Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 18, 2011

in Complexity & Emergence, Law, Myths and Fallacies

… is from a January 1847 number of The Economist; it is reprinted on page 248 of Matt Ridley’s superb 1997 book, The Origins of Virtue:

The Post probably imagines, because laws and institutions are intended to promote the public benefit, that they make society; but a different philosophy represents society as the natural product of the instincts of individuals.

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Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

“The Post probably imagines, because laws and institutions are intended to promote the public benefit, that they make society . . .”

That is exactly what looney leftists imagine.

“. . . a different philosophy represents society as the natural product of the instincts of individuals.”

That is what looney leftists don’t understand.

Excellent quote, Don! One that is sure to draw lots of comments.

W.E. Heasley December 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Every man and woman in society has one big duty. That is, to take care of his or her own self. This is a social duty. For, fortunately, the matter stands so that the duty of making the best of one’s self individually is not a separate thing from the duty of filling one’s place in society, but the two are one, and the latter is accomplished when the former is done. The common notion, however, seems to be that one has a duty to society, as a special and separate thing, and that this duty consists in considering and deciding what other people ought to do. – W.G. Sumner, 1883

I Miss Nixon December 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

W.G. Sumner, 1883 (another Yale pestilence)

now there is a dim candle. I don’t recall it spreading much light.

Of course, both Clay and Lincoln proved how wrong Sumner was.

Greg Webb December 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I Miss Nixon, do you have any evidence proving that Sumner was wrong? Or is an ad hominem attack against Sumner (a man who can no longer defend himself from such silly attacks because he is dead) all you can do? You are as stupid as your namesake Richard Milhous Nixon.

Majuscule December 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Posting quotations during a Saints game. Now that’s multitasking.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 2:54 am

You’re a foolish and horrible right-wing nutcase.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

Nah, Pretender. You are a silly Marxist troll.

Becky Hargrove December 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I liked this quote from the second link, “Indeed, the contemporary concern with specialization in the social sciences is itself an important barrier to the acceptance of the doctrine of spontaneous evolution…” Why does this matter? Solutions tend to lie between the disciplines themselves, so they are utilized in active states – rather than merely being treated as a static factoid.

steve December 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

What are the historical examples of societies functioning on the basis of spontaneous order. Most of history is dominated by monarchies. (Yes, Heinlein claimed that the enlightened despot may be, IIRC, the most efficient form of government, but it is clearly not sustainable.)

Steve

tkwelge December 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm

All societies are the result of spontaneous order to some degree. Violence has been the norm throughout history, but that is slowly changing. Soon, all action will be spontaneous in nature.

Also, I don’t see any reason why the enlightened despot is unsustainable.

steve December 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

The enlightened despot is a rarity. Authoritarian governance eventually leads to decisions made solely in the best interests of the ruler.

“Violence has been the norm throughout history, but that is slowly changing. Soon, all action will be spontaneous in nature.”

Why is that? We are only 65 years away from the largest war in human history. The incidence of war has decreased, but I do not think we have eradicated it, nor are we likely to for the foreseeable future.

Steve

tkwelge December 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

Again, nobody is actually suggesting returning to despotism. The point is that an enlightened monarch that has incentive to build value over a piece of geography for the long haul had its economic benefits during a quite tumultuous period. The point is that private ownership can essentially provide the same incentives, and a market based monarchy that simply owned the land it controlled rather than simply held jurisdiction over it could be the ideal.

Deaths by murder have been declining (as a percentage) for centuries.

Invisible Backhand December 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm

When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.

Ayn Rand

OWS December 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

You would think that this blog could not move further to the right, but it has moved to a totally fascist stage of protecting the wealth of the richest 1% at the expense of the environment, the middle class, and most everything else that important in life. I appreciated you thoughtful criticisms, Invisible Backhand. You and Muirgeo are a couple of good and caring guys who fight for freedom for all, not just the few who run and own the show. Thanks, man!

Dan J December 19, 2011 at 12:57 am

Oh, good grief! Don’t buy their stuff!!

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:00 am

OWS, you dummy! Fascists are socialists, which is what you are. Learn something, will you?

GiT December 19, 2011 at 1:27 am

Actually, fascists hated socialists, and if they were to be classified as anything other than fascists, would be some sort of corporatist nationalism.

As a general rule of thumb, an essentially nationalist ideology is not going to be a fan of a political movement whose universal theme song is called the Internationale.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

LOL, Git! The American left was in love with Mussolini’s fascists in the 1920s. The big government and big business working together is the left’s motto.

Sam Grove December 19, 2011 at 1:47 am

No, socialists are fascistic.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I’m not sure I find such baseless simplifications of political theories either useful or interesting.

Fascism is necessarily populist, and populism is sometimes socialist-ic, so Fascism is sometimes socialist-ic.

I’m not sure much more useful can be said, though I suppose one could say that ALL political theories necessarily appeal to authority in certain circumstances, and when they appeal to authority, they are being fascist-ic. But that would include everything from Libertarianism to Socialism, with the only exceptions being some sort of either extreme pacifism or extreme nihilism.

muirge0 December 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

“Fascists are socialists” and then he said “you dummy” LOL. Go read some more or find a political science teacher to educate yourself.

Craig S December 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

“Fascists are socialists” and then he said “you dummy” LOL. Go read some more or find a political science teacher to educate yourself”

Facists and socialists are both statists movements of the left. They are 2 possible results of a government that is too powerful, not of one with limited powers.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm

That is exactly right, Craig S. Poor muirgeo. He really is the stupidest person in any room that he is in.

Dan J December 21, 2011 at 1:05 am

Controlling and manipulating the populace by threat of violence (loss of liberty) for failure to comply……. Fascism, socialism, Marxism, communism….. Forced collectivism, etc,…. Are indeed statist and repugnant……. Even though I support some minimalist statism……… One in which elected officials have little ability to pass legislation as much of their powers are limited and they fear passing any for the retribution that will ensue.

Mesa Econoguy December 23, 2011 at 1:09 am

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.

H. L. Mencken

I Miss Nixon December 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

cities make society and man

In New York,Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you, Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PHOeXIPNZE

do we not even read a history book?

society makes man and man makes society, in a constant ebb and flow

society made Julius Caeser but, at the same time, he made himself; and, had society maintained its vitality, most likely neither Pompey nor Caeser would have walked on earth as giants

vidyohs December 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

My ancestor Og, told me the other day that society happened while he was out hunting. He said he thought it had something to do with several of his granddaughters giving birth and his ambitious brother-in-law moving into the cave with his extended family.

Funny how that stuff happens.

Jon Murphy December 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This whole idea that society makes Man and Law makes no sense to me. It’s like saying that the body makes organs and cells.

It also implies that society requires government, when there is plenty of evidence that suggests societies existing outside of any form of government and that government comes after society, not before. Look at OWS, for a recent example.

Look, the idea that societies do not spontaneously emerge is just a demonstration of ignorance of history. if these things did not spontaneously emerge but were rather productions of government (or any other hierarchical system), than there would be no such thing as dissent and protests. Protests and dissent arise IN SPITE OF government and hierarchy, not because of. That alone proves the concept of spontaneous order.

Additionally, go to any place full of people and watch them. there are rivers that form, outside of any influence! How could this be if order must be imposed?

IMB December 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman: You know General, sometimes the men don’t know when you’re acting.
Patton: It’s not important for them to know. It’s only important for me to know.

Jon Murphy December 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm

While I enjoy that quote (one of my favorites from the movie), I am unsure as to your meaning here in my post.

GiT December 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

But the claim about the relation between man, law, and society is not one of priority but of mutual constitution. Society, man, and law, are, like the body of a man and its cells and organisms, mutually constitutive. Bodies aren’t assembled out of organs, and organs are not organs without their existing within a body. (This is to go back to Aristotle on the relation between parts and wholes and the existence of compound wholes, cf. his example with respect to a hand in Politics. In fact, it really returns to his central point about the logical priority of the society of men with respect to the existence of individual men (rather than mere animals).)

The essential point about man is basically that he is individuated only in virtue of being socialized. Or, to quote…

” . . the term “intersubjective” no longer refers to the result of an observed convergence of thoughts or representations of various persons, but to the prior commonality of a linguistic pre understanding or horizon of the lifeworld – which, from the perspective of the participants themselves, is presupposed – within which the members of a communication community find themselves before they reach an understanding with one another about something in the world.” (Habermas, Postmetaphysical Thinking)

JS December 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I agree, society does not make laws or anything else for that matter. Society is a word used by humans to describe the community that they have formed to serve the purposes that they have determined to be useful for survival, and if possible, prosperity.

One can say that societies are formed over time, spontaneously, to facilitate trade, exchange, and the division of labor. The rules of a society always favor the powerful members over the weaker, and the powerful always control the society’s use of force regarding compliance to rules. The powerful also control the ideology that serves to pacify the ambitions of the weak, slaves, or masses.

There is nothing metaphysical whatsoever in the utilitarian formation of societies. Man never lived outside of society. It is most likely that we were already members of clans and groups before we had an upright gait, and shed our fur and tails.

