Category Archives: Morality

Was Hitler A Radical Right Wing Extremist, Or A Leftist?

To answer the question one needs to define the terms. What does it mean to be a leftist, or right winger?  Confusion on these terms lead many to embrace more laws and government intrusion in the name of liberty.  Taking ten minutes to watch this little explication will be ten minutes well spent for the sake of clarity.

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and more:

http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/shock-news-nazism-is-short-for-national-socialists/

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Filed under Government, Morality, Politics, Worldview

Static Snapshots Reveal Nothing About Economics.

A young man went to a grocery store one night to buy food.  He left with a loaf of bread and a stack of bologna, because, well, that was all he could afford.  He then went home to his apartment which was furnished with aluminum lawn furniture.  His bed was a cushion from an outdoor lounge chair as well.  He kept it on the floor of his closet where he slept.  He worked at night, you see, and couldn’t afford curtains.  Needless to say, he was poor.

But this true story is only a snapshot.  To examine only this snapshot tells us virtually nothing except for those “present” circumstances.   In this case for example, the young man had done poorly in school.  But his poor performance had nothing to do with any of the usual culprits that are trotted out.  It was because he thought it more important to “hang out” with his friends.  By his own later-in-life admission, his meager circumstances were not the result of something so vague as rich white men’s greed, but of his own laziness.

The story also says nothing of his future.  In time this person managed to get his act together and buckle down.  He went to school, read, and worked hard.  In time his fortunes changed.  He learned a skill that paid well, got married, had children, and is now living a comfortable middle-class life.

This is why snapshots aren’t worth much beyond fueling emotional “causes”.  Life, economies, fortunes, circumstances; they are all dynamic, not static.  The vast majority of young people fortunate enough to live in free-market systems begin their lives with very modest means, which actually build character.  Left alone, with equal opportunity and the right mindset, they will find their way out of those circumstances if they are willing to make sacrifices, work hard, roll with the punches that are certainly coming their way, and live ethically… and the sooner one starts the better.

The young man in this story, if you haven’t guessed, is me.  I suppose I could have blamed my circumstances on social injustice, or the 1%, or some other shadowy boogie man meant to send me cowering into the arms of the socialist.  But my real enemy resided in my own skin.  It still does.

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Filed under Economics, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview

“Words Are Wise Men’s Counters… But They Are The Money Of Fools”

In the post before last I excerpted a passage from “The Road To Serfdom” concerning the redefining of “words”. Below is a short video that builds on that idea.  It also explains how the words “social justice” are “money of fools”.

H/T Right From Yaad.

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Also check out this series on social justice:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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Filed under Economics, Equality, Harsh Reality, Morality, Politics, Social Justice, Words, Worldview

Don’t Tread On My Private Property

In our current day of “social justice”, fair has come to mean an equal distribution of resources.  But there is a barrier to this goal.  That barrier is known as private property.

For years, being a moron myself, this term, “private property”,  was confusing.  I was raised in a rural area with plenty of “private property” signs around.  But this is not what private property is; at least not solely.  There are all kinds of private property… like money for example.  The fundamental component of “private property” is ownership.  One can say “that’s mine” with the weight of law backing it up.

But the misguided ideas that drive “social justice” muddies this concept.  One of the tasks of capitalist governments is to protect private property, which is why there are laws against theft.  But what if the government is enlisted by the majority to participate in theft from the minority?  If this can happen, is anyone’s property really private, or is it more a privilege dependent on the whim of the majority?

While the tension between ownership and social justice involves many facets, here is one: The emotion based appeal of equality versus the right to acquire and accumulate private property to do with as one pleases.

Most however don’t see this tension because most don’t have what is arbitrarily deemed to be more than their fair share.  There is no reasoned defense capable of answering this emotional argument, but there is sound economical reasons to defend private property. And, there are sound reasons to deny the authority in society to participate in theft.  To not do this is a slippery slope because once the right to private property is destroyed for one, the door is opened for it to be destroyed for all.

