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towr
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #25 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 12:01am »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 4:09pm, ecoist wrote:
If destruction is an economic good, why not destroy things on purpose?
You mean like breaking down old houses and buildings so you can build something new in their place?
 
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A free market only "destroys things" by replacing them with better things.
When will it replace the environment, then?
 
That's hardly the point though; the free market also reacts to other forces than itself. People steal, locks are invented; people break in, alarms are invented. There are booming markets depending on negative forces. If everyone was nice we could write of the entire part of the economy that depends on living with the fact they're not.
And war is the ultimate 'people not being nice'.
 
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Your worry is better placed railing against government interventions in the market, worse, government sucking the market dry to fund disastrous wars!
Weapon trade is a booming market, in more than one sense. The money circulates regardless.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #26 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 12:27am »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 9:23pm, ecoist wrote:
"Keep supply and demand steady"?  What the hell does that mean?
It means that for your business to have any continuity, you mustn't flood the market and go broke because your goods have become worthless. The value of things depends in part on their scarcity.
 
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You seem to be saying that consumers are victims of businesses.  Have you forgotten the consumer revolt over "new coke"?  Unless government intervenes, the consumer is king!
I know very little about "new coke". But I've heard of cigarettes, DRM, kartels, etc. Businesses do all sorts of things to the detriment of the consumer if they can make a buck. It is by no means a rule that the consumers find out about these things in a timely manner and can do something to stop it. And the government can be as much part of the problem (DMCA) as the solution (kartel breaking).
 
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You forget that our beloved nation began after a war of independence, fought successfully without a government!
That's highly disputable. They were hardly a disorganized bunch of hoodlums. They may not have raised taxes, but they certainly ran things.
 
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War is not inevitable!
That depends on the other party as well.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #27 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 8:23am »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 9:23pm, ecoist wrote:
I am shocked by your incredible lack of understanding!  Though I feel ill-equiped to clear things up for you, I will make one last try.

When you have seen things from both sides, then you may attempt to clear things up for me. You are quite idealistic, and while that certainly isn't a bad thing, you must forgive me for dismissing some of the more impractical aspects of your commentary.
 
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One of the great ideas of the founders of America, trying to eliminate possible government tyranny, was to give the states the right of secession.  The individual states could then be multiple laboratories in designing good government and a strong check on federal abuse of power!  Lincoln destroyed that great idea!

I never gave my opinion one way or the other on the ethics of what happened.  
 
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"Keep supply and demand steady"?  What the hell does that mean?

Methinks your economics teacher is rolling in their grave...
 
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You seem to be saying that consumers are victims of businesses.  Have you forgotten the consumer revolt over "new coke"?  Unless government intervenes, the consumer is king!

Yes, the consumer has some say in the market and their tastes and preferences greatly influence the continued growth of the market. However it is entirely possible (and happens quite frequently) that the business can hold the consumer hostage especially with products that are necessities.
 
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You forget that our beloved nation began after a war of independence, fought successfully without a government!  You also forget that wars are diminishing in frequency and severity as a means to settle disputes.  So, also, are things improving on a smaller scale.  Arbitration is increasingly replacing expensive law suits through our court system.  War is not inevitable!  Like other tools of the dark ages, war is being replaced by negotiation (no thanks to Bush!)!

It may not have had a recognized government, but it was most definitely not without leadership which is the essence of government. And as far as frequency goes, life is a cycle. You will for a time have calm peaceful periods, during which the events will be put into motion that will cause future outbursts. And I still adamently maintain that war is inevitable until you have a "perfect people" which in that case we will have lost some of the very characteristics which make us human. War is nothing more than an intensified competition on a grander scale. To remove the tendencies in people that cause war, you would remove the will to succeed, improve, and survive.  
 
If you dislike war so much, stop taking advantage of the freedoms it provides you.
 
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."-Winston Churchill
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #28 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 10:28am »
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Wow, ima1trkpny and towr!  I've never in my life heard such a sick view of human nature!
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It means that for your business to have any continuity, you mustn't flood the market and go broke because your goods have become worthless. The value of things depends in part on their scarcity.

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business can hold the consumer hostage especially with products that are necessities.

Business can but it doesn't for the simple reason that it is not profitable.  I used to believe that businesses built cars to malfunction after a short time so consumers would have to buy new cars.  Makes sense until one realizes that any business that does this is vulnerable to other businesses that design their cars to last a bit longer, forcing the first business to drop its planned obsolescence rule or go belly up.  Note that cars today are designed to go 100,000 miles without even a tune up!
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War is nothing more than an intensified competition on a grander scale. To remove the tendencies in people that cause war, you would remove the will to succeed, improve, and survive.
 
