[FoRK] Do You Belong to The Church?

Joe Fish reverend.joe at gmail.com
Thu May 6 11:26:21 PDT 2010

On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 10:48 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> Various responses.
> Joe:  what is government?  What is it's essential nature?  What separates it from e.g. the "corporatist" view (either interpretation, so perhaps "views") mentioned elsewhere?

In theory: Government's essential nature / purpose is to organize
people and prevent anarchy.
In practice: Government's essential nature / purpose is to preserve
the status quo for those in power.

> Re:  "There's no such thing as a non-hypocritical Libertarian..."  Pretty sweeping statement.  Perhaps the line between pragmatism and hypocrisy is subtle?  Could it be that some with fundamentally anarchist ideals realize we live in a non-ideal world and so seek out the political alliances that seem most practical among various options?  Could it be that there are libertarians (big or little "L")  that, indeed, don't covet the coercive protection of a strong-man government?  (Hmm, seems to me you might have entirely missed the "Thousand Nations" etc. / Thiel / sovereignty wing of the non-party...)
> It's a fair point, though.  Perhaps there is some inescapable relationship between hypocrisy and pragmatism.

The statement *is* too general, but, like many generalizations,
correct in most cases.

I should probably have said "any Libertarian that spouts forth about
how its "not the job" of government to provide this or that service
that they don't care about, while spouting about the essential
morality of providing those services they DO want is hypocrtical" ...
but that's not very compact, and, in my experience, the general
statement holds true in most cases for those who self-identify as
libertarian.  Maybe I should have said, "Most Libertarians are
hypocritical b/c if they believed their own ideology as they state it,
they would be anarchists, not Libertarians"?

And, as I alluded to Ken, I am *ALL* for pragmatism, and, as a FISCAL
conservative, actually AGREE with Libertarians in large part on what
services Government should provide and those it shouldn't.  But its
still hypocritical to be pragmatic about the services of interest to
oneself and then act ideological and repeat "X is not the job of
Government" ad infinitum for things unimportant to oneself.

And, yes, I have entirely missed what you're referring to at the end
of the above.

> "is it true that Libertarians believe, or at least profess to believe, that all government is bad?"
> No. :-)  Of course not, Mr. Fish's frothy commentary notwithstanding.

And I never said they do, either.  Only that they're hypocritical in
the functions most of them believe Government should support, and for
what reasons.

> "And yet, every republican-cum-free-marketeer i speak to about the
> current mess (and the other one I can remember) always seems to think
> the source of the problem just HAD to be that we didn't deregulate
> Don't talk to idiots. ;-)

Well, that's a big problem in talking about what "the mainstream" of
ANY party's "platform" is, I'll admit.

> About 999 out of 1000 people you'll talk to have *no idea* what caused the present mess.  Maybe 1% of those that do understand have any idea such things could be prevented going forward.  (Do the math, it's amusing and infuriating at the same time.)
> Quite startling to me:  it actually appears that the best ideas about what to do *are* in fact making it into the proposed legislative fix.  (In particular, the requirements of exchange listing and clearing of various derivatives.)  Whether that's enough to outweigh the negative impact of the stupid stuff that's going in remains to be seen, but hey, I'll take it, however improbable it might have been.

Agreed on the math.

On the other point, you appear to know / understand a lot more than I
do about what is even being proposed, my observation is more of the
light-on-details, common-sensical variety:  namely, everytime I see
one of these "deregulation" crazes happen, there's a boom of guys in
charge (and who often seem to be close friends of those doing the
deregulating) getting rich, followed by a bust and inevitable
finger-pointing, blaming, and lawsuits with me and my other naive
taxpayer compatriots picking up the tab.


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