REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Voters steer Europe to the right

POSTED BY: GEEZER
UPDATED: Friday, June 26, 2009 07:01
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Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:48 AM

CITIZEN


Nokia is Finnish.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:02 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Rather than prove to you the truth of capitalism I might demand you prove it false. The result is the same.
Hey, sorry for all the typos.

Still: whether your believe capitalism succeeds or fails depends on what you want it to do. So, what DO you want it to do? Economic systems are human-created, and (unlike nature) we can claim they have a purpose. What is the purpose of capitalism? And more importantly, what's in it for me? THAT is a very capitalist question! If capitalists can't explain the benefits of capitalism in terms of broad self-interest, it seems that its raison d'etre fails its own premise!

Most explanations of capitalism fall into the "Sure it sucks now (or for some, or for you) but it's better for the future" genre. Some claim that it leads to a better life through greater invention and higher productivity. Others that it is a more durable system because it's more in tune with "human nature". But instead of me putting words into your mouth, what is YOUR premise for accepting such a system? And why should I accept it too?

----------------------
We should have strapped him into a glider, filled it nose heavy w/ explosives, and dropped his Allah lovin' ass into a large, empty field. After which, release wild boars into the area so they could make good use of his remains. Now THAT's justice.- rappy

Yeah, that's what Sheikh Issa said. Seems you both have a lot in common.- signy

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:48 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Nokia is Finnish.



Thanks for that. Being a public school-educated American, all I knew was that it was from "over there" somewhere...



And sadly, I never can figure out between Finland, Sweden, and Norway, which is which. Shameful, it is.

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


"You're a idiot." -AuRaptor, RWED, May 27, 2009.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:11 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:


Elsewhere in the world, like europe, enterprise is not encouraged. It's not prohibited...but the profit motive just isn't there. The result? Lots of people who all live the same I guess. Few rise above. Those that really want to stive for anything move here. The rest stay and do nothing...perhaps they depend on luck. And when you depend on luck you wind up on the drift.



Wowk. Talk about sweeping generalizations!

Quote:


Honestly, the way I've always seen it, the euros have climbed the wrong tree into vines of overwhelming debt and now don't know how to get themselves down.



Seriously? THEY have climbed into overwhelming debt? That's pretty darned funny, considering where our national debt stands after the last 8 years, AND where our personal debts are now situated based on our I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-NOW consumerist societal norms.

Quote:


We on the other hand have things about 40% solved. We need to overcome insurance abuse with strict regulations...



So much for "free" markets, eh?


Quote:

...and then end the process of fruitless torts that burden insurance companies whereupon they pass the buck to the middle class in the form of higher premiums. The one thing that stands in my way like a titan blocking my path to my Subway is the thought of buying my own health insurance for my family. It really pisses me off how bad it is out there when you don't get it as a benifit to employment. I will not however trade in this fear in exchange for a free health care system that will never self-sustain and will with no doubt drive the american population into ruin and long term debtor misery.


Because every other nation that offers national health care has been cast into ruin and misery. Except that they haven't.

Quote:


When I do get the subway open I'm considering a free sub to anyone who watches firefly for the 1st time. Good idea?



Depends on how much capital you have stashed away, and how long you can sustain the losses.



Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


"You're a idiot." -AuRaptor, RWED, May 27, 2009.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:13 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Quote:
If you say these things are more prevalent among the poor, and that's no big deal because they're poor and no one really cares if they live or die.
A cruel thing to write. I said no such thing.



You didn't SAY it, but you seemed to imply it in your rather dismissive tone toward the poor. It came across as "the poor are the root of our troubles, and are dragging us down." If you didn't mean it that way, then I apologize for the misunderstanding. It IS a sentiment I've seen posted here more times than I can recall, so I must have you mistaken for another poster. Again, my bad.

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


"You're a idiot." -AuRaptor, RWED, May 27, 2009.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:17 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Or is the UK just a bunch of people with big egos and bad teeth?



You seem to have mistaken the UK for the "Old South" here in America. You know the toothbrush was invented in Alabama, right? You know how you can tell? Because if it was invented anywhere else, they'd have called it the TEETHbrush.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:32 PM

RIPWASH


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Nokia is Finnish.



Thanks for that. Being a public school-educated American, all I knew was that it was from "over there" somewhere...



And sadly, I never can figure out between Finland, Sweden, and Norway, which is which. Shameful, it is.

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


"You're a idiot." -AuRaptor, RWED, May 27, 2009.



Norway is on the left. Sweden is on the right. Finland is in there somewhere. Norway . . . noted mostly for it's amazing fjords . . . designed by Slartibartfast himself. He won an award and everything.

*********************************************

"It's okay! I'm a leaf on the wind!!!"
"What does that mean?!?!?!"

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:44 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Norway . . . noted mostly for it's amazing fjords . . . designed by Slartibartfast himself. He won an award and everything.



As he damned well should have! His work is fantastic!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:25 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.




----------------------
We should have strapped him into a glider, filled it nose heavy w/ explosives, and dropped his Allah lovin' ass into a large, empty field. After which, release wild boars into the area so they could make good use of his remains. Now THAT's justice.- rappy

Yeah, that's what Sheikh Issa said. Seems you both have a lot in common.- signy

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:45 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Thanks for that. Being a public school-educated American, all I knew was that it was from "over there" somewhere...



Heh.

Since they're Finnish, they'd be at the end.

Geddit. Hello. Is this thing on?
Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
And sadly, I never can figure out between Finland, Sweden, and Norway, which is which. Shameful, it is.


Norway is on top, Sweden is on the bottom, and Finland is the ball sack.

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Friday, June 12, 2009 3:26 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
You've never been to Europe, stop talking nonsense.

You are indeed correct that I cannot absoutely prove my time in Germany. I also cannot prove that I now live in Indiana. Perhaps I don't live anywhere at all and exist as a SpamBot AI.


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Friday, June 12, 2009 7:17 AM

RIPWASH


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:

Heh.

Since they're Finnish, they'd be at the end.

Geddit. Hello. Is this thing on?



Bwahahahaha!!!!



Good one, mate.

I can say difinitively that I was actually in Norway for about 3 months as a child. Spent the summer there. My dad was there for business and took the family with him. Spent most of the time in Bergen and took sight-seeing trips here and there. Too young to appreciate them then, though. Always bugging my parents with, "When is this going to be over?" or "I'm bored." Silly, silly child. Even saw the fjords. Wish I could go back now, but alas . . . . I'm a po' boy.

*********************************************

"It's okay! I'm a leaf on the wind!!!"
"What does that mean?!?!?!"

