newbie question

36 views
Skip to first unread message

badger08757

unread,
Jun 11, 2012, 8:24:32 PM6/11/12
to
don't get me wrong.Ayn Rand was right about so much,and I see the first chapters of "Atlas Shrugged"happening around me.as,no doubt,you do too. back in 08,when I heard that Oboma was voted most liberal senator,I knew he was too dangerous for office.even I didn't think it would be this bad!
however,I do have a question about Objectivism.it seems to work out pretty well for people like Rourke and Reardon,Dagney Taggart and Francesco d'Arcona.and people like Gates and Jobs.but what of those with no talent? what of those with genunie handicaps? what of those who have had a run of bad luck that made them broke? i understand the concept of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,but doesn't that presume you had boots to begin with?

Puppet_Sock

unread,
Jun 12, 2012, 12:03:48 PM6/12/12
to
On Jun 11, 8:24�pm, badger08757 <badger08...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> �don't get me wrong.Ayn Rand was right about so much,and I see the first chapters of "Atlas Shrugged"happening around me.as,no doubt,you do too. back in 08,when I heard that Oboma was voted most liberal senator,I knew he was too dangerous for office.even I didn't think it would be this bad!
> �however,I do have a question about Objectivism.it seems to work out pretty well for people like Rourke and Reardon,Dagney Taggart and Francesco d'Arcona.and people like Gates and Jobs.but what of those with no talent? what of those with genunie handicaps? what of those who have had a run of bad luck that made them broke? i understand the concept of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,but doesn't that presume you had boots to begin with?

Sigh. This place needs the regulars back. I miss Fred. I miss Agent
Cooper.

Your question clearly has a certain amount of envy in there. You
should stop
and get rid of that before you go on. "He's richer than me" is not an
argument
to advocate anything, at least once you get rid of your envy.

The thing is, you are fixating on a supposed problem and trying to get
at
it from the middle. The justification of capitalism isn't that it
produces the
greatest good. It's true that it does, but that's not the
justification. The
justification is that it's moral, and that it's the only system that
is moral.
It is the only system that is based on individual freedom as opposed
to
some form of govt control of everything and everybody.

But let's stop and examine the case of material improvement of this
individual with "no boots."

So people like Bill Gates are a problem for capitalism? How did Gates
get
rich? He got rich by creating something that millions of people
wanted to
buy at a price that was profitable for Gates. And they wanted to buy
it more
than they wanted to bother with creating competing products. There is
nothing stopping a company like IBM from sitting down and writing a
competing operating system. Or, come to that, a company like Bank of
America or AGO or any other large company that, currently, spends many
$millions on Microsoft products.

Microsoft corp has an unusual feature of having dozens of millionaires
working
there. Because MS follows a policy of rewarding people who do things
that
are good for the company. You have an idea that makes the company a
ton of money? Here comes a pile of cash and stock options. You are a
startup software company with a new product that makes using MS stuff
better/easier/more productive? Well, here comes a huge cash offer for
your product, and a VP position at a new division of MS.

It is my fondest dream to create a software product that attracts the
attention of Microsoft.

Bill Gates, and his partners at MS, created his wealth. It's brand new
wealth that didn't exist before. And as a result, 10's of millions of
people
are far more productive than they were before MS. His efforts lowered
prices and raised pay for many tens of millions of people.

Gates didn't get rich by taking away people's "boots." He got rich by
making "boots" cheaper and more widely available to many more people.
By making a new *kind* of boots that nobody had ever had before.
And by making it possible for literally tens of millions of peopel to
afford them, to the extent that things like a home computer are so
ubiquitous that it is surprising to find somebody who does not have
access to the internet, for example.

So, which situation does the person with "no boots" prefer? This case
of MS existing, providing tens of thousands of high paying direct
jobs,
and enhancing millions of indirect jobs. Or the hypothetical case of
the world without MS (or some replacement) where there are many
fewer jobs, much lower productivity, and a smaller economy in many
countries.

An individual who is in fact broke, with no possible leverage or ways
to borrow money, must depend on charity. Which of those two cases
is he likely to get charity?

As a result of the massive production of wealth created by capitalism,
we now see as "poor" somebody who can only afford dial-up. Someobdy
with a crappy old, cheap, computer, is seen as poor. Somebody with
a material condition that was, only a century ago, only available to
the
richest of the rich. These days, somebody with a crappy little "tube"
color TV and basic cable is considered poor. Somebody who can't
afford central AC is considered almost destitute.
Socks

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 13, 2012, 6:12:09 AM6/13/12
to
On Jun 11, 8:24�pm, badger08757 <badger08...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>broke? i understand the concept of pulling yourself up by your
> bootstraps,but doesn't that presume you had boots to begin with?

Even a good American Christian of a bygone era would say: God helps
those who help themselves.

Rand liked the expression "making money" because it means that wealth
comes from production and is not something lying around to be picked
up, except by parasites and thieves. Even a good American Christian
of a bygone era would say: do think money grows on trees?

Jordy Chase

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 7:40:52 PM6/16/12
to
On Jun 13, 6:12 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
come on now! does the words: "empathy" and "compassion" mean
anything to people on here??? even Rand accepted welfare in her
advanced years... ruggged individualism does NOT work...

