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This blog just popped up on my screen .I am a new silver surfer not knowing much about the techniques but love to lobby on health and welfare issues throughout my life .I find the internet a wonderful innovation but a very time consuming occupation full of dangers as well as joys .I do believe in the overall good in humanity that always seems to shine forth in times of great adversity .I am now an agnostic,I can never know enough ,and life is full of highs and lows ,but it will go on with or without any individual ,so you can only do your best that you may within your circumstances and choices.
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For once again, the countries of the world pledged to maintain fixed exchange rates, but this time with no gold or world money to give any currency backing. ,
My name is Barbara O’ Brien and my blogging at The Mahablog, Crooks and Liars, AlterNet, and elsewhere on the progressive political and health blogophere has earned me the notoriety of being a panelist at the Yearly Kos Convention and a featured guest blogger at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC.
I’m contacting you because I found your site in a health reform blog search and want to tell you about my newest blogging platform —the public concern of health care and its reform. Our shared concerns include health reform, tort reform, public health, safe workplaces, and asbestos contamination.
To increase awareness on these important issues, my goal is to get a resource link on your site or even allow me to provide a guest posting. Please contact me back, I hope to hear from you soon. Drop by our site http://www.maacenter.org/blog in the meantime.
Barbara O’ Brien
The reason I disagree with your blog here, is not so much your assertions on specific issues (though how I as an environmentalist can be classified as both a fascist and a socialist at the same time by various groups is puzzling), but rather on the underlying philosophy you are basing such responses on.
You claim to support ‘Individual Liberty’ as your primary philosophy, indicating a libertarian outlook. The standard question for this philosophy is that if you embrace individual liberty above all, what happens when two individuals disagree. If you accept that others have a right to individual freedom, you cannot impose any constraints upon them. This obviously, will result in anarchy.
Which in the end means libertarian/free-market arguments devolve to a ‘you get what you earn’ philosophy whereby those who own more, control those who don’t. This is blatantly unjust and undermines the very free-market approach you advocate by deny one of it’s qualifying conditions: under a free market, all participants must have the same starting point.
The free market philosophy was admirable in many ways, but in the end, far to simplistic to supplant paternalistic government.
As such, ever argument you build upon this premise will be incorrect.
GY, what happens when two individuals disagree is that they each live their own lives in the way they see fit, without imposing constraints upon one another. If you want to call this “anarchy”, perhaps you are right, in the sense that no government can legitimately enter the disagreement to arbitrarily use force to impose one single view upon both of them (a resolution neither of them may agree with, and leaves everyone worse off). I suspect however you use “anarchy” in the vulgar sense of “chaos”, adding circularity to your assertions. The government can legitimately use force however to protect the individual and property rights of one person against another. If the disagreement between two individuals – which is a normal part of life, by the way: it’s a bit concerning that you see this is some worrying special case – descended into violence or one person trying to forcefully impose her will upon the other, then the government can legitimately protect the other individual’s freedom by blocking this tyrannical behaviour.
I also find it bizarre how you consider a “you get what you earn” philosophy to be a “devolved”, dangerous or backward state of affairs. Getting what you earn is just about the fairest possible way of living we have, isn’t it? Surely this is preferable to a government arbitrarily stepping in and confiscating money you have legitimately earned, and redistributing it according to the whim of the day to those who have not earned it (including big corporations).
Furthermore, a free market would indeed allow everyone to start at the same point – you will be rewarded according to the skills you can offer to other people. Without a government skewing markets and supporting monopolies, more and more people would be able to become self-supporting and run their own businesses, working freelance and getting a fair reward for what they offer. You criticise free markets because “those who own more control those who don’t”, but you fail to substantiate this claim. Under a truly free market, nobody “controls” anyone else – if you don’t like an employer, you can pack up and leave and do something else. If you don’t like a “paternalistic government”, you are really stuck – there is no alternative, and they really do control you.
So in the end, you try to criticise free markets because of this unsubstantiated claim of control, but on the other you support and defend a “paternalistic” system which is controlling by definition – your position is somewhat confused, methinks.
I would put it to you that “paternalistic government” is not only highly simplistic (systems theory shows us that central cognition is far simpler than, and inferior to, distributed cognition), but that it takes its subjects to be morons too, who need parenting. If people are so stupid, what makes you think government employees will be any different? Either way you look at it, your worldview falls down. Given that you think everyone needs a paternalistic government, and you cannot even substantiate your reasons why, I am not at all surprised that an inconsistent misanthrope such as yourself has been called both a “fascist” and a “socialist”.
sippinatbells re GY: “Paternalistic Government”, because we all need parents, or pseudo-parental advice, even when we are adults? However, that aside, the attitude towards paternalistic governments is that somehow they are, as a body, not as individuals, infallible. That they know best and that they, like some parents, do not allow for dissent of different opinion. They pretend to listen to you but then carry on as normal, or rather in the way they were going in the first place. Is that not autocratic parenting? Hmm. Just wondering.
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