Author Topic: Right Wing or Left Wing?  (Read 1750 times)

Kat

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Right Wing or Left Wing?
« on: June 07, 2014, 08:29:26 PM »
Well, I'm kind of interested in how people here classify themselves according to the classic political spectrum, after several talks on that topic through with some of fellow DSMers.

Of course, please be civil.

I myself classify as a right winger who is pro free market, mildly interventionist (I frown on overblown social spending. Give the rod, not fish), pro LBGT rights and, too be frank, anticlerical (I treat with suspicion every attempt of religious leader to meddle in affairs of the state)

Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 08:39:28 PM »
Honestly, I think the terms "right-wing" and "left-wing" are not particularly well-defined. For example, I would definitely be classed as "left-wing", but I have more in common with a libertarian than I would with someone like Stalin, and someone like Stalin would have more in common with someone like Hitler than with me.

I would be classed as a left-winger but, aside from the fact that I'm generally highly-suspicious of the free-market and am anti-capitalist, I would broadly-speaking agree with you on the other issues. I am an anarchist in the traditional meaning, I oppose authority as a concept and believe that you have the freedom to do as you wish provided you are not harming others, but also do not consider property ownership to be an absolute right.

The closest I think I've come to finding a political philosophy that fits with what I believe is Mutualism. Essentially, it doesn't advocate a complete lack of property ownership, but it does say that you can't just stick a flag in a piece of land and call it yours for eternity. I'm not sure if I 100% agree with everything in there (I don't consider theft as an evil act if you're stealing something a person doesn't need and which you do need), but I think it's fairly close in concept.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 08:41:00 PM by Cherry Lover »

Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 08:55:28 PM »
I think that act of theft is breaching of personal rights of other people to own things they acquire in legitimate way. There are charities and other organisations that can help people in need without them resorting to go against the approved legal system, though I think it's the government's role to think of more comprehensive solutions to problems than deal with stuff that non-governmental organisations and private people manage. I call it delegation.

I plan either to pass whatever I acquire in prospective life to my closest relative (perhaps not children, but maybe to my younger sibling) in case I die. But I aim for increasing my lifespan if the fruits of future biological breakthroughs allow me to, by centuries or even more, so I would be alarmed if I could not reliably hold on what I earned during my possible long lifespan.


Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 09:18:38 PM »
I think that act of theft is breaching of personal rights of other people to own things they acquire in legitimate way.

Define "legitimate way". Personally, I think that all methods of obtaining property have, at their root, some sort of arbitrary or illegitimate principle behind them. Either the land was taken by force by some guy hundreds of years ago, claimed by virtue of "I stuck a flag in it first" or sold to you by someone who did one of those two things.

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There are charities and other organisations that can help people in need without them resorting to go against the approved legal system, though I think it's the government's role to think of more comprehensive solutions to problems than deal with stuff that non-governmental organisations and private people manage. I call it delegation.

Sorry, but charities are not always sufficient. To claim that you can just leave social welfare to charities and that everything will be fine is a laughable notion, and one that is disproven by every situation in which is it actually put into effect

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 09:40:50 PM »
Honestly, probably the more tricky thing is defining what it means when you account for 'Murica and how much more conservative the nation is in comparison to most everyone else. ^^" I'm definitely left wing as far as 'Murica is concerned, for instance, but for all I know, elsewhere I could be more between the two. ^^" ...'Murica!

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Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 09:48:01 PM »
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Define "legitimate way". Personally, I think that all methods of obtaining property have, at their root, some sort of arbitrary or illegitimate principle behind them. Either the land was taken by force by some guy hundreds of years ago, claimed by virtue of "I stuck a flag in it first" or sold to you by someone who did one of those two things.

Ah, the alleged sins of the father still affecting the child in your perspective. No, it does not matter what an ancestor of a person did centuries ago, it matters that the property is recognised by the legal system and registered accordingly in case of estates. Now that the legal system protects property from unlawful takeover, theft is pretty much illegitimate. Protecting lifes and property of the citizens are primary functions of the state and most people agree on that even though some extend the list of those functions.

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Sorry, but charities are not always sufficient. To claim that you can just leave social welfare to charities and that everything will be fine is a laughable notion, and one that is disproven by every situation in which is it actually put into effect

Charities and non-government organisations, as well as local governments, do good job in my country, in my opinion at least.

The state's function is not to control and manage every aspect of social aid system, it's to set laws that allows others to help more effectively. It should do what needs to be coordinated at national level, not everything.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 09:49:56 PM by Cool Kat »

Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 01:56:03 AM »
Ah, the alleged sins of the father still affecting the child in your perspective.

No, the sins of the father do not affect the child, but if the initial reason why you have ownership of something is illegitimate, then that ownership itself is illegitimate. If I buy stolen goods, I have to give them back (without any right to compensation from the original owner or the government) even if it I was in no way at fault, because the person who I bought it from did not have legitimate ownership, and thus my ownership is also not legitimate.