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 9:18:48 PM6/16/12
to
On Jun 16, 7:40 pm, Jordy Chase <icn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 13, 6:12 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 11, 8:24�pm, badger08757 <badger08...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >  >broke? i understand the concept of pulling yourself up by your
>
> > > bootstraps,but doesn't that presume you had boots to begin with?
>
> > Even a good American Christian of a bygone era would say: God helps
> > those who help themselves.
>
> > Rand liked the expression "making money" because it means that wealth
> > comes from production and is not something lying around to be picked
> > up, except by parasites and thieves.  Even a good American Christian
> > of a bygone era would say: do think money grows on trees?
>
>      come on now! does the words: "empathy" and "compassion" mean
> anything to people on here???

They don't mean: command-economy socialism, progressivism, or
"bleeding-heart" liberalism, if that is what you mean to say.

Even a good American Christian of a bygone era would say: charity
begins at home.

> even Rand accepted welfare in her
> advanced years...

She may have accepted soc.sec and Medicare benefits for which she had
been compelled to pay into. Are you saying Rand ought to have
otherwise sacrificed herself to benefit whom exactly?



x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.


spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 12:28:59 AM6/19/12
to
Just a point about nomenclature. David Hume commented about ought
versus is. If one is using the terms capitalism and socialism in some
absolutist sense, then the wealth of today's world wasn't created by
capitalist or socialist economies. It was created by mixed economies.
Pure capitalism has never existed. Its only a theoretical that may or
may not work. (much like communism was before the Soviet Union
experimented with it)

Where I think terms like capitalism have helped improve quality of
life is by changed attitudes towards accumulation of material wealth
(versus say the middle ages where it was looked at as a sin) In
addition, people began to understand better wealth is created not only
fixed. Then of course less government interference (relative to past
eras) has allowed those more competent to flourish. (rather than
shuffle capital over to those that will waste it)

Whether no government interference whatsoever is in anyone's interests
remains to be seen. IMO the view that government is about force alone
is slightly off. Whether one frames something as "government" (tm) or
not... whomever controls the most resources is effectively in the roll
of government. A man without property is effectively a slave to those
that have it.

One irony I find about communism is that that communists always claim
their system is about "equality" but the reality couldn't be further
from the truth. Communism was one of the most extreme forms of
inequality imaginable. The great leader and a few bureaucrats had
complete control over all property - and thus complete control of the
lives of their citizens.




Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 4:47:45 AM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 12:28 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> Just a point about nomenclature.  David Hume commented about ought
> versus is. If one is using the terms capitalism and socialism in some
> absolutist sense, then the wealth of today's world wasn't created by
> capitalist or socialist economies. It was created by mixed economies.

Mises determined the impossibility for any useful calculation for
prices within socialist economic systems, and that socialist economies
exist parasitically on capitalist method of calculation. Therefore no
wealth can be produced, has been produced, or will be produced without
capitalist free markets there, existing somewhere, to determine prices
from supply and demand. When a "mixed economy" has a government
bureaucracy decide the economic value of X, but the free market has
already determined that the price of X will never be sufficient to
overcome the cost of production of X, that mixed-economy decision
destroys wealth and does not produce wealth. So, although it is true
there is difficulty to point to this or that economy as pure free-
market capitalism, it is easy enough to point to this or that
socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
creating it, and certainly note that every pure socialist economy,
communist and fascist, fail completely and quickly.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 11:43:43 AM6/19/12
to
If one uses a definition of capitalism of zero services, regulations,
or taxation (i.,e. just courts, military, jails, etc. to protect
private property alone)....America has never been a pure capitalist
country (nor has their ever been such a jurisdiction anywhere in the
world). You confuse hypothetical "ought" to be models of government
with what "is".

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 11:56:58 AM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> it is easy enough to point to this or that
> socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> creating it,

Nonsense. Even theocracies and communism created wealth. It just
wasn't good at it (not to mention oppressive). Had communism been
better at creating wealth the Soviet Union quite plausible would won
the cold war.

Why mixed economies won was not due primarily to weapons but due to
stocked supermarket shelves. Reagan did a great job using his personal
charm to build a friendship with Gorbechev... who in turn made an
honest assessment of the difference between a supermarket in Moscow
and one Washington.

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 5:39:34 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 11:43 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > So, although it is true
> > there is difficulty to point to this or that economy as pure free-
> > market capitalism, it is easy enough to point to this or that
> > socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> > creating it, and certainly note that every pure socialist economy,
> > communist and fascist, fail completely and quickly.
>
> If one uses a definition of capitalism of zero services, regulations,
> or taxation (i.,e. just courts, military, jails, etc. to protect
> private property alone)...


That is not a definition of capitalism. try again.


x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 5:52:37 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 11:56 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> >  it is easy enough to point to this or that
> > socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> > creating it,
>
> Nonsense. Even theocracies and communism created wealth. It just

Communism never created wealth. Marx never envisioned it so.
Captialism was to create the wealth and then socialism was to
redistribute and allocate wealth and communism was a condition of
utopian possession on whatever one needs.