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Friday, June 12, 2009 9:11 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Bluesun- I had typed a very long reply, but the ether ate it. So, here it is, again -in brief.
Rearranging some of your sentences, it comes out like this:
Quote:

The one thing that stands in my way like a titan blocking my path to my Subway is the thought of buying my own health insurance for my family.... And thus exists the difference between a land of opportunity and a land of stagnation.
Health care costs... a product of our so-called free-market system... are a HUGE disincentive for small businesses and small business employers! It even affects large businesses. Aside from making short-sighted decisions about which kinds of vehicles to produce, health care is another reason why GM fell.
Quote:

the euros have climbed the wrong tree into vines of overwhelming debt and now don't know how to get themselves down.
Except that in terms of current public deficit and public debt, the euros are better off than we are. Why? Because they're not propping up their huge, failed, DE-REGULATED banks.

You have not exactly answered my question either: What's in the capitalist system for me?

----------------------
We should have strapped him into a glider, filled it nose heavy w/ explosives, and dropped his Allah lovin' ass into a large, empty field. After which, release wild boars into the area so they could make good use of his remains. Now THAT's justice.- rappy

Yeah, that's what Sheikh Issa said. Seems you both have a lot in common.- signy

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Friday, June 12, 2009 9:25 AM

RUE


"Voters steer Europe to the right"

Just to comment on this - the turnout for the election was extremely low. When there are low turnout numbers, marginal groups with a grotch tend to dominate the results.

***************************************************************

Silence is consent.

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Friday, June 12, 2009 10:59 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

I'm a po' boy.



You're a sandwich?


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Friday, June 12, 2009 11:03 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

What's in the capitalist system for me?


A new TV and a shiny new nickel? 'Course, you'll be paying for that TV for the next few years, and the nickel is going to cost you around $3,000,000 before it's all said and done.



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Friday, June 12, 2009 11:22 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Health care costs... a product of our so-called free-market system... are a HUGE disincentive for small businesses and small business employers! It even affects large businesses. Aside from making short-sighted decisions about which kinds of vehicles to produce, health care is another reason why GM fell.
Perhaps it'll shock you that I agree with these statements. Where we differ is in the solution. I would fix the broken machine. You would send it to the scrapyard and buy something new.

Quote:

In terms of current public deficit and public debt, the euros are better off than we are. Why? Because they're not propping up their huge, failed, DE-REGULATED banks.
Yes they are better but in context it's really the western nations as a whole who are overleveraged...with the USA at the end of the fulcrum exerting the most torque upon the world machine. This is why I repeat that China's star is on the rise. They own an ever-increasing percentage of the worlds debt and are now buying gold. And I further see your empasis upon de-regulated banks. You might direct that comment at someone like Rap, the Libertarian line is "free-markets with regulation to inhibit fraud". It's the same drumbeat applied to health insurance.


Quote:

You have not exactly answered my question either: What's in the capitalist system for me?
Personal Freedom
Economic Freedom

Which of these 2 is the greater? If I were to impose upon you a strict system of laws that limited your lifestyle to what is given in the Biblical Old Testiment (force you to live like a puritan perhaps), would you be outraged? Would you demand change? Should I then respond to your outrage with the question: "What good is a secular society to me?"

The importance of personal freedoms and economic freedoms is equivalent. In an economically free society citizens have the choice to participate or not. As I see it, you are personally choosing the latter, and thats fine. And you still indirectly benefit from all the advances in tech that were products of an openly competing free american marketplace. The hotbeds of advance in the world exist in the free markets: USA, Japan, ect..

The answer is: "Whatever you endeavour to take for yourself within the law."

My question to you is now:
What is there in a marxist society for me?

And if your answer is going to be "free stuff" I'll be disappointed.

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Friday, June 12, 2009 11:34 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Ah, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Busy right now, back tomorrow or sooner (I hope!)

----------------------
We should have strapped him into a glider, filled it nose heavy w/ explosives, and dropped his Allah lovin' ass into a large, empty field. After which, release wild boars into the area so they could make good use of his remains. Now THAT's justice.- rappy

Yeah, that's what Sheikh Issa said. Seems you both have a lot in common.- signy

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Friday, June 12, 2009 2:42 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:


Quote:
Health care costs... a product of our so-called free-market system... are a HUGE disincentive for small businesses and small business employers! It even affects large businesses. Aside from making short-sighted decisions about which kinds of vehicles to produce, health care is another reason why GM fell.
Perhaps it'll shock you that I agree with these statements. Where we differ is in the solution. I would fix the broken machine. You would send it to the scrapyard and buy something new.



Well, sometimes you just have to scrap something and start fresh, unless you're a fan of pouring tons of cubic dollars into a lost cause to "fix the broken machine".

Quote:

This is why I repeat that China's star is on the rise. They own an ever-increasing percentage of the worlds debt and are now buying gold.


This would seem to be a ringing endorsement of China's system. If all the Western nations are overleveraged and China's buying up their debt and gold, wouldn't that imply that they have a better system?

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.



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Friday, June 12, 2009 10:45 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by bluesuncompanyman:
Honestly, the way I've always seen it, the euros have climbed the wrong tree into vines of overwhelming debt and now don't know how to get themselves down. We on the other hand have things about 40% solved.


So the Europeans have got themselves into too much debt, as opposed to America which is almost half way to paradise on Earth.
Quote:

Originally posted by bluesuncompanyman:
Yes they are better but in context it's really the western nations as a whole who are overleveraged...with the USA at the end of the fulcrum exerting the most torque upon the world machine.


So Europe isn't in as much debt as the States? How on Earth does one reconcile these two statements? Without of course assuming you were saying things that aren't true, and hoping a subtle shift in rhetoric and a bit of hand-waving would distract attention, so you wouldn't have to admit it I mean. Clearly we know that can't be the truth of it.
Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
This would seem to be a ringing endorsement of China's system. If all the Western nations are overleveraged and China's buying up their debt and gold, wouldn't that imply that they have a better system?


China's largely non-consumerist society is still undergoing the change from Agrarian to Industrial, let alone Industrial to Atomic to Information. Attitudes of the Chinese Populations as a whole are far less consumerist than in the West, so where we spend now save later, they save now and leave it to their children or emergencies. Since the Chinese government practices Leninist-Corporatism and owns or controls all the banks, they have access to all those savings.

Consumerism is most heavily responsible for this, and consumerism is a modern parasitic offshoot of Capitalism, indivisible from Capitalism's modern form in fact. Of course I'd never suggest that Capitalism isn't the perfect unassailable system. Capitalism is perfect, it's God and Heaven rolled into one, brand recognition is the new religion and it is good. To say rampant unsustainable consumerism isn't a good thing is the words of a Communist, even if you're not an advocate of Communism. And never forget Communists are evil people, and must be properly dealt with as Saint McCarthy demands. Perhaps putting them in some sort of camp where they can all be together? A concentrated Commune we could call it.

