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Guest Post: Is Capitalism Incompatible With Democracy?

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Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Is Capitalism Incompatible with Democracy?

Failure and losses are the essential feedback in capitalism which clears the way for success and innovation. Eliminate losses and failure by changing the rules to protect either an Elite or the majority and you doom the system to collapse.

Is the marriage of capitalism and democracy doomed to discord? The question has been pawed over many times, but longtime correspondent M.M. recently summarized the core issue very neatly:

Isn't capitalism actually incompatible with democracy?

 

Some wise person said "Capitalism without failure is like Christianity without hell."

 

I agree. Failures are an essential part of the workings of capitalism. But what happens if a very large group invests in a false or foolish enterprise, for example 70% of the citizens become involved in that undertaking. Democracy allows those 70% to change the rules instead of accepting their failure...

Capitalism can be subverted by either an Elite or the majority. Marx traced out how Capital (wealth) naturally consolidates into monopolies or cartels (shared monopolies). These concentrations of wealth then buy political influence via campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists and the full spectrum of cronyism: sweetheart deals, envelopes of cash, revolving doors between the cartels and their regulators, plum jobs for lazy nephews and so on.

This base corruption of the Central State, which is now the dominant force in the economy, allows Elites to change the rules rather than accept failure (also known as losses). Thus we have Crony Capitalism: profits are private and yours to keep, losses are transferred to the taxpaying public.

This mechanism is well known and catches most of the attention. But M.M. highlighted the way the democratic majority can subvert capitalism. This is generally ignored for the simple reason that most commentators are part of the majority subverting capitalism to benefit their own self-interest.

This leads to a terminal state of self-delusion and self-justification: Half of US social program recipients believe they "have not used a government social program" (via Patrick.net)

Two examples that come to mind are the housing bubble and Medicare. Slightly more than two-thirds (65%) of U.S. households "own" a home. (The quotes denote the paucity of actual ownership if the mortgage exceeds the value of the home. In that case, it's more like a lease with a balloon payment.) This super-majority is keenly interested in maintaining housing subsidies and any policies aimed at re-inflating the housing bubble: zero-rate interest policy (ZIRP), government-guaranteed mortgages to marginally qualified buyers, and so on.

The fact that this "changes the rules" so failure (the accepting of losses, bankruptcy, etc.) is voided or transferred to the public ledger is perfectly acceptable to the majority of homeowners pining for a return to bubblicious prices.

Their self-interest is misplaced, of course, because when you change the rules to protect yourself from losses, the market can never clear itself of rot and deadwood, and so the system becomes a zombie market dependent on a steady transfer of losses to the taxpaying public. This transfer of risk to the system eventually leads to systemic collapse.

I have reported on Medicare's fundamental unsustainability in depth: That Which is Unsustainable Will Go Away: Medicare (May 16, 2012). Though nobody knows because only a tiny sliver of transactions are audited, it seems about 40% of Medicare's expenses are fraud--phantom patients, phantom clinics, phantom tests, and so on. Another chunk is squandered on unproductive or even counterproductive tests, procedures and medications.

Recall that Medicare and Social Security are "pay as you go" entitlements: the "trust funds" are pure propaganda illusions, as any shortfalls are funded just like any other government agency, by the Treasury selling bonds.

The typical recipient pays in perhaps 10% ($30,000) of the average payout ($300,000-$500,000) in a lifetime of working. The system only functions in the long-term if the worker-beneficiary ratio is close to 10-to-1. It is now roughly 1-to-1, with 100 million Medicare/Medicaid benficiaries and 115 million full-time private-sector workers.

Once a majority of the voters believe they are entitled to something that is "too good to be true" (housing market bubbles, entitlements that pay 10X what is paid in, etc.) then they will refuse to accept its demise. But that which is unsustainable will go away, one way or another; keep changing the rules to avoid failure and what happens is the "too good to be true" system brings down the entire State, economy and nation.

This leads to a fundamental conclusion: In a sustainable system of democracy and capitalism, the Central State's sole role is to protect the commons and enforce and enable competition, transparency, accountability, open markets and dissent. It cannot redistribute funds, as those disbursement streams will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites, nor can it distribute entitlements, as those will soon attract super-majorities that demand the rules be changed to protect their share of the unsustainable swag.

The Central State cannot be in the "business" of "managing" the economy, as the mechanisms of this management will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites or demagogue politicians promising "too good to be true" riches to a super-majority.

Those in the super-majority are delighted to blame the Elites for everything rotten while holding themselves blameless in the subversion of capitalism's key mechanisms (transparency, accountability, failure, loss and clearing the market) to protect their share of the "too good to be true" swag.

I cover these topics more in depth in my latest book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change.

 

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Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:05 | 2503795 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Crony-Capitalism is imcompatible with the rule of law.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:08 | 2503805 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

+1 for you sir.

Restore the fucking rule of law and contracts. Nothing else matters now.  Prosecute the fraud, execute the perps and restore a monetary system with real fucking consequences for bad behavior and THEFT OF VALUE and WEALTH.

 


Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:12 | 2503833 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Once you have a majority benefiting from the theft and corruption (or a minority claiming to speak for a majority) the only way out is collapse.

Or enlightenment.

But I won't hold me breath waiting on that.....though it is the preferred method of healing.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:20 | 2503871 Chris Jusset
Chris Jusset's picture

Charles Hugh Smith says:

Failure and losses are the essential feedback in capitalism which clears the way for success and innovation. Eliminate losses and failure by changing the rules to protect either an Elite or the majority and you doom the system to collapse.

Absolutely, 100%.  Bravo!  We now live in a completely DYSFUNCTIONAL non-democracy.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:53 | 2504055 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

democracy = power to majority = power to workers = socialism/marxism

 

republic = power to selected elites = power to owners of capital = capitalism

 

Theory is that efficient use of capital is good for capitalists as they get richer and also to workers who gets to share the increase in productivity via increased standard of living.

 

What US has become: never was a democracy, no longer a republic, corrupt state-capitalistic = fascism.

 

Irony is that real innovation  comes from military, where greed of the rich to keep their wealth safe funds all kinds of scientific breakthroughs (GPS, Internet, automobiles, paved roads, microwaves, atomic energy, etc)

 

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:34 | 2504275 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

Irony is that real innovation  comes from military,

That is because we have been living in a constant state of war for past couple of centuries.

Rule of law went out because there cannot be a law, that will protect both creditors AND debtors. One will have to take the loss, and the richer and more influential would make the law i.e. creditors.

You never had "creditors prisons" who lend money to a debtor, who lost it all, but the creditor refused to forgive the loan.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:36 | 2504282 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Quotation: "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

Thomas Jefferson

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:40 | 2504825 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

That's actually a fake quote, made up (apparently) by a fellow named Matt Carson in a book he wrote in 2007.

But it's a worthy sentiment.  Just that Tom never said it, is all.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:53 | 2504058 narnia
narnia's picture

Democracy (aka majority tyranny) is only compatible with socialism.  

Monopolies are not compatible with a free market: http://youtu.be/76pWdExqfkY

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:11 | 2504168 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Fortunately, we live in a Republic (not a democracy) governed by the rule of law...I crack myself up with that "rule of law" part, that went out the window long ago.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:51 | 2506456 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

Brilliant as ever, a ray of light in the darkness visible. But the tyranny of representative democracy (or even plebiscites) is not the most advanced form of govt as Charles hints:

http://pearlsforswine.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/how-to-get-rid-of-democracy/

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:03 | 2504124 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

 

 

healing is absolutely what we need. i've discoverd after much evasion that it all begins with the individual (as you've oft stated);



time to shed that old skin

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:01 | 2504114 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Chains

Endless bailouts by Hussein, Hairy Reid and Pelosi.

