You Want More Equality? Support More Capitalism

Free markets are the real source of economic opportunity.

A person can't go but a few clicks on the Internet these days without tripping over some shocking item about the "explosion" of income inequality that has, like the dark smog of capitalistic excess, been choking the life out of this unjust nation. And when it comes to inequality, there is certainly only one vital question we must ask ourselves: Who cares?

If the wealthy get wealthier, no one has to become one penny poorer. This childish idea that the economy is a zero-sum game might appeal to the populist sentiments of the so-called 99 percent—or to the envious nature of some others or to the emotions of many struggling through this terrible economy—but in the end, it doesn't stand up to the most rudimentary inspection.

Not to mention, tales of runaway income disparity destroying the American middle class have been repeatedly debunked. James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute recently pointed out that new Congressional Budget Office "data show real median after-tax household income (half of all households have income below the median, and half have income above it) grew by 35 percent over the past three decades."

Over the past half-century, in fact, the wages of the middle class have captured a remarkably consistent share of gross domestic product. And the most important fact that eludes protesters and progressives is that the poorest 5 percent of Americans are still richer than nearly 70 percent of the world—with a lot more opportunity to change that situation.

But let's concede that, thank goodness, some inequity will exist and will as long as we remain a largely meritocratic society. But even if corrosive disparity is tormenting us, as so many journalists would have you believe, how are we to fix it? Are Americans prepared to take on a massive social engineering project that entails politicians, commissars, and czars making biased and arbitrary assessments about who deserves what and who doesn't? That sort of endeavor has been attempted to varying degrees of real economic tragedy. It's the sort of behavior that got us here.

What we should be worrying about is economic mobility. And we do well there, too. A 2007 Treasury Department study showed that 58 percent of households that were in the bottom quintile in 1996 moved to a higher level by 2005, and of households in the top 1 percent during the same time, more than 57 percent dropped to a lower income group. And Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia recently pointed to a study by the University of Chicago's Steven Kaplan that "shows that, despite government bailouts, in 2008 and 2009 the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent—a disproportionate number of whom work in the financial industry—fell to 1997 levels."

These numbers show great mobility, upward and downward, and it's why "class" as a political wedge issue hasn't typically held traction—though the Obama administration is doing its best to change that dynamic.

No doubt, the recent recession—and "stimulus"-induced extension of that recession—and structural and technological changes that often occur in the job market mean that every so often, we will have some painful times. Taking a snapshot of "inequality" when emotions are exacerbated by a recession is only meant to distort reality for political gain. And every time capitalism is hijacked by technocrats and bureaucrats, it seems there is a cry from other technocrats and bureaucrats (and their fellow travelers) to institute more of the top-down control that stifles mobility.

You will notice that the Occupy Wall Street crowds—and the progressives who support them—focus on bringing the wealthy down to earth rather than lifting the 99 percent. They have a nearly religious belief that too much wealth is fundamentally immoral and unhealthy for society. The economic systems they cheer on would coerce downward mobility for the sake of equality but ignore prosperity for the people they claim to represent.

If progressive were interested in mitigating inequality, they would support the dynamism of free markets to allow the merit of ideas, products, and services to win the day rather than stifle companies and pick winners in the name of imagined "progress." Yes, "too big to fail" means banks, but it also means union-backed bureaucracies, political parties, car companies, and green energy—nd more.

If they were interested in spreading wealth, they would support lifting barriers that inhibit markets and make life difficult for entrepreneurs and businesses rather than spreading the destructive notion that life can only be "fair" if we rely on dependency and entitlement and tear down those who have more.

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

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  • Suki||

    Good morning Harsanyi!

  • Tim||

    +3 hours.

  • Suki||

    I was bored waiting for morning links.

  • Tim||

    We can see things ordinary people can't.

  • Haley Joel||

    I see dead people.

  • ||

  • ||

    Not bad, and it actually illustrates the extent to which the retards in the media and the vast sea of partisans run on perceived wisdom and memes.

    "Income equality"! It's the theme now, right along with "occupy" stuff.

  • RoboCain||

    LOL

  • Tim||

    Good.

  • ||

    Yes, if Boys from Brazil were real and it worked, what would a young Adolf Hitler being doing right now?

  • Adolf||

    Where's the nearest beer hall?

  • Curly Howard||

    You putsch your beer down and reach for the pretzels! Nyuk nyuk.

  • Moe Howard||

    Quit Stalin, puddin'-head!

  • ||

    Probably competing for Angela Merkel's attention with all the other Boys From Brazil. The whole plot is premised on the notion that a whole bunch of Hitlers would work together.

  • ||

    I'm thinking one of the American clones would be Occupying® somewhere.

  • Bill||

    I don't think it was. At least not in the movie. The idea was that one of them, given both the genes and a similar environment, might turn out to be a new "leader".

  • Bill||

    You know who else wanted to ...... Oh, never mind.

  • Mike M.||

    If only someone on the republican side could make this argument in a clear, consistent manner to the public.

    Because the next year is going to be one long, tedious, mind-numbing, relentless barrage of class warfare from the Obamites, because it's all they have.

  • o4||

    nah, the obamites have alotta foreign policy successes to highlight also.

  • Mike M.||

    Unfortunately for him, nobody is going to give a crap about Bin Laden or Ghadafi a year from now. If you don't believe me, you can ask George Herbert Walker Bush.

    "It's the economy, stupid."

  • teh real o2||

    moar foreign policy successes will happen by then.

  • ||

    foreign policy success with who

  • ||

    At getting rid of middle eastern kleptocrats to give an new generation of kleptocrats with different last names and much more strident anti-western ideals a chance to rape the Arab underclasses (that would be everybody in Arab countries without sufficient firepower)

  • wareagle||

    so replacing Qaddafi with sharia law counts as a success now? How about trading Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood? Obama may well consider these to be steps forward but I doubt many rational people do. Then again, liberalism relies on a massively uninformed and/or apathetic population for its power.

  • anon||

    But... but. .... BIN LADEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • teh real o2||

    and alAwaki

  • dennis||

    Yeah, not only did they kill him, they established a star chamber in the U S of A!!!

  • ||

    Yeah, he helped sweep Al Qaeda into power in Libya, that's a good thing, right?

  • sarcasmic||

    But it's so much easier to feed envy and resentment.

    How does such an argument appeal to emotion?
    There's no emotional component at all.

    If I point out that my employer's CEO made $3.8million last year, there's an emotional appeal.
    Those who are stirred by emotion will want to hang the guy by his balls.

    If I point out that my employer's CEO managed to keep 60K people employed at a cost per employee of about a tank and a half of gasoline per year, there's no emotional component.
    Those who are stirred by emotion will yawn.

    Emotion works. Especially on people who don't think.

  • anon||

    I never viewed it this way, I just figured he must've done -something- to earn that money.

  • wareagle||

    Emotion works. Especially on people who don't think.
    -----------------------------
    that is the secret of liberalism. Its success counts on an uninformed populace that can be turned on talking points and intellectually lazy/dishonest half-truths.

  • Psychopaths = no emotion||

    Capitalists are often psychopaths. That's why about 1% of the general population is psychopathic, but the concentration goes WAY UP in corporate politburos.

    The following characteristics of a psychopath, defined by Hervery M. Cleckley in 1941 in the book Mask of Sanity include:

    Lack of remorse or shame.

    Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.

    Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.

    General poverty in major affective reactions.

    Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.

  • ||

    Capitalists are often psychopaths.

    Powerful, charismatic, highly positioned people are often psychopaths, including top religious and secular leaders. Being a captain of industry just one path for the psychopath; there are many other powerful positions which can quench his or her thirst for untrammeled power.

  • ||

    Since your such a caring emotional bitch join the piece corps . Then you can have something and some one else to worry about, and you will be out of OUR way.

  • KPres||

    The beauty of capitalism is that their self-interest is directed by the invisible hand toward the betterment of society at large.

    In every other system, it's just destructive.

  • ||

    Typical psychologizing from a progressive/leftist/Marxist/socialist. I guess when you run out of logical arguments, you resort to psychologizing. Thanks for your Psych 101 analysis. If you happen to educate yourself in economics, perhaps you can post a more rational response next time.

  • WI likes...||

    ...psychologizing. It makes me feel superior.

  • Marxist Hypocrisy 101||

    "Lack of remorse or shame.

    Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.

    Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.

    General poverty in major affective reactions.

    Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations."

    Sounds like Socialism.

  • ||

    The leftists comments prove you are right.
    2+2=5 - the far left is sure of this.

  • ||

    Snake Oil comment/(The leftists comments prove you are right.
    2+2=5 - the far left is sure of this.) was posted to wrong reply - was replying to post that said -- Emotion works. Especially on people who don't think.
    The Wall Street protesters symbolizes this - they protest capitalism while sporting cell phones & jeans. They don't like the poor looting the free food,etc. offered at the "grassroots" protests, although the "rich" are supposed to give to the "99%".

  • juris imprudent||

    They have a nearly religious belief...

    It is not nearly a religious belief, it is absolutely a religious belief. This is the progressive version of sin. It is dogma of the first order.

  • Raston Bot||

    Yep, that inequality b.s. is red meat and they eat it up (ostensibly to offset their anemia-inducing muffin vegan diet).

  • anon||

    Not disagreeing here, but keep in mind the same can be said of Capitalism.

    Except that my "religious belief" appears to bring real prosperity.

  • T||

    The difference between religious belief and regular belief is evidence. I've got plenty of evidence capitalism works like all hell for increasing people's prosperity. I haven't seen shit except hand-waving and Marxist social theory that says income equality is a bad thing.

  • anon||

    It could be argued that it's just confirmation bias though; after all, we've never seen true socialism. /sic

  • T||

    The faux kind is bad enough. I don't want to see the genuine article.

  • anon||

    I wholeheartedly agree; but there are substantial facts that argue far better than accusation of "religious belief."

  • ||

    In a perfect society where ego does not exist socialism works every time. It's called an ant farm.

  • ||

    Ant that is what the "progressive" folk call heaven

  • capitalism IS a religion||

    Rome under the Republic had a civic religion, consisting of the reading of entrails and other sensible precautions. The civic religion of the modern world is social engineering, which depends on similar techniques of divination…

    The members of the American economics profession, as [Thurman] Arnold contended, performed a vital practical role in maintaining this unique system of corporate socialism American style. It was their role to prevent the American public from achieving a correct understanding of the actual workings of the American economic system. Economists instead were assigned the task to dispense priestly blessings that would allow business to operate independent of damaging political manipulation. They accomplished this task by means of their message of “laissez faire religion, based on a conception of a society composed of competing individuals.” However false as a description of the actual U.S. economy, this vision in the mind of the American public was in practice “transferred automatically to industrial organizations with nation-wide power and dictatorial forms of government.” Even though the arguments of economists were misleading and largely fictional, the practical — and beneficial — result of their deception was to throw a “mantle of protection … over corporate government” from various forms of outside interference. Admittedly, as the economic “symbolism got farther and farther from reality, it required more and more ceremony to keep it up.” But as long as this arrangement worked and there could be maintained “the little pictures in the back of the head of the ordinary man,” the effect was salutary — “the great [corporate] organization was secure in its freedom and independence.” It was this very freedom and independence of business professionals to pursue the correct scientific answer — the efficient answer — on which the economic progress of the United States depended.
    — Robert H. Nelson, REACHING FOR HEAVEN ON EARTH

    Economic efficiency has been the greatest source of social legitimacy in the United States for the past century, and economists have been the priesthood defending this core social value of our era.
    — Robert H. Nelson, ECONOMICS AS RELIGION

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    He's here all week!

  • bey||

    Because Robert H Nelson says so. After all, he wrote a BOOK!

  • juris imprudent||

    Actually, despite Idiot Troll's quotation here, Nelson is not some nutcase. It is ironic indeed that IT should quote a professor of PUBLIC POLICY - given that is the near apex of the agricultural city-state. Then again what can you expect from someone so desperate for attention - any attention.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Being 5'7" I want height equality. Occupy Big and Tall Stores!

  • Doctor Whom||

    Yeah. Sic the Handicapper General on Kris Humphries.

  • short, fat bastard||

    Oh to be all of 5'7" tall.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • PantsFan||

    Yet Vonnegut was a socialist.

  • cynical||

    So was Orwell. The education system hadn't turned them all retarded yet back then.

  • ||

    ... until he (Eric Blair) met the practical Stalinist variety in Barcelona, where he was hunted by the "true" socialists. Which was good for the rest of humankind, as it gave him the insight which he put into Animal Farm and 1984.

  • ||

    Animal Farm is great - all teenagers should watch this video - It's in book form, but who has the time to read a book?
    Given how schooled people are in politics, many adults should view this video.
    Unfortunately many would rather watch happy feet - although unscrupulous me is 10 x,s better.
    Politicians will save the little happy feet animals - politicians, and special interests have been stealing America's wealth for decades.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Where is said video?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Orwell was still a socialist when he wrote Animal Farm (and probably even when he died) - Snowball stands in as Trotsky.

  • Egalitarianism is equal...||

    sociopolitical power status among people. Not equal heights, dimwit.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    You try playing basketball at 5'7"

  • ||

    Spud Webb did it, you just need to try harder you whiner!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Spud Webb was my hero.

  • ||

    All you vertically challenged nitwits stop your whining and stick to what your good at: miniature golf. Leave b-ball to the big boys...

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Sociopolitical equality:

    It is precisely the mechanics of this moral elitism that produces a superstructure of political elitism, the coercive rule of self-appointed experts, which is what every socialist government to date has been. What the Left has always condemned "capitalism" for most profoundly is its legal egalitarianism, its "formal equality" -- that is, its granting of political equality to moral unequals. In such a society, a Catharine MacKinnon has no more power than anyone else to censor others. Would-be Lenins and Maos and Castros are reduced to the Man on the Street. Each citizen controls his own property, and no cete of socialists is authorized to redistribute that wealth according to any scheme.


    The equality of political liberty is the fundamental evil the Left opposes -- and the foremost evil the Left seeks to abolish. The feminists didn't legislate an end to rape, but an end to freedom of speech. What they achieved (especially in Canada) were laws that controlled speech in accordance with their dictates. And once they established this in connection to pornography, they then went on to declare that everything was "pornography," i.e., an agent of rape causation. (The title of that 1993 text? Transforming a Rape Culture.) The Communists didn't end hunger and poverty, but any economic (and cultural) activity not under their direction. This abolition of capitalist evil -- of capitalist "sham-liberty" -- is the one undisputed accomplishment of all socialist revolutionaries and the reason for their praise (and often iconization) by the West's would-be revolutionaries.
  • That's the sales pitch, Barry||

    Reality is, money and wealth are sociopolitical power, and:

    The 1% controls 40% of wealth.

