[ExI] are all cultures equivalent?

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Apr 13 02:05:35 UTC 2009

 > ...On Behalf Of BillK
> On 4/12/09, spike wrote:
> <snip>
> >  So the silly boneheads never realize the obvious, that their 
> > neighbors are  capitalists, while the Israelis are 
> socialist at best, 
> > bordering on  communist.  So of course the evildoers are richer.
> >
> (Grin) You've got exactly the same mindset, Spike.   If the neighbors 
> are doing better, then by default they must be capitalist...

Hey, that works for me.  {8-]

> Sorry, nut the neighboring tribes of Israel were anything 
> *but* capitalist.
> Different societies are on top at different times. Nothing 
> much to do with whether their system is better. Some are just 
> bigger, some develop a neat trick first... BillK

Ja, so goes the argument in Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.  An indirectly
related version of a similar argument runs throughout Steven Jay Gould's
essays.  OK BillK granted, I have strained the analogy from modern times.
Upon further consideration, I would call the ancient Israeli culture as
theocratic totalitarianism.  The analogy to socialism breaks down in that
pretty much all cultures in those days were crippled by superstition and
lack of technology.

My view on the wealth of nations is of course influenced by our recent
experience with the Berlin Wall, and the results revealed upon it's
destruction in 1989.  That was a good semi-controlled experiment which
demonstrates the relative success of the two systems.

Do allow me offer a comment from a controls engineer's point of view.
Compared to communism, capitalism shortens the feedback loop from personal
investment to personal enrichment, where the term personal investment
includes one's own labor, intellect and risk of personal assets.  Holding to
the classic controls theory analogy, we would say: by shortening that
feedback loop, the gain of the system is increased.  Of course there are
winners and losers, but the higher gain feedback loop of capitalism performs
better overall.  Economic freedom creates wealth.


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