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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Libertarians and conspiracy theories (Read 6631 times)
Jerry
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #10 - Nov 18th, 2013 at 7:36pm
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"It is precisely the necessity of making profits and avoiding losses that gives to the consumers a firm hold over the entrepreneurs and forces them to comply with the wishes of the people."
- Ludwig von Mises


This statement is only partially true. It has no application to situations where the people providing the profits and those being harmed are different.  For example if I own a company making seals for large industrial pumps used in the mining industry I can happily dump heavy metals in the local river and lakes without the risk of any harm to my profits (unless the EPA catches me) since my customers are perhaps 30 mining companies and who is being poisoned are local people living downstream from my plant. As long as I don't posion any mining company executives I'm home free.
  
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Bourgeois
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #11 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:08am
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Fintan, I'm going to preface this post by saying I don't subscribe to Alex Jones' type conspiracy theories. In fact I detest them. However, I appreciate the idea of conspiracy theories and defiance to the state, so that's what I'll talk about.

I think simply decrying "conspiracy theorists" is playing into the leftist's hand. There are conspiracies which have really existed, and there are many more that we could legitimately speculate exist. One example would be the Gulf of Tonkin false flag, which is documented AS a false flag in military documents. Government may be inept, but there are men in charge who are certainly capable of complex conspiracies, as I've just demonstrated.

On the other hand, being a conspiracy theorist shouldn't be an intellectually dishonest matter. When we propose that a conspiracy exists, we ought to have hard facts and evidence, or, at the very least, strong facts and evidence that can allow real speculation.

Aurini gave a good example of this in one of his videos. Consider fluoride in the drinking water. The Alex Jones, conspiritard approach suggests that fluoride is used as a means to make us docile and control our minds, by the elites. However, the quantity of fluoride in the water is so small that any psychological effect has been proven negligible (although it might be true that large doses can lead to docility). On the other hand, a true conspiracy theorist would suggest that fluoride was a waste product of the farming industry, and companies conspired to turn it into a marketable product. Thus, they lobbied for putting it in the drinking water to the gov.

This example clearly shows that conspiracy theorizing can be very important, when there are facts and evidence. The government and leftists will call either conspiritards OR rational people "conspiracy theorists," when it is convenient. But I don't think we should avoid the label conspiracy theorist, per se. We are legitimate conspiracy theorists, while Alex Jones' crowd are conspiritards.

As far as defiance to the state, and your smoking example, I'd say the anti-smoking campaign by the state is EXTREME and EXCESSIVE. The message isn't "smoke in moderation"; it's "don't smoke at all." This is a message of political indoctrination and control, as the occasional cigar could obviously be a positive thing for your mind and health. And sometimes it just feels really good to defy governmental propaganda, and exercise your rights. Especially when the social engineering is extreme, obvious, and so antithetical to human happiness, as in this case.

With things like vaccinations, I wouldn't go as far as an Alex Jones type. However, I'd note that medical problems and solutions are infinitely complex and I don't trust science to be 100% accurate. I don't think public policy should be loosely based on scientific findings. That being said, vaccines do good in a lot of cases, but I'm not entirely convinced that it doesn't have unintended consequences to human health!! I'm not a scientist, but I know for a fact these problems are complex and there might be side effects.

Anyway, just some thoughts!
  

"The government is a greedy piglet that suckles on a taxpayer's teet until they have sore, chapped nipples."

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Jerry
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #12 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:22pm
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Paxil really helps with conspiracy theories. As paranoia declines so do the number of theories. When I don't take my meds I am convinced that ads on TV are an attempt to get me to buy things.
  
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Land of Freedom
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #13 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 2:38pm
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Quote:
I don't understand your question.


I don't know whom you're saying is harmed here..

Quote:
The issue of harm is only a factor in the sense of the profit made vs. the cost incurred by doing harm.

  

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Land of Freedom
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #14 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 2:40pm
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Quote:
" For example if I own a company making seals for large industrial pumps used in the mining industry I can happily dump heavy metals in the local river and lakes without the risk of any harm to my profits (unless the EPA catches me) since my customers are perhaps 30 mining companies and who is being poisoned are local people living downstream from my plant. As long as I don't posion any mining company executives I'm home free.


If you poison the local people you probably wouldn't make it home. At least not Without the protection from the government.
  

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Jerry
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #15 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 5:06pm
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That's why we need the EPA
  
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LibertariCAN
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #16 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 5:15pm
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That's why we need the EPA


If the rules of private property are properly enforced in the society we're talking about, then there is no need for the EPA.
  

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Jerry
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #17 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:15pm
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Incorrect. The air is not private property nor is it possible to make it so unless we enclose our property inside air tight domes  to keep out the pollution somebody without a dome might dump into the planetary air supply.
  
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Josh
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #18 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:33pm
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Quote:
Incorrect. The air is not private property nor is it possible to make it so unless we enclose our property inside air tight domes  to keep out the pollution somebody without a dome might dump into the planetary air supply.

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Coopers
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Re: Libertarians and conspiracy theories
Reply #19 - Nov 19th, 2013 at 11:49pm
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There really isn't anything you've said that I disagree with, Jacob.

I must stress though, that I have never jumped to using the label "conspiracy theorist" without due consideration. I only wish that those truly deserving of that term would carefully consider their thoughts too.

The kind of claims I am talking about is stuff like the controlled demolition theory, or the idea that TSA scans are designed to give us cancer. In other words, really loopy stuff. Of course there are conspiracy theories that have turned out to be true, like the Gulf of Tonkin incident. But the difference is that there is actually hard evidence to support those conclusions.

As well as a libertarian, I am also a proud skeptic. Skeptics should not be confused with cynics - we do not merely look at everything negatively and assume the worst. Rather, we demand sufficient evidence to support a claim.

For example, I demand extraordinary evidence to support the extraordinary claim that two of the world's tallest buildings under 24 surveillance with thousands of workers and security personnel could be systematically rigged up with explosives. If you don't show me, then I won't believe you.

You are certainly right that we should always question government, and I will never decry people who simply ask questions. But that is what a skeptic is. The difference, as I see it, between a skeptic and a conspiracy theorist, is that conspiracy theorists start with an outrageous government claim first, and then look for supporting evidence. A skeptic, on the other hand, makes his conclusion based on the evidence that is available.

The problem I have with these Alex Jones type libertarians is that they start with the idea that government is behind everything bad that goes on in the world. Natural disaster? Government did it. Terrorist attack? Government did it. Shooting massacre? Government did it.

This simplicity is both idiotic and dangerous. They take next to no evidence into account and will not even listen to opposing arguments.

Finally, when it comes to questioning governments, I think it is vital to not only question their motives, but also their competence. People were right to question the Nixon administration's motives when it came to Watergate, but that incident should also raise great questions over just how capable they were of achieving their goals. This was the most powerful government in the world, yet they could not cover up a simple hotel break-in.

So, even though governments may often have dubious motives, this is no reason to assume that they can make good on their desires. If the government cannot deliver my mail on time, then why should we conclude that they have been successfully brainwashing people into believing the false claim that smoking is bad for us for so many years?
« Last Edit: Nov 20th, 2013 at 1:05am by Coopers »  
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