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Author Topic: How Libertarianism was created by big business lobbyists  (Read 10302 times)
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November 19, 2012, 10:51:09 AM
 #1

http://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/milton-friedman

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WHEN CONGRESS BUSTED MILTON FRIEDMAN (AND LIBERTARIANISM WAS CREATED BY BIG BUSINESS LOBBYISTS)

BROOKLYN, NY: Last Friday, November 9, saw the big “Milton Friedman Centennial” celebration at the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. It was a big day for fans of one of the Founding Fathers of neoliberal/libertarian free-market ideology, and those fans are legion on both sides of the narrow Establishment divide —as Obama’s economy czar Larry Summers wrote in 2006, “Any honest Democrat will admit that we are all Friedmanites now.”

One episode in Milton Friedman’s career not celebrated (or even acknowledged) at last week’s centennial took place in 1946, the same year Friedman began peddling his pro-business “free market economics” ideology.

According to Congressional hearings on illegal lobbying activities '46 was the year that Milton Friedman and his U Chicago cohort George Stigler arranged an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout, the terms of which were never meant to be released to the public.

The arrangement between Friedman and Stigler with the Washington real estate lobbyist was finally revealed during he Buchanan Committee hearings on illegal lobbying activities in 1950. But then it was almost entirely forgotten, including apparently by those celebrating the “Milton Friedman Centennial” last week in Chicago.

I only came across the revelations about Friedman’s sordid beginnings in the footnotes of an old book on the history of lobbying by former Newsweek book editor Karl Schriftgiesser, published in 1951, shortly after the Buchanan Committee hearings ended. The actual details of Milton Friedman’s PR deal are sordid and familiar, with tentacles reaching into our ideologically rotted-out era.

It starts just after the end of World War Two, when America’s industrial and financial giants, fattened up from war profits, established a new lobbying front group called the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) that focused on promoting a new pro-business ideology—which it called “libertarianism”— to supplement other business lobbying groups which focused on specific policies and legislation.

The FEE is generally regarded as “the first libertarian think-tank” as Reason’s Brian Doherty calls it in his book “Radicals For Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern Libertarian Movement” (2007). As the Buchanan Committee discovered, the Foundation for Economic Education was the best-funded conservative lobbying outfit ever known up to that time, sponsored by a Who’s Who of US industry in 1946.

A partial list of FEE’s original donors in its first four years includes: The Big Three auto makers GM, Chrysler and Ford; top oil majors including Gulf Oil, Standard Oil, and Sun Oil; major steel producers US Steel, National Steel, Republic Steel; major retailers including Montgomery Ward, Marshall Field and Sears; chemicals majors Monsanto and DuPont; and other Fortune 500 corporations including General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Eli Lilly, BF Goodrich, ConEd, and more.

The FEE was set up by a longtime US Chamber of Commerce executive named Leonard Read, together with Donaldson Brown, a director in the National Association of Manufacturers lobby group and board member at DuPont and General Motors.

That is how libertarianism started: As an arm of big business lobbying.

Before bringing back Milton Friedman into the picture, this needs to be repeated again: “Libertarianism” was a project of the corporate lobby world, launched as a big business “ideology” in 1946 by The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The FEE’s board included the future founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch; the most powerful figure in the Mormon church at that time, J Reuben Clark, a frothing racist and anti-Semite after whom BYU named its law school; and United Fruit director Herb Cornuelle.

The purpose of the FEE — and libertarianism, as it was originally created — was to supplement big business lobbying with a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-economics rationale to back up its policy and legislative attacks on labor and government regulations.

This background is important in the Milton Friedman story because Friedman is a founder of libertarianism, and because the corrupt lobbying deal he was busted playing a part in was arranged through the Foundation for Economic Education.

False, whitewashed history is as much a part of the Milton Friedman mythology as it is the libertarian movement’s own airbrushed history about its origins; the 1950 Buchanan Committee hearings expose both as creations of big business lobby groups whose purpose is to deceive and defraud the public and legislators in order to advance the cause of corporate America.

The story starts like this: In 1946, Herbert Nelson was the chief lobbyist and executive vice president for the National Association of Real Estate Boards, and one of the highest paid lobbyists in the nation. Mr. Nelson’s real estate constituency was unhappy with rent control laws that Truman kept in effect after the war ended. Nelson and his real estate lobby led what investigators discovered was the most formidable and best-funded opposition to President Truman in the post-war years, amassing some $5,000,000 for their lobby efforts—that’s $5mln in 1946 dollars, or roughly $60 million in 2012 dollars.