The whole point of utopian socialism (as in anarcho-communism or
socialist libertarianism or whatever) was to do away with the old
method or production of what one needs, and "wealth" actually ceases
to exist.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 5:59:25 PM6/19/12
to
There are different conceptualizations of politically manifested
capitalism. For Rands ideal form of government it involves no taxes,
no regulations and no taxation (unlike Reagan). Or are you now
claiming Rand was an advocate for taxation, services and regulations?

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 6:25:22 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 5:52 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Jun 19, 11:56�am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > �it is easy enough to point to this or that
> > > socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> > > creating it,
>
> > Nonsense. Even theocracies and communism created wealth. It just
>
> Communism never created wealth.

Of course it did. Commies even put first man in space. They provided
homes, cars, food, and other products to citizens through government
owned industry. Creating wealth isn't reserved to a particular
ideology. It's like saying "produce something useful". There are just
more efficient methodologies to production.

One key problems with communism was that production required
dependence of state action. This is clearly inefficient. Everything
required a form or approval. By comparison someone in a western
economy could just built something and nearly immediately see if there
was a market for it.

In addition, incentive was lost. Why work hard to produce something if
the government was just going to walk in and take everything and give
it to the guy drinking vodka?

Then there was that lovely bureaucrat central planning thing. Potemkin
villages being a poster child for commie glory-to-the-people
projects... that drove their economies into the ground. A great
positive of free markets is that someone can still attempt to build
one but little capital will flow to it because private citizens won't
sink money into.

And of course there was that whole freedom thing. Commies like to
control everything and everyone while framing it as "freedom". One
major aspect that turns me off about both left and right wing parties
these days is they seem obsessed with security and spying on
everyone.

The current set of laws are setting us up for massive control of our
lives somewhere down the road. Without strong data protection laws and
near complete transparency, paranoid governments everywhere are
building up dossiers on everyone (e.g. I guarantee you the NSA has a
file on you somewhere) This is going to be data mined because there is
nothing to stop them from doing it. They are also putting back doors
in all the telecom equipment and key software. They use terrorism,
pedophiles, file sharing, any other reason they can find to justify
it. I'd prefer to take my chances with the occasional terrorist act
then my own government creepily spying on me.Reminds me of Stasi and
GRU. "Papers please"

Franklin had it right. "Any society that would give up a little
liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 6:50:14 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 5:59 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 5:39�pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 11:43�am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > > So, although it is true
> > > > there is difficulty to point to this or that economy as pure free-
> > > > market capitalism, it is easy enough to point to this or that
> > > > socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> > > > creating it, and certainly note that every pure socialist economy,
> > > > communist and fascist, fail completely and quickly.
>
> > > If one uses a definition of capitalism of zero services, regulations,
> > > or taxation (i.,e. just courts, military, jails, etc. to protect
> > > private property alone)...
>
> > That is not a definition of capitalism. try again.
>
> There are different conceptualizations of politically manifested
> capitalism.

And yours stated above is not one of them.


> For Rands ideal form of government it involves no taxes,
> no regulations and no taxation (unlike Reagan).

Nor Rand's. Rand's one-word summary for "government" was not
"capitalism". In fact the purpose for Rand's government would be to
protect an individual's moral right to life exercised through (free-
market) capitalist trading activity. If that meant no mandatory
taxation and no bureaucratic regulation, that is an opinion of good
government, not a definition of capitalism.

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 6:58:57 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 6:25 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 5:52�pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 11:56�am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 19, 4:47 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > �it is easy enough to point to this or that
> > > > socialist elements in all economies which destroy wealth, never
> > > > creating it,
>
> > > Nonsense. Even theocracies and communism created wealth. It just
>
> > Communism never created wealth.
>
> Of course it did.

"Communism" never existed except in perverse momentary way under Pol
Pot's Khmer Rouge. People's Socialist Republics were/are Leroux's
disfavored Absolute Socialism, and that is why he was quickly left
behind in socialist memory as to what is socialism, and that *would
be* like Marx's communism (after the socialist dictatorship of the
proletariat ceased) in which there was no Absolute Socialism but
rather an anarchy in which everyone's needs are met without the
creation of "wealth".

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 8:19:12 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 6:50 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>  Rand's one-word summary for "government" was not
> "capitalism". In fact the purpose for Rand's government would be to
> protect an individual's moral right to life exercised through (free-
> market) capitalist trading activity. If that meant no mandatory
> taxation and no bureaucratic regulation, that is an opinion of good
> government, not a definition of capitalism.

.... which in practical terms means no regulations, no taxation and no
services. Essentially just courts, police, jails and military to
protect private property. While most people pay taxes because they
voted for parties they knew would tax them, there is no such thing a
purely voluntary taxation. If it was purely optional we'd simply call
it a donation.

