Patterico's Pontifications

5/13/2019

Almost Everyone Wants the Same Thing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:53 am



I mentioned recently that I have been reading Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action. I’m maybe a third of the way through this monster and don’t expect to finish it until July. However, I have been intrigued by some of Mises’s observations I have seen so far, and wanted to blog about one or two of them. Today I’ll focus on a point that Mises makes about the economy — namely, that all parties and social groups promise the same thing to their followers: “health and abundance” rather than “misery, starvation, and death”:

The liberals [Mises here means classical liberals] do not assert that men ought to strive after the goals mentioned above. What they maintain is that the immense majority prefer a life of health and abundance to misery, starvation, and death. The correctness of this statement cannot be challenged. It is proved by the fact that all antiliberal doctrines — the theocratic tenets of the various religious, statist, nationalist, and socialist parties — adopt the same attitude with regard to these issues. They all promise their followers a life of plenty. They have never ventured to tell people that the realization of their program will impair their material well-being. They insist — on the contrary — that while the realization of the plans of their rival parties will result in indigence for the majority, they themselves want to provide their supporters with abundance.

Moreover, the differences between groups with fundamentally different world views do not concern their goals or ends — which are health and abundance for their members — but rather the means they believe are best suited to achieve those goals or ends.

People believe that differences in world view create irreconcilable conflicts. The basic antagonisms between parties committed to different world views, it is contended, cannot be settled by compromise. They stem from the deepest recesses of the human soul and are expressive of a man’s innate communion with supernatural and eternal forces. There can never be any cooperation between people divided by different world views.

However, if we pass in review the programs of all parties — both the cleverly elaborated and publicized programs and those to which the parties really cling when in power — we can easily discover the fallacy of this interpretation. All present-day political parties strive after the earthly well-being and prosperity of their supporters. They promise that they will render economic conditions more satisfactory to their followers. With regard to this issue there is no difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the various Protestant denominations as far as they intervene in political and social questions, between Christianity and the non-Christian religions, between the advocates of economic freedom and the various brands of Marxian materialism, between nationalists and internationalists, between racists and the friends of interracial peace. It is true, that many of these parties believe that their own group cannot prosper except at the expense of other groups, and even go so far as to consider the complete annihilation of other groups or their enslavement as the necessary condition of their own group’s prosperity. Yet, extermination or enslavement of others is for them not an ultimate end, but a means for the attainment of what they aim at as an ultimate end: their own group’s flowering. If they were to learn that their own designs are guided by spurious theories and would not bring about the beneficial results expected, they would change their programs.

The pompous statements which people make about things unknowable and beyond the power of the human mind, their cosmologies, world views, religions, mysticisms, metaphysics, and conceptual phantasies differ widely from one another. But the practical essence of their ideologies, i.e., their teachings dealing with the ends to be aimed at in earthly life and with the means for the attainment of these ends, show much uniformity. There are, to be sure, differences and antagonisms both with regard to ends and means. Yet the differences with regard to ends are not irreconcilable; they do not hinder cooperation and amicable arrangements in the sphere of social action. As far as they concern means and ways only they are of a purely technical character and as such open to examination by rational methods. When in the heat of party conflicts one of the factions declares: “Here we cannot go on in our negotiations with you because we are faced with a question touching upon our world view; on this point we must be adamant and must cling rigidly to our principles whatever may result,” one need only scrutinize matters more carefully to realize that such declarations describe the antagonism as more pointed than it really is. In fact, for all parties committed to pursuit of the people’s earthly welfare and thus approving social cooperation, questions of social organization and the conduct of social action are not problems of ultimate principles and of world views, but ideological issues. They are technical problems with regard to which some arrangement is always possible. No party would wittingly prefer social disintegration, anarchy, and a return to primitive barbarism to a solution which must be bought at the price of the sacrifice of some ideological points.

In party programs these technical issues are, of course, of primary importance. A party is committed to certain means, it recommends certain methods of political action and rejects utterly all other methods and policies as inappropriate. A party is a body which combines all those eager to employ the same means for common action. The principle which differentiates men and integrates parties is the choice of means. Thus for the party as such the means chosen are essential. A party is doomed if the futility of the means recommended becomes obvious. Party chiefs whose prestige and political career are bound up with the party’s program may have ample reasons for withdrawing its principles from unrestricted discussion; they may attribute to them the character of ultimate ends which must not be questioned because they are based on a world view. But for the people as whose mandataries the party chiefs pretend to act, for the voters whom they want to enlist and for whose votes they canvass, things offer another aspect. They have no objection to scrutinizing every point of a party’s program. They look upon such a program only as a recommendation of means for the attainment of their own ends, viz., earthly well-being.

What divides those parties which one calls today world view parties, i.e., parties committed to basic philosophical decisions about ultimate ends, is only seeming disagreement with regard to ultimate ends. Their antagonisms refer either to religious creeds or to problems of international relations or to the problem of ownership of the means of production or to problems of political organization. It can be shown that all these controversies concern means and not ultimate ends.

This is a long passage, but I urge you to read it. For those who have simply moved their eyes over it, I’ll give you the gist: It is possible to cooperate with people who have different world views. Most groups ultimately want the same things for the members of their groups. Mostly, they disagree about how to get there. Party leaders may try to make the means sound like the ends, but they are really just the means.

For example, people might squabble over whether we should have “universal health care” provided by government. This might sound like a disagreement over ends: do you support the end of universal health care, or do you oppose it? But really, universal health care is just one means to attempt to achieve an end: the greatest possible access to quality health care by the greatest number of people. One can desire the end while thinking the means is counterproductive. I happen to desire the greatest possible access to quality health care by the greatest number of people, but I think the market has the best chance of providing that.

This admonition that most people want the same ends is something that, when I keep it in mind, helps me to moderate my antagonism towards those in other parties — whether it be the Democrats, or the Trumpist party that has split off from the anti-Trumpist party.

I have always believed what Mises says above, but seeing it written explicitly is an aid to me. For example, during Obama’s presidency I often heard conservatives arguing that he was trying to hurt the country and make things worse for people. I always found that sort of argument entirely unconvincing. Why isn’t it enough to say that you disagree with his methods? Why must he be made out to be someone who wants to harm the country? I don’t even believe that about Trump. I believe he primarily does what is best for himself, but I never think he is actively trying to harm the country. What motive would he have to do that? Similarly, even Trump’s biggest fans support him because they truly think he is what’s best for the country. Understanding that others share your ultimate goals, but that they merely believe in different means of getting there, helps a person be less judgmental.

Note well, however, that the fact that we are aiming at the same ends does not mean that we can’t do evil in the process. As Mises says: “It is true, that many of these parties believe that their own group cannot prosper except at the expense of other groups, and even go so far as to consider the complete annihilation of other groups or their enslavement as the necessary condition of their own group’s prosperity.” And seeking “the complete annihilation of other groups or their enslavement” is obviously evil.

For example, even Nazis, who wanted to exterminate the Jews, believed that was the best action for their own group. Islamic terrorists think that murdering children can be a way to Paradise. Acknowledging these facts does not make these people’s actions any less evil. If anything, it’s a warning to those who even today advocate evil acts because they believe that those acts are necessary to achieve their ends. The fact that people do evil does not mean they aren’t human — and by the same token, the fact that you believe your goals are right and your means the best, does not compel a conclusion that your means are good as opposed to evil.

Even if your means would achieve your ends, they may be evil. (Thanos may be right or wrong about the relationship between his goals and the ends he chose, of eliminating half of all life, but regardless of how well suited his means are to his ends, his means are evil.) If you find yourself advocating evil deeds to achieve a result you think is good, consider that virtually every evildoer in history believed he was doing good, in some way.

But even if your opponents advocate evil, they’re usually doing so because they believe they are seeking good. It’s a good thing to remember — not because it should cause you not to oppose your opponents, but because it helps you to understand them better.

P.S. Buried in the long quoted passage above is another contention that flies in the face of much modern theorizing about persuasion: the idea that differences between groups can, in theory, be overcome by reason. I bolded the words above: “If they were to learn that their own designs are guided by spurious theories and would not bring about the beneficial results expected, they would change their programs.” Sometimes it seems as though it is impossible to convince someone with a different world view that their ideology is a deficient way of getting to the proper end. But it’s possible — and if a group really does become convinced that they are wrong, of course they will consider a different approach.

People like Jonathan Haidt are committed to the idea that humans engage primarily in emotional reasoning, with pure reason generally serving as a rationalization for conclusions already reached through non-rational processes. This probably deserves its own post, but there is reason to question the all-out assault on reason and rationality. For one thing, folks like Haidt use reason to try to convince us of their premises. Reason is more important than it’s given credit for.

As I have said before, all we have is conversation. The alternative to conversation is violence. That’s a very bad alternative. So, since all we have is conversation, let’s do better at it — and let’s start by understanding one another better. And let’s start that understanding by realizing that, whatever our differences, on abortion or tariffs or the free market or immigration or health care, we want the same thing: a society where humans flourish and prosper.

