A working definition and an open essay by Logical Premise
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Politicians are all the same. They promise reforms then reform their promises. ~ Leonid S. Sukhorukov
Upon the Nolan Chart are four points. They are, of course, Liberal and Conservative, Libertarian and Statist.
The four points are endpoints on axes of what one might call good government. One is a moralistic and attitude balance, the other is a behavorial and organizational balance.
We all know the other three points on the compass, and their tired, jingoistic tunes. But what is Statism?
The bluntest definition would be?"belief in the importance of the power of the state over an individual". But this would be not entirely accurate.
A better definition:
A person who believes that the power of the unified state is needed to correct the failings of human greed, ignorance, tribalism, for the furtherance of the nation?as a whole, regardless of constraint. The good of all is more valuable than the desires of any one individual.
There are many people who find that idea horrifying. They proclaim loudly that our country was founded on the principles of freedom, democracy, indepdance, justice, blah blah blah.
Please, get your facts straight. This country was founded on the mailed fist of governmental power. It was founded on the imperialistic designs of a group of people fed up that they were being oppressed, and so they came here, drove the inhabitants off their land, cheated them, revolted against their government, nearly lost until they decided to unify and fight together, and could only be called a country when the ridiculous Articles of Confederation were laid aside and a true federal central government was constructed.
Spare me the sanctimonous whimpering about the noble proclamations of people such as Jefferson or Franklin. The country was founded on taking the land from the natives, on slavery, on the rich landowner running the show, on "freedom" as a byword to operating however you pleased as long as you had the power to buy someone. Politics in this country for years was bought and sold. The Civil War was about the tarrifs and profits to be lost with the end of slave labor, not out of any pious concern for the well being of the black people who's lives were destroyed. The annihalation of the American Indian nations, the cruel mistreatment of Chinese and Korean workers in assembling the trans-national rail lines, the insipidly blatant land grabs conducted during the Mexican American war for no better reason than to support slavery... must I go on, I haven't even gotten to the 20th century yet.
You are in a Statist land. High-sounding proclaimations aside, the power of the United States does not lie in it's freedom of the press, or it's freedom of religion, or it's right to bear arms and form militias. It does not lie in misty historical documents we attempt to make fit entirely unprecidented situations.
It lies in the unified might of a nation that was built by conquest and war, made powerful by conquest and war, who became a superpower by conquest and war, who spends most of it's money on conquest and war, who leads the world in military technology, and who will only continue to be relevant if those terms are kept.
A statist merely acceds to reality rather than trying to draw some sort of noble veil over what we are. What perctange of the population votes? Do they care? What percentage of the people can even name all ten amendments to the Consitution that form the Bill of Rights?
Statism does not pretend that the power of the federal state should be suborinate to the tiny chunks that comprise it. The reality of our nation is that we are powerful because of the centrality of the government.
You don't have a right to privacy. I can find out your information, where you work, your social security number, and all other kinds of information whenever I like. If you magically made the internet go away, I could still spy on your house with a dozen devices that could pick your conversations up from the vibration in your windows, track your earnings through bank transactions, or worse. Only a state where such things are tightly regulated and controlled can stop that.
A right to bear arms? What good does it do you? The purpose of the amendment was to keep your weapons so you could FORM A MILITIA, not to defend against criminals. If we had a truly stronger government and a national police force with increased power, the criminals would be GONE -- and without any worry about criminals getting their hands on weapons, who would care about your guns? No one.
A right to free speech? Have you LOOKED at the media recently? This is what you plan to die for, so Paris Hilton can take up the news? So we can hear the hatespeech of racists, or *shudder* watch Tom Cruise talk about Scientology? The idea behind it -- not having to watch what you say -- is fine. What about when your free speech is bad for the nation? What about when we have traitors supporting Iran, saying it's their constitutional right?
There are so , so many things wrong with the whole political landscape aside from Statism I don't know where to begin. To claim anything besdie a strong national government -- MANY times stronger than the one we have now -- is bad is , to a statist, denying reality.
