: : It is quite another thing under capitalism. Here everybody's station in life depends on his own doing.
: Not so, those born without any property, nad with a scintilla of concern for their fellow man tend not to do so well as other tyopes might. To claim equality of opportunity, you have to show equality of initial condition, since we are4 born unequal in society, that inequality reproduces itself. tehre are more rags to rags than rags to riches stories.
Then how do you explain the ever increasing numbers of millionaires being created in this country as we speak? If things were static as you suggest the rich would never become poor and the poor would never become rich (assuming that that is a person's goal, could be any number of things, ie; basketball star, rock star, whatever). The opportunity is there for all, but all cannot be the best.
: : The much talked about sternness of capitalism consistes in the fact that it handles everybody according to his contribution to the well being of his fellow men.
: Not so, we are not paid according to our labour, but according to the value of our labour power, hence them as are in reserved occupations, such as Managing Directors, can command vastly higher wages - again, football stars, etc. as well.
What is a 'reserved occupation"? I don't know about England, but here in the US a football star and a manager receive what the sports fans and the stock holders think he's worth, respectively. Anyone who thinks he's as good as Joe Montana is welcome to apply for try outs. Lot's of Luck. As Von Mises says, you gotta show that your good, not just think that you are.
: :The sway of the principle, to each according to his accomplishments, does not allow of any excuse for personal shortcomings.
: Thats the rhetoric, not the reality. BTW- did you know that Stalin's Soviet Constitution of 1936 stated "from each accordint to ability, to each according to his work"? That's, erm, what you're advocating, right?
Hey, that's pretty good, that's what I am advocating, as long as those with superior abilities receive more than those with inferior ones.
: :Everybody knows very well that there are people like himself who succeeded where he himself failed. Everybody knows that many of those whom he envies are self-made men who started from the same point from which he himself started.
: Far more started much better off, teh historical record does show how the Capitalist class evolved out of relatively privilleged classes, in most cases. then there's the minor matter of theft of teh common land.
Well, yes, it may be true that many started much better off, but so what? Many also started much worse off but suceed. That's why the 'Capitialist' (I much prefer the term 'successful', sounds more user friendly) is ever increasing.
'Theft of the common land'? Progress is built on private ownership. Take a walk through a project sometime, see what lack of pride of ownership does.
: : What makes many feel unhappy under capitalism is the fact that capitalism grants to each the opportunity to attain the most desireable positions which, of course, can only be attained by a few. Whatever a man may have gained for himself, it is mostly a mere fraction of what his ambitions has impelled him to win. There are always before his eyes people who have succeeded where he has failed. There are fellows who have outstripped him and against whom he nurtures, in his subconsciousness, inferiority complexes. Such is the attitude of the tramp against the man with a regular job, the factory hand against the foreman, the executive against the vice-president, the vice-president against the company's president, the man who is worth three hundred thousand dollars against the millionaire and so on. Everbody's self-reliance and moral equilibrium are undermined by the spectacle of theose who have given proof of greater of greater abilities and capacities. Everybody is aware of his own defeat and insufficiency.
: Indeed, as Marx put it, if I live in a small shed, next door to a man with a house, even if my house show grow, at the same rate as his, I will always be aware that his house is bigger.
Only because the man in the big house has proved in a concrete way that he is better able to serve his fellow better then the man in the small house. Seems fair to me. Rx for envy; get over it.
: : The price and market system of capitalism is such a society in which merit and achievements determine a man's success or failure.
: No, someone who is a highly skilled cleaner will only ever reap teh rewards of a cleaner - capitalism onbly rewards one skill, the ability to make money, by hook or by crook.
Wrongo bucko! A highly skilled cleaner gets every dime society thinks he's worth. If the cleaner doesn't think he's getting his fair share, doesn't that only prove what Von Mises is saying? Now if the cleaner (what kind of cleaner did you have in mind, by the way?) were sharp he would do something, add a small service, create an ad campaign, hire other workers to increase his volume, hell, I don't know, something to beat the brains out of the competition.
: : In order to console himself and to restore his self-assertion, such a man is in search of a scapegoat. He tries to persuade himself that he failed through no fault of his own. He is at least as brilliant, efficient and industrious as those who outshine him. Unfortunately this nefarious social order of ours does not accord the prizes to the most meritorious men; it crowns the dishonest unscrupulous scoundrel, the swindler, the exploiter, the "rugged individualist." What made himself fail was his honesty. He was too decent to resort to the base tricks to which his successful rivals owe their ascendancy. As conditions are under capitalism, a man is forced to choose between virtue and poverty on the one hand and, and vice and riches on the other. He, himself, thank God, chose the former alternative and rejected the latter.
: But think on, what nonsense is being talked here - someone must work, only a few can succeed, only a tiny number can occupy the top of the pyramid. necessarilly, the system must have some people 'fail', otherwise it would fall apart.
Why in the world is that nonsense??? Do you know anyone who would pay the same amount of money for the services of a top rated criminal defense attorney as to an ambulance chaser? Do you know of anyone who would pay the same amount of money for a Modigliani as for a Robert N. Stackelbauser? Would you pay the same amount of money to see a Little Leage baseball game as to see the seventh game of the World Series? C'mon, gimme a break. Some things ain't for crap and others are superior.
: : Their fanaticism in defending their critique of capitalism is precisely due to the fact that they are fighting their own awareness of its falsity.
: Ah, the old pyschological attack routine, the old ones are...the old ones...
Not a very convincing response...
: : The suffering from frustrated ambition is peculiar to people living in a society of equality under the law. It is not caused by equality under the law, but by the fact that in a society of equality under the law the inequality of men with regard to intellectual abilities, will power and application becomes visible. The gulf between what a man is and achieves and what he thinks of his own abilities and acheivements is pitilessy revealed. Daydreams of a "fair" world which would treat him according to his "real worth" are refuge of all those plauged by a lack of self-knowledge."
: This, of course, returns to the idea of the few geniuses, to great men, who are born, not made - again, completre rubbish.
No, Von Mises is simply saying that many, many men vastly over rate their own skills and abilities. That's fine, they can do that, but those who have need of those skills will see in short order wheather or not the reality and the perception are congruous. If their not, adios.