Monday, June 18, 2007

Had To Respond Once More To Libertarian Dupes

By Manifesto Joe

This to answer any and all fitting comments to the recent posts regarding Ron Paul:

To the menagerie of fools, too many to name individually:

You are either very disingenuous, or very naive. There are hardcore, doctrinaire socialists on one extreme, and on the other, you. You have a fundamental misconception that somehow wealth can be divorced from state power, and that established wealth will not inevitably use its natural influence to compel state power to perpetuate that wealth. You are making the same mistake, ironically, that people on the very extreme left make: thinking that humans are ultimately reasonable, benevolent, will act as they should, etc. Have you read anything about what the U.S. economy was like during the Gilded Age, the heyday of your economic ideology?

There is one simple reason why there is no longer widespread child labor in the U.S. One reason why public education, yes, even such as it is, is now universally available. One reason why when someone gets hurt on the job, they don't just get put out on the street with an arm cast on, and tough shit, buddy. One reason why when someone has a catastrophic illness, they aren't just left to be evicted and starve, and their kids along with them. One reason why when someone gets too old and sick to work, they can at least afford a tin of Little Friskies. One reason why anybody can require the barest subsistence wage when they show up for a job.

It's called "government." And it's virtually inevitable. Ask somebody in Somalia what it was like to live without it. If you like low taxes, try sunny Guatemala. See what the roads and schools are like there.

I'll take my chances with a modern Western mixed economy, thank you. At least it can be monitored, checks and balances, etc. No, it isn't going to be clean or perfect. Nothing associated with the naked ape is ever going to be, and especially not a "free" market.

At least I've gotten a chance to respond thusly to the smug, ignorant likes of you, rather than being made into some beast of burden like some of my forebears were. You are either liars or fools. I hope that in most cases it is the latter.


Anonymous said...

If the Gilded Age was so horrible, why did it correspond with the greatest increase in population and longevity in Europe since the Bronze Age?

And no, government is not the reason why child labor went away. The history of child labor is actually a very good example of the way that progressives pat themselves on the back for social developments that they did not cause. In the pre-industrial age, child labor was virtually universal. There was no such thing as an idle childhood in agricultural societies, outside of the wealthiest and most aristocratic families. Child labor became noticeable in the industrial age in the US and Britain precisely because it was rapidly becoming more rare. The children of the urban middle class escaped child labor because of the rapidly increasing wealth and productivity of capitalist societies. Concerned members of the middle class, who had forgotten the working conditions of the previous agricultural economies, looked around and saw working-class children working in factories, and perceived this as a problem for the first time in history. They then proceeded to pass self-congratulatory bans on child labor just as the practice was dying out even among the children of the working class. Fewer bigger cons have been played on the public than the spread of the meme that progressivism defeated child labor.

Marc McDonald said...

>>The history of child labor is
>>>actually a very good example of
>>>the way that progressives pat
>>>themselves on the back for
>>>social developments that they
>>>did not cause

You are confusing two types of "child labor." One is children working and doing chores on their family farms (which was quite common in the 19th century). The other is children going into factories and coal mines and doing back-breaking hard work for 18 hours a day. The latter would still be with us today, were it not for the progressives and other reformers--and if you believe otherwise, you're an idiot.

Oh, and I find it real rich that you claim that progressives take credit for things that they weren't responsible for.

It's always laughable to hear Republicans make claims like this, (even as they claim their hero Ronald Reagan single-handedly "won" the Cold War).

What else are you idiots going to start claiming credit for? The 40 hour week? Social Security? Medicare?

Manifesto Joe said...

It's funny -- the 20th century in Western countries has brought about a startling increase in longevity, and in the standard of living by any measure, and yet people like you decry it as something horrific, a socialist nightmare? You are applying a stupid double standard. To people like you, the poor and the working class are social Darwinist garbage; they don't matter. You measure things only from middle class on up. And the comments about child labor are laughable. There's a bit of difference between a kid helping to work the family farm and one tending to a machine in a mill for a tiny wage. You are an example of the people I describe as either very disingenuous or very naive.