Not to pick on Chuck, but his post over in the Militia discussion hit on something I've come across a few times lately, the extent of government in our lives.  From Chuck's post, mine in blue:

I would more say that I do not believe that taxes are a burden on my liberty, and are in fact the cost of living in a society where I don't do everything for myself.

 

But those are services and tasks which can be delegated to private organizations.  Again, how do you decide which is appropriate for private enterprise, and which is appropriate for government?

Some of it through historical reference, we've tried some things in the past, some of it is a case new to modern society.  There's a lot of trial and error going on.  Not all will work out the way anyone wants it.

 

I don't produce electricity, or procure running water, or manage my waste, or build the roads I utilize. I provide health care, but do not provide my own health care. I rely on armed men with legal authority to settle property disputes. I purchase food rather than grow or raise it.

 

Solar panels, wind turbines, and micro-hydro generators all do this, for individuals, and allow off the grid living.

 

A simple well or atmospheric condenser can provide running/drinking water.

 

Ever heard of a septic tank?

None of these options work in a city/high density area.  Personal power works in a suburb (and really only solar, maybe micro wind in the right area), but not wells or septics.

 

These are all things you *choose* to not do for yourself.  Liberty is the ability to make that choice.  My issue comes with a government that says that collecting rainwater in a bucket is an environmental crime.  My issue comes with regulations that state it is illegal to not have an electrical hookup to the grid.  Etc.

Spoken like someone who lives in a wet, rural area.  In the high mountain deserts of Colorado, water rights exist downstream as well as at the source.  It's actually worked into the State Constitution, and has been for over 100 years.  This includes rain water.  And for a very good reason.  If all 2 million people across the 300 square miles of the Denver Metro area decided to collect their rainwater and refuse run off, all the freeloading ranchers downstream wouldn't be able to illegally graze their cattle on public land.

 

Governmental regulations, even when they are for "our own good" are, by their very definition, removing that choice...and restricting liberty.

True, but so?  If pure socialism doesn't work in groups greater than ~100, neither does anarcho capitalism.  There is some collective responsibility to the detriment of individual liberty, it's probably a bad idea for society to allow demolition derbies in school parking lots.

 

I surrender a piece of my total liberty to not have to spend every hour of my day ensuring my and my children's survival, and do work other than procuring food and repairing my shelter - and I give a portion of the fruits of my labor so other people will do that shit so that I can play xbox and argue on the internet.

And, how large a piece of that liberty is surrendered is precisely the topic of this discussion.

 

Our founders suggested that government was necessary, but considered it a necessary evil and took great pains to severely restrict its authority and, consequently, its influence.  Your own willingness to embrace such influence, especially at the federal level, and the restrictions which they represent, are what many today view as "the problem."

 

A return to constitutionally limited government is "the cure."

 

Yes, I align with the libertarian wing of conservatism.

As I said above, some of the services we turn over to the government are truly for our own good.  We've tried private fire and police services before, to everyone's detriment, including those private services.  That shit did not work out well at all, even though some jurisdictions still have private ambulance, those also have issues.

There are major environmental issues with allowing everyone their own well and septics, even in wet areas.  When sewer systems are used, water reclamation requires a certain amount of clean runoff, which means you can't cap your yard.  In some wet locals, your neighbor is allowed to cap your yard in order to keep your runoff from destroying his land.

In a nation as large and diverse as ours, we do have collective assets, as well as collective responsibilities.  Our collective assets in water, air, forests, fisheries, hunting grounds etc; were damn near destroyed by unchecked capitalism.  Contrary to anything the environmentalists claim, those assets are better off today than at any time in the past.  And, contrary to anything libertarians claim, it's precisely due to government management of those assets.

Our collective responsibilities begin with; don't be a drain on society.  Too many individuals failed in that; so now we have Government mandated, collective retirement funds, unemployment funds, healthcare funds, death benefit funds (so your fatass body you refused to take care of through your life doesn't rot in the streets) etc.

If communism can't work because it removes the components of greed and laziness from the individual; then those components need mitigated in capitalist societies.  Especially one of 300million+.

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I'd suggest:  Try Libertarianism if it works, but I really doubt it.   Mid twentieth century FDR stuff worked-their was no "pushing out" of free enterprise.  Do what works.

If communism can't work because it removes the components of greed and laziness from the individual; then those components need mitigated in capitalist societies.  Especially one of 300million+.

This. 

In my opinion capitalism is like a person's sex drive-it has to be controlled or else havoc erupts. 

you want the government to moderate your sex drive, do ya?

No I don't want the government to moderate anybody's sex drive.  Just giving you an allegory of appetites.  Maybe unrestrained capitalism is destructive as is unrestrained sexuality?  Unrestrained anything?

I'm with ya up until your last sentence.  huh?

I see. If I had to choose between Clinton or Obama, I'd go with Clinton. She, at least, is jaded.

Anyway, you are correct, of course. I wasn't offering analysis of our leadership.

If communism can't work because it removes the components of greed and laziness from the individual; then those components need [to be] mitigated in capitalist societies. Especially one of 300million+.

Communism failed because it (tried to) remove the individual from the individual.

"Capitalism" is just a word Karl Marx invented to describe everybody who wasn't a communist. You need to use more accurate words. For example, you keep presenting this ridiculous false dichotomy that somebody is either a hermit in the woods, or a proud supporter of the collective, and n'er the two shall meet.

The nature of this arrangement is paramount to the discussion, not the arrangement itself. Obviously modern society needs a great many people interacting and specializing and trading in order to function. Do you want them to be interacting freely whenever and with whomever is deemed best by their own judgement, or would you have them interact under the coercion (threat of violence, imprisonment, or death) of a 3rd party? That is the true crux of it.

This is why econ was a drag in college.  Marx or Libertarian.  Assumptions about human behavior by people who have no training in behavioral science.

Agreed. People who want to talk about the effects of numbers on society on one hand while also denigrating sociology on the other. 

You came back to comment with this shit?  You're off your game.

Communism failed because it (tried to) remove the individual from the individual.

Marx's communism was a direct response to the alienation of the individual by capitalism.  Capitalism, according to Marx, removes the individual from himself.  Communism was seen as an egalitarian response, with the individual working for the self fulfillment of the individual, not for a wage.  What it forgot was, humans don't work for work's sake.  Humans work to survive.  And without that, greed and laziness take over.  As we saw.

For example, you keep presenting this ridiculous false dichotomy that somebody is either a hermit in the woods, or a proud supporter of the collective, and n'er the two shall meet.

I created no such dichotomy, much less 'kept presenting'.  I was pointing out there are areas where self sufficiency is an impossibility.  No metropolitan area is capable of supporting individual self sufficiency, whether urban, or suburban.  It's impossible to happen.  And with that, we've tried corporate services in the past, which failed miserably.  Unless you really think it's possible to present 19th century private fire and police services as anything other than utterly horrific.  Or 70's air traffic controllers.  Or 90's trash collectors.

Obviously modern society needs a great many people interacting and specializing and trading in order to function.

NO SHIT?????

Do you want them to be interacting freely whenever and with whomever is deemed best by their own judgement, or would you have them interact under the coercion (threat of violence, imprisonment, or death) of a 3rd party? That is the true crux of it.

Like I said, I wasn't setting up a dichotomy.  Just pointing out the impossibility of a Jeffersonian government in the modern age.

Quit being a reactionary and actually read what I wrote.

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