This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: Moral Relativism And Patriotism As Weapons Of The State

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

Over the weekend, a suicide bomber suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda struck a funeral in Yemen, killing forty five individuals.  The funeral was attended predominantly by members of a militia which aided the Yemeni Army in recapturing a town held by Al Qaeda.  The attack was rightfully condemned by major media outlets.  Viciously killing mourners at a funeral is the very definition of terrorism as it sends a message that no time or place is off limits from a surprise attack.  It shows a complete lack of respect for the sanctity of life.  Al Qaeda has become known for these attacks in recent years.  American national security officials and politicians have reacted by denouncing such attacks as a sign of the utter savagery of the terrorist group.

Yet Al Qaeda is not alone in this tactic.  The CIA’s not-so-secret drone campaign is also guilty of targeting funerals attended by civilians.  According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone attacks have been responsible for the deaths of “dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.”  As of February of this year, at least 535 civilians have been killed by drone strikes since President Obama took office; 20 of which were killed while attending funerals.  Last June, a gathering of mourners was targeted for a strike in Pakistan.  The 10 people killed in that attack had come together to grieve over the death of a “brother of a militant commander” killed just a day before in another drone strike.

There is little denouncement of the civilian casualties that are a product of the U.S.’s foreign policy.  The narrative presented by Washington lawmakers and the press is that of a struggle between the forces of good and evil.  The terrorists of the Middle East are ruthless barbarians while the troops and Pentagon officials are goodhearted protagonists trying to liberate an oppressed people.  The blood of innocent women and children on the hands of Al Qaeda is damming evidence of their depravity.  That same blood on the hands of the U.S. defense establishment is a sign of triumph.  It is moral relativism on a national scale; slaying of the innocent is terrible on one hand while honorable on the other.  As LRC columnist Laurence Vance notes in regard to how atrocities committed by private individuals are perceived differently than those committed by the military:

 

I don’t know if there are theaters in Afghanistan, but if U.S. soldiers enter a building in Afghanistan and kill twelve and wound fifty-eight – like James Holmes allegedly did in Colorado – they are lauded as heroes.

Military officials frequently go on television and tell not just Americans but the rest of the world that they are making a sacrifice for maintaining safety and freedom around the globe.  They invoke patriotism to justify their actions.  Taxpayers forced into picking up the tab for the endless warfare repay the favor by unquestioningly handing their respect over to crusaders of state-sanctioned mass murder.  From the perspective of enhancing and enlarging the central state, it’s the prefect scheme.  Force feeding the concept of “patriotic duty” is a great way to get people to accept the otherwise deplorable actions of government officials.  It is why Randolph Bourne aptly recognized war as the “health of the state.”

Today, the conduct committed by state enforcement officials, whether they be imperialistic endeavors or the negation of human liberty at home, are rationalized by the way of apologetic relativism.  This relativism stands in opposition to absolute moral principles.  Theft, murder, eavesdropping, lying, issuing threats, and beating upon others are all actions looked down upon by sensible individuals.  They lead society astray from an amicable coexistence.

The state, by the doings of its executors and administrators, embodies everything you were told was wrong as a child.  Children are usually taught straightforward rules of acceptable behavior at a young age.  As they grow older, they are bombarded with propaganda from school, television, and even their own parents that attempt to remove the government away from basic considerations of right and wrong.  These efforts are part of an ongoing agenda to convince the public what they see as morally repugnant behavior is justified when done under the refuge of government authorization.  The institutional predation of the state is supported by a kind of war on reason fought by those seek most fervently to maintain the exploitive status quo.  The objective is enough consent on the part of the people to overwhelm any high-spirited protest.  While independent and intellectual criticism is the state’s worst enemy, unthinking acceptance is its greatest ally.

The ruling establishment sees little danger in violent uprising.  What they fear most is the turning of public opinion against their legitimacy.  They fear losing consent above all things because soon after, their lordship must come to an end.   Support among the people is what keeps tyranny alive; not a violent clenching down upon personal freedom.

Though the American Revolution is frequently evoked as a display of this truth, a better example exists in colonial Pennsylvania nearly a century before the Declaration of Independence was penned.  Upon being granted the lands of Pennsylvania by King Charles II in March of 1681, William Penn proceeded to establish a colony governed over by a constitution of sorts.  The positions of governor and proprietor were created along with an elected Council that saw to executive and judicial functions.  An appointed Assembly was also formed which had the authority to levy taxes and veto laws passed by the Council.  Because of the liberties guaranteed in the new colony, the low tax burden, and Penn’s selling of land at cheap prices, immigrants flooded into Pennsylvania in its formative years.  Penn would eventually return to England in 1684 but upon doing so found that the colonists were refusing to pay taxes including the land taxes he counted on to maintain a hefty profit.  The Council, which was elected by the people and had the sole authority in executing laws, refrained from collecting taxes and left the colony autonomous.  Penn would eventually appoint a commission to restore his lost opportunity of compensation through force.  The colonists simply ignored the commission which led to its collapse.  Penn then instituted a deputy governor to ensure for the collection of taxes but that effort was also came to be in vain.  As Murray Rothbard summarizes

William Penn had the strong and distinct impression that his “holy experiment” had slipped away from him, had taken a new and bewildering turn. Penn had launched a colony that he thought would be quietly subject to his dictates and yield him a handsome profit. By providing a prosperous haven of refuge for Quakers, he had expected in turn the rewards of wealth and power. Instead, he found himself without either. Unable to collect revenue from the free and independent-minded Pennsylvanians, he saw the colony slipping gracefully into outright anarchism—into a growing and flourishing land of no taxes and virtually no state.

The peace-loving Quakers and colonists were able to dissolve an intrusive government by their sheer unwillingness to recognize its legitimacy.  They properly regarded the various attempts at governance and taxation imposed upon them as thuggish means of exploitation.  In short, they saw through the facade of the state being above moral considerations.  Rejecting state rule did not make them bad citizens but admirable in the sense that they ended up living harmoniously with each other in its absence. As Penn would lament in the midst of Pennsylvania’s brush with halcyon anarchism, he and his appointed rulers had lost “their authority one way or another in the spirits of the people.”  The idea that men are born to be free instead of in shackles was enough to overcome government compulsion.

