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Michael J. Hoag
07-03-2010, 11:01 PM
Here's the three-dimensional political compass Don asked for:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

The quiz takes just a few minutes. Awe jeez. A cute little quiz at AW. This place is just like facebook.



Me, I'm way, way, waaaaaaay down in the lower left. Sigh. http://www.politicalcompass.org/images/usprimaries_2008.png

The analysis page includes historical figures (based on academic analysis: )

http://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

SPMiller
07-03-2010, 11:06 PM
It's as faulty as any other visual representation of political beliefs. By the way, that's only two orthogonal axes.

Michael J. Hoag
07-03-2010, 11:11 PM
It's as faulty as any other visual representation of political beliefs. By the way, that's only two orthogonal axes.

Bwaa haaa haaaa.

Two-dimensional. A beautiful tribute to my dopeyness captured forever in the title of this thread.

I love it.

backslashbaby
07-03-2010, 11:26 PM
It has me about as 'right' as Dennis Kucinich up there, but more 'Libertarian'. Or, more conservative by a bit but close to Mandela.

http://www.politicalcompass.org/images/internationalchart.gif

Monkey
07-03-2010, 11:39 PM
The quiz placed me smack-dab in the middle of the green square. Apparently, I'm very slightly more liberal and somewhat more libertarian than Ralf Nader.

Interesting, considering where the other two "rate yourself politically" threads put me (I'm near the top of the Liberal/Conservative thread and near the bottom of the Individualist/Statist one).

Shadow Dragon
07-03-2010, 11:52 PM
For me:
Economic Left/Right: -1.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.26

Romantic Heretic
07-03-2010, 11:54 PM
I usually end up somewhere near The Dalai Lama.

Mr Flibble
07-04-2010, 12:06 AM
Don't know how you got all those other dudes on your picture, but apparently I'm more libertarian than Ghandi, and almost as left too.

WTF? I don't even know what that means! Can someone explain what libertarian actually is?

Synonym
07-04-2010, 12:09 AM
I'm about half-way between Gandhi and Freidman. Now that's quite an accomplishment. LOL

Don
07-04-2010, 12:25 AM
libertarian: grade school edition ;)

1) tell the truth
2) keep your promises
3) don't take other people's stuff
4) don't boss other people around
5) share your toys

SPMiller
07-04-2010, 12:34 AM
libertarian: grade school edition ;)

1) tell the truth
2) keep your promises
3) don't take other people's stuff
4) don't boss other people around
5) share your toysMan, if there were ever a clearer argument for why libertarianism could never work in the real world...

Don
07-04-2010, 12:41 AM
Economic Left/Right: 1.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.95

My left-right would be higher, except the test's authors assume that corporations are a fact of nature, rather than a legal construct created by the government that supposedly controls them.

Don
07-04-2010, 12:43 AM
Man, if there were ever a clearer argument for why libertarianism could never work in the real world...
Srsly? Because that's still pretty much the rules I live by, and I'm getting by just fine. Then again, I do whatever I can to primarily associate with people who play by the same rules.

Hallen
07-04-2010, 12:45 AM
That "test" is so horribly and intentionally rigged that the resulting graph is completely unusable. Many of the questions cannot be answered with a simple agree or disagree. Many of the questions propose ridiculous situations.

The graph has me ending up to the left of John Kerry. I can assure you, there are very few points of agreement between me and John Kerry. From a role of government and economic standpoint, there is almost a 100% disagreement there.

Hitler was most certainly a socialist and should be nearly the same place as Stalin shows up yet he appears on this graph as being slightly right of center.

Anybody who looks at this thing as anything more than a joke is fooling themselves.

Libertarian does not = anarchist. A better description would be order via personal responsibility. If fascist represents totalitarian government that controls all aspects of your life, then Joe Biden, John Kerry and the lot should be much higher on the graph than George Bush. This "test" is just a manipulation to make people think those who are extreme in current politics are actually more centrist than they really are.

Alan Yee
07-04-2010, 12:51 AM
Economic Left/Right: -3.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.56

In other words, I'm slightly right of the center of the green square.

backslashbaby
07-04-2010, 12:51 AM
That "test" is so horribly and intentionally rigged that the resulting graph is completely unusable. Many of the questions cannot be answered with a simple agree or disagree. Many of the questions propose ridiculous situations.

The graph has me ending up to the left of John Kerry. I can assure you, there are very few points of agreement between me and John Kerry. From a role of government and economic standpoint, there is almost a 100% disagreement there.

Hitler was most certainly a socialist and should be nearly the same place as Stalin shows up yet he appears on this graph as being slightly right of center.

Anybody who looks at this thing as anything more than a joke is fooling themselves.

Libertarian does not = anarchist. A better description would be order via personal responsibility. If fascist represents totalitarian government that controls all aspects of your life, then Joe Biden, John Kerry and the lot should be much higher on the graph than George Bush. This "test" is just a manipulation to make people think those who are extreme in current politics are actually more centrist than they really are.

I think the axes are confusing you becuse they aren't exactly what we usully call right vs left in US politics. For instance: Hitler was most certainly a socialist and should be nearly the same place as Stalin shows up yet he appears on this graph as being slightly right of center.

Right of center speaks to Hitler's economics, which were more laissez-faire than you must be thinking. Etc.

I know; it's confusing because it's quite different!

As far as Bush being less authoritarian than Biden, etc? You'd have to cite me somethin' ;)

ETA:

The chart also makes clear that, despite popular perceptions, the opposite of fascism is not communism but anarchism (ie liberal socialism), and that the opposite of communism ( i.e. an entirely state-planned economy) is neo-liberalism (i.e. extreme deregulated economy)

In our home page we demolished the myth that authoritarianism is necessarily "right wing", with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today's Labour parties. If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground.
http://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

Hallen
07-04-2010, 12:52 AM
Man, if there were ever a clearer argument for why libertarianism could never work in the real world...

No, it shows why it is hard. It relies on the individual. It has an understanding however, that those who do not conform to acceptable norms are either punished or removed, usually by their own mistakes. It also does not mean a total lack of some form of government. We must acknowledge that we are simply not that evolved yet.

IRU, it means you don't want people controlling your life and you don't want to control other people's lives. You believe in personal responsibility and a limited role for government. It also suggest that you believe in a free market economy and that people are inherently honest within specific constraints rather than inherently dishonest. Which is of course, in contrast to being on the left side of the scale which suggests that you believe more in socialism, where the government controls business and the economy to its own ends, supposedly with the idea that all people will be treated 'fairly'. Those two concepts, libertarianism and socialism are inherently at odds with each other.

Don
07-04-2010, 01:01 AM
No, it shows why it is hard. It relies on the individual. It has an understanding however, that those who do not conform to acceptable norms are either punished or removed, usually by their own mistakes. It also does not mean a total lack of some form of government. We must acknowledge that we are simply not that evolved yet.

IRU, it means you don't want people controlling your life and you don't want to control other people's lives. You believe in personal responsibility and a limited role for government. It also suggest that you believe in a free market economy and that people are inherently honest within specific constraints rather than inherently dishonest.

You realize that's all heresy around these parts, don't ya, stranger? Because while The Enlightenment happened for those of us who are smart enough to hang out here, everyone knows the rest of society is composed of pickpockets and thieves, gangstas and crooks, out to rob us blind and leave us dying by the side of the road. Except for politicians and bureaucrats, who are angels sent from heaven to guide those lesser beings on the path to righteousness.

We know all that, because we learned it in government financed, government controlled schools, from textbooks written on government grants, from teachers paid by the government. And amazingly unbiased.

So take your "people are capable of acting like grownups" routine somewhere it would be appreciated, like fantasy land.

Oh, and if you're still reading? There actually are a few of us here who don't think like that. We salute you for a wise and reasoned post. :)




I just had to try that role on, since it's so popular. ;)

Hallen
07-04-2010, 01:01 AM
I think the axes are confusing you becuse they aren't exactly what we usully call right vs left in US politics. For instance: Hitler was most certainly a socialist and should be nearly the same place as Stalin shows up yet he appears on this graph as being slightly right of center.

Right of center speaks to Hitler's economics, which were more laissez-faire than you must be thinking. Etc.

I know; it's confusing because it's quite different!

As far as Bush being less authoritarian than Biden, etc? You'd have to cite me somethin' ;)

I understand the graph. Yet Hitler's party was the National Socialist party. He may have been more free-market oriented than Stalin, but he was still most emphatically a socialist. He should be on the far left of the scale.

Which is one of the reasons this graph doesn't work. Hitler was a dictator which can be viewed as the ultimate form of Authoritarian. On the other hand, a complete communist style government is also 100% authoritarian since there is no balancing of the powers of government. Anyway, the whole thing is pretty flawed and should be taken with a grain of salt the size of Montana.

It depends on how you define authoritarian, but in political terms and by using Libertarian as the opposite scale, it indicates a strong central government that controls most things rather than relying on personal responsibility. The simple support of Biden for the US's attempt at 'universal health care' is evidence that Biden supports a strong, controlling central government which is the antithesis of libertarianism.

Don
07-04-2010, 01:06 AM
I understand the graph. Yet Hitler's party was the National Socialist party. He may have been more free-market oriented than Stalin, but he was still most emphatically a socialist. He should be on the far left of the scale.

Which is one of the reasons this graph doesn't work. Hitler was a dictator which can be viewed as the ultimate form of Authoritarian. On the other hand, a complete communist style government is also 100% authoritarian since there is no balancing of the powers of government. Anyway, the whole thing is pretty flawed and should be taken with a grain of salt the size of Montana.

It depends on how you define authoritarian, but in political terms and by using Libertarian as the opposite scale, it indicates a strong central government that controls most things rather than relying on personal responsibility. The simple support of Biden for the US's attempt at 'universal health care' is evidence that Biden supports a strong, controlling central government which is the antithesis of libertarianism.
No rant this time. A simple "well said" will have to do. :)

backslashbaby
07-04-2010, 01:07 AM
I understand the graph. Yet Hitler's party was the National Socialist party. He may have been more free-market oriented than Stalin, but he was still most emphatically a socialist. He should be on the far left of the scale.

It depends on how you define authoritarian, but in political terms and by using Libertarian as the opposite scale, it indicates a strong central government that controls most things rather than relying on personal responsibility. The simple support of Biden for the US's attempt at 'universal health care' is evidence that Biden supports a strong, controlling central government which is the antithesis of libertarianism.

I do find the graph off, too, fwiw. I turned out more leftist than I expected compared to most of their democratic examples.

The role of the centrl gov't is split in the two dimensions. You mention healthcare, and I agree with you about Biden. I'm thinking gay marriage or Gitmo when I think of Bush! :D

We need yet another axis for what kind of social liberalism we're talking about, lol...

Hallen
07-04-2010, 01:07 AM
You realize that's all heresy around these parts, don't ya, stranger? Because while The Enlightenment happened for those of us who are smart enough to hang out here, everyone knows the rest of society is composed of pickpockets and thieves, gangstas and crooks, out to rob us blind and leave us dying by the side of the road. Except for politicians and bureaucrats, who are angels sent from heaven to guide those lesser beings on the path to righteousness.

We know all that, because we learned it in government financed, government controlled schools, from textbooks written on government grants, from teachers paid by the government. And amazingly unbiased.

So take your "people are capable of acting like grownups" routine somewhere it would be appreciated, like fantasy land.

Oh, and if you're still reading? There actually are a few of us here who don't think like that. We salute you for a wise and reasoned post. :)




I just had to try that role on, since it's so popular. ;)

lol, yeah, it's dangerous ground, I know. I'll always keep it civil and I try very hard to never attack the person. I shouldn't be here anyway. You can't convince the world by posting on a forum. :)

Hallen
07-04-2010, 01:08 AM
I do find the graph off, too, fwiw. I turned out more leftist than I expected compared to most of their democratic examples.

The role of the centrl gov't is split in the two dimensions. You mention healthcare, and I agree with you about Biden. I'm thinking gay marriage or Gitmo when I think of Bush! :D

We need yet another axis for what kind of social liberalism we're talking about, lol...

Exactly. It needs about 3 more dimensions to work properly. :)

Haggis
07-04-2010, 01:48 AM
Oh my Dog, I'm a freakin' Liberal.

Somebody shoot me now. :(

robeiae
07-04-2010, 01:51 AM
*loads rifle*

Do you wanna see it coming Haggis, or do you want to be surprised?

Amadan
07-04-2010, 01:58 AM
This quiz has been around forever, and it's meaningless since it defines every axis relative to the libertarian point of view.


libertarian: grade school edition ;)

1) tell the truth
2) keep your promises
3) don't take other people's stuff
4) don't boss other people around
5) share your toys

Right, only libertarians believe in all that stuff. Everyone else believes in lying, breaking promises, taking other people's stuff, bossing people around, and not sharing.

Sympathetic as I am to a select few libertarian positions, the most annoying thing about internet libertarians is that they honestly seem to believe they've discovered some simple and elegant truth that everyone else just doesn't "get." If libertarianism really were as simple as its adherents claim (and really worked the way they say it does), of course practically everyone would be a libertarian. Except, you know, all those fascists and communists out there.

Haggis
07-04-2010, 02:19 AM
*loads rifle*

Do you wanna see it coming Haggis, or do you want to be surprised?
I don' need no steenkin' blindfold.

eta: Wait. I just rechecked. It seems I'm not a liberal after all:

Economic Left/Right: 1.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.79

So you can put the rifle away. :)

raburrell
07-04-2010, 03:46 AM
Heh. I think I'm (so far), the further outlier, at least in a Euclidean sense:
Economic Left/Right: -4.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.49

GeorgeK
07-04-2010, 04:30 AM
But according to this, I should have voted for Nader...Oh, right, I did.

Vince524
07-04-2010, 07:28 AM
The Political Compass

Economic Left/Right: 4.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.38

Can't get the picture to show. In truth, there were many questions that I didn't feel comfortable with any of the answers given.

MacAllister
07-04-2010, 08:04 AM
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a11/MacAlStone/pcgraphpng.png

Wayyyyy more libertarian than I would have predicted.

Devil Ledbetter
07-04-2010, 08:22 AM
Your political compass

Economic Left/Right: -6.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.00

Priene
07-04-2010, 08:32 AM
http://www.politicalcompass.org/images/usprimaries_2008.png



I'm impressed they go so many prominent politicians to take their internet test. Or did they take it upon themselves to answer the questions for them? Because that's not the same thing, and you can't compare your political position to others' by matching your answers against a third party's guesses.

Rufus Coppertop
07-04-2010, 09:40 AM
HOLY CRAP!

I'm a lefty!

I need to go and have a lie down.

Michael Wolfe
07-04-2010, 10:06 AM
Sympathetic as I am to a select few libertarian positions, the most annoying thing about internet libertarians is that they honestly seem to believe they've discovered some simple and elegant truth that everyone else just doesn't "get."

I can't speak for others - and it may be that you've come across some (or even many) libertarians who are like this - but I honestly don't think this way at all. And I know others who also don't.

This reminds me of Monkey's post in another recent thread where she talked about all of the discussions she'd had with anarchists. It was pretty clear from her description that the people she'd talked to weren't serious anarchist thinkers.

Pretty much all of the libertarians I know are passionate about their beliefs just like anyone else, but not necessarily snobby about it.

Personally, I've always felt like I have a LOT of common ground with liberals/progressives - mainly on civil liberties, social issues and foreign policy issues - and except for a few issues that are pretty important to me, I'd probably make a pretty decent progressive. And some of the other views I have give me some common ground with conservatives. So I've never (OK: rarely) felt the need to be snobby or arrogant - mainly because I'm just not like that, and partly just because I know that most people would be my ally on a decent range of particular issues.

I haven't spoken to you much on this board as yet - (I see we're both relatively new) - but I'm sure we'd get along just fine. :)

Albedo
07-04-2010, 11:09 AM
ALL of these compass tests are terrible. I'm sure if the P&CE crew knocked their heads together we could come up with a better, less biased test--or one at least confirming to the biases of your average AW poster.

We all seem to agree that 2 dimensions aren't enough. A 3D test would be better, but a hypercubic 4D test might be even more fun, if impossible to depict graphically. I've seen three-axis tests measuring stances on economics, social policy and moral/traditional/religious/national 'values'. A fourth axis could cover foreign relations (isolationist-interventionist or unilateralist-multilateralist or nationalist-internationalist), technocratic values, environmental values or even some vague 'zeitgeist' factor meaning what you wanted it to mean.

