Do us a solid and leave…..

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Lord of the Flies, Non-AZ
Tags: , ,

I read Andrew Sullivan’s blog most days and stumbled across an ongoing feud between Sam Harris, who is pondering just how rich is too rich (a valid concern in today’s world), and Timothy Sandefur, a Libertarian blogger.  One thing I agree with Sandefur on is his criticism of Harris for characterizing taxes a needful “theft”.  This is piss poor reasoning on Harris’ part.  I would argue instead that taxation isn’t theft since the person being taxed is aware of the obligation.  No one forces you to be a citizen of a country.  Certainly you’re born into a country and citizenship but you don’t have to remain in that country once you become an adult.  You have a choice in the matter. If you don’t like the taxation here, then by all means, go somewhere else.  However, its understand that in the U.S. (and every other nation on earth) that if you want to live there, you have to pay into the societal pot, n’est pas?

However, it wasn’t that line of thought that really irked me.  No, it was Sandefur’s response to Harris’ reasoning regarding the “luck of birth”.  Harris posited that too many people take credit for having been born healthy, to their family, in a certain time, etc.  Things which none of us have any control over whatsoever.  It’s an extremely valid point.  I am ever mindful of how I was born with an IQ several standard deviations above average that has allowed me to go on and accomplish things that my siblings were incapable of.  That I live in the U.S. at this point and time, where as a woman I can go to school and work without facing imprisonment, torture and death.  I don’t take credit for any of this, but many libertarians would.  Or at the very least they would say, “I’m just lucky and it sucks to be you”.

Sandefur fails to address this aspect of Harris’ argument.  Instead his response is emotional, reductionist crap.  He should be careful of flinging accusations of illogical arguments himself. Libertarians and other conservatives always get frothy whenever anyone starts talking about “mutual responsibility” and “societal obligations”.  They seem to have missed PoliSci 101 where they describe the concept of a “social contract”.  My response is always the same, if you don’t like living with the rest of us and sharing with the rest of us, please do us a favor and leave.  I wholeheartedly encourage you to resettle someplace else and try to create the conservative paradise you so yearn for…..and when all your hard work fails to produce a utopia and instead delivers a Lord of the Flies scenario….we’ll welcome back the survivors and help you.  Because that’s what decent human beings do.   You can’t live in society, benefit from that society and refuse to contribute to it at the same time.  That’s like going to a potluck without a dish.  You can do it once in a while, but all the time?  Then the concept of the potluck falls apart.  Everyone except for yahoos like Sandefur understand that society is like an ongoing potluck.

Beyond the potluck metaphor that I use here, Harris’ point is still valid.  “There by the grace of ________ go I.”  That blank could be God, Goddess, Mother Nature, the randomness of the Universe, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.   Why should you give up your hard-won earnings, because it COULD have been you.  If we do have souls and we do come back around again (and again, and again) next time it could be you.  An atheist like Sandefur rejects this argument out of hand, of course.  Because he knows everything, obviously.  But let’s accept his premise that he’s right and the soul coming back again is bunk.  Then what about bad things happening to you in your lifetime Sandefur?  You’re only lucky up until the day something crappy happens.  No one has good luck every day of their life, do they?  I’m betting not.  In which case, you may at some point need that societal net of which you’re so scornful.  This reasoning doesn’t rely on religion but on mathematical odds–permutations if you will.  Next time it might be you who is unlucky or someone you love, like your parents, your child, your lover, etc.

Why don’t guys like Sandefur get the message?  Maybe it is failure to teach basic civics in our schools?  Or it’s too much Randian BS being pushed by the conservatard pimps at FOPGOX News?  Or the consistent message of consumerism and greed with which we are constantly bombarded with?  Or perhaps its a complete failure by their parents to instill a shred of empathy in them?  I’m thinking its all of the above.  Whatever the cause, I’d love for them to experience their libertarian paradise.  If I’m wrong and its successful, I’d be the first to say “they were right”.  Somehow I don’t think it’d work out that way.  In fact, only the lucky ones will survive and they’ll claim it was all their effort instead.  Sigh…….

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Comments
  1. Hugo says:

    “I was born with an IQ several standard deviations above average”

    How many is “several”?

    • drangedinaz says:

      Well it depends on what you think is the average IQ, doesn’t it. Not to be coy but don’t dwell on that statement….I shouldn’t have included it to be honest because I don’t rely on my IQ score for anything. Many people can perform beyond their IQ….heck look at former President G. W. Bush. He can walk and chew gum at the same time, can’t he?

