Do Facts Matter?

Do facts matter anymore?

I’m sure that this affects all sides of an argument but there is only one side of the political spectrum that bases its ideology on separating political reality from actual reality…

The author states this:

“This sort of “cultural cognition” model has profound implications for all sorts of things. In the Syrian situation, for instance, it may not matter whether Syria used chemical weapons against its own people. What may matter more to you is whether you believe Barack Obama when he presents that objective set of facts. Facts don’t matter. Who describes them to you does.”

Actually, it does matter about the facts for me. I don’t doubt that there were chemical weapons used in Syria. My opposition is based on Obama’s MOTIVATION to go, not his recitation (or manipulation) of the facts.

Facts are facts, of that there is no dispute…but what constitutes a “fact”? I can accept climate change as a fact without believing that man is the primary cause. The problem in public policy is when a “fact” is assumed in order to support a particular worldview and policy is built on it. Public policy is more about the politics of power and motivation these days than actual sound policy.

52 thoughts on “Do Facts Matter?

  1. Utah: You suffer from the common-sense interpretation of the meaning of the word “facts” that most Americans and all Libertarian/Conservatives work from on an almost unconscious basis. I share your view of reality as objectively constructed, but our Liberal/Progressive/Marxist/Collectivist brethren have long followed the always bizarre “thinking” of Uncle Karl, who taught that reality was socially constructed and that poor, benighted “enemies of the proletariat” like you and me are afflicted with “false consciousness.” This dread condition causes us to demand actual “real” statistics about the performance of the economy, the efficacy of government programs and other areas which should, according to the Lib/Progs and their fellow travelers, be interpreted from the view of what supports the efforts of the nomenklatura (in our case the Obamites) to provide their enlightened leadership for American society. Having read Marx, Engels, Fanon (one of Our Dear Leader’s fav’s), and the rest of the Collectivist “thinkers,” including their predecessors Bentham and Hegel, I’ve encountered many an interesting and often chortle-inducing riff on “reality” from the Lib/Prog perspective, but I’ve honestly never encountered the phrase, “Reality doesn’t matter. Who describes them to you does.” While laughing far to hard for this time on a beautiful Sunday morning in The People’s Republic of Connecticut, I am struck that the writer of that post currently resides psychologically somewhere between schizophrenia and the former residents of Jonestown, or deep in the swamps of Obama World. As I’ve noted before on this blog, America’s Liberal/Progressives really do live in an alternative reality. CDE

    • I agree, as a matter of fact, in January of 2012, I wrote:

      There actually is a clinical diagnosis for people who can’t separate reality from fantasy. It is called schizophrenia.

      Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that makes it difficult to:

      – Tell the difference between real and unreal experiences
      – Think logically
      – Have normal emotional responses,
      – Behave normally in social situations

      You tell me if the diagnosis fits. I’m not saying that liberals and “progressives” in general – and Obama supporters in specific – are mentally ill or even crazy – what I am saying is that they seem to be able to self-induce some sort of political schizophrenia when it comes to electoral politics. They sure as hell don’t live their lives or treat their families the way they vote so there has to be some sort of psychotic break when politics are involved.

  2. When have I denied reality? It is you idealist who deny reality. Trying to base an economic and political system on the ideas of souls, spirits, deities, free-will and “natural law” is ridiculous. The only defense of this decaying capitalist system, is the belief in property rights. Somehow property rights are the cure to the worlds ills. Although facts contradict this. Private property degenerates a cohesive mass of people into individuals competing for private property, leading to a decay in the environment inhabited by all the individuals. If We take a forest and manage it collectively as one, and the conditions for our survival require a rate of timber consumption that is sustainable. Then a collective can manage a forest collectively and sustainably. Take the same forest and same rate of consumption, but divvy up the forest into private plots. Then all the private plots would be used for maximum gain, so even though the population doesn’t need all the timber cut down. The population will cut down the timber in order to maximize their own private gain.

    Private property advocates like to speak of the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons is only possible when there is private gain of a collective property. When people are allowed to sell private timber cut from a public forest. Then of course a tragedy of the commons will take place. If the timber from the public forest were to remain collective then wise management of the forest and timber will take place.

    • Karl: You pose a question, “When have I defied reality?” and then proceed to answer it yourself, pretty much in technicolor. Any statement that free enterprise capitalism is based on “…souls, spirits, deities, free-will and “natural law”” or that “…Private property degenerates a cohesive mass of people into individuals competing for private property, leading to a decay in the environment inhabited by all the individuals.” Most of the peoples of the world have lived in abject poverty over the whole of recorded history because they lived in societies where the non-existent “group” was valued over the individual, even though no one has yet found the “group.” The only civilizations that have proved reasonably successful at providing living conditions that meet acceptable standards on even the purely materialistic levels that Collectivists of all stripes like to claim as their own, have been those who have embraced some version of free enterprise capitalism and individual freedom as their organizing principle.

