Foreign Policy

World's Gone Right

Don't believe the hype, things are good and getting better.

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Islamist extremists on the loose in the Middle East, drug cartels running wild south of the border, Ebola, nuclear proliferation, ubiquitous surveillance, climate disasters, beheadings. It's easy to imagine things are worse than they have been in a long time. We don't have the benefit of hindsight, yet we can take a step back and try to take a more detached look at things. The world may seem like a scary place but it's also one full of promise, potential, and progress. Things are better than they've ever been before and they're getting better still.

Why is the world getting better? Not because of the work of governments. In fact governments and the unintended consequences their actions wreak around the world are a big reason why it seems like the world's gone wrong. It's important to remember the world is getting better in spite of governments, not because of them. The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa serves as a powerful example of how this works. Since the summer, the virus has spread in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Only one of these countries has been able to snuff out Ebola so far—Nigeria, hardly a paragon of good government in Africa. But Nigeria receives far less Western aid than any other countries. Liberia, on the other hand, receives a lot of aid, which made its leaders more dependent on foreign aid and less likely to formulate their own solutions the way Nigeria did.

It's the same thing across the spectrum of humanitarian aid, an industry that's grown continuously since the end of World War II. The United Nations, the first institution of the post-war era, was meant to end wars but of course it did no such thing. The incidence of war eventually did go down. War-related deaths during the Cold War averaged 180,000 a year. In the 1990s it fell to 100,000 a year, and in the 21st century averaged just 55,000 per year. As Joshua Goldstein explained in Foreign Policy, much of this decline can be attributed to the way waging war has changed. The rapid advances in technology have made it more difficult for governments to run the kinds of campaigns that ran up the death toll in World War II—the diffusion of weapons technology contributed to asymmetrical warfare, which may, in the information age, create the perception of increased chaos and conflict but in reality limits the ability of governments to wage big wars.

Technology has had a similar effect elsewhere: either preventing centralization through tools that make challenging authority easier, or making centralization irrelevant through tools that simplify the task of bypassing authority entirely. Social media networks have helped spark revolutions, the spread of mobile phones in the developing world has spurred a level of economic integration no amount of government initiative could accomplish. The advance of technology and concomitant increase in access and decrease in prices has facilitated all kinds of other improvements in the human condition too, in ways government solutions have not been able to. The libertarian moment isn't just an American thing, and it isn't just a political thing: the same principle that underlies the operation of free markets—voluntary coordination based on distributed information and decentralized decision-making—works for a free society. New technologies make it possible to put the principles into practice by improving access to information and decision-making and challenging the monopolies held by government.

Like the "creative destruction" of a healthy capitalist system, a free world will see its share of creative destruction too. The same technologies that improve human life are also used to increase suffering. Look at the war example—at the same time that the proliferation of small arms has created new opportunities for people to participate in conflicts, it's also helped prevent governments from waging highly destructive wars against each other. The anonymity provided by the Internet is taken advantage of by participants in the black market as well as by those seeking to challenge their own governments' brutality. And advances in telecommunications have made it easier to connect with and learn about what's happening all around the world.

But the advances have also made it easier for an establishment losing grip on power to paint a picture of a world gone wrong, one that demands we cede more power to the establishment even as technology creates the opportunity to diffuse control in a way never before possible, and makes the world an even better place.

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  1. someone forgot to check their white privilage

    1. 3/10 for trolling effort.

      1. sad face:(

    2. “someone forgot…”

      All about the wars in the Congo, starting in the 1990s and continuing today. Casualties in the millions. These wars are not typically governments fighting other governments, but warlords fighting to control the resources necessary for the manufacture of your precious gadgets.

      1. Yes, we ‘made’ them do that. It’s our fault (and probably mostly mine since I have multiple gadgets). I’m soooo sorry. I’ll put it on my list of “shit I’m responsible for” behind global warming and just in front of violence to women.

        1. “I’m soooo sorry. I’ll put it on my list of “shit I’m responsible for” behind global warming and just in front of violence to women.”

          It’s all about you after all. It’s you, not those miserable African ingrates, who deserve to be seen as the truly deserving victim in all this.

          1. NEEDS MOAR BLEEDING HEART SELF-CONGRATULATION

            1. “NEEDS MOAR BLEEDING HEART SELF-CONGRATULATION”

              Another deserving victim of the Congo wars speaks out.

              1. I don’t own anything made in Congo. So I’m OK.

                Right?

                1. “I don’t own anything made in Congo. So I’m OK.”

                  Don’t underestimate yourself. You’re much more than OK, you’re yet another deserving victim of this tragic conflict.

                  1. I’m glad to hear that they have intertoobs in the Congo and that you are the guy responsible for all the products made there. I have a complaint.

                    The last set of tossing Pygmies that I received, really sucked! After being tossed a few times, they could no longer polish a decent monocle. Totally unacceptable!

                  2. I’m always amazed by how fucking stupid you are, mtrueman. It’s actually very impressive.

                    All about the wars in the Congo, starting in the 1990s and continuing today. Casualties in the millions. These wars are not typically governments fighting other governments, but warlords fighting to control the resources necessary for the manufacture of your precious gadgets.

                    Good point. I remember back before white people were in Africa how tremendously peaceful it was.

                    Before evil capitalist America there were no wars in Africa.

                    Truly, all was peaceful before bourgeoisie Western pig-dog imperialism.

                    Keep fighting the good fight! One day people will learn the wonder of pre-Capitalist Africa if you just keep running your mouth on the subject without providing any evidence for your assertions.

                    1. Well, now we have a global economy. So, anytime, anywhere, someone does something bad to control resources, it’s everyone’s fault.

                    2. I tell you one thing I know, it’s not my fault Reason published an article papering over the bloodiest conflict of the past 20 years. At the same time as trumpeting the consumer goods that fueled the conflict, no less.

                      If you want to blame me for something, you can blame me for having the cheek to point out glaring inconsistency in an idiot article and invoking a guilty conscience in more than one commenter.

                      By the way, nice to see Reason publish something positive about the Nigerian government at long last. I’ve been wondering when Reason would get around to this.

                    3. idiot article

                      The thing you probably don’t realize is that by calling this an idiot article, a childish insult more than a coherent argument, you are implicitly recognizing the validity and righteousness of the article. The article is correct. It’s the personal behavior you have problems with. Slurs are just your charming way of signalling agreement with the article.

                    4. “The article is correct.”

                      It isn’t though, and it’s stupid. But I understand your impulse to defend it.

                    5. You know, the other day, a guy got stabbed for his wallet. And, it occurred to me, if people didn’t value money and trade it, he wouldn’t have had any reason for getting mugged.

                      How many more people need to get hurt just because people want to trade money?

                      Did you know that the USA prints money?

                      It’s all so sad, the things people value. If only they realized the crimes they were all contributing to, with the things they value.

                    6. I understand your impulse to defend the article. That’s no excuse to babble, though.

                    7. The thing you probably don’t realize is that by calling my comment babbling, a childish insult more than a coherent argument, you are implicitly recognizing the validity and righteousness of my comment. The comment is correct. It’s the personal behavior you have problems with. Slurs are just your charming way of signalling agreement with me.

                    8. “The comment is correct.”

                      No, the comment was incoherent. Like this one. Is this really the best you can do?

                    9. Really? It’s pretty much your own comment.

                      I always think its fun to talk to people who are wildly careless in the things they say. You can just use their own words against them, and essentially watch them argue with themselves.

                      Then, if you combine it with a personality with sufficiently weak ego that they cannot concede a point or their own errors, I can watch them just dig themselves deeper and deeper into a hole of their own making. Instead of conceding the point and moving on, I can watch them flail and struggle in a quicksand of their own arguments, barely expending any effort, since it’s their own words they struggle against.

                      It’s quite entertaining.

              2. Yeah, stop playing the victim, Gilmore. Duh.

              3. I love the combination of, “posturing moral superiority while wishing violent death upon strangers

                Its so deliciously ‘retarded/self-important’. Sort of like the Zach Galifinakis’ character, the “pretentious illiterate

          2. “It’s all about you after all. It’s you, not those miserable African ingrates”

            There’s my white male privilege again. Thinking that things that others claim are all my fault is about me.

            So let’s talk about you. You know, how you are so pure you don’t even have a computer, or Internet, or a phone and how much money you donate to Africa, because – you put your money where you mouth is. You are absolutely not a hypocrite. Right?

