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#102 May 05 2011 at 5:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Really, it shines a light into his Liberals=Socialists=Communists=Fascists mindset.
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#103 May 05 2011 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
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Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.67

I figured I would be a little more to the Libertarian side. Some guy named Friedman is in my quadrant, though much more severely right than me.

That is Milton Friedman, a fairly notable champion of modern day libertarians.


Jophiel wrote:
Really, it shines a light into his Liberals=Socialists=Communists=Fascists mindset.

Wait, so you're saying us dirty Liberals aren't really baby killing Nazi commies?


EDIT: who also hate puppies.

Edited, May 5th 2011 7:15pm by kiworrior
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#104 May 05 2011 at 5:14 PM Rating: Good
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kiworrior wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Quote:
Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.67

I figured I would be a little more to the Libertarian side. Some guy named Friedman is in my quadrant, though much more severely right than me.

That is Milton Friedman, a fairly notable champion of modern day libertarians.
Ah, a proponent of the gold standard.

Lol.
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#105 May 05 2011 at 5:18 PM Rating: Good
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Sweetums wrote:
kiworrior wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Quote:
Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.67

I figured I would be a little more to the Libertarian side. Some guy named Friedman is in my quadrant, though much more severely right than me.

That is Milton Friedman, a fairly notable champion of modern day libertarians.
Ah, a proponent of the gold standard.

Lol.
Seems more reasonable than the whole "Make money out of thin air" the Federal Reserve uses now.
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#106 May 05 2011 at 5:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Imma copypaste what I wrote earlier today. It's untenable because, frankly, the math just doesn't work out.

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Currently, gold is about $1500 per troy ounce. Globally, around 2000 tons of gold are produced a year. This would be 64,301,493 troy ounces.

1,500*64,301,493 = $96,452,239,500.

Right now, US GDP growth is at about 1.8%. The 2010 US GDP was 14.72 trillion. 1 percent of that is 147 billion.

Even with a growth rate at a record low, and gold at a record high, the global output of gold still wouldn't match the growth of our economy. So, to make it work, we'd have to set the value of gold ourselves rather than go by its intrinsic value.

Welcome to fiat currency.
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#107 May 05 2011 at 5:24 PM Rating: Good
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Fair point! Still, imaginary money? Worst mistake you guys made was the Federal reserve act.
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#108 May 05 2011 at 5:26 PM Rating: Good
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I would support a bill that wanted to up environmental controls
I wouldn't because its forcing others to do something they may not want to. This would be one of those areas that I'd support government funding to reduce costs of going environmental though. Its that type of spending that keeps me slightly on the left side economically.

And yes, I realize that this path would be forcing others to possibly pay higher taxes despite not necessarily wanting to. That's part of the potentially hypocrisy I face as someone sitting a little more central.
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#109 May 05 2011 at 5:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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Off of the first quiz I ended up being a solid liberal.

Second quiz:
Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.74


Gandhi and I go way back.
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#110 May 05 2011 at 5:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
Fair point! Still, imaginary money? Worst mistake you guys made was the Federal reserve act.
Much like imaginary numbers, it's quite real.

I don't see how the gold would be any more real, because the value the government would assign to gold would have very little in relation to its actual worth, and the supposed value of gold is that it can't have its value be artificially adjusted.

Because artificially adjusting the value is absolutely necessary to its existence, what advantage would it actually have? It's an empty gesture.

Edited, May 5th 2011 6:36pm by Sweetums
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#111 May 05 2011 at 5:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
I don't see why you'd say that liberals can't be libertarian, though*.


A lot of liberals in the last couple decades (as the label "liberal" has gotten a bad rap) have taken to calling themselves libertarians, presumably purely because of the similarities in the names. It's like they think that by calling themselves libertarians, it makes them a smarter/rarer form of liberal. Just look at Bill Maher. Last I recall, he was claiming to be a libertarian. He's not though. Wanting to legalize marijuana doesn't make you a libertarian.

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I think you're dismissing some of the nuance. Most of my "liberal" tendencies come from my civil rights stances. Aren't those some of the core tenets of libertarians?


Some, I suppose. But modern liberals believe in using government to create social outcomes. What defines a libertarian is a belief in limited government to a far greater degree than Republicans. It's why I often say I'm not a libertarian. I don't believe that we should abolish publicly funded education, or highways, or fire fighters, or police, the entire military, all social programs, and basically every single thing the government does today. That's what libertarians believe and it's nearly 100% in opposition to what "liberals" believe.

To be fair though, that's the platform of the Libertarian party, the broader political position isn't quite so severe, but it still revolves around having a government that does the absolute minimum it has to. So if you believe in a progressive tax system (really income taxes at all), you are not a libertarian. If you believe in raising taxes for the top 2% to pay for benefits for the poor, you are not a libertarian. If you believe in basically about 99% of the current modern US Democratic party platform, you can not be a libertarian. Not just the political party, but the political persuasion. They are basically diametrically opposed.

