The Real Luddites

Anti-capitalism equals anti-progress.

Have you noticed that any person who exhibits any skepticism about global warming alarmism will, sooner or later, be called a Luddite?

"Are you a Luddite, a troglodyte? Are you a part of The Planet of the Apes that doesn't want science? Where would you place yourself in this argument?" newscaster and anti-simian Chris Matthews "asked" a congressman a few years back. "Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the neo-Luddites who are turning the GOP into the anti-science party should pay attention," warned columnist Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post this week.

And so on and so forth.

The Luddites, as you all know, were a 19th-century social movement that protested, often by violent means, the encroachment of the Industrial Revolution on their lives, fearing that it would leave them without their jobs and destroy their communities.

But Luddites weren't challenging the veracity of some scientific theory; they just weren't crazy about the options progress offered them.

So global warming skeptics—call them anti-science if you like—are not Luddites. Luddites have an irrational fear of development in a seemingly chaotic world. This is capitalism. Today's Luddite fears that we have too much energy, too many people, too many choices, too much bad food, too many cheap knickknacks. Today's Luddite believes that the free movement of money and economic productivity are immoral and that if your slice is too big, someone else's slice has to be too small.

For example, Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. recently claimed that the iPad was "responsible for eliminating thousands of jobs," you know, just like the modern-day automated loom. What, he wonders, will happen to "all the jobs associated with paper?" Surely, a remark as deeply juvenile as that one matches anything offered by those wild-eyed skeptics.

Or take President Barack Obama, who earlier this year—and not for the first time—claimed that "structural issues with our economy" have nothing to do with politicians. The problem, in his opinion, is that "a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient," making the workforce smaller. "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM. You don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."

Those aren't structural issues; they are productivity issues. And rather than kill jobs, efficiency drives output and growth and improves performance and the quality of goods and services—along with our lives. Perhaps if this administration weren't busy trying to create morally pleasing but temporary and unsustainable jobs through bailouts, subsidies, and "stimulus," we could all hit that ATM more often.

Today's Luddite also adamantly opposes a mythical institution called Wall Street, a place where a few players act illegally, some act recklessly, and some team with government to undermine healthy competition. But the vast majority of companies create new technologies, services, and products that make modern life possible. If they don't, they fail.

Or at least they used to.

Luddites on the streets of Manhattan can demonize big oil, big food, and big pharma all day long. They can decry profit as if Satan himself invented the notion. Yet when the multinational firm GlaxoSmithKline announces, as it did last week, that it has come up with the first effective vaccine for malaria, you can bet that it would never have happened in the system they propose. And if the vaccine is successful, the company will have done more good for the world than a million marches about the evils of capitalism could ever hope to produce.

What irks Robinson, Matthews, and others like them is not that people do not accept "science," but that they won't accept the statist solutions tied to that science. Moreover, a Luddite opposes capitalism. A skeptic only asks questions.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Blaze. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.

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  • ||

    In fairness, there are more than a few crooks on Wall Street.

    http://blogs.the-american-inte.....and-shame/

    There is something massively wrong with American business. Hopefully it is nothing that a few bankruptcies and scoundrels going broke as an example to others won't solve.

  • Sparky||

    I'll bet there's nothing wrong that a little government fine-tuning can't fix.

  • anon||

    I'll bet there's nothing wrong that a big government fine-tuning can't fix.
    fix'd

  • teh rael o2||

    and scoundrals going to jail

  • ||

    If they committed a crime sure.

  • Joe M||

    Are you sure?

  • Government||

    If they committed a crime sure.

    If they didn't, they will soon anyway.

  • ||

    If they committed a crime sure.

  • Joe M||

    Really sure?

  • ||

    If they committed a crime sure.

  • Joe M||

    Okay then.

  • Joe M||

    50mins between reposts is a new record btw.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    The squirrels really must agree with John.

  • Joe M||

    The squirrels are the real criminals here.

  • ||

    If they committed a crime sure.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    +3

  • ||

    They apparently took a vote on it and after 50 minutes of deliberations decided yes they really do agree.

  • Michael||

    If yesterday you'd have told me that posting by squirrel committee is the future I'd have said you were nuts.

  • Joe M||

    It's how we create green jobs.

  • ||

    Hopefully it is nothing that a few bankruptcies and scoundrels going broke as an example to others won't solve.
    -------------------------
    your remedy requires govt butting out which, of course, means it will never happen. Business is like children; limits are tested but if rules are never enforced, behavior never has a reason to change.

  • Ike||

    We need more government and less libertarians.

  • Realist||

    "Have you noticed that any person who exhibits any skepticism about global warming alarmism will, sooner or later, be called a Luddite?"
    Have you discussed this with Ron Bailey?

  • fish||

    I don't want to speak for Bailey but isn't his opinion that it's happening but the results aren't likely as dire as the Al Gores of this world make it out to be?

  • ||

    And unlike the mass of humanities majors that compose a large portion of the AWG alarmist movement, near as I can tell, Mr. Bailey reached his conclusion by examination of facts and evidence.

  • ||

    Mr. Bailey reached his conclusion by examination of facts and evidence.
    --------------------------------
    which is the left's new definition of Luddite. Seriously. Despite the absence of facts linking man to GW, the left has embraced it as gospel because everyone knows that scientists who depend on govt funding for their projects would never skew data. Look at the sign atop this story - a job is a RIGHT. Pretty soon, the list of "rights" will include nutritious food, reliable transportation, a nice home, and a 3-handicap golf game.

  • Radioactive||

    and a girlfriend with ginormus tatas?

  • jacob the barbarian||

    +2

  • ||

    You can disagree with his conclusions and I am equally skeptical based on the evaluation of the information but from what I have gathered Mr. Bailey has read literature from both sides of the debate and reached a reasoned conclusion.

    Evaluating all of the information is something that is seemingly beyond most of the painfully dogmatic greenies.

  • Realist||

    wareagle you are correct.

  • Realist||

    Bailey would do well to get a degree in science. He might then understand the scientific mentod!

