What’s National cooking up for 2008?

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, January 13th, 2008 - 193 comments
Categories: dpf, election funding, Media, national - Tags: , , ,

mmmsausages.jpgWell, I saw my first Farrar billboard in the real two days ago and I gotta tell you I laughed. I was with a companion who is politically aware and has a pretty good idea about the EFB and when I pointed it out to her she was baffled. When I told her the story behind the campaign she was stunned by how ineffectual they were. Given she teaches digital media that’s a pretty good sign Farrar and the fat man have missed the mark.

And on the subject of these boards, blogblog has a few questions up that may pique people’s interest (my favourite is “When you selected the name Free Speech Coalition did you realise that is the name of the US trade association for the pornography and adult entertainment industry[?]” I guess great minds think alike. But the free speech coalition never answered blogblog’s questions – it’s a shame really when they talk so much about transparency.

Unfortunately not all of this year’s rightwing campaigning is going to be as funny as Farrar’s. My sources inside the National party suggest that, having been stopped from outspending their opponents in the traditional campaign arena, the party is now looking at bankrolling a series of court cases including private prosecutions and (they’re hoping) defences of deliberate and provocative breaches of election spending laws by so called “third parties”. They are also looking about for other ways to campaign off the books including ramping up their use of untraceable viral emails (there are rumours Farrar’s recent “contract” with the party was focused on this and other web-based strategies).

So as we go into the campaign year let’s get this straight – 2008 is going to be a PR war. National is already signalling they won’t be releasing detailed policy because they know it’s unpalatable so their intention is to get all the way up to polling day with marketing only. Because of this their main weakness will be in live multi-party debates and any other forum they are unable to stage manage. They’ll also need to stifle their infighting and their propensity to leak if they are to avoid a meltdown like 2005 (unfortunately for them there’s quite a lot leaked already but we’ll talk about that at a later date).

But that’s all ahead of us. In the meantime I’ve got the barbie going and I’m gonna enjoy the last lazy Sunday of my holidays. Mmmm sausages…

193 comments on “What’s National cooking up for 2008?”

  1. …the party is now looking at bankrolling a series of court cases including private prosecutions and (they’re hoping) defences of deliberate and provocative breaches of election spending laws by so called “third parties”

    And good on ’em, I wish the Nats every success at embarrassing the govt with this move. After all, a govt that unilaterally imposes controversial and utterly self-serving changes to the electoral law on its long-suffering electors thoroughly deserves a bollocking.

  2. deemac 2

    what do you mean, “Farrar and the fat mam” – has Farrar lost weight?

  3. Kimble 3

    Shut up Milt, you fascist, right wing, jack booted, suppressor of our freedoms!

    BTW, when you ask questions of someone on your own blog, expecting an answer is a bit optimistic.

    If I asked several questions of the authors here at The Standard when I was sitting in the park feeding the ducks, I would not be surprised or read anything into the fact that they didnt respond.

  4. Chemist Peter 4

    Why not challenge the law, that is our duty.
    EFB is Stalinist leglislation, we all know his record, 20M Russians killed over 20 years, even the Nazis killed less in Russia when Hitler had his excursion in the Soviet Union from 1941-1944.
    Interesting times in HELENGRAD.

  5. Robinsod 5

    Yous guys are dicks. The EFB doesn’t surpress any freedoms just look at your mate Horton – he’s gonna be able to spend $120,000 saying whatever shit he wants to. Goddamn, I wish I had that kind of dosh to spread around to promote my personal views. I look forward to the EFB “martyers” venting their fury over being ignored this year.

    Oh and deemac – I suspect Bill’s talking about Cameron Slater. He certainly fits the description…

  6. IrishBill 6

    Milt, National are not making a principled stand, they’re looking to use the court system for PR stunts. Don’t think for a second that national will break the law – they’ll launder their unspendable excess campaign funds into front-groups like Davey’s who will willfully do it for them (often in ways that are pointless and easily avoidable) and then claim the resulting prosecutions are signs that “ordinary citizens” are being deprived of their rights. By the time the facts of the cases come out they’ll have run their misinformation campaign and moved on. In the meantime it’ll be suckers like you who have carried their memes for them. I would hope the media would dig a little in each case but given the herald’s recent failure to idnetify Andrew Moore as a frontman and minor operator (even after numerous blogs had earlier pointed it out) I’m not holding my breath.

    Kimble, Farrar will be keeping an eye on blogblog – if he isn’t then he’s a fool (and I don’t think he’s that foolish). How about you post a link to the questions on Kiwiblog and ask Farrar to answer them?

    CP, yes peter we’re in stalinist russia. That’s why you can’t even post your opinion on a blog without a vist from the GRU. No hold on, you can. My advice to you peter is to educate yourself before you become fully reified as a vessel for tory scaremongering – you’ll sleep a lot better without all of that fear.

  7. I’m sure National aren’t making a principled stand Irish Bill, such a thing appears to be beyond them. However, that doesn’t alter the fact that the govt has unilaterally imposed on us utterly self-serving changes to our electoral law, and deserves to be dipped in shit over it, does it?

    Robinsod, when I hear Labour telling me (again, for fuck’s sake!) that yes they have just made some perfectly ordinary behaviour illegal, but don’t worry, “common sense” will be exercised by the authorities, I’m not chuffed. In this case, you’re probably right that my freedom of speech is not restricted, because the Electoral Commissioner is unlikely to bother with some lone bad-tempered git – but how hard is it to figure out that that doesn’t make it alright?

  8. burt 8

    Robinsod

    Yous guys are dicks. The EFB doesn’t surpress any freedoms just look at your mate Horton – he’s gonna be able to spend $120,000 saying whatever shit he wants to.

    And if he wanted to spend $1m saying what ever he wanted to….

    Wharrrrp – he’s been limited – limited = suppressed.

  9. burt 9

    Robinsod

    The govt spent $15m on the initial promotion of WFF. So what you seem to be saying is that 1/125 of the budget required to do the initial advertising for one sigle govt policy is enough for somebody to express all they need to say.

    Astounding… Dissent will not be tolerated.

  10. Robinsod 10

    Burt – I reckon $120k is more than enough for one dude to be able to spend ‘cos I don’t think a person’s ability to influence a democracy should be predicated on their wealth. Do you think people should be able to legally procure children for sex if they can afford to? Or are those poor people being limited too?

    Oh and ffs Burt, would you have preferred it if WFF had not been advertised at all? Because I’m pretty sure there a few tens of thousands of families who are damn glad they got to hear about it. If you want to bitch about taxpayer money going to political advertising you should check out http://www.youpaidforit.co.nz – currently your mates National are leading the pack.

    Now Milt – would you care to explain what “ordinary behaviour” has been made illegal?

  11. Draco TB 11

    “And if he wanted to spend $1m saying what ever he wanted to..

    Wharrrrp – he’s been limited – limited = suppressed.”

    In a community you don’t get to do everything you want to else it will destroy the community. All we have to do is look to the USA to see the effects of open slather on the elections and democracy. The corruption and lies, the self-serving agendas, bribery etc. It’s all there, everything that democracy is supposed to prevent. So we need to ask “what happened to their democracy?” and the only answer is that it got bought out long ago.

    Everybody working in their own self-interest inevitably produces tragedy. To prevent this the society must put in place some restrictions. The EFB is one of those needed restrictions whether you like it or not.

  12. Now Milt – would you care to explain what “ordinary behaviour” has been made illegal?

    How about “Psycho Milt” putting up a website telling people “Don’t vote (your party here)?”

    The “again” part refers to the S59 repeal. And yes, I do know that technically it was already illegal, but the effect was the same – “yes we’re criminalising you, but don’t worry, the authorities will exercise discretion over whether to cart you in.” Tell ’em fuck.

  13. So, Burt, there should be no cap on third party expenditure? Let’s be stupid and say National has won the next election is facing a very tight re-election bid and someone decides to spend $100 million ensuring Labour gets elected government. National tries to rally all its traditional funding and manages to pull together $20 million in response. Still no urge to say enough is enough? What happens if the campaign to break a National government suddenly emerges with $500 million. Still comfortable with the “it’s their money” line?

  14. burt 14

    ickystinky

    Based on the fact that Labour said that the extra $800K they spent in the 2005 election made no difference to the outcome. I guess the numbers you use are a bit exaggerated but essentially Labour told us in 2006 after the 2005 debacle that the level of spending makes no difference. Quite why they now want to limit third parties to only 15% of their 2005 election overspend I have no idea – do you?

  15. Robinsod 15

    Burt – cite an example. Hint: if you say it was said and it wasn’t you’re a liar. Liar.

  16. ak 16

    burt: I’m impressed! I never thought I’d say this, but if what you say is true, then you make a very good point.

    Please provide me with a quote (or link or whatever you “pointy-headed nerds” call it) to back up “Labour told us in 2006 after the 2005 debacle that the level of spending makes no difference” and I’ll give you a big pat on the back!

  17. Phil 17

    Draco, you’re talking out your arse about the US being a democracy of bribery… I can show you plenty of evidence that proves money doesn’t buy elections. When you’re ready to read the truth rather than your ideological delusion, let me know.

  18. Phil 18

    Oh, and IB… I’m willing to bet that your “sources” are nothing more than hearsay and gossip from someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who used to clean the tank of Jonkeys pet turtle – usual Labour party distraction stuff a-la “Duckman and the US-written policy Labour party embarrasment”.

    I’m also willing to bet that we’re not going to see anything interesting from you in the leadup to the election – you’ll be reporting other peoples breaking news. Show us something truly scandalous, and I’ll be pleasantly suprised at your journalistic talents.

  19. I can show you plenty of evidence that proves money doesn’t buy elections.

    He has it carefully filed with his evidence that proves advertising doesn’t sell products.

  20. Daveo 20

    The two examples that frequently get trotted out are ACT’s failure to win an election despite frequently being the highest spender, and National’s failure to win the 2005 election despite outspending Labour.

    Both examples are flawed. Firstly, ACT’s policies are so reprehensible to the electorate that they needed to spend millions of dollars just to get above the 5% threshold. As soon as Don Brash appeared on the scene ACT’s backers transferred the money to National and ACT has seen its poll ratings drop to 1%.

    Secondly, National’s massive spending last election allowed them to bring in the overseas experts behind the taxathon ads and the iwi/kiwi billboard campaign and carpet the country in said billboards. This clever marketing changed the discourse of the election campaign decisively in National’s favour and gave them a major poll boost.

    Sure, it’s more complex than simply buying an election – you do have to make sure you have a competent leader and don’t get caught out colluding with an abusive religious cult, and you have to make sure you get your messaging right (though as we’ve seen money can pay for that too).

    But certainly big money does have a hugely distorting affect on elections, and it’s entirely proper that in a democratic system we make sure funding is open and transparent and that there are reasonable limits on third party spening. Within these democratic safeguards National and any other citizen or organisation are free to run whatever billboards they please.

  21. Phil 21

    Let’s start with some light reading Draco/Psycho/Daveo, and we can go from there; http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUsingRepeatChallengers1994.pdf

    And Psycho, ever heard of “brand awareness”? In case it’s a new term to you, it is, in effect, advertising that doesn’t (and isn’t intended to) sell products.

  22. Sam Dixon 22

    Interesting stuff, Bill.

    Imagine being a National cmpaigner, knowing your own policies are so unpopular you cna’t voice them in public but, rahter than changing them, deciding to try to trick the public into voting for you and keeping your agenda quite.

  23. Michele Cabiling 23

    “[I]t’s entirely proper that in a democratic system we make sure funding is open and transparent and that there are reasonable limits on third party spening. Within these democratic safeguards National and any other citizen or organisation are free to run whatever billboards they please.”

    “Freedom is so precious it must be rationed.” — V. I. Lenin

  24. IrishBill 24

    Hi Sam, good to see you’re back in the sphere.

    Phil, I haven’t had time to have a proper look at your link yet but I do know a thing or two about branding and yes the direct aim of brand awareness is not to sell a particular product but to create a feeling about a brand based on a series of favourable values rather than tangible facts. Just the think you’d want to do if your policies were antithetical to voters values, eh?

  25. Daveo 25

    Michele, are you saying there should be no restrictions on election spending?

  26. Jum 26

    Michele

    And it seems that in your utopia freedom should be rationed to the people who have the money and the time to enjoy spending it on anything that prevents the average New Zealander from participating in the wealth they have created for the people who have the money and the time to enjoy spending it.

    Everyone else was too busy holding down 2-3 jobs in National’s travesty of a reign and were too exhausted at the end of the day to do any free thinking.

  27. Draco TB 27

    No, it appears that she’s agreeing with Lenin on the fact that you cannot have absolute freedom in a workable society.

  28. The Libertarian slogan should be “All the freedom you can afford!”

  29. Robinsod 29

    How about “all the freedom that’s fit to buy”.

  30. the sprout 30

    “2008 is going to be a PR war” – damn straight IB.

    that’s why the work you guys and kiwiblogblog do is so important, and why you’ll also be attacked the more effective you are at countering the right’s spin. so take care and make sure you remain part of the solution – this year is going to be nasty.

  31. Billy 31

    IrishBill said: “National are not making a principled stand…”

    Maybe not. But I do not think that Labour can rush to the high moral ground, given their contortions to ensure that their rich foreigner could continue to donate, while National’s could not.

  32. the sprout 32

    “contortions to ensure that their rich foreigner could continue to donate”

    where’s that from Billy, Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book? you have such a quaint turn of phrase.

  33. Daveo 33

    Billy are you suggesting NZ citizens should not be allowed to openly and transparently donate money to political parties?

  34. Billy 34

    Daveo, all I am saying is that, under one draft of the law, Owen Glenn would not have been able to donate. When Labour realised this, they hastily redrafted it. They are obviously highly concerned about the influence of big money in the electoral process, unless, of course, it is big money supporting them.

  35. the sprout 35

    that’s a deeply boring attempt at switch and bait Daveo, could you try to be more interesting in 2008 please?

  36. Jum 36

    the sprout

    You’re damned right it’s going to be nasty.

    Just because I disagreed with Michele Cabiling, I’ve been attacked, my family has been attacked, my education has been attacked and yet I’m supposed to be the ideal family that Act and National and Family First, Tamaki, Wishart and the other questionably moral puerile soul suckers keep quoting – A wife and husband, two kids, no state funding other than the usual eg health and education being the obvious two examples. By none of these groups has the opinion of families ever been seriously considered. I feel I have had to state my history so that she can’t make the usual statements about me living off her taxes. That’s a point. Does she pay any? Does her accountant do his job and reduce her tax bill, so that she doesn’t have to pay for those nasty little untouchables out there, whereas my family pays considerable taxes.

    In Michele Cabiling’s case, although she keeps sprouting her education like an encyclopaedic dictionary, she is INHERENTLY STUPID in that because of her callous treatment of me, the last thing she can expect is agreement from me. Because agreement means seeking concensus and that means engendering an environment of civility in which listening and discussing and going through an orderly debate of pros and cons can occur.

    You see, people like Michele cannot see the difference between simple politeness and ‘seeking approval’ and I feel sorry for her. Civility is not huge in her greedy little world. It’s all slash and burn.

    And her stupidity will cost her and her parties of the right.

  37. Phil 37

    Yeah IB, that sums it up pretty well. I will even admit that the best ‘branding’ advertising that fits your definition was a Labour one – you remember the old lady with the rugby ball?

  38. Daveo 38

    Sprout, where was the switch and bait? I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I was just asking Billy to explain his/her position.

  39. Jum 39

    correction to my nasty little untouchables

    should read ‘nasty little untouchables’ as her belief not mine.

