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MisterSwig

Trump, the Anti-Socialist

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2 hours ago, Dupin said:

Willfully failing to enforce welfare laws is giving welfare to illegal aliens.  In either case the illegal alien gets the cash.   That's what he cares about, and we care that we're forced to pay for it.

That argument is convoluted.

So Trump is willfully not enforcing the law and letting illegal aliens get welfare.

If lack of enforcement is the issue, then Trump is at fault, he is in charge.
Is the argument "vote for Trump because he will enforce the law even thought he failed to do it all this time"?

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16 hours ago, 2046 said:
17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

if you want to drop names like Adam Smith to exonerate him

Not to mention that one of the main points of Smith's economic work is in free trade and against what he called mercantilism, so it's not exactly clear how name dropping Smith is supposed to work in order to be a defense of Trump.

First of all, it's not a "defense" of Trump. It's a pointer to his brand of capitalism, but I said it's not my focus now. It might become my focus if this blows up and becomes a main issue after the Dems choose a candidate. Then it might be important to figure this out, especially if the Democrat nominee also claims to be a capitalist. But if it's Sanders or Warren, I don't think it'll matter. Sanders enjoys being a socialist, and Warren isn't fooling me.

If I were going to explore Trump's particular brand of capitalism, I would probably start with Smith's moral arguments for his economic theory, and compare them to Trump's arguments and policies. Also, I would note that we can only speculate how Smith would have responded to trade with socialistic and communistic nations, since he pre-dated them.

Edited by MisterSwig

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I would probably start with Smith's moral arguments

His moral arguments are mostly about sentimentality and regard for your fellow man. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's basically neoliberalism, which is what you would get if you voted for any of the Democrats. It's more like asking about Trumps particular brand of neoliberalism. But as soon as we talk about different brands, we already grant that some of them could be just as bad or worse than socialism.

The only brand I can pick out from what you're saying is anti-socialism. I mean, if that's all you care about, if he said he would exterminate all the socialists, you would still think he is closer to capitalism.

Edited by Eiuol

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Whether it's a defense or a brand-association, what you're saying literally isn't coherent. Adam Smith's "brand" of capitalism has as one of its main planks the principle of free trade. That's literally one of the main points of his book. So it's not clear how name dropping Smith is supposed to to function as a brand-association with Trump, rather than a brand-disassociation.

As far as Smith's moral arguments, which specific ones? My guess is you haven't ever read him and don't know what you're talking about. 

As far as not knowing how Smith would react to hostile tariffs from other nations, we don't have to wonder because he specifically addresses that in 4.II that the principle of revenge or retaliation can be employed to justify tariffs against a foreign country that has employed them against Britain. So again, I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about and haven't cracked the first Adam Smith book, and should probably not try to name drop stuff you haven't read.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

The only brand I can pick out from what you're saying is anti-socialism. I mean, if that's all you care about, if he said he would exterminate all the socialists, you would still think he is closer to capitalism.

You outdo yourself. I think that was a triple-hypothetical devoted to straw-manning my position.

1. If I'm saying Trump's brand of capitalism is anti-socialism...

2. If that's all I care about...

3. If Trump said he'd exterminate all socialists...

You seem particularly obsessed with inventing thoughts for other people.

Do you think being anti-socialist means wanting to exterminate all socialists? Is that a policy you can see Trump advocating?

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8 minutes ago, 2046 said:

As far as not knowing how Smith would react to hostile tariffs from other nations,

I didn't say "hostile tariffs." I said socialistic and communistic nations. What's the point in responding to you when you can't even follow simple statements?

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13 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

...

If lack of enforcement is the issue, then Trump is at fault, he is in charge.

Is the argument "vote for Trump because he will enforce the law even thought he failed to do it all this time"?

Though Trump is nominally in charge not only the Democrats but his own party do their best to undermine his immigration policies, as do rogue judges, the Kritarchy.

The argument, mine anyway, is this: bad as Trump is about some things (for example Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, so far) he is fairly good in absolute terms and great compared to his opposition. 

