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F.A. Hayek On "The Great Utopia"

Tyler Durden's picture


While it is hardly necessary to provide commentary to one of F.A. Hayek's timeless observations from his book, The Road To Serfdom, rereading the chapter titled The Great Utopia, in this year of what could possibly be the most important election in the history of the United States, in which the US public will be promised nothing short of utopia by virtually every candidate except the one who really knows that fixing America would require pain and sacrifice, is everyone's duty. Courtesy of the Center for Economic Liberty we recreate it below in its entirety, and urge all readers, regardless of political persuasion of economic beliefs to consider what F.A.Hayek was saying some 70 years earlier, and how very applicable it is to our current situation.

The Great Utopia

There can be no doubt that most of those in the democracies who demand a central direction of all economic activity still believe that socialism and individual freedom can be combined. Yet socialism was early recognized by many thinkers as the gravest threat to freedom.

It is rarely remembered now that socialism in its beginnings was frankly authoritarian. It began quite openly as a reaction against the liberalism of the French Revolution. The French writers who laid its foundation had no doubt that their ideas could be put into practice only by a strong dictatorial government. The first of modern planners, Saint-Simon, predicted that those who did not obey his proposed planning boards would be "treated as cattle."

Nobody saw more clearly than the great political thinker de Tocqueville that democracy stands in an irreconcilable conflict with socialism: "Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom," he said. "Democracy attaches all possible value to each man," he said in 1848, "while socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

To allay these suspicions and to harness to its cart the strongest of all political motives—the craving for freedom — socialists began increasingly to make use of the promise of a "new freedom." Socialism was to bring "economic freedom," without which political freedom was "not worth having."

To make this argument sound plausible, the word "freedom" was subjected to a subtle change in meaning. The word had formerly meant freedom from coercion, from the arbitrary power of other men. Now it was made to mean freedom from necessity, release from the compulsion of the circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us. Freedom in this sense is, of course, merely another name for power or wealth. The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for a redistribution of wealth.

The claim that a planned economy would produce a substantially larger output than the competitive system is being progressively abandoned by most students of the problem. Yet it is this false hope as much as anything which drives us along the road to planning.

Although our modern socialists' promise of greater freedom is genuine and sincere, in recent years observer after observer has been impressed by the unforeseen consequences of socialism, the extraordinary similarity in many respects of the conditions under "communism" and "fascism." As the writer Peter Drucker expressed it in 1939, "the complete collapse of the belief in the attainability of freedom and equality through Marxism has forced Russia to travel the same road toward a totalitarian society of un-freedom and inequality which Germany has been following. Not that communism and fascism are essentially the same. Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion, and it has proved as much an illusion in Russia as in pre-Hitler Germany."

No less significant is the intellectual outlook of the rank and file in the communist and fascist movements in Germany before 1933. The relative ease with which a young communist could be converted into a Nazi or vice versa was well known, best of all to the propagandists of the two parties. The communists and Nazis clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties simply because they competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. Their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits made of the right timber, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.

What is promised to us as the Road to Freedom is in fact the Highroad to Servitude. For it is not difficult to see what must be the consequences when democracy embarks upon a course of planning. The goal of the planning will be described by some such vague term as "the general welfare." There will be no real agreement as to the ends to be attained, and the effect of the people's agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go: with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all.

Democratic assemblies cannot function as planning agencies. They cannot produce agreement on everything — the whole direction of the resources of the nation-for the number of possible courses of action will be legion. Even if a congress could, by proceeding step by step and compromising at each point, agree on some scheme, it would certainly in the end satisfy nobody.

To draw up an economic plan in this fashion is even less possible than, for instance, successfully to plan a military campaign by democratic procedure. As in strategy it would become inevitable to delegate the task to experts. And even if, by this expedient, a democracy should succeed in planning every sector of economic activity, it would still have to face the problem of integrating these separate plans into a unitary whole. There will be a stronger and stronger demand that some board or some single individual should be given power to act on their own responsibility. The cry for an economic dictator is a characteristic stage in the movement toward planning. Thus the legislative body will be reduced to choosing the persons who are to have practically absolute power. The whole system will tend toward that kind of dictatorship in which the head of the government is position by popular vote, but where he has all the powers at his command to make certain that the vote will go in the direction he desires.

Planning leads to dictatorship because dictatorship is the most effective instrument of coercion and, as such, essential if central planning on a large scale is to be possible. There is no justification for the widespread belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary; it is not the source of power which prevents it from being arbitrary; to be free from dictatorial qualities, the power must also be limited. A true "dictatorship of the proletariat," even if democratic in form, if it undertook centrally to direct the economic system, would probably destroy personal freedom as completely as any autocracy has ever done.

Individual freedom cannot be reconciled with the supremacy of one single purpose to which the whole of society is permanently subordinated. To a limited extent we ourselves experience this fact in wartime, when subordination of almost everything to the immediate and pressing need is the price at which we preserve our freedom in the long run. The fashionable phrases about doing for the purposes of peace what we have do for the purposes of war are completely misleading, for it is sensible temporarily to sacrifice freedom in order to make it more secure in the future, but it is quite a different thing to sacrifice liberty permanently in the interests of a planned economy.

To those who have watched the transition from socialism to fascism at close quarters, the connection between the two systems is obvious. The realization of the socialist program means the destruction of freedom. Democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is simply not achievable.


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Sun, 01/29/2012 - 08:40 | 2107005 flattrader
flattrader's picture

No joke...and it's (dogmatic myth) surprisingly rampant here.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 08:59 | 2107015 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

US citiziens cling to their fabled past and can not self indict.

There is no risks at treading on their dogmatic myths. Propaganda will prevail and the myths will remain stronger than before.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:00 | 2106741 KickIce
KickIce's picture

That must be why they started with too little government and almost failed.  They had to beg power hungry George Washington, who was completely dissatisfied with farming, to lead the country.  Just because they had lived under tyranny they weren't bright enough to understand it like we do today.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 03:14 | 2106857 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

What is a utopia without ideals and a firm fixation on the future and all that can be learned from the past?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:17 | 2106826 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Aspirations and a few bucks will get you a venti coffee; judge men by their actions, not their pomp and prose.

You think the Whiskey Rebellion wasn't a response to class warfare between those being forced to pay for a war (that they fought and won) and those collecting coupons from the proceeds?

If your neighboring church was say...buggering little boys, would that change your tune?


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 04:54 | 2106884 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

You might be serious but if you've ever read Hamy's remark you'd know they a pure satire and sarcasm designed to get the largest number of negative reaction possible.  Its better to ignore him or just enjoy his deliberate abuse of the English language.

The main thing to undertstand from the above brilliant essay by Hayak is that the model for socialism is the hierarchy and control structure of the military.  Socialists admire the complete command structure necessary for war and want to apply it to the economy.  Their fatal weakness is their implied trust of "experts" who will save us from having to make decisions for ourselves as individuals.  So collective control and command it is attractive to those who are control freaks as well as parasites such as bankers and lawyers with no real skills.

The rest of us (i.e. the majority of readers of ZH) just want these morons to leave us alone.  We need the central government like a fish needs a bicycle.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:29 | 2106537 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...and they had the nerve to put the word ''free'' next to Mason. LOL. Jefferson's Bible, free of the parts he did not like. That scumbag had to rewrite that one out of public view. Lol. Why was there a political party called the Anti Mason party? Lol.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:24 | 2106840 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

But it worked so well for the Councils of Nicea and Trent and King James.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 22:59 | 2108470 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

GMadScientist, yeah, I hear what you are saying, and agree on the KJV having also been messed with a bit, but, Jeff's image is a graven one. not a risen one. Lol. What a fallen fool that masonic meathead was.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 08:36 | 2107001 flattrader
flattrader's picture

>>>"An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States" , by Beard.<<<

Yep.  I remember that.  Lost it during a move in graduate school.

Damn, you!  Now I'm gonna have to buy a copy and reread it.  Good to get back to basics.  Good counterpoint to the half/dim-witted libertarian post-post-post-revisionist-revisionist-revisionist historical interpretation that passes for analysis around here.

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 01:46 | 2108737 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Excellent recommendation--going from memory, done in 1917? Greed existed back then as well.         Milestones

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:01 | 2106618 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

And perverts, too! Jefferson and what's her name...and Ben Franklin and half of France! Of course there is no word for "pervert" in i guess we'll just have to "wing it" on that one...

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:49 | 2106806 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...don't forget when Jefferson and Adams died on the Second of Sirius, better known to non masonic meatheads as the 4th of July. Lol. 

You might enjoy this story Disabledvet. I freaked out some local masons, that I have messed with for a while, inside the Beltway. I have confronted them with their own contempt as often as I need a good laugh, So, I have been watching everything, from politics to the market and the bad weather etc... They heard my prophetic spin, as usual,  and one of the things I mentioned was how I hated their stupid Washington Monument, right before the quake, I mentioned to them the fact that we have had two earthquakes on the same day a year apart (before this last one) and with the Fukushima quake etc... I thought it would be a good sign to see the worlds largest masonic obelisk damaged, without anyone getting hurt, from a bigger earthquake. I mentioned this right after Rosemary's Baby gave his debt ceiling White House speech. I reminded them, at the same time I suggested a quake should damage their big phalic, when he had the Washington Monument behind him through a White House window so you could see it and he could tell you it was still going to remain open. Lol, Well, I was wondering why the next time I saw these boys they seemed to look at me funny. Lol. Talk about ironic coincidence. Lol. I kid you not, that's what they really heard from me, along with how I saw the whole debt ceiling picture. Lol

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 11:48 | 2107180 Archduke
Archduke's picture

how about "pervers"? it's from the french, itself from the latin. or DSK for short.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:09 | 2106361 LiquidityandLunacy
LiquidityandLunacy's picture

First off, your opinion about libertarians is completely baseless and false, as evidenced by your wikipedia reference guide. Secondly, who gives a fuck if ACADEMIA or ECONOMISTS, people who are living SHAMS will tell you this guy is nuts when they are completely delusional. As for his past, while that means he is a shitty person, I challenge that you at some point have enjoyed a Michael Jackson song or even a Roman Polanski movie.



Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:35 | 2106420 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face... Your knowledge knows no depths... In other words very shallow. Find your "Special" purpose in life like say... Chasing parked cars, or whatever numbskulls like you do on your down time.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:11 | 2106624 defencev
defencev's picture

French revolution was not socialist. This is an absolute nonsense. And there is nothing wrong with libertarian ideas as long as one realizes their limits. Because limitles libertarian "Utopia" is absolute anarchy which is in the end of the day is hardly better than faschism-communism (Hayek is absolutely correct when he does not distinguish these two in the limit). But I would not overemphasize the concept of planning as an ultimate evil. The ultimate evil of socialist utopia is a concept of ultimate redistribution which totally destroys any incentives for productivity. In the end of the day the winning concept is the concept of technological progress which is the only tool for sustainability of civilization. Politicians and social formations should be compared on the basis how helpful they are in providing the right environment for technological progress. On this scale both Obama and Paul score very low. But at least Paul is by default on the side of entrepreneurship where as Obama is a direct obstacle to technological progress cause he funds technological projects based on ideological considerations (and nothing can be more absurd than that).

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 04:14 | 2106876 GuyJeans
GuyJeans's picture

"and the fact he was a known alcoholic and sexual pervert when he was alive"

Ad hominem much?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 05:29 | 2106898 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Sorry but Friedrich Hayek is a complete moron and lunatic whose ideas have been utterly and irremediably decredibilized.

"Decredibilized"?   Who's the moron here?

It's so easy for you trolls to make broad-brush statements like that, with no facts, no evidence, just your opinion, like anyone cares about your dumbass opinion.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 05:49 | 2106909 GernB
GernB's picture

He was discredited completely. Just ask any socialist. They are so threatened by the idea of free individuals that they will tell any lie, act on any means, because the means is justified to achieve the ends. The ends being the absolute power of the majority to take whatever it deems fair from the individual in the name of fairness and equality. And, yet they object when you point out the obvious: that the very ability to set themselves up as the arbiters of what is fair, or to act upon that by taking at will from whomever the choose is authroitarian and incosistent with a free society. The very actions on display every day by modern day socialist societies testify to the truth of Friedrich Hayek, and increasinly people are seeing attempts to discredit those who espouse similar ideals for what they are: an attempt to avoid engaging in a rational discussion of the ideas and facts he presents by attacking the individual rather than debating the ideas.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:01 | 2106619 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

I love how the masses havent minus'ed.


We all love a good piece of ass...even if it isnt real...or paid...

losers.  Minus one this bitch.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 10:28 | 2107082 midtowng
midtowng's picture

The only problem with your link is that the pictures aren't real

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 11:14 | 2107138 bb5
bb5's picture

Hayek's credibility declined after writing this book. Obviously looking at ex post history, we can see that many EZ countries that are socialist are not dictatorships. Many Libertarians are stone cold idealogues. It is for many of them a religion. I have taken many courses at the mises academy, and I can tell you that this is the case. Many do not want to recognize the role played by the plutocrat bankers in the current crisis. They don't want any regulations (look where the repeal of Glass-Steagall took us).When was the last time you heard Ron Paul attacking Goldman? They think blackmail and insider trading should be legal. Steve Keen clearly shows that capitalism is inherently unstable and what we have now is financialized capitalism which is much more unstable. The dictatorship in Nazi germany came as a response to the parliamentary government set up by the treaty of Versailles (among many other things). The world was fighting the spread of Bolshevic communism at that time and the Great Depression. Ludwig Von Mises said that ""It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history."--Liberalism pg 51 (2010 edition). Here is a link to a good article for Libertarian ideologues to think about when it comes to regulation----- (the first half of article.) I am not advocating any idealogy, just adding in some facts to consider.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 12:22 | 2107228 Colonel
Colonel's picture

"Many do not want to recognize the role played by the plutocrat bankers in the current crisis..."


Hunh? Mises has articles every week trashing the fed or the Bernanke.



Mon, 01/30/2012 - 09:34 | 2109191 bb5
bb5's picture

I was not talking about the Fed or Bernanke or any arms of the government. Ron Paul has built his platform on ending the Fed. I thought that would be understood by readers of Z/H --sorry.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 18:50 | 2108126 Money never sleeps
Money never sleeps's picture


Jesus christ, this makes sense this year


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 20:37 | 2106194 Mae Kadoodie
Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:32 | 2106277 non_anon
non_anon's picture

yes, one of my heroes w/ Mises, Rothbard, et al

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 20:44 | 2106195 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Hayek like most theorists was lost in theory.  Socialism does not mean equality in current practice.  It simply means pooling of resources among capitalists.  The United States has been hyrbid socialist and capitalist since the 1930's and it did really, really well until the Ayn Rand narcissist individualists took over starting with Reagan's administration.  Those who seek dominion over the rest of us are the mega-wealthy oligarchs.  Think about who is buying the politicians.  It's not the professors and artists.  It's the Koch brothers, who by the way inherited their wealth.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 20:45 | 2106207 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

Yes, creating a permanent (and ever expanding) dependant class was one of FDR's great legacies.

