent legislation that followed, we would not have progressed to the point where Eron executives are now going to spend time in prison. The protesting workers would have spent time in prison or be laid in an early grave.

Cato said...

Eh, no. They still took the risks when they bought the stock. So what if they were locked and couldn't get rid of it? You know the risks when you sign up. Now, cooking the books... that's a different issue that deals with theft and theives should be punished. I agree there. But the thrust of the article dealt with how the Enron tumble only effected people with Enron stock, while the failure of the socialist state effects us all.

Cato said...

P.S. Without the progressive movement, we wouldn't all owe $500,000! Your story said we do, so we can go with that numnber.

jpn said...

I think you are confusing progressive legislation with government controlled programs that provide a security net to members of society impacted by changes and disruptions in the world. I don't see progressive legislation that protectw consumers from poisoned/rotten meat (The Jungle) or blocking an individual's right to strike with corporate-directed, government-control soldiers as socialism. In fact, I would say progressive legislation aims to help foster social side of libertarianism. As an individual, I should have the right to go into a store and buy products that are fit for a certain standard of human consumption. I should also have the right to protest individually or with a group about corporate injustice without the fear of taxpayer-financed bullets killing me. These and other types of progressive legislation are aimed at moving us toward the ideals of individual liberty and freedom for all.

Cato said...

No, those do not have the individual in mind. It is that kind of thinking--that to have individual "rights" you must enable them via the government funding such and such--that has put us all in the debt of the Chinese.

You do not have a right to goto someone else's store and have meat that is safe for consumption. There is no such right. You would have of course, the court of law and court of public opinion to make decisions with, either before or after said purchase. If you are afraid, go hunt down and kill your own animals. It would not be in the best intrest of the store to sell bad meat, for people talk. And people who knowingly poision their customers get sued (the customer was under the impression that he would be eating a safe meal... if he wasn'rt under that impression... well, it would be up for the courts). The USDA's continued operation everyday dances on the graves of our founders. An individual state may legally create such an organization, although I would vote against any canidate that wanted things like that. But at least it isn't illegal, unlike most of the things Washington runs.

S. Lumber said...

So, if we made the payment of all taxes up to the individual, i.e. optional, eliminate government, i.e. removed any existing legislation on the books, and left the individual live freely by his or her own desires, we would have the world you vision and our Founding Fathers started.

This I your view would be the perfect world.

Cato said...

No that was not the founder's vision nor mine. The founders vision was very clearly written down in the Constitution and it involved a limited Federal government. Direct taxation was not allowed, and should not be, but I believe I already stated that I am not against all taxes in general.

Furthermore, pragmatic concerns of "society" (aka the pragmatic concerns of the leaders of a society) should not take precedence when discussing individual rights.

jpn said...

I sometimes think there are too many people who don't look into the DNA that surrounded the founding of our nation. The same founding fathers owned slave and used phrased like "all men are created equal." Obviously the Constitution was a compromise among mem with differing business interests. Even a die-hard, individual freedom lover like George Mason owned slaves. To think that our Founders even knew our country would exist in 1826 or 1876 or 1976 is speculation. To say that the Constitution was a done deal and unchangeable when the ink dried, is simplistic to say the least.

jpn said...

Cato:

I think I'm getting a picture of the philosophy of life you are endorsing. I don't know if you've ever played a musical instrument in a band, but this is the analogy I taking away from this discussion.

1. You live in a society that I'll call a band. You play your own instrument, e.g., a guitar. You want to play your guitar as fast or slow as you like, in any key or time signature you like. The band we are in is called the United States of America and the song title is "Liberty and Justice For All."

2. In the band I play in, musicians have to play with the other musicians. Each muscian is independent, but for the song to achive it goals, we have to maintain tempo, play in the chosen key and keep our instruments in tune. Within certain spaces of the song, we are free to improvise on the melody and take our breaks.

3. Then there are people who sit in the audience and listen to the music. They will clap, boo and make critical comments. When the show is over, they usually want more. They would like to join the band, but they make up excuses as to why they can't.

I've been in #3 and moved to the understanding of life in #2. I can move between #1 and #2, but I have to accept the difference between playing in the band and being a solo artist. You want to be a solo artist and do your own thing. The #3's will listen to both #1 and #2.

What do you think about the analogy?

Cato said...

About the founders DNA, I think people should be able to use quotes by Hitler. Sure, he was a very warped person who did very evil things, but he had some very interesting quotes that are useful. Of course many people find them "bad" just because of other things he did. While I am going to do something I said I wasn't in another comment thread to andyrand, this is very fallicious. Just because they were wrong about one thing does not say anything about whether or not they will be wrong on other things.

As for how it is "simplistic" for how it is unchanging, that is just plain silly. Of course it can change. Written in it was a very specific way to change the document. It has been rarely used, and the document does not mean anything any more to the government of this country, in my opinion, for it has a very Orwellian attitude about it.

Here are some Hitler quotes in a yearbook people flipped out about. http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/06/13/hitler.yearbook.ap/

"Strength lies not in defense, but in attack" (which is a silly yearbook quote) and "The great masses of people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one" (which is a very good quote).

As for your band analogy, I am not in a band. I have never been in a band. I have no intrest being in a band. I interact with others to gain things I want. I goto the store spend my debt-money and recieve goods and services, which they provide so they can get a little extra to spend on what I have to offer. It works out quite well, which each man an end unto himself. I am not means to an end (your #2 example). Means to ends are expendable. Speaking of mass murderering socialists having some great quotes, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." He viewed people as means to and end, aka, the "greater good."

jpn said...

Cato:

If the band analogy doesn't work for, how about this:

1. When it comes time to take a poop, the libartarian prefers to use and maintain his own outhouse and rather than sharing his crap with the 300 million individuals in the US would rather exercise the freedom of self-imposed contipation and not be associated with the collectivist mess.

2. Then general public has regular bowels movements that work their way through the public waste management system.

3. The liberatarian views everyone not buying into his theory of turd management as one of millions inflicted with socialist diarrhea that could care less where and when they let'r go and expect the government to clean up after them, wipe their asses and provide more food for them to continue to spread their crap around.

Cato said...

Sewers can be privetly run. Many people have septic systems in any event, not outhouses. You make it seem as if civilization is impossible where individual rights are respected. I have often found it humerous how people say "its not like how it was," and that now we "need to take into account current situations," and this is why we must take a pragmatic look at everything and why the Constitution should be burned in a funeral pyre. Because of modern advancements, I would say it is easier now than it was to not be connected via government (for example, there is no need, whatsoever, for a Postal Service, let alone a Postal Service that places ads on athletes in a sport that no one in America watches (biking)), yet now we are more than before.

The tax on tea which our founders were so mad about actually made tea cheaper. Interesting isn't it. They stood for principles. Very admirable.

jpn said...

CATO:

Concerning the income tax and the 16th Amendment...

Do you have a problem with income taxes? They are allow via the Constitution as of 2/13/1913. I believe the first income taxes were levied in the US after the Civil War to pay for war debt. Why do you think the push came to make a Constitutional amendment allowing for income taxes?

AndyRand said...

CATO,

I'm going to jump in here. After reviewing the other thread, it's my opinion that it was a very good starting point for a discussion.

You say:
"About the founders DNA, I think people should be able to use quotes by Hitler. Sure, he was a very warped person who did very evil things, but he had some very interesting quotes that are useful. Of course many people find them "bad" just because of other things he did. While I am going to do something I said I wasn't in another comment thread to andyrand, this is very fallicious. Just because they were wrong about one thing does not say anything about whether or not they will be wrong on other things."

It seems to me what you are implying
is because Hitler was bad, not everything he said was bad. ( I like things simpler, it makes me think that others can follow easier, (not that you need things simplfied, but sometimes I do. )

This is of course correct. But why pick Hitler as an example other than to attach the emotional baggage that goes along with that character. People use this tactic all the time and it works.

I just read the article you mentioned. You may be surprised but
I agree with you. The students should be able to use those quotes.(if they were not attributed them to Hitler but stood alone ). If they were attributed to Hitler, my quess would be that they were chosen because they came from Hitler not because the quotes had merit. If one did not know the source of the quote
one could judge it on it's own merit and not associate it with the person's evil reputation (Hitler).
I actually do not like "Thought Police" telling me or others what I can and cannot read. If the students
knew the quotes were from Hilter, I'd say that they were inappropriate. If I were the yearbook advisor I'd recommend the students find something more appropriate. But I don't think these students should be punished.
Just because they quoted one thing he said, does not mean they advocate everything he stood for.

What JPN refers to has a much closer
relationship. It is hypocritical to write that "All men are created equal" and then by your actions own and treat other humans as unequal".

Cato said...

I know the push came because of two factors. One, it is a necessity for a private bank to lend out unlimited funds and two, the Supreme Court actually struck down the Income Tax Act of 1894 as uncontitutional. After the income tax was enshrined, the bankers were able to move in and establish the Federal Reserve, which is neither Federal nor has any Reserve to speak of.

Personally I have a problem with an income tax but a flat tax on everyone would be an acceptable comprimise, as it does not punish productivity. I would perfer taxation to be handled by taxing goods. Some libertarians, who I do not like being called libertarians, perfer land taxes, although I think they call it "rent" since "no one owns" property, according to them. But geolibertarians a few and far between, even among libertarians in general.

S. Lumber said...

You've got me confused on the income tax. Back in the late 1800s our country was much closer to the laizze-faire capitalism that you speak so highly of. So why would the money powers of corporate capitalism need to have the government they control institute an income tax on the citizens? In 1913, the Progressive movement was in its infancy. Likewise there had been populist movements in the late 1800s but there was no serious push by the powers that be for any socilaistic or progressive programs. So why an income tax?

Cato said...

Banking intrests had been trying for forever to take control of the US money supply. And you need unlimited money to make a socialist work; a dog eating itself will one day run out of food.

People ran to the banks to get their money out because bankers lent out a few times more money than they actually had. Now they are legally allowed to lend out, for every dollar, ten dollars. The ten dollars are "FDIC Insured" meaning that for every dollar you put in, the Fed keeps 10 cents on reserve. Which means nothing since that dollar turns into 10... and banks making say, even 5% off of money they don't even have is a wonderful scam, and never have to worry about going broke since they are "insured" is just an added bonus. This is why Jesus got mad in the temple. Its one thing to lend money, quite another to lend money you don't even have, and then charge intrest. But I digress.

Once this scam was put in place, the government was able to use the economic crisis that was caused by banks lending out too much money in the first place to speculators to justify a whole host of programs that required us to go severely into debt. And are unconstitional, to boot.

Early 1900s cartoon, from St. Louis if I am not mistaken:

http://stream.paranode.com/imc/portland/
images/2005/07/322412.jpg

jpn said...

More questions:

1. Are you saying the laizze-faire capitalists paved the way to the socialism?

2. Or since bankers don't real produce anything, am I wrong associating them with the laizze-faire capitalists?

3. Is Alexander Hamilton to be given credit for being the founding father of American socialism?

4. How did we finance our country before income tax?

Cato said...

andyrand

I was not trying to evoke Goodwin's Law by mentioning Hitler; I heard it on the radio the other day and so it was fresh in my mind.

Now see I don't find quoting Hitler, and attributing quotes to him, inappropriate at all. I've quoted him many times, along with my good buddies Mao, Stalin and Marx. They made some very profound quotes which are enhanced by the by line.