Quote:
Like: I don't think that the government should be allowed to indiscriminately wire tap. Isn't that value typically shared between liberals (who tend lately to shy away from terror-related govt. expansion of powers) and libertarians?


Sure. That's in that 1% of overlap. Of course, that 1% is also shared by most conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc as well. The problem is that other 99% of the social agenda which liberals and libertarians are in absolutely disagreement about. Again, think of the scale labels "Authoritarian vs Libertarian". This should give you the hint that libertarian is non-authoritarian (which is correct). Authoritarian means that some authority (the government typically) controls social outcomes. Think about how much of the liberal social agenda requires government action to make their desired outcomes happen. That's authoritarian and is the opposite of libertarian.


Edited, May 5th 2011 5:01pm by gbaji
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#112 May 05 2011 at 5:36 PM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:
Still, imaginary money?
Perception is reality in the market. Why do you think gas prices are so high despite there being no actual impact on the global supply?
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#113 May 05 2011 at 5:39 PM Rating: Good
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Sweetums, 'phil: Fair points ;)
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#114 May 05 2011 at 5:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
Sweetums, 'phil: Fair points ;)
Right then. Drinks?
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#115 May 05 2011 at 5:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I needed a crappy internet poll to tell me I'm a Solid Liberal? Hell, I'm not even gonna take that other one.
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#116 May 05 2011 at 5:45 PM Rating: Good
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bsphil wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Sweetums, 'phil: Fair points ;)
Right then. Drinks?
Excellent, mines a Johnny Walker black label, two cubes of ice.
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#117 May 05 2011 at 5:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
gbaji wrote:
All liberals should end out toward the authoritarian side of the social scale, if it was actually measuring the degree to which society is free/controlled. But that's not what they're measuring at all.
That's incorrect. My social liberal tendencies are based on the fact that I beleive we should let people do as they want. Its not my responsibility to decide for them what they can or can't do. Social conservatives do want to dictate how others should live their lives.


That is a *one* definition of "social conservative" versus "social liberal". But the labels they used were "social authoritarian" versus "social libertarian". A social authoritarian believes that government should use its "authority" to impose social outcomes. Social libertarians are opposed to this. If you support government aid for poor people, socialized/universal health care, affirmative action, progressive taxes, and any of hundreds of political planks in the Democratic Party platform which involve solving social problems by creating government programs, then you are a "social authoritarian".

Remember, being authoritarian has nothing to do with whether you personally agree with the social outcome, but with the method used to attempt to achieve it.
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#118 May 05 2011 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:
bsphil wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Sweetums, 'phil: Fair points ;)
Right then. Drinks?
Excellent, mines a Johnny Walker black label, two cubes of ice.
Very classy, good call.
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#119 May 05 2011 at 6:05 PM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't because its forcing others to do something they may not want to. This would be one of those areas that I'd support government funding to reduce costs of going environmental though. Its that type of spending that keeps me slightly on the left side economically.


I don't think the freedom to pollute is something you could consider a fulfilling right, and the result of allowing has potentially disastrous results.

We also need to be clear about the scope of what is permissible and what isn't. Having strict regulation of oil rigs in the gulf is something I wouldn't even consider debatable (at least not in the sense where I'm willing to credit the other side with a valid point--we're obviously free to debate to our hearts' content).

Whether or not we should raise the legal limit of acceptable CO2 omissions on the other hand, is something I'd say is debatable. I still fall on the side of environmental protection, because I don't think it's wise to allow every single American to ignore global CO2 levels because switching to a greener mode of transportation is inconvenient. I would definitely favor incentives to encourage people to switch/make it easier on top of such legislation as well.

I'd also support projects by the government to boost green public transit, like building trains.

Still, I would consider those emissions to be infringing on the rights of others to live healthy and happy lives in the long run. It might not affect them immediately, but it will down the road. And that's an easily predictable consequence, not a subtle one.

Quote:
Sure. That's in that 1% of overlap. Of course, that 1% is also shared by most conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc as well. The problem is that other 99% of the social agenda which liberals and libertarians are in absolutely disagreement about. Again, think of the scale labels "Authoritarian vs Libertarian". This should give you the hint that libertarian is non-authoritarian (which is correct). Authoritarian means that some authority (the government typically) controls social outcomes. Think about how much of the liberal social agenda requires government action to make their desired outcomes happen. That's authoritarian and is the opposite of libertarian.


Your warped world is funny. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is going to take legislation because of the very nature of gov't as a collective ruling body. That's not to say that legislation is always about control. Yes, a gov't is going to need to pass legislation to say you aren't allowed to murder someone. But it's a law such that the sacrifice to human rights is vastly outweighed by the increase in them. That is to say the right of someone to not be murdered vastly outweighs the right of someone to murder.

Note how this legislation is entirely about ensuring that people don't have their rights infringed upon, even if it means that they need to prohibit certain things. That's the very nature of a social environment though, and does NOT mean represent fascism.

Look at the difference between these two scenarios:
1. A gov't tells you that you must go to <insert denominational> church every Sunday, can only have sex with your wife/husband, must dress in a specific uniform, go to the job they choose for you and work the number of hours they tell you to for a wage they decide.

