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Anarcho-Capitalism

 
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 04:43 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124198 wrote:


Abolishing all coercive institutions and valuing the liberty of individuals.


Is the police force that protects private property a coercive institution?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Feb, 2010 08:08 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124219 wrote:
I think greed is immoral (my opinion), but I disagree that the model forces people to practice greed. I don't see how laissez-faire demands greed.


Laissez-faire, in theory, works because of competition. And competition does not exist unless at least two parties are greedy for the same thing. If they are not, their enterprise fails to thrive and their families fail to eat.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
Just because a person seeks to attain material wealth above their needs doesn't make them wrong or greedy in my eyes. I conceive of greed as being the unregulated drive for material wealth, which causes to commit acts of deception or fraud or self-harm in its name.


Greed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

hue-man;124219 wrote:
Laissez-faire capitalism doesn't coerce people to be greedy. No one will be aggressively forced to be greedy or thrown in jail for not attaining or wishing to attain excess wealth. You're confusing influence with coercion.


Maybe not jail, maybe not at the end of a gun - but it uses something just as effective. The need to eat, the need for shelter. These things are only obtained in a laissez-faire environment if a person exercises greed.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
That's your opinion. I value the well being of my father, mother and brothers over a stranger's well being. In my opinion, that is morally right.


I think we all make that judgment, but that's not quite what I'm saying. I am saying that each person has just as much intrinsic worth as any other. The fact that we sometimes ignore this intrinsic worth due to emotional attachment does not alter the fact of each person's equal moral worth.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
Love and compassion is good in most situations, but I can think of some situations where love and compassion is detrimental. There is no direct material benefit to the giver, but the giver may feel good by practicing charity.


But I'm not talking about material benefit - because materials are not ends in themselves. Happiness is not obtained through consumption.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
It also doesn't follow that the dissenter is wrong.


It does if moral relativism is bunk.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
My disagreement with your statements is in how authoritarian you come across on this matter.


Well, I know this may be a shock, but I abhor authoritarianism. I'm not advocating any particular system of economics or government, just pointing out some problems with laissez-faire.

hue-man;124219 wrote:
Moral relativism is more descriptive to me than it is prescriptive.


That's pretty insightful, because moral relativism cannot be prescriptive by nature.

So you're talking about the way people happen to sometimes make moral decision, as opposed to talking about how they should make moral decisions.

When we talk about morally right/wrong, we are talking about shoulds, not what we happen to do.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 07:22 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;124224 wrote:
Is the police force that protects private property a coercive institution?


Yes. The state is a coercive institution. A liberal democratic state is founded on the premise that a minimal amount of coercion is needed to protect individual liberties.
josh0335
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 07:54 am
@hue-man,
The eventual concentration of wealth through the free market will result in state-like institutions anyway.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 07:56 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
Laissez-faire, in theory, works because of competition. And competition does not exist unless at least two parties are greedy for the same thing. If they are not, their enterprise fails to thrive and their families fail to eat.


Greed is needed for competition? That's flat out false. The need or desire to acquire economic goods is necessary for competition, not rapacious desire.

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
Maybe not jail, maybe not at the end of a gun - but it uses something just as effective. The need to eat, the need for shelter. These things are only obtained in a laissez-faire environment if a person exercises greed.


So I need to be greedy in order to work for my financial security or start a business? Coercion is coercion. Influence is influence. They are not synonymous.

Coercion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social influence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greed is not simply the desire to acquire beyond your own material needs in my eyes. This dictionary.com definition is more in line with how I see greed; the excessive or rapacious desire to acquire material possessions.

Greed | Definition of Greed at Dictionary.com:
Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
I think we all make that judgment, but that's not quite what I'm saying. I am saying that each person has just as much intrinsic worth as any other. The fact that we sometimes ignore this intrinsic worth due to emotional attachment does not alter the fact of each person's equal moral worth.


It is not a fact that each person has equal moral worth. It's a fact that some people feel that way in theory, but such a notion cannot be verified beyond personal opinions or sentiments. The notion to love your enemy died on a cross.

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
But I'm not talking about material benefit - because materials are not ends in themselves. Happiness is not obtained through consumption.


You're assuming that everyone can achieve the goal of happiness by giving to charity, i.e. being selfless. Consuming economic goods can lead to joy and contentment as long as they don't lose their economic security. The sense of happiness can come and go just like the sense of suffering.

