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Are libertarians blind to systems of central control that are less obvious than government?

Private property is a core value of libertarians. But does private property lead to a utopia of small landholders freely farming and trading?

Consider this: Whoever has land will use it to get more money, land, and political power leading to concentrations of wealth and power.

  • Jun 9 2013: Remember the USSR? They were communist, private property was (officially) forbidden, but even so the wealthy few concentrated all the power while the masses lived in poverty.

    So this is not a problem of political affiliation, it is deeply linked to the way our brain is wired, and to our evolution. In whatever form of political organization you may choose, there will always be a group of people twisting the rules in order to concentrate the power.
    • Jun 10 2013: Look at tribal society. This is the way humans lived for the majority of our species existence. Close knit tribes had/have enough social pressure to prevent anyone from accumulating wealth. Or their style of technology is that your personal wealth was limited to what you could carry.
      • Jun 10 2013: So perhaps we should take a closer and deeper look at tribal societies and make a serious review of what we understand for equality and progress.
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    Jun 11 2013: I am still not convinced that libertarians are that blind. Mostly, they want smaller government, they don't seem to be overly concerned about other systems of central control. Non public central controls systems usually are controlled by market forces not laws as are governments.
    Libertarians like markets for many reasons. Markets are like women. When they love you, they really love you. You will have joy and happiness and all your dreams are fulfilled. If they turn on you. You are in Hell. You lose all your money, all your friends and your happiness. Sometimes, markets are accepting of a business that is not fully trustworthy. You have probably have known women that seemed overly attracted to bad boys. But, markets usually stop being amused by such bad boys and crush them under her heels.
    Governments try to control markets by laws and compliant regulations. She really doesn't like to be controlled. Most often she is compliant, but let it be said that governments will make an error and market will move in and bring governments down. She is unforgiving to those that think they know her and control her. Libertarians love market.
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    Jun 9 2013: please explain me how can you, with money, take my land
    • Jun 10 2013: Libertarians should be smart enough to see that their idea of the political effect of land ownership is a fantasy. Both in practice and in theory, it does not lead to a utopia of small landholders freely farming and trading. Because land ownership channels wealth to those who already have wealth, it is politically destabilizing. Whoever owns land will use it to get more money, more land, and more political power, leading as sure as water running downhill to a system where one giant multi-tentacled concentration of wealth/power commands almost all the land and all the people.
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        Jun 10 2013: you did not answer my question.

        your view of libertarianism is ... not the most precise to put it that way. no doubt, libertarians are not a hive mind, some of them might say that free market leads to small farms, fat cows and smiling farmers. libertarian doctrine tells that whoever owns the land, owns the land. you have no moral right to interfere, let alone take it by force. in a libertarian society, the only way to acquire land is to buy it. buying means voluntary transfer from one owner to another. you, being a third party, has absolutely no say in that matter. if you don't want all land to fall in the hands of one (which does not happen anyway, but hey), you are free to buy land yourself, and keep it. you can also organize a campaign and convince small farmers to keep their lands. you can pay them money to support them in that. what you can not do is to take someone else's property by force, for the sake of ... <insert something awesome here>
        • Jun 10 2013: You question is irrelevant.

          You do not know my view of libertarians for I have only stated that private property is their core value. Pat Gilbert agreed.

          This is not about taking land from a landowner although this can be done by eminant domaine.

          Central power other than government power corrupts too.
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        Jun 10 2013: i don't understand your motivation here. you have opened a conversation, yet you refuse to participate in it. you are satisfied with dismissing and ignoring counterarguments. are you genuinely interested in differing opinions, or you just want to hear reinforcements to your own sentiments?

        my question was very much central to your claims, and attempting to answer would reveal the falsehoods of your assumptions. after you refused to answer, i have elaborated why it is impossible to take all the land if you already have some. i have also explained why it is immoral to attempt to control this. you did not even try to reply any of these.

        never mind, here is my 3rd attempt, this time not trying to provoke cooperative thinking, just stating my point in a plain way. here is a list of the fallacies you have made:

        1. property automatically creates more property, land allows you to get more land. no, it does not. only in the hands of an able entrepreneur, property grows. in the hands of an unskilled entrepreneur, property shrinks.

        2. having some money grants you power. no, having any amount of money grants you no power at all, unless you engage in criminal activities.

        3. concentration of means of production is bad. no it is not. means of production concentrates in the hands of the most efficient provider. extreme concentration means that said provider outperforms all its competitors. this concentration remains until as the competition catches up, or the said provider screws up, which is inevitable sooner or later.

