May 24, 2010

"Every murderous totalitarian government of the 20th century began with some insulated group of faux-intellectuals congratulating each other on how smart they are..."

"... and fantasizing about how, if they could just install a dictatorship-for-a-day, they could right all the wrongs in the world. It is the ultimate fantasy of the narcissist. And we’ve got whole generations of them, in control of our media and our government, all intent on 'remaking America.'"

100 comments:

Seven Machos said...

My favorite example of why the allegedly super-smart people of the world will always do far more harm than good by taking over the pencil argument.

It goes like this: Consider the common pencil. Consider all the things you need to make it. The lead. The wood. The little metal part. The eraser stuff. Where does it all come from? How does it get to the pencil factory? How much money should the people who make the pencils get? How do the pencils get distributed? This is just a fraction of the problem.

What's Tom Friedman going to do about pencils? Let alone essentials for living...

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Seven Machos:

The wonder of the pencil is that, even after all the complications of production and distribution are worked out, you still have to figure out how to make them cheaply enough to give them away free.

Because the free market does that now.

@the topic:

Intellectuals seem to think problems can be solved by figuring them out. Even in the physics world, there are problems that can never be solved that way.

Intellectuals are necessary, but they should never be in charge.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Anyway, my wife is from China. We do not want to be China, even for a day.

In China you tip up, not down. You "tip" your doctor, your boss, your kids' teachers. Everybody's heard of China's pollution problems by now, but that and many of China's other problems can be traced back to corruption. The more the government has control of your life, the more opportunities for corruption, and the more necessary corruption is for ordinary people just to get things done from day-to-day.

I am proud that in America, most people could never afford to bribe a cop.

Seven Machos said...

Paul Johnson wrote a fascinating book on this topic.

garage mahal said...

Althouse digs in, goes Full Metal Wingnut today.

Seven Machos said...

Garage remains a troll who contributes nothing of any value.

Scott said...

garage is wingnut 24/7

Gabriel Hanna said...

Althouse digs in, goes Full Metal Wingnut today.

Only wingnuts wouldn't want to be China. Look how they've solved their environmental problems:

http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/

Of course only Democrats will wield this power and only for wise and good things.

Scott said...

Oh, okay, which of the trolls provides ANY value?

mesquito said...

I remember when Gorby was in Washington, he was at some Soviet Embassy fete. He gave some impromtu remarks, droning on and on in Leninist cant about the "cultural sphere", the "economic phere", the "political sphere" blah blah blah.

How the liberals swooned.

Palladian said...

"Oh, okay, which of the trolls provides ANY value?"

They provide pageviews for Althouse! I hope she's monetizing this.

登山 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shoutingthomas said...

Well, yeah, and now let's note the obvious: The snobs of Manhattan and San Francisco and Washington now write off the proles as idiots, and the wedge issue is gay marriage.

The definition of "bigotry" keeps shifting, and has throughout my life, for the very purpose of continuing to label those stupid proles as "bigots" who should be excluded from the political process.

Once the snobs have shoved gay marriage down the proles' throats, they'll move onto another issue that you dare not oppose lest you be labeled a "bigot." (In fact, they already have. You are now a bigot if you believe that our borders should be enforced, or for that matter, if you oppose any policy of the Obama administration.)

So, Althouse, cease with playing the game. Can the racism babbling. The snobs are peddling this game because their rational is that racist bigots can justifiably be prohibited from representing their interests in the political process.

This is their probe attack to see how far they can push the idea of dictatorial control. And, you're falling for it.

The argument of the left is that "bigots" cannot be allowed in the political process because they are evil enemies of the state. White, hetero men are the Kulaks, the vicious property owners who refuse to throw their property into the public trough, thus frustrating the glorious revolution.

The game for the snob left is to render the "bigots" into political non-persons. Quit falling for this game.

ricpic said...

First off, I love the Anchoress.

What gets me is that the right solution to every last pressing problem is to coerce equality; when anybody who has looked at the world and looked at people, really looked at them, sees that hierarchy is built into every last thing and every last one. Madness. Madness! Last line of River Kwai, couldn't help myself. ;^)

garage mahal said...

Only wingnuts wouldn't want to be China. Look how they've solved their environmental problems:


I didn't hear any complaints about creeping fascism when Friedman was penning ridiculous pro Iraq war op-eds in the liberal NYT. Liberals can't stand Friedman, I seriously doubt he has an ear to the White House.

virgil xenophon said...

Thomas Sowell wrote an entire book about this societal tendency entitled: "The Vision of The Anointed."

roesch-voltaire said...

While it is true that only the so-called great leaders of nations have lead us to war to think that they are composed of faux-intellectuals ie. Friedman etc who are congratulating themselves is propaganda pap.There is always a mix of intellectuals who try to form public opinion--today we call them pundits and most of them are right-wing, and in addition there are forces of the government officials, the military establishment, and big business who join in the struggle to determine the dominate ideology, and little gets done until a convergence of these forces take place. Of course violence may be used by the right as in Germany which oppressed the labour movement, Jews, socialist etc, or on the left by Stalin who oppressed the labour movement, Jews and anyone who protested. Here I am not worried about "socialism" but the powerful class of elites who pay congress in one form or another to make sure their interests are protected.

Rialby said...

Garage - argue the point.

Pro-war conservatives liked Andrew Sullivan too back when he was focused on fighting the evil regimes of the world.

Do you ever do anything but throw non sequiters around?

Fen said...

I didn't hear any complaints about creeping fascism when Friedman was penning ridiculous pro Iraq war op-eds in the liberal NYT

Whats a NYT?

bagoh20 said...

Check out The Anchoress' earlier video post today entitled "Sell everything immediately". Hilarious and directly related.

Queezy Malanga said...

This is exactly why the phrase "post-partisan" makes my skin crawl. It presumes that the correct path is known, and only self-serving partisans prevent us from following that path. "Post-partisan" means enslavement under the political/academic/media elites.

Jason (the commenter) said...

People, get off of the internet and on to the streets. Boo your local politician when they come to town. Picket their press conferences and call out their supporters.

Are you being an ass? Well this is a Democracy and asses get to participate too!

Largo said...

Excellent condensation of the questions, Seven.

Consider the common pencil. Consider all the things you need to make it. The lead. The wood. The little metal part. The eraser stuff. Where does it all come from?

Largo said...

Comment Flag:

The "Efforts to fight fuel" post above is porn spam. I hope Ann will delete it.

chuck b. said...

It's hard to decry intellectual narcissism without sounding like a narcissist yourself. The Anchoress has the right take on things? We should listen to her?

Who does she think she is? Who does she think "they" are?

She's full of shit, just like everyone else.

bagoh20 said...

Most problems have multiple solutions and the best one has not been discovered yet, but a central authority is guaranteed to pick the worst one because it will restrict anyone from looking any further.

Gabriel Hanna added: "The wonder of the pencil is that, even after all the complications of production and distribution are worked out, you still have to figure out how to make them cheaply enough to give them away free.

Because the free market does that now."


A fantastic point about capitalism, usually lost on the left.

bagoh20 said...

"She's full of shit, just like everyone else."

It's all relative and that matters. Stalin was full of shit.

Jason (the commenter) said...

chuck b. She's full of shit, just like everyone else.

Yes! The foundation of Democracy is that humans are assholes. We are shit and so are our leaders. Never let them forget.

"Hey Mr. President, I'm an asshole and you're no better than me!" That, is democracy.

Palladian said...

"She's full of shit, just like everyone else."

Cynicism and nihilism are the manure in which totalitarianism takes root and the food with which it is nourished.

pst314 said...

"She's full of shit, just like everyone else."

Noone is worth listening to because everyone is full of shit, so why should we listen to you?

TML said...

Seven Machos, Johnson wrote another book called "Modern Times" which is basically an encyclopedic work demonstrating how every immense tragedy involving millions of deaths has always been at the hands of a totalitarian state. It's riveting reading.

pst314 said...

"It's hard to decry intellectual narcissism without sounding like a narcissist yourself."

That's so silly it's not even sophomoric. There's nothing in what she wrote that smacks of narcissism. Maybe you just resent her maturity and wisdom.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian: Cynicism and nihilism are the manure in which totalitarianism takes root and the food with which it is nourished.

Oh, more bullshit! This is not reflected by the historical record and is the opposite of the truth. It is a lie whereby a conclusion was made and facts invented to support it.

Modern Democracy has its roots in the Christian idea that we are all sinners and imperfect people.

