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LOOTERS!

This request sent chills down my spine…

We’re looking for a few volunteers to join us and help hand out t-shirts and posters. You may even run into one or two of the Producers and/or Stars of…

Wait for it…

…the upcoming Atlas Shrugged Part 2 movie.

Zombie Ayn Rand is clawing her way out of the grave right now.

Comments

  1. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    But… but…
    My internal former Randian is pulling her hair out.

  2. says

    Never give away the fruit of your efforts, never be altruistic or volunteer for anything ever. Now give us free labor so we can make money, out of the kindness of your hearts.

    AWESOME! Ayn Rand, government aid recipient and world-famous hypocrite, would be proud.

  3. joed says

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=130609

    How Ayn Rand Became an American Icon
    The perverse allure of a damaged woman.
    By Johann HariPosted Monday, Nov. 2, 2009, at 7:01 AM ET

    Ayn Rand is one of America’s great mysteries. She was an amphetamine-addicted author of sub-Dan Brown potboilers, who in her spare time wrote lavish torrents of praise for serial killers and the Bernie Madoff-style embezzlers of her day.

  4. cartomancer says

    Oh come on, surely this is performance art at its very finest! The irony is too perfectly delicious to be accidental.

  5. Paul says

    I enjoyed hearing how the producer was unwilling to pay Frank Lloyd Wright his standard 10 percent gross commission for his consulting services for the movie of The Fountainhead. Oh, Randbots.

    I wonder where they got the funding. Didn’t the guy that funded most of the first movie take his ball and go home when the critics didn’t like it, since they “didn’t deserve another movie”?

  6. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Oh come on, surely this is performance art at its very finest! The irony is too perfectly delicious to be accidental.

    I don’t think so. The Ayn Rand Institute used to give out free copies of Atlas Shrugged. These people, by and large, don’t notice how absurd they are. (I did, which was part of why I had to dump their ridiculous culty bullshit at all.)

  7. says

    One thing worth keeping in mind: I doubt Ayn Rand would have disapproved of scamming people for free labor.

  8. petejohn says

    Didn’t see the first Atlas Shrugged but Roger Ebert tore it apart and left its mangled corpse on the floor to rot and spoil. I can’t imagine it’s very good. I always assume the books and subsequent films about said books are terrible if the author has a legion of devoted fan-boys who do nothing but ponder and defend the prose of their icon. If you have to defend mere fiction and philosophy so vigorously and in such sycophantic ways, can it be anything approaching good?

  9. kassad says

    OTOH, the first one was such an abysmal failure. I’m totally approving of these dolts wasting their money on this crap.

    Yes.

    And I can only hope that the painful experience of watching that crap can turn people away from Rand. Bringing the light through abject mediocrity. It is almost beautiful.

  10. petejohn says

    Also, I’d imagine that the mere mention of Ayn Rand on this blog will bring the libertarian apologists flying this way like a swarm of insects to a bug lamp. I propose a drinking game… one drink of a chosen beverage for each time one of these folks mention “freedom.” We can debate the exact word to build the drinking game around, as I’m not wedded to “freedom.”

    This game may cause the incapacitation of some overzealous commenter.

  11. barkeron says

    I wonder where they got the funding.

    I bet 50 quatloos on donations from other Randroids.

  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A good citizen wants freedom with responsibility for the common good. A Randite wants freedom from responsibility, especially for the common good.

  13. says

    The Ayn Rand Institute used to give out free copies of Atlas Shrugged.

    Now I’m imagining checking into a hotel and finding copies of the Holy Bible, Atlas Shrugged, and 50 Shades of Grey in a dresser drawer.

  14. says

    At this point an attack on Soviet-Union style political systems has lost its relevance. He’s dead, Jim.

    George Orwell set the bar pretty high with Animal Farm. But even if Atlas shrugged were good literature (or even literature), making a movie out of this bombast pretty much skewers a rotting corpse with a dull rapier.

    Aside from some attempt at guilt-by-association between them evil librals and the commie Soviet Union (which, given the short memories and shorter attention spans of the average American it’s quite a stretch that anyone under the age of 30 will have any idea of what’s being compared to what) I do not see what they hoped to accomplish with the first movie, much less a second. Regarding the fight to beat back the “Red hordes” of communism didn’t we win? Am I missing something?

    Or is it to celebrate the wonderfulness of the 19th century unrestricted capitalism? (which the libertarians back-pedal away from when you mention child labor, company towns and no health, safety or fire codes).

  15. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    So if there are two Atlas Shrugged movies, and those movies both bomb big, does that mean that the market has spoken and Randian greedism is a failed concept? Hell, even the Russian Revolutions have been made into movies to box office and critical success, so why not libertarianism?

  16. says

    Atlas Shrugged is the heroic story of the rich intentionally fucking up a nation and killing lost and lots of poor people due to mechanical disasters or famine because they don’t like being shackled by the primitive standards of morality, decency, and social justice.

    The fact that this is regarded as a heroic epic for conservatives rather than a skewering bad cartoonish parody is so so so fucking sad.

  17. Randomfactor says

    “The Producers.” You can make more money with a flop.

    Like Battlefield Earth…

  18. says

    Ing:

    The fact that this is regarded as a heroic epic for conservatives rather than a skewering bad cartoonish parody is so so so fucking sad.

    I’d change sad to terrifying personally, but otherwise spot fucking on.

  19. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    Atlas Shrugged 2: Shrug Harder

    Atlas Shrugged 2: Electric Shrugaloo

  20. robro says

    Per Wikipedia they raised $16 million through a private equity sale. That was less than they wanted ($25 million) but it gives them a bigger budget than the first film. They’ve also re-cast.

    But, the big problem isn’t cast or budget, but story. While it’s been a gaziilion years since I read it, I remember it as a confusing mess with uninteresting characters and a flat narrative.

    And then there’s the message, but Hollywood is really good at ignoring message.

  21. bartmitchell says

    “The Ayn Rand Institute used to give out free copies of Atlas Shrugged. These people, by and large, don’t notice how absurd they are. (I did, which was part of why I had to dump their ridiculous culty bullshit at all.)”
    -Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy

    Im with you Cipher, we should start a support group for Randroids who’ve come to their senses. It would naturally be a nonprofit charity.

  22. says

    Seriously Atlas Shrugged as a plot sounds like that of Warren Ellis in one of his angry liberal fantasies.

    The fact that I keep finding actual people who conform to his cartoonish vilification scares me

  23. says

    There is, according to Randian doctrine, no contradiction between doing what you think is right (e.g., volunteering for what one sees to be a good cause) and being ‘truly selfish’. Randian ‘selfishness’ is nothing like what most people here think; it has nothing to do with materialism for materialism’s sake, and apparently involves not letting anyone control one’s desire to create (oh, the irony, considering the static nature of Objectivism in real life). If I remember correctly, such a sentiment is expressed somewhere in the middle of the Great Galt Speech. Full disclosure: I was an Objectivist for about half a year in 2008. I was then a Libertarian from mid-2008 to 2010. I am now a non-religious Social Conservative whose political views the commentators here would find absolutely repugnant.

  24. says

    There is a lot to criticize in both Objectivism as a movement and philosophy, but I don’t think they have ever said that volunteering for a cause that you believe in is “looting.”

  25. yoav says

    I seem to remember that after the first one crushed and burned the producer said he’s going Galt and was going to deprive us of part 2. So an ass and a liar.

  26. John Morales says

    Enopoletus, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” — (Thelema).

    (Funny how Rand came to the same conclusion as a mystic, eh?)

  27. says

    No, I believe it may come close to what she would call “mooching” or “parasitism” but the epithet “looting” seems to have been reserved for things done under threat of force (including Government force).

    There is nothing in her philosophy which precludes a person from doing something for no monetary remuneration. The sheer enjoyment of promoting your “ideals” would have been enough.

  28. Randomfactor says

    Atlas Shrugged is the heroic story of the rich intentionally fucking up a nation and killing lost and lots of poor people due to mechanical disasters or famine because they don’t like being shackled by the primitive standards of morality, decency, and social justice.

    And Atlas Shrugged II is Mitt Romney.

  29. says

    I love that they justify Atlas Shrugged in the movie via a gas crisis!

    Pst! If you’re going to expose the virtues of the Freemarket don’t have the plot driven by a fucking failure of the free market!

  30. madscientist says

    A more apt and far more interesting title would be “Ayn Rand takes a shit again”. It would be nice if no critic wasted any time writing about that film. Now why are people so damned stupid that they vote for politicians with the “screw all of you, I’m Number One” attitude.

  31. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    This is absurd. I demand to be paid in 24 carat gold Rand Buxx if I’m going to hand things out, and people had BETTER be paying for those t-shirts and posters with 24 carat gold Rand Buxx!

    Asking for volunteers! Isn’t that just like those “but my movie deserves a chaaaaaaaance!” moochers!

  32. says

    @Ing: Gerund of Death
    -The plot is driven by a failure of the unfree market-the failure only occurs due to government intervention and the resulting exodus of the Good Capitalists.

  33. says

    Speaking of new movies, Rush Limbaugh is trending again on Twitter. He apparently claimed that the villain in the new Batman movie is called “Bane” to discredit Mitt Romney.
    The character was introduced in the comic book in 1993; the word “bane,” of course, is much older.
    Gahhhhhhh.

  34. says

    @Enopoletus

    Keep telling yourself that.

    The free market and Good Capitalists won’t solve a gas crisis. It’s an absurdity to rely upon something that is caused by unchecked consumption and insist it’s due to not enough unchecked consumption.

  35. John Morales says

    Enopoletus:

    The plot is driven by a failure of the unfree market-the failure only occurs due to government intervention and the resulting exodus of the Good Magic Capitalists.

    FTFY.

    (Easy to write bombastic perorations about a straw society)

  36. says

    @feralboy12

    sarc But the specific choice of “Bane” for the villain in this election year surely is suspicious, is it not? And, was not Bain Capital founded in 1984, nine years before the introduction of this “Bane” character?/sarc

  37. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ― John Rogers

  38. RFW says

    What amuses me about the disciples of Rand is that they are all very, very sure that they themselves are John Galts. ‘Tain’t so.

    I will leave proof of this as an extra credit homework exercise.

    This aspect of Randism is just like Technocracy Inc., a strange movement that, afaict, was just another way of extracting money from the gullible (all of whom were very very sure that they would be among the ruling class, come the technocratic state). We used to have a few here on Vancouver Ialand, complete with gray “Technocracy Staff Cars” bearing their red-and-gray ying-yang symbol on the doors. Somewhere I’ve read that Technocracy Inc was on the US gubbmint’s list of subversive organizations, btw.

    I have no idea if Technocracy Inc is still extant. It could have died of inanity.

  39. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    Feralboy @ 51
    Bain Capital
    Bane of the Capitol
    same difference in my book
    ;)

  40. says

    @Encopoletus

    Reminding people of that is still an absurdity and shows how the plot requires fucking magic to work.

    Ignoring the fact that it hinges on perpetual motion.

  41. John Morales says

    Enopoletus:

    I was discussing the not-very-sensible plot of Atlas Shrugged, not what could actually happen in the real world.

    Duh. And Ing was noting that’s what it is: a straw world with magical characters.

  42. says

    It’s like making a movie about how eating cookies is good..that relies on a obesity epidemic as the back story…but that somehow this was caused by not enough cookies.

