Differences in political views.
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27-09-2013, 05:30 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(26-09-2013 07:46 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:You are referring to bonded slavery, I am referring to wage slavery. Allowing slaves to choose their masters and choose who gets to exploit them does not make one "free". that is a another topic though.

The US economic system was always based on good ole capitalism and exploiting many poor whites (wage slavery) and many poor black people (bonded slavery) co-existed.

I and I, I've been meaning to address this. First, bonded slavery is obviously the most extreme, harsh, evil and unbreakable form of slavery. It's physical and violent. "Wage slavery" is an abstract concept that's fuzzy and hard to identify. Even the Wikipedia page says it's "quasi-voluntary slavery". So, my problem with most communist implementations is that they trade the 'fuzzy/vague' quasi-slavery, with the real, hard, violent "bonded slavery". When Stalin says "You Russians have a lifelong debt to me so that I own all the fruits of your labor and you can never leave this prison (the Soviet Union) and I will kill you if you try to flee", well that's the harshest, strongest form of slavery around. So I find it insincere when people say they're opposed to "soft slavery" and their proposed solution is to replace it with violent "bonded slavery". I also don't see how you can say the Soviets didn't poorly implement communism and blame it all on the west. Stalin showed his colors as a violent oppressor early on, before the cold war, even when the US and Soviets were allies fighting the Germans. I agree with you that it's not fair to judge the abject failure of communism because the west did everything possible to ruin the system, when we should have instead offered friendly support to give it a fair chance. But I'm shocked you don't see a problem with the implementation of communism and don't object to the violent and oppressive tactics..

You say the US system was and is today based on wage slavery. Well, I work in the American system. Nobody's forcing me to work for anybody else. If I want to work for myself, I'm free to do so, and only the pro-regulation liberals get in the way. The free market system itself places no barriers on me working for myself. In fact, out of the thousands of people I've met from free-market countries I've never met anyone who was forced to work for someone against his will. This concept of 'wage slavery' in my opinion only exists in the very poor 3rd world countries where they have repressive governments that keep the people down. Go to a country like the US or Canada or Sweden, and not only is nobody forcing anyone to work, if you choose not to work and just sit at home watching TV all day, the state will even give you basic subsistence so you have food and a place to live.

Sure, there's "pressure" to work and make a better life. But are you suggesting that in your ideal system we should all have no pressure to work? Everybody should be able to sit around and do nothing and never work a day in their life? You don't see a problem with such a system?

There were other forms of slavery practiced, indentured servitude was practiced in early america. A person having the ability to choose their master doesn't mean it's not slavery. If people vote in a fascist, it's still fascism regardless of the fact that he was chosen by the people.

As I said earlier.

1. Capitalism from it's beginning up to today has been all about force when it comes to getting a working population to work and submit.

2. Capitalism from it's beginning up to today has always been about the few owners of capital working in conjunction with government and using government as a tool to implement their power over the working class.

If you feel I am mistaken then please point out any time in capitalisms history where both of these were not taking place.
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27-09-2013, 10:53 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(26-09-2013 07:12 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(26-09-2013 06:35 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  I'm calling it the same way for (cjlr)'s description of a by situation analysis, based on the lack of guidance and principle for the situations, but I'm waiting for a description as well as the foundation for the acceptance and application.

I can't parse this.

Huh

I was answering no to this: "And you say libertarians are "arbitrary" for saying we ALWAYS favor letting people exercise free will, and liberals are not arbitrary because they have no rules to guide their actions and make the rules up as they go?"

I was letting frankksj know that I was calling both positions bullshit, nonsense, arbitrary, etc.

The latter part was me giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you have yet to explain your views, so I really don't know if you have any sort of basis for decision making-- I didn't want to characterize you as making decisions arbitrarily, on a case by case basis. Then, obviously, there would have to be that basis for decision making, prior to anyone being able to defend it as being rational.

i.e. I was calling frankksj arbitrary for lack of reasoning and purpose (behind the principle) and his description of "liberal" arbitrary for lack of a principle.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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27-09-2013, 12:14 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(27-09-2013 10:53 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  The latter part was me giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you have yet to explain your views, so I really don't know if you have any sort of basis for decision making-- I didn't want to characterize you as making decisions arbitrarily, on a case by case basis. Then, obviously, there would have to be that basis for decision making, prior to anyone being able to defend it as being rational.

Well, of course. I suppose one might just go around flipping coins on moral issues, but...

I'm more utilitarian than deontological, as a rule; I subscribe to the same buzzwords as any of us would use (I like freedom, sustainability, minimising harm and suffering, promoting happiness...). I'm reluctant to saying anything too firm because "always do X" can be so easily confronted with exceptions. Making a firm positive statement is a bit too far given that so much can't be quantified. I'd like to think I'm entirely consistent in my views, but I know I'm not, since I like anyone have my subjective emotions and experiences in play.