      This is not say some comrades in Russia, East Germany, China, and the rest of the People’s Paradises did not live well under Marxist systems, but those were the chosen few who comprised the nomenklatura of Eastern Europe and Russia and the Communist Party elites of China and elsewhere. Having traveled in a number of the emerging nations of Europe and Asia after Ronald Reagan’s destruction of the Marxist models of the world and taught extremely smart former bureaucrats how to build businesses, the stories of even those who had sat at the top of the Collectivist anthill were astonishing for their deprivation of basic modern conveniences and the uniformly low quality of their foodstuffs, clothing and shelter. And despite their overall intelligence, their Marxist indoctrination had taught them nothing about basic management skills, let alone entrepreneurial qualities. At one point I was teaching a group of doctorally qualified engineers from the former East Germany about goal-setting and measurement of results when some began laughing. Although I have always striven to be entertaining, I thought I had missed my own humor. The leader of the group apologized in perfect American English, explaining that they had set production goals for years under Communism, but they had been meaningless, since the workers and managers had agreed on the goals at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year agreed they had met them. Another bon mot from my newly Capitalist comrades was that under Communism, the workers had pretended to work and the bosses (their word) had pretended to pay them. So much for the various “Workers’ Paradises” that could not produce decent food or razor blades for their proletariat subjects.

      Only as the former Workers’ Paradises have begun to embrace American-style Free Market Capitalism have the living standards of billions of former Marxist serfs begun making there way out of 18th century poverty. As for “…souls, spirits, deities, free-will and “natural law”…,” I’m not quite certain how that fits into the world of economic systems, but I think those concepts are somewhat less mystical than the “group” which Collectivists seem to treat as something other than the sum of billions of individuals. I don’t recall ever being part of “…cohesive mass of people,” but I’m fairly certain I am an individual who makes his own choices and finds his own way in the world. But that’s just me. CDE

      • You are implying that humanity once reached communism. This is not true. What we have reached is capitalism. A system that has the exact same problems as the earlier attempts of socialism. There are many starving and dying people, there are still many people who are being tortured and imprisoned in order to secure profits. There is also rampant corruption.

        I have never seen a deity or a spirit declare and make war, but masses of humans certainly have. The phantoms of capitalist rhetoric are the only justification for private property. Anytime there is speak of creating a communist system. The bourgeoisie inevitably cry about their property rights and how these rights come from god. They suppose humans are spiritual beings that can override material reality, they say this when they teach people that poverty is a choice. That wealth and success are not a matter of your material conditions, but one of spiritual health. Though chastity, hard work, self-motivation and thrift ,you too can be rich. If your poor it is because you choose to be poor and you are a bad person. Only a fool with no real experience would believe such drivel. Communism is an attempt by the masses to fix the problem. Capitalism on the other hand is a class system where the ability of the masses to act, is limited by property rights.

        The people can’t operate the means of production for their own purposes. The means of production have to be bought and sold. Their operations isn’t determined by the masses. Operation and ownership is conducted by individuals. Is it not ridiculous, corrupting and dangerous to concentrate the productive power of the people into individual hands?

        Where does the opposition to communism come from. What is wrong with a vision of the world where democracy determines the course of human action?

        • Karl: Interesting post. Are you by any chance an academic? In my experience the only remaining Americans who actually believe Uncle Karl’s elaborate mythology are academics, the New York Times Editorial Page and hardcore Liberal/Progressives outside the leadership of that movement. The old chestnut that “Communism has never been tried” is, of course, a tautology, in that it can neither be proved or disproved. Anyone who has studied the various forms of totalitarianism (see Hayek and Arendt, for starters) knows that Lenin, Stalin and other Communist despots have through time sold the notion that the misery brought on by their totalitarian, one-party states was but a product of the “temporary” and imperfect government essential to midwife the “Revolution” on the way to that mythical place…the Workers Paradise or the Classless Society. Those comrades who served the Revolution as part of the “nomenklatura” were subject to some special perquisites not available today to the members of the proletariat, but one-day all would share in the fruits of the Workers’ Paradise, where Capitalists would be no more, and the “Labor Theory of Value,” would reign supreme. Lenin and Stalin added the additional twist that true Communism could only be experienced when all the “Workers of the World” united under the Communist International, with Mother Russia at its head. By combining these two qualifications, that the “Classless Society” would require endless sacrifice from the peasants/comrades who labored in the proletariat, and that the whole thing would really only work if it existed in a universal, unitary Comintern, Stalin and his mob virtually guaranteed themselves a very sweet deal, and the occasional worker who got wise was shipped to Siberia to rediscover the worker’s virtues or just shot by the KGB and its predecessors. But in 1920 all of these shenanigans were still in the future, so the “useful idiots” who made up the American Communist Party and its more pragmatic cousins the Liberal/Progressives, could be somewhat excused for not seeing the inevitable failure of Marx’s ideology, particularly in the US.