No, clearly any perceived problems of Capitalism are completely down to the Alien Socialist Body Snatchers (could these be Alien-Socialist-Body-Snatcher-Jews? We may need PirateNews to consult). Pointing out that the countries that most heavily mix Socialist and Capitalist ideals tend to be those with the highest social mobility (most opportunity), lower levels of inequality and even lower levels of violent crime is surely just crazy talk? Could crime even stem from social pressures, rather than just bad people? No, all that is crazy commie talk too! It's all the Socialists and the Communists fault, and that sentiment is in no way similar to how Stalin blamed all his and the USSR's short comings on Capitalist conspiracies.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:03 AM

JKIDDO


Bluesun- Let me start out by saying I haven't the faintest clue as to what you're trying to say.
Quote:

Personal Freedom
Economic Freedom

Which of these 2 is the greater? If I were to impose upon you a strict system of laws that limited your lifestyle to what is given in the Biblical Old Testiment (force you to live like a puritan perhaps), would you be outraged? Would you demand change? Should I then respond to your outrage with the question: "What good is a secular society to me?" The importance of personal freedoms and economic freedoms is equivalent. In an economically free society citizens have the choice to participate or not. As I see it, you are personally choosing the latter, and thats fine. And you still indirectly benefit from all the advances in tech that were products of an openly competing free american marketplace. The hotbeds of advance in the world exist in the free markets: USA, Japan, ect..


Specifically
Quote:

In an economically free society citizens have the choice to participate or not. As I see it, you are personally choosing the latter, and thats fine.
First of all, how can I NOT participate? I have to work. I have to buy stuff. I have to use money. I have to use a bank. Every time I buy something from a company I contribute to its profits. Every time I look for a job, I'm competing against others who work for corporations, often at slave wages. Every time I bank, I participate in the banking system. When I use money, I'm beholden to the Fed. I have no idea how you think one can separate themselves from the current corporatocracy. I may not LIKE participating, but there's no way I can avoid it.
Quote:

Should I then respond to your outrage with the question: "What good is a secular society to me?
I would hope so. All economic systems are coercive, in the sense that as long as you live, work, and consume in it, you MUST participate. So every system should be able to explain itself to the populace at large.
Quote:

the advances in tech that were products of an openly competing free american marketplace. The hotbeds of advance in the world exist in the free markets: USA, Japan, ect.
Strangely, the USA is FOURTH in number of patents per GDP. The Republic of Korea is first, followed by Japan, Germany and New Zealand. I don't know what to make of that statistic, other than to say that most new products (particularly electronics) are offered first in Japan and the Nordic nations simply because the USA is not a good enough market. SO the USA is not the "hotbed" of invention and innovation that you think it is.
www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/patent_report_2007.html#P35
0_22657
Quote:

The answer is: "Whatever you endeavour to take for yourself within the law."
So apparently you offer me a system in which people are encouraged to- and celebrate the freedom to - take from each other??? Er, thanks. I think.
Quote:

My question to you is now: What is there in a marxist society for me?
Freedom.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:05 AM

JKIDDO


Bump for Bluesun.

AKA SignyM

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:46 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Because things are working so well now? I found this on (of all places) the Christian Science Monitor

Is capitalism fatally flawed?
By Paul McDonnold



I'm not against regulation, I'm not anti-government. Economies are like natural systems in my view; Capitalism allows an economy to be natural and therefore be healthy and vibrant, but natural systems often operate in damaging cycles and there's definitely a role for government to prevent/limit the effects of these, as well as of course regulating to enforce the rule of law (crucial for a healthy economy).

Heads should roll

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:11 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I'm not against regulation, I'm not anti-government. Economies are like natural systems in my view; Capitalism allows an economy to be natural and therefore be healthy and vibrant,


Capitalism is a human construct, working under the dictates of human intellect. Prescribing it to natural constructs is nonsense. There's nothing natural about an economy or capitalism.

Nor for that matter is prescribing it to natural a winning argument. Prescribing 'Natural' to mean 'Good' is an actual logical fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

Even if it was, capitalism being 'natural' would be an argument against it, the whole point of civilisation is to subvert the natural order, not recreate it.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
but natural systems often operate in damaging cycles and there's definitely a role for government to prevent/limit the effects of these, as well as of course regulating to enforce the rule of law (crucial for a healthy economy).


I really can't think of any pertinent examples. Maybe bush fires, but they're not really a great analogy.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 2:46 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Capitalism is a human construct, working under the dictates of human intellect. Prescribing it to natural constructs is nonsense.


Hmm, well I've got a lot more thinking to do on this subject, but you are saying everything about civilisation is a 'human construct' - and therefore talking about some of our invented systems for dealing with each other as 'natural' is nonsense?

If I was to talk about something simple like money: money is a human invention, but it's origins stem from the need for humans to barter, and trade with each other. Money enhances this process because it's so convenient and efficient - and although it had to be invented I see it as quite a natural, and inevitable solution to a human problem. I've heard some conspiracy theorists speak of money as like a diabolical invention used to control and oppress people, and I'd like to hear their reasoning, but money still seems 'natural' to me, do you agree? If you'd prefer a different adjective to 'natural' feel free to suggest one.

But similarly, as an invention capitalism seems quite 'natural' to me, like money, or the wheel. At least it has never struck me as unnatural, like socialism.

Quote:

There's nothing natural about an economy or capitalism.


I said economies are like natural systems, so analogy was implied; even if you see nothing natural about 'human constructs' to solve problems. I think our economic systems have evolved throughout history, and there are principles of competition and survival of the fittest in a free market, similar to what we see in nature.

Quote:

Nor for that matter is prescribing it to natural a winning argument. Prescribing 'Natural' to mean 'Good' is an actual logical fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy



I never said that 'natural' meant 'good' - I talked about the instability of some natural systems remember?

Quote:

the whole point of civilisation is to subvert the natural order, not recreate it.


Interesting, says who? I think subverting the natural order in civilisation might just be a means towards another, higher end. In any case, something like competition in industry, just like competition and survival of the fittest in the natural world, is healthy.

Quote:

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by kpo:
but natural systems often operate in damaging cycles and there's definitely a role for government to prevent/limit the effects of these, as well as of course regulating to enforce the rule of law (crucial for a healthy economy).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I really can't think of any pertinent examples. Maybe bush fires, but they're not really a great analogy.



I was thinking of this kind of graph of cyclical population levels of predators and prey:

http: //precalc.stcribby.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/original.jpg


Quite damaging for the lynxes that starve to death - it strikes me as a natural system that would benefit from some regulation.

Heads should roll

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Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:00 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

But similarly, as an invention capitalism seems quite 'natural' to me, like money, or the wheel. At least it has never struck me as unnatural, like socialism.



