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  1. Of course and I agree with you entirely. But how many times can we see today that people are not taking care of their precious infants. Taking care of your infant and really taking care of your infant are two different things. My parents could have raised me by walking on that precious line of what is tolerated and what is not tolerated when raising a child. I'm lucky they chose to adhere to the laws concerning raising childres and a bit extra to make my life happier. But I can very well understand those those laws and regulations, in a capitalist, society will diminish more so the goverment will have much less to say about this. This in order not to infringe an individuals rights(wich are rightfully very important). I could very well imagine that the lower ends of the population would not be able to give their children the same life as other children, perhaps not even able to sent them to school (which would be private schools in a capitalist society of course). I realise there is no right to schooling and the right to education. I also realise that the society would have great importance in raising it's next generation work force. I can also very well imagine companies donating funds to raise the next generation work force. My only problem with this would be that the curriculum would/could be very narrow and the amount of schooling spaces would be somewhat limited. Do you find my concerns rational and logical or do you believe I schould look at this matter in a different perspective? Yes of course. I refere to my previous statement on this issue. Yes thank you. My main questions/arguments have been answered very satisfactory in this thread. But some issues I still find difficult to deal with as you say so yourself. The position handicapped, infants and other less fortunates is still not very clear to me. I haven't been able to find much information about this either sadly. I could rationalize that those would indeed be dependent on charity organisations, relatives, aquintances. Or I could rationalize that those individuals are unable to take care of themselves and therefor the goverment has a function in this. The definition of the goverments fucntion relating this is yet undifined of course.
  2. First of all thank you for replying to my questions I have in such a constructed manner. I have been receiving some mails from people who are concerned that my reasons for comming here are not in line with this forum policy. So I will explain. I haven't come here to debunk the ideas of Objectivism, but I've sincerely come here to learn more about it. I know I can be very controversial and hard-headed when faced with matters I can't grasp or if it somehow conflicts with my current views. Capitalism currently still conflicts with my current views, but that isn't stopping me from learning more about it. Through my questions and the answers I get on them from you and with reading more about it I find myself understanding Objectivism more and more. As I said i'm currently well on my way to finishing Ayn Rand's book and next on my list is another book I got as reading recommendation. I happened to walk into a political debate the other day in my city hall(the Hague, Netherlands) and found myself talking with a liberal politician from a big political group here in the netherlands that is also currently represented in the current goverment. He recommended a book called: In defense of global capitalism by Norquist. I just ordered that book and it's next on my reading list along with some work by Nietzsche. So as it may seem that I'm trying to debunk issues or whatever i'm actually using my way to get more familiar with the subject. And yes I can critiscise some matters rigourlesly if I see conflicts. I don't believe this is a crime. Criticism should never be avoided. If noone ever criticsed anything we'd very well could still be living under the impression that the earth is flat. I must run for now, I will try to respond to this thread later on the day.
  3. So you would argue that no deed of Utilitarianism, no matter how "noble" or no matter if 99.99%of the pop would feel it nescessary? I'd say that doesn't contribute to the overall hapiness if such things are not open for option in a given society. It's not a tribal dicision that is made, it's a dicision made by single individuals who feel their rights are enhanched by such legislation. I'd call it the Dynamics of politics in a given society. A condition a a given society could change dramatically for external reasons. The survivial of a given political-economic structure must lay in the fact that it adapts to the situation at hand. seems fair. I understand how regualtions could do this. According to Ayn Rand the recession of 1929 was a clear example of this. Yet a good and proper goverment would not have any reasons to hold a community back. Yet the whims of the individual could. This is not true. Evilness and goodness are very unclear defined subjects open to debate. A individual, in my opinion, must be able to pursue his own happiness without being forced to do otherwise. Yet one individual in his quest for his happiness could harm other individuals indirectly by merely believing he is on his own on this world and his own moral standars rule supreme over those of others. A group of individuals with, more or less, the same moral standards and goals function as a tribe. This combined group of individuals might very well find it morally correct if there is an organ with the sole task of ensuring that their morals are upheld and not damamged directly or indirectly by the actions of a single individual. They even could decide that, over time, their morals will change and that the organ should upheld other morals now, for example going more and more capitalistic and less socialistic or the other way around. This is not true. There is no such thing as observing reality objectively. All obersavations are subjective. Throughout humanities existance reality has had very different forms. Not so long ago we all believed the reality was that the earth was flat. We also we believed rationally and objectively that we are the middle of the universe and that everything revolves around us. Reality is very much open for debate still and a majority vote does not decide reality .i.e. Facts do not exists outside our own minds. All facts are obersvations and thus not objective. Does someone who is able to spot ghosts oberserve reality? History is fiction agreed upon someone once said. Our reality are observations agreed upon and since all oberservations are subjective we can argue that reality itself is very subjective and in no way factual. Where i'm going with this is that we ourselves create our own reality. We do this by majority vote of the individual co-functioning in something we named a tribe. Therefor I would argue that the majority of individuals should always be dominant is proclaiming the better morals in any given tribe. This right that Ayn Rand speaks of is in no way inherent. Like I stated before a individual does not have the right to life just mererly becuase the individual is born. A tribe that has become oversatuared with individuals might very well decide that it is in the best interest of the majority of individuals(also decided by the majority of individuals) that the newly born individual should not have any life. This could be decided because the birth of this individual might directly/indirecltly harm other individuals.
