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Are you a classical liberal/libertarian?
Yes. 50%  50%  [ 12 ]
No. 50%  50%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 24

The_Walrus
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20 Dec 2017, 2:02 pm

Hyeokgeose wrote:
As for your political compass, you use the one that is based off of arbitrary standards, in which the "far right" features collectivist socialists, libertarians, and a odd mix of whatever other groups that the modern left disagrees with. Meanwhile, the one I use, the one many use but isn't mainstream, is based off of philosophy. Philosophy doesn't change, policy and opinion does -- that is how a philosophical spectrum is more logical, and it's not just my logic. There's a lot to this world we do not know, as we are all ignorant; and in this case, you are not aware of other methods of analyzing politics. I take a philosophical approach, looking at the philosophy behind policy; you seem to take the more common approach of accepting what is given at the surface (not to be confused with an offense) and following abit more emotionally (i.e. use of the arbitrary compass -- which, is not completely arbitrary, but it's quite arbitrary in many aspects in regards to its application).

I don't think this is accurate. For one thing, the assumption that I'd never come across your way of classifying the left-right axis and that my criticisms of you must come from ignorance rather than disagreement is unfounded.

Your approach is no more philosophically-based than the average person's. You put yourself on one side, everyone you dislike on the other (regardless of how philosophically similar they are), then come up with a post-hoc philosophical justification for it, and claim that everyone else's approach is wrong because you disagree with it.

There is nothing that makes collectivist-individualist a more "appropriate" or "intellectual" or "philosophical" axis than the hierarchical-egalitarian one which most people reflexively use. This axis groups social democrats with communists as well as putting libertarians with fascists, so you can't complain that it's a left-wing construction to paint you in a bad light (and also it was literally invented by classic liberals who placed themselves on the left). Personally, when I use "left" and "right" I try to use it to refer to market freedom, but that's also not "correct" and I do find myself slipping into hierarchy-equality sometimes (like calling Trumpism "right-wing" despite its strong protectionist streak).

Where we disagree is on philosophy of language. You seem to be a prescriptivist: you think there's an ideal definition of a word and you'd like everyone else to follow your definition. I think that words mean what they are used to mean, and definitions are records of how words have been used rather than instructions on how to use them.

If you want to measure political philosophies based on a collectivist-individualist scale then that's fine. Just don't claim that this is "the true left-right scale" and that everyone else is wrong. You don't get to tell people that they're using words incorrectly; words get their definitions from organic bottom-up processes rather than centralised dictation.

I also think it's important to acknowledge more than one difference in philosophy. Your individualist philosophy shares aspects with anarcho-communism and centrist liberalism, as well as Pinochet. It presumably shares republicanism with Marxist-Leninism, for example. It's OK for very different philosophies to have points of similarity. Why not take a nuanced approach rather than trying to relate everything to a single dimension?

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From what I gather, you seem to find liberty in collectivism, which is contradictory. Would you be up for discussion, comparing our views, for further or better understanding? Trying to find some/more common ground as that is essential to all discussion.

Sure.

Firstly, I would argue that collectivism is not the opposite of individualism, although I have casually used it as such above. Individualism emphasises the importance of the individual in moral systems. Collectivism emphasises the importance of collaboration and cohesiveness. I would argue that collectivism emerges from individualism. Most people are naturally very social, and given freedom will form groups with local or like-minded individuals in order to collaborate towards common goals. Friedman's pencil is a perfect example. An ideal philosophy would aim to simultaneously maximise the rights of the individual while also encouraging cohesive group functioning.

Liberalism is a philosophy which is opposed to tyranny. We probably agree that one of the major forms is government tyranny. Governments do all sorts of illiberal things: suppression of free speech, asset seizure, restricting the right of assembly, preventing you from pursuing tastes which do not harm others, and so on. Liberal systems restrict this sort of thing. They encourage freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation (list copied from Wikipedia).

