Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Are these righties serious, hypocrites, or from beyond the grave?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-10


Asking for minimal tweaks to a communist state for righties to have a tolerable life got a couple of responses – but these seem hypocritical as the respondents should have euthanazed themselves rather than live in any country on the planet.

Consider the responses I would have had if I’d asked about minimal health requirements for a tolerable life that would stop the necessity of suicide?  The analogous responses would have demanded as minimal the ability to run a three minute mile, leap small buildings in a single bound, and the intellect of Einstein.

I’m hoping more moderate righties will respond to the question.  If you look through the comments, you’ll see I’ve taken a respectful line to their stated needs, and tried to indicate accomodations that might satisfy their underlying psychologies.

Perhaps those righties aren’t hypocrites, but are using the internet from beyond this mortal coil, using a form of electronic ouija!

OK, I’ll admit the responses of Michael Sutcliffe gave me more to work with than John Humphries, and much more than Peter Lawrence, but still…

Compare and contrast my brief response to a question in a Catallaxy open thread, "what lefties would want in a libertarian state with almost no government intrusion at all other than say basic policing and military", that is, what would I consider minimum tolerable tweaks to a system as rightie as my hypothetical communist state.  I think kept to the spirit of the question:

Good idea. If a natural-born catallaxian (I’m treating my visits as a guest) can outline the kind of hypothetical libertarian state in about the same number of dot points as I did, then I’ll try and answer it… although it’s probably worth one of you creating a post that’ll either ping back, or drop a comment on my original post that points to your post.
 
But at a brief /guess/ as to the hypothetical libertarian state with just policing and military, and apart from "safety nets", I’d probably be looking at fair contracts provisions (preventing the powerless from losing essential rights in the fine print), libel/slander regs (although not so broad as currently interpreted), truth-in-advertising, and (in a contract-mad world) some low-cost dispute resolution services (that try to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and avoid escalation to the adversarial thingy if possible). That’s what comes to mind immediately, but not necessarily the most important.

Now, will any "rightie" blogs put up a post similar to mine, but asking the opposite question, a question that provides an outline of their hypothetical rightie state with a similar level of detail as mine?  Or do I have to post that question myself?

Mind you, I’d probably cop criticism for describing a rightie state with dot points that were either irrelevant to rightie views, a horrible mish-mash of contradictory rightie views, or so outrageous I was setting it up for a fail.

So, a few questions…

  • To lefties and centrists:
    • What do you think of the responses to my hypothetical?
    • What do you think of the lack of a serious attempt to pose a similar hypothetical to lefties (or centrists)?
    • Do you think lefties would try and answer a mirror-image hypothetical from the right in a more accomodating fashion than the righties have done so far?
  • To moderate righties: (Comments to the previous post)
    • Do you care to soften the image of "Teh Right" by playing the game and describe tweaks necessary for you?
    • Care to develop your own game for lefties?
  • To far righties: (Comments to the previous post)
    • Care to actually be specific enough about a hypothetical rightie state in your own post and ask for lefty responses?
    • Care to give more measured responses to my questions, responses that don’t go more extreme than the status quo in Australia (respondents outside Australia shouldn’t go more extreme than their own countries)?
    • Or will the righties continue to imply that the conditions they are currently subject to are intolerable, and to avoid hypocrisy, must top themselves?

This is a serious set of posts, trying to understand the personal needs of individuals on the right, and get the left thinking about ways of providing for those needs.

So far, responses suggest that it’s possibly only the left (and centrists, and rightie moderates) who want to satisfy the needs of others, who express those genes developed in response to tens of thousands of years of living in communities.

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19 Responses to “Are these righties serious, hypocrites, or from beyond the grave?”

  1. opit said

    Aren’t you being a tad ‘off’ from the get-go here, Dave ?

    The ‘frame’ of this question strikes me as being – consciously or nor – unrealistic.

    Basically all the English-speaking world owes legal rights and structure to the British Empire. If we go back to the draconian terms established at Hastings in 1066, then we have always lived in an open air slave state run with more or less amiable terms depending on the plans and practices of the oligarchy. Since the hereditary executive revolted in 1215 to curtail the worst excesses of the central government things simmered down somewhat…but we still had episodes like the potato famine.
    So we still live in an autocracy run under variations of feudal law.
    I would have thought the history of Australia as a penal colony would have made that particularly poignant : and I am not being in any way condescending with that note.

