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  #11  
Old Dec 30th 2013, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
Michael, in post #6 above, you said "I've always described my own political and economic views as "hardcore individualist" and liberty of the individual as the highest goal." I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion. And little did I realize that being an individualist means that I am in favor of screwing everyone else. But there it is, I must be just having more of those senior moments.
Yes, I figured that might be confusing.

I'm agreeing with your characterization that the focus of liberty ultimately ought to be upon the freedom of the individual. This is the most important political goal. For the contemporary US LP, this is not so.

I'm strongly disagreeing that this viewpoint requires a rejection of liberalism. I fundamentally believe that the liberty of individuals is best defended by the political policy of contemporary liberalism. Every other policy option appears to support a fascist agenda and the authoritarian rightwing, no matter what the stated agenda may be. Only political liberalism has any actual track record in supporting real liberalism and true personal liberty. Liberalism may fail in the face of the challenge of fascism, but it is our only realistic hope.

And liberalism specifically includes the idea that personal liberty must be balanced against 'collective' liberty. Indeed, it is ONLY liberalism that accepts this principle. Any other form of 'liberty' that rejects 'liberalism' essentially does so to escape liberalism's acceptance of this limitation. That's why I reject any term to represent 'pro-liberty' that isn't 'liberalism'. Liberalism has all that is required. Any other term is chosen because it precludes this recognition of the necessary balance against the 'many' or the 'collective'.

That's why I'm so critical of the 'populist' rightwing that you seem to support. That whole anti-Federal Reserve, pro-specie currency game is totally pro-capitalist, anti-people and anti-liberty. It doesn't support the interests of average working people, that's for sure. It is so pro-capitalist and so pro-corporatist that the rich and the corporations are almost too embarassed to openly support the LP. This isn't a problem for them since they pretty much 'own' the Republican party and thus get an even better deal (with government subsidy games and generous government contracting arrangements).

But the rich always want more, so they push for more. Getting rid of the Federal Reserve would be a big fat gift to America's billionaire class, no doubt about that (heck, having a FedReserve is also big gift to the billionaire class too!). But it would also screw the average working man, no doubt about that either. And all this is why I'm so surprised that you seem to support this, given your otherwise anti-elitist views.
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  #12  
Old Dec 31st 2013, 04:10 AM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Michael, when it comes to individual liberty I'm in favor of it, and when it come to economic freedom, I'm also in favor of it. That should define my politics as classical liberal, the way many define Adam Smith's politics. Populists, on the other hand, have historically favored government promotion of Christian morality and government involvement in business, particularly with regard to laws promoting unions and labor laws and easy money, ie.- the "You will not nail workers to a Cross of Gold" speech. Throw in being pro-intervention, pro-colonialism, and pro-military-industrial establishment on top of populism and then, I think, you are talking fascism.

When one describes Republicans one starts talking about being socially conservative while paying lip service to be pro free enterprise, but actually being pro-military-industrial-congressional establishment and socialism for the rich. You probably know this, but some of our European friends might not understand US politics, and may want to, for what it's worth.

When we talk about labels, I don't know which thing is the very last thing I'd want to be labeled among the labels "Republican," "neo-conservative," or "fascist." I know that I don't like my name to be mentioned in the same sentence with Glenn Beck's.

We all know for a fact that it was liberals who have been in the forefront of racial and sexual equality under the law, most recently supporting gays in the military. And we know that it was conservatives who supported the apartheid laws of "separate but equal" public schools, water fountains, and so on, and I really don't know whether to laugh, throw up, or go blind every time I hear Rush Limbaugh state that he can't understand why blacks don't vote for conservative Republicans since the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln.

But, it's my opinion that big government in general benefits big special interests and big banksters most at the expense of the little guy, and that the free, unfettered market benefits the "little people" most. I think that this is a validly arguable point, and I'm willing to hear opposing arguments.

What clouds the issue are statements that suggest that if a person thinks that buyers should beware before making their buying choices or which restaurants to patronize, instead of relying on Big Brother, and believe that free markets can deliver the goods, rising tides will raise all boats, and all that, that that person is automatically a mean-spirited racist, misogynist, homophobic, sexist, rich elitist, because imho that doesn't in any way describe me.
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Last edited by Tom Palven; Dec 31st 2013 at 04:15 AM.
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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Michael, when it comes to individual liberty I'm in favor of it, and when it come to economic freedom, I'm also in favor of it. That should define my politics as classical liberal, the way many define Adam Smith's politics. Populists, on the other hand, have historically favored government promotion of Christian morality and government involvement in business, particularly with regard to laws promoting unions and labor laws and easy money, ie.- the "You will not nail workers to a Cross of Gold" speech. Throw in being pro-intervention, pro-colonialism, and pro-military-industrial establishment on top of populism and then, I think, you are talking fascism.
Yes, I agree with all this.

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Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
When one describes Republicans one starts talking about being socially conservative while paying lip service to be pro free enterprise, but actually being pro-military-industrial-congressional establishment and socialism for the rich. You probably know this, but some of our European friends might not understand US politics, and may want to, for what it's worth.