Wrong on two levels!  There are many kinds of conflict between war and pacifism!  War, the most destructive, leads man to seek less expensive means of settling disputes, which developed societies are increasingly using as a more practical alternative to war.  On a second level, you are very wrong to suggest that "the will to succeed, improve, and survive" requires war.  They require only means, motive, and opportunity, which a free society provides in abundance.
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If you dislike war so much, stop taking advantage of the freedoms it provides you.

Sick!  Tell that to Cindy Sheehan; especially her son!  And what freedoms have you gained when you go through airport inspections?
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That's highly disputable. They were hardly a disorganized bunch of hoodlums. They may not have raised taxes, but they certainly ran things.
 
Seems based on the false assumption that, without government, there is chaos.  What about international trade, indeed, the internet?  Masterful order unmanaged, and largely unmanageable, by all governments!
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #29 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 10:31am »
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on Dec 13th, 2007, 10:28am, ecoist wrote:
Wow, ima1trkpny and towr!  I've never in my life heard such a sick view of human nature!

Civility, please.  Attack the argument if you must, but not the poster.  Thanks.
 
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #30 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 10:44am »
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I agree with you wholeheartedly, SMQ!  However, I called the view "sick", not the poster.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #31 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 11:02am »
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[meta]Yes, but there's a rather substantial emotional gulf between "I vehemently disagree," and "I've never in my life heard such a sick view."  They both say something roughly equivalent about the argument, but the latter additionally strongly implies something about the presenter of the argument -- that he or she is somehow damaged for espousing it.  I would prefer to see language more like the former, and, when possible, I like to speak up before things get "out of hand."  Carry on.[/meta]
 
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #32 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 11:27am »
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on Dec 13th, 2007, 10:28am, ecoist wrote:
Wow, ima1trkpny and towr!  I've never in my life heard such a sick view of human nature!
Well, call me a pessimist; but really, humanity's overall behaviour hasn't really inspired me to view it in a better light.
 
There isn't a cosmic law that reality has to be pleasant; unfortunately.
 
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Business can but it doesn't for the simple reason that it is not profitable.
Not usually, no. But it has happened, and it still happens. Albeit, probably less in this day and age.  
It is profitable if they can get away with it. Whether they can depends on things like the presence of competition, consumer watchgroups/lobbies, and government control. In this day and age we do fairly well in those departments (at least around here). Yet, still, every now and then you'll hear about businesses making price deals, or stifling competition in other ways. And they lobby for legislation detrimental to consumer interest; and unfortunately they are occasionally successful in their efforts.
 
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Seems based on the false assumption that, without government, there is chaos.
And yet, it is in fact based on the reality that they were organized.
 
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What about international trade, indeed, the internet?  Masterful order unmanaged, and largely unmanageable, by all governments!
Yes, and so are anthills; but that's hardly the issue, is it.
The American revolution did not occur without leadership, without government. If that had been the case, the English would have had no trouble putting the rebellion down. A revolution does not keep itself going.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #33 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 11:38am »
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On that subject, I always think of Tibet.   They have a culture against violence and against war.  Well, they could do nothing against being invaded.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #34 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 12:20pm »
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War has been (somewhat cynically) described as "the continuation of diplomacy by other means". As long as at least one side believes they can get more than they'll lose by going to war, and the other side believes they can better afford to resist than to lose what the aggressors would take from them, there will be wars.
 
A simple example of when war would normally be inevitable: when a limited, essential resource is insufficient to support the combined population of two or more groups both dependent on the same limited supply. Either both reduce their population, or one group dominates the other, or both face disaster. Even with an agreement in place, there are strong incentives to each group (and to the individuals in each group) to break the agreement.
 
And it may be a depressing view of life to acknowledge that serial killers and rapists and other monsters exist, it's a lot more accurate than one that insists that everyone is fundamentally good and decent and wants to be friends. It's also a lot more accurate than a view that assumes that everyone is a serial killer or rapist barely kept in check by fear of consequences - the truth is that the vast majority are decent ordinary people, who are willing to pay what they consider to be a fair price to get something legitimately, but who will also cheerfully download pirated music/software if they consider the asking price unreasonable. There are some saints, and there are some monsters, and sometimes the monsters are drawn to positions of power...
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #35 on: Dec 13th, 2007, 1:44pm »
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on Dec 13th, 2007, 10:28am, ecoist wrote:

Wrong on two levels!  There are many kinds of conflict between war and pacifism!  War, the most destructive, leads man to seek less expensive means of settling disputes, which developed societies are increasingly using as a more practical alternative to war.  On a second level, you are very wrong to suggest that "the will to succeed, improve, and survive" requires war.  They require only means, motive, and opportunity, which a free society provides in abundance.

