My Debate With A Socialist (Argument #7)

In the final exchange that took place, it was apparent that none of us would be willing to change our positions on the issue. So I felt compelled largely to reply to three main issues from his last reply. The first had to do with showing my sources. The second had to do with explaining that I was not a racist and further deducing the pre-civil war south and its connection to the free market. Finally I began to explain what would happen if you limited or got rid of the state altogether, I than went over the type of equality I was looking for in relation to upholding the idea of individual liberty.

The first thing I told him to do, was to read the following books “How Capitalism Saved America,” “Economics In One Lesson,” “Lincoln Unmasked,” “The Road to Serfdom,” “What Has Government Done With Our Money,” “Hamilton’s Curse,” and then I told him to visit the site “Mises.org (Austrian School of Free Market Economics) This school ranges from Libertarians to Market Anarchists. This is a capitalist site, not a mercantilist site by the way.”

The second thing I explained to him was that I was not a racist and I had to further expand upon the issue of southern slavery issue in its connection to free market economics “Yes I may sound racist for saying that, but I am not being racist, how is that Britain was able to come to an agreement between abolitionists and slave owners and peacefully end slavery, but we couldn’t?” Afterwards I told him that “It was not the south but the federal government who did not even want to try to allow talks to take the succeed states back into the union. Rather it was the mercantilists north that largely had control of the Federal Government, you already acknowledge the fact that Lincoln and his party were not acting like humanitarians (since they were racists) but on pure economic reasons of their own. So who is the real racist, not me, I am just stating history.” I then explained to him that his accusations of calling me ignorant and being a racist are merely ad hominem attacks, which is certainly not good debating on his part and only serves to weaken his argument.

I than finally told him that I wanted liberty and the type of equality I was looking for was “equal opportunity to all and equal protection for all under the law (if government is necessary and limited), whereas you [the socialist] want equal materiality to all under the law. This is theft, not liberation, it’s like saying ‘I stole your car, but now your free’ it makes no sense what so ever. So by your very argument I am only trading in one tyrant for another. Humanity does not want that type of equality they want everyone to be treated the same way, there is only one thing that Karl Marx was spot on about and that was people act on economic incentives, there is no economic incentive to be forced at gunpoint to liquidate everything you have to one big central government.” After this I told him that the issue of government is what gets in the way and allows for corruption to occur, I told him that “If you got rid of government today, this very second, people would adjust and the natural law and market forces would dominate. I would structure my life as I saw fit and so would everyone else. The individual is the only true minority here and we must stand up for the small guy, not the government. The Nanny State, the welfare state, and big government are an insult to my intelligence. This sounds to me though that you are willing to make a very large compromise for security at the price of liberty by allowing a big state to determine my life for me. If I could put this on a pie chart it would seem that you are 75% for equality and only 25% for liberty. The two are different at least in how we see it.”

In his final reply, it was also apparent that he was not going to change his position either. So out of three issues I made in this last exchange he chose solely to reply only on my issue regarding liberty and equality, by extracting two things I had said. The first thing he extracted was my quote that “I would structure my life as I saw fit… This sounds to me though that you are willing to make a very large compromise for security at the price of liberty by allowing a big state to determine my life for me. ” He replied back by saying to me that “Only the rich can do this. Others will have their lives structured as others (with money) see fit. You must be pretty rich and totally divorced from the reality that most people live if you think that you can structure your life as you see fit and that this would be a wonderful thing.” He then extracted my quote where I said that “If I could put this on a pie chart it would seem that you are 75% for equality and only 25% for liberty.” He merely laughed, by using the internet jargon “LOL” which for those who do not know what that commonly means, it means, “Laugh Out Loud.” He did not offer anything constructive, to that argument if you can call it that.

I than gave my concluding last word on the matter by explaining myself just a little bit further on the issue of equality and liberty. I explained to him the idea of the rich and how no one else can structure their lives as they saw fit, I then explained to him the idea of how one would structure their lives if they were not rich. I then concluded by explaining to him how I could also equally laugh at him while still calling himself an American.

I disagreed with him about this issue of the rich as the only class that could structure their lives as they saw fit, I explained to him that in a free market society “if they want to continue bringing in money THEN they MUST treat their customers well and their laborers as well. The only thing business is meant to do is to produce, how the customer acts will determine how businesses will react.”

I then told him that anyone can structure their life as they saw fit by simply “living within your means and structuring your life as you saw fit, if you don’t have something you work for it in order to get it.” I explained to him by example, “I would like a car so I can get a better job to outside of walking/biking range to get to work, so when I go to work I will work to SAVE for my car so than when I get it I can get a BETTER Job. That is how it works, the socialist on the left and the mercantilists on the right want to spend, spend, spend away and [not] save on resources and money and time.”

Finally I told him that “I do laugh at how an American, would be so quick to give up his freedom for the conveniences and promises (promises by the state, who often break promises once they get large enough) of economic/material equality. As Thomas Jefferson once said ‘I would rather attended to the inconveniences of too much liberty, than to too small a degree of it.’ It would do you well, as an American to remember that liberty is the highest value. Of course, true liberty will not come until we [decentralize] [or] de-legitimize the state.” Although I made this final argument to him on Friday, June 26th he had not replied the following day, nor has he replied today which is almost a week later Thursday, July 2nd. I am not sure if he had nothing to say to that, or if he had nothing to say to me anymore because, he was fed up with arguing with me.

What I mean by this is to get rid of it, in other words anarchy, or no ruler. Government by definition is the user of brute force and the more power government has the less liberty you have. The marketplace is about voluntary exchanges and maximizing products for competition on a better price and better quality of the product. This is called Market Anarchism, which is a libertarian philosophy designed to maximize freedom and the removal of government intervention in anything since it would not exist.
The middle ground between those who feel that the state is needed but business is good would be called minarchism, which is the idea of minimal ruler ship, so minimal that the state actually cannot do anything but be a monopoly on at most two or three services, whereas everything else is left to the marketplace. This would be the best example of decentralization of the state, where it still exist but greatly reduced in its responsibilities and dominion of the people.

The next thing I need to offer commentary on is to discern the difference between equality and liberty and what that means to a libertarian and a socialist. To A Planned Market, Socialist the two are the same they are not different. A socialist believes that the greatest amount of liberty to be had is founded in material and economic equality for all, in other words, physical equality. If everyone had the same amount of money and the same level of living conditions then no one can exploit anyone else and all would be free. This is of course a compelling argument, especially for me when I was younger, when I was a self-proclaimed socialist who based his world view off of government sponsored education.

However, to a Free Market, Libertarian the two are entirely different and the word “equality” has two different meanings. First of all to a libertarian there is physical equality, which leads down the socialist path and there is abstract equality, which leads to what America was founded upon, in which every person was meant to be given equal opportunity and equal defense of their liberties under the eyes of the law. This equal opportunity was designed to be acknowledged in the form of a system of merit and not on a “who you know basis” or “entitlement basis.” To the libertarian their liberty is negative liberty, or liberty to “be free from… X” (X being something harmful to life, such as oppression, prosecution for ones beliefs, etc.). The Socialist idea of freedom is positive liberty or to “be free to have X” (X being that someone wants to their own advantage my right to an education, to have what he has, etc.). True liberty however lies in being free from something that once held you back, not to have something. Take government sponsored education which was founded on the premise of positive liberty, but what if that very same state is abusive or oppressive on its peoples, which form of liberty would you TRULY want then? You would want to be free from oppression, you would want negative liberty. This is also what the libertarian wants.

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