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(Townhall)   "Honestly, what does being a Libertarian mean beyond legalizing drugs, banging hookers and sitting by while the rest of the world blows itself up?"   (townhall.com) divider line 499
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1806 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Nov 2013 at 9:43 AM (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-08 04:24:24 AM

RanDomino: Phinn
Of course, the whole idea that "hoarding" or "property" is bad and wrong in the first place DEPENDS upon the idea that the person who wants to take the good in question has a superior right to it, and thus that the person resisting the taking has no right to do so. In other words, it affirms the principle of property rights, in the same instance that it attempts to deny it. Contradiction. Fail. QED.

Which definition of "property" are you referring to?


The right to control the use of an object.
 
2013-11-08 04:41:54 AM

The Martian Manhandler: [www.leftycartoons.com image 650x976]


I simply have to read that strip in full every time someone posts it.
 
2013-11-08 07:49:57 AM

technicolor-misfit: Gulper Eel: "Fraud? It's a lot easier to swap a benefits card for booze than it is to swap a cabbage. Oversight turns out to be a whole lot easier when the program is distributing something that's not money."


As usual, the right-winger doesn't give a shiat about embezzlement or graft... only making sure the poors don't get any pleasure on his dime.

Well he cares about embezzlement and graft when it's his books that are getting audited by the men in the suits. But then it's only enough to decriminalize his own graft.

 
2013-11-08 08:26:01 AM

technicolor-misfit: As usual, the right-winger doesn't give a shiat about embezzlement or graft... only making sure the poors don't get any pleasure on his dime.


You're going to have to reconcile that talking point with the "evil megafood corporations are addicting people to unhealthy food" talking point.

...unless the position of subsidizing and then taxing or banning heavily-processed food somehow makes sense in your world.
 
2013-11-08 09:58:47 AM
RanDomino:

I like you man, I really do, but I don't know why you have such a raging hard-on for Bakunin.  The man advocated no transitional government after a workers revolution.  That has happened exactly 0 times.  He advocated not working within the system to make the workers life easier, i.e. fighting to lower hours spent at work.  He formed secret societies trying to co-opt the first international, he failed.  On top of all this he was a raging anti-Semite.  He was probably an anti-Semite because Marx was born Jewish, but that is pure speculation.
 
2013-11-08 10:04:17 AM

Gulper Eel: technicolor-misfit: As usual, the right-winger doesn't give a shiat about embezzlement or graft... only making sure the poors don't get any pleasure on his dime.

You're going to have to reconcile that talking point with the "evil megafood corporations are addicting people to unhealthy food" talking point.

...unless the position of subsidizing and then taxing or banning heavily-processed food somehow makes sense in your world.



Only if I subscribe to and promote that talking point.
 
2013-11-08 10:22:27 AM

FarkedOver: RanDomino:

I like you man, I really do, but I don't know why you have such a raging hard-on for Bakunin.  The man advocated no transitional government after a workers revolution.  That has happened exactly 0 times.  He advocated not working within the system to make the workers life easier, i.e. fighting to lower hours spent at work.  He formed secret societies trying to co-opt the first international, he failed.  On top of all this he was a raging anti-Semite.  He was probably an anti-Semite because Marx was born Jewish, but that is pure speculation.


Furthermore:

memecrunch.com
Those sailors got what they deserved.
 
2013-11-08 10:43:46 AM
I like Ran Domino too, even though he's completely wrong on some major points. His ideology is infinitely preferable to the pap spewed by the hordes of professional moderates on Fark, whose most complex thought consists of "Both sides are bad! The best idea must be somewhere in the middle!"

That sort of throw-away comment (repeated daily around here) is a non-thought. A non-principle. It's the negation of rationality and principle altogether. Its proponents go about their lives assuming that the political opinions of others must somehow average into something approaching truth.

The Creed of the Moderate is a sentiment that says nothing, posits nothing, proves nothing, and is only notable as an exceptional way to avoid thinking.
 
2013-11-08 10:54:05 AM
Phinn
The right to control the use of an object.

Based on...?


FarkedOver
The man advocated no transitional government after a workers revolution. That has happened exactly 0 times.

Tell me about all the times a transitional government scheme has resulted in worldwide communism.
Shall I list times that people have directly organized on collectivized terms without an institution of authority, in the wake of a social rupture (and then, often, get crushed by Marxists who run in screaming, "NO, NO, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!")?

Furthermore:

Really, the old "ties to the French" crap? Yes, there were French spies in Kronstadt delivering reports to their superiors. But there is zero evidence that they had any input in the decision to revolt.

And these guys were total "reactionaries" as you can see from their demands:

1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.
2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.
4. The organisation, at the latest on 10 March 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt and the Petrograd District.
5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
9. The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labour.
12. We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.
13. We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.
14. We demand the institution of mobile workers' control groups.
15. We demand that handicraft production be authorised, provided it does not utilise wage labour.

Look at that list. Why, they're practically calling for the reintroduction of feudalism.

He advocated not working within the system to make the workers life easier, i.e. fighting to lower hours spent at work.

"Not working within the system" meaning not using the State, which is inherently an institution of oppression and exploitation of workers.

He formed secret societies trying to co-opt the first international

Right, "secret societies". As in "openly advocating his position from the start". Oh and BTW he was right about the Marxist political strategy leading to Statist authoritarianism.
 
2013-11-08 10:58:54 AM

Phinn: I like Ran Domino too, even though he's completely wrong on some major points. His ideology is infinitely preferable to the pap spewed by the hordes of professional moderates on Fark, whose most complex thought consists of "Both sides are bad! The best idea must be somewhere in the middle!"

That sort of throw-away comment (repeated daily around here) is a non-thought. A non-principle. It's the negation of rationality and principle altogether. Its proponents go about their lives assuming that the political opinions of others must somehow average into something approaching truth.

The Creed of the Moderate is a sentiment that says nothing, posits nothing, proves nothing, and is only notable as an exceptional way to avoid thinking.


Ran's flaw in thinking is that he believes the bourgeois will simply just vanish.  Marxist understand that, that has NEVER happened and you need a workers state to protect the gains of any workers revolution.  Simply having a revolution and resting on your laurels is a great way to die.

Bakunin's thinking of man and freedom was short-sighted at best.  He saw man as a natural species and defines freedom as acting naturally.  Marx was correct in his analysis that man constantly strives to lift himself/herself above nature.  Man uses nature to their will and that freedom is working collectively and acting rationally.

