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June 09, 2014

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Franklin

Daniel Hannan, Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism.

In fact, authoritarianism was the common feature of socialists of both National and Leninist varieties, who rushed to stick each other in prison camps or before firing squads. Each faction loathed the other as heretical, but both scorned free-market individualists as beyond redemption. Their battle was all the fiercer, as Hayek pointed out in 1944, because it was a battle between brothers.
David

And Franklin takes this thread onto its third page. I believe this may be a first.

Franklin

Time for a bit of celebration, then. That "ding" sound is your tip jar.

David

I may finally be able to buy that pimp coat I’ve always wanted.

Franklin

Good, we'll match.

abacab

Question for Minnow:

all these workplaces that could be run just peachy by the workers, whence do they come?

Whence the innovation required to keep up in the market?

ISTR we tried the "workers running the means of production" back in the UK from the late 40s to the 80s. And we all know how well that turned out. Everyone all over the world just can't wait to get their hands on the 2014 model British Leyland has just announced.... oh wait...

However, in a free-market Capitalist system, workers are perfectly free to own their own means of production. The workers of the John Lewis Partnership do, for instance. Nothing stops the workers clubbing together to buy the enterprise which employs them, and if it's failing and the workers could run it better, the present owners will be glad to sell it off to them. Say the enterprise employs 1000 people, each could by a 1/1000th share, or whatever they can manage, following whatever model they collectively deem fit. That's the beautiful thing about a free market system - all this socialist stuff is entirely compatible, on a voluntary basis. And if it was competitive and worked better in reality, we wouldn't refer to it as "socialist nonsense", it would just be the Efficient Way Things Are Done.

Darleen

whoa, epic thread

I've read most of it and, yes, Minnow's invincible ignorance is pretty profound.

Now, if I'm repeating a point already made, I apologize, but what I've noticed is that Minnow really, truly believes there is no such thing as "property rights". He blathers about more money for workers and less for running-dog capitalists but one notices his foundational assumption about property is not that it is earned but that it belongs to The State and all that needs to be argued about is the details of who gets what and on what basis.

It's a profoundly misanthropic view of individual human beings.

dicentra

Instead of arguing How Things Work In The Real World vs Your Blinkered Vision Of It, I would like to know the mechanism by which Minnow's system would be put into place and maintained.

The one where those who labor make the money, not those who provide the capital (unless I miss my guess).

What is the precise mechanism for implementation?

NO I DON'T WANT YOU TO DESCRIBE THE END RESULT or mention "education" or other abstractions; I want THESE answers:

Does the new system begin with the state seizing all means of production, thereby turning it into "public property," as it were?

Who designs the organization chart for the various businesses and factories?

Which algorithm ensures that profits go to the right people instead of the less-worthy? How are workers allocated vis-à-vis the required tasks? (If you answer "to each according to his need; from each according to his ability," you lose the argument. That paradigm makes "need" an asset and "ability" a liability, which is exactly the wrong incentive structure.)

What if you have a surplus of people who can do the low-skilled jobs and a shortage of high-skilled people, e.g., lots of orderlies but not nearly enough neurosurgeons?

How do the organizations determine which goods or services to provide and how much/many? What happens if there is a surplus of sporks but not nearly enough antibiotics?

If an organization creates substandard products (or provides bad service), what negative feedback does it get?

What happens when the workers (or a subset thereof) attempt to revise their organization to resemble the old capitalistic type?

*****

I'm looking to see how many of your answers contain Coersion By The Masterminds, which is really the core of the free market/socialism dichotomy — do we go with self-organizing systems such as the free market or do the Smart People sit down and plan it all out?

dicentra

Minnow really, truly believes there is no such thing as "property rights".

Remember that Marx was living in 19th-century Europe, before the Industrial Revolution really got going. Prior to the IR, during the agricultural era, ownership of land was about the only kind of wealth that mattered, and such wealth was finite: they weren't making any more arable land, so unless your family already had land, you were outta luck.