I'd say, broadly, this: "human rights" aren't innate, because such a statement is meaningless; they're recognized. And the ideal would be to defend them so far as is possible by implicit and explicit agreement (a social contract, if you will). A political entity must be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and so must be able to respond to attempts at denying those rights, at an individual or collective level and from inside or outside sources. But that's so far as my problems go; the problems of other people far away are inevitably at a bit of a remove. And in any case enforcing ideals isn't going to be particularly productive.

For what it's worth I am a member of what I consider the least objectionable party under the present political system ('course, Mulcair's no Layton...).

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27-09-2013, 04:55 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Sounds pretty good to me. I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but I'd like to have in you a skypecast when we do politics as the topic though.

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29-09-2013, 06:15 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(27-09-2013 12:14 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Well, of course. I suppose one might just go around flipping coins on moral issues, but...

I'm more utilitarian than deontological, as a rule; I subscribe to the same buzzwords as any of us would use (I like freedom, sustainability, minimising harm and suffering, promoting happiness...). I'm reluctant to saying anything too firm because "always do X" can be so easily confronted with exceptions. Making a firm positive statement is a bit too far given that so much can't be quantified. I'd like to think I'm entirely consistent in my views, but I know I'm not, since I like anyone have my subjective emotions and experiences in play.

I'd say, broadly, this: "human rights" aren't innate, because such a statement is meaningless; they're recognized. And the ideal would be to defend them so far as is possible by implicit and explicit agreement (a social contract, if you will). A political entity must be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and so must be able to respond to attempts at denying those rights, at an individual or collective level and from inside or outside sources. But that's so far as my problems go; the problems of other people far away are inevitably at a bit of a remove. And in any case enforcing ideals isn't going to be particularly productive.

For what it's worth I am a member of what I consider the least objectionable party under the present political system ('course, Mulcair's no Layton...).

What do you mean by "utilitarian than deontological"? Utilitarian can be strictly consequential, which is usually opposite deontological, so is that what you meant? Or something else?

You would have to be firm in giving a basis for making decisions, coming to conclusion, etc., regarding society, because without that, if you did have a political and/or ideological view/position, I couldn't see how it being called rational and/or not arbitrary.

In the latter part, you mention "defend them ("rights"..."recognized") so far as is possible". The obvious questions would be: 1) How do you determine the "rights"?; and 2) How do you "defend" them?

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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29-09-2013, 07:47 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
I agree that we're talking past each other because I'm focusing on specific solutions and not abstract thoughts. But, this is after all the 'politics' forum, not the 'philosophy' forum, and it's my understanding that politics is supposed to be about practical, real-world solutions to the problems we have.

The part I'm frustrated by is that instead of debating which political system is best it seems even basic, simple and indisputable statements meet so much resistance. These concepts are REALLY basic. If you had the choice of going to 2 restaurants: The first has one item on the menu; chicken liver. Don't like it? Tough, you have no alternatives. The second has hundreds of items including vegan, asian, steak, fruit, etc. Which restaurant will better let you eat the way you want and exercise your free will? Isn't it obvious?

Now say there's 2 political systems. The first one has only one jurisdiction, one set of laws that everybody must follow. Don't like it? Tough, you have no alternatives. The second system has hundreds of local jurisdictions covering the whole range of the political spectrum including communist, capitalist, socialist, religious, etc. Which political system will let you live the way you want and exercise your free will? Why is this not equally obvious? Why is there so much insistence that there's no difference between a system with lots of autonomous local jurisdictions serving up a plethora of political options vs. a single nationwide jurisdiction that everybody must conform to? What if you were born into a country like Saudi Arabia that practiced Sharia law and anybody who questioned Mohammed was hanged in the square because that's what 70% of the population wants, but one town in the North with 10% of the population was predominantly secular. You seriously are saying you don't see any difference between letting local jurisdictions decide their own laws so the secularists can live the life they want vs. one nationwide system that everybody has to conform to which publicly executes the secularists? Besides, if you REALLY believe that there's ZERO effects from concentrating power, why stop at the national level? Why not elect one person to rule the whole planet and give him absolute control to make laws, act as judge, jury and executioner if you really think there's no difference between dispersing authority and concentrating it?

