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Why is statist a bad thing?

tacomancer

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Statism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Statism (or etatism) is a term assigned to political movements and trends that are seen as supporting the use of states to achieve goals, both economic and social. Economic statism, for instance, promotes the view that the state has a major and legitimate role in directing the economy, either directly through state-owned enterprises and other types of machinery of government, or indirectly through economic planning.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism#cite_note-0
Ok, so I have seen several posts where someone will dismiss another person's argument because they are a statist, so I looked up the definition and I fail to see why its a basis for dismissing an argument. It looks like another definition of liberalism to me :shrug:
 

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Ok, so I have seen several posts where someone will dismiss another person's argument because they are a statist, so I looked up the definition and I fail to see why its a basis for dismissing an argument. It looks like another definition of liberalism to me :shrug:
I don't know of the specific instances you are referring to, but I would say it is a basis to dismiss an argument if the argument is a statist one presented in the guise of one that is constitutionally sound. The constitution is broadly antithetical to statist notions in government.
 
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dontworrybehappy

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Statism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Ok, so I have seen several posts where someone will dismiss another person's argument because they are a statist, so I looked up the definition and I fail to see why its a basis for dismissing an argument. It looks like another definition of liberalism to me :shrug:
That would explain why it was dismissed. You answered your own question.
 

tacomancer

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That would explain why it was dismissed. You answered your own question.
Ahh, so it should be dismissed if you don't happen to agree with the philosophical outlook. Noted.
 

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Ahh, so it should be dismissed if you don't happen to agree with the philosophical outlook. Noted.
Well, that depends on the context of the conversation and why it's dismissed.

If something is said to be logically wrong simply because it's statist, that's not legitimate.

If you're arguing for the best policy, dismissing something because it's statist, or whatever other philosophical reasons, is perfectly legit. No different from dismissing something because it's racist.
 

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Well, that depends on the context of the conversation and why it's dismissed.

If something is said to be logically wrong simply because it's statist, that's not legitimate.

If you're arguing for the best policy, dismissing something because it's statist, or whatever other philosophical reasons, is perfectly legit. No different from dismissing something because it's racist.
I would think that the most important aspect of the discussion of a policy is if it achieves what you want it to achieve, not which philosophical school it comes from.
 

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I would think that the most important aspect of the discussion of a policy is if it achieves what you want it to achieve, not which philosophical school it comes from.
Not really, the whole "ends justify the means" argument is not always correct, especially when the "means" takes actions against the rights and liberties of the individual. And that's where the danger of statist arguments are. It presumes proper government action in many areas which would innately infringe upon the rights of the individual. There are many things we can properly use government for. However, government isn't the end all be all of power, and it is restricted to abide by the rights and liberties of the individual.
 

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I would think that the most important aspect of the discussion of a policy is if it achieves what you want it to achieve, not which philosophical school it comes from.
the ends don't justify the means. cliche, but pertinent. A statist may claim a solution, but when the solution causes more damage than the original problem was it really worth it?

EDIT: Ikari submitted right before me, I am in agreement w/ him
 
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tacomancer

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Not really, the whole "ends justify the means" argument is not always correct, especially when the "means" takes actions against the rights and liberties of the individual. And that's where the danger of statist arguments are. It presumes proper government action in many areas which would innately infringe upon the rights of the individual. There are many things we can properly use government for. However, government isn't the end all be all of power, and it is restricted to abide by the rights and liberties of the individual.
In many cases the means are the ends. for example the end result of a policy choice could be an attempt to restore rights to the individual from another entity such as the state or corporations. However, we should still be attempting to discuss the policy itself.
 

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Statism itself is not bad, it is when statism goes past a certain point that it can become bad in my opinion

Influencing person behaviours through taxes, to reduce smoking, eating junk foods, can be a reasonable use of statism to improve the nation and the general health. Banning smoking, or junk food goes to an extreme that I feel is bad.

Providing tax breaks to certain sectors of the economy to encourage development of it (ie in the Nano technology or advanced robotics) is not bad, shutting down certain industries while pushing others is not
 

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In many cases the means are the ends. for example the end result of a policy choice could be an attempt to restore rights to the individual from another entity such as the state or corporations. However, we should still be attempting to discuss the policy itself.
So? that's not always the case.

If the acheivement of certain ends require a violation of principles that could later be abused, the ends should be reevaluated. Usually a new policy is not required, it's just the first thing lawmakers always consider (big surprise there). Many problems can be fixed simply by repealing old laws or actually enforcing those that already exist.
 

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So? that's not always the case.
You are right, it is not always the case, which is why the policy itself should be the thing looked at.

If the acheivement of certain ends require a violation of principles that could later be abused, the ends should be reevaluated.
I cannot think of a principal that is not subject to abuse by immoral people.

Usually a new policy is not required, it's just the first thing lawmakers always consider (big surprise there). Many problems can be fixed simply by repealing old laws or actually enforcing those that already exist.
I agree with this.
 

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I cannot think of a principal that is not subject to abuse by immoral people.
If the state isn't granted the power in the first place, it can't be abused. Thus, you see the objection to statism.

And no, the ends and the means are not one and the same, not even often.

Unless, for you, implementing the means IS the end. Which would mean implementing statism for its own sake. Which I absolutely dismiss out of hand.
 