The first step toward liberty is to see through the masking fog the state engulfs itself in to carry out its deeds of conquest.  It is the realization that murder is murder no matter if it is committed by a street thug or an army captain piloting a remote controlled aircraft armed with hellfire missiles.  It is the realization that debasing of the currency by a select few central bankers is no different from the shysters of old who would shave off small portions from gold bullion so that it would appear to retain the same weight.  Finally, it is the realization that glorifying war in the name of “loving thy country” is a grand swindle used to deceive the simple-minded into falling in line like a herd of sheep soon be slaughtered.

Using reason to discover absolute truths is an essential part of determining how one should live their life in accordance with sound ethics.  Relativism denies this.  It can deny that evil is committed by the state and that reprehensible acts are perfectly okay when done by individuals with guns and badges.  All it takes to reverse such destructive thinking is the realization that state authority deserves no pass in moral scrutiny.  Withdrawing consent comes next on the path to a free society.

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:00 | Link to Comment Jam Akin
Jam Akin's picture

Absolutely on target.

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:10 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

And this line was magnificent:

Withdrawing consent comes next on the path to a free society.

Obedience is SO last century... and SO servile.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:15 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Most excellent article in its entirety

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:23 | Link to Comment Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

I don't think "Uncle Sam" will be that easy to ignore.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:27 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Freedom ain't free.

Either we have the guts for it, or we don't.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:34 | Link to Comment You Didn't Buil...
You Didn't Build That's picture

"Escape from Freedom" lead to Hitler's rise and WWII according to Erich Fromm.  He says "freedom takes work."

 

He's right.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:05 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

By the way, I think the "Freedom Isn't Free" slogan is a dark and dangerous plant.

Of course freedom is free. You don't owe anybody anything. If you owe the State something in return for freedom, then it's not freeedom is it? It's a license. Licenses aen't freedom.

Usually this bumper sticker phrase is pushed by people who want you to get maimed in a desert to force dictators to engage in drilling contracts with Exxon.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:25 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

Of course freedom is free. You don't owe anybody anything. If you owe the State something in return for freedom, then it's not freeedom is it? It's a license. Licenses aen't freedom.

 

Well reasoned and concise. I'm going to use that. Individual sovereignty occurs as a natural right.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 14:14 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Okay, I will restate:

In our current situation of state tyranny, freedom isn't free.

Better? (And I have no obligation to answer for bumper-stickers.)

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 14:21 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Freedom is a negative right so there's nothing for which to pay. That which you acquire through use of your freedom may require security and its attendant costs to maintain.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 06:06 | Link to Comment Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Whenever I see people whining about the comment sections of ZH, I think about these sorts of conversations, and can't help but wonder how those whiners miss them. Priceless discussion. Cheers!

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 16:53 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

This is a concept hard for many to grasp.  The idea that freedom is the default scenario, the natural state of man, and that it is not granted by some human authority in power.

However, it is not "free", meaning that as a right it requires a corresponding duty: that of accountability.  If we are naturally free this means we are responsible for our lives, we are responsible for our actions, and we cannot expect someone else to protect our freedom for us, we have to participate fully with regards to the things that affect our lives.  

The key is that we are naturally free, but if we act passively and sit in front of the TV while others take over the decision-making power of our lives: we have CONSENTED to a loss of freedom.  We have opted out.  We have transferred our rights and granted the authority to others to dictate our lives.  It is not just taken from us by evil sociopaths.  We have given it away freely.

Sadly, the minority of us who choose not to give that freedom away are swept along by the majority who do.  Since we live in a society with others and not in isolation, we cannot defend our own freedom without convincing those around us to do so as well.  This is the challenge.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:05 | Link to Comment Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I choose civil disobedience.   

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:35 | Link to Comment Nachdenken
Nachdenken's picture

.......(CHI)...and so widespread.

Thought provoking Post with some uncomfortable but necessary insights.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 06:58 | Link to Comment Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Withdrawing consent comes next on the path to a free society.

Indeed.  It is the only PEACEFUL way to a free society.   The purveyors of force are always dumbstruck when confronted by quiet, determined intransigence.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:04 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

A street thug murder and the inadvertent killing of innocents in war is not the same.

 

You are a fool for suggesting so.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:16 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

And you are being thuggish by calling him names.

If you have an argument to the contrary, MAKE IT.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:43 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

OK I will expound on the argument I made, namely, that a street thug murder is not the moral equivalent of the killing of innocents in war

 

Let's say you have a friend in the armed forces. Let's say he is in a combat situation and tragically causes the inadvertent death of innocent civilians or his own forces.

 

Would you say he is a murderer and should be treated as such? It's patently ridiculous!

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:53 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Lets say I don't, because once a person joins the military or law enforcement, they're no longer my friend. But let's say you have a friend in the military who kills civillians. He's guilty of murder. He took those innocent human beings lives. He should be hung

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:56 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

You are a fucking idiot

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:22 | Link to Comment piceridu
piceridu's picture

You sir must be wearing red, white and blue underwear...

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:17 | Link to Comment monad
monad's picture

mad cow

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:17 | Link to Comment Carmagnole
Carmagnole's picture

So you think they are allowed the "I was just following orders" defense?

They would be not only guilty of murder, but also of the cowardice that enables totalitarian abuse

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:32 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Please learn to read. I am saying that an inadvertent killing is not morally or legally equivalent to murder.

 

You, and everyone else who disagrees with this obvious truth, are not the sharpest nihonto in the shinsa.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:38 | Link to Comment Carmagnole
Carmagnole's picture

What you seem to be studiously ignoring is that the civillians killings commited by the US army are all but inadvertent.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 06:26 | Link to Comment pies_lancuchowy
pies_lancuchowy's picture

Putting yourself volutarily in a situation where you walk armed up to the teeth, in a country attacked by the aggressive Obamerikan Zionist Regime, as a voluntary representant of this regime, with the outright intention to crush the resistance of patriots defending their motherland.. may not exaclty be called 'inadvertent' .