  • Realist||

    ...and method as well.

  • ||

    How can you question science? Scientists are good, and only want the best for society. And, the same goes for government. How could the government/science complex go wrong?

  • squarooticus||

    Science is the search for fact. It isn't science that goes wrong; it's agenda-driven advocacy combined with political action.

    Don't attack scientists: attack people posing as scientists.

  • Elder Scrolls Enthusiast AuH20||

    Didn't something like that happen on Krypton before it was blown up?

  • anon||

    I thought it was Cybertron

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    So, wait, Optimus Prime was already an 18-wheeler when he was on Cybertron?

  • Radioactive||

    just ask the folks eaten by the mutated giant ants...

  • Elder Scrolls Enthusiast AuH20||

    Well, the problem with progress has always been that it keeps the plebs entertained. If we all just had to read paper books and couldn't watch sports and hadn't had our leisure time increased and improved by capitalism, the Communist Revolution would have happened by now and we'd have attained the real Utopia!

  • ||

    But the vast majority of companies create new technologies, services, and products that make modern life possible. If they don't, they fail.

    The most compelling argument made by a certain segment of Occupiers is that government bailouts eliminated this crucial feature of the marketplace. I can't say how widespread this grievance is among the protesters, but hopefully as the Occupy movement continues, more will come to distinguish between capitalism and crony capitalism.

  • Menth||

    Ask them about car companies.

  • Old Mexican||

    "A Job Is A Right!"


    One day, an OWS Luddite foudn a lamp. Conclusing from past experience that it might be what he thought it might be, he rubbed the lamp with all his might.

    Then, a genie appeared and said "Sahib, I am grateful for liberating me from the lamp, I will give you one wish!"

    And so the Luddite said: "I am a true believer that a job is a right, so I want a job that's secure, easy to do and provides me with what I need!"

    "Granted!" said the genie. And the Luddite was turned into a donkey tied to a stone mill, going around and around, all day, while being fed what he needed to be fed whenever he needed to be fed.

    And so the donkey has a job, for it was his right as a donkey to have a job, that provided for him what he needed.

  • Grant||

    pulling a stone mill is hard.
    FAIL

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I guess "simple to do" is more accurate.

  • Grant||

    But what if they have an Art History degree? Manual labor is beneath them.

  • anon||

    No way! That woman just gave birth as a "performance art."

  • ||

    If they didn't want to do manual labor, then why did they get an Art History degree?

    Seriously though... How many Art Historians could a culture ever possibly need? 1 in 1,000,000? Tops? If there were only 300 Art Historians in the US, I bet they'd all be employed.

  • anon||

    If there were only 300 art history majors, who would serve me coffee at Starbucks?

  • ||

    People who only had the appropriate education level needed to serve coffee: teenagers.

  • anon||

    YOU CHILD LABOR FASCIST NEOCON THAT BELIEVES IN NEOCONISM! RACIST!

  • ||

    Can you imagine how hard it must be to get a job as teenager nowadays?--competing for shitty fast food jobs against people with master's degrees in Minoan basket-weaving. Of course... I'd hire the teenager in a minute. They may be a fool, but at least they haven't proven themselves to be one yet.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    It used to be that humanities were done by the idiot sons of the rich. There wasn't any money in studying cuneiform or reading romantic poetry. But it gave the rich a respectable profession while they counted their inherited millions. A hundred years ago no middle class person would have dreamed of trying to make a career like that. Only in the last 40 years have we decided that every one who wants to should be able to make a living contemplating their navel.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There wasn't any money in studying cuneiform or reading romantic poetry.

    *shrugs* I work in that field. My daughter has clothes; she's well fed.

  • Coeus||

    *shrugs* I work in that field. My daughter has clothes; she's well fed.

    Yeah, but you're a teacher, aren't you? If the primary market for your skill is teaching it to others, there might be a problem there.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If the primary market for your skill is teaching it to others, there might be a problem there.

    Why? If someone is interested in learning what I know, and is willing to pay me for helping them acquire that knowledge...what's the problem?

    The fact that I have gainful employment (at a private university) is evidence that there is enough people interested learning such things to have a market for such a skill set.

  • Coeus||

    Why? If someone is interested in learning what I know, and is willing to pay me for helping them acquire that knowledge...what's the problem?

    Not a problem with you, a problem with people thinking that the degree will be worth something except to the top few percent of graduates. If everyone you teach expects to be a teacher, then they have been misled. That is a problem. If most of them are just the idle rich, or have other unrelated job prospects, then it's not an issue.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If everyone you teach expects to be a teacher, then they have been misled. That is a problem. If most of them are just the idle rich, or have other unrelated job prospects, then it's not an issue.

    I agree with that. When the term was coined, the term "liberal" in "Liberal Arts" meant that one was "free" from having to earn a living.

    I didn't go for the degrees I went for, primarily to find employment, I studied what I studied because I enjoyed learning about it. I'll be the first to admit that I had the luxury to do that because I was raised in an upper-middle class family.

    I have been fortunate enough to find employment using what I learned, and I had to prove to my various employers that I deserved such opportunities.

    A degree in the Humanities, or Physical Sciences for that matter, is not a guarantee for a job. Meritocracy works both ways.

    What bugs me, I guess, is the belief that post-secondary education should be judged first and foremost as to its utility to society as a whole (i.e. primarily economic utility).

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    What bugs me, I guess, is the belief that post-secondary education should be judged first and foremost as to its utility to society as a whole (i.e. primarily economic utility).

    If a university degree wasn't looked upon as a guaranteed seat at the Big Kids Table, you'd have a point. The problem is that a degree is looked upon as an instant qualification for middle-class employment, and in such a scenario, its economic utility will inevitably be brought into question.

  • ##||

    I have absolutely no problem with someone paying someone else to teach them, say, underwater basket weaving if that's what they want to learn. The problem is with those who expect someone else to pay them to weave baskets underwater when there is no demand for it or pay off the debt that they accumulated paying someone to teach it to them.