Then the feudal land-owners began to finance factories, wherein the feudal model began to repeat itself: workers got sweatshop wages and the owners reaped the considerable rewards, just as before. Because of the rigid class structure, workers could never dream of becoming owners or even vice-presidents. It just wasn't done.

Furthermore, the moneyed class (such as Marx himself) would never deign to sully their hands with manual labor. That was for the peasant class. That's why the "labor theory of value" took hold, because during Marx's lifetime, the little people did all the work while their feudal masters sat on their fat asses and reaped the wealth. It truly was an unjust system.

But Marx never took the American Homestead Acts into account. Beginning in 1862, vast tracts of land were made available to anyone who had the gumption to give it a shot. If you (alone or with family) could make the land produce after five years, with nothing but the sweat of your brow, the land was yours. TALK about the labor theory of value.

From there, you could sell the land for cash, or buy an adjoining plot, or use it as collateral for a loan to make improvements to the land, or give it to your heirs — the important point was that ANYBODY AND HIS BROTHER, regardless of pedigree, could get a genuine foothold into economic prosperity, whether great or modest.

As we moved out of the agricultural eras into the industrial an then beyond, ownership of land (finite resource) ceased to be the only way to be wealthy: now we could merely hold stock in a prosperous company or fatten a bank account with labor in an office building while renting an apartment.

During the entirety of the 20th century, we Americans have lived in a world where anyone at all could become filthy rich (or moderately wealthy, or just do OK) by coming up with a fabulous idea. Because you don't need land to produce an idea (and because we use fiat currency) wealth is no longer a finite entity that must be divvied up among the group: it's a perpetual well into which anyone can dip a bucket.

HERE'S THE THING

The economic conditions that Marx critiqued NO LONGER EXIST and have not existed for a good 100 years. That's why arguing with Marxists is so frustrating: they refuse to acknowledge that their base assumptions are Just Plain Obsolete.

So why does Marxism persist 1.5 centuries after it should have found its final rest on the dust heap of history?

Because it prescribes that all economic power be centralized and given to the Smart People, who then can perfect society according to their incandescent geniuses.

Smart people who (coincidentally, I'm sure) find that their incandescent genius is not in high demand in the free market.

In other words, intellectuals are flattered silly by Marxism.

Refute it if you can.

dicentra

Socialism is not a slippery slope to Stalin let alone Hitler.

That's because there are two bad outcomes possible with the implementation of Marxoid theories.

Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini — they followed what I'll call the "Bad Father" model of governance. Like a bad father, they used punishment and fear of punishment to keep their "children" in line. "Bad Father" is also the origin of the militarism, the conquest & wars, the Glorious Military Marches and fanfare (preserved in the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies), the jackboots, gulags, and hyper-efficient extermination camps.

On the other side we have the "Bad Mother" model of governance. Like a bad mother, such governments control their "children" with guilt and dependence. "I'll take care of you," promises the Bad Mother. If you attempt to escape the clutches of mother's tender care, you're heartless, cruel, inhumane. If you stay with her, she'll render you helpless, soft-headed, and unable to function without her constant guidance. Bad mothers also tend to play favorites with her kids, heaping favor on those who flatter her the most.

Notice, if you will, that in both cases there's a parent/child relationship between government and the people. How can that possibly be healthy?


Do explain how the following propositions are poor assumptions to undergird a society:

A government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed; government is therefore the servant to the people, who are sovereign.

All must be equal before the law — how you fare before a judge depends entirely on your actions and not your connections.

Liberty is the greatest political good because it unleashes the power of the individual; the greatest political evil is therefore tyranny.

Human beings cannot be trusted with very much power; ergo, any power that must be wielded should be divided among as many entities as possible and placed as close to the governed as possible so that the governed can issue appropriate correctives.

The soft socialism extant in Europe is of the Bad Mother variety. It naturally decays and collapses under its own weight, eventually.

It seems to me after skimming this thread that the majority of you are full blown American style, fundamentalist free marketeers.

Damned straight. I'll claim that description every day of the week and twice on Thursdays. That would be today.

