Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI:

To put it very simply, those who fight to insist upon vanilla flavoured cake are quite happy to battle those who fight for choclate flavoured cake and vice versa, but they’ll unite in hatred against those who say the cake is a lie.

35 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. Portal is a puzzle game from Valve who also produced Half-Life.

    You work your way around a laboratory taking tests devised by a computer. The computer is quite chatty and constantly tells you that when the tests are done you can have a tea with some nice cake.

    Eventually, if you look around you, to see graffiti that says “The Cake Is A Lie”. Later in the game it all goes a bit HAL.

    The game was originally produced as a side project and given away as part of a compendium collection because no-one thought it would catch on that much.

    Highly recommended.

  2. The conventional one dimensional political spectrum is deficient. You need say two dimensions: social liberalism and illiberalism, and economic liberalism and illiberalism. A Raving Lefty would be socially liberal but economically authoritarian; a Staunch Conservative socially illiberal and more economically liberal; a classical libertarian socially and economically liberal.

  3. I think the reason classical liberals/libertarians are mostly reviled by the electorate isn’t the “live and let live” ideology but the fact that are perceived, at least so far as the policy prescriptions go, as heartless bastards.

    Wonkish and journalist types also tend to hold librarians in contempt, though this lack of respect is not the same visceral hatred as the “libertarians hate the poor” stuff, for what they see as lack of realism, dreamy idealism and intellectual naivety. If clever people think complex solutions are needed to solve complex problems (especially people paid to provide such complex solutions) then the minimalist solutions many libertarians hanker for are not going to go down well. And having seen some of the more extreme libertarian arguments about minimal pretty-much-anything, I can see the point. Timmy is pretty good at noting that markets aren’t always the best solution but there are free market diehards who don’t seen to realise the conditions required for the First Welfare Theorem to hold are pretty unrealistic even in free market utopia.

  4. “A Raving Lefty would be socially liberal”: Jesus, you’re fifty years out of date.

  5. I wrote this on the ASI site, but as the comment is awaiting moderation there I thought I might as well post it here as well:

    ——————-
    Part of the issue is that journalists, rather than ordinary people, hate libertarians. And that’s because most journalists are serious statists. (Sure, they might complain about the government a lot. But they don’t want less government, they want more government run along their lines).

  6. @ukliberty: I was talking to a friend the other day after the election (rubbing her nose in it a a bit, as she had canvassed locally for Labour) and explained to her the attraction of UKIP for the white working classes, what with them being pretty socially conservative, and she just couldn’t understand it – why would they vote for such a nasty right wing anti immigrant party she kept saying, her being a nice middle class woman who lives in a staunchly middle class white neighbourhood of course.

  7. I don’t hate libertarians. But you propertarians (I think that’s a better word for you) often do display the smug sense of “we’re right and everyone knows it” Tim mentions, which comes from a blindness to the giant assumptions your beliefs are formed out of. Tim notices this sort of blindness sometimes when the left talks about the right, but never thinks to apply it to his own beliefs.

    And UKIP is an unpleasant attempt by self-proclaimed liberals to get elected by the votes of the highly illiberal. Libertarians would be embarrassed by it if they had the self-awareness.

    I’d vote for a socially liberal, small-government party which understands that too much concentration of wealth reduces the freedom of the many, and forms its fiscal policy in that light.

  8. SJW

    “I’d vote for a socially liberal, small-government party which understands that too much concentration of wealth reduces the freedom of the many, and forms its fiscal policy in that light.”

    Unfortunately you need quite a large government to confiscate wealth on the level you want. Assuming your moniker is not used ironically, quite how you can be for “social justice” and in favour of “small government” is a bit of a mystery.

  9. “Unfortunately you need quite a large government to confiscate wealth on the level you want. ”

    I’m not sure this is true, it’s certainly conceivable – albeit politically unlikely – to have a government with a fairly minimal public sector but which performs a lot of redistribution through a basic income guarantee or similar; the tax collection apparatus may be fairly small.

  10. “I’d vote for a socially liberal, small-government party which understands that too much concentration of wealth reduces the freedom of the many, and forms its fiscal policy in that light.”

    Mealy-mouthed socialist bullshit. Still adds up to support for a death cult that has killed 150 million, exalts the state over the individual and loves coercive violence deployed to ensure submission. In short you support and endorse sanctimonious, thieving, tyrannical turds.

  11. > Mealy-mouthed socialist bullshit. Still adds up to support for a death cult that has killed 150 million

    Er, no, if he supports small government, it absolutely does not.

  12. Ears,

    > I think the reason classical liberals/libertarians are mostly reviled by the electorate isn’t the “live and let live” ideology but the fact that are perceived, at least so far as the policy prescriptions go, as heartless bastards.

    Partly, but another large problem is their obsessive theorising, which is taken so far as to come across as batshit crazy. My personal pet hate is the never-ending project to categorise every single aspect of society as either property rights or a contract, which are apparently the only two fundamental building blocks of humanity. When you get involved in a serious debate about whether parenthood constitutes the ownership of children or a contract with children and reject out of hand the suggestion that maybe parenthood is best understood as parenthood, every parent in the country will conclude you’re a fuckwit. And will certainly not vote for you.

    The more pragmatic libertarianism of UKIP — “Yes, we know our councillor’s a porn star. And?” — is much more electable. UKIP’s success has shown that there is an electoral appetite for — among other things — a party that say they’ll leave you the fuck alone. Unsurprisingly.

  13. Jim, there’s a link with the SNP and this political spectrum convo, too. The SNP isn’t a lefty party in all respects, for example only a couple of months ago the SNP was proposing cuts to corporation tax and it has cut NHS spending. But their supporters in part feel unrepresented by the main parties so they have gone to a party that at least pretends to represent their interests.

