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Sent Items: Exposing Evil Motives

Yea, I’ve been a lousy blogger of late. Well, we finally sold, closed and moved out of the home we’ve occupied these last 6 1/2 years in San Jose, CA. Bought it as a fixer-upper in 1999 and sold for almost tripple what we paid. It was about 1500 sq. ft., 4 BR, 2 bath, and a 2-car garage.

We bought a new construction, downtown loft town-home at an insane price of almost $600 per sq. ft. (the rental properties I’m in the process of buying in Phoenix go for less than $100 per foot). The new place is about 1000 sq. ft., and though it has three covered parking spaces (I bought 2 extra spaces for only $25,000, which was discounted off the $35,000 price), no private garage to fill with crap. You do the math. Even though we got rid of tons, it still was not nearly enough.

But I’m enjoying getting rid of stuff. That’s my reward. Lightening up. Donating to Good Will and The Salvation Army is strictly because of the convenience of not having to haul it away. Yes. Dead serious. And, you should note: far more honest about such things than most. I’m not going to shit in your ears about the "satisfaction of helping people."

I’m enjoying the urban life, once again, and doubt that I will ever again live in the suburbs — provided I have choices. City and country. That’s it for me.

Guess I’ve got to get around to the topic of the post, eh? No time to blog, but I did carry on a brief email exchange. There’s an ezine I subscribe to, and the author has lately been including off-topic political stuff. Yea, commie stuff.

The ezine referred me to this, this, this, and this. No, I didn’t have time to thoroughly read all of it. I already know what it’s about. I’m certain that the NPR-style of "objective" take-down is right on track. I imagine it’s all quite "devastating" to your average moron, which status describes most people.

So, I email the author (my writing in normal text, his in italics):

Well, you can call up all the economists and get out all the slide-rules you want, but I operate from a premise of property rights and freedom of association.

I’m certain that Wal-Mart is a net benefit to society, especially when you estimate consumer savings of $100 billion per year. But you know what? It doesn’t matter, because the proper premise is not overall utility, but the ethics of rights.

I’d stick up for Wal-Mart even if they were a proved net drain. If that’s what they want to do with their property, and that’s where people want to shop, then it’s none of my business.

He responds:

I assume that you looked at what was said at the Wal-Mart sponsored conference?

You state that you operate on a premise (a proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn).  Isn’t the premise the start of an argument (in the sense of a logical progression) rather than the end of the argument?

You say you are certain. Do you mean that this is an evidence based certainty?

Then you state that it doesn’t even matter if they provide a net gain or not. Wouldn’t Adam Smith find a problem with your position?

Then me, nailing the lid shut on this coffin of stupidity:

I assume that you looked at what was said at the Wal-Mart sponsored conference?

Skimmed, only. It’s just not that important to me. If they want to call in non-business people to "help" them, it’s their affair. I applaud their desire to improve their company (seems they’ve been doing it for years), and I understand the pragmatic necessity to improve their public image (since the world’s lowest prices don’t seem to be enough). After all, attacking the value producers of Wal-Mart has become an industry unto itself.

I also understand the need of parasitical types to fake a sort of creative self-esteem by attacking values created and produced by others rather than going to the much greater effort of creating and producing values themselves that people will go out of their way to pay for. As an example, look how easy it is for guys like Whisman to attack you. This has always been the basis of my defense.

You state that you operate on a premise (a proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn).  Isn’t the premise the start of an argument (in the sense of a logical progression) rather than the end of the argument?

It depends. If you wish to argue my premise, be my guest, and I’ll be happy to respond. The reason I bring it up is simple: it boxes you in. Utilitarianism on the one hand, and property rights, freedom of association, and capitalism on the other are the antithesis of one-another. I like to let people know what they will fundamentally be arguing against.

You say you are certain. Do you mean that this is an evidence based certainty?

I believe the evidence, all the evidence, in full, un-manipulated context would indeed support my certainly. But, no, I’m not an expert on all the numbers.

Then you state that it doesn’t even matter if they provide a net gain or not. Wouldn’t Adam Smith find a problem with your position?

