Holes in the philosophy?

 
  • Holes in the philosophy?

    Aladinane wrote:
    I read some of your posts and I think there are some big holes in your philosophy. What makes you think that you would be one of the 'ubermensch' in a truly free capitalist system? Also, have you ever read about Anarchism? (not Anarcho-capitalism). I think that in the world you imagine would be fair, your capitalist meritocracy, the large corporations who would inevitably rule the world would become dictatorships of their own and you or I would not have a chance of success or freedom but would be slaves and serfs ro our almighty bosses. Or am I missing something big here?
    Hello.

    I understand your concerns and what you see as holes in the philosophy, and assure you that I've spent a lot of time thinking about them myself and wouldn't be typing this unless I came to the conclusion that they have fully rational answers to them.

    To answer your questions:

    1) There is no talk of über- or untermensch in a capitalist society; not in the sense that it is generally understood (unless you mean it in the original Nietzsche sense, then I'd agree to some extent, but the difference there rests solely in moral judgement and not in for example legislation and the likes and applies to what he defines as master-slave morality, the results and validity of which can be seen on a daily basis). Those terms have a very different original meaning than what is generally misunderstood by them, and don't hold any further connotations an sich (like concentration camps etc.).

    You ask what makes me think that I'd be one of the "übermenschen" in such a system. This question has a few implications (aside from the term and its connotations, but let's use it within this arguement's contex).

    First off: what makes you think I wouldn't be.

    Second: say that I wouldn't be or wouldn't have any chance of being within the well-off group (and ignoring for a moment the fact that you say that the system calls for a group of "untermenschen" while I claim that it does not) - why would that make any difference?

    Is that for you your base of ideology, and do you consider that as intellectually and philosophically just and defendable? Not the reality but what suits you best? I don't base my core values on an intellectually fraudulent foundation pertaining to what I can get most advantage out of while knowing that that's not what I really think, I base my views on what I see is reality, aside from wishful thinking and I don't deal in self-deception, even if it'd mean I'd get "more" out of it (in some people's eyes at least, that kind of "more" isn't what I'm after).

    So before I go any further into this I ask you: what difference would it make whether I was expecting to be in the "übermensch" category or not on a philosophical and ideological level?

    Do you mean to say that all socialists in fact base their "ideology" not on what they claim (altruism, selflessness, solidarity, sharing, etc.) but on what they can get the most out of and what suits them best given their situation (out of a twisted kind of greed); expecting others to pay for them based on their own proclaimed values which they in fact do not believe in or adhere to. Do you see the contradiction here?

    I agree fully though that that is in fact the case with most if not all socialists: they put moral obligations, which they don't hold themselves or live by, on people who are better off, only justifying this by this system of believes being more profitable to them. And *that* they call solidarity and moral behaviour.

    My values don't work that way. I'm not exuberantly wealthy and I'm not poor. But I've lived through all gradations during the course of my life, from poor to where I am now. A swing in either direction will not affect my value system, and it never has. In fact, I'd probably be "better off"' by being a socialist because I'd get "more out of it" because I'm not in the top 10% income category either right now. But that's the key difference: give me a fortune tomorrow and my values are the same, make me poor tomorrow and they still are (as I said, I've personally lived through both extremes as they are to be found in western europe). But let a socialist win the lottery tomorrow, and all his values are thrown overboard. Mine aren't. That should tell you something about my moral basis and theirs.

    2) I know about anarchy, but I'm not an anarchist, nor see anarchy as desirable or achievable.I don't know whether you demand any further enquiry into this?

    3) I feel that it's a common misconception that a capitalist world leads to monopolistic companies (also, how about state-enforced monopolies, why do people seem to prefer those?).

    Any big company in a capitalist system (and this current global system isn't capitalistic, mind you) is big only because it is efficiënt and can outcompete others. If it does then why shouldn't it be the biggest?

    However, you're still free to buy or not buy their product. If you think it's good value at a good price you buy it, otherwise you don't. If you think they ask too much for it and you think other people agree that it isn't worth it there's a market for you to get into by offering the same product at a lower price. That's basic economy. Monopolies and their abuse only exist by government sanction. Big companies who hold a monopoly *in a capitalistic system* only do so by sanction of the market; abuse of the position or inefficiency automaticly leads to the company's collapse in a capitalistic free market system.

