scratch-mark

Politics Test, Part III

Continued from Part II. Or, begin at Part I.

23. I would feel better if there were video cameras on most street corners, to prevent crime.

Strongly Disagree.

I’m taking it to mean that they’re Big Brother video cameras. Of course, I don’t want Big Brother to do anything, which would include surveillance of myself or anyone else. I want it to get out of the way so that I can more effectively provide for my own defense. Nonetheless, given their existence, do I feel better, which I generally take to mean: safer? No, and neither should anyone else. All this nonsense about cameras and security screening, ad nauseum, is nothing more than a grand exercise in keeping the public in line by making it difficult for anyone to realistically assess the risks to themselves and loved ones. Big Brother plays the role of a parent who shields its child’s view of some horrifying image while uttering the words, "don’t worry, everything’s going to be all right."

London is the most surveilled city in the world, with 400,000 cameras. A lot of good it did them in the recent train bombings, eh? And how many pedestrians and commuters are less vigilant because they’ve bought into the lazy fantasy that Big Brother will defend them? The U.S. military defends us. Police pick up the pieces after a mugging, a burglery, a rape, a kidnapping, or a murder takes place. Cameras serve only to help law enforcement gather evidence after the fact, in order to aid in their pursuit of job promotion through capture and prosecution. I’m not saying that prosecution of objective crimes is bad, it’s just very necessary to understand that it is not any sort of defense, and it’s role as deterrent is dubious, at best.

Owners of homes, properties, and business establishments have the right to put up as many cameras as they want. You have the right to associate, or not.

24. It should be legal for two consenting adults to challenge each other to a duel and fight a Death Match.

Strongly Agree.

It’s difficult for me to imagine a scenario where such behavior would be anything but childish and stupid. But freedom is a principle with me, and even if this sort of thing was happening every day of the week, I wouldn’t think of intervening. Ever. Period.

25. Since parents can’t be trusted to monitor what their children watch, TV content needs to be more regulated.

Strongly Disagree.

Parents can’t be trusted by whom? You? Are you the world’s authority, from whom parents must win trust? No? Ok then, if not you, who? Who is this person? You see, neither you, nor I, nor parents, nor anyone has any obligation to anyone else to behave in a manner that such other would deem trustworthy. I think that parent’s should monitor and regulate what their children are exposed to, not just on the TV. Others may disagree. This sort of question is a clever way to pretend as though there is some single standard of appropriateness. There’s not, and since there’s not, it can only mean that some people get to conjure up standards they agree with and impose them, by force, on those who don’t agree. But, that sort of tyranny would just be too hard. We can’t "trust" parents to abide. So, let’s just go and steal airtime from the producers and broadcasters and do it that way, shall we? You see, once you allow theft as a solution, it’s only logical to steal in the most efficient way.

26. If a company invents a pill that cures cancer, they should be allowed to charge whatever they want for it.

Strongly Agree.

Because it’s nobody else’s business. Ever. But again, a premise gets smuggled in, which is: license or permission required. And again, as usual, it comes down to theft. All democrats, all socialists, all communists, almost all republicans, and most libertarians are thieves. But most don’t like to get their hands dirty. So, they become downright masters at theft-by-proxy. Everyone has their favorite Robbin Hood. Most of you are thieves because most of you accept the premise. That’s where the theft is. It doesn’t matter whether you believe that "we should allow" the drug company no profit, some profit, a lot of profit, or whether you would allow them unrestricted pricing. As soon as you accept "allow" as a premise, in the context of granting license, you’re a rotten thief. The only "allowance" that rightly enters into this is that you allow yourself to mind your own business and leave others to theirs.

27. The fact that many people starve to death is unfortunate but unavoidable.

Agree.

Other than the rare exception where a human being is literally incapable of sustaining himself, there will likely always be people who starve to death because their capacity to reason through difficulties has not been cultivated. Prior to technology, humans were on a level similar to animals: either their knowledge was sufficient to their environment, in which case they prospered, or in wasn’t, and they perished. Even with technology, there are instances where circumstances make survival impossible in spite of every rational effort. Starvation is usually avoidable, but stealing from some people in order to help others is neither a moral or a long-term solution. Rather, the long-term solution is in getting rid of state redistribution, which shields people from the natural consequences of their actions, such as living in volatile areas. That said, humans are imperfect, and so even their best solutions will sometimes fall short, even in an environment of complete freedom to act rationally.

28. It bothers me that many American companies have moved jobs overseas.

Strongly Disagree.