          But Karl, it is now 2013, and Marxism and its Collectivist cousins Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and American Liberal/Progressivism have all been tried repeatedly and in multiple countries all over the world for a hundred years. Still no Workers’ Paradise, not one, and most of the attempts to build them have left all but the nomenklatura (or aristocracies, which don’t exist in Free Enterprise Capitalist systems) hungry, under-educated, with poor healthcare and little hope for improvement. In the meantime Capitalist societies have thrived, with even the Capitalist “poor” living far better than all but the most privileged of the Collectivist Nomenklatura. Upward and downward movement across economic levels in America is unmatched in any Collectivist nation, and each generation of Americans is still capable of improving on the life-styles their parents enjoyed. Even under the Collectivist-inclined Barack Obama Americans are fighting through his blizzard of Collectivist over-regulation to launch and build entrepreneurial ventures. As a personal example, for a number of family-reasons, my brother and I were raised in a home where both our parents worked, but our family fell in the bottom 10% of American households based on income. We not only survived relative scarcity, but we both have Masters degrees (I have two, along with doctoral studies in Finance) and today our families fall in the top 5% of American families economically. I’ve started seven different entrepreneurial ventures over the years and my children have already launched three of their own, with more on the way. My experience is far from unique.

          To conclude, there are people starving around the world, but that need not be the case. Had the nations of the world elected to pursue a course leading to Free Market Capitalist economies, the hungry of the world could be full, the homeless housed and the ignorant educated (rather than indoctrinated). But in many Collectivist nations the ruling classes prefer their subjects to be weak, dependent and compliant, since weak, hungry, compliant people do not overthrow their leaders, and that is all that Collectivists, including Communists and Liberal/Progressives, really care about. CDE

          • Once again your saying capitalism/private property has ended and it has not.

            Also you say that the only reason homeless and hungry people exists is because they live in “collectivist” countries or economies. If this is true how could homelessness have gone up during the Reagan administration. An administration the was economically advised by Milton Friedman. How could homelessness and hunger have existed in America during any period of your liking. The closest thing to “free-market capitalism” was the gilded age an age full of illiteracy, hunger, starvation and monopolies, political corruption and market panics. Or was that or now not “free-market capitalism.”

            The current ruling class sells the masses the lies, that they can be rich too only if they work harder and lower tax rates. Also they tell the lower classes to never rebel, because doing so is against god’s laws and morality. They attempt to stave off revolution by exaggerating crimes of previous revolutionaries. What you are saying is ridiculous, if the was a worker’s rebellion in a country such as America with a strong history of respecting individual rights and liberties. The people would follow the same playbook and instate the same exact system, people from undemocratic backwaters did. For someone with a phd you should know that phenomenon are products of their environment. The environment of 19th century Russia and China, with cruelty and torture being everyday practice and both nations being composed mostly of peasants instead of proletarians. Would produce a different kind of revolution than one in a country where the peasantry is non-existent and the people abhor torture and cruelty.

            • Karl: Once again, an interesting post. To clarify, I’m not suggesting capitalism or private property have ended in America, only that under our current Collectivist President the Federal government’s violations of the Constitution’s “takings clause,” which protects American citizens from the theft of their private property and from its confiscation and redistribution to other citizens by their own government, have increased dramatically. Excessive regulation without compensation, Obama-style, is also another form of un-Constitutional government taking, although most Americans do not understand that the Federal government and Our Dear Leader have no authority to take actions that affect the economic well-being of American citizens or companies without providing reasonable compensation for the losses of current and future earnings. So the Golfer-in-Chief’s attack on the US coal industry and his refusal to approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline would only be legal if compensation were paid for current and future lost earnings and for the related loss of value of the land and coal deposits caused by Obama’s “administrative” takings. Richard Epstein, now of NYU Law School and formerly of the University of Chicago Law School, is the leading thinker on the whole “takings” and private property issues, and Epstein is still quite active, with a new book on the Classical Anglo-American Liberal roots of the US Constitution due out in January, 2014. By the way, Epstein’s book, TAKINGS, is the most complete work ever written on the relationship of private property and government in America, although it is not easy reading for someone who is not used to reading case law and Supreme Court rulings.

              On the issue of the increase in “homelessness” during the Reagan years of the 1980’s, you are not alone in falling for a post hoc, ergo prompter hoc logical fallacy. Under President Reagan, some of the un-Constitutional takings of private property by the Federal government through confiscatory taxation and excessive regulation were temporarily corrected and the quality of life in America improved dramatically for all our citizens. During that time however, Collectivist governors like Mario “The Whiner” Cuomo in New York made the highly questionable decision to “de-institutionalize” the mentally ill by closing the long-term mental institutions in their states without funding the community-based facilities they sold as the “more humane” alternative to large facilities. Ooops! People with all kinds of mental problems, schizophrenics, borderline personality disorders, and other chronic mental diseases suddenly had no place to live, but Cuomo and others were suddenly geniuses for saving the state budgets money. The media, in their usual sloth and ideologically-driven narrative, blamed the Cuomo-style closure and its consequences on Mr. Reagan’s booming economy, but while one followed the other in terms of timing, the actual cause of the rise in homelessness was the Collectivist closure of the mental institutions, which the media largely ignored since Cuomo at that time was a media favorite. As someone who experienced the pleasure of Mr. Cuomo’s schizophrenics carrying on angry conversations with their inner “voices” on the streets of NYC, I can attest that those poor people were crazy as March hares and they had nowhere to go but the streets. Thanks, Saint Mario.