We have a lot in common about what we ultimately want. Let’s talk like we do, and use reason to work our way through our differences about how to get there.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

116 Responses to “Almost Everyone Wants the Same Thing”

  1. Ding. I hope people read this one. I should have put Trump in the headline somehow. :)

    Patterico (fe2a1f)

  2. It is possible for people with different worldviews to cooperate, but when someone’s means to the end of “abundance…” etc. is to take from me forcefully, that is where my cooperation ends. I have a right to defend what belongs to me, and one’s failure to recognize the right does not mean that I surrender it.

    Our government essentially consists of 545 individuals (and other individuals employed by those 545). All they have to achieve their ends is violence and coercion. What else is there to understand about my adversaries?

    Gryph (08c844)

  3. namely, that all parties and social groups promise the same thing to their followers: “health and abundance” rather than “misery, starvation, and death”

    That’s not exactly right. There are some ascetic movements, although they moostly attract individuals. Thiink of the Essenes, monks in different religions, and beggers even.

    It’s not the majority.

    What Ludwig von Mises was talking about was the theocratic tenets of the various religious, statist, nationalist, and socialist parties in 19th century and early 20th century Europe. (Europe is where they originated, even though the movements spread to some degree to other places_

    That they all promised people, or at least included in their [romises health and abundance” (probably mostly abundance – they couldn’t really promise health, most of them) is only because they were competing with classical liberalism.

    And they didn’t all promise that exactly. Some promised war – but easy victory. Mises is also not considering various utopian communities, which didn’t promise abundance – at least for now.

    It was only in 1940, the year that Ludwig von Mises published his book (in Switzerland?) taht Winston Churchill promised his people “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” But that wasn’t his real goal.

    I think this is a little bit of an overgeneralization. I think what would apply is that tehy all promise a more justly run world – although they may have a peculiar idea of what is just.Consider ISIS. And may be totally lying about their intentions. Consider Communism. And maybe even I should take more justly run with a caveat. Some were against the very concept of justice itself. Consider Naziam. So make that “better run” world.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  4. I am going to be very cynical for a moment, in response to this, because I think a cynical response is appropriate. Yes, people want “health and abundance” for themselves. Some people’s sense of “health and abundance” comes directly from inflicting pain or negative consequences on others.

    This is true of the internet troll. This is true of the bully that stuffs you in the locker. This is true of the psychopath, the KKK member, the bureaucrat who messes with you because he can.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  5. All present-day political parties strive after the earthly well-being and prosperity of their supporters

    Could be true as of 1940 Europe. With the caveat that they claim to. The qualification “present-day” day is important. Mises could have given you counter-examples from the pre-1789 history of Europe. And “political parties” is another qualification.

    No party would wittingly prefer social disintegration, anarchy, and a return to primitive barbarism to a solution which must be bought at the price of the sacrifice of some ideological points.

    Overgeneralization. Some rebellions and revolts do.

    And some parties do that without claiming that they want it.

    most people want the same ends is something

    Most people, but not most politicians. Some want to be in charge. They’re stated goals are a means to an end.

    Or take the Arab Ba’ath party. They wanted a unified (secular) Arab state. But some thought the capital should be in Baghdad and some thought in Damascus. (That’s a cute way of putting it)

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  6. 4. Appalled (d07ae6) — 5/13/2019 @ 7:44 am

    I am going to be very cynical for a moment, in response to this, because I think a cynical response is appropriate. Yes, people want “health and abundance” for themselves. Some people’s sense of “health and abundance” comes directly from inflicting pain or negative consequences on others.

    That’s what lUDWG VON mISES AND Patterico said, in an attemot to encompass them in that generalization:

    As Mises says: “It is true, that many of these parties believe that their own group cannot prosper except at the expense of other groups, and even go so far as to consider the complete annihilation of other groups or their enslavement as the necessary condition of their own group’s prosperity.” And seeking “the complete annihilation of other groups or their enslavement” is obviously evil.

    For example, even Nazis, who wanted to exterminate the Jews, believed that was the best action for their own group. Islamic terrorists think that murdering children can be a way to Paradise. Acknowledging these facts does not make these people’s actions any less evil.

    This is true of the internet troll. This is true of the bully that stuffs you in the locker. This is true of the psychopath, the KKK member, the bureaucrat who messes with you because he can.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  7. I am cynical in another way (that Patterico is not):

    Patterico:

    If you find yourself advocating evil deeds to achieve a result you think is good, consider that virtually every evildoer in history believed he was doing good, in some way.

    I don’t believe that.

    But since most needed at least some voluntary or semi-voluntary followers, they had justifications. Or they adopted something they didn’t care about as something that would attract followers. For Lenin, it was stamping out religions.

    Most evildoers are also LIARS.

    And most of them, when they encounter obstacles, do not want to be perceived of as evil.

    Thinking that they believe what they say, is not a way to understand them, and doesn’t result in good tactics to confront them. It is important to deal with what really motivates them, and not with what they claim.

    That is why all attempts to bring about an end to the war against Israel have failed. What it si, is that many Arab kleaders are afraid of the “bad” example of democracy that israel presents. All this about territories is excuses. All this hiding behind puppet Palestinian politicians is excuses.

    One must have the wit and the wisdom and discernment to realize what really going on. And nobody does. They either think the Arabs want peace or that they are irrational.

    It is not like labor negotiations where usually the demands, while sometimes impractical, are what they really want.

    What the Arab side usually wants is no agreement. (and also no pressure to bring about one)

    And when they do want one, it is not too difficult to attain. This actually applies to virtually all negotiations. When negotiations are intractable, or there is backtracking, it is virtually sure thing that there is something in the background that you don’t understand. And the other side won’t tell you.

    There’s another thing: If you had people committed to evil out of self interest, and it got attacked, they came up with justifications where previously there were none. This happened with slavery in the ante-bellum South of the United States after about 1840. (and it was actually something that brought about the war. If they had been able to acknowledge to each other that they were evil, they never would have seceded from the Union because the pragmatic arguments would have won out.) Unwarranted self-righteousness can be a terrible promoter of war and suffering.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  8. Sammy,

    Actually, that’s not quite correct. Thinking you have to beggar your neighbor in order to prosper is a bit different than “I want to beggar my neighbor, because THAT act is what makes me healthy and prosperous.” I am getting at the idea that people really like being mean and that’s hat they want. Not that they feel it is some kind of necessity.

    If you go on the basis that everyone wants “health and abundance” for their followers, you may miss the ones who define that as “and I get to be mean to my opponents”.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  9. appaled @8. I am getting at the idea that people really like being mean and that’s what they wantI think

    That’s true. Sadism can sometimes be a goal. At least of the followers.

    The leaders probably only want it as a means to end: Loyalty with no moral qualms.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  10. Gabriel Malor
    @gabrielmalor
    SCOTUS, by J. Kavanaugh, holds that iPhone app consumers can sue Apple alleging anti-trust violations (and not just the app creators). He is joined by Ginsburg Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan.

    J. Gorsuch, joined by the remaining justices, writes the dissent. (link: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/17-204_bq7d.pdf) supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf…

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/17-204_bq7d.pdf
    _

    harkin (a4b010)

  11. Reasoning with others works best when people genuinely care about the other.
    I’d say some of Obamas measures were punitive to the other and his supporters gloated in that. The idea was that the other had never paid their fair share and now would be forced to via lies, coercion in the courts etc.

    Trump has done something similar in CA, but I see it more as a discipline like a spanking. You want higher taxes? Then pay for it yourself, no more writing it off on your federal return..

    Another item is the problems of gun violence. When one groups response is to try to strip law abiding citizens of their rights rather than promote mental health, reduce crime and poverty etc. the collaboration comes to an angry distrustful stand still.
    People may want the same, but their methods of getting there are so punitive, or so diametrically opposed to the other that there is no way forward. (At this point… I am hopeful, just not that much)

    steveg (e7a56b)

  12. “It is possible to cooperate with people who have different world views. Most groups ultimately want the same things for the members of their groups. Mostly, they disagree about how to get there.”

    No, most groups don’t agree on the ends. For example, groups on the left elevate equality over prosperity/quality/merit as a desirable end, and these end goals are not reconcilable. This is not merely a difference in means to the same end.

    Thatcher captured this fundamental disagreement nicely:
    https://youtu.be/okHGCz6xxiw

    We see this played out on countless issues — healthcare, public education, taxes, hiring quotas, etc., etc.

    Munroe (9ff74e)

  13. If “… all parties and social groups promise the same thing to their followers: “health and abundance” rather than “misery, starvation, and death”, then it should be noted that these parties and social groups are also implying that they have control of all the resources required to fulfill their promises. The truth of that implication is elusive.

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  14. You wrote

    Why isn’t it enough to say that you disagree with his methods? Why must he be made out to be someone who wants to harm the country? I don’t even believe that about Trump. I believe he primarily does what is best for himself, but I never think he is actively trying to harm the country.

    I think the answer has to do with 2 things working together.

    1. The need to win elections by getting more of your supporters to vote.
    2. The change in redistricting to create more safe districts.