        4. "political power". in a libertarian society, there is no political power at all. political power exists only in non-capitalist societies. politics is exactly the non-capitalist part of a mixed (partially capitalist) society.
        • Jun 11 2013: Money is power. Isnt it just an agreed upon symbol for the exchange of power. Land can be a moneymaker. Ask a wise invested, a productive piece of land is always a safe investment.

          True not everyone will buy land to attain more money more power but some will. If one can buy up all the water rights timber, or mineral rights of a region then does he not have a great deal of power in that region?

          I do no buy ur statement "money is not power unless used for criminal purposes"

          Also I believe it a fantasy to say there will ever be politicians who can't be bought. That's like saying Christians won't lie cheat or steal because its against their beliefs.
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        Jun 11 2013: let's just forget all your entirely unsupported claims, and misunderstandings of my statements. let's focus on your repeated claim about a man can buy up all of a certain resource, and rule.

        how would that happen? could you please flash out an imaginary future timeline of it, in detail? suppose initially we have one million land owners. let it be a free, unhampered market. one of them decides to buy all the land. how does he proceed? questions to answer:

        1. how he manages to cough up the money for it? in a free market, land priced according to its productivity. you can only hope for profit only if you know something better than current land owners.

        2. let us assume that this man is the best goddam farmer/inventor, so he can indeed make more profit, and expand. wouldn't land price go up as a result of massive buying? unless of course he plans to buy the entire globe overnight.

        3. suppose the guy already owns 90% of the land. don't you think that the remaining 100 thousand small land owners start to ask, hey, maybe i should hold onto my property, as its price is rising?

        4. during all this time, nobody else had the same idea. why? how come not a single other entrepreneur realized this opportunity? at the end, we will have not one, but two, three, five, whatever number of land owners.

        5. is this sound plausible for said super-entrepreneur that he will hold onto each and every piece of land, which are extremely varied in their characteristics. this man is so great of a genius, he can make a profit everywhere, every kind of land, jungle, desert, ice, mountains. there never will be the case that someone says, hey man, i would pay you more for that piece of land than you make out of it. because i have a better idea how to use it. so he is either better than anyone, or willing to lose money on principle? if he is indeed better, i do want him to rule the globe!
        • Jun 12 2013: I said region not world. Very important distinction.

          But you are right it is implausible that one person/corporation will snatch up all the land in a state.

          But I don't concede every point to you. Examples of water rights being held by one corporation are real. I realize privatization makes distribution more efficient but morally it is questionable because the incentive to provide for the most needy is not there since they cannot afford the rates. T. Boone Pickens bought a bunch of land in Texas to sell the water rights to Southwestern cities. His plan fell through but that may be because he's ahead of the game. For his plan to be profitable the cost of water will have to skyrocket. The poor will be the ones that lose the most.

          Having all land held in private property relegates people to work for wages. Even the the feudal serfs would be offended to have to work for a wage. The enclosure acts most active during industrial revolution forced self sufficient farmers from land that was considered wide open for anyone to cross, occupy, or use. Of course the lords extorted the wealth from the land.

          Libertarians preach liberty for all but if you don't have access to life's basics because of a system that forces you to work poverty wages than you do not have liberty.
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        Jun 12 2013: sorry for refuting an even stronger claim. regional monopoly actually grants you even less power, since people can just buy stuff from outside the region.

        "water rights" is a nonexistent term in a free market. guess what, if you refer to the water crisis in i don't remember what central american or south american country, it was the government's job. that company didn't go around buying "water rights" from the people. it was granted those rights by the government, against the will of the people.

        working for a wage is a good thing. it means you don't have to bear any risks. if the company fails, you get your money anyway, up to the point of bankruptcy, in which case you just walk away, and pick another job. it is not a necessity. it is an opportunity. we choose to work for a wage, as opposed to be entrepreneurs.

        libertarian don't preach liberty for all. if you don't want liberty, you can give it up. you can sell yourself as slave or serf is you so desire. libertarians preach liberty for everyone that wants it. thus, we oppose any attempts to coerce people to comply with your or anyone's values. if you want me to live by your values, convince me. that is the civilized way. there is no third way. either you use force against people that disagree with you, or you don't. if you don't, it is the libertarian world. it is the free market.
        • Jun 12 2013: So how does one survive if they don't have any property to be self sufficient? Oh just become an entrepenuer... like its that easy and all of them keep afloat.

