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Author Topic: Am I wrong?  (Read 3281 times)
Rassah
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March 02, 2012, 05:03:08 PM
 #41

I don't want anyone to spend any money on anything.

What you are saying is you want to create things from nothing and without any effort. Money is simply a representation of things and effort.

Besides that you are wrong. It does not depend on how much money you have. Look at history. How many forms of society have been based on someone with money starting that.

I don't know my history well enough, so I'll ask you, what changes in society, or revolutions, began without any money or work?

You are also wrong when you say a wealthy person don't have enough cash to support others so they don't have to struggle with daily lives. There are tons of people supporting others lives.

Does that mean the money they are using to support others is free to use/take? If you take that money that is supposedly free to use, won't the people whom those wealthy chose to support (friends, family, etc) suffer?

I think one possible way to create something like what I said would be inflation. People get a basic amount of money from a central bank, enough to live and maybe to pay school. Basically how Cuba (and yeah, when it comes to stability they are doing very well when you think about the US sanctions, even if the government is damn oppressive and stuff. Many people there even seem to be very happy, even if they have a good reason to complain about there government and do so) has been doing it for a while now, but I guess "normal" money would be better.

That's still not free money. Someone has to print it, someone has to distribute it, and even worse, that wealth has to come from somewhere. It comes from the fact that the money in someone else's savings account is now worth less. In that closed system, there is very literally NO difference between the government printing money to give to poor people, and the government taking a few pennies from everyone who holds any amount of money and giving it to poor people. E.g. imagine you are a shop owner. You sold a big TV for $3,000. You Gave away something worth $3k, and got something in exchange that's worth $3k, that's now sitting in your safe. The government prints out another round of money to give to those in need. Suddenly, the guy you sold the TV for still has $3,000 in value, but you only have $2,750 worth in exchange, or rather, if you wanted to buy another $3,000 TV to sell, you now have to pay $3,250 for it. Does this makes sense?

I think a big problem is that people forget about money and economics are tools for society. Society should be independent of it. It's imply stupid to create systems where you can have a financial crisis and it's a huge problem for the world. It certainly is a problem so it needs to be fixed. I guess it will be fixed at some points. I just think (and fear) a lot more people will have bad luck (wrong time, wrong place) until then.

First, I want you to explain to me in detail what you think money is. How do you see it, how do you believe it works, and what kind of an idea or thing do you think it is? I am really having trouble wrapping my head around your thinking, so hope that will help me.

Then, do me (and yourself) a favor. Try to imagine money as just a commodity, no different from sugar or wheat, following the exact same principles of supply and demand. That's all that money actually is: a commodity we use to measure things against. Let me know if that changes your view of money in any way.

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March 02, 2012, 06:13:50 PM
 #42

I don't want anyone to spend any money on anything.

What you are saying is you want to create things from nothing and without any effort. Money is simply a representation of things and effort.

Again: I don't want to. I am just thinking about stuff.

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Besides that you are wrong. It does not depend on how much money you have. Look at history. How many forms of society have been based on someone with money starting that.

I don't know my history well enough, so I'll ask you, what changes in society, or revolutions, began without any money or work?
Work is not money. Revolutions usually are independent of money.

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You are also wrong when you say a wealthy person don't have enough cash to support others so they don't have to struggle with daily lives. There are tons of people supporting others lives.

Does that mean the money they are using to support others is free to use/take? If you take that money that is supposedly free to use, won't the people whom those wealthy chose to support (friends, family, etc) suffer?
That's exactly it. I didn't say anything about taking money. I just said people can support others. Family and friends are examples.

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That's still not free money. Someone has to print it, someone has to distribute it, and even worse, that wealth has to come from somewhere. It comes from the fact that the money in someone else's savings account is now worth less.
It's called inflation and in various situations it's actually a good thing. Especially because it causes money to be moved. Most systems are based on money that needs to move.

