WA Delegate (non-executive): The Federal Republic of Trans-American Empire (elected 248 days ago)
Founder: The Democratic Republic of Xyanth
Embassies: Capitalist Paradise, The Ascendancy, United Republic of Nations, Cashnatchee, Eladen, Coalition of Democratic States, The United League, Laissez Faireholm, New Republica, The Alliance Pocket Universe, League of Christian Nations, Unitarian Union, The Autocratic Imperium of Nations, The Darwin Allied Republics, Union of Nationalists, the Land of Power, and 12 others.Libertatem, Benevolent Capitalism, United Republic of Liberty, The Western Empire, The Illuminati, chris puppet storage, The Federal Islands 2nd Gen, The Military Commonwealth, The Outer Rim, John Galt, The Protectorate of Versus Militia, and Liberty Island.
The embassy with United Republic of Liberty is being withdrawn. Closure expected in 2 days 4 hours.
Regional Power: Moderate
Today's World Census Report
The Most Extensive Civil Rights in Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region
The citizens of nations ranked highly enjoy a great amount of civil rights, or freedoms to go about their personal business without interference or regulation from government.
As a region, Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region is ranked 2,922nd in the world for Most Extensive Civil Rights.
|1.||The Federal Republic of Icookit||Anarchy||“Don't Tread on Me”|
|2.||The Republic of Drachill||Anarchy||“Live Free or Die”|
|3.||The Federal Republic of Trans-American Empire||Anarchy||“Beyond the Borders of America”|
|4.||The Libertarian Society of Da Firenze||Anarchy||“Non Buelvo Sin Vencer”|
|5.||The Commonwealth of Pandaimonia||Capitalizt||“Corporations Are People”|
|6.||The Incorporated States of Principality of Zundrbar||Anarchy||“Sic semper tyrannis”|
|7.||The Confederacy of Zeekinkos||Civil Rights Lovefest||“There is something for everyone!”|
|8.||The Colony of Drake River||Civil Rights Lovefest||“A corner of the empire on which the sun never shines”|
|9.||The Democratic Republic of Xyanth||Capitalizt||“If there ain't a buck in it, then pack it in.”|
|10.||The Free Republic of Spinoza||Capitalizt||“Fast and bulbous”|
Regional Poll • Does "white privilege" exist?
Voting opened 1 day 18 hours ago and will close in 5 days. Open to residents. You cannot vote as you are not logged in.
- 3 hours ago: The Democratic Republic of Xyanth banned The Cimmerian Warmongers of Taropup from the region.
- 7 hours ago: Embassy cancelled between Thessius and Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region.
- 1 day 5 hours ago: The Cimmerian Warmongers of Taropup of the region United Republic of Liberty ordered the closure of its embassy in Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region.
- 1 day 6 hours ago: The Incorporated States of Ybielmas ceased to exist.
- 1 day 18 hours ago: The Democratic Republic of Xyanth created a new regional poll: "Does "white privilege" exist?".
- 2 days 14 hours ago: The Incorporated States of Principality of Zundrbar arrived from Laissez Faireholm.
- 4 days ago: The Republic of Bestwacko arrived from The South Pacific.
- 7 days ago: Embassy established between Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region and Liberty Island.
- 7 days ago: Embassy cancelled between Alliance of Capitalist Republics and Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region.
- 9 days ago: The Commonwealth of Domestic Corporate America arrived from Europeia.
Capitalist Libertarian Freedom Region Regional Message Board
Reed Audio: Lots of countries do have an equivalent of the Bill of Rights (which is what I said). You're quite right when you say that these do not have anything corresponding to the Second Amendment. You obviously think that's important. I don't.
As it happens, I have no particular objection to corporations making political donations. The issues of corporate personhood and political donations are actually eminently separable. For example, one could argue as follows:
1. Corporations are a form of property.
2. People have the right to dispose of their property as they see fit, provided that they do not infringe on the rights of others in so doing.
3. Donating money to a political cause (a candidate, a party...whatever) does not infringe anyone else's rights. There are exceptions here, of course- contributing money to ISIL obviously does infringe on the rights of others.
4. Accordingly, shareholders have the right to use their property to fund political causes. There is no difference in principle between contributing via a company and simply writing a personal cheque.
I don't really see why you object to my quoting Friedman. I did so in order to
a) show that social mobility isn't a 'left-wing' concept.
b) show why it might be important (if nothing else, it's one indicator of societal health).
I actually agree with what Friedman says in the quoted passage- all other things being equal, you should see more social mobility in a market economy than in a command economy. The fact that Denmark has more social mobility than the US (which is obviously more free-market) indicates that all other things aren't equal, and factors other than economic structure must be involved. The Economist article is interesting because it tries to explain what the other factors might be.
You may well be right about the role of education in this. I agree completely about the importance of vocational education. Your description of education in the US is depressingly familiar; things in the UK are much the same.
