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Learning To Defend LFC

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Alethiometry
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I'm really sorry if this is not an appropriate topic for this board, but I could really use some help/advice here.

I've been trying lately to defend my objectivist pro-LFC positions at my liberal-dominated college. Recently I got into a discussion with an individual on our college message board...and now I'm stuck. I really want to come up with a good counter to his idiocy (with the intent of better educating myself in the process) but I'm stymied as to what to do now. Here's a copy and paste of the current argument.

Other guy:

Well fuck me. I guess you've nailed it. With one study, supplied by the neo-con Heritage Foundation and the WSJ, you've managed to deduce that socialism doesn't work in the real world.

Let me just point out a few things before I jump ship.

1) The squalor that is sub-saharan Africa is about as laissez-faire as it gets. Where does the Congo rank on this list?

2) Higher per-capita income DOES NOT in any way imply higher standard of living.

3) Higher per-capita income is an AVERAGE. Hypothetically speaking, this means that country A, with 4 people, where 1 person earned $100/year and 3 people earned $1/year has a higher per capita income than country B where all 4 people earned $25/year.

Let me ask you, which country do you think has a higher standard of living? a higher crime rate? a better economy?

Which country would you rather live in?

4) If socialism doesn't work in the real world, why does Western Europe enjoy a higher standard of living (better healthcare, lower crime rate, etc) than the U.S.?

Quote :

" In any case, regulations like the ones you described do not equal economic freedom. As you can see in the Wall Street journal study, economic freedom in the form of capitalism is desirable, if you think a higher per capita income is desirable."

So you would rather live in country A?

Quote :

"In a laissez-faire capitalist society, the only proper function of the government is national defense and the administration of justice. By administration of justice, I mean protecting the individual from the initiation of force so he is free from the threat of being robbed, assaulted, lied to, or murdered. Taxation is limited so it does not go beyond the cost of these functions."

Why draw the line there? Why not get rid of it all?

Seems rather arbitrary to me. It's as if you want to eliminate the government where it might interfere with you(the capitalist) fucking me(the worker) over but you want to maintain the governemnt if it will stop me(the worker) from fucking you(the capitalist) over.

Quote :

"In a rational society that values life, this is the only way to live."

It seems that a society that allowed for equal access to resources for everyone would "value" life more than one that was based on social darwinism.

Quote :

"I think the principle of the economic and moral superiority of private ownership is correct."

How about trying to convince us with something other than flawed studies and vaccuous opinions?

(All quotes are from my previous posts)

Me:

Problems exist in sub-Saharan Africa exist because it's rulers do not respect the property rights or their own laws, Zimbabwe in particular. Capitalism respects the rights of individuals to own property and its officials definately could not get away with breaking the rules they made if a proper system of checks and balances existed.

Neither your statements nor mine are vacuous: vacuous statements lack content. I've clearly defined my values and positions, they're just different than yours.

I have no desire to be taxed to death and have my blood, sweat, and tears pay for someone else's healthcare and not be free to own a weapon. You would clearly rather be in the opposite position.

I am not an advocate of eliminating the government as a whole. I would rather see it change the principles under which it operates. These principles include reason and not the disorder of anarchy. Your views seem rather arbitrary to me--if you want to limit people's freedom in the form of taxes, regulations, and favors to special interest groups, why not go all the way and limit their freedom entirely ala Soviet Russia?

Every person in a capitalistic society has equal rights. That does not mean they are entitled to food, health care, schooling, or equal resources. You have to work to earn your food or anything else you want. Nobody should be forced by the government to pay for the resources anyone else consumes.

Other guy:

Quote :

"Problems exist in sub-Saharan Africa exist because it's rulers do not respect the property rights or their own laws, Zimbabwe in particular."

Your Heritage Foundation/WSJ study clearly implies that "If a country is economically free, then it has a higher per capita income". I have supplied you with a fiiting domain for the antecedent, sub-Saharan Africa, and, if the study is correct, our consequent should follow if the statement is true. It doesn't follow because it is not true.

Aside from Mugabe seizing whitey's farms, which is a redistribution of wealth and therefore not an instance of a free economy, do you have any other examples?

Quote :

"Capitalism respects the rights of individuals to own property and its officials definately could not get away with breaking the rules they made if a proper system of checks and balances existed."

Justify this "right" for individuals to own property.

Quote :

"Neither your statements nor mine are vacuous: vacuous statements lack content. I've clearly defined my values and positions, they're just different than yours."

You statements are vaccuous because they lack support. All you've done is say "Jesus is God" and left if at that. You mentioned how philosophically unsound socialism is and then backed it up with nothing. You claim that individuals have "rights" to own property but haven't told us why. You used a flawed study, and when pointed out to you you failed to respond to that part in my post, and to deduce an opinion from, then you assumed it in other posts you've made. Simply repeating opinions over and over again does not give them content.

