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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group 531

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the toll-road-ahead dept.
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes American Commitment, a conservative group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has been bombarding inboxes with emails filled with disinformation and fearmongering in an attempt to start a "grassroots" campaign to kill net neutrality — at one point suggesting that "Marxists" think that preserving net neutrality is a good idea. American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that reclassifying the internet as a public utility is the "first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether" and says that the FCC is plotting a "federal Internet takeover," a move that "sounds more like a story coming out of China or Russia."
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

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  • What's so American (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:25AM (#47754875) Homepage Journal

    About paying for open, unfettered access, and having some bean counter with an agenda decide what you can ACTUALLY see?

    And Marxism fails because it view labor as something nobody really wants to do, and ignores transportation, distribution and associated concerns as necessary evils.

    Here, the last-mile providers are acting like Marxists. They see only this big customer base of theirs as having any intrinsic worth.

    Never mind that if they don't provide unfettered access, and don't manage to stifle all competition, they won't continue to HAVE that kind of customer base.

    Net neutrality is about being able to use the internet connection you pay for, for any purpose that suits you (with nods towards the concept of "legal activity" of course) without having your traffic interfered with.

    Net neutrality is about preventing illegal censorship.

    Net neutrality is about protecting you from unscrupulous business practices by major (and minor) providers of both the transport and last-mile variety.

    So screw the Koch Brothers and their idiot shilling.

  • Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:28AM (#47754887)

    Have you Americans *still* not gotten over this whole Marxist/Communist/Socialist = EVIL thing yet? Your government really did a good job with the propaganda during the Cold War it seems.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:32AM (#47754897)

    Marxism is probably preferable to the feudal society these guys are promoting.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:34AM (#47754903)

    Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

    No, net neutrality is not Marxist. Net neutrality is very much a capitalist policy, as distinct from being a corporatist policy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:36AM (#47754917)

    Unless they're tollways. And apparently the Koch brothers would prefer if all roads were tollways.

  • by sillybilly (668960) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:40AM (#47754927)

    Net neutrality is like being able to drive on back country roads and public without cock blocks, or booths at every corner. Without it you get toll roads everywhere, and you constantly have to pay by the mile, or bit the MB, per content, on top of having your basic ISP connection. Some Internet backbones would get overloaded from crowds because of cheap surfing pathways, but the rich would have their luxury Internet highways uncongested, but high cost. Should you wander unto one of these highways, it'd be like stumbling into a high class restaurant, and accidentally eating there, when all you wanted was a burger. Even on regular Internet surfing you could quickly drain your bank account balance to zero via toll road-like per mile fees. However there is something to be said about availability of high class restaurants, they are nice to have, as long as you're not forced to eat there, and without net neutrality, you might be forced to go through only the high cost toll roads, at least occasionally, to access simple things like check your email, or file a job application, to the point where you might completely abandon the Internet altogether, and vote for regular paper mail, instead via the US post office, instead of Email, and on your foot walk into a branch banking instead of on line banking. Maybe that's what they want, de-Internetize the world. Come on, we love Google, Ebay, Email, Youtube, mp3 downloads, ebooks, Amazon, and especially what the Internet was made for: pron.

  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:45AM (#47754945) Homepage

    Wow, in your entire post, literally the ONLY thing that isn't a complete falsehood is "This is the same entity that gave us the Broadcast Flag".

    You have no idea what net neutrality is about, you have no idea what it means, and you clearly haven't got the foggiest IDEA what Marxism means.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:49AM (#47754951) Homepage

    Marxists think net neutrality is good, therefore net neutrality is bad.
    You know what... Marxists think breathing is good, therefore breathing is bad also?
    Such arguments are never valid.

  • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:54AM (#47754971)

    Are you stupid, or just ignorant?

    Net neutrality isn't about giving everyone the exact same internet connection speeds. Net neutrality is about securing that everyone gets equal access to services. Most importantly, it means that ISPs can't artificially create "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" for various services, depending on how lucrative of a deal they strike with content providers.

