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The Unrealism of Communism

mongeese
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12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

However, this doesn't account for the fact that no matter what the political structure of a society is, human nature remains the same. Those greedy people that can supposedly ruin a capitalistic economy can more easily ruin a communistic one.

If every person is expected to contribute his "ability," then how does one gauge this "ability"? Some people have a stronger work ethic than others; does this mean that they have more "ability"? Some people have a tendency to doze off while working; do they have less "ability"? What is to stop a person from exerting less "ability" than he truly has? And what is to stop a person from taking some his production for himself, before contributing the rest to the community?

If every person is expected to take his "need," then how does one gauge this "need"? Do those with poor vision "need" glasses? Do those who have a sweet tooth "need" sugar? Does anybody really "need" a television? Cars? Horses? Shoes? What is to stop a person from taking more than he "needs," claiming that he really does "need" it? And what stops a person from taking more than his share?

These are the questions I would like communists to answer.
SuperRobotWars
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12/8/2010 3:25:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Communism can in fact work but only on a small scale large scale communism (like the U.S.S.R.) cannot last very long . . .
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OrionsGambit
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12/8/2010 3:59:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I hate anything that utters the word utopia >_>

Anyway, I don't think it matters on the scale of communism. Cultural heritage and history isn't taken into account for either capitalism or communism (because they are economic systems and nothing else). If a national ethnic group has a history of singular control and militancy (Russia), it doesn't matter what system they are going to use, it'll be just as warped (Russia's use of capitalism before and after the Soviet Union show this).

China did remarkably well with communism for decades before free trade was opened. Heck, if India hadn't held them off in their cold war border wars and their recent history of what happens to large nations that show stagnant weakness to other powers didn't show them they needed combined arms capability, I doubt they would have shifted from Maoist communism.
Noblesse Oblige
mongeese
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12/8/2010 4:33:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 3:59:30 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Anyway, I don't think it matters on the scale of communism. Cultural heritage and history isn't taken into account for either capitalism or communism (because they are economic systems and nothing else). If a national ethnic group has a history of singular control and militancy (Russia), it doesn't matter what system they are going to use, it'll be just as warped (Russia's use of capitalism before and after the Soviet Union show this).

Shouldn't the same logic, then, apply towards capitalism?

China did remarkably well with communism for decades before free trade was opened....

Sorry, but I don't know very much about Chinese pre-Cold War economic ability. Care to enlighten us with a few more details?
OrionsGambit
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12/8/2010 5:08:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 4:33:59 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:59:30 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Anyway, I don't think it matters on the scale of communism. Cultural heritage and history isn't taken into account for either capitalism or communism (because they are economic systems and nothing else). If a national ethnic group has a history of singular control and militancy (Russia), it doesn't matter what system they are going to use, it'll be just as warped (Russia's use of capitalism before and after the Soviet Union show this).

Shouldn't the same logic, then, apply towards capitalism?

It does and I said it did.


China did remarkably well with communism for decades before free trade was opened....

Sorry, but I don't know very much about Chinese pre-Cold War economic ability. Care to enlighten us with a few more details?

Prior to the cold war China's Qing Dynasty collapsed was divided among various feudalistic warlords until the KMT and fledgling CPC began the unification of the nation. Eventually these two factions turned on each other and the KMT fled to Taiwan where they remain today. China was in a state of civil war or fighting the Japanese in the Second Sino-Japanese War for 38 years straight. To be frank anything looks better during and after the cold war then it did then. But the collectivist culture of China was far better in handling communism than the individualistic culture of Russia. Between 1949 and 2010 China used communism to streamline its economic output and correct mistakes and issues over the past century and a half. They then have implemented capitalism and integrated it into the chinese communist system in order to form what they call the "New China". Even now the vast majority of investment is done by the government not private enterprises, however unlike the United States it's not merely subsidizing products and services. They actually invest the capital expecting a return for their investment. If I'm not mistaken, China has actually had a significant surplus of capital sitting in government coffers.

Anyway, both economic systems have benefits and flaws including systemic problems that in purists format can't be solved.
Noblesse Oblige
Sieben
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12/8/2010 5:11:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
^Actually, China as you describe it is was totally capitalist. It is under the private ownership of Chinese elites. Hoppe was right!
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OrionsGambit
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12/8/2010 5:14:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 5:11:19 PM, Sieben wrote:
^Actually, China as you describe it is was totally capitalist. It is under the private ownership of Chinese elites. Hoppe was right!