    If you really want a look at an outrageous mishmash of communist ideology I could do worse than point you towards the Christian Commons. Tom and I have quipped quite a bit : and disagree enthusiastically.

    http://www.realliberalchristianchurch.org/wordpress/

    I’ll go with the thesis that it’s Autocracy and priviledge for property that still consistently oppress the masses : and that the almighty $$$$$ provides a vehicle for systemic inequity.

    Anything else has to provide safety from thieves and assassins on varying scale of incorporation. What do you think ‘Globalization’ will achieve ?

    I’m afraid I cosider the matter ‘Academic’ in more ways than one regardless…including Monopoly Control of Necessities of Life. Slavery is alive and well. One billion are in conditions of starvation. I expect further misery shortly.

    Here’s an infomercial ‘Report Card’.

    http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/08/environment-sickening-practices.html

    The YouTube link HOME at the start of the post is 1 hr. 33 min. I highly recommend it.

  2. opit said

    Huh. http://www.realliberalchristianchurch.org/wordpress/
    The time has come to move beyond just talk and working within the status quo political and economic system. Friday June 15
    That’s his latest post.

  3. Dave Bath said

    Opit@1
    The question I posed was a thought experiment (not unlike Schroedinger’s cat). The “realistic” parts were those dot points that explicitly referenced the real world… i.e. resource availability per capita and technology levels.

    Again, the aim of the thought experiment was to discover the needs of “righties”, as they are likely to have different psychological makeups than centrists or lefties. With the knowledge of these needs (remember, my guesses as to what they’d say were, as I expected, different from the responses), it might be possible to tweak lefty policies so that they didn’t walk all over underlying righty sensibilities, and would therefore have more chance of being implement.

    Your note “I would have thought the history of Australia as a penal colony” has, I think, some validity, although the main population explosion was the gold rush (circa 1850), and my suspicion is that this large influx, from non-Anglo heritage (including many Asians) had just as much to do with the development of the Australian psyche, particularly (downplayed in recent times, but a key part of studies at primary school in my day) the Eureka Stockade, a micro version of the US War of Independence, that led to significant (and much needed) reforms (including much wider voting rights, although female suffrage was 50 years away) rather than independence – and the toll was under 30 lives and a dozen wounded.

    To put it in context for North Americans, imagine if the Boston Tea Party was put down by British Soldiers, with 30 dead, but it fired widespread support, lead to a Royal Commission into the grievances, tax reforms, representation in the English Parliament, etc, and some of the surviving rebels were elected to the English Parliament after their treason trials were thrown out of court.

    Mark Twain was visiting Australia a few decades later, and reported on it’s significance to that generation that still had living memory of the conflict:

    By and by there was a result, and I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history.  It was a revolution — small in size; but great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression. …  It is another instance of a victory won by a lost battle.  It adds an honorable page to history; the people know it and are proud of it.  They keep green the memory of the men who fell at the Eureka stockade, and Peter Lalor has his monument.

  4. Now, will any “rightie” blogs put up a post similar to mine, but asking the opposite question, a question that provides an outline of their hypothetical rightie state with a similar level of detail as mine? Or do I have to post that question myself?

    I’ll see what I can do this week. Maybe on the ALS blog, seeing as mine is inactive and in need of an overhaul.

    Care to give more measured responses to my questions, responses that don’t go more extreme than the status quo in Australia (respondents outside Australia shouldn’t go more extreme than their own countries)?

    I’m not really sure what you mean by ‘don’t go more extreme than the status quo in Australia’. Your scenario advocated the complete abolition of private property, the government selecting your profession, a likely chance of compulsory vegetarian diets and the individual only having enough personal income for a book or CD every couple of weeks. If that’s not extreme I don’t know what is. So the obvious answer for a rightie, if this limitation was imposed, would be ‘my preferred changes to your scenario would be the status quo in Australia; I’d prefer more liberty and work to achieve it, but the status quo is heaps better than what you’re proposing’.

    Or will the righties continue to imply that the conditions they are currently subject to are intolerable, and to avoid hypocrisy, must top themselves?

