Liberalism Criticism, Part 1
by Ethan Glover, Tue, Dec 17, 2013 - (Edited) Wed, Jan 10, 2018
Following my questions to communists and libertarians I set out to ask 15 Questions to Liberals. In my initial research, I found that one of the defining factors of liberalism is that there is no one set of beliefs. Instead, liberals pride themselves on the fact that they decide things in the moment based on the evidence that they are presented and do not stick to any fundamental values or beliefs except for the very basic "right to life" and "freedom from harm". This makes property a much looser issue, and it is bound to make decisions more varied and harder to pin down. Despite that, I asked my questions anyways in the hopes of getting some sort of consensus or an understanding of how liberals, as peers, make decisions and develop thoughts on some things. I got two responses in which said people simply told me it is impossible to answer the question for themselves because it wouldn't be representative of all liberals. This is of course despite the fact that I made it as clear as possible that I was looking for individual thoughts.
Aside from them, I got another two responses from non liberals. One was a communist who deleted his post. Another, who was a socialist, openly said that liberalism is "defunct and silly", and in answering the questions he showed obvious laziness. Most of his responses were made in sarcasm. Obviously, I ignored both cases. So what was I left with? Two liberals. That's all I was able to talk to, and I'm disappointed because of it. However, that also means that I can create two parts to this and concentrate on one person at a time. This is my liberalism criticism.
The first liberal I talked to in the aim of understanding the philosophy was, in a word, a jerk. Because of that, I can't give him as much breathing room as I will for the second. He didn't seem to care much about the fact that I was explicitly looking to pick his brain and his alone. He took quite a few opportunities to tell me who I am. He was of course wrong on every single case, and it of course insulted the fact that I am a human who was right there with him. Available to answer any questions. I tried to remain as neutral as possible throughout the course of the conversation but did have to end it early because this person did not seem to want to take things seriously. He showed no consideration of legitimate questions and blew quite a few of them off saying that they were "stupid" and "irrelevant".
For instance, in my first and most general question that asked about stances on particular moral issues he flat out said that things like self-ownership, freedom of choice and generational growth are not issues for Americans. This is one of many statements that blew me back. If self-ownership were not an issue, how can it be that we have debates over things like abortion, the rights of the mentally ill and the rights of the elderly? If freedom of choice were not an issue, what is it with banning certain sizes of soft drinks and particular drugs? If generational growth were not an issue, what is with the arguments over the morality of large inheritances? You will see throughout this article that this first liberal simply dismissed everything he didn't understand as irrelevant, stupid, and unreasonable. In the past communists have gotten mad and thrown hissy fits over the tough questions, libertarians took them on and did their best despite contradictions and in both cases the liberals that I talked do waved the hard stuff off as if the problem didn't exist. Further on this first question, rudster (the person I talked to) said that issues of private property are for socialists. That is to say that asking about property to a liberal is illegitimate because it is "not a problem". But to the socialist it is? A socialist will answer the question with his own beliefs, why is it that rudster can not? Is it because his ideas live internally, and he can't accept the fact that someone may disagree with him, and those who do don't matter? This total lack of empathy was not something I expected at all. But I moved on nevertheless.
When I asked rudster about his stance on the old question of yelling fire in a crowded theater, he did not give his own opinion but instead quoted an irrelevant quote from Christopher Hitchens. Again suggesting that the question does not matter because it does not fall within the realm of his concern and because he took the metaphorical question that is at the base of a lot of historical liberal thought literally. When pushed on the issue he said that yelling fire in a crowded theater should be illegal, but he is uninterested in answering the question simply because no such legal case ever actually happened. There are of course two issues here. First there is no consideration for the theater owner and second, an insistence on following only past cases and ignoring all theoretical thought. On the theater owner, it doesn't make sense to make it illegal to yell fire in a theater when it is already against the rules to disturb the viewing experience of others. This is almost as insane as making certain crimes more illegal based on the color of peoples skin. Both liberals that I talked to constantly moved to giant cookie cutter solutions to apply to everyone while simultaneously saying that's not what they're doing. There is a belief that whatever "rules" are made, they must apply to everyone no matter what. Second, rudster doesn't care about considering the implications of applying general rules to base questions, he figures that as problems come up the government (as representatives) will take care of it, and that will be that. There is no need for him to consider things for himself or to analyze his own core values and philosophy, he'll just watch the government and judge things in the moment and on the margin. Thus depending on past traumas, unconscious bias, and irrational thought processes. There is no grounding and no rhyme or reason for such opinions.
