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Scott de Montevideo!

"Statism v. Anti-Statism" will it replace "left v. right"?

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Shryke: Mostly I was playing devil's advocate.

Like I said I'm not entrenched in the conservative positions I tenuously hold but I think you are ignoring that a lot of people are concerned about how much they are taxed and what their taxes are going towards, whether we should focus on amnesty for illegals or how to give Americans those jobs, and the inefficiencies of education reform and the possible advantages of providing parents with school choice.

Obviously someone who is more hardline on these positions (FLOW?) would be better able to argue them. As much a joke as I see social conservatism being, I think that genuine fiscal conservatism is good to balance out the Dems.

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Not really, I think. The question is power and property, rightist anti-statists basically support power elites based on wealth creating their own mini states governing "their" property. The logical conclusion of what Americans call "libertarianism" is feudalism. People holding those views will always ally themselves with rightist statists when wealth and power is threatened.

WTF is this shit?

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Right-wingers in the US just love to say that they believe in small government, but in practice they like it as big or bigger than the left, just in different places. It's just a way of trying to make themselves sound like they have a non-partisan philosophical backing for their politics. The left are honest that they see government as part of the solution. It doesn't mean they loooooove the government - try asking Occupy Wall Street how much they like the police sometime.

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Shryke: Mostly I was playing devil's advocate.

Like I said I'm not entrenched in the conservative positions I tenuously hold but I think you are ignoring that a lot of people are concerned about how much they are taxed and what their taxes are going towards, whether we should focus on amnesty for illegals or how to give Americans those jobs, and the inefficiencies of education reform and the possible advantages of providing parents with school choice.

Obviously someone who is more hardline on these positions (FLOW?) would be better able to argue them. As much a joke as I see social conservatism being, I think that genuine fiscal conservatism is good to balance out the Dems.

I have no idea what this has to do with this topic anymore.

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Heh, me neither, but here's an attempt to bring it back:

Well, I think if we're looking at statism vs. anti-statism, a lot of the goals liberals have requires federal power. In fact, outside of social conservatism, there are still likely more conservatives who'd favor a lessening of government power or at least a decentralization of it.

So then what (education, abortion, etc) should be left up to the states or even more local government, and what power should remain with the federal government. And what amount of earnings taxed should go to these levels?

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Heh, me neither, but here's an attempt to bring it back:

Well, I think if we're looking at statism vs. anti-statism, a lot of the goals liberals have requires federal power. In fact, outside of social conservatism, there are still likely more conservatives who'd favor a lessening of government power or at least a decentralization of it.

Even non-social-conservatives like things like military spending.

So then what (education, abortion, etc) should be left up to the states or even more local government, and what power should remain with the federal government. And what amount of earnings taxed should go to these levels?

That's not even an anti-government position anymore though, it's just anti-one-particular-level-of-government.

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What does everyone think? I'm anti-statist I see the State as a necessary evil. It should be small and weak in my opinion. Many on the left would like ot increase the power of the State. However, in the OWS movement there is a strong undercurrent of anarchism.

Will stateism v. Anti-statism become the new polarity?

Fuck no. (And if it does, it means we've totally failed as a species of social animals.)

I agree that the left/right polarity isn't enough to explain what's going on. The authoritarian/libertarian axis adds an important dimension, and you need both of them to get the big picture. But ignoring the left/right altogether is idiotic.

Here's an imaginary example.

Bob is extremely anti-state. He doesn't want anyone to bug him, he wants to be left alone, he despises rules and regulations. In his ideal world, there may be - by necessity - a state and an army and a police force, but that about sums up the state's functions. Bob doesn't want the state to get up in his business in any other way. He doesn't want to pay taxes, he doesn't want his money to end up in the hands of people (in need, presumably) that he doesn't know or care about. If there's inequality in society, Bob doesn't care, or he believes it's inevitable, or he believes it's not his responsibility to change it. Bob wants to be self-sufficient and make money any way he sees fit (provided he doesn't hurt anyone, though anything else is fair game), without the state's help, and doesn't want to help random people make money either. He believes that this system ensures the "to each according to his ability" doctrine, and he likes that, he thinks it's justice. Bob is a definitely a libertarian, but he's an individualist and a right-wing.

George is also extremely anti-state. He doesn't like rules and regulations either. In his ideal world, there is no state at all, communities are self-organized voluntarily from below, not compulsory and imposed from above. However, George doesn't like inequality. George hates it when privileged people end up with all the cash and unprivileged people end up with all the work - that's not justice at all, if you ask him. George wants to abolish classes altogether and to make concentration of capital impossible (and probably private property, too, at least for means of production and land and natural resources), because, in his opinion, from that springs perpetual inequality and injustice. George would like to organize with others on a voluntary basis, where they would help each other according to the "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" notion, and they would not be allowed to hurt or take advantage of each other - though anything else is fair game. George is a definitely a libertarian, too, but he's a collectivist and a left-wing.

...And you tell me that these equally anti-state people have anything significant in common? That they're on the same side? Just because Bob and George might find themselves in the same rally when, for example, the state introduces a law that censors the internet, you think they share a similar vision???

No. Just, no.

Here, the Political Compass, for a full analysis of the Left/Right AND Authoritarian/Libertarian axis. Highly recommended site.

(Take the test everyone, it's fun AND educative!)

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WTF is this shit?

One possible extrapolation of what would happen if the ideas some of the internet libertarians were actually implemented. At least that is what I make of it, probably because it is what I'd expect to happen myself in that situation.

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...And you tell me that these equally anti-state people have anything significant in common? That they're on the same side? Just because Bob and George might find themselves in the same rally when, for example, the state introduces a law that censors the internet, you think they share a similar vision???