I've just done a search on the Danish education system. Having skimmed some articles on the subject, I think I can safely say that their system is a lot better than the British one, or presumably the American one. For example: the whole system is free, the substantial private chunk of it being funded by a voucher system; 51% of secondary school students are in vocational education, 49% in the academic stream that prepares them for University; there is a large, free adult education sector. Their expenditure per student is roughly the same as the US.
Spider sense? Peter Parker? You need to go back on your medication.
Why don't you think the Second Amendment is as important as any of the other fundamental right?
Nonsense. He does his best writing when unmedicated and tingling.
I don't regard the 'right to bear arms' as a fundamental right. I see it more as a societal choice- the US has chosen to establish bearing arms as a 'right'; other countries haven't.
If Americans want to own lots of firearms, then that's fine with me- I don't have any problem with the Second Amendment. I do think that both sides in the American gun control debate have over-estimated the importance of the issue. For example:
- Guns don't make you free. Private gun ownership was extremely common in Saddam's Iraq; contrary to NRA propaganda, Hitler actually relaxed gun control after coming to power. In Jefferson's day, the state had access to the same weaponry as private citizens, plus some cumbersome artillery that was mainly useful in set piece battles. Back then, privately owned firearms really were a potential barrier to tyranny. Nowadays the state has tanks, attack helicopters, fuel-air bombs and so on- privately owned firearms are no more useful in resisting the modern state than swords were in the eighteenth century.
- Private gun ownership doesn't cause crime. Most gun crime in America involves illegal firearms; tightening up the laws would arguably benefit the criminal class by disarming their potential victims. A number of European states (Switzerland, Norway, Finland) have high levels of private gun ownership and low murder rates. When considering the causes of America's problems with crime, the whole gun control thing is frankly a red herring.
Rothbardian Fantasy - the discussion was about the First and Second Amendments, if you can produce "a lot countries" that have both of those (NOT places that seem to have them - but do not when one looks at the small print) then you have a point. But you can not - so you do not.
I remember reading the new (well few years old now) Swiss Constitution - Switzerland being the nation that (apart from the United States) is supposed to understand the old principles best (or perhaps "least worst" would be better). I was very let down indeed - from the first few words it was obvious that this Swiss Constitution was nothing like the United States Constitution orthe various State Constitutions (such as that of Texas). What should have been proof that the United States was NOT exceptional turned out to be proof that the United States was exceptional - in spite of the massive growth of government (the Welfare State) and all the other betrayals.
The United States is exceptional - even now (so live with it - or better help in the desperate effort to defend and restore the United States, something that is NOT the concern of Americans only but is the concern of all people who love freedom everywhere).
As for "get back on my medication"- I have many illnesses (so to which one do you refer?). None of problems is in fact mental - all physical.
Actually I did make an error in my comments - but you do not seem to have spotted it (although you have spotted my error and decided not to point it out - as a kind gesture). I mentioned that Cheyanne Wyoming had low taxes - thus implying that it was a small government place, but (of course) that leaves out the fact that the government of Wyoming is based there.
If one wants an example of somewhere in the United States that is (relatively) low government in both taxes and government spending, then Casper Wyoming (or Rapid City South Dakota) would be better.
Of course nowhere in the United States is truly low government any more - not in modern times.
Although even as late as 1950 (i.e. long after the New Deal) total government spending (Federal, State and local) was still only around 20% of the economy in the United States (in 1928 it has been about 10%). And, unlike most of Latin America, most of the United States did not (and still today does not) did not have unofficial taxes (where local police and officials demand extra money with the threat of violence - thus making most Latin American "government as a percentage of GDP" figures meaningless). Although modern America has its own corrupt practices - such as Asset Seizure "laws" which are in direct violation of the 4th Amendment (although the Supreme Court, in a terrible test case, declared it did not).
Even up to the start of the 1960s the United States was not a Welfare State - which made it exceptional in relation to all other large Western nations (including Denmark), but in the 1960s the United States was transformed (and the schemes created in the 1960s such as Food Stamps and Medicare have continued to grow - so that they are now huge) - so I AGREE with you that America is no longer exceptional in this respect.
I agree with you about American firearms being a red herring in relation to crime.
London (for example) had far LESS gun control than New York City before the First World War (and firearms were actually very common in London before the First World War) but its murder rate was vastly less.
However, even here (on the issue of firearms) you say some really weird things.
For example Mr Hitler certainly did not "relax" firearm regulations in relation to JEWS - which is the point that Stephen H. and others make in relation to the National Socialist regime (that it targeted Jews to be disarmed - and then, mostly, murdered).
As for your comment "I don't" in relation to regarding the Second Amendment (drawn from the old British Bill of Rights of course) as important. Was that a typo? I am a terrible typist - so I am in no position to gloat if it was a typing mistake (as I most likely make a thousand typing mistakes for every one you make).
