Barack Huessin Obama's terrorist friends?
- 10-15-2008, 10:22 PM
- 10-16-2008, 07:05 AM
Me saying that you put forth a theory that is borderline socialism is far from calling you a socialist;however, your mistake is understandable seeing as how you have no clue what socialism is.
Contrary to the folk wisdom you have decided to regurgitate, a true socialist economy is people run, as there is no centralized "government" at all. Employee-owned firms would compete or cooperate on the free market.
It's the capitalist economies that are dependent upon government regulation. It's the reason you have never seen a free market in your lifetime. Psychologically people trend toward depletion of resources, which is only encouraged by a system based upon getting as much as one can for ones own self.
Eventually you get what you have today, wherein Ownership and control of the financial levers of economic life remain entirely in the private hands of the richest people in the country.
Last edited by mmorpheuss; 10-16-2008 at 07:24 AM.
10-16-2008, 08:18 AM
Here's the definition I pulled from wikipedia, if you have a better one, by all means, post it.
Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society. Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class political movement. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution which represents the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.
Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism by nature concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, and creates an unequal society. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.
Socialism is not a discrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. Another dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split on how a socialist economy should be established between the reformists and the revolutionaries. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; while others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies combined with tax-funded welfare programs; Libertarian socialism (which includes Socialist Anarchism and Libertarian Marxism) rejects state control and ownership of the economy altogether and advocates direct collective ownership of the means of production via co-operative workers' councils and workplace democracy.
I assume what you're referring to is Libertarian Socialism. I assure you, when I said government staying out of the economy, I was not advocating union ownership of business.
Compare that to the Wiki definition of capitalism:
Capitalism is the economic system in which the means of production are owned by private persons, and operated for profit and where investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are predominantly determined through the operation of a free market, rather than by central economic planning. Capitalism is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and corporations to trade, incorporate, employ workers, and use money provided by central banks, in goods, services (including finance), labor and land. In theory, production and distribution in a capitalist system are governed by the free market rather than state regulation, with state action confined to defining and enforcing the basic rules of the market though the state may provide a few basic public goods and infrastructure. Classic unrestrained capitalism is confined mostly to theory today, as "all of the capitalistic societies of the West have mixed economies" with interventionist state regulation, social programs and state ownership of some sectors.
What I advocate is "classic unrestrained capitalism". I think "government cutting taxes and getting out of the way" definitely fall in line with that economic theory.
10-16-2008, 09:11 AM
So does the fairy tale of a capitalist "free market". You still haven't addressed this issue. You have never seen a free market, and for some reason you fail to understand that the reason behind it isn't an issue with governmental regulation, it is an issue with human nature.
I understand what you are basing your ideas on,unfortunately, "getting out of the way" is in direct opposition to what capitalism creates and mandates long term. Either a ruling class is established, or regulations are implemented ( by the ruling class, ironically) to keep things from getting out of control.
"True Socialism" would seem to cover things better than what you have listed. It is not union ownership, it is each individual worker owning their own means of production. i.e employee ownership.
Based on your comments about Obama and socialism, it seems that you may be of the opinion that the bailout was a socialist move.
Socialism vs. the government bailout of capitalism
As stated previously, my comments were not accusing you of being a socialist, but simply to point out that the line of what you are asking for is quite thin as far as the differing sides asking for the same thing are concerned.
In terms of anarcho-capitalism, (or classic unrestrained if that sounds better) it ignores feasibility while disregarding the fact that there is a reason for regulation of a young economic system that has yet to see anything but regulation since it's inception.
10-16-2008, 09:21 AM
10-16-2008, 09:23 AM
As an aside, I find it painfully ironic that the same pundits who openly chide Senator Obama's perceived (the dreaded) Socialized Medicine, are the same who are resoundingly supporting the strict Socialization of the Economy.