UAW, California, Chicago, Detroit, Fannie & Freddie, the banks an dthe list goes on.

BTW - we supposedly live in a Republic NOT a Democracy but the whiny little union bitches keep screaming about losing Democracy.  This is because these MF'ers want mob rule.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 16:03 | 2505186 gaf12
gaf12's picture

I really like ZH but I don't like the anarchists and Marxists that frequent the site and make comments that infer (or blatently call for) violence toward a particular group or class (bankers, politicians, etc) or that assume that with no government, we'll all get along just fine.  I'm not sure which is more dangerous - when I look at Marxist governments vs. anarchy, it seems like the Marxist are more efficient killing machines, but since you usually get there from anarchy, I could see the argument that anarchy is worse. 

It's been said before, but we're not a Democracy, we're a Republic.  Unless you're trying to forward some Marxist agenda, don't talk about America the Democracy - it doesn't exist yet.  When/if it does, it will look a lot like Egypt does right now and I'll be clamouring to get out of the country, with few prospects for a better life in any target nation. 

This article starts by referencing a Marx conclusion.  Thanks, but there are dozens of non-communists I'd rather take my philosphy from before I turn to Marx for answers.  Is America screwed up?  Absolutely.  Are we screwed?  More than likely.  Is capitalism the problem?  Nope.  You can call it crony-capitalism or you can call it greed or whatever, but capitalism is not why we're broken.  The problem is that the people have become something that we were not, just a few generations before. 
Man is fallen - you're not going to get Utopia (even when Marxists are starving you into it for the greater good), but we've been better (with other documented problems) in the past.  We've had monopolies in America that did not utterly tear us apart.  Government seizes them or breaks them up.  Is Amtrak good?  Nope.  We've had corporate greed that did not do us in.  The government puts regulations into effect to minimize.  Halts on shorting stocks a positive?  Nope. 

We're being pitted against one another and we're blaming our problems on captialism, classes, wealth, undeserved success... anything but the actual issues:  We no longer put value work ethic (we're increasingly devaluing life itself), there's little personal responsibility (emphasis is on rights), we covet our neighbor's possessions rather than being content or working toward our own achievemnt, and we've driven faith and God from our lives even though 92% of Americans believe (Gallup poll, 2011). 

It doesn't have to all burn down and if it does, you're probably not in as secure a position as you think you are when the real power elite engage their reset plans (Soros, et al).  After a meltdown, you don't get the U.S. Constitution - you get Egypt... or Rome.  We didn't even get the Constitution - we got the Articles of Confederation - which didn't work.  Be careful what you wish for, anarchists - the grass on the other side isn't greener, it's red.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 20:30 | 2505818 fnord88
fnord88's picture

Clearly you understand neither Marxism or Anarchy. Marx may have been wrong, but he was undoubtedly a genius, and anybody who has not read his works ( which you clearly have not ), is not qualified to criticize Marxism. Likewise Anarchy. Read some Rothbard. Educate yourself, before you come to a site like ZH and make a fool of yourself. Anarchy and capitalism are not mutually exclusive you know, but the argument could be made that government and capitalism cannot co-exist. 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 23:06 | 2506107 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

State capitalism is not capitalism, the two are fundamentally incompatible. Marx actually understood this and his main insight here was that this fact could (theoretically) be profitably exploited by the proles. In the final analysis, the differences between Marx and Rothbard boil down to: the former came down on the side of the state, the latter, the side of the market. The rest of Marxism is Hegelian fluff.

[Rothbard ftw]

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 23:35 | 2506176 gaf12
gaf12's picture

Clearly.  By educate, you clearly mean agree with you, since I gave you no descriptive reason to assume that I do or don't know anything about Marx.  I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy and I wear that as a badge of honor.  One thing I have consistently seen is that if you disagree with a Marxist or an anarchist, you're ridiculed or called an idiot.  It's a tactic used by revolutionaries - Saul Alinsky comes to mind (identify, isolate, freeze, and escalate).  Educate myself before I come to ZH? That's an incredibly elitist thing to say. 

Show me a current working model where capitalism works with no government that is also less violent than America and I'll show you a leprechaun riding a unicorn. 

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 01:14 | 2506331 RichardP
RichardP's picture

... there are dozens of non-communists I'd rather take my philosphy from before I turn to Marx for answers.

Yet you claim I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy ...  If you are not an expert in Marx, how can you realistically claim that someone else has a better answer?  You don't know what Marx's answers are so how can you know that someone else's answers are better?  And how can your disagreement with a Marxist (if you do disagree) be taken seriously when you state I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy ...

It is not enough on ZH to have an opinion.  You need to have an informed opinion (hence the advice to educate yourself).  Otherwise, if you disagree with someone's position (e.g., Marx) when you don't really know what that position actually is, you will be ridiculed.  And rightly so.  Our forefathers granted us freedom of expression, expecting that this expression would be informed expression.  That is the only expression that is of any value.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:04 | 2506461 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

Your self advertised lack of knowledge has led you to construct a strawsman argument. What Charles and others are arguing for is not zero government or anarchy but a government restricted to the task of using coercion to counter coercion and fraud. The extension of govt beyond this necessary task (for example to include income redistribution) is illegitimate and generates not anarchy, but something far worse - chaos.
This is the gun whose barrel we are currently staring down btw, not even minimal govt. Thanks to the destructive encroachment of your beloved superstate.
Try to grasp these subtle distinctions, they are important.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:30 | 2503920 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Lets get this party started!

Something for everyone, even the faux Libertarians out there.

Read it and weep children, read it and weep.

 

 

http://www.elhazablaze.com/2009/07/definitions-and-distinctions/

FREE MARKET: That condition of society in which all economic transactions result from voluntary choice without coercion.

THE STATE: That institution which interferes with the Free Market through the direct exercise of coercion or the granting of privileges (backed by coercion).

TAX: That form of coercion or interference with the Free Market in which the State collects tribute (the tax), allowing it to hire armed forces to practice coercion in defense of privilege, and also to engage in such wars, adventures, experiments, “reforms”, etc., as it pleases, not at its own cost, but at the cost of “its” subjects.

PRIVILEGE: From the Latin privi , private, and lege , law. An advantage granted by the State and protected by its powers of coercion. A law for private benefit.

USURY: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which one State-supported group monopolizes the coinage and thereby takes tribute (interest), direct or indirect, on all or most economic transactions.

LANDLORDISM: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which one State-supported group “owns” the land and thereby takes tribute (rent) from those who live, work, or produce on the land.

TARRIFF: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which commodities produced outside the State are not allowed to compete equally with those produced inside the State.

CAPITALISM: That organization of society, incorporating elements of tax, usury, landlordism, and tariff, which thus denies the Free Market while pretending to exemplify it.

CONSERVATISM: That school of capitalist philosophy which claims allegiance to the Free Market while actually supporting usury, landlordism, tariff, and sometimes taxation.

LIBERALISM: That school of capitalist philosophy which attempts to correct the injustices of capitalism by adding new laws to the existing laws. Each time conservatives pass a law creating privilege, liberals pass another law modifying privilege, leading conservatives to pass a more subtle law recreating privilege, etc., until “everything not forbidden is compulsory” and “everything not compulsory is forbidden”.

SOCIALISM: The attempted abolition of all privilege by restoring power entirely to the coercive agent behind privilege, the State, thereby converting capitalist oligarchy into Statist monopoly. Whitewashing a wall by painting it black.

