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Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    I apologize for the many typos. Wil ************** Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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      I apologize for the many typos.

      Wil


      **************
      Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
      celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
      (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • tom
      Happy New Year Will, You wrote in the previous post (It is in this light that I assert that libertarianism is essentially a right-wing ideology, replacing the
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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        Happy New Year Will,

        You wrote in the previous post

        (It is in this light that I assert that libertarianism is essentially a
        right-wing ideology, replacing the symbolic social order of hierarchies -- divine
        right, etc., -- with the mundane self-reference of greed and self-worship. It
        takes the status quo for the proverbial "all things being equal"
        presupposition, when the fact is that all things are not equal and one's wealth is a social
        product rather than a ready-made thing without a history.)

        I've heard some guys on Air America half jokingly say that Libertarians are Republicans that like to smoke pot. However, Libertarians are consistently at least as much, and usually much more opposed to violations of civil liberties, and to imperialistic military aggression than Democratic liberals. Of course, a fringe party can afford to be much more idealistic than a major party, because they are basically trying to express an ideal rather than win; and I certainly believe Machiavelli's ideas about the realities of acquiring, maintaining, and expanding power are every bit as true today as they were 500 years ago. Interestingly, Libertarians and Greens have often cooperated in joint registration efforts etc,even though Libertarians would be considered right and Greens left. I read a statementa few years ago by a Libertarian where he says to a Green friend that "I support many of your goals, but disagree with you on the government being the best way to achieve such. Libertarians point out that although in theory government regulation is a way to level the playing field, in practice often the government is bought and paid for by those with the most money. Both libertarians and liberals claim guys like Jefferson and Paine; and I think good cases can be made for both points of view. Both Jefferson and Paine expressed a good deal of distrust of large government as libertarians do, but also expressed concerns for the positions of the poor being exploited by the rich as liberals do. I suspect that Jefferson and Paine like myself and many others were pulled between these two positions. Both Jefferson as well as Washington and many of the founders were opposed to entangling alliances that lead to perpetual war. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
        Thomas Jefferson

        Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
        Thomas Jefferson

        Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would certainly preclude drug wars, porn wars etc. When Hilary Clinton, Kerry, and many other Democratic liberals were voting to give Bush power to invade Iraq, Ron Paul casts one of the few votes against it. It is also true that the Republican Party for the last 28 years has taken more socially conservative positions to placate the Christian right, whose affiliation enabled them to win many elections. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Barry Goldwater said in regard to the influx of the Christian right into the Republican Party, that his party was being taken over by kooks.It's ironic that the conservative Republicans who use the idea of freedom as an excuse for imperialistic aggression are the first to oppose freedom in regard to drugs, sex etc.

        As for economic issues, I am pulled between libertarian and liberal positions. I would have loved to hear a debate between the late Harry Browne and George Soros. They represented opposite views on economics, but both had successful track records in investing.

        I voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primary, but voted for Obama after Paul was out of it.I could be more accurately classified an independent than any thing else. On economic issues, I am pulled two ways. Like libertarians I am cynical about the reality of government as honest or efficient;and like liberals I am concerned about the growing proportion of income going to the top 1% and even .1% of the population.

        Tom

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: eupraxis@...
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 2:33 PM
        Subject: Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.


        I apologize for the many typos.

        Wil

        **************
        Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
        celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
        (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        Tom, I am aware of the libertarian POV. My charges stand. One thing about the left is that it maintains the possibility of activist policies, including
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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          Tom,

          I am aware of the libertarian POV. My charges stand. One thing about the left
          is that it maintains the possibility of activist policies, including
          overcoming wealth inequality by means of the IRS, the use of force to end segregation
          in schools, and other things like that which libertarian have never supported.


          Sometimes one deserves to be encroached upon by the State.

          Wil



          **************
          Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
          celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
          (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Amos
          Here s a link to a Wikipedia article on libertarian socialism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism For some reason, in the U.S. libertarianism
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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            Here's a link to a Wikipedia article on libertarian socialism.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

            For some reason, in the U.S. libertarianism is generally identified
            with Ayn Rand and with an extreme free market (don't touch my private
            property) ideology, but there are other forms. Amos