We'd still be sorting ourselves using arbitrarily chosen factors, but at least we'd be doing the choosing, rather than using factors designed to make everyone a *ist. So how would AW sort people?

willietheshakes
07-04-2010, 11:57 AM
Hitler was most certainly a socialist

No, he wasn't. Yes, his party was called the National Socialist German Worker's Party, but it was a mixture of beliefs at the outset (prior to Hitler's involvement) and, under Hitler, swung far right. The Night of the Long Knives, in fact, was a purging of the Strasserites, the remaining leftists/socialists in the party.

SPMiller
07-04-2010, 12:28 PM
Shut up, willie. We're trying to get our socialist-hate on here.

Rufus Coppertop
07-04-2010, 12:31 PM
Yeah, shut up Willie!

Priene
07-04-2010, 01:01 PM
Hitler was most certainly a socialist and should be nearly the same place as Stalin shows up yet he appears on this graph as being slightly right of center.

You need to go away and study what socialism is and understand its complete incompatibility with fascist ideology. While you're at it, have a think about why socialists might have fought in the international brigades in Spain and why Hitler sent so many socialists, trade unionists and communists to his death camps.

willietheshakes
07-04-2010, 01:21 PM
Shut up, willie. We're trying to get our socialist-hate on here.

Yeah, shut up Willie!

Sorry - reflexive socialist Canadian need for clarity...

Mr Flibble
07-04-2010, 03:41 PM
libertarian: grade school edition ;)

1) tell the truth
2) keep your promises
3) don't take other people's stuff
4) don't boss other people around
5) share your toys

Aha! Yes that fits.


IRU, it means you don't want people controlling your life and you don't want to control other people's lives. You believe in personal responsibility and a limited role for government. It also suggest that you believe in a free market economy and that people are inherently honest within specific constraints rather than inherently dishonest. OMG you're looking in my head!!!!!


Except for this part: that those who do not conform to acceptable norms are either punished or removed, I don't conform to acceptable norms ( or that's what the local council told me the other day.) but I don't see why I should be punished for it... well, unless I end up murdering the council person who told me that :D

Don
07-04-2010, 04:17 PM
http://www.politicalcompass.org/images/usprimaries_2008.png

I'm sure the above chart is a blow to the beliefs of those who regularly claim that George Carlin is right, that politicians are just like the rest of us. If the chart's not enough, review where your fellow posters, from all over the political spectrum, are falling. How many posters had +,+ scores?

As for those who think there are significant differences between the two wings of the Republicrat party, this chart makes it easy to see those differences are very small in the overall scheme of things.

Even this poorly-designed test that takes corporations as a natural fact of life, rather than a politically-created legal fiction, makes both of those points quite nicely.

Don
07-04-2010, 04:50 PM
Right, only libertarians believe in all that stuff. Everyone else believes in lying, breaking promises, taking other people's stuff, bossing people around, and not sharing.
No, libertarians believe that most people are willing to live by those simple rules, and civil society doesn't need a government to act as parents, but simply to deal with those few who don't live by those simple rules.

It's the authoritarians who believe that everyone else believes in lying, breaking promises, taking other people's stuff, bossing people around, and not sharing. That's their excuse for an all-invasive government that micro-manages every aspect of the economy and people's personal lives.

Authoritarianism is elitism at it's core. They believe people need government to run their lives for them, because the average person's just too stupid, or too evil, to run their own lives.

I also think there's a huge amount of projection in the average authoritarian's makeup, just as those who are most jealous in a love relationship are most likely to be cheaters themselves. They believe the secret heartfelt attitudes that make them a danger to civil society are all-pervasive through the population.

That's pretty apparent from the attitude of our elected officials, who see nothing wrong with lying, breaking promises, taking other people's stuff, bossing people around, and not sharing (ever seen a poor politician?), as long as they can convince people to elect them to do those things by convincing them there's some "social contract" that gives them authority.

IMO, of course.

Michael J. Hoag
07-04-2010, 05:05 PM
I'm impressed they go so many prominent politicians to take their internet test. Or did they take it upon themselves to answer the questions for them? Because that's not the same thing, and you can't compare your political position to others' by matching your answers against a third party's guesses.

They had independent poli-sci profs answer the questions using politician's statements during the campaign. This is why the candidates moved between the "primary" graph and the "2010 election" graph.

As to Hallen's complaint, it's a typical one, and one that they've even addressed on their web page. They say that this comment comes exclusively from 'Merka (which is definitely a different place than the America I live in.) Unfortunately, 'Merkans have begun to believe their own political lies: the neocon right represents some historical middle of a noble and enlightened past, all Americans are conservatives and Hitler is EXACTLY like Obama and both are SOCIALISTS!

The makers of the test explain that their graph is not Ameri-centric. It is not based on the perception that Fox news is "centrist." They've based their center on a world/historical perspective.

Note that pretty much everyone would agree that outright corporatist "laissez faire" is a pretty new governing ideal. However, corporate dominance (something Adam Smith would have considered the antithesis of "capitalism") is now a norm for American politicians. Hence the rightward skew. It's also no surprise that many Americans who take this test complain that they are more liberal than their political leaders.

This is because "conservative" isn't a political philosophy, it's a fetish. ;)

People tend to call themselves "conservative" based on finding a few social behaviors "yucky." Gay marriage=yucky. Welfare moms=yucky. Unwed sex=yucky. Since the personal "yuck factor" is highly emotional, they tend to call themselves strongly conservative. But virtually no one has a strong yuck response to everything "conservatives" are supposed to find yucky--how could you? But the politicians are required to represent for all the yuckiness out there. So most conservatives I know only agree with 10% of the conservative social agenda but rate themselves STRONGLY conservative. Nothing new. This is why Americans famously polled that they strongly agreed with Jimmy Carter on the issues but SAID they strongly agreed with Reagan.

Michael J. Hoag
07-04-2010, 05:14 PM
LOL, the real reason, IMO, is as Don said, they take corporations as a "natural" institution and that it correlates with "laissez faire." So really, there are two kinds of economic right...

This causes a rightward shift VS the historical center.

Amadan
07-04-2010, 06:55 PM
No, he wasn't. Yes, his party was called the National Socialist German Worker's Party, but it was a mixture of beliefs at the outset (prior to Hitler's involvement) and, under Hitler, swung far right. The Night of the Long Knives, in fact, was a purging of the Strasserites, the remaining leftists/socialists in the party.

Dude, you've missed the memo. All evil is inherently leftist in nature, and thus socialist. Haven't you read Jonah Goldberg's book?

(I'd say I'm being sarcastic, but this seems to increasingly be what American conservatives actually believe.)

No, libertarians believe that most people are willing to live by those simple rules, and civil society doesn't need a government to act as parents, but simply to deal with those few who don't live by those simple rules.

It's the authoritarians who believe that everyone else believes in lying, breaking promises, taking other people's stuff, bossing people around, and not sharing. That's their excuse for an all-invasive government that micro-manages every aspect of the economy and people's personal lives.

Authoritarianism is elitism at it's core. They believe people need government to run their lives for them, because the average person's just too stupid, or too evil, to run their own lives.

I'm not an authoritarian, but I do believe that the average person is too selfish to make decisions based on anything more than self-interest, and a society can't run on everyone being able to do whatever benefits that individual the most.

This is where I think libertarianism falls apart. It's nice in theory, and projecting (heh) that opponents of libertarianism are all authoritarians who secretly fear that everyone else is as evil as they are may make libertarians feel good, but considering how popular phrases like "sheeple" are in libertarian discussions, I think it's really a stretch to claim that libertarianism is devoid of elitism.

kappapi99
07-04-2010, 06:58 PM
It has me down as a authoritarian left, but there is no way I am more liberal than Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton...

Don
07-04-2010, 07:48 PM
It has me down as a authoritarian left, but there is no way I am more liberal than Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton...
Well, you have to consider that they talk a good game, but I don't see any of them donating their millions to the Department of Human Services.

They're only liberal with other people's money.

Don
07-04-2010, 07:53 PM
I'm not an authoritarian, but I do believe that the average person is too selfish to make decisions based on anything more than self-interest, and a society can't run on everyone being able to do whatever benefits that individual the most.
Srsly? You put a roof over your head, and leave your family out in the cold? You snarl at everybody you meet, and make no effort to make social connections? You steal whatever you can get away with? Mug little old ladies for their social security checks? Never donate to charity or help out a friend or relative in need?

I doubt all that.

There's a shitload of difference between selfishness and rational self-interest. Rational self-interest is what keeps you from doing all of the above. (ETA: ...and encourages you to do the charity bit.)

Of course, we know that it's only we enlightened few who make such considerations. Everybody else will steal our wallets and rape our children, if not for the fear of gunvernment retribution.

It must be frightening to go through life with that view of your fellow man. I haz a sad 4 U.

backslashbaby
07-04-2010, 08:16 PM
Some of the nuances are very hard to capture. When I said 'conservative' above, I certainly didn't mean any of the 'yuck' factors. I'm entirely opposite staunch republicans on those. I meant laissez-faire economics. However, I'm against very much of what huge multinationals (are allowed to) do and very much for small business.

I don't believe my fellow man is as selfish as Don makes out I believe, but I believe that companies like BP would easily factor in my death as nothing but a tiny smudge on one of their huge reports. In with the walruses in the Gulf ;)

There's a Think Global, Act Local axis missing, imho. I'm rather conservative for a granola-girl type ;) :D

Amadan
07-04-2010, 08:35 PM
Srsly? You put a roof over your head, and leave your family out in the cold? You snarl at everybody you meet, and make no effort to make social connections? You steal whatever you can get away with? Mug little old ladies for their social security checks? Never donate to charity or help out a friend or relative in need?

I doubt all that.

There's a shitload of difference between selfishness and rational self-interest. Rational self-interest is what keeps you from doing all of the above.

Of course, we know that it's only we enlightened few who make such considerations. Everybody else will steal our wallets and rape our children, if not for the fear of gunvernment retribution.

It must be frightening to go through life with that view of your fellow man. I haz a sad 4 U.

Yes, that's what I'm talking about. Libertarians tend to see things in absolutes. Everything is black or white, authoritarian or libertarian. If I think people tend to act primarily out of self-interest, of course it means I think a huge nanny state is necessary to make everyone behave. If not for the government, everyone would be rapist-cannibal-serial killers, uh huh. Naturally, all non-libertarians are frightened rabbits living in fear of their fellow man. Whose projection were we discussing, again?

I've yet to hear a coherent explanation from a libertarian for what "rational self-interest" means. (As opposed to irrational self-interest?) Usually it boils down to justifying why it makes sense, long-term, to be charitable and do things that don't immediately help you personally. As long as you're doing it only out of the goodness of your heart (which isn't actually very rational) or because you see long-term benefit for yourself, and not because you're paying taxes because the society you live in has formed a compact that says part of the price of living in it and enjoying its services and protections is that you have to contribute towards it. Then "rational self-interest" is extortion and theft by the evil government.

Don
07-04-2010, 09:29 PM
I meant laissez-faire economics. However, I'm against very much of what huge multinationals (are allowed to) do and very much for small business.

I don't believe my fellow man is as selfish as Don makes out I believe, but I believe that companies like BP would easily factor in my death as nothing but a tiny smudge on one of their huge reports. In with the walruses in the Gulf ;)

There's a Think Global, Act Local axis missing, imho. I'm rather conservative for a granola-girl type ;) :D
It's worth noting, though largely ignored, that corporations did not spring naturally into existance as part of logical free-market jurisprudence.

Some group of people, politicians, actually, had to actually think through the idea of granting other groups of people the right to sign some document that would grant those other groups of people a right to hide behind the law to protect their personal assets from the consequences of their bad decisions.

Then some group of people actually had to set down and write the rules that would allow people to band together to shirk personal responsibility and blame it on some pretend person called Acme, Inc. -- and while they were at it, to let those pretend people live forever.

Then some other group of people voted to make that the law.

And yet another group of people agreed, when asked to test the validity of the law, that yes, indeedy, it was a great idea to let people shirk their personal responsibility for their actions.

Corporations are very much a legal fiction that have absolutely no grounding in laissez-faire economics. We can only fairly blame the politicians, not the free market.

On the topic of rational self-interest, the best definition I've seen is actually an example. Driving is an activity that most people perform in a natural state of rational self-interest. Those that don't are the outliers that raise all of our insurance rates. And as with most anti-social behaviors, they are in the vast minority.

Slushie
07-05-2010, 04:38 AM
Some group of people, politicians, actually, had to actually think through the idea of granting other groups of people the right to sign some document that would grant those other groups of people a right to hide behind the law to protect their personal assets from the consequences of their bad decisions.

i'm guessing that's a reference to incorporation? Personally, I'm glad there are those legal protections. Without incorporation, my property could be subject to seizure if a company I had stock in went bankrupt. Ridiculous.

Protection from individual liability is not absolute, anyways. It's called the corporate veil (not an iron shield) for a reason.

Plus, it can help to promote innovation. I doubt med tech would be where it is today if it wasn't for this legal fiction. And getting incorporated is usually a smart business move, it's not "hiding behind the law". Not a categorically bad thing.

Don
07-05-2010, 05:10 AM
Yeah, it's worked out nicely for the management of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, GMAC, General Motors, Chrysler, JP Morgan, Chase, BoA, Citi, and AIG, too. Stock ownership was the scam they used to sell the whole concept of screwing the world with no risk to the screwees. Sorry if I don't swallow that particular blue pill.

There is no excuse for the legal system allowing citizens to shirk their personal responsibility for actions that negatively impact other citizens. None. Period. End of story. It makes a mockery of the whole concept of equal protection under the law.

Slushie
07-05-2010, 05:37 AM
Screwing the world? What in the hell are you even talking about? Airlines, international shipping, telecommunications, cars, pharmaceuticals, on and on. These are industries of the developed world that require enormous sums of capital to function, a level of capital that is found by offering people a share in the profits--and losses--for their investment. I can't even imagine how much wealth the stock market has created over the long term.

And i don't know how you're arriving at personal responsibility for negative actions. Who is responsible for what?

Again, there's still civil law to sue the company for any negative damages. And the board isn't categorically immune from personal liability. Because of incorporation, someone can sue a legal person worth billions and billions of dollars, instead of only another individual worth a few million. it goes both ways.

robeiae
07-05-2010, 07:09 AM
I can't even imagine how much wealth the stock market has created over the long term.A ga-jillion?

Don wants a world of free-market shepherds, I think.

Don
07-05-2010, 04:51 PM
Incorporation ranks right up there with sovereign immunity and eminent domain as concepts that have no business in a free society. The only concept more vile is that of conscription.

Romantic Heretic
07-05-2010, 06:00 PM
Corporation: n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit while avoiding individual responsibility. - The Devil's Dictionary. Ambrose Bierce

As far as the stock market goes, I'm not sure it creates that much wealth. I think the problem is that people think buying stocks is the same as investing.

If stocks are bought in an IPO or a fresh issue of stocks then you are investing. The money goes to the company for them to use as capital.

But most stocks are not bought from the company that issued them. The stocks are bought from another stock owner. This is usually done to sell those same stocks in the future for more money. This isn't investing, it's speculation, gambling. The company sees none of the money involved in the sale.

So, to my mind, most of the 'wealth' created by the stock market is imaginary. This is why the market collapses so often and so big. Reality catches up to you sooner or later.

Don
07-05-2010, 06:17 PM
The whole stock argument is bogus anyway, as justification for irresponsible looting.

There are already different classes of stock. Simply require the issuance of a class of "owner" stock; those who hold that stock are outside the corporate shield. Require that there be at least one share of owner stock, and that all owner stock be held by individuals.

If ten people want to form a business together, they can issue ten or more shares of owner stock, hold those among themselves, and issue "investor" stock that has all the benefits of profitability, but no say in the operation of the company, and no risk of personal financial or legal liability.

The ten people holding owner stock, OTOH, share the responsibilities as well as the rewards of entrepreneurship. If the risk is larger than they care to shoulder, they can issue some more shares and sell or give them to the front-line managers, to encourage them to perform their jobs with extra diligence. Casual investors in a company aren't going to be interested in those shares, because they come with responsibility as well as rewards. The larger the company, the less likely the original owners will be interested in shouldering the whole responsibility for the company's actions. They'll push more of the responsibility, and rewards, down the food chain.

Shared responsibility would do more to spread the wealth in a company than the current arrangement could ever do. Employee stock ownership programs would become the rule, rather than the exception. Workers really would have a stock in the actions of the company, and a very real reason to speak up if illegal activities are contemplated.

robeiae
07-05-2010, 06:22 PM
As far as the stock market goes, I'm not sure it creates that much wealth. I think the problem is that people think buying stocks is the same as investing.

