Thomas Woods, Jr. on Libertarianism Versus the Catholic Church, Ron Paul's Presidential Chances and US State Secession
The Daily Bell is pleased to publish an interview with the distinguished libertarian scholar, Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Introduction: Dr. Woods is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is the author of nine books, including two New York Times bestsellers: Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. His other books include Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush (with Kevin R.C. Gutzman), Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, and The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. His writing has appeared in dozens of popular and scholarly periodicals, including the American Historical Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Investor's Business Daily, Catholic Historical Review, Modern Age, American Studies, Intercollegiate Review, Catholic Social Science Review, Economic Affairs (U.K.), Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Inside the Vatican, Human Events and many more.
Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us again. Let's jump right in. Do you think Ron Paul has a real chance to win the GOP presidential nomination?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: It won't be easy, but it's less difficult to imagine a scenario in which he wins than it was even four or five months ago. An outright win in Iowa, which is a strong possibility, gives him momentum going into New Hampshire. At least a strong second-place showing there silences the doubters who hesitate to support him because they think he can't win. Now those are on board. The momentum builds further. Money pours in like crazy. It is not impossible.
I'll never forget, in 2008, reading articles about the GOP primary following John McCain's win in New Hampshire. Voters in states where the primary election had yet to be held were actually saying things like, "I don't like McCain but I guess I have to go vote for him." What? Why do you have to go vote for him? There are other candidates still in the race! What possible reason could you have for voting for someone just because he won the New Hampshire primary?
It's bizarre behavior, and apparently there's no getting rid of it. Might as well hope it can be used in our favor this time.
Daily Bell: Why is the United States involved in so many wars and military adventures today? Is this a function of the Pentagon, the power elite or Wall Street? Who wants these wars and why?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: In the old days there was a much greater willingness to consider that something other than patriotism and "national security" might have a teensy weensy bit to do with why the pressure for war builds and becomes irresistible. In 1934, for example, H.C. Engelbrecht and F.C. Hanighen wrote their famous book Merchants of Death: A Study of the International Armament Industry. In the ensuing decades it has been fashionable to reject the argument in that book – why, only a crank would think arms manufacturers might have a vested interest in military conflict! More often, the book's thesis is caricatured by people who have never read it. In recent years historian Hunt Tooley has rehabilitated and extended its thesis.
The fact is lots of people grow wealthy and powerful from war. Gen. Smedley Butler didn't say "War is a racket" for nothing. For some reason, though, people find it difficult to believe that one's material interests might lead him to support war, even though most people do not find it difficult at all to think one's material interests might lead him to support steel tariffs, sugar quotas, health-insurance mandates and so on.
In his useful book, Washington Rules, Andrew Bacevich, a contributing editor of The American Conservative, explained that the bipartisan foreign-policy consensus delivers
"profit, power, and privilege to a long list of beneficiaries: elected and appointed officials, corporate executives and corporate lobbyists, admirals and generals, functionaries staffing the national security apparatus, media personalities, and policy intellectuals from universities and research organizations. Each year the Pentagon expends hundreds of billions of dollars to raise and support U.S. military forces. This money lubricates American politics, filling campaign coffers and providing a source of largesse — jobs and contracts — for distribution to constituents. It provides lucrative "second careers" for retired U.S. military officers hired by weapons manufacturers or by consulting firms appropriately known as "Beltway Bandits." It funds the activities of think tanks that relentlessly advocate for policies guaranteed to fend off challenges to established conventions. "Military-industrial complex" no longer suffices to describe the congeries of interests profiting from and committed to preserving the national security status quo."
That is a shockingly candid statement but I think it describes the situation to a "t."
Incidentally, some people wonder whether oil may after all be overemphasized as a reason for US military involvement in the Middle East, since other countries are more reliant on Middle East oil than the US is. But whether or not the US itself needs the oil, the US government can use its control of important oil sources as a lever to bring pressure against other powers.
Daily Bell: What is the source of the religious commitment to a bellicose American foreign policy?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: This deserves an extended response because although people know the Christian Right in the US favors supporting the Israeli government militarily, I think not so many people quite understand why.