            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
            >
            > Tom,
            >
            > I am aware of the libertarian POV. My charges stand. One thing
            about the left
            > is that it maintains the possibility of activist policies,
            including
            > overcoming wealth inequality by means of the IRS, the use of force
            to end segregation
            > in schools, and other things like that which libertarian have never
            supported.
            >
            >
            > Sometimes one deserves to be encroached upon by the State.
            >
            > Wil
            >
            >
            >
            > **************
            > Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
            > celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
            > (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • bhvwd
            ... seating of the ... on the Left ... the ... incorporates ... Voltaire, to the ... at this point ... necessarily ... at any rate ... actual ... if there are
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
              >
              > What is the Left? A short overview.
              > a personal thesis by Wil S.
              >
              > As most know, the term, "Left", originally referred to the
              seating of the
              > French Parliament circa the Revolutionary period: literally sitting
              on the Left
              > were to those opposing the monarchy; on the right, those supporting
              the
              > monarchy. The Left stems from the Enlightenment and its scions, and
              incorporates
              > everything from Lockeanism, brought to a greater audience by
              Voltaire, to the
              > more radical expositions of "Liberte, egalite, fraternite". It is
              at this point
              > that the notions of political and social become associated as
              necessarily
              > complementary. Hence the term "socio-political".
              >
              > The older conservative notion of politics understood the term, or
              at any rate
              > used the term, as if the political has nothing whatever to do with
              actual
              > persons in their social reality. There is the political order. And
              if there are
              > also the poor, the sick, the homeless, downtrodden, ... well, what
              does that
              > have to do with anything? So thought the crown, the courts, the
              clergy and
              > conservatives generally. Politics meant for them something
              reflective of a divine
              > order, quite apart from real, living people.
              >
              > Conjoining the 'socio-' to the political made of politics, for the
              left, a
              > responsibility rather than a rationalization of society's ills. It
              is therefore
              > improper, if not impossible, to speak of the political order of
              things without
              > having recourse to social concerns. It is with 'the social'
              that 'the
              > political' loses its former theocratic metaphysics and becomes a
              philosophical
              > subject. As such all matters relating to society and the State are
              adjudged as
              > pertains people, not orders of being.
              >
              > (It is in this light that I assert that libertarianism is
              essentially a
              > right-wing ideology, replacing the symbolic social order of
              hierarchies -- divine
              > right, etc., -- with the mundane self-reference of greed and self-
              worship. It
              > takes the status quo for the proverbial "all things being equal"
              > presupposition, when the fact is that all things are not equal and
              one's wealth is a social
              > product rather than a ready-made thing without a history.)
              >
              > The rise of the Bourgeoisie in the 17th through the 18th centuries
              gave rise
              > to new conceptions of "society" and, as a result, new forms of
              social power
              > even before the Revolution. Marx outlines Bourgeois power in terms
              of the
              > economic ownership of the means of production. Hence the
              term "socio-economic" which
              > has entered into all lexicons of analysis. Foucault outlines the
              > transformation of power according social institutions and, let us
              say, the use of
              > power-knowledge as it inscribes itself as the organization of
              bodies, or bio-power.
              > For me both kinds of critique are essential for a full leftist
              outlook: the
              > socio-economic critique (the analysis of Capitalism) and the
              critique of
              > institutional/bio-power. In both cases what we see is a transition
              from a purely
              > hierarchical notion of power (monarch to intermediaries to base,
              what Foucault has
              > called Sovereign Power) to a total commutative intra-monadic power
              (a structure
              > that operates like a hologram where each potential part
              reduplicates the same
              > structuration, what Foucault has called Disciplinary or Bio-
              Power).
              >
              > To illustrate: in the old model, theft and insubordination to one's
              master,
              > say, were considered crimes against the crown; penalties were
              arbitrary,
              > sometimes cruel, sometimes not. In fact, the list of infractions,
              if list there was,
              > was quite small. But, in any case, the notion of justice was
              hierarchical and
              > based on what some have called the metonymy of power (the crown
              representing
              > the ownership of the totality of the realm). The newer model, a
              model which
              > even now continues to integrate itself in the world, but which is
              also poised to
              > collapse, this intra-representational model of power, which is
              still our
              > model as long as society remains 'open' and not eclipsed by
              arbitrary abuses of
              > co-opted power by regimes which seek to regain something
              like "sovereign power"
              > -- this newer model, then, reduplicates its concept as if each
              instance were a
              > windowed 'monad', each monad not representing the whole but rather
              > reduplicating it, like the parts of a broken hologram are complete
              in themselves.
              >
              > So, on the one hand, the newer model, what we ordinarily understand
              as
              > "Modernity", or as the consequence of the Bourgeois revolution, or
              what have you,
              > can be seen as an 'advance' over the older model. Social questions
              become
              > codified rationally rather than based on myth or other non-purely
              rational methods,
              > at least in principle. This is coeval with the revolution in the
              sciences,
              > including the so-called social sciences. The State, then, is the
              repository of
              > rational method and deliberation. And, just as science-knowledge is
              something
              > cumulative and ongoing, Society is something ever reformative and
              thus
              > institutionally expansive, and the slogan "laws, not men" defines
              the new space of a
              > secular order.
              >
              > In many respects, the left is thus ever vigilant against any
              reactionary
              > slippages back into the arbitrary, into the use of power outside
              the ideal of its
              > non-ownership, whether this is apropos economic inequalities and
              the abuses of
              > corporate control on society at large, or apropos any manner of
              abusive
              > regime that seeks to curtail popular power (and civil rights,
              constitutional
              > guarantees, etc.) for the sake of a 'junta'. Fascism would thus be
              the famous
              > antithesis of this.
              >
              > Many would claim that this is where the conventional liberal left,
              or even
              > the so-called Marxian left, have their respective blind spot. And
              there is a
              > notable blind spot here, if this is where the matter ends for us,
              although I
              > personally would not indict Marx in this respect. Here such authors
              as Foucault
              > and Zizek, and others, have much to offer, in any case.
              >
              > To continue, then, we can also view the transition from monarchical
              to modern
              > power as a growing encroachment of power, even if that encroachment
              is tied
              > to apparent social reforms. Foucault documents this double-faced
              transformation
              > in his works on psychiatric power, the reductive social gaze of the
              clinic,
              > the increase of confinement in prison 'reform', the notion of the
              Panopticon as
              > social control, and so on. A famous example, which can also be
              almost
              > axiomatic for what I am trying to indicate here, concerns the
              notion of Madness.
              > Without going into the long and complex history, which Foucault has
              attempted in
              > his monumental The History of Madness (abridgement
              entitled "History and
              > Civilization"), and related subsequent lectures on the topic given
              at the College de
              > France, published as a series by Palgrave/Macmillan, we can see the
              change in
              > societal gaze from madmen as oracle, to madmen as nuisance, to
              madmen as
              > feared other, to madmen as wards of the State. Power constructed
              the space of it
              > appropriation, marking bodies as Subject and Ward.
              >
              > Many misread Foucault as if he is alleging that the social
              construction of
              > madness as a State concern is tantamount to dismissing the
              realities of madness
              > of altogether. This is not the case, although there are certainly
              many drummed
              > up pseudo-disorders (especially in "women's health" in the 19th
              Century, and
              > pharmaceutical industry concocted disorders in our own time).
              Foucault, like
              > Nietzsche, by whom he is influenced, is rather indicating how power
              operates
              > notwithstanding the questions regarding discrete issues therein.
              Regardless of
              > whether the proverbial "insane" cannot care for themselves, the
              > institutionalization of the insane marks a certain expanse of power
              over the social -- which
              > should always be an object of leftist analysis and critique. In
              this sense,
              > the right-wing claim that many liberals want to overuse society to
              curtail
              > freedom is quite germane, if too often exaggerated and
              hypocritical.
              >
              > In any case, this additional critique of power, in the Nietzsche
              sense, is an
              > absolutely necessary requirement for any truly 'liberational'
              notion of Left.
              > This critique would, for example, mitigate against adopting what
              some have
              > called the "rightwing deviation" in Soviet apologetics.
              >
              > The above hardly completes the issue, and I am leaving things here
              almost
              > against my will, but this is already too lengthy for a post, and I
              do not want to
              > wear out the welcome.
              >
              > Wil
              > Thank you , you taught me things and I appreciate the genius and
              effort. The nazi princess is beyond her pass and I must police.
              Great post and I will refer at chance. Bill
              >
              >
              > **************
              > Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
              > celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
              > (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • tom
              Will, As I said in many respects I agree with liberal positions. However, the fact that some hedgefund manager makes more in a day than I do in a year does not
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                Will,
                As I said in many respects I agree with liberal positions. However, the fact that some hedgefund manager makes more in a day than I do in a year does not disturb me anyway near as much as the government intruding as far as drugs, sex, right to die, or seat belts. I liked the saying "Give me liberty, or give me death", and certainly support any efforts legal or illegal, peaceful or violent against such intrusions. To me, liberty is a much more important value than equality.And again, the fact that the state is largely ruled by crooks, and administered as Bill said of socialism recently by rather lazy types makes state action suspect in my mind. I understand that IRS provisions have been written exclusively for one company or individual. It isnt stated that way, but a number of times the provisions would only apply to one company or individual. If the US were more like what I read of Finland recently, where scandals are rare and leaders are generally respected I might feel differently, but as it is I trust politicians about as much as crack whores.