If stocks are bought in an IPO or a fresh issue of stocks then you are investing. The money goes to the company for them to use as capital.

But most stocks are not bought from the company that issued them. The stocks are bought from another stock owner. This is usually done to sell those same stocks in the future for more money. This isn't investing, it's speculation, gambling. The company sees none of the money involved in the sale.

So, to my mind, most of the 'wealth' created by the stock market is imaginary. This is why the market collapses so often and so big. Reality catches up to you sooner or later.
I own stocks as investments. Sure, I bought them "secondhand," but there are plenty of people like me that buy stocks based on an expectation that the company issuing those stocks will become more profitable. Because I--and others--do this, a stock price can go up (ditto for naked speculation) and the company can sell more stock, thus raising capital.

robeiae
07-05-2010, 06:29 PM
The whole stock argument is bogus anyway, as justification for irresponsible looting.

There are already different classes of stock. Simply require the issuance of a class of "owner" stock; those who hold that stock are outside the corporate shield. Require that there be at least one share of owner stock, and that all owner stock be held by individuals.

If ten people want to form a business together, they can issue ten or more shares of owner stock, hold those among themselves, and issue "investor" stock that has all the benefits of profitability, but no say in the operation of the company, and no risk of personal financial or legal liability.

The ten people holding owner stock, OTOH, share the responsibilities as well as the rewards of entrepreneurship. If the risk is larger than they care to shoulder, they can issue some more shares and sell or give them to the front-line managers, to encourage them to perform their jobs with extra diligence. Casual investors in a company aren't going to be interested in those shares, because they come with responsibility as well as rewards. The larger the company, the less likely the original owners will be interested in shouldering the whole responsibility for the company's actions. They'll push more of the responsibility, and rewards, down the food chain.

Shared responsibility would do more to spread the wealth in a company than the current arrangement could ever do. Employee stock ownership programs would become the rule, rather than the exception. Workers really would have a stock in the actions of the company, and a very real reason to speak up if illegal activities are contemplated.
I'm all for revamping some of the rules we currently have, Don. And responsibility is no doubt a key component. But the current reality is not some furtive plot. It's a consequence of development over time. And any way you slice it, the explosion of wealth in the last three hundred or so years is wound up in the history of corporations. Many bad things have occurred and do occur, many things could be fixed or improved, but our standard of living would never have come to this point under the more limited idealistic rubric you envision. So maybe you be a shepherd with a hand-made iPod...

Don
07-05-2010, 06:35 PM
I'm all for revamping some of the rules we currently have, Don. And responsibility is no doubt a key component. But the current reality is not some furtive plot. It's a consequence of development over time. And any way you slice it, the explosion of wealth in the last three hundred or so years is wound up in the history of corporations. Many bad things have occurred and do occur, many things could be fixed or improved, but our standard of living would never have come to this point under the more limited idealistic rubric you envision. So maybe you be a shepherd with a hand-made iPod...
"The ends justify the means" has never gotten much traction with me.

Keeping responsibility in the equation would not prevent the growth of business organizations, but even if it did slow things somewhat, extra caution in large undertakings is generally a good idea. Ask the folks in Bhopal.

And perhaps it wasn't a plot. But when the legal structure of corporations was designed, you don't seriously suggest that nobody went "hey, wait a minute, we're taking all the personal responsibility out of the equation," are you? Or that those gathered around the table didn't congratulate themselves for their cleverness, and mock the speaker for his naivety behind his back?

It worked out well for the businesses and politicians colluding on the legislation, of course, but not so well for society, or for the individual. I hardly think anyone can pretend that was an accident.

dmytryp
07-05-2010, 07:12 PM
Keeping responsibility in the equation would not prevent the growth of business organizations, but even if it did slow things somewhat, extra caution in large undertakings is generally a good idea. Ask the folks in Bhopal.
Don, this wouldn't "slow things down", this would stop them almost completely. And it doesn't pertain only to big things. For a person starting a business (which is always risky) to risk loosing all of his possessions is a huge thing, and US is very unforgiving of bankruptcy. No venture capital firm would invest in a company without having a say and it wouldn't invest if in case the company goes belly up, someone can come after the investment firm.
USA is currently on the downward slope (together with much of the world) in terms of start-ups and needs to find ways to boost this, not to kill it.

Don
07-05-2010, 07:20 PM
Like I said above, "the ends justify the means" has never gotten much traction with me. I have to say I'm honestly surprised by how popular it is these days.

dmytryp
07-05-2010, 07:26 PM
No offence, Don, but you are full of it on this. Everybody makes decisions weighing whether the benefits outweigh the negatives. And states do it all the time on a larger scale. This is in essense "the ends justify the means". So, you might as well get off your high horse.

To use your own words: "I have to say I'm honestly surprised you'd prefer your country to commit economical suicide rather than find a better compromise."

robeiae
07-05-2010, 07:33 PM
"The ends justify the means" has never gotten much traction with me.Me neither. You're determined to see intentions that don't exist.

dmytryp
07-05-2010, 07:53 PM
You two are hillarious on this issue. You don't drive a car, despite the fact that it damages the environment? Despite the fact that pretty nasty people benefit from oil? Etc. Etc.

clintl
07-05-2010, 07:56 PM
"The ends justify the means" has never gotten much traction with me.

Keeping responsibility in the equation would not prevent the growth of business organizations, but even if it did slow things somewhat, extra caution in large undertakings is generally a good idea. Ask the folks in Bhopal.

And perhaps it wasn't a plot. But when the legal structure of corporations was designed, you don't seriously suggest that nobody went "hey, wait a minute, we're taking all the personal responsibility out of the equation," are you? Or that those gathered around the table didn't congratulate themselves for their cleverness, and mock the speaker for his naivety behind his back?

It worked out well for the businesses and politicians colluding on the legislation, of course, but not so well for society, or for the individual. I hardly think anyone can pretend that was an accident.

The lack of corporations didn't keep wealthy Southerners from enshrining the right to own slaves in the original Constitution, which is the most egregious example of business ethics misconduct in our nation's history. Put there by possibly the most powerful special interest business group in our nation's history.

I don't think your thesis is particularly persuasive. The rich and powerful held similar sway over policy already. And I agree with Rob - the technological advances we have that have made our lives much better could not have happened without the corporation.

Perhaps you really think we'd be better off with the things like a high child mortality rate, however, if we could just do away with this horrific lack of personal responsibility for business decisions.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 12:50 AM
The lack of corporations didn't keep wealthy Southerners from enshrining the right to own slaves in the original Constitution, which is the most egregious example of business ethics misconduct in our nation's history. Put there by possibly the most powerful special interest business group in our nation's history.

I don't think your thesis is particularly persuasive. The rich and powerful held similar sway over policy already. And I agree with Rob - the technological advances we have that have made our lives much better could not have happened without the corporation.

Perhaps you really think we'd be better off with the things like a high child mortality rate, however, if we could just do away with this horrific lack of personal responsibility for business decisions.

I don't think anyone is saying that installing some bumpers to mitigate corporate power is some panacea.

In fact, I don't think Don's implying that someone need "shepherd" corporate power at all.

It's just a fact that the government has SELECTED for corporate success over small business (in many cases.) Our national obsession with funding local roads is a HUGE subsidy for centralized, corporate business over small, local business and "bringing home the road bacon" is something no local politician can get elected without doing. Massive subsidy of Walmart is another example. Yet every walmart created destroys 300 net jobs and puts many local business through the shredder. These are cases of politicians destroying the wealth and good jobs in their local communities for big, outsider corporate money. Oil subsidy is another. Insurance law. Access to government contracts. Union busting (Freedom of Assembly is a constitutional right Republicans love to pretend doesn't exist.) Massive privatizations granted to corporations.

We love to pretend that corporations have won out because they're more competitive. Bullshit. Shipping a stale, unripened, cardboard tomato that no one in their right mind would want to eat without government coercion all the way from China where it's grown with huge amounts of oil-based fertilizer and oil-based tilling, etc. is NOT competitive with local production except that our BIG BROTHER makes it so.

The "wealth creation" of corporations has really been "wealth consolidation," government mandated robbery, plain and simple.

Look at the history of this corporatization and you'll find a concurrent drop in real wages, employment, individual rights and power and the destruction of Mainstreet.

I say lift the safety wheels so that the poor, widdle corporations have to compete on fair ground with small, local business and you'll see a reversal of these trends: communities coming back to life, good and better local jobs, small business resilience, etc.

And, BTW, WTO rules for measuring GDP greatly favor corporate "economic activity" such that "corporatism" will move into an area with a complete, vibrant local economy that's entirely self-reliant and resilient and they'll destroy that. Before having an economy, they'll have an excellent education system that teaches them agricultural skills that could make them busy professors of "permaculture" in the US, full but voluntary employment, AUTARCHY, ability to export medicinal herbs and plants, great biodiversity, an amazingly healthy diet and a wonderful standard of living. After, they've got high "unemployment," filthy water, empty high-calorie Kraft food, dependence on Monsanto for their agriculture and high debt to boot, no community and a shitty education provided by the state.

And there was much rejoicing.

That's the "wealth creation" you're talking about.

clintl
07-06-2010, 01:03 AM
Look at the history of this corporatization and you'll find a concurrent drop in real wages, employment, individual rights and power and the destruction of Mainstreet.



You really believe that? How do you think most people made a living before the existence of corporations and technological innovations they enabled?

Subsistence farming.

And very little opportunity existed for most to do something else.

Corporations drove wages up. Way up. Not down.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 01:13 AM
You two are hillarious on this issue. You don't drive a car, despite the fact that it damages the environment? Despite the fact that pretty nasty people benefit from oil? Etc. Etc.

I hear shades of this argument ALL THE TIME and I don't buy it for an instant.

This is just a form of self-justification people use to be lazy, careless sacks of shit. Sorry but it's true. (BTW, I'm the biggest sack of shit there is, because whenever I hear this BS I gotta get up on my soapbox...) Yeah, I get to look around and say "everybody's doin' it!" and that means I can take the proverbial lemming drop without so much as a single little thought.

First off, there are those of us, though you might not believe it, who go out of our way to not to use cars, for example. Though I currently drive and own a car, there have been long periods of my life when, happily, I did not. But I make every effort to limit my milage. I carpool. I plan well. I get 80+% of my food locally, so my potatoes don't have to take a taxi to get in my belly.

I could give you a long, self-righteous litany of what a super duper eco-dude I am, but I'm not perfect and it isn't necessary. It's wrong to think that a solution has to be absolutist.

People imply all the time, that although my lifestyle may be more sustainable that most North Americans, because I'm not wearing a fucking diaper like Gandhi, I'm just as culpable as they are--

And so all is futile and we can just be lazy careless sacks.

But that's bullshit. There's no moral mandate to be Gandhi. In fact, Gandhi was a dick. Here's why: everybody looks at how perfect Gandhi was and says "well gee, I could never be like him so I might as well not try!"

So it's better to take small steps toward "transition" and show that, far from being saint-like sacrifices, these steps improve your quality of life.

The fact is, we're stuck as part of a system, and having the GALL to actually stay alive in that system does not make one a hypocrite, and does not prove that the end justifies the means.

And in the end, living in this "morally compromised" (as you assume) middle ground is MORE EFFECTIVE than being some self-righteous, perfect and pure eco-jesus. Because eco-jesus just turns people into apathetic sacks.

And think what a stronger world we'd have if everyone just took a few steps to the middle.

robeiae
07-06-2010, 01:17 AM
The "wealth creation" of corporations has really been "wealth consolidation," government mandated robbery, plain and simple. Nonsense. As Clintl says, subsistence farming was the standard occupation for the great majority of the world's population since the beginnings of recorded history.

Corporations are far from being the sole source of wealth creation, but they play a significant role. Here's a book: http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Change-Economic-History-Douglass/dp/039395241X

The author is a pretty sharp guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglass_North).

It's a good starting point on all of this, imo.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 01:29 AM
You really believe that? How do you think most people made a living before the existence of corporations and technological innovations they enabled?

Subsistence farming.

And very little opportunity existed for most to do something else.

Corporations drove wages up. Way up. Not down.

First, don't make me some absolutist. I only believe the government should stop picking corporations as the winners. If that happens, there will still be corporations, because you can't locally produce airplanes.

Well, at least not easily or safely.

Teevees are another example and I suppose you could say they improve people's standard of living (though I'm personally happier without one.)

But I don't think what we GET out of a corporatized economy is more value. Just look at the standard of living and what we get for our money.

Food--pre-corporate we had delicious and nutritious local food that provided value to the individual, the community and the ecosystem. After, we get shit-food that's basically poison, poison to the individual, poison to the community and poison to the ecosystem. Just look at the VALUE--why is local, organic produce so much more expensive? That "good shit" used to be the norm!

Housing--Oi! The quality of housing, both from an aesthetic stand-point and from a quality standpoint is far lower. Why do people love those old houses? Again, they provided value to the individual, to the community and to the ecosystem as they used less fossil fuels to heat and cool.

Leisure--I know some consider Dr. Sexy MD to be the be-all and end-all of entertainment, but... people used to go fishing. Hunting. Gardening. These were life's activities and they were "work," but in many cultures, they were done without the "burden" of work. Remember that many still do these activities for fun! Now you have to pay to do them and they're expensive!

Exercise--Before, obvious. I've seen plenty of research to suggest that the activities that humans evolved doing are actually GOOD exercise for us. Whereas the "Exercise" we buy Gym memberships for tends to be bad for the body (from an Alexander Technique perspective for example.) And they were fun! People hate the exercise they get today so much that they've got to brainwash themselves while doing it. They're paying to throw away hours of their lives that they'll never get back.

I could go on and on and on....

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 01:34 AM
Also, there were injustices...

I don't think we can conflate a non-globalized corporate economy with those cultural injustices. We don't need to go "backwards."

I think we can go forward, and the future is smaller and local.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 01:43 AM
Nonsense. As Clintl says, subsistence farming was the standard occupation for the great majority of the world's population since the beginnings of recorded history.

Corporations are far from being the sole source of wealth creation, but they play a significant role. Here's a book: http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Change-Economic-History-Douglass/dp/039395241X

The author is a pretty sharp guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglass_North).

It's a good starting point on all of this, imo.

I've read plenty of Corporatist Apologetics books. Most make the mistake pointed out above. They lack an anthropological perspective and assume that a corporatized life-style is superior.

This is basically the same logic as phrenology.

My Mac OS X 10.5 gives me no more "value" than 10.2 did, except that Apple forced me to upgrade by dropping support. In some ways, I find it has less "value" and certainly less efficiency (and will no doubt have less "durability.")

Yet, it is weighed as "increased value" by economists.

robeiae
07-06-2010, 01:56 AM
I've read plenty of Corporatist Apologetics books. Most make the mistake pointed out above. They lack an anthropological perspective and assume that a corporatized life-style is superior.That's hardly a "corporatist apologetic" book. As it happens, "anthropological" is an apt descriptor for North. So if that's the perspective you want, this is a good book for you, imo.

This is basically the same logic as phrenology.

My Mac OS X 10.5 gives me no more "value" than 10.2 did, except that Apple forced me to upgrade by dropping support. In some ways, I find it has less "value" and certainly less efficiency (and will no doubt have less "durability.")

Yet, it is weighed as "increased value" by economists.I'm sorry, but you've lost me here.

ETA: Btw, the term "corporatism" has very little to do with the current world of corporations, despite have the same root word.

Don
07-06-2010, 02:10 AM
corporatism:

control of a state or organization by large interest groups; "individualism is in danger of being swamped by a kind of corporatism"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Political system in which power is exercised through large organizations (businesses, trade unions, etc) working in concert with each other, under the direction of the state
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/corporatism

Sounds awfully familiar to me.

Although this one's starting to sound familiar too.

A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government, business-and-government control of the market place, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights.

That's not corporatism, though. Anybody? Bueller?

robeiae
07-06-2010, 02:18 AM
corporatism:

control of a state or organization by large interest groups; "individualism is in danger of being swamped by a kind of corporatism"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Political system in which power is exercised through large organizations (businesses, trade unions, etc) working in concert with each other, under the direction of the state
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/corporatism

Sounds awfully familiar to me.

Although this one's starting to sound familiar too.

A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government, business-and-government control of the market place, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights.

That's not corporatism, though. Anybody? Bueller?Anybody what?

Corporatism is a system to fully order an economy, created and enforced by a central authority.

You can play the "gee, that sounds familiar" song to your heart's content, but that IS NOT what we have here. It just isn't.

