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snowgirl's Journal: RE: What a socialist is 105

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From Captain Splendid, I was made aware that pudge made a response to my most recent journal entry, funny thing, even though the journal entry was posted yesterday, it already seems to be archived, meaning no one can post any new comments to it. Funny how someone with admin rights of a blog can fuck with the rules for his own purposes...

Anyways, in this newest JE, he presents an alternative definition to socialism from the one that I had presented, which was then used to craft the valid statement (under that definition): "Obama is a socialist."

First of all, get this straight, I don't think "socialist" is an epithet, so playing semantic games just to throw a label on someone, is kind of retarded. This is similar to Marxist Hacker 42 in his most recent journal labeling "tax cuts" as a "liberal" idea, and then using this to throw the label of "liberal" onto Reagan. I responded in his particular JE about how retarded this is, as every single politician in the US currently could thusly be cast as "liberal", thus negating any use of the term.

So, let's take a look at the definition of "socialism" that pudge provides from Bastait:

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.

So, let's look here. Every single politician of the United States since its inception has vouched for one or another of these ideas. So thus, under the definition afforded by pudge, George Washington was a socialist. George W. Bush is a socialist. EVERYONE is a god-damned socialist.

So, thus, this raises the question... what use does this term hold? I mean, at least "human being" doesn't describe every animal on the planet. "Animal" excludes plants from life forms, and even "life forms" excludes inanimate objects from the universe of discourse. But when your universe of discourse is "politics", and your term applies to EVERY SINGLE ENTITY within that set... why not just label it the universal term: "politics"?

But no... we'd rather find a term that applies to every single entity in the universe of discourse, thus we can apply it to anyone we dislike... like say... an personally unpopular president. Bonus points, when the term is widely regarded as a epithet, because of a fear-mongering witch-hunt driving crackpot.

So, congratulations pudge! You've managed to construct a definition of "socialism" broadly enough that you can include Obama as a socialist... too bad you've made the hole so big that Bush II is now a socialist. (Remember all that work he did trying to fix public schools?)

Rather, let's actually take a look at what Bastait was likely trying to drive at here: Programs and ideas are socialist, sure, of course. But being for just a single socialist idea doesn't make you a socialist, otherwise the term loses all meaning. Nothing good comes of using a term that can be so broadly applied that it applies to anything and everything relevant to the discussion. So, we need a better definition of "socialist" rather than just "Is for at least one idea that is a part of socialism".

So, let's go back to the list, and look at them in detail:
* tariffs: nearly every politician supports this. In particular, the Constitution puts exclusive rights to tariffs with the Federal Government. The Founding Fathers were socialists?
* protection: broad category... does military defense apply? I presume protectionism: I'm against it. But conservatives are for
* benefits: broad category, what doesn't apply? I presume work benefits: I may be in a minority here, who thinks it's a good thing that jobs provide healthcare, vacation time, and sick leave. I know, I've got those CRAZY socialist ideas...
* subsidies: sometimes good, sometimes bad. Even conservatives have subsidies that they're behind
* encouragements: again, another super broad term. What doesn't apply? Aren't there encouragements for marriage? Focus on the Family and National Organization for Marriage are socialist organizations!?
* progressive taxation: yes, I hold the super crazy idea that people with more money should be paying more taxes. There is a minimum amount of money required to live, and for anyone living around or near that amount of money, every dollar matters more. You think Bill Gates would notice a $1,000 extra tax burden? Do you think Jane Doe working as single mom at a minimum wage job would notice?
* public schools: Show me a politician in the US who thinks we should ditch public schools entirely (and all public funds to education), and I will show you an unelectable politician.
* guaranteed jobs: maybe I'm crazy to think that if someone wants to work, that they should be able to have a job. I also don't think that the employer should hold as much power over employees as they do. Leaving a job means being without support until one finds a new job. So, you can't just quit a job that is harmful to you. And being forced to stay in a current job that is harmful, while looking for a new job, and until said new job has been found, is intolerably cruel. If one could be guaranteed a position at another company, or ANYWHERE that would support them after they leave a harmful job... well, then I think the world would be a better place, because employees would actually jump ship from a harmful job, and put the company out of business... the invisible hand of self interest cannot work for employees as long as there is not a surplus of jobs in their field.
* guaranteed profits: entirely against them. One needs a way to weed out bad companies.
* minimum wages: I may be crazy, but I think that people deserve a living wage. See above comments about guaranteed jobs. If I'm working for only 50 cents an hour, then my employer is abusing me. "So just leave!" says the free marketeer... yet, then I'm making 0 cents an hour. Awesome, you just killed my entire income.
* right to relief: Burton's Legal Thesaurus seems to point me to "cause of action". So... anyone in favor of being able to go to courts to receive fair compensation for injury and harm should be labeled a socialist? "Your Honor, the defendant asked me to borrow $1,000. I loaned him the money under the understanding that he would return that value, with interest of $100, in two years time. Here is the signed and notarized contract." The judge: "Excuse me plaintiff, but it seems you're a SOCIALIST... case dismissed."
* a right to the tools of labor: I'm sure the author had something specific in mind here, but I seriously have no clue what he's going on about...
* free credit: Perhaps he means credit without interest? Or credit granted to people who don't deserve it? I find the idea a poor one. I would not expect anyone to grant me a credit line (except the federal government for a student loan, because they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy without some serious hardship.) Anyone who does would have to realize that they're throwing away money... so, I suppose if they want to be idiots enough to hand me free money, I won't complain...
* and so on, and so on: finishing up the broad categories of socialism with the indeterminate phrase of "there's a ton more here, than I care to list, but since the above list covers everyone already, why the hell do I think it necessary to make the list seem longer?" *shrug*

So, this entire list is bogus in the first place. The author is just throwing every conceivable thing that he disagrees with and labeling it "socialism". What a wonderful word... taxes are now "legal plunder" so they are socialism. Even taxing people to pay for the common defense of the states is now socialism... YAY! Sure there are things that are not socialism: criminal offenses of the law, punishing criminals, the common defense of the states ITSELF... but how are you going to pay for any of this? That's right... through LEGAL PLUNDER. A government cannot do anything at all without LEGAL PLUNDER... that is, unless it's using ILLEGAL plunder, but then who would hold them accountable? You with your AR-15 rifle and about 5 magazines of ammo, against tanks and smart bombs, and worse? HAHAHAHhahahahaha... "second amendment resolutions" for the lose.