                LIFE. LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
                Those that would deny a person's inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which certainly includes the right to get high, as well as the right to die, are the same bogus bastards who have the gall to make speeches about freedom every 4th of July.

                Groovy man

                by the Cool Cat

                www.thecoolcat.net

                Tom


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: eupraxis@...
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 3:58 PM
                Subject: Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.


                Tom,

                I am aware of the libertarian POV. My charges stand. One thing about the left
                is that it maintains the possibility of activist policies, including
                overcoming wealth inequality by means of the IRS, the use of force to end segregation
                in schools, and other things like that which libertarian have never supported.

                Sometimes one deserves to be encroached upon by the State.

                Wil

                **************
                Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
                (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • louise
                ... sitting ... supporting ... and ... with ... And ... what ... the ... It ... are ... and ... centuries ... terms ... transition ... power ... one s ...
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "bhvwd" <v.valleywestdental@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
                  > >
                  > > What is the Left? A short overview.
                  > > a personal thesis by Wil S.
                  > >
                  > > As most know, the term, "Left", originally referred to the
                  > seating of the
                  > > French Parliament circa the Revolutionary period: literally
                  sitting
                  > on the Left
                  > > were to those opposing the monarchy; on the right, those
                  supporting
                  > the
                  > > monarchy. The Left stems from the Enlightenment and its scions,
                  and
                  > incorporates
                  > > everything from Lockeanism, brought to a greater audience by
                  > Voltaire, to the
                  > > more radical expositions of "Liberte, egalite, fraternite". It is
                  > at this point
                  > > that the notions of political and social become associated as
                  > necessarily
                  > > complementary. Hence the term "socio-political".
                  > >
                  > > The older conservative notion of politics understood the term, or
                  > at any rate
                  > > used the term, as if the political has nothing whatever to do
                  with
                  > actual
                  > > persons in their social reality. There is the political order.
                  And
                  > if there are
                  > > also the poor, the sick, the homeless, downtrodden, ... well,
                  what
                  > does that
                  > > have to do with anything? So thought the crown, the courts, the
                  > clergy and
                  > > conservatives generally. Politics meant for them something
                  > reflective of a divine
                  > > order, quite apart from real, living people.
                  > >
                  > > Conjoining the 'socio-' to the political made of politics, for
                  the
                  > left, a
                  > > responsibility rather than a rationalization of society's ills.
                  It
                  > is therefore
                  > > improper, if not impossible, to speak of the political order of
                  > things without
                  > > having recourse to social concerns. It is with 'the social'
                  > that 'the
                  > > political' loses its former theocratic metaphysics and becomes a
                  > philosophical
                  > > subject. As such all matters relating to society and the State
                  are
                  > adjudged as
                  > > pertains people, not orders of being.
                  > >
                  > > (It is in this light that I assert that libertarianism is
                  > essentially a
                  > > right-wing ideology, replacing the symbolic social order of
                  > hierarchies -- divine
                  > > right, etc., -- with the mundane self-reference of greed and self-
                  > worship. It
                  > > takes the status quo for the proverbial "all things being equal"
                  > > presupposition, when the fact is that all things are not equal
                  and
                  > one's wealth is a social
                  > > product rather than a ready-made thing without a history.)
                  > >
                  > > The rise of the Bourgeoisie in the 17th through the 18th
                  centuries
                  > gave rise
                  > > to new conceptions of "society" and, as a result, new forms of
                  > social power
                  > > even before the Revolution. Marx outlines Bourgeois power in
                  terms
                  > of the
                  > > economic ownership of the means of production. Hence the
                  > term "socio-economic" which
                  > > has entered into all lexicons of analysis. Foucault outlines the
                  > > transformation of power according social institutions and, let us
                  > say, the use of
                  > > power-knowledge as it inscribes itself as the organization of
                  > bodies, or bio-power.
                  > > For me both kinds of critique are essential for a full leftist
                  > outlook: the
                  > > socio-economic critique (the analysis of Capitalism) and the
                  > critique of
                  > > institutional/bio-power. In both cases what we see is a
                  transition
                  > from a purely
                  > > hierarchical notion of power (monarch to intermediaries to base,
                  > what Foucault has
                  > > called Sovereign Power) to a total commutative intra-monadic
                  power
                  > (a structure
                  > > that operates like a hologram where each potential part
                  > reduplicates the same
                  > > structuration, what Foucault has called Disciplinary or Bio-
                  > Power).
                  > >
                  > > To illustrate: in the old model, theft and insubordination to
                  one's
                  > master,
                  > > say, were considered crimes against the crown; penalties were
                  > arbitrary,
                  > > sometimes cruel, sometimes not. In fact, the list of infractions,
                  > if list there was,
                  > > was quite small. But, in any case, the notion of justice was
                  > hierarchical and
                  > > based on what some have called the metonymy of power (the crown
                  > representing
                  > > the ownership of the totality of the realm). The newer model, a
                  > model which
                  > > even now continues to integrate itself in the world, but which is
