scratch-mark

Sent Items

An old friend emailed yesterday to continue a long exchange about philosophy, religion, governance, etc. After a few exchanges, I get this, which I quote in full, and then dissect with comments:

No, it’s all system dynamics, a completely different paradigm.  Capitalism is the philosophy that creates the market, the economy as a whole.  this system operates upon us, but is not society itself.  Society is full of other values–cultural, moral, familial, aesthetic, etc, all of which are facets of the good.  market values are not good or evil, they are productive, and hence, perfectly amoral.  This means that if we empower the market past a certain point it will begin to drown the values that make life worth living, and the system becomes oppressive.  So we have to make sure that we educate people in the right values, because of course some are better than others.  Just throwing up your hands and saying "let the market decide what values are right" means implicitly empowering that productive side of society which we need to moderate.  We have a responsibility, a requirement, to exercise our moral judgment as a society, not just as individuals.  That is why education is the buttress of democracy.

There’s nothing "different" about it. No new paradigm. It’s always about "system dynamics," just lots of different systems. I prefer systems with free agents.

…if we empower the market past a certain point it will begin to drown the values that make life worth living, and the system becomes oppressive.

What do you mean by "we empower?" Whom? Is that kind of like if I eat too much, I’ll get fat, and of course, my getting fat effects others in various ways (system dynamics), so I suppose that we need "balance," which I take to be an euphemism for forcing me to eat differently. Is this where an anegoist, Oriental philosophy takes you?

So we have to make sure that we educate people in the right values, because of course some are better than others.

"We?" Is that a positive obligation on my part, one that you will advocate I be forced to support whether I want to or not?

I hold education as a value, personally. Unlike you, however, I don’t feel competent, nor do I believe I have the authority to determine "the ‘right‘ values" for anyone but myself.

Just throwing up your hands and saying "let the market decide what values are right"…

Didn’t say that at all. I believe that I have been very clear that autonomous, competent (i.e., adult) individuals decide their own values. They, not you, or I, are the only ones with the moral authority to do that.

…means implicitly empowering that productive side of society which we need to moderate.

Who said this: "Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival"?

Of course production must be moderated, but again, you claim authority where you have none. Production is self-moderated millions of times every day of the year. It may not be moderated to your liking, but you’re just not God. Sorry. Price of freedom.

We have a responsibility, a requirement, to exercise our moral judgment as a society, not just as individuals.  That is why education is the buttress of democracy.

We have a responsibility to exercise moral judgment, to be sure. But, when we act to force or coerce others, we must have the moral authority to do so, which is every bit as important, and the very thing that’s always ignored. Instead, we cure headcolds with bullets to the head. Note: moral authority does not include an argument that the values of others has an "effect." That’s just life, baby, and to gain moral authority, you’ve got to do a lot better than that.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780