  • BelowTheRim||

    Swing and a miss on the private college argument.

    Less fortunate kids still can get guaranteed college loans from the federal government and get those loans socialized (forgiven) if not paid off by a certain age. They can still major in anything they want.

    Obama now wants to make it easier to get them socialized and get it done at a younger age.

    Private colleges know this and expand operations (like public schools) with the knowledge that the public is financing kids to go to college to get their art history major and be prepared to contribute very little in the workforce once the specialization becomes saturated. Couple that with large regulatory burdens and companies want to be absolutely certain they employ those grads with skills that can go to work quickly.

    The biggest differnces btw private and public colleges is that public are state funded while private are not. Face the facts, each are funded, indirectly and directly, by the federal government.

    I'll uppercut counter your swing and a miss all day long.

    The joke is on my though because higher education is the next bubble.

  • Mark||

    I have been fortunate enough to find employment using what I learned, and I had to prove to my various employers that I deserved such opportunities.

    A degree in the Humanities, or Physical Sciences for that matter, is not a guarantee for a job. Meritocracy works both ways.

    What bugs me, I guess, is the belief that post-secondary education should be judged first and foremost as to its utility to society as a whole (i.e. primarily economic utility).
    las vegas plumbing

  • ­||

    Your comment doesn't necessarily indicate that your daughter isn't a high priced call girl.

  • anon||

    Better than a cheap call girl.

  • Zeb||

    100 years ago very few middle class people went to college at all. It's great that people study all of the useless things that get studied at universities. The problem is that there are way too many people doing it.

  • DLM||

    It's great that people study all of the useless things that get studied at universities.

    I have no problem with it. I just don't want to pay for it when they get over their heads in debt to do it.

  • ||

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Man, you're all about the minimalism lately, heller.

  • ||

  • Realist||

    "If they didn't want to do manual labor, then why did they get an Art History degree?

    Seriously though... "
    That was serious!

  • Zeb||

    That's why the genie turned him into an ass.

  • Equus africanus asinus||

    Unless you're a donkey, then it's easy.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Unless you're a donkey, then it's easy.

    Don't be an ass.

  • teh rael o2||

    the many OWS laptops & PDA's are not luddite.

  • teh rael o2||

    *WOOOSH*

  • o3||

    and neither is a toilet

  • Overpopulation zealot||

    "it has come up with the first effective vaccine for malaria, you can bet that it would never have happened in the system they propose."

    Oh, that's just GREAT! We're all doomed now!

  • Wide Indention||

    Oh, don't fret, they'll claim it causes eggshell thinning, cancer, and drug-resistant adult-onset acne.

  • JMW||

    You left out autism.

    And ingrown toenails.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Malaria? They hate vaccines, too.

  • ||

    Vaccines cause autism! Except for the HPV vaccines that every 9-year-old in the country should be forced to take!

  • ||

    LOL. That made me laugh a lot.

  • ||

    Really, how do they keep up with the contradictory things they believe in? Is there an on-line chart, updated daily?

  • ||

    Yes. They get an email newsletter that tells them what is acceptable thinking that day as well as practical tips like what are acceptable clothes and beer and food choices.

  • JMW||

    No, but dollars to donuts more than a few of them get newsletters from Natural News and/or Mercola.

    You know, to keep up with the latest in Big Pharma Is Out To Get You And Your Little Dog Too paranoia.

  • Zeb||

    I think that those are mostly distinct groups of idiots.

  • ||

    The Abree-kanz will warm up de Earth now with their breathezz!

  • JMW||

    If theys dun crush its wit der bebbiez 1st.

  • sarcasmic||

    What irks Robinson, Matthews, and others like them is not that people do not accept "science," but that they won't accept the statist solutions tied to that science.


    [sarc off]
    Is the climate changing? Always has. Always will.

    Is human activity the cause? I'm not convinced.

    Is the statist cure worse than the disease? Most emphatically YES!

    A skeptic only asks questions.


    [sarc on]
    Yes, but a skeptic is neither an expert nor an authority.
    How dare someone question an expert or an authority?
    I mean, they're experts which makes them way smarter than anyone else, and authority makes someone better at decision making than anyone else.
    They're like gods, you know?
    What right does a mere mortal have to question a god?

  • JMW||

    They're smarter than you - they've got science degrees!

  • Old Mexican||

    Or take President Barack Obama, who earlier this year—and not for the first time—claimed that "structural issues with our economy" have nothing to do with politicians. The problem, in his opinion, is that "a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient," making the workforce smaller. "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM. You don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."


    Ther Great Literary Genius of all time, who "wrote" two books himself - he says - is also an economics genius.

    Just like Ceaucescu was the Genius of the Carpathians.

  • ||

    Just imagine if Sarah Palin had said something that stupid. That may be the dumbest utterance ever by a national office holder. That is so dumb even Biden probably laughed at it.

  • ||

    What a ridiculous comment to make! The guy is really totally lost, isn't he? Hey, I know, let's ban automation altogether!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Human conveyer belts!

  • yo||

    chinks done dunnit

  • pmains||

    Stop. Giving. Them. Ideas.

  • ||

    It is my curse.

  • Wide Indention||

    If 0% unemployment is really the point, every knows it's easy, right?
    "Dig this ditch! Build this pyramid! Arbeit Macht Frei! Hey Sisyphus, roll this rock!"
    Any thugocracy in the world could do it.

  • anon||

    Of course, just don't mind the fact that nobody will be making anything that any of us actually want

  • ||

    Well, I suppose we could restore the serf class.

  • ||

    I grew up in a People's Republic; we had 0% unemployment. Anyone who had no current entry & stamp from an (State-owned) employer in his ID booklet could be arrested for "socially dangerous avoidance of work".

    Of course there was hidden unemployment (ie. people holding a position but not really producing anything) and the whole scam was eventually financed by loans from the capitalists and it collapsed after four decades BUT WE HAD FULL EMPLOYMENT!

  • ||

    That sort of society is clearly the goal of some here. Insane as that may seem from all of the examples of why we shouldn't go within a light year of there.

  • 0x90||

    No joking, I've heard real people suggest that public works (roads, bridges, etc) ought to be done with shovels rather than heavy equipment.

    Because it would create jobs.

  • yo||

    spoons

  • jacob the barbarian||

    by hand. And unionized.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Hey, if everybody was out subsistence farming with animal-drawn plows, nobody'd have time to sit on Wall Street and drum for freedom!

  • JMW||

    You may be on to something there.

  • Realist||

    This is what racial preference brings you. Fucking idiots graduating from Ivy League schools.

  • Kristen||

    I asked the counter help at Avis why they didn't have check-in kiosks like the other rental car companies. She said she didn't know, but that she was glad they didn't because a couple people might lose their jerbs! I didn't have the inclination to ask her how she would feel if everyone at Avis lost their jerb because Avis couldn't compete.

    Avis is a shitty car rental company, anyways. Let them lose their jobs and eat crappy cake.

  • peggy-man in russia||

    trouble w kiosk rental? we problem slove. call tomorrow for solution.

  • Teve Torbes||

    The Obama quote used in this article is a paraphrase that makes him sound worse than he really is. He is not saying, as Jesse Jr said, that we need to halt progress, so people can stay in obsolete jobs. He is advocating training people for the jobs of the future. Here he is in his own words:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....llers.html

  • Realist||

    "The Obama quote used in this article is a paraphrase that makes him sound worse than he really is."
    Not possible!

  • Grant||

    They don't hate corporations. They hate the excessive greed as well as the excessive influence over politicians.

  • anon||

    Define Greed.

  • Greed and Privation||

    Intense, selfish, excessive desire for something, esp. wealth, power, money, beyond than is needed to survive.

    Tell me, how do 10% of the people need 85% of the wealth to SURVIVE?

    See, that's the bait-and-switch of Capitalism. Apologists use this very attractive bait:

    We need property to survive. (Actually true.)

    Then they switch it to desiring to own abstractly way more than they need to survive, even to the point of causing privation to others.

  • anon||

    Your subjective value of excessive is another's bare sustenance. Why should you determine how another lives?

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    "Tell me, how do 10% of the people need 85% of the wealth to SURVIVE?"

    Yes, coz everyone knows that they only got that 85% coz their gigantic money grubbing hands are so big they just grab up more of the wealth just lying around.

  • Mercurus||

    I thought it grew on trees...

  • ||

    And the unchanging wealth pie, which never grows larger, is baked yet again. So everything in the world is a zero-sum game to you eh?

  • ||

    If you really have a moral issue with greed then you should give away everything you own that is not needed for survival. You can start with your computer.

  • Pudgeboy||

    ...please, please Wh Injun, start with your computer.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    What he said

  • Cloudbuster||

    Come on, you added that "beyond than is needed to survive" yourself didn't you? That's not in any definition of greed I've ever read.

    Is that from marxistdictionary.com?

    We're all greedy if that's the definition, because we all want more than bare subsistence.

    The people you demonize, the legal rich, are just better than you at acquiring wealth. It's you that are envious and greedy for that wealth.

  • BelowTheRim||

    I love how liberals so frequently ignore the idea of private charity.

    Greed is not good. Ambition is good though. Being successful is great and giving excess gains via success to those less fortunate is...Divine!

    I haven't found a ton of success yet, but when/if I do I only hope the government doesn't steal it all so I can give 10%+ to my church and other funds to great causes that I believe in on my own free will and accord.

    Not the will of union loving theifs who only serve their own political self interests by chastising those who are successful independent of government handouts and crony regulations

  • Realist||

    "Define Greed."
    Not willing to give everything you have to a worthless fucker.

  • libertarian Viking||

    Also define excessive.

  • Excessive Greed||

    ex·ces·sive: exceeding what is usual, proper, necessary, or normal

    Property is based on the need to survive. Rothbard, Rand, they all say that.

    How do 10% of the people need 85% of the wealth to survive?

  • anon||

    How do they create the capital necessary for growth and innovation? It sure isn't by not accumulating capital.

  • ecian||

    If the bottom 5% in the U.S. enjoys a standard of living that is better than 2/3rds of the world, why should I care that they get more than what is needed to survive?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Wow, you're just obsessed with other people's money, aren't you?

  • Wide Indention||

    Property is based on the need to survive. Rothbard, Rand, they all say that.

    Ayn Rand says no such thing. She said the right to property is the consequence of producing or earning something, then to keep, use and dispose of it as he sees fit.

  • Trespassers W||

    True, but what's the point of feeding the troll? It isn't interested in argument, and I'm skeptical that it even believes what it says.

  • anon||

    It's much more fun to confront with facts and watch the troll slink off while being ridiculed than to sit here doing nothing though.

  • Mercurus||

    Envy is far, far worse than greed. So, why do you envy those more productive than you?

  • Mike E||

    This

  • Realist||

    Darwinism must prevail.

  • Monk||

    PROPERTY IS ROBBERY!
    GOVERNMENT IS TYRANNY!
    SOCIETY IS SLAVERY!

    WE ARE ALL STUCK IN A MAZE, WITH LIBERTY AS THE CHEESE. ONCE WE MAKE IT TO THE CHEESE AND TAKE A BITE, WE BECOME ANOTHER WALL.
    WE MUST BREAK FREE. WE MUST ESCAPE!

  • anon||

    You forgot to change your name to White Indian for that post. I'm offended.

  • Wide Indention||

    Note he also forgot this shows he thinks all property is excessive, something he tried to hide while discussing the property of the rich.

    He doesn't want what he claims anyway. I offered him the use of isolated forested land and he refused.

  • JMW||

    Not enough room for open plains gamboling. And a distinct lack of wifi. Of course Pale Retard would turn it down.

  • Mercurus||

    Stop eating the cheese...its making you hallucinate.

  • Old Mexican||

    For example, Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. recently claimed that the iPad was "responsible for eliminating thousands of jobs," you know, just like the modern-day automated loom.


