Rog, sorry I haven't gotten around to answering your incitement but I've been up to my neck in
other stuff and now I have to go away for a couple of days - I won't have access to a 'puter
either!!!! As soon as I get back I'll put something together regarding Lib/Soc (or Soc/Lib if
On 30 May 2001, at 22:52, RISKYBIZ9@aol.com wrote:
> To Jonathan
> From Rog
> I confess, that I too am a socialist - I've been that way inclined for as
> as I can remember.
> Yea, I remember. I was hoping you would join in. (and I still need an
> explanation of Horse's Libertarian socialism, but I can't seem to incite him
> to join in to the depth I was hoping)
> I value ideals like equal opportunity, equal rights etc., and I detest
> disparity of rights and opportunity. As far as I am concerned, the free
> is fine as long as it doesn't produce too much disparity - AND THE SAME THING
> GOES FOR SOCIALISM. I also value the ideals of MAXIMIZING opportunity and
> rights - any economic system that stifles them is BAD in my book.
> Read "The Moral Sense" by J. Wilson. In it he clarifies research that shows
> that morals such as fairness, duty and sympathy have both biological and
> social aspects (nothing contradicts the MOQ btw). The interesting part for
> me was on research into peoples views of equality and fairness. He reveals
> how there is a spectrum of fairness that ranges from fairness of outcome to
> fairness of opportunity. Obviously there CAN be a huge variance between the
> two, and this creates a tension between people at different points on the
> spectrum, or even creates internal tension over competing values. (btw
> youngsters, women and collectivists are statistically more on the equal
> outcome side, while men and capitalists tend to go more the other way.)
> As I have already commented, I am a big opponent of exploitation in any
> shape. The fact is that gross disparities of power -- such as in free
> enterprise -- can result in an environment for exploitation. This needs to be
> carefully controlled with other social safeguards.
> On the other hand, socialist restrictions on maximizing success violates my
> sense of equal opportunity (rewards commensurate with contributions). In
> addition, in a central command economy, someone must be empowered to decide
> who gets how much. This is imo the biggest unchecked threat that can exist,
> and is very prone to exploitation.
> I have no trouble in finding plenty of support in ZAMM and Lila for my
> pro-socialist bias. Roger, Platt and others have demonstrated that Pirsig's
> ideas can also coexist with their own socioeconomic views.
> HAD IT BEEN OTHERWISE, SOME OF US WOULD HAVE THROWN THE MOQ AWAY!
> The major issue to me is the sheer dynamicness of free enterprise. You have
> the ability to see an opportunity and immediately invest in it or get people
> to invest in your idea. You can shift from one industry to another as
> opportunity and tastes change. You can create what you want, when you want
> it (assuming you want to sufficiently).
> Socialism I see as static. It protects moribund old industries, attempts to
> control dynamic values from the imperfect position of central command, it is
> bureaucratic, resistant to change and resistant to sharing power with other
> than itself. (If you have not read Jared Diamonds' "Guns, Germs and Steel"
> you may miss what I am saying here. It deals with the danger to society of
> suppressing innovation)
> I think that Pirsig's comments on Soviet Russia are close to the mark, but I
> don't think that makes him anti-socialist. The MoQ gives several reasons why
> Russia's socialist economy collapsed, but it also explains why Russia's new
> capitalist economy is disintegrating even faster!!!
> Russia is the poster child for imbalanced exploitation. Their enterprise is
> not free at all. I support well regulated free enterprise, not the mafia.
> It's a pity that Diana has left us, because she made a very short penetrating
> statement on the very issue that has generated all these recent posts.
> Diana was the true master of the short and penetrating post. (and I bet you
> she IS READING THIS!!)
> So in her absence, I'll let Diana have the last word:
> "On communism and capitalism.
> There is room for Dynamic quality in both systems if they are practised
> with care. . . ."
> Is there? This is kind of a no argument. She could just as well say "child
> abuse has room for DQ -- if practiced with care...."
> In the past 15 years I have seen an incredible disavowall of socialism in the
> US and in many emerging nations. I think economists, politicians and people
> in general are no longer as willing to keep betting on a losing horse. I
> suspect the jury is already in on this issue. On the other hand, I sure want
> people to experiment with new economic ideas.
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