- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 09, 1999 at 13:35:15:

In Reply to: Democracy MAKES your freedom YOURS posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on December 08, 1999 at 16:49:32:

:SDF: Democracy doesn't have to be majoritarian, it can be based upon consensus process.

This sounds reasonable.

. The US Constitution's Bill of Rights is one such framework, but it doesn't really guarantee any freedoms. We can do better.

No bill of rights can gaurantee anything because people must do the guaranteeing. Such a framework requires a high degree of support or a high degree of enforcement - and as we observe it is usually a degree of both. I suggest that the current set up (in the west for westerners) requires relatively little enforcement. Sure the Police costs are high but the criminal activity is sparse. Police could not actually stop poeple ignoring property rights, they dont stop thieves. Police could not actually stop poeple ignoring the right ti life, they dont stop murderers. Yet the murder rate and theft rate is tiny as a % per 100,000 (See any set of UN stats) even in America. In other words most people respect life and property anyway, regardless of the police who are really just there to sweep up after crime. If capitalism required such massive force to see it work then we would require the equivalent of one enforcer per person, as per '1984'

: SDF: No, what we have is the oppressed masses. The "majority want" has been coerced out of the majority through brute force. The majority gets a choice every day, from the representatives of the real-life dictatorship of money: either work in this sweatshop, or starve.

This, and what followed, is a hopeful statement. I wont ask for empirically researched evidence of peoples wishes - there is none. Is it so unthinkable that all those people just don't care enough for that 800m+? They would be so easy to feed, even within the scope of charity, yet people do not turn over 25% or even 5% of their income to see it done - why would they turn over 25% or more of their effort to see it done?


So really we shouldnt be talking about 'enhancing individual freedoms' at all, but only about affording and enforcing 'rights' and hoping the ones selected are those most compatible with how people are.

: SDF: What? You are in abstract paradise. Try and use real-life examples.

If the people of a village are obliged by the village code to secure eacothers safety and food supply then what happens when some of them decide not to? Such codes require enforcement, that was the point.

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