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How to Cure the Problem of Welfare

charleslb
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11/9/2010 2:12:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Conservatives often like to use the argument that welfare statism/socialism is not a workable system because there will always be a percentage of the population that for whatever reason is lazy, unproductive, and not a contributing part of the economy and who will seek to parasitically leech off of the system. But, arguably, this fact of human nature is more of a problem for society under capitalism than it would be under a socialist organization of society.

Let's for argument sake concede that yes, some of our fellow men and women are downright lazy and disinclined to function as effective participants in the economic productivity of society. It certainly does look to be the case that some of us, even when there are employment opportunities available, are going to fail to fend for ourselves and will end up destitute and homeless. But if this is a reality of the human species then isn't a system such as capitalism, a system that doesn't accommodate and adjust itself to such an unfortunate reality in a humane and caring way, a very cruelly impractical excuse for a social system, impractical in an ethical and human needs sense?

Well, what happens to the feckless and dysfunctional, the slackers and derelicts of society under capitalism, under a system based on economic individualism and competition, on an every man for himself ethos? Of course they eventually find themselves insolvent, in an extreme degree of poverty, and ultimately they become beggars on the street. A competitive system that takes no official notice of the unwillingness or inability of some of its members to keep up with the rest of the pack will allow those members to fall behind and perish. Of course this is all well and good, just as things should be if you're a social Darwinist type. To the "libertarian", aka social-Darwinian mind-set bums who are unfit for the struggle for survival shouldn't be coddled they should be allowed to waste away and "decrease the surplus population", to use the words of that eminent conservative Ebenezer Scrooge.

But if you're a more decent, a more compassionate person then the fate of the weak and uncontributing still matters. Someone with an uncompassionate, coldly free-marketarian way of thinking will ideologically and viscerally balk at this. The notion of valuing the lives of economically unproductive wretches is absolutely nonsensical and outrageous to them. Their modern, economic, materialistic way of viewing life has completely obliterated their sense of the intrinsic sanctity of life. The ethical idea that we're all brothers and sisters and should unconditionally care for one another has gone by the way side in the frosty mentality of the fundamentalists of capitalism. But all life, and every human being should be respected. It's our capitalist society's great and damning flaw that it does not systematically respect human life and allows its "unfit" members to live and die on its streets.

Since capitalism does not prescribe any measures to prevent a percentage of society's members from sinking into the underclass, from falling into the abyss of homelessness and beggary, since it essentially treats this demographic group as its acceptable causalities, it's no better morally than Lee Iacocca and the Ford executives who coldheartedly factored in the potential causalities of the Pinto's faulty fuel tanks. Yep, when Iacocca had Ford's legal department crunch the numbers and they determined that the cost to the company of letting a number of people burn would be cheaper than it would be do the right thing and repair the problem with the gas tanks, he was behaving like a quintessential capitalist. He took the exact same immoral approach that capitalist society takes to its chronically down-and-out citizens, just write ‘um off.

The upshot here is that the existence of poverty and homelessness is built into a competitive system because even if all was hunk-dory with the economy, even if it were the case that capitalism wasn't prone to victimize the majority of folks who are willing to work hard with low wages and unemployment, that segment of the population who are incorrigible goldbrickers and layabouts would still exist and would still find themselves hard up for the necessities of life. That is, until they died of starvation, which once again would be acceptable to true believers in laissez–faire, but certainly not from an ethical point of view!

Yes, it's capitalism that allows an unproductive portion of humanity to live under distressed circumstances and to be an ever-present fact of economic life. It's in a system, such as capitalism, in which neighbors do not prop each other up that you find people falling down on their responsibility to be constructive participants in the economic life of society and turning into loafers on welfare.

Socialism, a system based instead on mutual aid, would factor lazybones and leeches out of existence by helping everyone find a useful place in the economy. A communitarian system in which everyone in a community works together for the common good, i.e., in which everyone is provided with some worthwhile and dignified way of making a contribution and receives an equal share of the fruits of everyone's labor, would be a system in which you'd be hard put to find many do-nothings living off the state's charity. Welfare, in the form of aid to people who are incapable of sharing the labors of the community would still be there as a compassionate safety net for anyone who for physical or emotional reasons requires support. But between near universal employment and welfare for a small non-working minority, indigence and homelessness would be abolished.