To wrap up the conversation of the classic fire situation, I tried to help expand the question as it should naturally, into flag burning and handing out communist manifestos. Rudster replied by saying that there is no person on earth that says doing such things are immoral, therefore, asking such questions is stupid. It's amazing to see these kinds of statements, both of these things are major issues. Flag burning has been very current, and the issue of communist manifestos has been at the base of a few key supreme court rulings on the freedom of speech. This hand waving shows either isolation, ignorance or arrogance on the part of rudster, who never gave a clear opinion on this after saying that yelling fire in theaters should in general be illegal.
The third question was again ignored. (I know, off to a great start.) He said that he doesn't pretend to know if personal rights are irrelevant if some people lack the means to benefit from those rights. The whole reason I asked this is because in political thought, this is at the base of modern liberalism. But to rudster asking it is a waste of time because it's a matter of making sure rich people have the right to sleep under a bridge. By this odd metaphor, he means that too much political energy is put into the interests of the top 0.1%. This is of course nowhere near what I was asking. The only way I can make sense of this response is by thinking that these are highly defensive answers and rudster is assuming that I was trying to lead him somewhere with the questions. This isn't true at all. I aim to understand the philosophy first and judge it second. I made that very clear in my introduction to the initial questions. According to rudster, this question which is asked by liberal philosophers, academics, authors and intellects has no relation to reality. My thought is that he is saying this because like the question on yelling fire, he doesn't understand what it means and has never delved deep into the inner core workings of any schools of thought.
Later I would ask rudster about the purpose of government and challenge him to think about whether "freedom" means freedom from danger, or the freedom to choose. To him, this is "ideology for ideologies sake" which again shows a dangerous recklessness in thinking without any foundation as mentioned above. This hand waving and refusal to think and have a real conversation would persist throughout our entire conversation and is seen from subject to subject. I did my best to keep most questions geared towards real world application (as I have always done in all my writing) in order to keep rudster happy, but I would find this to be an impossible task.
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When I spoke with libertarians on their ideals, I was pleasantly surprised when they didn't freak out when I suggested that their ideas on military and court systems are socialistic. They recognized it as a matter of fact and gave me their justifications. The same thing happened with the two liberals I spoke to and I'm glad they didn't get too upset over specific words. Well, rudster did seem to get upset when I used the words subjective, but we'll get to that. The claim from rudster is that socialism, as in 100% government control of the economy is not plausible in the long run. Unless of course, we could invent some robots to run everything. That Zeitgeist movement sort of thinking isn't worth a whole lot of analysis but it does show the same wishing for parental care that Zeitgeisters look for despite the impossibility of the system, not according to technology, but according to the laws of nature.
Getting into the specific systems both liberals show a want for the trending form of income tax called "Universal Basic Income" (UBI). Along with that rudster wants to see socialized medicine, and if there were any evidence that socializing housing would work, it would be welcome. The problem with looking for "any evidence" is an issue I failed to get across in later discussions. There is evidence for the possibility of just about everything. Even proven science is not 100%. I noted that rudster is big on global warming and pumping money into research, but I think he fails to realize that scientists across the globe are still 50/50 on whether or not humans have any measurable impact on global climate as a whole. This is another issue to save for later but for now, rudster claims that with socialized income and housing it would get rid of "most of the nonsense that goes on in the current system." Expanding further, he said that assuming poor people have the organizational skills of a chief financial officer is counterproductive. This of course doesn't mean anything, but more importantly it is blatantly insulting and hints at the possibility that rudster feels above the people he sees as the poor and that his ideas should be used to "take care of them". Of course, he counters this thought of seeing poor people as children to be taken care of by saying that there should be no quality control or checking if the people receiving welfare are "legitimate". As in, anybody and everybody should just get welfare if they ask for it. This doesn't really solve the issue of the mentality expressed but simply goes back to the idea of UBI which we will get into on a deeper level with my other conversation.
Getting back to general socialization in this first conversation, I was told that the government does better with health-care than the private sector, private prisons present a moral hazard, and monopolistic industries like power companies need so much regulation that it is pointless to call them private. When looking at both conversations, I would come to realize that liberals not only hand wave core value questions, but have an obsession with specific facts that support their own bias. This is a very important thing to note and file away. But the claims here show a misunderstanding of the current government. The United States currently utilizes a mixed economy, not a market one. Health-care, much like power companies, has been heavily regulated by government for over 150 years. (166 years since the founding of the American Medical Association.) It could be said that it is pointless to call current and pre-Obamacare health-care solutions private. Private prisons aren't causing "moral hazards", the fact that all of their money comes from stealing it from taxpayers is the problem. It is United States laws against nonviolent crimes that fill them up and U.S. regulation that pays them for staying full. It would be pointless to call "private prisons" private. And to say that power companies are "monopolistic" only highlights the fact that there is generally no options given to people thanks to government regulation and how many companies the government allows to exist.
