Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Awesome video

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Ron Paul presidential campaign is the decentralized and grassroots nature of it. It is as though Ron Paul has become a kind of lightning rod drawing all the energy of the pro-liberty movement in the U.S. and in other countries.

Ron Paul is far from perfect (in my eyes). His positions on abortion and immigration do not resonate with me. His stance on fiat currency and support for some kind of commodity standard (whether gold or silver or copper or whatever) is something I just don't care that much about. But apart from these issues, Ron Paul is as close to perfect a candidate as there could be.

Every vote for Ron Paul will be interpreted as a vote against the War in Iraq (and nation-building in general), and as a vote for freedom. That is the perfect message. When they count votes for Ron Paul, each vote will count as a pro-liberty vote, and as an anti-war vote. It will not be counted as an anti-immigrant vote, it will not be counted as an anti-abortion vote, it will not be counted as an anti-Federal Reserve vote.

Ron Paul is also the perfect messenger. But you can go find that out on your own. His voting record is, quite likely, the best voting record of any Congresscritter in the history of the Congress (that might sound like hyperbole, but I mean it sincerely. Check his record all on your own and compare). Ever. Since the beginning of Congress.

In addition, there are no skeletons in this man's closet. He is faithful to his wife and family. He is a gentle fellow. He is humble, he is kind, he is sincere, he is passionate.

He said once, "this is a great movement you have started. I am glad to join your movement." Ron Paul is not leading the movement. All he is is a representative of a broader movement for liberty that started before he was in office, and will continue after his political career is over. All people needed was an excuse, something just about every liberty-lover could rally around. He is that excuse.

To see this, consider his appeal on the internet. I laugh every time I read the news on Paul's presidential campaign. They talk about his campaign's ability to mobilize online support, to get meetups going, to get people to make signs for him, and so on. Having been part of the RP r3VO7ution since the beginning, I can tell you that his campaign headquarters hasn't the first clue. They find out about spontaneous grassroots efforts for Paul as fast as I do.

I knew about the Ames Tribune full-page ad funded and organized entirely by Iowans either at the same time as they did, or before (I ordered a copy of the paper, and the full-page ad dons my office door in the Philosophy Department). The "Ron Paul REVOLUTION" (with backward letters for "EVOL"--spelling "LOVE") meme had nothing to do with the campaign. In fact, I'm told they initially wanted to stop that meme, but then caved when they realized just how popular it was. The online polls that Paul dominates, the telephone poll for the FOX debate that Paul nearly won, and similar things have nothing at all to do with his campaign headquarters.

None of this is intended as a criticism of the campaign and the campaign team. In fact, if anything, it is a good thing the campaign is mostly hands-off. They are responding and trying to channel that energy and activity in certain directions, as much as they can. YouTube videos about Ron Paul pop up faster than you can watch. By the time you've watched the ten new videos on YouTube about RP, there are ten new ones to watch. You could spend your entire day trying to catch up with all the YouTube videos, and still not do it.

A few weeks ago, a woman in New Hampshire decided RP wasn't getting enough media coverage. Frustrated, she decided to walk 10 miles from her home to the state capital building. "Maybe this will help him get some attention," she thought. She was right. She made the news, and people talked about her walk. Online, the RP folks were buzzing. So moved were they that they decided to host a "Walk across America" for Ron Paul. In two weeks time, on August 26th, over 100 cities participated. Thousands of people walked 6 to 14 miles with banners, signs, t-shirts, and pamphlets. The campaign was as surprised by this Walk as I was.

There hasn't been an opportunity like this for liberty-lovers in 50 years. There won't be another opportunity like this for another 50 years. That's why I'm aboard the Ron Paul Freedom Train. Get on. Toot toot. Let's roll!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LSS first vids up

Lindy sings the LSS song after the LSS:

Gerry Nicholls' talk at the Seminar:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Press for the LSS

Gerry Nicholls, an Associate with the Institute for Liberal Studies, writes about the Liberty Summer Seminar (and the "f" word... that's "freedom," not the other one) in an Edmonton Sun column today.