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The government prints out another round of money to give to those in need. Suddenly, the guy you sold the TV for still has $3,000 in value, but you only have $2,750 worth in exchange, or rather, if you wanted to buy another $3,000 TV to sell, you now have to pay $3,250 for it. Does this makes sense?

In an evolving and growing society it does.

Also you could argue about financial crisis, now and 90 years ago. The factories have been there, the workers and the resources. But there is this big crisis, so the whole economy has to stall. Doesn't make a lot of sense either.

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I think a big problem is that people forget about money and economics are tools for society. Society should be independent of it. It's imply stupid to create systems where you can have a financial crisis and it's a huge problem for the world. It certainly is a problem so it needs to be fixed. I guess it will be fixed at some points. I just think (and fear) a lot more people will have bad luck (wrong time, wrong place) until then.

First, I want you to explain to me in detail what you think money is. How do you see it, how do you believe it works, and what kind of an idea or thing do you think it is? I am really having trouble wrapping my head around your thinking, so hope that will help me.

Well depends on a number of things. Do you mean what it is now or what it used to be? First and foremost it is an abstract scheme to define/convert values of goods and services.

But the view on things can be different depending on whether you are a government, a central bank, see money in the cash market or see physical money.

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Then, do me (and yourself) a favor. Try to imagine money as just a commodity, no different from sugar or wheat, following the exact same principles of supply and demand. That's all that money actually is: a commodity we use to measure things against. Let me know if that changes your view of money in any way.
No. It's simply one perspective.

What do you know about political economy? What do you know about terms like controlled inflation? Central (banker's) banks do create more money (in form of interest) under certain circumstances.

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Rassah
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March 02, 2012, 06:29:23 PM
 #43

Money is an abstract scheme to define value. Specific money, be it Dollars, Euros, or Bitcoin, is just a controlled/regulated commodity, and follows all the exact same laws of such.
I know everything about political economy. That's pretty much what my degrees are in.

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March 02, 2012, 07:00:39 PM
 #44

I spent some time thinking about Libertarians, because I find it interesting in many ways. I have some criticism that I don't write to tell everyone how bad Libertarians are, but because I am curious about the answers, where I am wrong and where I am right.


So for actual freedom wouldn't it make sense to take care that everyone can have a life of a certain standard - get food, a place to live, healthcare, education for free (not something luxurious, just something)?
Wouldn't a minimal state be extremely bad for people that have "bad luck" (disabilities since birth)?
Wouldn't it cause companies to create/be dictatorships (look up on Foxconn, they have more employees than some states have citizens and completely control their lives)?
Wouldn't such a society destroy the free market, because of stuff like monopolies?
Wouldn't we have all the benefits of a Libertarian society already if people would actually care about stuff like what products they buy and why would people care more in a libertarian society?

The assumption is that in a society with a minimalist state then big corporations would wield even more power than they do currently, because the "protection" that the state currently offers would be gone.

I propose that it the big corporations that would suffer the most from much reduced government. The big corporations receive much more benefits through subsidies, bailouts, near-monopolies regulatory capture and the like than disadvantages through regulations and laws. It is the small companies that would benefit more than the big one from a reduced or absent government.

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neptop
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March 03, 2012, 11:33:29 AM
 #45

The assumption is that in a society with a minimalist state then big corporations would wield even more power than they do currently, because the "protection" that the state currently offers would be gone.

I propose that it the big corporations that would suffer the most from much reduced government. The big corporations receive much more benefits through subsidies, bailouts, near-monopolies regulatory capture and the like than disadvantages through regulations and laws. It is the small companies that would benefit more than the big one from a reduced or absent government.

I agree that they would loose, but doesn't that mean they would be kinda forced to "be evil". I know, it's a stupid thing to say, since things are way more complex and I don't think things would become much worse than they are currently, but exactly for that reason I don't think a Libertarian world isn't really something that's worth going for. Overall problems would just be moved somewhere else. I talked about other ideologies, because it's the same there. You solve one problem by creating another or to say it in another way you give up one freedom for another.