    The 10% controls 85% of wealth.

    Capitalism is thus proven by empirical data to be as poor at achieving Sociopolitical Equality as Communism is.

    Corporate Politburos are just as tyrannical, as we're finding out, with their simple purchase of the government.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    The 10% controls 85% of wealth.

    Yes, everyone should have an equal share of "the wealth" because everyone contributed equally to it.

    Not to defend the mixed economy, but ... "as poor" ... "as tyrannical"? Whom do you see swimming to Cuba?

    Corporate Politburos are just as tyrannical, as we're finding out, with their simple purchase of the government.

    What is to be gained by constantly pointing to business-government collusion as condemnation of business-government separation?

    Sorry for the late response ...

    (Uh, folks, am I dealing with White Indian here?)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It has many names, Barry. It's best to just refer to it as... it. AND indirectly.

  • White Indian||

    FIFY and the scatological crew were using "White Indian" as a name to spread disinformation; i.e., to lie. Thus, they gave me the private incentive to use the "name" box as a header.

    So that is why I have so many "names."

    Dishonest Libertarians asked for it.

    Now they gotta deal with it.

  • business-government separation||

    is a fantasy one conjures in books.

    Show me an example of capitalism operating without a government framework of aggression?

    It'll probably be right after FIFY conjures an undead corpse to copulate with.

    Your economic fantasy is no more realistic than a Zombie.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Yep, it's White Indian. Or a similarly-obsessed troll.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Yep, it's White Indian. Or a similarly-obsessed troll.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    And it's so important that I posted it twice.

  • KPres||

    "is a fantasy one conjures in books."

    Nobody would know more about that than you, white indian.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    White Indian thinks it is important enough to be lied about.

    What a twat.

  • ||

    Spot on. Barry and the others are now and will for the foreseeable future continue to suffer from separation anxiety as Capitalism dies a slow and painful death. What Barry and the others here haven't grasped is that what comes next is neither capitalism OR communism but something different and infinitely better. A true economy based on available resources as opposed to Capitalism which is based on allocation of resources according the amount of well, capital one controls... Unfortunately we are still decades away from that shift.

  • Marcel||

    We need a new vision of how to invest in the economy and create jobs.

    We have to point out the failure of the profit-driven logic of capitalism and show that other ways work. Public investment, Non-profits, NGOs, community development. Put money and people to work in the economy and show that filtering wealth upward is wrong

  • ||

    Except, the free market in failure roughly matches economic conditions of "Public investment, Non-profits, NGOs, community development. " in their success.
    Not to mention the 100 million dead that line of alternatives led to.

  • anon||

    I'd love to point out the failure of Capitalism, but it doesn't exist.

    Crony capitalism on the other hand is an abysmal failure.

  • ||

    Settle down, Francis, I'm not attacking the market. But, business cycles do occur. There are periods of slackness and generalized panics, even in free markets. My point (I probably didn't convey it clearly enough) is that the lower bound on conditions in that case is higher than the upper bound on the alternative.

  • anon||

    I wasn't replying to you, I was replying to Marcel, who is obviously never thinks past the first step.

  • anon||

    way to butcher my english there, sorry about that.

  • ||

    My apologies.

  • Cronyism = Capitalism||

    Cronyism = Capitalism, via empirical data. (Take a look.)

    Jesus is coming back and saving the earth before your fantasy definition of capitalism saves mankind.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    No, cronyism = cronyism =/= capitalism.

    Words have definitions, and these definintions cannot be manipulated at whim.

  • White Indian||

    Right, words have definitions. And that means you don't get to define capitalism in contradictory terms. We define it by what we observe.

  • KPres||

    No, words aren't defined by what you observe. What you observe determines which word is appropriate, and the word you're using, "capitalism", isn't appropriate because what you observe is a mixed economy where the government controls 40% of GDP. And it's devolving exactly the way libertarians like Mises said it would.

  • Anarcho-primitivists...||

    ...don't understand the definition of definition.

  • ||

    Ok fucktard...white Indian...whatever your name is.
    Your favorite pet "political structure" be it Socialism.....Communism ( ect). Has always and still will always show us that it does not work and never will. You cannot perfect humans because you cannot stop human NATURE with government unless it becomes a religion and every one falls in line, then guess who or more to the point what the type of person is that climbs to the top to "run the show" in your little fairy tale land is.....oppps same old murdering Dictator, or set of Cronies running the Socialist "pannel" or "industry geniuses" controlling the "departments" ..That kill all “non believers” or “trouble makers”….But hey it’s for the people, and the people's own good RIGHT? and since it's all for the people it must be good.

    The only way to curb or slow it down the progression into the darkness once “the smart people” control how the “masses” live is with Morals and PERSONAL responsibility. And we have lost both of those. And you want to give Government MORE control? I think not.
    Don’t believe me?
    Read….learn…..grow
    Your bed time story buddy Stalin …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge
    ( //www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/stalin.htm )
    Mr Marx your favorite uncle…
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/.....s-and.html
    ( //dawkinswatch.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/karl-marx-quotes-you-have-not-heard-before/ )

    And the “Boys” most learned student Mr Mao
    add www to a cut and paste .newstatesman.com/books/2010/09/mao-china-famine-western
    And for the above Families red headed step child Mussolini
    add h t t p to a cut and paste //one-evil.org/people/people_20c_Mussolini.htm

    You can blame Capitalism all you want to but it ain’t the system that broke, it is the fault of the people who made the system into Crony capitalism and the same people who prosper under that have strayed from the original path, and caused the things that are before us here and now. So true capitalism did not cause these problems you love to blame on it. Adding More government will only speed up the ride down to hell.

  • you are indeed in a coma||

    You didn't read where I said communism is worse than capitalism, did you, American Idiot?

  • ||

    I did, but you only offer Communistic ideas.....Have a solution or shut the fuck up!

  • KPres||

    ^ Ironic, white indian, given that you've never offered a solution.

  • There I go again...||

    ...never offering any solutions. Just bitching.

  • ||

    Old Reagan joke:

    "A capitalist and a socialist are looking at a guy's fancy house and brand new car.
    The capitalist looks, smiles, and says 'Man, everybody should live like that'
    The socialist glowers and says "No, no one should live like that."

  • Doctor Whom||

    A capitalist and a socialist are walking along the side of the road when a Cadillac drives past, splashing them both with mud.

    The capitalist says, "I'll show that jerk! Someday I'll get rich and buy a Mercedes."

    The socialist says, "I'll show that jerk! Someday I'll get elected to the state legislature and force everyone to use public transportation."

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The capitalist accepted the possibility of being splashed when he read the terms and conditions for walking alongside the private road.

  • ||

    And the socialst will fill the pot holes even though he will never drive a car on that road.

  • ||

    Thank You - you hit the nail on the head.

  • Doctor Whom||

    This childish idea that the economy is a zero-sum game might appeal to the populist sentiments of the so-called 99 percent—or to the envious nature of some others or to the emotions of many struggling through this terrible economy—but in the end, it doesn't stand up to the most rudimentary inspection.

    Statists are fixated on rebranding variable-sum games as zero-sum games. Left-wing statists insist that the economy is a zero-sum game; right-wing statists say the same about pesonal freedom.

    Left-wing statists cling to an "allowance from my rich parents" view of the economy. Under that model, seriously wrong as it is, the economy would be a zero-sum game.

  • BradK||

    Which is just another way of saying that where Capitalists focus on the creation of wealth (through production), socialists/statists focus solely on its (re)distribution -- while failing to grasp that wealth must be created in the first place.

    The Occupy This... movement is essentially asking for public disbursements of wealth that does not -- and may not ever -- exist.

  • bey||

    OWS clings to a "Santa Claus brought the kid down the block a bicycle and all I got was a cookie" view of the economy.

  • TANSTAAFLWAFFLE||

    "A job is a right"?

    Do these people have any knowledge of economics, AT ALL? Screw economics...do they have any critical thinking skills!? Its like they hear something that sounds nuice and refuse to question the details!

  • ||

    Ignore reality and pretend all income and employment stem from sinecures, rather than wealth creation. The rubbish follows a lot more closely, then.

  • ||

    And then when your policies make things worse just say you were not able to try all of your policies in sufficient scale and that is why you failed. Then blame hoarders and sabateurs.

  • anon||

    You'd think Soviet Russia would've cured all the delusions of grandeur. You'd think after several thousands of years humans would've learned to not repeat the same stupid mistakes over and over and over...

  • ||

    You would have thought it would have. But they will tell you Soviet Russia wasn't the real thing. If you totally blind yourself to reality, it is easy.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The rulers of the USSR weren't true Scotsmen Christians socialists.

  • anon||

    Every time I hear that argument, I can't help but laugh out loud.

  • ||

    Of course, they can't tell you exactly why neither Soviet Russia nor any of the other countless iterations of the same thing that led only to tyranny and misery wasn't the real thing, other than that they didn't work.

  • Capitalist tyranny and misery||

    We're there too.

  • ||

    Only because the Government changed the game to Cronie Capitalism.

  • ||

    You don't even have to go to violence prone examples like the Soviet Union and Mao's China to make this point. Even the myriad other, less violent prone socialist experiments, and there were repeated utopian attempts right here in the U.S. failed miserably.

    From the Jamestown colonists' nearly catastophic collectivist experiment to Robert Owens Illinois farmers collective to the 1960s communes and community action group in Cleveland, OH, socialist experiments have failed every time they've been attempted.

    http://www.americanthinker.com....._past.html

    Also, great book on this by Joshua Muravchik titled "Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism".

  • Next: "Heaven On Earth...||

    The Rise and Fall of Capitalism"

    Happening now in an #OWS near you.

    Faith in the dogma is gone, except for a few right wingers.

    People still believe in hell too, I guess.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The Rise and Fall of Capitalism"

    Happening now in an #OWS near you.

    Along with unreported rapes.

  • Capitalism = Rape Culture||

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    No, capitalism = marriage and prostitution (with the prostitutes setting the prices, and with legal recourse if the cheated)

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    culture, that is.

    And just for those who never realized it, marriage is a contractual arrangement.

  • nobody married before paper||

    LOL

  • ||

    Irony impaired much?

  • Anarcho-primitivism...||

    ...is a dogma.

  • Carl||

    Marcel, the ideas you promote don't work. There will always be people taking more than they give if they can.

  • Marcel||

    Tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations is not BENEFITTING society in general. People are entitled to what ever wage they can acquire but these tax cuts help only the few. AND we the other 99% get to have HIGHER taxes and fewer jobs.

  • anon||

    Nice false dichotomy there. Of course the only solutions are more taxes on the rich or poor. Nevermind the "don't spend other peoples money on bullshit" theory.

  • T||

    When the 'rich' got tax breaks under Bush II, did taxes on everybody else go up or down?

  • East Germany||

    Where were you when we needed you?

  • wareagle||

    marcel,
    EVERYONE got tax breaks with the Bush tax cuts, not just the wealthy. EACH bracket saw its rate reduced; in fact, the net effect was to shift more of the burden toward higher income folks. It's why you have the 53% pointing this out. I realize facts are not welcome on the left, especially not when talking points are so much more fun. Again, liberalism relies on an uninformed and/or apathetic populace.

  • ||

    Um I don't know about the rest of you 99% people, but I know for a fact that my taxes got lowered by the Bush Obama tax cuts. But you know, facts are obviously not important to you.

    Oh, and my wife and I only make 50k a year.

  • KPres||

    "AND we the other 99% get to have HIGHER taxes"

    No you don't.

  • anon||

    Wow. Just yesterday I asked for an article asking this very question! I guess they do read the comments.

  • ||

    For some of us the issue is not inequality per se'. Where questions arise is why there was a sudden shift of vast wealth toward the already wealthy over the past couple of decades. Is it because they suddenly became much more productive and brilliant or is something else at play here? The question is, what role has the government played - corporatism/crony capitalism - with respect to the movement of wealth toward the top and would that movement have occurred, apparently, from the middle and working class to the over class in an actual free market. There has been a migration wealth toward the already wealthy and away from all the rest of us in recent years beyond what might be considered natural. There are a lot of complicated reasons for that I suspect, but I have to suspect that many of them have nothing to do with free market economics.

  • Federal Reserve||

    Shouldn't you be watching TV? There's football, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, etc. Stop asking such bothersome questions.

  • ||

    To be sure, crony capitalism/corruption have played a part in at least some of the rich getting richer. But you're a damn fool if you think every single rich person got that way by sucking Uncle Sam's cock.

  • ||

    reply to DesigNate|11.2.11 @ 1:37PM|#
    To be sure, crony capitalism/corruption have played a part in at least some of the rich getting richer. But you're a damn fool if you think every single rich person got that way by sucking Uncle Sam's cock
    Reply - some of the rich worked hard for their wealth and deserve to spend their wealth as they please, just as the poor spend their wealth as they please.
    The point seems to be that many rich bureaucrats, and their special interests - complain that the "rich" are not paying their fair share, when the bureaucrats and their special interests are some of the richest in America.
    None of this makes a bit of difference as far as job availability goes - it's class warfare and/or people trying to protect their freedom of choice.

  • ||

    No but a few licked H R C's slit.

  • ||

    That would be a valid question if only the rich became richer except thats not the entire story. During the Bush years the number of millionairs increased so some of those poor middle class folks had to move up.

  • Capitalism/Communism both...||

    ...are religio-economic dogmas.

    And neither work all that well, as is being demonstrated.

    Both accomplish what city-Statism has done for thousands of years: concentrate wealth and power to a few hierarchical elite.

    The best that capitalism can do is compare itself to communism, as communism concentrates wealth and power into fewer hands faster, and collapses faster.

    Do you want to have a fast cancer or a slow cancer? YAY! for slow cancer! But....

    ...it's still cancer. And collapse inevitably follows.

  • anon||

    shut up white idiot.

  • ||

    Hey white head, let us guess you got a GREAT IDEA right?

  • Another Phil||

    There has been a migration wealth toward the already wealthy and away from all the rest of us in recent years beyond what might be considered natural.

    Dear concern troll,
    "Beyond what is considered natural" by whom?

