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Freedom

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Chris OConnor

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Re: Freedom

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I don't think your system is even remotely possible, so I'm going to drop out of this thread.
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Re: Freedom

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CCelt: Cream will rise to the top and you know that.I think it's a poor analogy if Justice and Freedom are our concern; unless of course Justice and Freedom mean a very few getting the very best, while the vast many are left with what's left over. CCelt: Where in the world are people born equal? Captialism doesn't make that true. Life makes that true!People are born into wide mixes of relationships, degrees of equality, etc. I think an economic system can work to accentuate equity and solidarity, diversity and self-management, ecological sustainability and justice...it can also work to accentuate predatory domination and narcissistic egoism, gross inequality and massive poverty. What is true is that humans make choices, and these choices have consequences. I don't think Capitalism accurately reflects human nature. I think it imposes a model of predatory egoism that is disasterous for freedom and the biosphere. MA: Incidentially, the case of East St. Louis may also serve as a convenient starting point for discussing how capitalism in practice may well cause injustice, given that the long-term problems which afflict the region are directly related to the practices of capitalist entities acting in the interests of business.Kozol has been a tireless advocate for the underpriviledged and impoverished in America for many decades. His work in exposing the gross inequalities in our Public Schools is crucial in making sense of how far we are from our stated ideals of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Kozol's book examines similar situations in Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, Camden, NJ. Here's an excerpt from his book:Quote:Critics in the press routinely note that education spending in the district is a trifle more than in surrounding districts. They also note that public schools in East St. Louis represent the largest source of paid employment in the city, and this point is often used to argue that the schools are overstaffed. The implication of both statements is that East St. Louis spends excessively on education. One could as easily conclude, however, that the conditions of existence here call for even larger school expenditures to draw and to retain more gifted staff and to offer all those extra services so desperately needed in a poor community. What such critics also fail to note, as Solomon and principal Sam Morgan have observed, is that the crumbling infrastructure uses up a great deal more of the per-pupil budget than would be the case in districts with updated buildings that cost less to operate. Critics also willfully ignore the health conditions and the psychological disarray of children growing up in burnt-out housing, playing on contaminated land, and walking past acres of smoldering garbage on their way to school. They also ignore the vast expense entailed in trying to make up for the debilitated skills of many parents who were prior victims of these segregated schools or those of Mississippi, in which many of the older residents of East St. Louis led their early lives. In view of the extraordinary miseries of life for children in the district, East St. Louis should be spending far more than is spent in wealthy suburbs. As things stand, the city spends approximately half as much each year on every pupil as the state's top-spending districts.I think this should be expected from an economic system like Capitalism where a very few get the lion's share of voice, veto and profit...and the vast many get what's left over. I think it's also important to remember the racist, white supremacist ethos out of which American Capitalism arose and upon who's backs it was built. Capitalism means Class Conflict. It is a predatory attack and assault. Kozol's work shows how this is reflected in our Education systems.CCelt: We don't need East St Louis for this discussionI think it's more than appropriate. It offers one concrete case of how an economic system influences the entire social, political and ecological systems of an area...and how it awards a small few with collosal wealth...while punishing the great many with real poverty.
GOD defiles Reason

Re: Freedom

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"Cream will rise to the top and you know that." (With Capitalism)It's just as true that big fat greedy turds also rise to the top. Where did that expression for Capitalism come from anyway?Quote:Celt: Why are you answering for Niall ? Don't you think he can explain for himself. It is to him that I addressed my question, let's see what he says.Hmmmm. The ol "speak when you're spoken to" mentality.Quote:Celt: Who said Jonothan Kozol is the authority to believe on the subject of inqualities in life or Capitalism for that matter? Didn't you cite Ayn Rand not to long ago to make your argument for you in response to another member about Capitalism? What makes Ms Rand such an expert on Capitalism?Out of curiosity, does anyone know who first coined that term: Capitalism?Quote:Celt: We don't need East St Louis for this discussion, we need rational conversation that is not filled with hyperbole.Using real life examples in conversation seems rational to me. Why do you think that's not rational?
Classical Celt

Re: Freedom

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GDR:Quote:"Cream will rise to the top and you know that." (With Capitalism)It's just as true that big fat greedy turds also rise to the top. Where did that expression for Capitalism come from anyway?I didn't make it up. Quote:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Celt: Why are you answering for Niall ? Don't you think he can explain for himself. It is to him that I addressed my question, let's see what he says.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hmmmm. The ol "speak when you're spoken to" mentality.Certainly anybody can and should answer but that question was meant to get Niall's answer. Why twist what I said. I am interested in Niall's answer.Quote:Didn't you cite Ayn Rand not to long ago to make your argument for you in response to another member about Capitalism? What makes Ms Rand such an expert on Capitalism?You are exactly right. I did do that. Sorry about that. I will take the time to look into Jonothan Kozol maybe you could look into Ayn Rand.Quote:Out of curiosity, does anyone know who first coined that term: Capitalism?No I don't but there have been many different theorist who have spoken of it.Quote:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Celt: We don't need East St Louis for this discussion, we need rational conversation that is not filled with hyperbole.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Quote:Using real life examples in conversation seems rational to me. Why do you think that's not rational?I used the word rational to describe our conversation not as a description of real life examples. Edited by: Classical Celt at: 5/9/06 5:33 pm
GOD defiles Reason

