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Author Topic: Liberals, why do you like Bitcoin?  (Read 14405 times)
tiberiandusk
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May 26, 2011, 06:36:10 AM
 #21

I consider myself a fiscal conservative but a social liberal. The government should help provide for the welfare of its citizens but shouldn't be wasting money on things it shouldn't have a hand in. Military spending is out of control and so are the corporate hand outs. We could easily afford for everyone to have food, shelter, and healthcare if we weren't so busy throwing money down the toilet on bombs and bailouts.

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May 26, 2011, 12:48:11 PM
 #22

I like bitcoin because in the age of credit default swaps, naked short sells, derivatives, and currency manipulation, there is a community that thrusts a finger at the banksters and is trying to bring sanity back to commerce.

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - Paul Krugman

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May 26, 2011, 12:56:16 PM
 #23

I like bitcoin because in the age of credit default swaps, naked short sells, derivatives, and currency manipulation, there is a community that thrusts a finger at the banksters and is trying to bring sanity back to commerce.

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - Paul Krugman

LotR was a great story, AS only so-so.  Both stories existed to promote an ideology of the author, LotR was just more subtle.

And Paul Krugman is a racist.

"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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May 26, 2011, 12:58:34 PM
 #24

We could easily afford for everyone to have food, shelter, and healthcare if we weren't so busy throwing money down the toilet on bombs and bailouts.

This was a true statement as recently as 2006, but it is no longer true.  The US can no longer afford it's own social safety nets even if the entire military and war budgets were completely eliminated.

"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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May 26, 2011, 01:00:31 PM
 #25

I never implied anything about Glenn Beck. Fox news has great ratings and has the older Conservative demographic and have used that platform to help successfully turn Liberal into a bad word. I'm not bashing fox news and I actually like judge napolitano and bill o'reilly, they seem to be the smartest people on the network. Shepard Smith is great also.


Liberal was already a bad word long before Fox existed as a network, much less before Fox News did.

"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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May 26, 2011, 01:43:47 PM
 #26

Considering this is an international endeavor to create an alternate (if not disruptive) economic system, why not abandon loaded words that don't translate across borders, even while using the same language. Fiscal conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, progressive liberal. It makes the mind spin.

con·ser·va·tive  (adj.) 1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. 2. Traditional or restrained in style. 3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.

lib·er·al  adj. 1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. 2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

Clearly none of these words appropriately describes this group (opposing change while free from bigotry). Why not predictablism, decentralism, In People We Trust.

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May 26, 2011, 03:18:36 PM
 #27

I like Bitcoin because of its practical applications, not for ideological/political reasons.  

Perhaps Bitcoin, or similar technologies, will shake up the welfare state as we know it. Perhaps it won't. Who cares? IMO it's a waste of time worrying too much about the future of society. There are too many unknowns. We will find a way of dealing with those problems when (if) they happen.

By the way, there are examples of low tax and no tax countries that still have a welfare system, and quite a generous one at that.  Switzerland and Singapore come to mind.  Running a welfare system actually isn't that expensive if it is done well. The problem with the US government is that it's horribly inefficient at running its public welfare and healthcare systems.  It  will soon run out of money, Bitcoin or no Bitcoin.


PS. I'm not strictly speaking a "liberal".

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May 26, 2011, 03:48:54 PM
 #28

\

Bitcoins are not going to change the way society operates but if they do, great. If you sit down 1 on 1 with a liberal ask them how they feel about the value of the dollar I doubt your answer would be much different then that of a "conservative". You're implying an awful lot about liberals and come off as rather elitist in your main post.  


It is a mistake to think there is no political consequences to technologies. Take a look at the Arab Spring. If bitcoin is a libertarian pipe dream, the political implication for conservatives/liberals are simply, dire.

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May 26, 2011, 04:02:10 PM
 #29

This was a true statement as recently as 2006, but it is no longer true.  The US can no longer afford it's own social safety nets even if the entire military and war budgets were completely eliminated.

The US can afford them just fine, they just need to stop handing out blank cheques to private industry.

Unless there's some other reason why the US government (federal and state ones) spends more per capita on health than the Canadian government (again, federal and provincial) does, and then spends more than that again in private funding.
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May 26, 2011, 04:10:44 PM
 #30

At what point did the term change for the negative?

Pretty much at the point that liberals decided to abandon the concept of rights in favor of mobocracy and wealth redistribution.
The mob is an evolutionary outcome.  You can't avoid it, just like you can't avoid stupid people.  A product of evolution.