I have never said our founders were gods. They are men, and men are fallible. Yes they had slaves. But it doesn't matter in a discussion of whether or not their ideas were well founded.

One could argue that they viewed slaves as not humans, and therefore all men were created equal. But considering slave owner's later justifications for slavery included saving them from paganism, I find that hard to believe. Jefferson was very hypocritical; he ran from the British when they came near Monticello and he owned many slaves. He couldn't even free them on death, for he was too far in debt. I never said he was more than a man.

He owned slaves like we own computers. They were regarded as property, not "men" even if they were regarded as human (this is what chattel slavery means). In the begining of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity he speaks of the dilution of the term Christian but to make a point he speaks of what a gentleman once was and what a gentleman now is. A gentleman was a man of status who owned property (he had a specific defintion; forgive me I am not at my home and cannot look it up) but it had become just another word for "a man."

AndyRand said...

CATO:

"People ran to the banks to get their money out because bankers lent out a few times more money than they actually had. Now they are legally allowed to lend out, for every dollar, ten dollars."

I'm assuming you are talking about the late 1800s. How could banks lend out more than they had if the dollar was backed by gold?

Cato said...

Jpn-

1. No. There has never been lassiez faire in this country.
2. Ha, not the type we are speaking of here. A privately run bank that does not seek to run the entire economy and print money is quite different than what we have.
3. Ha, no.
4. Our country was financed on tariffs and sales taxes, as well as donations. Hamilton argued for the necessity of a bank so that we will always owe something to the people, as well as be able to quickly change to adapting needs of the nation (say a war with Canada starts). This of course is just at the national level, which is distinct from the states and was never intended to have much power.

Cato said...

andyrand --

hence the run on the bank, and why many banks failed.

Not everyone usually comes to the bank at the same day, right? This way opf lending out a few times more than what you have, constantly just changing money around, works well, until everyone starts calling in their debts. The bank calls up their debtors, since they need the money. They don't have it. The banks then can't pay the money to the people who put it there in the first place. Many people lost their savings. Savior government comes in, creates the Fed, and problem solved. Only they don't really have the amount of money they would need in reserve if there was a run. But why would there be? What would you do? Goto the bank to get notes? What the hell does that get you? Nothing if there would be a reason to run on the bank.

jpn said...

CATO:

1. We may never have had true laizze-faire capitalism, but we were closer to the model 100 years ago than we are today.

2. I don't think you answered my question about the capitalists being responsible for laying the ground work for socialism in the US.

Cato said...

1. As stated previously, you cannot mix poison and food.

2. Not "capitalists." Corporatists. Fabian socialists. Not capitalists.

AndyRand said...

CATO:

You seem to totally dismiss the psychology behind a run on the bank.
If people believe their money is insured they are much less likely to panic.

If people believe there is a recession
around the corner, they'd hoard their money, harm the economy, and create the recession they believe is coming.

jpn said...

Cato:

1. You can mix poison with food. That is why we have government regulation of the food supply. They want to keep the mix at an equalibrium where corporate profits are maximized and the loss of human life is spread out enough so that corporate statistians can say the results are insignificant.

2. The reason the US needed the ability to levy an income tax is because they were running out of land to sell. The major financial component up till the income tax was the sale of the vast continent of land that made up the US.

3. I like you split "capitalists," "corporatists," and "Fabian socialists. I'm taking it that capitalist would be the theorethically practiced by the truest, noblest libertarians.

666 said...

A CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER

by D.L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
Arranged and Edited by John Loeffler

In the mainline media, those who adhere to the position that there is some kind of "conspiracy" pushing us towards a world government are virulently ridiculed. The standard attack maintains that the so-called "New World Order" is the product of turn-of-the-century, right-wing, bigoted, anti-semitic racists acting in the tradition of the long-debunked Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, now promulgated by some Militias and other right-wing hate groups.

The historical record does not support that position to any large degree but it has become the mantra of the socialist left and their cronies, the media.

The term "New World Order" has been used thousands of times in this century by proponents in high places of federalized world government. Some of those involved in this collaboration to achieve world order have been Jewish. The preponderance are not, so it most definitely is not a Jewish agenda.

For years, leaders in education, industry, the media, banking, etc., have promoted those with the same Weltanschauung (world view) as theirs. Of course, someone might say that just because individuals promote their friends doesn't constitute a conspiracy. That's true in the usual sense. However, it does represent an "open conspiracy," as described by noted Fabian Socialist H.G. Wells in The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution (1928).

In 1913, prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act President Wilson's The New Freedom was published, in which he revealed:

"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U. S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

On November 21, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote a letter to Col. Edward Mandell House, President Woodrow Wilson's close advisor:

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson... "

That there is such a thing as a cabal of power brokers who control government behind the scenes has been detailed several times in this century by credible sources. Professor Carroll Quigley was Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University. President Clinton has publicly paid homage to the influence Professor Quigley had on his life. In Quigley's magnum opus Tragedy and Hope (1966), he states:

"There does exist and has existed for a generation, an international ... network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies... but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known."

Even talk show host Rush Limbaugh, an outspoken critic of anyone claiming a push for global government, said on his February 7, 1995 program:

"You see, if you amount to anything in Washington these days, it is because you have been plucked or handpicked from an Ivy League school -- Harvard, Yale, Kennedy School of Government -- you've shown an aptitude to be a good Ivy League type, and so you're plucked so-to-speak, and you are assigned success. You are assigned a certain role in government somewhere, and then your success is monitored and tracked, and you go where the pluckers and the handpickers can put you."

On May 4, 1993, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) president Leslie Gelb said on The Charlie Rose Show that:

"... you [Charlie Rose] had me on [before] to talk about the New World Order! I talk about it all the time. It's one world now. The Council [CFR] can find, nurture, and begin to put people in the kinds of jobs this country needs. And that's going to be one of the major enterprises of the Council under me."

Previous CFR chairman, John J. McCloy (1953-70), actually said they have been doing this since the 1940s (and before).

The thrust towards global government can be well-documented but at the end of the twentieth century it does not look like a traditional conspiracy in the usual sense of a secret cabal of evil men meeting clandestinely behind closed doors. Rather, it is a "networking" of like-minded individuals in high places to achieve a common goal, as described in Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 insider classic, The Aquarian Conspiracy.

Perhaps the best way to relate this would be a brief history of the New World Order, not in our words but in the words of those who have been striving to make it real.

1912 -- Colonel Edward M. House, a close advisor of President Woodrow Wilson, publishes Phillip Dru: Administrator in which he promotes "socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx."

1913 -- The Federal Reserve (neither federal nor a reserve) is created. It was planned at a secret meeting in 1910 on Jekyl Island, Georgia by a group of bankers and politicians, including Col. House. This transferred the power to create money from the American government to a private group of bankers. It is probably the largest generator of debt in the world.

May 30, 1919 -- Prominent British and American personalities establish the Royal Institute of International Affairs in England and the Institute of International Affairs in the U.S. at a meeting arranged by Col. House attended by various Fabian socialists, including noted economist John Maynard Keynes. Two years later, Col. House reorganizes the Institute of International Affairs into the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

December 15, 1922 -- The CFR endorses World Government in its magazine Foreign Affairs. Author Philip Kerr, states:

"Obviously there is going to be no peace or prosperity for mankind as long as [the earth] remains divided into 50 or 60 independent states until some kind of international system is created... The real problem today is that of the world government."

1928 -- The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution by H.G. Wells is published. A former Fabian Socialist, Wells writes:

"The political world of the ... Open Conspiracy must weaken, efface, incorporate and supersede existing governments... The Open Conspiracy is the natural inheritor of socialist and communist enthusiasms; it may be in control of Moscow before it is in control of New York... The character of the Open Conspiracy will now be plainly displayed... It will be a world religion."

1931 -- Students at the Lenin School of Political Warfare in Moscow are taught:

"One day we shall start to spread the most theatrical peace movement the world has ever seen. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent ... will fall into the trap offered by the possibility of making new friends. Our day will come in 30 years or so... The bourgeoisie must be lulled into a false sense of security."

1931 -- In a speech to the Institute for the Study of International Affairs at Copenhagen) historian Arnold Toyee said:

"We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world. All the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands...."

1932 -- New books are published urging World Order:

Toward Soviet America by William Z. Foster. Head of the Communist Party USA, Foster indicates that a National Department of Education would be one of the means used to develop a new socialist society in the U.S.

The New World Order by F.S. Marvin, describing the League of Nations as the first attempt at a New World Order. Marvin says, "nationality must rank below the claims of mankind as a whole."

Dare the School Build a New Social Order? is published. Educator author George Counts asserts that:

"... the teachers should deliberately reach for power and then make the most of their conquest" in order to "influence the social attitudes, ideals and behavior of the coming generation... The growth of science and technology has carried us into a new age where ignorance must be replaced by knowledge, competition by cooperation, trust in Providence by careful planning and private capitalism by some form of social economy."

1933 -- The first Humanist Manifesto is published. Co-author John Dewey, the noted philosopher and educator, calls for a synthesizing of all religions and "a socialized and cooperative economic order." Co-signer C.F. Potter said in 1930:

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?"

1933 -- The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells is published. Wells predicts a second world war around 1940, originating from a German-Polish dispute. After 1945 there would be an increasing lack of public safety in "criminally infected" areas. The plan for the "Modern World-State" would succeed on its third attempt (about 1980), and come out of something that occurred in Basra, Iraq. The book also states,

"Although world government had been plainly coming for some years, although it had been endlessly feared and murmured against, it found no opposition prepared anywhere."

1934 -- The Externalization of the Hierarchy by Alice A. Bailey is published. Bailey is an occultist, whose works are channeled from a spirit guide, the Tibetan Master [demon spirit] Djwahl Kuhl. Bailey uses the phrase "points of light" in connection with a "New Group of World Servers" and claims that 1934 marks the beginning of "the organizing of the men and women... group work of a new order... [with] progress defined by service... the world of the Brotherhood... the Forces of Light... [and] out of the spoliation of all existing culture and civilization, the new world order must be built."

The book is published by the Lucis Trust, incorporated originally in New York as the Lucifer Publishing Company. Lucis Trust is a United Nations NGO and has been a major player at the recent U.N. summits. Later Assistant Secretary General of the U.N. Robert Mueller would credit the creation of his World Core Curriculum for education to the underlying teachings of Djwahl Kuhl via Alice Bailey's writings on the subject.

1932 -- Plan for Peace by American Birth Control League founder Margaret Sanger (1921) is published. She calls for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and rehabilitative concentration camps for all "dysgenic stocks" including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Catholics.

October 28, 1939 -- In an address by John Foster Dulles, later U.S. Secretary of State, he proposes that America lead the transition to a new order of less independent, semi-sovereign states bound together by a league or federal union.

1939 -- New World Order by H. G. Wells proposes a collectivist one-world state"' or "new world order" comprised of "socialist democracies." He advocates "universal conscription for service" and declares that "nationalist individualism... is the world's disease." He continues:

"The manifest necessity for some collective world control to eliminate warfare and the less generally admitted necessity for a collective control of the economic and biological life of mankind, are aspects of one and the same process." He proposes that this be accomplished through "universal law" and propaganda (or education)."