Yeah, I know I have been in a lot of discussions on freedom and I read so many philosophic works on what freedom is and I know the different views. I kinda came to the conclusion that you really have to change society for most stuff and if you want to do it top down you have to use some form of propaganda or in other words mass media. Be it Martin Luther and the printing press or Hitler, who used rhetoric and political propaganda and pretty much started a new era of political campaigns. Again, see the US. You have tons of flags everywhere. See the New York Stock Exchange. I don't know any other country that's so nationalist when it comes to this. It brings a lot of stability as I told earlier.

So in a Libertarian society wouldn't pretty much a random big company or even some form of collaboration replace most parts of the state. I mean, if you say that they change then isn't it pretty much the same with governments? And in a Libertarian society where the state doesn't take a certain role bringing stability something similar would emerge and take that part. You are not forced into something by a government, but maybe by society or companies. So where is the change?

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Vitalik Buterin
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March 18, 2012, 10:22:29 PM
 #46

You are not forced into something by a government, but maybe by society or companies. So where is the change?

Companies can only entice and society can only persuade - government is the only thing that can actually _force_. If you find their appeals lacking you have the freedom to reject them. That's the change.

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
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March 19, 2012, 11:52:27 AM
 #47

You are not forced into something by a government, but maybe by society or companies. So where is the change?

Companies can only entice and society can only persuade - government is the only thing that can actually _force_. If you find their appeals lacking you have the freedom to reject them. That's the change.

In a libertarian system where companies own the highways, you will be forced to pay to leave your house. 

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March 19, 2012, 06:30:05 PM
 #48

The assumption is that in a society with a minimalist state then big corporations would wield even more power than they do currently, because the "protection" that the state currently offers would be gone.

I propose that it the big corporations that would suffer the most from much reduced government. The big corporations receive much more benefits through subsidies, bailouts, near-monopolies regulatory capture and the like than disadvantages through regulations and laws. It is the small companies that would benefit more than the big one from a reduced or absent government.

And what exactly prevents said big companies from setting up their own government, a la Hudson Bay Company, the East India Companies, United Fruit Company, etc. complete with their own self-preferential regulations and laws, and continuing business as usual?

There are a good many corporations with cash flows that compare favorably with many countries.

For example, if Walmart was a country, they would be about the 24th largest by GDP, just behind Saudi Arabia.
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March 19, 2012, 07:57:03 PM
 #49

SolidCoin


Oh, but wait.

Corporations have been enthroned, An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. ~Abe Lincoln 1ApJdWUdSWYw8n8HEATYhHXA9EYoRTy7c4
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April 03, 2012, 12:52:45 PM
 #50

Companies can only entice and society can only persuade - government is the only thing that can actually _force_. If you find their appeals lacking you have the freedom to reject them. That's the change.

Take a glace at real life. You can convince people to do/buy/whatever the biggest shit. In fact I learned in school propaganda (political advertisement) was probably the main reason Hitler came far. He has been discussed in history lessons, as well as latin/rhetoric because of it. The strange way he talked can demonstrably (as in verified by various studies) make your brain believe in random stuff.

People tend to forget that behind advertisements there is a whole science that only focuses on manipulating people's opinion.

See election campaigns. It is not about facts at all. It is about advertisement, being present, talking generic stuff that looks like it makes sense. People, like companies frequently win with slogans or making a valid opinion look bad.

The government can force you as much as any other entity. You can always decide on saying no. Look on what people think about the US government and look on what people think about Google, Apple or Facebook. Do you really think the government has so much power if some bug company actually puts their money into bribing, propaganda/ads and uses their best marketing guys.

In pretty much every country there is something like a TV channel, talk show or news paper that's so dominant that it can easily decide on who wins an election. In many this actually has happened. Depending on how liberal a country is it's either controlled by a politician or a private entity.

