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  1. #21
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    This implies that external forces have control over individual thoughts and feelings. Impact, agreed, control, only for individuals who allow it.
    I'm a hard determinist so I tend to believe that there are plenty so called external forces which control individuals thoughts and feelings, social psychology and sociology are just two examples of disciplines devoted to the study of each, that does not mean to say that I dont champion, and believe its correct to champion, free will, personal responsibility, choices and consequentialism but mainly because those are useful and worthy goals rather than strict facts.

    Its pretty obvious to me that by virtue of being born with particular physical constitutions and genetic inheritance alone an individuals freedom from determinism is already severely compromised or curtailed even from before their birth, I'd say that from that point how they fare when their internal evolved drives meet with either satisfaction, frustration or deprivation their susceptibility to social suggestion is quickly hardwired.

    From that point on their success will depend on how well they can discover best fit between their individual traits and social expectations, before they know it one way or another their character is much like the social character made requisit by culture, economy or community (whatever way they define it). That's not to say that choices can be made, sure they can, but sometimes that choice will be about how you feel about not actually having a choice, can you adapt or adjust or cope.

    The keeping up with the Jones bit is haggard and simplistic, we live in supposedly post-materialist times since the ninties, the marketing and sales researchers and academics have paid those trends and developments close attention and revealed that while individuals are more sophisticated at the level of the subconscious, conditioned self they function much the same, however much they believe they dont, so while you could be choosing not to get jealous of your neighbours car you may very well still get jealous of their wife, children or some other frame, field or grid reference. Mankind has always coveted, it likely always will, never before has it been positively encouraged or been of vital importance though.

  2. #22
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark

    I frequently hear capitalists accuse socialists of stoking peoples envy or accusing anyone critical of inequality as being merely envious of others but reading Daniel Bell, who I reckon is a bit more difficult to place politically, he suggests that status competition in consumer socieites has lead to the institutionalisation of envy.

    So instead of being something which anyone, socialist or otherwise, could import into cultural or political struggles its something which is already there and infact underpins the economy itself.

    Would you agree or is it just too easier to believe the former than the later? Or could the later be true but the former true too? I think perhaps its a case of each but capitalising on accusations of envy has pretty much been restricted to the political right wing.
    I would agree that capitalism both feeds and feeds on, envy. Alain de Botton also writes about this effect in Status Anxiety.

    Envy is a function of inequality, therefore reducing inequality must also lead to a reduction in envy.
    It is fallacious to suggest that people only criticize inequality because they are envious. Such arguments would be bound to fail. It is usually the voices of the envied class that are listened to when it comes to critically examining their own privilege, e.g. John Stuart Mill.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    I would agree that capitalism both feeds and feeds on, envy. Alain de Botton also writes about this effect in Status Anxiety.

    Envy is a function of inequality, therefore reducing inequality must also lead to a reduction in envy.
    It is fallacious to suggest that people only criticize inequality because they are envious. Such arguments would be bound to fail. It is usually the voices of the envied class that are listened to when it comes to critically examining their own privilege, e.g. John Stuart Mill.
    I agree. The perception of inequality is the foundation of envy, and any system wherein an individual has a perception of having less or doing more, there will be envy. A similar problem occurs with the alternatives to capitalism however; as is the case in a socialist system wherein what is given might be equal, but what is expected from each individual is not equal.
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  4. #24
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    Prudent Capitalism and Predatory Capitalism

    We practise prudent capitalism within liberal democracy.

    And being prudent our banks remained well capitalised and wouldn't deal in subprime mortgages.

    And so when the economic crisis hit, there was no need to bail out our banks.

    We did quite the opposite. We stimulated our economy by giving money directly to the poor, not to the wealthy banks.

    So the poor of prudent capitalism have less reason to be envious of the rich. While the poor of predatory capitalism have every reason to envy the rich.

  5. #25
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah but Daniel Bell was suggesting that envy was vital to the economy, without envy there wouldnt be consumerism and the economy would grind to a halt, its considering the context of relative abundance which capitalism has created in most developed economies but none the less. Imagine for instance the if no one was making reference to anyone else and satisfied with a world devoid of leisure or conspicious consumption, could be pretty boring and alienating, perhaps just as alienating as the status quo.

    If it is normative and everyone experiences it, and it also underpins the economy, conservative attacks on tax or redistribution as envy arent really correct.
    The point there was just to show the irony of them accusing others of envy, while they claim those with less are the ones getting everything.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    The point there was just to show the irony of them accusing others of envy, while they claim those with less are the ones getting everything.
    Yeah, I appreciate that, its cool to see someone else thinking the same way for a change.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Socialists understand that wild economic imbalance actually will fuck up the economy eventually, and usually rather than feeling envy they are aware of the social injustice of certain people suffering needlessly while others take more than they could ever possibly want or need. They see human potential in a wider segment of the population and see human potential as something other than simply acquiring things. They also understand that poverty increases crime, and that it actually is self-serving to maintain a certain social balance. So no, I don't think any of that is about envy. Some of it could be about envy, but I wouldn't say it's the prime motive, or even one of the top five motives of intelligent socialists.
    This.

  8. #28
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    Just curious...

    What are you driving at with all this Lark?

  9. #29
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Just curious...

    What are you driving at with all this Lark?
    A cultural revolution... No, just kidding, just making conversation, why do you ask?

  10. #30
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    Just curious...
    Also, having read the thread, I'm having a hard time taking away the main point from the discussion.

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