Saturday, September 06, 2014

Recent Quotations

Here are a bunch of the most recently added quotations.  The red lines are the categories I've filed these in.

More deeply though there's something about how the rhetoric of 'freedom' and 'liberty' appeals to the 'neo-Confederate' mindset which is paradoxical and considerably more toxic and corrosive than the ways many of us think about those terms. Freedom can also mean freedom from any check on my actions. My freedom. My group's freedom. A warlord who totally dominates his followers has a sort of perfect liberty and freedom. Just not quite the sort we think of in a civic context. It's the same authoritarian mindset of Stormfront and the militia crazies, just through this looking glass where it twists into 'freedom' and 'liberty'.
Josh Marshall, "Keeping It Real on 'neo-Confederate Libertarians'"
Freedom (propaganda), Josh Marshall, Keeping It Real on 'neo-Confederate Libertarians', Liberty (propaganda), Quotations, Racists
What has been created by this half century of massive corporate propaganda is what's called "anti-politics". So that anything that goes wrong, you blame the government. Well okay, there's plenty to blame the government about, but the government is the one institution that people can change... the one institution that you can affect without institutional change. That's exactly why all the anger and fear has been directed at the government. The government has a defect - it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect - they're pure tyrannies. So therefore you want to keep corporations invisible, and focus all anger on the government. So if you don't like something, you know, your wages are going down, you blame the government. Not blame the guys in the Fortune 500, because you don't read the Fortune 500. You just read what they tell you in the newspapers... so you don't read about the dazzling profits and the stupendous dizz, and the wages going down and so on, all you know is that the bad government is doing something, so let's get mad at the government.
Noam Chomsky
Corporate Threats to Liberty, Corporations, Government, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Noam Chomsky, Quotations, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
If the State may be said to properly own its territory, then it is proper for it to make rules for anyone who presumes to live in that area. It can legitimately seize or control private property because there is no private property in its area, because it really owns the entire land surface. So long as the State permits its subjects to leave its territory, then, it can be said to act as does any other owner who sets down rules for people living on his property.
Murray Rothbard, "The Ethics of Liberty"
Government, Murray Rothbard, Property, Quotations, The Ethics of Liberty
Why do people on the right hate monetary expansion, even when it’s desperately needed? One answer is the power of truthiness -- Stephen Colbert’s justly famed term for things that aren’t true, but feel true to some people. “The Fed is printing money, printing money leads to inflation, and inflation is always a bad thing” is a triply untrue statement, but it feels true to a lot of people. And, yes, a tendency to prefer truthiness to more complicated truth is and pretty much always has been associated with political conservatism, and this tendency is especially strong in an era when leading politicians get their monetary theory from Ayn Rand novels.
Paul Krugman, "The Deflation Caucus"
Ayn Rand, Currency, Paul Krugman, Quotations, The Deflation Caucus
[...] a huge part of the problem is the Jeffersonian notion that “the government that governs best is the one that governs least.” While that is true as regards individual liberty, it is absolutely dangerous to think that way as regards the economy.
Christian Parenti, "Reading Hamilton From the Left"
Capitalism, Christian Parenti, Deregulation, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Laissez Faire, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Quotations, Reading Hamilton From the Left, Thomas Jefferson
The state is the necessary but not sufficient pre-condition for capitalism’s development. There is no creative destruction, competition, innovation, and accumulation without the “shadow socialism” of the public sector and state planning.
Christian Parenti, "Reading Hamilton From the Left"
Capitalism, Christian Parenti, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Quotations, Reading Hamilton From the Left
Outside a unionized workplace or the public sector, what most workers are agreeing to when they sign an employment contract is the alienation of many of their basic rights (speech, privacy, association, and so on) in exchange for pay and benefits. They may think they’re only agreeing to do a specific job, but what they are actually agreeing to do is to obey the commands and orders of their boss. It’s close to a version of Hobbesian contract theory—“The end of obedience is protection”—in which the worker gets money, benefits, and perhaps security in exchange for a radical alienation of her will.
Chris Bertram, "Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace"
Alex Gourevitch, Chris Bertram, Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties, Corey Robin, Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace, Quotations, Rights, The Workplace
But we know God hath not left one man so to the mercy of another, that he may starve him if he please: God the Lord and Father of all has given no one of his children such a property in his peculiar portion of the things of this world, but that he has given his needy brother a right to the surplusage of his goods; so that it cannot justly be denied him, when his pressing wants call for it: and therefore no man could ever have a just power over the life of another by right of property in land or possessions; since it would always be a sin, in any man of estate, to let his brother perish for want of affording him relief out of his plenty.
John Locke, "Two Treatises on Government, Chapter 4, §. 42."
John Locke, Property, Quotations, Redistribution, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, Two Treatises on Government
As it happens, I was reading a book about my second-favourite period of UK history over the weekend. It’s amusing to note how many of the arguments of the kind “raising labour standards will close down the factories and send the poor into horrible scavenging”, are nearly word-for-word copies of similar arguments made in the 1830s against the child labour laws passed in England. They were wrong then …
Daniel Davies, "Globollocks, v2.0"
Child Labor, Daniel Davies, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Globollocks, v2.0, Quotations
Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.
Thomas Paine, "Agrarian Justice"
Agrarian Justice, Institutions, Property, Quotations, Taxes, Thomas Paine
Land, as before said, is the free gift of the Creator in common to the human race. Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.
Thomas Paine, "Agrarian Justice"
Agrarian Justice, Property, Quotations, Thomas Paine
There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue.
Thomas Paine, "Agrarian Justice"
Agrarian Justice, Property, Quotations, Thomas Paine
What’s curious is that conservative economists are well aware of the danger of “regulatory capture”, in which public institutions are hijacked by vested interests, yet blithely dismiss (or refuse even to mention) the essentially equivalent problem of democratic institutions hijacked by concentrated wealth. I take regulatory capture quite seriously; but I take plutocratic capture equally seriously.
Paul Krugman, "Sympathy for the Trustafarians"
Deregulation, Greg Mankiw, Obstructing Regulation And Regulatory Capture, Paul Krugman, Plutocracy, Quotations, Sympathy for the Trustafarians
For that matter, where was the libertarian right during the great struggles for individual liberty in America in the last half-century? The libertarian movement has been conspicuously absent from the campaigns for civil rights for nonwhites, women, gays and lesbians. Most, if not all, libertarians support sexual and reproductive freedom (though Rand Paul has expressed doubts about federal civil rights legislation). But civil libertarian activists are found overwhelmingly on the left. Their right-wing brethren have been concerned with issues more important than civil rights, voting rights, abuses by police and the military, and the subordination of politics to religion -- issues like the campaign to expand human freedom by turning highways over to toll-extracting private corporations and the crusade to funnel money from Social Security to Wall Street brokerage firms.
Michael Lind, "Why libertarians apologize for autocracy"
Civil Rights, Democracy, Dictators And Other Anti-Democratic Authoritarians, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Inequality, Michael Lind, Quotations, Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
But the Grab World baseline allows us to see that all economic institutions are restrictions and infringements on liberty. Property is the most liberty-destroying and all-encompassing of the restrictive economic institutions, but contracts, patents, copyrights, securities, corporations, and so on do the same thing. With Grab World as the actual blank slate starting point baseline, it's clear that all we are debating about is what set of liberty-infringing restrictions are the best ones (unless you actually advocate the Grab World).
Matt Bruenig, "The Lesson of Grab What You Can"
Institutions, Matt Bruenig, Non-Aggression, Property, Quotations, The Lesson of Grab What You Can
The market fundamentalists of Technology Liberation Front and Silicon Valley would love you to believe that “permissionless innovation” is somehow organic to “the internet,” but in fact it is an experiment we conducted for a long time in the US, and the experiment proved that it does not work. From the EPA to the FDA to OSHA, nearly every Federal (and State) regulatory agency exists because of significant, usually deadly failures of industry to restrain itself.
David Golumbia, "“Permissionless Innovation”: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic"
David Golumbia, Environment, Freedom Through Technology, Harms Of Libertarian Policies, Permissionless Innovation, Quotations, Regulation, Responsibility, “Permissionless Innovation”: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic
Libertarianism is the One Weird Trick For Solving Any Issue, Politicians HATE Us! of politics. It reduces many of the most complex problems in the world to a set of answers concise enough that they can fit on the back of a business card (isolationism, tiny government, bare minimal taxation).
Kirkaine, "Libertarians are primarily concerned with feeling correct, not about real world results."
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Kirkaine, Libertarian Economic And Political Experiments, Libertarians are primarily concerned with feeling correct, not about real world results., Predictions That Never Come True, Quotations, Unclassified Criticisms
The bloodstained story of economic individualism and unrestrained capitalist competition does not, I should have thought, today need stressing. Nevertheless, in view of the astonishing opinions which some of my critics have imputed to me, I should […] have made even clearer […] the evils of unrestricted laissez-faire.
