Ideology

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Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:41 am

How would you describe your ideological viewpoint and how did you learn it?

Most people inherit their political leanings and Ideological mindset from their parents who learned it from their parents etc. At least that's how it used to be.

Nowadays there literally is a forum for every ideological stance from anarcho-capitalism to authoritarian communism. Left wing anarchy to right wing theocracy. And all of them are jockeying to influence you.

So is your ideological stance a learned set of principles handed down from your family, or did you venture out into the world and find your own understanding of how a society should function in the United States? (We'll limit the discussion to the US, but international viewpoints are welcome)

Do not use this thread to criticize or debate which Ideology is better. Use it to increase your understanding. Think of this as the neutral ground of this sub-forum that allows everyone a chance to lay out where they are coming from and why they believe what they believe. We can slug it out over elections, economics, and other **** in the other threads.
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Re: Ideology

Postby A Man's Part » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:54 am

I'm a moderate who leans slightly liberal.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Xandtar » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:04 am

It's hard to describe my ideology with simple terms such as liberal or conservative, red green or blue.

I am a foreign policy hardcore isolationist, I think George Washington had it right when he said alliances were entangling. I think we should be out of the Eastern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere except for what we actually own (e.g. American Samoa) and those bases that are needed to track satellites, etc. that must be done globally. In the regions that remain, I don't mind NORAD working with Canada on joint North American Defense but we should be out of Gitmo because our 99 year lease on it that we signed after the Spanish-American War (you know, 19th Century) has expired, and we didn't renew it, not because of any attitude about Cuba per se.

I am a fiscal moderate, I see the need for public works and infrastructure too big or too unprofitable for private enterprise but which are needed like schools, libraries, interstate highways and bridges, etc. I don't think we need as comprehensive a safety net as is currently in place because while it is great in theory, and it succeeds in preventing people dying of hunger in the back alleys, it is a bloated mess, as are other bureaucracies like the Departments of Education and Veteran's Affairs. I believe in paying for police vests but not armored personnel carriers for suburban departments.

I lean toward libertarianism on social issues, with a couple of exceptions. I oppose affirmative action because I was young and fresh out of college when it was first implemented and I couldn't buy a job as the big corporations filled their quotas during that two year stretch with women, not so much minorities, but it worked out the same, it was discrimination against me, by the government. I oppose abortion policy in its current state because the rights of fathers are completely ignored, though he was as responsible for the pregnancy as the mother and it is his child too, there should be both rights and responsibilities for the male involved. Most regulations while well intentioned are twisted by corporations and lobbyists to benefit the companies at the expense of others, and why not that's what you hire lobbyists in the first place. So, I am more of a hands-off guy unless it affects public safety, like dumping toxic waste into rivers to save a buck or stuff like that. I don't know why the government gives tax breaks to married people in the first place, if the breaks were gone then there wouldn't even be a gay or plural marriage issue to debate, it would just be personal choice.

My parents don't believe most of this, my father was pretty much a hard-core conservative in all ways and my mother never had an opinion on these issues, but it turns out she's pretty hard-core as well.

This is generally how I feel, and I know there is something in here to offend everyone. That's okay, I never claimed to follow the herd (sorry Morgan).
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:16 am

By upraising, I grew up by what would be called today as an "Establishment Republican". I happen to think that term is nonsense, but I'll say its more of a Nixon/HW Bush type of Republican than say a Barry Goldwater type. Small Government, Low taxes, strong military, traditional social values.

At the time, the Cold War was still on so as a kid I was firmly entrenched in Reagan Country. By the time High School rolled around I got introduced to Rush Limbaugh and that was the extent of my occasional interest in politics. Fast forward to adulthood, I had become a regular Rush listener (never called) and began arguing politics with friends and relatives mostly regurgitating what Rush taught me. Then comes Fox News and my Trip to Afghanistan so by 2007 I was as right wing as anybody prior to the tea party.

