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Let's Define "Freedom"


Phi for All
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Jumped right on that one didn't you Phi?;)

 

To me a government's involvement needs to remain minimal as much as controling the individual person is conscerned. Laws that protect a person against direct harm from another and that sort of thing is understandable. But we definitely don't need to open the door in allowing them to use taxation as a punishment for behavior. No matter how you justify it, that would be wrong and detrimental to freedom

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I'm going to comment a bit (or rather, in bits) on freedom before I actually attempt to personally define it. I think various "freedom" concepts get pushed on us by those with special interests. "Free market" actually has little to do with American freedom, for instance. Businesses can prosper AND be well-regulated at the same time. Many sectors are are but too many aren't.

 

The concept of freedom gets used to lend patriotic emotion where it can often be detrimental, overriding common sense and rational discourse. Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and the guy who turned "propaganda" into "public relations", devised a campaign to double the consumption of cigarettes for the American Tobacco Company. He got women to defy social norms and take up smoking as a sign of feminist liberation, calling each little Lucky Strike a "Torch of Freedom".

 

Freedom should include being free to do what you want to your own body and anything within your own body (including potential life). As long as you're willing to pay the consequences for your personal actions, that seems like a basic part of being free. But I hate that we can't have freedom from manipulation. We get played even when we're sure we can't be played.

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I have freedom if I have my natural rights of life, liberty and property. The right of liberty permits me to do as I choose so long as I do not infringing on the life, liberty, or property of others.

 

Paying taxes is a duty so long as so long as those taxes support the natural rights of the governed and those that govern are freely elected by the governed.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/libertarian-illusions_b_1207878.html

 

libertarianism itself is beguiling. Like many extreme ideologies, libertarianism gives a single answer to a complicated world. It seems to cut through the fog and get to the heart of solutions; illusions, alas, but powerful ones nonetheless.

 

Libertarianism is the single-minded defense of liberty. Many young people flock to libertarianism out of the thrill of defending such a valiant cause. They also like the moral freedom that libertarianism seems to offer: it's okay to follow one's one desires, even to embrace selfishness and self-interest, as long as it doesn't directly harm someone else.

 

Yet the error of libertarianism lies not in championing liberty, but in championing liberty to the exclusion of all other values. Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable -- all are to take a back seat.

 

When libertarians translate the idea of liberty into the political and economic spheres, they argue that government should operate only to protect personal liberty and not for any other cause. According to libertarians, the sole role of government is to enforce private contracts and to keep the peace so that no one can use force to deprive the liberty of another. In English political theory, this is called the "night watchman state."

 

By taking an extreme view -- that liberty alone is to be defended among all of society's values -- libertarians reach extreme conclusions.

 

<...>

 

America has achieved it greatness not through a single-minded ideology but through pragmatism and the wisdom to embrace several important values. A vast majority of Americans today embrace liberty, civic responsibility, and compassion, and seek a government built upon all three. We are the better individuals and a much stronger society for it.

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Freedom is a concept, not an absolute, to define freedom will depend upon the current civilisation that we are all a part of. In part I agree with Justin (hard to believe I know) when he says that Government needs to remain minimal, no doubt we will differ on what minimal is.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt said "'Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility"

 

I believe that we all have a responsibility to our fellow man, we are part of a society that we all benefit from, and therefore we all have our absolute freedom limited by that responsibilty or obligation.

 

So Freedom does not mean that we can do what we want, or even what we think is right, but is determined by our contribution to civilisation, and the current norms of that civilisation.

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These are my thoughts on freedom:

Freedom is a concept that as an individual (person) makes sense, but as a society does not e.g. my freedom to murder imposes on your freedom to not be murdered. Freedom might be better seen as a scale of freedom to an individual rather than a societal absolute. If any individual were to reach 100% freedom it would imply that no other individual would have 100% freedom but not imply that all others would have no freedom.

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Villain,

 

Everyone already has 100% freedom as far as their actions are conscerned. You have the freedom to kill, just like anyone else. No one can take that away from you unless they lock you in a cell to prevent it. Laws are not created to take away those freedoms, but rather provide consequences as incentive not to excersize those freedoms.

