Big Head Press Forum

Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Rocketman on November 28, 2008, 12:14:48 am

Title: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on November 28, 2008, 12:14:48 am
  I'm thinking that maybe just maybe Fiorella is not "going native" in the sense that most people reading this are thinking she is.  Coming from a social order that closely resembles a large mafia crime family (which is standard operating procedure for political organizations that have too much power) which would place her somewhere around a junior enforcer, maybe she has a different angle.  In order to survive maybe she's adapted some of the hierarchy evil of Earth ways (because she thinks that that is the way that the game is played on Ceres) and she sees a wealthly group of individuals and figures that she can work some kind of angle to keep their taxes low or non-existant in exchange for a piece of the action.  If she goes back to earth she wouldn't make a tenth of what she would be cutting her own deal with the people of Ceres.  She just has to deal with Guy the idealistic fool.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Scott on November 28, 2008, 03:04:17 pm
That's an interesting angle, and perhaps we'll pursue that notion someday, with a different character.

But not Fiorella. Her choice is a sincere one.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: wdg3rd on November 28, 2008, 06:52:59 pm
That's an interesting angle, and perhaps we'll pursue that notion someday, with a different character.

But not Fiorella. Her choice is a sincere one.


I'm starting to like Fiorella more and more, and not just for the great face and body.  An educable statist can be hard to find.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on November 28, 2008, 09:38:29 pm
That's an interesting angle, and perhaps we'll pursue that notion someday, with a different character.

But not Fiorella. Her choice is a sincere one.


I'm starting to like Fiorella more and more, and not just for the great face and body.  An educable statist can be hard to find.
Well Scott, that seems like a no to me and WDG3rd generally speaking maybe 25% of the statists can be converted.  My greatest triumph was about 22 years ago when a very very liberal woman moved in next door to me.  After several weeks of persuading her, she finally went shooting with a friend and me.  Prior to that I seriously doubt that she had never even held a gun in her hand.  The weird thing was she was a natural born shot and totally loved it.  About 5 or 6 months later she purchased several guns and one day one of them was stolen in a burglary.  Right after that her liberal feminist lesbian sister called her on the phone and hearing her voice asked her if anything was wrong.  She told her sister that a burglar had broken into her apartment and stolen one of her handguns.  She told me that there was a very long pause on the phone and her sister finally said "I'm not going to tell mom."  Wish I could have been there.   ;D Heh, Heh, Heh.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on November 28, 2008, 11:27:49 pm
Hah, hahahah, bwahahahaha!  Cultural disconnect.  "You had guns." "Yep." "You." "Yes, they're really not as intimidating when you're the one holding one." "Uh, huh.  So, aren't you worried that you enabled a thief to be armed?" "You don't think he was armed before?"

Mmm, even though it's a fictional "victory for freedom", I do sometimes feel like it can be a libertarian version of a chick tract when somebody writes it.  I've never, ever had an easy time really converting someone.  It's like pulling teeth to get most socialists, for instance, to admit there was ever a situation where a free market alternative has proven itself much, much better than government.  They don't consider it immoral to use force if the ends are good.  I've pushed forward a list of the nations ranked by their economic liberty, and the so-called "left-leaning" anarchists tell me flat out that the countries that suck ass just happen to correspond to those most exploited by the west, and that the countries with more economic freedom are actually continuing to exploit these shitty countries.  It didn't even phase the ones I spoke with to mention that hong kong is probably one of the bigger on the previous exploitation list.  It was a city captured by the British as part of a war for the subjugation of China for fuck's sake.  And that regardless of historical exploitation, those nations with the most freedom do best.  Hell, I'll pull from some of my fellow libertarians.  Constitutionalists.  The fact that one could even suggest a desire to see government follow the constitution for once, should point out the flaw in expecting a government to abide by the limits of a constitution.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: wdg3rd on November 29, 2008, 10:55:07 am
Hell, I'll pull from some of my fellow libertarians.  Constitutionalists.  The fact that one could even suggest a desire to see government follow the constitution for once, should point out the flaw in expecting a government to abide by the limits of a constitution.

If you're talking about members of the Constitutionalist Party, those assholes are in no way libertarian.  They want G-D in charge and I will not accept rule by that bastard even if he did create the universe.  (I think I've mentioned before that I'm not merely an an agnostic and atheist, I'm an antitheist -- if I see a god, I shoot to kill and I gotta do it quick since those guys got fast reflexes and superpowers).