  43. says

    The plot is driven by a failure of the unfree market-the failure only occurs due to government intervention and the resulting exodus of the Good Capitalists.

    This sounds like the Left Behind school of polemics: fabricate a world where your ideology works the way you claim it will, then conflate your fictional novel with the real world as justification of your views.

  44. says

    Stella:

    A Zombie Ayn Rand movie would be awesome.

    It would totally improve that 70-page speech in Atlas Shrugged if John Galt’s body parts randomly fell off throughout.

    And then a zombie could try to eat him, and realize that Galt Gulch is starvation corner.

  45. joed says

    @34 Enopoletus Harding
    Well, at least you are able to change. Now, a bit of empathy and knowing when judgment of others is apprpriate, may allow for you to make a “better” world for all people.

  46. says

    I am now a non-religious Social Conservative whose political views the commentators here would find absolutely repugnant.

    Congratulations on being a shit head…so you changed not at all.

  47. 'Tis Himself says

    I’ve never read Atlas Shrugged. Reading The Fountainhead was enough to tell me that Rand was a lousy author.

    My major objection to Rand is her “philosophy” (the quotes are intentional) of objectivism. She gives a strawman definition of altruism and then ineptly demolishes it:

    What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

    Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

    Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”

    “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World,” Philosophy: Who Needs It?, p 61

    No, Rand, altruism doesn’t consider “the self as a standard of evil”. It’s the principle of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Unselfish does not mean denial of self.

  48. says

    Asking for volunteers is asking for a hand out. Sure people are willing to give it and that’s fine but they’re Mooching on Rand’s legacy to get free labor.

    Of course the whole fucking movie fails when you consider people are using Rand’s work for themselves rather than making their own work. They are moochers.

  49. Justin says

    Sorry, couldn’t resist but had to mention it as I saw it on Cracked: Pirates of Somalia: When Atlas Shrugged

    Back to the darkness I go.

  50. Rip Steakface says

    Judging initially by the name, I figured it was some kind of parody like Hamlet 2, given I’d never heard of a film called Atlas Shrugged Part 1.

    I so, so wish I was right.

  51. says

    @Ing: Gerund of Death

    Of course the whole fucking movie fails when you consider people are using Rand’s work for themselves rather than making their own work. They are moochers.

    -That may be the only part of that comment Rand would probably agree with! She strangely considered Intellectual Monopoly to be the core of property rights.

  52. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    John @43

    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” — (Thelema).

    You left off the next part which goes: “Love is the law, love under will.” You know, despite this blatant contradiction to which I never got an answer* other than a smug comment about “mysteries” Thelema still makes more sense than Randian libertarianism.

    *Lived with the head of the OTO in my city for three years. I swear that my stuff still stinks of frankincense.

  53. Randomfactor says

    But the specific choice of “Bane” for the villain in this election year surely is suspicious, is it not?

    And it all takes place in Gotham City! Got Ham? Mormons believed in the Curse of Ham upon black people, so this is obviously a coded message to the coloreds to remind them of that shameful period in god’s evolution. Or to remind the Jews that Romney eats pork. Or something.

    I can has winger radio show nowz?

  54. John Morales says

    [OT]

    FossilFishy,

    John @43

    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” — (Thelema).

    You left off the next part which goes: “Love is the law, love under will.”

    The addendum is no contradiction, rather a redefinition, and makes no more sense.

    (The only difference is that one is unashamedly mystical, the other is purportedly rational)

  55. truebutnotuseful says

    Atlas Shrugged 2: Shrug Harder

    Atlas Shrugged 2: Electric Shrugaloo

    Atlas Shrugged 2: The Wrath of John

  56. DLC says

    I had forgotten just how unutterably stupid Atlas Shrugged is as a story. All the country’s business leaders, instead of ruling the world and doing pretty much as they please, are shit-scared of Gub-Mint, and run from the horrors of regulation.
    Uh huh. Right. These are the people who bought elections wholesale prior to campaign finance laws. These are the people who went to Washington DC with a briefcase full of money and went home broke but holding more than a billion dollars (in 1850s currency) worth of Railroad Bonds and land grants. Industrialists and Entrepreneurs love big government. They use big government every chance they get. Atlas Shrugged was a big, huge straw man.

  57. Randomfactor says

    Rand was a lousy author.

    Ayn Rand cribbed from the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip.
    Seriously.

  58. says

    Some Technocracy group was still active within the last few years. Someone used to donate their newsletters to the Saskatoon Public Library. The idea sort of comes across as Communism stripped of its revolutionary rhetoric.

  59. says

    @91 Setar

    Property rights? What about human rights?

    Rand and her followers consider property rights to be the only possible rights and that all other human rights come from property rights. If that makes no sense to you, try hitting yourself on the head with a hammer until brain damage sets in. That may aid comprehension.

  60. says

    The best, and shortest, critique of the book, from the great Dorothy Parker. She said of Atlas Shrugged:

    This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

  61. Robert B. says

    Are there really people who want to be John Galt? He was a completely generic Heroic Male who talked like a political manifesto. Rearden and D’Anconia were much more interesting characters, by which I mean that they were characters at all. They were certainly much easier to empathize with and imagine oneself as. I dislike Rand’s writing less than most, but Galt was a big ol’ stinking Gary Stu.

  62. says

    Who is John Galt? The Mystery Deepens

    and is not the only famous author to invent a character with this name. Pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard, creator of heroes such as Conan the Barbarian, used a villain named John Galt – also a man of mystery missing for a long time and possessed of great wealth, trying to manipulate his world from the background – in the tale “Black Talons” in 1933, more than twenty years before Atlas Shrugged was published.

    My conclusion is that Galt is not a man. He is an abomination. An eldrich horror ala King’s Randal Flag. He has been born a thousand times on a thousand worlds in a thousand guises. Each time he brings promises of wealth and promise and leaves ruin and death in his wake. He is the Beast Slouching Towards Bethlaham waiting to be born. He poses as a savior but is in reality chaos and madness and torment and cruelty and black bitter void! THAT IS WHO JOHN GALT IS! God have mercy on us all.

  63. ericpaulsen says

    Handing out posters and tee shirts? For FREE?!? Do they actually watch the movies they make?

  64. Amblebury says

    Whenever anyone comes at me with that, “Who Is John Galt?” nonsense, I usually respond with an, “Erm, er – wasn’t he the CEO of Enron?”

  65. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    My conclusion is that Galt is not a man. He is an abomination. An eldrich horror ala King’s Randal Flag. He has been born a thousand times on a thousand worlds in a thousand guises. Each time he brings promises of wealth and promise and leaves ruin and death in his wake. He is the Beast Slouching Towards Bethlaham waiting to be born. He poses as a savior but is in reality chaos and madness and torment and cruelty and black bitter void! THAT IS WHO JOHN GALT IS! God have mercy on us all.

    Hehehehe, +1 to you sir.

  66. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    My mistake John, though I coulda sworn Ing had already identified as male.

  67. John Morales says

    [OT]

    TLC, the +1 is due, but Ing’s gender is unknown.

    (On purpose, even. I salute hir)

  68. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    John: Wow. I did not know that. Teaches me to assume shit.

  69. M Groesbeck says

    You left off the next part which goes: “Love is the law, love under will.” You know, despite this blatant contradiction to which I never got an answer* other than a smug comment about “mysteries” Thelema still makes more sense than Randian libertarianism.

    I still prefer the translation of Rabelais that doesn’t encourage self-obsessed anglophones to do connotation transplants with rusty surgical instruments.

  70. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I am now a non-religious Social Conservative

    …for what conceivable reason?

  71. Valindrius says

    My conclusion is that Galt is not a man. He is an abomination. An eldrich horror ala King’s Randal Flag. He has been born a thousand times on a thousand worlds in a thousand guises. Each time he brings promises of wealth and promise and leaves ruin and death in his wake. He is the Beast Slouching Towards Bethlaham waiting to be born. He poses as a savior but is in reality chaos and madness and torment and cruelty and black bitter void! THAT IS WHO JOHN GALT IS! God have mercy on us all.

    Apart from being utterly amazing, this gave me a mental of image of Randroids destroying the Dark Tower of Society beam by beam. First they eliminate Healthcare, then Education, then Security, etc until the layers of civilisation come crashing down to leave libertarian oblivion.

  72. 'Tis Himself says

    Wait, I thought Rebecca Watson was Sparticus.
    Damn, now I’m confused.

    Rebecca Watson is confused.

  73. lostintime says

    Oh great, another film that Penn Jillette and his acolytes will rave about. When will Ayn Rand and her demented followers go away?

  74. says

    @ Setár, self-appointed Elf-Sheriff of the FreethoughtBlogs Star Chamber

    Which is the exact reverse of what happens in the real world, where thirty years of “non-intervention” — with an Objectivist manning the control room — has brought us/is bringing us into the second Great Depression.

    -I do not think Ayn Rand would have approved any of her followers working in the Government (or the Federal Reserve). Back when I was an Objectivist (in early ’08) I saw remarkable parallels between Alan Greenspan and the Atlas Shrugged character Dr. Robert Stadler (who was himself based on Robert Oppenheimer). Besides-since when has promoting credit expansion been a goal of the Objectivists, who wish to return to the Gold Standard?

  75. says

    @DLC #92

    -You haven’t a single page of the book, have you?

    All the country’s business leaders

    -Only the ones that don’t lobby for any government favors (except for tax cuts, less regulation, and stronger patent protection, of course!). Jim Taggart (a business leader) is the chief villain of the novel, and works with plenty of other Bad Businessmen to feed off the work of the Good Capitalists.

    are shit-scared of Gub-Mint

    -Not really. The last person to strike (Dagny Taggart) only does so at the end of the book, after putting countless amounts of effort into keeping the railroad she manages afloat. John Galt does not leave due to any government action at all, but, rather, due to a private business’s attempt to turn itself into a commune.

    Randians understand that all big businesses, “good” and “bad”, must lobby for their own interests (there’s a line in “Atlas Shrugged” stating that all business leaders have their own “men in Washington”). They (the Randians) just have a hard time distinguishing “legitimate” and “illegitimate” lobbying (witness the CapMag piece defending Goldman Sachs’s lobbying).

  76. ronpaulforprez says

    I know that Libertarians aren’t very welcome here but I believe your dismissal of Ayn Rand is ill informed.

    Libertarians are the ones that are able to explain the financial collapse of 2008. It was too much government interference. The government was intruding on the financial sector and backing weak loans. This is what drove banks to accumulate so many toxic assets. Eventually, we all ended up paying for it. If the government had not intruded by artificially boosting the bank loans, this would not have happened.

    Humanism is tempting to embrace, But giving to the undeserving often takes away from the deserving. In our attempt to help poor families, the democratic left drove us into a financial collapse. Ayn Rand understood this dynamic back in the sixties and I think her philosophy is beautifully expressed in Atlas Shrugged.

    Just food for thought.

  77. Drolfe says

    As if it could be no clearer, a Ron Paul supporter and self identified libertarian tells us that:
     

    Poor people need to die for the greater good.

  78. ronpaulforprez says

    I know that you guys don’t subscribe to Libertarian thought, but I thought maybe I could change a few minds or at least spread awareness.

    All too often these discussions get heated and they don’t need to be. When one examines Libertarian thought objectively they realize that our position is far more progressive than secular humanism. I expect that this will draw fire, but I honestly believe the Achilles’ heel of secular humanism is misguided compassion.