I pushed rudster on his stances by asking if monopolized government organizations push out individual solutions and flexibility according to different needs. He told me that such things may be true, but it doesn't matter because it's not always true. This is one of the clearest examples of rudster not caring about counter evidence and assuming that the facts he prefers are righter than those of others. What socialized medicine provides for you may work for you, but for others it means greater costs and poorer care. (In fact, this is the case for the majority of people under Obamacare.) As long as rudster is happy, however, it doesn't matter; if it works for him, it must objectively work for everyone.
Going further, rudster told me that even though government health-care doesn't work for everyone, there is no need for an "optimal system". He said that fact doesn't mean we should "throw our hands up and say it's all subjective." Because, at least its better than the health-care of the kamari bushmen. I don't know a lot about bushmen, but I'm fairly sure that they aren't subject to western diseases. Primitive cultures sometimes suffer from curable diseases but never obtain incurable ones. This is not always true but will show up in statistics. It's not really important because like many things rudster says, it doesn't apply to the issue at hand. There is this belief that I am getting from him that says that there must be one decision, no exceptions. It doesn't matter if something works better for one person than the other, everyone must conform to what is voted to be "best". Saying things are subjective is not a matter of "throwing your hands up", its a matter of recognizing that people must and will act in their own interests. If you tell people what they need, if you tell everyone what they need, you're going to get it wrong. Just like when rudster tells me who I am, what I believe in and makes assumptions about me, he gets it wrong. He embarrasses himself, shows his ignorance and if important things like health-care is handled in the same way he kills people and destroys lives. When I corrected rudster on his assumptions he just kept going and never said a word. Seeing the relevance here? Apply what you believe is "right" for everyone, get it wrong, but keep going as if a bad and dangerous decision was never made. Liberalism in a nutshell.
In some final points on health-care rudster claims that the "ideologically pure" like conservatives don't care about evidence because there is plenty of data on socialized medicine. Yes, welcome to the age of information. There is plenty of information on everything known to man and evidence usually goes both ways. Despite his willingness to rail against people for not looking at the "facts" when considering socialized medicine rudster refused to expand or provide anything to support his ideas. At one point, he listed an obviously googled list of every country with socialized medicine saying that I had obviously missed such cases and immediately followed up by saying that he didn't want to get into it. That's fine. I wasn't looking for anything specific. I just wanted to learn where liberals are coming from, but these kinds of tactics of overwhelming people with googled results and Wikipedia lists and immediately attempting to end the conversation says a lot about the people utilizing them. And of course, as one final mention, it also says a lot when people depend entirely on one side of the story and bias "facts" rather than analyzing the logic and core problems which are where real problems in many things lie. That is to say, there is evidence to prove anything, but that doesn't necessarily mean that evidence is realistic or logical.
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Getting into the issue of economics, I asked if rudster believes that the New Deal and government spending during World War II is what cured the economic depression. He claimed that it indeed helped but the money should have been better spent elsewhere, instead of manufacturing for war efforts. This of course means that without less funding into the war, there would probably be less drafting and the unemployment rate wouldn't drop nearly as much. This stance also ignores the fact that the depression did not end until Roosevelt died and federal spending contracted by two-thirds, freeing up money to be spent properly and in a way that people could benefit. There is no "better spending" for the government. It has no idea what people value and can't possibly buy things on behalf of hundreds of millions of people. The logistics never have and never will work.
With the final note on World War II rudster said that wars happen because of overpopulation. I asked what he meant by this and how he would solve the issue. He ignored the first half of the question, refusing to expand, and for the second half simply said that he didn't know. I would recommend a quick watching of the "POP101" series which explains the obviously bunk theory of overpopulation. Those who talk about it are talking about heavy traffic in highly populated areas, not the earth.
