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    (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
    You confuse equality of opportunity for equality of endowment. No socialist is stating that we should all have identical personalities and equal abilities and skills. We are merely trying to create a society where such personal differences do not provide people with power over other individuals and where each new generation has equal opportunities regardless of their parents' success.

    Anyone who suggests that commies wants everyone to be mindless clones of each other possesses fundamental misunderstanding of the ideology.



    Mao was an authoritarian socialist. We believe that society (which is far from being a blank canvas) should paint itself.



    Oh dear.
    Ok Anarchist Nutter if communism doesn't care or have any solution to the problem of inequality of endowment then it is not for me.

    nOt only should the success of parents not matter in ur own success, but the quality of the gene pool you happen to be chosen from (by pure luck) which leads yuo to become an incrdibly self confidend, happy, intellectually fulfilled, adulated, i.e some talented medical student, showuld also not affect success.

    In fact, it seems i am coming to be opposed to the notion of success in general - that would imply genetic superiority in some way. Governments should genertically modify all humans so that they, somehown, will always be the same. mutations will have to be controlled obviously.

    I basically want to eliminate anyne having to feel jealosy, unfulfillment, or bad about themselves compared to others.

    If i was part of the (i am assuming) aspirational, intelligentsia class the summer girl i know i wouldn't feel the same way. but as i am jealous of talented ppl i will hate my bad luk forever and hope to change society.
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    (Original post by TheRevolution)
    Ok Anarchist Nutter if communism doesn't care or have any solution to the problem of inequality of endowment then it is not for me.

    nOt only should the success of parents not matter in ur own success, but the quality of the gene pool you happen to be chosen from (by pure luck) which leads yuo to become an incrdibly self confidend, happy, intellectually fulfilled, adulated, i.e some talented medical student, showuld also not affect success.

    In fact, it seems i am coming to be opposed to the notion of success in general - that would imply genetic superiority in some way. Governments should genertically modify all humans so that they, somehown, will always be the same. mutations will have to be controlled obviously.

    I basically want to eliminate anyne having to feel jealosy, unfulfillment, or bad about themselves compared to others.

    If i was part of the (i am assuming) aspirational, intelligentsia class the summer girl i know i wouldn't feel the same way. but as i am jealous of talented ppl i will hate my bad luk forever and hope to change society.
    I presume you are genuinely against equality of endowment (as this is biologically impossible apart from anything else) and are trying to ridicule commies (and myself) either as making man into mindless clones of one another or as trying to maximise equality of opportunity without creating equality of endowment (which in your books is impossible).

    Either that or you genuinely believe that "Governments should genertically modify all humans so that they, somehown, will always be the same. mutations will have to be controlled obviously." in which case you can only be some ridiculously authoritarian and strange mutilation of Maoism which does not exists outside the net (I am not discussing Maoism itself). Either way, understand that the goal of anarchists is to remove the power that one may use to coerce others by destroying the state and capitalism.

    My point when I started rambling on about equality (which I shouldn't really need to but people on this site seem to be utterly ignorant as to the true nature of communism) was that we do not wish to surpress individuality. I hope you understand that by maximising both the individual and the society that the individual develops in we will improve everyone's lives.

    Good luck modifying genetics
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    Of course the talented should thrive. Creating a society in which the talented thrive encourages people to actually use their talents to the best of their ability. The world would be a worse place if Wayne Rooney had decided to become a scientist, or if Stephen Hawking had decided to become a footballer. But instead, they did what they were best at, so that they might thrive as a result.

    I think what socialists are against is a society in which people's wealth plays such a big part in how much they are able to thrive later on - not because it is to do with "luck", but because, while a poor person may be naturally talented, their circumstances arising from lack of wealth may give them much less of an opportunity to use and develop their talents to their full potential.
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    Well you personally may not benefit, but many, many people are interested in football and would receive great pleasure from watching him play: maximising utility for the greatest number. It's pretty basic consequential moral philosophy.

    Seeing as you brought up "freedoms": what do you think of the government impinging upon my freedom to mow you down with my car because I dislike the colour you're wearing? I would expect you think its terrible that they take away my freedom like that? Bear with me, I have a point: one person's "freedom" is another person's loss of freedom. Freedom is a zero sum game. If we had no government at all, life would simply be a case of "might is right". Hence the reason we appoint a government in the first place: to decide whose freedoms take priority in any given circumstance.

    To talk of "freedom" vs "equality" as if they are on a sliding scale is ridiculous. The "freedom" you are talking about is merely the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor without fear of retribution. Hardly a particular just notion of freedom is it now?
    What you're not considering in the argument about the footballer is all those footballers on whom people spent time and money for them not to make the grade, draining other areas in which they could have excelled. Everything is an economy, and accounts always balance. One good investment implies several bad ones; one successful company implies many failed ones.
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    As people have pointed out - Socialists do not believe the talented should not thrive. It's more that we believe you should be able to thrive regardless of which background you are from. The fact that the rich have much more opportunity to thrive because of capitalism, whereas the poor do not have the same opportunities (note I am not saying they have no opportunities, it is just limited), is what is the problem in my opinion.
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      (Original post by tazarooni89)
      ...
      I think what socialists are against is a society in which people's wealth plays such a big part in how much they are able to thrive later on - not because it is to do with "luck", but because, while a poor person may be naturally talented, their circumstances arising from lack of wealth may give them much less of an opportunity to use and develop their talents to their full potential.
      Well, yes, it is partly about the extent to which differentials in wealth make for differentials in success between those who might otherwise have equal talents. But socialists like myself would also place some emphasis on the extent to which 'talent' itself is actually an emergent property of favourable economic and social conditions. It's not just that growing up in a home with a grand piano and piano-playing parents, say, helps the 'innately gifted' child pianist maximise their talent but that such talent may well be substantively generated by those advantageous circumstances.
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      (Original post by Arekkusu)
      What you're not considering in the argument about the footballer is all those footballers on whom people spent time and money for them not to make the grade, draining other areas in which they could have excelled. Everything is an economy, and accounts always balance. One good investment implies several bad ones; one successful company implies many failed ones.
      Well no, I don't see why it would necessarily be the case in a well run economic system that every good outcome necessarily implies the same number of bad outcomes. It is perfectly feasible to imagine two countries, one in which people end up in vocations that they possess the aptitude for, and one in which they do not.

      One of the points of the socialist concept is to avoid the circumstance where time and money is wasted on people who are not suited for that role.
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      Oops kinda lost the argument thing here.. anyway..

      No what you lefties want is equality of result. If you have say someone like me (small, girl, pathetic runner) run against Usain Bolt. You would like the outcome to be the same - ie. a draw. So to do this you could give me extra training - because after all, I haven't had the training he has. But actually I don't want to be a runner. I can't be bothered. Now, the race organisers are spending all this money on my training when I can't even be bothered to run yet they keep spending it on me. That's not fair on Usain Bolt is it? Because he actually bothered to train when he started. True equality of result would be you'd put me like 2 cm from the finish, say go and we finish at the same time but that's not fair either, because he has to run a lot faster and further than me.

      Now, it's right to let Usain Bolt thrive and reach his full potential, surely?
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      (Original post by Summergirl.x)
      Oops kinda lost the argument thing here.. anyway..

      No what you lefties want is equality of result. If you have say someone like me (small, girl, pathetic runner) run against Usain Bolt. You would like the outcome to be the same - ie. a draw. So to do this you could give me extra training - because after all, I haven't had the training he has. But actually I don't want to be a runner. I can't be bothered. Now, the race organisers are spending all this money on my training when I can't even be bothered to run yet they keep spending it on me. That's not fair on Usain Bolt is it? Because he actually bothered to train when he started. True equality of result would be you'd put me like 2 cm from the finish, say go and we finish at the same time but that's not fair either, because he has to run a lot faster and further than me.

      Now, it's right to let Usain Bolt thrive and reach his full potential, surely?

      I don't know what lefties you know, but I assure you that the idea that socialism desires an equality of result for every citizen is absurd. I have a feeling that someone with right wing views told you that is "what lefties want."

      All we want is a genuinely level playing field where everyone can reach his potential on his own merits. What we don't want is a 100m race where you can pay 10 grand for a 5 second head start.
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      (Original post by py0alb)
      I don't know what lefties you know, but I assure you that the idea that socialism desires an equality of result for every citizen is absurd. I have a feeling that someone with right wing views told you that is "what lefties want."

      All we want is a genuinely level playing field where everyone can reach his potential on his own merits. What we don't want is a 100m race where you can pay 10 grand for a 5 second head start.
      That would be my politics teacher :') But his ideas make sense. I just can't explain them that well :/ He talks too fast...

