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Post 0

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 7:08amSanction this postReply
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Tibor,

I always enjoy your "musings" but this was one of your bests. Greatly reasoned. Thank you.

(Edited by Bob Palin on 11/02, 11:42am)


Post 1

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 8:09amSanction this postReply
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I love virtually everything Professor Machan writes, but I agree, this is simply astounding. Imagine the state of the world if it's people, including Amercians, really understood: "that you own your life and its works and have sovereign rights over these?" Man, then we'd be cooking with gas!

Post 2

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 8:13amSanction this postReply
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Machan wrote: "Alas, the only relief from this bleakness is that an understanding of human individual liberty has only recently begun within the human race and millions of people many other places have even less of a clue about it than people do in America. The idea that you own your life and its works and have sovereign rights over these is so novel, so little understood, let alone practiced, that perhaps one needs a bit of patience with it all."

Thank you for this, Tibor.

John


Post 3

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 9:08amSanction this postReply
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An outstandingly clear and concise expose' of the perils of modern democracy, Prof. Machan. Understandings of things don't get much clearer than this. Thank-you.

Ed

Post 4

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 12:30pmSanction this postReply
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Tibor, you're a rock, dude.

Post 5

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 1:22pmSanction this postReply
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Well done, Mr. Machan.

Post 6

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 2:21amSanction this postReply
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Thanks to all who chimed in with such supporting words.

Post 7

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 2:41pmSanction this postReply
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Tibor, I share your frustrations, but I have hard time imagining a better way to select political leaders.  The problem, as I see it, is that over the time the Constitution has become trampled to the point that it no longer provides any real limits on the power of government.   

Post 8

Friday, November 5, 2004 - 2:23amSanction this postReply
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Exactly, Pete. My musings here echoed Fareed Zakaria's lament in his book The Future of Freedom wherein he criticizes illiberal democracy!

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Post 9

Saturday, February 8 - 8:31amSanction this postReply
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This is a well written article on a topic of real importance and it deserves being re-read.

 

Professor Machan, talking about the abuse of the vote, said, "...the fact that what’s really important is individual liberty gets papered over with this ruse about democracy—as if merely taking part in voting amounted to being free. It doesn’t, by a long shot."  

 

No one pushes harder for increasing the number of voters than the Progressives (while at the same time, they are often rigging the vote).  And we know their agenda is to acquire nearly complete control.  That seems contradictory that they would want to extend the vote to more and more people yet to be able to control them more and more, but it isn't.  Remember that we saw people vote in the old Soviet Union even when there was only one candidate.  Voting is a big deal in nearly every totalitarian state.  The vote can be given to people, as Machan said, as a ruse, as if it was the be-all and end-all of liberty.  The people have the ruse, and the dictators or would-be dictators have their sanction from the victims.  That sanction is what is the key.  It is the end of the moral standing to oppose the wrong and it is the source of the tyrant's power.  

 

If a people can be disarmed physically with gun control, disarmed intellectually by thinking that a manipulated vote IS liberty, and morally disarmed by sanctioning the tranfer of power from the individual to the state, the road to tyranny is an easy one.



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Post 10

Saturday, February 8 - 12:15pmSanction this postReply
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Democratic procedures may apply to very limited tasks—as the selection of benign leaders, presiding officers, mayors, governors and such, if these stay away from wielding oppressive power over others—like voting for the referees of a sporting event. That’s all. Anything else is much, much closer to the nature of a lynching, where the majority of local citizens vote to hang someone without due process, without proving the victim guilty of any criminal conduct.

 

 

That is the essence of it; "like voting for the referees at a sporting event."    We are electing state plumbers, not state emperors.  We hand them plungers, not scepters.   At least, in a free nation.

 

Elections are treated like "American Idol;"  the lucky winner, it is claimed by the horde, has been handed a four year contract to enact a government of whim.  The media cupcakes encourage this view.   They are f'n idiots.

 

regards,

Fred

 

 



Post 11

Saturday, February 8 - 6:59pmSanction this postReply
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>>>as if merely taking part in voting amounted to being free.<<<<

 

 

Merely voting means merely being free enough to vote.

Most all of our ancestors came over for this.

 

OTH, my father did tell me of an arrival of earlier Magyars on to the shore of Lake Erie around 1250..  Knowing little of democracy, they set up a feudal 'voivode' in a place the natives called 'Kleve-land, or 'place of dwelling of those who smelled like 'paprika and garlic'

 

It was here that the natives learned to dance the czsardas, and make fantastic guylasleves--which they still do today!!

 

Then the horrible happened: in 1870 newer immigrants arrived, then another wave in 1956--both bringing with them the demand for franchise. Horrible argument ensued, which divided the 'nagy csalad 'into two halves--the oranges and the greens--hence the so called 'national' colors.

 

It's therefore somewhat understandable, said my father, nee Matecz, that to this day many americans of central european stock reject the one man, one vote principle of anglo-saxon tradition. It's just not in their moral blood.

 

Eva

 

(Edited by Matthews on 2/08, 7:01pm)



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Post 12

Saturday, February 8 - 7:43pmSanction this postReply
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I have no idea as to what you're trying to say. It's incomprehensible.

 

Sam



Post 13

Saturday, February 8 - 9:40pmSanction this postReply
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Hungarians such as 'Tibor' should be the last people on earth to complain about American democracy.

 

Now here's something you really won't understand (not that you seem to smart to begin with.) : Hazaban!



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Post 14

Sunday, February 9 - 6:05amSanction this postReply
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He wasn't complaining about America democracry; he was complaining about pure democracy.

 

He fled pure democracy to come to American democracy.

 

Did I ever mention, pure democracy is what happens at a gang rape?.

 

Unfortunately, America didn't actually win the Cold War; it seems we caught the cold, and are still coughing up left wing phlegm.

 

regards,

Fred

 

(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 2/09, 6:06am)



Post 15

Sunday, February 9 - 8:41amSanction this postReply
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Fred,

 

>>>He fled pure democracy to come to American democracy.<<<<

 

I find it hard to believe that anyone would call post- war Hungary a democracy of any sort. Tibor or his ancestry, like my great-grandad, came from a dictatorship, pure and simple.

 

Unlike them, he whines that Americans are ignorant cattle when the vote doesn't go his way. Well, in this  respect, at least, he's more American than they; any archival pull-up will demonstrate that Americans have been 'disgusted' for two hundred years. It's just that you don't expect it from a professor (from where, btw?) in philosophy.

 

America's goal was to achieve a favorable balance of power over the USSR. What we achieved was totally wiping the nation and all of its satellites off the map. For the sake of argument, the best outcome would have been a stable, weakened entity that could transition over to democratic and markets.

 

No, the problem that the left has always encountered was the USSR and its perverted 'Marxism'. There has always been a left,and there always will be, because it's a natural form of social dialogue. Whether you, I or whomever disagree with their ideas is beside the point.

 

Mine, again, is that your incessant name-calling makes our side look impovershed of real ideas. You're the metaphorical infantryman in the trench who metaphorically charges the enemy on his own, thereby giving away our position. Assuming survival, you should be shot. Metaphorically, of course.

 

Eva

 

 



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Post 16

Sunday, February 9 - 9:25amSanction this postReply
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Eva,

Unlike them, he whines that Americans are ignorant cattle when the vote doesn't go his way. 

He wrote a short article that criticizes unlimited democracy... Criticism is something that is done all the time among all the different political factions.  There is nothing in his column to warrant saying he "whines."  And when you say "when the vote doesn't go his way" that so completely misses the point that it would be obvious to someone with barely average intelligence, leaving one to conclude that you don't mind purposefully misstating his case.  

 

And nowhere does his article treat Americans like "ignorant cattle."  

 

Overall, that is the kind of attack that you would do well to learn not to make.  It makes you look petty, unthinking, and willing to say something you know is not true just to demean someone else.  It also makes it look like you were unable to comprehend what he wrote, or that you had no valid arguments against what he said, so you just mischaracterized his statements and made false statements about him.  And I'd imagine that isn't the kind of person you'd like to be.

 

If I can't give a valid argument against something, I have to conclude that it was very unclearly written (rarely if ever the case with Machan), or that I don't know enough to speak intelligently about things in that area, or that I might be wrong in my impulse  to argue (which might be more emotion than reason) and instead should be rethinking my positions to see if there are changes I need to make.  

 

I do acknowledge that there are people in this world who will pretend - even to themselves - that they understand things that they don't, and that they are right even if they have zero evidence to support them in a specific context, and that it is okay to make invalid arguments, even in behalf of doubtful positions, as long as it maintains some image of "I'm always right."  I just don't want to be one of those people.



Post 17

Sunday, February 9 - 10:55amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Tibor wrote: "the mainstream political parties have become organized criminal gangs that collect taxes from powerless and even powerful victims and spend the money almost any way they want to. It is disgusting, really, an abomination in a so-called free society"

 

When he retracts this over- the- top language, or explains in some detail how established political parties have become 'organized criminal gangs', I'll gladly retract my comment that he is whining.

 

Otherwise, not.

 

Eva



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Post 18

Sunday, February 9 - 4:27pmSanction this postReply
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Eva:

 

It is an entirely accurate portrait of our two parties of power; since before I was born.    Between the two, it is a toss-up which is the worse non-choice: the no hope for freedom Democrats, or the false hope for freedom GOP.

 

The proof of that is the last 50 years of tag team incompetence leading us here from where this nation once was.   For all their lip service regarding limited government, nobody grew the government more than Nixon, Reagan and Bush 43; not fot lack of desire on the part of the Democrats.  It is a tag team of do nothing but grwo the CronyFest on the Potomac.   They alternate-- here, you pretend to redistribute wealth, then it is our turn to pretend to constrain government.   I can never imagine myself ever voting for another Democrat or Republican ever, unless the GOP puts forwward someone like Paul, which will never happen.    They will prop up Christie, put lipstick on that pig, and lose to Hillary in 2016, and just like in 2008 and 2012, it matters little who is riding around DC in the bullet proof limo, it is all the same song.   McCain? "Well, I got Cs in economics, but that is good enough to run the economy."      Romney?  "No, let ME run the economy!"   Jesus, what unbeleivable tools.   (Jan 2008 GOP Primary debates at Reagan Library, McCain, ROmney and Hucklberry sing the praises of the POTUS job as 'running the US Economy.'   Ron Paul shook his head and sadly pronounced the death throws of a GOP that had totally and completely lost its f'n mind.    Some local GOP tool comes to my frontdoor, campaigning for state senator.   I ask him about this nonsense, and he confides to me that "It's the Economy. stupid!" is such an intellectual juggernaut that the GOP just has to roll with it.  So I kicked the jackass out the front door, then took a hot shower, and swore I'd never vote for one of these gladhanding lightweight powermongers ever again.   The Democrats aren't the biggest impediment to freedom in this nation, it is a hapless GOP with no mind or soul or convictions.   GLadhanders.   Realtors and Buick Salesmen and Budweiser Distrrributors rushing off to DC to run the cronyfest and sell out freedom.   Weasels.   They are the problem because they pretend to be an alternative to the Democrats; they are no such thing.   That is why, as long as the modern GOP exists, there will be no alternative to the Democrats.  

 

By all measures, they are doing a great job of taking themselves out, as are the Democrats in power(whose best argument is that the minority GOP is keeping them from really running the economy the way they'd prefer, and/or, it is Bush's fault.)   Just, like everything else they do, not quite competently or fast enough.

 

regards,

Fred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 



Post 19

Sunday, February 9 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,

 

I agree with your analysis. Nowhere did you cite the two parties as 'criminal gangs'. What's important here is that there are some coutries that are, indeed run by criminal gangs but, as absurd as the spending seems, America is not 'criminal'...nor does it really seem that way.

 

Alternatively, one can look at the spending of the two parties and suggsetively say that both feel that the role of government is far larger than that which you or I feel is ideal. The spending is ostensively justified by what the constituents want.

 

There's a pile of money derived from tax revenues, which includes extended credit of debatable security. Party A says spend it for X, party B says for Y. Libs say, return the money back to the people to spend more efficiently, themselves.

 

Objectivists toss ethics into the fray which, as expressed, obscures the focus. Part of this de-focusing comes about because, as Aristotle said, ethics involve passions.

 

Getting passionate then leads to the sort of name -calling that I really find objectionable from a 'professor'....again, what college or university?

 

Eva

 



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