- Capitalism and Alternatives -

oops, ive been born again.

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on July 13, 1999 at 14:18:22:

In Reply to: Aye. posted by Red Deathy on July 12, 1999 at 09:59:22:

: Necessarilly ambiguous, but we could discern some standard based on teh cost of owning a house, buying food, and keeping clothes of a reasonable qualit, each year, and use that as a rough bar. but beyond that, most folks'ld know if they *needed* to work to maintain their income at its current level. A capitalist getting by on 10,000 p.a. is still a capitalist.

I would say 'rough bars' are prone to missuse and variable interpretations to 'prove' one thing or anoteher. It would have to be pretty sure. Reasonable quality would need defining etc.

: Indeed, I know people who own a couple of houses- such people could be adequately described as 'petit-bourgeois' the ones striving to be up with the big boys.

The point is that they are not striving to be big boys or whatever, that they are pursuing private goals many of which do not require their income to expand.

: Thats what you do, whenever you ask whether we should re-distribute someone's height genes. Implicitly you are saying that the economy is an accident of nature, as much as height genes are, and is thus beyond human control,a nd the standards of justice.

Standards which you perosnally hold as justice. Economic status is pretty accidental from the legitimate viewpoint of the new born. They dont get to control it (hence the blamelessness).

: Who said anything about a parent? ANy adu;lt has the right/duty to restrain a child near a road, specifically if teh child appears to be about to run out onto it.

Good road safety tip, but its not some general principle applicable to humankind.

: That everyone within a society has an equal part in it, and equal opportunity within it, and an equal share.

Hmmm.

: Even if its a child? Children are responsible for their conditipon now are they?

Who said I was still talking about children. Were not suggesting that adults need to be treated as children are we? By whom?

: The baby is not morally culpable,

then why do you seek to readress its status, ie lower it. If I were to suggest that 'criminal families' children be removed from them and 'educated properly' would that be 'just'?

: but the parents are,

I can see the difficulty of adressing them in that small window of opportunity, hence I am pleased yo realise the whol thing requires the kind of agreement and personal resolve of those very parents for it to change.

: Who said anything about lowering that babies privellees, we're talking raising everyone elses.

Super, encourage a situation where they can catch up - without holding the baby back meanwhile.

: Further, If I steal things tokeep my familly alive, and them I am arrested, should my wife keep the ill gotten loot, despite it not being the consequencs of her action?

Unknowingly receiving stolen goods means she simply must accept their return to the actual owner, its not her fault its yours. If such a rigerous enforcement of property was in existance throughout histiry imagine how much less 'privaleged classes' we would have no, for instance the British landed gentry who simply claimed land without even adding any value to it. (gosh, I must be going all 'geolibertarian')

: By focussing on the baby as culpable, you absolve the society. It is a consequence of social structures that makes the baby privelleged, and justice demands that such consequences end.

No, I do far worse than that, I point out that to 'correct' it you must in effect take punitive action agaimst a human who has no culpible responsibility for being 'lucky' enough to be born into a richer environment. There being no point in time when you can do it wihtout thus affecting millions. Break some eggs to make omolette?

: How can you equate genetic potential with socially bestowed wealth?

Because, for the new born - its wealth is as apparently and legitimately 'random' as its genetics.

: What, so you wouldn't think banning inhereitance was fair?

Lets assume that inheritance was banned, what then? Imagine three parents who all have the same resource. 100 each. Parents A dont use much and gift 50 to their child when hes 18. Parent B uses 50 of them to educate the child in a way that allows them more opportunities. Parent C spends all the extra on playing golf. Thus, unless you are regulating the way in which parents bring their children up you cannot avoid inequality developing (genetics and ability aside for a moment). hence egalitarians support seperating children from parents in matters of education etc, as proposed by Marcos and seemingly supported by SDF in calling child rearing a 'social responsibility'.

: Thats an old myth

See above.

: I don't assume lovely people, I assume people adapt to their economic situation, and their economic situation governs their behaviour.

I think that view of mankind has it being all reactive, whereas mankind is notoriously proactive. Behaviour can govern economic situation.

: So you do actually see competition as a transcendant inherent factor in all human beings?

Yes, finite resources under any system means that control of such is not equally available to all. As long as there is advantage to be had by being able to control more resources (which socialism doesnt resolve, just hopes to devolve to small situations) then competition remains.


Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup