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Author Topic: Mexico City  (Read 18830 times)

penguinsscareme

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Mexico City
« on: January 23, 2004, 11:16:46 am »

Hi.
I'm a new member.  I've got one very real concern about this project, and it isn't being able to get 20k people, and it isn't getting all those individuals to agree on a collective will.
I'm wondering, if we succeed at achieving ultimate liberty in our lifetime, what will prevent us from having a whole state that resembles the filth and chaos of Mexico City?
Mexico has a weak government.  We know this.  What will we do to provide ourselves a government weak enough but not too weak?
I hope all FSP members realize and appreciate what a difficult freedom is to keep.  Freedom tends to either descend into anarchy, as in Mexico, or organize into socialism, such as in Canada.
The town where I grew up was an agricultural land many years ago.  The town has almost no local government to speak of.  This used to be a good thing, when I was a kid.  But in the past fifteen years real estate values have climbed sharply in the area.  The municipal government is still almost nonexistent, yet there is significantly less freedom in my hometown, and a whole lot less of what I loved about it remains intact.
There was a swimming hole where all us kids used to be "free" to go whenever we wanted.  Now it belongs to someone who has posted no tresspassing signs and enforces them with dogs.  As opposed as I am to big government, I can't help but regret that the town didn't preserve that swimming hole.
Let's not fool ourselves:  but for government restrictions, the giant sequoias of the west would be extinct.  The oceans would be fished empty.  The whales would be no more.  Witness the teeming buffalo herds of the plains states.  No private interest is going to protect our natural resources from capitalist exploitation.
I hate Greenpeace, let me be clear.  That's not my intent here.  I'm just bringing up what I think is an important issue.  I want to take the FSP's temperature on the ideas of zoning laws, building codes, state parks, beaches, forests.
New Hampshire has a lot of historical and natural beauty.  A lot of it has already been spoiled.  Are we going to destroy the rest?
The larger question -- can human freedom and unspoiled nature coexist?
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FTL_Ian

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2004, 02:05:54 pm »

Penguins,

     I suggest you read Mary Ruwart's book "Healing our World".  It's available free on her website: http://ruwart.com
     In it, she explains how the free market actually PROTECTS endangered species.  In their quest for profits, companies breed these animals.  Why would they want to exhaust supplies?  That would simply place them out of business.
     In fact, animals that are going extinct, are doing so because of government regulations barring their ownership and sale.
     Get all the details at http://ruwart.com

Regards,
Ian
« Last Edit: January 23, 2004, 02:07:10 pm by FTL_Ian »
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2004, 03:11:40 pm »

I admit I have not read Healing Our World, but I am familiar with it.  There certainly are cases where private enterprise is the best thing that can happen to the environment.  Human stewardship at its best can greatly edify both nature and man.
But need I cite the example of the South American rainforests?  How has private enterprise worked out for the Amazon river basin?
In the fifties and sixties, the Mexican government recognized the infrastructure needs of a rapidly growing city and drafted plans, a la Big Dig, to modernize the city's arteries.  But lacking the power to execute such grand plans, the land which should have been set apart for freeways was bought by private land developers.  They didn't build a privately funded toll road; they built highrise apartments because it was a more profitable use of the land.  Today Mexico City is in a state of perpetual gridlock.
I'm not saying capitalism is to blame, or that free enterprise is evil.  Hell, I invest in real estate for a living.  Free market economy has been good to me.
The problem with a weak government is that it creates a power vacuum.  A controlling interest will always arise, and if it isn't the government it will be religion or a corporation.  In the twentieth century the government took more and more of that controlling interest.  But the government didn't create that role.  At the height of the Industrial Revolution throngs of people lived in company housing, ate company food, shopped at the company store, worked in the company mill -- "Ya load sixteen tons/whaddaya get..."  In medieval Europe the word it was spelled c-h-u-r-c-h.  There has always been something to fill that role.  The government is not evil.  Nor is private enterprise, nor is religion.  Only when they step into that role of controlling interest do they become ominous.
What makes the United States so unique is that for one brief, shining moment, that controlling interest resided with the PEOPLE -- the only place where it should ever be.
It's too easy to blame Abraham Lincoln for creating the Federal Government Monster.  The issues that caused the Civil War were largely forced by the Industrial Revolution.  Lincoln definitely did overstep the limits of the power granted him in the Constitution.  You can agree or disagree with what he did.  But understand that if he stays within those bounds then today we would have the United States of New England, the Confederate States of America, the Independent Republic of Texas, etc., etc.  In other words, we'd be Europe.
I went a long way off from my point, which is that I'd like to see all those quaint farms and back country roads in NH that I love so much not be turned into trailer parks and restaurant chains.  Can the FSP preserve both liberty and culture?
I refer back to my contention that liberty is a very difficult thing to keep.
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2004, 04:15:32 pm »

I admit I have not read Healing Our World, but I am familiar with it.  There certainly are cases where private enterprise is the best thing that can happen to the environment.  Human stewardship at its best can greatly edify both nature and man.
But need I cite the example of the South American rainforests?  How has private enterprise worked out for the Amazon river basin?

