Is there a law of conservation of bigotry?

Continuing my grouchy old man series . . .

A few weeks ago I bashed modern society for giving in to 1984-style surveillance, without even putting up a fight.  Sad!

Now I’d like to bash the rise of political bigotry:

Whereas in 1960 only 5% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats said they would be “displeased” if their child married outside their political party, by 2010, those numbers had reached 49% and 33%, a far higher percentage than those who would be “displeased” if their child married outside their race.

Of course those figures would be roughly reversed if you asked about race.

I’m actually old enough to recall the time before widespread political bigotry.  Even as late as the 1980s, I recall that politics was a non-factor on the dating scene.  It simply didn’t matter (to me or to the women I dated.)  Now people tell me that even my home state of Wisconsin has become polarized by politics, with neighbors refusing to talk to each other.  This seems both very weird and very sad.

So here’s my question, is there a “law of conservation of bigotry”?  People simply must feel bigoted about something, and if it’s not one thing it will be another.  I’ve always suspected that grown-ups are just high school bullies who are more sophisticated at hiding their bullying.

Scott Alexander (who most certainly is not a bully) has one of his excellent posts on this general topic.  Using his terminology, I’d be a member of the “grey tribe” which makes it easier for me to avoid bigotry toward the blue and red tribes.

Because most people assume that others are like them (i.e. very tribal), they misunderstand my political posts, assuming that I am also very tribal.  Thus people will explain to me that some outrage by Trump also was done by Obama.  And I think to myself, “if you are trying to convince me to like Trump, why the heck would you mention Obama?  You should compare his idiocy to Bush!”  If these “red” commenters would explain to me that Trump is no more of a corrupt pathological liar than Bush, and cite examples from Bush, I might actually take them a bit more seriously.

The other mistake they make is to point to some link that presents a pro-red tribe data point, with a “so there” attached.  But I’m not anti-red tribe!  Or more precisely I’m just as anti-blue tribe as I am anti-red tribe.  So then why did I favor Hillary over Trump?  Because of Trump.  There are plenty of GOP candidates that I would have preferred to Hillary. I have no special antipathy toward the red tribe, indeed many (most?) of my best friends are red tribers.  At worst I might be biased by a distaste for Trump’s awful personality.  But I do think I’m capable of respecting politicians whose personality I dislike (such as Thatcher.)

[Indeed by Scott Alexander’s criteria, I might be more red tribe than blue tribe.  I was happy when Osama died, and sad when Thatcher died.  Scott says that blue tribers scolded people for celebrating Osama’s death, but then turned around and celebrated Thatcher’s death.  If that’s blue tribe, then count me out.]

Before you claim that I’m just as bigoted as anyone else, tell me which other pundits in the blogosphere are not opposed to any of these sorts of people serving on the Supreme Court:

1.  Liberals

2.  Conservatives

3.  Atheists

4.  Muslims

5.  Catholics

6.  Socialists

6.  Fascists

7.  Communists

8.  Vegetarians

I want specific names.

As long as they are good judges, why should I care about their personal beliefs on religious or political issues?  If I were on the Supreme Court I would not try to implement a libertarian agenda, even though I am a libertarian.  I would not rule big government “unconstitutional”, unless it clearly and unambiguously violated some specific part of the constitution.  I probably would not have ruled against Trump’s immigration restrictions, even though I despise them.  I don’t view our drug laws as unconstitutional.  I would hope that fascist and communist judges would not use the court to implement their preferred public polices.  A good judge is not a liberal or conservative or communist judge, it’s a judge free of bias.

PS. I might have voted against one small aspect of Trump’s immigration policy, which favored Christian refugees over Muslims.  But even there I’d first need to study the issue.  I believe that that particular policy has recently been adjusted–is that right?

PPS.  Mike Pence recently said the following:

We may be separated by an ocean, but the American people have always been bound by a kinship to the Chinese people, and we always will.

Actually, Pence didn’t say that, I made it up.  Pence said this.

PPPS.  So Trump completely made up a story that his predecessor had committed specific criminal impeachable offenses.  Then he failed to provide any evidence to back up this claim.  Then he failed to provide any coherent reason for failing to provide evidence backing up the claim.  Then when caught lying he refused to apologize, or even to admit he had lied.

But Obama said you could keep your insurance company, so we’re equal!


Tags:

 
 
 

90 Responses to “Is there a law of conservation of bigotry?”

  1. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    21. March 2017 at 06:15

    FYI

    “Under Australian law, foreign investors can only purchase new homes or units — they are prohibited from buying existing dwellings.”

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/chinese-investors-pumping-billions-of-dodgy-cash-into-australian-property/news-story/cdab9af854d70d805a5b51cf881e40c9

    Well, perhaps others also have a fondness for ol’ Ireland.

    Aussie banks often will not lend to foreigners, even to buy new buildings. As a matter of public policy!

    I wonder what prompted Aussies to become so xenophobic?

    These guys make Trump look like a little boy in short pants. I mean even more the George Bush jr.

  2. Gravatar of The other kind of Red commenter The other kind of Red commenter
    21. March 2017 at 06:41

    “If these “red” commenters would explain to me that Trump is no more of a corrupt pathological liar than Bush, and cite examples from Bush, I might actually take them a bit more seriously.”

    The Iraq War

  3. Gravatar of Bob Bob
    21. March 2017 at 06:57

    I’ve spent a good percentage of my life near courts, and if there’s something that seems clear to me is that good judges don’t exist.

    Let’s look at the US Supreme Court. The theoretical good judge would not judge based on their beliefs, but on the law. If we had 9 good judges, we’d not be able to predict how they are going to rule, but we know, and we know that there are big correlations on whether each pair of judges will rule the same way, which happen to, as if through magic, align in political ways.

    No matter how independent we think we are, more often than not we come to our conclusions for all the wrong reasons, and then we do some parallel construction to justify them. As people change allegiances, whether it’s to principles, people, or a football team, they turn on a dime, even on topics that they really don’t know much about. This is a design feature of humanity which helps a tribe do things as a group instead of falling into disagreement and infighting very quickly. In this world with few predators and huge groups, it doesn’t serve us well.

  4. Gravatar of BC BC
    21. March 2017 at 07:07

    I believe that many (most?) conservative and libertarian legal scholars share your view that judges should make rulings based only on the original public meaning of the plain text of the Constitution and laws, not on their own political preferences. As far as I can tell, however, for some reason progressives consider such a principle to be anti-progressive, even if it appears on its face to be politically neutral.

    So, many people are not opposed to those on your list. See blog Volokh Conspiracy for specific names. However, progressives might claim that all of them, including you, are actually opposed to #1 on your list because they consider being bound by Constitutional text, for some reason, to be anti-progressive.

  5. Gravatar of Travis Allison Travis Allison
    21. March 2017 at 07:16

    The Supreme Court is values and politics to the core. It’s pretty much unavoidable.

    http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/2/27/14747562/originalism-gorsuch-scalia-brown-supreme-court

  6. Gravatar of Capt. J Parker Capt. J Parker
    21. March 2017 at 07:56

    No, there is no conservation law for bigotry. It seems like there is. America confronted and to an important extent reduced it’s racial bigotry beginning in the mid 60’s But, also beginning in the mid 60’s the American political left assumed for itself the mantle of moral superiority. The left could have chosen a path emphasizing freedom from government imposed bigotry like Jim Crow laws but, it chose moral authority as it’s path to political power and that has led to today’s political animosity. It’s rather difficult to have a dispassionate discussion of political ideas with someone who thinks your position is, at a fundamental level, immoral.