  40. the sprout 40

    apologies Daveo, my mistake – thought you were addressing your question to IrishBill instead of Billy – a rather unfair confusion on my part

  41. Phil 41

    Whoah there Jum!
    Climb down from that high horse and join the rest of us plebs down here, on topic, eh?

  42. Ruth 42

    Because agreement means seeking concensus and that means engendering an environment of civility in which listening and discussing and going through an orderly debate of pros and cons can occur.

    But Jum, most on the internet don’t seek to convince *anyone* of their positions. They just want to be told over and over again by their respective cheerleaders that they are right.

  43. Michele Cabiling 43

    Jum wrote:

    “And it seems that in your utopia freedom should be rationed to the people who have the money and the time to enjoy spending it on anything that prevents the average New Zealander from participating in the wealth they have created for the people who have the money and the time to enjoy spending it.”

    Nah, utopias are the province of authoritarian socialists who believe that human nature can be changed by coercive big government, thus ushering in heaven on earth. The 100 million victims of Communism show what occurs when this mindset is in a position to break eggs in search of the utopian ommelette.

    I’m a realist. And empirical observation discloses that as government expands, freedom contracts. Since I have zero, zip, nada interest in living in a state of enforced social servitude to people like you, I’ll take small government and freedom any day of the week.

    Your idead of utopia might involve two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner, but it sure as hell ain’t mine.

    A lot of the gob shite you spout originated in Marxist dogma that has been artfully injected into political discourse to be taken up by useful idiots and parroted as though it’s an eternal verity, when it’s actually bullshit of the purest ray serene.

    Who creates wealth? Business owners, that’s who. Every big business started out as a small business. Someone borrowed against their house to capitalise their business, then worked long hours alone (or helped by unpaid spousal/family labour), drew low or no salary over the first hard years, and in spite of all the government red tape designed to strangle small businesses, reached the point where they were able to pay themselves a decent wage and take on paid employees.

    This doesn’t mean they can now put their feet up. Politicians only face election in this country once every three years. A business owner, on the other hand, faces election every day in a competitive market place. Should they fail to meet the needs of consumers, someone who does so better will soon take over.

    The owners of small – medium-sized businesses often work 80 – 100 hours a week, sacrificing leisure activities and time with family to embrace the stress of building a successful enterprise. If the business falls over, they could lose their home and face bankruptcy due to having personally guaranteed company borrowings.

    Their employees, on the other hand, work an ordinary 35 – 40 hour week (perhaps with some VOLUNTARY overtime), and their financial exposure in the event of the business failing is limited to their unpaid wages and holiday pay.

    Few business owners, faced with their business folding, would worry just about themselves. They’d be concerned about about the jobs of their employees and how their workers would meet their forward financial commitments.

    And should a small business enrich its owner for their hard work by becoming a big business, that’s richly deserved.

    But since socialism is not about baking the cake, but using the angry rhetoric of envy to justify cutting and pork barreling out the cake others have baked, this reality evidently eludes you.

    Leftards view successful and prosperous people as “exploiters” — of labor, of the environment, of the poor — and hold them morally responsible for whatever unfortunate conditions others may find themselves in from time to time, simply on the grounds of comparing economic incomes.

    With their redistributive mentalities, leftards don’t understand that prosperity can only be earned voluntarily in a free market, and that their coercive programs of wealth distribution do more harm than good — particularly to those they purport to help.

    For socialists, business and enterprise exist solely for the purpose of creating jobs and providing a tax base for government spending and welfare, not for the capitalist purpose of creating affordable products and services for as many people as possible.

    Being parasitic in nature, socialism is forced to cling to capitalism, since without the creative and productive energies of capitalism, there would be no profits to tax and no wealth to redistribute.

    Morally, socialism is mob rule. Socialists believe that anything is fair game for the political “vote” and that the protection of individual rights, particularly private property rights (i.e., protection from mob rule) is always trumped by their obsessive need to engage in moral preening with other people’s money.

    “Does her accountant do his job and reduce her tax bill, so that she doesn’t have to pay for those nasty little untouchables out there, whereas my family pays considerable taxes.”

    In a free society, if you’d prefer to pay a little less tax, you have the same option as anyone else to start a business and take advantage of the various tax breaks on offer to business owners.

    If you are too cowardly to leave paid employment and strike out on your own, you’ve no business [sic] railing against others who have. I suspect its because you don’t have anything to sell that others might want to buy.

    I suspect you are probably a ‘teacher’ [sic] or some other kind of government employee — my guess is a part-time researcher or some other soft job at The Ministry of [Ugly] Wimmins [sic] Affairs. If not, your misandrist attitudes would be right at home there.

    “In Michele Cabiling’s case, although she keeps sprouting her education like an encyclopaedic dictionary, she is INHERENTLY STUPID in that because of her callous treatment of me, the last thing she can expect is agreement from me. Because agreement means seeking concensus and that means engendering an environment of civility in which listening and discussing and going through an orderly debate of pros and cons can occur.”

    Leftard relativist doctrine writ large. This posits that everyone has a world view conditioned by their environment and upbringing, and that it’s “judgemental” to suggest that one world view is any better/worse/less valid than another.

    Put more succintly: “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has got one.”

    Well sorry, ‘sister,’ anyone who wants to elevate their opinion above mine is obliged to produce a superior standard of argument and/or evidence.

    Since you have failed to do either, why not just fold the tent and vacate the field of intellectual endeavour to your betters.

  44. Daveo 44

    Michele can you keep the length of your posts down a bit? It ruins the flow of the thread and no one reads a post of that length anyway. If you can’t make your point in a few pars start your own blog and link back to it.

  45. The PC Avenger 45

    Alternatively, you could sum it up rather succinctly as “Screw you, I got mine”.

  46. j 46

    “Being parasitic in nature, socialism is forced to cling to capitalism, since without the creative and productive energies of capitalism, there would be no profits to tax and no wealth to redistribute”.

    Or hey, maybe they work together. Maybe we haven’t all read Marx but just want a fair business environment and have aspiring social goals. Funny also that a communist country such as china can create capital so fast, kind of defeats your theory.

    Capital can be built a number of ways. Most sensible people advocate a focus on efficiency and fairness rather than a random allocation of resources (blind faith free market)to an arnarchic old boy royalty in the hope they may start new businesses.

  47. Jum 47

    LOVELY TO SEE YOU AGAIN MICHELE

    I’ll chat with you later. Something more important to do at present, wash the dishes. And believe me, it is important, Michele so don’t be miffed. If I don’t wash the dishes and bacteria sets in, up the bum or otherwise, m’dear, we get sick and I’m not yet ready to die to sigh read your post.

    Wow, I’ve just had a quick look. I don’t think you actually quoted anyone in your last post. Well done. You might be worth reading now. Still the boring shrill of ‘education is everything’ and others opinions are nothing, but definitely worth reading now.

    I’m glad that in some small way I’ve made you more human, Michele.

  48. Michele Cabiling 48

    The PC Avenger wrote: “Alternatively, you could sum it up rather succinctly as ‘Screw you, I got mine.'”

    Really?

    I’d be more inclined to phrase it: “Screw you, I WORKED for mine.”

    Which of course gives those who didn’t no moral right to steal from the the fruits of my labour.

    As pointed out in an earlier post: “Stealing by majority vote remains stealing.”

  49. j 49

    “Screw you, I WORKED for mine.”

    Oh dear, and everybody else is at the beach drinking beer. Thank god for your hardwork Michele or we’d all be so poor. What do you do by the way that allows your employees to work 35 hour weeks?

  50. Jum 50

    Phil

    She picked on me first, Phil, says Jum with pouted lips.

    And I will pick on her last, unless death or taxes carries me off, or at least the next comedy on television.

    I thought I was beginning to be accepted, too. I’ve received my first threat and everything. Pouts again.

  51. James Kearney 51

    Michelle – property is theft.

  52. Michele Cabiling 52

    “J” (does this stand for jerk-off) wrote:

    “Thank god for your hardwork Michele or we’d all be so poor.”

    Thank God for my hard work (and that of thousands like me) or (choose the category you fall into): [1] socialists would have nobody to pluck so that they could engage in moral preening; [2] the more risk-averse would have nobody to employ them; [3] and bums and bludgers would starve.

    James Kearney wrote:

    “Michelle – property is theft.”

    Warmed-over Marxism and therefore crap.

  53. James Kearney 53

    “Michelle – property is theft.”

    Warmed-over Marxism and therefore crap.

    Property is theft. Explain to me why it isn’t.

  54. Michele Cabiling 54

    “J’ wrote:

    “Maybe we haven’t all read Marx but just want a fair business environment and have aspiring social goals. Funny also that a communist country such as china can create capital so fast, kind of defeats your theory.”

    A “fair” business environment [and indeed a “fair society] is built upon private property rights and the protection of citizens against force (violence, theft) and fraud (expropriation by deception). If government does what it unlawful for citizens to do in their individual capacity, it is an illegitimate government.

    “Social goals”? Whose goals, and who decides? If it is a majority (or power-hungry demagogues claiming to speak on its behalf) voting themselves the property and income of a minority, well — theft by majority vote remains theft.

    “Funny also that a communist country such as china can create capital so fast, kind of defeats your theory.”

    Try low wages, dumping of cheap inferior goods into the markets of trade competitors, building up one’s military-industrial complex by with Western capital by floating one’s central banks on the New York Stock Exchange.

    As former Soviet Premier, Nikia Krushchev once famously remarked: “The capitalists will sell us the rope we will one day use to hang them.”

    China remains a one-party state in which party apparatchiks line their pockets from the government brokered economic boom at the expense of the people. Rather than crony capitalism, China needs a true free market.

  55. ak 55

    Nice one Michelle, but easy up – no need to rewrite the collected volumes of “Fascism for Dummies” and marinate them in pus to prove Jum’s point: “The Ministry of [Ugly] Wimmins [sic] Affairs” and a couple of “leftards” did that nicely and left us in no doubt of your wit, plausibility and inner beauty.

    And j: the lovely Michelle’s employees don’t WORK remember? They, you and I and sir Ed and the Ugly women and all the other cowardly leftard mob are just the parasitic scum that leech off the singlehanded wealth creation of Ms Cabling and her fellow (non-utopian)heroes. Do pay attention j – I’d hate this blog to lose the attractive company of such a warm caring example of tory humanity.

  56. The PC Avenger 56

    Hmm, yes Michele, you do have a wonderfully advanced system of morality there. Have you ever considered (or can you even consider) that you may be incorrect?

    You seem to discount other more…collectivist philosophies out of hand, often citing historical cases where they have been taken to an irrational extreme as a reason why the philosophy as a whole is incorrect. What I wonder though, is why you don’t apply the same critical eye to your own philosophy?

  57. Michele Cabiling 57

    James Kearney wrote:

    “Property is theft. Explain to me why it isn’t.”

    Nah, you explain to me why it is, and I’ll deconstruct your argument.

    Just to kick off your thinking [sic], “theft from whom?”

  58. Matthew Pilott 58

    You can tell exactly how rational someone is by their historical view of empirical communism/socialism.

    Anyone who thinks what happened in the USSR and China was an example of Communism or Socialism is clearly brainwashed by some form of libertarian agenda and needs a big boogeyman out there to pick on.

    Anyone who has views that have the tinyest smattering of socialism is therefore as bad as ol’ Uncle joe himself, according to this logic.

    It’s flawed and failed logic.

    Anyone with the ability to use the reasoning skills God/The Great Magnet gave them would know a single party authoritarian/totalitarian state when they see one. People who had read anything about socialism would probably be able to infer that that wasn’t quite what was intended.

    Not everyone seems to be able to make that locgical leap though…

  59. the sprout 59

    jeez michele/trevor, you really are setting new standards of cliched and uninformed, uninspected prolix banality – well done.

  60. Jum 60

    Michele,

    My post is not saying that my ‘world view’ is judged to be better than yours. It is simply that if you want to at least get me, personally, to listen to your point of view, you have to adjust to my way of working.

    Ask any businessman or business woman seeking to start a business in Japan, for example, what they are required to do to be successful in that country. Certainly not by insulting the family. That would not do it, no.

    That’s one paragraph down, 10 zillion to go, or at least it feels like it. Ho Hum, and I’ll say it right here right now

    HO,HO,HO
    KIND REGARDS
    SANTA.

    Just one of my many jobs, Michele, is being Mrs Santa because Mr Santa is a Ba Humbug. Luckily there’s a martini, over easy on the shaking and a yummy brie to go with it, all to keep my spirit level up.

    Speaking of alcohol – Of course I am ENVIOUS of not having enough money to stock up my pantry with expensive bottles of wine and whisky. I would love to buy and try but in the end I know I would be somehow disappointed.

    Why? Because

    1. It’s finished
    2. It would have bought a lot of proper food
    3. It would have helped feed someone else who can’t afford food, never mind ambrosia
    4. I’d want to buy the truffles, caviar, that might give me the full gastronomic experience and I’d end up mortgaging my house
    5. My house or rather my studio is my castle and any temporary delight that took that away would end up as ash in my mouth.

    And that’s just how I always feel about your posts, Michele, I so want to try your viewpoint, swill it around in the glass, inhale its bouquet, but I always end up spitting it out as just more cheap plonk.

  61. Billy 61

    Matthew Pilott,

    That argument is one used by socialists to discount all the monumental fuckups of socialism. In any case from the USSR to China, to Cuba, to Kamupchea the problem was not socialism. Apparently, it was the exact opposite: socialism wasn’t practiced “properly”.

    This overlooks the rather obvious point that socialism requires an appointed elite to tell everyone how to live their lives. This requires authoritarianism. It is a required pre-condition of socialism.

    So it may be that the problem is the authoritarianism rather than the socialism, but you can’t have socialism without authoritarianism.

    The exception seems to be Scandinavians, who seem quite willing to be subjugated. I blame the climate and guilt over the vikings and flat-pack furniture.

  62. j 62

    “Thank God for my hard work (and that of thousands like me) or (choose the category you fall into): [1] socialists would have nobody to pluck so that they could engage in moral preening; [2] the more risk-averse would have nobody to employ them; [3] and bums and bludgers would starve.’

    This is the ugliness of your arguement. To oppose you means you must fall into three predtermined Michele Cabiling categories.

    o.k I bet I’ve worked harder than you could ever fucking imagine so piss off with the “master” routine.You’ve got to read more Michele, you’ve got to educate yourself to the facts that rights abuse can just as much come from the disturbed morality of a” dog eat dog” free market as an overreaching government. Both need to be accountable to the general debate of an educated equitable society . Your blind faith in the free market shows a simplicity that just doesn’t occur in the complex involved dealings of a modern citizenry.

    The free market is anarchy in any other world but your “hardworking” dreams.

  63. The PC Avenger 63

    “The free market is anarchy in any other world but your “hardworking” dreams.”

    I believe the correct term is “Libertopia”. Although this can be interchangeably used with “Lolbertopia” and “Packingtown”.

  64. Daveo 64

    socialism requires an appointed elite to tell everyone how to live their lives. This requires authoritarianism. It is a required pre-condition of socialism… The exception seems to be Scandinavians

    How does it feel contradicting yourself in the space of two sentences?

  65. Matthew Pilott 65

    This overlooks the rather obvious point that socialism requires an appointed elite

    Perhaps the less obvious is that this “appointed elite” is in fact supposed to be from the general population, and regularly changed.

    However merely associating any ideas that have a basis in socialism makes the same flaw to which I was pointing out. It’s a fallacy to claim that in trying to use any aspect of socialism you are working towards a government in the form of the USSR or china, it’s a lie that is oft mentioned when attacking social democracies.

    Kind of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    But I agree, ikea has a lot to answer for. given the high standard of living in Scandanavia, maybe the’re doing something right though…

    Besides, everyone knows socialism should have been implemented in 1950’s Britian, what with their queuing and rationing – “mustn’t grumble” and all that – they’d have easily pulled it off.