  79. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When one examines Libertarian thought objectively they realize that our position is far more progressive than secular humanism.

    Nope, nothing but “I’ve got mine, fuck you” and “De facto discrimination is fine, lets keep the darkies down” No liberturd has shown their ideas work with solid evidence, which is why it is a theology. Evidence like say a first world country using said theology for 30 years straight in the last 50 years. Or in the US between the Civil
    War and the turn of the century. Look where it is really used and what happened. Doesn’t work like you think it does. It’s a baaaaad theology.

  80. says

    So let’s see here.

    Bankers accumulate weak loans for profit.

    Rather than take a loss, bankers use their considerable influence to get the government to prop up their weak loans.

    Now that their weak loans are being propped up, bankers accumulate even more weak loans for even more profits.

    Accumulation of weak loans overwhelms the mechanisms propping them up, causing loans to stop entirely

    Bankers demand cash directly from government to start making loans again.

    Banks get the money, grudgingly make some loans to entities that barely need them while refusing loans to those who do, and make even more profit.

    But somehow, when the government is doing exactly what the bankers want, this is “too much government interference”, and we’re supposed to pretend that, if the government hadn’t capitulated to their demands, the bankers would have behaved responsibly rather than finding other destructive means of making money off their toxic debts.

  81. says

    Ignoring the Randoids for the time being.

    Feralboy:

    He apparently claimed that the villain in the new Batman movie is called “Bane” to discredit Mitt Romney. The character was introduced in the comic book in 1993; the word “bane,” of course, is much older.

    I had to explain this to one of the dumbasses* I work with this morning. Since everyone knows I’m a big ol’ leftist (and being a Batman fan certainly doesn’t help), he always asks me about this dumb shit. I had to explain to him that 1) Bane’s been around for 20 years at this point, 2) The Dark Knight Rises was written and filmed long before this election cycle, and 3) Christopher Nolan is not an American. Neither is Tom Hardy (Bane).

    If anything, Conservatives should be cheering this movie. The guy that created Bane is conservative (and even spoke out against the repeal of DADT), so he should be a fucking hero to these people. Instead of fighting crime by fighting poverty, inequalities, and corruption, Bruce Wayne/Batman beats criminals with his fists (the impoverished of Gotham City can go to hell, apparently)– how does ol’ Gasbaugh not love him?

    (Whatever. I’m still excited that I have my tickets!!!)

    *Dumbass as in: identifies as a conservative Republican, decries “Obamacare” as socialism (even though he and his wife have no health insurance and owe tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt), but at the same time takes advantage of heating assistance and various state programs to bring rural counties into the 21st century (ie: vouchers for high speed internet, etc.). *facepalm!* It’s not even “I got mine, fuck you!”, it’s just flat out stupidity.

  82. Drolfe says

    Libertarian thought [...] is far more progressive than secular humanism. I expect that this will draw fire, but I honestly believe the Achilles’ heel of secular humanism is misguided compassion.

    This really needs to be unpacked to have any kind of meaning. Define progressive, compassion. Describe what you mean when you say secular humanism. I imagine these aren’t going to be the same as the rest of us.

    I’d even go so far as to say that when you say “misguided compassion” you mean ‘giving a shit about poor or brown people when you should be caring about yourself or pepole very much like you.’ Or shorter: fuck you, I’ve got mine!

  83. gijoel says

    Atlas Shrugged 2: The Quickening
    Atlas Shrugged 2: The Government Strikes Back.
    Atlas Shrugged 2: Revenge of the Fallen ( How could Michael Bay make it worse?)
    Atlas Shrugged 2: The Road Warrior
    Atlas Shrugged Reloaded.

    I could do this forever. But I won’t.

  84. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Libertarians are the ones that are able to are an explaination of the financial collapse of 2008. It was too much abdication of government interference. The government was intruding on set loose the financial sector and backing weak loans. This is what droveallowed banks to accumulate create so many toxic assets. Eventually, we all ended up paying for it. If the government had not intruded by artificiall boosting the bank loansgiving the banks permission to run ponzi scams, this would not have happened.

    Fixed! It’s more accurate this way.

  85. says

    C’mon, Paulbot, bring some numbers or something. Show us the evidence for the glories of Libertarianism. So far, you sound like you copypasted from some low rent apologist and did a find/replace to swap Christianity for Libertarianism and Rand for the bible.

  86. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Atlas Shrugged & Prejudice & Zombies?

    Reminds me of Telemachus Sneezed.

  87. douglashudson says

    Back in my mid-twenties, I was a Libertarian. A co-worker of mine (a liberal) suggested I read Ayn Rand, that I would like Objectivism. I said, “heck no, I may be a libertarian, but I’m not evil!”

    Of course, a few years later I came to my senses and realized that libertarianism wasn’t any better than Objectivism, just less honest.

  88. Paul says

    Atlas Shrugged 2 : Electric Boogaloo

    Of course, a few years later I came to my senses and realized that libertarianism wasn’t any better than Objectivism, just less honest.

    I have a work friend. I went to see Atlas Shrugged with him, since he had recently divorced and could use some support. He’s been a fan of the book since high school. He used to actively identify as Libertarian, although he at least changed out of practicality when he had kids (you know, kids are expensive, and there’s all sorts of medical bills etc). So he says to me:

    “You know, that Ayn Rand was right about a whole lot of things. But I just can’t agree with her atheism”.

    /sigh

  89. Barkeron says

    Ah, I see that the Liberetardians finally found this discussion.

    Hello and welcome, crypto-fascist scum.

    Now, from a certain point of view their standard apology “Gub’mint interference caused the meltdown!” is actually accurate. After all, it was the Bush Regime Administration who extensively deregulated the financial sector… after they were bought by Liberetardian corporate captain criminals. So yeah.

    The only reason anyone still listens to you nutjobs is that, in contrast to Communism, you don’t have a failed state on your track record (yet) and few learned a lesson from the Victorian UK.

  90. Akira MacKenzie says

    Wait! Disney won’t make a sequel to John Cater (Hey! I liked it!) because it was a “flop” but this pile of shit gets released after Part 1 made zilch?

    There just ain’t no justice.

  91. Akira MacKenzie says

    Edit: …John Carter

    Tie me to a wild throat and drag me through the dead sea bottoms.

  92. says

    At this point an attack on Soviet-Union style political systems has lost its relevance. He’s dead, Jim.

    George Orwell set the bar pretty high with Animal Farm.

    Yeah except for how his introduction (which lamented the censorship of the press in england and other places) was left out of the copies released after russia became an official enemy. It looks an awful lot like a condemnation of only soviet russia when relevant context is snipped out. People are left with the impression that the story only applies to communism (as it existed in russia), when it has wide applications to all kinds of power structures. 1984 was also mistakenly interpreted as only being about specific governments of the time.

    As for not being relevant anymore- relevant to who? People in north korea might find it highly relevant, for instance, and so should people whose governments oppress others in the name of anti-communism (like the economic embargo against people in cuba enacted by the united states). If these books represent the reason for such actions they should be of interest to everyone.

    on an unrelated note- I saw some really gung-ho enthusiastic line worker at the DMV reading atlas shrugged. weird.

  93. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    Actually Atlas didn’t always hold up the heavens. Herakles took over the task for a while so that Atlas could make him a sammich fetch him some golden apples. (From a tree much as in Genesis, with a serpent and all)* Atlas tried to skive off from his task, but Herakles managed to trick him back.

    So much for Atlas, the work-shy, lying and cheating Randian hero.

    * The serpent’s name was Ladon, which is rather a cute name for a pet snake. The bible doesn’t seem to know or care about the serpent’s name.

  94. says

    The only reason anyone still listens to you nutjobs is that, in contrast to Communism, you don’t have a failed state on your track record (yet) and

    I thought somalia was a libertarian’s paradise?

  95. says

    @Barkeron

    welcome, crypto-fascist scum.

    -Libertarians strongly oppose all forms of fascism. Indeed, Ludwig von Mises, a great hero of the Libertarians, was a Jew who escaped from soon-to-be-Nazi Austria to Switzerland and then to the U.S.

    after they were bought by Liberetardian corporate captain criminals

    -The Cato Institute was rather friendly with the Bush Administration on some issues (e.g., Social Security), but I do not see how this recession could have not been caused by the processes outlined by Austrian Business Cycle Theory. On the other hand, this may be due to my relative isolation from the world of economics since my immersion into Levantine archaeology in early 2011.

  96. says

    @skeptifem

    I thought somalia was a libertarian’s paradise?

    According to the Libertarians, Somalia is far better in its present state than it was under the Somali Democratic Republic.

  97. 'Tis Himself says

    My lunch hour is too short to discuss the economic crisis brought on by government deregulation.

  98. Justin says

    ronpaulforprez @ 122

    Humanism is tempting to embrace, But giving to the undeserving often takes away from the deserving.

    Ah, the sociopathy of libertarianism encapsulated. Tell me, why are the poor “undeserving”. And why are the rich “deserving”? Is Kim Kardashian more “deserving” than say a starving Somalian? If so why?

  99. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    Ah, I see that the Liberetardians finally found this discussion.

    [...] after they were bought by Liberetardian corporate captain criminals. So yeah.

    *ahegm*

  100. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Yeah, Sili, I picked up on that too.
    Barkeron, knock it off. Your use of ableist slurs in denigrating libertarians – deservingly! – causes splash damage to people who aren’t the ones you mean to hurt.

  101. daniellavine says

    @M Groesbeck:

    I still prefer the translation of Rabelais that doesn’t encourage self-obsessed anglophones to do connotation transplants with rusty surgical instruments.

    …Why not include in your comment then so we could all be enlightened?

    Oh, ’cause you’re into the occult so you have to sound all mysterious and wise all the time. Awesome. Bet you’re real fun at parties too.

  102. says

    From Joed’s link at #8:

    Her heroes are a cocktail of extreme self-love and extreme self-pity: They insist they need no one, yet they spend all their time fuming that the masses don’t bow down before their manifest superiority.

    Wow, that doesn’t sound familiar at. all.

    Ing:

    Objectivism is against both giving and receiving handouts.

    Misread as “handjobs.” Make your own intellectual-masturbation jokes.

    Paulorrhoid:

    All too often these discussions get heated and they don’t need to be.

    Yeah, they do. They need to be as full of sentiments that you eat shit and die as can be crammed into them.

  103. daniellavine says

    @ronpaulforprez:

    All too often these discussions get heated and they don’t need to be. When one examines Libertarian thought objectively they realize that our position is far more progressive than secular humanism. I expect that this will draw fire, but I honestly believe the Achilles’ heel of secular humanism is misguided compassion.

    I tend to agree liberals have gotten sucked into this weird dehumanizing socialist progress myth, but libertarianism is every bit as problematic if not moreso. For one, self-identified libertarians are all over the map as far as what they actually believe and what sort of government they think is appropriate.

    Another more serious problem is that libertarians are so zealous about their beliefs. I’ve never seen a self-identified libertarian agree that they could or might be wrong about anything, even after being presented with pretty incontrovertible arguments that, say, Austrianism isn’t actually an effective or useful theory. (Actually, von Mises insisted it was unfalsifiable and self-evident, so it is in fact a religious belief rather than a scientific theory of the economy. This is according to its founder.) For example, do you deny the historical fact that there was a financial crisis on average every seven years during the nineteenth century under arguably the closest thing the US has had to a libertarian government? Do you think the living standards of factory workers in the late nineteenth century were perfectly adequate to human well-being and that a return to such a regime would be perfectly peachy? Libertarians can sure sound smart as long as they’re building up cotton-candy castles of theory but they’re suspiciously blind to facts.