ANARCHISM: That organization of society in which the Free Market operates freely, without taxes, usury, landlordism, tariffs, or other forms of coercion or privilege. “Right” anarchists predict that in the Free Market people would voluntarily choose to compete more often than to cooperate; “left” anarchists predict that in the Free Market people would voluntarily choose to cooperate more often than to compete.

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy

...

“Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that’s only because most people don’t know what anarchist means. Most people hear you’re an anarchist and they think you’re getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don’t understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn’t arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”

Robert Anton Wilson

...

Rand on Libertarians

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/libertarians.html

“Libertarians”

 

For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultanteously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.

“Brief Summary,”
The Objectivist, Sept. 1971, 1

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, which subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your ideas and the victory of your enemies. (For a discussion of the reasons, see “The Anatomy of Compromise” in my book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.)

“What Can One Do?”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 202

The “libertarians” . . . plagiarize Ayn Rand’s principle that no man may initiate the use of physical force, and treat it as a mystically revealed, out-of-context absolute . . . .

In the philosophical battle for a free society, the one crucial connection to be upheld is that between capitalism and reason. The religious conservatives are seeking to tie capitalism to mysticism; the “libertarians” are tying capitalism to the whim-worshipping subjectivism and chaos of anarchy. To cooperate with either group is to betray capitalism, reason, and one’s own future.

Harry Binswanger, “Q & A Department: Anarchism,”
The Objectivist Forum, Aug. 1981, 12

... Libertarians because assholes don't read just parrot the phrASE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

Libertarianism refers to the group of political philosophies which emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association. There is no general consensus among scholars on the precise definition. Libertarians generally advocate a society with a government of small scope relative to most present day societies or no government whatsoever.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines libertarianism as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things.[1] Libertarian historian George Woodcock defines libertarianism as the philosophy that fundamentally doubts authority and advocates transforming society by reform or revolution.[2] Libertarian philosopher Roderick Long defines libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether "voluntary association" takes the form of the free market or of communal co-operatives.[3] According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.[4]

Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. Anarchistic schools advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchist schools advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some schools accept public assistance for the poor.[5] Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.[6][7][8] Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and those that support common ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a socialist economic system. Contractarian libertarianism holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement, though this can be seen as reducible to consequentialism or deontologism depending on what grounds contracts are justified.[9][10][11] Some Libertarian socialists reject deontological and consequential approaches and use historical materialism to justify their political beliefs.[12]

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:43 | 2503999 pods
pods's picture

Not sure why we should weep Gully?

Thanks for the post.

I think this one describes me the most:

“Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that’s only because most people don’t know what anarchist means. Most people hear you’re an anarchist and they think you’re getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don’t understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn’t arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”

pods

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:14 | 2504188 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

voluntaryism

 

 

http://www.voluntaryist.com/

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:30 | 2504257 pods
pods's picture

Thanks for site john!

Love the writings of Spooner.

pods

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:31 | 2504793 Clampit
Clampit's picture

I want the internet to provide, as Gandhi put it, “the tiger's nature, but not the tiger."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaraj

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:03 | 2505379 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Can it work? I'll join as soon as you prove it can...

Anyway, for me both capitalism and liberal democracy need rule of law, sound constitutional setups and a popular will to fight corruption to even exist.

Too much blue OR red thinking, it's all a matter of degrees, dear radicals...

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 23:12 | 2506120 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Democracy is the notion that your 2 neighbors should have the option of having total control over you, by writ of the state. Pretty f'in radical, man.

What state capitalism and liberal demoncracy need in order not to degenerate rapidly into ... America circa 2012 ... is exactly what de Tocqueville said they need: an ethical public. While waiting for that to come along, don't hold your breath.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 13:24 | 2507859 RichardP
RichardP's picture
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  John Adams

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:48 | 2504020 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

TL;DR
It seems you have beef with people calling themselves libertarians because they still want some government? I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff. And that nobody, anywhere, will take advantage of that right.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:05 | 2504141 Mr Joshua
Mr Joshua's picture

" I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff. "

Why? That's the exact opposite of what an anarchist believes. Anarchists believe that noone has the right to initiate coercion - precluding government. Its as simple as that.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:15 | 2504191 pods
pods's picture

Well maybe if you read what Gully posted you would see that your opinion is wrong?

pods

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:39 | 2504292 Matt
Matt's picture

From what I can see, many under the Libertarian label should actually be labeled 'Minarchists', believing in:

"the state is necessary and that its only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggressiontheftbreach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the militarypolice, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes fire departmentsprisons, the executive, and legislatures as legitimate government functions."

At least, it would be a more specific subset under the Libertarian superset.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:07 | 2504413 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff.

The people who are going to TRY will do so regardless of the existence or non-existence of some "higher authority" you'd call government.

Only lil babies are afraid of what happens when DADDY comes home.  Heh.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:49 | 2504023 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Interesting and helpful, Gully. Thanks. :)

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:15 | 2504462 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

FREE MARKET: That condition of society in which all economic transactions result from voluntary choice without coercion.

________________________________

Lets deal it the US citizen ways. Economic deals that do not result from voluntary choice without coercion are not transactions.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:35 | 2504562 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...Lets get this party started!....

the balloon party is over, Mr. Klown. Please return to the dressing room.

Yu posted a similar toxic swill of mindless quotes for the last CHS outing, a buffet of bullshit so vacuous as to cause me to caution yu [http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-usa-2012-what-weve-become#comme...] that in the absence of a reasonable explanation for presenting serial disinfo of the kind only a shill of the moneypower would insert here, I would to consider yu xactly that.

This ain't baseball...yu don't get a third wack at the ball Bozo.

That ball of b.s is so tightly wound that there is no point in spending a lot of time or effort unraveling it...so I'm gonna just defuse the most obvious offensiveness and leave it to the discerning reader to pursue the rest of the autopsy of Bozo's Roadkill Roadshow.

There is no connection between Anarchism and Libertarianism, (*just as there is no connection between free economic activity=entrepeneurial production models and "Kapitalism") unless yu subscribe to the kind of (il)logic that posits....hmm

street walkers are women, therefore a woman is a street walker...

just as the more, ah, worldly amongst us know that is an untruth, and indeed that in socio-economic theory, as well as with street walkin 'women' all is not what it may be presented as, so the jejeune peddling of a cartel capitalist revisionism of anarchism called 'libertarianism' is unlikely to satisfy the desire of the eager dupe who goes home with the Randian style of street bitch and earns a house of pain for his $ & time.

There is, of course, an endless supply of dissimulationism in yur smorgasborg of silliness, but this is a comments page, not the NYTRoB...suffice to say, all of those balloons of 'objectivist' and other infantile philosophical pablum yu posted can be popped by the careful reader, one by one...

and now, to the sound of poppin corks and deflated pretensions, let's all drink a round to the end of Bozo's birthday bash!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:18 | 2504747 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Joyful, I can't make any sense of this or see how it contributes anything to the discussion. Sorry.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:20 | 2505405 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...contributes to the discussion?

No, I suppose it doesn't, unless we be bold enough to widen the discussion to include actually thinking about the topic discussed...

but then thinking is no longer part of a general education, in which people are trained like seals to respond to certain key words or phrases that ring a bell or press a button inside the cortex.

Here's a good example: people are trained to hear the words nazi, and antisemitic and respond on an emotional level that ascribes negatives to one group that is assigned the role of being bad, and positives to another that is good...a script so easy to read that it doesn't require any thinking...

and we therefore can avoid the messy business of asking why the people who are actually antisemitic are the ones who invented and bankrolled the 'bad' actors in the play, and actually did the most harm to the 'good' actors...

wait, that doesn't make any sense! So let's not think about it, and instead carry on with our discussion as scripted! Then my brain won't hurt!

