Monday, February 15, 2010
My World (and you're welcome to it)
(apologies to James Thurber for the title. graph from What Would Jack Do)
So I'm having a beer with my favorite 'tea party libertarian' and we're arguing about whether the government should fund "research" if there might be doubts about the "return on investment" (he also wants the government out of education), and I (as the 'socialist') favored more money for the research. Kinda like throwing out a net in the sea: you might catch something good. We agree on alternative energy, but disagree as to whether government should push the agenda.
And that is the philosophical difference. Just as I don't mind being called a "liberal", I don't really mind being called a "socialist", because of my view of the world. See, we are just humans. We are a social animal. We live in societies. We band together to do more than we can individually (I couldn't build an internet by myself; could you?), so we have a set of social rules. And that includes a certain amount of "sharing" resources. We always build some sort of structure (call it "government") to achieve a social norm for the good of the majority of us. Even the most tribal society is 'socialist' if you want to see it that way.
My 'libertarian' friend gave a number of 'free market' examples (proving nothing) why 'government is the problem', but kept saying "need more research" when I questioned his examples. I called this the "Unicorn Petting Manuel" view of the world. You want "more research" but "less government" at the same time. And then you pet the Unicorn.
I may be somewhat extreme in my opinions, but I usually try to be realistic; you want "better", you will have to pay for it. There are no Unicorns to pet. But I do believe that some amount of "socialism" is worth paying for a better life for all of us who live in a "society".
(added: as I'm sitting here blogging, Grizelda (my bird) is singing along with "Oh, Canada" as best she can. Yes, we're watching the Olympics)