    Also, Ron Paul supporters make me suspicious because Ron Paul looks for all the world to me like an authoritarian in libertarian drag — and he’s not even passable. And his supporters seem blind to this no matter how many times he goes on record insisting on everyone’s right to live as Ron Paul wants them to live.

  104. says

    Tell me, why are the poor “undeserving”. And why are the rich “deserving”? Is Kim Kardashian more “deserving” than say a starving Somalian? If so why?

    -My guess is that the typical Libertarian answer would be that

    the poor are undeserving because they have insufficiently satisfied the needs of The People/The Market and the rich are deserving because they have (by directing resources in a manner that satisfies consumer demand). Kim Kardashian is more deserving than a starving Somalian because Kim has entertained millions of Americans, while the starving Somalian has done nothing in his life worth noting and did not exploit sufficient opportunities available to him.

    Of course, this answer ignores the fact that ability/potential amount deserved is not dependent on one’s present location.

  105. daniellavine says

    @ronpaulforprez:

    Another problem is that libertarians mostly seem laughably ignorant about how fiat currency works. This is connected to the “financial disaster every seven years” issue. Gold standard caps the value of the economy and so when the real value of the economy exceeds the value of gold backing the currency deflation (and a serious recession) results. This is why “overproduction” was the nineteenth century equivalent of “inflation” in the 20th century. “Overproduction” problems were solved with fiat currency (so that the money supply can be increased to keep pace with growth in the economy). Inflation has been kept relatively in check by a combination of fiscal and monetary policy — most inflation in the 20th century seems to have been driven by price shocks rather than government policy (of course, government policy can help to cause price shocks; OPEC may very well be at least partially a result of ham-handed US foreign policy).

    That said, I’m not necessarily opposed to a gold standard — but that’s just because I favor steady-state economies instead of growth economies. My impression is that this is not the case for most libertarians who prefer the gold standard.

  106. says

    @ daniellavine

    For example, do you deny the historical fact that there was a financial crisis on average every seven years during the nineteenth century under arguably the closest thing the US has had to a libertarian government?

    -Libertarians would attribute this to fractional reserve banking and inflationary state bank policies. Bad working conditions would be attributed to prior poverty and the “fact” one cannot make working conditions significantly better in any amount of time less than a few decades. Of course, this ignores the fact (without scare quotes) that there is no such thing as perfect competition and that free market working conditions would probably be worse than those under a government concerned for workers’ safety.

  107. daniellavine says

    Libertarians would attribute this to fractional reserve banking and inflationary state bank policies.

    1. Second bank of the US was done in 1836. So no federal government bank for most of the 19th century.
    2. Perhaps you’re talking about banks run by the states directly? In that case, why were these crises national in scope?
    3. How do inflationary policies cause deflation? I’m talking about the frequent recessions of the 19th century. Inflation, AFAIK, was only a big issue during the wars where the government was printing money to pay for war goods.
    4. There’s a completely plausible explanation with empirical evidence backing it already: the gold standard capped the value of the real economy causing deflation in periods of overproduction.

    Regarding working conditions, the libertarian argument is “don’t work there.” Not such great advice when the only other alternative is to starve. In the case of the 19th century and early 20th century, industry lobbied government to favor policies that favored large corporate landholders over individual family farms; displaced farming families got to choose between terrible jobs and starvation.

    Libertarians have a good argument there that government was at least complicit every step of the way, but this gets back to the libertarian’s problem with history: it happened the way it did. The industrial revolution wasn’t the result of pure market forces, its history is entangled closely with the centralization of authority in the federal government in the US. And in the UK, of course, it was a personal project of the crown and aristocracy (i.e. not a bunch of by-the-bootstraps Yankee traders). And this is true more generally; many if not most of the mighty triumphs of human industry that libertarians like to credit to the Invisible Hand were actually in no small part the result of state policies.

  108. Barkeron says

    Libertarians strongly oppose all forms of fascism.

    Maybe on the paper, but in practice their efforts to create a pyramidal society in which the 0.1% Herrenmenschen rule supreme over the “undeserving” poor Untermenschen speaks another language entirely.

    Your use of ableist slurs

    Liberetardian as in socially retarded. They’re basically manchildren who were unable to grow up into responsible adults due to ideologically-induced arrested development (or maybe the ideology came later as they noticed they could justify their “Get off my property, peasant!” tantrums by making it look like a philosophy).

  109. daniellavine says

    @Bakeron:

    From wikipedia:

    Fascism (play /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2] Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics.[3][4] Fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.[5]

    So if libertarians are anti-state (and usually they are) then they are also anti-fascist.

    Honestly, I’m starting to think liberals need to tone down the accusations of fascism. It’s starting just to mean “something that I personally dislike intensely.”

  110. Justin says

    the poor are undeserving because they have insufficiently satisfied the needs of The People/The Market and the rich are deserving because they have (by directing resources in a manner that satisfies consumer demand). Kim Kardashian is more deserving than a starving Somalian because Kim has entertained millions of Americans, while the starving Somalian has done nothing in his life worth noting and did not exploit sufficient opportunities available to him.

    Not only does it fail to take into account systemic inequality, but it also judges people by how useful they are to a particular institution. Could you imagine if someone from say the Catholic faith said that people are only worthy in how useful they are to the Church? Most people would find that highly offensive. And it is.

    Institutions serve humanity. Not the other way around.

  111. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Liberetardian as in socially retarded. They’re basically manchildren who were unable to grow up into responsible adults due to ideologically-induced arrested development (or maybe the ideology came later as they noticed they could justify their “Get off my property, peasant!” tantrums by making it look like a philosophy).

    Your explanation doesn’t help. Please stop.

  112. Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa says

    you don’t have a failed state on your track record

    A simple corollary of the No-True-Libertarian Theorem is that there’ll never be a True Libertarian state.

  113. douglashudson says

    It’s true that Libertarians aren’t fascists. They are selfish fools, though.

    My de-conversion from libertarian philosophy began when a friend asked me, “do you like roads”?

    Well, yes.

    “Do you like police, firefighters, other public services?”

    Well, yes.

    “Do you think a well-educated, well-feed, secure society would make your life easier?”

    Well, yes.

    “Would you be willing to pay taxes to support all these things?”

    Of course!

    “Then you aren’t a fucking Libertarian!”

    Two years later, I was a socialist. : D

  114. douglashudson says

    Not a communist, I should add, contrary to what many Americans think socialism means.

    I actually favor a socialist republic.

    Actual conversation with clueless co-worker:

    Not-clueless co-worker: Republicans say Obama is a socialist.

    Me: I wish!

    Clueless co-worker: Why do you wish he were socialist?

    Me: Because I’m a socialist!

    CCW: So why don’t you move to one of those socialist countries!

    Me: (stare)

  115. daniellavine says

    Not a communist, I should add, contrary to what many Americans think socialism means.

    I actually favor a socialist republic.

    I suggest you guys quote George Orwell more. Unabashed anti-totalitarian and an opponent of both fascism and stalinism. In fact, he alienated himself from a lot of leftists in his time by frequently criticizing the Soviet Union for turning socialism into a form of totalitarianism.

    Also an unabashed defender, in his words, of “democratic socialism.” I think Orwell is a great figure to use to counteract the conflation of socialism and communism. (While I’m less and less enthusiastic about socialism, I wholly oppose the sort of propaganda effort that is being used to discredit socialism by conflation with communism).

  116. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    So why don’t you move to one of those socialist countries!

    Because the good ones have shitty weather and even shittier immigration policies you should answer next time. (and right wing rising currently I’m afraid, oc our right wing is in practical politics to the left of Obama)

  117. Barkeron says

    @daniellavine:

    Nation =/= state.

    They want their ideal society only for WASPs for they’re inherently racist (“If the niggers are supposed to be as smart as we white Herrenmenschen why didn’t they build industrialized empires?!?!”) and inherently authoritarian like all right regressives.

  118. says

    @146:

    “-Libertarians strongly oppose all forms of fascism.”

    Well, on paper they do. In reality, much of what passes for libertarianism is just plutocracy with a different name. Ayn Rand’s absurd deification of the rich and contempt for the poor, for example, leads one to think that it has nothing to do with what’s best for people, or even abstract principles, it’s all about who is fit to rule and who is fit to serve. Such disparities of power tend to lead to rebellion, and the only way to keep that down is with the jackboot.

  119. daniellavine says

    @Barkeron:

    Nation =/= state.

    From wikipedia (again, though you could have just read it the first time):

    Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics.

    Can you name a single fascism movement that wasn’t statist? Of course not. Because fascism is a form of statism.

    They want their ideal society only for WASPs for they’re inherently racist (“If the niggers are supposed to be as smart as we white Herrenmenschen why didn’t they build industrialized empires?!?!”) and inherently authoritarian like all right regressives.

    Painting with a pretty broad brush there. Care to provide evidence for these assertions?

    Incidentally, this argument is exactly why I’m becoming less enthusiastic about identifying as a liberal.

  120. daniellavine says

    And yes, I read the frickin’ Altemeyer book. I doubt there’s many high-RWAs who self-identify as libertarians. If you want to assert otherwise, again — evidence, please.

  121. daniellavine says

    Well, on paper they do. In reality, much of what passes for libertarianism is just plutocracy with a different name.

    We already have a definition of fascism here, and it’s not synonymous with plutocracy. Pointing out that libertarians are, in fact, almost all anti-fascist is not the same thing as recommending or praising libertarian policies. Most of my wordcount in this thread is criticizing libertarianism.

    When I say libertarians are anti-fascist I’m saying this out of intellectual honesty, not to defend the frickin’ libertarians.

  122. douglashudson says

    Yeah, my thought at the time was that the socialist countries are all too cold for my taste!

    Again, Libertarianism is not fascism. In fact, libertarians would be considered enemies of the state in a true fascist country.

    Fascism, like communism, is a term thrown around a lot by people who don’t know what it means.

  123. douglashudson says

    Or who do know what it means but want to obscure the meaning so as to slur opponents.

  124. daniellavine says

    Yeah, my thought at the time was that the socialist countries are all too cold for my taste!

    The USA is a socialist country and parts have quite wonderful weather. Unfortunately, it has all the immigration and right-wing populism issues that apparently inflict other socialist countries, also moreso.

    Also, very few citizens of the USA seem to realize it’s a socialist country.

  125. Rich Woods says

    @ronpaulforprez #125:

    I know that you guys don’t subscribe to Libertarian thought, but I thought maybe I could change a few minds or at least spread awareness.

    Believe me, you’ve certainly achieved the latter…

  126. douglashudson says

    daniellavine #177,

    I wouldn’t say the US is socialist. It has a few socialist policies (social security, medicare), but given the incredibly low tax rate (especially for corporations and the wealthy), and the lack of anything but the most basic social welfare systems, I think the US has to be classed as capitalist. Or a corporatocracy, really, since corporations are (strangely) classed as people under the law, and wield tremendous influence over the administration of government.

