Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What fun!

zolton leaves the following comment:

"wow thats the lamest thing I have ever seen, Especially the picture of the roid rager in the 2001 pictures. LoL
Camp capitalism are you kidding me?
What a joke, like honestly how much of a throwback do you have to be to legitimize and ancient system that could not adapt to new realities?
What is the goal of current society? To kill ourselves and conscientious human life.
Here's a tip, competition is the philosophical base of capitalism,competition to the Nth degree turns into ruthlessness.
If you abuse the enviroment and individuals (for it is profitable to do so) Then you at the top of the business world.
To be a proper libertarian you would have to be aware of being aware and your not.
Filters like geography and media hide the reality behind our actions, no doubt if the people were informed about how much blood was behind their chemical happiness things would change. But for capitalism to work you have to pull the wool over the eyes of the average consumer.
Bought the newest and coolest material items and still not happy?"

And I say: Lulz to you!

And here I was all complacent in my capitalism. BLAMO, zolton, you have wisened me up. Stating all those facts just like that. Breaking it down for me. Making the wool come off my eyes.

Here I was thinking all "Boy! How can I help screw the poor and the environment and buy more crap?" And zolton's all like, "Dude, you have to be aware! And you're not aware! I iz in ur koment secsion learnin' you lessons." To which my only response could be, "Oh, ROFLMAO. I iz stoopid. Why I never see that before? Especially the way geography--geography!--hides the reality of things."

Just to be clear, when you say "geography" hides the reality behind our actions, do you mean mountains or valleys or lakes? Sometimes, when I am underwater, I can't really tell whether my finger is bent or straight. So when I move my finger around, the reality of my action (a non-broken finger moving around) is "concealed" by the way the water makes my finger appear. And when I'm busy performing one action on this side of the mountain, I can't see the reality of it on the other side of the mountain. The mountain conceals the truth. Is this what you mean? Because that's, like, deep and profound and provides me with great clarity.

Blow-by-blow:

"wow thats the lamest thing I have ever seen, Especially the picture of the roid rager in the 2001 pictures. LoL"

I'm sorry you feel that way. If you attend, you might think differently. But then again, you might not. Since Sean is a friend of mine, I can attest to having good reason to believe he's never taken steroids. But the geography and media might be clouding my judgment, whereas you can see over the mountains and/or through them. So you tell me.

"Camp capitalism are you kidding me?
What a joke, like honestly how much of a throwback do you have to be to legitimize and ancient system that could not adapt to new realities?"

What "new" realities? What alternative do you prefer? What is the new paradigm for an economic system? Teach me! Teach me!

"What is the goal of current society? To kill ourselves and conscientious human life."

Uhm, what? I'm not sure what it means for society to have a goal. I can understand you saying that society is headed in some direction, but I can't imagine that society has some master plan with a direction. And even if it did have some master plan, what kind of a throwback do you have to be to think it's "to kill ourselves and conscientious human life?"

I'm not sure what your take on evolution is--maybe you think that's part of the media snowjob--but I take it that procreation and furtherance of our own life is part of what our genes compel us to pursue. At least individually. Maybe you are making some clever prisoners dilemma kind of argument. Each of us trying to live, procreate, and further our own genes leads to the destruction of all of us. Somehow.

I don't know what you mean by "conscientious human life." To be conscientious is to be thoughtful. But human life can't be conscientious, only person's can be conscientious, or thoughtful. I think you meant to say "conscious human life." But that, too, is strange. Why specify "conscious"? Will society leave "unconscious" persons alone? This just doesn't make any sense.

"Here's a tip, competition is the philosophical base of capitalism,competition to the Nth degree turns into ruthlessness."

Oh thanks for the philosophy lesson! But, just for my sake, since I'm obviously confused about concepts, help me understand this.

You see, I was under the impression that the philosophical base (or philosophical justification) for capitalism was either a) we have good reason to avoid violence, including the violence of coercing people into acting one way rather than the way they would prefer, and therefore ought to choose a voluntary system of consensual trade (capitalism); or b) we ought to prefer that economic system that leads to the greatest benefit for the greatest number of persons, and a free market leads to this (reasonable people can reasonably disagree about this), and so should pick capitalism for this reason; or some other option.