You can not seriously think that the Second Amendment is NOT important, can you?
What about the First Amendment (freedom of speech - with no small print qualifications making it meaningless, as in European Constitutions) is that not important?
I was joking about Spider Sense - I am not really Spiderman (or the grandfather of Spiderman - actually the "real father of Spiderman" is a private joke when you look up the person who actually created the character, it was not Stan Lee, it was an American Objectivist S.D.). But perhaps I should not have been joking.
Someone who does not understand that the United States is special (exceptional) and that the survival of the West is bound up with the survival (indeed constitutional restoration) of the United States, has got a lot to learn. Although (of course) all of us have a lot to learn - I am sure there are vast areas of important knowledge of which I know nothing.
The United States is in political and cultural decline and has been for a long time.
If Britain vanished tomorrow it would be very sad (alas the world deprived of ME - how terrible, oh dear, how sad, never mind), but Western civilisation would survive. If the United States collapses the West will fall - fall into a new Dark Age or be overwhelmed by the forces of evil. The West may fall so much that it will be as if it never existed at all, the very principles themselves forgotten from the world.
That is why the United States (its survival and the struggle for its restoration - for the reversal of its decline) is exceptional - in the sense of being exceptionally important.
Ok. If you are cornered, either at home, at work, at school, at the mall, etc, by anyone threatening your property, safety or life, do you believe there is a fundamental right to defend yourself or those around you?
There isn't much point in arguing about what the subject of the argument was.
The Swiss constitution has drawbacks for sure- notably its theism. However, I think that it's overall a fine document, which has the great virtue of being very clear and explicit. It's difficult to see how it could be open to the kind of multiple interpretations that plague discussions of the US constitution.
Yes...Obviously the US is by far and away the largest and most important Western democracy. What happens in America concerns everyone.
Yeah...America used to be 'more different' from most of Western Europe than is now the case. But it's worth noting that as well as the US moving more towards the European norms of state invention and welfare, a number of countries in Europe have moved significantly in the opposite direction. The UK, for example, is much less socialistic than it was in the 1960s. Back then, large sections of industry were owned by the government (e.g. car manufacturing, steel, and coal mining). Furthermore, there was a nationally-owned airline, the railways were owned by the state, the state-owned telephone company was a monopoly, the state (local councils in this case) built and owned a huge number of houses, trade unions were almost above the law...and so on (this could've been a very long list).
Starting with the Thatcher government, all of this has been reversed. Industries have been privatized (most recently the Royal Mail), council houses sold off or devolved to charities, unions are much weaker and interfere in politics much less. The British state is still big (too big) and bureaucratic- being part of the EU doesn't help at all in this respect. We still have the NHS, of course. And yes, like the vast majority of people in this country, I'm strongly in favour of preserving it. But all the same, post-Thatcher Britain is a very different place to pre-Thatcher Britain. So don't despair- reversing the changes in America that you hate so much really can happen.
There are countless contemporary and historical examples. Private gun ownership doesn't cause violent crime.
Having said that, one of the reasons Americans buy lots of firearms is because they wish to defend themselves and their homes from violent criminals. If violent crime in America were to decline to, say, the UK level, then I'd expect to see private gun ownership decline too. So there is a causal link between the two variables- it just works in the opposite direction from that which the supporters of gun control claim.
It's nearly midnight here. I'm tired. Will reply to your other points when I can.
Once again during a political debate some passionate but clueless activist responded to facts and figures about poverty and minimum wage with the words, "You need to check your privilege!" The reference is to this person's believe that as a white male I am the proud holder and exerciser of "white privilege." As such that renders me incapable of understanding the plight of the working stiff.
Of course this is a load of crap. I've been a working stiff all my life. Between taking fill in jobs between freelance gigs, many of those paid minimum or barely above minimum wage. But she probably doesn't know that and "White Privilege" was the best thing this person came up with to counter the facts laid out before her. (Funny how some folks counter logic with smoke and mirrors, ain't it?)
So what do you think? Is there such a thing as White Privilege in America or Europe now? If you think so, I would be interested to hear why you think so.
Poll is up.
Once more unto the breach (or something like that)....
Okay...I've come across two different versions of this one. The first runs something like 'Hitler took away people's guns when he came to power', and is clearly factually wrong. The second is the one that you cite, which gets the historical facts right but then spoils things with a ludicrous counterfactual- that if Jews hadn't been disarmed then somehow they could've resisted the terrifying Death Machine that was the Third Reich.
No, it wasn't a typing error (although I suppose it could've been- my typing skills are pretty bad too). I'll explain what I meant in more detail.