    I think the combination of the 2 has left us with an incentive to change the conversation from “My means are most efficient” or “My proposal has the best balance of competing goods” to

    “There is an enemy out there that hates you and will stop at nothing to destroy your way of life. I’m the only one that can effectively fight this horrible person.”

    I think this explains the Rhetoric.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  15. The other thing that this analysis misses is a ranking of needs.

    If we look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Mises only addresses the first two, Physiological and Safety. In our country today many people are confident in those and are working to meet their needs of Love and Belonging, Esteem, and Self-Actualization.

    So if neither party is really offering a substantive change to my health or abundance (and they aren’t) now it becomes a discussion for me around Belonging and Esteem.

    So if you’re talking about abundance (safety) and I’m talking about belonging and esteem we end up talking past each other at best.

    I think this makes it easier to articulate a point I tried to make in a previous thread.

    If person A wants to talk about trade from a standpoint of the most efficient way to increase abundance, and person B wants to talk about trade from a standpoint of the most efficient way to increase the standing of their group (esteem) it will be hard for them to communicate.

    To build on my previous comment it becomes even hard to have a discussion when other parties put insults, nasty stereotypes and similar issues into the context.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  16. How do you explain Jerry Brown’s success then, with his promise of sacrifice and reduced expectations?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  17. And then there’s AOC and the Green New Deal.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. What does this need to communicate tell us about rigidly held principles? What happens when these principles conflict? What happens when our OWN principles conflict?

    I’m reminded of Governor Ronald Reagan accepting a tax increase he had fought hard against, because he ALSO wanted to balance the state budget. Later a President Reagan accepted huge (for the day) deficits to get the money to rebuild the armed forces in thee last days of the Cold War.

    “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find you get what you need.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. 10. The New York Times had a front page story today about the two Justices being different (I’m not sure why they should have been surprised.)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/12/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-neil-gorsuch.html

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  21. 18. Where did this word “word” come in there?

    That’s talking about the manna.

    https://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0508.htm

    וַיְעַנְּךָ, וַיַּרְעִבֶךָ, וַיַּאֲכִלְךָ אֶת-הַמָּן אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעְתָּ, וְלֹא יָדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ: לְמַעַן הוֹדִיעֲךָ, כִּי לֹא עַל-הַלֶּחֶם לְבַדּוֹ יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם–כִּי עַל-כָּל-מוֹצָא פִי-יְהוָה, יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם. 3

    And He afflicted thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

    The word “thing” isn’t in the Hebrew either, but it is simply all (here transated as “every)”

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  22. I take it to mean that it is not enough for a person to have the means by which to live, he must also have a reason for which to live.

    With bread you were given an indisputable banner: give man bread and he will bow down to you, for there is nothing more indisputable than bread. But if at the same time someone else takes over his conscience— oh, then he will even throw down your bread and follow him who has seduced his conscience. In this you were right. For the mystery of man’s being is not only in living, but in what one lives for. Without a firm idea of what he lives for, man will not consent to live and will sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if there is bread all around him. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

    nk (dbc370)

  23. 23. It is a good thought, but not the same one as that Biblical passage in Deuteronomy, which means that God has all sorts of different ways of providing for you.

    Still, what you have is the way “Man does not lve by bread alone” tends to be quoted to mean.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  24. I have said before, all we have is conversation. The alternative to conversation is violence. That’s a very bad alternative. So, since all we have is conversation, let’s do better at it — and let’s start by understanding one another better.

    Hmmm…so one might deduce from this that it is very important to hear what someone else has to say, within reason of course, because even if what they say makes one angry, the very bad alternative of violence is…well, very bad. Especially as, practically speaking, outside of outright revolution the state has a monopoly on violence.

    Ptw (f4a8a8)

  25. R.I.P. PEGGY LIPTON

    R.I.P. DORIS DAY

    It’s said this happens in threes– but with six, you get eggroll.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. Great post. I’m not going to read the comments because I know in advance people will reject the point. It’s lazier to just hate the other side and be afraid of them. Lazy=easy.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  27. Regardless of from which point of the compass you come from, expect Patterico– and any other sane citizen– to be drinking heavily after he hears today’s Trump on camera economic ramble on tariff history, who pays and more w/t Hungarian PM in the Oval.

    Check your tow lines. And oh yes– ‘no collusion.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. Even bacteria want “health and abundance” rather than “misery, starvation, and death”. When von Mises comes right out with

    The pompous statements which people make about things unknowable and beyond the power of the human mind, their cosmologies, world views, religions, mysticisms, metaphysics, and conceptual phantasies

    it kind of seals the deal for me that he took 1100 pages (those poor trees!) to express a philosophy which is essentially bestial. To feed, to hoard, to sleep.

    I reject it.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. Mises is correct when he observes that most people seek to gain health and abundance first and foremost, and he’s correct in noting (thanks to common laws of physics and biology) that the practices which produce those things are remarkably similar from culture to culture.

    He does human nature a disservice, however, when he presumes that all the values he dismisses as “theocratic” are therefore “really” or “merely” means to that end. (The philosophical belief that the ends do not justify the means, for example — a belief over which, should cultures differ, they will almost inevitably come into conflict whatever their mutual abundance — almost never winds up reducing the immediate practical cost of any proposed policy, if people try seriously to honour it.) This is precisely the same kind of economic reductionism that the sincere classical Marxist believes, and the consistent failure of such systems to survive (except through a top-down imposition of force) should speak self-evidently to that proposition’s falseness. There is a reason most economists and philosophers always wind up speaking about “enlightened self-interest,” because it’s precisely in the definition of “enlightened” that we sneak in all the values that universal desire for material abundance is supposed to supersede.

    Now that said, it’s also true that clever proselytizers can and will disguise personal conflicts over venal motives as irreconcileable clashes of values, and thus accumulate followers and might. Asking the question, “Is what we want really so different, so incompatible, so unsympathetic?” can certainly stand to be asked more often, and the answer is most likely “No” far more often than “Yes”. But sometimes it is going to be “Yes”.

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  30. if that were actually true, neither dollfuss would have arisen in his native Austria,

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. I’m not going to read the comments because I know in advance people will reject the point. It’s lazier to just hate the other side and be afraid of them. Lazy=easy.

    This is quite funny. Both in context and even standalone. Fascinating.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  32. I’m not too sure what the point is. Yes, most people just want what’s best for everyone. The problem is who they consider “everyone”.

    Lenin and Stalin thought “What’s best” for the workers/peasants meant “liquidating” the Bourgeoisie. Hitler felt the same about Jews. In the USA, the liberals feel want “what’s best” for themselves and that means kicking the working class to the curb. And many SJW’s have made it quite clear that “White people” should suffer to make “people of color” feel better.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  33. There is no complex problem that someone will not come up with a simple solution for that is usually wrong. such as libertarian free enterprise capitalism solves all problems.

    lany (e18532)

  34. The producers of the ‘good fight’ much like ‘game of thrones’ before them, aren’t much interested in conversations.

    Who gets to be a kulak or a gusano, eh perry

    Narciso (dcf421)

  35. No. The “simple solution” is central control of the economy with edicts and restrictions and shutting down things you don’t like. It is much more easily explained to the masses than the unknown of 300 million people doing their own thing, responding to their own wants and needs by learning how to be productive and taking responsibility for themselves. The latter is a much, much more complex system.

    However, simple or complex are neither good nor bad. It’s the results that count. And it has been shown, time after time after time, in North Korea, Vietnam, Central and Eastern Europe, the USSR, China, Cambodia, Cuba, etc. etc. etc. that attempts to control people, to interfere in their personal lives and decisions, has failed miserably relative to the tremendous success of free markets the world over. Even in China, the most obvious example, the more socialism installed, the more socialism was needed to make it “work” until it was on the very edge of total collapse. And then add just a little free markets, just a wee little, and things improve dramatically. The reverse of course in Venezuela.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  36. Or to make another point about the necessity of non-material values, I will indulge in a bit of bad form and quote myself from a previous thread. This came up in a brief digression about what Jonah Goldberg called “the Miracle”, or the explosion of prosperity produced by the Enlightenment and the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions:

    “(O)ne key weakness in Goldberg’s thesis… (is that) some of the greatest things currently menacing the Miracle have come from the Miracle’s own nature and success, rather than from its primitive antitheses. The exaltation of secular rationalism, material hedonism, psychological deconstructionism and socioeconomic equity which underlie much of modern progressivist socialism come directly out of the Miracle’s basic founding principles, and the key to saving the Miracle is not to treat its preservation as an end in itself but to recognize its true purpose — to preserve and pass on the primordial values (the Tao, as C.S. Lewis called it in The Abolition of Man), rather than “overhaul and improve” them. Or more compactly: You can only put in the hard work to maintain material comfort if material comfort is not itself your primary priority.”

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  37. Yes, most people just want what’s best for everyone.

    One problem is the idea of “most people” In dictatorships the peole in charge are not “most people.”

    The problem is who they consider “everyone”.