It is important to understnad that society is not some force that operates independently of the power matrix of individuals who compose it.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

It is also important to understand that individuals are not some force that operates independent of the power matrix of the society into which they are born.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Conclusory statement that is, at best, an weak and illogical attempt to support your baseless argument that it is okay to steal from others if you use government and you smear those who have what you want to steal.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I haven’t used the statement to support anything. It is simply true. Hence why I stated it. Even further, it derives from JS’s own premises, so I am in fact simply repeating an assumed premise:

I’ll repeat, since I know you have such trouble actually reading English:

“Man never lived outside of society. It is most likely that we were already members of clans and groups before we had an upright gait, and shed our fur and tails.”

If you would like to offer a ‘strong’ and ‘logical’ account of how it is that an individual can come to engage in self-conscious, linguistic behavior without society, please do. However, considering that you have shown yourself capable of nothing other than offering conclusory statements, I doubt this will happen.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Git, you said, “It is also important to understand that individuals are not some force that operates independent of the power matrix of the society into which they are born.”

You changed your argument so let’s go back to your original statement (see above). You don’t understand human beings, do you? Individuals don’t want to be controlled, and the more controlling the system the more individuals rebel and do their own thing. Kids of overly controlling parents, when they become adults, operate independently of the power matrix of the family (or society if you prefer) that they were born into. And, the power matrices of the local school society, the local church society, the local community society, the state society, and the national society has much less effect than their family society. Therefore, your sentence sounds true until you consider the real world.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Git, your quote supports the Post’s argument. Don’s quote of the day is right. “The Post probably imagines, because laws and institutions are intended to promote the public benefit, that they make society; but a different philosophy represents society as the natural product of the instincts of individuals.” You like the Post, turn the world upside down to support a top down approach when reality is bottom up.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I don’t deduce any policies from my statement.

As to your ridiculous example about children, it does not map on to reality in the least.

Children, rebellious or otherwise, come to be who they are in reaction to and as a product of social forces. Their speech, their thought, their experiences, are all molded by not only by their parents, but by their language and the habits and customs of those around them. (Things by which their parents, too, are constrained).

Much of childhood learning is mimetic in character – it essentially reproduces the practices of others. These practices are never purely natural, but rather always contain elements of culture and custom.

Even something as simple as sitting, or how one enters a house, greets another, or interacts with people on the street is learned through adaptive behavior to social, not natural forces and patterns of action. The repertoire of actions upon which one draws even in simply ‘being rebellious’ are defined relative to the cultural norms in which one is raised. (See, for example, David Velleman’s recent paper “Regarding Doing Being Ordinary,” which develops an argument first put forth by Harvey Sacks, who starts out with the example of our ‘ways of being bored,’ which are themselves conventional and cultural)

Differences as basic as the method of indicating direction in a language or the method of counting can produce radical changes in people’s capacities, abilities, and ways of thinking. A tribe which referred to spatial location always in terms of cardinal direction (not having any vocabularly for ‘behind’ ‘beside’ ‘in front’ &etc, but rather only to the east, west, north and south), not only would narrate stories with recall of these cardinal directions, and make their hand gestures and so on refer to these cardinal spatial relations rather than their own location and re-enact those stories not in spatial relation to their audience, but again, to the cardinal directions, but even further had heightened awareness of their cardinal orientation. They could identify whether they were facing, say, north or south even when spun around in a dark cave simply because of the way in which their language ingrained such a sensibility in them.

Other differences in language, such as the syntax available for describing temporal relations, or the suppositions about identity and personhood built into the grammar and vocabulary of the language, can also have radical effects in how individuals think of themselves. And then technological changes, like the proliferation of mechanical clocks and a shift from so-called natural time (primally associated with, recall, the weather, or le temps, which still means both weather and time in French), have caused significant shifts in the way in which people perceive the world and live their lives.

As to my ‘quote’ it is not mine, but JS’s to whom I was responding. If JS contradicts Don’s argument, then so be it. Don is not a fount of authority.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

“I don’t deduce any policies from my statement.”

Then what was the purpose of the statement?

“As to your ridiculous example about children, it does not map on to reality in the least.”

The only ridiculous statement was the one that you made that you don’t deduce any policies from.

“Children, rebellious or otherwise, come to be who they are in reaction to and as a product of social forces. Their speech, their thought, their experiences, are all molded by not only by their parents, but by their language and the habits and customs of those around them. (Things by which their parents, too, are constrained).”

This silly argument implies that the individual is unimportant as he or she is merely a product of unnamed and unidentified social forces. The key ingredient that you do not discuss is the child’s decision is how to deal with the external stimuli. He or she may chose to accept, reject, and modify, in whole or in part the external stimuli. It is the individual that made the decision, not the society.

“Much of childhood learning is mimetic in character – it essentially reproduces the practices of others. These practices are never purely natural, but rather always contain elements of culture and custom.”

Some, not much, would be more correct. Children do not grow up in a vacuum. But, they retain the power to decide and that is why the individual is more important than societal effects.

“Even something as simple as sitting, or how one enters a house, greets another, or interacts with people on the street is learned through adaptive behavior to social, not natural forces and patterns of action. The repertoire of actions upon which one draws even in simply ‘being rebellious’ are defined relative to the cultural norms in which one is raised. (See, for example, David Velleman’s recent paper “Regarding Doing Being Ordinary,” which develops an argument first put forth by Harvey Sacks, who starts out with the example of our ‘ways of being bored,’ which are themselves conventional and cultural)”

I am pleased that you note that David Velleman “develops an argument” rather than presenting it as a conclusion. The issue of nature v. nurture is an old one that has not been conclusively resolved. Our difference is that I consider that child’s decision making after considering the external stimuli, while you seem to believe that the child merely accepts his external stimuli so he or she is a product thereof.

“Differences as basic as the method of indicating direction in a language or the method of counting can produce radical changes in people’s capacities, abilities, and ways of thinking. A tribe which referred to spatial location always in terms of cardinal direction (not having any vocabularly for ‘behind’ ‘beside’ ‘in front’ &etc, but rather only to the east, west, north and south), not only would narrate stories with recall of these cardinal directions, and make their hand gestures and so on refer to these cardinal spatial relations rather than their own location and re-enact those stories not in spatial relation to their audience, but again, to the cardinal directions, but even further had heightened awareness of their cardinal orientation. They could identify whether they were facing, say, north or south even when spun around in a dark cave simply because of the way in which their language ingrained such a sensibility in them.”

Agreed. How is that relevant to the issue of whether an individual is merely a product of his society or a product of his or her decision making regarding external stimuli?

“Other differences in language, such as the syntax available for describing temporal relations, or the suppositions about identity and personhood built into the grammar and vocabulary of the language, can also have radical effects in how individuals think of themselves. And then technological changes, like the proliferation of mechanical clocks and a shift from so-called natural time (primally associated with, recall, the weather, or le temps, which still means both weather and time in French), have caused significant shifts in the way in which people perceive the world and live their lives.”

Agreed again, but way off topic.

“As to my ‘quote’ it is not mine, but JS’s to whom I was responding. If JS contradicts Don’s argument, then so be it. Don is not a fount of authority.”

You must have forgotten to put quotation marks around it or italicize it or simply say it was JS’s quote. Don is not the fount of authority. Neither are you or JS. Especially in areas of opinion. However, Don’s original quote of the day is correct. Everything comes from the individual, including the society and its norms. Before society, there were individuals. Those individuals formed families then clans then societies.

GiT December 20, 2011 at 4:05 am

“Then what was the purpose of the statement?”

To establish what is true about being human, not what is best in making policy.

“Some, not much, would be more correct.”

Imitation is the dominant form of learning in the most formative years of child development (from 8 months to 6 or so years old). Instinct and natural capacity are important, but imitation is the key.

“Children do not grow up in a vacuum. But, they retain the power to decide and that is why the individual is more important than societal effects.”

Children attain their ability to decide only because of social effects. Without the socialization into language which occurs via imitation, the possibility for imaginative, self-conscious, intentional action which characterizes humans simply does not develop. Socialization empowers individuals to choose. This does not make one more important than the other.

As to the reason for my anecdotes, the point is simply to illustrate how the way in which we come to relate to the world, which conditions the horizon in which we make choices, is a social product – to illustrate how our choices about even the most simple things, like telling a story, depend upon factors outside our control. That does not mean those factors determine what we do, but they are conditions of possibility which circumscribe what it is possible for us to choose to do.

“Everything comes from the individual, including the society and its norms. Before society, there were individuals. Those individuals formed families then clans then societies.”

This is like saying, ‘everything comes from the organs, including the body and consciousness. Before there was an individual, there were organs and muscles and tissues and sinews. Those body parts formed limbs and those limbs formed individuals.’

In other words, it is nonsense. Individuals, in the sense of self-conscious, language using, rational, intentional animals cannot exist apart from society. Society makes them and they make society. The two are mutually constitutive and simultaneously emergent. You can’t have one without the other. Again, this does not establish the priority of one or another, but their simultaneity.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

“To establish what is true about being human, not what is best in making policy.”

Unfortunately, it was just another false, conclusory statement.

“Some, not much, would be more correct.”

“Imitation is the dominant form of learning in the most formative years of child development (from 8 months to 6 or so years old). Instinct and natural capacity are important, but imitation is the key.

Unfortunately, there is no proof for your conclusion. Again, you are off topic in arguing the unresolvable debate of nature v nurture.