As was unleashing the collective bargaining Union beast as a competitor to the TBTF banks in sucking America dry.

Keep moving, moocher

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 20:48 | 2106210 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, we should let the poor starve like we did in the good 'ole days.  I am a business owner.  I'll bet you are not, and that you inherited your money fuckhole.  Use roads much, Rander?  Use the internet?  Enjoy the defense of a socialist military?  Enjoy the socialist energy infrastructure?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:00 | 2106227 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I am a business owner."


So, your employees make the same in wages as you do?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:08 | 2106235 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Absolutely not.  I take the risk.  I work the hardest.  I make a lot more.  If you read anything else I say on this thread and others, your ridiculous argument that non-Randers such as me believe in equality for all is ... ridiculous.  Grow up.  Think.  Read.  Get out of the black and white world in which you live.  There are solutions beyond the simplistic worlds of Rand or Marx or Hayek.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:13 | 2106243 jm
jm's picture

Stop making sense.  It upsets the ideologues.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:25 | 2106262 roygbiv
roygbiv's picture


remember, this is site has now become ZeroDrudge, so don't go confusing the "right thinkers" with facts n' shit and all yer gay talk about shades of grey

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:30 | 2106274 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

This sight has become....

Oh, the poor liberals had their dicks stepped on.  So why don't you socialists do something about then.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:35 | 2106283 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Well said.  Idiot.  

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:36 | 2106422 UGrev
UGrev's picture

You enter the room. 

On the desk is a quilled pen, some ink and a key that has some faded letters engraved on it "S_-v-ry". You can't make out th word. 

A piece of paper lies still on the desk. 

You look up on the paper which has what looks like the beginnings of a statemet.. "We hold these truths to be self evident..."

To your left there is a locked door which reads "slavery". 

You ignore the paper, pick up the key, unlock the door and walk happily through it... 


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:41 | 2106439 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

We the People.

To form a more perfect Union.


Fuck you.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:58 | 2106475 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

We the People alludes to a special class of between 2.5 and 12% of the population of the landowners in the US at the time. Even though two states rejected it (North Carolina and Rhode Island) they were later coerced to sign on. Further, it was through a rigged selection proces that placed power in the hands of coastal merchants that the COnstitution was passed. 

It was really We The Top 1%, ...

Try learning history.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:05 | 2106488 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And they had slaves.  What's your point?    It's the best system yet conceived by man.  The Randers want to give it up because they are selfish tools.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:20 | 2106516 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

If it was the best system devised by man, it would have worked better and not resulted in fascism. Unless you think our best option was failure. 

There are better systems and ideas, just not being used. Get out more often. Read. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:21 | 2106520 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What better system has EVER worked in practice (as opposed to theory)?  Clown?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:37 | 2106561 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

The Mime System.

Try it.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:51 | 2106591 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture


Mime says fuck you.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:47 | 2106582 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The Xeer system. Read, learn.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 03:29 | 2106858 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture





That is so fucking retarded, I can't even believe it.  Somewhere in the dark corners of the whacked-out, libertarian blogosphere there exists an article about how the general welfare of Somalia increased from the late 1980's (the last years it was ruled by a central government) to today. Over the past 20 years, measles, rabies, small pox, HIV, mortality rates, etc. all decreased slightly while general living standards including sanitation, telephones and radios increased. They even learned how to farm, ranch and conduct commerce better. Goofball libertarians used these metrics to say, see... life without a central government is capable of improving!  We don't need a Federal government to improve the human condition! Somalia is on the up and up!

Don't be fooled. Somalia remains one of the poorest and most violent countries on Earth, where heavily armed gangs dominate and rape with impunity. What the libertarians don't tell everyone is that CHARITABLE DONATIONS from prosperous countries with organized governments and government-funded charities were the causes of that improvement. That, coupled with international humanitarian aid were responsible for any increase in Somalia's welfare. The Somalians can thank charities like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, rather than the Xeer warriors who were too busy burning entire "clans", raping women with impunity and killing their boyfriends with machetes.  The example of Xeer is, no doubt, the absolute dumbest argument against centralized governments offered by libertarians. It's the classic Glenn Beck style of connecting dots that can't be connected unless one suspends all ability to think critically. It's difficult to imagine anything more ridiculous, especially when one superimposes the Xeer system onto a $14T dollar modern economy. *LOL* Total lunacy.   

Furthermore, the US actually does have a Xeer-like, "lawless" system where the rights of groups (or "clans, as the libertarians call them) are more integral than the rights of individuals. Just go to Compton California and watch the Bloods and Crips settle scores with each other. Xeer truly is no different, although instead of Glocks and colored bandanas, they use poison tipped spears and fig leaves.

Read. Learn. 

Max Fischer 


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 05:48 | 2106908 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Actually whole books exist. Try," the Law of the Somali" by MaCallum. The author was maried to a Somali and lived in the system.This system functioned for CENTURIES. It was only with the FORCED introduction of western style rule that a corrupted quasi government was tried and failed. !963-1990.

Because westerners attempted to install a government with complete disregard for the Xeer system, the clans, not wanting to be left out of any power or wealth sharing, devolved into the gangs you see today.

The only dumb argument here is yours. Out of total ignorance, you come judging. 

Read. Learn.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 06:19 | 2106923 akak
akak's picture

Bravo Sean!

I am very impressed with your posts, and excellent arguments, in this thread.  You appear to have a keen mind and a strong moral center, and I applaud you for both.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 14:39 | 2107555 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture



Clearly didn't even read the book because MaCallum is the EDITOR, not the author, for fuck's sakes.  All you've done is a quick Google search and then made a quick error, in an attempt to make it look like you're well versed on the matter.  Then, idiots like Akak come forward and tell you and other idiots like mosely-claven how impressive you are.  

Somalia is probably the single worst spot on Earth.  It routinely ranks as one of the most violent and poorest nations anywhere.  And just because some sympathetic anthropologist gets caught up in the simplicity of customary law, does not discount the fact that Somalia, and Xeer law specifically, is a total failure.  

The United Nations made a two errors.  One, they used Ethiopians to help establish order in Somalia, not realizing the deep hatred Somalia has for them; this created more fighting than predicted.  Second, they underestimated how uncivilized and indoctrinated the Xeer system was.  They had thought that Somalia would want to be civilized, much in the same manner that the US thought all Iraqis or all Afghans would want to have freedom like the western world. Unfortunately, in Xeer's case, when an entire nation has been indoctrinated only to follow customary law rather than legislated law, any attempt to impose legislative law was met with violent resistance.  When heavily armed gangs with no regard for legislative law are able to freely kill and rape with impunity, it is NOT a success, Sean.    

It's no different than trying to re-indoctrinate the Bloods and Crips to forget about their "clans" and become productive members of society.  With rare exception they won't.  For them, their identity comes from a group, rather than becoming an individual.  Same with Xeer.  

