From your tone in recent postings I get the impression that you might be feeling a little aggressive toward my ideas and me."
I'm sorry if you feel that way, I like you, am just trying to express my thoughts on a subject and unfortunately at the present our thoughts are at different ends of the spectrum. I'm not trying to be right nor am I locked in a competition with you. I have nothing against you and will readily admit you have brought up some great and interesting things throughout this debate and I owe you a thanks for making me think and inspiring many of my thoughts. So with all that said, please except my apoligies if you feel that I have been attacking you for this is not my intention, I have enjoyed this conversation immensely. And now to begin my bashing....ooops I mean rebuttal
"However, although I am sure you mean this as a joke, I would rather not be referred to as a dog or pig. I am a capitalist that much is true so call me that any day."
All I can say is lighten up a bit Angel, it was most definetely a little joke.
"No animal is altruistic and they are all supremely selfish."
Yes but I don't think Communism is altruistic. In a Communist society people are still working for themselves. They work hard so others will work hard for them, working to make a better society for themselves. People would still invent things, they'd invent it so they could have one and so others could build it and have one as well. If everyone's quality of life goes up, so would yours, not just financially but also concerning all aspects of society.
"I think you need a very practical mind to come up with anything that works today. So no I think it is the realist who is to be thanked for nuts and bolts. The idealist would WISH his car to stay together and would wonder why it wont, where as the realist will know exactly why and how to fix it too."
Actually throughout history many an invention had been read about in fiction long before someone actually invented it. ONe example is 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, the submarine hadn't even been considered a possibility before the dreamer thought of it first. The idealist would dream of a car and the realist would build it....was a vehicle written about first or built first?
"You think a doctor should not charge money for his services? And why do you think doctors need to be paid? Maybe cause otherwise they cannot pay their taxes AND live decently? And yes it does suck that ppl die if they cannot pay in advance. Better (voluntary!) charity should be available."
Not once did I say a doctor shouldn't charge money for their service in a capitalist/socialist society....the question was trying to present was, should anyone be allowed to charge money to help someone if they want, should a "bum" be allowed to charge a doctor, money in advance, if the doctor is in dire need of the "bum's" assistance? Is that not the same as what some doctors do? No one's stopping these doctors from doing more charity work.
"Yes that is true. But was it not also written by the very countrymen who fought a war to abolish slavery? And just cause it was written in an imperfect time doesn't make its meaning or its content absolete. The constitution of the US is IMHO the greatest philosophical achievement of humankind."
Were the founders of the constitution still alive for the civil war? I think most of them were dead by then? Honestly I don't know, I don't know a lot about American History, just curious. And I agree, the constitution is a great piece of paper and philosophy that still holds some water and I think when we all turn communist it will make a fine addition to our gov't I believe the same human rights and privilages could be had in a true communist society.
"I do agree that taking it from the workers who would make your product is wrong and not in the companies best interest. But it IS the taxes that make this happen."
Personally I think both of us are a little off on this one, I think there is more to the cost of products then just taxes and profit margins....especially when dealing with a world market.
This is a little off topic but a thought just occured to me. You've said in the past about fair exchanges, work for pay, item for pay. Now say you work for a comp. that makes one million in profit and pays you 20 dollars an hour, that's a pretty good exchange, I would even call that fair. Now if that is a "fair" exchange then is it still fair if the company the next year makes 3 million in profits and your wage only goes up one dollar. If twenty at a million is fair then how can 21 at 3 million be fair, shouldn't the worker's wage co-relate with a company's profit in order to keep it fair? If a book price is a fair exchange at 7.50 for a 200 page novel then if the book price goes up to 8.50 shouldn't ya get a few more pages in order for the "fairness" to remain? I don't know...just thought I'd ramble this out.
"Here in England the NH doctors live decently too. But not one of them above decent."
And if you'd just embrace Communism we could all live above decent Ya I know, it wasn't a very good rebuttal but I'm running thin on material
"The Hippocratic oath determines that a doctor has to help ppl. And that oath is taken of your own FREE WILL. Those in breach of that oath should be tried and judged by fellow doctors but not by a normal court as the oath is of ethical and not lawful concern."
Yeah I agree, only a heatless doctor could let someone die for the sake of money. But I think it should be a written law and not just a boy-scoutish pledge and they should be tried in a court of law. It's pretty close to murder, maybe it is murder?? but that's debatable.
"Name one incident where one person's inalienable rights were put above the right of the many. And I am not talking about the current abuse of what ppl LIKE to call rights but what truly IS an inalienable right."