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No, it does not matter what an ancestor of a person did centuries ago, it matters that the property is recognised by the legal system and registered accordingly in case of estates.

Right, which part of "anarchist" made you think I cared what the legal system did and did not recognise?

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Now that the legal system protects property from unlawful takeover, theft is pretty much illegitimate.

Why?

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Protecting lifes and property of the citizens are primary functions of the state and most people agree on that even though some extend the list of those functions.

Well, I would say that protecting the lives of the citizens is a primary function of the state. Protecting property is a function, but I don't think it's on the same level as protecting life, and nor do I think most people see it as being on that level (otherwise characters like Robin Hood wouldn't be anything like as popular).

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Charities and non-government organisations, as well as local governments, do good job in my country, in my opinion at least.

Fair enough, but that's certainly not the impression I've got from countries like the US (which have a shit social welfare system).

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The state's function is not to control and manage every aspect of social aid system, it's to set laws that allows others to help more effectively. It should do what needs to be coordinated at national level, not everything.

No, the state does not have to do everything, but it should ensure that it is being done. If the rich want their property protected, then they should ensure that the poor are given proper social aid. Otherwise, why the hell should the poor respect their property "rights" when the government is giving them nothing in return for them doing so?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 01:57:38 AM by Cherry Lover »

Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 02:14:13 AM »
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No, the sins of the father do not affect the child, but if the initial reason why you have ownership of something is illegitimate, then that ownership itself is illegitimate. If I buy stolen goods, I have to give them back (without any right to compensation from the original owner or the government) even if it I was in no way at fault, because the person who I bought it from did not have legitimate ownership, and thus my ownership is also not legitimate.

Yet you seem to be okay with act of theft yet has a problem that humans has claimed property which did not have any owner.


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Why?

Because of social census. Society generally acknowledges theft is not acceptable, thus government protects the property rights on the behalf of society.

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Well, I would say that protecting the lives of the citizens is a primary function of the state. Protecting property is a function, but I don't think it's on the same level as protecting life, and nor do I think most people see it as being on that level (otherwise characters like Robin Hood wouldn't be anything like as popular).

Robin Hood was about Saxons vs Normans, rather than poor vs rich. He robbed people Saxons did not like much in the stories.

And yes, property is important because it provides stable means of sustaining oneself. Hobos don't have easy life.

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Fair enough, but that's certainly not the impression I've got from countries like the US (which have a shit social welfare system).

USA is still one of wealthiest countries, so it's relative.

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No, the state does not have to do everything, but it should ensure that it is being done. If the rich want their property protected, then they should ensure that the poor are given proper social aid. Otherwise, why the hell should the poor respect their property "rights" when the government is giving them nothing in return for them doing so?

Because many poor are decent folks and don't feel like stealing from others?

Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2014, 03:02:19 AM »
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No, the sins of the father do not affect the child, but if the initial reason why you have ownership of something is illegitimate, then that ownership itself is illegitimate. If I buy stolen goods, I have to give them back (without any right to compensation from the original owner or the government) even if it I was in no way at fault, because the person who I bought it from did not have legitimate ownership, and thus my ownership is also not legitimate.

Yet you seem to be okay with act of theft yet has a problem that humans has claimed property which did not have any owner.

If property cannot be claimed in the first place, then it cannot be owned, which means it therefore cannot be stolen.

And, honestly, it's not that I have no problem with theft, it's that I do not really consider land ownership (in particular) to be particularly legitimate and that I consider the concept of property ownership in general to be more a matter of convenience and a certain amount of courtesy towards others than an absolute right that can never be abridged.

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Why?

Because of social census. Society generally acknowledges theft is not acceptable, thus government protects the property rights on the behalf of society.

That's a pretty good explanation of why we have property laws, yes, but it is in no way a justification of why we even have property in the first place, or why we should have it. There are plenty of things that have been seen as "right" by society in the past which we now consider to be very wrong indeed. This is not an argument about the current legal situation, it's an argument about moral and political beliefs, and the fact that I am in the minority does not in any way make my belief any less legitimate.

Further, whilst society as a whole does see theft as generally a bad thing, I don't think it's true that the majority of society sees theft as always unacceptable. Most people would consider stealing food to feed a starving family to be OK and, similarly, most people would have relatively little objection to stealing from people who they perceive as immoral.

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Robin Hood was about Saxons vs Normans, rather than poor vs rich. He robbed people Saxons did not like much in the stories.

Not really, his story is always about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Plus, the Normans were the rich, so that's kind-of a red herring.