Interestingly enough, the 'Bail Out', 'Buy Out', or whatever ambiguous monicker one imparts on this financial crisis, is Socialism 'reversed' - so to speak: Privatizing public funds to dictate market behavior. In the classical sense, private capital is rebuked in favor of public capital.
10-16-2008, 09:26 AM
10-16-2008, 09:42 AM
I will check my PVR, as I recall recording several interviews with financial 'experts', and 'talking heads', and was quite interested in the colorful language through which they characterized clear Socialist tendencies as 'Market-driven'.
This is not to say I agree or disagree with the decision; or further, I am not commenting on whether action was or was not necessary! Just that I find it funny that certain individuals who avoid 'Socialized Medicine' as if it is the Bubonic Plague are somewhat lauding this move.
(Obama is much more of a Keynesian Welfare Politician rather than a Socialist; you know this, B).
10-16-2008, 09:45 AM
10-16-2008, 11:40 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "getting out of control"....do you mean coercive monopolies? Coercive monopolies are a myth and crock of sh!t. The only time a coercive monopoly can exist is with the help of the government as they are the only entity that can legally use force and thus have an advantage over their competition.
I believe regulation should exist in the United States, but only to the extent to uphold the law and ensure the sanctity of contracts between individuals.
10-16-2008, 11:47 AM
I am trying to drive at the fundamental of Capital markets here: Scarcity. Reacting to scarcity in any system is natural - "greed" is not. 'Greed' and 'survival' are also fundamentally different concepts; 'greed' implies morality, while survival implies only sustenance.
10-16-2008, 12:19 PM
Survival should be the ultimate moral imperative for all species, and is an end in itself. However, I disagree that survival implies only sustenance. Yes, you can get by eating once a month, but doesn't it make sense to eat more often, get stronger, thus making you more capable of getting food in the future? To thrive. Making more money, by the same token gives you ability to survive and thrive in the future.
Greed and survival grow from the same tree, survival being the roots and greed being the trunk.
10-16-2008, 12:30 PM
To use your analogy, Survival is the entire tree itself, and greed is the parasitic organism growing upon it: Removing sustenance from the entire sum in order to further its gain (at the explicit and direct expense of another organism).
10-16-2008, 12:49 PM
Why can't survival be morality? Religions such as Christianity hold self-sacrifice to be the ultimate ideal, which is the opposite of survival. People commit suicide all the team. People eat, smoke, and drink themselves to death all the time. Why isn't it moral to do what's best for your own survival?
By the way, I'd love to claim this line of thinking for myself, but I stole this from Ayn Rand. She claimed in objectivism that anything that helps to perpetuate life is good, while anything that hinders life is bad.
10-16-2008, 01:06 PM
Firstly, I do not subscribe to moral positivism, but rather a hybrid of moral skepticism/relativism - that is, I do not believe subscriptions to ideal behaviours are 'true' (in the most obvious, colloquial sense). This implies - and therein directly contradicts your position - that morality is not truthful, is not objective; therefore, imparting binary labels such as 'good' and 'bad' to morality are misnomers.
Following this logic, survival is not a matter of 'good vs evil', or 'right vs., wrong' which are moral pragmatics, but rather of 'life over death'. As I said, survival is a physical concern, predicated most immediately on material objects, while greed is a moral concern: knowing that your accumulation is contingent upon a lack of accumulation by others. Greed is equatable with morality; survival and greed are not synonymous; therefore neither are morality and survival.
Again, I do not believe in moral objectivism, and especially not as it pertains to issues of survival. Ascribing 'good and bad' to survival is a human projection, rather than being part of the Object (philosophical sense) itself.By the way, I'd love to claim this line of thinking for myself, but I stole this from Ayn Rand. She claimed in objectivism that anything that helps to perpetuate life is good, while anything that hinders life is bad.
The bird does not eat the fly fully cognizant of the morality of death, or life, and so forth; the bird eats the fly as a manner of subsistence, who in turn ate the bacteria and so forth; morality is not innately tied in with processes of survival.
One survive because of one's own attachment to life; one accumulates more than is necessary because of moral entitlement.