Yes, they are on the same side. Because in a stateless society each would leave the other alone to practice his capitalist/collectivist lifestyle as they saw fit. You're pretty much describing me and Cocoamaan.

One possible extrapolation of what would happen if the ideas some of the internet libertarians were actually implemented. At least that is what I make of it, probably because it is what I'd expect to happen myself in that situation.

"possible extrapolation" is not the same as "actively support this result" which is what was alleged.

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Yes, they are on the same side. Because in a stateless society each would leave the other alone to practice his capitalist/collectivist lifestyle as they saw fit. You're pretty much describing me and Cocoamaan.

No, they can't. Property rights is the big dividing line. The only compromise between those who recognize property rights and those who do not, ironically, involves the government.

The point is, by George's standards Bob keeping his private property means Bob isn't leaving him in peace. And by Bob's standards George not recognizing his right to private property means George is not leaving him in peace. Que Hobbes.

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Exactly, Bob's utopia would be George's nightmare and vice versa. And it's not only property, it's also employment. Employing someone to work for you (and not with you) is, according to George, inherently exploitative and, more importantly, inherently authoritarian. According to Bob, though, it's a right, and if you mess with it, you're messing with liberty.

During the Spanish Civil War (or the Spanish Revolution, as George would stress), parts of Asturias and Catalonia had a short period of collectivist self-government, and that was arguably the closest thing to anarchy (that is, left-wing libertarianism) the world had ever seen.

In one such village, the priest was surprised to learn that the recently self-liberated villagers wouldn't harm him. (The church in Spain wielded a lot more authority than you'd expect in a secular state, and priests were typically conservative, right-wing, anti-communist, anti-CNT/FAI and often pro-Franco. And the war was raging.) However, he wasn't allowed to own land (it belonged collectively to the village) and he wasn't allowed to have anyone work for him. So he took up farming like the rest of them, and worked, and shared the fruits of his labor with all the others.

No state authority was involved anywhere in the process. Indeed, the whole point of that rebellion (from the anarchists' point of view) was to abolish the state. And yet that's not enough, by itself, to define the situation. George would smile with pride and joy, but Bob would recoil in horror. Both libertarians. No relation otherwise.

You can't have both. You can't say "no state, everyone does as he likes" and get done with it. You have to say "no state (or less state), and then what?" - otherwise you're not even talking about politics.

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I hear this kind of Libertarian fantasyland talk from various Facebook "friends" all the time. You Libertarians want all the benifits of a modern state but you don't want to pay for it.

Actual update from one of these people from yesterday

"Thank God we have a chance in November XXX is a constutionalist candiate who honors liberty"

Now what the fuck does that even mean? Is one's belief in liberty quantifiable? If so how? If how, according to whom?

I'm anti oligarchic all this left/right shit is just window dressing to divide people. In fact I find it hilarious that minor differences in policy are always trouted as the destruction of the "American Dream"

As for wanting to increase the role of goverment I just want all goverments everywhere to get the fuck out of the bedrooms of private law abiding citiizens. Jesus Christ its 2012 why are we still arguing about abortions and a women's access to birth control?

And I'm sorry if makes me a goddamn Socalist but there are people in this country including myself who fall through the cracks with chonic medical conditions that are by no means their fault. Don't talk to me about market forces and competitive pricing that will eventually drive down prices on some golden day of summer that never quite arrives. Its nonsense and before you scream at me that somehow I am asking you to pay for the cost of my health care no. I'm not asking for the right to your healthcare I'm asking for the right to basic healthcare. There is a difference.

Also and this is just an aside the idea that so many people think that Social Security is their "retirement plan" something which it was never designed for is a commentary on the dismanteling of Unions and pension plans. Even if you "deserve" it as opposed to that poor person on foodstamps who doesn't "deserve" it. You are going to take out more in medical and living expenses then you ever put in. Our epitaph as a country when it is written will read

"died of terminal case of Fuck you I got mine"

I think a solution is clear we need to call a serise of constutional conventions and determine for good and all what works in our society and what doesn't and have a serious common sense discusion about what works and what doesn't.

However that is never going to happen because we are stuck with American politicans half don't have the brains to fix problems and the other half don't have the balls.

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Left and right is illusory. What kind of spectrum puts Gandhi on the same side as Stalin, and Franco on the same side as Thomas Paine?

Just because both come in libertarian and authoritarian flavours doesn't mean there isn't a distinct Left and Right, the former devoted to equality and the latter to tradition (actually, it's easier to just define the Right as opposition to the Left - conservatism is not an ideology, it is absence of ideology).

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"possible extrapolation" is not the same as "actively support this result" which is what was alleged.

Some do actually, but you are right, most don't declare this. If you read Libertarian debates on "freely" contracted slavery, workers' rights and the rights of property-owners on their own property, and combine the results of the various (partial) consensuses, it's not far from feudalism.

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Just because both come in libertarian and authoritarian flavours doesn't mean there isn't a distinct Left and Right, the former devoted to equality and the latter to tradition (actually, it's easier to just define the Right as opposition to the Left - conservatism is not an ideology, it is absence of ideology).

That's pretty clearly not true, whether one agrees with it or not, conservatism is an ideology. I admit some people who adhere to it don't know this, but if you have a political belief system, you have an ideology.

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Some do actually, but you are right, most don't declare this. If you read Libertarian debates on "freely" contracted slavery, workers' rights and the rights of property-owners on their own property, and combine the results of the various (partial) consensuses, it's not far from feudalism.

You're new around here aren't ya?

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That's pretty clearly not true, whether one agrees with it or not, conservatism is an ideology. I admit some people who adhere to it don't know this, but if you have a political belief system, you have an ideology.

An ideology is about having ideas. Conservatism at its root isn't about having ideas: it's about maintaining the status quo (hence the name conservatism). It's essentially the rock that ideas push against.

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