You're using the term as a pejorative, nothing more. I could easily say that "such and such is communism!" with regard to some policy or the like, and when someone else points out that it's actually not communism at all, I could do as you have done here, Don. But I'd be wrong, just as you are.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 02:21 AM
I hear shades of this argument ALL THE TIME and I don't buy it for an instant.

This is just a form of self-justification people use to be lazy, careless sacks of shit. Sorry but it's true. (BTW, I'm the biggest sack of shit there is, because whenever I hear this BS I gotta get up on my soapbox...) Yeah, I get to look around and say "everybody's doin' it!" and that means I can take the proverbial lemming drop without so much as a single little thought.

First off, there are those of us, though you might not believe it, who go out of our way to not to use cars, for example. Though I currently drive and own a car, there have been long periods of my life when, happily, I did not. But I make every effort to limit my milage. I carpool. I plan well. I get 80+% of my food locally, so my potatoes don't have to take a taxi to get in my belly.

I could give you a long, self-righteous litany of what a super duper eco-dude I am, but I'm not perfect and it isn't necessary. It's wrong to think that a solution has to be absolutist.

People imply all the time, that although my lifestyle may be more sustainable that most North Americans, because I'm not wearing a fucking diaper like Gandhi, I'm just as culpable as they are--

And so all is futile and we can just be lazy careless sacks.

But that's bullshit. There's no moral mandate to be Gandhi. In fact, Gandhi was a dick. Here's why: everybody looks at how perfect Gandhi was and says "well gee, I could never be like him so I might as well not try!"

So it's better to take small steps toward "transition" and show that, far from being saint-like sacrifices, these steps improve your quality of life.

The fact is, we're stuck as part of a system, and having the GALL to actually stay alive in that system does not make one a hypocrite, and does not prove that the end justifies the means.

And in the end, living in this "morally compromised" (as you assume) middle ground is MORE EFFECTIVE than being some self-righteous, perfect and pure eco-jesus. Because eco-jesus just turns people into apathetic sacks.

And think what a stronger world we'd have if everyone just took a few steps to the middle.
This is not a form of justification for anything. Everything, and I mean everything you do is a form of "ends justify the means". You always have consequences to your actions. It is just a matter of scope and what you consider justified "ends" and "means". You support presumption of innocence -- the ends are that the fewest innocent people possible go to jail, the means are that some guilty will go free. Etc. Etc. I never claimed anybody "morally compromised", so, save your rants for someone else.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 02:24 AM
First, don't make me some absolutist. I only believe the government should stop picking corporations as the winners. If that happens, there will still be corporations, because you can't locally produce airplanes.
Than you won't find any argument from people here. And I mean from anybody.

robeiae
07-06-2010, 02:25 AM
Than you won't find any argument from people here. And I mean from anybody.
That sounds like an absolute...

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 02:27 AM
Anybody what?

Corporatism is a system to fully order an economy, created and enforced by a central authority.

You can play the "gee, that sounds familiar" song to your heart's content, but that IS NOT what we have here. It just isn't.

You're using the term as a pejorative, nothing more. I could easily say that "such and such is communism!" with regard to some policy or the like, and when someone else points out that it's actually not communism at all, I could do as you have done here, Don. But I'd be wrong, just as you are.

Ok, you supply the word and we'll use it. It certainly is NOT "Capitalism" though. At least not the way Adam Smith would have recognized it. I think it's funny that you describe "Corporatist" only as an absolute, "a system to fully order an economy, created and enforced by a central authority." But in the past you've defined "socialism" almost by the "single drop" rule. A single drop of socialist blood defines the thing, but we're not "corporatist" because it's not absolute. Also, you seem to assume that POWER flows only from the government. Certainly what we have is the most complete central planning of our day-to-day lives that the world has ever witnessed. Even the genetics of the corn we eat are being centrally mandated and I don't have a choice about it! Of course, this power flows from corporate professional staff, and not the government, so it's not "corporatism."

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 02:27 AM
That sounds like an absolute...
You got me. I feel so dirty.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 02:27 AM
And I will look up the book. Honestly evaluating opposing viewpoints is a vital and often neglected intelligence.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 02:36 AM
Also, there were injustices...

I don't think we can conflate a non-globalized corporate economy with those cultural injustices. We don't need to go "backwards."

I think we can go forward, and the future is smaller and local.
Not only the future is not smaller and more local, but people need to adjust their thinking. You won't be able to get the genie back into the bottle. Production and services like IT as they were in the past are dead in the first world countries. If their economies want to compete, they need innovation, R&D and other brain and money consuming features where you can't replace a qualified specialist with a hundred underpaid Chineese. And this means you need to compete for the world venture capital pie, and you need people to be able to take risk, to fail and try again.

robeiae
07-06-2010, 02:41 AM
Ok, you supply the word and we'll use it. It certainly is NOT "Capitalism" though. At least not the way Adam Smith would have recognized it. I think it's funny that you describe "Corporatist" only as an absolute, "a system to fully order an economy, created and enforced by a central authority."Because that is what it is (http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/corporatism.htm). It's very specific system. Like communism. Neither are terms created to describe developmental situations. Both are terms created to represent artificial systems that need to be imposed in total. But in the past you've defined "socialism" almost by the "single drop" rule. A single drop of socialist blood defines the thing, but we're not "corporatist" because it's not absolute.I have? Where? Regardless, you can certainly point to a situation or a policy and call it "corporatist" in nature, but again that has nothing to do with modern corporations. That's really my principle point, here. Also, you seem to assume that POWER flows only from the government. Certainly what we have is the most complete central planning of our day-to-day lives that the world has ever witnessed. Even the genetics of the corn we eat are being centrally mandated and I don't have a choice about it! Of course, this power flows from corporate professional staff, and not the government, so it's not "corporatism."
Allowing that your analysis here is correct, yes. That WOULD NOT be corporatism.

darkprincealain
07-06-2010, 07:02 AM
I only believe the government should stop picking corporations as the winners. If that happens, there will still be corporations, because you can't locally produce airplanes.

I would think we'd be happy if we could wipe our noses without being told which waste basket we should shed our sleeve.

What I would like to say has been pretty much said, already.

I usually end up a little south of the Dalai Lama on this particular quiz.

Gregg
07-06-2010, 07:48 AM
I'm a bit northeast of Don, but too close to Mike Gravel for my own comfort. Altho, to his benefit, he was against the military draft.
Or:
A. Maybe I need to take a breath.
B. It's a bad quiz.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 07:56 AM
Not only the future is not smaller and more local, but people need to adjust their thinking. You won't be able to get the genie back into the bottle. Production and services like IT as they were in the past are dead in the first world countries. If their economies want to compete, they need innovation, R&D and other brain and money consuming features where you can't replace a qualified specialist with a hundred underpaid Chineese. And this means you need to compete for the world venture capital pie, and you need people to be able to take risk, to fail and try again.

This is a religious belief and not one I share. Like all religious beliefs, it requires a leap of faith--in this case, that Techno-Jesus will intervene and save the sacred "globalism." I believe, as does the US military, that we are nearing the end of cheap energy and we've been subsidizing global corporatism with our tax money heavily enough already. What will happen when the cheap energy that your globalized bigger is better economy is based upon comes to an end? I know, Techno-Jesus will return and smite the heathens and invent an even better energy source just in time to save the world!

Well, I cannot make this leap of faith. So I believe that the globalized corporate-based economy is limited by the following factors:

1. Cheap energy. Shipping fossil-fuel intensive tomatoes from China will be impossible after the US military's predictions of peak energy come true. Perhaps you know something our energy and security professionals don't?

2. Consumer preference for durable goods over "planned obsolescence." The modern wonder-bread economy requires a constant race to the bottom in terms of the quality of products. We're nearing the bottom of what the "smart by numbers" game can juice out of consumers. Consumers are already starting to return to quality, locally made goods.... The farmers markets revolution....

3. Deferred costs will catch up. See BP. We've allowed Corporations to put off paying the true costs of doing business for generations. People are getting fed up with cleaning up after these filthy "corporate persons." If a regular person acted this way, shitting, literally shitting all over the public commons, they'd be made to clean up their messes straight away.

4. Sustainability. The world's ecosystems are stretched to the limit of this insane Ponzy Scheme we deceptively call global capitalism. We are in the midst of the FASTEST DIE OFF IN WORLD HISTORY. Faster than when meteors collided with earth and mega-volcanoes erupted. And it is this Global Corporatism that is directly responsible. Either this system will end, or humanity will. That is a pretty good limiting factor.

5. Peak everything else. Even in TEchno-Jesus brings us all milkshakes and 10trillion barrels of oil a person, that will only hasten the damage done to our ecosystems and the rate at which we'll burn through all our other resources. EVERYTHING shall come to an end.... This means there will be a never ending string of unsolvable superproblems for technojesus to overcome at the same time as the resources available to solve these problems dry up....

Alas, I cannot share your faith in techno-jesus. So I believe as the US military does, that a transition will need to occur. I think it is you who will need to adjust your thinking about what gives life meaning.... or, I fear, face a crisis of faith.

As for the word "corporatism," I will continue to use it according to the definition Don provided. This other definition seems like a sort of academic nonsense word, like those invented by Noam Chomsky, that represent concepts that don't exist in the real world. It's like saying our economy isn't "Evil-mean-badguyism" because it's not predicated upon the goal of killing small children. In the real world, that kind of economy doesn't exist! So of course that's not what we have! It seems to me like a game of semantics. Since the word is unpopular, you define it in a way that we can't use that word for the current system.

Yet the facts remain, the key component of our economy, indeed the key power in our lives is now corporations. There has never been a more corporate controlled economy or political system. So if it's not "corporatism," what is it?

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 08:13 AM
Save your bs to yourself. ok?
There is nothing religious in my prediction. It's observing trends in the economy. And sorry, no, I don't share your beliefs in peak everything or that the world will suddenly revert to 19th century

Lyxdeslic
07-06-2010, 02:46 PM
Your political compass

Economic Left/Right: -6.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.28

In English, I guess this means I'm an idealist.

Lyx

robeiae
07-06-2010, 03:35 PM
As for the word "corporatism," I will continue to use it according to the definition Don provided.Well, the second definition Don provided says "Political system in which power is exercised through large organizations (businesses, trade unions, etc) working in concert with each other, under the direction of the state." Is it your contention that this correct? That this is how political power is exercised? We don't have representative government, at all? At any level? This other definition seems like a sort of academic nonsense word, like those invented by Noam Chomsky, that represent concepts that don't exist in the real world. It's like saying our economy isn't "Evil-mean-badguyism" because it's not predicated upon the goal of killing small children. In the real world, that kind of economy doesn't exist! So of course that's not what we have! It seems to me like a game of semantics. Since the word is unpopular, you define it in a way that we can't use that word for the current system.Of course it's "made up." All words are. This one was "made up" in the Middle Ages. And again, it refers to a system. You and Don are using it incorrectly. You've latched on to it--as have many others--because it seems to be about corporations (in the modern sense), but it's not. It's about dividing society up into parts, based mostly on class, then ruling society--and the economy--via the leaders of those parts, albeit under the final direction of the state.

You want a concise definition? Here (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corporatism).

corporatism : the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction

What specific corporation are you a part of? Which one exercises control over you?

Understand? Everyone--in corporatism--is assigned to a "corporation," based on social and economic class.

As I noted previously, though, corporatist elements can still be identified and observed, just like socialist ones, communist ones, etc, etc in an economy/society. But that doesn't make corporatism the correct term for the current system. We're not even close to that.

Yet the facts remain, the key component of our economy, indeed the key power in our lives is now corporations. There has never been a more corporate controlled economy or political system. So if it's not "corporatism," what is it?Dunno. If you so badly need a word to label it with, find one. I think you're wrong, though.

As to corporate control, you want to know a real example of corporatism? Look at the company towns of the late 19th/early 20th century. Like Pullman, Chicago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman,_Chicago).

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 04:52 PM
Save your bs to yourself. ok?
There is nothing religious in my prediction. It's observing trends in the economy. And sorry, no, I don't share your beliefs in peak everything or that the world will suddenly revert to 19th century

LOL, I owe you an apology for the tone I've taken with you in this thread. All of this is related to the topic of a FICTION WIP... the overblown tone is... something like a "character voice."

I believe everything I said up there, but I should have said it without being intentionally offensive. I really do appreciate that I can discuss these things with such intelligent people here at AW.

But I do think your posts reflect a religious belief, and here's why: I used to share it.

CONTINUATION seems to give human life some meaning and as a semi-trekkie I dreamed that future would happen among the stars. I believed in the singularity. At some point, a preponderance of evidence that we live on a finite planet with finite resources became too much. I realized that my response to this evidence was a leap of faith, a technological deus ex machina.

I'm aware of Moore's law. But I'm also aware that Gordon Moore considers the singularity unlikely to occur.

We remain animals. Our "economy" simply represents a biological organism's, a species' consumption of resources. It will follow the "biological sin wave" pattern that all species follow as they compete for resources. Our artificially prolonged upward tic will be followed by an equally drastic downward fall.

Given the evidence to the contrary, the only way to believe in a continuation of our current economy is to believe that humans aren't constricted by the laws of nature--the planet isn't finite, our resources aren't limited and our technology will come alive and MAGICALLY solve our problems.

This is a religious belief and the reasons why most people have it, when they're honest about it, are religious reasons.

Don
07-06-2010, 05:00 PM
This is a religious belief and not one I share. Like all religious beliefs, it requires a leap of faith--in this case, that Techno-Jesus will intervene and save the sacred "globalism." I believe, as does the US military, that we are nearing the end of cheap energy and we've been subsidizing global corporatism with our tax money heavily enough already. What will happen when the cheap energy that your globalized bigger is better economy is based upon comes to an end? I know, Techno-Jesus will return and smite the heathens and invent an even better energy source just in time to save the world!

Techno-Jesus was sacrificed on the altar of regulation when gunvernments enacted a monopoly on space exploration in the post-WWII period. No matter what we do with the resources on this planet, if we can't get off the surface, there is an end game, and it's rapidly approaching. Whether it's in our lifetimes, or our children's, or even grandchildren's, is of little import in the long term scheme of things.

Now the same gunvernment agency that went to the moon on a tourist visa in a single decade tells us it would take twice as long today, if there were the stomach and the funding for it, which there's not.

Although if we're really lucky and things hold out long enough, our children and grandchildren may go to the asteroids as miner laborers in Chinese-funded ships.

BTW: Techno-Jesus is very descriptive. I may steal the term occasionally.

Diana Hignutt
07-06-2010, 05:23 PM
Wow. Me and the Dalai Lama are at the same spot. Spooky.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 05:27 PM
LOL, I owe you an apology for the tone I've taken with you in this thread. All of this is related to the topic of a FICTION WIP... the overblown tone is... something like a "character voice."

Accepted
I believe everything I said up there, but I should have said it without being intentionally offensive. I really do appreciate that I can discuss these things with such intelligent people here at AW.
That's your right

But I do think your posts reflect a religious belief, and here's why: I used to share it.

CONTINUATION seems to give human life some meaning and as a semi-trekkie I dreamed that future would happen among the stars. I believed in the singularity. At some point, a preponderance of evidence that we live on a finite planet with finite resources became too much. I realized that my response to this evidence was a leap of faith, a technological deus ex machina.
Nope, no deus ex machina. And if you were familiar enough with my posting history, you'd know I am a sceptic by nature, but I do know what the current trends and scientific developments can and can't do. To make long story short, I think peak oil is nonsense, because we already have the technology to convert coal into oil which becomes economically viable at about the price of oil we have today (maybe slightly higher -- I am too lazy to go look), or alternatively, we have natural gas that can replace oil in almost every respect (apart from material uses that constitute a very small fraction of the general oil use). In short, although the resources are obviously limited, they are not going to run out in the next hundred years, and I do not purport to be a prophet to say what will happen afterwards (I reserve such predictions for my writing :) )

I'm aware of Moore's law. But I'm also aware that Gordon Moore considers the singularity unlikely to occur.

You are too late for the party. Moore's law was broken and made irrelevant several years ago by Intel Israel (otherwise, your laptop would have been much much slower :) ) Intel tried to ignore the predictions of the Israeli team for years and would crash and burn as a company were they to succeed (there is a fascinating book called "Start up Nation" (http://www.amazon.com/Start-Up-Nation-Dan-Senor/dp/044654146X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276624072&sr=1-1). I think it should be required reading for everybody who seeks to revive US economy)

We remain animals. Our "economy" simply represents a biological organism's, a species' consumption of resources. It will follow the "biological sin wave" pattern that all species follow as they compete for resources. Our artificially prolonged upward tic will be followed by an equally drastic downward fall.
Maybe, but not in the near future.