And, regardless, my point is that Robin Hood was a thief, and people are quite OK with that (even if the original legend was Saxons vs. Normans, the first thing modern people associate with Robin Hood is "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor", and he is very much celebrated for that). Similarly, you often get Hollywood films with thieves as sympathetic protagonists in a way that you would never get with someone committing more violent crimes (Mafia films are a bit different, but then the Mafia isn't generally portrayed as sympathetic in those).

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And yes, property is important because it provides stable means of sustaining oneself. Hobos don't have easy life.

Yes, this is a valid point for why property should exist, but it doesn't justify absolutely inviolable property rights, because a Hobo would be better off if he could just steal food and find some empty office to sleep in.

Further, whilst you do need somewhere to live, food to eat and so on, you don't actually need to own any of that. It's entirely possible to live in a house without owning it, and eat food without having previously owned it.

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Fair enough, but that's certainly not the impression I've got from countries like the US (which have a shit social welfare system).

USA is still one of wealthiest countries, so it's relative.

It is, but poor people in the US are a lot worse off than poor people in this country.

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No, the state does not have to do everything, but it should ensure that it is being done. If the rich want their property protected, then they should ensure that the poor are given proper social aid. Otherwise, why the hell should the poor respect their property "rights" when the government is giving them nothing in return for them doing so?

Because many poor are decent folks and don't feel like stealing from others?

So, you're saying that someone who would let their child starve to death rather than steal food is a decent person? Because I sure as hell don't think they are. And, anyone who allows theirself to starve to death rather than steal food is not a "decent person", they're an idiot, because they need that food far more than the shop owner does.

And, frankly, I would say that anyone who prioritises their own ability to buy a slightly bigger house over the ability of the poor to buy a house at all is an utterly horrible person, so if we're going by the "the government should enforce decency" argument, then they should most certainly be taxed in order to pay for social welfare.

Ultimately, though, my point was that, as you alluded to above, property is ultimately a matter of social consensus. We accept that it exists because we believe it to exist and because it is convenient for it to exist, not because there is any fundamental moral reason it should exist. Therefore, people will only obey it if they consider society as a whole to be worth supporting. And, if that society is leaving them to starve to death, then why would they have any desire to uphold that society?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 03:16:22 AM by Cherry Lover »

Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2014, 01:03:33 PM »
Mike, are you even anarchist? Because you defy authority yet you want the government to be involved as much as possible in social aid. Your political philosophy is incoherent.

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If property cannot be claimed in the first place, then it cannot be owned, which means it therefore cannot be stolen.

And, honestly, it's not that I have no problem with theft, it's that I do not really consider land ownership (in particular) to be particularly legitimate and that I consider the concept of property ownership in general to be more a matter of convenience and a certain amount of courtesy towards others than an absolute right that can never be abridged.

Land ownership is as legitimate as others because people seems to be fond of it in general and defend it. The consensus of society makes it legitimate, as well as recognizes theft a crime. Millions of people in former USSR pay the highest price in attempt to defend their farms from grubby hands of the government. So if people find it defending, it's legitimate, and I bet if politicians sharing your view on property started disrespecting this kind of property rights, people would rise and defend their stuff in desperation.



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That's a pretty good explanation of why we have property laws, yes, but it is in no way a justification of why we even have property in the first place, or why we should have it. There are plenty of things that have been seen as "right" by society in the past which we now consider to be very wrong indeed. This is not an argument about the current legal situation, it's an argument about moral and political beliefs, and the fact that I am in the minority does not in any way make my belief any less legitimate.

Further, whilst society as a whole does see theft as generally a bad thing, I don't think it's true that the majority of society sees theft as always unacceptable. Most people would consider stealing food to feed a starving family to be OK and, similarly, most people would have relatively little objection to stealing from people who they perceive as immoral.

Now there is democracy, and people in overwhelming majority recognizes property rights as legitimate, or some even sacred, so the fact they are in majority actually makes their view more legitimate because it is supported by the very fabric of laws and customs.

Food, not land property. Court would release such people because of marginal harm done to society, but seizing one's home and property is not marginal at all. Still people recognize stealing as crime, and acknowledge it's a crime even if done in desperation, the society just feel magnaminous enough to give a loop that allows to not punish harshly people who commit minor acts of crime in desperation. Again, seizing property unlawfully is a major crime.

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Not really, his story is always about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Plus, the Normans were the rich, so that's kind-of a red herring.

And, regardless, my point is that Robin Hood was a thief, and people are quite OK with that (even if the original legend was Saxons vs. Normans, the first thing modern people associate with Robin Hood is "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor", and he is very much celebrated for that). Similarly, you often get Hollywood films with thieves as sympathetic protagonists in a way that you would never get with someone committing more violent crimes (Mafia films are a bit different, but then the Mafia isn't generally portrayed as sympathetic in those).

Use legal arguments, not legends and popculture.

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It is, but poor people in the US are a lot worse off than poor people in this country.

USA is still in high tier according to HDI scale.

