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Saturday, June 29, 2013

That Which Distinguishes Humans

"That's not real life," complained my wife when I gave our 16-year-old daughter $20 to go to the movies.  My wife is less than pleased that our daughter didn't manage (yet) to get a summer job, wants to keep the pressure on our daughter so that she continues to pound the pavement looking for a job, and thinks that just giving people money when they ask for it is close to ludicrous (or at least not "real life").

The "real life" comment got me thinking and that's always dangerous.  Other than the fact that I believe I'm both real and a life form and so is my daughter and I did give her $20 so it is therefore by definition "real life" in at least this one instance, it seems to me that what really distinguishes humans from all of the other life forms on the planet is the fact that we shape our own reality.  Chimps, crows, etc. use simple tools when convenient and ants, bees, birds, etc. build structures, but humans create their own subjective reality on a grand scale and this subjective reality is only tenuously related to an objective reality of which we know little and generally don't think much about.

Our subjective realities are only related to objective reality by the minor detail that we have to survive.  But survival really only requires some food, some minimal amount of clothing, some shelter to protect us from the elements when the clothing is not going to cut it, and perhaps a few other minor things.  After we cover the bare necessities of life, all other resources can be used to create our subjective realities which need not have anything to do with objective reality.

As we grow richer and richer, we need fewer and fewer people and resources to cover the basics.  In the United States for example, we need less than 3% of the population to produce all of our food (and if we weren't picky we could probably do it with substantially fewer resources still) and we could probably cover the bare minimum of clothing and shelter with an even smaller percentage of GDP than that.  The other 90+% of GDP can be dedicated to ignoring objective reality.

The problem is that we don't agree on how to structure our subjective reality.  I greatly prefer the autonomy of the individual and freedom from government interference.  Others want to pool the sum total of resources for collective deployment.  Still others want a highly religious subjective reality of some form or another.  And so forth.  All of these subjective realities, given the fuel of 90+% of GDP, can work for a long time.

However, as long as there are ever increasing conflicts between people because of conflicting desires for different types of subjective realities, the stability of society is going to be a bit of a fragile thing.  The fact of the matter is that the Left would be far better off if the Right was to disappear from the earth and vice-versa.  It's debatable whether or not they'd be materially better off, but to be free to live unopposed within their subjective reality would no doubt be a great boon.

And given this, I wonder if one day there will be a great extermination war between the ideologies.  If each side thinks they'd be better off with the other side gone, what's to stop that from happening?

46 comments:

Annoying Old Guy said...

To me, it's more a matter of timeboundedness. Your wife is looking at "real life" over the span of a human life and is essential making the point that your act will turn out to be atypical over that span.

Perhaps you should study Objectivism - your post here is in essence the starting point of that philosophy, whose aim is to take the axioms "human survival is good" and "there exists an objective reality" to build a proper morality. I certainly agree that belief systems are not completely arbitrary, that they do impact survival in their interaction with objective reality (e.g., Heaven's Gate vs. Christianity). From that I believe we draw some absolute moral principles.

Bret said...

I don't think it atypical for a parent to give a child money or other support, financial or otherwise. So that's the other part of the claim of non-real-life that seems odd.

I'm not so concerned with the philosophy of Objectivism here. Where I'm going with this is to better understand why the conflict between different ideologies seems to be growing, and growing rapidly. And a reason, perhaps even the primary enabler is that all of the ideologies can be ever more divorced from objective reality and the spoils (the 90+% of GDP) gets ever larger.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Bret;

I think it's cyclic and the main difference is that a larger part of the population is among the reality dysfunctional elite. Read "Gods of the Copybook Headings" again.

Harry Eagar said...

I agree that the conflict (at least as regards US electoral politics) is growing, but I do not think it has reached anywhere near the level of 80-90 years ago.

Taking a broader view, the conflict between religion and secularism has become more violent, but that is merely because access to technik by Muslims has allowed them to resume their violent expansionist behavior that was put on ice for 300 years because they were so seriously outgunned.

We have seen that, indeed, universalizing, salvationist monotheisms do wage wars of extermination against outsiders, unless restrained.

My question regarding your daughter and wife would be: did she try for a job? were there jobs? if there were not, what does depriving her of movies accomplish.