Don't confuse Oism with Reaganomics just because both used the word
"capitalism". The political ideals are not the same just because some
terms used sound the same. Rightwing isn't one ideology. Leftwing
isn't one ideology. This is one of the reasons I go on and on about
the problems with language (in particular abstract words and
analogies). Its makes political discourse incoherent in very real
ways.






spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 8:41:07 PM6/19/12
to
On Jun 19, 6:58 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> there was no Absolute Socialism but rather an anarchy in which everyone's needs are met without the
creation of "wealth".

Communists never created any wealth? Did they eat rocks and live in
caves for 70 years? I guess Laika got into space by just throwing a
bone in the direction of Sputnik.

I'd agree with you that Soviet communism wasn't Marx's description of
it though Marx saw revolution as temporary measure whereas Stalin
institutionalized his dictatorship and named it communism. I think a
few states subsequently tried a democratic communism (a more Marx
approach) but it still didn't work for pretty much the same reasons
that dictatorship communism didn't work.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 19, 2012, 9:55:55 PM6/19/12
to
Incidentally on paper.... Rand's view of purely a voluntary world
sounds fantastic. The problem is Marx's utopia sounded fantastic too.
Lets all be comrades that share everything.

The bottom line though is both were just authors. While they inspired
masses of readers to try to create the worlds they imagined....there
is theory and then there is practice. What sounds great on paper can
quickly turn into a horror show that's hard to dig ourselves out of)

From my own perspective, we live in mixed economies in democratically
principled republics. Our governments were initially modelled after
ancient Athens and republican Rome (who also had success with them
during the time they stuck with the program). They aren't perfect but
its important to note despite all the complainers today ...we have the
greatest quality of life in human history. (by a long shot).
Tinkering with our current system may yield further improvements (like
eliminating slavery did) but imo any changes should be incremental,
cautious and empirically measured.. not the result of just blind
allegiance to moral theories. (ala communism... or even the disaster
of the middle ages)

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 5:48:26 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 19, 8:19 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 6:50 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> >  Rand's one-word summary for "government" was not
> > "capitalism". In fact the purpose for Rand's government would be to
> > protect an individual's moral right to life exercised through (free-
> > market) capitalist trading activity. If that meant no mandatory
> > taxation and no bureaucratic regulation, that is an opinion of good
> > government, not a definition of capitalism.
>
> .... which in practical terms means no regulations, no taxation and no
> services.


No. It means: voluntary taxation and no bureaucratic regulation is an
opinion of good government, not a definition of capitalism.


x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 5:45:48 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 19, 8:41 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 19, 6:58 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> there was no Absolute Socialism but rather an anarchy in which everyone's
> needs are met without the
>
> creation of "wealth".
>
> Communists never created any wealth?

Right, as communists, that would not be their ideological function
according to their ideology. Capitalism creates 'wealth' by way of
income disparity for the very purpose of creating capital. Under
communism that 'wealth' would be gone. At the very least, the purpose
of pre-communist socialism is to be the LIMITATION of upper limits
wealth, but others claim (mostly the bureaucratic communist-
socialists) that would slow the coming of Marx's communism and that is
why they proposed the State should be in control of wealth by
ownership of the means of production. Nevertheless the purpose of
communism is to be the eventual *elimination* of wealth.


> I'd agree with you that Soviet communism wasn't Marx's description of
> it though  Marx saw revolution as  temporary measure whereas Stalin
> institutionalized his dictatorship and named it communism.

The communists did not consider their "republics" communist.


Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 5:52:20 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 19, 9:55 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:

> The bottom line though is both were just authors.

Whatever.


> From my own perspective, we live in mixed economies in democratically
> principled republics.

From my perspective on your views of the individual and government
coercion, you are a dissembling socialist who cannot sort out the
fantasy of his lies and the reality of the consequences of his views
put into practice.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 10:02:39 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 5:45 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Jun 19, 8:41 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 6:58 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > there was no Absolute Socialism but rather an anarchy in which everyone's
> > needs are met without the
>
> > creation of "wealth".
>
> > Communists never created any wealth?
>
> Right, as communists, that would not be their ideological function
> according to their ideology. Capitalism creates 'wealth' by way of
> income disparity for the very purpose of creating capital.

Wrong. Wealth is not a word solely associated with capitalism. It
existed long long before the word capitalism existed.

> ownership of the means of production. Nevertheless the purpose of
> communism is to be the eventual *elimination* of wealth.
>

Wordplay. Wealth in the sense of individual economic income disparity
of citizens that's true. Wealth in the sense of production of goods
that's not true. In addition, communist government officials
typically had a much higher standard of living than average folk as
well as power to control the means of production. In pure captialism
free markets decide who controls a nations wealth. In communism the
government officials did. In our western mixed economies its a mix of
both.


> The communists did not consider their "republics" communist.

???

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 9:54:13 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 5:48 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Jun 19, 8:19 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 6:50 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > >  Rand's one-word summary for "government" was not
> > > "capitalism". In fact the purpose for Rand's government would be to
> > > protect an individual's moral right to life exercised through (free-
> > > market) capitalist trading activity. If that meant no mandatory
> > > taxation and no bureaucratic regulation, that is an opinion of good
> > > government, not a definition of capitalism.
>
> > .... which in practical terms means no regulations, no taxation and no
> > services.
>
> No. It means:  voluntary taxation

Again. No such thing as "voluntary taxation". You are confusing the
word "donation" with "taxation". (distinct concepts).