    Shelby Steele wrote a great piece along these lines in the Wall St Journal entitled “The Exhaustion of American Liberalism” https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-exhaustion-of-american-liberalism-1488751826 It’s gated but if you google the title you might get a link that lets you in.

    Here’s a slice of Mr. Steele:
    When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.

    This was the circumstance in which innocence of America’s bigotries and dissociation from the American past became a currency of hardcore political power. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, good liberals both, pursued power by offering their candidacies as opportunities for Americans to document their innocence of the nation’s past. “I had to vote for Obama,” a rock-ribbed Republican said to me. “I couldn’t tell my grandson that I didn’t vote for the first black president.”

  7. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    21. March 2017 at 08:27

    “I would hope that fascist and communist judges would not use the court to implement their preferred public polices.” You can’t really be so naïve; but why this *pretend* naïveté?

  8. Gravatar of JayT JayT
    21. March 2017 at 09:07

    I agree with 99% of your post, but the last line doesn’t seem quite right to me. Personally, I find Obama’s lie to be the worse one because it actually affects my life. Trump running off his mouth hardly even registers anymore.

  9. Gravatar of Cooper Cooper
    21. March 2017 at 09:24

    I would argue that neither Fascists nor Communists would be capable of making reasonable decisions in court cases. Their biases would be so outside the mainstream of modern American thought, let alone the beliefs of the Founders, that their decisions would be socially disruptive in negative ways.

  10. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    21. March 2017 at 09:47

    Political bigotry isn’t the worst kind of bigotry. Political affiliations are at least self-selected and probably do say meaningful things about a person’s viewpoints and how they believe the world should operate. As opposed to race or ethnicity or even class status. To make an extreme example- if someone told me they were a neo-Nazi politically, I would not want to talk to them and I would not consider their viewpoints even worthy of reasonable discussion. I would stick them automatically into a group that I would not interact with voluntarily just from knowing their political affiliation. Perhaps that is bigotry, it is definitely discrimination of a sort I would feel justifiable.

  11. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    21. March 2017 at 09:57

    One of the most surprising things is how high the percent of unanimous decisions there are at the Supreme Court level. For the years 2014-2015 there were 69 unanimous decisions out of 154 decisions made. There were only 19 5-4 decisions.2016 through June had similar results. I infer from this that despite the popular image of courts being highly politicized, in fact, most judges seem to have a similar and specific understanding of the constitution.

  12. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    21. March 2017 at 11:36

    Scott, The idea that the court is constructionist is red tribe. The blue POV is the court as inherently political.

  13. Gravatar of bill bill
    21. March 2017 at 11:39

    I think the Blue tribe’s point about not celebrating bin Laden’s death was “don’t do it publicly”.
    I think you’re on to something about conservation of bigotry. When I lived in Ireland, the Catholics and Protestants that hated each other would ask me, “why do whites and blacks hate each other?”
    Regarding judges and judging, I think you’re overestimating our ability to overcome our biases. Some people are better than others. But case law has many inconsistencies and nuances that allow for a range of interpretations and our minds lead us to emphasize the portion of the range that we like.

  14. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    21. March 2017 at 11:42


    But Obama said you could keep your insurance company, so we’re equal!

    Obama’s lie is far worse because it did cost people quite some money directly. People got affected by Obama’s lie and they needed to react to that. I don’t see how common people are affected by Trump’s assumption that he was tapped.

    It’s also a very different kind of lie: Obama pledged something to his voters again and again, he made a firm promise. Trump expressed a suspicion that he had. His story is not plausibly proven but (as so often with Trump) you can not disprove him to 100% as well.

  15. Gravatar of bill bill
    21. March 2017 at 11:45

    To me it’s pretty obvious that the Constitution should be read to only reflect the original meaning at that point in time. Yet there are people that read the Second Amendment as covering guns that were invented after 1791. And why is it that I can’t own some nuclear weapons? Don’t restrict my freedom!

  16. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    21. March 2017 at 12:13


    As long as they are good judges, why should I care about their personal beliefs on religious or political issues?

    That’s a huge contradiction in itself. Being a fascist implies that you bend the law according to fascism. So you are either a real fascist or a good judge. You can not be both. Never. Similar patterns apply to Communism and (at the moment) to Islam.

  17. Gravatar of Dan W. Dan W.
    21. March 2017 at 13:12

    Bill,

    At the time the 2nd Amendment was passed civilians were the military and their guns were military guns. So why should that not be the case today?

    One of the great failings of American governance is the political impatience at using the amendment process to modify the Constitution when such modifications are desired. The 2nd amendment may be an anachronism. Then change it by the Constitutional process! The alternative is to ignore the language of the law and once that is done the law is meaningless.

  18. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    21. March 2017 at 13:26

    Christian List,

    If you don’t mind me asking, do you work in academia?

  19. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    21. March 2017 at 13:29


    Yet there are people that read the Second Amendment as covering guns that were invented after 1791.

    People also read the property rights as covering property that was created after 1791. It’s so weird! And it get’s even weirder: There are elected professionals who actually decide how the constitution should be read. They are called “US Supreme court judges”. So weird!

  20. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    21. March 2017 at 13:39

    W. Peden.

    If you don’t mind me asking, why would you want to know that?

    I was physician at a university clinic but I switched to a
    medical office two years ago. More money and far less work.

  21. Gravatar of morgan s warstler morgan s warstler
    21. March 2017 at 14:13

    Scott,

    Here the difference:

    I’m grey tribe but I get we are in the 3 player game. Right now we are China in Cold War.

    The Blue Team (the folks who think of themselves as other and call themselves globalists largely bc they don’t like it HERE) are B player the USSR.

    Red Team is Player A. The home team. The hegemony.

    —–

    You are just doing pox on both houses.

    BUT our optimal(easiest) strategy IMO is to CO-OPT Red, giving them a way of being GLOBALISTS and still being home team. Still giving them We’re #1! We’re #1!

    So it’s simple:

    Grey team partner with red team to DEFEAT BLUE, while preaching / trading with Red Team – you become more Libertarian and WE WILL LOOK OUTWARD TOWARDS DOMINATION.

    Think of this as United States of Earth strategy. Take basic grey team Meritocracy / Creative destruction Theory (SV loves) we suck up ALL THE EARTH TALENT and cut off access to all low skilled to benefit Red Team low skilled.

    Then as other countries crumble we give them ability to join as territories and states…

    Which isn’t hard because:

    WE STEAL ALL THEIR TALENT.

    This gives red team low skilled the sense of WINNING and everyone else bending to be us bc we BEAT TEHM.

    This is the shortest path to Libertarian Future It guides all my work and has for years.

    Whats great about the essay is that HE ADMITS who is the hegemony.

    We don’t have to argue about it. Just form an alliance and END the blue team once and for all.

  22. Gravatar of morgan s warstler morgan s warstler
    21. March 2017 at 14:15

    This Scott is WHY my strategy is optimal:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/magazine/platform-companies-are-becoming-more-powerful-but-what-exactly-do-they-want.html?_r=0

  23. Gravatar of morgan s warstler morgan s warstler
    21. March 2017 at 14:20

    Here’s my author page (2010-2011) when Drew launched:

    http://www.breitbart.com/author/morgan-warstler/

    This s tone, the way grey convinces the HOME TEAM to let us drive. (see Trump)

  24. Gravatar of morgan s warstler morgan s warstler
    21. March 2017 at 14:25

    Last point for now Scott,

    Blues will NEVER let us drive. They have a sick agenda, they don’t feel at home in America.