Somalia is a total failure, no matter how you slice it and no matter what a single, sympathetic anthropologist has to say. When libertarians use the Xeer example, they're just desperate to find ANY example on Earth where anarcho-capitalism is working.    

Max Fishcer

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 16:14 | 2107840 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

It was early, Michael van Notten. 

I hold the the book in my hand, but obviously you haven't read anything about it and still feel you can comment like a real expert.

You continue to make errors, much like the UN. There is nothing uncivilized about the Xeer system. Please provide an example. Indoctrinated? When you use a system for centuries and it works, it becomes part of your social contract. Somalia was already "civilized". 

The imposition of western law was first ignored, in fact, that is why the government eventually fell, because no one wanted anything to do with it. However, with the distribution of guns, money and jobs, it was the responsibility of the clan leaders to insure their clan was not left behind or weakened. The Xeer system is a balance that depends on its' history. When you radically change the paradigm, you have anarchy and confusion. This doesn't mean the Xeer system is a failure anymore than a Constitutional Republic is a failure just because bankers and corporations bribed the politicians and instituted a fascist state.

The Xeer is not the only system, you can study the Early Pennslyvania colony, the wagon train contracts and mining town contracts of the early west and more. Somalia is a failure only because we continue to intervene. In actuality, you can begin to count all the failures at nation building by the west- suggesting it is not the Xeer system or others at fault- it is the West and their insistence on their way or the highway that is at fault. There is no better example of what uncivilized truly is. 

When we include the debt slavery of the modern central banks, the uber security of nation states and loss of freedoms, the constant war and murder of civilians, the torture and now the ability to suspend habeus corpus and murder American citizens on the command of one person- civilization has definitely left the building. We ruin life for everyone else and then turn the guns on ourselves- hard to get better than that. 

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 17:40 | 2108007 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture




First of all, Michael van Notten was one of the leaders of the libertarian movement in the Netherlands.  His "research" in Somalia is perhaps one of the most ludicrous and bias bits of research imaginable.  I've said it repeatedly: Somalia, with no central government, is probably the single WORST spot on Earth, and every metric by which you can measure the prosperity and civility of a society agrees with me.     

Xeer is a civilized system? Are you fucking NUTS?  If memory serves correct, you're from Kentucky, which, by comparison, might explain why you think Xeer is civilized.  

Xeer is a male-centric warrior's code, which gives women virtually no rights. Rape is rampant throughout this system because women have no legislative rights to protect themselves.  Does this seem civilized to you?

Murder and torture goes unpunished, too.  Instead of punishing the murderer, the "gang" or "clan" that had one of their gangsters murdered receives a diya from the other gang that committed the murder.  A diya is basically blood money or livestock, which is suppose to serve as retribution for the murder. Does this seem civliized, Sean? 

I could go on, but this is truly a ridiculous conversation. Some libertarians are just whacked-out NUTS.  Somalia?  Xeer?  Seriously?  Or what about your reference to some early Pennsylvania colony?  No one argues that a small Gunsmoke colony with a couple hundred people could probably find a way to function using customary law, guns, beans, bullion and barter.  But, like most libertarian ideology, it has very little relevance to the needs of modern commerce and a $14T economy.        

The fact that libertarians lean on Xeer to make their case for a State-less society, proves the lunacy of anarcho-capitalism and pure, unfettered libertarianism.

Max Fischer 


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 18:11 | 2108063 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Well, he has written a well researched book with references and you have? Nothing. 

Well, define your metric, because your opinion has shown to be worthless.

Kentucky is uncivilized as well. You must live in a wonderful world Max, but I appreciate that you take the time to remember where I live, I would never have cared enough to wonder where you live.

Again, read the book. Somalia is a herding based economy.  Women do have rights, just different than ours. As we have treated women in the US as second class citizens for over two hundred and fifty years, denying them the vote until the last century and control over their bodies until the seventies- we might not want to throw stones.

Murder  was always punished, but in a way that allowed the offended party to receive something in return. We just get to support the person for life at 50,000 a year and the offended party gets nothing. Their way sounds better. The Diya is the responsibility of the whole clan and cause a clan to keep a watch on its' members- keeping the incidence of murder very low where the Xeer system still functions. Too bad we  cannot say the same. You must think keeping 1% of the population imprisoned and 3% under some type of correctional control civilized.

The Pennslyvania colony had over 100,000 people and functioned without a government for twenty five years, until one was imposed by force. You are just one continuous strike out when it comes to facts Max. 

I don't lean on the xeer system, but people ask for examples. I know Anarcho capitalism will work and I also know what we have now- doesn't. Maintaining a failed system is the definition of insanity, which kind of sums you up.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 19:03 | 2108141 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture




1.  Women do have rights, just different than ours.

2.  Murder was always punished......   Their way sounds better.....

3.  .......keeping the incidence of murder very low where the Xeer system still functions. Too bad we  cannot say the same.

Sean, you've been totally brainwashed by nonsensical libertarian propaganda. When you start arguing the merits of Somalia's warrior system with fully armed gangs, it becomes readily apparent that there is no end to the lunacy of libertarian ideology.  It's truly amazing.    

Max Fischer

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 19:41 | 2108202 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You still have nothing Max. An empty argument and no response to the merits of our "civilized" society. I have studied for years and compiled a read library that allows me the comfort in the knowledge that I have done my homework. I have multiple degrees that have trained me how to develop a good curriculum and how to recognize empty rhetoric- like yours.

The Somalian Xeer system has nothing to do with a warrior culture or armed gangs- those are the result of western intervention and judging our western civilization- that seems about right.

Rather than sling insults, you might want to invest in some intellectual ammunition. It must be tough to always be bringing an empty scabbard to a gun fight.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 20:15 | 2108250 akak
akak's picture

Sean, it is abundantly obvious to any objective observer that you are dealing with nothing but a dishonest, hateful ideologue with this bastard Max Fischer.  He has consistently proven himself to be an intellectual failure who can only rely on slinging ad hominem attacks and red herring arguments in the laughably feeble attempt to buttress his soundly discredited statist viewpoints. 

I applaud your efforts to engage him in sincere and logical debate, but you are only casting pearls before a particularly disingenuous swine.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 21:07 | 2108320 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture


I rarely engage in debate for the Max Fischers  and Let them eat Rand's of the world. I do find they provide excellent opportunities however, for the exposure of other, more open-minded people to new ideas. Thanks though.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 10:08 | 2107068 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

D(r)ear(y) Max:

as much as I've never paid much attention to your posts, given that they seem somehow...ultralight...the fact that you are clearly going all in today commands me to politely respond -

"we" read, "we" learnt - yu got nothin in yur glove bud. Haul yur ass back to Portland for, uhmm, reorientation.

Clans be cool. Yu jus Klan. Kosher variety. Yu don't pipe down, Ellie Clampett gonna put yu in a headlock boy. Then yu gonna be sadder than day-ol possum stew.

Max Fischer: Smart boy, got a mind like a steel trap - full of mice.. Foghorn Leghorn



Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:07 | 2106632 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Is this some type of "this is how best to treat your employees" ZH'er moment? I almost feel a tear coming to my eye...

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 05:03 | 2106886 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

To paraphrase Shakespear, "get thee to the HuffingtonPost", or at least spend your time actually reading Hayek or Rand. 


