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Direckshun
02-11-2011, 03:31 PM
This is in response to a question Saul asked me in "Mubarak Steps Down."

I have been a noted supporter of the Egyptian revolution, but resistant to the ideas that (a.) we should be the primary instigator of any pro-freedom revolution, and (b.) we should have some sort of say over the nature of the new Egyptian government, whatever it might be.

Saul then asked me the following question, ostensibly referring to the fact that I favor a number of programs like the individual mandate in Obama's healthcare reform:

What is your standard on when you don't want to meddle in the affairs of others? Is it strictly a democracy/non-democracy thing.

This is an excellent question that warrants an answer, but it steps outside the bounds of Egypt's revolution and thus deserves its own thread.

You can really boil down what government provides its citizenry into two broad categories:

1. social order (i.e. maintain stability and order)
2. public goods/services (i.e. provide requisite services to meet the needs of its citizens)

Other than the anarchists among us, we all agree that a government has a responsibility in providing both of these things to its citizens.

When we are discussing order, we typically fall somewhere along a spectrum where on one extreme we have absolute freedom (completely anarchy with no government control) and on the other end we have absolute order (absolute government control, asking a government official if you can go to the bathroom, etc.). Virtually all of us fall somewhere in between the two, some of us closer to the freedom end of the spectrum, others closer to the order end of the spectrum. And it often varies, depending on the subject.

When we are discussing public goods/services, we typically fall somewhere along a spectrum where on one extreme we have absolute equality (government tries to make everything/everyone exactly the same, something akin to the Khmer Rouge's Year Zero), and on the other extreme we have absolute freedom (libertarianism on steroids, with virtually no government regulation or social policy whatsoever). Virtually all of us fall somewhere in between the two, some of us closer to the equality end of the spectrum, others closer to the order end of the spectrum. And it often varies, depending on the subject.

It's important to distinguish between the two, because like most in mainstream liberalism, I lean towards "freedom" more often than not when it comes to matter of social order. I favor Miranda rights being read to all, generous due process, oppose the Patriot Act, cherish civil liberties and so forth. And of course, I favor democracy to take root over dictatorships, but once that democracy takes root, I believe free countries should be self-determining.

When it comes to matters of public goods/services, I lean toward "equality" more often than not. I favor a healthy social safety net that manageably redistributes wealth from the more fortunate among us to the less fortunate. I like greater government regulations to protect the consumer, and I favor a progressive taxation system.

Hopefully that answers Saul's questions. I'm happy to field any earnest questions or comments on the subject.

Taco John
02-11-2011, 03:40 PM
You would have saved yourself a lot of typing and headache if you'd have just said "I'm a socialist who believes in socialism."

Direckshun
02-11-2011, 03:41 PM
You would have saved yourself a lot of typing and headache if you'd have just said "I'm a socialist who believes in socialism."

I think we've established a long time ago that you believe that everything to the left of you is socialism.

That's the prism you see the world through.

Have at it.

BucEyedPea
02-11-2011, 04:02 PM
I think we've established a long time ago that you believe that everything to the left of you is socialism.

That's the prism you see the world through.

Have at it.

Uh, I think his tip off was the "providing goods and services" for citizens.

patteeu
02-11-2011, 05:04 PM
...I lean towards "freedom" more often than not when it comes to matter of social order. I favor Miranda rights being read to all, generous due process, oppose the Patriot Act, cherish civil liberties and so forth. And of course, I favor democracy to take root over dictatorships, but once that democracy takes root, I believe free countries should be self-determining.

When it comes to matters of public goods/services, I lean toward "equality" more often than not. I favor a healthy social safety net that manageably redistributes wealth from the more fortunate among us to the less fortunate. I like greater government regulations to protect the consumer, and I favor a progressive taxation system.

Hopefully that answers Saul's questions. I'm happy to field any earnest questions or comments on the subject.

So a kinder, gentler Soviet Union is what you're after. ;)

BucEyedPea
02-11-2011, 05:15 PM
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HonestChieffan
02-11-2011, 05:27 PM
You can really boil down what government provides its citizenry into two broad categories:

1. social order (i.e. maintain stability and order)
2. public goods/services (i.e. provide requisite services to meet the needs of its citizens)

Other than the anarchists among us

You lost all credibility by saying anyone who disagrees with point two is an anarchist. Confirmation to me that you really are approaching a pure socialist. If you cannot define what is included in number two, there is no need for any dialog.

patteeu
02-11-2011, 06:06 PM
You lost all credibility by saying anyone who disagrees with point two is an anarchist. Confirmation to me that you really are approaching a pure socialist. If you cannot define what is included in number two, there is no need for any dialog.

I don't think that's completely fair. National defense is a service that a lot of conservatives see as a legitimate function of government. That would fall under Direckshun's #2. Now saying that he's approaching a pure socialist, that part is completely fair, lol.