    But the Reds, they only need to see we have a loyalty to the roots from which we came, and if we give it to them… they will let us make the whole world Libertarian.

    Sure yes, eventually, someday out there in future – the world will bend to our conception of morality.

    But we have a moral obligation NOW, to shorten the arc of human history. Libertarians HACK, we PIRATE – we do not roam the halls of GMU, those eggheads are our cheerleaders – we topple countries (brain drain), we offer statehood and territory status, we REPROGRAM (nudge).

    We get our hands dirty.

  25. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    21. March 2017 at 15:19

    “So Trump completely made up a story that his predecessor had committed specific criminal impeachable offenses. ”

    No he didn’t

  26. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    21. March 2017 at 15:35

    “Even as late as the 1980s, I recall that politics was a non-factor on the dating scene

    -Even as late as the 1980s, I recall there were conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. FDR realigned party ideology, but it took a while for constituencies to realign in a reversal of their early 20th century fashion.

    Try the 1890s-1920, instead.

    “I would not rule big government “unconstitutional”, unless it clearly and unambiguously violated some specific part of the constitution.”

    -Judges have (almost) absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If all the other judges are corrupt, why shouldn’t you be? There’s no higher power above you to stop you from being so. So corruption of the Constitution via the judicial system is totally inevitable. Thus, only conservatives should be appointed to the Supreme Court, as conservative ideology is an impediment to such corruption.

    Also, Major Freedom is correct.

    “Because most people assume that others are like them (i.e. very tribal), they misunderstand my political posts, assuming that I am also very tribal.”

    -You are. And, really, I shouldn’t use Bush, since you don’t like him, either. In the future, I’ll use that bit of absolute scum you claim to ilke, Paul Ryan.

    “Scott Alexander (who most certainly is not a bully)”

    -He’s less of one than most, but he still banned me for no good reason.

    The Chinese were the first people to be excluded from the U.S.; the U.S. people have obviously not always been bound by a kinship to the Chinese people. Pence is actually Irish, so what he actually said is actually true. Sumner, you seem to have a severe problem with truth.

    “Because of Trump. There are plenty of GOP candidates that I would have preferred to Hillary.”

    -Name six. Of the actual candidates who ran, I found Trump to be best overall.

    “I might have voted against one small aspect of Trump’s immigration policy, which favored Christian refugees over Muslims.”

    -That’s neither an establishment of religion, nor does the First Amendment apply to non-Americans.

    You know, I’m really starting to like Caplan more than you, Scott. At least he’s honest.

  27. Gravatar of bill bill
    21. March 2017 at 16:11

    Supreme Court justices are not elected.

  28. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    21. March 2017 at 16:56

    Red commenter, Bush did not lie about the Iraq War.

    Bob, I agree, but some judges are far less bad than others. There is such a thing as a judicial temperament. Trump doesn’t have it, whereas Scott Alexander and Tyler Cowen do.

    BC, I don’t agree with your characterization of liberals and conservatives.

    Travis, I totally disagree.

    Capt. Parker. I don’t agree—conservatives seem just as moralistic as liberals. Try reading the National Review. You act like PJ O’Rourke is representative of modern conservatism. He isn’t.

    Philo, How is it naive to hope that people behave well? Did I say I expect them to behave well? No. But I also don’t expect liberals and conservatives to behave well.

    Cooper. I do not agree. That seems like political bigotry to me. Do you think communists and fascists could be trusted not to steal money from you?

    Would most communists be bad judges? Obviously. But that’s also true of most liberals and conservatives (to a slightly lesser extent).

    Jerry, So are you comparing Democrats or Republicans to Nazis? Personally, I don’t see either party as being close to the Nazis. The GOP wants to spend a bit more on the military while the Dems want to spend a bit more on social programs. Neither are close to the Nazis.

    Michael, Finally, a voice of reason.

    Jon, I don’t agree.

    bill, You said:

    “I think the Blue tribe’s point about not celebrating bin Laden’s death was “don’t do it publicly”.”

    So why did they publicly celebrate Thatcher’s death?

    You said:

    “I think you’re overestimating our ability to overcome our biases.”

    Not at all, I believe 99.9% of people would make horrible judges, because they cannot overcome their biases. A few people can, but most cannot. Indeed I think most actual judges are probably mediocre, at best.

    I’m talking about what we should look for, what we should aspire to.

    It’s like saying I don’t understand basketball because most people can’t be as good as NBA players. Then don’t play in the NBA!

    You said:

    “and nuances that allow for a range of interpretations and our minds lead us to emphasize the portion of the range that we like.”

    Speak for yourself. There are nuances that would allow me to rule drug laws unconstitutional. I despise drug laws. And yet I would not rule them unconstitutional. Why?

    Christian, I feel sorry for you.

    Harding, You said:

    “If all the other judges are corrupt, why shouldn’t you be?”

    What a lovely way of going through life! “Mommy, Freddie stole some cookies, why can’t I?”

  29. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    21. March 2017 at 17:05

    Scott,

    brilliant concept, this conservation of bigotry. There could be something to it. I’d relate this to the puritan streak of US society (and to a lesser extent, all other societies): The need to divide the world into good and evil according to some criteria, followed by the need to proselytize the “good”. The upshot, in the US people DO care about what their neighbors think… Maybe a bit too much.

    Alternately, this may all have to do with identity. Americans specifically with the nation’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural background, need a unifying identity. For a long time, this was a white / judeo-christian one, whatever you want to call it. When communism came up, US identity started to include anti-communism, while racism started to be phased out and inclusion-based liberal values started to be proselytized, including outside the US. Today, both religion and “freedom” or “small government” as an identity start to lose ground, so the people need a new identity.

    In summary, the current political ruckus could be characterized as the next instalment battle for America’s identity (“soul”?). It’s not about whether identity politics prevail or not. They always have been at the core. What’s at stake is which kind of identity will be chosen as the next defining characteristic of the US.

    European politics are not much different btw. The right wing is the political expression of a loss of the implied ethno-national identity that Europeans took for granted for the last 2 centuries. It did not need much political expression before because it was taken as matter of course. For a while in the 20th century, identity in Europe was based in left-right divisions too, but now all parties in Europe are a variation of social democracy. And for completeness sake, there is no noticeable religious streak anywhere. So what’s left to define identity are culture and ethnicity. Hence contemporary nationalism, which btw started way before Syrian refugees or any serious immigration issues. Le Pen dates back to the 70s. The EU was meant to defuse old style national feelings but sadly, it was never sold to the European people as an identity. It was always sold as economics. That continues to be a huge political and emotional mistake which the EU elites still do not understand.

  30. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    21. March 2017 at 17:44

    “What a lovely way of going through life! “Mommy, Freddie stole some cookies, why can’t I?””

    -There is no mommy. Only totally unaccountable judges. As said the masterful Hobbes

    Where there is no common Power, there is no Law: where no Law, no Injustice. Force, and Fraud, are in warre the two Cardinall vertues.

    And there exists no common Power which strikes down the decision of any justice of the Supreme Court.

    Bush did not lie about the Iraq War

    -Of course he did:
    http://www.vox.com/2016/7/9/12123022/george-w-bush-lies-iraq-war
    “Trump doesn’t have it, whereas Scott Alexander and Tyler Cowen do.”

    -Both Trump and Alexander generally (not always) have it, Tyler does not possess it at all.

  31. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. March 2017 at 01:17

    And I feel sorry for you when you think a fascist can be a good judge. What a ridiculous statement. A 10-year-old autist could make a statement that makes more sense.

