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« Stratfor’s Geopolitics of the United States | Main | Judea Pearl, Turing Laureate »

15 June 2012

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Steven Frisch

Nice 'framing' George-really a classic of modern day libertarian propaganda--one either agrees with your vision of fanciful, liberty filled, laissez faire market economy, one that never existed in any modern society, or one agrees with Messrs. Lakoff and Krugman, and is a "Marxist-Leninist".

With framing like this, coming from one daily cheering for the quickening of the Great Divide, you are right, there is no common ground. And ultimately that is why your world view is a radical dissent from modern democracy, modern capitalism, and modernity itself.

Dear readers should ask themselves, is Georges vision of a medieval market economy the best path for our community, our state, our nation and our world? Is it even a rationally realistic possibility?

Barry Pruett

This post (and Frisch's non-response) aptly demonstrates the issue. We are starting with vastly different foundational ideas for the role of government. The left generally believes in collective responsibility (if I fail it is because I was not getting enough help from the collective). The right generally believes in personal/individual responsibility (if I fail, I have nobody to blame but myself). As such, it is very difficult at times to find common ground.
Healthcare? Unknown common ground
Energy? Too much radical environmentalism (see above) to find common ground
Transportation? Did not really know that there was no common ground (we need roads)
Immigration? Too much politics related to the left wanting illegals to vote in order to win elections to find common ground

Gregory

There's nothing medieval about Rebane's description of a market economy, and Frisch is a firm believer in the ability of the folks like him to largely direct the local, state and national economies. All you need is for your guys to win the last election.

Markets aren't perfect, but unlike a tyranny of the majority, they are self correcting.

THEMIKEYMCD

George, one of your best posts. For a progressive to use 'moral' grounds for their arguments is ridiculous. Their goal of enslaving all for the benefit of some(elite) is deplorable.

I can see the progressive bumper stickers now-"ours is s kinder, gentler tyranny" LOL

Again, excellent piece George.

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson

Steven Frisch

First to Barry; absolutely NOT a non-response.

What I am referring to here is the creation of advantage in an argument by creating a 'frame', or a cognitive understanding of the issue, that one wishes his 'opponent', or in this case the reader, to walk into, thereby creating an advantage in the discussion. In George's case he is creating the frame of an idealized market economy without having to prove that any such thing ever existed, that such an economy is possible, or that the result of such an economy would be beneficial in any way to either the individual or society. He is juxtaposing this idealized vision with the modern reality of a blended economy with a smattering of market control and free market characteristics, in other words the economy that we have. If you are unhappy with the economy we have, he creates a new one, based on the idealized vision, and gives you an alternative to latch on to, even though it has never been created, vetted or tested. This is entirely consistent with the core concept advanced by George Lakoff in his books Moral Politics and Don't Think of an Elephant. The point that Barry sees this as a non-response merely points out to me that he has never read the books, does not understand the point I was making, and thus has absolutely no idea what the heck we are talking about.

Barry then goes on to posit a set of generalizations about what the left believes and the right believes, but is actually generalizing too much. For example, he would characterize me as a member of the left, but I, and almost everyone I know who would be similarly characterized, strongly believe in personal responsibility, and individual initiative--I merely believe that there is an appropriate balance between the individual and the systems of government and social systems we create to act as a community, or 'collective responsibility'. I do believe that we have a responsibility to help the less fortunate, to provide health care for the indigent, to create equal opportunity for education, to reward people fairly for an honest days work. There is a blend of individual and social responsibility; that is what living in a society means.

Barry similarly overgeneralizes conservative thought--I do not believe that conservatives think the poor should starve, suffer disease, remain illiterate, or work as slaves. Barry may be comfortable with such stark generalizations, but I am not.

Barry, is, in essence, doing the same thing George is doing, setting a cognitive frame that allows one to only make a choice between white and black, positive and negative,conservative or liberal, or good and evil. The world, reality, is much more nuanced than that, and the paragons of propaganda here know it. When they frame these choices between black and white (metaphorically or 'dog whistle' actually) they are doing the reader, and people in general, a disservice. They are assuming people are idiots, and incapable of seeing or understanding the nuance in life.

Steven Frisch

Greg, could you please name for me a single post medieval free market economy organized along the lines of the illuminated George Reabane's philosophy and his interpretation of Adam Smith, Frederick Bastiat and Frederick Hayek's beliefs?

