[ExI] Atlas Shrugged

Darin Sunley dsunley at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 19:38:28 UTC 2022

Scott Alexander on Singer on Marx:

"But in fact Marx was philosophically opposed, as a matter of principle, to
any planning about the structure of communist governments or economies. He
would come out and say it was irresponsible to talk about how communist
governments and economies will work. He believed it was a scientific law,
analogous to the laws of physics, that once capitalism was removed, a
perfect communist government would form of its own accord. There might be
some very light planning, a couple of discussions, but these would just be
epiphenomena of the governing historical laws working themselves out. Just
as, a dam having been removed, a river will eventually reach the sea
somehow, so capitalism having been removed society will eventually reach a
perfect state of freedom and cooperation."

"Singer blames Hegel. Hegel viewed all human history as the World-Spirit
trying to recognize and incarnate itself. As it overcomes its various
confusions and false dichotomies, it advances into forms that more
completely incarnate the World-Spirit and then moves onto the next problem.
Finally, it ends with the World-Spirit completely incarnated – possibly in
the form of early 19th century Prussia – and everything is great forever."

"Marx famously exports Hegel’s mysticism into a materialistic version where
the World-Spirit operates upon class relations rather than the
interconnectedness of all things, and where you don’t come out and *call* it
the World-Spirit – but he basically keeps the system intact. So once the
World-Spirit resolves the dichotomy between Capitalist and Proletariat,
then it can more completely incarnate itself and move on to the next
problem. Except that this is the final problem (the proof of this is
trivial and is left as exercise for the reader) so the World-Spirit becomes
fully incarnate and everything is great forever. And you want to *plan* for
how that should happen? Are you saying you know better than the
World-Spirit, Comrade?"
" I am starting to think I was previously a little too charitable toward
Marx. My objections were of the sort “You didn’t really consider the idea
of welfare capitalism with a social safety net” or “communist society is
very difficult to implement in principle,” whereas they should have looked
more like “You are basically just telling us to destroy all of the
institutions that sustain human civilization and trust that what is
*basically* a giant planet-sized ghost will make sure everything works out.”

On Sat, Apr 30, 2022 at 6:36 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> *From:* extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> *On Behalf
> Of *Dan TheBookMan via extropy-chat
> >…By the way, I would distinguish between Marxism and communism. This
> doesn’t mean communism as such is workable…
> Ja.  I put the blame for communism on the communists rather than the
> starry-eyed writers.  Like any philosophy, communism picks and chooses
> carefully among the stuff Marx and Engels wrote.  I can mine their writings
> and find plenty of stuff in there that resembles actual sanity.
> >…Also, I personally would more want to see a society based on Nozick’s
> slogan: from each as they choose, to each as they are chosen.  Regards, Dan
> Cool I like it.  We have a system based on that idea, even if it never
> heard of Nozick: the Boy Scouts of America.  The adult leaders are all
> volunteers, the boy scout looking for training or advancement goes and
> finds the people who can help her make it happen, ordinary citizens help
> fund the organization with donations, lawyers smell the money and
> voluntarily come after them relentlessly, everything is voluntary, the
> neediest get what they need, the worthiest help the others and are rewarded
> with veneration.  Excellent.
> spike
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