“Children attain their ability to decide only because of social effects. Without the socialization into language which occurs via imitation, the possibility for imaginative, self-conscious, intentional action which characterizes humans simply does not develop. Socialization empowers individuals to choose. This does not make one more important than the other.

Again, you are arguing the unresolved and unresolvable debate of nurture v nature. It appears that you are admitting that your original statement cannot be proven, and thus, is not true by attempting to switch the issue.

“As to the reason for my anecdotes, the point is simply to illustrate how the way in which we come to relate to the world, which conditions the horizon in which we make choices, is a social product – to illustrate how our choices about even the most simple things, like telling a story, depend upon factors outside our control. That does not mean those factors determine what we do, but they are conditions of possibility which circumscribe what it is possible for us to choose to do.”

Yet, your anecdotes do not prove your point that society determines the individual and not the other way around. My previous statement is true: “Everything comes from the individual, including the society and its norms. Before society, there were individuals. Those individuals formed families then clans then societies.”

“This is like saying, ‘everything comes from the organs, including the body and consciousness. Before there was an individual, there were organs and muscles and tissues and sinews. Those body parts formed limbs and those limbs formed individuals.’”

There is no society without individuals just like there is no individual without a functioning heart.

“In other words, it is nonsense. Individuals, in the sense of self-conscious, language using, rational, intentional animals cannot exist apart from society. Society makes them and they make society. The two are mutually constitutive and simultaneously emergent. You can’t have one without the other. Again, this does not establish the priority of one or another, but their simultaneity.”

Yet, an individual can, and has, lived apart from society, while a society cannot survive without individuals.

GiT December 21, 2011 at 4:53 am

There is no unresolvable debate to be had about whether the acquisition of language, or human development in general, occurs by nature or by nurture. It is clearly and obviously both. And the acquisition of human language especially is clearly and obviously impossible without nurture and imitation.

“There is no society without individuals just like there is no individual without a functioning heart.”

Yes, I said that. And I also said the converse: There are no individuals without society. Do I need to define what mutually constitutive is for you? Do I need to offer you examples?

A heart is not a heart without a human, it is a lump of flesh.
A human is not a human without a heart, it is a lump of flesh.

Get it?

Greg G December 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

GW: “the unresolved and unresolvable debate of nurture v nature.”

I did not realize anyone still thought this debate was even alive. It’s like finding an old Japanese soldier in a cave on a Pacific island who doesn’t realize WWII is over.

Genetics sets the limits of what is possible. Environmental effects decide how those genes are expressed.

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Git, you said, “There is no unresolvable debate to be had about whether the acquisition of language, or human development in general, occurs by nature or by nurture. It is clearly and obviously both.”

The unresolvable debate is between those who argue that nature determines who an individual becomes and those who argue that nurture determines who an individual becomes. And, I have heard many stupidly argue that it is one or the other for years. See Greg Government’s comment doing just that. It can’t be resolved because no one can prove one way or the other that is one or the other or what mix applies. The best answer when it comes to language skills is that it is both. But, as I said, this was not the original issue.

Originally, you said, “It is also important to understand that individuals are not some force that operates independent of the power matrix of the society into which they are born.”

Individuals are the force that created society, not the other way around. Society did not create the individual. Do you get it now?

“There are no individuals without society.”

I said that. Society cannot exist without individuals. Yet, an individual can exist without society. Do I need to explain basic logic to you?

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Greg Government you quoted me as saying, “the unresolved and unresolvable debate of nurture v nature.” Then you said, “I did not realize anyone still thought this debate was even alive. . . . Genetics sets the limits of what is possible. Environmental effects decide how those genes are expressed.”

How funny! Apparently, you do not get out much. In my opinion, both nature and nurture affect the development of individuals. But, I, nor anyone else, can conclusively prove this with evidence. Why don’t you supply that evidence and a persuasive argument as well?

Scientists do not remotely know everything that there is to know about genetics so your statement that genetics sets the limits of what is possible is false. Also, scientists do not understand how the environment affects human beings. Therefore, your statement is the typical “speaking out of his ass” statement that you make when you do not know something.

“It’s like finding an old Japanese soldier in a cave on a Pacific island who doesn’t realize WWII is over.”

Greg Government, it is okay to leave your cave now. Join the real world and realize that some things, like how nature and nurture affect the development of individuals, simply cannot be known. To reject that simple truth is to pretend at knowledge.

GiT December 22, 2011 at 4:17 am

An animal can exist without society. An individual? No, not in the least.

Tell me how you conceive an infant progressing to a state of individuality separate from society (separate from family, from speech, from interaction with other humans.) Even more importantly, explain how you see such a child developing a sense of moral obligation, respect for the law, a theory of property rights and voluntary exchange, and so on, separate from any society.

Unless you have an account of how that could occur you’re speaking nonsense.

Greg Webb December 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

“An animal can exist without society. An individual? No, not in the least.”

Man is an animal. More specifically, he is a mammal. As an animal, man can exist without society. But, society cannot exist without a group go individuals.

“Tell me how you conceive an infant progressing to a state of individuality separate from society (separate from family, from speech, from interaction with other humans.) Even more importantly, explain how you see such a child developing a sense of moral obligation, respect for the law, a theory of property rights and voluntary exchange, and so on, separate from any society.”

Families are not societies. Please show me evidence that societies existed before human beings did. That is logically impossible to do so for societies are wholely comprised of, and dependent on, individuals. Thus, if enough individuals leave the society, it no longer exists. For example, the Mayan society ceased to exist. But, Mayans, as individuals, still live in Central America.

“Unless you have an account of how that could occur you’re speaking nonsense.”

No evidence. No logic. Just a mere conclusory statement. You lose.

GiT December 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm

You don’t know what society means. I suggest you look it up. I’ll post one representative definition of the term from the OED: “the state or condition of living or associating with others.” A family is a form of society.

Man does not live as a man, rather than as an animal, separate from society. The ability to live with rights, duties, speech, reason, &etc emerge only with society. Man can live without society, but if he has never lived without society he lives as a beast and not as a man.

But really we’ve strayed rather far from the point. My initial statement was this: individuals do not operate independently from the society into which they are born (and in fact in acknowledge my anecdotes you have admitted this point. And this remains true, regardless of this debate about human development.

Your inability to reconcile the possibility of something being constrained and partially determined by social forces, but also free to act as an individual, speaks to the poverty of your thought, not anything about reality.

Greg Webb December 23, 2011 at 12:14 am

“You don’t know what society means. I suggest you look it up. I’ll post one representative definition of the term from the OED: “the state or condition of living or associating with others.” A family is a form of society.”

No, That is wrong. That is an imprecise, general catch-all definition that does not addressed that nuanced distinctions between familial ties, clan ties, and a true society where many unrelated people interact with one another.

By that view, a woman who is all alone creates a “society” upon giving birth to a child even though there is no one else around. And, that is not what you meant when you originally used the term “society” when you said, “It is also important to understand that individuals are not some force that operates independent of the power matrix of the society into which they are born.” Individuals make up society and are the “power matrix” that changes society. Without the individual, society would not exist, much less change, develop, regress, etc.

But, that is the distinction between us. I see the individual as mpre important than society because societies merely result from individuals freely choosing to associate and interact with others. It appears that you see society as more important than the individual with individuals merely existing for societies to coerce into changing to fit the needs of the society. And, that is an abhorrent thought.

“Man does not live as a man, rather than as an animal, separate from society. The ability to live with rights, duties, speech, reason, &etc emerge only with society. Man can live without society, but if he has never lived without society he lives as a beast and not as a man.”

No. Man chooses to be a man by the moral values that he chooses to live by. A man choosing to be an animal is bad. A society choosing to be animals is worse. A society that chooses to be intolerant of individual rights is a mob of wild animals. History is full of examples of societies of wild, immoral animalistic men. Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s Communist China, Castro’s Communist Cuba, Kim Il Jong’s North Korea, the French Revolutionaries are just a few examples.

“But really we’ve strayed rather far from the point.”

Yes, you did. It is the normal debate tactic of one who doesn’t have any evidence to back up his concluory statements in favor of a debunked ideology.

“My initial statement was this: individuals do not operate independently from the society into which they are born (and in fact in acknowledge my anecdotes you have admitted this point. And this remains true, regardless of this debate about human development.”

Nope. Conclusory statement. You have failed to provide persuasive evidence to support your argument. You went off on tangents because you could not provide such evidence.

The individual decides what society becomes, not the other way around. Societies cannot exist without individuals, but individuals can, and do, exist without society.

“Your inability to reconcile the possibility of something being constrained and partially determined by social forces, but also free to act as an individual, speaks to the poverty of your thought, not anything about reality.”

Your inability to provide evidence or logic to support your statement proves that you are pretending at knowledge to support a worthless ideology. And, your tendency to go off on irrelevant tangents reveals that you have no supporting evidence and that you know that your statement is false. Git, your name really does reveal much about you.

Mesa Econoguy December 23, 2011 at 12:58 am

“The individual decides what society becomes, not the other way around. Societies cannot exist without individuals, but individuals can, and do, exist without society. “

Sorry to interject, but that’s rather profound, and the root of our regressive/everyone else disagreement.