That said, in ancient Athens and Rome for a period one way the state
received funds was through rich oligarchs donating money to state
coffers. They saw it either as a civic duty and/or way to progress in
politics. However, the funds involved were paltry relative to the
services we have today. Relatively speaking they wouldn't even come
close to being able to fund a modern government. (e.g. they didn't
have organizations that regulated things like health and safety
conditions or universal public school access)

> and no bureaucratic regulation is an opinion of good government, not a definition of capitalism.

I'd agree that there can be bureaucratic regulations that are
unhealthy. However in Rand's view virtually any regulations are
essentially form of coercion. The only allowance she makes is any that
protect individual rights (typically property rights). Reagan
supported things like fire regulations and public schools. Rand
wouldn't. She had different views than Reagan on both rights and
capitalism.




spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 11:34:20 AM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 5:52 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> From my perspective on your views of the individual and government
> coercion, you are a dissembling socialist who cannot sort out the
> fantasy of his lies and the  reality of the consequences of his views
> put into practice.

I find it both annoying and hilarious that you reference me as a
socialist.... given albeit for different reasons on a practical level
my current economic views put me very close to Reagan's policies. I
rarely talk about my practical economic views (because I see many
uncertainties in them just like GW) but I brought up Reagan (who I was
a big fan of) just to confirm you are FoS. Reagan the socialist. Good
one.

Also funny is your claims that I can't tell the difference between
lies and fantasy...while you simultaneously make bizarre claims you
sure about GW science based on the "lies and fantasies" of yourself as
an expert on the matter. Not only don't you have adequate data to
assert certainty on GW but given your crackpot approach to science I
find it highly dubious you would know what to do with it even if you
did.

Pundit says "Jump". Gang enforcer Charles says "How high?"



Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 7:29:47 PM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 10:02 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 20, 5:45 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 8:41 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 19, 6:58 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > there was no Absolute Socialism but rather an anarchy in which everyone's
> > > needs are met without the
>
> > > creation of "wealth".
>
> > > Communists never created any wealth?
>
> > Right, as communists, that would not be their ideological function
> > according to their ideology. Capitalism creates 'wealth' by way of
> > income disparity for the very purpose of creating capital.
>
> Wrong. Wealth is not a word solely associated with capitalism. It
> existed long long before the word capitalism existed.
>

Wealth can only be associated with what is capitalism. Wealth is the
surfeit beyond production and subsequent consumption. In economic
socialism (that are not merely bourgeois democratic socialism in a
massive welfare state) the entire purpose is to eliminate the
disparity of wealth of the upper classes (which has it all) against
the lower classes (which has none) so that everyone has more or less
what he needs but little beyond that (no one is wealthy). Capitalism
*requires* wealth, and quite a lot of it, possessed by those who can
and are willing to risk it in order to acquire more wealth. Socialism
*requires* the destruction of wealth which, as defined here, is the
surfeit possessed and controlled by one class, or diffused among a few
classes, and not by all.

> > ownership of the means of production. Nevertheless the purpose of
> > communism is to be the eventual *elimination* of wealth.
>
> Wordplay. Wealth in the sense of individual economic income disparity
> of citizens that's true. Wealth in the sense of production of goods
> that's not true.

'Wealth' is not the production of goods. A subsistence farmer
"produces goods" but he has no "wealth." Also wealth is convertible.
Art, jewelry, etc. are goods that are produced but they are also
convertible to anything else. A subsistence farmer, beyond bartering
one food for another, has produced nothing of value except for its
value to be consumed. Once the farmer becomes "wealthy" that means he
has produced such a surfeit beyond his needs that he can convert the
surplus to anything that he wants that is, particualrly, not even a
consumable like art and jewelry are not.

Socialism as a political force is all about hating wealth and those
who have it. Lenin's first enemies were the kulaks (the "wealthy"
farmers) , and Stalin killed 700k - 1.5m in the Ukraine and the
subsequent famine killed 10's millions of Ukrainians.

> > The communists did not consider their "republics" communist.
>
http://earthreview.eu/2012/03/ussr-was-not-communist/

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 7:54:21 PM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 9:54 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 20, 5:48 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 19, 8:19 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 19, 6:50 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > >  Rand's one-word summary for "government" was not
> > > > "capitalism". In fact the purpose for Rand's government would be to
> > > > protect an individual's moral right to life exercised through (free-
> > > > market) capitalist trading activity. If that meant no mandatory
> > > > taxation and no bureaucratic regulation, that is an opinion of good
> > > > government, not a definition of capitalism.
>
> > > .... which in practical terms means no regulations, no taxation and no
> > > services.
>
> > No. It means:  voluntary taxation
>
> Again. No such thing as "voluntary taxation".

Yes, any money given to a goverment that a government cannot demand
through force is "voluntary". It is beyond silly that such is a
"gift" or "donation" because a government is not and should not be a
charitable organization. {*} Also, in Rand's view of taxes, a
government can demand fee-for-service for things, but does not imply
any anarcho-capitalist private "protection agencies"

Tax: Charge against a citizen's person or property or activity for the
support of government

but if the government will not collect by any forceful means, it is
voluntary.