  66. Billy 66

    Alright Daveo, you pedant. I will rephrase: It requires a population which is willing to be dictated to, or a dictator.

  67. the sprout 67

    MP there you go again spoiling good rightwing propaganda with facts and reasoned argument.
    Britian also would’ve a more appropriate place for socialism to develope too because it was already an advanced industrial state. most of the places so called communism started were the worst as far as Marx was concerned, ie agrarian economies that still needed to transition through socialism before being able to approach communism – a path none completed.

  68. Billy 68

    I suspect Swedes would be wealthy no matter what system they adopted. For some reason, they all seem to be quite happy working hard and letting the government take all they earn.

    It is strange to me that a national character which allows this should also have been responsible for the vikings.

  69. Michele Cabiling 69

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “Anyone who thinks what happened in the USSR and China was an example of Communism or Socialism is clearly brainwashed by some form of libertarian agenda and needs a big boogeyman out there to pick on.”

    Oh, I get it, buddy, a noble ideal was peverted by the evil Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and the only reason socialism hasn’t succeeded anywhere it’s been tried is because “the right people” have never been in charge.

    Instead of looking at “the Idea” we need to consider the track record of ACTUALLY existing socialisms. Socialism in practice cannot be divorced from the ideology that spawned it. Mikhail Bakunin, Marx’s ousted former colleague from the First International, had this to say of Marxism:

    “They [the Marxists] maintain that only a dictatorship — their dictatorship, of course —can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it.”

    Bakunin acknowledged that:

    “The State has always been the patrimony of some privileged class: a priestly class, an aristocratic class, a bourgeois class. And finally, when all the other classes have exhausted themselves, the State then becomes the patrimony of the bureaucratic class.”

    Socialism, in attempting to substitute the visible hand of central planners for the therefore, in economic terms, nothing but an organised effort at bureaucratic self-destruction.

    And since socialists depise voluntarism and consent for achieving social and political outcomes, a socialist society is one in which you do what you are told or you get shot. Anyone refusing to conform to the social plan of the “know betters” must be liquidated lest others rally to their non-conformity.

  70. Phil 70

    “Property is Theft”

    ?!

    Seriously dude, that is an astonishingly immature statement to make, and I have the sincerest hope that you don’t really believe that.

  71. Michele Cabiling 71

    Ak wrote:

    “Nice one Michelle, but easy up – no need to rewrite the collected volumes of “Fascism for Dummies” and marinate them in pus …”

    The original categories of “left and “right” referred to where deputies sat in the post-Revolution National Assembly. The radicals sat on the left, and the [relatively speaking] moderates on the right.

    The modern-day Left-Right political dichotomy was created by Stalin, who placed his own Communist Party the the left of the political spectrum and the Nazis on the right of it.

    This was done to fudge or remove the fact that the full title of the Nazi Party was the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS party. In fact, the Nazis were fellow socialists out of the same totalitarian toilet as Stalin’s mob.

    Another advantage of this system of political categorisation was that it enabled anyone who believed in free market capitalism and individual liberty to be labelled a ‘Nazi.’

    It is this particularly nasty intellectual sewer that people like “Ak’ fall into, probably because they don’t know any better.

    A more apt political spectrum would range from ‘Libertarian’ on one pole to ‘Totalitarian’ on the other. Apply this analysis and you will find Communism and Nazism sharing the same bog-space.

  72. Michele Cabiling 72

    The Sprout wrote:

    “jeez michele/trevor, you really are setting new standards of cliched and uninformed, uninspected prolix banality – well done.”

    I don’t notice you engaging with and refuting a single argument I’ve advanced. All I see is a puerile ad hominem attack.

  73. Matthew Pilott 73

    Righteo Michele, let’s look at the god-blessed capitalism system in all its glory – my word, ain’t the world a pretty place! No wars, no hunger, poverty or disease! Or are you going to tell me this is because capitalism and the libertarian agenda hasn’t been implemented correctly?

    Instead of looking at “the Idea” we need to consider the track record of ACTUALLY existing socialisms. ” Given no one in their right mind thinks that it is a fully socialist government that adherents to social DEMOCRACY wish to implement, you are continuing to display all that faulty reasoning that leads to making such a comparison in the first place.

    I like your take on voluntarism. Tell me, will taxes be voluntary in your ideal social system? What is it about people that leads them to believe that government can be piece-meal. We live in a system whereby the ruling party of the moment weilds power, and can be replaced in an election should their rule be found to be unsatisfactory. You don’t get to ‘opt-out’ of Government, short of emigrating.

    In totalitarian regimes, ‘opting-out’ was indeed a death sentence. Given your views on ‘small government’ I suspect you imagine anything short of a Government that takes taxes to provide a defence force and conduct international diplomacy is totalitarian. Reality shows otherwise.

    Billy, I suspect the Scandanavians get quite a lot in return for the taxes they pay, as do we.

  74. j 74

    So Mikhail Bakunin forsaw it all eh? Well now i totally believe in the free market. You had me At “mikhail”, it’s such beautiful name.

    I have to admit i’ve never been a fan of marx,well Groucho had some good lines but the plots were very thin.

    “a socialist society is one in which you do what you are told or you get shot.”

    Jeez, thanks for that Michelle, well that pretty much does it in for socialism.I’m against shooting people.Thanks for all the hardwork in digging that pearl of wisdom out.I guess you need a few degrees for that kind of observational brillance. What a mind, please don’t leave us, please don’t go to Australia.

  75. Robinsod 75

    Socialism, in attempting to substitute the visible hand of central planners for the therefore, in economic terms, nothing but an organised effort at bureaucratic self-destruction.

    Michele – that doesn’t follow on from Bakunin at all. You’ve quoted a left anarchist and then segued to a remarkably disingenuous misinterpretation of socialism. But given your taste for non sequiturs and other irrational rhetorical tropes I’m not surprised. May I ask you how you have time to write these senseless and intellectually fraudulent diatribes?

  76. Michele Cabiling 76

    J wrote:

    “a ‘dog eat dog’ free market” and “The free market is anarchy.”

    All requiring the visible hand of authoritarian government to mitigate, right?

    As noted in a previous post, Adam Smith, the father of economics, noted that: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own neccessities but of their advantages.”

    What this means, is that irrespective of how self-centred a person might be, if they wish to sell a good or service to another, a free market obliges them to be “other-centred” or the buyer will simply go to another provider.

    There is no “dog eat dog” or “anarchy” about it, the invisible hand of the free market harmonises through the price system the millions and millions of individual interests, in a manner that no socialist planner could remotely approach.

    This is why socialism is an economic “bust” –because is abolishes the price system’s role in resource allocation and substitutes it for that of the planner.

    Stop with the regurgitated Marxist crap already!

  77. Michele Cabiling 77

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “Perhaps the less obvious is that this ‘appointed [socialist] elite’ is in fact supposed to be from the general population, and regularly changed.”

    Supposed, schupposed. Try telling that to the ordinary people with their noses pressed to the window of Moscow’s GUM department store, gazing with unrequited longing at the bewildering array of Western consumer goods only available to the Soviet-era Nomenklatura …

  78. Robinsod 78

    the invisible hand of the free market harmonises through the price system the millions and millions of individual interests, in a manner that no socialist planner could remotely approach.

    And in this statement you remind me of an undergrad anglo philosophy student positing “what if” logics predicated on ideal and hermetic systems as if the exercise could possible add any value to the real world. Michele, your free market is like Plato’s world of forms or dozens of other interesting intellectual exercises. It’s fine on the page but put into action it is fiasco. Adults understand this Michele. Why can’t you?

  79. Matthew Pilott 79

    Supposed, schupposed. Try telling that to the ordinary people with their noses pressed to the window of Moscow’s GUM department store, gazing with unrequited longing at the bewildering array of Western consumer goods only available to the Soviet-era Nomenklatura .

    How many times do you need to be told that it’s a facile lie to equate all aspects of socialism with the empirical experience in a totalitarian regime?

    Try telling everyone that the less government the better in Kabul or Mogadishu, if we’re in the business of making petty false comparisons.

  80. Robinsod 80

    Matt – Kabul and Mogadishu need to get with the programme. Those folk are obviously not acting as rationally self-interested men and so should suffer. Damn this world and it’s imperfect consumers!

  81. Daveo 81

    Hey Michele, just checked out your Bebo site.

    http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3821794296

    Love the bit where it says:

    Michele Cabiling
    View By: Friends

    No friends 🙁

    You’re much younger than I thought. How did you get such a warped world view at your age?

    [Tane: Daveo, please try to stay on topic and avoid bringing personal information into the debate]

  82. Michele Cabiling 82

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “[N]o one in their right mind thinks that it is a fully socialist government that adherents to social DEMOCRACY wish to implement …”

    In a social democracy, authoritarian socialists adopt a gradualist, incrementalist strategy, Because they are answerable to voters, they can never proceed as far or as fast as they might like.

    The oft-used analogy of “throw a frog into a pot of boiling water and he will immediately jump out” versus “put him in there, heat the water slowly, and he won’t even realise he’s being cooked” springs immediately to mind.

    Does anyone else believe that our own home-grown authoritarian socialist, Labour’s Helen Clark, would not have gone much further in her assault on our democracy than the Electoral Finance Act if not answerable to voters in the next election?

    By the way, that’s a rhetorical question.

  83. Robinsod 83

    Nah Daveo, Michele has claimed she’s of anglo saxon origin in posts elsewhere – is suspect she’s (he’s?) taken the name randomly off the web or stolen it from a friend. It might pay for someone to take Daveo’s link off the standard as it would be a shame for the real Michele to cop grief because of some rightwing loony’s act of identity theft.

  84. Robinsod 84

    that should be “I suspect”

  85. j 85

    The invisible hand of the free market harmonises through the price system the millions and millions of individual interests,”

    Oh I love harmony.By the way what country practices the above, who has tested it or is it just a theory that sounds like a dream.

    Adam Smith isn’t the father of economics, he isn’t god and he isn’t alive and his writings are just a little bit dated don’t you think? A bit like Herr Marx. Maybe we could progress political theory and update it without being tied to theories and theorists who aren’t actually around to explain the translation of their work into the real world. The people who actually live now are the best people to develop strategy to progress their lives. Put your adam smith in proportion and read a bit more modern economics.

    The printing press was a great step forward but it certainly isn’t anything compared to the microchip.

  86. Ruth 86

    I used to be full of libertarian evangelistic zeal at her age. But eventually reality has its day.

    The true efficacy of a libertarian free market has never been proven; as there is no Libertopia. This is a great advantage in an argument.

    Also eliminationist rhetoric about parasites etc is abhorrent.

    You don’t get people on your side by insulting them.

  87. j 87

    “Supposed, schupposed. Try telling that to the ordinary people with their noses pressed to the window of Moscow’s GUM department store, gazing with unrequited longing at the bewildering array of Western consumer goods only available to the Soviet-era Nomenklatura .”

    well that’s an interesting story of the shortcomings of Russia. I believe a few chaps there tried to get the invisible hand to help them out and funnily enough just ended up creating invisible billioniares instead.

  88. Michele Cabiling 88

    Robinsod wrote: “And in this statement [the invisible hand of the free market harmonises through the price system the millions and millions of individual interests, in a manner that no socialist planner could remotely approach] you remind me of an undergrad anglo philosophy student positing “what if” logics predicated on ideal and hermetic systems as if the exercise could possible add any value to the real world. Michele, your free market is like Plato’s world of forms or dozens of other interesting intellectual exercises. It’s fine on the page but put into action it is fiasco. Adults understand this Michele. Why can’t you?”

    Adults who is economically literate can compare the outcomes produced by the invisible hand of the free market with those produced by the authoritarian socialist central planners you clearly defend and idolise.

    Repeat after me, ding-bat, “This is why the Soviet Union failed.” Shortages, economic inefficiency, bureaucratic corruption, an elite bureaucratic class living like kings while the ordinary man ate less meat per annum than under the last Czar …

    Since I’m always criticised for the length of my posts I will give just two of the many examples:

    Czarist Russia was known as “the bread basket of Europe,” exporting millions of tonnes of grain annually. After Stalin collectivised the farms and exterminated the kulaks (landed peasants) as a class, it became a net IMPORTER of millions of tonnes of grain.

    Crops rotted in the fields while the machinery to harvest them either wasn’t made at all because the planners had decided another output had a priority on steel production that year, or because lay rusty and idle because nobody bothered to maintain it.

    To solve this problem, the Communists grudgingly allowed 5% of the arable land of the Soviet Union to be used for private production to be sold at “farmers’ markets.’ Soon, this measly remnant of agricultural land was producing almost 40% of the Soviet Union’s total food output.

    Absent the price system and resources are incorrectly allocated. Absent the profit motive, and people just won’t work. Why should they, when the laziest is rewarded no less than the most industrious. Reinstate the profit motive, and the results are self-evident.

    Ludwig von Mises told the world in 1922 that Communism would never work as an economic system. The lessons of history proved him correct.

    A wise Greek called Aristotle could have told us all that long before von Mises. Some 2, 500 years ago. Aristotle warned: “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.

  89. Pascal's bookie 89

    Adam Smith of course was also in favour of progressive taxes, an idea later taken up by marx in his prophecies about what a post-capitalist society would look like.

    Funny that.

  90. Michele Cabiling 90

    “J” wrote:

    “well that’s an interesting story of the shortcomings of Russia. I believe a few chaps there tried to get the invisible hand to help them out and funnily enough just ended up creating invisible billioniares instead.”

    That’s callled “crony capitalism” where the ruling gang of KGB thugs and thieves simply transferred the resources of the unravelling state to themselves and their mates.

    When the Berlin Wall fell, the Eastern Block countries didn’t even have a system of private property rights in land, since the infant system that was slowly evolving through the breakdown of feudalism was blown away by the Communists.

    It is unlikely any of you leftards has even read “The Mystery of Capital,” authored by well respected Peruvian economist, Hernando De Soto.

    De Soto charges that third world [and this includes former Eastern Bloc nations] poverty is largely attributable to “crony capitalism” in which the “haves” prevent the democratisation of wealth to the “have nots” by restricting private property ownership to their group alone.

    Throughout the third world, the formal systems of property rights taken for granted in advanced nations simply don’t exist. Even after decades of family occupation, few people officially own the land or homes they occupy. The notion of holding legal title to property is unknown outside of rigged schemes serving a handful of elites.

    De Soto calculates that through “extralegal” businesses and home building, the world’s poor have accumulated assets worth $US9 trillion. This is 20 times the direct foreign investment in the third world since 1990 and more than 46 times what the World Bank has lent in the last three decades.

    But because these assets are not “paperised” in the formal documents and legal structures taken for granted in the West, they can’t function productively as capital. People are unable to use their homes as collateral for loans to expand businesses or buy additional property. It is this ability to borrow money for the process of capital accumulation that is the engine of first world wealth creation.

    You leftards need to abandon the Marxist notion of economics as a zero sum game in which more for one group is less for another. Perhaps if you read a little more widely, you’d understand why some nations are wealthy, and the economies of others are lagging or falling behind.

  91. Michele Cabiling 91

    Pascal’s bookie wrote:

    “Adam Smith of course was also in favour of progressive taxes, an idea later taken up by marx in his prophecies about what a post-capitalist society would look like.”

    Smith intended that progressive taxes would pay for public works that everyone used, not for hip hop tours, treaty settlements and politicians’ junkets.

    I don’t agree with him on this.

    Marx took Smith’s suggestion and ran with it for his own purposes. He had identified that even in his own time, there were not just two classes, the bourgeoisie (owners of capital) and the workers (who owned nothing but their labour power), but a third class.