I'm going to make up a list of things that I'm against, and I'm going to label it... "bullshit". Everything that I disagree with is now "bullshit", and anyone who is for even one of those ideas is now an "asshole". Congratulations pudge, you're ab asshole... oh, and Captain Splendid, I love you man, and I think you're great, but you disagree with me on at least one topic, so you're an asshole as well. HOLY CRAP, my own mom is an asshole!!! This world is going to hell in a handbasket, because everyone disagrees with me about at least one thing, I mean, because everyone but me is an asshole. I must be the ONLY sane person left in the world, wtf?!?!?!!?

Sarcasm aside... defining things so broadly it refers effectively to everyone and then using it to apply it to a single person you're against belies the point that you're referring to EVERYONE anymore. Hey, pudge! You're a real human being... And you breathe oxygen. And I really can't believe that you eat food. It's just disgraceful.

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RE: What a socialist is

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  • All politicians in this country are socialists. You don't see them lining up to discontinue Social Security, and Medicaid, do you? Those are very much programs in the Socialist tradition.

    The real fallacy is that people assume you're a Socialist or you're a Capitalist. In truth, most people are some of each. This country is considered to be a capitalist country, but we have a great many social programs that involve the government taking steps to insure that members of society are cared for.

    Which is as it sho

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      All politicians in this country are socialists. You don't see them lining up to discontinue Social Security, and Medicaid, do you? Those are very much programs in the Socialist tradition.

      The real fallacy is that people assume you're a Socialist or you're a Capitalist. In truth, most people are some of each. This country is considered to be a capitalist country, but we have a great many social programs that involve the government taking steps to insure that members of society are cared for.

      Which is as it should be. A class of people that is allowed to fall through the cracks is a big problem. The younger ones cause social disorder, and the older ones pull young people out of the work force to take care of them.

      I suppose some of this is what I was trying to get to. In the first JE, I argued that at some point everyone should have some sort of socialist agenda. To not have any socialist agenda is to make oneself into a sociopath. We are in general beings of compassion, and eliminating all compassion from our lives by refusing any socialist agenda at all makes us inhumane, and cruel.

      This second JE is arguing that the way some people use socialism makes it apply to everyone, and as you pointed out, it does apply t

  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

    Almost your entire post is negated by the fact that you didn't actually read, or understand, what you quoted. Do you really not know what "as a whole" means? You idiotically claim that Bastiat said favoring ANY of those policies makes you a socialist, when he said that "as a whole" -- "with their common aim of legal plunder" -- they "constitute socialism."

    I know he wrote in French but I helpfully linked to and quoted from the English translation. Shouldn't be so difficult for you.

    Also, the discussion was n

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Just out of curiosity - could you post a link to the original french version? Thanks.

      -- Barbie

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        It's on the same site, and easy to find from the home page, but here: http://bastiat.org/fr/la_loi.html [bastiat.org]

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        Oh and in case you're wondering, Bastiat uses the word "Socialisme." No mistranslation there.

        • Apparently some people should have more "liberty" than others:

          "...serious objections may be made to universal suffrage...

          Universal suffrage means, then, universal suffrage for those who are capable. But there remains this question of fact: Who is capable? Are minors, females, insane persons, and persons who have committed certain major crimes the only ones to be determined incapable?...

          If, as the republicans of our present-day Greek and Roman schools of thought pretend, the right of suffrage arrives with on

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            Apparently some people should have more "liberty" than others:

            Shrug. I don't agree with Bastiat on several of his views, including his view on universal suffrage. So? It's got absolutely nothing to do with my point.

            I wouldn't allow a person that presumes such things to define my use of words for me.

            No one of intelligence would allow ANY person to define their user of words for them. I only offered it as proof that the word has, and has had for a long time, meanings other than the one snowgirl erroneously said was the one true definition. Definitions do not come from individuals, but from society as a whole. If a word is used significantly in a s

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              Apparently some people should have more "liberty" than others:

              Shrug. I don't agree with Bastiat on several of his views, including his view on universal suffrage. So? It's got absolutely nothing to do with my point.

              Pudge does have something right here. countertrolling is making an ad hominem. Bastait's views about X do not impact his correctness about Y.

              I only offered it as proof that the word has, and has had for a long time, meanings otehr than the one snowgirl erroneously said was the one true definition

              I don't see how "A socialist purports social policies that directly attack the exploitation of the haves against the have nots." doesn't align with your quotes from Bastait. By very definition, the sentence I posit requires "legal plunder" from the haves to provide to the have nots.

              If you're going to argue "ZOMG snowgirl didn't use derogatory terms to describe her c

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                By very definition, the sentence I posit requires "legal plunder" from the haves to provide to the have nots.