Right.  God knows everything, sees everything, loves everybody and has total power, so he gives the world disease and other harmful crap because he loves them (my dad was an alcoholic prick, I know the concept, I'm a drunk who chose not to breed since I didn't like kids even when I was one).  Then Lucifer snuck up from behind and hit Him with a brick.  Omnipotent and incompetent I just can't fucking deal with, especially since the all-seeing part should have caught that coming and the all-powerful part could have taken care of the problem before heaven was created, let alone Earth).  My favorite book about the "Revolt in Heaven" wasn't Milton's (I found his as dry as anything else by my Puritan ancestors) but To Reign in Hell by Steven Z. K. Brust.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on November 29, 2008, 11:07:38 am

Mmm, even though it's a fictional "victory for freedom", I do sometimes feel like it can be a libertarian version of a chick tract when somebody writes it.  I've never, ever had an easy time really converting someone.  It's like pulling teeth to get most socialists, for instance, to admit there was ever a situation where a free market alternative has proven itself much, much better than government.  They don't consider it immoral to use force if the ends are good.  I've pushed forward a list of the nations ranked by their economic liberty, and the so-called "left-leaning" anarchists tell me flat out that the countries that suck ass just happen to correspond to those most exploited by the west, and that the countries with more economic freedom are actually continuing to exploit these shitty countries.  It didn't even phase the ones I spoke with to mention that hong kong is probably one of the bigger on the previous exploitation list.  It was a city captured by the British as part of a war for the subjugation of China for fuck's sake.  And that regardless of historical exploitation, those nations with the most freedom do best.  Hell, I'll pull from some of my fellow libertarians.  Constitutionalists.  The fact that one could even suggest a desire to see government follow the constitution for once, should point out the flaw in expecting a government to abide by the limits of a constitution.
     I'm anything but an expert on the subject of converting people over to libertarianism, but I have noticed some things.  If you confront them directly, they'll usually hike up their backbone and it will be impossible to go any further.  If you give them short answers that don't explain anything, ditto.  "So you think EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A MACHINE GUN?!!!"  "Yep."  That's definitely the wrong way to go about it.  People have to learn things for themselves so that they can see with their own eyes and ears that what they were taught previously was incorrect.  Approach a liberal with that in mind and I think you'll see an increase in the percentage of the people who start thinking the right way about liberty.  In her case I spoke to her for several weeks about self defense and protection in the area because of all of the drug related crime there.  Then I gave her a copy of Paxton Quigley's book "Armed and Female" and let her read for herself about a woman who had gone from being strongly anti-gun, (She was once a staff member of the National Committee for Handgun Control) to a pro-gun activest.  You do it a little at a time.  She was then ready to learn how to shoot after figureing things out for herself.  By the end of the second session she shot my .44 magnum and did a damn fine job of it!
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on November 29, 2008, 12:59:54 pm
wdg3rd:
I in fact am not referring to CP.  The constitution party is no more constitution focused than in the book 1984, the ministry of peace was focused on actually having peace, the ministry of truth was focused on disseminating actual information, or the ministry of love was about people engaging in orgies.  It's doublespeak and possibly doublethink, and if I hadn't been already thoroughly burned out on the phenomena I'd be amazed that as many people fall for it as do.  Even if the first primarily was intended to keep religion from being established at a Federal level or establishment at state level denied, their emphasis shows that they would be re-enacting the gimp scene on the constitutional principles in the other direction.

I mean constructionalists.  People who believe we'd be just fine and dandy if we could somehow get people who believe in the founder's constitution (minus slavery and voting inequality) into office.  The failure in this concept should be self-evident, but I'll say it anyway.  Even assuming government ever followed the constitution, the fact that it doesn't now should show exactly how much power the constitution has to restrain government.  Add in the fact that it never followed it, and it should demonstrate how bad an idea it is.  Add in the fact that belief in the constitution legitimizes the government whether or not it follows the constitution?  The constitution has that feeling of being something so totally reasonable.  Object to the government it spawned and it seems like you're objecting to the simple provisions in the constitution itself.  And I do say those were way, way too much.  It doesn't seem like it, which is why they got passed.  But I can point to direct abuse of every provision without even moving on to areas where the provisions have been distorted far out of any original intent.

Rocketman:
*shrug* I haven't really had much success at all.  I've tried to talk to people about their goals, and then showing the means they're suggesting do not achieve them.  But that their goals are quite well achieved by getting rid of government.  I don't get very far, because like constructionalists they believe all we need to do is hand the reigns of power to the right people, and they'll do things right and "better" than people would do for themselves.  Never mind that it's a 100% failure rate when tried.  When asked about the "You want everyone to have access to powerful weapon XYZ?" question I always explained that no matter who has them, it's people.  One group is much the same as any other unless it's believed that just being a member of a group makes you better or worse than other people.  They come back with "but then that would just let it go into the hands of the worst people".  Because they believe government is not the worst people to be doing things.  That it somehow attracts the best of the best, or at least the least worst of the worst, whereas business attracts the most horrible types imaginable.  In their minds, anyway.

