- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Everywhere and always

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on November 23, 1999 at 10:22:28:

In Reply to: ...into abstuse libertarian gibberish posted by Stoller on November 21, 1999 at 23:53:29:


: After all, there ARE members of the proletariat class who readily support 'some' inequality and readily support 'some' private ownership of the means of production.

: : You cannot get inside my mind.

: Whaaat!?

: After explicitly stating that you support 10% - 20% of the means of production being held privately (by scientists, artists, and other so-called island-dwellers who rely on no labor other than themselves), NOW you're saying that I don't 'know your mind'?

: I know your POSITION---and that's what counts.

No, Barry, what I'm saying has a broader significance. To quote Thomas Nagel, you can't know what it's like to be me, or anyone else for taht matter. Consequently, you cannot know at a fundamental level what makes people happiest, and we cannot presume to decide for other people how they should find fulfilling lives and jobs. We must ensure that everyone's social, political, economic, and civil rights are met. We shouldk give everyone an equal share in the goods of society, because this is implied by human rights. We shoudl allow fere choice fro everyone, and not be coercive, except when people seek to introduce fictitious 'rights' e.g. teh rights of teh entrepreneur which can only exist by depriving other people of rights.

: NJ:
: If society as a whole is in favor of socialism, then workers, just like everyone else, should not be allowed to become capitalists and lord it over their fellows. But they should certainly be able to cast a vote and opinion for whatevre system they like...

: Stoller:
: Your second sentence obviates your first.

: : No, properly understood there is absolutely NO CONTRADICTION. The apparent paradox you see is resolved by the concept of FREEDOM.

: Leaving out the distinction between freedom to or freedom from,of course, helps support your abstruse libertarianism...

I don't know, frankly, what the hell you mean. If you mean positive / negative rights, then I'm in favor of both of them. The Capitalist / Stalinist dichotomy over thsi issue is nonsense. Every democratic leftist since 1945 has accepted both positive and negative freedom- inclluding teh UN declaration of human rights.

: : Workers (and the People in general) have the right to CHOOSE whatevre system they like.

: What if some workers want socialism and some workers want capitalism?

Majority rules, but we must preserve freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, teh welfare system, etc. to ensure that rights of minroitiues are not trampled on.

: You are presuming that ALL workers are in complete consensus at the same time---in a capitalist culture, no less.

I didn't say anything about capitalist culture. This system should prevail REGARDLES SOf what economic system you choose to have.

: That's pointlessly utopian.

Yes, I am a utopian. I thought it was the conservatives who were anti-Utopian, by the way. Particularly over-educated conservative hack historians.

: But to continue anyway...

: : For example, if they choose socialism, laws must be drawn up that declare private ownership out of bounds.

: I'm glad you hear your 10% - 20% scheme is finally getting retired...

No, I meant entrepresnuerial ownership, teh type taht employs / exploits others. The 10-20% exemption still holds.

: : Certain things, e.g. free speech and the welfare systemn, are basic human rigts and can never be removed.

: Your utopianism is showing again.

Your cynicism is showing again.

: By your own argument: if 'the majority' decide to outlaw free speech, why shouldn't they?

Because it's a human right. Just liek teh right to adequate food.

: Because YOU personally dissent?

Don't eb ridiculosu Barry. Fere speech is a human right. 100% of people could be against it and it woudl still be a human right.

: Are not your 'universal rights' simply things that YOU personally believe in?

No, NO, NO! They are things that existed before humans ever codified any alws, they are things taht exist independently of popular opinion.

: : The freedom to choose one's ideology and political leaders is a basic human right, and as such it trumps the question of what economisc system would be best.

: You're ignoring that economic systems arrive BEFORE and THEN CONSTRUCT ideology and 'rights.'

No, the rights are always there, it's only taht they are recognized in different places and times.

2=2 = 4 everywhere and always. Cheating on an exam is wrong everywhere and always. Refusing to feed your fellow man, or to let him vote for teh Communist Party, is wrong everywhere and always.

: And that's why your esoteric libertarianism leads nowhere...

I'm not a libertarian. Libertarians believe in negative rights. I believe in positive rights.

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