Re: MD The Quality of Capitalism?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 14:02:37 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Re: Is Morality relative?"

    Hi MSH, All:

    > We already know Pirsig's view on the question; a free market system
    > is better than an intellectually directed system because it responds
    > better to DQ. You'll have to go some to top that, but you're welcome
    > to try.

    > msh says:
    > No, this is your mis-interpretation of Pirsig's view, which I and
    > others have disputed numerous times. Besides, this view fails to
    > address the question of this thread, stated clearly above. And it
    > fails to address the real-world question of whether or not existing
    > "free-market" economies are really free to respond to DQ.

    Here is what Pirsig said about capitalist (free market) vs. socialist
    (intellect-directed) systems:

    "That's what neither the socialists nor the capitalists ever got figured
    out. From a static point of view socialism is more moral than capitalism.
    It's a higher form of evolution. It is an intellectually guided society,
    not just a society that is guided by mindless traditions. That's what
    gives socialism its drive. But what the socialists left out and what has
    all but killed their whole undertaking is an absence of a concept of
    indefinite Dynamic Quality. You go to any socialist city and it's always a
    dull place because there's little Dynamic Quality.
    A free market is a Dynamic institution. What people buy and what people sell,
    in other words what people valve, can never be contained by any intellectual
    formula. What makes the marketplace work is Dynamic Quality. The market
    is always changing and the direction of that change can never be predetermined.
    The Metaphysics of Quality says the free market makes everybody richer-by
    preventing static economic patterns from setting in and stagnating economic
    growth. That is the reason the major capitalist economies of the world have
    done so much better since World War II than the major socialist economies.
    It is not that Victorian social economic patterns are more moral than socialist
    intellectual economic patterns. Quite the opposite. They are less moral as
    static patterns go. What makes the free-enterprise system superior is that the
    socialists, reasoning intelligently and objectively, have inadvertently closed the
    door to Dynamic Quality in the buying and selling of things. They closed it
    because the metaphysical structure of their objectivity never told them
    Dynamic Quality exists."(Lila, 17)

    This passage, contrary to MSH's claims, 1) addresses the "Quality of
    Capitalism," 2) addresses the real-world question of whether existing
    free-market systems respond to DQ and 3) proves it wasn't ever
    "misinterpreted" by me.

    > I'm looking for evidence, analysis, and argument here. You can rely
    > on the MOQ for argument, if you like, but evidence means stepping
    > outside the MOQ and into the real world of imperfect economic
    > systems.

    I find no good reason to "step outside the MOQ" since Pirsig is obviously
    talking about the "real world," not some imaginary Never-Never Land.
    Pirsig never claims free market capitalism is perfect, simply that it's
    better than intellectually directed socialism. Of course, if you'd rather
    live in Sweden, go for it.


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