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The Inconsistency of Free-Market Ideologues

charleslb
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10/24/2011 3:59:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The Profoundly Self-Revealing Inconsistency of the Right's Free-Market Ideologues: Dissecting Where the Free-Marketarianism of Republican Folks Such as Rick Perry and Ron Paul Really Comes From

Consistency is an overrated intellectual trait. In fact, as Emerson observed, "A foolish consistency can be the hobgoblin of small minds". However, the inconsistencies of dogmatists can be quite revealing, veritable openings to an insight into what really unconsciously motivates their beliefs.

Which roundaboutly brings me to the ideologically bumptious boosters of capitalism on the political right, both conservative free-marketeers and the members of their "libertarian" lunatic fringe. I've frequently noticed, maybe you have too, that their particular fundamentalism suffers from a somewhat glaring mental blind spot wherein we discover a very telling inconsistency indeed.

The true believer in capitalism, you see, astutely realizes that he/she has a serious problem when it comes to the messily flesh & blood examples of capitalism that exist in the real world today. Capitalism as we find it being represented out there by its actual, avaricious practitioners, i.e. by transnational firms that earn a big honking F in global citizenship and environmentalism, cutthroat corporate Croesuses, Wall Street greed-meisters, and all the motley Mammon worshippers who make up the bourgeoisie and define the praxis of capitalism, is, alas, a quite different proposition from what the ivory-tower theory of Friedman and von Mises devotees would have us expect.

According to the idyllic-ideological cultural narrative of America and other free-enterprising lands, the capitalist system is supposed to be an "enlightened self-interest" driven, material prosperity generating machine, and our reward for being dehumanizingly reduced to its menial cogs is that most of the material prosperity trickles down to us. Of course the historical and empirical reality of capitalism is somewhat disillusioningly different. The aggrieving actuality of capitalism is that it's a mode of production and a social power structure in which most of the wealth created by hard-laboring workers, and most of the economic and political power is hijacked (expropriated) by a small class of overgreedy owners and moneyed overlords (i.e. capitalists). The resulting status quo, is, to say the least, not in the ideal best interest of the working masses and the poor, in other words the bulk of humanity.

Such is the harsh and morally outrageous truth of capitalism debunked and beheld in all of its inequitableness. Now of course this is all quite inconvenient for the socially and self-indoctrinated members of the cult of deified capitalism who wish to maintain, and have us all buy into their faith in free markets, the profit motive, and the Greed is good creed. How they deal with the mounting disconfirming evidence that points to the unfoundedness of their pseudoreligious conviction of the goodness of capitalism is the psychologically interesting thing.

How they deal with the abject baselessness of their belief, with the cognitive dissonance engendered by the irreconcilability of their doctrinaire persuasion with experiential reality, is to resort to a rationalized and quixotic inconsistency and an ideological purism/utopianism. Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand, and excluded from being presented as damning evidence against the validity of their free-marketarian piety.

It's quite tautological and circular reasoning, or rationalizing, of course. Essentially the lame logic here goes: Capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness, thus no serious faults that mar its lovliness can be imputed to capitalism, ergo capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness. Put even more simply: Capitalism is good, therefore capitalism can't be guilty of any badness, and if capitalism isn't guilty of any badness then it's good. And round and round the question-begging thought process goes, rather like that of evangelicals who reason that the Bible is the word of God because in the Bible God says that the Bible is the word of God.

Which is to say that the feebly pseudological, ideologically befooled enthusiasts of capitalism make a subconscious intellectually-dishonest choice to hold firm in the fallacy that capitalism is what they want it to be, and that the impure instantiations of capitalism we find in countries such as the United States are impostors. This is the facile way that they use utopianism to evade ideologically inconvenient reality. Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism that they put down as a rank bastardization. And in taking the side of rich capitalists in a system that they admit is profoundly flawed, event to the extent of disparaging the working poor and the unemployed as losers who deserve blame for their own economic plight.

Well, what's up with this bit of talking out of both sides of your mouths, free-marketeers? From one corner of your mealy mouths we hear you contemptuously condemning our current system because it isn't really and truly capitalism; and from the other corner we hear that said system's fat cats are just "successful" men and women who are entitled to their obscene golden parachutes and to paying far less than their fair share of taxes, and that the poor are bums who merit no compassion from society in the form of social welfare programs. What the juxtaposition of these two irrationally contradictory affective attitudes reveals is that your pro-capitalist stance, rather than being eminently logical as you-all like to make out, is more likely psychological.

The key to the psychological place that your emotive reverence for capitalism and capitalists emanates from, I suspect, is the positive, sympathetic view of affluent individuals that you often express, vs. the distinctly negative, unempathetic view of the poor that you seem to subscribe to. What this strongly suggests is that you harbor (perhaps in some Neanderthaloid part of your brains that amorally esteem strength and dominance) a primitive admiration for and desire to vicariously identify with "successful", status-possessing, dominant members of the pack. Such vicarious identification certainly provides a self-esteem boost for aspiring and failed Horatio Algers, and for wannabe high-status males/females. Likewise, expressing uncompassion and disdain for the less fortunate makes the ego-serving statement that you disidentify with them (even if technically, according to your income, you fit in the demographic of the "working poor"), and don't suffer from their alleged shortcomings.

At the heart of the "love story" of capitalism is a poignant tale of narcissism. Pro-capitalists sometimes accuse anti-capitalists of holding a viewpoint that's informed by a sneaking and resentful envy for the shinning "success" of the rich, but of course they're actually projecting their own admiration, which skews their socioeconomic perspective and accounts for their adoration of capitalists and infatuation with the ideal of a system that gives one licentious freedom to pursue the egoistic dream of being a moneyed somebody, a bourgeois Big Man, an uber capitalist.