Hitler, Pinochet, slavery, Tianimen Square....it was actually a few gov't officials squashing demonstrators and not the people squashing the students (there is sometimes a difference between gov'ts and the people), Bill Clinton, Jean Chretian, all the fat cat MP's in Canada, the Queen of England, the Pope, and anyone else who has too much power for their own good. I don't know if this really falls into your definition of what rights and inalienable rights are....shouldn't it be open to interpretation in order to protect the rights of the individual?....rights are just words, we all think we deserve different ones but do we really? I don't know, thought I'd just pop out that question? What do you think the gov't would be like in a true capitalist society? Who would own them? I'm pretty sure the businesses would (as if they don't already) and then they would become the gov't (as if they aren't already). This is what scares me most about capitalism, the profiteers deciding on how and how much profit they can make. Now I'm all for protecting the rights of the individual and the rights of a society, both at the same time and I believe that in a communist society it could work.....same laws could apply. Why do you think that in a true capitalist society the rights of the individual would be secured? History has shown that it has failed to protect the rights of the individual in a capitalist society...ie. Monarchy(think of it as a monopolized company)....land barons, etc.
"Oh so if I rally round a thousand ppl and we all vote to have a person killed cause we don't like him or her, the poor individual is voted out of his or her right to life?"
Not a fan of the death penalty? If someone causes more harm then good should they not be put to death for the benefit of all people and should not all have a decision in this process. Lets take Charles Bundy, who is now dead, should he have been allowed to live because it is his right? Or does one forfiet their right to life when they unjustly take anothers? Now I don't know how you've come up with the idea that in a true communist society people would just begrudge people and try to vote them to the death penalty for nothing....hurting individuals without just cause in a true communist society would only be detramental to all within the society. That is to say, killing unnecessarily in any society is harmful to all and in a communist society you'd only be lowering your living standard. USA is a democratic country (or masquerades as one, just like Canada) yet no one goes around voting for the average person to be put to death because they've done nothing wrong.
"So you see if you ensure the rights of an individual you ensure the rights of the many. But if rights apply only to the many, the ONE has no rights on his or her own. But then the question is how many ppl do I need around me to get some rights? Would just my family be enough or does it have to be the whole village? When do the "I alone have no rights" become " we have rights cause we are the ppl? Does it have to be the majority of the citizens of any given country? Or what?"
I would like to ask you specifically what rights are you referring to when you say the rights of the individual? and what rights does a society have that does not apply to an individual? Honestly I'm just curious. I guess you don't like the democratic process....any other suggestions for change? How would a true capitalist country make decisions for it's people...based on profit???? Would this ensure the individual's rights or would there be a lot of sacraficial lambs for the sake of the company? I think (and forgive me if I'm wrong) we are both fans of self gov't but do you think that most people would be up to the task? Is it the laws that make people kill and steal right now? I dunno.
"So in the face of overall goodness its ok that some ppl might suffer and live like in a prison? Again this would say that you are only allowed to feel happiness when everybody else is. That would also say if you alone out of your circle of friends fell in love for example, you would not be allowed to feel happy cause they do not. You may only be happy when you have produced a girlfriend for each of your friends. Must say who needs enemies if he has friends that would expect that of you."
Where are you coming up with this prison thing and all people having to be happy at the same time and all people thinking the same? That's not what communism is about. All I said is that people should be pursuing "goodness", and perhaps they'll achieve their happiness that way. You are starting to make it sound like a cult, all communism is share the workload, equally and share the product, equally. It has nothing to do with if you are in a good or bad mood or if one person is married and one isn't (people aren't product and neither is emotions). Does an inventor work more than a builder or do they just work differently?
And yes for overall goodness it is okay for some people to rot in prison if they deserve such....should we let Charles Manson out because we are violating his rights???? In Canada, a youth under 18 is protecting from having their name in print so that his rights of privacy are protected...what about the rights of the victim? Should people's rights be squashed for the individual or are their instances when the individual must suffer so that a whole society doesn't?
"As I stated in my own thread capitalism is not about greed. And those who are greedy are as close to capitalism as Marx."
I believe capitalism and communism are both about greed but take very different paths. I do believe that everything we do is selfish even if it is a "selfless" act....but what is better, being selfish and helping a lot of people so that a lot of people will help you or being selfish and pretty much just helping yourself or selected individuals who are deemed worthy of help.
Anyways Angel there's my rant, I honestly am not attacking you are your beliefs....I thought this was a subject open to debate so if I've offended you some how please accept my apoligies but don't ask me to change my opinions if you don't care for them. Take care.