Quote :

"I have no desire to be taxed to death and have my blood, sweat, and tears pay for someone else's healthcare and not be free to own a weapon. You would clearly rather be in the opposite position."

Where in the hell did you come up with this?

Quote :

"I am not an advocate of eliminating the government as a whole. I would rather see it change the principles under which it operates."

To protect the capitalist from the worker and NOT the worker from the capitalist. You must be christian.

Quote :

"These principles include reason and not the disorder of anarchy."

Vaccuous and it just sounds stupid.

*in a tee-hee voice*

"The system I believe in is the only one based on reason..."

Quote :

"Your views seem rather arbitrary to me--if you want to limit people's freedom in the form of taxes, regulations, and favors to special interest groups, why not go all the way and limit their freedom entirely ala Soviet Russia?"

No where in this thread have I made my views known. All I've done is point out how weak yours are.

You responded to very little of my first post and what you did respond to was rather weak. Let's do it again.

(He goes on to repeat questions 1-4 from above)

Again, I'm new here and I'm really sorry if this is an inappropriate topic. But I really want to KNOW the answers to this guys questions. I'd really appreciate it if anyone would like to shed some light on this situation for me.

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Justify this "right" for individuals to own property.

Judging from the responses you have recieved, I wouldn't bother replying; you're probably wasting your time. But if you do, then point out that property was purchased using one's money, which was obtained using one's labour. If you don't own your own labour, then you are slave. This quote demonstrates that he doesn't understand this :

Where in the hell did you come up with this? (in response to your objection to being taxed in order to support others)

And proof that he's a thug:

To protect the capitalist from the worker and NOT the worker from the capitalist. You must be christian.

Ask this fool what a "capitalist" is (watch the contradicions fly) and point out that anyone who works is a "worker".

No where in this thread have I made my views known.

In case you hadn't worked it out already, he's a Marxist of some variant or another.

1) The squalor that is sub-saharan Africa is about as laissez-faire as it gets. Where does the Congo rank on this list?

Africa is mostly anarchist, with the occasional communist dictatorship. LFC does not exist there.

blah blah blah...why does Western Europe enjoy a higher standard of living (better healthcare, lower crime rate, etc) than the U.S.?

It doesn't. Look at the unemployment and inflation rates.

BTW, where is this discussion being posted ?

Edited by J. Hall
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I might do something like this.

Other guy: Well fuck me. I guess you've nailed it.

I know it requires some level of focus, which is probably difficult for you, but perhaps the discussion could be limited to facts and logical reasoning, saving your crudity for your everyday life.

With one study, supplied by the neo-con Heritage Foundation and the WSJ, you've managed to deduce that socialism doesn't work in the real world.

Actually there's an entire century showing that socialism doesn't work, if you count hundreds of millions of innocent people slaughtered as "not working", which apparently you do not.

1) The squalor that is sub-saharan Africa is about as laissez-faire as it gets. Where does the Congo rank on this list?

You are equivocating on the term "Laissez-faire". "Laissez-faire capitalism" means that the government's actions are only to protect individual rights, including property rights, and do not interfere with freely chosen trade. It does not mean anarchy or "the freedom for a government to do anything that *it* wants without restriction", i.e. dictatorship, i.e., the governments of the great majority of Africa.

2) Higher per-capita income DOES NOT in any way imply higher standard of living.

I suppose if there's no relation between the products of capitalism and standard of living, that is true. Otherwise, it's ridiculously false, as most inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa would tell you if you bothered to listen to the people affected by your bad ideas.

4) If socialism doesn't work in the real world, why does Western Europe enjoy a higher standard of living (better healthcare, lower crime rate, etc) than the U.S.?

Western Europe in fact does not have better healthcare than the U.S., and neither does Canada. And crime rates ought to consider the fact that a socialist government's actions are themselves criminal on a massive, daily scale. Considering average national crime rates as some indicator of "standard of living" can also be seen as ludicrous if you considered the (non-government-subset) crime rate in a dictatorship that had execution for any crime, no matter how small. I bet the crime rate is pretty low in such a society compared to the U.S. - are you going to argue they have a higher standard of living? (Probably so, since it would most likely be a socialist dictatorship.)

But the real issue is not simply the bad practical effects of socialism, which are countless. The real issue is that socialism - in essence, the view that any private property can be confiscated at will by the government for redistribution as it sees fit - is immoral and against the proper nature of human beings, which is to use their own minds in order to advance their own values, for their own life. Socialism is not simply impractical, it is not rationally ethical. In my philosophy, Objectivism, morality and practicality are in harmony - in your irrational philosophy, to be moral *is* to be impractical, because self-sacrifice, which you advocate, is inherently impractical on the face of it.