The conclusion is located directly below
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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10/24/2011 4:01:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Conclusion

All of the cocksurely commonsensical and logical arguments that pro-capitalists avail themselves of to defend their psychological attachment to the social-climbing fantasy of a perfect capitalist society in which everyone is unfettered to fully actualize his/her primordial craving for socioeconomic status and dominance are just intellectualizations of the yearnings of our needy egos and "selfish genes", as it were. This is what it really comes down to, for conservative free-marketeers and libertarians; this is what their inconsistency and utopianism betrays. We should refrain from obligingly feeding into their denial by taking their arguments seriously. Instead, we should seek to sprinkle big grains of psychological salt all over their ideology, and critically confront them with the unconscious motives underlying their political and economic mind-set.
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.
Wnope
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10/24/2011 4:04:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Go find another OP this long.

See how many posts it has that doesn't involve people saying "why the hell don't you know how to summarize?"
charleslb
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10/24/2011 4:11:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 4:04:24 PM, Wnope wrote:
Go find another OP this long.

See how many posts it has that doesn't involve people saying "why the hell don't you know how to summarize?"

Why the heck don't you develop the ability to follow a train of thought longer than a conservative political candidate's sound bite so that you can take part in an intellectual discussion? That being said, do you by any chance have any thoughts on the thesis of the OP? I challenge you to surprise me and come up with one or two.
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.
Wnope
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10/24/2011 4:33:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If you send me a peer-reviewed essay on free market inconsistencies, I'll probably read it.

If you have an essay from a distinguished professor on a controversial subject, I'll read it.

You, however, have no original research to present and your noise:signal ratio is down the tubes. For every meaningful point, you have several sentences and a quote from Emerson.

This is a forum. Forums are for presenting points, not stylistic essays.

Oh, and if anything, I'm a progressive.
Wnope
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10/24/2011 4:43:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
By the way, I did read your post.

You take that long and make one or two points. You point out one supposed inconsistency (which really isn't an inconsistency) and take that long.

Watch this:

- non-diminishing marginal returns can result in non-efficient results
- feedback loops exist in many examples of diminishing marginal returns which forces prices past the efficiency point like a pendulum swinging back and forth
- "Animal spirits" are an inherent part of a free market since humans exist within the free market, so neo-classical economics alone cannot explain the economy.

Those were three debatable, well-researched, and actually relevant points suggesting the "free market" approach may not lead to efficient results, which is the goal of a free market.

It will take posters 1/10 of the time to read what I wrote.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/24/2011 5:03:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand
It is not its results that cause us to dismiss it, but the actual government policies that lead to it. A world in which there are government subsidies and regulations galore is a world in which there is not capitalism. There may be something closer to capitalism than other things, explaining superior results to, say, Soviet Russia, but not capitalism.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Greyparrot
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10/24/2011 5:10:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:03:19 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand
It is not its results that cause us to dismiss it, but the actual government policies that lead to it. A world in which there are government subsidies and regulations galore is a world in which there is not capitalism. There may be something closer to capitalism than other things, explaining superior results to, say, Soviet Russia, but not capitalism.

Speaking along the lines of policies and regulations, I had this idea today that most of the 1 percenters actually embrace govenment regulations because it has the effect of legally stifling any form of up and coming competition.
Is it possible that these conglomerates actually reward politicians for more regulation despite the mewlings of the media?
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/24/2011 5:19:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:10:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:03:19 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand
It is not its results that cause us to dismiss it, but the actual government policies that lead to it. A world in which there are government subsidies and regulations galore is a world in which there is not capitalism. There may be something closer to capitalism than other things, explaining superior results to, say, Soviet Russia, but not capitalism.

Speaking along the lines of policies and regulations, I had this idea today that most of the 1 percenters actually embrace govenment regulations because it has the effect of legally stifling any form of up and coming competition.
Is it possible that these conglomerates actually reward politicians for more regulation despite the mewlings of the media?
Many do.

The ones that do are the least useful ones around. Wanna find worthless fat cats? Look to the heavier regulated industries first :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Greyparrot
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10/24/2011 5:32:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:19:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The ones that do are the least useful ones around. Wanna find worthless fat cats? Look to the heavier regulated industries first :P.

A status-quo's nightmare! Now.. we need to bus the occupy wall street crowd to Washington DC.
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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10/24/2011 5:55:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:59:52 PM, charleslb wrote:
The true believer in capitalism, you see, astutely realizes that he/she has a serious problem when it comes to the messily flesh & blood examples of capitalism that exist in the real world today.

An economy in which over a third of all wealth goes to the government cannot be considered true capitalism, period.

According to the idyllic-ideological cultural narrative of America and other free-enterprising lands, the capitalist system is supposed to be an "enlightened self-interest" driven, material prosperity generating machine, and our reward for being dehumanizingly reduced to its menial cogs is that most of the material prosperity trickles down to us. Of course the historical and empirical reality of capitalism is somewhat disillusioningly different....

On the contrary, you'll find no economic system that produces more wealth for all classes than capitalism. See Milton Friedman's video.

The resulting status quo, is, to say the least, not in the ideal best interest of the working masses and the poor, in other words the bulk of humanity.

Capitalism may not create a utopia for the working class (although with rapid progression of technology, it has gotten closer every day; it was capitalism, not government, that gave us our modern conveniences), but it does better than any other system. Would you rather everyone be unequally rich, or equally poor?

Such is the harsh and morally outrageous truth of capitalism debunked and beheld in all of its inequitableness. Now of course this is all quite inconvenient for the socially and self-indoctrinated members of the cult of deified capitalism who wish to maintain, and have us all buy into their faith in free markets, the profit motive, and the Greed is good creed. How they deal with the mounting disconfirming evidence that points to the unfoundedness of their pseudoreligious conviction of the goodness of capitalism is the psychologically interesting thing.