That's clearly fascist (and an extreme example). Compare it to:
1. A gov't says that you are free to go to church on sunday, but are not allowed to prevent others who wish to from attending. You are allowed to have sex with who you choose, as long as it does not infringe on their right to choose not to have sex with you (which requires that the gov't accepts them as being rationally responsible for themselves, so no children). You are free to wear what you want, within the limitations of codes you agree to (a job may have a dress code, for instance). You are free to work where you want and negotiate your own pay (and choose to leave the job should you find the wages unacceptable). Etc.

Yes, you aren't totally free. But you will NEVER be able to have a society that guarantees everyone every right. Liberals are all about guaranteeing society as many rights as possible. Sometimes that means that certain rights need to be eliminated. But this is only justified when the result is a substantial increase in rights of the whole. And the rights you lose are almost always rights that aren't considered valuable beyond the right of choice (that is to say, they have no intrinsic value in and of themselves).

What I mean is this:
1. You might argue that the right to read and educate yourself (without censorship) is intrinsically valuable.
2. On the other hand, the right to throw your cigarette on the ground or in an ash tray really only has a value due to the fact that you get to choose which you do.
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#120 May 05 2011 at 6:10 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
gbaji wrote:
All liberals should end out toward the authoritarian side of the social scale, if it was actually measuring the degree to which society is free/controlled. But that's not what they're measuring at all.
That's incorrect. My social liberal tendencies are based on the fact that I beleive we should let people do as they want. Its not my responsibility to decide for them what they can or can't do. Social conservatives do want to dictate how others should live their lives.


That is a *one* definition of "social conservative" versus "social liberal". But the labels they used were "social authoritarian" versus "social libertarian". A social authoritarian believes that government should use its "authority" to impose social outcomes. Social libertarians are opposed to this. If you support government aid for poor people, socialized/universal health care, affirmative action, progressive taxes, and any of hundreds of political planks in the Democratic Party platform which involve solving social problems by creating government programs, then you are a "social authoritarian".

Remember, being authoritarian has nothing to do with whether you personally agree with the social outcome, but with the method used to attempt to achieve it.

This is entirely untrue. The creation of government programs to promote social equality does not make one a "social authoritarian" unless those programs force (or prevent) social interaction to achieve equality. Social Authoritarianism means that people would submit to an authority to determine what they can and can't do. Government programs aren't social authoritarian because they don't force (or prevent) any kind of social interaction. If a government outlawed interracial marriages (or same sex marriages), imposed a caste system, or instituted a national religion, or required people to behave a certain way, then it would be authoritarian (or possibly totalitarian).

The fact that you believe modern liberals to be "social authoritarians" shows me how uneducated you are in regards to social and political philosophy.
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#121 May 05 2011 at 6:15 PM Rating: Good
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The fact that you believe modern liberals to be "social authoritarians" shows me how uneducated you are in regards to social and political philosophy.


Hell, it means that he barely understands even a basic flow of history, even if he's never engaged with political thinkers.

You can never have read Smith, Marx, Aristotle, etc. and still see the difference between a social gov't's protections and a fascist regime's mandates.
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#122 May 05 2011 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

I must say, though I don't much care for capitalism, I don't think socialism is right for the US.
#123 May 05 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory wrote:
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The fact that you believe modern liberals to be "social authoritarians" shows me how uneducated you are in regards to social and political philosophy.


Hell, it means that he barely understands even a basic flow of history, even if he's never engaged with political thinkers.

You can never have read Smith, Marx, Aristotle, etc. and still see the difference between a social gov't's protections and a fascist regime's mandates.


I'm frankly not sure how anyone could read those and not understand that they are both authoritarian. I suspect you don't understand that authoritarian doesn't just mean "rules that I don't agree with are imposed on me". Authoritarian means that rules are imposed on you. Period. The more laws, the more authoritarian. The more government, the more authoritarian. The more intrusion, the more authoritarian.


What's really going on is that modern liberals aren't comfortable with the fact that their policies are authoritarian in nature. They've been taught that "authoritarian==bad". So they find ways to change the labels in order to make themselves feel better about what they are doing. They convince themselves that it's ok to impose social change as long as it's "good" social change. And a graph like that one illustrates this. They're really just measuring the degree to which a social agenda matches theirs and labeling that "libertarian", with anyone who happens to fall in the other direction being labeled "authoritarian". But those are not even remotely the correct labels to use.
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#124 May 05 2011 at 6:26 PM Rating: Good
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Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

I must say, though I don't much care for capitalism, I don't think socialism is right for the US.


Why do you think that? I think the US could do it, if they'd finally realize that the Soviet Union and China have never been socialist and the term finally lost the unwarranted stigmatization it's received as a result.
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#125 May 05 2011 at 6:28 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory wrote:
Quote:
Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

I must say, though I don't much care for capitalism, I don't think socialism is right for the US.