              As for “hunger” in America, there is little if any today, since Food Stamps and other programs almost overwhelm the “hungry” and many who are not actually hungry. But the system before Wilson and FDR forced the Federal government into the safety-net business, which was described by Tocqueville in the 1840’s, was even more efficient and effective. Before the disaster that was Franklin Roosevelt, America cared for its poor and unfortunate through a network of family, religious and fraternal institutions that actually knew the needs of the people they helped. It was understood that one accepted the help only as long as the need actually continued and that once a family had recovered they were expected to help others in the same manner. Accepting charity was an act of being in an extreme situation and providing it was one that did as part of one’s community. My great grandfather, Victor Rhoads, who was a leader in Philadelphia’s Quaker community, supported dozens of families through the FDR-Depression, and organized hundreds of other similar arrangements. Wilson, Roosevelt and other Liberal/Progressive politicians destroyed the traditional American approach to helping one’s own community by forcing failed policies of government control from European Collectivist theorists on American society, with the effect of bad money driving out the good.

              As for the excesses of the pre-Revolutionary despots in Russia, China and elsewhere, I have advanced a theory here, and in other discussions, that Collectivism, with its usual Totalitarian forms of government, is indistinguishable whether the tyrants are absolute monarchs like the Czar or “democratically elected” Commissars like Joseph Stalin or Barack Obama. Collectivism breeds government coercion, which libertarians like myself and American Conservatives abhor with equal disgust whether the tyrant is a King who is believed by his subservient subjects to personify the state, or a Liberal/Progressive “expert” establishing “standards” for Americans in terms of our diet, transportation, education of our children, healthcare, carbon production and a thousand other areas of our lives. The whole point of Collectivism in all its forms, absolute monarchy, Marxism, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Socialism and Liberal/Progressivism in Obama’s America, is for the elites to acquire and practice power over other people’s lives. Americans have understood and rejected the Liberal/Progressives time after time, but the need to control other people’s lives will never go away, and so today Americans need to reject everything Our Dear Leader is trying to force on his American subjects, as he views us.

              American Exceptionalism, an idea that Mr. Putin and Our Dear Leader both reject, is actually quite real, but it not based on our economic success or our military strength. Those are wonderful outcomes of our Founders’ unique insight that the individual, not the monarch or the mythical “group,” is the source of all creativity and generativity. A successful nation results from millions of individuals thinkers, creators and builders each pursuing his or her vision. Not the “government approved” and crony capitalism of the Obamites, but the chaos of the Free Market, recognized by Adam Smith and his descendants like Hayek, Friedman, Sowell, Mises, John Taylor and Ronald Reagan. America’s freedom frightens the Collectivists, including Obama, because it cannot be controlled by a centralized state, and in fact Obama’s corrupt crony capitalists know nothing about how to build an enterprise from an idea to a living organism, and that’s why they fail as soon as they are removed from sucking on the government teat. As someone who has now started my seventh business and who is helping my children start their own, I understand that American freedom and liberty are the only alternative to the anthill that Barack Obama and his bureaucrats think is “best” for us all. They’re wrong. Cheers, CDE

              • “Karl: Once again, an interesting post. To clarify, I’m not suggesting capitalism or private property have ended in America, only that under our current Collectivist President the Federal government’s violations of the Constitution’s “takings clause,” which protects American citizens from the theft of their private property and from its confiscation and redistribution to other citizens by their own government, have increased dramatically”

                I am not a fan of Obama. I guess we can both agree we do not like the current system of governance.

                ” Collectivism breeds government coercion, which libertarians like myself and American Conservatives abhor with equal disgust whether the tyrant is a King who is believed by his subservient subjects to personify the state, or a Liberal/Progressive “expert” establishing “standards” for Americans in terms of our diet, transportation, education of our children, healthcare, carbon production and a thousand other areas of our lives.”

                You fail to recognize private property can be coercion. Those with the gold write the rules. Capital is power. Lets say we are in New Orleans and I own the hospital. A hurricane strikes and the city is flooded and my hospital happens to be the only one that is open. Lets say a loved one of yours needs dialysis. So you and your loved one come to my hospital and want dialysis. I being the excellent capitalist demand the deed to your house in exchange for providing your loved one dialysis. Now I through my property am coercing you to do what I want. Of course you could say no, but the other choice is death.

                That is an extreme example.

                Lets say I am a farmer in Minnesota and we live in a dying farm community. All we have is farms and woods. Lets say the woods are owned by a particularly wealthy family who don’t care about seeing this land lose young people, jobs and a future. What the wealthy family could do is open up their lands to logging. but they refuse to do so since it is a private hunting area. They being so magnificently wealthy don’t need logging income and have form a special sentimental attachment to the forest and will never see that it is logged.

