(UTOPIA) Tax Alert : Stop 150% tax pledge increase

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Apr 18 23:37:07 MDT 2008

Mister E <Mister.Ed at AgoraCart.com> writes:

> Stuart Jansen wrote:
>> I should point out that I've always been an Independent with
>> Conservative tendencies. And ever since reading Ayn Rand I've been
>> drifting toward Libertarian. (I mention this because your arguments
>> sound like echoes of hers.) Just ask my coworkers. I'm even offended by
>> HOAs.
> <snip>
>> Some things are simply our responsibility as human beings. Free basic
>> education is not only a basic human right, but essential to the well
>> being of our society. Basic health care is the same. As is water at a
>> reasonable price, and the right to travel anywhere in the nation without
>> prior government approval. Not merely for the good of the individual,
>> but for the strength and adaptability of society.
> Neither free basic education nor basic health care are basic human
> rights. A huge misconception as of the last few decades and usually
> more common among younger folks.  But the pursuit thereof is a basic
> right. Don't drink the misconception kool-aid.  

What rights qualify as 'basic human rights' is a philisophical
question, and one that is still open.  What you say, then, is correct
from the point of view of a particular philosophy.  Stuart is also
correct from another point of view, and his point of view is
corroborated by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  I don't
imagine that holds much weight for you, but it is evidence that those
beliefs are widely held at least since the late 1940s.

You have clearly taken a large swig of your own particular brand of
kool-aid, so you ought to watch where you're pointing that finger of
yours.  There is no 'misconception' in Stuart's words, but a sound
conception that happens to be bound to a different philosophy than

> Just because something feels good or makes some folks happy to offer
> as a collective, does not make the results/services/products a basic
> human right.  

You've said what you think *doesn't* make a basic human right.  What
*does* make one?  What you will inevitably come up with if you seek to
answer that question is some philisophical dogma that rests on some
foundational principle or other.  Is it natural rights?  Social
contracts?  Philosophers have been arguing about this since there was
such a concept as a right, and, as I have said before, they've all
managed to be wrong in some way or another.

> You are a smart feller, but a pretense to independence you have not.
> Independent or not, you are still just a sheep, like the rest of us,
> on one path or another... or as I say (based on a poster I saw): you
> are individually unique, just like everyone else.

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned ev'ry one to his
own way. 

Did you have a point there?  Of course we are all influenced by
society.  That's the only reason any of these philisophical ideas have
any power.  His choice not to associate with a political party (which
is clearly what he meant by calling himself 'Independent') hasn't got
a lot to do with whether he is independent of mind, and that doesn't
have a lot to do with anything else either.

> ps - taking offense is just a way to attempt control over others, and
> is sometimes used in conjunction with political correctness tactics.
> So basically it only works on weak-minded individuals and/or those
> that are misinformed.

Being offensive is likewise just a way to exert influence over others,
as is rational discourse.  All tools in the rhetoric toolbox, and
useful in different situations.  I hope you're not attempting to
characterize my arguments as political correctness tactics simply
because I'm not an absolutist, because that would be completely wrong.


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