    This quote attributed by Peter Hain to Peter Mandelson sums it up for me: “your preoccupation with the working-class vote is wrong. They’ve got nowhere to go.” I think it’s typical of a complacence and arrogance shared by the main parties.

  14. One of the main reasons for the rise of the UKIPs is they feel ignored by the other parties. And the reason for the shock about the rise of the UKIPs is because very few have bothered to ask the UKIPs what they think.

  15. – S2

    Politicalcompass.org is a nice idea, but you can tell it was implemented by lefties by where it places Hitler and Stalin.

    Glenys Kinnock I believe!

    But that’s fine, as whatever your result, you just shift it “right” by 3 or 4 points to correct it!

    Yes, and partially ignore where they decide to place or portray others.

    – UKL

    I agree – lots of different ways to skin this sort of thing. And the focus on say 2 dimensions is useful only insofar as it aids when looking at a computer screen or a piece of paper.

  16. @SJW:

    “too much concentration of wealth reduces the freedom of the many”

    What a strange idea. Are you suggesting that, say, in the UK (since that’s where I’d get to vote), such concentration of wealth as we see today actually limits freedom in any serious sense? Or is in imminent danger of limiting freedom? How far do you think we are from an actual problem?

    I’d have thought there are far more obvious and immediate threats to everyone’s freedom than the fact that person A owns more than person B.

    Perhaps you can give specific examples to back up your counterintuitive claim. Maybe you’re worrying about freedoms that aren’t widely valued.

  17. S2

    “another large problem is their obsessive theorising,”

    Yes, reminds me a bit of the old style communists who would argue for days over thesis, antithesis and whatever the other one was called. 99% of the public have a perfectly rational and healthy distrust of political theory.

  18. Squander “Partly, but another large problem is their obsessive theorising”

    Also true though I’d class that under the “contempt” rather than “hatred” branch. Excessive theorising definitely a trait of idealists whose political ideology is far more important to them than actually getting on with the practical business of running something. The libertarians have a lot in common with the hard left in this respect.

  19. S2 –
    another large problem is their obsessive theorising

    How very true. There is sometimes a feeling of intellectual purity over at, for instance, Samizdata.

    And that’s odd, because libertarianism is really more a tendency than an ideology. There are many issues on which libertarians, or anyone of good will, can have reasoned discussions. But instead the perceived ‘heretics’ so often end up being sent to Coventry.

  20. Sq2:”Er, no, if he supports small government, it absolutely does not.”

    If he supports small govt he isn’t much of a SJW. Small govt can’t give him enough help to impose his ideas on everybody else.

    Also–by and large you are right about too much theory as opposed to action. But no thought is no good either. Take “Let parents be parents”. Where does that leave giving kids a clip round the earhole?. I’m ok with that–but without a basic theory where does the line get drawn? Two clips, the belt etc–al the way up to beating the kid half to death. Obviously way over the line. But without theory–how can the line be drawn?. What feels right? Circumcision for another example (please God don’t start that debate again–just using it as an example). Can’t remember if you were in that or on what side but some theory would surely have to guide the choice.

  21. MyBurningEars – “I think the reason classical liberals/libertarians are mostly reviled by the electorate isn’t the “live and let live” ideology but the fact that are perceived, at least so far as the policy prescriptions go, as heartless bastards.”

    But the heartless b@stards is a nonsense. Because people who use it do not care that their policies make the poor worse off. That is not what is driving them. They actively support making many people’s lives worse off. It is a cover. By heartless b@stards what they mean is that the libertarians threaten the gravy train of the State. So many nice middle class people would no longer have nice pensions. What they mean is that they hate libertarians because libertarians want their girlfriends to get real jobs.

  22. Ecks,

    > But without theory–how can the line be drawn?.

    I agree, we need some theorising. But the answer to such questions about parenthood cannot be found by figuring out whether parenthood is a property right or a contract. Libertarians are obsessed with the wrong sort of theorising.

    Are you feeling OK, by the way? You’ve been polite for two days now. I hope you’re not ill.

  23. UKL,

    > only a couple of months ago the SNP was proposing cuts to corporation tax and it has cut NHS spending.

    Ah, but a quick conversation with an SNP supporter will reveal that they’ve cut NHS spending in order to blame it on England.

    “Vote Yes to save the NHS from Tory cuts!”
    “Er, the NHS is already devolved. Voting Yes or No makes no difference to it.”
    “I know the NHS is devolved. Don’t patronise me. I’m not an idiot.”
    “Glad to hear it. So what’s your point?”
    “Vote Yes to save the NHS from Tory cuts!”
    “There are no Tory cuts. The last Westminster NHS cut was under Callaghan. I’m middle-aged and there hasn’t been a Tory NHS cut in my lifetime. The NHS budget has been cut in Wales under Labour and in Scotland under the SNP.”
    “That’s a Westminster lie.”
    “Here are the SNP’s own figures. You will note that they show a cut to the NHS budget.”
    “Well, OK, then, maybe. But that’s Westminster’s fault. They cut the block grant to Scotland, forcing the poor SNP to cut budgets.”
    “This is the block grant based on the Barnet formula? So how comes NHS England’s budget was increased? And if the SNP are being starved of cash, how did they blow a huge chunk of their budget on a new tram system for Edinburgh?”
    “Vote Yes to save the NHS from Tory cuts!”

    I’d guess the strategy with corporation tax will be much the same. Cut it, then blame the Square Mile.

  24. There are cranks people you would struggle to have a conversation with all over the political spectrum(s). Tim W would be considered a socialist by the “tax is theft!” subset of libertarians, as would any minarchist, pragmatic libertarian or geolibertarian.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.