I'm coming to the conclusion that there's nothing but at best helping someone to explore waking up to this.  If they're not ready, they won't wake up.  At the least until one such society gets demonstrated and does better than the authoritarian regimes and people move there to escape the crap that authoritarian regimes generate.  Somalia was risking that, and it's one of the reasons others have suspected it was invaded.  And even in the event a truly free state does better than the authoritarian regimes, I suspect some would ride in and start trying to advocate authoritarian control, since if they're doing that well without it imagine if it were scientifically planned and managed and structured to maximize efficiency!  If districts were set up so all the business happens in a concentrated sector!  Authoritarians never really seem to learn no matter how many times their ideas are shown bankrupt.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Sean Roach on November 29, 2008, 10:27:36 pm
But...but...business in a concentrated sector does Quite well for Wal-Mart and Texaco!
Concentrate business and everyone has to drive to shop. 
If they have to drive, they have to buy fuel.
If they have to drive, they're going to minimize the shopping trips, load everything in the vehicle and head home...not walk 5 minutes for a gallon of milk and a half dozen eggs one hour, and head back out after dinner to visit a different store, in a different direction, but about as close.

I'm of the opinion that nearly every shop should have living quarters above, below, or behind it for its operators.  Short commute, and easy access in case of trouble.
And besides, if nearly every location is a mixed use area, the proprietors of one shop become some of the customers of a neighboring shop.

I do not understand the desirability of zoning, in most cases.  I can see zoning noxious activities elsewhere, (I'd rather not have a tanner set up shop next door...or an industrial hog or chicken farm.)  I can't see zoning commercial businesses away from their customers.

I suspect the REAL reason for centralized shopping is to attract people from OTHER communities to make a pilgrimage to shop.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on November 30, 2008, 12:12:10 am
Nope.  Land use control.  There's a number of things that factor into it.  The kind of elitism that influential people don't want anything that could be perceived as hurting their property values.  The artificial inflation of the scarcity of land resources.  To some extent there is that aspect of not wanting "noxious" things next door (NiMBY, Not in My Back Yard, even if it isn't your back yard), but it grows readily past that point.  Besides, in a real tort situation you run into the ability of things that really do damage your property to be sued for.  There's the gaming of land values, as well.  In many areas, rents and land values in the different zonings varies considerably depending on how much demand there is for a specific use of land versus how much land is zoned for it.  Let's say someone influential wants to get a property cheaply.  But by current zoning, that property has a use that's at a premium.  So they lobby and get it re-zoned.  The land becomes cheap.  Especially if the zoning now forbids its current use.  They buy it for a pittance, and if the use they intended to have it put to doesn't match the new zoning, lobby to get it re-zoned again.

Any "business district" concentration that would happen that is actually beneficial to tourist draw, would happen anyway.  Zoning or not.  Since there's a certain amount of customer draw from those who came for other shops, and an additional draw from "one-stop shopping".  But they would still likely have residential mixed in.  If nothing else, it helps the available customerbase.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: wdg3rd on November 30, 2008, 01:03:38 am
Sean, I recommend that you read the DiscWorld novels by Terry Pratchett.  Especially The Truth.  Good analysis of which shops should be next to each other.  The tanners should be near the slaughterhouses, the parfumiers should be next to the tanners (they use most of the same raw materials),   The papermakers a block downwind, the butchers a block upwind.

Yes the Parfumiers will have their retail outlets in the posh district well away from the manufactory.  Shit happens and the upper crust don't want it near them.  Rich people are always nimby's and will use any means (generally government) to get their way.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on November 30, 2008, 07:04:01 am

Rocketman:
*shrug* I haven't really had much success at all.  I've tried to talk to people about their goals, and then showing the means they're suggesting do not achieve them.  But that their goals are quite well achieved by getting rid of government.  I don't get very far, because like constructionalists they believe all we need to do is hand the reigns of power to the right people, and they'll do things right and "better" than people would do for themselves.  Never mind that it's a 100% failure rate when tried.  When asked about the "You want everyone to have access to powerful weapon XYZ?" question I always explained that no matter who has them, it's people.  One group is much the same as any other unless it's believed that just being a member of a group makes you better or worse than other people.  They come back with "but then that would just let it go into the hands of the worst people".  Because they believe government is not the worst people to be doing things.  That it somehow attracts the best of the best, or at least the least worst of the worst, whereas business attracts the most horrible types imaginable.  In their minds, anyway.

I'm coming to the conclusion that there's nothing but at best helping someone to explore waking up to this.  If they're not ready, they won't wake up.  At the least until one such society gets demonstrated and does better than the authoritarian regimes and people move there to escape the crap that authoritarian regimes generate.  Somalia was risking that, and it's one of the reasons others have suspected it was invaded.  And even in the event a truly free state does better than the authoritarian regimes, I suspect some would ride in and start trying to advocate authoritarian control, since if they're doing that well without it imagine if it were scientifically planned and managed and structured to maximize efficiency!  If districts were set up so all the business happens in a concentrated sector!  Authoritarians never really seem to learn no matter how many times their ideas are shown bankrupt.
I can hear the frustration in your words and I can relate.  Back years ago when I was gathering signatures door to door to get the Libertarian Party on the ballot in Indiana I encountered much the same thing.  The problem is there that you can't get into a long detailed discussion if your gathering signatures because you would only have a handful at the end of the day.  Most people are naturally suspicious.  A lot thought that this was going to be putting them on a list of some kind that they would never get off of.  People can change their opinion but it's usually a gradual process and they usually hold at least a part of their old beliefs back.  As far as now goes, I think that it's too late to try to convert enough people to libertarianism bacause America doesn't have much time left.  Those of us who have tried have at least made an effort and that's a whole lot more than most of humanity has done.  When I die I have nothing to be ashamed of in that regard.  :'(
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Scott on November 30, 2008, 11:17:02 pm
This has been an interesting discussion, but I want to point out that Fiorella's conversion was that of someone who always felt out of place and uncomfortable in her former situation, and wasn't quite sure why. Until she encountered an actual free society and the scales fell from her eyes.