As Milton Friedman asked, has there ever been a system that did not run on greed?

How they deal with the abject baselessness of their belief, with the cognitive dissonance engendered by the irreconcilability of their doctrinaire persuasion with experiential reality, is to resort to a rationalized and quixotic inconsistency and an ideological purism/utopianism. Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand, and excluded from being presented as damning evidence against the validity of their free-marketarian piety.

And yet its perfectly valid for you to dismiss Communist Russia as "not true Communism." I believe hypocrisy counts as a form of inconsistency.

It's quite tautological and circular reasoning, or rationalizing, of course. Essentially the lame logic here goes: Capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness, thus no serious faults that mar its lovliness can be imputed to capitalism, ergo capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness....

I don't think I've seen a more ridiculous strawman in my entire life. The evidence in favor of a free-market system is enormous; I suggest you start here: http://www.youtube.com...

Is there a single libertarian out there who uses that line of reasoning?

Which is to say that the feebly pseudological, ideologically befooled enthusiasts of capitalism make a subconscious intellectually-dishonest choice to hold firm in the fallacy that capitalism is what they want it to be, and that the impure instantiations of capitalism we find in countries such as the United States are impostors. This is the facile way that they use utopianism to evade ideologically inconvenient reality.

Why should we avoid reality when reality supports our arguments?

Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism that they put down as a rank bastardization. And in taking the side of rich capitalists in a system that they admit is profoundly flawed, event to the extent of disparaging the working poor and the unemployed as losers who deserve blame for their own economic plight.

What? Libertarians like Stossel and Ron Paul have agreed with the Occupy Wall Street movement that they are justified in hating many of the upper class for getting bailed out and enjoying corporate welfare at the public's expense. However, they have much respect for those businessmen who generate wealth by contributing to the economy by introducing new methods or new products; examples would include Rockefeller, Gates, Jobs, and Ford. They made things undeniably better for the working class, and yet you hate them.

Well, what's up with this bit of talking out of both sides of your mouths, free-marketeers? From one corner of your mealy mouths we hear you contemptuously condemning our current system because it isn't really and truly capitalism; and from the other corner we hear that said system's fat cats are just "successful" men and women who are entitled to their obscene golden parachutes and to paying far less than their fair share of taxes,

I don't know of any libertarians who would agree that all businessmen deserve their wealth; as many of them merely gamed the system through the government.

and that the poor are bums who merit no compassion from society in the form of social welfare programs.

They merit compassion, yes, but this compassion should be funded by choice, not by theft.

What the juxtaposition of these two irrationally contradictory affective attitudes reveals is that your pro-capitalist stance, rather than being eminently logical as you-all like to make out, is more likely psychological.

Libertarianism beats any other system in maximizing rights, efficiency, and overall welfare of the people. What more support do you want?

Ad hominems that merit no response...
mongeese
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10/24/2011 5:59:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:10:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:03:19 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand
It is not its results that cause us to dismiss it, but the actual government policies that lead to it. A world in which there are government subsidies and regulations galore is a world in which there is not capitalism. There may be something closer to capitalism than other things, explaining superior results to, say, Soviet Russia, but not capitalism.

Speaking along the lines of policies and regulations, I had this idea today that most of the 1 percenters actually embrace govenment regulations because it has the effect of legally stifling any form of up and coming competition.
Is it possible that these conglomerates actually reward politicians for more regulation despite the mewlings of the media?

That is one of many reasons to oppose regulation. I actually caught charleslb at one point claiming that when politicians push for more regulation, it is to strengthen big business, and when they push for less regulation, it is also to strengthen big business.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/24/2011 6:16:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:59:12 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:10:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:03:19 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn't the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand
It is not its results that cause us to dismiss it, but the actual government policies that lead to it. A world in which there are government subsidies and regulations galore is a world in which there is not capitalism. There may be something closer to capitalism than other things, explaining superior results to, say, Soviet Russia, but not capitalism.

Speaking along the lines of policies and regulations, I had this idea today that most of the 1 percenters actually embrace govenment regulations because it has the effect of legally stifling any form of up and coming competition.
Is it possible that these conglomerates actually reward politicians for more regulation despite the mewlings of the media?

That is one of many reasons to oppose regulation. I actually caught charleslb at one point claiming that when politicians push for more regulation, it is to strengthen big business, and when they push for less regulation, it is also to strengthen big business.

Don't even get him started about the beneficiaries of a push for regulation to stay the same.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
jimtimmy
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10/24/2011 11:35:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Charleslb... I asked some questions of Marxism in the Politics section... why don't you stand up for your beliefs?
President of DDO
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/25/2011 2:00:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 11:35:24 PM, jimtimmy wrote:
Charleslb... I asked some questions of Marxism in the Politics section... why don't you stand up for your beliefs?

I'll give your questions a read, and perhaps a response later, but not being an actual Marxist (like Marx himself, who reportedly once said: "If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist" – although there is much of value in various Marxist schools of thought) I feel no sense of urgency to do so; and certainly no need, urgent or otherwise, to defend orthodox Marxism. (And btw, for those of you who recall that my avatar here used to be an image of ole Karl, well, you might also recall that it was a somewhat facetious image and didn't really make a serious statement about my views.)
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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10/25/2011 5:41:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:55:56 PM, mongeese wrote:

An economy in which over a third of all wealth goes to the government cannot be considered true capitalism, period.

An economy and political system in which a plutocratic business-political establishment winds up controling most of the economic resources and wealth of society is precisely and very predictably what capitalism degenerates into.

On the contrary, you'll find no economic system that produces more wealth for all classes than capitalism. See Milton Friedman's video.

On the contrary, capitalism is relentlessly devolving into an economic status quo in which most of the wealth is controlled by a quite small percentage of the population, and the bulk of humanity is more and more hard-pressed to make ends meet and economically disempowered.