According to the dispensationalist theology at the root of this, Christ came in order to bring a political kingdom to the Jewish people, to rule from the throne of David for one thousand years and to fulfill all the prophecies of the Old Testament. But Christ was rejected and crucified, thereby postponing the divine intervention.
The so-called "Church age," established from Christ's crucifixion up to the moment of the rapture (more on which is below), was in this view not prophesied in the Old Testament at all. Thus dispensationalists refer to Church history as the "great parenthesis." It is a long pause in God's relationship with the Jews, which to the dispensationalist is the central drama of human existence.
Eventually – we do not know when – Christ will come and "rapture" the Christians into heaven, at which point He will return once again to dealing with the Jews. The rapture will be followed by a seven-year tribulation and the appearance of the Antichrist. The Battle of Armageddon will occur, Christ will return (His third coming), the conversion of all Israel will take place, and the millennium bypassed at Christ's first coming will at last be established.
Since the Jewish people are at the center of salvation history, and since none of the prophets could have foretold the coming of the Church (which was, after all, the unanticipated great parenthesis in God's salvific plan), none of the Old Testament prophecies can be taken in anything other than a purely literal and physical sense. Since a number of Old Testament prophecies have not yet been literally fulfilled, such fulfillment is destined to occur at some point in the future. Thus, for example, since the land of God's promise stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates, these must someday become the borders of Israel.
These views would not have been recognized by Christians before the nineteenth century. Orthodox belief held that the Old Testament foreshadowed the New, with its prophecies and promises having been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than a physical sense in the coming of Christ and the establishment of the Church. The "seed of Abraham," according to traditional Christian belief, is to be understood in a spiritual rather than a racial or nationalistic sense. "They who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7). "And if you be Christ's, then you are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29).
This is not to say that the idea of a Jewish national homeland established by human effort is incompatible with traditional Christian belief – one might support such an effort for various humanitarian and other reasons – but only that it is not mandated by it. Nor is the bellicose foreign policy of most of the Christian Right any necessary part of the Christian worldview.
(The rendition of dispensationalism I've given helps to account for the centrality of Israel and the Jewish people in the drama of salvation history according to some Christians, which in turn accounts for the unconditional support for the Israeli government. On the other hand, some dispensationalists contend that their views do not require such support, given that in their view Israel will be around forever regardless of what man does.)
Daily Bell: You are a Catholic scholar. What do you think of the recent suggestion by a policy arm of the Church about the positives inherent in world government?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I wasn't particularly thrilled about it, needless to say. Oddly enough, part of the document attributed the world's economic problems to financial bubbles created by excessive money growth – an important insight. The rest of the document then seems to think more of the same, except with an additional layer of bureaucracy added, is just what the world needs now.
When the recent document was issued, NPR asked me to write a 500-word commentary. That's frustratingly brief but I did it. I wrote a longer piece about similar concerns regarding Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
I've written quite a bit on Catholic social teaching and tried to answer some of the previously unexamined questions it raises from a pro-capitalist point of view. One of the problems with documents like this is that although much of what is said in them does not bind Catholics – obviously there can be no official Catholic position on how to recapitalize banks – it does put Catholics in an awkward position. This is wholly unnecessary.
I've discussed this sort of thing in greater detail in my book, The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, which can be read by Catholics and non-Catholics alike who are interested in an introduction to Austrian (free-market) economics.
Daily Bell: Do you believe the resurgence of free-market thinking in the last few years will continue to grow? Or will the likely coming depression put a damper on it?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I am certain it will keep growing. Ron Paul has given Austrian economics enough energy and visibility that it will continue to grow in influence in the coming years, at which point it will grow still further on the basis of its own momentum. And if the economy worsens, people looking for answers will continue to find the Austrian School, as they did in the wake of the recent financial crisis.
Daily Bell: Is Keynesianism dead? What will it take to kill it?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: A lot of people assumed it was dead quite some time ago, but it has emerged with renewed strength over the past several years. It's hard to kill in part because it seems non-falsifiable: if its policy prescriptions fail to bring economic relief, the reason is said to be not the policy itself but the fact that it was not applied with sufficient gusto. At that point, one has no choice but to fall back on economic theory in the fight against Keynesianism.