A statist belives the central power of government to regulate everything compensates for your losses. We have all these liberties -- and they are abused. They lead to problems, they lead to crime, they lead to hate and division.
A statist sees a goverment that has no fear of terrorists because it can track every single person in the country real time. I don't *care* if the government knows what I do. If you do , you are living in the past.
A statist sees a government that has no fear of recessionon because it allows free markets but supported with the full power and revenue of the government, who can create work for all the unemployed., that can absolutely stabilize the money markets and create value. (Ideally, a government would be able to leverage public monies on other world stock markets and investments with a return.)
A statist sees the nation free of racist, sexist, religionist thought by simply giving such things no legal outlet. If you allow such ideas freedom of expression, they will never die.
A statist sees only one firm boundary -- the home. A statist thinks everything else should be the responsability of the state. What you do in the privacy of your home is your business -- but when it goes beyond that in any way, it is the state's business.
A statist realizes this is a global world, and multiculturalism and multinational corporations require something a bit better than a 200+ year old document to guide us into the future.
There are those who say that Liberalism addresses ineraction and humanity, that Conservatism addresses tradition and morality, and that Libertarians value freedom and liberty. So be it.
Statism addresses ORDER and POWER.
If this was a statist environment, the enviroment would be cleaned up. The borders would be sealed off. The poor would be put to work, the homeless educated and gotten jobs, the middle class would have no fear of having a lack of social security, and the rich would be secure in knowing that they have the loudest voice since they would bear the heaviest tax burden.
If this was a statist government fully, you wouldn't have outsourcing and illegal immigrants taking your jobs, or companies placing their factories in some slum in Mexico rather than making jobs for honest Americans.
Liberals will give you compassion and say that gives them the right to tell you how to think and act, and that if you don't you are a hate monger and a bigot.
Conervatives will talk about morality and God and tell them that gives them the right to tell you how to think and act, and that if you don't you will go to Hell.
Liberatrians will go on and on about freedom and liberty and tell you that if you don't think and act the way they say you are giving up your freedom and you will suffer.
Statists? We'll just tell you what to do, how to do it, and let you get on with your life.
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Oh Flying Spaghetti Monster, another one! Well hey this one actually represents modern liberalism and the Democratic Party!
Welcome aboard. I hope that you are not a joke like I was. These people have no sence of humor, reason, or deductive reasoning skills. They have a strong desire for you to be direct,¬†due to the fact that they have a hard time recognizing satire. That¬†and they think that libertarianism is defined by whatever Ron Paul (may his name be praised) says and desires. So if you have any plans on criticizing Ron Paul for his Conservative-Statist ideas on the border and/or abortion, be ready to get some hate mail.
Yeah, I'm an actual statist, I even worked in the IRS for a while.
There are a *lot* of highly intelligent people here, who are clearly frustrated by the way government is run. There are also a lot of people who are not thinking things through to a logical conclusion.
I think Dr. Paul is a logical person who has outlined his ideas well. I think, however, that as a form of government, libertarianism is about as logical as communism -- it sounds great. But it falls apart on the details.
I don't trust human beings very much. A statist government would require all of the people in power to be rotated OUT of power regularly and exceedingly strong checks and balances, which is why it has never been attempted in a democratic setting -- it won't allow the sort of corrupt crap we have.
No, I think the most depressing thing after reading all the stuff on this site is the supporters of Dr. Paul are so fervent becuase every other candidate sucks that bad.
Maybe I should move to Belize.
Venezuela would be better. Ever notice that Statism is never in total agreement with itself about how much, who, and why? Well neither¬†is¬†Libertarianism, Conservatism, or Liberalism. Centrism just doesn't know when to stop.
I have noticed that all Statism¬†is promoted and enforced by religion (Ok hypicritical Christian Libertarians, get your Bible out and take me on, i'll take you all to the cleaners, whatever that means), while libertarianism is promoted by Atheism, Science,¬†and Reason. Our founding fathers had many faults, but then again it is said that power corrupts. I'll have to write an article on why Statism is so damn easy and Libertarianism is so damn hard.