(Thanks for providing evidence in support of chuck b.'s statement though.)

bagoh20 said...

""Hey Mr. President, I'm an asshole and you're no better than me!"

Now, I would love to hear that lead-in to a question at the next press conference, if he ever has one again.

Jason (the commenter) said...

pst314: Noone is worth listening to because everyone is full of shit, so why should we listen to you?

You don't have to, but politicians do, because we can vote. No matter how disgusting and ignorant we are, they are supposed to be our servants. We pick them, they don't pick us.

traditionalguy said...

My memory of history says she has described Marxist/Leninists. But she left out the Emperor of Japan and the Personal Ruler of Germany both of whom just used raw force to killed outsiders for fun and steal their lands and people for profit.

pst314 said...

Uh, Jason, chuck b's comment was intended to denigrate the worth of The Anchoress's thoughts on totalitarianism. It had nothing to do with the whether or not we should trust politicians.

Eric said...

What's Tom Friedman going to do about pencils? Let alone essentials for living...

I'm sure he imagines factories full of ten-year-olds to make them.

Palladian said...

"Modern Democracy has its roots in the Christian idea that we are all sinners and imperfect people."


Jason, you should take off the sunglasses and read what I wrote. I wasn't talking about "modern democracy", I was talking about totalitarianism, which indeed finds nourishment in the kind of nihilism that says that nothing matters and that everything is "shit".

But don't let that get in the way of your little performance here.

Eric said...

Who does she think she is?

Well, she's not the one advocating fascism. Not the phony fascism people on the left see behind every Bush and tree, but the real thing.

Irene said...

It's a small step from a self-congratulatory intelligentsia to a clique that paints the middle-class opposition as a "mob."

Once the clique intellectualizes its universally accepted ideas, it targets the mob. From there, it's an easy step to enact laws that curb actions based on political thought. In this scheme, bad political thoughts are no better than criminal urges.

This is what most impressed my parents about life in the Soviet Union.

AJ Lynch said...

Damn - Anchoress,that is some powerful writing!

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

Althouse digs in, goes Full Metal Wingnut today.


If we are wing-nuts, then you are a dead-bolt. Big, fat, and closed off. Either way, your constant contribution to the idiocy pool keeps the laugh quotient running. I get a chuckle watching you flail at an attempt to piece together coherent thought. You just trip over your own dick to try and get in a seemingly clever little quip that only the cool kids (that you wish you were a part of) would get. Here's my two schekles troll. Now move the fuck over so I can cross your bridge, bumble-fuck.

Methadras said...

Rialby said...

Do you ever do anything but throw non sequiters around?


He can't help himself. He's constantly consulting AlphaLiberal for help on non-sequitors, gets a pointer or two, then shows up here to throw them out and fails only because he's more concerned with where his next pastrami sandwich is going to come from and when it's going to get jiffy-jammed into his hole.

wv = bingeour = see, i told you so.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian: I wasn't talking about "modern democracy", I was talking about totalitarianism, which indeed finds nourishment in the kind of nihilism that says that nothing matters and that everything is "shit".

More lies and more bullshit. All totalitarian regimes, no matter how Marxist they are, hold their supreme leader or some hero to be the ultimate consumer good. By following the wishes of the leader and emulating them or the hero, the common man is supposed to be able to elevate themselves to a state of perfect contentment. This is completely at odds with the idea that everything is shit.

(Again, thanks for more conformation, you are such a wonderful example!)

Methadras said...

chuck b. said...

She's full of shit, just like everyone else.


Right. So leveling the playing field to the absolute lowest common denominator is a win in your book?

bagoh20 said...

If this is so obvious and historical and Friedman went to college and stuff, how come he still said that stuff on national TV. He's got Pulitzers and everything. I'm not real smart compared to him, so I'm just wondering what I'm missing.

Cedarford said...

The problem is that sometimes democracy fails so badly to work for the interests of most that it goes away as Weimer, the Republic, or Kerensky & the Duma goes away. Supplanted by the National Socialists, the Phalange, the Bolsheviks.

Or goes away temporarily as democracy turns to despotism in an emergency, as America did with Lincoln, as the Turks have had to have the military take over to save Attaturks state from the "democratic, theocratic" will of the masses.