I can see two things that could finish it forever.
The first is an academic strategy. Gary North calls for this at KeynesProject.com. We need a systematic dismantling of the Keynesian system, piece by piece. Henry Hazlitt refuted Keynes' General Theory line by line in his The Failure of the "New Economics," it's true, but he is so relentless in his line-by-line refutation that I've always felt the big-picture aspect was missing.
We need the work either of a single great thinker and scholar or, more likely, the collaborative effort of a team of scholars, each with a devastating case to make in a particular Keynesian subfield. Finish the job. Do what F.A. Hayek should have done in the 1930s but didn't.
Second, major fiscal and economic difficulties will tend to damage the reigning paradigm. No one can seriously pretend that what is coming is the Austrians' fault. That's the devastating double-edged sword of condemning us for being "fringe" or "out of the mainstream." If that's true, then whatever happens can't be blamed on us – we're out on the "fringe" without any influence, remember? We should be prepared to capitalize on this.
Daily Bell: Could some states begin to take a real look at secession, state sovereignty and Tenth Amendment actions if the economy continues to worsen?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: Ron Paul has been saying we should expect de facto nullification when the real crisis comes and the federal government has trouble paying its bills. It will be harder for it to intimidate the states into doing its bidding. At that point, they may garner the courage to take a real and long-overdue stand against Washington.
Filling in for Peter Schiff on his radio show not long ago, I asked Pat Buchanan how likely he thought it was, on a scale of one to ten, that secession might be seriously entertained sometime over the course of the next several generations, given the scope of the problems the country is sure to face. He said 8 or 9. But he was thinking in terms of the American Southwest, which will increasingly be culturally Mexican, so that's a different scenario from the one you're describing.
Students of recent world history would be advised not to rule out a possible outcome just because it seems unlikely or "out of the mainstream" (ooh, beware!) today.
Daily Bell: What's your latest book and when is it scheduled to come out?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: That's it for books from me for a while. I've written five books (and edited a book of essays) in the past five years: 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask, Who Killed the Constitution? (with Kevin Gutzman), Meltdown (on the financial crisis; foreword by Ron Paul), Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century (see my Interview with a Zombie promo video), Back on the Road to Serfdom and, most recently, Rollback.
Rollback makes a pretty relentless case against just about everything the federal government does, from the regulatory apparatus to the military-industrial complex, the war on drugs, economic "stimulus," the Federal Reserve, and on and on. It could have been called "Everything Should Be Abolished, And Here's Why."
Daily Bell: Finally, after the 2012 election what actions and tactics should most freedom advocates consider to best defend liberty and advance our freedoms against Washington over the next four years?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: I speculate about this a bit in the final chapter of Rollback. My answer would be a little bit of everything. Acquaint yourself with ideas you might have disparaged or indeed never have heard of in the past: jury nullification, agorism, the Free State Project, you name it.
Daily Bell: Any publications you want to bring to our attention?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: Not a publication but a website. I get a lot of people who enjoy reading my books and who want to know more about American history, or who wish they knew more about economics – both out of natural curiosity and to refute the bad guys – and don't really know where to start.
My site, organized into courses you can view at your convenience, will teach US history, European history and economics. You can watch everything in video or you can put audio files on your iPod. Some of the videos will feature me teaching, and I'll be joined by several other professors you can trust, including Kevin Gutzman, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. And you can ask us questions in our discussion forums.
It's by far the most important thing I have done. Please keep an eye on my personal site, TomWoods.com, where I'll be announcing it.
Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: My pleasure.
Thanks to Thomas Woods for another fascinating interview. We wish him good luck with his new project. Likewise, we wish Dr. Gary North the best of luck with The Keynes Project, which Mr. Woods mentions and that seems like a great idea.