                No, that's not so. Bastiat speaks about "legal plunder" irrespective of whether the beneficiary is a "have-not." Indeed, rather than restricting "legal plunder" to refer to haves providing for have-nots, he explicitly talks about people engaging in legal plunder to provide for themselves. For the same basic idea in another work, see Bastiat's Candlemakers' petition [wikipedia.org].

                If you're going to argue "ZOMG snowgirl didn't use derogatory terms to describe her chosen philosophy"

                No, my argument is -- as stated clearly -- that you are wrong to define "socialism" in a way that only your definition is a valid one. Feel f

                • by snowgirl (978879)

                  By very definition, the sentence I posit requires "legal plunder" from the haves to provide to the have nots.

                  No, that's not so. Bastiat speaks about "legal plunder" irrespective of whether the beneficiary is a "have-not." Indeed, rather than restricting "legal plunder" to refer to haves providing for have-nots, he explicitly talks about people engaging in legal plunder to provide for themselves. For the same basic idea in another work, see Bastiat's Candlemakers' petition [wikipedia.org].

                  Ok, now I get it. He conflates programs to provide for the needs of those who cannot supply them themselves with exploitation and extortion.

                  Thusly, he can denigrate both as if they were both unjust and incivil.

                  In a perfect libertarian society, exploitation and extortion will still occur, and who are you going to run to to fix the problem? Your gun? Awesome.

                  Can't run to the Police, providing police power is legal plunder. Can't run to the Courts to enforce your contracts, because funding them would requi

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    He conflates programs to provide for the needs of those who cannot supply them themselves with exploitation and extortion.

                    No. He correctly points out the unassailable, undeniable, definitionally true fact that government is using force to take from people against their will.

                    Further, you incorrectly refer to these things as "providing for the needs of others." Most of what Bastiat refers to is not regarding anyone's needs, but wants and desires. From the quote: "tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Not according to Bastiat, the Libertarian Party, or any other libertarians I know, no. You're wrong. You are confusing libertarians with anarchists. Libertarians recognize a role for government, and it is to do precisely those things.

                      It's all a matter of degrees. You justify taking from people to provide for some things, yet not for others.

                      Your claim of a lack of "need" neglects that to deny certain things to certain people constitutes cruelty. The courts have already settled that denying healthcare to inmates is cruel. Denying food to inmates is cruel.

                      Your whole "zomg it's mine, don't take it away" complex is just a heap of disgusting putrid filth.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      You justify taking from people to provide for some things

                      Only those things which directly, and necessarily, INCREASE actual liberty for everyone. It's not a matter of "degrees": it's a very clear line, as long as you don't pretend "liberty" means things it doesn't (like the insipid "I can't be free without health care, so I have to get health care paid for by government!").

                      Your claim of a lack of "need" neglects that to deny certain things to certain people constitutes cruelty.

                      Bullshit. Name one example that I've mentioned.

                      The courts have already settled that denying healthcare to inmates is cruel. Denying food to inmates is cruel.

                      Shrug. I never mentioned the care of inmates.

                      Your whole "zomg it's mine, don't take it away" complex is just a heap of disgusting putrid filth.

                      Not half as putrid as your "I want what's yours, so I am going to take it" complex.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Your claim of a lack of "need" neglects that to deny certain things to certain people constitutes cruelty.

                      Bullshit. Name one example that I've mentioned.

                      Wow, this would be hard... where will I ever find an example of you being cruel... OH! I know, how about denial of healthcare for everyone?!

                      Only those things which directly, and necessarily, INCREASE actual liberty for everyone. It's not a matter of "degrees": it's a very clear line, as long as you don't pretend "liberty" means things it doesn't (like the insipid "I can't be free without health care, so I have to get health care paid for by government!").

                      Awesome, that was easy.

                      The courts have already settled that denying healthcare to inmates is cruel. Denying food to inmates is cruel.

                      Shrug. I never mentioned the care of inmates.

                      So, you're all for providing inmates healthcare... but fuck the poor, because they can't afford it?

                      Not half as putrid as your "I want what's yours, so I am going to take it" complex.

                      Dude, it's JUST FUCKING STUFF... let it fucking go!!

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Wow, this would be hard... where will I ever find an example of you being cruel... OH! I know, how about denial of healthcare for everyone?!

                      I have never, in my life, ever advocated for the denial of health care to everyone (or even anyone). I only advocate for government not providing it to everyone, which is obviously not the same thing.

                      So, try again.

                      So, you're all for providing inmates healthcare... but fuck the poor, because they can't afford it?

                      Inmates are, forcibly, in the care of the state, on our collective behalf. They often cannot provide their own needs, so the government must do it, to some extent. (I do favor means testing here, BTW.)

                      The poor are not in the care of the state. They are free people, and the government has no ob

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      No, it's not. It is not about "stuff," but liberty.

                      No, it's JUST FUCKING STUFF. You're getting all bent out of shape because we want to take some of your abundant surplus, and provide to the deficient needy.

                      It's all just fucking STUFF!

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      No, it's JUST FUCKING STUFF.

                      You're a liar. You are falsely attributing motives to me.

                      You're getting all bent out of shape because we want to take some of your abundant surplus

                      You're a liar. I am "bent out of shape" because you want to DECIDE FOR ME what is "surplus." Because you greedily, selfishly, EVILLY, want to exert FORCE upon me, when you have no fucking right to do so.

                      It's not about the stuff, it's about liberty.

                      When you say differently you expose yourself as a damned liar.

                      Not that this is anything new for you. You're extremely dishonest.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      No, it's JUST FUCKING STUFF.

                      You're a liar. You are falsely attributing motives to me.