+26,810 classical liberals

-500 Kruggypuff

Greg Webb December 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

Thanks, Mesa! The question I have is why do statists continue to argue for a worthless ideology in spite of all the evidence against it. The answer has been narrowed down to statists being stupid, insane, disingenuous, two of those three, or all three. Currently, I think it is all three. Though Lenin makes a persuasive argument when he said that they are “useful idiots.”

Fred December 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

The question I have is why do statists continue to argue for a worthless ideology in spite of all the evidence against it.

They only see two options: control or chaos.

If order is not imposed through threat of violence, then chaos will ensue.

The concept of emergent order simply does not compute.

Greg Webb December 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

Fred, that is an excellent answer. But, that is not reality. It is emotions-based thinking that reveals unhealthy insecurities and fear of the future. It does, however, reveal why they want to go back to the Great Depression “when things were better” (even though reality-oriented people know it was much worse) or want a static economy where nothing changes except to take from the productive to give to the “poor” who are always corrupt politicians and their cronies such as the owners of Solyndra and the executive management at Goldman Sachs.

Mesa Econoguy December 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Dirty Little Rat-Faced,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtyO4tmpPdk

since you eat your own economic shit, much like several large banks (fed government rations), hows about you go off yourself in the spirit of community service, for the holidays and such?

Couldya do that for us, shitforbrains?

PS, how’s your leftist/Krugman/Stiglitz/Zandi/Romer 9% unemployment going?

Not so great?

Gosh, fucking shame to see your intellectual bankruptcy result in real-world failure and actual bankruptcy.

vikingvista December 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Everyone banned? I knew I should’ve kept my invectives to a minimum.

Majuscule December 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I don’t blame Don and Russ at all. The comments have been getting out of hand and incendiary. Luzha talks about putting the heads of free market champions on stakes. Irritable Bowel thinks nothing of using offensive and graphic language. And Troll Watch has been casually hurling death wishes to many. All of this has occurred in the last 24 hours.

vidyohs December 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

IB had it as his announced intention to shut the Cafe forum down, and Don/Russ let him succeed.

Majuscule December 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I can’t believe the deep pockets of the Koch brothers weren’t able to keep this forum open.

Well for now the forum is closed indefinitely, not permanently. I’m guessing in order for it to continue, the incendiary posters will simply have to be blocked in order to keep the discussions civil. It doesn’t mean Keynesians and statists aren’t welcome, but there need to be thoughtful arguments from them instead of puerile language and vague threats.

OWS December 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm

“I can’t believe the deep pockets of the Koch brothers weren’t able to keep this forum open.”

That kind of thinking is symptomatic of a serious disease similar to blindness.

Michael December 19, 2011 at 9:32 am

Don/Russ let him succeed

Certainly not. All of those who repeatedly fed the troll even after Russ, again repeatedly, requested that they not do so are the ones you ought to blame.

Honestly, I don’t know whether to be irritated with IB or find him and shake his hand. It’s not everyday that someone all but announces their intention to troll and still does so with wild success.

Invisible Backhand December 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

You can always come to my blog:

http://www.reddit.com/r/CafeHayek/

sign up is free and doesn’t require an email addy. Tell me off, grandpa.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:01 am

Come to your blog? LOL!

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

You’re all a bunch of nasty trolls and you wore out your welcome. We won’t let you destroy the planet for the benefit of the richest 1%. We will put up a vicious fight. This aint’ bean bag, chumps.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Pretender, you are the nasty troll who wore out his welcome.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

Pretender, go back to your video games and bean bag chair. You won’t do anything but waste time.

vidyohs December 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

It’s not you VV, nor me, nor methinks, yes we are reactionaries in the sense that we respond to the provocations.

But, the looney left again won by using their typical modus operendi, which is to respond to reason with emotional denigration until, as I have said before, they can run to the playground monitor and say, “that kid is mean, he hit me back.”

GiT December 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm

How ironic.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Your chronic use of the term “looney left” set the tone for the comments section. You are the one most responsible for destroying this blog. Now, stop the killing of defenseless furry critters in your backyard. Enjoy your Guvmint pension until your last breath.

vidyohs December 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm

This is one of the things Don & Russ could have done and it could easily have been done. Block comments that hijack another’s name to make derogatory remarks that the owner of the name would never make.

Don specifically long ago rejected the roll of leader which his ownership of the blog clearly entitled him to. Tis a pity that as smart and frequently wise as he is, he hasn’t yet learned that the looney left will destroy that which opposes them. There is no nicety that will appease them, only obedience to their doctrine will suffice.

Those of us who know and appreciate the wonderfulness of freedom, liberty, and learning could see something needed to be done. I will say though that banning everyone succumbs, plays into the hands, to the left’s distorted vision of “fairness” where weeds are as important and unlikely to be pulled as good food crops.

OWS December 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm

You brought down this blog single-handedly.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

No, OWS. Silly trolls like yourself caused Don and Russ to take this action.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Vid, thank you for noting that Pretender’s comments were not mine. I think that Luzha or Irritable Bowel adopted many other names to spew their offensive nonsense.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Pretender, Vid’s comments make sense. You hide behind my name and make silly vicious comments that make no sense.

Gil December 19, 2011 at 12:34 am

Indubitably!

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 12:52 am

Nope, leftist looney.

Gi December 19, 2011 at 5:08 am

Yes, indubitably.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Still nope, looney leftists.

Gil December 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Still yes.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

Still wrong!

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Very much from the Alinsky playbook, overwhelm the system.

vikingvista December 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

I know. Not that I’ve wielded my axe like a gentleman, exactly. But the recent onslaught of vacuous detractors has reached an unusual peak. I just dread the idea of hanging out at the rather less interesting Mises.org comments section. Oh hell. My to-do list has been getting out of hand anyway. It’s been great fun. A real learning experience. Thanks to the kind hosts, and to all you with the enjoyable and insightful comments. May Odin command your swords–when not embattled against me, anyway. Now I’m off to sort a year’s worth of scanned documents. Oh joy.

Methinks1776 December 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm

The difficulty with which something is created. The ease with which it is destroyed.

OWS December 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

So true.

Invisible Backhand December 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

The difficulty with which something is created. The ease with which it is destroyed.

Now you know how I feel about what your kind has done to the middle class.

Methinks1776 December 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Your feelings are of no interest to me. Your attempt to stalk me via email is as limp as your posts. Your feeble intellect is no match for my tech team.

Invisible Backhand December 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

You need a tech team to figure out filters in Outlook?

You’re right, moving your neck is all you needed to learn to make money.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Irritable Bowel, whatever happened to you, you did to yourself.

Mesa Econoguy December 22, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Please kill yourself.

Do it for the 99%. Do it for the “middle class.”

Everyone will love you for your conviction.

Or laugh at you. 40/60. But that’s better odds than you have in your current existence.

brotio December 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I have opened a xanga account and will forward our hosts postings there and allow comments there

http://www.xanga.com/private/cafe_hayek_comments/

I think that you will have to create a xanga account in order to comment. If this is true, it will prevent the name-hijacking that our Leftist, idiot trolls are so fond of. I do not intend to forbid comments because of name-calling, and will not forbid Yasafi, Gil, DK, GregG, or any of the other non-trolls from commenting. I will reserve the right to remove comments that violate the obscenity requirements our hosts have asked of us here.

Thanks all, and I hope this will allow us to continue our dialogues until our hosts decide how comments will be handled here.

brotio December 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I provided the wrong link. Try

http://cafe-hayek-comments.xanga.com/

Thanks!

anomdebus December 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. In the end, the best way to maintain order is probably a registration system..

GiT December 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm

When all’s said and done, so much for this particular spontaneous order, it seems.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Nope, the order is there, but, when leftists act like children, mature adults enforce the understood rules of civility. It is much like a move theatre with silly adolescents shouting at the screen and talking on their cell phones during the movie. So, uncivil, rude child, you are being escorted to the door.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm

You are one of the rudest and most uncivil persons on this site, Greg.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Nope, Git. Your continued presentation of leftist dogma has been both rude and uncivil as it has been from many of the leftists commenting on this site. I do not know what is wrong with you, but my guess it is the hate that you feel for yourself but project on others who support individual liberty.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm

It is the hallmark of a dogmatist to view any opinion with which he disagrees as dogma.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

You mean like you have done. LOL, Git. I thought that Luzha was the dumbest leftist of all, but your seem to be right up there with him.

OWS December 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Frankly, I oppose the closing of the comments section. If you want to eliminate the free-for-all, you should charge 25 cents to leave a comment. That is the free market solution in my opinion. This will stop the trolls dead in their tracks. If someone insults someone else at least it will cost them in the pocket book. Yes, it will stop some of the back and forth discussion, some bad and some good, but you need to put a tamper on the comments.

Scott G December 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Success! Cafe Hayek commenting has been creatively destroyed by intense competition from Studio Hayek! :)

Just kidding. I just like to pretend I’m an awesome blogger like Don and Russ.

I’ll miss commenting here at Cafe Hayek.

Invisible Backhand December 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Now you’ll have more time to post there. The last post at Studio Hayek was November 15.

It’s tough to keep a daily posting schedule up like I do ( http://www.reddit.com/r/CafeHayek/ ) on testosterone alone. Russ and Don do it because of payment by the Koch Brothers. Hatred of the Koch Brothers is what keeps me going.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm

You hate yourself and who can blame you.