      But then that is getting rid of the freedom of parents choosing where to put their money. If someone wants to give their money to their children's education I think they should. I think the state schools should be better than they are right now, so everyone can reach their potential.
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        (Original post by Summergirl.x)
        No what you lefties want...
        Surely you'd agree that your needs to eat, be clothed and have shelter are comparable to Bolt's? Regardless of what unearned advantages (genetic or environmental) there may be in either of your abilities to secure such food, clothing and shelter, you both equally need these things and by, more or less, equal measure. This is the kind of thing we lefties are really talking about.
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        (Original post by Summergirl.x)
        Oops kinda lost the argument thing here.. anyway..

        No what you lefties want is equality of result. If you have say someone like me (small, girl, pathetic runner) run against Usain Bolt. You would like the outcome to be the same - ie. a draw. So to do this you could give me extra training - because after all, I haven't had the training he has. But actually I don't want to be a runner. I can't be bothered. Now, the race organisers are spending all this money on my training when I can't even be bothered to run yet they keep spending it on me. That's not fair on Usain Bolt is it? Because he actually bothered to train when he started. True equality of result would be you'd put me like 2 cm from the finish, say go and we finish at the same time but that's not fair either, because he has to run a lot faster and further than me.

        Now, it's right to let Usain Bolt thrive and reach his full potential, surely?
        *Sigh

        (Original post by AnarchistFAQ)
        As mentioned in above, anarchists are dedicated to social equality because it is the only context in which individual liberty can flourish. However, there has been much nonsense written about "equality," and much of what is commonly believed about it is very strange indeed. Before discussing what anarchist do mean by equality, we have to indicate what we do not mean by it.

        Anarchists do not believe in "equality of endowment," which is not only non-existent but would be very undesirable if it could be brought about. Everyone is unique. Biologically determined human differences not only exist but are "a cause for joy, not fear or regret." Why? Because "life among clones would not be worth living, and a sane person will only rejoice that others have abilities that they do not share." [Noam Chomsky, Marxism, Anarchism, and Alternative Futures, p. 782]

        That some people seriously suggest that anarchists means by "equality" that everyone should be identical is a sad reflection on the state of present-day intellectual culture and the corruption of words -- a corruption used to divert attention from an unjust and authoritarian system and side-track people into discussions of biology. "The uniqueness of the self in no way contradicts the principle of equality," noted Erich Fromm, "The thesis that men are born equal implies that they all share the same fundamental human qualities, that they share the same basic fate of human beings, that they all have the same inalienable claim on freedom and happiness. It furthermore means that their relationship is one of solidarity, not one of domination-submission. What the concept of equality does not mean is that all men are alike." [The Fear of Freedom, p. 228] Thus it would be fairer to say that anarchists seek equality because we recognise that everyone is different and, consequently, seek the full affirmation and development of that uniqueness.

        Nor are anarchists in favour of so-called "equality of outcome." We have no desire to live in a society were everyone gets the same goods, lives in the same kind of house, wears the same uniform, etc. Part of the reason for the anarchist revolt against capitalism and statism is that they standardise so much of life (see George Reitzer's The McDonaldisation of Society on why capitalism is driven towards standardisation and conformity). In the words of Alexander Berkman:



        "The spirit of authority, law, written and unwritten, tradition and custom force us into a common grove and make a man [or woman] a will-less automation without independence or individuality. . . All of us are its victims, and only the exceptionally strong succeed in breaking its chains, and that only partly." [What is Anarchism?, p. 165]



        Anarchists, therefore, have little to desire to make this "common grove" even deeper. Rather, we desire to destroy it and every social relationship and institution that creates it in the first place.

        "Equality of outcome" can only be introduced and maintained by force, which would not be equality anyway, as some would have more power than others! "Equality of outcome" is particularly hated by anarchists, as we recognise that every individual has different needs, abilities, desires and interests. To make all consume the same would be tyranny. Obviously, if one person needs medical treatment and another does not, they do not receive an "equal" amount of medical care. The same is true of other human needs. As Alexander Berkman put it:



        "equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity. . . Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse in fact."



        "Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality.

        "Far from levelling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse . . . Free opportunity of expressing and acting out your individuality means development of natural dissimilarities and variations." [Op. Cit., pp. 164-5]



        For anarchists, the "concepts" of "equality" as "equality of outcome" or "equality of endowment" are meaningless. However, in a hierarchical society, "equality of opportunity" and "equality of outcome" are related. Under capitalism, for example, the opportunities each generation face are dependent on the outcomes of the previous ones. This means that under capitalism "equality of opportunity" without a rough "equality of outcome" (in the sense of income and resources) becomes meaningless, as there is no real equality of opportunity for the off-spring of a millionaire and that of a road sweeper. Those who argue for "equality of opportunity" while ignoring the barriers created by previous outcomes indicate that they do not know what they are talking about -- opportunity in a hierarchical society depends not only on an open road but also upon an equal start. From this obvious fact springs the misconception that anarchists desire "equality of outcome" -- but this applies to a hierarchical system, in a free society this would not the case (as we will see).