                      You're getting all bent out of shape because we want to take some of your abundant surplus

                      You're a liar. I am "bent out of shape" because you want to DECIDE FOR ME what is "surplus." Because you greedily, selfishly, EVILLY, want to exert FORCE upon me, when you have no fucking right to do so.

                      It's not about the stuff, it's about liberty.

                      When you say differently you expose yourself as a damned liar.

                      Not that this is anything new for you. You're extremely dishonest.

                      You're calling me a liar, and then you call me "greedy selfish and evil".

                      WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Do you SEE what you have become? You're the very liar who's lying about the liar!

                      And this all over FUCKING STUFF. It's just fucking STUFF, seriously.

                    • So, you're all for providing inmates healthcare...

                      No, he is not [slashdot.org]...

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      You're calling me a liar

                      Because you told several lies.

                      and then you call me "greedy selfish and evil".

                      Because you want what OTHER people have, and are willing to use force to take it from them.

                      WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

                      In this case, simply that I see things fairly close to how they actually are.

                      You're the very liar

                      You have not identified a single lie I've told.

                      And this all over FUCKING STUFF. It's just fucking STUFF, seriously.

                      You're a liar. It's about liberty.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      You're calling me a liar

                      Because you told several lies.

                      I'm not making a separate assertion here. Granting hypothetically that I were a liar, you still go on to call me "greedy selfish and evil".

                      and then you call me "greedy selfish and evil".

                      Because you want what OTHER people have, and are willing to use force to take it from them.

                      I do not want your stuff. Other people need some of your stuff. I'm doing fine right now.

                      WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

                      In this case, simply that I see things fairly close to how they actually are.

                      We're both subject to seeing the world through ideological glasses. BTW, you've made claims that I won't accept being wrong, but that you don't.

                      I recommend seeing my exchanges with Bill Dog... I'm more than ready to admit when I'm wrong... when someone presents evidence and reas

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Granting hypothetically that I were a liar, you still go on to call me "greedy selfish and evil".

                      So? What's wrong with me saying that?

                      I do not want your stuff.

                      You're lying. Of course you do. You want to take it so you can use it for your purposes.

                      you've made claims that I won't accept being wrong

                      When?

                      when someone presents evidence and reasoned argument, rather than baseless and irrational name-calling.

                      Oh please. I proved to you, beyond ANY doubt, that the word "socialism" has meanings other than the rigid one you said was the only legitimate meaning. You've still not admitted you were wrong.

                      And you did name-calling against me long before I ever did against you, so I hope you don't expect me to give a damn about your complaint.

                      You have not identified a single lie I've told.

                      You misrepresent my position

                      I never did.

                      You choose your own favorite definition of socialism, then lambaste us for using our favored definition of socialism. (HINT: there's more than one definition.)

                      You're a liar. I use a particular

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      you've made claims that I won't accept being wrong

                      When?

                      "She's extraordinarily abusive and refuses to consider other views. She doesn't discuss at all: she lectures, and then calls names when people challenge her." [slashdot.org]

                      And you did name-calling against me long before I ever did against you, so I hope you don't expect me to give a damn about your complaint.

                      I think you are intelligent enough to realize that offensive language [slashdot.org] consists of more than just name-calling.

                      Sure, I might call you an "asshole", but such a statement is almost entirely vacuous apart from offense. You however resort to depicting me in your own special way crafted specially to be as offensive as possible.

                      Which, btw, why the fuck are

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I think you are intelligent enough to realize that offensive language [slashdot.org] consists of more than just name-calling.

                      No. I am intelligent enough to know that offense is purely in the eyes of the beholder, and that some people consider only name-calling offensive, and some people never consider name-calling offensive.

                      You however resort to depicting me in your own special way crafted specially to be as offensive as possible.

                      As offensive as possible, while still being entirely accurate, yes.

                      Oh please. I proved to you, beyond ANY doubt, that the word "socialism" has meanings other than the rigid one you said was the only legitimate meaning. You've still not admitted you were wrong.

                      *sigh* I already stated that there are a ton of definitions for Socialism

                      After you spent considerable time defining it to be one thing, and one thing only. Which was my whole point.

                      ... and any propaganda artist and/or pundit will understand that playing with definitions is the best and easiest way to attack your opponent.

                      Yes, that is what you did [slashdot.org]. You attacked people who called Obama a Socialist, stated your definition of the word, and then said, "Oba

            • Definitions do not come from individuals, but from society as a whole.

              Pffft... "Society" will swallow anything thrown at it by mass media. It's called marketing. And right now, despite the fact that nothing's really changed over the last few decades, the term "socialism" is being heavily marketed to move more money. Just another buzzword in the lexicon of Madison Ave for you to masturbate to.

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                Definitions do not come from individuals, but from society as a whole.

                Pffft... "Society" will swallow anything thrown at it by mass media.

                Irrelevant to anything I said. We are talking about how symbols (in this case, words) have meaning, and the fact is that those meanings are derived from people, and if "enough" people have a certain meaning for that symbol, it becomes what we refer to as one of the meanings of that symbol. HOW that happened is beside the point.

                And right now, despite the fact that nothing's really changed over the last few decades, the term "socialism" is being heavily marketed to move more money.

                No, you're demonstrating massive ignorance here. That word has been in common use with this meaning for far longer than we've been alive, and perhaps most notably before Fox News c

                • Every use of the word "socialism" by conservative intellectuals and so on has one thing in common: government control, usually to benefit some other group, or society as a whole. This can be actual ownership, or significant regulation, but it all means the same thing in the end.