I sometimes think that some people are just natural-born libertarians, and all they need is a little nudge in the right direction and they'll figure out most of it for themselves. Others take more work. Others still take a lot of work. The rest are hopeless cases and all you can do is either run away from them if you can, or kill them if you have to.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on November 30, 2008, 11:30:26 pm
I sometimes think that some people are just natural-born libertarians, and all they need is a little nudge in the right direction and they'll figure out most of it for themselves.
I think I was one (natural-born libertarian) and I've had a girlfriend who was. Other folks I have known have pretty much fallen into that category. Scott has it exactly right with regard to Fiorella. All it took to "turn" her was her own, pre-existing discomfort and a living example to experience.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: KBCraig on December 01, 2008, 03:38:40 am
I sometimes think that some people are just natural-born libertarians, and all they need is a little nudge in the right direction and they'll figure out most of it for themselves.

Before we married, my wife considered herself a Democrat, and thought it was both right and good for the state to "help people out" when they were down.

The funny thing is, she'd never lived her life like that. She was a single mother and small business owner who didn't take any government assistance. Even though her business was new and she was definitely low income (at that time), she didn't turn to the government for help when she was uninsured and needed serious surgery. She borrowed the money privately, and paid it back.

It only took a nudge for her to align her political views with the reality of how she believed people should live their lives.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 01, 2008, 03:47:46 am
Is there such a thing as a "natural born libertarian"?  I don't think so, but I admit that I could be wrong.  If you looked at Americans say 200 years ago, nearly all of them were, at least to some degree.  I made a comment before if you took a modern socialist liberal (as opposed to say Thomas Jefferson who was a classical liberal) and put them back then, the average person of the time after talking to them would have been convinced that they were absolutely insane.  "You don't believe that people should own guns?"  "You think that people should be paid by the government for not working?"  "You think that cities should limit citizens having businesses in their homes?"  The fire has been bred out of the average person.  You can't fight city hall.  He's from my political party so what he's doing must be for my benefit and so on.  Americans are going to soon pay a very heavy price for being complanisant instead of raising a stink everytime that they saw their rights going down the crapper.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 01, 2008, 04:05:46 pm
I don't necessarily think it's 100% born.  There is probably a predisposition for or against submission to others.  Some might be incapable of it despite any level of conditioning, some may be so hardwired to submit to the alpha that it takes significant events to override the imperative.  But I think it's more the fact that government is no better at brainwashing than it is at anything else it does.  There was an old expression in the catholic church, I can't recall it exactly at the moment but it went to the effect that if you get a kid young, you've got'em for life.  I see that in government.  Once someone is acclimated to government and other authority, it takes significant stressors to snap'em out of it.  To some extent, a significant enough stressor is anti-gun types actually learning to shoot and getting out of the gun phobia.  At least on that topic.  But, even if you destroy one of their most closely held beliefs (guns = bad), oftentimes it doesn't cascade through the other beliefs.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 01, 2008, 07:40:12 pm
Leviathan, I agree with pretty much everything in your last post.  Nothing is going to convince me that the public school system wasn't put into place for exactly the Catholic school reasoning says it was.   I think most libertarians today are to some degree "rugged individualists" and don't follow the herd mentality.  I credit my family for that.  I was raised by my grandparents and by my great grandmother. my father dying in 1954 when I was just two and my mother working all the time to pay the bills.  I think that it also accounts for my taste in music.  Instead of the Beatles and Rolling Stones I always preferred Ed Ames, Johnny Rivers, the Vogues and the Lettermen.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 03, 2008, 12:49:58 am
One of three possibilities arise from this.  One, Fiorella converts, Guy becomes incensed and runs back to home to get reinforcements to appease his sense of deluded jealousy (he has no real claim on her, but sometimes that doesn't seem to matter).  Two, Guy and Fiorella hook up and Guy puts up with the anarchy for her sake.  Three they don't hook up, but she converts and takes Guy under her wing in a sisterly way to walk him along the difficult road to liberty  ;)
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 03, 2008, 07:55:01 am
One of three possibilities arise from this.  One, Fiorella converts, Guy becomes incensed and runs back to home to get reinforcements to appease his sense of deluded jealousy (he has no real claim on her, but sometimes that doesn't seem to matter).  Two, Guy and Fiorella hook up and Guy puts up with the anarchy for her sake.  Three they don't hook up, but she converts and takes Guy under her wing in a sisterly way to walk him along the difficult road to liberty  ;)
Four, none of the above.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 03, 2008, 08:53:17 am
Leviathan:  All of your possiblities are all too predictable and therefore I don't think any of them will be the outcome.  I say that even with Sandy being the writer of the script saying it.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 04, 2008, 06:40:04 am
Leviathan:  All of your possiblities are all too predictable and therefore I don't think any of them will be the outcome.  I say that even with Sandy being the writer of the script saying it.
There is an admonition in writing that says what happens next should be inevitable but not predictable. I try to hit that mark as much as possible. If you want to predict were EFT is going, please understand that Scott and I, as is the case with most writers, engage in foreshadowing. So there are hints. (Of course, we also include plausible but false cues as well...)
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 04, 2008, 01:32:01 pm
True.  I'm off a fair amount of the time.  But I think the foreshadowing here is pretty direct for today.  Guy believes the source of the Cererean wealth is, laughably, their "unfair" access to natural resources, and he's been overheard.  So I don't know how exactly they'll do it, but I suspect there will be an attempt to induce Guy and Fiorella's eyes to adopt the aspect of sheep.