Why do you think that? I think the US could do it, if they'd finally realize that the Soviet Union and China have never been socialist and the term finally lost the unwarranted stigmatization it's received as a result.
I think we as a country largely accept the meritocracy model, the only distinction is in the level of perfection (conservatives leaning towards a more perfect meritocracy and liberals leaning towards a less perfect meritocracy).
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#126 May 05 2011 at 6:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
That is a *one* definition of "social conservative" versus "social liberal". But the labels they used were "social authoritarian" versus "social libertarian". A social authoritarian believes that government should use its "authority" to impose social outcomes. Social libertarians are opposed to this. If you support government aid for poor people, socialized/universal health care, affirmative action, progressive taxes, and any of hundreds of political planks in the Democratic Party platform which involve solving social problems by creating government programs, then you are a "social authoritarian".

Remember, being authoritarian has nothing to do with whether you personally agree with the social outcome, but with the method used to attempt to achieve it.
No, some of those are authoritarian, while others are left economics. You're lu,mping all together though as you see anything with increased taxes as authoritarian.
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#127 May 05 2011 at 6:34 PM Rating: Good
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I'm frankly not sure how anyone could read those and not understand that they are both authoritarian. I suspect you don't understand that authoritarian doesn't just mean "rules that I don't agree with are imposed on me". Authoritarian means that rules are imposed on you. Period. The more laws, the more authoritarian. The more government, the more authoritarian. The more intrusion, the more authoritarian.


What's really going on is that modern liberals aren't comfortable with the fact that their policies are authoritarian in nature. They've been taught that "authoritarian==bad". So they find ways to change the labels in order to make themselves feel better about what they are doing. They convince themselves that it's ok to impose social change as long as it's "good" social change. And a graph like that one illustrates this. They're really just measuring the degree to which a social agenda matches theirs and labeling that "libertarian", with anyone who happens to fall in the other direction being labeled "authoritarian". But those are not even remotely the correct labels to use.


That's your problem. Right there.

You are treating gov't as a separate entity that is coming in to rule the people. Yes, that would be fascism.

The problem is that this is a republic, and each leader is expected to actually represent the citizens of the united states, not their personal agendas or who donates the most to them.

As such, the very gov't is supposed to be defined by the simple term "We the people."

This isn't about some external force ruling us, it's about mutual agreement between citizens to sacrifice certain rights because others are vastly more important. That's what voting is--choosing the rights you want and those you are willing to sacrifice. Because the very notion of a social order demands that we sacrifice. If you don't want to, fine. But society isn't going to heed your rights if you won't heed theirs.

There will never be universal agreement. Welcome to humanity. It's a sad truth, and there's nothing we can do about it. Please take an hour to learn about Social Contract law and then come back. Rousseau, Nussbaum and Kant will all have easy-to-find papers on the subject.


Edited, May 5th 2011 8:44pm by idiggory
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#128 May 05 2011 at 6:37 PM Rating: Excellent
What Ugly said.

Boy I'm glad I refreshed before I started typing my reply.
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#129 May 05 2011 at 6:39 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory wrote:
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The fact that you believe modern liberals to be "social authoritarians" shows me how uneducated you are in regards to social and political philosophy.


Hell, it means that he barely understands even a basic flow of history, even if he's never engaged with political thinkers.

You can never have read Smith, Marx, Aristotle, etc. and still see the difference between a social gov't's protections and a fascist regime's mandates.


I'm frankly not sure how anyone could read those and not understand that they are both authoritarian. I suspect you don't understand that authoritarian doesn't just mean "rules that I don't agree with are imposed on me". Authoritarian means that rules are imposed on you. Period. The more laws, the more authoritarian. The more government, the more authoritarian. The more intrusion, the more authoritarian.

In that case, there is no such thing as a "social libertarian" unless they advocate something close to anarchy, or it's reduced to such a narrow definition that it's essentially meaningless.
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#130 May 05 2011 at 6:46 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Authoritarian means that rules are imposed on you. Period. The more laws, the more authoritarian. The more government, the more authoritarian.


Its no wonder you think that liberals are "social authoritarians", you are using a really weird definition of "authoritarian" that nobody else seems to use.
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#131 May 05 2011 at 6:47 PM Rating: Good
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No, some of those are authoritarian, while others are left economics. You're lu,mping all together though as you see anything with increased taxes as authoritarian.


The problem is that he does.

And socialist societies are meritocracies. They just order themselves differently. There's nothing built into communism/socialism that says that everyone has to have an equal income. Having rich and poor people is acceptable in a socialist society. The difference is that the poor are only such relative to the rich, and all manage to live comfortable lives as long as they are contributing to society to the best of their ability.

In many ways, socialism is even more of a meritocracy than capitalism is, realistically.

Quote:
Its no wonder you think that liberals are "social authoritarians", you are using a really weird definition of "authoritarian" that nobody else seems to use.


Your post count suggests you are new here. Meet gbaji. His language is unlike our language. It has definitions that are subjective to situations and often change in the middle of arguments. But they'll never resemble your definition.