 

And "freedom to not be murdered" doesn't make any sense.

 

 

Sgt. Billko,

So Freedom does not mean that we can do what we want, or even what we think is right, but is determined by our contribution to civilisation, and the current norms of that civilisation.

It's funny, but for some reason slavery popped into my head when I read this sentence. Slaves can't do what they want, or even what they think is right, they contribute to civilization, and at one point slavery was the norm of that civilization. I know you weren't meaning it that way, but since it popped into my head, and once applied seemed to fit, I thought I would write it down.
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Everyone already has 100% freedom as far as their actions are conscerned. You have the freedom to kill, just like anyone else. No one can take that away from you unless they lock you in a cell to prevent it. Laws are not created to take away those freedoms, but rather provide consequences as incentive not to excersize those freedoms.

I beg to differ. Laws are created to both punish and prevent. You don't have to kill someone to have broken a law.

 

In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(crime)

 

Attempt crimes are crimes where the defendant's actions have the form of the actual enaction of the crime itself: the actions must go beyond mere preparation.

 

The essence of the crime of attempt is that the defendant has failed to commit the actus reus (the Latin term for the "guilty act") of the full offense, but has the direct and specific intent to commit that full offense. The normal rule for establishing criminal liability is to prove an actus reus accompanied by a mens rea ("guilty mind") at the relevant time (see concurrence and strict liability offenses as the exception to the rule).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempt

Edited by zapatos
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To my post below...

I have freedom if I have my natural rights of life, liberty and property. The right of liberty permits me to do as I choose so long as I do not infringing on the life, liberty, or property of others.

 

Paying taxes is a duty so long as so long as those taxes support the natural rights of the governed and those that govern are freely elected by the governed.

 

it appears that iNow responded with the following quote/link from the Huffington post.

 

libertarianism itself is beguiling. Like many extreme ideologies, libertarianism gives a single answer to a complicated world. It seems to cut through the fog and get to the heart of solutions; illusions, alas, but powerful ones nonetheless.

 

Libertarianism is the single-minded defense of liberty. Many young people flock to libertarianism out of the thrill of defending such a valiant cause. They also like the moral freedom that libertarianism seems to offer: it's okay to follow one's one desires, even to embrace selfishness and self-interest, as long as it doesn't directly harm someone else.

 

Yet the error of libertarianism lies not in championing liberty, but in championing liberty to the exclusion of all other values. Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable -- all are to take a back seat.

 

When libertarians translate the idea of liberty into the political and economic spheres, they argue that government should operate only to protect personal liberty and not for any other cause. According to libertarians, the sole role of government is to enforce private contracts and to keep the peace so that no one can use force to deprive the liberty of another. In English political theory, this is called the "night watchman state."

 

By taking an extreme view -- that liberty alone is to be defended among all of society's values -- libertarians reach extreme conclusions.

 

<...>

 

America has achieved it greatness not through a single-minded ideology but through pragmatism and the wisdom to embrace several important values. A vast majority of Americans today embrace liberty, civic responsibility, and compassion, and seek a government built upon all three. We are the better individuals and a much stronger society for it.

 

If this was indeed a response to my post, I believe iNow is interpreting my intent too narrowly.

 

For example, one could argue the environmental pollution threatens my right to life and the right to life of others. It would then be correct for the government to step in and protect the rights of the governed to stop or regulate environmental pollution. I would be my duty to support governmental environmental pollution regulation through taxation particularly if the government were freely elected by the people.

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waitforufo,

 

For example, one could argue the environmental pollution threatens my right to life and the right to life of others. It would then be correct for the government to step in and protect the rights of the governed to stop or regulate environmental pollution. I would be my duty to support governmental environmental pollution regulation through taxation particularly if the government were freely elected by the people.

This could be stretched to encompass nearly every thing we do in life. Where it would end and when the line would be drawn would only depend on how far the public would be willing to be pushed. It seems like those who have a relaxed view on freedom are inviting the government to become tyrannical over a submissive populace in the name of "their own good".