          I don't see how one is not forced into wage labor. Unless they decide to prostitute or sell organs.
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        Jun 12 2013: this phrase "don't have any property to be self sufficient" does not make sense to me. either does not have any property, or does not have property necessary to be self sufficient. the former case is impossible, you have your body and time. you can simply work as an employee, earn money, and be happy. the latter case is not a problem. i don't have the necessary property to be self sufficient. i have a small amount of land, not enough to make all the vegetables and grains to survive. but i don't care. i work as a programmer, i pick up my paycheck every month, i go to the supermarket, and buy the stuff i need. i prefer this setting, i hate planting and harvesting. i fail to see how am i "forced" into wage labor. wage labor is the best thing ever. i love it.
        • Jun 12 2013: Congratulations. So stop forcing your lifestyle on other people.

          Many many people don't have options and therefore work for poverty wages.
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        Jun 12 2013: i don't, and i did not even attempt. anti free market people do. i want you to realize that you are the one pushing your world view on others.
        • Jun 12 2013: Realize I am not pushing ANYTHING. I am arguing the belief that you can have liberty and private property at the same time.

          Not once have I advocated any kind of ideology. I am merely questioning things. I do not have a solution that I want to push on the ted crowd.

          I said stop forcing your lifestyle on other people because in my view you advocate for a system that keeps people in wretched poverty. Free markets do not incentivize providing anything for the people that have no money. What can these people do? There is no land to hunt and forage because private property killed that lifestyle. If they are lucky enough to own a little land it will still not be enough to provide all their needs. They can work in dangerous factories that pay barely enough to survive and that's about it.
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        Jun 12 2013: yes, you are pushing. you side with aggressors. granted, siding with aggressors is not the same as committing aggression, but not ethical either.

        once again: if you do not use force, you have free market. that is a logical consequence. you have to choose. you want to let people to live their lives as they choose to, or you don't. time to take a side. there is no third option. either you let people to have property and sell their property, or you don't want to let them. all else is just muddying the waters. come out of the closet!
        • Jun 13 2013: "if you do not use force, you have free market." Well the majority of North and South America were taken by force from the native americans. I already mentioned the enclosure acts in Europe. Seems to me private property spawned from force. Agriculturilists from the time of Babylon continued expanding and expanding. It's not like all of a sudden in 10,000 BC everybody discovered grain agriculture and then divided the land on a free market. No. Tribes and bands that had no sense of land ownership were either forced to assimilate or slaughtered to clear the way.


          Wretched poverty is not the natural state of man. Read about it in an anthropology book. Tribes and bands may have had natural disasters that set them back but they did not live in wretched poverty. Why? Because they knew how to harvest food from the land and the land was shared through a long line of kinship.

          I am not calling for a return to that life because for one we've forgotten it and two its unfair to redistribute land.

          So how do we keep what is good in civilization and stop the unnatural suffering so many millions are forced to deal with? That is what I wonder. Thomas Paine had some suggestions. I'm sure you'd dislike it since it has to do with payments to people.
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        Jun 13 2013: so what? libertarians do not endorse, rather condemn taking land by force. those people were not libertarians.

        you need to read about anthropology and history more, as poverty is the natural state, as it can be observed in tribes today. they live short, they suffer illnesses, their children die. but this is not the point, if you want to live such a life, go ahead. you can team up with a hundred other guys, buy some forest in brazil or savannah in africa, and go hunting. you might face some threats and opposition, but none of that will come from a libertarian. they will come from robbers, either private ones or states.
        • Jun 13 2013: Tribes people do not sell their body and time because they are free to survive off the land they were born into.

          Your average sweatshop worker works most of the day. They risk their long term and short term life for a wage that buys them what tribes people can produce themselves in a much much shorter period of time.

          What tribes people lack is law and order and the medical advances that civilization benefits from.

          So what? So being in a condition of starvation, long hours of work, and dangerous filth is not a consistent historical condition.

          It doesnt matter the ideology of the people that conquered the traditional tribal lands what matters is that we know people do not have to suffer in this way. We need to find a way to stop an unfair system.
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        Jun 13 2013: your romantic view of tribal people is entirely baseless. more on that in the talks:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html
        http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html
        • Jun 14 2013: Steven Pinkers talk about decline of violence is nothing new to me. I had mentioned that tribal societies need law and order. I do not romanticize tribal life. I am stating that in a lot of respects people were better off compared to the wretched poor of civilization. I read Jared Diamond's book The World Until Yesterday.
          Jared Diamond who has lived among various New Guinea tribes and has studied traditional societies vs. civilized life says this:
          "Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers reallyworse off than farmers? Scattered throughout the world, several dozengroups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen,continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these peoplehave plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard thantheir farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted eachweek to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen,14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, whenasked why he hadn’t emulated neighboring tribes by adoptingagriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so manymongongo nuts in the world?"While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice andpotatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of survivinghunter-gatherers provides more protein and a bettter balance of othernutrients. In one study, the Bushmen’s average daily food intake (duringa month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance forpeople of their size. It’s almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousandsof Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.So the lives of at least the surviving hunter-gatherers aren’t nasty andbrutish, even though farmes have pushed them into some of the world’sworst real estate."
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          Jun 14 2013: Oh no first it was Al Gore and now this, next you are going to tell me that there is no global warming, I'm so confused.
        • Jun 16 2013: If you really believe subsistance farmers or sweatshop workers are better off than traditional hunter gatherers than fine. I don't think you want to believe it.

