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I think that the old arch-enemies, socialists/communists on the one side and libertarians on the other side, have one thing in common: There does not exist (and has never existed) a country or society that could serve as a model for the ideal, the Utopia they have in mind.

There has never been a socialist/communist country that created enough wealth for its citizens to make them happy and that respected basic human rights (freedom of expression, freedom of movement ...). That is why a lot of denizens of those "workers' paradises" tried to get out of it.

And there has never been a country with a minimal state, a truly small government that has created economic growth and wealth for the many (not only for the few) over a longer period of time. There are some countries in the world with "small government", but none of them is rich or on its way to become rich (only enriching a small elite by extractive institutions). Examples are countries like Mozambique (which, spending $1.3 billion in 2016, had a per capita pure public goods expenditure around 1% of the US total.)

Astrobiologists have coined the term "Goldilocks zone" which refers to the habitable zone around a star: neither too hot nor too cold, just perfect. And this zone is rather small compared to the uninhabitable space around.

My impression is that there is a kind of "Goldilocks zone" of socio-economic wealth and prosperity: if there is too much top-down regulation (socialism!), any initiative is stifled, no sustained growth is achieved and little wealth is created.
But if - like in a libertarian utopia - the state, the government, limits itself to creating the playing field, setting some basic rules, and than withdraws from the playing field, letting market forces do the rest, the result is a society where in the end a few robber-barons share the pie among themselves and 95% of the population scrambles for the crumbs (as it is the case in many so-called third-world countries)

I am glad to live in a country (Germany) that is still right in the middle of the socio-economic Goldilocks zone.
What about the USA? Is it on a slippery slope towards the edge?

Matias 8 Mar 19

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I believe the US is on that slippery slope. Let's hope someone catches it before it's too late.

We had a good run....

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Indus civilisation. Most early civilisations to be honest.

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This is basically my political philosophy.

The sweet spot to me is that of the social democrat.

Where the US has been, is vacillating between two different forms of relatively unbridled capitalism ... a somewhat watered-down libertarianism favoring the robber baron scenario (Republican) and a more leftist approach with lip service paid to worker's rights and the little guy but still making sure that corporations get reasonably free reign so long as it's somewhat deniable (centrist / corporate Democrats of recent vintage).

We are moving toward a truly progressive social democratic agenda, although we tend to mislabel it as "democratic socialist". The question is whether it's too little, too late. We could skate over either edge, but we're definitely slipping on banana peels at this point.

I see great encouragement in people like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Pete Buttigeig in particular. Most of the others are professing to be newly "woke" to progressive ideas, but there are a core of people like the above-mentioned three for whom it seems part of their DNA rather than a prudent response to public sentiment (e.g., Cory Booker) or part of the calculation of some larger political ambition (e.g., Elizabeth Warren) or simply an opportunistic zeitgeist (e.g., Beto O'Rourke) or a backward-looking attempt to restore the pre-Trump status quo (e.g., Joe Biden).

Personally, I'm rooting for a Sanders / Buttigeig ticket, if I were playing the political equivalent of Fantasy Football at this point. Of course a lot can (and will) happen in the next 18 months so don't hold me to it.

Beautifully stated! I agree with every word of this!

@skado me too except I do think E. Warren is a goodie!

@Allamanda She's thawed me out a little bit of late, but I never forgave her for what I saw as the cold political calculation of failing to either endorse Sanders in '16 or run herself. Her support would have moved the needle a fair bit at the time. It seemed to me like she was just keeping political options open, at first for running in '16 and then for later (now). Considering the outcome, I can be forgiven, I hope, for being a bit sore at her over that.

Also, although she's famously anti Wall St., she was basically a Wall St lawyer.

Don't get me wrong, if Warren is the eventual nominee, I'd have to hold my nose WAY less than I did voting for Clinton ...

@Allamanda
I did at first, but have reconsidered. I now think she is more aligned with neoliberal Democrats; she just wants them to play by the rules. Which is noble enough as far as it goes, but I think we need more than that now. Nobody says it better than Bernie.

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Sorry, but those "Goldilocks zones" prosper on the expense of other "disadvantaged zones", and those should not do it. One Planet-Family should live without borders, in equal Peace, Brotherhood and Protectivity. In this respect, rational, reconciliant Pantheism (All Terrians are Gods=Superiors and Servants of Terraprotectivity), as the reunifying philosophy, can build bridges amid Humanity, also with Nature. Panterrians, reunite!

Noemi Level 7 Mar 19, 2019
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