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  1. #21
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure a lot of this commentary follows from defining socialism however you like.

    I still want a definition.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #22
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Tomorrow is MLK day. In a nice coincidence, I was just reading this excerpt from a letter to his future wife from 1952.

    "I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. And yet I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits. It started out with a noble and high motive, to block the trade monopolies of nobles, but like most human systems it falls victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes." ~ Martin Luther King.

    I think Dr. King is pretty obviously a man who appeals to arguments founded on moral truths, both couched in religion and in humanism. A lot of socialists I know of are passionate and idealistic, perhaps to a fault. It's weird to me to think of socialism as any more amoral than any other socioeconomic ideology.
    Socialism isn't moral, capitalism isn't moral. Nobility can be political or it can be economical, usually both. In either socialism or capitalism, nobility takes from the lower classes and gives to itself.

    However, as a member of the lower classes, I would rather not live under the "let them eat cake" mentality. I own all kinds of goodies made possible only by capitalism and the comforts it brings.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #23
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    Socialism isn't moral, capitalism isn't moral. Nobility can be political or it can be economical, usually both. In either socialism or capitalism, nobility takes from the lower classes and gives to itself.

    However, as a member of the lower classes, I would rather not live under the "let them eat cake" mentality. I own all kinds of goodies made possible only by capitalism and the comforts it brings.
    What does "let them eat cake" have to do with socialism?

    And as far as goodies that you own, that's mostly due to technology. Does capitalism facilitate technology more than socialism? I think there's plenty of room for debate there, but again, to have the debate one would have to know exactly what these things are supposed to be.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #24
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I'm pretty sure a lot of this commentary follows from defining socialism however you like.

    I still want a definition.
    You're a Socialist. It's pretty darn sad if you can't even define that which you believe in.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  5. #25
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    You're a Socialist. It's pretty darn sad if you can't even define that which you believe in.
    I didn't say I don't know a definition. I said I want to know what definition you had in mind as the subject of your criticism.

    For example, if someone says "there is a God", I can't really begin disputing that until I know which of umpteen million ways they mean God.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #26
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I didn't say I don't know a definition. I said I want to know what definition you had in mind as the subject of your criticism.

    For example, if someone says "there is a God", I can't really begin disputing that until I know which of umpteen million ways they mean God.
    Let's look at it this way. MLK, Jr. said "It [capitalism] has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes." Whether true or false (and I am certainly not without necessities by any means, nor am I some rich guy), there are certain necessities that Socialism does take away: those fundamental necessities are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (or property).

    Capitalism does not take away these rights, Socialist governments take them away. Nor does capitalism preserve these rights, it is simply an economic system and not a form of government.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #27
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    Let's look at it this way. MLK, Jr. said "It [capitalism] has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes." Whether true or false (and I am certainly not without necessities by any means, nor am I some rich guy), there are certain necessities that Socialism does take away: those fundamental necessities are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (or property).

    Capitalism does not take away these rights, Socialist governments take them away. Nor does capitalism preserve these rights, it is simply an economic system and not a form of government.
    Really? Capitalism does not take away the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Hardly. The only thing capitalism really respects is property rights, and even that isn't always true. Capitalism values individuals according to their economic power. There is absolutely nothing egalitarian about capitalism. In the US we have the right to life, etc. because of our Republic, not because of capitalism. If it were not for our constitution, we would only have what we could purchase. If there is an economic incentive to undermine the rights of others, someone will attempt to undermine those rights. See slavery as one example. The Ludlow Massacre is another. A more contemporary example is the MPAA trying to pass SOPA and PIPA.

    The American economy isn't capitalistic anyway. We're mostly fascistic (crony capitalism, a natural outgrowth of capitalism), with some capitalism and socialism sprinkled in. And this country has always been at least partially socialistic. The justice system has always been a socialistic institution, as has the military.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Really?
    Yes, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Capitalism does not take away the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Hardly. The only thing capitalism really respects is property rights, and even that isn't always true. Capitalism values individuals according to their economic power. There is absolutely nothing egalitarian about capitalism.
    Observe the chronic anthropomorphizing in your statements. Capitalism cannot respect anything, it has no conscious awareness. Of course capitalism can't take anything, nor can give anything. I would hardly consider it even to be a "thing."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    In the US we have the right to life, etc. because of our Republic, not because of capitalism. If it were not for our constitution, we would only have what we could purchase. If there is an economic incentive to undermine the rights of others, someone will attempt to undermine those rights. See slavery as one example. The Ludlow Massacre is another. A more contemporary example is the MPAA trying to pass SOPA and PIPA.

    The American economy isn't capitalistic anyway. We're mostly fascistic (crony capitalism, a natural outgrowth of capitalism), with some capitalism and socialism sprinkled in. And this country has always been at least partially socialistic. The justice system has always been a socialistic institution, as has the military.
    Why has the justice system been socialistic? Because of the jury system?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #29
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    Observe the chronic anthropomorphizing in your statements. Capitalism cannot respect anything, it has no conscious awareness. Of course capitalism can't take anything, nor can give anything. I would hardly consider it even to be a "thing."
    The anthropomorphizing started with you. I merely followed your lead.

    Why has the justice system been socialistic? Because of the jury system?
    Everything that is publicly funded through tax money is socialistic in nature. A non-socialistic justice system would be funded privately. An example would be private arbitration. Because our justice system has always been funded with tax money, it has always been a socialistic institution. An example of a non-socialistic military would be mercenaries paid with private money (Blackwater contractors are mercenaries, but they are paid with tax money).

    My point? This nation has been partially socialistic since its inception. The proper way to critique socialism is to look at specific instances where it is applied to see whether or not it works.

    Has socialism been successful when it comes to our justice system? I would argue that it has, especially if people who hate socialism, like you, haven't even realized that it's a socialistic institution.
    Has socialism been successful when it comes to our military? See above.
    Has socialism been successful when it comes to the interstate highway system? Probably, but there are certainly points worthy of debate.
    Could socialism be successfully applied to the television manufacturing industry? That would almost certainly be a massive disaster.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #30
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    And as far as goodies that you own, that's mostly due to technology. Does capitalism facilitate technology more than socialism? I think there's plenty of room for debate there, but again, to have the debate one would have to know exactly what these things are supposed to be.
    If I lived under communism I wouldnt own any goodies.

    Under socialism it would be pretty much the same.

    Capitalism defends the right to private property ownership. Without Capitalism, the goodies would be produced by technology, but noone would own them, nor the means of their production.

    I believe thats what he meant.

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