    For example: take a look at the current credit crisis. People thought banks were invulnerable, but this proves that they aren't and once they stop living up to the required standards it is the end of them. No company is "too big to fail" in a capitalist free market sense. The only reason it got this far and the only reason that it'll get worse is because government regulation and intervention distorts what the market would do naturally and earlier on.

    4) As to personal success in such a system, I don't see how you believe it would lead to anything but opportunity for an individual?

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
    Edited by dyingdreams on 22 Dec 2008, 19:49
  • By the way, I suggest, if you have the time and desire to dig into it for an hour or two, to watch both the video I posted a while ago on globalization (in this forum) and the effects it has on both breaking monopolies and empowering people in third world countries, and in the Atlas Shrugged group the interviews with Ayn Rand where she eloquently and to the point deals with some questions that have a lot to do with these you just asked.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • I thank you for your considered and somewhat lengthy reply. As it is my birthday tomorrow and I'll be quite busy, I will leave my reply for a time when I can make an equally considered and thorough argument. Also, I'm quite drunk at the moment and I cant even make sense of the keyboard let alone your dense prose. Please forgive me, a meager prole must have his amusement.
    If I don't find time to reply before, have a merry Christmas! (that is if anti-socialists celebrate Christmas, or indeed anything.:P)

  • Anti-socialists throw the best parties ;)

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
  • Hey :D Sorry about the incredibly belated reply, I forgot about you! I hope you had a good festive period.

    As for this thread here, I think I should give you a proper explanation of where I'm coming from as it seems you have misconstrued part, if not all of what I said and as a result I find it hard to understand your reply.

    Firstly, I am an Anarchist. I believe in a non-monetary, resource-based economy free of hierarchy or coercion of any kind.

    As for Ayn Rand, I find her general philosophy abhorrent and I would tend to agree with Noam Chomsky when he said that she is "one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history.". I would also agree with Greg Nyquist in his claim that Rand's philosophy fundamentally misunderstands the very core of human nature. She believes that human beings are inherently selfish and individualistic. Firstly I reject her claim that we are selfish. Nothing could be more absurd for me as all around I see human beings attempting to be good in spite of a monetary system which forces us into selfish, competitive, profit-driven behavior. Ayn Rand sees the symptom but fails to recognise the sickness. Do you ever give money to charity? The vast majority of people do, but why? Why do we adopt children that are not our own? Why do we care for sick animals? Why do our hearts break when we see pain and suffering in our world? Inherently selfish? The idea disgusts me. We have an inherent inclination towards social behavior as that is what made us successful as a species. Anyone with a basic understanding of Darwin's theory can see this clearly. Ayn Rand seems to think that humanity, in its darkest hour survived by selfish individualism. Such a scenario is impossible and this human race would have long ago become extinct if she were right. I do not deny that human beings, at this stage in our history show an incredible amount of selfish behavior but this is a symptom of our SYSTEM which coerces us into competition with each other and Rand's system would only make these symptoms worse.

    "Look at history, everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind, every horror and destruction came from an attempt to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots." - The Fountainhead.

    I believe this assumption is deeply flawed. I am guessing that she is talking about scientific achievements here as they are the greatest USEFUL achievement free of coercion. However no scientist works alone, they all have the support of a network of scientists (or a scientific community) who send each other letters, share ideas, offer encouragement and criticism throughout the forming of any Idea. There are of course a small minority of great thinkers who worked truly alone, but these still rely on the history of works by the scientific community to form the groundwork for their ideas. Darwin never claimed to be the sole creator of the idea of evolution, his work was informed by a huge history of Ideas which informed his own thoughts and worked together inside his brain to achieve the complete theory of evolution by natural selection. Likewise in the the art world, Artists, musicians and poets are informed and influenced by that which came before them. And so I assert that there is no such thing as a true INDIVIDUAL and that the idea of the INDIVIDUAL VS the COLLECTIVE is flawed at step one by assuming there is such a thing.