    This “intermediate and transitorial class” or “petty bourgeoisie” made up of priests, lawyers, doctors, self-employed artisans, small business owners, impoverished aristocrats etc “obscures the class boundaries.”

    Marxists hate this class because it gives the lie to Marxist class warfare doctrine of “bosses versus workers” by showing that someone who works and saves, starts a business, gets a good education etc is not stuck as an “immiserated” worker, but can move up in the world by their own efforts.

    The seriously wealty can always take advantage of tax breaks and don’t pay much tax anyway. Those hardest hit by progressive taxation are the petty bourgeoisie. The Marxist intention in promoting such a tax structure is self-evident: proletarianise this “intermediate and transitorial class” by preventing their self-advancement, thus driving them back down into the ranks of the “wage slaves.”

    This means it no longer clutters up the inter-class boundary that Marxists want to be clear and well-delineated in order to stir up Marxist revolution.

  92. Robinsod 92

    Adults who is economically literate

    This is about the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

    Well maybe this:

    You leftards need to abandon the Marxist notion of economics as a zero sum game in which more for one group is less for another.

    coming just a day or so after this little analogy:

    if 100 people would have been taken on at the market wage rate, and only 60 at the leftard-imposed minimum wage, are we better off in terms of your “greatest good of the greatest number” criterion?

    Comedy gold.

  93. Pascal's bookie 93

    Michele, as a disclaimer I’ll start by saying that like about 99% of the modern western left I’m not now, nor have I ever been a fan of Stalinism> So anything in that vein is straw.

    Who is getting richer and why out of the USA and China, in light of your wide reading and superlative understanding of the issues?

  94. Comedy gold.

    You missed this one:

    The modern-day Left-Right political dichotomy was created by Stalin, who placed his own Communist Party the the left of the political spectrum and the Nazis on the right of it.

    Now that’s priceless.

  95. Daveo 95

    well that’s an interesting story of the shortcomings of Russia. I believe a few chaps there tried to get the invisible hand to help them out and funnily enough just ended up creating invisible billioniares instead.

    Interesting you mention that. Turns out per capita GDP in the former Soviet Union has actually dropped since the fall of Communism. Now I’m no fan of Stalinism either, but it does make Michele’s triumphalist rhetoric look a little silly. That’s the problem with libertarians, they’re all ideology and no research.

  96. J 96

    “You leftards need to abandon the Marxist notion of economics as a zero sum game in which more for one group is less for another. Perhaps if you read a little more widely, you’d understand why some nations are wealthy, and the economies of others are lagging or falling behind.’

    To be honest I’ve never read Marx and have no desire to. My views are a summation of the reality I’ve experienced and the education I’ve tripped up on. I know that sounds crazy but I’d like to make my own history and not have you tell me historically what I am.

    Many people who are labelled centre left couldn’t give a fuck about the imaginary class war sitting in your head, many are more concerned with innovative ways to deliver 4 million people a great 80 years of living.

  97. ak 97

    Comedy gold’s right

    So Hitler was a commie!!! for fu.. I mean FFS!

    (and “petty” bourgeoisie? No history of er… a few crossed cabilings in the attic so to speak is there ‘chelle? – the old invisible hand giving silent sign messages if you know what I mean?)

    gawpalicious indeed

    Sorry, do go on.

  98. Kimble 98

    “Turns out per capita GDP in the former Soviet Union has actually dropped since the fall of Communism.”

    Quoting a single figure is kind of stupid. Firstly, were the GDP stats inflated by, oh I dont know, the local communist government before the fall of Communism. Oh and by the way, you shouldnt really call it communism, because, as others have INSISTED it wasnt really communism anyway.

    Secondly what has happened to the population in the Soviet Union. Thirdly, the Russian Federation is not the same as the old Soviet Union.

    Fourthly, a change from communism to ‘capitalism’ is likely to be severly disruptive, couldnt this help explain the difference too?

    If you check the facts, GDP growth was negative from 1991 to 1996. This is what is known as a transition period. In actual fact, full transition is likely take much longer, and probably wont happen at all with Putin in charge. During this period the economy shrunk by around 40%. Since then it has been negative just once, in 1998.

  99. burt 99

    Robinsod

    Burt – cite an example. Hint: if you say it was said and it wasn’t you’re a liar. Liar.

    I’ve had a good search for a reference, a quote in hansard etc but have turned up nothing substantive to date to support my claim.

    Perhaps I was wrong but then being wrong is far worse. If I’m wrong and Labour never said the extra spending made no difference and by their actions it would seem they think it does… EFB – must stop big money winning elections…..

    So then they validated their illegal overspend retrospectively. Then they restricted how much third parties could spend. They denigrating the EB for spending a lot less than they validated for all political parties. Political parties had already spent how many times the validated total?? 10 times ?

    Then they changed the law to allow themselves legal access to the illegal funds that caused such a nuisance in 2005. Thereby seeking to only allow the advantage that many ‘parties’ had in 2005 for themselves in 2008.

    OK, I’ll agree to either way – you call it?

  100. chris 100

    Talking about comedy gold, I reckon “gawpalicious” would be up there with this lot.

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:http%3A//www.fstdt.com/fundies/top100.aspx%3Farchive%3D1

  101. ak 101

    Jeez burt….

    “Perhaps I was wrong but then being wrong is far worse. If I’m wrong and Labour never said the extra spending made no difference and by their actions it would seem they think it does. EFB – must stop big money winning elections…”

    and again with the bold retrospectivelies…

    just when I thought you were coming right…for God’s sake man, take the pills! (or at least leave it alone for a bit!)

  102. Matthew Pilott 102

    Does anyone else believe that our own home-grown authoritarian socialist, Labour’s Helen Clark, would not have gone much further in her assault on our democracy than the Electoral Finance Act if not answerable to voters in the next election?

    By the way, that’s a rhetorical question.

    Michele, someone who has had read as many books as you profess should realise that ‘rhetorical’ is not a synonym for ‘idiotic’.

    So where would it stop, in your mind, if Clark wasn’t ‘answerable to voters’? I’ve talked to people with views such as your before (and interestingly enough, every one was equally…ascerbic…), and not one has ever been able to answer that question because, in the end, it’s apparent that these socialist delusions have no grounding in reality.

    But have a shot, it’s always an…interesting read, if nothing else.

  103. J 103

    Voters and Election. Two key words you should think about Michelle.

    Voting – how clever is that.You can vote governments out; so Clark is answerable to the voters.She may even know that. That’s a prerequisite of trust.

    That voting is what us disgusting democratic lovers dig the most however unpopular and inconvenient that may sound to you. I like a good (fair) vote as much as the next man.

    When strange dreamers like yourself show no interest in clearer public debate it makes me want to seriously question your empathy for the nation you live in and your love for the citizens who share the streets with you. Your’s is a superior, delicate ego and you belong or aspire to belong to a loud wealthy energetic minority; but you hold attitudes that are logically unreasonable. Further more they are argued with a coldness that I thought had died with my grandmother.

  104. Matthew Pilott 104

    Further more they are argued with a coldness that I thought had died with my grandmother.

    That was random…!!

  105. Daveo 105

    There’s no point arguing with evangelical libertarians like Michele. She’s a bit old to still be doing this at 24 – the average libertarian reads Atlas Shrugged at 16, does the evangelical thing for a few years and then comes to their senses by the time they’re 21. The hangers-on are usually weird loners or sociopaths – just go have a look at http://www.solopassion.com. I hope for Michele’s sake she grows out of it soon.

  106. michael 106

    Interesting that Michele brings up treaty settlements in a debate on property rights huh?

    And still no ones taken up on explaining how property isnt theft.

  107. Jum 107

    Michele Cabiling

    Re Your post at 1.09 today

    WRONG AGAIN – expanded POPULATION = contracted freedoms
    Why do you think we have increased road rules, as am example.

    Of course I admire people who start up businesses. But get it out of your head that they do it on their own. Banks have to risk money in loans, other companies supply tools, computer equipment, facilities, et cetera. When these companies go bankrupt you say only the business owner suffers, not the employers.
    Suffering of employees limited to unpaid wages and holiday pay. Nonsense – unpaid mortgage, loss of house because no other work available. Having to move to follow work. The amount of staff laid off just before Christmas every year by your ‘kind’ employers makes me sick. Your ‘kind’ employers moving overseas because the shareholders want higher dividends and your employees don’t want to be paid the same wages as China, India, et cetera.

    You blinkered one horse woman. When are you going to stop being so thick and thoughtfully read the blogs addressed to you. But’thinking’ and ‘Michele’ in the same sentence. That’s not going to happen.

    No one is blaming business for doing well. No one wants money for nothing. No one wants anything other than fair wages for a fair day’s work. Again your inherent stupidity is showing its ugly self. The free market is a failed experiment as an example supposed to give all New Zealanders a decent life. Cheap labour more like.

    When I referred to you getting an accountant to lower your tax bill, I meant that although you might complain that your ‘business’ may have a huge tax bill, there was no evidence that you paid a huge tax bill. So how dare you try to make out that your money is being given to other people. If your accountant is doing his/her job, I doubt you would have paid much.

    Michele wrote “I suspect you are probably a ‘teacher’ [sic] or some other kind of government employee — my guess is a part-time researcher or some other soft job at The Ministry of [Ugly] Wimmins [sic] Affairs. If not, your misandrist attitudes would be right at home there.”

    SIGH WRONG AGAIN – three strikes and you’re out.

    I keep going to type YOU STUPID WOMAN but I keep thinking of Renee in Allo Allo Allo and start laughing.

  108. J 108

    “Further more they are argued with a coldness that I thought had died with my grandmother.”

    That was random

    yeh my bad, I mean grandmas generation and of course you never met my grandma, some were really nice but their was some weird cold citizens there in that generation i met as a kid, obviously you have warmer memories.

  109. David Coverdale 109

    To: Michelle Cabiling

    I find your comments genuinely interesting, even though I disagree with many of them. But I do not yet find your views interesting.

    It is clear that you are widely read. It is also clear that you value your education. That is fair enough – I value mine, too. But people with some education shouldn’t lord it over everybody & pretentiously writing [sic] after comments they disagree with, or using a big word when a small one means the same thing just to prove that they can. That creates red-herrings, making your argument less clear, and it can create ill-feeling and personal resentment, both from others with a lot of education and from others with less. It is neither dignified nor humble.

    Advanced education is more than learning a bunch of quotes, it is more than learning about what we humans have come to understand & advanced education is mostly about realizing just how much we humans collectively are too stupid to know. For every Nobel-laureate like Friedman arguing for lower state involvement in the economy, there are other Nobel-laureates (e.g. Olson) whose work pointed to the virtues of large-scale state involvement. There is still so much uncertainty in most real-world studies of human relations that humans cannot possibly claim to have a clear understanding even on interpersonal human relations, let alone the huge web of interactions that make up a modern economy or government.

    Advanced education should also teach you that very few things can be split cleanly into two or three categories. There are almost always many, many shades of grey in between. In the New Zealand political context, National and Labour are shades of grey that are actually pretty close to one another. They agree that there should be progressive taxation (they even mostly agree on many of the rates and/or bands). They agree on free trade. They agree on the vast majority of health, education, and welfare policy. And so on. To one or two percentage points, they even agree on how much government involvement there should be in the economy. So any attempt to take a real-world argument about New Zealand politics and turn it into a crusade of the agents of freedom against the dark forces of Marx, Mao, and Stalin isn’t very realistic, and hurts your own credibility.

    Your credibility falls further when some of the statements you make are very general assertions that happen also to be unsupported and wrong (not debatable, just wrong). Two examples:

    “If government does what it unlawful for citizens to do in their individual capacity, it is an illegitimate government.”

    Even Friedman and Smith would disagree with this. Even if the government’s only role was to protect private property rights, it would still need to be endowed with the ability to enforce contracts and ultimately imprison those who don’t comply. No individual can have that right in a free society, as it would involve them acting as judge over their own cause. If you adopted the principle that individuals could legitimately judge your own cause, you’d end up in Hobbes’ war of all against all very fast. According to your statement, this makes a property-protecting government “illegitimate.” But even the most minimalist view of government demands that it have that right.

    “The modern-day Left-Right political dichotomy was created by Stalin, who placed his own Communist Party the the left of the political spectrum and the Nazis on the right of it.”

    That is incorrect. Labels of “left” and “right” were used continuously and without meaningful change in many western democracies (including New Zealand) from the period before Stalin’s rise to prominence until after.

    BTW, it is worth noting that as far as I saw **nobody** on the left side of this thread equated decreased taxes and National party government in New Zealand with the Nazi party. To accuse the left of this is to create an entirely transparent straw man.

    At other times your claims, while remaining unsupported, are at least possible. But the real-world ground your theories are standing on is often very thin. Again, two examples:

    “Morally, socialism is mob rule. Socialists believe that anything is fair game for the political “vote” and that the protection of individual rights, particularly private property rights (i.e., protection from mob rule) is always trumped by their obsessive need to engage in moral preening with other people’s money.”

    Well if the political vote equals mob rule, as you claim, then any form of democracy must also be mob rule. If you’re going to come out against democracy then fine, we can have that discussion, but be explicit about it & don’t use your rhetorical skills to hide the logical extension of your own position while shining light on the logical extension of others’. Also, all the stuff about private property rights “always” being trumped by other stuff isn’ true in the real world. Governments like the present one in New Zealand (which you have labeled “socialist”) do protect private property, enforce contracts (even when they may not personally agree with the ends of the contract), and so on. Indeed, the World Bank says that New Zealand (yes, even today) runs the third most business friendly economy in the world.

    Second: “I’d be more inclined to phrase it: “Screw you, I WORKED for mine.”

    Which of course gives those who didn’t no moral right to steal from the the fruits of my labour.

    As pointed out in an earlier post: “Stealing by majority vote remains stealing.””

    If I’m reading this right, you seem to suggest that the fruits of your labour were created by you alone, and that therefore nobody has the right to take any of it from you. You can’t support the premise of this argument (especially in New Zealand, but in fact regardless of where you live). For the vast majority, their education & clearly a big part of your own financial success & was subsidized and provided publicly (that is, by everyone else). The roads you use to get around, also funded by others. And even if you went to 100% privately funded schools (which are very rare in New Zealand) and received absolutely no benefit from any infrastructure in the country (which is almost inconceivable), the property rights that allow you to enforce contracts, make bank deposits, earn interest, move from place to place, etc are all backed not by a private security force but by a police force funded by everyone. All of those publicly funded, publicly provided organs helped you succeed, and therefore the fruits you hold are partly the product of the labour of others.

    For today, I’ll stop here. You know a bunch of stuff Michelle, but your tendencies to lord your intellectual assets over others, see things unnecessarily and unhelpfully in black and white, refuse to critically examine your own thinking, and simply make stuff up mean that your views are not interesting.

  110. Jum 110

    Michele Cabiling

    You wanted to know what I do.

    I’ll tell you.

    My name is …….. Key and until my party loses, and I get bounced as too lite, I can’t do battle for the job I really want which is secretary to the Leader of the Labour Party, because I secretly like Helen Clark and Michael Cullen’s Labour policies better. Because I was out of the country so long I missed what a bunch of neanderthals National really are and joined them! Go figure.

  111. Jum 111

    Ruth

    Ruth said on Jan 14 at 12.42 “But Jum, most on the internet don’t seek to convince *anyone* of their positions. They just want to be told over and over again by their respective cheerleaders that they are right.”

    Thanks Ruth for the reality check. Even your name brings an air of security and credence to your posts.

    I could stop doing posts, but then it implies that everyone agrees with what the other side is saying. That’s why we get silly situations where ‘ALL’ New Zealanders agree that…. or ‘MOST’ of the country don’t want…..