  32. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. March 2017 at 01:22


    The need to divide the world into good and evil according to some criteria

    I think that’s hardwired in the brain, amongst other things like fear for example. Those “chips” can not be “empty”, if you don’t use them for your former fear, the chip will look for another one. Take Scott’s Trump hysteria as an example.

  33. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    22. March 2017 at 02:02

    Christian List,

    “I think that’s hardwired in the brain, amongst other things like fear for example. Those “chips” can not be “empty”, if you don’t use them for your former fear, the chip will look for another one.”

    To a limited extent I’d agree with that – some basic stress is needed, mental as well as physical, lest we get fat and paranoid. But, there are vast differences between people, and between cultures, in the specific need to judge others and to “remedy” them (and the world). In the US there’s an awful lot of people constantly on a mission to fix others, and the world. This is not a human universal.

    And Scott really isn’t hysterical about Trump, he’s just having fun with the clown. It’s easy because Trump is absurdly grotesque. I’ve never met anyone in person that pathetic. You’ve got to have the gumption to say just anything that crosses your mind, to make it up completely, and to stick to your own inventions day after day, to believe in them. I didn’t know such people existed. These are unforced lies mind you – not the kind people tell for personal or political advantage. The man has a compulsion to tell invented stories. It’s amazing such a non entity became POTUS. But hey, it’s for such cases that the US constitution was built.

  34. Gravatar of bill bill
    22. March 2017 at 03:26

    Re Celebrating Thatcher’s death – because they didn’t fear that Britain would attack us.

    Re Judges and overcoming biases – at 0.1%, maybe you’re right. I was going to say something like, “but the votes of our Supreme Court are too correlated to not indicate bias”, however it occurred to me that this could just be a reflection that the justices were chosen by a political process and that non-biased judges are available but just not chosen.

  35. Gravatar of morgan s warstler morgan s warstler
    22. March 2017 at 04:54

    Cooper,

    Beating up on Bruenig I dealt with this:

    “I would argue that neither Fascists nor Communists would be capable of making reasonable decisions in court cases. Their biases would be so outside the mainstream of modern American thought, let alone the beliefs of the Founders, that their decisions would be socially disruptive in negative ways.”

    https://medium.com/@morganwarstler/do-progressives-fake-naivete-94eedc4c961d#.46o6wkycc

    Underneath every state, is it’s HEGEMONY.

    The is the Red Team – in America – defined as: those people who can:

    1) REVOLT
    2) WIN

    Red Team has total control over 37 states, owns 80% of US housing stock, runs Main Street, Churches, and PTAs. They own 450M guns and buy 20-25M more each year. They LOVE Zombie movies, bc practice.

    Red Team will get violent if there is ever a direct confrontation to their hegemony.

    This isn’t just int he US, this is in ALL Nations, no matter their political economy.

    ——-

    This is the same moral formulation as CAN + WANT = WILL. They CAN revolt, today they simply don’t want to…

    As an opening salvo Scott, they ELECTED TRUMP. This is why your constant moaning and groaning about him, instead of finding ways to SATISFY the Red Team so they are happy again are WRONG.

    You grew up in Trump Country. What’s sad is that you think you see some character flaw in Trump that half your state cannot see. What’s EVEN CRAZIER is you don’t get it:

    IT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS TRUMP THAT GOT HIM ELECTED.

    Scott, you’ve spent years and years tilting at Economics to get them to move to a nominal target (and unless it is a LEVERL TARGET, they will have co-opted you IMO, but that’s another topic).

    We made a bet on Romney vs Obama – it swayed me to the DANGER in letting Economy run too hot / cold, even if trying to get GOP elected.

    But then the next card got played, the next chapter…

    AND TRUMP GOT ELECTED bc FISCAL WAS NON-RESPONSIVE TO WILL OF HEGEMONY.

    Obama should never have asserted “who we are” is something that Red America doesn’t agree with… Obama should have BEEN BILL CLINTON.

    WOW!

    Scott, my argument with you was the Fed could be counted on to make Dems be Clinton to limit the pull leftwards.

    It didn’t mean THERE ARE NOT OTHER CARDS TO PLAY.

    Scott,

    Just as LBJ begat Nixon, Obama begat Trump.

    And if blac block keeps rioting, there will be another Kent State and America will unite behind Trump.

    WHY PISS OFF TRUMP VOTERS?

    It makes no sense.

  36. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    22. March 2017 at 08:12

    Good post!

  37. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    22. March 2017 at 08:28

    @bill, you made my point: Let’s take a look at the 2A:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    How should a so-called “originallist” read that? Only (official?) state militias can have “arms” or does it apply to individuals who are not part of militias as well? But more importantly, what are “arms?” Does it mean bladed weapons and muzzle loading black powder firearms? Surely that’s what they imagined at the time. Or does it mean “current technology?” If the latter, it surely means I (or my state’s militia) can have nukes, right? So how does an “originallist” justify something in between (what we have now basically)?

  38. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    22. March 2017 at 08:36

    What has Trump promised repeatedly about TrumpCare (or as the GOP has dubbed it: “The World’s Greatest Health Care Plan”):

    1) Everybody will be covered

    2) Rates (especially drug prices) will come way WAY down

    We should hold him to account for his statements the same as for any other past president, correct?

  39. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    22. March 2017 at 09:09

    http://www.redstate.com/patterico/2017/03/22/wall-street-journal-trumps-lack-credibility-real-problem/

  40. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 15:05

    Sumner wrote:

    “What a lovely way of going through life! “Mommy, Freddie stole some cookies, why can’t I?””

    That’s how you go about it with the Fed

    You ideologically support its existence, which is predicated on a coercion not unlike stealing cookies from the cookie jar by the way, and instead of being anti-pragmatic like you are with Trump, who is your President whether you like it or not, you instead join in with it ideologically and pooh pooh existential criticisms of it.

    Given you support the Fed’s existence, what makes your mindset any different from the supporting of the coercion that backs it?

  41. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    22. March 2017 at 15:10

    E. Harding, you said “…nor does the First Amendment apply to non-Americans.”

    That’s simply not true. If you reread it, you’ll see:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    It clearly applies to congress, the government, and the people. There is no mention of citizens vs. non-citizens.

  42. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 15:14

    Given today’s breaking news about deep state spying on the Trump campaign being confirmed, this comment from Sumner:

    PPPS. So Trump completely made up a story that his predecessor had committed specific criminal impeachable offenses. Then he failed to provide any evidence to back up this claim. Then he failed to provide any coherent reason for failing to provide evidence backing up the claim. Then when caught lying he refused to apologize, or even to admit he had lied.

    is going to age about as well as this one from 1998:

    “The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in ‘Metcalfe’s law’–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”

  43. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    22. March 2017 at 15:37

    Randomize, mea culpa. Still, the restriction of Muslim immigration does not violate the First Amendment.

  44. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. March 2017 at 16:16


    It clearly applies to congress, the government, and the people. There is no mention of citizens vs. non-citizens.

    That’s not so clear after all. Paper doesn’t blush. Take the right to vote for example: “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states…”

    The Founding fathers wrote “the people” quite often when in fact they meant citizens and as we all know regarding voting rights it was even more narrow: They wrote “the people” but they meant “male white rich citizens only”. Or at least this was the interpretation for decades after the Constitution was established and to my knowledge most (if not all) Founding fathers didn’t really complain about that.

  45. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    22. March 2017 at 18:59

    MF,

    “deep state spying on the Trump campaign ”

    Fake news from the fake president!

    I guess the Trump campaign shouldn’t have called their Russian handlers to wait for orders after the election. Because if anyone (TBC) listened to anything here, it’s the spooks listening to the Russians and accidentally finding out there was trumpsters talking to them.