I guess I just don't see how competition can be a "philosophical base." I mean, it could be an essential part of the free market, or it could be a fact about capitalism as it is, or it might be something else, but a philosophical base?

Supposing you meant something different. Supposing you meant that competition is what makes capitalism tick (an essential part of the market, or what happens under free market conditions given reasonable assumptions about human nature), I still don't see how we go from competition to competition to the Nth degree. Is your claim that a free and open market leads to greater and greater levels of competition until we get ruthlessness? That's far from obvious. In fact, it looks like it's empirically false. Countries with the freest markets also happen to have the highest levels of social capital and charitable giving and, if you approve of the work of Ruut Veenhoeven, the highest levels of self-reported life satisfaction (or "happiness").

It may be true that competition epitomizes the market, or is an essential mechanism that, to put it bluntly, makes capitalism work at making just about everyone wealthier and better off (where "wealthier" and "better off" are *not* to be confused as the same thing), but there is no link between competition in capitalism and ruthlessness in general. You and I might compete with a particular product (we might produce mobile phones and compete with one another) and so be ruthless towards each other, but I might have deep and strong non-competitive bonds and relationships with other people (including people who help in the production of my product). Just because you and I compete, and might ruthlessly compete, doesn't mean that producing telephones is all that we do. Human beings are social creatures, zolton, and happiness comes not from what we have or what we own, but the relationships we have.

"If you abuse the enviroment and individuals (for it is profitable to do so) Then you at the top of the business world."

The "for it is profitable to do so" is contingent on no one else caring about these things. Obviously, that is false. Companies that do these things are not always at "the top of the business world." Many, like Whole Foods (run by a libertarian), or Greenpeace, or whatever else, succeed precisely as a market response to what people care about. But anyways, this is just one of those lefty bugaboos that aren't worth the time to refute.

And then you finish with a magisterial series of sentences:

"To be a proper libertarian you would have to be aware of being aware and your not.
Filters like geography and media hide the reality behind our actions, no doubt if the people were informed about how much blood was behind their chemical happiness things would change. But for capitalism to work you have to pull the wool over the eyes of the average consumer.
Bought the newest and coolest material items and still not happy?"

Since when is "being aware of being aware" (good God) a definitional requirement of "proper" libertarianism? Why would self-awareness of our awareness be a requirement? Besides this, what leads you to think that I, if the "you" is supposed to refer to me, am not "aware of being aware"? Or, if the "you" is supposed to refer to libertarians in general, is the claim you are making some sort of clever argument about the incoherence of libertarianism in general? Like this: To be a "proper" libertarian requires awareness of being aware, which would lead one to abandon capitalism (a conceptual requirement of libertarianism), and so would lead one to abandon libertarianism...

"Geography"? Senseless nonsense. "Chemical happiness"? So now we're all on drugs? I just don't get it. And what blood is being shed for this? For capitalism to work, you needn't pull the wool over anyone's eyes.

Seriously for a moment, zolton, your criticism of capitalism is incoherent babble. There are great critiques of capitalism out there, but yours is not one of them. I recommend, most sincerely, courses in philosophy at college. Many of them.

8 Comments:

Blogger Janet said...

That was highly enjoyable.

But wait! Are we now competing for zolton's comments? Things are going to get ruthless!! And the environment is screwed if we don't stop. Peter! There's wool in my eyes!

Oh noes!1!11!!

3:16 PM  
Blogger PGP said...

Hard to beat that insightful analysis!
I think Capitalism works and I doubt if Zolton does.
I tend to like and rely on things and people that work.

3:23 PM  
Blogger zolton said...

Busy right now but, Wait for it
hahahaha. This is exactly what I wanted!
Thank you!

11:53 AM  
Blogger zolton said...

By geography I mean empathizing with individuals in other countries that produce current gross excess lifestyle.
Back in old Europe the wealthy had to walk down the same streets as the people they put in bondage. In North America the wealth of the few grew so did their "length" or "distance" from the people they enslaved.
IE: gated communities, slums, man made gentrification...