Hmm, where have I heard that one before, though...  That part about people receiving an "unfair" advantage just because they happen to be sitting on a massive natural resource...  About that being the only possible explanation for places like the US having as much wealth as it does...   ::)  That, and this mysterious exploitation of other countries.  Which what exploitation that actually happened that's a causitive agent of the misery really amounts to installing tyrants.  Both the US and Russia did it.  And the fundamental difference between Russian and US tyrants was whether they confiscated existing top industries from their current holders to hand to favored bureaucrats or not. 

Oh, yeah, I know where I've heard that one from.  Everybody who tries to explain why Russia failed and the US didn't.  Everyone who advocates socialism, or the left-anarchist positions that I've seen.  I cannot fathom how Guy could figure that as the only possible reason they have a good standard of living there.  It's the rough equivalent of Hong Kong!  A source of reaction mass for any ships heading out, 'round, or in.  Nothing much else.  Hong Kong at least has air built in.  Yet the claim is made that it's these "unfair natural advantages" combined with exploitation of the poor (I wonder when Guy's gonna level that charge at Ceres, though in a way that's already the charge since they're supposed to be profiting at Terra's expense) that mean US isn't experiencing the problems of India, for example.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 05, 2008, 06:36:50 am
I haven't personally heard anyone use the term "unfair advantage" in regards to the socialism sceme of stealing mineral wealth for a long time.  People who think that way are either best avoided or better yet shot, but if I did then I would remind them that the country of Africa probably has more mineral wealth than the entire United States does and ask them why that say the country of Nigeria or Lesotho isn't as rich as one of the American states.  I would then probably be accused of being a racist by them for bring that up.   :(  On second thought, there's an old saying that "only a fool argues with an idiot"   Bang, bang, bang.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 05, 2008, 09:34:09 pm
Oh, but don't you know?  Africa has been exploited by the West!  We conquered them and made them slaves (actually, they sold us the slaves they'd made of other tribes  :-\ ) and installed tyrannical leaders who made sure they never had any prosperity!  Never mind that most if not all of Africa is post-colonial at this point...  Never mind that Hong Kong was similarly captured, but because it lacked material resources of any kind Britain ignored it, failing to establish a tradition of tyrannical overlordism but instead treated it with "benevolent neglect" as the US prospered under prior to the revolution...  No, the countries that prosper are solely invested in by the west so they will prosper, and the countries that fail are similarly exploited and farmed for cheap labor and raw materials.  Of course that's how it works...
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 06, 2008, 07:09:50 am
My response to that would be take a look at the country of Zimbabwe since it's been in the news lately.  When the country was formerly known as Rhodesia and was a "colony of the British" it was known as the breadbasket of Africa.  They were exporting grain and had one of the highest life expectancies on the entire continent.  I was given independance in 1980 if I remember correctly.  Since then they freely elected a native madman who knows as much running the country properly as my cat knows about stock car racing and has insane levels of inflation.  People are starving and my guess is that it won't be long before the UN intervenes (meaning the USA primarily)  and wastes that commie bastard.  Yea, I would say to the liberal that said that, is that the kind of exploition that your talking about?
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 06, 2008, 08:58:44 am
I haven't been using Africa as an example of the reverse.  The economic freedom scale IMO tells the story pretty plainly.  The economic freedom scale correlates quite well with how well off a given country is in terms of standard of living.  Especially at the bottom rung of society.  Funny that as zim has gone down the toilet, its economic liberty scale has also similarly declined.