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Yes, this is a valid point for why property should exist, but it doesn't justify absolutely inviolable property rights, because a Hobo would be better off if he could just steal food and find some empty office to sleep in.

Further, whilst you do need somewhere to live, food to eat and so on, you don't actually need to own any of that. It's entirely possible to live in a house without owning it, and eat food without having previously owned it
.

Most people feel more comfortable about actually owning stuff. I don't think homeless are particularly happy about their lot, many are resigned.
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So, you're saying that someone who would let their child starve to death rather than steal food is a decent person? Because I sure as hell don't think they are. And, anyone who allows theirself to starve to death rather than steal food is not a "decent person", they're an idiot, because they need that food far more than the shop owner does.

And, frankly, I would say that anyone who prioritises their own ability to buy a slightly bigger house over the ability of the poor to buy a house at all is an utterly horrible person, so if we're going by the "the government should enforce decency" argument, then they should most certainly be taxed in order to pay for social welfare.

Ultimately, though, my point was that, as you alluded to above, property is ultimately a matter of social consensus. We accept that it exists because we believe it to exist and because it is convenient for it to exist, not because there is any fundamental moral reason it should exist. Therefore, people will only obey it if they consider society as a whole to be worth supporting. And, if that society is leaving them to starve to death, then why would they have any desire to uphold that society?

Society is not leaving people starve to death except in really severe dictatorship or where the society crumbled into anarchic like state. There are charities, non-profit organisations, finally government actually steps in when there is any danger to human life (food stamps are thing even under Republican administrations). And poor people are content with non-anarchists because the society votes in anyone but anarchists. Funny that.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 01:04:38 PM by Cool Kat »

Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 02:47:23 PM »
Mike, are you even anarchist? Because you defy authority yet you want the government to be involved as much as possible in social aid. Your political philosophy is incoherent.

No, my viewpoint is that, if we have a government at all, then its primary purpose should be preventing harm to people and providing a decent standard of living for everyone, not protecting the property of the rich.

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Land ownership is as legitimate as others because people seems to be fond of it in general and defend it. The consensus of society makes it legitimate, as well as recognizes theft a crime. Millions of people in former USSR pay the highest price in attempt to defend their farms from grubby hands of the government. So if people find it defending, it's legitimate, and I bet if politicians sharing your view on property started disrespecting this kind of property rights, people would rise and defend their stuff in desperation.

That is still not a justification for it. It's essentially "it's there because I say it's there and people believe it".

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Now there is democracy, and people in overwhelming majority recognizes property rights as legitimate, or some even sacred, so the fact they are in majority actually makes their view more legitimate because it is supported by the very fabric of laws and customs.

There are very few people who consider property rights to be sacred, as evidenced by the examples I gave. People expect property to be protected when losing it will significantly harm the person who owns it, but not when the owner is suffering little harm from the loss (e.g. a rich person having money stolen from them, or stealing from a large corportation).

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Food, not land property. Court would release such people because of marginal harm done to society, but seizing one's home and property is not marginal at all. Still people recognize stealing as crime, and acknowledge it's a crime even if done in desperation, the society just feel magnaminous enough to give a loop that allows to not punish harshly people who commit minor acts of crime in desperation. Again, seizing property unlawfully is a major crime.

People recognise that stealing is a crime, yes, because crime is a matter of legality. They pretty obviously do not consider it to be wrong in such a case.

And, yes, stealing someone else's home is not a minor thing because it has a serious effect on their own ability to live. I will definitely not deny that. However, going into an empty building and squatting is not harmful. Indeed, until fairly recently, it was not even illegal to do so, and someone who had squatted in a place long enough got given ownership of it.

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Not really, his story is always about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Plus, the Normans were the rich, so that's kind-of a red herring.

And, regardless, my point is that Robin Hood was a thief, and people are quite OK with that (even if the original legend was Saxons vs. Normans, the first thing modern people associate with Robin Hood is "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor", and he is very much celebrated for that). Similarly, you often get Hollywood films with thieves as sympathetic protagonists in a way that you would never get with someone committing more violent crimes (Mafia films are a bit different, but then the Mafia isn't generally portrayed as sympathetic in those).

Use legal arguments, not legends and popculture.

No, I will not, because this is not an argument about whether theft is illegal or whether the government considers property to be legitimate, it's an argument about whether property rights should be considered legitimate and whether theft is always immoral.

I am well aware that theft is illegal, but the fact that something is true does not necessarily imply that it should be true. Further, you were arguing above that the reason property rights are considered legitimate is because the majority of people believe those rights should be absolutely protected, and the popularity of Robin Hood as a character blows that argument right out of the water.

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It is, but poor people in the US are a lot worse off than poor people in this country.

USA is still in high tier according to HDI scale.

HDI doesn't measure how poor the poorest people are, though.