I hit college and co-founded the College Republicans, I argued with professors over politics and considered myself pretty well versed. Some folks even referred to me as "Mr. Republican" on campus.

the first change in my viewpoint was the election of 2008. As the President of the college Republicans, I rallied as many folks as I could to support McCain, but for some reason there was little enthusiasm from me for McCain. I thought Palin was pretty neat for about 20 minutes and finally saw how full of **** she was when she resigned as governor of Alaska in order to have a reality show.

In the mean time, I learned about West Virginia's history and the labor battles that ensued here. I was and am still pro business, but I now find nothing noble or appropriate about exploiting a worker. So I became at least a Union friendly Republican. Then I visited a Mountaintop removal mine on a field trip. I am still vested in WV's economic interests, but I could not support what I saw (a giant hole in the ground where a mountain used to be). So I softened on the environment beyond conservation.

These two Ideological shifts had me reeling by 2012. I pounded the table for Romney, but only because he was counter to the increasingly nonsensical ravings of the Tea Party, whom I disavowed by 2009. After Romney lost, I turned the news off. I took Rush's advice (I had stopped listening years ago) and turned the news off because it made me depressed. I stuck with the Drudge Report to get my news and later expanded to Huffpo to get info from different angles.

During that time, once I was able to step away from the noise and get a little perspective, I began to reason differently. A trip to DC slammed it home. The "News" is to Journalism, what the WWE is to sports. I dropped virtually all of my taught doctrine and started over. In that time I have surmised that the GOP is wrong on virtually every social issue, and they are clinging to an economic model that has proven to do the opposite than it purports to do. They need an overhaul.

I'm still a registered Republican, but ideologically speaking, I'm in a state of flux. I think I'm only a conservative from a nationalistic sense. I still think the country is great as it was designed and will continue to be so long as we improve upon it. So I guess that makes me a RINO.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:28 am

My larger conclusion is that Ideology that is accepted as a universal set of truths is for suckers.

I've figured out that a lot of conservatives (Terry springs to mind) hold their Ideology sacred and any other perspective is heresy whether it is right or not.

Liberals on the other hand, seem to operate from a place of resentment. It makes sense if you look at the Liberal/conservative dichotomy as being like a gas pedal and a brake pedal. conservatives, who are by definition resistant to change put the brakes on what the liberals consider progress. They are in the way, obstructive, and thus irritating to the liberal.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:13 am

I grew up in a lightly religious Christian family that did not try to place a burden on me to accept religion as it is. With me always very interested to pursue a career in science, atheism came very easily as a consequence. The skepticism that made me an atheist, eventually extended to other areas where belief is necessary. One major area being economy. As an atheist, the lack of belief in state came naturally for me once I put my attention towards that area.

The fact that other men (some democratically elected, most appointed) are capable of having a big say of how I live my life; how I manage my resources made me skeptical of it. I developed a healthy distrust of the state once I realized that the only one capable of efficiently managing my resources is me.

I initially used to call my ideology as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative". But thanks to the hijacking of the label "liberal" by narrow minded fools who think their ideology is THE moral standard for all of mankind despite huge diversity, I no longer call my ideology as socially liberal. But one thing I have a great deal of respect for is our constitution and the liberties it offers us. As far as the "fiscally conservative" label goes, people mistake it for someone who is frugal. But that ideology only applies to taxation and how recklessly the state spends it. So yeah, I did not even feel like calling myself a fiscal conservative as it can be mistaken for being a cheapskate and someone with no regard to the poor. With all that in mind, it became obvious that the one word that describes my ideology with most accuracy is libertarian.

I know ideologies change over time, but I don't ever see me being religious (spiritual may be) or statist. It may vary as far as how big of a state I would like to watch over me (advocate for a night watchman state as of now aka Minarchy), but I don't see me ever becoming a statist. Thanks Bush, and Obama!
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:26 am

For clarification: What would you consider the threshold between a night watchman state and the beginnings of statism?

By contrast, I am in favor of the Federal Government keeping its traditional size of 20% of GDP
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Re: Ideology

Postby Buc2 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:07 pm

I’m at work, but I’m going to take just a few minutes to respond to this. Sorry, but it’s going to be fairly generalized. There’s no way I have the time to write my book on this subject.