We weren't aware of the Keynes Project but we looked it up and found it at GaryNorth.com. He calls the larger effort, which has yet to get underway, "A Critical Analysis of the Economics of John Maynard Keynes from an Austrian School Perspective." Here's something from the introduction:
John Maynard Keynes was the most influential economist of the twentieth century. This speaks poorly of the twentieth century. In October 2009, I wrote an article for Lew Rockwell in which I outlined a plan to refute Keynes, line by line. Austrian economists are not found on major university campuses. I wrote it for a younger, untenured academic economist at some private college or obscure university who is willing to devote his career to the task. I still hope such a person takes up my challenge.
Having written this, Gary North tells us he's shifted focus and now conceives of The Keynes Project as a model for a "joint effort." He suggests focusing on Keynes' 1936 book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, and indicates he intends to put up a blog site where participants can "discuss specific research issues in forums, submit articles or links to articles, and establish off-site communications with other participants."
Hope he gets it up and running. Once it's online, perhaps we'll write more about it. As Thomas Woods knows, education is more important than ever, and the Internet provides a platform to promote ideas that did not have a chance to be disseminated in the 20th century.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/22/11 11:21 PM
From Click to view link
I can't really speak for the others' knowledge of currency here, except for DB, amanfromMars, Agent Pete 8, and I, but our website is launching a marketing tool, which is a company currency, legal in Canada, which we will ship everywhere. We hope to flood the world with MetaFlorin. It will help people learn about money . . . and bring people to our sites . . . and this site.
We think it will take off, but it will take a lot of animated talk.
Click to view link
Go here now Click to view link
Posted by Anthony Migchels on 12/22/11 11:42 AM
Sounds like people are already building the free market for currencies we all want and desperately need.
Small hint: as long as your currency can buy stuff, it does not need to be 'redeemable'.
But: if you manage to make your currency convertible to other currencies, it will be much more powerful.
Posted by Anthony Migchels on 12/22/11 11:35 AM
It's amazing that even a catholic scholar would discuss the Church's historical economic paradigms without offering even the word 'interest'.
Where as it was the Catholic Church that defended Europe against the rise of the Money Power for centuries.
Although the were probably fighting a losing battle ever since the Reformation and the surge to (shortlived) hegemony by the Amsterdam Empire.
Nonetheless, its been only since the late 19th century that the Vatican finally withdrew it's opposition to interest.
Why interest is such a scourge, is worked out here:Click to view link
Posted by nithsdale on 12/15/11 05:38 PM
Tom Woods is a good advocate for sensible economic theory. He fits in with the Church's historical role in the development of market theory.
There is not enough credit given to the Catholic Church re the development of our society, the perks we enjoy today. The Church, early on, a thousand years ago, showed its magnanimity by entering into a close collaboration with the sephardics seeking to escape the singularity of purpose of Islam in the Hispanic Peninsula, gave them a position to organize the chaotic finances of the Church and that act set the stage for the transformation of western society from subsistance to growth for all.
The Church, to this day, maintains that association, but as we globalize, the strength of that partnership is under stress since Western governments insist upon enlarging the sphere of influece beyond the abilities of the Church and its partners. Ergo, we find the world's finances in confrontation with hew groups without the authority the Church once exercised. There are few moral components left in the international finacial system now evolving from the meeting of many beliefs, many objectives.
The West is losing control even as its old authorities are. This is the dilemma facing all of us in the West. Where do we go from here? It appears we are bound for fragmentation into many small groups, not the globalization once set out for our future. Since our past cannot forge any consensus, get ready for a wild ride! Anarcho-economists may get their chance in the mainstream in many melieus now!
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/14/11 11:50 PM
Hey NAPpy, you got top billing on our site tonight
Click to view link
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/14/11 11:15 PM
There were 2 links that did not work. One link was to The Daily Bell, and the other was to amanfromMars' site.
DB, if you could fix them up below, it would be appreciated. Then you could erase this comment.
These errors occured here (you can cut and paste them)
Our site's initial concept was to test boundaries, as well as tie in to Click to view link and http//Click to view link quite tightly.
But we found no boundaries.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/14/11 10:38 PM
I am happy, NAPpy,
I remember having a discussion with DB in the past using 'anarchy at the beach' as my example. Early birds position themselves in an equidistant fashion, and before you know it, the beach is packed and calm enjoyment ensues. Sure, someone near you may have social issues like terminal flatulence, but those problems usually blow over, or you move, or, as I would do, go over and say: 'hey, cut the cutting, f*rt-face.' Then I move . . . real quick.