            1. So let’s talk about you. You know, how you are so pure you don’t even have a computer, or Internet, or a phone and how much money you donate to Africa, because – you put your money where you mouth is. You are absolutely not a hypocrite. Right?

              I do wonder what mtrueman uses to write his blogs.

              Incidentally, the claims he makes on his blog are among the dumbest I have ever read anywhere.

              Look at this shit.

              So who are the new Luddites? It’s not those who oppose technology but the hackers who dedicate themselves to making devices such as smart phones do their bidding rather than remaining under the control of their manufacturers. ‘Jail breaking’ is the term used and it often comes up in the press. Here’s an announcement of the successful jail break of an Apple device.

              I’m sure there are people who explicitly identify these hackers with the Luddites of old, but they seem to be extremely rare. Yet the Luddites of old and the hackers share the same motives: keeping the control of technology from slipping into the hands of others.

              This makes no sense.

              1. So he’s anti-capitalism, but pro big business? And hackers are Luddites? Lulz.

              2. “This makes no sense.”

                Flattery will get you nowhere, but thanks all the same. It’s a rare privilege to be quoted to oneself.

                1. “This Makes No Sense.”

                  Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

                  Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this argument? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this argument! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense!

                  If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

                  /Johnnie Cochran

                  1. I love the Chewbacca defense.

                2. Attention is fun, isn’t it?

                  1. Here’s mtrueman’s solution to chronic unemployment:

                    What sort of “appropriate new income policies” does Gorz advocate? A reduction in working hours. How much of a reduction? In the case of Saxony, a 90% reduction seems called for. Gorz also calls for a social wage or universal dole to be paid to everyone regardless of employment status or merit. It seems to make sense, yet no politician I’m aware of is calling for such measures. I don’t think there is much call from the public for them either.

                    Here it is public. Can’t say now you’ve never come across this solution to chronic unemployment.

                    I can see no potential negative social consequences to having people work 4 hours a week and receive tens of thousands of dollars from the state regardless of their employment status.

                    Moral hazards and unintended consequences are libertarian myths.

                    1. “I can see no potential negative social consequences to having people work 4 hours a week and receive tens of thousands of dollars from the state regardless of their employment status.”

                      In that case, my advice, put some more thought into the question.

            2. “You are absolutely not a hypocrite. Right?”

              Of course I’m a hypocrite. You seem to think it makes me special somehow. I assure it doesn’t.

              1. Glad we got that settled.

                “You seem to think it makes me special somehow.”

                Hardly. Just another piece-of-shit progressive.

                1. “Just another piece-of-shit progressive.”

                  Do you know what progress means? It’s the author of the article who is saying that the world is getting better. I’m offering an argument against this.

                  1. The fact that ‘the congo’ and many other underdeveloped nations (haiti? somalia? bangladesh? fuck it.. most of sub-saharan africa) have sucked balls in the past, and continue to do so is not a sign that “the world” is therefore a net-failure because Utopia has not been achieved ‘for all’.

                    Its a stupid argument that even people who actually work in international aid/development would never make. Because they appreciate that the ‘problems’ these countries face are endemic and not a consequence of some zero-sum relation to other more-successful nations.

                    i.e. the prosperity of the west does not rely on the suffering of others.

                    Your attempt to claim that the overall world is somehow ‘not better’ because ‘some places still suck’ says nothing substantive about the actual real changes in the quality of human life on earth, and is entirely a bald, juvenile attempt to pretend to some kind of morally superior position by castigating those whose hearts fail to bleed as openly and profusely as your own.

                    No one buys it, because we’re adults. Instead we just laugh at you.

                    Hope that clears things up for you.

                    1. “Hope that clears things up for you.”

                      It doesn’t. If only 100,000 died each year because of war in the 90s, how can the wars in the Congo in that period have claimed deaths in the millions?

                      That’s the question that interests me. I’m not interested in your moralistic hand-wringing.

                    2. because you so CARE about the congo. we get it.

                    3. I care a lot more about getting a rise out of Reason commenters by mentioning the Congo from time to time. Not that admirable, but there you have it. Question is why do you care if I mention the Congo? Guilty conscience?

                    4. “I care a lot more about getting a rise out of Reason commenters [than the Congo]”

                      How noble of you

                    5. Now I’m confused. I thought the point was to act foolish and obtuse, while you enjoy resisting anyone who attempts to talk you into a state of reasonableness.

                      Are you saying that you actually hope someone feels guilty?

                    6. “I thought the point was to act foolish and obtuse”

                      Quite honestly, the point is to present a dubious claim made in the article and watch you and others squirm and tergiversate trying to avoid agreeing with me. You guys rarely fail to rise to the bait.

                      If you feel guilty over what’s happened in Congo, you are more than welcome to keep it to yourself. If you feel it necessary to discuss your feelings with me, be warned I may not be the sympathetic audience you seem to crave.

                    7. I would love to agree with you, but I feel forced to follow your example. Please refer all questions to the Journal of Peace Research or Foreign Policy.

                      Yeah, I kinda do want to talk about my feelings of guilt with you.

                      Thing is, I’ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on electronics and software. And, I don’t feel guilty.

                      Should I feel guilty about not feeling guilty?

                      See, once I told someone that I don’t feel guilty about making tons of money on electronics. And a person told me I was a hypocrite, because I suggested that someone else should feel guilty making money off of gambling addicts. Therefore, I rightly concluded that he agreed with my sentiment, and that I really shouldn’t feel guilty about making money on electronics.

                      But then, people called you a hypocrite, which means I really should feel guilty. It gets confusing, with all these contradictory messages indicating contradictory truths. One would think there’s a problem here, or that these third person opinions aren’t really relevant to the truth. But, apparently, context says they are.

                      So my problem is, I think I should feel guilty, but I don’t. Can you help me out? Perhaps, give me some sympathy? I do like validation.

                    8. “Should I feel guilty about not feeling guilty?”

                      That’s a matter between you and your conscience. I’m flattered, though, that you see fit to turn to me over such an issue.

      2. And CONGO GUILT TRIP from fucking nowhere. Muh edgy randomness.

        1. Don’t let that guilt you feel get you down. Join the others here and discover the liberation afforded by embracing your inner victimhood. Then you can whine and moan all you like.

          1. The fuck are you babbling about?

            1. LOL. Because white privilege! and umm stuff. 😉

            2. “The fuck are you babbling about?”

              When you find you need to ask, my advice, don’t.

      3. I sure hope you’re posting this from the public library after selling off all of your gadgets and gizmos and home and car. Otherwise someone might come here, see your earnest condemnation of us and think that you’re a giant hypocritical cunt.

        1. Not that lefties have ever let hypocritical actions stop them from condemning those actions in others. 😉

          Do as I say, not as I do.

        2. His blog is powered by hamsters and hemp.

        3. “that you’re a giant hypocritical cunt”

          The thing you probably don’t realize is that by calling me a hypocritical cunt, a childish insult more than a coherent argument, you are implicitly recognizing the validity and righteousness of whatever arguments I’m making. My arguments are correct. It’s my personal behaviour you have problems with. Slurs are just your charming way of signalling agreement with me.

            1. There is no logical fallacy here. I’m pointing out that the commenter is in agreement with the morality of my stance. You call anyone a hypocrite and you are signalling implicit agreement with the hypocrite’s position, even though his behaviour is unsatisfacory.

              1. “You call anyone a hypocrite and you are signalling implicit agreement with the hypocrite’s position”

                No, you’re simply pointing out the disconnect between their (idiotic) avowed beliefs, and their actual actions, which suggest that their stated beliefs are simply so much superficial fluff for public appeal.

                IOW, just because a hypocrite *pretends* to have a virtue does not mean those noting his hypocrisy must necessarily believe that the claimed ‘virtues’ are legitimate in any way.

                Its like someone proudly claiming to be a vegetarian in front of meat eaters, then secretly dining on veal.

                Why would ‘meat eaters’ need to believe Vegetarianism is “morally superior” in order to point out the deceptive person’s ethical pretentions? They Don’t.

                Its entirely about noting the inconsistency between a professed ‘morality’ and the realities of their behavior.

                Not only are you a hypocrite, you’re an incompetent sophist. You and Bo should start a club.

                1. “Its like someone proudly claiming to be a vegetarian in front of meat eaters, then secretly dining on veal.”

                  You haven’t thought this through GILMORE. What you say above about the vegetarian is a pretty good example of hypocrisy. Another example might be the environmentalist ranting on about global warming while behind the wheel of his SUV. But let’s switch things around a little.

