Friday, July 25, 2008

The Progressive Problem

Here I am, sick for the passed 3 days, up early in the morning to give my poor fiancee a break from my sweating and grunting. The flu sucks.

So why not write a new blog? Awesome proposal, brain, thanks!

Ah, progressives. God bless 'em. So noble, so painfully misguided. Now I'm as liberal as they come (no drug laws, open immigration, health care for all), it's just that I don't think we should be pointing guns at one another to accomplish our noble ideals.

A gun? Who said anything about guns?!

If you and I are walking down the street, and we see a homeless guy asking for food, arguably the moral thing to do is give him food. Now, if I point a gun at you and tell you to feed him, and we'll assume you do because you don't want to get shot, have you acted morally, or under duress?

Here's the point: none of us pays taxes voluntarily, we pay under duress. If there's any question as to whether or not that's a fact, then stop paying your taxes. Eventually, men with guns will come and take you to a cell, and if you try and escape, you'll be shot. Again, since most of us don't want to be shot, we give the thugs their money.

The progressive will argue that we just need to get a really NICE aggressor into office, then they will use their criminally acquired revenue to provide services we liberals want.

This is a VERY high risk venture. For if one is willing to grant the state this kind of power, then one must be willing to allow the state to murder people. Yes, kiddies, I said murder. I can guarantee that if Obama wins the election, people in other countries will be murdered, and WE will be funding it. But, hey, as long as we have some services here at home, that's a price worth paying, right?

A system built on the threat of and/or the initiation of violence is one that begets murder. Always. That is the price of "progressive" politics. These are individuals who are willing to expand state power (and pay the aforementioned price for their expanded state), so that they can have services provided for their populace. And while, again, it is noble to want everyone to have health care, security, etc, it is not so noble to accomplish said goals through violence.

The notion of how to provide services without violence I'll leave for a later blog.

If you progressives want your government programs, then I better not see you protesting wars, because your whole methodology is based in violence. And violence begets violence.

Remember, it is not individuals that wage war, it is governments. And governments often acquire their power through the desires of many well meaning voters.

If you are willing to grant ever more power to the state for some notion of "the commons" then be ready for Patriot Acts, wars, and the like.

Be ready to support murder.

Sleep tight.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Anarchy VS Planning in...LOST!

LOST is the greatest television show...ever. I'm not kidding. It rules. If you wanna know why, watch it. It's cool, it's mysterious, it's thoughtful, and it's philosophical.

If you watch LOST and are have not caught up with season 4, then you might encounter spoilers, so beware!

Now, on to the issue at hand. My question is this: who is the anarchist, and who is the planner? You were wondering the same thing too?! No way! Well, here's the answer.

Sawyer is the Anarchist.
Jack is the Planner.

How so? you ask. And what is with the 4-toed statue?!

One thing at a time, good readers, one thing at a time.

1. The Anarchist: In the effort of honest blogging, I gotta say: Sawyer was a dick in season 1 and 2, a little dickish in 3, and was pretty much heroic in season 4. But he was an ass a LOT of the time. However, did he obey the principle of non-aggression and voluntary exchange? Yeah, pretty much.

The first thing to keep in mind before we go further is that Sawyer was a con-man prior to the island. He made his living out of defrauding people out of their property. That's bad. Off the island he frequently defied the principle of non-aggression and voluntary exchange.

(By the way, Detractor, a person cannot be said to have made a voluntary exchange if they have been conned into making the exchange. Since they have been defrauded, they are making a decision they likely wouldn't make if they knew what was happening.)

On the island, however, he changes a bit. (That's kind of a thing in LOST.) He doesn't generally come into other people's camps to steal their stuff, and if you want something he has, you have to pay for it. If you are REALLY in need, Sawyer will give it to you, as when Hurley asks for the manifest. While he is an individualist, he acts very selflessly later in the show. After some time of being a prick, the community has an effect on him, and as it is natural for humans, as social creatures, to organize and cooperate, he eventually does very heroic things like: Getting shot trying to protect Walt, protecting Claire and the baby, keeping a close eye on Hurley, and jumping of a fucking HELICOPTER for Kate.

While quite flawed, Sawyer embodies some of the more authentic heroic moments in the show.

2. The Planner: Jack Shephard is a bad ass. No lie. He performs an INSANE spinal operation while under duress. He gets his appendix out and actually tries to direct the operation while it's being done to him. He makes it his priority, nay, his modus operandi, to make sure everyoone and everything is under his control. His intentions for such an approach are simple: to make sure everyone is safe, and to get them off the island.

These are very noble intentions, and are a big reason why his character is so important. But, alas, while the Planner is able to help a few, most die or are left behind on the island by the end of season 4. His painstaking, and exhausting work only got 6 of the original passengers (including himself and Aaron) off the island.

It has recently been argued that there is a statistical happiness gap between liberals and conservatives. This has been debated endlessly, of course, but check out to check it out.

Basically, think about all the times you've seen Jack, bug-eyed and freaking out, when he can't maintain control, when his central planning clearly is only really going to work for a small few. He wants it to work for everyone, but alas, it doesn't, which makes him go kinda crazy sometimes. The fact is, central planning can only really benefit a few, because the planner is forced, by the nature of their position, to make choices as to who gets what, and is forced to make people's decisions for them. Jack, unfortunately, cannot force anyone to do anything on the island, so again we watch him go bug-eyed and crazy because he cannot control the population.

In conclusion, I'd say that Sawyer's individuality eventually leads to a natural cooperation with others, whereas Jack's approach as planner makes for polarization and leads to many deaths and only a few escaping the island. I'd say that Sawyer is more authentically helpful in the end, as it is by his sacrifice that the Oceanic 6 are able to stay in the air and find the boat.

Think Jack would have jumped? Me neither.