Liberals don't stop there, though, also acknowledging other forms of tyranny. Individuals, groups, and corporations can act in ways which suppress the liberty of others just as effectively as the government. Even most libertarians will agree that it would be tyrannical of me to shoot you (except in self-defence) and that the government should stop me from doing so, even though it would "restrict my freedom". The benefits to you, and the preservation of your right to life, greatly outweigh the deprivation of liberty that I incur from having my freedom to murder you curtailed. Most libertarians would continue to argue that it's fine for the state to provide courts to try me and prisons to hold me if I am found guilty.

Services like this should be funded by taxation. Taxes will necessarily provide limits on people's economic freedom, but the benefits of the services they provide should outweigh that. It is better to tax in a manner that has minimal economic impact. It is better to tax disposable income and spending on luxury goods than essential income and essential spending, as taxing essentials will have a greater impact on people's liberty. It is better to tax unearned income than earned income. It is better to tax in a way that encourages socially desirable behaviours, discourages socially harmful behaviours, and allows for negative externalities to be compensated for.

Given this, the most desirable taxes are Georgian taxes like Land Value Tax, Pigovian taxes such as on cigarettes or carbon emissions, and progressive inheritance tax. These have limited revenue-generating possibilities. The most useful taxes for generating revenue are income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, and sales taxes (with VAT being the best form). Of those, corporation tax does more harm than good, while VAT isn't progressive unless you add exceptions and that introduces bureaucracy. Capital gains tax needs to be set at a relatively low rate to encourage investment. That leaves income, which should be taxed progressively, with an untaxed "personal allowance" to cover basic living costs, and higher earners paying more tax with a top rate no higher than 50%. Ideally, this system should be easy to understand and have a small number of tax bands, perhaps three or four.

OK, good stuff. So if we've got this far in agreement, then we've agreed that in some circumstances it it OK for the government to implement taxes in order to uphold rights. I include the right to an education and the right to affordable healthcare. You could reasonably include the right to water or the right to shelter or indeed the right to life's essentials. I believe in the importance of maintaining positive liberty as well as negative liberty. Negative liberty is lack of external restraint, positive liberty is the actual capacity to act upon one's free will. How can someone be said to be free if they are forced drag themselves to a horror job just to stay alive and drudge through life?

The government should also prosecute crimes other than murder - assault, rape, theft, fraud, extortion, blackmail, drunk driving, perjury...

The government should help facilitate civil disputes, such as breach of contract. Repeated failures could lead to criminal prosecution.

Currently, the balance of power in the employer-employee relationship is usually shifted towards the employer in a way which deprives the employee of some of their liberty. The employee usually has more to lose. It is appropriate for the government to provide protection against unfair dismissal, discrimination, and exploitation. This includes mandating the right to parental leave, holiday leave, and sick leave.

The government should concern itself with the rights of all citizens equally, and not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

The free market is a social good, leading to greater prosperity. Government interventions in the free market should be limited. The government should not provide non-essential services, or even essential services which are adequately provided by the market. It should be easy to set up a business. The government should pursue comprehensive free trade deals wherever possible. There should be no barriers to immigration or emigration. Many present problems can be solved by easing regulation, most notably housebuilding. Nonetheless, the government should be aware of anticompetitive practices and be prepared to break up monopolies.

The government should be elected via a proportionally representative system such as STV. Power should be devolved to regions where practical, or shared with neighbouring countries where harmonisation is desirable. These bodies should also be elected proportionately.

That's my in-depth explanation of what I see as the role of government. I have avoided specific questions of policy (although I came close to the line on tax) and focused



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25 Dec 2017, 6:51 pm

Hyeokgeose wrote:
Hey,

Wondering how many other users here are classical liberals/libertarians. By that, I don't necessarily mean the Libertarian Party -- I myself am not affiliated with the party (since I'm a Turning Point USA activist, I'm registered with the GOP), but I have a libertarian set of beliefs.


I've never liked the term "classic liberal". The philosophers of the 18th century liberal enlightenment (with the exception of Thomas Hobbes) hated monarchy but they didn't universally support unregulated capitalism.

Additionally, a purely "libertarian" society wouldn't be very free for everyone. The poor would work constantly just to buy enough food to live. They would not be able to save money. They would eventually join communist groups out of desperation.

Communism was very popular in the United States during the Great Depression. What prevented the American communist revolution? Liberals like John Maynard Keynes and Franklin Roosevelt intervened in the economy. The commie mobs were pacified. Nowadays, American Communism is an insignificant fringe movement at best.