                  > also poised to
                  > > collapse, this intra-representational model of power, which is
                  > still our
                  > > model as long as society remains 'open' and not eclipsed by
                  > arbitrary abuses of
                  > > co-opted power by regimes which seek to regain something
                  > like "sovereign power"
                  > > -- this newer model, then, reduplicates its concept as if each
                  > instance were a
                  > > windowed 'monad', each monad not representing the whole but
                  rather
                  > > reduplicating it, like the parts of a broken hologram are
                  complete
                  > in themselves.
                  > >
                  > > So, on the one hand, the newer model, what we ordinarily
                  understand
                  > as
                  > > "Modernity", or as the consequence of the Bourgeois revolution,
                  or
                  > what have you,
                  > > can be seen as an 'advance' over the older model. Social
                  questions
                  > become
                  > > codified rationally rather than based on myth or other non-purely
                  > rational methods,
                  > > at least in principle. This is coeval with the revolution in the
                  > sciences,
                  > > including the so-called social sciences. The State, then, is the
                  > repository of
                  > > rational method and deliberation. And, just as science-knowledge
                  is
                  > something
                  > > cumulative and ongoing, Society is something ever reformative and
                  > thus
                  > > institutionally expansive, and the slogan "laws, not men" defines
                  > the new space of a
                  > > secular order.
                  > >
                  > > In many respects, the left is thus ever vigilant against any
                  > reactionary
                  > > slippages back into the arbitrary, into the use of power outside
                  > the ideal of its
                  > > non-ownership, whether this is apropos economic inequalities and
                  > the abuses of
                  > > corporate control on society at large, or apropos any manner of
                  > abusive
                  > > regime that seeks to curtail popular power (and civil rights,
                  > constitutional
                  > > guarantees, etc.) for the sake of a 'junta'. Fascism would thus
                  be
                  > the famous
                  > > antithesis of this.
                  > >
                  > > Many would claim that this is where the conventional liberal
                  left,
                  > or even
                  > > the so-called Marxian left, have their respective blind spot. And
                  > there is a
                  > > notable blind spot here, if this is where the matter ends for us,
                  > although I
                  > > personally would not indict Marx in this respect. Here such
                  authors
                  > as Foucault
                  > > and Zizek, and others, have much to offer, in any case.
                  > >
                  > > To continue, then, we can also view the transition from
                  monarchical
                  > to modern
                  > > power as a growing encroachment of power, even if that
                  encroachment
                  > is tied
                  > > to apparent social reforms. Foucault documents this double-faced
                  > transformation
                  > > in his works on psychiatric power, the reductive social gaze of
                  the
                  > clinic,
                  > > the increase of confinement in prison 'reform', the notion of the
                  > Panopticon as
                  > > social control, and so on. A famous example, which can also be
                  > almost
                  > > axiomatic for what I am trying to indicate here, concerns the
                  > notion of Madness.
                  > > Without going into the long and complex history, which Foucault
                  has
                  > attempted in
                  > > his monumental The History of Madness (abridgement
                  > entitled "History and
                  > > Civilization"), and related subsequent lectures on the topic
                  given
                  > at the College de
                  > > France, published as a series by Palgrave/Macmillan, we can see
                  the
                  > change in
                  > > societal gaze from madmen as oracle, to madmen as nuisance, to
                  > madmen as
                  > > feared other, to madmen as wards of the State. Power constructed
                  > the space of it
                  > > appropriation, marking bodies as Subject and Ward.
                  > >
                  > > Many misread Foucault as if he is alleging that the social
                  > construction of
                  > > madness as a State concern is tantamount to dismissing the
                  > realities of madness
                  > > of altogether. This is not the case, although there are certainly
                  > many drummed
                  > > up pseudo-disorders (especially in "women's health" in the 19th
                  > Century, and
                  > > pharmaceutical industry concocted disorders in our own time).
                  > Foucault, like
                  > > Nietzsche, by whom he is influenced, is rather indicating how
                  power
                  > operates
                  > > notwithstanding the questions regarding discrete issues therein.
                  > Regardless of
                  > > whether the proverbial "insane" cannot care for themselves, the
                  > > institutionalization of the insane marks a certain expanse of
                  power
                  > over the social -- which
                  > > should always be an object of leftist analysis and critique. In
                  > this sense,
                  > > the right-wing claim that many liberals want to overuse society
                  to
                  > curtail
                  > > freedom is quite germane, if too often exaggerated and
                  > hypocritical.
                  > >
                  > > In any case, this additional critique of power, in the Nietzsche
                  > sense, is an
                  > > absolutely necessary requirement for any truly 'liberational'
                  > notion of Left.
                  > > This critique would, for example, mitigate against adopting what
                  > some have
                  > > called the "rightwing deviation" in Soviet apologetics.
                  > >
                  > > The above hardly completes the issue, and I am leaving things
                  here
                  > almost
                  > > against my will, but this is already too lengthy for a post, and
                  I
                  > do not want to
                  > > wear out the welcome.
                  > >
                  > > Wil
                  > > Thank you , you taught me things and I appreciate the genius and
                  > effort. The nazi princess is beyond her pass and I must police.
                  > Great post and I will refer at chance. Bill