                  So, any number of varying processes that bring about the same result can be considered as the same process, and be given the same name? Then obviously you're a socialist also. Liberals are conservatives, and vice versa. Government pr

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    Every use of the word "socialism" by conservative intellectuals and so on has one thing in common: government control, usually to benefit some other group, or society as a whole. This can be actual ownership, or significant regulation, but it all means the same thing in the end.

                    So, any number of varying processes that bring about the same result can be considered as the same process, and be given the same name?

                    Such as?

                    Then obviously you're a socialist

                    No.

                    Liberals are conservatives

                    No.

                    Government protection of property rights is socialism.

                    No.

                    All government is socialism.

                    No.

                    You realize you're not making any sense at all, right?

                    Can you show me any time in American history since the ratification of the constitution when the government wasn't explicitly socialist?

                    Can you show me one where it WAS? Having some socialist policies does not make you socialist. It's idiotic to say that a society that is the perfect libertarian ideal in every way except for one -- the government pays entirely for public education, say, from kindergarten through university, paid for through consumption taxes -- is "socialist." It is a libertarian society with one significant socialist element, at most.

                    This is obvio

                    • It is a libertarian society with one significant socialist element, at most.

                      Ah, so what's the tipping point?

                      ...such a society does not have the same result as a fully socialist society, as almost all of society is free, and only a small part of it is controlled.

                      Oh please! Pull the other one

                      Pudge, you want the government to protect your ideal society in your image. You're a socialist.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      It is a libertarian society with one significant socialist element, at most.

                      Ah, so what's the tipping point?

                      When it becomes the dominant theme, the mode of operation, of the society. When it is not the exception, but the rule. Not necessarily that more than half of the government operates that way, but when it is the dominant force.

                      Oh please! Pull the other one

                      Did you have an actual argument to make? What I said is straightforward: a society that is otherwise free but has one small part of it socialized, does not a "socialist" society make. This isn't difficult to understand, nor is it convoluted, nor is it a strange concept. It seems p

                  • by snowgirl (978879)

                    Absence of government is that other thing. Something that would require that people voluntarily obey the rules, as opposed to being coerced.

                    You know what this form of government is right? Anarchy. ;)

                    • Yeah, he didn't bite... oh well... you know the old joke, a libertarian is just an anarchist who wants protection from his slaves..

        • by tomhudson (43916)
          Thank you.

          One thing I've noticed when it comes to arguments like these, is that to an American, I'm a pinko socialist, to the rest of the world, I'm probably more of an American ... or as close as Kanuckistanis get. We're humans, we're "messy". We don't fit into nice categories or containers. ($DIETY knows, I tried, I certainly don't :-)

          It's one of those terms that means so many different things to different people.

          One thing that set off alarm bells for me, based on personal experience, was the whole

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            It's one of those terms that means so many different things to different people.

            That was half my point. The first half is that the term itself has various definitions. The second point is that Obama fits a very commonly used definition.

            One of the things that Bastiat argues (I only read the french, so it may not have the same sense in the english version), is that the law is the collective organization of the individual right of legitimate defense

            Yes. A very libertarian view, and one I largely agree with.

            I'll go to snowgirl's original question. Is a starving child justified in stealing a loaf of bread? To me, there doesn't seem to be any ethical problem - the kid is starving.

            I would say that the child is justified. But a society is also justified in holding that child culpable for that violation of the law. And the society would also be well-served to show mercy to that child.

            You cannot have a just society without the rule of law. But we also cannot have a just

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              I would say that the child is justified. But a society is also justified in holding that child culpable for that violation of the law. And the society would also be well-served to show mercy to that child.

              Justified violation of the law does not create a criminal liability. That is, if you say that the child is "justified", then society is not justified in holding that child culpable for that violation of the law.

              You know... unless you're inventing a new definition of "justification" from the one used widely in jurisprudence.

              Bastait's arguments can be used to justify anything, including dictatorships.

              I don't see how.

              An argumentum ab incredulity.

              People don't want hand-outs

              Some don't. Many do.

              Many don't, some do. The vast population of the US and the world shows that more people desire to work and be productive, rather than be non-productive. If

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                Justified violation of the law does not create a criminal liability.

                False. It inherently does. You do not understand law. If it is "justified," it is therefore not a violation of the law. That is actually how the law works.

                An argumentum ab incredulity.

                Um, no. It's simply asking for an explanation for an undemonstrated assertion. It's not my job to explain someone else's arguments. In fact, no argument was presented for me to respond to in the first place, and I was offering no argument in return.

                • by snowgirl (978879)

                  False. It inherently does. You do not understand law. If it is "justified," it is therefore not a violation of the law. That is actually how the law works.

                  Dude... what the fuck legal dictionary are you reading from? A "justification" in law is defined as when a violation of the law has occurred, but the act was necessary and thus the individual should not be held criminally liable.

                  There is still a violation of the law. I don't know how I can explain that "justified homicide" still results in "the intentional death of another person," which by all accounts is murder.

                  There is however a difference between a violation of the law, and a criminal liability for th

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    There is still a violation of the law. I don't know how I can explain that "justified homicide" still results in "the intentional death of another person," which by all accounts is murder.

                    I don't know how you can explain it either, because it's not true. If it is justified, it is not murder: it is merely homicide, which, by itself, is not illegal. Murder is, usually, explicitly defined as an UNJUSTIFIED homicide. And if I kill someone in self-defense, I violated no law (depending on the circumstances, of course). Yes, it's a homicide, but no law was violated.

                    The person who hits another car, because he swerved to avoid hitting a small child STILL HIT ANOTHER FUCKING CAR. I don't know how you can't understand this.