                Is the small Minnesota community just supposed to whither away and become abandoned even though it can develop economically, just because of one family’s name is on a piece of paper? Is private property so sacred, we will gladly sacrifice our futures and our power for it.

                Or lets say the factories that have kept that small Minnesota community could be kept operating, but since it is more profitable to have a factory in Mexico. The factory is moved to Mexico. Without any thought or consideration given tot he workers who have toiled and maintained said factory. That is private property. The undemocratic control of the labors of mankind.

                The hospitals, factories, forests cannot be private, they were not made by an individual on a deserted island. They were made by society.

                • Karl: Great thought experiment, I’ll try to respond. The “Law of First Possession,” which is a very old law in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, means that he who owned the land first has legal title until he or she chooses to exchange the land for something he or she values as equal or greater than the valuation of the land. As for whether a “society” could somehow hold better title than the actual owner, I don’t see how that could work. First, who is the “society”? In most cases, “society” is a euphemism for a wealthy and powerful party who wants the actual owner’s property and is using “society” arguments to force condemnation at a fire sale price. By the way, the “society” argument was utilized to gut the working class communities in the US under the guise of “urban renewal.” Coleman Young, the Liberal/Progressive thug who ran Detroit into the ground, used the “society” argument to destroy the Poletown neighborhood simply because working class Whites lived there who didn’t like or vote for him. Similar cases abound. My view is that “society” is usually a legal fiction used by bullies to take what they want without fair compensation. Under our actual laws, the city or county or state could make a claim for partial ownership of the land in question if they had made improvements to that land over the years, building or maintaining roads, or something similar. Otherwise the individual owner would hold clear title to the land, without legal claims by any governing entities.

                  US law, however, does make provision for cases of emergency or exigency, under the process known as “condemnation.” Of your three cases, only your logging example could rise to the level that would permit condemnation, although that would be a very shaky case. Under condemnation, which is really the government-sanctioned coercive theft of private property, the government would be required to provide fair value to to the actual owner for the property taken against his or her will. Mr. Obama, who purports to be a Constitutional scholar with a Harvard Law degree, but who continues to hide all his transcripts, routinely tries to ignore the Constitutional and Common Law requirements that fair compensation be provided where the government’s actions reduce the value of private property or reduce the income that would be derived from the property in the future. His assault on America’s coal industry is classic, in that his regulatory actions have already caused great losses to the owners of coal mines and to coal miners themselves. Our Dear Leader has failed to acknowledge that the Federal government, which means each American citizen who pays taxes, will now pay higher energy costs, and will also be responsible for re-paying the mine owners and workers for their losses. The same would be true if the town in your example passed ordinances that forced the owners of the forest to open their lands for logging.

                  Our laws, which date back centuries in the UK, are based on the sanctity of private property as the foundation on which any free society must be based. Private property protects the weak from the powerful, and restrain both powerful private interests and the government from coercing citizens to carry out acts against their will. Are there flaws? Sure, but far fewer than in Marxist and Liberal/Progressive societies where the all-powerful state takes what it pleases from private citizens and redistributes property from the proletariat to the nomenklatura in the name of the “people.” Have you ever seen what the dachas of the Communist Party leaders looked like in Russia? Pretty spiffy, huh? CDE

                  • Society is the masses. The masses are what remains after an individual dies. The means of production are not operated by an individual. They are operated by groups. The inherent contradiction is that the masses make and operate the means of production. While the means of production stay in the hands of individuals.

                    How could Coleman Young destroy Poletown in a collectivist setting? Given that the Poletowners would exercise the more power than Coleman Young. Considering Coleman Young is one man and the Poletowners are many. Not only that but if the Poletowners are operating the means of production it would be unwise to have conflict with the operators of the means of production. You know, the people who put food on your table and goods to your door.

                    • Society is NOT “the masses.” You suffer from many problems: one of them is a gross misunderstanding of the English language — especially definitions and meanings of words. Look it up: a society is a VOLUNTARY association of INDIVIDUALS! What remains when an individual dies are OTHER INDIVIDUALS! You cannot point to “society.” If society The fact that REASONABLE people will not wait for you to get YOUR society on the phone is proof that they know it won’;t happen because it does not exist — except as a means of helping us conceptualize and discuss ideas. exists as you claim, get IT on the phone — NOW!

                      I run a 1-man shop. I am the means of production here — ME! YOUR CLAIM ABOUT LABOR JUST GOT REFUTED!!! — AGAIN!

                      Karl, you are like a dog with a poison bone. It’s gonna kill you, but you damned sure ain’t letting go until it does. LOL

                    • Some machines such as space shuttle require more than an individual to create and operate. Space shuttles were created and were operated. By your logic since only individuals exists and social group labor can’t be real because groups/collectives/teams don’t exists. I’m pretty sure football teams and other collectives have had conference calls over the telephone. Also there can be class action lawsuits. Space shuttles also exists. So all in all there is more evidence pointing toward the existence of collectives than the existence of god. Who is unable to file a lawsuit in a court of law.