We should be discussing the pros and cons of the libertarian system of local jurisdictions vs. the more traditional system of concentrating all the power in one central authority. The libertarian's goal, whether he is liberal is conservative, is to make sure that everybody can exercise free will, so we SHOULD be able to agree that the libertarian system DOES allow people to exercise free will. It's also a simple concept that by dispersing the power you minimize the risk of a tyrant getting too much power. Given that all major manmade tragedies, except pollution, have come from too much concentrated power, why can't we agree that this also goes on the 'pro' side. You also said that local jurisdictions can be just as oppressive as national ones. Of course I agree, and will even concede local jurisdictions, with less diversity, can be even more oppressive. The difference is with local jurisdictions you have some checks and balances, presuming at the national level there's a constitution that guarantees the national government will defend basic human rights, including freedom of movement, and putting some limits on what the local jurisdictions can do. If all the power is concentrated at the national level, where's the checks and balances? When, for example, the US government went on a witch-hunt of communist sympathizers in the 1950's, even executing people for “treason” because they were left-wing, where were the checks and balances since it was done at the national level? Sure, if power was dispersed to local jurisdictions some may have passed their own anti-communism laws, but as long as the federal government ensured communists were free to relocate and form their own community, that's a safety valve.

Naturally, no system is perfect. There are 'cons' to local jurisdictional control. One obvious one is externalities (ie when one jurisdiction pollutes another). Also, theoretically local jurisdictions lack the economy of scale of one central authority, although I'd argue that in the real world, the most efficient countries, like Switzerland, are the ones with the most decentralized control, and the least efficient, like North Korea, are the ones with the most concentrated control.

IMO a political discussion should be debating the pros and cons to see which system works better. But this debate is useless because I can't get concessions that there are ANY pros to the libertarian system, even the most obvious one like its accommodation of free-will, leads to denial and distracting side-tangents, like semantics debating what constitutes 'force' and other abstract concepts.
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29-09-2013, 10:48 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(27-09-2013 05:30 AM)I and I Wrote:  1. Capitalism from it's beginning up to today has been all about force when it comes to getting a working population to work and submit.

2. Capitalism from it's beginning up to today has always been about the few owners of capital working in conjunction with government and using government as a tool to implement their power over the working class.

If you feel I am mistaken then please point out any time in capitalisms history where both of these were not taking place.

I and I, when Hong Kong practiced it's experiment in free-market libertarianism in the 60's-90's, millions of people fled communist China to reach Hong Kong. Are you seriously saying people were fleeing from "freedom" to become "slaves"? Why were none of the "slaves" in Hong Kong immigrating to China where they could enjoy "freedom"?

It's an old trick to make up a fake 'battle' between capital and labor. I started a business several years ago. I sold my home and assumed huge debt to get the business going, and worked in the business 100+ hour weeks for several years without a break. Was I "capital" or "labor"? At one point when money got really tight, I offered the employees to take some of their pay in stock instead of cash. Most took advantage of that. Are they "capital" or "labor"? And later I took on an investor who bought shares for cash. He's obviously "capital", but why do you say he's on the opposite side of the "laborers"? Weren't the laborers doing the same thing, effectively donating cash (in the form of reduced salary) to buy equity in the business? If the investor's interests were contrary to the "laborers", why were the "laborers" so thrilled to have an investor come on board so they could again take a full salary? Some of the "laborers", however, preferred to continue with a reduced salary in exchange for equity. Capital and labor are NOT opposing teams in a free market capitalist system, they are both on the same team struggling for the same goals. If an investor, say a doctor, works hard for decades and lives modestly so that he has extra income to invest in start-up business, his "capital" _IS_ his "labor". They are one and the same. In life we all have choices to make to balance risk vs. reward. Some prefer the security of collecting a regular paycheck and will give up own equity in business. Some are all about taking on risk to have more in the future and will invest everything they made from previous labor, or put in new labor ("sweat equity") to own a stake in a business. Others balance this and collect salary + stock. In a business, you have a group of people working together towards one goal, and they all put in what they have, some have capital, some have labor, some have both.

I watched a youtube video of a communist, Michael Albert, discussing "wage labor". It was so laughable how totally ignorant he was. First he argued that mine workers (in the US) were working for minimum wage because they had no other choice. Uh, hello, the average starting salary for a mine worker with NO education or skills is $70,000/year plus benefits and early retirement. That's almost 5x what a fast food laborer makes, who gets no benefits. The mine workers obviously made a decision to endure grueling labor because they made so much money, and mine companies had to offer 5x the salary of other manual labor. If they were "forced" to work in the mines by "wage labor", then this is saying that the mining companies COULD have paid them minimum wage, but, for no reason, generously paid them 5x what was necessary. ROFL. Then he said that doctors would be willing to work for minimum wage because it's such an easy job, but the reason they don't is because ALL the medical schools in the world (which are often private, for-profit companies) formed a conspiracy and jointly decided to give up the chance to make lots of money by admitting as many med students as they could, and the reason they colluded was to keep the admissions artificially low so there would be a shortage of doctor's so they could charge what they want. So the for-profit universities gave up money to help students. ROFL. And they managed to keep this conspiracy a total secret, so that out of ALL the med schools in the world, NOBODY has ever spoken of this secret conspiracy. And, btw, how did the med schools keep out otherwise eligible students, and why aren't these students who were denied admission complaining? Did the med schools kill off student applicants too? What he doesn't take into account is that, to be a doctor, requires investing 12 years of education and residency before you even start to make any money, and then another 8 years or so before you've paid off your student loans and can start enjoying a nice lifestyle. So, at age 40, the mine worker will have already made $1.4 million and be approaching retirement, and the doctor will be just getting started. Doctors have to get a large salary not because of some conspiracy, but because that's the only way to justify investing 20 years into education and paying off student loans!
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30-09-2013, 11:17 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(29-09-2013 06:15 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  What do you mean by "utilitarian than deontological"? Utilitarian can be strictly consequential, which is usually opposite deontological, so is that what you meant? Or something else?