The Liberty Summer Seminar is less than a week away. You can still register, if you'd like, but you should do it sooner, rather than later. Gerry is scheduled to give a talk, as is M.P. Scott Reid, Marc "Prince of Pot" Emery, Karen Selick, Avril Allen, Ben Perrin, Dr. Jan Narveson (O.C.), Jason Talley, and Dr. Grant Brown. NQ Arbuckle and Lindy will be singing the night away during the concert portion of the Seminar.

The Hill Times, meanwhile, mentions the Seminar as well. No link is available, but Gerry was nice enough to send me the text, so I'm including it here:

Tory MP Reid and Nicholls to speak at Liberty Summer Seminar

Fighting for freedom, guerilla style, will be the topic of discussion at the Institute for Liberal Studies’ annual summer seminar.

Former vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition Gerry Nicholls will give his speech, "Pigs, Power and Politics: Fighting for Freedom Che Guevara-style,” on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Orono, Ont.

Mr. Nichols said conservatives and libertarians need to start using guerrilla warfare tactics to get their message across. “The mainstream media often tilts to the left, making it difficult to get the message out,” Mr. Nicholls told The Hill Times in an email. “Typically conservative organizations lack the funding of their counter-parts on the left, who receive grants or subsidies from governments or union bosses. So in effect, that means we have to be smarter in using our resources. We have to get a bigger bang for our scarce bucks. In other words, you have to be like a guerrilla operation.”

This includes selecting a vulnerable target, hitting it hard and then “vanishing back into the woods, waiting for another target to appear,” Mr. Nicholls said. He outlined that conservatives and libertarians should “forget everything you learned in poli-sci class” because, “in real life, policies and substance in and of themselves won’t get you noticed.”

Instead, these groups should use “a little razzle-dazzle,” he said. In addition, “emotion is important” which means not targeting the intellect, but rather invoking emotions such as fear. “Get a bad guy. Just as Star Wars needed Darth Vader, you need a bad guy to get people riled up against,” he said. At the same time, however, humour works, Mr. Nicholls said, so as not to “come across as mean-spirited.”

Other tips from Mr. Nicholls’ own Guerilla Warfare include being able to “define the debate before others define it,” not being afraid to use the media to get the message out and finally, “Don’t trust politicians.”

Conservative MP Scott Reid, meanwhile, will be discussing “How Ottawa is killing the family farm.”

— Bea Vongdouangchan

Saturday, August 11, 2007

RP Speech video

From the floor of the convention, RP looked invigorated, confident, and passionate. From the CSpan video, you can tell that Paul is exhausted, and the words do not come out as easily as usually. He trips up here and there. His mind was probably on other things. Like his wife, Carol, being in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat... Watch the footage:

Post event RP chat

Jeff Frazee, the student guy for Ron Paul, is trying to have a chat with Ron Paul. He can't do it. Ron Paul is on the phone with Carol, his wife. She was hospitalized earlier today. It looks like she's fine and okay now, but had some heart problems.

Ron Paul had to miss most of the early morning adventures in Iowa to be with his wife in the hospital. When it turned out that it wasn't serious, he rushed back to the Coliseum to give his speech. Immediately afterwards, he gave this talk, then rushed to a phone to call his wife. That's what he's doing now. Chatting with her on the telephone, so no post-speech interview with Ron Paul for the video feed.

If you watch the video, I love what he says at the end. "I am so glad that I can be a part of your revolution." This guy is super-awesome.

First vid

Take a look for yourselves:

Blog Updates

Ha ha ha. Check this out (Huckabee is blathering):
Huckabee is up next--lots of shots of him playing the guitar (or bass), playing in his band, dancing, etc.

"Give America back to the people on mainstreet." (Paul people are still chanting in the halls!)

No one has had a group like Paul's in terms of numbers and enthusiasm.
Overheard on National Review's The Corner:
The inner idealistic late1980s/90s conservative in me can't help but be rallied: Ron Paul wants to know what happened to all those plans to abolish the Department of ed and a whole of Cabinet agencies. And the IRS! Me too!! Go Ron Paul!!
Hell yeah! Are American conservatives beginning to warm to the only real small government candidate?...