    According to Rand, the individual "must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life." This Idea, to me is utterly absurd in the context of her laissez-faire capitalism. She says that the sole purpose of a government is the protection of the individuals rights against their violation by the initiation of physical force. This includes their property rights. This is a paradox. How does she differentiate between theft or coercion by physical force and theft or coercion by economic force. E.g. If one man is forced into labour using physical threat/force and another is forced into the same labour by economic necessity, which is the less force, or the less violation of an individuals rights? For example: Odonku and his family are captured by slave masters, sailed across the Atlantic and forced to work on a farm for their food and accommodation. Helen is forced to work in a sweatshop making clothes for Gap because if she does not, her family will have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep that night. Now you might say that 1. Helen is free to go and work for another company or that 2. she has the opportunity to work her way up in the Gap. This may be true, but the chance of this resulting in an improvement of her lifestyle is very small. In fact, the promise of a possible pay-rise is used to coerce Helen and her colleagues into working harder, thus increasing the violation. At least Odonku knows that he has no possibility of escaping his drudgery and that no matter how hard he works he will not achieve any pay-rise or promotion. He also knows that he is guaranteed food and shelter, whereas Helen's rent may go up tomorrow and she is forced to take her family to a slum or the street. If either is the lesser evil, I would think it is Odunku's fate. Both are forced into working and have little opportunity to escape their hardships.
    So,(and this is the bit I find hard to explain) if we take for granted, the Idea that labour is the basis of any economy and that all worth in an economy is the result of somebody's labour output. Then how is it not the theft or violation of somebody's property rights AND their individual rights to employ them and pay them less than the monetary products of their labour? This is a theft, if you think about it logically, as a persons labour and in fact their life is being taken from them at a fraction of its actual worth. This theft is the basis of ANY capitalist, monetary system, including Rand's. So you see, when she says that the individual "must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself." Not only is this incredibly naive but it's logic is flawed in a capitalist system as exploitation is INEVITABLE and it is in fact the basis of the entire system.

    In elation to your post I have a few things to say:
    1. Can you explain why you think that your system would not lead to a society of Ubermenchen and capitalist monopolies? The mere fact that someone else offers a better product certainly does not mean that they will take the market share that they deserve. A large corporation with a marketing budget of billions will be able crush a small emerging company every time, regardless of how inferior their product is.

    2. you said: "Do you mean to say that all socialists in fact base their "ideology" not on what they claim (altruism, selflessness, solidarity, sharing, etc.) but on what they can get the most out of and what suits them best given their situation (out of a twisted kind of greed); expecting others to pay for them based on their own proclaimed values which they in fact do not believe in or adhere to. Do you see the contradiction here?"
    There is no contradiction here, this selfish social instinct is effectively not selfish as it works for the good of the community. This feeling of 'oneness' with a group may seem on the face of things to be selfish, but in fact it is the most beautiful of symbiotic relationships, a relationship that we should have with not only our own human race, but also the animal world, the plant world and the good earth herself.

    3."So before I go any further into this I ask you: what difference would it make whether I was expecting to be in the "übermensch" category or not on a philosophical and ideological level?"
    I think this makes all the difference. The chance to become great and rich as an individual, as a result of your own merits. This is what your philosophy offers, am I right? Then what fool would support this system if he viewed himself as someone who would fail in this society? Do you claim to merely want to see great men succeed regardless of whether you fit into that category? I'm not sure I understand this point.

    4. "I feel that it's a common misconception that a capitalist world leads to monopolistic companies (also, how about state-enforced monopolies, why do people seem to prefer those?)"
    Because they are accountable and (in a democratic society) the people have some level of control over them

    I feel as if I need to write more, but I will stop now as I must stop somewhere.

    • Aryo said...
    • User
    • 14 Jan 2009, 12:08

    Firstly, I am an Anarchist. I believe in a non-monetary, resource-based economy free of hierarchy or coercion of any kind.


    you can believe what you want, but some beliefs are disconnected from reality and you just can't e.g. stop a stone from falling by declaring that you do not believe in gravitational force.
    Thus, a non-monetary, resource-based economy would be a revert to a barter system, a system of utmost poverty, where you would spend whole day to find a guy who would actually sell you the shoes he made for your eggs you harvested. That's why people decided on money - universal exchange good, to save their work and simply improve their standard of living. Of course money can only be a commodity of real worth, not some paper with lots of zeroes. Such a commodity, historically, is GOLD.

