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Milton Friedman on conspiracy theories

"Let me emphasize, the problems that have arisen for us have not come from evil people who were trying in conspiracy or anything like that to enslave us. That hasn’t been our problem. Our problems have arisen from good people who were trying to do good, but trying to do good in a fundamentally flawed way."

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You're 100% wrong on

You're 100% wrong on Friedman's use of the word evil, disingenously so. Look 1 sentence further to his definition of "good" to see why. Please stop wasting my time with this inane definition of "evil" that I have already said I disagreed with and left at that.

Ventura 2012

So you're saying I'm disingenuous.

You're assuming I'm evil, instead of thinking I may have overlooked something. You're assuming bad faith.

There's your problem right there. You're one of these who just assumes people have evil intent when they disagree with you. You're an example of Friedman's point. You need to learn to work with people who disagree you, assuming until you have evidence otherwise that they're acting in good faith.

My educated assumption based

My educated assumption based on a preponderance of the evidence(years worth) that you are a troll. You are right that there is a chance that you actually believe what you say, but its small.

Ventura 2012

Where's your evidence?

What evidence do you have that I don't believe what I say?

"Fox news gave Ron Paul more

"Fox news gave Ron Paul more coverage than anyone else."

Yeah, I remember your FLAME posts(as if that sn wasnt a dead giveaway).

Ventura 2012


What evidence do you have that I don't believe that statement to be true?

Based on the evidence over

Based on the evidence over the years that you are a troll, congruent with the idiocy of the statement and defensive nature of your position, I doubt you actually believe it.

Ventura 2012

Ok present a piece of evidence.

I challenge you to prove that I disbelieve anything I've said.

You're believing without evidence.

Just from the fact that what I say may seem extraordinary to you, you assume that I'm not sincere. That's not evidence at all.

No Carlin

our goal here is to re-instate the wise guidance of the founders. The founders understood what you have all but admitted applies to yourself also applies to a majority of humans-at best a pervasive weakness that makes far to many seek the easy road to self gratification. It is not completely their fault for being that way, they are typical humans. There is need however to ensure that those that can't control themselves are constrained from controlling others.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

I agree.

But that's not what he and I were debating about.

But it is germain to

what you are debating. You for whatever reason are supporting a dangerous notion. Dangerous notions cause the same harm, whether supported in good faith or otherwise. There is very much and appropriate concern here when basic concepts are stubbornly and repeatedly opposed or not grasped. If from ignorance it is tolerated to a degree and for a time. If it appears it is from something else, considerably less so. It is a judgment call on which. Most people here do not come down on the hard side recklessly or quickly. In either case, ideas clearly in opposition to basic core truths cannot go long without a very strong response.

What you think is debatable, for whatever reason or motivation, is understood here as not debatable. Continuing failure to understand why that is so is the same problem in any case.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

so neutralize anyone who wants to help others?

I don't think that anyone who has started a war (or worked behind the scenes to start a war) has done so with the idea or intent of HELPING anyone--

I'm sorry; I just don't see this--

Yes, I know that good people can be misguided and deceived, but what kind of false confidence does a person have who can say there are NO conspiracists?

What gives (gave) HIM the right to say that?

How on earth does (did) HE know? Was he god? Was he omniscient?

Or anyone--

I mean . . .

WHY are people SO afraid to say there might be people who conspire?

I guess I just don't understand why NOT allowing conspiracy to exist in ANY conversation or discussion is such a necessity!

Anytime anyone on this board brings up the 'c' word a crew comes on to clean him/her up and remind him/her that it is politically incorrect to mention the 'c' word (CONSPIRACIES DON'T EXIST YOU IDIOT; THAT IS ONE THING YOU MUST LEARN BEFORE SAYING ANYTHING ON HERE!)

*shaking my head in consternation*

So, yes, good people are deceived; I know a few; I've been deceived about 'things' myself, but there is no deception in wanting to make money off others' misery--

that is evil--

and it happens ALL the time . . .

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

That's generally true.

Does anyone think their leftist friends, if they have any, are actually evil? Or how about neoconservatives? Are any ex-leftists or ex-neocons here? Do you think you were evil before?

These are well meaning people. And these are the same people that have run for political office and are now in government. As well as in the media. Liberals/socialists really believe that big government has good consequences. Neoconservatives really think that terrorism can be stopped through foreign intervention and nation building. We libertarians think small government has the best outcome.

Those who are for "world government" are the same way. They sincerely think that the world would be a more peaceful and orderly place if it were regulated by an overarching government.