  • Humans evolved egalitarian||

    By evolutionary patterns programmed into your genetics, Phil.

  • ||

    Care to provide any supporting evidence for that extraordinary claim?

  • Cronyism = Capitalism||

    Want scholarly data?

    Do a find for "egalitarian" in this article, with a sample following (there are way more references I'll not copypasta):

    Rohrlich-Leavitt (1976) noted, "The data show that gatherer-hunters are generally nonterritorial and bilocal; reject group aggression and competition; share their resources freely; value egalitarianism and personal autonomy in the context of group cooperation; and are indulgent and loving with children." Dozens of studies stress communal sharing and egalitarianism as perhaps the defining traits of such groups (e.g. Marshall 1961 and 1976, Sahlins 1968, Pilbeam 1972, Damas 1972, Diamond 1974, Lafitau 1974, Tanaka 1976 and 1980, Wiessner 1977, Morris 1982, Riches 1982, Smith 1988, Mithen 1990). Lee (1982) referred to the "universality among foragers" of sharing, while Marshall's classic 1961 work spoke of the "ethic of generosity and humility" informing a "strongly egalitarian" gatherer-hunter orientation.

    Future Primitive
    John Zerzan
    http://www.primitivism.com/future-primitive.htm

    Or pick up an evolutionary biology book, such as:

    Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior
    by Christopher Boehm
    Harvard University Press
    http://www.amazon.com/Hierarch.....0674390318

    Or just do a big creationist-style anti-intellectual 10 minute hate on those damn leftist smartypants.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Got shackbrah?

  • The Heresiarch||

    In order to evaluate the data I would have to review the underlying studies. Citing a series of flawed studies would not constitute evidence. But I note that the linked Zerzan article does not provide a list of works cited, merely names and dates. Source material would be useful in evaluating your claims.

  • KPres||

    Yeah, I love his quotes from "Somebody nobody's ever heard of."

    If you're going to make an appeal to authority, shouldn't the person be a real authority?

  • Just because you haven't heard||

    ...of a scholar who has done research in the field, doesn't mean he's stupid.

    Why is it that Libertarianism devolves into the same, stupid anti-intellectualism of the young earth creationists?

    Jeeeeshhh.

  • KPres||

    "...of a scholar who has done research in the field, doesn't mean he's stupid."

    No, they're stupid because they're driven by ideology to use their influence to reinforce the Marxist narrative, and as such they reject the objective pursuit of truth when it conflicts with their revolutionary goals.

    As opposed to REAL scientists and anthropologists, who reject your POV because the evidence demands that they do so.

  • Heresiarch = Creationista||

    The references are right there. It's very easy to figure out which study or text he's referring to.

    Did you EVER write a college paper? That's the way Zerzan writes. And still you scoff, like a damn creationista.

    Go ahead, avoid reality.

  • White Injun Smokem Pipe||

    Go ahead, avoid reality.

    Ignore the fact that I avoid reality by refusing to live the shackbrah lifestyle I relentlessly promote.

  • I wrote a college paper...||

    ...and that makes me special.

  • ||

    In short, no there's no actual evidence of any genetic bias toward egalitarianism, just a few anthropoligical claims.

  • Humans evolved egalitarian||

    Sexual dimorphism, lack of sexual dichromaticism, and brain size all are evidence of egalitarianism.

    It's as hard to spell out facts to libertarians as it is to young earth creationists - for the same reason.

    Both think history started at civilization when God said Man was somehow in charge of the earth, and could fuck it all up until Jesus, or the Singularity, comes to save us all from the stupidity of destroying nature.

  • ||

    Actually, sexual dimorphism and sexual dichromaticism are essentially the same thing. To say the existence of one and the absence of the other are evidence of anything is on its face absurd as you're contradicting yourself in your premise. And a claim that either, or brain size, are evidence of egalitarianism is something I wouldn't ascribe to third rate anthropology. More like fifth rate.

  • ||

    The answer to 'what would the present world be like without a stimulus' is the same answer to 'what would happen if we had unicorns'. No answer is right - it's not even wrong. The present is the present because we share an immutable past.

  • T||

    I can guarantee the overall federal debt would be less if we didn't have the stimulus.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    They would probably found a way to spend it, anyway.

  • Tman||

    What drives me farking crazy when I get in to the income inequality discussion with others is the lack of understanding of what capitalism means period.

    The number of people out there who think that capitalism is "like, evil man" and refuse to understand what it actually means is staggering.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Tell me about it. I have a nephew in the People's Republic of Athens, Ohio, is a bearded, 12 months a year sandal wearing leftist.

  • Apatheist||

    What the hell is wrong with beards?

  • CalvinistPuritanicalCapitalism||

    is a funny thing.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Nothing wrong with beards, I have one myself. It just adds to his hippy leftist look.

  • sarcasmic||

    /sarc off

    I just had a thought that may help explain why socialists view the economy as a zero-sum game.

    For government it really is a zero sum game. Government cannot increase "revenues" except at the expense of someone else. Everything government has is taken under threat of force.

    Socialists do not see a distinction between society and government. They often say "We are government" which is absolutely false. We are society. Government is the organization within society with the monopoly on violence.

    Since they see no distinction between society and government, they do not see how the pie can grow.
    How can a corporation make profits except by screwing people over? That's what government does. Government is society and society is government. Therefore corporate profits must come at the expense of someone else.
    Every rich person represents a bunch of poor people who were robbed.

    Once one sees the distinction between society and government, and understands that rich people and corporations grow the pie instead of take from it, then one actually sees rich people and rich corporations as a good thing.

    Accumulations of wealth through trade represent equivalent wealth dispersed through society, not the other way around.

  • anon||

    Thanks for pointing out what I was too lazy to do earlier. Every single individual in a society represents potential capital growth of that society; there's no "someone's taking my job!!!111one."

  • teh real o2||

    socialists do not see a distinction between society and government. They often say "We are government" which is absolutely false. We are society. Government is the organization within society with the monopoly on violence.
    _
    so lincoln was a socialist then...govt by the people, for the people, shall not perish...

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know if he was a socialist, but he certainly was a tyrant.

  • Drafted Union Soldier||

    Yes, Lincoln was a statist.

  • Capitalism = city-STATISM||

    Please make a note of it.

    Statism is like a boomerang. You just got whacked. LOL

  • Confederate States||

    Tenth amendment? What's that?

  • A. Lincoln||

    Sorry, I was out of toilet paper.

  • Slaves||

    We're entitled to life, liberty, and what...?

    When the hell did this happen?

  • sarcasmic||

    It's a common misconception that the war was over slavery.
    It was not.
    Secession was over slavery.
    The war was to "preserve the union", or more accurately to destroy any notion of state sovereignty.

  • Other Slaves||

    What the union fought for is irrelevant. A right to keep an entire race of people enslaved does not follow from any right to secede.

  • sarcasmic||

    What the union fought for is irrelevant.

    Uh, no?

    A right to keep an entire race of people enslaved does not follow from any right to secede.

    Slavery is wrong. But the war was not fought to end slavery. In fact Lincoln himself said if he could preserve the union and allow slavery to continue, that he would.
    He is no hero.

  • The Rest of the Slaves||

    Uh, yes, it's irrelevant because even if the North fought to rape all them southern bitches, it couldn't justify the continued existance of slavery.

    Nobody is getting teary-eyed over the fact that people who wanted to enslave an entire race had their state sovereignty violated.

  • Lew Rockwell still cries||

  • Tony||

    The only one positing a zero-sum situation is you. It's either government or the market. They can't work together; the former only steals from the latter.

    Never mind infrastructure, social stability, public works, education--those things don't contribute to a prosperous market, they just steal away from people who'd know better how to invest capital.

    Except private interests have no incentive to invest in education or infrastructure or things like that, because they are (rightly) not concerned with the macro picture. That's what government is for, to make the big investments. That could be as brute a thing as fighting off foreign invaders or as intricate as funding scientific research or the construction of dams.

    Capitalism is a tool to efficiently allocate resources. You want to claim that however capitalism allocates resources is by definition the most efficient way, but that's clearly not always so. Capitalism by itself does not create the environment in which capitalism pays off the most for people. You need do do some things in common, and you cannot point to any example of a society that does it another way.

  • Strawman||

    Never mind infrastructure, social stability, public works, education--those things don't contribute to a prosperous market, they just steal away from people who'd know better how to invest capital.

    Please stop--you're beating me worse than a Texas judge.

  • KPres||

    "Never mind infrastructure, social stability, public works, education--those things don't contribute to a prosperous market, they just steal away from people who'd know better how to invest capital."

    Education is not a public good. And "social stability" is undefined gobbledegook. The rest could be achieved with a tenth of the state we have now.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Except private interests have no incentive to invest in education or infrastructure or things like that, because they are (rightly) not concerned with the macro picture.

    I'm a private interest and I'm concerned with those things. Why shouldn't I be? It sounds pretty much like you're concerned as well.

  • If Life and Liberty are rights||

    ...and if "The free market means that those without money to buy what they need do not have the right to live." (John McMurtry)

    Then why isn't a job a right too?

  • anon||

    Nobody's stopping you from creating your own job with your own life and liberty.

  • Officer, am I free to gambol?||

    Actually, your agricultural city-STATISM (civilizationism) is indeed stopping people via threat of violence from living a Non-State society lifeway.

  • Strawman||

    Got shackbrah?

  • KPres||

    No, it's the conflict with the desires of OTHER PEOPLE that is preventing (a few) people from pursuing your little uber-reactionary, ultra-conservative, mega-backward looking dystopia.

    But of course, back then, when you went gamboling onto the land that another primitive tribe had homesteaded, it wasn't a police officer who stopped you, it was an arrow in the back.

  • teh real o2||

    do u mean a right? or an entitlement?

  • LAND enTITLEment = big govt...||

    ...REGULATION of the land, with artificial borders that restrict the free movement of people.

    I can't tell the difference between Marx and Mises; both were an axis of aggressive enforcement of agricultural city-STATISM.

    Am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

    MARX: NO!
    MISES: NO!

    Same shit, different shitbird.

  • George Jackson Brigade||

    Dude,

    Why are you dragging Marx into this? We've been partners in the war against the bourgeois state since the '70s. Or maybe you're too young to remember...

    Get educated on the eight points of unity. Reject criticism of Break the Chains. Remember exactly who is doing long prison terms for their actions against imperialism. Remember our work together on movements like the Mark Cook Freedom Committee and the Seattle Mumia Defense Committee.

    We agree that revolution is the act by which one class forcibly overthrows another. Why can you not also agree that revolution is by its very nature an authoritarian act?

    Why attack our progressive efforts for your narrow sectarian reasons?

  • Progress is a myth||

  • KPres||

    "Am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

    MARX: NO!
    MISES: NO!
    THE NEIGHBORING PRIMITIVIST TRIBE: NO!"

    FIFY.

    Looks like the defense of property is universally human.

  • Keep parroting cityState lies||

    As for one of the basic underpinnings of violence in more complex societies, Barnes (1970) found that "reports in the ethnographic literature of territorial struggles" between gatherer-hunters are "extremely rare." !Kung boundaries are vague and undefended (Lee 1979); Pandaram territories overlap, and individuals go where they please (Morris 1982); Hazda move freely from region to region (Woodburn 1968); boundaries and trespass have little or no meaning to the Mbuti (Turnbull 1966); and Australian Aborigines reject territorial or social demarcations (Gumpert 1981, Hamilton 1982). An ethic of generosity and hospitality takes the place of exclusivity (Steward 1968, Hiatt 1968).

  • KPres||

    Right. Because land and resources aren't scarce enough for them for conflicts to arise because their tribes happen to be in places nobody else wants/wanted to live. That's the only reason they still exist as primitives. Now what about all those other tribes? Oh, yeah, they fought until one was wiped out or they compromised and formed "agricultural city-states."

  • Ray Pew||

    Or the history of any violence is hard to uncover seeing as such primitive cultures have no written language.

  • Ray Pew||

    Or the history of any violence is hard to uncover seeing as such primitive cultures have no written language.

  • KPres||

    The right to life means that nobody can take your life. It's an extension of the right to your own body, which nobody else can own. It doesn't mean "the right to be alive." You may have noticed that everybody dies.

  • wareagle||

    income inequality and infrastructure are the new lefty talking points, and they'll keep beating those drums. They did it with health care, starting back in the late 80s and kept on going until Obamacare was shoved through.

    The right has two questions with which to respond, though it refuses to:
    --re: income inequality, how does reducing someone else's income raise yours?
    --re: infrastructure, what money will be used to pay for these govt-funded jobs and what will the folks doing them do when the work is over?

  • PantsFan||

    what will the folks doing them do when the work is over?

    'Round here, the people who fix the curbs in the summer are the same people who wreck them in winter with the snow plows.

  • wareagle||

    so, they generate their own demand. At our expense.

  • Krugnuts||

    See, broken curbs (windows) help the economy!

  • ||

    Excelent but it is not seen....

  • sarcasmic||

    income inequality

    If it is a fixed pie (which it is not) then reducing someone's income means more for everyone else.

    And if it not a fixed pie, there is still the schadenfreude factor of seeing someone you hate and envy having something taken away from them.

    infrastructure

    You're thinking too far ahead. Focus on the now.

  • ||

    If it is a fixed pie (which it is not) then reducing someone's income means more for everyone else.

    Even if they really believe such nonsense, you'd think they'd notice that what really happens is that it means more for somebody else. That somebody else, whoever it is, is NEVER the poor or the working class.

    So why do they think the poor will benefit from higher taxes on the rich?

  • sarcasmic||

    My father is a devout socialist.
    He feels that there should be a 100% tax on all income over a million dollars, and the proceeds should be used to guarantee everyone a basic standard of living.
    I ask where the incentive to create wealth is if there is a maximum income, and he doesn't care.
    The point is not to grow the pie or create wealth.
    The point is to eliminate envy giving poor people free shit at the expense of the rich.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I need your father's address. If he has more than me, he'll have no problem with my version of social justice.

  • sarcasmic||

    A liberal is someone who will share anything that does not belong to him.
    My father is no exception.

  • ||

    The point is to eliminate envy giving poor people free shit at the expense of the rich.

    Yeah, I know. But the poor people never get that free shit. Liberals pride themselves on being smarter than everyone else; so how could they not notice this?