I certainly condemn all actions by the state to either outright prevent "outsourcing," or to manipulate economies via tariffs and quotas in order to create false incentives for companies to hire onshore. Companies are rightfully as free to do whatever they want with their property as you are to take a vacation to France instead of to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in order to "support American jobs." Companies who seek to get the best bang for their buck are not a wit different that you are for doing the same, and I applaud the efforts in both to always strive to do more with less. It’s a big part of what drives our prosperity. The fact that this activity also helps local economies overseas, trains their workers, infuses capital, and puts them on their way toward industrialization is a dandy side effect. It’s not a primary consideration, but I’m quite pleased it works out that way.

29. It’s wrong when environmental regulation puts people out of work, like when limits on logging make it harder for loggers to log logs.

Strongly Agree.

It’s wrong to steal the property of others under any pretense. The ends don’t justify the means, and I don’t mean to imply the desired ends aren’t dubious. It’s not that such regulations put people out of work that makes it wrong: it’s that it’s wrong to steal. That holds even if the environmental regulations resulted in nothing but good consequences.

30. Most people are too stupid to know what’s best for them.

Strongly Disagree.

In fact, most people do have a good idea of what’s best for them, which means that they know what their values are. It’s the religious right and the elitist left that think otherwise, and believe themselves competent to know what’s best for everyone else. The authoritarian conservative wants to maintain the old taboos. The authoritarian liberal wants to introduce some new ones. But even if it were largely true that people are too stupid to know what’s best for them, it doesn’t mean that I, you, or anyone else does, and we certainly have no right to impose our will on them. Besides, one of the most effective cures for stupidity is to leave people to their own.

31. A person has the right to claim the Holocaust never happened, if that’s what he believes.

Strongly Agree.

The most frightening thing about this question is that there are no doubt many who answered "Strongly Disagree." The thought police are never far off. The Holocaust happened, and there is no God. Those who believe the opposte, in either or both cases, have a right to their fantacies.

32. Books with potentially deadly knowledge (like instructions for making awesome bombs) should be regulated.

Strongly Disagree.

There are certainly considerations in an area like this that make blanket statements of principle — like the right to free speech and the press — difficult. But, luckily, there’s another handy principle: everything is limited. The fact is, you cannot forceably regulate such information in a free society and remain a free society. If you accept freedom, you accept its limitations and risks. That said, I think that intelligent and responsible people in possession of such information should take all prudent measures to keep such information closely held.

33. Being poor and black is an advantage in getting into college.

Strongly Agree.

It seems to be the case, and I’m sure it isn’t doing them any good in the long run. That said, all colleges should be private, and all private institutions should rightfully set whatever admission rules they want, on any basis they want, including on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, or whatever floats their boat. And, yes, that means that any and all business establishments would rightfully be able to discriminate in hiring, or fire black people — because they’re black — if that’s what they want to do. If I want, I can be so stupid with respect to entry into my own home (for how much longer, I don’t know), and any distinction between personal and commercial property in this regard is completely meaningless and logically untenable. Freedom means letting people be stupid. It also means letting them face the consequences of their own stupidity.

For the record, my company actually has a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics. I didn’t hire them and keep them on board because of their race, but because they’re very good at what they do. I would be doing them an extreme disservice to keep them around for any other reason, unlike the race[ist] racket, where the spokesmen, the evangelists, and the hangers on seek to keep minorities down in order to keep themselves "relevant" and prop up their bogus livelihoods.

Update: Here’s Part IV (final)

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

11 Comments

  1. NOTR on October 3, 2005 at 18:15

    Ayn Rand would be proud of ya! You got most of em' exactly right. 🙂

  2. Nervous Rodent on October 3, 2005 at 20:00

    Ran across your blog on BlogExplosion, and I think yours is the first I've randomly run across in the upper-right quadrant of the chart. I'm just a little down and to your left; less anarchist, but still Libertarian. My support for the military keeps me from joining the party.

    Anyway, just happy to see more common sense on BE!

  3. Louisiana Conservative on October 3, 2005 at 21:53

    Nice job on the questions. Like a previous responder, I did fall into the libertarian area, right on Thomas Jefferson's nose. Proud of it too. Though I was a bit disappointed that I didn't fall into the anarchist category.

    Truth of the matter is, anarchist believe that society can exist without government, problem is that government is needed to protect us from a foriegn aggressor.

    Thomas Paine sums up my view pretty adequately, "Society in every state is but a blessing; Government in it's best state is but a necessary evil, in its worst state, an intolerable one."

    The only problem that I had with the test is it's positioning of Fascism. A fascist believes that businesses should be heavily regulated and the test had facist falling in the 100% economic freedom. A Nazi's would be closer to the southwest of center, towards the totalitarian side.

  4. Kyle Bennett on October 4, 2005 at 07:24

    Doug,

    Any sufficiently organized and supplied professional military force *becomes* the de-facto government.