1940 -- The New World Order is published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and contains a select list of references on regional and world federation, together with some special plans for world order after the war.

December 12, 1940 -- In The Congressional Record an article entitled A New World Order John G. Alexander calls for a world federation.

1942 -- The leftist Institute of Pacific Relations publishes Post War Worlds by P.E. Corbett:

"World government is the ultimate aim... It must be recognized that the law of nations takes precedence over national law... The process will have to be assisted by the deletion of the nationalistic material employed in educational textbooks and its replacement by material explaining the benefits of wiser association."

June 28, 1945 -- President Truman endorses world government in a speech:

"It will be just as easy for nations to get along in a republic of the world as it is for us to get along in a republic of the United States."

October 24, 1945 -- The United Nations Charter becomes effective. Also on October 24, Senator Glen Taylor (D-Idaho) introduces Senate Resolution 183 calling upon the U.S. Senate to go on record as favoring creation of a world republic including an international police force.

1946 -- Alger Hiss is elected President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Hiss holds this office until 1949. Early in 1950, he is convicted of perjury and sentenced to prison after a sensational trial and Congressional hearing in which Whittaker Chambers, a former senior editor of Time, testifies that Hiss was a member of his Communist Party cell.

1946 -- The Teacher and World Government by former editor of the NEA Journal (National Education Association) Joy Elmer Morgan is published. He says:

"In the struggle to establish an adequate world government, the teacher... can do much to prepare the hearts and minds of children for global understanding and cooperation... At the very heart of all the agencies which will assure the coming of world government must stand the school, the teacher, and the organized profession."

1947 -- The American Education Fellowship, formerly the Progressive Education Association, organized by John Dewey, calls for the:

"... establishment of a genuine world order, an order in which national sovereignty is subordinate to world authority... "

October, 1947 -- NEA Associate Secretary William Carr writes in the NEA Journal that teachers should:

"... teach about the various proposals that have been made for the strengthening of the United Nations and the establishment of a world citizenship and world government."

1948 -- Walden II by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner proposes "a perfect society or new and more perfect order" in which children are reared by the State, rather than by their parents and are trained from birth to demonstrate only desirable behavior and characteristics. Skinner's ideas would be widely implemented by educators in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s as Values Clarification and Outcome Based Education.

July, 1948 -- Britain's Sir Harold Butler, in the CFR's Foreign Affairs, sees "a New World Order" taking shape:

"How far can the life of nations, which for centuries have thought of themselves as distinct and unique, be merged with the life of other nations? How far are they prepared to sacrifice a part of their sovereignty without which there can be no effective economic or political union?... Out of the prevailing confusion a new world is taking shape... which may point the way toward the new order... That will be the beginning of a real United Nations, no longer crippled by a split personality, but held together by a common faith."

1948 -- UNESCO president and Fabian Socialist, Sir Julian Huxley, calls for a radical eugenic policy in UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy. He states:

"Thus, even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy of controlled human breeding will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable."

1948 -- The preliminary draft of a World Constitution is published by U.S. educators advocating regional federation on the way toward world federation or government with England incorporated into a European federation.

The Constitution provides for a "World Council" along with a "Chamber of Guardians" to enforce world law. Also included is a "Preamble" calling upon nations to surrender their arms to the world government, and includes the right of this "Federal Republic of the World" to seize private property for federal use.

February 9, 1950 -- The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee introduces Senate Concurrent Resolution 66 which begins:

"Whereas, in order to achieve universal peace and justice, the present Charter of the United Nations should be changed to provide a true world government constitution."

The resolution was first introduced in the Senate on September 13, 1949 by Senator Glen Taylor (D-Idaho). Senator Alexander Wiley (R-Wisconsin) called it "a consummation devoutly to be wished for" and said, "I understand your proposition is either change the United Nations, or change or create, by a separate convention, a world order." Senator Taylor later stated:

"We would have to sacrifice considerable sovereignty to the world organization to enable them to levy taxes in their own right to support themselves."

1950 -- In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, international financier James P Warburg said:

"we shall have a world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest."

April 12, 1952 -- John Foster Dulles, later to become Secretary of State, says in a speech to the American Bar Association in Louisville, Kentucky, that "treaty laws can override the Constitution." He says treaties can take power away from Congress and give them to the President. They can take powers from the States and give them to the Federal Government or to some international body and they can cut across the rights given to the people by their constitutional Bill of Rights. A Senate amendment, proposed by GOP Senator John Bricker, would have provided that no treaty could supersede the Constitution, but it fails to pass by one vote.

1954 -- Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands establishes the Bilderbergers, international politicians and bankers who meet secretly on an annual basis.

1954 -- H. Rowan Gaither, Jr., President - Ford Foundation said to Norman Dodd of the Congressional Reese Commission:

"... all of us here at the policy-making level have had experience with directives... from the White House... . The substance of them is that we shall use our grant-making power so as to alter our life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union."

1954 -- Senator William Jenner said:

"Today the path to total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by the Congress, the President, or the people... outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government, a bureaucratic elite which believes our Constitution is outmoded and is sure that it is the winning side.... All the strange developments in the foreign policy agreements may be traced to this group who are going to make us over to suit their pleasure.... This political action group has its own local political support organizations, its own pressure groups, its own vested interests, its foothold within our government, and its own propaganda apparatus."

1958 -- World Peace through World Law is published, where authors Grenville Clark and Louis Sohn advocate using the U.N. as a governing body for the world, world disarmament, a world police force and legislature.

1959 -- The Council on Foreign Relations calls for a New International Order Study Number 7, issued on November 25, advocated:

"... new international order [which] must be responsive to world aspirations for peace, for social and economic change... an international order... including states labeling themselves as 'socialist' [communist]."

1959 -- The World Constitution and Parliament Association is founded which later develops a Diagram of World Government under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

1959 -- The Mid-Century Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy is published, sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers' Fund. It explains that the U.S.:

"... cannot escape, and indeed should welcome... the task which history has imposed on us. This is the task of helping to shape a new world order in all its dimensions -- spiritual, economic, political, social."

September 9, 1960 -- President Eisenhower signs Senate Joint Resolution 170, promoting the concept of a federal Atlantic Union. Pollster and Atlantic Union Committee treasurer, Elmo Roper, later delivers an address titled, The Goal Is Government of All the World, in which he states:

"For it becomes clear that the first step toward World Government cannot be completed until we have advanced on the four fronts: the economic, the military, the political and the social."

1961 -- The U.S. State Department issues a plan to disarm all nations and arm the United Nations. State Department Document Number 7277 is entitled Freedom From War: The U.S. Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World. It details a three-stage plan to disarm all nations and arm the U.N. with the final stage in which "no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force."

March 1, 1962 -- Sen. Clark speaking on the floor of the Senate about PL 87-297 which calls for the disbanding of all armed forces and the prohibition of their re-establishment in any form whatsoever. "... This program is the fixed, determined and approved policy of the government of the United States."

1962 -- New Calls for World Federalism. In a study titled, A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, CFR member Lincoln Bloomfield states:

"... if the communist dynamic was greatly abated, the West might lose whatever incentive it has for world government."

The Future of Federalism by author Nelson Rockefeller is published. The one-time Governor of New York, claims that current events compellingly demand a "new world order," as the old order is crumbling, and there is "a new and free order struggling to be born." Rockefeller says there is:

"a fever of nationalism... [but] the nation-state is becoming less and less competent to perform its international political tasks....These are some of the reasons pressing us to lead vigorously toward the true building of a new world order... [with] voluntary service... and our dedicated faith in the brotherhood of all mankind.... Sooner perhaps than we may realize... there will evolve the bases for a federal structure of the free world."

1963 -- J. William Fulbright, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks at a symposium sponsored by the Fund for the Republic, a left-wing project of the Ford Foundation:

"The case for government by elites is irrefutable... government by the people is possible but highly improbable."

1964 -- Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook II is published. Author Benjamin Bloom states:

"... a large part of what we call 'good teaching' is the teacher's ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students' fixed beliefs."

His Outcome-Based Education (OBE) method of teaching would first be tried as Mastery Learning in Chicago schools. After five years, Chicago students' test scores had plummeted causing outrage among parents. OBE would leave a trail of wreckage wherever it would be tried and under whatever name it would be used. At the same time, it would become crucial to globalists for overhauling the education system to promote attitude changes among school students.

1964 -- Visions of Order by Richard Weaver is published. He describes:

"progressive educators as a 'revolutionary cabal' engaged in 'a systematic attempt to undermine society's traditions and beliefs.'"

1967 -- Richard Nixon calls for New World Order. In Asia after Vietnam, in the October issue of Foreign Affairs, Nixon writes of nations' dispositions to evolve regional approaches to development needs and to the evolution of a "new world order."

1968 -- Joy Elmer Morgan, former editor of the NEA Journal publishes The American Citizens Handbook in which he says:

"the coming of the United Nations and the urgent necessity that it evolve into a more comprehensive form of world government places upon the citizens of the United States an increased obligation to make the most of their citizenship which now widens into active world citizenship."

July 26, 1968 -- Nelson Rockefeller pledges support of the New World Order. In an Associated Press report, Rockefeller pledges that, "as President, he would work toward international creation of a new world order."

1970 -- Education and the mass media promote world order. In Thinking About A New World Order for the Decade 1990, author Ian Baldwin, Jr. asserts that:

"... the World Law Fund has begun a worldwide research and educational program that will introduce a new, emerging discipline -- world order -- into educational curricula throughout the world... and to concentrate some of its energies on bringing basic world order concepts into the mass media again on a worldwide level."

1972 -- President Nixon visits China. In his toast to Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, former CFR member and now President, Richard Nixon, expresses "the hope that each of us has to build a new world order."

May 18, 1972 -- In speaking of the coming of world government, Roy M. Ash, director of the Office of Management and Budget, declares that:

"within two decades the institutional framework for a world economic community will be in place... [and] aspects of individual sovereignty will be given over to a supernational authority."

1973 -- The Trilateral Commission is established. Banker David Rockefeller organizes this new private body and chooses Zbigniew Brzezinski, later National Security Advisor to President Carter, as the Commission's first director and invites Jimmy Carter to become a founding member.

1973 -- Humanist Manifesto II is published:

"The next century can be and should be the humanistic century... we stand at the dawn of a new age... a secular society on a planetary scale.... As non-theists we begin with humans not God, nature not deity... we deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds.... Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.... The true revolution is occurring."

April, 1974 -- Former U. S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Trilateralist and CFR member Richard Gardner's article The Hard Road to World Order is published in the CFR's Foreign Affairs where he states that:

"the 'house of world order' will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down... but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault."

1974 -- The World Conference of Religion for Peace, held in Louvain, Belgium is held. Douglas Roche presents a report entitled We Can Achieve a New World Order.

The U.N. calls for wealth redistribution: In a report entitled New International Economic Order, the U.N. General Assembly outlines a plan to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor nations.

1975 -- A study titled, A New World Order, is published by the Center of International Studies, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Studies, Princeton University.

1975 -- In Congress, 32 Senators and 92 Representatives sign A Declaration of Interdependence, written by historian Henry Steele Commager. The Declaration states that:

"we must join with others to bring forth a new world order... Narrow notions of national sovereignty must not be permitted to curtail that obligation."