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The first problem is that you've let this discussion get waaaaaay out of hand. Now you've got to play whack-a-mole with 15,000 derivitive bad ideas when you need to by finding the ROOT SOURCE of his insanity and cutting it off at the pass. Believe me, I've been in your shoes more times than I care to count.

You have to start the discussion by asking what basic premise he accepts. Does a person have the right to exist without others initiating force against him?

Here's an old argument from way back where I kept the argument to essentials: http://s7.invisionfree.com/capitalistparad...p?showtopic=215

The end of it, which has since been deleted, involved "Class War" screaming "F*ck you" over and over again. Obviously, he was banned and by that point the weakness of his argument was obvious to all.

(also in that thread are examples of me exposing his attempts to equate economic and political power, etc, which you should find helpful.)

Also, never let the argument become one of statistics unless you're prepared to see it through. There's a whole lot more wrong with what your socialist said but I hope this covers at least a bit of it.

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1) Buy yourself a copy of 'Socialism' by Ludwig Von Mises which demonstrates that all forms of socialism make economic calculation impossible.

2) Point out that Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and National Socialist Germany laid waste to entire continents between them.

3) Knock it on the head.

There is nothing to be gained by debating with emotionalists. There has never been a rational proof of socialism. I've been there with the 'whack-a-mole' experience and it is soul-destroying, at least, when you're not the moderator on a board and the mod doesn't ban the cretin. :(

p.s. stop the swearing.

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I've been there with the 'whack-a-mole' experience and it is soul-destroying, at least, when you're not the moderator on a board and the mod doesn't ban the cretin. :P

Believe this man. He speaks the truth, I know from personal experience. :dough:

The thread I pointed to only worked out because I had mod powers to ban the guy once he started ignoring my arguments, repeating himself, screaming, swearing, and raving nonsensically.

BTW, Bruce, :(

Edited by Inspector
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As well as that, do not waste your time with a person you know to be an idiot.

After all, what does that say about you if you do?

BTW, Inspector, how often does that happen here?

Commie: 93 pages of Tax! Smash! Loot! Rape! Pillage! Kill! plus 184 screeds of Marxism.......

Objectivist: A patient point-by-point rebuttal of the previous load of drivel.

This cycle is then repeated, without editing the post, until each post is the length of LOTR. :dough:

I've seen it here, at capitalist paradise and at capmag and it drives me mental.

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  • 1 year later...

I realise that this topic is old but I'm new and i've only just read it and felt i had to add my thoughts.

I like the fact that he keeps refering to sub-saharan africa as an example of what an objectivist means by a free economy, these would be the economies that are largely dependant upon hand outs from the west which goes straight into it's leaders pockets, leaders who hold their position by the barrel of a gun.

The statement that he makes about socialism working because western society has a better standard of living also amuses me because it shows a clear looters mentality; remember that all the benifits we have in the west are the direct result of individuals, not social policies; remember who James Taggart wanted to get rid of the producers but not the products, you can't mortgage a zero.

My impression of the guy you were arguing with is this; he as abdictated reality by stating what he did in the above areas he shows me two things.

firstly that he assumes that an individual who is centred on their own wellfare will act like a looter and take as much as he pleases without fear of consequence, this is however an error. Any individual who is trully concerned with living their own life cannot do so without accepting that existence exists, that the law of causality is absolute, no man who is concerned with the betterment of his own existence could by his own standard of values commit theft and lie because to do so is to create a false reality that imprisions not the one you are cheating but you yourself, you are imprissioned in a false reality that you cannot escape because to do so would be to accept that you were not looking out for your own interests but instead trying to abdicate reality.

To abdicate reality is to demand your won death by your own hand.

The people who really care about their lives can only deal with the world in the manner that concurs with their own standard of values, their own lives.

I've come across many people like the gentleman you've faced and i have tried my hardest to explain the logic of my positions but i have infact been guilty of two errors.

The first is to assume that these people accept logic when clearly they do not and anyone who states "well it's only my opinion" is a person who thinks that everything is realtive and that reality is fluid, these people cannot be reasoned with because they do not see contradictions as mistakes.

The second is that I was guilty of giving said individual power over my own mind, my desire to show them the truth gave them the power to accept it or reject; in other words to pass judgement on it and also myself. When we give a fool the power to pass judgement we abdicate our own minds.

I now realise that these people are fools and should be ignored.

They are not our adversaries because our defintion of and adversary is someone of equal merit who defends a position contrary to our own; these people don't, their only code of value is "either i like it or i don't", they are not our equals.

They are obstacles, nothing more, avoid them when you can but don't ever feel guilty when you have to walk right through them.

h

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