          I believe the archaeological evidence and logically makes sense to me.
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        Jun 16 2013: it is not logical, it is just romantic and wishful thinking. who forces those people into "sweatshops"? nobody forces them, they go back to their old habits. they want to work there, because they want the money. your misguided views hurt poor people.
        • Jun 16 2013: People do wish to abandon subsistence agricultural life and what some find is a job that requires long hours with no or very little safety precautions. Relative low pay. Yes "sweatshops" are what people refer to these jobs.

          Now you seem to be claiming that civilized subsistence agriculuralists are better off than our tribal hunter gatherer ancestors. You claim that these tribal people are violent and nobody in civilization is better off living that lifestyle. You are right that you have a greater chance of being murdered in a tribal society than civilized. But this is just one aspect of tribal life. Should we not try to learn anything from these societies? Or are they too "brutish" for ya?

          I say that our tribal ancestors are very valuable because they have been doing social experiments on how to live for 10's of thousands of years. Turns out there's a lot of diversity on how to live.

          Tribal hunter gatherers spend less time acquiring food, shelter, clothing from their environment that either subsistence farmers or wage workers at sweatshops.


          This is what is upseting that I name one good aspect about tribal life and you go all romance and wishful thinking on me. I find that narrow minded.

          So yes I believe civilization should work on a proper way to end wretched poverty for it is a very recent occurence in human history
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        Jun 16 2013: that is the myth of the noble savage. you are romanticizing poverty. many did that, and probably many will be. it is nothing but a mistake, if you just say that. but alas, sometimes policies stem from that kind of thinking. we want to preserve the culture of these native people, we want to "defend" them from civilization. those people can't want to get all the benefits we have. they don't want to preserve their lifestyle, only you believe they do. just as europe chose agriculture and modern technology over hunger and despair, all other nations all around the globe want to make that step forward.
        • Jun 18 2013: The noble savage is a myth of peace loving, nature loving tribes people. Clearly I do not believe either of these myths. But poverty? I think that's more your perspective.

          Poverty is relative. I would say someone is more impovershed if they go to bed hungry than if they have little to no personal belongings. But hey I like to eat.

          Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae c. 1500 B. C. suggest that royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth (on the average, one instead of six cavities or missing teeth). Among Chilean mummies from c. A. D. 1000, the elite were distinguished not only by ornaments and gold hair clips but also by a fourfold lower rate of bone lesions caused by disease.

          Similar contrasts in nutrition and health persist on a global scale today. To people in rich countries like the U. S., it sounds ridiculous to extol the virtues of hunting and gathering. But Americans are an elite, dependent on oil and minerals that must often be imported from countries with poorer health and nutrition. If one could choose between being a peasant farmer in Ethiopia or a bushman gatherer in the Kalahari, which do you think would be the better choice?

          You say europeans "chose" agriculture and modern technology. Where's the evidence? How are a few tribes people going to fight off an overpopulated farming population? I say your using the old adage might makes right.
        • Jun 18 2013: Read Agrarian Justice by Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine had first hand experience observing american indian life.
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        Jun 18 2013: again, you are free to love the state of existence 20000 years before. it gets evil only when you support policies that keeps people in that state against their will. nobody that has that life, likes it. only people in privilege, like you, likes it. today, a beggar eats better food today than many kings did five thousand years ago. i'm not going to debate it. you need to select your readings better. do not rely on paleolithic diet leaflets.
        • Jun 19 2013: What policies do you think I support that are forcing tribal people to do anything?.

          Where is the beggar from? If from an industrialized nation than I could believe this.

          I would say that a diversity of food like what most hunter gatherers eat gives the body a range of nutrients. Eating primarly starchy carbohydrates like the poor civilized masses leaves the body lacking nutrients.

          To say that tribes want to leave their life for modernity is using a broad brush to paint. For one, you assume they are leaving because they want to participate in the world economy. It very well could be the case that they are tired of the endless revenge killing and prefer state governance. And of course there are numerous examples of tribes that want nothing to do with the outside world such as the Sentinelese. Others want to trade for goods but want to keep their culture and lands. And yes others have fully immersed themselves in civilized life.

          In conclusion, before you scoff at their way of life consider that if tribes are anything they are diverse. And just like our biospher needs biodiversity for survival, humans ought to value cultural diversity for our survival.
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        Jun 19 2013: i don't know, but it would be weird if you would not support policies you consider aim at the good thing. i can imagine for example that you would try to stop a factory (sweatshop, as you like to call it) from being built in such an area, "for the sake" of the people living there. this is the point where being wrong turns into doing wrong.
  • Jun 9 2013: Libertarians seem to be blind to nature. They see people as coming with language and reason already installed instead of being the feral creatures we would default to if not led to take uptake these bridging routes to civilization. Territorialism and self-interest govern the natural world including us and "belief" in automatic order is just that--faulty belief. The way nature really works is that faultiness is the rule--not the exception. Many people can not be reasoned with. Every family has at least one person with a screw loose or w/e. The more of them you put closer together, the less one should assume people will be mindful of boundaries.
  • Jun 19 2013: YES!!!!!!
    Remember the saying: "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."
    Jefferson said "every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant."
    There are 2 centrifugal forces for our power: political and economic. It's ignorant to make a devil of the one, and an angel of the other.
    Corporations are merely financialized capitalism, essentially merging the principles of banking with commerce. When banks gave out loans and the managers of each lot got full ownership at a later date, that was democratic capitalism at work. In a mixed economy -- some labor/user oriented, others the corporate-owned slum lord style -- things can still prosper. In a system where all real estate is owned by the banks, and the caretakers are merely underlings, that's anti-entrepreneur. How is that any different than feudalism?
    When the laws are titled toward corporations, and either attack or actively shield the attackers, of on-site ownership, that's not fairness. That's blindness to bullying.
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    Jun 19 2013: How about a link to some Libertarian thought specific to YOU. Or maybe some Libertarian thought that you do NOT agree with. Either way, we will have a measure of exactly WHAT it is that you are talking about here and exactly WHAT your goal is with regard to why you started this conversation.

    Links to TED videos are important in a conversation like this. Also are links to outside web sites that you agree or disagree with. I am asking for the "Big Picture" here. And something from a third party (a link) can be very helpful in helping me and others to understand what issues you wish to explore.

    Furthermore, we want to participate in this conversation. For me, that is part of how I learn on TED. I learn things from people who are willing to post these conversations. My motivation is to learn more. How about you?

    I deeply appreciate Krisztian Pinter engaging with you, here, as he has. I thank him for that. He's a smart guy who has made a significant contribution to TED - and that number 200+ next to his name reflects that! I was so proud when I got 10+ TEDCRED! I achieved a goal! How clever of TED to arrange things that way.

    Also, I like Pat Gilbert, but he directed me to a rather lengthy video in an effort to educate me. Self-education is part of why I am here, so I took the bait. The video was well made and informative, but it was made by a guy who was into 'tax-evasion-as-a-political-statement.' The person responsible for the video had done time in prison for that. Not only did that put his authority outside the mainstream of political & economic thought, but it also put him outside the law. But Pat's OK

    People establish a presence on TED because they can & because they have a reason to be here. Some just want to learn something new (like me). Some have a set of ideas/ experiences that they just want to communicate or explore (That is also true for me. I had to sort that out for myself.)

    Why do you want to be here? Please share with us.
    • Jun 20 2013: I really do not have an agenda for this conversation. You are the second one to ask me that. I am interested in libertarianism because I don't like government and libertarians are the biggest government bashers. (besides anarchists maybe?) Why do I despise government? Because they make decisions for me, they spend my money on shitty projects, and bureaucrats are a bunch of elitist money whores.

      So I was thinking you know government is just a bunch of people in positions of power. What about other people in positions of power. Does concentrated wealth infringe on peoples liberties.? Would a free market allow great concentrations of wealth?

      Then I was thinking about the idea of land ownership. Everybody relies on the resources on our earth to survive. There is no frontier or free land anymore. Although the landowner has an incentive to make the land productive and thus providing peoples needs he does not have an incentive to sell to people that cannot afford to pay. So water that could be shipped to poor drought areas goes to places like Dubai maybe. Is this the best system.
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        Jun 20 2013: Thanks Brian, THAT makes sense to me! I'd hope that you could share more with us in terms of your insight and experiences that lead you to these conclusions. You might find an audience here at TED that agrees with you.

        But as a cautionary statement, you ALSO risk having to face a great deal of disagreement. You can be made to feel VERY uncomfortable here on TED if you make too big an investment in a debate that is supposed to be both rigorous and academic. So be careful. And good luck.
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    Jun 11 2013: Alexander, when you say things like: "The best thing that could have happened is if the economy had not improved and people got really really angry." I assume you are talking about the "Bail-outs". I agree. It would have hurt many people but at the time many people had a savings account. Picking up the pieces would have been easy because lots of pieces would have been lying around.. :)

    Families would be firmer together by this time, living in homes like yours and working cooperatively, with new, local leadership that could be trusted.

    But it didn't happen that way. Did you read my comments on why we will never build another United States manufacturing framework?

    It takes off from something that was stated by Theodore Hoppe so you need to read his comment first and also watch the videos he posts. Then you can read my comments and read the websites I posted and understand my summery. It has to do with Patents and tax loopholes. It is these two thing which "assure" that the Untied States will never become a manufacturing oasis again.

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/18791/why_are_companies_corporations.html

    If there are no manufacturing jobs for those Americans who are part of the bottom 40 percent, we are stuck with unemployment and will, eventually factor in welfare once again to make up the difference. The prisons are full. We can't put to many more people in there. :)
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        Jun 11 2013: LaMar I'll have to comment on this in the Email. I'll get back to you.
        John.
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    Jun 11 2013: Alexander, you need to extend your conception of an ideal community based on your concepts of simple living in order to establish a framework for those who may need it in the near future, if things take a dive into chaos. What you have done is what is sorely needed in this country right now.

    You are right about us being a leaderless society right now. It is every man for themselves and winner take all. Those in the middle class who have survived the collapse, are the slaves or the Wealthy elite. They are fast becoming the managers of their wealth. When a college president can make a million dollar salary, it is indicative of a moral decline in the whole of the upper 20 percent of our nation.

    They are killing off the idea of God and Family in our nation through our schools. They are poisoning the minds of our children. My ideas about God are very personal but I consider the idea of Religion to be a right of the people and we should all respect them for their beliefs. If one right in our country is to be considered as standing as an image of the heart and soul of the United States, it is this one right.

    During the Great depression, it was not the government that saved the people, it was the Christianize Middle Class and some wealthy donors. It was not the Educational elite. Let's hope these “Christians” don't go away anytime soon because I really do believe that if they do, our moral compass goes with them.
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        Jun 11 2013: These organization decline because of their ideas about social engineering and population control were being looked at with a fine toothed comb. The atrocities committed in some European countries were fully exposed to the public. That, of course left a vacuum for the new physiological and medical research to come online in the 60's.

        All of WWII was a war about corporate takeover.The big problem for corporation back them was finding capital to start new endeavors. So, they stole the money from the Jews and exterminated the evidence. before going to Europe, they tried in the United States in 1933 I believe. All the big families were involved but the plan collapse because the General they wanted to mach on Washington turned tail on them. The military they were going to use was the former WWI veterans.

        Where we are headed is to a society similar to the one use in the background of the movie the "The Hunger Games."

        Like the barbed wire of the old west, Those who are creating this new society, will fence off major cities that will be used to house the Educated and wealthy. It is not the Wealthy who are creating this society. It is the Educated. They control the money of the dumb wealthy people.

        Have you ever saw the movie "Born Rich", filmed by Jamie Johnson of the Johnson and Johnson family. He made a movie about the young kids, like himself, who were going to inherent their families fortunes, In that movie, the full details of the ignorance of those with old family wealth was revealed. It was their money managers that were investing their money. They are the ones connected to the people (connected with the government) who are planning our new future. this is common knowledge among educated Liberals but apparently the conservatives don't get it yet.

        It's not about politics, it's about separation from overpopulation and preservation of the resources There are only two political factions in the US. today, The Educated (MC) and Wealth owners.(Republicans).
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    Jun 10 2013: I think, in the past, this is what Americans did before the 1900's. People owned land, cultivated it and traded the crops for other commodities. Towns grew up around these farms, mines, tree forests, etc.

    In the towns lived the lawyers, Judge, Mayor, Store owners, sewers, blacksmith, and other craftspeople. Owning land and producing something was the way of life back then.

    I'm sure everyone is familiar with the great dust storms of the Midwest during the "Dirty Thirties" and the Great Depression. this caused many people to move back into the cities and transferred loads of agriculture to the east and west coast. Combined these events with the end of WWII and we have the beginnings of the suburbs. That is how things are today.

    While the libertarians might entertain a return to this kind of life, they would have to unsorted the way things are today, move a load of people around country and create a different form of industrialization.