    As for Ayn Rand, I find her general philosophy abhorrent and I would tend to agree with Noam Chomsky when he said that she is "one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history."

    As for Noam Chomsky, I find his general philosophy abhorrent and I would tend to agree with Ayn Rand, when she said that collectivism is the scourge of humankind.

    No, seriously, the proper objective code of ethics can be deduced a priori, from the axiom of argumentation, and it was done by M. Rothbard in "Ethics of Liberty" and H.H.Hoppe in his complementary works.

    She believes that human beings are inherently selfish and individualistic.

    they are and they are not. It depends whether they make use of their reason, or retreat into the prehuman realm of pure whim and emotions.

    Firstly I reject her claim that we are selfish.

    rejecting reality isn't recommended for survival, believe me.

    Nothing could be more absurd for me as all around I see human beings attempting to be good in spite of a monetary system which forces us into selfish, competitive, profit-driven behavior.

    being "good" and being "selfish" do not contradict each other. you misunderstand simple concepts.

    Do you ever give money to charity? The vast majority of people do, but why? Why do we adopt children that are not our own? Why do we care for sick animals? Why do our hearts break when we see pain and suffering in our world? Inherently selfish?

    have you ever thought that such behaviour can altogether be motivated by SELFISHNESS? When I give money to charity, I do it because I feel better. When some shmock gives money to charity, he does that to appear important, to appear "unselfish" to the public. And it's purely selfish, egoistic behaviour, motivated by PROFIT. A psychological profit, in those cases.

    We have an inherent inclination towards social behavior as that is what made us successful as a species.

    social behaviour does not contradict selfish behaviour. Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" will do a good read for you, as you will learn that selfish behaviour of invididuals is the very core and tissue of social order. Why? Because social order is the sum of spontaneous, SELFISH decisions of acting individuals. You cannot "declare" or "engineer" a social order. Collective processes are UNCONTROLABLE.

    Ayn Rand seems to think that humanity, in its darkest hour survived by selfish individualism. Such a scenario is impossible and this human race would have long ago become extinct if she were right.

    On the contrary. It is when the government tried to coerce people into non-selfish, altruistic behaviour via paternal collectivist systems, the darkest hours came, and people were near to annihilation. But they survive precisely because of their egoistic nature.
    E.g. in Soviet Union the egoistic individuals organized black markets for food and deficient goods, for PURE PROFIT, not because of their "good hearts". Thanks to this selfish behaviour, the sheer horror of Soviet daily life became bearable.
    You cannot force people into altruism. You must let them act on their own accord.

    I do not deny that human beings, at this stage in our history show an incredible amount of selfish behavior but this is a symptom of our SYSTEM which coerces us into competition with each other and Rand's system would only make these symptoms worse.

    all I can see is a system of coerced altruism - welfare state, nanny state, paternal government with eyes upon us everywhere. Competition is eliminated, especially via welfare and tariffs, import quotas, minimum wage and other industrial protectionism. There is simply no place to compete - for the newcomers, especially.

    However no scientist works alone, they all have the support of a network of scientists (or a scientific community) who send each other letters, share ideas, offer encouragement and criticism throughout the forming of any Idea.

    science is but a part of the process of civilization. The most important part is CAPITAL ACCUMULATION. The naive layman always sees the technological advances happening "just like that", and always wonders why some technology was not introduced yet, so that millions of people could be saved from starvation or something like that. He doesn't understand, that technological invention can only be put into real use when there is a sufficient amount of capital available - especially when it comes to mass-producing certain goods, or shipping them across large distances. Simply, given the current amount of capital, NO TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE may take place without removing capital from one use and putting it into the new use for technological advancing. But this removal of capital from one use must be ECONOMICALLY viable - for if we for example remove capital from current food production, some people will not eat so that some other people may take pleasure from new hybrid cars, for instance. Only the economic calculation (based on monetary units, of course) may give us the information whether the current amount of capital is sufficient for new technological innovations. If it is not - then we must save and accumulate new capital so it can be invested.
    And tell me now - how can we do it, when the profits from our labor are taxed so high? Capital profits are taxed even higher at some instances. How can an enterpreneur accumulate enough capital to invest into new forms of production, when the state confiscates the most of it? The amount of waste introduced by the state intervention makes me wonder how are we still going on. It is even impossible to correctly measure if we actually accumulate or consume the existing capital, because of all the distortions in the monetary system, introduced by central banking, fiat money expansion and virtual financial operations.