The problem with welfare as we know it is not something inherent to welfarism and socialism, rather it's what you get when you merely use welfare to take the hard edge off of capitalism but make no real effort to create a more brotherly and benevolent system. The remedy for what ails the welfare state is not less socialism, nor is it taking a tough Iain Duncan Smith make-people-work-or-else tact, the remedy is a truly compassionate, cooperative, equalitarian, and just socio-economic system.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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11/9/2010 2:17:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You understand that this isn't a blog right? Generally speaking, posts more than 2 paragraphs aren't going to be read, unless the person posting has a reputation for really good posts, and that ain't you.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/9/2010 2:58:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 2:17:29 PM, innomen wrote:
You understand that this isn't a blog right? Generally speaking, posts more than 2 paragraphs aren't going to be read, unless the person posting has a reputation for really good posts, and that ain't you.

Could it perhaps, possibly, conceivably, in the wildest stretch of the imagination be the case that your real problem with my posts and writing is that you don't like my ideas and this biases you against my posts? After all, we're pretty much at the opposite poles of the socio-political spectrum, you identify as a Libertarian, and my views, whether I wear the label or not, are pretty transparently socialist. I suspect that you don't really like what I have to say and so you get personal about it and attack the style and verbosity with which I express myself. If I were chiming in with your viewpoint 100% down the line, if my mentality was an absolute clone of your own, I doubt you'd be inclined to get so negatively ad hominem. Come on, be intellectually honest and go after what really bugs you, my thinking, not my writing. Or would it be too challenging for you to dissect my stances rather than put down my style?

(BTW, this also applies to everyone else who delights in laying into my posts rather than the points I make in them. Y'all don't realize how petty and intellectually weak critiquing style instead of analyzing substance make you look.)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
JimProfit
Posts: 63
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11/9/2010 3:12:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
People don't believe communism can work because it's constantly said. If people actually gave the concept of chance, that would suddenly all change. What's the difference between working because you like the work you do, you feel a part of society and people appreciate your work, and or it's something you gotta' do if you want to eat?

The difference between a communist and capitalist society is only that in a capitalist society, you have to prirotize food and board. There comes times you can't have both. But because in communism no asset is "owned", there's no rush, no "black friday", no comsumer turmoil or stock market crashes. It's just if you need it, it's there. We're not short on anything...

But getting to communism won't be easy. We'd have to start with socialism and work our way up. I have said time and time again, if I was governor of my state, I wouldn't raise nor cut taxes, merely show how taxes CAN work. "Cut" eight million out of the budget in stupid crap, and based on averages, hold state lotteries where 151 lucky people could get a kidney transplant or something equivalent. Alternatively fifty people could get a free house. My point is, that what costs the individual a few cents in taxes, can change a person's life. So yes... people can suck it up and pushout some taxes, especially the rich.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/9/2010 3:20:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 3:12:43 PM, JimProfit wrote:
People don't believe communism can work because it's constantly said. If people actually gave the concept of chance, that would suddenly all change. What's the difference between working because you like the work you do, you feel a part of society and people appreciate your work, and or it's something you gotta' do if you want to eat?

The difference between a communist and capitalist society is only that in a capitalist society, you have to prirotize food and board. There comes times you can't have both. But because in communism no asset is "owned", there's no rush, no "black friday", no comsumer turmoil or stock market crashes. It's just if you need it, it's there. We're not short on anything...

But getting to communism won't be easy. We'd have to start with socialism and work our way up. I have said time and time again, if I was governor of my state, I wouldn't raise nor cut taxes, merely show how taxes CAN work. "Cut" eight million out of the budget in stupid crap, and based on averages, hold state lotteries where 151 lucky people could get a kidney transplant or something equivalent. Alternatively fifty people could get a free house. My point is, that what costs the individual a few cents in taxes, can change a person's life. So yes... people can suck it up and pushout some taxes, especially the rich.

Thank you for making these points.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 3:55:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.