Congresswoman Marjorie Holt refuses to sign the Declaration saying:

"It calls for the surrender of our national sovereignty to international organizations. It declares that our economy should be regulated by international authorities. It proposes that we enter a 'new world order' that would redistribute the wealth created by the American people."

1975 -- Retired Navy Admiral Chester Ward, former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy and former CFR member, writes in a critique that the goal of the CFR is the "submergence of U. S. sovereignty and national independence into an all powerful one-world government... "

1975 -- Kissinger on the Couch is published. Authors Phyllis Schlafly and former CFR member Chester Ward state:

"Once the ruling members of the CFR have decided that the U.S. government should espouse a particular policy, the very substantial research facilities of the CFR are put to work to develop arguments, intellectual and emotional, to support the new policy and to confound, discredit, intellectually and politically, any opposition... "

1976 -- RIO: Reshaping the International Order is published by the globalist Club of Rome, calling for a new international order, including an economic redistribution of wealth.

1977 -- The Third Try at World Order is published. Author Harlan Cleveland of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies calls for:

"changing Americans' attitudes and institutions" for "complete disarmament (except for international soldiers)" and "for individual entitlement to food, health and education."

1977 -- Imperial Brain Trust by Laurence Shoup and William Minter is published. The book takes a critical look at the Council on Foreign Relations with chapters such as: Shaping a New World Order: The Council's Blueprint for Global Hegemony, 1939-1944 and Toward the 1980's: The Council's Plans for a New World Order.

1977 -- The Trilateral Connection appears in the July edition of Atlantic Monthly. Written by Jeremiah Novak, it says:

"For the third time in this century, a group of American schools, businessmen, and government officials is planning to fashion a New World Order... "

1977 -- Leading educator Mortimer Adler publishes Philosopher at Large in which he says:

"... if local civil government is necessary for local civil peace, then world civil government is necessary for world peace."

1979 -- Barry Goldwater, retiring Republican Senator from Arizona, publishes his autobiography With No Apologies. He writes:

"In my view The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power -- political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical. All this is to be done in the interest of creating a more peaceful, more productive world community. What the Trilateralists truly intend is the creation of a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved. They believe the abundant materialism they propose to create will overwhelm existing differences. As managers and creators of the system they will rule the future."

1984 -- The Power to Lead is published. Author James McGregor Burns admits:

"The framers of the U.S. constitution have simply been too shrewd for us. The have outwitted us. They designed separate institutions that cannot be unified by mechanical linkages, frail bridges, tinkering. If we are to 'turn the Founders upside down' -- we must directly confront the constitutional structure they erected."

1985 -- Norman Cousins, the honorary chairman of Planetary Citizens for the World We Chose, is quoted in Human Events:

"World government is coming, in fact, it is inevitable. No arguments for or against it can change that fact."

Cousins was also president of the World Federalist Association, an affiliate of the World Association for World Federation (WAWF), headquartered in Amsterdam. WAWF is a leading force for world federal government and is accredited by the U.N. as a Non-Governmental Organization.

1987 -- The Secret Constitution and the Need for Constitutional Change is sponsored in part by the Rockefeller Foundation. Some thoughts of author Arthur S. Miller are:

"... a pervasive system of thought control exists in the United States... the citizenry is indoctrinated by employment of the mass media and the system of public education... people are told what to think about... the old order is crumbling... Nationalism should be seen as a dangerous social disease... A new vision is required to plan and manage the future, a global vision that will transcend national boundaries and eliminate the poison of nationalistic solutions... a new Constitution is necessary."

1988 -- Former Under-secretary of State and CFR member George Ball in a January 24 interview in the New York Times says:

"The Cold War should no longer be the kind of obsessive concern that it is. Neither side is going to attack the other deliberately... If we could internationalize by using the U.N. in conjunction with the Soviet Union, because we now no longer have to fear, in most cases, a Soviet veto, then we could begin to transform the shape of the world and might get the U.N. back to doing something useful... Sooner or later we are going to have to face restructuring our institutions so that they are not confined merely to the nation-states. Start first on a regional and ultimately you could move to a world basis."

December 7, 1988 -- In an address to the U.N., Mikhail Gorbachev calls for mutual consensus:

"World progress is only possible through a search for universal human consensus as we move forward to a new world order."

May 12, 1989 -- President Bush invites the Soviets to join World Order. Speaking to the graduating class at Texas A&M University, Mr. Bush states that the United States is ready to welcome the Soviet Union "back into the world order."

1989 -- Carl Bernstein's (Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame) book Loyalties: A Son's Memoir is published. His father and mother had been members of the Communist party. Bernstein's father tells his son about the book:

"You're going to prove [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy was right, because all he was saying is that the system was loaded with Communists. And he was right... I'm worried about the kind of book you're going to write and about cleaning up McCarthy. The problem is that everybody said he was a liar; you're saying he was right... I agree that the Party was a force in the country."

1990 -- The World Federalist Association faults the American press. Writing in their Summer/Fall newsletter, Deputy Director Eric Cox describes world events over the past year or two and declares:

"It's sad but true that the slow-witted American press has not grasped the significance of most of these developments. But most federalists know what is happening... And they are not frightened by the old bug-a-boo of sovereignty."

September 11, 1990 -- President Bush calls the Gulf War an opportunity for the New World Order. In an address to Congress entitled Toward a New World Order, Mr. Bush says:

"The crisis in the Persian Gulf offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times... a new world order can emerge in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony.... Today the new world is struggling to be born."

September 25, 1990 -- In an address to the U.N., Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze describes Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as "an act of terrorism [that] has been perpetrated against the emerging New World Order." On December 31, Gorbachev declares that the New World Order would be ushered in by the Gulf Crisis.

October 1, 1990 -- In a U.N. address, President Bush speaks of the:

"... collective strength of the world community expressed by the U.N. ... an historic movement towards a new world order... a new partnership of nations... a time when humankind came into its own... to bring about a revolution of the spirit and the mind and begin a journey into a... new age."

1991 -- Author Linda MacRae-Campbell publishes How to Start a Revolution at Your School in the publication In Context. She promotes the use of "change agents" as "self-acknowledged revolutionaries" and "co-conspirators."

1991 -- President Bush praises the New World Order in a State of Union Message:

"What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea -- a new world order... to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind... based on shared principles and the rule of law.... The illumination of a thousand points of light.... The winds of change are with us now."

February 6, 1991 -- President Bush tells the Economic Club of New York:

"My vision of a new world order foresees a United Nations with a revitalized peacekeeping function."

June, 1991 -- The Council on Foreign Relations co-sponsors an assembly Rethinking America's Security: Beyond Cold War to New World Order which is attended by 65 prestigious members of government, labor, academia, the media, military, and the professions from nine countries. Later, several of the conference participants joined some 100 other world leaders for another closed door meeting of the Bilderberg Society in Baden Baden, Germany. The Bilderbergers also exert considerable clout in determining the foreign policies of their respective governments. While at that meeting, David Rockefeller said in a speech:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

July, 1991 -- The Southeastern World Affairs Institute discusses the New World Order. In a program, topics include, Legal Structures for a New World Order and The United Nations: From its Conception to a New World Order. Participants include a former director of the U.N.'s General Legal Division, and a former Secretary General of International Planned Parenthood.

Late July, 1991 -- On a Cable News Network program, CFR member and former CIA director Stansfield Turner (Rhodes scholar), when asked about Iraq, responded:

"We have a much bigger objective. We've got to look at the long run here. This is an example -- the situation between the United Nations and Iraq -- where the United Nations is deliberately intruding into the sovereignty of a sovereign nation... Now this is a marvelous precedent (to be used in) all countries of the world... "

October 29, 1991 -- David Funderburk, former U. S. Ambassador to Romania, tells a North Carolina audience:

"George Bush has been surrounding himself with people who believe in one-world government. They believe that the Soviet system and the American system are converging." The vehicle to bring this about, said Funderburk, is the United Nations, "the majority of whose 166 member states are socialist, atheist, and anti-American."

Funderburk served as ambassador in Bucharest from 1981 to 1985, when he resigned in frustration over U.S. support of the oppressive regime of the late Rumanian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu.

October 30, 1991: -- President Gorbachev at the Middle East Peace Talks in Madrid states:

"We are beginning to see practical support. And this is a very significant sign of the movement towards a new era, a new age... We see both in our country and elsewhere... ghosts of the old thinking... When we rid ourselves of their presence, we will be better able to move toward a new world order... relying on the relevant mechanisms of the United Nations."

Elsewhere, in Alexandria, Virginia, Elena Lenskaya, Counsellor to the Minister of Education of Russia, delivers the keynote address for a program titled, Education for a New World Order.

1992 -- The Twilight of Sovereignty by CFR member (and former Citicorp Chairman) Walter Wriston is published, in which he claims:

"A truly global economy will require ... compromises of national sovereignty... There is no escaping the system."

1992 -- The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Earth Summit takes place in Rio de Janeiro this year, headed by Conference Secretary-General Maurice Strong. The main products of this summit are the Biodiversity Treaty and Agenda 21, which the U.S. hesitates to sign because of opposition at home due to the threat to sovereignty and economics. The summit says the first world's wealth must be transferred to the third world.

July 20, 1992 -- Time magazine publishes The Birth of the Global Nation by Strobe Talbott, Rhodes Scholar, roommate of Bill Clinton at Oxford University, CFR Director, and Trilateralist, in which he writes:

"All countries are basically social arrangements... No matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary... Perhaps national sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all... But it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government."

As an editor of Time, Talbott defended Clinton during his presidential campaign. He was appointed by President Clinton as the number two person at the State Department behind Secretary of State Warren Christopher, former Trilateralist and former CFR Vice-Chairman and Director. Talbott was confirmed by about two-thirds of the U.S. Senate despite his statement about the unimportance of national sovereignty.

September 29, 1992 -- At a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, Trilateralist and former CFR president Winston Lord delivers a speech titled Changing Our Ways: America and the New World, in which he remarks:

"To a certain extent, we are going to have to yield some of our sovereignty, which will be controversial at home... [Under] the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)... some Americans are going to be hurt as low-wage jobs are taken away."

Lord became an Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton administration.

1992 -- President Bush addressing the General Assembly of the U.N said:

"It is the sacred principles enshrined in the United Nations charter to which the American people will henceforth pledge their allegiance."

Winter, 1992-93 -- The CFR's Foreign Affairs publishes Empowering the United Nations by U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, who asserts:

"It is undeniable that the centuries-old doctrine of absolute and exclusive sovereignty no longer stands... Underlying the rights of the individual and the rights of peoples is a dimension of universal sovereignty that resides in all humanity... It is a sense that increasingly finds expression in the gradual expansion of international law... In this setting the significance of the United Nations should be evident and accepted."

1993 -- Strobe Talbott receives the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award for his 1992 Time article, The Birth of the Global Nation and in appreciation for what he has done "for the cause of global governance." President Clinton writes a letter of congratulation which states:

"Norman Cousins worked for world peace and world government.... Strobe Talbott's lifetime achievements as a voice for global harmony have earned him this recognition... He will be a worthy recipient of the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award. Best wishes... for future success."

Not only does President Clinton use the specific term, "world government," but he also expressly wishes the WFA "future success" in pursuing world federal government. Talbott proudly accepts the award, but says the WFA should have given it to the other nominee, Mikhail Gorbachev.