    And so I assert that there is no such thing as a true INDIVIDUAL and that the idea of the INDIVIDUAL VS the COLLECTIVE is flawed at step one by assuming there is such a thing.

    you make your own breakfast, or do you wait for the collective to fetch it up for ya?

    According to Rand, the individual "must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life." This Idea, to me is utterly absurd in the context of her laissez-faire capitalism.

    actually, it is perfectly alright in the context of laissez-faire.

    She says that the sole purpose of a government is the protection of the individuals rights against their violation by the initiation of physical force. This includes their property rights. This is a paradox

    this is logic. and this is objectively proven in "Ethics of Liberty". You cannot have freedom without private property. Only via the private property you are protected from the violence of those who initiate force (physical, as there is no other), as you are fully free to act upon your private property. If you weren't, then you would be an eternal victim of aggression, as you couldn't do anything to defend yourself. And so on.

    . How does she differentiate between theft or coercion by physical force and theft or coercion by economic force.

    there is no theft or coercion by economic force. Pure and simple, as I shall explain further.

    another is forced into the same labour by economic necessity

    he is not forced into labour. He chooses to do it instead of sitting idly. Why he chooses? Because it is profitable for him. If it weren't, he would sit idly instead.
    You reduce the fact that people act according to their scale of values, to a simple "work or die". I'm sorry, but we don't live in a garden of Eden, so we must actually work to sustain our lives. But we always have a choice how we would do it. In a free-market, laissez-faire economy - we are not coerced by force into anything. We choose freewillingly the most profitable (in our own subjective hierarchy of values) means to do it.

    Helen is forced to work in a sweatshop making clothes for Gap because if she does not, her family will have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep that night.

    how sad. WHY OH WHY will her family have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep? were they deprived of their earlier income by force? were they robbed of their possessions? if not, then it is PURE REALITY that to earn sustenance, one must work - that is exchange the fruits of his own mind with those willing to make that exchange. And really, it's much better if Helen works in a sweatshop (where she produces something in need by other people), than if she would travel from place to place and ask everyone "Exchange something with me, I don't know what, but please do". That's not how life works, my friend.
    The owner of the sweatshop, given he came into possession of it via legitimate means (bought from earlier savings, built by himself from earlier savings, inherited, took bank credit to finance it), PROVIDES for Helen and her colleagues a place and means where her talent can be put into use to satisfy other people (consumers), and she doesn't even have to pay for that, nor bear risk! It is the owner of the shop who bears the risk of not selling a single pair of clothes, yet he pays Helen in advance for the labour. If he doesn't sell anything, he will go bankrupt, not Helen.
    That's how free enterprise works. When Helen saves enough money (capital) from her labour, she may open her own shop, or move to other place to work for more money. The amount of wage she receives is the amount of the marginal product of her labour - not less, not more, because in a free-market a lower wage would immediately lure competition which would rise wage level, while a higher wage would make it economically infeasible to continue production at the same price level of the final product. But, if the capital is invested in production processes, the processes yield more product per unit of labour - so Helen does not make 10 pairs of clothes a day - but, e.g. 20. Given that consumers still want this product, Helen has just increased her efficiency by 100%, and the owner will increase her wage by the amount of marginal product increase too. If he doesn't, Helen will be lured by competition.
    And so it goes.
    but only in FREE-MARKET laissez-faire economy! In our overly-regulated, highly-taxed statist economy, the profits which would yield more capital investments, are taxed and wasted by the state, the wages which would yield more savings and enhance career opportunities - are taxed as well, mostly by social security tax (40-50% of gross wage cost of the employer); the competition is scarce, because of high barriers of entry - imposed by the state (of course with proper funding from the old firms which do not like competition, but only the state coercive force can achieve this). Many trades are highly exclusive by state legislation, so you can't become for example: a tailor, if you don't pass a state or corporative exam for that matter.
    So, in the end, what you accuse laissez-faire of - is exactly what happens in our current coercive state monopoly system.