10-16-2008, 01:33 PM
10-16-2008, 02:57 PM
I was stating that morality (as a function of intellectualism, emotion, normative behavior and so forth) necessarily cannot be ascribed to survival: A pragmatic, physical concern. I believe there was a touch of misunderstanding on your part there.
Rational Self-Interest and Greed are not corollaries; however, greed must be present in Capitalism.I didn't realize that greed is predicated by a lack of accumulation by others. Based upon that definition I'd say that greed and capitalism don't necessarily go hand in hand. I always thought greed meant, doing what's best for ones self, ie Rational Self-Interest.
Let us say, for example, that at any given point (X) in an economic system, there is a fixed, average value (Y) to be spread upon a large mass of individuals (GDP/GNP and so forth are not fixed, but just imagine for a very momentary period). As you know, new value cannot simply be created (Mr.Paulson believes so) or the proportionate, relation value of all Capital suffers; as a result, any one agent's accumulation of capital (larger piece of Y) must come at the expense of some other agent's accumulation of capital (smaller piece of Y); as opposed to the production of new capital - i.e., in order to increase one's own value, a proportionate amount of Y must be taken from another party.
Rational Self-Interest is merely doing what one needs to subsist; greed, on the other hand, is a complete exaggeration of self interest: Excess. It is Capitalism.
Here, again though, you are terribly convoluting and misrepresenting morality as a function of subsistence; it is not. Animals do not have a sense of what we would deem, 'morality'. While, obviously, humans have the fortunate (unfortunate?) trait of morality, it still does not directly relate to survival.I'd disagree. Animals are programmed to do what they think is good for survival. What makes us human is that for the most part we are not programmed. We use knowledge, intelligence and learning to achieve what is programmed in animals. The downside is that we also have to learn to do what is right for life. We have to create the moral code that is already ingrained in animal in order to survive.
At the cost of whom, though? Even in the earliest societies where gradients of social classes existed, the prosperity of some must necessarily come at the expense of others. Any one society can only produce a finite amount of socially necessary goods; goods which must be spread about that particular population. As a result, and as shown above with value creation, this dictates that in order for Person A to garner more of 'Y' (average sum value), Person B must garner less (literally, this is Capitalism).One survives because he eats, drinks, and defends himself from predators. One thrives because he finds that it makes things easier in eating, drinking, and defending himself from predators.
10-16-2008, 03:39 PM
10-16-2008, 04:18 PM
Life and Death are states of being; survival is a material process. Stating that one religion in particular forbade the auto-transition of being does not equate to its moral position on survival; nor, even if that were the case, would that imply an objective standard of morality applied to all natural organisms in particular instances.
Where did I say it was a drain on the economy as a whole? In fact, I said that it was the necessary condition for the function of Capital - i.e., some must profit at the expense of others in order for Capitalism to be a stage of development; if you do not have that precondition, you have some other exchange based economic system.I understand what you're saying now. To clarify, if Henry Ford creates the assembly line and puts out thousands of Model Ts, he's hurting the horse and buggy market, even as he's making cars available to people who couldn't otherwise afford them. I think it is a flaw to assume that hurting someone else's business is a drain on the economy as a whole. Obviously Ford helped improve the average person's life in addition to opening many new jobs that were not previously there when there were just horse and buggies.
Consider it in this manner:
The total sum of exchange values and produced values in our economy is represented by the number "1, 000, 000, 000"; now, as value cannot be instantaneously created (we agree, here) it must be exchanged between parties. So, let us assume I have an average value of 10, 000, and you an average value of 20, 000 and you want to increase your value. As one cannot instantaneously create new value with inflating market prices, you and I must exchange values; in order for one of us to 'thrive', it must come at the expense of the other.
So, let us postulate that you create some new form of technology that allows you to produce twice the goods as myself in the same timeframe - this addition thereby increases your capacity for value, by taking away from mine: My value drops to 5, 000 and yours to 25, 000; in this respect, the total sum of values is unchanged, but the chasm between agents has - literally, in a very strict sense, this is Capitalism.