Edited, May 5th 2011 8:48pm by idiggory
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#132 May 05 2011 at 7:02 PM Rating: Default
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gbaji wrote:
That is a *one* definition of "social conservative" versus "social liberal". But the labels they used were "social authoritarian" versus "social libertarian". A social authoritarian believes that government should use its "authority" to impose social outcomes. Social libertarians are opposed to this. If you support government aid for poor people, socialized/universal health care, affirmative action, progressive taxes, and any of hundreds of political planks in the Democratic Party platform which involve solving social problems by creating government programs, then you are a "social authoritarian".

Remember, being authoritarian has nothing to do with whether you personally agree with the social outcome, but with the method used to attempt to achieve it.
No, some of those are authoritarian, while others are left economics. You're lu,mping all together though as you see anything with increased taxes as authoritarian.


There's a lot of overlap though, and much of that overlap is due to much of our current social agenda being economic in nature. Social liberalism, which is more or less the core ideology modern liberals espouse, is ultimately about equating social equality with economic equality. They believe that people can't be socially equal as long as they are not economically equal. Think about how much of the agenda revolves around economic differences between social groups, the gap between rich and poor, the income gap between men and women, black and white. How many times has Smash (and other liberals) said "you're successful in life because you fell out of a white vagina". It's very hard to disentangle those, precisely because the "left" makes them the same. Their social agenda *is* an economic agenda.


As to the list I wrote, the only one directly economic in nature is the progressive taxes. Now if the sole reason for progressive taxes are because you need to generate X income and you want to impact the taxpayers the least possible, then that's purely economic. But let's not kid ourselves. When Obama proposes raising taxes on the richest X% in order to fund <whatever>, he's making a social argument. We all know this. If it was purely economic, he'd propose raising taxes on everyone equally.
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#133 May 05 2011 at 7:05 PM Rating: Good
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Ignoring all the rest of the bullsh*t you just posted:

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They believe that people can't be socially equal as long as they are not economically equal.


This just isn't true. At all.
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#134 May 05 2011 at 7:14 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
They believe that people can't be socially equal as long as they are not economically equal.
Not even close. It's as if you don't understand liberals at all.
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#135 May 05 2011 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
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That's your problem. Right there.

You are treating gov't as a separate entity that is coming in to rule the people. Yes, that would be fascism.

The problem is that this is a republic, and each leader is expected to actually represent the citizens of the united states, not their personal agendas or who donates the most to them.

As such, the very gov't is supposed to be defined by the simple term "We the people."

This isn't about some external force ruling us, it's about mutual agreement between citizens to sacrifice certain rights because others are vastly more important. That's what voting is--choosing the rights you want and those you are willing to sacrifice. Because the very notion of a social order demands that we sacrifice. If you don't want to, fine. But society isn't going to heed your rights if you won't heed theirs.


And your problem is that you seem to believe that "we the people" cannot choose to give the government more power over us, nor do you seem to understand that this is "authoritarian". What do you think you're measuring when you put "authoritarian" on one side and "libertarian" on the other? It doesn't matter *how* the government gains more power. If it has more power, it is more authoritarian. And if you support an agenda which gives it more power, than you are supporting an "authoritarian agenda".

It's not really that complicated. Those terms have very specific meanings in this context.

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There will never be universal agreement. Welcome to humanity. It's a sad truth, and there's nothing we can do about it. Please take an hour to learn about Social Contract law and then come back. Rousseau, Nussbaum and Kant will all have easy-to-find papers on the subject.


Sure. But Locke is a better example of the actual libertarian view though. Rousseau (and others) were more about what government was obligated to do for the people and specifically that it must act to balance out social inequities (which I'm sure is why liberals love to study Rousseau btw). Locke was the one who really focused on the idea that government should do the least it has to. If you're reading Rousseau and thinking you're learning about libertarianism, then that's probably your first mistake. He believed that society was a set of rules imposed by the rich on the poor, and that any new rules should enforce a reversal of that proposition. While I fully understand the importance of his philosophies in the context of a very class-based European society, it isn't really libertarianism (or classical liberalism). It's more correctly an early form of (or precursor to) social liberalism. He's more akin to later folks like Engels and Marx.

Again, it's no surprise that Rousseau is taught more to university students than Locke. His philosophies are more in light with modern liberal thought. Liberalism is more in line with modern conservative thought (absent the strawman "impose our religious values on everyone variant of course).
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#136 May 05 2011 at 7:25 PM Rating: Good
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There's a lot of overlap though, and much of that overlap is due to much of our current social agenda being economic in nature.
Totally. But that's an implementation problem. For example, I support the concept of welfare, but not how its actually implemented. It should be a safety net with support for people to get back on their feet. What it is though, it typically just a wasteland. But that's a result of poor implementation, not with the concept itself.
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#137 May 05 2011 at 7:26 PM Rating: Decent
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bsphil wrote:
gbaji wrote:
They believe that people can't be socially equal as long as they are not economically equal.
Not even close. It's as if you don't understand liberals at all.


Are you kidding? So I've just been imagining decades of liberals arguing that racial inequality in this country is perpetuated because of economic inequality between racial groups? Really? You're going to try to make this claim? Um... Do I even need to bother showing you how wrong you are?