It seems to me that you view capitalism as a "natural" system because you were raised in that system. It might be that someone raised in a Marxist system sees that as the most "natural" system, or someone raised in a socialist system could see IT as the most "natural". None of them would be wrong, really. There are "natural" examples of "capitalist" behavior (a lion, for instance, might want something, take it, and have it, without sharing, but merely for its own good) as well as of "socialist" behavior, where the whole herd or school or flock act as one, and the individuals are ripped apart by the "capitalist" predators that follow.

I'm just sayin'...

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.



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Monday, June 15, 2009 1:27 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Hmm, well I've got a lot more thinking to do on this subject, but you are saying everything about civilisation is a 'human construct' - and therefore talking about some of our invented systems for dealing with each other as 'natural' is nonsense?


Yes.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
If I was to talk about something simple like money: money is a human invention, but it's origins stem from the need for humans to barter, and trade with each other. Money enhances this process because it's so convenient and efficient - and although it had to be invented I see it as quite a natural, and inevitable solution to a human problem.


Barter and Trade are unnatural constructs of proto-human civilisation. They're off-shoots of Humans ability to create tools and organisations, technology, that creates surpluses. Bartering and trade are not a requirement of Human survival, they're a requirement of Human civilisation, which is by definition not natural.

The need for cars are a more efficient form of the Horse and carriage, which grew from the Human need to move about, but that's hardly an argument for Cars being natural.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I've heard some conspiracy theorists speak of money as like a diabolical invention used to control and oppress people, and I'd like to hear their reasoning, but money still seems 'natural' to me, do you agree?


No, it's a form of technology and societal organisation, there's nothing natural about money. That would be one reason why Money doen't grow on trees...
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
If you'd prefer a different adjective to 'natural' feel free to suggest one.


Technology? Unnatural would sit rather well.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
But similarly, as an invention capitalism seems quite 'natural' to me, like money, or the wheel. At least it has never struck me as unnatural, like socialism.


Small scale more natural human groups look more like Socialism or even Communism than any form of Capitalism. Human natural group organisations are small tribes, where the sum of everyone's work is shared out to the tribe. Using the sort of trite analysis that places economics systems as more natural than another, would seem to say Socialism is closer than Capitalism, and Communism closer still. And again this natural thing, where do you see Money or the Wheel in nature? They don't exist, because they aren't natural, they're forms of Human technology, which by definition makes them unnatural.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I said economies are like natural systems, so analogy was implied;


You also said:
Quote:

Capitalism allows an economy to be natural

Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
even if you see nothing natural about 'human constructs' to solve problems. I think our economic systems have evolved throughout history, and there are principles of competition and survival of the fittest in a free market, similar to what we see in nature.


And even so, Social Darwinism is in my opinion a big steaming pile of horse shit. And it leads us back to an appeal to nature, saying something is natural doesn't mean ipso-facto that it is desirable.
Quote:

I never said that 'natural' meant 'good' - I talked about the instability of some natural systems remember?

Yes you did:
Quote:

Capitalism allows an economy to be natural and therefore be healthy and vibrant

You didn't use the exact words "natural == good", but you set up the implication. "Capitalism == Natural, Natural == Something that is good and desirable".

I actually meant Appeal to Nature rather Naturalistic fallacy (although both really apply for different reasons and aspects), but at the least your statement above is a textbook example of it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

"X is Y because it is natural." (Y being a desirable property)

Your statement fits perfectly, as a subtly rewording that nevertheless keeps the meaning of the sentence would show:
"A Capitalist Economy is Healthy and vibrant, because it is natural."
Quote:

Interesting, says who? I think subverting the natural order in civilisation might just be a means towards another, higher end.

There's people through out history who've thought the same, like the Spartan's and Roman's who practised infanticide of newborns that didn't fit the bill. Yet we expend energies of society defending the weak, we create medical technologies to heal the sick, rather than letting the fit survive and the unfit die. The proof of civilisations nature as subverting the natural order, is self evident to anyone willing to look. Part of civilisations goal is to make our environment conform to us, while survival of the fittest goal is to conform us, through evolution to our environment. Survival or the fittest is the very antithesis of civilisation.
Quote:

In any case, something like competition in industry, just like competition and survival of the fittest in the natural world, is healthy.

You can have competition in a race, that doesn't mean that the race, or the artificial competition taking place within an artificial arena and with artificial rules is in anyway 'natural'.

But even so, then we're back to the Appeal to nature, and even another fallacy. Who says capitalism is the only, or even the best way of delivering that?
Quote:

Quite damaging for the lynxes that starve to death - it strikes me as a natural system that would benefit from some regulation.

And if the Lynxes constructed a civilisation, you can be sure the first thing they'd do is farm rabbits so that that wouldn't happen, being that the starving to death cycle would be quite undesirable to them.

QED.

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Monday, June 15, 2009 4:07 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by JKiddo:
All economic systems are coercive, in the sense that as long as you live, work, and consume in it, you MUST participate.

Very busy today, sorry I cannot add much to the debate here at the moment. But I separated this one item out to say that I understand it. It's a common theme repeated by an anarchist friend of mine. I'm sure Frem understands too. And like Tyler Durden in Fight Club my buddy wants to erase the debt record and "set the people free". Twixt he and I exists the ever-present divide between Anarchists and Libertarians.

For you frem: He's much like Ian Freeman and I'm more like Mark Edge both from Free Talk Live.

My point to Signy was to teach the connection between free-markets and free-thought. A free market doesn't exclude one from a need to survive. Do not confuse your need to work with a misunderstanding of what economic freedom is. In socialized euro countries where economic freedom is less, people still have jobs. They also take home far less on average purchasing power than americans do. Worse still would be the old system behind the iron curtain of eastern europe where citizens were forced at pitchfork point to work for good the good of the people.

To much to relate and nowhere near enough time today.

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Monday, June 15, 2009 6:11 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Quote:

But similarly, as an invention capitalism seems quite 'natural' to me, like money, or the wheel. At least it has never struck me as unnatural, like socialism.



It seems to me that you view capitalism as a "natural" system because you were raised in that system. It might be that someone raised in a Marxist system sees that as the most "natural" system, or someone raised in a socialist system could see IT as the most "natural". None of them would be wrong, really. There are "natural" examples of "capitalist" behavior (a lion, for instance, might want something, take it, and have it, without sharing, but merely for its own good) as well as of "socialist" behavior, where the whole herd or school or flock act as one, and the individuals are ripped apart by the "capitalist" predators that follow.

I'm just sayin'...

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.