    I don't see it happening in the near future. Most Libertarians have little impact of the politics of today.

    We live in a earth or political climate. we have evolved to a threshold where will will move IMO, backwards and stagnated or forward towards a more socialistic political climate. The wealth has been too consolidate in the US. What directions this country will take will depend on what the wealthy want to do, what kind of country they want to build.

    The rest of us are merely spectators.
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        Jun 11 2013: Alexandr. I like that name :)

        You say:
        "The people have all the power they need to change this country and the world but they sit on it and won't use it. If every working person refused to pay their taxes for one year they would force the government to do what the people want.

        If the people that work labor jobs just refused to work for one month they could force every business to raise wages so people can live. We need a revolutionary leader like MLK or Ghandi to make it happen but no leader that anyone trusts has stepped forward. The people are ready and the time is right! "

        This is a correct assumption when considering the feelings of a people, their emotional attachment to the land of their birth and their families. Is it right for a government to forcefully take money from people and use it for purposes that are not alined with the desires of the people. I agree, it is not right.

        People are alined in groups across our nation and long to pursue this cause but, the time is not right. We would be making the same mistake that is happening in Turkey at this moment. They are leaderless (Yes a leader is necessary, someone grounded in the hearts of the people). and they are surrounded by enemies who water at the mouth for the opportunities that occur when a people loose their way.

        We are alined with both Russia and China right now. We are seeking, I believe, an alliance that will fix control of all nuclear weapons and give this alliance the right to determine who can and will produce nuclear weapons. This is what all this travel back and forth is about with the President. Without such an alliance, the cost of doing business in each of these countries will become destabilized by terrorist nations.
        As to taxes, I think it can be resolved in a meaningful and political fashion but has to be constructed in a long term framework. We can't do it in one or two election cycles. It's long term.
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    • Jun 10 2013: Government land as you mentioned BLM and Parks have a special purpose so even though the land belongs to the citizens the citizens have restricted rights on the land.
  • Jun 10 2013: I appreciate the idea of social regression. A simple life free of politics.
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    Jun 10 2013: This is a tough question. Are you saying that there are other systems of central control that are not governments that libertarians are unaware? Systems of central control is kind of a definition of government but, OK, let's go with this.

    I guess that small private property landowners freely farming and trading could establish an utopia. It's not impossible.

    But.... "whoever has land will use it to get more money, land, and political power leading to concentrations of wealth and power" is pretty much an absolute declarative statement. And everyone knows including libertarians that the only true absolute declarative sentence is: "Two things are certain, death and taxes." Of course, in the words of Will Rogers, "death don't get worse, every time congress is in session"
    • Jun 10 2013: Who controls government? The governing? Us? Good point
    • Jun 10 2013: Executives of a corporation are central control so are board members of common land. There are examples other than government.

      Mike your first sentence is true. That is what I am saying. See all these libertarians on here are writing me about how bad the gov is. (which I agree) but it goes to show they are one track minds.
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    Jun 9 2013: I find it hard to "lump" anything into one sock ... Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should have a role. Anarchist schools advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchist schools advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some schools accept government assistance for the poor. Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.

    I am not aware of the "blind" Libertarian thoughts or political stands.

    By your last paragraph: Consider this: Whoever has land will use it to get more money, land, and political power leading to concentrations of wealth and power .... What political party should NEVER own property based on it political philosophy .... what political party would NEVER allow big government because of the concentration of wealth and power .... once you start to generalize it is hard to control.

    I am a Independent and can define that anyway I want to. Every party has good and bad points .... I would personally take a slice from all platforms and then apply them to the Constitution .... those that pass muster would stay ... those that do not meet Constitutional standards would be eliminated. The Federal government has limited powers in the Constitution .... we should return to that and do away with the career politicians.

    Now a question for you ..... where is it that you are trying to guide this conversation to? Socialist and Communist societies are against private land ownership ... are you advocating this?

    By tribes and bands do you mean cultures? Is there a society with more liberties (even though they are currently being lost) than the USA.

    Perhaps I do not see your point. If not help me out here.

    Bob.
    • Jun 10 2013: Well I pick libertarians because the core value says its liberty but it's really private property. Private property is a very recent and radical techniques of domination.

      I do not advocate socialism/communism.

      Tribes being no more than 150 members with no central leader. Their way of life does have more liberty than the USA. By leaps and bounds. Of course you are right, I shouldn't generalize. What we consider freedoms, tribal people may feel social pressure to not be lazy bums like americans have the freedom to be.
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        Jun 10 2013: Brian, In my readings about libertarians I have missed your central "fact" regarding their radical domination technique of property ownership. Based on that the Libertarian Party should be the largest in the USA.

        As you explain how you came to that conclusion please explain how the USA became the lazy bum center. I am unaware of tribes with less than 150 members and no leadership ... please provide an example.

        Also, you failed to explain where you were going with this.

        If you do not mind it would be interesting to know where you are from .... do you have land ownership there ... are the Libertarians in majority ....

        Thanks.
        • Jun 10 2013: You've read wayy too much into this libertarian party stuff. I simply said private property is the core value of libertarians not liberty.

          I never said USA lazy bum center. That all came from you.. I was making an example stating that americans have the option to be lazy bums. How could you misread this so badly?
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        Jun 10 2013: Brian, You are correct. You did say "opportunity". You did say "Well I pick libertarians because the core value says its liberty but it's really private property. Private property is a very recent and radical techniques of domination."

        Could you give an example of tribes under 150 and no leadership? Where are you going with this? If you do not mind it would be interesting to know where you are from .... do you have land ownership there ... are the Libertarians in majority ....

        Your right I am having trouble addressing your conversation. As I stated before it was very general and I addressed that. To put us on the same page ..... where is the conversation going .... what is it you wish to discuss .... I really am trying to understand .... thanks.
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    • Jun 10 2013: That's like a liberal saying I approve of government programs and the ones that abuse the system are just collateral damage.

      I hate it when i cant camp in someones backyard. I feel like i have no freedom.
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        • Jun 10 2013: Hey you're preaching to the choir on that government part. I believe that in a system ruled by a central authority that uses a monopoly on physical force to compel behavior, it is pathetic and half-assed to try to use this authority to force people to be nice and tolerant and take care of each other. If we're all going to get along, we have to do so from the bottom up. So you see I am not a liberal I lean libertarian on most issues but I am critical of private property.

          And that's very nice of ya to consider me to camp on your land, I do hope you live somewhere beautiful.
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    Jun 9 2013: No
    • Jun 9 2013: Will concentrations of wealth occur in a free market economy? Do you believe somebody has liberty even if they don't have equal participation of power?
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        Jun 9 2013: One point is that the individuals who inhabit the various categories of income are not stationary, probably the most volatile are at the top, with one exception. They are the ones who can rig the game by becoming cronies. This is a function of government, NOT the evil rich, not that the evil rich are wholesome, it is just that they could not pull the crap that they pull without goverment. This would mean that the TED favorite Goldman Sachs et al. would go bye bye.

        Liberty is relevant to the ability to pursue goals. The most egregious infringement of these is economic enslavement through taxes. The idea of the constitution was to grant liberty for all, power would be irrelevant as the free market has a way of giving freedom and taking away power from those who error. The free market would have buried the 5 big banks and GM the TBTFs would be gone if the free market were allowed to run it's course. This also allows the free market to reinvent itself as investment not going to the should be dead TBTFs but instead the start ups. Think of a forest after a forest fire. Currently Benny is forcing investment in trees that otherwise would be charcoal.

        The important question is always is the activity in question coerced through force or not?
        Power can only be abused through force/government.
        • Jun 10 2013: I am not speaking of corpratism or crony capitalism. I am well aware of its existence. My point is to question whether private property fosters liberty?

          Liberty is a core belief of libertarians, am I wrong?
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        Jun 10 2013: Yes to both
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    Jun 9 2013: Whoever has anything will use it to get more money, just as you do and I do. It's a core sociological (and economic) principle.
    • Jun 9 2013: This is not the case in tribes or bands.
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        Jun 9 2013: So if you lived in a tribe, you would not work to make life as pleasant and comfortable as possible for yourself and your family, even if you became far more successful than your tribe mates?
        • Jun 10 2013: In a tribe you are not competing individually. If you personally kill an animal you share it with your tribe. It's egalitarianism.
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        Jun 10 2013: And in this tribe, everyone gets the same amount of meat, the same number of bear-skin blankets of the same thickness and quality, the same size wigwams that are each the same distance to the watering hole, and the same number of wives, regardless of their social statue or contribution to the tribe? This kumbaya tribe of yours never existed, Brian.
        • Jun 10 2013: If you don't think tribes share their resources I suggest you read an anthropology book.
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          Jun 10 2013: I have read in the history books that the big kahuna gets more? For example in our tribe kahuna O (he is from Ha)get waaay more.
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        Jun 10 2013: If you think that tribes share resources fairly among everyone I suggest you read an anthropology book.
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      Jun 10 2013: This is not the case with me, I tend to spend what I have.
  • Jun 9 2013: Perhaps some of them are blind, but surely not all of them.