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So? that's not always the case.

If the acheivement of certain ends require a violation of principles that could later be abused, the ends should be reevaluated. Usually a new policy is not required, it's just the first thing lawmakers always consider (big surprise there). Many problems can be fixed simply by repealing old laws or actually enforcing those that already exist.
There are also ends which, if they require dubious means to achieve, are not worth achieving, no matter how nifty they seem.
 

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In many cases the means are the ends. for example the end result of a policy choice could be an attempt to restore rights to the individual from another entity such as the state or corporations. However, we should still be attempting to discuss the policy itself.
There's no one set of means for restoring individual rights, so this doesn't work. But in any case, this is a rejection of statism. You can't use statist means to lift the yoke of statism. There are those who claimed to be doing that, then tens of millions ended up dead.
 

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You are right, it is not always the case, which is why the policy itself should be the thing looked at.
Both the policy (the means) and the ends (the impact of the policy) are important.

A statist means to an individualist ends, for instance, is immediately suspect, for what should be obvious reasons. I use this scenario because this is the kind of thing that is so often pushed by politicians these days. It is the statist that will promise you that the government can fix problems...problems that A) can easily (and so should) be fixed by some other means, B) are no worse than the proposed solution, or C) don't really even exist in the first place.

In all of these cases, it is then the policy itself which becomes a problem down the road...and then here they come again, with some new law to exacerbate the ridiculousness some more.
 
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Harshaw

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It's also the argument that more government will make you freer. Which completely baffles me when people buy into it.

But then, I've been called an "anti-government fascist" more than once.
 

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In many cases the means are the ends. for example the end result of a policy choice could be an attempt to restore rights to the individual from another entity such as the state or corporations. However, we should still be attempting to discuss the policy itself.
The policy and the real world requirements of implementing the policy should be discussed. If it is necessary to infringe upon the rights of the individual to implement a policy, then that policy is unjust and needs to be left out of law.
 

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If the state isn't granted the power in the first place, it can't be abused. Thus, you see the objection to statism.
Sure it can be. For example, those with more monetary power have more speech than those that do not because the supreme court gave a right to people in determining that money = speech.

And no, the ends and the means are not one and the same, not even often.

Unless, for you, implementing the means IS the end. Which would mean implementing statism for its own sake. Which I absolutely dismiss out of hand.
I agree that statism for its own sake is useless.

Either way. The essential theme I see in all of the above posts is that government power is automatically bad. Personally, I see it as a possible force for good or bad, just like individual power. The determination is in how it is used, not who wields it. Is there a better argument or is that it?
 
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Statism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Ok, so I have seen several posts where someone will dismiss another person's argument because they are a statist, so I looked up the definition and I fail to see why its a basis for dismissing an argument. It looks like another definition of liberalism to me :shrug:
It's usually just a case of the more dogmatic libertarians (hmmmmmm, is that a redundancy?) parroting the language they find on various web pages.
 

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Either way. The essential theme I see in all of the above posts is that government power is automatically bad. Personally, I see it as a possible force for good or bad, just like individual power. The determination is in how it is used, not who wields it. Is there a better argument or is that it?
You misunderstand. It isn't that "government power is automatically bad," but that government power is inherrently dangerous, and must operate within strict guidelines. Also, it cannot solve all problems, nor is it even a tool to be used to solve most problems. It has its functions within limits which should not be overstepped.

And you might say "well, all power is inherrently dangerous." That's true, and it's the very reason we have a government for protection. When a private entity oversteps, the government protects our rights. When the govermnent oversteps we are SOL. That's why the power of a state is the most dangerous and most in need of being checked on a regular basis.
 
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tacomancer

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You misunderstand. It isn't that "government power is automatically bad," but that government power is inherrently dangerous, and must operate within strict guidelines. Also, it cannot solve all problems, nor is it even a tool to be used to solve most problems. It has its functions within limits which should not be overstepped.
All power is inherently dangerous. Whenever someone has the advantage over another there is potential for abuse. Why is government different?
 

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All power is inherently dangerous. Whenever someone has the advantage over another there is potential for abuse. Why is government different?
^^^ see above. I edited my last post. (thought you'd bring that up ;))
 
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Ikari

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The essential theme I see in all of the above posts is that government power is automatically bad. Personally, I see it as a possible force for good or bad, just like individual power. The determination is in how it is used, not who wields it. Is there a better argument or is that it?
The essential theme above is not that government power is automatically bad, but rather that government power is limited.
 

tacomancer

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\And you might say "well, all power is inherrently dangerous." That's true, and it's the very reason we have a government for protection. When a private entity oversteps, the government protects our rights. When the govermnent oversteps we are SOL. That's why the power of a state is the most dangerous and most in need of being checked on a regular basis.
There are countless examples of government not protecting our rights when corporations and individuals abuse them as well. Given that some people or organizations have vastly more power than others through things like being able to effectively buy a virdict due to superior lawyers (OJ Simpson trial), or inherent flaws in the some interpretations of the bill of rights (money = speech), we are SOL anyway unless we take power where we can to defend ourselves from other people. At least we can try and influence government to be more just as opposed to individuals and corporations we might not have power over.
 
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