Third Party & Independents Archives


While doing some research on another article I came across a poll performed by Rasumussen Reports that has convinced me that we my be past the point of no return on Civil Liberties in this country. It seems that more than 51% of Americans say that security is more important than privacy.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans say that Security is more important than privacy. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% disagree and say privacy is more important. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.

The survey also found public support for strict rules regarding identification needed to obtain drivers’ licenses. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say it is a good idea for the federal government to establish such rules, while only 17% disagree.

It is one of the saddest stories I've read for a while. I have been feeling over the years that more and more people were taking their individual freedoms for granted. And while I understood a temporary feeling like this to be prevalent after 9/11, unfortunately, I never thought it would have lasted this long.

But here we have the bad news. Over 200 years ago several men and women put their lives on the line to provide a new type governing citizens of a country. One that understood that rights were not negotiated with the rulers of the country but retained by the individuals. Unlike the other countries at the time, who had documents that listed what rights the citizens retained, the Constitution was designed to be a document of what constraints the government could operate within.

Now, because of fear, jealousy, hatred and misplaced social justice, the citizens who have inherited this view of governing are ready to throw it away.

Privacy is a specifically easy right to lose. Without understanding that the Constitution is a document of governmental powers, not a listing of rights retained by the citizenry, it becomes easier to lose those natural rights that we have but are not listed out specifically, much like the right to privacy. The 9th amendment was written to solve this concern, but years of constant ever-increasing infringement, accepted to by a pliable citizenry and a now government controlled educational system, has rendered one of the more important aspects of our Constitution effectively moot.

Privacy has its root at the very center of our lives. As we know, knowledge is power. And as those who crave power learned long long ago, coupled with a legal use of force that government enjoys, knowledge of a person is power of that person.

Jefferson very wisely stated:

There are rights which it is useless to surrender to the government and which governments have yet always been found to invade. These are the rights of thinking and publishing our thoughts by speaking or writing; the right of free commerce; the right of personal freedom. There are instruments for administering the government so peculiarly trustworthy that we should never leave the legislature at liberty to change them.

Surprisingly enough, Thom Hartmann at actually gets it right while arguing against Justice Thomas' lack of finding a Right to Privacy in our Constitution.

In his dissent in the Texas sodomy case, Thomas wrote, "just like Justice Stewart, I 'can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy,' or as the Court terms it today, the 'liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.'"

Echoing Thomas' so-called conservative perspective, Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program on June 27, 2003, "There is no right to privacy specifically enumerated in the Constitution." Jerry Falwell similarly agreed on Fox News.

Limbaugh and Thomas may soon also point out to us that the Constitution doesn't specifically grant a right to marry, and thus license that function exclusively to, say, Falwell. The Constitution doesn't grant a right to eat, or to read, or to have children. Yet do we doubt these are rights we hold?

The simple reality is that there are many "rights" that are not specified in the Constitution, but which we daily enjoy and cannot be taken away from us by the government. But if that's the case, Bush and Thomas would say, why doesn't the Constitution list those rights in the Bill of Rights?

The reason is simple: the Constitution wasn't written as a vehicle to grant us rights. We don't derive our rights from the constitution.

Rather, in the minds of the Founders, human rights are inalienable - inseparable - from humans themselves. We are born with rights by simple fact of existence, as defined by John Locke and written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," the Founders wrote. Humans are "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...." These rights are clear and obvious, the Founders repeatedly said. They belong to us from birth, as opposed to something the Constitution must hand to us, and are more ancient than any government.

The job of the Constitution was to define a legal framework within which government and business could operate in a manner least intrusive to "We, The People," who are the holders of the rights. In its first draft it didn't even have a Bill of Rights, because the Framers felt it wasn't necessary to state out loud that human rights came from something greater, larger, and older than government. They all knew this; it was simply obvious.

It's not as obvious anymore, it seems.

Those would 'lead' us have almost all, at some point in the past, attempted to restrict our rights, especially the right to privacy specifically. And this is why is must be safeguarded not just for now in the case of this administration but for each and every administration that comes after.

Posted by Rhinehold at January 20, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #243408

It is truly sad to see the country so degraded, so lacking in any kind of moral strength. Faced with a War of Terror, many are coming to the belated realization that Fear won, and a surveillance society has been created to make sure the current state of fear is promulgated.

The need to destroy the right to privacy is inherent in the nature of capitalism. The right to privacy is a Human Right.

Regulation and public ownership prevent the natural tendency of captialism to develop oligopolies, monopolies, and plutonomies. Regulation and public ownership foster the creation of a middle class, and protect the poor as well. Law, regulation, and public ownership are crucial for Human Rights.

The relentless pursuit of deregulation and privatization requires the slow dismantlement of the middle class, and the redistribution of wealth away from the poor and middle, to the rich. It’s class warfare, pure and simple. Accomplishing this obviously runs counter to the will of a majority of people. For this reason, capitalism is incompatible with democracy and freedom.

Authoritarian communism is dead, its corpse thoroughly scavenged. The only way capitalism can strip the remaining assets from socialist and mixed democratic economies is through corporatism- the combination of government, business, and the military.

