Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

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Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby pjbogart » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:12 pm

I'm not sure if this really belongs in National Politics and Government, but this is your favorite section, Arturo, so I thought I'd post it here. First off, I know you often feel like you're swimming upstream and occasionally get angry with your critics and I'd be the first to admit that I sometimes get a bit sharp with those with whom I disagree. But overall, you're not only the most intelligent conservative on the Daily Page, you're perhaps the most intelligent conservative the Daily Page has ever seen.

When you hail the rights of individuals in contrast with their "governmental impediment" (which is how I often view your arguments), it seems as though you're actually rejecting society, that being the notion that a large group of people living together necessarily share each other's triumphs and burdens. There seems to be a very fundamental disagreement as to what your responsibility as a member of society is, and regardless of whether you choose to partake in the benefits of society, often you have no choice as to whether you actually benefit. In other words, whether you want to fund public education or not, you receive those benefits, directly or indirectly, and in some sense should share that burden. I can reject the size and scope of military spending, but as a beneficiary of that spending I need to accept the democratically made decisions that fund the military.

Tell me why you shouldn't be expected to participate in the funding of a Madison Mallards baseball game (that's a softball, no pun intended), however inane you find the activity. Why should we, as individuals, get to pick and choose those activities we wish to fund? Don't we surrender that right when we participate in the society which provides us countless benefits? Why should I be forced to fund that which benefits you while you refuse to fund that which benefits me? Are we not equal under the law?

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:26 am

I appreciate the bone of sincerity being tossed my way in this thread, so, thanks. Unfortunately, a visitor is arriving from out of town early tomorrow morning, so I cannot spend much time in the next few days detailing my views on your various questions, as much as I would like to do that (I really would).

As a starting volley, I wouldn't claim to be a conservative. I might use that term only to describe myself relative to other people. I have views that align with Conservatism, but that's only a subset. I have other views that align with what is called liberalism in today's language. I hesitate to use the term conservative because I don't think that today's society, let alone yesterday's, is something worth conserving (although I'm certainly not in favor of regression either). There never was a Golden Age. The various ages of political history are all full of awful truths, including the one in which we live.

Your description of my views on society is incorrect. Society is not synonymous with government. I agree that society provides us with benefits and a standard of living that none of us could attain in isolation. However, much of society is organized through mutually-beneficial, voluntary action. Force between individuals is usually seen as counterproductive. But the government uses force, and not very many people question it - what's up with that? Before you relegate people like me to a cave, or living off the land, you should consider the fraction of societal benefits provided by voluntary exchange in relation to those that could only be provided by institutionalized force. I'd argue that the essential fabric of society is not held together by the police, the EPA, or the USDA, but by social institutions that didn't originate from the government.

Regarding the benefits of living in society: I agree that you practically cannot choose which benefits society gives you. I'd argue that in most cases those benefits are surplus anyway - the people who paid (metaphysically speaking) to create them have already got their return-on-investment. The benefits shared by everyone else are positive externalities. A participant in this system doesn't owe someone else something because they came out ahead of where they would have had they acted alone, because by working together everyone came out ahead of where they would have otherwise. That's not a bulletproof argument, I will freely admit, but it gives a general idea of how I add up the pros and cons of government funding of X or Y. If you try to apply such an argument to something like race relations, things get confusing very quickly. I don't have answers for everything.

Finally: Holy shit, Madison uses tax revenue to support the Mallards? I'm fine with the Mallards, but this is not an acceptable use of public funds. I'd rather argue about the legitimacy of government involvement in the basic institutions of society (e.g. roads, defense from invading armies), not whether or not cities should fund their own sub-pro baseball teams, sheesh.

OK, I just burned about 40 minutes on that. Talk to you again sooner or later.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby bdog » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:22 am

pjbogart wrote: But overall, you're not only the most intelligent conservative on the Daily Page, you're perhaps the most intelligent conservative the Daily Page has ever seen.

Overall Arturo is perhaps the most intelligent poster the Daily Page has ever seen, period.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:21 am

Overall Arturo is perhaps the most intelligent poster the Daily Page has ever seen, period.


I wouldn't say that. Being able to produce long winded defenses of a fundamentally flawed world view isn't intelligence. I'd have more respect for Arturo if he'd leave fantasy land every once in a while instead of trying pigeon hole very single issue into his Libertarian utopia.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby Crockett » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:28 am

pjbogart wrote:I can reject the size and scope of military spending, but as a beneficiary of that spending I need to accept the democratically made decisions that fund the military.


This is quaint at best.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby pjbogart » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:06 am

ArturoBandini wrote:I agree that society provides us with benefits and a standard of living that none of us could attain in isolation. However, much of society is organized through mutually-beneficial, voluntary action. Force between individuals is usually seen as counterproductive. But the government uses force, and not very many people question it - what's up with that?


If your gripe about force were simply complaining about the death penalty, I'd be on board. But your assertion seems to imply that taxes should be voluntary. You mention military spending as legitimate use of tax dollars, yet I highly doubt the government could collect enough in voluntary taxes to even pay the Pentagon's bloated budget. Other more common examples of police power such as traffic stops or workplace health inspections are intended to protect the general public. Obviously there must be some consequences to breaking the law or there would be no incentive to following the law. While I'm certain we could both come up with dozens of instances where the law seems unfair, receiving the benefits of society comes along with it the burden of whatever perceived detriment we might suffer.

ArturoBandini wrote:Regarding the benefits of living in society: I agree that you practically cannot choose which benefits society gives you. I'd argue that in most cases those benefits are surplus anyway - the people who paid (metaphysically speaking) to create them have already got their return-on-investment. The benefits shared by everyone else are positive externalities. A participant in this system doesn't owe someone else something because they came out ahead of where they would have had they acted alone, because by working together everyone came out ahead of where they would have otherwise.


