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  1. #11
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Emphasizing "my happiness", rather than "happiness for everyone" seems to have some serious consequences, that no one sees right away.
    The reverse is also true....Karl Marx and Ayn Rand are two sides of the same coin, IMO, but the negative affects of too much individualism tends to be less than the negative effects of too much communitarianism.

    Also, extreme poverty has rapidly declined at the global level, due primarily to countries like China, India, etc. deciding to participate in the same institutions which also feed consumerism....its not a zero-sum game.

  2. #12
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    I believe a solid balance can be struck, I still believe in the American Dream. I want a new TV every five years. I wouldn't mind getting a new Nissan Z once in my life. I'll spend good money on a watch, or glasses, or a jacket. Just the other day I sat outside scrubbing my two-hundred dollar tennis shoes with a toothbrush, I got them over two years ago and I'll love them more tomorrow than I ever have. I especially want a house, with a yard, with more than an arm's length from my neighbor's front door.


    I don't buy into all that anti-consumerist propaganda. People will be unhappy with or without goods, I figure. If I have what it takes to ascertain my desires while maintaining my level of happiness, why relinquish that ability? It is a treasure in the universe to be able to do so.
    Hmmm, interesting. Thanks for commenting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I worry that this means people are becoming even easier to manipulate with money and the power of wealth is only growing. It would stand to reasons that it's a positive feedback loop. The increased power of wealth makes it more desirable and the greater desire for wealth makes it more powerful.
    It does seem like a feedback loop.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    The reverse is also true....Karl Marx and Ayn Rand are two sides of the same coin, IMO, but the negative affects of too much individualism tends to be less than the negative effects of too much communitarianism.

    Also, extreme poverty has rapidly declined at the global level, due primarily to countries like China, India, etc. deciding to participate in the same institutions which also feed consumerism....its not a zero-sum game.
    There's not necessarily anything communitarian about Marx or Marxism at all, Marx was a consistent enlightenment liberal, he saw individualism and individuality as valid and worthy, no one ought to sacrifice themselves or their individuality.

    He heaps praise upon capitalism and his own critique to various different socialist schools of thought is an attack upon their "conservatism", ie they were for the most part traditionalist criticisms of new business culture and practices.

    I dont really think that the dichotomy between individualism and communitarianism is good one either, those concepts are so interdependent when objectively considered.

    I would say that its possible for there to be too much class struggle, that's something different and anathema to both individualism and communitarianism, its anathema to order even, although most serious class warriors of the rich variety (the poor ones dont count in the same way) are pretty confident they'd fare well in a break down of order caused by their demands, either because they are personally a survivalist or imagine they can buy enough of that sort of person to fare well.

    Besides class struggles there's other contradictions in the economy, I think they're explained well in youtubes:



    But class struggles are the main one I think, not a balance of too much communitarianism or too much individualism.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I wouldn't kill anyone for a million dollars, but I would totally live on a deserted island for a year....less out of desire to live in hedonistic luxury (and a million dollars wouldn't last very long doing that), and more out of a desire not to have to work for the rest of my life.

    But yeah, its personal connections with other human beings that tend to make people the happiest, even for introverts (though we also need copious amounts of alone time, which can but does not necessarily conflict with maintaining personal connections).

    As for consumerism, one reason would be people with few personal connections might need it to fill in the emptiness inside, much like an addict and their fix, except due more to poor socialization than to brain chemistry.
    This very final bit is really interesting to me, would you expand upon this point?

    I dont really see the key to happiness to be avoiding work, laziness, true laziness, is a sort of pathology indistinguishable reallly from depressive illness.

    Its the sort of work, the sort of workplace, the management, the team/peers, the clients, all that matters.

  5. #15
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    This very final bit is really interesting to me, would you expand upon this point?

    I dont really see the key to happiness to be avoiding work, laziness, true laziness, is a sort of pathology indistinguishable reallly from depressive illness.
    I'm unsure about what needs to be expanded upon....basically, I was saying that people preoccupied with consumerism mimic the behavior of people born with addictive personalities (except that their preoccupation is not pathological, as with a compulsive shopper), and speculating that they seek fulfillment this way because they never properly learned or developed the social skills/perspective necessary to develop personal connections beyond superficial levels. Hell, even collecting things (and I say this as a collector) could be considered a low-end manifestation of this dynamic, though that might also be an indicator of someone with a predisposition toward addiction.

    I could also be seriously misrepresenting things in my ignorance, this is all off-the-cuff speculation on my part.

    As for laziness, I wasn't trying to promote it*, simply acknowledging it within myself. Some of it may be due to depression (I've been battling it for the past few years), but I think its mostly distinct from that, as laziness has been a feature of my personality my entire life, with or without other symptoms of depression-it doesn't mean I would just lounge around, it simply means that I don't feel much if any accomplishment or fulfillment from work if I don't enjoy the process, or need to do things decided by someone else, and therefore always feel like I'm wasting my precious time on this earth.

    *Reality being what it is, people with work ethics are MUCH more likely to be happy individuals, and are certainly more conducive toward happiness in others....I consider a work ethic to be a virtue for those reasons.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I'm unsure about what needs to be expanded upon....basically, I was saying that people preoccupied with consumerism mimic the behavior of people born with addictive personalities (except that their preoccupation is not pathological, as with a compulsive shopper), and speculating that they seek fulfillment this way because they never properly learned or developed the social skills/perspective necessary to develop personal connections beyond superficial levels. Hell, even collecting things (and I say this as a collector) could be considered a low-end manifestation of this dynamic, though that might also be an indicator of someone with a predisposition toward addiction.

    I could also be seriously misrepresenting things in my ignorance, this is all off-the-cuff speculation on my part.

    As for laziness, I wasn't trying to promote it*, simply acknowledging it within myself. Some of it may be due to depression (I've been battling it for the past few years), but I think its mostly distinct from that, as laziness has been a feature of my personality my entire life, with or without other symptoms of depression-it doesn't mean I would just lounge around, it simply means that I don't feel much if any accomplishment or fulfillment from work if I don't enjoy the process, or need to do things decided by someone else, and therefore always feel like I'm wasting my precious time on this earth.

    *Reality being what it is, people with work ethics are MUCH more likely to be happy individuals, and are certainly more conducive toward happiness in others....I consider a work ethic to be a virtue for those reasons.
    It was just the difference between socialisation vs. brain/body chemistry in determining behaviour which I thought you were hinting at.

    The idea that consumerism, collecting, the "relationship" to things could be a substitute for social relationships IS intriguing to me, it has been for a while and I do think that its something which any ideology, left or right, could lay claim to, I've know some pretty hard core free market libertarians and objectivists who I felt were honest to God sincere in their rejecting of consumerism or materialism.

    I wonder, if it is socialisation or brain/body chemistry which is most important, I suspect its a confluence of both.

    Then I also wonder, if it is socialisation, if that just developed spontaneously or unconsciously or if industry and commercial interests engineered it or tapped into it.

    On the laziness thing, I think it is mainly a pathological thing, whether people call it "their passion" or "their true work" or "real work", everyone has something they'd rather be doing than what they do in order to earn a living, genuinely doing nothing is a rare wish, at least for any time longer than a break or rest period. I know the only reason I would want to be independently wealthy is because it'd give me more time to read, work out, push through my personal development plans and see the world while meeting more people. It wouldnt be for doing nothing.

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