Really, take a look outside and see how much actual, verifiable information influences people or society and how much content-less, emotion focused (applied psychology) propaganda does. Marketing is just a science.

If you have a government that does shit you can always start a revolution, but if you have stupid companies doing shit it's often hard, because you have to stop using their products and (so there are) replace them with something else. You'll soon be an outsider and a weirdo nobody wants to listen too.

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April 03, 2012, 02:45:59 PM
 #51

You seem to be defining 'freedom' as free stuff - your version of 'freedom' requires taking away actual freedom from others.  You want to enslave me to work to take care of someone else.
You misunderstood me then.

At "taking away freedom from others". Please try to have a look at actual reality. You use freedom in an extremely capitalist way. I mean what comes next? Do you complain about people that breath air you could breath or use the internet and so your connection gets slower?

One could also argue that Lybia lost its freedom to have a dictatorship. Later you mention North Korea. [SARCASM]Isn't it good that they have their freedom to be slaves?[/SARCASM]

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Foxconn employees can quit... they're also getting paid significantly better than under Mao (i.e. _real_ communism, where 100 million people starved).  And Foxconn is actually an excellent job in China.  For the Foxconn suicides: look up China's suicide rate (22 per 100k), and multiple that by the number of people Foxconn employes (920k)... Foxconn is doing significantly better (14) than the Chinese average would dictate (202)... in China 202 out of 920,000 people commit suicide, at Foxconn it is only 14 out of 920000 - that's a spectacular improvement.
[IRONY]That's great! We take a look on how worse it could be and rankings. Looking at rankings is a great way to measure actual advancement.[/IRONY]

Have you bothered read Marx's or Engel's stuff? In what way was Mao a communist?

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Would you rather be born disabled in the US or in Cuba... I'd take the US.
Another great comparison of yours. So the US only looks good when compared to possibly the worst country on the planet, the worst dictatorship at least. Really, you'd rather live somewhere else? Oh and North Korea is truly built on the ideals of socialism and communism.

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And especially not Sweden where the Social Democrat party forcibly sterilized people for half the 20th century.
 
And I am sure you'd deny all the stuff the US did in cold war, right? They are so democratic and everyone has the freedom to randomly picked out for human experimentation. Also it's so nice that they gave the researches of Nazi-Germany a second chance to experiment in the US, so they weren't cruel socialists anymore, but have been paid lots of money to torture people in an ethical way. Because it is for freedom. That's what the US is all about.

This never happened? Here just a starting point.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

Also dropping atomic bombs on countries before they capitulate, just for the sake of it is a freedom everyone should have.


Okay, so I really don't want to be unfair. It's just that you won't find a country that didn't do lots of shit. It's just dumb to connect all these things. Greece has one of the longest histories when it comes to democracy does it mean democracies lead to a country going broke? When Hitler came to power (not after he already had it!) it was a completely democratic process, especially for that time. Does it mean democracies lead to violent wars, genocides and nationalism? (I wouldn't really call it socialism, because their biggest opposition actually have been socialist and communist movements that in that time actually thought for democracy)

It's just dumb to say any of these things is about taking freedom. Most of these philosophical-political "ideas" came from people who thought about giving everyone more freedom. One of the core ideas of Marx's communism for example was that workers, who basically had no rights should get them. Another core idea was about people being (in a political sense) equal, which is the opposite of a dictatorship. I think he was wrong in many ways, but from a historical perspective he actually caused workers to have more freedoms. I am not talking about communist states, but for example in England and western Germany workers began to work together in unions and changed things in a good and not extreme way. It also depends a lot on how the countries were before that. Dictatorships usually arise where people are already at the verge of existence. See the fact that the main reason for WW2 was WW1. People just didn't have enough and Germany was kinda enslaved by the winners of the first world war.