You really lost me on this one. I really don't understand how you consider most benefits to be "surpluses" nor how people (who?) already got their "return-on-investment." Most benefits are part of ongoing expenses, such as a functioning police and fire department. Building the fire station, purchasing the required equipment, etc. are only a portion of the costs. We must also continue to pay the firefighters, train their replacements and outfit them with new equipment.

In the case of highway maintenance, which might hit closer to home, if I live on the upper East side and never venture south of downtown, I might resent a massive investment on widening or repaving the Beltline. I don't use it, why should I pay for it? But even if I consider such a benefit to be a "surplus," the notion that once the project is completed everyone has received their "return on investment" is silly. For one, the cost of doing such a project is probably paid for over a number of years, just as the benefits are received over a number of years. It's not an event that simply comes and goes. And while I may resent paying for something I don't utilize, the people of the south side may resent paying to repave East Washington (that's an oversimplification because the two projects would be paid for differently, I know).

ArturoBandini wrote:Finally: Holy shit, Madison uses tax revenue to support the Mallards? I'm fine with the Mallards, but this is not an acceptable use of public funds. I'd rather argue about the legitimacy of government involvement in the basic institutions of society (e.g. roads, defense from invading armies), not whether or not cities should fund their own sub-pro baseball teams, sheesh.


Actually, I have no idea what kind of expenses the city incurs from the operation of the Mallards. I assume at the very least there are incidental expenses such as police, perhaps some property use, etc. I only used that example because to someone who doesn't care about the Mallards, such expenses, however small, seem like a phenomenal waste. But thus is the cost of living in society. We aren't provided with a line-item veto to decide which burdens we choose to bear.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:39 am

bdog wrote:
pjbogart wrote: But overall, you're not only the most intelligent conservative on the Daily Page, you're perhaps the most intelligent conservative the Daily Page has ever seen.

Overall Arturo is perhaps the most intelligent poster the Daily Page has ever seen, period.

I disagree. Snoqueen holds that title.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby rabble » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:10 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
bdog wrote:
pjbogart wrote: But overall, you're not only the most intelligent conservative on the Daily Page, you're perhaps the most intelligent conservative the Daily Page has ever seen.

Overall Arturo is perhaps the most intelligent poster the Daily Page has ever seen, period.

I disagree. Snoqueen holds that title.

Agree. I'll grant that Arturo is the most intelligent conservative by far, including all those fake centrists, undecideds, and middle-roaders, but that's it.

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby Stella_Guru » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:15 am

I'm here to report first-hand that "living in a cave" is not a rejection of, but is in fact a benefit to society. Since conjestion is a social disadvantage, are not we as citizens duty bound to avoid conjested areas?

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:09 pm

Stella_Guru wrote:I'm here to report first-hand that "living in a cave" is not a rejection of, but is in fact a benefit to society.

The Banana Splits sure think so!

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby thebookpolice » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:21 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:the people who paid (metaphysically speaking) to create them have already got their return-on-investment.

I'm not sure which is more appropriate for this extremely creepy sentence.
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2009-02-27-professor_farnsworth.jpg (11.98 KiB) Viewed 726 times
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imagesCA9MY8GP.jpg (10.35 KiB) Viewed 726 times

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby bdog » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:13 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Being able to produce long winded defenses of a fundamentally flawed world view isn't intelligence.

Fisti, leave Sno out of it!

Thought about it some more and I'd say the most intelligent foron is:

Kenneth Burns

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby WestSideYuppie » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:17 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:Before you relegate people like me to a cave, or living off the land, you should consider the fraction of societal benefits provided by voluntary exchange in relation to those that could only be provided by institutionalized force. I'd argue that the essential fabric of society is not held together by the police, the EPA, or the USDA, but by social institutions that didn't originate from the government.

What are those social institutions?

How do you feel about force exerted by private institutions that are not governments, but that are on a scale of size and power comparable to governments?

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby rabble » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:37 pm

bdog wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:Being able to produce long winded defenses of a fundamentally flawed world view isn't intelligence.

Fisti, leave Sno out of it!
bdog wrote:It's an odd situation. We don't know what non-white voters were thinking. Since it's an open primary State there was nothing to prevent them from going to the polls (besides the usual logistics), and there were reasons they should have voted.

Did they not understand the process? Were they afraid? Were they encouraged not to go? Were they intimidated not to go? Was it a flash boycott?

So, bdog, why did you ask those questions in the second paragraph in that second quote there? Did you think any of them were possible? If not, why did ask them? What purpose did it serve?

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Re: Libertarianism: The Arturo Bandini thread

Postby pjbogart » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:28 pm

I didn't intend the intelligence comment to get so much play, but as long as we're passing out awards...

The Albert Einstein Award goes to Kurt W. because he's simultaneously brilliant, sensible and entertaining.

The Madam Curie Award goes to Snoqueen because she's intelligent, thoughtful, thorough and polite.

The Hunter S. Thompson Award goes to Marvell because he's loquacious, creative and a little "off the wall."

The Bill Hicks Award goes to Chuck Schick and his incarnation(s). You know why.

The Papa Smurf Award goes to Henry Vilas because he's fatherly, wise and often the only voice of reason in a room full of trolls.

The Rush Limbaugh Award goes to Ned Flanders because he's petty, predictable and occasionally clever.

The Glenn Beck Award goes to Laurence Meade because he's dumb, lacks self-awareness, is genuinely convinced of things that any intelligent 10-year old would flat-out reject and is probably insane.


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