Getting further into the idea that government spending somehow cures recessions, I asked about the idea of increasing wages (such as minimum wage) as another potential solution. In response to this, I got another forehead slapping statement. Rudster said that no one says that economic downturns can be turned around by wage increases. Except, this is liberal philosophy. From the replies of others, I was told that there is no "one" answer to anything in liberalism. I get that. I know. That doesn't mean there is nothing that ties decisions together, otherwise the philosophy as a whole wouldn't exist. The name wouldn't describe anything but the "other" box, and it certainly does not cover many "others" such as centrists. Liberalism is academically studied, more so that any other political thought. Universities are dominated by it. To say that no one has ever said what is at the core of the economic thought found in colleges is wrong on a mind-blowing level. Even more mind blowing is that rudster told me that economics as a science is not in a poor enough state that any varying opinions are necessary. So economic science is perfect and unrefuted. The United States economy is doing just fine under it, and all the complaints about the economic system that rudster bring up is just a coincidence? These dismissals used by rudster are not representing liberals as a whole very well.
When I explained further and told rudster who John Maynard Keynes is and how he created the current school of thought used by governments, he told me that he is sure the Keynes' beliefs exist, but economists are largely ignored in politics. In what world? The further I pushed rudster looking for some sort of stable answer or an admission of an inability to go any further, the more he made up on the spot. When I mentioned the name Paul Krugman, I swear to god he must have just googled the name and read the first blog that popped up. The response I got was that Paul Krugman is an example of a well respected economist who has little to no influence on the "supposed" liberal administration. First he says Keynes didn't create the economic system that is used by governments around the world, then rudster used "supposed" to describe a liberal administration headed by Obama and then says Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize and one of the most influential academic thinkers in the United States is no influence on economic policy? What? Maybe I'm getting tired and cranky but what a load of pure bullshit.
When I asked rudster who exactly is influencing the United States economy, he said it is mostly non-economists, and their biggest influences come from communists and libertarians. Read that again. Communists who do not believe that things like currency and mediums of exchange should exist and libertarians who have been railing to end the fed for years are running the economy that prints its way out of every issue. After saying this, rudster told me that government economists only use science where it fits their preconceived notions. Well, it's a good thing they have no influence over the economy, no point in complaining about them when the commies and libertarians are conspiring together to use Keynesian economics to print money at a dangerous rate and dole out the welfare and mercantile subsidies.
Because of the refusal to address issues of morality, the biggest discussion came down to economics. Asides from no idea of what Keynesianism is and how the United States makes its economic decisions, I asked about capitalism in general. More specifically, what are the problems with it? Rudster told me that the primary problems with capitalism are "well-to-do interests" locking in rules for relationships to prevent adjustment to the system including buying off politicians, lowering their own taxes, getting government contracts, and making bad press illegal. He said that if capitalism didn't invade politics we'd be able to make adjustments to take care of just about everything to include pollution. Everything he listed that is wrong with capitalism not only has to do with using the government to achieve ends but is not capitalism at all. I asked rudster if he realizes that what he had just described is mercantilism. He told me that the use of such words is an attempt at distraction and divide-and-conquer. At some point, nobody is going to believe this conversation actually happened, but it's all true, the link is above. The things rudster lists are all the problems capitalists have with mercantilism. When corporations are allowed legal immunities, person-hood status, and favoritism, it destroys normal honest companies and is a perversion to free trade. Free trade by the way, just so happens to be the defining factor of capitalism in the dictionary. To say that it is capitalism that is getting in the governments way because the government is giving special privileges to certain companies is something else. And that last factor of pollution which rudster brings up all too often has been explained many times before in larger detail here on this site, but it can be summed up as public property being the cause of the tragedy of the commons.
I ignored the obvious ignorance and kept going to see if I could get anything more on the discussion on capitalism, something of quality. Rudster said that the factors of mercantilism (or to him illegally spent money under supposed capitalism) doesn't matter, so long as the money is "spent well". I asked him if this thought of "money spent well" is just subjective opinion and he said no. He said that spending $2 on a coke in one store when the store across the street sells it for $1 and has no lines, that is objectively not well spent. After saying this, he has the gall to tell me that I am taking an "all or nothing stance". This person, who ignores factors such as store loyalty, not knowing other prices, not caring about $2 vs $1 and walking across the street to save $1, the prices of other items bought and an infinite amount of other factors tells me that I am taking an all or nothing stance. By saying that something incalculable is and can only be "objective" is an all or nothing stance. This was one of rudsters favorite terms. Every time a question disagreed with his established opinion, he called it all or nothing and disregarded it as illegitimate.