More from The Corner:
The Ron Paul "Peace Train" nearly drowned me out!!! They emerged this afternoon from the corn fields, pumped up and ready to wage "peace" in Iraq and throughout the world. Overheard in the woman's bathroom backstage: "One of Paul's top Iowa staffers was out early this morning putting the final touches on 5-acre wide crop circle— formed in the shape of a peace sign with "Dr. Ron for Prez!" in red, white, and blue spraypaint underneath!" (At the time of this posting, I cannot confirm or dispute this.) I can barely hear myself think in here with Paul's throngs screaming in the background...the net-rootsers are going nuts, folks! I love it.
What? A crop circle? Really? I want to see this! Earlier, the RP supporters were converting the "Peace Train" tag into "Freedom train."

The chant now is: (one guy saying): Freedom... (Crowd:) Ron Paul. (Guy) Constitution (Crowd) Ron Paul (Guy) Freedom (Crowd) Ron Paul (Guy) Liberty (Crowd) Ron Paul." And repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

UPDATE: Quote from RSE:
Ron Paul's finished--"the peace train is leaving the building" according to Laura Ingraham. They think it's funny, and they don't take him--or his supporters seriously.

Believable, but disappointing.

(They're still chanting through the halls--"Ron Paul..Ron Paul")

It *is* disappointing. The moderator shouldn't be busy saying things like this. But whatever. That's how it goes.

NY Sun:
Ron Paul comes in after a very boisterous march-in by his supporters, chanting, "Paul for real change." K. Lo. has this right: Ron Paul has the LOUDEST supporters.

RP Speech

RedStateEclectic live blog on RP here.

Justin live TV feed still running. Check out some behind-the-scenes stuff.

The speech:

Intro: He's given birth to over 4,000 babies.

Crowd goes bananas! The screaming is unbelievable. He has PACKED the Ames straw poll coliseum.

"Ron Paul, Ron Paul..."


RP: Thank you for that very healthy, encouraging welcome.

Our campaign is all about freedom, prosperity, and peace!

(Thunderous crowd response)

...we cannot have freedom without life. We have to protect all life if we want freedom... that includes the unborn as well... (cheering. I say "Boo" out loud).

More on abortion.

I am an advocate, a strong advocate of following, very strictly, the rule of law and the Constitution."

Huge cheers

The constitutions was written very precisely: to constrain the power of government, and to protect the liberty of each and every one of us."

Oh NO! The live feed is interrupted.

Okay, back on.

"A lot more respect for the second amendment" (that's guns)

"We need more self-responsibility and self-reliance."

Bringing up 9/11. I can't type fast enough.

"If we look at every problem we have today, the answers can be found in the Constitution and the rule of law." Something about strictly following the Constitution.

"...The most important choices we have are about the education of our children..." Something supportive of school choice. Cheers, plenty of them. I now can't hear Ron Paul above the clamour.

"We are overtaxed, and overregulated, by bureaucrats, the Founders would be ashamed..." God, people, SETTLE DOWN! I can't hear RP. Deafening roars.

"...the neo-conservatives who ... and they do not respect our national borders as they should." Stuff about amnesty and about opposing illegal immigration... I say "boo," but the crowd says "yay!"

Again, cut off. (Too much traffic? Bandwidth problems?) Okay, back on:

"We can finance the welfare and warfare state by overtaxing, and by printing money which is destroying our monetary system."

Stuff about the Federal Reserve.

I overhear someone yelling to Ron: "You're doing great, Ron! Keep it up! You're doing great!"

Ron Paul's got passion today, boy I'll tell you. He is giving a barn-burner of a speech.

"...the country is going bankrupt... We can't run the war, we can't run the war, without borrowing 2.something trillion dollars. And we get that money from the Chinese."

"We have to ask ourselves, do we believe in the Constitution?..."

" will not be easy. Because change is hard, and change is difficult. But let me tell you what will not be difficult... just get the government to do what it is supposed to do, and what it is not supposed to do is be the police man of the world. We are now spending almost a trillion dollars a year on foreign --stuff-- we have our bridges falling down. It astounds me that we are spending money to build and fix bridges in Iraq, when we should be fixing bridges here."

"Restoration to the ideals of the Founding Fathers... We have been the freest country in the world..."

"We have to systematically decentralize the government and increase freedom..."

"We do not need more money in Washington, we need a lot less money in Washington. We need a lot less taxes, and a lot more freedom."

"Since 9/11 we have come to believe that we cannot be safe without the government..." Something else here. Don't know what. Couldn't hear above the screams.

"So the goal of this campaign is very simple, and very very clear."

"I do NOT want to run your lives, or interfere with your religious beliefs. I do not want to run your economy, I do not want to run foreign wars. I do not know how, and I'm not interested.

Join this great campaign for freedom and liberty."


Ron Paul is off the stage. The chants of "Ron Paul" continue. "Who do we want?" "Ron Paul!"

The camera is on the supporters, shuffling away from the "mosh pit" area. There are hundreds of them...

The song is "right here, right now" (you know the one).

Ron Paul in Ames (Live)

Live video feed:

Check it now. Ron Paul on in 10 minutes (it's 2:51 p.m.)

NY Sun: Welcome to Ames, Ron Paul country

RedStateEclectic is blogging the event.

Lew Rockwell Blog is buzzing!

Libertarians and Objectivists

Here is the letter that I referred to in my post below. I've gotten permission from Paul McKeever, who runs the Freedom Party, to make this available on my blog. I'm putting it here in it's entirety, uncut.

I'm also embedding an interesting video by Paul McKeever on the David Kelley/Leonard Peikoff split in Objectivist circles. For those not in the know, David Kelley is affiliated with the Atlas Society (formerly The Objectivist Center), and Leonard Peikoff heads up the Ayn Rand Institute (and was declared Ayn Rand's intellectual heir by Ayn Rand... you make whatever you want out of that sort of declaration). I intend to respond to both, but it might have to wait until after the Seminar.

You can also refer to an earlier post of mine on what you need to believe to be a libertarian. It might have some relevance here as well.
Hi Peter:

I will not be in attendance. For the record, my reasons are as follows (and you can quote me on this if you would like to do so):

1. As an advocate of committing to reality and to rationality, I think it is a vice to use drugs to escape reality, but I do not think it a vice to use drugs per se. As Canada's marijuana laws apply to consenting adults, I regard those laws to violate a person's life, liberty and property, and I condemn them as wrong. I openly advocate repealing said laws, and I regard Marc Emery's arrest as being a vicious act, and an act for which the governments of Canada and the USA deserve moral condemnation. I oppose, in no uncertain terms, the extradition of Marc or any other Canadian to the USA in respect of marijuana cultivation, purchase, sale or use (whether medical, recreational, or other). In these senses, Marc and his colleagues have my unmitigated support.

2. I openly support the ultimate goal of eliminating government intervention in the economy: I am a capitalist, and my party is unapologetically pro-capitalist. Freedom Party takes the view that just as today's level of collectivism was decades in the making, the feasibility of restoring individual freedom and a capitalist social system necessarily will take some time. Accordingly, Freedom Party proposes not revolutionary, overnight change of all collectivist policies and laws, but changes - at as fast a rate as is feasible - to policies that could actually be implemented at this point in time. As an example, we are in favour of eliminating the Ontario government's health insurance monopoly, and - simultaneously - eliminating Ontario's income tax. The reverse - imposing the monopoly and the tax - both happened in 1969. What is feasible one way is feasible in reverse.

3. Unlike the libertarian movement, Freedom Party rejects anarchism. We believe and fully promote a government the role of which is solely to defend life, liberty and property, and to remedy violations to same.

4. We reject the libertarian idea that the non-initiation of coercive physical force is axiomatic: we regard the non-initiation of coercive physical force as a principle that is the logical consequence of a commitment to reality and reason.

5. We reject the idea tolerated by libertarianism, and promoted by many libertarians, that individual freedom and capitalism are founded upon the whim of a supernatural being, upon the greater good, or upon the consensus of the governed.

6. We do not agree with the libertarian idea that life, liberty and property can be defended effectively by a government that has no particular commitment to reality, to reason, and to the idea that every individual's highest purpose is his own happiness. Ensuring freedom and capitalism are a government's legitimate ends, but commitments to reality and reason are its means. Those ends do not justify those means. Rather, those means lead to just ends. Freedom Party takes the view that if, and only if, government takes care of its own commitment to reality and reason when making decisions about governance, then justice, individual freedom and capitalism will be inescapable logical consequences.