 

 

Zapatos,

 

I beg to differ. Laws are created to both punish and prevent. You don't have to kill someone to have broken a law.

So what? You are still free to break the law. The law is implemented as an incintive not to do something(prevent) because you could go to jail(punishment) if you do. So while I agree with you about what a law does, it in no way falsifies my origional assertion.

Edited by JustinW
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This could be stretched to encompass nearly every thing we do in life. Where it would end and when the line would be drawn would only depend on how far the public would be willing to be pushed. It seems like those who have a relaxed view on freedom are inviting the government to become tyrannical over a submissive populace in the name of "their own good".

Bad argument, Slippery Slope fallacy. Just because it could be stretched doesn't mean it would be. And there is ample evidence that lack of pollution regulation leads to unacceptable levels of pollution.

 

Vigilance to avoid going down that slippery slope is one of the responsibilities of freedom, imo. Environmental pollution is just the kind of thing I want government intervention for. Especially when polluters are fouling my children's future for some extra money. Finding more profit elsewhere is preferable to the known dangers of environmental negligence, so where's the government tyranny in that?

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Zapatos,

 

 

So what? You are still free to break the law. The law is implemented as an incintive not to do something(prevent) because you could go to jail(punishment) if you do. So while I agree with you about what a law does, it in no way falsifies my origional assertion.

Well, in response to your "So what?"

 

When you say "you have the freedom to kill", and that "Laws are not created to take away those freedoms", you are saying there are no laws created to take away your freedom to kill someone.

 

I gave two examples of laws (conspiracy and attempt) that were created that take away your freedom to commit murder.

 

These laws do not wait for a murder to occur before coming into play, thus falsifying your original assertion.

 

Putting you in jail for conspiracy to commit murder is not an 'incentive' to not commit murder.

Edited by zapatos
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Phi,

 

Bad argument, Slippery Slope fallacy. Just because it could be stretched doesn't mean it would be.
It seems that has been happening already, if only little by little.

 

Vigilance to avoid going down that slippery slope is one of the responsibilities of freedom, imo.
Isn't that what we were talking about? It is best that we understand what we are being vigilant about isn't it? Freedom may be taken, but vigilance is yours alone. If only someone's vigilance is pointing in the right direction.

 

 

Environmental pollution is just the kind of thing I want government intervention for.
You are right to a point, but I see this sort of thing getting to where it could get out of hand. Especially with this whole social movement of the past several years. Where people are starting to want government more involved in their lives because they somehow think that government knows best, or can do a better job, or that a government will listen to the people once they have that control. That of which have been historically false in most cases.

Is it fair to say that we are leaning back in a direction that we fought a war to get away from?

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It seems that has been happening already, if only little by little.

Are you kidding me? Bush gutted most of the environmental agencies and reduced their effectiveness in protecting us from polluters. Obama hasn't been able to take much ground back after a very effective GOP campaign to equate further regulations with job loss. But somehow, less regulation did NOT increase jobs like the GOP said it would. Score one for the corporations, they get to save money, dump more junk on us and increase our health risks.

 

Oh, sorry, you don't give a shit about people's health, I forgot. Freedom to pollute, freedom to be polluted, I get it.

 

You are right to a point, but I see this sort of thing getting to where it could get out of hand. Especially with this whole social movement of the past several years. Where people are starting to want government more involved in their lives because they somehow think that government knows best, or can do a better job, or that a government will listen to the people once they have that control. That of which have been historically false in most cases.

Is it fair to say that we are leaning back in a direction that we fought a war to get away from?

This whole social movement, as you put it, is citizens being vigilant about freedom being taken away. I know you equate anything to do with the government with loss of freedom and general badliness, but some of us still think our democracy is better when it's not tampered with by people who just want more of our money. We pay taxes and we want them used for better things than making rich businesses richer. Contrary to what Reagan thought, IT HASN'T BEEN TRICKLING DOWN.

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Yet the error of libertarianism lies not in championing liberty, but in championing liberty to the exclusion of all other values. Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable -- all are to take a back seat.

