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Yard work, golf courses and collective capitalism

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Home ownership is both the pinnacle of freedom and the most tyrannical aspect of a relatively successful life.

The signature on a home contract is also a pledge to mow the yard, prune bushes whose species you may or may not know, move giant piles of leaves, and identify and destroy weeds. That means you have put down a huge down payment and promised 30 years of bank drafts for the right to do more work in your spare time left over from the job you’ve taken to pay for the house in the first place. (Or you could put down even MORE money and have someone else do it for you.)

Environmentalists, many of them arguing from a utilitarian point of view, would say single-family homes are just fine. It’s the golf courses, guzzling up so many lawn-maintenance resources, that they don’t like.

But in a utilitarian spirit, wouldn’t it make more sense for us all to give up our lawns and live around golf courses, where we can turn over the landscaping to people who know what they’re doing?

Or am I just trying to rationalize being lazy?

Update: The “pocket neighborhood” idea sounds terrific to me. Naturally, some of USA TODAY’s commenters think it sounds like Communism. No one’s forcing them to live there, of course, but it upsets their notion that life is nothing more than a competition and their big house is proof that they “won.”

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Categories: philosophy

The rich are getting so rich (http://ow.

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The rich are getting so rich (http://ow.ly/4kUB0) that they’re employing us (http://ow.ly/4kUTo) to keep them rich? Can we hold out for more money?

Categories: Uncategorized

Libertarians and capitalists, natural … enemies?

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been disappointed in Bleeding Heart Libertarians so far. It’s mostly arguments about whether so-and-so is a Left-Libertarian or a Gaussian Blur. (Yes, I’m confusing academic jargon with Photoshop terminology, but really, does it matter?)

But this post is intriguing, pointing out that a knee-jerk defense of our current economic system isn’t necessarily part of a good libertarian’s daily life.

Embracing Markets, Opposing “Capitalism” – Bleeding Heart Libertarians

Key quote: “The economic system we have now is one from which peaceful, voluntary exchange is absent.”

 

Hope for libertarians? Maybe?

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

An intriguing new blog has popped up, and Andrew Sullivan kindly took notice.

It’s called Bleeding Heart Libertarians, a term I think I once used in casual conversation and should’ve copyrighted while I had the chance. One of its early posts hints at some common ground with utilitarians: “A commitment to social justice does not logically entail a commitment to having government pursue justice through a heavy-handed, direct strategy.”

In other words: We as a society should be working for the social good. But not necessarily through government.

Promising stuff. It’s a little too academic in some places, but the ideals behind it are promising.