Private enterprise mostly hasn't been used. Collectivist indians have not made any land claims, have not asserted any political rights. Government bureaucrats sell off tracts of land without review and without recourse, to whoever bribes them the most.

Brazil and Mexico are two examples the left always bring up, when they are confusing examples. These two are examples of MERCANTILISM. Anybody who knows anything about economics knows this.
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2004, 06:10:13 pm »

It's true, I don't know anything about economics.
So, are you saying my concern is unfounded?  That a private interest won't be able to run counter to the public will or interest?
Look, does anyone else fear that if we play it wrong we can create a whole lot of problems and actually do more harm than good?
I totally agree that the government needs to play way less of a role.  I'm trying to point out, however, that if we create an absence of power then something is going to fill that absence.  That something needs to be the public interest.  And we need to talk about how to make that happen because it doesn't happen naturally.  It's too easy for the controlling interest to fall into the hands of the Fed, or a Rockefeller, or the bloody Church of England for cryin' out loud.
We want to effect a great change, and if we do that then we're going to have to take responsibility for it.  I don't want to find myself living in a NH twenty years from now where billboards outnumber pine trees and Hampton Beach in its entirety has been bought by an adult resort and turned into a place where I can't take my family.
So I ask again -- is the FSP going to destroy what it sets out to save?
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2004, 01:03:01 pm »

So, are you saying my concern is unfounded?  That a private interest won't be able to run counter to the public will or interest?

I think what people here are trying to say is that there are only a very few aspects of the public interest that we can trust the state to ensure.  The state does a pretty good job of "killing people and breaking things" (a Limbaugh quote, one of the few sensible things he's said), but not of safeguarding morals or aesthetic taste.  If people are as ignorant or debased as you and I might fear, so that they want billboards to outnumber trees, how can we trust them to elect politicians who will make it all right?  If we're really surrounded by people like that, our only choice is to get all the sane, sensible to move to a single place and build a strong culture there through education and financial leverage, rather than regulations and red tape.

That's one of the less visible, but no less real aspects of the FSP: not just political liberalization, but cultural fortification.  But the more abstract point is that if you think people will go nuts without government to rein them in, then history shows that those same people will go much more nuts when they have control of government.  Hitler might have been a nasty individual, but it was only his control of a powerful state apparatus that allowed him to impose his nastiness on everyone.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2004, 01:04:42 pm by JasonPSorens »
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2004, 08:34:31 am »

Thanks, Jason, your reply makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm relieved to know that the FSP acknowledges that cultural fortification must take place with political liberalization.
A lot of the discussion I read on this message board reminds me of the dog who finally catches the car.  As a new member I guess I just need to do more listening; I only spoke up because I perceived a lack of concensus about what freedom means.  All social and political movements sound like the best thing ever in theory; but as with ideas from the French Revolution to Johnson's Great Society, success can be disastrous.
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FreeStateVol

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2004, 07:31:11 pm »

  You brought up the example of the near extinction of the buffalo.  Actually, the extermination of the buffalo was prompted by the federal governments desire to deprive the Plains Indians of their main food source, thereby forcing them onto the reservations (if I am not mistaken).  In any case, it was private organization that initiated the movement to save the buffalo and deserves the real credit for pulling them back from the brink.  I can't remember the exact details of this story, can someone help fill in the details?
Nicholas Roland
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2004, 09:48:30 pm »

  You brought up the example of the near extinction of the buffalo.  Actually, the extermination of the buffalo was prompted by the federal governments desire to deprive the Plains Indians of their main food source, thereby forcing them onto the reservations (if I am not mistaken).