OWS December 19, 2011 at 12:09 am

You were one of the key factors that destroyed this blog, noting your above ugly comment. You are the type of Brownshirt that brought Hitler to power. You have few redeeming qualities. You’re why the human race is destroying the world damn planet. You’re an unforgivable backward lout.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 1:03 am

LOL, George! Adolph Hitler and the Brownshirts were National Socialists. With your advocacy of nationalism and socialism, you revealed that you are the National Socialist or Nazi for short.

steve December 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I fail to understand why people feel the need to respond to obvious trolls. If they are ignored, they largely go away. Just train your eye to skip over posts that are troll posts. If you respond to trolls, you are part of the problem.

Steve

OWS December 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm

People who disagree with you are trolls. Name-calling was part of the problem. Would you have paid a quarter to leave your last comment? I doubt it. Trolling problem solved!

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Disagreement is fine, but when the rejoinder to everything is “Koch Brothers” it’s not disagreement, and as much as you want us think you it’s the universal nullifier, some of recognize the denial of service attack when we see it.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 12:09 am

You’d have to be blind to think that ‘Koch brothers’ is the biggest problem with ‘universal nullifiers’ (nice turn of phrase) around here.

There are far more allegations of statism, collectivism, loony-leftism, communism, socialism, totalitarianism, violence, thievery &etc &usw deployed by the usual gang of trolls than there are anything about the Koch Brothers are any other epithet for the radical right.

I Miss Nixon December 19, 2011 at 4:16 am

its seems to me that Don and Russ knew exactly the kind of following they were attracting

the killer was when Russ admitted he has no intellectual honesty to Dan Kuehe, which justified a full bore attack by the truth

steve December 19, 2011 at 9:32 am

Disagreement is not the same as trolling. From my POV, there was plenty of ad hominem by both groups. If you just ignore the trolls, it is usually pretty easy to spot them (concern trolls are a bit tougher), they give up when they do not get a response. It is one of those laws of nature, sort of like markets achieve a best price (most of the time).

Steve

OWS December 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

These is no virtue in the environmental disasters that continuously batter the planet in the name of profit. One negative byproduct, there are many others, is the worsening of global warming.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ap-enterprise-russia-oil-spills-050153139.html

Craig S December 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm

OWS, did you even read the article you linked? Did you note where these disasters are taking place? Is Russia a place with great freedom or state control? Also do you understand the negatice by products of society without oil? Its a lot worse for the environment.

OWS December 19, 2011 at 12:15 am

The Soviet Union is long gone. Sorry, but you can blame this environmental mess on communism. I guess the other option you have is to blame it on unfettered capitalism, the kind you libertarians want to have in this country and throughout the world. No thank you.

OWS December 19, 2011 at 12:18 am

*you can’t…

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

Never been to the former Soviet Union, have you? Idiot!

Craig S December 19, 2011 at 9:38 am

“you can’t blame this environmental mess on communism. I guess the other option you have is to blame it on unfettered capitalism”

No, sorry the only options are not communism or unfettered capitalism. If you think Russia is an example of unfettered capitalism, you do not know what you are talking about. Russia is a great example of the worst of crony capitalism. The most common, glaring misunderstanding of free markets by most statists is thinking anything involving big money = capitalism or free markets. These types of industrial accidents have always been worse is statist Russian than in the west.

Methinks1776 December 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

The reasons for this are obvious.

No private property. People are seen as cogs in the state machine. Human beings have no value beyond that.

OWS December 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

There is no other type of capitalism except for crony capitalism. Milton Friedman was unapologetic. He said that if the people are too dumb to stop it, then they deserve to get the shaft.

OWS December 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/opinion/climate-change-and-the-environment.html?ref=opinion

The is a letter to the editor by a famous retired economist. Was she says isn’t pretty, but it is the truth.

Mesa Econoguy December 23, 2011 at 12:22 am

What a fucking moron.

This scientific troglodyte whines “It is clearly time for the human race to make radical moves to save the livability of our only planet home.”

Sure, just as soon as the IPCC “proves” CO2 is 1) not a trace gas, and 2) the cause of catastrophic runaway physical process.

Bonus question for Barb, and the Global Warmists: name the runaway physical processes in the known universe?

Here’s a head start: nuclear fission, ….

There are 1 or 2 others. None of which we’re currently worried about. Yet this ignorant woman wants to plunge millions into poverty on her hunch.

Go to hell, Barbara, you ignorant slut.

nailheadtom December 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

They’ve convinced me. No more advocacy of free markets and voluntary exchange from this quarter. Let the state rule!

Richard Stands December 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I’ll miss the informed, civil comments – even those with which I disagree. But I’m most interested in Prof. Boudreaux’s and Prof Roberts posts, and will continue to read them here.

Hopefully, Café Hayek will be able to offer a new comment system (possibly with community ratings and banning impersonations via email registration or IP checking). That way, I’ll also be able to read the insightful comments of some of the erstwhile regulars here. I’ll miss those.

And of course, I’m still very much addicted to EconTalk, so I’ll have that source as well.

Thank you for your time and effort.

Greg Webb December 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Hear, hear!

indianajim December 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Cafe Hayek comments exchanges have challenged, amused, and enlightened me. To Don and Russ, who have so long posted links and ideas, and so long guided Cafe Comments, I am deeply grateful. Happy trails comic relief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwYcsMiB2UM

Mesa Econoguy December 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Silly people, have we learned nothing here?

Spontaneous order, hellooooo??

I regularly talk with Vids, Methinks, and a few others offline.

We still read and enjoy the blog. The juvenile fuckwad leftools are also still reading this blog.

Depending on registration requirement, I intend to continue commenting on this blog, and will also continue to abuse leftists on several other blogs under different nom de plumages, gauche bitchez.

This changes nothing.

Chucklehead December 19, 2011 at 12:29 am

Sorry to hear the Cafe comments are closed. Would you consider this a tragedy of the commons? Have a Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah. I look forward to find out what emerges in the new year.

Gil December 19, 2011 at 12:33 am

Tragedy of the Comments?

Chucklehead December 19, 2011 at 12:50 am

Bingo

Seth December 20, 2011 at 12:44 am

Yep.

Ostrom’s work is being employed at the Freakonomics blog with pretty good results.

First, there is moderation. Their comment field says: “Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.” Seems like it would be well-earned college credit for some students to be trained in spotting and removing fallacies.

Second, a valid email address is required.

Third, readers can give each comment a thumbs up or thumbs down. A high ratio of thumbs down automatically hides the comment.

I’d be surprised if wordpress doesn’t have plugins that would allow similar things.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 2:37 am

“Seems like it would be well-earned college credit for some students to be trained in spotting and removing fallacies.”

That is a ridiculous suggestion. You basically want to censor arguments you don’t like. Logic is more complicated that you think.

The majority believes in god, so you’d get a lot of thumbs up for all that “Jesus Saves” nonsense.

Moderation is in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn’t outlaw the fur trade to exist, so I would also outlaw videos depicting the trapping and shooting of animals. Go to Youtube and type in pig hunt, and you will see bloodthirsty savagery that you would not believe. This shit is legal. Go to Ebay and type in raccoon, fox, or coyote pelts. This shit is sold legally on Ebay and Amazon. It represents the destruction of wildlife for commercial profit. It should all be outlawed. Stick your moderation in your ear until the real legal and commercial barbarism is outlawed and stopped.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 2:43 am

^I wouldn’t allow the fur trade to exist. I would outlaw it completely. It is killing a living creature and stealing its fur. This is inhumane and disgusting, and completely anti-freedom.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Red meat, it’s what’s for dinner. And, my sister loves her mink coat!

Seth December 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Actually, it’s not hard. Just set basic guidelines like at Freakonomics: “On topic/not abusive.” I might add no bad words.

I wouldn’t have the moderators go after every fallacy. Mainly personal attacks and ad hominems. These are easy to spot, have ill-intent, are not arguments and do not produce productive discussion.

Straw men also are pretty easy to spot (like your’s about me wanting to censor arguments that I don’t like).

I wouldn’t have straw men removed. It’s productive let those folks sort those out so they can see how their straw men are inaccurate.

You have a good point about the thumbs up/down. Sometimes comments are hidden because the comment opposes the majority’s ideology. But, the comment would still be there, its content would be hidden, so anybody could always pop it open and read it if they want to.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Good points, Seth.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Pretender, there you are. Don and Russ may do with their blog as they wish. My guess is that looney leftists like you will be banned. I think that you would feel much better and recover from your anemia if you ate some red meat.

SheetWise December 19, 2011 at 3:42 am

Re: Closed comments — I get that. It’s hard to programatically separate the signal from the noise, which means the signal-to-noise is either unmonitored or monitored by humans. If monitored by humans, all non-democratic structures are suspected of bias and all democratic structures are biased.

I want to thank Russ and Don for the efforts, and obvious sacrifices they’ve made over the years they’ve maintained this forum. It has been high on my list of daily reading, with occasional postings, but always a go-to site because I wanted to know what Russ and Don were reading, writing, and thinking about. That last part, I expect, will be preserved.

I always look forward to reading your work — thank you. OTOH — if the only way I can respond to you is by email … the comments section may have represented an efficient relief mechanism (but I’m sure you’ve thought this through ;)

indianajim December 19, 2011 at 6:12 am

Their thought processes are on going; from above: “If and when we do re-open our posts for comments, we will have in place a different system – one that, while surely short of perfect, will help to keep the proportion of productive and civil comments higher than has been the norm here recently.”