There's no reason to discourage him. All opinions are welcome here(or at least should be).
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 4:00:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I like your posts but these seem too much based on emotion for me. I agree with a much more compassionate society(I go as far as a gift-economy) but I am more primarily focused on why such a thing is logical. I recognize that, ultimately, my pursuits of empathy are selfish in nature. It makes me feel good to make sure that no one is suffering, that is how we evolved and that is why I find it logical to pursue it.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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11/9/2010 4:03:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 3:55:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.

There's no reason to discourage him. All opinions are welcome here(or at least should be).

Don't confuse "welcome" with "tolerate": from your friend jimprofit - "I see homosexuals as disgusting, but in the same way as a rotting corpse. Can't wait to get rid of it, but it's self contained. It isn't going anywhere.". Thanks so much for bringing him on board, and don't expect me to "welcome" that opinion. Even the Muslims here haven't said anything this vile.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 4:09:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:03:35 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 3:55:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.

There's no reason to discourage him. All opinions are welcome here(or at least should be).

Don't confuse "welcome" with "tolerate": from your friend jimprofit - "I see homosexuals as disgusting, but in the same way as a rotting corpse. Can't wait to get rid of it, but it's self contained. It isn't going anywhere.". Thanks so much for bringing him on board, and don't expect me to "welcome" that opinion. Even the Muslims here haven't said anything this vile.

LOL, Jim takes another victum. It's ok, most people fall into the trap. He posts often on facebook statuses and somehow manages to piss EVERYONE off...well, almost. I guess it takes one to know one.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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11/9/2010 4:13:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:09:37 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:03:35 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 3:55:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.

There's no reason to discourage him. All opinions are welcome here(or at least should be).

Don't confuse "welcome" with "tolerate": from your friend jimprofit - "I see homosexuals as disgusting, but in the same way as a rotting corpse. Can't wait to get rid of it, but it's self contained. It isn't going anywhere.". Thanks so much for bringing him on board, and don't expect me to "welcome" that opinion. Even the Muslims here haven't said anything this vile.

LOL, Jim takes another victum. It's ok, most people fall into the trap. He posts often on facebook statuses and somehow manages to piss EVERYONE off...well, almost. I guess it takes one to know one.

I have no interest in knowing him, nor any interest in being taken as him, and i think the site could have done better without him.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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11/9/2010 4:18:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Hey, you stupid motherf*cker, there are plenty of godd*mn reasons soshulism won't work. u can luk @ the scandinavian modul, fer exampuhl, and note that they're real b*tches for thinking that sustainability is possible in a consumerist, post-productive economik environment. After all, people want to be f*cking journalists, not dokturs or enguhneers! Still, many socialist countries, like Norway, rely on exporting usefulness so that they can stay in their corner of the world like leisurely old geezers (see: Norway's use of oil). Also, see the Norwegian term "Syden". Also also, see socialism's dependence on immigration and small populations to survive, since managing as many people as the US has under a socialist system is a sh*tty-@ss plan.

By the way, don't you dare critique my style. Substance only.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 4:18:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:13:03 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:09:37 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:03:35 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 3:55:49 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:28:54 PM, innomen wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:26:42 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is actually a good post, but I only got half way through it.

Don't encourage him.

There's no reason to discourage him. All opinions are welcome here(or at least should be).

Don't confuse "welcome" with "tolerate": from your friend jimprofit - "I see homosexuals as disgusting, but in the same way as a rotting corpse. Can't wait to get rid of it, but it's self contained. It isn't going anywhere.". Thanks so much for bringing him on board, and don't expect me to "welcome" that opinion. Even the Muslims here haven't said anything this vile.

LOL, Jim takes another victum. It's ok, most people fall into the trap. He posts often on facebook statuses and somehow manages to piss EVERYONE off...well, almost. I guess it takes one to know one.

I have no interest in knowing him, nor any interest in being taken as him, and i think the site could have done better without him.

Here, maybe this will help:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com...
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 4:24:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:19:20 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:18:19 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Here, maybe this will help:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com...
250,000mg is quite an overdose.

I think that's 250.000
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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11/9/2010 4:29:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:24:21 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:19:20 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:18:19 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Here, maybe this will help:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com...
250,000mg is quite an overdose.