Getting further into his rant and avoiding my actual questions rudster talks about the "conservative laffer curve". He says this way of measuring potential income tax is supposed to be objective but it is not. I've never heard of the laffer curve but according to Wikipedia its existence and shape is disputed, so I'm not sure if it really works as a good example here. Getting further into more irrelevant rants rudster says that health is somethings subjective such as in the case of drinking water, milk, beer, or hemlock. I suppose hemlock is some sort of drug? It doesn't really matter. The point of rudster bringing this up is to say that drinking hemlock is objectively bad for your health, therefore, any questions about health are not 100% subjective. No, no they're not. Does that mean you can tell people what to drink, or what to buy because according to you they should be spending $1 less on a can of coke? Or because you think socialized medicine is somehow magically beneficial to all? Rudster broad stroked his way out of the issue.
This line of conversation started with not knowing the difference between capitalism (free trade) and mercantilism (government monopolized/backed trade), into the issue of saying that you can not tell people how to spend their money because there is an impossible amount of factors to consider for every single human being the laws effect, and into some weird ramblings about the laffer curve and drugs? Explain that.
Some smaller points on why capitalism is bad include saying that the housing market is in a screwed up state thanks to the corporate manipulation of zoning and transit construction. What about those government bailouts back in 2008 of Fannie and Freddie that allowed for large and unreasonable gambles because the government promised zero risk of doing so? If capitalism weren't such a party pooper, the government could spend massive amounts of money on alternative spending. How capitalists are preventing the government, the organization with a monopoly on force and law, from spending a massive amount of money on environmentalists pet projects, is a head scratcher. Especially since they already are. Finally, rudster said that in his book things like farm subsidies and ethanol (for fuel?) is insane. Because placing subjective value on certain things over others has nothing to do with it and again, more research should go into alternative energy.
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Throughout this conversation rudster made it a point to not establish any kind of preference for any moral values or core beliefs. He attempted to tell me that it is more important to look at the "facts" and make utilitarian decisions. I believe it is impossible to look at things without some sort of inner influence so I made it a point to pay close attention to the way he answered questions and how his thought process seemed to be designed. For example, when I asked him to define the "common good" (which we have shown can't possibly exist) rudster told me that it is defined by what increases "our" well-being. He followed this up by saying that even though it is not well defined, it doesn't matter, we should all still be fighting for the common good. With this, you have to ask, what exactly are you expecting people to fight for? Isn't it the case that conservatives are fighting for a common good? Aren't libertarians doing so? Every group defines common good differently, but to rudster this doesn't matter. From previous statements, it is clear that he defines the common good by whatever decisions the government and supreme court make with the addition of needing more funding for "alternative energy".
Getting more general, I asked rudster how he looks at politics and how he makes his decisions. He of course told me that it is based purely on "evidence and reality". I've already showed why this is both wrong and dangerous because it doesn't mean anything, but he expanded the issue by saying that it is the government who should solve problems so long as it can "likely help". Deciding what to help with should be decided on a case by case basis. This again gets into the idea that rudster believes the government should do what he subjectively thinks should be done on the margin with no consideration to actual economics and moral issues. The government can not react to the market properly, and it must destroy real producing jobs in order to create ones that are based on theft rather than actual voluntary interactions to create what people actually need and want. Not only that, but it tends to do a shit job in everything.
When I asked rudster about Madison's famous liberal line, "ambition should be met with ambition" and whether or not he recognizes that everyone is fighting for what they want and their pet projects thereby deluding the system, he again said it doesn't matter. This is simply reason to "err on the side of caution", it is not reason to do "nothing". From this I gather that he believes when the government isn't doing anything, that automatically means nobody is doing anything. When I was young I played video games like SimCity in which you manage a government, and it is always the case in such games that you as the all powerful leader must do something to solve issues because if you don't, nobody will and the whole city will turn to rubble. This goes back to the idea that the government is the babysitter that is required to take care of people because they don't have the organizational skills of a "chief financial officer" and are incapable of running their own lives and cooperating with others in a manner that is beneficial to all parties.