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Most people feel more comfortable about actually owning stuff. I don't think homeless are particularly happy about their lot, many are resigned.

No, I'm sure they're not "happy with their lot", but the reason they're not happy is because they have not got a permanent place to live or enough food to eat, not because they lack property. Plenty of people do not own the places they live (possibly even the majority, depending on where you live) and are perfectly OK with that, because they do at least have a place to live.

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Society is not leaving people starve to death except in really severe dictatorship or where the society crumbled into anarchic like state. There are charities, non-profit organisations, finally government actually steps in when there is any danger to human life (food stamps are thing even under Republican administrations).

No, I agree that it doesn't do so, but such a society certainly has existed in the past, and you are saying that it is how society should run now. My point was that, ultimately, a society in which all the government did was protect property and life (with the two considered on an equal level) would provide no incentive to the very poor to actually accept the rules of that society, at least freely.

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And poor people are content with non-anarchists because the society votes in anyone but anarchists. Funny that.

Yes, society quite obviously does not want anarchism, but it's pretty clear from voting records that the poor generally do support socialism. And, as you yourself pointed out, even the most right-wing governments do still generally provide some level of social support, because they know that what I said is fundamentally correct.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 02:47:57 PM by Cherry Lover »

Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 04:09:43 PM »
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No, my viewpoint is that, if we have a government at all, then its primary purpose should be preventing harm to people and providing a decent standard of living for everyone, not protecting the property of the rich.

People are equal before the law, and the property of the higher stratas of society warrant the same protection as the other property. Discriminating the rich because they are rich is foul.

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That is still not a justification for it. It's essentially "it's there because I say it's there and people believe it".

Democratic processes in action. If you are not content about that, move to non-democratic country.

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There are very few people who consider property rights to be sacred, as evidenced by the examples I gave. People expect property to be protected when losing it will significantly harm the person who owns it, but not when the owner is suffering little harm from the loss (e.g. a rich person having money stolen from them, or stealing from a large corportation).

Except most country have laws that punish people from stealing from rich people and corporate entities. Everyone is equal before the law, and the property should be protected no matter who owns it.

People recognise that stealing is a crime, yes, because crime is a matter of legality. They pretty obviously do not consider it to be wrong in such a case.

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And, yes, stealing someone else's home is not a minor thing because it has a serious effect on their own ability to live. I will definitely not deny that. However, going into an empty building and squatting is not harmful. Indeed, until fairly recently, it was not even illegal to do so, and someone who had squatted in a place long enough got given ownership of it.

Now it is illegal, so it is illegal. Democratic process in action, again.

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No, I will not, because this is not an argument about whether theft is illegal or whether the government considers property to be legitimate, it's an argument about whether property rights should be considered legitimate and whether theft is always immoral.

I am well aware that theft is illegal, but the fact that something is true does not necessarily imply that it should be true. Further, you were arguing above that the reason property rights are considered legitimate is because the majority of people believe those rights should be absolutely protected, and the popularity of Robin Hood as a character blows that argument right out of the water.

Seriously, do you believe people treat popculture seriously?

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HDI doesn't measure how poor the poorest people are, though.

There is a newly revised scale that takes account income disparities, and USA is still high on the list.

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No, I'm sure they're not "happy with their lot", but the reason they're not happy is because they have not got a permanent place to live or enough food to eat, not because they lack property. Plenty of people do not own the places they live (possibly even the majority, depending on where you live) and are perfectly OK with that, because they do at least have a place to live.

So you expect homeless to not try to acquire property and improve their lot in more permament way? Actually owning means is always more stable and secure.

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No, I agree that it doesn't do so, but such a society certainly has existed in the past, and you are saying that it is how society should run now. My point was that, ultimately, a society in which all the government did was protect property and life (with the two considered on an equal level) would provide no incentive to the very poor to actually accept the rules of that society, at least freely.

You'd be surprised that there are poor people that vote for Republicans. They are not a hive mind which will vote as you expect them according to your communist dogma.

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Yes, society quite obviously does not want anarchism, but it's pretty clear from voting records that the poor generally do support socialism. And, as you yourself pointed out, even the most right-wing governments do still generally provide some level of social support, because they know that what I said is fundamentally correct.

The right wing, both moderate or more radical, is on rise in Europe. Overwhelming number of poorer people in my country vote for conservatives. Don't make assumptions.

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2014, 04:35:38 PM »
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No, my viewpoint is that, if we have a government at all, then its primary purpose should be preventing harm to people and providing a decent standard of living for everyone, not protecting the property of the rich.

People are equal before the law, and the property of the higher stratas of society warrant the same protection as the other property. Discriminating the rich because they are rich is foul.

Yes, but so is discriminating against the poor because they are poor. The government should protect everyone, not use their power to enforce one-sided rules on the poor.

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That is still not a justification for it. It's essentially "it's there because I say it's there and people believe it".