    But I all agree that deep state should leave the Trumpster alone. No more post office for him, no more water piping (the fluids, the fluids!!). And no more sewage system either.

  46. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 20:31

    mbka,

    Didn’t I tell you to go back to sleep?

    You’re brainwashed with FAKE NEWS

    http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/nunes-confirms-obama-admin-spied-on-trump-transition-team/

    The connections with Russia? The Clinton camp:

    https://counterpropa.com/yes-cash-flowed-clinton-foundation-amid-u-s-russian-uranium-deal/

  47. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 20:38

    The ratlines are collapsing

    Comey perjured himself

    Weiner will be indicted

    mbka on suicide watch

  48. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 20:51

    Nunes says there will be more information coming out Friday. Says it appears surveillance “was related to a FISA order.”

    Ruh roh

    Also said the [wiretapping] of the Trump campaign definitely goes beyond what happened to Gen. Flynn, and that the NSA is cooperating.

  49. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    22. March 2017 at 20:53

    And Major-Freedom in a “deep state” of denial. Defending a President who is the antithesis of most every long comment MF has posted in the last 5 years.

  50. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 21:08

    Jerry Brown, I am not defending the President

    I am attacking the deep state

    I would be doing and saying the same thing if Ron Paul got elected

    I am an unapologetic anarchist and still believe, and will believe until the day I die, that states, including the institution of the executive branch of which are ruled by a person called President, are profoundly immoral, socially destructive (look at how people are essentially defenseless against statist imposed social migration patterns, as just one of many examples), as it is grounded on initiation of force and the threats thereof, against individual property rights

    If you think that being an anarchist requires and demands that the deep state be honored and defended, then you have no idea what liberty is about

    More is coming on the surveillance exposure, so hold on to your tights:

    http://imgur.com/a/wACbW

  51. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 21:10

    Meanwhile Obama is in French Polynesia (no extradition treaty) for the next month, maybe more

  52. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 21:17

    I am willing to bet that one or more of the Supreme Court justices were blackmailed to get Obamacare passed as constitutional

    It would explain Chief Justice Robert’s bizarre ruling despite what he publicly said

    In the Wikileaks it talked about Obama applying pressure on Roberts to flip his vote. Maybe they had dirt on him, which was collected by wiretapping

  53. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 21:47

    Here’s one way of which fake news works:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/fake-news-paul-manaforts-ties-russian-oligarch-made-headlines-11-months-ago-ap-breaks-story-today/

    The AP rewrote the article and released it as a breaking exclusive

    They “break” the same refuted Russia narrative story from 2 years ago to distract the public from the actual news of wiretapping

    See how this works now?

  54. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    22. March 2017 at 21:48

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

  55. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    22. March 2017 at 21:53

    MF, while I have always had profound disagreements with your philosophy, I have had a grudging respect for your consistency. Are you really trying to imply that our former President is wherever he is because there is no extradition treaty????? You have lost your mind if you think that.

  56. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    23. March 2017 at 07:25

    “Deep State” is the new Illuminati. 😂

  57. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    23. March 2017 at 07:28

    GatewayPundit is the new InfoWars

  58. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 15:01

    Jerry Brown:

    “Are you really trying to imply that our former President is wherever he is because there is no extradition treaty????? You have lost your mind if you think that.”

    I don’t think it as if I know it for certain, I was just pointing out them as facts, which are indisputable and support that which you are reading into what I said, a positive possibility

    You cannot deny it is a positive possibility because then you would be making a claim that requires certain insider information that is on par with the information needed to be certain the other way. In other words, you cannot be certain that isn’t the reason for the same reason I cannot be certain it is the reason.

    Again, just pointing out facts, make of them what you will. I would not be surprised at all if that was in fact the reason.

    Speaking of not being surprised, on a different topic, I also would not be surprised if the reason John Podesta got himself hired by the WaPo, is so that if he is arrested and jailed on pedophile charges, that the narrative of “Trump is attacking “the” press” can be used to create more fake news reports.

  59. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 15:05

    Tom Brown:

    “Deep State” is a term used by highly respected journalist Glenn Greenwald:

    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to

    The deep state, although there’s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads.

    If your brain interprets this concept as on par with “the Illuminati” then your brain is malfunctioning

  60. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 15:18

    Jerry Brown:

    And by the way Jerry, you don’t actually have a “profound disagreement” with my philosophy. In your day to day life, which is your and my only lives, your behavior vis a vis other people is actually consistent with my professed philosophy and totally contradictory to yours.

    Your actions, what you actually practise every day, is anarcho-capitalism with other civilians. You may not realize this because most statists frame their conception of the world’s logical categories of action, in terms of the state, with every citizen filling in a subsidiary role as “members” of that which the state supposedly creates, society. But the way you treat your family, your friends, your colleagues, and thus far me as well, is in accordance with anarcho-capitalism.

    Sumner is the same

    Virtually everyone on the blog who does not behave as states towards their fellow human beings, that is, do not steal and call it tax or eminent domain, or threaten with violence should anyone refuse to pay in your preferred currency when they otherwise want to do something else with their resources, the list goes on and on and on and on, these are all practising anarcho-capitalists

    And not only that, but you all believe that this is the RIGHT thing to do.

    Contrary to you and a lot of others on this blog, my philosophy that you publicly disparage, is a philosophy that I can say I practise what I preach. You cannot say the same thing. What you preach as right includes a lot of what you yourself believe is wrong for you yourself to do.

    I am a consistent whole, mind and body. Most of you are self-alienated and at war with your individual selves, which manifests outward in a worldview that is a danger to social peace and prosperity. You see conflict where there is none.

  61. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 15:24

    When you view the main conflict in society, between state and everyone else, your philosophy of self-alienation is perceived as validated, “empirically” so to speak. You find a link between the conflict in you, and the conflict in society. That is how you connect yourselves with the world and find (temporary, fleeting, ever disappearing) solace, and then it’s right back to being at war with yourselves.

    Your minds are fixated on how the state should behave in this area and that area, trying but continually failing to solve the problem that is in you yourselves.

  62. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    23. March 2017 at 15:40

    MF, you consider the imposition of tax by a democratically elected government to be theft. I don’t. That is a profound disagreement with your philosophy.

  63. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 16:30

    Jerry, you need to think self-reflectively in order to understand.

    YOU don’t tax anyone.

    If myself and my friend “voted” to take your money, which would be a democratic action since 2 votes beats 1 vote, you would consider that theft because when it comes to civilian to civilian ethics, you’re anarcho-capitalist. You actually have a “profound” agreement with me when it comes to how YOU and I deal with each other directly.

    You say you don’t “consider” it theft if OTHER PEOPLE took money against the will of those they take money from, but you do in fact consider it theft if you or I did the exact same action with the exact same “percentage” of votes

    That’s what I mean by you practising anarcho-capitalism

    For you, you have a contradictory set of values, an inner conflict. Stealing is wrong if myself and my friend did it to you, but you claim to believe it is right if we label ourselves as a democratic power (over the 3 person society) that determines who can do what and whether us taking your money constitutes theft against you or not.

  64. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    23. March 2017 at 16:44

    There is a gap in your reasoning, Jerry. You can’t square the micro with the macro. There is the micro, where your and my philosophy have a “profound agreement”, and then there is the macro, where your philosophy suddenly flips to the opposite, whereas mine does not.