Fortunately we have evolved enough in our societies to recognize individual human rights.
How is China gonna compete with the wealth of the west economically?
Use the individual and pay him/her the lowest common denominator.
Now business shows it's true stripes.
Business does not abide by our constitutions/charters when working within a parochial system of ruthless competition. The human factor is lost.
You know the catchy jingle to the products you buy! You've seen the funny commercial! However the consumer is not informed so directly on what where when or how that product was made. If you knew if you felt the missing human connection (which is what every good libertarian is supposed to understand) then you would not act be so pro to our current systemization of out labor forces.
That answers the geography/media filters party of your question.

"Just to be clear, when you say "geography" hides the reality behind our actions" That whole paragraph reaked of sarcasm and insult.
Hahaha I love it! You're being genuine with me and its witty.

Ok what realities has the capitalistic economic not adapted too?
Hmm the environment for one. Currently mankind is stupider then an animal. Do animals destroy the planet that sustains conscious life?
Oh wait, do you believe the environment and global warming is a reality yet?
About you're friend being a roid rager, I'm probably wrong and sorry for that comment. But he still looks like big poppa pump to me.

Consciousness: being aware, we slip in and out of this realm. When we sleep watch Tv drive a vehicle sometimes we slip out of being so aware and do things automatically. Conscientiousness being aware of being aware. Being aware to the full existent of you're actions the hidden little worlds behind everything you do.
Done continuing

"You see, I was under the impression that the philosophical base (or philosophical justification) for capitalism was either a) we have good reason to avoid violence, including the violence of coercing people into acting one way rather than the way they would prefer,"

That is probably the best outcome of capitalism peace between countries interconnected. A newer system can emulate some of capitalisms good aspects while accepting newer realities.
But still capitalism has major flaws!
You think capitalism is voluntary?
You're born and then you automatically owe society for your existence. Thats the biggest form of coercion. Cities are designed for vehicles and not people so of course you need a car! You're interconnected within that system right from bat.
Not to forget to mention that We see hours of commercials a day ! We never see the other side of the story.
Who's being manipulated as well as coerced?

(capitalism); or b) we ought to prefer that economic system that leads to the greatest benefit for the greatest number of persons,

Does your definition of persons only include Anglo Saxons?


and a free market leads to this (reasonable people can reasonably disagree about this), and so should pick capitalism for this reason; or some other option."

Which country has the 100% literary rates? (here's a hint not a capitalist country) It's a very "reasonable" country

Did you also know that capitalism needs unemployed workers to propagate the system?

I think I retorted the your next paragraph throughout this whole message. However you bring up the notion of happiness and your perspective on it.
"happiness comes not from what we have or what we own, but the relationships we have".

Beautiful,
my happiness is generated from everything around me even though I have never seen the Ocean it still makes me happy.
Our connection to what makes us happy is not so much important as long as this world keeps turning were somewhat immortal.
To see past ones own introverted world opens up the world.
Everyone needs to loose the huge Ego's we all have.

The best parts of you and I have been filtered out though history and comes from the great wise kings of old. Were just version 7.0

Have you thought of an original thought my friend?
Tough question?
I know! I have thought of an "original" thought at least once.
I had a imaginary three way with Clair Huxtable and Ginger Spice inside my head.
Thats got to be original! LoL

I can be almost be so bold to say that no thoughts are out own.
No matter what were products of our enviroment. If your born in a Muslim country chances are you're Muslim. If you're born in the south you probably like country music.
A child born in the wild does speak English and act like you or I.
So individuality is a little overrated, most of it is just templates being progressed throughout history. Strong guy gets hot chick etc.....
Getting tired

Chemical happiness, simple excitation and inhibition. Smoking rich foods heroin cocaine sex etc... fulfills a chemical need.

We could all be happy on heroin could we not? So ow we can agree that utilitarianism (the cree that the most pleasure produced creates the most happiness is bunk) For things that make us feel good/happy are not necessarily whats best for us.
The short term happiness could also produce long time pain or maybe in the long run negate the notion of happiness altogether.

Does a person driving their SUV like their SUV?

Sry speling mey be a little off.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Yeah, that's why I just ignore him now.

10:30 PM  
Blogger true liberal said...

Peter and Janet, you must be getting exhausted here, let me have a go.

"In North America the wealth of the few grew so did their "length" or "distance" from the people they enslaved."