                  I agree with you, Bill. It's a fine overview. Please forgive my
                  tendencies to paranoia, but I hope the reference to 'nazi princess'
                  is nothing to do with me. I detest all forms of totalitarian
                  pretension. Louise
                • eupraxis@aol.com
                  To me, liberty is a much more important value than equality. Response: Sounds like the opinion of someone who, in effect, already has the one and thus has no
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                    "To me, liberty is a much more important value than equality."

                    Response: Sounds like the opinion of someone who, in effect, already has the
                    one and thus has no need pushing for the other. But what is a society without
                    equality? It is a tyranny, even if there are some in it who enjoy their own
                    situation. But you are perhaps correct, despite your actual intentions: in a
                    society without equality, the unequal have, by default, the 'liberty' to do
                    anything possible, even up to the point of violence, to change that social
                    arrangement. That is why most of us opt for a representational democracy with
                    progressive institutions. These allow for social adjustments without the violence
                    otherwise necessary to effect change. But in the "libertarian" society with any
                    preexisting inequities? Vive l'revolution!

                    Wil



                    **************
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                  • tom
                    Wil, I am far from rich. My point is that I see transgressions on our liberty as aggression against us. Whereas differences in income or wealth could be caused
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                      Wil,
                      I am far from rich. My point is that I see transgressions on our liberty as aggression against us. Whereas differences in income or wealth could be caused by who your dad is or was, and differences in mental and physical abilities. I said I had no objections to violence as a revolt against repression, but dont really think I have a right to shoot Barry Bonds because he was better able to play baseball than me, or shoot Bill because he found a well paying prodession in denistry. Of course, the discussion is theoretical, because the police state has the firepower inequality.
                      Tom
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: eupraxis@...
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 4:55 PM
                      Subject: Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.


                      "To me, liberty is a much more important value than equality."

                      Response: Sounds like the opinion of someone who, in effect, already has the
                      one and thus has no need pushing for the other. But what is a society without
                      equality? It is a tyranny, even if there are some in it who enjoy their own
                      situation. But you are perhaps correct, despite your actual intentions: in a
                      society without equality, the unequal have, by default, the 'liberty' to do
                      anything possible, even up to the point of violence, to change that social
                      arrangement. That is why most of us opt for a representational democracy with
                      progressive institutions. These allow for social adjustments without the violence
                      otherwise necessary to effect change. But in the "libertarian" society with any
                      preexisting inequities? Vive l'revolution!

                      Wil

                      **************
                      Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                      celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
                      (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • eupraxis@aol.com
                      Tom wrote: My point is that I see transgressions on our liberty as aggression against us. That s fine, and by the way, I am not here to convince anyone of
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                        Tom wrote: "My point is that I see transgressions on our liberty as
                        aggression against us."

                        That's fine, and by the way, I am not here to convince anyone of anything.

                        The Modern social model was based on a theory that also had a musical analog
                        to it, as in Bach's system of organ tuning. "Equal Temperament" is a system
                        now in universal use whereby every note is knocked equally out of tune, and thus
                        equally in tune, so that all keys can be played without even the remotest
                        ones sounding out of tune. This was seen as meaning that only with a universal
                        coercion across all members can every member enjoy universal freedom, all being
                        equal by actively manipulating one's 'natural' ear. As far as I can tell, we
                        have not as a species improved upon that mythos. Given that, mutatis mutandis
                        to our topic, a functioning society has to impose basic restrictions on all
                        members across the board, to the point that this imposition seems almost natural.
                        This, with the caveats expressed earlier in my first post.

                        Wil



                        **************
                        Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                        celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
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                      • tom
                        Wil, I m not here to convince anybody of anything either. Obviously, our values are the product of many things, some of which we are unconcious.I think Mill
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                          Wil,

                          I'm not here to convince anybody of anything either. Obviously, our values are the product of many things, some of which we are unconcious.I think Mill had the idea that a person's right to swing their fist goes as far as their neighbor's nose in affect. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were to a large extent an expression of such philosophy into reality for the first time. However, as the following quote makes clear, Jefferson was not naive enough to not be aware that the Orwellian forces would not eventually find a way to distort the constitution to serve their own desires for power and graft.

                          Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny"
                          Thomas Jefferson quote



                          "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
                          Thomas Jefferson quote



                          As for your statement "a functioning society has to impose basic restrictions on all
                          members across the board, to the point that this imposition seems almost natural"

                          The part about seeming natural

                          . As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
                          instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly
                          unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change
                          in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting
                          victims of the darkness.
                          William O. Douglas

                          I will throw in a few more Douglas quotes.

                          The struggle is always between the individual
                          and his sacred right to express himself
                          and... the power structure that seeks
                          conformity, suppression and obedience."
                          Justice William O. Douglas

                          Freedom
                          The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms.
                          William O. Douglas The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government
                          off the backs of people.
                          William O. DouglasBig Brother"Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and
                          in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high
                          with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law
                          and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and
                          the like."
                          Justice William O. DouglasAnd this quote parralells what i said earlier that many of the reasons for our opinions are unconcious.
                          At the constitutional level where we work, 90 percent of any decision
                          is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for
                          supporting our predilections.
                          William O. DouglasTom






                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: eupraxis@...
                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 5:43 PM
                          Subject: Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.