Anyway, they'll just say before its independence it was being subsidized with western investments.  That since independence, the west tried to ruin it so we could step back in and assume control, and be welcomed as saviors.  Or something.  What I've seen is the socialists (and left-leaning anarchists for that matter) have a resemblance to creationists.  And they generally do not see that if they'd let go, they could have everything they claim to want.  They could have voluntary charities, even the communes if they so choose.  The mercantilists could hold their own security companies, which wouldn't actively defend competitors.  All they have to give up is getting it by force and making everyone else comply with their rules.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 06, 2008, 12:10:40 pm
Anyway, they'll just say before its independence it was being subsidized with western investments.  That since independence, the west tried to ruin it so we could step back in and assume control, and be welcomed as saviors.  Or something. 
I would reply that it's the opposite that's true, that since Zimbabwe gained it's independance that the ruling party has done everything that it could to drive out western investments which has made the discolonization of the country a disaster.  That it's white land owners who were the ones that provided the food have been driven off of their families land, some of which had been in the same family for over a hundred years.  They have been murdered, raped and tortured and now the only people who inhabit the farms and orchards are land squatters who care nothing for farming other than for subsistance.  In other words it's not the colonial powers that are responsible but the Zimbabwe government (such as it is) itself.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Frank B. on December 06, 2008, 02:10:17 pm
I would reply that it's the opposite that's true, that since Zimbabwe gained it's independance that the ruling party has done everything that it could to drive out western investments which has made the discolonization of the country a disaster.  That it's white land owners who were the ones that provided the food have been driven off of their families land, some of which had been in the same family for over a hundred years.  They have been murdered, raped and tortured and now the only people who inhabit the farms and orchards are land squatters who care nothing for farming other than for subsistance.  In other words it's not the colonial powers that are responsible but the Zimbabwe government (such as it is) itself.

This brings up an interesting notion.  Suppose people live in a "toilet" because most (or at least enough) like it that way.  Consider the subsistance land squatters in Zimbabwe you mention.  Perhaps they do not work the farm lands that were given [back] to them in a modern, high production way, not because they don't know how to, or lack an incentive to do so, but rather they'd prefer to live as their ancestors did prior to colonization, similar to American Indians who preferred living in the squalor of the reservations because they prefer living off the land in poverty retaining their culture and traditions, than improving their standard of living by accepting a foreign culture.  As anarchists, we love to blame government for all ills which befall a population.  But consider that the "ill" as we see it, is in fact what they want.  So what if they have to live with murder and disease?  Their ancestors smile upon them for restoring their traditions.  Kind of like Republicans.  ;)

Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 06, 2008, 07:38:26 pm
Frank: It's not as simple as your making it seem.  The squatters are primarily commie war vets who VIOLENTLY FORCED the productive white farmers off of the land with the governments blessing and help.  Like I mentioned before, many of the white farmers ancestors purchased that land a hundred years ago or more.  If the squatters had come to the farmers and purchased the land from them, (assuming that the farmers would sell it) at a fair price and wanted to return to subsistance farming I would have no problem with that, but that's not what happened.  If say 40% of the farmers sold their land then that would make the other 60% of the farms that weren't sold that much more valuable since food prices would rise and the for profit farms would then be more profitable.  Then when the subsistance farmers couldn't pay their taxes the profitable farmers would then be able to purchase the land and turn it back to profit once again.  Basic economics.  My guess is the majority of the squatters technical knowledge consists of knowing how to field strip an AK-47 and RPG and not how to chisel plant corn rows or how to maintain tractors.  Put them on a halfway modern farm and they haven't a clue of what to do.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 06, 2008, 08:41:28 pm
Rocket, remember...  With the people who believe it's the rich causing all the problems, reality is not of concern.  The "left-anarchists" and socialists (the ones who aren't just practicing the same shit on a different day with a different label, anyway) just want to blame people with any real resources or material wellbeing for the problems of the rest of people.  They refuse to accept evidence of societies doing very, very well at all levels when they have economic freedom.  They refuse to accept that redistribution programs destroy the production infrastructure.  They refuse to accept the fact that graft comes from redistribution schemes.

There's an additional impact if the regime is primarily commie.  Zim might be one of the places I once saw a report on.  In many of these 3rd world nations, if someone seems, even seems, to be doing too well for themselves, the goons come in, take everything he or she has, and bulldozes it.  At this point, it can be even if your ramshackle hut seems to be a little oversized and your equipment doesn't suck in some places.  Even above taxes, inflation, anti-investment.  If government comes in and destroys everything you have for doing too well, you don't even try.  There's no point if you'll never get anywhere.

Frank, it is a bit naive.  These people aren't returning to a tribal way of life.  Their government is systematically destroying them.  Zimbabweans are refugeeing across the planet because their home sucks.  They don't want it to suck.  These aren't people returning to a tribal way of life.  These are people who know nothing of farming, who if they knew anything about farming have no equipment because it's been destroyed, who are getting no financing from anywhere.  Who if they even got anywhere wwould probably have it confiscated from them.  Most of the planet wants an easy modern life if they get the idea of what it is.  Subsistence farming is hard, tough, unrewarding work.  The only one it benefits to have most of the population performing it is a government that has modern arms.  As long as they can keep that variance in levels, it ensures that there's a large population incapable of overthrowing the rulership.  The only benefit to the situation is that it's not sustainable in the long run.  Eventually the troops aren't getting paid because there's no money to pay anybody.  No food.  No goods.  No services.  Their lives suck along with the populace's.  It's one reason the dark ages were a long period of no or negative advancement.  And Zim is engaging in a modern version of feudalism.  Only their "nobility" is revolting faster.  Zim soldiers are rioting at the banks because the currency is worthless.