Isaiah Berlin, "Four Essays on Liberty"
Capitalism, Four Essays on Liberty, Isaiah Berlin, Laissez Faire, Quotations
I do not wish to say that individual freedom is, even in the most liberal societies, the sole, or even the dominant, criterion of social action. We compel children to be educated, and we forbid public executions. These are certainly curbs to freedom. We justify them on the ground that ignorance, or a barbarian upbringing, or cruel pleasures and excitements are worse for us than the amount of restraint needed to repress them.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Isaiah Berlin, Liberty, Quotations, Two Concepts of Liberty
In so far as I live in society, everything that I do inevitably affects, and is affected by, what others do. Even Mill's strenuous effort to mark the distinction between the spheres of private and social life breaks down under examination. Virtually all Mill's critics have pointed out that everything that I do may have results which will harm other human beings.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Externalities, Isaiah Berlin, John Stuart Mill, Liberty, Quotations, Two Concepts of Liberty
First things come first [...] individual freedom is not everyone's primary need.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Isaiah Berlin, Liberty, Quotations, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty, Two Concepts of Liberty
Almost every moralist in human history has praised freedom. Like happiness and goodness, like nature and reality, it is a term whose meaning is so porous that there is little interpretation that it seems able to resist.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Isaiah Berlin, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Positive and Negative Liberty, Quotations, Two Concepts of Liberty
But what do people mean who proclaim that liberty is the palm, and the prize, and the crown, seeing that it is an idea of which there are two hundred definitions, and that this wealth of interpretation has caused more bloodshed than anything, except theology?
Lord Acton, "Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History"
Liberty, Lord Acton, Quotations
[A]ll these economic theories are at least debatable and often highly questionable. Contrary to what professional economists will typically tell you, economics is not a science. All economic theories have underlying political and ethical assumptions, which make it impossible to prove them right or wrong in the way we can with theories in physics or chemistry.
Ha-Joon Chang, "Economics is too important to leave to the experts"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Economics Should Not Tell Us What To Do, Economics is too important to leave to the experts, Ha-Joon Chang, Quotations, Supply-Side Economics
All ownership derives from occupation and violence. [...] That all rights derive from violence, all ownership from appropriation or robbery, we may freely admit to those who oppose ownership on considerations of natural law.
Ludwig von Mises, "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" Ch. 1, section 2.
Coercion, Ludwig von Mises, Property, Quotations, Rights
[T]he people who insist on being armed as a "demonstration" or a "protest" are using the second amendment to quell dissent. And they are forcing unarmed law abiding citizens to behave in different ways toward them than they behave with others --- less freedom for them, more for the gun owners. Once you put convenient, lethal force in the mix, liberty becomes a zero sum game.
Heather Parton, "Speaking of guns"
Digby, Guns, Quotations, Speaking of guns
People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
Jason Read, "How a USM professor became an Internet meme"
Class War, Jason Read, Quotations, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Normally, conservatives extol the magic of markets and the adaptability of the private sector, which is supposedly able to transcend with ease any constraints posed by, say, limited supplies of natural resources. But as soon as anyone proposes adding a few limits to reflect environmental issues -- such as a cap on carbon emissions -- those all-capable corporations supposedly lose any ability to cope with change.
Paul Krugman, "Crazy Climate Economics"
Crazy Climate Economics, Deregulation, Environment, Free Market, Paul Krugman, Quotations, Responsibility
So how do you do useful economics? In general, what we really do is combine maximization-and-equilibrium as a first cut with a variety of ad hoc modifications reflecting what seem to be empirical regularities about how both individual behavior and markets depart from this idealized case. [...] But here’s the thing: economists have done their work this way for generations. So it’s really not a new paradigm. If anything, the true new paradigm was the attempt to justify everything with maximization and equilibrium -- but that’s the paradigm that failed.
Paul Krugman, "Paradigming Is Hard"
Economics 101, Market Failure, Paradigming Is Hard, Paul Krugman, Quotations
There were some -- Frédéric Bastiat and Jean-Baptiste Say come to mind -- who believed that government should put the unemployed to work building infrastructure when markets or production were temporarily disrupted.
