Any thoughts on Libertarians?

If we're gonna do this bit again, here's how I scored:

Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.44

Interesting how my views have changed over the years. I started out economically left, slid somewhat to the right, but now I find myself back very deep in the left side of the spectrum. Socially, though, my views haven't really changed that much. If anything, I've become even more of a social libertarian over the years than where I was started, and I was already pretty socially liberal.

To simplify things, I'd really say my political philosophy is really about two principles. One is freedom, as long as that freedom doesn't come at the price of screwing others over. For instance, I have no problem with the free market, with corporations selling whatever they want at whatever price they want, but then, for example, pollution hurts others regardless of whether they're consumers of that corporation's products, and so there should be regulations there.

My second principle is that we should not turn a blind eye to people who end up in a bad situation that was beyond their control. If you get sick or injured, you should be able to receive medical care regardless of your financial situation. If you lose your job and your home, there should be a safety net in place. I know these things can be exploited by lazy people who won't lift a finger to help themselves, but the alternative is ignoring people in genuine need. Besides, that's how our criminal justice system is supposed to operate - innocent until proven guilty.

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Satyr000 said:

If OPEC controls the oil, then OPEC more or less holds all the power. Even if they where to do something like raise the cost of oil to $200+ a barrel and we had to payout as much as $5 a gallon, the US GOV couldn't do shit.


No, it doesn't work that way. Maybe it worked more like that in 1973, but now the Middle Eastern OPEC countries are utterly dependent on the US' good graces. It's the support of the US government and the massive influx of petrodollars that keep scum like the House of Saud in power. Without the West's support, the Saudi Arabian government would be without a supply of income, plunging the nation into desperate poverty and leaving them unable to procure weapons or pay their goon squads when the inevitable revolts break out. Venezuela have broken out of the US' orbit but have paid a heavy price for it, as the developed world basically treats them like a leper (HUGO CHAVEZ, BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!).

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Woolie Wool said:
It's the support of the US government and the massive influx of petrodollars that keep scum like the House of Saud in power.

East Asia gets more than half of what they export. The US used to get more, but the shale oil boom in the US shifted much of the Saudi flow toward demand in Asia. Within the OPEC, the Gulf Arab States are particularly subservient to the US (the Saudis are always pressuring for a relatively low oil price and they let the US launch controversial unmanned drones from their soil), and there's countries the West has recently abused militarily to force them to open up to oil-sucking corporations led by the West: Iraq and Libya (while attempting to cripple Iran). The rest tend to have have less dependent positions but by controlling the main exporter and forcing others to sell their oil cheap, the US watered down the OPEC as a block supporting national oil-export interests. It's as if you had a workers union but key union leaders were continuously sucking up to business owners and managers.

But responding to Satyr000, it's simply not true that the US "couldn't do shit"... it would just do what it already does, invade militarily and intrude in the internal affairs of the region.

Western media and State scorn aside (not to mention attempts to destabilize the government or finance and train the far right), Venezuela is not alone in rejecting US influence because it's part of a regional economic treaty and alliance, Mercosur as well as other regional organizations, with the deliberate aim to protect key regional resources so that Latin America can develop itself and its people instead of being an huge banana republic. Without a similar regional cohesion, the Middle East cannot begin becoming independent, and the US and Europe are bent on damaging Middle Eastern nations that show promises of strengthening the region's sovereignty.

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myk said:

But responding to Satyr000, it's simply not true that the US "couldn't do shit"... it would just do what it already does, invade militarily and intrude in the internal affairs of the region.


I agree with you, when it comes to hard-power (miltary), the United States has a significant advantage compared to the rest of the world. Soft-power (money and influence) is only as good as the force that it's backed by. I would argue that the "bottom-line" in world affairs is not the dollar, but the bullet. But that would only be in an extreme case.

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Woolie Wool said:

Venezuela have broken out of the US' orbit but have paid a heavy price for it, as the developed world basically treats them like a leper (HUGO CHAVEZ, BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!).

Well, he's dead now, but Evo Morales still lives! And he's a socialist and Bolivia has lots of natural gas and lithium and he's not very fond of us/european meddling in south american affairs. I think I've found our new latin american boogey man.

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