                  A man claims to be a meat eater, but is secretly a vegetarian. We don’t call him a hypocrite.

                  A person who privately goes to great pains to avoid burning fossil fuels while publicly arguing for that is not called a hypocrite.

                  A holocaust denier is dismissed as crank. He is not taken to task for his hypocrisy when it becomes evident that he doesn’t spit on the Jews he happens to come across.

                  The thief is not called a hypocrite when he argues that is really is better to give than to take.

                  To call someone a hypocrite is to put oneself into moral alignment with them. If you don’t recognize the moral superiority of the stated position, then hypocrite is not the word you’re looking for.

                  “Why would ‘meat eaters’ need to believe Vegetarianism is “morally superior” in order to point out the deceptive person’s ethical pretentions? They Don’t.”

                  But they do. Meat eaters and just about everyone else understands the immorality of inflicting suffering on others, animals included. Pretending otherwise doesn’t make your argument stronger, it makes you look silly.

                  1. “A man claims to be a meat eater, but is secretly a vegetarian. We don’t call him a hypocrite.”

                    If the person claims eating meat is morally superior, yes, indeed we do.

                    “The thief is not called a hypocrite when he argues that is really is better to give than to take.”

                    No, the thief IS called a hypocrite for pretending to a view that he fails to practice.

                    You seem to think the content of the expressed ‘virtue’ Matters

                    It doesn’t. It does not require any ‘alignment of belief’ or matter – what matters is the contradiction between someone professing the possession of virtue and contradicting themselves in action.

                    Meat eaters and just about everyone else understands the immorality of inflicting suffering on others, animals included”

                    No – and as a meat eater i can assure you that i manage to distinguish the difference between animals i consume and human beings.

                    All you demonstrate here is ‘commitment to your previous flawed case’

                    1. “No – and as a meat eater i can assure you that i manage to distinguish the difference between animals i consume and human beings.”

                      Are you saying it’s moral to inflict suffering on animals, and immoral to do so on humans?

                      Are you calling Schindler a hypocrite for failing to live up to his duties as a Nazi?

              2. Eh, not really.

                Televangelist: “you should all donate all your wealth to my ministry, which helps the poor and delivers them the word of God.”
                Mtrueman: “but you’ve kept for yourself enough money to live a luxurious lifestyle. Since you’re not putting your own wealth into your own ministry, you’re a hypocrite.”
                Televangelist: “well, by calling me a hypocrite, you’re implicitly agreeing with my position. Therefore, you really should donate all of your wealth to my ministry.”

                This is usually the part where you go completely obtuse and repeat your original position with no new insight, as if you’re either incapable of digesting new information and adapting your views, or incapable of conceding a point, no matter how obvious it is.

                1. “Mtrueman: “but you’ve kept for yourself enough money to live a luxurious lifestyle. Since you’re not putting your own wealth into your own ministry, you’re a hypocrite.””

                  Nice to see you putting words in my mouth, but mtrueman would never say that. mtrueman would call that fraud rather than hypocrisy. mtrueman also urges all his readers to learn the difference between the two.

                  1. Actually, it’s not fraud unless you show it’s fraud.

                    Perhaps he inherited all his wealth, which he chooses to keep instead of donating to his ministry. In that case, he’s a hypocrite, since he’s claiming one course of action is right, while doing another.

                    hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

                    The first step in learning the difference between the two, is learning what each means.

                    You know, it’s really inspiring how you grab onto obtuseness as a strategy for success, and try to ride it all the way to glorious victory.

                    1. Oh, I forgot: I usually assume I don’t have to look up every definition, but, then again, we’re going with the obtuseness strategy:

                      Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain (adjectival form fraudulent; to defraud is the verb)

                    2. “hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.”

                      You’re missing the point again. The definition of the word is not in question. The issue is a matter of usage. Who gets called a hypocrite and who doesn’t.

                    3. This is usually the part where you go completely obtuse and repeat your original position with no new insight, as if you’re either incapable of digesting new information and adapting your views, or incapable of conceding a point, no matter how obvious it is.

                    4. “This is usually the part where you go completely obtuse and repeat your original position with no new insight”

                      This is actually the part where I offer a clarifying example, since you truly seem to be at a loss here.

                      A guy professes a belief in brotherhood and tolerance yet secretly supports the Nazi party. We call him a hypocrite because we share his professed beliefs.

                      His neighbour makes an effort to convince all that he is a loyal Nazi yet secretly works to help Jews. We don’t call him a hypocrite because we don’t recognize the morality of his professed allegiance to the Nazis.

                      One guy is some schlub, not all that unlike myself, a hypocrite, and the other gets to have Jewish people put stones on his grave at the end of the movie.

                      If you need other examples maybe another commenter can help you, though I wouldn’t hold my breath.

                    5. A guy professes a belief in brotherhood and tolerance yet secretly supports the Nazi party. We call him a hypocrite because we share his professed beliefs.

                      No, hypocrisy is defined as:

                      hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

                      The beliefs of a person observing hypocrisy have no effect.

                      Again, this is the part where you go obtuse and add no new information, or just restate the same errors over and over again, indicating that you cannot digest new information and adapt, or you don’t have sufficient ego to concede a point and move on.

                    6. The definition of the word is not in question. It’s a matter of usage. A matter of the context in which the word is used. Do you understand that?

                    7. Again, this is the part where you go obtuse and add no new information, or just restate the same errors over and over again, indicating that you cannot digest new information and adapt, or you don’t have sufficient ego to concede a point and move on.

                    8. “Again, this is the part where you go obtuse and add no new information, or just restate the same errors over and over again, indicating that you cannot digest new information and adapt, or you don’t have sufficient ego to concede a point and move on.”

                      Yeah, I’m so bad. I also had the cheek to point out dubious assertions in the article and bruise guilty consciences by mentioning the word Congo and the moral complexities of today’s global supply chains. So, so bad.

                    9. If you would like to discuss your feelings of guilt with me, you’re free to do so. But, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for foolishness.

                    10. Or here, if you like examples:

                      An alcoholic tells his alcoholic friend, “This drinking will kill us.” Then he goes on a deep bender. His alcoholic friend says, “You hypocrite. You told me drinking would kill us! I’m going out drinking!” So, his alcoholic friend uses the hypocrisy to reject the statement, and accept the action.

                      The first alcoholic tells another friend, “This drinking will kill me.” Then he goes on another bender. His nonalcoholic friend says, “You hypocrite. You told me drinking would kill you, but you went on a bender!” The nonalcoholic friend accepts the statement, and rejects the action.

                      So, this reveals two things:

                      1. Tu quoque fallacies are in fact fallacies. The hypocrisy of a person has no truth value on either their statements or actions.
                      2. Accusations of hypocrisy only have truth value in terms of whether or not the person is actually a hypocrite. Someone making them can agree or disagree with both the statement and the action.

                      The idea of saying “You accused me of hypocrisy, so you’re admitting that I’m right” is a non sequitur. An accusation of hypocrisy is insufficient to establish that the person making the accusation agrees or disagrees with any part of it.

                    11. And, BTW, trying to show one example of a hypocrisy accusation where the person agrees with the statement but rejects the action, and claiming that this holds always, everywhere, is an example of a hasty generalization fallacy.

                      Yep, thinking is hard.

                    12. “The first alcoholic tells another friend, “This drinking will kill me.” Then he goes on another bender. His nonalcoholic friend says, “You hypocrite. You told me drinking would kill you, but you went on a bender!” The nonalcoholic friend accepts the statement, and rejects the action.”

                      But you got it wrong. The friend doesn’t say “You hypocrite,” he says “you alcoholics are all the same.”

                      Do you call Oskar Schindler a hypocrite as well? He was a Nazi party member, swore an oath of allegiance to Hitler, led those around him to believe he was loyal to the cause, yet secretly worked to subvert Nazi policies. According to you, he’s also a hypocrite. But for some reason you are coy about stating so plainly.

                    13. Oskar Schindler is dead, so I don’t call him anything.

                      He was a hypocrite, not according to me, but standard English. If you have a problem with standard English, then you’re free to make up your own definitions of words as you like. However, since the rest of us are using English, trying to make claims about what English users believe when you’re using a different set of words gets kind of dubious. If you’re not using the definition of the word “hypocrisy” that everyone else is using, then, obviously, you can’t claim that everyone who calls you a hypocrite agrees with you, since you don’t mean what they mean when they use that word.