So Herbert Nelson contracted out the PR services of the Foundation for Economic Education to concoct propaganda designed to shore up the National Real Estate lobby’s legislative drive — and the propagandists who took on the job were Milton Friedman and his U Chicago cohort, George Stigler.

To understand the sort of person Herbert Nelson was, here is a letter he wrote in 1949 that Congressional investigators discovered and recorded:

Quote
"I do not believe in democracy. I think it stinks. I don’t think anybody except direct taxpayers should be allowed to vote. I don’t believe women should be allowed to vote at all. Ever since they started, our public affairs have been in a worse mess than ever."

It’s an old libertarian mantra, libertarianism versus democracy, libertarianism versus women’s suffrage; a position most recently repeated by billionaire libertarian Peter Thiel —Ron Paul’s main campaign funder.

So in 1946, this same Herbert Nelson turned to the Foundation for Economic Education to manufacture some propaganda to help the National Association of Real Estate Boards fight rent control laws. Nelson knew that the founder of the first libertarian think-tank agreed with him on many key points. Such as their contempt and disdain for the American public.

Leonard Read, the legendary (among libertarians) founder/head of the FEE, argued that the public should not be allowed to know which corporations donated to his libertarian front-group because, he argued, the public could not be trusted to make “sound judgments” with disclosed information:

Quote
"The public reporting would present a single fact—the amount of a contributor’s donation—to casual readers, persons having only a cursory interest in the matter at issue, persons who would not and perhaps could not possess all the facts.

These folks of the so-called public thus receive only oversimplifications or half-truths from which only erroneous conclusions are almost certain to be drawn. If there is a public interest in the rightness or wrongness of corporate or personal donations to charitable, religious or education institutions, and I am not at all ready to concede that there is, then that interest should be guarded by some such agency as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, an agency that is in a position to obtain all the facts, not by Mr. John Public who lacks relevant information for the forming of sound judgments...Public reporting of a half-truth is indeed a significant provocation."

So in May 1946, Herbert Nelson of the Real Estate lobby, looking for backup in his drive to abolish federal rent control laws, contacted libertarian founder Leonard Read of the FEE with an order for a PR pamphlet “with some such title as ‘The Case against Federal Real Estate Control’,” according to Schriftgiesser’s book The Lobbyists.

What happened next, I’ll quote from Schriftgiesser:

Quote
"They were now busily co-operating on the new project which the foundation had engaged Milton Friedman and George J. Stigler to write. It was to be called Roofs and Ceilings and it was to be an outright attack on rent controls.
When Nelson received a copy of the manuscript he wrote Read to say, “The pamphlet...is a dandy. It is just what I wanted."

The National Association of Real Estate Boards was so pleased with Milton Friedman’s made-to-order propaganda that they ordered up 500,000 pamphlets from the FEE, and distributed them throughout the real estate lobby’s vast local network of real estate brokers and agents.

In libertarianism’s own airbrushed history about itself, the Foundation for Economic Education was a brave, quixotic bastion of libertarian “true believers” doomed to defeat at the all-powerful hands of the liberal Keynsian Leviathan. Here is how Brian Doherty describes the FEE and its chief lobbyist Leonard Read:

Quote
"[Read] would never explicitly scrape for funds... He never directly asked anyone to give anything, he proudly insisted, and while FEE would sell literature to all comers, it was also free to anyone who asked. His attitude toward money was Zen, sometimes hilariously so. When asked how FEE was doing financially, his favorite reply was, “Just perfectly.”... Read wanted no endowments and frowned on any donation meant to be held in reserve for some future need."

And here is what the committee’s own findings reported—findings lost in history:

Quote
"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Foundation for Economic Education exerts, or at least expects to exert, a considerable influence on national legislative policy....It is equally difficult to imagine that the nation’s largest corporations would subsidize the entire venture if they did not anticipate that it would pay solid, long-range legislative dividends."

Or in the words of Rep. Carl Albert (D-OK): "Every bit of this literature is along propaganda lines."

The manufactured history about libertarian’s origins, or its purpose, parallels the manufactured myths about one of big business’s key propaganda tools, Milton Friedman. As the author of The Lobbyists, not knowing who Milton Friedman was at the time, wrote of Friedman’s collaborative effort with Stigler:

Quote
“Certainly [the FEE’s] booklet, Roofs or Ceilings, was definitely propaganda and sought to influence legislation....This booklet was printed in bulk by the foundation and half a million copies were sold at cost to the National Association of Real Estate Boards, which had them widely distributed throughout the country by its far-flung network of local member boards.”

Which brings me back to last Friday’s “Milton Friedman Centennial” celebration at the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute, featuring a distinguished panel of economists from Stanford, Princeton and of course U Chicago, among them two Nobel Prize winners — James Heckman and Robert Lucas —all gathered together to “explore both aspects of Friedman's legacy: the impact of his policy insights and his enduring scholarship”...

Like everything involving modern economics and libertarianism, it was a kind of giant meta-sham, shams celebrating a sham. Even the Nobel Prizes in economics awarded to people like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, or Friedman’s contemporary fans Heckman and Lucas, are fake Nobel Prizes — in fact, there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in economics; its real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” and it was first launched in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank and has since been denounced by Alfred Nobel’s heirs.

And yet — in the words of Larry Summers, "Any honest Democrat will admit we are all Friedmanites now." Of course, there are no honest Democrats. And there are no honest economists. And these are the people who are framing our politics, the people who have told Greece and Spain they have no choice, and the people who today are making sure that the number one item on Obama’s and Congress’s agenda is cutting Social Security and cutting Medicare and cutting "entitlements" — and the only thing that divides the elites in charge of this mess is “how much of these moochers’ lifelines can we cut?”

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November 19, 2012, 10:51:35 AM
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Was Bitcoin too?  Huh

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November 19, 2012, 11:53:22 AM
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How the heck is Milton Friedman supposed to be a libertarian? He advocated monetary intervention by a giant centralized state!
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November 19, 2012, 12:39:41 PM
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 Roll Eyes

This article turned me into a keynesian. lolz....This couldn't be just another smear article.  It won me over.

PRINT THE MONEY LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW BEN!
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November 19, 2012, 12:47:46 PM
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This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

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November 19, 2012, 12:49:23 PM
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Roll Eyes

This article turned me into a keynesian. lolz....This couldn't be just another smear article.  It won me over.

PRINT THE MONEY LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW BEN!

Excellent I'm so proud of you. Welcome to the club.
Let's go troll some libertarian dirtbags!  Grin
We'll sick the state's dogs on them.  Grin Grin
Hunt them down like the enemies of the state they are.  Grin Grin Grin
Every single one of them has tried to damage the state's reputation. That's called libel. It is a criminal and civil offence where I am from.  Grin Grin Grin Grin
We'll bring them to court and sue for damage. Bankrupt their smarmy asses for libel. They do it all the time here. Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
Many of them may have imagined the death of the president. It is a capital thought crime (the only one; but we can hope they make up some more). Death by hanging.  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

They should make an emoticon with a smily swinging by a rope.

In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by "thou shalt not", the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by "love" or "reason", he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else. - George Orwell
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November 19, 2012, 12:51:50 PM
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This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.


I didn't see any intellectual argument here. They were just describing his moral character. If it were 50% ad hominen you might have a point, but 100%, no, then it's biography.

It seems like that hinges almost entirely on what he does and not what he says or writes.

Keynes was not a very reputable guy either.

In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by "thou shalt not", the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by "love" or "reason", he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else. - George Orwell
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November 19, 2012, 01:02:32 PM
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This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

I didn't see any intellectual argument here. They were just describing his moral character. If it were 50% ad hominen you might have a point, but 100%, no, then it's biography.
The beginning of the article is the heavy lifting the author has to do to get his payoff at the end. The last two paragraphs are the payoff. This is classic 100% ad hominem. The beginning proves Milton Friedman is a bad guy and the conclusion is that modern libertarianism is flawed and invalid.

Here are the last two paragraphs of the article -- the point the beginning is supposed to justify -- with the key points bolded:

Quote
Like everything involving modern economics and libertarianism, it was a kind of giant meta-sham, shams celebrating a sham. Even the Nobel Prizes in economics awarded to people like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, or Friedman’s contemporary fans Heckman and Lucas, are fake Nobel Prizes — in fact, there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in economics; its real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” and it was first launched in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank and has since been denounced by Alfred Nobel’s heirs.

And yet — in the words of Larry Summers, "Any honest Democrat will admit we are all Friedmanites now." Of course, there are no honest Democrats. And there are no honest economists. And these are the people who are framing our politics, the people who have told Greece and Spain they have no choice, and the people who today are making sure that the number one item on Obama’s and Congress’s agenda is cutting Social Security and cutting Medicare and cutting "entitlements" — and the only thing that divides the elites in charge of this mess is “how much of these moochers’ lifelines can we cut?”