Please, show me this economy and society in action, anywhere!

We have the economy we have because history, society, and culture, have led to it evolving this way. That is not to say that the current economy is not in need of reform, I strongly believe it is. But if it is, and it is along the lines many here propose,it is up to you guys, as proponents of Smith, Bastiat, and Hayek, to prove the concept.

Note: conservative economic prognosticators out there better take a much better look at Mr. Adam Smith's writings, you may be surprised at his own critique of fanciful free markets.

George Rebane

RR has qualified the notion of free-market capitalism numerous times, and its operation historically and intended in no way reflects the standard collectivist attacks on it. SteveF’s above are typical contributions off the same reel. He also misses the point that the framing of ideologies I presented and am referring to is the cited one by Lakoff and Wehling of the far leftwing.

Asking where his puerile conceptions of free-market capitalist policies have worked is a red herring. There have been no experiences (at least that I’m aware) of perfect capitalist free-markets or perfect collectivism (communism) that have ever organized any extended society of man. All we can point to are approximations of each and examine their effects and aftermaths.

In doing so, there is no doubt in the minds of conservatives and libertarians (most certainly this conservetarian) that capitalism practiced in liberty has benefited society more than any competing social and economic order, and the more so when it closer approached the ideal. And conversely, there is no doubt that collectivism in any of its forms has produced the most misery and death of any social order in history - and again, the more so when it closer approached the ideal.

It is between these two factions that I invite readers to identify or forge a common ground from which a working form of a consensus governance can emerge. Today we have entered a new realm in which each side sees a diametrically opposite way to proceed and is miserable in that no progress is being made toward what obviously would be a benevolent end.

THEMIKEYMCD

AMEN!

"...capitalism practiced in liberty has benefited society more than any competing social and economic order, and the more so when it closer approached the ideal. And conversely, there is no doubt that collectivism in any of its forms has produced the most misery and death of any social order in history..."

Douglas Keachie

I see the Job Traitors who sold out the Manufacturing Heart of the USA are out in force this morning. As for strikeout other than the Republicans and Tea Party, try these, and people stealing bases too.

http://www.macdougalearth.com/2012_06_14_Little_League/

Todd Juvinall

What is it about the liberals they are so dumb about history? Frisch is the best example of their ignorance. Our system is relatively new yet has produced the greatest stuff the planet has ever seen, yet he and they trash it. I guess they want to return to the monarchy the world knew for 10 thousand years? Amazing.

Douglas Keachie

I see Todd has never studied Sir Isaac Newton, and discounts the incredible wealth of the North American Continent, "borrowed" from the inhabitants with a 10,000 year claim to the lands.

http://rlv.zcache.com/sir_isaac_newton_tshirt-p235986848113482307enstl_400.jpg

Douglas Keachie

I understand that George is entering the soapbox derby in a vehicle he calls, "Hayak's Kayak." Ta Dump!

George Rebane

Re the Soapbox Derby this Saturday - SESF is sponsoring an entry that has been built by NUHS students.

Steven Frisch

"SteveF’s above are typical contributions off the same reel. He also misses the point that the framing of ideologies I presented and am referring to is the cited one by Lakoff and Wehling of the far leftwing."

No where did I miss that point. The point I am making is that you are engaged in your own 'framing'. (And by the way I think you know that and you are playing a semantic game here which you are wont to do)

For example: GR "I have contributed to it by asking what would one do with such a middle ground, were one to be discovered. The point being that it’s highly likely that there is no profitable middle ground to be had between today's historically polarized ideologies. By ‘profitable’ I mean one that suggests a consensus in adopting a plan forward. Historically we are now beyond that point."

The frame being set up here is that middle ground is pointless. The only choice is the Great Divide.

Next example: "Recall, that collectivism always marches under the banners of morality which, for a bunch of atheists, is surprisingly always an absolute that emerges from God(sic) knows where."

The frame is that even if middle ground could be found the left is so riddled with sanctimonious a**holes that it would not be worth it.

Next example: "These arguments and observations match the 19th century prescriptions of Marx and the 20th century diktats of Lenin to a tee - communism on cat’s feet."

The frame is that if one finds a middle ground they are 'compromising' with communism.