Overlooking the fallacy of a call to authority, no, I don’t think so. Smith, like a lot of economists who favor capitalism, seem to feel that they have to make utilitarian or consequentialist arguments in order to gain support for their ideas. But such approaches invert cause & effect. Holding, improving, and working property to build and re-invest capital is what technologically advanced human beings do when they are free to pursue their own ends for their own sake. So, natural human freedom is the cause. Benefits for those who join in and participate is the effect.

One is always wise to check one’s premises.

Now, note the flippancy of the response, below. I’ve been doing this for years, folks, and I know defeat when I see it. It’s not important that I won, of course, but that by introducing premises, I chose the battleground of the debate and he didn’t have the stomach for it.

One is always wise to check one’s premises.

My point exactly.

Holding, improving, and working property to build and re-invest capital is what technologically advanced human beings do when they are free to pursue their own ends for their own sake.

It’s also true of ants and bees. 🙂

A smiley is also a dead giveaway. Now for the kill, and the final whimpers.

One is always wise to check one’s premises.

My point exactly.

OK, so what are your premises? I’ve stated mine, which basically sum up to: freedom.

Holding, improving, and working property to build and re-invest capital is what technologically advanced human beings do when they are free to pursue their own ends for their own sake.

It’s also true of ants and bees. 🙂

Well, no it’s not. Not by a long shot. What I describe is a consequence of knowledge combined with freedom of varying degree. Knowledge is non-instinctual and held in conceptual form. Ants and bees don’t rise above the level of percepts.

Moreover, "pursuing their own ends for their own sake" is precisely what ants and bees do not do. They operate as collectives. Each individual derives it’s "right" to exist on the basis of its contribution to the whole (it’s not unalienable). It’s rather how I see the operating premise of the opponents of Wal-Mart in particular, and leftist political ideology in general.

With no escape, the only thing to do is further blur the distinctions between conscious, value-producing, purposive living and dogs crapping in the woods.

Premises?

How human individuals and groupings behave can best be found out by doing empirical research.

Bees, ants, animals in general and humans have a lot in common.

It’s all so "scientific," you see. Empirical & all. Dogs find a place and take a crap. Humans find a place and take a crap. Ergo…

This is the level of intellectual rigor you get from the commie left. "We’re more the same than different." Well, maybe so, but:

Bees, ants, animals in general and humans have a lot in common.

So do diamonds and carbon. Profundity is in the differences.

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

2 Comments

  1. Rich on November 21, 2005 at 09:21

    John:

    That was perfect, and excellent. Thank you.

  2. John Sabotta on November 21, 2005 at 02:35

    The faux-"scientific" pose of your correspondent partly gives the game away; much of the anti-Wal-Mart movement is class based, and represents yet another way for people with undeserved notions of superiority to assert their finer sensibilities, superior caring and finely honed intellect.

    The mass-marketing of higher education has provided the country with millions of people of average intelligence who never really should have gone beyond high school but who cling to the delusion that they represent some sort of intelligentsia. They are expensively ignorant and as prone to superstitious prejudice as if they had lived in a tar-paper shack all their lives, so their demonstration of superiority has to be negative – "we are better people" they say "because we do not shop at Wal-Mart/do not attend NASCAR events/do not own a flag."

    This is a pretty pathetic list of non-accomplishments, but there's another motive as well, I think. The fake promise of higher education for the masses was that you'd get a degree and your place – economic and otherwise – in society was guaranteed for a lifetime.

    Well, this doesn't work out very well when every barista in sight has a Phd in Interpretive Post-Modern Saturday Morning Cartoon Studies, so a certain anxiety has set in. What threatens social position? Social mobility. Wal-Mart threatens the status quo. The lower classes get to live well and enjoy a wide range of possibilities. Even a cursory glance at the website of malign neurotic James Howard Kunstler, "new urbanist" bears this out. How dare the ignorant yahoos live in big tasteless houses, travel, live as if they thought they were just as good as James Howard Kunstler. What Kunstler wants (and this is why many paleocons seem to like him) is a static agrarian society where the unwashed work on farms, respect their betters and submit meekly to being overcharged by local merchants. A static society where your nervous liberal can stop worrying about things changing.

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