    I often compare communisim and anarchism, but they differ in one respect: at any large scale, true communism can't work… and true anarchism can't *exist*.

    There is a question of definitions here. Freidman gets around it by not including de facto geevernments as true governments. I lean a little more towards your thinking, but not all the way. For my purposes, I define anarchy as the absence of any government claiming a geographical monopoly.

    That's still a bit vague, but it does eliminate some of the edge cases where two people get together to control a third and calling it a government.

    I agree that true absence of any kind of government by the broadest definition cannot exist. If I live in a situation where I can choose a different government for myself without moving myself geographically, then that's close enough to anarchy for me.

    As to "any sufficiently supplied and trained military force…", sufficient for what? Until you define what it is they seek to accomplish, you can't say whether they are capable of acheiving it.

    Lopez left out this definition in his comment. Drive them out of what? With no geographical monopoly, what are they to be driven out of? If there is a geographical monopoly, then by what defintion is it a society without government?

    Define the problem, then we can argue about whether it is a problem and what means ungoverned individuals might have to address it.

  5. Rich on October 4, 2005 at 09:20

    Louisiana Conservative:

    Truth of the matter is, anarchist believe that society can exist without government, problem is that government is needed to protect us from a foriegn aggressor.

    But you smuggle in a premise: "us." I'm an individualist, first and foremost. I agree with Greg Swann, where he said somewhere something to the effect that he would advocate for individualism even if it brought horrible consequences to most people most of the time.

    I care about me and mine (loved ones), and when you take it down to that level, it's not so clear that a "government" is required for me and mine to live well and prosper.

  6. Sally on October 4, 2005 at 03:35

    Richard…
    In reading your explanation on #31, I appreciate your reasoning. I didn't note my responses, but I believe I probably disagreed with this one as I'm quite intolerant of those who believe in gods and deny historical reality. It's good for me to get a reminder to not be so knee-jerk in my responses. Thanks!

  7. Doug Wolf on October 4, 2005 at 03:52

    So you're saying a society without a functioning government could never drive out a foreign invader?

    I would go one step further:

    Any sufficiently organized and supplied professional military force *becomes* the de-facto government.

    I often compare communisim and anarchism, but they differ in one respect: at any large scale, true communism can't work… and true anarchism can't *exist*.

    — DW

  8. John Lopez on October 3, 2005 at 22:00

    "Truth of the matter is, anarchist believe that society can exist without government, problem is that government is needed to protect us from a foriegn aggressor."

    So you're saying a society without a functioning government could never drive out a foreign invader?

  9. Captoe on October 3, 2005 at 23:17

    Interesting read. My own pass through that quiz wasn't nearly as thoughtful as your own.

    My answers didn't have the same level of consistency (congruity?) of thinking regarding the role of the state in how 'things oughta be' as your own. I think I answered honestly, but I'm not sure how consistently. Sometimes I reacted to the quiz with 'That's what ought to be.' and other times I thought 'That's what ought to be , but…'

    My own result post:

  10. John Lopez on October 4, 2005 at 18:52

    "Lopez left out this definition in his comment. Drive them out of what? With no geographical monopoly, what are they to be driven out of?"

    Let's be nice and vague and say that "society" unpacks to "a geographical area that shares a common culture".

    So I'm asking if a geographical area that shares a common culture but lacks a government would in fact be unable to drive out a foreign invader.

    But lest this get sidetracked into an infinite regression of definitionalism, I'll just make my point:

    Somalia (specifically the Mogadishu region) is generally recognized as not having a government. Yet, despite this lack, the inhabitants thereof managed to drive out the armed forces of the United States of America.

    So therefore this

    "problem is that government is needed to protect us from a foriegn aggressor."

    is obviously false as a general case.

  11. Doug Wolf on October 5, 2005 at 14:28

    Guys,

    Some clarifications:

    As to "any sufficiently supplied and trained military force…", sufficient for what? Until you define what it is they seek to accomplish, you can't say whether they are capable of acheiving it.

    Sufficient to drive out any invading force that is likely to attack you. If you're living in the old west, "Sufficient" means big enough to drive off the local Indian tribe. If you're living in Inda, "Sufficient" means big enough to drive off the armed forces of Pakistan.

    Drive them out of what? With no geographical monopoly, what are they to be driven out of?

    They are to be driven out of wherever your tangible, physical assets (land, food, supplies, yourself, etc) reside.

    Somalia (specifically the Mogadishu region) is generally recognized as not having a government

    Not even close to true. It doesn't have a government with diplomatic ties to the U.S. (or any other country I can think of), but there are *several* governments operating in the region. These governments have armies, provide protection, have a command structure, tax the locals… in short, perform all the actions of a nominal government.

    — Doug

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780