                      It’s a hilarious level of obtuseness: you basically use a different concept of hypocrisy than other, English users. Then, you claim your concept of the word implies that they all agree with you. Then, you insist they agree with you, even when they say they don’t. And you hand wave away the actual definition of the words, combined with actual examples of it being used in situations where it’s obvious that the person accusing the other of hypocrisy doesn’t agree with the stated principles of the accused.

                      It’s all absolutely fabulous.

                      Again, this is the part where you go obtuse and add no new information, or just restate the same errors over and over again, indicating that you cannot digest new information and adapt, or you don’t have sufficient ego to concede a point and move on.

                    14. “He was a hypocrite”

                      Now, can you find anyone who agrees with you? Preferably someone who was not a Nazi? I doubt you can. Are you up to the Schindler was a hypocrite hypocrisy challenge?

                      You have the entire English language on your side, remember, so don’t fear, you can do it. Just give me a handful of names of non Nazis who are on record denouncing Schindler as a hypocrite.

                    15. I don’t have to. It’s irrelevant. There’s nothing about my argument that requires me to find non-Nazi’s willing to call Schindler a hypocrite. If you think there is, you can point it out to me, but I don’t think you can.

                      Also, there’s nothing about your argument established by asserting that few non-nazi’s would call Schindler a hypocrite. You seem to think that it’s a great example of a context of using the word hypocrite that you agree with, but it doesn’t establish that your idea of context is the only valid one.

                      Yes, people typically use the word “hypocrite” for a negative meaning. So, we have no problem imagining a Nazi who would refer to Schindler as a hypocrite. However, this negative meaning doesn’t imply that the negative feelings are always pointed towards agreement with the words, but disagreement with the actions. Gilmore and I have already provided numerous valid examples.

                      If you want to hand wave them away, you’re just simply saying “I don’t agree with that context.” Well, sorry, but the use of English isn’t restricted by mtrueman’s subjective preferences over how everyone should use words, and your own subjective preferences don’t magically transfer to other people. Therefore, you can’t really go around saying that people must believe things when they don’t, based solely on that.

          1. “you are implicitly recognizing the validity of whatever argumetns I’m making”

            Say what?

            1. You argue A is true.
            2. You behave as if A is false i.e. a hypocrite.

            We argue A is false and we behave as if A is false i.e. we are consistent.

            Pointing out you are a hypocrite doesn’t support your argument. Lulz.

            1. Cryptic, you don’t understand mtrueman’s genius. Like Sam, his brilliance knows no bounds and it is only our glibertarian Ayn Randtardian ways that stops us from seeing it.

              For example, when we read this article, we wrongly assumed that it was saying things are generally getting better but that there is obviously a long way to go. When mtrueman read this article, he rightfully concluded that the author was saying human rights violations in the Congo don’t matter and that he wants all the Africans to die horribly.

              What we need to do is learn to read between the lines. That way, the next time someone says “Poverty is decreasing and more people are living well than ever before” we’ll know that what he really means is “I don’t care when Congolese mine workers die in a cave in.”

              1. Yes I think I’m seeing the error of my ways now.

                When I read something like “Technology benefits mankind” I don’t see beyond the obvious stated message. However, mtrueman and Sam, in their genius, read behind between the lines to see the real meaning here i.e. “We hate black people”. I’m still not quite there yet, but with practice and their help there is hope.

              2. In the 1990s war related deaths fell to 100,000 a year.

                True or false?

                1. Actually, the article says:

                  War-related deaths during the Cold War averaged 180,000 a year. In the 1990s it fell to 100,000 a year, and in the 21st century averaged just 55,000 per year. As Joshua Goldstein explained in Foreign Policy, much of this decline can be attributed to the way waging war has changed.

                  He’s talking about averages. And he’s citing someone else.

                  I seem to remember a time when someone was making wildly inaccurate claims about data, and taking no responsibility for it, because he was simply citing someone else…. hmmm… can’t remember who. But, yeah, anyone else that does it must be creating an idiot article. That person’s comments, whoever it was, are pure gold, though.

                  The data originates from a study comes from the Journal of Peace Research. So, either the claim is correct, or the claim is incorrect. If it’s incorrect, then it could be that:

                  1. The data is flawed
                  2. The conclusions don’t follow from the data
                  3. Some other error

                  Perhaps the claim is correct, or perhaps the authors looked at the data and drew an unwarranted conclusion, or communicated their intended conclusion poorly. You should be familiar with such errors, if that is the case.

                  1. Maybe you should direct your problems with the data to the Journal of Peace Research, or the editors of Foreign Policy. That’s what you suggested when you were making the same error that you’re claiming here.

                    1. “Maybe you should direct your problems with the data…”

                      Maybe I should. But I’m a hypocrite, remember? Maybe a non hypocrite like yourself should take on that burden.

                    2. Far be it from me to keep you from your good works.

                  2. “So, either the claim is correct, or the claim is incorrect.”

                    Are you sure about this? It’s unusual for you to stake out such a intellectually courageous position like this.

                    1. Well, I could make an mtruemanesque effort to obscure the issue and start arguing that the objective nature of truth is just an assumption, and that claims can be neither true nor false.

                      Wanna try? Sounds like fun!

                    2. “obscure the issue”

                      The issue for me is the whether we should believe the claim made in the article that only 100,000 died from wars in the 90s.

                      For you the issue is whether we should add hypocrite to my myriad personal failings.

                      Go ahead and obscure whatever issue you want.

                    3. But that wasn’t the claim made in the article.

                      This thinking business is tough for you, isn’t it?

                    4. My apologies. I meant 100,000 a year rather than 100,000.

                      This thinking business is tough, if the thoughts are worthy of the name. You think otherwise?

                    5. I don’t find it that difficult, but you seem to be hilariously struggling with even the simplest thoughts, and I find it thoroughly, endlessly enjoyable. If you conceded points and moved on, where would the fun be in that?

                    6. “I don’t find it that difficult”

                      Not surprising. It’s easy to pretend that the bloodiest conflict of the last few decades never took place or that it wasn’t fueled by electronics manufacturing. Just don’t pat yourself on the back over it, is all. You’ve accomplished nothing praiseworthy here.

                    7. Now whose putting words in whose mouth? When did I say that war in the Congo over conflict minerals never happened?

                      Your too obtuse for me to care about what you consider is praiseworthy, and what is not. Perhaps if you but some forethought into your claims, I may change my mind. However, I don’t think you’re up to the challenge.

                    8. I’m glad you’ve got that off your chest. Anything else?

                    9. For you the issue is whether we should add hypocrite to my myriad personal failings.

                      Actually, I never accused you of being a hypocrite, in terms of the Congo.

                      However, for the previous issue, you are a hypocrite. Earlier you made a wildly inaccurate claim based on data from a previous article. When this was pointed out to you, you insisted that, since your claim was based on the article, that we should refer all of our problems with your claim to the author or the editors.

                      Well, this article is based on another article, which cites a journal article. Therefore, if you’re consistent with your previous stated beliefs, then you should be referring your questions to the author and/or editors of Foreign Policy or Journal of Peace Research. Instead of acting consistently with your stated standards on the previous issue, you’re now acting in a completely inconsistent manner, and presenting us with your questions about the validity of the article.

                      It’s also a great example of a double-standard: a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups. Since you apply the principle differently to yourself than you do to others, it is both hypocrisy and a double-standard, combined.

                      My only interest in the previous discussion of hypocrisy is pointing out your hilarious error in assuming that anyone who accuses you of hypocrisy must, by default, agree with your stated principles. Who knew it was so powerful?

                    10. How about looking up the meaning of some words and posting links to the answers you find? You haven’t done that for a while.

                    11. You do seem to have difficulty with standard English. Is there a word that you find challenging? I could look it up for you.

                      Also, if you find yourself struggling with more definitions, you could always take a course in English. They’re widely available for people of all ages, even older people who haven’t gotten it yet.

                      Knowledge is power, after all.

            2. “We argue A is false and we behave as if A is false i.e. we are consistent.”

              By A you mean that the civil wars in Congo causing millions in casualties is papered over in the article?

              I don’t see anyone arguing that A is false. ie that the Congo wars have been covered adequately in the article.

              Otherwise, you seem confused.

              1. By ‘A’ I mean your hypothesis that war in Congo is my fault (the west, specifically ‘white’ people).

                I say it isn’t and I act accordingly.