Kapitalism = free enterprise.

Anarchism is a variation of Libertarianism.

Freedom is slavery...

Fiat is money.

Gold is a bubble....

I am a number.

cutting and pasting a random collection of misleading quotes from other people is much more creative than contributing a thought of my own...after all, who has the time and the energy anymore to access that internet thing and do their own research?

that's better....much better...now let's continue our discussion.

 

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 20:06 | 2505758 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Let me try to be more clear, then: I think that your responses are creative and interesting, but I am not sure how or why you find fault with the post you criticize. I am not against original thought, but clarity and specificity certainly help. :)

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 15:05 | 2504945 Debugas
Debugas's picture

capitalism is a society which allows individual members to own capital and the income it generates

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 13:36 | 2507918 RichardP
RichardP's picture

... a society which allows ...

How does such a society allow?  And how is this allowing paid for?  Given that the alpha male's primary preoccupation is stealing all he can from those weaker than himself, and then passing part of the plunder to his cohorts in an effort to buy their loyalty.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:03 | 2505376 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

I'll leave it to others to argue the fine points of distinction between "beliefs" and labels, this is core for me,

And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”

we don't need more laws to enforce, we need to unpick the webs that trap us all, and act as if in all of our hours.

great stuff Gully!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:51 | 2504043 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Is Capitalism Incompatible With Democracy?

 

 

How the Fuck do we know?!  We don't have either fucking one!!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:20 | 2504748 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Up X 1,000.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 16:28 | 2505276 Kayman
Kayman's picture

It's a rough day when you realize the Emperor has no clothes, he's a pedophile, and you just got your invitation to the Palace.

Clowns, naturally, excepted.

Tyranny by any gussied-up "ism" is still tryranny.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:09 | 2504424 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Anti-trust law enforcement is necessary for capitalism and democracy to both exist.

However, anti-trust laws haven't been enforced since Reagan took office.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:08 | 2503796 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Restore the rule of law and contracts and 90% of all this fixes itself.

Wake the fuck up, we have neither democracy or capitalism, what we have now is fascism.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:12 | 2503837 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

In a democracy, rule of law can be whatever a tiny minority decides upon any given day.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:17 | 2503858 malek
malek's picture

Yes, that is exactly the point made in the article.

The interesting question is are there any "untouchable" rules in a democracy, rules that cannot be changed by majority or super majority?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:54 | 2504069 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

No. Even when a rule is written in plain language as the founding document of the system of law, with ridiculous effort required to change the rules, it will still be changed. Either by changing the meaning of the words, or flat-out ignoring them.
For example: "infringed"

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:48 | 2503868 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

That is not a democracy, period.  Might help to know what a republic  is too.  Either way, you need a monetary system that has real consequences for bad behavior at ALL levels and the rule of laws and contract must be enforced, period.  Only those who know the value of their labor is zero will fear the rule of law.  It puts an end to thier paper-games and theft.  Based on the down arrows it would seem there are some fearful paper-pushers on ZH today.  LMFAO!!!!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2504081 Mountainview
Mountainview's picture

Benjamin Franklin's quote: "When the people find out, they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of democracy" ( and the capitalist set up) is valid more than ever.

For examples see Greece, France and the USA....

 

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 13:41 | 2507943 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Again, without the misplaced comma that confuses the intended meaning:

"When the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of democracy"

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 23:18 | 2506136 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

+infinity

Some of the finest minds across two milennia bought into this particular utopian noble lie, pity.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:36 | 2503959 Random_Robert
Random_Robert's picture

Fascism...?  That can't be.  Fascism is supposed to be Utopian, according to Mussolini.

I sure don't feel like I live in Utopia.

 

/sarc

 

The problem with using inflammatory terms like fascism (regardless of how appropriate they are) is that people immediately tune out and disconnect from the common dialogue.

 

If an atom bomb went off on the African savannah, the ostriches would bury their heads. That way, they spare themselves the despair of knowing they are about to be vaporized.

 

We call most people sheep, but the better analog might be that most are actually ostriches...

 

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:51 | 2504040 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Won't matter one bit in the end what it is called.  

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:49 | 2504334 Matt
Matt's picture

There has never been a recorded incident of an ostrich putting its head in the sand. Ostriches put their heads down low near the sand, so that sound waves traveling along the surface can be heard. This allows them to detect danger at a greater distance; the exact opposite of sticking their heads in the sand to ignore the danger. 

the more you know; knowledge is power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrich#Predators

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/80800.html

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1644/do-ostriches-really-bury-their-heads-in-the-sand

Mon, 06/11/2012 - 15:39 | 2515584 Random_Robert
Random_Robert's picture

Are you fucking serious?

 

You're calling me out on the metaphorical use of the term "ostrich" versus "sheep"...?

 

Here's a news flash, Einstein: Sheep don't really like having the spring wool sheared off them, either; and I didn't even need to post a collection of wikipedia links to back it up.

How much of your life did you waste digging up wikipedia facts about ostriches? well, here's another fact that I don't need to cite sources on:

 

Ostriches don't fucking matter.

 

A fucking metaphor- you are giving me a Jack Hannah, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom animal bahavior lesson to enlighten me to the fact that a behavioral metaphor is innaccurate... ?

 

What's next - maybe you can explain to all of us about how Barney must be fake because purple is an improbable color to be found on a talking dinosaur...

 

Good Christ- and people ask me why the world is fucked - I am going to book-mark this post and twitter it to anyone who asks me that question from this day forward.

 

Go read my post again and come up with a valid argument against the premise, otherwise, go ostrich-fuck your friend the sheep while the two of you watch Barney....

 

ass-clown.

 

**LATER EDIT**

- Sorry Matt- after I posted this reponse I went and reviewed some of your posting history on Zerohedge, and I see that you post about once every 5 minutes, and 99% of them are the same type of irrelevant non-sequitor crap you spewed above...

 

Again, I'm sorry to lash out at you in response- my failing was that I actually assumed you had a brain, and my vitriol was merely an expression of disgust that you were failing to use it.

 

Upon further review of your posting history, it has become clear that you do not have a brain, and therefore my attack was analogous to striking a child with Down's Syndrone when you catch them digging in the garbage.

 

I feel shame for my profanity laced outburst about your seemingly limited intellect -  I had no idea my assumptions would be proven correct after I reviewed your posting history.

 

Again, please accept my humblest apology for failing to realize that you simply knew no better and were merely acting out of the instinctive sense of your best intentions...

 

I really am glad that you educated me (and everyone else) about ostriches after all... {thumbsup}

 

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:56 | 2504646 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Such a chicken and egg? 

Or is it a bunch of chickens with egg on their face?

Do we restore ethical, legal, moral people who then restore the law or does the law somehow restore the people?

A law is only good as its (1) enforcer, (2) interpreter, and (3) maker. Reminds me of branches in a tree for some reason.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:06 | 2503797 johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture

If you think that what we have is capitalism you are wrong. True capitalism would allow the banksters to fail. We have the most corrupt economic system in the world. Worse than communism. Bankster fucks smashing the metals because our capitalism protects the fiat and failed policies.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:10 | 2504166 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Actually, capitalism does not necessarily entail ensuring that "losers" actually financially lose.  This is what the academic vacuum might dictate (all else equal and what not), but in the real world, capitalists entrench themselves such that their losses are socialized.  You might argue that at this point, we cross the rubicon into some other form of government...  but, we're not talking about government, we're talking about the economic system (that dictates the form of government).  It should further be noted that this is NECESSARILY the result of capitalism...  it happens each and every trial (you know, what happens when theories hit the real world testing grounds).  As a result, it's fairly specious to cherry pick capitalism as only having positive virtues...  it most certainly does...  but it also has plenty of pitfalls...  and has ultimately proven unsustainable for humans. 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:52 | 2504344 Matt
Matt's picture

I think people commonly confuse Capitalism with Free Markets.