July 18, 1993 -- CFR member and Trilateralist Henry Kissinger writes in the Los Angeles Times concerning NAFTA:

"What Congress will have before it is not a conventional trade agreement but the architecture of a new international system... a first step toward a new world order."

August 23, 1993 -- Christopher Hitchens, Socialist friend of Bill Clinton when he was at Oxford University, says in a C-SPAN interview:

"... it is, of course the case that there is a ruling class in this country, and that it has allies internationally."

October 30, 1993 -- Washington Post ombudsman Richard Harwood does an op-ed piece about the role of the CFR's media members:

"Their membership is an acknowledgment of their ascension into the American ruling class [where] they do not merely analyze and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it."

January/February, 1994 -- The CFR's Foreign Affairs prints an opening article by CFR Senior Fellow Michael Clough in which he writes that the "Wise Men" (e.g. Paul Nitze, Dean Acheson, George Kennan, and John J. McCloy) have:

"assiduously guarded it [American foreign policy] for the past 50 years... They ascended to power during World War II... This was as it should be. National security and the national interest, they argued must transcend the special interests and passions of the people who make up America... How was this small band of Atlantic-minded internationalists able to triumph ... Eastern internationalists were able to shape and staff the burgeoning foreign policy institutions... As long as the Cold War endured and nuclear Armageddon seemed only a missile away, the public was willing to tolerate such an undemocratic foreign policy making system."

1994 -- In the Human Development Report, published by the UN Development Program, there was a section called "Global Governance For the 21st Century". The administrator for this program was appointed by Bill Clinton. His name is James Gustave Speth. The opening sentence of the report said:

"Mankind's problems can no longer be solved by national government. What is needed is a World Government. This can best be achieved by strengthening the United Nations system."

1995 -- The State of the World Forum took place in the fall of this year, sponsored by the Gorbachev Foundation located at the Presidio in San Francisco. Foundation President Jim Garrison chairs the meeting of who's-whos from around the world including Margaret Thatcher, Maurice Strong, George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and others. Conversation centers around the oneness of mankind and the coming global government. However, the term "global governance" is now used in place of "new world order" since the latter has become a political liability, being a lightning rod for opponents of global government.

1996 -- The United Nations 420-page report Our Global Neighborhood is published. It outlines a plan for "global governance," calling for an international Conference on Global Governance in 1998 for the purpose of submitting to the world the necessary treaties and agreements for ratification by the year 2000.

June 19, 2006: Cato enters the abovetheborderline blog and confirms that all of the above is true...

Cato said...

666 what is your point? I was stating facts about the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The Federal Reserve is privately owned by people who are not named, and the income tax supports it.

Oh and "you" (well you didn't write it of course, you just cut and paste aside from the last entry) forgot all the stuff on HABITAT I & II where the UN said that office air conditioners needed to go.

Of course, your mocking me implying I am a "conspiracy theorist," poisioning the well and not introducing any evidence for whatever side you are on, is laughable, so I will laugh at it.

jpn said...

CATO:

To 666 I say whatever. I don't control the monkeys who dump that stuff in here. As you can see, it's an open discussion.

The reason we have an income tax is because the source of funding our government -- land sales -- was dying out. also look what was happening at the beginning of the 1900s: electric lights = power grids; cars = paved roadways; airplanes = airports and military toys, technology was chasing kids off the farm where they could live independently to the city where the dependency out outside sources for systems and utilities expanded greatly.

Cato books would you recommend that would detail the hisoric facts you are discussing? I've read a few books 20 years ago that made mention of some of what you have discussed here. I have a very open mind and am very curious about the history of our institutions.

666 said...

JPN:

I think the cut-n-paste info I spliced in to this discussion is very relevant. Cato is using all the buzz phrases of the conspiracy theorists. Let see: go back to the gold standard, banking conspiracy, income taxes are illegal, etc. I've been waiting for Cato to connect the Jews with the banking conspiracy. He's already glorifying Hitler. Cato how about throwing in a dash of 666 (my favorite number), a mention of the Masons, a couple strand of the Da Vinci code and all expenses paid trip for two to Roswell, New Mexico!

AndyRand said...

CATO,
Can we back up a bit?

You said:
In the begining of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity he speaks of the dilution of the term Christian but to make a point he speaks of what a gentleman once was and what a gentleman now is. A gentleman was a man of status who owned property (he had a specific defintion; forgive me I am not at my home and cannot look it up) but it had become just another word for "a man."

Does the following statement sound self evident to you?

"All property owners are created equal"

Cato said...

The thing, 666, about conspiracy theorists, is that they can write books and get a few pages right. I have intrest in discussing Nero, nor that silly book involiving the Templar. Nor do I really care about the Masons which seems like a drinking/charity fraternity. Well, at least when I went to Scottish Rite temple with a "Maid of Zanzibar" all I did was drink.

Speaking of books, thouigh, I do not have many to offer on this time frame, other than say, biographies dealing with the main players. None of what I said was really "conspiracy" since it is a fact the Fed is privately owned and can only continue to exist so long as the US can back up its pledge to pay it back. Money only exists because the US owes it to a private bank, genius! All of this comes out in biogrpahies. Books that deal directly with the issue are what 666 mocks and discards as conspiracy theories.

I understand tehre was a great supposed "need" for more money for the Federal government at that time. The problem, though, is that it was exceedinging its Constitutional obligations and restrictions in doing so. So there was no need for an income tax had the government been the size where you could drown it in the sink, as the founders intended, even big-government Hamilton.

Cato said...

Edit: NO intrrest in discssuing Nero.

AndyRand said...

CATO

I asked what I thought was a reasonable question, about all property owners being created equal being a self evident statement.
Your previous argument was an attempt to justify the founders hypocracy with
a redefinition of "man".(i.e. a gentleman land owner )
So far you've remained silent. I guess I'm unaware of which fallacy I've invoked on this one?

Cato said...

All women are created equal, all blacks are created equal, all property owners are created equal, etc., etc. is all fine and dandy since they are all coequal to each other. Any rational being has inherent rights that stem from his right to life.

jpn said...

Cato:

So you're saying all women are created equal to all other women, etc.?

Cato said...

Of course; all rational beings have the same rights.

jpn said...

Cato:

I'm still confused on your discussion of the income tax. Are you saying that income taxes are illegal...even though the 16th Amendment allows them?

Cato said...

No.... 666 said I used that "buzzphrase" but I actually did not even imply anything of the sort. They are not illegal.

jpn said...

So is the problem with the income taxes that they are too high? What should they be? In broad categories, what are we spending too much of our income taxes on?

AndyRand said...

CATO

I'm starting to get your game. You are always right, right? And when you are not you ignore the issue. The issue JPN brought up was that the founders were hypocrites. You smoothed that over with symantics. Now you say each is co-equal. So where was the right to liberty for the slaves the founders owned? I know you'll try to concoct some rationalization.

So what about those who are not rational beings. Those in a coma, those who suffer from mental illness. They have no rights?
Do you have more rights because you are more rational than others?

Cato said...

I have a problem with punishming productivity. Furthermore, I would get rid of income taxes, even a flat tax, if given the chance, in favor of a sales tax. Across the board, we are spending too much money. Going on 10 trillion in debt, our national GDP will soon be surpassed by what our government owes.

Cato said...

andyrand, I said that it was not right to focus in on their failings. By brining up the fact dome of the founders owned slaves, you poision the well in an attempt to discredit their genius at forming a government.

I do not have "more rights" than other rational beings since we all can reason. I do not suppose I am "more rational" than others either. As for people in comas, I say that if a being is rational, once was rational, or has a reasonable expectation of becoming rational it should be afforded rights. This is so we don't treat children and the elderly like dogs.

Of course rational rights is distinct from what the law actually says. I say that to be just it should be founded in the idea that man has rational rights stemming from his right to life and then enumerate them to be protected.

AndyRand said...

CATO

You want to have it both ways. The founders said "All men are created equal....." Since the founders owned slaves
there are only 2 possibilities here.
1. There statement is false. Since slaves did not have the right to liberty. or
2. The founders chose to ignore their own genius. Which speaks volumes about their true character.
Their idealism vs. their reality.

Cato said...

The Declaration really has nothing to do with the Constitution and is not legally binding.

AndyRand said...

CATO

Well, I have to admit you are right there. Don't you think "nothing" is a stretch?

Cato said...

Well I suppose had not the Declaration and the subsequent war happened, the Constitution would never had existed, but my point is that whatever the people who wrote the Declaration said (who were different than those who wrote the Constitution) has no bearing on what the law said. So at the time there were men who were sold in chattel slavery, and it would not be hypocritical for the founders (Founders being the drafters of the Constitution) to own slaves for it was legal in most states as well as nationally, even though it sought to limit the slave trade.

jpn said...

Cato:

1. I don't think the Founding Fathers were collectively of the genius stature. I would say they were a pack of bickering, self-interested compromisers who took the pragmatic carpenter approach and built the Constitutional foundation from the ideas of the Age of the Enlightenment.

This brings me back to Howard Roark in the Fountainhead. Roark destroyed his building because of the changes that were made. I see the Ayn Rand/libertarian idealists equating Roark to our Founding Fathers. The difference is the Roark put it in his contract that his work could not be tampered with. The Founding Fathers made no such entires into their legacy. The building the foundation of a house that could be added to and expanded, etc.

You also want to ignore the warts on their collective asses and admire the idealistic charactures of them. Jefferson was a horrible business manager. They had to have a lottery to help him financially survived. John Adams was an egotistical hothead prone to depression when he didn't get his way. Franklin was the ultimate self-promoter and Washington started as an incompetent general and ended up getting lucky in the end -- he play the image of the great leader to the hilt.

You are locked and loaded on the year 1776. Any relevant facts and questions contrary to your intellectual paint-by-numbers world view must be ingored or your arguments go limp when you enter the whorehouse of debating foreplay that has been echoing through the parchment-paper thin walls of our democratic republic for over 200 years.

Cato said...

A "democratic republic" is an oxymoron. A "Republic" by defintion has no dominant factor. A "Democracy," by defintion, has the dominant factor of majority rule. We were not founded as a democracy nor the oxymoronic "democratic Republic."

The Consitution that was ratified by the seperate states had a specific way to amend it written down. If the meaning of the words that were ratified can change then we cannot know if the original ratifiers would have ratified it if they would have known the potential new meanings of words. Furthermore, if they change to expand rights, who is to say they cannot expand to restrict them? (I am specific ally thinking of the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" "argument" here) You cannot say that is an impossibility. If our understanding can increase past what it once was for the supposed benefit of the citizens it can also move other other way, restricting our rights more and more. So unless it is rigid, it looses all meaning.

AndyRand said...

JPN,

You certainly have a way with words.

CATO,
Are you at least grinning? It's not personal.

AndyRand said...

CATO

"(I am specific ally thinking of the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" "argument" here) "

I'm not certain what you are referring to here?

JPN said...

Cato:

Concerning the "democratic republic" phrase I previously used, please insert "representative democracy" in its place.

Cato said...

andyrand --

It was a phrase used to justify the changing of the meaning of "cruel and unusal punishment" to include increasing amounts of punishment. If it can change one way, there is no reason whyit couldn't change the other way. This is but one example of why a static document is needed, and one example of how it words have been rendered meaningless.

jpn--

I suppose that works "better" in that it is not oxymoronic, however, we were not originally a democracy.