Capitalism may not create a utopia for the working class (although with rapid progression of technology, it has gotten closer every day; it was capitalism, not government, that gave us our modern conveniences), but it does better than any other system. Would you rather everyone be unequally rich, or equally poor?

As Milton Friedman asked, has there ever been a system that did not run on greed?

Ah, this is the old conservative chestnut that man's nature is irremediably selfish, ergo an economic system that accommodates our selfish and greedy impulses is necessary. Rubbish. For more than a hundred thousand years our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in egalitarian bands. This was necessary for the mutually ensured survival of the members of these bands. If any individual was allowed to rise to the status of an alpha male and take more than his fair share of food and resources it of course would have threatened the survival of other group members who would have been deprived of life's necessities. To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

And yet its perfectly valid for you to dismiss Communist Russia as "not true Communism."

I've never done that. The system of communist Russia was a coercive and corrupt one conditioned by Russian history more than anything, but it was still nominally communist, and therefore it's form of communist ideology, i.e. Marxism-Leninism, must and does own some share of shame. I would simply point out, in defence of what you-all call "communism" (what I would prefer to call communalism) that Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism is only one communist philosophy, and can't legitimately be used to discredit communism per se.

It's quite tautological and circular reasoning ...
I don't think I've seen a more ridiculous strawman in my entire life. The evidence in favor of a free-market system is enormous; ...

The evidence of the human suffering caused by capitalism is enormous. I suggest that you take a look at many of the societies of the Third World, and communities in your own back yard.

Is there a single libertarian out there who uses that line of reasoning?

They're not all as sophisticated as you. Haven't you heard of "vulgar libertarians"? The sort of free-marketeers whom Kevin Carson refers to by that epithet do engage in some shoddy reasoning.

Why should we avoid reality when reality supports our arguments?
But alas it doesn't, there's the rub for you dear mongeese.

Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism ...

What? Libertarians like Stossel and Ron Paul have agreed with the Occupy Wall Street movement that they are justified in hating many of the upper class for getting bailed out and enjoying corporate welfare at the public's expense.

This would be decent-minded of them, if only it came from a place of decent-mindedness, and not from a free-marketarian purism.

However, they have much respect for those businessmen who generate wealth by contributing to the economy by introducing new methods or new products; examples would include Rockefeller, Gates, Jobs, and Ford. They made things undeniably better for the working class, and yet you hate them.

Ah yes, John D. Rockefeller, the great benefactor of the working person. Lol! Now then, a bit of a reality check for you there mongeese, it's actually employees who perform the work that generates the profitability and prosperity that you credit to capitaists and corporations. It's the wage earning little guy who made the Rockefellers, Gateses, Jobses, and Fords, not the other way around. Your free-marketarian heroes merely expropriate and exploit their way to the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy and then falsely claim all the credit.


I don't know of any libertarians who would agree that all businessmen deserve their wealth; as many of them merely gamed the system through the government.

At least you can admit that much, if for your own ideological reasons (i.e. your ideological fixation on government to the exclusion of recognizing other threats to our liberty, such as that presented by capitalist powermongers).


... compassion should be funded by choice, not by theft.

Actually it's the superrich who gain their riches by theft, taxing them to fund social programs for the needy is merely having them do restitution. It's quite just and necessary. Also, we human beings aren't islands unto ourselves, isolated egos with an absolute right to be anti-social; rather, we're interdependent members of societies, and societies have a moral right and responsibility to promote compassion, even if some individuals would prefer to be greedy and would rather not fund society's compassionate social safety net. Nope, fat cats don't get to parasitically participate in society by exploiting the working underdog and then opt of society by opting out of giving anything back to underwrite what you-all like to disparagingly call "entitlements".

Libertarianism beats any other system in maximizing rights, efficiency, and overall welfare of the people. What more support do you want?

Come on now friend mongeese, let's be real, shall we. What rights would people continue to have in a form of society in which money and status and power hungry capitalists became the proverbial foxes guarding the chicken coop, which is really what the libertarian dystopia would boil down to? Abolishing the government is not going to thoroughly do away with the human will to power, and if you allow economic inequality to continue to exist then there will certainly be those who will exploit it to gain social and political dominance in society, even if they have to reinvent and reintroduce government in some new guise to do it. Both government and private ownership of the resources and means of production of society must go. Down with both the state and the capitalist power structure!
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.
jimtimmy
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10/25/2011 5:59:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 5:41:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:55:56 PM, mongeese wrote:

An economy in which over a third of all wealth goes to the government cannot be considered true capitalism, period.

An economy and political system in which a plutocratic business-political establishment winds up controling most of the economic resources and wealth of society is precisely and very predictably what capitalism degenerates into.

If a state exists, this is true...




On the contrary, capitalism is relentlessly devolving into an economic status quo in which most of the wealth is controlled by a quite small percentage of the population, and the bulk of humanity is more and more hard-pressed to make ends meet and economically disempowered.

How is is possible that all classes have made income gains over recent decades in America?

Yet, they have... I would say you need to rethink this




Ah, this is the old conservative chestnut that man's nature is irremediably selfish, ergo an economic system that accommodates our selfish and greedy impulses is necessary. Rubbish. For more than a hundred thousand years our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in egalitarian bands. This was necessary for the mutually ensured survival of the members of these bands. If any individual was allowed to rise to the status of an alpha male and take more than his fair share of food and resources it of course would have threatened the survival of other group members who would have been deprived of life's necessities. To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Ah, the old leftist chestnut of "society makes us selfish"... The truth is that humans are naturally coaltional... That is, they live and care about communities ranging in size from about 110 to 230... this is called Dunbar's number...

In the modern global economy, we need a massive division of labor to maintain our standard of living... That means that we cannot live in small dunbar communities and have modern conveniences... That is why we have international capitalism...