Ebb and flow is a natural part of many processes; emergent orders are no exception. The ebbing of the “proportion of productive and civil comments” has been noticeable; to use Gil’s phrase, a “tragedy of the comments” commons has been unfolding. For this reason Russ and Don have closed a commons site that they created. The question is whether a pseudo-commons that will restore the high proportion flow of productive and civil comments cost that is sufficiently low to them. What will emerge from the particular circumstances of time and place are, applying Hayekian wisdom, beyond the ability of this one commenter to comment upon.

vidyohs December 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

Well put, IJ.

indianajim December 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Thanks vids; Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Dan J December 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

This use of authority to put in rules, aka controls to limit unconstructive insult hurling must have VV’s head spinning in disgust. But, I do enjoy VV making me think harder.

Mesa Econoguy December 23, 2011 at 1:05 am

We’ll be back.

Greg G December 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

A few thoughts on what rules might improve the comments section if it reopens:

First of all, I understand this is entirely up to Russ and Don. We are in their house here and they get to set the rules.

If it is possible to put an end to commenters faking other’s identities, that would help a lot. That is not only unfair, it tends to just turn the comment section into a train wreck as new and/or slower witted commenters react to fake comments as if they were real.

In my opinion, anything threatening to anyone should never see the light of day. I have never seen anything directed at me that I thought needed to be taken down but I have seen a few things directed at others that I thought should have come down.

Insults that are completely untethered from any actual rebuttal arguments would not be missed.

I expect it is a lot of work to run a blog like this but I think a little moderation might go a long way. For many years I owned a commercial building. It would occasionally get tagged with graffiti. When that happened I always made it my first job in the morning to remove the graffiti. (There is a spray called Goof Off that will easily take of paint in the first 24hours) I was never tagged by the same guy twice. People who do graffiti, or post trollish comments want to return and see their work. They quickly lose interest if they don’t get that payoff.

indianajim December 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

Good ideas.

Michael December 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

+1

Methinks1776 December 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

The problem is that graffiti on a building is easy to determine – whatever is spray-painted on a building is graffiti. But, it’s much harder to differentiate between graffiti and non-graffiti in a comment section. Drawing the line is orders of magnitude harder.

Greg G December 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

Agreed.

Chris Bowyer December 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Agreed about the account faking, but it was pretty ugly even before that.

I’d be pretty happy with a system that tied into Facebook. It wouldn’t be perfect, but people are generally a lot better about what they say when their actual name is attached to it.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

What’s to stop you from setting up a fake ID on facebook?

GiT December 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=167904716602259#Why-doesn’t-Facebook-allow-fake-names?

“We take the safety of our community very seriously. That’s why we remove fake accounts from the site as we find them.”

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools December 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

There is no magic bullet here. A completely open system is going to be at least occasionally indecorous but has a greater weakness in that it has no defense against (organized?) malevolent attack. I don’t know whether Russ/Don anticipated the near future or not but the rancor was bound to increase in a presidential election year.

On the other hand, if you want human moderation-and I base this on experience with another forum (putatively unrelated to politics) -there’s two huge problems. Moderators are not objective because those that moderate do so because they like the idea of control and they tend to like it more as time goes on-eventually validating Acton’s quip about power. Without any user control of moderators, they act just like unaccountable bureaucrats-providing lofty and lengthy frameworks that merely allow them to act arbitrarily and capriciously-with a very strong resemblance to the pigs of Animal Farm.

On the other hand, most of the people here believe in self organization-perhaps there should be a facebook page, except its impossible to allow pseudonymity without having people appropriate others names.

vidyohs December 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

My open and honest opinion.

There is a very simple point that is a truth and the Cafe is the victim of that truth.

Truth: There is absolutely nothing in the libertarian philosophy that will impose any obligation or duty on any individual, and so not on any group of individuals.

Truth: Everything in the socialist/collectivist philosophy demands imposition of obligation and duty on all individuals, and so on all groups of individuals.

Truth: There is no middle ground. There is no moderation. There can be no compromise. Libertarians will not benefit from any compromise with the socialist/collectivist, and the socialist/collectivist can not compromise because it would mean a loss of access to other’s wealth and productivity.

You can hold ideas in opposition to the left, just don’t talk about them openly, and please don’t actually speak them in public. Don’t promote those ideas in such a manner as to possibly influence others. Should you actually do so (Cafe Hayek among others) you will be targeted for attempted destruction.

So what to do?
Choice one: Shut up and allow the socialist/collectivists to win by cowardly default? It won’t make you immune from the slavery to the state. Hitlers national socialism in Germany would be an object lesson to intelligent people who can see that yes “it can happen here.”

Choice two: Perhaps, pursue the methods of the Cafe Hayek, speak gently and hope the words overcome the big stick of the left? What good did appeasement do the Jews in Hitler’s Germany, or the peasants in the Bolshevik’s Russia?

Choice three: Acknowledge that there is conflict, war of ideology if you will, and use the same tactics your opponents use on you, or go them one better since libertarians have logic and history regarding the benefits of freedom as opposed to slavery to the state?

The chains are drawing tighter with each passing year, and soon you’re going to be forced to decide at what point you fight back. The positions are staked out, how much talking is going to develop something new to prevent the eventual clash? History shows us that there haven’t been many, if any, conflicts decided by the victims and losers.

Don/Russ should have just culled the trolls from the blog and let them cry about censorship. Without the comments section to the Cafe it seems we see a choice that sits between choice one and two.

Chucklehead December 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm

There is a third way. One could start your own blog and mirror the cafe, then moderate it yourself. Blogspot will work and you could delete comments. You will want to get a OK from the profs. for courtesy. Perhaps this is there final exam. They want to see if entrepreneurship will fill the void, meet the need, a new order emerge.
This reminds me of the vicar, a street without a tobacconist. If there is a need, enterprise should fill it.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

“There is absolutely nothing in the libertarian philosophy that will impose any obligation or duty on any individual”

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have read written about libertarianism. Rarely has anyone shown more ignorance about what they proclaim to believe than vidyohs.

Deontological libertarianism, probably the most common understanding of what one is talking about when one talks about libertarianism, clearly and unambiguously imposes obligations on every individual. (Quite simply, the moral obligation not to use force.)

JS December 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Spencer’s “Law of Equal Freedom” sets the parameters of those obligations. People have a right to freedom as long as it doesn’t violate the ‘equal’ right of others.

GiT December 20, 2011 at 12:39 am

It set’s the parameters for some Libertarians, but not for others, and in any case the parameters it sets impose obligations/duties, even if it imposes them ‘equally’ on all.

(Though, as Anatole France once wrote, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”)

vidyohs December 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I think it is amusing and typical of the looney leftist to criticize my clear succinct, and correct analysis of the difference between the left and their opposition by trying to tear down the analysis of the opposition (in this case libertarianism) while obviously conceding the accuracy of the analysis of the left.

You have nothing worthwhile or substantive to defend, but you can sure attack others who offer something better. Admit it GiT, you are absolutely terrified of freedom, independence, and the individual.

GiT December 21, 2011 at 4:13 am

The only thing I’m afraid of is absolute, unqualified idiocy, which you possess in spades.

Your analysis of ‘the left’ is based on the premise that ‘the right’ (or ‘the libertarian,’ or whatever) does not seek to impose obligations on others.

This distinction is incoherent.

Therefore, your entire attack upon ‘the left,’ as stated in this post, is incoherent.

What distinguishes left, right, and libertarian is not whether or not they seek to impose obligations on people, but what sorts of obligations they impose and on what grounds they justify their imposition.

vidyohs December 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

LOL, I have you pegged. Terrified of free people.

The idiot is you when you think my analysis of the left is based on the counter of libertarianism above, not at all. My analysis is based on some 35 plus years of observation and study of looney leftism.

What your teeny brain can not encompass is the idea that people can voluntarily obligate themselves to things and not lose their freedom in the act. In your teeny brain all obligation must be dictated or imposed because you and your kind will dodge any responsibility or duty unless there is a power to fear that threatens to squash you if you do not.

Free people don’t live like that, and that is why you hate freedom and people who don’t need you.

GiT December 22, 2011 at 4:07 am

I have no problem understanding how one can voluntarily take on an obligation.

I do not deny that some obligations are taken on voluntarily.
I deny that all obligations are so taken on.

And I assert, on quite firm ground, that the obligation to respect other’s property rights in general is one obligation that is not taken on voluntarily. (Though, obviously, one could take on such an obligation relative to some particular set of individuals voluntarily.)

It’s a pretty simple distinction.

But it’s long been established that your pea-brain is incapable of comprehending even the most simple and obvious nuances.

Hal December 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm

the obligation to respect other’s property rights in general is one obligation that is not taken on voluntarily.

Of course this obligation is taken up voluntarily. The reason is quite simple. If you didn’t respect others’ property rights, no one would respect yours and you would be left with nothing as all those you’ve wronged by taking their stuff ends up taking your stuff. If you decide to act violently towards others, since you don’t respect their person, you’d likely get seriously hurt or killed.