  127. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    There is an Ayn Rand dating site called the Atlasphere. I forgot where I first heard about it (it may have even been here), but I remember one commenter saying that it should have been called “Atlas Hugged.” I can only imagine the special kind of liberturds who utilize that site.

  128. says

    We already have a definition of fascism here, and it’s not synonymous with plutocracy.

    I didn’t say it was. What I said was that if you implement a political system in which the powerful can do as they will and the powerless will suffer as they must, what you’re likely to end up with is something resembling fascism (or some other form of police state). Unless for some reason you’re naive enough to believe that Randian Supermen are different from every other elite in history, and in their strict adherence to principle will never attempt to translate their economic power into political power or resort to using violence to further their ends.

    I have every reason to believe that libertarians are perfectly sincere in their contempt for state power. But they have no problem with unlimited private power, and in the case of Ayn Rand, they actually worship it and cheer on ever greater degrees of disparity. The problem is not with their stated beliefs, it’s with the unexamined implications of those beliefs. This of course was also the problem with communism; on paper, it’s every bit as anti-statist as libertarianism. In reality, we got Stalin and Mao.

  129. daniellavine says

    @douglashudson:

    I don’t think the tax rate has any bearing on whether a state is socialist or not, and actually there’s good reason to think the tax rate is too high right now. Personally, I’d favor eliminating all payroll taxes and replacing them with an increase in the capital gains tax; payroll taxes discourage people from spending money in the real economy which is bad while capital gains taxes discourage people from pumping money into the financial economy which is good. Assuming you want a growth economy.

    I also don’t think being a socialist state requires a *good* social safety net. I think you downplay just how seriously socialist the institutions (not merely policies) of social security and medicare are. And you skip over almost every other instance of socialism within the U.S. government, which is breathtaking in scope: the Federal Reserve, the EPA, the FCC, the SEC, OSHA. Business subsidies are inevitably socialist. Government-funded scientific research is obviously socialist and represents and indirect subsidy to industry; there’s a reason that the USSR beat us into space despite severe economic problems. The list goes on.

    Perhaps I simply have a broader conception of what “socialism” means than you do, but if the USA is not socialist then we don’t have a word for what it is because it’s sure as hell not laissez-faire.

  130. says

    @ #161 daniellavine :

    Never heard of corporate fascism, I see.

    As long as we’re quoting Wikipedia:

    Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would, theoretically, represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of labor contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social classes. Authors have noted, however, that de facto economic corporatism was also used to reduce opposition and reward political loyalty

  131. daniellavine says

    I didn’t say it was. What I said was that if you implement a political system in which the powerful can do as they will and the powerless will suffer as they must, what you’re likely to end up with is something resembling fascism (or some other form of police state).

    Yes, it’s a very strained and convoluted slippery-slope argument requiring several events to go exactly as your argument assumes they must. I found it completely unconvincing.

    have every reason to believe that libertarians are perfectly sincere in their contempt for state power. But they have no problem with unlimited private power, and in the case of Ayn Rand, they actually worship it and cheer on ever greater degrees of disparity.

    I’ve seen many libertarians argue (fairly convincingly) that unconstrained private power is near-impossible without co-option or cooperation of the state.

    But as I already said I’m not really trying to defend libertarianism — I’ve been mostly criticizing it on this thread so I’m not sure why you’re really arguing with me. Libertarians are anti-fascist even if, according to Area Man’s dialectic theory of history, libertarianism inevitably leads to fascism. In fact, I argued something rather similar already.

    Your argument looked like a weaselly attempt to justify calling libertarians “fascists” to me — that’s why I objected. If you’re not suggesting libertarians are fascists then we probably mostly agree.

  132. says

    @ #177 daniellavine:

    The USA is a socialist country and parts have quite wonderful weather. Unfortunately, it has all the immigration and right-wing populism issues that apparently inflict other socialist countries, also moreso.

    Also, very few citizens of the USA seem to realize it’s a socialist country.

    Because everyone knows that in the U.S. the government owns the means of production.

    Words have meanings.

  133. douglashudson says

    Daniellavine #182

    Ok, I have nothing to say to someone who thinks the US tax rate is too high.

    I don’t mean that as an insult, it’s just that your worldview is so different from mine that conversation would be unproductive.

  134. daniellavine says

    @mikefrancis:

    Oh, maybe I understand. You think fascism isn’t a form of socialism.

    Fascism is, in fact, a form of socialism. It’s OK. That doesn’t mean all socialism is bad.

    Arguments are not soldiers. We can acknowledge uncomfortable truths without giving up everything we believe.

  135. daniellavine says

    @douglashudson:

    Ok, I have nothing to say to someone who thinks the US tax rate is too high.

    I don’t mean that as an insult, it’s just that your worldview is so different from mine that conversation would be unproductive.

    This is knee-jerk liberalism. I highly advise you don’t go that route.

    If you carefully read what you were responding to, I said we should eliminate payroll taxes — the most regressive form of federal taxation in the USA — and increase capital gains taxes — putting MORE of the tax burden on wealthier Americans.

    The reasons I think the tax burden is too high are laid out
    here. If you read that, you will see it is a protracted argument in favor of fiat currency, Keynsianism, and democratic socialism.

    I am violently agreeing with you and you are rejecting my point of view because I used the phrase “taxes are too high.” That is not a good sign.

  136. daniellavine says

    @miekfrancis:

    Because everyone knows that in the U.S. the government owns the means of production.

    Words have meanings.

    Are you trying to say that there is no such thing as private enterprise in the UK, France, Norway, Denmark, or Sweden? I don’t know how else to interpret this argument.

  137. says

    @ #185 daniellavine:

    You claimed that libertarians are anti-fascist. They aren’t; they eagerly support corporate fascism, they just don’t call it that.

  138. says

    @ #188 daniellavine:

    “Fascism is, in fact, a form of socialism.”

    Bullshit. Words have meanings. Stop making up your own meanings.

  139. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    You think fascism isn’t a form of socialism

    And it’s quite reasonable to do so. Though fascism depends on a mixed economy a mixed economy does not make it socialism.

  140. daniellavine says

    @mikefrancis:

    They aren’t; they eagerly support corporate fascism, they just don’t call it that.

    No they don’t. From your own definition of corporate fascism:

    Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations).

    Ideologically consistent libertarians* would not support such a system.

    *Yes, yes, I know, there’s probably not too many of them.

  141. daniellavine says

    Bullshit. Words have meanings. Stop making up your own meanings.

    You’re being a prat. I’m not making this up. Nazi party –> National Socialist party. Nazi economic policies were explicitly collectivist.

    I understand that this is uncomfortable for many liberals to acknowledge. I had a lot of trouble with it for a very long time. But it’s really not that big a deal.

  142. douglashudson says

    Daniellavine 188,

    You think fascism is socialist?

    HAHAHAHAHA

    I’m not sure what world you are living in, but in the real world, fascists OPPOSE socialism.

    And no, National socialism is not the same thing as socialism.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me know I can skip your posts.

  143. douglashudson says

    daniellavine #195

    Oh my god, you actually ARE making the “National Socialist = Socialist” argument?

    Now I’m laughing even harder.

    Maybe I will continue to read your posts, just for the sheer entertainment value.

  144. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Big fucking hint to the clueless:
    “You are all peons that labour for our great leader”=\=socialism. Even though some dictators wants their people to believe otherwise.

  145. daniellavine says

    You think fascism is socialist?

    HAHAHAHAHA

    I’m not sure what world you are living in, but in the real world, fascists OPPOSE socialism.

    And no, National socialism is not the same thing as socialism.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me know I can skip your posts.

    Do you think it’s possible for Democrats to oppose Republicans while both are still in favor of democracy? Or is that completely impossible?

    If it’s not completely impossible then your “argument” is actually a non sequitir. Just because socialists and fascists fought against each other does not mean that they don’t have anything in common.

    Did you notice how socialist states also opposed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? By your argument, that must mean that communism is not a form of socialism.

    Again, you’re just reacting emotionally instead of thinking. I’m not endorsing fascism, I’m not criticizing socialism, I’m not endorsing libertarianism, I’m not criticizing liberalism. The moral values driving our respective politics are probably almost identical. We almost certainly have more in common politically then not.

    I’m acknowledging what I’m explicitly calling “uncomfortable truths” — they were uncomfortable to me as a self-identified liberal to acknowledge — as a matter of intellectual honesty. You could at least give me the benefit of the doubt on that score. I’m not really sure what I’ve said to warrant being shunned entirely.

  146. daniellavine says

    @douglashudson:

    And YOU have made the following arguments:
    -socialists and fascists have fought against each other; therefore, fascism is not socialism
    -you said “taxes are too high” therefore you are not worth talking to

    You’re also being incredibly dismissive and condescending when I think I’ve actually been quite respectful of you despite, as I said, your knee-jerk reactions to what I’ve been writing.

    And again, this is exactly why I’m increasingly dissatisfied identifying as a liberal.

  147. douglashudson says

    #199,

    I believe it was when you said that fascism was socialism, because the Nazi party was the National Socialist party.

    Anyone who says that National Socialism = Socialism is either completely clueless or is deliberately trying to slur socialism by associating it with the Nazis.

    I have my suspicions about which you are, Mr. “I’m just acknowledging uncomfortable truths (which aren’t true)”, but frankly, it doesn’t matter.

    Your posts did make me laugh, though, so you have that going for you.

  148. daniellavine says

    @douglashudson:

    You’re making unwarranted assumptions about my motives. Please stop. I’ve been nothing but fair with you. I don’t understand why you can’t return the favor.

    I offered the “National socialist” argument merely to point out that the Nazis considered themselves socialist. That doesn’t prove they were socialist, but it’s a pretty good bit of evidence. There’s more besides that.

    I don’t know why you think it’s such a terrible thing to admit that fascism is a form of socialism. Whether I’m right or wrong about it, I’m at least making the assertion in good faith. I’m not trying to use it to discredit socialism. Most of my output in this thread has directly or indirectly praised or advocated socialism.

  149. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    And again, this is exactly why I’m increasingly dissatisfied identifying as a liberal.

    And this is one of the reasons why I’m very satisfied I identify as a socialist and not a liberal.

    You’re trying to redefine socialism into a definition not a single socialist agrees with. We got words for people who do shit like that.

  150. daniellavine says

    @Gnumann:

    ou’re trying to redefine socialism into a definition not a single socialist agrees with. We got words for people who do shit like that.

    Then correct me. None of you have bothered giving a definition of socialism that challenges any of my assertions here.

    It feels a lot like “Oh, this guy’s saying stuff we disagree with. Get ‘im!” to me. Which is weird because — once again — I probably agree with you guys on all the moral questions and seem to just disagree with you on matters of semantics and the historical provenance of particular political and economic systems.

  151. alkaloid says

    Daniellavine #155

    I tend to agree liberals have gotten sucked into this weird dehumanizing socialist progress myth, but libertarianism is every bit as problematic if not moreso.

    What weird dehumanizing socialist progress myth are you referring to?

  152. says

    Yes, it’s a very strained and convoluted slippery-slope argument requiring several events to go exactly as your argument assumes they must. I found it completely unconvincing.

    There’s nothing strained or convoluted about it; it’s very simple and straightforward. But never mind that.

    If you find it unconvincing, then say it’s unconvincing. By lecturing everyone about how libertarians claim to be anti-fascist, you clearly implied that you did not understand the argument.