Most people naturally have the same idea about what's good. Only their approaches differ a lot. See Die Freien. Lots of philosophers who think about Freedom in different ways. You can see socialists, liberalists and if the term had been established back then liberatists. Also see the Bitcoin community (or the open source community). All trying to get freedom.

Taxes are unfair, as they take stuff away from you. I completely agree. See the subject of the thread. I am completely aware that I may be wrong about a lot of stuff.

My approach with giving everything basic stuff - and I mean the most basic stuff is to overcome certain things that a worse. The problem is that minorities (in whatever way) often have financial problems. I also think a lot of money simply gets wasted by a complex financial system. It's why I am unsure about minimal stats. I mean something like that would simply solve that problem. I know, taking 1% (random value) from people is still taking things from someone and I think using force sucks. I basically think everyone should have the right to say "no" to everything (a reason why I think a world governments for example may not be a good idea). However, I think guaranteeing life (water, bread, healthcare that makes sure you don't die or even better can work) and education (and with that I basically mean what we have now. Libraries and open universities) will bring us into a better position quicker.

A lot of bad things (many dictatorships and violence) simply came from the fact that people didn't think about it, didn't know it better and didn't know how to survive. In the end some kind of revolution (and with that I also mean declaration of independence, because it usually is against the will of something else) changed things, sometimes to better, sometimes to worse, usually at least a bit of both always caused to change things. I think in such revolutions we lose too much, stuff that either has to be rebuilt or is lost forever. I think things will always be better if you have more educated people and take a look at history. It is true.

I know you can argue about how education is done. It's usually suboptimal and sucks a lot, but for most part it is good because knowledge causes you to look at things from a different perspective, question bad stuff and not blindly follow someone who wants to take your freedom.

We find ourselves in a position where we already pay lots of stupid taxes. I think the first incremental step towards a more free society is to unify them, making them fair and more efficient (not using taxes on managing taxes), like one tax for everyone. Then using them for basic stuff, basically that kind of stuff that's described in the declaration of human rights. From there it would be much easier to get into serous discussions that are less about emotions and more about advancement. Of course the optimal society would be one that's completely without force where people decide what they consider right, by thinking for themselves. Really I am completely on your side, but I don't think we can go there in one step. There would be revolution, counter revolution and we'd end up where we are, not having solved most of the problems and having thought a war with even worse weapons. What's even worse is that we would have lots of time, lots of lives, lots of chances.


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The socialists decide you're too much of a burden so they kill you (since otherwise they would have to take care of you), while the capitalists leave you to your own devices - I'll take the capitalists.
Really? Do you consider the US capitalist? They never had COINTELPRO? There are no companies that kill people because they know their products are bad or they do something criminal?

I wouldn't call it capitalist vs socialist tough, because.. China. It says and is considered communists, however acts capitalists, when it comes to their market.

The problem is that these -isms are just causing confusions. Seriously, everyone sees everything in a different light depending on where they grew up and what books they read. I mean you can force people when you have more money. A person that comes from a rich family can "simply" force a person from a poor background. In fact that's what happens in India and China. Rich companies from western/developed countries force them to do work and dump wages. Of course it's stupid to say that's the work of capitalism, but it's just as stupid to say socialism is about authorities and taking away stuff.

The thing is that capitalism in a way requires some fundamental equality to be fair, while socialism in a way tries to enforce it. I am talking about the philosophies here, not about reality. Like really in the beginning a lot of capitalists were like "god will do the rest/be that magical hand that makes things regulate themselves". It's wrong like this. It's wrong to think that a completely free market will magically try to regulate itself, because there are things where there always is more demand than there could ever be supply and a lot of people that simply have interest to make profit and team up so that they for example control pretty much all sources of a certain resource. Anyway, I don't want to talk about why capitalism isn't perfect. I don't know anything else that's really flawless and much better.

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The free market is proven... the poor in a free market countries are vastly better off than the 'middle class' in countries with no functioning market.  You mess with it at your own peril.