Right now, the debt and loss of competitiveness of Western democracies is painfully obvious. Paralysis and rot at the hands of government and parties. Gridlock, declining standards of living, unaccountable Elites - decay similar to what everyone in the Soviet Union and E Europe saw and wondered how long it would be before the unsustainable finally collapsed.

What does work - it seems - is the less democratic capitalism system of Japan, Singapore, China, Fascist Italy....all now looked at more and more by 3rd world countries as better models than the struggling American and W European one.




===============
roesch-voltaire - "Or on the left by Stalin who oppressed the labour movement, Jews and anyone who protested."

The Party ran the soviets, or worker councils. In many cases, those soviets did achieve great gains for workers later replicated in the West. Obviously, like many Western labor unions, there was little "democracy" involved in picking worker's soviets management team.

As for the Jews, Stalin hardly "persecuted them". For the 1st 95% of his regime he kept Jews in charge of much of the courts, Gulags, NKVD and other agencies of state terror. Jews helped prepare his death lists as they did for Lenin.
The Soviets killed Jews and imprisoned them at far less a rate than similarly educated ethnic Russians.
Only in his last years did Stalin seriously question the loyalty of Jews to Russia vs. themselves. Their transnationalism, cosmopolitanism and fervor for spreading Communism by force in other lands. While Stalin did support the N Korea adventure and did set up a cordon sanitaire - he was primarily focused on Russia as the proper place to devote his efforts to "making Stalinism work".

In the end, he saw Jews as subversive, having too much dominance of key sectors of Soviet society and thought deporting them to a remote region as he did the Tatars and Chechens would help reduce the subversion.

Seven Machos said...

Jason -- I don't think that's right at all.

Seven Machos said...

Cedarford, you are such a raging loon.

To a gas chamber! GO!

AC245 said...

hold their supreme leader or some hero to be the ultimate consumer good.

"That's not right - that's not even wrong."

Jason (the commenter) said...

Seven machos: Jason -- I don't think that's right at all

That's because there's been a revaluation of values.

Palladian said...

"Jason -- I don't think that's right at all."

Of course it's not, but Jason's on a tear! He's edgy and iconoclastic and contrarian! Nothing's gonna stand in the way of Jason and his bullshit! He's like a fly on a steaming pile of bullshit! You can't keep him away! Let's all put on our Wayfarers quick, 'cause the light from his brilliance is so bright that it's liable to give you a nasty headache! He's the big queen around here and he ain't gonna take no bullshit from me!

Jason (the commenter) said...

AC245: "That's not right - that's not even wrong."

Yes, I'm giving a Marxist critique to Marxism. They don't hold up well!

Palladian said...

"That's because there's been a revaluation of values."

Whoa! It's thinking like this that gets you a column in the Times and a place on the chat shows!

Jason is serving up some first-class bullshit and y'all better have an appetite!

ricpic said...

That's it Jason, vent!

Beckett wrote: Vent the pent, vent the pent.

Palladian said...

"Yes, I'm giving a Marxist critique to Marxism. They don't hold up well!"

See! It was all a piece of performance art! Brill, Jason-baby, brill!

Nothing stops the advance of totalitarianism like a good dose of performance art.

bagoh20 said...

"What does work - it seems - is the less democratic capitalism system of Japan, Singapore, China, Fascist Italy....all now looked at more and more by 3rd world countries as better models than the struggling American and W European one. "

I know you're smarter than that C4. None of those countries attract people like the U.S. Which is the ultimate barometer. In addition, they are not doing well either. The poorest are only doing well when compared to their own previous impoverished selves. Japan, and Europe are on the verge of collapse after decades of growth far below ours while living in small homes at high tax rates. The U.S. has problems, but mostly they are a correction from doing too well for too long and others finally taking a piece of our freely available pie, which we leave on the window sill. Our problems are limited to where we depart from market and democracy and not from failing to emulate the emulators.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Palladian: See! It was all a piece of performance art!

Trying to take the value away from something by calling it "art"? The words of someone who is not an artist.

Nothing stops the advance of totalitarianism like a good dose of performance art.

Says the blog's resident nihilist. Well I'm no nihilist, things do have value and we are shit.

Nihilists are all narcissists; they try hiding from how awful they are by claiming nothing is important. But things do have meaning, there are values, and we all fall horribly short.

Dale said...