Then I either described it wrong or the chinese have a different definition of communism (which if I'm not mistake they do, China was "maoist" not communist).
Noblesse Oblige
Sieben
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12/8/2010 5:22:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
State-communism, or total monarchy, is common ownership in name only. It is really the total privitization of the country into the hands of the ruling elite. No wonder they are trying to maximize their returns.

Imo being a tool of the king > another vote in democracy
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OrionsGambit
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12/8/2010 5:46:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 5:22:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
State-communism, or total monarchy, is common ownership in name only. It is really the total privitization of the country into the hands of the ruling elite. No wonder they are trying to maximize their returns.

Imo being a tool of the king > another vote in democracy

I don't think China really has a democracy either though. This assumes a ruling elite is either already established or could be established and gain legitimacy.

Though, would a coal town be considered a communist municipality?
Noblesse Oblige
charleslb
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12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

This is just what's known as reductio ad absurdum, reducing an idea that you disagree with to something absurd to discredit it. In this case you're reducing the idea of communism to an absurd characterization that's supposed to make everyone say and laugh to himself: "Yeah, what a ridiculous notion communism is, the idea of such a system is a silly fantasy!" But you went a little over the top and made it too obvious that you're employing reductio ad absurdum, this kind of diminishes its effectiveness.

However, this doesn't account for the fact that no matter what the political structure of a society is, human nature remains the same. Those greedy people that can supposedly ruin a capitalistic economy can more easily ruin a communistic one.

Even if for argument's sake one were to concede the point that human nature is incorrigibly selfish, doesn't it still stand to reason that an economic system such as capitalism that gives free play to and encourages blatant self-interest and greed is going to produce people who are more selfish and acquisitive? And that such a society is going to have more of a problem getting people to behave altruistically? Perhaps a society with a different, more communitarian ethos in which sharing is emphasized would eventually produce people who are not such privatistic and egoistic little SOBs?

Living in a capitalist society that socially approves of and promotes self-interest as some sort of lofty principle, how can we really judge what man's baseline of greed is? That is, how logically sound is it to arrive at our conclusions about the viability of communism, the viability of a society based on benevolence and brotherliness, by using the anecdotal evidence of the way people are under capitalism's culture of Me-ism and consumerism?

And let's remember that human nature is not all that set in its tendencies as some might think. Human beings are very much creatures of their context, conformists who accept and adjust themselves to the normative standards and expectations of their social group. Naturally in our capitalist society in which a high level of self-interest is socially sanctioned and smiled upon, and in which there's a rather low level of expectation that people behave altruistically, well, in such a society human nature is going to look to be pretty darn selfish indeed. But in a communist society in which selfishness is discouraged by normative cultural mores, perhaps human behavior would be a little more philanthropic?

If every person is expected to contribute his "ability," then how does one gauge this "ability"? Some people have a stronger work ethic than others; does this mean that they have more "ability"? Some people have a tendency to doze off while working; do they have less "ability"? What is to stop a person from exerting less "ability" than he truly has? And what is to stop a person from taking some his production for himself, before contributing the rest to the community?

The values, norms, and mores of a communist culture would help shape people to be more team players, so to speak, more the kind of team players who have the ole There's no I in team spirit, and who are therefore less likely to try to cheat their neighbors by making less than their own maximal contribution to the commonweal, and taking more than their fair share. Sure, not everyone would be the ideally self-disinterested little communist boy and girl who never naughtily goldbricks and takes more than he gives back; sure humans would still have their weaknesses under communism, but, once again, a society such as communism that actively encourages people to strive to overcome moral weaknesses such as greed makes more common sense than a system that tells people to go with their greed and have faith that free-market forces will cause everything to come out good in the end.

If every person is expected to take his "need," then how does one gauge this "need"? Do those with poor vision "need" glasses? Do those who have a sweet tooth "need" sugar? Does anybody really "need" a television? Cars? Horses? Shoes? What is to stop a person from taking more than he "needs," claiming that he really does "need" it? And what stops a person from taking more than his share?

Under a communist form of society human beings would jointly decide what the community and its individual members "need" to enjoy a decent quality of life and would focus their efforts and resources in that direction. As for people trying to take more than they really need, I covered that above.