  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:03AM (#47754989) Homepage

    Oh -and the idea that you are obligated to sell a customer that which he actually paid for and keep the promises you made is the very foundation of Capitalism, attempts to do otherwise is known as fraud.

    Even the most libertarian systems of thought still hold that one of the government's LEGITIMATE jobs is the prevention of fraudulent trade.

    The entire concept has literally nothing to do with Marxism, which is NOT by the way the opposite of Capitalism, both are just two theories out of a gigantic spectrum of economic philosophies that exist, some of which have been tried over the years with varying degrees of success.
    Ultimately the current success of capitalism is much more a political victory than a statement about it's success - it's no more successful than many of the abandoned ones and in some ways, much worse. It certainly is NOT any better than Marxism was - it fails equally spectacularly and in almost identical ways.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:15AM (#47755021)

    What is this Cold War obsession with misrepresenting Marxism in as many ways as possible just to make it seem ridiculous (or evil)? Stalin nodded in the direction of Marxism while behaving as a totalitarian despot, but he also nodded in the direction of atheism, while the USA is culturally based in deism and protestant work ethic, an entirely irrational, religious principle. The American capitalist revolution (against British late stage feudalism) and its development through late C20 has reflected Marx's view of how capitalism would unfold in a developed nation.

    In particular, Marx does not "view labour as something nobody really wants to do" - wtf do you get that from? Marx viewed exploitation as something nobody should want to experience, but the Marxist progression of history is based on an increasing voluntary desire to do labour - from socialism through to communism - rather than to exploit others' labour. Prerequisite is firstly that people get to keep the fruits of their labour, and finally that people will realise the benefits of a sharing economy.

    To be clear, I'm not Marxist, just like I'm not Christian, nor capitalist, nor Muslim, nor any -ist or -im nor -ian, really. But I don't try to mischaracterise any of these like an us vs. them. One of the biggest contradictions of human intelligence is its desire to over-simplify the world - to make up for our human sense of inadequacy: we are intelligent enough to recognise our cluelessness, but not wise enough to fix it, so we invent umbrella ideologies, insecurely eliminating all other possibilities.

    All Koch is doing here is pandering to the Marx=evil knee-jerkers, like the Soviets pandered over and over to the capitalism=evil knee-jerkers. To think, we used to laugh at Russia for swallowing such simpleton propaganda!

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:16AM (#47755023) Journal
    Yep, it puts the "free" in "free market". The alternative is to allow telco's to hold content providers to ransom. OTOH why does it matter that these arseholes keep spewing ther comical propaganda, who's buying their bullshit these days, anyone?
  • by penix1 (722987) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:24AM (#47755045) Homepage

    You are confusing things. Net neutrality isn't about what tier of service you have. It is about ensuring that you aren't getting purposefully manipulated speed for the tier you have. Let's use your examples since you seem to understand those...

    Do you think everyone needs the same speed? Does your grandmother need the same speed as an MIT researcher?

    Do you think the MIT researcher should pay for the higher tier and be slowed down to Grandma's speed for some sites?

    Same priciple for package delivery. Do you think everyone needs their package overnight? Or are there different needs.

    Do you think your overnight package should be 3 days to certain destinations for the same price of overnight delivery?

    Same principle for travel. Do you think everyone needs a supersonic transport, or are some fine with taking a Greyhound.

    Do you think those that pay for the supersonic speed should be shuttled to the Grayhound station for certain destinations because that destination didn't pay the airlines for it?

  • by durrr (1316311) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:26AM (#47755057)

    Should your google queries be put in a slow lane with 10k ms ping because they didn't fork over $100 mil for premium service?
    Should netflix pay premium for every mb because they're a "high bandwidth user" or face throttling to speeds where compression drops to 120p?

    Should ISPs be allowed to have an even more oppressive position than they already have?

  • by LordVader717 (888547) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:28AM (#47755061)

    >Do you think everyone needs the same speed?

    That was emphatically negated in the previous comment.

