Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Apr 15 2004 - 16:16:14 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD The Individual Level"

    Dear Wim,

    > Can you recognize that I have been trying to look at both the US and
    > Europe/Netherlands without cultural glasses but with descriptions of
    > 'liberal' and 'conservative' that stay as close as possible to their
    > literal meaning instead?

    Yes, but it seems the "literal" meaning is quite different there in Europe
    than here in the U.S.
    > You ended with:
    > 'Incidentally, that "Political Compass" that DMB and others have referred
    > to is flawed. The lower left quadrant consisting of collectivist anarchists
    > is an oxymoron. Political collectivism cannot exist without coercion.'
    > The questionnaire constituting the Political Compass
    > ( didn't measure economical 'left' and 'right'
    > (the horizontal coordinates) as collectivism versus individualism. The
    > analysis attached describes them as state planning of the economy versus
    > deregulated economy.

    I'm looking now at one of the charts labelled Left and Right at the
    extremities of the horizontal line. Above the Left label it says Communism
    and below that in parens Collectivism.

    > Gandhi, Mandela, the Dalai Lama, David B. and I are
    > all somewhere in the middle of the lower-left quadrant.

    Yes, the chart in front of me now referred to above shows Gandhi in the
    lower-left quadrant.

    > We favour some, but
    > not extreme individual freedom (anarchy). We favour some, but not
    > all-encompassing state planning in the economic realm. Surely the state can
    > plan without coercing?

    I've no problem with a bunch a bureaucrats sitting around making plans.
    It's when they put those plans into effect that concerns me because when
    that happens, some coercion is required (as DMB says, with guns and
    handcuffs) to make the plans work.

    > If you agree that some taxes are necessary (if only
    > to pay for defense efforts), these taxes can be directed to stimulate
    > desirable and discouraging harmful economic practices, can't they?

    Not without imposing restrictions (backed by coercion) on some to
    supposedly benefit others.

    > harmful and desirable being determined with democratic methods with all
    > kinds of checks and balances that prevent mobocracy, of course.
    The problem is that a democratic government, by handing out benefits to
    large groups (like retirees) and making individuals within those groups
    dependent on those handouts, in effect "buys" their votes. That's why
    government programs, once put into effect, rarely are revoked. Selfish
    interests become entrenched, and a true democracy becomes corrupted.

    Best regards,

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