So, people do care about other people in their small group, but they don't care about the entire world... and we cant pretend like they do


I've never done that. The system of communist Russia was a coercive and corrupt one conditioned by Russian history more than anything, but it was still nominally communist, and therefore it's form of communist ideology, i.e. Marxism-Leninism, must and does own some share of shame. I would simply point out, in defence of what you-all call "communism" (what I would prefer to call communalism) that Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism is only one communist philosophy, and can't legitimately be used to discredit communism per se.

Fair enough


The evidence of the human suffering caused by capitalism is enormous. I suggest that you take a look at many of the societies of the Third World, and communities in your own back yard.

If you look at those third world countries, you will see that they are almost all socialist, communist, or some other form of ultrastatism (maybe fascism)


They're not all as sophisticated as you. Haven't you heard of "vulgar libertarians"? The sort of free-marketeers whom Kevin Carson refers to by that epithet do engage in some shoddy reasoning.

True


But alas it doesn't, there's the rub for you dear mongeese.

History has shown that Free markets always mean higher standards of living





This would be decent-minded of them, if only it came from a place of decent-mindedness, and not from a free-marketarian purism.

So, I don't think statists or communists are "decent minded"... I guess it is subjective



Ah yes, John D. Rockefeller, the great benefactor of the working person. Lol! Now then, a bit of a reality check for you there mongeese, it's actually employees who perform the work that generates the profitability and prosperity that you credit to capitaists and corporations. It's the wage earning little guy who made the Rockefellers, Gateses, Jobses, and Fords, not the other way around. Your free-marketarian heroes merely expropriate and exploit their way to the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy and then falsely claim all the credit.

Ah, the old Labor Theory of Value comes back again, where capitalists are "Exploiters"... I love how you bring back these retarded and discredited marxist ideas




At least you can admit that much, if for your own ideological reasons (i.e. your ideological fixation on government to the exclusion of recognizing other threats to our liberty, such as that presented by capitalist powermongers).

Government monopolizes roads... Don't blame businesses for using what they are forced to use and pay for



Actually it's the superrich who gain their riches by theft, taxing them to fund social programs for the needy is merely having them do restitution. It's quite just and necessary. Also, we human beings aren't islands unto ourselves, isolated egos with an absolute right to be anti-social; rather, we're interdependent members of societies, and societies have a moral right and responsibility to promote compassion, even if some individuals would prefer to be greedy and would rather not fund society's compassionate social safety net. Nope, fat cats don't get to parasitically participate in society by exploiting the working underdog and then opt of society by opting out of giving anything back to underwrite what you-all like to disparagingly call "entitlements".

Again, back to the retarded marxist theory of "Exploitation" based on the labor theory of value... all discredited retardation




Come on now friend mongeese, let's be real, shall we. What rights would people continue to have in a form of society in which money and status and power hungry capitalists became the proverbial foxes guarding the chicken coop, which is really what the libertarian dystopia would boil down to? Abolishing the government is not going to thoroughly do away with the human will to power, and if you allow economic inequality to continue to exist then there will certainly be those who will exploit it to gain social and political dominance in society, even if they have to reinvent and reintroduce government in some new guise to do it. Both government and private ownership of the resources and means of production of society must go. Down with both the state and the capitalist power structure!

No, just the state... let people freely associate with each other, free of state coercion...

Unless you want to go back to hunter gatherer times, we need private property, division of labor, and, yes, capitalism
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mongeese
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10/25/2011 9:20:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 5:41:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:55:56 PM, mongeese wrote:

An economy in which over a third of all wealth goes to the government cannot be considered true capitalism, period.

An economy and political system in which a plutocratic business-political establishment winds up controlling most of the economic resources and wealth of society is precisely and very predictably what capitalism degenerates into.

The entire point of libertarianism is to prevent business-political establishment by limiting political power so that big business cannot use it for their corporate welfare and pro-oligarchy regulations.

On the contrary, you'll find no economic system that produces more wealth for all classes than capitalism. See Milton Friedman's video.

On the contrary, capitalism is relentlessly devolving into an economic status quo in which most of the wealth is controlled by a quite small percentage of the population

Your problem is that you're concerned with percentages. Why should it matter that you have a small fraction of the wealth if that small fraction would be regarded as enormous just centuries before? The quality of life for the lower class in America today is much better than what the aristocracy had at America's founding.

and the bulk of humanity is more and more hard-pressed to make ends meet and economically disempowered.

They'd be even more hard-pressed under communism. Communism does not create wealth.

Capitalism may not create a utopia for the working class (although with rapid progression of technology, it has gotten closer every day; it was capitalism, not government, that gave us our modern conveniences), but it does better than any other system. Would you rather everyone be unequally rich, or equally poor?

As Milton Friedman asked, has there ever been a system that did not run on greed?

Ah, this is the old conservative chestnut that man's nature is irremediably selfish, ergo an economic system that accommodates our selfish and greedy impulses is necessary. Rubbish.

The claim is that every system runs on greed, so claiming that capitalism is the system of greed is meaningless.

For more than a hundred thousand years our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in egalitarian bands. This was necessary for the mutually ensured survival of the members of these bands. If any individual was allowed to rise to the status of an alpha male and take more than his fair share of food and resources it of course would have threatened the survival of other group members who would have been deprived of life's necessities.

Are you sure of that? I recall from Jane Goodall's documentary over chimpanzees that even they had a lead alpha male who dominated the "band"; these chimpanzees also went to brutal war with each other. They're probably as good as an indication of early human society as we can get.

To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Do you have any sources by these anthropologists?
darkkermit
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10/25/2011 9:34:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 9:20:30 PM, mongeese wrote:

To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Do you have any sources by these anthropologists?