    Net neutrality isn't about preventing different tiers of service either. It's about preventing businesses from colluding to distort the market with bribes and kickbacks by slowing and blocking competing business.
    When the primary arguments from the anti-neutrality camp are based on disinformation you know the case is pretty clear-cut.

  • by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:50AM (#47755141)
    Nothing about what the Koch brothers do is ethical. They whip up a fear storm to get people who are less intelligent or less willing to think for themselves to side with them. It's amazing how many people will parrot back what they hear and vote against their interests.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:07AM (#47755205)

    Examples are irrelevant. You're dealing with a right wing shill or crackpot and thinking is foreign to either.

    Every single time anybody calls out some of the multiple billionaires who spew right-wing garbage and fund propaganda machines to push it on an overworked public somebody has to trot out Soros because it's the only barely relevant pathetic example they have to try to support their "see, both sides do it" excuses for their piss poor behavior.

  • by Imsdal (930595) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:12AM (#47755219)

    Where I live there are 2 broadband providers, COMCAST (cable) and VERIZON (fios). Every other place I have lived there was only one option.

    This is really all one needs to know. If anyone believes that anything good is going to come out of a situation with local monopolies, well, that person is simply wrong. And if there are no local monopolies, there is every reason to believe that the market is going to sort this out way, way better than some bureaucrat with an agenda.

    Fight the local monopolies. That is the only truly important thing right now.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Imsdal (930595) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:18AM (#47755259)
    The Nordic countries are not socialist at all. In may ways, they are more free market than the US. For instance, you don't need occupational licensing to clip someones nails or decorate their homes. I know it's a nice story if you like socialism to point to Sweden or Norway as a good example. Unforunately, it's quite incorrect.
  • Stupid namecalling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by johanw (1001493) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:29AM (#47755293)

    Calling something "Marxist" seems like an attempt to make further discussion unnecessary, comparable when in more civilised countries something is called "fascist". And calling someone who pleads for unbrideled capitalism as |leading to American situations" is also supposed to cut off further discussion, as no sane person wants that to happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:42AM (#47755359)

    Red meat for liberals, red meat that matters... It would be an OK Slashdot story without the "Koch brothers" demon invocation attempting to gin up discussion.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @07:48AM (#47755375) Homepage Journal

    Hate to break it to you, but nothing about socialism has anything to do with "occupational licensing". Socialism is simply about people cooperating with one another to work for the public good, which might be via the government, but can equally be in voluntary groups - the cooperative movement, for example, is considered socialist by virtually everyone, be they rabid anti-socialist or red hippie alike, yet has nothing to do with government. And let's not get started on unions... Robert Owen, considered by most the "Father of Socialism", had no government role at all in what he was working on, he'd be admired by many libertarians if it wasn't for that damned dirty S word blinkering them.

    Part of the problem with the US right now is the propaganda has gotten so ridiculous that the word "socialism" has been redefined here to the point of meaninglessness. Most Americans seem to use it to mean "Anything the government does (that I don't like)". That's a silly definition, and if we want a meaningful discussion of the way the world should work, we need to eliminate it. "Anything the government does" has a variety of words to describe it already. And nobody in their right mind worships prisons, oil subsidies, or indeed the military-industrial complex, as examples of cases where people come together to work for the public good.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:08AM (#47755447) Homepage Journal

    Yet you're probably ok when George Soros and Michael Bloomberg do the same thing...

    Is it all some stupid game to you of racking up points? Tit for tat? Are you still capable of any moral clarity?

    Do you feel it instructive to name a list of rich guys just because there's an article reacting to something David Koch said and you've been told that these are the other side's rich guys? Is everything a matter of moral equivalence to you?

    No wonder the US is in trouble. People have watched so much cable TV and listened to so much talk radio that they have lost the ability to evaluate anything clearly, and can only see it through a partisan lens. You felt you had to stick up for the Koch Brothers because your talk radio favorites have told you they're "one of us" and you've got two names you can lay down whenever someone says, "Koch Brothers". As if it meant something.