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 08:16 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Dr Benway:

Contrary to some others, I agree that intent matters.

And, even though you matched the others one to one, I'm almost sorry that I drew you into an insult fest. That said...

Intent matters, but so does using "orders" as an escape from culpability. The drone operator MUST say NO and walk away from his console, when it comes to raining death upon a funeral procession - it is obvious that innocents will be wounded. As yet, I have heard no such report, and that is deeply troubling. Such people ARE murderers, and no hiding behind orders can absolve them.

As for anarchy, you are fully incorrect that you know "where that leads." If fact, real anarchy is the only escape from 5000 years of states, wars, mass death and general barbarism. States ARE barbarism incarnate.

But, we can leave that subject alone for now.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 08:20 | Link to Comment Firing Pin
Firing Pin's picture

"Anarchy may be the only escape from 5,000 years of states..." but anarchy may not be some peachy feel-good alternative. Look to the anarchy wrought by the Bubonic Plague for examples.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:25 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Look to the anarchy wrought by the Bubonic Plague for examples.

What? Arachy is relevent to a plague that killed half a continent?

And if you're going for the period after the plague, you're wrong. (Though correct that anarchy is not pie-in-the-sky.)

Not to be rude, but if you're going to use an example, you should not rely on schoolbooks (which are crap) or 5 minutes of the History channel (which is often lame). You have to read real books.

And, FWIW, I didn't say anarchy MAY BE the only escape from the tyranny of states, I said it IS the only escape.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:11 | Link to Comment Firing Pin
Firing Pin's picture

CH1, do your own research. There are many documented cases of lawlessness brought on by the breakdown of society caused by the Bubonic plague. Don't argue with me...you're arguing against history. Fftt fftt.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:28 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Dude, you don't know me. I have done the research. Because of that, I know that trying to use that as an example of anarchy is false.

Chaos - as in mass death and confusion - is NOT anarchy.

The peasants didn't want anarchy after the plague; they fought to remain in their positions as serfs. (Their children did better.)

Like I say, real books are required.

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:47 | Link to Comment Firing Pin
Firing Pin's picture

Hmmm...an "intellectual" post referring to me as "Dude."

Comfort Eagle.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 14:16 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

You make yourself a troll.

Ah well, I tried.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 03:12 | Link to Comment Likstane
Likstane's picture

Judge Likstane stops this one in the third...Firing Pin is in the wrong weight class. 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 17:09 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

The word "anarchy", like the word "capitalism" should be used with caution, as different definitions of the word lead to complete misunderstandings.

Some refer to anarchy as chaos (assuming that the absence of political power and control could only result in chaos)

Others refer to anarchy as the ultimate form of individual autonomy, whereby individuals do not seek protection of the state or to rise to power to control others.  They choose voluntary association as a means to maintain order.  

We can argue till eternity for and against anarchism.  But the point here is that like CH1 says, the bubonic plague is one of the worst examples of anarchy.  The civil unrest which follows from mob panic is not anarchy.  The unrest and confusion during the plague still existed within a political structure that gave absolutely no autonomy to individuals.  Nor did they seek it.  It is a perfect example of what happens when people become DEPENDENT upon authoritarian rule.  One can argue that the chaos was a result of not having enough anarchy: that if people had felt the locus of control to be closer to the individual, chaos would not have erupted, but individuals would have fended for themselves and their local communities more effectively.  

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:34 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The Bubonic plague was a very important episode that resulted in greater wealth and freedom for serfs and artisans (making the latter class a reality), and  helped create the conditions necessary for the reformation and renaissance. It changed land holdings and their management by feudal lords and freed the people from land slavery. 

The plague resulted in periotic die-offs of 15-25% of the population in cycles. While it created great fear and did extensive damage to the reputation of the church- anarchy was not one of the results. The people that lived (the large majority) were better off and had more equality in dealings with the landowners. 

Like any negotiation, they were given greater influence because the landowners were too lazy to work their own land. 

Anarchy is not a utopia. What we have now is a nightmare from Dante's hell. I can't see where we are risking all that much in the changeover. Especially, when the current regimes can only lead to more tyranny, not less.

Try, "The Black Death" by Gottfried.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:15 | Link to Comment monad
monad's picture

Yes, we must thank the Mongols for that genocide. Where's my reparations, bitchez?!!

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 14:18 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Like I said, real books. :)

Thanks, Sean.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

Let's say you have a friend in the armed forces. Let's say he is in a combat situation and tragically causes the inadvertent death of innocent civilians or his own forces.!

 

What do you call the leadership which orders soldiers and airmen to target weddings, funerals and rescue operations?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:15 | Link to Comment Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Benway, In what way are those deaths different, precisely?  I would be interested in a defense of this conclusion.  

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:31 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

TTGP, in one word, the difference is one of intent.

There is a grayscale of intent, from premeditated murder to pure accident, with various shades of negligent responsibility in between.

But this is obvious. Noone feels the same about a car accident and someone running over pedestrians on purpose.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:33 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Civilians have been deliberately targeted. That's the issue.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 17:26 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Exactly.

This is what makes it WAR.

The argument can be held as well that it isn't just the targeting of civilians that is wrong.   You have to realize that the way the White House defines "civilian" is pretty slim.  They view any boy old enough to hold a gun as a "militant" whether he is actually holding a gun or not.  Furthermore, even if the boy of 12 years is armed, is that not his right?  Can we target him with a drone and call him a militant just because he was armed to defend himself and his family?