When I was her age, jobs for 16-year-olds were hard to find. I got one, but only because a friend of mine's father ran a Shoney's. On my own, I never made any progress. Had I had dark skin, I would not have found work, period.

Bret said...

aog,

What's definitely NOT cyclic is the amount of resource we have beyond that which needs to be dedicated to survival. My conjecture here is that additional resource is part of the underlying political tension because we are so loosely tethered to the focus on survival.

What I'm saying is that the ENTIRE population is among the objective reality dysfunctional. Some because they just don't bother thinking about it at all, others because they've confused themselves into thinking they're the reality based crew, when they have no better grasp of objective reality than anyone else. But nothing we do much matters as far as survival goes, and hardly matters in terms of overall well-being. There is therefore no natural selection step in memetic evolution EXCEPT that those memes that inherently have expansion and survival built in (per Nietzsche's will-to-power). In other words, the argument is no longer about making people better off, but only about the memes themselves.

Yes, I'm rambling, perhaps I shouldn't've done this post until I made it clearer in my own head, but hey, what good is a blog if you can't spew forth from time-to-time?

Summary: we (western civilization as a whole) are now debating ideas where the thing of primary importance is the idea itself, not whether or not it makes people better off.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "We have seen that, indeed, universalizing, salvationist monotheisms do wage wars of extermination against outsiders, unless restrained."

Absolutely.

A friend of mine shares your dislike of "universalizing, salvationist monotheisms" and I pointed out to him, big government looks to me exactly like a "universalizing, salvationist monotheism". It's certainly universalizing, it claims salvation in terms of moral superiority, and the deity is just big government. To me, the catholic church and big government are the same, they both tax and tell the people what to do. They oppress and even kill when convenient.

So my belief is that the church of big government, as a "universalizing, salvationist monotheism", will soon (within a century or two) wage a war "of extermination against outsiders" and heretics.

Harry Eagar wrote: "My question regarding your daughter and wife would be: did she try for a job? were there jobs?"

The daughter did try. The wife claims she didn't try hard enough (I think that claim would've been put forward no matter what given that the daughter came up empty handed). The daughter actually has one very part time job (a few hours per week) and is taking a class, so it's not like she's just lazing around.

erp said...

Sorry to demur on this subject. IMO parents are responsible for providing for their chldren to the best of their abilities and that includes pocket money for approved activities like movies, clothing within reason and other teenage necessities. I also believe that children should enjoy the same standard of living as their parents and be burdened with a modicum of household responsibilities as determined by age and abilities.

Getting a job is out there in their future, so let them hang out at the beach and have some fun.

Harry Eagar said...

'They oppress and even kill when convenient.'

Even very small governments do that. Some big governments kill people for thought-crime, some don't, but universalizing, salvationist monotheisms always do, so I don't think the comparison is all that close.

And government cannot threaten to pursue its victims through eternity.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "I don't think the comparison is all that close."

That's kinda the point. Neither would a devout Catholic. Nobody who firmly subscribes to an ideology (subjective reality) is going to be able to see their reality having the primary features of other ideologies such as dogma, belief, moral high ground/salvation, need to control, need for "universalizing," tax, regulate, etc. Even monotheism really as in "God is government and there shall be no other".

From the outside, religion and government look very much alike to me.

Harry wrote: "And government cannot threaten to pursue its victims through eternity."

One would have to believe that for it to be an effective threat. But hell, if the government told me it was going to pursue me through eternity, I'd take it seriously. :-)

Bret said...

erp,

I agree with you about providing for children (after all, I'm the one who gave her the money).

There's been some conflict (confict with a teenager - who knew! :-) over doing chores and being respectful and pocket money is one of the few bits of leverage we have left over her, so my wife is more inclined to use that as a bludgeon than I am.

erp said...

Bret, Tell Mrs. Bret, "this too shall pass" and she'll hear her words coming out of her daughter's mouth when she has a granddaughter.

PS: It's worth the wait. :-)

Meanwhile more slack is more effective than less.

Bret said...

Thanks erp.

Harry Eagar said...

'From the outside, religion and government look very much alike to me.'

Try telling that to a Catholic woman feminist.

Howard said...

Harry,

It's remarkable how sensitive you are to perceive the oppression of selected groups, yet unable to appreciate how unlimited government tends naturally towards tyranny. Oh well, I guess we all have our limitations.

Harry Eagar said...

