[ExI] Yet another health care debate.

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Sep 24 01:31:07 UTC 2008

Fred writes

> So let us make sure that we do not inadvertently engage in little
> misdirections, false accusations and attempts at guilt by association.

Well, FWIW it didn't seem to me that there was any chance
of anyone taking offense from the Stalin reference; Damien
seemed at that point to merely be saying that some absolute
rulers are really bad.

However, far more important (if you are going to be bringing up 
Stalin) is to mention the kind of revolutionary mindset that
ends up this way, (study the French Revolution, for instance).
In other words, again the *system* must not escape censure:
one should not blame everything bad that happened under
Stalin on his own idiosyncrasies.

> (and I am very confident on this) that no person (of any political
> label) participating on this email list holds the position of letting
> all the poor, mentally disabled, physically disabled, etc. fall by the
> wayside.

Yes, the kind of rhetoric you allude to is indeed often
overblown, but a rather wide variety of views will be
present on forums like this. For example, I would myself
wish to shift the system towards *complete* personal
responsibility (not overnight, again), so that charity
would be the only recourse of the "poor, mentally disabled,
physically disabled, etc." I.e. NO "ENTITLEMENTS".

So does not the accusation against me, e.g. "holding that
[they] fall by the wayside" have some force? For charity is
not totally dependable, and instances in a large society, no
matter how wealthy, are bound to arise now and then. (Of course,
even in pure communism we would have unusual situations; not
even the state knows all and sees all---the difference is that
most people on the list (now, sadly)  want government *policy*
to entitle everyone to at least food, clothing, and shelter.)

I'll even claim that in a nation of millions, (does the reader
really know how big that is?), it is probably optimal for the
greatest good and maximal progress that a very few people 
starve to death each winter through having alienated absolutely
everyone who would help them, and a few people freeze to death
every winter (because we don't have universal 1984 type
surveillance, and so none of their neighbors even knows,
assuming they'd help some real nuisance guy or gal).

> Scouring the web to find the worst statements of someone claiming
> to be affiliated with some group such as the Greens, conservatives,
> Republicans, Democrats, etc and then bringing them up as if they had
> relevance to the ideas of the list participants is unseemly.  I have
> seen other forums where this sort of thing was done and the results
> are not pretty.  How about we strife for an improved list?

I agree. From now on when we criticize some group and use
something we've found as an example, politeness and decorum
should insist that we include a qualifying phrase, such as "some
extreme Libertarians", or ", not that this so describes all self-
styled whatevers". It will be painful, but I'll start my screeds
with "*Some* liberals...."   :-)

> So my request is that we attempt to maintain this list at a higher
> standard of discourse.

I second the motion!


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