    And that’s another problem.

    It even is hapepneing in the United States.

    This opinio column’s point may nor be fair or accurate but it still contains a quote:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/10/opinion/trump-central-america-border.html

    Years ago, when Donald Trump’s presidential bid was taking off, I asked him whether his attitudes toward free trade and border security might make matters worse for Mexico — and hence for the U.S., too.

    “I don’t care about Mexico, honestly,” he replied. “I really don’t care about Mexico.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  38. Today I’ll focus on a point that Mises makes about the economy — namely, that all parties and social groups promise the same thing to their followers: “health and abundance” rather than “misery, starvation, and death”

    And if your main followers and social groups are addicts of every stripe, paraphiliacs, social outcasts, ethnocentrists and other individuals at varying levels of proud denormalization from the status quo, and they already have all the money and food they need or want, what then?

    Why are we trying to understand the present age of generally well-fed (often far TOO well-fed) individuals and groups warring over trifles like social status and recognition by invoking the Politics of the Belly?

    What does von Mises have to say about the Fat Acceptance Movement? About Brian Sims? About the spiteful social justice mobs who absolutely do wish ‘misery, starvation, and death’ on essentially random schmucks? About Drag Queen Storytime, whose every purpose is to normalize abnormality and call evil good at the most impressionable ages?

    “The alternative to conversation is violence. That’s a very bad alternative.”

    For who? The one who spent the days of reason NOT building and training an army?

    “we want the same thing: a society where humans flourish and prosper.”

    For most people, the answer is ‘yes, OUR humans’ and obviously PETA would beg to differ.

    Foodwig von Mises (cdf3ba)

  39. In the recent past, a lot of the disagreement has arisen between those who want equality of opportunity (libertarians, and the free-market, pre-Trump GOP) and those who want equality of outcome (the Left, and now the protectionist, post-Trump GOP).

    Does it really make sense to call those “the same thing”?

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. I hope your understanding of particle physics is not similarly faulty,

    https://www.caracaschronicles.com/

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. I’m not going to read the comments because I know in advance people will reject the point. It’s lazier to just hate the other side and be afraid of them. Lazy=easy.

    I have to agree with PTw here. There’s so much ironic tension in those two short sentences.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  42. …the free-market, pre-Trump GOP

    There has never been more than a wing of the GOP that had free markets as their main goal. They’ve just been ascendant recently. The Christian wing is ambivalent, the Main street wing is generally adverse, the suburbia wing doesn’t care so long as it doesn’t bother them, the libertarians want rather more than is on offer. And the paleo-conservatives were never in favor.

    Big tent party. Many factions all sharing power and seeking consensus. Sometimes the faction you don’t care for is in charge. Romney hates Trump, Trump hates Romney. Fifty years back it was Rockefeller and Goldwater.

    I’m rather tired of hearing that some quarter (at best) of a major party is the true light of liberty. In the big tent there are many voices. Which I think is what Patterico is getting at.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  43. My mother has been saying something like this (conservatives and liberals want the same thing, but differ on how to get there) for a long time. After thinking about it, I agreed with her.

    Both sides, basically speaking, want peace and prosperity. The right tends to think that the best way to ensure peace is to have a strong military, while many on the left prefer disarmament and diplomacy. The right believes in free markets, and that everyone who is willing to put in the work will prosper. The left thinks there is an uneven playing field, such that many of those willing to work will not be successful without government intervention. Both sides are against racism. The right thinks society should be colorblind, while the left generally supports affirmative action.

    By the way, I asked my mother how she happened upon her theory. She said she thought of it herself. Not too bad for a rather simple woman.

    norcal (ce7ce7)

  44. well romney was willing to take trump’s money, back in 2012, and humor his supporters, who is representing the goldwater/Reagan forces, and who is relying on Rockefeller Scranton truisms,

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/deplatforming-the-platformers-why-antitrust-legislation-is-the-way-to-go/

    the progressives goal is what I outlined above, it was Obama’s goal as well, everyone except possibly his ex Indonesian army stepfather, wanted to ‘fundamentally transform’ this country, the bill of rights is only an instrument to that goal, what Charles Johnson zeroed in his analysis of derrick bell, that’s why we wanted Obama fervently to fail, but sadly he succeeded much too much, and there was token opposition, even compared to what we see in Venezuela, the mueller was his instrument to prevent any reversion of his policies,

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. “It is possible to cooperate with people who have different world views. Most groups ultimately want the same things for the members of their groups. Mostly, they disagree about how to get there.”

    No, most groups don’t agree on the ends. For example, groups on the left elevate equality over prosperity/quality/merit as a desirable end, and these end goals are not reconcilable. This is not merely a difference in means to the same end.

    Thatcher captured this fundamental disagreement nicely:
    https://youtu.be/okHGCz6xxiw

    We see this played out on countless issues — healthcare, public education, taxes, hiring quotas, etc., etc.

    Munroe (9ff74e) — 5/13/2019 @ 9:26 am

    1,000 times agreed. Obama was shown that reduced tax rates would increase the coffers of the federal government, but he didn’t care and specifically stated that his goal wasn’t tax growth, but some imaginary fairness where the rich paid their fare share (his preferred groups excepted through loopholes.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJimLZRC9N8

    NJRob (4d595c)

  46. Maybe Patterico should have typed it like this, to make the point clearer:

    “Most groups ultimately want the same things FOR MEMBERS OF THEIR GROUPS.”

    I struggle with this issue frequently in brief-writing: how many levels of emphasis are necessary to get a third party to carefully read the actual words typed on the actual page?

    The answer to this question remains elusive.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  47. What most groups most want for members of their groups is shared beliefs not shared lunches.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. I struggle with this issue frequently in brief-writing: how many levels of emphasis are necessary to get a third party to carefully read the actual words typed on the actual page?

    The words you choose, their connotations, the imagery they evoke, provide their own emphasis. Read poetry and good literature.

    nk (dbc370)

  49. I think personal liberty is a worthy end in itself even if it doesn’t provide health and abundance to the level you hope for.

    kaf (8d3b64)

  50. I struggle with this issue frequently in brief-writing: how many levels of emphasis are necessary to get a third party to carefully read the actual words typed on the actual page?

    Sometimes fewer words is the answer. As in tl;dr

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  51. I think personal liberty is a worthy end in itself even if it doesn’t provide health and abundance to the level you hope for.

    Well, that isn’t a good goal for government which is a lot about the latter and not all that much about the former.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  52. It is much more comfortable to decide that the other side are just Demonrats or Rethuglicans and are deliberately trying to destroy the US. Actually considering what someone wants and how they believe they can get there is much harder, as is figuring out if whatever the hated Demonrats or Rethuglicans did is actually bad or good in and of itself, instead of just deciding it must be bad because they did it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  53. This is quite funny. Both in context and even standalone. Fascinating.

    PTw (cbfa7c) — 5/13/2019 @ 12:51 pm

    Exactly. I’m too lazy to bother with the laziness. Perhaps the sarcasm didn’t come through, but that would only be from a lack of effort.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  54. @43. ‘I’m rather tired of hearing that some quarter (at best) of a major party is the true light of liberty. In the big tent there are many voices.’

    And presenting, under the Big Top in the center ring: Newtie And The Blowfish!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. Which party is Newtie performing at? It’s hard to tell.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  56. well romney was willing to take trump’s money, back in 2012

    Why do people keep repeating this lie?

    Donald Trump did not donate a cent to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.

    He was much more generous to Hillary in 2008.

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. Attorney General Bill Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation and to determine if the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016 was legal.“

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/47154/breaking-ag-barr-appoints-us-attorney-investigate-ryan-saavedra
    _

    harkin (58d012)

  58. I think the combination of the 2 has left us with an incentive to change the conversation from “My means are most efficient” or “My proposal has the best balance of competing goods” to
    “There is an enemy out there that hates you and will stop at nothing to destroy your way of life. I’m the only one that can effectively fight this horrible person.”

    There is certainly a need for that in hardnosed electoral messaging. And that message is popular, on both sides. But I think it’s ultimately destructive and I have no interest in participating in such messaging.

    Patterico (fe2a1f)

  59. If person A wants to talk about trade from a standpoint of the most efficient way to increase abundance, and person B wants to talk about trade from a standpoint of the most efficient way to increase the standing of their group (esteem) it will be hard for them to communicate.

    It’s a good point, and leads me to believe that many discussions over differences should begin with the question: “what is the ultimate goal here?” Not a goal that can be described as a means to an end, but the ultimate end.

    This would require each side first to recognize when they are labeling a means (universal health care, e.g.) as an end. You have to keep pulling back until you are sure the whole picture is in view.

    If people discover they have different ends, that clarifies the nature of the means to be used. If they discover they have the same ends, now they have common ground.

    Patterico (fe2a1f)

  60. No, most groups don’t agree on the ends. For example, groups on the left elevate equality over prosperity/quality/merit as a desirable end, and these end goals are not reconcilable. This is not merely a difference in means to the same end.

