What the FBI is doing is called entrapment. No, worse, it’s like finding a virgin not previously interested in having sex with a prostitute, seducing him, teaching him how to have sex, getting him all horny, giving him money and a condom, and then pointing him in the direction of a cop posing as a prostitute.
Has the FBI caught any “terrorists” it didn’t create?
Before long we will all be grounded except for privileged members of the Republicrat National Socialist Party, who will also have special Party stores that carry Eastern goods not available to mundanes.
Is this the change we were told we hoped for? Do you really expect the next Republican president to cut back on the warfare-police state?
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Roger Ebert gives his two cents (for what that’s worth these days; thanks Fed!) on the Occupy Wall Street movement, if you care to subject yourself to the inane political views of a mainstream-leftist movie reviewer. What I found interesting was the comic at the end of his article:
One would think the left-liberals in this country would understand that better than most. Obama was their great Hope-and-Change candidate, an alleged outsider destined to change the way corrupt Washington works, and look how he turned out: Bush 2.0. But I guess the memories of unthinking, incorrigible statists are short — extremely short. Their great self-delusion: If only we can get the right people into power…
Over at the Center for a Stateless Society, Michael Kleen asks whether compassionate libertarians can agree to oppose sweatshops as a matter of social justice. Ah, but what does he mean by “oppose” and “social justice”?
Libertarianism is not about people just getting by; it is about maximizing human liberty. Liberty cannot be achieved as long as eking out a living in dangerous conditions for 12 to 14 hours a day is an individual’s most attractive option.
So there could not have been liberty prior to modern times?
Either this line of argument was not thought out or Kleen subscribes to a Marxist-style determinist-materialist conception of history. I hope for the former, as these lines strike me as a propagandistic rhetorical flourish.
Incidentally, the conception of liberty used by Kleen here equivocates between the libertarian conception (i.e., not being subject to the threat or use of initiatory physical force) and a more left-liberal/socialist conception of liberty as positive economic freedoms. I’m afraid compassionate libertarians cannot get on board with such a conflation. To treat both as a matter of political justice is to try to wed contradictions, because “promoting” positive economic freedoms in this way will necessarily require the violation of rights (liberty). This is the mistake made by statist socialists and left-liberals.
Although Kleen uses the term “social justice,” he actually conflates political justice and social justice here and elsewhere in his post. If one insists on using the term “justice” in reference to positive economic freedoms, it is important to distinguish social justice (more a matter of personal morality and unenforceable in a libertarian legal system) from political justice (liberty/rights, which are enforceable in a libertarian legal system).
Kleen also seems to conflate pointing out that people often choose to work in a sweatshop because they see it as better than the alternatives with endorsing sweatshops as ideal work environments. I can’t speak for everyone who doesn’t see sweatshops as unjust and an indictment of capitalism, but I think that most do not think of sweatshops as ideal or unequivocally good. We just do not think that capitalism, as amazing as it is, can magically allow a poor, agricultural society to just skip over the terrible working conditions of the Industrial Revolution in its transition to an industrial or post-industrial economy.
Sweatshops are simply often better than the alternatives available and opposing them via statist means will only be counterproductive, harming the very poor such policies are meant to help. This does not mean we “favor” sweatshops in the abstract or propose them as an ideal business model. It does not mean we do not sympathize with the plight of the poor working in such conditions. Having to point this out makes me feel like I do when libertarians oppose the state performing some function and statists of all parties assume that means we don’t want that function performed at all — e.g., we oppose social-welfare policies so that must mean we hate the poor and want them out on the streets, starving to death, dying of disease. Hardly.
Kleen’s post contains a few other nits in need of picking: