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The unresolvable contradiction at the heart of modern conservative thought


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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:51:21 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Mickey: "I know what communism and socialism are - it's not necessary to lecture me."

I didn't mean to lecture you, but you made the following statement which led me to believe you did not understand the difference:

"I think we're defining socialism differently - you mean communism where I mean some government involvement."

Mickey: "I think we're at an impasse"

I agree, however, I only said or believe about half the stuff you list. The remainder you imagine or infer. You want to include certain elements of capitalism which are not necessarily there; or, they are a part of the ideal theory which is not accurate in practice.

Under communism there is no private property theoretically, but in practice people owned their own belongings including cars, etc. You have to discuss communism as it exists and not theory based on Marx. The same is true on capitalism. I certainly never said there were not contradictions, but they have little to do with capitalism. The contradictions are with conservative thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:31:38 PM PDT
Mickey says:
M.D.,

I know what communism and socialism are - it's not necessary to lecture me.

I think we're at an impasse - you tell me you don't hold capitalism sacred, you're willing to acknowledge problems with capitalism, but there are no problems with capitalism except minor ones of business efficiency. You tell me capitalism isn't about greed or even individual self-interest, but businessmen should be allowed to seek profits with little restriction. You tell me people were left to their own devices in the past just as they are under capitalism, but they were under the control of nobles. How can I respond to that? If you refuse to acknowledge contradictions, what else can I say?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:46:31 PM PDT
Mickey says:
The opposite of Social Darwinism is eugenics? How did you arrive at that?

"The right to subsistence, Henry Hughes cried out, must be guaranteed to all. Toleration of want he denounced as 'wrong,' 'revolting,' 'horrible,' 'murder to which every man in the community is an accessory.' 'Existence,' Hughes concluded, 'is the right of all.' It is perhaps an adequate comment on bourgeois society that it had to be told these things, with this degree of passion, by slaveholders."
Eugene Genovese, "The World the Slaveholders Made"(1988), p.188

You have now ceded the moral high ground to slaveholders. Are you sure you want to go there?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:31:37 PM PDT
*But individual self-interest doesn't enter into partnerships and corporations in a way it did not with hunting-gathering and feudalism?

When traditional people did not have the same pressures of trying to support growing populations. They had natural constrains on their populations and they did not compete against other groups for survival.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:28:42 PM PDT
*Divorce is related to capitalism because capitalism places the individual over the family, socialism is designed to provide a safety net for children, single mothers, e

No that undermines the family giving individuals who choose to leave the family support making such choices easier. In capitalism it is more variable if both sides have a career then divorce is easier. If the family is traditional than the wife has fewer skills and does not have an income to draw on to leave if she feels like it.

You seem to define capitalism as selfishness. But if a woman fill her traditional role. There is a huge gain in the partnership. Child care costs are nill. There is a higher quality of life with a clean and maintained house. There is also the savings of cooking real food that is healthier and costs less. The skills to keep up a house might not be the same ones that can get a good wage in a market and then needs socialism to survive.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:21:40 PM PDT
*I thought Joseph and free4all both admitted that freedom always has costs.

The limits have been expressed. The only down side is when people are not able to get others to agree. People might put some other value above profit. Say selling or hiring to gay people. They might choose to not engage in dirty entertainment because it alienates a broader audience. People might seek to make the best highest quality product because in the long term repeat customers are in their self interest.

The premise seems to be that capitalism is the lack of moral for the sake of money and hedonistic self gratification. There is no sense that the choice to be rational will guide people from those pursuits and they are also free to not make agreements with people they don't think are honest. There is also the negative in capitalism where you don't have to deal sell to hire or buy from those you might not agree with or trust. If you are going to have a business relationship or a professional one trust is important. If you sell your kids into slavery think you can be trusted with the recepie for the special sauce or even to not steal from the register.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:17:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 5:22:53 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Mickey says: "I think we're defining socialism differently - you mean communism where I mean some government involvement."

daniel: Not communism. Communism is a political system that adopts socialism as its economic system. A communist nation must be socialist but there are many socialist nations that are not communist. Many European countries have varying degrees of socialism---public ownership of major industries such as utilities, airlines, and shipbuilding. The more industries that are state owned the higher degree of socialism exists in that country. Socialist nations often have a more extensive welfare system but that is not an essential part of socialism.

Mickey: "Are you denying capitalists in Europe wanted to smash feudalism because they thought it interfered with profit seeking by individuals?"

daniel: I don't remember my feudal history that well, but I thought it changed because the desire of the nobles to be somewhat independent of the king. So it was profit seeking by the nobles, not the general public.---but I may be totally wrong on this.

Mickey: "Are you denying Capitalism has placed individuals on their own more than any previous system?"

daniel: I think people were pretty much on their own under previous systems---actually more under the control of nobles, king, or warlord. Certainly government (or anybody else)did not take care of them. They worked the land and gave the landowner part of the crops or taxes.

I think all your comments about the individual and self-interests is more theoretical whereas capitalism has more to do with supply and demand, capital and labor. People often joined together to form a business and did not always act as individuals. School are pushing "collaborative learning" today because they claim that is how the business world works. Look at the founding of Facebook--a collaborative effort (like hunters-gatherers?) to form a company to make a profit for those involved.

Mickey: "What exactly do you mean by "impeding competition"? Are you referring to monopolies or government?"

daniel: Both. If the actions of businesses impede competition that is a problem which government may regulate. Or, government regulations may impede capitalism. Government regulations sometimes seek to guarantee many companies a part of the market which means less efficient companies
may control a market. In Texas UPS could only deliver interstate while intrastate business was reserved for other companies. Because UPS was more efficient some businesses would use UPS to send a package out of state and then back into Texas.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:15:08 PM PDT
*In all of Joseph's posts there has been no admission of any problems resulting from capitalism and any criticism or questioning of capitalism, no matter how mild, is immediately attacked. If that's not sanctifying capitalism, what is it?

