Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A "Hard Times" Pragmatarian Milestone

BBQs are pretty much the best.  Eggplant, zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, hot dogs, steak and ribs are the items that my friends and I typically BBQ.  But every once in a while we get lazy and just BBQ steak...or just hot dogs.  We've come to refer to these sparse BBQs as "hard times" BBQs.  The "hard times" meme quickly dispersed and we use it in a broad variety of situations.

For's a "hard times" milestone for pragmatarianism.  It's the first blog entry that somebody besides me has dedicated to the concept.  What makes it a "hard times" milestone is that the blog entry is a criticism of pragmatarianism.  heh.

Opportunity Cost - The Barefoot Bum

As criticisms go it's not bad.  It's definitely worth taking a look at if you're vaguely interested in the possibility of applying market principles to government organizations.

[Update]  Hmmm...guess I should have realized that The Great Leap Forward is a touchy subject for revolutionary communists.


  1. Hmmm...guess I should have realized that The Great Leap Forward is a touchy subject for revolutionary communists.

    It's a Godwin's Law sort of thing. Look, Hitler was a capitalist (or if he wasn't a "pure" capitalist, then Mao wasn't a "pure" communist), but I don't go around saying that capitalists are Hitlerites.

    There's a complex historical and cultural context both the Russian and Chinese communist revolutions, not to mention a great deal of uncertainty and outright propaganda about what actually happened. It's mindless and stupid to reduce everything that happened in Russia and China to communism.

  2. And I never said that all communists were Maoists...I just said that the Great Leap Forward was the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of the word "communism".

    It was the first thing that came to mind precisely because I have studied the complex historical and cultural context of the communist revolution in China. If you think I just randomly looked that stuff up just to get your goat then you're welcome to read my post on The Dialectic of Unintended Consequences.

    Plus it would have been completely hypocritical of me to generalize all communists but then turn around and challenge your generalization that all wealthy people want to control us.

    My goal in juxtaposing Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping was to highlight the stark disparity between the consequences of taking choices away from people and giving people choices.

    Pragmatarianism empowers people to choose how their taxes are allocated. It's a revolutionary concept. Yes, the more taxes people pay the more power they have...but I can't see how this power to fund public "goods" can possibly be used for evil purposes.

    You don't have to prove that communists aren't all evil or good because I already know that to be true. But if you're going to challenge pragmatarianism on the basis of generalizing the wealthy...then I would be extremely interested to see whether you can provide the necessary evidence to prove what so many others have not been able to.

    Or you can skip that for now and help me understand why we all recognize how absurd it would be if we all had to purchase the same private goods and donate to all the same non-profit organizations...yet nobody recognizes the absurdity of everybody having to purchase the same public goods.

    As I mentioned, the only logical conclusion that I've come to is that paying taxes to political parties and hoping for certain outcomes is the same exact thing as primitive people sacrificing their livestock to deities and praying for rain. The current system is nothing more than a vestigial tradition.

    Unlike plenty of harmless traditions...congress has no idea how much each and every one of us actually values each and every public every tax allocation decision congress makes can be considered a misallocation of public funds.

  3. If you want to carry on an intellectual conversation, especially with people who disagree with you, you need to engage with what they are actually saying, not what you think they're saying, not what you wish they were saying, and not the first thing that pops into your head when they say something.

    It's just not worth engaging with you because I have to wade through seventeen different kinds of bullshit until I get to your point.