This isn't the only reason why libertarianism would be unsustainable. Whenever rich people exist, they always manipulate the government via lobbying unless there is legislation in place to prevent this. That's how subsidies, bailouts and corporate tax breaks come into existence, giving the "free market" a solid upper class. The rich then use the money that they receive in subsidies to manipulate the government even more. It's a vicious cycle that feeds on itself.

That's why Ron Paul never got elected. The megacorps didn't like him and so they funded the other Republican candidates. Perpetual war and neo-Zionism are good for the billionaires.

Modern "libertarianism" is yet another system that can never exist as long as lobbyists continue to fund mainstream modern crony capitalism. Even if legal restrictions against lobbying were created, "libertarianism" would continue to be a fringe movement because most people wouldn't vote for it.


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25 Dec 2017, 9:39 pm

Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


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25 Dec 2017, 9:56 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


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DarthMetaKnight
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25 Dec 2017, 10:14 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


I don't like it when people speak of "American values" as though they are some sort of ghostly thing that is separate from modern public opinion.

This attitude exists because people think that their country is unique and special ... until they read about other countries.

When conservatives speak of "American values", they are really just speaking of right-wing values. Most Americans don't agree with American conservatives. People who agree with American conservatives on every single issue can be found in every single country.

Max Stirner was right. Patriotism is a spook.


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25 Dec 2017, 10:22 pm

Nowadays I really don’t know where i’d Fall on the political spectrum. I’ve been thrown under the bus by both Dopeycrats and ReThuglicans, liberals and conservatives. I’m to the point at my age (i’ll Be 61 in roughly 9 months) that I no longer give a crock of sh!t. If I live to be 65, i’ll Consider myself lucky. I used to be a Cross between a Dopeycrat and a Rockefeller ReThuglican, with an extremely social conservative streak. (Abortion should be totally outlawed for ANY reason, anyone caught performing and receiving one means automatic death penalty. LGBTQ would be severely ostracized that they wouldn’t dare come out of the closet, severe corporal punishment would be reintroduced into the schools for even the slightest misdeeds, girls that got pregnant for any reason out of wedlock would be forced to give up their babies immediately after birth, then be forced to have a complete hysterectomy, then either forced into to a convent, or live the rest of their miserable life in the gutter like the slut they turned out to be, boys who make these girls pregnant out of wedlock would be immediately castrated. Yeah, I going to have a lot more people turn against me here, but I no longer really give a damn. (Yes, my holiday turned out to be sh!t. I’ve been in a bad funk and depression, as well as having the sexual nightmares several nights a week, waking up with the screaming Mimi’s at 3:00 in the morning!)


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25 Dec 2017, 10:57 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


I don't like it when people speak of "American values" as though they are some sort of ghostly thing that is separate from modern public opinion.

This attitude exists because people think that their country is unique and special ... until they read about other countries.

When conservatives speak of "American values", they are really just speaking of right-wing values. Most Americans don't agree with American conservatives. People who agree with American conservatives on every single issue can be found in every single country.

Max Stirner was right. Patriotism is a spook.


No argument from me.


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26 Dec 2017, 4:23 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


I don't like it when people speak of "American values" as though they are some sort of ghostly thing that is separate from modern public opinion.

This attitude exists because people think that their country is unique and special ... until they read about other countries.

When conservatives speak of "American values", they are really just speaking of right-wing values. Most Americans don't agree with American conservatives. People who agree with American conservatives on every single issue can be found in every single country.

Max Stirner was right. Patriotism is a spook.


No argument from me.


"Southern American values" are a lunatic fringe that actually exists in every single country.

Here's an experiment that American neo-Confederates should try. Talk to Sudanese Arab Nationalists about the American Civil War. Chances are, they will say "Yeah, I agree! Abe Lincoln was a scumbag! The south should have won! If I lived in the American South right now, I would proudly use a Confederate Flag!"