    But the Left elevates equality precisely because they believe it to be an essential element of, and the most important tool in getting, “health and abundance”. Mises and Patterico are
    100% accurate.

    Kishnevi (770d0f)

  61. I’m rather tired of hearing that some quarter (at best) of a major party is the true light of liberty. In the big tent there are many voices.

    If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

    We watched it happen in 2016…

    Dave (1bb933)

  62. Maybe Patterico should have typed it like this, to make the point clearer:

    “Most groups ultimately want the same things FOR MEMBERS OF THEIR GROUPS.”

    Heh, yeah, I tried to be pretty careful in the post about limiting the concept in this way, attempting (perhaps incompletely; it’s a long post) to keep at the front of my mind the admonition about how some (many?) groups seek to elevate their members at the expense of others.

    For example, Trumpists and many non-Trumpists put American interests before the interests of humanity generally. There’s an argument that’s inappropriate and another argument that it’s completely appropriate.

    Me, I think there are no easy answers to that question. It’s appropriate to take care of your own, but when you start to say the hell with the rest of the world it gets complicated.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  63. But I think it’s ultimately destructive and I have no interest in participating in such messaging.

    What if it’s true?

    But yes, if airlines advertised the way politicians do, no one would get on any airplane ever.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  64. We watched it happen in 2016…

    What did we the GOP stand for in 1996? Or for that matter, 2008?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  65. For example, Trumpists and many non-Trumpists put American interests before the interests of humanity generally. There’s an argument that’s inappropriate and another argument that it’s completely appropriate.

    This explains some of the different approaches on trade, with some viewpoints nation-neutral and other quite the opposite. And all have blind-spots.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  66. No, most groups don’t agree on the ends. For example, groups on the left elevate equality over prosperity/quality/merit as a desirable end, and these end goals are not reconcilable. This is not merely a difference in means to the same end.

    But the Left elevates equality precisely because they believe it to be an essential element of, and the most important tool in getting, “health and abundance”. Mises and Patterico are
    100% accurate.

    That was the thought that occurred to me when I first heard the “equality of opportunity vs. equality of results” dichotomy: are we talking about ends or means? Kishnevi says we’re still talking about means. I think it’s an interesting question. I’m going to reason out my reaction as I type, because I don’t think the answer is obvious.

    It’s often possible to abstract to a higher level of generality, and call a lower level of generality (or a higher level of specificity) a mere means to a greater end. But at a certain point you run the risk of reaching such generality that you’re talking about “goodness” — you want equality of outcome while I want equality of opportunity, but hey, we both want goodness! If that’s the most specific we can get, it starts to get meaningless.

    Does that mean kish is wrong? Not necessarily. Here, I think we should rely on the principles of charity and of putting your argument in a way that your opponents would agree with it. Maybe the simplistic labels we are attaching to these arguments — equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome — are unfairly loading the dice in favor of our preferred outcome. Maybe the label we have chosen for our non-preferred view oversimplifies the matter in a way that a smart opponent would reject.

    Everyone on the conservative side agrees with the argument for equality of opportunity. Why do our friends on the left argue for equality of outcome? Are they just chowderheads who want everyone taken care of while they lie on the couch and smoke marijuana? Perhaps there exist such chowderheads, but that doesn’t make for an interesting discussion. What would a smart person with this point of view say? How would they put it?

    I have a hard time imagining it, honestly. I’ll give it my best shot: I’m not against equality of opportunity (the smart leftist would say) but folks on the right are too quick to assume that everyone has the same shot out of the gate. If you don the Rawls veil of ignorance (an important concept; Google it if you don’t know it), you’ll find that even you could be one of the poor unfortunates who start out life with no money, and no parents lovingly guiding you and teaching you how to succeed. Your argument that everyone should have the same chance under the law ignores this marked imbalance of plain luck at the beginning of life. So I support equality of outcome, at least for now, just as a way of balancing out the imbalance caused by differing privilege.

    I don’t agree with the argument, but that’s a way of putting it that doesn’t sound facially ludicrous. I think we could all benefit from confronting our opponents’ arguments put in the best form we can imagine them, rather than nutpicking an articulation that we find on a rabid crazyperson’s Web site.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  67. Kevin M asked: “What if it’s true?”

    He was talking about this:

    “There is an enemy out there that hates you and will stop at nothing to destroy your way of life. I’m the only one that can effectively fight this horrible person.”

    There are times that it’s true. Hitler would stop at nothing to destroy my way of life. Radical Islamic terrorists would stop at nothing to destroy my way of life.

    “The left” for the most part is in a different category. They just happen to disagree with me about how to get at a better life for all Americans. And I grow increasingly tired of listening to conservatives, many of whom are friends of mine, try to convince me that my fellow Americans, including my father in law, my friends at work or friends of friends, are out to destroy my way of life. When someone argues that, they lose credibility in my eyes. That’s a reality that isn’t going away.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  68. “The left” for the most part is in a different category. They just happen to disagree with me about how to get at a better life for all Americans. And I grow increasingly tired of listening to conservatives, many of whom are friends of mine, try to convince me that my fellow Americans, including my father in law, my friends at work or friends of friends, are out to destroy my way of life. When someone argues that, they lose credibility in my eyes. That’s a reality that isn’t going away.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 5/13/2019 @ 8:49 pm

    Antifa just disagrees with you? The jury that wouldn’t convict a bike lock to the face just disagrees with you? Bernie, Soviet comrade, just disagrees with you? Farakahan just disagrees with you?

    That is the crux of the argument.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  69. Antifa just disagrees with you? The jury that wouldn’t convict a bike lock to the face just disagrees with you? Bernie, Soviet comrade, just disagrees with you? Farakahan just disagrees with you?

    That is the crux of the argument.

    NJRob,

    When a partisan like you reads “the left” you visualize the most radical parts of that group, including people who engage in violence. Obviously people and groups who engage in and advocate violence are not simply disagreeing.

    But I could say I generally agree with “the right” and how would the NJRob of the left respond? And by that I mean an extreme lefty partisan who, when they see the phrase “the right,” visualizes the most radical parts of the right, including those who engage in violence. That lefty partisan, who is your mirror image, would say “oh, Patterico, so you agree with the tiki-torch carrying Nazis in Charlottesville? You agree with those who run over innocent women for being part of a group that stands up against racial hatred? Wow, Patterico. I am literally over here just shaking my head in disappointment. WOW.”

    I am tired of this form of argumentation. When I read “the left” I see relatives, friends, and neighbors. Good-hearted, well-meaning people with whom I disagree.

    When I speak to leftists I respect, as opposed to radical hateful partisans, I am speaking with people who see the right as a group of people who, while it contains some radical and violent elements, mostly consists of good people who just see the world in a different way.

    I find it sad, frankly, that people like you have such a hard time with this concept.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  70. What did we the GOP stand for in 1996?

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/conventions/san.diego/facts/gop.platform/platform.all.shtml

    Or for that matter, 2008?

    https://prod-static-ngop-pbl.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/2008platform.pdf

    Not much difference on the domestic side, apart from the understandable 2008 emphasis on the war on terror.

    Tax reform
    Expanded trade
    Small business as the engine of economic growth

    Dave (1bb933)

  71. NJRob,

    When a partisan like you reads “the left” you visualize the most radical parts of that group, including people who engage in violence. Obviously people and groups who engage in and advocate violence are not simply disagreeing.

    But I could say I generally agree with “the right” and how would the NJRob of the left respond? And by that I mean an extreme lefty partisan who, when they see the phrase “the right,” visualizes the most radical parts of the right, including those who engage in violence. That lefty partisan, who is your mirror image, would say “oh, Patterico, so you agree with the tiki-torch carrying Nazis in Charlottesville? You agree with those who run over innocent women for being part of a group that stands up against racial hatred? Wow, Patterico. I am literally over here just shaking my head in disappointment. WOW.”

    I am tired of this form of argumentation. When I read “the left” I see relatives, friends, and neighbors. Good-hearted, well-meaning people with whom I disagree.

    When I speak to leftists I respect, as opposed to radical hateful partisans, I am speaking with people who see the right as a group of people who, while it contains some radical and violent elements, mostly consists of good people who just see the world in a different way.

    I find it sad, frankly, that people like you have such a hard time with this concept.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 5/13/2019 @ 9:16 pm

    No. I visualize their leaders who have made clear their agenda. When Seattle’s government won’t prosecute Antifa when they attack innocents, they make it clear. When the government didn’t protect speakers at Berkeley, they made it clear. When Andrew Cuomo said Republicans who value life and conservative values aren’t welcome, they made it clear. When radicals pass infanticide bills, they make it clear. When they create sanctuary cities, they make it clear. When they give illegal aliens instate tuition and government aid, they make it clear.

    And on and on.

    That you consider me to be more of an adversary and someone that you have less common ground with than they, that saddens me.