      • Hugo says:

        The IQ distribution is defined as a normal distribution with average 100 in England and a standard deviation of 15. Tests in other countries are normalised against England.

        Your inclusion of the phrase makes me think you don’t think very carefully about what you write, and/or that you don’t know much about IQ and normal distributions.

        • drangedinaz says:

          I forgot to address your point about the “productive people” leaving a state. You’re assuming that only conservative people are productive and will go where the jobs are. The truth is that Liberals, on average, tend to be more educated, more likely to have a college degree, and therefore earn more money over their lifetime than someone who only has a High School education. So be careful about generalizations and assumptions about productivity. I dare those who feel themselves to be “producers” to go Galt. I would love to see it. The rest of us, producers and supposed non-producers will get along fine without you (PS: Funny how you seem to be assigning more value to those who produce economic value of some kind. There are other kinds of producers who are just as important….but that’s another discussion).

          In re: to the IQ statement and my including it, I did so for one reason only. Many people feel the need for some kind of objective standard to measure intelligence, hence the tests and the score. You must be one of those. I thought about it and included it knowing that someone might want that kind of objective qualification. I am not someone who needs that kind of validation. The reason I said I shouldn’t have included it was in retrospect after your question about my score. I can’t stand people who want to compare scores and I had a suspicion that someone might comment and ask. So I did think about it and decided to hope that no one would focus on that and miss the larger points of the post.

          Since you don’t agree or care about the larger points of the post, here’s your answer. Three standard deviations. I used the term several meaning 3 or more. Evidently I see that some people define “couple” as 2-3 and perhaps I should have used that word instead. However, personally I have always used “couple” to mean exactly 2 and “few” or “several” to mean 3 or more.

      • Hugo says:

        “You must be one of those.”

        I am not.

        “Three standard deviations.”

        145. Have you ever done an IQ test?

        (The only reason I called you on it in the first place is because you didn’t give an exact number so I thought you might just be making it up, to claim that you are in the top 0.25% of the population without evidence. I agree with you that it is irrelevant to the post; that’s why it seemed so weird to me that you mentioned it.)

  2. Hugo says:

    Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it:

    http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2011/08/states_and_stat.html
    “people are moving from states in the USA governed according to lefty principles, towards states governed by somewhat less lefty principles, reminded me of this piece I recently did here, about people moving from country to country in the world. As in the world as a whole, so in the USA.”

    “‘Why should anyone choose to endorse liberal, Democratic policies when a single year (2009-10) saw 880,000 residents packing up their belongings to place Barack Obama’s Illinois in their rear-view mirror, while 782,000 new arrivals helped drive the robust economy in Rick Perry’s Texas?’

    California, so the piece says, lost two million people in the years 2009 and 2010. The promised land no more, it would seem.”

    • drangedinaz says:

      Hugo, take a closer look at that job explosion in TX. It was mostly government jobs. Yep, Mr. I want to Secede Perry and I Hate Big Government Perry had a job boon in the public sector. Hmmmm….wonder how that happened. The rest of the jobs were service jobs as in “would you like fries with that?” You know the kind that you have to have 2 or 3 of in order to make a living. No, I won’t cry any tears of the loss of folks moving to TX.

      • Hugo says:

        The type of jobs, whether govt/private or service/non-service, is irrelevant.

        The point is that people are leaving states that are badly governed (the way you want them to be governed) (e.g. California) and moving to ones that are better governed (including but not limited to lower taxes).

        As I say, be careful what you wish for. You will shed tears if you drive out all the productive people. A state populated solely by lefties wouldn’t be a very nice place to live.

        • drangedinaz says:

          Hugo, the type of jobs is relevant since you’re saying the Perry has governed Texas well but by Perry’s own definition increasing the size of government is poor governance. So by HIS own definition he has done a piss poor job of governing. Moreover, jobs that don’t allow people to survive ultimately only hurt the economy since those consumers will not be able to consume anything beyond what they need for subsistence. Furthermore, I never held up CA as the model of good governance. You did. I was talking about AZ. And finally, Arizona which had been growing steadily had a ton of people leave. Which means, using your reasoning that AZ must be a badly run state.