What is the difference between the Conservative and the Statist?
"Conervatives will talk about morality and God and tell them that gives them the right to tell you how to think and act, and that if you don't you will go to Hell." ...
"Statists? We'll just tell you what to do, how to do it, and let you get on with your life.¬†"
You failed to specify what the consequences are for not doing what the Statist tells you to do, or doing it in the correct manner. The statist can't send you to hell as the conservative says God can, but the statist can make your time on earth a living hell.
The problem with any form of government always comes down to the nature of man. ¬†A good society and good government, regardless of structure, will demand that it consist of good people.¬†You insinuate that man basically tends to do evil, and thus, needs to be controlled. The basic desire and need to have any form of government is based on that reality. The question is who will provide that control? Will the Individual have internal control (self-control) or will the government enforce external control?
Yes, there is a need for strong government. But this, too, can be be abused. Your ideal of checks and balances regulating the government is simply an ideal. Our own constitution is designed to provide a strong government which is limited in its scope. But, again, it has been abused because of unrealistic idealism, the desire for power, and greed. Your solution and philosophy of government sounds little different than Communism.
As far as your essay being logical, you may want to address a few errors. ¬†You question the idea of a "right to privacy" as actually having privacy. The "right to privacy" is the ideal; having limited privacy is the current reality.¬† You also state "A statist sees only one firm boundary -- the home". This is very inconsistent with everything else you advocate. Having a home insinuates having the very rights you want to eliminate ... the right to privacy, the right to bear arms (i.e. to protect oneself), the right to free speech. In a true statist society the government does not recognize any such boundary. The government can spy on you, listen to your private conversations, enter your home without warrant, lay claim to your property, lay claim to your children, and lay claim to your person.¬† You cry out about the weaknesses in our political landscape; what are your views of the former Soviet Union, of China, and Cuba? As for¬† sanctimonious blathering, these extremist statist views are as dangerous as anarchy. Neither is sustainable and cause harm.
I also need to address the post by "The Statist" who suggest that readers on this site have a difficult time recognizing satire. I suggest that he needs to step up his game. True satire is insightful and funny; most of The Statist's comments aren't. I've posted comments on a couple of The Statist's essays complaining that he contradicts himself. The term "satire" was not the first thing thing that came to mind; maybe "schizophrenia." At least I now know what the attempt has been.
So, to Logical Premise, I say welcome. Though I believe your views to be fraught with errors, I am glad to read some other perspectives on this site.
Posted By: Walt Thiessen
Date: 2008-01-28 10:48:05
Logical Premise wrote in a reply comment about libertarianism: "...it sounds great. But it falls apart on the details. I don't trust human beings very much."
This is quite an interesting point to me. Your initial solution to the problem is "checks and balances," but when that lets you down, you propose to move to Belize.
Which raises a very important question: why then is it important to be a statist (in your view), and how does that importance contribute to your desired solution to the problem that human beings can't be trusted?
I'm going to post a response article to this one. Watch for it.
Amazing to hear an advocacy of statism so blunt and unabashed. I'm frankly now sure how to take your comments, but as you say you are in fact a statist, I'll take them at face value. Astounding. You are obviously highly intelligent, knowledgable and lucid, yet your premises seem to me to be far from logical. I can't sit down right now and give a full response, but I will say that, for all his faults and the faults of the endeavour he was involved with, Jefferson was right on the essential point, which is the rebuttal that lays waste to Hobbes, the fantasy which still imprisons our minds and world, and that is: "If you can't trust men to govern themselves, how can you trust them to govern others?" I guess it's not so much your core premise that I am addressing - that you can't trust human beings (though there are strong reasons to disagree with this, and I do) - but your conculsion. Assuming, for the moment, that you can't trust people, who then, do your propose to govern people? You say you don't trust people, therefore you give some people enormous power. Sounds patently absurd, if not delusional, to me. Sorry to be so frank. I think there is a great deal of confusion here, and the implications, as we have seen in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, China, Russia, Cambodia, and across the "Third World" in so many brutal, souless, self-serving dictatorships....are extreme.
