Re: MD In Defense Of Socialism?

From: david wilkinson (
Date: Sun May 27 2001 - 23:12:49 BST

1. I am not asking for a brand of socialism, I am after a whole new method
which would create a fusion of current capitalistic and socialist beliefs.
Socialism has not worked in almost any capacity, but this is due to the fact
that the holders of power become corrupt because of this power. ALL the
socialist efforts thus far have been far removed from the dogma that they
are meant to follow. Using money as a measurement is also a bit rediculous,
when one side (capitalism) tries its very hardes to make it, and the other
side doesnt really need to. This is like saying that an elephant would be
better than an ant becasue it weighs 10 tons - 0, not apples with apples.
Also if it worked so well then why is the gap between wealth and poverty
growing on a yearly basis, and why is america and most other countries,
massively in debt. Also for a device filled with the most morals, why is it
that people feel the urge to watch Timothy McVeigh get executed, and worse
of all let the wanton destruction of the planet in the name of money, not
very moralistic if you ask me. (I will agree that the socialist countries
are worse, however I am 100% sure that there is another option) In the past
the creation of a new system has quite simply been impossible due to the
amount of information required to make a new concept work, however with the
technologies that we have it is now possible to achieve close to "perfect
information" in the economic sense (one of the 4 basis for a free market)

2. Read the book "the lucifer principle" by howard bllom. It talks of a
superorganism, rather similar to Pirsigs giant. The collective is THE most
important thing, if you argue this then I would ask you to try and live
without any sort of help from anyone else. As an individual we have almost
no use, however when an individual can communicate his ideas and beliefs
with many, then the wheels of progress are set in motion. The only reason
for the animalistic greed urges is simply for self preservation. It is
bloody difficult in "the wild" to get food, shelter, sleep, and sex, and as
such greed is needed for the ultra competitive environment. Through
technologies we have given ourselves the ability to circumvent a lot of the
effort involved in achieving these basic needs of life, and as such, the
human nature you describe seems a little archaic.

3. Centralization, what are you look9ing at when you walk down the street,
the manifestation of corporate centralization, rather than governmental.
THis is even more dangerous as at least we can have a say in the way a
government does something, what could we say to microsoft that would make
any difference? Were not going to buy your product - good luck if you want
to play the same tune as the rest of the business world. Decentralization
is a central part of my vision (read Alvin Toffler's The third wave)however
the exorbitant amount of power that the big companies hold renders them as
the central organisation, or on a global scale, the united states has given
itself this same position. This then leads to an even more insidious
exploitation of power.

4 I am a fan of the MoQ because it offers insights into a better option that
this consumerism based one that we are currently 'enjoying'. I AM NOT A
SOCIALIST in the traditional sense of the word. What I see is MAJOR flaws
in the current capitalistic system that quite simply prevent quality from
occuring eg batteries. Why are batteries continued to be sold? (the small
batteries that you use in electronic devices, aa, D, C 9V etc) Why dont
people buy rechargable batteriesm and save themselves hundreds of dollars,
and at the same time, use less resources? Simple, how much money do yo
uthink Duracell would make if everyone recharged their own batteries? A lot
less than they are currently making thats for sure. Quite simply if
somthing cannot generate money, then it is deemed basically worthless. If I
invented a way of producing electricity that could be distributed for free
(this is similar to Nicolai Tessla's idea) and went to some big electricity
producer and showed him, do you really think that they would want to use
this new technology, of course not, how can they make more money? The same
thing happened with the IPO madness of internet and tech stocks. IT isvery
hard to put a dollar amount on things that can be made available for
eseentially free (Knowledge) and as such the market went into some bizzare
state, this is the same principle, greed for money overtaking neccessity.

5 Freedom to choose what one values is ideal, however this economic climate
does not promote this as well as could be. We dont exercise our freedom,
instead we like to conform (read any sociology first year text about
conformity in society) and part of this process of conforming is to negate
alot of the free will that you are talking about. What is advertising by
the big players?? If iyou think it is a way of showing what products are
available, you are increadibly naive, we already know that these things are
available, advertising creates exposure that induces us into thinking of it
as the norm, the first thing we think of, an impulse. This is ideal for
making money but not for free will. The selfishness that we have been
taught is terrible, as it prevents us from reaching this intelectual freedom
that we talk about. Slfishness based around quality is good, we would buy
gore tex jackets and merrel shoes, but with the constraints of the economy
we dont, we may not be able to afford it so we buy a cheap jacket, which
doesnt do the job very well, or uncomfortable shoes that dont last. Even
worse we buy high fashon that is ludicrously over priced and provides no
quallity benefits. So I think the freedom you are talking about is an
illusion of sortrs, not available to those without lots of money. It (the
current situation)promotes greed, which is worse than selfishness.

