Turn on thread page Beta

Socialism has never worked in any country and at any time in history watch

    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    A general principle which has always stood me in good stead is that whenever you think that some famous philosopher is stupidly wrong, make sure that it's not yourself who is stupidly wrong. I'd like to see your argument on Nozick's theory, but forgive me if I doubt that it's going to be especially persuasive.
    Bizarre... Rawls and Nozick have contradictory theories of distributive justice. To agree with either, I must believe the other to be wrong. Do you just believe whatever you read in books on account of the authors fame? I'd recommend you do a bit of a study on Anarchy, State, and Utopia's (really rather woolly) reputation if fame is such an important barometer to you.

    I don't want to get into a massive discourse on this, especially since the arguments against Nozick's theories are well known, but concisely:

    1. There is no reason that mixing your labour with land and improving your value causes you to own land. It does not follow. Surely you just lose your labour.

    2. The proviso is broken from the first taking of land into private property- I am harmed as my previous right to use that land is removed, and my liberty is so damaged.

    3. Latecomers are harmed by entrenched inequality, and there is no more free land for them.

    4. Even if the principle of acquisition made sense- it does not justify how land actually came to be originally owned- i.e. through violent coercion generally. He has a principle of rectification, but how on earth do you work out who is owed rectification to, how much it is worth, or what the specifics of an original acquisition were and in what way particular people were harmed? And also, the people who made all there acquisitions have long since ceased to exit- are we to punish their ancestors?

    As for the part about ownership, your reasoning is... interesting. How did you derive this: "surely land ownership is so important that everyone should have some" from this "If society can't function without the ownership of land"? It doesn't follow by any means, and, in fact, is contradictory given reasonably weak empirical premises (if you had read Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument carefully, you'd see it too). Everyone having land is incompatible with a society where land is privately owned - if people start off owning land, some of them will sell theirs, trade it for other goods, etc. The result will be a society where not everyone owns land. If you then continually redistribute land in order to equalize it, then no-one really owns their land in the first place.
    I was being facetious, well done for realizing. I don't think anyone should land, and they definitely can't own it in any satisfactory way philosophically. Why would anyone support a system, that by your own admission, fundamentally requires that only a rich minority can own land, meaning that arbitrary inequality is completely unavoidable?

    And I have studied Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument. I believe it is undermined by Nocik's failure to take account of the effects the transfer of wealth in this way has on non-spectators- i.e. the majority of people. I have no problem with Wilt playing basketball, but amassing such a huge amount of private capital is harmful to society as it accelerates the rise in inequality, and is used to do harmful things- Wilt will push up prices for everyone by buying up land and so on. Also, it gives him power. People with lots of money buy political influence, and use this power to defend the interests of the wealthy, further entrenching the inequality.

    But anyway, even if Wilt just buries his money in the forest and never uses it, others still have the right to take offence. Nozick's principles of contract and transfer are all fundamentally linked to consent. Very few people actually consented to chamberlain's wealth.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Of course we can separate out the different incidents of ownership if we have to; there are rights of possession, use, management, alienability, to the income, capital, etc etc. But it sounds to me as though most if not all of the features of standard liberal ownership are inevitably going to be present in whatever relation the workers of some factory enter into with respect to that factory.

    How far do you want to go with ensuring that 'other people affected by the decision' have a say? I mean, I'm affected by the ownership of some factory by its workers in the sense that I can't now appropriate that factory, I can't walk in there and throw spanners everywhere, the goods produced there affect the market price I pay for them, and so on. Does this mean I get a say in how it is run? What sort of say? If everyone gets a say, how are any decisions ever to be made? Do they require unanimous consent amongst every single one of the people who get a say (if so, don't you think this means that the whole population will starve in reality)? Or is it fine and dandy if some disagree and get overridden? If so, what justifies the overriding of some people's wishes over the wishes of any others?
    You missed the bit about 'no markets and no ownership', clearly :p: But yes, in a system with democratic planning of the economy you would get a say in what gets made and how it's done. In terms of people overriding one another, the whole point is free association - there's nothing stopping you leaving.