And finally, the frame set up by the following comment: "In doing so, there is no doubt in the minds of conservatives and libertarians (most certainly this conservetarian) that capitalism practiced in liberty has benefited society more than any competing social and economic order, and the more so when it closer approached the ideal. And conversely, there is no doubt that collectivism in any of its forms has produced the most misery and death of any social order in history - and again, the more so when it closer approached the ideal."

....is that libertarianism is inherently more peaceful and beneficent than a blended economy where there is a mix of public and private activity. This is so patently illogical that it almost defies response. There is no doubt that there have been both left wing and right wing governments that have been murderous, genocidal maniacs in practice. But for every 'left wing' murdering genocidal maniac one could find a 'right wing' or even a limited government 'libertarian' example. The distinguishing characteristic of these governments(or individuals, or cliques) is that they are murdering genocidal maniacs...whether under a fantastical free or combined corporate military government and market (like perhaps the Romans or Spartans or Ghengis Khan, or any of a myriad of medieval kingdoms, or Hitler, or Tojo, or Mussolini, or Allende, or ...) or under some fantastical 'left wing' controlled market economy (like many other medieval rulers, or Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao or Ceauscu). The idea that one can count bodies and draw conclusions from the body count is just ridiculous....the body counts are a direct relationship to the genocidal nature of the leader multiplied by the availability of the technology of the day.

As for Todd's comment....he is so far behind the pack that he does not know history when he reads it. I think his idea of history is reading names and dates, and anecdotal 'stories', never really understanding that history is much more than a chronological record of events, it is the study of aggregate past events, the relationship between them, the analysis of why things happened the way they do, how they effect our culture and institutions, and the application of that knowledge to the present and future. It not a comic book, you numbskull!

By the way, I will say it again here, as I have several times....I am a devout capitalist, and agree wholeheartedly that capitalism has brought the greatest good to the greatest number of people. With that said, I am in no way 'trashing' our system....I love our system, that is why I want to work every day to make those systems work better, to share the benefits of capitalism, to perfect its flaws, ....I some see that as antithetical, but lets be clear, we are where we are today because our systems evolved that way, they evolved that way for a reason, largely because what we were doing before simply did not work, or would not scale to the growth of our populations, or the changing needs of the time, or the advance of technology.

You want to go back to some fantasy land of a libertarian state of nature, be my guest, just get the hell out of my country when you do it, because I don't want to have to pick up the pieces of the broken culture and society you will leave behind.

Gregory

"But for every 'left wing' murdering genocidal maniac one could find a 'right wing' or even a limited government 'libertarian' example"

Please elaborate. Just off the top of my head, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Deng, Ho, Pol Pot, Tito, Ceauşescu and arguably Saddam Hussein. I decided not to wrack by brains trying to remember more minor Soviet and ChiCom dictators.

In contrast, I can't think of one murdering libertarian dictator and, in addition, think "murdering dictator" and "libertarian" are mutually exclusive by definition.

Frisch? By the way, Pinochet was no libertarian.

George Rebane

SteveF 101pm - First, let me second Gregory's 146pm.

But most important is that all debate here hits the usual brick wall of your definitions of 'right', 'left', 'capitalism', 'libertarian', etc as being black/white absolutes. For example, there is nothing in libertarianism that excludes a capitalism (blended?) which involves an appropriate regulatory environment - your version seems to reject that possibility.

And your use of 'frame' and 'framing' for every notion offered here does away with the semantic used by Lakoff, which is the same semantic used in my post for constructing the ideological summaries for progressives and conservatives. Again, debate is impossible because you put words in other people's mouths and then attack them for it.

Finally, you return to your xenophobic expressions of telling people to "get the hell out of (your) country": I'm surprised that you didn't again call me a traitor. One wonders if, perhaps, you and yours are not the greatest proponents of the Great Divide, implemented by 'my way or the highway'.

Gregory

"You want to go back to some fantasy land of a libertarian state of nature, be my guest, just get the hell out of my country when you do it, because I don't want to have to pick up the pieces of the broken culture and society you will leave behind."- Frisch, CEO of the horribly misnamed Sierra Business Council

No, the state of nature is pretty much what Frisch wants, the folks who wield the political power pretty much doing what they want to do. Think "three lions and two lambs deciding what to eat for lunch. What the Adam Smiths, John Lockes, Thomas Jeffersons, Poppers. Hayeks and von Mises argued for is very much not natural as the Frischs of the world just keep coming back for a bigger slice.