    And that is the danger of trusting the media to print a balanced batch of opinion. They don’t. Many Kiwis then begin to think that they are somehow wrong because there’s no one supporting their view.

    During 2008, it will become even more important for media shy individuals to state their case (even National/Act supporters who may or may not agree with some/all of their favourite party’s policies, should we ever get any.

    Not these big money outfits.

    2008 is the year of the individual Kiwi to post their views and question the parties. Any billboards or paid newspaper views should be ignored. The Hortons and the Farrars and the Shadbolts are meddling in our future. Kiwis can make up their own minds thank you very much, if we’re left alone to do so.

    Any Government advertising to roll out new initiatives to help New Zealanders better their lives will be treated the same way as any information. Some will use it. The rest won’t.

    When National policy gets rolled out some will like it and the rest won’t.

    National’s secretive policies will be either progressive for New Zealand or they’ll be repulsive to Kiwis.

    If they are worthwhile, then New Zealanders have a right to know about them and have them implemented immediately with due note of where they came from, and not just used if they win the Government benches. What concerns me otherwise is that they are not then interested in the good of the country, just themselves.

  112. Michele Cabiling 112

    “So Hitler was a commie!!! for fu.. I mean FFS!”

    Man, you are dense! What part of “the full title of the Nazi Party was the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party” is so hard to understand. In the 1920s and 1930s the Nazis and the Commnunists competed for the same kind of minds, and the transition of adherents from one party to another (think ex-Communist Goebbals) was seamles and intellectually painless.

    The only difference was that Hitler’s socialism was a NATIONAL sociailism, whereas Stalins was an INTERNATIONAL socialism.

    One designated “the volk” as the class that would redeem society from its bourgeois errors, the other “the international proletariat.”

    J accuses me of “hold[ing] attitudes that are logically unreasonable” yet does nothing beyond ad hominem personal attacks to engage with and refute any of the [il]logic of my arguments.

    Of course Helengrad is answerable to voters. My point is she would go a lot further and a lot faster in terms of abrogating the institutions of a free society if she wasn’t. The Fabian Socialists strategy for creating a statist society must of necessity be gradualist and incremental for this very reason.

    To approach you on the same ad hominem level as you approach me: Daveo, you are a dickhead. I mean to say: “evangelical libertarians … She’s a bit old to still be doing this at 24 … the average libertarian … comes to their senses by the time they’re 21 … weird loners or sociopaths … I hope for Michele’s sake she grows out of it soon.”

    Again I don’t see a single engagement in this post with anything I’ve said or a single refutation of my political or economic viewpoints.

    Standard leftard sophism: Michele is a bad person for opposing socialism, so if we demonise her we don’t have to engage intellectually when we aren’t equipped to.

    Michael says: “And still no ones taken up on explaining how property isnt theft.”

    I invited someone to kick that debate off by explaining why it was and nobody has taken it up yet. Let’s see you do it, Michal (if you can)?

    David Coverdale takes issue with my statement:

    “If government does what it unlawful for citizens to do in their individual capacity, it is an illegitimate government.”

    He says:

    “Even Friedman and Smith would disagree with this. Even if the government’s only role was to protect private property rights, it would still need to be endowed with the ability to enforce contracts and ultimately imprison those who don’t comply. No individual can have that right in a free society, as it would involve them acting as judge over their own cause. If you adopted the principle that individuals could legitimately judge your own cause, you’d end up in Hobbes’ war of all against all very fast. According to your statement, this makes a property-protecting government ‘illegitimate.’ But even the most minimalist view of government demands that it have that right.”

    That’s called a “straw man” argument. Frederic Bastiat is quite clear on the process whereby government derives legitimacy for its actions:

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

    “What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

    “Each of us has a natural right … to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

    “If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

    “Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

    “If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.”

    “Limited Government” anyone?

  113. Robinsod 113

    I would say someone that makes frequent use of the term “leftard” has very little moral highground vis-a-vis ad hominem attacks Ms M. Oh and when it comes to sophism you’ve still not excused your continual use of non sequitur (or any of your other sophistic tropes for that matter) I am interested however, to see you quoting Bastiat (On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place) – would you care to explain how the right to property existed prior to law?

    Oh, and while we’re at it I’ll ask once again how such a busy professional has time to construct such verbose and illogical diatribes. Are you maybe a little bit of a fraud dear?

  114. Michele Cabiling 114

    David Coverdale wrote: “Well if the political vote equals mob rule, as you claim, then any form of democracy must also be mob rule.”

    Not so. When a leftard speaks of “democracy” he means mob rule. When a classical liberal (aka “libertarian”) speaks of “democracy” he means a democratically elected LIMITED GOVERNMENT whose functions are limited to the extent that Frederic Bastiat outlines in my previous post.

  115. Robinsod 115

    Ms M. Hello? If you’re gonna play this all pseudo-intellectual you need to back your arguments up not just pick and choose. It goes to credibility dear, and at the moment it looks like you have none. In which case you should probably just get the hell outta dodge because when you comment at length without credibility you become a slightly more eloquent version of D4J. Nah scratch that, dad comes out with some bloody funny stuff. You are only a bore.

  116. Matthew Pilott 116

    Man, you are dense! What part of “the full title of the Nazi Party was the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party”

    Michele, this is a weak and flawed argument and you know it. Would you then argue that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a true democracy? The title does not make it a fact. Do you think Hitler was a representation of the Workers? Throughout his rule, were the workers able to replace him at their discretion, as would be mandated by a true socialist regime? I think not.

    Throughout this thread you have selectively chosen arguments to counter sections of people’s posts, yet you claim that “…I don’t see a single engagement in this post with anything I’ve said or a single refutation of my political or economic viewpoints.“. Perhaps you are chosing not to see them, in order to selectively attack the points you can, whilst hoping no one notices everything else you are conveniently ignoring.

    For example, you spoke of socialism not tolerating voluntarism, and thereby forcing everyone to adhere.

    I posted”I like your take on voluntarism. Tell me, will taxes be voluntary in your ideal social system? What is it about people that leads them to believe that government can be piece-meal. We live in a system whereby the ruling party of the moment weilds power, and can be replaced in an election should their rule be found to be unsatisfactory. You don’t get to ‘opt-out’ of Government, short of emigrating.

    In totalitarian regimes, ‘opting-out’ was indeed a death sentence. Given your views on ‘small government’ I suspect you imagine anything short of a Government that takes taxes to provide a defence force and conduct international diplomacy is totalitarian. Reality shows otherwise.

    So, to reiterate, will your ‘limited government’ be based upon voluntary admission, or will your hypothetical libertarian regime “depise voluntarism and consent for achieving social and political outcomes“?

    You assert (through someone else’s works, and not your own knowledge) that life, lberty and property existed before laws, and that the latter was formulated to protect the former. Where do these inalienable property rights come from?

    Life and Liberty are able to exist without laws; this much is clear – for we can born with both, if we are not born into servitude.

    Property rights cannot exist without laws and thus are not inalienable rights, they are an artificial construct. This is not to say they are wrong per se (and that is not a debate I wish to engage in for the time being), but they are by no means inherent.

    Govennment is therefore not simply upholding the rights of the individual as predates the laws that brought about Government. It is upholding artificial (as opposed to intrinsic) property ‘rights’ as part of its fundamental function. To therefore assert that limited Government is the only true, natural or lawful type, is based upon a flawed premise.

    If Government is truly limited, it would only ensure life and liberty. If it is to uphold property rights in addition to life and liberty, it is no longer purely enforcing individuals’ rights on a collective basis. This opens the way for socially progressive policies in addition to (and to balance inequalities created by) property rights.

  117. Michele Cabiling 117

    Hoi Robinsodomite there’s a big difference between leavening one’s posts with an occasional “leftard” in between attempting to engage in rational discourse on a one-to-one (probably and exaggerated ratio) with various opponents; and dedicating entire posts to personal attacks which is what you leftards tend to do.

    Of course property existed prior to law. It existed as a MORAL right, meaning its owner possessed the MORAL right to defend it against anyone seeking to dispossess him of it by force.

    Are you trying to suggest that someone who speared an animal or picked a piece of fruit or built a hut had no superior moral right to it than someone who’d just happened along and wanted to take it?

    It is this MORAL right to self-defence of one’s property that governments were set up to formalise and codify.

    Where’s the refutation in:

    “pseudo-intellectual … without credibility … You are only a bore.”

    You merely point up your lack of erudition and complete inabililty to engage with my arguments.

    My guess is that you are someone who has managed to synthesise a personality for himself out of of angry social activism. Rational questioning of the ideology giving your otherwise pointless life a scintilla of meaning is therefore bound to provoke emotional outbursts.

  118. Tane 118

    Of course property existed prior to law. It existed as a MORAL right, meaning its owner possessed the MORAL right to defend it against anyone seeking to dispossess him of it by force.

    Where does this moral right come from? I’m sorry Michele but the individual property rights that underpin the capitalist system are social constructions. They may serve a useful purpose and you can argue for them on utilitarian grounds, but don’t give me this Randian crap about inherent rights to private property – because they don’t exist.

  119. David Coverdale 119

    Michele says:

    “David Coverdale takes issue with my statement: “If government does what it unlawful for citizens to do in their individual capacity, it is an illegitimate government.”” Then she quotes my quote, calls it a “straw man” without saying how it is a straw man, and quotes an extended passage of Bastiat.

    In fact, I took issue with substantially more than this statement. If Michele chooses not to respond to the rest, that is her right. But given her penchant for detailed point-by-point replies, her silence speaks volumes. (Wait & but see below!)

    On the substance, something isn’t true just because Bastiat said it in 1850. Bastiat equivocates between the form of liberty that pre-dates law with the kind of liberty that law fosters and protects. Michele, approvingly quoting Bastiat, agrees. But they’re wrong.

    The “liberty” that existed pre-law is a world without formal authority, an uncertain sea of shifting principles and alliances, best described in Hobbes’ State of Nature, where existence was famously “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” If Michele wants to defend that kind of existence, I’d be surprised. The liberty that law guarantees has far more consistency and longevity than the nominally-free-but-mainly-arbitrary State of Nature that precedes law. It is reliable and comforting where the State of Nature was not. Tane and Robinsod make similar points, and they’re both right.

    This difference in kind shows that post-law liberty cannot have emerged as a simple agency assignment of pre-law liberties from individuals to their rulers or representatives. In that transference, liberty underwent a qualitative shift, rendering Bastiat’s argument false, and Michele’s strategy of sophistry-as-defense defeated.

    And ultimately, that little detour gets Michele nowhere defending her statement that any government that can do what we as individuals cannot is illegitimate. It remains a silly statement.

    Wait! While writing this reply, I notice that Michele has also decided that when she said “the political “vote”” was a sign of mob rule, that is only true for socialists, not classical liberals. Because classical liberals, she says, only vote for a government that is not allowed to do a bunch of stuff, which makes it democracy rather than mob rule. First, in such a classical liberal democracy, there are still votes & and according to Michele, those votes signify mob rule. So there’s no logical gain. And second, a government of the people that is prevented by some group other than the people (in her case, the edicts & accepted wholesale & of one dead French guy) from enacting certain policies isn’t really a democracy. It’s crony democracy, in which some minority in society conspire to give everybody else the impression of democratic equality and democratic control of the country when in fact they do not have it.

    Again, her sophistry fails.

    PS & “Erudition.” Seriously? That’s pretty pompous.

  120. Robinsod 120

    “Robinsodomite”? Yeah Michele you are a bore and a bore with an unhealthy fascination for anal sex (if you want some Robinsod is always happy to oblige a pretty lady). I’d suggest to you that you have a limited reading in some long-refuted thinkers and you’re using that bullshit to hammer home your random understanding of the world that I suspect is predicated on some deep-seated personal issues.

    Oh, and as for your “moral right”? I’d like to know what the basis of that morality is because I suspect you have decided to pick and choose discourses just as you pick and choose which arguments to take up.

  121. Jum 121

    David Coverdale

    Your superior education and balanced presentation of it, I will happily bow to.

  122. Michele Cabiling 122

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “Throughout his [Hitler’s] rule, were the workers able to replace him at their discretion, as would be mandated by a true socialist regime? I think not.”

    We have already had this discussion. Throughout the rule of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and a myriad of lesser socialist totalitarians, were the workers able to replace them at their discretion?

    I think not.

    Oh I get it … these “actually existing socialisms” bear no relation to the “noble socialist ideal.” That’s crap, brother. Socialism in practical application cannot be divorced from the socialist Idea that created it.

    Was Hitler a socialist? This from Mein Kampf:

    “I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired for himself according to the principle: benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual. But the state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.”

    I rest my case. Hitler worked out that rather than directly expropriating private property owners, you get better results by leaving nominal ownership in private hands while expropriating all rights of ownership.

    The foregoing statement could have been written by the New Zealand Labour Party (or indeed any other “social[ist] democratic” party in the world). Setting aside its author, few “social[ist] democrats would have an ideological beef with the sentiments therein.

    Social[ist] democracy is actually fascism, which as already pointed out, is a variant of socialism.

    You wrote:

    “Property rights cannot exist without laws and thus are not inalienable rights, they are an artificial construct. This is not to say they are wrong per se (and that is not a debate I wish to engage in for the time being), but they are by no means inherent.

    “Govennment is therefore not simply upholding the rights of the individual as predates the laws that brought about Government. It is upholding artificial (as opposed to intrinsic) property ‘rights’ as part of its fundamental function. To therefore assert that limited Government is the only true, natural or lawful type, is based upon a flawed premise.

    “If Government is truly limited, it would only ensure life and liberty. If it is to uphold property rights in addition to life and liberty, it is no longer purely enforcing individuals’ rights on a collective basis. This opens the way for socially progressive policies in addition to (and to balance inequalities created by) property rights.”

    I will quote again what you appear to have missed in the above thread:

    “Of course property existed prior to law. It existed as a MORAL right, meaning its owner possessed the MORAL right to defend it against anyone seeking to dispossess him of it by force.

    “Are you trying to suggest that someone who speared an animal or picked a piece of fruit or built a hut had no superior moral right to it than someone who’d just happened along and wanted to take it?

    “It is this MORAL right to self-defence of one’s property that governments were set up to formalise and codify.”

    I find it interesting that you claim a limited government should only uphold life and liberty, while cutting off the third leg of the tripod of freedom (private property rights in order to “open the way for socially progressive policies in addition to (and to balance inequalities created by) property rights.”

    A classical liberal sees freedom as “freedom from coercion.” The state exists as a form of limited government to protect the life, liberty and property of citizens.

    A leftard turns the concept of liberty on its ear. Instead of being a right to be left alone, “freedom” means “freedom from want.” This allows the catchphrase to become “freedom and equality.” Of course, this also means that the freedom of some must be infringed so that others can share the wealth they have played no part in creating.

    The attempt to collectivise society crushes freedom, and the ambition to make people equal creates tyranny and submerges human individuality in totalitarian design.

    The central premise of classical liberalism (libertarianism) is that economic inequality originates in human nature and cannot be abolished without abolishing liberty itself.

    Human faculties and talents are diverse and different from birth. From these differences flow inequalities that are inevitable, including the inequality of property in which human talents and energies are ultimately invested.

    In protecting the efforts of individuals in which they are vested, property rights are the foundation of human rights, the indispensible shield of human diversity. It is the rights of property — and (behind them) the rights of diverse individuals — that form the insurmountable obstacle to the socialist project: equality of CONDITION.

    To suppress human nature and human difference — the essence of the Left’s political ambition — requires the totalitarian state. That, buddy, is why the socialist Idea always becomes, in practice — totalitarianism.

