Hear, hear! He would correctly point out that to use force (government) to seize the intellectual property of others is, well, evil. That's what's at stake in something like this. There are technologies that are so popular, and the originators of same technologies so successful in getting market adoption, that those without the where-with-all to achieve similarly should be able to simply take what they couldn't produce.
There were no protests then because the impact on the individuals of the day was small and since we had more capital to consume back then, our excesses of consumption could still be absorbed without apparent consequences. There is outrage today over 'unfair profits', largely because now there are impacts to day to day life as a result: there are no jobs in part because there is no capital.
And to be sure some are protesting against profit altogether, and some are not. This is where the movement itself has a muddled sense of principles that make it unpalatable to me. I find movements that know what to stand against, but not what to stand for, aimless and dangerous. One such experiment, Libya, should be interesting to watch.... now that they've beaten what they were against, it will be interesting to find out what they now strive for.
By the way, I do agree with being against acts that 'privatize profit, socialize losses'. Businesses that fail need to do so along with any consequences that may befall the owners and debtors of those businesses. I do not subscribe to the concept of 'too big to fail' and thing that clearing away the cruft as quick as possible allows resources to be deployed to more effective uses. But I do not believe in any limit on, or any theft of, a fortune of any size that was earned through free and voluntary trade. Based on some of the comments I hear from the protesters, they by and large don't distinguish between those that gain from their pull and those that gain from their production.
Your points are valid. And yes... I was speaking strictly in the apparent context of the discussion, which I took to mean not that I have no right to trade my efforts, but rather that there was no right at all to profit from your work.... that to profit from your own work was a privilege granted to you by those with a prior claim to your life: something I clearly reject.
The only statement of yours I take issue with is your last. First, the law is not necessarily a reflection of rights as much as it is the declaration of rules that will be enforced by those with the physical power to enforce them. Under the best circumstances law do coincide with rights and that power to enforce the law becomes a force for good. Frequently, however, the law departs from protecting 'rights' to protecting actions that deny rights. What is a 'right' has not changed and is not subject to law, however you may be bludgeoned for exercising your rights. I also disagree with your idea that nobody but a few hard core commies would think that the right to try and earn a profit for your work is valid... much of the narrative from the street today (at least in my nation) is that having made the profit is wrong... regardless if that was done morally without force/fraud or immorally through force/fraud. I hear no distinction being made at all.
Profit is not a right? The alternative is slavery. When I go to work, I get paid a wage and thus earn a profit. I can think of no more fundamental right than to profit from my productive output be that realized through my organizational skills, my creativity... even my brute force and to make as much profit as anyone is willing to voluntarily pay me for my efforts.
So tell me... what gives you the right to demand productive efforts without reward?
Good points... last I heard, rocket science was still, er... rocket science.
(Sorry someone had to say it)
This is not a subject I've tried to look at with any depth. But I have this nagging question: how is any of this materially different than NASA's soliciting contracts from the major aerospace industry? Ostensibly, this just appears to be about bringing smaller, untried companies into the same general stable as the larger 'usual suspects'. I did see a note about procurement differences (i.e not cost plus contracting), but if that all it is this 'commercial space flight' stuff seems more to be branding by the powers that be rather than anything genuinely unique.
I think a lot of people are thinking of this more along the lines of business entrepreneurs like Virgin & Scaled that are investing a product and service that they hope will be self-sustaining based on market demand as opposed to merely a different take on government contracting arcana . Again, I could be completely wrong, but every time I hear about NASA's commercial space initiatives, and its process, it sounds much more like the latter.
...that these things, by today's definitions, are neither hostile nor a part of war. It would be a much less peaceful world otherwise.
I'm not sure that I get your point. My comment was about hereditary monarchs and made no mention of what else may work in monarchy's stead. There are many flavors of parliamentary systems some better than others. I for one believe that our 'easy democracy' policies that continually creep towards a 'majority rule' system are deeply flawed. Democracy should be a check on authority, not the primary system of governance; and it should be reserved for those willing to put out a modest effort to participate. Otherwise you will end up with governments such as the Mexican where you in essence buy your votes with favors of public money or systems where the populous vote in the savior du jour... or their surrogates.
However there are implicit ideas in your comments that I find flawed. Some are related to an efficient king and the other about a necessarily powerful legislative organization.
Ultimately I believe that a government should only exist and have the power to prevent the violation of the innate rights of its citizens. This doesn't mean that government (or its people) can simply recast privileges as rights either as we are wont to do nowadays. The first right being that of self-owership; other rights that derive from that one axiomatic right. And don't forget that for you to have a 'right' there cannot be an obligation on any other person for you to exercise it, other than the obligation to not forcibly interfere with your exercise of your rights. A government limited to that single purpose would be as efficient as it needed to be... and moral to boot.