    The fact that all of these questions can be asked, and (IMO) have no clear nor salient answers shows, to me at least, that this is really no theory of property at all. It's often instructive to think of the institution of private property in economic terms, as a way (which has evolved over long periods of time) of resolving these questions with minimal transaction costs. That is, when someone owns something, it is clear and perspicuous who gets to make decisions with respect to that thing: the owner. With your theory of property, it seems that this doesn't even get off the ground - all of the hard questions in this regard still need to be solved, unlike liberal/libertarian theories of property which certainly have a good stab at solving them.
    Yeah, this system perhaps is a little bit more complex than private property - that doesn't mean it's worse overall.

    Sure I do; I lose the ability to (rightfully) enslave you, kill you, harvest your organs for sale, etc etc. My point was that self ownership is exactly analogous to ownership of things in the external world from the point of view of infringements of liberty. If my being restricted from taking an apple from a tree is an infringement of my liberty, it's very hard to see how my being restricted from, say, cutting someone's hair off (against their will) is not an infringement of my liberty.
    Well, OK, let's say you're right - surely we should be looking to minimise the infringement of liberty.


    Hayek has a point, which recurs occasionally throughout his work, that the word 'social' is a weasel - because, just as a weasel empties eggs without leaving a visible sign, the word 'social' stealthily sucks the meaning out of any word it is prefixed to. For instance 'social justice' is not really justice, 'social progress' is not really progress, what is 'socially necessary' is not really necessary, and so on. My point is that 'social ownership' is very much an ambiguous term with not a lot of determinate content. I kind of want to pin you down on the specifics of what, exactly, 'social ownership' is.
    I'm rapidly losing any faith I once had in Hayek. Social ownership is simply a phrase I was using to refer to what I was describing above. We can call it 'none-ownership' or 'common ownership' or 'anarchist ownership' if you like. I don't really care that much.

    The same, I think, goes for 'collective management' and 'democratic planning system.'
    Pffft. This is just burying your head in the sand.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Reaver)
    I know someone who was reported by a cab driver for slandering Castro, this was in the mid 90s. He was beaten up by police and sent home. Sounds lovely.
    But apart from this I've only heard good things.

    Btw is that Chris Liley in your avatar? The guy's a ******* pisser:yes:
    I've been living in Miami for over a year now and I have NEVER heard anything good about Cuba's government from any member of the Cuban-majority population. Most use terms like "dictatorship" or "island jail" to describe the place and are thankful they were able to escape.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by scanningforlifeforms)
    i'd be interested to know how you define capitalism 'working'. If the aims of capitalism are to make a small elite very well off at the expense of the majority, then yes, it's worked. Unfortunatelty the 'trickle down theory of wealth' the tories like to spout is ******** and everyone knows it.
    Wealth has always trickled down from the richer to the poorer. There's no way to get away from this.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    How are the small elite well off at the expense of the majority? The majority do very well in this country, much better than any communist/ex-communist hellhole
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Really? We've had 10 years of ultra-capitalist government and the gap between rich and poor has increased

    And the elite exploit the majority to gain their wealth, that's how capitalism works. While they may be better off, they are certainly not well off comparative to the others in the UK.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Tell me how we are exploited in anyway? Tell me how the gap between the rich or the poor is a. a bad thing? or b. any of our business?
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by cucumber sandwich)
    Wealth has always trickled down from the richer to the poorer. There's no way to get away from this.
    Well actually the gap between rich and poor is increasing, which would suggest that wealth trickles from the poor to the rich.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by scanningforlifeforms)
    Really? We've had 10 years of ultra-capitalist government and the gap between rich and poor has increased

