oldschool CxC

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm impressed! I had to comment on Sony's comment re: the 'cunning poor' that vote intelligently and believe in Republican Party & free market capitalist empirical expansion?

I had no idea that the poor could be seen thru such a lens. "They're smart and know what they're doing" when they vote for Bush/Cheney. This lens looks into a different dimension than this one, but it's still impressive. I doubt I could believe a statement that outrageous in the middle of a massive acid trip! (Well, probably then, yeah. I'd be just far out enough...)

Wow. All the 'discussion' with Erik and Sony had me asking myself, 'Did we grow up in the same Earth?'. But then I realized, I'm a Jewish guy that's lived all around the world since I was 3, and I believe in the ideals of peace, freedom, equality, and justice. I have my undergrad in left-wing US History from UCSD, where I focussed on the legacy of US covert military strategy & policies. My parents are both left-wingers, and I was raised to challenge authority and question imperialism.

So maybe that explains things? It's really interesting the differing viewpoints that show up in this Blog -- in many ways it's a microcosm of the USA. It's like speaking different languages that neither side can even accept as linked into reality at all.

What's most amazing is we're still speaking English, it's not like we're speaking in foreign languages... but we are.


Blogger Sony said...

Are you saying that a Jewish guy that's lived all around the world, believes in the ideals of peace, freedom, equality, and justice and raised by left-wingers thinks that the hoi polloi are inveterate dumb-asses? Should they lose the vote? Should some oligarchy replace our democracy?

That's pretty dismissive and arrogant, which is a common affliction of the liberals I know. I never tire of watching liberals arrive with all these great redistributionist policies, but get rejected out of hand by common folk who may not have a degree in history like you and I, but have some common sense. They know what liberals propose is malarkey-- unethical in principal and unworkable in practice. When the liberal socialist in Russia and China ran into this resistance, they started killing the commoners by the thousands and then millions. I'm glad that you're resigned to living in San Francisco and complaining, rather than going out, overthrowing the government and obliterating the inveterate peons who dare reject your beneficence.

Let me leave on a positive note. Do you belive that its just for someone (say the government) to come into my home at a point of a gun, take all my money that I've been saving for my kids' welfare, and give it to some poor homeless guy? Is that just?

3:54 PM  
Blogger REkz said...


Liberals didn't 'take over' China & Russia, but perhaps in your world they did.

I'm glad your hate is coming out in writing. Hope it is helpful for you, don't want to bottle up to much hatred, can give you medical problems.

It seems you think free market capitalism is workable, real, and just, but redistributing is unworkable malarky. Funny b/c one of the two has never existed, while the other has -- call it taxes.

I believe (in principle) in 'social security', income taxes, and other wealth 'redistribution' strategies, which seemed to have worked ok up until the military grew too bloated.

I think the public requiring large companies to do philanthropic pursuits and make charitable donations is a positive humanistic act -- although it's not free market when legislated.
Suggesting that these groups & individuals make these donations is preferred by all parties, but often doesn't happen b/c the donators decide "why should I give my $$$ to some homeless guy". And then it should be compulsory, IMHO.

You're glad I'm in SF? Thanks, me too. I'm glad you and your family are in the hills enjoying the best of CC.

Overthrowing the govt? Me? You got hte wrong guy there pal -- Bush & Cheney & Diebold have already done that 2x so far -- but instead you're accusing me of something?
Hope that makes you feel better.

re: Positive note -- there's no need for any violence if people pay a reasonable tax and its' social benefits are redistributed back into the lowever levels of the economy, for such things as a) homelessness, b) starvation, c) education, d) medical care, and so on.
(I also believe in profit sharing with the lower ranks and salary capping of upper exec salaries by a multiple of 10x the lowest salary.)

I think you have a shakey argument b/c I don't see anyone on my 'Left wing' side demanding that your wealth (which is frankly minimal relative to truly rich people) be redistributed.
I think that it's more the Right Wing today advocating going into foreign countries and holding other people at gunpoint to remove the raw material wealth from their countries.

I think if you pay your taxes and the govt uses the money justly, that should be enough. (Same goes for corporations.)

However, right now the military is taking more than they should from public funds, and all policies are suffering.

As far as common people possessing common sense, I agree with that in principle -- when Fox is not brainwashing people, and when they have access to less biased news, they might make good decisions.

However, when the info is controlled and completely skewed towards big money, I question if MANY people can make truly informed decisions.

I think the invective and derision in your comment is stronger than your arguments themselves.

