Posts

Showing posts from July, 2010

Who Owns You? Part II

In my last post I shared some thoughts about the answer to the question, "Who owns you?" There are indeed a variety of answers to the question, but really only two that the World offers. Those two answers are so important to know because in many ways they are the fuel for the Culture War. Those two answers again are, "I own me" and "Others own some of me."

I thought I'd elaborate a bit on the extent to which government is involved in the mix, and there is just as much confusion about government as there is about the question.

The libertarian naturally has great disdain for government, yet even the most liberated individual utilizes the services of other individuals in some way. Because people are very prone to rotten behavior, that "transfer" of said services must be administered by government in some form. The classic error of libertarianism is the failure to accurately assess the degree of evildoing within each individual.

The utilitarian …

Who Owns You?

I caught a lecture by a Harvard professor on one of those obscure suburban PBS stations last night in a series called Justice. The TV listings blurb said it was about Robert Nozick, so I was a bit interested. The professor was extraordinarily boring, but to his credit most college profs are. The gargantuan lecture hall, however, was packed with bright-eyed youngsters, all of them certainly the brilliant quite-recently-departed-from high school students from around the nation who squeezed their way into this fine institution of higher learning with A+'s in everything except Calculus G/H. The sad part is that everything the prof said was the most rudimentary political science stuff and everything the students shared in response was nothing beyond the typically elementary philosophical brain farts. But hey, everyone needs to take Poli Sci 101.

I wanted to bring up the core question addressed, and that was "Who owns you?" The prof set this up by speaking about the utilitaria…

The Invisible Limits

Last Monday I was struck by two pieces in the news/opinion aggregator I frequent. They weren't unusual by any means, but the topics are ones that are not addressed much. Each shared pretty amazing observations that few take seriously (which is precisely why they continue to periodically show up in some form), and they were from writers who are both very renowned in the financial punditry world. But because they are beholden to World operatives, neither could share anything close to the answer to the problems they elucidate.

Or I should say, as always, Anyone who is the answer.

The first was from Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post, and the title of his piece pretty much says everything: "We may be reaching the limits of economics." I like Robert Samuelson because he has lots of comprehensible and quite striking numbers to illustrate how much human sacrifice is actually going on out there. Oh, he certainly won't let on that it is indeed human sacrifice. His writin…