                      Joe no one wants to end your one man shop. You can keep toiling away in your one man shop. it is a one man shop, it is not the product of the masses it is not labored in by the masses. What the communist movement tries to do is put in the hands of the masses what they made. So Joe can keep his one man shop or his hand-whittled bear figurines or hand woven baskets. They’re trivialities.

              • CDE,

                Are you aware….or did you recognize that Karl’s last Paragraph had within it the rhetorical reference to Elitism and to Communist/Socialist elitists being the best to Run society ?…….He speaks of peasants as a Good old Aristocrat member of the Knobility would have. And I might add as “Academics ” do today….including within their “sphere od disdain”…all Political enemies ( Conservatives, TP, Libertarians, Constitutionalists etc..)…….Karl’s intellectual Counterpart in Gov’t is found in Lois Lerner and her “Pogrom” against the Groups I just mentioned .

                The contrast / juxtaposition of Peasants as the Bad and Proletariat as the Good in his comment is perfect display of the Division and demonization which is the hall-mark of Communist / Socialist thought and indeed of all Leftist / Democrat dialogue in America and Europe today.

        • Karl,

          I settled this a L-O-N-G time ago. Hence, your challenge is an example of another of your failings: a lack of long-term memory. However, for the benefit o those who are new to the fray:

          Karl believes in Communism — as Marx defined it.

          Communism — as Marx defined it — never has been, and never will be because it cannot be. It is contrary to human nature.

          This has been explained and demonstrated to karl, yet Karl STILL believes in Communism — as Marx defined it.

          Ergo — by simple logic — Karl believes in a fictitious world in direct contrast to actual observation of the world in which we live.

          See, Karl? It’s easy — especially when you hand me the refutation in every comment you post 🙂

            • Karl,

              Seriously? Communism pre-supposes man can neglect himself. This is an impossibility — especially if you are going to tell us man ‘evolved’ by a process of “natural selection.” That process relies on self-interest for the survival of the species. 😉

  3. Some FACTS that don’t seem to matter to OWEbozo and his backers:
    1. Two Muslim sects are at odds because both want to be in command of all middle eastern countries’ governments therefore a foreign ruler, one sect, is at war with some rebels, other sect.
    2. Someone, either the ruler’s regime or the rebels used gas and killed hundreds of Syrians.
    3. OWEbozo feels this is a reason to put America in jeopardy and attack the Syrian ruler’s army.

    1. Four AMERICANS are attacked and killed by some group that hates America.
    2. OWEbozo doesn’t think this is reason enough to do anything but take another vacation and get in a few more rounds of golf.

  4. “Where does the opposition to communism come from. What is wrong with a vision of the world where democracy determines the course of human action?”
    I have no earthly idea why I am going to try to respond to this , knowing in advance I am talking to a brick…..
    Let me rephrase this in parts: Where does the opposition to the loss of SELF come from?
    From those who actually see the SELF. For those who have lost all sense of self, there is nothing but what others can do for you.
    Part the 2nd.: What is wrong with a vision of the world where MOB RULE determines the course of human action?
    Does that really require answering.?

    • You’re talking to a Fascist and an Elitist who has spent his entire life building a justification for stealing other people’s property and advocating a system that steals their labor for his benefit as well…….. AND spends his energy trying to Shout-down people’s rejection of that theft of their Sweat-equity and property.

      What every rational person, and anyone who has built a life for themselves knows ….. Communism = democracy = Mob Rule = Slavery .

      • How am I a fascist and an elitist? Also I don’t shout in real life debates and much less on the internet, where nobody can hear you.

        How is democracy comparable to slavery? In democracy you can express your opinions and influence people with reason and logic. In slavery you are told to shut up, get to work unless you want to get beaten.

    • “Where does the opposition to the loss of SELF come from?”
      From ignorance.
      You can still talk, migrate, study, play in a communist world?
      Unless you are one of those fools, who defines oneself by property.
      Maybe it does in capitalist society. In a communist society the individual will stop being a wad of property and start being an actual individual.

      “What is wrong with a vision of the world where MOB RULE determines the course of human action?
      Does that really require answering.?”

      Go ahead answer the question. I’m curious.

      • Since we have seen repeatedly what “democracy ” looks like (think Wisconsin et al.) I could rest my case at that point. The mere thought that anyone would consider “mob rule” a reasonable alternative predetermines, at best, a desire to dominate through “the tyranny of the majority” and at worst, a mental disorder.

        You said( In democracy you can express your opinions and influence people with reason and logic. In slavery you are told to shut up, get to work unless you want to get beaten.)
        I do recall, (1) the Wisconsin “screaming hordes” telling me that “this is what DEMOCRACY looks like” , and saw no attempt at “debate”, unless, of course, that is your definition of debate. If so , then see “mental disorder” above.
        and (2) I seem to recall that your Communist friends were the ones saying ” shut up, get to work unless you want to get beaten.” or sent to 1) a labor camp, 2) a mental facility or 3) Siberia.