    Well, Dave, righties hold life pretty highly so I don’t think we’d top ourselves. But I do agree the current situation in Australia is not exactly great, for example, this sort of shit is beyond my scope for an acceptable society. While I won’t top myself, the situation in Australia doesn’t have my loyalty, and it affects how I live my life. For example, in just under a year I’ll be offered $100K to sign on for the military for another 5 years. This is designed to keep the best experienced people in the military at their most employable points in their careers. Of course, I’ll be paying at least 38% tax and higher on some of it, and I’ll lost my ‘welfare churn vote buying’ handouts for my kids. So $100K would probably be enough to buy my guaranteed employment for 5 years, but with those tax rates, no way. I’ll take my employability to the private sector. Now, before I start earning good money there I might see if I can become a permanent resident of Singapore, but still work in Australia in mining and resources. As Australia has (by good fortune rather than good management) the second highest standard of living in the world I’ll certainly be keeping my citizenship and keeping my family here for schooling and recreation. But, of course, the UK once had the highest standard of living in the world, but it’s made some bad choices since then – the sort of choices people like yourself advocate. I can’t put my hand on my heart and say I should try to do the right thing by such a country, those countries deserve what they get.

  5. Please correct my hyperlink fiasco.

  6. Dave Bath said

    Michael
    * Will get around to the hyperlinks
    * By not more extreme, I mean for a question about a hypothetical leftist state, righties not demanding as minimal something more rightwing than current Oz, or for a hypothetical rightie state, lefties not demanding things more leftwing than the current Oz. (See how I responded on Catallaxy open thread)

    So, I’d imagine a right-libertarian to posit an extreme state, and lefties to suggest JUST enough so they wouldn’t top themselves or leave (e.g. what I’d probably do in Nazi Germany… or Stalinist Russia for that matter… if they didn’t come to get me first!)

  7. opit said

    Does this even fit into that prospective arc ?
    http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/10/some-simple-drug-crime-surfing.html

  8. Shem Bennett said

    Dave- if the state chose my profession I’d want to ability to receive generous unemployment benefits and not work.

    You ask about psychology? Well to me… I hate being controlled. I hated teachers prescribing a particular way to do a task in school. I’ve hated every job I’ve had because my employers have the capacity to boss me around. I need the ability to do things my own way. And to do the things that I want to do. I’m arrogant- I think my way is usually best- I’ll only agree with someone if they can make a logical case for why I should agree with them. I can’t imagine that universal state employment I’d have the ability to do things my own way. So I’d want an out.

    What would the state do if I did nothing? If it would imprison me then it’s definite a state that I’d kill myself or leave rather than participating in.

    If the employment chosen for me was selected on the results of applications and testing I might be able to handle it. Think of selective public schools. And if I had the ability within that job to be in charge or to have the freedom to perform my job as I see fit. Otherwise I’d want to be able to leech off the system. If I can’t do things my own way I don’t want to participate.

    Hmm.. so basically I’d hate such a system. I’d want to leave to a place where I’d be able to create my own business and do things my own way. But if it was a meritocracy that allowed me to work relatively unsupervised I could probably handle it.

    It would also depend on how crime was handled. Because it’s likely that I’d trade illegal, ferret away some private property for myself and break other laws based on my own moral judgements. I live my life according to my own code, not the state’s, not society’s, not anyone else’s.

  9. Shem Bennett said

    Incidentally I identify as a libertarian/ anarchist depending on my current train of thought on politics when you ask me.

  10. Shem Bennett said

    Oh. I’d also want to be able to move around freely. To live in different places. To travel for leisure. Even if this came at the expense of my pocket-money.

    Freedom of movement is hugely important to me. I’d want to be able to indicate a desire to change jobs. I’d want to be able to do a job I’m not very good at simply for the pleasure of a new experience.

    I can imagine a communist system might be able to accommodate a lot of these needs if world productivity was increased.

    I was looking at the CIA factbook and the world GDP is approximately US$10,000 per capita. Unemployment globally is 30%. If productivity stayed the same despite the change to an egalitarian resource distribution and full employment was achieved the productive capacity of the world might reach US$13,000 per capita. That’s actually about 50% more than I currently receive on Centrelink benefits. If we imagine the average western student lifestyle that’s what everyone would be able to afford under your proposed system. Of course, I believe that over time the lack of incentives would reduce productivity and everyone would suffer. But if we imagine that everyone possesses high enough levels of intrinsic motivation to overcome labour envy (it wouldn’t be resource envy anymore, but I would still envy the type of work others do or how much work they do) then it is possible to imagine a modest global communist society that would be tolerable.