                          Tom wrote: "My point is that I see transgressions on our liberty as
                          aggression against us."

                          That's fine, and by the way, I am not here to convince anyone of anything.

                          The Modern social model was based on a theory that also had a musical analog
                          to it, as in Bach's system of organ tuning. "Equal Temperament" is a system
                          now in universal use whereby every note is knocked equally out of tune, and thus
                          equally in tune, so that all keys can be played without even the remotest
                          ones sounding out of tune. This was seen as meaning that only with a universal
                          coercion across all members can every member enjoy universal freedom, all being
                          equal by actively manipulating one's 'natural' ear. As far as I can tell, we
                          have not as a species improved upon that mythos. Given that, mutatis mutandis
                          to our topic, a functioning society has to impose basic restrictions on all
                          members across the board, to the point that this imposition seems almost natural.
                          This, with the caveats expressed earlier in my first post.

                          Wil

                          **************
                          Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                          celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
                          (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • eupraxis@aol.com
                          Tom, I actually had Nietzsche and Freud in mind when I spoke about desires becoming as if naturally repressed. The sexual urge, for example, is the most
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                            Tom,

                            I actually had Nietzsche and Freud in mind when I spoke about desires
                            becoming as if 'naturally' repressed. The sexual urge, for example, is the most
                            obviously mediated of impulses, not only by laws, but by means of rites and formal
                            institutions, and so forth. I was not speaking of encroaching dark clouds of
                            tyranny or any such thing.

                            Yes, personal freedom and especially artistic and philosophical rights to
                            transgress the perceived order must be protected by law, by universal
                            constitutional guarantee.

                            And for what it is worth, I, too, advocate the decriminalization of most
                            drugs, except the most lethal. The selling of such drugs as crystal meth and
                            others like it seem rather too dangerous to the public health to be left without
                            ado. But as far as personal consumption goes, even of such otherwise proscribed
                            drugs, I hardly think that one should face legal penalties for what one does
                            oneself to oneself.

                            The same goes for ideas, books, modes of dress, cuts of jib, styles of hair
                            and moustache, and whatever else: I, too, regard such matters as one's own
                            private privilege. Of course.

                            Unlike Plato, and those like him through the ages, I do not want to envision
                            a perfect society that I would feel either limited within, or just bored to
                            death by.

                            Danger should not be against the law.

                            But this has nothing to do with being on the left.

                            Wil

                            In a message dated 1/1/09 9:06:51 PM, tsmith17_midsouth1@... writes:


                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Wil,
                            >
                            > I'm not here to convince anybody of anything either. Obviously, our values
                            > are the product of many things, some of which we are unconcious.I think Mill
                            > had the idea that a person's right to swing their fist goes as far as their
                            > neighbor's nose in affect. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
                            > were to a large extent an expression of such philosophy into reality for the
                            > first time. However, as the following quote makes clear, Jefferson was not
                            > naive enough to not be aware that the Orwellian forces would not eventually
                            > find a way to distort the constitution to serve their own desires for power and
                            > graft.
                            >
                            > Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those
                            > entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into
                            > tyranny"
                            > Thomas Jefferson quote
                            >
                            > "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty
                            > than to those attending too small a degree of it."
                            > Thomas Jefferson quote
                            >
                            > As for your statement "a functioning society has to impose basic
                            > restrictions on all
                            > members across the board, to the point that this imposition seems almost
                            > natural"
                            >
                            > The part about seeming natural
                            >
                            > . As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
                            > instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly
                            > unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change
                            > in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting
                            > victims of the darkness.
                            > William O. Douglas
                            >
                            > I will throw in a few more Douglas quotes.
                            >
                            > The struggle is always between the individual
                            > and his sacred right to express himself
                            > and... the power structure that seeks
                            > conformity, suppression and obedience."
                            > Justice William O. Douglas
                            >
                            > Freedom
                            > The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms.
                            > William O. Douglas The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take
                            > the government
                            > off the backs of people.
                            > William O. DouglasBig Brother"Big Brother in the form of an increasingly
                            > powerful government and
                            > in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high
                            > with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law
                            > and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and
                            > the like."
                            > Justice William O. DouglasAnd this quote parralells what i said earlier that
                            > many of the reasons for our opinions are unconcious.
                            > At the constitutional level where we work, 90 percent of any decision
                            > is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for
                            > supporting our predilections.
                            > William O. DouglasTom
                            >
                            >
                            >




                            **************
                            Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                            celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
                            (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • tom
                            Wil, I agree, and Amos in a post today brought up the fact that in Europe there are leftist libertarians. Certainly the r wing Neocons only use the idea of
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                              Wil, I agree, and Amos in a post today brought up the fact that in Europe there are leftist libertarians. Certainly the r wing Neocons only use the idea of freedom as an excuse for invading people's countries. Their idea of freedom only includes the freedom to attend the Judeo Christian church of your choice on Sunday and invest in the 401k plan of your choice.I will vote left or right for whoever has the strongest position on personal liberty and peace.


                              "We believe in giving freedom to people," Giuliani said in a March speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee. "The Republican Party makes its greatest contribution when it's giving more freedom to people." Giuliani does not, however, view freedom as the absence of state control. "Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want," he said in a 1994 speech two months after becoming mayor. "Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority."

                              Happy New Year to u and everybody on the list.

                              Tom
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: eupraxis@...
                              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 9:39 PM
                              Subject: Re: [existlist] What is the Left? A short overview.


                              Tom,

                              I actually had Nietzsche and Freud in mind when I spoke about desires
                              becoming as if 'naturally' repressed. The sexual urge, for example, is the most
                              obviously mediated of impulses, not only by laws, but by means of rites and formal
                              institutions, and so forth. I was not speaking of encroaching dark clouds of
                              tyranny or any such thing.