                    I never implied that I didn't understand he hit another car. We are talking about whether or not it is a VIOLATION OF LAW that he

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      I don't know how you can explain it either, because it's not true. If it is justified, it is not murder: it is merely homicide, which, by itself, is not illegal. Murder is, usually, explicitly defined as an UNJUSTIFIED homicide. And if I kill someone in self-defense, I violated no law (depending on the circumstances, of course). Yes, it's a homicide, but no law was violated.

                      Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 9A.32 [wa.gov] Title: "Washington criminal code" Chapter: "Homocide" Section 010: "Homicide defined"

                      Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another, death occurring at any time, and is either (1) murder, (2) homicide by abuse, (3) manslaughter, (4) excusable homicide, or (5) justifiable homicide.

                      RCW Section 9A.32.050 [wa.gov] "Murder in the second degree".

                      (1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

                      (a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

                      (b) He or she commits or attempts to commit any felony, including assault, other than those enumerated in RCW 9A.32.030(1)(c), and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(b) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

                      (i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

                      (ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

                      (iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

                      (iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

                      (2) Murder in the second degree is a class A felony.

                      N.B. no exception for justification is given. Only an exception for "I was just there".

                      Also, RCW 9A.32.055 [wa.gov] is titled "Homicide by abuse", and is a class A felony.

                      Seriously... WHERE THE FUCK are you getting your legal definitions from? Mine are from the actual laws of the State of Washington, and legal textbooks.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Wow. I sometimes think you're not serious, because you're so completely out there.

                      Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another, death occurring at any time, and is either (1) murder, (2) homicide by abuse, (3) manslaughter, (4) excusable homicide, or (5) justifiable homicide.

                      Right. So homicide is EITHER one of those things. Not any two at once.

                      RCW Section 9A.32.050 [wa.gov] "Murder in the second degree".

                      Right. Self-defense is justifiable homicide [wa.gov], and therefore NOT murder. So this section defining murder-two does not apply.

                      N.B. no exception for justification is given.

                      Right, because justified homicide is defined in 040 [wa.gov] and 050 [wa.gov], and not in the section under murder ... because it's not "murder," it's "justified homicide."

                      Seriously... WHERE THE FUCK are you getting your legal definitions from? Mine are from the actual laws of the State of Washington, and legal textbooks.

                      Well, no, you're not getting yours from the State of Washington. That's the pr

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      You really suck at this law stuff. Have I mentioned that before?

                      And you're a fucking democrat, now get off my journal... you've said your fucking piece... now piss off.

            • Hi: - just taking a break here, so I figured I'd catch up.

              I understand where you're coming from with your argument about the law, and the need for society to show mercy as well, but here's the nub - even though I'm an atheist, I have to agree with the biblical admonishment that "The law was created for man, not man for the law." The law will never be perfect, and good judges or juries understand that.

              The real crime in the case of the starving child (or the starving parent who needs to feed their starvin

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      Also, the discussion was never archived. Also shouldn't be so hard for you.

      Funny thing about that "the discussion was never archived", because my browser keeps telling me that it is. [photobucket.com]

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        The error message is wrong. Scroll up. It will tell you that you can't post because you are Foe'd.

        If you don't like the incorrect error message, tell it to the people who work on the code. Which isn't me.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          The error message is wrong. Scroll up. It will tell you that you can't post because you are Foe'd.

          If you don't like the incorrect error message, tell it to the people who work on the code. Which isn't me.

          Perhaps you could have explained this properly to begin with rather than be all "fucking stupid bitch doesn't know what she's fucking talking about."

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            The error message is wrong. Scroll up. It will tell you that you can't post because you are Foe'd.

            If you don't like the incorrect error message, tell it to the people who work on the code. Which isn't me.

            Perhaps you could have explained this properly to begin with rather than be all "fucking stupid bitch doesn't know what she's fucking talking about."

            Shrug. You're the one deciding to be an asshole and accuse me of abusing the system. Why should I help you out?

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              Shrug. You're the one deciding to be an asshole and accuse me of abusing the system. Why should I help you out?

              It's called correcting an inaccurate perception of the world.

              You seem quite willing to beat me over the head with your preferred definition of socialism, why not beat me over the head with something that has actual provable evidence behind it?

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                Shrug. You're the one deciding to be an asshole and accuse me of abusing the system. Why should I help you out?

                It's called correcting an inaccurate perception of the world.

                Shrug. Be less of an asshole next time and maybe I'll throw you a bone.

                • by snowgirl (978879)

                  Shrug. Be less of an asshole next time and maybe I'll throw you a bone.

                  It didn't seem to be necessary to be less of an asshole for you to correct me on my reading of Bastait... so what the fuck?

                  I don't stop at "he's being an asshole" to correct you. I mean, I actually posted the picture stating the exact error message that I got from Slashdot telling me that the discussion was archived.

                  But, you know, I guess I could have gone with your continued offensive prattling to your being an asshole.

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    It didn't seem to be necessary to be less of an asshole for you to correct me on my reading of Bastait

                    It's amazing to me that you are actually complaining about MY behavior. You've consistently lied about me, you've invented positions I don't have, you've attributed not merely false, but impossibly false, motives to me, and you can't admit that you are COMPLETELY over your head when you ignorantly spout off about the law.

                    And you're still whining that I didn't throw you a bone when a web site lied to you?

                    Wow.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      It didn't seem to be necessary to be less of an asshole for you to correct me on my reading of Bastait

                      It's amazing to me that you are actually complaining about MY behavior. You've consistently lied about me, you've invented positions I don't have, you've attributed not merely false, but impossibly false, motives to me, and you can't admit that you are COMPLETELY over your head when you ignorantly spout off about the law.

                      And you're still whining that I didn't throw you a bone when a web site lied to you?

                      Wow.

                      And YOU have consistently lied about me, you've invented positions I don't have, you've attributed not merely false, but impossibly false, mostivies to me, and you can't admit that you are COMPLETELY over your head when you ignorantly spout off about the law.

                      And you're still complaining that I correctly reported what the lie that the website told me?

                      Wow.

                      Now fuck off and die somewhere else.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      blah blah blah... Do you really not know what "as a whole" means? blah blah blah

      The list ends in "et cetera"... it's a potentially infinite set... wait, no. He explicitly STATES that it is an infinite set. So, unless I take all of them as an infinite whole, I'm not a socialist?

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        blah blah blah... Do you really not know what "as a whole" means? blah blah blah

        The list ends in "et cetera"... it's a potentially infinite set... wait, no. He explicitly STATES that it is an infinite set. So, unless I take all of them as an infinite whole, I'm not a socialist?

        No. But unless you take them as a broad philosopy of governance -- to control people and take from them for your view of the common good -- rather than as individual policies, by Bastiat's definition, you are not a socialist.

        This should be obvious from his words.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          blah blah blah... Do you really not know what "as a whole" means? blah blah blah

          The list ends in "et cetera"... it's a potentially infinite set... wait, no. He explicitly STATES that it is an infinite set. So, unless I take all of them as an infinite whole, I'm not a socialist?

          No. But unless you take them as a broad philosopy of governance -- to control people and take from them for your view of the common good -- rather than as individual policies, by Bastiat's definition, you are not a socialist.

          This should be obvious from his words.

          If you wish to describe my philosophy in such offensive terms sure, that's what I believe.

          To portray your beliefs in offensive terms, you advocate cruelty and inhumane treatment of other human beings.

          His words are quite clear (if you can understand French), he establishes "Socialism" as the "legal plunder" resisted by Libertarian views. So thus, as long as you take the view that Libertarian notions are the only valid ones, then he's casting all of what he disagrees with as "Socialism".

          The very next paragra

          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            If you wish to describe my philosophy in such offensive terms

            What was offensive? "To control people and take from them for your view of the common good"? That offends you? Why? If it well-describes a view, how is it offensive? If it does not describe YOUR views, well, I wasn't talking about YOU, but about the people Bastiat was referring to. You didn't even come to my mind at all: we were talking about what Bastiat wrote and what it meant in context, and he didn't know you.

            To portray your beliefs in offensive terms, you advocate cruelty and inhumane treatment of other human beings.

            See, the difference is that I accurately described a belief system (whether it's yours or

            • by snowgirl (978879)

              What was offensive?

              "Legal Plunder is Socialism"

              Nowhere have I advocated ANY cruelty or inhumane treatment of other humans, of any kind.

              So, you're all for providing Universal Healthcare in a single payer system provided and run by the government?

              AWESOME! We're all on the same page again.

              That's obviously false, and disagrees with what you JUST SAID: that it is "legal plunder" that defines whether a system is socialism, not whether he disagrees with it.

              You think he just hacked words together without deciding on them before hand? He objects to "legal plunder", as a hardcore libertarian apparently.

              Here's an example of playing the definitions game:

              "Selfishness and greed can take an infinite number of forms: refusal to provide free education, refusal to provide free healthcare, re

              • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                What was offensive?

                "Legal Plunder is Socialism"

                Shrug. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                Nowhere have I advocated ANY cruelty or inhumane treatment of other humans, of any kind.

                So, you're all for providing Universal Healthcare in a single payer system provided and run by the government?

                No. What about that is cruel or inhumane? See, here is where you have to argue that because I am against government doing it, therefore I am against it BEING DONE AT ALL. And that exposes you as completely warped.

                You think he just hacked words together without deciding on them before hand?

                No, but I am not so sure about you.

                He objects to "legal plunder", as a hardcore libertarian apparently.

                And? You asserted he called it socialism BECAUSE he disagrees with it. All you've demonstrated here is that he disagrees with it AND he calls it socialism. You REALLY suck at this logic stuff.

                There, go and argue with that definition of Libertarianism

                Eh. I got bored afte

                • by snowgirl (978879)

                  Shrug. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                  And Libertarianism is cruel selfishness. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    Shrug. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                    And Libertarianism is cruel selfishness. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                    In order for anyone to believe that, they must believe the obviously false claim that all help for those in need must go through government.

                    In other words, you're a moron.

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Shrug. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                      And Libertarianism is cruel selfishness. It's true, whether it offends or not.

                      In order for anyone to believe that, they must believe the obviously false claim that all help for those in need must go through government.

                      In other words, you're a moron.

                      I'm still waiting on your alternative solutions to the cruelty of lack of healthcare to coalesce. When the fairies come by to provide everyone with free healthcare, wake me up, because I need some.

                      In other words, I'm aware that there exist theoretical possibilities to defeat cruelty outside of the government, but the government is the only practical way of getting the shit done.

                • by snowgirl (978879)

                  No. What about that is cruel or inhumane? See, here is where you have to argue that because I am against government doing it, therefore I am against it BEING DONE AT ALL. And that exposes you as completely warped.

                  Very well then... how will you provide healthcare to everyone? Equally, and fairly, everything that is medically necessary. Charity? *laughs* Charity doesn't get enough funding.

                  The only organization capable of providing unbiased, and free healthcare to everyone is the government. If you can invent some new corporation that will invent money out of the sky to pay for healthcare, then let me know about it, I'll support it wholeheartedly.

                  • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                    Very well then... how will you provide healthcare to everyone?