I was raised in a predominately Republican family and pretty much voted Republican most of my adult life. I held much of the conservative point of view (not all) on foreign and domestic policies. While I was never anti-abortion, I also never viewed that as a truly political issue. Abortions were legal, after all. By domestic policy, I mostly mean as it applies to the economy and, what I consider, out of control social spending (welfare, subsidized housing, education, etc.). The first time I was eligible to vote, I voted for Richard Nixon.

However, over the last decade or so, I’ve found myself turning more and more away from the Republican party ideals and more towards the Libertarian ideals. I want a limited government (less regulation, less taxation, climb off the War On Drugs boondoggle), more personal responsibility (revamp welfare for example… make it harder to get on and easier to get off) and limited isolationism. I say limited isolationism, because even Libertarians understand the need to work with the rest of the world in today’s reality of a global economy. What I don’t want is America continuing as the preeminent World Police and butting in, militarily, in every other countries business. I also see the need for better border security and being a little more picky with who we allow into our country. When we were a young country, we needed all the immigrant help we could get to grow our country. Besides, we didn’t have the means to stop illegal immigration anyway during the early years of this country. Now that need isn’t there anymore. Now we can afford to be pickier.

Most of my current views don’t seem to align very well with either of the major parties in power today. As such, I find myself becoming more and more of a political minority in this country. At this time, for major elections, I still tend to vote Republican because they are still closer to my political ideals than Democrats are… although the line between the two parties seems to be narrowing more and more all the time.

My hope is to see more viable Libertarian candidates. I think they have to concentrate more on local/state government (and I see that they have to a small degree… especially in the 2014 local/state elections) and work their way up into federal government. For now, I rest my hopes on libertarian leaning Republicans such as Rand Paul and even, to a degree, Ted Cruz.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Zarniwoop » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:04 pm

I grew up in a very mixed family when it came to all types of ideologies

Religion -- maternal side is Roman Catholic....paternal side is Russian Orthodox. All are very devout

Politics -- both my families are blue collar -- my sister and I were the first to go to college. The Roman Catholic side loved Kennedy and just about everything Democratic...same with the Russian Orthodox side except for my father -- who is a hardcore republican (though he is a lot more pragmatic than the shouting heads on TV). That being said, because of their devout religion, the democrats in my family were always disparaging the moral degradation of our society and would all vehemently denounce laws aimed at same sex marriage, drug use, pro-choice and things like that.

I have pretty much stayed the same for my adult life. I lean Conservative but have no problem with short term social safety nets. I also believe in a progressive tax rate -- actually i would have no problem with seeing a higher EFFECTIVE rate for the top earners in society. I want religion out of government as much as i want government out of religion. I'm pretty liberal when it comes to stuff like legalizing drugs and gay marriage but I'm nowhere near a "no holds barred, legalize everything" sort of guy. I believe our society needs bounds when it comes to what is considered "acceptable" behavior.

I think we should have much more choice in society than we currently do and both FEDERAL and STATE governments need to allow for this. I flipping hate this one size fits all approach that we see -- and Texas is about the worst of it.
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Re: Ideology

Postby BigIrv9 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:10 pm

Founding father Benjamin Rush said it best:

“I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am now neither. I am a Christocrat. I believe all power whether, hereditary or elective, will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.” - Rush
Last edited by BigIrv9 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideology

Postby HamBone » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:20 pm

I believe I'll have another beer.
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Re: Ideology

Postby The Outsider » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:42 am

My ideology is complicated. It is hard to define under today's constructs. I'm libertarian when it comes to personal freedoms, I don't believe in protecting people from themselves. I probably fall to the left when it comes to economics. I do not believe in a pure free market. I also support social welfare if it makes sense and is managed properly, which is not the case the vast majority of the time. Above all else, though, I believe in justice and I do not believe that our current legal systems provide this in all cases. Sometimes people deserve far worse than our legal system can provide.

