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About studiodekadent

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  • Birthday 09/25/1986

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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.

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  • Full Name
    Andrew Russell
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    Individualist Renegade Objectivist Cybergoth-Freak type. Economist, Philosopher and Musician. Economics: Misesian/Hayekian/Evolutionary Philosophy: Open-System Objectivism Myers-Briggs Type: INTP Enneagram Type: 8w7 with a strong connection to 5 Favorite Song: "Joy" by VNV Nation Favorite Computer Game: System Shock 2 Favorite Quote: "Thought Does Not Bow To Authority" - Ayn Rand
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    Icon of Coil, Front Line Assembly, :Wumpscut:, [:SITD:], VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ, Suicide Commando, Grendel, Orgy (circa Vapor Transmission), Marilyn Manson (circa Mechanical Animals), Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Apoptygma Berzerk, Covenant, Assemblage 23, Decoded Feedback, Julien-K, New Order, The Kovenant
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  1. New Article: The Anti-PC Case For Same Sex Marriage

    Well I agree with them but they weren't really related to the arguments I advanced in the article (like you said, the article didn't open on your computer right?). I agree with the classical liberal case for legalizing same sex marriage. But that isn't the same thing as the specifically anti-PC case for same sex marriage.
  2. Proposition: The Regulatory State Is The Greatest Evil In Economics

    Could you perhaps give some more detailed discussion/critique?
  3. Proposition: The Regulatory State Is The Greatest Evil In Economics

    Interesting point but please, you're dropping context. My initial post was about economic policy and everyone knows what "the regulatory state" means in an economic context. So perhaps we could look at that particular subject rather than talk about road rules.
  4. New Article: The Anti-PC Case For Same Sex Marriage

    William, From what I know, the Sessions memo merely restates existing law. Maybe I'm thinking of another memo, but gay rights aren't the same thing as trans rights, and the idea that rescinding the contraception mandate is an attack on gay people is ridiculous. No one has a right to state-subsidized contraception. The mandate's rescinding impacts everyone equally, and condoms/dental dams are cheap. There are also principled libertarian arguments against the expansion of anti-discrimination laws. As for speaking at a summit, politicians pander. This is what they do. They're whores. You can't expect them to speak in front of an interest group only because they agree with the entire ideology of that interest group... Paul Ryan spoke at an Objectivist conference once but he still hasn't aborted a fetus and smeared the resultant blood over a statue of the Virgin Mary yet, now has he? A representative of the NRA is speaking at this conference too, but the NRA defends firearms in a sexuality-neutral fashion (the 2nd Amendment is for everyone) so can hardly be described as an anti-gay organization. Merely speaking at the Values Voter Summit doesn't constitute support for the entire religious right agenda. Personally I wouldn't want to speak at such an event, but politicians need to pander. If a politician could only speak to "respectable" organizations... they'd give like... 5% of the public appearances they currently do.
  5. Proposition: The Regulatory State Is The Greatest Evil In Economics

    No, its an acknowledgement of the fact there won't be a giant Objectivist revolution which changes society in the course of a week or less.
  6. Proposition: The Regulatory State Is The Greatest Evil In Economics