    You don’t have any consistent justification for this sudden reversal. And, you don’t have any understanding of just how big the micro has to become if we were to start with the micro and then make it bigger and bigger. When you do it sequentially, you can never get to the opposite. Two people in the world, one takes the other’s production against their will, and that’s theft to you. Same thing if there were 3 people, and 2 of the people “voted” to take money from the 3rd. Same thing with 5 people (3 vote to take from 2), and 7, 9, 11 people.

    (And awkwardly for you, populations with an even number of people cannot even have a 1 person 1 vote based majority for the case of 50-50.)

    So we continually add more and more people, and each time you add one person there is no reason to pick any given number as “the” number that we say OK, if this many people want to take a person’s money against their will, it’s no longer theft.

    Your believe that “democratically elected government” does not steal when it taxes, doesn’t have any of the justification that you used for the many instances of micro analysis that deemed it theft. There is a YUUUGE empty hole in the middle of your analysis, where it’s theft over here, and oh whatever, it’s not theft over there.

    Empty!

  65. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    23. March 2017 at 20:17

    No MF, there is a gap in YOUR understanding. It is the government that protects you and your property from me. You think you don’t need protection from me, but the truth is you do. And if you value your property, which is only your property to the extent that you can keep it from me taking it from you, then you need to value a government that defines what property rights are in the first place. And keeps me from taking your property. And once you admit that value provided by the government you need to admit an ethical obligation towards contributing to the provision of it. That is a basic justification for taxes not being the same as theft.

    I admit it is not always a nice scenario.

  66. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    23. March 2017 at 20:30

    MF, just want to make something clear- you do not need to worry about me personally in any way and I was making an argument- not any kind of threat against you or any other person or property.

  67. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. March 2017 at 20:34

    I don’t fully understand why it would be illegal to talk to the Russians. Isn’t this the big “reset” the Obama administration and their attached media outlets always wanted? And this talks were so illegal that the American surveillance agencies had to spy on Trumps team?

    I heard information with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in the “intelligence community” (“deep state” seems to be the better word indeed).

    And this “intelligence community” illegally unmasked US citizens and spread the information around.

    It’s hard to imagine that this information didn’t reach Obama.

    I also find it a bit odd that Obama didn’t make a personal statement so far. Instead he chose to send a “spokesman”. That’s not typical for Obama. And he is not in office anymore.

  68. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    23. March 2017 at 23:19

    Christian List,

    I think you’re confounding several issues. Collaboration with Russians in order to influence a US election before the election would be of the high treason sort indeed. The alleged surveillance however was after the election and if it even happened (which is unconfirmed) sounds like intelligence was listening to the Russians as a matter of routine and for the Russians’ sake. If at that time Trumps’ team talked to the Russians it may or may not have contained illegal content but Trump’s team wasn’t the target, only incidentally present. They just happened to talk to the target. And, I would think Russia is a fair target for US intel. Beyond that, it appears there is a legal requirement that US citizens cannot negotiate on behalf or acting in lieu of the US government. So if these talks tu Russians were to have had such content, then yes once again this would be illegal. Any member of the president-elect’s team was still a private citizen until inauguration. That’s what makes these talks, if they happened as with Flynn, an illegal thing.

    The “deep state” thing is just a buzzword dreamed up to give hysterical maniacs like Major Freedom something to hyperventilate about. It’s a normal part of any country’s government. The civil and military servicemen never change, only their political leaders. To call all this “deep state” may have some philosophical merit but there is nothing new or surprising here since Hegel (see “Beamtenstaat”). In reality, it’s the “deep state” that’s the professional class actually running stuff, not their often demented, deluded, and ill informed ideological leaders, thank goodness.

    Obama did the exact right thing not to make a statement. He understands what the press does not: by trying to refute lies, you only reinforce them because you necessarily repeat them, until they stick. And that’s empirically confirmed.

  69. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    24. March 2017 at 07:43

    Scott, maybe the fact that the government intrudes into our lives in so many ways today is part of the story. The personal is now political. Many of us wish it were not so, but it is.

    Not so many years ago, if I wanted to buy some land and build a house on it, I could do that. Now I have to buy from a developer who knows how and how much to pay off the various government entities and agents to get permission to build. In most communities today, running that gauntlet is too costly for me to even think about doing it on my own.

    If I want to set up shop providing a service like hair cutting, a funeral home, electronics repair, etc., I need permits and state-mandated training that were unheard of a few decades ago. And the ongoing compliance costs with the hundreds of regulations I don’t even know about make it all much harder. It used to be the case that small businesses did most of the hiring coming out of recessions, but that seems no longer to be the case. Only large businesses can afford to cope with the regulatory costs involved now.

    We have government telling us what we can eat and drink, where we can live, and how we can make our living. Most of this was not true when you and I were growing up in the sixties, but it is now. And despite the supposed Reagan revolution, government spending at all levels combined has continued growing.

    Much of the new spending is disguised. Obamacare, for example, mandates that everyone buy health insurance. It fines those who don’t, and subsidizes the purchase for those with low incomes. The effect is exactly the same as if the government taxed us all and used the proceeds to buy the insurance, except that when it’s done with mandates and subsidies, only the subsidies show up as government spending. But really, it all is.

    My point is that with government at all levels having so much control over us, it is not surprising at all that people are more concerned now with who controls the government than they were in years past. It has nothing to do with bigotry.

  70. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    24. March 2017 at 07:48

    Jerry Brown, your comment at 20:17 above is outstanding, and it’s telling the normally logorrheic Major Freedom has not responded.

    Anarchy, like communism, is internally coherent and logically elegant and completely impossible to implement in the real world.

  71. Gravatar of Travis Allison Travis Allison
    24. March 2017 at 07:53

    Scott, I think you are underestimating how hard it is to arrive at a judicial interpretation of the constitution and what basis one uses.

    Of course, you aren’t under and obligation to read that Vox article I linked to, but I am curious about your response. Would you choose a literal textual interpretation of the constitution or would you use the intent of the ratifiers as the basis for your decisions? Or something else?

    I personally would be interested in your interpretation of the court’s most controversial decisions.

  72. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    24. March 2017 at 07:55

    @Jerry Brown,

    Your argument about needing government to protect our rights, including property rights, is true only insofar as government confines itself to doing just that. But that has not been true for a very long time.

    Protection of our persons and property from fellow residents is almost entirely done at the state and local levels of government, by local police and courts. A federal government that confined itself to just protecting us would consist of the Defense and State Departments and a few federal courts (including the Supreme Court) to settle interstate disputes. The Congress would meet for a couple of weeks each year to approve the Defense budget and then go home. The President would be selected based on his golf handicap, since that’s what he would spend most of his time doing.

    Of course, that’s not the system we have. Most of government consists of exactly what MF says it consists of: majorities stealing from minorities, because they can. Why this should surprise anyone with an even rudimentary understanding of human nature is beyond me.

  73. Gravatar of Jerry Brown Jerry Brown
    24. March 2017 at 08:46

    Thanks msgkings.

    Jeff, MF seems to consider all taxation always to be theft on the part of government. My comment was an attempt to show how it is not always that. Nothing more. You raise legitimate points, some of which I share, but you seem to agree with the main point I was trying to make. There is a big difference in saying that government needs to be reformed from saying all government is illegitimate by its very nature. That is where MF is and where I am definitely not.

  74. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    24. March 2017 at 09:47

    Jerry,

    But as an empirical matter, MF is mostly right. The vast majority of what government does is transfer payments and regulating things that should be none of their business. Defense, police and the courts are probably only about a tenth or so of government spending.

    And there are libertarians who think that the courts and police could be largely privatized. You and I may agree that it is more efficient and easier to have a government to do this stuff, but MF could counter that history shows the government inevitably grows larger and larger over time, so it may be worth tolerating some inefficiency to slow that down.

