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Some of it through historical reference, we've tried some things in the past, some of it is a case new to modern society.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 think you are fundamentally wrong to think of things like services. Gov't is fundamentally about what kind of people you are. A human type emerges from the kind of gov't you organize, a kind of host--other human types, if tolerated, are guests. You had better reflect on how homogeneous Americans really are & whether the type that emerges has much of a future.

You assume tacitly, for your discussion to make sense, that you are part of a ruling class that gets to separate from the people. You should rather reflect on the rulers you have & where they have emerged. My suspicion is that your analysis of services ignores the fact that you do have rulers--by your analysis, they should not even exist, much less be as inefficient as they are...

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

The way you talk, nobody could guess there is something like Washington D.C. or that it works the way it does. No analysis of services or institutions requires it...

The type of American who fought WWII cannot live, any more than the type that fought the Revolutionary War, in a country where there is so much gov't--there is very little else in such a country.

Your rulers are not particularly capable, but who can throw them out or replace them? You cannot deduce their existence from any analysis of institutions or services--you would have to look at what Americans are turning into--then it makes sense, having rulers like Mr. Obama or possibly Mrs. Clinton...

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 Americans could throw out their rulers, or at least put some kind of limits on the nonsense that goes on in Washington, then it would be easier for Americans to believe in democracy; having no sense of their power, either to start or to stop political changes, their interest in politics dwindles.

Mr. Obama was able to resuscitate it briefly, but all I see by way of achievement is that he convinced the liberals in his party that they could take over the country. But these are people who legislate healthcare in their imaginations & cannot deliver on the technology--people who think you can create new doctors out of thin air...

America went from fighting foreign wars to losing wars without fighting in nothing flat, because the anti-war wing found its courage again. So much for leadership--it's quite obvious his understanding of ruling & protecting the country is quite flawed. But hacks like Mrs. Clinton would serve to debase politics further; they might buy some time by avoiding hysterical enthusiasm, but they might destroy the idealism required for public office...

Gov't services therefore work to stop people from being interested in politics; the ideal of the new regime constantly growing in Washington is a population that lets itself be helped. Administration should replace politics--people should obey, for their own good. The less they move, the fewer monkey wrenches thrown into the works. The less people do unpredictable things--politics, primarily, because there is so much conflict--the more their rulers can get things done. How that is any different to slavery I could not tell you. This is your problem: The endgame of progress is slavery in body & soul--creatures who are safe & comfortable & noting else...

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.

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