{*} I have advocated a three-tiered mandatory, voluntary, and donated
taxation; one for military and criminal-justice, one for health and
science research and education, and the other for welfare projects --
along with a public account of everyone's tax returns in percentages
(not absolute amounts) given, and 100% pay-in for the mandatory tax
(most likely a sales tax).


> I'd agree that there can be bureaucratic regulations that are
> unhealthy. However in Rand's view virtually any  regulations are
> essentially form of coercion.

No, she does not say that. She is more of the view that bureaucratic
regulations are pointless and destructive. She specifically claimed a
need for "pollution laws" which means regulation of activites that may
cause pollution *measured by an objective standard*.

> The only allowance she makes is any that
> protect individual rights (typically property rights).

So to say that Rand was against "regulation" of any kind is untrue,
but the meaning of "bureacratic regulation" equates more and more to
*arbitrary* and pointless regulation, like, for example, the Florida
equivalent to the endangered species law is such that if anyone has
ever at any time reported seeing a Florida scrub jay on a piece of
property one wishes to build on, it is almost impossible to do so.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 20, 2012, 7:58:17 PM6/20/12
to
On Jun 20, 7:29 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Jun 20, 10:02 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 20, 5:45 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 19, 8:41 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > On Jun 19, 6:58 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > > there was no Absolute Socialism but rather an anarchy in which everyone's
> > > > needs are met without the
>
> > > > creation of "wealth".
>
> > > > Communists never created any wealth?
>
> > > Right, as communists, that would not be their ideological function
> > > according to their ideology. Capitalism creates 'wealth' by way of
> > > income disparity for the very purpose of creating capital.
>
> > Wrong. Wealth is not a word solely associated with capitalism. It
> > existed long long before the word capitalism existed.
>
> Wealth can only be associated with what is capitalism.

Only according to you.

mid-13c., "happiness," also "prosperity in abundance of possessions
or riches," from M.E. wele "well-being" (see weal (1)) on analogy of
health.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=wealth

> surfeit beyond production and subsequent consumption. In economic
> socialism (that are not merely bourgeois democratic socialism in a
> massive welfare state) the entire purpose is to eliminate the
> disparity of wealth of the upper classes (which has it all) against
> the lower classes (which has none) so that everyone has more or less
> what he needs but little beyond that (no one is wealthy). Capitalism
> *requires* wealth, and quite a lot of it,

You are still playing word games. You are using wealth in a different
context as in income disparity. I am using wealth in the context of
goods and property. The latter usage does not apply only to human
beings or political systems. (e.g. A city, a country can also be said
to have wealth)

3. Economics.
a.
all things that have a monetary or exchange value.
b.
anything that has utility and is capable of being appropriated or
exchanged.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wealth

> > > The communists did not consider their "republics" communist.
>
> http://earthreview.eu/2012/03/ussr-was-not-communist/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 21, 2012, 12:10:22 AM6/21/12
to
On Jun 20, 7:54 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> {*} I have advocated a three-tiered mandatory, voluntary, and donated
> taxation; one for military and criminal-justice, one for health and
> science research and education,

Show me once where Rand writes she's support taxation to fund
government "health and science research and education". Rand doesn't
support government spending that didn't have to do with protecting
individual rights (mostly amounting to property rights). Courts,
police, military and jails. That's basically it. She wouldn't say no
to voluntary activities that go beyond that (whether done by
government or private industry) but donation based systems would lack
the money to fund a modern government. (other than in say small states
like tax havens where capital flows in from other sources to avoid
capital gains taxes or kingdoms where some attempt to control the
government by raping the countries resources then pretending they
personally "gave" money to the people)

Donations to subsidize a modern government has never been demonstrated
to work. If it worked we'd already have such a system in place. You
can donate even now if you wanted to. What's the delay? You don't
because you think it would be unfair for you to donate more than you
think your fair share. Well the same holds true for pretty much
everyone else. There will be exceptions but as a rule people seek
their personal economic interests and find excuses to justify not
contributing (thus why we have mandatory taxes)

> > I'd agree that there can be bureaucratic regulations that are
> > unhealthy. However in Rand's view virtually any  regulations are
> > essentially form of coercion.
>
> No, she does not say that. She is more of the view that bureaucratic
> regulations are pointless and destructive.

Meaningless. Even Stalin would agree bureaucratic regulations are
pointless and destructive. The hard part is defining what precise
regulation is destructive versus a positive.

> She specifically claimed a need for "pollution laws" which means regulation of activites that may
> cause pollution *measured by an objective standard*.

Rand supported regulations/laws only insofar they protect individual
rights. For instance she's be kosher with a regulation/law that
protected your right not to suffer harm by a neighbour fanning
radioactive isotopes in your direction. However, she wouldn't support
laws that damage the ecosystem in uncertain complex ways because it is
more difficult to link such things to individual rights. (as wildcards
like GW are collective problems)




Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 21, 2012, 5:46:42 AM6/21/12
to
On Jun 21, 12:10 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 20, 7:54 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > {*} I have advocated a three-tiered mandatory, voluntary, and donated
> > taxation; one for military and criminal-justice, one for health and
> > science research and education,
>
> Show me once where Rand writes

What part of "I" do you not understand?