I never said it requires war, but that these characteristics will lead to war. As long as someone thinks they have something to gain, they will go to whatever limits to get their way.  
 
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Sick!  Tell that to Cindy Sheehan; especially her son!  And what freedoms have you gained when you go through airport inspections?

Don't even bring up Cindy Sheehan with me... she is a devastated mother, but her son would be appalled at her actions. Know this, that those people who enter the service are dedicated to the cause they believe in and are willing to risk their lives to save yours, and the ungrateful attitude with which they are often rewarded is just plain dispicable from all the people who reap the benefits of their actions. What first hand experience do you have with losing people in war? Any family or is this all just your idea of how those who really have been effected feel?
 
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Seems based on the false assumption that, without government, there is chaos.  What about international trade, indeed, the internet?  Masterful order unmanaged, and largely unmanageable, by all governments!

Ever been to a country in which there is censorship? You'll find that it is entirely possible to control things with the right leverage.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #36 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 12:47am »
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War is never a good thing in my opinion. The fighting is not necessary. Sure quarrels, disagreeements and rowdy discussions are fines, but fighting, to an extreme, is not necessary. I'm not a pacifist, no, but I try at all costs to prevent fights. The only time I believe that fights should occur, are in self defence, but this should never happen if words are used instead of fists or guns.
 
There are times when war has benefited societies, but the prices paid, they are not ever worth it. Life is the most valuable thing, and one can not put a dollar amount on it.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #37 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 1:17am »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 12:47am, mikedagr8 wrote:
War is never a good thing in my opinion. The fighting is not necessary. Sure quarrels, disagreeements and rowdy discussions are fines, but fighting, to an extreme, is not necessary. I'm not a pacifist, no, but I try at all costs to prevent fights. The only time I believe that fights should occur, are in self defence, but this should never happen if words are used instead of fists or guns.
So.. Churchill should have just accepted peace from the Nazis, and the US shouldn't have gotten involved? Because neither was self-defense, you know; not even preemptively.
Personally, I'm rather glad they faced up to that particular evil where the rest of us were unable to.  
Perhaps if you extend "self-defense" to the defense of others as well. Not that "self-defense" isn't already a slippery slope in itself (consider Iraq, which the Bush administration considered a sort of preemptive self-defense)
 
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There are times when war has benefited societies, but the prices paid, they are not ever worth it.
If it wasn't worth it, mustn't it by definition not have been beneficial? Sounds inconsistent.
 
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Life is the most valuable thing, and one can not put a dollar amount on it.
Probably not something one should ask; but the philosopher in me*) can't resist to ask "Why?"
 
 
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #38 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 5:45am »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 1:17am, towr wrote:
Probably not something one should ask; but the philosopher in me can't resist to ask "Why?"

Once you have asked "to whom", the answer becomes obvious.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #39 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 6:04am »
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A couple of things:
 
Which of these situations would you be willing to go to war for?
 
1. What if you are purely defending yourself from foreign invaders?
 
2. What if another country has placed a ban on your products and closed their ports to you, but you desperately need their goods and the trade?
 
3. What if the country turned hostile towards you not by attacking you directly, but capturing, detaining, and/or torturing citizens of your country that lives in the other country, including the ambassadors?
 
4. What if a VERY close ally of yours is on the verge of losing a war with another country, and they lose, you know you will go down soon too?
 
Also, would you attack a foreign country without being provoked?
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #40 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 8:06am »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 6:04am, Ghost Sniper wrote:

Which of these situations would you be willing to go to war for?
 
1. What if you are purely defending yourself from foreign invaders?

Well depends what you mean by invaders... Tongue  
People peacefully coming into country I'm ok with. If they try and take over violently and force their ideas on everyone else, yes I would support going to war (of course I'd see if there was a peaceable way to work it out first, but if not... )
 
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2. What if another country has placed a ban on your products and closed their ports to you, but you desperately need their goods and the trade?

There are some economic war tactics you could use first to make it rather unprofitable for them to close their ports to you... you won't gain a whole lot in that case by forcing them to let you in... the best solution is to appeal to their pocket book.
 