7. Freedom Party rejects libertarianism's attempt to promote one or more conceptions of "liberty" as a political value that need not be justified on any particular metaphysics, epistemology or ethics. We will not put the cart - liberty - before the horses: reality, reason, and rational selfishness. If one advocates freedom on grounds of obedience to an alleged supernatural entity's alleged commandment, or on grounds of deference to popular consensus; or if one implicitly or explicitly treats such grounds as legitimate - the effect, if any, of the effort to promote freedom on such grounds can be nothing but tyranny. Individual freedom cannot be achieved by giving sanction to ideas that are dismissive, even scornful, of the facts of reality or of rational, independent thought.

8. Similarly, for an advocate of reality and reason to attend an event known to be a libertarian one - one which brings together people who share a commitment to a political principle, but which includes expressly accepts the notion that liberty can be grounded upon obedience to the whims of a supernatural being, or upon deference to popular will, the advocate of reality and reason necessarily implies that liberty does not depend upon a commitment to reality and reason; he effectively gives irrationality a pass, and an unwarranted reputation as a rationale for individual freedom. Yet, all the while, the enemy of the freedom he seeks is the very irrationality that he implicitly sanctions by his participation.

As an advocate of freedom, and as the leader of Freedom Party, I choose to withhold that sanction, because I think that justice demands it of me.

I trust you will understand my reasons, even if you disagree with them.


Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

Friday, August 10, 2007

LSS and non-libertarians

The Liberty Summer Seminar is coming up very soon. I always try to send out personal invitations to people who I think would enjoy the Seminar, and who might have a lot to gain from attending (both in terms of fun, and in the lively discussions that beer and politics tend to engender).

Many of my messages are to non-libertarians. While the Seminar features speakers who are either freedom-lovers, or will speak on topics where they happen to agree with a pro-liberty position, it has always benefited from the attendance of people who would call themselves "libertarian" only on those days that happen to coincide with wintry spells in hell. In fact, it has been sort of my mission to get more non-libertarians out each year than the year prior.

The reason? The Seminar is supposed to be intellectually stimulating! It is not supposed to be an echo-chamber. It is supposed to present the ideas of liberty to give people the context for a continuing debate.

"Hey y'all," says the speaker, "personal and/or economic liberty rocks, and here's why..."

To which the audience either says, "Hell yeah!" or "Hmmm, interesting... I'll have to think about it" or "Hell no!"

Then, Saturday night, when everyone is feeling groovy after another kick-ass concert and some Liberty Ale, people start chatting it up with the speakers, and with other attendees.

Conversations often begin like this, "You know... what you said up there was pretty neat. I had no idea that what was once considered waste is, through market mechanisms, converted into a resource." (think Pierre Desrochers, whose talk last year was phenomenal).

Even more often, they begin like this, "Not so fast Dr. Know-It-All, you haven't considered this fact that I will now explain, which will demonstrate the ludicracy (is that a word? Apparently not, let's try again)... ludicrousness... of your position." (Usually followed by a counter-refutation of the supposed, but mistaken, original refutation--since, well, libertarians are right about *everything*, ha!)

And then there are these beginners, "Tell me more about so-and-so and such-and-such." Or, "What say you about this-and-that?"

So I'm always surprised when some people resist attending because, they tell me, they're not libertarians. Well and... so what? I've attended more conferences and seminars hosted by non-libertarians, presenting positions fiercely critical of the market or of personal liberty than I can count on my fingers and toes. And I've enjoyed every single one of them. Every single one.

Here's why: Even if I come away thinking the same thing I did coming in, I've at least come to understand, or come closer to understanding, why people don't think like I do. Mostly, I've adjusted my positions after being persuaded here and there (admittedly, the changes are never giant ideological changes... they are usually changes in the reasons I have for supporting this or that. The most ground-breaking change was my abandonment of the natural rights tradition of libertarianism. Perhaps some will think this a failing in me. And maybe it is. But I have tried to keep an open mind). At any rate, at no point did I regret my attendance.