                              Yes, personal freedom and especially artistic and philosophical rights to
                              transgress the perceived order must be protected by law, by universal
                              constitutional guarantee.

                              And for what it is worth, I, too, advocate the decriminalization of most
                              drugs, except the most lethal. The selling of such drugs as crystal meth and
                              others like it seem rather too dangerous to the public health to be left without
                              ado. But as far as personal consumption goes, even of such otherwise proscribed
                              drugs, I hardly think that one should face legal penalties for what one does
                              oneself to oneself.

                              The same goes for ideas, books, modes of dress, cuts of jib, styles of hair
                              and moustache, and whatever else: I, too, regard such matters as one's own
                              private privilege. Of course.

                              Unlike Plato, and those like him through the ages, I do not want to envision
                              a perfect society that I would feel either limited within, or just bored to
                              death by.

                              Danger should not be against the law.

                              But this has nothing to do with being on the left.

                              Wil

                              In a message dated 1/1/09 9:06:51 PM, tsmith17_midsouth1@... writes:

                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Wil,
                              >
                              > I'm not here to convince anybody of anything either. Obviously, our values
                              > are the product of many things, some of which we are unconcious.I think Mill
                              > had the idea that a person's right to swing their fist goes as far as their
                              > neighbor's nose in affect. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
                              > were to a large extent an expression of such philosophy into reality for the
                              > first time. However, as the following quote makes clear, Jefferson was not
                              > naive enough to not be aware that the Orwellian forces would not eventually
                              > find a way to distort the constitution to serve their own desires for power and
                              > graft.
                              >
                              > Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those
                              > entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into
                              > tyranny"
                              > Thomas Jefferson quote
                              >
                              > "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty
                              > than to those attending too small a degree of it."
                              > Thomas Jefferson quote
                              >
                              > As for your statement "a functioning society has to impose basic
                              > restrictions on all
                              > members across the board, to the point that this imposition seems almost
                              > natural"
                              >
                              > The part about seeming natural
                              >
                              > . As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
                              > instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly
                              > unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change
                              > in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting
                              > victims of the darkness.
                              > William O. Douglas
                              >
                              > I will throw in a few more Douglas quotes.
                              >
                              > The struggle is always between the individual
                              > and his sacred right to express himself
                              > and... the power structure that seeks
                              > conformity, suppression and obedience."
                              > Justice William O. Douglas
                              >
                              > Freedom
                              > The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms.
                              > William O. Douglas The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take
                              > the government
                              > off the backs of people.
                              > William O. DouglasBig Brother"Big Brother in the form of an increasingly
                              > powerful government and
                              > in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high
                              > with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law
                              > and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and
                              > the like."
                              > Justice William O. DouglasAnd this quote parralells what i said earlier that
                              > many of the reasons for our opinions are unconcious.
                              > At the constitutional level where we work, 90 percent of any decision
                              > is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for
                              > supporting our predilections.
                              > William O. DouglasTom
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              **************
                              Stay up-to-date on the latest news - from fashion trends to
                              celebrity break-ups and everything in between.
                              (http://www.aol.com/?ncid=emlcntaolcom00000024)

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • C. S. Wyatt
                              ... I think this is a misstatement of most current libertarians -- who see themselves as socially liberal/tolerant and fiscally conservative. Some noted
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 1, 2009
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                                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:

                                > (It is in this light that I assert that libertarianism is essentially a
                                > right-wing ideology, replacing the symbolic social order of hierarchies -- divine
                                > right, etc., -- with the mundane self-reference of greed and self-worship. It
                                > takes the status quo for the proverbial "all things being equal"
                                > presupposition, when the fact is that all things are not equal and one's wealth is a social
                                > product rather than a ready-made thing without a history.)

                                I think this is a misstatement of most current "libertarians" -- who see themselves as
                                socially liberal/tolerant and fiscally conservative. Some noted Libertarian Party members
                                are now Democrats, such as Gene Burns, because they were so upset with the erosion of
                                civil liberties over the last eight years.

                                No one I know who considers his or her self a libertarian believes in the Horatio Alger
                                myth. What is believed is that government often stands in the way of many people,
                                protecting those already in power or in the upper classes. In other words, we fear dynastic
                                power (Bush, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Cuomo, Brown, and so on). We don't buy the notion
                                that modern government is a meritocracy, any more than we buy Alger.

                                What most generally believe is that federal power should defer to state and local control
                                unless (and it is a big unless) civil rights are being violated by local powers. The federal
                                system is a "libertarian" concept.

                                Most "libertarians" I know are not wealthy, nor do they even aspire to much beyond fiscal
                                security. Instead, they are close to the "rural cabin" set. Not that this is always reasonable,
                                either, but they really, really value isolation -- sometimes, admittedly, in a paranoid
                                manner.

                                I, personally, believe in private charities and deeds. That's not selfish at all. What it is: I
                                think I should decide what to support and not support, beyond basic government services.
                                I support causes that I think matter. I don't want to obligate anyone else to support those
                                causes, nor do I want to be obligated to some causes. (Example: I don't want to support
                                building all the local stadiums. I'd rather give the same amount of money to local schools,
                                food banks, and a number of other causes.)

                                I don't for one minute think my spoiled, upper-middle class, all-white students (seriously,
                                that was my last collection) doesn't have an advantage over the 44 percent of Minneapolis
                                students who are minorities. I just look at the government failures and think some private
                                organizations can do better. (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is certainly trying to
                                help schools. Nothing wrong with some private-public partnerships.)

                                A distrust of government, the hallmark of most libertarian thought, is not synonymous
                                with narcissism, greed, conservatism, or anything else. It's simply a distrust of centralized
                                power. Nothing more. How that is expressed varies, I am certain, from person to person.