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3. What if the country turned hostile towards you not by attacking you directly, but capturing, detaining, and/or torturing citizens of your country that lives in the other country, including the ambassadors?

Most definitely yes. Those actions declare war on the citizens and one of the primary duties of the government is to protect it's citizens.  
 
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4. What if a VERY close ally of yours is on the verge of losing a war with another country, and they lose, you know you will go down soon too?

At the minimum, you would come to the aid of your ally. Depending on the circumstances, a suitable response would vary from supporting them with supplies to launching a full-scale assault yourself. The specifics of the situation would be very important to consider, but to leave an ally hanging is a very poor idea.
 
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Also, would you attack a foreign country without being provoked?

No. But you have to take into consideration that there are many different opinions as to what is "provocation".
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #41 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 9:59am »
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http::/www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory152.html
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #42 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 10:13am »
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OK. One more question:
 
What is your opinion on combining church with state?
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #43 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 10:42am »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 10:13am, Ghost Sniper wrote:
What is your opinion on combining church with state?
Typically a bad idea; they might take it upon themselves to force people to agree with them, rather then let people do so (or not) of their own free will.
Combining, say, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster with the state, would probably do little harm, though.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #44 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 12:55pm »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 9:59am, ecoist wrote:
http::/www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory152.html

 
Thank you. However I still disagree. Economics is a theory and even the experts can't predict with certainty what will happen as a result of an incident or change in the economy. I'm quite familiar with history, and from my perspective, there have been many occasions in which (while not something we strive for) war has been extremely profitable.
 
on Dec 14th, 2007, 10:13am, Ghost Sniper wrote:
OK. One more question:
 
What is your opinion on combining church with state?

I agree with Towr. Though I'm not sure I want to be ruled by the spaghetti monster Tongue even if I do enjoy pasta.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #45 on: Dec 14th, 2007, 7:06pm »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 12:55pm, ima1trkpny wrote:

 
Thank you. However I still disagree. Economics is a theory and even the experts can't predict with certainty what will happen as a result of an incident or change in the economy. I'm quite familiar with history, and from my perspective, there have been many occasions in which (while not something we strive for) war has been extremely profitable.
 
I agree with Towr. Though I'm not sure I want to be ruled by the spaghetti monster Tongue even if I do enjoy pasta.

Blame the pirates then. Tongue
 
In hindsight towr, it was beneficial. In the long term a war maybe beneficial, short term no.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #46 on: Dec 15th, 2007, 1:14pm »
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on Dec 14th, 2007, 7:06pm, mikedagr8 wrote:
In hindsight towr, it was beneficial. In the long term a war maybe beneficial, short term no.
It depends on your opponents. If, say, your opponent is absolutely convinced peace is always a better option than war, then you can force him to anything by threatening war (even if you don't actually have an army that could do more than swat a fly).
 
And also consider that the Spanish gained quite a bit from their war on the Aztecs and Inca's. A few hundred men overthrew empires. Quite beneficial for Spain, considering the amounts of gold they hauled away.  
Of course, it's not a feat you could replicate in this time. Perhaps if we find a way to reach other worlds. (Not, mind you, that I'd be in favour of subjugating them, even if we easily, and without much risk, could. It might be profitable, but it's still a rotten thing to do.)
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #47 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 10:11am »
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on Dec 16th, 2007, 6:12am, Iceman wrote:
USA & Russia can both destroy this world 15 times all over, and that's it.

 
I'm not sure if that is the case anymore. Don't forget that the former Soviet Union and the U.S. agreed to end the arms race, drastically decreasing the number of nuclear weapons in each country. Also, after the U.S.S.R was dissolved, Russian military might has drastically decreased. I'm sure that combined, U.S. and U.S.S.R can do some major damage, but I'm not so sure if they can destroy the world anymore, especially with the emergence of Chinese military might.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #48 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 10:55am »
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Even without nukes involved, the US is already doing a pretty good job destroying the environment Wink  
(Obviously they're not solely responsible, but they do account for some 25% of it with just 5% of the earth's population).
 
Speaking of nukes: nuclear winter + global warming = temperate climate? Tongue
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #49 on: Dec 17th, 2007, 5:05pm »
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To your data, towr, add the fact that man's total contribution to the current climate change is around 2 percent.  Natural phenomena, uncontrolled by man, account for the rest.  So, even if we nuke ourselves, the billions of rotting bodies will not significantly increase green house gases.
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