Mobs tend to run off of cliffs. Individuals don't. Mobs are as evolutionary inferior to individuals as flagella are to legs.

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May 26, 2011, 10:10:54 PM
 #31

At what point did the term change for the negative?

Pretty much at the point that liberals decided to abandon the concept of rights in favor of mobocracy and wealth redistribution.
The mob is an evolutionary outcome.  You can't avoid it, just like you can't avoid stupid people.  A product of evolution.

Mobs tend to run off of cliffs. Individuals don't. Mobs are as evolutionary inferior to individuals as flagella are to legs.


Sorry, but you're wrong.
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May 26, 2011, 10:39:07 PM
 #32

O rly? Try observing a mob in action some time. Observe football hooligans, panicked crowds, political rallies. Individuals by themselves are simply not capable of the manically destructive behavior of groups. It's basic sociology - the intelligence and sensibility of a group tends towards the lowest common denominator. One can only say that a mob is superior to an individual if one believes that the only way to get things done is to break things and kill people. And if you believe that, then you're a freaking psychopath and I don't believe you're worth arguing with.

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May 26, 2011, 10:53:01 PM
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O rly? Try observing a mob in action some time. Observe football hooligans, panicked crowds, political rallies. Individuals by themselves are simply not capable of the manically destructive behavior of groups. It's basic sociology - the intelligence and sensibility of a group tends towards the lowest common denominator. One can only say that a mob is superior to an individual if one believes that the only way to get things done is to break things and kill people. And if you believe that, then you're a freaking psychopath and I don't believe you're worth arguing with.

Mobs wouldn't exist if they weren't evolutionary products, try again.
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May 26, 2011, 10:57:55 PM
 #34

You are mistaken if you believe that the mob is anything new. In fact, it preexists human society. Reason evolved away from it, not into it. Try again.

Just because something evolved doesn't mean it's good. Chickens evolved from dinosaurs. According to you, that makes them superior. But I'm eating a chicken right now. It is human reason - something notably absent from a mob - which has enabled me to do so. Really, I used to think that Ayn Rand was full of it when she wrote villains who saw the mind as a step backwards for the human race. In light of this conversation, I stand corrected.

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May 26, 2011, 11:00:59 PM
 #35

O rly? Try observing a mob in action some time. Observe football hooligans, panicked crowds, political rallies. Individuals by themselves are simply not capable of the manically destructive behavior of groups. It's basic sociology - the intelligence and sensibility of a group tends towards the lowest common denominator. One can only say that a mob is superior to an individual if one believes that the only way to get things done is to break things and kill people. And if you believe that, then you're a freaking psychopath and I don't believe you're worth arguing with.

For a long time the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil was the working of a lone nut living in a cabin far from civilization. Individuals can be incredibly destructive too. That said, there is something very true about your statements regarding mob mentality. For the most part I would not argue that mobs are a good thing, but insofar as they are the mechanism of revolution, violent or not, they have played an important role in history. Mobs, like them or not, are the mechanism by which the masses remind the rulers that they are in power because we allow them to remain so. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Also, OP needs to learn himself some proper vocabulary. To speak of Liberalism (a point along an economic scale) as though it were the opposite of conservatism (a point along a social scale) only serves to reveal that he is not only a troll, but a poorly-educated troll. For the record, the opposite of Liberalism is Communism. Someone who properly qualifies as a "liberal" believes in the right to personal property, whereas someone who is a "communist" believes only in communal property. The second scale I spoke of is a social one, with anarchism (no government) at one end and fascism (all-controlling government) at the other. Conservatism would, therefore, be a point along the sociological anarcho-fascist scale, closer to but still nowhere near fascism.

In summation: Not only is liberalism NOT the opposite of conservatism, they are not even on the same scale. You are comparing apples to chihuhuas.

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May 26, 2011, 11:06:37 PM
 #36

For a long time the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil was the working of a lone nut living in a cabin far from civilization. Individuals can be incredibly destructive too.

No individual terrorist was ever as destructive as the wars waged by states. And states are the distillate essence of mob mentality.

Quote
Mobs, like them or not, are the mechanism by which the masses remind the rulers that they are in power because we allow them to remain so. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Perhaps it's time for violent revolution to be eclipsed by peaceful evolution.