    And that doesn't engage with my central argument. I'm not saying that nothing should be prohibited. I'm saying that prohibitions BEYOND "thou shalt not initiate force/fraud/coercion" necessarily violate rights.
  7. I wrote this article in response to the Australian marriage law postal survey currently underway, and it has been published by an Australian think-tank. I think that voting in favor of permitting same sex marriage would actually be a blow to the PC narrative. My case is made here: All thoughts appreciated!
  8. I am going to make an argument which many people will find surprising coming from an Objectivist; welfare is a lesser evil than economic regulation and controls. The reasons I am making this argument are as follows. First, Objectivist reform will by necessity come one step at a time, and thus we need to prioritize what reforms happen first. Second, when discussing the problems with certain regulatory policies I find it extremely annoying when people try to derail the discussion into "but muh welfare!" Third, welfare programs are perceived as something people have paid into their whole lives via the tax system, and that if these programs were abolished they'd be losing out, but regulatory policies are simple prohibitions that do not have this problem with optics. And fourth, I think that there may be reasons to accept a basic income guarantee within an otherwise laissez-faire economy (political acceptability being one of these reasons). Because of these reasons I think we need to conceptually separate out the various kinds of government intervention in the economy, and then prioritize them. Which are worse, and which are better? I make the proposition that the larger the number of violations of individual rights any particular kind of intervention necessarily requires, the worse that particular kind of intervention is. Whilst lesser evils are still evils, the point is to move from a more evil to a less evil situation wherever possible. Often it is not possible to move to a perfectly evil-free situation, and as such when one has limited alternatives one needs to choose the best one. So what kinds of government intervention are there? Let me define. 1. The Basics. These are courts, defense, property rights and law enforcement; the bare minimal Nightwatchman state. All Objectivists accept these are necessary, and with the exception of Rand herself, Nozick and the free-market anarchists all libertarians accept these will have to be taxpayer-funded. 2a. Government Ownership of Capital. This is when the government owns certain capital. This can range from merely government ownership of some particular capital asset, to a government monopoly on a particular industry, to full state socialism. 2b. Government Control of Private Capital, aka the Regulatory State. This is when the government restricts/limits how private owners can use their capital beyond "do not use it to violate others rights." 3. Income Redistribution, aka Welfare. This is when the government takes money from certain citizens and gives it to others. The reason for "2a" and "2b" being used as classifications is that partially these variables are a tradeoff (in that an economy with no private capital by definition has no Regulatory State since there's nothing to regulate), but also very much akin to each other. Both of these categories could be combined into a supercategory of "Government Control of Capital" generally (with government ownership implying government control of any particular asset). State Socialism is based on 2a intervention. Economic Fascism is based around 2b intervention (although historically has often coexisted with a level of 2a intervention). My contention is as follows: Category 3 intervention is "less worse" than Category 2a and Category 2b interventions. But here are my provisos. First, I am modelling Category 3 intervention exclusively as income transfers on the basis of generally applicable rules. Extensive schemes of social engineering and bureaucratic management, as well as schemes involving the transfer of physical goods (rather than income), are absolutely much more worthy of criticism than plain direct income transfers, but for reasons unrelated to the rights-violation calculus I am using. Second, I am defining "less worse" and "more worse" here strictly in terms of violating the negative rights of governed individuals. This isn't meant to be a full discussion of the drawbacks of any particular kind of policy and should not be taken as a comprehensive analysis. It merely looks at the number of rights violations necessary for each category of intervention, not anything else. Onto the calculus. Category 1 intervention is necessary to protect everyone's rights in the first place, which is why it is generally uncontroversial amongst libertarians (bar market anarchists, who believe it is not necessary). That said, it requires the violation of some rights; specifically, there is no way to fund this kind of intervention without taxation (the ultraminarchy preferred by Rand and Nozick is accepted as basically impossible even by most Objectivists), which violates rights by definition. Ergo, we can say Category 1 has "1" necessary rights violation. Category 2a intervention can range from central banking (a government monopoly on money) to full out State Socialism. Category 2a intervention has the following necessary interventions. First, in order to acquire the capital in question, the government must nationalize it, or they must purchase it with public money (funded by taxation). This must be counted as a separate rights violation because the government does not by default own capital; the capital it owns must come from somewhere. Second, the government must pay for people to operate and manage the capital asset/s in question, which also requires public money (funded by taxation). Thirdly, the government typically (but not always) operates this capital in a monopolistic manner, which means by definition individuals are being prohibited from entering a market which they otherwise could enter. Let us presume that the government could operate the capital they own in a competitive marketplace (i.e. one without legal prohibitions on entry). Even under this case, Category 2a intervention requires 2 necessary rights violations, and often involves 3 rights violations. Category 2b intervention is regulation/state control over private capital. First, this requires a regulatory bureaucracy or law-making apparatus (such as a legislature) and an enforcement apparatus which must be funded by taxation. Second, every single compulsive clause (i.e. clause which mandates or prohibits any action) is by definition a violation of the rights of capital owners. In other words, category 2b intervention requires 2 necessary rights violations, but because each individual regulatory compulsion/prohibition constitutes a rights violation of its own the number quickly increases. Category 3 intervention, or redistribution of income, has only one necessary rights violation. This rights violation is the taxation necessary to fund the welfare scheme. The recipient of the money does not have their rights violated (presuming its a straight income transfer); we can speak about whether or not they have "earned" or whether they "deserve" that money but that's discussion not about political rights but ethics. Ergo, Category 1 intervention violates rights once. So does Category 3 intervention. Category 2a violates rights at least twice and typically thrice. Category 2b violates rights at least twice and the number quickly grows. This leads me to suggest that Objectivists should emphasize attacks on public ownership of capital and state regulation/control of private capital, and prioritize these over critiquing safety nets. Whilst cronyism is also atrocious, the atrocities of cronyism tend to be a derivative of Category 2a and Category 2b interventions. Of course this is a very simple metric and does not go into policy details or analyze all economic consequences. But it may provide a reason to help Objectivists pick their battles more efficiently.
  9. What is "Globalism"

    I consider it to be collectivistic, neo-segregationist and an attack on the true diversity of cosmopolitanism.
  10. What is "Globalism"

    William, Just to let you know, I am for international free trade (complete free trade) and economic globalization. I am also for relatively open immigration (I support screening for communicable diseases and potential violent threats like Jihadism) and I support cultural cosmopolitanism (but not official multiculturalism; I see that as a 'keep to your own kind' pseudo-segregationism). My problem is with supranational layers of regulation and control. Things like the EU. Jurisdictional competition has been a fantastic ally to liberty and things like the EU ultimately reduce jurisdictional competition.
  11. What is "Globalism"

    Ellen, Thank you very much. I agree that many Objectivists and also Libertarians/Classical Liberals seem to think of "globalism" in terms of international free trade as well as cosmopolitanism and cultural exchange, and from this they come to associate positive things with the label "globalism" and presume that the opposite to "globalism" is a parochial protectionist ethno-nationalism. Frankly the alternative right (the most common critics of "globalism") haven't done anything to dispel this false dichotomy. If my definition of globalism (as the empowerment of supranational institutions) is the correct one, then Classical Liberals (of any kind) SHOULD be the primary critics of globalism, because globalism represents the centralization of power which is anathema to liberty. Decentralization of power is a bulwark against tyranny. My definition of globalism has a particular advantage; it explains the paradoxical association of free trade with a position that is almost universally held by progressive leftists. If globalism is really about centralizing power within large supranational institutions, then it is basically the Progressive project on an international scale. Classical Liberals are effectively duped into supporting these institutions by the promise of "free trade" ("less unfree trade" would be more accurate).
  12. do Germany and France live under socialism today?