    MF and the anarchists are not fools, nor are they as naive as you might think. I don’t agree with them, but that’s mostly because if there’s one thing I’m certain of it’s that Milton Friedman was a lot smarter than I am, so my default position on most social and economic issues is to start by trying to understand what he thought and then let others try to persuade me to think differently. On the question of anarchy vs. limited government, I haven’t been so persuaded.

  75. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    24. March 2017 at 13:39

    respected journalist Glenn Greenwald

    .
    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  76. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    24. March 2017 at 16:18

    Jerry Brown:

    It is the government that protects you and your property from me.

    The gap in your reasoning is even in your rebuttal.

    ACTUAL protection against theft would include no theft from the supposed protectors. A mafia “protection racket” that sees the mafia gang stop one shopkeeper from stealing from another, yet the mafia gang steals from one or both shopkeepers, is not a “protector against theft”. It is itself an institution of theft.

    It is no refutation of this to say “You’re wrong because it is the mafia gang that protects your property from me”.

    You think you don’t need protection from me, but the truth is you do.

    Aha, well that explains your responses. Bastiat wrote about this ancient worldview many years ago:

    “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law, 1850.

    Anarcho-capitalism is not absence of any and all protection against theft. It is merely an absence of coercive, monopolistic protection.

    Just because we don’t want government to do X, that doesn’t mean we don’t want X. We can have protection against theft, you just need to think like a free market economist. Fine, choose to take yourself out of the equation for protection. You have no right to tell me what means to use myself or who to hire to protect me from theft. It doesn’t matter if 10 people “vote” to steal from a person. One person stealing or 100 million people stealing, is still stealing!

    Theft does not suddenly become voluntary just because the number of thieves goes way up to 50.0000001% of the population.

    If someone objects to governments monopolizing breadmaking, that doesn’t mean they object to everyone making bread.

    MF, just want to make something clear- you do not need to worry about me personally in any way and I was making an argument- not any kind of threat against you or any other person or property.

    Right, you personally act in accordance with anarcho-capitalist principles. That’s my point. You don’t threaten me with handcuffs and jail if I don’t pay you as my protector against theft. You would consider that to be immoral.

    Well, there is no difference in terms of morality between you approaching me with that threat or someone else wearing a badge making the threat. You’re both people to me, and if we are to have a HUMAN ethic, a HUMAN morality, it has to be the same for everyone, or else we don’t have any human ethic at all, but a master-slave, class-based ethic, which is ancient and collective.

    The enlightenment was about a large scale (re) “discovery” of INDIVIDUAL reason, of individual rights and morality. The US was founded on principles motivated by this ethic.

    —————————————————–

    msgkings

    Jerry Brown, your comment at 20:17 above is outstanding, and it’s telling the normally logorrheic Major Freedom has not responded.

    Sorry to burst your bubble. Your comment was really about what you hope and want to believe to be true, not what actually is true. I do have a day job you know.

    Anarchy, like communism, is internally coherent and logically elegant and completely impossible to implement in the real world.

    Neither are impossible. Communism has already been tried (Soviet Union, Cambodia, etc) and still takes place (North Korea).

    Anarcho-capitalism came close to being tried in Iceland. See the writings of David Friedman.

    To say that private protection is IMPOSSIBLE is just you making a faith based claim about literally the fundamental order of the universe, which excuse me, you are in no position to represent, as much as you WANT to be such a person. You’re just a finite, mortal piece of meat that has the ability to self-reflect and thus know SOME absolute truths, but not the kind you’re claiming. You’re in no position to predict the future of humans or what humans evolve into, trillions of years into the future. THAT is what is implied by the claim that you know it is IMPOSSIBLE

    No social order is impossible except that which contradicts the laws of logic.

    ————————-

    Jeff, you seem sufficiently educated.

    ————————-

    Jerry Brown:

    MF seems to consider all taxation always to be theft on the part of government. My comment was an attempt to show how it is not always that. Nothing more.

    Jerry, anything less than 100% agreement logically implies theft.

    I am telling you I do not consent to the government taking my money. And no, don’t even bother trying to claim I do consent by invoking the myriad of “implicit consent” type excuses. All of them have been demolished a million times over, and you’re talking to someone who has heard them all and refuted them all. Now of course it is up to you whether you want to try them, but just be warned that they will be refuted and you will eventually keep going back and falling on anti-intellectual claims that use seemingly innocuous and peaceful words to refer to actually aggressive acts, which betray my consent.

    There is a big difference in saying that government needs to be reformed from saying all government is illegitimate by its very nature. That is where MF is and where I am definitely not.

    OK, I’ll speak your language, maybe then you will get the argument: I don’t want to abolish all government, just territorial monopolistic government that goes against homesteading/free trade based property claims. I want to opt out of YOUR government, not by leaving my land property and thus pretending that the monopolistic government that neither homesteaded nor traded for the property I am living on, takes possession of it for its property, but by me choosing my own government to protect me.

    Think of it like this:

    Imagine half the country being able to choose the Democrat party to protect them from each other and Republicans, and only pay taxes to that party, with the other half of the country being able to choose the Republican party to protect them from each other and the Democrats, and only pay taxes to that party.

    This would of course result in the US becoming two countries, right? With me so far?

    OK, now imagine that within the Democrat country, we imagine half of the Democrat population being able to choose the left-socialist party to protect them from each other and everyone else, and pay taxes to that party, while the other half are able to choose the liberal party to protect them from each other and everyone else, and paying taxes to that party. Similarly, imagine that within the Republican country, half are able to choose the conservative party to protect them from each other and everyone else, while the other half are able to choose the libertarian party to protect them from each other and everyone else, and paying taxes to that party.

    Still with me?

    Now keep going. Keep allowing individuals to choose their own “government”, with no “government”…protection firms… threatening any of the the “citizens”…customers…of every other “government”.

    If you find nothing immoral with the first step there, with people being able to “choose” between not ONE government (i.e. no choice at all) but TWO governments, then there is nothing immoral in being able to choose between FOUR governments, or better yet 8, or even better 16, still better 32, or 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc, etc, indefinitely, THE SAME WAY WE PRODUCE FOOD, then you will begin to “get” it.

    ——————–

    Jeff does get it, but not completely, or else he would advocate for it too! lol

    ——————–

    Tom Brown

    respected journalist Glenn Greenwald

    Yes, he is highly respected, is there an argument anywhere there or do you only want to keep advertising my position?

  77. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. March 2017 at 06:02

    mbka, Good comment.

    Jeff, You said:

    “If I want to set up shop providing a service like hair cutting, a funeral home, electronics repair, etc., I need permits and state-mandated training that were unheard of a few decades ago. And the ongoing compliance costs with the hundreds of regulations I don’t even know about make it all much harder.”

    Yes, but those rules are supported by both parties. So why would that cause polarization on the basis of parties?

    In any case, politics has always affected our lives.

    Travis, You said:

    “I think you are underestimating how hard it is to arrive at a judicial interpretation of the constitution and what basis one uses.”

    No, I do understand. I just don’t think that interpretation should be decided issue by issue in a way that favors your own personal policy preferences. I have no objection to literalists or original intentists.

  78. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    25. March 2017 at 06:04

    Scott,

    I think the difference between now and then is that parties became more ideological. Parties started to close ranks around core ideas even if it is inconsistent. For example Republicans became the pro life party even though the Democrats were the traditional party of Roman Catholics and the pro life movement is inherently big government and less freedom.