The fact is that the number of innocents killed is far FAR FAR higher than officially stated.  They massage the definition of "militant" to fit their agenda, as they massage the definition of the CPI to fit the economic agenda.  The fact is that many of the so-called militants killed (to much applause and patting-on-the-back and giving out of medals of bravery) are simply individuals who feel threatened in their own homes on their own properties in their own country by a foreign army who has made a habit of breaking down doors in the night and carting people off for "questioning".  

If owning a firearm and having the will to defend one's life and family and property makes one a militant then I am a militant and so is most of my family and so are most of my friends.  Yet I would argue that killing me or my family or my friends is not justified, PERIOD.  I have a right to a trial to defend my right to life and liberty.  The second you say that humans do not have this right, you have chosen moral relativism: you have decided that rights only exist for some people some of the time.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 17:32 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Secondly, the cowardly use of "inadvertant" in itself is flat-out immoral.

It implies that cleverly-used phrase "collateral damage".  Inadvertent means truly ACCIDENTAL.  It does not mean that in order to obtain a certain goal, we will allow for a certain amount of collateral damage.

What is "collateral damage"?  Collateral damage are those INDIVIDUALS who are not viewed by the Pentagon as having a right to life or liberty, because the ends justify the means.

War, by definition, views individuals as subservient to the "cause".  War, by definition, allows for the death of innocent civilians as not accidental, not inadvertent, but both expected and justified.

I'll say that again: EXPECTED and JUSTIFIED.

The military only tries to keep the collateral damage to a minimum because they know that the average person views life as sacred and they know that the "ends justify the means" argument will only go so far before there is political backlash.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:36 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Benwards you deranged bastard...

Are you saying that you join the military and fly overseas with guns and bombs, but it is not your intent to kill innocent people? What exactly the fuck makes any of them guilty.

You fucking psychopath cocksucker

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:45 | Link to Comment Whatta
Whatta's picture

and where exactly is this "war". I see no declaration of war.

We are allowed to go where we want and kill who we want without consequence? But if an act is perpetrated on our soil by one of the nations where we are acting...woe be them?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:13 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

We were attacked by Saudis on 9/11. When the families of the victims sued the Saudi government the Saudis were defended by James Baker who was given a free White House office by G. W. Bush.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 04:47 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

What's this we stuff, I don't recall being attacked on 9/11/01. I do recall a bunch conspirators taking down WTC7 though. 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:15 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I recall US policies which radicalized and armed militant Islamists in an effort to combat Russian efforts in Afghanistan. I also recall US policies designed to spread American hegemony in the Middle East which were (and are) unwelcomed by the local populace at large and the radical Islamist in particular.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:15 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

M'kay.

"Grade Nine, chopper Five. Anybody On?"

 

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:11 | Link to Comment Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I am sure that street thug didn't intend to shoot that child who got in way of the crossfire during a turf dispute.  I fear I fail to see the difference.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:29 | Link to Comment Overfed
Overfed's picture

A drone attack on a funeral or first responders is pretty damn far removed from being in a combat situation. It's terrorism, plain and simple. And sickeningly, the USA is the world's biggest purveyor.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 17:56 | Link to Comment AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

That's the beauty of drones.  They don't have the human ability to assess a situation, see innocents, and feel human emotion at the thought of being responsible for their deaths.

Some operator back in a lab operates a drone, according to some random coordinates on a map.  

"Bugsplat" is what they call it.  Bugsplat is the term for: "oh oops, I got an innocent one, my bad!"  Then they re-set the game like a Playstation and do it all over again.

"Bugsplat": http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/201111278839153400.html

 


"The Pentagon considers awarding war medals to those who operate America's death-delivering video games"

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/10/bravery_and_drone_pilots/

 


"To avoid counting civilian deaths, Obama re-defined "militant" to mean "all military-age males in a strike zone" http://www.salon.com/2012/05/29/militants_media_propaganda/

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:49 | Link to Comment Nachdenken
Nachdenken's picture

Justification for killing for personal reasons, or for national / patriotic reasons is a fine line.

The one is seen as a private motive, the other (in war) as a social, national, collective and therefore morally and politically permissible act.

When a private person kills a group of foreigners, he is a mad murderer.  If the same guy kills those abroad, labelled undemocratic terrorists and weapon horaders, then he is a hero.

Killing is killing.  We find a reason to justify the one, and not the other.  Each, private killer and soldier, have their conviction and justification.  We view their acts differently.  The question for me is what is achieved by one, or the other.  Is it really social good, or social damage.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 10:01 | Link to Comment MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

 "inadvertent death" would be manslaughter?

Murder has to be pre-meditated. 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:16 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

He is not, but you are a fool Benwards

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:47 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

No, he most certainly is a fool, and in good company in this thread.

 

All his articles are mindless cliches and mottos ("taxation is theft"). He is a Zealot with a Perfect Solution, and I know from experience how dangerous such people can be.

 

And about taxation is theft. You admit the need for police and courts and such in your utopian libertarian fantasy. So you admit the need for taxation.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:56 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Fuck you and your taxation. I don't see any need for law enforcement, courts or judges. My 45 will save the folks some hard earned money. Want to come over and see it?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:04 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Then you are an anarchist and not a libertarian. And anarchy has predictable outcomes, namely hell on earth.

 

And about the veiled death threats. It's quite pathological, you know? 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

You sissy ass mother fucker!

And while were at it,  the Government is the best example of what happens when Anarchists rule...

Why don't you take some pills and go back to sleep

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 06:21 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

I find it most illuminating when posters i normally agree with have a debate with each other, Crockett has some pithy quotes but its all theory with little explanation of how it works in practice, and ETE, boy did you get out of the wrong side of bed today.

imho

Plus libertarianism (as i understand it) needs a complete change of all sytems and institutions to work successfully.

Half measures wont work, plus whose carriers would keep the world safe and ensure open markets if america was a libertarian 'state'?

 

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:51 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

Crockett has some pithy quotes but its all theory with little explanation of how it works in practice,

 

Would you care to mention something specific which can be refuted or are you just tossing out pithy innuendo?

 

Plus libertarianism (as i understand it) needs a complete change of all sytems and institutions to work successfully.