Come on people you can do better than Glenn Beck!

Glenn Beck could argue you into the ground, actually. Your opinion of him is based not on listening to him for hours on end and interpreting his primary themes or sussing out his assumptions but on the fact that Everyone Knows He's A Buffoon and so it must be the truth.

A buffoon whose multimedia empire wasn't supposed to be possible. Underestimate him at your peril.

Hal

Glenn Beck . . . . A buffoon whose multimedia empire wasn't supposed to be possible. Underestimate him at your peril.

Put that way, Howard Stern does come to mind . . .

Civilis

Notice, if you will, that in both cases there's a parent/child relationship between government and the people. How can that possibly be healthy?

One of my more philosophically inclined (and somewhat devils-advocate-argument-prone) friends said something related: a family behaves in a very socialist fashion, in that we expect top-down control (the parents) and we expect the parents to contribute more yet the whole group benefits evenly. Socialism works in this case because the numbers of people are very small and they have massive ties to each other.

But we also have seen what looks to be an increase in the number of family structures that fall apart in the latter half of the early twentieth century. If a couple that married and had children with each other can't agree on a way to keep their personal system together for mutual benefit, how can we expect a group of 300 million people to agree on a cooperative system? Why do we expect an impersonal government to be able to do for everyone what many a couple that claimed to love each other couldn't do for each other?

dicentra

Just for your edification, Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen found Beck rather impressive, especially since he's the only interviewer who actually, you know, read the book they wrote.

Here's the full interview: 1:15:00

I'm actually not a Glenn Beck evangelist — he plays to an audience that knows less than I do — but it always cheeses me off when people invest more in Having The Right Opinion about someone than Knowing What Said Person Is Actually About.

IOW, don't judge people by a standard you'd hate to be judged by.

Megabeast

Debate is good fun, but the line Minnow delivered way back when about running a business being easy so long as you hire the right people, or whatever it was, was such flagrant and obvious bullshit I kinda zoned out after that. Everybody else of course is free to carry on.

Minnow

"Why are you called Minnow though?"

It sort of happened by accident. My wife thinks 'whale' would be more appropriate, presumably because of my grace and majesty.

I don;'t think it's really healthy to continue this discussion, but since I have a lot of work to do, here goes.

"One of my more philosophically inclined (and somewhat devils-advocate-argument-prone) friends said something related: a family behaves in a very socialist fashion"

This is interesting because the recently deceased Marxist scholar Gerry Cohen's last book was an extension of this analogy to a camping trip in which a group of friends are on an excursion together. He pointed out that such a trip would always be run on socialist principles and any attempt to introduce market principles, would not just seem absurd but antisocial and he wonders why (imagining, for example, a member of the party catching a bunch of fish and then destroying the ones he was not going to eat if the others would not pay for them). It's a useful wonder. Why do we find market relations not just inappropriate but disgusting in many circumstances? What is that telling us.

Jacob

It's a useful wonder.

No. The comparison is facile. My relationships with my wife and children and close friends aren't anything like my 'relationship' with millions of complete strangers. How could they be?

WTP

What Jacob just said.

And here's a few useful wonders, Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Myanmar, Cuba, Poland post-war to 1990's, Bulgaria post-war to 1990's, Romania post-war to 1990's, Czechoslovakia post-war to 1990's, Hungary post-war to 1990's, East Germany post-war to 1990's, Venezuela, hell...the vast majority of Latin America, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia, Libya, hell again...most of Africa, Pre-Thatcher UK, India,

WTP

...and Detroit.

Minnow

The camping trip thought experiment doesn't assume that everyone is family or close friends, juts a group of like minded people. But even so, it is worth asking why we find behaviour that we consider right and moral when we interact with some people to be so antisocial when we narrow our sympathies.

Minnow

I just haven't time to go through all Dicentra's points and I don't want to enrage more than necessary, but I thought there were a couple of things worth saying about this:


"But Marx never took the American Homestead Acts into account. Beginning in 1862, vast tracts of land were made available to anyone who had the gumption to give it a shot. If you (alone or with family) could make the land produce after five years, with nothing but the sweat of your brow, the land was yours. TALK about the labor theory of value."