In short, the soldiers wouldn't have to be pillaging, killing and raping people so much if it's what they want.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 07, 2008, 05:31:34 am
What can I say?  When I said that my cat knows as much about stock car racing as Mugumbe knows about running the country I was more than likely giving my cat too little credit.  (For a cat he's pretty damn smart)  Everything that you said is in my experience, true.   Anyone who does do in the governments opinion "too well" can find that they're property is taken from them by force under the color of law isn't limited to Zmbabwe however.  The difference is that usually the property ends up in some government officials ownership or some friend of his/hers.
Quote
  Subsistence farming is hard, tough, unrewarding work.  The only one it benefits to have most of the population performing it is a government that has modern arms.  As long as they can keep that variance in levels, it ensures that there's a large population incapable of overthrowing the rulership. 

     I think that hits the nail on the head.  Subsistance farming IS damn hard work.  My grandfather told me more than once about what he had to do to keep food on the table for my grandmother and his young daughter (my mother) during the great depression and having lived on a farm most of my life when I was growing up I know it's true.  I can remember being a skinny 13 year old kid and running a 45 pound davidson chain saw to cut up a bunch of trees that had fallen into the corn field after a windstorm.  When I finished my entire body was shaking from exhaustion.  I laid down in the basement before taking a bath to get the sweat off of me and when I tried to get up to go to the bathroom, my entire right side totally refused to obey me.  They had to rush me to a chiropractor in town to get me to move again.  Let some liberal have an experience like that and I think that he would have a little bit better grasp of reality.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 07, 2008, 11:39:55 am
True.  I'm off a fair amount of the time.  But I think the foreshadowing here is pretty direct for today.  Guy believes the source of the Cererean wealth is, laughably, their "unfair" access to natural resources, and he's been overheard.  So I don't know how exactly they'll do it, but I suspect there will be an attempt to induce Guy and Fiorella's eyes to adopt the aspect of sheep.
::)
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 07, 2008, 11:59:57 am
Rocketman, now just imagine trying to do that with at best a barely sharpened axe or machete.  These people don't get chainsaws a lot of the time.  They get handaxes, machetes, a lot of them probably don't even have animals to help ploughing so have to do it by hand too.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 07, 2008, 10:09:35 pm
Again Leviathan I agree.  I've cut down trees with axes before and it's bad enough with a chainsaw.  Cutting them into 16 to 18 inch pieces that fit in the families fireplace is much worse, especially when it's hard wood like wild cherry or walnut.  I think like you do that the majority of the squatters aren't interested in the old ways as much as they simply don't have the knowledge to do modern farming, even to the level of say late 19th century farming with horse drawn planters and cultivators.  And to the best of my knowledge no one is still even making production parts for something like that anymore and probably hasn't since about 1950, at least not in the United States.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 08, 2008, 11:36:09 am
Oh, the great irony.  It would probably be a decent transitory market for these poorer places, so they can afford an intermediary if they can't get loans for the bigger modern farming methods.  But the entire reason these people are this poor is because the nations in question are trying to destroy free market exchange.  A free market would help alleviate their suffering, but the reason they're suffering is because the market has been annihilated by government force in the first place.  Isn't it funny? 

The same thing that happened in Zimbabwe happened for a long time after the Korean war.  Lots of land got redistributed as part of the post-war period.  They didn't limit it to captures by Japanese settlers.  They redistributed the wealthier land-owning Koreans too.  Like everywhere that's been under US stewardship, the US tried to manage their economy.  Like everywhere the US tried, it destroyed their economy.  Those that are out from under that basically the local government, despite being occupied by foreign troops, stared them down and practically dared them to open fire for having the audacity to remove themselves from US economic control.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 08, 2008, 03:37:49 pm
An interm solution to the United Nations way of thinking would be to give them some money to pay for tractors, cultivators and the like and then send them some half way qualified technical experts to show them how to run them and plant crops.  The problem with that right now is that with that total commie idiot running the country that not even the UN is nuts enough to buy anything for them at least right now.  They know that the money would go straight into an offshore account and the average person wouldn't see a penny of it.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 17, 2008, 12:39:18 pm
Well, since my last post here, there have been more calls for Mugabe to resign by people who have held some sort of romantic image of him when he was a  so called "freedom fighter".  What so irks me is that is that they were more than willing to forgive him is past deeds because he brought "freedom" to Rhodesia through murder, rape, torture and confiscation of private property.  If that bastard doesn't end up in hell when he dies it will only be because Satan wouldn't let him in because he's afraid that Mugabe will try to take over there. :'(
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 18, 2008, 01:29:43 am
Or because there isn't a hell.  But people will remember Mugabe, the Fascist, for generations.  Socialism/communism, taking all the actions it says will turn everything into a utopia, and instead turning it to shit.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 18, 2008, 09:49:48 am
Or because there isn't a hell.  But people will remember Mugabe, the Fascist, for generations.  Socialism/communism, taking all the actions it says will turn everything into a utopia, and instead turning it to shit.
     That's not quite right but close.  The 1/10 of one percent that are the ruling elite will do actually very well, while the other 99.9 percent wallow in misery taking care of their human leech like masters.  They keep them in check by telling the masses just how bad it is on the outside and how lucky they are to have them protecting the masses from the capitalist exploters.  What a sick joke on humanity.   :'(
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 19, 2008, 04:30:44 am
And yet people still say "we need government!"  We need it like we need seeping anal leakage.

