[ExI] don't let your guard down, not for a minute...

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Sep 11 01:49:21 UTC 2010

 On 9/10/10 6:24 AM, Tim Halterman wrote:
> 2010/9/9 samantha <sjatkins at mac.com <mailto:sjatkins at mac.com>>
>     On 9/9/10 6:55 AM, Tim Halterman wrote:
>>         Really, what do you make of this?
>>     No current system is perfect and everlasting, communism,
>>     capitalism or otherwise. 
>     Why? What makes them fail?  Are some better than others?  In what
>     ways.
> The fact that governance is requried.  As long as there is a human in
> authority there will likely be envy and certainly inequality.  This is
> imperfect.  And sure I find some better than others.
What is and is not legitimate in the way of "governance"?   Why is
inequality a problem?  People are not fungible items as much the same as
peas in a pod.   No amount of governance will make them so or should
try.  Nor is everyone entitled to the same outcomes as they are
different beings with different skills, values, ambitions, determination
and character.   So people envy.  So what?  I don't see that is some
problem for "governance" to resolve.

>>     I don't think any system which requires people to do something
>>     they don't wish or relies on exploiting another being as a
>>     permanent solution. 
>     Laissez faire capitalism requires neither.
> I'd say produce or starve is a flaw.  Capitalism requires people to do
> something they possibly may not wish to do, or even have the ability
> to do.
Actually, it is a system where people freely interact to trade the
values they produce for the values produced by others.  It is the only
system utterly based on freedom and especially on economic freedom of
association.   In point of fact far less people starved in societies
that were closer to laissez faire capitalism than others.  For instance
many millions starved in the USSR.  If you produce no values that are
valued by others for trade then you survive off savings or off the
kindness of strangers (not coerced pseudo-charity accomplish by
legalized taking from some against their will to give to others).  Seems
very humane and not at all flawed.  Especially compared to the alternatives.

>>     These systems are simply biding their time until technology
>>     advances to a point that a true communism is possible.
>     BARF. Communism is utterly broken by design.  
>>        Communism in that sense being a society where individuals are
>>     free to do as they wish and do not require the exploitation of
>>     others to do so.  I think Marx felt this way, although specific
>>     quotes elude me (It's been a number of years since I read his work).
>     That is not communism.  In communism the collective owns
>     everything and the individual owns nothing.  "From each according
>     to his ability, to each according to his needs" is a common slogan
>     of communism at its most idealistic.   That is utterly
>     unworkable.  When everyone owns everything and nothing no one has
>     the right to do with anything at all what she wishes. 
> The ideal communism I speak to does not contain the word "own" nor
> does it take anything from each.  And yes I've read Atlas Shrugged.

So you abolish the word?  Who or what owns the "means of production"?  
What can an individual own?  Nothing?  Everything?   Do they have the
right to make their own decisions in all areas of their life?  Some
areas?  Economic areas?

>>     I always looked at the Soviet Union as simply picking a model
>>     close to a hopeful end-state.  Had technology progressed at a
>>     faster rate I'm not sure the collapse would have been inevitable,
>>     they could have simply evolved.  I see the most technologically
>>     advanced societies the closest to achieving true communism.
>     A state that killed tens of millions on its own citizens on
>     purpose is held up as an ideal and just before its time?  This is
>     utterly abhorrent.
>     - samantha
> I'm not going to defend the Soviet Union, that wasn't really my
> point.  I will say however that unless you live on another planet
> we're all pieces on the same game board.  Until a day comes when not
> one person goes hungry the same day a resource is spent on the defense
> or offense of one nation against another I'm not going to participate
> in finger-pointing.  We all pay taxes, we all own a piece of a gun.

Irrelevant.  We don't all starve tens of millions of our own citizens on
purpose.    Nations, just like people are not "all the same".  It is a
matter of justice, not to mention rationality, to acknowledge and act
according to differences.   Taxes are involuntary takings so no person
can be held responsible for uses of those takings that she did not
explicitly endorse.

- s
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