I wouldn't know, I've never lived under an unlimited government.

I did, however, live my first 30 years under one-party regimes and I understand how oppressive even a limited American rightwing government is.

But, at the risk of our lives (some of us), we opened up government so that, compared to when I was young, government is far less oppressive in America than it used to be.

As a meliorist, I am pleased with the trajectory.

When I hear TPers say they intend to 'take back' America, I know from experience what they mean to take it back to.

erp said...

Harry,

I put you at about age 60, so until Gerry Ford you had either Democrats, the RINO Eisenhower or the socialist Nixon in the White House.

After Ford's three years, came Carter, so no matter which way I turn it, there is no way you can have lived under the repressive yolk of a rightwing party for your first 30 years.

If you're older than 60, the chances are even slimmer.

Harry Eagar said...

I'm 66, and until 1976 I lived in the South, governed by rightwing theocrats, nominated Democrats most of that time but today Republicans.

There are a number of areas in which the government today is less intrusive than when I grew up (or shortly before; the good stuff began with the New Deal):

1. Workers no longer have to fear that a corporation will call on the state governor to turn the militia's machine guns against them.

2. Religious bigots no longer get to decide who marries whom (this one still a work in progress), or what they can do on Sunday, or whether they can drink.

3. Black kids are not driven scores of miles past good schools to be dumped in falling-apart schools.

4. No conscription.

5. Gangs of Christian thugs are no longer sent out by state governors to horsewhip alleged adulterers.

6. Lynching is against the law.

7. Jews can no longer be excluded from buying a home by gentlemen's agreements enforced by government.

I could go on and on for hundreds of things, but 2 things stand out:

A. Wherever you look, government is less intrusive and violent than it used to be.

B. These wonderful changes were fought tooth and nail by the people you admire.

I like my America much better than yours.

erp said...

I could produce a list things that are worse and it would be longer than yours and mine won't be filtered through a child's feverish imagination.

Harry Eagar said...

Worse than denying 10% of Americans the vote? I don't think you can.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "I like my America much better than yours."

That's good.

Too bad we can't share where you give folks like me a little space. I'm more than happy to leave folks like you alone.

erp said...

Harry, wanna bet?

Bret? "folks like you"?

Do you means superior intelligence and charm?

What ?

Bret said...

Harry wrote: "Wherever you look, government is less intrusive and violent than it used to be."

Wherever YOU look, perhaps. I see a much more intrusive federal government.

Look, some of the things on your list are true and represent awful situations of the past, and for some of them the federal government was involved in correcting the problem, and it may even be true that the problem would've remained for decades or even forever without the assistance of government.

Your statement that I quoted above is exactly why we're having these arguments. You never, ever see anything wrong with governments except that they're not intrusive enough - I mean, that's exactly what your statement says and it matches pretty much all of our discussions here and elsewhere.

I'm not an anarchist. I do think government is necessary, that it does need to be funded with taxes, and that some intrusion is required. And I agree that some government should've intervened in at least some of those things. But 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 were all evils put in place by governments. 6 was always illegal, just not enforced by government. So some government or other was complicit in every one of the ills you've listed!

So it's just like the discussion with Peter on the other thread. You're playing with fire by coalescing so much power and so much breadth of power in the federal government. Who's gonna stop them when they do some evil like one of the things on your list? Oh wait! They already are! IRS audits, NSA spying, Zimmerman show trial, and on, and on, and on. Who's gonna fix it, Harry?

Harry Eagar said...

Zimmerman show trial?

Really?

Why should I look for examples of gummint overreach? You do such a good job of it?

You and I both believe in mixed government, though we disagree about the mix.

If erp wants to call objections to lynching childish, I think that's a serious problem.

The backstop against gummint overreach is democracy. The US was a poor democracy (though better than most) until recently. More democracy, better government.

See, that was easy.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "The backstop against gummint overreach is democracy."

So as long as the majority says it's okay, then it's okay?

erp said...

Harry, as usual you didn't read what I said. I said your feverish childish memories of hell, fire and brimstone are filtered through what must have been a very difficult home life and/or those old movies really did a number on you.

As for lynching’s. They were always against the law. They were never legal (that's why the lynching parties wore hoods over their faces). I don't have my stuff with me here, but I remember doing some research and over a 30 year period there were fewer than 100 lynching’s. That's far less than the number of blacks, including small children, wantonly killed in black-on-black violence in Chicago and other Democratic controlled cities in one month. By what calculus is that "better" than lynching?

