Re: MD In Defense Of Socialism?

Date: Mon May 28 2001 - 01:45:49 BST

To David:
>From Rog

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.

Fair enough. I support experimenting with the best of both. Despite my
swagger and challenge earlier, I strongly believe in moderated capitalism.

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.

I agree that centralized power is a virtual guarantee of eventual
exploitation. Power is incredibly decentralized and full of checks and
balances in modern free enterprise democracies.

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.

Yeah, I knew that when I wrote it. Cheap shot on my part. But I think free
economies are of higher social quality by most measures. I also disagree
with Capital punishment, for the record. It is actually not done in most of
the US states either. Did you know this?

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)

Here is where we REALLY differ. Perfect information is a classical ghost.
Complexity theory reveals that complex organizations are inherently
unpredictable, though broadly understandable based upon value attractors.
Have you read much from the Santa Fe Institute? References available. You
will enjoy some of these. Let me know more about your 4.

2. Read the book "the lucifer principle" by Howard Bloom.

Great read. Read it twice actually (seriously). Would you read "Non Zero" by
Robert Wright please? It is all about synergy, and alignment between
individual and social goals. ALIGNMENT...NOT SUBSERVIENCE.

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.

Huh? You mean like your greedy desire to think and play football? Or
Pirsig's greedy desire to own a motorcycle and boat? What exactly is the
nature of this GREED beast? You have some unstated assumptions here. What
are they?

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.

Technology and society didn't fall from heaven. They are formed from
individual interaction and creativity arising from individual freedom ...or
what some call GREED.

corporate centralization... 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.

I am not for monopolies or unchecked robber barrons. I am for modern
regulated free enterprise as commonly practiced in Europe and the US. And
Microsoft (despite competitors in every field) is a perfect example of
governmental checks to (real or imagined) corporate imbalances.

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.

Me too. I agree with decentralization. The US is a case study (as to a
lesser degree is Europe). Companies compete with each others and with unions
and lawyers and bureaucrats and media people and states fight against federal
control and the judicial vs the legislative, democrats vs republicans, and
anarchists lobby in the streets against all of 'em. IT IS TOTALLY COOL! (I
read Toffler too. I will reread it now)

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?

I hate rechargeables...too weak. Blame me.

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?

If you have an idea on free energy, I can guarantee you funding on it.
Seriously. Please write personally though so we don't let everyone else in
on it. (I am you see an extremely adept capitalist)

IT isvery
hard to put a dollar amount on things that can be made available for
eseentially free (Knowledge)

Let's not confuse our levels. I don't want society controlling all my bodily
functions (just monitoring a few obnoxious ones), and intellect should be
careful about delving too deeply into every minute aspect of society too.

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.

I assure you, I am a subject matter expert in this field. No nievety on my
part. References are available off line if you are interested. We already
agreed that people are shallow and some corporations pander worthless shit to
this shallowness. I fail to see it as a major social ill. Just kinda

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....

And who gets to decide? You? Or the shallow folks? I'll tell you that my
21 year old daughter will be pretty pissed if she can't get name brands.
Shallow? Maybe, but no more so than all the pretty shell necklaces and
feather hats of our hunter-gatherer ancesters. Pretty harmless really.

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.

Those with lots of money do indeed have lots more choices. The system is
designed to recognize and reward just such values. At its best, people work
for their own value by providing value to others. OK, Duracell and fancy
brands may be of arguable value to you, but not to others. What you seem to
focus on is limiting other's ability to advertise shallow values. Again, you
get the priveledge of being value police, huh? If not, for your sake I sure
hope soccer and thinking aren't outlawed.

fact is that we consume WAY to much, this is the problem rather than the per
unit consequences.

Agree. Fair enough!

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.

Fair enough! :^)

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.

Good healthy society makes a foundation for good intellectual blossoming.

[These] things were all around WAY before capitalism.

They have tended to blossom in successful, peaceful well educated, healthy
societies. They took off in the past 300 years as markets became more
decentralized and REALLY took off in free nations in the past 100 years
(though there were some successful centralized ones in the old days too)
Read Non Zero for more on this. You will love it.

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.

You sound like a cultural relativist. Read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance and Lila for a response to your issues on art and its

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.

I will strive to make it better. Seriously! That is what this discussion is

Thanks for the great discussion David. It is fun. Thanks also for putting
up with my "gunfight at the OK Coral" tongue in cheek challenge.

And remember, I could very well be wrong. My views *evolve* a lot month-
to-month, and I have no lesser goals this month.


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