Given the evidence to the contrary, the only way to believe in a continuation of our current economy is to believe that humans aren't constricted by the laws of nature--the planet isn't finite, our resources aren't limited and our technology will come alive and MAGICALLY solve our problems.

This is a religious belief and the reasons why most people have it, when they're honest about it, are religious reasons.
I do not take anything on faith. I see trends and I see current developments (both in economy and in science), and I can predict the following, unless Europe and US change their economic patterns and shift to where they have advantage or where they can't be replaced by cheap labor, their economies will decline. A tiny country of Israel gets today about 30% of the world venture capital pie. It has more companies on the NASDAQ then Canada, more than UK, China and France (I can be mistaken about the particulars since I am talking from memory) put together. It has the largest amount of start-ups per capita by far (something like twice US if I am not mistaken), and second to only US in absolute terms (again, if my memory serves me right).

First world countries can't compete for simple production with third world (automation also reduces the needed workforce). US will continue to bleed production jobs to Mexico, S. America etc. unless it enacts pretty drastic protectionist laws that would hurt the economy in other ways. The only way out is to shift to a more knowledge based economy (as I said -- to things where a hundred underpaid Chinese can't replace a qualified specialists). Otherwise, the proportion of the services in the economy will steadily grow (look at UK -- they have almost no high-tech sector and their economy is declining).

You may not like it, but these are the trends.

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 06:07 PM
Coal-to-oil--from what I've seen, the most gungho advocates (investors in the tech, lol) want gov't subsidies to get CtO to replace 10% of our (current) oil needs by 2025. Plus, one need but take one look at a modern coal "mine" to understand that easy coal is already depleted in the US. Coal use is far more destructive than oil. And as coal becomes more difficult to get to, it will become increasingly costly and destructive. "[a] single plant capable of producing about 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day -- less than 0.5% of America's daily oil diet -- would cost an estimated $6 billion or more to build" (http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0816-wsj.html)

Like the US Dept. Defense, I see no real alternatives coming online before the end of cheap oil.

As for the US economy, your scenario doesn't even include a "small" option. Obviously, we both agree the current economy is unsustainable. It seems your solution is to augment the aspects of our current economy that make it most destructive, violent and unsustainable. My option is, quit the game. At least to an extent. We need not artificially prop up our "US" corporations (what a fiction!) with our tax money to keep them competitive with China and India. We can simply cut them loose and let them die. A localized economy will grow up to meet the needs these corporations have long neglected.

Nobody wants to be a Ag worker under modern corporatized ag. But there are lots of people eager to be a part of a small-scale agrarian economy based on value-added products that corporations simply cannot make. Even Chinese corporations. No, we'll never have a new industrial economy. And high tech is a nice option for a small number of Americans. But we needn't relegate everybody else to "can I take your order, please?"

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 07:44 PM
What can I say, I disagree, and it is not based on beliefs, but on familiarity with current technologies.

You care to give a cite, by the way, where US department of Defence doesn't see any alternatives coming online before cheap oil runs out?

P.S. I don't know where do you come from with your claims about "easy coal being depleted" in US. Here are a couple of links about US coal and natural gas deposits
http://www.clean-energy.us/facts/natgas.htm
http://www.clean-energy.us/facts/coal.htm

I am not claiming that the trasnisiton is easy or fast or whatever, but there won't be a crash you predict.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 07:48 PM
Nobody wants to be a Ag worker under modern corporatized ag. But there are lots of people eager to be a part of a small-scale agrarian economy based on value-added products that corporations simply cannot make. Even Chinese corporations. No, we'll never have a new industrial economy. And high tech is a nice option for a small number of Americans. But we needn't relegate everybody else to "can I take your order, please?"
Good luck with that model.

Don
07-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Good luck with that model.
Tell that to the farmers making more money with small plots locally sold than mass production shipped to major consolidators.

Or to the entrepreneurs creating farmer's markets and other clever ways to bring local producers and consumers together.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 07:57 PM
Don, I never claimed that it isn't a viable niche. But it is a niche market. US economy will never be based on agrarian industires again. Simple as that.

Don
07-06-2010, 08:04 PM
As people are becoming more discriminating and less enamored of centralization, the Long Tail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Tail) is growing longer. Mass production is the answer to some things; it's not the answer to all things.

Shipping tomatoes and cucumbers from China, or even California, is a perfect example of concept failure.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 08:13 PM
Don, this is really really simple. You understand the laws of supply and demand very well. You just refuse to apply them.
To satisfy the demand for food there is a need for mass production. Due to mechanisation and a million other reasons, agricultural work will never be an overly skill demanding work (with possible exceptions of niche markets). This means it'll never be very well paid. And since it is hard work, not a lot of people in first world countries will be ready to do this work.
This isn't uniquely US phenomenon. And it isn't dependant on corporations at all. You don't like importing food (though I don't see much problem with it), then you will have local fields with legal and illegal workers from third world countries.

In short, you can't turn the wheel back and you shouldn't try.

Don
07-06-2010, 08:48 PM
You're assuming that the individual farmer is more interested in feeding the world than in maximizing his profits. Not true of mega-corps, and not true of truck farmers.

Granted, local markets for grains are limited, so large parts of the midwest corporate food basket are safe for the corporations for the time being. For fruits, vegetables, meats, and other first-order foodstuffs produced locally, the markets are exploding. Small-farm operations are going to explode right along with them.

I know orange grove farmers who have moved to a local model, producing less, but with a much better margin. They're more profitable, and are adding land so they can add other produce to their product line. Locally-produced meat and produce is easier to find in groceries than it's ever been, even in the big chains like Wal-Mart. Even the chains are making it easier for their produce managers to purchase locally, and you can see it when you walk the meat and produce aisles.

Friends in Michigan have cut back on the size of their herd; they've discovered that teaming with a local butcher and local stores brings better profit for less work and risk. Their farming neighbors are taking notes.

ETA: I forgot the guy we buy firewood from up here. He's ex-Weyerhauser, and making a better (and he says saner) living with his chainsaw and a couple of helpers than he did in the corporate world. He's not going anywhere but up.

Quality of food that's been in transit for days or weeks doesn't compare to fresh. Consumers are discovering that all over again.

As transportation costs and regulatory roadblocks to interstate commerce continue to increase, the trend will only accelerate.

There's a ton of overhead costs and material losses associated with aggregating, storing, inspecting and transporting foodstuffs over massive distances. People are discovering ways to avoid that overhead and the middle men, and keep more for themselves.

Granted, it's a trend still in its infancy; I think it's going to enjoy a robust childhood and future.

I'm not turning any wheel in any direction. I'm simply noting what I see and learn from my travels.

Ruv Draba
07-06-2010, 09:13 PM
I'm not sure about this idea that the developed world is "too good to farm"...

Mrs D & I currently buy produce from local farmers' markets -- most of it comes from within 300km of where we live. Quality's decent to exceptional, prices are comparable to supermarkets and often cheaper, and availability varies by season. But economically, around 80% of the price goes to the growers/producers who actually generate the value instead of 60% going to transporters, warehousers and brokers who hardly generate anything.

-- Ruv, who found himself in the middle of the green square, between Mandela's right foot and Gandhi's left ear. :tongue

backslashbaby
07-06-2010, 09:19 PM
Don, this is really really simple. You understand the laws of supply and demand very well. You just refuse to apply them.
To satisfy the demand for food there is a need for mass production. Due to mechanisation and a million other reasons, agricultural work will never be an overly skill demanding work (with possible exceptions of niche markets). This means it'll never be very well paid. And since it is hard work, not a lot of people in first world countries will be ready to do this work.
This isn't uniquely US phenomenon. And it isn't dependant on corporations at all. You don't like importing food (though I don't see much problem with it), then you will have local fields with legal and illegal workers from third world countries.

In short, you can't turn the wheel back and you shouldn't try.

But what if the skilled jobs that can be outsourced at all are all outsourced for extremely low wages?

Nothing in the model you are describing explains why 3rd world workers aren't intelligent enough to pick up certain skills. So they do. The textbooks I learned from in college predicted that I, the 1st world worker, would get to be the computer programmer because folks in India are 3rd world and do less skilled things. But the overhead for software, especially, is very low. So the Indians learned it. Of course they are smart enough to do it well.

So my job was outsourced there. I can't compete with the low wages offered.

So now I have to figure out what folks do want that I can do. Tell me what will be a skill that I can do better than 3rd World folks, or that I can do for the same pay and live in the US?

Something that's cheaper locally is about the only way to go. Sure, my college pal may discover cold fusion. Chances are I just know how to code Java.

Having to pay as much as a mortgage for a university education is making it less and less likely that my pal will discover cold fusion, either. It will probably be a Hungarian, or someone else from a nation that funds higher education for the populace.

AMCrenshaw
07-06-2010, 09:24 PM
Left libertarian, just as I thought. Very close to Gandhi, as far as political views go. Not surprising. Look at the flag.

Don
07-06-2010, 09:25 PM
Mrs D & I currently buy produce from local farmers' markets -- most of it comes from within 300km of where we live. Quality's decent to exceptional, prices are comparable to supermarkets and often cheaper, and availability varies by season. But economically, around 80% of the price goes to the growers/producers who actually generate the value instead of 60% going to transporters, warehousers and brokers who hardly generate anything.
Bingo! And producers and consumers are figuring this out in droves.

Oh, and so people don't think this is only a foodstuffs trend: 3-D printing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing) and laser cutting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_cutting), still in their infancy, are already starting to transform niche markets. For example, many of the best available R/C aircraft are coming from people's basements, not the corporate mass-producers. Prices are comparable, and the product is vastly superior. As the technology matures, we'll see another long-tail transformation in manufactured goods.

Ruv Draba
07-06-2010, 10:20 PM
Bingo! And producers and consumers are figuring this out in droves.Yes; mass production doesn't necessarily mean centralisation of capital -- that's a rather antiquated Victorian notion arising from the high cost of steam-engines. Transport, refrigeration, bottling, canning are all utilities these days. If a small-volume producer wants access to high-capex equipment he just rents it and takes his product straight to market, rather than selling it to a bottler/canner and handing the market over to them.

Warehousing and brokering have their place, but only when we're trading commodities in bulk. Given a choice, most people prefer that food isn't a commodity. They don't want any old jar of jam, but a particular jam to their taste.

So, Mrs D & I get up early on a Sat morning and buy Italian smallgoods, pick among oranges from six different suppliers, meat well above supermarket quality, and while we're at the markets, pick up some hot home-made Turkish flatbread stuffed with mincemeat for our breakfast. It's a highlight of our week.

Diana Hignutt
07-06-2010, 10:26 PM
..., and while we're at the markets, pick up some hot home-made Turkish flatbread stuffed with mincemeat for our breakfast. It's a highlight of our week.

That's just fucking sad. ;)

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 10:31 PM
US Military confirms Peak Oil:

“Peak Oil – …petroleum must continue to satisfy most of the demand for energy
out to 2030. Assuming the most optimistic scenario for improved petroleum production through enhanced recovery means, the development of non-conventional oils (such as oil shales or tar sands) and new discoveries, petroleum production will be hard pressed to meet the expected future demand of 118 million barrels per day.”

"A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India. At best, it would lead to periods of harsh economic adjustment.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply

As covered by the Guardian. And here's the report:

http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 10:41 PM
Don, this is really really simple. You understand the laws of supply and demand very well. You just refuse to apply them.
To satisfy the demand for food there is a need for mass production. Due to mechanisation and a million other reasons, agricultural work will never be an overly skill demanding work (with possible exceptions of niche markets). This means it'll never be very well paid. And since it is hard work, not a lot of people in first world countries will be ready to do this work.
This isn't uniquely US phenomenon. And it isn't dependant on corporations at all. You don't like importing food (though I don't see much problem with it), then you will have local fields with legal and illegal workers from third world countries.

In short, you can't turn the wheel back and you shouldn't try.

You're stuck in a mindset of rowcrops and an industrialized model. It simply isn't true that you cannot meet world food demand without Industrial Ag.

Organic---and better yet--permaculture models have been proven to sustainably out-produce industrial row-cropping.

Look around at all the empty yards, empty land, monoculture corn crops to produce pointless ethanol for Gov't subsidy checks--most of our communities could become food autarchies. This is NOT, I'll have you know, low-skilled labor. Permaculture is the most important work being done in the world today, and many who do it are brilliant.

Look--across many disciplines, we're seeing that the next wave of technology will be learning to work with nature instead of against it. Don't stay stuck in an old paradigm....

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 10:43 PM
But what if the skilled jobs that can be outsourced at all are all outsourced for extremely low wages?
I am not sure I understand the question. To a certain extent they are outsourced. IT jobs, for example, are done from India in many cases. there are certain things you can't outsource, however -- innovation, enterpreneurship etc. This is on one hand a cultural thing, on the other it's a matter of policies. For example, in US bankruptcy is a death sentence for an enterpreneur. But according to statistics (I am basing this on the book I linked), a strat-up by started by a person who had failed in the past is almost as likely to succeed as a start-up started by someone who made it in the past (which is significantly higher than the chances of the first-timer). There are loads of interesting approaches in that book (there are reasons why corporations such as Intel, Microsoft etc. don't place their crucial R&D centers in India, but in Israel -- and it isn't as simplistic as "jews are smart" :) )

Nothing in the model you are describing explains why 3rd world workers aren't intelligent enough to pick up certain skills. So they do. The textbooks I learned from in college predicted that I, the 1st world worker, would get to be the computer programmer because folks in India are 3rd world and do less skilled things. But the overhead for software, especially, is very low. So the Indians learned it. Of course they are smart enough to do it well.
I am not claiming this isn't happening. All the more reason for countries like US to work on staying ahead of the game.

So my job was outsourced there. I can't compete with the low wages offered.

So now I have to figure out what folks do want that I can do. Tell me what will be a skill that I can do better than 3rd World folks, or that I can do for the same pay and live in the US?

Something that's cheaper locally is about the only way to go. Sure, my college pal may discover cold fusion. Chances are I just know how to code Java.

Having to pay as much as a mortgage for a university education is making it less and less likely that my pal will discover cold fusion, either. It will probably be a Hungarian, or someone else from a nation that funds higher education for the populace.
Education is important. But you'll notice that China, India and the likes send their brightest to US to study. It is simply amazing, I am currently starting my PhD (talk about going back to school :) ). If I were american I would be very depressed and worried. There ere almost no americans in masters and PhD programs in scientific and engineering programs. Most of the people are from China and India (there is another conversation to be had about whether the universities take a good approaching of coosing candidates, but that's a topic for another day).

As I mentioned before, US is not on a good trajectory. It loses its eneterpreneurial spirit (slower than Europe, but just as sure). It needs to find ways to encourage start-up growth, scientific higher education and not just business schools etc.

You asked me about programming jobs. It is true and not true. Are there many R&D centers in India? Yeah, companies shift their routine operations to places with cheap labor, but they leave the critical centers either in US or go with them to places like Israel (there is probably very few high tech companies that don't have R&D facilities in Israel). Sometimes it is also a question of size -- I saw how growth of the company can slowly kill its innovation spirit. There are no simple answers, but counting on the fact that local agriculture will somehow sustain the economy and will become dominant economic activity is, imo, silly.

P.S. Sorry for the rumbling post. And I am afraid I hadn't really answered your question :(

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 10:54 PM
You're stuck in a mindset of rowcrops and an industrialized model. It simply isn't true that you cannot meet world food demand without Industrial Ag.
Riight. The solution is people growing things in their back yard/

Organic---and better yet--permaculture models have been proven to sustainably out-produce industrial row-cropping.
It's not just the question of being able to produce the needed amounts. It's the question of people actually wanting to live this way.

Look around at all the empty yards, empty land, monoculture corn crops to produce pointless ethanol for Gov't subsidy checks--most of our communities could become food autarchies.
Yes, and people could walk instead of driving, too. Strangely enough, it rarely happens.

This is NOT, I'll have you know, low-skilled labor. Permaculture is the most important work being done in the world today, and many who do it are brilliant.
What are you talking about? Of course, developement of crops and the likes isn't a low-skilled labor. Planting and collecting them, given the ever growing mechanisation, is not a very skilled labor. As I said, this isn't a uniquely US phenomenon. It happens everywhere in the first world. And it isn't limited to agriculture. Construction usually is close behind. Care for elderly and similar jobs.

