- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on January 19, 19100 at 11:45:59:

In Reply to: I expected better from you posted by Stoller on January 18, 19100 at 21:27:58:

:: Two minds are unable to 'think' together.

: Nonsense. Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto disproves that statement.

It does nothing of the sort. I did mean biologically - so perhaps we are talking at cross meanings.

: But capital has all sort of access to OTHER'S intellectual efforts---such as buying favors from university programs, defunding public spending on science so scientists must work for capital's projects, not to mention the 40% of R&D done in America that tax-payers support for capital, risk-free.

And this practice is something I am in agreement with? Any consenting arrangement between people to share knowledge is fine, any tax paid R&D is another matter entirely.

: Your Randian insinuation that capital itself is Prometheus is seriously over-idealized.

Capital itself is just 'the money'. What you do with it is what counts. I don't know all of Rand's writings, nor could I claim to be a big fan or whatever but I would conclude that it was what she would have meant - so the 'insinuation' could not have been Randian in the first place, and was not accurate anyway.

: That overdetermined metaphor is your positive contribution to the point I raised?

It's the answer it deserves.

: All you are saying is that the proletariat is a hapless soul drowing in a lake; without capital's promethean abilitiy to rescue him / her, he / she would perish.

No, that's all you are interpreting. I am saying that your implication is that anyone who has ability is tied to serve anybody who has a need, their individual preferences being oppressed under this maxim.

: You are pretty sure of yourself, claiming that capital proves superior intelligence, resourcefulness, discipline, etc.

You are pretty far off the mark here. Capital is not the provider of ability; ability is what makes use of and creates capital. Drop your notion that I think people are born to be great as well - I don't buy that. I do buy that some people will end up superior in part due to their nature though, see below.

: Yet the fact that education and skill are rationed BY capital doesn't disturb you.

Rationed? You do seem to think it's a collusive pre planned affair don't you?

:Yet the fact that capital owns all the resources in which to produce anything doesn't worry you.

People own it. Capital isn't alive. I can chew the fat on whether or not some lazy inheritors 'morally' deserve their wealth. I can nod in agreement at the atrocious quality of life many people have and at how some people get rich by cheating and defrauding and get away with it. I can also see what your proposals will result in really - when the carefully worked out model meets the real people. I will say though, just to be shocking, that when people have genuinely worked to produce what others want and gain from that exchange enormous personal wealth that I am un-bothered by it, indeed I am pleased that such additional wealth, the products of their minds, is added to the human race even if that's to be 'unequally'. Their wealth is not at the cost of others. You wouldn't subscribe to the zero sum notions would you?

Do you not see what your model would really do to people? With its essential controls and enforcement? Perhaps you really think it will work, perhaps your behaviorist bent leads you to think that the model applied will just change human behavior to fit it. If so why didn't Russian people just fit their bastardized version of communism? What stopped that working? It was a usable model, it was strictly applied, Shouldn't they have just 'behaved'?

: Stoller: OK, you're defending the social division of labor

: No, I am saying its going to happen *anyway*

: Biological determinism to the rescue!

People as a race have a distinct identity, distinct (and increasingly understood) DNA which affects their behavior very significantly. Basically those who think all behavior is entirely the result of the environments sans 'nature' are placing a dreadful dichotomy between one influence and another - where it does not exist. You can deny the influence of the environment in terms of evolution and DNA if you wish, whilst extolling the influence of environments in terms of society as total - but you'd look rather silly.

: If intelligence (following Rand) is so natural, why then do all those successful capitalists need university educations?

All of them? Hmmmm.

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