        Now, before you start in about “that was not really Communism”, FOR GET IT!
        The constant litany of Communist / Marxist Idealogues is, “that wasn’t really , really , true Communism / Marxism”, or which ever ism is your ism du jour. You will trill about Marx and his (unrealistic) views on economics, and spout, “when no one owns anything, then everyone own everything” mantras, but the facts (inconvenient as they are) speak to TOTALITARIAN , DICTATORIAL REGIMES to enforce the will of the MINORITY, so that they can live in ease, while the masses live in poverty. I know, I know, I know. They didn’t get it right. THEY NEVER DO. But we should ignore the failures of Marxist idiots, and refute logic, and do the same stupid things again, and again ..infinitely repeating the errors of the past. Karl, that is the definition of insanity….
        I am sure that you and your academic friends have had many discussions , late into the wee hours. You have it all figured out….just how many millions you will have to place in “reeducation camps” and how many more millions will need to be killed, to implement your view of a Marxist Utopia. I’ll bet you’ve even designed the “order forms” for “checking off what you need each month”, perhaps even come up with your first “five year plan”. Probably, you have even deluded yourself into believing that you wouldn’t really be committing , what 30 or 40 million murders. No, it would be for the betterment of the collective.

        Please, just go watch Star Trek, and root for “the Borg” and quit trying to deal with reality ….it seems to be too much for you.
        Just keep trying to convert Harvard, or Princeton, or Stanford or Berkeley, or wherever it is that you hang out , into your Utopian Paradise. You can listen to the Beatles, and smoke whatever is the popular herb now,(I would recommend “Nowhere Man”)

        • So your opposition to democracy is based on loud protest in Wisconsin? How is a protest against a decision made by a representative democracy, an example of democracy?

          Where in any writings of Marx is the formation of reeducation camps and quotas seen as necessary for the development of a communist economy?

          Augusto Pinochet and many pro-capitalism Latin American dictators had death squads and political prison camps. when I criticize capitalism an economic mode of production. Am I foolish enough to confuse actions that don’t relate to the mode of production to being part and parcel of the mode of production? No. Yet you continue to not attack communism, but the crimes of several dead men. We are not debating Stalin or Pinochet. we are debating economic modes of production.

          If you have a criticism against communism please post them. I want to read them.

        • Ralph & Karl: Interesting comment, Ralph, which tracks with some things I said earlier. Karl…Have you ever visited an actual Communist country? I visited East Germany, PRC and Viet Nam, as they were beginning to open up, and Germany and China after they had. Under Marxism everything looked like Hell, people had no ambition or hope for any future…even the building were poorly constructed. In the PRC, several of my academic colleagues were in forced labor camps for the crime of being intellectuals…they were re-learning the “peasant virtues” on 800-calories a day, while their young children were trying to survive while ostracized by the communities they lived in. That was and is Marx’s “Workers’ Paradise,” and they were all dreadful, stinking pits for 99% of the “workers.” CDE

          • Charles, I spent “considerable” time in Viet Nam prior to the Fall Of Saigon, but have not spent any time “legally “inside any Communist/ Socialist borders.
            I have had many early Cuban refugees work for and with me, and we have had long and educational conversations. The one man from whom who I really learned a lot was named Ioan, from Romania. He was in his 50’s when he emigrated to the USA. He constantly complained about the price of health care, medicines, etc. Finally , I asked him why he was here. He said, “Ralph, I want a better life for my boys. You know, freedom.” He told me, that he had a masters degree in forestry and lumber management. I asked why he wasn’t working for Georgia Pacific, or Weyerhaeuser. He said “I hated it, but that is what they said I was to do.”
            His complaints were according to him, “automatic responses” and when he reflected, he realized that in a free society, one becomes “personally responsible” By the way, one of his son’s became an engineer for a large computer company, and the other (equally intelligent and capable) owns his own auto repair company.(His passion became his livelihood)
            “John” told me that ,his younger son, in Romania, would have been forced into a graduate study program. The last time we spoke, his boys have children of their own , and are quite successful. He and his wife and boys came here with the clothes on their back. They definitely struggled to understand, and learn to live in freedom. The boys take real good care of Mom and Dad, and fully realize the risks taken for them, and the responsibilities of freedom.
            I often think of friendships I formed in Viet Nam. I wonder if the benevolence of the North and Ho caused them to be “terminated” Unknown.

            Democracy is mob rule, and Wisconsin was just one in a long litany of instances. You don’t refute the idea of mob rule= democracy, you only wish to ignore it. And yes communism will always entail re education “camps” and the eventual pogrom to eliminate dissent. It has happened so often as to be a joke ( if it wasn’t for the millions upon millions dead)
            I don’t know who said it (been attributed to everyone from Ben Franklin to Ambrose Bierce) “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on the dinner menu”
            It still is true that capitalism, and free markets have raised the standard of living of ALL inhabitants of those countries. There are many throughout the world that would gladly be “poor” in America.
            Would I like to see freer markets here, HELL YES.