In a rant about conservatives, the ol' ruds told me that it is the liberals who are trying to fix the current recession with "useful infrastructure and research spending". He said that conservatives are too black/white and ideologically pure. He swears that liberals are all for some things to be privately run, unless the government can help. First, you don't spend your way out of recessions. What do you do when you have no money? You save it. The result? Prices go down because the merchants need to make money too. Second, this idea of liberals trying to fix everything while those darned black/white conservatives are getting in the way is the usual pathetic drama that creates the useless back and forth trading of the throne that we have seen for hundreds of years. Third, seeing as how even libertarians who are more "black/white" have great struggles with the moral questions I throw at them and make tremendous compromises, I don't think conservatives are that bad in the issue. In fact, they'd probably benefit from more morals and taking their own thoughts a little more seriously. Liberals too could benefit from their own preaching now and then by taking those claims for being all for private solutions where possible seriously. Of course, none of this means a thing to rudster, he continued in the questioning by saying that looking at things in terms of black and white is "caveman thinking" and he told me that I am 0% or 100% after questioning his own inconsistencies in this matter. As an example, he says that there is no clear opinion on abortion. Again, rudster decides to tell me who I am based on the questions I ask. As someone who believes in freely contracted competing governments, and being open to the thoughts of others, I wouldn't call myself 0% or 100%. (Why do they never just ask?) Just because I don't agree with rudster 100%, doesn't mean that's the way I think. But that's the way he sees the thoughts of others. They're either with him or against him.
The biggest fault I found with libertarians is that they talk a big game about individualism and the "two party system" but push a party themselves and seek to force their system on others when they obviously don't want it. When I brought this up with them, they were fine with it. They reacted. They recognized it as a tough challenge, and they weren't afraid of a few weaknesses. They didn't try to call anything stupid or irrelevant. They didn't brush off hard questions. They set the standard for an incredible ability to advertise their own philosophy. On the other hand, when I asked rudster if something can be right for one person and wrong for another, he told me it's simply not the case. Outside of "personal preferences" such as chocolate vs. vanilla, if something is right for one person (him) it is right for everyone and it is perfectly OK to force systems on an entire nation without batting an eye.
The same mentality is seen when I asked him about counter evidence that proves his evidence (on which all his thoughts are based) wrong. He literally told me that counter evidence doesn't matter because it comes from "people without reason" who "treat all possible utterances as equal". I'd like to hear him say this at any science convention in the world. I'd love to see the look on his face when he's met with boos, shunning and being asked to leave. What a dumb, arrogant and insulting thing to say! Respected economists say Obamacare is a failure, respected economists say Obamacare is great. All those who disagree with rudster are people without reason!
Speaking of Obamacare, in our conversation on the subject, I asked if rudster believes individual solutions can be more flexible and fit more people. I found it interesting that when I said "individual" he immediately started talking about county governments. To him, there are no people. There are no human beings getting together and working to create solutions. There are just governments. That's where his mind is at. That's the default setting. In the same conversation, he told me that even though government solutions have a tendency to push out all private solutions, the government is still needed for foreign interactions such as trade and subsidies. Assuming that's true (which it is not), what does it matter? Every time we got to the hard part of a conversation, rudster changed the subject and said something irrelevant. In order to organize his thoughts I created a mind map with branches based on subjects and at the end of every one of them is some meaningless rant that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Is how people decide to spend their money subjective opinion? No, because drinking hemlock is objectively bad for your health! Aren't you talking about mercantilism? No! More money should go into alternative energy and less into farms and ethanol! Did the New Deal cure the depression? Wars happen because of overpopulation! OK, that last one isn't really fair, but you get the point.
Finally, we get to the question asking what the job of the government should be. Despite loving to say what the government should be doing like creating UBI and spending more on alternative energy rudster said he doesn't understand the question. He doesn't get the government having or not having a "job". He said that all decisions made are up to the collective "we" and that there is no "divine commandment" with a specific job for the government. Well, unless that "we" decides to do something that rudster sees as subjectively "unreasonable" or "black/white", then its wrong. I get it though. People can just vote for whatever they want, and the government has to provide, no matter the impossibility and no matter the fact that such things must necessarily harm a minority and no matter the fact that in order to do these things violence and theft is required.
On the same subject, I'd like to leave you with a quote from rudster himself. This was said when he was talking about capitalism being great for "poor countries" but bad for "rich countries". I won't add any commentary. It'll be up to you to interpret it. "If collectively we're rich enough that we no longer feel the need to make people choose between starvation and flipping burgers for people too lazy to do it themselves, we'll make that decision."
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I should say that there were a few good arguments strewn out through what rudster said. They were very few, but they were there. The reason that I am not showing those for now is because of the arrogance and cynicism he showed throughout the conversation towards me and others. As we get into my second conversation, which was done with an aura of intelligence, I think a better picture of liberalism will be found. For now, I think rudster should be seen as a bad representative of liberalism who probably doesn't think about things all too often. He presented the perfect stereotype for liberals. Rudster is of course not representative of liberals as a whole, no one is, but what he presented to me left me with a negative initial opinion.