        Equality, in anarchist theory, does not mean denying individual diversity or uniqueness. As Bakunin observes:



        "once equality has triumphed and is well established, will various individuals' abilities and their levels of energy cease to differ? Some will exist, perhaps not so many as now, but certainly some will always exist. It is proverbial that the same tree never bears two identical leaves, and this will probably be always be true. And it is even more truer with regard to human beings, who are much more complex than leaves. But this diversity is hardly an evil. On the contrary. . . it is a resource of the human race. Thanks to this diversity, humanity is a collective whole in which the one individual complements all the others and needs them. As a result, this infinite diversity of human individuals is the fundamental cause and the very basis of their solidarity. It is all-powerful argument for equality." ["All-Round Education", The Basic Bakunin, pp. 117-8]



        Equality for anarchists means social equality, or, to use Murray Bookchin's term, the "equality of unequals" (some like Malatesta used the term "equality of conditions" to express the same idea). By this he means that an anarchist society recognises the differences in ability and need of individuals but does not allow these differences to be turned into power. Individual differences, in other words, "would be of no consequence, because inequality in fact is lost in the collectivity when it cannot cling to some legal fiction or institution." [Michael Bakunin, God and the State, p. 53]

        If hierarchical social relationships, and the forces that create them, are abolished in favour of ones that encourage participation and are based on the principle of "one person, one vote" then natural differences would not be able to be turned into hierarchical power. For example, without capitalist property rights there would not be means by which a minority could monopolise the means of life (machinery and land) and enrich themselves by the work of others via the wages system and usury (profits, rent and interest). Similarly, if workers manage their own work, there is no class of capitalists to grow rich off their labour. Thus Proudhon:



        "Now, what can be the origin of this inequality?



        "As we see it, . . . that origin is the realisation within society of this triple abstraction: capital, labour and talent.

        "It is because society has divided itself into three categories of citizen corresponding to the three terms of the formula. . . that caste distinctions have always been arrived at, and one half of the human race enslaved to the other. . . socialism thus consists of reducing the aristocratic formula of capital-labour-talent into the simpler formula of labour!. . . in order to make every citizen simultaneously, equally and to the same extent capitalist, labourer and expert or artist." [No Gods, No Masters, vol. 1, pp. 57-8]



        Like all anarchists, Proudhon saw this integration of functions as the key to equality and freedom and proposed self-management as the means to achieve it. Thus self-management is the key to social equality. Social equality in the workplace, for example, means that everyone has an equal say in the policy decisions on how the workplace develops and changes. Anarchists are strong believers in the maxim "that which touches all, is decided by all."

        This does not mean, of course, that expertise will be ignored or that everyone will decide everything. As far as expertise goes, different people have different interests, talents, and abilities, so obviously they will want to study different things and do different kinds of work. It is also obvious that when people are ill they consult a doctor -- an expert -- who manages his or her own work rather than being directed by a committee. We are sorry to have to bring these points up, but once the topics of social equality and workers' self-management come up, some people start to talk nonsense. It is common sense that a hospital managed in a socially equal way will not involve non-medical staff voting on how doctors should perform an operation!

        In fact, social equality and individual liberty are inseparable. Without the collective self-management of decisions that affect a group (equality) to complement the individual self-management of decisions that affect the individual (liberty), a free society is impossible. For without both, some will have power over others, making decisions for them (i.e. governing them), and thus some will be more free than others. Which implies, just to state the obvious, anarchists seek equality in all aspects of life, not just in terms of wealth. Anarchists "demand for every person not just his [or her] entire measure of the wealth of society but also his [or her] portion of social power." [Malatesta and Hamon, No Gods, No Masters, vol. 2, p. 20] Thus self-management is needed to ensure both liberty and equality.

        Social equality is required for individuals to both govern and express themselves, for the self-management it implies means "people working in face-to-face relations with their fellows in order to bring the uniqueness of their own perspective to the business of solving common problems and achieving common goals." [George Benello, From the Ground Up, p. 160] Thus equality allows the expression of individuality and so is a necessary base for individual liberty.

        Section F.3 ("Why do 'anarcho'-capitalists place little or no value on equality?") discusses anarchist ideas on equality further. Noam Chomsky's essay "Equality" (contained in The Chomsky Reader) is a good summary of libertarian ideas on the subject.
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        (Original post by Oswy)
        Surely you'd agree that your needs to eat, be clothed and have shelter are comparable to Bolt's? Regardless of what unearned advantages (genetic or environmental) there may be in either of your abilities to secure such food, clothing and shelter, you both equally need these things and by, more or less, equal measure. This is the kind of thing we lefties are really talking about.
        Well I do believe in a basic social net. No one should be left to starve homeless without actually having purposely insuring that they do. But they shouldn't be a large burden on the rest of society.

        (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
        *Sigh
        That long post you quoted. Seriously. You need to cut it down, I'm not going to read it when it's that long. I'm not that interested in the debate here :')
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        (Original post by Summergirl.x)
        That long post you quoted. Seriously. You need to cut it down, I'm not going to read it when it's that long. I'm not that interested in the debate here :')
        My point was that you lack fundamental understanding of socialism and that you need to read about the ideology before you start criticising it.

        Just read the first few paragraphs. You will see why you are wrong.
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          (Original post by Summergirl.x)
          Well I do believe in a basic social net. No one should be left to starve homeless without actually having purposely insuring that they do. But they shouldn't be a large burden on the rest of society...
          Except that the burden on society is actually that group - the capitalists - who monopolise land, resources and markets which thus alienate and exploit the remainder. When the capitalists have no need to exploit you, of course, and you suffer unemployment, or underemployment, you are characterised as 'a burden' on them! It's a neat trick, but an entirely fraudulent one.
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            (Original post by AnarchistNutter)
            My point was that you lack fundamental understanding of socialism and that you need to read about the ideology before you start criticising it.

            Just read the first few paragraphs. You will see why you are wrong.
            I get the impression that 'summergirl' doesn't do 'reading', she's too busy having opinions for that nonsense
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            i think OP's point was, how can socialists differentiate between talent and monetary privilege?

            Both are outside a persons control, are down to pure luck, and directly effect how well you will do in life. The people arguing against the OP claim that they want to allow people to reach their potential. Everyone varies in potential just like everyone varies in monetary privilege at birth. Both are factors outside a persons control. Why the differentiation?
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            (Original post by Oswy)
            Except that the burden on society is actually that group - the capitalists - who monopolise land, resources and markets which thus alienate and exploit the remainder. When the capitalists have no need to exploit you, of course, and you suffer unemployment, or underemployment, you are characterised as 'a burden' on them! It's a neat trick, but an entirely fraudulent one.
            Haaa. They don't. They play by the rules: you do well at school. you earn you money. you spend your money.
            Nothing wrong in that.
            Your choice of words twist the truth until its untrue.
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              (Original post by Summergirl.x)
              Haaa. They don't. They play by the rules: you do well at school. you earn you money. you spend your money.
              Nothing wrong in that.
              Your choice of words twist the truth until its untrue.
              This debate is clearly way over your head, you can't see that? Seriously, have you ever, like, read a book?

              The 'rules' under capitalism distinctively favour the capitalists. They use their monopolisation of things like land and resources (and which includes things like money and good education) to dominate those who do not. That monopolisation means that the rest of us must work for them, to make them richer, otherwise, if they don't want us to work for them we suffer unemployment - because we've been long alientated from any power to directly secure our needs. Everything is wrong with that.
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              (Original post by Oswy)
              Well, yes, it is partly about the extent to which differentials in wealth make for differentials in success between those who might otherwise have equal talents. But socialists like myself would also place some emphasis on the extent to which 'talent' itself is actually an emergent property of favourable economic and social conditions. It's not just that growing up in a home with a grand piano and piano-playing parents, say, helps the 'innately gifted' child pianist maximise their talent but that such talent may well be substantively generated by those advantageous circumstances.
              Of course, I agree - talent can not only be nurtured but actually be generated by certain conditions. But in what way would you "place emphasis" on this?

              Are you suggesting that our society should not be one which rewards talent, because the existence of that talent can be merely the result of fortunate conditions? Or are you saying our society should control and regulate each child's upbringing in order to distribute the creation of talent equally amongst all children?
              Should society be attempting to change this? If so, is there any reasonable way to do so?

              I can see what you've pointed out, but I'm not really sure what you're suggesting that the implications of this are. Perhaps you could explain further?
             
             
             
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