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:42 | 2106298 jm
jm's picture

Well, I would say I am no liberal, nor am I a conservative.   

I believe that there are things I can't control and things I can.  I try to minimize my whining.  The things beyond my ability to impact, I don't whine about and accept them.  The things I can impact I try to impact to my favor.  Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but it is my responsibility for failure or gain.

I know enough to admit that what some teller of inaccurate stories-- whether "Keynesian" or "Austrian"-- thinks about reality is not worth getting furious and abusive about.  


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:13 | 2106376 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

"I try to minimize my whining."

This comment all by itself means you're not a conservative. The conservatives have whinefest radio programs going 24/7/365 so the disciples can listen at any time to reinforce their biases and keep their marching orders without ever allowing a stray thought to enter their head. Why consider a new idea when you already know everything?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:12 | 2106370 roygbiv
roygbiv's picture

"Oh, the poor liberals had their dicks stepped on.  So why don't you socialists do something about then."

Yes, unlike you right-wing nut jobs microphalli, us liberals's are so long we keep tripping over them.

Tegarding doing something about then, that would require me to disclose my time travel capabilities. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:16 | 2106385 roygbiv
roygbiv's picture

shit, i can't even type a weak zinger properly. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:51 | 2106453 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The vast majority on this site know that the system is fascist, and was planned to be this way since the American Revolution.  We understand how the Hegelian Dialectic was implemented, and that it was done so by sectret societies, roundtables, and foundations.  We know that the people at the top only pretend to be left or right, blue or red, and that they all have one agenda:  crush the population into servitude and create a world where they once again rule as Kings and Queens, like they once did, before the American Revolution.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:53 | 2106596 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Just accept that Ayn Rand is one of those fuckers.

And you will have some credibility.


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:57 | 2106608 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I find Rand's concepts interesting and her fiction blase.  I would not include her in the power structure, because she never held any.  If her work is a force (which it appears to be from both sides, considering how worked up you are) then I applaud her for stirring the pot, in the least.  If someone is influenced by her, that is their opinion.  I would never claim to say that someone's opinion of another person is right or wrong.  I may say their opinion is wrong, but who am I to judge how you view the work of someone else.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:09 | 2106637 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I especially like the part where she describes having sex on the railroad tracks. WASN'T THAT ROMANTIC!

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 07:44 | 2106975 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Was she railroaded into it?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:41 | 2106700 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

roygbiv... Try using the edit function...and, it's possible to reread your posts prior to posting them.

The two suggestions are probably revolutionary to 99% of the posters here. All are in such a rush to 'come back' at a poster with a different point of view that they have no time to insure their own post is legible... an excellent way to lose a debate is to post, what appears to others, as gibberish.

...and roygbiv, I am posting this to everyone, not merely you.

I will not bother to add any comments to this post because it has already devolved into virtual shouting matches...which puts on display that your minds are not open to any concepts except the one's you have already adopted. You guys would feel right at home in a beer hall brawl in 1933 Germany. Think about it.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 20:37 | 2108276 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Hmmmm...political discord methinks.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:09 | 2106635 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Someone opened the damn closet again and the Socialist apologist morons spilled out..  Roads and energy infrastructure are socialist, not.. Eat rand you've eaten too much blotter, a public good is just that something the public builds for all to use socialist in the most narrow of senses but hey if it fits your little worldview where we all share but you get the biggest piece, whatever..

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:32 | 2106279 nmewn
nmewn's picture

So, your employees make the same in wages as you do?

"Absolutely not.  I take the risk.  I work the hardest.  I make a lot more."

So, you agree that someone who invests & risks more should take home more for their time & labor...excellent.

Do you agree with the progressive tax code?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:39 | 2106293 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Absolutely.  What's wrong with paying a percentage so long as it is actual income?  I may tweak some of the other bullshit rules but the basic concept of people paying more when they make more is fair as far as I am concerned.   Otherwise, our society could not exist as we know it.   I should note that I am not a hedge fund manager.  They have a loophole because they bought made themselves a loophole.  

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:45 | 2106310 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Absolutely.  What's wrong with paying a percentage so long as it is actual income?"

You do realize thats plank #2 of the Communist Manifesto? You also realize the purpose of the Communist Manifesto?

You had better hope you get a seat on the Politburo because your life and income would change drastically should you not be appointed to it.

Oligarchs indeed...piffel.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:51 | 2106323 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Really, that's all you've got?  I'm a commie?  Thanks, McCarthy.  Then again, I'm sure as a follower of Fox News and Drudge and Skeletor you will think McCarthy was a good guy, which says it all.  I'm not going to convince you.  Life will.  Some day.  If you're lucky.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:16 | 2106387 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its more than enough.

Tell me what other parts of it you agree with...perhaps number five?

"Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly."

Take your time.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:25 | 2106404 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I read and agree with "End the Fed."





Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:54 | 2106464 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Very well about number three?

"Abolition of all rights of inheritance."

Surely you would be in the camp of "progressive equality"...your business practices aside ;-)

All that past generational wealth gained legally, now locked up in the hands of "the few" at the expense of the many.

Aren't they just useless eaters? And if so, what do you propose the government do about them?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:10 | 2106495 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture


You advocate for your own demise, you just don't realize it.

It is very simple.  You tax the shit out of estates beyond a certain level (say $15M, with upward revisions as the clowns that run the Fed debase our currency).  That protects the vast majority of family farms.  If the kids of a wealthy guy want to live a life of leisure, they still can.  If they want to take the $15M and create jobs, they can do that.

The alternative is dynastic wealth, which is toxic to society.  Ask history.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:37 | 2106563 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"It is very simple.  You tax the shit out of estates beyond a certain level (say $15M, with upward revisions as the clowns that run the Fed debase our currency).  That protects the vast majority of family farms.  If the kids of a wealthy guy want to live a life of leisure, they still can.  If they want to take the $15M and create jobs, they can do that."

So you agree with Marx/Engels on number three. It really had nothing to do with McCarthy or Fox or Drudge or any other ridiculous strawman you put forward afterall...did it?

It also has nothing to do with inheritance gained legally. Its an arbitrary number for you...say 15M...because that number fits "something" about you personally or where you think you'll be in the future?

I fucking love we continue?

Number ten...

"Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production."

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:55 | 2106602 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Are you seriously now making the case that I am wrong for being against child labor factories?

Thank you.

Complex thinking.

Marx was wrong.

Rand is wrong.

The truth is much more complicated.  Think about it.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:04 | 2106617 akak
akak's picture


Marx was wrong.

Rand is wrong.

Yes, but Marx was COMPLETELY wrong, whereas Rand was only wrong in certain particulars, while maintaining a strong and general bias toward, and advocacy of, liberty.  Apples and oranges.  Strawmen and red herrings.  Epic failure of logic again, my friend.

Why beholdest thou the mote in thy Rand's eye, and not the beam in thine (statist) own?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:25 | 2106667 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Are you seriously now making the case that I am wrong for being against child labor factories?"

Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Thats not what he said at all.

"Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form."

But well done on averting your eyes from the glare of the super nova in your face he kindly described about "government schools" and by your non-comment on it...I assume you agree with the basics of number ten.

Well done...almost finished for the evening.

We will continue with numero uno? Which is the ultimate creeping prize...

"Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose."