 

Specious, prolific argument from ignorance. Notice how the argument is framed without any distinction between law (force) and free will (liberty). Those who make this argument in this way think laws codify all of our values, and that values are only recognized when legally forced. They cannot separate their personal preferences from political force. Expect vanilla ice cream to eventually be illegal when the majority prefers chocolate, at some point in the future.

 

Society handles affection and personal space exactly how libertarians expect for personal property, happiness, personal choices..etc . Society respects the personal sovereignty of others quite well in terms of intimacy. No one is allowed to touch someone else just because they want to – coercion is not welcomed nor allowed in this case, and is illegal, but rather requires consent. Just try patting the bottom of a beautiful blonde standing in line, or give a random stranger a back rub and see how strict and severe humans are about their personal space. Yet, we would never then misrepresent them and make the argument they are anti-social, hate other people, or are affectionless and solitary. The insistence of mutual consent is not conflated and spun in such ways.

 

Libertarians extend this same respect to property and happiness. They insist on mutual consent to trade, not coercion, since their property was earned, not given to them by the state – generally by providing labor and mining wealth. And that doesn’t imply they have no intention of helping people any more than mutual consent for intimacy implies no intention of affection or social interaction. One does not follow the other.

 

The error of the critique of libertarianism by outsiders is that leftist ideologies typically use government to execute virtue – a nationalized set of altruistic values that everyone is forced to honor – whereas libertarians pursue virtue individually. This is why you see dumb statements like the above – rejection of compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect survival of the poor, weak and vulnerable – all are assumed to be ignored by libertarians since libertarians won’t agree to *coercion* to meet these ends. If it isn’t framed in law, then we must not wish to do it at all – so the logic goes. Very strange.

 

The immorality of government mandated charity forces the libertarian to redirect his altruism resources to causes he does not prioritize above his own. While I may prefer to help starving children in China, the immoral state confiscates resources I have worked to earn to give to simply impoverished people in America, that may not be starving at all, and have a home, a car, food to eat and live at a much higher standard of living relative to impoverished Chinese families. At any rate, to the libertarian, their need is perceived to be dwarfed by others in the world , and the libertarian must divert his charitable resources from causes he is morally driven to, to causes he perceives to be of less importance in terms of priority. His freedom of choice, denied.

 

Liberals and moderates use their government to provide the altruism members of a modern society need, and thus cannot escape the paradigm in order to properly represent the ideology of libertarians. Libertarians and conservatives take it upon themselves to provide the altruism and resent the coercion by the state to divert their precious resources to state endorsed charities, instead of individually chosen charity.

 

To impose a national morality that confiscates individual’s property for state recognized need is immoral, unethical and absolutely causes unnecessary suffering for any entity of need not recognized, nor realized by the state yet realized by humanity.

 

Liberals and moderates will need to explain their moral superiority in better terms than blind nationalism. That American children and families are in need is not an argument for their preference over others in need about the world.

 

America has achieved it greatness not through a single-minded ideology but through pragmatism and the wisdom to embrace several important values. A vast majority of Americans today embrace liberty, civic responsibility, and compassion, and seek a government built upon all three. We are the better individuals and a much stronger society for it.

 

Exactly. America did not achieve its greatness under a specialized, centralized value system beaten into the citizenry - it achieved it's greatness with liberty. This "single-minded" ideology promotes more diversity and more freedom than any mixture of centralized, state mandated value systems. Because all of the functions these multi-minded ideologies perform are pooled, specialized, sterile systems of repetition.

 

Libertarians believe values are best left to individuals, not nations. See History of Slavery in the United States or Women’s Suffrage or Gay Marriage for examples of why. Governments concerning themselves with the particulars of morality sterilize the diversity of morality. Governments concerned with defending the particulars of personal liberty catalyze liberty and thus diversity in morality, and everything else a person can be different about.

 

Observations of nature teach us the value of generalism over specialism. Homogeneity is exactly what the universe needs to get rid of humans – specialists unable to adapt to the scale of changes heading toward human kind right now. Global warming, impending overpopulation, meltdown of quasi-socialist-capitalist governments…etc.