If what Wiki says is true about the conflict between anarchism and minarchism . . . I can only see pure anarchy; all other forms of organization being biased constructs, then you are in a possible conflict with yourself?
Click to view link
There is no need to feel helpless on that anarchy issue and concede to minarchism.
When you spoke of learning disabilities, we adopted 4 children at 3, 4, 5, and 6 so we are well aware of the roadblocks to success . . . maybe some other time on that issue?
With respect to ad hominem-itis, I felt I was engaging on the wrong foot using obscure fencing terms. That gave me the opportunity, and I did caution you in advance . . . the opportunity to use the Prise De Fer move on you . . . I am now placing both our swords 'sur la planche' so to speak.
This brings us to new debt free money and solution avoidance, which go hand-in-hand.
We all know that the chances of issuing debt free money are slim, given the overflying drones which would damage any collateral in an un-smart way.
Our site's initial concept was to test boundaries, as well as tie in to The Daily Click to view link and Click to view link quite tightly.
But we found no boundaries.
Firstly, we obliterated the concept of copyright, then we meandered over to the UK to apply for the Digital Director job . . . a chain yanking like no other . . .
Chains yanked: Nick Clegg, David Cameron, and lastly but not leastly, MI6, who think I am a looney-tune . . . perfect.
For example: Click to view link
The only reason I left a message on the MI6 website was for them to speak to the Queen on my behalf in one of their weekly meetings . . . asking to be allowed to operate tax free anywhere in the UK and Commonwealth, which is her prerogative.
We eventually meandered over to ways to help our site gain traction out there in this world-wide web of people who need to solve the problems that have been foisted on us all. People need to re-learn money and trading concepts, so we invented what you could call a currency, called MetaFlorin. In Canada, it is quite legal to issue company money, redeemable at the place where you got it. Once we get funding, we will issue MetaFlorin worldwide . . . to support the site's marketing efforts . . . and the MetaFlorin itself will eventually be able to be redeemed for goods and services at the site.
We are getting ready to proceed, but we need more Agents. The more the merrier, so to speak.
So, NAPpy, am I a wise man, or a mad man?
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Wow. Good luck.
Posted by NAPpy on 12/13/11 11:24 PM
"The fact that you seem to concede that government has some sort of a role in society has me a little concerned that we could not have an effective debate until that particular "given" has been argued away as a fallacy, as it seems to me that this site and the commenters have proven that "no government" is a "given.'"
Maybe I'm not being clear. I personally do NOT see any role for government. I am of the Ancap / Voluntaryist persuasion, philosophically. I was tryint to state that I would take a decrease in government, or concede power to a minarchist, since I'm greatly outnumbered now, so what choice is there?
"Why are you speaking here, if you think no-one can learn?"
I think people can learn. I know people learn. I concede that people learn. My apologies if I'm not being clear. Here is my assertion:
-There are circumstances under which it is much harder for a human to learn
-One example is: Children are abused and avoid thinking about; libertarianism is about non-violence; abused kids will attack or avoid libertarianism
-See my reply to flying pig for a more detailed argument
"Anyway, as I mentioned at the start, we're on the same "ad hominem "page, so argument would be 'pointless.'"
As far as I know, you haven't attacked me personally, and I haven't attacked you. So, where are the ad hominems?
"And that new path is new debt free money"
What do you mean by new debt free money?
"answers and solutions to lack of control over the entire world's money supply is avoided like the plague around these parts."
What solutions are avoided?
Posted by NAPpy on 12/13/11 11:12 PM
In future multi-thread debates, I recommend you quote your opponent, and then reply to those quotes. I did the work for you below.
My argument is as follows:
1. Libertarian philosophy is based on a priori reasoning from first principles or axioms.
2. To argue against it requires attacking its premises or its logical form.
3. The only people who argue against libertarian philosophy always ignore the position, and instead resort to ad hominem attacks.