  • sarcasmic||

    The intent is to give free shit to the poor. That's all that matters.
    All criticism of results will be responded to with accusations of opposing the intent.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Well, I *do* oppose giving free stuff to the poor.

    I'd be delighted to see them not poor anymore, on the other hand.

  • Tony||

    The problem is the methods of "growing the pie" offered have been failures. The justification for the tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush eras was that they'd trickle down. Nobody takes that seriously anymore. Growth happens when more people are able to spend money. The problem is that your prescriptions are all wrong.

  • TRICK-LE UP IS DA TRICK!||

  • North Korean||

    We'd love to fail as badly as South Korea has failed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Growth happens when more people are able to spend money.

    Spend money on what?
    Goods have to be produced before they can be consumed.
    Production must precede consumption.
    Unless you believe in magic.

    Something has to be supplied before it can be sold.

    Supply requires production (jobs) and investment.
    Investment requires allowing people to keep their own money.

    Taking money away from those who would invest it and giving it to people so they can spend it will not result in jobs.
    It will result in the destruction of wealth as what was already produced is consumed, while nothing else is produced.

    You get stagnation like what we've seen for the last four years.

    And it will continue until this Keynesian madness stops.

  • Tony||

    Supply precedes demand? What if people don't have enough money to spend, even though they need or want things?

    And why should I buy this constant assumption that any extra money the wealthy have they intend to invest and hire people? Where is the evidence for that? We still have the Bush tax rates. Where are the jobs and prosperity?

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes. Supply precedes demand.

    Before you can buy something, someone has to make it.

    Unless you believe you can wave your magic dollars and cause goods to magically appear.

    That is what stimulus spending is. Handing out magic dollars for people to wave around and cause goods to magically appear.

    Sorry, but I don't believe in magic.

  • Ray Pew||

    Yes. Supply precedes demand.

    Before you can buy something, someone has to make it.

    Dude...don't you understand that Keynes disproved Say's Law? We can spend our way to prosperity, bra!

  • Ray Pew||

    And why should I buy this constant assumption that any extra money the wealthy have they intend to invest and hire people? Where is the evidence for that? We still have the Bush tax rates. Where are the jobs and prosperity?

    The "tax cuts create jobs" mantra needs to die. The reality is that in markets where regime uncertainty is high, greater income/profits does not equal more jobs. Investors want greater security that their money will provide them returns and during times like the Great Depression and today, the constant interventionist policies only fuels their skepticism.

  • KPres||

    "We still have the Bush tax rates. Where are the jobs and prosperity?"

    Bush lowered taxes and created 9 million jobs, pulling us out of the dot-com bust.

  • bey||

    If enough people don't have "enough money to spend" then prices will come down. Like the housing market. It's not that people don't WANT the $500,000 house, it's that they can't AFFORD the $500,000 house. But at $200,000 they CAN.

    Who loses out? Sellers who just assumed their house would sell for way more than they bought it for and banks who overvalued them. Sellers and banks both mistaken.

  • ||

    We still have the Bush tax rates. Where are the jobs and prosperity?

    They wnet into the stimulis and the bail outs. The people and companies who do have money are sitting on it because they dont know if their money is safe any other place.

    Those feelings are just and created by your Hero in the white house. Along with GWB.

  • Stagnation is others' fault||

    LOL

    What every happened to that good ol' hometown value of personal responsibility?

  • KPres||

    "The justification for the tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush eras was that they'd trickle down."

    Sure they did. They trickled down to the Chinese and Indians. I guess they don't count, though, do they?

  • Marcel||

    If someone has $30 million, and I take $2 million, I can give it to many people.
    If I take $4 million, I can give it to more. And the person with $30 million will have $26 million instead of $28 million. THE HORROR!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Take being the operative word. Fuck off.

  • Trail of Tears||

    Take being the operative word.

    Ever hear of the Trail of Tears?

  • wareagle||

    the Indians lost; deal with it. They were not the first people to lose wars. Ever heard of the Germans? Japanese?

  • Rapist lose too. Deal with it||

    ...is the libertarian "answer?"

    LOLOL

    You're an aggressive capitalist tyrant, wareagle, to not address aggression honestly and call it what it is.

  • cw||

    Hmm, the Apaches warred with other tribes over land. They killed those who wandered into their territory without their permission.

    Most North American tribes developed a primitive form of hierarchy, with chiefs and warriors being of higher rank.

    And these weren't agricultural societies, so that casts doubt into the veracity of your overall thesis.

  • Make believe = libertarian||

    Your intellect is on the level of creationists. But I'll counter it anyway, with some real scholarship, as follows:

    They see the dichotomy between “ritual battle” and “real war” to be false, summarizing that “archaeologists can expect destructive warfare and ritual to go hand in hand.” [18]

    It is not only among Apache groups, for example, that the most ritualized were the most agricultural, [19] but that so often ritual has mainly to do with agriculture and warfare, which are often very closely linked. [20] It is not uncommon to find warfare itself seen as a means of enhancing the fertility of cultivated ground. Ritual regulation of production and belligerence means that domestication has become the decisive factor. “The emergence of systematic warfare, fortifications, and weapons of destruction,” says Hassan, “follows the path of agriculture.” [21]

    [18] Elizabeth Arkush and Charles Stanish, “Interpreting Conflict in the Ancient Andes: Implications for the Archaeology of Warfare,” Current Anthropology 46:1 (February 2005), p. 14.

    [19] James L. Haley, Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981), pp. 95-96.

    [20] Roy A. Rappaport, Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967), p. 234, for example.

    [21] Quoted by Robert Kuhlken, “Warfare and Intensive Agriculture in Fiji,” in Chris Gosden and Jon Hather, eds., The Prehistory of Food: Appetites for Change (New York: Routledge, 1999), p. 271. Works such as Lawrence H. Keeley, War Before Civilization (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) and Pierre Clastres, Archaeology of Violence (New York: Semiotext(e), 1994) somehow manage to overlook this point.

    Excerpt and references from:

    On the Origins of War
    by John Zerzan

  • KPres||

    "“The emergence of systematic warfare, fortifications, and weapons of destruction,” says Hassan, “follows the path of agriculture.” [21]"

    Well, duh. Before that you had unsystematic, primitive warfare, fortifications, and weapons of destruction.

  • cw||

    Even if I were to accept every claim from every author you've posted, which would amalgamate to "pre-civilization is superior to civilization," I'd still ask what you propose people should do. With seven billion human inhabitants across the globe, do you really think foregoing technology and law will somehow sustain all that human life?

  • HEAP BIG PARTY (This is fun!)||

    I don't want to work.

    I just want to bang on the drums all day.

  • KPres||

    You won't get an answer. Technology is unstoppable.

  • ||

    Technology is unstoppable.

    Wish we could use technology to stop W.I. though

  • Cracker Injun||

    Hey how are ya hey how are ya hey how are ya

  • wareagle||

    You're an aggressive capitalist tyrant, wareagle, to not address aggression honestly and call it what it is.
    -------------------------
    nice try at diversion. The Indian wars were long ago; the tribes lost and we have spent billions in aid that has done nothing but what govt aid usually does. You want to succeed? Put down the bottle, stop bitching, get away from people who do, and take advantage of the handouts the rest of us pay for.

  • Treaties are handouts?||

    Wow, wart eagle, don't you believe in keeping treaties with people you beat in battle?

    How are treaty rights a "handout?"

    You speak with a forked tongue, just like any Leninist city-Statist would.

  • cw||

    And the Trail of Tears was libertarian, how?

  • Trail of Tears = Capitalist MO||

    Actually, not just capitalism, communism did the same thing to reindeer herders, etal.

    Agricultural city-State (civilization) is externally invasive and internally repressive.

    Can't weasel out of that.

  • KPres||

    In other words it wasn't.

  • If libertarians can call...||

    Locke and the founding fathers of the US "libertarian," then the Trail of Tears was indeed libertarian - and Ayn "Pol Pot" Rand explicitly supported the genocide.

    At any rate, the genocide was capitalist, just like the communists did in Siberia.

  • KPres||

    No it wasn't. Under capitalism, that land belonged to the Indians, and they had property rights to it. Ergo, killing them was something, but it wasn't capitalism.

  • bey||

    Oh for the love of God, does EVERYTHING have to come down to the Trail of Tears? I gained 15 pounds, my boss is a dick and tomatoes are up to $1.99 a pound..Trail of Tears!

  • Keep denying the aggression||

    I keep bringing up the Trail of Tears.

    See how that works?

    The amount of times I mention Trail of Tears is a measure of Libertarian Evasion of the Obvious.

  • KPres||

    The trail of tears was caused by Democracy.

  • White Injun Smokem Pipe||

    I keep bringing up the Trail of Tears.

    See how that works?

    You keep ignoring inter-tribal conflicts over territory and hunting ground.

    See how that works?

  • anon||

    Because theft is the way to a prosperous society! Just ask Somolia.

  • Trail of Tears||

    Because theft is the way to a prosperous Capitalist society! Just ask the Cherokee.

  • anon||

    I'd suggest actually reading history before posting ignorant claims. We bought most of the land.

  • 90 Million Indians = Genocide||

    I'd suggest actually reading history before posting ignorant claims. Civilization is invasive and aggressive. Hint: Indian Wars.

    Indian Wars Time Table
    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1008.html

  • anon||

    I said most, not all.

    These few conflicts represent a miniscule fraction of the total land of the United States, and half were caused by Indian aggression.

  • Libertarian Liar gonna lie.||

  • Anarcho-primitivist always lie||

    and offer nothing of substance.

  • history books don't lie||

    and were not written by anarcho primitivist, dipwad

  • wareagle||

    the Indians lost, simple as that. So did the Germans and Japanese. Amazing how the former took the aid that came with their defeat and built prosperous societies, while the former largely became wards of the state.

  • Rapist lose too Simple as that||

    ...is the libertarian "answer?"
    Still doesn't make rape morally right, now does it, STATIST WAR eagle.

    You're an aggressive capitalist tyrant, wareagle, to not address aggression honestly and call it what it is.

  • wareagle||

    WI,
    good example, perfect even, of why presentist thinking does not work. The Wild West was a long time ago, just like slavery, just like no voting rights for women, just like a lot of things that used to be but no longer are. Interesting that you excuse Indian aggression, against other tribes and against Europeans.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Don't forget, folks... American Indians ALSO owned black slaves.

    How conveniently that gets forgotten.

  • CityStatism brought the blacks||

    ...to America.

    How conveniently that gets forgotten.

    FIFY city-Statist is as honest as any Leninist city-Statist.

  • KPres||

    ...And the capitalist North freed the slaves.

  • ||

    most of what we think about the "wild west" was media created myth.

    and i am not just talking will smith movies.

  • White Injun||

    The Children of Gaia never fought over territory or hunting ground, super-derp!

  • KPres||

    OK white dumbass....

    Let me explain this to you:

    Anarcho-capitalists don't accept the state even for defense of property rights. So if you're calling THEM statist you're wrong.

    Minarchists do support the state as protector of property. Calling them statist is trivial, as every one of them ADMITS to being a statist in at least that area.

    Comparing either group to totalitarian communism is god-awful stupidity, typical of white indians.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's trying to justify American Indian ownership of black slaves! How cute!

  • KPres||

    Furthermore, primitives were no different than modern man. The only difference was that differt resources were scarce. They didn't own land because land was not scarce...until it was. When the tribe next door came "gamboling" onto your land and killing all your game, they put on the war paint and went to town, just like we do where property isn't well-defined.

  • resources were NOT scarce||

    Capitalism deliberately creates artificial scarcity.

    Before the agricultural city-State, resources were relatively abundant.

    You're just parroting more bullshit Hobbesian mythology.

    Try some empirical data, if it doesn't go down to harshly for you fantasies.

  • KPres||

    "Before the agricultural city-State, resources were relatively abundant."

    I didn't say it was or wasn't, but that if it was, it was a function of the population size. When the population grew in local regions, all of the sudden scarcity arose. Then the question becomes, how do you deal with scarcity?

    Property!

  • KPres||

    "Capitalism deliberately creates artificial scarcity."

    No it doesn't dingleberry.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Oh, well, since you white men brought those brown people here... we'll buy some."

    White Idiot's forgetting that part; instead, it blames long-dead white men for buying brown people from other brown people.

    Guess it's okay with its own slave-owning past, what what?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'd suggest actually reading history before posting ignorant claims. Civilization is invasive and aggressive. Hint: Indian Wars.

    Maybe if the Indians weren't a bunch of root-grubbing primitives, they might have been able to hold on to a semblance of their shackbrah lifestyle when whitey invaded.

  • ||

    And if the Crips or the Bloods decide to cut off one of your fingers, goshdarnit, you still have nine left.

  • wareagle||

    If someone has $30 million, and I take $2 million, I can give it to many people.
    ---------------------------------
    that is known as theft. You realize that it is illegal, don't you? Or do you just not give a shit. By the way, if you give the 2 or 4 million to whomever, what incentive do those folks ever have to make do for themselves?

  • Matrix||

    What gives those people you give it to a right to that money? What gives you the right to take it from the man with $30 million? What gives the recipients of the money you stole from him an incentive to go out and create their own wealth, as well as being productive, if someone is willing to just give them money for nothing?

  • ||

    I know a person who has over a $100 miilion. Guess what it's not in cash it's all in property and equipment. If you tax him more he will have to sell some of his equipment to pay that tax. Without that equipment he will have to fire the equipment operator who has now lost his job and has to sell his house and so on ans so on. BTW this is an actual case of someone I know, and even with his millions he works from 4am to 8 pm everyday.

  • Matrix||

    but... but... that guy who lost his job has a RIGHT to a job.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    On has a right to employ, and a right to accept employment. One does not have a right to be employed.

  • ^Doktor Parrotism^ vs reality||

    Our system of private property in land FORCES landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not. wherever access to land is free, men work only to provide what they actually need or desire. Wherever the white man has come in contact with savage cultures this fact becomes apparent. There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between "work" and "not working" as clocks and factory whistles have accustomed the white man to accept. They cannot be made to work regularly at repetitive tasks in which they have no direct interest except by some sort of duress. Disestablishment from land, like slavery, is a form of DURESS. The white man, where slavery cannot be practiced, has found that he must first disestablish the savages from their land before he can FORCE them to work steadily for him. Once they are disestablished, they are in effect STARVED into working for him and into working as he directs.