Bret did an excellent job of dealing with your other points. Killing, violence, etc. is a crime and making it a federal offense rather than a local one doesn't stop it, it only brings another layer of union thugs on the payroll ... and speaking of union thugs, they were the ones doing violence to workers not the governors.

You are right that Jews and in some cases Irish and others were prevented from buying homes in certain neighborhoods, were denied membership in clubs, weren’t hired on Wall St., etc. It was snobby, but I couldn't care less about that. We, the children of immigrants formed our own Wall Street firms, Harvard had a quota on Jews and that was pretty foolish since many of those same Jews went to CCNY making it the number one supplier of Nobel laureates in the world. Eventually things changed peacefully, but your better world took a horrible step backwards and reinstituted quotas in form of affirmative action, a huge blot on our nation and that's far from the only or even worse blot on our nation.

erp said...

Bret, the nuns explained that to us in about 6th or 7th grade. We were given a Republic, not a democracy, for exactly that reason.

Harry Eagar said...

Majorities are not permanent in functioning democracies like ours.

erp, reading your posts takes me back to the American Opinion bookstore I used to hang out circa 1965.

Sure, there were a few lynchings, bau not so bad, really, if you look at the big picture.

100 in 30 years is a ridiculous figure.

Possibly the nuns never got around to the 'whatever you do to the least of these' part of Scripture.

I already knew you didn't care about discrimination. You didn't have to tell me.

I had a wonderful childhood, thanks, but I started reporting at age 13 and discovered that not everyone else was so fortunate.

erp said...

You started reporting on what? Did you witness the whippings, the frequent lynchings, the governor prompted machine gunning of workers,? What? Again, You see what your biases allow you to see. I care about discrimination, my objection is to your methods, methods which have produced more, not less divisiveness.

Produce some figures on lynchings to refute my memory. I don't have the patience right now, but the numbers on killings and maimings in the inner cities ARE readily available. Care to comment on that or does your reportage only cover those atrocities you can assign to those elusive right wingers which exist only in your fervid imagination,

Harry Eagar said...

Well, erp, before we get all runny inside about those CCNY boys, let us ask how much tuition those welfare babies paid.

I know the answer. Do you?

'The Tuskegee Institute has recorded 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites were lynched between 1882 and 1968.'

Better than one a week, so if your research found only 100 in 30 years, you didn't look very hard.

erp said...

Give me a break. The 30 years I meant were those prior to the Civil Rights Act c.1964.

The CCNY boys (and girls) weren't on welfare and the city college system prior to our cultural revolution was strictly merit based paid for by tax payers. Only the best of the best no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, etc, were admitted and I know that because that's where I went.

Your ripostes are getting weaker and weaker because your positions are untenable.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

Free tuition. That makes it a little easier to be a rugged individualist and pull oneself up by his bootstraps, doesn't it?

Of course, now that you've had your welfare, you're pulling up the bridge.

Phooey. You were a welfare queen. Now the truth is out.

The 30 years prior to the Civil Rights Act were also the 30 years after passage of the federal antilynching law, so the number you found indicates that lynching bees are not something that true, rightwing, Christian Murricans were ready to give up.

I think 100 after passage of the antilynch law is more damning of American morals than the 5000 before.

I still like my America much better than yours.

erp said...

Harry, I said your positions are untenable, perhaps I should have been more forthcoming. Your statements are frequently incorrect. I don't know if your memory is failing or it's "wishing doesn't make it so" or just plain prevaricating. In your world, many people only "know" the same set of propaganda points as you do and aren't about to check your statements.

Of late, I frequently forget stuff, so I had to check my memory about federal anti-lynching laws since I didn’t remember any such thing ever existed and lo and behold I found the following in the self-same Wikipedia article where you found the Tuskegee Inst. figures: ... in 1920 the Republican Party promised at its national convention to support passage of such a [anti-lynching] law. In 1921 Leonidas C. Dyer sponsored an anti-lynching bill; it was passed in January 1922 in the United States House of Representatives, but a Senate filibuster by Southern white Democrats defeated it in December 1922. With the NAACP, Representative Dyer spoke across the country in support of his bill in 1923, but Southern Democrats again filibustered it in the Senate. He tried once more but was again unsuccessful.

… nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, and three passed the House. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal law."[3] No bill was approved by the Senate because of the powerful opposition of the Southern Democratic voting block. ...


So Harry which is it? Ya got yer facts wrong or were ya lying?

And BYW, I question the Tuskegee numbers because I don't know what their definition of lynching is. Their numbers may include all murders. I'm using your definition of lynching. An arbitrary hanging of Negro males for alleged infractions, not necessarily crimes, mostly in the nature of alleged improprieties towards the flower of southern womanhood.

Welfare is getting something for nothing. It's charity that has been institutionalized by the left in order to make a population dependent on them so the recipients will vote to keep them in power. How it's worked out can be seen by the results to wit Detroit and other Democrat controlled cities, states and even globally.

I don't support welfare as described above, but I do support tax payer funded schools, parks, police, fire protection, public works, garbage collection and other services to aid citizens in their "pursuit of happiness" and that includes providing a system of excellent higher education to augment the formerly equally excellent public schools and is merely an extension of that.

Unfortunately, since our cultural revolution and the sainted martyr's EO allowing public sector unions, most of those institutions including education, have become nothing more than incubators of left-wing propaganda and the butt of jokes ending with it's good enough for government work.

Annoying Old Guy said...

erp;

You might well find the first section of this article interesting. To quote the final paragraph,

"All of which suggests that the people likeliest to believe most whites are racist and most blacks are not are those who are both liberal and white. Which reinforces a point we've made often in this column: that a lot of what drives the futile debate over race in America is white liberals' psychological need to feel morally superior to other whites."

Sound like anyone we know?

erp said...

Thanks, I did see that article and although I've about given up blogging, I think I may write a post on how IMO we have already become the FSA (Fascist State of America) and please note that "State" is singular.

I can't understand why Harry keeps playing that same old tired one-string banjo. He must have figured out by now that we aren't the kind of mind-numbed robots he meets in his daily life. That we are well read, well educated ... He can't imagine that we'd be seduced by those same old Soviet talking points.

Oh well, he's kept me amused all these months away from home taking care of our children in their need.

Hawaii is starting to intrigue nay nag on me. Why did Obama's white family leave Kansas for Seattle and then go there? Folklore has it that they had a furniture store in Kansas??? Stanley Dunham had no apparent employment in either Seattle or Hawaii. His wife had a job as a bank teller in Hawaii, next thing she's the bank president sending her grandson to a pricey private school????

Why did Frank Marshall Davis leave Chicago for Hawaii. I'd like someone to connect the dots between Jarrett's in-laws, Davis and the Dunhams. What did Stanley Ann Dunham do all those years prancing around Asia. How did an 18 year old girl with a baby get through college (we have no knowledge she ever was graduated from high school) and graduate school. Who paid for it all???

Also since Obama’s alleged father who was already married and entered the country on the British passport, he couldn’t have married his alleged mother, who was never seen with him nor has anyone come forward who saw her pregnant. The photo of her with Obama bandied out as their wedding picture is an obvious photoshop as is the photo of him with the ten year old Obama. The elder Obama is wearing the same suit and tie in the same position in both photos. I have them somewhere, but don’t know how to insert them in this comment. The only photo I’ve seen that I believe is genuine is the president with his alleged grandfather at the beach. In that photo it’s obvious they are related. The adult Obama is the spitting image of Stanley Dunham who may or may not be either his father or his grandfather.

None of this would make any difference except that connecting these dots is terrifying in that there must be a master hand shaping this scenario and unlike the controversy about evolution of intelligent design, it’s unlike that any kind of a benevolent God had anything to do with it.

Harry Eagar said...

You're correct, the antilynch laws were blocked by rightwingers, although the New Deal was in principle opposed, as it was to shooting workers:

'After the president had spent most of the conversation avoiding the
issue, he told White that he was unwilling to challenge the southern Democrats:
“I did not choose the tools with
which I must work...Had I been
permitted to choose them I would have selected quite different ones.
But I’ve got to get legislation passed by Congress to save America.
The Southerners by reason of the seniority rule in Congress are
chairmen or occupy strategic places on most of the Senate and
House committees. If I come out for
the anti-lynching bill now, they
will block every bill I ask Congress
to pass to keep America from
collapsing. I just can’t take that risk.” '

Sad, isn't. How 'vile,' as you term it.