LaDairis
02-11-2011, 06:08 PM
The bottom of the barrel...


3rd to last - socialist
2nd to last - communist
last - Taliban


You side with the communists... only when they are fighting the Taliban...

HonestChieffan
02-11-2011, 07:01 PM
I don't think that's completely fair. National defense is a service that a lot of conservatives see as a legitimate function of government. That would fall under Direckshun's #2. Now saying that he's approaching a pure socialist, that part is completely fair, lol.

It was totally fair. He gave zero definition to his claim. None. Its whatever moonbat idea he comes up with.

Mr. Kotter
02-11-2011, 07:04 PM
"Meddling in the Affairs" is usually a euphemism, and pejorative, for apologetic and "Dove" types....to denigrate and demean our nation's historical attempts to promote reasonable (if eventual) self-determination, and self-government....eventually in all nations.

Post WWII-Cold War, personally, I consider "meddling in the affairs" of others to be a very international and cosmopolitan sort-of-thing, and a desirable thing promoting democracy and freedom if less-than-perfect ideals .... especially to the end of promoting Wilsonian and FDR type foreign relations.

Of course, ideological liberals...won't understand the nuances I intend, and they will merely scream...."baby-killing, war-monger."

Saul Good
02-11-2011, 09:54 PM
And of course, I favor democracy to take root over dictatorships, but once that democracy takes root, I believe free countries should be self-determining.

This is actually more to the point of my question. You seem to be conflating freedom with democracy. They are not the same, nor is freedom exclusive to democracies.

If the majority elects someone who oppresses the minority, is that okay?

KILLER_CLOWN
02-11-2011, 10:03 PM
This is actually more to the point of my question. You seem to be conflating freedom with democracy. They are not the same, nor is freedom exclusive to democracies.

If the majority elects someone who oppresses the minority, is that okay?

I think he means a constitutional republic with leadership elected democratically, he just can't admit to anything with the word Republic in it.

BucEyedPea
02-12-2011, 05:54 AM
This is actually more to the point of my question. You seem to be conflating freedom with democracy. They are not the same, nor is freedom exclusive to democracies.

If the majority elects someone who oppresses the minority, is that okay?
Never mind the exclusive to freedom designation. Democracy is just NOT freedom.
It's two wolves sitting down to eat lunch together.

"Democracy is the road to socialism."—Karl Marx

BucEyedPea
02-12-2011, 06:00 AM
I think he means a constitutional republic with leadership elected democratically, he just can't admit to anything with the word Republic in it.

Leadership isn't elected democratically in this country. That's what the left would like to install though. Despite having two house democratically elected already. They want the head of the nation elected democratically too. I say we go back to state's choosing their senators to roll back their "progress."

I think the word we're looking for is representational Republic. Republic comes from "publica" which means "public."

patteeu
02-12-2011, 06:18 AM
This is actually more to the point of my question. You seem to be conflating freedom with democracy. They are not the same, nor is freedom exclusive to democracies.

Excellent point. Hugo Chavez is always lauding democracy.

LaDairis
02-12-2011, 06:20 AM
Chavez, another with W to thank for his position of total power, W and the Drug Warriors...

go bowe
02-12-2011, 01:29 PM
Chavez, another with W to thank for his position of total power, W and the Drug Warriors...another bebop group?

Direckshun
02-13-2011, 10:24 PM
So a kinder, gentler Soviet Union is what you're after. ;)

I'm pretty sure Stalin was heavily bent towards the "order" end of the spectrum, so I'd say we're worlds apart.

Direckshun
02-13-2011, 10:25 PM
You lost all credibility by saying anyone who disagrees with point two is an anarchist.

Swing and a miss.

Confirmation to me that you really are approaching a pure socialist.

I don't think you know what a pure socialist is, per se.

Direckshun
02-13-2011, 10:26 PM
The bottom of the barrel...

3rd to last - socialist
2nd to last - communist
last - Taliban

You side with the communists... only when they are fighting the Taliban...

I have no idea what this means. And you are a crazy person.

Direckshun
02-13-2011, 10:38 PM
This is actually more to the point of my question. You seem to be conflating freedom with democracy. They are not the same, nor is freedom exclusive to democracies.

That's fair.

If the majority elects someone who oppresses the minority, is that okay?

Keep in mind that we're talking about the backbone of my political ideology.

1. Define "okay," as that's an awfully vague adjective when we're talking about the backbone of my ideology.

2. It would also depend on how extreme the oppression is. I'd support intervening in Nazi Germany, 1990s Rwanda, early 2000s Sudan and most genocides, for example.

3. What exactly are we talking about, here? My country, where I am an active involved citizen with the right to be engaged in any legal way I wish? Or a foreign country with its own determination, and thus we're talking about impressing my will on a foreign people?

So questions like this are pretty vague. But I will do my best to generally field it.

