Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not Right and Wrong, Left and Wrong (part 3/3)

John Timmer at Ars Technica published an excellent piece on the difference of right and wrong, or should I say, left and wrong. I couldn't agree more, but would like to add my own thoughts.

In the last two posts I did (part 1 and part 2) I basically explain that although both sides of the political spectrum have their crazies, and that both sides are wrong, both are not equally wrong. I also say to my friends and acquaintances who tend to vote right-wing tend to do so on the belief that the alternative is to vote for communism and against the US constitution.

But to anyone who cares so much about the constitution and free markets and low taxes and the right to own property, you have friends in left wing, and you may be surprised to find the right wing is largely indifferent to that which you care about most.

Let me give you a concrete example, with respect to the right to own private property, a fundamental tenant of free markets.

Do you own your cell phone? Do you own your computer? How about your camera? How about your DVD player? How about any DVD's? Well, technically you own the atoms that make up your computer, cell-phone, and camera. But everything else, every circuit, every bit of software, is only "licensed" to you, and you do not have the freedom to use the circuitry or software as you see fit, you signed an End User License Agreement when you "bought" it that obliges you to only use the camera/cell-phone/computer in the way deemed appropriate by the company that actually owns the device. You can set your computer on fire, sure, after all you own the atoms, but everything else that makes it a computer is NOT owned by you, no matter how much you paid for it.

Basically, these days anything but the shape of an object is subject intellectual property rights. So you can own guns, and you can own any parts of your car that does not have a computers controlling it (so just the unibody and the tires). Do you have the right to change the software in your car if you don't like it? Do you have the right to know whether or not the car company is tracking your every move with GPS? How about your cell phone? How about your camera?

Is it legal for you to change the software in your camera? How easy is it to do? What if the company who bought your camera can control what you do with your camera? What if they can see the pictures you take, or prevent you from taking certain pictures that might, for example, incriminate a politician or a corrupt police officer? Wouldn't you want to know. Do you have a choice of which software to use in your camera, if you don't like the software you are using now?

Well, to answer my own rhetorical questions, you don't own the intellectual property, you have no ability to choose competing products, or even to use your devices freely in the way you wish to use them, and your rights are very much threatened. But does Fox News ever talk about it? Does Rush Limbaugh tell you to call your congressman about your camera, or your computer? Is this a major issue for any Republican candidate?

The Republicans/Tea-Part don't care about your right to own property, they want to outlaw abortion. They don't care about the constitution, they want to pass laws that favor Christians over non-Christians. They don't care about low taxes (no, not even the Tea Party candidates) they simply want to destroy the environmentalist movement. They do so through propaganda that makes Christians feel like they are victims of discrimination, and marginalizing and even lambasting scientists as "intellectuals" (except when scientists can give them spy satellites, or cancer therapies, then they trust the scientists).

Today's right-wing is just political revolution aiming to change all the things you don't want changed. To anyone who votes right-wing, stop pretending that they care or are in any way aligned with your personal beliefs. And start paying attention to their political opponents, especially when the opposition party has been saying things that you agree with.

I am not saying vote Democrat, I'm just saying, consider voting for someone different this time. There is much more to politics than trying to keep "libs" from ruining your country. You have to realize that the entire argument against the "liberals" is one big straw-man, most liberals want freedom, to own property, lower taxes, just as much as you do. There are real threats to your best interests that you will never hear about on Fox News, and that a few good Left and Right wing politicians are out there fighting against -- do more voting for these guys and less worrying about communism, terrorism, and theses other phoney Fox News issues.

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