The correct answer (in question form) to the comment

I didn't hear any complaints about creeping fascism when Friedman was penning ridiculous pro Iraq war op-eds in the liberal NYT. Liberals can't stand Friedman, I seriously doubt he has an ear to the White House.

is:


So who gives a shit?

former law student said...

I don't think the blue collar types and small business men who founded the Nazi Party could be described as an "insulated group of faux intellectuals." Demographically they resembled the Tea Partiers you see on TV.

Even those who were educated among the leaders backed away from intellectualism: “Wenn ich “Kultur” höre, nehme ich meine Pistole” was the favorite saying of more than one Nazi leader.

former law student said...

I am proud that in America, most people could never afford to bribe a cop.

Is Chicago part of America? Because in the middle of the 20th century, motorists stopped for speeding would wrap a bill around their license when they handed it to the officer.

Fred4Pres said...

A world run by Woodie Allen and Tom Friedman would be as horrible and frightening as any of the despotic regimes of the 20th Century. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

bagoh20 said...

"and we all fall horribly short"

Well, not me. I have slightly over-achieved my underachiever status. I'm not sure how, but I did and I'm sure it involved hard work and discipline or something for which I should be honored.

I may be an artist, but I'm not sure, unless it's a good thing, in which case, I am one of the best.

Jason (the commenter) said...

ricpic: That's it Jason, vent!

I'm covered in sweat, yet I feel somehow clean.

It doesn't matter how many trolls are on this blog. If you take the time to write what you're thinking and talk it through, you can still learn things here.

former law student said...

A world run by Woodie Allen... would be full of hot babes who are inexplicably drawn to short, unathletic geezers twice or even three times their age.

Ann Althouse said...

@Seven Machos "Intellectuals" is a great read, esp. if you enjoy a good rough trashing.

edutcher said...

Have to agree with fls when he says, "I don't think the blue collar types and small business men who founded the Nazi Party could be described as an 'insulated group of faux intellectuals.'". Neither were the Japanese militarists.

Lenin and his friends were, however.

The other part, "Demographically they resembled the Tea Partiers you see on TV.", is his partisanship coming through.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Paul Johnson and Robert Conquest are the premier historians of the totalitarian left and its destructiveness.

In contrast to Cedarford's claims, Conquest proved that the Soviets did not in fact "...achieve great gains for workers later replicated in the West", unless you count the deliberate murder or starvation of 20-30 million Russians (give or take) and the impoverishment of the rest as a "great gain".

But we're on that very road ourselves even now. What Woody Allen and Tom Friedman lust for is just about in their grasp. Their only real complaint about Bush as a fascist leader was that he was the wrong one.

Maguro said...

I'm still chuckling at the idea of Mussolini's Italy as an economic powerhouse that we should emulate.

That's certainly something you don't hear every day.

Quaestor said...

garage mahal wrote:
I didn't hear any complaints about creeping fascism when Friedman was penning ridiculous pro Iraq war op-eds in the liberal NYT.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Liberals can't stand Friedman, I seriously doubt he has an ear to the White House.

In the immortal word(s) of Edna Krabappel. Hah

wv: aniupt - an obscure gambling term

pst314 said...

"I don't think the [founders of] the Nazi Party could be described as...intellectuals."

I'm not sure about Hitler and company, but Mussolini was a recognized intellectual of the left.

El Presidente said...

You know a totalitarian system has made the big time when they have their own pet New York Times reporter. China only has a second opinion 'journalist' and I had Herbert L. Matthews. He was truly useful.

JAL said...

The other part, "Demographically they resembled the Tea Partiers you see on TV.", is his partisanship coming through.

I thought fls was invoking Godwin.

Daniel said...

Everything starts with a group of intellectuals. We have the founding fathers. Don't sample poorly.

Pogo said...

"Everything starts with a group of intellectuals."

Sure, but you can count on leftist intellectuals being completely wrong, and advising totalitarian rule by (of course) themselves.

ron said...

Ann,
You really need to get your history right. None of Stalin, Lenin and Hitler were or pretended to be intellectuals. So far as I've read, Pol Pot didn't claim to be an intellectual. Neither did Chang Kai Shek, who, despite the so-called conservatives support and love of him, was merely a stupid peasant dictator. Mao was a smart peasant, but was not an intellectual nor did he pretend to be. Nor would Sun Yat Sen have support Mao's post-1965 rule by fear. With a little effort, I can probably come up with a few more -- say, lots of South American dictators, Spain, Italy....