You'll probably get the exact same reaction if you speak to the Japanese far-right ... or the British National Party ... or Front National ... or Alternative für Deutschland ... or Varg Vikernes ... or the Australian National Party ... or Black Pigeon Speaks (who is Canadian) ... or Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging ... or Golden Dawn ... or Alexander Lukashenko ... or Русское Национальное Единство (Russian National Unity) ... or ... I could go on like this all day long. This sort of thing exists in every country.

When the south lost the American Civil War, the whole world read about it in the newspaper ... and far-right jackasses all over the world were upset about it.


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Kraichgauer
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26 Dec 2017, 4:32 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


I don't like it when people speak of "American values" as though they are some sort of ghostly thing that is separate from modern public opinion.

This attitude exists because people think that their country is unique and special ... until they read about other countries.

When conservatives speak of "American values", they are really just speaking of right-wing values. Most Americans don't agree with American conservatives. People who agree with American conservatives on every single issue can be found in every single country.

Max Stirner was right. Patriotism is a spook.


No argument from me.


"Southern American values" are a lunatic fringe that actually exists in every single country.

Here's an experiment that American neo-Confederates should try. Talk to Sudanese Arab Nationalists about the American Civil War. Chances are, they will say "Yeah, I agree! Abe Lincoln was a scumbag! The south should have won! If I lived in the American South right now, I would proudly use a Confederate Flag!"

You'll probably get the exact same reaction if you speak to the Japanese far-right ... or the British National Party ... or Front National ... or Alternative für Deutschland ... or Varg Vikernes ... or the Australian National Party ... or Black Pigeon Speaks (who is Canadian) ... or Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging ... or Golden Dawn ... or Alexander Lukashenko ... or Русское Национальное Единство (Russian National Unity) ... or ... I could go on like this all day long. This sort of thing exists in every country.

When the south lost the American Civil War, the whole world read about it in the newspaper ... and far-right jackasses all over the world were upset about it.


Doesn't surprise me; nationalist loons are nationalist loons, regardless of background.
But...Black Pigeon Speaks? There are people who call pigeons, rats with wings. So what the hell?


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26 Dec 2017, 4:32 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Darmok wrote:
I'm one. It's the American Way. :D


There is no one "American Way". The "American Way" has changed several times in the past.

Thus, the entire concept of "American values" is rather vague. In any country, the entire concept of "our values" is pretty vague.

The most popular politician in America right now is Bernie Sanders. Does this make him the new "American way"?


I, for one, certainly hope so.


I don't like it when people speak of "American values" as though they are some sort of ghostly thing that is separate from modern public opinion.

This attitude exists because people think that their country is unique and special ... until they read about other countries.

When conservatives speak of "American values", they are really just speaking of right-wing values. Most Americans don't agree with American conservatives. People who agree with American conservatives on every single issue can be found in every single country.

Max Stirner was right. Patriotism is a spook.


No argument from me.


"Southern American values" are a lunatic fringe that actually exists in every single country.

Here's an experiment that American neo-Confederates should try. Talk to Sudanese Arab Nationalists about the American Civil War. Chances are, they will say "Yeah, I agree! Abe Lincoln was a scumbag! The south should have won! If I lived in the American South right now, I would proudly use a Confederate Flag!"

You'll probably get the exact same reaction if you speak to the Japanese far-right ... or the British National Party ... or Front National ... or Alternative für Deutschland ... or Varg Vikernes ... or the Australian National Party ... or Black Pigeon Speaks (who is Canadian) ... or Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging ... or Golden Dawn ... or Alexander Lukashenko ... or Русское Национальное Единство (Russian National Unity) ... or ... I could go on like this all day long. This sort of thing exists in every country.

When the south lost the American Civil War, the whole world read about it in the newspaper ... and far-right jackasses all over the world were upset about it.


Doesn't surprise me; nationalist loons are nationalist loons, regardless of background.
But...Black Pigeon Speaks? There are people who call pigeons, rats with wings. So what the hell?