    I’ve seen many libertarians argue (fairly convincingly) that unconstrained private power is near-impossible without co-option or cooperation of the state.

    Right, this goes right back to the fallacy that Galtian overlords, in their infinite benevolence, would never co-opt the state or assume the role of state for themselves. All they have to do is pick up a copy of Hayek every so often and they’ll voluntarily check their own power. What could possibly go wrong?

    Your argument looked like a weaselly attempt to justify calling libertarians “fascists” to me — that’s why I objected.

    That was never my intention, though I regard many libertarians (Rand for one) as having equally twisted impulses. Haters gonna hate. At any rate, coming from the guy who keeps calling the USA “socialist” in contravention of its commonly understood meaning, your concerns here are a little hard to take seriously.

  153. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    None of you have bothered giving a definition of socialism that challenges any of my assertions here.

    Care to guess why?

  154. daniellavine says

    What weird dehumanizing socialist progress myth are you referring to?

    Umm, the progress myth. The myth that Things Are Getting Better All the Time. There’s a lot of different specific forms of this myth and if I try to get specific I’ll end up with a caricature. Myths aren’t really good fodder for rational discussion so I’d prefer not to try.

  155. daniellavine says

    @Gnumann:

    Care to guess why?

    Please. Honestly. Tell me what I’m getting wrong. I honestly think, based on what I believe the word “socialism” means, that I am using it correctly. If I am wrong I would like to be corrected. I don’t understand why you’re being a jerk about it.

    @Area Man:

    By lecturing everyone about how libertarians claim to be anti-fascist, you clearly implied that you did not understand the argument.

    This is getting tedious. You argued that libertarianism inevitably leads to fascism through a convoluted historical process that I don’t think is actually very plausible. I don’t care if you don’t think it’s convoluted; I do, and merely asserting otherwise won’t convince me of anything.

    I argued that as a matter of personal principles libertarians are anti-fascist. This does not contradict the notion that libertarianism inevitably leads to fascism — although you have not made any kind of effective argument for this last notion. Libertarians as individuals and libertarian philosophy would still be anti-fascist even if you were right that the (untintended) real-world effects always resulted in fascism.

    Right, this goes right back to the fallacy that Galtian overlords, in their infinite benevolence, would never co-opt the state or assume the role of state for themselves. All they have to do is pick up a copy of Hayek every so often and they’ll voluntarily check their own power. What could possibly go wrong?

    Completely wrong. The argument is that in a libertarian society no one has a chance to become a Galtian overlord in the first place. Without the government guaranteeing rents and sinecures, competition is more fierce and there is much less profit for any individual business. I do not necessarily believe this is true, but you’re addressing a different argument entirely.

    At any rate, coming from the guy who keeps calling the USA “socialist” in contravention of its commonly understood meaning, your concerns here are a little hard to take seriously.

    Again, if it’s a mistake it’s an honest mistake, but none of you have done a very good job of establishing that it actually is a mistake.

  156. daniellavine says

    Let me turn this around a little. Here’s the wiki definition of socialism:

    Socialism play /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/ is an economic system characterised by social ownership, control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or even autonomous state enterprises.[2] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[3] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets versus planning, how management is to be organised within economic enterprises, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.[4]

    A socialist economic system would consist of an organisation of production to directly satisfy economic demands and human needs, so that goods and services would be produced directly for use instead of for private profit driven by the accumulation of capital, and accounting would be based on physical quantities, a common physical magnitude, or a direct measure of labour-time.[5][6] Distribution of output would be based on the principle of individual contribution.

    Does everyone agree with it? If so, how does it apply to the European countries that we’re calling “socialist.” It seems to me that none of the UK, France, Denmark, or Sweden actually has “an organization of production to directly satisfy…human needs, so that goods and services would be produced directly for use instead of for private profit…” It seems to me that this definition of socialism excludes all democratic socialist countries.

    In other words, if France, UK, Denmark, and Sweden are socialist then I simply don’t see what is different about them from the USA such that the USA is magically not socialist. Are we saying socialism=free healthcare? What is there besides free healthcare distinguishing these states from the US?

  157. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Tell me what I’m getting wrong.

    There seems to be a massive confusion in your little brain between the two terms “my homework” and “your task”

    Or to put in the words of a famous asshole: That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  158. daniellavine says

    There seems to be a massive confusion in your little brain between the two terms “my homework” and “your task”

    Or to put in the words of a famous asshole: That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    In other words, you are imcapable of calm serious discussions with people whose perspectives are even slightly different from your own.

    I’ve done my homework. My answers seem to disagree with yours, but unless you actually provide evidence that yours are correct I don’t see why the burden is on me.

    And “little brain” is totally uncalled for here.

  159. says

    Then correct me. None of you have bothered giving a definition of socialism that challenges any of my assertions here.

    Yeah, someone did. “Government (or collective) ownership of the means of production.” That is what socialism means. Just because the American right decided it means “any positive use of government on behalf of its citizens” does not make that a legitimate definition. The government of the USA does not own the means of production beyond very limited instances; its main mechanism for providing social welfare is to tax private enterprise. And if that makes the USA socialist, then nearly every country on Earth is socialist, especially the rich ones, which either renders the term meaningless or it makes socialism the most wildly successful system in history.

    I don’t know why you seem to think that arguing definitions is a good use of anyone’s time. Definitions are not arguments, and ideas are not good or bad depending on the label you apply to them.

  160. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    In other words, you are imcapable of calm serious discussions with people whose perspectives are even slightly different from your own.

    Not incapable, just not interested. Why on earth should I be interested in discussing socialism with someone who does little else than spout of right-wing talking points like they’re firing them off a chaingun and then demands that everyone else disproves their undocumented tripe?

    When your the only one in an environment holding a view, it’s your job to substantiate that. If you’re not willing to do that, you shut the fuck up.

  161. daniellavine says

    @Area Man:

    I don’t know why you seem to think that arguing definitions is a good use of anyone’s time. Definitions are not arguments, and ideas are not good or bad depending on the label you apply to them.

    As a skeptic, I think it is worthwhile for me to examine my pre-existing beliefs, including the political ones. I am not trying to redefine “socialism”. I am trying to understand what all of you mean by it because it is not clear from the definition given.

    Is the UK socialist? Does the UK employ either government or collective ownership of the means of production?

  162. daniellavine says

    Not incapable, just not interested. Why on earth should I be interested in discussing socialism with someone who does little else than spout of right-wing talking points like they’re firing them off a chaingun and then demands that everyone else disproves their undocumented tripe?

    Go read my post at 189 closely and tell me again that I’m spouting right wing talking points.

    When your the only one in an environment holding a view, it’s your job to substantiate that. If you’re not willing to do that, you shut the fuck up.

    Oddly enough, I occasionally try to say that Pharyngula isn’t an environment that discourages dissent from the party-line. Guess I was wrong about something after all.

  163. douglashudson says

    Why would we have a serious discussion with somebody who doesn’t know the difference between Nazi and socialist, or between socialist and liberal?

    Or pretends not to know. Your use of right-wing rhetoric makes me suspicious that you are a troll. In which case, you should know that having people laugh at you is not the mark of a good troll.

    In the event that you are not a troll, then I suggest you do a little research on socialism before talking about it.

    Also, if you are not a troll, then I apologize for mocking you mercilessly. I don’t apologize for suspecting you to be a troll, though.

  164. douglashudson says

    Incidentally, the “national socialism = socialism” claim is typical right wing rhetoric. You certainly won’t see anyone on the left claiming that.

  165. alkaloid says

    Umm, the progress myth. The myth that Things Are Getting Better All the Time. There’s a lot of different specific forms of this myth and if I try to get specific I’ll end up with a caricature. Myths aren’t really good fodder for rational discussion so I’d prefer not to try.

    In some ways, though, things have been getting better (or at least they were getting better, until conservatism in its economic/political forms had a massive resurgence, and liberals became so consumed by newage thinking and lesser evilism that they stopped effectively fighting for positive change). I don’t think that progress is either universal or in any way automatic, but I’d rather see it as a positive goal as compared to the stagnation and/or regression that I’ve largely seen instead.

  166. daniellavine says

    In the event that you are not a troll, then I suggest you do a little research on socialism before talking about it.

    I’ve done the research. Quite possibly more than any of you have. I disagree with you guys.

    I have asked a very simple question. If any of you can answer it satisfactorily I will happily concede:

    What is the difference between the USA and the UK such that the latter is socialist and the former is not?

  167. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    What is the difference between the USA and the UK such that the latter is socialist and the former is not?

    Where’s the person that said that the united fucking kingdom is socialist? I want words with them. Sharp pointy words!

  168. douglashudson says

    The UK isn’t socialist.

    It has more socialist policies than the US, but its hardly socialist.

    I don’t believe there are any true socialist countries, though some of the Scandinavian countries are pretty close. Still capitalist, though.

  169. daniellavine says

    don’t believe there are any true socialist countries, though some of the Scandinavian countries are pretty close. Still capitalist, though.

    Then there is nothing we disagree about. You guys were explicitly talking about socialist countries and I assumed you meant UK, France, Denmark, etc. My claim was simply if those countries are socialist then so is the US.

    I agree that if we designed a “socialism metric” the US would score lower than those other countries.

  170. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I’m feeling generous, so I’ll leave a little link for our right-wing troll.

  171. douglashudson says

    re: 224

    Bwuh? I think you broke my brain. I’m too sober for this conversation.

    But one last comment: in right wing rhetoric, it is common to refer to certain European countries as “socialist”.

    The comments above that referred to moving to “socialist” countries were jokes, riffing off the typical right wing rhetoric.

  172. daniellavine says

    *sigh* can we please stop the implications that I’m somehow a right winger? If you read my output on this thread you’ll see I began the thread criticizing libertarianism and (mostly) praising socialism. #189 is a strong endorsement of socialist economic policies.

    If you look back at my previous commenting history here you’ll see that I fall pretty squarely on the feminist/cultural pluralist side of things as well.

  173. daniellavine says

    I’m feeling generous, so I’ll leave a little link for our right-wing troll.

    Didn’t I hear somewhere that “intent isn’t magic?”

    Also, fuck you. I’ve done nothing to warrant your histrionic flailing.

  174. douglashudson says

    Ok, THIS is my last comment, I swear:

    If multiple people believe you to be right-wing based on your posts, you might want to consider what that means about your posts.

    Either we’re trolling you, or you are coming off as right-wing.

    Either way, you aren’t making any progress.

    And neither am I, so I bide you good night (or whatever time it is where you are.)

  175. daniellavine says

    Bwuh? I think you broke my brain. I’m too sober for this conversation.

    But one last comment: in right wing rhetoric, it is common to refer to certain European countries as “socialist”.

    The comments above that referred to moving to “socialist” countries were jokes, riffing off the typical right wing rhetoric.

    And I didn’t realize that. Does not getting your little joke really transform me from a queer radfem multiculturalist anti-corporate anarchist into a right wing troll?

    I thought you were sincerely calling those countries “socialist.” I think there’s reasonable definitions of “socialism” that would allow us to include those countries and the US, and my impression was that you were using such a definition. You’ve since made clear that you’re using a definition of “socialism” that excludes any country that has ever existed except for the former Soviet republics. That’s fine. I will abide by your definition and concede that there is no such thing as socialism.

    Can we please stop baselessly accusing me of being a right-winger now?