    Now you might say that 1. Helen is free to go and work for another company or that 2. she has the opportunity to work her way up in the Gap. This may be true, but the chance of this resulting in an improvement of her lifestyle is very small.

    that's what I explained above, exactly.


    In fact, the promise of a possible pay-rise is used to coerce Helen and her colleagues into working harder, thus increasing the violation.

    it's not violation, as I explained earlier. Anyway, by working harder, she increases her output, which makes the product CHEAPER on the market. Now, if all the industries motivate their employees to work harder - we get more cheaper products. So our wages can now buy more products than earlier - the purchasing power of money increases, so our wages in real value. That's how wealth is created, and that's how humanity was lifted from misery during 19th century capitalist revolution.

    whereas Helen's rent may go up tomorrow and she is forced to take her family to a slum or the street.

    in a free-market laissez-faire economy rents do not just go up accidentaly (given no disaster struck), because the time preference of the individuals is much lower, so they decide on long-term contracts if it comes to renting. The money, being gold, is not subject to inflation, so the prices steadily fall from year to year, thus Helen's wage, ceteris paribus, can afford a higher rent price from year to year. Because of the sound money making credit expansion impossible, no business cycles occur, so no severe depressions haunt the economy, thus no massive unemployment nor hyperinflation of prices occur.

    Whereas in our current statist system of overly-regulated economy, such instances as you provide, are on daily basis.
    Still, people live and carry on - and are in a much better situation that 200 years ago.

    If either is the lesser evil, I would think it is Odunku's fate. Both are forced into working and have little opportunity to escape their hardships.

    empyrical evidence defies your pessimistic assumptions. Poor people are ofter so motivated, that working their way through the "sweatshop" scenario only strenghtens them and they are not condemned to unescapable fate of wage-slavery. Even in our current oppressive system, there are numerous instances of great careers, average workers turned enterpreneurs, and so on.

    So,(and this is the bit I find hard to explain) if we take for granted, the Idea that labour is the basis of any economy and that all worth in an economy is the result of somebody's labour output.

    Labour, land and capital are the basis of the economy. To produce anything, you need both labour and land (raw materials, for example). If it comes to higher stages of production in a moderately advanced economy, you need CAPITAL GOODS, that is the intermediate stage goods, which are used to enhance the output of labour and land (tools, machines). Now each factor yields its own part of the product, and for example, labour would not have such a high output, if it weren't for the capital goods, which enhance it. Who supplies the capital goods? Yes - THE CAPITALIST. How? Because he abstained from earlier consumption, and SAVED enough to make an INVESTMENT in a proper capital good. That's why capitalist's profits are as much justified as the labourer's profits (wages). Also the owner of the land (raw materials, space) earns a profit by supplying his own scarce factor of production.
    Now, this all works very well, but in a real economy, we also need an ENTERPRENEUR. This guy is someone who SEES the OPPORTUNITY to engage those factors of production in a PROFITABLE enterprise. What is a profitable enterprise? It is making a product, which the people, you, I, your friends (the consumers) will buy at a price high enough, that combining the costs of all factors of production, it will exceed those costs. Thus making a profit - for the enterpreneur who found the opportunity in the market for such a good or service.
    But he is more that just a quick profit gainer. He could be lucky, but mostly, enterpreneurs possess an inate ability to foresee the wants of the consumers. By leading the factors of production into satisfying these wants in the most economic way (for the lowest cost possible, for the lowest price possible, paying the highest wages possible), the enterpreneur, serving his own selfish interest, actually serves US, THE CONSUMERS, the best. We are his employer! We command him! He is on our mercy - for if we change our mind about his product, he goes out of business!
    And that's the basis of a true free-market, laissez-faire, capitalist economy.
    By realizing selfish interests, the enterpreneur, the landowner, the labourer, and the capitalist (you, I, your friends, become capitalists the moment you lay your saved money to a bank. Horror, eh?) each provide his own input into the economy, into satisfying our consumer wants. And mind you, we, the consumers, are THE MOST SELFISH in the whole lot! We don't give a single damn, if an enterpreneur loses his firm, or 100 labourers get fired, if we don't buy their shitty product. We don't give a damn about their families who may even starve, if we keep with your sad scenario. WE DICTATE WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM! Ever thought of that, when you scoffed at eating out at McDonalds? :D

    Then how is it not the theft or violation of somebody's property rights AND their individual rights to employ them and pay them less than the monetary products of their labour?

    as I explained above, the worker gets the marginal product revenue of his work in his wage, but, what's important, it is discounted by the period of time the owner of the final product needs to sell it to the final consumer, so it may appear lower to the layman's eyes that the revenue from the final product. But the worker GETS his money in advance (in much advance in certain branches of industry), regardless if the final product actually gets sold or not. It is the price the worker pays for the certainty of his income - while the owner of the firm pays the price of uncertainty, when his income falls because of the fall in sales.

    This is a theft, if you think about it logically, as a persons labour and in fact their life is being taken from them at a fraction of its actual worth.

    the actual worth is determined by the market (that is, us, the consumers, who are merciless at judging shit from candy) at the moment of sale. There is no objective value inherent in a product. If a piece of furniture cannot be sold because of lack of interest in it on behalf of the buyers - then it's worth shit, and the work which lead to manufacture it - is also worth nothing. Yet the worker got paid, didn't he? See, no theft whatsoever. Perhaps only the owner of the furniture shop could lay claim that "he was robbed by the capriciousness of the clients who rejected his furniture".

    So you see, when she says that the individual "must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself." Not only is this incredibly naive but it's logic is flawed in a capitalist system as exploitation is INEVITABLE and it is in fact the basis of the entire system.

    there is no exploitation, given that the property the employer engages as a firm was acquired legitimately, the capital engaged is also acquired legitimately, and the workers freewillingly came into contract with the employer. They benefit from the wages they earn IN ADVANCE, the employer benefits from the work HE MANAGED TO ORGANIZE FOR THEM, as the products of their work are sold to those willing to pay, and so on. Nobody is worse off - so there is no exploitation, no theft.

    In elation to your post I have a few things to say:
    1. Can you explain why you think that your system would not lead to a society of Ubermenchen and capitalist monopolies? The mere fact that someone else offers a better product certainly does not mean that they will take the market share that they deserve. A large corporation with a marketing budget of billions will be able crush a small emerging company every time, regardless of how inferior their product is.


    if only the marketing budget was the case of whether a firm would succeed or not - then NO FIRM whatsoever would make effort to enhance their products, lower costs, increase reliability, customer contact etc.
    But they DO make an effort, even in our corporate state monopoly system, where huge corporations get grants, subsidies and security from the state.


    There is no contradiction here, this selfish social instinct is effectively not selfish as it works for the good of the community.

    then the capitalist producers are the most UNSELFISH people on earth, as their products work day and night for the ultimate good of the community, and they don't even demand public recognition for it.

    This feeling of 'oneness' with a group may seem on the face of things to be selfish, but in fact it is the most beautiful of symbiotic relationships, a relationship that we should have with not only our own human race, but also the animal world, the plant world and the good earth herself.

    fine fine, but don't coerce the thinking individuals into this collectivist utopia, okay?
    I dunno if it is a beautiful relationship, but it is surely the only JUSTIFIED - that is the contractual, free-willed relationship with the person or group of persons you chose for your own interest.

    I think this makes all the difference. The chance to become great and rich as an individual, as a result of your own merits. This is what your philosophy offers, am I right? Then what fool would support this system if he viewed himself as someone who would fail in this society? Do you claim to merely want to see great men succeed regardless of whether you fit into that category? I'm not sure I understand this point.

    it is precisely the greatness of laissez-faire in contrast to all statist monstrosities, that the individual is always free to succeed, depending on how he shall concentrate his effort, energy and time.
    But mind you - the success means only that: to supply other people with goods and services they actually WANT. If a frustrated intellectual cannot find clients for his abhorrent theories; if a frustrated clerk cannot find job because nobody needs any paperwork; if a frustrated blacksmith cannot find clients because his services are too expensive in lieu of mass-production - then they can only themselves to blame. But they rarely do. They start to blame others, and the system. They become fascists, they start to DEMAND something from the society, and they think it should be delivered to them by coercion. That's when we draw a line!