    Classical liberals, by contrast regard liberty as RELIEF for the individual from collective power. This is secured by “negative rights,” by LIMITS to government. This liberty is made possible by the civilising bonds of social order, and by restraints on the coercive power of civil authority.

    Better to live in a world with some inequality than by seeking perfect equality, create a world in which all are yoked together by Big Government in involuntary servitude to all.

    Private property and free markets are the irreplaceable engines of material prosperity and technical progress for the whole of society, a development as important to human welfare as the invention of civilisation itself.

    To the extent that private property rights and free markets are infringed by Big Government, they are also compromised in their proper functions.

    That free markets and private property rights continue to generate material prosperity and technological progress despite, rather than because of, government intervention, is proof of their vitality and rehabilitative power.

    But there will come a time when the clinging parasitic vine of socialism chokes its host to death.

  123. Michele Cabiling 123

    Tane wrote:

    “Where does this moral right [to private property pre-dating civil society] come from? I’m sorry Michele but the individual property rights that underpin the capitalist system are social constructions.”

    Interesting. If you are a hori as your nick suggests, this is precisely the essence of Maori Waitangi claims.

    In a pre-Treaty society, Maori owned nothing. They simply used or occupied it until forcibly dispossessed by another tribal group. While private or family property rights were recognised within the group, outside the group the law of ownership was “te rau o te patu” or “the law of the club.” In other words, each hapu was in a Hobbesian state of nature with every other hapu. There was no settled form of civil government above the tribes to protect and enforce private property rights.

    Yet in making a Treaty claim, you would no doubt argue that various hapu had a moral right of ownership based on prior possession, despite the complete absence of a settled form of civil society.

    Try being consistent and accept my point that prior ownership (assuming it can be established) creates a moral right to assert ownership.

  124. Tane 124

    A classical liberal sees freedom as “freedom from coercion.”

    That’s all fine and dandy, except for the fact that the protection of private property requires coercion of others who would like to use it themselves.

    To use a libertarian trope, your private land is yours because men with guns prevent others from using it. Your contracts require men with guns to make them legally enforcable. And your intellectual property requires men with guns to stop others from reproducing it.

    Let’s stop pretending libertarianism, unlike any other political system, can exist without coercion.

    And you still haven’t explained where the inherent right to private property comes from. Did we develop it on the African savannah, or was it closer to the time of our Australopithecine ancestors?

  125. Jum 125

    David Coverdale

    I’m smitten.

    You don’t take ‘layfolk’ classes in these luscious subjects do you? You make it all sound like fruit, ripe to be plucked.

  126. Tane 126

    If you are a hori as your nick suggests

    You’re a class act Michele.

    There are a variety of justifications of treaty claims, but I’ll give you the simplest one: NZ had a system of law that protected property rights and the crown violated it. The crown is now going back and compensating iwi for its actions, much as they would if they’d seized my grandfather’s house without compensation.

    Now that sideshow’s out of the way, why don’t you tell me where your inherent, pre-political right to private property comes from?

  127. Matthew Pilott 127

    Michele, are you trying to cut your own legs off?

    In a pre-Treaty society, Maori owned nothing. They simply used or occupied it until forcibly dispossessed by another tribal group.

    How does that reconcile with the belief that property rights are inalienable? Or does that not apply to those that aren’t white? Or are you trying to tell us that your property rights are enshrined with teh person who has the biggest stick? And upon this you rest your entire libertarian structure…?

    I will quote again what you appear to have missed in the above thread:

    “Of course property existed prior to law. It existed as a MORAL right, meaning its owner possessed the MORAL right to defend it against anyone seeking to dispossess him of it by force…

    I didn’t miss it, my post was there before yours 😉

    Your quote from Mein Kampf, and the following illigocal discourse in which you tie it to a Social Democratic Government is, as always based upon a false premise. You assume that every Socially Democratic Government has an overrarching goal of total State ownership.

    As I mentioned in an earlier, and unanswered, post, how far do you think the Government of New Zealand would go if it was not answerable to voters? Go on, lay it bare – what do you think their goal would be if they had the means? (This is of course based upon a false assumption that the present Government would WANT to exist as a totalitarian regime)

    You also haven’t said how your ideal classical liberal regime will have voluntarism in enforcement of its rules, as in opposition to a socialist regime, which requires coercion.

    I find it interesting that you claim a limited government should only uphold life and liberty, while cutting off the third leg of the tripod of freedom

    You can’t cut off the non-existant leg of a tripod – there are no inalienable property rights. They could not exist without laws, therefore they are not unalienable. Your entire agrument for a socialist perversion of natural law is fundamentally false.

    It is property laws, this artificial construct, that create the inequality that requires redress.

    To suppress human nature and human difference — the essence of the Left’s political ambition — requires the totalitarian state.

    This is patently false – genuine atruism could achieve this. In your would, this does not exist as your discourse on Adam Smith demonstrates, you hold that selfishness is the only virtue. Not everyone subscribes to this belief, only those with a cynical view of humanity. Whether this could be achieved in fact is another issue – I am merely demonstrating your false reasoning.

  128. Jum 128

    Michele Cabiling said “I rest my case. Hitler worked out that rather than directly expropriating private property owners, you get better results by leaving nominal ownership in private hands while expropriating all rights of ownership.”

    That sounds exactly like National to me, dearie; it’s called buy up strip the guts out of it and sell overseas, and that’s a cynical betrayal of New Zealanders.

  129. David Coverdale 129

    Jum

    First, thanks for the props, whether for real or tongue-in-cheek. I appreciate them in either case.

    Second, that is an amazing quote of Michele’s. For someone with her booksmarts to violate Godwin’s law, thereby basically forfeiting whatever argument she was in on the spot, is actually pretty disappointing.

    Oh well, whatever.

  130. Billy 130

    “…there are no inalienable property rights. They could not exist without laws…”

    Are you saying that no right which does not require a law to exist can be inalienable?

    If so, can you give an example of a right which is inalienable?

  131. Billy 131

    I will try again without the double negative:

    Are you saying that any right which requires a law to exist cannot be inalienable?

  132. Matthew Pilott 132

    A right that can exist without laws in order to confirm that it is a right is inalienable. Life and Liberty are such rights.

  133. Billy 133

    But how is a right to life enforced if not by law?

  134. Daveo 134

    Billy you’ll probably find people here will differ on what constitutes a right. I see rights as a useful social construct rather than an absolute.

  135. Billy 135

    Daveo, on the evidence presented to date on this thread, that is a given.

    I am just interested in Matthew’s idea that there are inalienable rights, and that any right which relies on a law to exist cannot be one.

    I would have thought a right to life is pretty pointless without a law to protect it. In that respect I am struggling to see the difference between that right and a property right.

  136. Matthew Pilott 136

    Billy, just to clarify, this is not about practical implementation of those rights, or enforcement.

    It’s about a right that everyone (as much as an idea can ever to aspire to emcompass Everyone! ) can agree upon, that is inherent in humanity. Life and Liberty are two (many would say the only two, Freedom doesn’t add much to the concept of Liberty in my books, and Pursuit of Happiness is ambiguous – my Happy might not be your Happy 😉 ). Property is clearly far more contentious.

  137. Billy 137

    Is that not slightly different to your earlier assertion that an inalienable right had to be capable of existing without a law?

    You seem now to be saying that an inalienable right is one that everyone can agree is inalienable.

    Of course, there is far from widespread agreement on an inalienable right to life. The death penalty is predicated on the belief that one can give up that right if one has committed a crime of sufficient heinousness.

    One needn’t even go that far: everyone agrees that it is acceptable to take away someone’s liberty under certain conditions. Everyone except Graham Burton is happy with his curtailed liberty.

    So to be consistent, don’t you need to say that there are no inalienable rights?

  138. Matthew Pilott 138

    Now you’re getting into what happens when such inalienable rights are violated. Death Penalty adherents argue an eye for an eye – remove someone’s right to life and lose yours. They are therefore admitting that such is the value of life that to violate it requires the ultimate in retaliation. Which is why I suspect that the death penalty is so controversial.

    It is not different to the assertion that an inalienable right has to be able to exist without a law – this is still the case whether people choose to make laws around them or not.

    I’d imagine, from commentary in the papers, that Graeme Burton’s new neighbours are less than thrilled about his loss of liberty 😉 However the same follows for liberty as for life – violate someone else’s liberty and you may lose yours. This, remember, is a law created around the idea of liberty as a right – liberty still exists without the law.

    Can you show, as a counterpoint, how life or liberty can not exist as a right, without the use of laws? You will find you need to use a law to do so – this is not the case for other rights that are not inalienable. Property implies ownership – but you only own your body as an absolute.

  139. Matthew Pilott 139

    Billy, out of genuine interest:

    Are you playing Devil’s Advocate, do you have a different view about such rights, or are you unconvinced about (or don not believe) in their existence?

  140. Michele Cabiling 140

    David Coverdale wrote:

    “On the substance, something isn’t true just because Bastiat said it in 1850. Bastiat equivocates between the form of liberty that pre-dates law with the kind of liberty that law fosters and protects. Michele, approvingly quoting Bastiat, agrees. But they’re wrong.”

    Sure, something isn’t necessarily true just because someone said it, but in this case there is no equivocation between the forms of liberty that Bastiat proposes. That’s simply sophist casuistry on your part. To discount Bastiat’s insights simply because he was writing in 1850 is no more than the Dead White Male (DWM) reductionist argument invented by today’s academic leftards to avoid engaging with ideas they find hard to refute.

    Of course, anything written by leftard-approved DWMs (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Foucalt, Marcuse, Lukacs, Althusser, Fanon et. al.) gets feted as though its author was born in Bethlehem. The [selective] marginalisation of DWMs in the modern academy allows the traditional Canon of Western thought to be replaced by the turgid and derivative works of various latter-day Stalinists, ignorant of even basic political and economic principles.

    Bastiat proposes that people in a state of nature nonetheless possess a natural [moral] right to their life, liberty and property arising out of their essential nature as human beings. This confers a moral right to defend by force, these things from others who would take them away.

    Life without life is . death or extinction.

    Life without liberty is . slavery.

    Life without property . is to be at the mercy of the elements or starve.

    I suggest you actually read Bastiat’s “The Law” rather than Googling on Bastiat to derive the perceptive insight that it was published in 1850. Your suggestion that morality and the rights that flow from it post-dates establishment of the state shows that like all leftards, you lack any perception of individual ethics or personal morality.

    Morality in your world is collectivist, and established and enforced by those who control the state. Prior to this, in your world view, it’s a chimera.

    This is the underlying ideology of the gulag, the death camp and the killing fields. Should the state decide that certain individuals are “class enemies” or “subhumans” it becomes a moral right, and indeed a duty to exterminate them “for the greater good” as determined by those who control the state.

    Without property (things one has made, collected, cultivated, built, hunted, bartered for, bought), one lacks the means to sustain life. We can all agree that a settled form of civil society is vastly preferable to a Hobbesian state of nature, in that the opportunities for others to arbitrarily deprive one of life liberty and property are immeasurably reduced.

    Bastiat proposes that even in a state of nature, the use of force to deprive others of life, liberty and property is morally wrong, meaning that political combinations cannot legitimately undertake anything that the individuals who make them up are morally disbarred from doing. Ergo, as soon as the state becomes an instrument of plunder whereby one individual or group uses it to pirate the property and income of another, it becomes illegitimate.

    That’s the difference between socialist “democracy” as mob rule, and classical liberal “democracy” as “democratically elected limited government” with closely circumscribed powers and duties.”

    Of course, socialists who despise voluntarism and consent as a means for achieving social and political ends know that collectivising society into competing interest groups then fostering inter-group envy and resentment is the best way to attain political power.

    After all, anyone promising to rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul’s vote. Just don’t try to tell me theft of Peter’s property becomes moral, simply because Nanny State says so. If it’s immoral for Paul to expropriate Peter directly, it’s wrong for anyone acting as his agent to do so, too.

  141. Billy 141

    “Can you show, as a counterpoint, how life or liberty can not exist as a right, without the use of laws?”

    If I am arguing anything (and I am not sure I am) it is not that there is no right to life or liberty. (I am not sure “inalienable” is helpful, as I suspect that all rights are capable of being lost in the right circumstances.)

    What I am not sure that you have established is that a right to liberty is any more valid than a property right. I do not think that the “ability to exist without a law” test works. I would say it exists as a moral right independent of a law to enforce it. You would say it does not. Both seem simply to be opinions, and I suppose that that is getting us back to: inalienable rights are those which most people agree are inalienable rights.

    The fact that we have laws protecting property rights is evidence that most people agree that the rights exist in the first place. Also, try this little test on your own personal view about whether the right exists: would you be grumpy if, without your consent, I took possession of all of the beer in your fridge for my own indefinite use and benefit? If not, where do you live?

  142. Robinsod 142

    Of course, socialists who despise voluntarism and consent as a means for…

    And there you go with another straw man argument again Michele. At first I thought these and your non sequiturs were flaws in your rhetoric but now I see it goes even deeper than that – you really do have large gaps in your arguments that you don’t even see yourself. What really staggers me is that when these gaps are pointed out by others you claim you are being attacked and throw the ugly term “leftard” around as if invoking some spell of protection from truth.

    If you are indeed using your real name you may wish to consider exactly what you are saying more carefully as your flawed (and often repellent) arguments will follow you around for a long time to come.

    On the other hand maybe you’re like all the other libz I’ve ever met and you just need a little love – if that’s the case then you sould get in touch with me Michele ‘cos Robinsod’s got the littlest love of them all…

  143. Michele Cabiling 143

    Tane wrote:

    “[T]he protection of private property requires coercion of others who would like to use it themselves.”

    That’s a false premise derived (whether you know it or not) from revolutionary Marxism.

    How can that be so? “Coercive,” in my lexicon, means compelling someone to do something against their will, not protecting someone from being forcibly deprived of something rightfully theirs.

    I’ve never suggested that private property rights can exist in practical terms without the force (whether individual or collective) to defend against expropriation by non-owners.

    Private property rights exist for the reasons set out in the post above addressed to David Coverdale and I suggest you read it. There is a MORAL underpinning to the concept of private property rights (and the right to defend them by force) that I think you need to get your head around.

    “NZ had a system of law that protected property rights and the crown violated it.”

    News to me.

    The Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed Maori the ownership of land that they occupied or cultivated only. It was never intended to convey to them the ownership of the entire land area of New Zealand. This was a fiction put about by the missionaries, who knew that the Crown had no money in the kick for land purchasing, and wanted to keep secular, worldly pakehas away from the Maori hinterlands they were trying to Christianise.

    The missionaries told Maori that the Treaty gave them title to the entire land area of New Zealand, and that if the Crown wanted land, it would have to buy it. Having no troops to enforce the correct position, the Crown made a mistaken virtue of necessity, and paid over large (for the time) sums of money to acquire land that in fact had no owners in either a legal or moral sense of the term.

    Edward Dieffenbach, who in 1844 travelled throughout the North Island (then home to an estimated 100, 000 Maori) observed that “even in the areas of greatest Maori habitation, there were huge tracts of land, even up to hundreds of miles, between the various tribes.

    Once the tribes adjoining a parcel of waste land the Crown was interested in realised it had value in exhange, well hey, everyone was an instant “owner.”

    The Native Land Courts set up to deal as best they could with these “ownership” issues settled contending claims to a parcel of waste land on the basis of who could fabricate the most convincing story of how a long-dead ancestor travelled over it 1, 100 years before naming natural features after parts of his body (usually his dick).