            • Ralph: Thanks for your comment. I’ve had many similar experiences with friends from China, Russia, East Germany, Cuba, many of the rest of the Eastern European and Southeast Asian nations. We are incredibly blessed to be American citizens. CDE

              • I thank you for your continued comments here. Always educational. I studied just enough to get the info I wanted for my purposes(ie. accounting for non-financial managers etc.) so I could get my businesses going. Have always enjoyed reading, just doesn’t seem to be enough time to read all the references I get from you , Joe ,Utah , Texas et al.
                What I have read, and my life experience, tells me that the IDEA of Communism is wonderful. The practice, always leads me to that great philosopher, Yogi Berra, who said,” In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”
                The man is much deeper than many credit him being. I can tell you from much experience, that squatting behind home plate, wearing the “tools of ignorance”, waiting to be smacked in the head with a baseball bat, or run over by the other guys, the greater truths of life can sometimes come to you in a blinding flash. Either that or maybe it was a foul tip in the “cojones”. Still, enlightening.
                Keep posting , keep thinking, but stay vigilant.

                • Ralph: Thanks for your very kind statement. I love RNL and I only wish I had more time to turn out posts, although I do have lots of ideas and that’s where it starts. By the way, I met Yogi years ago, when we both lived in Montclair, NJ, where he still resides. We passed each other coming in and going out at the cleaners or the hardware store, and I introduced myself and asked him what must have been a dopey question about Larson’s perfect game or something about the Mick. He was unbelievably gracious and funny, especially since I was probably the 20th nitwit who already chatted him up that day. What a wonderful, normal guy. The only quotations I enjoy more are Churchill’s. CDE

                • When you really study it….and think on it, Ralph….there isn’t really anything Wonderful in the IDEA of Communism either …. as it negates the individual person and completely ignores human nature…..and part of that nature is Creativity based on Freedom…

                  Freedom of Mind and freedom of action …… The very “Idea” of communism strongly rejects these.

              • CDE,

                Any attempt to reason with Karl is going to be as fruitful as administering medicine to the dead. But I’ll give you this: it can be very entertaining — frustrating, but entertaining 😉

                • Makes you think, though. That can be entertaining. I often wonder what Karl does to “put the bacon in the pan”. Gotta believe he is either a post grad student, a tenured professor, or a government employee. Somehow taxpayer funded.
                  I have noticed that not many farmers, mechanics or contractors are interested in Marxian economic policies.

                  May be off the web a few days, Corn is ripe, taters are ready, maters is red or orange, and radishes, onions and
                  carrots are full size. Talk to all soon as i can.

            • How was Wisconsin mob rule? Did the representative democracy of Wisconsin fall? Like I said before hhere does re-education camps and pogroms come into play in communism? How does democracy and communism inevitably lead to re-education camps?

              “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on the dinner menu”
              What makes you think you are a lamb and not a wolf, where do you get this persecution/victim complex?

              • When the majority is allowed to trample the rights of the miority — that’s how.

                At its heart, ALL forms of the collective believe that might makes right. This is why ALL forms of the collective are and will ever be enemies of the individual, and therefore, of man, as well.

                • Didn’t the Wisconsin recall fail? Didn’t the majority keep in the choice for governor? if you are for installing a tyrant in Wisconsin. You should reconsider your love for freedom.

                  Joe what is the purpose of elections if democracy is illegitimate? Should we just end elections in American and have district constitutional courts judge all lawsuits and their judgments’ become new laws. Creating a judge’s dictatorship.

                  • Karl,

                    The judges — by and large — already ARE dictators.

                    Truth be told, we do not need elections to have a free society where individual rights and liberty are preserved. The rule of law does not depend on elections. We could just as easily fill public positions by random draft.

                    Once again, you show a profound lack of understanding in the issues at hand — even those Marx developed.

                    • This is an EXCELLENT response Joe !

                      A perspective not often articulated …… you should consider a short essay and linking it to OYL and The Road to Concord….as it is a Venn Diagram of many Key concepts….just make sure you keep the focus and simplicity of this comment … :- )).

                    • Don,

                      Thanks. Actually, now that you mention it, this would be an essay tailor made for the Road to Concord, then cross-posted on the OYL and here on the RNL.

                      OK, let me finish trying to scratch out a living in the face of Obama’s opposition and I’ll get ‘er done. 🙂

              • Quick response before I turn in. I did not say who was the wolf, and who was the lamb. I simply quoted an old “saw”. Obvious to anyone, that the lamb is in for a rough evening. Perhaps I see you as the lamb , in need of protection.
                And perhaps you ought to read more than Marx, Engle , Hagel , Stalin, etc.
                And this conversation just became circular, so off to bed. Another old saw.”Early to bed and early to rise….and your girl goes home with another guy”.

  5. While I am here ….PLEASE permit me to apologize to all for my out of line and spectacularly meaningless post of yesterday evening. A combination of too much sun and , obviously, some of my own….uh….product.
    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa!

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