True, greed/self-interest is a natural human instinct and so is sharing. What I'm more interested in though is not what is done with the spoils but the method employed to gain them in the first place. I'm talking about capitalism vs socialism as systems to create wealth. And I think the 'naturalness' of capitalism as a solution to this problem comes from the fact that it arose out of people's sincere desire to make money, whereas socialism seems heavily tainted with other agendas such as 'social justice' or whatever - I don't even think making money is its primary concern.

As for what is done with the money once it's acquired, I'm all for government intervention to ensure that it gets spread around, and people are not getting exploited, working for nothing etc. You have to consider the good of society, human beings are after all social creatures.

So there you have it, when it comes to the problem of creating wealth effectively I'm a capitalist, and when it comes to the problem of what to do with the wealth I'm a human being.


Heads should roll

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Monday, June 15, 2009 6:23 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by bluesuncompanyman:
Do not confuse your need to work with a misunderstanding of what economic freedom is. In socialized euro countries where economic freedom is less, people still have jobs. They also take home far less on average purchasing power than americans do.


# 1 Luxembourg: $79,421.60 per capita
# 2 Qatar: $78,723.23 per capita
# 3 Bermuda: $71,067.59 per capita
# 4 Jersey: $56,159.98 per capita
# 5 Kuwait: $55,875.75 per capita
# 6 Norway: $53,285.21 per capita
# 7 Brunei: $52,432.48 per capita
# 8 Singapore: $49,879.10 per capita
# 9 Ireland: $46,628.37 per capita
# 10 United States: $45,759.46 per capita
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gdp_pur_pow_par_percap-purchasin
g-power-parity-per-capita

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Monday, June 15, 2009 6:26 AM

CITIZEN


KPO: Can you edit your image please?
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
True, greed/self-interest is a natural human instinct and so is sharing. What I'm more interested in though is not what is done with the spoils but the method employed to gain them in the first place. I'm talking about capitalism vs socialism as systems to create wealth. And I think the 'naturalness' of capitalism as a solution to this problem comes from the fact that it arose out of people's sincere desire to make money, whereas socialism seems heavily tainted with other agendas such as 'social justice' or whatever - I don't even think making money is its primary concern.


And the problem I have with that view, is it requires ignoring data that doesn't agree with it. A desire for equality is as inbuilt, if not more so, than a desire to accumulate wealth.

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Monday, June 15, 2009 7:45 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

BSCM wrote:

My point to Signy was to teach the connection between free-markets and free-thought. A free market doesn't exclude one from a need to survive. Do not confuse your need to work with a misunderstanding of what economic freedom is. In socialized euro countries where economic freedom is less, people still have jobs. They also take home far less on average purchasing power than americans do. Worse still would be the old system behind the iron curtain of eastern europe where citizens were forced at pitchfork point to work for good the good of the people.




I'm not sure I buy this argument, even with my supposedly much greater purchasing power...

As I understand it - and I may well be wrong here - what you have left in the way of "take home" pay in a country like Denmark is actually LESS; in other words, the government takes out a greater chunk of your pay right up front, to the tune of about 40% of your gross pay.

However, what you're left with in the form of "take-home" pay is actually YOURS TO TAKE HOME. In other words, you're not paying property taxes with it, nor school taxes, nor school tuition, nor worrying about how and get your health coverage figured out and how to pay for your auto insurance, etc., etc. So while you may get a bigger percentage of your gross pay to take home with you here in the U.S., by the time you've paid for all the "free market" stuff like your various insurances and taxes, you're actually left with less real money in your pocket to spend as you see fit.

At least, that's how it was explained to me by a friend from Copenhagen. She may have painted it in broad strokes and missed something in translation, because it sounds to me like a worker's paradise. You work, you get paid, you get good benefits and vacation, and when you're off work, you're not wasting all your free time trying to figure out how to keep your head above water.

And it shows in their relative happiness. Studies repeatedly list Denmark as the happiest country on Earth, by a pretty sizable margin. (Note that I didn't call it "the happiest PLACE on Earth; I don't want to get sued by the Disney family corporation!)

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.



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Monday, June 15, 2009 12:10 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
Quote:

Originally posted by bluesuncompanyman:
Do not confuse your need to work with a misunderstanding of what economic freedom is. In socialized euro countries where economic freedom is less, people still have jobs. They also take home far less on average purchasing power than americans do.


# 1 Luxembourg: $79,421.60 per capita
# 2 Qatar: $78,723.23 per capita
# 3 Bermuda: $71,067.59 per capita
# 4 Jersey: $56,159.98 per capita
# 5 Kuwait: $55,875.75 per capita
# 6 Norway: $53,285.21 per capita
# 7 Brunei: $52,432.48 per capita
# 8 Singapore: $49,879.10 per capita
# 9 Ireland: $46,628.37 per capita
# 10 United States: $45,759.46 per capita
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gdp_pur_pow_par_percap-purchasin
g-power-parity-per-capita



What's interesting about that list to me, is that all the countries above the US are small countries (and some of them oil rich states/tax havens) - but basically I think it must be an advantage being a small country. Big European countries like the UK, France, Germany are quite a bit further down the list.

Heads should roll

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Monday, June 15, 2009 12:15 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

And the problem I have with that view, is it requires ignoring data that doesn't agree with it. A desire for equality is as inbuilt, if not more so, than a desire to accumulate wealth.


Maybe, but did you hear me say otherwise?

Heads should roll

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Monday, June 15, 2009 2:51 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Quote:
Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by kpo:
I said economies are like natural systems, so analogy was implied;
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You also said:

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capitalism allows an economy to be natural



I said it in the same sentence as that previous quote where I'd set up the analogy...

I don't buy this idea of the whole point of civilisation being to subvert nature - and you giving examples of where it apparently does subvert nature certainly doesn't prove that that's the point. But it doesn't matter, since the word 'natural' was being used as a metaphor:

And if a 'natural' metaphor is so confusing in terms of 'unnatural' human innovation and its development, why are you using one yourself?

Quote:

Barter and Trade are unnatural constructs of proto-human civilisation. They're off-shoots of Humans ability to create tools and organisations, technology, that creates surpluses.


A quite natural offshoot, one might say.

I'm not saying capitalism mirrors the natural order of things, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest etc., and so that's why we should have it. I can agree with you that civilisation can transcend all that. I'm saying capitalism is a natural/organically devised solution to the problem of creating wealth effectively, and in that sense it works better than any imposed, more artificial system. I've said I view socialism as an unnatural solution because it wasn't devised to solve this problem, but another one.

Quote:

and even another fallacy. Who says capitalism is the only, or even the best way of delivering that?



lol, another fallacy. Competition was something I pointed out as a healthy trait in economies, similar to in the natural world - where did I say capitalism was the only way to deliver it? That's a view you've projected onto me, like this one:

Quote:

There's people through out history who've thought the same, like the Spartan's and Roman's who practised infanticide of newborns that didn't fit the bill.



