Posted by: realengr | January 21, 2009

Is it MINE or is it YOURS?

Once again, a reactionary neo-liberal can’t address the issue at hand and resorts to immature name calling. Below is correspondence from a liberal from New York. Before you go any further, note that I never called Patrick names and tried to keep my arguments impersonal. Patrick just couldn’t help himself. Our original discussion was about my rights as a business owner to ‘own’ my jobs. Then it degraded as liberals responded saying their individual rights extended to owning my job, etc. While I don’t advocate Jim Crow laws and employment discrimination, I threw out some arguments from my libertarian perch and got an impassioned response from this guy who obviously thought I was being racist since HE injected race into it. I do have to say for the record that I do agree with him on many points below, but there are conflicting ‘rights’ when we are talking about the property rights of business owners as opposed to the rights of prospective workers.

It’s also obvious he is another Obama Kool-Aid drinker since he doesn’t know that Obama has openly been a member of a Socialist party in Illinois. Another uninformed voter.

Once again, my comments are in bold.

Ah! I failed to realize I was debating with right-wing libertarian lunatics. Liberal playbook rule #1. Call your opponent names. It makes up for logic. As an aside I’m wondering why he didn’t call me a NAZI. That’s typically done. Even though Democrats use the term they don’t realize their party name roughly translated into German means NAZI. I wonder if they ever make the connection. My bad! Anyone stupid enough to buy Richard Epstein’s the “free market would solve racial discrimination in the private sphere” argument displays a shocking lack of understanding of history and human nature. Funny how free market capitalism never got around to ending hundreds of years of slavery and nearly a century of racial segregation. It took affirmative government legislation to end these practices.

Nope. Never read him. I’m not a lunatic, but as the typical neo-liberal template goes, you’ve resorted to immature name calling. I threw that out there. You really didn’t keep in mind that we were originally talking about the line where I was talking about business owner’s rights to jobs, etc. Anyway…

I wish all libertarians such as yourselves could be made to go back to live in the good ol’ 1800’s and early 1900’s when government operated more or less under your libertarian principles. And then if you were forced to live as blacks then all the better. Maybe then you’d have an appropriate appreciation for government regulation of the private sector that makes our society function as well as it does.” Oh I do. I think we need some, but we have way too much now. Let’s badk off on the govt influence. By the way, read Amendment 10 lately?

And Bill, I understand where you are coming from as a Libertarian, but you are an certified idiot if you think Obama is a socialist or communist. If I belong to the socialist party, I am by definition a socialist. Obama belonged to the New Party in Illinois which is an affiliate of the Democrat Socialists of America. Their bylaws plainly state: “We are Socialists”. The party was formed by their own admission out of joining socialists and communists. What part of this don’t you understand? You would have to be brain dead not to acknowledge this simple logical conclusion. Do I have to explain this to you? And you called me an idiot…… You destroy the meanings of these two terms both when you use them interchangeably and when you apply them to liberal Democrats such as Obama. I mean if you can’t see the difference between Karl Marx and liberal thinkers such as Richard Hofstadter you are a moron. I have always understood the definitions between the different political/economic systems. I also understand that many of Obama’s philosophies are in line with Mr. Marx. Once again, more typical liberal name calling. My IQ is high enough but I have simply deferred joining Mensa. What, pray tell, is your IQ?

Let me break it down to you simply. When it comes to economics, liberals believe in limited government interference in a free market where private individuals retain control of all means of production and commerce. (Note how he redefines liberals. This is amazing. He just described many conservatives and libertarians and now he uses this definition in connection with neo-liberals. See. By his definition I am a liberal) Dude, I’m a libertarian, not an anarchist! Socialists believe that the government should control all the large means of production and allow limited free market commerce. We will be there soon enough. Communists believe that the free market should be abolished and government should control all means of production and divide all outputs equally. There are many elements of communism in Obama’s words he spoke during the campaign then. Get it yet? Please stop dumbing down political debate.”

I do not agree that the government has a duty to prevent employment discrimination.” — Only an ignorant ass white man could make such statement. Well. That was a racist comment if I ever I heard one.    I hate employment discrimination but does the govt have that duty to regulate against it and where does it draw the line?  I do not believe the Feds have any say  in it, but it would be nice if the State govts did something.   You are a fool to think that a black person such as myself would ever have an even shot at making something of himself/herself in this country without the Supreme Court rulings and government legislation that banned racially restrictive housing covenants, racial job discrimination, and all the Jim Crow laws. The free market would never have corrected these injustices because the free market is limited by the prejudices of individuals. I actually agree with you. I was just throwing it out there. And I will concede that we had to have these things to create the diverse and very ‘equal’ society we have today.  Keep in mind that I am an SDA who has been on the receiving end of discrimination because of my religion. But the crux of my argument is still: Is it MY job as the employer or YOUR job? Who owns that job. And if I own it, does the govt have the right to tell me what I can do with it.  If they do, then it isn’t mine is it?  You haven’t answered that.

Since the abolition of slavery, racial prejudice always trumped economic self-interest. Poor whites even when it was in their ultimate economic interest to cooperate with poor blacks never did so because it was more important for them to maintain a sense of superiority over blacks than to better their economic condition.”

A restaurant owner who might attempt to draw in both black and white customers and increase his profits would lose all his white customers because they refused to eat with blacks. A research laboratory that comes across a brilliant black scientist doesn’t hire him because his white colleagues will not work with him. A black family seeking to better their living condition are barred from a good neighborhood and are forced to raise their children in a ghetto. The list goes on and on. Without government action to force whites to deal with blacks on an equal footing in housing and employment blacks would never have an equal chance. And because whites were forced to deal with blacks on an equal basis by government action that resulted in changing their racial prejudices towards blacks, the election of a black man as President became possible.Obama is more white than I am. He is mixed race and not black. Only by the old racist definitions of black is he black (‘one drop of black blood’). By some estimations looking at his family tree he may be up to 94-95% Caucasion. I know that really fries you, but accept it. He ‘identifies’ with blacks. But because he has that little bit of dark in his skin doesn’t make him black. Hell, my wife is more black (13%) by genetic makeup than Obama but because she is ‘high yellow’ most people think she is Hispanic or white. In point of fact Obama may be more white than I am since I am 13% Native American. It is truly a shame that this has to be explained to you Bill and that even with this explanation you still probably don’t get it

I get it.  Really Patrick I do.

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Responses

  1. I think you have missed a serious point about Barack Obama, a man that I have met and spoke with personally. As much as we can say about Mr. Obama’s ideological leanings, he is, first and foremost, a pragmatic individual. Not all human beings go into the world with a rigid rubric for every choice they are confronted with. Often a sense of intellectual curiosity and good judgment is what drives their actions. I think you both would be surprised by how less absolute Obama and many other politicians actually are, despite the way they are portrayed. Bill, you have fallen into a trap by using an excess of inflammatory rhetoric and terminology. It is lazy and inaccurate to call Obama a socialist. You have also misused the word neoliberal, a term that typically applies to one’s views on foreign policy and/or economics. You both will fail to have any meaningful engagement as long as you operate off of absolutes and classic talking points.

    • I believe Obama is a pragmatist, but he obviously does have strong views that are not shaped by pragmatism. If he did, he would lay off the anti-gun bias on the whitehouse website. 60 million gun owners in America are a large voting bloc that will be very disillusioned with him. If he was that much of a pragmatist, then he would take that into account.
      Another point that you missed: By definition he is a socialist. He belonged to the New (Socialist) party. That’s not lazy or inaccurate, it’s simple math, something that many people not involved in the hard sciences are not very good at. The topology and logic of my statement on that is absolutely irrefutable. Please tell me once again how that doesn’t add up.
      I’m willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and will back him 100% as long as he follows the constitution, supports the bill of rights, and provides us with his proof of being a natural born citizen. That’s another matter in itself. Tell me, why would anyone spend that much money on lawyers to keep his actual birth certificate off limits? Logic would dictate that it is because he has something to hide. President Obama, just show us the long form birth certificate and we will all be with you and you will defuse many of your opponent.

  2. I really do not want to get into an ideological discussion here, I just want to point out that your terminology is muddled here. Your arguments are a lot stronger if you know what the terms that you are using mean.

    “Liberal” is a term that has had different meanings over the years. “Classical liberalism” refers to 18th century thinkers who were reacting to feudalism and monarchism, like John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Adam Smith. The notion of a “free market”, basic civil liberties, curbing the power of the state, the distinction between private and public spheres, these find their historical roots in classical liberalism. This is the tradition that influenced (and was influenced by) the Founding Fathers of the USA.

    Moving forward, after liberalism had widespread influence, we find liberalism changing as the situation changed. So there are thinkers like John Stuart Mill, who begun to push liberalism in the direction of the welfare state. This is the brand of liberalism that became predominant in the period following WWII, suggesting that the market was best complimented by some government intervention- a mixed economy, if you will. In the USA this is now referred to as “liberalism”, but this usage is quite recent.

    Neoliberalism is associated with the rise of Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. “Neo” of course means “new” (neolithic is more recent than paleolithic, for example), so “new” liberalism was a rejection of post-WWII liberalism, and a return of sorts to classical liberalism. In fact, neo-liberalism is quite distinct, Adam Smith for example would have been horrified, even if neo-liberals justify themselves by appealing to some of his ideas (but not others). But this is what a neo-liberal is.

    A neo-liberal is quite close to a certain type of conservatism in the USA- fiscal conservatism, not social conservatism. But a “liberal” post-WWII sense of the term is what is generally meant when an American says “liberal”. They are very different things, and confusing them only undermines one’s argument. If one insists on using the terms “liberal” and “conservative”, then a neo-liberal is another name for a conservative.


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