It is in people’s own interest to recognize other people’s property rights. It’s the reason people look out for their neighbors. If you prevent damage to their property or person, your neighbors are much more likely to look after you to prevent damage to your property or person. However, if you actively loot your neighbors, then you will likely face serious consequences.

This natural recognition of other people’s property is why property rights are natural rights.

GiT December 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

A rational interest is not an obligation.

Hal December 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

A rational interest in not an obligation

Acknowledging property rights is in a person’s interest, but as we’ve all ready discussed a person’s rights are defined by the obligations they place on others (in this case property rights oblige others to not muck with your stuff). While you’re right that rational interests don’t necessarily create an obligation, sometimes they do, as in the case of property rights.

Dan J December 21, 2011 at 1:15 am

You mean the obligation or duty to fulfill one’s own needs or succumb to extinction. Must be so hard to have to lift a finger and feed oneself without stealing it from another.

GiT December 21, 2011 at 4:33 am

That you think the duty to fulfill one’s own needs entails a duty not to steal is proof of the irrelevance of your thoughts. I mean, seriously, how dense are you?

The duty to fulfill one’s own needs so as to prevent extinction is a duty common to men and animals. And there is no shortage of taking things from others in order to survive in the animal kingdom. And one would be a fool to call such activity theft.

(and even self-preservation is a prudential, not a moral, obligation. Unless you import theology, there is no civil duty to self-preservation. Unless you are in favor of outlawing suicide? Locke was, but then again he was a thoroughly religious thinker.)

foxmarks December 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Agreed. The libertarian philosophy offers an untenable vision in a world populated by fallen men.

The enemy decides when the war is over.

Economiser December 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

Don and Russ,

This site has been on my daily reading list for several years. I’ve learned an incredible amount from your posts as well as from the vibrant commentary system. I understand your reasons for closing comments but I’m sorry to see them go. To be honest, I will probably visit the site less often as a result. On the other hand, I’m sure I’ll be more productive at work, so thank you for that.

For those whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through the Cafe, I hope to stay in touch. I can be reached at economiser1776@gmail.com.

Happy holidays to all. Keep fighting the good fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

All the best,
Economiser

Vandals December 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm

We won!

Romans December 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

A battle…not the war.

Odoacer December 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

You’ll lose that one soon enough.

Romans December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Nope, we destroyed the Vandals. Then, the Goths destroyed you.

Dan J December 21, 2011 at 1:24 am

Men can never keep other men in bondage forever, only indefinite suppression. Economically, slavery finds it’s demise as does statism. Even Europes mixed statist/capitalism lead to impoverishment.

JS December 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Perhaps Don and Russ don’t want to invest in a moderator. This was once a high brow boutique, but no longer. They need a moderator to keep the riff raff out. This is what I’d do:

1. Quit being an open forum. Make it an educational one, if you want to accept outside opinions.

2. Define the mission statement, such as the wsj editorial page clearly does, and only accept comments sympathetic to it, but let there be debate within its parameters. This allows people who log on to learn the philosophy not to be distracted by those who oppose it. The dissent within the philosophy will help people learn more about it, and to help them to defend their ideas.

For example: A few months ago someone wrote a post that defended free markets on moral grounds, and referenced Austrian theory. My response was that Mises rejected all moral arguments for his theory, and that his theories were entirely defended on utilitarian grounds. This is an example of a debate within the accepted parameters of the mission statement. Anyone reading our exchange would have learned arguments for and against defending libertarian ideals from varying ponts of view. Sometimes, but not often, the arguments posted by Russ and Don are weak. I may think that the lines of reasoning that they are employing would not hold up to critical scrutiny unless they are tweaked. I have written in argreeing with what they are trying to defend but didn’t like the argument they used. I would point out the weaknesses that I thought were inherent in them, but again, all my critiques were made within the general acceptance of their viewpoint.

4. Comment that don’t contribute substance, or a distinct furthering of the dialog’s reasoning should not be accepted.

5. Make it an intellectual challenge for one’s comments to be “chosen”–similar to having a letter chosen by the WSJ for publication.

Many sympathetic to free markets who post here, nonetheless, offer little substance with their posts, but they should be allowed to ask questions for elaboration, and posters should be open to attempt to answer them, all under the control of a moderator.

Greg G December 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

JS

This sounds like a version of intellectual protectionism. Keep out the competition until the argument is strong enough to compete on its’ own merits in the marketplace of ideas.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Nah. The leftist argument lost a long time ago.

muirge0 December 20, 2011 at 12:13 am

“Nah. The leftist argument lost a long time ago.”

When was that in 1929 or 2009?

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

The leftist argument loses every time it’s tried.

JS December 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Discrimination is a better word. It’s the greatest neglected and abused individual right–the right to discriminate with what one owns. This site is not owned by the government. It’s owners can do what they want with it. Discriminating against intellectual vandalism is their right.

It’s like someone going to a coffee shop and demanding hard liquor, and then being told by the owners to go somehwere else for that.

Greg G December 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

JS

Was someone arguing they don’t have that right?

GiT December 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Change your reasons all you’d like, but god forbid anyone should change their conclusions.

JS December 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I agree. It’s rare that people come here open to changing their opinions. It takes serious reading and studying, mind you, with an attempt at emotional detachment, in order to change one’s world view.

Most people’s opinions on policial economy were formed when they were young, and under the influence of their parents, or when they came of age, under the influence of their yourthful peers–such as in college. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people tend to gravitate toward political opinions that they think will improve their circumstances, so it makes sense that they also seek out worldviews and ideologies that justify them.

Some people just can’t succeed under equal competition with others, so why should they advocate it? I don’t blame them or any of the left who want to believe that socialism and omnipotent government is better than liberty and limited government when their prospects for security might be better if delivered by the government at thre expense of others. Confirmation bias is only human nature.

But if someone wants to trash Austrian economics, they should be familiar with it and be able to debate all of it, and particularly the foundations upon which it is based. Austrian economics is largely irrefutable logic. It’s not subject to empirical refutation. Any evidence used as an attempt to refute the logic is being misapplied.

Imagine that you had 4 apples and someone gave you two more. When you went home, you emptied your pockets in front of your friend and you only had 5 apples. Does that empirical evidence change the mathematical logic that 4 plus 2 = 6? Is 4 plus 2 now to equal 5, due to the evidence?

All the dissenters here need to go home and learn the economic logic if they want to enter the debate.

Greg G December 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

“Austrian economics is largely irrefutable logic. It’s not subject to empirical refutation. Any evidence used as an attempt to refute the logic is being misapplied.” —JS

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. — Christopher Hitchens

JS December 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

That is why Hitchens was an economic ignoramous.

The maxims of human nature (human action) that economic logic is based upon–such as we act to reduce a felt uneasiness–such as the law of marginal utility–or the disutility of labor–suffice as evidence, but even then, we still don’t even need hard evidence to know these truths. The evidence can be misinterpreted to advance a falsity. For example, people tend to value food more when they are hungry, but the more they eat, the less they value it. I’m sure that someone might point to an example where it appeared that someone valued eating more when they were full then when they were hungry, and then try to declare that the law of marginal utility was invalid, but the thruth is that what they saw was caused by other empirical factors that were unknown, or purposefully hidden.

Logical economics is deductive logic proceeding from axioms of human nature. The evidence is there, but one must know where to look for it.

That is why Mises declared that his theorems were a priori deductive logic from a starting point of the category of Human Action. Every aspect of his theory was chain link logic. “Evidence” never includes all facts, and is in most cases what is lacking in truth. Please study Ricardo’s Law of Advantage. It is irrefutable logic that shows protectionism as consuming wealth, not creating it. Yet everyone points to “evidence” that discredits it. However, that evidence is incomplete because it can’t all be accounted for. “Evidence” is always and everywhere “partial”. It is always incomplete and selective. And therefore always postured as “science” to refute a logical theory.

If you study Mises you won’t think of me as foolish for what I say. You will expand your ability to defend yourself using logic, rather than by a glib usage of ideological cliches, which is your specialty, and for better or worse, not something I tend to ever differ with you about.

One of your weaknesses in your many arguments is that you don’t know how to refute the evidence that is used against you, because you aren’t familiar enough with, based on the correct logic, what that evidence should actually be, and truthfully is, however undiscovered it remains.

On the other hand, I can refute the evidence if it contradicts the theory, because I can show how the evidence was manipulated.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Nicely written, JS! Greg Government likes to pretend at logic and knowledge.

Greg G December 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

@JS
Thanks for a thoughtful reply. It certainly is the case that, just because evidence is submitted, doesn’t mean it is used properly. I don’t know a lot about Mises but I would not be inclined to unquestioningly accept the axioms about free will and rationality. Those are far from settled issues.

Greg G December 20, 2011 at 7:16 am

@GW
There is much in the archives to sustain us during the suspension of comments. Just last night I was reading through the four day tantrum you threw at vikingvista and several others under Quote of the Day on 9/17.

They were merely trying to explain to you that the Constitution was a huge expansion of federal power over the Articles of Confederation. This statement of the obvious provoked an enormous outpouring of comedy gold on your part.

I love it how – no matter how many times it happens – you are just as surprised as the first time when someone has a different view of the Constitution than you do. And everyone does.

P.S. Also loved your defense of Creationism.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

Greg Government, I see that you are prevaricating again. It’s alway great fun to read a haberdasher’s thoughts on the Constitution, economics, and finance. Of course, you are the expert in measuring inseams, but not much else.