Imagine how boring the world would be if people used detailed specific terms that everyone agreed on, instead of arguing this and that while the words mean different things to each party involved?

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 13:47 | 2507966 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Can capitalism exist without an abundance of natural resources?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:17 | 2504471 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

True capitalism would allow the banksters to fail.

___________________________________________

Why? Why should one not be able to buy a bail out ticket? There is a demand for it, an offer should form in a free market to satisfy it.

Please explain how not.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:25 | 2504768 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

You go back China now! Your China internet not let you have opinion there? Why you here? Maybe because China no let you say there?

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-technology/20120607/AS.China.Internet.Controls/

This because you shit too much on load side. You stinky.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 15:25 | 2505030 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Clashfan said to AnAnonymous:

This because you shit too much on load side. You stinky.

AnAnonymous - always stumbling around with a full pantload of shitizenism.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:07 | 2503798 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Why not ask the deeper Question.

Is Demoncrazy worth Saving?

The question posed becomes moot.

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:10 | 2503815 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Plato?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:18 | 2504480 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Neo Actually. With a Platonic twist I believe! ;-)

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:12 | 2503827 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The only thing I am sure of is that Nature and those "animal spirits" will re-assert themselves eventually.  Right about the time people more people start having more of their real wealth and valuable possessions confiscated.  The truth is that the current world economy runs on confiscation and not the production of things of REAL VALUE.

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:24 | 2503855 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

Correct.  The question posed assumes that Democracy is a given, and that capitalism is an optional flavor under consideration.

Democracy is flawed (5 wolves, one sheep, topic of discussion is What's for Dinner?). 

 

Give me sound money, a population that insists on small limited government, and I'll opt for true capitalism as a method of "deciding" capital allocation any day, especially if the alternative is some popular nit-wit getting a big head and making the call "on behalf of the masses"...

 

Edit to add: Jus in case I anit' plain enuf: The fix is to remove government authority (give it back to the peeps) to the point where bribing a govenment official buys you nothing.  You do that by limiting their roles to that mandated by a constitution, and limiting their spending to what they can convince the population to cough up.  Not one cent more, and not one cent of if being "funny money".  Everyone seems hell bent on giving the foxes watching our hen houses more power to deal with our missing chicken problem. 

<facepalm> Duh. </facepalm>

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:25 | 2503897 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"5 wolves, one sheep, topic of discussion is What's for Diner?"

So, you are saying that the 99% have been in control?  FAIL

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:28 | 2503914 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

99 sheep and 1 wolf - what's for dinner?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:04 | 2504137 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Obamas favorite dish?

-Slack master

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:00 | 2504384 Matt
Matt's picture

Here's what I see:

in a representative democracy, the people punish the incumbent if the economy is bad by voting for the challenger. Even though the elected representative should not have any thing to do with the current ebb and flow of the economy, he is held responsible for its state. Which is like holding someone accountable for whether the tide is up or down.

Nonetheless, since the voting majority force the incumbent to be liable for the economy, the incumbent adapts to this incentive by passing laws to try to make the economy never recede, so he can continue to be the incumbent.

The more the incumbent meddles in the economy, the more interaction he has with the businesses in the economy, who benefit or suffer because of the representative's actions. So they then adapt to this by bribing the representative into passing laws that favor them.

Inevitably, you end up with complete regulatory capture where the laws are made by and for the corporations, all because the people wanted the representative to prevent them from suffering through recessions.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:27 | 2504520 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

There's a lot of that, yes, but there's also "direct" attempt at regulatory capture even before the elected official was presented with complaints from the populace.

It's obvious, really.  If there's going to be a law passed of any kind, it's just a matter of expressing your preferences to the potential legislator.  As long as we permit any form of private funding of political campaigns, money interests are going to overwhelm any "one man, one vote" representation ideal.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:29 | 2504784 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

One up for the good point. But a q: Do campaign contributions fall under free speech? Or freedom to spend? And if anarcho-Libertarians (or whatever we're calling them today) advocate little or no government, how do we pass or enforce such a law.

Not hating, just asking.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 15:01 | 2504933 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   Do campaign contributions fall under free speech?

Interesting question.  The McCain-Feingold act was supposed to keep clear distinctions between hard and soft money, but with the Citizen's United decision, I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work anymore.  Seems to me that campaign finance laws can't be enforced in the first place, so it's pointless to continue this charade that "money" = "speech."

But anarchists don't need to worry about what government does, because ultimately, its power depends on maintaining the ILLUSION of consistent and omnipresent enforcement.

Enforcement's a joke--it's at BEST whimsical and arbitrary, and most often, non-existent. 

So why worry? 

Go ask a libertarian if he cares about campaign finance.  On the off-chance he says yes, see what he'd suggest to prevent money from completely *defining* the electoral process.  Heh.  Most of the ones I've talked to prefer that power and authority to be granted via money, not vote. 

Feudalism's great when you own the State.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:29 | 2504779 Assetman
Assetman's picture

There's a lot of what you say to agree with, here.

In order for a democracy and capitalism to "work", there must be an extensive system of checks and balances to keep the capitalist system from going out of control.  And those "public servants" who are elected to represent the people who elect them are held accountable to maintain those protections.

When the political system gets to the point where corporations and their capital take control of the decisionmaking process, you begin to see those checks and balances become unwound.

That is precisely where we are today... it's a system is rotting from within.  Capitalism is slowly being allowed to run rampant, with a taxpayers essenitally becoming a safety net for corporate failure.  And this maladjusted system works, so long as taxes don't move higher and the handouts people expect are still freely given.  Debt essentially has little meaning in this corrupt system, well... until it does matter.

Today's politician has been 'successful' by doing essentially 2 things: (1) promising more to their constituents that what current tax receipts can actually deliver; and (2) getting financed by the deepest pockets as possible, while quietly endorsing those corporate interests through actions, rather than words.  Obama is the ultimate "see what I say, not what I do" candidate... but Romney might just one up him in that department.

The most effective way to combat what is now essntially 'corporatist facism' is to reform the political system from within, so that the checks and balances are developed when needed, and thoroughly enforced.  That's a very tall order, because it requires the electorate to be very well educated-- and receptive of a reform minded political movement.  And the key to doing that is dismantiling the well-entreched and very well funded 2 Party political structure.

Unless a true alternative political movement occurs (more along the lines of young energetic Ron Paul followers), and the electorate remains willing to pick the best of a very bad lot from two parties-- there will continue to be political dysfunction, corporate manuipulation, and a continued dismantling of the checks and balances put in place by some very intelligent people more than 220 years ago.

I don't see radical change coming anytime soon-- but social upheaval can bring about a lot of change in a very short period of time.  History provides many examples of that.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:29 | 2503923 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

LOP, you missed his point to the opposite extreme. Think again...

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:31 | 2503933 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I don't think he did.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:34 | 2503950 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Way I understood it, one sheep is the "herd". Faceless...

And wolves ALWAYS hunt in packs. ;-)

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:59 | 2504668 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I don't disagree at all, and I'm familiar with the Fabians.

I think what I'm coming to grips with in terms of my own thinking is that bestial models for human interraction are accurate as far as we let them be. I hope we can be something more - and I know you agree with that.

I don't know how we get there. That's why I always like to see what you have to say. I do think the construct of western civilization is nearing its limits and I think the world has to explore other sources of wisdom.

Bob

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:31 | 2504251 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

SR - the wolves/sheep thing was meant to be a catchy modern equivalent to Aristotle's worry that democracies, based as they are on majority rule, can (and likely will) degenerate over time into a form of mob rule, where a few clever peeps at the top use their populist sway with the masses to rule with an iron hand those who delude themselves as being in a system that markets itself as based on "life, liberty" etc.  The "peeps at the top" aspect isn't present in the cartoon image, but hopefully the idiocy of putting numeric rule over the right of personal freedom and liberty is evident.

As ori has indicated, read up on the Fabians to see a firsthand example of self-nominated wise men who viewed this weakness inherent in Democracy as their lever of choice in reshaping the world to their ends.

Or look into the history of the Roman Republic/Empire.  The former lasted over 500 years as a relatively stable (happily boring) society where power was balanced and no single group held domination. All of which changed with the advent of J Caesar, who (by making ever more and more Faustian bargains/promises to the masses), broke the balance of power and transformed Rome into an Empire, with himself at the helm, backed by the voracious power of the majority.  500 years of stability, followed by what we now view as the long "fall" of the Roman Empire; a chain of rulers all bound into a series of over-commitments to the masses (entitlements, if you will), and in an attempt to ride the bull, thereby forced into an increasingly ineffective chain of can-kicks: currency debasement, tax levies, tariffs, institution of tribute, property seizures, gifts of property/territories/titles to cronies, free bread and entertainment for the masses, a exponential need to conquer/raze/pillage neighbors (500 year old neighbors) for wealth.  IMO, Very Telling that it markedly started to "go wrong" when Rome transitioned from a Republic to a form of government sharing basic structural details with Democracy.  Also disturbing in the number of parallels with behavior of our own venture at Republic/Democracy.

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:50 | 2504631 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I got it now - very clear, and I'm in agreement.

Fables only go so far in modeling real life - sheep and wolves can take many forms. Living like beasts is a recipe for disaster, regardless.

Pigs,

Dogs,

Sheep.

I want to be a man.

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:27 | 2503910 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Correct.

Democracy as currently "practised" is a Fabian Society Construct (Wolf in Sheep's clothing).

The illusion of equality while trapped in a hide-bound Pyramid.

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2504080 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

Rare to encounter anyone who even knows of the Fabians.  BTW, I deeply admire the content you carry with so few words (I am resigned to failure in that aspect of life).

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:03 | 2504121 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Thank you SWC. That is quite a compliment.

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:30 | 2503926 AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

A government not worth bribing is probably a governement that can't do anything of substance. And that means more probably that the rule of law is in private hands. From that to feudalism there's only one name change.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:57 | 2504352 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

The fundamental question you must ask yourself is whether or not you believe that those that govern have any "right" to decide things that aren't inherently a right for individuals to decide.  Our Constitution says otherwise, but sadly, most don't read it and aren't bothered when it is ignored.

Read up on our Colonial days.  No over-bearing "rule of law", no teaming mass of lawyers, judges, courts, police, armies, civil administrators.  Even after our break and independence, we existed for well over 100 years with no income taxes and about 4% of our population being members of any form of "government".  Were these Feudal days, or a golden age of personal liberty?

I personally can fill up several pages of present day "Feudal Lords" in my life that I am required under force of law to obey, pay, consult, and variously submit to.  We all are in that boat, and if you don't believe it stop paying your taxes, subscribing to your government mandated health care, drive faster than others, paint your house a garish color, water your lawn at the wrong time of day, don't bother with building inspections or permits, pour any foreign substance into a sewer opening, use rainfall water from your own roof, defend yourself from rape robbery or murder without first duly announcing your intent to go Medieval first as allowed under a currently active Castle/Make-My-Day law, drive with a child *not* in a child seat, drive without an evident safety belt, and best of all pay your employees in gold or silver coins.

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:10 | 2504430 Matt
Matt's picture

You can pay your employees in gold or silver as long as the unit of accounting is kept the same through-out the process. If you pay someone with a gold coin and it is written down as a $50 payment (face value) but the person then converts it into $1500 cash (market value), that is tax evasion. You have to list the value of the gold coin at market rates not face value.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:20 | 2504436 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said here and above SWC.

The Roman Empire IS the Wolf in sheep's clothing though. Still here, very much.

That's the trouble with a Wolf in Sheep's clothing, you can never know if it's a wolf or a sheep.

That is why they love to use actors as spokespeople nowadays.

You never know if they are bing themselves or role-playing..

Cue massive Cognitive Dissonance...

ori

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:47 | 2504616 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"Outside of killings, Washington DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country" - DC Mayor Marrion Berry 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:56 | 2504906 Matt
Matt's picture

either they are not committing crimes, or the laws are not being enforced. 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:39 | 2504578 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Fabled past, back again.

US citizen state apparatus in the US has always been as big as possible.

If US citizens living in the US were interested in keeping the state as small as possible, they would have voted for stateless versions as they were exhibited just next door.

No teaming mass of lawyers, judges, etc? Of course, it fitted the size of the days. Has the little fact that US citizen of A society has been consumed resources in such a way it has grown escapes people these days?

With the growth of US citizen societies, come the growth of lawyers etc

US citizenism has always worked the same way. The fact it is no longer working as expected for some US citizens does not mean US citizenism no longer works the same way.

You are just slipping toward the wrong side of the fence. And the wrong side of the fence was present from the very beginning.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:39 | 2504819 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

SWCroaker, you ask, "Were these Feudal days, or a golden age of personal liberty?".

Arguably, slavery was worse than feudalism. What was the Whiskey Rebellion all about? http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/whiskey/

How about the robber barons? Harriman and the railroads? The tendency to romanticize history is an easy pitfall. I could go on....

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 15:52 | 2505139 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

What was the Whiskey Rebellion all about?

Good question.  When I scan the Net of A Million Lies, I see time after time the phrase:

... demonstrated the need for a standing army, and .... first test of the Federal Government's resolve to enforce its laws.

Hmmmm.  I've heard it said that "History is written by the victors".  Do you find it curious that an instance of civilians rebelling against government over-reaching is held up as an example demonstrating the need and correctness of expansion of government power?  Hamilton’s notes to self: Must have standing armies.  Must give those armies authority against our own citizens, not just foreign combatants.   Must also use this as a precedent of Federal Government dictating a) social behavior, and b) discriminatory seizure of wealth via selective taxation.

When I read the events, and think for myself, I see different.  A minority (by numbers) group in the population felt that their rights were being infringed upon.  The tax was instituted by Alexander Hamilton; a staunch promoter of Federalist (big government) policies.  While there was a need to pay down debts from the Revolution, he "marketed" the tax as a form of "social discipline", and further is suspected of intending it to cause the very "handy crisis" it became.  Sounds like "Tax the Rich", "Oh, BTW, drinking (booze, sugar drinks, take your pick) is bad for you", and "Constitution Smonstitution" all rolled into one.  The minority, in full faith and belief of the tenants of the Constitution, did their collective best to say "No" to their government assuming powers it didn't have.  Key point: they felt they were within their rights to "push back"; they *believed* what the Constitution said.  Their protests, in the main, took it straight to the enforcement end (local officials) of a policy formulated by a distant and seemingly uncaring group of swollen heads.