When we talk about labels, I don't know which thing is the very last thing I'd want to be labeled among the labels "Republican," "neo-conservative," or "fascist." I know that I don't like my name to be mentioned in the same sentence with Glenn Beck's.
But that's what happens as soon as you get on the 'specie-currency' bandwagon. The only other people in that boat are the Glenn Beck types.

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We all know for a fact that it was liberals who have been in the forefront of racial and sexual equality under the law, most recently supporting gays in the military. And we know that it was conservatives who supported the apartheid laws of "separate but equal" public schools, water fountains, and so on, and I really don't know whether to laugh, throw up, or go blind every time I hear Rush Limbaugh state that he can't understand why blacks don't vote for conservative Republicans since the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln.
Well, I don't think we all "know that for a fact" stuff. Rush Limbaugh is technically correct when he says that the Republican party was the party of Lincoln. Rush would also be technically correct if he said the Democratic party was the party of the white southern racists. Both of these statements are true in a historical sense. In the last thirty years, the two US political parties reversed positions - the southern white racists have bailed out of the Democratic party as it became the party of the civil rights movement. Those good ole southern boys moved over to the Republican party to make it what it is today. This party position switch is apparently very confusing to lots of voters who have zero historical awareness. The Republicans play on this to their own advantage.

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But, it's my opinion that big government in general benefits big special interests and big banksters most at the expense of the little guy, and that the free, unfettered market benefits the "little people" most. I think that this is a validly arguable point, and I'm willing to hear opposing arguments.
Well yes, I certainly agree that big government in general benefits big corporations, big special interests and big banksters at the expense of the little guy. You will get no argument from me on this point.

However, I will strongly disagree that the "free unfetterred market" benefits the little guy at all. Heck, we practically invented 'big government' in an attempt to protect the "little guy" from being so constantly abused by the "free unfettered market".

Big corporations, big special interests and big banks just switched tactics. They previously got all they wanted with a free unfettered market - but when we invented big government to protect the little guy, the big boys just concentrated on gaining control of big government in order to get it to work for them. They succeeded. Their goal is always to abuse the 'little guy' because that's how they get rich. In the old days, "free unfettered markets" was the easiest way to abuse the "little guy". Now they use big government to do it. Same game.

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Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
What clouds the issue are statements that suggest that if a person thinks that buyers should beware before making their buying choices or which restaurants to patronize, instead of relying on Big Brother, and believe that free markets can deliver the goods, rising tides will raise all boats, and all that, that that person is automatically a mean-spirited racist, misogynist, homophobic, sexist, rich elitist, because imho that doesn't in any way describe me.
But that's exactly the political turf you are standing on if you espouse those views. You are in alliance with the racists, misogynists, homophobes and elitists. They all desperately hate big government because big government won't let them express their racism, misogyny, homophobia and elitism the way they want it.

Bottom line is that there is no such thing as a "free unfettered market". It just doesn't exist. Markets are always rigged. The only issue is about 'rigged in favor of whom?'.

As such, the political push for "free unfettered markets" and/or anti-big government is all about empowering big business, big special interests, big banks and also the racists, misogynists, homophobes and elitists. They all want to tear down big government because big government offers some protections to the little guy and all these groups just don't like that at all.
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  #14  
Old Jan 3rd 2014, 04:20 AM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Those that think that the unfettered free market favours the little guy would do well to consider the only unfettered free market to exist, that of Victorian England, the vast majority in near servitude. Some paid a penny to sleep standing up in a room or two pence for the privilege of sleeping standing but draping their arms across a rope suspended across the room. Miners that broke their tools had to replace them and if they could not afford to, which of course they could not, being on starvation wages, they did indeed starve.

A truly unfettered free market leads to hell on earth

All who now enjoy descent conditions at work and tolerable pay must be grateful to those brave martyrs of the British labour movement, who suffered and died to win such benisons. And those that throw their hands up in horror, stupidly claiming this was communism and anti-Christian would do well to remember that socialism pre-dates communism and springs from different roots and not only were many such martyrs Christians but that the organisation of labour often came about through Christian organisations
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Old Jan 3rd 2014, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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... the organisation of labour often came about through Christian organisations
In Britain perhaps.

Americans say that the advance of liberalism in USA comes from unionism.

In Canada, neither Christians nor unions were involved in the process - our liberalism has come from Parliament and the voters.

In France, I think the 'intellectual class' was the driving force for liberalism.

And the Germans, who have the most Christians in Europe as well as the most and biggest unions, don't seem to have much liberalism.

The point being that the particular political history of any given country is essentially unique.
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Old Jan 3rd 2014, 06:43 PM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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In Britain perhaps.

Americans say that the advance of liberalism in USA comes from unionism.

In Canada, neither Christians nor unions were involved in the process - our liberalism has come from Parliament and the voters.

In France, I think the 'intellectual class' was the driving force for liberalism.

And the Germans, who have the most Christians in Europe as well as the most and biggest unions, don't seem to have much liberalism.

The point being that the particular political history of any given country is essentially unique.
But Britain being the first country to industrialise had labour organisation first and what started there spread to ROW, indeed Christian Labour organisations were instrumental in bringing labour organisation to USA
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Old Jan 10th 2019, 10:12 AM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

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I suspect that assertion alone could be the basis of some serious debate.
How about you make an assertion of some kind to begin this serious debate?
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