- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Let's all sing 'I don't need nobody'

Posted by: bill on May 07, 1999 at 10:47:11:

In Reply to: Individuals value, collectives cant posted by Gee on May 06, 1999 at 16:07:07:

:: you and i differ on our assessment of "natural ability" and how important it is. first of all, i doubt that natural ability is distributed as unequally as you say. Secondly, when people do possess exceptional natural ability(genius), I suspect taht for them work
would be its own reward.

:In experience I find people outwardly similar have very different 'ability profiles' which would make one person more adept at productive effort than another. I find it very plausable that two same size communities could have significantly (which neednt be huge) 'unequal' distribution of those of ability.

First of all, what do you mean by 'ability profiles' in relation to 'productive effort'? Are these 'profiles' based on competitive 'free market' values? Do they include the ability to tell engaging stories, play musical instruments, study salamanders? I would imagine you would have to confine these parameters to those valued by the particular community.

Then again, you have set up a scenario between two communities. But why not extend this form of argument to the internal dynamics within C1 for example. Presumably there are differences in "natural ability" within this single community. How are those individuals who don't 'measure up' (in your definition) to be treated?

While I appreciate you concern for the rights of individuals, I feel you carry this philosophy into a psychology of individualism that ignors basic realities. While we are self-evidently individuals, we are immensely dependant upon others. Very few species have the level of dependency each of us has on the greater society. Curiously (or perhaps not) those activities in which we engage as individuals free from social constraint, are those that are free of market forces. Enjoying a fine spring day, for example.

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