Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thousand Words Plus A Few

by Smitty (Hat Tip: Coming Anarchy)

Vommenter Brett_McS over on Where this road is leading offered:
Von Mises is to Socialism as the Second Law of Thermodynamics is to perpetual motion machines. The difference is that the Patent Office no longer accepts claims for perpetual motion machines.
The political process still accepts attempts at socialism.
Admittedly, there is no direct link between hyper-inflation and Socialism. Then again, no one ever thought there would be a link between an administration like BHO's and reality. Standing by for disapproval from Young 4 Eyes.


  1. OK Smitty, I'll take the bait.
    BTW, the link to my nom de guerre IS funny...

    I can't help but think that provided some sound arguments from your side, we could all engage in some reasonable debate about the pitfalls of all this spending. But since Conservatives all live in the past and therefore are doomed to repeat their mistakes, any hope of a discussion free from hot-button catch phrases and outdated terminology is impossible.
    Only the well trained dregs of society respond to the Pavlovian whistle. The reason why there is no traction to your "socialist" claims is that the word has associations that were relevant 50 years ago.
    When you guys use it, it is meant to elicit a knee-jerk response that conjures up Cold War memories and all the anxieties that came with the Cold War.
    That's great for all the Reagan left-overs and the fossils who still fear that the Russians want to steal their cars from out their garages.For the rest of us who live in the 21st century, it is a word loaded with blanks.
    Then of course you have your average Conservative idiot who doesn't know what the word "socialist" means.Estimates show that these fools account for 70% of the Republican party.
    My point is that it is easy to shoot past the mark.
    Conservatives have resigned themselves to a cottage industry mentality whose sole purpose at this moment is to make sure that the crazies don't wander too far off of the gift shop.
    Maybe one day the menopausal hysteria on the Right will subside and we can all get back to the due vigilance required of us all.
    Until then, you guys need to rethink your staus-quo positions.And you need to update your lingo.
    Let the spit-ball fight begin...

  2. @Y4E:
    As long as you don't think that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution is a "sound argument", you're in the catbird seat of rejecting everything.

  3. smitty--

    Constitutional interpretation is something I try to avoid. It's like engaging in a theological debate
    before waging a Holy War.
    The brilliance of the language of the Constitution is that it is never as explicit as "originalists" would like it to be, while simultaneously being rock solid enough to withstand the legalese contortions of clever despots.
    That said, our disagreements have nothing to do with Constitutional law. And I'm sure you'll disagree with that!
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is nothing in the Constitution that dictates what economic system the US must abide by.
    Conversely, Capitalism itself is not immune to interpretations.There is a fundamental framework which makes it work, and beyond that there are variations on a theme.
    Republicans will try to posit the idea that the Capitalism we've been practicing for the last 30 years is the only Capitalism worthy of Americans, and that any regulation or adjustment to it would destroy America.
    As of this moment, Reagan capitalism is under indictment.
    Some of us worry that the kind of runaway Capitalism that Conservatives preach is bound to make America a Third World country. I happen to think that we are halfway there.
    If someone out there could explain to me why the current state of economic affairs is worth "conserving" then I might be persuaded to rethink my position.
    For me, the idea of an American oligarchy is the most pernicious threat facing the US.
    Yet you guys, wittingly or not, vehemently support an economic philosophy that props up a hierarchy
    at the expense of 90% of America's citizens.
    If anything, the problems we face today are the problems that arise when people are beholden to the wealthy.The truth is that Reaganomics started a class war in this country. "Trickle-down" economics is the biggest con game of all...
    Everyone speaks of freedom without ever mentioning Economic Freedom.
    Purchasing power is the backbone of Capitalism in a consumer society.
    How does Capitalism work when our purchasing power is being hijacked and hoarded by the despots running the banking system?
    Any thoughts?.....

  4. Young 4-Eyes:

    Speaking as someone born after Reagan, the word "socialism" conjures up, oh, Germany, mid-90s. I lived there as a kid - it's not a place I'd like to raise my own. Or maybe Hungary in '95 - the Cold War was over, and it was a growing city - but you could see the scars it left on the country. Or maybe China, today. Like most places in Asia, the people are incredibly friendly...and incredibly poor, compared to the rest of East Asia.

    Or, hey, maybe I'll just use that fancy economics edumacation I be gettin', and say that socialism, as defined today, are the creeping barriers to freedom to work created by the government. Mixed economy, my ass...

    Of course, I'm just one of the well-trained dregs of society, responding to the Pavlovian whistle (isn't it supposed to be a bell?). Woof woof.

  5. elena---
    what about "socialism" oh say...2009.
    Take a look at the German economy today.By all Republican standards,
    Germany is still a "socialist" country, with a thriving economy despite their evil safety nets and so forth.
    Typical Conservative tactics to conflate "socialism" with economic systems dealing with the vestiges of
    cultural communism. It's easy to draw simplistic comparisons.
    What you fail to take into consideration are the obvious cultural and historical differences.
    But don't let that stop you in your attempt to maintain the status quo, since it's all working so well....

  6. @Y4E,
    a) My in-laws live near Heidelberg. Their despair over the anemic economy there and their inability to have any political effect renders your "thriving economy despite their evil safety nets and so forth" pure farce. But do repeat, as you'd be unattractive out of character.
    b) You say "simplistic comparisons" I say "history". The few making personal decisions for the many about health care and retirement has few good worked examples. People don't scale, boss. Which is why I'm perfectly happy to leave half the states to thee and thine; I merely ask that I have some room beyond your clutches.