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 08:19 | 2106992 nobita
nobita's picture

Seriously man, poor kids getting a proper education payed for by taxes is good for society. Goverment school might have indoctrinated me but I am sure as hell better off today than if I had to start work in the factory at twelve because my parents weren´t rich enough to pay for private school. Goverments waste a lot of money, but spending on education is an investment not waste. A better educated population means a wealthier society and that benefits everyone.

I agree that goverment should be small, but every child deserves a good education no matter how poor they are and that has to be payed for by taxing productive members of society. There is no free-market solution to this.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 09:49 | 2107055 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Communities would get together and hire a teacher(s), provide a schoolhouse and a home so their children could receive an education. It did not require government and still doesn't. I haven't even broached the topic of how much you pay in taxes for that education and whether it is worth it.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 10:23 | 2107079 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Old business...

I was making a valid point about LetThemEatRand and how she intentionally, selectively only comprehends with what comports to her "gray" view of the world. She decided to run through here like a cat who had just gotten her tail stepped on for obvious reasons.

She only disagreed with one item from the Manifesto I presented her. I disagree with all of them.

New business...

And my parents weren't rich either. My mother was a cashier in a grocery store when she met my father, a butcher.

You were smart enough to pick up on the fact that the children are in fact indoctrinated in government schools to be loyal subjects (er, citizens) and average employees. So the question follows immediately, what is the true price paid by any society for allowing their children to be "educated" in government schools?

True, illiterate (and usually poor) parents do get to have their children learn reading, writing and math but they are also taught subservience to an all-knowing, all-powerful state and its employees. Which is the exact opposite of what the state is or should be.

They and it are the employees of the poor parents, not the other way around.

As we have seen and now know to be true, it and they, are not all-knowing or all-powerful as they can't even stand against a few morally and ethically challenged idiots among themselves or Wall Street.

So the real price paid by society is very high.

To say that a free market solution cannot be found is to say we are fine with a century old system resistant to reform, that brainwashes children and a massive federal, state and local bureaucracy that lends no added value to primary education for its size.

"In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way." Rockefeller General Education Board, Occasional Letter Number One (1906)

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 15:59 | 2107805 Matt
Matt's picture

Or you can simply let people choose between public schools, private schools, and homeschooling.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 19:42 | 2108204 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thats the way I have always seen it. The funds are raised locally and its a state issue, not a federal one.

So we don't need a federal department of education. Decisions made closer to home are always better and more efficient.

The federal 2011 line item for it is 70 billion dollars and its complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 11:58 | 2107191 Archduke
Archduke's picture

accusing an avowed entrepreneur of communism is a bit rich.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:13 | 2106375 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

"I may tweak some of the other bullshit rules..." 

We have a winner! Subjective ethics where my rules and decisions are always right. I think this is the voice of the tyrant!

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:43 | 2106442 nmewn
nmewn's picture

It is the voice of a tyrant.

All nice and squishy for the masses as she (and hers) decides who deserves pillaging from one day to the next. 

As long as its not them.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:11 | 2106498 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What about the tyrant that will run your world when you take away my government?  

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:20 | 2106510 akak
akak's picture

"Tyrant" presupposes the presence of government.

Absent the concentrated, centralized power of government, one could not have tyrants --- sociopathic criminals, certainly, but criminals by themselves are rarely known to wage war or build police states.

Free yourself from the statist intellectual shackles which still bind you.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:21 | 2106518 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Atta boy Akak.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:37 | 2106565 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture






Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:44 | 2106574 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Well, it's a good thing you need the smartest people in the room, that get the most votes from all the idiots you denigrate, to run your world.

Good luck.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:50 | 2106590 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

What's the matter? Can't answer the question? Have to resort to insults?

Intellectual poverty is so sad when put on parade.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:57 | 2106604 akak
akak's picture


God, I love the smell of incinerated statist rat in the morning!

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:56 | 2106606 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture



Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:55 | 2106727's picture


Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 20:55 | 2108305 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

He has. Cock.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:52 | 2106714 memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

sure because....the mafia doesn't exist ;-)

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:57 | 2106731's picture

Much like Fight Club, you don't talk about the Mafia. Cosa Nostra, paisano.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:35 | 2106796 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

J. Edna listened to that, and adhered to the pledge.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:13 | 2106759 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"What about the tyrant that will run your world when you take away my government? "


Which government? The gov of the founding fathers? The gov after Lincoln gutted states rights? The gov of Wilson that allowed the Fed and income taxes? The gov or Regan and trickle down? The gov of Bush Jr and the Unpatriot Act? The gov of Oblammer and the NDAA?

The progression has morphed about as far as possible. If you read the European papers that were published shortly after the US Civil War their editorial opinion was overwhelmingly that the US had no place to go but toward tyranny... and gee, here we are.

The irony is that what the US did by allowing slavery to persist in states that 'joined the fight against Britain' is that once the fight had been won the northern and southern economies were incompatible. Slaves represented the single largest asset class in the US... what to do?

Not sooo different from the structure of the EU today and what is ripping it apart, eh? Northern and southern European economies are incompatible under a single currency...and the individual citizens are smart enough to realize that they do not want, nor need, a large central government as exists in the US. 

The drive to unite individual states, whether in Europe or the US, was premature and perhaps should never have happened. In both cases large central governments/economies were created. The larger the economies become the more difficult to govern and the more it's thought that all is needed for remedy is another layer of bureaucracy. Imo, both the US and Europe should be returned to a 'loose confederation of republics' or some such arrangement. Texas is no more similar to Oregon than Germany is similar to Greece. One size does not fit all.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:38 | 2106844 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

The "government" of robber barons and their paid henchmen.

Good points about the unholy bargain of using slavedrivers to protect your smuggling proceeds though.

The blue states would love nothing more than to slough off the Wal-Mart people that they consistently subsidize in the red ones.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 20:43 | 2108282 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Finally...a voice of sanity...thanks Snidley

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:45 | 2106706 4 wheel drift
4 wheel drift's picture

What's wrong with paying a percentage so long as it is actual income?  I may tweak some of the other bullshit rules but the basic concept of people paying more when they make more is fair as far as I am concerned.

EXACTLY FUCKTARD....    why should i give a shit about "as far as YOU are concerned"   that is not necessarily FAIR

the ONLY FAIR thing is.....  (and this ass-umes that the "things" that tax money goes to pay for is arrived at based on an HONEST assessment of what government ought to pay for) and EQUAL % for EVERYONE.   PERIOD.    FAIR has NOTHING to do with wnat YOU think or wish.....

the stupid idea that the more you make such person ought to pay more is the ticket for goddamend politicians to INVENT  "needs that the people must have"  buy votes = 'promise more shit'

government has NO MANDATE to provide for endless shit to morons, idiots and non-producers......  government, according to the founders of the ORIGINAL IDEAS OF THIS COUNTRY  called for a definced and SMALL governent.....

all the crap now seen as "necessity" by the modern day voodoo priests aka ekonomists (particularly the keynesian type) is utter nonsense initiated by komrade FDR...

but i digress......

the ONLY fair thing is to receive the FULL rewards of YOUR OWN work......   anything else is bullcrap.....   promoted by charlatans like you and i am really TORED of this shit.....


the holocaust of the arseholes is over due....         bring it on....    i am sick of the ongoing KAKA.......   and your concept of fairness is part of it...... 


geeezzusss   fuck this shit already...

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:58 | 2106822 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

I have to jump in here.