  11. Dave, below reproduced a post by Shem from this thread. I thought it might interest you (I don’t know if you’ve already read it). It addresses some of the usual collectivist motivations that normal people have, and I know that you are interested in addressing, but outlines why collectivist policy is still not the best way to address these motivations and concerns.

    ————————————————

    Locke’s theory of ownership that Nozick expands upon basically says that private property is derived by man mixing his labour with natural resources. Turning iron ore into a horse shoe entails my labour, therefore the horse shoe needs to be my property. If it’s not my property it’s someone else’s and my labour is being used to created property for another without compensation. This is slavery (unless it has my consent in which case it’s charity).

    Nozick, however, while believing strongly in private property recognises the grey areas around property rights. It makes sense that if I pull something out of the ground I should own the end product that I laboured on. However- what gave me the right to mix the resource with my labour in the first place?

    Jc is right that raw materials themselves are worth nothing until they are mixed with labour. And a man should be entitled to the product of his labour (even a left-libertarian agrees with that). Where the left-libertarian differs from the rest of us, however, is that they aren’t convinced that we have a right to mix our labour with raw materials (beyond our equal share- whatever that means) in the first place. Just because we go around pulling all the iron out of the ground, that doesn’t mean we should get to keep it all as everyone else around us is now deprived of the ability to mix their labour with the resources that I now own. If everything is owned (as pretty much everything is today) then I don’t have much freedom to own things unless I exchange my labour for property. I am essentially forced to work.

    Of course at the end of the day there is no land of milk and honey. Everyone is forced to work. We are all slaves to our stomach. However in a world where unowned resources remain at least I have the capacity to choose the terms of my own labour. In a world where everything has become owned and the shares are unequal others often choose the terms of my labour. I think this is the sort of thing Chomsky is talking about when he says “wage slavery”. We do not get to choose the terms of our own labour because the original allocation of resources was not equal.

    Of course egalitarian resource distribution isn’t possible to achieve. Michael has pointed out what Nozick and other philosophers have already pointed out- resource distribution can only be egalitarian at a single point in time. It is impossible to have a continuous state of equal resource distribution and given how humans have evolved the idea of a “starting point” where resources were equally distributed is similarly absurd.

    The only way to ensure that equality continues through time is to constantly re-distribute resources every second of every day. And such a constant redistribution is not only inefficient but also unjust.

    Of course a land tax is a moderate view of how to conduct constant resource readjustment along egalitarian lines. A moderate land tax allows the market to determine how much your land is worth given how much there is and how many people there are to distribute between and taking a share of the land values allows that value to be redistributed back to those that “need” it or at least those that are owed it (whether through welfare, a citizens wage or other mechanisms).

    Personally I believe that Nozick’s narrow interpretation of the Lockean Proviso works quite well in practicality, though. Nozick says that we are entitled to lay claim to any natural resources we like provided that their acquisition does not make anyone worse off from the act of me owning them. If there is an unowned well that everyone draws water from I can claim it provided that I allow all that previously required it to live to continue accessing it for the same or less labour cost as when it was held in common. Nozick points out that the private property owner is likely to increase the efficiency of the well and ensure it operates sustainably so in this case acquisition of the well is just. But if the well is required to live and someone claims it, manages it poorly and charges higher prices (in terms of labour) than originally then you are morally entitled to violently take action against the well owner to guarantee your life and your freedom.

    Of course in the real world there will seldom be a need to protect our lives against private property owners that seek to deprive us of the necessities of life. Most private properties owners are more than happy to engage in trade. Private property also prevents the tragedy of the commons and usually leads to more sustainable outcomes. The free market is similarly the best at determining “worth” of resources, labour and services. We have more labour options in a free market than we do were everything held in common and while we don’t have the capacity to set our own terms of labour without prior holdings with relatively minimal investment we can reach a stage of autonomy where the amount of holdings we possess enables us almost total freedom even allowing us to be in positions where labour is unnecessary.

    Public ownership, state ownership, are far more likely to result in poor outcomes for people where the basic necessities of life are deprived. The state makes us more of a slave than “wage slavery” does simply because of the multitude of wage options available.