Look--across many disciplines, we're seeing that the next wave of technology will be learning to work with nature instead of against it. Don't stay stuck in an old paradigm....
What old paradigm? Nothing of what you say contradicts me. I never said scientific advancements or innovation should go against nature.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 11:04 PM
US Military confirms Peak Oil:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply

As covered by the Guardian. And here's the report:

http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf
I read the relevant section of the actual report (you might want to do that, instead of basing your positions on The Guardian that pushes the "green" train with all its might)

The central problem for the coming decade will not be a lack of petroleum reserves,
but rather a shortage of drilling platforms, engineers and refining capacity. Even were a concerted
effort begun today to repair that shortage, it would be ten years before production could catch up with
expected demand. The key determinant here would be the degree of commitment the United States
and others display in addressing the dangerous vulnerabilities the growing energy crisis presents.
They go to state (without minimizing the problems with shortages) that one of the big problems is under investment in development and discovery of new fields. They also talk about projected reduction in reliance on coal (presumably due to enviromental concerns) in the developed world and an increase of use of natural gas. If there will be a shortage of oil developing, you can bet anything you want, that both these sources will pick up, together with increase in nuclear energy. You can see it now, too. The chinese are hedging their bets. They use all the energy sources available. And again, the report, to make it more concise, talk about slowdown, not reverting to preindustrial situation.


P.S. By the way, here is an article about coal-to-liquid tech. It's not new. It's well developed, and there was a breakthrough a year or so ago that gave them the economic viability I mentioned
http://www.moneyweek.com/investments/commodities/could-coal-replace-oil.aspx
Granted, the article is from a couple of years ago (as I said, if I remeber correctly, I saw economic viability numbers at around 70$/barrel)
At capital costs of $700 million for capacity of 10,000 barrels/day and a 30-year life, operating costs of $15/barrel and current coal costs, breakeven for a coal-to-liquids plant in the US would be in the range $39-44 a barrel, assuming no tax incentives.

However, the new Highway Act provides a subsidy of $21 a barrel for commercial-scale CTL projects. Taking that into account, with oil at $50 a barrel (that is, well below current prices around $70), the internal rate of return on such a project would be in the mouth-watering range 22-25 per cent.


Sorry, don't have the time to look for that more recent article

backslashbaby
07-06-2010, 11:14 PM
P.S. Sorry for the rumbling post. And I am afraid I hadn't really answered your question :(

No, you answered very well. I'm just stressing that 1st world employees are competing so much with 3rd world folks that I doubt we'll get to choose what jobs we will or will not do. Our wages go down, and wages in India go up. Good for India! But, yes, if the only job that hires a middle-rung programmer here ends up being a custodial job, that's what computer-trained folks will do. We have no choice. And this is happening, bigtime, in the US.

1st world countries could see their standard of living go down, of course. There's no rule that says we'll be the ones to break every new barrier in technology. There are enough folks in the 3rd World who have caught on to how you do it ;)

Michael J. Hoag
07-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Coal to oil is just a nightmare in terms of the continuation of the human race. Look, we're already in the middle of the biggest die-off the world has ever seen. Coal to oil will make that far worse. Guess what, "green" isn't about saving those poor animals, it's about saving the viability of a food chain to support human life.

And, best case scenario, I've seem recent industry efforts to get Gov't backing for a huge coal to oil expansion ending in a 5% of our oil needs in 2025.

Sorry, I've spent countless hours looking into developing energy tech. With all the "best case scenarios" put together, there's no possible way to make up for oil shortages.

And if you'd ACTUALLY read the report instead of cherry picking through for something to contradict me, you'd have seen that though considered "relevant," the emergence of alternatives is considered in the conclusions quoted above.

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 11:57 PM
No, you answered very well. I'm just stressing that 1st world employees are competing so much with 3rd world folks that I doubt we'll get to choose what jobs we will or will not do. Our wages go down, and wages in India go up. Good for India! But, yes, if the only job that hires a middle-rung programmer here ends up being a custodial job, that's what computer-trained folks will do. We have no choice. And this is happening, bigtime, in the US.

1st world countries could see their standard of living go down, of course. There's no rule that says we'll be the ones to break every new barrier in technology. There are enough folks in the 3rd World who have caught on to how you do it ;)
Well, this is a circle. The more India developes and raises its life level towards the first world, its workforce will become more costly, which, in turn will lead to a decrease in outsourcing. On the other hand, if the gap remains than it will continue to happen.

On your last point, if 1st world countries don't adjust to the shifting economic trends , they will see their standards of living decline and it will not be pleasant (see Greece for an extreme example).

dmytryp
07-06-2010, 11:58 PM
Coal to oil is just a nightmare in terms of the continuation of the human race. Look, we're already in the middle of the biggest die-off the world has ever seen. Coal to oil will make that far worse. Guess what, "green" isn't about saving those poor animals, it's about saving the viability of a food chain to support human life.

And, best case scenario, I've seem recent industry efforts to get Gov't backing for a huge coal to oil expansion ending in a 5% of our oil needs in 2025.

Sorry, I've spent countless hours looking into developing energy tech. With all the "best case scenarios" put together, there's no possible way to make up for oil shortages.

And if you'd ACTUALLY read the report instead of cherry picking through for something to contradict me, you'd have seen that though considered "relevant," the emergence of alternatives is considered in the conclusions quoted above.
we are getting waay off topic. So let's just agree to disagree.

Michael J. Hoag
07-07-2010, 12:05 AM
"Agreeing to disagree" is for scoundrels who don't care to know the truth.

But I agree that we're off topic. That's probably the last thing you and I will ever, ever agree on. ;)

dmytryp
07-07-2010, 12:23 AM
Naaah, it's something that has little to do with the initial discussion (even between us). I aslo suspect you largely misunderstand my position (not your fault, at least not entirely), and I have trouble figuring out the totality of what exactly is it you are advocating, and what exactly is it you are disagreeing with me (apart from whether peak oil is upon us or not). :)

Slushie
07-07-2010, 12:49 AM
I wonder how many of these small, local, organic farms are LLCs or even S Corps versus the number that are sole proprietorships or partnerships.

And robeaie, re: corporatism? Based on the definition you provided, it seems like capitalism itself would have a corporatist element via the division of labor. Right?

Michael J. Hoag
07-07-2010, 12:51 AM
Then it's likely we're just disagreeing to be disagreeable. This is what humans do. The original on-topic (barely) disagreement, if I can remember back that far, was on the role of corporations.

What I've advocated for in this thread is ending gov't subsidy of corporations and monopolies. That includes NOT subsidizing poor EROEI technologies to prop up the oil economy. If they were really good investments, the money would be pouring in from the private sector and the US Military wouldn't be worried that nobody's investing in them.

Do that, and the market will take care of the rest. That's what I've advocated for.

Michael J. Hoag
07-07-2010, 12:56 AM
I wonder how many of these small, local, organic farms are LLCs or even S Corps versus the number that are sole proprietorships or partnerships.

And robeaie, re: corporatism? Based on the definition you provided, it seems like capitalism itself would have a corporatist element via the division of labor. Right?

Yeah, by this sociological definition of "corporatism," "tripartism," the negotiation of policy by labor/corporations/gov't is one of the most prevalent examples.

But semantics evolve. And we can make a distinction between a sociological term and an economic form. Really, the economic policy we have is similar to Fascist Corporatism (in sociological theory.) But I'd cringe to use the F word.

And I could call it "Crony Capitalism" but I doubt that would be much better.

Perhaps "monopolism," for the most distinctive and wide-spread feature of the modern American economy.

And we can also make distinctions based on scale. A small, local LLC does not wield the same society-distorting power as Kraft.

dmytryp
07-07-2010, 12:59 AM
What I've advocated for in this thread is ending gov't subsidy of corporations and monopolies. That includes NOT subsidizing poor EROEI technologies to prop up the oil economy. If they were really good investments, the money would be pouring in from the private sector and the US Military wouldn't be worried that nobody's investing in them.

Do that, and the market will take care of the rest. That's what I've advocated for.
And I never once took exception to this. In fact, I see it as very reasonable.
I originally entered this thread when I took exception with Don overly black and white absolutist description of incorporation as pure evil.

Shadow_Ferret
07-07-2010, 01:07 AM
Just a tad to the right of Gandhi. Probably was my pro death penalty stance.

Slushie
07-07-2010, 01:42 AM
Yeah, by this sociological definition of "corporatism," "tripartism," the negotiation of policy by labor/corporations/gov't is one of the most prevalent examples.

But semantics evolve. And we can make a distinction between a sociological term and an economic form. Really, the economic policy we have is similar to Fascist Corporatism (in sociological theory.) But I'd cringe to use the F word.

And I could call it "Crony Capitalism" but I doubt that would be much better.

Perhaps "monopolism," for the most distinctive and wide-spread feature of the modern American economy.I've had this corporatism discussion with rob before, and it's a headache. As far as i can tell, corporatism is a social structure that can be found on the micro scale (a family doing chores together after dinner) to the macro scale (the division of labor for efficiency that is globalization).

And we can also make distinctions based on scale. A small, local LLC does not wield the same society-distorting power as Kraft.

Right. But the initial issue of this tangent was that people who incorporate were 'hiding behind the law' and 'shirking personal responsibility', not about the eeeeevils of global corporations.

And I took issue with the idea that people who incorporate their business are trying to evade responsibility. Incorporation is not an absolute shield against personal liability. Incorporation didn't protect Bernie Madoff. It didn't protect the peeps at Enron. Who is responsible for what? We have a system of courts to answer that question.

Without incorporation, the employees--like a secretary--could have their assets subject to seizure by the banks if the company fails. What role did that secretary have in the company's failure? Enough to warrant the seizure of their home and car? That scenario doesn't sound like 'personal responsibility'; it sounds like an epic injustice.

As far as Kraft goes, I don't know about their society-distorting power. Their cheese is good, I put it on my tacos. They make a product that I like, so I buy it.

We're just not going to be an agrarian society. Those days are gone. In fact, ag subsidies need to GTFO.

robeiae
07-07-2010, 03:39 AM
And robeaie, re: corporatism? Based on the definition you provided, it seems like capitalism itself would have a corporatist element via the division of labor. Right?No. Look, corporatism is a systematic ideology, just like communism. It's totalitarian in orientation. It's as much about political power in general as it is about economic structures. Corporations are like body parts/body organs: all together, they form the "body" of society. Hence the root of the term. It's an archaic system. Bits and pieces of the concept pop up from time to time, most especially in relation to--as Michael notes--fascism.

What corporatism is about is the opposition of free markets. But it's different from a socialist/communist approach, insofar as people still get to own, there's still private property. Corporations negotiate to settle everything. No one gets to maximize their own interests. No one.Not the cobbler, not the street sweeper, not the manager of a factory.

The problem here is--again--the wrong-headed insistence of assuming that corporatism involves the concept of a corporation in the modern sense. In corporatism, corporations are much more like soviets.

Now, when people like Mussolini applied some of these ideas--to their own ends, of course--things can get mixed up. But the real problem here is that lazy thinkers in the last couple of decades have latched on to "corporatism" as a term meaning something like "a bunch of big corporations have all the money." That's nonsense. And such a meaning is unrelated to the term.
Yeah, by this sociological definition of "corporatism," "tripartism," the negotiation of policy by labor/corporations/gov't is one of the most prevalent examples. Christ, it's not a sociological definition. It's a political science definition. And again, it is what it is.

But semantics evolve. And we can make a distinction between a sociological term and an economic form.And again, it's far more than an economic form. It's totalitarian.

Michael Wolfe
07-07-2010, 05:11 AM
OK, so I finally got around to taking the quiz. I'm a left-libertarian, with:

Economic: -0.38

Social: -6.31

Is anyone more of a social libertarian than I? Don, how did I end up more of a social libertarian than you? :)

Did you vote against legalizing porn or something? :)

Slushie
07-07-2010, 05:55 AM
robeiae, i get that. it's a society composed of groups that bargain with each other, and, for the economic aspect of it, prices are set through that bargaining instead of supply and demand.

What I'm saying is that, while capitalism and corporatism are not the same as a whole, they do function by division. in capitalism, that division of society is inevitably by labor specialization. In corporatism, the most logical way for society to divide would also be through labor specialization, since that type of division would create bargaining groups by economic interests. that's the similarity I see, but the grouping would function differently.

The US isn't completely corporatist, we're not completely anything, but I think we're a little corporatist. Bargaining between groups that have specific interests can result in policies that effect operation costs and pricing. Of course our whole society isn't structured that way, but a bit of our economy is.

Don
07-07-2010, 06:05 AM
OK, so I finally got around to taking the quiz. I'm a left-libertarian, with:

Economic: -0.38

Social: -6.31

Is anyone more of a social libertarian than I? Don, how did I end up more of a social libertarian than you? :)

Did you vote against legalizing porn or something? :)
No, it was probably one of those questions that had absolutely no bearing on political issues, but concerned personal issues. Was there something about disciplining children? I'm a bit of an authoritarian when it comes to minors. :D The test horribly conflates a bunch of stuff, personal/political and free market/corporate among others, which is why I don't care for it much.

Michael Wolfe
07-07-2010, 06:16 AM
No, it was probably one of those questions that had absolutely no bearing on political issues, but concerned personal issues. Was there something about disciplining children? I'm a bit of an authoritarian when it comes to minors. :D The test horribly conflates a bunch of stuff, personal/political and free market/corporate among others, which is why I don't care for it much.

Yeah, there were some questions about children. Probably some of the most radical views I hold concern how much liberty children should have.

But also, I agree, the test isn't necessarily a good one, although I did feel like it described me accurately in a general sense at least: left-libertarian.

So, how come you're authoritarian when it comes to children?

Magdalen
07-07-2010, 06:18 AM
I agree with those who say this "test" is invalid. I mean it's practically political porn.

robeiae
07-07-2010, 06:24 AM
robeiae, i get that. it's a society composed of groups that bargain with each other, and, for the economic aspect of it, prices are set through that bargaining instead of supply and demand.

What I'm saying is that, while capitalism and corporatism are not the same as a whole, they do function by division. in capitalism, that division of society is inevitably by labor specialization. In corporatism, the most logical way for society to divide would also be through labor specialization, since that type of division would create bargaining groups by economic interests. that's the similarity I see, but the grouping would function differently.

The US isn't completely corporatist, we're not completely anything, but I think we're a little corporatist. Bargaining between groups that have specific interests can result in policies that effect operation costs and pricing. Of course our whole society isn't structured that way, but a bit of our economy is.
My problem with the usage of the term is that it encompasses a complete system. What you cite as being a little bit corporatist is--to me--simply a logical condition of a large economy predicated on free markets. That aspect is not the defining element of corporatism as a system.

Let me put it this way: cheese is a standard feature of pizza. Is anything else that uses cheese a "little bit pizza"?

Don
07-07-2010, 06:29 AM
Yeah, there were some questions about children. Probably some of the most radical views I hold concern how much liberty children should have.

But also, I agree, the test isn't necessarily a good one, although I did feel like it described me accurately in a general sense at least: left-libertarian.

So, how come you're authoritarian when it comes to children?
I'm more the benevolent dictator type, actually. We have three staying with us now, 16-yr boy/girl twins and a 14-yr girl, all siblings. They have two rules that are considered hanging offenses; don't let the dog out without his leash, and don't get in trouble with park management. Other than that, they're free to go, as long as they use good judgement. If they're not sure what that means, they're free to ask. :) We also assign chores liberally, but certainly not onerously. Just enough that we're not working much harder than when it's just the two of us.

It maximizes our freedom, and theirs, but ultimately they know I'm responsible for them, and if they screw up, they're in deep do-do. ;) I've got three happy, cooperative teen-agers on my hands; not all that common these days.

Michael Wolfe
07-07-2010, 06:37 AM
I'm more the benevolent dictator type, actually. We have three staying with us now, 16-yr boy/girl twins and a 14-yr girl, all siblings. They have two rules that are considered hanging offenses; don't let the dog out without his leash, and don't get in trouble with park management. Other than that, they're free to go, as long as they use good judgement. If they're not sure what that means, they're free to ask. :) We also assign chores liberally, but certainly not onerously. Just enough that we're not working much harder than when it's just the two of us.

It maximizes our freedom, and theirs, but ultimately they know I'm responsible for them, and if they screw up, they're in deep do-do. ;) I've got three happy, cooperative teen-agers on my hands; not all that common these days.

Yeah, that actually doesn't sound very authoritarian at all. I thought you might have something good *, like reading emails or surveillance cameras. :)

*by which, I mean "terrible".