    ~Dr. Ralph Borsodi
    This Ugly Civilization
    Simon and Schuster | New York
    1 9 2 9

  • ||

    Like it or not the rule of life is simple If you dont have "shit"
    you get to work for it, cause the other guy that has "some shit" aint going to give it for "free".

    You can say all you want about free for all society ....but many many more people would die on day one than you could ever think of.

    We are all in it together so all we can do is work under the best system for all.....It's called freedom. But Freedom comes with responsiblities and costs. Those are the two things you can never fathom W.I.

  • Carl||

    And that person will hire fewer people which means fewer employed taxpayers. Which means more people need your hand outs.

  • ||

    Income inequality is a problem if it is exacerbated by crappy government policies and moral hazards. We have a regulatory environment where the only business that can compete in many industries are the biggest megacorporations, where corporate risk is socialized, where government-caused inflation is destroying the purchasing power of the poor disproportionately, where poor peoples' property is "blighted" and handed over to the politically connected wealthy, where middle class involuntary tax dollars are routed to politically favored businesses, etc. The system is so damn convaluded and arbitrary is should be no surprise that the wealthy alone know how to game and beat the system and can afford the best lawyers and accountants to do so. The wealthy are educated enough to beat price inflation/monetary devaluation, and can afford financial advisors who guarantee this.

    Thus the inequality is largely perpetuated by Leftist policies, which is either a bug or a feature for them. You'd think that politicians should know better, thus it makes it seem as though they willfully seek a large, politically manipulable, dependent underclass to coddle with which to grow state power and wage rhetorical class warfare on the rich. Meanwhile these same politicians are profiting from these same rich people and corporations who are quietly in on the game as well.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Excellent post. This explains why the Democrats are known as the party of attorneys.

  • ||

    The Republicans are just as corporatist, but they don't hide behind a fake cloak of benevolence. In fact, they know the system is corrupt yet they act like criticizing Team Red-favored corporations and the wealthy is just anti-market class warfare.

    Look at the reactions to the BP spill, for example - they acted like making BP pay the full cost for the cleanup was just pure hatred of capitalism and proof of excessive environmentalism. Maybe the victims whose property was destroyed should have paid?

    In general, Democrat policies support more socialization of profits and less socialization of risk. Republican policies support more socialization of risk and less socialization of profits. To me, they're both perverse "socialists".

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Totally agree. I read somewhere that the Democrat politicians are something like 90+% attorneys, the Republicans less than 50%.

  • ||

    To clarify, the answer is not as simple as "removing regulations". Most of the corporate regulations Team Blue supports would be unnecessary if business owners were fully exposed to and responsible for liability risk. They're attempting to stop fraud, pollution, medical risk, etc. before it happens by banning or overregulating activities, and threatening state crackdowns for violations of these arbitrary laws, largely written by the industries they govern.

    Team Red wants to remove these regulations while keeping the worst market distortions of state-provided limited liability and bankruptcy that shield individual actors and owners from responsibility for (and thus encourage) fraud, pollution, medical risk, etc.

  • ||

    Exactly and every leftist progressive fool needs to be shown this post!

  • Marx-Mises axis of Coercion||

    Both capitalism and communism, as slightly different flavors of agricultural city-STATISM, rely heavily on naked aggression to invade, occupy, and enforce its way on the Land and people.

    Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest living in a Non-State* society?

    MARX: NO!
    MISES: NO!

    There ya go. Marx + Mises = city-STATIST buddies.

    NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper.....ieties.pdf

  • ||

    I've asked you this like ten times and each time you ignore it: why not support a land value tax as the replacement for all other taxes, and then you'd be free to gambol on the unused/fallow land nobody wants to pay taxes on? Unproductive land speculation seems the problem, not agriculture - which is amongst the most productive uses of land.

  • White Indian||

    You must have missed my post where I had 'em in an uproar here talking about William F. Buckley being a supporter of Geoism.

    William F. Buckley the Georgist
    We bid farewell to a thinker little known for his best thinking
    http://freeliberal.com/archives/003247.php

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Got shackbrah?

  • ||

    Love the Free Liberal.

    Ok, so what's your point that you continually make so idiotically? Many libertarians support geoism - if you're trying to convince more to do so, you're doing it backasswards and end up as just another troll.

    If you're advocating anarchoprimitivism, you'll find many anarchists here who will say you can gambol wherever you want, but if you come on their own property they'll shoot you. You don't necessarily need a state to enforce property rights, but the state is there to defend the property rights of the weak from mob rule (yes, yes, the irony).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    White Indian demands the right to gambol into your homes and shit on your living room floor.

  • WHITE INDIAN EMBRACES PROPERTY||

    FIFY has to lie like a lying Leninist.

    White Indian embraces property, legitimate property, as humans have for hundreds of thousands of years.

    White Indian embraces the capitalist and libertarian justification of property; i.e., the things and resources that are necessary to human survival. Nobody disputes it.

    White Indian rejects the bait-and-switch that capitalists do:

    BAIT: I need to own some things on earth as property that I need to survive.

    SWITCH: I need to own some more things on earth as property than I could ever possibly need to survive.

    But how does 1% of people need 40% of the property to survive?

    And how does 10% of people need 85% of the property to survive?

    Are they that needy?

    Riddle me that.

  • ||

    The libertarian definition of property is not limited to things necessary for survival.

    Your computer is not necessary for your survival. Can I steal that and sell it for food to give to the starving poor? No, you worked for that computer and me being permitted to steal your property because you "don't need it to survive" essentially makes you a slave.

    There are a lot of reasons the wealthy control a good percentage of wealth, and most of them have to do with government: barriers to entry, licensing that blocks people out of industries, past discrimination and redistribution of land to favored groups and industries, limited liability and bankruptcy laws that socialize the burden of corporations, the arbitrary nature of the regulatory state, welfarism, eminent domain and inflation that disproportionately harms the poor, a failed public education system, etc. etc. etc. All or most of these things libertarians decry. So why troll on libertarians? We're supporting a fair and meritocratic system for everyone, including Native Americans. I think most of us would support complete autonomy for Indian reservations, or even national independence.

  • Survival is the BAIT...||

    ...the 1% accumulating 40% is the SWITCH.

    ...if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]... ~Murray Rothbard

    [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand

  • ||

    Way to not answer the questions.
    - Do I have the right to steal your computer unmolested, sell it and give the profits to the starving poor?

    - Why troll on libertarians for past and present abuses of STATE power we never supported? For corporatism we never supported? What exactly does libertarianism have to do with 18th and 19th century state oppression, slavery, etc.?

    I even support a corrective for past abuses in the form of a land value tax with a citizen's dividend, and total autonomy for Native American nations.

    Besides wanting us to give up our modern comforts and embrace primitivist Luddism, do you have a coherent political point you are trying to make?

  • Libertarians ARE statists||

    STATE power we never supported?

    You DO support the agricultural city STATE (civilization.) You just whitewash, deny, and obfuscate the aggression necessary to enforce city-STATISM.

    Your mistake is holding the following contradiction:

    • Agricultural City-State Civilization = good.
    Agricultural City-State Civilization = evil.

    "Their magic tool is the blank-out." ~John Galt

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's calling me a liar! How cute!

    It's been bitching about private-property ownership ever since it got here. Who's the liar now?

  • WI loves long-honored property||

    White Indian supports legitimate property, as human society has for hundreds of thousands of years.

    White Indian does not support illegitimate privation property. which has been an enTitlement program from agricultural City-STATISM.

    I again refer to attorney Jeff Vail, who well differentiates between long-honored legitimate property and the city-STATIST's privation property, as follows:

    When one steps back and examines the notion of "owning" something, the abstraction becomes readily apparent. Ownership represents nothing more than a power-relationship—the ability to control. The tribal institution of "Ownership by use" on the other hand, suggests simply that one can only "own" those things that they put to immediate, direct and personal use to meet basic needs—and not more. A society crosses the memetic Rubicon when it accepts the abstraction that ownership can extend beyond the exclusive needs of one individual for survival. Abstract ownership begins when society accepts a claim of symbolic control of something without the requirement of immediate, direct and personal use. [PRIVATION PROPERTY to WI] Hierarchy, at any level, requires this excess, abstract ownership—it represents the symbolic capital that forms the foundation of all stratification.

    ~Attorney Jeff Vail

    As quoted in:
    The Right to Property
    by Jason Godesky | 18 July 2005
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/2.....-property/

  • ||

    No, I'm a miniarchist that only supports the government protecting individual rights to life, liberty and non-violently/fraudulently acquired property from mob rule and more powerful individuals.

    I don't support incentivizing one form of agriculture over another. Libertarians in fact oppose all agriculture subsidies. You continue to ignore that we are not the cause of the problem, especially considering how infinitesimally small our political influence over government is and has been historically.

    In a libertarian society, hunting and gathering, subsistence agriculture, and mass-produced farming would all be completely acceptable forms of acquiring sustinence. But the latter would not be incentivized by government over anything else, and society will organize the food supply in response to market demand.

    Another question: do you really believe that native tribes would permit their enemy tribes to forage and hunt in their own territories? Again, you don't need government to defend property rights, but without it, who gets exclusive control of the "property" is a matter of who carries the bigger gun. The natives were just as guilty as Westerners.

  • White Indian||

    I don't support incentivizing one form of agriculture over another.

    Who cares? I wasn't talking about that.

    Do you even know what an anthropologist means when they say "agricultural city-state" or "agricultural civilization?"

    Study up, dude. Really.

    Agricultural civilization CANNOT ACCEPT hunting and gathering as an alternative lifestyle, because nobody would work for the capitalists in their brutal factories if people weren't forcefully starved into submission.

  • KPres||

    "Agricultural civilization CANNOT ACCEPT hunting and gathering as an alternative lifestyle."

    No it isn't. There are communes all over the place. Some of them seem OK. I just wish smelly hippies would take a shower from time to time. You can go live in one.

    Oh wait, the fact that they currently exist doesn't, for you, disprove your point that they can't exist. Because you're such an empiricist unlike us creationist libertarians.

  • ||

    Yes, a civilization that relies on farming in rural areas to support increasingly urban lifestyles, which people voluntarily chose because they realized the net utility living in community brings. It wasn't a centrally planned exercise, but I agree this does require more "state" that rural tribalism due to the higher likelihood of rights violation with larger quantities of people concentrated.

    "Agricultural civilization CANNOT ACCEPT hunting and gathering as an alternative lifestyle"

    Ah, that explains the disappearance of truffle pickers, big game hunters and fishermen. They are chained to their factory machines.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Do you even know what an anthropologist means when they say "agricultural city-state" or "agricultural civilization?"

    The only ones I've met say, "Here's your coffee, sir."

  • ||

    Agricultural civilization CANNOT ACCEPT hunting and gathering as an alternative lifestyle, because nobody would work for the capitalists in their brutal factories if people weren't forcefully starved into submission

    Really have you ever been in the back woods of the Southern States?

    There are alot of people who live off the land and off the "grid". Some by choice.....some because they have been tossed out of the"city state"

    What is your point? you want to live like that head to a resevation and blend right in, or just go were the "city-state"aint

    Simple really.....Like you

  • KPres||

    "Another question: do you really believe that native tribes would permit their enemy tribes to forage and hunt in their own territories?"

    Clearly, the magical unicorns inervened, creating more land out of thin air so everybody could go gamboling wherever they wanted whenever they wanted and there was no more conflict or scarcity or tragedy of commons and everybody lived happily ever after.

    Well, so his "scholarly" website tells him.

  • The Heresiarch||

    I don't think you addressed Proprietist's question.

  • The Heresiarch||

    WI, how would it be determined what someone "needs" as opposed to "wants"? Who would make that decision? And what would be done once it was determined that someone has more than he needs? How would that property system be enforced? I'm interested in hearing your own explanations; please try to answer without quoting other authors.

  • White Indian||

    Ask Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard, Heresiarch. They used the word SURVIVAL to justify property.

  • The Heresiarch||

    So does this mean you are not going to answer the question yourself?

  • KPres||

    "WI, how would it be determined what someone "needs" as opposed to "wants"?

    Obviously, conflicts in his world are resolved by consensus. So clearly, 7 billion people would all get together in a circle and sing kumbaya before coming to an agreement that they'd all be 100% happy with about the definition of the word "need" vs "want".

  • KPres||

    "...the 1% accumulating 40% is the SWITCH."

    And the 60% left over is 1000 times more than people had in your primitivist dystopia.

  • City-Statism is Salvationism||

    How is it that humanity evolved to live in a horribledystopia for 2,000,000 years before being gloriously saved by city-Statism?

    Do crows, dolphins, and squirrels also have hopes of being saved from their dystopias and being gloriously saved by city-Statism?

  • KPres||

    "Do crows, dolphins, and squirrels also have hopes of being saved from their dystopias and being gloriously saved by city-Statism?"

    Uh, you might have noticed that animals aren't smart enough to understand those complex ideas. However, my dog is pretty damn happy.

  • How did humans evolve so badly||

    KPres, how do you suppose humans evolved into your perceived "nasty, brutish, and short dystopia?"

    Evolution into dystopia is such an interesting evolutionary perspective.

  • ||

    Nobody said tribalism was dystopian. It was just far less than ideal, and wanting to go back to that lifestyle is amusingly retrograde, but fully your own choice. How you choose to live on your property, your friend's property (with permission) or unowned property is up to you.

    I guess what I'm trying to understand and the only reason I took you up on a debate is what exactly you want society, or government, or individuals as a whole, to do? You throw out a lot of anthropological shit yet you refuse to give a concrete policy you'd like to enact to return to your ideal society.

    Do you want the government to seize everything, redistribute it equitably and then say "there's no property beyond what you need to survive. Gambol in peace"? Or do you accept that different people like different lifestyles and all should be free to seek the lives they want? I believe the latter, and I see no inherent conflict between a primitivist lifestyle and an urbanist lifestyle in a truly libertarian society.

    Even in today's non-libertarian society, there's not much conflict. Hippies go live out in nature all the time. So do monks. Nothing is stopping you from gamboling and foraging on unowned land except the State.

  • Original Affluent Society||

    I guess it depends on your ideals.

    If you like working your ass off, getting more diseases, and having government, civilization is grand.

    Anthropologists refer to paleolithic life as Original Affluent Society.

    you refuse to give a concrete policy

    You refuse to accept reality, and keep parroting make-believe idealism you read out of a libertarian fantasy book.

    I see no inherent conflict

    That takes willful blindness with all the empirical data we have.