    I think that the left-libertarian and traditionally libertarian views of private property are both logically sound. But the traditional libertarian view and principles upon which it rests lead us away from the state to a society of greater realised freedom. The left-libertarian in aspiring to a different type of freedom empowers the state and in the end results in far less freedom. Chomsky and other left-libertarians seem to think the cause of freedom can be advanced through the state- just not the state we have now. The only state that can advance realised freedom exists in the imagination. Any state that exists here in the real world inevitably is corrupted and results in less freedom and worse outcomes than would be possible without it.

    Thankfully Ben is an anarchist and realises that the state will never be a solution that enhances liberty. But he is welcome to continue lobbying and advocating non-state means for pursuing his views on property acquisition. I don’t think his beliefs are contrary to libertarianism although they are contrary to capitalism.

    Comment by Shem Bennett | October 12, 2009

  12. Dave Bath said

    OK, that article you mention is a non-rant, makes some points, but is incomplete.

    Talking of the division between public and private ownership is about as useful as the distinction in political outlook between right and left.
    Legal Theory Lexicon: Public and private goods at Legal Theory Blog recently is a lot more useful. It also delves into the differences between public goods, public interest and public rights.

    Even then, this breakdown (between excludable v non-excludable goods, or between rivalrous v non-rivalrous ownership) starts falling over when you think of the feedback mechanisms… spending money on YOUR health helps ME… in better condition, you are better able to fight off an infection, and less likely to spread it. The open source software movement, wikipedia, etc, demonstrate the efficiency of gift economies… and would be even more effective if their were proper constraints on patent law applications. (OK, that last one is an example of non-rivalrous goods).

    And then there are resource constraints to consider… and other externalities that were not so pressingly obvious in the golden age of classical liberal thinkers. Against your horseshoe analogy, I’ll put a counter-example… you put air into a bag, claim ownership… but you are in a crowded airpocket in a submerged ship. Yes, that’s extreme, but only Malthus got resource constraints in that age… and Leviathon isn’t exactly a libertarian bible either from the social contract group, a group including Locke.

    Never mind that Locke found unused goods almost sinful! (So much for the concepts of reserves! I wonder if Locke ever had unspent money. And OK, Locke has his good points too, it’s hard to call empiricism completely idiotic).

    And quickly speaking for empiricism, (because this is getting off topic), mere assertions of poor outcomes from public ownership don’t cut it. Consider infant mortality rates in Cuba v USA compared to per-capita GDP… and use the CIA World Fact Book if you don’t want a lefty bias!

    BTW: Let us know when you guys put up a description of a full-on libertarian state, and ask lefties on the minimal changes to a tolerable condition for lefties… of course, without our ability to demand anything more to the left of current conditions in Oz (if they weren’t tolerable we’d be dead). And tighten it up so that there is no escape for your hypothetical state covers the entire globe (and we lefties can’t cheat by hitching a lift in a flying saucer in payment for allowing their proctologists free rein!)

  13. And then there are resource constraints to consider… and other externalities that were not so pressingly obvious in the golden age of classical liberal thinkers. Against your horseshoe analogy, I’ll put a counter-example… you put air into a bag, claim ownership… but you are in a crowded airpocket in a submerged ship. Yes, that’s extreme, but only Malthus got resource constraints in that age… and Leviathon isn’t exactly a libertarian bible either from the social contract group, a group including Locke.

    Dave, I’ve seen this argument many times before. Lefties long for a resource catastrophe. I think it’s got a lot to do with their motivation to defend AGW. It’s the thing that can justify massive government intervention and offers them the one potentially rational tool at their disposal to have a go at implementation the mega-state socialist utopia. Same as conservatives love a good war as the justification to pass lots of rules, direct everybody’s lives and keep them in line.

    Although I’ve seen the argument many times before, I’ve got to admit plastic bag full of air in the crowded air pocket of a sunken ship has got to take the prize for the most creative ‘lifeboat scenario’ I’ve ever heard!! Don’t take offense but I’m going to link it. I’m not bagging you out – I just think others might get a laugh out of it!

    I’ll probably get around to the ‘full-on libertarian state’ post on the weekend. How about I actually propose what I think the state should look like as a libertarian i.e. the one that I, and probably lots of other Australian libertarians would seriously try to bring into being. That includes things like a minimal safety net through a negative income tax scheme, but it’s a pretty minimal one. I’l be really interested in feedback on how I think the most ideal state that could be realistically achieved should look like – and what I believe the ‘average’ Australian libertarian is trying to achieve through things like the LDP?