Just because mobs have accomplished things in the past which we may describe as "better" than the conditions they overthrew doesn't mean that it was the best possible outcome. Imagine if the American colonists, for example, had stuck to a strict policy of sniping from the woods instead of following good ol' Generalissimo Washington into muzzle-to-muzzle combat culminating in mobs charging at each other across open field.

The mob mentality is a reversion into savagery.

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May 26, 2011, 11:14:33 PM
 #37

Perhaps it's time for violent revolution to be eclipsed by peaceful evolution.

Actually, revolution is the more evolved form of evolution. Evolution only functions on time scales measured in millions or billions of years. We humans have begun doing things for which evolution is far too slow to react. In fact, over any time scale meaningful to most human civilization, memetics has far more impact than does evolution. Where evolution might slowly lead us to a place where we need no leaders, memetics rapidly leads to the overthrow of leaders who become corrupt.

While I agree that we may not have reached the best of all possible conditions, perhaps you should take a more utilitarian standpoint. The "best of all possible worlds" is certainly something marvelous to hope for, but it's a bit pie-in-the-sky for most versions of reality. I certainly appreciate anyone who tries to move toward that best of worlds and anyone who tries to take others with him/her, but the problem is that we're evolved to be selfish and despite having very large and powerful brains, we still have a tendency to do what we were evolved to do.

We try, we humans, but often we fail. There's a lot of evidence that, evolutionarily speaking, we are not intended to be truly monogamous creatures but most of us try anyway. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. What's important is not the unfortunate fact that we fail but the amazing fact that we're even trying to overcome our nature at all! I hope that within my lifetime I see some kind of glorious bloodless coup in which all humanity puts down their guns and lives in peace, but somehow I just don't see it happening.

Far more likely is that a mob, army or even an individual will do or say something that makes the world just a little better for its inhabitants. As long as we continue the slow trek toward that perfect world, I can't really ask for more.

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May 26, 2011, 11:26:54 PM
 #38

Actually, revolution is the more evolved form of evolution.

So? It still sucks. A revolution is nothing more than a change of power from one set of power-hungry thugs to a different set of power-hungry thugs. It's time for something different. And since we humans are not dependent on evolution, there's absolutely no reason why we should wait around for it.

Quote
While I agree that we may not have reached the best of all possible conditions, perhaps you should take a more utilitarian standpoint.

Utilitarianism does fine for dictators. Not for me. Utilitarianism says "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet". I say "human beings are not eggs, you effing psychopath."

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I hope that within my lifetime I see some kind of glorious bloodless coup in which all humanity puts down their guns and lives in peace, but somehow I just don't see it happening.

Far more likely is that a mob, army or even an individual will do or say something that makes the world just a little better for its inhabitants. As long as we continue the slow trek toward that perfect world, I can't really ask for more.

Now THAT is what is unlikely. All any mob will ever do is put another group of violent sociopaths in power. My goal isn't to give different groups of people turns at mass murder. My goal is to do away with instruments of mass murder. I realize that won't happen spontaneously, or even soon. But we will NEVER see the emergence of a truly civilized society if we keep trying to form it by means that oppose it. You can't kill your way to peace; you can't tax your way to prosperity; you can't legislate your way to freedom.

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May 26, 2011, 11:44:16 PM
 #39

There are other problems here, too. Militant behavior is an extension of territorialism, which is really a method of birth control. In highly territorial species, animals cannot breed unless they have "ownership" of a territory, which they defend from outsiders at all costs. Even animals which are not individually territorial might be territorial as a group. What's important is that the territories are a finite resource which limit population growth. We humans have gone far beyond the need for territories, so why still enforce them?

Unfortunately, all the madness serves a purpose. If there were no wars, mobs etc and population growth continued at its current rate, the South American continent would be standing room only in about 500 years. People are not willing to control the birth rate and so the only means nature has to enforce a population limit is the death rate. If we stopped killing each other in wars we'd all die of starvation a generation or two later. Whether the origin of the death is from evolution or memetics, we should remember that these are both tools of nature, whose thumb we are constantly under.

If you truly wish to decrease the death rate, you have to do something about the birth rate first. I'll bet if we lowered the rate at which new humans were being spawned, mother nature would ease up on the rate at which we die, too. If you really want to do something to stop human violence, go pass out condoms. There need to be less of us - at least until we've got the whole "colonization of space" thing figured out...

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May 26, 2011, 11:48:32 PM
 #40

That's true, but only to some extent. More people also means a more advanced division of labor, as well as more creativity and productive potential.

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