    Or like how the press eliminated all those scribe jobs...

  • ||

    The progress of the last couple of centuries has done more to improve the human condition than the thousands of years previous. A bulk of that was made possible by freer individuals, weaker governments, and a greater exchange of ideas and goods and services in freer markets.

    For our neo-Luddites, let's make a deal. You go away and let us restore a strong economy and major technological advance, and we'll built you a base on the Moon with no technology available to you beyond that needed to survive there. Promise!

  • Pol Pot Libertwat||

    The progress of the last couple of centuries

    Progressivists deny that we face any systemic problems, only technical problems, with technical solutions. Technophiliacs and techno-utopians often wax poetic for the prospects of our technological future. Science fiction like Star Trek often portrays this vision, where technology has solved all of our problems. But ultimately, such hopes are statements of belief, not fact–and a belief that is not very well-grounded in reality, at that. ~Jason Godesky
    Thesis #16: Technology cannot stop collapse.
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/2.....-collapse/

    You go away

    Killing Fields for liberal Parasites?

    You've got company.

  • ||

    Where did I suggest killing anyone? Ever?

  • Pol Pot Libertwat||

    how about you go away to, say, Antarctica or the Moon, as you suggested. Do it right now. Show us how long you can live there.

    Git goin'! kthanks

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    how about you go away to, say, Antarctica or the Moon, as you suggested.

    How about you go away to the BLM wilds? If Uncle Ted can do it, so can you.

  • ­­­­­­­||

    I don't think this Godesky guy watched very much Star Trek.

  • Wide Indention||

    No kidding. Not the original series anyway. They walked around armed everywhere they went, and for good reason based on the number of red shirts I saw get zapped! Ensign Cannonfodder and Lietenant Where'dhego typically had just enough of a speaking role to make sure you knew he was there. You know, before doing the pain pose for the glow, fade and "arrgh."

  • Mercurus||

    Yeah...and usually Kirk knew, served or was related to his father/uncle/friend.

    That Kirk guy was really connected...

  • Marxist Hypocrisy 101||

    "Killing Fields for liberal Parasites?"

    It's a shame you can't comprehend irony.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I truly do wish all the free market haters could just go spend a couple years in North Korea to get some perspective.

  • GroundTruth||

    "Jobs are a right"?

    Only by the same logic that food, clothing, shelter, medical care, six weeks off each summer (and two in winter with a free vacation in the Florida Keys), and a .....

    If I had any support at all for these fools (which I don't), they just lost it.

  • Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue||

    OK, a job is a right. According to the Bill of Rights so is a gun. See the government program giving me a 30-06 and a few thousand rounds? [Drooling on keyboard...] No. Crap.

    Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue! I wonder if that'll fit as a name? "Wide Indention" isn't as funny as it was... Haha! It'll probably be a while until I go back to "Live Free or Diet!"

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Grant,

    They don't hate corporations. They hate the excessive greed as well as the excessive influence over politicians.


    "Excessive greed"? What would be the optimal level of greed, Grant? You're not saying anything.

  • ||

    They hate greed that interferes with their greed.

  • Pol Pot Libertwat||

    Libertarians hate need that interferes with their greed.

    [fixed]

  • Grant||

    Satisfying your wants ahead of the needs of others.

  • Grant||

    RICH FAT CAT CEO: "I really really want that 2nd level on my 4th yacht. I know, I'll dip into the secretary pension fund."

  • anon||

    Yacht builder: "I really am glad someone wanted to add a second level to their 4th yacht. I wouldn't be making any money this month and would go out of business if someone didn't want that."

  • Secretary||

    What happened to my pension fund?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    What happened to my pension fund?

    You cashed it out to buy granite countertops and take a self-indulgent Eat-Pray-Love excursion.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The fact that you spend at least $50 a week on Starbucks isn't helping your bottom line, either.

  • JMW||

    Could probably do with fewer trips to the spa, too.

  • ||

    So, if you, as the 2nd poorest of the poor, satisfy a want ahead of the poorest poor person, you're being greedy?

    I want many, many things that I want and I don't need for survival, but they bring me enjoyment. Those same wants provide an enormously high standard of living for twits like you to whinge and stamp your feet about how unfair life is.

  • Secretary||

    As long as you can justify your greed to yourself so you can sleep at night, I'm cool.

  • Zeb||

    So are these assholes all rather or what? They do all seem to show up at the same time.

  • WTF||

    I think so, since they all seem to disappear at the same time as well.

  • Realist||

    The magic trolls.

  • ||

    I'm not greedy, I just want someone else to pay for my education, health care, and Internet while I get paid $20/hr to flip burgers.

  • Realist||

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    I assume you go to the library to use the internet.

  • Grant ||

    Maybe we have too much stuff.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    "Maybe we have too much stuff."

    Hey, if you think you have "too much stuff" feel free to give some of it away.

    Who's stopping you?

  • ||

    What part of "we" don't you understand kreel?

    The Committee for Proper Redistribution will be by soon to relieve you of your consumerist burden.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    I think what I find most amusing is that simpletons like Grant think that if people who try harder would just stop trying so hard people who can't be bothered would somehow, some way, get more stuff.

  • Sparky||

    Only because someone is willing to provide it. Stop wanting things and they'll stop being made.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    Grant, you first. Start with the 'computer thingee.'

  • Tony||

    The problem is you think we should all pay for a government to protect your wants but not anyone's needs. It's morally incoherent.

  • Marxist Hypocrisy 101||

    "The problem is you think we should all pay for a government to protect your wants but not anyone's needs. It's morally incoherent."

    No, you just have radically unrealistic expectations of what needs a government can and will provide for.

  • Ray Pew||

    The problem is you think we should all pay for a government to protect your wants but not anyone's needs. It's morally incoherent.

    Only if one has such a distorted view of reality where "life" and "liberty" are just mere wants.

  • Stewardess||

    Please don't be greedy: help children and others to secure their oxygen masks before you secure your own.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    For our neo-Luddites, let's make a deal. You go away and let us restore a strong economy and major technological advance, and we'll built you a base on the Moon with no technology available to you beyond that needed to survive there. Promise!