It is very much like reading a book. You don't demonstrate that you support, say, anarcho-syndicalism by reading Noam Chomsky. You demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Seminars like the LSS are very much like that. All they demonstrate is an interest, a curiosity, in discussing pro-liberty positions on a wide range of issues. You also demonstrate, by attending the LSS, an interest in having a good time with some kick-ass people, or an interest in some awesome Canadian, independent music ('cause, uhm, we have a concert).

So here's a shout-out to all the non-libertarians: Come out, come out, wherever you are!

No one will think you're a libertarian merely for being in attendance. And everyone will think, "man, this Seminar is so f*cking hot! Why didn't I come out before? Stupid, stupid."

What prompted this post? You'll see in a day or two, assuming I get permission to post a message I received from a friend of mine... so hold on to your hats, and come back later.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Major awesome ads

Seen any of these ads? Does the singer sound familiar? Do you think that singer might be coming to the Liberty Summer Seminar? Hmmmm.... Here's a hint.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What fun!

zolton leaves the following comment:

"wow thats the lamest thing I have ever seen, Especially the picture of the roid rager in the 2001 pictures. LoL
Camp capitalism are you kidding me?
What a joke, like honestly how much of a throwback do you have to be to legitimize and ancient system that could not adapt to new realities?
What is the goal of current society? To kill ourselves and conscientious human life.
Here's a tip, competition is the philosophical base of capitalism,competition to the Nth degree turns into ruthlessness.
If you abuse the enviroment and individuals (for it is profitable to do so) Then you at the top of the business world.
To be a proper libertarian you would have to be aware of being aware and your not.
Filters like geography and media hide the reality behind our actions, no doubt if the people were informed about how much blood was behind their chemical happiness things would change. But for capitalism to work you have to pull the wool over the eyes of the average consumer.
Bought the newest and coolest material items and still not happy?"

And I say: Lulz to you!

And here I was all complacent in my capitalism. BLAMO, zolton, you have wisened me up. Stating all those facts just like that. Breaking it down for me. Making the wool come off my eyes.

Here I was thinking all "Boy! How can I help screw the poor and the environment and buy more crap?" And zolton's all like, "Dude, you have to be aware! And you're not aware! I iz in ur koment secsion learnin' you lessons." To which my only response could be, "Oh, ROFLMAO. I iz stoopid. Why I never see that before? Especially the way geography--geography!--hides the reality of things."

Just to be clear, when you say "geography" hides the reality behind our actions, do you mean mountains or valleys or lakes? Sometimes, when I am underwater, I can't really tell whether my finger is bent or straight. So when I move my finger around, the reality of my action (a non-broken finger moving around) is "concealed" by the way the water makes my finger appear. And when I'm busy performing one action on this side of the mountain, I can't see the reality of it on the other side of the mountain. The mountain conceals the truth. Is this what you mean? Because that's, like, deep and profound and provides me with great clarity.


"wow thats the lamest thing I have ever seen, Especially the picture of the roid rager in the 2001 pictures. LoL"

I'm sorry you feel that way. If you attend, you might think differently. But then again, you might not. Since Sean is a friend of mine, I can attest to having good reason to believe he's never taken steroids. But the geography and media might be clouding my judgment, whereas you can see over the mountains and/or through them. So you tell me.

"Camp capitalism are you kidding me?
What a joke, like honestly how much of a throwback do you have to be to legitimize and ancient system that could not adapt to new realities?"

What "new" realities? What alternative do you prefer? What is the new paradigm for an economic system? Teach me! Teach me!

"What is the goal of current society? To kill ourselves and conscientious human life."

Uhm, what? I'm not sure what it means for society to have a goal. I can understand you saying that society is headed in some direction, but I can't imagine that society has some master plan with a direction. And even if it did have some master plan, what kind of a throwback do you have to be to think it's "to kill ourselves and conscientious human life?"

I'm not sure what your take on evolution is--maybe you think that's part of the media snowjob--but I take it that procreation and furtherance of our own life is part of what our genes compel us to pursue. At least individually. Maybe you are making some clever prisoners dilemma kind of argument. Each of us trying to live, procreate, and further our own genes leads to the destruction of all of us. Somehow.