The ad hominem formula is, basically, "because a particular person is a bad person or did some bad things, we can reject ideas he had or logical arguments he made". That is the overall formula of this article. Had he left out the last two paragraphs, it would be biography. With them there, the beginning sets up the conclusion.

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November 19, 2012, 01:06:24 PM
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Cliff notes, anyone? Text wall; no time...

But first, I'll take a wild guess: it turns out that the pillars of Libertarianism: strong private property rights, pseudo-non-aggression religion, and freedom of market-makers, if left unchecked actually encourage corrupt business practices and creeping Fascism? Cheesy

Not even that high an intellectual mark.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 19, 2012, 01:18:13 PM
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This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

I didn't see any intellectual argument here. They were just describing his moral character. If it were 50% ad hominen you might have a point, but 100%, no, then it's biography.
The beginning of the article is the heavy lifting the author has to do to get his payoff at the end. The last two paragraphs are the payoff. This is classic 100% ad hominem. The beginning proves Milton Friedman is a bad guy and the conclusion is that modern libertarianism is flawed and invalid.

Here are the last two paragraphs of the article -- the point the beginning is supposed to justify -- with the key points bolded:

Quote
Like everything involving modern economics and libertarianism, it was a kind of giant meta-sham, shams celebrating a sham. Even the Nobel Prizes in economics awarded to people like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, or Friedman’s contemporary fans Heckman and Lucas, are fake Nobel Prizes — in fact, there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in economics; its real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” and it was first launched in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank and has since been denounced by Alfred Nobel’s heirs.

And yet — in the words of Larry Summers, "Any honest Democrat will admit we are all Friedmanites now." Of course, there are no honest Democrats. And there are no honest economists. And these are the people who are framing our politics, the people who have told Greece and Spain they have no choice, and the people who today are making sure that the number one item on Obama’s and Congress’s agenda is cutting Social Security and cutting Medicare and cutting "entitlements" — and the only thing that divides the elites in charge of this mess is “how much of these moochers’ lifelines can we cut?”

The ad hominem formula is, basically, "because a particular person is a bad person or did some bad things, we can reject ideas he had or logical arguments he made". That is the overall formula of this article. Had he left out the last two paragraphs, it would be biography. With them there, the beginning sets up the conclusion.

Apparently the author has never heard of tl;dr. Always put the payoff at the beginning. No one gets that far.

It is indeed ad hominem. I just scanned the document and didn't notice any reference to economics/libertarianism at all. Very offensive that they confound the two concepts. Grouping Heckman and Summers with the scum of the Earth. It is just wrong. I mean Heckman is advocating increased state intervention in the education of very young children. He is one of the good guys.

In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by "thou shalt not", the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by "love" or "reason", he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else. - George Orwell
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November 19, 2012, 04:38:16 PM
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This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

I didn't see any intellectual argument here. They were just describing his moral character. If it were 50% ad hominen you might have a point, but 100%, no, then it's biography.
The beginning of the article is the heavy lifting the author has to do to get his payoff at the end. The last two paragraphs are the payoff. This is classic 100% ad hominem. The beginning proves Milton Friedman is a bad guy and the conclusion is that modern libertarianism is flawed and invalid.

Here are the last two paragraphs of the article -- the point the beginning is supposed to justify -- with the key points bolded:

Quote
Like everything involving modern economics and libertarianism, it was a kind of giant meta-sham, shams celebrating a sham. Even the Nobel Prizes in economics awarded to people like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, or Friedman’s contemporary fans Heckman and Lucas, are fake Nobel Prizes — in fact, there is no such thing as a Nobel Prize in economics; its real name is the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” and it was first launched in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank and has since been denounced by Alfred Nobel’s heirs.

And yet — in the words of Larry Summers, "Any honest Democrat will admit we are all Friedmanites now." Of course, there are no honest Democrats. And there are no honest economists. And these are the people who are framing our politics, the people who have told Greece and Spain they have no choice, and the people who today are making sure that the number one item on Obama’s and Congress’s agenda is cutting Social Security and cutting Medicare and cutting "entitlements" — and the only thing that divides the elites in charge of this mess is “how much of these moochers’ lifelines can we cut?”

The ad hominem formula is, basically, "because a particular person is a bad person or did some bad things, we can reject ideas he had or logical arguments he made". That is the overall formula of this article. Had he left out the last two paragraphs, it would be biography. With them there, the beginning sets up the conclusion.