Capitalists will point out that this is not the way the world works.  Marx would also agree with you.  Marx would go on to tell you that the point isn't to explain how the world works, the point is to change how the world works.  Marx believes that man is perfectly capable of making the rational choice to work together for the betterment of everyone.  To suggest man cannot is not giving man enough credit.
 
2013-11-08 11:06:46 AM

RanDomino: Tell me about all the times a transitional government scheme has resulted in worldwide communism.
Shall I list times that people have directly organized on collectivized terms without an institution of authority, in the wake of a social rupture (and then, often, get crushed by Marxists who run in screaming, "NO, NO, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!")?


You blame anarchists failures on Marxists.  I blame Marxist failures on capitalists...

RanDomino: Really, the old "ties to the French" crap? Yes, there were French spies in Kronstadt delivering reports to their superiors. But there is zero evidence that they had any input in the decision to revolt.

And these guys were total "reactionaries" as you can see from their demands:

1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.
2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.
4. The organisation, at the latest on 10 March 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt and the Petrograd District.
5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
9. The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of ac ...


At this early point in the USSRs history there were foreign governments trying to subvert the people's will.  There was a policy of "war communism".  These reactionaries, yes they were exactly that, were not getting what they wanted and pitched a biatch fit because of it.  I'm sorry but war is hell and when you stage a counterrevolution during an already existing war you're asking for ass beating.  The Bolsheviks made the absolute right call in destroying those traitors.  I would would make the same decision they did every day of the week.

Tell me again, how many successful anarchist revolutions have occurred?
 
2013-11-08 11:09:52 AM
I'm glad you realize that Bakunin was a vile bigot.  At least, I take your silence to mean that you understand that he was.

Oh yeah didn't the granddaddy of anarchism Proudhon give his support to the Confederate States of America? Yep, he did!

Seems like anarchists have always been on the wrong side of history a lot.
 
2013-11-08 11:19:59 AM
The right to control the use of an object.

Based on ....?

------------

Reality. People use objects, starting with our bodies, then food, and expanding out from there to potentially include every tangible thing humans can reach.

Uses conflict. We both can't eat the fish I caught. We both can't use the hammer I built. Conflict of use is called "rivalry." Rivalry can be resolved by either the Law of the Jungle, or by ethics.

The former needs no explanation or discussion.

Ethics as a mode of resolving rivalry means that conflicting uses need to be sorted into priorities. There must be some principled means of determining priority of use of things, or it's just Open Season on the weak. That system of principles is property.

Zeitgeist, Communism, and all the rest, pretend that property rights are bad and wrong, while at the same time claiming they have superior property rights to whatever objects they're seizing and usurping control over at the moment.
 
2013-11-08 11:26:54 AM

Phinn: Zeitgeist, Communism, and all the rest, pretend that property rights are bad and wrong, while at the same time claiming they have superior property rights to whatever objects they're seizing and usurping control over at the moment.


Private property used in the exploitation of the working class is wrong.  I don't think a communist or an anarchist would give a shiat about personal property, i.e. your hammer or fish you just caught.
 
2013-11-08 11:29:24 AM

FarkedOver: Phinn: I like Ran Domino too, even though he's completely wrong on some major points. His ideology is infinitely preferable to the pap spewed by the hordes of professional moderates on Fark, whose most complex thought consists of "Both sides are bad! The best idea must be somewhere in the middle!"

That sort of throw-away comment (repeated daily around here) is a non-thought. A non-principle. It's the negation of rationality and principle altogether. Its proponents go about their lives assuming that the political opinions of others must somehow average into something approaching truth.

The Creed of the Moderate is a sentiment that says nothing, posits nothing, proves nothing, and is only notable as an exceptional way to avoid thinking.

Ran's flaw in thinking is that he believes the bourgeois will simply just vanish.  Marxist understand that, that has NEVER happened and you need a workers state to protect the gains of any workers revolution.  Simply having a revolution and resting on your laurels is a great way to die.

Bakunin's thinking of man and freedom was short-sighted at best.  He saw man as a natural species and defines freedom as acting naturally.  Marx was correct in his analysis that man constantly strives to lift himself/herself above nature.  Man uses nature to their will and that freedom is working collectively and acting rationally.

Capitalists will point out that this is not the way the world works.  Marx would also agree with you.  Marx would go on to tell you that the point isn't to explain how the world works, the point is to change how the world works.  Marx believes that man is perfectly capable of making the rational choice to work together for the betterment of everyone.  To suggest man cannot is not giving man enough credit.


Marxists who believe that there needs to be a state, workers or not, are not really following Marx.
 
2013-11-08 11:31:01 AM

vygramul: Marxists who believe that there needs to be a state, workers or not, are not really following Marx.


Really? Do you know anything about the dictatorship of the proletariat and THEN the withering away of the state? You smash the bourgeois state and institute the workers state, i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat..... this is communism 101.
 
2013-11-08 11:33:02 AM

FarkedOver: You blame anarchists failures on Marxists.  I blame Marxist failures on capitalists...


But as you state, you cannot get rid of the bourgeois, and therefore Marxism cannot possibly succeed. The very premise upon which the entire theory rests is fundamentally flawed.
 
2013-11-08 11:34:13 AM

vygramul: FarkedOver: You blame anarchists failures on Marxists.  I blame Marxist failures on capitalists...

But as you state, you cannot get rid of the bourgeois, and therefore Marxism cannot possibly succeed. The very premise upon which the entire theory rests is fundamentally flawed.


No, that's not what I said.  I said that it hasn't happened.  That's not to say it isn't possible.
 
2013-11-08 11:34:43 AM

FarkedOver: vygramul: Marxists who believe that there needs to be a state, workers or not, are not really following Marx.

Really? Do you know anything about the dictatorship of the proletariat and THEN the withering away of the state? You smash the bourgeois state and institute the workers state, i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat..... this is communism 101.


Except you just said that you can't ever get rid of the bourgeois. Until you do, you can't have that withering away.
 
2013-11-08 11:36:20 AM

vygramul: Except you just said that you can't ever get rid of the bourgeois. Until you do, you can't have that withering away.


Again, not what I said.  I said that it hasn't happened.  That doesn't mean it is not possible.  I have never claimed that it is impossible to rid the world of the Bourgeois.  It just hasn't happened.  Do you see the difference?
 