The assumption that social inequality can not be fixed until economic inequality is obtained is pretty much the cornerstone of American liberal politics. I'm just amazed that you have the gall to insist it's not.
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#138 May 05 2011 at 7:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Hell. I'll toss out the first wiki link found:

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Social inequality is different from economic inequality, though the two are linked. Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. While economic inequality is caused by the unequal accumulation of wealth, social inequality exists because the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits these people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy, in societies where access to these social goods depends on wealth.

Social inequality is linked to racial inequality and wealth inequality, as well as to differences in the abilities and achievements of individuals. The way people behave socially, through racism and other forms of discrimination, tends to trickle down and affect the opportunities and wealth individuals can generate for themselves. Thomas M. Shapiro presents a hypothetical example of this in his book, The Hidden Cost of Being African American, in which he tries to demonstrate the level of inequality on the "playing field for blacks and whites". One example he presents reports how a black family was denied a bank loan to use for housing, while a white family was approved. As being a homeowner is an important method in acquiring wealth, this situation created fewer opportunities for the black family to acquire wealth, producing social inequality.



Seriously. Do I really need to do this? It's like you guys are insisting that gravity makes things fly up from the earth and out into space or something. It's just that bizarre for you to claim this.
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#139 May 05 2011 at 7:34 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
The assumption that social inequality can not be fixed until economic inequality is obtained is pretty much the cornerstone of American liberal politics. I'm just amazed that you have the gall to insist it's not.
Your leap is when you assume that liberals want everyone to earn the same amount of money.
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#140 May 05 2011 at 7:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Missing the point, a gbaji trademark.
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#141 May 05 2011 at 7:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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bsphil wrote:
Your leap is when you assume that liberals want everyone to earn the same amount of money.
You're obviously wrong and here is a twenty-thousand word dissertation on why his leather jacket is charcoal instead of black.

Edited, May 5th 2011 9:42pm by lolgaxe
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#142 May 05 2011 at 7:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sure. But Locke is a better example of the actual libertarian view though.


No he isn't. He's one of the first liberals, yes, but liberal thought has evolved a loooooooong way since then. Locke didn't really grapple with the issue of rights at all, since he was writing in a time when property was barely spread out. That's why he cares so much about economic inequality. He was living and working in a fundamentally different system.

Quote:
Rousseau (and others) were more about what government was obligated to do for the people and specifically that it must act to balance out social inequities (which I'm sure is why liberals love to study Rousseau btw).


Rousseau didn't talk about government obligations, he offered a theory about why we should have a gov't in the first place. Social contract theory isn't about obligations, it's about the way people organize themselves. It isn't about what a gov't has to do, but what a good gov't does do. That's a significant difference.

Quote:
Locke was the one who really focused on the idea that government should do the least it has to.


No. He didn't.

Quote:
If you're reading Rousseau and thinking you're learning about libertarianism, then that's probably your first mistake. He believed that society was a set of rules imposed by the rich on the poor, and that any new rules should enforce a reversal of that proposition.


Again, no he didn't. Did you know Rousseau was one of the most popular thinkers at Versailles before the revolution? Nobles adored him.

Rousseau felt that following the general will, which law should reflect, was the best path to freedom. Why? Because you:

A. Make the choice to join in the social contract. You don't lose any rights unless you choose to forfeit them. But you also don't gain any protection from your fellow humans.
So,
B. Joining the social contract is wise, because the collective is better able to defend the rights of each individual than each individual is able to do on their own.

Understand? Anarchy actually leads to people retaining fewer rights, because you can only keep those you are personally able to defend.

As such, the best path to liberty is to form a gov't reflecting the general will.

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While I fully understand the importance of his philosophies in the context of a very class-based European society, it isn't really libertarianism (or classical liberalism). It's more correctly an early form of (or precursor to) social liberalism. He's more akin to later folks like Engels and Marx.


HA No. No, really, it's isn't Marxist at all. Both have similar premises (basically a combination of Locke and Aristotle on both ends), but he is definitely not a precursor to communism.

Rousseau was all about capitalism (not that it was known as such at the time). He actually favored the middle class the most. AKA, the merchants and craftsman. He didn't give a crap about the peasants, or minorities. He had many gripes with nobles, yes, but spent most of his life in love with a noblewoman. He wasn't adverse to their existence, but didn't really like their current role in society.

The only class he really hated were the clergy.

Quote:
Again, it's no surprise that Rousseau is taught more to university students than Locke. His philosophies are more in light with modern liberal thought. Liberalism is more in line with modern conservative thought (absent the strawman "impose our religious values on everyone variant of course).


I've read both. A lot. The problem isn't that Locke is less in line with modern thought, it's that many of Locke's premises are not accepted by modern peoples, which means his political theories fall apart. The stuff that isn't grounded on those premises was picked up by later thinkers (like Rousseau) to construct political theories without those holes.

