- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on September 15, 1999 at 23:00:33:

In Reply to: ....'n pepper posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on September 14, 1999 at 20:38:26:

: The role of the media is not to tell people what they want to hear (or what advertisers want to hear). The role of the media is to speak the truth.

Sure about that? Where does this role derive from? Lots of people need to learn about things, write about things and arrange for the production and distribution of the media so that others may read/see/hear it. If those others dont want to read it they wont.

Compare with mars bars. Lots of people need to learn about things, design the mars bar and its means of production and distribution so that others may eat it. If those others dont want to eat it they wont.
In other words the media is as subject to demand/supply as any other good. Hence the national enquirer and NY times are sold on the same stand to different people, who also buy different candy bars.

The reason a free press is considered important is based upon the idea that people *want* to know whats going on, unmolested by regulation. We criticize the china press because it is skewed by regulation, nothing else.

: Well, by that logic citizens in Laos, Zambia, and other countries can 'officially' change their government, it's just very difficult. How si a system that preserves two-party hegemony better than one that preserves one-party hegemony? because if both parties agree on issue X, and I disagree, then I am disenfranchised just as surely as if there was only one party which was in favor of X. If from where I stand the Republican and Democrat parties seem nearly indistinguishable (hypothetically), then how am I better off than if i lived in East Germany?

precisely. Although remember that having an opinion does not give one the right to 'have' a party suited to it, if there isnt one you have to start it. From there we go into the limitations appropriate to any form of govt.

: But that's exactly the argument made by the Marxist-Leninist states, that there was no dissent because evryone was happy. Now, I won;'t deny that you (and they) have some partial truth, but I think that there's more to the story. I mean, wasn't it you who has always said that people are individualistic, hence getting the great majority to agree on anything is near imossible.

i agree, the aim of the point was to show that the proposed measure would measure a plethora of factors, and may not be a useful guide to 'freedom'

: if you use the definition of social freedom, then entrenepreneurial freedom is a restriction on freedom, because it presupposes a scarcity of good X

Can you tell me of something that exists in natural abundance and requires almost no effort to collect and use? Even water doesnt qualify. Air seems to, and no one is selling breathing air in any of the vaigly entrepreneurial countries. If something takes an effort to create then someone has to undertake that effort. He can choose to do it for 'nothing', for some level of compensation or he can be forced to supply it against his will.

: No, no. I didn't see that PJ was puerile because he was copnservative. I say he is puerile because he is a comedian writing for a glossy teeny-bopper magazine who often writes about politics in the most flippant, vulgar way imaginable. Read some of hsi stuff and you'lkl see what I mean.

yeah, some of his one liners are ok, some of his more 'serious' texts are ok, but in general he comes over as a 'poking fun' teenager.

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