2013-11-08 11:45:23 AM

FarkedOver: vygramul: Except you just said that you can't ever get rid of the bourgeois. Until you do, you can't have that withering away.

Again, not what I said.  I said that it hasn't happened.  That doesn't mean it is not possible.  I have never claimed that it is impossible to rid the world of the Bourgeois.  It just hasn't happened.  Do you see the difference?


To further expand, I would say it would be an impossibility to rid the world of the bourgeois via anarchist tactics.
 
2013-11-08 11:45:38 AM

FarkedOver: vygramul: Except you just said that you can't ever get rid of the bourgeois. Until you do, you can't have that withering away.

Again, not what I said.  I said that it hasn't happened.  That doesn't mean it is not possible.  I have never claimed that it is impossible to rid the world of the Bourgeois.  It just hasn't happened.  Do you see the difference?


Yes, the second time I said that came before I saw your clarification.

I would have to disagree that it would be any more possible than it is to get rid of all psychopaths.
 
2013-11-08 11:50:50 AM

FarkedOver: Phinn: Zeitgeist, Communism, and all the rest, pretend that property rights are bad and wrong, while at the same time claiming they have superior property rights to whatever objects they're seizing and usurping control over at the moment.

Private property used in the exploitation of the working class is wrong.  I don't think a communist or an anarchist would give a shiat about personal property, i.e. your hammer or fish you just caught.


Nobody has ever been able to explain what "exploitation" is and isn't. It's like pornography -- you're supposed to know it when you see it. It's a euphemism for "vague dissatisfactions I can use for political sloganeering."

Also, property is not the hammer or the fish. It's not the thing. Property is the abstract principle that determines the priority of use between 2 or more people regarding a thing.

There are only 2 possible ways to do that -- a principle, or a rock to the head.
 
2013-11-08 12:08:57 PM

Phinn: FarkedOver: Phinn: Zeitgeist, Communism, and all the rest, pretend that property rights are bad and wrong, while at the same time claiming they have superior property rights to whatever objects they're seizing and usurping control over at the moment.

Private property used in the exploitation of the working class is wrong.  I don't think a communist or an anarchist would give a shiat about personal property, i.e. your hammer or fish you just caught.

Nobody has ever been able to explain what "exploitation" is and isn't. It's like pornography -- you're supposed to know it when you see it. It's a euphemism for "vague dissatisfactions I can use for political sloganeering."

Also, property is not the hammer or the fish. It's not the thing. Property is the abstract principle that determines the priority of use between 2 or more people regarding a thing.

There are only 2 possible ways to do that -- a principle, or a rock to the head.


Exploitation isn't always a bad word.  Man exploits the land to grow food and keep himself fed.

In capitalism, you have one class of people, using (exploiting) another class of people to obtain more capital.  It's rather simple and not as convoluted as you're attempting to make it be (the definition of exploitation any way).  The capitalist pays the worker for their labor but in order to get a greater return on their initial investment, the worker can never be paid what they are truly worth.  The worker has no choice but to work for a class of people who have emancipated themselves from labor and are only able to do this is via the capitalists exploitation of the worker.
 
2013-11-08 12:45:16 PM

slayer199: EWreckedSean: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men "

Which going back to my original point, government exists to protect and defend individual liberty, not usurp it.


Your not very good at following conversations are you? How many times are you going to blast me in the same thread for agreeing with you? Not really helping your case...
 
2013-11-08 12:45:52 PM

FarkedOver: Phinn: FarkedOver: Phinn: Zeitgeist, Communism, and all the rest, pretend that property rights are bad and wrong, while at the same time claiming they have superior property rights to whatever objects they're seizing and usurping control over at the moment.

Private property used in the exploitation of the working class is wrong.  I don't think a communist or an anarchist would give a shiat about personal property, i.e. your hammer or fish you just caught.

Nobody has ever been able to explain what "exploitation" is and isn't. It's like pornography -- you're supposed to know it when you see it. It's a euphemism for "vague dissatisfactions I can use for political sloganeering."

Also, property is not the hammer or the fish. It's not the thing. Property is the abstract principle that determines the priority of use between 2 or more people regarding a thing.

There are only 2 possible ways to do that -- a principle, or a rock to the head.

Exploitation isn't always a bad word.  Man exploits the land to grow food and keep himself fed.

In capitalism, you have one class of people, using (exploiting) another class of people to obtain more capital.  It's rather simple and not as convoluted as you're attempting to make it be (the definition of exploitation any way).  The capitalist pays the worker for their labor but in order to get a greater return on their initial investment, the worker can never be paid what they are truly worth.  The worker has no choice but to work for a class of people who have emancipated themselves from labor and are only able to do this is via the capitalists exploitation of the worker.


Capital isn't a bad word either. It's just savings from prior production.

The person with savings wants to continue growing his wealth, as everyone does, and the laborer with no savings (esp. young people) has nothing to offer but his time. So they trade.

In other words, their needs are asymmetrical. The owner can afford to take more risk than the employee, so he pays the employee up front, long before the revenue from the labor actually arrives.

And the owner (or whoever is performing the entrepreneurial functions) does some critical, valuable tasks along the way, such as organizing everyone involved to a common purpose -- producing some thing. Labor doesn't organize itself. It doesn't direct itself. Someone must do the work of identifying the most desired good to produce and how to produce it. That's not easy. It takes innovation. It takes a keen analysis of other producers and the consumer's myriad unmet preferences, many of which can only be approximated.

Notice how collectivism, which tries to eliminate the entrepreneur, has trouble identifying what to produce, how much of each good to produce, and innovating how to produce them, all of which must be done in the face of a constantly changing economic landscape. Entrepreneurs are the ones who help everyone else perceive, forecast and thus adapt.

That's not exploitation. That's highly complex mutual cooperation, for mutual benefit.
 
2013-11-08 12:54:45 PM
FarkedOver
Ran's flaw in thinking is that he believes the bourgeois will simply just vanish

My first reaction is that you're totally nuts; but I suspect you may be so far down the rabbit hole that you buy the line that Anarchists are petit bourgeoisie because we oppose personal property being confiscated.

you need a workers state to protect/roll back the gains of any workers revolution

FTFY

You blame anarchists failures on Marxists.

More specifically, on trusting Marxists. It's a mistake we won't make again.

I blame Marxist failures on capitalists...

How does that make sense? "If it hadn't been for our sworn enemies, we would have won for sure!"

At this early point in the USSRs history there were foreign governments trying to subvert the people's will.

