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View Diary: The Power Of The State: Privacy Rights and Economic Rights (296 comments)

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  •  To simplify (none)
    It boils down to this:

    Liberals favor maximum personal freedom with heavy regulation of businesses. Conservatives favor maximum freedom for businesses, with heavy regulation of individuals.

    Liberals want to legislate the boardroom. Conservatives, the bedroom.

    Can we make a bumper sticker out of that one?

    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:31:23 AM PST

    •  Kind of a false distinction. (none)
      As citizens, we are both human beings and economic actors.

      We have sex in our bedrooms, but our right to live in that bedroom--whether through ownership or rental arrangement--is an economic activity.

      •  Wha? (none)
        What does that have to do with the role of the state in either place? Liberals think the state has no role in the bedroom, provided the goings-on are consentual, regardless of whether the actors are renters or property owners. Conservatives think the opposite. Liberals think there's a strong role for the state in governing economic matters (to ensure a level playing field, prevent fraud and abuse, etc.), whether it's policing corporate reporting practices and pollution or ensuring the rights of renters. Conservatives favor the law of the jungle on matters economic.

        "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

        by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:41:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Consent is the key (none)
          The big difference that I spot is that liberals want to regulate where there are people involved in the conflict who do not consent, while conservatives seem to want to regulate when something they don't like is going on, but where everyone involved DOES consent.

          Same-sex (and for a long time, interracial) marriage and reproductive rights involve everyone directly involved consenting to it, so the conservatives need regulation to stop them.

          Discrimination in lending, housing and work, corporate gouging, environmental pollution etc, where people directly affected are in conflict and don't consent, well, the conservatives figure they can leave that to the all-powerful free market to sort out.

        •  My point is that certain core property (none)
          protections are essential to individual autonomy.

          Our homes are the foundation of our communities and our families.  The shirt on my back, my family photo album, etc etc are all aspects of individual, personal autonomy.

          •  Really? (none)
            Your right to your photo album and your shirt is as crucial as your right to choose when/how to have sex? You must have nicer shirts than I do. :)
            •  Yes. (none)
              In terms of personal autonomy.  

              They are all part of the greater right to be left alone.

              •  Greater right to be left alone? (none)
                Left in splendid isolation, I doubt I would have any property at all, since I do not have the skills to make such things. I am happy to accept state regulation of property since that is part of what makes it possible for me to have property at all.
                •  My point is that some fundamental (none)
                  property rights are essential for personal autonomy.
                  •  OK (none)
                    Which property rights and what do they have to do with fundamental personal autonomy? You mentioned photo albums and the roof over my head. But I have a hard time believing that my photo album is somehow wrapped up in my personal autonomy and I know for sure there's no right in the Constitution that says I get a roof over my head.
                    •  We need things to function. (none)
                      as human beings.  Things like clothes, shelter.

                      We also need things to exercise other rights.  

                      We need religious texts for the exercise of religious faith.  

                      We need means of communication to exercise the right of free expression and the press.

                      •  Sure (none)
                        but we don't need any particular house, shirt, photo album or other piece of property to function as human beings. Nor do we need to personally own any of the things you mentioned so long as we have access to them. There's a vast difference between supporting rights to things necessary to function as human beings and private property rights.
          •  I happen to agree with you on property protections (none)
            In fact, it seems to me that these fall generally on the "personal privacy" side of the coin, and that enforcing property protections is one function of government in a heavily-regulated economic environment.

            "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

            by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:57:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Personal and business rights (none)
          Economic conservatives are not looking to regulate what goes on in the bedroom. Social conservatives do look to it. We must make a distinction between the country club and religious fanatic wing of the GOP. There is an inherent conflict between the two wings which will manifest itself in 2008 when McCain will be the country club candidate and someone else,I don't know who at this time,will be the religious fanatic candidate.
      •  Oh, you're talking Kelo (none)
        And I'm talking big picture.

        I don't think most Democrats, let alone most Americans, could articulate the personal/economic distinction between left and right, but it seems to me that's the fundament, the constant across all spheres of government -- local, state, federal, executive, legislative and judicial. It's important that we make this principal clear.

        They say Enron can do whatever it goddamn wants, but you can't do just anything with your body. We say, in personal matters, whatever floats your boat. It's not the role of government to stick its big nose into your personal business. But when it comes to economic shit, which affects all of us, the state must act as policeman and arbitrator.

        That's the axis that the privacy question -- and everything else -- tilts on.

        "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

        by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 10:48:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, an unregulated economy (none)
          is a pure myth, as anyone who's serious about the subject knows.

          Markets exist and thrive because of governmental regulation, not despite of it.  Corporations themselves are statutory creations.  The securities markets are all creations of the state.

          The question is how much regulation is appropriate.

          •  Someone better tell Grover Norquist (none)
            I mean seriously, the WSJ/ATR/CATO/WLF orbit seems pretty comfortable with the notion of zero, zip, nada regulation of businesses. And despite some very minor setbacks (Sarbanes Oxley and... uh, well, that's really about it), they're positively plowing through their crazy wishlist, even as the rest of the GOP agenda gets mired in internal disagreement.

            "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

            by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:00:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That woud be like telling Fred Phelps (none)
              about the evolutionary origins of homosexual behavior in penguins.
              •  True, but my point is (none)
                you're not dealing with rational actors here. If and when we ever see any grownup conservatives in public life again, we can debate the merits of economic interventionism, but to this crowd, any regulation is un-American.

                "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

                by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:21:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Grover Norquist crowd is losing (none)
                  influence.  Colorado just bitch-slapped them.
                  •  Don't count him out yet (none)
                    Reporters love him because he's nutso and he gives good, provocative quote, so he's bound to retain that cache. The business lobby loves him because, well, he's their pit bull field marshall. The business lobby owns the Republican Party. The econ crazies will remain a force to be reckoned with until the GOP is drubbed into near-electoral invisibility. That's not gonna happen in '06.

                    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

                    by Septic Tank on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:54:36 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Of all the things on the planet (none)
                Gay Penguins weren't on my top-tenn to think about list. Turkeys, Hammerhead sharks, Ooctopi, fine. Just not those tuxedo swimming birds.

                They're all straight, or fake it really well, with their little orange webbed feet...

            •  not really (none)
              I mean seriously, the WSJ/ATR/CATO/WLF orbit seems pretty comfortable with the notion of zero, zip, nada regulation of businesses.

              You're mistaking their talking points for their actual beliefs, sorta like so many people think Dubya is a devout Christian and patriotic American.  Most corporatists and their apologists would probably starve in an truly free market.

              Proud member of the reality-based minority

              by Bearpaw on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 11:38:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  How pedestrian of you (none)

        Sex only in your bedroom?  Never outdoors?  Never in the kitchen?  Never on the living room floor?  Never at a hotel/motel?  Never in a car?


        I suppose you do it with the lights out at night, missionary position only, covers up to the shoulders, eyes tight shut too.


        I pity you.

        "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

        by praedor on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 12:04:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Polarization (none)
      I agree with you and I think this is the root of the issue that I have with the 'ownership society'... ie I don't own anything of consequence.  The laptop I'm typing on is worth more than my car.

      It is the division of Americans into workers and owners that is frustrating the majority of liberals today.  And I think your distinction is dead on in terms of who is representing whom in this government.

      Keep your constitution close my friends, and read it daily.

      by smokeymonkey on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 12:23:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well.. (none)
      The Religious wingnuts are more concerned about legislating morality and invading privacy. I honestly believe Corporate America could care less, all they care about is making Profits and Money. So I cannot apply that across the board to all wingnuts. As there are actually some huge wingnuts who are Pro choice and Pro Privacy but their issues lies elsewhere...etc.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 02:19:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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