Oh, and my gawd.  Guy has done something useful, competent even.  It's a sign of the apocalypse.  The laws of physics have reversed, and he's proven he's not a total waste of skin!
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: John DeWitt on December 19, 2008, 07:30:36 am
Oh, and my gawd.  Guy has done something useful, competent even.  It's a sign of the apocalypse.  The laws of physics have reversed, and he's proven he's not a total waste of skin!

Don't worry, I've a feeling he's about to wreck any such notion with his very next words.  The universe will survive.   ;)
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 22, 2008, 04:51:17 pm
Oh, and my gawd.  Guy has done something useful, competent even.  It's a sign of the apocalypse.  The laws of physics have reversed, and he's proven he's not a total waste of skin!

Don't worry, I've a feeling he's about to wreck any such notion with his very next words.  The universe will survive.   ;)
I love this forum--so many guesses, so few right answers.  ;D
Which is not to say that John isn't right... or wrong. I guess we will just have to wait and see. (I bet it all makes sense in the end, though.)
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 22, 2008, 08:00:57 pm
Sandy:  People (other than you or Frank) who think that they understand how the story is going to unfold are in a sense no different than liberals who think that they understand how that life works because they use their frames of reference to guess at the ending just as they think that life in their opinion should be "fair".  More than likely they're wrong but they don't see it until it's really too late to do anything about it.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 22, 2008, 08:52:34 pm
Sandy:  People (other than you or Frank) who think that they understand how the story is going to unfold are in a sense no different than liberals who think that they understand how that life works because they use their frames of reference to guess at the ending just as they think that life in their opinion should be "fair".  More than likely they're wrong but they don't see it until it's really too late to do anything about it.
Well said.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Leviathan on December 23, 2008, 11:19:48 am
Hey now.  Speculating on how the story is going to turn out is more like trying to predict the stock market.  If us speculating types were gonna act like modern "liberals" we'd point a gun at Sandy, Scott, and Lee, and demand the story unfold like our speculations.  Unlike tyrants who demand control of people and events, I think people who speculate here are actually more pleased when our predictions are confounded.  If we were never surprised by the story, we wouldn't have to bother reading it unless we were just enthralled by the artwork.  It's well-drawn, but without the story?  Heh.  Keep surprising us, and beware of jumpable sharks!
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Scott on December 23, 2008, 12:45:13 pm
When I first started in this webcomics business it used to irritate me when people made predictions about where the story would go -- why can't people just shaddap and wait for the next installment?

Then I realized that this sort of thing was part of the entertainment value of what we're doing. The guessing-game is a side-show that adds value to the main attraction.

So keep guessing, folks!

Oh, and don't forget to do the clicky thing on our voting buttons -- if we can get our rankings above 100 in each of the sites, it really helps to promote our comics. You can vote once each day on each of the two voting sites.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: SandySandfort on December 23, 2008, 01:54:46 pm
... I think people who speculate here are actually more pleased when our predictions are confounded.  If we were never surprised by the story, we wouldn't have to bother reading it unless we were just enthralled by the artwork.  It's well-drawn, but without the story?  Heh.  Keep surprising us, and beware of jumpable sharks!
Excellent point. One of my all time favorite movies is Sixth Sense. Why? Because it so adroitly fooled me and some of the smartest people I know. I mean, WTF, we all saw Bruce Willis get killed in the first scene, yet we were surprised when we found out he was dead. Now that is great writing.
Title: Re: Maybe just maybe...
Post by: Rocketman on December 23, 2008, 07:40:06 pm
Seeing if you can figure out who the killer is is one of the reasons that the show "Law and Order" is so popular.  I don't always figure it out before it's revieled on the show but enough of the time that I think that I would make a pretty fair detective.  I have two all time movies that I love purely from a writing standpoint.  The first was made in the late 70's or early 80's I think and I haven't seen it available on television for many years.  "The Count of Monte Cristo" starring Richard Chamberlain.  The plot really grabbed me and his acting was absolutely perfect.  The second was a much more recent prison movie (which normally I don't like) called "The Shawshank Redemption."  Good actors can make a fair movie into a good one but if you get great acting and great writing it's memorable.