Blah blah blah. "OMG 17 COUNTRIES INVADED!"
Never mind that the Makhnovshchina was able to field an effective fighting force without having to turn into a totalitarian state. Which, by the way, saved Moscow's ass by annihilating Wrangel's rearguard. At no point were the Ukranians or Kronstadt sailors against the revolution; they were liquidated merely for refusing to bend knee to the Bolsheviks.
Communists think that pretending to be a conventional army is the only way to beat a conventional army, but that's a foolish strategy if the goal is anything other than to replicate a conventional State, with all its evils. Even from a military perspective, trying to beat an army with another army is symmetric warfare, which only works if you have superior resources. Thus the "Miracle on the Vistula" and the Fascist victory in the Spanish Civil War.

Oh yeah didn't the granddaddy of anarchism Proudhon give his support to the Confederate States of America? Yep, he did!

'Either the term "confederation" has some meaning, by virtue of which the founders of the Union sought to distinguish it strictly from all other political systems -- in which case, leaving aside the question of slavery, the North's war against the South is unjust; or else, under the guise of confederation, the secret intention has been to found a great empire when the time was ripe -- in which case, the Americans should remove from their platforms all reference to political liberty, the republic, democracy, confederation, even Union.'

and THEN the withering away of the state

lol okay

To further expand, I would say it would be an impossibility to rid the world of the bourgeois via anarchist tactics.

How would putting the means of production and property directly under the control of the people who use them, rather than letting them be owned by landlords and capitalists, not immediately erase the bourgeoisie as a class? Class is defined by relationship to means of production, yes?


Phinn
Reality. People use objects, starting with our bodies, then food, and expanding out from there to potentially include every tangible thing humans can reach.

Okay, so property ownership should be based on use. That's the anti-capitalist position.
 
2013-11-08 01:10:00 PM
"All property, indeed, except the savage's temporary cabin, his bow, his matchcoat, and other little acquisitions, absolutely necessary for his subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents, and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it.

All the property that is necessary to a man, for the conservation of the Individual and the propagation of the species, is his natural right, which none can justly deprive him of: but all property superfluous to such purposes is the property of the public, who, by their laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the welfare of the public shall demand such disposition. He that does not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages. He can have no right to the benefits of society, who will not pay his club towards the support of it."

- Benjamin Franklin

---

Since "civil society" is what allows a man to amass a fortune without all the trouble of building castles and armies to house and defend it, and civil society requires all its members to buy in and respect its laws and social arrangement, then society must "work" for everyone.

It cannot simply be a means of protecting the property of the wealthy from the poor. If it is, then it's invalid, unjust, and illegitimate... and those who are trampled underfoot by it would owe no duty to honor the social compacts which essentially enslave them and make them little more than property or cattle belonging to the men at the top who have rigged the system to their own benefit.

This is not to say that everyone should be equal and that there should be no such thing as wealth... but one extreme is as bad as another. To say that property is some sacred and utterly inviolable right that cannot be possibly be addressed or limited to prevent hardship and promote the greater good is to ignore the fact that extreme wealth owes its existence to the very society is made dysfunctional by extreme disparities in wealth.

At the end of the day, if you can ask (or force) an 18 year old to go die to preserve the health of the country which makes his liberty possible, then you can absolutely ask (or force) a billionaire to kick in a little more of his wealth or subject his companies to a little more regulation to ensure that common everyday Americans see a legitimate return on participating in and recognizing the legitimacy of that system that allows him live like Midas.

(and make no mistake... if the safety of this country or the security of its resources were in serious jeopardy, a draft would be reinstated lickety-split)
 
2013-11-08 01:15:40 PM

RanDomino: How would putting the means of production and property directly under the control of the people who use them, rather than letting them be owned by landlords and capitalists, not immediately erase the bourgeoisie as a class? Class is defined by relationship to means of production, yes?


I want exactly that, but I want a state apparatus and a red army to protect all of that.

If you and I were to talk to Joe Schmo on the street and explain our positions they'd be like.... "Ok, you guys are different how?"

Go ahead and don't trust Marxists, that is perfectly fine but you'll never get any where without us.

RanDomino: How does that make sense? "If it hadn't been for our sworn enemies, we would have won for sure!"


Because they are hell bent on making sure any leftist movement doesn't succeed.  I don't need to tell you think, you know this already.

RanDomino: How would putting the means of production and property directly under the control of the people who use them, rather than letting them be owned by landlords and capitalists, not immediately erase the bourgeoisie as a class? Class is defined by relationship to means of production, yes?


Just because the working class is in control of the means of production doesn't mean there won't be a bourgeoisie backlash.... You would have to make sure that this happened  globally in order for that to succeed, and that will not happen.
 
2013-11-08 01:27:55 PM
"Okay, so property ownership should be based on use. That's the anti-capitalist position."

Yes and no. Property is the set of ethical principles governing people's use of things. Use is not equivalent to ownership, or else we'd just be able to call it "use."

The first user of an unowned object becomes the owner. That's self-evident and axiomatic. Not King Muckity Muck claiming a new continent. Actual use of unowned things creates the first ownership.

The owner then can do whatever he chooses with it. In an advanced economy, producers over-produce and trade the excess, for other (owned) objects (or services).

As long as everyone trades voluntarily, then all trades create a mutual benefit. "Voluntary" means being free from attack on the person, or stealing others' property. That's also self-evident and axiomatic.

Only the division of labor and this sort of voluntary, peaceful, respectful (i.e. free) exchange of property rights in goods can increase wealth. All other types of interactions necessarily involve aggression, and thus result in a loss of wealth.
 
2013-11-08 02:25:54 PM

Phinn: As long as everyone trades voluntarily, then all trades create a mutual benefit. "Voluntary" means being free from attack on the person, or stealing others' property. That's also self-evident and axiomatic.

Only the division of labor and this sort of voluntary, peaceful, respectful (i.e. free) exchange of property rights in goods can increase wealth. All other types of interactions necessarily involve aggression, and thus result in a loss of wealth.


Yayyyy, more masturbatory "barrel of a gun" bullshiat.

When you decide to maintain citizenship and residence within a country, you agree to abide by its laws... even if you don't like them and feel they adversely affect you. In the U.S., you're free to try to change them, and if you can't, you're free to leave.