I agree something vile was going on.

As for whites not being racist, from the same study, a different white Democrat:

'Southern congressmen greeted this with apprehension. “The catering by
our National Party to the Negro vote,” Josiah Bailey (D—North Carolina) wrote
“is not only extremely distasteful
to me, but very alarming to me.
Southern people know what this means and you would have to be in
Washington only about three weeks to realize what it is meaning to
our Party in the Northern states. It is bringing it down to the lowest
depths of degradation.”

erp, whether you are willing to admit it not, you were on welfare.

It was a wonderful investment of public resources, was it not?

Why are our rightwingers so horrified by continuing the practice?

erp said...

aog, correctly pointed out that you cherry pick which part of an issue you choose to see.

Actually, it wasn't my choice to attend city college. I wanted to go to Cornell and while I was accepted and we could afford it, in those days, according to my father, "only prostitutes lived away from home before they were married."

Welfare, like so much else, is in the eye of the beholder. Are those who take a walk in a public park or go to a public beach also on welfare in your book? How about public libraries?

Harry your comments are getting sillier and sillier.

Oh and BTW - the president referred to above must be THE PRESIDENT, you know the one who got his marching orders from Uncle Joe.

You can call a cat a canary but that doesn't make the cat's meow any sweeter. Democrats under any and all of their many monikers can take full credit for the mess they've made since Wilson. To their shame RINO's have helped, but none of it was the work of conservatives.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "...let us ask how much tuition those welfare babies paid."

Are you now claiming that utilizing any publicly funded education is synonymous with accepting welfare?

Wow. Even in my most libertarian moods I wouldn't go that far.

Annoying Old Guy said...

erp;

I always think of this when we get in to a discussion with Mr. Eagar because it reminds me of him on multiple levels.

erp said...

I may be the only person on earth who doesn't know what an Xbox is, but the rock part I get.

Harry Eagar said...

'Are you now claiming that utilizing any publicly funded education is synonymous with accepting welfare?'

Of course I am. As RtO has noticed from time to time, somehow rightwing individualists manage to get along with municipal tennis courts and opera houses but heaven forbid the gummint should subsidize prole amusements like bowling and country music.

The difference between me and erp is that I recognize welfare when I see it and I do not demean people who use it.

And, oh yeah, I'm for spreading it around.

How about it, erp? Are all the young ladies living away from home whores? Do you blame that on the liberals?

I like my America better and better. Yours stank.

Annoying Old Guy said...

"somehow rightwing individualists manage to get along with municipal tennis courts and opera houses but heaven forbid the gummint should subsidize prole amusements like bowling and country music."

So now the NPR crowd are "rightwing"? Because that's who behaves as you describe here.

But if you find all public education "welfare", then what government spending isn't welfare? You seem to be including any spending that benefits people, and what besides spending that is explicitly harming people doesn't have that property?

P.S. And here I've been told for all my life that public education is a public good that benefits everyone.

Harry Eagar said...

Welfare, socialism, statism. All about the same.

Here is how Roy Zimmerman describes it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMLgEnDGkG4

erp said...

Sorry Harry, I draw a line at watching videos (unless it's of kittens).

BTW it was my father who believed girls who left home before they were married were fallen women, not I.

Give us a synopsis of the material.

Harry Eagar said...

It's a satirical song which observes, correctly, that if you travel on public highways or use public libraries, you're a socialist.

Pretty funny.

erp said...

The notion might seem funny to you, but if you understood freedom, you would know that owners aka free citizens and taxpayers may make their homes and home towns, states, counties, countries, etc. into whatever they like, e.g., pay for parks, roads, libraries and other amenities depending on local preferences

These folks know that with freedom come responsibilities to contribute their share of the tax burden, obey the law, etc.

The end result is peace and prosperity for all*.

Socialism if you understood the term, is the polar opposite. A small group of elites coerce and/or force by violence if necessary the people in their grip into subservience to a central government and who make all the decisions, control everything and everybody and are answerable to no one.

The end result of socialism is Detroit, a victim of every cockamamie lefty program and scheme was for decades in the hands of the unions and the usual suspects their partners in crime.


*No need to revisit the argument that poor people in distress were taken care by local charities before Medicaid, the former panacea to solve health care for the downtrodden, was enacted.