If you mean by "okay" something that I would personally support, or work my ass off to defend, or stand idly by while oppression occurs... the answer is obviously no.

I oppose oppression in all its forms, but if we're talking about the mere potential of oppression in a place like Egypt being the dealbreaker, thus prohibiting them from becoming a democratic people... I'm not particularly concerned.

LaDairis
02-14-2011, 06:24 AM
another bebop group?


Chavez has absolute power in his country in large part because of the empirical socialist failure that is the "drug war," which just enriches and arms the worst criminals who are most ready and eager to murder to claim territory.

It isn't just Venezuela, either. The "Drug War" has pushed allies to enemies all across south and central america, while costing us $300 billion per year, while over the 30 year time span, the price of the drugs it is supposed to "stop" has gone DOWN...

understanding economics, the differences between Federal budget surpluses and trillion dollar deficit, and why the noise about "value of the dollar" matters...

LaDairis
02-14-2011, 06:28 AM
"I oppose oppression in all its forms"



Some of us here in the United States see a correlation between the size of government and oppression by government, that a government small in scope and allowing freedoms within a "sane" and limited framework of laws produces not just the best economic outcome, but also the most "free," that when government "grows" and "does more," that is when freedom shrinks and... then the government employee unions start to go on strike etc...

JimBaker488
02-14-2011, 07:25 AM
I have been a noted supporter of the Egyptian revolution, but resistant to the ideas that (a.) we should be the primary instigator of any pro-freedom revolution, and (b.) we should have some sort of say over the nature of the new Egyptian government, whatever it might be.

Here's a good, round number: 250,000,000. Yep that's a quarter of a billion. That's (in terms of the roundest of numbers), bout the number of Mulims in the Middle East. OK ? Now we got maybe 8 million people in Israel, and 3 or 4 million of those people are also Mulims. So the Muslims have the population, they have the land, and they sure as hell have the Oil. So isn't it about time we got the hell out of there and stopped supporting those 5 million people in Israel, which only gets us a couple widebodies slamed into Manhatten and DC, killing thousands of people for our trouble ?

Direckshun
02-14-2011, 11:12 AM
Here's a good, round number: 250,000,000. Yep that's a quarter of a billion. That's (in terms of the roundest of numbers), bout the number of Mulims in the Middle East. OK ? Now we got maybe 8 million people in Israel, and 3 or 4 million of those people are also Mulims. So the Muslims have the population, they have the land, and they sure as hell have the Oil. So isn't it about time we got the hell out of there and stopped supporting those 5 million people in Israel, which only gets us a couple widebodies slamed into Manhatten and DC, killing thousands of people for our trouble ?

I think that's off topic, so I'll only summarize.

I think the United States should focus exclusively on soft power in the Middle East. Not hard power.

It's a radical notion given the neoconservative right in this country, but take that for what it is.

chiefsnorth
02-14-2011, 11:20 AM
Tldr

JimBaker488
02-14-2011, 12:28 PM
I think that's off topic, so I'll only summarize.

I think the United States should focus exclusively on soft power in the Middle East. Not hard power.

It's a radical notion given the neoconservative right in this country, but take that for what it is.
OK, maybe I'm guilty for digressing somewhat, don't we all do it from time to time ?
I just think this country has had enough by now of sending off Christian boys in the Marine Corp and Army Airborne to the Middle East to bleed and die for Israel. I sure as hell know I have, how about you ?
Soft power ? Economic persuasion ? That what you mean ? In case you didn't hear the US Treasury, to borrow a term from troubled US Mortgagors, is underwater. Insolvent. Whatever you want to call it. But we just can't afford anymore to fund every foreign policy every US interest group wants. And that also goes for Senator Schumer and the AIPAC. Besides Schumer and his pals are sending their sons and grandsons to law & med schools, not to fight for Israel because they've got the Christian kids to do that for them.

patteeu
02-14-2011, 12:47 PM
TFG/LaDairis must have planted a homing beacon or something.

Direckshun
02-14-2011, 01:07 PM
OK, maybe I'm guilty for digressing somewhat, don't we all do it from time to time ?
I just think this country has had enough by now of sending off Christian boys in the Marine Corp and Army Airborne to the Middle East to bleed and die for Israel. I sure as hell know I have, how about you ?
Soft power ? Economic persuasion ? That what you mean ? In case you didn't hear the US Treasury, to borrow a term from troubled US Mortgagors, is underwater. Insolvent. Whatever you want to call it. But we just can't afford anymore to fund every foreign policy every US interest group wants. And that also goes for Senator Schumer and the AIPAC. Besides Schumer and his pals are sending their sons and grandsons to law & med schools, not to fight for Israel because they've got the Christian kids to do that for them.

Tell you what -- if you want to start a new topic on the subject, I'll follow you there.

For the time being, this is off topic.