Don
07-07-2010, 06:47 AM
Yeah, that actually doesn't sound very authoritarian at all. I thought you might have something good *, like reading emails or surveillance cameras. :)

*by which, I mean "terrible".
Nope, by that age they're young people, not children, and deserve to be treated as such. Oh, and they also let us know generally where they are, in case we need to find them in a hurry. So I guess that's three rules. ;)

I think the warning of "good judgement" keeps them on an even keel. They don't want to end up grounded for the summer if they really screw up. :D

Ruv Draba
07-07-2010, 02:18 PM
No. Look, corporatism is a systematic ideology, just like communism.Communism was a behaviour before it was an ideology; corporatism too. Somewhere between behaviour and ideology is strategy -- the targeted application of some sytem to gain targeted benefit... and off beyond strategy is idealisation which simplifies the problem to fit the preferred solution, and in that space we have religious and political zeal.

From a strategic perspective, corporatisation is a natural extension of supply-chain management and task specialisation: if you can commoditise a product against some sense of its utility, you can regulate its production through a series of automated and specialised manual steps and gain efficiencies. So far so good.

But a lot of human needs don't commoditise well. Relationships don't reduce to cohabitation-years; cuisine isn't simply vitamin-calories; health is about more than sick-leave taken; society isn't humans per square kilometre; education doesn't amount to words read; environment isn't measured in extinction-events. So when corporatisation becomes an ideal rather than a targeted strategy it gets as malignant as all our other zealous ideologies.

What corporatism ideological zeal is about is the opposition of free markets intelligent, agile policy.Fixed.

the real problem here is that lazy thinkers in the last couple of decades have latched on to "corporatism" as a term meaning something like "a bunch of big corporations have all the money."The real problem is that partisan zealots oversimplify problems to gain power over the ignorant. When some zealous fool invents corporatism as a religion, some other zealous whackjob invents anticorporatism as a counter-religion. Both fools have the same cynical self-interested aim: the power to tell others what to think.

Michael J. Hoag
07-07-2010, 10:46 PM
No. Look, corporatism is a systematic ideology, just like communism. It's totalitarian in orientation. It's as much about political power in general as it is about economic structures. Corporations are like body parts/body organs: all together, they form the "body" of society. Hence the root of the term. It's an archaic system. Bits and pieces of the concept pop up from time to time, most especially in relation to--as Michael notes--fascism.

What corporatism is about is the opposition of free markets. But it's different from a socialist/communist approach, insofar as people still get to own, there's still private property. Corporations negotiate to settle everything. No one gets to maximize their own interests. No one.Not the cobbler, not the street sweeper, not the manager of a factory.

The problem here is--again--the wrong-headed insistence of assuming that corporatism involves the concept of a corporation in the modern sense. In corporatism, corporations are much more like soviets.

Now, when people like Mussolini applied some of these ideas--to their own ends, of course--things can get mixed up. But the real problem here is that lazy thinkers in the last couple of decades have latched on to "corporatism" as a term meaning something like "a bunch of big corporations have all the money." That's nonsense. And such a meaning is unrelated to the term.
Christ, it's not a sociological definition. It's a political science definition. And again, it is what it is.

And again, it's far more than an economic form. It's totalitarian.


Ok, I will concur. I will no longer use the term "corporatism" to refer to the particular "corporatist" (in the sociological sense) element of our economy I was using it for. I will now use the word "monopolist." However, it absolutely is "corporatist" in the way I could refer to "tripart" reforms as "corporatist." Or our health care legislation....

This seems to be less of a political disagreement than a disagreement about how words gain their meanings. It isn't that everything with cheese is a pizza.

It's that we all develop "schemata" for what a "pizza" is. Mine would be like:
--round, dough crust.
--usually savory instead of sweet.
--Has a "sauce" topping.
--Has a cheese topping.
--May have other toppings as well.

This allows me to recognize that other things, such as a square, pesto pizza, or a cherry and cream cheese pizza are still "pizzas" of variations on the theme. They are still based on the principles of "pizzaness."

Even by this sociologically derived definition of "corporatism," (and as pointed out, it was a word for a sort of behavior related to "Functionalism" before a policy) the modern US system is still "corporatist."

Really, prior to Reagan, it was very much based on "tripartism," the idea of which is for the Government, Labor and Business to decide policy together, and that your "corporation" (in the old sense, either Labor or Business) would provide for your interests.

Of course, dismantling the Labor leg of this equation was deemed to be the same as "free marketism." So we've removed Labor and now the relevant monopolies in any field make policy with the government without the will of the people or of labor represented at all.

Of course, in reality letting big monopolies legislate is not the same as a "free market."

So what we have is absolutely a hobbled, less functional form of what would more properly be called "fascist corporatism" or, as the theorists of that era would have had it, just plain "fascism."

Because "fascist corporatism" was not at all the same as "syndacalism--" not even close. The idea was not that you belonged to a "corporation" in the sense of a "commune." It was really just this "tripartism." The idea was a way of thinking of feudal class structure as a GOOD THING instead of a negative. We each have a part to play. "Class harmony" was the ideal, instead of the "class opposition" of Marxism.

OF course, Musolini, agreeing with Adam Smith that business corporations were basically just an instrument of economic domination and warfare, favored these business corporations over labor (because unlike Smith, he considered domination and warfare necessary for the "heroic state.") So really, we have pretty much the ideal that "fascist corporatism" strove for, but could never achieve.

And now this is definitely the ideal for modern "3rd way," which sees our current inequality as appropriate in a "Functionalist" sense (the wealthy create jobs, the middle-class does the jobs, the "reserve army of the poor" "function" to keep wages low.) 3rd way guys like Obama and Bush both seek to solve societal problems while keeping class harmony. They seek to solve problems through "corporations" in the old and modern sense. And always to preserve the monopolist status quo (very corporatist!) And, like Mussolini, the idea of maintaining US power through these monopolies is a given.

Our health care plan, for example, isn't remotely "socialist." It's corporatist. You must pay to belong to a "corporation" that will see to your health care needs. This legislation, written by the government and the monopolies, without labor represented, aims to solve the problem by strengthening the status quo monopolies--funneling huge amounts of public resources into private hands.

I see this is one example of a "corporatist" reform.

ETA, all this is really just academic gobbledy gook. The more interesting question is whether monopolies should be allowed to have their almost COMPLETE control over every aspect of our daily lives. Because they do. And when they do, WE THE PEOPLE have lost our power of self governance.

Michael J. Hoag
07-07-2010, 10:54 PM
Communism was a behaviour before it was an ideology; corporatism too. Somewhere between behaviour and ideology is strategy -- the targeted application of some sytem to gain targeted benefit... and off beyond strategy is idealisation which simplifies the problem to fit the preferred solution, and in that space we have religious and political zeal.

From a strategic perspective, corporatisation is a natural extension of supply-chain management and task specialisation: if you can commoditise a product against some sense of its utility, you can regulate its production through a series of automated and specialised manual steps and gain efficiencies. So far so good.

But a lot of human needs don't commoditise well. Relationships don't reduce to cohabitation-years; cuisine isn't simply vitamin-calories; health is about more than sick-leave taken; society isn't humans per square kilometre; education doesn't amount to words read; environment isn't measured in extinction-events. So when corporatisation becomes an ideal rather than a targeted strategy it gets as malignant as all our other zealous ideologies.

Fixed.

The real problem is that partisan zealots oversimplify problems to gain power over the ignorant. When some zealous fool invents corporatism as a religion, some other zealous whackjob invents anticorporatism as a counter-religion. Both fools have the same cynical self-interested aim: the power to tell others what to think.

Every zealot tries to position him or herself as the reasonable center.

PeterL
07-07-2010, 11:42 PM
The test is inane. "Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races." Which other races? Wookies or what?"

"People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality." Come on now, What are the definitions?

"Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation."
Who says they can't be trusted.

This test is so biased that the results are whatever the algorithm wants. When I saw the Fascist Drennis Kucinich on the libertarian side, I knew there was something wrong.

I don't think that the people who wrote the thin know what the terms mean.

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 12:06 AM
The test is inane. "Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races." Which other races? Wookies or what?"

"People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality." Come on now, What are the definitions?

"Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation."
Who says they can't be trusted.

This test is so biased that the results are whatever the algorithm wants. When I saw the Fascist Drennis Kucinich on the libertarian side, I knew there was something wrong.

I don't think that the people who wrote the thin know what the terms mean.

"Fascist Dennis Kucinich" BWAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA A!!!!

Oh god! "They" don't know what the terms mean. Serious. Please give me a definition of "fascist" that would remotely include Dennis Kucinich. Oh, I guess it's his insistence upon a strong military, his constant appeals to religion, his outspoken desire to start world war 2 and kill 6 million jews...

Oh, and how he always wears a military uniform.

Now I see it.....

PeterL
07-08-2010, 12:30 AM
Please give me a definition of "fascist" that would remotely include Dennis Kucinich



Obviously, you never even looked at political science.

fascist

- 4 dictionary results
.slL{ cursor:pointer; } (http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=l&ai=BkiHSvts0TNeeKsiJmgfm0vDbB_ODhtUB--Ok5w7x8rHeBeD6IBABGAEgj5ShESgEOABQ8Z7srPr_____AWDJ xvqIhKSAEbIBGGRpY3Rpb25hcnkucmVmZXJlbmNlLmNvbcgBAd oBLmh0dHA6Ly9kaWN0aW9uYXJ5LnJlZmVyZW5jZS5jb20vYnJv d3NlL2Zhc2Npc3SAAgHAAgHIAuXRyQ6oAwHoA7ED6AO0BegDjA P1AyAEAAQ&num=1&sig=AGiWqtwG2noZD55n3DXdJlu1zSeosVnrLA&client=ca-aj-lexico-dict&adurl=https://www.powerofaction.com/energy-evaluation/) Reduce Your Utility Bill
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.shd_hdr1 { width:100%; } .sep_top1 { position : relative; } .citesourceseperator{ border-bottom: solid 1px #E4E4E4; margin-top:15px; margin-bottom:7px; } .sep_top1 table{ margin-top:-2px; margin-bottom:-3px; } .results_content ul, .results_content ol { margin-bottom:-3px; } .LImg{ background-image:url("http://sp3.dictionary.com/en/i/dictionary/AddThis_v2/sprite_icons.png"); } .Lsentnce{ margin-top:14px; } fas·cist

  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/F00/F0050100) /ˈfæʃhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngɪst/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html) Show Spelled[fash-ist] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA
–noun 1. a person who believes in or sympathizes with fascism.










fas·cism

  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/F00/F0050000) /ˈfæʃhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngɪzhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəm/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html) Show Spelled[fash-iz-uhhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngm] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA
–noun 1. ( sometimes initial capital letter http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often

In its broadest sense, a fascist is one who seeks to impose political opinions or programs on others, especially if those programs cost money.

Anyone who voted for "Healthcare" legislation is fascist. Dennis voted for "healthcare".

I will ignore your other comments, because they were irrelevant and showed nothing except your bad manners and ignorance. Do you know what they say about [i]ad hominem[i] arguments?

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 12:44 AM
Obviously, you never even looked at political science.

fascist

- 4 dictionary results
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.shd_hdr1 { width:100%; } .sep_top1 { position : relative; } .citesourceseperator{ border-bottom: solid 1px #E4E4E4; margin-top:15px; margin-bottom:7px; } .sep_top1 table{ margin-top:-2px; margin-bottom:-3px; } .results_content ul, .results_content ol { margin-bottom:-3px; } .LImg{ background-image:url("http://sp3.dictionary.com/en/i/dictionary/AddThis_v2/sprite_icons.png"); } .Lsentnce{ margin-top:14px; } fas·cist

  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/F00/F0050100) /ˈfæʃhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngɪst/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html) Show Spelled[fash-ist] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA
–noun 1. a person who believes in or sympathizes with fascism.










fas·cism

  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/F00/F0050000) /ˈfæʃhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngɪzhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəm/ http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html) Show Spelled[fash-iz-uhhttp://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngm] http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/dictionary_questionbutton_default.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html) Show IPA
–noun 1. ( sometimes initial capital letter http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often

In its broadest sense, a fascist is one who seeks to impose political opinions or programs on others, especially if those programs cost money.

Anyone who voted for "Healthcare" legislation is fascist. Dennis voted for "healthcare".

I will ignore your other comments, because they were irrelevant and showed nothing except your bad manners and ignorance. Do you know what they say about [i]ad hominem[i] arguments?

Oh come on! You know your comment was intended to be provocative so I played along. Fisticuffs! Fisticuffs! Put up yer dukes!

Just FYI, it's generally considered bad manners to call something "fascist" as an ad hominem attack unless what you mean is "that guy wants to start WW2 and kill 6 million jews!"

And pretty much EVERYBODY agrees that the most important aspects of "fascism" were...

Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English), is a radical (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_radicalism) and authoritarian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarianism) nationalist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism) political ideology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideology).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-0)[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-1)[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-2)[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-3) Fascists seek to organize a nation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation) according to corporatist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism) perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-4)[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#cite_note-5) Fascism was originally founded by Italian national syndicalists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_syndicalism) in World War I (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I) who combined left-wing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_politics) and right-wing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics) political views, but it gravitated to the political right in the early 1920s

--wikipedia

Dennis Kucinich is the exact opposite of an "authoritarian nationalist" with "corporatist perspectives" from the "right wing."

Fisticuffs! Fisticuffs! Godwin's (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183949) Law! Godwin's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law) Law!

PeterL
07-08-2010, 01:16 AM
Oh come on! You know your comment was intended to be provocative so I played along. Fisticuffs! Fisticuffs! Put up yer dukes!

My comments were intended to simply point out that that "political test" was invalid. I had no intention to annoy anyone, except perhaps the halfwits who created that thing.

Just FYI, it's generally considered bad manners to call something "fascist" as an ad hominem attack unless what you mean is "that guy wants to start WW2 and kill 6 million jews!"

Apparently words mean exactly what you want them to mean, regardless of what the rest of the world may think. Fascism has nothing, necessarily, to do with slaying any people.

And pretty much EVERYBODY agrees that the most important aspects of "fascism" were...

Yes, fundamentally, Fascism is a system where a limited number of people impress their opinions on a greater number of people. It's origin is somewhat related with the trade union movement, wherein the people would be stronger if they were like the "fasces" of Ancient Rome.

Dennis Kucinich is the exact opposite of an "authoritarian nationalist" with "corporatist perspectives" from the "right wing."


That definition is very limited, since it includes only the despotism of the right and excludes the despotism of the left. Hitler was a Socialist. Mussilini was a Fascist. How much difference was there in their policies? Not a lot.

SPMiller
07-08-2010, 01:33 AM
Yeah, accusing Kucinich of being a fascist (of all things! a fascist!) is one of the silliest things I've read in at least a few hours. Offhand, I can't think of anything that would be less accurately descriptive of his political views.

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 01:57 AM
Ding ding ding! Here we go, now there's a proper Godwin's law, even got the name in there! Now where was that thread on the G-man's law? And even the ole' "Hitler was a socialist" gag. Man, you know what Hitler would say to that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKOwI55ypLQ

And no, "fascist" the way you used it means "he wants to murder 6 million jews."

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 02:05 AM
Hitler was a Socialist.

Oh, for the love of Godwin -- don't bother to read the thread you're replying to or anything.

No, Hitler was NOT a socialist. Welcome to page one of this thread. And remedial 20th century world history.

Don
07-08-2010, 02:21 AM
When I saw the Fascist authoritarian statist control freak Dennis Kucinich on the libertarian side.

There, all fixed.

Don
07-08-2010, 06:21 AM
Hitler was not a socialist.

They just called it the National Socialist German Worker's Party because it had a catchy rhythm.

:sarcasm

SPMiller
07-08-2010, 06:27 AM
What? Care to back that up?

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 06:36 AM
Hitler was not a socialist.

They just called it the National Socialist German Worker's Party because it had a catchy rhythm.

:sarcasm

I'm going to assume that this was just faulty use of your new favourite smilie...

Slushie
07-08-2010, 07:33 AM
The economic model probably didn't matter to Hitler, as i think he saw the economy ultimately as a means to end: whatever gave him more power and promoted his ideals of racial supremacy. I think he was more into mercantilism, maybe some corporatism. Not sure what it was.

But I do know for sure that many socialists ended up in line with Jews and others at the death camps. The "legend of the back-stabbing" was propaganda used to blame the Jews and the socialists for Germany's post-war conditions. And then there was the Night of Long Knives. Hitler and the Nazis were definitely not friends of the socialist or the capitalist.

Not really sure what's the point of linking Hitler to socialism anyways.