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Villain,

 

Everyone already has 100% freedom as far as their actions are conscerned. You have the freedom to kill, just like anyone else. No one can take that away from you unless they lock you in a cell to prevent it. Laws are not created to take away those freedoms, but rather provide consequences as incentive not to excersize those freedoms.

 

And "freedom to not be murdered" doesn't make any sense.

 

 

Sgt. Billko,

It's funny, but for some reason slavery popped into my head when I read this sentence. Slaves can't do what they want, or even what they think is right, they contribute to civilization, and at one point slavery was the norm of that civilization. I know you weren't meaning it that way, but since it popped into my head, and once applied seemed to fit, I thought I would write it down.

 

My individual freedom stretches the course of my life, I might by the stretch of the imagination have freedom to commit murder at a specific moment in that lifetime but the consequences of that murder will impeach my freedom from that point onwards and therefore would not mean total freedom.

 

Freedom to not be murdered, is just another way to say freedom to live that ties up specifically with murder.

 

 

 

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Freedom is an often overused and trivial term in our society. At least in my opinion. If one were to simply describe in its most basic sense it would be something along the lines of the following. Which by the way was provided by a simple google search "define: freedom"

 


  •  
  • the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
  • exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  • the power to determine action without restraint.
  • political or national independence.
  • personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

 

Now while that seems real simple, it really is not. Freedom is not a realistic or tangible concept. And all too often the word "free" seems to be confused with the word "capable". Freedom to me should be limited to a concept juxtaposed to slavery or confinement.

 

It should be noted however, that the world does not work on the terms of complete freedom. We are confined to this planet for example. We are confined to being human. We are confined to sharing this world with other people. We are confined to a specific time a place at any given moment. We are confined to life, and we are confined to death. In so many ways we are not free.

 

This must be understood to come to the realization no man is completely or even mostly free. Everything everyone knows can be attributed to the work and/or the teachings of others. These are all examples how not only physical, but mental freedom are illusions.

 

Freedom to think, freedom to move, freedom to take positive actions for yourself and others are all good. However freedom to take actions to the detriment of others for one's own convenience or benefit is a perfect example of how freedom is not always the "a' okay awesomness" many conservatives make it out to be.

 

Freedom is important as to the points of free speech, free thought, and the freedom to provide for self. However, freedom can conveniently be used to avoid responsibility and practicality.

 

Finally on a side note JustinW,

Where people are starting to want government more involved in their lives because they somehow think that government knows best, or can do a better job, or that a government will listen to the people once they have that control. That of which have been historically false in most cases.

 

"Government" is not some all powerful being. The "Government" is made up of people, chosen by the people. Are you arguing that a group of people should not have the authority to force other groups of people or individuals to act for the benefit of all the people.

 

This is an example of how practicality and rationality trumps freedom. If we all have healthcare, we will all be healthier, if we limit pollution we all benefit, if we attempt to save energy we all benefit in the long run. And I value the given benefits to humankind over the individual freedom to purchase healthcare or the corporate freedom to pollute simply because it is economically convenient.

 

I suppose I just find it funny that conservatives like yourself seem so afraid of the government when it comes to setting mpg standards, or energy efficiency standards or God forbid, providing healthcare for the public. Yet I would imagine many conservatives like yourself are okay with the government arming and brainwashing millions of solders, police, and intelligence officials, tracking our phones, emails, and library records, and watching us through cameras, flying drones, and satellites to keep us "safe"

Edited by toastywombel
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Surprisingly no one has defined freedom as: wealth. Isn't that the true definition nowadays?

Wealth may enable your ability to shape the lives of others, to influence laws, and also to avoid certain regulations or obstacles to behavior for yourself and your family, but if you are suggesting that wealth is equivalent to freedom... That merely shows how watered-down and effectively useless the term "freedom" has truly become in our modern society. It's being used to mean and justify damned near anything, and inconsistently so.

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Wealth may enable your ability to shape the lives of others, to influence laws, and also to avoid certain regulations or obstacles to behavior for yourself and your family, but if you are suggesting that wealth is equivalent to freedom... That merely shows how watered-down and effectively useless the term "freedom" has truly become in our modern society. It's being used to mean and justify damned near anything, and inconsistently so.