The whole dog-eat-dog thing as natural order of things, I presume? How did you get that from this quote:

"I think subverting the natural order in civilisation might just be a means towards another, higher end."

Mystifying. I also didn't understand your last bit on lynxes - was that a significant QED?

Heads should roll

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Monday, June 15, 2009 2:55 PM

FREMDFIRMA


BSCM ?

Not much I can add to the argument either, as my idea of economics is "Get yo hands off my money!" unless I happen to be in voluntary agreement with what you plan to use it for.

(Side Note: My former township got main street paved, and for LESS than the bid limit I locked in on my way out, finally, bwahahahahaha !!)

I did wanna make a recommendation to you regarding reading material and politics, however.

Ringo's "The road to damascus"
http://www.webscription.net/p-355-the-road-to-damascus.aspx
It's available via the Baen Free Library, and while set in Keith Laumers BOLO universe, offers excellent political commentary as well as a frightening example of just how FAST things can go to hell in a handbasket if either "side" gains too much power - POPPA actually encompasses the worst traits of both ends of our political spectrum and quite credibly so.
(As opposed to the usual anvilicious strawmen many authors these days are fond of)

It's a good read for a lotta reasons, many of which will be obvious - but also a factor in my decision to play off both "sides" poisonous natures as antidote to each other while crushing the foundations of their parties.

-Frem
It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

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Monday, June 15, 2009 6:22 PM

JKIDDO


Quote:

Capitalism allows an economy to be natural and therefore be healthy and vibrant
You should try reading Man Against Myth. The myth of capitalism being "natural" is well-entrenched, but it's false. It's no more "natural" than Marxism, or communism, or feudalism.
Quote:

I'm not saying capitalism mirrors the natural order of things, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest etc.
You REALLY should read Man Against Myth. First of all, the whole concept of "survival of the fittest" doesn't mean fierce intra-species aggression. That's a complete misunderstanding/ perversion of Darwinism.
Quote:

I'm saying capitalism is a natural/organically devised solution to the problem of creating wealth effectively, and in that sense it works better than any imposed, more artificial system.
How is capitalism any more "naturally created " than tribalism. Or feudalism? Or mercantilism? Each arrangement is simply responding to the technologies and issues of the day. And maybe something will come later that's even MORE "natural", durable, and survivable.
Quote:

I've said I view socialism as an unnatural solution because it wasn't devised to solve this problem, but another one.
IMHO all economic systems are about wealth creation.
Quote:

Competition was something I pointed out as a healthy trait in economies, similar to in the natural world - where did I say capitalism was the only way to deliver it?
Capitalism does NOT deliver competition. In fact, that's the one thing that capitalists hate MOST, the one thing that capitalists try to get rid of as much as possible. The goal is to grab as much market share as possible, and build a monopoly, because THAT way leads to higher profits. Competition??? HAHAHAHA!!! Capitalist have no desire for it!
Quote:

What's interesting about that list to me, is that all the countries above the US are small countries (and some of them oil rich states/tax havens) - but basically I think it must be an advantage being a small country. Big European countries like the UK, France, Germany are quite a bit further down the list.
what's interesting about the list is that you've completely misinterpreted it. The list (which is per capita GDP) tends to mislead people into thinking that it represents the TYPICAL life style. It doesn't- at least not for the USA! We have such a HUGE disparity of wealth... here's an example: you have ten ball-players on a bench. Nine of them make $100,000 a year, and one makes $10,000,000. The AVERAGE salary is a million dollars, but....

KPO, you say that we all engage in capitalism because we want some sort of physical reward. Indeed, we do. That is the ONLY rational reason to support ANY economic system. But capitalism doesn't deliver the goods to the typical participant as well as other systems. So... I ask again: What's in it for me?

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Monday, June 15, 2009 7:12 PM

JKIDDO


Quote:

My point to Signy was to teach the connection between free-markets and free-thought.
I have never seen less free thought than in the USA. Acquaintances from Russia and China (RUSSIA, mind you) have often said that the USA population is more heavily propagandized than in their countries. I find people's thoughts tend to be very narrow, and focused almost exclusively in "What can I buy, and how cheap is it?" REAL freedom would mean having some control over the important aspects of your life: the ability to work at a job that you like, to bargain for your wage with equal power as your employer, to be able to control your personal future and solve collective problems effectively, ot have some time left over for personal development, friends and family... NOT the freedom to choose from 20 different kinds of toilet paper or open a Subway!
Quote:

A free market doesn't exclude one from a need to survive. Do not confuse your need to work with a misunderstanding of what economic freedom is.
Do not confuse OUR market with a "free" market. Just because it's called "free" doesn't make it so.
Quote:

In socialized euro countries where economic freedom is less, people still have jobs. They also take home far less on average purchasing power than americans do.
This is the whole problem with "average" versus "typical", which I addressed already.

Let me tell you what I see.

All economies are about wealth creation. Wealth creation comes about when more can be made with less effort. THAT depends on the development of tools (which rests on a threshold population density) www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604144324.htm
the division of labor, the accumulation of "stuff" (made possible by the transition from mobile gatherer-hunters to fixed agrarian societies), trade, peace, cooperation, and the harnessing of animal and then non-animal power (wind, steam, water, coal, oil, solar). Counterpoised against this development are the forces of nature... famine, disease, drought, depletion... which can bring complex civilizations down.

Non of this is specifically related to capitalism. Many of the huge discoveries and developments... fire, agriculture, animal husbandry, weaving, writing, mathematics, biology, geography, metallurgy etc. ... came well before capitalism.

There are prolly BETTER ways to create wealth, BETTER ways distribute the rewards, and BETTER ways to ensure our long-term survival than capitalism.

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Monday, June 15, 2009 9:34 PM

CITIZEN


Thanks for fixing your image.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
What's interesting about that list to me, is that all the countries above the US are small countries (and some of them oil rich states/tax havens) - but basically I think it must be an advantage being a small country. Big European countries like the UK, France, Germany are quite a bit further down the list.


What's interesting to me is when you look at GDP those big countries appear at the top. PPP is a poor measure in my opinion, I only posted it because those were the figures BSCM alluded to, and the figures are still somewhat different to what he claimed of them, despite favouring the United States for similar reasons that Kwicko has already gone over, amongst others.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I said it in the same sentence as that previous quote where I'd set up the analogy...


You also said it IS natural. Don't admonish me because you put forth a mixed message.

Regardless, it makes bugger all difference if you were saying it is natural, or if you were saying it's like natural, since the objections are largely the same (objections you've ignored rather than argued against).
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I don't buy this idea of the whole point of civilisation being to subvert nature - and you giving examples of where it apparently does subvert nature certainly doesn't prove that that's the point.