There is no logical connection between social problems and capitalism. Capitalism is nothing but freedom and people have the ability to act in destructive ways and we seek to limit those freedoms. There are problems in capitalism such as people using force or fraud or force. People may make poor choices. Yes, there are some who are truly incapable and we should take care of them as a society through churches and families. There might be some people that don't care about relationships you might have some grasshoppers. Grasshopper and the ant story. You might have people that choose not to use their reason.

Capitalism is simply the agreement to exchange what is fraud can be fuzzy. Take I sell a car that might have a defect I know or might not know about. What can be bad about the agreement between willing parties?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:08:39 PM PDT
*Nope, the increase followed the rise of a system which places every individual on their own to follow their self-interest as they see fit. The rise of socialism was an attempt to lessen some of the resulting problems.

Yes as they see fit even if those choices don't work out. It is not just short sighted animal satisfactions but the use of reason to plan a strategy for long term well being. That well being includes building relationships.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:06:41 PM PDT
Mickey says:
There seems to be a continual attempt here to deny capitalism places individuals on their own more than any previous system. In what other systems - hunting-gathering, slavery, feudalism - are people left to their own devices as much as in capitalism?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:05:01 PM PDT
*I was asked what system i would prefer so I answered. You apparently believe capitalism is perfect, I do not. You believe Social Darwinism is justified, I do not.

Of course I am a social Darwinist because the opposite is eugenics where the state creates policies to decide which groups survive and do better than others. I oppose the state choosing who survives and who does not.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:03:24 PM PDT
*So capitalism is not to blame for problems under capitalism but socialism is to blame for problems under socialism?

I have made logical connections showing how socialist policies lead to social ills. You have to make the case where capitalism has been shown to lead to social ills and you have to make the case that such problems increased as society became more capitalist. So why not ban red to decrease the number of speeders?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:00:50 PM PDT
*The free market places individual self-interest over the community and the family - which obviously isn't good for the community and the family. I realize you hold capitalism sacred, but I do no

That is your definition. Which I don't accept. What would be a consistent position that if they want laws against prostitution alcohol and drugs they should support totalitarian government that makes all economic decisions.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:57:09 PM PDT
Mickey says:
What does any of this have to do with the question at issue? We're discussing conservatives such as Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum who praise capitalism but decry the decline of traditional morality.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:51:30 PM PDT
*No, we are mostly talking about conservative Christians who don't like what they see in the United States today but think capitalism - individual self-interest over everything else - is compatible with their religious beliefs.

Then some conservative Christians have to post. I am an economic conservative but I think region has many positive lessons. I don't see a new inquisition, if you look to the recent past religion has been tied to progressive causes such as Catholics supporting the welfare state and the christian influence that was behind prohibition and was anti-capitalist. What kind of church did Obama attend?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:28:39 PM PDT
Mickey says:
I think we're defining socialism differently - you mean communism where I mean some government involvement. The United States today does have a mix of capitalism and some socialist features, but it's certainly not communist.

Are you denying capitalists in Europe wanted to smash feudalism because they thought it interfered with profit seeking by individuals? Are you denying Capitalism has placed individuals on their own more than any previous system?

What exactly do you mean by "impeding competition"? Are you referring to monopolies or government?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:22:10 PM PDT
A customer says:
You forgot the words >> free capitalism<< and forgot >> America is a Godly Nation <<

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:19:30 PM PDT
Mickey says:
Did I say I like communism? And doesn't the question at issue concern capitalism, not communism?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:19:26 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Mickey says: "Divorce is related to capitalism because capitalism places the individual over the family, socialism is designed to provide a safety net for children, single mothers, etc."

1. We are back to our original argument---then why has divorce also increased under socialism?
2. In practice, I don't think most individuals place themselves over the family; socialist nations are much more secular than capitalist.
3. A safety net refers to a welfare state, not socialism. Socialism is the public ownership of the means of production. You can have a socialist system with very little safety net (China); or you can have a safety net under a capitalist system (U. S.).
4. If capitalism is the cause, why have divorce, crime, and teen births been declining for 20+ years?

Nobody is sanctifying capitalism or saying it does not have problems, but I don't think they are the problems you keep stating. Maybe the problem is not clarifying capitalism or socialism. Problems caused by capitalism have more to do with free market issues such as impeding competition, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:07:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 4:08:13 PM PDT
A customer says:
Neither did Stalin, Mao or Pol pot ~ Atheist responsible for killing

148 million of their own people the past 100 years ~ You dig them?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:03:24 PM PDT
Mickey says:
But individual self-interest doesn't enter into partnerships and corporations in a way it did not with hunting-gathering and feudalism?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 4:00:28 PM PDT
Mickey says:
Divorce is related to capitalism because capitalism places the individual over the family, socialism is designed to provide a safety net for children, single mothers, etc. Capitalism is related to secularism because capitalism doesn't allow religion to interfere with profit seeking - although that's probably not the whole story - and socialism attempts to fill the gap left by the decline of the church, the community and the family.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 3:55:42 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Mickey says: "Private" meaning individual?

Not necessarily a single individual. It could be two partners or a corporation.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 3:54:48 PM PDT
Mickey says:
Are capitalism and freedom synonymous?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 3:53:46 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Mickey says: "I said "some of the resulting problems."

OK. How about divorce, secularism, and some of those other problems you mentioned?
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  54
Total posts:  1129
Initial post:  Apr 9, 2012
Latest post:  May 10, 2012

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