Convincing the majority of people to give up their public commons- commons which are protected in socialist and mixed economies by laws and regulations- means making people afraid, and surveilling those who protest the redistribution. It means violating Human Rights, including the right to privacy.

Posted by: phx8 at January 21, 2008 1:49 AM
Comment #243416


I think you are wrong in saying that capitalism is inimical to human rights. Capitalism, as an economic entity, is neither supportive nor antithetical to human rights. Governments are thwe guarantors of rights, not economic systems.

I believe our problem in the US is that for the past 50-75 years(since the Depression), we have become accustomed to the government being our caretaker. We want Washington to guarantee our succes and happiness. Of course, in order to do that, we are going to have to allow just a little more interference “for our own good”. Pretty soon, be are living in a society that is totally run by government, not free will. For instance: the proposals to eliminate “Trans fats” from our diets. It’s bad for us, so let’s ban it! Gonna sdave 7.3 lives per state per year. What’s that, you say give me the information and I will make my own decision? No! You can’t be trusted to make the “Right decision”. The same goes for alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, etc. The government has two reponsibilities: one is to protect others from my actiivities;I.E., drunk driving,etc, and second , to educate me as to the risks of using these products. Once I am educated, leave me alone unless I pose a threat to others.

Don’t blame an economic system if I want to give away my rights to Big Brother. I do that on my own, wantiong somweone else to be responsible for me so UI don’t have to be.

Posted by: Old Grouch at January 21, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #243419

Rhinehold, another great topic and post. What do you find so suprising about Thom Hartmann getting it right. I have listend to him on the radio and read Hartmann’s books for years and happen to think that he has it right almost all the time. We would all do well to read a few of his books.

What I find truely suprising is the lack of conservative/repubs support for the constitution on both this post and your post on real ID. The silence coming from the righties on these issue’s is deafening. I can see where the 51% figure is coming from. Nothing like a good Rovian campaign to scare the cons into compliance.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 21, 2008 10:49 AM
Comment #243420


You make some great points. The problem I have with these arguemnts are twofold.

Most people aren’t concerned with vague ideas of privacy. They live their lives concerned about education, jobs, housing and inflation. They live in a society free to do the things they like, if they can afford them, and don’t have much to hide. They subscribe to the, if you have done nothing wrong, you don’t have anything to hide and sunlight is the best disinfectant philosophy.

Second, we now live in a society with polulation densities unprecedented. It’s impossible to have much privacy living on top of one another. Some privacy is used by criminals to prey on others and this genuinely instills fear in others that want an end to these dark, sinister, hidden dens.

Americans were roused by sentiments of the likes of Jefferson in a time when self reliance was essential to survival. We now live in an interdependant culture, where social interaction is more important than independence.

Jefferson saw cities as corrosive to human dignity, and we now live in largely an urban society.

While I understand your harkening to a distant time of granduer, it doesn’t resonate in the same way as it did then. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but a call to read the needs of the people, and perhaps a new understanding of the balance between rights and the necessities of living in close quarters.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 21, 2008 10:57 AM
Comment #243428


“In its first draft it didn’t even have a Bill of Rights, because the Framers felt it wasn’t necessary to state out loud that human rights came from something greater, larger, and older than government.”

they were also hesitant to create a bill of rights because they believed there were far to many to list, and were worried that many, including the gov’t may assume that if it was not listed it didn’t actually exist.

Posted by: dbs at January 21, 2008 12:35 PM
Comment #243429

Jeffersonian democracy envisioned a decentralized country of gentleman farmers. Hamilton envisioned a more urbanized, centralized version of the US. Jefferson detested the creation of a lower class of wage earners, too debilitated by labor to demand their rights.

And here we are today…

At some point, Americans will hopefully confront the tremendous damage which is being done by the Neocon vision of laissez faire capitalism a la Milton Friedman. Americans need to reject invasions of privacy through marketing, because the Neocon vision of business, government, and the military into one deregulated, privatized entity which uses public funds to create a corporatist culture; the marketing aspect fits like hand in glove with the surveillance society.

Thom Hartmann rocks! And Rhinehold, thanks for calling attention to him as a supporting source.

Posted by: phx8 at January 21, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #243435
Now, because of fear, jealousy, hatred and misplaced social justice, the citizens who have inherited this view of governing are ready to throw it away… . Privacy is a specifically easy right to lose.
“Fear” is a fundamental human emotion.

It is a strong motivator, and easy to manipulate (i.e. fear mongering).
Yes, some have tapped-into our fear, which has led to foolishly giving up our privacy.

However, our many problems, growing in number and severity, are more significantly rooted in two other exploited human traits: human traits: greed and laziness

From that also comes complacency and apathy.

It is interesting that many of our problems could be solved by STOPPING something, rather than doing something NEW.