4. Why do otherwise rational adults turn into 5 year olds when it comes to debating libertarian philosophy?
a. Adults who experienced physical abuse as children form overactive fight or flight responses when encountering arguments that force them to deal with that abuse. Fight or flight responses turn off the logic centers of the brain. Libertarian philosophy is based on non-violence, and therefore challenges the early child experiences of all adults who were abused. Libertarian philosophy triggers fight or flight responses in most adults who were abused as kids. Therefore, most adults who were abused will not debate-they will instead attack or avoid libertarian philosophy.
Click to view link
Click to view link
Click to view link
a. Libertarians serious about expanding the liberty movement need to screen out people with emotional reactions, because they are statistically incapable of logical debate.
b. People can fix their emotional reactions, but that is a personal journey that the libertarian can't directly affect.
c. The focus for the libertarian movement should be arguing only with people who can logically debate (roughly 10% of the population). Or, agitating for non-violence against children, since that will create a larger population open to libertarian ideas.
Here was your first reply:
"What you really need to do is to find a way to prevent the aliens from administering anal probes to little kids. Once abused as kids, they remain morons forever.'
Notice that you did not attack the premises or the logical form.
I responded with the following, basically asking you to debate premises or logical form:
'The libertarian philosophy is impossible to argue against. People that disagree with it always resort to ad hominems or just avoid debate altogether. Yet, adults, statistically, don't change their minds. Sure, some small minority do. But, by and large, adults don't change their minds, even when they are wrong. Why is that? The link I provided gives the best explanation I've seen. Your alien anal probe comment is, well... childish. Get in the debate. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.'
Here was your second reply:
"The only reason people are unable to reason properly is that they were abused as kids by stories about Santa Claus!"
I responded with a line by line reply to your post:
Your third response is above, to which I will reply line by line.
'OK, if you want to start using allegations of logical fallacies as your debating sytle, let me point out that when you attempt to discredit the messenger by alleging that I have not watched the videos or reviewed the material, you are just as equally guilty of committing a logical fallacy. "ad hominem" my ass.'
I'll concede the point. My apologies.
'I have watched the video, and followed the related links to learn even more about Molyneux. Which I how I chanced upon his outstandingly ridiculous claims about atheism. I merely paraphrased them in an pedagogically effective manner so as to convey the ridiculousness of the message with maximum effect. For others who don't know this, the claim is that exposure to religious ideas during childhood is pernicious child abuse.'
Molyneux's position on atheism is not related to the argument I outlined above. While I think that teaching kids a religion, compared to teaching kids first how to critically think, then teaching them religion, is abusive, I'll concede your assertion that it's ridiculous on its face to move the argument along.
Did you read deMause or Jaynes?
'Your reaction to my comment demonstrates how your emotional reaction caused you to conclude that I have not watched the videos or reviewed the material.'
I concede your point. My apologies.
'Re: Scientism. That's a word you should google for. It does not mean what you think it does.'
Click to view link
You used the word scientism. I replied that I presented a hypothesis and evidence. What more would you demand from me to demonstrate a valid argument?
'You clearly don't understand the implications of your positions that child abuse the root cause of social problems.'
Nice assertion. What implications don't I understand?
'The "your belief" phrase should have been "your implied belief", but then such pedantic nitpicking is the best you can do.'
I'll concede the point.
'Maybe those habits are harders to break for adults because they are not trained to think? Even if you "study" was controlled for training of adults, was it controlled for other factors? How did this study overcome human individuality? (And I must ask you this, but did your "study" also control for the amount of child abuse the poor study participants experienced during their childhood? And how did it normalize the amounts of child abuse experienced?)'
I don't know the details you're asking for.
My statement was as follows:
'Studies show that most adults are trained not to think and breaking those habits is harder for adults.'
Why would I need details about childhood abuse studies to assert that adults aren't trained to think? Did your public school education teach critical thinking skills? Mine didn't. Let's just dismiss my original statement as anecdotal evidence if you want. Notice, you still have challenged my premises or logical form.
'Of course, I don't expect any kind of sane response from you, because I have already told you what essential factor is missing from you analyis and your response was just another ad hominem'
What essential factor is missing? I couldn't follow your argument.