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 21, 2012, 5:54:09 AM6/21/12
to
On Jun 20, 7:58 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 20, 7:29 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > surfeit beyond production and subsequent consumption. In economic
> > socialism (that are not merely bourgeois democratic socialism in a
> > massive welfare state) the entire purpose is to eliminate the
> > disparity of wealth of the upper classes (which has it all) against
> > the lower classes (which has none) so that everyone has more or less
> > what he needs but little beyond that (no one is wealthy). Capitalism
> > *requires* wealth, and quite a lot of it,
>
> You are still playing word games.

According to you, any fixed conceptual meaning through an objective
definiton of a word is "playing word games." That is what makes you a
dissembler without distinctly lying, as when one places a sentence or
a paragraph in wikipedia and then cites that as an authoritative and
objective source.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 21, 2012, 3:32:29 PM6/21/12
to
On Jun 21, 5:54 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Jun 20, 7:58 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > On Jun 20, 7:29 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > surfeit beyond production and subsequent consumption. In economic
> > > socialism (that are not merely bourgeois democratic socialism in a
> > > massive welfare state) the entire purpose is to eliminate the
> > > disparity of wealth of the upper classes (which has it all) against
> > > the lower classes (which has none) so that everyone has more or less
> > > what he needs but little beyond that (no one is wealthy). Capitalism
> > > *requires* wealth, and quite a lot of it,
>
> > You are still playing word games.
>
> According to you, any fixed conceptual meaning through an objective
> definiton of a word is "playing word games."

Word games to me is manipulatively ignoring context of what people say
in order to misrepresent their views.

Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 21, 2012, 6:31:51 PM6/21/12
to
Words games to you is to ever present a fixed meaning of a concept
represented in a word and to steer clear of a discussion of 'dark
matter' when defining 'coercion'.


x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.
xx.
xxx.
xx.
x.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 22, 2012, 2:51:47 PM6/22/12
to
I acknowledge ambiguities where they exist. Coercion is one of the
concepts. Pretending ambiguities don't exist will not make
uncertainties go away though. Only acknowledging them and dealing with
them has any hope of moving forward towards richer conceptualizations
of reality.

During the middle ages they functioned under a earth centrist model of
the universe. When Galileo and Copernicus theories began floating
about many in the church were hostile since it put into question some
of their other assertions. If someone wants to live in a little
universe, the larger universe will not stop existing to satisfy them.



Charles Bell

unread,
Jun 24, 2012, 4:36:06 PM6/24/12
to
On Jun 22, 2:51 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> On Jun 21, 6:31 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 21, 3:32 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 21, 5:54 am, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > On Jun 20, 7:58 pm, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
>
> > > > > On Jun 20, 7:29 pm, Charles Bell <cbel...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> > > > > > surfeit beyond production and subsequent consumption. In economic
> > > > > > socialism (that are not merely bourgeois democratic socialism in a
> > > > > > massive welfare state) the entire purpose is to eliminate the
> > > > > > disparity of wealth of the upper classes (which has it all) against
> > > > > > the lower classes (which has none) so that everyone has more or less
> > > > > > what he needs but little beyond that (no one is wealthy). Capitalism
> > > > > > *requires* wealth, and quite a lot of it,
>
> > > > > You are still playing word games.
>
> > > > According to you, any fixed conceptual meaning through an objective
> > > > definiton of a word is "playing word games."
>
> > > Word games to me is manipulatively ignoring context of what people say
> > > in order to misrepresent their views.
>
> > Words games to you is to ever present a fixed meaning of a concept
> > represented in a word and to steer clear of a discussion of 'dark
> > matter' when defining 'coercion'.
>
> I acknowledge ambiguities where they exist.

No, You concoct ambiguities where none exist.

"To compel one do as he otherwise would not do" is not ambiguous, and
to assign one meaning of one English word to that unambiguous action
is unambiguous, and designed for that very purpose.

To introduce "dark matter" into the discussion on what is "to compel
one to do as he otherwise would not do" is anti-intellectual,
dishonest evasion.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 26, 2012, 1:27:44 AM6/26/12
to
You can cut and paste ad infinium but in practice it's is not a
complete conceptualization of the phenomena of coercion. Common
criminals, Nazis and Charles may all wish not to ever be
"to compelled to do as they otherwise would not do but life is
complicated and involved competing interests. Anyone that attempts
to obfuscate this complexity is just deluding themselves.

Communists loved their moral theories about alleged freedom just like
you. They actually framed communism as a greater freedom than our
current mixed economies much like you claim Rand's hypothetical
system. Until you realize that words are not yet fixed and theoretical
moral narratives don't necessarily equate to a better alternative, you
only come across as a close minded fanatic.




Puppet_Sock

unread,
Jun 26, 2012, 12:37:14 PM6/26/12
to
First, learn to snip there spare.