These are the questions I would like communists to answer.

Well, I've given you some answers, if you're cynical about the possibility of wretched human beings ever making communism work, then I suppose that my answers will look pretty lame, but how much more realistic-about-human-nature is the capitalist, free-marketarian belief that condoning and advocating greed as some sort of virtue will give us a worker's paradise with social justice for all? Aren't pro-capitalist ideologues living in their own philosophical fantasy world where black is white, where selfishness causes prosperity to trickle down to the peons, where "greed is good", where the capitalist elite doesn't subvert our democracy, etc. If communists are perhaps a wee bit optimistic, well, capitalist believers also indulge their own ideological self-deception. But are communists really guilty of being too optimistic about man's nature, or is that just the skewed conventional wisdom of capitalism?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Sieben
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12/8/2010 7:43:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 5:46:34 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
At 12/8/2010 5:22:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
State-communism, or total monarchy, is common ownership in name only. It is really the total privitization of the country into the hands of the ruling elite. No wonder they are trying to maximize their returns.

Imo being a tool of the king > another vote in democracy

I don't think China really has a democracy either though.
Yeah. I hope they never have it. Like I said, I'd rather be used by the king, or ruling elite, than be pooled into the masses.

This assumes a ruling elite is either already established or could be established and gain legitimacy.
My understanding was that communist china was making efforts to be more democratic in some superficial ways, while government was really just dominated by a few groups of families.

Though, would a coal town be considered a communist municipality?
I don't understand.
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Reasoning
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12/8/2010 7:47:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

This is just what's known as reductio ad absurdum, reducing an idea that you disagree with to something absurd to discredit it. In this case you're reducing the idea of communism to an absurd characterization that's supposed to make everyone say and laugh to himself: "Yeah, what a ridiculous notion communism is, the idea of such a system is a silly fantasy!" But you went a little over the top and made it too obvious that you're employing reductio ad absurdum, this kind of diminishes its effectiveness.

You do realize that a reductio ad absurdum is a valid application of logic, right?
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
vbaculum
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12/8/2010 8:07:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
It seems like, if anything has been thoroughly tested, it's communism.
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Reasoning
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12/8/2010 8:09:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:07:27 PM, vbaculum wrote:
It seems like, if anything has been thoroughly tested, it's communism.

When and where?
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
mongeese
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12/8/2010 8:21:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

This is just what's known as reductio ad absurdum, reducing an idea that you disagree with to something absurd to discredit it.

Ironic, given that I was parodying your style.

In this case you're reducing the idea of communism to an absurd characterization that's supposed to make everyone say and laugh to himself: 'Yeah, what a ridiculous notion communism is, the idea of such a system is a silly fantasy!' But you went a little over the top and made it too obvious that you're employing reductio ad absurdum, this kind of diminishes its effectiveness.

Now if you can just apply that line of reasoning to your own arguments, that paragraph will have accomplished its purpose.

However, this doesn't account for the fact that no matter what the political structure of a society is, human nature remains the same. Those greedy people that can supposedly ruin a capitalistic economy can more easily ruin a communistic one.

Even if for argument's sake one were to concede the point that human nature is incorrigibly selfish, doesn't it still stand to reason that an economic system such as capitalism that gives free play to and encourages blatant self-interest and greed is going to produce people who are more selfish and acquisitive?

Actually, capitalism promotes competition, striving to be the best, enteprenuership, and voluntary trade. Sure, people realize that acting in their self-interest benefits themselves the most, but people can come to the exact same conclusions under communism.

Also, your "standing to reason" contradicts the huge increases in charitable giving that rises with the incomes of the upper classes.

And that such a society is going to have more of a problem getting people to behave altruistically?

Not really. An economic system isn't really a culture.

Perhaps a society with a different, more communitarian ethos in which sharing is emphasized would eventually produce people who are not such privatistic and egoistic little SOBs?

How many of these people do you actually know? And how many of them wouldn't try to take advantage of a communistic system?

Living in a capitalist society that socially approves of and promotes self-interest as some sort of lofty principle, how can we really judge what man's baseline of greed is?

This is the same American society that promotes patriotism and charity to the poor, in case you've forgotten.

