Category Archives: Individualism Vs. Collectivism

To Love Liberty Is Lonely

Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Liberty, Reason

Walter Block: “I think most people are hard wired to oppose freedom and justice, so I’m only optimistic in the long run: oh, 1000 years or so.”

So true, Walter my mentor. As another wag once said, the argument for freedom is a rational one; the argument for collectivism an emotional argument. Which is more intuitive to most people, reason or emotion? The latter, of course.

More Walter.


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Don’t Be Conned By Con-servatives & Their ‘Ism’ Talk

Conservatism, Feminism, Free Speech, Gender, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Media, Political Correctness, Sex

No different to liberals, mainstream conservatives are a party of isms, not individualism. Like liberals, conservatives diligently examine controversial speech for signs of the prohibited “isms”: sexism, racism, ageism, etc. Were they devoted to the principles of freedom; conservatives would refuse to even debate the legitimacy of impugning a man’s character, or expunging him from polite company, for the words that roll off his tongue.

Yet any debate these characters conduct on speech is never a principled debate about debate. Self-styled, mainstream conservatives seldom recuse themselves from the act of policing speech. Rather, they join in dignifying the media circle jerk.

James Rosen is best known for having been the victim of the head of Barack Obama’s Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder. For doing his job as a reporter, this Fox News Channel reporter was framed by the same department for the crime of conspiracy to leak classified materials.

Now, from being a credible reporter at Fox News, Rosen has gone on to reinvent himself as a sometime commentator.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and her deputy, Marie Barf, are studiously dumb chicks. Bill O’Relly was quite diplomatic when he said about the first that she was “way out of her depth” and lacked the “the gravitas for that job.”

Rosen could not let that stand. Via Mediate:

On Fox News yesterday, reporter James Rosen defended State Department spokeswomen Jen Psaki and Marie Harf from what he deemed vicious attacks that would never be directed their way if they were men. Harf in particular has gotten lots of conservative ridicule (to put it mildly) over her comments last week that 1) the U.S. can’t just kill its way out of war with ISIS; and 2) factors like job opportunity should be considered when examining the root causes of terrorism.

Rosen said, “It won’t please my social media followers to hear me say it, but I’ve been dismayed by the treatment of Marie and Jen on Twitter and other social media.” And not only are they mocked online, he said, but it’s done “in intimately person [sic] ways that I think bespeak a certain amount of sexism.”

Rosen went on to call Tweedledum and Tweedledumber very accomplished women.

American Thinker is insufficiently scathing about the quality of Tweedledum and Tweedledumber’s accomplishments—the two embody everything that is repugnant about womanhood in America—but it’ll do:

… Marie Harf sounded like a cheesed-off sixteen-year-old the morning after the big party when she dissed O’Reilly for saying, “…that woman [Jen Psaki] looks way out of her depth.”

For teenage girls the clique is of utmost importance. When they go all panties in a wad it’s often for their BFFs. Harf don’t stand on her jays, she stands behind her blud, Psaki. Harf not only lacks gravitas, she appears to lack conscience to grasp the international purpose and life-and-death seriousness of her job, that people live or are murdered on the turn of her flippant, self-referential phraseology. Stop the world! O’Reilly called my BFF “that woman.” It is hideous that she wasted one second in these desperate times ranting about imaginary sexism. Her bosses want Harf to spout domestic sex politics. And after all, that is the only item on her resume.

Harf is indeed hideous to behold.


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Jeremy Bentham: Very Bad For Liberty, Indeed

Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Law, libertarianism, Natural Law, Political Philosophy, The State

The following columns make derisive mention of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The columnist (guilty) assumed (guilty again) that her readers, like many good libertarians (namely, natural-rights libertarians), would identify Bentham’s name as a synonym for statism and collectivism, to distinguish from liberty and individualism.

Libertarian legal scholar Randy Barnett, I recall, particularly enjoyed this from “A Romp Down Memory Lane With Justice Roberts” (7/6/2012):

“Why would George Bush care whether a judicial nominee can tell Blackstone from Bentham, when he can’t?”

“More of a Benthamite bureaucrat than a truth seeker” is from “PATRICIDE AND PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT” (September 11, 2002).

Remember Reno!” (9/8/2006) equated Benthamism with legal excesses, whereby the law, “intended as a bulwark against government abuses,” had become “an implement of government, to be utilized by all-knowing rulers for the ‘greater good’—the founders’ Blackstonian view of the law” having “been supplanted by a Benthamism that encourages ambitious prosecutors to discard a defendant’s rights.”

“‘Mad Dog’ Sneddon Vs. Michael Jackson” (7/5/2005) mentions once again the Benthamite notion of “the law as an implement of government, to be utilized by all-knowing rulers for the ‘greater good.’

The Library of Economics and Liberty expounds a little more about Bentham the utilitarian, whose “publications were few,” and whose foundational belief was “that all social actions should be evaluated by the axiom, ‘It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.’”

In a word, utilitarianism, and by extension, statism and collectivism.