For example:

  • (01) STOP lawlessness; enforce the laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution; stop pardons that put politicians above the law;

  • (02) STOP starting unnecessary wars (and stop the fear mongering and lies as an excuse to start wars);

  • (03) STOP all pork-barrel, graft, bloat, peddling influence, waste, and other abuses of power (e.g. such as Congress giving itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007);

  • (04) STOP illegal immigration which is costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses;

  • (05) STOP election fraud, stop blocking access to ballots; implement common-sense election reforms, and give voters a printed verifiable receipt of their vote;

  • (06) STOP the borrowing, spending, and growing the massive $9.2 Trillion National Debt; stop plundering Social Security surpluses;

  • (07) STOP regressive taxation;

  • (08) STOP inflation and force the Federal Reserve and government to target ZERO inflation and stop excessive money-printing;

  • (09) STOP the misinformation and ignorance; an educated electorate is paramount; an ignorant electorate will be abused and exploited;

  • (10) STOP the unnecessary middle men (i.e. government and insurance companies) and fraud in the healthcare system; stop killing 195,000 per year by medical mistakes; also, if the 9 problems above were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressues on the healthcare systems;
Of course, that’s all easier said than done, until voters also STOP repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly with 96.5% seat-retention rates.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 21, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #243437
Governments are the guarantors of rights, not economic systems.

That is missing the point of the article. Governments can only protect our rights, they do not provide them to us. We, as humans, have natural rights that exist outside of the realm of the government, these rights are ones that exist just because we do.

And capitalism is the only economic system that appreciates and works within this concept. Any other economic system that is floated around violates the basic rules of human rights and the freedom of free association.

I keep hearing that ‘capitalism is dead’ and is pointed to as the problem for our problems, yet I have yet to hear of an alternate economic system that will allow people to maintain their freedoms, the same freedoms that I speak about in this article. Which is why I was very surprised to see a progressive website like post an article speaking exactly to the point that if embraced shoots down most of the foundations that progressive ideals are built upon.

Interesting indeed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 21, 2008 3:18 PM
Comment #243445

Free market capitalism is not bad.
It is the abuses that are bad.
Any system (even the best) can be abused.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 21, 2008 4:46 PM
Comment #243447

There is a misnomer that a free market should not have any protections against monopolies. But how can you have a ‘free market’ without competition? And how can you have competition if you allow monopolies?

The Republicans want corporate monopolies to exist, the Demoracts want government monopolies to exist. Neither really understand the concept of what a ‘free market’ means.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 21, 2008 4:51 PM
Comment #243461

There’s a great deal neither understand.

Both are selling out most Americans.

99.85% of all 200 million voters are vastly out-spent by the wealthiest 0.15% of all voters who make 83% of all campaign donations (of $200 or more).

Posted by: d.a.n at January 21, 2008 6:12 PM
Comment #243478

It’s a very sad state of affairs when 51% of the folks are willing give up their freedoms that so many have died to preserve for them just for that false sense of security.
Having a false sense of security is a very dangerous thing. With it folks become lax and let their guard down. Next thing they know they look up and can’t even by a gallon of milk without big brother’s approval. And nothing would suit that bunch up their in DC more.
For those that are willing to give up their rights of that false sense of security, here’s an news flash for ya. THERE AINT ANY SUCH THING A 100% SECURITY. And there sure as hell aint no security in giving up freedom.
The only way to be 100% secure is to be dead. Even then some nut case might rob your grave.

phx8 said: The need to destroy the right to privacy is inherent in the nature of capitalism.

No it aint, it’s the inherent nature and necessity of a tyrannical government.

phx said: The right to privacy is a Human Right.

100% RIGHT ON! And when the right to privacy is taken away so is another human right called freedom.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 21, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #243501

Old Grouch said: “Capitalism, as an economic entity, is neither supportive nor antithetical to human rights.”

Yes, it is. Pure capitalism is a game of to the victor go the spoils, and to the labor, only what is absolutely necessary to keep them laboring. That is antithetical to human rights and dignity. It is, as volumes have elucidating, based upon exploitation or available resources to maximize profits and minimize costs.

That said, capitalism also has amazing productive and innovative powers to the point of absurdity and degradation of human health and well being as in the many energy savers that now produce an obese society. Capitalism if regarded as a tool to be used and wielded with expertise and toward elevated human ends, can be regulated and directed toward the benefit of humanity. But, when capitalism is regarded as an end in itself, it becomes a monstrous weapon of the elite to subject and bend the masses behavior to meet the desires of the elite in who believe they are in control of it.

But, as in 1929, capitalism as an end, even destroys those heralding its virtues, when left to its own devices and self-consuming nature born of greed and excess, which attempts to build economic structures akin to a pyramid balanced upside down on its apex, top heavy with wealth in too few hands to keep it balanced thus.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 4:11 AM
Comment #243502

Rhinehold said: “The Republicans want corporate monopolies to exist, the Demoracts want government monopolies to exist.”

That comment represents an ideologically blinded assessment of reality.

Republicans want government which is subservient to corporate and business freedom and autonomy, some monopolistic as in military contractors, and many competitive such as local small businesses. From such a perspective comes Bush’s plan to subsidize corporate entity losses with economic stimulus, rewarding corporations and their leadership for their role in creating the sub-prime mortgage industry debacle. Not that rewarding them is the intent, just the consequence of defining government (taxpayers) as subservient to corporate and business interests, protecting and defending the elite and the elite wannabe’s and supporters.