                You say it is, but continue to act like you don’t care.

                Logic. It’s not that difficult. You should give it a try sometime.

                1. “By ‘A’ I mean your hypothesis that war in Congo is my fault (the west, specifically ‘white’ people).”

                  I see you’ve joined Brian in putting words in my mouth. I haven’t claimed that the war in the Congo was specifically the fault of ‘white’ people. You may be hallucinating. In any case, you’re wasting my time.

                  1. Wasting your time? I thought we were having fun!

                  2. Well sometimes we infer things. Like you inferred

                    “By A you mean that the civil wars in Congo causing millions in casualties is papered over in the article?”

                    Which was putting words in my mouth (there is that hypocrisy again). That was not what A represented at all. But I hadn’t explicitly stated it, so you inferred it. Other than ramblings about ‘guilt’ you have stated very little about the details of your position. That leaves me little choice but to ‘guess’ what that position is (Congo is the west’s fault? The west is bad? Capitalism is bad? Materialism is bad?). Then when I get it slightly wrong, you can jump up and down and get offended – “That’s not what I said”. True, because you’ve said almost nothing about the details of your position. Just pointing fingers and mumbling something about guilt or something.

                    1. “”By A you mean that the civil wars in Congo causing millions in casualties is papered over in the article?””

                      That’s actually a question, not an inference. The tell tale curly thing at the end of the sentence tells you it’s a question. I was asking you because I wanted to make sure we were both on the same page. We weren’t. You thought I was saying something about white people causing trouble in Africa. I wasn’t, though full marks for imagination on your part.

                      I don’t see where you feel I put words in your mouth. Can you show more clearly?

                      My position is that it is hard to reconcile the author’s claim of 100,000 deaths a year due to war in the 90s with information I have about the wars in the Congo during that period. If you can help me here, please do. Otherwise my insincerest apologies for raising the issue of the Congo.

                    2. Then why is it in quotes. Lulz.

                      I’m not complaining about your position that there were more than 100,000 deaths per year. If that were your only position I’d go “Meh, might be true, might not.” I don’t know and I also don’t care and don’t believe that ‘if true’ this negates the article.

                      I’m specifically attacking your position that this is ‘our’fault. I’m inferring this because you keep going on about how we should feel guilty. If you feel I should feel guilty than you MUST be implying that it is (at least partially) my fault. You also have explicitly acknowledged that you are a hypocrite i.e. you believe your behavior is partially responsible deaths and badness and feel guilty, but you continue your behavior anyways (i.e. hypocrite/sociopath). You seem to feel that your behavior is ‘okay’ as long as you feel guilty about it (which is consistent with the general position of the left/progressives).

                      Not only do you put words in people mouths, but you continually claim to know what they are thinking as well i.e. that ‘we’ actually do feel guilty, despite direct words to the contrary. But again, you are a self-admitted hypocrite, so no surprise there. I don’t feel guilty. Not even a infinitesimal. But again you will claim I don’t even know my own mind.

                    3. Oh, my bad, it wasn’t in quotes. I concede that part. Still you claim to know our thoughts and express them for us – “we feel guilt”.

                    4. I think the part were you were supposed to infer guilt was when he said:

                      These wars are not typically governments fighting other governments, but warlords fighting to control the resources necessary for the manufacture of your precious gadgets.

                    5. Definitely. But not just that. Several times he accuses people of having a guilty conscience, or feeling guilty, etc.

                    6. He basically enjoys telling people they agree with him, when they don’t.

                      It’s just a fun little game he plays.

                    7. Good observation. I only see that now in retrospect.

                    8. “Not only do you put words in people mouths”

                      I ask again what words have I put in your mouth?

                      “I’m not complaining about your position that there were more than 100,000 deaths per year.”

                      That is much more generous than any other commenter on this page. I respect your humility.

                      ” I don’t feel guilty. ”

                      I understand this and share your lack of guilty feelings. I assume we both go to the shops and buy gadgets with a clean conscience. But that doesn’t mean that there has been a lot of dirty business going on behind our backs in the Congo, with outsiders funding warlords in the resource extraction business. I find this morally troubling, don’t you? What can we do about this? Not a lot, except maybe demand gadget manufacturers to publish a full accounting of their supply chains so that we can have the option of declining to buy if we know our money is going to end up in the pockets of criminals we’d rather not fund. Knowledge is power, after all.

                    9. Knowledge is power, after all.

                    10. You’ve heard about closing the barn door?

                      Are you appalled by these regulations or do you support them?

                    11. You’ve heard about closing the barn door?

                      Yeah, it kinda sucks that people can’t travel back in time and warn others of future wars over conflict minerals, in which case they could intervene and preemptively intervene. Reality can be a bitch sometimes.

                    12. Actually, if you’re worried about the accuracy of the numbers, the original source is claiming war deaths directly related to war violence.

                      So, for example, if there’s a war, and 30,000 soldiers die, that counts.

                      If the victorious party decides, in their newfound sovereign glory, to execute a few million people, they’re not counting that.

                      So, basically, it’s like a measure of a certain kind of violence, going down over time.

                      Maybe it’s not as complete a picture as you would like, but one might think it’s a good sign that it’s going down, instead of up.

  2. “I’m getting better!”

    1. No you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment.

        1. I feeeeeel happppppppy! Soooooo happppppppyyy!!!

  3. So…what you’re telling me is that we need a bigger government? Okay!

    1. You read this and got that? Okay!

      1. My New Year’s resolution is to improve my Internet sarcasm skills.

        1. Well, if you can’t do that by reading the comments here, then you are hopeless, (;

  4. The world is definitely “Getting Better” for certain people.

    And, not just for White people.

    Latino’s can come out of the shadows and get a job paying taxes…maybe that’s better.

    Black people can rob a grocery store, assault the store clerk, and can count on a significant section of the US Population to stand in solidarity with them.

    Asian people can Sue Harvard for being denied admission.

    Jews are getting more and more land in the Occupied Territories.

    With outsourcing and H-1-Bs, Indians and Chinese are joining America’s middle /upper middle classes.

    Dope is legal in four US States.

    Gays can get married.

    People can walk around with Guns in DC.

    1. Even stupid people can become president of this here US of A.

      1. U mean Reagan, GWB and Obama? Yup.

        1. Only one of the above, indeed, only one US President ever got a masters degree in business. He clearly was a real moron. Or you are.

    2. So much douchery in one post.

      1. He should learn to spread it out like you do.

    3. Jews are getting more and more land in the Occupied Territories.

      You incorrectly spelled “Judea and Samaria”.

  5. Blow me – I was whole lot freer in the 80’s.

    1. I’ve never been Free. I’ve always cost a lot of money 😉

      1. I’ve always been 50% slave, since 50% of my labor is for someone else’s benefit.

    2. Your trade wasn’t as free. Your gun rights were far less respected.

  6. I agree in general. History can be seen as a long trend of more information decentralizing government, and not just since the printing press, but it was a big help. Railroads, the telegraph and telephone, radio, TV, and now computers and the internet, all help diffuse information out from under government control. When I was a kid, most people got their TV news from three broadcast networks, which the government could fairly easily control, even if they had to do it without the networks’ knowledge or permission. UHF, cable, satellite, and now the internet have put the kibosh on that.

    I assume this trend will continue by means not yet invented. 3D printing will decentralize manufacturing, another dispersal of control which governments will find hard to defeat.

    There’s an interesting trend towards society abandoning sectors as government control winds them up so tight as to be moribund and useless. Taxi companies thought they had achieved nirvana, the goose which laid the golden egg. Was it Milwaukee which loosened regulations in spite of medallion owners screaming about the $150K value they had built up? Worthless overnight, and good riddance. Uber and Lyft may eventually br broken a la Napster, but their replacement will be even more decentralized and harder to control, or tax. I think it won’t be long before an unowned replacement gives them a hard time, where the drivers are entirely free lance and under the regulator’s and taxman’s radar.

    1. Railroads, the telegraph and telephone, radio, TV

      Didn’t stop Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

      computers and the internet
      Kim Jong Un seems okay.

      1. And picnics have kept going in the face of ants.

      2. WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE!

        What? We’re not doing that anymore? I thought we were still doing that.

      3. Well if these innovations didn’t stop one one set of ruthless tyrants they must be useless. Please get a hobby.

        1. Where did I say that innovations are useless?

          1. Then they must be useless at spreading tyranny -Fixed for pedant.

    2. I don’t think Uber or Lyft are getting Napster’d. Napster was theft. Uber and Lyft are winning, even in Europe. There’s no stopping this. Cryptocurrency and city states will be the coup d’grace for The Total State.