Then make an argument for your position, or get over it. Because saying “nuhuh!” really doesn't prove anything.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
But it doesn't matter, since the word 'natural' was being used as a metaphor:

And if a 'natural' metaphor is so confusing in terms of 'unnatural' human innovation and its development, why are you using one yourself?

Quote:

Barter and Trade are unnatural constructs of proto-human civilisation. They're off-shoots of Humans ability to create tools and organisations, technology, that creates surpluses.


A quite natural offshoot, one might say.


Hmm, I'm projecting views? Where did I say is was a natural off-shoot? You might say that, but clearly I wouldn't, which is why I didn't

Seriously you're really rather scraping through the bottom of the barrel with this attempt at a turning of tables, and it's a little dishonest. Saying “off-shoot” is language denoting something developed from, not necessarily that it's a natural occurrence, unless the context makes that clear.

Now it maybe analogous to perhaps saying "Capitalism is a natural development from Mercantilism", but that's not what you said. You said Capitalism is (or is like) a natural system. Two completely different things, two different uses for the same word. Trying to equate the two is nothing but Equivocation.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I'm not saying capitalism mirrors the natural order of things, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest etc., and so that's why we should have it.


That's exactly what you said. If that's not what you meant, it's not my fault for reading what you said rather than what you meant.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I'm saying capitalism is a natural/organically devised solution to the problem of creating wealth effectively, and in that sense it works better than any imposed, more artificial system.


Did it grow on the Capitalism tree? I was rather thinking a person made it up, which would make it unnatural by definition.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
lol, another fallacy. Competition was something I pointed out as a healthy trait in economies, similar to in the natural world - where did I say capitalism was the only way to deliver it?


Because it's not like talking about how Capitalism is the "natural" response to this problem at all implies that.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
The whole dog-eat-dog thing as natural order of things, I presume? How did you get that from this quote:

"I think subverting the natural order in civilisation might just be a means towards another, higher end."

Mystifying.


Mystifying is how you wilfully don't get what I was talking about. You earlier note that “a couple of examples” doesn't prove anything. This is an interesting statement, because what I did is show how society is to a great extent built around protecting the weak, that is preventing Survival of the Fittest in a human context. Rather than prove nothing, it proves a great deal, whether you are willing to admit that or not. I hasten to add that even if all I had done is give a couple of examples, that is rather more than you have given in support of your own case, so I don't see any reason why my rebuttal would need to be more water tight than that.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I also didn't understand your last bit on lynxes - was that a significant QED?


You're going on about things being natural and therefore desirable (even if you wish to deny that now, it's right there in your post above). Clearly if Lynxes created a civilisation the first thing they'd do is change the natural order, so clearly at least that aspect of "natural" is completely undesirable. So clearly demonstrating that natural doesn't automatically equal desirable.

I've yet to see an argument from you to support your case, I might add. Putting words in my mouth, claiming you didn't say things you did, and just saying "nope, you're wrong" with no elaboration is a very poor substitute.

May I suggest that we give up this he said-she said bullshit? Perhaps you could restate your position and we can try this again from the top?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:04 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


KPO: You've said, or at least implied, that it isn't inherent in human nature to subvert the natural, and you've chided Citizen for not providing more than a couple examples of where we do. Can you provide examples of where we DON'T subvert nature in an artificial, self-imposed manner?

We want our air heated in the winter, cooled in the summer; we're not content to be at the whim of seasons for whether we're hot or cold. We rely on electric light (and before that, gas lights and candles) to not be at the whim of the sun or the time of day to decide whether we were in light or darkness. We herd animals together so we can keep a ready food source with us, rather than rely on our "natural" skills as hunters to keep us fed. We build artificial shelters to keep us out of the elements - surely this is not "natural" in the least.

At every turn, we manufacture artificial means to AVOID the natural world - and then we go to the park and talk about "getting back to nature" for an hour or so a month! :)

Also, you've pointed out that in your opinion, capitalism in "natural", while socialism is "unnatural". Look at most primitive tribes, and you'll see the opposite in many cases. Work is socialized, divided up amongst those who can do it, and the wealth tends to be distributed more or less equally. In contrast, look at a "capitalist" tribe like the ones run by Somali warlords or pirates, where work is assigned by one person and all the wealth acquired tends to flow to that one person (the warlord). Which seems more "natural"? The thing is, neither of them are really "natural" - they're just different systems put in place by different people. The "socialist" tribe collective might well argue that their system is best, while on the other side, it's likely that only the warlord would be willing to argue that HIS system is best - because he's the one who really benefits from it!

Mike

Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.



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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 3:52 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

KPO: You've said, or at least implied, that it isn't inherent in human nature to subvert the natural,


No I haven't, I've questioned whether this is the 'whole point', and suggested that subverting the natural is perhaps a by-product of the true aims of civilisation. In any case it's a massive ASIDE, since I was only talking about an economy being analogous to a natural system.

Quote:

Also, you've pointed out that in your opinion, capitalism in "natural", while socialism is "unnatural".


No. A natural solution. Just like as citizen was pointing out, barter and trade are natural solutions or 'offshoots' to humans creating surpluses. We're talking about human technology and its natural development or evolution.

Somehow just with the word 'natural' I managed to set off three of you (Jkiddo has just joined in) with the misconception that I view a capitalist dog-eat-dog society as the natural, prescribed order of things. This is the problem I get as a centrist arguing with anyone on the left or the right - they tend to project the views of their bitter political opponents onto me. Moderate views disagreeing with them are uncomfortable to them, they're only happy arguing with extreme views from the other side.

Heads should roll

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:07 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

What's interesting to me is when you look at GDP those big countries appear at the top.


Per capita? Otherwise that's not interesting at all... The per capita list on wiki looks similarly dominated by small countries, with just the big euro countries a bit higher up.

Quote:

Regardless, it makes bugger all difference if you were saying it is natural, or if you were saying it's like natural, since the objections are largely the same (objections you've ignored rather than argued against).



Why do I have to prove anything about what the point of civilisation is? It's like you don't understand what an analogy does.

Quote:

You said Capitalism is (or is like) a natural system.


Nope, I said neither. I said capitalism is a 'natural SOLUTION' - in the evolution of human innovation.

Quote:

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by kpo:
I'm not saying capitalism mirrors the natural order of things, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest etc., and so that's why we should have it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


That's exactly what you said.



!!!

Lol, where did I say it? Ridiculous - just admit that you jumped to a wrong conclusion about what my point was.

Quote:

May I suggest that we give up this he said-she said bullshit? Perhaps you could restate your position and we can try this again from the top?