I don't know what you mean by "conscientious human life." To be conscientious is to be thoughtful. But human life can't be conscientious, only person's can be conscientious, or thoughtful. I think you meant to say "conscious human life." But that, too, is strange. Why specify "conscious"? Will society leave "unconscious" persons alone? This just doesn't make any sense.

"Here's a tip, competition is the philosophical base of capitalism,competition to the Nth degree turns into ruthlessness."

Oh thanks for the philosophy lesson! But, just for my sake, since I'm obviously confused about concepts, help me understand this.

You see, I was under the impression that the philosophical base (or philosophical justification) for capitalism was either a) we have good reason to avoid violence, including the violence of coercing people into acting one way rather than the way they would prefer, and therefore ought to choose a voluntary system of consensual trade (capitalism); or b) we ought to prefer that economic system that leads to the greatest benefit for the greatest number of persons, and a free market leads to this (reasonable people can reasonably disagree about this), and so should pick capitalism for this reason; or some other option.

I guess I just don't see how competition can be a "philosophical base." I mean, it could be an essential part of the free market, or it could be a fact about capitalism as it is, or it might be something else, but a philosophical base?

Supposing you meant something different. Supposing you meant that competition is what makes capitalism tick (an essential part of the market, or what happens under free market conditions given reasonable assumptions about human nature), I still don't see how we go from competition to competition to the Nth degree. Is your claim that a free and open market leads to greater and greater levels of competition until we get ruthlessness? That's far from obvious. In fact, it looks like it's empirically false. Countries with the freest markets also happen to have the highest levels of social capital and charitable giving and, if you approve of the work of Ruut Veenhoeven, the highest levels of self-reported life satisfaction (or "happiness").

It may be true that competition epitomizes the market, or is an essential mechanism that, to put it bluntly, makes capitalism work at making just about everyone wealthier and better off (where "wealthier" and "better off" are *not* to be confused as the same thing), but there is no link between competition in capitalism and ruthlessness in general. You and I might compete with a particular product (we might produce mobile phones and compete with one another) and so be ruthless towards each other, but I might have deep and strong non-competitive bonds and relationships with other people (including people who help in the production of my product). Just because you and I compete, and might ruthlessly compete, doesn't mean that producing telephones is all that we do. Human beings are social creatures, zolton, and happiness comes not from what we have or what we own, but the relationships we have.

"If you abuse the enviroment and individuals (for it is profitable to do so) Then you at the top of the business world."

The "for it is profitable to do so" is contingent on no one else caring about these things. Obviously, that is false. Companies that do these things are not always at "the top of the business world." Many, like Whole Foods (run by a libertarian), or Greenpeace, or whatever else, succeed precisely as a market response to what people care about. But anyways, this is just one of those lefty bugaboos that aren't worth the time to refute.

And then you finish with a magisterial series of sentences:

"To be a proper libertarian you would have to be aware of being aware and your not.
Filters like geography and media hide the reality behind our actions, no doubt if the people were informed about how much blood was behind their chemical happiness things would change. But for capitalism to work you have to pull the wool over the eyes of the average consumer.
Bought the newest and coolest material items and still not happy?"

Since when is "being aware of being aware" (good God) a definitional requirement of "proper" libertarianism? Why would self-awareness of our awareness be a requirement? Besides this, what leads you to think that I, if the "you" is supposed to refer to me, am not "aware of being aware"? Or, if the "you" is supposed to refer to libertarians in general, is the claim you are making some sort of clever argument about the incoherence of libertarianism in general? Like this: To be a "proper" libertarian requires awareness of being aware, which would lead one to abandon capitalism (a conceptual requirement of libertarianism), and so would lead one to abandon libertarianism...

"Geography"? Senseless nonsense. "Chemical happiness"? So now we're all on drugs? I just don't get it. And what blood is being shed for this? For capitalism to work, you needn't pull the wool over anyone's eyes.

Seriously for a moment, zolton, your criticism of capitalism is incoherent babble. There are great critiques of capitalism out there, but yours is not one of them. I recommend, most sincerely, courses in philosophy at college. Many of them.