Wrong perspective!

The poor in non-free markets often "pay" (work or whatever) for other countries.

Also you are kinda saying that people in a functioning country are better of than in a non-functional and say that it is about free markets.

Since you like to talk about socialism. See Cuba. It's the most successful country in that area (see neighbor countries), despite US sanctions which would kill every European country. Now, I don't think Cuba is a great country, but poor people there are way better off than neighbor-countries with freer markets.

Also European countries usually are usually less liberal than the US, still the poorest people of for example Sweden, since you mentioned it are better off than in the US. I think pretty much everyone, but a few super rich (maybe even they) are better of in Europe than the folks in the US. Yes, really.

Besides that even a lot of poorer countries in Europe have fewer debts per person than the US. Oh and these mean, socialist countries (in a lot of European countries socialists/social-democratic parties are in the government) don't use torture on anyone, don't have death-penalty, have healthcare for basically everyone, often even free or mostly-paid universities, ...

Oh and consumers have more rights, meaning more freedoms. They are allowed to modify products for their own use, don't have that draconian DMCA stuff, etc.

It's just wrong to think free markets magically make everything better.


But seriously all of this can change at every moment, with a financial crisis, with China finally using their power or whatever. What's really important is to set up certain anchors of freedom. Which means making sure you are independent and sorry, but this includes a certain minimum of "free" stuff. It doesn't even have to be paid by taxes. A library usually can pay for itself. We, no matter whether you are a capitalist/liberalist, socialist, anarchist (like communist or capitalist or whatever), define yourself as democrat/republican (not talking about the parties here) or whatever should simply create the right tools and infrastructure for us and everyone else (because we simply can't do everything on your own and we need all support) to strengthen freedom, independence and help everyone to fight oppression now matter what kind of -ism the oppressor does or pretends to follow.

I mean seriously, look at what people can do when working together. The Internet, Bitcoin, Wikipedia or whatever isn't built by only capitalists or socialists, but by people who think it's the right thing to do.

Yes, I think it is better to have basic stuff for free. I actually spend a lot of money on free stuff, like music on Jamendo, donations to EFF. I run a pretty big Tor server. I am renting/paying for a server to run stuff like Tor on it, because I want people and I don't care what they consider themselves or others to be to advance freely.

And in between I enjoy to annoy people by criticizing their philosophies, hoping it is a bit constructive, pretending that it is a good thing to do. When I talk about education I mainly want people to be smart enough see that it's (in an egoistic way) better for them if they help others and to see things from a completely different perspective. Being social and friendly (in a non-political way) is a desire people have anyway, just like sexual desire. So it's not like I would ever think that you need to force someone. I even agree that it is stupid to force someone. I just think that in an evolutionary way it probably is a good first step to a freer society. I could be completely wrong and that's why I want to see what others think about. And then I will just use these arguments when criticizing someone who thinks like that. Research in a way.

So yes, I change my position a lot. On purpose. While you may consider it stupid and in a way weak I think it's the best way to learn and find out what's right.

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April 03, 2012, 03:25:18 PM
 #52

Don't forget that the government exists in the ultimate free market that is history. There are no physical laws that mandate the existence of government. It's just the natural result of millenniums of social interactions.

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April 03, 2012, 07:14:34 PM
 #53

Don't forget that the government exists in the ultimate free market that is history. There are no physical laws that mandate the existence of government. It's just the natural result of millenniums of social interactions.


If 'Herding' is natural, then so are Governments.

Corporations have been enthroned, An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. ~Abe Lincoln 1ApJdWUdSWYw8n8HEATYhHXA9EYoRTy7c4
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April 03, 2012, 09:17:35 PM
 #54

Don't forget that the government exists in the ultimate free market that is history. There are no physical laws that mandate the existence of government. It's just the natural result of millenniums of social interactions.

QFT

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