What Are Your Rights?

by Simon 121 Replies latest jw friends

  • Spoletta
    Just a note. Upon reflection, I realize that Kerala is a state, not a country, but to all intents and purposes, it operates on the same dynamics as a country, though you are free to disagree.
  • Simon
    There has never been a truly Socialist country

    LOL, OK, so you are trying to weasel your way round the argument - so let's kill this one:

    If there's never been one, in the history of mankind, then there's a reason for it to be dismissed: it's impossible to create one which is just another example of it not working.

    But we know the reality is it's been tried and fails and ends in starvation.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I think this shows the difference between those who are for capitalism and those who are for socialism.

    I'm for capitalism but I'm not blind to its faults - capitalism has its flaws. The 2008 crash was capitalism. There is no such thing as 'true capitalism' (and, by implication, 'fake capitalism'). It's all capitalism and we who live under it have to make sure it's regulated so that it works. We have free speech, the right to protest, the right to vote, free and fair elections every 5 years, political programs, journalists and political commentators, referendums, etc. to help us do this.

    People who are anti-capitalism have a difficult time being honest with themselves and with others.

    Do they hide a secret desire to end capitalist rule by being a social democrat? Is it their plan to vote social democrats into power so that these people can change things, with the long term goal being the end of capitalism?

    What do they do when someone points out that every socialist country has failed and that socialism is directly responsible for 100 million deaths and much more suffering?

    Why, then they use the No True Scotsman Fallacy and shift the goalposts to suit their outlook.

    It's often the case that some kind of utopia is the end goal.

    This utopia isn't real, it's like a mirage in a desert.

    North Korea has the word democratic in its full name but there is no democracy in the country - that's self evident and needs no explanation. The US obviously has democracy.

    Pulling the No True Scotsman Fallacy just won't work in this case. The Soviet Union, Maoist China, Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela, were/are socialist countries. Socialism, Marxism and Communism all sing from the same hymn sheet - Das Capital.

    Lenin said that socialism leads to communism, so a communist utopia is the end goal. Voting social democrats into power is just the first click of the ratchet.

    So, some South American socialist countries haven't yet been f**ked up by socialism ... congratulations.

    But the hard reality is that it's still one way traffic to the US. There are no economic migrants/refugees leaving the US to go to a S. American socialist paradise.

  • MeanMrMustard

    I’m just getting caught up on the thread.

    There is a general conflation between rights and entitlements. I think another conflation happens here:

    From George Carlin: Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shxt like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fxxx, here we go again...here we go again.

    Putting aside this was said for comedy, if you really take this viewpoint seriously, you would be conflating the non-existence of human rights with the ability of a tyrant to take them away.

    Ask yourself: Is slavery wrong? If yes, then why? We reject slavery now because it violates property rights. In this case it is the right of ownership of your body. If you think, seriously, that only government could grant that right, then you would have no moral objection to government sanctioned slavery. If the government were to proclaim that you report to the killing fields for termination, for the greater good of course, would you just shrug and say, “Oh well, I don’t really have a right to not have my life forcefully taken away.” ?

    Carlin is correct that governments can take away rights. They can kill you, muzzle you, enslave you. But that doesn’t imply the non existence of these rights. Rather, it just implies that you are being ruled by a tyrant.

    Finally, many Libertarians are atheists. You don’t need God to argue for human rights.

    The government should create an environment where people are free to chose to become doctors, surgeons, farmers and so on with the incentives for some to follow that path but if they decide to dictate that people provide those services then that is denying those people their freedom.

    I would like to bolster your point with one thought. The incentive problem is a large issue when it comes to socializing an economy. But the calculation problem is rarely addressed. I have, in the past, posted a link to a presentation on Mises’ calculation problem. I’ll post in again below. It is important because the socialist has to contend with raw calculation - or lack thereof. Even if you assume somehow human nature could be changed and a “new socialist man” created, the economy would soon bump up against raw reality. The economy would not be able to calculate the right allocation of scarce resources. The closer you get to a pure socialist economy, the faster the demise. We saw this with the darling Scandinavian counties. They were highly capitalistic. Built up a lot of capital and then turned to a more socialist “balance”. They’ve had to back away from that in recent years because they were headed for ruin. How do you get a small fortune while being socialist? Answer: start out with a large fortune and squander it.


    How did she die and why? Why didn't she have better health insurance? Why wasn't she healthier? Why didn't she have any money to get better health insurance?

    Agreed! But to add to this, a question rarely asked ... if ever: Why is it so expensive in the first place? And it’s not “because good quality care is expensive.” The care is getting worse and more expensive each year. I propose we are seeing the socialist results right before our eyes: as more of any industry comes under government control, or heavy regulation, as the price system is undermined, the economy can’t calculate properly. We get cheap prices and good quality in every other industry, but somehow health is excluded from these market forces because.... well.... reasons.