    And the bigots in Charlottesville were led by a leftist. The only difference between he and the radical left is that he’s a white bigot while they are anti-white bigots.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  72. Patterico, I suspect that the imagined person whose reasoning you are attempting to understand would say that they are also not particularly into equality of outcome, only equality of opportunity and that what you’ve described equates to things like college access, scholarships, and entry level positions is equality of opportunity, but that one of the ways they measure equality of opportunity is via collecting data of the outcome because, all things being equal, the outcomes should (theoretically) be roughly equal by percentage.

    So, when they say things like “There should be more double-jointed CEOs.” what they are saying is “What factors are preventing more double-jointed people from becoming CEOs because the actual statistics deviate from what would otherwise be the predictive numbers?” and what some people are instead hearing is “We need to promote underqualified double-jointed people to CEO.”

    Nic (896fdf)

  73. Experiment.

    Put an Obama bumper sticker on your car. See how long it takes for it to be damaged.

    Put a Trump bumper sticker on your car. See how long it takes for it to be damaged.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  74. Patterico, I suspect that the imagined person whose reasoning you are attempting to understand would say that they are also not particularly into equality of outcome, only equality of opportunity and that what you’ve described equates to things like college access, scholarships, and entry level positions is equality of opportunity, but that one of the ways they measure equality of opportunity is via collecting data of the outcome because, all things being equal, the outcomes should (theoretically) be roughly equal by percentage.

    So, when they say things like “There should be more double-jointed CEOs.” what they are saying is “What factors are preventing more double-jointed people from becoming CEOs because the actual statistics deviate from what would otherwise be the predictive numbers?” and what some people are instead hearing is “We need to promote underqualified double-jointed people to CEO.”

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/13/2019 @ 9:59 pm

    Why should they be equal by percentage?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  75. @75 Because if you are looking at large populations of people of similar opportunity, ability, and cultural pressures, if nothing interferes, you should, statistically speaking, end up with similar outcomes between those populations (obviously there are always some outliers), so the ratio of double jointed CEOs to non-doublejointed CEOs should be similar to the ratio of double jointed people to non-double-jointed people.

    It’s like if you dropped 10,000 rose quarts and white quartz pebbles of similar size and density off the top of the empire states building, the scatter pattern would be similar for both the rose quartz and the white quartz except for that rose outlier that bounced into someone’s hoodie when he was in the way to the airport and now it’s in Paris and the white one that got carried to New Jersey by a bird.

    Nic (896fdf)

  76. @65. The Party of No; lately, the Party of Nyet.

    _____

    Once upon a time ‘politics’ — the ‘ways and means’ of travelling toward these various common goals we chatter about– was framed by ‘the art of compromise.’ The past few decades, one party, stuck ‘in the no,’ ironically pictures compromise as a museum piece. A renaissance is due.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. “There is an enemy out there that hates you and will stop at nothing to destroy your way of life. I’m the only one that can effectively fight this horrible person.”

    Well, actually it was the first part of that that I was responding to. It CAN get to “Us vs Them.”

    The second part of that is total rubbish — usually if someone is in the position of the “only” defender, it’s because they have done their level best to kneecap all the other potential defenders. Such a person is just as dangerous.

    While I believe that few Democrats would give more than lip service to AOC’s radical Green New Deal (which would take a dictatorship to implement), they DID all sign on to at least part of it. If AOC seemed likely to gain the kind of power she seeks, then yes, I would be thinking “Us vs Them.”

    But it need not be a Hitler or even sane dictator. A Party united behind a democratically elected radical could be destructive to people’s well-being to the point that it is life-altering. The British Labour Party of the late 40’s was pretty terrible, going so far as assigning people to jobs. The level of taxation that Sanders and several other Democrats are proposing for Medicaid-for-All would be destructive to some, particularly younger workers and retired people who would be (heavily) taxed again for a (reduced) benefit they “already paid for.”

    But then these are cases where dialog has already failed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  78. How can we possibly survive with Tom Donohue heading the chamber of commerce cabal? And the worst is yet to come. Paul Ryan will be named his replacement.

    mg (8cbc69)

  79. Frame your opponent’s argument in the best light. Be charitable toward his motivations.

    This used to be central to arguing in good faith….and was central to the idea of compromise….both sides get something at the end of the day….with the majority being magnanimous so as to build greater consensus….and to set the stage for the next swing of the pendulum. Our political system has now staggered to a place where compromise is viewed as weakness….and all we have is endless positioning. The 24/7 partisan media coverage discourages good faith argument and compromise….it lives and breathes ideological rigidity and conflict….and stereotyping the opposition. We’re here because it’s much easier to cheer for your team and vilify the opposition…and imagine everything is black and white. There’s a discipline to understanding, appreciating, and arguing both sides of an issue. But who wants that….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  80. @75 Because if you are looking at large populations of people of similar opportunity, ability, and cultural pressures, if nothing interferes, you should, statistically speaking, end up with similar outcomes between those populations (obviously there are always some outliers), so the ratio of double jointed CEOs to non-doublejointed CEOs should be similar to the ratio of double jointed people to non-double-jointed people.

    It’s like if you dropped 10,000 rose quarts and white quartz pebbles of similar size and density off the top of the empire states building, the scatter pattern would be similar for both the rose quartz and the white quartz except for that rose outlier that bounced into someone’s hoodie when he was in the way to the airport and now it’s in Paris and the white one that got carried to New Jersey by a bird.

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/13/2019 @ 10:53 pm

    Do you actually believe that or are you just giving a random hypothetical?

    P.S. Can you flesh out this sentence,

    Because if you are looking at large populations of people of similar opportunity, ability, and cultural pressures

    and how it relates to populations within the United States.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  81. you should, statistically speaking,

    Why should you? Just what exactly makes a society a statistical population of random, independent events?

    nk (dbc370)

  82. narciso @45: well romney was willing to take trump’s money, back in 2012

    Dave @57: (1bb933) — 5/13/2019 @ 7:38 pm

    Why do people keep repeating this lie?

    Donald Trump did not donate a cent to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.

    Becase it doesn’t appear to be alie.

    Firstm the claim is that Mitt Romney was trying to get money from Trump.

    Second there wsas a claim made at the time that he did:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-romney-super-pac-donations-2012-9

    Last week, we had a post on Donald Trump’s surprising lack of financial contribution to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

    We were surprised, given that Trump has been a prominent public backer of the former Massachusetts Governor since January, that the FEC reported the billionaire celebrity real estate mogul giving a lot less than we had expected.

    But today got a call from Trump’s executive vice president and special counsel Michael Cohen, who told us that Trump has actually donated a lot more money than the FEC has reported so far.

    According to Cohen, Trump has given millions to SuperPACs supporting Romney’s campaign, and is also one of the campaign’s “bundlers” — an exclusive group of big-money fundraisers who the Romney campaign has kept secret. Cohen also said that Trump has gotten his whole family to pitch in to make Romney president.

    It’s still weird that the FEC doesn’t have a public record of what was described to us as a series of contributions to Republican causes over the past two years, but what we were told is still really interesting.

    It turns out that Trump has pulled out all the stops when it comes to donating to Romney, and the disclosures we were looking for haven’t been released by the Federal Elections Commission.

    Michael Cohen, the Executive Vice President and Special Council to Trump, gave us a full look into Trump’s work on the campaign to elect Romney.

    According to Cohen, Trump has donated “millions” to SuperPACs which support the Romney campaign. He wouldn’t say which ones, and since disclosure requirements for SuperPACs are sketchy, we may not find out…..

    …Cohen also told us that Donald Trump is one of the people referred to as a bundler, or a person who uses their personal network to raise large amounts of cash from friends for political campaigns.

    Controversially, the Romney campaign hasn’t disclosed their bundlers, but Cohen told us that Trump has “raised mega-millions” for Romney and groups affiliated with him.

    Even more, Trump has raised from his own friends and family. Cohen says that Trump has maxed out contributions to Romney, and — per his request — so have his three children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric through the Romney Victory Fund,

    The Romney Victory Fund is a way for donors to max out their contribution with a single check. It achieves the maximum amount of Party and PAC funding that the FEC allows— $70,800 per cycle — split between a number of different State PACs and Party Committees to stay legal.

    It also maxes out the contribution to the Romney campaign, bringing the full donation to $75,800.

    Cohen told us that Trump donated at the behest of his friend Woody Johnson, the New York Jets owner, and also did so through his attorney in Texas, Paul Jensen.

    Cohen, on behalf of Trump, was very open about the whole process. The billionaire real estate developer has come out, according to Cohen, as Romney’s “most active surrogate.”

    If this is all accurate, we stand corrected when it comes to what we said last week about Trump stiffing the Romney campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  83. Patterico,

    You summarize Mises’ argument as follows:

    Moreover, the differences between groups with fundamentally different world views do not concern their goals or ends — which are health and abundance for their members — but rather the means they believe are best suited to achieve those goals or ends.

    And I think that puts you squarely in the tradition and assumptions of the Enlightenment, where citizens are rational beings, acting in their genuine self-interest, and the parties reflecting the popular will are doing their best to act in the self-interest of their voters. And Mises believes that what all rational citizens want is health and plenty for themselves.