      1. “I don’t think Uber or Lyft are getting Napster’d. Napster was theft.”

        I’m not familiar with the total business model, but wonder what the insurance angle is? Are car insurance companies OK with commercial use of said vehicles and the exposures of having strangers ride?

        If so, then all is well. If, on the other hand, there is a false economy to it, that’s another story.

        Edit – I looked and, yes, there are problems with the insurance not resolved.

        1. Nope. That’s just more desperate grasping by the cabby cronies.

  7. The world may seem like a scary place but it’s also one full of promise, potential, and progress. Things are better than they’ve ever been before and they’re getting better still.

    Tell it to the business owners in Ferguson.

    1. Only black-owned businesses were affected. Oh yes, and that grocery store that Mike Brown robbed.

      But for everyone else, especially given the current American Economy, things are GREAT.

      1. Only black-owned businesses? Oh, well then – carry on.

        /sarc

    2. Okay. I’ll tell it to them. What’s your point?

      1. Let me guess – you’re irony challenged, right?

        1. No I have a great sense of irony. Yours is lame. That one incident does not diminish our improving world.

  8. Did Thomas Carlyle write this?

    1. Dang it I meant Thomas Babington Macaulay.

      1. Either one works well enough.

        1. No Carlyle does not work at all since he hated Whigs and talk of continual progress. He was correct in correcting himself.

  9. I thought this was a libertarian site, not a Whig site.

    1. Well, crossdressers get a fair amount of coverage here. Oh, excuse me, you wrote Whig. Never mind.

  10. Like the “creative destruction” of a healthy capitalist system

    One that the US doesn’t have?

  11. So who is more delusional: Reason or those English Liberals who thought the Late Victoria Era was the epitome of humanity and things were only going to get better for England?

    1. There is a very interesting read – The Strange Death of Liberal England, on the demise of the 19th century Liberal Party.

    2. So. Fucking. Tiresome. And stupid. RTFA and try to rebut it, if you can. Otherwise, shut up.

    3. So who is more delusional: Reason or those English Liberals who thought the Late Victoria Era was the epitome of humanity and things were only going to get better for England?

      The correct answer is Francis Fukuyama.

      1. The correct answer is Francis Fukuyama.

        Only if the question is “What stupid author most exemplifies the absolute narcissism of the current age?”

        Was the category, Imbecilic books?

  12. And this – SF just passed a Retail Workers Bill or Rights, so life is better for ALL working people:

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/11…..of-rights/

    1. Yay! What could go wrong …

    2. Why would SugarFree do something like that?

      Uncharacteristic of him…

      1. It’s part of his evil plan to destroy Silicon Valley and take over the world.

    3. Is this even constitutional?

      1. Constitutional?? Is he a passenger on this ship?

        / Bammy

  13. Of course governments play a large (likely overwhelming) role in increasing peace and prosperity in the world. It’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise. “Creative destruction” in raw capitalism is little different from what happens in natural selection. The only thing humans have done to improve upon that inefficient and vastly more-destructive-than-creative scheme is to impose organization and planning and brains on it. It’s usually done in a reactionary and suboptimal way, but to say the role of government is actually counter to the trend toward increased well-being is to be an idiot.

    1. It’s usually done in a reactionary and suboptimal way

      Not in capitalism; only in government.

      1. True, pure capitalism is totally reactionary and minimally optimal.

        1. That’s why I’m so poor and the USSR won The Cold War.

    2. Shorter Tony:

      an idiot.

    3. Luddite alert.

    4. It is interesting how Tony sang the praises of government at precisely the time I was giving markets all the credit.

      That is the difference between a progressive and a classic liberal.

      1. Oh, fuck. Tony and Shreeeeek on the same thread. Can we get Tulpa in here?

        1. You only have to say his name 3 times

    5. Of course governments play a large (likely overwhelming) role in increasing peace and prosperity in the world. It’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

      Indeed. It was, afterall, WalMart who started both Gulf Wars. And let’s not even mention how the Koch brothers started the Civil War.

      1. I remember when General Motors carried out the Holocaust and Nestle’s callousness towards Ukraine during Holodomor was truly vile.

        Remember that time all the corporations got together and helped kill the CEO of Libya, after which the country was plunged into chaos? That was a really bad idea and I’m still angry the corporations have refused to apologize for the horrors they foisted on the Libyan public.

        1. The Pepsico Massacre of 86 immediately comes to mind. I’ll never forget how those Pepsico board members stormed the corporate offices of Coke with AKs a blazing demanding they accept their tender offer.

          1. It was axes not AKs

            http://initforthekills.files.w…..02970c.jpg

      2. This goes both ways. Remember the time the governent attacked all those striking steel workers with Pinkertons. Oh no wait that was Carnegie Steel Company. Same with Battle of Blair Mountain. Not to mention that things definitely improved when the Belgian Government stepped in an effectively nationalized the Congo, which until that point had been run as a corporation for Leopold’s benefit. Same thing happened when the German government replaced the the German East Africa Company. The second a business becomes the ultimate soverign of an area it rarely avoids falling into the same behavior that states use.

        1. Difference…when a company does it it’s fucking illegal. When the government does it, we call that Thursday.

          1. No it isnt. No one went to jail for anything they did in the Congo free state. But you are making my point for me you say businesses are better than governent at behaving themselves . I’m saying that isn’t all that clear seeing as how when business are awarded sovereignty over an area that behave just like a government. You are drawing the distinction in the wrong place . It’s not business or private individual vs. soverign it’s about who is soverign and who is not . The flaws of government you identify are really flaws of sovereignty and at the end of the day someone has to exercise sovereignty.

            1. you say businesses are better than governent [sic] at behaving themselves .

              Yes, business initiates violence more than governments do.

              derp

              I’m saying that isn’t all that clear seeing as how when business are awarded sovereignty over an area that behave just like a government.

              Who, was arguing that companies should be given sovereignty?

              1. Given that Sam’s major examples of evil sovereign businesses are government ventures financed by kings and dictators, I’m not even sure Sam understands what his point is anymore.

                When the King of Belgium uses Congolese slave labor in order to extract rubber from a personal colony funded through royal wealth, that’s clearly the fault of private businesses. Sam tells me it is so.

            2. ‘m saying that isn’t all that clear seeing as how when business are awarded sovereignty over an area that behave just like a government.

              Let’s do a simple, mental exercise:

              Government with sovereign power: does bad things.
              Business with sovereign power: does bad things.
              Business doing business: doesn’t do bad things.

              Hmmmm. There seems to be pattern here. I’m not sure I can put my finger on it…

              1. Also, isn’t a business with ‘sovereign power’ just a government?

                After all, that is what sovereign power means.

                1. And so what then? Your argument then boils down to a tautology. it’s you guys that are trying to play business off against government. If you were honest you’d admit that that is a silly dichotomy since by your own admission a business can become a government simply by taking over soverignty. Some has to exercise soverignty. This is like the third comment in a row which should have just said you know what you are right all our bitching about government is kind of simplistic what we should really be concerned about is soverignty.

                  1. Eh, I prefer to take the stance of bitching against sovereignty. So, I’m right there with you. We should be concerned about sovereignty.

                  2. Government is sovereignty, moron.

                    sov?er?eign?ty noun \?s?-v(?-)r?n-t?, -v?rn-t? also ?s?-\
                    : unlimited power over a country

                    : a country’s independent authority and the right to govern itself
                    plural sov?er?eign?ties

                    Full Definition of SOVEREIGNTY

                    1 obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it
                    2
                    a : supreme power especially over a body politic
                    b : freedom from external control : autonomy
                    c : controlling influence
                    3 : one that is sovereign; especially : an autonomous state
                    See sovereignty defined for English-language learners ?
                    See sovereignty defined for kids ?

              2. The pattern is the libertarian defect that makes people unable to grasp the fact that soverigty is inevitable so that business seems less harmful than governent only because it isn’t faced with the demands and temptations of exercising soverignty. This isn’t a hard concept to understand , but it does require you to grapple with terminology and an understadning of power that transcends the government bad business good dichotomy. Someone has to exerciser soverignty business should be thankful it isn’t them.

                1. Someone has to exerciser [sic] soverignty [sic] business should be thankful it isn’t them.

                  Is there some libertarian here arguing that a business should exercise sovereignty?