William said...

I think Althouse could give a lucid explanation of the commerce clause in all its morphs and nuances and implications. She has expertise, and her judgement in this area is to be trusted. But as we have seen with her recent list of recommended films, this good judgement does not extend to other areas of life. An Althouse Film Festival would not gladden the spirit......That is why democracy works. Very smart people can be wrong about a lot of things. Palladian can form the opinion that Mozart is a hack and give convincing, rational reasons for his opinion. But for all that he is wrong, and, in a democracy, most people who enjoy classical music will think him wrong.....I'm sure Thomas Friedmann is smarter than the average American, but, on the other hand, the average American does not admire the Chinese government. That's not to say that Friedmann's taste in films or music is bad--just his taste in governments. His opinion about the Chinese government is itself an example of why the judgement of the majority is more solid than that of an outlier cognescenti. Except when it isn't.

Seven Machos said...

Pogo -- I had started an actual critique of Cedarford -- pointing out that the Great Soviet Achievement was Gary, Indiana without the culture, charm, or EPA regulatory scheme.

But I abandoned the critique because, as Althouse and others here convinced me long ago, it's dumb to fight loons and trolls. I still feel compelled to call them loons and trolls, but I've come a long, long way.

Seven Machos said...

You people who don't think Hitler and his cronies were intellectuals are ironic. It is you who don't understand history. Hitler was the quintessential coffee house intellectual.

Here is a good primer on Nazi intellectualism, at least as it relates to art and architecture.

William said...

To Paul Johnson and Robert Conquest, I would add Alan Bullock's fine book, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives.....Bullock pointed out that about 30% of the Soviet budget went towards building the Moscow subway. This luxurious subway with its crystal chandeliers was pointed to as an example of how well the proleteriat fared under Communism. Unfortunately most of the population were agricultural workers and not industrial proleteriat. These agricultural workers were underpaid and deprived in order to supply the funds for the subway project.

Kirk Parker said...

garage,

Oh come on, plenty of us have been abominating Friedman since The Lexus and the Olive Tree.

Deservedly, too.

yashu said...

Greatest (anyway, my favorite) work of literature illustrating, or rather prophesying this: Dostoevsky's Demons (otherwise translated "The Possessed"). A great, great, great novel.

E Buzz said...

What must it be like for the modern insane leftie to have to deal with this bloodline of their ideology and whole reason for being, reason for caring about politics.

They are on the side of so many fucked up murderers and lunatics.

I just ask the leftists what side of the aisle Milton Friedman would fall, on the left or the right.

If you disagree with Milton Friedman, you are pretty much on the left, which means you don't care about freedom, at all.

Who has dalliances with eugenics, people on the left, or people on the right?

Roger J. said...

E Buzz: to close the loop that 7 machos started using the pencil, Milton Friedman was very fond of using that example in his discussions about the efficiency of a free market.

mesquito said...

Authority tends to be concentrated. Expertise is dispersed. That is why a Federal Department of Pencils is absurd.

Mick said...

The Intelligista have installed a Non Allegiant, Non Natural Born Citizen to oversee the final nails of the NWO coffin, and the violation of the sovereignty of We the People.
The story of G. Washington's overdue Vattel's Law of Nations was him speaking from the grave.
Devine Intervention.
Obama was born a dual citizen of Britain due to his father's Kenyan citizenship. That fact alone prevents him from being an eligible Natural Born Citizen, no matter if born in the White House, in JFK's lap, in the Oval Office.

Joe said...


today we call them pundits and most of them are right-wing,



Well yeah, I mean there's Markos Moulitsas, Arianna Huffington, Matthew Yglesias...OH WAIT.

You might want to reconsider that statement and:
1) Focus on wold-class Environemntal Engineering; or
2) Do a somewhat better survey of the Internet.

virgil xenophon said...

"The Great Soviet Achievement was Gary, Indiana without the culture, charm, or EPA regulatory scheme."


LOL, Seven Machos, a childhood friend of mine was Superintendent of schools in Gary as a distinct non-native. He once told me (this was yrs ago) that he considered suicide daily as a viable option.