Our government did that?  Dude.  That's just wrong.  Wow.  I guess I was mistaken about that.  I thought it was a trade thing -- but I learned that bit of history from the movie Dances with Wolves.  Serves me right for letting Hollywood educate me.
Anyway, don't miss the forest for the trees.  By undertaking this we set a very high standard for ourselves.  Fact is if we are intent on removing all government controls from private land developers and commercial enterprises, then we must be extremely diligent about protecting the state's wildlife and land through private grassroots citizens' groups.  Which, I guess, is what the FSP is...(lightbulb).

(...hamster runs in the wheel...)

So I guess that's the whole idea you people have been patiently trying to reveal to me.
Ah.
Okay then.  This has been both humbling and enlightening.
See you in NH.  I'll be the one mumbling to himself on the beach.
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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2004, 11:58:42 pm »

if only the task ahead were so easy...
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2004, 10:56:59 am »

 You brought up the example of the near extinction of the buffalo.  Actually, the extermination of the buffalo was prompted by the federal governments desire to deprive the Plains Indians of their main food source, thereby forcing them onto the reservations (if I am not mistaken).  In any case, it was private organization that initiated the movement to save the buffalo and deserves the real credit for pulling them back from the brink.  I can't remember the exact details of this story, can someone help fill in the details?
Nicholas Roland

Yes, I can. A fellow from Newport, NH by the name of Corbin, a lawyer, who made a fortune in banking, then developed Coney Island, NY and owned the Long Island Railroad and the Reading Railroad in the late 1800's. He then bought up a large tract of land covering parts of Croydon, Newport, Grantham, and Plainfield, NH which he fenced off into his own hunting preserve stocked with deer, antelope, moose, bison, boar, among other species. Corbin Park is the largest hunting preserve in the US and was the source of all of the American Bison lines used to restock the rest of the US in the 20th century.

So, the first rescue of an endangered species was caused by a man who was a lawyer, a banker, a real estate developer, a railroad man, and a hunter: all evil things to be according to todays alleged environmentalists.
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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2004, 12:14:26 pm »

 You brought up the example of the near extinction of the buffalo.  Actually, the extermination of the buffalo was prompted by the federal governments desire to deprive the Plains Indians of their main food source, thereby forcing them onto the reservations (if I am not mistaken).  In any case, it was private organization that initiated the movement to save the buffalo and deserves the real credit for pulling them back from the brink.  I can't remember the exact details of this story, can someone help fill in the details?
Nicholas Roland

Yes, I can. A fellow from Newport, NH by the name of Corbin, a lawyer, who made a fortune in banking, then developed Coney Island, NY and owned the Long Island Railroad and the Reading Railroad in the late 1800's. He then bought up a large tract of land covering parts of Croydon, Newport, Grantham, and Plainfield, NH which he fenced off into his own hunting preserve stocked with deer, antelope, moose, bison, boar, among other species. Corbin Park is the largest hunting preserve in the US and was the source of all of the American Bison lines used to restock the rest of the US in the 20th century.

So, the first rescue of an endangered species was caused by a man who was a lawyer, a banker, a real estate developer, a railroad man, and a hunter: all evil things to be according to todays alleged environmentalists.

ALLEGED environmentalists.  :)

RS
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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2004, 11:14:04 am »

Further explanation on the governments responsibility in the slaughter of buffalo (from my last weeks history notes). The U.S. government placed indians on reservations to get them out of the way in its haste in fulfilling westward expansion. Once on the resevations, government sought to alleviate the threat these indians posed through making them dependant, this done through supplying some food and financial assistance. The 'help' offered was far from adequate, on top of the fact that the indians were a nomadic people, used to following the buffalo as they moved over the land. Before long the boundaries of these reservations were being ignored, threatining expansion. The government responded to this by deciding to eliminate the indians greatest source of sustenance, the buffalo, and in so doing leave the indians completely dependant on the government for their survival as 'wards of the state'.
   It seems very like what is going on today, though government has dropped the stick and now offers carrots in the form of health care, tax breaks, education and innumerable other 'favors'.
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penguinsscareme

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2004, 09:29:30 am »