Charelslb is indeed correct about this:

Wikipedia:

Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food. They never stayed in a place for more than two weeks.


However, this is not desirable. Hunter-gather socities are certainly not a model for a society with a high standard of living, and it certainly isn't a model society for peacefulness. You have somewhere to a 15-60% chance of being killed by another person. Now the chances in modern days are very low:
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
mongeese
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10/25/2011 9:44:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 5:41:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:55:56 PM, mongeese wrote:
And yet its perfectly valid for you to dismiss Communist Russia as "not true Communism."

I've never done that. The system of communist Russia was a coercive and corrupt one conditioned by Russian history more than anything, but it was still nominally communist, and therefore it's form of communist ideology, i.e. Marxism-Leninism, must and does own some share of shame. I would simply point out, in defence of what you-all call "communism" that Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism is only one communist philosophy, and can't legitimately be used to discredit communism per se.

Then why must the current Keynesian capitalism be used to discredit capitalism as a whole, when Austrian capitalism is so much different?

It's quite tautological and circular reasoning ...
I don't think I've seen a more ridiculous strawman in my entire life. The evidence in favor of a free-market system is enormous; ...

The evidence of the human suffering caused by capitalism is enormous. I suggest that you take a look at many of the societies of the Third World, and communities in your own back yard.

The societies of the Third World are quite often being ruined by corrupt government and warfare. Those that embrace capitalism are rising out of this cycle more quickly than the rest.

As for communities in my own backyard, America is the most prosperous country in the world; the areas of highest poverty are the Native reservations, where government management and welfare creates a system of dependency. Those tribes that were not recognized by the government and had to compete in capitalism have been the most successful.

Is there a single libertarian out there who uses that line of reasoning?

They're not all as sophisticated as you. Haven't you heard of "vulgar libertarians"? The sort of free-marketeers whom Kevin Carson refers to by that epithet do engage in some shoddy reasoning.

I was kind of expecting a source, not a reaffirmation of your original claim with just as little evidence.

Why should we avoid reality when reality supports our arguments?
But alas it doesn't, there's the rub for you dear mongeese.

And there's the rub for you, that you can't argue that point with solid facts and evidence, but only rhetoric that sways only the weakest of minds.

Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism ...

What? Libertarians like Stossel and Ron Paul have agreed with the Occupy Wall Street movement that they are justified in hating many of the upper class for getting bailed out and enjoying corporate welfare at the public's expense.

This would be decent-minded of them, if only it came from a place of decent-mindedness, and not from a free-marketarian purism.

Who are you to claim to know their motivation?

However, they have much respect for those businessmen who generate wealth by contributing to the economy by introducing new methods or new products; examples would include Rockefeller, Gates, Jobs, and Ford. They made things undeniably better for the working class, and yet you hate them.

Ah yes, John D. Rockefeller, the great benefactor of the working person. Lol! Now then, a bit of a reality check for you there mongeese, it's actually employees who perform the work that generates the profitability and prosperity that you credit to capitaists and corporations. It's the wage earning little guy who made the Rockefellers, Gateses, Jobses, and Fords, not the other way around. Your free-marketarian heroes merely expropriate and exploit their way to the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy and then falsely claim all the credit.

Before Rockefeller, kerosene and gasoline were very expensive for the lower classes, and those who produced the products made them shoddily and inefficiently. Rockefeller saw how the entire process of drilling for, pumping, refining, and transporting oil could be made much more efficient. Thanks to him, prices dropped tremendously. As other companies copied his methods, he had to compete to stay ahead, and compete he did, continually improving the processes and staying ahead of the game. Rockefeller's existence on Earth led to billions of dollars worth of wealth being saved from less efficient practices. Yes, many employees contributed, and were paid their wages, but it was Rockefeller who revolutionized the industry, quantitatively doing more for America than perhaps any other man in history.

I don't know of any libertarians who would agree that all businessmen deserve their wealth; as many of them merely gamed the system through the government.

At least you can admit that much, if for your own ideological reasons (i.e. your ideological fixation on government to the exclusion of recognizing other threats to our liberty, such as that presented by capitalist powermongers).

A corporation can only threaten liberty by having a hand in government; it's that simple.

... compassion should be funded by choice, not by theft.

Actually it's the superrich who gain their riches by theft,

Only the ones that I already said I don't support; your words are worthless against me.

taxing them to fund social programs for the needy is merely having them do restitution. It's quite just and necessary.

Historically, due to the way incentives work, increasing taxes hasn't actually increased tax revenue; should the rich be taxed more even if the taxes gained will remain constant so that the only effect is the destruction of wealth?

Also, we human beings aren't islands unto ourselves, isolated egos with an absolute right to be anti-social;

We obviously have very different ideas about rights; I believe one has the right to do anything that does not infringe upon the rights of another.

rather, we're interdependent members of societies, and societies have a moral right and responsibility to promote compassion, even if some individuals would prefer to be greedy and would rather not fund society's compassionate social safety net.

And you'll enforce this "compassion" with guns?

Nope, fat cats don't get to parasitically participate in society by exploiting the working underdog and then opt of society by opting out of giving anything back to underwrite what you-all like to disparagingly call "entitlements".

I've already pointed out that Rockefeller's actions provided an enormous net benefit to the whole of America (the only losers, I believe, were his inefficient competitors, who rightfully went out of business), and that's before we account for his active role in philanthropy. Honestly, there isn't any sane reason you should hate this guy.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Libertarianism beats any other system in maximizing rights, efficiency, and overall welfare of the people. What more support do you want?

Come on now friend mongeese, let's be real, shall we. What rights would people continue to have in a form of society in which money and status and power hungry capitalists became the proverbial foxes guarding the chicken coop, which is really what the libertarian dystopia would boil down to?

Your views of what would result from libertarianism are, I believe, very misinformed.