Democrats believe government should protect and defend the ‘perceived right’ of citizens to share in the largesse and freedom of choice the economy provides (opposite of slavery and servitude), while promoting private enterprise and competition as the economy’s mainstay. They seek to preserve the union first and foremost, and give freedom and autonomy to private enterprise, but only up to the point that such private interests do not compromise the well being of citizens or the nation. Which leads to policies that many object to by compromising perceived constitutional rights like the 2nd Amendment ‘right’ to own firearms ‘of one’s choosing, despite firearms having become the weapon of choice for all manner of crime’.

The people must decide between the excesses of one over the excesses of the other, rather than overcome their fear of updating the Constitution to reflect a more perfect union by modern definition and historical context. Thus, the pendulum swings from left to right, and back left again, as if back and forth is progress.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 4:30 AM
Comment #243515

Hence, neither sounds very appealing.

Actually, those two descriptions sound a bit too kind.

Based on results (and the last 30 years), there appears to be few (if any) real and/or significant differences.

The people would be wise to choose neither, since no one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, much less 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable.

Thus, the pendulum swings from left to right, and back left again, as if back and forth is progress.
Progress can happen occassionally (2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward).

However, we appear to be going backwards (overall) for several decades, and there is no guarantee that it will change any time soon, with so much apathy, complacency, dependency, blind loyalty, and 96.5% seat-retention rates in Congress. The next president will have a mess if saddled with the same Do-Nothing, corrupt, FOR-SALE, pandering, lying Congress.

We are going backwards, because government is becoming (if not already become) a plutocracy, as evidenced by the fact that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of all voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations, and 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money.

That is, government is controlled and influenced by a very few that abuse vast wealth to control and influence government. Except for a VERY few, their votes and actions prove it.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2008 11:42 AM
    Comment #243520
    Yes, it is. Pure capitalism is a game of to the victor go the spoils, and to the labor, only what is absolutely necessary to keep them laboring. That is antithetical to human rights and dignity. It is, as volumes have elucidating, based upon exploitation or available resources to maximize profits and minimize costs.

    And you call my view ideologically blind?

    Capitalism is the true expression of freedom, of two individuals agreeing to an exchange of value something that each individual has. The ultimate in free association. Just as two people sitting and talking in a conversation.

    However, this does not guarantee that one party will not attempt to violate the right of the other. That is where government comes in.

    By protecting an individual against fraud, for example, the government ensures that capitalism exists in a free environment. That neither party is forced or tricked into their side of the agreement.

    Just as if two people talking and one decides to ‘punch out’ the other for what was said, the government steps in and defends the right of the individual not to be treated as such.

    However, this means that government’s role is limited to protecting those rights, including ensuring a free market environment with no monopolies. The problem is, a statist like yourself doesn’t agree with that, they believe that the state should help drive the market certain ways. By doing so, they by definition make the market less free and the individuals participating in the market less free as well.

    It is your right to attempt and alter the constitution to allow this type of thing, that is the nature of our country and the Constitution that runs it. All I ever ask is that people not IGNORE the Constitution in order to get their way through a simple majority, that is definately NOT how the country was set up to run.

    I know, deaf ears, but I keep trying.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 12:51 PM
    Comment #243522

    Rhinehold, you really should get to know the world you live in. Capitalism from the days of slavery, 19th century Europe, through the exploitation of natives in S.America, to the illegal immigrant labor force in America, establishes historical and unambiguous evidence of pure capitalism at work by the definition I set forth. Freedom only has a dimension for the capitalists in these references. Add a government and society superstructure that constrains pure capitalism and protects humanitarian values in its wake, and capitalism can be a most valuable and powerfully beneficial engine for productivity, innovation, and employment.

    Yes, yours is an ideologically blinded view. And what I describe as unbridled capitalism is historical fact, the subject of great novels, research, and historical references.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 1:01 PM
    Comment #243526

    Rhinehold said: “Capitalism is the true expression of freedom”

    For the capitalists, yes. For labor that it exploits, absolutely not. Only when rules and regulations are set in place that ensure that capitalism’s labor is voluntary, and not indentured, enforced, or coerced, then, freedom can be said to be enjoyed in this regulated capitalist system.

    But, making blanket statements that equate capitalism with freedom fails for ideological blinders to recognize that capitalism frees labor only when forced and constrained to do so. The goal of capitalism is max. profit at min. cost for the capital owner. There is nothing in that primary function and purpose of capitalism to exhalt labor’s expression of freedom, quite the contrary. Labor is an expense for capitalists to be minimized where and whenever possible, as America witnesses its manufacturing jobs leave to foreign lands where labor cost is minimized. Screw American workers for asking for a living middle class wage.

    The ideology of your comment truly exposes the blinders. Are you aware there are philosophical underpinnings and structures to the many various economic systems. If so, may I recommend you read up on those of capitalism. Might help remove some of the ideological blind spots that permit you to falsely believe that capitalism is some champion of human freedom.