But how is Libertarianism not a big sham? I have never seen an example of a 'Libertarian Think Tank' that was not a big sham and doesn't engage in publishing deceptive data. Dig deep into these:

- The Heartland Institute
- The George C. Marshall Institute
- The Cato Institute
- The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
- Frederick Seitz

Of course, maybe the bad apples are heard the loudest. Such a shame if there was some legitimacy to Libertariansim.
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November 19, 2012, 04:49:20 PM
 #12

But how is Libertarianism not a big sham? I have never seen an example of a 'Libertarian Think Tank' that was not a big sham and doesn't engage in publishing deceptive data. Dig deep into these:

- The Heartland Institute
- The George C. Marshall Institute
- The Cato Institute
- The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
- Frederick Seitz

Of course, maybe the bad apples are heard the loudest. Such a shame if there was some legitimacy to Libertariansim.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkeywrenching

(Specifically, these groups, and the Libertarian Party are attempting this upon the libertarian movement... it may not even be conscious, much less intentional.)

Some real Libertarian organizations:
The Center for a Stateless Society
The Mises Institute

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November 19, 2012, 06:13:04 PM
 #13

This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

That^.

Plus, turnabout is fair play:

BANKERS CREATED COMMUNISM!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnarO9iw8E

"Current payment systems simply can’t compete with bitcoin’s fees, security and convenience.  Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on bank fees per year and lose hair as money transfers bounce from bank to bank during a wire transfer sometimes taking days to reach its destination, when it can clear within minutes and for mere pennies?  As a currency, no sovereign can match it.  As a payment system, no financial institution can compete with it.  As a distributed network, no government can stop it."     -Chris Horlacher
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November 19, 2012, 07:04:06 PM
 #14

This is 100% ad hominem, the fallacious kind. The validity of an intellectual argument in no way hinges on who makes the argument or why. Nice try though.

That^.

Plus, turnabout is fair play:

BANKERS CREATED COMMUNISM!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnarO9iw8E

An ad hominem attack can carry weight. Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
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November 19, 2012, 07:09:32 PM
 #15

Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
Yes, it does. An ad hominem argument is invalid. Pointing out that it's an ad hominem argument refutes it.

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November 19, 2012, 07:13:33 PM
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Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
Yes, it does. An ad hominem argument is invalid. Pointing out that it's an ad hominem argument refutes it.

What he means is the statement that is intended to color the reader's perceptions. For instance, while "Hitler was an antisemitic asshole, so therefore his artwork was crap." says nothing about his skill as a painter, which while not earthshaking, was decent:



It still stands that he was an antisemitic asshole.

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November 19, 2012, 07:15:31 PM
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Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
Yes, it does. An ad hominem argument is invalid. Pointing out that it's an ad hominem argument refutes it.

Sorry, but no. An example from Wikipedia:

Quote
"Candidate George's proposal about zoning is ridiculous. He was caught cheating on his taxes in 2003."

You may accuse someone of using ad hominem in the above quoted statement. But you have refuted nothing. You have not refuted that George's proposal is ridiculous, nor have you refuted that he cheated on taxes.

Acccusing someone of ad hominem is pointless, useless, and shows you have no argument to refute what was said.
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November 19, 2012, 07:20:23 PM
 #18

Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
Yes, it does. An ad hominem argument is invalid. Pointing out that it's an ad hominem argument refutes it.

What he means is the statement that is intended to color the reader's perceptions. For instance, while "Hitler was an antisemitic asshole, so therefore his artwork was crap." says nothing about his skill as a painter, which while not earthshaking, was decent:



It still stands that he was an antisemitic asshole.

It does however impact the meaning of owning the artwork. It becomes a political statement for a reason.

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November 19, 2012, 07:29:47 PM
 #19

How Libertarianism was created by big business lobbyists

How the Democratic party was created by ethnic cleansers and slave owners

How the Republican party was created by anti-slavery advocates

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November 19, 2012, 07:30:22 PM
 #20

Calling out someone for using ad hominem never refutes or denies the statement which is made by the one using ad hominem.
Yes, it does. An ad hominem argument is invalid. Pointing out that it's an ad hominem argument refutes it.

Sorry, but no. An example from Wikipedia:

Quote
"Candidate George's proposal about zoning is ridiculous. He was caught cheating on his taxes in 2003."

You may accuse someone of using ad hominem in the above quoted statement. But you have refuted nothing. You have not refuted that George's proposal is ridiculous, nor have you refuted that he cheated on taxes.

Acccusing someone of ad hominem is pointless, useless, and shows you have no argument to refute what was said.
Neither has the speaker proven that the zoning proposal is ridiculous, or that he was caught cheating on his taxes. He's just slinging mud.

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