- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Keep those presuppositions locked in!

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for More than Brazil, USA ) on August 26, 1999 at 18:20:43:

In Reply to: forcefields posted by Gee on August 26, 1999 at 13:17:18:

: :: So defending oneself against an attacker is now *initiating* force?

: :SDF: On your part it is.

: I can see that by obscuring the causal and moral difference

SDF: Moral differences amount to more than your Favorite Law. And one can always trace "force" to some prior instigation, so the question of "who started it" can get muddled.

: : SDF: You believe in your favorite law, don't you? What would enforce it?

: No law can be enforced except by the will of people to enforce it. Think again about private property being dictated by a small minority.

SDF: People will "initiate force" on behalf of a rule disallowing the initiation of force? Under capitalism? With no consideration of the profit motive?

: : SDF: You still obsessed with protecting hoarders? In a world as full of poverty (amidst wealth) as ours? See, this is why I say stuff like that you're rotten to the core. Do you have any values that aren't sold out to the rich?

: You didnt consider

SDF: The rich initiated force, you're defending them. All of America, for instance, is based on the European initiation of force, in stripping the "Indian" population of the customary rights they had over their land, and herding them into reservations after long marches in which most of them died. Then they sanctify this force with property, which you defend. Are you going to answer my question?

: : SDF: Nope, it goes against the survival chances of the whole society. Everyone's interdependent, autonomy's a myth. We all need to live on a planet that is safe from thermonuclear war, for one, for even the dropping of one bomb raises everyone's cancer risk.

: Ignoring a million people starving in Africa does not gain the perception of lessening a groups chance of survival in Belgium.

SDF: When companies relocate from Belgium to Africa to take advantage of cheaper resources and wages, it does. Starving populations will accept any wage at all, so starving people are a capital flight risk to working people everywhere.

: : SDF: It takes more than the end of private ownership to create a society at peace, it takes trust. Private ownership and the suspicion of thieves go hand in hand, however.

: The removal of private ownership requires absolute universal trust *prior* to it being practicable.

SDF: We trust people anyway, especially when there's enough food for everyone (and not just for those who can play exchange-games with us). If we didn't, we'd take seriously the Hobbesian fiction of the "war of all against all," and such war would accelerate out of all proportion to what it has become under capitalism. Actually there would be less of a need for trust if we shared everything. We would not need to trust people not to be business frauds, since the motive for fraud would be removed.

The PROMOTION of private enterprise, on the other hand, is the promotion of the suspicion of thieves, and the subsequent hiring of syndicates to combat them, if no government can be found. We are back to the anarcho-capitalist reality of syndicates, the paradise of Russian life.

: : SDF: Prove it!

: Same could be directed at you regarding AC, Prove why it wouldnt be peaceful - as it would where people 'learned values' as you have suggested occurs in Kindergarten. Saying what might happen based upon what things are like now and in history is the best we can do. Neither of can prove one thing or another in this context.

SDF: Since you've chopped off the previous post, I have to remind you of what I asked you to prove. You said that "peace is a fantasy." You've gone on to blather about something else.

: : SDF: But I don't use any "force," not by my definition, when I shoplift food,

: Your removing food from someone else (in this case from one who would have exchanged something of value and that value the one who made the food in the first place.

SDF: Oh such violence as is promoted by shoplifters!

: The common retort is that 'its only a loaf of bread' and that no one is really hurt. Extend the principle that stealing food is not force (and thus ok) to its logical conslusion the stealing all the food

SDF: I don't need ALL the food, just enough to survive.

: resulting in the starvation of the original makers of the food is also 'ok'

SDF: There is more than enough food for everybody. Most of the world's starvation is caused by the fact that people don't have enough money for food, that people are compelled to play a capitalist game before they can eat. We are "initiating violence" against these people when we ask them to put capitalism before their stomachs. This isn't hypothetical.

And in real life it's often difficult to determine who "initiated force," without a public judging entity that won't take bribes (a well-paid, well-trained government), there is no impartial force judging who breaks rules, and there's an overwhelming force going against those who would otherwise believe in your "rule" -- the BARE NECESSITY OF BIOLOGICAL SURVIVAL. See, the homeless person who shoplifts food could be any of us, if there's no social safety net. "Ethics" is not more important than strictly-defined bare necessities of biological survival.

: : if defined as above, contrary to the biological urges of those who must eat but cannot be entrepreneurs. Therefore even if anarcho-capitalists believed in your prohibition against the initiation of force, they would feel fully justified in killing shoplifters, loiterers, and other nonviolent "users of force," even though such people may have been biologically denied a "choice". Brazil is your paradise.

: Why loiterers? What other 'nonviolent' users of force?

SDF: Loiterers are sitting, possibly sleeping, on my property. If they are there, they are discouraging moneyed shoppers and using my property to do it. If there is no public property, if all property is private, such individuals, deprived of the means of paying rent, must use "force" to occupy the property of others. Shoot 'em all, they're bad for business, like they do in Brazil.

Follow Ups:

  • brazil Gee si August 27 1999 (2)
    • Uruguay Nikhil Jaikumar DSA MA, USA August 30 1999 (0)
    • Russia Samuel Day Fassbinder Citizens for Mustard Greens USA August 28 1999 (0)

The Debating Room Post a Followup