666 said...

Cato:

So we've changed over the past 200 years. The slave-owning hypocrits have gradually lost their grip on the stearing wheel and have had to share the driving chores. The order of decay has went something like this:

1. First to White men who didn't own property.
2. Then freed male slaves who could past a poll test and/or didn't mind the threat of death if they voted.
3. Then women.
4. What's next? Skunks? Skunks have rights too! They should not have to be slaughtered in the name of cheapshot Photoshop cartooning and spend eternity on the heads of the likes of von Mises and Ayn Rand in blogosphere hell.

AndyRand said...

CATO

You are obviously a very knowledgable person. I'm a willing to consider your perspective on some things but I'm pretty sure in the end I will reject your world view. However in the process I will concede that it's likely there are things I can learn from you and hopefully you from me. But I doubt that you would be willing to consider things from my perspective because yours is so cast in concrete.

On the one hand I see your point that if interpretations of the Constitution are subject to significant change things that change could be good or bad.
In my opinion words are not necessarily static. They have meaning within context. The historical context in which the constitution was written was an agrarian society who just severed ties with a monarchy. There is little of that context left today.

You say:

"If our understanding can increase past what it once was for the supposed benefit of the citizens it can also move other other way, restricting our rights more and more. So unless it is rigid, it looses all meaning."

I can agree with the first part of this but not the second.
There is little or nothing on earth that is not subject to some change. It's a matter of degree. I can see using the constitution as a standard to measure against. But there are many situtations in 21st Century life that are difficult or nearly impossible to measure against words that were written 200 years ago.
The meaning of many words have evolved. You cited the example of a
gentleman.

Last year the word podcast was added to the Oxford lexicon. Would the founders have a clue what a podcast is? It is likely that a case involving podcasts will come before our courts and conceivable wind up in the Supreme Court. What would the founders say about podcasting? They would most likely not have an inkling of the potential legal issues that could arise connected to podcasts.
My view is that Constitutional change is best if minimal and even glacial but not ridgid.

Cato said...

Oh yes, you are so right. Before people had the right to vote, women, minorites and unpropertied men were being wholesale slaughtered and no one, ever stood on a murder trial for it, since they had no rights.

There is more to "rights" than the civil right to vote.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter if the meanings of words change and evolve with time. I know words are not static, but the law, if it is tobe just, sure as hell better be. The new meanings were not ratified by the people. Only the original meanings were. You cannot change meanings of words to keep up withthe shifting sands of public opinion or the opinion of the ruling class.

We are purportedly a nation of laws not of men. Laws cannot change on a whim. They must go through specific processes laid down by precedent. And changing on a whim is not legal precedent.

Cato said...

Ack, the above was mine.

AndyRand said...

CATO,

"The new meanings were not ratified by the people. Only the original meanings were."

Agreed, but how can we be certain of the original meaning? If we could be certain, why would we ever need a hierarchy of courts to interpret the meaning?


"You cannot change meanings of words to keep up withthe shifting sands of public opinion or the opinion of the ruling class.
We are purportedly a nation of laws not of men. Laws cannot change on a whim. They must go through specific processes laid down by precedent. And changing on a whim is not legal precedent."

Our system shouldn't do this, but they do.
In reality, Laws change on less than a whim. Legislators routinely pass bills that were compiled within hours of passage and were never read by those who pass them. They are also filled with hidden provisions inserted by staffers to appease lobbyists. You are speaking in ideal terms not actual.

I think we'd both agree this is bad.

AndyRand said...

One other thought. The people who radified the original words are no longer with us, and they to lived in a different historical context.

Cato said...

andyrand --

The courts took it upon themselves to interpret the law in regards to the context of the Constitution; no where within the Constitution does it give the judical branch this authoirty. If ever challenged, it would crumble.

While those people were not us, it does not matter. We can change the law, yes. Can we just say it's different now than before? No.

There is part of the Constitution that says:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

It specifically says no state, and it specifically say that is cannot pass any Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts. Fair enough. Pretty easy reading, right?

Well our Supreme Court in all it's wisdom held that the current economic circumstances of the 1930s allowed states to stall the payment of debts. By pretending that the words always meant something they didn't (that they always allowed for things to change according to circumstances and this added "no new powers") (Blaisdell, 1934) it means that the words written down are effectively meaningless. This allows for anything to happen, "legally." How are we then a nation of laws, if the meaning of the laws can change?

AndyRand said...

You are bringing up detail of law I'm not familiar with. I am not a Lawyer,
are you? If so, I'm afraid my knowledge base is insufficient to go toe to toe with you on Contitutional Law.
If you want to claim yourself the winner. Be my guest.


Again you make the assumption that everyone buys into your premise.
That the Contitution is cast in stone and that the founders where Ubermenchen capable of no misguided thought.
In broader terms, it appears to me that you are an advocate of turning back the New Deal. Why 70 years later? It was your laizze Faire system that brought the economic circumstances about that you claim the Supreme Court reacted to.
Obviously, it would have been much better to remain in a World wide depression than to institute government work programs, and institute economic and labor reforms that eventually developed a middle class right?

Here's a question I have for you that I hope you will not ignore.
What is your opinion of the government letting no bid contracts to Halliburton to rebuild infrastructure in Iraq that we had not even destroyed yet?
If you want to talk about Welfare, let's pick on the corporate kind, not the people working 3 jobs to try to support their families.

Anonymous said...

Interesting overview of the discussion at hand from yesterday's Pioneer Press:

Economics, morals both factor into regulations
EDWARD LOTTERMAN
Monday's tragic apartment fire in St. Paul highlights an ongoing debate about what government should regulate. The fire started in a house subdivided into five apartments. Seven people out of the 20 or more people living in the house were injured, five critically.

News reports emphasized a number of violations of local law. An attic apartment had been constructed illegally. Seven people lived in the 250-square-foot apartment where the fire started, though local code permits only two in a unit that size. Smoke alarms were not operating. The house had a history of code violations.

Most people accept the idea that laws regulating rental properties are necessary. But some economists — including very famous ones — oppose such rules.

Their argument is a libertarian one. You make people worse off when you prohibit them from making voluntary deals that affect no one else. If some seven-member family is willing to live in 250 square feet for a given rent, you make them worse off by banning that option, those economists say. If you force them into a larger unit that costs more, they have to give up meeting other needs.

They may experience discomfort or danger in living in such confined space. But they are in the best position to judge the benefits and possible costs of their decision. Let them pay their money and make their choice.

While this is a hypothetical argument, Milton Friedman and several fellow Nobel laureates have reasoned along these lines.

Economists who support regulating private agreements, such as those between landlords and renters, argue that the two parties have unequal information and bargaining power. Potential renters don't have enough information to properly assess the risks of renting a particular apartment. They may misjudge potential costs and benefits and reach a different decision than they would if they knew all the facts.

In the same way that health departments inspect restaurant kitchens because diners cannot know whether unsanitary conditions make their food risky, they say housing codes should ensure that at least the most dangerous and least visible defects — for example, bad wiring — don't exist in any rental property. Those of us who have contracted hepatitis working in developing countries give some heed to this reasoning.

Non-economists who favor regulation tend to view things in moral terms rather than in terms of efficient use of resources. It is wrong to sell a dangerous product. Doing so should be outlawed and punished. Landlords ought to offer safe, adequate units at reasonable prices.

The argument goes back more than a century. The pro-regulation camp dominated a half-century ago. It still enjoys more public support, although Libertarian views seem to be growing in popularity.

Both sides have valid points. Information is often scarce. Power is unequal. However, setting rental housing standards increases costs and reduces availability even as the shortage of affordable housing continues.

AndyRand said...

I like things simple. You always come down on the side of the haves. Why?

Cato said...

Well at least I can rest sound at night knowing that my arguments are at least consistent. Welfare of any kind is abhorrent to me. Farm subsidies, food stamps, Medicare, etc., etc., are all things government should not be participating in.

The winners of wars write the history books right? A school system run by socialist government is going to teach that lassiez faire was the cause of the economic crisis, when there was no lassiex faire system in place (certianly not at that time, and even though it previously had been more so, it had never actually existed in all its glory in this country).

AndyRand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cato said...

Why do you bring up the Holocaust? I see no reason to discuss that.

"Wild speculation" does not need a laissez faire enviornment to breed.

AndyRand said...

"Why do you bring up the Holocaust? I see no reason to discuss that."
A low blow on my part. I apologize.
I will delete the previous comment.

JPN said...

Cato:

I'm surprised you didn't jump on the church picture and the note about libertarianism being a tea party parlor game. What do think about that? It's interesting following your argument for your side of this issue. It's like following the discussion of a well versed fundamental Christian. You've learned you lines well.

As a libertarian, are you in favor of national defense or should we all pay for our own personal ABM system?

Cato said...

I view national defense spending as one of the only expenditures that are actually legal by our government.

That said, citizens should be able to own WMDs.

As for "learning my lines well," that isn't the case. Learning my lines well implies that I am lacking thought on the issues and that I am just an actor in a play. But of course, as Rush wrote, "You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear-
I will choose Free Will."

There is no need to say, "as a libertatian" or "as a black man" or "as a homosexual" or whatever to frame questions, in my opinion, as a rational being. I am an individual, and so is each and every other human on this planet.

AndyRand said...

That's wonderful CATO.
Everbody will have there own WMD. I just love your vision of freedom it is so, (how should I say?) SHOCK and AWE inspiring. It's just the vision of the future I'd choose to have my children taught in the Sylvan Learning Centers of the future, at a tuition rate ten times that of my property taxes. That WMD thing is really a nice touch, it would make a great campaingn ad.
Tired of the GOVERNMENT foisting it's policy of nuclear non-proliferation on your personal souvereign nation?
Then vote youself into office, VOTE
LIBERTARIAN.
If you could only see the foolishness of what you say through the eyes of the everyday voting sheep you wouldn't make such rediculously outlandish statements.
(Personal WMDs, Give us all a break)
I sure hope you have your property posted properly, I wouldn't want to see the result of someone wondering onto your sovereign nation by accident.
Have you written your own Constitution as well?

jpn said...

Cato:

On the Rush quote, I had to check to make sure you weren't talking about the Limbaugh Rush -- and you weren't. You meant the band from the heart of that socialist nation Canada.

Of course, on national defense, you think it is justified, but individuals should only voluntarily contribute. You wouldn't force anybody to contribute, if it was something that went against their free will.

Cato said...

andyrand, have you considered the second Amendment? What does it mean to you? Does it mean we can go hunting, or does it mean we have the capacity to overthrow our government never taken away. As V said (in the movie; in the short story he was an anarchist): people shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

As for Rush, JPN, they dedicated their albums to Ayn Rand. They may be in socialist Canada, but I'm in socialist United States. Saying socialist canada is discounting them since they are from a place where their government decides what's best for a large portion of their monies. This is like discounting all French since most French people are a bunch of self-absorbed cowards, many of which belonged to Vichy France at one time. But I won't say that, I will just say, "that person is French" and that is all. Not "That person is snooty and cowardly at the same time, and I think he used to sleep with the enemey, since he is French."

But I digress...