                  1. Again, if a ‘business’ is exercising sovereignty then they are the government.

                    After all, the definition most commonly used for ‘government’ is the entity with a monopoly on the use of force in a particular area. A ‘business’ with a monopoly on the use of force is exercising government power.

                    If you don’t like me definition, supply a better one.

                    1. Things I’ve learned from Sam:

                      1. The King of Belgium was a private actor, despite the fact that he was, you know, the fucking king of Belgium.. His use of the money supplied to him as liege of Belgium had absolutely nothing to do with the Belgian government. Similarly, all the countries which supported his creation of the Congo Free State were apparently private actors too. The atrocities committed in the Congo were therefore totally the result of private business and in no way related to government. Sam hath spoken.

                      2. Sovereignty and government are two totally different things. Forget everything you know about the definitions of these words. Somehow, a business can simultaneously be sovereign and have complete power over a region without simultaneously being the government. No one quite knows how, but Sam seems sure of it and has never steered me wrong.

                      3. Sam is a genius with knowledge of all things. If you think he’s ignorant, doesn’t know the meaning of the words he’s using, and has a very tenuous grasp of history, then you’re just a stupid libertardian who is beneath Sam’s towering intellect.

                      There are no facts unknown to the mind of Sam, just as there is no one safe from the ravages inflicted upon them by ‘sovereign private corporations.’

                    2. You know, Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Definitely the hero of the oppressed worker.

                      Fucking evil corporations!

                      No one notices that the “rich” was the government, not the businessman.

                    3. Even better, he was fighting against unjust taxation.

                      It’s really sad when you think about how much they mess that story up.

        2. Remember the time the governent attacked all those striking steel workers with Pinkertons. Oh no wait that was Carnegie Steel Company.

          Ha, yeah something that bad would be about the 100th worst thing the government does in the average year. Also, the strikers were just as at fault for that clash as Carnegie given that the strikers actually fired first.

          The Homestead Strike also happened in 1892. I can think of a few far worse thingsthe government did in the 1890’s so you haven’t exactly proven a point here.

          Not to mention that things definitely improved when the Belgian Government stepped in an effectively nationalized the Congo, which until that point had been run as a corporation for Leopold’s benefit. Same thing happened when the German government replaced the the German East Africa Company.

          Both of these examples were instances where the company was a MONOPOLY SUPPORTED BY A GOVERNMENT. It’s particularly rich that you use the Leopold example, you idiot, since Leopold was the King of Belgium.

          Yeah, clearly a monopoly granted to a company by the King of Belgium and backed up by Belgian soldiers is a wonderful example of the perils of the free market.

          You really didn’t think this position through, did you?

          1. Come back with those goal posts. There were no Belgian soldiers in the Congo until it was taken over by the Belgian government. Companies hire mercenaries all the time so hiring soldiers obviously doesn’t make one a government. You guys really aren’t even disputing my argument just. You just keep bringing up more reasons why my point is exactly right. The business vs government distinction is childish since both can assume features of the other at a moments notice.

            1. Yeah KING Leopold was just as much a private actor as Bill Gates. Great example, retard.

    6. “Hi, my name is Tony. Witness as I post a series of non-sequitors and unsourced claims for which I provide no evidence. I’m just going to ignore the fact that Vietnam and a host of other countries have seen poverty plummet as their governments have become less intrusive in the market. Similarly, I’m going to ignore the fact that the third world became wealthier as their governments became less repressive and they opened up their markets. At the same time, the first world has declined relative to the rest of the planet just as their governments have become more involved in their economies. This is just a coincidence though, and we should all ignore these basic and easily proven facts.”

    7. Of course governments play a large (likely overwhelming) role in increasing peace and prosperity in the world.

      This is why the era of free markets during the 1800s was so much more violent than the Middle Ages or the early 20th century.

      Wait a minute! The exact opposite of that is true! The period of free markets and liberalism was vastly more peaceful than the eras of powerful government in the Middle Ages and the first half of the 20th century.

      Really odd. Tony’s never lied to me before.

      1. The 19th century was insanely violent. It was basically non stop wars and insurrections from the 1820s onward. The most peaceful period of the 19th century in Europe was when the absolutist monarchies formed a Holy Alliance to snuff out liberlism at its first sighting. France spent the entire century at war with its neighbors, with itself, or if that wasn’t enough in the Crimea. I kind of doubt France and England would be free nations today if was dependent on Puegot and Rover to keep them safe. It was only the ability of the English, Societ, and American governments that kept Germany from conquering all of Europe. “Governments” didn’t start WW1 and WW2, a single government did, the German government.

          1. No they just declared war on Russia and France and invaded neutral Belgium. Good point that’s nothing like starting a war. Honesty go fuck yourself. A reasoned response is better than you deserve.

            1. I’m sorry, but “Germany started WWI” is about the grossest oversimplification of the lead up to WWI I have ever read.

        1. The 19th century was peaceful for America, Civil War aside. What’s the difference between 19th Ce America and Europe? Rhymes with ‘shmonstitution’.

          1. The 19th century was peaceful for America, Civil War aside. What’s the difference between 19th Ce America and Europe? Rhymes with ‘shmonstitution’.

            The 19th century was also peaceful for Europe. The only period in European history more peaceful is the second half of the 20th century when the entire continent of Europe was basically an American satellite state with very small militaries.

            Compare the shit going on in the 1500s-1700s to the 1800s and that century ends up looking incredibly placid.

          2. The 19th century was peaceful for America, Civil War aside.

            And the War of 1812; the Mexican War; the Spanish-American war; Eighty years of wars against a series of Indian Nations; low level guerilla wars such as bleeding Kansas; the Mormon War; reconstruction etc.

    8. Of course governments play a large (likely overwhelming) role in increasing peacedeath and prosperitydestruction in the world.

      FIFY.

    9. “Creative destruction” in raw capitalism is little different from what happens in natural selection. The only thing humans have done to improve upon that inefficient and vastly more-destructive-than-creative scheme is to impose organization and planning and brains on it.

      This is grade AAA level trolling.

  14. China has turned 1.3 billion people into capitalists from communism even if it is state capitalism. The soviet Union is no more. Capitalism in the USA is thriving like never before. There is more secularism than ever. The dark age of religion is waning. Profit and trade is higher than ever. Except on the drug wars things are definitely better than ever.

    1. even if it is state capitalism

      A ButtPig’s favorite kind!

      1. It is far better than communism, comrade.

        1. Fuck off, sock puppet! Funny how you and the luddite keep showing up at the same time these days. Did you two get married?

    2. “The soviet Union is no more.”

      On the other hand, both the Soviets and the USA are now controlled by large resource extraction companies (Kochs, etc.) and this trend appears to be quickening.

      It’s hard to claim that the Russians are headed in a good direction

      But, yes, in a general sense things are better for a larger number and % of people than ever before.

      However, the writer claims it has nothing to do with government – which is a complete crock. Organization (government) has a lot to do with many improvements.

      1. Trigger warning: references to Koch’s controlling the entire USA in previous comment. Tin foil hat required.

      2. On the other hand, both the Soviets and the USA are now controlled by large resource extraction companies (Kochs, etc.) and this trend appears to be quickening.

        OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

        Organization (government) has a lot to do with many improvements.

        1) That’s a lie. 2) Nice conflation of organization with government. Can’t have one without the other right?

        1. You know you’re going to hear a great argument when, based on the premises, you and your wife become a government.

        2. “1) That’s a lie. 2) Nice conflation of organization with government. Can’t have one without the other right?”

          Well, politics is often just an organized lobbying of the government to give us our natural rights…so, yes, that’s good government.

    3. China has turned 1.3 billion people into capitalists from communism even if it is state capitalism.

      Yep. The 902 million Chinese who live on less than $5 a day are truly blessed by their state capitalism.

      The Soviet Union is no more.

      Free as birds I tells ya. Their leader is only an ex-KGB agent who’s been the country’s dictator for the last 12 years…oh, and has become a billionaire in the process. A fine model for us to emulate.

      1. “Free as birds I tells ya. Their leader is only an ex-KGB agent who’s been the country’s dictator for the last 12 years…oh, and has become a billionaire in the process. A fine model for us to emulate.”

        Oligarchy is the Libertarian Wet Dream – which is why they so love folks like the Koch’s buying the government from every angle. Like Putin, the Koch’s made sure to control their own media and institutions.

