- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I need a more challenging debating partner

Posted by: Barry Stoller on October 21, 1999 at 22:19:07:

In Reply to: unable to see the choices. posted by Frenchy on October 21, 1999 at 12:06:46:

: Even you must agree that biology is a factor. I mean, like, genes?

Here's what Adam Smith had to say on that topic:

The difference of natural talents in different men is, in reality, much less than we are aware of; and the very different genius which appears to distinguish men of different professions, when grown up to maturity, is not upon many occasions so much the cause as the effect of the division of labor. The difference between most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature as from habit, custom, and education. When they came into the world, and for the first six or eight years of their existence, they were perhaps very much alike, and neither their parents nor play-fellows could perceive any remarkable difference. About that age, or soon after, they come to employed in very different occupations. The difference of talents comes then to be taken notice of, and widens by degrees, till at last the vanity of the philosopher is willing to acknowledge scarce any resemblance.(1)

: Are you suggesting that the money school districts receive is somehow connected with educational attainment?

You can't be serious, Frenchy!

: Is that your goal? That we all run our governments?

Of course!

Would you rather just follow orders?

: If no one follows orders, how does anything get done?

OK, your desire to follow orders is obvious.

: Orders rarely need to be issued in real life.

Tell this to anyone who works for someone else.

: People understand, if leadership skills are used appropriately, what the task is and what needs to be done to get the job done. There is a cooperation that exists at all levels that grants the primacy of the organizations goal. It's division of labor.

No, it's the minority ownership of the means of production!

People only submit to the labor market because there is no other way of getting the essentials for survival. People submit to the orders of the bosses because they will be cut off from these essentials if they fail to obey. (The division of labor only increases the profits that bosses make from the labor of their workers.)

The work force of the capitalist is a dictatorship!

If people are so 'satisfied' with the political process, why then does over half of the country boycott the elections? Voter rejection does not necessarily imply apathy---it might very well signal the not unreasonable assumption that there is no difference between old Coke and new Coke! When people get something other than Coke to vote for, no doubt they would want to make decisions that affect their lives.

: You must have meant to say why don't people care to go to their polling place to vote. The answer is it's none of your business. They had other things to do. Maybe pick up a gallon of milk on the way home. If they haven't broken a law, mind your own business.

Are you serious? People would rather 'pick up a gallon of milk on the way home' than make decisions that affect them every minute of each working day---day after day? Only because people live in a dictatorship (each working day at the work place) have they lost all hope of democratic inclusion!

Communists propose to change that.

: A vote in the work place??? What sort of work place do you work in??? That's hilarious!! The workers I knew, if given a vote, would to a man vote to go home for the day. And vote for increased wages too.

Not for long, Frenchy. Their survival would depend upon their work. Just as it does now---only, in a democratic workforce, the workers would be calling the shots instead of a usurping minority of capitalists. You seriously underestimate working people!

1. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (Everyman Edition), p. 14.

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