Democratic processes in action. If you are not content about that, move to non-democratic country.

Except that part of the "democratic process" is holding views that differ from those of the government. Your statement explains why the law is as it is, it does not mean that I should believe that that law is right.

Plus, in any case, I believe in freedom over democracy. I believe that a reasonable level of democracy is necessary for freedom to exist (because, without it, you either suppress dissent or you end up with a revolution), but freedom is the goal I am for, and I have no issue with there being restrictions on what the majority can enforce.

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Except most country have laws that punish people from stealing from rich people and corporate entities. Everyone is equal before the law, and the property should be protected no matter who owns it.

So? This is not an argument about legality.

The reason the law is like that is for two reasons. Firstly, because the government needs the support of the rich to obtain power and secondly because, yes, a system in which the government said "we'll allow theft as long as you're poor" would not be workable.

Plus, the government most certainly allows taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. It's just that it calls it "taxation" rather than "theft". The reason theft is legally prohibited is not because it is always wrong, but because there is no way you can design a legal system that can distinguish between when it is right and when it is wrong. However, because people do broadly-speaking support the concept of stealing from the rich to give to the poor, the government implements a system of taxation in order to do so on their behalf.

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And, yes, stealing someone else's home is not a minor thing because it has a serious effect on their own ability to live. I will definitely not deny that. However, going into an empty building and squatting is not harmful. Indeed, until fairly recently, it was not even illegal to do so, and someone who had squatted in a place long enough got given ownership of it.

Now it is illegal, so it is illegal. Democratic process in action, again.

"It's illegal because it's illegal" is not a justification. Further, I'm pretty sure that said rule was changed by a government that did not have majority support to make the change and which could only do so because it isn't an issue most people care enough about to stop them.

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Seriously, do you believe people treat popculture seriously?

No, but who you see as a "good guy" is a pretty big indicator of your morality. People would not consider Robin Hood a hero if they thought theft was always wrong.

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HDI doesn't measure how poor the poorest people are, though.

There is a newly revised scale that takes account income disparities, and USA is still high on the list.

High relative to Somalia, yes. Not relative to most of Europe or other developed countries.

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No, I'm sure they're not "happy with their lot", but the reason they're not happy is because they have not got a permanent place to live or enough food to eat, not because they lack property. Plenty of people do not own the places they live (possibly even the majority, depending on where you live) and are perfectly OK with that, because they do at least have a place to live.

So you expect homeless to not try to acquire property and improve their lot in more permament way? Actually owning means is always more stable and secure.

Yes, of course actual ownership is more stable and secure, but my point is that it is not necessary. A homeless person gains far more by having somewhere to live than a non-homeless person gains by actually owning their home.

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You'd be surprised that there are poor people that vote for Republicans. They are not a hive mind which will vote as you expect them according to your communist dogma.

Sure, because people in the US South are exceptionally good at brainwashing, and corporations are exceptionally good at using the media to convince turkeys to vote for Christmas. Plus, even though there are poor people in the US who vote Republican, even there they are in the minority, and I think that even the ones who do so are doing so mostly because of social issues (i.e. their adherence to traditional Christian values) rather than their economic policies.

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The right wing, both moderate or more radical, is on rise in Europe. Overwhelming number of poorer people in my country vote for conservatives. Don't make assumptions.

This is somewhat true in the case of the more radical right, but the radical right tends to appeal to poorer people by demonising someone else and blaming them for all the problems (in this country, ironically, it's usually the Polish or other Eastern European EU citizens...). They are also, oddly enough, generally less capitalist than the more moderate right-wing parties.

And, honestly, I don't get the impression that the moderate right is "on the rise". Further, even where they are, they are not generally gaining votes from the truly poor, but rather from the middle classes. And, they do so by acting as if the poor are the cause of their problems.

The majority of the population is not extremely poor. As a result, the extremely poor can be marginalised and left out of the democratic process without the government losing too many votes (which is something Thatcher realised in the 1980s, hence why she is so hated by much of the 60-odd % of the population that never voted for her). But, if the government takes that too far, the result will be revolution (or, at least, riots, like the ones we had in London a few years ago).

Also, Eastern Europe lived for 50 years under an extremely oppressive "communist" government, so it is not overly surprising that you guys associate socialism with oppression, and property ownership with freedom. In reality, that is not true at all, it is merely that particular form of socialism that is oppressive.

Kat

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2014, 05:02:55 PM »
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Yes, but so is discriminating against the poor because they are poor. The government should protect everyone, not use their power to enforce one-sided rules on the poor.

So discriminating rich is okay for you? Double standards. Law should treat everyone equal. The police officer should equally protect the property of a poor person as well as the rich person's.

Those rules are agreed on by people.

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Except that part of the "democratic process" is holding views that differ from those of the government. Your statement explains why the law is as it is, it does not mean that I should believe that that law is right.