We'll have to agree to disagree about my sanity.
'It's no use talking to people like you who lack basic emotional maturity, as you would concur, I'm sure.'
Since I toned down my use of hyperbole and carefully avoided attacking you in this post-I don't concur.
'Long live libertarian philisophy!'
'Long live unexamined beliefs!'
Posted by flying_pig on 12/13/11 11:56 AM
OK, if you want to start using allegations of logical fallacies as your debating sytle, let me point out that when you attempt to discredit the messenger by alleging that I have not watched the videos or reviewed the material, you are just as equally guilty of committing a logical fallacy. "ad hominem" my ass.
I have watched the video, and followed the related links to learn even more about Molyneux. Which I how I chanced upon his outstandingly ridiculous claims about atheism. I merely paraphrased them in an pedagogically effective manner so as to convey the ridiculousness of the message with maximum effect. For others who don't know this, the claim is that exposure to religious ideas during childhood is pernicious child abuse.
Your reaction to my comment demonstrates how your emotional reaction caused you to conclude that I have not watched the videos or reviewed the material.
Re: Scientism. That's a word you should google for. It does not mean what you think it does.
"Thanks for putting words in my mouth"
You clearly don't understand the implications of your positions that child abuse the root cause of social problems. The "your belief" phrase should have been "your implied belief", but then such pedantic nitpicking is the best you can do.
"I'd argue that it's easier to teach these skills to kids. Studies show that most adults are trained not to think and breaking those habits is harder for adults."
Maybe those habits are harders to break for adults because they are not trained to think? Even if you "study" was controlled for training of adults, was it controlled for other factors? How did this study overcome human individuality? (And I must ask you this, but did your "study" also control for the amount of child abuse the poor study participants experienced during their childhood? And how did it normalize the amounts of child abuse experienced?)
Of course, I don't expect any kind of sane response from you, because I have already told you what essential factor is missing from you analyis and your response was just another ad hominem ("reflects your ignorance")
It's no use talking to people like you who lack basic emotional maturity, as you would concur, I'm sure.
Long live libertarian philisophy! Long live unexamined beliefs!
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/13/11 08:26 AM
See . . . eye did it again. Dang.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/13/11 08:21 AM
You're SOL on that count, bud. I too, wish I could change "expooused" to "espoused."
Foiled by my foible, which is "always being in a rush."
Click to view link
Hopefully before 2112, we will all get a handle on this strange device, so the meek can inherit the Earth.
Posted by aikishugyo on 12/13/11 01:27 AM
I'm confused... I did not mean to quote the post I replied to, merely reply under it. In fact, what I am doing here now in reply to my own previous post. I do not see any quote, just an empty textbox. How can I edit my post so that there is no previous post "quoted"?
Posted by aikishugyo on 12/13/11 01:17 AM
1) The argument can be made that free market economics equates to moral behaviour (voluntary, non-coercive)
2) as you suggest, the finger can be pointed directly at those "who have lost all moral values and principles": the central bankers (not the non-central bankers), thereby validating the arguments made by DB.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/12/11 09:27 PM
While I was working away this afternoon, I had a change of heart about getting into a debate with you.
The reason I took you to task in the first place, was because you accused flying_pig of ad hominem attacks, then called him childish, which is much the same thing, and me using fencing terms as a precursor to tonight's argument, threw me into the same "ad hominem" territory.
After the eyebrow raising ad hominem x 2, it led me to read your initial comment to saintgeorge5 about Keynes being misunderstood, and mentioning Hayek, Rothbard, Mises, and later Hoppe.
The fact that you seem to concede that government has some sort of a role in society has me a little concerned that we could not have an effective debate until that particular "given" has been argued away as a fallacy, as it seems to me that this site and the commenters have proven that "no government" is a "given.'
Also, being that I, along with possibly you and most readers here at this wonderful site were not able to have a Nock-like home school upbringing, begs for the question to be asked . . .
Why are you speaking here, if you think no-one can learn? And if you are here to expouse what you have learned, and since you believe that no one can learn, does that mean you have had this fixation with early childhood violence since you were a child and must relate all world problems to the world you have experienced, even though no-one is listening?