Thinkitover said...

Ok - everyone who posts here must know that they are one of the intellectuals. Just compare yourselves to bloggers at FOX and then ask "who is the common man and who is the intellectual?"

It may only be a matter of degree, but I consider myself an intellectual even though I have concluded that I am only half as intellectual as many of you.

Now the big question for you intellectuals, did I just denigrate myself or you?

Joe said...

…may only be a matter of degree, but I consider myself an intellectual even though I have concluded that I am only half as intellectual as many of you.

I consider myself an “intellectual.” How intellectual you are as compared to me is indeterminate…well not really because I am not only Tremendously Handsome, but Devilishly Clever, but we’ll just ASSUME you’re as smart as me.

ALL murderous regimes involved intellectuals, but NOT all intellectuals support murderous regimes….see, the difference? Many intellectuals, Hayek, Von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Friedman (Milton), Will, and a goodly number of others, some on the Left, even, oppose murderous oligarchies.

So being an “intellectual” is neither an insult nor a compliment, and neither does it say anything about one’s support for or against murderous tyrannies….

former law student said...

I thought fls was invoking Godwin.

Hey, if you think the right-wing populist shoe fits ...

Milton Friedman was very fond of using that example in his discussions about the efficiency of a free market.

While pondering why the free market hasn't come up with a solution -- and hadn't planned for the oil spill -- I realized that essentially BP valued the oil at $0. A rational market actor would have wanted to safeguard valuable property. BP didn't plan for failure, implying they did not consider the risks of failure to be significant. Therefore, to BP the oil is worthless.

This shows that the US is way undercharging for oil leases. When something is effectively free, people feel free to waste it.

Joe said...

While pondering why the free market hasn't come up with a solution -- and hadn't planned for the oil spill -- I realized that essentially BP valued the oil at $0. A rational market actor would have wanted to safeguard valuable property. BP didn't plan for failure, implying they did not consider the risks of failure to be significant. Therefore, to BP the oil is worthless.

This shows that the US is way undercharging for oil leases. When something is effectively free, people feel free to waste it.


So much unsupported blather….The fact that the TECHNICAL fix is complex and difficult does not “prove” that BP set a $0 value on the oil. In fact, if they set a value of $0 on the oil, they wouldn’t even be drilling. And unless you’ve gone over BP’s financial statements I don’t see how you can support this? Has BP no insurance policies or cash reserves for “emergencies?”

So not only were you a former law student, it is safe to say you were never much of a business person….

former law student said...

Joe -- so how do you explain BP's lack of on-scene emergency equipment?

1) They stupidly (arrogantly, etc.) thought nothing could go wrong.

2) They didn't care because there's plenty more oil where that came from.

former law student said...

I left out

3) They didn't care because they knew if the shit really hit the fan, they could count on big government bailing them out.

Joe said...

Joe -- so how do you explain BP's lack of on-scene emergency equipment?

1) They stupidly (arrogantly, etc.) thought nothing could go wrong.


Nothing on-scene, because the “scene” was 75 miles OFF-SHORE, dood/doodette! Just like the US Navy didn’t have any heavy sea lift capacity on-scene for the USS Stark or Samuel B Roberts…Limited rescue/emergency resources are concentrated, not spread about.

2) They didn't care because there's plenty more oil where that came from.
Right, this ignores that they would not be cognizant of the PR and financial costs associated with a major spill, AND the opportunity costs of the loss of the sale of the oil AND the actual costs of the disaster, loss of the Rig and 11 members of the crew.

You are the most illiterate, economically, person I’ve met recently.

ken in sc said...

Interesting that someone should mention pencils. Armand Hammer made part of his fortune by holding the pencil monopoly for Soviet Russia. He made almost all of his money by taking advantage of government regulations and monopolies around the world. He never engaged in free market competition if he did not have to. Yet he was what most Soviets thought capitalists were.

Aaron Denney said...

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." -- George W. Bush.

Jason said...

I don't think the blue collar types and small business men who founded the Nazi Party could be described as an "insulated group of faux intellectuals." Demographically they resembled the Tea Partiers you see on TV.

You know, former law stupid, you were on your way to forming a coherent, cogent point. One that was firmly rooted in history and easily defendable.

And then right at the end you steered your car into the ditch and demonstrated yourself to be a complete fucktard.