    The problem of “ownership’ was further compounded in the South Island, which was practically deserted. Edward Shortland’s 1846 census disclosed some 2, 500 Ngai Tahu, mostly living on the sea coast. By 1876, Ngai Tahu numbers had declined to around 1, 600, of whom ONE THIRD WERE ALREADY HALF CASTES. It should be noted that when the Crown made its last South Island purchases of Southland and Ruapuke (Stewart Island) it was obliged to make a separate reserve provision for half castes, who were not at that time regarded by full bloods as tribal members.

    It’s nonsense to suggest that 2, 500 people [a] live on; [b] cultivated; or [c] hunted and gathered over the 33 million acre South Island. Ngai Tahu owned in a practical and moral sense only a tiny fraction of the land, yet were able to clip the Crown for land they didn’t own, because the Crown was too cowardly to grasp the nettle and clarify the extent of the rights conferred by the Treaty.

    As for Tainui, they never signed the Treaty and have a damn hide to now claim its protection. They provoked a war and lost. In traditional Maori society, the victors helped themselves to the lands of the vanquished. Nobody lost land they actuall occupied or cultivated in the raupatu confiscations. What happened was the Crown simply gazetted waste lands nominally in the Tainui rohe “Crown Land,” meaning Tainui were punished by losing the potential value in exchange of land they never owned anyway.

  144. Pascal's bookie 144

    Nazi’s are socialists ’cause they said so, which makes them exactly like the communists in spite of their differences. From which it follows that all social democrats are totalitarians who can’t produce wealth, which in turn proves that the entire poliical and economic history of the west in the 20th century never happenned.

  145. David Coverdale 145

    OK, so I tried being polite to Michele, but to no avail. Somehow from my comments she has surmised that I am a leftard sophist who lacks any perception of individual ethics or personal morality, and holds a morality that is collectivist (the same morality, don’t you know, as the gulag, the death camp, and the killing fields. I had no idea I was so evil). To paraphrase the Dread Pirate Roberts: “Truly she has a dizzying intellect.”

    In amongst al the pseudo-intellectual wank words like “casuistry” and “chimera” (which, like “erudition” before them, indicate overly smug intellectual immaturity rather than actual smarts), there was an actual attempt to rebut my argument about Bastiat. Did you spot it? It was easy to miss. Here it is:

    “Sure, something isn’t necessarily true just because someone said it, but in this case there is no equivocation between the forms of liberty that Bastiat proposes. That’s simply sophist casuistry on your part. To discount Bastiat’s insights simply because he was writing in 1850 is no more than the Dead White Male (DWM) reductionist argument”

    So apparently I didn’t like Bastiat’s argument cos he’s a white corpse with a schlong. Not true. As stated in a previous comment, I actually disagree with Bestiat because he treats two qualitatively different things as one. Michele’s response to my actual argument is a meek “no he didn’t.” I hereby re-raise her with a “yes he did”. Your move.

    To equivocation and pretentiousness we can now also add contradiction to Michele’s rhetorical errors. Consider these two snippets:

    “Bastiat proposes that people in a state of nature nonetheless possess a natural [moral] right to their life, liberty and property arising out of their essential nature as human beings. This confers a moral right to defend by force, these things from others who would take them away.”

    And:

    “Bastiat proposes that even in a state of nature, the use of force to deprive others of life, liberty and property is morally wrong”

    Oops. Remember that this is the state of nature. How the hell would anybody know whether they are righteously defending their property from thieves and marauders, or evilly depriving someone else of their property? Would they all have an innate sense? What if two parties in the same dispute had different innate senses (say if the dispute was & gasp & actually complicated)? Not enough time to call for a law merchant, there’s people with guns facing each other…

    The problem here, and the problem with most attempts to construct a state of nature that doesn’t descent into Hobbesian chaos, is that there is no workable theory of justice to go along with theories of liberty and property. Without that element, chaos follows swiftly from the first disagreements (see Schattschneider for a good explanation of this process of conflict growth).

    Apparently all that amazingly spontaneously peaceful state of nature stuff also explains why some self-appointed moral rulers can severely restrict what sovereign government can and cannot do and still call it a democracy. How does it explain that? Apparently, it just does. Hooray for arguments like that.

    Pascal’s bookie: Nice, nice work.

  146. Robinsod 146

    David – it’s probably best to treat Michele as spam.

  147. David Coverdale 147

    Robinsod – From what I’ve seen today I think you’re right. She may be one of those automatic essay generators, only using obscure ultra-libertarian economists rather than extreme post-modern navel gazers.

    Relatedly, does Whale Oil get Godwin’s Law bonus points for **titling** today’s post: “How close are we to Nazism?”

  148. Robinsod 148

    David – I’m quite a fan of those “extreme post-modern navel gazers”. You’re right though she is reminiscent of those third year students who discover Derrida for Dummies and then decide to fill all of their essays up with half-understood emulations of deconstructivist language. Give me a good old munter like Whale any day (and yes, definitely Godwin points – is it true if you score enough of those you get a Darwin award?)

  149. Billy 149

    Tough crowd, Michele. Right wingers are all stupid. Even when they are smart, they are just pretending to be smart to hide their stupidity. This is inalienable. Get used to it.

  150. The Prophet 150

    Why has my comment been deleted?

    heh, catchpa – privacy night

  151. Presumably they weren’t willing to let Robinsod’s abuse of you stand, but also weren’t willing to leave your comment there having deleted his response to the accusation in it.

  152. Jum 152

    No, I think Michele Cabiling actually believes what she says which is way more scary.

  153. Tane 153

    Why has my comment been deleted?

    Hi Prophet, sorry I should have put a note on this thread too. Explanation over here:

    Interesting times…

    Interesting times…

  154. Michele Cabiling 154

    Pascal’s bookie wrote:

    “From which it follows that all social democrats are totalitarians who can’t produce wealth …”

    As noted before, socialism produces nothing. It is forced to cling like a parasitic vine to capitalism, for without capitalism there would be no wealth to expropriate and redistribute.

    And:

    “Nazi’s are socialists ’cause they said so, which makes them exactly like the communists in spite of their differences.”

    I have acknowledged the differences in a previous post, but the war between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany was a war between two variants of socialism. In one corner, NATIONAL socialism, in the other, INTERNATIONAL socialism.

    Boy are you ever dim …

  155. Michele Cabiling 155

    David Coverdale asserts:

    “How the hell [in a state of nature] would anybody know whether they are righteously defending their property from thieves and marauders, or evilly depriving someone else of their property?”

    Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto notes that in third world countries where most people occupy property based on inherited squatter’s rights rather than legally codified ownership, you know when you have crossed onto someone else’s property in Bali because — a different dog barks. The dogs know.

    People are dumber than dogs, right?

    In a state of nature roaming the wilderness, if you build something, kill it with a spear, grow it, climb a tree to pluck it, or barter for it, you know damn well it’s yours because you have expended to effort of your body to procure it for yourself.

    “The problem here, and the problem with most attempts to construct a state of nature that doesn’t descent into Hobbesian chaos, is that there is no workable theory of justice to go along with theories of liberty and property.”

    If you can’t get your head around the concept of people being morally entitled to the fruits of their labour, whether in a state of nature, or in a civil society, there’s something awry with your moral compass.

    “Apparently all that amazingly spontaneously peaceful state of nature stuff also explains why some self-appointed moral rulers can severely restrict what sovereign government can and cannot do and still call it a democracy.”

    That’s just a fancy way of saying government (or rather the self-anointed ‘know betters’ who control it) is the master of the people rather than their servant. Government is not sovereign, the PEOPLE are. And in order to prevent the idolent and envious from voting themselves the property and income of others, legitimate government is LIMITED GOVERNMENT, which mean it has no business stealing from people.

    I point out for the second time that your moral compass requires recalibration.

  156. Max Call 156

    Michele

    you have been repeatedly slam-dunked. I suggest you re-read peoples posts to you above and make an honest attempt to answer their criticisms of your writing (and lengthy quoting).

  157. Michele Cabiling 157

    Jum wrote: “No, I think Michele Cabiling actually believes what she says which is way more scary.”

    Now THAT’S engagement with my arguments…

  158. Jum 158

    Michele

    You have such a nerve. Every time I have tried to engage with you, I have been treated like dirt. Do as Max Call says and reply to my posts throughout this last week or so. And do it properly this time, omitting quotes from other people’s thinking, and without the boring insults.

    Hypocrisy aint in your dictionary is it.

    Even my forgiving nature has had enough of your entrenched narcism.

  159. Michele Cabiling 159

    What’s more scary is that you are such a sour, bitter, ding bat.

    None of your recent posts have contained anything worth replying to, hence my non-response.

    And I did note your abject bowing and scraping in the thread above to a [marginally] superior male intellect on your own side of the fence.

    Some feminist you are. Still, I guess the instinct to defer to a man is hard-wired into you, which is why you are so resentful of men (unless, of course, like your huband, they have been suitably psychlogically emasculated, and “know their place”).

    My husband would simply leave the seat up and tell me not to be so anal …

  160. Jum 160

    Max Call

    re Michele Cabiling

    The prosecution rests.

  161. Matthew Pilott 161

    Michele, most people who are educated, or claim to be, also take a pride in a degree of personal development and civility; I’m wondering why it’s different with many libertarians? Do you think it’s tied into the core belief of “I look out for me – fuck off, you!”?

    Billy – to boil it down to the most simplistic state – you’re born (in a natural state) with life and liberty but not property. You must acquire property, and often (or always, depending on how you look at it) at someone else’s expense, potentially violating their right of life and liberty.

    If you’re really big and strong, and exceedingly intelligent, relatively (at the hunter/gatherer stage), you could hunt and gather to the extent that others are forced out of the area or starve. So being big or bright is somehow a foundation for a moral right? That’s where I disagree.

  162. Jum 162

    Hey People

    I’m going to be brave here and ask you to rule on my posts on The Standard.

    If you think I have said nothing worthwhile in my posts, please say so and I will leave quietly.

    Life is short and 5000 books await me.

  163. Tane 163

    Jum, your posts are intelligent, constructive and to the point. Stick around. I don’t think Michele will be here for long.

  164. Michele Cabiling 164

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “Michele, most people who are educated, or claim to be, also take a pride in a degree of personal development and civility …”

    Sure, there are a few [usually] well-deserved gratuitous insults in my posts, but you will note that the lion’s share of anything I write consists of attempts to engage on an intellectual level.

    When people fail (owing to their ideological blinkers) to get your head around simple propositions it gets kinda frustrating.

    Personally, I don’t consider calling people who disagree with you “bigots” to be particularly “civil” or to demonstrate too much in the way of “personal development.”

    Where I come from, if you want to elevate your opinions above mine you are obliged to provide a superior standard of argument and or evidence.

    A label is not an argument, but a form of lazy intellectual shorthand engaged in to demonise someone whose views you are viscerally discomforted by but remain logically unable to refute.

  165. Michele Cabiling 165

    Jum wrote:

    “Hey People I’m going to be brave here and ask you to rule on my posts on The Standard. If you think I have said nothing worthwhile in my posts, please say so and I will leave quietly.”

    The tyical socialist mindset — everything is to be ruled on by the mob …

    Bow out and read a few books like you propose. That will increase both your intellectual content and that of this blog.

  166. Robinsod 166

    ideological blinkers???

    Ha! C’mon darlin you’re a parody, eh? Or an agent provocateur sent in from the left? Surely? I mean noone could really lack self-reflexivity this throughly and in all seriousness?

  167. Matthew Pilott 167

    Michele, there was a reason I used the term bigot. Santi assumed that everyone on the left is jobless. He believes that adherence to left-wing ideology is motivated through personal greed to be a parasitic entitiy upon the state, thus entirely discounting the possibility that anyone from the left is motivated out of any antruistic beliefs.

    That strikes me as “a person who is prejudiced in their views and intolerant of the opinions of others”.

    Now, whatever your personal beliefs are Michele, is that what you think about the left?

    Do you possibly think that the left are well-intentioned (i.e. hold such a belief out of the idea that it is the best way forward for society), if also spectacularly misinformed and/or wrong/brainwashed, perhaps?

    I can justify the use of the label, as I did in the original post, but your only justification for labels (if you can describe them as such, and not petty abuse) is that people frustrate you. Me for example – I’m genuinely trying to engage with your views based upon my knowledge. Apparently it’s not up to your standard, so I’m a pillock. Robinson disagrees with you so he’s robinsodomite. Tane has a Maori name so he’s a ‘hori’. A homosexual is a ‘faggot’.

    I don’t feel like trawling through your gutter to garner further various insults liberally tossed about, suffice to say they are numerous and generally unjustified, save for your ‘frustration’ – why not just think them and not type them?

    Honestly, you’ll probably get a better response too. There’s no need for you to be the singularly most unpleasant blogger anyone is likely to encounter, unless that’s something you’re aspiring to.

    Where I come from, if you want to elevate your opinions above mine you are obliged to provide a superior standard of argument and or evidence.

    Where I come from, intellectual debate need not be zero-sum.

  168. Jum 168

    Michele

    Thank you for your comment.

    You’ve just invited me to stay on.

  169. Max Call 169

    stay Jum,
    I have enjoyed your posts

  170. The Prophet 170

    So Tane, Would you like a link to the thread on THIS site where Micheal Porton and his good friend Nih threaten to come to my house and [deleted – potentially defamatory]

    Seems a little presumptuous of you to just decide theres nothing in it. If Porton wants to be a little prick then he gets what he gets. If he doesn’t want people bringing it up he shouldn’t say things like that in the first place.

    I understand he’s your friend and that you need to protect him but…..

  171. Tane 171

    Prophet, I’m not going to have potentially defamatory statements and the pointless and vitriolic discussion that always follows from them ruining this site for everyone else.

    I’ve deleted similar comments directed at Whaleoil, who’s hardly a good mate of mine, so your accusations of favoritism don’t really stand up.

    If you want to go about accusing people of things like that then please do so on your own blog. In the meantime, how about we just get on with the discussion, eh?

  172. Michele Cabiling 172

    Matthew Pillock wrote:

    “He [Santi] believes that adherence to left-wing ideology is motivated through personal greed to be a parasitic entitiy upon the state, thus entirely discounting the possibility that anyone from the left is motivated out of any antruistic beliefs.”

    There are thre kinds of adherents to leftist ideology: [1] the parasite class, who would rather plunder the fruits of others’ labour than labour themselves; [2] the altruist class, whose overriding goal is to engage in moral preening funded by other people’s money [Lenin called these unwitting enabler of the socialist project “useful idiots”]; and [3] the hard-core ideologues, whose sole motivation is the will to power.

    As I pointed out to you before, be as altruistic as you like, just don’t do it with my money.

    “Do you possibly think that the left are well-intentioned (i.e. hold such a belief out of the idea that it is the best way forward for society), if also spectacularly misinformed and/or wrong/brainwashed, perhaps?”

    Thomas Sowell called this “the poverty of good intentions.” Rather than internalising what you believe are “good intentions” and patting yourself on the back for it, you need to look at OUTCOMES.

    The DPB is a case in point. Originally intended as temporary assistance for a small number of deserted wives, it has become instead a lifestyle choice for young girls from the lower socio-economic groups; a disincentive for men to stay around and form families with the women they impregnate [“No worries, bro, I’ll move onto the next one and she can get the DPB]; the cause of most of our epidemic of child abuse and child sexual abuse [children are at hugely more risk of both when living in a household with a man who is not their natural parent]; massive increase in all forms of social pathology in chidren due to growing up in a fatherless household, and a colossal drain on the exchequer of this country.

    If the outcomes are bad, good intentions don’t count for jack shit. Had you studied economics, you would know that economic behaviour is governed by incentives. People analyse competing options in terms of the utility they are likely to derive from each, and behave accordingly.

    Get the incentives right, and people will behave in a socially useful manner. Get them wrong, and people will behave in a socially deleterious way.

    A free market and no state-sponsored theft incentivises people to make appropriate choices. Exposure to corrective reality means the results of bad personal decision-making falls where they lie, rather than being socialised onto the rest of the community by the welfare system.

    “Where I come from, intellectual debate need not be zero-sum.”

    Contrary to lefard dogma, all viewpoint are not equally valid. Those that can be substantiated by argument and evidence will always trump those that cannot.

  173. Michele Cabiling 173

    Jum wrote:

    “Michele

    Thank you for your comment.

    You’ve just invited me to stay on.”

    Damn!

    I knew you weren’t going anywhere, just playing to the gallery for strokes and sympathy.

    A big like Shrillary’s crocodile tears to win the New Hampshire dimmocrat primary.

  174. The Prophet 174

    But Tane , They’re not ‘potentially defamatory statements’ , Porton and Nih said them here on YOUR site. Theres no arguement that they said them, is there?

    Funnily enough their original statements are fine for some reason but me, bringing them up on this thread is defamatory. Go figure.

    An explanation of this situation would be good.

  175. Tane 175

    Prophet – I’ll flick you an email and we’ll discuss this offline.

  176. r0b 176

    I was trying to stay out of it until I’m reliably back on line in February, but this needs a note.

    Michele Cabiling wrote Rather than internalising what you believe are “good intentions” and patting yourself on the back for it, you need to look at OUTCOMES. The DPB is a case in point…

    Michele, this is just about the first thing you have said that I agree with. An OUTCOME under Labour is falling numbers on benefits:

    http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/numeracy-for-nnickc/

    This goes with unemployment at 28 year lows. Or in other words – many more workers per person on a benefit:

    [the same site but ] /2007/12/14/successful-government/

    For lots of other interesting data (rising wages, falling crime) see:

    [the same site but ] /2007/12/11/by-the-numbers/

    OUTCOMES Michele – why are National so bad at this stuff, and Labour so good?

    You need to stop quoting dead philosophers and take a look at the real world.

  177. The PC Avenger 177

    r0b, she has made some compelling arguments for libertarianism, and the golden age it would usher in.

    On the other hand, recorded history.

    I do wonder though, why she insists on conflating National Socialism, Communism and other extremes of collectivism and socialism with centre-left positions. Is it because she occupies an extreme end of the political and philosophical spectrum, and cannot comprehend that others do not? Or perhaps she possesses what has been described as a discontinuous mind, and is incapable of viewing such things as a continuum.

    In any case, the end result is that her entire argument is that moderate politics will result in unsatisfactory outcomes because, historically, extreme views have.

  178. Jum 178

    Michele

    Believe it or not I had real tears in my eyes, silly but elegant slob that I am, because I am really enjoying the blog and am learning a lot but I did intend to not post anymore if my comments weren’t of any interest. I do keep my word.

    Just as I certainly thought David Coverdale’s posts were more intelligent, more easily read, better presented and argued without useless quotes and was taking you on as an equal, because you’re right I have not done your reading, but you forget at your peril about the emperor without clothes and the little boy who saw right through him.

    Your posts seem to have become more interesting – no quotes, fewer insults, and in your one to me about “damn”, etc I almost detected a hint of humour. Welcome to human land. YOU seem to be coming through which is all I ever wanted.

    No I’m not sucking up – still hate your politics, you don’t answer questions, you don’t admit when you’re wrong. Also, I don’t know you so like or dislike does not compute here and I’ll still continue to wonder why you continue posting about foreign politics in relation to New Zealand political issues.

    You need to always keep our society and our people in your mind when you’re expounding your theories. New Zealand and New Zealanders are unique.

    Stop trying to bundle us up into bunches. You have a very mob-like idea of life don’t you. I continue to get the impression that I’m more of an individual than you are and yet I can associate with Labour’s altruistic policies and you want a world that eats itself.

    As for Mrs Clinton – again if it works, use it. Ask Hawke, the philanderer, Ask Key with the sheepish/boyish grin of the strip club mentality – all gained extra votes, from women.

  179. r0b 179

    Excellent summary PCA (except I missed the compelling arguments – silly me I guess).

  180. David Coverdale 180

    Yay & there’s more! Apparently:

    “If you can’t get your head around the concept of people being morally entitled to the fruits of their labour, whether in a state of nature, or in a civil society, there’s something awry with your moral compass.”

    Well Michele doesn’t actually know anything much about my moral compass, but I will concede that hers and mine are likely different. Michele’s moral compass is simplistic and full of absolutes. It proves a great guide around the theoretical fantasylands that she likes to inhabit, but it is mere deadweight in the complex, uncertain real world. My own moral compass, by contrast, has a few general principles but also has many question marks and blind spots & it is not afraid to say it doesn’t 100% know what to do sometimes. While an imperfect guide, it has the twin virtues of knowing its limitations and keeping within them. Her compass has neither.

    I note that Kiwiblog reports today that the Heritage Foundation (hardly a leftist organisation) just ranked NZ 6th in the world for overall freedom, including rating us 1st equal on protecting property rights. So whatever evil Michele thinks is happening here, it don’t get much better anywhere else. Again, her ideas are better suited to the artificial neatness of theory than the messiness of the world around us. She is embarking on a doomed and lonely crusade.

    PS & When you re-examine Michele’s paragraph on the virtues of limited government, replacing the word “government” with the phrase “elected representatives of the people”, all of a sudden her proposal sounds much more sinister. Some “principled” (i.e. unelected) minority preventing the elected representatives of the people from governing as they (and through them, the people) wish is somehow still a democracy. Yuck.

  181. Matthew Pilott 181

    …the cause of most of our epidemic of child abuse and child sexual abuse [children are at hugely more risk of both when living in a household with a man who is not their natural parent

    Wasn’t it you going bonkers the other day arguing that women were as bad as men (or worse) when it came to domestic violence?

    Wonder why you didn’t bring that point up.

    pick & choose, pick & choose…

  182. Michele Cabiling 182

    Rob wrote: “An OUTCOME under Labour is falling numbers on benefits … This goes with unemployment at 28 year lows. Or in other words – many more workers per person on a benefit.

    That’s crap, brother. Falling numbers on the unemployment benefit are large part attributable to Liarbour encouraging unemployment and DPB beneficiaries to move to the sickness benefit so that its unemployment and DPB rolls look better.

    Buoyant worldwide economic conditions (which cannot be attributed in any way to Liarbour) and cyclical unemployed moving off benefits and into work would account for the balance.

    The PC Avenger wrote:

    “I do wonder though, why she insists on conflating National Socialism, Communism and other extremes of collectivism and socialism with centre-left positions.”

    Because, as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek correctly identified, ballot box socialism is simply incremental socialism by stealth, rather than socialism by immediate violent revolution. One Nanny State intervention creates an economic distortion, which requires a further Nanny State intervention to remedy, which requires …

    Rhetorical question: “Is government bigger or smaller than when Liarbour took office almost nine years ago?”

    Ronald Reagan reminds us: “As government expands, freedom contracts.”

    Democratic socialism is constrained by voters in terms of how far and how fast it moves towards its goal of full socialism, but it is nonetheless always moving towards that goal, however slowly.

    Jum wrote: “I can associate with Labour’s altruistic policies and you want a world that eats itself.”

    As I have told other bloggers, feel free to be as altruistic as you like with your own money, just make sure you keep your hands off mine.

    David Coverdale wrote:

    “Michele’s moral compass is simplistic and full of absolutes.”

    “Simplistic” is merely shorthand for an argument you can’t counter. The more “complex” an issue, the more room for evasion and obfuscation. Other than in leftard moral relativism land, life does in fact throw up a raft of absolutes.

    A number of those absolutes can be found in the realm of economics, which contains a number of ironclad laws, that if transgressed, produce predictable consequences.

    “When you re-examine Michele’s paragraph on the virtues of limited government, replacing the word ‘government’ with the phrase ‘elected representatives of the people,’ all of a sudden her proposal sounds much more sinister. Some ‘principled’ (i.e. unelected) minority preventing the elected representatives of the people from governing as they (and through them, the people) wish is somehow still a democracy.”

    That’s the fundamental difference between your politics and mine, old man. YOU believe in UNLIMITED government [“the elected representatives of the people … governing as they like”]. I, on the other hand, believe in LIMITED government.

    Your view of the state, as pointed out before, is of government (or those who control its functions and powere) as the MASTER not the SERVANT of the people. Mine is the reverse.

    Limited government is founded upon the premise that the legitimate functions of government are consitutionally and clearly set out, so that those who are from time to time office holders or bureaucrats, cannot arbitrarily pass laws which infringe the legitimate purposes of government — protecting the life, liberty and property of citizens from force or fraud.

    I agree with Mike Moore that we need a written constitution, but not that a panel of Eminent Persons [self-anointed know betters] should decide what should be in it without full public debate. For example, government should be colour blind, and there is no place in a written constitution for the modern-day interpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi, which would enshrine racial privilege as a permanent viper in the bosom of our common pollity.

  183. Tane 183

    That’s crap, brother. Falling numbers on the unemployment benefit are large part attributable to Liarbour encouraging unemployment and DPB beneficiaries to move to the sickness benefit so that its unemployment and DPB rolls look better.

    That’s absolute rubbish. Show me the stats to back that up. I’ve looked into it, have you?

  184. r0b 184

    That’s crap, brother.

    Why would you assume that I am a “brother” Michele?

    And facts are not so easily discounted just because you don’t like them I’m aftraid. You wanted OUTCOMES, be brave enough to face the data.

  185. Michele Cabiling 185

    Matthew Pillock takes issue with my statement:

    “.the cause of most of our epidemic of child abuse and child sexual abuse [children are at hugely more risk of both when living in a household with a man who is not their natural parent”

    by asserting:

    “Wasn’t it you going bonkers the other day arguing that women were as bad as men (or worse) when it came to domestic violence?”

    Accusing me of inconsistency just points up that you are indeed a pillock.

    My point was about women being as bad as men when it came to inter-couple violence. However, I can extend it to violence against children if you like.

    Firstly, children are usually under the direct care and control of women, who therefore are both far more likely to be frustrated with a child’s behaviour, and to have far more opportunity to be violent towards a child.

    If a woman is in a de-facto relationship with a man who is not the child’s natural parent, if he doesn’t like the child intruding on the relationship, she may well share his frustration and act accordingly. In many cases she is so stupid and needy that she will turn a blind eye to him physically or sexually abusing children in whom he has no emotional investment, in order to preserve the relationship. By her collusion she is just as guilty in my book.

    Some people should simply be sterilised in an ideal world.

  186. Michele Cabiling 186

    Jum wrote: “I can associate with Labour’s altruistic policies and you want a world that eats itself.”

    As I have told other bloggers, feel free to be as altruistic as you like with your own money, just make sure you keep your hands off mine.

    I reiterate this because I also wanted to state: “You have no moral right to create a world that eats me!”

  187. Robinsod [moderator] 187

    Ronald Reagan reminds us: “As government expands, freedom contracts.”

    Oh my god did she just cite the gipper as an authoritative source?!

    This just gets better and better…

  188. Matthew Pilott 188

    Research into child sexual abuse by women is not a priority of the … . The few studies that have been carried out (one in Australia springs to mind) disclose an incidence of around 33% of such acts as being perpetrated by women. Female researcher, Alix Kirsta’s “Deadlier Than the Male” engages with this issue at some length and is well worth a read.

    Yup. “Inter-couple violence”. Are you a paedophile, Michele, if you consider a child part of a couple? Or are you being inconsistent?

    So women are more violent when it suits your argument, and men are, when it suits you.

    BTW OECD stats show NZ has the 3rd lowest rate of long-term unemployment – and this is the ever-growing leftist parasite class that has you in such a lather? Or are the OUTCOMES a touch better that you let on….

    7.3% of unemployed [3.7%] are long term. Yes, that’s about 0.2% of New Zeland’s population. I can see so many women living off the DPB among those figures. We’re talking a few thousand people here! Not a bad OUTCOME, Michele.

    The The PC Avenger, Rob and David are right, as I have also mentioned – your theories are just that, theories, and have no representation in reality.

  189. r0b 189


    Some people should simply be sterilised in an ideal world.

    What about their inalienable moral right to life Michele?

    At this point your arguments are sop broken that I can only join the others who have concluded that you are a deliberate troll.

  190. David Coverdale 190

    One last time:

    Michele: “”Simplistic” is merely shorthand for an argument you can’t counter.”

    At the risk of immodesty, I think I’ve shown otherwise.

    Michele: “A number of those absolutes can be found in the realm of economics, which contains a number of ironclad laws.”

    Not according to most modern economists.

    Michele: [various repeats of earlier posts]

    See above for unaddressed rebuttals.

    I agree with Matthew and others. It’s Michele’s theory against everyone else’s logical objections and data. Such is Michele’s confidence in her theory than no quantity of data or logical objections could knock it off its perch. She is impervious to argument and evidence. She might think this admirable or principled, in fact it is pig-headed.

    And with that, I will no longer post on this thread.

  191. Matthew Pilott 191

    And with that, I will no longer post on this thread.

    Feel free to post elsewhere… (you too, Jum) It’s been interesting, to say the least.

    Captcha: adults discussion !!

  192. Jum 192

    Michele

    You did not say women were as bad as men with using violence. You said they were as violent, if not more violent. That is what I took exception to and asked you to provide such information as

    and I quote

    “While you’re gathering these numbers on violent women and violent men, Michele, please also supply the weights of these men and women and their muscle strength if you can. That would be great thanks.
    Numbers of the most violent women and the most violent men too please. Not statistics Michele – numbers.

    The numbers are………and remember the children in all of these facts

    – half of all murders in NZ are domestic related
    – a NZ woman is killed by her (ex) partner/husband every 2.5 weeks
    – over Xmas 2005-6, mothers of 19 children were killed
    – 33% of NZers physically/sexually abused by spouse in lifetime
    – 6000 families helped by Preventing Violence in the Home in 2006
    – 55,000 children present during the 46,682 family violence incidents attended by police in NZ in 2002/3

    As you can see, whatever you say about women and men being equally violent the end results say otherwise.

    Now give me the numbers of men killed by their partners/wives in that time.

    That means that those men believed those women were nothing and that they had the right to kill those women because they belonged to those men. ” End of quote. You did not provide that information Michele, because you would find out you are incorrect.

    This will probably scare you as much as it does me, and of course women are generally more unforgiving of other women who don’t protect their children, but I tend to agree with you that women have more opportunity to become frustrated, yes, but they are still not as violent or as impatient for freedom as men. There is still more invested by the mother in her own child than any investment by the man, father or otherwise.

    You are as usual one eyed with the statement that women are equally to blame for someone else’s violence. You forget to take into account all sorts of socialised behaviour from your beloved free society ruled by your men that teaches that women defer to men. Society, religion, size, fear, et cetera pressure the woman to be submissive and stay quiet.

    I could suggest she escapes to a refuge, but your beloved Roger Douglas was intending to get rid of those. I could suggest going on the DPB and getting rid of the deadbeat, but again you’re getting rid of those. So while yes it happens and I have some contempt for the mother who has failed to protect her child who is far more important than any man, her situation is not black and white. In fact in religious households no blame at all should be attached to her because she has to obey her husband, the head of the house.

    It’s not my type of altruistic society that will eat you Michele. It is the world you think is perfect, that will eventually consume you, as you get older and weaker and the wrinkles start to need ironing, and that investment you had for your old age is sucked from you by someone tougher than you, and you’re no longer useful.

    I heard on radio today that the people who were donating to the foodbanks for needy people last year are seeking food parcels this year. In the US, Michele, the God of free market.

  193. Jum 193

    Matthew Pilott

    I don’t think so. I’m just getting the hang of this posting.

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