Again, I N E V E R said that one should only voluntarily contribute, so no need to put pen to my name.

AndyRand said...

CATO,

The Government (i.e. politicians ) are afraid of the people. Why else do they have to spend most of their time in office raising money to get re-elected? The vast majority of people in this country barely even think about politics unless it affects them directly, and often they don't even understand why that is. They are subject to the messages they here from those who control the media and barely ever stop to think of who is crafting those messages and for what purpose.
An even smaller minority of Americans ( I think I can safely say a miniscule number ) get up each morning thinking. "I'm so glad I have my gun and start plotting the violent overthrow of the government ).

Cato said...

When over 98% of incumbents are reelected, when most people have no idea what 98% of the money that pours into the government even goes to... there is no fear of the people. You can be suspected of murder and run for reellection. Hell, you can actually kill someone -- and everyone knows it -- and still be in Congress.

Cato said...

Belittiling me by saying I get up and think about violent overthrow is getting quite old. I do not think about violent overthrow, but, if it is necessary, it is necessary.

Ragnar in Atlas was the most violent of all of them. Yet Galt overthrew everything by passive resistance. Of course, you can only do that if you are Atlas.

jpn said...

Cato:

Did I read you right? Are you saying I should be forced to pay for national defense? That is so unlibertarian! I don't want to pay for national defense. I prefer to just go over to Fleet Farm and by my own $3 boxcutter to fight off the terrorists!

Besides, as a libertarian, I should be able to live without government. If all government has a grading scale of evilness, I may not give a rip who's in charge. In fact, if I want "secruity," the totalitarain from tends to provide that -- at the express of personal freedom. A more open form provides more personal freedom. Maybe I don't want any national defense, because it's possible it would keep out organized bands of libertarian insurgents who are trying to important the ideals of total individual freedom and install laizze-faire markets in our economy.

(Maybe I shouldn't use "organized bands" with the term "libertarian." I visual is that a group of libertarian insurgents would be like a enrolling a band of feral cats in a community ed puppy manners class."

Cato said...

You keep on framing your comments of me "as a libertarian." Please stop. I vote Libertarian but I am a libertarian and my own free man to decide what I perfer. I, as stated numerous times in this "thread" yet you apparently did not read, do not favor at all punishing productivity and favor a sales tax. But I still favor a tax, as a very small sales tax would pay for all the Federal government that is legally is avialable for us to have.

jpn said...

Cato:

I too have voted for a number of libertarian candidates in my life -- more of them than Republicans. I will refrain from casting you as a libertarian. Maybe a Randian is better?

Personally, I don't disagree with what you've discussed about indivdiual responsibility and personal freedoms. Personally, I'm believe the world would be a better place if more people stove to incorporate these ideals into their life.

On the other hand, the practical side of me, my personal experiences and the indoctrination of my upbringing have made me realizes that I can't roam through my life wrapped in the stain-proof robes of idealism and ingore the shit splattering about my feet. It's there and, for whatever reason, it needs to be dealt with. So from an idealistic stand point, I'm with. From a realistic, practical stand point, I choose to paying attention to the crap that gets accummulated in the world.

Of course you do to. How far does your pursuit of personal freedom work at you place of employment when the boss tells you to do something you don't want to? Or if the significant other says you are going to this function whether you like it or not? So you role your robe of idealism up to you knees and wade through the crap/facts of life and trying and convice us that you are exercising you personal freedoms by not taking welfare or riding the bus. With this in mind, you are merely a Nerf-sword warrior tapping the ideas of others into a computer in an attempt to expound on your intellectual parlor game.

It all sound good on paper. You talk of the ballerina of idealism and I point out that that ballerina started out pooping its diapers and crying for food. We are not born into the Power Point presentation you have been giving us.

Anonymous said...

Quote of the Day on Google yesterday is germane...

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."
-Jefferson

You seem to think I do not notice stupid people. Yes they exist. But frankly, I don't care about them. That which does not kill them will make them stronger. I still have yet to have a reasonable explination as to why I should give a damn about anyone else. There is no reasonable explination. It all comes down to emotions, not pragmatism. Mystics of muscle are the same as the mystics of spirit, demanding sacrifice from those who do to give to those who do not.

Cato said...

^
Cato's

jpn said...

Cato:

There's nothing that says you have to give a damn about anybody but yourself. From my perspective, that is your choice. Personally, I pick and choose the things I give a damn about.

As I aluded to above, much of that is imposed on our thinking patterns by various forms of religious indoctrination. Why should I care if Joe Loafer dies of hunger on the street? As Scrooge said, "Then let them die and decrease the surplus population." That's a valid worldview to have. Unfortunately, I believe there might be numerous reasons that Joe Loafer is starving and -- for whatever reason, e.g., indoctrination, financial inferiority, etc. -- as long as the political power structure owns the rope and the gallows that we paid for with our tax dollars, you will pay your taxes and do what you are told or you will be come the subject of the state's retribution for not following the rules laid down by society.

Concerning our present system of government, different things are unfair to different groups and the unfairness registers in varying degrees of magnitude. Unless we choose the course of revolution in the streets or, more likely, through an erosion of the current mixed model of capitalistic socialism to a more laizze-faire model of individual freedom, we have to live with it -- whether we accept welfare or ride public transportation.

Cato said...

No, I do not "accept" it, nor is the fact that "this is how things are" detracts, in the least, from the validity of any of my statements. Yes, that is how things are. Is it just? No. Should it change? Yes. Being a Tory doesn't help.

jpn said...

Cato:

Fighting for change and want you believe is one thing. Not accepting welfare because you don't qualify or not riding the public bus because you commute to the big city, doesn't give me a firm indicantion that you really believe in fighting for change. Instead, you are more likely into typing for change. There's a difference.

From now on, please refrain from calling me a "socialist." I prefer to be called a "pragmatic idealist."

Cato said...

There is nothing I can do inside of the law to make the change happen. Only a person of Galtish proportions could bring the system down inside of the law. For now, I argue my points that appeal to rational individuals.

As for not calling you a scoialist, a simple search for the term will find that I have not. Thus you asking me to stop is unnecessary; I never started.

jpn said...

Cato:

We'll rewrite this thread and turned it into the von Mises Institute and be famous. However, I do recall you using the word "socialist" a few times in this thread.

Let's say I someone who doesn't agree with you philosophically. Let's say I am opposed to all taxes but a sales tax of one percent. Technically, that would damage my standing in the idealistic of eyes of the ultimate liberatarian and the ideals that Rand wrote about in her books. would it not?

Cato said...

Objectivism =/= libertarianism. Rand called libertarians the "hippies of the right" who wanted to "replace whim for reason." And, again, I am not an anarchist and I recognize the necessity for taxation to a point but I am vehemently against taxing productivity (the income tax, and more importantly, bracketed income taxes).

Yes, I did speak of socailism. But I never framed my questions in anyway to imply that you were a socialist, nor did I even allude to such. I do not know you well enough to say whether or not you are a socialist lapdog, devil's advocate, contrarian, or just misguided.

jpn said...

Cato:

I've also heard the definetion that libertarians are conservatives who want to smoke dope and have gay sex.

Concerning the thought about "a socialist lapdog, devil's advocate, contrarian, or just misguided," would that basically put anybody who doesn't agree with your idealistic worldview (which I've already stated that I agree with in idealistic principle)falls into the ojecticism bucket? You already statement you favor sales taxes, i.e., a consumption tax. This tells me that you'll snuggle up in bed with the Randian ideal but you hesitate to go all the way.

You didn't answer my question about being a total Randian in the comfort of your own home. Do you ever refuse to do chores because you don't want to? Or do you suck it up and mutter under your breath like I do?

Cato said...

As Rand said, libertarians substitute whim for reason. Refusing to do things because you "don't want to" is pretending whim is reason.

As for libertarians who want to smoke dope and have gay sex, all I can say is that is about the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. The difference between saying they susbtitute whim for reason, and that statement, is that Rand put forth a moral philosophy. Libterianism does not to any real extent, not like Objectivism or socialism for that matter. But what you said was just to poke fun and it isn't funny. Nearly all libertarians say people should be able to do X. Like I said earlier: citizens should be able to own WMDs. It's not saying anything about whether I would, or whether I would even want to. All it says is that citizens in gneral ought to not have their right to self defense from a totalitarian government intruded upon by a seemingly benevolent government, lest it turn malevolent.

I seperate the national government from local. Federal government is far away, removed from influence. People can bitch and moan and people listen about school board politics. Like I said, pragmatic concerns come into play at a more local level, while at the national level, I am a die-hard-libertarian. Furthermore, I have the law behind me at the National level; states have heavily leeway unlike the Federal government.

Cato said...

I never actally said I was a "Randite," "Libertarian," or Objectivist," for the record. I said I was a "libertarian" which is more like the classical defintion of "liberal" than anything else. Hayek pined the loss of the term and I would pine with him if he was still here with us, for it was an awful good term and it was stolen from us. Leeched away by socialist propogandizing!

jpn said...

Cato:

You didn't answer the question about being a libertarian when it comes to doing chores that you don't want to do at home. What's your position on that?

Cato said...

I don't know what there is to answer. I would always keep my own in excellent condition.

jpn said...

Cato:
On the domestic -- non-government -- front do you ever cave in and do things you really don't want to do? Does your ideal personal freedom/liberty ever get compromised by someone putting demands on your personal time and space to do things you really don't want to do but -- to keep the peace and make the old lady happy -- you do it?

It's like putting up the bullshit in life that you'd really rather not do, but I rather not listen to the old bitch about it either. It's away of weighing the marital options and keeping the peace at home. It's called compromising.

Cato said...

Before I answer could you explain how that is relevant in the least to government? That is clearly all we have been talking about.

jpn said...

Cato:

I'm asking this because I would expect you to be a holistic seeker of personal liberty. From what I know and have read of Ayn Rand, she advocated an all inclusive approach to her philosophy, i.e., in the public and private sector. My question deals with the private sector aspect aspect of your pursuit of what I will call the "libertarian ideal."

Once again, concerning your statement about me being a "socialist lapdog, devil's advocate, contrarian, or just misguided." I seek to understand and get to the root of where you are coming from. In your personal relationship, I would think you would have the freedom to put your ideals into play in a much more demonstrative way.

Cato said...

I still do not see how that matters.

We are talking about how a represenative government should work. It may suprise you, but I give money to charity. Not much, since so much was leeched off me, but enough. I will help those who I see fit.

What we are talking about is how a just government should act. Just because I may do X does not say anytthing about whether or not a government should. I do not see how my perosnal affairs affect my view on why government and the market should sleep in seperate rooms.

jpn said...

Cato:

We are talking about depth of conviction. Other than your ability regurgitate garden-variety, liberatarin dogma and that stated fact that you don't accept welfare (did you ever get any goverhnment grants for college) or use public transit (which 99% of the residents of Minnesota or Wisconsin don't get or use), you're only a theorethical liberatarian.

I am seeking a glimpse into the area of your life where you have the ability to be your owm personal libertarian and run your life by your libertarian ideals.

It seems a pretty reasonable avenue for this discussion to take. You anonymous. I'm not. I'm telling you there are times I do stuff in my domestic relation that I don't care to do and there are times the wife does things she doesn't care to do. By you answering this question honestly, I think I would have a much better gauage of your libertarian credibility. Do you walk the libertarian talk or just type about it on the blogosphere?