    It’s not just confined to health now. Food, education... all inflating and becoming poorer in quality for exactly the same reasons.

  • MeanMrMustard
    There has never been a truly Socialist country

    Just to note: if you watch that presentation I posted by Joe Salerno, he documents a time in the Soviet Union’s history when they tried pure socialism. It lasted for about two weeks. All calculation broke down and the population was reduced to maurading bands of looters burning whatever they could find for warmth.

    To fight against lack of calculation, they would order the Sears catalog...

  • Spoletta

    There is no true socialist country. The USSR is a primary example of why it can't work. An honest person will admit that Bernie Sanders and AOC have never advocated for a purely Socialist country.

    Even Ayn Rand, the staunch advocate of Libertarianism, ended up on Social Security , not prudently having saved up enough money(as was her right) to live upon in her old age.

    By the way, I wasn't referring to you when I referenced strawmanning.

  • Spoletta


    Joe Salerno is associated with the Mise Institute, a right wing think tank partially funded by the Koch Brothers. At various times it has advocated such ideas as the 9/11 conspiracy, that vaccines cause autism, climate change is a hoax, the Theory of Relativity is a sham, and HIV doesn't cause AIDS. One of it's Fellows is the Libertarian Economist, Walter Block, who believes that we are not required to feed or clothe our babies, can sell them if we wish, and can allow them to die if they're deformed. He defends blackmail, slander, libel, hate speech, and child porn. His only objection to slavery was that you couldn't quit, but you did get to pick cotton, sing songs, and enjoy your thin gruel (his actual words!). He is against charity, as he feels it disrupts the Survival of the Fittest.

    Excuse me if I'm not inclined to take anything Mr. Salerno says seriously.

    George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians, and though his humour is often very insightful, sometimes it's just very funny, and tells us things we enjoy hearing, whether they're true or not. A hysterically funny opinion is still just an opinion. So, on the whole, I don't feel your arguments are very compelling. Sorry.

  • Simon
    The 2008 crash was capitalism.

    Not entirely, it was also government interference in the market - insisting that loans be given to people who simply didn't qualify rather than allowing the market to operate as it should. The result was that the loans became bad debts and were repackaged and sold on, eventually crashing the system

    Carlin is correct that governments can take away rights

    No, real rights remain rights, the government can violate those rights, not take them away. The government is guilty all day every day if it does so. There is no acceptable scenario where the government denies someone their rights.

    The incentive problem is a large issue when it comes to socializing an economy. But the calculation problem is rarely addressed.

    Yes - whatever the system, people will come up with the easiest way to get the best advantage from it. That is human nature. If you create a system where people can live comfortably doing diddly squat, then why would they work? Why would anyone? They would be crazy to do so ... which is why systems that start with a basic premise of "give things to every just because" will always end with lack of resources in the system. Not only does it encourage freeloaders, it also disincentivizes the 10% of people who generate 90% of the wealth in any economic system.

    You need a system that creates golden gooses and allows them to lay eggs. If you kill the geese and spend the eggs, you will eventually starve.

    question rarely asked ... if ever: Why is it so expensive in the first place?

    Anything that the government touches becomes insanely expensive because the funds that the government pumps into the system is factored into the pricing. They don't help things to become affordable, they allow the prices for things to spiral out of control.

    Which of these does the government "help" with and which are capitalist? Subsidize anything and you make it more expensive, not more affordable.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    An honest person will admit that Bernie Sanders and AOC have never advocated for a purely Socialist country - but they've never said they want to preserve capitalism either.

    If AOC was asked if capitalism is the enemy, how would she respond?

    Reading between the lines, my suspicion is they want to be voted into power on a social democrat manifesto and use those social democratic policies to 'change things' and ultimately end capitalism.

    AOC seems more bonkers than Sanders ... she doesn't know her arse from her elbow.

    There is no true socialist country

    Image result for jack nicholson laughing gif

    Different people have tried to implement socialism for more than a hundred years, ruining many countries and killing and abusing hundreds of millions of people. It's clearly time to give it up, wouldn't you say?

  • redvip2000
    An honest person will admit that Bernie Sanders and AOC have never advocated for a purely Socialist country - but they've never said they want to preserve capitalism either.

    Oh what nonsense. I'm not a Bernie supporter, but even to me this is silly.

    This is not an "8 or 80" decision. No reasonable person can think that a country where only the rules of capitalism apply will be successful. Every country were capitalism dominates, also has socialism-centric measures. If this was not done, it would marginalize certain segments of the population, and result in misery and unrest. The market and its rules are simply not enough to govern a country.

    The answer is always to try to balance aspects of the two.

Share this