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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Fearless Philosophy Blog Post of the Month (May 2005)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Fearless Philosophy Blog Post of the Month (May 2005)

It’s that time again. Time to reveal the Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month. For those of you who are new to my blog, click here for the criteria I’m looking for in a winning post. These posts and more met the criteria, however; as with all contests, there can be only one winner. After doing some trolling along the blogosphere, these are the top three posts I found:

Third place goes to Apesnake for his post “They Violated Saddam’s Privacy. Um…So?.” When this outpouring of sympathy came pouring out from the MSM for Saddam Hussein, I could not believe it. Apesanke does a great job in his article reminding us of what a monster the Butcher of Baghdad was while in power. Say whatever you want about the war in Iraq but to say we are somehow torturing this evil man by taking photos of him in his skivvies? I don’t think so!

Apesnake summarizes his thoughts on this undeserved sympathy:

“It always seems that people have so much sympathy and mercy and compassion for the bullies and thugs of the world and such contempt for the weak the meek and the innocent. Perhaps there is such a limited supply of compassion in the world that if we spared it for those who deserve it it will be spread.”

So where should Saddam go to find sympathy for his humilaiting treatment? I have a suggestion: Sympathy…it’s in the dictionary located somewhere between shit and syphilis. No such sympathy will be found from me!

Second place goes to Mathew of Fresh Tasty Ideas for his post titled “Seeing it from Both Sides.” Mathew’s honesty in his approach in formulating his opinions is very refreshing:

“The point is that we all filter the things we read, hear and see so that we give more attention to the things we believe…I think this is a natural reaction. No one wants to hear that they have been believing something which isn't true. It makes you feel stupid and betrayed. However, it feels good to learn that you were right. 'How smart am I?' you think. It might be a bit different from person to person, but we all have to work on seeking out the other sides of the story.”

Mathew goes on to challenge his readers to read/listen to oppinions contrary to one’s own views:

“If you can read about the many sides of a particular issue and still be comfortable with your own opinion, chances are you have made the best decision possible with the information you had. However, if you ignore and avoid information that challenges you to rethink your opinions, it is to your own detriment.”

I certainly agree with you there Mathew. You may notice my blogroll is quite diverse (though admittadly wieghted more to the Libertarian/Classical Liberal philosophy); I try my deadlevel best to encourage everyone to read my blog and challenge my opinions and try to represent the arguments of the other side fairly. Check out the series I wrote about Air America and you’ll see what I mean. While you are there, leave a comment or two.

And the winner is…

The Fearless Philosophy Blog Post of the Month of May goes to Dadahead for his post titled “Defending Socialism.” You may ask me why I selected Dadahead as the winner for this month because he advocates the exact opposite of my philosophy of individual, property, and economic rights. As I stated in my criteria for the winning posts, the post does not have to agree with my opinions; the post simply has to challenge the readers to think. Dadahead’s post does just that. Also, I have to respect for Dadahead’s honesty. He does not hide behind the ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ label; he’s defending socialism with no pretense or apologies.

The main reason why I chose this post is because of the amount of discussion that followed his post both on and off his site. Dada’s post inspired some other great posts by Eric Cowperthwaite, Robert Bell, Brad Warbainy, and T.F. Stern. Any post with that big of a response deserves recognition.

On to the substance of Dadahead’ defense of socialism…

“Let's say that you and I, and a hundred or so other people find ourselves for whatever reason on an uninhabited island. We have no hope at all of being rescued, so we begin to make plans to simply live out the rest of our lives on the island.”

I find it amusing that the defenders of socialism have to resort to this type of expaination. Are their any examples of this type of situation happening in history that Dadahead can cite for us?

“The island is small, but it looks like it will provide more than enough resources to support all of us. The next question, then, is how to divide up the resources.”

How often does this happen when a socialist regime gains power? If this has happened, this would be the exception, not the rule. History shows that when a socialist government comes to power, the resouces are taken from those who have the most and then redistributed to everyone. How is this fair?

“There are numerous options. A seemingly fair way to do this would be to simply figure out how big the island is, and divide the area by 100 (or however many people are there), so that each person gets an equal share and can use it to support herself (let's assume for the sake of simplicity that resources are distributed equally across the island, so that any plot is as good as any other).”

That would be one heck of an assumption. Maybe in a perfect world.

“Another prima facie fair way to do it would be not to divide it up at all, but to own it collectively and all work the land together, equally sharing whatever we reap.”

I’m not going to argue the ‘inherent’ vs. ‘constructed’ rights here as others have done but what I do want to point out is that for socialism to work, the system has to work against human nature. What I mean is what is the motivation for one individual to work harder than the next if his reward is going to be the same no matter what? What happens when some of the islanders refuse to do their share of the work? This certainly wouldn’t sit well with me if I’m doing the heavy lifting while my neibor does little or no work but receiving the same amount of food, water, shelter, and other nessesities of life.

My final question is for Dadahead is this: “When has socialism ever lived up to its intended promises; do you have an example?”

Once again, congradulations to all of May’s winners! Look out for next month’s award because you never know… the next Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month could be your’s!

Past Winners:
March 2005
April 2005
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