- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Corvee is slavery

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 29, 1999 at 14:43:10:

In Reply to: Corvee is not slavery posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 25, 1999 at 12:28:51:

: Not so; slavery implies 1) that you have no control over what you do for teh majority of the time,

No it doesnt - there are no time barriers between slavery/non slavery. its either/or.

: 2) that you are working for the benefit of others and not yourself, and

Thats the intent of any 'corvee'. Something whihc benefits 'society' means it benefits individuals in it, not equally, not all of them.

3) that you were not "compelled" to work as a result of your own actions. (e.g., hard labor for criminals is not unjust because they've committed specific actions to merit the punishment.)

The corvee merely criminalises prior innocent people in order to 'justify' its force. "they are implicitly denying soem of teh goods of society to others, and are thus harming equality" For instance.

Sidestepping doesnt avoid the paralell with any kind of slavery as defined in history. It does create classes too - those forced to labor under the 'corvee' and those in receipt of the work (see your #2 above)

: Yes, tax is force; on the otehr hand, how teh hell do you think existing property relations are defended? Behind every 'NO TRESPASSING' sign is teh implied threat of guns and prisons. The implied threat that, as the old song says, "Anybody caught trespassing will be shot on sight."

I have always wanted a socialist to have the honesty to admit that they simply want other fingers on the triggers, but that the principle of results by force will be extended.

: Perhaps a better examp[le, free of the idea of 'scale', is teh following; light is a wave, and a particle, but not both at the same time.

Therefore non-contradictory. Only if it were two things of distinct identity at the same time would it be a contraditction. Lets wait on what physicists do to unify these theories before suggesting contradiction.

: I disagree. You do not have the right to abandon your child;

I said abdicate - there was no 'right' invoked by the parent - they merely ran for it. hence I tend to agree with you on this.

: caring for teh poor is not a 'chosen' obligation; it's simply an obligation.

By what standard? and if said carers chose not to? what then?

: REally? I suspected you would quote Ben Franklin's contemptuous dismissal pf those who woudl trade 'security' for freedom.

I like the quotation - but a man may submit himself as a slave for a little comfort, as long as he does not submit his unwilling neighbour to the same fate (by a majority vote for instance)

: Well, I don't know. I defined freedom as the achievement of a self-defined fulfilling life, and I think that grape pickers and sweatshop workers, by and large, aren't living what tehy would consider a fulflilling life.

And the effort which needs to be coerced out of others in order to relieve the grape pickers may make those others lives' not what you would "consider a fulflilling life. "

:Rawls, the great theorist on freedom and equality, states that freedom can be infringed if the infringement leads to a greater increase of freedom somewhere else.

Very utilitarian. Would you trust your neighbour to decide you fate thusly?

: Therefore, a mild abridgment of freedom

is the wedge that defines the principle that such freedom only exists if 'allowed' by whomever holds the power. It is not 'free', it is different scales of unfreedom.

: First, I would suggest that the migrant workers' penury is, indeed, caused by otehr people;

You would need to show this as their culpibility in migrants migrating in the first place, as well as all other factors of their poverty. can you really draw a causal relationship?

: Because if you have a supply of medicines or food, etc., and you must decide how to distribute it, you must decide on some system for allocation; shall it be by need, by money, by age, by loyalty, etc. In this way a talent fro making mnoney is incompatible with doing what is best for the poor

Youre forgetting that the talents for making medicine are also to be taken into account - the choices those makers wish to excercise in distributing their own produce. Thats too easily forgotten - and its the key.

: Look at GM's calculated decsiion to allow people who drive its cars to die in fires;

Every car manufacturer would therefore be 'guilty' whenever it produces a car *without* EVERY single latest safety design. Wanna buy a compact for $100k? I agree with you on GM, but whatch how its interpreted. Is GM a case of willful fraud or disregard? Probably. Is Toyotas decision not to have side impact bars on one new model the same? No - that was to make it affordable to its buyers - sure you could force them - and they'd sell no cars at all, people would have no private transport, misery, backwards move, etc etc. (and besides - do 'public' transport have *every* safety feature?)

The absolute welath in society is not what we should look at, rather the wealth of the least well off class. They are the only class whose prosperity we ought to make our guiding line.

Using that logic - if every nation on earth was like Ghana is now, but one nation was like ethiopia in 1985 - then the Ghanaians should be made to suffer?

: But unless people are exposed to different viewpoints, I don't see the point of saying that they are free. Teh end result is teh same. People must eb informed, ergo educated, to be really free.

Again - at the cost of doing so, and of people who want to do something else with their own lives rather than met endless obligations.

: In the case of right wing terrorists, I think that specific actiosn such as bombing hospitals and raping children would clearly reduce their claim to any rights or consideration.

Same with those left wing terrorists who murdered German bank chief years ago then?

: Although to be frank, if it comes to making a choice between who si to get scarce medications, jsut being a Nazi would put someone pretty far down on my list.....

Right - so you can appreciate the problem - you discriminate personally between the people (inc yourself) who would receive your effort.

Follow Ups:

  • I doubt that. Nikhil JAikumar DSA MA, USA January 10 19100 (1)
    • I don't Gee si January 10 19100 (0)

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