That is, how logically sound is it to arrive at our conclusions about the viability of communism, the viability of a society based on benevolence and brotherliness, by using the anecdotal evidence of the way people are under capitalism's culture of Me-ism and consumerism?

See above.

And let's remember that human nature is not all that set in its tendencies as some might think. Human beings are very much creatures of their context, conformists who accept and adjust themselves to the normative standards and expectations of their social group. Naturally in our capitalist society in which a high level of self-interest is socially sanctioned and smiled upon, and in which there's a rather low level of expectation that people behave altruistically, well, in such a society human nature is going to look to be pretty darn selfish indeed. But in a communist society in which selfishness is discouraged by normative cultural mores, perhaps human behavior would be a little more philanthropic?

Low expectation of people who behave altruistically? I've behaved rather altruistically for a good chuck of my life, and nobody has ever looked down on me for that, despite whatever political ideology they have. In school, I was even taught that 10% of one's earnings should go to some form of charity. Under CAPITALISM.

And your little "perhaps" is exactly what's wrong with your entire theory: it's entirely a theory, with no basis in anything except the wishful thinking that a change in economic structure, not social culture, will change man's nature.

If you really need a better example, look to the Pilgrims. They tried communism, and it failed. Under the same culture, they switched to capitalism, and it succeeded. Even in a tight-knit religious community that prided itself on morality towards their Christian brethen, capitalism defeated communism.

http://www.freerepublic.com...
charleslb
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12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:21:03 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

This is just what's known as reductio ad absurdum, reducing an idea that you disagree with to something absurd to discredit it.

Ironic, given that I was parodying your style.

My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
mongeese
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12/8/2010 8:29:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
If every person is expected to contribute his "ability," then how does one gauge this "ability"? Some people have a stronger work ethic than others; does this mean that they have more "ability"? Some people have a tendency to doze off while working; do they have less "ability"? What is to stop a person from exerting less "ability" than he truly has? And what is to stop a person from taking some his production for himself, before contributing the rest to the community?

The values, norms, and mores of a communist culture would help shape people to be more team players, so to speak, more the kind of team players who have the ole There's no I in team spirit, and who are therefore less likely to try to cheat their neighbors by making less than their own maximal contribution to the commonweal, and taking more than their fair share.

You mean, like the Pilgrims?

Sure, not everyone would be the ideally self-disinterested little communist boy and girl who never naughtily goldbricks and takes more than he gives back; sure humans would still have their weaknesses under communism, but, once again, a society such as communism that actively encourages people to strive to overcome moral weaknesses such as greed makes more common sense than a system that tells people to go with their greed and have faith that free-market forces will cause everything to come out good in the end.

Capitalism has never told me to be greedy. Ever. Sorry. If it tells anybody to be greedy, that's only because they are greedy, and by their own nature know how they can cheat the system by being greedy. Which is much more difficult under capitalism than in communism.

You also never gave the analysis of "ability" that I asked for.


If every person is expected to take his "need," then how does one gauge this "need"? Do those with poor vision "need" glasses? Do those who have a sweet tooth "need" sugar? Does anybody really "need" a television? Cars? Horses? Shoes? What is to stop a person from taking more than he "needs," claiming that he really does "need" it? And what stops a person from taking more than his share?

Under a communist form of society human beings would jointly decide what the community and its individual members "need" to enjoy a decent quality of life and would focus their efforts and resources in that direction. As for people trying to take more than they really need, I covered that above.

Yet even the Pilgrims often took more than their fair share. EVEN THE PILGRIMS.

And this entire joint-decision thing, would it be the democractic majority, regardless of how tyrannical of a decision they may make? Or tyranny of a monarch? What?

These are the questions I would like communists to answer.

Well, I've given you some answers, if you're cynical about the possibility of wretched human beings ever making communism work, then I suppose that my answers will look pretty lame, but how much more realistic-about-human-nature is the capitalist, free-marketarian belief that condoning and advocating greed as some sort of virtue will give us a worker's paradise with social justice for all?

Never in my life have I ever advocated greed. We encourage charity, not greed. If a rich CEO in modern society was discovered to never donate a single cent, he'd be thrashed by the media so badly, even Tom DeLay would look moral in comparison.

Aren't pro-capitalist ideologues living in their own philosophical fantasy world where black is white, where selfishness causes prosperity to trickle down to the peons, where "greed is good", where the capitalist elite doesn't subvert our democracy, etc. If communists are perhaps a wee bit optimistic, well, capitalist believers also indulge their own ideological self-deception. But are communists really guilty of being too optimistic about man's nature, or is that just the skewed conventional wisdom of capitalism?

Capitalists realize that it is so much more efficient to use whatever greed society can't get out of people to a good use, rather than letting it destroy the entire system.
J.Kenyon
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12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.
Reasoning
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12/8/2010 8:33:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

He derives everything a priori.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
mongeese
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12/8/2010 8:34:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:21:03 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 12/8/2010 7:42:15 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 3:19:09 PM, mongeese wrote:
Some people claim that if communism were "properly" implemented, then life will become a practical utopia of every man caring for his fellow man as they skip around in beautiful gardens and watch the sunset.

This is just what's known as reductio ad absurdum, reducing an idea that you disagree with to something absurd to discredit it.

Ironic, given that I was parodying your style.

My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

Okay, this was supposed to be the exaggeration of how you always claim that communism will produce a society in which people will work cooperatively without cheating each other's work and cheating the system. If you want a comparison, look at the exaggeration you used in the first few paragraphics of "The Unrealism of Capitalism."
mongeese
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12/8/2010 8:36:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:33:03 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

He derives everything a priori.

Yet he jumps to unverified and usually faulty conclusions, and makes assumptions with no real basis in reality.
charleslb
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12/8/2010 8:40:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:29:17 PM, mongeese wrote:

Capitalists realize that it is so much more efficient to use whatever greed society can't get out of people to a good use, rather than letting it destroy the entire system.

And capitalist greed isn't demonstrating today, hasn't been demonstrating for a long time, a distinct tendency to get out of hand and destroy our society, destroy it in the sense of undermining and destroying our democracy and replacing it with a plutocracy, one co-opted politician at a time; in the sense of destroying the ethics of our society and replacing them with self-interest and materialism; in the sense of destroying the economic well-being of much of the world's population to enrich the capitalist elite; and in the sense of destroying the planet's ecology and perhaps threatening our species with virtual extinction? Yeah, capitalism isn't destructive, and George W. Bush was a cerebral and morally decent president too I suppose? NOT!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bluesteel
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12/8/2010 8:43:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:40:39 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:29:17 PM, mongeese wrote:

Capitalists realize that it is so much more efficient to use whatever greed society can't get out of people to a good use, rather than letting it destroy the entire system.

And capitalist greed isn't demonstrating today, hasn't been demonstrating for a long time, a distinct tendency to get out of hand and destroy our society, destroy it in the sense of undermining and destroying our democracy and replacing it with a plutocracy, one co-opted politician at a time; in the sense of destroying the ethics of our society and replacing them with self-interest and materialism; in the sense of destroying the economic well-being of much of the world's population to enrich the capitalist elite; and in the sense of destroying the planet's ecology and perhaps threatening our species with virtual extinction? Yeah, capitalism isn't destructive, and George W. Bush was a cerebral and morally decent president too I suppose? NOT!

You always compare capitalism to a vacuum. Bush or Stalin? Which do you choose?
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
charleslb
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12/8/2010 9:00:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:43:11 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:40:39 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:29:17 PM, mongeese wrote:

Capitalists realize that it is so much more efficient to use whatever greed society can't get out of people to a good use, rather than letting it destroy the entire system.

And capitalist greed isn't demonstrating today, hasn't been demonstrating for a long time, a distinct tendency to get out of hand and destroy our society, destroy it in the sense of undermining and destroying our democracy and replacing it with a plutocracy, one co-opted politician at a time; in the sense of destroying the ethics of our society and replacing them with self-interest and materialism; in the sense of destroying the economic well-being of much of the world's population to enrich the capitalist elite; and in the sense of destroying the planet's ecology and perhaps threatening our species with virtual extinction? Yeah, capitalism isn't destructive, and George W. Bush was a cerebral and morally decent president too I suppose? NOT!

You always compare capitalism to a vacuum. Bush or Stalin? Which do you choose?

And where, pray tell, is your incontrovertible example of a capitalist system functioning ideally in practice the way it's supposed to in theory?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bluesteel
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12/8/2010 9:30:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 9:00:50 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:43:11 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:40:39 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:29:17 PM, mongeese wrote:

Capitalists realize that it is so much more efficient to use whatever greed society can't get out of people to a good use, rather than letting it destroy the entire system.