    Do you even know what this discussion is about or are you just in react mode?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:16AM (#47755489) Homepage Journal

    I think most people would agree net neutrality is a great idea in theory. You could say socialism is also good in theory. I don't mean to compare the two,

    Of course you mean to "compare the two". You're doing the same Cold War red-scare bullshit that the Koch Brothers' mouthpiece, "American Commitment" is trying to do. By putting two terms side-by-side you're trying to equate them in the mind of people who are as incapable of analysis as you are.

    And what's to stop the government from "leveling the playing field," giving additional network resources to failing energy companies, state education systems in favor of Common Core, public companies who need to better compete against private ones etc. ?

    You don't know a single thing about Net Neutrality, do you? You don't have any idea what it means or what it's for. You saw "Koch Brothers" in the title of the post and you came here to fly your Republican flag, is all. "Common Core"... When you start name-checking Common Core you know you're deep in talk radio land.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:23AM (#47755519) Homepage Journal

    Have you Americans *still* not gotten over this whole Marxist/Communist/Socialist = EVIL thing yet?

    Actually, we're getting there. During the past two elections, studies done about people's reaction to the word "Socialism" have shifted drastically. Among those under 30, there is actually a majority who see as a positive term.

    Give it time.

    I call it the "ABBA Effect". People have heard for years that Sweden is socialist, and then people saw ABBA on TV and thought, "Hey, they've got pop stars and hot chicks in short skirts over there! Maybe Socialism's not so bad after all." When you see people on "socialized" medicine who are happy and healthy with nice teeth and shapely asses, there is something subtle that shifts. It starts in the pants and slowly works its way towards the brain.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:28AM (#47755543)

    Why do you people always imagine that nobody else has read and completely understood what marx was gabbling about. Marx was the author of the communist manifesto along with Engels wherein he declaimed mandatory adherence to rules such as "confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels" and "centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state". In reality Stalin was the purest Marxist that ever lived, and the degenerate state he spawned was the embodiment of Marxs' ideals. And keep in mind that Marx was a perenially drunken adulterous reprobate who refused to repay loans and acknowledge his own illegitimate children.

    What's that you say, they were just doing it wrong? Everyone seems to do it wrong, how many more millions need to be murdered before you people get it through your thick skulls that it's a nonfunctional religion?

  • by pchasco (651819) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:38AM (#47755601)
    And if the providers insist on a market where they have local monopolies, then let's regulate them as utilities. Otherwise what will happen? First, they will ensure that the barriers to enter the local markets will be so difficult to overcome they will ensure their monopolies. Second, once their positions are secure, the total cost of the service will rise while quality of service will decrease.
  • by coofercat (719737) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @08:42AM (#47755627) Homepage Journal

    How stupid do you have to be to read this sort of thing and say "oh yeah, good point". I mean, if you see "public utility" and "Marxist" being joined together, do you think "hmm... yes, I see what you mean", or do you think "hang on, but aren't the electrical grid, water, gas, roads and other things public utilities? We're not in a marxist state, so what's one more utility to worry about?".

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:01AM (#47755747) Homepage

    More important than whether a huge corporate site like Google or Netflix can get onto the fast lane(who can afford it as a cost of doing business) is whether smaller users and vendors have that opportunity. If access to the fast lane is only possible by paying large sums of money, then it effectively locks out "the little man" who cannot afford those rates. This effectively changes the Internet from a platform where anybody can put up a site dedicated to his hobby and - if it proves popular - hit it big (sort of like Google started out) to something curated by large corporations, like the rest of the media world. The Internet's great strength is that it gives everybody a voice - and a chance at the brass ring, if that's what they want - and not just those allowed to speak by the media conglomerates.

    Without Net Neutrality, the internet would look like CableTV does today: a bunch of channels (websites) run by large corporations, all trending to a common denominatior, with a narrow channel dedicated to "public access" that nobody visits.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:02AM (#47755749)

    The problem with fighting the local monopolies? The big cable company ISPs have carved up the country into blocks where they almost never compete. The phone company ISPs can overlap with the cable company ISPs in some areas, but they are big as well and don't want to disrupt the market. Whenever something disruptive starts to show itself, the big ISPs either lobby to crush it (see: Municipal Broadband) or buy it out and crush it. They're using their monopoly might to keep their monopoly might. In other words, the big ISPs keep their monopolies because they are big ISPs and there's nothing us little guys can do to stop them.