Thinking aloud here, it seems to me that if you are afraid of people, then you have basically two choices - assuming there is no place to go to get away from people, or that you choose not to do so.
One choice, you clearly outlined: seek, cozy up to, or align yourself with some great power, in order to feel safe(r). But as we saw with Stalin, to name just one example, cozying up to power is no guarantee of protection, and as we see in all dictatorships or tyrannical regimes, of either right or left, seeking the protection of such powers leaves one in great danger from the very same powers. And seeking power oneself, when it is not a cozying up as a courtesan underling, or a mousy tugging at the coat tail for protection from above; when it is a grasping at the highest level of power, ie: becoming top dog oneself, this too is fraught with the greatest of danger, both from external and internal threats. The latter course leads generally to a life of paranoia, as it is always a reality that such power is impossible to guarantee, and even powerful emperors and empires fall to dust, invariably.
Therefore, the three variations on the first strategy - seek, serve/cozy up to, or align with a great power, is totally unreliable, and cannot ensure safety - far from it.
The alternative to looking to power, your own or someone else's to protect oneself, which is the essence of the Hobbesian hypnosis, or delusion, is to disarm - both oneself and others. This is what Jefferson aimed to do, I would say.
To make an analogy: if you are afraid of people, you can get a gun - better yet, become a mob boss, a big gun - or you can lick the boots of the mob boss who has the guns, hoping he'll protect you, and won't get pissed off for some unforseen reason one day and feed you to his dog. This is basically the power-seeking/power cozying-up/protect me mister powerful man set of patterns. Become a mob boss, or lick the boots, or whatever else is required, of the mob boss, and hope this strategy keeps you safe. It doesn't. And moreover, it should be repulsive to anyone to do either.
The alternative to becoming a mob boss, or licking the accoutrements of the mob boss, is to eliminate the mob bosses - to disarm the threat. This is the basic gist of constitutioal democracy, when intelligently applied, and particularly to that more robust form of constitutuional democracy which is Jeffersonian democracy.
The central myth, or rather, the central confusion:
"A statist merely acceds to reality rather than trying to draw some sort of noble veil over what we are. "
Implicit is that it is "realism" to fall into Hobbes' confused resonse.
Anyway, preliminary thoughts....
I have an essay up my sleave for you, but it's on reserve for a book I'm about to publish. In the meantime, this one may be somewhat relevant. See my post:
Libertarianism: Right and Left
filed under democracy
No offense, by the way. Your post was passionate and direct. Excellent. I can fully relate to that. Beautiful. Just don't expect me to respond in anyway other than in kind.
"A statist sees a goverment that has no fear of terrorists because it can track every single person in the country real time. I don't *care* if the government knows what I do. If you do , you are living in the past."
Living in the past sounds great compared to this scenerio. I have no fear of terrorists NOW - and I don't need to be tracked - or tagged like some animal to feel secure. When I sit down to take a crap - I don't need someone at the CIA watching me through my bathroom mirror to see what I might be reading.
"A statist belives the central power of government to regulate everything compensates for your losses. We have all these liberties -- and they are abused. They lead to problems, they lead to crime, they lead to hate and division."
Really? I am self employed and I pay out a higher rate of taxes because of it. The government is certainly NOT compensating me for anything. It takes - it doesn't give. The IRS is nothing more than the guy the mob uses to break your legs when you don't pay "your fair share". Government is a racket. Listen: I do not have children, but my property taxes pay so that other people can pump out however many kids they want to and I get to help put them through Government mind-control called public education. I say if you want seven kids - YOU pay for it -not me.
"A statist merely acceds to reality rather than trying to draw some sort of noble veil over what we are. What perctange of the population votes? Do they care? What percentage of the people can even name all ten amendments to the Consitution that form the Bill of Rights?"
Lets see, we live in a perpetual war state run by the rich pricks at the top. I guess my patriotic duty then is to acced (bend over and take it) from the ruling class. Are you crazy? These people should be alowed to do one thing - run their business in an ethical manner. They should have ZERO influence on my life. If they want to make a product - fine. If I don't want to buy it I shouldn't have to. If that product is war, I should be able to opt out and say no thanks - you aren't getting any of my hard earned income to fight it. Go fight it yourself with your own money.
The "noble veil" is called equality - or at least an aspiration towards it. The fact that the Constitution is two hundred years old doesn't matter anyway because again, the rich pricks at the top just pass new amendments and force their way on the rest of us for their gain. The IRS and the Federal Reserve were NEVER ratified properly by Congress - these were pushed through to provide money for war. And the result is what we are paying for today in greedy bail-out monetary policies that destroy the middle class and the poor - while once again, the rich scum that rises to the "top" is immune.
The reason people don't vote is because of apathy. That apathy is based on a knowing and a history that the misleaders in this country have lied to us since day one. They are all corrupt insiders who want to perpetuate their agenda. People don't choose not to vote because they are stupid. They don't vote because they know the game is rigged. Just look at the electronic voting fraud, the Supreme Court intervention and the twisted logic of caucuses, primaries, parties and delegates. Hey, why not let everyone have six months or a year to make their case to the people and then just have a vote - period. No superdelegate insiders, no Diebold machines - just paper ballots - counted by actual humans (the ones you are afraid of) and whoever gets the most popular votes wins.
Of course, the elite wouldn't be able to put us through the labyrinth of confusion that allows them to slip in through the cracks. This country is a scam - pure and simple. We have been sold out. Only a revolution can remove the corruption that IS our govern (control) ment (mind).
"A statist sees the nation free of racist, sexist, religionist thought by simply giving such things no legal outlet. If you allow such ideas freedom of expression, they will never die."
Your'e dreaming. Racism isn't caused by people being free enough to have racist beliefs. It is caused by dumbass parents telling their otherwise non-biggot children that we should hate another group of people. Racism is born out of repeated ignorance and unjustified fear. If another race is actually plotting to do us harm - it's probably because we have overstepped our bounds and caused harm to them.
The United States was not attacked by Africans who hate us for our freedoms. They were dragged kicking and screaming against their will. If anyone has a right to be pissed off - it's them. White people (of which I am one) will never grasp the inequity of displacing indigenous people for a profit. People are not a mere commodity that can be traded and discarded when no longer useful. It sounds like the Statist would be very comfortable in Orwell's 1984.
I have been seeing a lot lately about how suburbia is falling apart and we all need to run to the cities and praise urban renewal and central planning. While I agree that the hideous sprawl of clonish, overpriced dwellings are a scurge to the environment and offer zero personality (not even room for a garden - remember the garden?); I would rather be dead than rounded up like sheep and forced into a compacted zone of control. No thanks. I don't want to listen to some dumbass arguing with his wife at 2:00 am; or walking outside in the morning to crowds of uninformed clones meandering around like dogs looking for a place to shit. I enjoy country living and freedom. I support the hope that people can awaken - but I want my space. I am not a bee in a hive - just doing his duty to the commune.
The real revolution needs to take place inside our heads. We can't have it both ways: We can not abuse or misuse others and then be stupid enough to ask why they hate us. If you really have a hard time understanding this, then please volunteer to go to Asia and work for a dollar a day making plastic crap toys for Americans kids to choke on.
Here's an idea. Rather than having all these complex political factions that can never agree on anything anyway, why not divide people into just two groups: Those who want to control others and those who see others as they see themselves. I do not want or need to be controlled or limited in any way. I don't seek a parental government to take care of me. I don't think there is ever an answer to be found in war. I don't think being monitored through our cell phones or god forbid - the MICROCHIP - is a way to live. When we get to the point where we are tracked and tagged and are nothing more than an income stream for rich, uncaring thugs at the top - I'm outta here.¬†
You think that the people don't know me are better capable of running my life than I am? I'm under no illusions, every negative of our country is caused by statism, so your answer, of course, is more of the disease. There's a logical premise, lets cure cancer with cancer. Lets not speak of the continuing failure of the War On Drugs or that innocent people are getting caught in the crosshairs. It seems that there is no end to the fantasy of the GOOD GOVERNMENT that will save us all. Look at government housing, an utter failure. Social Security, going bankrupt. Our schools, failing on every level. Our leaders are constantly being unveiled as being morally destitute and it seems that the most corrupt of them have the greatest chance of staying in power. We are witnessing abuses of power greater than any in the history of our country. I worry when I hear only guilty people will suffer since there has never been a single example of that being true in a secretive statist government in history. Germany, Russia, China, North Korea, Byzantium, Rome, look at any statist, regime whether religious or secular and all you see is fear. Enslavement of their people, murder, torture, and imprisonment for those who would question their government. The more statist this country becomes the worse our economy gets, whether it's welfare or warfare. And making ideas illegal does not end them, people will always be able to think what they want to and if you think that making an activity illegal ends it , take prostitution for example, you live in a dream world.I relish whats left of my ability to decide my life for myself. Hopefully my children may be able to know that for themselves. Are you one of those people who simply want to control others or are you someone who likes to be controlled? I can't figure out what's worse. I hate to tell people what to do, I hate to be told what to do. I don't mind being responsible for my own actions and I'm willing to pay the consequences for wrong decisions. There are so many who aren't.
Well, America's past may have substantial infestations of Statism. That's certainly debatable. You Statist guys must love George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales! Anyway, we don't have to keep making the same assine mistakes. Vote libertarian! Let's get the government out of our paychecks, our libraries, our bedrooms and our lives!
Wow, Mr. Premise. You seem to be expressing more of a totalitarian opinion than just a statist view. Statism means advocacy of the state and faith in the virtues of government. I personally have faith in the virtues of a well protected Republic. I think our government is doing a great job, except in the places where the Republic has been compromised. By having insufficient punishment for abuse of government power for private gains, we have left the door open for lobbying corruption. By allowing public air-waves to be used free of charge to further private agendas, we have left the door open to media take-over of voter opinion. By allowing private organizations to create our currency, we have left the door open plutocratic purchase or our rights and freedoms. And by generally holding capitalism as more important than liberty, justice,¬†or morality, we have allowed the integrity of the republic to crumble. A strong state does not need to take away the freedoms of the people, which are its reason for existence. It just needs to protect its own integrity from its constituent members.
¬†Your extremist view of statism leaves me suspicious that you are not a statist at all, but an anti-statist trying to drive people away from statism with your obnoxious, caustic support of it.
I like ¬†you, logical premise, you seem to be genuine. I don't agree with of course. 99% of all human action is anarchy, look it up. Look around, you must trust your fellow human to at least drive on his own side of the road. Your fear makes slaves of the rest of us
Apart from you're statement that we live in a statist society, this is probably the most ridiculous thing I have read in my life. Honestly, do you hear yourself? If some nut wants to support Ahmadenijad, who cares? Nobody takes that seriously, it isn't as if he's about to raise an army and go invade Israel. But if we take away his right to express himself, then I don't see what gives us the moral superiority over nations living under an absolute authoritarian government that is doing all of those things that you advocate with disastrous results. You are willing to give up liberty for security, since I know you've heard it, I'll spare you the quote from Franklin. But that security comes at a cost. Every liberty we give up leads to more liberties being taken away. Who are we to fear, the statist government that has driven us to bankruptcy with wars overseas in lands in which we have no vested interest? The statist government that has accumulated 11 trillion dollars in debt, in addition to the 53 trillion in social security benefits that we have no way of paying? Or the terrorists who statists claim hate us because of our freedoms? Your cure is worse than the disease, it's like treating the stomach flu with arsenic.
A very good rebuttal. You say that when the whole thing falls apart you'll be "outaa here." Where exactly is that? I'd like to be "outta here" right now but can't find a place that respects libertarian ideals. Please suggest an itinerary.¬†
I totally agree with MacFire's statement written above.¬† Thank you for showing this "Statist" what an idiot he is.¬† If he wants the government to crawl up his butt and control his life then move to a "Statist" country and stop putting ideas in naive people's heads.¬†¬†He is¬†probably sitting around his trailer home getting high, thinking everything¬† sucks about this country, and conservatives are all religious freaks and whatever, blah, blah, blah.........Get a clue dude.¬† That goes for you whacky Liberals also.
The entire idea of being a 'Statist' isn't new. It was first designed by Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan. It is not the system that we live under. Political philosopher, John Locke designed a theory that was a compromise between Hobbes and the Jean Rosseau's Natural State (no government). Locke ideas are what this nation was founded on. Limited government to protect an individuals right to pursue and maintain property (prosperity). Locke's ideas can be seen throughout Jefferson's writings and the Bill of Rights that was needed to ratify the Constitution. Without the principles of limited federal power, most every historical scholar agrees, the Constitution would not have been ratified. These principles date back to King James & the Magna Carta.
Using David Humes Ultilitarianism (the greater good for society, damn the individual) and ulitimate government authority = Totalitarian Socialism, i.e. Communism. This theory also ignores hundereds of years of American rugged individualism.
Logical Premise is confusing and mixing motive and outcome. It is certainly true about the outcomes in American history, but to ascribe that as the motive behind the actions presumes "conspirators"¬† or "oppressors" never fail and their motives and schemes always achieve their objective. Not that I disagree that in 2009 we are in fact a statist country. In fact we're neither truly socialist nor capitalist.¬† Statist sounds like a more fitting description.
Do we need documentation, scientific double-blind studies, and pages and pages of rhetoric to demonstrate the absurdity of the premise that these grand schemes in history always succeed as planned? I think not.
But here's a more troubling thought, since in fact¬† the "better definition" perfectly describes the United States in 2009 (in fact for well over 20 years, so as to include all political parties).¬† Suppose, LP, that you got your way and instituted Communist China's policy of imprisoning those expressing racist, sexist, religionist thought.¬† Then suppose¬† a more powerful racist, sexist, religionist organization than the state got hold of your power (see definition of "coup de tat", and those radical religious folks who from your own premise never fail in their objectives) and executed and imprisoned all the statist advocates and followers for treason or whatever suited them.¬†
Then the nation would fall back into the wonderful world of the dark ages, or the wonders of the soviet socialist republic.
Posted By: Charles Stevens
Date: 2010-01-21 16:44:08
If we assume that the basic nature of mankind is inherently flawed, then the best that we can do is to strive for optimality.¬† Note that the optimal solution is not now¬†nor can ever be¬†a perfect solution.¬† Thus we have such concepts as 'balance of power' in government, and the 'invisible hand' of free market economics. I don't know about statists (this essay does little to posit an underlying value system), but Conservatives either implicitly or otherwise believe that only God is perfect, and that individual man can never be.
If instead you believe that mankind can be perfected, then you are a progressive, with all that that entails, including the State as the only entity to be worshipped, because it is the only thing that can enforce¬†conditions leading to the¬†perfection of each individual.¬† Any insinuation of God is simply backhanded, since He is automatically made subservient to the State, especially the alpha and omega of equality of results.
Posted By: No Name Supplied
Date: 2010-03-02 10:44:55
It is undeniable that our Government has never really lived up to its "200 year +" document.¬† We have never had a Free Market because someone somewhere has always managed to secure for himself some type of regulation or Tariff that unevenly benefits or restricts someone else somewhere.¬†
I cannot deny most of what you have said although I do disagree about the crime bit, because in the ebb and flow of history, even the most highly regulated "State" has had to deal with crime.¬†¬†
I do not believe that the Soviet Union or China or anyone else has ever had real "Marxism" because Marx had no interest in any one group having any benefit of any kind that another did not.¬† So it is always a "False-communism" or a "False-Marxism." ¬† I also do not believe the U.S. has ever had true capitalism.¬† So far as I can tell, the Government has always been the problem, whether it is government mandated genocide and relocation(as in the Native American) or government Tariffs that served some one with some special interest(unions sometimes and businessmen others).¬†
As to which government or economy works best, I will only say this;¬† It doesn't matter who they are, everyone who believes in "Statism" as the ideal also believes in some flowery perfect utopia where all mankind's problems are solved and some perfection of mankind is created. You are no different sir.
It sounds great but it will never happen.¬† Utopia and perfection do not exist.¬† THAT, is Reality.
I do agree with one thing you say in this article... we are a statist nation. I completely disagree with your assertion that we were founded as one (and from where do you get this supposed information? The constitution severely limits the powers of the government, so what exactly was it that gave you the idea that " This country was founded on the mailed fist of governmental power."? Sure, indians were killed/displaced, slavery was originally legal, and the federal system does have a stronger central government than the original confederate system did- but only enough power to call us a unified nation. In fact, I consider the statist/liberal side of the nolan chart to be unconstitutional- since the only justification for their economic policies is the premise that "altruism is good" and since altruism being good cannot be proven logically, it must then be a religiously held belief. (separation of church and state anyone?) you can be altruistic on your own, but that's your choice, not the business of the federal government.
as for the conservative/statist positions on personal issues, those are more debatable than economic issues. It's easy to be swayed along that axis (which explains the relative closeness of liberalism to statism and libertarianism to conservatism-- which explains why libertarians are more likely to vote for conservatives than for liberals...)
Posted By: Patrick Rankin
Date: 2010-03-03 18:37:27
Even if I agreed with every assertion that Logical Premise made I still would'nt agree that a massively centralized government was the solution. I think that a massively decentralized government would better serve even L.P.'s needs. At least he could still "vote with his feet"¬† and find a locallity that suited him without having to leave this great land.
Just so y'all know -- your no doubt eloquent, passionate and well reasoned arguments would be a lot more effective if, well, statists were not running the government now.
We're Democrats. We're Republicans. We're your postal system, your pension fund,your water company and even your next door neighbors.
David Jerale -- I will happily concede that there were elements at the start that were not totally statist, but the corruption was at the start.
As for the gentleman who suggested I have no shotgun, I have more than one, and several other weapons. I don't agree with idiot liberals and gun control anymore than a conservative does. Government should be able to know exactly what guns I have (and the police do, as well as my fingerprints and ballistics), but my right to own them should not matter.
Less than a Statist, Mr. Logical Premise seems more a Coercive Utopian. And a rather arrogant one at that. Arrogant in that anything on his nice list will be provided by the state because your not smart enough to figure it out for yourself.¬†
Of course, what Mr. Logical Premise does not seem to grasp is the contradiction between wanting an all powerful state and his complaints of what the nearly all powerful state has already produced. ¬†Can he point to one instance in history when the kind of all powerful state he advocates ever produced anything but death and misery? ¬†Yet, he wants more of the same.¬†
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Oh, and that little coral over there. That's where you can do anything you want.
"Government should be able to know exactly what guns I have (and the police do, as well as my fingerprints and ballistics), but my right to own them should not matter."
The operative phrase there is "should not matter".
But it would, and it will under a statist government. Like socialism and fascism, any system that does not respect the fundamental rights of the citizen will take away any privileges that may¬†empower them on an independent basis.
That combine with the ad hoc assignment of public obligations they will impose, will leave very little room for just living one's life for one'self.
I feel so sorry for this author.¬† As you read his words you hear his complete lack of faith in God and good.¬† Your hear a twisted version of history that does not at¬†only matches the weakest characteristics of man.¬† For some reason, he and people like him, can see the fault in man, but believe a government made of men can be better than man himself...¬† He reflects many nations around the world, and he should live there.¬† America is about second and thrid chances, it is a gift from God.¬† Amerca is about limiting the¬†role and power of government and about placing faith in God and man as a partnership.¬† If you don't feel too good after this article...you're¬†probably an American.¬†¬†