Priceless.  Locals doing their best to deal with matters locally.  Full of confidence that they have the *right* to push back; maybe even viewing it as their civic duty to do so.  I dream of living in that kind of world.  Contrast to today, and the powerlessness we all feel against bureaucratic bloat, executive orders that have no check or balance, and a government that strongly encourages its people to "report" any and all suspicious activities of their fellow citizens.

The good guys lost, although Washington stepped up and pardoned the two individuals actually convicted of treason (treason! for protesting government over-reaching and standing up for equal treatment under the law!).  And we either started or progressed a bit down the slippery slope towards Mega government authority in every aspect of our lives.  Golden Age?  Um, yes.  From what I can see, *most* of human history is dominated by misery, war, harsh living, ignorance and a struggle to survive.  Just a few pockets here and there where, for a brief period, things were set up just right where large numbers of people lived in something other than "interesting times".  Colonial and post-Colonial America is not perfect, but when you compared this fledgling move towards collectivism vs the mature Nanny state we have today, I feel comfortable preferring the former, warts and all.  Your very instance of the Whiskey Rebellion shows that, at least at that time, citizens actually believed they had rights, and that government had limits.

                                                                                                                                             

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 20:14 | 2505784 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Thanks for that thoughtful reply. :)

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:19 | 2503870 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

Ori, per your own reasoning, No One Asked You.

As I've said many times, people seem to want to beat their heads against the wall solving all the wrong fucking problems.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:08 | 2503803 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

everything can be subverted by the elite or the majority

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:30 | 2503929 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

And scale is important.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:43 | 2504833 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Yes, DJ. This is why an allegiance to any ism is a logical trap. In theory, any ism might succeed, including monarchy, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, etc. In practice, it's hard to imagine any of them working (yes, even Libertarianism). In practice, the secret societies rule any system. They have perfected trauma-based mind control, for one. For another, they leave morality behind (other than "balance").

What I really like about this brief post of yours is that you say "elite or," meaning either/or.

The secretive, occult societies know to perform SRA on small children. They know how to collude to dodge or ignore law. When all else fails, there's bribery, extortion, murder, etc.

When we get beyond isms and into spiritual warfare, ironically, we're into reality.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:49 | 2504863 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Wow.

+1

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 20:15 | 2505788 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Ty, SR.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:17 | 2505403 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

I agree with you on the "secret societies" ruling from behind the scenes, mostly through awarding power over, and bribery.

can you please define "spiritual warfare" as it applies to "reality" from your point of view please?  just curious. . . thanks!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 20:29 | 2505816 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

CA, I think I meant it vaguely, somewhat ironically, in this context of materialism heavy on the thread.

I am a Christian, so I believe in non-material entities, so to speak, but one need not share that belief to derive meaning from the insinuation.

I would posit that isms or ideologies are incomplete without personal (or spiritual) growth (especially Libertarianism). Conversely, negative spiritual development (the Luciferianism of the secret societies, if you will, or just plain, old, evil greed--fine) can ruin or subvert any ism or ideology.

Hence however good or bad people want to be has to play an important role in consideration of what is essentially a philosophical, epistemological question: Can capitalism and democracy co-exist?

So please, consider it as a vague reference to the internal struggle of each human in his or her own consciousness as it relates to the question at hand on a societal level; or take it, if you prefer, in the religious sense. Either way, the result is the same. This is one element of reality even though it is not what we might consider "materialism."

I have gleaned, from years of examining a few conspiracies (JFK, RFK, SRA, and 911, primarily) and, subsequently and necessarily, the secret societies involved and their origins, members, and belief systems, that what binds the secret societies that control this existence is Luciferianism. Whether one believes in good/evil or God/Lucifer, really, is irrelevant; whether the members of said societies even believe in these is irrelevant, largely, too: What matters is that this is how the societies are bound to each other, and this is what their rituals mirror, Luciferianism. If you believe the secret societies do rule from behind the scenes, I urge you to examine their nature, rituals, origins, symbols, and, as biblically advised, actions/behaviors/results: http://bible.cc/matthew/7-20.htm

I mean that the struggle between good and evil is an important reality to consider when we measure the effectiveness or lack thereof of any ism.

I hope that helps. Thanks for the time.

Fri, 06/08/2012 - 14:07 | 2508040 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I think it is useful to reproduce my post from above here:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  John Adams

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:08 | 2503804 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

Yes, but the US is a Constitutional Republic that has morphed into a Democracy where politicians can destroy the country are interfering in the free market for political gain.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:14 | 2503832 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Could not have said it better myself.

Not that I am a fan of the pledge, but "And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands." Fuck this nation, oh my god.  With thievery while fucking us all.  Amen.

 

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule,
where 51% of the people may take away
the rights
of the other 49%." — Thomas Jefferson

"A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [disregarding accepted rules or conventions] which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty."
— Fisher Ames

"Democracy is the road to socialism."
— Karl Marx (father of communism)

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
— Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Joseph Milligan in 1816, stated: "To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee of everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."

"It is well known that there have always been those amongst us who wish to ENLARGE the powers of the General Government, and experience would seem to indicate that there is a tendency on the part of this Government to overstep the boundaries marked out for it by the Constitution. Its legitimate authority is abundantly sufficient for all the purposes for which it was created, and its powers being expressly enumerated, there can be no justification for claiming anything beyond them. Every attempt to exercise power beyond these limits should be promptly and firmly opposed, for one evil example will lead to other measures still more mischievous; and if the principle of constructive powers or supposed advantages or temporary circumstances (9/11) shall ever be permitted to justify the assumption of a power not given by the Constitution, the General Government will before long absorb all the powers of legislation, and you will have in effect but one consolidated government." — Andrew

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:57 | 2504371 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

I am in full agreement. Our system in the US becomes progressively more dysfunctional as time goes on, and the best possible thing that can imagine happening is for it to crash. (There may be other solutions, but none are actually possible.) To that end, I signed up for Medicare and Social Security soon after my job ended, which occurred just before I turned 65.

I argued against SS and Medicare all my life, and I still think they are unconstitutional and destrucive, but I signed up almost immediately. I intend to suck as much out of the system as I can as quickly as I can. Why? Cloward-Piven! I want to do my part to bring down this bloated, corrupt system, and it's the best way I can do that. Greed has nothing to do with it. I could always don a SCUBA outfit and retrieve my PMs but that would just put my savings back into the system.

To all you younger, employed Americans: Keep working! Keep paying those taxes! Help me bring down the system!

Your future depends on it.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:52 | 2504882 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Are you one of Voltaire's bastards?

Awesome rationalization of personal gain.

+1

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:56 | 2504652 duo
duo's picture

I wonder what Jefferson would have said about a policy that pays people who don't work to have as many kids as they can, fed and housed by the government, and then pays the next generation to have more children, ad infinitum.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:22 | 2505414 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

everything about these systems mimics the exponential growth pyramid scheme - paying people to breed what is obviously becoming cannon fodder ("I can't have a job or tuition, so I will enlist" model).

perpetuation of the State, above all else - for those that bemoan their "taxes" funding this model - it's all Fed-pixels now, irrespective of the claw backs from your earnings - and most of the "taxed monies" go to the corporate military anyhow, with a trickle down effect to the enlisters. . . rinse, repeat, hm.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:10 | 2503817 Caggge
Caggge's picture

For trickle down economics to work, it has to be accompanied by trickle down rule of law.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 17:28 | 2505418 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

They don't call it "trickle" for nothing  

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:11 | 2503824 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Capitalism and Democracy aren't incompatible.

However, Capitalism and Democracy are their own worst enemies as their early success allows idiots who wouldn't otherwise be breeding so profusely, to breed profusely, and eventually infect every level of society.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:15 | 2503850 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Bingo..

