- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 04, 1999 at 18:32:50:

In Reply to: It depends on whether you accept the causality. posted by Gideon Hallett on October 04, 1999 at 15:52:12:

: Ah. Try registering and accessing it with cookies enabled; I think you can get a guest login as well.

Ok, thanks i'll try.

: Is this a necessary? There are and always will be some free riders, as Marx pointed out; but if the majority is enough to sustain them, it can float. Obviously, we differ about whether we think it's actually possible for such a sea-change in attitudes to take place.

We do. There is a concern over freeloaders - 'we' would need to find ways in which such are motivated to be productive, lest it become a favoured and growing way of life. If each freeloader takes "just a little bit" they wont perceive the damage done, nor their direct link with the gradual destriction of total production - after all they just took a "little bit". There is another reason - the exclusicity of human interaction within our personal networks and the differentials in how we value, for instance, our own children as compared to someone elses, or our friends over strangers. Exclusivity and discrimination.

: A bit "once-and-for-all", surely; after all, we've seen very few attempts at genuine freedom-based socialism or anarchism...

Try and try again? Put out the fire by pouring on more petrol? Seems risky to me.

: Because people tend to be happier in a society with a strong social welfare system;

This is another conclusion which I would be skeptical about. How do they know people are happier with welfare systems - where is the massive 100,000 plus randomly selected subject base for even daring to reach a conclusion like this in even a small European country? Thats what it would take, amd the questions should be linked "are you happy because of the welfare system" direct and less susceptable to data misintepration of making the data fit the goal of the research - rather than just to produce data.

: Try examining their methods and conclusions; I've given you their names and institutes; the paper they wrote should be out next month; it was presented at a Cambridge conference last month.

I'll have to keep an eye open. Most 'social research' papers I have read seem to lack a properly vast subject base or make a leap from what the data shows to a set of conclusions. The survey methods (eg the questions asked, data interrogated) are also open to various interpretations. Guess thats why so many people are doing PhDs these days!

: 20 years and two continents? How much evidence do you need?

Evidence is one thing, jumping to a conclusion about causality is a more precise science - as you know.

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