  176. says

    I recall Daniel Llavine showing up before because I remember finding his responses along side Daniel Haven confusing. I don’t think he’s a troll. He’s just being thick.

    Daniel Llavine. A socialist country is one where the state controls the means of production.

  177. daniellavine says

    If multiple people believe you to be right-wing based on your posts, you might want to consider what that means about your posts.

    Either we’re trolling you, or you are coming off as right-wing.

    Either way, you aren’t making any progress.

    And neither am I, so I bide you good night (or whatever time it is where you are.)

    False dichotomy. There’s at least one other possibility:

    When I said something that violated one of your political pecadilloes, you all reacted emotionally instead of rationally, stereotyping me immediately as a right-wing troll. After that point, anything I might have said would be interpreted in the most adversarial and least charitable sense.

    I don’t make any progress under that scenario either, but in this case it’s hardly my fault.

    As evidence I offer the fact that you cannot cite a single comment here in which I advocate for a right-wing policy or against a left-wing policy.

  178. daniellavine says

    Daniel Llavine. A socialist country is one where the state controls the means of production.

    Thanks, Ing. We’ve already resolved that bit I think. You guys are using a definition of socialism that doesn’t apply to anything. When posting here I will try to remember to do likewise.

  179. says

    This is getting tedious.

    No kidding. You must really love to hear yourself talk. This will be my last attempt at reasoning with you.

    You argued that libertarianism inevitably leads to fascism through a convoluted historical process that I don’t think is actually very plausible. I don’t care if you don’t think it’s convoluted; I do, and merely asserting otherwise won’t convince me of anything.

    LOL, yeah, you seem like the kind of person who is just so easy to convince. Definitely not the kind of person to argue everything for the sake of arguing. :rolls eyes:

    The problem is, you haven’t actually provided anything resembling a counter-argument, you’ve just made assertions that what I’ve said is “convoluted” and hence it doesn’t convince you. That’s pathetic. Your personal incredulity does not count for anything. I’ve stated my reasons why I think that libertarianism, in its most radical instantiations (not all of them of course), will lead to something resembling fascism. You’re free to disagree, but it would be nice if you could provide actual reasons, or failing that, simply move on.

    I argued that as a matter of personal principles libertarians are anti-fascist.

    No shit. Everyone understands this. We all understood it the first time. It is simply definitional as to what libertarianism claims to be, and says nothing interesting about what it would be if the rest of us were dumb enough to put them in charge.

    When Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, he understood that as a matter of personal principle, socialists are anti-totalitarian. If you tried to argue with him on the grounds that totalitarianism is definitely not what socialists want, you would have completely missed the point, as you’re missing it now.

    Completely wrong. The argument is that in a libertarian society no one has a chance to become a Galtian overlord in the first place. Without the government guaranteeing rents and sinecures, competition is more fierce and there is much less profit for any individual business.

    FFS, I am not trying to argue with you about libertarian theory. I understand perfectly well that this is what libertarians think will happen, or at least pretend to. Those of us who have not drunk the Kool-Aid do not believe that this is how things will work out at all, and this is the nature of our disagreement. Left to its own devices, private industry has had no problem creating enormous disparities of wealth and power. Those rents and sinecures are more commonly the result of disparities of power, not the cause. To believe that powerful people will voluntarily refrain from using state power to further their ends out of some devotion to a philosophy is childishly utopian, and not worth taking seriously.

  180. daniellavine says

    @Area Man:

    Fuck you. You’re also being unnecessarily uncharitable. You presented your “argument” with zero evidence. May I quote an asshole quoting an asshole?

    Or to put in the words of a famous asshole: That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    You seemed to be arguing against the assertion “libertarian is anti-fascist.” So excuse me if this bit wasn’t obvious to me:

    No shit. Everyone understands this.

    It really didn’t seem like you did. You really seemed to think there was a problem saying that “libertarians are anti-fascist.” If I missed your point it is because you communicated your point poorly.

    Those of us who have not drunk the Kool-Aid do not believe that this is how things will work out at all, and this is the nature of our disagreement.

    Congratulations. If you review my input on this thread I think you’ll find that most of what I have to say about libertarianism is intensely critical. In other words, we don’t even disagree about anything. That would have been obvious if you didn’t try to argue with someone with whom you were in total agreement.

  181. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    *sigh* can we please stop the implications that I’m somehow a right winger?

    Why? Do you plan on stopping acting like one? By now, your nym is pretty tainted and your honesty is very much in question, so it’ll probably stick with you for a while even if you mend your ways.

    I began the thread criticizing libertarianism

    Libertarianism isn’t the only right-wing ideology. Either way, your honesty like I said is pretty much in question at this point.

    and (mostly) praising socialism.

    No, you didn’t. You were talking about capital gains tax. Not a part of a socialist regime for obvious reasons. and it drowns pretty quickly in things like:

    I don’t think the tax rate has any bearing on whether a state is socialist or not, and actually there’s good reason to think the tax rate is too high right now.

    and

    I tend to agree liberals have gotten sucked into this weird dehumanizing socialist progress myth

    to fish out just a couple. Not to mention the whole nazi/fascist/socialist-sthick.

  182. daniellavine says

    @Gnumann@238:

    You’re clearly not even reading my posts for content. You’re reading to find stuff to disagree with.

    Why? Do you plan on stopping acting like one? By now, your nym is pretty tainted and your honesty is very much in question, so it’ll probably stick with you for a while even if you mend your ways.

    I can only encourage you to go through my comment history on Pharyngula and verify for yourself whether my nym should be tainted or my honesty in question. I think you might be surprised.

    but probably not, because you seem either unwilling or unable to admit you might be wrong about me.

  183. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I can only encourage you to go through my comment history on Pharyngula and verify for yourself whether my nym should be tainted or my honesty in question. I think you might be surprised.

    Again the specimen seems to think it’s homework is my task.

  184. daniellavine says

    @Ing:

    Any disagreements I’ve had with anyone here have been honest disagreements. Any arguments I’ve made here have been in good faith.

    I think the assumptions otherwise have been unfair. I don’t think I’m being a shithead at all in trying to establish that, to the extent that I disagree with anyone here, it is in good faith.

    I think it’s unfair that people have jumped to the conclusion that I’m a right-wing troll. I understand that some of what I’ve said here are things that right-wingers say. Right-wingers presumably also say the sun rises in the east and the sky is blue. Agreeing with right-wingers on a few minor points of fact and agreeing with left-wingers on almost everything else including moral values does not make (at least I don’t think) make me a right-winger.

    And I don’t understand why trying to defend myself makes me a shithead.

    If you guys really don’t want to have honest discussions with people who disagree with you about stuff then fine. I won’t post here even though I actually like this community and read the blog pretty regularly.

    @Gnumann:

    If I posted comments I’ve made in other threads you’d criticize me for that. You’re not being reasonable at this point. Please walk away.

  185. says

    Agreeing with right-wingers on a few minor points of fact and agreeing with left-wingers on almost everything else including moral values does not make (at least I don’t think) make me a right-winger.

    It makes you wrong

    And I don’t understand why trying to defend myself makes me a shithead.

    Because you’re wrong and are more concerned about being offended by being told you’re wrong then not being wrong.

    If you guys really don’t want to have honest discussions with people who disagree with you about stuff then fine. I won’t post here even though I actually like this community and read the blog pretty regularly.

    Stop whining.

  186. says

    @ Daniel

    If I said that it’s a fact that Negros are intellectually inferior to whites would I be a shit head for being mad when people say that I sound like a Klansmen?

  187. says

    You’re being a shit head for expecting people to judge you based on a sum total of your being rather than what you actually represent to them. They’re 100% right to view you as a RWAsshole from what you wrote. Saying “but I’m really not” is weightless.

  188. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    If I posted comments I’ve made in other threads you’d criticize me for that. You’re not being reasonable at this point. Please walk away.

    Get your story straight. Either I would change my mind if I read all your nuggets elsewhere, or I wouldn’t. Which one of us who does the legwork doesn’t matter. That your first impulse is that I should do it speaks volumes about you on the other hand.

    Have you looked at the troll in the TAM-thread? I could point to perfectly reasonable post the little nitwit has made elsewhere. That doesn’t mean they are not a dishonest troll.

  189. daniellavine says

    @Ing:

    It makes you wrong

    That’s a scary attitude. Speaking of totalitarianism.

    Because you’re wrong and are more concerned about being offended by being told you’re wrong then not being wrong.

    Wait, I’m wrong that I’m not a right-wing troll?

    Stop whining.

    Wasn’t whining. It was a not-so-subtle warning that you guys may be giving ammunition to critics of Pharyngula who claim it’s all a big echo chamber that remorselessly piles on anyone who disagrees with them in an attempt to silence them.

    If I said that it’s a fact that Negros are intellectually inferior to whites would I be a shit head for being mad when people say that I sound like a Klansmen?

    Not an apt analogy. An apt analogy would be:

    “If I said it’s a fact that negroes consistently score lower on IQ tests — while conceding that it’s not clear what IQ measures, especially given phenomena like the Flynn effects, and that through personal experience and the related experiences of others it is not my personal experience that negroes actually are intellectually inferior in any way — would I be a shit head for being mad when people say that I sound like a Klansman?”

    The answer is “no.” It is an ugly fact about the world that negroes score lower on IQ tests.

    That negroes are intellectually inferior is not a fact the way the low IQ scores are. It is an opinion. Someone stating such an opinion DOES sound like a Klansman.

    Someone pointing out the factual IQ scores might just be pointing out the factual IQ scores.

    ***

    I’m done. Enjoy your circle jerk, folks.

  190. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Ing: They made a perfectly reasonable post about the phylogeny of whales yesterday or the day before, in the navy-thread I think.

    Wrong as hell about everything else though, so it’s actually more damning than it is a redeeming feature (since they obviously aren’t as stupid as they pretend to be).

  191. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    “I know nothing of the social mores of this place yet I claim to read it regularly” plus “circle-jerk”. I’m getting close to a full card here. Exciting!

  192. says

    He did post here semi regularly in some threads. He’s doubling down on an ego bruise.

    That’s a scary attitude. Speaking of totalitarianism.

    Are you fucking serious?

  193. douglashudson says

    Ok, I lied, that wasn’t my last post of the night.

    I just gotta give props to Ing and Gnumann for absolutely demolishing the guy who wants us to believe he’s not a right wing troll while acting exactly like a right wing troll.

  194. says

    I’m getting close to a full card here. Exciting!

    I trust you didn’t miss this old chestnut:

    Nazi party –> National Socialist party.

    Yeah, heard that one.
    Any party member, like Gregor Strasser, who took the “socialist” part of that seriously was gone (likely murdered) by the end of 1934.

  195. daniellavine says

    Sorry for not sticking the flounce, but is there anything I could actually do to demonstrate I’m not a right wing troll? Or have you guys entirely made up your mind on that?

  196. daniellavine says

    @feralboy12:

    I was using a different definition of “socialist” than you guys. We already went over that. Your definition is fine, and under it fascism isn’t a type of socialism. Fair enough?

  197. says

    Sorry for not sticking the flounce, but is there anything I could actually do to demonstrate I’m not a right wing troll? Or have you guys entirely made up your mind on that?

    Don’t act like one

    I was using a different definition of “socialist” than you guys. We already went over that. Your definition is fine, and under it fascism isn’t a type of socialism. Fair enough?