  • ||

    Can you answer my fucking question for once and quit trolling? I've been incredibly patient to give you the time of day.

    And how does reducing government conflict with your desire to lead the life you want? Libertarians support the freedom to run around in a loincloth with a bow and arrow or gun and forage or hunt for food on your own property or on public/unclaimed property. We have never advocated any of the policies you decry like the Trail of Tears, so I don't know what policy you want really want us to accept and support.

    I also don't get why you aren't trolling a site where people actually would advocate such a lifestyle should be banned? Or either of the major parties who actually control the Indian nation policies and have committed the atrocities you list?

    That takes willful blindness with all the empirical data we have.

    Where do we have a lot of empirical data from people living in long-term libertarian, free market societies? Such societies rarely if ever truly existed.

  • ||

    And not that it really matters remotely, but I am 1/16th Cherokee, so the Trail of Tears is partially in my blood too. I don't blame anyone for it but the State. I certainly wouldn't blame people who lived 180 years later and believe in the diametrically opposite philosophy.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    If you like working your ass off, getting more diseases, and having government, civilization is grand.

    And if you like not knowing if you'll have enough to eat on a day-to-day basis, dying at the age of 30, or getting crippled by a number of ailments that can't be cured with the witch-doctor's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices, the shackbrah lifestyle is grand.

  • bey||

    Wait, you forgot to mention the Trail of Tears!

  • Wait!...||

    ....you didn't parrot any city-Statist bullshit about the benevolence of how civilization was established in North America, or anywhere else for that matter.

  • KPres||

    "And how does 10% of people need 85% of the property to survive?"

    They don't. The vast majority of the wealth they own is capital goods. It's about controlling future production. Ideally, the ones who control the capital are the ones who were able to win out in the marketplace providing the best services at the lowest price, and the invisible hand will ensure that their self-interested actions work for the betterment of the aggregate. Unfortunately that doesn't happen when the state gets involved in social engineering.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, wow! NOW it's quoting the famous, household-named "Attorney Jeff Vail"!

    Why, EVERYONE knows Jeff Vail!

  • KPres||

    "You must have missed my post where I had 'em in an uproar here talking about William F. Buckley being a supporter of Geoism."

    Also, Milton Friedman.

  • Canman||

    Economic equality has to be the worlds most overrated concept. The second is long term planning.

  • BradK||

    The third would be Central Planning.

  • Corporate central planning OK?||

    LOL

  • Concerned Citizen||

    "The Nazis are well remembered for murdering well over 11 million people in the implementation of their slogan, 'The public good before the private good,' the Chinese Communists for murdering 62 million people in the implementation of theirs, 'Serve the people,' and the Soviet Communists for murdering more than 60 million people in the implementation of Karl Marx's slogan, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' Anyone who defends any of these, or any variation of them, on the grounds of their 'good intentions' is an immoral (NOT 'amoral') enabler of the ACTUAL (not just the proverbial) road to hell." -- Rick Gaber

  • 90 Million Indians = Genocide||

    Capitalism is built on a Trail of Tears.

  • wareagle||

    the Indians lost. So have many other peoples. The Indians appear singular, however, in perpetually whining about it. We have sunk billions into Indian aid, effectively creating a dependency class.

  • l0b0t||

    "The Indians appear singular, however, in perpetually whining about it."

    The "Palestinians" are right there with them. Unfortunately, geography and external politics give them access to better weaponry than that available to AIM.

  • Capitalism and Better weapons ||

    Way to piss all over that Non-Aggression "Principle."

  • ||

    I don't recall anyone here defending the Trail of Tears - in fact we'd be the biggest critics of all. But in practice it's difficult to correct an action hundreds of years after it's done and after all the victims and perpetrators are dead and gone. The modern Native Americans are primarily victims of welfarism.

    By the way, what is stopping an Indian reservation from declaring an end to ownership of land and allowing residents to gambol (or gamble) wherever they like? I'd be all for allowing Indian reservations complete sovereignty in this regard.

  • Libertarian loves Genocide||

    The city-Statism enforcement of artificial borders that created Trail of Tears is still enforced.

    Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

    No?

    See? Artificial borders are being enforced with the threat of violence.

    And yeah, libertarians (randroidism is a branch of libertarianism, like it or not) defend aggression:

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent."

    ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  • ||

    Ayn Rand wasn't a libertarian. She was a deeply flawed corporatist individualist. But even most Rand devotees wouldn't agree with her retrograde views on gays and Native Americans.

    State corporatism isn't capitalism.

    If by "artificial borders" you mean "private property" used exclusively by the owner(s), the alternative is private property defended by owners at gunpoint and if the owners can't defend it from seizure by a stronger mob, tough beans. Kind of like what happened to the Native Americans, no?

  • Ayn Rand, Libertarian (mostly)||

  • .||

    Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has been and continues to be a major influence towards the libertarian movement. Many libertarians justify their political views upon aspects of Objectivism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....bjectivism

  • ||

    And many libertarians rightly criticize her. Self-interest often directly contradicts libertarianism. Billionaires are not necessarily role models to strive towards - they are usually the biggest welfare queens of all.

  • State corporatism = capitalism||

    True believers can't accept it anymore than true believers can't accept true christians participated in the brutal inquisition tortures.

    I say, what you see is what it is.

    Your fantastical, contradictory definition of TRUE CAPITALISM is as fantastical and contradictory as an undead corpse.

    You're trying to conjure an economic Zombie, much like the Communists tried (and denied was "TRUE COMMUNISM"), with the same shipload of fail.

  • ||

    "Capitalism" is a word, like "liberalism" that has lost all meaning. I call myself a proprietist specifically to distinguish myself from "corporate capitalism". I don't support regulation (beyond enforcement of basic individual rights), state-limited liability, state bankruptcy protections or taxation on productive activities. I argue that this is "truer laissez-faire".

    I'd agree that Trotskyite voluntary communitarianism is closer to "true communism", and neither system is really a fantasy. Some people start proprietorships or unlimited partnerships and do quite well. Some live in communes and share all property and do quite well.

    If the state's only role was defending individual rights, people could voluntarily organize themselves however they see fit. Indeed, you and your gamboling brethren could pool your money and organize a primitivist society on the boundaries of your own property and block evil capitalists from building farms and McDonalds on it.

  • people could =/= history||

    We have 10,000 years of historical data how the agricultural city-State works.

    It doesn't work how Marx or Mises fantisize.

    You may as well say, PEOPLE COULD conjure up their dead relatives if they miss them.

    Great idea. Not realistic.

  • ||

    For all its flaws, I'd say it works pretty damn well. You haven't successfully defended your arguments that lifespans have been reduced, that diseases are more epidemic/fatal than they once were, that every year technology is not advancing but regressing, that people are less happy or educated than they once were.

    The primitivist lifestyle had millions of years to prove it was the better system. Why did that all of a sudden change? Perhaps people got tired of dying of exposure, starving to death living in constant warfare with rival tribes and being enslaved and killed by their enemies with bigger clubs? The last two hundred years alone, as flawed as it has been, have done more to improve quality of life democratically, for more people than probably the rest of history combined. Slavery has largely vanished, oppressive military empires have collapsed, charity has greater capacity and ease of access than ever before, and most people in developed nations can seek the life they want to lead, for better or worse. Had libertarians been in charge since the dawn of civilization, I can only imagine how much more advanced the entire world would be today.

    Give "agricultural city-states" two million years and then we will have enough data to compare the two systems. We're still at the dawn of the civilized era, in perspective of the physical history of humankind.

  • ||

    "It doesn't work how Marx or Mises fantisize."

    There's a distinct difference that you miss completely when it comes to "realism". Marx idiotically believed that a total, all-controlling State would somehow magically dissolve when people are fundamentally reconfigured to leave their last capitalist inclinations behind. Bakunin realized the idiocy of this and decided to try directly for the end-state instead of going through the statist mechanism. Bakunin is the true communist, even though he relies on the completely illogical idea that human nature to desire exclusive control over property can be overcome for most people.

    Nothing I've said is illogical or unrealistic - shrinking government to its minimum of protecting rights and removing the moral hazards of state capitalism is not expecting any human to overcome their own nature but to seek the vision of nature they most desire. Voluntary communitarianism, libertarianism and primitivism could all technically co-exist in a free society, and there would be nothing wrong with that. Property in its true form enables freedom to live as one desires.

  • wareagle||

    I'd be all for allowing Indian reservations complete sovereignty in this regard.
    --------------------------------
    go to Cherokee, NC for ample evidence of why that is a bad policy. The tribe has a casino that rakes in huge money, and the surrounding area is the very picture of squalor. Too many in the tribe are happy to take their checks and DO NOTHING ELSE. The Harrah's there is beautiful and usually quite busy; the surrounding area makes Haiti look first world.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's STILL on this topic?

    Shit. There goes the thread.

  • wareagle||

    I fed the troll; lesson learned.

  • War Eagle got spanked...||

    ...lesson learned.

  • Indian Concentration Camps...||

    ...are NOT an example of paleolithic life, dipwad.

  • ||

    Concentration camps? I wasn't aware Native Americans are forced to live on reservations? That was true at one time, and completely wrong.

    As of now, they are merely land areas with semi-autonomous political jurisdiction that have been destroyed by bad policies. If Native Americans want to declare their nations independent from the US and live as they like, I'd be the first to say "go for it". In fact, I bet at least one would end up far more libertarian than the US and I might even be interested in immigrating there.

  • White Injun||

    But 30 year life spans are, super-derp!

  • Agriculture shortens lifespan||

    ...and gives us "Diseases of Civilization."

    Super-derp indeed.

  • ||

    Citation, please.

  • Diseases of Civilization ||

    The plural "Diseases of Civilization" search yields 123,000 scholarly journal articles and texts at scholar. google.com

    The singular "Disease of Civilization" search yields 196,000 scholarly journal articles and texts at scholar. google.com

    Would you like me to copypasta 1000 or so scholarly citations on diseases of civilization? 100? 50?

  • KDN||

    Would you like me to copypasta 1000 or so scholarly citations on diseases of civilization? 100? 50?

    Why not, you were just gonna do it anyway.

  • The holy tenets of the FSM...||

    ...(Flying Spaghetti Monster) help me refrain from indulging in too much copypasta.

    May you too be touched by his noodley appendage.

  • ||

    Ok, so the word appears... How does that prove lifespans are shorter today than they were in primitivist societies?

  • Agriculture = Shorter Lifespan||

    Real simple, take a look at the wiki on life expectancy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

    As you can see, with the advent of agriculture, years of life PLUMMETS, and STAYED DOWN for thousands of years of city-Statism.

    Progressivists and supporters of city-Statism like to use life expectancy figures from the last few decades the hierarchical elite at the center of the World Empire (first world.) Civilization, like fiat money, does have temporary, illusory, benefits.

    Even with today's life expectancy, average 67.1 years for all of civilization, the !Kung bushemen, in an extremely marginal landbase, achieve 67 years.

    And, if one doesn't compare apples to oranges, paleolithic life expectancy rockets. Because infanticide is included in paleolithic numbers, but abortion is not included in modern numbers. Does that seem fair?

  • ||

    I look at those numbers and see that the Earth has doubled life expectancy within the last 100 years while increasingly urbanized and capitalist. Agriculture production has been revolutionized and starvation has greatly declined.

    There's no question that living in communities introduces extra risk (crime, disease, etc.), but living rurally far from civilization means less access to medical care, which has also been revolutionized. Also, there's no question that caloric restriction increases life expectancy. The fact that many individuals do not choose to restrict calories with a bounty of cheap food available does not mean they can't.

    A free society allows individuals to live the life they want, be it sharing everything in a voluntary commune, living off wild plants, nuts and game on their own property (or unowned fallow land), or living in an urban society eating only mass-produced fast food. As long as individual rights are protected, none of these things are contradictory.

  • One word: Oil||

    Unless the center of the earth is a creamy nougat of endless energy, resources are finite.

    I know, I've read the Cornucopian crap from Julian Simon. Did you know he lost a bet?

    Did you know the guy that Julian Simon lost to has won another similar bet?

    Why don't you know that?

    Look up David South, professor of the Auburn University School of Forestry, and ask yourself, why don't you (or at least the vast majority of Libertarians) know about David South?

    He's twice and much winning as Julian Simon.

  • KPres||

    "One word: Oil"

    Nope. All those benefits started before we started burning oil. It all started with capitalism.

  • KPres||

    "Unless the center of the earth is a creamy nougat of endless energy, resources are finite."

    There's 100 years of uranium left. 300 years of Thorium. If we haven't figured out how to capture solar energy efficiently in 400 years I'll start worrying about energy.

  • KPres||

    "!Kung bushemen, in an extremely marginal landbase, achieve 67 years."

    WRONG!! (like every other factoid you claim)

    pg. 90 - "The iKung life expectancy at age 15 ranges from 37-54 years."

    pg. 92 "The iKung are not non-violent. The iKung rival civilized populations in the frequency with which the commit homicide."

    pg. 91 "The iKung have a 15% infant mortality rate.

    pg. 91 "The percentage of liveborn children who fail to reach reproductive age was 34%" http://books.google.com/books?id=SXpGhERTtOEC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=ikung+lifespan&source=bl&ots=e7FuWa4szo&sig=UOdoVBnf2p_kCkIaRzC4331OWz0&hl=en&ei=3vKxToGyAtK_tgeTmJmiAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f;=false

  • KPres||

    Link fail.....http://goo.gl/fekT6

  • KPres||

    "rogressivists and supporters of city-Statism like to use life expectancy figures from the last few decades the hierarchical elite at the center of the World Empire "

    You mean the part of the world that for 200 years has valued property as one of its highest ideals (while the rest of the world was stuck in failed Socialist experiments and/or despotic dictatorships)?

    And worldwide (despite all those crappy systems the 3rd world lives under) life expectancy is 69 years. Much higher than your precious iKung.

  • Ray Pew||

    ...and gives us "Diseases of Civilization."

    Super-derp indeed.

    Yep. Cause everyone knows that Methuselah lived to like 900 years old.

  • Agriculture = Shorter Lifespan||

    Read above, Ray, if you want to consider empirical data, instead of Hobbesian "nasty, brutish, and short" mythology.

  • Ray Pew||

    Read above, Ray, if you want to consider empirical data, instead of Hobbesian "nasty, brutish, and short" mythology.