        The only slight difference, for now, if that the Koch’s use money and propaganda and have not yet started torturing, etc – but, no matter, economics will sway people into Fascism or Authoritarianism just as quickly as anything else – maybe more!

        Russians are happy with Putin – why? Well, because they have a slightly larger pot to piss in. They could give a shit about their natural rights.

        To think we are so different is ridiculous. Human nature is to want that “big boss” or “strong leader” who lets some food trickle down to you.

  15. Wait a minute. How can things be getting better if some things are getting worse?

    1. Because the Ebola hysteria will dwindle away quickly like SARS has done.

      Or like the goldnuts who screamed about hyperinflation. They don’t matter.

      1. The gold nuts who have spent the 21st century watching gold go up and mostly holding?

      2. Or like the goldnuts who screamed about hyperinflation. They don’t matter.

        Or the Krugman’s. But, with him, it depends on who’s running the government.

        1. I like that according to Krugman the people who were wrong about inflation occurring in 2009 are therefore proven wrong forever, but Krugman claiming we’d have high inflation in both 2003 and the early ’80s don’t hurt his credibility at all.

          Say – what do the 80’s and 2003 have in common? Was there something similar about the makeup of the government?

          It’s a conundrum.

          1. His job is to sit on the NYT and tell progressives that every economic bias they have is completely correct, and never wrong.

            Anyone with half a brain and the ability to use google knows he’s full of shit.

            I thought it was funny when Thomas Sargent was being interviewed about rational expectations. The interviewer asked him, basically, “What does Paul Krugman think or say about this?”

            His reply was, essentially, he doesn’t know, and no one cares.

  16. The world is both getting better and getting worse.

    And it’s pretty clear cut as to how that’s happening. There’s no ambiguity whatsoever. It’s like this:

    The world is getting better because of technology. There are no exceptions to that as far as the world getting better.

    The world is getting worse because of governments. There are no exceptions to that as far as the world getting worse.

    Not many things are as clear cut as this. So what should we want? More technology and less government, it couldn’t be more obvious.

    1. So how is Europe worse now than in the bloody war torn 20th Century?

      Don’t bother embarrassing yourself with a clumsy reply.

      1. Don’t bother embarrassing yourself with a clumsy reply.

        How ’bout a surrealist one?

        Fish.

      2. Well, you are obviously not only a sock puppet, but your owner is stupid. You can’t even read English.

        But I will try anyway.

        who caused the wars in the 20th century? Have you ever read anything about those wars. Well, maybe not, so let me give you a clue. Governments started those wars, ass clown. They got millions killed in the first world war, for absolutely no reason outside of some agreements created by governments.

        Outside of Europe being lucky that their governments have not yet started another catastrophic war, the only reason that anyone in Europe would be better off today is because of technology.

        Maybe being married to the luddite is started to affect you?

        1. So you admit government has gotten better too.

          Thanks for conceding. I will always be smarter than you are.

          1. Wow, your reading comprehension is non-existent, lol. Dummy.

            1. That was actually pretty funny

          2. Government has gotten better.

            For example, they stopped trying to run China’s economy in it’s full, centrally-planned glory, and China was able to emerge from an almost pre-industrial economy.

            Hmmm. Seems like there’s a pattern: more and more markets, things improving. Less and less government, things improving.

            I do hope government keeps improving.

      3. This is called cherry picking, retard. It is also in no way a reposte to Hyperion’s post, which you would know if you had any reading skills.

  17. Hyperion slinks off in deep shame. Bested by a mere buttplug again.

    1. I know you can’t get over all of those times that I publicly destroyed you in debates, sock puppet. But you’re just going to have to live with it. You better go on another binge before I have to embarrass you again.

      1. U ALWAYS argue for markets and secularism. So you took the opposing side and defeated me? You are full of shit. Link please.

          1. No you always argue for secularism or more accurately state coerced irreligion. Every three months or so you throw in a single cheer for capitalism, usually of the state variety.

            1. Retard vs retard.

    2. Fish.

  18. Hey, just so you guys know, everyone here is responsible for the Rwandan genocide because one time you bought an iPad.

    /mtrueman

    1. I’ve never bought an iPad. I did give the Hutu’s a good deal on a load of machetes though. I still have have the slaves I traded them for. Unfortunately, they’re no longer children.

    2. “everyone here is responsible for the Rwandan genocide because one time you bought an iPad.”

      From a legal standpoint, I think we’re all on safe ground. But morally, ignorance of the way our global supply chains work is no defence.

  19. Actual conversation with a girl just now:

    Girl: “That said, I still don’t think Wilson was justified shooting a kid 150 feet away.”

    Sudden: “Hahahahahahaha. You’re joking right? Have you ever shot a handgun? There is no accuracy past 35 feet with those. Especially a cop (notoriously shitty shots) and in a tense situation.”

    1. Hey man, nice shot!

    2. The forensic evidence says he was like 10 feet away.

      You can cover that distance in half a second, especially if you have a running start. Slightly different from 150 feet.

      I don’t know where people get such stupid ideas about this case. The evidence is readily available. Why do people persist in making claims that he was shot in the back when all the evidence says that’s not true?

      1. Because the facts don’t fit the narrative.

        1. My personal favorite was how they started out claiming he was a ‘gentle giant’ who was totally angelic. They used this as evidence that Wilson must have committed cold blooded murder which Brown was no way at fault for.

          Then when the video of him committing a robbery surfaced, they said that the matter of his character was irrelevant.

          For the record, I agree it’s irrelevant. However, you don’t get to claim his character is important when it fits your claim about events and then suddenly declare it doesn’t matter when the evidence turns against you.

          1. I keep hearing people say that the video wasn’t him.

            1. Holy shit, really? So their argument is that a totally different 6’4″ black man committed a crime literally 20 minutes earlier at a store like 3 blocks from the place the shooting occurred?

              1. With a red hat and yellow socks.

                1. They don’t pay that much attention. just enough to confirm their bias.

              2. Yeah, or it was photoshopped. Also, you can’t trust anything that was posted on “faux” news right? Yeah, I know its sad.

          2. The think that pisses me off more than anything is that if your proof of police injustice and that we need serious reform in our police departments, you only need to spend a week or two hanging out at Reason. An yet the only major national attention this serious problem gets is for a case that everyone’s going to soon forget. Their going to forget it because Brown is a thug that gets no sympathy from most of the population. And also, there are way too many conflicting stories accounts and not enough real evidence against the cop even if he did act improperly. Most people see it and deep down even the politicians pandering to the race baiters know it. We see shit loads of actual evidence of police misconduct every week and yet crickets from the national media about all this because the race hustlers aren’t making bank on those stories. If they wanted to discredit accusations of widespread police misconduct that actual exist they couldn’t do a better job.

            1. They also create the justification for the police militarization they claim to abhor because every time a bunch of buildings burn down the cops say ‘See, we need tanks for situations like this!’

              That’s what’s especially absurd about that moronic Gawker article claiming that riots can be used to stop police militarization. Idiots: This sort of violence is what was used as justification for Swat Teams, assault rifles, and body armor in Los Angeles.

              When you torch businesses, you convince middle America that their safety depends on a well armed police force. Gawker got the situation exactly backwards. These sorts of things cause further militarization, they do not retard that militarization.

              1. I would like to think that at the very least some seeds were planted and maybe people will start paying more attention but who knows. I haven’t seen anything anywhere else in regards to the story posted here earlier about the beating and knockdown of the pregnant chick.

      2. I heard it was 30 feet but if you’re right and he was *actually* charging, which I kind of doubt, then a shooting was justified. Just not that many shots.

        1. Yeah, I don’t know what happened. I think it’s possible Wilson acted wrongly and potentially is guilty.

          The primary problem, it seems to me, is that the witnesses for the prosecution virtually all blatantly lied and destroyed any credibility they would have had. This meant that any evidence they could have had which potentially could have gotten Wilson for something like manslaughter, etc. was tainted by their attempts to railroad him with false claims and accusations.

          I hope Wilson didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s certainly possible he did. The problem is the certainty among the pro-Brown set is completely absurd and they are absolutely sure of a whole host of things which have been totally disproven.

          Of course, the racism among certain people on this board the night of the Grand Jury decision shows that the pro-Wilson side wasn’t exactly all roses either.

  20. I love how sometimes CNN’s headlines are juxtaposed on their home page.

    * Justice Ginsburg has heart surgery
    * Is this a sign of the big one?

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