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Filed under Economic Science, Economics, Equality, fairness, Government, Morality, Worldview

Can’t We All Just Have A Utopian Style Economy?

Some time back I told a group of ten year olds that I had hidden a bag of candy.  I passed out maps that I assured them would lead to the treasure, but I purposely withheld the beginning point.  They began walking around, turning this way and that, counting their steps, as they each dutifully followed the map .  Not one of them asked for that key piece of information that would have unlocked it.  This surprised me for some reason.  In the end no one found the candy. So I ate it myself… In front of them.

There is a lesson here in economics.  Where one begins in the study of economics will determine where he ends up.

When most hear the word “economy” they think of the availability of jobs, money and so on.  But the starting point of economics is man, namely, answering the question, how will he act, good or not so great, under given circumstances?  With this answer in hand it then attempts to answer another question, how do we enlist our fellow man to participate in our own benefit?

While capitalism begins with the more negative view that man is only interested in himself, and from selfish motives will work, improvise, innovate, trade, think, risk, explore and other things that make for a good economy, communism is based on an assumption that man is more altruistic. It assumes he will do these same things with the same zeal in return for his fair share of resources, however much some wealthy, innately-benevolent leader decides that is.

That this hasn’t ever worked is a testament to the faultiness of communism’s premise.  That it will ever be attempted  is a testament to the validity of capitalism’s premise regarding man’s condition… well, that and his resilience to the truth regarding that sad condition.

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Filed under Economic Science, Economics, Equality, fairness, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview

Capitalism In A Nutshell From Its Founder, Adam Smith

Below I paraphrase Adam Smith’s words about the famous “Benevolent Butcher”.

We all need each other to survive. But it’s folly to think that people help others simply out of the goodness of their hearts. For this reason we all do much better if we can enlist our fellow man’s own self-interest in helping us; that is we must show our fellow man that his helping us is to his own advantage. We say to our fellow man “Give me what I want and in doing so you will get what you want”. This is the basis for every transaction we make from day to day. We eat food grown by a farmer we’ve never met. We live in houses, the builders of which we’ve never met. We have food and shelter, not because someone thinks we’re special, but rather because they got something they wanted out of the bargain. It is not because of the benevolence of the butcher that we expect to get our meat, but from the butcher’s regard for his own interests. And we don’t live our lives wondering if the butcher has what he needs. We assume the butcher loves himself enough to give us what we want because we have something he wants.

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Here is his original work.

[M]an has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages”.

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Filed under Economic Science, Economics, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Worldview

Economics = Blackmail

Our existence confronts us with certain harsh realities. We’re so use to them that we don’t even think about them that much. While all people relish the thought of a paradise, our current reality reminds us that this is not it. For one we all die. Some get sick and die, others get old and die, and the laws of physics kill others in accidents, car crashes, bullet wounds and such.

When we face the science of economics this is no less true. If I lie on the sofa and never get up, I will die from lack of water. I must have water to live. Simple I know, but still, it’s a harsh reality that isn’t often considered. I have to procure water, either by getting off my fat lazy rear-end and getting it myself, coercing someone else to get it for me, or I could always do without and die.

The number one implication here is that our existence requires the exertion of effort by someone in order for it to continue. There is this sort of cosmic blackmail in play. We either exert the effort to put a log on the fire or be cold. That’s blackmail, though we don’t always see it as such.

The Hell of economics, when all the fluff is blown away, is that we want the resources without the exertion. As it turns out, the more complex economics become, the more it becomes about somehow coercing someone else to put the log on the fire, bring us a glass of water, and a sandwich too since you’re up. Such coercion can be managed so long as the sloths remain a fraction of the workers. But when the sofa gets crowded and the workers get tired, or hop onto the sofa too, economics breaks down… and then people start getting cold and thirsty as they fight over who ought to pay the extortion.

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Filed under Economics, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview