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Forums - Politics Discussion - What is "socialism"? - An attempt to clear up myths/misconceptions

Seventizz said:
Socialism is stupid and anti freedom. I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?

You millennials really need to educate yourselves. You're making your generation look really dumb.

Lol, the juxtaposition of "Socialism is... I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?" when referring to liberal-critical socialists and "You millennials really need to educate yourselves" is so ironic. 

Socialism and modern forms of liberalism (the political ideologies used to justify and protect capitalism) aren't even remotely the same thing. Socialists are critical of liberalism. That you think the people supporting socialism in this thread are liberals shows a lack of knowledge on your part. 

Have you considered that there are many different concepts of what freedom is? 



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sc94597 said:
o_O.Q said:

 

"There is no single human nature which mandates that people exploit others."

1. um greed? envy? the fact that theft, murder, rape etc etc etc have existed since the dawn of mankind and will continue to do so until people are presumably enslaved in the communist utopia?

 

"Laws in the sense of "statute" won't exist, but that doesn't mean that "laws" in the sense that other people will limit your interactions won't."

2. so... people telepathically link and that determines their behavior?

 

"Likewise, suppose I have consented to exchange a future amount of the labor-product I produce and then change my mind and decide to keep that which I produced?"

3. when you work a job you consent to producing a product IN EXCHANGE for money that you think this is comparable to dropping consent during sex is concerning

 

"I am an individualist anarchist, not a collectivist. "

4. you might call yourself that but you're the furthest thing from an individualist that i can conceptualise

 

"Don't surround yourself with people for whom you are in a precarious situation by being around them, in other words, people whom have a proclivity to irrational violence"

5. which is everyone at some point in their lives, because people are not always rational and furthermore people cannot be

 

"Good or bad is of course subjective, determined by your interests as an individual."

6. how can you state this and at same time condemn people for exploiting others? isn't it just dependent on their perspective then?

 

"Idealist =|= utopian."

7. the utopia IS the ideal society

definition of ideal : satisfying one's conception of what is perfect; most suitable.

 

" Furthermore, most feminisms do not assert that men and women are equal as biological sexes, but rather the gender norms which are placed upon men and women by societies create unequal autonomy which expresses itself in social functions like "rights" and "power""

8. gender and gender norms are tightly correlated with biological sex... that's what makes it delusional

furthermore if it was really about rights then there'd be no feminism since women have had equal rights now for decades

 

9. " but that doesn't mean people can't be equal in terms of autonomy, influence, and power. "

does a pregnant woman have the same level of autonomy as a man?

 

"I am with you until the bolded. You need to substantiate the bolded claim with evidence. It's possible that all that is required to succeed as a capitalist is middling intelligence and some other quality"

10. i suppose since i'm supposed to be talking to an adult i figure it should be obvious that i name intelligence as one feature of many individual features that cause people to be successful which obviously include motivational drive, social connections, consciousness etc etc etc

i'm not saying obviously that intelligence is the only factor... the base point i was making is that it is generally the individual characteristics of a person that leads to success

11. you a so called individualist appear to be denying that and instead you're arguing that all that matters is money and that anyone can do a particular job

with regards to evidence all evidence done with regards to success points that out

and again this not an absolute argument, there are people who are lucky or were born into wealth

 

"Merely assuming that people are naturally better and their success is determined by their natural genetic predisposition is just as erroneous as assuming that natural genetic predisposition has no role at all. "

12. i'm not understanding your argument here, are denying that some people are better at some tasks than others or not?

 

"My allusion to the power law distribution of wealth, seems to critique this view that hierarchies are mainly due to intelligence, because intelligence doesn't follow a power distribution, it follows a linearly limited exponential distribution (meaning within some maximum and some minimum intelligence varies exponentially, but these maxes and mins are hard limits.)"

13. as i said previously i figured it should be obvious that intelligence is not the only individual factor, just one i was using as an example

 

"Don't forget special privileges, protections, rewards, social connections, nepotism, etc. All of these are probably more contributive to wealth inequalities than luck (socialists aren't luck egalitarians.) "

14. wow i can't believe that people and the world we live in are not perfect

 

"How much of the inequality is due to natural capabilities and how much is due to social structures"

15. social structures will never be perfect and as a result they will always add to the natural inequality that comes about from individual differences

isn't it kind of funny how i have to keep reiterating that things aren't perfect?

 

" Even if this is true though, you did not address my argument about the economic calculation problem of large, centralized, hierarchical firms. If these individual men are all we need, then why not just have them plan everything? Well, because there are limits to what individual men can do, regardless of how intelligent they are. "

16. why then did we have to wait tesla to give us alternating current? or einstein for general relativity?

our entire electrical grid is based off of the ideas of one man

the same goes for many of our physics principles

17. i mean i just can't believe that someone who considers them self to be an individualist thinks like this

 

"And I reiterate, this is not a problem. The problem is when they are given state-granted monopolies on being allowed to gather and access said resources."

18. what resources are you referring to?

 

19. no there are some people who could contribute greatly to society that cannot because they are too poor or uneducated to do so and that's a fact

but again as i said the world is not perfect, societies cannot ever be perfect and individuals cannot ever be perfect that's the point, so you find a balance between individual interests and collective interests

people will still suffer no matter what but you try to reduce that as much as possible

 

" But under different social conditions, when people are self-interested they are not going to allow themselves to be exploited. They will bargain for their full labor-product."

20. that's not true at all, men for example tend to do physical tasks for women with no return benefit often, simply because they perceive them to be weaker and more in need of assistance

 

" So I am free to live a life of squalor in the woods, but I can't mix my labor with it to produce anything of worth?"

21. why wouldn't you be able to? you don't have to be paralysed to live in the woods

 

"No I said the only thing special about capitalists was their capital. In the context you provided, Steve Jobs wasn't a capitalist. He was a worker. "

22. how did steve jobs get the components he used initially to build his computers?

23. and again besides his money what is the difference between you and steve jobs? or tesla? or einstein?

 

"There is a whole branch of socialism called "individualist-anarchism.""

24. word salad if i've ever seen it

 

"Hierarchies aren't created by mere differences between people. They are created by inequalities in particular qualities of people, with the most important being the ability to induce violence."

25. brad pitt for a long time was thought of as the world's sexiest man meaning he was at top of the hierarchy with regards to male attractiveness... wtf does that have to do with violence?

usain bolt is the world's fastest man... wtf does that have to do with violence?

michael phelps is the fastest man in the water... wtf does that have to do with violence

 

" If people can equally assert their will through violence (and they are conscious of their interests), then there would be no hierarchies"

26. this is the funniest thing i've read in a while and again its a denial of individuality ironically enough... in fact that's pretty much what this whole post is

 

"Steve Jobs, despite likely being much more capable than the capitalists who supported him, needed them in order to succeed. "

27. yes... people willingly pooled resources to advance a productive concept and you think that's a problem

jesus christ and then people wonder why its said that socialist want to stifle innovation

 

" The socialist wishes to get the capitalist out of the equation so that a future Steve Jobs doesn't need to depend on them. That was the original point I made to which you responded. "

28. um... he'd still need others to pool their resources to grow and advance his idea(if he wants to get as big as he did)... so what's your point?

 

". I agree, your lack of knowledge on this topic is hindering your ability to discuss it. "

29. on the contrary i'm sure i understand this better than you do

 

"This is a very weak definition of voluntary. That I have a choice doesn't mean my choice isn't limited. If my choice is limited by unilateral violence it is less voluntary than if it were not (unless you believe that a person whom makes a choice with a gun to their head voluntarily agreed.) That I am limited (due to state violence) to wage labor makes my choice less voluntary than if I weren't limited to wage labor."

30. well.. you aren't god dude... of course you're limited... no one has unlimited options

31. and again no one is forcing anyone to participate in society

 

"There have been plenty of societies where not everybody agreed and where a unilateral position isn't imposed on others"

32. huh? lets say one of the members decided to run around stabbing everyone... wouldn't stopping him and others be imposing a unilateral position?

 

"What a silly and simplistic derivation of the state. I prefer the 19th century lawyer, Lysander Spooner's account in No Treason. Government comes from some people asserting their authority on others through violence. It always has and it always will."

33. well you can call it silly and simplistic but its fact 

34. and yes of course all societies have people who dissent to how things are run( which again ironically is due to individuality btw ), but the point is that at least initially the state is formed by consensus across the people of the group

35. and sure sometimes states turn into tyrannies and become corrupt and all of that, but the responsibility then lies on the individuals of the society to keep things in check... a responsibility which people are rapidly forgetting


1. Greed can only lead to exploitation if one or a group of people have a privileged position in society which they can act on. If all people are similarly capable of inducing violence, and there is no unilateral authority on the legitimacy of that violence then the self-interested forces of individuals mostly cancel out of an aim of cost-reduction. Yes, there will be a non-zero number of successful murders that one can get away with and rapes, but the murderer and the rapist has no special protections like murderers and rapists receive in the existence of institutionalized state power. For example, something like legalizing husbands raping wives wouldn't be a thing, because the wives would have the ability to kill their husbands without any repercussions. 

Your implied argument is really silly. That a non-zero number of raping, killing, and usury exists <=> it is useless to reduce the number of raping, killing, and usury. 

2. You can't be serious, can you? Use your brain please. Are there means of enforcing one's will besides statutes (do you know what a statute is?) and telepathy? 

3. The point made is that I can rescind my consent at any time. Otherwise it is not consensual. We apply a much  fuller standard of consent to sex than we do labor agreements. Rather than assert that they're different, tell me why you think their difference creates a distinction. Both are promises of a future social interaction. I have autonomy over my body and my labor-product. So on and so forth. Make an actual argument rather than asserting that they are different. But somehow I don't think you're capable of making arguments, merely feigning outrage. That's your thing isn't it?  

4. That is because you don't know what individualism is. Read a book. It's obvious you don't do that often. Your grasp (or the lack thereof) of political, legal, statistical, etc knowledge seems to be the problem here. Ignorance is not a virtue. 

5. Sure, but this is not an on and off switch. You certainly would not equivocate joining a gang and marrying an abusive husband, for example. There are degrees to which people surround themselves with those whom are or are not in their interest. 

6. Because exploitation is not in my or the vast majority of people's interests. Subjectively, it is bad for us. Why would we let others exploit us without fighting back? As you noted, "greed" exists. I want my full labor-product (or an equivalent value) and don't want the capitalist to have it. I am acting in my self-interest. The capitalist wants as much of my labor-product as he can get. In the absence of the state and its enforcement of capitalist-privileged legal norms I would have more bargaining power over my labor-product, and the capitalist would have less. Hence I support the dissolution of the state so that I can empower myself to receive my full labor product. THIS IS INDIVIDUALISM and EGOISM. Not your flimsy belief that we should just roll over and let others exploit us, because rape and murder will always exist to some minimal level, which is based on some purported objective moral spook. 

7. The difference between utopic and idealistic is whether or not one believes an ideal/perfect thing can be achieved. Note the second definition provided in the dictionary you cited. The utopian believes utopia is achieveable, while the idealist doesn't necessarily believe a perfect thing is achievable, but it's worthwhile aiming for. So while total anarchism (the elimination of hierarchy and rulership) in all social context at all scales in space and time is very much impossible, aiming to abolish hierarchies and rulership is a useful ideal to aim for. 

Second definition which you didn't quote, notice it stipulates "desirable or perfect" and also note the rest of the bolded: "existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality."

8. You need to again prove such a statement. Merely asserting it doesn't make it so. For example, you'll have to compare gender norms across different societies in different times and come up with an explanation for those societies where gender norms (and roles) diverged from the traditions of western societies. For example, the gender norms of many native american tribes were significantly different from the gender norms prescribed by Christianity. 

Feminism is about equal rights, but not just about equal rights. It's also about social status. 

9. In our current world where contraceptives are legal, abortion is legal, where women are not socially pressured to have as many children as possible, she has more autonomy than two hundred years ago when women were considered nothing more than baby-producing creatures. So how autonomous the pregnant woman is depends mostly on her social status and the norms of the society she is in. The small part of autonomy lost due to the nature of her pregnancy is relatively insignificant in today's world, albeit very much significant in another. This is actually a clear example of how a hierarchy was disestablished. 

10. I can agree that success within any system is determined by individual qualities. I can't agree that social structures are insignificant though. Which individual qualities and to what degree prevail are very much determined by the social conditions external to the individual. Do you agree with this? 

11. I am arguing that all the capitalist provides other individuals is capital. I am not arguing that all that matters in success is capital. These are two very different arguments with two very different conclusions. Reading comprehension has been very difficult for you in this conversation, not necessarily because you can't read, but because you choose not to read and think about what is written.

12. Nope I'm not denying that some people are better at some tasks, I am denying that the people who are better are necessarily the ones in power, or at least I am skeptical of this claim. 

13. Sure, but almost every distinguishing characteristics follows a similar distribution to intelligence. They'd have to have a non-linear transformation in order to produce the distribution in wealth we have. This might be likely if intelligence correlated with other desirable qualities, but this is very improbable in itself. The most intelligent people aren't necessarily the most beautiful people aren't necessarily the most physically capable people aren't necessarily (insert another trait.)

14. And this is suppose to be an argument? Sure people and society aren't perfect (and won't ever be), that doesn't mean we just stop here and accept it. If that were the case you'd likely be born a slave in a slave society or a peasant under feudalism, because "hey peasant, the world ain't perfect!"

15. Again, this is not an argument. Otherwise we should accept slavery and feudalism. 

16. What does this have to do with the management of firms and capitalism? Einstein and Tesla weren't capitalists managing others to produce these ideas. Also both Einstein's and Tesla's ideas were further developed by other individuals. 

17. Think like what? The economic calculation problem? Um, this is a concept actually used by capitalist/liberal thinkers (Mises, Hayek) to criticize state-socialism/central planning. I am just using it from a libertarian-socialist perspective to criticize capitalist firms. Are Mises and Hayek not individualists? Do you even understand what I am talking about? Again, it seems likely your thing is to reflexively react rather than think (or even process what is being said.) 

18. Land (this is a big one), waterways, airwaves, fossil fuels, minerals, metals, mines, caves, etc. As John Locke (you know that crazy socialist, right?) says in his proviso, 

"Nor was this appropriation of any parcel of land, by improving it, any prejudice to any other man, since there was still enough and as good left, and more than the yet unprovided could use. So that, in effect, there was never the less left for others because of his enclosure for himself. For he that leaves as much as another can make use of, does as good as take nothing at all. Nobody could think himself injured by the drinking of another man, though he took a good draught, who had a whole river of the same water left him to quench his thirst. And the case of land and water, where there is enough of both, is perfectly the same."

The state gives monopoly access to natural resources to particular individuals independent of whether or not they improve (homestead) them and in conditions of scarcity. 

Locke presupposed that (land) enclosure was okay if there was enough for others, but if there wasn't enough then enclosure wasn't okay. 

The socialist merely takes locke's provisos seriously. 

19. I don't see a clean dichotomy between individual interests and collective interests if we are to speak of an organic society where social groups are mostly voluntary, in so much as people associate (join a collective) individual interests and collective interests align. It is only when you force somebody to join a collective entity or restrict their other options via force that these interests are in conflict. But yes, I agree mostly with this paragraph besides the idea that because our current society isn't perfect it is just the same as another possible society. 

20. Even if I assume your scenario, who is being exploited in your description? The man gains the psychological benefit of helping the person he cares about, and the woman receives the benefit of being helped. It would only be exploitative if the man or woman expected this to be the case and enforced that expectation through coercive means (violence, blackmail, etc.) 

21. As you stated "you would have a point if you were referring to a large scale development"

My freedoms to do such a thing are dependent on what the state considers "large-scale development." This would usually include a home, electricity, etc. 

22. Steve Jobs got it from the capitalists, which is exactly my point. Steve Jobs was not able to act alone because he didn't have the pre-requisite capital. 

23. Before I answer the question, tell me why the question is relevant? 

24. Mere excuses for one's self-imposed ignorance. For the interested readers, here's the wikipedia page on individualist anarchism a tradition including influential philosophers like: Henry David Thoreau and William Godwin, and many less known philosophers like Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Josiah Warren, William B. Greene, Max Stirner, Dyer Lum, Voltairine de Cleyre, and many others. But it's mere word-salad people. None of these people and their writings ever existed, guys. 

25. Hierarchy, "a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority."

"World's sexiest man" isn't a "system or organization" and there is no single authority to determine "world's sexiest man." 

But to humor you, everytime I say "hiearchy" implicit is the phrase "social hierarchy."  Considering that we were discussing socio-politics, I didn't think that was necessary, but I understand that hierarchy might be a new word for you. 

26. Note that this is not a perfectly achievable state (it's an ideal),  an extreme to which we contextualize things. Obviously the ability to induce violence can not be perfectly equal. Nevertheless, with the existence of guns (which equalize the capacity to kill at the individual level) this is not a ridiculous premise, especially when we consider that people can associate. It doesn't ignore individuality at all. 

27. That is not exactly what is happening here. A group of people have a set of monopolies (state-granted) on certain resources (and their products thereof) and they are using those monopolies to further bolster their position to exploit the labor of another. This is what is meant by exploitation. It is much more than simply pooling one's resources with others, which I obviously support. 

28. Sure, he might need others, but he'll be in a better position to bargain with said others if they did not have disproportionate state-granted privileges and monopolies. In a competitive market he'd find lenders who would lend at a rate proportional to the cost of lending (no more and no less.) See Benjamin Tucker's description of the money monopoly: 

"First in the importance of its evil influence they considered the money monopoly, which consists of the privilege given by the government to certain individuals, or to individuals holding certain kinds of property, of issuing the circulating medium, a privilege which is now enforced in this country by a national tax of ten per cent., upon all other persons who attempt to furnish a circulating medium, and by State laws making it a criminal offense to issue notes as currency. It is claimed that the holders of this privilege control the rate of interest, the rate of rent of houses and buildings, and the prices of goods, – the first directly, and the second and third indirectly. For, say Proudhon and Warren, if the business of banking were made free to all, more and more persons would enter into it until the competition should become sharp enough to reduce the price of lending money to the labor cost, which statistics show to be less than three-fourths of once per cent. In that case the thousands of people who are now deterred from going into business by the ruinously high rates which they must pay for capital with which to start and carry on business will find their difficulties removed. If they have property which they do not desire to convert into money by sale, a bank will take it as collateral for a loan of a certain proportion of its market value at less than one per cent. discount. If they have no property, but are industrious, honest, and capable, they will generally be able to get their individual notes endorsed by a sufficient number of known and solvent parties; and on such business paper they will be able to get a loan at a bank on similarly favorable terms. Thus interest will fall at a blow. The banks will really not be lending capital at all, but will be doing business on the capital of their customers, the business consisting in an exchange of the known and widely available credits of the banks for the unknown and unavailable, but equality good, credits of the customers and a charge therefor of less than one per cent., not as interest for the use of capital, but as pay for the labor of running the banks. This facility of acquiring capital will give an unheard of impetus to business, and consequently create an unprecedented demand for labor, – a demand which will always be in excess of the supply, directly to the contrary of the present condition of the labor market. Then will be seen an exemplification of the words of Richard Cobden that, when two laborers are after one employer, wages fall, but when two employers are after one laborer, wages rise. Labor will then be in a position to dictate its wages, and will thus secure its natural wage, its entire product. Thus the same blow that strikes interest down will send wages up. But this is not all. Down will go profits also. For merchants, instead of buying at high prices on credit, will borrow money of the banks at less than one per cent., buy at low prices for cash, and correspondingly reduce the prices of their goods to their customers. And with the rest will go house-rent. For no one who can borrow capital at one per cent. with which to build a house of his own will consent to pay rent to a landlord at a higher rate than that. Such is the vast claim made by Proudhon and Warren as to the results of the simple abolition of the money monopoly."

29. Yep, with your writing abilities and reading-comprehension skills I am so sure of it! Not to mention how much you've read on the discourse between capitalists and socialists over the centuries, and all of the empirical data which you did not provide.. Your understanding is so overwhelmingly boundless! "Society can't be perfect!" is such a great argument to defend the current status quo. Ignorance must truly be blissful. 

30. Read, read, read! "If my choice is limited by unilateral violence it is less voluntary"

31. Nobody is forcing anyone to participate in capitalist society, but the state is certainly forcing us to not participate in different societies through regulation and subsidy, as you conceded is the case, but merely gloss over with a lazy "The world isn't perfect." 

32. No, because there is no monopoly on the legitimation of violence. If I kill him in self-defense I don't have to go to a state court to prove it was self-defense and the state isn't there to give me permission. 

33. Merely asserting it must make it true, right?

34. What state was formed by consensus? Can you provide me one example? Or are you using a particularly innovative meaning of consensus? For example, the United States of America was created by a very small minority of people who died centuries ago. The millions of other individuals who existed in that time did not consent, nor did anybody born since consent to the United States. Spooner explains this pretty clearly in his essay. 

35. If the responsibility is with the individuals why have the state charade in the first place? Only individuals are real with moral agency, the state is a collectivist abstraction. 

 

" Greed can only lead to exploitation if one or a group of people have a privileged position in society which they can act on."

sigh... i can't believe i have to expand on this but again due to our inherent differences some people in society are naturally going to be more privileged than others

this is not an aspect of social groupings that can be eliminated... a person with two legs for example is always going to be more privileged than someone who has no legs... this is obviously a very simplistic example but its far more profound and complex than this 

 

" If all people are similarly capable of inducing violence"

jesus christ... do you really believe that if we destroyed the state that the military sniper or professional boxer is going to have the same ability to induce violence as a fat person who spends all day drinking coke?

 

" but the murderer and the rapist has no special protections like murderers and rapists receive in the existence of institutionalized state power. "

lol wtf? you do understand of course that rape and murder are against the law right?

that you could ever think that rapist and murderers would face less resistance outside of a system that outlaws both activities tells me that you aren't being rational

 

"Your implied argument is really silly. That a non-zero number of raping, killing, and usury exists <=> it is useless to reduce the number of raping, killing, and usury. "

well its a good thing that i never stated that and you just pulled it out of your ass then

 

"You can't be serious, can you?"

well i can since you haven't expanded upon how people will behave the same without an expressed consensus on what is appropriate

 

". Rather than assert that they're different, tell me why you think their difference creates a distinction. "

""Make an actual argument rather than asserting that they are different.""

i did i stated that you agree when employed to exchange your labour for money

how in the fuck are you comparing that to sex? are you talking about exchanging money for sex with prostitutes?

even if that is the case you stated that you should be able to extricate the products of your labour if you choose to quit your job... i mean the only way i can think of that being comparable is if you're talking about taking your secretions back or something

 

"That is because you don't know what individualism is. "

says the person actively disregarding that people are inherently different from each other across criteria such as ability to induce violence lol

 

"You certainly would not equivocate joining a gang and marrying an abusive husband, for example. There are degrees to which people surround themselves with those whom are or are not in their interest. "

its amazing to me how you give an example that contradicts your ending point and can't see it

you've never seen a woman who willingly chose to associate with an abusive partner? what do you make of that phenomenon?

 

"Because exploitation is not in my or the vast majority of people's interests. Subjectively, it is bad for us."

again to repeat, you cannot be a moral relativist and then argue for an objective standard as you are attempting to do

the capitalist for example would argue that his way is right and who are you to tell him otherwise as a moral relativist?

furthermore who are you as a moral relativist to argue for the interests of the majority of people?

moral relativism means that all perspectives are valid and equal and no perspective can be valued over another... didn't you understand that?

 

"Why would we let others exploit us without fighting back?"

lol we? you're jumping to collectivist jargon quite rapidly... now i've seen it all, an individualist arguing for what the collective needs to do

 

"In the absence of the state and its enforcement of capitalist-privileged legal norms I would have more bargaining power over my labor-product"

in the absence of the state you'd probably be rubbing two sticks together in a cave somewhere trying to get a fire started to save your toes from freezing off... lets be realistic here

 

"Hence I support the dissolution of the state so that I can empower myself to receive my full labor product. THIS IS INDIVIDUALISM and EGOISM."

this i agree with, you are correct that the dissolution of the state is an individualistic idea and i'd never deny that

 

"Not your flimsy belief that we should just roll over and let others exploit us, because rape and murder will always exist to some minimal level, which is based on some purported objective moral spook. "

no its just that i don't have an abysmally simplistic understanding of how things work and also i support the existence of some type of state precisely for the opposite reasons ffs

that's the problem with ideologues, they tend to dismiss the complexity of how things work in order to push their ideas forwards

 

". The difference between utopic and idealistic is whether or not one believes an ideal/perfect thing can be achieved. Note the second definition provided in the dictionary you cited. The utopian believes utopia is achieveable, while the idealist doesn't necessarily believe a perfect thing is achievable, but it's worthwhile aiming for. So while total anarchism (the elimination of hierarchy and rulership) in all social context at all scales in space and time is very much impossible, aiming to abolish hierarchies and rulership is a useful ideal to aim for. 

Second definition which you didn't quote, notice it stipulates "desirable or perfect" and also note the rest of the bolded: "existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.""

so you concede that your ideas are unrealistic?

 

" you'll have to compare gender norms across different societies in different times and come up with an explanation for those societies where gender norms (and roles) diverged from the traditions of western societies."

look if you believe that gender roles are entirely socially constructed then that's fine i'll just agree to disagree with you, but i'm not wasting my time fishing for information to point out what should be obvious to anyone 

 

" The small part of autonomy lost due to the nature of her pregnancy is relatively insignificant in today's world"

so why are women pushing for more maternal leave?

 

"This is actually a clear example of how a hierarchy was disestablished. "

how can that be when feminist are still claiming there is a patriarchy actively suppressing women?

 

". I can agree that success within any system is determined by individual qualities. I can't agree that social structures are insignificant though."

i did not say that social structures are insignificant i said that success is generally determined by individual qualities

 

"Which individual qualities and to what degree prevail are very much determined by the social conditions external to the individual. "

nonsense, there are characteristics such as bravery, intelligence and willingness to engage with problems that almost universally predict success

 

"I am arguing that all the capitalist provides other individuals is capital. "

so you truly believe that there are people that are common enough to be discussed that are successful only because they have money and provide no other service to society in return and i'm supposed to take you seriously?

 

", I am denying that the people who are better are necessarily the ones in power"

as i said its not always the case but its quite obvious that it generally is the case because otherwise companies would (and this should be obvious) not function properly

if the person at the helm of the company is not doing their job properly what would you expect to happen to the company?

 

"Sure, but almost every distinguishing characteristics follows a similar distribution to intelligence."

based on what?

 

"And this is suppose to be an argument? "

well yes... just because a system is not perfect does not mean that you turn it upside down

cars for example waste a lot of energy as pollution but we constantly iterate on the concept over time instead of simply saying fuck cars because of their problems

 

"Again, this is not an argument. Otherwise we should accept slavery and feudalism. "

this is like saying that because cars aren't perfect we should blow them all up and go back to riding horses

 

" What does this have to do with the management of firms and capitalism? Einstein and Tesla weren't capitalists managing others to produce these ideas."

" Even if this is true though, you did not address my argument about the economic calculation problem of large, centralized, hierarchical firms. If these individual men are all we need, then why not just have them plan everything? Well, because there are limits to what individual men can do, regardless of how intelligent they are. "

if you can't see the connection, then i can't do much better tbh

 

"Even if I assume your scenario, who is being exploited in your description? The man gains the psychological benefit of helping the person he cares about, and the woman receives the benefit of being helped."

well i suppose i could argue then that when an employer pays a worker that the worker gets the benefit of his/her wages and the employer gets the benefit of their labour

 

"Steve Jobs was not able to act alone because he didn't have the pre-requisite capital. "

nonsense, as i said steve jobs started in his garage as many business owners do

furthermore your previous definition of capitalists as being people who exchange capital for labour would identify him as a capitalist anyway

 

"Before I answer the question, tell me why the question is relevant? "

you've refused to address the question for so long now that i've forgotten the context but i'm pretty sure that it has something to do with you stating that the only difference between steve jobs and his workers was that he has money

 

" Mere excuses for one's self-imposed ignorance. For the interested readers, here's the wikipedia page on individualist anarchism a tradition including influential philosophers"

i have no problem with the term individualist anarchism... its you stating that its a subsection of socialism that makes me call it word salad... because you're pretty much combining two opposite concepts

like when people call themselves anarcho-communists for example 

oh and btw reading the works of other people does not by itself make you informed... its the use of your own individual discernment to reach a conclusion that makes you informed

becoming a puppet for the ideas of other people does nothing other than make you a puppet

 

" Hierarchy, "a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.""

this is an overly specific definition... food chains and webs in nature for example are hierarchies with the apex predator at the top 

and i could probably go on all day listing different types 

 

"everytime I say "hiearchy" implicit is the phrase "social hierarchy."  Considering that we were discussing socio-politics, I didn't think that was necessary, but I understand that hierarchy might be a new word for you.  "

that you think violence is the only thing that causes hierarchies to develop and that hierarchies rely on an authority to form is perhaps the funniest thing you've said and that's saying something

it shows where this ridiculously stupid idea that the heads of companies aren't generally competent, that all steve jobs has going for him is money etc etc etc is coming from... its not a healthy or realistic way to look at the world but whatever you do you

 

"Nevertheless, with the existence of guns (which equalize the capacity to kill at the individual level) "

they don't, beyond training, there are people who struggle with the idea of killing others for example... again you have to leave variables like that out to push the idea forward

 

" this is not a ridiculous premise, especially when we consider that people can associate. It doesn't ignore individuality at all."

pushing the idea that the ability to perform violence can be equalised does in fact ignore individuality as you have done several times throughout this conversation

 

"That is not exactly what is happening here. A group of people have a set of monopolies (state-granted) on certain resources"

which resources?

 

"Sure, he might need others, but he'll be in a better position to bargain with said others if they did not have disproportionate state-granted privileges and monopolies. "

aren't the privileges you are referring to protection of private property? which he benefits from also?

 

""If my choice is limited by unilateral violence it is less voluntary""

jesus fucking christ your choice is limited by violence WHENEVER YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE REGARDLESS 

i mean what the fuck are you on dude? why bring up a fundamental fact of being a person in a group to argue against one type of grouping WHEN ITS PRESENT IN ALL GROUPINGS?

 

"Merely asserting it must make it true, right? "

i've had to deal with stating the obvious with you too much... its getting fucking tiring

 

"What state was formed by consensus? Can you provide me one example? Or are you using a particularly innovative meaning of consensus? For example, the United States of America was created by a very small minority of people who died centuries ago. The millions of other individuals who existed in that time did not consent"

they were representatives of their people... you understand what a representative is and does? apparently not

but again your only understanding of hierarchies is that they are predicated on violence... so how could you understand the concept of a representative? or a CEO? or a manager? or whatever

 

"Spooner explains this pretty clearly in his essay. "

well he gave his opinion... your job and mine is to use our brains to analyse what he said and come to our own conclusion rather than just parroting whatever his ideas are

 

" If the responsibility is with the individuals why have the state charade in the first place?"

for the obvious reason that for people to live together peacefully there must be some kind of consensus on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate

 

"the state is a collectivist abstraction. "

well obviously is it and it has a purpose



o_O.Q said: 

1. sigh... i can't believe i have to expand on this but again due to our inherent differences some people in society are naturally going to be more privileged than others

2. this is not an aspect of social groupings that can be eliminated... a person with two legs for example is always going to be more privileged than someone who has no legs... this is obviously a very simplistic example but its far more profound and complex than this 

3. jesus christ... do you really believe that if we destroyed the state that the military sniper or professional boxer is going to have the same ability to induce violence as a fat person who spends all day drinking coke?

4. lol wtf? you do understand of course that rape and murder are against the law right?

that you could ever think that rapist and murderers would face less resistance outside of a system that outlaws both activities tells me that you aren't being rational

 

5. well its a good thing that i never stated that and you just pulled it out of your ass then

 

6. well i can since you haven't expanded upon how people will behave the same without an expressed consensus on what is appropriate

 

". Rather than assert that they're different, tell me why you think their difference creates a distinction. "

""Make an actual argument rather than asserting that they are different.""

7. i did i stated that you agree when employed to exchange your labour for money

how in the fuck are you comparing that to sex? are you talking about exchanging money for sex with prostitutes?

even if that is the case you stated that you should be able to extricate the products of your labour if you choose to quit your job... i mean the only way i can think of that being comparable is if you're talking about taking your secretions back or something

 

8. says the person actively disregarding that people are inherently different from each other across criteria such as ability to induce violence lol

 

9. its amazing to me how you give an example that contradicts your ending point and can't see it

you've never seen a woman who willingly chose to associate with an abusive partner? what do you make of that phenomenon?

 

10. again to repeat, you cannot be a moral relativist and then argue for an objective standard as you are attempting to do

the capitalist for example would argue that his way is right and who are you to tell him otherwise as a moral relativist?

furthermore who are you as a moral relativist to argue for the interests of the majority of people?

moral relativism means that all perspectives are valid and equal and no perspective can be valued over another... didn't you understand that?

 

11. lol we? you're jumping to collectivist jargon quite rapidly... now i've seen it all, an individualist arguing for what the collective needs to do

 

12. in the absence of the state you'd probably be rubbing two sticks together in a cave somewhere trying to get a fire started to save your toes from freezing off... lets be realistic here

 

13. this i agree with, you are correct that the dissolution of the state is an individualistic idea and i'd never deny that

 

14no its just that i don't have an abysmally simplistic understanding of how things work and also i support the existence of some type of state precisely for the opposite reasons ffs

that's the problem with ideologues, they tend to dismiss the complexity of how things work in order to push their ideas forwards

 

15. so you concede that your ideas are unrealistic?

 

16. look if you believe that gender roles are entirely socially constructed then that's fine i'll just agree to disagree with you, but i'm not wasting my time fishing for information to point out what should be obvious to anyone 

17. so why are women pushing for more maternal leave?

 

18. how can that be when feminist are still claiming there is a patriarchy actively suppressing women?

 

19. i did not say that social structures are insignificant i said that success is generally determined by individual qualities

 

20. nonsense, there are characteristics such as bravery, intelligence and willingness to engage with problems that almost universally predict success

21. so you truly believe that there are people that are common enough to be discussed that are successful only because they have money and provide no other service to society in return and i'm supposed to take you seriously?

 

22. as i said its not always the case but its quite obvious that it generally is the case because otherwise companies would (and this should be obvious) not function properly

if the person at the helm of the company is not doing their job properly what would you expect to happen to the company?

 

"Sure, but almost every distinguishing characteristics follows a similar distribution to intelligence."

23. based on what?

24. well yes... just because a system is not perfect does not mean that you turn it upside down

cars for example waste a lot of energy as pollution but we constantly iterate on the concept over time instead of simply saying fuck cars because of their problems

 

25. this is like saying that because cars aren't perfect we should blow them all up and go back to riding horses

 

" What does this have to do with the management of firms and capitalism? Einstein and Tesla weren't capitalists managing others to produce these ideas."

" Even if this is true though, you did not address my argument about the economic calculation problem of large, centralized, hierarchical firms. If these individual men are all we need, then why not just have them plan everything? Well, because there are limits to what individual men can do, regardless of how intelligent they are. "

26. if you can't see the connection, then i can't do much better tbh

 

27. well i suppose i could argue then that when an employer pays a worker that the worker gets the benefit of his/her wages and the employer gets the benefit of their labour

 

28. nonsense, as i said steve jobs started in his garage as many business owners do

furthermore your previous definition of capitalists as being people who exchange capital for labour would identify him as a capitalist anyway

 

29. you've refused to address the question for so long now that i've forgotten the context but i'm pretty sure that it has something to do with you stating that the only difference between steve jobs and his workers was that he has money

 

30. i have no problem with the term individualist anarchism... its you stating that its a subsection of socialism that makes me call it word salad... because you're pretty much combining two opposite concepts

31. like when people call themselves anarcho-communists for example 

32. oh and btw reading the works of other people does not by itself make you informed... its the use of your own individual discernment to reach a conclusion that makes you informed

33. becoming a puppet for the ideas of other people does nothing other than make you a puppet

 

34. this is an overly specific definition... food chains and webs in nature for example are hierarchies with the apex predator at the top 

and i could probably go on all day listing different types 

 

"everytime I say "hiearchy" implicit is the phrase "social hierarchy."  Considering that we were discussing socio-politics, I didn't think that was necessary, but I understand that hierarchy might be a new word for you.  "

35. that you think violence is the only thing that causes hierarchies to develop and that hierarchies rely on an authority to form is perhaps the funniest thing you've said and that's saying something

36. it shows where this ridiculously stupid idea that the heads of companies aren't generally competent, that all steve jobs has going for him is money etc etc etc is coming from... its not a healthy or realistic way to look at the world but whatever you do you

 

37. they don't, beyond training, there are people who struggle with the idea of killing others for example... again you have to leave variables like that out to push the idea forward

 

38. pushing the idea that the ability to perform violence can be equalised does in fact ignore individuality as you have done several times throughout this conversation

 

39. which resources?

 

40. aren't the privileges you are referring to protection of private property? which he benefits from also?

 

""If my choice is limited by unilateral violence it is less voluntary""

41. jesus fucking christ your choice is limited by violence WHENEVER YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE REGARDLESS 

i mean what the fuck are you on dude? why bring up a fundamental fact of being a person in a group to argue against one type of grouping WHEN ITS PRESENT IN ALL GROUPINGS?

 

"Merely asserting it must make it true, right? "

42. i've had to deal with stating the obvious with you too much... its getting fucking tiring

 

"What state was formed by consensus? Can you provide me one example? Or are you using a particularly innovative meaning of consensus? For example, the United States of America was created by a very small minority of people who died centuries ago. The millions of other individuals who existed in that time did not consent"

43. they were representatives of their people... you understand what a representative is and does? apparently not

but again your only understanding of hierarchies is that they are predicated on violence... so how could you understand the concept of a representative? or a CEO? or a manager? or whatever

 

"Spooner explains this pretty clearly in his essay. "

44. well he gave his opinion... your job and mine is to use our brains to analyse what he said and come to our own conclusion rather than just parroting whatever his ideas are

 

45. for the obvious reason that for people to live together peacefully there must be some kind of consensus on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate

 

46. well obviously is it and it has a purpose

1. Being more capable at something is not the same thing as having more privilege. Privilege is a social phenomenon, granted by all other persons to a person or group. 

"a special right, advantage, or immunity granted only to a particular person or group of people."

2. Not necessarily. The disabled person might have capabilities which make up for their disability, or the society in which they exist might provide accommodations for disabled people which reduce the inequality. Dis-privilege due to having a disability is a social phenomena, even if general disadvantage doesn't have to be. Privilege =|= advantage. 

3. For starters a "military sniper" wouldn't exist without the state. Nobody's main profession would be to snipe. A boxer is pretty useless against a gun. For those people who are physically weak or incapable of defending themselves, they'd have the ability to form social bonds in order to have equal access to defense. So yes, the capacity to induce violence would generally be equal at a macro-level if it is not equal at the individual level. 

It is only through tax-rents that the state is able to gain a unilateral monopoly on the legitimization of violence which makes its effective power so disproportionate. 

4. That something is against the law doesn't mean it isn't protected. Drug cartels are against the law, but they only flourish because of the actions of the state. Rape in prisons is protected (or at least made possible) by the state. The legitimization of rape against spouses was only legitimated by the state punishing wives who took actions into their own hands, it's only been recently that Western countries have changed their laws to include rape against spouses. Even in western countries, rape against men is not recognized as rape unless they are penetrated by an object or penis. 

That something is illegal doesn't mean it isn't protected by the actions of the state in its enforcement (or lack thereof) with respect to other crimes. 

5. Then stop saying "no world is perfect" as a response to criticisms of the current system. What is the point of it if not to make such a facile argument? 

6. First I never said people would behave the same. Of course they won't. That doesn't mean people's actions can't be limited without statutes. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbitrationhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_normhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostracism

7.  In both instances I make a promise to do something in the future with what is originally mine (my body or labor-product.) In the first instance I promise to have sex. In the employment scenario I promise to give up my labor-product for a wage. 

Suppose I have control over my labor-product and decide,"Hey, I don't want the wage they promised me, I want to keep that which I produced and sell it myself." I have reneged on my promise, just as what would had happened if I reneged on my promise to have sex.  

Both my labor-product and my body are mine to give and keep, and consequently a violation of either is the same violation -- that of my self-autonomy. 

Hence to stipulate that a laborer can't change the terms of their labor-contract at any time is to imply that a person partaking in sex can't change the terms of their sex-contract at any time. Both depend on consistent consent.

8. I have not denied people have different capabilities. You know that well, I have said it multiple times. It's intellectually dishonest to continually assert this. 

9. Where did you form that conclusion from? As I said, there is some degree to which people mistakenly surround themselves with people who are not in their interests. There is also a point where people surround themselves with people who are not in their interests because they have no other choice, even if they recognize that fact. The latter scenario is what can be diminished to a certain degree by giving people more autonomy and control over their lives. Most people don't join a gang thinking it is especially good for them. Instead they join a gang because it is the least bad option among many. 

10. I am not arguing moral relativism, I am arguing moral subjectivism. While they are similar to some extent, they are indeed different. Moral relativism holds no morality to be better than any other, while moral subjectivism does not necessarily have to hold all moralities to be of equal value, but it recognizes the fact that there is no objective morality, merely many different subjective moralities (as many as there are people.) I subjectively create and modify my own morality and impose my will to enforce it. The capitalist subjectively creates and modifies his morality and imposes his will. He is only better capable at imposing his will because the state privileges him with monopoly access to various social functions/resources: banking/money, the movement of labor/tariffs, access to land/natural resources, and the patent system to name just a few. By eliminating these state-functions I can further my own interests (my morality) much more easily. I recognize the capitalist has his own morality to justify his position, but I reject it as binding me, because my morality (which I define in terms of my interests) is better for me. 

11. When I used "we" I was using it to refer to people who see exploitation as wrong and whom I would associate with. It is just the same as your collective use of "their." So if I am a collectivist for using a collective pronoun, so are you for using a collective pronoun. That an individualist properly uses the pronoun does not make him/her a collectivist. That is such a silly thought. I can recognize that I share qualities with other people without recognizing that I share all qualities with other people. Just as one might recognize that most men have penises, and would say "we" when referring to men and their penises when discussing the probability of penile cancer doesn't make one a collectivist (at least not in a political sense of the word.) It just means they are making a generalization out of expediency. 

12. Right, because the nation-state has existed for how long? There was civilization before nation-states. There will be civilization after nation-states. 

13. Cool. 

14. Please expand on your "understanding" then. So far you haven't substantiated any of your assertions with evidence. If you're interested in me providing evidence of certain assertions I make, I'd happily provide them. 

15. Only in so much as any ideal is unrealistic. That doesn't make ideals useless though. You wouldn't say geometry has no real-world application because a perfect circle is "unrealistic"/can never exist. 

16. I never said they were "entirely" socially-constructed. This has been a trend of yours. Creating false-dichotomies and then assuming that because I reject the absolute statements you make that I believe the opposite absolute. There are degrees to which gender norms are biologically determinable, but since individual humans are complex animals biology manifests differently based on the environmental (including social) context. 

17. That has much more to do with their autonomy (or lack thereof) as a worker than their autonomy as a pregnant woman (I disagree with feminists here.) One could advocate having leave for a variety of reasons (woman or not.) In fact, in many countries men ask for parental leave after a baby is born. 

18. The feminists who say this are wrong, in my opinion. Heck I don't necessarily agree with most feminists about the patriarchy in today's world. Feminists aren't a hive-mind anyway. 

19. Then we don't disagree other than the proportions in which these different factors work in our current society. I'd also like to add that what constitutes success is defined by individuals. 

20. You need to define "intelligence", "bravery", etc and "success" in universal terms for this to be true. Which is an anti-individualist position. I can guarantee you that a Amazonian tribe has better chances of surviving in the Amazon than you do, even if you score higher on an IQ test. Another example is if we were to define success in terms of evolutionary success. There is no reason to believe that in certain ecological niches that these qualities would perpetuate your gene-pool. So I contest the idea that there is a universal metric of success and universal qualities which achieve it. 

21. In the specific setting of the workplace, I believe the capitalist only provides the capital. That is his role. Without the capital nobody would care to associate with him. Tell me, what else does the capitalist provide in this scenario? The capitalist isn't typically the person who sells the goods or services, isn't the person who makes them, isn't the person directly making management decisions, etc. He/she/they are the person(s) providing the money with the aim to gain profits through the work, innovation, and management of others. In other circumstances beyond the workplace? Sure, maybe the capitalist provides something other than capital.

By the way, capital =|= [money], capital = [money, fixed capital, natural resources, etc]

22. Why not? One doesn't need to be the best to adequately manage a firm.This isn't a binary scale between "best = success" and "anything less = failure." Plus plenty of companies last so long because they get special subsidies and privileges, hence the role of the state and its bailouts. Your statement might be true if all markets were perfectly competitive though, but then there would no longer be a super-normal profit-incentive (in a perfectly competitive market; price = marginal cost in the long run) and therefore capitalists would have less dominance (see: market-share of farming cooperatives as an example.) In other words, capitalism would dissolve into Tuckerite market-socialism. 

23. The shape of a normal distribution. 

24. In some circumstances. There are plenty of instances where starting anew is beneficial. Reform can work, but only to an extent. In order to have capitalist liberal democracies we had to destroy (or modify beyond recognition) the feudalism and absolutist institutions which preceded them, through concepts like: the separation of church and state, the elimination of any monarchy power, etc. The same holds true when talking about socialism with respect to liberal democracy. Fundamental characteristics of liberal society like: property, the state, humanism, etc need to be disentangled and modified, if not abolished outright, just as we abolished (in the United States) state churches in our liberal revolution/evolution. 

25. No, it's more like saying because cars aren't perfect we should develop a new, better mechanism of transportation that doesn't have the bad features of cars. Your analogy would work if I said, "We should abandon liberal democracy and go back to feudalism." I am saying, "we should better develop the fundamental enlightenment ideas of liberal democracy, abandon those which aren't that good, and live in a better system of social organization." 

26. lol :D, that is a concession of not having a point without actually admitting it, if I ever saw one. 

27. This would be a fair exchange if all of the coercion around them didn't lead to this dependency of the worker on the capitalist. If the woman (or man) were dependent on the man (or woman) because of coercion around them and they could have been in a better position without said coercion, then yes that would be exploitative. 

28. Sure he started in his garage, and without the capital he would've remained in his garage. He used his social connections (which not all people have) to persuade capitalists to give him capital in order to expand beyond his garage. The future of his business depended on the interests of the capitalist, which might (or might not) be contrary to his own in certain circumstances. 

You simplified my previous definition in order to build a straw man, which again is a typical mode of intellectual dishonesty which you took advantage of in our conversations. This is the definition of capitalist that I provided. 

 Capitalist = = "person who uses the privilege of capital to exploit the labor of others."

Merely exchanging one's capital for labor does not make a capitalist. If I don't make a profit off the exchange, then there is no exploitation. 

29. Nope, I never mentioned Steve Jobs. I spoke of capitalists. You were the one who brought up Steve Jobs. I told you that when Steve Jobs acted as an entrepreneur he was not acting as a capitalist but a worker, working on the behalf of capitalists. 

Just as I can be a producer and consumer in different contexts, so can I be a worker and a capitalist in different contexts. This is true of Steve Jobs too. He started as a worker, and produced value as a worker. When he acted as a capitalist the only thing he provided was capital, which is crucial to value-production, sure, but is in the hands of as few as possible mostly because of societal norms and state laws which bound them. 

30. Except I am not. One can believe that the individual is the fundamental moral agent and the basis from which all social institutions gain their legitimacy, while still believing that the individual worker should control his/her/their labor-product (or an equivalent.) The prior is individualism, the latter is socialism. This was (and is) the consistent and common view of all individualist anarchists. They are individualists because they believe in the primacy of the individual and they are socialists because they wish to solve what they denote as "the labor problem." 

31. Certainly you would agree that a society can be without hierarchy and natural resources can be held in common, right? If not, then what do you say of prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies? They did not have social hierarchies, and most things were held in common. Sure, they are not civilizations, but anarcho-communism is intelligible in at least that very context of primitive society, regardless of whether or not it can exist in a modern industrial society. I am personally not an anarcho-communist, and I think it would be unstable (revert into small-state communism or mutualism), but I can understand the concept fine without considering it to be an oxymoron. 

32. Being knowledgeable about the discourse that already exists, rather than reinventing the wheel is actually very important when discussing these topics. It is hubris to think otherwise. Sure you can add innovations and think critically about these works, but understanding what other people have said and believe rather than guessing or assuming (which is something you've done often in our conversations) is important. Just reading a label, and saying "yes that is an oxymoron" based on your internal prejudices of what is meant is very unintelligent. 

33. Citing other people's ideas rather than writing my own book on an internet forum does not make me a puppet. In fact, even if I were writing a book, I'd be doing a lot of citations for the very reason of not reinventing the wheel and being able to get to the point of my new (if any) additions to the discussion. This is a common thing to do whether we are talking about physics, philosophy, mathematics, etc. 

34. This is the definition that is relevant to our discussion. I see no reason why we'd use a different definition when speaking about social systems. 

35. Name a social hierarchy without violence then. Disproof by counter-example is one of the easiest proofs to make. 

36. When you simplify my arguments, sure it sounds silly and dumb. But that is the point of a strawman isn't it? 

37. This only poses a problem if you ignore the ability of people to associate into groups independent of being forced to. A pacifist can have others fight on his or her behalf (even if he doesn't wish them to.) There are also herd effects of reducing violence that benefit the pacifist independent of whether or not he personally fights. 

38. I never said it can be absolutely equalized at the local level, but it can be relatively equalized because it has been equalized in the past. For example, in the 10th century, securing the means to induce violence was dependent on 1. wealth and 2. physical capability. That is how knights had such disproportionate power, and it was the basis of the feudal system. It is no coincidence that once weapons became cheap, and more people were able to use them that feudalism was disposed of. 

It's why generally pro-monarchy philosophers like Thomas Hobbes believed that in the state of nature people had a generally equal capacity to induce violence. He knew this wasn't absolutely true, but it was true enough for his purposes of deriving what he believed to be a systematic political philosophy. 

Hobbes wished to solve this "problem" by declaring a single sovereign to which people were in awe of. The liberal philosophers which succeeded him switched this sovereign from being an individual person to being the collection of all persons in a society. The anarchist wishes for the sovereign to be the individual and doesn't see the equal capacity to do violence as a problem, because it internalizes the costs of violence to the individual. 

39. All natural resources, the creation of money, the movement of labor, and the patent system. 

40. Private property is more than a single right. Some of the rights he might benefit from, others he might not. Furthermore, the degree to which he benefits might be exceeded by the degree to which the capitalist gains a position of authority which externalizes the costs on to him, and therefore even if he benefits locally (assuming he has property) the capitalist uses his own position of benefiting more (by having more private property) to more easily impose his will in contractual agreements. 

Furthermore, it's not even true that everyone benefits from the appropriation of private property even locally. It was not true when the Native Americans' common property was stolen by colonists. It wasn't true when the common peasant lost their access to the common fields because their lord or a capitalist decided to enclose the property which they used to sustain themselves. It is not true today, when a renter is evicted by an absentee landlord or a laborer loses any bargaining power over his wages.

But private property isn't the only privilege the state grants anyway. It grants subsidies and regulations which help rent-seekers through regulatory capture. 

41. Yes, but who do I have a better chance of bolstering my position against? My neighbor Harry or the fucking federal government and its police/military? In which circumstance can I get more of my interests reconciled in any dispute resolution? Hence, the crucial adjective "unilateral" before the noun "violence." 

The reason why I bring it up is because in one group I have a greater say and more autonomy than I have in the other group. 

42. "Stating the obvious" is merely an excuse for being intellectually lazy and holding your sacred positions religiously. 

43. They were self-appointed representatives of the people, and so the religiously held myth goes. I have strong doubts that thirty people represented a population of almost four million. 

And they certainly didn't represent anybody born after the fact. Furthermore, where was the representation for women, black people, Native Americans, etc? Were the slave-holding southerners who counted black people among their population representing their slaves? And you want to lecture me about what is collectivism and individualism while holding representative democracy as legitimate. 

44. He gave some facts, and some opinions. You can dispute the truth-values of the facts, and discuss the viability of his opinions yes. 

45. Sure, but the state doesn't necessarily represent a consensus. It represents a majority at best, and more often than not a very small minority. Disputes over what is or is not appropriate still exist, and different laws in local contexts still exist. Anarchism is merely taking the ideas of (con)federalism, pluralism, individualism, and self-government seriously, rather than using them as religious reasons to support one particular state over another. 

46. Oh I don't deny it has a purpose. I deny its purpose is what you say it is. The state is there to extract tax-rents so that it can subsidize the costs of those whom control it. In so much as it does anything else, it is for this ultimate purpose. 


 

 

 

 

 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 05 February 2018

A very good description of what classical socialism is. I don´t really agree that it can´t co-exist with capitalism unless you refer to a model where democracy is replaced with something else and only one ideology governs society?

Because we don´t have a capitalistic or a socialistic or a liberal or a conservative system in society; we have a democratic system in many countries that incorporates influences from all types of ideologies (and religions). Just because we don´t have a socialistic society, it doesn´t mean socialistic influences are nonexistent.

Could a socialistic society form under a democratic system? No, humanity as a species is far to complicated to agree on one ideology for the entire society and I am also pretty sure that we are a hierarchic species that strive to create flocks on both a smaller scale (workplace, sports teams) and on a large scale (governments, municipalities) with clear leaders and a hierarchic structure. Socialism would have a hard time deconstruting our very nature that has formed society.



Puppyroach said:
A very good description of what classical socialism is. I don´t really agree that it can´t co-exist with capitalism unless you refer to a model where democracy is replaced with something else and only one ideology governs society?

Because we don´t have a capitalistic or a socialistic or a liberal or a conservative system in society; we have a democratic system in many countries that incorporates influences from all types of ideologies (and religions). Just because we don´t have a socialistic society, it doesn´t mean socialistic influences are nonexistent.

Could a socialistic society form under a democratic system? No, humanity as a species is far to complicated to agree on one ideology for the entire society and I am also pretty sure that we are a hierarchic species that strive to create flocks on both a smaller scale (workplace, sports teams) and on a large scale (governments, municipalities) with clear leaders and a hierarchic structure. Socialism would have a hard time deconstruting our very nature that has formed society.

A few things:

1. Most socialists reject that what passes as democracy in liberal democracies is all that democratic. 

2. There are fundamental protections in liberal societies against democracy which are indeed ideological. 

3. In most of human history people didn't organize into hierarchies. It was only with the first agricultural revolution that hierarchies developed and after they peaked (in slave societies) they started to devolve into more and more egalitarian societies over the long term: slave societies -> feudal societies -> short period of absolutism -> liberal democracies. 

Humans aren't bees. We are able to modify the social organizations we live in because we have the ability to learn and adapt as individuals. 



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sc94597 said:
Puppyroach said:
A very good description of what classical socialism is. I don´t really agree that it can´t co-exist with capitalism unless you refer to a model where democracy is replaced with something else and only one ideology governs society?

Because we don´t have a capitalistic or a socialistic or a liberal or a conservative system in society; we have a democratic system in many countries that incorporates influences from all types of ideologies (and religions). Just because we don´t have a socialistic society, it doesn´t mean socialistic influences are nonexistent.

Could a socialistic society form under a democratic system? No, humanity as a species is far to complicated to agree on one ideology for the entire society and I am also pretty sure that we are a hierarchic species that strive to create flocks on both a smaller scale (workplace, sports teams) and on a large scale (governments, municipalities) with clear leaders and a hierarchic structure. Socialism would have a hard time deconstruting our very nature that has formed society.

A few things:

1. Most socialists reject that what passes as democracy in liberal democracies is all that democratic. 

2. There are fundamental protections in liberal societies against democracy which are indeed ideological. 

3. In most of human history people didn't organize into hierarchies. It was only with the first agricultural revolution that hierarchies developed and after they peaked (in slave societies) they started to devolve into more and more egalitarian societies over the long term: slave societies -> feudal societies -> short period of absolutism -> liberal democracies. 

Humans aren't bees. We are able to modify the social organizations we live in because we have the ability to learn and adapt as individuals. 

1. Ofcourse all democracies have issues just like any societal structure, but they are still democratic in that those that have the right to vote decide who should lead the countries. But that has little to nothing to do with whether or not a socialist society could even be democratic.

2. What are those protections? We have some limits like having a voting age or in most cases using a representative democracy, but what protections are you referring to?

3. It was when we developed more advanced cultures and grew in number that hierachies were necessary for us to form an effective society. In our early development we had a more collaborative structure but often times leaders existed aswell, and I do believe it has been very benefitial from an evolutionary perspective. We are indeed very adaptive. a large reason for our success as a species, but we are still animals with underlying behavior that form the society we live in.



Puppyroach said:

1. Ofcourse all democracies have issues just like any societal structure, but they are still democratic in that those that have the right to vote decide who should lead the countries. But that has little to nothing to do with whether or not a socialist society could even be democratic.

2. What are those protections? We have some limits like having a voting age or in most cases using a representative democracy, but what protections are you referring to?

3. It was when we developed more advanced cultures and grew in number that hierachies were necessary for us to form an effective society. In our early development we had a more collaborative structure but often times leaders existed aswell, and I do believe it has been very benefitial from an evolutionary perspective. We are indeed very adaptive. a large reason for our success as a species, but we are still animals with underlying behavior that form the society we live in.

1. The problem is that representative democracies depend on the premise that representatives are representing their constituents. But how true is this premise? When I go to the voting booth I am not appointing somebody I know will represent my views and interests, but rather choosing from strangers whom have no reason to actually represent my views other than I might vote for their opponent(s), whom also won't represent my views. 

Some countries like Switzerland mitigate this problem by focusing on more direct and consensus-based democracy, but most countries don't even attempt to balance representative democracy with more participatory forms. 

2. Well the Bill of Rights is an obvious example of institutionalized liberal values. I am not saying the Bill of Rights is wrong, as it is necessary to balance against the threat of majoritarian representative democracy, but it is an example of an ideologically institutionalized limit on democracy. Other's are the electoral college and senate, which are meant to mitigate majoritarian whims. None of these would be necessary if our system were consensus-based rather than majoritarian, or I guess in the case of the United States central government, not even that. 

3. Do you have a more specific mechanism by which you think hierarchies arise? Generally the argument is that during the first agricultural revolution it became possible to accumulate resources, and there was an incentive to protect these accumulated resources. The first institutions of violence were then formed in order to protect said accumulated resources, and those who controlled said institutions were able to impose their will on those whom didn't. Hence, hierarchy and ruler-ship came to be. Over time this continued until societies where minority of people totally enslaved a majority of people came to exist. These slave societies self-destructed after the slaves revolted, and what remained were fragmented kingdoms and fiefdoms where feudal contracts were instituted. Eventually, after a bunch of class warfare the merchant class took power from the gentry (land-owning class) and helped abolish serfdom. What we have today is more egalitarian than feudalism which was more egalitarian than slave-societies. Socialism would be even more egalitarian than what we have today. Technology played a significant role in these developments, and there is no reason to believe that technology won't play a significant role in future developments (and the trend has been toward more equality rather than less.) So this static view that hierarchy will always exist, seems to be missing how much societies have changed within the last few millennia as technology has changed. 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 05 February 2018

Seventizz said:

Socialism is stupid and anti freedom. I thought you liberals liked freedom, no?

You millennials really need to educate yourselves. You're making your generation look really dumb.

 

Moderated ~ CGI

People like you amuse me greatly! 

For a start, Socialism and Liberalism aren't the same thing. Socialism aims to completely transform society by abandoning the class structure, the idea that money is king and at the same time, increasing democracy and individual freedom, especially for the working classes. Liberals openly support capitalism and aim to reform it into a more humane system by as you would say creating 'big government' through a welfare state and regulations. Such ideas if not defended will always be eroded by the right eventually. I believe such reforms are only a start though and we need mass protest to really see significant change in society. Regardless of what side of the fence we are on, we all agree politicians are often bloody useless!

What is your idea of freedom anyway?

Because I don't think the west is really that free anyway, although certainly freer than other places. We may have freedom of speech and the like, but we can't run our own workplaces and really don't have that much control over our own lives. We are forced (in circumstance) to do any old job, even if it isn't suitable or the best use of a person (eg intelligence, creativity, strength). Often most people aren't rich enough to do as they like. There's a wonderful world out there and we just put it behind this giant paywall!

Socialism if anything would open it up for everyone to enjoy and we certainly are advanced enough to do it now. And don't worry you won't lose your opinion!



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sc94597 said:
Puppyroach said:

1. Ofcourse all democracies have issues just like any societal structure, but they are still democratic in that those that have the right to vote decide who should lead the countries. But that has little to nothing to do with whether or not a socialist society could even be democratic.

2. What are those protections? We have some limits like having a voting age or in most cases using a representative democracy, but what protections are you referring to?

3. It was when we developed more advanced cultures and grew in number that hierachies were necessary for us to form an effective society. In our early development we had a more collaborative structure but often times leaders existed aswell, and I do believe it has been very benefitial from an evolutionary perspective. We are indeed very adaptive. a large reason for our success as a species, but we are still animals with underlying behavior that form the society we live in.

1. The problem is that representative democracies depend on the premise that representatives are representing their constituents. But how true is this premise? When I go to the voting booth I am not appointing somebody I know will represent my views and interests, but rather choosing from strangers whom have no reason to actually represent my views other than I might vote for their opponent(s), whom also won't represent my views. 

Some countries like Switzerland mitigate this problem by focusing on more direct and consensus-based democracy, but most countries don't even attempt to balance representative democracy with more participatory forms. 

2. Well the Bill of Rights is an obvious example of institutionalized liberal values. I am not saying the Bill of Rights is wrong, as it is necessary to balance against the threat of majoritarian representative democracy, but it is an example of an ideologically institutionalized limit on democracy. Other's are the electoral college and senate, which are meant to mitigate majoritarian whims. None of these would be necessary if our system were consensus-based rather than majoritarian, or I guess in the case of the United States central government, not even that. 

3. Do you have a more specific mechanism by which you think hierarchies arise? Generally the argument is that during the first agricultural revolution it became possible to accumulate resources, and there was an incentive to protect these accumulated resources. The first institutions of violence were then formed in order to protect said accumulated resources, and those who controlled said institutions were able to impose their will on those whom didn't. Hence, hierarchy and ruler-ship came to be. Over time this continued until societies where minority of people totally enslaved a majority of people came to exist. These slave societies self-destructed after the slaves revolted, and what remained were fragmented kingdoms and fiefdoms where feudal contracts were instituted. Eventually, after a bunch of class warfare the merchant class took power from the gentry (land-owning class) and helped abolish serfdom. What we have today is more egalitarian than feudalism which was more egalitarian than slave-societies. Socialism would be even more egalitarian than what we have today. Technology played a significant role in these developments, and there is no reason to believe that technology won't play a significant role in future developments (and the trend has been toward more equality rather than less.) So this static view that hierarchy will always exist, seems to be missing how much societies have changed within the last few millennia as technology has changed. 

1. But that is also why a representative democracy works: if you do not represent your voters in the way they expected you too, you will loose support. A democracy is not about everyone getting their own wishes through but to give the power to the people as a group. But ina representative democracy, or any democracy at all, checks and balances are important to balance the system.

2. I wouldn´t necessarily call is just liberal but also conservative and social democratic in many ways. And they are not protections against democracy but rather a viewpoint that, in order for everyone to have their rights and guarantee the democracy, control measures must be implemented. That is not to say that these foundations can´t be changed but it would require a massive dedication from the people to do so. It is the old question of whether a democracy should have the right to abolish itself if the people decide it?

3. Just because we might be a species that has an evolutionary tendency towards hierarchies, doesn´t mean that society will remain static or that these hierarchies will never change. But I try to look at this from a laymans perspective on evolutionary processes: it has been extremely benefitial for humanity in terms of technological development, how old we can become and how we can protect the young and the weak in the structure we have in society that it is reasonable to assume the our ability to form strong bonds in different groups and create ordered structures where we elect leaders and have people with different assignments is deeply entrenched in our genes and has been one of our evolutionary benefits compared to most other species. The downside of this is that we wage war against each other but when we look at it, we have had a net positive in our development. It is not a matter of what I personally would want us humans to be as a species, because the way we function has caused ourselves and the world around us a great deal of pain. But this is a question of what I personally find to be the most probable answer we have based on the emphirical data regarding the development of our species.



Puppyroach said:

1. But that is also why a representative democracy works: if you do not represent your voters in the way they expected you too, you will loose support. A democracy is not about everyone getting their own wishes through but to give the power to the people as a group. But ina representative democracy, or any democracy at all, checks and balances are important to balance the system.

2. I wouldn´t necessarily call is just liberal but also conservative and social democratic in many ways. And they are not protections against democracy but rather a viewpoint that, in order for everyone to have their rights and guarantee the democracy, control measures must be implemented. That is not to say that these foundations can´t be changed but it would require a massive dedication from the people to do so. It is the old question of whether a democracy should have the right to abolish itself if the people decide it?

3. Just because we might be a species that has an evolutionary tendency towards hierarchies, doesn´t mean that society will remain static or that these hierarchies will never change. But I try to look at this from a laymans perspective on evolutionary processes: it has been extremely benefitial for humanity in terms of technological development, how old we can become and how we can protect the young and the weak in the structure we have in society that it is reasonable to assume the our ability to form strong bonds in different groups and create ordered structures where we elect leaders and have people with different assignments is deeply entrenched in our genes and has been one of our evolutionary benefits compared to most other species. The downside of this is that we wage war against each other but when we look at it, we have had a net positive in our development. It is not a matter of what I personally would want us humans to be as a species, because the way we function has caused ourselves and the world around us a great deal of pain. But this is a question of what I personally find to be the most probable answer we have based on the emphirical data regarding the development of our species.

1. Works "at what?" is the question. It certainly doesn't work at being democratic, which was my point. Democracy means "people power", in a representative democracy the people don't have the power if their representatives don't represent them. The representatives have the power. With tactical voting it is not necessarily true that you'll lose support "if you do not represent your voters in the way they expected you to", because there is no alternative individual whom will in the choosing-mechanism (election.) There is also heavy filtering of whom can fill a particular position in representative democracy before you even get to vote, which means that your choice of representative is limited from the start. An actually representative democracy would involve many people appointing their representatives to represent them independently of any electoral process. Checks and balances are meant to limit majoritarian democracy and mob-rules. You might say that it is necessary, I'd agree, but I'd argue that it is only necessary because majoritarian democracy isn't all that democratic. Depriving a part of the demos of their autonomy does not make a democracy. 

2. It's liberal in the political sense of the word. Both modern social democracy and modern conservativism are now merged with branches of liberalism which emphasize different areas of liberal ideology. In 1788, conservatives were pro-monarchists and absolutist, and social democracy (whether in its socialist or liberal form) wasn't a thing yet. The Bill of Rights was the codification of liberal beliefs with respect to human rights. I don't see how it can get any more ideological than that. The idea that majoritarian democracy must be limited and there must be a separation of powers is itself ideological, based on classical liberal ideology.  Democracy (in the general sense) is not a system, it's a state of human social relationships where all people (not merely a subset; whether it be a minority or majority) have political power. What you mean when you are referring to democracy is liberal-democracy, the dominant form of government today, denoted by the institutionalization and standardization of liberal values through the state-mechanism. Liberal democracy is more democratic than the absolutism and feudalism which preceded it, but I wouldn't say it is all that democratic by the standards of a radical democrat or a deliberative democrat (both of which are alternative conceptions of democracy.) 

"Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Also called western democracy, it is characterised by fair, free and competitive elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society and the equal protection of human rightscivil rightscivil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world."

3. So you're going to have to provide some evidence for this "evolutionary tendency." The fact that most of human (and hominid) history was denoted by small tribal/familial egalitarian groups kind of disputes this evolutionary determinism you're trying to imply. Of course, evolution is complex, and since humans have subjected ourselves to different environments and social contexts it's possible that we'd lean toward egalitarianism (and anarchy) in one context and hierarchy in another (which is what I've argued.) I don't agree that "it would require a massive dedication from the people to do so." Most of the changes in social organization throughout human history weren't done by design, but by social forces which no individual (or group of individuals) had total control of. Basically these forces acted spontaneously and unconsciously, as a sort of social evolution. If we were to speak of it in Dawkinian terms, the mechanism of social change was (and is) the meme, in the same way the mechanism of evolution is the gene.  

Organization =|= hierarchy, one can have organization without hierarchy. For example, the industrial revolution brought a level of organization unheard of under feudalism, but it was far less hierarchical (but still capitalism is very hierarchical) than feudalism. Fewer mandates and rules were imposed on the lower classes by the upper classes under capitalism than under feudalism, and this lead to much more productive forces. Socialism prescribes that the lower class of workers obtain total freedom in their workplace and organize according to principles which they choose free from the constraints of their bosses. The prediction is that productivity will increase considerably as people sort into those occupations, positions, work-hours, etc that they feel most suited and which incentive them to perform more efficient work.  

I agree, that we should look at the empirical data. And the data doesn't necessarily imply that humans are evolutionary predisposed toward hierarchical organization. If anything, the data shows that it requires active social-engineering by those whom gain short term advantages to cement said advantages in violent institutions. When these institutions are dismantled, so is the hierarchy dismantled and if it is replaced, it is replaced by a much weaker but more flexible hierarchy. 

 

 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 05 February 2018