                    The same way everyone USED to be able to get it: by rolling back all the government subsidies and mandates that cause it to be so expensive, such that we -- for the first time in a few generations -- actually have a free market, which will drive down the costs for EVERYONE, and then the few people who still can't afford it, yes, will be covered quite easily by charity.

                    Charity doesn't get enough funding.

                    First, costs will come down, so the dollars charity DOES get will go much, much further. Second, more people will contribute to charity when

                    • by snowgirl (978879)

                      Second, more people will contribute to charity when government isn't doing the work. Most people consider their taxes TO BE, in effect, a charitable contribution. That will change if government stops paying for "charity."

                      You have a very optimistic view of humanity. People are not that altruistic.

                      And honestly, what is so wrong with organizing and compelling charity? If charity can do it with willing participants, why can't it be done with compelled participants? Does the origin of the money fuck up how it works?

                      Oh wait, or is it like all those charities that spend 80 cents of every dollar on administrative costs?

                      Of course, if you think we need to force people to give to your pet causes, that exposes you as a liberty-hater, so feel free to go that way.

                      To be cursed by the devil is to be truly blessed. Call me all the names you want, it just justifies my positio

  • funny thing, even though the journal entry was posted yesterday, it already seems to be archived, meaning no one can post any new comments to it.

    I wouldn't assign too much meaning to that. The archive time is dictated from the original journal entry date, not the last post date. Same with stories. I thought /. stories stayed up about a week, seems the journals must be three weeks.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      funny thing, even though the journal entry was posted yesterday, it already seems to be archived, meaning no one can post any new comments to it.

      I wouldn't assign too much meaning to that. The archive time is dictated from the original journal entry date, not the last post date. Same with stories. I thought /. stories stayed up about a week, seems the journals must be three weeks.

      I'm kind of confused by this. If the journal itself was posted on the 14th, it should not have been archived already by the 16th. Or at least, there's no good reason why Slashdot should be telling at least me, if I happen to be the lone individual affected, that it was archived. Especially when other people are posting responses...

      Gremlins seem to be conveniently conspiring against me posting a comment.

      • Well, the post you link to at the top of this journal was posted: "Thursday September 23, @09:14PM", and I remember you posting it ages ago - I thought that's what you were referring to?

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          My JE was from September 23rd, and it's entirely possible that it's properly archived.

          Pudge finally chimed in and explained what's going on. He has me foed, and has turned off comments by foes. But, since Slashcode is imperfect, it's reporting an incorrect error message.

          Either way, his exclusion of comments by Foes is still "too convenient to be accidental".

  • Pudge didn't do anything special with his journal entry. Maybe you never noticed but when you type up a journal entry the options allow to allow responses or not. If you're a subscriber to Slashdot - and I assume this applies to Pudge as an admin - you can limit comments to your friends only.

    Pudge probably just checked to not allow comments. Yes, it creates a monologue which canbe considered a bit underhanded. But it isn't admin powers.

    • by Shakrai (717556) *

      Which JE is this? I've followed pudge's journals for over a year now and I've never seen him post one where comments aren't allowed. He does set them to "no foes", which also blocks AC posting but he doesn't limit them to just his friends.

      • by chill (34294)

        Ah, you are correct! I wasn't logged in when I checked it out, so I wasn't able to comment. There seems to be an issue with staying logged in to /. when I'm checking via the web browser in my phone. I think T-Mobile uses a proxy or something.

        There are now comments and I have the ability to reply. It is possible Snowgirl has been foed.

        • by snowgirl (978879)

          There are now comments and I have the ability to reply. It is possible Snowgirl has been foed.

          This is almost a certainty. But the system has been telling me that it has been archived, not that I've been foed.

          So... the software either way is lying to me, and pudge is nonetheless conveniently excluding me from the discussion.

          • and pudge is nonetheless conveniently excluding me from the discussion.

            You should take pride in that. The people on his (rather extensive) foes list [slashdot.org] is almost the who's-who list of intelligent and active slashdot users.

  • I thought Pudge's comment was bizarre. Having established that he didn't want use a self-described socialist's definition of socialism because it was defining what it was not, he then decided the correct definition should be that of someone who isn't a socialist, is anti-socialist, and whose comment seemed to simply be an attack on some of the things socialists who get into government do, rather than any moral purpose.

    My view is that anyone's definition of the movement who fails to take into account Robe

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I didn't even define Socialism based off what it's not... I defined it as: "purport[ing] social policies that directly attack the exploitation of the haves against the have nots." My argument against "Obama is a socialist" was one of degree... he isn't aggressive enough into socialism to be a "Socialist". Sure, he may share some of the ideas, but he's also against Gay Marriage... does that make him a Family Values Politician?

      I suppose, my argument against "Obama is a Socialist" boils down to: "you will kn

  • Actually, this was exactly the philisophical point I was trying to make with the whole Ronald Reagan is a Liberal idea; that the concept of Liberalism has been mangled so much that it's use as an insult is stupid. And that from my point of view, anybody whose motivation is "liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of money" is in fact a left-winger, because I'm so far right I've word-wrapped that concept.

    But here's my only quibble. I think one of the most dangerous bits today of Liberalism is being *AGAINST TARI

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      Actually, this was exactly the philisophical point I was trying to make with the whole Ronald Reagan is a Liberal idea; that the concept of Liberalism has been mangled so much that it's use as an insult is stupid. And that from my point of view, anybody whose motivation is "liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of money" is in fact a left-winger, because I'm so far right I've word-wrapped that concept.

      Then your point was very well made by example. Sorry I didn't get that you were teaching by Socratic method there, but your point was still clearly made to me. ;)

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire

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