Second related to an efficient king. I would argue that there can be no such thing and that what you describe in little more than a tyrant. You say that there is, "no bitching". Why? Because there is no freedom to complain under such a system? I have found that in any group of over 100 people there are few that completely agree, so the only way that your point comes to fruition is if the king forcibly intervenes in his citizens' right to speak their minds. And even that can be messy: witness Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc. You say a fair policy will be obeyed, but fair to whom? I guess if you're suppressing speech that's much less of a worry, especially if you are suppressing only a minority which is producing the prosperity of which you speak. In truth though the only policy such a good king could maintain while increasing the genuine prosperity of his people is to rule very little: protect their rights and nothing more But then you run into that problem of the hereditary roll of the dice. A bad king may be the good king's son/daughter. Just how efficient are decades of good leadership followed by decades of bad? A limited democratic republic, wherein the politicians had the single job of upholding the enshrined rights of the people, seems to me to be far more efficient and durable. We may have been slowly losing sight of that in the US (for many decades now)... but that basic vision has sustained for over a century and the strength built during those decades has carried us for over a century more.
I appreciate your thoughtful comment and at one time I believed the same of constitutional monarchies a la the U.K. But I would submit that even in this form monarchy is more vestigial part of governance than a necessary one.
For many years in the United States we were able to criticize the President while maintaining our patriotic fervor by standing true to the enlightenment era ideals that were the justification for our becoming a nation. We could look to our Declaration of Independence, which set out the philosophical argument for a nation without monarchy, as our unifying focus. I do think that we've lost our way in this regard, however. Still, for many decades we were able to keep our allegiance to the founding ideals while still being critical of those temporary custodians of the government. Ironically, many of these ideals embodied in our founding came from UK... thinking of John Locke in particular.
I think the UK would be well served to do similar to us in this regard, perhaps reclaiming some of the ideas which originated with its people. While the sitting Queen may well be a person of whom the British may be proud, it is not inconceivable that you get a right ass on the throne (so to speak).... then you have the difficulty of the Head of State, a person born to the role, diminishing the Nation and the very difficulties that you wish to avoid with a separation of Heads of State and Government.
"A hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician."
The most common use of such figureheads is to put the sheen of legitimacy on of those who take power in their names; there are times when this is the figurehead themselves and then there are those times when the figurehead is merely a puppet or even a religious symbol. In all cases that I'm aware of it's merely an excuse for man to dominate his fellow man... when no real reason to do so exists.
Hear, hear! Not that Google, itself, is above trying to use 'pull' to their advantage.. but their immorality doesn't make this anymore justified.
I don't believe in that at all... that's a bad assumption on your part.
Your mistake in reading my comment is that you presume I look to an empowered class, be it empowered through democracy or otherwise, for education, health, etc. My point actually was less about democracy and more about society coming to expect and rely upon these 'public services' that exist, not through individual choice, but rather through the edict of the empowered class that in turn use the coercive threat of force against those that wouldn't participate of their own free choice.
I do believe in a representative democracy with a government that is tightly constrained in what it is allowed to do and the services that it provides. I don't believe in a public education because it ultimately puts the education in the hands of politicians who, regardless of ideology, simply use it as another pillar of whatever agenda they have.
Your distinction is correct and I fully understand it, however its not at the crux of the matter and in the US there are increasing pushes to move away from a representative democracy to a direct democracy... and in practice the distinction is a pedantic one at best today. In any number of jurisdictions, Kansas comes to mind, representatives be they state legislators or school board members, are elected by majority votes (actually, since we're being anal, more often than not pluralities not majorities). At the end of the day, those that show up to vote (or by proxy via the representatives for whom they vote) use the schools to indoctrinate not just their children, but most children. This is an outcome of our democratic tradition, our making democracy too easy, and by entrusting the very rationality of our children to others.
My point is simple and need not be tied up in word-smithing or the minutia of direct democracy vs. representative democracy: if you advocate both increasing direct democracy and participation in the democratic process while at the same time expecting the state to be your (or your children's) caretaker, then don't be surprised when this happens: its a possible outcome of the system you embrace.
A catch 22, then isn't it? How does one define what a properly functioning public school is? I actually have very little doubt that the sponsors and advocates of this bill in NM would say precisely the same thing as you just did and that this bill is their solution to the problem. Now of course you don't agree, but if you live in NM and your children are going to public school... well, your ideas of what constitutes 'proper functioning public school system; are out and theirs are in.
BTW, what you really mean by 'properly functioning public school system' is one that indoctrinates everyone's children into your way of thinking with your priorities... this is no different that what the NM legislators are trying to accomplish. You're merely a different side of the same coin.
I can tell you this... I sure as hell won't let my kids go to a public school system to be the play-things of well-meaning people such as you and the legislators in NM behind the bill in question. Neither of you will serve their interests which is all that matters.
This is just the outcome of public provided services and a government increasingly directed by the whims of the majority. I thought that was what everybody here was clamoring for? Freeing the people...