Any thoughts on Libertarians?

But the free markets and courts will take care of that. After a few thousand people die of poisoned food, no one will buy those products again.

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Most libertarians I've met come from a privileged background and just worship their ideology because it benefits or would benefit them. For example, their ideas of meritocracy are usually cheap excuses because most people aren't rewarded for their merit, abilities or whatsoever. Deceit and manipulation account for much more in real life.

I'm afraid a lot of libertarians are heartless to the core.

Another thing is that free market is said to be customer-oriented, but at the same time the quality of goods has become substandard over the years. More and more companies decide to manufacture in cheap labour countries in order to cut costs at the expense of quality.

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Feniks said:

Another thing is that free market is said to be customer-oriented, but at the same time the quality of goods has become substandard over the years. More and more companies decide to manufacture in cheap labour countries in order to cut costs at the expense of quality.


However, within our lifetime, there will surely be robotic replacements for cheap labor. I wonder what will happen once the pools of workers within those oppressive countries will do once they are unemployed. I could imagine it would spark a lot of unrest within their countries, and perhaps force a paradigm shift within them. In the best case scenario, they'll find their living conditions to be too intolerable, and provoke factions who are sympathetic to their concerns to facilitate change.

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Economic Left/Right: -6.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.21

for some reason i moved even further left, heh.

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Feniks said:

their ideas of meritocracy are usually cheap excuses because most people aren't rewarded for their merit, abilities or whatsoever. Deceit and manipulation account for much more in real life.


Care to back this up with arguments? Because whenever I hear someone claim that people aren't rewarded for their effort the first thing that comes to mind are butthurt people who are simply angry because they weren't as successful as they had hoped they would be.

Feniks said:

Another thing is that free market is said to be customer-oriented, but at the same time the quality of goods has become substandard over the years. More and more companies decide to manufacture in cheap labour countries in order to cut costs at the expense of quality.


A cheaper but a ok product can be better then a very good but a very expensive product. What "quality" means is very subjective.

If product A is better then product B, but costs 10x more then its hard to make the case that product A is better then B.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Care to back this up with arguments? Because whenever I hear someone claim that people aren't rewarded for their effort the first thing that comes to mind are butthurt people who are simply angry because they weren't as successful as they had hoped they would be.

I'm not going to expound on this, but I hope you don't believe everybody has an equal chance from the very start. Depending on your background, you might receive an Ivy League education or just die of hunger at the ripe age of 3... In this case, it wouldn't really matter how smart you are. That's just an example.

Then, plenty of people have finished universities only to become perpetually unemployed. Plenty of people have set up their businesses that failed. Tell me that they didn't put in any effort, and that fucking chinless wonders did.

Anyway, manipulative smooth-talkers tend to be pretty successful in their lives, and the question is, do they really deserve it? I don't think so.

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Here we are once again:

Economic Left/Right: -7.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.44

Boy, I just keep on drifting further and further away from that center point. I blame the NDAA for a lot of that.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Care to back this up with arguments? Because whenever I hear someone claim that people aren't rewarded for their effort the first thing that comes to mind are butthurt people who are simply angry because they weren't as successful as they had hoped they would be.

Right. Well, let's take some examples.

Samuel Robson Walton has a net worth of 21 billion according to Forbes. (In passing, I just love how that is phrased. "He has a net worth." His money is his worth, his measure as a human being.)

Now, I don't have detailed Forbes statistics, but I'm pretty sure that if you add the net worths of all of these people who are still living today, I strongly doubt you'd approach even one single billion.

Obviously, this means that one single heir has more merit than all the Nobel-prized scientists out there.

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hardcore_gamer said:

A cheaper but a ok product can be better then a very good but a very expensive product. What "quality" means is very subjective.

If product A is better then product B, but costs 10x more then its hard to make the case that product A is better then B.

"quality" can be subjective as far as weight of qualitiative factors goes, but cost is not one of them. you claim that the cost of the product lowers its quality, which is obviously wrong. to twist the common antimarxist example, it'd mean that a mudpie with no value would be a better product than a very expensive muffin and it only depends on how much "very expensive" is for different people.

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I think they changed the questions. I used to show up closer to the Dalai Lama on there because he used to be further down and left on the graph. I don't think his opinions or mine have changed very much.

Anyway...
Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.67

Whenever I do the elections compass thing put up by the CBC I always score near our left-leaning parties (way more left than Obama could ever be), and yet those show up as far more authoritarian than I appear on the regular compass.

Conclusion: this thing is as useless as those IQ tests you can do online.

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They have more balls than hypocritical Republicans who speak magniloquently of "gettin the gov'munt outta our lifes" except when it comes to their pet issues: counterterror, abortion, marriage, drugs, military intervention, etc. Even if Libertarianism is doomed as an ideology, at least its followers can be consistent.

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Kontra Kommando said:

However, within our lifetime, there will surely be robotic replacements for cheap labor. I wonder what will happen once the pools of workers within those oppressive countries will do once they are unemployed. I could imagine it would spark a lot of unrest within their countries, and perhaps force a paradigm shift within them. In the best case scenario, they'll find their living conditions to be too intolerable, and provoke factions who are sympathetic to their concerns to facilitate change.