 

Are you suggesting that it's better to attempt to muddle through by pursuing failed policies rather than to make the changes which are necessary for each individual to have an opportunity to enjoy freedom and prosperity?

 

Half measures wont work, plus whose carriers would keep the world safe and ensure open markets if america was a libertarian 'state'?

 

US carriers are being used to shut Iran out of the markets. If you want open markets then the carriers would have to be withdrawn and US policy would have to be changed to more closely match US rhetoric.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 03:30 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

edit.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 04:49 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You know nothing of Libertarianism if you rely on such labels. You have nothing but conjecture and slavery to offer people and you call it Liberty. That is pathetic, you have to be a troll.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:20 | Link to Comment memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

you're a sad fuckin loser and you just proved it right there asswipe. Suck on your own 45 if you can.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:41 | Link to Comment Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

De-loon-sions of grandeur.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:04 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

More's Utopia was a centrally planned society. You are the one seeking Utopia, not the libertarians.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:39 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You choose to warp the arguments to fit your agenda. Libertarians and others believe taxes are theft because they are coerced. It is the police power of the state that requires you pay or be jailed. The use of said force is no different than being mugged on the street, except it goes on and on everyday of your life.

Anarchial societies create means of social contract that are VOLUNTARY. When you contribute or agree to pay for services being rendered, we do not consider this theft.

Your unwillingness to make these distinctions indicate you are nothing more than a troll. You talk about grayness, but only when it is useful for your argument. That is what moral relatavism is all about and the centerpiece of the author's argument. Fortunately, your powers of persuasion are inadequate for this thread.

Murder is murder. If people realized this, they just might stop killing for the American corporate machine and the world might just become a better place.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:39 | Link to Comment Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

Fool?  Zealot?

No, he is an Art History graduate who found the only way he could service his student debt was to take a position writing for a small Canadian paper pusher with a co-opted name and funded by the oil and gas industry.  His value to ZH comes not from ideology, but from click-ability.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:55 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Unlike you, whom chooses to remain anonymous, so that your handlers remain unknowable. Your attack has nothing to do with the article- typical trolling garbage.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 07:07 | Link to Comment Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

And about taxation is theft. You admit the need for police and courts and such in your utopian libertarian fantasy. So you admit the need for taxation.

Can you think of no voluntary way to finance the police and law courts?  Sad.  Such small vision.  Keep in mind, if you can, that just because you cant think of an answer, does not mean that an answer does not exist.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:23 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

A street thug murder and the inadvertent killing of innocents in war is not the same.

 

Right, because targeting funerals and rescue operations over and over again until you've "inadvertently" killed hundreds of civilians is an unavoidable necessity.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:32 | Link to Comment bugfixx
bugfixx's picture

Has this war to which you refer ever been in defense of national strategic interests that can be rationally explained and widely supported?

Or instead is it merely a testing ground for the weapons and tactics to be used AGAINST US IN OUR OWN HOMELAND to keep the failed establishment in power?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:49 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

The argument of whether these wars are right or wrong is a different one. I just don't think using cliches and mottos like "Baby killer" against our armed forces is helpful.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:59 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

And the murder of actual babies is irrelevant. Madeline Albright is that you?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

 

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:10 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Don't try to strawman me, dude. I was pointing out a specific objection I had to the article.

Here's another specific objection, while I'm at it. You libertarians apply your theory piecemeal even though it can only be successfully applied as a whole. Case in point: libertarians were happy to abolish glass steagal, even though that would only be a good idea if all other libertarian changes to the system had been made prior. Taken in isolation, and with TBTF banks, abolishing glass steagal was a terrible idea. libertarians need to share some responsibility for the crimes done in the name of libertarianism.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:12 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Is that cum dripping off your lip or are you just foaming at the mouth?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:17 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Don't try to run and hide, Benway. You are the one who defended the deliberate targeting of civilians by pretending that those who oppose such actions are simply out to blame low level troops. We all know that civilian and military leaders order soldiers and airmen to target funerals and rescue operations just as the article states.

Your newly revealed love of child sacrifice is a most unseemly aspect of your religious mania and obeisance to state functionaries.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:35 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Who's hiding? You haven't responded to one single of my arguments, it's all ad hominem.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:39 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

You're hiding. The United States deliberately targets civilians and you keep saying that it's some kind of tragic mistake. Albright admitted that our actions killed over a half million Iraqi children by 1995 and she said the price was worth it. Please address the issue of the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of US policy.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:48 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

I do not believe they are deliberately targeting civilians, Crockett.

Now will you answer my questions, about piecemeal libertarianism and "taxation is theft"?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:01 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

So you want to ignore the fact that the US targets civilians by going off on unrelated topics? How very intellectually dishonest of you.

 

U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners A new amply documented report demonstrates the use of American tactics that are almost certainly war crimes

http://www.salon.com/2012/02/05/u_s_drones_targeting_rescuers_and_mourners/

 

 

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:25 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

So you just refuse to answer my questions, after I answer yours to the best of my ability. And you have the nerve to talk of intellectual dishonesty. LOL.

 

There is a nuanced discussion to be held about rules of engagement, but it does not start with screaming that US soldiers are street thug murderers. There is a nuanced discussion to be held on the scope of government, but it does not start with screaming that taxation is theft.

 

Also, for a group that purportedly is for free discussion, you guys love to gang together and shout down people, you love to make death threats and tell people to leave ZH, you love to avoid all real debate in favor of cliches and semantics.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:56 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

There is a nuanced discussion to be held about rules of engagement, but it does not start with screaming that US soldiers are street thug murderers.

 

The leadership is at fault. We know that the US government has targeted civilians over the course of centuries. Civilians were directly targeted during Sherman's March to the Sea, the Indian wars, in Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki just to name the best known examples.

 

Also, for a group that purportedly is for free discussion, you guys love to gang together and shout down people, you love to make death threats and tell people to leave ZH, you love to avoid all real debate in favor of cliches and semantics.

