I know this may seem like a bit of an odd question but I’ve been wondering about it for the past few days and for some reason I can’t escape the feeling that it (atheism) would be a rather ‘conservative’ point of view (that is, at least in title), and yet I’m constantly being called a liberal because of my social and political leanings. I'm just wondering what your views are on this.
PS: I’ll be gone for a few days but I will catch up with this thread when I return.
What actually is happening is always way more complicated. You say, "Groups don't think. The individuals within them do."
This statement is not wholly correct.
Also, emphasis on the individual denies the inextricable ties each and everyone has to the other by way of production and use of resources. People who "pull themselves [and their friends and families] up by their bootstraps" are relying on the infrastructure built and maintained by those before him or her.
Government therefore has way more responsibility than "the monopolization of retaliatory force for protection of freedom." The government has to make sure the infrastructure (education, transportation, public safety, consumer protection against laissez-faire capitalism and predatory lending) is maintained so the rich can keep their wealth and pass it on to their progeny (or charitable agency of their choice). Also, Joe the Plumber can take advantage of this already-laid and maintained infrastructure to "pull himself up by his bootstraps" and become the next Roto-Rooter fleet owner.
How is the statement that groups don't think not wholly correct? Thinking, or cognition, is a function of a singular brain. A number of people can agree, a description of how people relate to each other, but thinking and deciding can only be done by singular consciousnesses.
Emphasis on individuality does in fact particularly stress the very transient, mobile, nonlasting, intermittent and varying degrees of relation or ties with other individuals and how it is the recognition that the operative agent is the individual and not the group and why society can only be subjugated to moral law by capitalism or respect for individual rights.
Your assertion that an individual and their loved ones who do good and produce need to use prior established infrastructure, which they disproportionately pay for, does not logically lead to government having the responsibility to continue to take from some to give to others, yet you improperly use the word 'therefore' as if it did. The government, which should only be involved in the protection business, should not be involved in the infrastructure business. Producers can develop that on their own. The rich will be able to get, make and provide themselves with their own shit regardless of the needy taking it from them by popular vote.
Despite what racists, religionists, collectivists or other irrational groups of people think, neither the right or the left is equipped, qualified or interested in supporting the individual freedom necessary to properly manage our work, education and responsibilities. But they are all interested in forced debt, wealth redistribution and sacrifice of the individual to others. A society based on need instead of production. "From those according to their ability to those according to their need." -Karl Marx. This philosophy brings everyone down. Government cannot be the answer. It is good for only one thing: the monopolization of retaliatory force. The rest is, or properly should be, up to the individual.
"Its function should be to protect freedom, not truth or virtue. The goal of a proper society, accordingly, is not to compel truth or virtue, but to make them possible by ensuring that people are left free. A proper government offers freedom from coercion, not from the responsibility of self-sustenance. It protects people from thieves and killers, not from reality or the need to create one’s values from one’s own thoughts and labors." -Ayn Rand
"The liberals tend to advocate intellectual freedom, while demanding economic controls. The conservatives (though they endorse many economic controls) tend to advocate economic freedom, while demanding governmental controls in all the crucial intellectual and moral realms. Each camp wants to control the realm it regards as metaphysically important; each grants freedom only to the activities it despises… neither camp holds freedom as a value. The conservatives want to rule man’s consciousness; the liberals, his body." -Ayn Rand
If people let government decide what foods they eat and
what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in
as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under
-Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can
prevent the government from wasting the labors of the
people under the pretense of taking care of them.
-Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
-Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826),
letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from
those who are willing to work and give to those who would
-Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)
Wealth redistribution grows the welfare state. It does not help poor people. It keeps them down. "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." -Jesus of Nazareth
Well some people are born rich and they don't have to work hard for their money at all.The fact is the rich fucked up the economy because of de-regulations which allowed banks to bet taxpayer money and not to mention the tax cuts for oil companies and rising healthcare costs.The economy will continue to be shit if we blame the poor for something that wallstreet was responsible for. The whole thing is that this isn't about what proving whos better meaning the rich or the poor.It is about getting people back to work by telling coorperations not to ship jobs overseas.
In order to fix our problems the rich need to make some sacrifices to fix the economy.Otherwise we are completely fucked!
You make some interesting points, several of which I would agree upon, although I don’t think I would necessarily categorize myself as a libertarian as I’m rather disenchanted with most of the political system as it stands today. I’m more inclined towards many of the virtues of the Objectivist Party. I will say though that yes it is unfair to blame all the rich for the poor’s difficulties but there are many rich people who are truly Machiavellian and ethically corrupt. Just look at Enron or any of the hundreds of religious leaders who prey on the poor or gullible and support various “approved” political candidates that presently reside in political office. Not to mention the various “poverty pimps” that populate our suburbs exploit the poor through shady financial transactions or credit cards with exceptionally high interest rates.
I take it you didn't read further down the paragraph. Yes, government intervention would definitely be a good thing; after all there are too many rich people who do exploit those who are not as well off. I should also like to point out (although I'm not referring to you Wanderer but to Michael) that it might be good to look further than just the United States to see examples of wealth exploiting the poor as this type of thing happens all around the world. And not much of it falls upon the auspices of libertarian ideals, or any ideals currently incorporated in American Politics.
Yeah that system worked out well for my grandfather and his family he was a striking miner during the 1913-1914 So. Colorado Coal Field Wars. They were striking for working hours and mine safety. Of the 200+ miners killed in mine accidents all but one was ruled "worker error".
First the mine owner threw them and their families out of their homes (the only housing available that was not owned by the mines was 40 miles away.) then tossed all of their processions out of the houses and closed down the company stores (also the only ones available) .
Then they brought in the Colorado Militia (Nat'l Guard) with the helpful assistance of their bought and paid for governor. First use of the machine gun by a US military unit in a “hostile” action (yea ! we're number one). 139 miners and family members died , which included the Ludlow Massacre – the largest number of civilians killed since the civil war by a US military unit.
Were it not for the unions do you think things would have gotten better out the kindness of the owner's heart? ….phhhtt!
I reject the concept of the rich exploiting the poor simply via profit motive.
Why else would the rich exploit the poor, I wonder?