- Capitalism and Alternatives -

answering both

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on June 28, 1999 at 14:08:05:

In Reply to: Force people to be 'born poor' through privatization posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on June 26, 1999 at 12:00:08:

: about hoarding the opportunities to develop talent (actually I'm talking about hoarding opportunities for adequate socialization, an even more egregious error on society's part), such hoarding having little to do with Donovan Bailey.

One could claim, with some justification, that a Bailey cannot exist unless 'society' favors sportspeople and his particular setting facilitated training, nutrition, backing etc. Regardless the hoarding of opportunities for socialization is not an inevitable by product of any particular political system. It is more the parent valuing his child over other peoples children. They seek to provide for their children without what they consider undue compromise, and that may include not wishing to share opportunities with others. I dont think another political setup will change this, nor would an attempt to change the way we perceive and prefer 'ours' over 'theirs'. Hence the rich parents you see around you are not helping out the others.

: It isn't the RECIPIENTS of educational largesse or athletic training who can be blamed for the artificial scarcity of situations for socialization.

I am glad you cleared that uop however it is the recipient who would have to compromise any advantageous position relative to others in order to achieve any kind of equality of opportunity and it is this that I would not believe to be achievable by any voluntary means.

: Meanwhile, a few libertarians around here advocate the privatization of the public school system. Great idea! Force more people to be "born poor" so we can incant the Tough-Luck Factor even more often!

As an aside will you agree that state schooling as it is presently carried out is not conducive to a healthy *thinking* mind? That a school under command of a state will be tuned to what those in power seek to achieve and that those goals may be quite horrific. That parents who do know better are less able to choose by having to support a system which may be destroying, rather than nurturing, their children?

: Thus, the amount of charity the rich can afford to give will always be less than the amount needed to really resolve a social problem, the more so as a society reduces the amount of government force that is absorbing the costs of privatized poverty.

Youre suggesting that the principle is similar to government programmes which never actually solve the target problem -why? Because if they achieved any kind of success that department wouold not be 'needed' and 'caring' beaurocrats would not be able to furnish their careers which ever growing burdensome budgets. That this is the 'sufficiency level'

: It takes a village to raise a child, but if we just say that it's "tough luck" for that child to be "born poor," we're washing our hands of the social problem thusly created while refusing to admit of the social costs (of the production of undernourished underclasses) thusly incurred.

I do hope you are quoting "it takes a village" from its original source and not Hillory Clintons "it takes a village as long as its under my command" If so then you are relying upon the voluntary association of people.

: My argument is that, if you're born "destitute," you should have the right to a public-sector scenario for your upbringing.

This 'right' creates an active obligation upon others to provide it, which for many people means compromising their advantage. Therefore I would suggest, under any system, that it will not happen voluntarily which, to achieve it necessitates strict authoritarianism.

:I take it back. Gee doesn't think the poor are "deserving" of their slums. Gee isn't a utopian dreamer, either, though he'll have to take that back himself.

I do

: Well, it really does happen for those born into poverty, but that's to absolve those who are born. The rest of us, who buy into capitalism, remain guilty as charged.

Do you mean that a child who grows up in reasonable comfort and uses these advantages without seeking to share is guilty at some point - upon becoming 18 perhaps.

: Perhaps this explains something of why I gave up on such studies while in an academic department specifically suited for them, and did a Ph.D dissertation in a school system instead of staying where I was. (At financial risk to myself, as I realized later -- if I'd chosen to be a TV critic I might be expecting a tenure-track job next September, whereas no such thing is happening for me now.) I didn't study Habermas, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Lyotard, Benhabib, Sloterdijk, Benjamin, Fraser, Honneth, Foucault, Derrida, Gadamer, Wittgenstein, Marx, Bourdieu etc. just to specialize in analyses of capitalist product that ignored a thorough understanding of the audiences of such product. So I might end up as an elementary-school teacher? That's life under capitalism.

Do you feel that you deserved more? Incidently thanks for the list - I had been meaning to ask the identity of the theorists having only encountered Habermans, Adorno, Marx & Wittgenstein before.

: SDF: I don't think that's how it works in real life, of course, as you say below. Folks choose to fuck, having babies comes nine months later, the incredible price tag comes after that.

If you understand that sex can result in babies and against your intention one arrives 9 months later you are not absolved by claiming "i didnt mean it". Sex is a package deal - with risk attached. Just like running blind accross the street can result in being run over when you certainly didnt mean it, if you understand that running over roads is risky then upon running you are owning the corresponding risk.

: Me? I (almost certainly) won't have babies until capitalism is dead and gone.

Thats some statement, as you understand the likelyhood of such happening being low in the extreme.

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