Cato said...

I do not see how one can link their politics to their homelife. Furthermore, while you think that libertarianism is "do whatever the hell you want and screw everyone else," it isn't, therefore your (assumed) conclusion if I do things "I don't want to" like clean the gutters I am not a person who cares deeply about personal freedoms is just plain sophitory. What libertarians seek is having the G O V E R N M E N T afford individuals the highest amount of personal liberty. I really don't see how this conversation can go any further if you care more about my personal life than political issues.

Cato said...

BTW, thank you for pointing out how useless public transporation is, if 99% of the people don't use it but 100% of the people pay for it. Well... not really... only taxpayers, which is closing in on merely 50% of the population.

jpn said...

Cato:

Believe it or not, there is a government within the home. There are laws and judges and lawmakers. Things are forced on members of the home that they must do against their will.

"It's my way or the highway."
"Shutup and mow the lawn."
"You're grounded (because you chose to exercise your personal freedom and I don't agree with what you did), because I'm the Dad!"

If that doesn't have a direct correlation to what you've been discussing for the past week and a half, I'll eat me copy of Fountainhead!

Where you stumbled in your defense of liberatarian ideals is when it comes down to actually putting it into play. You can talk the libertarian bullet points from Randian Power Points, but you can't explain the details. If you truly had an operational, libertarian worldview, you would have said you choose not to answer my question concerning your libertarian life at home. Instead, you spun you wheels when it came time for the rubber of idealism to meet the road of reality.

Mankind would become extinct in a world that totally empbraced the libertarian or Ayn Randian ideals. All babies would die from the parental neglect.

Can you imagine the this conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Libertarian as the helpless infant cries in the middle of the night, hungry with a diaper full of piss and shit:

Mr.:Dear you need to get up and change the diapers and feed the baby.

Mrs: I choose not to. You do it.

Mr. I've got an important meeting on wealth creation in the morning and I need my rest. I choose not to.

Neither parent is obligated to take feed, change or burp the baby -- unless of course they want they baby to live. Our society has imposed certain laws on the care and feeding of infants (regulation) and 99.9% of parents play by the system. If they all exercised their libertarian ideals and only did what they free-willed themselves to do, then there society would eventually die out. They don't do this because they want to -- they do it because they have to. A baby can't survive without parents doing things they don't want to do.

I think the exercising to personal liberties starts in the home. Or are you advocating a laizze-faire public government and a totalitarian private life. There's the ultimate in hypocrisy! What's good outside the boundaries of my property lines isn't good inside them.

Cato said...

I'm sorry, but your "argument" fails. There is a difference between some far off governmental agency taking away a third of your wealth to give to people who do AS YOU DESCRIBED and taking care of your own. Again, this has nothing to do with the implementation of a government that is not totalitarian and which allows people to exercise their reasoned rights without fear of infringement by the government. So there is nothing more to say if you keep on harping on this so-called "point" of yours.

My interactions with other people are dictated by my set of morals, yes. I interact with my fellow man in the way you would say is "libertarian," since apparently you divide the world into "libertarian" actions and "unlibertarian" ones. As a self intrested man, like every man, I make decisions that best help my self intrest. Like cleaning the gutters does indeed help me, even if I do not "want to do it." I sometimes do not "want to goto work," yet I do. That is all I will say; no more needs to be said as this conversation should have nothing to do with my personal life.

Cato said...

BTW, it is absolute insanity to stipulate if it was not for the government babies would die.

jpn said...

Cato:

That was a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes. I know you are dodging the question about domestic libertarianism and are trying to skirt the issue.

Libertarianly speaking, if there was no government, i.e., we all ran =our own show. You would be under no obligation to care for and feed a helpless bady who will die without care and feeding. This would be a correct assumption, from a political and personal libertarian perspective. You don't change daipers because you want to; you change them because you have to. It is required to keep the human race moving forward.

Expanding this to a more global perspective, does society ignore those that can't feed themselves and change their metaphorical diapers? Or do we just let them die and decrease the surplus population?

My analogy my be moving toward some tribal instincts that come from our dark past, where the community had to band together for protection, warmth, cooperative and mutual help. Maybe inventions and modern conveniences have allowed us to live more independent lives, but I bet you farmers back in 1776 knew what is was talking about: barns burned, the harvest had to happen, people got sick and cows had to be milked. There was a communal interdependency that existed at the time our Constitution was being written.

Maybe there's a communal gene that most people get and a selfish gene that other people get that lead them to become libertarians. Maybe we all have both genes in our nature and our nuture and personal experiences lead us to become libertarians or socialist or pragmatists and/or Christians of a variety of different colors.

It's not all black and white. For some, it's easier to view the world in those colors. For others, the perspective is different.

So far, in this discussion, you pretty much only admitted that you are correct and everybody who does agree with you is -- at a minimum -- misguided. Maybe I'm giving you too much credit for seeing the world in black and white...

Cato said...

I am not an anarchist.

AndyRand said...

Sovereign Individual, Self-Governed,
Anarchist. I'm sure you can provide some nuance that differentiates these. I'm guessing that you'll assure us that the Self-Governed live by the moral code enshrined in the Book of Ayn.In my mind they are the same.

Cato said...

Most anarchists think they are leftists. They think the world will work like Karl Marx's vision after the government is taken away. There are a few anarko-kapitalizts out there that make sense, but I still see a need for the rule of law.

jpn said...

Cato:

Marx v. Rand is a debate about hypothetical ideals. It's the Marxian collective v. Randian individual. Rather diametrically opposed don't you think? Laizze-faire capitalist v. egalitarian collectivism. The individual pulls his/her own weight v. the collective community pulls together.

In believe we live in reality. Anarchists are pushing toward the collective ideal and the Randians are pushing for the individual ideal.

In reality, we live in a mix of capitalism and collectivist pragmatism. The US probably leans more to the capitalist side of the equation that any other country in the world. From the pragmatic perspective, I see benefits from both extremes.

Anonymous said...

"Money is the sign of liberty. To curse money is to curse liberty--to curse life, which is nothing, if it be not free."
--de Gourmont

"God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God . . . to be developed & used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money & still more money & to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience."
--John D. Rockefeller, 1905

"All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income."
--Samuel Butler

"It has beeen said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly."
--Samuel Butler
---
Let's see, those that feed at the bottom of the economic food change rely on the collective "strength in numbers," to for the capitalist who have power coming from the barrel gun...

Anarchist v. militia...

Cato said...

Actually anarchists who are "pushing for the collective ideal" are fools for it is an impossibility (even if government was destroyed). I do not want no government. I want a small government. I am not on the fringe of anything.

jpn said...

Cato:

Don't you think its an interesting contrast between the end points of the Randian ideal and the Marxian ideal? With the Randian ideal, we'd all be kings and with the the Marxian ideal there'd be no kings and we'd all be equal.

Also (since you neglected to answer my domestic libertarian question -- on the basis of your were talking about government), I was reminded that there really are two sides to libertarianism: political and social. Since Andy Rand was challenging you on the libertarian Christian oxymoron question, I think it's important to bring up the two forks in the libertarian road.

Do you agree with the split I mention?

AndyRand said...

"Actually anarchists who are "pushing for the collective ideal" are fools for it is an impossibility (even if government was destroyed)."

I agree.It's been so long since I've heard much from this fringe of the political spectrum I momentarily forgot about them as leftist extremists. It's interesting how youthful idealists can get caught up in such rediculous notions.
This was what was popular in my college days and we blindly followed some of the leaders of this movement who assured us that once the "Revolution" occurred and power of "the People" took over somehow everything would work by magic.
CATO's idealism is much more refined than that but it still seems to allude to "if" the government was shrunk, everything will be hunky dorey. I just can't by it.
Privitization relies on one main principal, profit. I'm not against profit, and these quotes about money being the root of all evil (which it is not, it's the love of money) are not true.
The only things that will be produced are those that are the most profitable and these unfortunately fall into the lowest common denominator. What I mean by that is only products that have mass appeal can create profit with the least effort. A prime example is Prime Time TV. The nightly fair af crap we have to choose from is the result of creating shows that have the widest audience that can be produced for the least money. In the 60's and 70's there was real innovation, now we are returning to the 50's it's one talent show or reality TV after another which just copies a formula. This kind of consumerism is an enemy or real innovation.

Cato said...

I do not think there are many libertarains that argue that they want to smoke pot. Most all of them argue they ought to be able to without fear of reprisal from the government. Or shoot herion. Or whatever the new drug of choice. Meth. Sure. Have at it. I do not care. I also, of course, will not be spending my tax dollars to help you when you become a wretched waste of a human being, but that isn't my concern. People will relearn how to be responsibile fairly readily.

So yes, of course there is a split.

AndyRand said...

CATO,
JPN was talking about Marx vs. Rand.
I was talking about Anarchists and piss poor "entertainment". How do drugs fit in here? That's about as relevant as the holocost at this point.

I hate to say it but you speak with forked tongue. Somewhere among all these posts you were defending hypocrit Rush Limbaugh.Then you say
"People will relearn how to be responsibile fairly readily." I don't think it's happened for him.If he were trailor trash, he'd be in the slammer.

The very definition of an addiction involves the powerlessness to overcome it.
30 years ago homeless meant, male addict or alocoholic, unwilling or unable to work. Today it's working poor families living out of cars. Excuse my bleeding heart but 30 years ago everyone would have agreed that's not right in America. Now it's not your problem.

Cato said...

JPN was asking if there is a "split" distinguishing a "libertarian" "social" life shall we say, and a political life. And I think my example was quite germane.

Basically no one is poor in America though andyrand. I don't believe you could possibly think otherwise. Beggars are beggars either because they refuse to work (begging can be quite profitable), are addicts, or have some mental disease. Oh poor souls! I know Churches traditionally took them in. Let them take care of the poor again. It is not the government's problem.

AndyRand said...

CATO,

Did the government confiscate property from your family? People don't dispise institutions the way you do without some deep personal injury attached.
I doubt that you'd admit to it. But I'm curious nontheless.

Tragedy soon or later becomes a part of everyone's life. When your time comes, think back on the things you've said here.

Cato said...

The fable of the ant and the grasshopper is one I could retell but I think you know it. Sure tragedy may come, but if you are prepared you can weather it. The very idea that government is in any way expected to help anyone out is revolting to me. Government is not our parents. Government is merely there to keep law and order. Not change your diapers when they get soaked in water because some hurricane destroyed your house and you didn't have insurance so the government makes lower-priced flood insurance thus lowering the risk benefit for people to live in flood prone areas causing more people to die from more people living in flood prone areas and continuing a vicsous cycle that could have ended with a bit of personal responsibility.

AndyRand said...

Give Tom Delay a call and ask him about how his court battle with his insurance company is going.
You cannot prepare for everything and if you think you can *&$)#(*%&#)$(#*$. ( I won't say what I'm thinking ).
I'm certain more are revolted by your philosophy than you can imagine.

Cato said...

I wouldn't be so sure andyrand. Most will, once they begin to look at their life, come to realize the only reason they are revolted by my phlosophy is because they'd rather be lazy. They'll come around. Too lazy to help your fellow man yourself. Too lazy to help your family yorself. Too lazy to help yourself. Government save me from the bad things about my sloth!