And capitalist greed isn't demonstrating today, hasn't been demonstrating for a long time, a distinct tendency to get out of hand and destroy our society, destroy it in the sense of undermining and destroying our democracy and replacing it with a plutocracy, one co-opted politician at a time; in the sense of destroying the ethics of our society and replacing them with self-interest and materialism; in the sense of destroying the economic well-being of much of the world's population to enrich the capitalist elite; and in the sense of destroying the planet's ecology and perhaps threatening our species with virtual extinction? Yeah, capitalism isn't destructive, and George W. Bush was a cerebral and morally decent president too I suppose? NOT!

You always compare capitalism to a vacuum. Bush or Stalin? Which do you choose?

And where, pray tell, is your incontrovertible example of a capitalist system functioning ideally in practice the way it's supposed to in theory?

I'll debate you on your best real world example of communism vs. my best real world example of a capitalist society.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
J.Kenyon
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12/8/2010 9:35:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:33:03 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

He derives everything a priori.

No he doesn't. If you read our debate, my arguments were the only ones made a priori. Besides, that wasn't what he claimed (see bold).
Reasoning
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12/8/2010 9:41:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 9:35:24 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:33:03 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

He derives everything a priori.

No he doesn't. If you read our debate, my arguments were the only ones made a priori. Besides, that wasn't what he claimed (see bold).

He claimed that his facts can be verified empirically, not that he inducted them. Similarly, I can derive that two plus two is four a priori. Furthermore, this is empirically verifiable.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
charleslb
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12/9/2010 10:46:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 9:41:17 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 12/8/2010 9:35:24 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:33:03 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/8/2010 8:25:35 PM, charleslb wrote:
My criticisms of capitalism aren't reductio ad absurdum at all, they're statements of empirically verifiable negative facts about capitalism.

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

He derives everything a priori.

No he doesn't. If you read our debate, my arguments were the only ones made a priori. Besides, that wasn't what he claimed (see bold).

He claimed that his facts can be verified empirically, not that he inducted them. Similarly, I can derive that two plus two is four a priori. Furthermore, this is empirically verifiable.

Touché to Reasoning, your reasoning here one-upped our wannabee logician J. Kenyon!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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12/9/2010 11:21:14 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/8/2010 8:32:08 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

You've never cited a single fact or statistic in any of your blog posts or debates. QED.

You accuse me here of never citing a single fact or statistic that casts a negative light on capitalism, so much for you having a mind like an iron trap! In fact I have cited some facts, for example: I pointed out in our debate that "According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research 1% of the world's population now owns 40% of its wealth, and the most affluent 10% own a whopping 85%", or perhaps you don't see this as a negative fact; I've also alluded in my posts to the proclivity of capitalists to shaft workers by doing things such as figuring out underhanded ways of cutting their pensions and denying them benefits; I believe I've also touched upon the dreadful socio-economic conditions created in the Third World by global capitalism; and haven't I mentioned sweatshops more than once? Back at you with the QED! Well, are these things facts or not? That's a rhetorical question but I can just hear the gears of your free-marketeer ideology turning to come up with rebuttals, too bad your rebuttals don't mitigate the real-world suffering of the real-world victims of capitalism.

That your mind apparently didn't notice and remember the above unflattering little factoids about capitalism says a lot, it says that you're in such ideological denial about the badness of capitalism that anything negative about your sacred cow of a system doesn't even register with you!

Want some more negativity about capitalism, well, I would suggest that you read Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, it's chock full of factually substantiated criticisms of capitalism; also, you might want to rent Michael Moore's exposé of capitalism titled Capitalism: A Love Story The facts are out there, if you're at all interested in discovering the harsh truth of the system you so doctrinairely believe in.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bluesteel
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12/9/2010 11:37:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Dear Charles,

Please learn economics. Wealth is not a zero sum game. Living standards for the poor have risen over the period you're talking about => straight from your debate with JKenyon. Communism in Russia fell because the average American was getting refrigerators, microwaves, TV's and cars and the average Communist was getting jack. Your egalitarianism would just result in a poorer wealthy class, not a wealthier poor class. It's wake up time.

From,
The Real World
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)