No doubt there will be, though industrial robots aren't cheap, neither are the skilled workers required to program and maintain them. So I expect fully automated factories to appear in developed countries first (where the cost benefits of automation are greater), as a means of revitalizing moribund manufacturing industries and competing with imports produced by cheap labour.

hardcore_gamer said:

A cheaper but a ok product can be better then a very good but a very expensive product. What "quality" means is very subjective.

If product A is better then product B, but costs 10x more then its hard to make the case that product A is better then B.

If product B is durable and reliable enough to be handed down to your grandchildren, while product A has to be replaced every other year - I'd say product B is better quality.

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I will have to agree that the concept of a meritocracy is fucking ridiculous. Sure, I have a job that I love and which pays the bills, and I truly believe I am being rewarded for my hard work, but I fully acknowledge that I'm only at where I am now through a lifetime of luck. Getting here was a result of many factors well outside of my control. I didn't get to pick my family, I didn't get to pick where I was educated or what kind of education I got. Sure, I picked my college, but a number of factors outside of my control could have easily prevented me from attending the college of my choice. I applied for the job, but the ultimate decision was in the hands of my employer, regardless of how well I presented myself. And finally, there are many specific positions I could have been assigned to with my current job, but I was lucky to be assigned to one that I really enjoy.

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geekmarine said:

I will have to agree that the concept of a meritocracy is fucking ridiculous. Sure, I have a job that I love and which pays the bills, and I truly believe I am being rewarded for my hard work, but I fully acknowledge that I'm only at where I am now through a lifetime of luck. Getting here was a result of many factors well outside of my control. I didn't get to pick my family, I didn't get to pick where I was educated or what kind of education I got. Sure, I picked my college, but a number of factors outside of my control could have easily prevented me from attending the college of my choice. I applied for the job, but the ultimate decision was in the hands of my employer, regardless of how well I presented myself. And finally, there are many specific positions I could have been assigned to with my current job, but I was lucky to be assigned to one that I really enjoy.


The problem with this argument is that it is based on a logical fallacy.

Why do you think some of the most successful people in history became successful? It wasn't because somebody gave them everything they needed, but because they used their intelligence and skill to reshape the world around them and get what they want even in spite of not always starting out with everything needed.

People who whine about it not being possible to get anything done becaue they were not given all of their chances straight into their fucking laps with no effot required on their part have no idea what merrit even means.

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hardcore_gamer said:

The problem with this argument is that it is based on a logical fallacy.

Really? I didn't spot one, and that's kind of what I do.

But since you mentioned it...

hardcore_gamer said:

Why do you think some of the most successful people in history became successful? It wasn't because somebody gave them everything they needed, but because they used their intelligence and skill to reshape the world around them and get what they want even in spite of not always starting out with everything needed.

From the fact that some people were in position to make the most of their opportunities and achieve great success, it does not follow that all people are in a position to make the most of their opportunities and achieve great success, and so the fact that certain people haven't achieved great success while others have doesn't indicate that ones that haven't are in that situation because of their own idleness. You seem to have implicitly inferred 'all' from 'some', which is indeed a basic error of reasoning, or logical fallacy, as you say.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Why do you think some of the most successful people in history became successful? It wasn't because somebody gave them everything they needed, but because they used their intelligence and skill to reshape the world around them and get what they want even in spite of not always starting out with everything needed.

This is bunk. Half of the equation for success is impressing the right people and getting an opportunity. What you do with that opportunity is certainly a factor, but still.

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hardcore_gamer said:

The problem with this argument is that it is based on a logical fallacy.


Nope, yours is.

Also, read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell to see how success stories are nearly always a story of cumulative, "unmerited" advantages.

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I was successful because I had the skills, but I acknowledge that I also had luck. You're attacking me as if I'm complaining about my lack of success. Would I be where I am if I had been in an abusive family, or if I had been born in rural Africa? Don't think so. Your entire argument is based on the principle that things like genetics and upbringing mean absolutely nothing.

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GreyGhost said:

If this thread's in the process of transmuting into "Political Compass 2013", start posting results and I'll update the graph. Haven't decided what colour to use this year.


You should do it

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Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

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Economic Left/Right: -4.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.79

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Economic Left/Right: -3.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.46

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Oh, why not...

Economic Left/Right: 4.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.62

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Hmmm... Turns out I'm quite the hippy, most disappointing.

Economic Left/Right: -7.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.38

The relevance of a couple of the questions was not entirely obvious, e.g., I'm not sure what a like/dislike of non-representational artwork has to do with anything.

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durian said:

The relevance of a couple of the questions was not entirely obvious, e.g., I'm not sure what a like/dislike of non-representational artwork has to do with anything.

A lot of the questions also invoke the "it depends" answer, except you're not allowed to say that. As with those silly online personality tests, you just have to go with whatever you think usually applies.

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Indeed. It's a little odd to see a Likert scale being used without a 'Neither agree nor disagree' option, which one could use if the question was poorly posed and so warranted an 'it depends' answer.

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geo said:
What are your thoughts on Libertarians?

I prefer librarians.

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