Opting to stay implies acceptance to the terms of residence... i.e. no "aggression" or "coercion" or "violence" or "theft" or any of the other shrieking chicken little bullshiat you guys like to spout.


cdn01.cdnwp.thefrisky.com
 
2013-11-08 02:53:18 PM
Phinn
Capital isn't a bad word either. It's just savings from prior production.

Capital refers specifically to productive power. A pile of money on its own means nothing. There has to be something to invest in for it to really be 'capital'. Machines in a factory are capital goods even in a society where money doesn't exist.

And the owner (or whoever is performing the entrepreneurial functions) does some critical, valuable tasks

If they do work, why are proles paid (time x wage) whereas bourgies paid (profit per commodity x number of commodities sold)?

Notice how collectivism, which tries to eliminate the entrepreneur, has trouble identifying what to produce, how much of each good to produce, and innovating how to produce them, all of which must be done in the face of a constantly changing economic landscape.

After the 1936 revolution in Spain, the CNT largely took control of the economy in Catalonia. Not only were there no shortages, but I've read repeatedly that productivity actually increased- not sure how much of it is true and how much is propaganda, but it seems clear that, at the very least, the economy did not collapse as capitalists always seem to declare that it will. In 1937, the CNT was in the process of centralizing and modernizing iirc steel production in Barcelona to increase productivity and free up labor for other tasks- without competition or capitalism being involved in the equation at all. That's because the CNT was a syndicalist* organization rather than a communist one.

*They're usually called anarcho-syndicalist, but given their joining the government and the leadership's deplorable actions in the May 1937 events, I think the CNT union itself was syndicalist even though many members were anarchists and anarcho-syndicalist.

Use is not equivalent to ownership, or else we'd just be able to call it "use."

Which is why anticapitalists are generally against "property". We DO just call it "use". Anyone who claims to own something which they do not use is a thief. What "use" means is highly variable, but largely intuitive, in a way that arguing about that would be pointless- when a situation is described, and anyone is asked about the ownership of an object in the given circumstances, 99%** of people will agree about who 'rightly' owns it, even if it's practically impossible to state the exact legalistic rules governing that ownership.

For example: An empty house. It's abandoned, so the first person to homestead it gets to have it. But wait, the previous occupant was merely out at the grocery; it's their property. But they only occupied it for a few hours before that, having murdered the previous tenants and hid their bodies in the basement; the murderer's property claim is forfeit. And so on. This could get infinitely complicated, and therefore in practice is impossible to transcribe into a law-code... but practically everyone intuitively agrees with all of these conclusions about right and wrong. That universal understanding is what Anarchism relies on, and it works.

**I may have invented this number, but close enough

All other types of interactions necessarily involve aggression

This is a circular argument. It's aggression BY YOUR DEFINITION of property.


FarkedOver
I want exactly that, but I want a state apparatus and a red army to protect all of that.

A state apparatus and red army do not protect it, but usurp it. Federation and militia or bust.

Because they are hell bent on making sure any leftist movement doesn't succeed. I don't need to tell you think, you know this already.

It's your job to beat them, not complain about them.

Just because the working class is in control of the means of production doesn't mean there won't be a bourgeoisie backlash.... You would have to make sure that this happened globally in order for that to succeed, and that will not happen.

That's a matter of strategy and warfare, and we've already seen how the Marxists handle that. Yes, the anarchist strategy may be a long shot, but it's better than a proven failure.


technicolor-misfit
In the U.S. ... you're free to leave.

I am not free to withdraw from the United States organization, as if I cease to pay taxes and to rely upon government services then armed thugs will still drag me out of my house and throw me in a cage.
 
2013-11-08 02:59:20 PM

technicolor-misfit: When you decide to maintain citizenship and residence within a country, you agree to abide by its laws... even if you don't like them and feel they adversely affect you. In the U.S., you're free to try to change them, and if you can't, you're free to leave.

Opting to stay implies acceptance to the terms of residence... i.e. no "aggression" or "coercion" or "violence" or "theft" or any of the other shrieking chicken little bullshiat you guys like to spout.



You agreed to abide by my rules when you decided to post a comment in this thread.  And by using the letter "e" several times, which I own.

That's consent, biatch.  You've availed yourself of the services that I chose to make you accept, and which I decide what they are worth to you.

Unfortunately for you, my rules require that you pay me a very large percentage of your gross income.  And you have to come over and mow my lawn.

I have a large-format document right here that is written in very fancy cursive handwriting and was signed by some old dudes (who are all dead) that unequivocally grants me these powers.

So, that's, like, double consent.  QED.
 
2013-11-08 03:36:25 PM

RanDomino: And the owner (or whoever is performing the entrepreneurial functions) does some critical, valuable tasks

If they do work, why are proles paid (time x wage) whereas bourgies paid (profit per commodity x number of commodities sold)?



That's how entrepreneurs get paid for their contribution to the enterprise.

Let's say it's a simple factory making blue widgets.  There's an entrepreneur and a few employee laborers.  But there's also the landowner, the equipment provider, the material supplier, the financier, the marketing people, the salesmen, etc.  The entrepreneurial functions must be performed by someone (the owner, or his delegate).  If he's successful, it means he has:

- identified an unmet or undermet consumer preference that people are willing to pay for (instead of whatever else they could be buying);
- analyzed the markets for all of the various factors of production (space, equipment, materials, employees, marketing, administration, etc.), as well as the market for the good to be sold, all expressed in prices which constantly change;
- organized and obtained the agreement of all of the different people involved in all the various functions (the financing, the suppliers, the production, the marketing, etc.), and coordinated their contributions;
- produced the good efficiently (i.e., in a way that costs less than the social value of the good itself -- not at an overall loss to society);
- adapted to constantly-changing prices in all involved markets (suppliers, labor, the good sold, etc.)
- took the risk that the venture would fail and that he would not be paid at all.

These tasks are important.  You can make clay pots or boots or laser printers all day long, but identifying exactly WHICH products or services to produce, and HOW to go about producing them efficiently, is not easy.  If it's so easy, I'd like to know how many times you've done it.  These factors also constantly change, as consumers constantly change their preferences, as other producers try to fulfill the preferences of these same consumers, and as prices for everything involved in the production constantly change.

The person who does these things well deserves to be paid well for doing them.  These are the people who made the decisions that resulted in the innovative improvement of every product and production practice in use today.

The business as a whole earns a profit only after ALL of the other factors of production have been paid.  Profit is revenue minus overhead, which is every other cost of producing something.