    And the elite exploit the majority to gain their wealth, that's how capitalism works. While they may be better off, they are certainly not well off comparative to the others in the UK.
    The gap doesnt matter. Under capitalism all incomes increase. Socialists don't seem to mind if the poor get poorer as long as the rich get even poorer.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by usainlightning)
    The gap doesnt matter. Under capitalism all incomes increase. Socialists don't seem to mind if the poor get poorer as long as the rich get even poorer.
    1. The gap does matter.
    2. The poor are getting poorer. Value of benefits and average wages is increasing at a rate slower than the rate of inflation, i.e. a real term decrease.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nikdc5)
    1. The gap does matter.
    2. The poor are getting poorer. Value of benefits and average wages is increasing at a rate slower than the rate of inflation, i.e. a real term decrease.
    So you actually car about those scroungers who sit at home all day andblame greedy capitalists for all their woes?
    If you earn an average wage that doesn't mean your poor.
    The gap doen't matter? Why should someone whose earning more than they did under a socialist goverment care about how rich someone else is. It's just pure jealousy.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by usainlightning)
    So you actually car about those scroungers who sit at home all day andblame greedy capitalists for all their woes?
    If you earn an average wage that doesn't mean your poor.
    The gap doen't matter? Why should someone whose earning more than they did under a socialist goverment care about how rich someone else is. It's just pure jealousy.
    I do care yes, because I don't believe that anyone chooses (purposely) to become a scrounger. We are products of our environment. Society creates freeloaders, and refuses to change to deal with them.

    If you earn average wage you are not poor, but are getting poorer.

    Socialists aren't jealous of high earners- they think they are dangerous to societal harmony, have too much political power, and that they don't deserve their wealth (they may deserve more than a less skilled/dedicated/whatever person, but they do not deserve 1million times more). Also, a lot of wealthy people are only wealthy because they were born wealthy. And money makes money - if you already have capital it is easy to invest and get more (even if you just stick a million in a high interest bank account you are guaranteed a decent monthly income without doing any work at all). The odds are stacked in favour of the wealthy and against the poor majority.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by usainlightning)
    The gap doesnt matter. Under capitalism all incomes increase. Socialists don't seem to mind if the poor get poorer as long as the rich get even poorer.
    A slave in 1840 was better off than a slave in 1740. Doesn't magically make slavery ok.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gremlins)
    A slave in 1840 was better off than a slave in 1740. Doesn't magically make slavery ok.
    Nice strawman taken from Chomsky. :yes:
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Nice strawman taken from Chomsky. :yes:
    Yeah, it is from Chomsky. It's not a strawman though. Just because something generates wealth doesn't mean it's necessarily good.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nikdc5)
    1. The gap does matter.
    2. The poor are getting poorer. Value of benefits and average wages is increasing at a rate slower than the rate of inflation, i.e. a real term decrease.
    1. No it doesn't. (Asserting your way to victory is fun!)
    2. No they aren't (see below); and if you look at consumption inequality rather than wage inequality, the gap is actually reducing.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    1. No it doesn't. (Asserting your way to victory is fun!)
    2. No they aren't (see below); and if you look at consumption inequality rather than wage inequality, the gap is actually reducing.
    I explain why I think the wealth gap matters a few posts up.

    I was referring to the real value of salaries falling this year in particular, due to below inflation pay rises. But I saw a statistic the other day that said that if JSA had risen in line with inflation since the 1980s it would be about £100 a week now, so the lowest placed in society have certainly lost out.

    That is an interesting statistic about consumption levels, although your chart is not relevant to it. If anything, it would be better for the rich to have much higher levels of consumption (although not really environmentally) because that means that the excess earnings of the wealthy 1. constitute a very large chunk of their earnings, and 2. are being invested. Money makes money, and the rich are entrenching themselves.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gremlins)
    Yeah, it is from Chomsky. It's not a strawman though. Just because something generates wealth doesn't mean it's necessarily good.
    I agree that just because something generates wealth doesn't mean it is good. I'm not a materialist. But it is the comparision with slavery that is dishonest.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Erm, what about SWEDEN? Hugely socialist, very succesful country. Low crime rate, fantastic education system, low level of corruption, etc.
 
 
 
The home of Results and Clearing

2,443

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?
Useful resources

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.