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40 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

You seem particularly obsessed with inventing thoughts for other people.

It was intended for you to answer each one as a way to explain your position. 

If exterminating socialists is wrong, what do you mean by anti-socialist?

If you care about other things than being against socialism, what are those things?

If I'm wrong that you think his brand of capitalism is basically only anti-socialism, then what is it? I already told you how the clip you posted wasn't especially capitalistic (because he emphasized fair trade). 

53 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

Do you think being anti-socialist means wanting to exterminate all socialists?

It's a kind of anti-socialism. It could mean that, without other belief mixed in. I care more about someone being for individual rights, rather than degree of anti-socialism. I don't think Trump understands the value of individual rights, and some socialists even understand what they are better (although they call it something else). 

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31 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

It was intended for you to answer each one as a way to explain your position. 

If exterminating socialists is wrong, what do you mean by anti-socialist?

In Trump's case, I mean speaking out against socialism, like he's been doing. Good grief, I didn't think the accusations of supporting mass murder would begin so soon.

31 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

If you care about other things than being against socialism, what are those things?

Cutting taxes, repealing regulations, advocating capitalism. We've been over this already.

Edited by MisterSwig

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

the accusations of supporting mass murder

it was ad absurdum, it wasn't an accusation! I was saying that your position is un-formed that you could advocate for such a thing and still be consistent. "Speaking out" doesn't help much here, you need to be more specific. I only vaguely know what you mean. Taking it to the absolute extreme, the logical conclusion which you don't advocate for, we would end up supporting a capitalist-in-name-only South American dictatorship. I don't even think Trump advocates that. Yet there is such a degree of irrationality when it comes to anti-socialism that I hear, that as long as somebody stood against socialism, even violating the rights of socialists would be better than having socialism. The survey itself is evidence for just such a thing, the way the questions are phrased. Trump likes to feed off of knee-jerk reactions, even his own, rather than a carefully reasoned position. 

So when I saw this thread, my first thought was that you were falling into that trap.

 

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

We've been over this already.

You didn't respond when I answered about those. Cutting taxes isn't a position. Repealing regulations isn't a position. All they represent is changing a law that exists. So then we started talking about more fundamental things like whether he supports Hong Kong. This would be both the position and a change to what exists. But then when we brought up that if the talks did not go well then he wouldn't support Hong Kong, you went on about how none of us know his private beliefs so we can't judge what his belief would be. 

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You didn't respond when I answered about those. Cutting taxes isn't a position. Repealing regulations isn't a position. All they represent is changing a law that exists.

And what does changing a law represent?

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I meant something along the lines of even a full-blown Communist could cut certain kinds of taxes (because it was oppressive to workers or some other reasoning). 

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I meant something along the lines of even a full-blown Communist could cut certain kinds of taxes (because it was oppressive to workers or some other reasoning). 

And that would be a capitalistic position. Not much of one, but what do you expect from a full-blown communist who doesn't even believe in personal property to be taxed. Kind of ridiculous, I think.

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I don't really think that taxing personal property is required of Communism, or actually any kind of taxation for that matter. It would actually be consistent with Communism depending on the stage of capitalism and stages after that. It's not that they are capitalist at least to that degree - because such a thing doesn't indicate how someone is or is not an ally of capitalism. It's about why they do it. It's not as if Trump articulated a clear philosophy behind his tax cuts except pragmatic reasons. Or maybe granting that we could call that somewhat capitalistic, and this might be a radical idea, sometimes even allies of socialism can be closer allies to capitalism than pragmatists like Trump. Or at least comparable (I could see reasons for preferring Trump over Warren). 

 

Edited by Eiuol

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On 12/9/2019 at 8:45 PM, Easy Truth said:

Objectively yes, that is the history. Ethically speaking, they should have "clean hands". If you are saying that dirty business is the inevitable norm, then it is an invitation to more of the same.

As far as philosophical leanings, Trump is closest to pragmatism. According to your analysis it makes him a socialist?