Yeah, it's like a narcotic -- a very addictive one, too.  I acknowledge that you have a point about the buffalo.  But just two nights ago I watched something on the science channel about Yellowstone National Park -- federally owned land.  It was in this refuge that the last remaining wild herd of bison took shelter from the unrestricted private parties who slaughtered these animals to the brink of extinction for their hides and left the carcasses rotting on the plain.  It was also government initiative that started propogating from this herd and reintroducing them.
Once again, I am not by any means an apologist for big government.  But I am almost as wary of total lassiez-faire capitalism as I am of an Orwellian Big Brother-type government presence a la 1984.  One's no better than the other, and either unchecked is just "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
If you look to modern-day southeast Asia, or the northeastern US of the latter 19th century and pre-Teddy Roosevelt 20th century you will see what I am afraid of.  Having grown up in eastern Massachusetts, I am familiar with the stories of the old mill towns like Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester, Fall River, etc., etc. where children were chained to their machines for fourteen hours a day, people routinely died by the score in factory fires, digits and limbs were severed daily by industrial machines with no guards on moving parts, and the bumper crop of European immigrants were exploited to the point of inhumanity by private enterprise and uncontested organized crime.  It took a prototype liberal democrat in Teddy Roosevelt to begin to put a stop to these practices.
My view is that free enterprise is a wonderful garden which produces everything that we use every day; but if not carefully pruned and overseen by a superintending authority, it is just as fallible and susceptible to corruption as anything else.  A garden doesn't just happen; it must be carefully planned and constructed, and then diligently tended.  Left uncared for, anything from the simplest carrot patch to the most elaborate arboretum will not last long against plunder and encroachment.
I believe that in addition to "killing people and breaking things," government should be judiciously employed to balance and guide free enterprise.  When ideally combined, the opposing influences can be beneficial to both and in fact all.
I think of it as nothing more than the concept of checks and balances -- just applying to the private sector what our Founding Fathers built into the Constitution.
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Mexico City
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2004, 10:48:16 am »

Yeah, it's like a narcotic -- a very addictive one, too.  I acknowledge that you have a point about the buffalo.  But just two nights ago I watched something on the science channel about Yellowstone National Park -- federally owned land.  It was in this refuge that the last remaining wild herd of bison took shelter from the unrestricted private parties who slaughtered these animals to the brink of extinction for their hides and left the carcasses rotting on the plain.


This is incorrect and typical government propaganda. Yellowstone's herd was created from the stocks at Corbin Park.

Quote
It was also government initiative that started propogating from this herd and reintroducing them.

Once again, it was not, that is just government propaganda. Repopulation of buffalo started from Corbin Park and was founded by people involved in Corbin Park. They arranged with the Park Service to create a western herd at Yellowstone Park.

Quote
Once again, I am not by any means an apologist for big government.  But I am almost as wary of total lassiez-faire capitalism as I am of an Orwellian Big Brother-type government presence a la 1984.  One's no better than the other, and either unchecked is just "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
If you look to modern-day southeast Asia, or the northeastern US of the latter 19th century and pre-Teddy Roosevelt 20th century you will see what I am afraid of.  Having grown up in eastern Massachusetts, I am familiar with the stories of the old mill towns like Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester, Fall River, etc., etc. where children were chained to their machines for fourteen hours a day, people routinely died by the score in factory fires, digits and limbs were severed daily by industrial machines with no guards on moving parts, and the bumper crop of European immigrants were exploited to the point of inhumanity by private enterprise and uncontested organized crime.  It took a prototype liberal democrat in Teddy Roosevelt to begin to put a stop to these practices.

As my history books tell me, Teddy was a Republican. Furthermore, I was born in Lowell, and my family had lived in Lowell since the 1880's. The stories told that you say you heard are the claims of socialist rabble rousers, typically of the IWW (the wobblies), who have an established record of greatly exaggerated reports of conditions in the factories. Not surprising. "The Jungle" was mostly fiction as well, as later investigators discovered.

Quote
My view is that free enterprise is a wonderful garden which produces everything that we use every day; but if not carefully pruned and overseen by a superintending authority, it is just as fallible and susceptible to corruption as anything else.  A garden doesn't just happen; it must be carefully planned and constructed, and then diligently tended.  Left uncared for, anything from the simplest carrot patch to the most elaborate arboretum will not last long against plunder and encroachment.

A garden is an artificial construct of a regimented mind. It is not surprising that left alone it goes out of control. It is hardly like a free market at all, so your analogy is flawed. A free market is like a prarie, where many species trade resources to best efficiency and live in a stable ecosystem, just like a free market that is free of government-mercantilist tweaking and distortions.

Quote
I believe that in addition to "killing people and breaking things," government should be judiciously employed to balance and guide free enterprise.  When ideally combined, the opposing influences can be beneficial to both and in fact all.
I think of it as nothing more than the concept of checks and balances -- just applying to the private sector what our Founding Fathers built into the Constitution.

Then you are no libertarian. What you describe is called mercantilism, and is not at all what the founding fathers built into the Constitution.
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