- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Usurpation of the ideals

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on April 13, 1999 at 11:30:25:

In Reply to: The 'Crimes' of the Left, or: Why Stalin&Mao are not posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on April 12, 1999 at 18:57:00:

The theft contention is easily refuted. How can you steal from people who don't deserve what they own

That raises a deeply intricate question about what justice and 'deserve' means. One cannot act upon a mere opinion of what is deserved and expect to be right. What is deserved? A farmer who works hard but has the crop destroyed by weather is often said not to deserve that. Indeed the consequence of ability and effort is produce, but in the case of the farmer its spoiled by an unchangeable factor. To speak of him as not deserving it, without then seeking compensation, is meaningless. To demand compensation from the weather is irrational, to demand it from other men is to punish them for bad weather.

Its even worse when a man of little ability is said not to deserve the poor outcomes. It throws the meaning of justice and deserving into a mealstrom of conflicting meanings. If an able man deserves his outcomes then so does an unable one. If an unable man does not deserve his outcomes then neither does an able one.

Most important of all is, who decides what is and is not deserved? And how are those decisions enforced?

: Returning property to its rightful owners is teh very opposite of theft.

Such a proposition is loaded with the definition of "rightful".

Id agree that Stalin was not following the communist manifesto, but I also believe that state mediated socialism (even under the excuse of the state withering away in time) leads to Stalinism because of the centralising of the above decisions about justicve and rightfullness. Indeed a village of 1000 people could become subject to Stalinism in a lesser form via the same dynamic. Leaving ideas of justice to a vote is dangerous.

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