 

If you talked with people instead of past them then you'd have more success. But then you're not really here for an exchange of ideas, are you? If you were you'd reply to what people actually say rather than what you falsely claim they said. So please explain why you support the civilian and military leadership as they have historically targeted civilians deliberately in pursuit of US policies.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:59 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

nm i am above this

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:04 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Because you have so much faith in your position that you can't be bothered by little things like facts?

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:09 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

You refuse to engage in any honest discussion, it's all sophistry. The original post said fuck you, but I reconsidered and edited it. Now go ahead and have the last word, junk every one of my posts like an emo twat, and have a nice day.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:14 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Evidence shows that the US has deliberately targeted civilians throughout its history. Your opinion on this historical fact is all that is required. Yet you stall.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:25 | Link to Comment memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

pray tell, which imperialist hedgemonic group in history did NOT target civilians?

i'm not defending the actions of the US, just wondering if it doesn't go with the role....

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:33 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Yes, but the point of the article is that the US vilifies those who deliberately attack civilians while the US has a long and ongoing history of deliberately attacking civilians. It's the hypocrisy, dude.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:38 | Link to Comment CharlieSDT
CharlieSDT's picture

I never believed in the "paid shill on ZH" conspiracy theory until this guy.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:39 | Link to Comment memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

I agree- but when you control the message and a majority of your citizens aren't really paying attention, they will just let the propaganda wash over them. You must also ask the question, if everything Noam Chomsky has written is true, why haven't americans already rebelled against their own masters, and the obvious answer is that obfuscation and hypocrisy works.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:57 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

the obvious answer is that obfuscation and hypocrisy works.

 

Ignorance can only prevail as long as it remains unchallenged by truth. And so we hang with the Tylers.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 11:07 | Link to Comment Vuke
Vuke's picture

Dr. Benway, how can one have a "nuanced discussion" over the random murder of innocents?  Particularly when they are proven to generate murder in return?

There is some moral vaccuum in your reasoning.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:16 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Well, the libertarians I know are against the fraud of fractional reserve banking and using taxpayers to backstop failed banks . . . so Glass-Steagal would be un-necessary.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:29 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

edit

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 08:39 | Link to Comment Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I'll take this opportunity to weigh in (late) to Dr Benway's argument by simply mentioning that you,sir may not consider US soldiers to be street level murderers, but perhaps they themselves do.  As a professional who works directly with the troops in a support role, I can tell you they are having record numbers of suicides in all services, but especially heavy in the combat arms.  If you are familiar with the work of Lt. Col. Grossman, you will know that killing, unless the killer is a psychopath (clinically defined) is #1 very hard to do and #2 easier to do the next time around.  Though I don't have figures for it I can tell you that droves of conscientious, brilliant officers and enlisted men are leaving in disgust at what they are being asked to doand leaving behind an increasingly blood-thirsty goon squad - which is why many of them leave service and head to the hills, parts unknown.  Back to Army psychologist Grossman, killing is killing, at least in the mind of the perpetrator - and your wistful rationalizations notwithstanding.  Ijyou desu.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 10:03 | Link to Comment Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The decent ones, those that know that they have done wrong for the US Death Machine, would probably be most likely to kill themselves.

They can't undo what they have done.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 07:45 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Explain how Glass steagall was a libertarian idea? There are no libertarians in Congress. Minimum government would not have propped up banks, created easy credit or eliminated transparency. You are blaming an idea piecemeal- exactly what  you complain about in the first place.

If libertarianism can only be applied in whole, how can you blame it in piecemeal?  Doublespeak much?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:48 | Link to Comment Vidar
Vidar's picture

The fact that you call them "our" armed forces shows how mislead you are. The state is not part of "us", it is the enemy. Those who are in control use the illusion of democracy to fool people into identifying with a system that exists primarily to steal from and oppress them.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:32 | Link to Comment Rattling Bones
Rattling Bones's picture

It is to the dead.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:40 | Link to Comment Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Although I disagree with you, I must admit that was a great retort.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:58 | Link to Comment lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

Inadvertent but the result is the same. People are dead. Recycle this dozens of times and the result

is blow-back. We are engaged in a Hundred Years War against ancient societies  we don't like. Invading

Iraq on bad or worse, rigged intelligence and the slaughter still goes on there. Invading Afghanistan when

only a small group in that country may have attacked us does not seem reasonable no matter how much

Western Society dislikes a sovereign country. They don't like our culture either. We have justified our

invasion and continued presence on a good war that will help the invaded population.

 

What would you do if a superior force invaded our country? Instead of NATO the members

of the Arab League invaded us and stayed for a decade or more? I know I would help the resistance any

way I could.  We invaded Iraq killing who knows how many hundreds of thousands and the bloodshed continues.

We helped with the invasion in Libya for "morally superior" reasons to free the people with who know how

many dead. We are threatening Syria and sending supplies. We are threatening Iran.  We have chosen sides

in Pakistan and apply pressure and bribes with who knows how many dead. How many of our young men

and women are dead? We want to remake the world in our image but it will turn out to be what industry

and the wealthy class want.

 

These foolish thoughts should be part of our national dialogue, not which bogus verbal attack Harry Ried leveled

against Romeny. Smoke, mirrors and distraction is what our corrupt government, International Bankers, military

contractors and news media have perfected.

 

By the way, we are not at war. No war has been declared. No country has attacked us. We are engaging in

military adventurism on a permanent neo-colonialist securing of world assets.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:26 | Link to Comment e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

undeclared perpetual war against the people with the resources.

Sun, 08/12/2012 - 07:16 | Link to Comment Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

By the way, we are not at war. No war has been declared. No country has attacked us. We are engaging in military adventurism on a permanent neo-colonialist securing of world assets.

Spot on.  And when we run out of foreign countries to pillage (or money to pay our pillagers), that force will be turned inwardly.  American citizens themselves will eventually be fed into the maw of the Great American War Machine.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

"A street thug murder and the inadvertent killing of innocents in war is not the same."