    Slavery demonstrated that capitalism is anything but. And slavery was epidemic in the western world of capitalism in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries deposed and fought against in the 19th and 20th centuries by various movements championing human rights and freedom, including the socialists, the civil rights movement, and the women’s rights movement in both Europe and America who sought to bridle capitalism’s abuses.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 1:18 PM
    Comment #243527

    No, David, you describe anarchy, not capitalism. It’s surprising that you can’t separate the two.

    Any economic system, without government, is subject to the same issues you describe, they are not inherit to the economic system but the lack of protection of human rights.

    If human rights are magically enforced without government, capitalism would never have resulted in any abuses, only with the help (or lack) of government can those abuses occur.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 1:19 PM
    Comment #243528

    BTW, the new weapon of capitalism to enslave is marketing and advertising which defends its actions as promoting freedom of choice in the market place, all the while wielding the now sophisticated and expert art of psychological and sociological manipulation of consumers through marketing and advertising. One only need review the diet pill hoaxes in the hundreds designed to entice the overweight to part with their money (a tool for freedom) while promising a result that is a lie, which increases and sustains anxiety, which causes even greater susceptibility of the consumer to marketing and advertising of a ‘money back guarantee’ that this is the pill to weight loss and health.

    You no doubt call this freedom. I call it freedom to exploit, deceive, and fraudulently con targeted human beings out of the precious little wealth they have the potential of saving. A freedom capitalists spend billions protecting in our courts, legislative bodies, and presidential election campaigns. But, as I said, it is freedom that extends primarily to the capital owners, and it deprives consumers of accurate information, labeling, and freedom to assess independently their own need for the product with bombardment in the advertising media of the message that you must have this and are socially unacceptable if you don’t buy it.

    Fascinating field of study, marketing and advertising and its marriage to the fields of psychology and sociology for the purpose of manipulating behavior. Manipulated behavior is not freedom, Rhinehold.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 1:30 PM
    Comment #243529
    You no doubt call this freedom.

    Um, no, I call this fraud…

    Last time I checked, that was a violation of an individual’s rights and against the law.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 1:32 PM
    Comment #243530

    Rhinehold said: “No, David, you describe anarchy, not capitalism. “

    Anarchy is the lack of social design. What I described were highly organized and social designs.

    YOU are wrong, yet again, Rhinehold. As usual, because you refuse to accept that words have definitions and to use them as defined.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 1:34 PM
    Comment #243531

    Rhinehold said: “Um, no, I call this fraud…”

    But, how can this be, Rhinehold? Diet pill marketing is capitalist enterprise. And you said capitalism is the true expression of freedom. Are you suggesting that capitalism’s frauds are a true expression of freedom? Freedom then equates to being free to be targeted for legal and socially sanctioned fraud?

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 1:36 PM
    Comment #243532

    The definition of anarchy, as provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

    1 a: absence of government b: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority c: a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government 2 a: absence or denial of any authority or established order b: absence of order

    Seems like Rhinehold is using the proper definition to me…

    Posted by: Doug Langworthy at January 22, 2008 1:43 PM
    Comment #243534
    But, how can this be, Rhinehold?

    Making statements about your product that is not true is fraud, I’m sorry that you don’t understand that, David.

    Anarchy is the lack of social design

    Lol, and you accuse me of not understanding definitions of words…

    Anarchy - 1. a state of society without government or law. 2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control.

    A government not protecting the rights of the individual, sounds like an absence of governmental control, or … anarchy.

    Capitalism - an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations

    I don’t see anything in there about being able to defraud or use force… Most be missing in my version of the dictionary, David.

    The problem is that YOU are wanting to fit your definitions into your views, which you are free to do but getting snarky because I don’t believe in your views and instead use actual agreed upon definitions isn’t the best way to debate, IMO.

    You are trying to assert that capitalism, in an anarchy, is a bad economic system. So is socialism, so is communism, etc. They all are subject to the misbehaving of human beings when individual rights are not protected.

    However, when existing in a free society, one where a true free market with true competition exists, it is the freest form of economic practices that exists.

    Perhaps we are saying the same thing, but you are trying to equate ‘anarchy based capitalism’ with a ‘pure form of capitalism’, for some sort of statist point that I am missing, when it is nothing of the sort, IMO.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 1:50 PM
    Comment #243536

    I have another definition for you, David, in case you were a little bored…

    Projection - the tendency to ascribe to another person feelings, thoughts, or attitudes present in oneself, or to regard external reality as embodying such feelings, thoughts, etc., in some way.
    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 2:05 PM
    Comment #243537

    Btw, David, your view of ‘pure capitalism’ ignores a few things…

    One, long term success. A business cannot sustain itself for very long if it continues to prey upon its workers and customers. Eventually it will either devour and eliminate all customers and workers and be left with no one to sell to and no one to do the work. Makes it hard to keep a business going that way…

    Two, human nature and motives. Individuals are the ones running these businesses, not automitons that only work to logically seek out the highest profit margin. Many companies, like the ones I work for, ensure that they act within a strict code of ethics that is far and beyond the requirements by law. Not using confidential information found about our customers or competitors for gain, notifying customers of mistakes that they’ve made in our favor and not taking advantage of them, etc.