    I read above and found nowhere that paleolithic man exceeds TODAY'S life expectancy. Likewise, I found contradictory claims to Bushmen life expectancy:

    50% of children die before 15
    20% die within first year
    Avg life-expectancy is 45-50 years
    10% live past 60 years

    Keep hawking your stupid. I don't give a shit.

  • I'm sure you did, Ray.||

    So how is it that Richard Lee noted that up to 60% of the !Kung he encountered were over 60 years old?

    The table provided by Hillard Kaplan, et. al, in “A Theory of Human Life History Evolution: Diet, Intelligence, and Longevity” (Evolutionary Anthropology, 2000, p. 156-185) is quite instructive. Comparing the Ache, Hazda, Hiwi and !Kung shows an average probability of survival to age 15 of 60% (reflecting the enormous impact of normative infanticide), but the expected age of death at age 15 shoots up to 54.1. In Burton-Jones, et. al, “Antiquity of Postreproductive Life: Are There Modern Impacts on Hunter-Gatherer Postreproductive Life Spans?” (American Journal of Human Biology, 2002, p. 184–205) another table is presented on p. 185, showing that at age 45, women of the !Kung could expect to live another 20.0 years for a total of 65 years, women of the Hadza could expect to live another 21.3 years for a total of 66.3 years, and women of the Ache could expect to live another 22.1 years for a total of 67.1 years. (Godesky)

    Weird, this data that counts infanticide for primitives, but not abortions for the civilized.

    Would you consider that a bit dishonest?

    But keep hawking your City-STATISM. I don't give a shit.

  • Ray Pew||

    So how is it that Richard Lee noted that up to 60% of the !Kung he encountered were over 60 years old?

    Two possibilities:

    1. This is a complete fabrication. Coon claims that none of the bushmen he encountered were over 45. Lee claims that out of 466 iKung, only 46 were over 60; just at 10%.

    2. Some seriously fucked up population dynamics. 60% of your population is comprised of elderly?!?!

    The table provided by Hillard Kaplan, et. al, in “A Theory of Human Life History Evolution: Diet, Intelligence, and Longevity” (Evolutionary Anthropology, 2000, p. 156-185) is quite instructive. Comparing the Ache, Hazda, Hiwi and !Kung shows an average probability of survival to age 15 of 60% (reflecting the enormous impact of normative infanticide), but the expected age of death at age 15 shoots up to 54.1. In Burton-Jones, et. al, “Antiquity of Postreproductive Life: Are There Modern Impacts on Hunter-Gatherer Postreproductive Life Spans?” (American Journal of Human Biology, 2002, p. 184–205) another table is presented on p. 185, showing that at age 45, women of the !Kung could expect to live another 20.0 years for a total of 65 years, women of the Hadza could expect to live another 21.3 years for a total of 66.3 years, and women of the Ache could expect to live another 22.1 years for a total of 67.1 years. (Godesky)

    LOOK EVERYONE!!! I'm White Indian and I'm too ignorant to realize that these stats deal with the potential lifespan of individuals IF they attain this age (which many don't) or I'm just a dishonest fuck. You decide.

    Weird, this data that counts infanticide for primitives, but not abortions for the civilized.

    Would you consider that a bit dishonest?

    No,you dishonest fuck.

  • KPres||

    "Agriculture = Shorter Lifespan"

    If so (I'm doubt it), it was only under Monarchy. Once capitalism replaced the aristocracy, then agriculture/capital/property = LONGER LIFESPAN!

    But you want everybody to go back to the short lifespans because some people own more capital goods than others.

  • Rapist lose too like Palestine||

    ...is the libertarian "answer?"

    Still doesn't make rape morally right, now does it, STATIST WAR eagle.

    You're an aggressive capitalist tyrant, wareagle, to not address aggression honestly and call it what it is.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck "Palestine". There IS no such place.

  • ||

    Um I hate to burst your bubble, but the "genocide" of Native Americans was not done for or by capitalism. It was by and large the policy of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

  • Capitalism requires gov force||

    Do you have any example of capitalism operation without government force?

    Your Marxist-level-of-fantasy-economics science fiction novels by Neil and Neil don't count.

  • l0b0t||

    "Do you have any example of capitalism operation without government force?"
    Yes, every black market on Earth.

  • Black markets under gov't too||

    Black markets operate under government rules, and their participants are assisted by governments, even if the precise trade being made is avoiding taxes or whatever.

    Go ahead, enforce your own contract law when you buy weed and shoot somebody. Write to me from a GOVERNMENT prison.

  • l0b0t||

    I've been buying weed for almost 40 years and have yet to find myself in a situation that required the use of violence. You sir, are an idiot. Fucking emergent order, how does it work?

  • People get shot on drug deals.||

    And the murderers still go to a government prison.

    Thus providing evidence that "black markets" are still operating within the bounds of government force, which you were trying do deny.

    Your Zombie agorism is a contradictory fantasy.

    You'll conjure it up about the same time somebody conjures up an undead corpse.
    Yes, every black market on Earth.

  • ||

    weed customers rarely get violence from weed dealers. it would be very bad for business.

    dealer on dealer (or grower on grower) violence is NOT uncommon. a lot less common than violence amongst crack dealers in the 80's was, obviously. but not completely unheard of.

    of course a lot of violence of this sort doesn't get reported (they handle it "in house") and.or does not get properly recognized.

    home invasion robberies are often result of some sort of "drug deal gone bad" or one dealer trying to rip off another, etc. which is almost always denied of course, initially, so it's hard to know in many cases.

    in many other cases, people will do anything but call police (obviously) so unless neighbors call on it or something we never find out sometimes we find out weeks or months later.

    but the truth is that at most levels, the pot trade is relatively nonviolent.

    and certainly end level purchasers are not engaging in risky behavior when buying from their friendly neighborhood dealer.


    of course, this is not an argument for prohibition. if weed was legal, there would be none of this shit going on, which is kind of the point

  • I didn't say drug deal shootin||

    ....was "common" or not, but nice canard there.

    If something bad goes down, government is still in the house.

  • ||

    who are you responding to? if me, i agree with you, that end user mj purchasers are engaging in a very safe activity. millions of people buy and use weed every year w.o. a hint of violence

    i would suspect driving TO the location you buy your weed is more dangerous than the purchase itself

  • ||

    Examining the arrest records of the OWS 'protestors' the records reveal that indeed many are the very spoiled rich they supposedly oppose. This tells me that the true political motive has nothing to do with WS and everything to do with the WH.

  • cynical||

    You can't have moral equality and outcome equality, because to justify the latter, you have to downgrade the moral agency of those who you aim to "help" to a lower level, like a child, animal, or severely mentally disabled adult. You have to say that they, unlike everyone else, should not be considered responsible for their decisions.

    Now, if you didn't believe anyone was responsible for their decisions, you'd just end up as some sort of nihilist -- but most of the people that adopt this attitude still find plenty of room for moral outrage; they just save it for those they view as equals in terms of agency, not those they perceive as inferiors.

  • ||

    but it IS an ethos, man.

  • Stewart||

    I am coming to believe that income inequality is a bigger problem than this article makes it out to be, and it is largely an outcome of our monetary policy. When the Fed pushes money into the system, it enters the larger economy through the financial markets. People with high levels of access to those markets (people who own lots of securities and other financial assets) find the demand for those assets is artificially inflated.

    The Fed has pursued a purposely inflationary policy since the early eighties. I think it's no coincidence that inequality has exploded since then. For regular folks, inflation means the things they need are more expensive. For the richest folks, inflation means the many assets they already own are going up in value.

  • Strawman||


    Who cares? If the wealthy get wealthier, no one has to become one penny poorer.

    Simple Simon met a Pie Man going to the fair...

    To even going to bother with this one.

  • المبدع العراقي||

    thanks

  • العراق||

    thanks

  • ||

    "Eating is a right! Agriculture does not work!"

  • Worst Mistake in Human History||

    One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?"

    Jared Diamond, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66.
    http://anthropology.lbcc.edu/h.....istake.pdf

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "A short while later, while doing his daily 2-hour foraging for mongongo nuts, this unfortunate Bushman was killed by a black mamba at the age of 27. The tribe's response was, 'Africa wins again.'"

  • You lose again, Red Rocks||

    Robert Ardrey (1961, 1976) served up a bloodthirsty, macho version of prehistory, as have to slightly lesser degrees, Desmond Morris and Lionel Tiger. Similarly, Freud and Konrad Lorenz wrote of the innate depravity of the species, thereby providing their contributions to hierarchy and power in the present.

    Fortunately, a far more plausible outlook has emerged, one that corresponds to the overall version of Paleolithic life in general. Food sharing has for some time been considered an integral part of earliest human society (e.g. Washburn and DeVore, 1961). Jane Goodall (1971) and Richard Leakey (1978), among others, have con- cluded that it was the key element in establishing our uniquely Homo development at least as early as 2 million years ago. This emphasis, carried forward since the early '70s by Linton, Zihlman, Tanner, and Isaac, has become ascendant. One of the telling arguments in favor of the cooperation thesis, as against that of generalized violence and male domination, involves a diminishing, during early evolution, of the difference in size and strength between males and females. Sexual dimorphism, as it is called, was originally very pronounced, including such features as prominent canines or "fighting teeth" in males and much smaller canines for the female. The disappearance of large male canines strongly suggests that the female of the species exercised a selection for sociable, sharing males. Most apes today have significantly longer and larger canines, male to female, in the absence of this female choice capacity (Zihlman 1981, Tanner 1981).

    Future Primitive
    John Zerzan
    http://www.primitivism.com/future-primitive.htm

    Scholarly research, how does it work, libertard?

  • KPres||

    "Scholarly research, how does it work, libertard?"

    Clearly you have no idea, since all you quote are pseudoscientific Marxists.

  • Creationist say that too....||

    ....that scientist telling us that we evolved long before the Garden of Eden are pseudoscientific Marxists.

    Keep thumping, thumper.

  • KPres||

    Right. I'm the thumper. Not the guy who thinks building a road is raping your mother.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Scholarly research, how does it work, libertard?

    Let us know when you figure it out, primitard.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Also, LOL at citing studies on the early homo species in support of your argument, who typically didn't live longer than 30 years.

  • ||

    Wait, most of those protesters aren't against ANY income disparity, you are right that just because some people get SOME extra wealth doesn't have to mean other people are always impoverished.
    But I think your studies are NOT looking at the whole picture. We moved vast portions of or industrial base to China and made grand statements about how we "don't want to make" those lower-level consumer goods, then railed against the laziness of the people put out of work by those factory closings and laughed at the attempts to foster the "new economy jobs." which were supposed to replace the jobs we exported.
    I have no problem with billionaires, you can find idiots in the OWS crowd, some of who make the biggest signs, but not all those 1% who have most benefited are "creating jobs," some are simply creating wealth which is NOT circulating.

  • Funny how...||

    ...rich kids protesting doesn't suit libertard Right Wing Authoritarians.

    ...poor hippies protesting doesn't suit libertard Right Wing Authoritarians.

    Basically, NOBODY protesting suits libertard Right Wing Authoritarians.

  • wareagle||

    straw man and point-missing all in the same post; a liberal two-fer. Most of us love a good protest; we just have the audacity to expect it to be based in fact, to propose reasonable solutions, to entail some sense of responsibility on the part of the protester.

    OWS exhibits none of the above. By contrast, the tea party protested against runaway govt spending, backed candidates who were of like mind, and unseated both Dems and Repubs. OWS? Takeovers of land that is not theirs; filth, crime, and sorriness in abundance; whining about useless degrees NOT resulting in high-paying jobs; and, the demand that govt do something about all of the above and more. Those facts probably have something to do with the ridicule OWS gets.

  • Conjuring Strawman...||

    ...how does that work? LOL

  • wareagle||

    straw man and point-missing all in the same post; a liberal two-fer. Most of us love a good protest; we just have the audacity to expect it to be based in fact, to propose reasonable solutions, to entail some sense of responsibility on the part of the protester.

    OWS exhibits none of the above. By contrast, the tea party protested against runaway govt spending, backed candidates who were of like mind, and unseated both Dems and Repubs. OWS? Takeovers of land that is not theirs; filth, crime, and sorriness in abundance; whining about useless degrees NOT resulting in high-paying jobs; and, the demand that govt do something about all of the above and more. Those facts probably have something to do with the ridicule OWS gets.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    White Indian, folks. He'll be here all night. Give it a round of applause!

  • FIFY stays around all night...||

    ...for yet another intellectual spanking.

  • KDN||

    The Black Knight White Indian never loses!

  • KDN||

    HTML fail! Strikethrough no work! Preview is friend!

  • White Indian||

    LOL

    I've done that before, and erase a whole post.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    White Indian should fuck up more often, or not even bother cut/pasting posts in the first place.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's not aware I'm headed to my evening job, at least not until I just now announced it.

    It will have to lure other posters into unsuspectingly arguing with the Wisdom Cube.

    It's a piece of shit with a log on its shoulder.

  • Wage Slave away, submissive||

  • KPres||

    Again with the misuse of words, eh? "Wages" and "slavery" are mutually exclusive terms.

    But I forgot, you "define" things by what you observe, not by their definition.

  • Wage Slavery ||

    Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person's livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate.
    ~Wiki/Wage slavery

    Definition of WAGE SLAVE : a person dependent on wages or a salary for a livelihood
    ~Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    wage slave n. a person who works for a wage, especially with total and immediate dependency on the income derived from such labor.
    ~Dictionary.com

    Who is misusing words, KPres?

  • ||

    Wage slavery does not exist. I'm sorry. Yes, the phrase does, but that doesn't mean it's not inherently contradictory. For all your purported hatred of Marx, you seem to spew a lot of Marxist garbage.

    Money/wages is just one asset. So are tradeable items. So are consumable goods. Everyone has to "slave" for some combinations of these things (or rely on someone else) to survive. Even the primitivist indigenous did. Unless you suggest every creature on this earth is a "slave"?

  • Walter Block and Robert Nozick||

    Disagree with you on slavery.

    There is wage slavery.

    There is voluntary slavery.

    Slavery is libertarian, and approved.

  • ||

    "There is wage slavery."

    Only if you are forced to work via coercion but still paid. Private actors certainly could do this, but preventing that's the whole purpose of having a minimal state. But "wage slavery" incorrectly assumes that an undesirable work situation resulting from economic hardship is the same level of evil as actual coercive whip-and-chains slavery.

    "There is voluntary slavery. Slavery is libertarian, and approved."