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
It does if moral relativism is bunk.


In what sense is it bunk? Are you saying that the same lifestyle ethic is best for everyone?

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
Well, I know this may be a shock, but I abhor authoritarianism. I'm not advocating any particular system of economics or government, just pointing out some problems with laissez-faire.


I'm not saying that you sound authoritarian in terms of politics or economics. I'm saying that you sound authoritarian in terms of what you think is right and wrong for everyone.

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
That's pretty insightful, because moral relativism cannot be prescriptive by nature.


Sure it can. I can tell someone to do whatever makes them happy as long as they don't directly harm anyone else. Is there not something relativistic about that?

Didymos Thomas;124263 wrote:
So you're talking about the way people happen to sometimes make moral decision, as opposed to talking about how they should make moral decisions.

When we talk about morally right/wrong, we are talking about shoulds, not what we happen to do.


What I'm talking about is the demand or claim that it's right for everyone to be altruistic. I do think that certain examples of altruism are good, but I don't think that I can make that judgment for every individual.

Also, morality or ethics isn't just normative. It's also meta-ethical. My meta-ethical positions are non-cognitivism, emotivism and universal prescriptivism (or implied imperative). There are some prescriptions that I believe everyone should uphold, but I don't always judge someone as immoral if they don't do what I would do in every given situation.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 12:57 pm
@hue-man,
An example of a moral act for the Anarcho-Capitalist
hue-man;124198 wrote:

Abolishing all coercive institutions and valuing the liberty of individuals.


At which point I asked if the police force to protect property was a coercive institution and you said

hue-man;124332 wrote:
Yes. The state is a coercive institution. A liberal democratic state is founded on the premise that a minimal amount of coercion is needed to protect individual liberties.


Therefor the anarcho-capitalist advocates abolishing the police force.

I'm guessing you didn't mean "all" coercive institutions in your first statement? I don't think you can have Capitalism without legally protected, police enforced, private property unless you are talking about privately owned police forces but do we still call that capitalism?
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 02:06 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;124396 wrote:
An example of a moral act for the Anarcho-Capitalist


At which point I asked if the police force to protect property was a coercive institution and you said



Therefor the anarcho-capitalist advocates abolishing the police force.

I'm guessing you didn't mean "all" coercive institutions in your first statement? I don't think you can have Capitalism without legally protected, police enforced, private property unless you are talking about privately owned police forces but do we still call that capitalism?


I suppose you could have capitalism without a police force, but it would be every man for himself or communal enforcement of the protection of property and individual liberties. I suppose you could still have private police who would enforce and protect, but there wouldn't be a legal limitation on the amount of coercion the private police could use. I admit that the development of a state seems inevitable in an anarcho-capitalist society. That's probably why the first anarchist movement was communist and collectivist.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 02:46 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;124413 wrote:
I suppose you could have capitalism without a police force, but it would be every man for himself or communal enforcement of the protection of property and individual liberties. I suppose you could still have private police who would enforce and protect, but there wouldn't be a legal limitation on the amount of coercion the private police could use. I admit that the development of a state seems inevitable in an anarcho-capitalist society. That's probably why the first anarchist movement was communist and collectivist.

The leftist anarcho-collectivist recognize the existence of economic coercion whereas the anarcho-capitalists do not or at least do their best to ignore or distract from this fact. It was recognition of the existence of economic coercion that lead to the conclusion of collectivism. The anarcho-collectivists and the statist socialists never really got along. It's one of the major schisms on the left all the way back to Marx and Bakunin and before: central planning bureaucratic arboreal social structures versus more spontaneous multi-centered rhizomatic social structures. The spontaneity and flexibility of the latter has plenty of room for capitalism so long as a capitalists don't get so powerful that they become a centralized power structure capable of lording it over the collective.
0 Replies
 
Camerama
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 09:44 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:


Rand... she has been pretty well discredited.

Sure, vices have moral worth, in that they are morally harmful. That is their worth.

If we love money, we are diverting our capacity for love upon money rather than focusing that love upon people. And my guess is that people are more valuable than money.


You also must see a finiteness in love then? And I was asking WHY they are vices?

Discredited, maybe. But then what is the root of money? It is a tool of exchange. Money is almost anything you wish it to be. I don't
love money, I love what it can become, and what it can do. Now, which people are more valuable than something as versatile as wealth? Many more than i'll meet in a lifetime, surely, but not all of them. My love for people is earned, not entitled. I don't value people for their need, but their worth.


Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:
But material wealth is finite. There is only so much stuff in the world.

The rate of the progress would depend upon the rate of the charity.

And it is progress for everyone. It is progress for the recipient because they have an improved standard of living. It is progress for the giver because their standard of living is not meaningfully harmed, and because by practicing charity they are practicing love and compassion for other people.

Think about it: A person with a billion dollars. Does a person need a billion dollars to live well, to be comfortable, to have the luxury to indulge interests? Not at all. However, we do have people that starve to death. Many thousands die every day from starvation.

So let me ask: is it better for the billionaire to keep his billion so that he can buy a new super yacht? or is it better for the billionaire to give a portion to the needy so that they can live?


I believe Wealth is limited by consumers, not material. Correct me if I am wrong, but wealth can be created, and not just redistributed?

I wasn't talking about need, I was talking about worth. Need is not a claim on any man. The poor certainly "need" money more than a billionaire, but have they "earned" it? Inversely, a billionaire certainly does not "need" the money, but he/she has "earned" it.

Is human value measured by charity?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Feb, 2010 10:04 pm
@Camerama,
Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:

Sure, vices have moral worth, in that they are morally harmful. That is their worth.

If we love money, we are diverting our capacity for love upon money rather than focusing that love upon people. And my guess is that people are more valuable than money.



But material wealth is finite. There is only so much stuff in the world.

The rate of the progress would depend upon the rate of the charity.

And it is progress for everyone. It is progress for the recipient because they have an improved standard of living. It is progress for the giver because their standard of living is not meaningfully harmed, and because by practicing charity they are practicing love and compassion for other people.

Think about it: A person with a billion dollars. Does a person need a billion dollars to live well, to be comfortable, to have the luxury to indulge interests? Not at all. However, we do have people that starve to death. Many thousands die every day from starvation.

So let me ask: is it better for the billionaire to keep his billion so that he can buy a new super yacht? or is it better for the billionaire to give a portion to the needy so that they can live?


Camerama;124536 wrote:
You also must see a finiteness in love then? And I was asking WHY they are vices?

Discredited, maybe. But then what is the root of money? It is a tool of exchange. Money is almost anything you wish it to be. I don't
love money, I love what it can become, and what it can do. Now, which people are more valuable than something as versatile as wealth? Many more than i'll meet in a lifetime, surely, but not all of them. My love for people is earned, not entitled. I don't value people for their need, but their worth.


Here's a quote from Marx that I consider relevant though somewhat tangential to your discussion. It may shed light on the discussion or add confusion. Ignore it if you find it to be the later.

Quote:
Money, then, appears as this distorting power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be entities in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy.
Since money, as the existing and active concept of value, confounds and confuses all things, it is the general confounding and confusing of all things - the world upside-down - the confounding and confusing of all natural and human qualities.
He who can buy bravery is brave, though he be a coward. As money is not exchanged for any one specific quality, for any one specific thing, or for any particular human essential power, but for the entire objective world of man and nature, from the standpoint of its possessor it therefore serves to exchange every quality for every other, even contradictory, quality and object: it is the fraternisation of impossibilities. It makes contradictions embrace.

Source:
The Power of Money, Marx, 1844
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 01:11 am
@Deckard,
hue-man;124343 wrote:
Greed is needed for competition? That's flat out false. The need or desire to acquire economic goods is necessary for competition, not rapacious desire.


This depends upon our definition of greed.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
Greed is not simply the desire to acquire beyond your own material needs in my eyes. This dictionary.com definition is more in line with how I see greed; the excessive or rapacious desire to acquire material possessions.


But desiring more than you need is excess - that's what excess means, immoderation. So greed is necessarily excessive. Just as you admit.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
It is not a fact that each person has equal moral worth. It's a fact that some people feel that way in theory, but such a notion cannot be verified beyond personal opinions or sentiments. The notion to love your enemy died on a cross.


First, you misunderstand the Passion story. Jesus died in order to uphold that notion - his death being an expression of compassion.

That each person has equal moral worth is not a fact like water is composed of two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule. That each person has equal moral worth is an ethical statement.

That people have varying moral worths is also an ethical statement.

