- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on August 17, 1999 at 01:40:32:

For Gee's edification (Python effectionado's reckognising teh quote may guess whats coming...) I shall now proove how a Luxury Yacht can be more important to human life than bread. Ah Thangyow!

1:I have fallen into the ocean (it matters not how).
2:Within hours I shall grow tired and drown.
3:In this condition:

i)There is a 100% chance that a loaf of bread will fail to save my life.
ii)There is 100% chance that any seagoing (or air going, for that matter) vessle will save my life.

4:Saving my life is important, to me.
5:Since 0% is less than 100%, a Sea Going vessel is more important than a loaf of bread.
6:A Luxury Yacht is a sea going vessel.
7:Thus a luxury Yacht6 is more important to me in teh sea, than bread.

You could, of course argue, that perhaps I will be stranded in the boat, and still die of starvation, then bread may once more become more important than the yacht, but, without the yacht I will certainly drown, and with the yacht, I may yet reach bread (i.e. death is only probable versus certainty), thus the yacht remains more important.

The logic is sound, and valid, and deductive, air-tight.

What it shows is that use-values, and needs, are variable, ever-changing, and shifting in scale from one to another, whilst the xample is unlikely, perhaps, it still shows why objective universal standardsncannot be set except on a case by case basis.

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