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 07:50 AM
But I do know for sure that many socialists ended up in line with Jews and others at the death camps. The "legend of the back-stabbing" was propaganda used to blame the Jews and the socialists for Germany's post-war conditions. And then there was the Night of Long Knives.

Hitler went out of his way to purge the last remaining socialist elements from the Nazi party during the Night of the Long Knives.

Don
07-08-2010, 07:50 AM
What? Care to back that up?
Back up what? That that was the name of the organization, or that Hitler was the last leader?

Are we going to be arguing that Michael Steele wasn't a real Republican in 50 years?

Monkey
07-08-2010, 07:52 AM
Not really sure what's the point of linking Hitler to socialism anyways.

Godwin knows.

:D

Don
07-08-2010, 08:02 AM
In Munich, on 24 February 1920, Adolf Hitler publicly proclaimed the 25-point Program of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party), when the Nazis were still known as the DAP (German Workers Party).[4] They retained the National Socialist Program upon renaming themselves as the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in April 1920, and it remained the Party’s official program — despite the Nazis’ discarding most of it upon assuming Germany’s government in 1933. The 25-point Program was a German adaptation — by Anton Drexler, Adolf Hitler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart — of Rudolf Jung’s Austro–Bohemian program; unlike the Austrians, the Germans did not claim to being either liberal or democratic, and opposed neither political reaction nor the aristocracy, yet advocated democratic institutions (i.e. the German central parliament) and voting rights solely for Germans — implying that a Nazi Government would retain popular suffrage.


Some of the 25 points (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program)

The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all.

Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and above all, calls itself a duck...

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 08:08 AM
In Munich, on 24 February 1920, Adolf Hitler publicly proclaimed the 25-point Program of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party), when the Nazis were still known as the DAP (German Workers Party).[4] They retained the National Socialist Program upon renaming themselves as the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in April 1920, and it remained the Party’s official program — despite the Nazis’ discarding most of it upon assuming Germany’s government in 1933. The 25-point Program was a German adaptation — by Anton Drexler, Adolf Hitler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart — of Rudolf Jung’s Austro–Bohemian program; unlike the Austrians, the Germans did not claim to being either liberal or democratic, and opposed neither political reaction nor the aristocracy, yet advocated democratic institutions (i.e. the German central parliament) and voting rights solely for Germans — implying that a Nazi Government would retain popular suffrage.


Some of the 25 points (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program)

The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all.

Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and above all, calls itself a duck...

And if it walks like a duck until it's elected, at which point it strips off its duck costume, revealing the fact that it's actually a barracuda, is it still a duck?

Don
07-08-2010, 08:11 AM
And if it walks like a duck until it's elected, at which point it strips off its duck costume, revealing the fact that it's actually a barracuda, is it still a duck?
I dunno. Was Mao a duck? Che? Stalin? Or did they, too, turn into barracuda? Shouldn't that tell us something very important?

How many times must the world be fooled by leaders who proclaim they'll fix all the world's problems, if only they can have moar power? How many examples does it take to prove Lord Acton right?

SPMiller
07-08-2010, 08:27 AM
Oh, great. Since I'm not registered to any political party, all I have to do from this point forward is call myself a Republican, and that's what I will be. Thanks, Don. I'll be able to change the GOP from the inside.

Don
07-08-2010, 08:34 AM
It doesn't matter what they call themselves. Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Nazis, Communists, Liberals, Conservatives. All names that translate to "give us more power over your life." And in every case, the more power they have, the more they abuse it, and the more they screw the common man. Or do you have a laundry list of wise, benevolent leaders that actually delivered the promised land when they had all the power they demanded?

ETA: And boo, hoo, Hitler didn't deliver on his platform. When have politicians ever delivered on their platforms?

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 09:00 AM
It doesn't matter what they call themselves. Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Nazis, Communists, Liberals, Conservatives. All names that translate to "give us more power over your life." And in every case, the more power they have, the more they abuse it, and the more they screw the common man. Or do you have a laundry list of wise, benevolent leaders that actually delivered the promised land when they had all the power they demanded?


Which is all very well and good in the abstract, but denying there's a difference between socialism and fascism is a little... near-sighted, at least for the purposes of this conversation.

(I've found that it helps to imagine the political spectrum as a circle -- as you get closer to the extremes -- socialism & fascism -- those ends curve around until they actually meet, at totalitarianism.)

Don
07-08-2010, 02:46 PM
Which is all very well and good in the abstract, but denying there's a difference between socialism and fascism is a little... near-sighted, at least for the purposes of this conversation.

(I've found that it helps to imagine the political spectrum as a circle -- as you get closer to the extremes -- socialism & fascism -- those ends curve around until they actually meet, at totalitarianism.)

If eating a gallon of ice cream makes you sick, does it really matter if you only eat chocolate swirl, instead of straight chocolate?

Does it really matter if the National Socialist German Worker's Party was pure chocolate, or just chocolate swirl?

It's not the flavor of government that makes societies sick. It's how much they eat.

dmytryp
07-08-2010, 04:39 PM
Well, yes, Don, it does. Words have meanings, and political philosophies have content

Don
07-08-2010, 05:08 PM
Well, yes, Don, it does. Words have meanings, and political philosophies have content
That was in response to this bit by willie:
(I've found that it helps to imagine the political spectrum as a circle -- as you get closer to the extremes -- socialism & fascism -- those ends curve around until they actually meet, at totalitarianism.)
At the extremes, they meet. Hitler belonged to a totalitarian government. The party he headed self-proclaimed itself socialist and supported many socialist concepts. Perhaps it was hiding behind the name, but where was the real difference in results between Mao, Stalin, and Hitler? The massive death counts were a result of those ends curving around where they actually meet... at totalitarianism.

In practice, all three were totalitarians. In name, they all claimed the socialist banner. Three pigs in a poke. Yet fascist Hitler was the most evil man of all time, but the "real" socialists Mao and Uncle Joe were different?

The millions that died under Mao and Stalin are just as dead as those who died from Hitler's reign.

People have been trying to spin the "massive fascist government bad, massive socialist government good" meme for decades. Claiming Hitler wasn't a "real" socialist is apologia for socialism, plain and simple.

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 06:04 PM
That was in response to this bit by willie:

At the extremes, they meet.

Yup.

Hitler belonged to a totalitarian government.

I would go with "WAS a totalitarian government", but yes, that was my point.

The party he headed self-proclaimed itself socialist and supported many socialist concepts.

And there's the rub.

Hitler /=/ the National Socialist German Workers Party.

The issue under discussion was whether Hitler was a socialist - he wasn't.

Hitler was not a founder of the party, and was opposed to the change in name in 1920.

Not only that, he KILLED the socialist members of the party. Executed them.

He rounded up and had executed the trade unionists.

Perhaps it was hiding behind the name, but where was the real difference in results between Mao, Stalin, and Hitler? The massive death counts were a result of those ends curving around where they actually meet... at totalitarianism.

Political ideology is NOT hiding behind a name.
I agree with your broader point, but this is all ridiculously reductive.

In practice, all three were totalitarians. In name, they all claimed the socialist banner. Three pigs in a poke. Yet fascist Hitler was the most evil man of all time, but the "real" socialists Mao and Uncle Joe were different?

The millions that died under Mao and Stalin are just as dead as those who died from Hitler's reign.

No argument here.


People have been trying to spin the "massive fascist government bad, massive socialist government good" meme for decades. Claiming Hitler wasn't a "real" socialist is apologia for socialism, plain and simple.

Fuck that. It's a matter of defining your terms correctly.

And if one accepts your point about the meme being perpetuated, one has to consider that the "Hitler was a socialist" perspective is just as much a meme, a way of tarring moderate socialists (or, for that matter, right of center liberals) by association, while concealing the fact that fascism is an outgrowth/outlier of the political right. If you put all examples of totalitarianism on the political left (and there are some, no one's denying that), that's a pretty big bat to beat the liberals with, no? While, of course, maintaining the facade that there are no skeletons or extremes to the right... nice trick.

Mao and Uncle Joe were just as reprehensible, in different ways.
But to ignore differing political ideologies in support of a "well, they're all bad, so what does it matter" conclusion is... well, juvenile. Why even bother thinking about politics and history if that's the conclusion?

Don
07-08-2010, 06:17 PM
Uh, because both have been shown, over and over historically, to lead to the joining in the middle?

Whether power is sought for the good of the people or the good of the state, the end result is always -- always -- as Lord Acton declared.

Two roads that lead to the same destination may make for a different journey, but they still end up in the same place.

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 06:20 PM
Uh, because both have been shown, over and over historically, to lead to the joining in the middle?

Whether power is sought for the good of the people or the good of the state, the end result is always -- always -- as Lord Acton declared.

Two roads that lead to the same destination may make for a different journey, but they still end up in the same place.

Granted.

But the issue in question wasn't the nature of totalitarianism -- it was the misleading and incorrect assertion that Hitler was a socialist. He wasn't.

Going by your analogy -- even if Highway 1 and Highway 72 meet, it's still pretty damn important to know which road you're on.

Don
07-08-2010, 06:39 PM
So I guess since John McCain supports very little of the classical Republican platform, he's not really a Republican? Or the Democrat who won John Murtha's seat in the special election isn't really a Democrat because of his positions (http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/pennsylvania-democrat-won-election-by-running-as-a-republican/)?
The candidate who on Tuesday won the special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district is right-to-life and pro-gun. He accused his opponent of wanting heavier taxes. He said he would have voted against Barack Obama’s health-care plan and promised to vote against cap-and-trade legislation, which is a tax increase supposedly somehow related to turning down the planet’s thermostat. This candidate, Mark Critz, is a Democrat.

Hitler self-identified as a socialist. He was the official leader of a party that called itself socialist. He gained office presenting himself as a socialist. His failure to support his party's agenda, or the fact that he ruled as a totalitarian doesn't change any of that. Politicians do all that crap every single day.

Hitler did not govern as a socialist, I'll grant that. But neither did Stalin or Mao, yet they've never been declared "not socialists." Or did I miss the memo?

willietheshakes
07-08-2010, 06:44 PM
Okay Don, you win.

Every other historian is obviously incorrect. Hitler was clearly a socialist.

There. Ya happy?

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 07:00 PM
When I saw the Fascist authoritarian statist control freak Dennis Kucinich on the libertarian side.

There, all fixed.




This thread has become lack a sense-make.


Hitler was not a socialist. Hitler campaigned as AGAINST socialism, so the people of Germany at that time would never have considered the NSDAP a "socialist" or even REMOTELY left-wing party.

The early Nazi party DID have elements of both right-wing and popular left-wing policy. But the policies that DEFINE the Nazi party to the modern mind were the right-wing policies that came about later, during governance. And especially... let me see...

MURDERING 6 MILLION JEWS.

Look: it's like the words "socialist, fascist, nazi" are just convenient political labels to you because people HATE them. But there are REASONS why people hate them! Reasons X, Y and Z, and unless you're referring to those reasons specifically (6 million Jews) then what you're doing is a logical fallacy. See?

And the world-wide consensus is that the Nazi party was an extremist right-wing party. I know extremist right-wing Americans want to rewrite that inconvenient history, but HITLER AS SOCIALIST is really a fringe opinion. And it's irrelevant to anything unless you're referring to the murder of 6 million Jews.

Political position

The Nazi Party is generally described as being at the extreme or far right (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_right) of the left-right political axis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-right_politics).[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers%27_Party#cite_no te-Fritzsche.2C_Peter_1998-21) While the party incorporated elements from both left and right-wing politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-right_politics), the Nazis formed most of their alliances on the right (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics).[22] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers%27_Party#cite_no te-Fritzsche.2C_Peter_1998-21) On the Nolan Chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart), the Nazi party would be described as politically extreme authoritarian, and economically centrist.[23] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers%27_Party#cite_no te-22)


--wikipedia


"At the end of the march Hitler would make one of his passionate speeches that encouraged his supporters to carry out acts of violence against Jews (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERjews.htm) and his left-wing political opponents.
As this violence was often directed against Socialists and Communists, the local right-wing Bavarian government did not take action against the Nazi Party."


--http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERnazi.htm




Nazi Party (NSDAP/ Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) A Fascist party (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O46-Fascism.html) founded by Anton Drexler (b. 1884, d. 1942)





(snip) The success of the Nazi Party, as opposed to other radical right-wing groups with similar ideas,

--Encycopedia.com

By majority consent of both socialists and non-socialists, National Socialism (Nazism) and kindred movements are not considered to be socialist."

(SNIP)

Some have claimed that Nazism was a form of socialism (http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Socialism/), although this view is rejected by most historians and by modern socialists. For more see Socialism and Nazism (http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Socialism_and_Nazism/)

--http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Nazism/
--

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 07:12 PM
Nazis favored clean underpants.

Don, are you a Nazi?

Michael Wolfe
07-08-2010, 07:37 PM
So I guess since John McCain supports very little of the classical Republican platform, he's not really a Republican? Or the Democrat who won John Murtha's seat in the special election isn't really a Democrat because of his positions (http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/pennsylvania-democrat-won-election-by-running-as-a-republican/)?


Hitler self-identified as a socialist.

I think the Mark Critz example is pretty different from Hitler supposedly being a socialist. With Critz, he is a democrat, but he's not a liberal. Just like a Republican can in theory not be a conservative. Socialist can be used by some to describe their political views - as in "I'm a socialist", just like liberal - as in "I'm a liberal". That's not the same as being a member of a socialist party, or a party that has the word socialist in the name, but is not actually socialist. And just like saying "I'm a liberal" wouldn't necessarily make you one, it's the same thing with socialism.

So, I think whether Hitler self-identified as a socialist should be irrelelevant. If he'd identified as a libertarian, I wouldn't buy it (And I've seen neo-Nazis call themselves libertarians in real life.)

To sum up, walking the walk should be more important than talking the talk. If Hitler did or didn't actually govern as a socialist - that's what matters. And as we all seem to agree here, he didn't govern as a socialist.

Don
07-08-2010, 07:39 PM
Nazis favored clean underpants.

Don, are you a Nazi?
Nope, but I think this is way more correct than calling them "extreme right-wing."
On the Nolan Chart, the Nazi party would be described as politically extreme authoritarian, and economically centrist.

dmytryp
07-08-2010, 08:14 PM
That was in response to this bit by willie:

At the extremes, they meet. Hitler belonged to a totalitarian government. The party he headed self-proclaimed itself socialist and supported many socialist concepts. Perhaps it was hiding behind the name, but where was the real difference in results between Mao, Stalin, and Hitler? The massive death counts were a result of those ends curving around where they actually meet... at totalitarianism.

In practice, all three were totalitarians. In name, they all claimed the socialist banner. Three pigs in a poke. Yet fascist Hitler was the most evil man of all time, but the "real" socialists Mao and Uncle Joe were different?

The millions that died under Mao and Stalin are just as dead as those who died from Hitler's reign.

People have been trying to spin the "massive fascist government bad, massive socialist government good" meme for decades. Claiming Hitler wasn't a "real" socialist is apologia for socialism, plain and simple.
You will not have any arguments from me about the evil of Stalin, Mao, Che and whomever. Neither will you have any argument that while socialism sounds very progressive on paper, when enacted in full bloom leads to extreme totalitarian state (I should know, I lived there). I do have separate reasonings as to why so much accent is on Hitler, but that's another thread (I expressed them in the past). The point is that while the two extremes meet in some of their aspects, the road is different and it is important to understand it.

robeiae
07-08-2010, 09:33 PM
The point is that while the two extremes meet in some of their aspects, the road is different and it is important to understand it.

Well said.

Michael J. Hoag
07-08-2010, 10:38 PM
Nope, but I think this is way more correct than calling them "extreme right-wing."

So, basically, exactly where Hitler is on "the political compass" graph on page 1 of this thread. In other words, quite far from where the "socialists" are.

Agreed.

SPMiller
07-08-2010, 10:44 PM
There's also an amusing conflation of communism, socialism, Communism, and other variants of those systems in this thread. I don't even know where to begin, but I have a gigglefest whenever I think about trying to write a post about it. I recommend that most people in this thread sign up for Gov't 101 at the local U.

dmytryp
07-09-2010, 12:02 AM
Well, Communism on a large scale hadn't been implemented -- ever. The closest isolated things is kibbutz (well, you might throw in the Paris Commune to a certain extent). USSR and other parts of the Soviet Block, though ruled by Communist Parties were basically fully socialistic, and made no bones about it (one of the slogans we had in USSR was "Communism on the horizon", to which "heretics" snidely added that the horizon is an imaginary line that receeds as you get closer)