[ExI] philosophy poll

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Aug 22 15:16:13 UTC 2019


Hi Will,


I believe in market failures too.  Market failures are what causes market successes.  The beauty of Capitalism is that it presents consumers with both the winners and the losers.  We get to choose which is which.


In communism, the unelected government dictates who are the winners and the losers.


This is why capitalism produces corvettes and Cadillacs, while communism produced Trabis and… well, a bunch more Trabis.  


Fun aside for car guys: most of the Soviet-era cars were actually German designs.  They didn’t change much over the years, and why should they?  The factory sold all they could produce, so why improve the design?  Besides, they already had the machines to make this design.  They seized them from the Nazis in 1945.


Another fun aside for car guys: there is a Russian car club which holds occasional rallies.  If you want a lesson in the magic tricks perpetrated by the Invisible Hand of Capitalism, go to that rally, look at those commie-build cars, oh dear evolution, what (if anything) were these guys thinking?  When the Japanese started importing cars the US in the early 60s they had a reputation for being cheapy junk.  Do let me assure you, the Russians defined the term and taught the Japanese.  You have never seen cheapy junk until you have seen a Russian built car from the 80s, oh mercy.





From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Will Steinberg
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2019 7:21 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] philosophy poll


On Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 9:33 AM Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com <mailto:giulio at gmail.com> > wrote:

William James


Quite a pragmatic post ;)



On Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 10:04 <spike at rainier66.com <mailto:spike at rainier66.com> > wrote:


Excellent choice.  Adam Smith had economics figured out way back in the 1770s.  Had Karl Marx been a reader of English and had Adam Smith’s 1776 book Wealth of Nations, the horror of communism would never had needed to infect the planet.




I'm not sure where to start with this one, but maybe first off I would say that Karl Marx did read WoN, and other Smith, as if it wasn't painfully obvious.


Capital is part of the lineage of WoN, cf. labor theory of value.  Also. Smith was pretty much pre-capitalist and probably would have chosen his words more carefully if he could have seen the influence that WoN would have. 


I like to say that Capital is the book that Adam Smith would have written if he had the luxury of being able to read Wealth of Nations like Marx was able to.


Have you read both?  Or just hate them damn pinkos, Sen. McCarthy?


NB: A lot of modern day economists might take umbrage at the idea that Smith "had economics figured out", especially because he was not able to see modern capitalism at its finest.


BTW, I am not a communist, I just believe in market failures.  As does any economist worth their salt.

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