Because moral relativism is bunk, we can investigate the validity of each statement. Simply saying that people can disagree with one of these moral statements does not discredit the statement.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
You're assuming that everyone can achieve the goal of happiness by giving to charity, i.e. being selfless. Consuming economic goods can lead to joy and contentment as long as they don't lose their economic security. The sense of happiness can come and go just like the sense of suffering.


Yes, I am assuming that altruism is a superior moral outlook than egoism.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
In what sense is it bunk? Are you saying that the same lifestyle ethic is best for everyone?


I am saying that moral relativism is incoherent as an ethical theory.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
I'm not saying that you sound authoritarian in terms of politics or economics. I'm saying that you sound authoritarian in terms of what you think is right and wrong for everyone.


All I am saying is that there is such a thing as morality. If that's authoritarian, okay.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
Sure it can. I can tell someone to do whatever makes them happy as long as they don't directly harm anyone else. Is there not something relativistic about that?


Moral relativism cannot be prescriptive because it cannot tell us how we should and should not act - which is exactly what a moral theory is supposed to do.

hue-man;124343 wrote:
What I'm talking about is the demand or claim that it's right for everyone to be altruistic. I do think that certain examples of altruism are good, but I don't think that I can make that judgment for every individual.


Why not?

hue-man;124343 wrote:
Also, morality or ethics isn't just normative. It's also meta-ethical. My meta-ethical positions are non-cognitivism, emotivism and universal prescriptivism (or implied imperative). There are some prescriptions that I believe everyone should uphold, but I don't always judge someone as immoral if they don't do what I would do in every given situation.


Ha! It's probably best that people do not do what I would do in every situation.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
You also must see a finiteness in love then?


In our human ability to express love, sure.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
And I was asking WHY they are vices?


Avarice? The love of money is a vice because it bears harmful fruit. As I explained, it diverts our affections from people.

Pride? There are two kinds. There is the heightened sense of self worth, and there is that feeling you get when you do something well. That feeling is quite natural, and not usually a problem. But a heightened sense of self-worth is an over-inflated ego: it is the justification for egotistical action.

Luxury? Luxury requires the consumption of excess material. While a person enjoys his luxury yacht, another starves to death when the money for said yacht could have saved the dead person. Luxury bears harmful fruit.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
Discredited, maybe.


And mocked by serious thinkers.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
But then what is the root of money? It is a tool of exchange. Money is almost anything you wish it to be.


Yes, it is a tool of exchange. I'm not sure what you're driving at.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
Now, which people are more valuable than something as versatile as wealth? Many more than i'll meet in a lifetime, surely, but not all of them. My love for people is earned, not entitled. I don't value people for their need, but their worth.


That's an incredibly selfish thing to say.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
I believe Wealth is limited by consumers, not material. Correct me if I am wrong, but wealth can be created, and not just redistributed?


I'm really not sure what you are saying or asking. I don't get it.

Camerama;124536 wrote:
I wasn't talking about need, I was talking about worth. Need is not a claim on any man. The poor certainly "need" money more than a billionaire, but have they "earned" it? Inversely, a billionaire certainly does not "need" the money, but he/she has "earned" it.


Who cares if someone has earned it or not?

Did a man starving to death "earn" his starvation? And even if he did "earn" it by poor decisions, why should he keep what he has earned if someone else can so easily save him?

Camerama;124536 wrote:
Is human value measured by charity?


No, each person has equal moral worth. Charity just happens to be a great way to express our recognition for the value of other people.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 01:00 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
But desiring more than you need is excess - that's what excess means, immoderation. So greed is necessarily excessive. Just as you admit.


Greed is necessarily excessive, but wanting more than you need isn't wrong in my eyes. I don't need this computer, but I like it and I want it. Should I donate my computer to charity? In my view, greed is when you have lost a sense of rational self-control in the pursuit of material possessions. At that point it can cause harm to yourself and to others in its name.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
First, you misunderstand the Passion story. Jesus died in order to uphold that notion - his death being an expression of compassion.


First, I don't misunderstand the passion story. My aphorism was my individual interpretation of the ethic that says to love your enemy. I used Jesus as an example because that is supposedly where the ethic comes from. I believe that it's delusional and counter productive to love your enemy. I believe that the ethic is a way to avoid decisive action against those who wish to cause you, or are causing you, harm. It's a submission to weakness.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
That each person has equal moral worth is not a fact like water is composed of two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule. That each person has equal moral worth is an ethical statement.

