Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Young Aristotelian Libertarians

Version 0.3

Young Aristotelian Libertarians

Another lightbulb went on today as regards the crazed Libertarians in relation to the Aristotelian Principle from Rawls' book on justice. As a brief review, Rawls argued that people were naturally motivated to excel, to seek to be the best people they could be. At the time it struck me as a ridiculous notion because most Americans (and lots of people elsewhere) have pretty clearly become couch potatoes. But ridiculous? Now I'd say "Not so much." It's a matter of age. Children really are driven by a kind of Aristotelian Principle because they eagerly want to grow up and become adults with full control over their own lives.

The concrete and probably genetically predisposed manifestation is that children love to play games. They just naturally want to spend lots of time playing, and they really do want to win and hone their skills. Without any incentives, they also want to learn or even create new games. Children really do have the kind of boundless enthusiasm that Rawls was claiming for humanity in general--but most of them grow out of it. I think that's mostly because as they grow they learn about the larger world and realize that there are always other more skilled and more creative players, so they realize they can't win. Or maybe the main influence is the need to go to work every day? Anyway, for whatever reason, most adults don't play as much as children or with the same boundless enthusiasm.

How does that relate to the Libertarians? They are quite like children in that they think they are going to win the game of life and they therefore deserve ALL the spoils of victory--just like children. The main thrust of Rand's writings was that the superlatively creative people are the only ones who should decide what they do, and the rest of the human scum are basically just parasites benefiting from their generosity in sharing their 'divine' creativity.

One of the pundits was describing Ron Paul's Libertarian supports as mostly being young, enthusiastic males. I'd like to see the demographics. but it certainly seems highly plausible. Libertarianism as a immature phase that they mostly grow out of? How many old Libertarians have you seen?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boycott Bloomberg of New York City

Version 0.4

Boycott Bloomberg of New York City!

Sort of a joke because I have no plans to visit the Big Apple or do any business there, even via the Web. My detachment and disassociation is not a boycott per se, but just a natural extension of my increasing incredulity at the fantasy-based state of America. However there is a special and higher disdain, disgust, and even a sort of threat (of incarceration) that makes me want to stay far, FAR away from Bloomberg. It's not just that he's a dishonorable and hypocritical bastard. That's just the norm for American politicians these days, even for the amateurs like Bloomberg. (He's too rich from his Wall Street games to pretend he's any sort of professional politician.)

It's the lying that makes him a major threat to my personal liberty. I have a special dislike of flagrant liars, and if I were to meet him on the street, then I'd be likely to get so angry that I'd punch him in the nose. Boink! In the heat of the moment, I'd be quite likely to think (without real thought) that the jail time was worth it. If I was younger and as well armed as I was when I was in the service, then it might be much worse--and I'm pretty sure there are many such people among the large population of the once great city he rules with his little iron fist. I actually heard that he used to walk around on the public streets, but I don't think that's likely to be true these days. Never again, little Bloomy!

Why the special anger at Bloomberg? Because he is a BIG part of the problem, maybe even the leading part of most of the problems, and his pious mouthing about the First Amendment is hypocrisy above and beyond ANY legitimate call of his loyal duty to his own upper-upper class. His wealth came from his work in destroying the legitimacy of capitalism. I'm still convinced (but with less and less evidence over time) that democracy is the best political system, but I'm no longer convinced capitalism exists or can survive in any meaningful way, and Bloomberg is a leading part of some of the largest problems. His networked terminals have made him wealthy by encouraging technical analysis of share prices and thus discouraging fundamental analysis of the real values of the underlying companies. What does it matter if a company is making a good product or serving society when you can use a Bloomberg terminal to make money with a much more trivial question: "Can I sell this stock at a higher price in 10 minutes?" The more quickly it is sold, the better, and long-term thinking about the fundamentals lost out years ago. Not a coincidence that Bloomberg became rich at the same time. The entire notion of corporate shares as representing any real value in anything has been utterly destroyed. Congrats, little Bloomy!

Bloomberg made some noises about the First Amendment as he sent in the police to crush the protests against his OWN abuses of capitalism. However, my current feeling is that the "99%" protests are doomed. You might argue that the First Amendment protects the rights of the people to peaceably assemble, but that is for the purpose of presenting their grievances to the government. That has essentially nothing to do with the current situation, since the government has been captured by and become a facade for corporations. Corporations are people? No, the corporations are now running the show far above and beyond the pitiful people.

As a metaphor, for the 99% it has now become like individual cells complaining about what the corporate bodies are doing. (Actual, even the so-called 1% are quite self-deluded about their real and personal significance to the increasingly monstrous corporations. Does it matter whether the cell that used to be a CEO gets a golden parachute or a chartreuse chute?) Do you worry about doing something that might kill off a few of your cells? Well, that's just how the corporations feel about the people within them--or rather less so, since corporations don't even have the pretense of emotions to worry about anything. In the mindless corporations that conform to America's current legal system, it's more like asking a mindless cancer to worry about the death of the host.

Perhaps a Constitutional Amendment against corporate personhood would help. However, the bottom line is that there are things the government needs to do that are NOT business functions. For example, someone needs to be the referee and focus on keeping the game fair. If government doesn't do it, who will? The biggest cancer?

That part was mostly written before I learned about the pepper spraying of student protestors in California, but that topic is tightly linked and so I'm adding a comment here. There are various confusing aspects of free speech, but one aspect that is absolutely clear is that you can't speak freely in fear. It isn't just the fear of arrest now, but the fear of a face full of pepper spray no matter how quietly you're sitting there. That is the new atmosphere of America, and it has to be with the approval of the kleptocrats in charge.

Bloomberg? Where's my garlic?


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As a blogger from before there were blogs, I've concluded what I write is of little interest to the reading public. My current approach is to treat these blogs as notes, with the maturity indicated by the version number. If reader comments show interest, I will probably add some flesh to the skeletons...