No, no it is definitely not! The bolded portion, very, very closely is a line from one of Marx's work, though commune of the proletariat proceeds as opposed to Capitalism. In classically defined senses, 'Socialist' or 'Commune' societies are the basic production of socially necessary goods, at a rate at which the newly produced value only replaces the consumed values of production i.e., what you make replaces what you consumed to make it: Subsistence.Doing what one needs to do to subsist is fine for capitalism. Who's to say what the individual needs to subsist other than the individual. If you own a small business you're trading a good for currency which you can use to purchase other goods which will hopefully improve your chances of survival and thriving.
Morality is a social, metaphysical and psychological construct. Do you truly believe a lion, for example, is aware of the 'morality' of his decisions in killing a gazelle? He merely kills the gazelle because he needs to - and, herein, we separate man from animal; an animal (aside from glutenous domesticated ones) will not eat beyond what they need.Why not? I would argue that animals are programed with a morality aka code of behavior that dictates their actions. Yes, humans have to decide on their morality, but that doesn't mean that survival can not be in their code of behavior or even be that code of behavior. Like I said, there are moralities that are self-sacrificing which is in essence anti-survival, so the flipside of that is survival.
Closed economic systems can only produce and consume so much in finite markets - that is, increasing parties dictates increasing markets; as we have shown above, closed markets have relatively static values at point 'X'. As such, the need for new markets arises so that Capitalists (not being derogatory with this) can garner more Capital. There is only a finite amount of Capital in any one system.I agree, but I think this is misleading. The more parties present in the economy, the stronger the economy, as there are more options to the consumers and more goods available. Yes, the weaker competition with substandard goods or non-competative pricing will be put out of business by superior competition, but its ultimately for betterment of all involved.
10-16-2008, 04:56 PM
Damn, I love having these exchanges with you, but I always get picked apart like a vulture in the end
10-16-2008, 05:11 PM
The negation of Selflessness would most definitely be Selfishness; however, we have a word which succinctly encapsulates that very concept: Greed! As I have said, 'greed' and 'survival' are necessarily not synonymous, as they imply gradients of accumulation:That's not what I was referring to when I said Christianity preaches self-sacrifice. I meant that altruism is an important moral principle in the religion, ultimately manifested when Jesus gave his life to save everybody elses. Altruism is the moral imperative that one selflessly cares for others. Altruism is the moral opposite of Selfishness. Just as the ultimate expression of Altruism is sacrificing one's self for others, the ultimate expression of Selfishness is surviving and thriving, which I view as one in the same. I'm sticking to the tree metaphor dammit!
Greed is over-accumulation
Survival is merely accumulating what one needs to survive.
Ah, though altruism is an interesting concept to bring up in respects to comparative behavioural psychology! While animals may not have cognitive constructs such as 'emotion' or 'morality' - though, biologically they may experience similar neurohormonal reactions to stimuli as a human - they most definitely are 'altruistic'! That being said, altruism does not mean complete lack of regard for self; but rather, the willingness to perform potentially self-inflicting acts at the expense of the furtherance of society, or member groups.
At any rate, this does nothing to further our discussion at hand; merely thought it was interesting!
(Egoism would probably be the most direct negation of altruism).
Exactly; such is a very succinct explanation of Capitalism. Now, whether you agree with this fundamental premise is a moral concern!If I understand what you are saying, basically in capitalism individuals hurt each other on a micro level but at a macro level they help the economy overall. Is that correct?
I would not relatively define subsistence, and neither would a dictionary!I see what you are saying, but you're taking that line out of context. I said in the next line that the individual determines what is necessary for subsistence. Nobody is making anyone make money in capitalism, it is completely up to the individual to determine how much is "enough". That's why you have Bill Gates happy with 57 Billion, and the homeless guy on E. Fayette happy with essentially nothing.