That people have varying moral worths is also an ethical statement.


Indeed it is not a fact, but you said and I quote "The fact that we sometimes ignore this intrinsic worth due to emotional attachment does not alter the fact of each person's equal moral worth."

I believe that a person has to earn my respect and their moral worth. I am kind to those who don't give me a reason not to be and I am unkind to those who give me a reason not to be kind. I value a person's moral worth based on certain elements of their character. I don't believe that every person should be treated the same based alone on the fact that they're human. In my opinion, that is the right thing to do.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
Yes, I am assuming that altruism is a superior moral outlook than egoism.


Exactly, you're assuming that everyone should agree with that notion, but I disagree. As general philosophies, I think that both altruism and egoism are bunk. My moral philosophy, on an interpersonal level, centers around the respect of a person's individual liberties. I don't believe that acts of altruism or egoism should be morally obligatory and even if I did it would only be in certain situations. I believe that a person should only commit acts of altruism if they think it's right to do so.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
I am saying that moral relativism is incoherent as an ethical theory.


I agree, but only to a certain degree.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
All I am saying is that there is such a thing as morality. If that's authoritarian, okay.


You're also saying (subliminally) that there is only one type of morality. I believe that some systems are better than others, but I'm not going to try and convince myself that there is an objective definition for moral rightness and wrongness. In my view it's equivalent to saying that there is an objective definition for aesthetic rightness and wrongness, which is absurd.

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
Moral relativism cannot be prescriptive because it cannot tell us how we should and should not act - which is exactly what a moral theory is supposed to do.


A general philosophy of moral relativism can be prescriptive, but I don't think it should be. For example, I can prescribe that everyone do what is in their own self-interest even if it harms innocent people. I can also say that it's right for people to harm people whenever they feel like doing so and to help people whenever they feel like doing so. In other words I can tell people to always do whatever they think is right no matter what. Of course I would never make these prescriptions because I think that they're morally wrong and I believe that I have good reasons for thinking so, but at the end of the day it bowls down to my opinions and sentiments, not facts. I make moral suggestions by appealing to emotions and some level of reason, but I don't try and make morals appear to be something that they're not (facts or truths).

Didymos Thomas;124589 wrote:
Why not?


Because I don't think that altruism is morally obligatory. I can suggest that someone be altruistic in certain situations, but that person may have valid reasons (personally valid) not to be altruistic in that situation.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 01:13 pm
@Camerama,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Luxury? Luxury requires the consumption of excess material. While a person enjoys his luxury yacht, another starves to death when the money for said yacht could have saved the dead person. Luxury bears harmful fruit.



Couldn't we apply this to almost every unnecessary expense, though (and the majority of our expenses are unnecessary, that is, not necessary for us to survive)? I chose to buy a pair of sneakers today, but with that money I could have fed a meal to about ten homeless people. You're saying I was responsible to feed those people?

Are we so sure that the person buying that yacht wasn't entitled to buy that yacht? What if he/she worked their entire lives to get the money for that lot, saving year after year? As noted in other threads, we must acknowledge self-entitlement, and not just consider every lavish non-altruistic act or purchase as greedy or selfish.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:35 pm
@Zetherin,
Sure, Zeth, but that self-entitlement easily runs amok. Finding the right balance point is not an easy thing to do, especially in purely theoretical terms, because it depends upon our ability, our capacity for moderation and simple living, which requires practice.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 02:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;124733 wrote:
Sure, Zeth, but that self-entitlement easily runs amok. Finding the right balance point is not an easy thing to do, especially in purely theoretical terms, because it depends upon our ability, our capacity for moderation and simple living, which requires practice.


The thinking that every luxurious purchase is selfish can also easily run amok, too. There is much misunderstood self-entitlement, a very liberal tossing around of the word "selfish". Some even consider others selfish simply on the basis that they do not do altruistic acts.

I think if we are to criticize the millionaires and very wealthy for not giving away their money to the needy, we should criticize everyone. No, obviously not everyone has the same ability to donate, but nearly everyone has some ability, and people could donate relative to what they have.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Feb, 2010 03:12 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;124740 wrote:
The thinking that every luxurious purchase is selfish can also easily run amok, too. There is much misunderstood self-entitlement, a very liberal tossing around of the word "selfish". Some even consider others selfish simply on the basis that they do not do altruistic acts.


Having the capacity to act altruistically and neglecting to do so is selfish. It may not be the case that a person is intentionally selfish, they may simply be unaware of their moral capacities and responsibilities.

Zetherin;124740 wrote:
I think if we are to criticize the millionaires and very wealthy for not giving away their money to the needy, we should criticize everyone. No, obviously not everyone has the same ability to donate, but nearly everyone has some ability, and people could donate relative to what they have.


We should think it a moral shame that people do not help others even though they can, yes.

But using morality as a means of condemning other people is another tendency that easily runs amok. We should be more concerned with cultivating our own sense of moral duty and practicing that moral duty, than we are concerned with the moral failings of others. Two quotes for this one:

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Gandhi

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" - Matt. 7:3

At no one in particular, but there does seem to be a sense in some posts that charity is no fun, and that keeping one's money for a new video game or whatever is fun, and that people should do what sates their desire for pleasure by keeping their money for personal consumption. But the things we take pleasure in is something that develops over time.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:03 pm
@Camerama,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Having the capacity to act altruistically and neglecting to do so is selfish


Oh, well, this is the basis with which we disagree. I don't think having the capacity to act altrustically, but not, is selfish. At least not generally. I have the capacity to give my lunch to a homeless man right now, and this would be an altruistic act. But I do not think myself selfish for not having done so. It was my sandwich, and I worked for the money to buy that sandwich, and so feel I entitled to eat my sandwich.

Quote:

At no one in particular, but there does seem to be a sense in some posts that charity is no fun, and that keeping one's money for a new video game or whatever is fun, and that people should do what sates their desire for pleasure by keeping their money for personal consumption.


I think your sense is correct. It's definitely more fun playing video games than donating to charities. And I find nothing wrong with sating our desires with our own money. I just bought a $600 flat screen for myself, even though I could have fed over three dozen homeless people. I don't feel selfish.
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 03:48 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I realize these statements are from various postings, but I found them interesting and wanted to comment. If you feel I took anything out of context, let me know.

Didymos Thomas;124177 wrote:
Because it relies upon greed for economic productivity.


Economic productivity on any signficant scale relies upon greed to exist. Where has there ever been a natural society (i.e. not a voluntary commune) of any signficant size and complexity that didn't have the concept of private property? In most cases, that concept has been reserved for the elite, while the masses were more or less serfs bound to the land, but the point stands. Unless they are forced to (by feudal masters e.g.), people don't tend to want to work for the benefit of other people.

Quote:
But material wealth is finite. There is only so much stuff in the world.


Stuff does not equal wealth. Value equals wealth. For example, an iron axe may have more value than a lump of iron ore - and the person with the former may be said to be wealthier than the person with the latter. Value is potentially infinite, so wealth is potentially infinite.

Didymos Thomas;124208 wrote:
So then you would oppose a system that coerces people to be greedy, right?


One cannot be coerced to be greedy; people choose to be greedy, though of course they don't think of it in those terms. Saying that a purely free market system coerces people into being greedy is like saying the weather coerced me into putting on a raincoat. People making decisions in reaction to the reality before them is quite distinct from what anarcho-communists and libertarians mean by coercion - an example of which would be a group of people threatening to put another person into a concrete box for 20 years unless he gives them 30% of everything he produces annually.
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Raine
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 12:14 pm
@Camerama,
Camerama;120819 wrote:
Any proponents, or even dissenters, of this political faction? I recently skimmed over the term and my curiosity was not suppressed by the little I read. So, before researching, I again appeal to the accomplished minds of this forum. For? Against? Ideal? Anarchism? It sort of has a objectivist ring. Any insight??????


I've studied anarcho-capitalism a little, and personally I find it a horrible idea. It's anarchism for the rich and powerful of society. I don't disagree with anarchism as a whole, but this particular strand has always seemed opposed to the ideals and goals of other forms of anarchism.

I think capitalism as it is today, under government regulation can be brutal and exploitative, and the idea that this could be applied to all or most public services and institutions is an unsettling idea, and one which would benefit only the wealthy of society.

One of the values that I find so appealing about anarchism (or at least anarcho-communism) is equality and sovereignty of each individual. With anarcho-capitalism, this idea is gone. In fact it's incompatible. Capitalism actively encourages and promotes inequality, both of which are needed for it to function. Now imagine this system without the reform and regulation that controls it. For me, that's a slightly scary thought.
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