 

Clearly not. I'm saying pragmatism is -any- policies which lack principled base, Socialist included. Let's try it and see if it works this time. Despite it never working before and causing misery (socialism). In an important respect, the president is non-pragmatic: apparently he remembers a time in America which (in his view) did "work", literally. Decent people are evidently happiest when they are free from others/government - the same thing - active, productive, self-responsible and earning their money. I think he is much more realist-practical than "pragmatic". Contrary to the slogans pinned on him by intellectuals ("anti-intellectual, pragmatist, populist") he has quite consistently shown his "happy people" principle.

(I'm not one who ever wants or expects leaders to be "intellectual". Usually today that means a leftist ideology - but, whatever; please leave the intellectualism to the citizens and just do your job, protecting them).

Edited by whYNOT

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How socialism sneaks in is always by the same method: 

They need. We owe.

This feeling has become so entrenched in the Western narrative lately, by way of the cynical drive by intellectuals, etc. to expose "our" (white, male, colonist) "shared past sins" - it is not questioned by anyone. The only queries raised - to whom, and how much? 

Then you know how far down the slippery slope you have slid.

Mix in "equality" and "universal love for all", and by necessity, by power of govt. enforce those who will not accept that credo, and hey presto, Socialism. Forced love, aka sacrifice, aka altruism. Those too who harp upon the "nationalism" of the country have implicitly accepted a globalist form of altruism-equality.

In that light, one can see how their unearthed, sacrificial orgy by Leftists was interrupted by a rude interloper, and why their feelings are vilely outraged. Whatever his flaws, and they are mostly matters of delivery and erratic policies, one thing President Trump has bluntly stated is no, Americans don't owe. We are not the world's police and not the world's banker. Let people in other countries also learn to take care of themselves as civilized, sovereign nations. Then - we all can get down to talking deals that favor everyone. A breath of fresh air in an international, sacrificial swamp.

One would think Objectivists, above all, would have identified and prioritized this major aspect, altruism, premising Socialism. But many seem also to have tacitly conceded - we owe.

 

Edited by whYNOT

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23 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Who are you talking to? Nobody said socialism isn't bad.

All right, but it's been rather dryly criticized at arms-length as though Socialism is a bad economic theory. My intention, over the top perhaps, was to try instill some urgency. The consequences there, here, and other places* I'm concerned about has been my motivation. And, visiting what I've seen of the kind of doctrinal thinking that brings Socialism about, well-covered by Rand. This is a threat that O'ist intellectuals should be pulling out all stops, to combat. I haven't seen any articles from ARI, surprisingly. I know, and you know, there's a quandary which Objectivists are caught in. Many have invested a quantity of argument and energy strongly critical of the president, and now could be seen to change sides and have to defend him. A simple equation:  going anti-socialism is synonymous with supporting a Trump re-election. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, not exactly, and doesn't have to be taken that way. (Whatever one's thinking/feelings about him, personally - which (I think) are not altogether rational in O'ists circles. Worse, from the Democrats: irrational, emotionally-stunted anger directed at him, insanely sacrificial of the country).

There are much bigger fish to fry. 

An Objectivist has a hierarchy of values to refer to and use. Better this, than that. 

Quite soon now, as the elections near, I expect ARI's writers to take up and take apart Socialism with a conviction, not shown so far.

* UK election results later today will be indicative of where they're moving.

There's not a great amount of independence around nowadays, and decreasing. Of course, I largely blame the mind-softening effects of established Leftism. A majority of people will follow ideas and political-economic trends set by others. When and if Socialism becomes "the new normal", if Capitalist America leads the way, well, "if they can do it - so can we". The US would surely recover from an experiment with Socialism, Social Democracy (whatever it will be called), long-term. For far smaller economies already on the edge of bankruptcy, with a much lesser culture of individual values and capability, like this place, the country will not come back. The trend will spread with varying disastrous effects in other countries, too.

Edited by whYNOT

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I don't know about you, but socialism is easily as bad as emotionalism combined with nationalism. Not sure how you get from that idea to "dry criticism" of socialism just as bad economic theory.

 

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8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

My intention, over the top perhaps, was to try instill some urgency.

The problem with that is: intense emotions attract irrationalism, it makes it more likely. It's just the way it is. The arguments have to be made with minimum emotions to increase the likelihood of a rational conversation. Currently as you have expressed, the descriptive phrases are changing which means one's criticism may not apply. I noticed on the "survey" in the OP, it was not socialism, it was "radical socialism" that was mentioned. That is an emotionally loaded phrase right out of the box.

The fact is that Sweden went through a socialist period, were taxed excessively (even for those who like socialism). Because of their institution of free speech, they were able to come out of it in the last 20 years. In some ways they are now more capitalistic that the US. They did it based on reasonable discussion of the issues not fraudulently taking over the government and forcing capitalism down people's throats. So honest discussion can save a country.

Now, I don't want socialism, I don't want mandated altruism, but I also want words to be treated as meaning something. At some point the political environment will muddy up the waters where leaders can say things that don't mean anything in particular. I find the OP to be that type of confusion mongering. If we want to attack socialism (which would be singing to the choir in this forum), then let's be clear about it. The way the OP puts it forth is: "That which is Capitalism, is Trump, and that which is NOT Socialism is Trump" which is nonsense!

Again, no one here disagrees with you that socialism is bad.

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I noticed on the "survey" in the OP, it was not socialism, it was "radical socialism" that was mentioned. That is an emotionally loaded phrase right out of the box.

I guess you missed the initial mentions of "socialism" in the survey title and the very first question.

176783425_Screenshot_20191212-1803422.thumb.png.4904d3ab07f2bcd4bc4462fdb0c0cb29.png

Then you misrepresented the mention of "radical socialist country" in the second question. It's ironic how you misidentify reality while in the same breath accuse others of emotionalism and "confusion mongering." 

Edited by MisterSwig

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It literally created confusion, what happened was is he didn't even notice the confusion that was induced in him. It says socialism in the first part, then radical socialism in the second. What are we supposed to think here? What's going on? It doesn't actually mean anything, except what you feel it means.

Confusion is misidentification of reality. Identifying that the objective of the survey is some amount of confusion doesn't mean being immune to that confusion. I didn't notice it either. But that's the value of unpacking each phrase. The survey wasn't made to find clear information, or to get people to consider what their beliefs are. "You fell victim to it!" Is an argument that the survey really is doing what we say it is.

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It literally created confusion, what happened was is he didn't even notice the confusion that was induced in him. It says socialism in the first part, then radical socialism in the second. What are we supposed to think here? What's going on?

Huh? Are you not sure whether you want America to be a thriving capitalist country or a radical socialist country? That question should not be particularly hard to answer for an Objectivist. And even if you are troubled by the bias for capitalism, question #10 is devoted to general comments where you can express your concerns.

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Radical socialism isn't a thing. It's made up. No one calls themselves a radical socialist. It's not a political category. It's not that the question is hard to answer, it's that the question is a loaded one. It manufactures two extremes. 

What is radical about the form of socialism we are talking about? Communism could be thought of as extreme socialism, but no one is advocating for that. Democratic Socialists are at best socialists that don't like Communism, so this wouldn't make sense. I'm asked if I like something imaginary that doesn't exist. In effect, this is a question directed at people who don't know any better. The people reading it are somehow pushed to believe that this imaginary radical socialism exists. 

Thriving capitalist country can also be misleading, because who doesn't want something thriving? If I picked anything else, somebody would ask me why I don't want a thriving country. This pushes the idea that anyone who isn't a full on capitalist must hate America, or that anyone who doesn't like the word capitalism must hate America. Yeah I want capitalism, but I don't go saying that anyone who disagrees with me hates America. A better question would be if I want thriving socialism or thriving capitalism. We aren't encouraged to think about what capitalism means. We are encouraged to simply have a knee-jerk and conditioned response to the word socialism, and a knee-jerk conditioned response to the work capitalism, without thinking about what either term means.

 

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