6. Yes it is better, but to say its better is like saying that LSD will
destroy the brain more than MDMA, it is a silly argument because THEY WILL
BOTH DESTROY THE BRAIN. The problem with ecological destruction and
capitalism, is that the destruction is to fuel the insatiable need for more,
and different, without any componant of quality, which is waht is driving
our consumerism based society. Socialist countries have not destroyed the
amazon rainforest for hamburgers. We western capitalists consume 75% of all
resources, but its ok because in producing them we expend slightly less
energy and slightly less pollution. Do you HONESTLY think it matters, the
fact is that we consume WAY to much, this is the problem rather than the per
unit consequences.

7. Fair enough! I cant really argue with that, however I would question
our motivation for choosing x instead of y and that is what the core of my
whole philosophy is all about.

8. The soviet union had some pretty intelligent people. What capitalism in
its consumerism based guise has produced is a situation where things llike
philosophy are less and less popular, you cant make a lot of money from
philosophy (bad BAD quallity -reducing interest in philosophy) Science is
only achievable with the right resources, give a kid anywhere in the world
the same education as us and they could do well in science, same as maths,
same as literature. This things were all around WAY before capitalism.
What capitalism had done is given a divice to encourage people into those
occupations that can create new objects, all the suggestions you make are
good for that (with the exception of philosphy - not a lot of material
creation, hard to value) YOur saying art is completly wrong. Art is
subjective, how can you say the art being produced in western societies is
better than the art being created in the middle of the rainforest by a tribe
of indians, or on a houseboaot on the Mekong delta. Also, there hasnt been
a lot of emphasis placed on art for a wee while, and this I would venture is
because of the fact that it is VERY hard to make a good living being an
artist, ast art is deemed good or bad on an individuals whim.

The united states is not the best example of free enterprise, infact it
isone of the biggest hurdles to overcome if free enterprise really is gooing
to work. The states has so many differnt sanctions to protect its home
producers that it isnt a free market. IT has price controls for farmers,
and import levies against japanese cars. This is COMPLETLY at odds with a
free market economy. America has been able to use its power, because of
capitalism (it has played the modern version for the longest) to impart all
sorts of unjust and in a hell of alot of cases contradictory restraints that
undermine the free market. I can prove this with economic supply and demand
graphs, showing all of these things to produce deadweight losses to social

>Subject: MD In Defense Of Socialism?
>Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 14:42:47 EDT
>To All socialists and anti free enterprise types
>From Rog
>I have been tempted to reply to Andrea, Stephen, David and others' specific
>posts in defense of socialism and/or attacking free enterprise, but have
>resisted the urge. To be blunt, I find their arguments to be
>In general, there views (seem to me to) have really weird misunderstandings
>of both the concepts behind and the inner workings of capitalism. I agree
>should keep the focus within the confines of the metaphysics, but with that
>settled, I still have a handfull of questions to all the anti-free
>folks out there (you know who you are). My questions, in no particular
>1) How can you argue for various brands of socialism despite their obvious
>inability to work? Or in the overwhelming evidence that free
>enterprise/representational free democracy works so well in its modern
>(In MOQ terms, it is proven to be the most moral or highest quality) What
>the game score in that 20th century battle? $450 trillion to none? (OK, you
>can add whatever the GNP is of Cuba and N Korea)?
>2) How can you argue for something that is against human nature (ie that
>people should work for the benefit of "the state" "collective" rather than
>for themself)? You don't think this is some type of requirement for social
>quality do you?
>3) How can you argue for centralizing power in the hands of the state
>than decentralizing as is so resplendent in modern capitalism? Don't you
>the value of checks and balances of competing interests as opposed to the
>sheer potential for exploitation of power centralization?
>4) How can you be fans of the MOQ -- which dismissed socialism as less
>dynamic and therefore less moral than free enterprise -- and socialists?
>5) How can you denigrate selfishness when it obviously means "freedom to
>pursue that which one values" in terms of the MOQ? Certainly you don't
>capitalism promotes viscious win/lose selfishness more than other economic
>models do? Or do you?
>6) How can you condemn free enterprise and representative democracy for
>pollution and environmental destruction, when the track record, at least
>unit of production, is perhaps the best of any type of society? (certainly
>better than the socialist economies)
>7) How can you fault that which gives the most freedom in light of your
>beliefs in the MOQ? This includes the hallowed freedom to "not get a job"
>Andrea's objections and even the freedom to "play soccer and think," to
>David's. (Though it certainly doesn't usually reward folks to do either
>unless quite talented)
>8) Don't you see that the various free enterprise societies (including
>are also the places with the highest intellectual accomplishments?
>philosophy, technology, literature, mathematics, art?
>I am not arguing that any free enterprise system that exists today is
>(though I would argue that the US is way, way above all others). Most of
>problems that free enterprise/democracy faces weren't creations of free
>enterprise as much as they are unsolved holdovers of pre-modern ways.
>Quality continues to advance, and free enterprise/democracy as practiced in
>various modern societies is the best at establishing social quality and
>establishing the foundation for intellectual quality to take root on it.
>certainly none of you can argue with that ...Can you?
>(he says with a sly grin)
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