I find it interesting how passively it is expressed. Land 'was made available' the wealth was there if you just had 'gumption' to make use of it. But what is left out is that the land could only be made available because the army had murdered and displaced all the people who had, until then, been living off it in non-capitalist social structures. The land had then been 'owned' by the government and distributed to individuals of the right race and nationality. It is funny how the genocide part is so often left out of this story.

Jacob

The camping trip thought experiment doesn't assume that everyone is family or close friends,

So now we've gone from 'friends' to 'like minded people'.

such a trip would always be run on socialist principles and any attempt to introduce market principles, would not just seem absurd but antisocial and he wonders why

Even this is wrong. If I went on a camping trip with friends (or 'like minded people') I'd still expect to pay something towards gas, food, supplies etc. I wouldn't expect to freeload for a week. That would be antisocial.

Minnow

"Even this is wrong. If I went on a camping trip with friends (or 'like minded people') I'd still expect to pay something towards gas, food, supplies etc. I wouldn't expect to freeload for a week. That would be antisocial."

Well, it wasn't 'friends' in the sense you understood it but 'friends' in the way some of us uncapitalist minded people usually use it, a rather larger group, so 'like minded' is probably safer.

Yes you would be expected to contribute, but that is contrary to socialist principles. In fact,. the opposite complaint is usually made.

Minnow

'not contrary', obviously.

David

I wouldn’t expect to freeload for a week. That would be antisocial.

Heh. It’s a common problem for Marxoid ‘theorists’. Small group relationships of a fairly particular kind, in which quasi-socialist behaviour is permitted for many years, don’t often translate to other contexts or scale up to an entire society. At least not credibly or without horrible implications. The appeal to normative family structures is also quite odd in that, while Ma and Pa may not bill their children for meals and clothing, this usually presupposes a parental dynamic and intimacy that in other contexts – say, between random adults or adults and the state – would be considered improper, unjust and totalitarian.

[ Edited. ]

WTP

Yes, the need for "like minded" people. Like a church group, perhaps? What becomes to people who don't like the minds of those ran/run Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Myanmar, Cuba, Poland post-war to 1990's, Bulgaria post-war to 1990's, Romania post-war to 1990's, Czechoslovakia post-war to 1990's, Hungary post-war to 1990's, East Germany post-war to 1990's, Venezuela, hell...the vast majority of Latin America, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia, Libya, hell again...most of Africa, Pre-Thatcher UK, India, and Detroit?

No, I'm sure you'll f this answer up like the others so let me explicitly answer the rhetorical. They either leave for greener non-socialist pastures, are prevented from doing so and are thus enslaved or shot, or they just give up.

WTP

And does anyone else see the irony in minnows dismissal of dicentra's "passive" expression given the question begging, etc. of his responses?

Civilis

"I wouldn’t expect to freeload for a week. That would be antisocial."

And here is the key dynamic which makes the camping trip different from trying to implement socialism with a whole society. The camping trip association is completely voluntary and remains so. If one person keeps freeloading on the system or otherwise ruining the dynamic, you can exclude him from the group. If everyone else is being a domineering asshole, you can find other friends. That voluntary reciprocity is key. A free market exchange doesn't necessarily involve money. I make sacrifices when dealing with friends (like seeing a movie the group wants to see that doesn't interest me) because the friendship is more valuable to me than the occasional time I need to give up to keep it. As soon as the effort isn't worth the return, I can choose to change the effort I put in or dissolve the relationship.

Socialism loses that choice. I can't choose to leave the system if I'm getting screwed by it. At best, the system takes my stuff. At worst, see the gulags and the Iron Curtain.

Civilis

The key is that capitalism is based around a system of voluntary exchanges, which may or may not involve money. You want X from me, I want Y from you, we trade. X and Y can be labor (I wash your car if you mow my lawn) or goods and services (I don't want my chips so I swap with you for your fruit). X or Y could be goodwill or another intangible (I give labor or money to charity for nothing in return, but I feel good about helping someone else). A voluntary commune is perfectly capitalistic. (The only reason a family can be considered socialist is because the minors don't have a choice in the relationship.)

Socialism interjects when you prevent those voluntary exchanges. I can't sell my goods for that much money because that's too high or too low. I can't trade my labor to you for that much money because it's below some arbitrary amount (or above some arbitrary limit).

prm

Regarding the Minnow point about the not using market relations in certain interpersonal settings. There's plenty of discussion from evil free market economists on this (Russ Roberts on EconTalk for example). The standard example is: We take a bottle of wine to a dinner party, but it would be a faux pas to hand over £20 instead, even though that may be more than the wine would cost, and even though the hosts could then buy wine (or anything else) that they preferred. As someone said, this aspect of sociality doesn't scale up.

Minnow

The point about the camping trip isn't that it is a complete analogy of larger human relations or that it could be 'scaled up' but what it tells us about our instinctual responses to certain interactions. There are situations where we find ideal market-caopitalist relations naturally disgusting, but not ones where we find ideal socialist relations disgusting. And disgust is the point, the aversion is very strong.

Nikw211

From Francis Wheen's biography of Marx:

    Inspired by the utopian Charles Fourier, [Ruge] proposed that the three couples* should form a 'phalanstery' or commune […] The experiment in patriarchal communism lasted for about a fortnight before the Marxes decamped and found lodgings further down the street … Ruge was downright scandalised by Marx's leisures and pleasures. 'His wife gave him for his birthday a riding switch costing 100 francs,' he wrote a few months later, ' and the poor devil cannot ride nor has he a horse. Everything he sees he wants to "have" - a carriage, smart clothes, a flower garden, new furniture from the Exhibition, in fact the moon.'

Camping trip my ass.

*The families of Arnold Ruge, Georg Herwegh and Karl Marx

present & correct

So... socialistic type relationships can only be valid between those of intimate connection.
On a wider scale, between strangers, they are impossible.
Why is selective human-bonding such a wonder to Minnow?
It is what it is.

Jeff Guinn

I sometimes wonder what the people who are here, … are actually supposed to be doing instead.

I'm an airline pilot — I fly for the company associated with a remote island and a volleyball.

Coincidentally, I haven't been able to take part in this discussion because I am …

*Somebody* has to put in the time, money, and resources to make a car go and empirical evidence (which knocks your Marxist theory into a cocked hat) shows that if a car does not have an owner this won't happen and it doesn't go.

My son and I have spent the last couple weeks refurbishing the entire suspension on a 22 year old car.

Which was worth the effort because it had an owner.

[Freshverbal:] It's like reading Fox News rhetoric all be it with more intelligence bought to bear.

I hope autocorrect is to blame.

This is worthy of the "Keep your government hands off our Medicare" Tea Party, not intelligent people.

What many, if not all, progressives fail to take on board when reciting that hackneyed phrase is that the Tea Party isn't particularly thrilled with the federal government taking away a program for which Tea Partiers, and everyone else, have already been taxed.

[Minnow:] It is worth saying that the labour theory of value does hold for a large amount of economic activity though.If a way is found to make an ipad with half as much labour, the price will move downwards.

Or any other resource that goes into making an iPad. You are falling prey to the lump of labor fallacy.

[Dan:] The alternative is that politicians, and people like Minnow, get to take some or all of that wealth away and instead decide how to spend or invest it.

It is the unimaginably complex result of billions of people interacting with each other, using price as a signal.

This is the rock on which socialism founders.

Ironically, socialists, who view themselves as our moral and intellectual superiors, are inseparable from those cretinous creationists.

Creationists see natural history as being the result of God, and running according to Gods diktats — every jot and tittle, every sparrow's life, is determined by the ultimate central planner.

That is exactly how socialists see the economy: they are in the God seat.

Unfortunately, they, Darwinists to the core, somehow do not understand that a thriving economy is like natural history: self organized complexity.

Which is where they run into the fundamental information problem Dan mentioned. Just as with nature, in an economy everything affects, to some degree or another, everything else.

Assume an extremely simple economy consisting of only 300 entities. There isn't enough time in the universe to calculate the interactions between them. 300! is an extremely large number. So what must defeat the socialist/creationist is an insurmountable information problem that a market economy, through being massively parallel, solves continuously.

That is why socialism proves there is no such thing as a good theory that doesn't work in practice.

[Minnow:]It's a useful wonder. Why do we find market relations not just inappropriate but disgusting in many circumstances? What is that telling us.

That the circumstances are sufficiently confined so that the information problem doesn't rear its ugly head, which also means reciprocity is effective.

dicentra

It is funny how the genocide part is so often left out of this story.

1. You're using "genocide" for inflammatory purposes, not to tell the truth. "Genocide" is a project of extermination, but there was never a concerted effort, formal or informal, to exterminate Native Americans. What happened is that they kept getting displaced — at the point of a gun, often — but the idea was not to exterminate them, just to move them off the land they "weren't using." There are more Native Americans alive today than when the Pilgrims arrived. Some genocide.

2. How far back in history should I have gone? The natives who occupied the land in 1620 hadn't been there since the dawn of time — they'd displaced the people before them, who'd displaced the people before them, who'd displaced the people before them. In some cases, the displacement was passive (the previous folks died from disease) and in others active (war and/or actual genocide). The North American continent appeared "empty" to the Europeans precisely because the Black Plague and smallpox had wiped out most of the natives. Guns, germs, and steel, as it happens.

3. When they set up the Soviet Union, was there or was there not a project to effect a genocide of the "wrong" classes such as the Kulaks? It's really funny how the genocide part is so often left out of your story.

4. Interesting that you went for the low-hanging SQUIRREL! instead of addressing any of my meatier assertions, e.g., "The economic conditions that Marx critiqued NO LONGER EXIST and have not existed for a good 100 years" and "Marxism prescribes that all economic power be centralized and given to the Smart People, who then can perfect society according to their incandescent geniuses … intellectuals are flattered silly by Marxism."

Go ahead: answer those instead of the details about setting up a socialist business.

David

Pilot… architect… IT… oil industry, etc…

Hey, this place is classier than I thought.

dicentra

And disgust is the point, the aversion is very strong.

That reveals more about you than it does anyone else. It assumes that we object to the term "socialism" on purely emotive grounds, not on any type of observation or objective analysis.

It's all about bigotry, in other words, which means that your willingness to embrace "socialism" is a sign of moral superiority, having overcome bigotry and seen the light.

Which, IIRC, that's the same subject as when you first chimed in, asserting that all of us here are blinkered by false consciousness.

NOT that we have different priorities.
NOT that we have different preferences in how much autonomy we want.
NOT that we have different life experiences that have led us to where we are.
NOT that everyone sees the world differently and so of course there are differences.

No, not that at all — it has to be false consciousness and bigotry.

How intellectually comfortable is that? You're a Titan standing atop Mount Reality while the rest of us Untermenschen stumble about in a primitive, unenlightened state.

That, right there, justifies all of your desires to micromanage us without taking our perceptions and desires into account. It justifies steamrolling us in policy prescriptions and even in discussions like this, dismissing our objections and observations as by definition distorted and therefore invalid.

It's the world's most intellectually dishonest set of assumptions. It's "heads I win; tails you're a racist." It's the unassailable fortress wherein no self-examination or introspection is required, and definitely no attempt to understand your opponents as they understand themselves.

What kind of weak mind ensconces itself in such a structure? What kind of reprehensible character insists on "othering" such a significant portion of the population, all to feed one's smug self-regard?

Is that you, Minnow? Are you really that narcissistic? Or do you merely choose not to understand us as we understand ourselves?

MikeG81

Hey, this place is classier than I thought.

*burps*

Sorry. Standards have slipped since I'm the unemployed bum of the group.

