- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on July 09, 1999 at 18:17:09:

In Reply to: Agreed. posted by Red Deathy on July 09, 1999 at 17:27:56:

: So long as they *need* to work to sustain/keep their investments they are working class, at the point in which they can live by investing for profit alone, they become capitalist class.

Now this would depend on current prices, return on investment rates and the willingness of the 'capitalist' to live cheaply. Rather broad and ambiguous unless you invoke an objective level of 'living' *needed* (and applied same to poverty). The fellow who gets half his income from capital and the other half from labor, he could cut his expenses in half and live indefinately from the capital but at a comfort level lower than he chooses (eg he may have to go live in a little flat etc). If he did that he would be a capitalist, but if he strived for a nice family house etc and worked he would be working class.

You may not be surprised that some people do the former, plough everything into capital and live cheap from then on, I know of a few ex-hippies who have done that after being in the first generation of high tech jobs in the 70 & 80s!

Basically I am saying that levels would need to be fairly consistent and objectively demonstrable rather than relative, or anyone could end up as anything if they have a mixed income source.

: Ah, well I always understand 'natural' to implictly mean 'that which exists without the active agency/will/intervention of human consciousness'- everything humans can do is natural.

Exactly, so why call it unnatural. man-made is better.

: Specifically, when you compare comparative advantage by birth (.e. born rich) with genetic factors (hieght, skin colour, athletic potential), you are de facto implying that the economy is likewise an accident of 'nature'.

How did you get from genetic structure to the results of human action and wrap them up as accidents of nature? Unless you are proposing an entirery determined history/future view of mankind (which always appears without use to me, dissapears up its own loopholes that theory).

: Classic Liberalism, as espoused by the anarchist/libertarian socialist Chomsky, who says we should operate a running bias against force (guilty until proven necessary).- His example is teh forcible restraint of a child near a road...

It would seem a very poor example, who is parent to the parent? How is their judgement superior?

: What structures *allow* those parents to have learnt more, and be able to teach? If teh difference is based on social structures of wealth within an economic totality, then doesn't justice demand that we act *where we can* to alter that totality?

Why does 'justice' demand it? What is justice to you? To me an idiot who plays chicken on the highway and gets run over receives the justice of his actions, a farmer who devises a new way to sow crops which is in reality superior and receives a higher crop is experiencing justice, if at that point a thief came and took all the additional crops away he would be experiencing injustice. Would you agree with that action makes consequence view of justice as a simple model? Now for the 'luck' justice. If I am born with lovely running genetics I can run faster than you, this is neither justice nor injustice because *I* have taken no action to receive it, if I then ran faster and got out of the way of an angry Rhino I would be experiencign justice, if you had hobbled me at birth to make it all equal and I couldnt get out of the way then it would injustice. If a baby is born to a rich family then the baby's advantages over others is neither justice nor injustice, the baby having taken no action to achieve his parents wealth. In order to 'correct' it according to what seems your model of justice is that that baby's advantage be reduced in order to create a greater 'egalitarianism' which requires a lowering of babys starting position without baby having acted, ie without action makes consequence, which can be considered an injustice.

: But by moving it onto a question of personal ghuilt, your are effectively absolving the parents and the entire social structure, totality, that permits privillege. Suely, as a radical liberal, you should want to see an even playing field, in which *everyone* has a full chance to develop their potential- 'some mute inglorious Milton' (Gray)?

Yes I would, but not at the cost of coercively hobbling people who currently have advantages - in effect punishing them for having been born. Nor, if there were magically made an even playing field could I stand the idea of overiding parents in order to make an 'equal start' for each new generation. An even playing field, were it to occur, would become uneven in one generation. Hence post new structure uneveness can recur without cyclical shake outs.

: There is another conservative sense- that of the immutable human nature, and that we must behave according to that immutable nature- the belief in orgininal sin, inherent in your ideas about crime and power-mogering groups being a constant throughout all soceties.

Did I say a constant or describe it more as a probability? the latter. Given your version of socialism, with its assumption of lovely people I doubt many criminals would be raised. Shame that the assumption is one I find dubious, advantage will eb a factor from the word go and some people may seek to gain or defeat advantage by what can be considered criminal means.

: To put it bluntly- although you are a radical liberal, you seem not to believe in enlightenment 'human perfectability.'

And what can possibly mean where the standard of 'perfect' is undefined?

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