    I’m not sure why you insist on maintaining this mindset, personally…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 22, 2008 2:20 PM
    Comment #243543

    More often, the problem is not the system, but the people that abuse it, to abuse others.
    Pencilz dont mispell wordz. People do.
    Spoons don’t make people fat. People do.
    Money doesn’t make people greedy. People do.
    Likewise with capitalism, when abused to the extreme (e.g. illegal immigration, monopolies, price gouging and price fixing, addiction (e.g. oil), and other manifestations of unchecked greed).
    Likewise with the monetary system (e.g. excessive money creation, predetory lending, usury, inflation, and the conversion of money printed out of thin air into real assets from foreclosures and defaulted loans).
    Likewise with the convenient re-interpretation (construction) of the Constitution, abused presidential pardons, and perversion of the laws to achieve the very thing there were originally supposed to prohibit.
    Likewise with taxation (e.g. taxation with a clever regressive curve, caps, hidden taxes, complexity to facilitate tax evasion, etc.).
    Likewise with the freedom of speech that is abused to permit a plutocracy where those with the most money win 90% of elections, and perpetual re-election.
    Given time, some people will learn how to abuse any system, which is why sufficient levels of transparency, accountability, and education are necessary.
    And, with any abuse, there are the abusers, and the abused.
    For example, consider some (if not all) incumbent politicians in Congress, who are not only masters at abusing the voters, but also skillful at fooling the voters into rewarding the politicians with perpetual re-election, a raise every year, cu$hy perks and benefits, and the wealthiest 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters showering the politicians with 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more; $2.0+ Billion).
    BAaahhhhHHH !

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 22, 2008 3:01 PM
    Comment #243548

    Rhinehold said: “A business cannot sustain itself for very long if it continues to prey upon its workers and customers.”

    Sure it can, as the Savings & Loans, planned obsolescence of the Big 3, the Chrysler bailout, and now the Financial Institution bailouts by the government attest. They do it all the time, prey upon their workers and customers, and when they belly up, their bought and paid for politicians force the taxpayers to bail them out, in the name of preserving jobs and the economy.

    See Oligopoly for a discussion on how whole industries exercise this not so subtle relationship between corrupt government and abuse of customers and workers. Hell, American western farmers only on recent years began installing bathroom facilities for Ag workers in response to Congressional investigations into the E-Coli outbreaks in American grown vegetables. Capitalism at its most exploitive - no bathroom facilities for workers - and this in the last years of 20th and 1st years of the 21st century.

    You can bury your head to these stories of evidence of abuse of workers and customers all you want, but, the news and stories continue to evidence the goal of capitalism year after year, despite unenforced regulations and efforts to constrain its excesses, until their is a public backlash or outcry or threat.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 4:10 PM
    Comment #243549

    Doug and Rhinehold, I empathize with your total loss of logic.

    Rhinehold said: “If human rights are magically enforced without government, capitalism would never have resulted in any abuses, only with the help (or lack) of government can those abuses occur.”

    Utterly illogical and false. Capitalists, as I said, seek max profit through max. pricing at minimal cost, and that equation results in the exploitation of both customers and labor to the extent possible while sustaining operations.

    Rhinehold posits that it is NOT capitalists, but, government’s FAILURE to constrain Capitalists, that is the fault for abuses of customers and labor. Government after all doesn’t sell fraudulent diet pills or deny its employees bathroom facilities to keep costs down. That’s the handiwork of Capitalists. Sounds like Rhinehold is arguing against government’s failure to halt abuses, which argues FOR government regulation by implication, to halt the abuses. Which of course, he argues against elsewhere.

    Must be hard to think in so contradictory a manner and keep from projecting such confusion onto others.

    You both may want to reread the thread and get your logic and dictionary books out to help with comprehension. Reading what you want other people to say instead of what they actually say, does not speak well of your comment’s debate or comprehension skills.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 22, 2008 4:22 PM
    Comment #243551

    David… you’re funny… you seem to think that if you say ‘capitalism is evil’ enough, that it will become true solely because you say it is so… uummm… ok… whatever… but that’s not what I am responding to…

    You shouldn’t insult Rhinehold by lumping me with him. I have made zero comments on this thread other than to objectively point out your incorrect definition of the word ‘anarchy’ based on an objective and nearly universally-accepted source. Your use of the incorrect definition was the entire basis of one of your posts, railing against another for “refuse(ing) to accept that words have definitions and to use them as defined.” Seems like you should have probably bothered to actually look the word up before assigning your own definition to it?

    David, if you want to debate your incorrect use of the definition of a word, then great… call me out on it. But please don’t lump me into one side or another in the general debate when I have made no such comments on the matter… heck… Rhinehold doesn’t need my help anyway… he’s doing a fine job of winning this debate on his own.

    Posted by: Doug Langworthy at January 22, 2008 4:37 PM
    Comment #243561


    Even though I agree with you in principle, the burden is, and always will be on the consumer. We cannot depend on the American government to help us make the decisions that, in an ideal world, should be easy.
    Do I need to remind you that it was our government that deregulated the supplement industry? The same industry that is now free to sell any snake oil it likes, as long as nobody dies?

    If we weren’t buying this crap, nobody would be selling it. One only needs to watch, or listen to any local TV or radio station for a few minutes to hear adds for all manner of “supplements” that are claimed to cure everything from male pattern baldness to penile enhancements.
    The quote “there’s a sucker born every minute” has been attributed to many people. The statement is only incorrect in the time between suckers.

    We seem, as a society, to want something for nothing, and it seems there is always someone out there that is quite willing to sell it to us for a tidy profit.

    Caveat Emptor!

    Posted by: Rocky at January 22, 2008 7:45 PM
    Comment #243577
    Utterly illogical and false. Capitalists, as I said, seek max profit through max. pricing at minimal cost, and that equation results in the exploitation of both customers and labor to the extent possible while sustaining operations.

    Lol, here we go grouping again… No, not all capitalists seek max profit through max pricing at minimal cost. Again, humans are not ‘automotons’, they are individuals and until we treat them as such, I wonder if class warfare will ever end?

    Sounds like Rhinehold is arguing against government’s failure to halt abuses, which argues FOR government regulation by implication, to halt the abuses. Which of course, he argues against elsewhere.

    Where ‘elsewhere’ have I argued against using government to protect the rights of individuals and maintaining a free market? I’m pretty sure that I’ve been quite consistent on my views about this, perhaps the real problem is that you are assigning a position to me that I don’t hold?

    I’ll try again with a simple statement…

    Government’s job, the reason why we give government the power of force over us, is to protect our individual rights. In a capitalist society, this means that we have to ensure that no fraud, monopolies or trusts exist. Without the government protecting our rights we would have … anarchy.

    Must be hard to think in so contradictory a manner and keep from projecting such confusion onto others.

    Please post the ‘contradictions’ that I’ve made side by side from each other, I would like to see where I’ve erred in the past with my stating of my position so that I don’t commit this terrible crime again.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 12:34 AM
    Comment #243619

    d.a.n, excellently laid out.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 3:37 PM
    Comment #243626

    Rhinehold said: “No, not all capitalists seek max profit through max pricing at minimal cost.”

    Then their board of Directors and shareholders will make sure they are not a capitalist in their corporation for very long. Rhinehold, it is astounding your lack of knowledge of the english language. Where in the definition of capitalism is an allowance for morality, humanity, and brotherly love?

    Even the best capitalists on the ethical scale are one’s who make ethics an operational or capital asset, itself, like Exxon Mobil advertising itself as a Green company. They are btw enjoying incredibly high profits while lobbying for taxpayer subsidies, yet again this year. Capitalism in action. When Exxon Mobil says they are a green company, they snicker knowing Green means U.S. Dollar green, while the consuming public of their products think they mean they are making cleaner OIL products.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 3:58 PM
    Comment #243631

    Rhinehold said: “Government’s job, the reason why we give government the power of force over us, is to protect our individual rights.”

    And so very much more than that, Rhinehold, treaties, taxes, regulation, State’s rights which have abused individual rights for 2 centuries. The government is about much more than the Bill of Rights, added as amendments to primary role of the Constitution which was form and sustain a union. Your one track verbage appears incapable of taking in the complexity of our Constitution if you make statements like the one above. Government was formed to do far more than protect the enumerated individual rights.

    “give government the power of force over us, is to protect our individual rights”? You really don’t see the logical fallacy and error in your sentence construction, do you?

    That sentence construction could have been pulled straight out of a 1940’s Adolph Hitler speech. But, you don’t see it. As the German people didn’t see it either in the 1930’s and 40’s. No wonder history repeats itself.

    All attempts to educate are rebuffed, so I will just leave it there.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 23, 2008 4:15 PM
    Comment #243633

    What is it your saying, Mr. Remer? Other than condesension and contradiction, are you predicting another 1930’s Germany? Are you saying the government has been dominating us all along? What?

    Personally I think superior intellect and unlimited experience had it’s butt handed to it in this post.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 23, 2008 4:24 PM
    Comment #243634
    so I will just leave it there

    Yeah, when your failing arguments brings in Godwin’s Law and you have to associate your opponents view with Hitler, it’s usually best to just leave it there I think, before they might actually take offense.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 23, 2008 4:27 PM
    Comment #243657
    d.a.n, excellently laid out.

    Someone recently told me that money is evil.
    Someone else said capitalism is evil.
    Someone else said corporations are evil.
    Someone else said the two-party duopoly is evil.
    Someone else said income taxes are evil.
    Someone else said banks are evil.
    Someone else said socialism is evil.
    Someone else said a pure democracy can not exist, but that is only because of abuses (i.e. selfishness, greed, dependency, etc.)