Before I get started, something to note is that libertarians are not against taxes PER SE.

What we are against are income taxes.

Why? Because the very nature of income taxes means that you are a slave, that you work for the government, and the government decides how much of the fruits of labour you get to keep. In fact the UK had a proposal 2 or 3 years ago that ALL salaries and wages get paid DIRECTLY to the revenue service and they would remit the balance to you.

So there are 2 central issues that taxes try to address:

1. wealth redistribution or

2. paying for public goods.

Point 1 is probably the easiest to solve. If we respect private property rights and the rights of an individual to earn what he keeps, (government coerced) wealth redistribution should be outlawed. This would include the inflation tax that redistributes wealth to those who are first in line for the freshly printed money.

So on point 2.

Public goods. Well one has to consider that

a. we pay for roads via our gasoline tax. The more you drive (and the more wear and tear you put on a road) the more gasoline tax you pay. However these funds get plundered and are not used for their intended purpose (to maintain roads)

b. we pay for schools, fire, police, parks via our property taxes and local taxes.

c. we pay DIRECTLY for lights, garbage, water

d. public goods at a federal level, like the FAA, FCC are covered by taxes on your plane tickets, cell phone bills etc.

so that leaves very little at the federal level that are necessary, common defense being the main one (diplomats being the other). Given that corporate taxes cover those expenses, there really is no reason for an income tax.

But that does bring up 2 things, Social Security and Medicare. SS was suppose to be self-funding, the payroll tax we pay is suppose to go into a trust fund (of assets) that are sold upon redemption, however as we know, there IS NO trust fund.

Medicare was never fully funded, so excess claims should not have been entertained in the first place.


As far as your basic concept of 'paying more when they earn more', that is exactly what happens. Sure Romney's tax RATE is only 15%, but he's paying $3m in taxes, which is a whole fuckload more than I've ever paid.

When you talk about 'fair share' like Obama, then is sounding very Marxist'ish... the 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'... that's socialism. America wasn't meant to be 'fair' from an outcomes point of view, its suppose to be 'fair' from an opportunity point of view, but the government makes sure that special interest groups have more rights than individals.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:45 | 2106849 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Consumption taxes, while appealing at first glance, are inherently regressive and a ridiculously unstable platform on which to fund a government.

You don't think Donald Trump has more being protected by the US military than your average Joe?

And if you think the pittance you pay on a plane ticket can fund the FAA and air-traffic controllers to keep your plane from colliding, you're in desperate need of remedial math classes.

How about equality of opportunity, not outcomes? Or is even the thought of a level playing field abhorrent to your warped sense of "fairness"?

know this: as goes class mobility, so goes the advancement of a nation.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 15:11 | 2107665 Libertarian777
Libertarian777's picture

My last sentence specifically states

America wasn't meant to be 'fair' from an outcomes point of view, its suppose to be 'fair' from an opportunity point of view, but the government makes sure that special interest groups have more rights than individuals.

And to your point about donald trump having more being protected by the USA, then I ask you why we have bases and troops overseas protecting donald trump's interests there? If we secure our borders and keep our troops home then everyone's assets get protected. Not to mention if we'd let the banks fail then all those rich crony capitalists would have been close to wiped out, instead we take from the middle class via the inflation tax (TARP bailout + Fed QE) and give it to the bankers to restore their wealth, that they, by rights, should have lost in the financial crises.

And if the pittance on the plane ticket isn't covering what's required then they should raise the tax so that its is representative of the true cost of the service (FAA) that is being provided. Then the free market can decide whether it is better to travel via plane or rail or car.

And you obviously don't know much about air traffic control either, pilots have defined procedures when approaching an airfield if there is no ATC. Only in large airports with hundreds of planes landing/departing within a short period is an ATC absolutely critical, if not pilots,surprisingly, are trained on how to approach and land at an airfield without assistance.

And saying consumption taxes are regressive is a non-argument. If it is structured well, you can remove consumption taxes on defined necessities, and have higher taxes on luxury goods.

It's all a red herring though, the biggest tax is INFLATION, THAT is what's regressive. If you were poor and could only save $1 a week, but the value of the dollar held, at the end of 40 years you'd have $2000 in assets. $2000 40 years ago could actually buy something (57 oz of gld), but with inflation $2000 today isn't worth a damn. If your dollar held its value it would be worth something (57 oz of gold is worth $90,000 today), again your assets value hasn't changed, just the way its denominated (fiat paper).The problem is when your asset is the fiat paper (dollar) itself, then you are not protected from the regressive inflation tax.

This is always the story we'd heard in days gone by about America, about how people came here with nothing but the clothes on their back and worked and saved then invested (in a business, not the stock market) and got somewhere. Nowadays a poor person can't save shit, every dollar they save is losing 10% a year in real terms. THAT is what's regressive.

If you disagree with me you should attack my logic, not throw insults.

Insults only prove you cannot substantiate your claims so you get mad and throw names, this is fight club, not 5th grade.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:21 | 2106655 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Which union represents the downtrodden workers in your sweat shop?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:53 | 2106720 nmewn
nmewn's picture

ROTFL!!!...ruh roh.

Well clearly, by her own admission, they are not even "junior partners" there. She runs it like some weird elitist class system or sumpin. Why, the bulk of the profits go to her apparently and she seems quite satisfied with the results in her little world.

Very odd for such an enlightened "progressive".

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:50 | 2106850 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Perhaps he's able to run a business without causing his workers to organize, unlike you.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 18:00 | 2108039 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Oh yes, I have heard of that normally called, the enlightend bourgeois, thanks commie snowman/monopoly man.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:46 | 2106679 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

 To LetThemEatRand    Either one is free to decide for himself and then suffer the consequences or reap the rewards  or there is cohersion and a strong arm to force you to do as you are told.The latter is usually forced upon us by a government that says it's solutions will best benefit sociaty. It is a black and white answer, one is free or one is not. I don't want your solutions or anyone else's. I want truth and freedom, nothing more.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 07:31 | 2106965 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Remember, rulers have no right to do anything that you have no right to do on your own.  If you shouldn't do it, you shouldn't ask others to do it for you.

That includes having Big Brother take your property at the point of a gun in order to build highways.  Apparently, your principles are as flexible as Gumby, else you would be able to follow them to their logical conclusion(s).

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 10:29 | 2107084 midtowng
midtowng's picture

I'm not the only one that noticed you didn't address any of this points.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:18 | 2106248 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

Inherited my money, I think not.  In fact I support my two elderly parents, which is what people did in the "good ole days."

And yes, I own a business.  I take virtually nothing out of the system (military and roads excluded) and pay 50X for what I use.

People like me are sick of moochers and their defenders sucking the life blood out of the productive class.

So go fuck yourself socialist parasite. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:23 | 2106255 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Nice entitlement philosophy.  If you did not inherit what you had, you probably went to public school which was conceived and funded by socialist parasites.  I guess you're on the life boat, so fuck everyone else in the water, right?

Fuck you X50.

Let me tell you what else you take out of the system:



every single disease that you could get that was eradicated by public research

the internet which would not exist but for public universities (leave your idiotic Gore jokes with your Rush friends)

Everything the space program made possible (funded by public dollars)

cheap oil (how much do you think it costs the taxpayer to keep those fucking aircraft carriers running)

the ability to drive your luxury car down the street without being overrun by criminals


Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:36 | 2106287's picture

Those who succeed despite being enslaved by government do themselves and their fellows a service by demanding that our common bonds be broken.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:54 | 2106467 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The public school system resembles the prison system and I can't believe the narrow mindedness of someone to tell me how lucky I was that I had it.  Like there is no alternative.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:13 | 2106501 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Do you realize that in countries without public schools, the literacy rate is a small percentage and most don't have computers on which to write their selfish sociopathic manifestos?