    This sounds to me very much like Germany is more economically fascist than the USA. More "coordination" between big industry groups and unions... That is VERY corporatist. More decisions are made by large, centralized institutions. All you need to do in order to turn this "coordination" into textbook economic fascism is to have the government "encourage" (ahem) this coordination. A more institutionalized, more consolidated economy is a more corporatistic one.
  13. do Germany and France live under socialism today?

    The US is also a Social Democratic/Mixed Economy country. There's a substantial degree of Economic Fascism in the US too. The US is not a free market paradise. It is MORE free market than Continental Europe but not anywhere near laissez-faire. What metrics are you using to establish Germany as "doing better" than the US? GDP per capita? Median income adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity? Growth rates? Job creation rates? In addition, Economic Fascism CAN result in very fast economic growth; the Asian Tiger model for instance (also Japan). No one would argue that nations CANNOT develop without full laissez-faire (I don't think any nation historically did) and no one would argue that anything short of complete laissez-faire makes development impossible. Social Democracies don't have the economic calculation problem like full-on socialist economies do. What makes one country grow faster than another? There are a huge number of complex policy variables which all ultimately impact growth rates and some are more impactful than others. But from what I know, Germany and Western Europe in general is extremely anemic in terms of economic growth and job creation. I'd say labor market rigidities and regulations are more damaging (in growth terms) interventions than interventions in at least some other areas. The short answer is that you can't just "put economies on a spectrum" of "more free to less free" (economic freedom is multidimensional/multivariate) and then presume that every economy with a similar "level" (in net terms) of economic freedom will have exactly the same growth rate.
  14. do Germany and France live under socialism today?

    Close. "Economic Fascism," also called "Corporatism," occurs when the means of production are privately OWNED but they are regulated/controlled by the State (to at least a substantial degree). As such, to the degree that these economies regulate/control capital (i.e. control how private businesses act), they are Economically Fascist. More hardcore forms of Economic Fascism involve a lot of cronyism and "government-linked corporations," cartelization of the economy, etc. Economic Fascism can exist in terms of degree, basically. I'm saying that it is present to a substantial degree under Social Democracy.
  15. basic income

    Basic Income: does it violate capitalism? It depends on your definition. If by "capitalism" you exclusively mean "an economy where all the means of production are privately owned and the government's only permissible role is to enforce contracts, property rights and prohibit force/fraud/coercion and can ONLY extract the absolute-minimum tax money required to do this, then yes, a basic income guarantee does violate capitalism. But let us look at how Basic Income is usually supported by pro-market advocates; as a replacement for the current welfare state and for current public services. When judged by this criterion, a Basic Income is actually an extremely attractive alternative for the following reasons: 1. It allows the firing of a huge number of bureaucrats and the abolition of an immense number of government departments. This solves several Public Choice problems with large, entrenched governments and public sector unions, without allowing those snakes to use "the poor!" as a human shield to justify their own job security. 2. Replacing a welfare system that is designed basically to modify behavior and manipulate what people do with a system that enables individual choice increases the liberty of welfare recipients and lessens the government's ability to engage in social engineering. In other words, the same "safety net" could be made much less expensive and much less coercive/managerial. A safety net could be provided at both a reduction in the cost-to-liberty and the cost-to-taxpayers than that represented by the current system. In addition, it could be justifiably argued that an unconditional direct income transfer to someone is LESS coercive than an economic regulation; a transfer requires only the extraction of the tax money (one instance of coercion). An economic regulation requires BOTH the extraction of tax money to fund the regulators and enforcers (one instance of coercion) AND inflicts a second coercion in that it forbids businesses from engaging in a particular course of action (or mandates businesses engage in a particular course of action). You could make the argument that ceteris paribus, the regulatory state is a more important target than a social safety net (and further, that certain kind/s of social safety net are worse than others). Personally I think the Basic Income Guarantee (as a replacement for the current benefits system) would be a fantastic way to slim down the welfare state, decrease government social engineering and decrease the overall cost of government, and doing so would be politically palatable since it would retain the safety net. It would represent a net increase in liberty relative to the current system. Honestly, I don't think that the 100% abolition of all safety nets is possible, and arguably it is not even particularly desirable. I think the smallest possible government (without some sort of titanic improvement in general moral character of most people) will include a safety net, and the Basic Income Guarantee is the best way to do it.