Everyone else gets paid for their contribution to the production of a successful, desirable product that people voluntarily choose to buy.  Money lenders get paid in the form of interest on their loans.  Suppliers get paid in the form of the purchase price of the good supplied.  The real estate and equipment suppliers gets paid in the form of either a purchase price or lease payments. Employees get paid a flat rate for their time.  Salesmen get paid a commission on the volume of goods sold.

The business's overall "profit," is whatever is left over, if anything.  Who gets that?  The one who organized the whole operation, and he ONLY gets paid that amount IF he actually succeeded in producing something at a lower cost than what he sold it for.  "Profit" is just the name we give to the manner in which the person who performs the entrepreneurial functions of a business gets paid.  But everyone else involved in the business "profits" (in the general sense) by virtue of their participation in the business.

Proles get paid a flat rate, up front, for their time (along with whatever other incentives they are typically paid) because that's what they've bargained for.  They typically have the lowest risk tolerance, so getting paid a flat rate on a short time table is a way of meeting their preferences.  Commissioned salesmen get paid a little differently -- they often take the risk that they won't sell the thing, because they often get a straight commission (or a reduced wage with a larger commission on the back end).  That type of employee has more risk tolerance than an hourly wage-earner.  Marketing and accounting are typically performed as outside services, farmed out on a contract basis, so they are basically just by-the-hour jobs, but on a higher hourly rate level (although some forms of skilled production labor gets paid a lot more than some white collar admin services).  Lenders take an even larger risk, because they can, even though loans default all the time. (Although you won't get any argument out of me about how deeply perverted the financial industry is, due to a corrupt State.)

RanDomino: This is a circular argument. It's aggression BY YOUR DEFINITION of property.



It's no more or less circular than yours.  You also distinguish between aggression (unethical violence) and defensive force (ethical violence) according to your ideas of property.  The problem is that your ideas of property are perverse and nonsensical.

True principles of property are based on reason, are well-established, universal in their application, clearly defined, and intuitive to everyone who's not a sociopath.
 
2013-11-08 03:44:23 PM

Phinn: It's no more or less circular than yours. You also distinguish between aggression (unethical violence) and defensive force (ethical violence) according to your ideas of property. The problem is that your ideas of property are perverse and nonsensical.

True principles of property are based on reason, are well-established, universal in their application, clearly defined, and intuitive to everyone who's not a sociopath.


"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths." - Marx

I think Marxist and Anarchists can agree that the abolition of private property is the ultimate goal of the anti-capitalists.

We all know and understand how property works and how it is acquired and held, the goal is to change the perception of property not to explain it.
 
2013-11-08 03:50:50 PM
Phinn
That's how entrepreneurs get paid for their contribution to the enterprise.

Yes, yes, yes, you don't have to explain Econ 101 to anti-capitalists. The REASON we're against capitalism is because we understand it. You have answered the question at the most basic level and I award you 0 points.

It's no more or less circular than yours. You also distinguish between aggression (unethical violence) and defensive force (ethical violence) according to your ideas of property. The problem is that your ideas of property are perverse and nonsensical.

You have already agreed that property is based on "People use objects." That's not capitalism. Capitalism is title-based property, not use-based property. But I suspect you realize that title-based property is indefensible, because it is inhumane in situations where there is a surplus even while some people go without basic necessities- for example, the existence of empty houses contemporaneously with the existence of homeless people.

It's a way of dealing with shortages, but scarcity has been effectively conquered; arguably since the Industrial Revolution, certainly since the Green Revolution. At least, for any reasonable definition of the word "scarcity" such as "not enough necessities to keep everyone healthy"- the capitalistic definition of "scarcity" as "not everything is infinite" should be tossed out a window.
 
2013-11-08 03:55:54 PM
Also,

True principles of property are based on reason, are well-established, universal in their application, clearly defined, and intuitive to everyone who's not a sociopath.

Pick four. Capitalistic property is hardly intuitive or reasonable, supposedly universal but in practice not, and only sometimes clearly defined. Anarchistic property is merely undefinable (or rather uncodable); its intuitiveness more than makes up for that.
 
2013-11-08 03:56:01 PM

RanDomino: You have already agreed that property is based on "People use objects." That's not capitalism. Capitalism is title-based property, not use-based property. But I suspect you realize that title-based property is indefensible, because it is inhumane in situations where there is a surplus even while some people go without basic necessities- for example, the existence of empty houses contemporaneously with the existence of homeless people.

It's a way of dealing with shortages, but scarcity has been effectively conquered; arguably since the Industrial Revolution, certainly since the Green Revolution. At least, for any reasonable definition of the word "scarcity" such as "not enough necessities to keep everyone healthy"- the capitalistic definition of "scarcity" as "not everything is infinite" should be tossed out a window.


This is spot on.  The fact that there are more vacant homes than there are homeless people is farked up.  The fact that there is enough food to feed every mouth on the planet is farked up.  There is no scarcity for the vital needs of human beings and if there are issues they are typically artificial.
 
2013-11-08 03:57:10 PM

FarkedOver: RanDomino: You have already agreed that property is based on "People use objects." That's not capitalism. Capitalism is title-based property, not use-based property. But I suspect you realize that title-based property is indefensible, because it is inhumane in situations where there is a surplus even while some people go without basic necessities- for example, the existence of empty houses contemporaneously with the existence of homeless people.

It's a way of dealing with shortages, but scarcity has been effectively conquered; arguably since the Industrial Revolution, certainly since the Green Revolution. At least, for any reasonable definition of the word "scarcity" such as "not enough necessities to keep everyone healthy"- the capitalistic definition of "scarcity" as "not everything is infinite" should be tossed out a window.

This is spot on.  The fact that there are more vacant homes than there are homeless people is farked up.  The fact that there is enough food to feed every mouth on the planet, but yet people starve is farked up.  There is no scarcity for the vital needs of human beings and if there are issues they are typically artificial.


FTFM
 
2013-11-08 04:16:24 PM

RanDomino: Phinn
That's how entrepreneurs get paid for their contribution to the enterprise.

Yes, yes, yes, you don't have to explain Econ 101 to anti-capitalists. The REASON we're against capitalism is because we understand it. You have answered the question at the most basic level and I award you 0 points.



You never know what people don't know.  For example, I don't get the impression that anyone I'm speaking to here has every owned a business.  Or run one.  Or hired anyone.