    The two parties were once regional parties but have become national parties, perhaps against their own interests. There used to be a huge difference between a Democratic congressman from New York City and a Democratic congressman from rural Georgia. But now the regional disparity is effaced as well as those rural Democrats gone.

    Funny thing about judges: so many Americans, especially conservatives, are ignorant of American jurisprudence. They don’t realize that American law is based on English common law. They seem to think that America has a Continental Napolenic law code. Why conservatives think this I don’t know.

  79. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    25. March 2017 at 09:11

    Scott,

    The only thing I don’t get here is why you’d be open to having fascist or communist judges. As I define the terms, these are people who don’t support republican government, and in the case of communists, they oppose most bottom-up economic freedom. I don’t see how having these types in government can ever be a good thing.

  80. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    25. March 2017 at 13:53


    The “deep state” thing is just a buzzword dreamed up to give hysterical maniacs like Major Freedom something to hyperventilate about.

    It’s funny how the tables have turned. I remember quite well when liberals were bending your ears about “unacceptable surveillance overreach”. Where are those guys now? You can say about MF what you want but at least he’s consistent in his argumentation (regarding this point), unlike others who do a complete turnaround always depending on who is POTUS at the moment and who is not.


    Obama did the exact right thing not to make a statement.

    Obama could drop ten a-bombs on the penguins at Antarctica and you would still argue that he “did the exact right thing”. You are just a tool in this regard, that’s all. Besides from that he did make a statement but through some “spokesman”. That’s weird for at least two reasons: First he addressed a lot of Trump’s wild statements personally during the last weeks and months but not this time. Why not? Second: He is not in office anymore, so why does he have a spokesman in the first place? I see only two explanations: First he was in Polynesia already and could not react personally (Google says no, his voyage began later) or second, he sent a “spokesman” because of legal considerations.


    And, I would think Russia is a fair target for US intel.

    I agree. I just highly doubt that an US intelligence that is to 90% anti-Trump won’t use information that they pick up on him “incidentally”. “Incidentally” seems to be their new buzzword. And you keep repeating it like a parrot. Like in: “Oh, I incidentally fell over, and then this guy – incidentally – fell into me, and now I’m incidentally pregnant.”

  81. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    26. March 2017 at 01:33

    “Incidentally” seems to be their new buzzword. And you keep repeating it like a parrot. Like in: “Oh, I incidentally fell over, and then this guy – incidentally – fell into me, and now I’m incidentally pregnant.”

    https://twitter.com/20committee/status/844604705678512128

    http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2017/03/23/devin-nunes-regrets-handled-surveillance-info-refuses-give-committee-proof/

  82. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    26. March 2017 at 02:38

    Tom Brown,

    yep, Christian List didn’t realize that it was the Trumpster’s own friends who came up with “incidental”.

    Either way the whole Obama-in-Polynesia extension has the trappings of a new level of tinfoil hat-dom. Clearly, Trump came up with the whole surveillance meme in order to replace the Russian connection in the news cycle, which had been kept in floating for too long. I am quite confident he never believed the surveillance story himself – witness Trump only had a dumbfounded “feeling somewhat vindicated” by Nunes’ story, he probably thought this will float for a week and have served its purpose, then what do you know, someone really comes up with a factoid in the matter, what now?? Not useful, at that point in the story he had been hoping for a successful AHCA vote already and needed THAT in the news cycle.

    Either way, when this broke, I imagine Trump probably was desperate for some kind of shocking/offensive new angle to push to get the Russia story off the spotlight and when he came across that infamous Breitbart surveillance story he probably thought, this will do, let’s fire off that tweet. Or maybe the Breitbart story was manufactured for that purpose to begin with. The media being what they are, reflexively amplified the story with outrage, which was of course the whole point. The fact that everyone knows that he’s just making up stuff works for Trump now, he can do such things with impunity while at the same time still benefit from the same knee jerk media amplification of any of his deliberate outrages. And poof, Russia is off the news cycle. For now. And Christian List and MF hyperventilate about Obama in Polynesia. Obama knows how this stuff works so he doesn’t give it a newsworthy bump. Even denying would have done that, so the most effective way to shut it down was to ignore it. It doesn’t take a PhD.

  83. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    27. March 2017 at 01:49

    With you brother on the tribalism. I did a post on the failure of the radical Enlightenment (defined as believing in a malleable-to-deliberate-social-action human nature) and got a series of comments which utterly failed to grapple with the post–they only made sense in blue tribe/red tribe dynamics where any comment that might be construed as a criticism of one was somehow a purported vindication of the other.

    sigh.

    We are somewhat constructed to be tribal. Cognitive tribes work as “well” as any other. Especially when work and residence sort folk into them.

  84. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    27. March 2017 at 11:00

    Clearly the drug war is unconstitutional, as is federal government charity (SS and Medicare, Medicaid).

    The constitution was amended to allow the war on booze, if we want a war on drugs we should amend the constitution and if we want federal government charity (SS and Medicare, Medicaid) we should amend the constitution to allow the Federal government to do charity. I could go for the letter amendment.

    People act as if the constitution cannot be amended.

    BTW I thin both amendments would easily pass.

  85. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. March 2017 at 12:51

    Scott, All I’m saying is that if someone is a good judge, I don’t care about their politics. Maybe there is not a single person in the entire world who’s both a commie and a good judge. But I’d disqualify them for being a bad judge, not for being a commie.

    mbka, When Trump refused to tell us how he knew that Obama had ordered the wiretapping of his place, that was all I needed to know that he had lied. If he wasn’t lying, he would have produced evidence.

    Lorenzo, The funniest part is that the Trumpistas will argue with me like I am an Obama supporter, and many of the progressives who read this blog simply assume I’m a Republican—so they think I believe everything that other conservatives believe.

    I guess you and I are the exception these days; most people take their marching orders from Team Red and Team Blue.

  86. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    28. March 2017 at 13:30

    “I might have voted against one small aspect of Trump’s immigration policy, which favored Christian refugees over Muslims.”

    Any refugee policy favors refugees over non-refugees.

    When Jews were fleeing the Holocaust, refugee policy would have favored Jews over Eskimos or Christians or Muslims.

  87. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    28. March 2017 at 19:37

    Read this:

    So Trump completely made up a story that his predecessor had committed specific criminal impeachable offenses. Then he failed to provide any evidence to back up this claim. Then he failed to provide any coherent reason for failing to provide evidence backing up the claim. Then when caught lying he refused to apologize, or even to admit he had lied.

    Then read and watch the video here:

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/03/28/oh-my-president-obamas-own-defense-deputy-admits-obama-white-house-spied-on-candidatepresident-elect-trump/

    Then read this:

    https://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=32388#comment-1837556

  88. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    28. March 2017 at 19:48

    Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas, who just spilled the beans on Obama, is tied in with the Atlantic Council. Guess who sits on the board of Atlantic Council: Dmitri Alperovitch.

    Dmitri Alperovitch is the head of CrowdStrike, the tech company that investigated the so-called Russia Hack of the DNC servers, which the FBI never looked at.

    Looks like it is all fitting together:

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

  89. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    30. March 2017 at 17:29

    And Crowdstrike has retracted their “investigation”:

    http://www.voanews.com/a/cyber-firm-rewrites-part-disputed-russian-hacking-report/3781411.html

  90. Gravatar of Sorry, Morgan Warstler, We See Who Truly Doesn't Love America | Last Men and OverMen Sorry, Morgan Warstler, We See Who Truly Doesn't Love America | Last Men and OverMen
    27. April 2017 at 03:30

    […] https://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=32388#comments […]

Leave a Reply