- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Kitten Natividad

Posted by: MDG on December 23, 1999 at 18:39:28:

In Reply to: Feliz Navidad posted by Dr. Cruel on December 23, 1999 at 17:26:10:

: Sure. Why not? I'll respond.

So will I. It's a very slow day.

: When you form an entity, and when that entity is said to possess ownership of property or wealth, it is a simple matter to shift responsibility and liability to it, so as to make whatever problems one might have into lucrative opportunities. Thus, earthquakes are no longer simply "acts of God" (who, apparently, no longer is liable in view of His recent "death"); they are, instead, the work of a perfidious bourgeois "class". Thus, if I provide capital for a farming enterprize, I am to be blamed for deforestation and mudslides, and thus, the subsequent deaths of thousands of people.

: One might also claim that an increase in drownings is caused by merchant enterprizes as well; due to an increase in commercial shipping, people sometimes are left trapped on sinking ships - vessels that, if not for the capitalists, would never exist. Many of these people die. The capitalists know, or should know, that ships invariably sink. Thus, the capitalists ought to be held liable for drowning people, and ships - a clear danger to people - should be outlawed.

In the examples you cite above, the owner and/or operator is to be held liable of he knowingly or recklessly disregarded safety measures and other established preventative protocol. If a landowner clearcut trees on a hill despite knowing that one good rainstorm could cause a fatal mudslide because of this, or if a shipbuilder purposefully uses water-soluble glue to hold his planks together because the cost is less than the proper glue, then yes, hold them both accountable if their actions lead to injury, damage, or death.

:This reminds me of the time I confronted the Friends of the Earth about their thesis that Western capital was responsible for global warming, and thus, threatened life as we know it. I asked what was to be done about pollution in the communist regions, which by all available counts was much more severe and virtually unregulated. I was told that "we had to tend to our own affairs first". If what I was told was true, then "tending to our own affairs" was meaningless; our own attempts to counter the destruction of the ozone layer would be undone by wanton use of the same chemicals in the Third World and Russia. Again, one begins to wonder about this so-called "commitment to the global village".

If you'd asked me that, I'd say that we (Western Powers, the United States, etc.) had a responsibility to alert the Third World and Russia to their responsibilities re: pollution, and pressure them to take appropriate measures, but that their failure to act does not excuse us from doing what we can in our own countries. Isn't this what parents tell their children all the time: just because little Billy doesn't do his homework doesn't mean that you can skip yours, young man!"

: Of course, now I will be accused of being callous to the affairs of Venezuelans, perhaps even racist. To which I respond, as always, that you still cannot have my money.

Tell it to the IRS, Doc.

: "Doc" Cruel

: P.S. Hats off to those Americans, serving at the behest and under the employ of the U.S. government, that are assisting in relief efforts in the region. Too often, the numerous acts of charity and good works "perpetrated" by the United States government remain unseen and ignored. My hopes go to these efforts, and those of other nations allied with the Americans, that they might mitigate this Christmas tragedy. Hopefully, the attempts to use this incident for agitation and political gain by the Left will not hamper the regional rescue efforts too unduly.


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