- Capitalism and Alternatives -

This won't be the case with any decent philosophy.

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 21, 1999 at 14:42:10:

In Reply to: this will be the case with any decent philosophy. posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 20, 1999 at 20:45:01:

: Perhaps the UN articlesdo lead to some degree of contradiction (or at least contrary impulses) when put into practice.

It isnt 'kinda, sorta'. It does specifically contradict by implication - mixing so called positive and negative liberties which cannot exist with one another.

: But this will be the case with any decent philosophy.

Consistency, and non-contradiction are the precise hallmarks that set a 'decent philosophy' apart from a second rate one. As a scientist I imagined you would be developing a keen perception of this.

: Given that humans are so complex. it is impossible to run human society based on a strict application of only one or two principles.

Here we have the pragmatic problems which the UN tries to solve with a series of contradictory rights - perhaps they should simply have been guidelines and not sold as principles.

: No; some things can be rght or wrong regardlesspof whethr enforcing them is practical.

I agree with your concept of absolute morality here, but I am saying that if those murders you described as example did take place - and there was no enforcement of the moral principle which held it wrong - then what of it?

: Objective economic circumstances, being denied adequate food, shelter, etc., or being deneid the opportunity to take part in the decisions of running society as a free and equal being.

Again fairly broad but I can see the beginnings of a guideline - some objective standards of food and shelter applicable to all eqaully, equality before the law and before the voting booth - after having worked out the role of law and political power.

: If left to their own devices, if acting out of self-interest, tehy will; because the interests of teh strong and the weak are incompatible. When you ahev fixed resources, people are going to fight to teh death for it, unless you scoialize them with some idea of restraint or altruism.

It seems that you are advocating the tethering of ability, having excepted correctly the differences between people? How could that be for the good of all? Would it not be better to have the 'strong' do their stuff for all to enjoy? (Unless the 'strong' dont want to ofcourse)

: Well, again, there is a balance between the good of free choice of profession and specialization, and the good of equality. This is why I say that the MAJORITY of everyone's working time should be open to a free choice of profession, but a SIGNIFICANT MINORITY should be reserved for socialized labor. Say, 4 days of choosing your own profession, and 1 day of assigned work.

Again, as we discussed before, on a voluntary basis both you and I would accept this (because it is voluntary) - but not under the coercive control of state (whichever form). I Still this you would fins many people resenting a days muck raking when they are brain surgeons monday-thursday, many people would seek to specialise in a second subject on their 5th day and many people would resent having to do crap as their specialisation.

: "Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others" (Article 17);

:: Note, it doesn't say 'the means of production", you acn atke taht as referring to eprsonal property instead.

I think the wording "as well as in association" encompasses the right for voluntary groups to share the ownership of anything.

: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression" (Article 19).

: which implies the need for a collectivist, anti-corporate media sourec to balance out the stifling power of the corporate voices. Public TV anyone?

I dont think any such implication exists (and heaven forbid public TV and those who would control it (ie not 'the people' in real life). Freedom of speech does not mean others must provide you with a platform and airtime.

: "protection against unemployment" (Article 23); "rest and leisure, including . . . periodic holidays with pay" (Article 24); "food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services" (Article 25).

: Yes, those are riughts as well. Your point?

How can people be free in the context of the first articles when they are *obliged* to provide for whichever claimants the above goods? If you are obliged to provide me with shelter are you free? is that portion of your life taken up providing for me yours by choice?

: Not unless you consider all socialized labor to be slavery. I consider teh parallel essentailly nonexistent.

Its pleasant to consider it non existent, but that does not make it so NJ. Socialists are keen to point out how going to work is 'wage slavery' and that such are 'forced' to because their other choices are no good - well why exempt compulsion by the force of others from that criticism?

: Taxation if you take the social democratic stance, taxation and socilaized production if you atke the strong socialist stance.

Both follow the same principle - that your productive effort exists at the behest of those who decide to what purpose it is to be used, taxation at least gives more leeway as to what you will do as work (even if the choice is poor) but neither is exempt from breaking the principle of that article.

: Voluntary meaning unpaid. If you don't want to partciipate tehn you are not entitled to any of the produce of society.

As all output is monopolizes by 'society' then one is more 'over the barrell' than under any version of capitalism. Amazing! The criticism of capitalism relates to the scarcity of choice for the working man (work or starve) then the precise same is applied with many times the vigour, and more effective compulsion, than any capitalist could conceive of!

: ANd if you think taxation si slavery, then lt me add, all atxation is doing is ensuring that your actions ahve consequences. If you choose to commit crimes, you will be imprisoned. And if you choose to ,make money, you will be forced to pay your fair share to the state/

And if I walk off a cliff I'll fall. Actions and consequences are explanation of causal relationships. neither of the above however is a universal truth, in the sense that cliff jumping is.

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