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  1. #51
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Oh, I would just like to add: Christianity has not been responsible for more deaths than has government. If you add up just the deaths from World Wars I and II and Chinese rebellions from 1 AD to the time of Mao, you have over 200 million dead. It's a tremendous stretch to say that Jesus has been responsible for more than deaths than anyone else in history. He would probably even be behind Muhammad at this point. The death tolls of "Conversion by the Sword" in India alone from the 11th Century to the 17th Century are estimated in the tens of millions, then you have the Armenian Holocaust by the Turks circa-WWI and massacres of Greeks in Morea in the 19th Century.
    Are we counting government as the philosophy of one man? You might have something right about Muhammad, but I don't see government as being analogous.

    EDIT: Also, even if I did get the figures wrong, you do understand the argument I was making with that statement, don't you?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #52
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Only half of my point was about what other people believe. The first part was that there's a wide range applicability to ideas he came up with. See conflict theory in sociology.
    But what I am saying is that whether or not the man was narrow in his mindset is to be determined from what he wrote. I offered dialectical materialism as an example.


    Actually, this paragraph sort of encapsulates your biggest mistake. You're going from point A: We haven't achieved Marx's
    ideal concept of society in 150 years. To point B: Marxism as a whole and it's components must be rejected. Talk about all or nothing. Marx's collection of theories has flaws in it, obviously, but it would irrational to reject it all on the basis of things like Bolshevik revolutions and such.
    It's not a mistake at all when you look at how many communist revolutions with different leaders trying different tactics we've had in world history. It seems quite obtuse to say, "Well, THOSE guys were all wrong; if we get THESE guys, it could work." That's incredibly naive. We're talking about human nature here.


    We might make debates about women compared to men, but other than that, I think some tribes basically did have classless society. Again, with a large, complex civilization, it seems like a tall order, but never say never. I still don't think history has made it clear that Communism is impracticable, for the reasons I already mentioned. The attempts are too limited. But I personally wouldn't aim for practicing it.
    It is completely reasonable (and correct) to say "never" when it comes to the final stage of Marx's vision of a classless society. History has spoken on this one. Besides, what Marx envisioned isn't even a good thing, anyway. It's a fucking nightmare.


    What is your point? I was talking about why capitalism can't work as anarchy, because it needs a function of the government. The fact that Communism doesn't have private property is one of the reasons it would woul work as anarchy, and would probably have to be anarchic, not using the functions of the government it doesn't have.
    So the Soviet Union would be more anarchic than an idealized anarcho-capitalist state? That doesn't many any sense. It was about as unanarchic as you can get.


    That being said, the Soviet Union never really banned private property, and it never got rid of government, it just came up with different names and rules for tossing it around. Marx would never have endorsed the USSR. It was not Communist at all. It even called itself Socialist (and most socialist academics agree, it was a piss-poor socialist state, too).
    Was it? I think it was simply an extreme example of one.


    Also, we should probably stop resting everything on the success of the Soviet Union, eh?
    "(S)uccess of the Soviet Union" = "oxymoron," but that is fine. It was just an example. Substitute any other communist state in history. Same shitty, bloody, atrocious results.


    In the early days of mercantilism, things got seriously bogged down by kings and lords making different and totally arbitrary decisions about what they accepted as currency and how much it was worth. I suspect that would happen again.
    How would that happen with no kings and lords making royal decrees as to what is currency and what isn't? Wouldn't this be a far more decentralized system?


    Private security forces might also be referred to as "goons". Why have restitutive law when you could just say "Do it, because I employ more force than you, and you don't want to find out what I can do with these guys"? Like I said, it would seem more likely to follow the rather capricious model of law that feudalism followed, which yes, was restitutive on the face of it, but in practice, well you know... Another comparison would be the mafia. In other words, anarcho-capitalism just winds back the clock to a more primitive form of law that our current form eventually grew out of.
    And the criminal law and national defense areas are the ones I find the weakest in anarcho-capitalist thought, but you seem too dismissive of some of the other areas. Many entities use third party mediation for contract disputes and torts already. Defense is way more difficult, and I would prefer a moderate government to none at all for these reasons (although small would be even better than moderate).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #53
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Are we counting government as the philosophy of one man? You might have something right about Muhammad, but I don't see government as being analogous.