Abolishing the government is not going to thoroughly do away with the human will to power, and if you allow economic inequality to continue to exist then there will certainly be those who will exploit it to gain social and political dominance in society, even if they have to reinvent and reintroduce government in some new guise to do it.

And how would that occur? What form of government non-government could they create? If they ever force anyone to do something against their will, it would be either criminal or government, plain and simple.
jimtimmy
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10/25/2011 9:47:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 9:34:56 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/25/2011 9:20:30 PM, mongeese wrote:

To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Do you have any sources by these anthropologists?

Charelslb is indeed correct about this:

Wikipedia:

Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food. They never stayed in a place for more than two weeks.


However, this is not desirable. Hunter-gather socities are certainly not a model for a society with a high standard of living, and it certainly isn't a model society for peacefulness. You have somewhere to a 15-60% chance of being killed by another person. Now the chances in modern days are very low:



Again, I would direct you to Dunbar's number:

http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_number

The key thing to remember is that the fact that we once lived in small, homogenous egalitarian societies means nothing... People can live and care about no more than around 200 people...

However, our modern standard of living requires a massive division of labor... And, people don't care about the whole world...

This is why capitalism has risen and is necessary
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charleslb
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10/25/2011 11:47:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 9:34:56 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/25/2011 9:20:30 PM, mongeese wrote:

To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Do you have any sources by these anthropologists?

Charelslb is indeed correct about this:

Wikipedia:

Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food. They never stayed in a place for more than two weeks.


However, this is not desirable. Hunter-gather socities are certainly not a model for a society with a high standard of living, and it certainly isn't a model society for peacefulness. You have somewhere to a 15-60% chance of being killed by another person. Now the chances in modern days are very low:


Note that my argument was not that we should return to a hunter-gatherer form of social existence. Rather, I was attempting to make the case that during the hunter-gatherer stage of our species' prehistory there was a kind of social selection for pro-social, one might even say socialistic traits. That individuals who tried to express selfish alpha male/female behavior were responded to with not infrequently lethal reverse dominance, thus eliminating them from the gene pool, leaving a gene pool populated mostly with the DNA of more All-for-one,-one-for-all individuals. And thus today we have the genetic gift, shall we say, for living in a more social, cooperative, sharing, and egalitarian fashion. We needn't resign ourselves to being grubbily self-interested little chips off the block of our capitalist culture. Evolution, in a word, has prepared our nature's for a morally and spiritually higher kind of existence.
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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10/25/2011 11:57:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's interesting that in this post one of my fundamental criticisms is virtually the same as that of someone in your own camp, dear libertarians. Kevin Carson, who is well known as a market anarchist and has been a research associate at the Center for a Stateless Society, has written: "Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term 'free market' in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they're defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article in The Freeman arguing that the rich can't get rich at the expense of the poor, because 'that's not how the free market works' – implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they'll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of 'free market principles'." At least one of you has the intellectual integrity to identify the free-marketarian inconsistency that my OP focuses on.
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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10/26/2011 12:10:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The spiritually downtrodden by routine and inauthenticity masses of our society spend their workweek eagerly and longingly looking forward to the fleeting reprieve of the weekend. Friday afternoon, or earlier, the exclamation "Thank God it's Friday!" begins to come to people's lips. In our modern socioeconomic system a great many of us compartmentalize our existence into workdays, in which we aren't really living life, aren't expressing ourselves, aren't experiencing or seeking fulfillment, and aren't free to do any of the above. Rather, our workdays consist in performing a task, an occupation that we have little love for, for a paycheck – for a wage that provides us with little or no financial security and leaves us constantly and anxiously running the treadmill of making money to maintain our material standard of living.

That is, we sacrifice a human standard of living for an economic one! And not entirely voluntarily either. Our culture conditions us to do so, to accept as "normal" such a counterclockwise existence that makes for a living to work orientation rather than a working to live. But the weekend is our furlough from this spiritual prison house of meaningless work, of wage slavery, of the daily grind. We compartmentalize the weekend for life, for interests that expand us, for hobbies that give us joy, for the pleasure of being ourselves rather than the cog in some employer's company that we are the rest of the week. We use this strategy of compartmentalization to endure what should be an unendurable way of being in the world. And if we aren't completely sleepwalking through our lives we consciously realize that this is indeed what we're doing, but we feel trapped in the whole societal Samsara, as the Buddhists call it, of our jobs, of paying the rent, of paying our credit card debt and mortgage, and engaging in vapid consumerism.

Such is life, if you can call it that, in our modern capitalist-consumerist culture. But such an anti-humanistic way of experiencing being alive is not indefinitely sustainable, eventually there will be a spiritual revolution against it, against capitalism, that will usher in a more genuinely and fully and joyously human ethos. Well, at any rate, the days of our capitalist system of living death are numbered, either as a result of a human and spiritual values-driven revolution, or a catastrophic collapse, or a gradual devolution, capitalism is going to go by history's wayside in the not too distant future. And the inability of its free-marketarian true believers to recognize its flaws, and their own inconsistencies will be a contributing factor.
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.
jimtimmy
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10/26/2011 12:17:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 11:57:44 PM, charleslb wrote:
It's interesting that in this post one of my fundamental criticisms is virtually the same as that of someone in your own camp, dear libertarians. Kevin Carson, who is well known as a market anarchist and has been a research associate at the Center for a Stateless Society, has written: "Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term 'free market' in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they're defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article in The Freeman arguing that the rich can't get rich at the expense of the poor, because 'that's not how the free market works' – implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they'll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of 'free market principles'." At least one of you has the intellectual integrity to identify the free-marketarian inconsistency that my OP focuses on.

"At least one of you has the intellectual integrity to identify the free-marketarian inconsistency that my OP focuses on."