Plus, in any case, I believe in freedom over democracy. I believe that a reasonable level of democracy is necessary for freedom to exist (because, without it, you either suppress dissent or you end up with a revolution), but freedom is the goal I am for, and I have no issue with there being restrictions on what the majority can enforce.

Tyranny of minority over democratic rule. Way to go.

So? This is not an argument about legality.

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The reason the law is like that is for two reasons. Firstly, because the government needs the support of the rich to obtain power and secondly because, yes, a system in which the government said "we'll allow theft as long as you're poor" would not be workable.

Plus, the government most certainly allows taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. It's just that it calls it "taxation" rather than "theft". The reason theft is legally prohibited is not because it is always wrong, but because there is no way you can design a legal system that can distinguish between when it is right and when it is wrong. However, because people do broadly-speaking support the concept of stealing from the rich to give to the poor, the government implements a system of taxation in order to do so on their behalf.

Notice that taxation is used to protect the people and everyone should contribute to the effort. Without taxation there is no military, police force, basic healthcare, et cetera. If a government decides to overly tax rich in misguided "social justice", the rich can simply emigrate to other countries, withdrawing their assets and ruining the economy since the private companies are main source of the jobs. The rich and middle class people giving workers place where they can legally earn for living are the basis of a healthy economy.

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"It's illegal because it's illegal" is not a justification. Further, I'm pretty sure that said rule was changed by a government that did not have majority support to make the change and which could only do so because it isn't an issue most people care enough about to stop them.

It's illegal because it is the will of voters represented by people who draft and enact legislation.

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No, but who you see as a "good guy" is a pretty big indicator of your morality. People would not consider Robin Hood a hero if they thought theft was always wrong.

People root for various people, and it is by no means indicator of their morality. Are those Loki fanboys pure evil then?

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High relative to Somalia, yes. Not relative to most of Europe or other developed countries.

In the same tier as other developed countries.

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Sure, because people in the US South are exceptionally good at brainwashing, and corporations are exceptionally good at using the media to convince turkeys to vote for Christmas. Plus, even though there are poor people in the US who vote Republican, even there they are in the minority, and I think that even the ones who do so are doing so mostly because of social issues (i.e. their adherence to traditional Christian values) rather than their economic policies.

People not adhering to the vision of dogma shared by a tiny minority - they must be brainwashed.

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Yes, of course actual ownership is more stable and secure, but my point is that it is not necessary. A homeless person gains far more by having somewhere to live than a non-homeless person gains by actually owning their home.

So you imply that person shouldnt own house she probably earned for by own work?
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This is somewhat true in the case of the more radical right, but the radical right tends to appeal to poorer people by demonising someone else and blaming them for all the problems (in this country, ironically, it's usually the Polish or other Eastern European EU citizens...). They are also, oddly enough, generally less capitalist than the more moderate right-wing parties.

And, honestly, I don't get the impression that the moderate right is "on the rise". Further, even where they are, they are not generally gaining votes from the truly poor, but rather from the middle classes. And, they do so by acting as if the poor are the cause of their problems.

The majority of the population is not extremely poor. As a result, the extremely poor can be marginalised and left out of the democratic process without the government losing too many votes (which is something Thatcher realised in the 1980s, hence why she is so hated by much of the 60-odd % of the population that never voted for her). But, if the government takes that too far, the result will be revolution (or, at least, riots, like the ones we had in London a few years ago).

Also, Eastern Europe lived for 50 years under an extremely oppressive "communist" government, so it is not overly surprising that you guys associate socialism with oppression, and property ownership with freedom. In reality, that is not true at all, it is merely that particular form of socialism that is oppressive.

You demonise the rich and blame them for all problems, then.

What revolution? These people were looting stores, which is how criminals behave, not peaceful protesters.

Part of freedom is that you can do what you want with money you earned. I should be free to own a house, not fear that misguided left wing radicals will try to 'redistribute' my wealth. If that ever happens, I'm banding with other like minded people and protest. If the government responds with force, we have right to defend ourself and expect international communist to save us from dictatorship.


Cherry Lover

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Re: Right Wing or Left Wing?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2014, 05:33:28 PM »
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Yes, but so is discriminating against the poor because they are poor. The government should protect everyone, not use their power to enforce one-sided rules on the poor.

So discriminating rich is okay for you? Double standards. Law should treat everyone equal. The police officer should equally protect the property of a poor person as well as the rich person's.

But the law is not treating everyone equally, because it is protecting the things that the rich want protected over those things that the poor want protected.

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Those rules are agreed on by people.

Right, but this is an argument about what the rules should be, not what they are.

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Tyranny of minority over democratic rule. Way to go.

No, freedom over tyranny of the majority. Tyranny is still tyranny even if it has popular support.