    I would rather turn them all into mill-turning donkeys.

  • ||

    No, no, we can be benevolent. If they just have to stay on Mother Earth, we can set up a domed community in Antarctica. High population density to minimize any detrimental effects on the environment.

  • ||

    Will White Indian be free to gambol there?

  • ||

    Of course!

  • White Indian||

    Officer, am I free to gambol across glacier and tundra?

  • Mercurus||

    They can huddle together for warmth.

  • JMW||

    Like penguins. Only not as cute.

  • Leopard Seal||

    Or tasty

  • Degrading Dehumanization||

    I would rather turn them all into mill-turning donkeys.

    You really are echoing the sentiments of Pol Pot.

    Think that would help "restart civilization" at your Year Zero?

  • DLM||

    You really are echoing the sentiments of Pol Pot.

    That's the first I ever heard donkeys associated with Pol Pot.

  • Pol Pot Libertwat||

    No, no, we can be benevolent. If they just have to stay on Mother Earth, we can set up a domed community in Antarctica.

    Your idea of the killing fields? Think that would be a great way to cleanse civilization of liberal influences?

    You've got company in your line of thinking.

  • White Indian||

    May I gambol about the killing fields?

  • Marxist Hypocrisy 101||

    "Your idea of the killing fields? Think that would be a great way to cleanse civilization of liberal influences?"

    no UR hitler, lolz

  • ||

    Can you imagine how hard it must be to get a job as teenager nowadays?-

    Gaaaa! That job sucked when I was fifteen.

  • ||

    Hey, I know, let's ban automation altogether!

    It's that bastard Gutenberg's fault! We should totally kick his ass for putting those monks out on the street.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Printing press? More like printing oppress.

  • Sparky||

    AHHAHAHAHAHAHA. +1440

  • Joe M||

    No, it's all good. It just gave them more time to brew beer.

  • Mercurus||

    Its called the market driven redistribution of labor.

    Its a good thing...

  • Hick||

    I want Mable connecting my calls, dammit!

  • Cloudbuster||

    Calls? You fiend! Think of the poor postal employees and pony express riders!

  • WWNGD?||

    Ketchup packets is a right!

    Catsup packet damage the environment, ban them!

  • teh rael o2||

    hey shite-for-brainz, an outhouse would be luddite, not a toilet.

  • romulus augustus||

    Re: Art History majors. Only stat I could find was there were 13,000 with that declared major in 2007. Wonder what the sum total of their unpaid student loans is today??

  • ||

    Like they could even do that sort of math. Pfft.

  • Leopard Seal||

    "Re: Art History majors. Only stat I could find was there were 13,000 with that declared major in 2007."
    That's at one school

  • Anomalous||

    "A Job Is A Right!"

    And, work makes us free!

  • ||

    Did he really say that? Dear Lord how can anyone be so teeth-grindingly stupid?

  • DLM||

    Dear Lord how can anyone be so teeth-grindingly stupid?

    It's another right.

  • Radioactive||

    genetics

  • JMW||

    You'd think that with all the money the trustifarians' parents have, they would've been able to pick themselves a better breeding partner.

  • ||

    Let's not forget the 200M that the B and M Gates foundation poured into the human trials, as Glaxo couldn't. Private charity + private business = big solution, in this case.

  • ||

    if there is corruption on wall it is because of washington. the bailouts was a fix made possible only by the collusion of obama and congress, also known as crony capitalism. the SEC new about bernie madoff when clinton was in office there again gov't oversite failed up.

  • ||

    Today's Luddite believes that the free movement of money and economic productivity are immoral and that if your slice is too big, someone else's slice has to be too small.


    "Free movement?" This article is a failure if the premise is that we live in a free market or with a free banking/monetary system.
    Hell, just presupposing that these little green pieces of paper in our wallets are really money is something of a stretch.

    A real libertarian would believe that your slice can be as big as you want as long as the free market baked that pie and you cut your own slice yourself.

    A real libertarian would not approve of a big slice that came through state action on one's behalf.

    If you think that OWS is about communism or socialism, then by all means, criticize communism or socialism. But Wall Street has nothing to do with "the free movement of money."

    Way to stand up for Wall Street, Harsanyi, and reinforce the stereotype everyone has about l/Libertarians being pro-corporate Republican tools.

  • ||

    jcalton sez: "Hell, just presupposing that these little green pieces of paper in our wallets are really money is something of a stretch."

    Yer right it's not money. Let me relieve you of the burden of carrying it around.

  • cynical||

    Sorry, but my perception of OWS is that they think the problem with crony capitalism is the capitalism part.

  • ||

  • Atom||

    You don't know exactly where I am now and where I will be a moment from now. We are resilient to your occupation.

  • ||

    "a mythical institution called Wall Street"

    Yeah, the organizers were deciding between Occupy Olympus or Occupy Middle-Earth, but the Wall Street faction won out.

  • cynical||

    Olympus, Middle-Earth, and Wall Street are all places, not institutions.

  • ||

    As I was told many semesters ago...

    Get a Degree in Philosophy...
    you will be unemployed but you will understand why.

  • ||

    What I find ironic withe the OWS protesters is that the evil Bush Admin prosecuted Jack Abramoff and Ken Lay (Enron). Abramoff went to jail. Ken (Kenny Boy) Lay was sentenced to jail but died before serving. Obama has not filed charges against a single banker or lobbyist. Instead he gave them tax $$$. So which administration is the real crook?

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    "... or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."

    Last time I checked, TSA prevents us from checking in at the gate. The internet allows me to avoid the ticket counter. The kiosks simply let me spend less time at the ticket counter. That statement is so wrong on so many levels. It indicates that it has been a while since Mr. POTUS travelled with the rest of us.

  • ||

    Statistically, nobody at OWS thinks "jobs are a right" any more than Teabaggers statistically think Obama wears a bone through his nose.

    What OWS thinks is: money talks too much.