    But don't worry because if we let Comcast and Time Warner merge into an even bigger ISP, then they'll be kept in check by Google Fiber being in a handful of markets. (Before anyone points out Google Fiber as proving me wrong, AT&T tried to stop Google Fiber from expanding. Probably the only reason that Comcast doesn't try to crush them is that they're using them as an example of "competition" during the merger the same way Microsoft pointed to Apple as competition in the desktop PC market when Apple had about 1% of the market and Microsoft had about 99%.)

  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:25AM (#47755937) Journal
    In the context of a single argument, you are correct. However, in the scope of society as a whole, public shaming of people who are willfully ignorant would hopefully serve to discourage those who see it as a badge of honor to argue a topic while being completely ignorant of the facts. However, I would be happy if we could at least drop the anti-intellectualism which permeates US culture.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @09:43AM (#47756083) Homepage Journal

    Nonsense. Who even cares what party the Kochs are? Are they GOP or Tea Party or libertarians or who even knows how they vote. They're just corporatists, like Soros and Bloomberg.

    They may not all be the same, but they all play for the same team.

    manipulate the markets

    You're full of shit. You think people who support Net Neutrality are the ones wanting to "manipulate the markets"?

  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:14AM (#47756369)

    The Kochs shill for their holdings in power companies by spreading bullshit about wind and solar power.

    Enemies of the free market, trying to squash any competition

    The Kochs shill for Mike Pompeo so he will do their dirty work in Washington.

    Enemies of representative lawmaking,

    I'm so tired of hearing how they claim to be Libertarian. I swear they registered just for the publicity.

    Because they aren't Libertarians. If I were a true Libertarian I would be pissed at how the name has been stolen

    Libertarian today stands for selfish prick who refuses to do anything that isn't in their immediate self interest. And they look a whole awful lot like far right wing Republicans.

    The concept of live and let live, and personal freedom of the original Libertarians is long gone. "Enlightened Self Interest" has been replaced by "Self Interest" only.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:22AM (#47756461)

    Communism in practice devalues labor

    So does Capitalism. In fact, it's a stated goal.

    Which is why Apple and the other high tech companies in California were colluding to keep prices down, and why they like H1B visas.

    Capitalism is now about undercutting the value of labor, and driving everyone to a lower wage, so that the assholes running the show can get more bonuses.

    Capitalism is just as much about fucking everybody over as Communism ever was.

    If you think Capitalism doesn't do the exact same things, you're a moron.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:28AM (#47756537) Homepage Journal

    "They may not all be the same, but they all play for the same team."
    No they don't. Pay attention.

  • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:31AM (#47756561)

    Having a TV cable company provide Internet service is a technical natural, with a fast network of last-mile cabling in place, but a legal horror because having one provider for both services represents a conflict of interest. Much usage throttling is prompted by cable companies' fear of cord-cutting. This may require a separate antitrust decision to resolve.

  • Re:Urgh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kilfarsnar (561956) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @10:55AM (#47756821)

    I can see why some people considers communism to be evil considering that the attempts at implementation doesn't have a good track record. What really irks me is really those who go with socialist = EVIL. Not only does it disregard the Nordic socialist countries but it also speaks of an extreme ignorance of what a socialism is and that US fits that definition very well.

    That is by design. The oligarchs in the US don't want the citizenry getting the idea that American Capitalism may not be the best way to structure things. That's why socialism and communism were so demonized; they are a threat to the dominant paradigm. If people were to get the idea that government can function to make everyone's lives better and make this a more equal society (equality of opportunity, not outcome) they might start to object to the accumulation of inordinate wealth and the power and privilege that comes with it. They might also wonder why the rich keep getting richer while everyone else has to make do with less and less. I think you can see why the .1% doesn't want us going down that road.