On Jun 19, 12:28 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
[snip]

Since you simply ignore the point about capitalism being
the only moral system, what am I to conclude? Do you
concede the point? Maybe you think it's too obviously
true to talk about.

Or maybe think it's too obviously false to talk about.

> Just a point about nomenclature.  David Hume commented about ought
> versus is. If one is using the terms capitalism and socialism in some
> absolutist sense, then the wealth of today's world wasn't created by
> capitalist or socialist economies. It was created by mixed economies.
> Pure capitalism has never existed. Its only a theoretical that may or
> may not work. (much like communism was before the Soviet Union
> experimented with it)

And so? Are you trying to make some sort of point about
compromise? Are you trying to say we shouldn't strive for
principle or some such muck?

There have been plenty of variations on the degree of
capitalism (freedom) and statism (unfreedom) in lots
of countries around the world. Such variations are
available extensively, both between different countries,
and in individual countries from one time to another.
And over a very wide range of state involvement, from
almost nothing to pretty much totalitarian.

And it is pretty much determined that more freedom
means the same thing every time. Quite above and
beyond the additional freedom being much nicer,
the countries involved get richer when free.

Even if you follow Milton Friedman's path of "least harm"
rather than picking the moral system, you are led to
capitalism pretty quickly. And a pretty "pure" form of
it at that.

Wealth was never created by economies. It was
created by people. Individual people doing productive
creative things, making productive creative agreements
with other individuals.

The reason freedom has anything to do with wealth is
in that process. A free mind is able to find the creative
things to do in order to be productive. Those who are
compelled to act can only do as they are compelled.

Socks

Tim

unread,
Jun 26, 2012, 12:50:36 PM6/26/12
to


"Puppet_Sock" wrote in message
news:714a7583-0e4b-4b44...@z19g2000vbe.googlegroups.com...

First, learn to snip there spare.

On Jun 19, 12:28 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
[snip]

Since you simply ignore the point about capitalism being
the only moral system, what am I to conclude? Do you
concede the point? Maybe you think it's too obviously
true to talk about.


-------------------

It's so obviously wrong that it doesn't deserve mention. You should try
thinking instead of regurgitating, rand boy.

spar...@yahoo.ca

unread,
Jun 26, 2012, 6:06:10 PM6/26/12
to
On Jun 26, 12:37 pm, Puppet_Sock <puppet_s...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> First, learn to snip there spare.

Are you suggesting I should bow down to some collective view on
snipping?

> On Jun 19, 12:28 am, spare...@yahoo.ca wrote:
> [snip]
>
> Since you simply ignore the point about capitalism being
> the only moral system, what am I to conclude? Do you
> concede the point? Maybe you think it's too obviously
> true to talk about.
>
> Or maybe think it's too obviously false to talk about.
>
> > Just a point about nomenclature.  David Hume commented about ought
> > versus is. If one is using the terms capitalism and socialism in some
> > absolutist sense, then the wealth of today's world wasn't created by
> > capitalist or socialist economies. It was created by mixed economies.
> > Pure capitalism has never existed. Its only a theoretical that may or
> > may not work. (much like communism was before the Soviet Union
> > experimented with it)
>
> And so? Are you trying to make some sort of point about
> compromise? Are you trying to say we shouldn't strive for
> principle or some such muck?

The point was there is a distinction between principles and good
principles... theoretical systems of government and actual systems of
government. Intellectual sneers at valid observations over
uncertainties only brings into question if someone has considered
those uncertainties or is more concerned with blindly defending their
world view.

For example, do you see America as a "true" capitalist state - or a
mixed economy? And if the latter, can you point to any "true"
capitalist state run entirely by Rand's principles? Or is asking for
empirical evidence of a functional pure capitalist state an
unreasonable request?

> There have been plenty of variations on the degree of
> capitalism (freedom) and statism (unfreedom) in lots
> of countries around the world. Such variations are
> available extensively, both between different countries,
> and in individual countries from one time to another.
> And over a very wide range of state involvement, from
> almost nothing to pretty much totalitarian.
>
> And it is pretty much determined that more freedom
> means the same thing every time

If you first claim capitalism as a synonym for freedom then your point
is tautological. (i.e. There is more capitalism where there is more
capitalism)

> Wealth was never created by economies. It was
> created by people. Individual people doing productive
> creative things, making productive creative agreements
> with other individuals.

I mostly agree but would note there is a reason why individuals can
produce things today that they weren't capable of producing in earlier
periods.. Our actions are also influenced by technological and
political conditions around us. While Heraclitus once asserted we
never step into the same river twice rivers are still an observable
phenomena. Not to negate the importance of individuality but pure
individuality is an illusion of words. For instance, if you never
heard of Rand, you world view, and thus your actions, would likely be
at least a little different today right?

> The reason freedom has anything to do with wealth is
> in that process. A free mind is able to find the creative
> things to do in order to be productive.

I agree that more freedom is better than less freedom. The tricky part
is first defining freedom. Communists genuinely believed they were
freeing themselves circa 1917. Once they had made the word association
that their ethical system was synonymous with greater freedom it was
difficult for them to objectively see the potential pitfalls.


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages