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Religion & Philosophy
By gzt (Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:13:46 AM EST) gzt, libertarians, choir, sleep (all tags)
the choir survived.

there were perhaps 30 people who came through for the easter services - not all were present simultaneously. it was nice. a bit of work, though.

things went quite well, but, really, when things are that sparse in terms of attendance, it can really kind of grind on the few that are there a little bit.

i had a terrible sore throat early in the week which turned into a normal cold by the end, i'm still having occasional sinus headaches and chest congestion, but, fortunately, the whole time, I've been able to breathe through the nose and the throat itself has been fairly clear, which made singing possible. But, anyway, i'm a little worn out right now. vocal range less than usual - it's generally only a tritone, anyway.

i'm kind of surprised at how hostile american libertarians seem to be to the idea of democracy. for all their love of the constitution and the founding fathers, they fundamentally misunderstand the american project if they read only the first half of "no taxation without representation". I mean, a lot of the ones I've talked to don't like the direct election of senators.

< Not that bad. | Something's wrong with me >
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I don't get the election of Senators thing by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:36:13 AM EST
somehow having them appointed by elected state government officials is better than a statewide election.

Election of Senators by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:50:15 AM EST
 The election of Senators thing is two fold. One is that you want a Senator who is beholden to the interests of the state and not outsiders. Someone elected by the legislature is presumably going to represent the interests of the state. Second they distrust democracy in general. "The wrong people" might get elected and the legislature is presumably composed of people better qualified to choose the "right people." You can define right and wrong anyway you want.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
I feel like by garlic (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:37:38 PM EST
most state legislatures, being small-time politicians, are probably easier to have an untoward amount of influence over, either via their ignorance, or there unethicalness.

[ Parent ]
Senators by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:40:38 AM EST
I would assume that these are Ron Paul style "libertarians" who are actually confederates. They only want to limit federal power and remove all (as in repeal the Bill of Rights and all other amendments) limitations from state government. A weird bunch.

This isn't quite the same as typical US libertarianism, which seems to understand how terrifying freedom is to most individuals, so is only interested in giving it to corporations.

I think the whole state power thing is based on the idea that sufficiently large corporations/donors can buy 50 state legislatures cheaper than congress. I can't remember seeing a single ad, news article, or other reason to vote for one state legislator over another, but I have some slight idea how my congresscritter votes.


Terrified of democracy by riceowlguy (4.00 / 2) #4 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:44:49 AM EST
Man, just go to your local homeowner's association annual meeting, and that ought to be enough to make you terrified of democracy.  I was really quite dismayed at the extent to which my neighbors felt they had a right to control the behavior of the people around them (e.g. what kind of plants they could grow in their yards).

I haven't really thought about or read anything re: the "American Libertarian" position on direct vs. indirect election of the Senate.  My first guess is that if you are a libertarian, you want the role of government to be very small, but all the mechanisms of democracy are geared towards expanding the role of government.  To get elected, you have to promise to do stuff.  Once in government, you typically have to actually do stuff to be seen as effective.  And a lot of coalition building depends on being able to hand out government jobs to cronies, or the cronies of your allies.  A truly libertarian politician couldn't get elected ("If elected, I promise to do absolutely nothing to help you solve your problems!") and, if elected, couldn't govern.

TL;DR: "Libertarian Democracy" is an oxymoron.

HOA's seem to turn people into libertarians by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:28:20 AM EST
or there's some sort of correlation between people buying in HOAs and a distrust of government.

[ Parent ]
HOAs are governments by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:06:28 AM EST
Micro-governments, maybe, although there are some developments around here that are big enough to look like small cities.  They have taxes (dues), elections, laws (codes and covenants), and provide services.  The main distinction that springs to mind is that HOAs don't claim to be able to shoot you for not complying with their rules (they would leave that up to the next level of government upwards).

Around here (Houston), there doesn't seem to be much choice if you are buying in any neighborhood less than 50 years old.  You will have an HOA.  And HOA's quasi-governmental status seem pretty baked into the way the city does business (for example, whether or not you have curbside recycling is handled on a development-by-development basis).

Theoretically, deciding things that might, in cities without the HOA/deed restriction way of doing things, be decided at the city level through zoning/code, could lead to a nice variety of different kinds of neighborhoods with different mixtures of rules and restrictions, but in practice I expect that most HOA CCR documents looks very similar (i.e. you're not allowed to keep a car up on blocks in your front yard, you can only put your trash cans out on the street for pickup within a certain time window around pickup day, you have to have a mown grass lawn, etc.)

[ Parent ]
If we leave our trash totes out too long by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:12:53 AM EST
we might get a note from the city, or we might not. It seems to take very high grass to get notes, too.

The enforcement in Rochester seems lower-key and more haphazard, it depends on city employee driving by, or someone complaining.

HOAs seem to be a southern thing, there are probably some around the area, but I don't recall anyone I know of in Rochester complaining about them.

[ Parent ]
condo's tend to have them. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:42:33 PM EST
And after running my condo association, I feel like the smaller scale of the democracy government, the less likely it can be trusted to not be some sort of petty controlling monster.

[ Parent ]
That makes sense by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:15:42 PM EST
I didn't think of that case, since I'm still a sucker for a detached family house on a tiny lot, which is very affordable in a rust belt minor league city.

[ Parent ]
oddly enough, though... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:56:08 AM EST seems that HOA-like things are what libertarians envision as replacing larger-scale government. the ham-fisted megalomania of HOAs compared to city, county, state, or federal government is kind of what makes me skeptical of libertarian ideas and more favorable to macro rather than micro government. by "democracy" i generally mean "democratic principles" rather than "direct democracy" - the idea of individual voters having a say in government, not individual voters voting on every issue.

[ Parent ]
i mean, seriously... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:47:49 PM EST
...these sorts of things - community covenants and whatever are what I see floated as the proper way to deal with, say, chemical plants and their safety (eg the spill in WV). but these sorts of associations are more ham-fisted than larger governments. and can't effectively manage what might be called collective action problems. cf Bay area housing situation - a small part of the problem is that individual communities manage housing supply, but really an entire Bay-area approach would perhaps be more efficient. the former is the more libertarian-leaning approach, perhaps down to the neighborhood level. this isn't the best example, as it's a multi-faceted problem.

[ Parent ]
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