:: [A] hundred people who did not conceive of the wheel cannot equal the effect of the one who did. Its in the mind, and all that.
: Are you sure only one person 'invented' the wheel? One person---at one time and place?
Does it matter? Lets say it was a 1000 inventors over a few hundred years of human history - in each case their effect on humanity (that which primitive cultures could reach) - the wealth left to them in the form of the wheel and what it does - is far greater than a hundred, indeed thousands, times their number of unmotivated persons - and frankly that can include most motivated persons too. I have no doubt though that one mind originally conceived of the wheel in each case (tribe, whatever). Two minds are unable to 'think' together.
: And should all of Western civilization continue to pay tribute in honor of intellectual property rights to that one person (if it was one person) in perpetuity?
Who else did it? That man would not live in perpetuity anyway - what benefit would he rationally derive from ownership when dead? Its an interesting area - intellectual property, its a clue to a persons intent. If one disagrees with it then its clear that the intent is to place each mind as 'communal' property just as is intended with the other means of production. Its another one of those sticking points where collectivism loses another million votes.
: Yet capitalism is NOT voluntary. If someone doesn't want to work---on capitalism's terms and at capitalism's wages---that person will go homeless and starve. That's indirect coercion.
: I've made this point before. Will you ever deal with it?
I have done many times - before your return to the forum. The 'got you over a barrel' argument is intended (i think) to portray the capitalist as a man by the lake side with a rope and the potential worker as a man adrift, in danger of drowning. The 'moral' derived from this is that the rope carrying man is obliged to save the stranger or he is held culpible for his situation - held as cause (thats sneaky - a causal con trick) as if he pushed the man in himself! Thats the allusion to coercion. Were such to be made enforceable law it would be in every mans interest to discard their rope (ability) so as not to be held culpible for the other fellows situation (need). Not a pretty scenario.
:: Actually its no insinuation, I stated that their ability makes them unassailably into a position of exclusive skill ('excluded' from others by their ability) which cannot be rotated. That is what I wished to see resolved in your model. I'm sure they could sweep with the best of them, but in their speciality they would be far and away from their peer group - who would be unable to match them, unable to take their place. In this they would be alone, divided from others.
: OK, you're defending the social division of labor
No, I am saying its going to happen *anyway*
: Here's a question for you: can division of labor exist without hierarchy? And if not (history infers the two are synonymous), do you care to come out and openly defend hierarchy?
I take hierarchy to mean a body of persons having authority. Then I state that it will happen anyway - as with your earlier example of doctors in the surgery - as necessary consequence of the enforcers necessary for overseeing job rotation. And where the above example, the rare fellow who is exclusively skillful deu to his abiliy, then he shall become the authority on his area of expertise, rather than have authority to order people about - as the enforcers must.
As stated - the above fellow can be made to do some sweeping, but while he is in his field he is unmatched and no one can rotate with him (ie no one can do what he does) effectively. This is defacto social division of labor.
:: I imagine that I am correct in assuming that socialism is not a menu from which to pick the 'nice bits' any more than the politically powerful today treat the free market as something from which to pick the 'nice' bits.
: We can agree on that.
Well thats good! As I said - it may be worth clarifying the various versions of 'leftism' which use the moniker socialism.