    That was frankly the lest of your problems.

  198. Barkeron says

    Methinks Mr. Lavine has way too much time on his hands.

    Wouldn’t it be better spent on pulling yourself up your own bootstraps and exploiting the precariat?

  199. says

    Gee Daniel, it seems that so many people think you sound like an asshole. Clearly everyone is just hearing you wrong. No problem on your end.

    btw, Really? States rights now in another thread? For shame.

  200. Barkeron says

    I don’t think he sounds like an asshole.

    Only like a crazed wingnut who hates the poor and wants them to die.

  201. says

    Sorry for not sticking the flounce, but is there anything I could actually do to demonstrate I’m not a right wing troll? Or have you guys entirely made up your mind on that?

    The more I read stuff like this from you, the more I think you have low self esteem (I don’t mean that as an insult at all). It may be a good time to step back and take care of yourself for awhile, maybe try to figure out why the opinions of others are having such an impact on you personally.

  202. 'Tis Himself says

    I forgot about this thread or I would have joined the discussion with the right-wing agiprop troll.

  203. says

    @ 143 Skeptifem

    George Orwell set the bar pretty high with Animal Farm.

    Yeah except for how his introduction (which lamented the censorship of the press in england and other places) was left out of the copies released after russia became an official enemy. It looks an awful lot like a condemnation of only soviet russia when relevant context is snipped out. People are left with the impression that the story only applies to communism (as it existed in russia), when it has wide applications to all kinds of power structures.

    I hate to sound petty but my comment only mentioned Orwell in passing and nothing I wrote referred to Orwell’s writings except to state that they are great literature at a level Rand’s pretended to but failed. That Animal Farm can serve as a cautionary tale and condemnation of all forms of totalitarianism and censorship in addition to and beyond the example of the Soviet Union is what makes his writing great. That Randroids make movies out of her limited and ham-fisted attack on Soviet-style communism I find amusing but pointless. That they can’t tell the difference between modern liberalism and totalitarianism I find sad and a bit scary.

  204. says

    @ 143 Skeptifem

    As for not being relevant anymore- relevant to who? People in north korea might find it highly relevant

    Atlas Shrugged or Animal Farm?

    FWIW my comment was about Atlas Shrugged. I would never state that Orwell lacked relevance. My bad, as I failed to articulate that point in my comment.

  205. daniellavine says

    @skeptifem:

    The more I read stuff like this from you, the more I think you have low self esteem (I don’t mean that as an insult at all). It may be a good time to step back and take care of yourself for awhile, maybe try to figure out why the opinions of others are having such an impact on you personally.

    I assure you that I’m not going to go cry in a corner if you guys don’t like me. But I’m troubled that so many people would leap to the conclusion I’m a right wing troll because a) no part of what I did was trolling; I was honestly trying to engage with everybody’s arguments until they dismissed me as a “right wing troll” and b) I’ve been a staunch liberal my entire life.

    In fact, it’s only been in the past few months that I’ve taken seriously the thought that skepticism entails questioning my own political beliefs. As a result my opinions on some of my prior beliefs — ones which would certainly be considered liberal — have wavered. However, I’m still nowhere near right wing. If anyone was bothering to read my posts fairly, they’d see I was:
    -arguing against the gold standard
    -arguing against deregulated working environments, typified in my arguments by 19th century factories
    -arguing for an extremely progressive tax policy. No one seems to be able to acknowledge that. I’m advocating for rich people to pay for almost all public goods via high taxes on capital gains
    -arguing that socialism is a respectable intellectual position
    -arguing that the conflation of socialism with communism is a form of propaganda (and therefore bad)
    -arguing that one can sensibly argue for socialism and against totalitarianism simultaneously
    -endorsing a pamphlet by this guy Mosler which you would all probably love if you gave it a chance. It has so many clear, simple arguments against right-wing talking points on economics; I used some of it to criticize libertarianism right in this thread.

    So after all that, I feel like everyone piling on with accusations that I’m a “right wing troll” is just a little bit at odds with the facts of what I’ve actually written. Accusations of “RWAsshole” are absolutely ridiculous; RWAs are typified by conformity and deference to authority. The fact that my posts have included both “right wing talking points” and arguments advocating for socialism should be a pretty good hint at where I score on the RWA scale. Let’s remember that it’s not the content of the beliefs that make someone an RWA, it’s the deference to authority.

    I suppose if you think “low self-esteem” means “occasionally doubting your snap judgments, especially moral ones”, I may have low self-esteem. There were a few minutes where I considered whether I actually did seem like a right wing troll here. Then I read your post, read the thread again, and saw that no reasonable person reading my comments fairly could possibly think I was either an orthodox conservative or a troll and compiled the list above to demonstrate this. Now this does trouble me, but not for my own sake. Just try to reread the thread fairly and ask yourself if what I’ve written honestly deserves this sort of characterization:

    Wouldn’t it be better spent on pulling yourself up your own bootstraps and exploiting the precariat?

    Incidentally,

    btw, Really? States rights now in another thread? For shame.

    If you look closely, aturingtest rebutted and I conceded that he was absolutely correct. In addition, no part of what I wrote actually advocated for states rights. (Assuming we’re talking about the same thread.)

  206. daniellavine says

    @Ing:

    They judge you based on what you write.

    If only.

    Just remember that the RWAs in the USSR they were ardent socialists.

  207. 'Tis Himself says

    But I’m troubled that so many people would leap to the conclusion I’m a right wing troll because a) no part of what I did was trolling; I was honestly trying to engage with everybody’s arguments until they dismissed me as a “right wing troll” and b) I’ve been a staunch liberal my entire life.

    If everyone else thinks you’re a right-wing troll and you’re the only who doesn’t think so, maybe the fault isn’t with us. I know argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy but consider it as a thought experiment.

  208. says

    Seriously Daniel, no one here is a fucking telepath and has a detailed history of your life and responses. Your expectation to be treated how you feel you deserve to be based on what YOU know about yourself is beyond privileged and entitled and sliding into fucking narcissism

  209. says

    And incidentally if you recall I was the one who said I remembered you from other stuff you wrote…and I ALSO think you’re acting like a fucking asshole and sound like a RWA here.

  210. daniellavine says

    If everyone else thinks you’re a right-wing troll and you’re the only who doesn’t think so, maybe the fault isn’t with us. I know argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy but consider it as a thought experiment.

    I did. I reread what I wrote and tried to imagine that person was a right wing troll. It didn’t work for many reasons mentioned above. I think you guys are overestimating your self awareness. I don’t think you are being reasonable.

    And at the risk of getting furiously meta, I don’t see any non-fallacious arguments that I’m either a troll or right-wing. (OK, my last comment to Ing was kind of trolly.)

  211. 'Tis Himself says

    daniellavine,

    When you give an unconventional definition of socialism, claim that National Socialism was socialistic, advocate the elimination of income taxes, promote the gold standard, and otherwise make right-wing noises, you should not be surprised that people think you’re a right-winger.

  212. douglashudson says

    Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

    Daniel, are you familiar with the first rule of holes?

    When you find yourself in one, STOP DIGGING!

    And to reiterate, if you are trying to troll, you are failing miserably. Although watching you try to defend your position only to make it worse is fairly amusing.

  213. daniellavine says

    When you give an unconventional definition of socialism,

    As far as I can tell, the only difference between the definition I was using and the definition you guys are using was that under my definition, mixed economies are socialist and under yours they are capitalist. I don’t think mine is actually unconventional. It’s obviously not common here, but there actually is a world outside Pharyngula.

    that National Socialism was socialistic,

    Under my definition it is. Under your definition it’s not. BFD.

    advocate the elimination of income taxes, promote the gold standard,

    Where.

    Go on, where do I do that. Either of those things.

    No question marks because I already know the answer. This suggests to me that you really haven’t been reading what I’ve been saying. Then you wonder how I could possibly think everyone was wrong but me…

    Has anyone read the Illuminatus! trilogy? Have you seen the fnords?

  214. douglashudson says

    “Ego spiral.” Nifty term, I’ll have to remember it.

    That’s the problem I have with the internet, though, I have a hard time telling who is serious and who is trolling.

  215. douglashudson says

    Ah, the Red Queen gambit. Amusing move, Daniel, but hardly a winner, since you can’t cut off people’s heads if they don’t agree with your unique definition of words.

    [Under no circumstances can socialism encompass national socialism, insofar as national socialism was, in part, created to oppose socialism. The Nazis would be very unhappy to be called socialists, and you don't want to make them unhappy, do you?]

  216. douglashudson says

    You’re right, it wasn’t the Red Queen, it was Humpty Dumpty who insisted that words meant what he wanted them to mean.

    My fault.

  217. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    You’re right, it wasn’t the Red Queen, it was Humpty Dumpty who insisted that words meant what he wanted them to mean.

    My fault.

    Now, this is how adults handle mistakes. Just saying…

  218. says

    @Gnumann

    I contest your claim. My observation shows that most adults will not handle mistakes as shown but will flail about like a metaphorical fish plucked out of the sea of allegory like Daniel did.

  219. douglashudson says

    @Gnumann,

    Yes, and I’d like to thank Daniel for giving me the opportunity to correct my mistake.

  220. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I contest your claim. My observation shows that most adults will not handle mistakes as shown but will flail about like a metaphorical fish plucked out of the sea of allegory like Daniel did.

    I confess. I got caught in an ought/is-fallacy.

  221. douglashudson says

    According to the bible, God sent an angel to save Daniel when he entered the lions’ den.

    Since this is an atheist site, however, the Daniel in this thread did not fare quite so well.

  222. Drolfe says

    That’s the problem I have with the internet, though, I have a hard time telling who is serious and who is trolling.

    That’s the problem we all have. E.g., when someone says the Nazis were socialists: trolling or just wrong? At least you’re getting somewhere.

  223. ckitching says

    Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations).

    Ideologically consistent libertarians* would not support such a system.

    What’s the definition of the word “or” in your universe? Ideologically consistent libertarians would have little to no problem with management of entire sectors of the economy by privately controlled corporations as long as government wasn’t the ones that gave them that control.

    Just remember that the RWAs in the USSR they were ardent socialists.

    I can assure you that this is wrong. There would have been many varieties of RWAs in the USSR through its history. Some may have been devoted communists, but there would’ve been plenty of anti-communist RWAs, as well.

    It’s no wonder people think you’re being dishonest. You seem to have special private (or archaic) definitions of words, ignoring parts of what is said to you so you can defeat a strawman version, and deliberately being obtuse.

  224. Anri says

    Nazi party –> National Socialist party

    …what can you tell me about the People’s Republic of China?

  225. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Anri, :)

    Then, there’s the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  226. douglashudson says

    Having done a little reading on the Nazis last night, it appears that the word “socialist” appears in their name because they thought they had the “correct” version of socialism, a “national socialism”, as opposed to the international socialism that had existed previously.

    In other words, Hitler believed his unusual re-definition of socialism (which included protections for private property and industry) was the “true” socialism, and that all the other socialists were wrong.

  227. portia says

    When I graduated from law school, my libertarian cousin posted a link from the CATO institute on my facebook wall…it was soliciting free work from law grads. I nearly lost my shit on him for that one. The raging hypocrisy never ceases to astonish me, though it shouldn’t anymore. (I’ve been in a black hole of wireless signal, pardon my tardiness, I’m catching up).