I don't think the author mentioned anything about the 'inadvertent' killing of innocents. It's done on purpose. There are bound to be some high value targets in these situations, so we kill as many as we can and hope we get 'em. Nothing 'inadvertent' about it.

Now, I do see the author making a connection between a street thug and our political/military leadership in the similarities of thought processes.

And if he didn't, I wll.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:20 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Yes, street thugs have a much lower body count.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 00:58 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

No a street thug murder and killing of innocents in war arent the same, and I don't think most troops are murderers. They are trained to be killers, and to blow up things, however. The troops are the instruments of a murderous policy.

Turning down the emotional level to gain some distance by going back in history- - - just look at the war in Vietnam. It was started based on the Tonkin Gulf lie. 58,000 American troops were killed and Vietnamese death estimates are anywhere from 1 Million to 2 Million. People are just as dead when killed 'inadvertently' as purposefully. If troops werent carrying out a muderous policy, they wouldnt have killled anyone. - - -  And for what ?  You can fly to Vietnam today. You may even have clothes or other items frrom there. - - Back then people did a lot of flag waving too. They worried about 'dominoes falling' and the coming to America of 'the Communist menace'.

I disagree with him, but Henry Kissinger called military men "dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy"  

Its time for citizens, both in and out of uniform, to rethink our foreign & military policy IMO.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:00 | Link to Comment MunX
MunX's picture

So we declared war against the country of Afganistan? This isn't war. Stupid neocons.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:14 | Link to Comment mobtown
mobtown's picture

Thank you.  I withdrew my consent several years ago and I will do everything within my power to FUCK THEM every chance I get.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:17 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

A warning from H.L. Mencken: "Patriotism, though it is based upon the natural and indeed instinctive love of home, has been elevated in the modern world into an unparalleled congeries of imbecilities.  What it demands of the individual citizen, as a practical matter, is that he yield not only his judgment but also his property and even his life to whatever gang of scheming politicians happen to be in power."

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:52 | Link to Comment Rattling Bones
Rattling Bones's picture

 "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

 - Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:51 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

"The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority."

Lord Acton

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 02:24 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"Patriotism doesn't mean doing what your government tells you, it means supporting the principles for which it is supposed to stand." Howard Zinn (paraphrased)

This article outlines crucial common ground between the `Rothbardians` and the `T Douglasers`, the `Naderites` and the `Paulers`, the `Libertarians for the further deregulation of the banksters`and the `Impossibly (according to Maggie Thatcher) fiscally responsible  Scandinavian  Democratic Socialists`, etc.

Ok ok, maybe that final pair will never see eye to eye; seeing as the latter actually has existing, functioning examples for proofs instead of the usefully idiotic wishful thinking of the former.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:24 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

This article is right on.  I spent some time  over at occupwallst.org trying to talk sense into some of those people.  Good news is, there's alot of Ron Paul type people there, bad news, there's alot of people that think socialism is the answer, and if we can just get the power, and use it for our own honorable means, it will work.  Unfortunately, these people have never read "The Lord of the Rings"  or realized that it's a perennial story about power.  Power can corrupt even people with the most honorable intentions.  The only answer is to destroy the means of centralized power.

Taxation is violence:

http://www.waitingforthestorm.com/a-message-to-the-left-taxation-and-mor...

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:27 | Link to Comment engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Our current corrupt system of (socialism for the rich) is what is not working...

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:30 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

A lot of payouts to the able-bodied poor too.

Stealing other people's money and giving it to anyone is immoral.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:45 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

agreed, but many people think that capitalism is to blame, but they can't make the distinction between crony capitalism and capitalism.  They mistakenly think that austrian ideas and libertarianism is to blame.  Unfortunately, many people around the world aren't sophisticated enough to form their own ideas or understand logic.  They just regurgitate what they're told to think. 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:04 | Link to Comment morning_glory
morning_glory's picture

That's why intellectuals are usually the first people shot in a cultural revolution.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:29 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

I really hope and pray it doesn't come to that this cycle... but it very well may.  This whole situation reminds me more of the historical account of the French revolution than the US, or even the USSR breakup.  I dunno, looks bad. 

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 03:50 | Link to Comment Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Look ahead to Robspierre.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 06:09 | Link to Comment Euro Monster
Euro Monster's picture

Sad thing that you talk about others while you can't see that you are a victim too. You worship libertarianism and think that it is the cure for all ills. It's like religion. Free market is your only true God. If someone negates it, you humiliate etc. Unfortunately, capitalism has errors and if you consider yourself a responsible and honorable human being, you can not accept this ideas.

 

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 06:54 | Link to Comment Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Libertarianism is far from perfect.

It is however, far better than ANY of the alternatives.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:24 | Link to Comment jplotinus
jplotinus's picture

"Our current corrupt system of (socialism for the rich) is what is not working..."

There exists a great danger in the above quote. It consists in an unusually blatant form of misdirection and of projection. It is all but utter insanity and complete dillusion to use the word "socialism" to describe any aspect of the American political system.

America is not socialist. America is the single most capitalist country on a planet that is, in fact, predominantly socialist. America is the outlier here.

To attribute America's economic ills to socialism for or about anyone or sny group does so in the face of the fact that America has close on to -0- socialist elected officials at any level of government anywhere.

Labeling the US system as "socialism for the rich" is ironic at best, intentionally misleading and vugler, at worst. It's also an oxymoron. America's wealthy elite are capitalists through and through and so are all of their elected officials.

Americans are taught next to nothing about what socialism actual means and/or consists in. Labeling the current outcome of unfettered capitalism as having something to do with nonexistent, in America, socialism is peculiarly vile precisely because of the degree of ignorance about socialism that manifests throughout the USA. Thus, the label used serves only to add to the already pervasive ignorance that characterizes America when it comes to discussion of socialism.

Here's a quick self-test:

How many people here learned of the writings of Antonio Gramsci in an American elementary, secondary or home school?