As for religious ideology? I never believed in the Christian god. Nor do I believe in Allah, Vishnu, nature worship, etc. That said, I'm no atheist. I don't have the hubris to pretend I understand enough about our universe to totally rule out a higher power.
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Re: Ideology

Postby A Man's Part » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:38 pm

The Outsider wrote:My ideology is complicated. It is hard to define under today's constructs. I'm libertarian when it comes to personal freedoms, I don't believe in protecting people from themselves. I probably fall to the left when it comes to economics. I do not believe in a pure free market. I also support social welfare if it makes sense and is managed properly, which is not the case the vast majority of the time. Above all else, though, I believe in justice and I do not believe that our current legal systems provide this in all cases. Sometimes people deserve far worse than our legal system can provide.

As for religious ideology? I never believed in the Christian god. Nor do I believe in Allah, Vishnu, nature worship, etc. That said, I'm no atheist. I don't have the hubris to pretend I understand enough about our universe to totally rule out a higher power.


This is a more succinct definition of myself.
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Re: Ideology

Postby BucJordan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:24 pm

The Outsider wrote:My ideology is complicated. It is hard to define under today's constructs. I'm libertarian when it comes to personal freedoms, I don't believe in protecting people from themselves. I probably fall to the left when it comes to economics. I do not believe in a pure free market. I also support social welfare if it makes sense and is managed properly, which is not the case the vast majority of the time. Above all else, though, I believe in justice and I do not believe that our current legal systems provide this in all cases. Sometimes people deserve far worse than our legal system can provide.

As for religious ideology? I never believed in the Christian god. Nor do I believe in Allah, Vishnu, nature worship, etc. That said, I'm no atheist. I don't have the hubris to pretend I understand enough about our universe to totally rule out a higher power.


That's a pretty good summary of my ideology as well, except for the economics, where I lean to the right. I don't have a problem with "big business" and I believe in capitalism, but I do see the need for some degree of regulation for it to work properly. I'm certainly in favor of simplifying our tax system and terminating loopholes and incentives to let large corporations off the hook. I also believe the government spends far too much of our money on unimportant things - unsuccessful and unmotivated people get too much help, prisons are too full, and government-led research should be limited to defense.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Grim Reaper » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:11 pm

I'm all for enlightened despotism.

With me as the despot, of course...
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:06 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote: I am in favor of the Federal Government keeping its traditional size of 20% of GDP


Why do you believe that 20% GDP expense is something that is being spent responsibly and something that has worked? Can you list me areas off the top of your head that our money was diverted to where you saw bang for the buck invested?

As for how big of a Government, I'd like one big enough to provide security, mediate disputes, provide transparency, assist the disabled and old, manage immigration and manage other areas where a competition between private entities is not feasible.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:10 am

Jonny wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote: I am in favor of the Federal Government keeping its traditional size of 20% of GDP


Why do you believe that 20% GDP expense is something that is being spent responsibly and something that has worked? Can you list me areas off the top of your head that our money was diverted to where you saw bang for the buck invested?

As for how big of a Government, I'd like one big enough to provide security, mediate disputes, provide transparency, assist the disabled and old, manage immigration and manage other areas where a competition between private entities is not feasible.


Do you want to argue or do you want to understand?

Oh, you forgot the infrastructure thing. The Interstate Highway system was a federal project. As was the Hoover Dam.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:23 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
Jonny wrote:
Why do you believe that 20% GDP expense is something that is being spent responsibly and something that has worked? Can you list me areas off the top of your head that our money was diverted to where you saw bang for the buck invested?

As for how big of a Government, I'd like one big enough to provide security, mediate disputes, provide transparency, assist the disabled and old, manage immigration and manage other areas where a competition between private entities is not feasible.


Do you want to argue or do you want to understand?

Oh, you forgot the infrastructure thing. The Interstate Highway system was a federal project. As was the Hoover Dam.


I want to know, and then make a judgment whether it is wrong enough for an argument or right enough to understand. I will take that argument in a different thread if you prefer.
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Re: Ideology

Postby lachisbackisback » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:46 am

Jonny wrote:areas where a competition between private entities is not feasible.


