Monday, August 01, 2005

Fun With Hippies

I went to the Orange County Fair this weekend and amongst the festivities and frivolities I found a display for the Green Party which was attended to by a couple of aging hippies. I rubbed my hands together in that mad scientist BWAHAHAHA sort of way, put on my best game face and approached the booth.

There was a 'NO WAR IN IRAQ' sign, something about encouraging democracy and other assorted posters about saving the environment, etc. The only thing really missing was a sign demanding the legalization of pot.

The woman, did most of the talking. She asked, "Are you a Green or are you just looking for information?"

I replied honestly, "I really don't know too much about the Green Party, what are you all about?"

She smiled and seemed relieved that I didn't appear to be there for a heated political argument. She proceeded to explain that they're against the war in Iraq and that they support responsible environmental policies, social justice, getting the money out of politics etc.; they were just typical talking points. I was nodding my head and listening attentively and forming my battle plan in my head.

She directed my attention to a folder they had on the table describing their Ten Key Values which I have conveniently provided a link for. When I saw the first item, I knew that I was going to have some fun.

Grassroots Democracy

I looked right at the hippy man with a confused look and asked, "Why on earth would we want a Democracy?" I shifted my eyes back and forth between the two and waited for a reply. They didn't really know what to say. They couldn't even comprehend that anyone could possibly have a problem with democracy.

One of them finally replied with something about everyone deserving to have a voice in the system. "Democracy is just mob rule," I said. "We elect our respresentatives to decide certain things for us and if they don't do a goo job we replace them."

"But the system is broken," says Hippie Man, "there is too much corporate money in politics. With our system of democracy, we wouldn't have to worry about mob rule because we have an 80/20 system that would prevent that sort of thing."

That confused me a little and I asked, "Doesn't that mean that 20% of the population could hold the other 80% hostage by withholding their consent from various issues?"

Hippie Chick says, "Err, well, yes, sort of but out structure encourages cooperation and since all of the corporate money would be out of the political process, we wouldn't have as much corruption so it would be a smooth process."

From there, the conversation took a turn in to the evils of Corporate America and they were stunned because I was mostly agreeing with them. I was biding my time, waiting for the next opportunity to twist their heads off. Wait for it....

Hippie Chick says, "Capitalism doesn't work because the corporations dominate people and we don't have as many choices." DING! DING! DING! Folks, we have a winner.

I put up my index finger to indicate that I wanted her to pause. "We don't have a capitalist system now. What you have been describing is corporate statism."

It was as if every sound and movement at the fair had slowed to a crawl. I could tell they were trying to absorb that term. They heard it before but didn't understand it and couldn't figure out if they should be upset or not. I had mercy on their poor souls and explained what I meant. I continued to explain why a more pure market economy would provide so much better for the needs of everyone than our current system.

The whole conversation was about 15 minutes long. They thought they were getting through to me because I was agreeing with them and I kept dropping bombs on them that they had never had to defend before. I told them the minmum wage should be elimated and Hippy Chick nearly had a stroke. She started spouting off about the intrinsic value of every human being and there is no reason someone with computer science degree should be paid more than someone working at McDonalds becuase we all need to have the same opportunities. She ignored everything I said about scarcity in the labor pool and reviled the corporations yet again.

Alas, the conversation could not continue, Little Dif was doing the pee-pee dance and when she's got to go, she's got to go.

Hippies are fun.