    EDIT: Also, even if I did get the figures wrong, you do understand the argument I was making with that statement, don't you?
    I was just making a point that Jesus was not the man responsible for most deaths in the world, nor was Christianity. Religion possibly, but government almost certainly. And the figures for persecutions by Islam are shrouded by time and distance, but the estimates are staggering. You should take a look at the deadliest conflicts of all time. Some scholars estimate that the An Shi Rebellion in China in the mid-8th Century led to the deaths of 30-36 million people, when the population of THE WORLD was 220-230 million.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #54
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    But what I am saying is that whether or not the man was narrow in his mindset is to be determined from what he wrote. I offered dialectical materialism as an example.
    Then I'm just not seeing the point of this. If he is narrow, but his ultimate collection of theories is not, what does his narrowness really tell us about practicing Marxism?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It's not a mistake at all when you look at how many communist revolutions with different leaders trying different tactics we've had in world history. It seems quite obtuse to say, "Well, THOSE guys were all wrong; if we get THESE guys, it could work." That's incredibly naive. We're talking about human nature here.
    You're still only talking about one part of Marx's many ideas. You're still only talking about one sliver of Marxism. You're still making the mistake I'm talking about.

    As an aside, Marxism also warns us a lot about human nature. The main thing Marx didn't get is that the very things he knew to be true about human nature are what made his ideal world so unlikely. The failures of any actual Communist civilziation to exist all resulted from leaders behaving in the way that Marx assessed human leaders to behave, one of the great ironies of recent history. Again, see conflict theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It is completely reasonable (and correct) to say "never" when it comes to the final stage of Marx's vision of a classless society. History has spoken on this one. Besides, what Marx envisioned isn't even a good thing, anyway. It's a fucking nightmare.
    No. History hasn't said enough. And the desirability of Marx's Commune is entirely a matter of opinion, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    So the Soviet Union would be more anarchic than an idealized anarcho-capitalist state? That doesn't many any sense. It was about as unanarchic as you can get.
    No. Because it wasn't Communist. You're right, it doesn't make any sense, but that's entirely your fault. It doesn't make sense as soon as we think the USSR was actually Communist.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Was it? I think it was simply an extreme example of one.
    It can be both. The extreme is often broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    "(S)uccess of the Soviet Union" = "oxymoron," but that is fine. It was just an example. Substitute any other communist state in history. Same shitty, bloody, atrocious results.
    Those reflect on Communism to an extent, perhaps still too limited. They reflect on Marxism as a whole to a much, much smaller extent. As I pointed out, beliefs in our very society are influenced by Marx.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How would that happen with no kings and lords making royal decrees as to what is currency and what isn't? Wouldn't this be a far more decentralized system?
    They won't be called kings or lords but they will be there, because anarchy in a large and complex society seems to always capitulate into a steap power hierarchy. This was the problem I was talking about with Communism, but it also applies to anarcho-capitalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And the criminal law and national defense areas are the ones I find the weakest in anarcho-capitalist thought, but you seem too dismissive of some of the other areas. Many entities use third party mediation for contract disputes and torts already. Defense is way more difficult, and I would prefer a moderate government to none at all for these reasons (although small would be even better than moderate).
    The most ideal third party would be governmental, supposing it were a government that could be checked by the people. If your third party where just another faction like the two factions making a deal... Isn't it kind of obvious how that would go wrong? If two of our corporations do business with a third one responsible for monitoring it, serious interest conflicts are there, and odds are the third corporation isn't enough more powerful than the other two to really do anything.

    Now, I am hiatus because I actually have school work to do and this requires too much time and thought. I'm strictly doing minor commentary and fluff on this forum for the rest of the day.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #55
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Two mistakes. One is that Marx actually did have positive impact. His theories were important in getting us to recognize certain problems within the very new industrialized society, even if he was a bit over the top. So for instance, the birth of child care, disability and age related aid, worker compensation, the banning of child labor, and even the first case of national healthcare (in Bismarck's Germany) all came about in part to reduce pressure from people inspired by Marxist thinking
    Such pressures would have (and often did) come more constructively through other avenues without the entirety of Marx's ideas; your line of arguement is a lot like people justifying Imperialism because of all the (long-term) good things it made international, though most former subjects could have more constructively recieved technological, institutional, and philosophical inputs through free trade and competing international investments (though I ironically share Marx's somewhat positive assesment of British imperialism in India, as breaking the power of the heinous caste system probably wasn't possible without outside intervention, and better the British than any of the alternatives, despite the atrocities and long-term economic damage involved).

    Edit: As for the Jesus example, like I alluded to earlier, you have to bring up all the counter-factuals that reason and empirical evidence make likely; what other universalist belief systems in the vicinity of the Roman Empire (or elsewhere, with the possible exception of Buddhism) would have served the same positive functions with better humanitarian results, and what would have happened without the rise of a universalistic religion to bind Western Europe together and directly or indirectly lead to everything good that the Enlightenment brought forth?

    Edit2: It might actually have been a famous Marxist other than Marx who made that assesment of British imperialism in India; I had independently arrived at that same conclusion, so my memory of the source is rather hazy.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 04-17-2009 at 05:18 PM. Reason: self-evident

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