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Notice that taxation is used to protect the people and everyone should contribute to the effort. Without taxation there is no military, police force, basic healthcare, et cetera.

Yes, but taxation is and should be also used to provide for social justice. Otherwise, it is just using the wealth of the nation to oppress the poor, and in that case the poor would be absolutely right to stand up and fight against the government, and to steal as they wish.

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If a government decides to overly tax rich in misguided "social justice", the rich can simply emigrate to other countries, withdrawing their assets and ruining the economy since the private companies are main source of the jobs. The rich and middle class people giving workers place where they can legally earn for living are the basis of a healthy economy.

In other words, it's not about consensus at all, it's about the rich holding the poor to ransom by threatening to pick up their ball and leave if they don't get their way....

Further, the same logic applies in the opposite direction. If the poor don't like the system, then they can just leave to somewhere they do like or, if that isn't a possibility, they can just rise up and overthrow the government. The only reason that does not happen is because of government oppression of the poor and the heavy bias in the immigration system towards the rich.

And, it still does not change my point. The government makes theft illegal not because it is wrong, but because doing so is convenient, and in return for doing so it taxes the rich and funds social welfare programs to ensure that no situation where theft would be generally considered the morally correct thing to do arises.

Plus, your reasoning here is not valid, because plenty of countries have strong social welfare systems without the rich just leaving. It can happen, but it does not always happen. And, in so far as it does happen it is a direct subversion of freedom and democracy, because the rich are allowed to take the attitude of "if I don't like it, I'll just leave" whilst the poor are forced to stay where they are.

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It's illegal because it is the will of voters represented by people who draft and enact legislation.

Nope, sorry, just because the government does something it does not automatically mean it is the "will of the voters". Not every government policy is popular. Further, because of the nature of our system, the government can win power with only 35% of the vote, and thus is generally opposed by the majority of voters.

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People root for various people, and it is by no means indicator of their morality. Are those Loki fanboys pure evil then?

No, but I doubt they consider Loki to be evil and still root for him. Plus, isn't Loki mostly a trickster?

My point is that Robin Hood is widely considered to be good, and that the fact that he robbed from a rich elite to give to the oppressed poor (and, yes, they were very definitely oppressed) is seen as a good thing. That doesn't mean people think that theft is a good thing in general, but it does give a clear indication that the majority of the population considers taking property from greedy rich elites to feed the poor to be perfectly acceptable and, even, outright good, regardless of legality or government involvement.

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Sure, because people in the US South are exceptionally good at brainwashing, and corporations are exceptionally good at using the media to convince turkeys to vote for Christmas. Plus, even though there are poor people in the US who vote Republican, even there they are in the minority, and I think that even the ones who do so are doing so mostly because of social issues (i.e. their adherence to traditional Christian values) rather than their economic policies.

People not adhering to the vision of dogma shared by a tiny minority - they must be brainwashed.

It's not a "tiny minority" and, yes, they most definitely are brainwashed, you only have to watch US news to see that.

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Yes, of course actual ownership is more stable and secure, but my point is that it is not necessary. A homeless person gains far more by having somewhere to live than a non-homeless person gains by actually owning their home.

So you imply that person shouldnt own house she probably earned for by own work?

No, I'm saying that everyone having a house to live in is far more important than some people owning the house they live in.

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What revolution? These people were looting stores, which is how criminals behave, not peaceful protesters.

They weren't peaceful protesters, no, because the government wouldn't have taken notice of them in that case. My point is that they were obviously frustrated and angry at the government and at the system, and they reacted violently because no-one would listen to any non-violent response.

Ultimately, this is no different from what you said you would do if the government stopped protecting your property. Peaceful protest which, if ignored, would escalate to violence.

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Part of freedom is that you can do what you want with money you earned. I should be free to own a house, not fear that misguided left wing radicals will try to 'redistribute' my wealth.

I don't see why the ability to use arbitrary government-mandated tokens given to you by some guy who massively-undervalues your labour and keeps the difference for theirselves despite doing fuck-all to earn it is a necessary part of "freedom".

I don't think it is wrong for people to own the house they live in or the things they use, but I do think that it is wrong for someone to say "hey, I own this piece of land with tons of minerals because I said so, so if you want to take any of them and use them for yourself you're going to have to pay me a large portion of the profits", and I also think it is wrong for someone to claim ownership of a property they barely ever use whilst some poor homeless guy freezes and starves on the street outside.

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If that ever happens, I'm banding with other like minded people and protest.

Yeah, well, that is exactly my attitude to the government enforcing property rules without giving anything in return. If they are just going to tell me what I can't do without providing anything in return, then why should I support or obey them?

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If the government responds with force, we have right to defend ourself and expect international communist to save us from dictatorship.

But, if it is done by popular consent, then how is it a dictatorship?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 05:38:00 PM by Cherry Lover »