                                When I vote, I'm stuck trying to decide who will least infringe on my rights and those of
                                others. Who is least likely to abuse power? I already know the "Libertarian Party" is not
                                always libertarian -- it's often kooks. Also, why waste a vote?

                                I honestly view Obama and his choices so far in a positive light. I think many on the left /
                                progressive side will be disappointed in the long run. But they were with Bill Clinton, too.

                                I also believe you can see a major issue with America versus Europe right now. Most
                                Western nations have a Civil Service than can handle a change in leadership within two
                                weeks. New leader? No problem... the Shadow Ministers become the Ministers and the
                                workers remain the workers. Our system? More than 7000 jobs need to change, with more
                                than 200 posts requiring Senate hearings.

                                Our government was, I suppose thankfully, designed to move like molasses. The U.S.
                                Senate being a prime example of where one or two people can deadlock policies for weeks
                                or even months. Not necessarily a bad thing -- depending on the policy.

                                America itself is definitely more "libertarian" or "Classical Liberal" (I read the phrase "Neo-
                                Liberal" in some publications) than Europe. We are more suspect of centralized authority.
                                That has never meant that Americans themselves are selfish or greedy. It's a simple matter
                                of how our system was created: a far more restricted federal system in response to
                                perceived British abuses of power.

                                And I have nothing against the U.K. mode, or Canadian. I don't think the U.S. model is
                                superior. I simply think we are still paranoid -- and quite a few Presidents have given us
                                reason to remain paranoid of power. I prefer our model, but I'm the product of rural
                                American ideals.

                                - CSW
                              • eupraxis@aol.com
                                CS, I have to admit that that little parenthetical statement was, indeed, a little provocation aimed at yourself in particular. It seems to have worked, just
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jan 2, 2009
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                                  CS,

                                  I have to admit that that little parenthetical statement was, indeed, a
                                  little provocation aimed at yourself in particular. It seems to have worked, just
                                  as yours, here, has.
                                  ---
                                  "I think this is a misstatement of most current "libertarians" -- who see
                                  themselves as socially liberal/tolerant and fiscally conservative."

                                  Response: But that is not what the statement said. I opined that
                                  libertarianism "takes the status quo for the proverbial 'all things being equal'
                                  presupposition, when the fact is that all things are not equal and one's wealth is a
                                  social product rather than a ready-made thing without a history." And that is
                                  what makes it a right wing tendency, not the stated positions on sundry social
                                  issues.
                                  ---
                                  ",,, What is believed is that government often stands in the way of many
                                  people, protecting those already in power or in the upper classes. In other words,
                                  we fear dynastic power (Bush, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Cuomo, Brown, and so on).
                                  We don't buy the notion that modern government is a meritocracy, any more
                                  than we buy Alger."

                                  Response: First, I have not heard this position being espoused by any of the
                                  noted libertarian spokespersons, from Nozick to Barr to Paul. But even if this
                                  is indeed a position, it doesn't change the fact that most libertarians want
                                  NO government other than police and defense, etc., and even these are now
                                  theorized as being outsourcable. Secondly, your statement does not make sense:
                                  there is nothing in libertarian theory that would prevent dynasties, other than
                                  espousing the ending government tout court and without further ado.
                                  Libertarianism has had two main flavors: what I call right-wing libertarianism which is
                                  pro business and anti-union, anti-government anti-oversight in trade and
                                  commerce, and is completely free market; and the populist form that is mainly
                                  against taxation for social programs and other 'wallet' issues. The latter may not
                                  benefit from the position and power of the former, but that has always been
                                  the case with rightwing ideologies. In fact, that is why it IS an ideology.
                                  ---
                                  "What most generally believe is that federal power should defer to state and
                                  local control unless (and it is a big unless) civil rights are being violated
                                  by local powers. The federal system is a "libertarian" concept."

                                  Response: Yes, that can be the case, which is another reason why I deem it
                                  right wing. In the South, what you say is tantamount to the current cant of
                                  Civil War revisionists, where the North is seen as infringing on the South's state
                                  rights. As if slavery is a state's right. Again, this version of federalism
                                  is anti-poor and in favor of status quo policies, because only the State can
                                  make laws and codes universal and not based on local wealth or prejudice.
                                  ---
                                  "Most "libertarians" I know are not wealthy, nor do they even aspire to much
                                  beyond fiscal security. Instead, they are close to the "rural cabin" set. Not
                                  that this is always reasonable, either, but they really, really value
                                  isolation -- sometimes, admittedly, in a paranoid manner."

                                  Response: I know the type. [shiver]
                                  ---
                                  "I, personally, believe in private charities and deeds. That's not selfish at
                                  all."

                                  Response: I think it IS selfish. If you want to give to a charity of church,
                                  fine, but part of the social contract is that the government owes the common
                                  wealth its positive contribution to even the least of us. That means you get
                                  taxed.
                                  ---
                                  "... I think I should decide what to support and not support, beyond basic
                                  government services. I support causes that I think matter. I don't want to
                                  obligate anyone else to support those causes, nor do I want to be obligated to some
                                  causes...."

                                  Response: That would spell disaster for social programs in a country where
                                  anti-social propaganda runs like (polluted) water. Universalism over private
                                  interest.
                                  ---
                                  "A distrust of government, the hallmark of most libertarian thought, is not
                                  synonymous with narcissism, greed, conservatism, or anything else. It's simply
                                  a distrust of centralized power. Nothing more. How that is expressed varies, I
                                  am certain, from person to person."

                                  Response: True, a distrust of government is not a sign of greed, etc. But it
                                  IS when this is used as a rationale for libertarian views that can only lead
                                  to status quo policies and the denial of progressivism. Then the greed, et al.,
                                  becomes manifest every time. "Not my money" becomes the inevitable clarion
                                  call. Distrust of government is not a position, it is a mood.
                                  ---

                                  The rest I will leave as it is.

                                  Thanks,
                                  Wil



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