Of course if you listen to Alex Jones, he'll try to twist everything into a battle of good against evil. But that's just silly. There's no hope if that's the case, because there would be no way to convert these "evil" politicians, political pundits, media personality, and so on, to a more rational political philosophy. If that's the case we might as well all resign ourselves to just being in an eternal war of of violence, yelling, bullhorning, and death threats against politicians and media personalities who disagree with us in the war of "good against evil."

I think this might have been true in Freidman's day

but morphed into something much darker now.


It's possible, but why would it have changed in 30 years?

Isabel Paterson said

Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. . . .

Certainly if the harm done by willful criminals were to be computed, the number of murders, the extent of damage and loss, would be found negligible in the sum total of death and devastation wrought upon human beings by their kind. Therefore it is obvious that in periods when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people, and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object. . . .

Certainly the slaughter committed from time to time by barbarians invading settled regions, or the capricious cruelties of avowed tyrants, would not add up to one-tenth the horrors perpetrated by rulers with good intentions. . . .

It may be said, and it may be true, that [the Nazis and Communists] are vicious hypocrites; that their conscious objective was evil from the beginning; nonetheless, they could not have come by the power at all except with the consent and assistance of good people.

The Communist regime in Russia gained control by promising the peasants land, in terms the promisers knew to be a lie as understood. Having gained power, the Communists took from the peasants the land they already owned – and exterminated those who resisted. This was done by plan and intention; and the lie was praised as "social engineering," by socialist admirers in America. . . .

The humanitarian in theory is the terrorist in action.

I've read that before

She makes some good points.

this is ultimately true, but

this is ultimately true, but it is not true at the top level. Its true that without the well meaning but naive sheep, the soft-socialists and fascists would not be able to get away with their crimes. The people at the top are NOT well meaning, and its not surprising to hear an establishment wanna-be like Friedman(who I like but lets be real here) to apologize for them. I have seen interviews where he calls proponents of minimum wage and price controls "liars".

Ventura 2012

Why do you think that the people at the top

aren't well meaning? Al Gore, seems well-meaning to me for example.
So does BHO.

I believe...

that Bmore is talking about people higher than Barry and Al Gore. These two stooges probably are mostly well-meaning; however, the people behind the scenes making their decisions are not.

All lawyers used car salesmen are well meaning also..

" The force of a correction is equal and opposite to the deception that proceded it"
B. Bonner

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

LOL. Don't you think Obama

LOL. Don't you think Obama knows that these illegal wars are phony? We haven't had a well meaning President since probably Jimmy Carter.

Ventura 2012

Yes, I do think that he knows that

they are phony. But, I think his mindset is that he has to stay in them because of "political pressure"...so that he can implement the rest of his agenda (which he thinks will help the country).

Which specific people on the top do you think are evil?

Someone who doesn't value

Someone who doesn't value human life and telling the truth couldn't possibly have a pro-people agenda. I don't think you understand the attitude of the power-crazed politician. It is not a "frog in the pot" type of situation, it is a conscious goal and motivation, usually from the beginning(law school).

Evil people on top:

Pelosi, Cheney, Bush, Obama, Hillary, Hoyer, Boehner, Reid, McConnell, Graham, Lieberman, Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson need I go on?

Ventura 2012

But all those people think

they are doing good. (Lieberman I'm not sure about. He appears to me to be some sort of sociopath...Cheney as well, but not to the same extent).

So, I guess this really comes down is definitions. How do you define the term 'evil'? I'm not sure how I do. Haven't really thought of that before....

Tho, I do think being well-intentioned and evil should be incompatible.

The have an

The have an externally-defined objective, which is to represent the whole people and do what is best for them within legal boundaries. These people clearly fail that mandate. The vast majority. If you want to see the difference between people who mean well and people who don't even within the left wing mindframe, just look at McKinney vs Hillary, or Kucinich vs Obama. Revolutionaries like Hitler or Lenin that reject the whole system do not have an objective mandate and therefore could be viewed by some people as "doing what they thought was best".

Ventura 2012

Yes, they fail that "mandate"

But does that by consequence make them "evil"? Depends what the definition of evil is.

it means that they are not

it means that they are not well-meaning, which was the original point of discussion. Fraud=not well meaning.

Ventura 2012

But are they intentionally trying to commit fraud?

Fraud, as in not following the constitution. I don't think so. I think people like Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney just have different interpretations of it.

Its intentional. Someone

Its intentional. Someone like Dick Cheney probably even has the SAME interpretation as we do, which is a huge red flag. I know that I woke up when I found out that "strict constructionist" Republicans were hanging out at the CFR and violating the Constitution every day.

Ventura 2012