  3. Mo says:

    “social contract” is an attempt to invoke the same sentiment that fuelled
    feudalism. In all its versions, the theory surrenders to the philosophy of subjectivism. It is totally pointless once the notion of “individual rights” has been clarified. The proper and only valid term is the Trader Principle

    • drangedinaz says:

      Mo, are you saying that the social contract we have now is the same one we had back in feudal times? I would very much disagree with that. I think the problem is that the social contract in reality has kept up with the evolution of governance and economic systems but the American citizen’s understanding of that governance, economic systems and as a result, the social contract has not kept up. It’s ignorance, plain and simple.

      If you’re saying that regardless of what it means, its a tool of repression. I would also disagree since by definition it has to be agreed to and followed by the the leaders and the people–or revolution tends to break out.

      • Hugo says:

        The social contract is a myth. It’s not a contract because no one ever signed it. It’s clearly just made up to justify various ideologies.

        • drangedinaz says:

          To the contrary it is a very real phenomenon. Every society has an understanding…sometimes it is written down and sometimes not. Are you saying that the U.S. Constitution isn’t a form of contract?

      • Hugo says:

        “Are you saying that the U.S. Constitution isn’t a form of contract?”

        Of course it isn’t. It’s law, not a contract. A contract has to be agreed by all parties to it. Law doesn’t.

        Calling it a contract is a rhetorical trick attempting to claim that everyone has agreed to it, whatever it is. “But I didn’t agree to it”, says someone. “Ah, but you have tacitly agreed to it by continuing to live in the country”, goes one possible response. Clearly not true.

        None of which is to say that the “social contract” is wrong. Just that calling it a contract is dishonest.

      • Hugo says:

        “Every society has an understanding”

        Okay, so assume that we stop calling it a contract and call it an understanding.

        Lots of people think the understanding should be one thing. But lots of other people think it should be another! What to do?

        Let’s just be honest and say that some people control the law and use it to force other people to do as they say. That’s not necessarily a bad state of affairs.

        • drangedinaz says:

          I wrote in response to Tim Sandefur a few minutes ago, the same thing that I am going to tell you. “If you want to have a debate about what the REAL social contract is, I’d be happy to.” And of course I agree that the law is a way to force others….that’s the nature of all rules isn’t? I though libertarians don’t believe in laws. After all, the state doesn’t have the right to force us to do anything. Does it?

      • Hugo says:

        I am not a libertarian. I’m perfectly happy with laws to force people to do things. I just don’t like pretending that laws are voluntary.

      • Mo says:

        The whole point of government is that it will act against you even if you don’t agree. Law does not create legitimacy.

        • drangedinaz says:

          I completely agree with your statement that “law does not create legitimacy”. “Rule of Law” as maintained in a representative form of governance does however help to create legitimacy.

  4. drangedinaz says:

    Contracts have historically been of two kinds, signed ones and the kind that is understood and acted on by two or more parties. You know perfectly well that I mean the Constitution and the Social Contract are contracts in the latter sense. I never said that everyone in America stood in line and signed a written contract and I never implied it. Nor do I believe they should have to do such a thing. Please…..

    This is the second time you’ve accused me of dishonesty…first with the IQ thing and now with the definition of a contract. Do you use ad hominem attacks often?

    • Hugo says:

      Not true. A contract doesn’t have to be written down and signed, but it does have to be agreed upon by all parties to it. “Agreed”, not “understood and acted upon”. I understand and act upon laws, but I have not agreed to them: they are not contracts. Contracts are voluntary. Laws are not. The “social contract” is not voluntary.

      I did not accuse you of dishonesty regarding your IQ. I merely queried it because I wanted to check that you meant what you said. You did; that’s fine.

      I am not accusing you of dishonesty regarding the “social contract”. I am saying that it is a piece of dishonest rhetoric which you have been taken in by. It is calling something involuntary a “contract” in order to give the impression that it is voluntary. It is Orwellian doublespeak, if you like; propaganda.

      • drangedinaz says:

        So I’m not a liar, but an unwitting tool or a spreader of propaganda. I think I liked liar better. 🙂 In all seriousness, see my response to Fareed below…It’s not dishonest rhetoric…..you are have tacitly approved of the social contract if you continue to live in the U.S., engage in political activism (and vote but this point is argued all the time so I include it here in parens).

    • Mo says:

      the constitution isn’t a social contract however. Who would enforce it? the people?