Counter to Adam Smith’s vision of “natural rights,” Bentham believed that there were no natural rights to be interfered with.

Trained in law, Bentham never practiced, choosing instead to focus on judicial and legal reforms. His reform plans went beyond rewriting legislative acts to include detailed administrative plans to implement his proposals. In his plan for prisons, workhouses, and other institutions, Bentham devised compensation schemes, building designs, worker timetables, and even new accounting systems. A guiding principle of Bentham’s schemes was that incentives should be designed “to make it each man’s interest to observe on every occasion that conduct which it is his duty to observe.” Interestingly, Bentham’s thinking led him to the conclusion, which he shared with Smith, that professors should not be salaried.

In his early years Bentham professed a free-market approach. He argued, for example, that interest rates should be free from government control (see Defence of Usury). By the end of his life he had shifted to a more interventionist stance. He predated Keynes in his advocacy of expansionist monetary policies to achieve full employment and advocated a range of interventions, including the minimum wage and guaranteed employment.

Jeremy Bentham was a thoroughbred statist; the quintessential bureaucrat and social engineer, who devised ways to tinker in oder to optimize the individual pawn’s common-good conduct.


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UPDATE IV: A Remarkable Legal Process Unfolds In Ferguson (Individualism Vs. Collectivism)

Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Justice, Law, libertarianism, Race

A remarkable process unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, where St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch has just detailed the grand jury’s lengthy fact-finding mission, executed impressively, the upshot of which is that Darren Wilson, the police officer whose fatal shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown “sparked days of turbulent protests,” will not be indicted.

As infuriating as ever is that the entirety of the text of an official statement is no longer released to media, right away. No one reads any longer. However, McCulloch’s remarks (précised here) were impressive in the exhaustive scope of the search for truth they reveal, undertaken by a grand jury that was left to its own devices.

Nor did the unethical intervention of Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama on one side of the dispute serve to sway the grand jury. This is a good day for American justice. Unfortunately, many of the vested interests do not understand that the law is a search for facts; truth, and not about an abstract idea of social justice that exists in the minds of the perpetually aggrieved.

UPDATE I: Documents:

* Ferguson grand jury documents, courtesy of the LA Times.

* President Obama’s remarks after the Ferguson grand jury announcement.

UPDATE II (11/25): In the absence of text, I had to transcribe, but will keep the written material for the weekly column.

UPDATE III: FACEBOOK Thread:

Myron Robert Pauli The grand jury most likely acted properly (I say most likely since I was not presented with all the evidence) and any rioting is inexcusable. But I will slightly digress in saying that I read a long but interesting article by “libertarian” Radley Balko on how the local governments (politicians/lawyers/cops) exploit the lower classes (mostly black) in St. Louis County by extorting $$$ to support their parasitical power base using petty traffic crimes, etc. When government goes from protecting lives and liberty and property of people to just bleeding people to support itself (e.g. Inspector Javert meets Lucky Luciano) – it is a sad and tragic overreach. A long article but it raises interesting questions.

Ilana Mercer: Dog ate my homework, Myron Robert Pauli, from left-libertarians. The government robs me too. Blind. It robs you as well. More so than those who get back from the state (aka the taxpayer) more than they pay in. This is a prime example of confusing the argument. Lite libertarians make the mistake a lot. “‘Absolut’ Libertarian Lunacy” touches on this blame the state for individual flaws: “For the sins of man, hard leftists blame society, and hard-core libertarians saddle the state. ‘The State made me do it’ is how such social determinism can be summed-up.”

UPDATE IV (11/26): FACEBOOK Thread:

Myron Robert Pauli:

I always like to caution those on the right OR left when dealing with statistics about people. Yes, in my business, it might mean something to say that “Sensor X has an 80% of detecting Vehicle Y and Range R in Atmospheric Condition Z” – models and data points can be validated to some degree and one can draw conclusions. People are a bit different – so when the left says “look, Group N is underrepresented in Activity M” (Vietnamese women in the NBA, Black women in physics departments), it is not per se a proof of some deep conspiracy. Similarly, if 0.01% of Thai women are pathologically violent but 2% of black men are pathologically violent, it still means that 98% of black men are NOT pathologically violent even if it is far more likely to see that group rather than Thai women behind bars. However, statistical generalizations aside, Ferguson’s Kristallnacht is a reason to be depressed about the “melting pot ideal” working in America.
3 hrs · Like · 1

Ilana Mercer:

Actually, Myron Robert Pauli, sorry to burst the Bubble you’ve retreated into, but check that book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot.” I gave it to you personally. If only 98% of black men were non-violent, we’d have our Jeffersonian republic. South Africa would be one too. Your stats are way OFF. Still, you are right about treating individuals as individuals, something I’ve preached too for as long as I can remember. Coming from a “black” country, my book is dedicated to 2 black ladies the likes of which cannot be matched among whites: ladies of the finest upbringing and nobility of character!!!! My dad’s caretaker is a gem: a black man. Kind and sweet like nothing I’ve seen among whites. Myron Robert Pauli, you are right about your reminder, not your numbers.