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

--“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Barry Pruett

"And your use of 'frame' and 'framing' for every notion offered here does away with the semantic used by Lakoff, which is the same semantic used in my post for constructing the ideological summaries for progressives and conservatives. Again, debate is impossible because you put words in other people's mouths and then attack them for it." Hear, hear, George.

Scott Obermuller

One of the problems here is that George is asking for a very high level of theory as to how society should be governed and too quickly the combatants have gone to the ground with knives out, rolling in the mud with "examples" of how our favorite way of life have produced imperfect results. Misrepresentation of the other sides' ideas becomes rampant and we go nowhere. It would be helpful if both sides would first comment on whether or not the ideas that George posted from Lakoff and Wehling truly represent (generally) what the left sees as the two competing ideas of economy and governance. We could go from there to a posting by ourselves or George on what modern conservatives view as the same two competing ideas of economy and governance. It would be most helpful if we could divorce these lofty thoughts from party affiliations and platforms or we'll be back on the ground squabbling. It's time for breakfast. My thoughts on the matter will form as I enjoy my yogurt and fruit.

Todd Juvinall

I have to humbly admit that I use my personal experiences and interactions in my comments. I did not take the courses necessary to debate some of these ideas as well as George, Greg, Barry and some others. My views may sometimes veer into my real world experiences I was involved in and what I saw as the outcomes (if any) of those happenings.

I think Keachie and others do the same thing (except the grand egoists Frisch and Pelline)but at least I don't try and be something I am not in regards to smarts as DougK does. He just has a different life's experience which I read here as lacking in what I, a retired builder and Supervisor see as common sense. That is the reason I don't engage him most of the time. I don't think he is a bad guy, just misguided.

Scott Obermuller

That was a great piece by Lakoff and Wehling. A pretty typical leftish bit of drivel that tries to pass as serious writing. It probably does represent how the left views conservatives. What is interesting is that there is no attempt to prop up any of their assertions with any facts or proof. It must be pretty cool to fabricate something negative about those you don't agree with and have it pass into the realm of fact without the worry of any questioning. "Those who are needy are assumed to be weak and undisciplined and, therefore, morally lacking. The most moral people are the rich." Can anyone out there in reality land find any quotes by some one of record on the conservative side that have said any of this?
"Preaching about the deficit is only a means to an end - eliminating funding for The Public and bringing us closer to permanent conservative domination."
They now have wandered off into space and have exposed their true ignorance of economics. I suppose a million conservatives could sit with the good lefties and individually explain how deficits are bad for individuals, bad for companies and really bad for govts, but they are all lying, apparently. American conservatives want the Constitution followed and that means public funding for some, but not an unlimited amount of, programs. How does the Constitution eliminate public funding or establish conservative domination?
The free market has no morality and that is a good thing. The free market is just a tool and I don't want my tools trying to second guess me every time I try to use them. A hammer can build houses or crush skulls. The person gripping the handle will decide. If you want the hammer to decide at every blow, good luck being able to afford purchasing the hammer in the first place and God help you try to swing the thing at nails for a day. The purpose of the govt is to ensure that the citizens' rights are upheld, not to provide us with goods. The market is to provide us with a knowable and certain set of rules for conducting trade and business that will apply to all equally. The purpose of the market is not to make sure that everyone has largely the same amount of stuff.

Gregory

Is Frisch still off assembling the list of libertarian dictators he assured us were out there in equal numbers to the murdering left wing dictators of the recent past?

The funny thing is I'm quite sure he believed it when he wrote it, what a shame he can't just come out and admit he had experienced a massive brain fart. Maybe it was a crash from a sugar high due to a dozen donuts for breakfast that morning. The cornerstone of a nutritious breakfast, next to cheeseburgers.

Douglas Keachie

"What tax cuts will you give me, say the Grimm Bells of Romney..."

Of course Greg will me more than happy to provide a list of libertarian leaders of nations or movements instanter...if they exist.

Gregory

Ask Frisch, he was the one who stated there were enough of them that had gone bad to balance out, in number, the murdering left wing dictators.

Keach is just looking for fights.

Douglas Keachie

Nope, looking for information, unlike Greg who apparently lives to belittle and insult.

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