    But you clowns can point to any protester's sign you want and resume shitting on the single biggest populist movement and single most important organically grown social force you'll ever see. That's fine.

    You'll always be the anti-democracy creeps who hung around on a pet website of a heavily subsidized oil billionaire when leftists took to the streets and stayed there to get shit done.

    Ha ha.

  • Pudgeboy||

    Please, you fascist fuck, don't presume to speak for the OWS movement, or state what they "think." They don't need your help crafting signs.

  • Tman||

    the single biggest populist movement and single most important organically grown social force you'll ever see

    The OWS isn't even a FRACTION of the size of the Tea Party protests. At best you have a few cities with several hundred hard-core delusional leftists.

    And more importantly, instead of trying to make their point by taking a dump in a park, the Tea Party organized at a local level and supported politicians that promised to push for the goals of the Tea Party, ie smaller government, less spending. Their work at this level created one of the biggest election upsets for the Democrats in decades, and gave the house back to the GOP.

    Wake me when OWS even agree on their principals, never mind supporting candidates.

  • Coeus||

    What OWS thinks is: money talks too much.

    Great. Now how long is it gonna take for them to realize that it always has and always will? Since there is always a demand for power, the only way to keep people from buying it is to not allow the people who sell it to have it in the first place. In fact, we used to base our government on a document that was created with that purpose in mind. They won't get anything done because their solution is to give someone in the government more power.

    "Companies keep buying out regulation. I demand more regulation".

    The only thing these clowns will get done is to make the situation worse at a slightly faster rate.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Well, they've certainly got a lot done. They've provided normal people with weeks of entertainment.

  • anon||

    TV networks pay people like Charlie Sheen millions for worse entertainment than this has been!

  • ##||

    "leftists took to the streets and stayed there to get shit done."

    These people just spent two weeks trying to work out an agreement on what hours a drum circle can play. The problem with OWS is that getting shit done actually requires workable solutions to complex problems and not just hanging out in a park shouting slogans.

  • BelowTheRim||

    Orel you really don't know much about libertarians.

    Libertarians always denounce oil subsidies in favor of free competition. E.G. Oil Sands, Nuclear, Nat Gas, and here is a new one...Hemp!

    Hemp...a biofuel, is only illegal beause of big paper lobbying from decades ago.

    I know it is tough to understand ideology of your adversary but try thinking before writing next time.

    P.S. most libertarians, while may disagre with OWS' message, they fully support the right to assemble (peacefully of course).

  • sevo||

    Orel Hazard|10.26.11 @ 3:41PM|#
    "What OWS thinks is: money talks too much."

    Hey, Oral Horseshit, tell us what you think about the Cuban embargo.

  • anon||

    Contributing out of boredom:

    Trade embargos rarely have their intended effects. In reality, free trade makes countries adopt policies more conducive to peace and prosperity far more than any embargo ever has or ever will.

  • sevo||

    I know.
    I'm hoping that Oral Horseshit will one day admit the hypocrisy of griping about money and world trade while simultaneously griping about the damage done to Cuba by the embargo.

  • White Indian||

    Officer, am I free to gambol about Cuba?

  • ||

    Nope; it is counter-revolutionary.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Grant,

    [Excessive greed is:] Satisfying your wants ahead of the needs of others.


    Well, the unthinking idiot has spoken. Let me ask you this, idiot:Just how far would you go to satisfy the need of others until you can even begin to think about satisfying your wants or needs? Would you go to the ends of the Earth until leving no one human with unsatisfied needs?

    While we're at it, exactly what do YOU think each of the 6 billion individual humans believes his or her needs are? Are you that clever, superhuman, or just an idiot who thinks is very clever?

  • ||

    It's 7 billion.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    It's 7 billion.


    Oh, I'm such a liberal: I killed a billion!

  • anon||

    If my need is for White Indian to cease to exist, does that supersede his need to spew bullshit all day?

  • White Indian||

    Officer, am I free to gambol about my fields of spewn bullshit?

  • Irwin Mann||

    A JOB IS A RIGHT

    That is absurd.
    Whose job is the job you do?
    tell you what, it is not your job.
    It is your employer's job.
    He owns it.
    You do it and he pays you.
    But it is not your job.
    You don't do it, you don't get paid.
    It is not your job.
    You cannot hire someone else to do it for you.
    Your employer can hire someone else to do your job instead of you.
    If jobs are recognized as belonging to the employer,
    then yes, a job is a right of a business or it's ownership.

  • Irwin Mann||

    A JOB IS A RIGHT

    That is absurd.
    Whose job is the job you do?
    tell you what, it is not your job.
    It is your employer's job.
    He owns it.
    You do it and he pays you.
    But it is not your job.
    You don't do it, you don't get paid.
    It is not your job.
    You cannot hire someone else to do it for you.
    Your employer can hire someone else to do your job instead of you.
    If jobs are recognized as belonging to the employer,
    then yes, a job is a right of a business or it's ownership.

  • octothorpe||

  • The Derider||

    "Those aren't structural issues; they are productivity issues. And rather than kill jobs, efficiency drives output and growth and improves performance and the quality of goods and services—along with our lives. "

    Both those binary choices are not mutually exclusive. A structural issue can also be a productivity issue. A technological improvement can increase productivity, efficiency, and output while simultaneously reducing the demand for labor and thus employment.

  • sevo||

    "A technological improvement can increase productivity, efficiency, and output while simultaneously reducing the demand for labor and thus employment."

    Yes, dipshit, that's called "progress". It's what allows most of the world to eat cheaply.

  • Clevelandite||

    Exactly. More people producing less of a good or service and getting paid more is a good thing, how?

  • The Derider||

    You missed the point. David "THE BLAZE" Harsanyi asserted that "rather than kill jobs, efficiency drives output and growth..." and I said "well, it can do both at the same time".

    Read => Comprehend => Post

  • ||

    You're so right; it is practically impossible to get a coachman job nowadays, certainly not a full-time one.

    Of course there are long-distance bus driver jobs, but that's just not the same...

