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Comment Re:The people will be the ones who suffer (Score 1) 667

Democratic does not always equal morally or ethically correct.

Of course not. And neither is any non-democratic institution. Ultimately, morality is subjective and the only final arbiter of what's moral for you is yourself. I, for example, don't find Foxconn evil at all as its pay is better than most of its competitors, its suicide rates are lower than the Chinese and US average and its safety nets make it no more evil or foreboding than the Eiffel tower. On the other hand, though, I do not buy Apple products because Apple infringes on my freedom more than its Android counterparts.

I think social opprobrium provides a perfectly reasonable amplifier for ethical considerations; would you really keep buying your Apple products if you were in a social environment that publicly despised them? Studies suggest no; peer pressure, for example, is even more effective at discouraging smoking than the health concerns that are the reason behind the peer pressure themselves. That's the true bottom-up democracy. All it takes is enlightenment and awareness, and the internet's slowly but surely bringing that to us already.

Comment Re:Maybe if the schools actually taught math (Score 1) 489

In addition, if they actually taught arithmetic instead of trying to have kids reconstruct it from first principles, it might be less confusing.

No, that would make it more confusing.

"This is a derivative. The derivative of the nth power of x is n times x to the power of n minus one. The derivative of the sine is the cosine, and the derivative of the cosine is the opposite of the sine. The derivative of the exponential is proportional to the exponential itself multiplied by the logarithm of the base. Memorize that, test next monday"

What would work better - that, or intuitively explaining to people what functions and slopes actually are and why all those things are the case? Education isn't about shoving stuff in, it's about having students bring it out by themselves - that's right there in the etymology

Comment Re:Lax attitudes toward child pornography (Score 2) 722

You're totally missing the point. Police go after people possessing part of a dead plant to combat the production of said plant. Police go after possession of child pornography to combat the production of child pornography.

I think you're wrong here. With drugs, police go after production to combat possession (and use), which is what they ultimately want to reduce. With child pornography, police go after use and possession to combat production.

Comment Re:Find precious metals on Mars (Score 1) 228

> No, humanity can do these things because they are great to do.

And humanity can also build giant pyramids because they are great to do. Or we can build ghost towns. Or give every home in the Himalayas a high-speed DSL internet connection. But we don't, because we have limited resources. And that's the point of the free market. In a free market, things are done because they meet people's needs, not because bureaucrat decides to implement his childlike imagination. And it doesn't look like people are interested enough in a base on Mars to pay for one.

Comment Re:Well that's funny, cos my country just (Score 1) 398

It's a question of practicality. Yes, we could rewrite the constitution right now, but if we were to do that it would be an opportunity for the government and associated powerful interests to take some of our last standing bulwarks against tyranny and neuter them with a "this is subject to reasonable limits as justified by the public good in a free and democratic society" clause. If the people actually had the level of control that would allow a reasonable constitution with guaranteed rights and freedoms for the 21st century to be implemented, I think more people would be fine with it. But we don't, so it's best to stick to what we have.

Comment Re:Libertarians? (Score 1) 727

> Then why don't we treat them as such? Why do we give them bailouts, lobbying jobs, and cabinet positions instead?

Does any sane person advocate more bailouts, lobbying and revolving door cabinet positions? Because I haven't heard any

> Seems much safer

He who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety...

Comment Re:Libertarians? (Score 1) 727

Because a bunch of people being allowed, by privilege of owning a lot, to do whatever the hell they want without consequences is a bad thing indeed- despite the existence of other groups with the same amount of money doing good.

You can prevent people from doing a lot of bad in two ways. First, you can prevent people from doing a lot period. Second, though, you can prevent people from doing bad no matter what the scale. Liberty is not about doing whatever you want without consequences, it's about doing whatever you want that does not infringe on the rights of others. Some rich people will do good (eg. by setting up charities), others will act neutrally (eg. by leaving their money as inheritance to children who waste it all and contribute nothing themselves), but those that use their money to do harm are criminals no matter what political system you subscribe to.

Comment Re:Libertarians? (Score 3, Insightful) 727

> Since corporations only exist due to special protections granted to them by the government, many (most?) libertarians (myself included) do not consider them to be actors in, nor an accurate representation of, a true free market.

I don't think it's quite that simple. In an unhampered free market it is possible that people will voluntarily choose to organize themselves into groups that function according to similar rules as those that what we now call "corporations" do now. There will be no limited liability (with regard to lawsuits; limited liability with regard to debts can still exist as part of the loan contract, so conservatives' fears that without limited liability there will be no business at all are quite unfounded), so people will be punished for fraud and environmental damage more, and things will be better in that regard, but the format of the large business as a whole could still exist. And there's nothing wrong with that - it's never as simple as "rich people are evil"; look at the so-called "robber baron" era of the 19th century - some rich people got their way through powerful friends and corruption and government-assisted cartelization, while others played fairly on the market and used their fortunes to set up institutions that continue to serve the public good even now (see: Nobel prizes, American non-profit universities, etc). It's exactly the same way even now.

Comment Re:For the record (Score 1) 807

The problem lies in the implementation. It's easy to prefer more democratic ownership of the means of production, but how do you make that happen? If you, as a socialist-leaning individual, work to implement it by shopping more at family-owned and cooperative stores, using open source software, working for yourself, a small business or a cooperative, and by encouraging your friends to do the same, that's one thing. But if you're a socialist politician, or socialist voter, then that means that you support the sort of government that causes more democratic ownership of MOP, and the majority of people here seem to think that an activist, centralized, powerful federal government big enough to push down the banks and corporations is the best way to do that, and that's why so many people see socialism = big government. What other government policy could socialist politicians and voters advocate?

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