Re: Freedom

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Quote:Celt: You are exactly right. I did do that. Sorry about that. I will take the time to look into Jonothan Kozol maybe you could look into Ayn Rand.I'm interested in reading some of her philosophical work and fantasy novels. But when I do, I'll treat her as I would any other philosopher/author; as someone who may be very intelligent and has very good ideas that look good on paper, but also a person who is certainly just as human as any other philosopher/author, who has her own biases and flaws and her own reasons for believing what she believes. She's not infallible and she's not a god. Treating her otherwise makes the follower look just as much a cult member as a Catholic who really thinks the Pope was anointed by God.She brings her own experience to her philosophy. And she has blind spots just like everyone else. Some of these blind spots can get us in a lot of fucking trouble.Quote:Celt: I used the word rational to describe our conversation not as a description of real life examples.Yes, You used that word (rational) and the word "hyperbole" following a post by Mad. So what did he say that warranted an insinuation that he was not being rational or was making a hyperbole remark?
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Freedom

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God defiles ReasonI agree with you that no human being should be elevated to God-like status, which is what most Objectivists seem to do with Ayn Rand. I personally know that Classical Celt doesn't fall into this category, but your point is valid. We have to guard against just accepting everything one person says as gospel. Ayn Rand came from Russia, and we all know what sort of an oppressed society this was several decades ago.While I really love Ayn Rand's philosophy I've always labeled myself as a "3/4 Objectivist," as I'm not in full agreement with 1 of her 4 main principles, which is Laissez-Faire Capitalism. I'm close though - just not in "complete" agreement. Laissez-Faire would be a clusterfuck IMO. Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 5/10/06 10:40 am
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Re: Freedom

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Anyone catch the article on Ayn Rand on the new "About" banner on the booktalk page?Why NOT Ayn Rand?Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Freedom

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Classical Celt: Why are you answering for Niall ? Don't you think he can explain for himself.Fair enough. Ignore the part of my post where I say, "If I had to guess" -- you can take the rest of that paragraph as my own 2 cents, added free of charge.Who said Jonothan Kozol is the authority to believe on the subject of inqualities in life or Capitalism for that matter?I didn't say that he was the authority, but his books are very well researched, and he provides a viewpoint worth considering. We can, of course, consider other points of view as well, and I'd be glad to look into any suggestions that you might have. I think the important thing is that we avoid taking our own experiences as the final authority -- what's great about a book like "Savage Inequalities" is that it provides us a perspective that we may not encounter on our own.We don't need East St Louis for this discussion, we need rational conversation that is not filled with hyperbole.Are we supposed to have a discussion about the practical effects of capitalism without any examples? E.H. Carr has talked about the tension that tends to arise in discussions about political and economic systems -- that is, the tension between discussing the ideal form of a system with no reference to its actual forms and discussing its actual forms with no reference to its ideal. If we avoid examples altogether, then I think we run the risk of treating capitalism as though it were some abstract ideal with didn't suffer in the translation into actual policy.I don't want to have to read your book recommendation if that is possible.You don't have to, of course. Most people around here don't.GDR: Out of curiosity, does anyone know who first coined that term: Capitalism?I may be wrong about this, but Adam Smith seems like a likely source for the term.
Chris M OConnor

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In an effort to make posting easier for newcomers I have temporarily lifted the registration requirement. In other words visitors can post without creating account.The only glitch I am seeing is as follows. When they reply to an existing thread the "Subject" line doesn't auto-fill. It is left completely blank. If they don't create some sort of Subject line the stand to loose everything they post. They could compose one massive quality post, click "Add Reply," and then get an error message telling them that one or more fields were left blank. They are instructed to hit "Back" to fill in the missed fields, BUT their entire post is now gone. What a nightmare.
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Re: Freedom

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Quote:I don't believe that Capitalism causes injusticeWell the others pretty much summed it up well. I'm rather busy at the moment so there may be a delay between replies.I believe that if justice existed within a system then two people who had the same abilities and who made the same efforts should have pretty equal outcomes. That isn't the case in a capitalist system.In the school I went to, there were people of very different economic backgrounds. There were two kids who were friends, one was a solicitor's son and the other was a pretty poor kid. Both guys were pretty smart, but lazy.What happened was when the richer kid fucked up his exams, his father sent him off to a private college for two years until he got the exams right.The poorer kid didn't have that option and had to go out and get a job. Now he had been lazy, but even if he had worked, that kid wouldn't have had the finances to go to university. Bottom line, the solicitor's kid is half-way through becoming a solicitor. The poorer kid is still working a crap job.A just system allows its members equality of opportunity. Capitalism does not do that. It just results in self-sustaining cycles of privilege and poverty.Quote:Cream will rise to the top and you know thatNot to Bush Bash, but that man would not be the president of the US were it not for his family connections. In a capitalist system, you can become the "leader of the free world" just by having a rich and powerful father. Heck it isn't just Bush, look at Burlesconi or Bloomberg.Quote:What is the meaning of "parent's lives were fucked up" ????Fucked up can mean generally poor. But it applies to other things also, like for instance if your parents display destructive behaviours, you will probably display them also.Now we can't do anything about those other destructive behaviours, but in the case of poverty, we would be able to negate the negative effects simply by providing universal free health and education services that were of the highest standards. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
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