- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Quotations and the inability to reason for oneself...

Posted by: Darcy Carter ( UK ) on January 19, 19100 at 16:09:53:

In Reply to: Darcy and the aristocratic reaction posted by Stoller on January 18, 19100 at 21:32:11:

: This post responds to this one. Darcy, displaying true procapitalist zeal, starts a whole new string instead of 'following' (how sheep-like, perhaps) a chronological sequence...

-----Honing procapitalist zeal is very time consuming and I can't spare the effort to scroll too far down the page.

: : You said that the fact that few people were involved in science or entertainment and were therefore statistically irrlevant meant that arguments related to these peolple were also irrlevant.

: This point has been dealt with admirably by Farinata.

: Does superior ability in some specific area (such as basketball) determine general superiority?
: Such as: the man who jumps high hoops gets a fortune, the woman who takes care of children professionally doesn't merit health care?
: I mean,what if the basketball player was expected to take care of children for a living? If he fell short of the ideal, then shall we deny him health care (though he can still jump high hoops)?In Darcy's world we would.

-----The above paragraph is completely nonsensical. The debate arose from the possibility of job sharing in order to end social division of labour. I said this was impractical becuase not everyone would be able to do all jobs. The response was that everyone is in fact born more or less equal and is merely conditioned by environment to become clever / stupid etc.

----My comments on athletics had nothing to do with who should get healthcare and on what basis, or indeed how much a particular person should be paid for his or her work. I was merely indicating that we are all not equal. You have not refuted this. When this is accepted in relation to "exceptional activities" such as arts and sports, one has to question why this is not the case in relation to more everyday (though still difficult to master) activities. Unless this can be demonstrated, it would seem to raise serious questions about the practicalities of job sharing. Ranting about not giving Mothers health care because they can't jump through hoops may make you feel better but it doesn't refute my point or raise a constructive one of your own.

: What if we lived in a society that rewarded one skill over another?

: Say, jumping hoops was valued, raising children well wasn't.

: Can we assert---as Darcy does---that jumping hoops EXCEPTIONALLY WELL merits a fortune, yet taking care of children EXCEPTIONALLY WELL merits only $7 an hour, no benefits?

: We can only assert that in a society in which the rulling elite has already made the decision on everyone's behalf.

---- Again, I didn't make any value judgments in my post about who deserves to be paid what. I just said job sharing wasn't practical as not everyone was equal. Your political rhetoric seems to blind you to this simple fact.

: : You also ignored my points about the environment in which Smith was writing ... He may have been refuting the categorising of people at birth as lower, middle or upper (as every sane person would)...

: No, no, no.

: If you look at the quote, you'll see that Smith explicitly says that all children are (potentially) equal, it's the process of education that determines their 'careers.'

----You're very good at quoting chunks out of textbooks, but seem reluctant to reason about your quotations. Have you considered the time in which Smith was writing, or that the world and our knowledge of the human condition has changed entirely since the 1700s? It's not just a case of deep fat fryers being invented. The world has changed radically in almost every way. You can't just quote Adam Smith's behaviourist views and take them as gospel ,ignoring everything that we now know about biology and human development. What is more, you have failed (again) to address the relevance of the world in which Smith was writing. In an area such as social / human biology, the relevance of society and current scientific knowledge to the pertinence of any particular views is crucial. Otherwise, we would still have to accept the views of great thinkers such as Ptolemy who believed that the Earth went round the sun.

And this process is determined NOT by people, but by people's incomes (ability to purchase higher education).

---Again, you have failed to resognise that education is now universal and compulsory, and that higher education is, in the UK at least, open to all based on merit. If only the children of the rich went to school, I'd be firmly in your camp and filing out my application to join th UK socialist party as we speak.

----You offer no jusitifcation for the assertion that people are the way they are merely because they cannot afford to "purchase" higher education. Indeed, this seems vaguely ridiculous in view of the fact that higher education doesn't begin until the age of 18, and is universally free until then. Most people are more or less complete in terms of personality and ability by that age - they don't become criminals, or even McDs workers, becuase they couldn't afford to "purchase" a university course at this point in their lives.

----Also, you seem to have backed away from your Smith-fueld comments that menial workers have lost human sentience. Are barmen, hot-dog sellers and street cleaners devoid of human sentience? Do you consider them to be below you and sub-human creatures. If not, then either Smith is wrong or the world has changed in some significant way.

: Plus it's determined by the production 'free market'---i.e. by already existing jobs that capitalists need to have filled. As I demonstrated before, according to Business Week, 75% of these jobs require NO higher education.

----Doesn't mean that the jobs are boring. Also, skilled and educated jobs can still be boring. Most people probably find their jobs boring at least sometimes. So what? What I actually said was that most people do jobs better than work at McD's. Speaking from (shortlived) experience, I can assure you that this is true.

: That's the issue.

: : Finally, you said that if I was right "smart people wouldn't need to go to college". That's a very silly comment indeed. There is an enormous difference between ability and knowledge. A bright person will still need to study to become a doctor; he may have the ability to understand medicine but medical knowledge is obviously not inherited and will have to be acquired through college education. Similarly, an entirely ignorant person due to lack of education could be, naturally, very bright.

: But would you want that uneducated, but 'naturally very bright' person operating on you?

: No?---then, that 'naturally very bright' person lacking a formal degree will probably end up behind a cash register, mopping floors, tending to children in a day care center, or waiting tables BECAUSE those are the sorts of jobs available to most people---however 'bright' they may (really) be.

----This is exactly what I said; it is ability and environment / education that determines a person's skills. A doctor requires natural ability and an education. That is why his job could not be shared by many others. Some others don't have the ability, some have the ability but not the very specific education required. You are merely confirming my point. You were trying to prove that natual ability was irrlevant as, if it was relevant, "smart people wouldn't need to go to college" - obviously an absurdity. Again, this merely proved my point that an education is required as this type of knowledge is never inherited or genetic. However, this is not to say that anyone with the education could do the job - many people try to become doctors, but just aren't good enough at the subject to succed. Therefore, you need both ability and an appropriate environment to be able to do a specific thing. Coming out with statements about uneducated doctors and smart people still needing to go to college is supporting my point, not undermining it. To support job sharing ideas you would have to show that anyone could be a doctor if given the opportunity, and that it was practical in society for a large proportion of people to undertake this very specific education simultaneously. Logically, far more than will ever be needed actually to be doctors.

----Less polemic about starving mothers and healthcare next time. That's a completely different issue.

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