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:25 | 2106528 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And Americans are all sooo literate!

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:39 | 2106568 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Less so than most socialist European countries.  You're right.  But I suspect that was not your [idiotic] point.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:46 | 2106581 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

My skoolbuks sed Lincoln fought the Civil War to free da slaves.

I gots me a gud ejumakashun.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:07 | 2106628 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Interesting that despite your horrible education you can see both sides.

Fucking liberal educators!

Say it with me:  "I am a narcissist.  I believe in myself.  Everyone else can go fuck themselves."

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:35 | 2106691 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I *think* you're talking to yourself, big guy.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:44 | 2106703 akak
akak's picture

No, I think he's talking to the voices in his head --- some of whose names are Marx, Engels, Lenin, Wilson, Roosevelt, Pol Pot, Mao and Obama.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:08 | 2106634 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Ok, so, I am not comparing anyone place with another, for obvious reasons.  But what I am saying is that the education system doesn't work well, and that there are alternatives.  So let's not say how thankful we are for the peas we have to eat, when there is nothing else to eat other than said peas.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:28 | 2106532's picture

Why do you believe that those who promote voluntary action are sociopaths? Aren't the ones who want to use force to make people do their bidding the sociopaths?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 07:39 | 2106970 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

How else are you gonna force the peons to "contribute" to the highways that bidness men want to use?

LetThemEatRand claims to be an "independent" businessman, yet supports Govt taking property for "the common good" (whatever that might be for the moment), yet conveniently forgets that a Govt big enough to give you anything you desire is ALSO BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE EVERYTHING you have!  Unfortunately, for us, LetThemEatRand is probably further back in the line waiting for the shakedown.  Do us all a favor and voluntarily "contribute" your FRNs to Big Brother, because frankly, the rest of us are tapped out!

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:47 | 2106314 Doug
Doug's picture

You mean the police and firefighters that work for 20 years and get pay and health benefits for 70 years.  They're the new 'elite' in my neck of the woods - the average pay in the county police dept (including benefits) is now $180K.  Average.  Department wide.  That's true socialism in action.  Thanks for the reminder. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 21:54 | 2106330 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Are you serious?  You are angry because men and women who risk their lives for you and your family  have pensions?  I'll bet you have a "support the troops" sticker on your "Government Motors" Hummer.  You do realize that Romney makes more than $180K a week on passive investments, after giving most of his wealth to his kids tax free.  But yes, it's the firefighters who are the problem. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:00 | 2106345's picture

Doug is speaking about what is happening in his "neck of the woods." He does not rub shoulders with Romney. What he experiences in his own life concerns him. He is not required to forgo his own concerns and join you in bashing the Republican effigy of the day.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 22:58 | 2106474 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

EatingRand is building strawman after strawman. 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:09 | 2106494 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Go Long Straw. Got it

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:15 | 2106504 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Do you "support the troops", hypocrite? 

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:29 | 2106538's picture

I support the troops by calling on the government to bring them home. Please explain how that's hypocritical.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:40 | 2106569 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Very liberal of you.  Congratulations for seeing gray for a moment.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:49 | 2106588 akak
akak's picture

Liberty is very rarely if ever grey.

Grey is, however, the color of your statism --- usually a very dark shade of grey, too.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:09 | 2106636 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

That makes no sense.  

We live in a world of billions.  To say that our governance is simple is to say that you are simple-minded.

Which is to say that you are simple minded.

I agree.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:28 | 2106674 akak
akak's picture

Your intellectual shackles are showing again.

You presume that we MUST be governed, in some top-down, hierarchical, statist fashion.  Order, however, can be acheieved through other and gentler means --- such as voluntary interaction within a free market.

Who "governs" the production and distribution of food in the USA?  "Oh my God, the federal government is not involved --- we are all doing to STARVE!"

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:34 | 2106689 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Wish you were right, but you are a simpleton.

Ask thousands of years of human history if you are right.

Ask anyone who roots for a sports team why the fuck it matters who wins.  But it does.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 00:54 | 2106722 akak
akak's picture

Your knowledge of history is laughable and evidently shallow in the extreme.

By your "logic", every society on earth has been a slave society, all have been equally unfree and enslaved, and continue to be so, and no element of liberty has ever been adopted in any society, ever, and so no lessons can be learned, or parallels made, between different societies and the degree of prosperity and order within them, or between two different periods of , and levels of freedom within, the same society.

You are one ignorant and cynical mother fucker.  I believe what another poster has implied: you impugn your personal dysfuntion and moral degeneracy on every member of society at large, thereby assuming that all men are animals and must exist in cages in order to prevent each from tearing the other apart.  But it is you who are the animal, demanding that the world be made a prison for the crimes of a minority.

Sat, 01/28/2012 - 23:58 | 2106613 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I was wondering, when doing a rotation in Bosnia, what the fuck the U.S. military was doing there.

It ain't our job to make sure Bosniaks don't kill Croats or Serbs or any combination thereof, like they've been doing for the last 1000 years.

Just like spreading welfare to all the foreign countries the U.S. has bases in, freeing up their own resources to spread across their own populations.

The U.S. is broke, all the way around.  Not just monetarily, but philosophically, morally, mentally and personally.  Choosing puppets and sociopaths to lead a "nation" that is merely an amalgamation of fiefdoms turned into unitary slavecamp will not fix anything, especially now that the tyrannical "government" has tipped its hand with all the new bullshit laws like the NDAA.

If you want to stay in a system that is spiralling down the shitter, and play by their rules, be my guest.  I'm getting me and mine ready for the breakdown, and will start over stronger.

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:25 | 2106776 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I won't argue with you because I have no answer.  I just wonder where the line is. 

Serbs slaughter Bosnians=none of my business.  Rwanda=none of my business.  Cambodia=none of my business.  Kitty Genovese getting raped in the street by a gang of hoods=none of my business?  Chinese girl lies in the street after being run down by a car=none of my business?  My next door neighbor is starving but I have my eye on that new Ferrari=none of my business? Thousands starve to death in Somalia but I have my eye on a new computer=none of my business?

Intervention in all cases has a cost.  Sometimes it is body and treasure.  Sometimes just body.  Sometimes just treasure (or time).

Is it out of sight out of mind?  Is everything purely voluntary per each individual?

Again, I have no answer, at least not one I would impose on others.


Sun, 01/29/2012 - 01:46 | 2106808 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Are you sleep writing again?

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 02:20 | 2106836 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Well, it's midday out here so I have no excuse for babbling.  That being said, UP Forester's question is one with which I have spent a lifetime---and more than a decade now full time---trying to answer.  I have considered the need for, the morality of, and the practical limits of caring.  I have fought the demons that arise wishing I could right every wrong, but being forced to accept my own limits.  I have even questioned the nature of altruism and compassion, and wondered if it is nature or nurture.  It is not a single question, but rather a series of questions, which for some I have come up with answers with which I am comfortable.  For others I still fight the demons of guilt, even though I know rationally there is nothing I can do.

End of babble.

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