I think that's 250.000
Yes, I see. In my nation it is comma for e.g. 250 thousand (250,000) so I make mistakes sometimes.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/9/2010 4:36:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 2:58:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2010 2:17:29 PM, innomen wrote:
You understand that this isn't a blog right? Generally speaking, posts more than 2 paragraphs aren't going to be read, unless the person posting has a reputation for really good posts, and that ain't you.

Could it perhaps, possibly, conceivably, in the wildest stretch of the imagination be the case that your real problem with my posts and writing is that you don't like my ideas and this biases you against my posts? After all, we're pretty much at the opposite poles of the socio-political spectrum, you identify as a Libertarian, and my views, whether I wear the label or not, are pretty transparently socialist. I suspect that you don't really like what I have to say and so you get personal about it and attack the style and verbosity with which I express myself. If I were chiming in with your viewpoint 100% down the line, if my mentality was an absolute clone of your own, I doubt you'd be inclined to get so negatively ad hominem. Come on, be intellectually honest and go after what really bugs you, my thinking, not my writing. Or would it be too challenging for you to dissect my stances rather than put down my style?

I could have said that in about two sentences. Let's edit your post for concision, shall we?

"Could it be that your real problem is that you don't like my ideas? We're political opposites. If I agreed with your viewpoint I doubt you'd resort to personal attacks. Be intellectually honest and go after my thinking, not my writing. Or would that be too challenging for you?"

Better?

(BTW, this also applies to everyone else who delights in laying into my posts rather than the points I make in them. Y'all don't realize how petty and intellectually weak critiquing style instead of analyzing substance make you look.)

No, actually I criticize you for substituting style for substance, but doing it so incompetently that whatever dubious substance your post may contain is buried beneath a thick, impenetrable layer of bullsh*t.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/9/2010 4:40:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:00:15 PM, FREEDO wrote:
I like your posts but these seem too much based on emotion for me. I agree with a much more compassionate society(I go as far as a gift-economy) but I am more primarily focused on why such a thing is logical. I recognize that, ultimately, my pursuits of empathy are selfish in nature. It makes me feel good to make sure that no one is suffering, that is how we evolved and that is why I find it logical to pursue it.

Thanks for these thoughts. I'm familiar with socio-biology/evolutionary psychology, and the whole selfish gene theory that everything we do is ultimately motivated by our selfish desire on a genetic level to enhance our survivability, but reducing all morality and human goodness to roundabout self-interest is too pat an evolutionary catchall explanation, and way too materialistic for me. There are real values other than personal or group survival that human beings can appreciate and be motivated by.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/9/2010 4:45:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:36:01 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

I criticize you for substituting style for substance, but doing it so incompetently that whatever dubious substance your post may contain is buried beneath a thick, impenetrable layer of bullsh*t.

Spoken like another sweet-natured Libertarian rationalizing his hostility to my viewpoint.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 4:54:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:40:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:00:15 PM, FREEDO wrote:
There are real values other than personal or group survival that human beings can appreciate and be motivated by.

Sure, but upon what basis do we have to follow them? My personal highest value is happiness, so I agree--I'm just begging the question.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/9/2010 5:00:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:45:17 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:36:01 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I criticize you for substituting style for substance, but doing it so incompetently that whatever dubious substance your post may contain is buried beneath a thick, impenetrable layer of bullsh*t.

Spoken like another sweet-natured Libertarian rationalizing his hostility to my viewpoint.

See now? That was much more to the point. You're making progress.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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11/9/2010 5:03:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 5:00:51 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:45:17 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:36:01 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I criticize you for substituting style for substance, but doing it so incompetently that whatever dubious substance your post may contain is buried beneath a thick, impenetrable layer of bullsh*t.

Spoken like another sweet-natured Libertarian rationalizing his hostility to my viewpoint.

See now? That was much more to the point. You're making progress.

J.Kenyon has conceded! Let this day be forever remembered.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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11/9/2010 5:05:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/9/2010 4:29:38 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:24:21 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:19:20 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 11/9/2010 4:18:19 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Here, maybe this will help:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com...
250,000mg is quite an overdose.

I think that's 250.000
Yes, I see. In my nation it is comma for e.g. 250 thousand (250,000) so I make mistakes sometimes.

it is here too.

and you were right the first time.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."