Frankly, his idea of the state of nature is all you actually need to turn to. He pictures anarchy as having been all sunshine and butterflies (I used the past tense for a reason--Locke does not believe you can return to the State of Nature).
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#143 May 05 2011 at 7:52 PM Rating: Decent
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bsphil wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The assumption that social inequality can not be fixed until economic inequality is obtained is pretty much the cornerstone of American liberal politics. I'm just amazed that you have the gall to insist it's not.
Your leap is when you assume that liberals want everyone to earn the same amount of money.


I didn't say that. I said that they associate social inequality with economic inequality and seek to redress one by adjusting the other. That doesn't mean they want everyone to make exactly the same amount of money. But they absolutely do believe that by reducing the differences, they can equalize the social differences as well.

Why the hell do you think they constantly talk about the "gap between rich and poor"? Why do you suppose they obsess about the differences in earnings between groups based on their gender or race? The left defines their social issues largely within the context of economics. Even gay marriage is not really about the "right" to marry, but about ensuring that gay couples who marry get the same economic value out of their marriage as straight couples.

Heck. The modern left has created the assumption that "rights" are connected to economics as well. Shall I quote from FDRs proposed "second bill of rights"? He wanted to define economic outcomes as rights. Think about that. And that idea/goal has not gone away. It's front and center in nearly every liberal position today. You honestly can't see this? That's just amazing to me.
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#144 May 05 2011 at 7:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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No one ever said that social and economic equality had no overlap, though they are most definitely not the same thing.

Social inequality demands that everyone have the same economic possibilities. It does not say that everyone needs to make the same income. It does mean that everyone who is willing to work needs to be able to live, survive and flourish in society.

The problem comes when economic inequality is a RESULT OF social inequality. When women can't get jobs simply because they are women, that's a serious issue.
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#145 May 05 2011 at 8:02 PM Rating: Good
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We talk about the gap between the rich and the poor because most poor people belong to social minorities who were never given the same chances that the majority was.

You want a good example?

In Hawaii, a huge population of the poorest people are native Hawaiians. Originally, Hawaii was a sovereign nation (recognized by the world) that was actually prospering as a trade hub. It was ruled by a royal family (who formed a friendship with the British royal family) until 1894.

Their last Queen died in 1917, after a group of American farmers (who had been given a lease to farm the land) rebelled and forced her into exile. The American gov't refused to sanction their actions, but never cut off trade with them nor sent troops to control their own people.

After the queen died, America annexed Hawaii. All the land that used to belong to native Hawaiians was now owned by American planters. Over time this was sold through various means. So now the native Hawaiians are among the poorest on the island, despite the fact that 100 years ago the land was theirs and it was forcibly taken from them by the US, illegally. That means many of them probably have parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, that owned that land. We aren't even talking about hundreds and hundreds of years like with native americans, we are talking about a single century.

Now do you see why social inequality and economic equality are linked? It has nothing to do with the fact that economics needs to be equal--it has to do with the fact that we live in a country who has systematically suppressed one group or another throughout its history and they are still suffering from that injustice.

OUR CULTURAL HISTORY is the reason these minorities still struggle. That's why social equality demands that we help remedy the economic inequality between classes.
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#146 May 05 2011 at 8:11 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory wrote:
Locke didn't really grapple with the issue of rights at all, since he was writing in a time when property was barely spread out. That's why he cares so much about economic inequality. He was living and working in a fundamentally different system.


Er? Locke didn't discuss income inequality at all (well, he certainly didn't focus on it). I suspect you misunderstand his use of the term "property". He most certainly grappled with the issue of rights. It was pretty much first and foremost in his most relevant writings.

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Rousseau didn't talk about government obligations, he offered a theory about why we should have a gov't in the first place.


Yes. And he argued that we should eliminate the existing social systems and replace them with ones in which the current rich and powerful weren't in control of everything. He was effectively advocating for a new government which would, in modern terms, redistribute the wealth and power. To be fair, this isn't that uncommon when speaking about some form of government revolution, but to suggest he advocated no government at all, is a bit of a stretch. He understood the need for governance, he just didn't want one formed by the wealthy and imposed on the poor.

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Social contract theory isn't about obligations, it's about the way people organize themselves. It isn't about what a gov't has to do, but what a good gov't does do. That's a significant difference.


We're still talking about a contract though. Which requires obligation. Calling it a civic duty or whatever doesn't change that.

Quote:
Quote:
Locke was the one who really focused on the idea that government should do the least it has to.


No. He didn't.


Um... Yes, he did:

John Locke wrote:
Sec. 131. But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, to be so far disposed of by the legislative, as the good of the society shall require; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property; (for no rational creature can be supposed to change his condition with an intention to be worse) the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one's property, by providing against those three defects above mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy. And so whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any common-wealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those laws; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws, or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end, but the peace, safety, and public good of the people.


He very very clearly stated that man's only reason for forming into society and giving up his natural state of complete liberty is to ensure the protection of as much liberty as can remain whilst being a part of society. There are three things listed by Locke for which man gains by doing this as well (you can look them up if you want), but Locke very clearly was saying that government should do only the minimum needed to provide those things and nothing more.