  14. Dave Bath said

    Michael@13
    I /said/ (the air pocket analogy) was extreme! I never said it was totally fair!
    :-)
    Giggles all around, I hope!

    Seriously though, I’d hope your hypothetical libertarian regime is pretty extreme… a mirror reflection of my lefty utopian one. As I said elsewhere, I’ll probably go talking about un-lefty things like contract law in my efforts to make it tolerable, but you might have other things that push my buttons.

    And as I might have mentioned, don’t give us lefties the out of emigrating (it covers the whole world), although I wonder how you’d prevent armed insurrection given your possible non-restrictions on weapons. Still – the idea of armed insurrection should be equivalent to “intolerable”.

    Anyway… here’s hoping that lots of the more thoughtful of the lefty blogosphere comes and joins in the game on your pages… Or you could leave a message on an open thread of "Trotskyites Anonymous" blog (no… no such thing I’m aware of) and hope to get a few giggles on your pages. But yeah, polite announcements on the open threads of the usual lefty suspects (LP, Blogocrats, Pure Poison, etc) should be able to get the ball rolling.

    And damn, I was hoping people of similar outlooks to Andrew Norton would comment on my hypothetical communist state…. but then, he might want to make a few adjustments to yours! (And I’d really love to know what he’d say, him being a rightie and all, even if not an intransigent ideologue. If you don’t get any tweaks from him towards the centre, your hypothetical probably isn’t extreme enough. Hmmm, I wonder if any of the lefties think MY hypothetical was too extreme… perhaps I should open it up for THEIR tweaks-to-the-centre?)

    Anyway… raising hypothetical glass of social lubricant…. Cheers! Hope your thread goes well.

  15. Dave Bath said

    Michael@13, a comment of yours is worth a separate reply.

    I’l be really interested in feedback on how I think the most ideal state that could be realistically achieved should look like – and what I believe the ‘average’ Australian libertarian is trying to achieve through things like the LDP?

    The ex-Catallaxy SkeptiClawyer recently said:

    Trying to make libertarians line up and face in the same direction is tantamount to herding cats.

    Yeah…. and you’re dosing those cats up on angel dust! Good luck with that.

  16. And as I might have mentioned, don’t give us lefties the out of emigrating (it covers the whole world), although I wonder how you’d prevent armed insurrection given your possible non-restrictions on weapons. Still – the idea of armed insurrection should be equivalent to “intolerable”.

    Absolutely, the whole idea is that armed insurrection is always easily possible. Hence, people are kept honest and the only reason it doesn’t happen is that people don’t think it’s worth going to that extreme – they believe the current situation is preferable and workable, and that rational, peaceable action is the best means of progress. That’s the whole point of ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State……….’

    Yeah…. and you’re dosing those cats up on angel dust! Good luck with that.

    I’ve been in these circles for a while, and watched the politics play out through 8 years of LDP efforts, there’s a more than enough common ground. The proof is that even the ornery ones who leave keep coming back – and usually come back more amenable and enthusiastic than before.

  17. Dave Bath said

    Michael@16
    Better stop going on about well-regulated militia, or we’ll have to get into the difference between ink smudges and commas. See Prawfs Blog
    * http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2009/10/the-us-constitution-not-all-that-well-written.html
    * http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2009/10/comma-or-smudge.html

    and never mind arguing about the difference in meaning of the words and why they were written then compared to literal interpretation according to the /current/ meaning of those words. But that’s for another day. Enjoy PrawfsBlog

  18. and never mind arguing about the difference in meaning of the words and why they were written then compared to literal interpretation according to the /current/ meaning of those words

    Why stop there? Surely there’s a philosopher somewhere who shows abstract concepts like words can’t have any real meaning at all, rendering the whole document just a fleeting whim!

    Yes, another day!

  19. opit said

    Well…are you familiar with DuckSpeak, Michael ? It is a proposed reduction in vocabulary employing perversion of meaning to prevent sensible discussion…as the words lack precision and reliable import to be used to construct meaningful concepts.
    http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/07/perception-alteration.html
    Go for the Orwell. BTW I believe the ‘Reality Based Community’ is up to speed on the idea of dual party tyranny : so you can stop worrying about partisan politics. It’s a farce.
    Resource Wars are a Leftie concept ? Glad you told me. What about Chinese control of 90% of the rare earth resources necessary for computer hardware ? Absurd deduction tells me China is Leftist !

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