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @11:38AM (#47757173)

    Rather than say Net Neutrality, which is ambiguous and a bit high high minded, call it what it really is. It is protecting from ISP double dipping. As an industry (in the USA and Canada), it is already a bloated spider feasting parasitically on society, as seen by the overwhelming consumer hatred of those companies, which somehow manage to stay in business... (I am saying rhetorically, I know how).

    What they want to do, is have the ability to not only charge the consumer of media, but also the producer. It is like a perfect fucking storm of profit! As the middle man just skimming money off everyone involved. The problem is, I as the consumer have already paid for my damn service. If I plan on using it to only access simple webpages or if I plan on streaming Netflix all day everyday, that is my right, and I pay for the privilege of doing so. We have all moved to the damn CAP system already, so if I consume more than Granny Twinkles, I PAY for it. However now they want to take my service, which I already pay for, and say well since so much is going to Netflix, we want to change them more money, and if they refuse, slow the connection.... to the consumer, who has already damn well paid for the service in the first place. Or conversely if the company pays the extortion, they will simply pass the cost onto the consumer, so either way, the consumer is going to pay or get less service no matter what happens.

    Anyway it is rapacious greed pure and simple, it is double dipping, it is wrong. These companies already have too many advantages, and constantly abuse both the system and their customers every chance they get for more profits. The reason the folks like Koch and the rest like it is they have money to gain, and the vast population has money to lose. This is not ideological (all this crap about Marxism etc...), but some idiots will think it is, and support idea, even though it is by far not in their best interests to do so. The republicans/conservatives have been playing the same shell game for years, where a large chunk of their support comes from these uninformed ideological idiots who are voting against themselves over and over again based on some fictional ideal, that doesn't even apply or even make sense given a situation. However using whatever media (and if your name is Koch, and in the USA) you have plenty of media to abuse, to convince the people to accept whatever snake oil you are selling...

  • by CauseBy (3029989) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:11PM (#47757457)

    "Without it you get toll roads everywhere, and you constantly have to pay by the mile"

    Ah, yes, the libertarian dream.

    That very hypothetical scenario is the actual reason I'm not a libertarian. Back in college it was popular to say you were a libertarian, but one day we were talking about roads and the non-hypocrites had to admit that, yes, a libertarian country would be 100% toll roads. I abandoned that stupid philosophy that day. I don't want to live in an ideologically pure world; I want to live in a good world, and libertarianism wouldn't lead to a good world.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:31PM (#47758339) Homepage Journal

    a libertarian country would be 100% toll roads

    Uh, every road in America is a toll road. Have you ever heard about gasoline taxes? Does pre-paying your road fees at the pump make you happier for some reason (would love to hear what that reason could be) than paying the fees as you use the roads (ala EZPass et. al. - let's assume you can use them anonymously).

    The difference is that now the gas taxes are not all spent on the roads (they get diverted to police pensions and political cronies' boondoggles) and the money that is spent on the roads does not go through a true competitive bidding process (again with the cronies), making the costs higher and quality lower than they ought to be.

    I abandoned that stupid philosophy that day.

    It sounds like you did so without understanding how roads are paid for. Look, it's hard to know how everything works, but the more people do know how things work the more likely they are to be libertarians. Because people suck, especially those who seek power.

    I don't want to live in an ideologically pure world; I want to live in a good world, and libertarianism wouldn't lead to a good world.

    It's an ideologically-driven stance to accept more expensive, lower quality roads and political corruption and waste for the sake of a particular revenue model. Also one that necessarily supports a worse world.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:38PM (#47758409)

    And Marxism fails because it view labor as something nobody really wants to do ...

    That is the exact opposite of how Marx viewed labour. For Marx, labour was the very essence of self-expression.

    Indeed, it was Ayn Rand who viewed labor as something only a very small number of heroic, good-looking, and rich people wanted to do. Her theory was that the rest of humanity needs to be threatened with starvation or they would only steal from their betters.

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