  • The Derider||

    I don't think that job losses are a good reason to attempt to slow technological progress. I think that if the winners due to that technological progress (society at large) compensate the losers (workers with obsolete skills) for the inconvenience of finding and re-training for a new job, no one should complain.

  • Mercurus||

    I'd complain.

    I'm selfish. I don't want to share the responsibility for the choices I make. Why should I be willing to share the responsibility for the choices other people make?

    Oh, right...I have a gun pointed at my head. Never mind.

  • ||

    I think that if the winners due to that technological progress (society at large) compensate the losers (workers with obsolete skills) for the inconvenience of finding and re-training for a new job, no one should complain.

    This sounds eminently reasonable, but this is what it turns into:

    http://www.heritage.nf.ca/soci.....pacts.html

    Accompanying the [Canadian] government's announcement of the [cod fishing] moratorium was its introduction of an aid package for unemployed fishers and plant workers. Known as the Northern Cod Adjustment and Rehabilitation Program (NCARP), it provided weekly payments to out-of-work fishing people based on their average unemployment insurance earnings between 1989 and 1991, often ranging from $225 to $406 a week. NCARP participants were also required to enrol in training programs for work in other areas or accept early retirement packages. Approximately 28,000 of the province's fishers and plant workers received income support benefits under the program.

    NCARP ended in May 1994 and was immediately replaced by a second relief program known as The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy (TAGS). Like NCARP, TAGS tried to reduce the number of people dependent on the fishery in rural communities. Overcapacity – too many fishers harvesting too few fish – had been a serious problem in the cod fishery and one that government officials did not want to see happen in the province's other fisheries. To encourage workers to leave the industry, TAGS required applicants to retrain for work in other fields or accept retirement packages. It also provided participants with regular weekly payments ranging from $211 to $382. Although the federal government intended TAGS to remain active until 1999, the $1.9-billion program ran out of funds in May 1998.

    Both NCARP and TAGS met with limited success. Although the programs gave out-of-work fishing people a degree of financial security during difficult times, they did not adequately prepare them for work in other fields, nor did they significantly reduce the number of people dependent on the fishery. According to economist William Schrank, the number of full-time fishers has remained largely unchanged since before the moratorium, although many part-time harvesters have left the industry. In 1991, for example, the fishery employed about 14,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time fishers; of that number, about 12,000 qualified for employment insurance (EI). In 2002, a decade after the moratorium, the number of EI-eligible fishers jumped to 13,700. In contrast, the number of fish plant workers dropped from 25,160 in 1990 to 14,770 in 2001.

    Although NCARP and TAGS applicants had to attend various training programs – including literacy training, adult basic education, university courses, and entrepreneurial training – the courses often did not prepare participants for entry into the labour market, nor did they adequately accommodate the needs and abilities of the fishing people taking them. Individuals who left high school years or even decades earlier to work in the fishery were suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar and often intimidating academic environment. Some did not complete their programs, while others found they were of no practical use to their future lives. Moreover, with no local employment alternatives available to absorb the thousands of unemployed fishers, most remained in the fishery or left the province to find work elsewhere.

    ----

    $1.9 + $0.95 billion comes to some $100,000/person assuming 28,000 recipients and a 50% cost for (2 years of) NCARP that of (4 years of) TAGS.

  • cynical||

    If technological improvements cause certain products to become cheap, then some consumers have more leftover income to spend on other products instead. The combination of demand and resources to trade results in a job opportunity. A few other things (training, capital, labor and material inputs, transaction with buyer, etc.) have to line up for the opportunity to become an actual job, but it's actually true to say that often when the invisible hand closes a door, it opens a window.

  • fghu||

    hello,welcome to www.luckygrip. com,i hope everyone will more like them because of there have more nice top goods and cheaper price in there,thanks

  • Harry Palms||

    I love this site!!!!!

  • Sven||

    "...And if the vaccine is successful, the company will have done more good for the world than a million marches about the evils of capitalism could ever hope to produce..."
    Unless they had anything to do with the ban of DDT, in which case they would be partially responsible for the death of millions, but never mind...

  • Eli||

    David, you're more right than you think - although that also means that you're more wrong than you think. Try this instead: http://rustbeltphilosophy.blog.....esson.html

  • Eli||

    David, you're more right than you think - although that also means that you're more wrong than you think. Try this instead: http://rustbeltphilosophy.blog.....esson.html

  • ReasonHasNone||

    How many jobs have been created by the 'environmental industry', or the 'green movement', or whatever demonizing phrase one chooses to characterize the subject? I don't know the answer, but it's certainly quite a few. Has it killed other jobs? Yes, of course it has......so did the personal computer. But nobody complains about those lost jobs. So, if computers kill some, while creating others, that's just good capitalism. But if the 'enviromental industry' kills some while creating others, that's just those crazy lefties trying to bring their commy ideas to the world. But wait......if you don't like the choices capitalism brings you....isn't that what the author of the article defines as a 'Luddite'. So, isn't he actually describing himself?!?!?! What a 'deeply juvenile' article.

    So much for 'Reason'.

  • wulfy||

    Here's the difference, treehumper:
    1. Luddites by definition, try to slow, stop, or destroy CURRENT technologies to further their own interests.
    2. Capitalists, by definition, use the best available technology to most efficiently produce goods at an affordable AND profitable price.

    Just because a green pansy like you tries to push an immature technology by BANNING an existing, more competitvie technology, and the Capitalist resists this BAN, that doesn't make the capitalist a Luddite. It makes YOU a scam artist for trying to claim "green" technologies are superior when they clearly are not, because can only compete if you ban the existing ones.

    And don't gimme the "science consensus says man is causing global warming" when we all know that a climate scientist can't get funded if he doesnt propose a hypothesis that seeks a guilty verdict on Man, and he won't publish any findings to the contrary even if he does get funded (see James O'keefe's latest outing of a univ. professor who admitted they do that).

    So shut up and go back to fuckin trees, we're busy growing the economy out here.

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