Which puts you right into the Left Wing camp -- those who attack character rather than argue facts. (Similar to the Philosophs from the ancient Greek times.)

Humor is the best weapon against personal attacks, as you are over-reaching from the beginning anyway, leaving yourself exposed.

For instance, I'm very happy to see that a corporate tax lawyer is so concerned that the lower classes not be slandered -- as they vote for the party trying to cement their poverty for generations forward.

Very noble. In fact, you might be the most noble corporate tax lawyer I've ever encountered.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Ari - Invectiveandderisionsayswhat? Cool.

I would paraphrase your original post as: Because of your Learned and privileged wisdom, people who don't agree with You are either evil or stupid.

And Sony did a decent job pointing out that in History, that conceit combined with the power of the state has led to some pretty terrible outcomes. I'm not sure what about his comment is hate-filled.

To your point: It is interesting the different viewpoints on this blog. But if I could hold out for one concession from you in these discussions, it is that most people have the same basic goals but simply disagree on how to achieve them. One can be in favor of peace, freedom, and justice, without believing that socialist policies are the only morally correct response, let alone the most pragmatic or sustainable.

I wonder if it isn't easier to assign evil intent, or brainwashing by FOX news, then recognize that you don't have a monopoly on truth. Or a scrabble for that matter. A boggle maybe.

When Sony or I rip apart something you believe or advocate (e.g. government requiring 'charity' of companies), understand that it's not because We Want What's Worst For Everyone, but that we think the idea is asinine and would do more harm than good. So please stop with the You're Attacking My Character! complaining (usually followed by a lame counterattack), and intellectually support 'em if you got 'em.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Speaking of military spending, how about a nice unbiased graph?

10:46 PM  
Blogger A. said...

that chart actually almost makes me feel better. In my futile searches for what the ratio will be after 2003, I came across this link from the Magazine of Future Warfare,. Ignoring the rhetoric and potshots at Fox, I think it may point towards some of the money issues at play, T-bonds, deficit, interest junk.. I am still trying to digest it, but someone please poke some holes in it - dated oct 2003, I don't think things have taken a turn for the better.

Choice exerpts:
Nevertheless, some people insist the Pentagon budget deserves to grow to 5% of GDP, which was the average during the Cold War. First, this assumes that protecting the USA from a few hundred nomadic terrorists costs more than preparing for total nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Second, the amount spent on "National Defense" is much greater than just Department of Defense funding. Most funding for the Department of Energy is for building and storing nuclear weapons, while money spent on veterans is no longer counted, and neither are the tens of billions of dollars in annual "supplemental" spending for the Pentagon. In addition, the soaring annual interest on the national debt represents 2% of GDP, and the Pentagon's budget does not share that cost. Finally, at least 10% of GDP is artificial, fueled by foreign lending in the form of bond purchases and trade credits, which cannot continue much longer.

and no I don't really buy into all this doomsday financial stuff, but I am trying to see the big picture. Unfortunately the more I see the less I know.

ugh is this fun or should we have listened to erik and banned politico discussions?

2:17 AM  
Blogger Sony said...

Ari, your thinking is so scattered its like trying to herd cats.

First: "I believe (in principle) in 'social security', income taxes, and other wealth 'redistribution' strategies.."

Second: "I don't see anyone on my 'Left wing' side demanding that your wealth .... be redistributed."

Well, which is it? Do you believe in wealth 'redistribution' strategies? Or do you not see anyone demanding wealth distribution? When you claim opposing positions, how can one take your thoughts seriously?

And I know you sneered
"corporate tax lawyer" to be a slander, but I'm happy to be soldier for global capitalism. No other system has brought greater comfort, health, freedom, life expectancy, or anything else people value. Its child's play to illustrate its imperfections, to say a bunch of people still don't have perfect lives, that people suffer and get left behind, but that condition has always existed. Now it exists for less people than at any point in history. Right now there are less people starving, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality, greater mobility and communication than at any point in history. Why? Capitalism and free markets. All that wealth emanates from free countries and free economies. There is no other explanation for a thinking person.

What have redistributionist systems accomplished? Where can you find wage caps? China (until it gave up in the last 10 years), Soviet Union, murder on industrial scales because the majority of thinking people oppose its ideals. Most people think its unethical, unjust and destructive. Even China abandoned those principals and is doing much better now. You said everyone who thinks like me is brainwashed (who's getting personal again? Invectives? Derision?), but that's just sour grapes. They know better. The world ignores people like you thinks you to the world keeps getting better.

9:45 AM  

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