    While we could debate whether some systems are truly evil (such as slavery, perhaps?), the real problem is that most systems are simply abused by people.
    We often blame systems when we should be:

    • (1) identifying the abuses,

    • (2) the abusers,

    • (3) deciding the abusers punishment,

    • (4) and preventing it from happening again.
    Thus, any system can be abused (including democracy), but only if we permit it.

    Our problem is that we fail to understand the danger of our complacency and apathy that allows abusers to be unnoticed or unaccountable.
    We fail to accept and/or appreciate the dark-side of human nature that causes some people (to varying degrees) to consistently and persistently seek to use, control, and exploit other people.
    If permitted, without sufficient transparency, accountability, and education, the abuses will spread like a virus, and become very difficult to eradicate (such as these 10 abused systems which have been festering for over 3 decades).

    Ignorance is not an excuse, and no one will rescue us from ourselves.
    Ignorance only guarantees the loss of our civil liberties (or worse).
    I don’t think the design of our system of government is evil.
    I don’t think capitalism is evil.
    It is the abuses and perversions (or infection) by abusers (PEOPLE), and those that permit it.
    That is the problem.
    Wide-spread government corruption and bloat did not all come about overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight, but the longer it festers, the more difficult and painful it will be later.

    Therefore, the larger problem is quite simply that too many people permit these abuses, the abusers, and even empower the abusers by repeatedly rewarding the abusive incumbent politicians with 95% re-election rates.

    Tonight on CNN, Jack Cafferty said the voters will get what they deserve if the voters keep re-election the incumbent politicians.
    He gets it.
    Too few do.
    Wake up folks! (WARNING: George Carlin on education - contains some profanity)

    At any rate, the voters will get their education one way or another, and they will have the government that they deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 23, 2008 7:16 PM
    Comment #243663

    Republicans and Democratics alike should nominate a republican to be President of the U.S.

    I said NOMINATE!

    Go all in. The sooner the better.

    Put things in perspective.

    You can vote for your Democratic in the election.

    At least you will have given yourself your best advisary.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 23, 2008 8:17 PM
    Comment #243664

    You’re portraying education in a bad light.
    Define education as a tool.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 23, 2008 8:21 PM
    Comment #243694

    Huh? How is that?

    Education is a good thing.
    Education is part of the solution.
    It’s not easy (if not possible) to make education look bad.
    We will get our education one way or another.
    We should try to avoid the painful way.

    What is unfortunate, like George Carlin, is putting apathetic, complacent, and blindly loyal voters in a bad light.

    What do they say about doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

    If voters repeatedly reward bad politicians with 95% re-election rates, they can expect the same bad results (or worse).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 24, 2008 7:15 AM
    Comment #243695

    Weary Willie,
    Why nominate a Republican for POTUS?

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 24, 2008 7:19 AM
    Comment #243760

    Sorry, d.a.n
    My computer took a *&^#*.
    I wanted to point to this open letter concerning education.

    Why an R for POTUS? It’s more or less a dare!

    If Democratics truly believe Ron Paul is a crackpot and couldn’t get elected then help get him nominated to the Republican position!

    If he’s such a crackpot it wouldn’t matter who the Democratics nominate. They will surely win. A shoe-in. Right?

    Go ahead, I dare ya! Help Ron Paul get nominated to be the Republican party’s candidate for President.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 24, 2008 10:10 PM
    Comment #243775

    By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer
    Thu Jan 24, 7:45 PM ET

    WASHINGTON - The Senate granted at least a temporary victory to the White House on Thursday, turning back an attempt to increase court oversight of the government’s surveillance of phone calls and e-mails that involve people inside the United States.

    This is why I laugh!
    This is proof the Democratics who were elected to office lied to their party. This is the obvious proof that the conduct of the Democratics thruout this war was politically motivated to win the election.

    The brighter the fire burns the greater the area enlightened.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at January 24, 2008 11:30 PM
    Comment #244429

    I don’t think Ron Paul is a crackpot, and I like a lot of Ron Pauls ideas and positions, and was glad to see him back away from the 30% Sales Tax/Rebate system.

    If only he would acknowledge flagrant Constitutional violations (e.g. Aricle V, Article 4, Secion 4, etc.). But no one in Congress will either.

    But Ron Paul said if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination, he won’t run for office.

    Why not? Why say that? Because he is blindly loyal to the Republican party? Why? That simply makes him look like an insider married to the status quo.

    If he were to run for president as an independent, he would get more respect for his bid for office.

    If Ralph Nader doesn’t run, I’ll have to write-in Mickey Mouse for President, because I don’t like any of the current candidates.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 1, 2008 3:18 PM
    Comment #244430

    Regarding Ron Paul.
    Since he portrays himself as a champion of the U.S. Constitution, but said he doesn’t think an Aritlce V Convention is a good idea, he has substituted his own judgment for the Constitution.
    Ron Paul also knowingly and willingly joined in Walker vs. Members of Congress to violate Article V based on nothing more than an advisory opinion that is still a violation of Federal Criminal Law.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 1, 2008 3:27 PM
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