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26 Dec 2017, 10:45 pm

Meistersinger wrote:
Nowadays I really don’t know where i’d Fall on the political spectrum. I’ve been thrown under the bus by both Dopeycrats and ReThuglicans, liberals and conservatives. I’m to the point at my age (i’ll Be 61 in roughly 9 months) that I no longer give a crock of sh!t. If I live to be 65, i’ll Consider myself lucky. I used to be a Cross between a Dopeycrat and a Rockefeller ReThuglican, with an extremely social conservative streak. (Abortion should be totally outlawed for ANY reason, anyone caught performing and receiving one means automatic death penalty. LGBTQ would be severely ostracized that they wouldn’t dare come out of the closet, severe corporal punishment would be reintroduced into the schools for even the slightest misdeeds, girls that got pregnant for any reason out of wedlock would be forced to give up their babies immediately after birth, then be forced to have a complete hysterectomy, then either forced into to a convent, or live the rest of their miserable life in the gutter like the slut they turned out to be, boys who make these girls pregnant out of wedlock would be immediately castrated. Yeah, I going to have a lot more people turn against me here, but I no longer really give a damn. (Yes, my holiday turned out to be sh!t. I’ve been in a bad funk and depression, as well as having the sexual nightmares several nights a week, waking up with the screaming Mimi’s at 3:00 in the morning!)


Fine. I guess there are certain social conservative ideals that can still be preferable these days. But why are you going off the most extreme end of that?



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27 Dec 2017, 2:32 am

Hollywood_Guy wrote:
Meistersinger wrote:
Nowadays I really don’t know where i’d Fall on the political spectrum. I’ve been thrown under the bus by both Dopeycrats and ReThuglicans, liberals and conservatives. I’m to the point at my age (i’ll Be 61 in roughly 9 months) that I no longer give a crock of sh!t. If I live to be 65, i’ll Consider myself lucky. I used to be a Cross between a Dopeycrat and a Rockefeller ReThuglican, with an extremely social conservative streak. (Abortion should be totally outlawed for ANY reason, anyone caught performing and receiving one means automatic death penalty. LGBTQ would be severely ostracized that they wouldn’t dare come out of the closet, severe corporal punishment would be reintroduced into the schools for even the slightest misdeeds, girls that got pregnant for any reason out of wedlock would be forced to give up their babies immediately after birth, then be forced to have a complete hysterectomy, then either forced into to a convent, or live the rest of their miserable life in the gutter like the slut they turned out to be, boys who make these girls pregnant out of wedlock would be immediately castrated. Yeah, I going to have a lot more people turn against me here, but I no longer really give a damn. (Yes, my holiday turned out to be sh!t. I’ve been in a bad funk and depression, as well as having the sexual nightmares several nights a week, waking up with the screaming Mimi’s at 3:00 in the morning!)


Fine. I guess there are certain social conservative ideals that can still be preferable these days. But why are you going off the most extreme end of that?


It was the way I was raised. Dishonor the family name, and you’ll be shot, strung up by your gonads in the AM in public to be totally humiliated, taken down in the PM and shot again. Doesn’t matter if you were innocent of the charges. They believed the only way to raise a child was to break them the same way you break a horse: destroy their spirit and personality into total submission.


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27 Dec 2017, 5:13 am

I think it would be safe to say that you aren't any type of liberal. If you're an economic liberal then it would probably be fairer to describe you as fiscally conservative.



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27 Dec 2017, 4:13 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
I think it would be safe to say that you aren't any type of liberal. If you're an economic liberal then it would probably be fairer to describe you as fiscally conservative.


Yeah, but isn't fiscally conservative still a primarily "Aglo-phile" term, if not even exclusive only to American terminology?

Also, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to trust or not, someone who lives outside my own country to define other's usage or political philosophical meaning, considering here. :?



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27 Dec 2017, 8:47 pm

Hollywood_Guy wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
I think it would be safe to say that you aren't any type of liberal. If you're an economic liberal then it would probably be fairer to describe you as fiscally conservative.


Yeah, but isn't fiscally conservative still a primarily "Aglo-phile" term, if not even exclusive only to American terminology?

Given that we're speaking English, it seems fair enough.

I think it's useful to differentiate between small government motivated by conservativism ("that's what it says in the constitution"/"people on welfare are scroungers!") and small government motivated by liberalism ("I have the right to choose how my money is spent"/"private enterprise is more effective than public expenditure"). There is often overlap, and there may be more categories, but it seems rather ludicrous to call theocrats anything like "liberal".