    Yes, libertarians do support your right to live a BDSM lifestyle or sign an unwaverable contract to work for someone for a designated period. Failure to distinguish between a voluntary fetish or an employment contract and involuntary slavery does not render you a very critical thinker.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... shit ought to be free, right? Is that what Nougaty Injun is saying?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    No, White Primitard is saying that he's too chickenshit to live the shackbrah lifestyle, but that won't stop him from railing against the society that, ironically, provided him with the numerous shitarticles he cites.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yep, just like the rich kids "solidarity"-ing with Team 99 Percenters and their silly drum circles.

  • Tony||

    What form of capitalism is the answer? Seems that if you ask about specifics around here, the answer is either too vague to be serious or just so happens to align with whatever the current Republican party's policy aims are.

    I say we look at the evidence. The countries with the happiest people have strong social welfare systems and high taxes and are more egalitarian than the US (most civilized places are these days). Money does buy happiness, but only to a point, and that point is about $75,000. Above that and it's diminishing returns to say the least. That's enough to buy a modestly comfortable lifestyle in the US. So once your basic needs are met and you have some spending money, more wealth serves only as the comparative factor in a neverending arms race of status with your neighbors.

    Libertarians think it's wrong to declare an upper limit on the amount of wealth one may acquire. But they don't say there should be a lower limit on the amount of poverty a person can suffer from. Why? I know of no moral philosophy that explains this.

    You should be able to get as rich as you possibly can, provided there are no people suffering from a lack of basic needs. Jesus didn't ask if the poor deserved help, and neither should society, not because I think everyone should have bleeding hearts, but because it's in everyone's self-interest. Poor people have higher medical costs (which are socialized whether you like it or not), and are incarcerated more. Twisting oneself up with concern over whether a person "deserves" what he gets is pointless--and libertarians rarely ask that question about a wealthy person. The justness of his acquisitions is always assumed, which is absurd considering the relative political influence of the wealthy and the poor. It is impossible that the poor have been coddled more than the rich by any government. So the libertarian stance can only be explained by a simple, vile calculation, a bastardization of 3rd rate philosophers: povery=vice; wealth=virtue.

  • If we're going to have civiliz||

    ....ation, the agricultural city-State, let's elect Tony as our benevolent overlord.

    Really, his logic makes 10x more sense than the "fuck you, I got mine" libertards.

    But even Tony's benevolent, good natured civilization doesn't work all that well either.

    Mass Society works poorly, all the time, because of the human evolutionary neuro-biological limit known as Dunbar's Number.

  • ||

    Libertarians support your freedom to run around in a loincloth with a bow and arrow or gun and forage or hunt for food on your own property, or on someone else’s property with their permission, or on public/unclaimed property, unlike those actually in power. Libertarians support your right to live in or withdraw from industrial/agricultural society, and believe property rights are essential to allowing everyone access to live the life they desire unmolested, unlike those actually in power. Libertarians support secession and complete national independence, if desired, for the Indian nations, unlike those actually in power.

    Libertarians are inherently diametrically opposed to any of the oppressive government policies throughout history you decry like forced relocation, slavery, mandatory internment in reservations and racial exclusion from property rights, all done by the parties in power. None of us alive today were even around during the Trail of Tears. Our core governmental philosophy has rarely if ever been the basis of any government, much less the governments that have abused or permitted/enabled the abuse of the Native Americans, African-Americans, gays, etc. We can’t apologize for the retrograde beliefs and actions of other people.

    So why are you trolling here, and not on some Team Red or Team Blue website where people still believe in authoritarian policies, and still vote for the unprincipled parties that have oppressed the Native Americans?

    And what actual policy or philosophical changes do you want us to accept? You haven’t articulated anything but primitivist Luddism, which is not inherently contradictory to libertarianism; if you decide to live that lifestyle, we wouldn’t stop you – as long as you don’t violate our rights to live in our modern urban squalor dining on processed junk food and resigned to wage slavery, which most of us seem to find preferable to dying of frostbite and starvation at age 34 out in the wilderness, assuming you survive childbirth.

    Until you clearly answer these two questions, I’m going to continue to ask them every time you post here.

  • Classical Liberal||

    "Money does buy happiness, but only to a point, and that point is about $75,000. "

    Quack Psychologism

    "That's enough to buy a modestly comfortable lifestyle in the US. So once your basic needs are met and you have some spending money, more wealth serves only as the comparative factor in a neverending arms race of status with your neighbors."

    There is no inherent harm in having a surplus beyond necessity. In reality, most humans in the modern world live well beyond the level of what is actually essential for continued survival.

  • Tony||

    No inherent harm, but there is harm if that luxury comes at the expense of others' basic needs.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shit, Tony, you took an entire page to say what you could have said in a sentence:

    Rich people suck. Throw rocks at them and take half their stuff.

    MUCH simpler, and to-the-point.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Also... leave Jesus out of this.

    Either you want separation of church and state, or you don't.

    And we SHOULD have that separation, not just when it's convenient to bring it up for another pro-egalitarianism argument.

  • MJ||

    "...libertarians rarely ask that question about a wealthy person. The justness of his acquisitions is always assumed,..."

    Again, Tony demonstrates his basic inability comprehend the notion of justice. In Tony's world everyone is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Reason writers are often pointing out examples of rent seeking by wealthy people. The just way to make up for the effects of wealthy individuals manipulating the system for their own benefit is to prevent them from doing such manipulations. The unjust way is to assume all wealthy people are guilty and just take their stuff on the back end.

  • lurker||

    Money does buy happiness, but only to a point, and that point is about $75,000. Above that and it's diminishing returns to say the least. That's enough to buy a modestly comfortable lifestyle in the US.

    You should be able to get as rich as you possibly can, provided there are no people suffering from a lack of basic needs.


    I'm $50,000 short of the magic "modestly comfortable" mark, but the only time I feel miserable is when I read your posts.

  • ||

    "But they don't say there should be a lower limit on the amount of poverty a person can suffer from. Why? I know of no moral philosophy that explains this."

    Well for one if the Poor person in question said "Fuck off I won't take your help"

    Then Freedom to be left alone for one. If some one chooses to remain poor....so poor infact Tony you cry your self to sleep after seeing it....And they made that choice.....

    Exactly who the fuck are you to tell them they are wrong?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    laziness while living off the sweat of others = vice
    wealth gained through voluntary exchange, absent force or fraud? = no one's fucking business

  • Capitalism = Force and Fraud||

    So now it's White Indian's business. kthanks

    What are you, a damn fucking Calvinist? Jesus is looking down in love and gonna roast your ass in hell if he catches you enjoying life?

    Laziness is a virtue.

    "The life of an Indian is a continual holiday, compared with the poor of Europe..." [who work work work work worked for the rich overlords - who want you to think laziness is a vice.] ~Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice pamphlet

  • Idle hands aren't the devil's ||

    ...workshop.

    Increased idleness means, on the one hand, increased chance of survival....

    Idle Theory
    Life Does The Least
    www.idletheory.info

  • I'm proof of Idle Theory||

    I love work.

    I can sit here all day and watch it.

    Keep my ol' libertarian buddies (I was once a subscriber to reason) a SWEATIN' to the INJUN!

  • Ray Pew||

    I was once a subscriber to reason

    Oh, the irony.

  • I'm proof of Idle Theory||

    Who has access to the subscriber database? LOL

    I came to question much of libertarianism, and civilizationist progressivism and techno-triumphalism several years ago.

    As hard as I am on Libertarian buddies, they do have one thing right that hardly anybody else can even perceive, and I congratulate you for your perception:

    That the State is Aggression.

    But their realization is extremely precursory, and they end up being supporters, and whitewashers, and contradictory critiquers of the inherent violence within the agricultural city-State.

    Remember:

    "Agriculture creates government." ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain

    That is such a succinct statement that distills the dozens of books I've purchased over the last several years on anthropology, ethnology, archeology, and evolutionary biology.

    Why did I do it? One reason, brilliantly stated by Ayn Rand:

    Check your premises.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That is such a succinct statement that distills the dozens of books I've purchased over the last several years on anthropology, ethnology, archeology, and evolutionary biology.

    And yet you're still too chickenshit to live the shackbrah lifestyle. Talk about not bothering to check your premises.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It can't possibly be living the lifestyle it bleats about almost daily here...

  • Classical Liberal||

    Nicely put.

  • ...if it were only true.||

  • ||

    It seems to be the policy of the far left to not allow opposition to talk, scapegoat, and insult.

  • Are FIFY and CREW far left?||

    Things that make you go hmmmmm.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, how cute! It's calling us communists now!

  • ||

    "Capitalism/Communism both...|11.2.11 @ 12:48PM|#
    ...are religio-economic dogmas.
    And neither work all that well, as is being demonstrated"
    - Reply - capitalism worked fine, until the house got overturned by the far left - before the last presidential election, America worried about things that didn't matter - like jobs, war, and foreign interests.

  • ||

    "There is no inherent harm in having a surplus beyond necessity. In reality, most humans in the modern world live well beyond the level of what is actually essential for continued survival." - reply - what is actually essential for continued survival is the road to serfdom that the far left would be fine with - spread the wealth & blame the people that try to protect their wealth as traitors. The far left support Wall Street protesters/the "rich" should pay, as long as it's not me.

  • J_L_B||

    The left always incorrectly assumes our existence can continue unabated after distrupting the price mechanism. They fail to consider the incentive structure.

    The quality of the goods and services consumed will diminish significantly with any limits placed on the income derived from.

    Europe, despite being the left's ideal location is the best example of this. Living space is much less than the United States (I know this from personal experience, what I thought was a closet, was actually a bedroom; and some hotels believe the number bathrooms should equal the number of floors and not the number of rooms). Vehicles, a luxury for some, are generally older and less comfortable. In Norway, a pizza delivery is priced beyond the reach of the average wage earner. Any type of personal luxury is frowned upon and penalized with high taxes.

    Americans understand that more equitable wealth distribution means having to live a most uncomfortable lifestyle, and they have chosen against it.

  • Xerographica||

    Unions have unintentionally done more to reduce inequality than any intentional efforts by government...The Dialectic of Unintended Consequences.

  • ||

    And consistent libertarians unequivocally support the right to create and join unions. Collective organization of labor is a natural reaction within a marketplace, and freedom of assembly is defended in the First Amendment.

    But we oppose unions wielding their influence over government to pass laws to mandate that businesses grant them power and control, and to mandate that workers must join them involuntarily to work in certain fields.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's the FORCED joining of unions we can't abide.

    Funny how the first AFL president was against forced unionization, yet the current crop of thugs running unions are all for it - and getting rid of secret ballots, which is also shitty behavior.

    Oh, look! Here comes White Indolent to tell us more anti-property ownership bullshit...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Just looked up "geoism"... and, of course, it's bullshit.

    Then again, White Idiot brought it up, so of COURSE it's bullshit.

  • ||

    Look up "geolibertarianism". It took me a long time to come around to the idea, because my first gut reaction was "how can you have property rights if you don't really own the land beneath the property?"

    But then after debating it for a while several things convinced me:

    1.) Assume government adhered to its limited, valid functions and assume that government did not actively try to grow land area through invasion or annexation. Those who hold more land consume more of the limited area under political jurisdiction and increasingly exclude others from living in that jurisdiction. It is a zero sum game, unlike the rest of the economy where natural resources are altered to create value.

    2.) Assume a theoretical invasion where every square foot in America was equally under attack by a foreign power, and the US army defends every square foot equitably based on land value.

    2.) Because land was not created by humankind I can't muster the same moral fire when it comes to taxing exclusive control of land as I do against taxing labor, property improvement, consumption or existence. Especially because land historically was in many cases limited only to propertied whites, and enormous racial disparities still exist to this day. Whites continue to profit off of historical exclusions from land ownership - not that its the fault of currently living whites, of course - but it adds to the argument why taxing land is arguably the least immoral tax.

    3.) Land speculation is destructive to wealth. I buy a plot in the exurbs and wait for all my neighbors to do productive things with their land to drive up the value of my own land, holding out until it reaches the peak. By doing allowing my undeveloped land to appreciate in demand due solely to the productive actions of the people around me, I have essentially profited off driving up the cost of living in the area for productive people in the future. Now if productive businesses are built on that land, they'd likely have increased rent and have to pass those costs on to consumers.

    4.) Land taxes have no deadweight loss. They don't cause market distortions, they simply reduce the cost of land. Improvements aren't taxed.

    5.) The idea of the citizen's dividend also threw me for a loop at first, but grew on me. Basically most of the land taxes would be returned equitably to everyone, making the already naturally progressive tax even more progressive. Then the welfare state can disappear, because everyone would have a minimum guaranteed income based on the value of American land they are excluded from. It reduces poverty without distortionary taxation, without the moral hazards of disincentivizing welfare programs or without the government picking winners and losers.

    It's not a panacea, but from both the perspectives of utilitarianism and historical injustice it has many good aspects. And as a miniarchist who believes government will need some basic revenues to function, land is the most logical, least painful source.

  • ||

    Looks like I didn't finish this one: "2.) Assume a theoretical invasion where every square foot in America was equally under attack by a foreign power, and the US army defends every square foot equitably based on land value."

    ...The army would have to spend farmore resources protecting the land of a billionaire who owns 1/3rd of California's coastline than they would on the land of a poor family on a tiny plot in North Dakota. Should not the billionaire pay more for the army protection that he consumes disroportionately?

  • Donna ||

    BAD economy

  • Nicholas Adams||

    Worked well for Chile.

  • Nicholas Adams||

    This article is hilarious. Anyone can cherry-pick data to make it look like everything's fine. Most of the data actually claims the opposite, but that's not the point. We've got a belief to substantiate here!
    http://www.businessinsider.com.....z1ac2ixDPf

  • ||

  • ||

    Article, arguments, beliefs/dogmas/facts aside, I wanted to comment on the hostility in this thread. I don't think calling someone a bitch or a twat is conducive to a meaningful discussion. These kinds of personal attacks alienate women from political discourse in particular (it is extremely male dominated in the blogosphere), and discourage the rest of us from participating. Before your boxer briefs get all in a bunch, I'm not trying to squash your first amendment rights. I just wanted to plainly state that, in my opinion, there is no need for such hostility. Also, that kind of vicious denunciation is actually an indication of dogmatic loyalty to your own viewpoint :/

  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Handbag||

    Mr. Marc Jacobs is a legend

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