I’m pleased to see how much you agree with Vikingvista. He is much more intelligent than you, and you will learn a lot from him.

I laugh loudly when I read comments that imply that the Federalist v Anti-Federalist debate is the same as the statist v libertarian debate today. Only those who have not read history impose today’s standards on historical figures and issues. It always results in history misunderstood.

There is no evidence conclusively supporting either creationism or evolution. Some things simply cannot be proven. To imply otherwise is to pretend at knowledge.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 2:46 am

Shut up! You want censorship. Go to Nazi Germany and ply your trade.

Greg Webb December 20, 2011 at 9:09 am

Hi Pretender! Nazi Germany no longer exists, but you can happily emigrate to socialist paradises like North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. Bon voyage!

Greg G December 21, 2011 at 9:08 am

GW

The fact that you view vikingvista as much more intelligent than me does not undermine my point. It supports it.

My point was that you cannot argue with ANYONE for long before you come seriously unhinged……as your four day tantrum against vikingvista showed.

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

“The fact that you view vikingvista as much more intelligent than me does not undermine my point. It supports it.”

Nope. VV is a strong advocate of individual liberty and opponent of big-government. If you listen to him, you will soon drop your silly advocacy of big government.

“My point was that you cannot argue with ANYONE for long before you come seriously unhinged……as your four day tantrum against vikingvista showed.”

LOL! Re-read your recent comments to VV. You sure do call him quite a few names for someone who is “hinged” like you are. LOL!

Your need to change the issue reveals that you feel that you are losing the argument again. If you were winning, you would not have to change the issue to make a (false) personal attack. Also, if you re-read VV’s comments, he tells g-dub how smart I am. LOL! You really are disingenuous for not mentioning that.

But, as I said before, it’s alway great fun to read a retail clerk’s thoughts on the Constitution, economics, and finance. Please keep us all laughing.

Greg G December 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

GW
It is not true that I called viking “quite a few names.” I have not insulted him at all and you cannot back up that claim.

I love it that you think I am “disingenuous” for not telling everyone “how smart” viking thinks you are. I accused of being unhinged, not unintelligent (although I may reconsider that if you really can’t understand the difference between the two).

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Greg Government, I do not spend much time reading your comments to other people nor do I have the time to read comments posted months ago. Perhaps, it was Vidyohs that I remember you insulting. But, I cannot imagine why you would leave out VV because he has a tough time suffering big-government advocating fools.

Based on my recent experiences with big-government advocates, the terms “unhinged” and “unintelligent” always seem to go together.

Greg G December 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm
“Greg Government, I do not spend much time reading your comments to other people”

Which is quite obvious because always misrepresent them as you carpet bomb the blog with your every thought about everyone else’s comments.

The reason you can’t “imagine” vikingvista and me discussing a serious disagreement without insults is because it is something you yourself are incapable of.

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

LOL, Greg Government! I said that I did not spend much time reading your comments to others, not that I did not read them. The reason that it does not take much time is that you say the same stupid, insulting things over and over again. I know that you insulted Methonks1776 and Vidyohs. I just can’t remember for sure whether you also insulted VV.

Methinks1776 says that you are stupid. Vidyohs says that you are unhinged. I said that you are disingenuous. Surprise, surprise! We are all right. VV, what is your opinion of Greg Government?

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Add GAAPRules to the list of people insulted by you. I wonder what GAAPRules thinks of you, Greg Government?

Greg G December 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

OK then. I make the point that you don’t seem to be able to debate anyone for long without responding with an unhinged barrage of insults. And your rebuttal is………a compilation of your favorite insulting descriptions of me. Well done.

Greg Webb December 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Aww, I think I hurt Greg Government’s feelings! How terrible for him!

Now, Greg Government, why don’t you make some more snarky, misleading comments to, or about, the blog owners or, indirectly, to those who agree with their point of view. Then, when they give it back to you, you can run away for a good cry. Well done. You are a liberal democrat.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Git, everyone should have an opportunity to express their views by making persuasive, logical arguments supported by objective, verifiable evidence. Those who want to merely repeat leftist dogma as if it is an argument should be shown the door.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

You have never posted anything on this site approaching either argument or evidence. All you are capable of is dogmatic assertions and mindless sycophancy.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

LOL, Git! Yours is the rant of another looney leftist who lost an argument.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm

In order to lose an argument, we’ve have to have had one. But all you do is spout insults and invective.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Nah, Git, that is all you have ever said in the comments on this blog. You disagree often with the hosts and the comments. But, your argument is silly at best and full of insults and invective.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hahahahaha! I destroyed Cafe Hayek all by myself. On to the next political blog to destroy leftist trolls. I’m armed to the teeth and ready for battle. Hope the FBI don’t see this or who’s buried in my back yard.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Git, so that was you pretending to be me. LOL! Silly troll! Have a merry Christmas and a happy 2012!

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

BTW, Git, Cafe Hayek is an economics blog, not a political blog.

GiT December 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I’ve never impersonated any account on this site.

Cafe Hayek is a blog about the economic effects of politics and the political effects of economics. Or, in other words, it is a blog about political economy.

Greg Webb December 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Those are two words that do not go together. Political considerations always result in the wrong choices – whether it is the HS coach putting his own son in as quarterback when he can’t play well and sits another kid on the bench who does or any countless other situations where political considerations were simply wrong. That is why they normally call political considerations “politically correct.” If is were not wrong, they were simply call it correct, without feeling the need to use the adjective politically.

Dan J December 21, 2011 at 12:58 am

Separating economics from politics is not easy since politics invades and influences (sieges) economics hourly.

Greg Webb December 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

True that, Dan J. Economics is the study of how human beings voluntarily produce, consume, and distribute wealth, while politics is the use of coercion to redistribute what has been produced so that politicians and their cronies my consume without having to produce.

Cafe Comments December 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm

This is a test at a independent effort to continue comments. It is open now, and unmoderated.
It is unauthorized. Lets see what happens.

Cafe Comments December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm
brotio December 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I should have scrolled all the way through before opening that xanga account! I’ll leave it up, and we can see if one works better than the other :D

I have opened a xanga account and will forward our hosts postings there and allow comments there

http://cafe-hayek-comments.xanga.com/

I think that you will have to create a xanga account in order to comment. If this is true, it will prevent the name-hijacking that our Leftist, idiot trolls are so fond of. I do not intend to forbid comments because of name-calling, and will not forbid Yasafi, Gil, DK, GregG, or any of the other non-trolls from commenting. I will reserve the right to remove comments that violate the obscenity requirements our hosts have asked of us here.

Thanks all, and I hope this will allow us to continue our dialogues until our hosts decide how comments will be handled here.

Stone Glasgow December 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

We should probably just move to the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Hayek/101987435481

Methinks1776 December 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

It’ll be a cold day in hell before I open a facebook account.

vidyohs December 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

My sentiments exactly. I cherish my privacy and have no need to tell the world all the details of my life, nor do I care to look up other people who are on facebook.

Mesa Econoguy December 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Do not open a facebook page; they collect local hosting and other info which makes you identifiable, irrespective of your privacy or “fakeness” settings.

brotio December 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I will not use my facebook as a link to these forums. Yasafi and a few others have shown a meanness about them that makes me wary of allowing them to be that close to me.

I’m not talking about name-calling, because I can give as good as I get in that area. Yasafi is a vicious, hypocrite socialist, and I think the only thing that keeps him from being a menace is his stupidity. I don’t believe he has an ounce of honor, and I simply don’t trust him.

muirge0 December 20, 2011 at 12:18 am

Yeah, we pediatricians are bad ass mean people… don’t mess with me bro.

brotio December 20, 2011 at 2:55 am

The politicians you worship; St Franklin, his Uncle Joe, and Woodrow were bad-ass, mean people who thought nothing of imprisoning or starving people for political gain. You know this and dismiss it as, “Oh well, no one is perfect”. You are as mean as they were. But, you don’t have the political or physical power to be a bad-ass.

Slappy McFee December 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

This place just isn’t the same without the comments.

A “hide/ignore” button would have sufficed as a solution.

Stone Glasgow December 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

The comments are almost more valuable for learning than the posts that spark the discussions. Selecting moderators seems like the standard way to fix them. Methinks and Viking are here all day anyway, and I would not mind moderating either.

Dan J December 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Can be more trouble than it’s worth but vulgar language can be automatically censored. There are ways around, but….
After much of the vulgarities, it seemed only a matter of time before Mr. Boudreaux and Mr. Roberts would be forced to react. The language was due to reflect poorly on them. Other than, if OWS really was a person of that ilk, as they are repugnant and without shame, I doubt the voracity of the others to continue such dialogue in person.
SIGH…… I truly enjoyed being able to discuss……. I miss the classroom, also, for open discussion.
I hope that I have been successful in showing that I have learned much, here. Thank You.

Stone Glasgow December 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

The Facebook page has all the same posts and allows commentary:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Hayek/101987435481

nailheadtom December 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm

We should probably be happy to have only been beslimed by the cowardly statist trolls through the internet rather than personal association, although it might be interesting to engage them on a more physical level.

Mesa Econoguy December 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Note the lefturd trolls still reading the blog, and frothing to comment…..

Fucking hilarious.

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