Subsisting and being elite-wealthy could not be more opposing terms! This is why minimum wage is often referred to as 'subsistence wage': The bare minimum wage one would need to provide for themselves.minimal (or marginal) resources for subsisting; "social security provided only a bare subsistence"
a means of surviving; "farming is a hard means of subsistence"
the state of existing in reality; having substance
Morality is an ideal that an individual subscribes to, and at the point of subscription assuming that this compounded value has some authority beyond him/herself; morality does not govern behavior, one governs their behavior in terms of their own perceptions of morality. Obviously, this implies dictation, causality, purposefulness, rationality and so forth; obviously, these are not characteristics we apply to animals; obviously, animals are not moral!Well, with that definition, then obviously there is no morality in animals. I was going under the assumption that morality is merely a code of behavior that governs action.
The code of behavior which most animals subscribe to is evolutionary-biological, as opposed to psychological, or social, or metaphysical in origin. In a sense, morality is innately tied to epistemology.
10-16-2008, 08:13 PM
If you look at Maslow's hierarchy of need, the bottom of the pyramid is what you "need", but to do better than "survive" you have to meet your needs higher on the pyramid. Self-actualization is not greed, I'd say its rational self-interest. Keep in mind, Maslow's hierarchy was primarily to show how survival and thriving come out of the same origin. Come to think of it, Maslow's hierarchy matches my tree in that respect. I'm obsessed with the tree metaphor!
10-16-2008, 09:02 PM
Not to throw a wrench in a great debate, but Maslow's hierarchy of needs is rather outdated and has been replaced in most academic contexts. Daniel Kahneman for example shows how choices, values, and frameworks are a more appropriate measure of understanding one's actions and choices in a context of moral relativism.
10-16-2008, 09:48 PM
10-16-2008, 10:14 PM
I merely bring up moral skepticism as a counter-positing against moral absolutism - that is, the acceptance of socio-historical, constructionist, and individual epistemological positions on morality as opposed to accepting any truth-value of ideal, moral objective statements.
10-16-2008, 10:15 PM
10-16-2008, 10:17 PM
10-16-2008, 10:24 PM
Of course sustenance is proportionate and relational, on the most microscopic of scales - i.e., Individual A and Individual B require distinct amounts of sustenance based upon their physiology, and activity level; however, based on normal populations, one can be assured that both fall within acceptable deviance parameters for the population as a whole.As meatheads we know that everybody has a different number of maintenance calories to maintain their size. That extends to survival as well, certain people can sustain themselves on less calories for longer people than others. In this respect, sustenance is most definitely relative.
Microscopically, sustenance is relative (to individuals); macroscopically, it is transitive. In this sense, one cannot ascribe such broad deviance parameters to sustenance, such that all deviations of the term are accepted within our model. I.e., Bill Gates' concept of sustenance is not relative to his increasing wealth - once he breaches the normal sustenance deviation parameters, he passes into greed. Here, again, we see a divergence of our operative terms in this discussions: Greed from sustenance, greed from survival, and so forth.
Who said it was? However, to use your model, should your self-actualization necessarily come at the expense of mine? Are the dynamic processes of political capital compounded self-actualization, or something more or less psychological? More or less sinister?If you look at Maslow's hierarchy of need, the bottom of the pyramid is what you "need", but to do better than "survive" you have to meet your needs higher on the pyramid. Self-actualization is not greed, I'd say its rational self-interest. Keep in mind, Maslow's hierarchy was primarily to show how survival and thriving come out of the same origin. Come to think of it, Maslow's hierarchy matches my tree in that respect. I'm obsessed with the tree metaphor!
Atheists have morals, but they do not come as the consequence of deference to moral authority; I meant to say that all moral skeptics are necessarily atheists, as the denial of the objective truth-value of morality implies the denial of an ultimate source of morality (i.e., a Deity).So by definition Atheists cannot have morals? I disagree with that definition.
10-17-2008, 12:19 AM
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