Brad DeLong, "American Conservatism’s Crisis of Ideas"
American Conservatism’s Crisis of Ideas, Brad DeLong, Frederic Bastiat, Jean-Baptiste Say, Non-Libertarians Supposedly Supporting Libertarian Viewpoints, Quotations
Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928), Chapter 13
Bertrand Russell, Capitalism, Class War, Plutocracy, Privilege, Quotations, The Workplace
The problem is that this homesteading action is outrageously un-libertarian. It involves a single actor unilaterally deciding to eliminate the previously existing access every other person had to some piece of the world, doing so without the consent of those dispossessed of their access, and through the use of violence (i.e. if you try to access the object they now claim to own, they physically push you off or worse).
Matt Bruenig, "The Nozickian case for Rawls’ difference principle"
Egalitarianism, Homesteading, Initial Acquisition, John Rawls, Matt Bruenig, Non-Aggression, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Robert Nozick, The Nozickian case for Rawls’ difference principle
That property violates the non-aggression principle is so obviously true that it is amusing anyone ever contends otherwise. The institution of property is the most statist, violent, aggressive, anti-libertarian, big government program in history. Through laws of one sort or another, people are violently restricted from nearly every single piece of the world around them. They do not consent to these restrictions, which are imposed from without, unilaterally and at the barrel of a gun. In the process, every shred of negative liberty and self-ownership is destroyed.
Matt Bruenig, "Salvaging Non-Aggression for Egalitarianism"
Egalitarianism, Matt Bruenig, Non-Aggression, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Salvaging Non-Aggression for Egalitarianism
Private Property therefore is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing; its Contributions therefore to the public Exigencies are not to be considered as conferring a Benefit on the Publick, entitling the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honour and Power, but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or the Payment of a just Debt.
Benjamin FranklinQueries and Remarks respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania, 1789
Benjamin Franklin, Government Creates Rights, Property, Quotations
All Property, indeed, except the Savage's temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions, absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of public Convention. Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the Quantity and the Uses of it. All the Property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin to Robert Morris, 25 Dec. 1783
Benjamin Franklin, Government Creates Rights, Property, Quotations
While it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from Nature at all … it is considered by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no one has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land … Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.
Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, 13 Aug. 1813
Government Creates Rights, Property, Quotations, Thomas Jefferson
Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.
George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" May, 1945
Capitalism, Coercion, George Orwell, Government, Notes on Nationalism, Quotations, The Draft
What became increasingly evident to me was that the Austrian equation of preference and action is crude behaviorism. I know by introspection that I have preferences that I fail to act upon. And while I do not have telepathy, it is overwhelmingly probable that the same holds for my fellow human beings. Once you grant this principle, the most distinctive Austrian doctrines crumble.
Bryan Caplan, "Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan"
Austrian Economics, Bryan Caplan, Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan, Quotations
I wouldn't confuse conservative libertarianism with a genuine philosophy, open to considering reasoned objections. Bryan Caplan is a libertarian, because that's his job! It is a completely synthetic ideology, deliberately manufactured by a cadre of full-time professionals. And, I don't think their employers intend to make the masses any smarter about the economy or society. In short, libertarians are a product of increasing inequality; of course, they are in favor of increasing inequality, and would prefer that no one draw attention to its deleterious effects; libertarianism is one of increasing inequality's deleterious effects!
Bruce Wilder, "The libertarian solution to inequality"
Bruce Wilder, Ideology, Inequality, Introduction To Libertarianism, Philosophy, Plutocracy, Quotations, The libertarian solution to inequality
The libertarian movement annoys me because I feel like it's sucked up a lot of mental energy, creativity, and idealism that could have been put to better use - like the communist movement did generations earlier. I think it did some good, but it's a maximalist, package-deal ideology, and like all such ideologies it's gone into la-la land. I don't think it's killing the country but I think it's done some damage. So there you go.
Noah Smith, "The libertarian solution to inequality"
Ideology, Noah Smith, Quotations, The libertarian solution to inequality
In reality, the “free market” is a bunch of rules about (1) what can be owned and traded (the genome? slaves? nuclear materials? babies? votes?); (2) on what terms (equal access to the internet? the right to organize unions? corporate monopolies? the length of patent protections? ); (3) under what conditions (poisonous drugs? unsafe foods? deceptive Ponzi schemes? uninsured derivatives? dangerous workplaces?) (4) what’s private and what’s public (police? roads? clean air and clean water? healthcare? good schools? parks and playgrounds?); (5) how to pay for what (taxes, user fees, individual pricing?). And so on.
Robert Reich, "The Myth of the “Free Market” and How to Make the Economy Work for Us"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Free Market, Institutions, Markets Are Created By Government, Quotations, Robert Reich, The Myth of the “Free Market” and How to Make the Economy Work for Us
Neoliberals in the innermost shell (like the Koch brothers) use libertarians at farther removes (like the Tea Party) not always to realize their agenda directly, but to push political discourse to the hard right.
David Golumbia, "Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left"
Charles and David Koch, Cyberlibertarianism, Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left, David Golumbia, Kochtopus, Quotations, Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Thus despite, for example, the dogmatic insistence on “spontaneous order” as the exclusive result of market-based transactions -- transactions that in core neoliberal dogma are said to be the only permissible form of social planning -- the social policies pursued by the MPS [Mont Pelerin Society] and its outer shells [libertarianism, classical liberalism, etc.] are often exquisitely planned, anything but spontaneous, and have nothing to do with any market.
David Golumbia, "Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom’"
Central Planning, Classical Liberal, Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom’, David Golumbia, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Freedom Through Technology, Ideology, Liberal Criticisms Of Libertarianism, Neoliberalism, Quotations, Spontaneous Order, Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats

Many entrepreneurs hold the opinion that “I did it all on my own,” which may be well adapted to leadership success in certain situations, but it is objectively myopic. The entrepreneur relies on an ecosystem of venture capitalists, risk-taking purchasers, and so on. This ecosystem itself rests on a deeper foundation of collective, government-led enterprise. The delivery of our software, for example, depended on the existence of the Internet, which is the product of a series of government-sponsored R&D efforts, in combination with subsequent massive private commercial development. Government funding has been essential to much of the university science that entrepreneurs have exploited. Honest courts and police are required for functioning capital markets and protection of assets; physical infrastructure is required for the roads and running water without which we would not spend much time thinking about artificial intelligence software. At the absolute foundation, national armed forces protect the whole system against external aggression. All of our exciting technical and economic innovations ultimately require men to stand watch all night looking through Starlight scopes mounted on assault rifles—and die if necessary—to protect our commercial, law-bound society. Would you do this to protect a billionaire hedge-fund manager who sees his country as nothing more than lines on a map?
Jim Manzi, "Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society"
Earned, Fallacies Of Ideology, Jim Manzi, Quotations, Taxes, Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society
People who think "free markets" work in healthcare or the Internet are just as functionally stupid about economics as the most hardline Communist who thinks that the government should exercise full control of the toothpaste market. Most of the world understands by now that the second guy is a dangerous fool. But we're at a weird point in history where the first guy undeservedly has more credibility. He shouldn't--and he won't for long.
David Atkins, "Americans: we love paying more for less"
Americans: we love paying more for less, Communism, David Atkins, Economics, Free Market, Health Care, Internet, Laissez Faire, Market Failure, Quotations
In its own way, the "No True Libertarianism" argument is very similar to the "No True Communism" of those on the far left, who argue that the fault of Communism lies not with the idea, but with the practice--despite the fact that no successful large-scale Communism has ever been implemented in the world. Neither ideology can fail its adherents. They can only be failed by imperfect practitioners. Both ideologies run counter to human nature for the same reason: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
David Atkins, "The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy"
Communism, David Atkins, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Institutions, Quotations, The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy, Unclassified Criticisms
Urban street gangs in under-policed neighborhoods, mafias in under-taxed countries, and groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon invariably step in to fill the void where government fails. When the Japanese government wasn't able to adequately help the population after the earthquake and tsunami, the yakuza helpfully stepped in to do it for them. The devolution of local authority and taxation into the hands of criminal groups willing to provide a safety net in exchange for their cut of the action is the invariable pre-feudal result of the breakdown of the government-backed safety net. It happens every single time. The people will want a safety net where utter chaos doesn't prevent it: they'll either get it from an accountable governmental authority, or from a non-governmental authority of shadowy legality. Both kinds of authority will levy their own form of taxation, be it legal and official, or part of an illegal protection scheme.
David Atkins, "The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy"
Anarcho-capitalism, David Atkins, Democracy, Institutions, Privatization, Public Expansions Of Liberty, Quotations, Real World Power, The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy, Things Government Should Do
If the 1 percent are able to extract vast sums from the economy it is because we have structured the economy for this purpose. It could easily be structured differently, but the 1 percent and its defenders aren't interested in changing things.
Dean Baker, "Inequality By Design: It Is Not Just Talent and Hard Work"
Class War, Dean Baker, Inequality, Inequality By Design: It Is Not Just Talent and Hard Work, Quotations

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