I'll comment on your Rousseau posts later.
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#147 May 05 2011 at 8:12 PM Rating: Good
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I don't see why you'd say that liberals can't be libertarian, though*.


A lot of liberals in the last couple decades (as the label "liberal" has gotten a bad rap) have taken to calling themselves libertarians, presumably purely because of the similarities in the names. It's like they think that by calling themselves libertarians, it makes them a smarter/rarer form of liberal. Just look at Bill Maher. Last I recall, he was claiming to be a libertarian. He's not though. Wanting to legalize marijuana doesn't make you a libertarian.

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I think you're dismissing some of the nuance. Most of my "liberal" tendencies come from my civil rights stances. Aren't those some of the core tenets of libertarians?


Some, I suppose. But modern liberals believe in using government to create social outcomes. What defines a libertarian is a belief in limited government to a far greater degree than Republicans. It's why I often say I'm not a libertarian. I don't believe that we should abolish publicly funded education, or highways, or fire fighters, or police, the entire military, all social programs, and basically every single thing the government does today. That's what libertarians believe and it's nearly 100% in opposition to what "liberals" believe.

To be fair though, that's the platform of the Libertarian party, the broader political position isn't quite so severe, but it still revolves around having a government that does the absolute minimum it has to. So if you believe in a progressive tax system (really income taxes at all), you are not a libertarian. If you believe in raising taxes for the top 2% to pay for benefits for the poor, you are not a libertarian. If you believe in basically about 99% of the current modern US Democratic party platform, you can not be a libertarian. Not just the political party, but the political persuasion. They are basically diametrically opposed.

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Like: I don't think that the government should be allowed to indiscriminately wire tap. Isn't that value typically shared between liberals (who tend lately to shy away from terror-related govt. expansion of powers) and libertarians?


Sure. That's in that 1% of overlap. Of course, that 1% is also shared by most conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc as well. The problem is that other 99% of the social agenda which liberals and libertarians are in absolutely disagreement about. Again, think of the scale labels "Authoritarian vs Libertarian". This should give you the hint that libertarian is non-authoritarian (which is correct). Authoritarian means that some authority (the government typically) controls social outcomes. Think about how much of the liberal social agenda requires government action to make their desired outcomes happen. That's authoritarian and is the opposite of libertarian.


Edited, May 5th 2011 5:01pm by gbaji


I think you're overlooking a key fact: that someone can not have a strong opinion on particular topics. It's entirely possible for the only positions that a person holds are liberal and libertarian ones. For example, I'm not really interested in the economy beyond "I'd like it to do well." I don't really have any other opinions on it.

Also, some convictions are held more strongly than others. I think that stronger held opinions should be weighted higher when consider what category a person falls into.
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#148 May 05 2011 at 8:23 PM Rating: Good
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#149 May 05 2011 at 8:24 PM Rating: Decent
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We talk about the gap between the rich and the poor because most poor people belong to social minorities who were never given the same chances that the majority was.


Yes. And the way to fix that is to create social programs which provide economic assistance to those groups, right? That's precisely what I'm talking about. Social policy on the left *is* about economic inequality. You measure social equality by measuring wealth instead of looking at what one actually has rights to do. Of course, they redefine the word "right" to make it include having the economic ability to do something.


Think about this one: When one argues for universal health care because people have a "right to medical care", doesn't that argument require an assumption that the right to medical care includes the economic ability to pay for it (or to have someone else do so)? Of course it does!


Quote:
Now do you see why social inequality and economic equality are linked?


Except that social inequality is about classes that have different rights. So if a group isn't allowed to vote, or own land, or obtain an education, or work in certain professions, or run for public office. Those are social inequalities. Economic inequalities are about differences in wealth. But the left redefines economic inequality as social inequality. They say that if a person can't afford to buy a home that this infringes their right to own a home. They say that if a person can't afford to pay for college that this infringes their right to obtain an education.


That is how modern liberals have tied the two together. Those Hawaiians certainly have legitimate claims to make, but that has nothing to do with social inequality. Assuming they legally have the right to present their grievances, of course. Taking away their wealth didn't make them second class citizens. That's a modern concept perpetuated by the very liberals who you're claiming don't make this equivalence. They invented the idea that economic status is equivalent to social status. Historically, social inequality was about actual legal barriers to groups of people which were often impossible to break. It wasn't just about someone not having enough money to do something they wanted to do.


Quote:
OUR CULTURAL HISTORY is the reason these minorities still struggle. That's why social equality demands that we help remedy the economic inequality between classes.



And that's a valid political position to hold. But that's *not* the libertarian position. That's the point I'm making here. A libertarian will argue that each person has to make his own way in the world and you let the social and economic chips fall where they may. You eliminate rules which artificially block advancement (true social inequalities), but you don't attempt to "help" achieve specific objectives via government power. Ever.

Edited, May 5th 2011 7:34pm by gbaji
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#150 May 05 2011 at 8:26 PM Rating: Good
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#151 May 05 2011 at 8:29 PM Rating: Good
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