David

“And miscellaneous ne’er-do-wells.”

MikeG81

At least I did the dishes.

Hal

1. You're using "genocide" for inflammatory purposes, not to tell the truth. . . . . What happened is that they kept getting displaced — at the point of a gun, often — but the idea was not to exterminate them, just to move them off the land they "weren't using."

No Dicentra, you're clearly wrong, the major displacement wasn't done by gun, that wasn't invented for rather several centuries. As Just Everybody knows, the major displacement was done by knife and sword and sometimes horses were involved.

Goddamned Normans. Really. It's all their fault. After all, what have the Romans ever done for us?!?!?!!!!!! U.S., Canada, and Mexico out of North America!!!! Romans Go Home!!!!

And, finally, Free the Indianapolis 500!!!!!!!

dicentra

No Dicentra, you're clearly wrong

I stand corrected.

The land belongs to whomever was there first. Before the last ice age first. 200,000 years ago, first, when Homo sapiens sapiens appeared on the scene.

There's not enough land in Ethiopia to hold us all but at least it will be authentic and just.

dicentra

Also, I have a bit of curiosity to satisfy, if Minnow is willing to dedicate 3/4 of an hour or so to digest a lecture.

Evan Sayet, "Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals Think." [video | transcription] He's a New York Jew in Hollywood who "became" conservative as an adult. I am curious whether Minnow would agree with his description (but not characterization) of the assumptions and thought processes that constitute modern liberal thought.

The fact that he's describing American liberals (not necessarily Leftists, but not excluding them, either) might mean he's not talking about Minnow at all. Still, it would be interesting to hear from someone not of our assumption-set to evaluate his description (A leads to B leads to C), setting aside Sayet's assertion that their chain of conclusions leads them to always be wrong.

What say?

zeppo

>When you are in a business as a worker your interests conflict with those in the manager class. You must have noticed this, that the more they make the less there was for you?

Your understanding of and experience with economics and actual, profitable, functioning business is either sorely lacking or very narrow, Minnow.

>The useful things are made by the poor people, the workers, not the capitalists. The capitalist gets the profit and gets to do the tramping.

First, not all workers are poor.

Second, the capitalist who provides the capital takes most of the risk and thus takes most of the profits. Would the poor workers in your example be willing to wait weeks to get paid for the products they made? Following your line of reasoning, it would be more appropriate for the workers to get paid not an hourly rate or piece rate, but only after the products are completed, packaged, shipped, and sold to dozens or hundreds of individual wholesalers. Or if the product is sold direct to consumers online what, then, if unsatisfied consumers return a product for a refund? Should the poor workers then return part of their salary to the unhappy consumer?

Third, your example fails to account for small business owners, a substantial minority of whom built their businesses debt-free with little or no assistance from the Capitalist Class®.

Maybe you need to read Bohm-Baewerk's "Karl Marx and the Close of His System" to get a fuller understanding of why Marx's economics were wrong.

dicentra

When you are in a business as a worker your interests conflict with those in the manager class.

I want the business to succeed so that I can keep my job. The managers want the business to succeed so that they can keep theirs.

Yup. Loggerheads.

Again, you're going off what Marx theorized, and neither of you ever set foot in a factory and actually, you know, worked there or even so much as interviewed workers.

Also, "manager class"? WTF? More obsolete obsolete obsolete feudal-system-converting-to-industrial-revolution claptrap. My "managers" don't belong to a different "class" than I do, nor do we regard each other that way.

The different positions in a company are a DIVISION OF LABOR, with each person filling a role, according to their abilities.

I DON'T WANT TO BE A MANAGER. Know why? I don't want that set of responsibilities: dealing with interpersonal conflicts, writing reports, going to more boring meetings than you can shake a stick at. I'm GLAD to see someone get paid more to deal with that nonsense.

On account of there's no amount you could pay ME to deal with it.

What line of work are you in, again?

Bunk X

Lifted verbatim and soon to be reposted, with links, on The Blogmocracy.

Good commentary.

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