This applies to a hell of a lot of things, and vitally important things, unless you trust corporations to have your best interests in mind more than government. I tend to agree with a lot of the logic of libertarians, but I think they're shockingly naive when it comes to increasing public reliance on corporations.

It's bad enough that governments are almost entirely complicit with corporate interests to begin with, and I'd say it's the primary problem facing your country at this point, but to do away with the slim pretense of the government having the interests of the constituency in mind would be the death knell of your way of life.

To choose to jump into the waiting arms of corporations as though they're saviors rather than to simply try to hold your government accountable for ridiculous overspending on various things like the military is just unfathomable to me.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:41 pm

lachisbackisback wrote:
Jonny wrote:areas where a competition between private entities is not feasible.


This applies to a hell of a lot of things, and vitally important things, unless you trust corporations to have your best interests in mind more than government. I tend to agree with a lot of the logic of libertarians, but I think they're shockingly naive when it comes to increasing public reliance on corporations.

It's bad enough that governments are almost entirely complicit with corporate interests to begin with, and I'd say it's the primary problem facing your country at this point, but to do away with the slim pretense of the government having the interests of the constituency in mind would be the death knell of your way of life.

To choose to jump into the waiting arms of corporations as though they're saviors rather than to simply try to hold your government accountable for ridiculous overspending on various things like the military is just unfathomable to me.


Lach, the government is most concerned about saying the right things and keeping themselves in power. Why should I trust them more than private firms when their track record has been utterly bad over the last 16 years? At least the corporations that aren't protected by the government stand to lose it all when they screw up. From facing lack of customers to lawsuits, there are many ways a corporation can be handled. With the government, you could say that you can vote them out. But majority of the government is the bureaucrats, they are the biggest failures of all and you cannot hold them accountable on anything. A good example is Education. You have protests by teachers' unions when this country has the worst education system in all of developed and developing world for every penny spent. Private schools are able to get better results with lesser money. But the government has its hands tied from doing anything to keep those unionized government employees in check. So how can the people hold them accountable?

I don't think there are that many areas where competition is either bad or nonexistent. For example on matters such as immigration or preserving the environment, you need a governing body rather than a private entity since there is no incentive or scope for making an extra buck for the private firm. But for something like providing potable water to consumers, you can trust private companies as there is incentive to gain and everything to lose with their service. AnCaps make an argument that even things like infrastructure and security can be contracted to private firms. To me I'd like to see how a Minarchic state looks initially, that is the middle point to determine if you can go further right or revert back to left.
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Re: Ideology

Postby lachisbackisback » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:24 pm

Your education argument makes little sense to me. The fact is that private schools have to differentiate themselves from a "free" service as it stands now. So of course they provide a superior service and make it as efficient as possible in order to make a profit. If you remove any public schools, and leave it up to corporations to determine when and where they can make a profit, you're opening yourself up to a host of problems. Demand will be as high as can be, as no parent will allow their children to go without schooling. 100% of eligible customers will need to use the product. If one corporation makes it into a town first, and is able to cut costs due to having a large network of schools nationwide a la Walmart, it will prohibit others from entering the market. Once a de facto monopoly on any given community is established, you're opening up the very real possibility that the school will be run purely for profit, with no regard for the education of the students. Perhaps parents are then forced to move jurisdictions to find better schooling, crippling the town's growth and future prospects.

Sure, in time perhaps that dearth of options will result in substantive competition of some sort, but you can't take the chance that an entire generation of children are subjected to those sorts of conditions in the belief that "eventually" competition will sort the whole thing out. That's why hedging your bets with providing public and allowing for private to provide a superior service if they can, even if it results in inefficient public spending, is preferable. It removes the gamble. Most infrastructure issues are like that.

Take cell phones in Canada. We have an oligarchy with complicit pricing, and because it's so hard to break into an industry that takes such enormous capital to do so, we pay through the nose for data and plans. Sure, in some city centers, there are other options. The bulk of the population is screwed, however, with nothing on the horizon to create any competition of any kind. Even large international corporations like Virgin, who more recently entered the market, have coverage relating only to the largest cities. Most infrastructure-related industries follow the pattern of being extremely hard to make inroads into when there are established players in the market, so to assume that competition will solve everything is clearly false.

This isn't even getting into the incredible amount of class action suits that have been launched against companies for having an utter disregard for their consumers or the public at large. From the cost-benefit analysis used with the Pinto, to all of the issues that Erin Brockovitch has been taking on all these years. These are not isolated cases, and are indicative of exactly what would increasingly happen with a virtually nonexistent government. Hell, the EPA already has no teeth. No way that would get better in your proposed scenario.

So to me the easiest solution is reforming government and trying to make them more accountable, in addition to taking a hard look at public spending, rather than compounding the situation.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:05 pm

Jonny, What Lach has done here is articulate what I feel is the need for a society to have a government that is both large enough to serve it's people, yet small enough to allow for the private sector to do it's thing.

Typically, when you have this type of conversation the "ant-government" side of the discussion tends to deal in absolutes. Either you're a rugged individualist, or a statist. That is a false dilemma.

The size and scope of government is a healthy discussion for any democratic society. But we cannot make many inroads until we both concede that both totalitarianism and anarchy are not remotely desirable by either side.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:25 pm

The scary scenarios you provide are baseless, because I cannot come across a real life example where a monopoly came into picture and took advantage of its market after it got a healthy market share. Even Standard Oil of the old times which came to such position by focusing on putting their competitors out of business, could barely sustain itself once it became a monopoly before the government intervened to play savior. Public education, there is nothing free about it. Especially when they take more $ per pupil compared to private schools. Now your argument is that public schools are free for those who cannot afford to even pay a penny. That issue can be addressed at the community level without the intervention of federal government and its extremely inefficient ways. It is not like the current education is doing any good for those from extremely poor neighborhoods, and it costs a whole lot. I saw a documentary a few months back where two bureaucrats assigned to improve education standards did a masterful job of managing to get some bad tenured teachers fired. But because of pressure from unions, they were eventually fired and painted as tyrants.

I don't understand how your example of Walmart is supposed to be a negative. They are hardly a monopoly, but they got there by providing more for less and the moment they will show inability to compete with other supermarkets, they will be pushed aside just like K-Mart was. It is much easier to hold a privately run school accountable than a public school where bad teachers, unions and tenure-ship are a norm.

About the cellphone markets in Canada. The companies that established a stronghold, did they follow the same pattern you previously described to become an oligarchy? Sell stuff for less, push the competitors out of business and then dictate the prices? That definitely did not happen here. Because even if we all are dissatisfied with how much our cellphone bills are, we could not say that we were paying less for more at any point. The bigger culprit that allows those corporations to dictate the prices is FCC, which literally rents out airwaves and spectrum for those companies to utilize and provide everyone the service, has a ton of regulations that help players already in the market and makes it difficult for newer players to even come into the picture by setting hurdles. Again, monopoly and oligopolies are very possible in any business, but most of them come to that level by providing great service or with the help of a governing body.

I fully agree about utter disregard for environment if it means more profits. But I don't see how that justifies presence of a big government, because courts wont go anywhere and communities will always have the opportunity to take on these corporations. Also I did acknowledge that an agency like EPA should be free from concepts like profit and thus government run. That being said there are many stories where environmentalists blamed EPA for being in cahoots with corporations. I believe individuals will have a stronger sense of responsibility in a libertarian community to not just leave it to someone like EPA or Erin Brockovich to take a corporation to task. I understand, it was just an analogy you made as to how corporations disregard other things that indirectly affect their consumers such as environment. I am not an AnCap, I want agencies like FDA, USDA, to police, but in a reduced role.

All in all, I don't know how people can keep government accountable with just a 2 party system we have. The debate commission will not even get the candidate for 3rd biggest party to debate with our candidates and there is not a thing anyone has been able to rectify it, because you are appealing to the government to keep itself in check. It probably is a lost battle, but it sure is somewhat a positive sign to see someone like Rand Paul rising on the GOP side. I would love to see one rise on the Democrats side as well. But with the rise of entitled idiot progressives as the voter base for Dems, the exact opposite of redneck conservatives for Reps, I am not that thrilled about a true libertarian's chances any time soon.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Southern Oz » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:31 pm

I'm not from the US, so just asking a few questions.

Are most Americans able to identify and articulate their ideological position as you have guys have done? And furthermore are most politically informed enough to make decisions based on this position?

Most people I know aren't able to, or chose not to, define exactly where they sit. It certainly isn't common to use terminology like u have.
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Re: Ideology

Postby acaton » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:32 am

Until we impose term limits on Congress I believe all parties and ideologies to be equally worthless. I want society to help those that can't help themselves for whatever the reason but don't send me the bill for the dumbasses.

I think I'll join HamBone and drink another beer.
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Re: Ideology

Postby A Man's Part » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:03 pm

Southern Oz wrote:I'm not from the US, so just asking a few questions.

Are most Americans able to identify and articulate their ideological position as you have guys have done? And furthermore are most politically informed enough to make decisions based on this position?

Most people I know aren't able to, or chose not to, define exactly where they sit. It certainly isn't common to use terminology like u have.

Probably higher on a internet message board.
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Re: Ideology

Postby lachisbackisback » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:21 pm

Jonny, sorry it took me so long to respond.

I disagree that my scenarios were baseless. Don't Time Warner and Comcast specifically make a point of not competing with one another, because colluding to have high prices nationwide rather than taking one another head to head and providing a superior service is more profitable? Commodities are regularly speculated on by the producers of said commodities, which enables them to dictate prices rather than compete. I mean, I can try to grab you examples, but I think it's rather self-evident that companies can easily find ways to subvert and stifle competition once they have a strong hold on their market share. And usually the only industries in which you can establish a strong hold on market share are ones where the cost of entry is high and the goods are important to consumers.

The Walmart example was used specifically because they use their vast network and buying power to drive down prices and push others out of the competitive landscape. Education is not a sector where you can afford to have a lowest common denominator monolith dictating the education your kid gets. Sure, you would argue that the government is that monolith right now, but that speaks more to need for education reform in your country, and I already spoke of the fact that competition being allowed to enter the market against the public schools is beneficial. The mirror image is prisons, which I understand are a mess in your country due to being privatized.

The constant need for people to throw the baby out with the bathwater in terms of things like unions and public programs is something I can't fathom. It harkens back to the misguided belief that business efficiency cures all in an economy, which isn't at all true. Your logic that a 2-party system will never work, and the solution is to neuter the government entirely, is exactly the same. Get more parties and overhaul the system, don't abolish them entirely.

Same with the EPA.... they're in cahoots with the corporations, so your answer is that once the shell of the EPA is abolished, private citizens will step up.

As for the cellphone thing, Bell absolutely had help from the government in establishing their infrastructure. If they didn't, there would be vast swaths of Canada that would have had no access to a telephone. It's a huge country with a minimal population on probably 95% of the land. We also have a version of the FCC. I've lost track of why that invalidates my argument in reference to oligarchies, though. I haven't reviewed what I originally said, and I'm just responding to your post, because I have to run out the door soon, so maybe I've lost the thread of the argument.

I go back to the cost-benefit analysis thing, though. It's bone-chilling to read that fuckfaces in a boardroom determined that fiery deaths were more expensive than fixing the Pinto. I recently read that Koch Industries did a cost-benefit analysis in terms of repairing pipelines. Two kids died because a pipeline carrying lighter fluid had over 500 ruptures near the farm they lived on. Koch paid millions in damages, but continued to operate the business without repairing pipelines because paying damages was still cheaper than doing repairs. The same article said that Koch basically acknowledged that if they had to pay for the damage they do to the environment, they wouldn't be able to stay in business.... and they're the second most profitable business in the US, I think. Banks brought the world economy to its knees within a decade, faced almost no consequences and haven't become any more risk-averse. Companies have basically bought and rigged your political system in the span of a lifetime, for the privilege of doing all of these things. In my books, that doesn't bode well for a society dictated entirely by being beholden to a bottom line.

Anyhow, gotta go. Sorry if the post is scattered. Probably not some of my most coherent stuff.
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:54 pm

Lach, I am glad you are back like your username says :) .

Take no offense to this, but this discussion seems eerily similar to arguing with someone that believes in god and me having to disprove the importance of religion and god to uphold our morals. And generally when I debate these points, I usually place the burden of proof on the opposite side since they are dealing with the positive and my position is the negative. To me it all boils down to this, is political self-interest in any way nobler than economic self-interest? Leading a population sounds nobler on paper. But it also comes with a heavy package of condescension and risk of mistake or corruption from one or some decision making individuals having a multiplicative negative effect on the whole population, lack of transparency and hence accountability on part of said leaders.

Arguments such as Government doing a proper job in some country leading to some prosperity is analogous to pointing out Buddhism or Confucianism as religions of peace. The last point I made in previous paragraph is exactly what has happened here already and will happen in economies that gradually compromise economic freedom. TBH I still don't see any justification as to why US should not move away from massive government to a night watchman state. I would actually contend that in a libertarian society and economy, there would be far more responsibility on an individual and his collective (as in the area he resides in) to hold corporations responsible.

The oligarchies that you brought up seem unavoidable even with Government intervention so far, and there is a valid argument to be made as to how much companies like Comcast invest in building the infrastructure (cables) to bring their service to that area. They naturally would have a huge edge on undercutting their potential competitors who would have to initially invest on infrastructure and take a few years to get returns on their investment. And I have always been a supporter of the Walmart model. Walmart is like a dinosaur in a forest. It operates on big margins of profits/losses and will die off of starvation if it really bleeds a community dry like the progressives claim it will. And any time I see labor unions hating a corporation with passion such as Walmart or Toyota, I start off with an assumption that something fair is happening there.

The topic of how unions are more toxic than not deserves its own thread and so do the following topics such as social welfare, corporate welfare, public education, federal student aid and nationalized healthcare (which thankfully has not made it here yet). All these topics involve a huge amount of emotion, emotion easily clouds rationality. People have been sold of the idea that revoking these programs is only going to make things worse by default, when I have heard no argument as to why that is the case (not saying they need to be revoked overnight). I would be very glad to indulge in a debate with anyone on those individual topics at my own pace. When I try to summarize my hypothesis and leave some points out, it comes to bite me in the form of a response that directly would have countered that. I hate to see anyone phase out on me because of my poor+lengthy posts.

To summarize the ideology I completely OPPOSED to, I present this very funny clip:

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Re: Ideology

Postby Boyd Crowder » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:22 pm

I consider my ideology to be constantly evolving. At the core of my belief system is the idea that when you think you've got it all figured out, that's the moment when you can empirically label yourself a moron, if you've got the capacity to make that call. There's a paradox in play that keeps my political beliefs somewhat ambiguous. I believe that dependency on the state has made people helpless and weak, and that's where we're at. Now, what do we do about it? We can't depend on the state to make people self-reliant, knowledgeable, and competent, because that would neither suit its own interests nor come into being through a popular vote by people who are helpless and weak, or by people who either fetishize or genuinely empathize with the helpless and weak (with the latter being too lazy to help or convinced that the state has the answers). And no personal choice that doesn't directly infringe on another's right to life, liberty, et.al. is a bit of the Government's business. At heart I'm an Anarchist, but the rational part of me says we need constructs to teach the zombies we've created to be self reliant critical thinkers, give them roads to drive on that they don't have to plow and grade themselves, and so on. There's the domestic part. No answers.

Foreign policy-wise, I don't think I need to answer for the results of overthrowing stable governments in the middle east. ISIS has answered that one for me. So, okay, I'm a Libertarian. So are my parents. :drinkingdrunk:
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Re: Ideology

Postby Jonny » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:54 pm

Boyd Crowder wrote: At heart I'm an Anarchist, :


AnCap or AnSoc? Chomsky or Friedman?
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