No, I think you got what I meant.

I consider morality to lie mostly in an action's consequences, but I'm not willing to say it lies only in an action's consequences.

(29-09-2013 06:15 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  You would have to be firm in giving a basis for making decisions, coming to conclusion, etc., regarding society, because without that, if you did have a political and/or ideological view/position, I couldn't see how it being called rational and/or not arbitrary.

Everybody's reasoning ultimately rests on subjective precepts. Humans are wired towards certain moral tendencies; there are some readily discernable patterns, yes, but the variation is significant.

For any given situation, reasoning from first principles, as it were, would seem to be less arbitrary than applying a conclusion reached elsewhere.

(29-09-2013 06:15 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  In the latter part, you mention "defend them ("rights"..."recognized") so far as is possible". The obvious questions would be: 1) How do you determine the "rights"?; and 2) How do you "defend" them?

Rights are what we agree to acknowledge in each other as a basis for mutual interaction.

Integrity of one's person is usually considered the most fundamental. Which is to say, don't be going around beating, raping, and murdering. To defend that right is to be prepared to prevent someone who is so inclined from doing so. On an individual level this is self-defence. On a communal level this is law enforcement. And so on, with rights to property (or more generally access to resources), freedom of expression, association, movement...

Recognizing the status of other people and their property necessarily restricts my own freedom of action (implicitly: I have a right do do what I want, so long as I not infringe on the rights of others). Their is a cost-benefit to any of this. Determining, as a group, what the specifics should be - well, you know.

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30-09-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:Humans are wired towards certain moral tendencies; there are some readily discernible patterns, yes, but the variation is significant.

@cjlr,

I'm not sure I agree that morality is as subjective as you say. The Golden Rule, to treat others as you want to be treated, has been accepted by philosophers as a valid moral compass for about 4,000 years, in most cultures, regardless of religion. I think that if you're breaking the Golden Rule, and forcing others to do things against their will while knowing that you would hate it if were done to you, then the best way to rationalize your actions is to say that morality is too subjective to follow such 'rules'.

John Rawls is generally regarded as the most important modern philosopher on morality, and he expanded this to more sophisticated rules such as the Original Position where you judge morality behind a Veil of ignorance.

The modern liberal philosophy you espoused of sacrificing some individuals for the greater good fails the Original Position test because behind a Veil of Ignorance you cannot know if you are one of the guys being sacrificed, and it similarly fails the Golden Rule.

While I accept that all morality is somewhat subjective, after all slave owners think themselves moral, I do firmly believe man will be much better off by following these pragmatic, rational 'rules' to determine moral behavior, as opposed to the more prevalent thinking that 'if it benefits me, it must be moral'.
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30-09-2013, 11:46 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  The Golden Rule, to treat others as you want to be treated, has been accepted by philosophers as a valid moral compass for about 4,000 years, in most cultures, regardless of religion.

And it's insufficient, since not all people want the same thing.

(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I think that if you're breaking the Golden Rule, and forcing others to do things against their will while knowing that you would hate it if were done to you, then the best way to rationalize your actions is to say that morality is too subjective to follow such 'rules'.

I espoused nothing of the sort. But, sure.

(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  John Rawls is generally regarded as the most important modern philosopher on morality, and he expanded this to more sophisticated rules such as the Original Position where you judge morality behind a Veil of ignorance.

Sure.

(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  The modern liberal philosophy you espoused of sacrificing some individuals for the greater good...

Citation needed.

Nothing personal, but you do not have a good track record of treating my words honestly.

(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  ... fails the Original Position test because behind a Veil of Ignorance you cannot know if you are one of the guys being sacrificed, and it similarly fails the Golden Rule.

Your straw man fails, yes.

(30-09-2013 11:37 AM)frankksj Wrote:  While I accept that all morality is somewhat subjective, after all slave owners think themselves moral, I do firmly believe man will be much better off by following these pragmatic, rational 'rules' to determine moral behavior, as opposed to the more prevalent thinking that 'if it benefits me, it must be moral'.

You do know that's exactly what I said, yes?

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