Chad Perrin: SOB

22 January 2008

political party websites

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 03:50

In preparation for designing a new website for a local LP organization, I’ve been looking around at various political party websites. Just for the heck of it, I found myself comparing the content of the weblogs on the main Libertarian Party, Republican Party, and Democratic Party websites. Here’s a quick summary of the subject matter on each:

Democratic Party Blog: It was almost 100% attacks on the Republican Party and its Presidential candidates.

Republican Party Blog: It was almost 100% attacks on the Democratic Party, with special attention paid to Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

Libertarian Party Blog: It was a mix of posts on issues important to libertarians and news about Libertarians.

I’ve noticed something else, with regard to the most libertarian-leaning candidate with any chance of winning a Republican or Democrat nomination for President this year (I mean Ron Paul, of course): he’s the one candidate among them who spends his time talking about himself, his platform, and the issues, rather than talking about the skeletons in everyone else’s closets. He’s also the only one that hasn’t said anything provably dishonest in this campaign, as far as I’m aware. He’s so much of what people claim they hope for and never expect to see — an honest politician who addresses issues and doesn’t shy away from letting people see him for who he is — that it just boggles the mind how many people seem to think he’s the Antichrist.

Some of the comments in the Democratic Party Blog in particular are kinda scary in their baseless accusations and ridiculously blind hatred for him.

Here’s another head-to-head comparison of all three parties:

Democratic Party Website: The right sidebar of the site has a link to a page that details the Republican Presidential candidates (and how awful they are, natch). I can’t find anything about the Democratic candidates.

Republican Party Website: I can’t find any pages offering information about any collection of Presidential candidates at all. Period.

Libertarian Party Website: Right there, on the front page, just below the “What’s New” content, there’s a big ol’ row of photos of four of the LP candidates for President, with text identifying it as leading to discussion of the LP candidates — all of them, not just the four who have qualified for direct Libertarian Party advocacy support. I can’t find any pages like the Democrats’ “Here’s how all the candidates from the Enemy Party eat babies!” page, though.

Having registered as a Republican because I support Ron Paul and want to participate in the Colorado caucuses is making me feel kind of dirty right about now.

20 January 2008

testing anew — turning off plugins

Filed under: Geek,Metalog — Tags: — apotheon @ 03:36

Let’s see if we can get this puppy to roll over.

edit: Success! Darned Google Sitemaps plugin b0rked things. I’ll probably upgrade the plugin version to a version that works with recent WordPress versions, but I don’t guarantee it. I may also edit that sentence to seem less redundant with its redundant use of redundant instances of “versions” redundantly, but that’s even less likely.

Of course, since youse guys don’t really see the plugin’s benefits with your own eyes, this is pretty much useless information for you as readers. If you’re having a “wp_post2cat doesn’t exist” problem of your own, though, maybe this’ll help you fix some problems on your WordPress installs.

14 January 2008

political postions on capitalism and corporatism

Filed under: Cognition,Liberty — apotheon @ 05:06

Democratic Party: Corporatism is bad, so capitalism is bad.

Republican Party: Capitalism is good, so corporatism is good.

Ethical libertarians: Free-market capitalism is good, so corporatism is bad.

Related Stances:

Mainstream anarcho-capitalism: Free-market capitalism is good, so government is bad. Corporatism is often assumed to be part of capitalism, and only bad under the aegis of government — which is odd, considering a corporation is specifically a result of governmental management of proprietary rights and economic liability.

Libertarian Party: Free-market capitalism is good, so . . . well. The end of that sentence is probably almost as numerous in its various possible forms as the members of the party.

Explanation:

In Western democracies, government has not been sufficiently divorced from the economic sphere to provide anything approaching a true free market capitalist economy, at least for the most part. The United States came close at one time, but it was not quite successful in that segregation as it should have been at even the best of times. As a result, the corporation as the default business entity in the US economy (and other Western democracies) was essentially unavoidable.

The term “corporation” is not just a synonym for “business”, even if the terms are in practice almost indistinguishable under the current conditions of Western economies (and a fair number of Eastern economies, for that matter) at this point in time. The reason they are so easily conflated is the simple fact that a corporation has something like a strong economic gravity well around it: the more economic power a corporation aggregates, the stronger its attraction to additional economic power. Such a set of conditions leads to corporations quickly dwarfing other business entities in economic power — which translates rapidly into political power at those levels.

This entire state of affairs, however, relies entirely upon the existence of a strong body of corporate law. Without governmental complicity in the creation of the corporation as a business entity, the corporation as a business entity would not exist. Such aggregations of power with ever-growing ability to absorb greater power would not exist as such. Instead, dominant business entities would come from a pool of sole proprietorships, collaborative enterprises, and cooperative endeavors, all of which would be limited in their ability to dominate markets and centralize aggregate power by the lack of the abstraction of the corporate power structure as a facilitator. The resources of these other business entities are inextricably tied to their respective individual owners, whereas those of a corporation are tied only to the power centralization of the very concept of a corporation, insulated from individual human involvement.

Because of the ubiquity of corporations as the dominant business entity under the current interventionist capitalistic economy we all know and “love” (to hate), people tend to find it significantly difficult to differentiate between “corporation” and “generic business entity”. A corporation is a form of business entity, but is not itself the only form of business entity — and in a truly free market economy (one where government does not attempt economic management), the corporation would not exist, by definition.

While a rigorous examination of libertarian ethics would ultimately either make clear the distinction between “corporation” and “business” or lead to a state of unresolved cognitive dissonance, the common illusionment that leads people to view “corporation” and “business” — or, more to the point, “corporatism” and “capitalism” — as synonymous tends to lead even mainstream Libertarian Party and anarcho-capitalists to believe the conclusions of such sloppy thinking. As a result, many self-proclaimed Libertarians (including anarcho-capitalists, who really should know better) are effectively corporatists.

Conclusion:

There is a right answer to this matter, if you believe that liberty and human rights are important (for any reasonable, self-consistent definition of these terms). It is, simply, that free markets are good — and because free markets are good, corporatism is bad.

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