I hope you are referring to me here, because I will readily attack the US Bullshiit system...

However, I am not a typical libertarian, who are usually conservatives who don't want to be called conservatives. Once you understand that most libertarians are really conservatives, you can understand why they defend the US Coercive State and Corporate Power Structure, even though it is far from a free market.

I am an anti statist... The closest label to me is a Market Anarchist... but that is not really entireley accurate label
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jimtimmy
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10/26/2011 12:22:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 11:47:26 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/25/2011 9:34:56 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/25/2011 9:20:30 PM, mongeese wrote:

To guard against this primitive hunter-gatherer communities practiced a quite strictly enforced egalitarianism. Enforced, that is, by what anthropologists call reverse dominance. Now then, reverse dominance, i.e. the aggressive discouraging of dominant tendencies in other members of one's social group, could often involve killing wannabe alphas. The upshot of all this is that for uncounted millennia selfish alphas were weeded out of the gene pool, and human beings who were capable of pro-socially living together on equal terms survived to pass along their DNA. Consequently today we all have the genetic capacity to overcome the egoistic individualism and greed promoted by capitalism, and to create and make a go of a more egalitarian form of social existence.

Do you have any sources by these anthropologists?

Charelslb is indeed correct about this:

Wikipedia:

Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food. They never stayed in a place for more than two weeks.


However, this is not desirable. Hunter-gather socities are certainly not a model for a society with a high standard of living, and it certainly isn't a model society for peacefulness. You have somewhere to a 15-60% chance of being killed by another person. Now the chances in modern days are very low:


Note that my argument was not that we should return to a hunter-gatherer form of social existence. Rather, I was attempting to make the case that during the hunter-gatherer stage of our species' prehistory there was a kind of social selection for pro-social, one might even say socialistic traits. That individuals who tried to express selfish alpha male/female behavior were responded to with not infrequently lethal reverse dominance, thus eliminating them from the gene pool, leaving a gene pool populated mostly with the DNA of more All-for-one,-one-for-all individuals. And thus today we have the genetic gift, shall we say, for living in a more social, cooperative, sharing, and egalitarian fashion. We needn't resign ourselves to being grubbily self-interested little chips off the block of our capitalist culture. Evolution, in a word, has prepared our nature's for a morally and spiritually higher kind of existence.

Another thing you need to realize is that modern society is largely a result of our nature... so, if we had egalitarian natures, we would expect a more egalitarian society...

Now, you have to realize a couple things about Hunter Gatherer tribes... First, there were hierchies... Second, people in these tribes were remarkably genetically similiar, so we would not expect to see big differences in skill or power... Third, they were all small, within Dunbar's number of about 230...

Communities well above Dunbar's number CANNOT function in a purely cooperative and communal state... Coordination gets too hard and people just don't care about people outside their Dunbar limit...

The US system is a corporate dominated, coercive, and violent system... However, international, or even national, communal systems are infeasible because of the laws of biology and economics...

We need to have a stateless society where people can freely associate with one another
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charleslb
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10/26/2011 12:38:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 12:22:20 AM, jimtimmy wrote:

Another thing you need to realize is that modern society is largely a result of our nature... so, if we had egalitarian natures, we would expect a more egalitarian society...

Not so fast, modern society largely and seriously distorts our human characters. That is, human behavior and character is largely a product of context and expectations (look into the work of social scientist Philip Zimbardo, or view the recent movie The Experiment), and the context and expectations of a capitalist society of course produce greedy little economic individualists whose behavior in turn confirms the capitalist view of human nature. Mm-hmm, the way pro-capitalists derive confirmation for their view of human nature from the nature of capitalist man is all quite circular and self-fulfilling, as it were.
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.
jimtimmy
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10/26/2011 12:58:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 12:38:31 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/26/2011 12:22:20 AM, jimtimmy wrote:

Another thing you need to realize is that modern society is largely a result of our nature... so, if we had egalitarian natures, we would expect a more egalitarian society...

Not so fast, modern society largely and seriously distorts our human characters. That is, human behavior and character is largely a product of context and expectations (look into the work of social scientist Philip Zimbardo, or view the recent movie The Experiment), and the context and expectations of a capitalist society of course produce greedy little economic individualists whose behavior in turn confirms the capitalist view of human nature. Mm-hmm, the way pro-capitalists derive confirmation for their view of human nature from the nature of capitalist man is all quite circular and self-fulfilling, as it were.

Aha, but how did the Capitalist model arise?

It didn't just appear out of thin air... It became obvious that free market, nonpersonal economics were necessary for global development
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Ragnar_Rahl
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10/26/2011 1:33:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
"Vulgar libertarianism" is not a result of an inconsistency in libertarians but an inconsistency in the system, which sometimes decides things in a manner resembling a market and sometimes not. It's not our fault the government is schizophrenic.

Also, the concept of "Vulgar libertarianism" is usually a mask to justify further incursions yet on liberty.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
charleslb
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10/26/2011 3:34:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 1:33:56 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"Vulgar libertarianism" is not a result of an inconsistency in libertarians but an inconsistency in the system, which sometimes decides things in a manner resembling a market and sometimes not. It's not our fault the government is schizophrenic.

Also, the concept of "Vulgar libertarianism" is usually a mask to justify further incursions yet on liberty.

Way to not own up to the ideological foibles of your camp! Well, are you really saying that libertarians have no responsibility for the facile flip-floppiness of disavowing/condemning our current form of capitalism as "crony capitalism" in one breath, and in the next taking up for CEOs and Wall Streeters against critics such as myself? So you're just helplessly intellectually tossed about by the schizophrenic nature of American capitalism and can't be expected to adopt and stick with stances that reflect your putative integrity and consistency? Poor babies, no, of course it's not at all your own fault that you sometimes fall into "vulgar libertarianism". Lol!!!
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.