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View Diary: A Libertarian Reads "Atlas Shrugged" - Part 2 (109 comments)

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  •  East India Co in the Colonies too (0+ / 0-)

    It was their attempt to chisel some extra profit out of the colonists, while seducing them into paying the government tea tax, that led directly to the real, original Boston Tea Party.

    The revolt was not just in Boston. Several other major ports persuaded or forced the consignees to resign, so there was no one to accept the tea and the ships had to return to England still fully laden. (This might have happened in Boston also, had the Royal Governor been less pigheaded and less insistent on forcing the tea on an unwilling public.)

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 07:23:27 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  East India Co was not a capitalist enterprise. (0+ / 0-)

      It was government chartered, had a government granted and enforced trade monopoly and government granted police powers all its own.  Nothing capitalist about that.

      The system super390 is describing is colonialism with a side of mercantilism.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 07:29:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're all the same (0+ / 0-)

        There is no practical difference between the EAC and the American corporations that terrorized Latin America before 1934.  Standard Oil and United Fruit were perfectly capitalist enterprises within US borders.  And all corporations have government charters.  

        Wealth > bought legislators > imperialism.  It doesn't matter where the wealth came from.  You either build a firewall between the wealth and elected officials, or you tax the wealth so it cannot concentrate political power in the hands of the rich.  We did some of the latter in this country from about 1934 to 1980, then we gave up.

        Kevin Phillips' argument still stands.

        •  You can't keep wealth and power apart. (0+ / 0-)

          You can't pile $3T in Washington DC and expect powerful interests to leave it alone.  And since they are the ones with the best access to the power they are the ones who will build the firewalls and set the taxes, you're going to lose.

          The better alternative is to not have the $3T pile in the first place.  Then there is less incentive to lobby at all.  This is what the Anti-Federalists and the Jeffersonians wanted after the Revolution and we did stay fairly close to that standard until the New Deal.  There were exceptions, like the canal and railroad give aways, but we were at least close.

          That changed with the New Deal and WW II.  The NRA had full control over how you sold your poultry, how you grew your wheat and whether you could hire or fire someone.  Then WW II put us on an explict command economic footing with the rationing and black (e.g. free) market that always goes with it.

          Results count for more than intentions do.

          by VA Classical Liberal on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 07:55:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  NRA got flushed by the Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dixie Liberal

            As for World War II, that was an extreme emergency situation. A non-command economy might have achieved the same results - though considering that a number of ultra-rich corporate heads had been working hand in glove with Nazi Germany (some of them continued to do so until forced to divest by the US Government during the war) and that several of them had, allegedly, tried to mount a fascist coup d'etat against FDR in 1933, that is highly doubtful.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 08:13:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But then there was the "Switch in time" (0+ / 0-)

              that saved 9.

              After the NRA was struck down, Rooseevlt tried his court packing scheme.  Roberts caved and the NRA was replaced by a bunch of other programs.

              though considering that a number of ultra-rich corporate heads had been working hand in glove with Nazi Germany (some of them continued to do so until forced to divest by the US Government during the war)

              Wasn't one of those guys named Bush?  Prescott or something like that.

              Re: the command economy.  I have faith that if the government was handing out millions to build tanks, someone would have built tanks without out-right and gloved nationalization.  

              Results count for more than intentions do.

              by VA Classical Liberal on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 08:28:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wrong - the bad America was before 1933 (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry, but I can't stay polite.  The America of Herbert Hoover was hell.  It deserved a leftist revolution.  If I were living back then I would have been building bombs.

            America was extremely corrupt before the New Deal.  Besides the aforementioned use of the Marines to enforce the dictates of Standard Oil and United Fruit in Latin America, the National Guard was called out an average of twice a year between 1865 and 1940 to put down labor protests and strikes.  The National Guard was controlled by governors.  Who do you think got the governors elected?

            Movies were cut to ribbons by church-run censorship boards in small towns across the US.  Asians were forbidden to marry white people in California, just as blacks were in much of the rest of the country.  In the winters, poor people froze to death because the private utility companies would hike rates just in time for extortion season.  A private volunteer militia, the KKK, still ruled much of the heartland.  Abortion and homosexuality, of course, were illegal.

            Triangle Shirtwaist Pinkerton Sacco & Vanzetti Palmer Raids do I even have to go through this list of names over and over?  You surely know about these things.

            So are you going to sit there and claim that all these forms of tyranny and oppression were an aberration in your idealized small-government society, or accept the fact that all the above is EXACTLY how conservative property elites have run every country on earth, and how they have tried to run American since Reagan's ascendancy, and how Palin intends to run it in the future, EVERY ONE of them spouting free enterprise and limited government and states' rights as an integral part of this tyrannical system?

            You can't cherry-pick the 19th century.  The things you profess to hate about it were absolutely integral to the things you love about it.  Cultural tyranny was required to defend the inherent polarization of wealth that characterizes every unregulated system of private property.  We only have the choice of whether the government will be in the hands of the rich, or the rest of us.

            •  Then I can't stay in the coversation. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Results count for more than intentions do.

              by VA Classical Liberal on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 08:29:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fantastic (0+ / 0-)

                You didn't even have to admit that all those things happened during the pre-1933 paradise.  You just walked away like Palin.

                I tried to be polite with the initial remark about Denmark because I thought you really were serious about your sig line.  Yet whenever I point out results that make private property look bad, you wrap yourself in libertarian intentions to avoid responsibility for what capitalism actually has done.  But when others made arguments for the morality of egalitarian ideals, you attack with examples (inaccurate in the Honda case) of how in the real world government always fails.

                Your America never existed.  Your capitalism never existed.  There is no country where there are no programs to deal with the pervasive abuse and mistreatment of the poor, except Somalia and maybe Haiti, yet you keep saying if we would just get rid of such programs the poor would be better off.  There are 200 countries, we have had civilization for 5000 years, and you can't prove there's one place where things worked out the way you claim they naturally would.

                I don't see any practical difference between yourself and Ayn Rand.  You're just critiquing her prose style.

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