"You don't have to worry about me, comrade. I 'm used to those Imperialist running dogs and their brainwashing techniques."
Just repeat after me buddy....Sharing is good, sharing is good, sharing is good,sharing is good. There that ought to brainwash....ummmm, I mean help you stay focused
"Now, there are some big time problems with the model presented so far but nobody has yet touched on them. One: do people truly believe in representative democracy? I suspect they do not. Otherwise, why do so few people vote and why do even less people vote in local elections which have in theory more direct impact on your everyday lives. Do people, in general, even want to control their own lives (or at least have a say) or do they prefer to do nothing and then complain. National and state elections aside, you can make a difference locally. "
Personally I do think people believe in a representative democracy but I think people are just fed-up with the fact that it seems they are not being represented by anyone, anymore....perhaps they practise the "NO-VOTE" as an expression of their leariness of greedy little politicians. I think people do want to control their own lives but feel they can't and are disallusioned that they can't make a difference....how many times have you heard during elections, "Who you voting for?" the reply, "I'm not because it doesn't matter who is elected, they're all the same.". I know I've heard things like that thousands of times.
"Two: Are there still residual side effects of an authoritarian system in the West where people implicity believe that those in power are somehow more competent to run things than they are? I'm not talking about the 'nuts and bolts' or someone who demonstrably has a stronger argument for a position but a sense of mysticism. A sense that 'they' somehow 'know more than you'."
They do don't they??? Actually I just wanted to say that this was an excellent point and I do believe that people have been conned into thinking that they don't make a difference and that big-brother knows best...it creeps into the workplace as well....like no one here can do their boss's job.
"Socialism in an ideal form is really an attempt at diversity, of allowing people to (I don't remember the exact quote) to farm in the morning, fish in the afternoon, work in the factory before dinner, and talk philosophy in the evening (or something like that). If you know what you want to do and can convince other people that you can do it well, then socialism, within limits, would allow you to do that as well."
....and write poetry on the weekends ...and it can be yours for the introductory low price of $19.99...and with socialism we'll throw in, for absolutely no extra charge, a greedy leader to botch it all up
"Five: Language. I don't know about anyone else here but I read and hear language everyday that props up a capitalist system. Ron (know your busy) has mentioned that capitalism most directly mimics nature. I want to see a concrete example of how capitalism mimics nature. What equilibrium (if there is one in nature. I'm not yet convinced by either you or Trevor on that one) exists in capitalism? It is either expanding or contracting; I don't believe that there can ever be any equilibrium in capitalism although Friedman would disagree with me. Other people have discussed that human nature won't go for socialism; we're too greedy. But socialism is about all of us trying to understand that we are greedy but that it is in our best interests to decide, discuss, and argue over what is best for us in the long and short terms. And now were back to Objectivism."
Well I've been pondering this whole nature thing again....If man exists, he is part of nature and all his actions are natural even though they are sometimes extremely different from all else that exists in nature. So all our thoughts and schemes and trinkets are a natural extension of man. It's as natural for a bird to fly as it is for a fish to swim.....am I making any sense, I'm being pretty vague but I think ya get the picture.
And that's that my pink friend, I'll talk to ya later, take care.
"You assume far too much. I believe my statements were a critique of the theoretical socialist model, not an apology for capitalism. Capitalism, however, unlike socialism, does not rely on the assumption that individuals in a collective will work for the betterment of the public utility."
Yep, I admit I do assume too much sometimes and you're right about my statement regarding why people work in a capitalist society...what I said there wasn't very well thought out...oh well, I communicate to learn.
"But this, I believe, is not a result of the Capitalist model but, rather, a result of human nature."
I must agree too, but all things both good and bad within human society is a direct result of human nature. But capitalism is all about having more than everyone else, so with that in mind, how doesn't this promote the "evil" side of humans. That is to say if one company has 200 trillion in assests then the other companies strive to make 300 trillion and so forth and so on. It promotes monopolies and a belief that one must have it all to "win"....but the thing is I don't think there is a winner.
"I agree that "nurture" plays a role, but it plays a subordinate role to "nature". Capitalism may compound our tendency toward Dracula-likeness but is not the cause of it. That same nature, I believe, is what brings out the Dracula-likeness of Socialist leaders in every case of which I am aware."
Nuture is natural just as is a "Dracula" likeness but I'd like to see nuture become more prevelant than the other. Unfortunately it seems either "absolute power corrupts absolutely" or we don't have enough laws preventing the "blood suckers" from getting so much power in any society.
I gotta cut it short but I'll finish my thoughts a little later. Thanks for your response and take care.
THANK YOU ALL,