- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: David ( USA ) on February 21, 19100 at 11:52:57:

In Reply to: The question is what are those limits, who sets them and to what ends? posted by Sloopy on February 20, 19100 at 09:46:26:

(Just adjusting some of the mistakes)

MDG: What's wrong with that if nobody is being affected but yourself and maybe another consensual adult? "Ain't nobody's business!" is right.

David: Agreed.

: Sloopy: Within limits, of course. The question is what are those limits, who sets them and to what ends?

My personaly feelings on the subject is that people should be allowed to do whatever they want so long as it does not harm nor hinder another person.

MDG: True, but we believe that adults should have the freedom to do what they want to themselves, no matter how knuckleheaded, as long as they are not harming others. I'm a strong believer in freedom.

David: Agreed.

: Sloopy: On the individual level, of course. So what about the behavior of governments? The US has bombed at least four different countries since 1998? That's harming others. Shouldn't the US military be condemned?

There is a difference, the US is not an individual, it is a government. Now, ideally, the only thing I think a government should do is protect people's individual rights, both domestically and abroad. I do not condone any of those bombings.

: MDG: Maybe there are more people in prison now than ever because of this country's insane war on drugs.

: The war on drugs is NOT insane at all. It provides a cover for the US military to monitor and subvert Leftist groups and grass-roots democracy. From the capitalists' point of view, the War on Drugs is quite logical.

Uh-huh. Well, maybe if all those leftist groups stopped smoking all that pot then they wouldn't be monitored! (I am joking of course)

: D: I say, legalize all drugs.

: Sloopy: This is a typical libertarian viewpoint coming from a young guy. What this position does is isolate the issue of its political and economic context, then assuming a grand, seemingly anti-establishment pose. William Buckley says the same thing, and he ain't no communist.

You don't have to be a communist to be anti-establishment. Besides people are intelligent enough to make their own decisions. I have chosen not to use drugs because I have seen what they've done to many of my friends. I think it is a poor choice.

: MDG (probably joking) I could go on, but my boss just told me I need to pee in a cup and give it to him, or else. Ain't it grand?

: Dave: Well, you can always quit. I believe an employer has every right to drug test an employee, as it can directly affect his performance. For instance, do you want a guy who is doped up to be operating a fork-lift around heavy machinery? Around other people?

: Sloopy: Not all jobs that require drug-testing entail operating heavy machinery. This is a class issue which translates into employer sovereignty.

What about in the medical profession where people's lives are often at stake? Many doctors use drugs, in fact it is one of the most dangerous things about that profession. These guys sometimes work for 2-3 days straight and many of them use stimulants and after working use depressants. Should doctors be drugtested?

: Dave: If you don't like the company policy, find another job that doesn't require drug tests.

: Sloopy: Like I said, as MDG is a lawyer he probably doesn't have to submit to the inconvenience and humiliation of peeing in a cup, at least not regularly. Some high-paid positions require drug-testing (e.g. sports) but most don't. This is a class issue.

Actually, many high-paid positions, upon having your physical done, do test for drugs. Although they may not test regularly.
Now, another reason probably has to do with class, in that employers see a more likely probability of drug and alcohol abuse among its "lower" workers. Call it discrimination if you want, they call it a precaution. Very similar to how being a young and a male (ergo reckless) my insurance rates on my car are massive.

Sloopy: But if MDG was of the proletariat class I would still object to what you said. I'd say, See what you've done, Dave? When you suggested that MDG can quit you put him, a WORKER (i.e. PRODUCER) in a position of a CONSUMER (the product being the job). You suggested MDG could CHOOSE another job, as if all these jobs were right in front of him on a shelf in a supermarket. But jobs aren't brands of toothpaste, and employers should not be sovereign. That's what capitalism does, it makes the only choice as the one between CONSUMERS and PRODUCTS, with the accompanying myth that the CONSUMERS are all-powerful because it's their CHOICES which determine what companies do. THIS IS FALSE.

You are right. MDG probably would have troubly finding another job, especially if the last company he worked for would not write him a recommendation. This is where personal responsibility comes in. He can quit his job at any time because he feels he is being humiliated (or he could litigate citing some sort of privacy law) be what he has to decide first is whether or not financial security or job security is more important than the feeling of humiliation he gets from having to pee in a cup for his employer. He still has the choice, it may not be an easy one, but he has it.

: Dave: Personal responsibility can be a bitch.

: You say you're fond of moral absolutes, but when it comes to the very important question of how people are to provide for their livelihood, you advocate that the real power to be in the hands of the employers, while dishing out homilies about "choice" and "personal responsibility", the arenas in which you mistakenly believe the real power lies.

Believe it or not, Sloopy, but life is all about choice. Everyday you make a multitudinous amount of choices. Many of those choices are not easy. That is life. Some are banal as whether or not to have jam on your toast or peanut butter. Some have short term effects like whether you are going to pack yourself a lunch or buy one, while some have more long term effects, like whether you are going to jump off the bridge on your way to work. You can choose to work hard at what you do, kiss some ass, draw attention to yourself and try to climb that corporate ladder, or you can decide to do what is expected of you, nothing more, and be content with where you are.
There is no right or wrong answer for each of those choices, only what is right for you. If you get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and enjoy having praise lavished upon you, then you will probably try to distinguish yourself in some positive way and climb that corporate ladder, or, if you enjoy being able to go home everyday at five o'clock, watch T.V. or go for a bike ride, then you will probably decide to be happy where you are.
There are other things that will effect your decision, such as family, or lack thereof, money issues, retirement, financial security, happiness, etc... but the point is, you have a choice.

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