- Capitalism and Alternatives -

guilty by inaction?

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 07, 1999 at 15:09:38:

In Reply to: yes, to no avail posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on October 07, 1999 at 10:46:41:

: as opposed to murder or famine caused

The word caused - we'll come back to that.

: yes, I remember it, I also remember explaining why I thought it sucked and why it explained nothing. Bring up the posts if you would like- I haven't mastered the fine art of linking, unfortunately. In general, I believe my criticisms revolved around unscientific methodology, moral equivalency, selective glossing over of certain kinds of killing (deaths by neglect), biased reporting, tortured logic, blaming the wrong people for crimes committed, conflation of terms, and other fallacies.

It appears that you should re visit the site http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rummel/

It explicitly explains the terms of the research, there is no glossing. The quantitative analysis is sound.

: really? How about the fact that millions of kids every year die of food deprivation? To write off these as 'deaths by neglect" is:

Appropriate because:

1) You are blaming a system for the deaths. Rummel blames specific governments, and finds a correlation between totalitarianism and state caused deaths.

2) The above is difficult to trace cause. It seems that you are saying that a person who doesnt rush to the rescue if he is able is the *cause* of a persons demise. This is a very loose interpretation of causality.

: 1) Biased. Of the 20-odd million killed by Stalin and the 40-odd million killed by Mao, the two classic examples of 'left-wing' murder, over half died of famine. If you include those dead as victims of 'Marxist-leninsim', then you must include the millions of victims yearly due to capitalism.

No, those starvations were planned by the state. If a starvation is planned by the state in America then it comes under the same banner - statism, and is not to be foisted onto the notion of private property.

: 2)This does not excuse the Leninists of blame, because in both case the famines were engineered by man. There was enough food to go around, yet the Chinese caused these people to be deprived of food therefore they are to blame. Likewise, there is enough food to go around today, yet we live under an economic system which allots food according to ability to pay.

'we' can afford to buy food with our ability to pay for starving people anyway, but were not - thats a question worth asking.

: my criticism of capitalism is not based on condemning idnividuals at all, but rather on teh ideology itself.

Taking my comment above, perhaps this needs to be reconsidered

: Examples that the capitalists themselves have given me include:

: 1) Victorian England, where they hung pickpockets and had urban youths living in unbelievable squalor.

Where the industrial revolution happened because commerce was not restricted nor held in tight reigns by a self interested beaurocratoc 'class'. Thats what they probably mean.

: 2) Hong Kong, where in spite of the traditional Chinese revrence for teh elderly, they have old men living in tiny rabbit cages that don't allow them to stand up- codnitions fit only for animals, not for human beings.

Where low taxes and little interference created more wealth, more childrens educations and any number of outcast old men. Dont point to a minority of genuinely destitute people as an indictment of everything else. Thats what they are probably talking about.

: 3) Singapore, where they can throw you in jail for chewing gum.

See Hong Kong, and then add that the government is not liberal.

: 4) south korea, where professing communsim can get you a cozy billet in prison.

As with Singapore

: 5) pre-Civil war America, enough said. I guess at elast teh North didn't have slavery- no, we were too busy exterminating the Amerindians....

The bit between 1800 and arounf 1915 is more often suggested.

: Given the examples above, supplied right from the horses' mouth, can you balme me for being a bit skeptical of teh capitalist utopia?

There has never been a 'capitalist utopia', there has never been a 'socialist utopia' hence the danger of using real life examples where picking faults is easy.

: Um, Somalia has effectively no government right now. is it free?

From whom?

Sweden has a large, interventionist government. Yet a nonpartisan analysis in '91 by Charles Humana ranked it the freest country in the world.

You cast doubt upon another 'freedom scoring' system before. Dont imagine Humana is abov that.

: because in that case I'm not buying.

You dont have to buy it, its there.

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