- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The TOTAL human

Posted by: lark on October 07, 1999 at 11:34:18:

In Reply to: the lesser part of 'the battle' posted by Gee on October 06, 1999 at 16:31:49:

: One would do well to be as critical of what is called 'empathy' and 'caring' as any other feeling displayed.

When discussing the 'problem of living' or the 'human condition' it is necessary to investigate all aspects of the human being, human life being the total human. Moralism in isolation is foolish, I mean if you where to moralise to me about something that I'm totally unsympathetic about like "god help the poor taxed business men" it would mean nothing at all but reason and morality are intrinsically linked, for instance I never debate the 'validity of property' because, aside from the fact that we arent living in the era of the first international, I think it both moral and rational to leave peoples possessions alone.

: : There's nothing wrong with moralising, just moralising full stop.

: I'm not convinced its even moralising - just wailing on its own. If one was moralising then one could discuss morals you see - thats a start.

So we, the rational beings we are, are incapable of objectivity? This just wailing business is negative, I dont appreciate the dissent of everything into cold, calculately psuedo-science that is one of the reasons I can't stand Marxism.

For a demonstration of what I'm talking about, the creative combination of rationality and morality, check out John Rawls "A theory of Justice", you would no doubt dismiss it as pure morality but the rational basis for empathy etc. is sound.

: : Why I think it's fantastic that people think me worthy of asking, people have said at different times that they thik I'm well read and committed a lot of time to thinking about these things, now to me that's flattering and I'm happy to lend assistance, as people have assisted me (one time someone posted an idiots guide to capitalist economics and it helped me no end with an economics exam) but then this is all pretty socialist behaviour.

: It is fantastic unless the one asking is just using you as a laxy guide to homework - teachers must get fed up with reading linked web pages.

Possibly but then they are only fooling themselves.

:Still, I generally respond in a helpful manner. benefit of the doubt and all that, but if someone just wants to take without any sense of value, just using a lazy way out of thinking themselves, then I stop.

Still it's pretty socialist to do that without reward.

: : If institutional and organisational changes where made it would be the lesser part of "the battle" to transform society, the state etc. being marginal concerns after that, but they'd defintitely be progress.

: Now you are, correctly, agreeing with RD in that messing about with current institutions, as is the want of so called 'liberals' and 'conservatives' in politics is pointless.

No what I'm saying is that it is the lesser part, I support reform, what seperates "reformist" state socialists, left liberals etc. from "revolutionary" ones? Aside from the reformists (often reluctant I'll admit) respect of free will and liberty, I mean Lenin etc. in policy terms where much the same as Kautsky, the Webbs etc.

My position is that welfare states etc. are fine but why are they considered socialist? It is definitely good that they provide a means of redistributing wealth and lessing the savagery of poverty but they arent really socialist. Institutionally the Soviet, true Soviet that is, and the Commune are the only Socialist institutions, while these arent seen that often the insitutional notions of socialism revolve around republican and liberal notions. So I owe no real loyalty to institutions (though I think some are worse than others, ones that actively serve me, such as, hospitals, police, even though that's debatable, social services are fine but the civil service, the politicians, the army, navy airforce and on a greater sacle the UN or WTO, or World Bank etc. I'd like to see them desolve rapidly).

Owing no loyalty to institutions and seeing their purpose as tactical I realise that it is change in peoples Characters that is most important.

:Possiblism I think he called it. Tampering and destroying wealth I would also call it.

Well I'll disagree with you both, I dont think it makes me any the less of a libertarian though.

:Many socialists focus entirely on their 'system' and fail to change anything, except maybe get one more regulation on the books. Why focus on the lesser part of "the battle", which is secondary anyway?

I dont focus on it, I just dont neglect it, it is similar to your own position as regards Corporations, Incorporation and "Bad Capitalism" (if there can be such a thing as good Capitalism, the weight of proof is on you to convince me of that).

I dont like the way some socialist think that if they can erect a super structure, invest it with power, and execute all opposition then thye will live in a Utopia of Freedom, they are a greater enamy to me than people like yourself even.

: : Or see no way to change it etc. the vast majority of people are alienated etc. but they give sanction because they are either lazy or unimaginative, the government, particularly the US CIA, have spent a long time suttly engineering popular culture so it reflects their aims.

: many people are apathetic sure. the value of learing about politics compared to their ability to influence it makes it wasted energy.

I'm not sure what exactly your saying.

:Thats the power brokers advantage.

Conventional democracy is very strong as you or other libertarian scaremongers have said now it takes a lot to deter people from exploiting it, sure.

:All the 'engineering' stuff I am very skeptical about indeed. So little evidence, and its proponents always exempt themselves from the effect.

No, I don't exempt myself from effect, it takes a lot to maintain any kind of enthusiasum for real world reform battles and not simply debate away here like some people go for a drink in a pub.

If the whole engineering is so incredible, and the incredulity is good it stops paranoia and demands proof, why are there so many Spin Doctors, Corporate PR agencies, Marketing and Advertising agencies? You have to admit that current advertising, for instance, isnt really aimed at resolving the "lack of information" experienced by consumers, its propanganda.

: : The "friendly Capitalism" and Socialism as an end product, a state of being and material form of organisation, have never been and could never be because they demand an incredible emlightenment and political militancy among the participants. For instance the business man must be highly ethical and benevolent to his employees, yet only act on self-interest?

: Quite logical. Happy people work harder, generally.

Since when has Logic had anything to do with anything in the real world? The most recent time I almost lost my job, a relation had died and the boss started giving me abuse, now I mean real abuse here not authoritarian orders or anything, because he was hung over and money from the tills from the last shift was unaccounted for I merely spoke back and the Bastard ordered me out the back and squared up to me, like for fighting, but I refused to cower down because the law was on my side (that and he knows if he hit me it'd be the very last thing he'd ever do).

Now there's logic for you, or rather there's the class war.

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