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Vagina-Centric, Tax-Sponsored, Monument To Republican Mindlessness

Constitution, Feminism, Gender, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Republicans, Taxation

Forget about upholding the Constitution, Republicans can’t even uphold the interests of their primary constituency. Instead, they insist on stalking and courting identity groups—women, for one—that can’t stand the Grand Old Party.

As deficient as it is, there is no warrant in the Constitution for stealing from taxpayers in order to aggrandize women. But leave it to House Republicans to plot a vote “this year on legislation promoting construction of a National Women’s History Museum.”

Perhaps they’ll get the women’s vote? Forget about it. “Sisters love Uncle Sam,” and while Republicans do too, sisters don’t perceive the GOP to be as statist as they’d like.

… The move lends enormous momentum to the years-long push to establish a memorial to women’s history near the National Mall — a proposal that’s lingered in Congress for nearly two decades without ever reaching the president’s desk.

Congressional supporters from both parties have been working behind the scenes to rally backing and pressure leaders to stage a vote on the bill this year, even as Congress’s shift into campaign mode has left little appetite for most non-essential legislation ahead of November’s midterms.

Cantor spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said the congressman supports the bill and intends to bring it to the floor.

Museum supporters wasted no time praising the announcement, with Rep. Carolyn Maloney — a New York Democrat who’s been working on the proposal since 1998 — saying she’s “thrilled” by Cantor’s move. With top House Democrats already behind the proposal, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), Maloney predicted it will sail through the lower chamber.

“This is a huge boost to our efforts,” said Maloney, the bill’s lead sponsor. “Leadership from both parties in the House has now come out in favor of this bill, and I’m hopeful we can secure a large, bipartisan vote in favor of its passage. …”

THE HILL.

A society founded on individualism does not promote individuals based on their sexual or racial identity. If private companies wish to promote females purely because they are women, and often at the expense of better males—that’s the prerogative of private property. Sensible sorts can shun these establishments. However, politicians have no right to steal from one group (taxpayers) for the benefit of another (females), in the course of increasing their own sphere of influence.


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Conservatives Adopting Lefty Language About ‘Income Inequality’

Business, Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Private Property, The State

A more meaningful index than “income inequality”—it implies that income equality is the thing to strive for, heaven help us!—would be the correlation between the increasing balance sheets of the central banks of the world and so-called increasing wealth discrepancies.

Conservatives rarely argue the morality of capitalism and individual liberty. If they do debate, it is about the utility of freedom to the common good. The entire impetus of Republican-Party operatives is to keep up with the issues the Democrats introduce to distract from the destructive effects of galloping statism. So if the latter decry “income inequality,” the former affirm that they too worry themselves sick over whatever it is the Democrats are droning on about.

Today, Fox News reported gravely that the “World’s richest 85 people have as much as bottom half the population.” Similarly, this Townhall.com writer assures his readers that “Inequality is a Conservative Issue.”

“The Capitalist Professor” George Reisman is having none of it. He writes “In Defense of Business Fortunes and the Destructive Effects of Imposing Economic Equality,” at www.twitter.com, @GGReisman:

1. A fortune is accumulated by means of earning a high rate of profit on capital and heavily saving and reinvesting it year after year.

2. The high rate of profit is achieved by introducing newer, better products or producing existing products at a lower cost.

3. Sooner or later, competition brings down a high rate of profit to the general level. To go on earning it, further innovation is necessary.

4. For example, to maintain its high rate of profit, Apple has had to repeatedly improve its products and introduce several major new ones.

5. Had Apple stood still, its initially very profitable products, made obsolete by competition, would now be selling at huge losses.

6. The high profits are generally invested in the means of producing the very kind of products in which the innovations take place.

7. For example, Apple’s profits are invested in the expanded and improved production of Apple’s products.

8. Thus, business fortunes under capitalism represent ever better, less expensive products produced with capital constituted by those fortunes.

9. The fortunes originate in profits and are used as capital. Both ways they serve the general buying public. They also pay wages and salaries.

10. The existence of fortunes under capitalism benefits everyone in his capacity both as a buyer of products and seller of labor.

11. Imposing economic equality requires the confiscation of high profits. It would abort the earning of fortunes and stifle economic progress.

12. Advocates of economic equality know nothing about profits, innovation, or capital. They believe that wealth is a pile of consumers’ goods.

13. The capitalists, whom they depict as fat men, allegedly have too much of this pile. Some of it must be given to the starving masses.

14. Thus, imposing economic equality is also a policy of seizing capital in order to consume it—eating the seed corn and being impoverished.

15. Advocates of economic equality are wilfully ignorant of economics. They are fueled by envy and resentment, biting the hands that feed them.

16. Socialism/Communism is their philosophy. Stalin and Mao are their heroes. Famine, slave labor camps, and mass death are their legacy.


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