Maybe I have it all wrong, and you just recently found out about the connection between violence begetting violence, and you used to think that something else was the root cause of our world problems?
If so, then you may be learning . . . hunting for the answer, so my arguing with you about your current fixation may be unhealthy for you, as I would be enabling you to delve deeper into that world, rather than moving on to the next "source."
Anyway, as I mentioned at the start, we're on the same "ad hominem "page, so argument would be 'pointless.'
Now that we have that out of the way . . .
We are all trapped in a "lack of free money" bind and we need to get out of it. Whether people can learn the ins and outs of economics is neither here, nor there. People just need to be presented or shown a new path, and if it makes sense, they will take that new path.
And that new path is new debt free money.
So while we all hunt for answers to peripheral problems, answers and solutions to lack of control over the entire world's money supply is avoided like the plague around these parts.
Why is that, NAPpy? . . . or would you prefer to only engage me on AD, ADHD, OD, ODD etc.? I do have some direct experience in those types of mental problems. AD is my favourite.
Click to view link
Posted by Agent Sparky on 12/12/11 07:04 PM
Believe it or not, I know the story well. I hold compassion for you, because I know the red pill is difficult to swallow.
I don't disagree with you that what's going on is disturbing, but with opened eyes you will see that it's nothing new, and in fact has been building slowly for a long, long time.
It takes time for anyone who's waking up to take it all in, so I won't throw a lot of words at you. If you're interested in a captivating story that goes deeply into the system, yet is easy to read, and leaves you with some hope, I highly recommend this: Click to view link
The most important thing is to enjoy the flight. Truth really is liberating. There's no limit to how far we can go, to what and who we can know.
Posted by NAPpy on 12/12/11 06:45 PM
""The only reason people are unable to reason properly is that they were abused as kids by stories about Santa Claus!""
Didn't say that. Your statement sounds emotional, and doesn't reflect any knowledge of the subject I referred to.
"I know. That would explain a lot. Let's all be atheists and then we shall be libertarians... or Marxists? Who knows?"
Atheist? What? I'm not responsible for any of Molyneux's views, and was only referring to one in particular.
"You think I am part of the problem - the reason why people are unable to see the brilliant shining light of your "libertarian" philosophy?"
Yes--you are part of the problem. Try making an argument instead of ad hominem attacks.
"Well, take a look in the mirror, buddy. Your arguments are based on correlations, and are Scientistic."
All science starts with correlations. Only after forming theories, testing, and refining those theories, are scientific laws found. Were you not aware of how the scientific method works?
"They deny the very essence of human action, free will and independent thought."
That statement again reflects your ignorance of the subject. Did you open the link? Did you read the 2 books I referenced? I'll answer for you--no, you didn't. If you'd done your homework you'd know that it's possible to overcome personal emotional reactions, and the link talks about how. However, emotional reactions cause a fight or flight response, and shuts down the logic centers, and that's scientifically proven using brain scans. That's another reference I provided that you didn't bother to read.
"Dealing with emotional reactions is an acquired skill."
I concur. This a propos nothing statement has nothing to do with the argument I made, but, I concur.
"In fact, this skill is easier to acquire later in life."
I'd argue that it's easier to teach these skills to kids. Studies show that most adults are trained not to think and breaking those habits is harder for adults.
"Your belief in human beings as automatons bound by ritual and habit is the very type of thing that enslaves humanity forever in imaginary mental chains."
Thanks for putting words in my mouth. Most of humanity is currently enslaved in imaginary mental chains. Breaking those chains requires self-awareness to a degree most adults aren't willing to work for. The requirement to work doesn't imply a belief in humans as automatons.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 12/12/11 05:28 PM
ESCAPE FROM PLANET PONZI?
Click to view link
Posted by penelope on 12/12/11 04:40 PM
Yes, Wood clearly clearly doesn't understand the Bible or what Christ was about. He certainly didn't come to start a political kingdom. Other than his theology, a very interesting article with some helpful advise for further reading.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 12/12/11 02:00 PM
It was a little alien humour . . .
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