People with such limited experience that tend to overlook, or completely misunderstand, the nature of entrepreneurship, because they've never done it, or perhaps never even seen it or even read about it.  They believe that the stores in the malls that sell their faux-combat boots and Che shirts just sprang into existence, like Athena from the head of Zeus, fully formed, from nothing.

It's understandable.  They've had their expenses paid by their parents their whole lives, and seen the world from the perspective of either a ward of the State schooling system, or as a low-level employee.

It's no more or less circular than yours. You also distinguish between aggression (unethical violence) and defensive force (ethical violence) according to your ideas of property. The problem is that your ideas of property are perverse and nonsensical.

You have already agreed that property is based on "People use objects." That's not capitalism. Capitalism is title-based property, not use-based property. But I suspect you realize that title-based property is indefensible, because it is inhumane in situations where there is a surplus even while some people go without basic necessities- for example, the existence of empty houses contemporaneously with the existence of homeless people.



Title-based property is not indefensible.  That's absurd.  Does property get abandoned?  Sure.  Then it's unowned again, and can be owned by the first new user.

Some cost went into the production of every good.  That conversion of once-unowned objects into a desirable economic good created ownership, which was then transferred by agreement to the next person, for value, and so on.  Every transfer of title comes with a countervailing cost.

To declare that property will be deemed abandoned (and taken for no value) just because some people have more stuff than others will ensure that those excess goods will never be built in the first place.  The costs of producing them will not be incurred if the good is only going to be seized, in the name of the Almighty Benevolent State, according to the Collectivist Property rules that you admit have no real definition.


It's a way of dealing with shortages, but scarcity has been effectively conquered; arguably since the Industrial Revolution, certainly since the Green Revolution. At least, for any reasonable definition of the word "scarcity" such as "not enough necessities to keep everyone healthy"- the capitalistic definition of "scarcity" as "not everything is infinite" should be tossed out a window.

Scarcity has not been conquered.  That's absurd.  Scarcity is rivalry, and as long as there are multiple people occupying space near each other, and interacting, using finite objects, in the real world, there is rivalry.

Even in the abundant economy in which we live in today, I notice that there's a "scarcity" of people wanting to pay me a living wage to write novels by day and play bass in a jazz fusion band by night, yielding enough for me to own a nice, clean apartment overlooking the water with wi-fi and all the sushi I can eat.

There's probably someone out there with that kind of job, and I'm in rivalry with him, and thus I have to produce novels and bass music in a way that equals or exceeds his production, as determined by paying consumers.  Likewise, there's someone out there with a more desirable apartment than I have, and I'm in rivalry with him.  I could offer to buy it from him, but I have to weigh my desire for that property against everything I could do with that money, just as he has to weigh the amount of money I'd offer to pay him to buy it against the prospect of not getting my money.

How are any of these decisions to be made, about what to produce and what to consume, without prices?  It's impossible, because even in relative abundance, everything we could produce or consume is rivalrous with everything else.
 
2013-11-08 04:43:22 PM
Phinn:

You make it seem as if competition among the working class is a good thing.  I submit that it is not.  I love what Engels has to say on the subject (below).  Competition (or rivalry as you called it) like private property is one of the systems used to control the working class by the capitalists to line their own pockets and perpetuate their existence.

"Competition is the completest expression of the battle of all against all which rules in modern civil society. This battle, a battle for life, for existence, for everything, in case of need a battle of life and death, is fought not between the different classes of society only, but also between the individual members of these classes. Each is in the way of the other, and each seeks to crowd out all who are in his way, and to put himself in their place. The workers are in constant competition among themselves as are the members of the bourgeoisie among themselves. The power-loom weaver is in competition with the hand-loom weaver, the unemployed or ill-paid hand-loom weaver with him who has work or is better paid, each trying to supplant the other. But this competition of the workers among themselves is the worst side of the present state of things in its effect upon the worker, the sharpest weapon against the proletariat in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Hence the effort of the workers to nullify this competition by associations, hence the hatred of the bourgeoisie towards these associations, and its triumph in every defeat which befalls them. "  -- F. Engels Condition of the Working Class in England -- Competition

He further expands on competition and the proletarian class in "The Principles of Communism".
 
2013-11-08 04:52:30 PM

FarkedOver: Phinn:

You make it seem as if competition among the working class is a good thing.  I submit that it is not.  I love what Engels has to say on the subject (below).  Competition (or rivalry as you called it) like private property is one of the systems used to control the working class by the capitalists to line their own pockets and perpetuate their existence.

"Competition is the completest expression of the battle of all against all which rules in modern civil society. This battle, a battle for life, for existence, for everything, in case of need a battle of life and death, is fought not between the different classes of society only, but also between the individual members of these classes. Each is in the way of the other, and each seeks to crowd out all who are in his way, and to put himself in their place. The workers are in constant competition among themselves as are the members of the bourgeoisie among themselves. The power-loom weaver is in competition with the hand-loom weaver, the unemployed or ill-paid hand-loom weaver with him who has work or is better paid, each trying to supplant the other. But this competition of the workers among themselves is the worst side of the present state of things in its effect upon the worker, the sharpest weapon against the proletariat in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Hence the effort of the workers to nullify this competition by associations, hence the hatred of the bourgeoisie towards these associations, and its triumph in every defeat which befalls them. "  -- F. Engels Condition of the Working Class in England -- Competition

He further expands on competition and the proletarian class in "The Principles of Communism".


Ever read Allan Megill's stuff?
 
2013-11-08 05:27:26 PM
Phinn
You never know what people don't know. For example, I don't get the impression that anyone I'm speaking to here has every owned a business. Or run one. Or hired anyone.

It's enough to see that those who own businesses tend to speak and behave as though 'their' employees are tools rather than people.

Does property get abandoned? Sure. Then it's unowned again, and can be owned by the first new user.

You clearly have not thought this position through, because it betrays your entire argument. TRUE arch-capitalists have decided that title NEVER decays, no matter how long something is abandoned. The reason is that if you allow for abandonment and re-homesteading, then ownership has to be based on some principle other than title. i.e. use.

Scarcity has not been conquered. That's absurd. Scarcity is rivalry, and as long as there are multiple people occupying space near each other, and interacting, using finite objects, in the real world, there is rivalry.

As I said, "At least, for any reasonable definition of the word "scarcity" such as "not enough necessities to keep everyone healthy"- the capitalistic definition of "scarcity" as "not everything is infinite" should be tossed out a window."
The insane but common capitalist definition of scarcity is based on the idea that everyone is a sociopath. Actually, that applies to quite a few ideas in capitalist economic theory.
 