    You place your own hope in that being right. Or, at least, you hope that this is at least true of the people you try to have political conversations with, either in this forum, or elsewhere. But that ignores two things. We humans crave status. We humans sometimes desire to be cruel.

    This isn’t anything new. (See below for how the White Working Class prioritized status over health and plenty in the South for many years)

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/31/trump-white-working-class-history-216200

    But, in this world of Twitter, the blog comment, and “virtue signaling”, the unfortunate prioritization of status and the ability to be cruel without personal consequence, over concern for personal health and abundance, is very evident. An appeal to reason is a noble thing. An expectation of reason will be disappointed much of the time.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  84. “Just what exactly makes a society a statistical population of random, independent events?”
    nk (dbc370) — 5/14/2019 @ 7:15 am

    All Charles Murray has is conversation on this topic, and a knot on the head as a result.

    Munroe (27e7c6)

  85. 63. Patterico (115b1f) — 5/13/2019 @ 8:15 pm

    [Trumpists and many non-Trumpists] put American interests before the interests of humanity generally. There’s an argument that’s inappropriate and another argument that it’s completely appropriate.

    Me, I think there are no easy answers to that question. It’s appropriate to take care of your own, but when you start to say the hell with the rest of the world it gets complicated.

    There are two things worth noting:

    First, the interests are made to appear more at odds with each other than they are.

    Second, with some people even the most trivial benefit is worth doing – and it is argued that certain thingsa re by defibition, harmful.

    There is also I think something else going on, or that would go on.

    Once you deny the virtue of caring about the interests of most of humanity, why should you care about Americans either?

    Why should the rich care about the poor? Any poor?

    If nobody did, your taxes might be lower, so I think that’s what’s motivating the person(s) behind Numbers USA.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  86. > I have a hard time imagining it, honestly. I’ll give it my best shot:

    I think you do a good job of capturing it. I’d add that a lot of us don’t actually desire equality of outcome at all, we just think that often what appears to be a disequality of outcome is in fact a disequality of opportunity which is hidden.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  87. Appalled, this is one of the big problems of the modern era, I think: while *sometimes* humans are rational beings, we aren’t always, and often our decision making is based on emotion and instinct, with a facade of rationality used to justify post-hoc decisions we’ve already made.

    The “enlightenment” thing to do, it seems to me, is to acknowledge that, and to seek to understand how and why it happens so that we can work to counter it, knowing that as flawed humans we’re going to fail sometimes.

    Reason and rationality are *aspirations*, and we can strengthen our ability to rely on them, but we need to be on guard against the possibility that we may be deluding ourselves.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  88. Nic, I think that’s a fair point and a reasonable addition to the argument. I would add that those of us on the left find it more plausible that there is some structural or systemic interference with truly random outcomes than that there is some inherent qualitative difference between populations.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  89. (note that one of the things that causes a lot of inter-communtiy misunderstanding is that it’s entirely plausible to many of us on the left, and even quite likely, that the the structural/systemic interference is *unintentional* or *accidental*).

    aphrael (3f0569)

  90. You can’t say you should care about the well being of all Americans, but only Americans. You migh care about your immediate family and even distant relatives, but to go much further, the only principle you can have is something like: All men are created equal. If they’re not, the only motivation you have is self-interest. For politicians, votes.

    Of course you can try: “All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others” but that doesn’t really work. So, it’s: Let’s stop helping people.

    While it is logical for care and compassion to fade off as connections get weaker, to cut it off altogether at any point for something besides those people being found unworthy, has to result in the cutoff being something with more emotional resonance than citizenship.

    Also, the philosophy that would wish to interfere with other people’s liberties actual hostility, not just indifference – on the grounds that it is in “your” self interest to do so,
    (the self-interest of the country, carefully defined, so that you always point to losers, real or imaginary and say their interest is what counts) however minor and insignificant even that might be, (because there’s no weighing of ends against means, or benefit to some versus harm to another) has to degenerate into cynicism, corruption, and sadism.

    And if that’s the case surely no one will support taxes that have the goal of helping people.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  91. 87. aphrael (3f0569) — 5/14/2019 @ 8:25 am

    we just think that often what appears to be a disequality of outcome is in fact a disequality of opportunity which is hidden.

    You think so, and it;s real;y not so hidden, but theer are “Civil Rights” laawyers and other beneficiaries of “remedies” who have somethng to gain by depicting this as purposeful, or the equvalent.

    I’ll tell you how craxzy it gets. In New York there’s this little campaign to get rid of tests for high value public high schools, on find some way to consider additional factors, on the grounds that too few blacks and Hispanics are passing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/nyregion/black-students-nyc-high-schools.html

    What they don’t say is that there used to be more, because there used to be certain kinds of advanced or honors classes in many public schoos, but they got rid of them probably because the children using them had too high a proportion of non-minorities.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/06/new-york-high-schools-stuyvesant-brooklyn-bronx/562772/

    One of the reasons there are so few black and Latino students in these schools today is because of a change that took place in the early 1990s that limited the opportunities available to high-achieving black and Latino students. New York’s elementary and middle schools are highly segregated, and until roughly three decades ago, nearly every middle school in New York City had an honors program.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  92. Kevin M @78:

    . The British Labour Party of the late 40’s was pretty terrible, going so far as assigning people to jobs.

    I didn;t hear of that but I find that plausible and would like to know more.

    I know that they kept in place Wrld War II rationing, and the Britsh used to say about it: “We won the war”

    They nationalized health and the coal mines, and Winston Chucrhill did not reerse that after 1951. But they did get rid of the rationing.

    The Labour Party also secretly developed an atomic bomb – Churchill later called it hiding their light under a bushel. I think maybe that was because some there wanted an alliance with the Soviet Union.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)

  93. R.I.P. TIM CONWAY.

    So glad we had this time together, ‘Chuck.’

    @26. Postscript; yep– threes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  94. The Labour Party also secretly developed an atomic bomb

    Mostly by having some of their guys at the Manhattan Project. It was more a matter of building than developing.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  95. I didn;t hear of that but I find that plausible and would like to know more.

    I’ve read of it several times in the past, but could not tell you where. It was the extreme peak of socialism in Britain, brought about by the landslide win in 1945. They also nationalized about a quarter of the economy and nearly all the big sectors (banking, energy, mining, etc). Labour was turned out in the next election and stayed out of power until the 60’s, largely due to the distaste for their extremism. The NHS still survives though.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  96. NK, just asking plainly, do you think biological differences between races and genders are the primary driver in differences in outcome for things like housing, education, and career success? You seem to be hinting at it but i might be misunderstanding you.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  97. Same question to NJrob

    Time123 (457a1d)

  98. Between sexes, definitely. Between “genders” as the usage is now, to the extent that their mental aberrations are biological also yes.

    Between races, no. That’s not due to biology, it’s due to history. Or, not nature but nurture.

    nk (dbc370)

  99. thank you for the answer.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  100. I would answer Time123 slightly differently. I think it’s clear that, in the US at least, African-Americans are proportionately better athletes. I guess it’s possible that there is a career-choice bias there, but there’s little historical bias given a long period of exclusion.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  101. Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/14/2019 @ 11:48 am

    …It was the extreme peak of socialism in Britain, brought about by the landslide win in 1945. They also nationalized about a quarter of the economy and nearly all the big sectors (banking, energy, mining, etc). Labour was turned out in the next election

    No, it wasn’t. The next election was in 1950 (traditionally Parliaments served for a maximum 5 year term) and the result was hung Parliament, and on;y after an election in 1951 was Winston Churchill again Prime Minister. he was there during the death of the king and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He resigned as Prime Minsiter (but not yet from PArliaement) in 1955 at the age of 80 or 81.

    and stayed out of power until the 60’s,
    Tikll 1964, when the Conservatives were forced to call an election. Haroldd Wilson was tghere till 1970 (he got abogger majority in 1966 I think) and the Conservatives under Heath from 1970 to 1974 till a miners strike.

    largely due to the distaste for their extremism. The NHS still survives though.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  102. @81 yes, it was a hypothetical, but I can’t think of anything that means that they wouldn’t be proportionate.

    How closely do you want to parse it? There is about 100 years of social science research you can read if you want to get really detailed.

    @82 Because, generally speaking, that’s what statistics show in social science research. There are also ways to look at skewing factors to correct for the skew and control for various factors to eliminate causes that one is not looking at for research purposes which can give you ways to look at more complex situations and data, but really, the research shows that if you look at similar populations, you tend to get similar outcomes unless there are other factors. So, for example (and honestly this data is 15 years old, but I don’t want to go look up new data on the CDE website at the moment) if you look at Folsom, Eldorado Hills, Roseville, and Granite Bay CA, they have similar populations and many other similar factors (with some variation in socio-economics, but not very extensive ones in most cases) and you get very similar graduation rates.

