In a message dated 5/23/2001 3:05:31 AM Central Daylight Time,
> And also: There's a reason it wasn't done the right way in the Soviet Union,
> and there's a reason Socialism will NEVER be done the "right" way. Because
> humans are human. [...] The things people hate about Capitalism---greed,
> treachery, etc---is the product of human nature. You can put humans into a
> system but you can put a system into humans.
I just want to point out my typo in that last sentence. It was supposed to
read: "You can put humans into a system but you can't put a system into
Now of course all opinions are to be respected. Nevertheless, I would like to
note that if you point your finger to the Soviet Union and say, "socialism
hasn't worked", well, that's true, but hopefully we are also all aware that
capitalism too hasn't worked - that is, that it has brought about some very
dramatic problems and further, due to its greater efficiency with respect to
Socialism, these problems are much harder to fight - if they *can* be solved
Well, there's my point. Most of the people who have problems Capitalism can't
present us with any coherent solutions. Usually the solutions I've heard
involve various incarnations of Socialism (libertarian socialism, or
democratic socialism, or natural law socialism, etc, etc---each of these
groups thinks itself superior to the others, thereby preventing any of them
from ever making popular progress).
Also: saying that Socialism doesn't work because humans are humans *may* be
true, but it's far from being obvious. On the other hand, it is obvious that
we are constantly "suggested" to seek for personal success and personal
wealth. These and similar suggestions, you will agree, easily create geed,
selfishness, and all the other things that people hate about Capitalism.
Yes, removing human nature from humans would enable an uncorrupted Socialist
system to become a reality. Advertising doesn't create greed and
selfishness, it only encourages it. It's a part of human nature that would
corrupt ANY political system. And as I've said, I'd rather live in a
corrupted Capitalistic society than a corrupted Socialistic society.
I would say that selfishness and similar attitudes are "natural" in the sense
that they are primitive; if you are thrown in a chaotic world of predators
and preys, they are the first (reasonable) reaction. This does not mean that
humans aren't necessarily capable of cultural evolution. There are a lot of
"natural" behaviors that have been suppressed, and for the better, in the
history of mankind.
Which is why we have the law. Society exists in part to enforce the law, and
there has to be a law in any society. Rape and murder have indeed been
suppressed for the better, and should continue to be suppressed.
Thus one could be realistic and still be a socialist by assuming that humans
couldn't build a working socialistic society in the 1st half of 1900, maybe
they can't now too, but they could be able to do so if they progress enough
from a cultural point of view. How does one progress? By seeing the problems
with what one has found and accepted insofar and trying to solve them. To
what extent can we progress? Do *you* know? In the end it's a matter of
opinions, beliefs, hopes.
I *don't* know; I'm just pointing out that no one else seems to know either.
No one can agree about anything in regard to a master solution. And as I've
said, to tear down a system without clear blueprints for constructing a new
one is just reckless destruction.
BTW, you are (obviously) forced at gunpoint to do things even in a
Yes, we have law even in a Capitalistic society.
You are forced at gunpoint not to steal, for example.
Well, there's generally not police guarding each citizen's home, turning away
would-be thieves at gunpoint. The law prevents citizens in most states from
shooting intruders or would-be thieves that break into their homes, even
armed thieves. The law in my state, for example, says you can't shoot any
intruder unless you have no possible routes of escaping your home once
somebody has broken in (basically the burglar has to have you backed into a
closet before you can legally shoot him).
And since you won't be able to live without eating anyway, that also means
that you are forced at gunpoint to find a job, unless you are born rich -
except that you won't be *given* a job if the free market doesn't need you;
and that the fact that you're not needed may even not be your fault, face it,
No one, I repeat no one, is forced at gunpoint to get a job in America. There
is a *safety net* for the truly needy in America. Welfare, Social Security,
food stamps, WIC, and many other government programs prevent people from
starving, and there's literally thousands of ways to get free money from the
So you may even be forced, in the end, to face guns themselves; and as a
plus, people will point their fingers at you, and say you deserved it.
I'm not sure what you mean by that....
Unless, you hold society as a higher value than your self; in that case you
will gracefully starve to death and thus upset nobody - I think, though, that
the MOQ says something about intellect being above society.
I'm trying to be a realist. I don't know what you mean by me starving to
Plus, in any society you are forced at gunpoint not to damage others.
I think that's a good thing. There are, of course, cases of "justifiable
Except that "to damage others" is vague and has different definitions in
different regimes. To refuse to work when you can, or to insist to have
private property when someone else needs what you have more than you do, is
regarded as "damage to others" in a socialistic society. So evil.
It's my position that people are evil, not systems. Not ALL people are evil,
but enough to corrupt any socialistic society.
In *this* capitalistic system (west world) you are not forced at gunpoint
to share your wealth (even if it is clearly in excess), nor to preserve the
environment, nor to respect other people's health, and so on.
That's not true. You have to pay taxes, and there are countless environmental
laws on the books that are enforced, and you do have to respect other
people's health (no smoking in certain places, lawsuits against doctors who
screw up, etc).
After all, if you think that the western system removes the "least amount of
personal freedom to do what one wants with one's life", you are probably
living in another dimension or are *very* pessimistic about what freedom can
Hoping for greatest amount of personal freedom within an orderly society
(such as the USA) is not pessimistic in my book.
Many people aren't satisfied with being that pessimistic, and choose to run
the risk of being unrealistic rather than to run the risk of giving up
something that, who knows, maybe *can* be pursued.
Which is why I love America and the American Dream. Sure, it can be quite
unrealistic, but people unsatified with being pessimistic choose to pursue
their dreams anyway. And here in the USA they have the freedom to do so. As
Pirsig himself wrote in Lila: "If you want to live in America you should be
willing to be lucky." And he goes on to write: "Not just 'lucky' but
*willing* to be lucky--that is, Dynamic." Read pages 252 and 253 of the Lila
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