      • drangedinaz says:

        Yes. Every time we vote, every recall election we begin, every referendum we collect signatures for, every office we run for, every time we donate money, and, yes, sometimes when we revolt, we enforce that contract (referencing Jefferson’s oft quoted statement about periodic revolution being necessary–but not in the sense that conservatives like to use it)

  5. drangedinaz says:

    Your logic falls apart when you say “agreement with a collectivist counter-party”. Any individual in the U.S. is one person, the rest of us is the collective “us”. 99% of the activity that person engages in affects the collective us (how many in the collective us specifically depends on each act). That package deal is amorphous and changes with time, as it should, as society changes over time. Your point about “contradicting the motive to enter into” is specious. All contracts have punitive clauses–even the tacit ones–that contradict the motive for entering into. The motive for ALL contracts entered into freely is mutual benefit. If someone feels that they receive NO benefits whatsoever from the tacit contract they live under in the U.S., that person has the choice of 1) changing it, 2) leaving or 3) accepting it.

    • Fareed says:

      You cannot have a valid contract unless all parties agree

      • drangedinaz says:

        Ah, that’s the crux of it–both you and Hugo are arguing that you didn’t agree to the “social contract” and laws that have been imposed upon you. I am saying that if you live in the U.S. or any other truly representative government and you vote, then yes you have tacitly agreed to that contract. Laws you like and laws you don’t. That’s not to say that if you don’t like a law you don’t have recourse….you do. Vote someone in new that will get rid of the law, run for office yourself, initiate a referendum for the ballot, engage in non-violent, social disobedience, etc, etc, etc. All of these acts are established in our social contract (except perhaps for civil disobedience but that should be left for another day).

    • Mo says:

      I don’t understand what you see is falling apart. The social contract is an anti-concept because it binds together the contradictory elements of rights (as in a right to contract) and collectivism (as in the collective is the final authority on what rights exist).

      Government is or ought to be established by formal objective documents specifying the what and how of governing, which documents I would classify as a form of contract. A good government would not be permitted to contradict the logically and hierarchically prior concept of rights. Government justified by the social contract has no logical limits on what it may do.

      Governments and corporations are legitimate forms of collectives, so I won’t deny they exist or can act or be a party in a contract. But they exist as organizations of individuals, and it is as individuals in the most elementary social interaction (before any formal organizations exist) from which the ethical and political principle of rights is derived.

      • drangedinaz says:

        Obviously we disagree with the term of “social contract” as being valid. It is the closest approximation of the actual reality–if it doesn’t do the best job of explaining a complicated concept then the fault is with our language, not the concept. There is nothing wrong with the juxtaposition of the collective and the individual.

        I completely disagree with your statement that “Government justified by the social contract has no logical limits on what it may do.” When a government fails to deliver on its end of the bargain, generally to take care of the welfare of its people, individuals have the right and, indeed, the obligation to make a new government that will uphold its end of the deal. That’s the limit and that’s what makes it a contract.

  6. Mo says:

    there are plenty of contracts that don’t require signatures and that can be unilaterally altered. The point is, though, consent and agreement between two parties voluntarily executing their wills are lacking. Social contract theory reduces to: “I appeal to the legitimacy of my rights to bind me to my promise to have no rights.

    • drangedinaz says:

      Mo, in a “rule of law” country there are no VALID contracts that both parties don’t agree to. So that’s false. In regards your last statement, clearly I don’t agree with you. I think the problem with your statement is that you don’t recognize the “collective” as a legitimate other party. Either that, or you don’t see that the “other party” even exists. Regardless, we don’t agree. See my response to Fareed below re: a participating individual and representative government.

  7. Hugo says:

    “truly representative government”
    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/civil-servants-run-the-country/
    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/on-government-employment/

    Anyway, “then yes you have tacitly agreed”. You’re trying to reconcile the fact that plenty of people explicitly do not agree with certain laws, with something else, I’m not sure what (democracy?), by saying that despite explicitly disagreeing with them, they “tacitly” really do agree. Let’s drop this charade. It’s unnecessary.

    I attack the very idea of legitimacy, whether it’s democratic legitimacy or libertarian legitimacy or whatever. Democratists think that laws are legitimate because they have been passed by a democratic process. Libertarians think laws are legitimate if they comply with other standards (e.g. “natural rights” or whatever).

    I’m saying that the idea of legitimacy is bunk. It’s a fiction.

    I don’t have a problem with laws I haven’t agreed to. I don’t think that claiming that they are “legitimate” is necessary, but I don’t think it is honest either.

    • drangedinaz says:

      Hugo, you are misunderstanding me. I recognize that an individual may not agree with some of the laws but they accept “society” as a whole. Therefore, the individual DOES tacitly agree to live within societal restrictions (some he agrees with and others he doesn’t agree with) for his overall benefit. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could pick and choose the laws that we wanted to live under? Then, of course, we’d all have to live in our own little bubble domes no contact with other humans. Your links to civil servants run the government are a red herring and don’t prove your point. Clearly we agree to disagree. You think legitimacy is an illusion and I believe legitimacy is possible and currently exists in the U.S. Is it perfect, my God/FSM no! But it doesn’t have to be perfect to be legitimate. If that’s the basis of your argument then nothing is ever legitimate.

      • Mo says:

        “I recognize that an individual may not agree with some of the laws but they accept “society” as a whole. Therefore, the individual DOES tacitly agree to live within societal restrictions (some he agrees with and others he doesn’t agree with) for his overall benefit. ”

        Some people do NOT accept “society” as a whole. Does the fact hey don’t accept it mean government can’t do anything to them? obviously not *rights* create legitimacy, NOT law or vote. “social contract” ultimately boils down to law/vote

      • drangedinaz says:

        Mo, okay don’t use the verb accept. You have to deal with the reality of society as a whole, by definition it is a collective. The social contract says that if you want to benefit from this collective existence (you exist simultaneously as part of it and as an individual) then you have to contribute and likewise, society will give back to you. Just because you don’t like all the laws that are made in it doesn’t mean you reject society as a whole. Nor should you. Again, if you want a perfect society that only has the laws you like, the laws that uphold your rights absolutely then you’re going to have to find another planet to live on. One prefferrably filled with your clones or one for just yourself. Otherwise, you participate in that society and within the accepted means you try to change the laws you don’t like. In which case, you’ve accepted the social contract. Let’s just leave it at that.

  8. Mo says:

    The whole point of government is that it will act against you even if you don’t agree. It is legally allowed to initiate force against you. The fact that I accept someone will enforce my contract with an employer does not make the government legitimate. what makes it legitimate is the fact that it protects rights. The fact that a group of people pass a law to limit my production does not make it *right*. What grants legitimacy is consistency in upholding rights, NOT law . You can have irrational, subjective laws but still have a government that, on the whole, protects basic rights, like right to your property

    • drangedinaz says:

      Mo, if a law is passed that violates your rights, it is unconstitutional and therefore not lawful and therefore not legitimate I agree. However, if you expect human beings to get it right, every time, the first time then you are living in a dream world already. That’s one of the reasons that the Founding Fathers called it an experiment. They didn’t know if it would work and in fact suspected that it might not over the long haul. What you and I might be able to agree with is that legitimacy takes time, yes? If someone passes a law and you think it violates your rights and you challenge it and get it struck down, that takes time. Is the system legitimate to you then? After you’ve won your fight? Or does it have to right from the very beginning of a policy? How far from right can they be? Are there are no legitimate infringements? This is a conversation that cannot be reduced to simplistic answers…nor should it be. You want to say that “if there is one law I disagree with then it is illegitimate”. That’s fine if you want to live in a bubble all by yourself. But it doesn’t work in reality.

      • Mo says:

        If it violates your rights but is interpreted to be within the bounds of the constitution, it is NOT legitimate. Rights are not something that people put on paper.

        Also, nobody said that one law makes it illegitimate. But the law itself *is* without legitimacy.
        You can have legitimate governments with bad laws.

      • Mo says:

        to add further to this: The U.S. government, for all its faults, manages to protect some rights. Now if it eroded the Constitution to the point that the 1st amendment was interpreted as “so long as you don’t offend the government”, THAT sort of thing would make the government illegitimate. The fact that the goverment is an agent of the people does not mean it can do whatever it likes and appoint justices who will rubber stamp bad laws.

  9. Mo says:

    “you are have tacitly approved of the social contract if you continue to live in the U.S., engage in political activism”

    that is our main disagreement. There can be no contract settling the issue of who is qualified to make contracts, no agreement about who can make agreements. You can only have a document intended to constrain the power of the state. ideally, you’re subordinating government to objectively defined law. But that is not a “social contract”. “social contract” means that you have somehow entered an agreement with a governed society simply by happening to be born there, or by trying to get your tax dollars back by accepting grant money. “social contract” makes it so that the very act of trying to retrieve what was taken from you somehow grants legitimacy to the thief

    • Mo says:

      correction: to the act of theft

      • drangedinaz says:

        I do agree that by being born here doesn’t a social contract make. But when you are old enough to understand and receive benefits from society, I posit that yes, that makes you entering an agreement with society. While you give you also benefit. I think timing is an issue as well. When you’re born, your parents have not only be giving but also receiving benefits of the state. As a child we benefit from society. Every road, every bridge, every school, every park, etc. So before you as an individual ever pay a single penny you are benefiting. Then you become an adult and you start to work and contribute. Then you decide to participate or not. You decide to move or not. You decide to produce or not. If you don’t want to produce and therefore contribute to society, by all means go find a way to not do that. More power to you! But don’t live in society, benefit from society and try to destroy it for the rest of us who are perfectly happy to contribute and receive.

      • Mo says:

        “I do agree that by being born here doesn’t a social contract make. But when you are old enough to understand and receive benefits from society, I posit that yes, that makes you entering an agreement with society. While you give you also benefit. I think timing is an issue as well. When you’re born, your parents have not only be giving but also receiving benefits of the state. As a child we benefit from society. Every road, every bridge, every school, every park, etc. So before you as an individual ever pay a single penny you are benefiting.”

        My parents will never get their taxes back. Even if they did that wouldn’t make what happened right. There is no “society” as such, only individuals. There is no one to make agreements with but individuals. A Constitution is a limitation on government, not an agreement to be wielded against individuals. “social contract” could be used to give a veneer of legitimacy to any tyrant who tosses bread and circuses to the masses. If a man sprays your window and washes it and demands money, you are not obligated to pay him.If you go to him and *ask* for it, *then* you are obligated to pay him. But I didn’t ask for public roads, public bridges, public schools or public parks. I would rather they be private but that is besides the point.The fact that someone gave me stolen goods does not mean I owe something to the thief

  10. drangedinaz says:

    Mo,

    “If it violates your rights but is interpreted to be within the bounds of the constitution, it is NOT legitimate.”

    I agree. There have been many laws like this that were later overturned and found to be wrong. Such as not letting women vote, slaves become citizens, internment of the Japanese, etc.

    “Rights are not something that people put on paper.”

    I partially agree. Rights exist outside of us…natural laws and all that. However, we express those rights, often exercise those rights, and make laws about those rights on paper.

    “Also, nobody said that one law makes it illegitimate. ”

    I said earlier that time was involved and as a result precedence, as when we overturned unjust laws and tried to set things to rights. again internment of the Japanese in WWII being a good example

    “You can have legitimate governments with bad laws.”

    I disagree. A legitimately elected government that has bad laws and enforces bad laws to the detriment of the people and society as a whole is an illegitimate government. I don’t think the U.S. is anywhere close to this point. If you disagree, you need to go visit or better yet live in a third world country to see what I mean.

    I’ve gotta go so must end this discussion. Thanks for commenting though. It’s been fun.

    • Mo says:

      ” A legitimately elected government that has bad laws and enforces bad laws to the detriment of the people and society as a whole is an illegitimate government. I don’t think the U.S. is anywhere close to this point. If you disagree, you need to go visit or better yet live in a third world country to see what I mean.”

      The government does plenty of things that’s wrong but that’s not enough to make the government itself illegitimate. The bad laws, however, *are* illegitimate. Again nobody claims the U.S. government is illegitimate simply because it foists the welfare state and the military industrial complex on the people. Furthermore you cannot simultaneously say we can go somewhere else and say that anywhere else is worse. Either things are worse elsewhere or they are not. But that doesn’t mean that anything the U.S. does is right.

      • drangedinaz says:

        Again nobody claims the U.S. government is illegitimate simply because it foists the welfare state and the military industrial complex on the people.

        Ah, there you are wrong. That is PRECISELY what many on the far right are saying about our government now. How many people are screaming about “taking our country back” from a supposedly illegitimate President who has supposedly ballooned the deficit and supposedly pushed a “socialist” agenda? In fact, that is the core of the problem. Too many people in America have been lied to and brainwashed about reality and have become radicalized enough to think that our current government is illegitimate. That SHOULD be a major concern for us all…regardless of our political affiliation.

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