Enslaved? Being a slave entails that someone is using physical coercion and forcing you to do work prescribed by them for no pay. When a Phillipino living on a garbage dump chooses to improve their life by working for a company
that offers a better living standared, that is not slavery. Don't let your 'geography' (i.e., your close proximity to western luxuries) trick you into denying this opportunity because it doesn't meet your high standards.

Please define slavery... it is not synonymous with poverty. Poverty is a result of low productivity (this is an empirical fact), slavery is the result of violence.

"Ok what realities has the capitalistic economic not adapted too? Hmm the environment for one."

Spare the knee-jerk cliches, they make you sound like you've been watching "The Corporation" too much. Environmental damage is not capitalism's fault. In fact, it is generally a result of not enough property rights (the central pillar of capitalism). It is a legal and political issue. You can't just point to any modern problem and conclude that because capitalism's been around at the same time, it must be responsible. Correlations aren't causations. Sure companies may be polluting, but that's because they aren't being held accountable by governments. Please remember that some of the greatest environmental disasters of all time occured in the incredibly non-capitalist Soviet Union. Also, at a time when global economic growth is skyrocketing (along with living standards across the board... also an empirical fact), increased pollution is to be expected regardless of economic system.

"You think capitalism is voluntary?
...Not to forget to mention that We see hours of commercials a day !We never see the other side of the story."

I can't stand ridiculous Naomi Klein-style attempts to group physical force and mental persuasion under the heading of coercion. If "voluntary" actions are limited to acts that are entirely uninfluenced by context, no action in the world qualifies as voluntary! Since when did people have the right to be shielded from the messages of others? I'll skip the inevitably authoritarian nature of a system where messages are controlled to ensure neutrality, and ask you this: When a good-looking girl, let's say Janet, walks down the street, and as a result a guy is tempted to ask to take her out for dinner, is he being coerced into doing something he didn't really want? What about when I convince a friend of mine to pick me up at the airport by pulling a guilt trip? How's this any different from Nike showing me that Michael Jordan wears their shoes?

"Does your definition of persons only include Anglo Saxons?"

Absolutely not, if I remember correctly, Peter is a Polish immigrant, and I'm sure he's benefitted quite handsomely from capitalism. Not to mention, if you look at any objective indicator of living standards (literacy, health, wages, access to consumer goods, cultural production, reduction of poverty, etc.) they've been rising across the globe, and at higher rates in the developing world than the developed world. These rises, not coincidentally, have been concentrated in areas that have higher levels of capitalism(i.e., property rights, free trade, etc.).

"Which country has the 100% literary rates? (here's a hint not a capitalist country) It's a very "reasonable" country"

I'll deal with this rather quickly. If the Canadian army went around the country rounding up teachers and forcing them to teach a population that was forced to attend school everyday, I'm sure we could have the highest literacy rate in the world too. But I like my free society thank you very much. By the way, what is Canada's literacy rate? 98%? And Cuba's (the country I'm sure you idolize and are speaking of here) is let's say 100%. Wow! Get an extra 2 points in literacy and the only cost is our freedom!

"Did you also know that capitalism needs unemployed workers to propagate the system?"

No, I wasn't aware of this... Please digress. There's an interesting economic theory called Say's Law, have you heard of it? What am I thinking... of course not. You wouldn't want to corrupt your "awareness" by learning any free-market economics! Bottom line is: More people working means more production means lower prices means higher living standards for all.

"So individuality is a little overrated, most of it is just templates being progressed throughout history."

Individuality is not some new "idea". It is a fact of social processes. Throughout history, ideas and norms are adhered to or rejected by individuals making free decisions according to their subjective preferences (which areed can be influenced by context). This is a far cry from history simply as "templates being progressed". How does one explain the emergence of new ideas? Or new technology? Or the death of old ideas? Did society "decide" this? Of course not, society doesn't have a brain. The big picture emerges spontaneously from individuals, and the freer people are, the better able they are to select or reject certain phenomena, creating an unplanned, yet more optimal result in the end.

10:49 PM  
Blogger P. M. Jaworski said...

Here's my response zolton: what true liberal said.

5:52 PM  
Blogger zolton said...

It's good to see you have you're own mind and opinions there Mark!
Don't worry you will get a full rebuttal Sunday or Monday.

12:54 PM  

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