    Because they are accountable and (in a democratic society) the people have some level of control over them

    But in a purely laissez-faire economy the people have 100% control over any corporation! They can refrain from buying its products. They can sell all the stocks. They can even use media to condemn dishonest companies. It all happens even now.
    But in our current system, with a fiat money, inflation, credit expansion and state coercion, the corporations which are in league with the government, are beyond any market control - they get subsidies (from tax money), they get preferential credits (from our pockets robbed by inflation), they get bailed-out, they get protected from competition, and so on. By whom? by the state. Who theoretically controls the state? We, through democratic institutions? Well, do we succeed? I don't think so.
    Comparing this to a pure market system, where a firm will fail if it doesn't serve its consumers, we are in deep shit with no control over anything, and no democracy whatsoever.


    I guess I managed to write the longest Capitalist Manifesto in my career, I'd better save it for posterity.

    I hope you got your mind straightened out a bit.

    Cheers
    Kel`Thuz

    http://mises.org

    the Vienna professor Mises, who has been called the ‘last knight of liberalism,’ fights indefatigably against government intervention in the market process.
  • Aryo said everything I was planning on saying.

    Aladinane, you really misunderstand the philosophy. Maybe watch some of the interviews to start out with?


    Also:
    Aryo said:
    Aladinane said:
    Helen is forced to work in a sweatshop making clothes for Gap because if she does not, her family will have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep that night.

    [...] The owner of the sweatshop, given he came into possession of it via legitimate means (bought from earlier savings, built by himself from earlier savings, inherited, took bank credit to finance it), PROVIDES for Helen and her colleagues a place and means where her talent can be put into use to satisfy other people (consumers), and she doesn't even have to pay for that, nor bear risk! It is the owner of the shop who bears the risk of not selling a single pair of clothes, yet he pays Helen in advance for the labour. If he doesn't sell anything, he will go bankrupt, not Helen.
    That's how free enterprise works. When Helen saves enough money (capital) from her labour, she may open her own shop, or move to other place to work for more money. The amount of wage she receives is the amount of the marginal product of her labour - not less, not more, because in a free-market a lower wage would immediately lure competition which would rise wage level, while a higher wage would make it economically infeasible to continue production at the same price level of the final product. But, if the capital is invested in production processes, the processes yield more product per unit of labour - so Helen does not make 10 pairs of clothes a day - but, e.g. 20. Given that consumers still want this product, Helen has just increased her efficiency by 100%, and the owner will increase her wage by the amount of marginal product increase too. If he doesn't, Helen will be lured by competition.
    And so it goes.
    but only in FREE-MARKET laissez-faire economy! In our overly-regulated, highly-taxed statist economy, the profits which would yield more capital investments, are taxed and wasted by the state, the wages which would yield more savings and enhance career opportunities - are taxed as well, mostly by social security tax (40-50% of gross wage cost of the employer); the competition is scarce, because of high barriers of entry - imposed by the state (of course with proper funding from the old firms which do not like competition, but only the state coercive force can achieve this). Many trades are highly exclusive by state legislation, so you can't become for example: a tailor, if you don't pass a state or corporative exam for that matter.
    So, in the end, what you accuse laissez-faire of - is exactly what happens in our current coercive state monopoly system.


    For a clear example on this proces in action, feel free to watch the video in the "Globalism is good" thread.

    Anti-Socialism
    To each his own.
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 10 Oct 2011, 11:00
    After reading all of your posts it just shows that there is very little difference between social/collectivist and free market/individualist perspectives on anarchy. If there is any difference really it is language and small differences in the methods of dealing with problems ie social anarchy "the community will find a solution", market anarchy "the solution will be found through the market" (and the market is simply the economic manifestation of the community).

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