    Nic (896fdf)

  103. It’s still the Cold War and the CIA trains a spy to infiltrate the USSR. He undergoes 10 years of grueling training in all possible spheres of Russian life: he ends up with an impeccable command of Russian, complete with a carefully tailored Northern accent, and finally, he’s parachuted into deep Siberian taiga. He walks only half a mile when he encounters a babushka who says, “Oh, hello, Mr. American Spy!” Astonished by such a catastrophic turn of events, the spy begins to methodically grill the babushka about how she could possibly recognize who he truly was, what with the language and the accent and the clothes. Long story short, she replies: “But sonny, isn’t it kind of obvious? You’re black.”

    nk (dbc370)

  104. Kevin M

    In the US?

    Look at Les Bleus World Cup winners:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AI1G7RLhwM

    They are French. Pure and simple, but not the same French from 20 years ago.
    The percentage of representation of African immigrants on the team is well in excess of the percentage of the population of African immigrants.

    I’d say that with regards to certain types of skills, aptitudes, the best answer is “I don’t know”. I would never have guessed that French star N’Golo Kante has a degree as an accountant, but am pleasantly surprised. Not that he could do it, but that he did.
    Am I shocked that Jamaicans are over represented in the sprints? Not anymore. In the African diaspora, there are inevitable inflections of people, places and times.
    Am I shocked that recent Nigerian immigrants to the USA do so well in basketball and football?
    Not any more.

    If your physical lineage contains multiple ancestors who are built in a way that their body yielded a high standing vertical jump with great hand eye coordination etc. white or black, you probably have the genetics of an athlete. The mind of an athlete has to process all of that information smoothly and precisely to be professional quality. Other types of intelligence might not be “necessary” to survival and thus not nutured… who wants their star mucking about bean counting.. unless its Kante who can do both

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rfqrhOv49k

    steveg (e7a56b)

  105. For those who don’t understand soccer, Kante’s role is pest or destroyer. He reads the transition and attack; wrecks it, then takes the turnover and attacks in turn.
    It does take an accountants mind to keep track of everyone dangerous in the moment on the opposing team, evaluate the immediate strength, weaknesses and tendencies they are showing and destroy it, while simultaneously being aware of where you can now counter, knowing where all your team mates are, the pace you need to move at to let them catch up or position themselves etc.
    The French say “71 percent of the earth is covered with water.. Kante covers the rest”

    I used to play that position (poorly by comparison) on all of my teams and Kante is the smallest man I’ve seen play as well as he does there. He’s smart and uses his size extremely well and often rides the size of the opposition, he reads attacks like as if he is in their heads, so he has superb anticipation..
    Once you understand that he spends the whole game denying the opposition a cohesive attack while helping his own team turn on a dime and mount one, you see how indispensable he is.
    His mind is as fast, skilled and agile as his body.
    Plus he is supposed to be one of the most decent gentlemen in the soccer world

    steveg (e7a56b)

  106. Same question to NJrob

    Time123 (457a1d) — 5/14/2019 @ 12:04 pm

    As for your specific question,

    do you think biological differences between races and genders are the primary driver in differences in outcome for things like housing, education, and career success? You seem to be hinting at it but i might be misunderstanding you.

    Time123 (457a1d) — 5/14/2019 @ 12:04 pm

    No because it seems that native Africans from more stable nations have a much easier time succeeding in our nation than many of our own native population. Nigerians don’t seem to have the difficulty adapting and succeeding in our nation.

    Cradle to the grave entitlements definitely sap the will from individuals who are raised here without learning a work ethic. I think the Democrat party encouraging people to engage in sloth and bribing them with minuscule monetary benefits while claiming the other side is racist as a way to keep those voters from breaking away from the left is why there are so many differences in outcomes. Hard work brings success, not hand outs.

    That answers your question.

    Now to answer a different question in the way you expect, I definitely believe that genetics inherited from parents play a role in intellect as well as physical gifts. Nature and nurture both play a role in human development. We are not just computers waiting to be programmed.

    Do you disagree?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  107. NJRon,Now to answer a different question in the way you expect, I definitely believe that genetics inherited from parents play a role in intellect as well as physical gifts. Nature and nurture both play a role in human development. We are not just computers waiting to be programmed.

    Do you agree?

    I agree that genetic traits inherited from parents plays a role in your overall success at life. I think the behavior where outliers revert to mean in genetics is important to keep in mind as it accounts for why “having good parents” doesn’t expand up to “being a member of a good race”

    Time123 (daab2f)

  108. Patterico, you would do well to put down von Mises and pick up Hayek, particularly The Counter-Revolution of Science and The Road to Serfdom.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  109. I think the behavior where outliers revert to mean in genetics is important to keep in mind as it accounts for why “having good parents” doesn’t expand up to “being a member of a good race”

    Time123 (daab2f) — 5/15/2019 @ 5:47 am

    Agreed. Which is why this nonsense in America is all the more irritating. If you go to Europe and tell a Greek that he is the same as an Irishman because he’s “white” he will look at you like you are crazy. Same with the Hutu and the Tutsi. People are people. Culture matters.

    P.S. I choose Hutu and Tutsi because they are genetically the same people. But that doesn’t matter when it comes to genocide.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  110. No. I visualize their leaders who have made clear their agenda. When Seattle’s government won’t prosecute Antifa when they attack innocents, they make it clear. When the government didn’t protect speakers at Berkeley, they made it clear. When Andrew Cuomo said Republicans who value life and conservative values aren’t welcome, they made it clear. When radicals pass infanticide bills, they make it clear. When they create sanctuary cities, they make it clear. When they give illegal aliens instate tuition and government aid, they make it clear.
    And on and on.

    That you consider me to be more of an adversary and someone that you have less common ground with than they, that saddens me.

    I oppose all that stuff, as you know. But I also know good people on the left as well, many of whom oppose much of what you cite, and I visualize these people as well. And frankly, I do think I increasingly am impatient with, and have less in common with, partisans on both sides. And I find I have more in common with people from any persuasion, even radical ones (as I hold some views thought radical by some), who are nevertheless willing to be charitable to their opponents and see them as people rather than caricatures.

    The partisans I see here tend to be of the Trump superfan variety more than the radical leftist partisans I used to see. But all extreme partisans annoy me these days. If you can’t see flaws in your own side, and constantly resort to what-abouts if they are pointed out, I’d rather not talk politics with you. And by you I mean anyone who fits that description.

    Patterico (3f355b)

  111. Patterico, you would do well to put down von Mises and pick up Hayek, particularly The Counter-Revolution of Science and The Road to Serfdom.

    I started The Road to Serfdom once but didn’t follow though. It’s on the list, for sure, as are some of his others. I’ll keep The Counter-Revolution of Science in mind due to your recommendation, thanks.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  112. And frankly, I do think I increasingly am impatient with, and have less in common with, partisans on both sides. And I find I have more in common with people from any persuasion, even radical ones (as I hold some views thought radical by some), who are nevertheless willing to be charitable to their opponents and see them as people rather than caricatures.

    Self-parody, raised to an art-form:

    I speak to a lot of conservative groups of various types and flavors: hardcore tea partiers, patriotic vets, loyal radio listeners, besieged students, brass New Yorkers, even rich country club types who you would think were into Jeb! – you know, diversity. And lately, I’ve tended to start off my talks by posing this question:

    “Okay, who here agrees with me that the left wants us enslaved or dead?”

    Every hand goes up.

    Every single one of them.

    That’s our base.

    And, yes, the obligatory reference to “Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit” follows a few paragraphs later…

    Dave (1bb933)

  113. 113. Schlichter talking too rooms full of Schlichterites. Who knew? Kind of reminds me of that famous Pauline Kael quote, about how she didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.

    Gryph (08c844)

  114. Some people want “health and abundance” for themselves and their ilk.

    Others have values they put ahead of “health and abundance”. Self-respect and honor, for instance. That’s why well-meaning international liberals have completed failed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    If the Palestinians were primarily interested in “health and abundance”, they would have found an accommodation with Israel long ago. But they regard the very existence of Israel as an intolerable humiliation. Ending and avenging that humiliation trumps all other goals. One can see this in the way Hamas squanders aid intended to improve conditions in Gaza on harebrained schemes to strike at Israel.

    For a historical example, consider Imperial Japan before and during WW II.

    Rich Rostrom (1ec770)

  115. The funny thing about the more zealops Trump supporter’s love of what-abouts is that they will so obviously reject that form of argument for the rest of their lives. The democrats will make an artform out of “But Trump did this” every time a democrat sexually assaults someone, lies, colludes with a foreign power, fails to keep a major promise, spends too much money, or looks stupid. And if Trump critics think they are sick of that argument today, just wait ten years. We’ll be hearing all about how our criticism of President Warren isn’t fair because Trump did it first, even though we called him out for it.

    All reasonable politics nerds need to invest heavily in other interests. We live in the most beautiful country, with some of the most interesting things and people. Politics needs to be a passing interest. I hope our nation doesn’t become a corrupt ‘gotta-bribe-the-right-guy’ culture, which is where Trump is leading us, because that absolutely cripples economic growth and opportunity, but either way, the partisanship and stupid team spirit thing are with us for the long haul. Life’s too short, and we have the government we deserve.

    Dustin (6d7686)


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