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View Diary: No, Seriously, What is Libertarian Populism? (124 comments)

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  •  It is democratic (0+ / 0-)

    if by democratic you mean majority decides.  McDonald's sales volume tells us that the majority of Americans like them and vote with their dollars.  That part is undeniable.  

    Americans also don't really care about the authoritarian structure either, because they believe that's what gets them the goods and services they want.  

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:19:25 PM PDT

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    •  It's not democratic in the slightest. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And what majority? Do you honestly think that a majority of Americans eat at McDonald's? That would be more than 160 million.

      Uh, no.

      No business ever has a majority shopping at its store. And none of us has a voice in what products are sold, how they are made, what they cost, what workers make, their benefits, etc. etc. We have to take what is given us, and buy what others decide we should buy. We have the illusion of choice and freedom, but billionaires give us a very small range of choices and those choices are all too similar -- in price, quality, etc. etc.

      In a sane world, we'd decide this through democratic debate. The entire economy would be democratized. Not through the massively indirect way of dollars, but through actual debate and voting.

      As in, real socialism.

      It's absurd to think that where we spend our dollars constitutes a "vote."

      •  Totally disagree (0+ / 0-)

        When you pay money for a good you are saying you like the product and service of that business.  It's a "vote" in that it shows your support for that business over another business you could just as well have gone to.

        You do have a voice in how a business runs.  If tomorrow Walmart wanted to literally enslave its workers, pay them nothing, and beat them if they don't work harder (obviously picking an extreme example here), then would you buy any of their products?  No, of course not.  Without customers they'd just basically nothing propping them up unless they get government rebates (which they probably do).

        The problem is Americans choose not to let their voice be known, don't really understand what they're doing when they purchase things, or have the morality of Ayn Rand.  They just go to Walmart because it's nearer to them and cheaper and don't abstain from shopping their because purchasing Walmart goods fuels Chinese slave labor.  By purchasing Walmart goods, they are supporting that system and "vote" for it.

        It's not a hard concept.  Even when you vote for government officials, you can only hold them accountable for what they do in office so far as you can tell.  Don't research, you won't know, and you can't hold them accountable for their behavior in office which is not totally in your control unless you MAKE it in your control.  

        "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

        by sujigu on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

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        •  You leave out need, time and access. (0+ / 0-)

          You don't always spend where you think you get the best deal or actually like the product -- if you even have the time to make a good choice. At the store level and the product level. All too often, you spend where and when it's convenient to you, within your time limits, and you're naive if you think all consumers are happy with their purchases, and purchase X instead of Y due to their delight in X.

          Walk down the aisle in any big store and you're going to find clones, endless rows of clones. The same garbage, at the same price, with the same rotten quality.

          Smart shoppers do their best to get the best deal, but you're kidding yourself if you think they walk away from that experience delighted and happy they "voted" the way they did, or that they had the time to make a careful, informed "vote."

          Or that they necessarily had the money to.

          Consumerism isn't remotely the same as voting. Not in this universe, anyway. It's a complex interaction of need, convenience, time, access and income, all in a context of limited choices.

          Buying slightly better crap doesn't mean you endorse it.

          Oh, and your Walmart example contradicts your premise.

          •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

            You're not forced to go anywhere or buy anything.  People don't have to go to their local Wallmart if they really don't want to, or if morally it's repugnant to them.  It's why I won't go to the one near me despite the fact I'd save 25 cents on many things and maybe 15 minutes of time.  You'd probably argue that there is nowhere else for them to go, but that only applies to a limited number of places and if people make a point to not go to their local Walmart, they can get another business in their to fulfill their need or find some means of leaving where they are.  No one is stuck somewhere forever.  

            As for the clone example, that's really silly.  Again, no one forces you to buy clones of anything and just because three or four people offer the same product doesn't mean anything.  You don't buy the cheap knock-off brand at the store, knowing it's not too far off the name brand item?  I do that all the time for cereal, and a lot of other people do.  So what?    

            Paying Walmart money makes Walmart bigger and gives a return to their investors, prompting further investment, and the cycle begins anew.   I didn't say people walked away happy from their purchase, but when they swipe that card Walmart grows more powerful.  It is a vote.  It is a sign of Walmart's importance to the market.  You don't fix that basic problem you don't get anywhere.  

            "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

            by sujigu on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:02:52 PM PDT

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