No need to post your reply.

Just don't call the American capitalist system socialism because it is no such thing, at any level or under any circumstance, interpretation, iteration and/or flavor, at all. And never has been.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 09:59 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

 

Socialism
  1. The exact meaning of socialism is much debated, but in theory it includes some collective ownership of the means of production and a strong emphasis on equality, of some sort.

    The American government owns quite a bit of the means of production and regulates and much of the rest. To claim America is not socialist is ludicrous, unless you are educated enough toi realize it is really fascist. 

    Capitalist? How cute. Capitalism requires free markets, which require an absolute minimum of intervention from government and the law. America lost any traces of capitalism in 1913, though the use of the term is bandied about quite a bit. 

    Americans are taught close to nothing about many things that are important political/economic theory. However, to claim we have no socialist politicians, when many (Sanders for example) see solutions in state intervention (that centrally planned thingy) 

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 10:09 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Con't

is the very definition of socialism. 

Seeing solutions in socialism, whereby people are given a false sense of security and benefits through debt spending (until it collaspes) is the reason it is a failure in every form it has been tried. 

There is a difference between theory and practice. Quoting an author who's ideas on socialism have the sound of equality and faiirness (which don't exist by the way) without examining the effects of the State which employs it's definition of socialism is juvenile.

Centrally planned economies have no price discovery mechanism, rendering them inefficient and unable to meet the needs of an economy. Capitalism in a free market is the most efficient means of increasing worker wealth and creating production at a profit. This was demonstrated in the late 1800's in America- even with state intervention.

You have confused capitalism with fascism or crony capitalism, which depends on the state to use it's police power to fix markets and benefactors, that wages war for resources and market share, that uses debt to enslave it's people. Systems that start as socilist, invariably end up fascist or bankrupt- depending on the amount of wealth present before said government is installed. 

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 12:52 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

And as usual despite constant reminders to the contrary you've conflated the fiscally responsible politics of T. Douglas with the MO of international interests attacking the independence of a nation via debt.

Don't feel too bad,  that's common practice here on ZH.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 13:00 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Huh? Constant reminders? Who is T Douglas? 

A little too cryptic for me GF.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 13:32 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Apparently

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 18:07 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

What an ass.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 01:10 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

The world's history has always been about the struggle between Power and Liberty.

(Just read historian/economist Murray Rothbard on the subject. His works are brilliant.)

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 He, with the highest, "pulpit" rules the ignorant masses! Access to information/disinformation is the same as it always was<>

 Now the 1/2 life of decision making is up to the "algos"/over my dead rotting corpse...

 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:26 | Link to Comment Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

I don't think Predator drones  will be that easy to ignore. 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:30 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

" I don't think Predator drones  will be that easy to ignore. " Especially when they are accessing drought losses, in the mid-west for Insurance Cos. claims?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:34 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

I don't think Predator drones  will be that easy to ignore.

Then lay down and beg the master to be gentle with you.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 22:12 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

If drones ever target civilians, remember:  Drones need to be manufactured, (including components) transported, hangared, fueled, to take-off, land, get repair parts, maintain comm, have support maintenance crews, and be piloted. 

The US has been getting bitch-slapped all over the world in the last 50 years of combat engagements, i.e. we've lost most of them.  If civilians were ever targeted by drone attacks, it's almost a certainty, that there would not be anymore drones.  If even it was the decision of a parts supplier to abstain from supplying or manufacturing anymore critical parts, fuel, etc.  It's a no go.  The logistics train of the US military is the longest and most complex in world history.  If consent is lost, it will fail. 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 10:44 | Link to Comment Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

I think the suppliers would be under U.S.S.A. control via exec order by that time.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:34 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Been thinkin about that...if a drone is in "the publics airspace" and it was bought with "the publics taxes" and its being operated by a "public employee" doesn't the public have a right to take possession of it for its own use? ;-)

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

And reverse engineer it? I like your thinking nmewn. I watch all you guys, and learn alot! 

 

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 02:00 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Please don't tell me you've swallowed nmwen's hocus pocus assertion that 'wealth isn't power' too!

You're far more clever than that YC... perhaps you were suggesting that you have discovered a lot from reverse-engineering nmewn's wilfully obtuse bullshitting? I could see that; I have too.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:40 | Link to Comment takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Ignore? Shit - I'm kinda curious how one 'a them things'll stand up to slugs from a 12 gauge.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment Jena
Jena's picture

"We were just out there skeet shootin' and I dunno how we happened to shoot that thing outta the sky..."

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:12 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

They fly at such high altitude, you probably won't notice it's even there.  They're weakest on the ground.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment petolo
petolo's picture

These droney thingswouldn,t come up to Canada, would they, eh?

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:16 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

You didn't notice that there is no Canada anymore except for in name!...  Ha!  Unless you Canooks act soon, and en masse, you don't have a country anymore.  A pile of shit is still a pile of shit by any other name.  I'm honored I can be the first to welcome you to hell! 

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 04:21 | Link to Comment Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

ie. I passed thru Canadian, then US Immigration in the Canadian airport, miles from the border, when returning to the US. 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:36 | Link to Comment Odin McHaggis
Odin McHaggis's picture

It is interesting that the U.S. can take over an entire country kill hundreds of thousands, displace hundreds of thousands more while realizing profits and growth. While on the other hand should a company like J.P. Morgan go belly up it would be the end of the economy and world as we know it. There is no sanctity of life, only the dollar. 

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 23:18 | Link to Comment SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

It works until it doesn't,  and the doesn't part is rapidly approaching.

Fri, 08/10/2012 - 21:40 | Link to Comment Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Under the "Patriot Act" anyone posting a story like the one above could be called an aider of terrorists and arrested in secret and rendered to a foreign secret torture prison and held for life without recourse. Only the President needs to sign such an order. The "Patriot Act" gives any USA president the power that  Stalin held over Soviet citizens. Do we Americans really feel we need this Patriot Act in order to be safe?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!