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:21 | 2503882 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

no mention of crony-capitalism, FAIL.  Wrong, in a true capitalist democracy, irresponsible behavior results in real consequences.  In other words, poorly run companies fail, and the idiots you mention starve and die. 

Wake the fuck up.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:33 | 2503919 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

How did it get to this point? We didn't get here magically in one day. 2008 wasn't the beginning and neither was 2000. It takes decades of idiots breeding idiots breeding idiots. The idiots are in control and they feed themselves by theft. Eventually they'll be too many to support. Crony-capitalism is just a symptom.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:34 | 2503947 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Precisely my point idiot, ever since the world adopted fiat we have not had a monetary system that enforces REAL CONSEQUENCES for bad behavior.  Paper-pushers stealing wealth via thier financial "products" is BAD behavior.

The same can be said of having children YOU CAN NOT AFFORD!!!!!

You really think the SNAP recipients are "in control"?

LMFAO!!!!

WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:36 | 2503962 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

"eventually infect every level of society"

As I said above.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2503991 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

As I have said in numerous posts, so long as no one is willing to have an adult conversation about real wealth, value, and the rule of law the only thing I am sure of is that the physical laws of Nature will assert themselves, period.

All you and I can now do is hedge accordingly and make wise choices regarding those we chose to associate with and how we live our lives.

When Nature takes over, chance will favor the prepared mind, period.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:23 | 2504506 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

When Nature takes over, chance will favor the prepared mind, period.
___________________________________

Made me laugh. If nature takes over, there is no preparation because natural selection is not active, it is passive. You are adapted or you are not.

Refering to preparation points at human selection, standards being set by human beings themselves and to which they can plan accordingly.

A point that might be once again checked with all the US citizen gun owners who invested to face a situation that will not come. The best way to be prepared for a situation being to make the situation happen.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:31 | 2503930 malek
malek's picture

You seem to be self-deluding, in trying to make everything a fault of the elites while the majority bears no responsibility for the wrongs.

Why did the majority not protest the bank bailouts?
Because deep inside they knew, that if they (or their investments) were failing, they also would prefer a bailout over failure.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:37 | 2503975 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I place no fault on anyone in my post, you have made that assumption.  FAIL.

My only point is there must be real consequences for bad behavior AT ALL LEVELS, period.

But since you brought it up, aren't the "elites" supposed to know better?  I mean, are they not better educated?

Cognative dissonance is a bitch asshole.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:39 | 2503981 malek
malek's picture

Always only pointing the finger to others is also a bitch asshole...

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2503992 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You pointed to the "elite" first, not me.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:47 | 2504009 malek
malek's picture

Really? Who exactly comprises the rank of crony-capitalists??

If you -anywhere on all your posts here- had mentioned for example "under-water home owners need to fail too" I would have no basis for criticizing you.

Edit: the thread starter mentioned idiots, which to me includes rich and poor.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:57 | 2504059 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

" Who exactly comprises the rank of crony-capitalists??"

Really?  How stupid are you?  How about every single fucking CEO who used taxpayer monies to recieve a BAILOUT.  The list is long.  Kick the underwater homeowners to the curb, they will still be broke and starve, fine with me, now what about those CEOs????   That is the fucking point, the "elite" still have their stolen wealth.  Try actually reading my posts, real consequences must be enforced at all levels. LMFAO!!!!!!  

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:04 | 2504132 malek
malek's picture

Just what I said, you are pointing out the elite.

I am saying all must be allowed to fail.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:17 | 2504224 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

How is keeping your stolen wealth FAILURE?

Contradict yourself much?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:26 | 2503900 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture
Is Capitalism Incompatible With Democracy?

The question is irrelavant because we have neither in America.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:31 | 2503931 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Negative, were turning into a Democracy with Gov controls taking over TBTF. Capitalism cannot thrive at that point.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:08 | 2504139 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

You're not turning into a Democracy, but a Plutarchy (meaning - rule by a handful of wealthy).

 

edit: The Golden Rule only applies to a Plutarchy (or Plutocracy). In a Democracy or Republic the major principle is The Rule of Law.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:57 | 2504087 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Which begs the questions

What form of "democracy" and what form of "capitalism"?

As the syncretist points out...we have neither pure capitalism nor pure democracy today, so the original question is really moot.

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:13 | 2503825 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Charles two points...first and foremost we are not a democracy we are a representative republic. There is a big difference. The second point is capitalism and freedom walk hand in hand. One must be free to capitalize upon their investment and the right to fail if their investment is unwise. Without these two options you have neither freedom or capitalism. You have some other ism.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:20 | 2503877 malek
malek's picture

Show me one thing from real life that confirms we are effectively a representative republic.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:30 | 2503917 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Do you even know what a democracy is? Do you vote on every policy? Do you have input on any wars? On any taxes or spending? No you don't therefore we are not a democracy. Maybe you need to look at article IV section 4 of your constitution.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:37 | 2503969 malek
malek's picture

I was asking from real life for a reason.

You only throw around theories. And according to your own theory, a real democracy has never existed on the face of the earth. But a real republic we have?

For me a republic has very strong federalist workings, i.e. the states have control over most issues themselves, and that also includes secure funding that cannot be quenched at will by the "federal" level.
In the same way down to counties, cities etc.

Centralism is a strong indication for democracy, and against being a republic.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:47 | 2504014 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I am not saying that our republic hasn't been undermined. I am saying that is how the founding fathers laid  the ground work for the country. My beef is with people who don't know enopugh about the foundation of our country and try to claim we are a democracy, which we are not and never were.

Centralism is a strong indication of fascism, in a true democracy there is still the opportunity to win and or sway the simple majority.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:58 | 2504085 malek
malek's picture

Yes, if we went back to the founding fathers that would be true.

Can we stop talking of theoretical absolutes, please?
The simplest way to determine centralism is "does everything seem to strive towards the one capitol?"

And do you think the ability to always "sway the majority" is a good thing??

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:39 | 2503982 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Thats why we vote in Represenatives to work for We the People, obviously, they do not.

 

To start wars, we don't even get Congressional approval anymore, the UN calls TPTB and TELLs them where to sent troops and how many. So yes, i will partially agree with you but that's not the way it was *originally designed.

People controlling their government = free society.

People scared of their government = Tyranical controls.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:14 | 2503826 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Democracy = Euro Zone.

 

Republic = United States.

 

Democracy is 2 wolves and a Lamb debating what's for dinner, Republic freedom is a well armed Lamb that contests the vote.

"The only problem with Socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples money"

We are NOT a Democracy!! But there working towards that.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:26 | 2503902 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Well said Money4...

 

"The perfect example of democracy is a lynch mob. The majority voted to hang you."

Jim Marrs

 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:30 | 2503925 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Where is John Corzine?!?!?!?

None of these systems work if there are no real consequences for BAD behavior.

Fuck the paper-pushers and their financial "products" that only serve to confiscate wealth.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2503953 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Downtown Manhattan eating lunch at Spargo's laughing with the Bernanke watching CNBC.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:42 | 2503995 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

exactly, no consequences.  Will be rectified soon enough.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:29 | 2504527 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Absolutely. And the republic turned into democracy in the US when Lynch appeared.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:28 | 2503911 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You almost had it with the "well-armed lamb".  better go look up what fascism  is though.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:33 | 2503943 Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

Fascism is Democracy, same idologue.

If I hear one more person say the USA is a Democracy, I'm throwing my laptop into the fucking street then biting off my neighbors nose!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:44 | 2504004 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Better go look up what a "republic" is.  You stink of fear, paper-pusher.  Your posts give you away.

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