- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on January 12, 19100 at 14:46:45:

In Reply to: Continuing with Gee.... posted by Nikhil JAikumar on January 11, 19100 at 18:30:52:

Thats an old thread - still, a good one I thought.

GEE: Slavery is not measured by the comfort of the cage, but by the either / or principle.

: OK. Why not ASK the people in African villages today if they're slaves? I think we both know what they would say. Poor, yes, but not slaves.

Then they are doing so VOLUNTARILY. Thats what would make them non-slaves, nothing else. To say that a number african villages who voluntarily contribute to the central pot make the coercive laws requiring other people to do so ok is to look at ends without regard to why's or means.

: First of all, everyone benefits froma healthy and harmonious society.

I accept that assertion as reasonable, each person would because of their differing concept of 'healthy and harmonious'.

: Second of all, we are the rational animal with a soul, to wuote....someone or other, and tehrefore we can display real altruism, unlike teh self-interested "altruism" that is characteristic of aniamls.

Can you explain that further - the concept of altruism is very important. Can you show animal and human examples of altruism please - I'd like to go over them.

: freedom does not mean doing whatever you choose.

Even the declaration of the rights of man does not suggest it.

: Third of all, when you work for society, you do benefit,a s a part of society. By building a hospital, you might need the medicines therein one day.

Thats a specific example, and people can agree with it. How does Mr Jones benefit from providing Mr Smith, living 1000 miles away, with a welfare handout? Or by providing foreign aid to a nation he has no connection with, nor any agreement with (eg China). Can you describe the benefit to Mr Jones when he may have preferred to use that effort on another matter, such as a day out with his kids or some medicine. Why is his judgement to be superceded by anothers?

: Not equivalenbt. In one case you're merely preventing the evildoer from having the means by which he committed his (economic) crime.

It is equivalent. 'economic crimes' are as arbitrary as a 10pm curfew.

: The appropriate analogy would be that the curfew-breaker had his car keys impounded.

And that makes the curfew ok?

GEE: Exceot that the force required in the first is self defence "defending *my* life and *my* property as reaction to invader whilst the latter is invasion. Both require force, observe the above difference though.

: No, but you make the claim for it being your property on the groudns of force in teh first place,

How so? If, using a simple example, I make a chair and the neighbour makes a coat then how are we forcing anyone? If we trade them then we have acquired what was anothers property by mutual consent - where was the force in that? If you are saying that had a man walked cold and tired outside and that we were 'forcing' this condition upon him by not handing over the chair and coat then you seem to be dropping causality.

: When you fence in land you're introducing the threat of implied force- befroe it was no one';s land, so tehrte was no quetsion of force. You commit the action that initiates force.

Lets use the example of a farm, which you make the effort to sow and cultivate. The land itself is useless and value less without you adding your effort to it. Youre effort realises the value of the land. When someone decides to drive their jeep over it they destroy your effort just as if they had smashed the chair you had made - it is an attack on you. Ask a farmer! I hope you can see my point here.

: GEE: And a poor person in Ghana is not Mr Jones' son.

: But the content of his chromosomes is, as John Rawls says, a 'moarlly arbitrary' fact. Should we base our entire ethocal system on degrees of relatedness? That's what rodents do. We aren't rodents.

We are discerning and discriminating judges though and I can assure you that Mr Jones values his son more than the Ghanaian regardless of exhortations to do otherwise. It is, again, his judgement which the above moral code seeks to over rule. You, NJ, like you freinds better than your enemies and you have earlier stated that you would feel less comfortable about helping out neo-nazis in trouble than another. You do not live by Rawls, not because you are flawed either.

: But we're reducing the suffering, because after we're done no one will have to ednure the grape picker's misery.

But its ok if everyone then endures the misery of the next level up, however marginal the gain? (and thats assuming its possible)

: GEE: What about a decision not to include side impact bars in order to make a car affordable to its market? - im hunting for a principle here.

: Doesn't it bother you that they actually EXPECTED people to die? That they actually PLANNED for that?

I answered that before, i was bothered, - but what about my example. I'm sure the side impact issue could have been calculated thusly: We could sell 10,000 cars without the impact bars, but its likely that 56 people would die or we could add the impact bars buy put the price up and sell 7,000 cars wherein only 12 people would die.

Is that wrong too? I am asking because if you think it is then I am going to tell you which consequence *must* follow in car production and in every single matter of making goods.

: GEE: But because you consider it acceptable you must accept any permutation of the same principle - so the rest of the world can suffer for the sake of 30 countries or 100 countries, by the same logic - there is no end to the suffering imposed upon nations bound over to 'help' because there is no principle to deal with it - its all whim.

: No, you asked a specific question and I answered it. Now you have to show why that example can be broadened to the case under discussion. What are the similiarieties and the differences.

How are the cut off points to be decided then? What is the basis or standard whereby its ok for the rest of the world to suffer for 10 countries, but not for 100?

: By rationally determined standards that are agreed upon after reasoned argument. At least, according to the Rawls / Sen argument from freedom that I'm working with here.

Perhaps you could demonstrate one such decision, I would be interested in following it becuase at the moment it seems arbitrary, that the rules change without regard their impact.

:: YEs, I don't much approve of teh Baader Meinhof gang either, but bear in mind that there are differences bewteen semi-judicial assassinations, which punish specific peopel for specofoc crimes committed, and the kind of random, fear-spawning targeting of civilians

: GEE: Both are terrorism, just one has better aim.

: Is the death penalty terrorism? I don't think so. Extreme, perhaps, but permissible in the case of heinous crimes.

So whilst you don't much approve of that gang, you do approve of blowing up a bank chief because he is a bank chief? Do you agree with the idea of self appointed judge/jury/executioner carrying out their agenda without recourse to such things as the right to a defence, to a trial by jury who considers fact and justice, not just obedience to laws?

Allende was not afforded these rights either.

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