The Second Amendment is clearly very important to a great many Americans (both pro and anti). Gun ownership is also very important to very many Americans, although you can have widespread gun ownership without the constitutional guarantee (as in Norway or Saudi Arabia). Guns are an important part of American culture, as can be seen in films, novels and so on. If private gun ownership weren't permitted, the US would be a very different place. Therefore, the Second Amendment is important in a number of ways.
However, I don't think that the 'right to bear arms' is a fundamental human right, and I don't think that the Second Amendment makes America any more or less free. As I hope I've made clear, this doesn't mean that I'm in favour of gun control. It doesn't even mean that I don't think it's an important issue- just that it isn't an important issue with respect to civil liberties.
Supporters of gun ownership sometimes claim that the 'right to bear arms' has a 'knock-on' effect in that it supports other freedoms- 'guns make you free'; 'an armed people is a free people' and so on. I have yet to see any cogent arguments that this is the case. This is another way in which the Second Amendment isn't important- it does precisely nothing to bolster important liberties, such as freedom of speech.
You're not really Spiderman??? That's terrible news. I was hoping to rely on your superpowers to defend us all come the NS Zombie Apocalypse. I guess I'll have to ignore the whole thing instead.
I've never denied that the US was exceptionally important- a corollary of its size and power (economic and military). In fact, I said as much in one of my earlier posts. What I take issue with is the idea that it's exceptionally free and/or democratic when compared to other western nations.
The US and Europe are in relative economic and military decline. India, China, Brazil and a load of other smaller countries (Turkey, South Africa, Argentina...) are rising, and this isn't going to change. Inevitably, they will have more influence on the world in future years, and America and Europe will have less. It's something that we're just going to have to get used to.
The idea that the US is in some sort of absolute (as opposed to relative) decline is much less convincing. America has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. Some of the changes are good- anti-drug laws are being eroded; homosexuality is much more accepted; the internet has enhanced the ability of individuals to express their views. Other changes are bad: government surveillance is more widespread; the rich/ poor divide has gotten a lot bigger; the internet has spread a great deal of disinformation, making crackpot views more widespread (e.g. 9/11 conspiracy theories). As for 'constitutional restoration'- I suspect that represents a desire to return to a past that was never really that pretty (Jim Crow Laws, anyone?).
To be honest, I think that you're worrying about the wrong continent. The EU is in bad bad trouble on all fronts (hubris -> nemesis); fascist-type movements are becoming more popular in many European countries; Russia has resumed its traditional role as an expansionist autocracy. In some ways the EU collapsing would be a good thing, but mainly it would result in chaos, which is almost always bad. I have a horrible feeling that the poo is going to hit the fan on this side of the Atlantic. The US, however, seems to be in much better shape.
Of course I have a fundamental right to defend myself and those around me. But it doesn't follow that I have a fundamental right to own a gun.
Regulation of force is one of the basic functions of government (and I'm a minarchist, not an anarchist, so yes, I do think that governments are an unfortunate necessity). Ownership of deadly weapons is controlled to some degree everywhere- except for places like Somalia and parts of the Congo, where there are effectively no laws. In the US, you can own single-shot firearms, but not automatic weapons, let alone AA missiles and tanks. Other western countries regulate firearm ownership more strictly. The degree to which firearm ownership is restricted should, in my view, be a democratic decision. In Britain, the abolition of gun control would be wildly unpopular and undemocratic. In the US, I'd guess that the opposite would be true.
In other words: it's up to the people to decide what kind of limitations should be put on weapon ownership within the jurisdiction of their community.
Okay, next topic.
RE: 'White Privilege'. It's absurd to deny that white males used to run things, and that black people and women were at best second-class citizens. However, I'm pleased to say that in present-day Britain this is no longer the case, and that equal opportunities exist for women and non-whites. From what I know, other parts of Northern Europe are similar in this respect; ditto the US.
The situation in Southern and Eastern Europe is rather different. The recent upsurge in far-right activity in (notably) Greece and Hungary means that these are not good countries for people with the 'wrong' ethnic background.
You cannot have this both ways. If you have a fundamental right to defend yourself from attack, how do you justify leaving yourself or others defenseless against an armed attacker? Bare hands are pretty much useless against a machete. A "Crocodile Dundee Now That's A Knife" sized blade is beyond useless against someone shooting a gun. (Insert old joke about bringing a knife to a gun fight here.)
When one regulates force in the area of self defense, one handicaps those that obey the law and create an advantage to those that routinely break it. How does that social law fit in with your idea of a fundamental human right to defend one's self?
Re: "White Privilege," it is difficult for me to hear that phrase without feeling just a little bit of anger. Aside from the asinine use the politically correct crowd to distract from real issues, for my part this is a result of being a white male that was actively discriminated against when it came to hiring during the beginnings of quota days. While it is always hard to be turned down for a job, there is something special about losing out on a job to someone far less qualified simply because they are minority.
That whole white privilege things king of sucked for white men during the decade running from 1976-1986.