2013-11-08 06:09:19 PM

FarkedOver: Phinn:

You make it seem as if competition among the working class is a good thing.  I submit that it is not.  I love what Engels has to say on the subject (below).  Competition (or rivalry as you called it) like private property is one of the systems used to control the working class by the capitalists to line their own pockets and perpetuate their existence.

"Competition is the completest expression of the battle of all against all which rules in modern civil society. This battle, a battle for life, for existence, for everything, in case of need a battle of life and death, is fought not between the different classes of society only, but also between the individual members of these classes. Each is in the way of the other, and each seeks to crowd out all who are in his way, and to put himself in their place. The workers are in constant competition among themselves as are the members of the bourgeoisie among themselves. The power-loom weaver is in competition with the hand-loom weaver, the unemployed or ill-paid hand-loom weaver with him who has work or is better paid, each trying to supplant the other. But this competition of the workers among themselves is the worst side of the present state of things in its effect upon the worker, the sharpest weapon against the proletariat in the hands of the bourgeoisie. Hence the effort of the workers to nullify this competition by associations, hence the hatred of the bourgeoisie towards these associations, and its triumph in every defeat which befalls them. "  -- F. Engels Condition of the Working Class in England -- Competition

He further expands on competition and the proletarian class in "The Principles of Communism".


Competition is part of life. The dollar weed competes with the St. Augustine grass in my yard for light and dirt and water. Jazz competes with blues for listeners. Teachers of physics compete with Literature teachers for student's attention. Workers who make boots compete with makers of refrigerators, telephones, pencils, car parts, jackets and chicken feed. They can't all be manufactured to maximum capacity. That would be wasteful.

Competition is an inevitable part of social life on one planet. Pretending otherwise is the height of magical thinking. It's childish.

But humans are special. We can do something no other life form can do -- imagine possible future outcomes of our actions. It enables us to choose, to make decisions. In particular, economic decisions (i.e., about consumption and production).

Choice gives us the ability to cooperate. We don't have to settle our inevitable rivalries over resources and goods with violence. We can respect each other's persons. We can behave ethically, not violently, in order to facilitate and maximize cooperation.

Market competition is the maximum level of cooperation possible. It's competitive, but only to the extent that people compete for the privilege of cooperating with a trading partner.

Everyone who wants food or clothing or shelter competes with every other consumer who is vying for the same goods (which is what prompts their production). Likewise, every producer competes with every other producer for the opportunity to trade with every consumer.

It's a competition to see who can be the most cooperative.

And since everyone is both a consumer and a producer, the number of economic choices to be made daily is virtually endless -- hundreds of economic decisions per person per day, where every decision about what to produce and what to consume competes with each other option, since every option involves an opportunity cost of every other possibility that is declined.
 
2013-11-08 07:10:17 PM
Phinn

There is no need for competition if there is no actual scarcity. You can wax poetic all you want about grass and music, but it serves only to dodge the reality that there is far more than enough food and shelter for everyone.
 
2013-11-08 07:59:35 PM

RanDomino: Phinn

There is no need for competition if there is no actual scarcity. You can wax poetic all you want about grass and music, but it serves only to dodge the reality that there is far more than enough food and shelter for everyone.


Scarcity is not just about the number of things but the opportunity cost as well. And also don't leave out transportation costs and other such things because while there may be enough food and shelter produced for everyone, that production does not happen in a vacuum.
 
2013-11-08 08:25:40 PM
vygramul
Scarcity is not just about the number of things but the opportunity cost as well. And also don't leave out transportation costs and other such things because while there may be enough food and shelter produced for everyone, that production does not happen in a vacuum.

Yes, even including that. Don't pretend that there isn't plenty to go around, if it was distributed that way. An economy that can afford to ship iphones from China to New York can ship food from Nebraska to Ethiopia. Instead, we're told this religious myth about scarcity and competition... no different than asking a Christian priest how Hell could exist if God has infinite mercy.
 
2013-11-08 08:29:54 PM

RanDomino: vygramul
Scarcity is not just about the number of things but the opportunity cost as well. And also don't leave out transportation costs and other such things because while there may be enough food and shelter produced for everyone, that production does not happen in a vacuum.

Yes, even including that. Don't pretend that there isn't plenty to go around, if it was distributed that way. An economy that can afford to ship iphones from China to New York can ship food from Nebraska to Ethiopia. Instead, we're told this religious myth about scarcity and competition... no different than asking a Christian priest how Hell could exist if God has infinite mercy.


Others have tested that hypothesis and failed. It doesn't work And don't forget that there are other interests. The entire point behind our intervention in Somalia was to make sure people got food. Turns out you have to kill a LOT of people who don't want that. It didn't take but a couple of downed helicopters to kill the effort.

Real life is much more complex, and just trucking food over to them is less of a solution (and less doable) than you might think. And much of that has to do directly with scarcity.
 
2013-11-08 08:30:48 PM

RanDomino: Phinn

There is no need for competition if there is no actual scarcity. You can wax poetic all you want about grass and music, but it serves only to dodge the reality that there is far more than enough food and shelter for everyone.


Welfare is a small part of the economic harm caused by government. The lack of freedom in our markets -- banking cartels, production restrictions, price fixing rules, and a million different barriers to entry -- are the things that do incalculable damage. About half of our productivity gets fed into this monster, all to pay for what? Wars and an even larger parasite class?

These restrictions cost many thousand times more than the cash outlays spent on welfare, in the form of lost economic development that never occurs.

And LBJ's "war on poverty" only ended up slowing down the reduction of poverty. It certainly didn't help.

In any event, I don't expect most people to understand the long-term harm that government welfare causes. But even if you insist that it's a beneficial program, I would rate it as one of the last things I would advocate getting rid of, for the simple reason that people are now dependent on it, it will take time to transition off of it. Besides, if the 100,000 other horrendous things that government does to wreck the economy were ended first, there would be such a tremendous increase in overall economic wealth and opportunity that it would obviate the need for most charity or welfare.

The "capitalists" you hate so much are not causing problems when they hire employees or own factories or make profits or buy second houses. They are actually among the worst offenders in their tendency to crawl to government to buy special privileges and anti-market restrictions, to the detriment of us all. It's their lobbying that causes the harm. Their actual market productivity is a huge social benefit.
 
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