No, I'll just take you through my perfectly fine original post and its one contentious sentence step by step:

1. "Economies are like natural systems in my view"

Here KPO is suggesting that,
A) An economy is a natural system
B) An economy is like a natural system (ie. a metaphor)

2. "Capitalism allows an economy to be natural"

What is being described as being 'natural' here?
A) Capitalism
B) Still the economy

Heads should roll

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:07 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
No. A natural solution. Just like as citizen was pointing out, barter and trade are natural solutions or 'offshoots' to humans creating surpluses. We're talking about human technology and its natural development or evolution.


Point one, I didn't say natural off shoot, as I have already said. Stop putting words in my mouth. I said off shoot, to denote that it developed from, not that that development was natural.

Point two, you CLEARLY stated that Capitalism was "like a natural system", and that this naturalism stemmed from how like survival of the fittest it was. That you now claim you meant something different entirely, when your words are clearly displayed, is mind boggling. You said it was like a natural system, those were your first set of words and they mean an entirely different thing to your claim that you were merely saying that Capitalism was a "natural development". Trying to equate the two, or indeed ignore the other and claim others are making it up, is equivocation and frankly dishonest.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Somehow just with the word 'natural' I managed to set off three of you (Jkiddo has just joined in) with the misconception that I view a capitalist dog-eat-dog society as the natural, prescribed order of things.


No, somehow by saying "Capitalism is like a natural system", you've gotten it into your head you weren't saying "Capitalism is like a natural system". Therein lies the problem. We're reading what you wrote, you wish we weren't.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
This is the problem I get as a centrist arguing with anyone on the left or the right - they tend to project the views of their bitter political opponents onto me. Moderate views disagreeing with them are uncomfortable to them, they're only happy arguing with extreme views from the other side.


It is, but us centrist will keep trying to bring you extremists around I'm sure.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:20 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Why do I have to prove anything about what the point of civilisation is?


I think we've all come to the conclusion that you don't believe you have to back up anything you say.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
It's like you don't understand what an analogy does.


Actually it's more like you don't remember anything you've said in a previous post.
Quote:

Nope, I said neither.

Quote:


Lol, where did I say it? Just admit that you jumped to a wrong conclusion about what my point was.


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Economies are like natural systems in my view; Capitalism allows an economy to be natural and therefore be healthy and vibrant


Economies are like natural systems. Capitalism allows an economy to be natural. Therefore Capitalism is more natural, or Capitalist Economies are more natural, either way it's the same thing.

Just admit that you said what you did, and you are now trying to back peddle.

Or at least admit that what you wrote wasn't what you meant.
Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
Quote:

May I suggest that we give up this he said-she said bullshit? Perhaps you could restate your position and we can try this again from the top?

No,


Well I didn't hold out much hope of you even attempting to be reasonable, so honestly that response doesn't come as anything of a shock.
Quote:


I'll just take you through my original post and its one contentious sentence step by step:

1. "Economies are like natural systems in my view"

Here KPO is suggesting that,

A) An economy is a natural system
B) An economy is like a natural system (ie. a metaphor)

2. "Capitalism allows an economy to be natural"

What is being described as being 'natural' here?

A) Capitalism
B) Still the economy


Or maybe we can take them as you originally wrote them, that a Capitalist Economy is natural, or more natural or like natural, or however you want to portray it this instant. Really the fact that you have this overwhelming need to lurch from appeals to nature, to putting words in my mouth to equivocation, to spin and false dichotomies says more than I ever could. It's like listening to Prime Minister's Questions.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:28 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Point one, I didn't say natural off shoot

I never said you did, I quoted 'offshoot' - which you still haven't realised, is in itself a 'natural' metaphor (what plants, ie. natural systems do).

Quote:

You said it was like a natural system, those were your first set of words

See my little comprehension exercise above.

Quote:

your claim that you were merely saying that Capitalism was a "natural development". Trying to equate the two,


The two points stand distinct:
An economy is like a natural system.
Capitalism is a natural development of human innovation.

The second point only came as a rebuttal to your assertion: "There's nothing natural about an economy or capitalism."

I wanted to make a distinction between the way I see capitalism, as natural innovation - and socialism, which I see as something else.


Heads should roll

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:34 AM

AGENTROUKA


But by that logic, isn't every innovation a natural innovation? Because it's a conclusion drawn from a problem or situation at hand?

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:47 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
I never said you did, I quoted 'offshoot' - which you still haven't realised, is in itself a 'natural' metaphor (what plants, ie. natural systems do).


Bullshit. I've already dealt with that at length, the only person not realising anything is you. It's really rather pathetic that you cling so desperately to your equivocation after it's been fairly evenly demolished.

But then the one constant so far here is how you ignore anything said that you can't argue against. It seems you have to do that a lot to support your arguments, beats the hell out of actually supporting something you've said though, eh? Still waiting for that. Personally I find twisting other peoples words, claiming you haven't said things you have and other such idiocy a poor substitute.
Quote:


See my little comprehension exercise above.


See my dismissal of your spin above.
Quote:


The two points stand distinct:
An economy is like a natural system.
Capitalism is a natural development of human innovation.


But that wasn't your two initial points was it. You said a Economy is like a natural system, and that Capitalism allows an economy to be natural. Those two points are clearly not supposed to be taken separately. The end result of taking what you said is that a Capitalist Economy is 'natural', an acceptable short form of that would be Capitalism. Your spin is really not persuasive, no matter how much you repeat yourself.
Quote:


The second point only came as a rebuttal to your assertion: "There's nothing natural about an economy or capitalism."


No, a rebuttal is where you make an argument, you've failed to do that. You've not made any argument as to why an Economy is or is like a natural system. You've made no argument as to why Capitalism is conducive to it's naturalness. You've made no argument as to why that is desirable. You've made no argument whatsoever.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:57 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

Economies are like natural systems. Capitalism allows an economy to be natural. Therefore Capitalism is more natural,


No. Well all right, in one sense - Capitalism allows a natural system to be natural. Like a growing plant, or animal, that is allowed to grow 'naturally' without too many 'unnatural' binding restrictions that will deform it. One could think of socialism loosely as putting a tree in a restricting glass dome, to make sure all the branches grow to the same length - whereas capitalism allows the tree to grow freely, naturally, in the expectation that the tree as a whole will be stronger.

Heads should roll

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:59 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by kpo:
No. Capitalism allows a natural system to be natural. Like a growing plant, or animal, that is allowed to grow 'naturally' without too many 'unnatural' binding restrictions that will deform it.


So a Capitalist Economy is 'natural', and an acceptable short form of Capitalist Economy would be Capitalism.

EDIT:
Oh, I'd also point out, that an Economy isn't a natural system, nor particularly like a natural system.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009 6:06 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Yeah ok, capitalism could be called 'more natural' - in the sense I described. Not in every imaginable sense though, and as you've been pointing out that wouldn't be necessarily a good thing.

Heads should roll

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