 

I thought we should make the topic a little more political seeing as it's in the political section. What's politics without controversy? biggrin.gif

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I want to talk a little bit about a more socialized government, how I think that stiffles freedom, and maybe get some reaction (which I know is coming) on why some think I'm wrong.

 

The way I view a government encroaching on a capitalist state is basicly the same as how a proponent of democratic socialism views capitalism encroaching a socialistic government. In a paper produced by the Democratic Socialists of America, they stated, "with the globalization of capitalism, the old social democratic model becomes ever harder to maintain." If this was flipped, it would apply to the fears that proponents of capitalism share. With the growing social movement that has been building in recent years, the model of America's past that has been a source of hope, pride, and historical prosperity is at risk of becoming extinct. People look at the problems we face within our current system and turn to other models for a solution. In most examples of this, those who compare two different models often do so without first considering what is different about the two models being compared. Also, the problems of those "better" models are often overlooked or dismissed as being lesser problems. You can see examples of this anywhere from Europe to the United States. In recent years it seems as though Europe is leaning a little more towards Capitalism, while here in the US the movement has leaned more towards a form of democratic socialism. Now I'm not saying these two ways of thinking haven't been a part of governments in the past, It is just that it seems as though they have been more pronounced in recent years as they were in the past.

 

The way I think social entitlements, regulations, mandates, and ets..., stiffle freedom has to do with subtlety. Once a government restricts action they hardly ever let loose their grip. So the path seems to be a one way street as far as government control is conscerned. When a government has control over economic applications it has the economy in a stranglehold. We can see this here in the US with the manipulation of interest rates, inflation, and so on. One example is the government's involvement in the housing crisis by issuing mandates on companies to provide a certain number of people, that were well below qualifying, loans that they couldn't possibly pay back. We know that that wasn't the full cause of that crisis, but I think we can agree that that certainly didn't help.

 

We also see this in other arguments on many different topics. It usually boils down to either a socialistic problem with a capitalist solution, or a capitalistic problem with a proposed socialistic solution. My view usually doesn't lean towards a socialistic solution for two simple facts. First, I am a strong believer that people should be able to stand on their own and provide for themselves and their families. Anywhere that this is the case, I believe that it would be easier to tell those that are truly in need from those that are not. And secondly, I also believe that once you give the government control of something, there is no going back short of massive public outrage. Why knowingly put ourselves in that position? It seems that the public already get outraged enough without the mass hysteria that you see in places that do have socialistic governments.

 

I chose my signature with a certain amount of deliberation. I was thinking about how I viewed the politics of today when I chose it. It seems like a socialistic agenda means to provide equality through taxation, mandating, supplementation, and regulation all in the name of being for your own good. While a proponent of capitalism would say "you're on your own" for your own good, but will still not let the truly needy go uncared for. They believe that people are what they make of themselves. Some who argue for government to run certain things say that if the government can take care of something, you no longer need to worry about it, which leaves you more freedom to do other things. I beg to hear some examples of where this is true. Do people in more socialistic countries make more of themselves than those in capitalist countries?

 

Also why is it that people who wish to tax the rich unproportianately not consider themselves as proposing class warfare? It seems to me that that is exactly what it is. You're taxing one class of people just because they earn a higher CLASS of income. Hence "class warfare". I just wondered why they don't just come on out a say it.

 

Anyway, I'll go ahead and conclude my post with that. I hope I've satisfied Villain on presenting this as a political discussion.

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I think these two opposite-minded, fancy, famous fellas pretty much define freedom and the lack thereof..........

 

‘‘The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the underdog is a sine qua non ("without which it could not be.") for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or police.’’

 

-- Adolph Hitler :o

 

"No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

 

-- Thomas Jefferson :D

 

o'course, if the collective "we" DO NOT exercise our rights to protect ourselves from tyranny by, for example,

 

1. NOT educating ourselves beyond what the media/political machines feed us.

2. NOT voting with the 2nd amendment at a high place in mind regardless of "1" above.

3. NOT arming ourselves and be willing to use them if necessary

4. NOT ignoring signs in public places and so called "laws" in public places that violate the 2nd amendment

5. DO NOT stand up for ourselves and our sisters/brothers, even a our own financial, emotional or physical cost. :(

 

....then we've pretty much abandoned ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our fellow countrywomen/men to row in the first boat with Mr Hitler's crew.

All one can do in that case is pray and hope and pray... and did I mention pray....that the puppet masters are benevolent in all their doings and undoings :(:(

 

So, one might conclude that freedom simply means the opposite of oppression or the lack of allowing oneself to be oppressed, which can be, or at least has been, successfully achieved, with some difficulty, by adhering to the instructions of Jefferson, et al.

 

Put another way, a lack of freedom could be defined as allowing oneself to be in a situation where one can be oppressed and then allowing oneself to be oppressed in that situation.

 

Finally, freedom may be quantified. E.g., if I got more guns and ammo than you, then I have a lot more freedom than you. :D

 

PS: write in Ron Paul. He rows in the founding fathers' boat(s). :P

Edited by DrDNA
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The way I think social entitlements, regulations, mandates, and ets..., stiffle freedom has to do with subtlety. Once a government restricts action they hardly ever let loose their grip. So the path seems to be a one way street as far as government control is conscerned.

This is a pretty common misconception. In reality though, many economists think it was pressure on the SEC in 2004 to relax the rules that allowed investment banks to increase the level of debt they took on, which in turn increased the number of mortgage-backed securities supporting those toxic mortgages which lead to the financial crisis.

 

How can you call this a one-way street? Business is always going to exploit what they are able to, that's just the nature of the game. They're always going to complain that it's not enough, because they've proven that they can make a profit this way. Spend some money on lobbying to relax the rules, and get a nice hefty ROI on the investment.

 

If you relax the rules too much, you get problems. Look at the insane amounts of profit and cash most of the big corporations are sitting on and then tell me we have a problem with too much restriction of business. Look at unemployment and tell me their promises that less restriction means more jobs is true.

 

Subtlety IS being used on us to restrict our freedoms, but if it comes from the government you can bet it started with a lobbyist for some business group who stands to profit from it. We need to be more vigilant. There is enough for everyone in an economy as big as ours, but we need to be able to help each other out, that's what Americans do. Social programs and government-backed regulations that keep us free from excessive exploitation are absolutely necessary if we're to stand together as the great nation we want to be.

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Phi,

 

This is a pretty common misconception. In reality though, many economists think it was pressure on the SEC in 2004 to relax the rules that allowed investment banks to increase the level of debt they took on, which in turn increased the number of mortgage-backed securities supporting those toxic mortgages which lead to the financial crisis.

Yeah, while those same people blame that on the very people that were shouting that we had a problem. As far as I recall.

 

 

How can you call this a one-way street? Business is always going to exploit what they are able to, that's just the nature of the game. They're always going to complain that it's not enough, because they've proven that they can make a profit this way. Spend some money on lobbying to relax the rules, and get a nice hefty ROI on the investment.
Sure. I believe we agree on the lobbying issue. Which is a real issue and I believe leans towards criminality in some instances.

 

If you relax the rules too much, you get problems. Look at the insane amounts of profit and cash most of the big corporations are sitting on and then tell me we have a problem with too much restriction of business.

You'll never get me to agree to an argument based on how much cash someone has.

 

 

Look at unemployment and tell me their promises that less restriction means more jobs is true.
The flip side is just as good an argument. Further restrictions wouldn't ensure job growth, and it is known that companies have been known to pick up and move over restrictions, and that's just one example.

 

There is enough for everyone in an economy as big as ours, but we need to be able to help each other out, that's what Americans do.
Yes there is enough for those who are willing to work for it. And Americans do help out, but I would think that help is limited to those who truly need it, and not helping just for the sake of helping.

 

 

Social programs and government-backed regulations that keep us free from excessive exploitation are absolutely necessary if we're to stand together as the great nation we want to be.

This as a generality I can see your point, but would have to look at it situation by situation in order to make any decision on.
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