Friday, June 29, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert



There's quite a lot of applause when she describes her version of socialism: free health care, free college education. Notice also she claims that healthcare is a "human right."

I discuss in my book Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person how the claim that there are natural rights leads to these kinds of claims.

-RW  

16 comments:

  1. And claims that there are no natural rights, or at least no natural law, lead to, well, complete totalitarian claims.

    Natural law is an incredibly rich and deep tradition with insights that go back to Aquinas, Augustine, other Church fathers, and Aristotle. It's not all the same and is not easily dismissed, but at the end of the day, it's extremely intuitive much like the Non-Aggression Principle.

    Unless you are a Hoppean (and I might argue, even if you are) and craft a non-contradiction based defense of private ownership and self-ownership, the claims of homesteading and ownership of property need some kind of external justification; in this case it would be natural law. Even for Hoppe, one must make the 'natural law' assumptions that (1) life is to be preferred to death, (2) universal moral principles are worth respecting without contradiction and (3) creation is to be preferred to destruction.

    You might argue these are 'subjective' preferences only that have no objective truth to them (indeed, your book seems to be about people of like mind contracting together over this), but it seems odd in that for 1XXXXX years of human history, virtually anyone who subscribes to these preferences doesn't treat them like its choosing a favorite color; instead they find external grounding in a moral principle, religious principle, or the structure of reality (...i.e. natural law).

    There is, I am sure, much good material in your book, since implementing a free society most definitely follows contractarian grounds. But those contracting parties for fundamental rules are not choosing them based on a whim - they are chosen based on their deep-seated sense of objective morals. I don't think that this approach is a random / evolutionary affectation in mankind, whereby we believe in objective but really its all an illusion (which is unprovable anyway). Instead, it's probably there by design.

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    1. Yes, the list of 3 natural law assumptions are subjective unless grounded in a Lawgiver. If the Lawgiver does not exist, then there is no law, "natural" or otherwise.

      But did the Lawgiver give us rights? I believe He is sovereign over all events, and what anyone gets is exactly what was supposed to happen. I don't see room for rights. Help me out here. As I said below, I'm still working on this one.

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  2. In 1965, Ted, The Former Swimmer, Kennedy said..."The [Hart Celler] bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs." (U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 1965. pp. 1-3.)

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    1. The proportion of US foreign-born population is approximately equal to it’s 1920 level and the unemployment rate is near a 70-year low.

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    2. Nice switch up there. In 1920 many of those who arrived in the 19th century were still alive. To evaluate Ted's statement one must use 1965. Furthermore you must also evaluate unemployment by the same method for both the present and 1965.

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    3. Re: Jimmy Joe Maker,

      --- Furthermore you must also evaluate unemployment by the same method for both the present and 1965. ---

      And you get what? Something different?

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  3. I don't think the concept of natural rights necessarily exists even in a Christian framework. I'm still working it out.

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  4. One aspect of any so called right that has to be considered is how the implementation of the right effects and is effected by the NAP. Healthcare is a positive right. Like all positive rights the enforcement of which will eventually violate the NAP.

    The Committee to Flip Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a worth wile endeavor even if it is probably futile considering Ocasio-Cortez background. Especially considering what her mother said, “She has been thinking about politics since she was a teenager. She would read historical and political books old and new. She would engage in political discussions passionately.” So it not like she hasn’t already done some contemplation that has led to her philosophy.

    I think the best argument against socialism is the ethical one, especially for Ocasio-Cortez. Harrison Burge touched on some of this in Dispatch 1. Most people have not thought enough to realize that ultimately socialist policies such as positive rights require the initiation of force. That if an innocent person substantially resists, they will be subjected to violence. Violence is difficult for a non-sociopath to endorse.

    Ocasio-Cortez does not seem to be a sociopath, she seems to believe the policies she endorses will be for the best. It is a big conversion from socialist to capitalism but if she really wants to help people maybe she can be made to see how the more free the markets the more prosperous everyone in that free society becomes. That freedom is both more ethical and effective in helping the most people to prosper.

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  5. Look at the demographics of the district. Wenzel wants to pave the way for hundreds of people like this in Congress with his open border BS.

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    1. She's hot, but she says "like" too much.

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  7. I have a hard time rejecting Natural Rights too. I see a clear distinction between positive rights and negative rights, the latter being within the ambit of Natural Rights and the latter, quite logically and rationally being outside that ambit. It's not hard to distinguish between positive and negative rights, and otherwise to discern that one employs force, coercion and slavery, and the other does not.

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    1. Yes. I would argue that all men are metaphysically equal, and thus any "rights" can only be argumentatively justified if they are universalizable. (If you want to argue against this, then the burden is on you to show why some men are different metaphysically than others, and thus are entitled to live by a different code.)

      And only negative rights are universalizable, the NAP being one such right. Everyone can "not be aggressed against" at the same time. Positive rights -- the right TO something -- are not universalizable, because only one person can use a piece of property at a time.

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  8. It's disgraceful that a major network and its host would participate in a socialist triumph, and facilitate in propagandizing such an immoral and historically evil ideology. What a bunch of grinning idiots, and their applauding seals.
    I wish, while she was talking about her socialist utopia of free stuff, some principled tech person behind the scenes had flashed in the background images of commie corpses in Mao's China or Stalin's Russia, and starving Ukrainians during Stalin's famines and purges.

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    1. Or bring it up to date and flash pics of Venezualians standing in line for toilet paper.

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    2. It's amazing how simple the concept of "trade-offs" is once you understand it, but how few understand it. As Thomas Sowell said, "There are no solutions, only trade-offs." It used to the role of economists to point out the flaws in public policy through the use of the "trade-offs" concept. No more (Austrian economists aside); now they are mostly shills for the state, believing one can just conjure up free goodies from nowhere.

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