  4. I alsmolst fell for your comparison, but it's not the same. Your comparision deals quite well with similar circumstances in a capitalist society. A great soccer player is able to play for a great soccer club, since he is very well able to compete on the labor market for such a function. Also is he able to start up his own soccer club. It's not likely the soccer club business will become oversaturated, since the amount of very talented personell required to make a great soccer club is limited. In this comparision specific trained personell compete with one another on the labor market. My question was directly aimed at the agricultural sector. Starting up a soccer team or working for a soccer team is not the same as dealing with limited amounts of land and trying to start up your own farm. You cannot compete with land owners if you can't aquire any. Nor can you compete with mining companies, since the amounts of mines is strictly limited to the geographical situation in a given geographical area. but I remember something that Ayn Rand wrote on this subject that seems very appropriate on this. I believe Ayn Rand describes that when a business that has natural limitations(such as mining) aquires a monopoly and utilises this to raise prices, lower wages, etc. Then the natural occurence will be that substitute materials will be used instead of the mined materials. An example was ALCOA(aluminium) in Canada, which has a near monopolistic posistion in that branche. ALCOA is able to maintain this because prices, etc are all well within bounds.
  5. So far you have been great in asnwering to my questions and I really appreciate it, though of course you wouldn't have expected to win my heart immediately as is the case I must stay and scrutinize some issues wich you stated( /sigh one can never be pleased, can they) agreed. I would argue that you would tax the society in order to provide for this. You aren't stepping on anyone's right, you are merely cashing in on the fact that everyone would agree that some people need goverment help if they wish to enjoy the same rights that everyone else has, right? Just like you stated in your previous argument. But who will supervise the overal quality of hospitals. Who will control wheter or not my doctor gives me a fair chance of survival. I can imagine that one will start dealing in human organs and in order to get those a smart businessman might find that his patients suddenly got less chance of survival in order to aquire his goods. these are matters a goverment will find hard to check, since they are no authority on such subjects. Maybe the inventor is still earning loads of millions selling refined oil and wants his discovery to be known when there is no more oil in the world. The thing i'm trying to say is that without goverment regulation on such matters one could very well opt never to reveal his discovery untill he or she feels like it. Of course a smart bussinessman would opt to get as much value for his achievement as possible, but then again it all depends on the agenda. Agreed. This is happening on an everyday base in the industries. We can see this at the computer industry. I consider this a great merrit of the free market economy. Again, one would make himself vulnerable to the mercy of others. foregoing the objective greater good. The owner of the large patches of land may very well be interested in someday laying the infrastructure himself, yet doesn't have the funds yet. This could hold back the rural community for years. I'm not saying this will happen, but it is all possible without having some sort of regulations allowing the capitalist state to bloom and prosper. If a capitalist state wishes to stay at the top of it's game it must be dynamic. This meaning that achieving this must mean some sort of utilitarianism. Goes for other govermental forms too of course. Goes without saying. Rational? Rationality is not something objectively decided. It's not a majority vote, nor does it exist in a material sense on any given planet. The economic "invasion" is a slow process that creeps in. In the beginning hard to spot, but when more than 50% of the society is owned by foreign investors it suddenyl becomes apparent. Hard to keep track of such figures since all companies interested in calculating this are private owned of course. The goverment injecting massive funds could well be European countries. They cannot shut European countries out since it's a massively important consumer for the US. Shutting is out with trade barriers would result both ways. This would also mean shutting down the free market internationally for the capitalist country at hand and thus severly damaging the individual rights of the businessman. That would immediatley end the laisez-faire capitalism in the country at hand. The only way it could work is when the majority of the world or the whole world turns to capitalism. A moral industrialist? The overall problem I see throughout this post is that alot of the initiatives comes from the individual. Such as the individual deciding wheter or not infrastructure will be allowed to a community or the individual allow foreign investors or not. These are all matters that are the most essential to any society. A society that protects it's individuals cannot allow such crucial matters to be decided at the whims of a person. There need be strict regulations concerning such matters. One could see private owned highways rising up thhrough the land charging absurd prices for anyone not working for their company or other contracts. You cannot compete with a Highway owner. You cannot built a faster way to get from A to B, because highway owner X already has a road there. As an illustration I would like to point to Cuba in the time of Batista(before 1950's). The vast majority of the land was owned by United fruit company. this company being a US company exported all their goods directly to the US for sale there. Thus all profits comming from that company didn't flow back into the Cuban community, leaving the cubans only with their low wages and the cuban goverment with the Taxes they got from the company. this ofcourse stood in ill comparision of what the country could have earned would it be under direct control of either the goverment or a cuban private companies who competed with their sugar. Such countries with such open markets are vulnerable for monopolies as was the case in Cuba. In other south-american countries the same was seen. Big mining cooperations owned and expolited the country, while there was no room to compete. Of course you cannot open mines just anywhere. Even Ayn Rand reckognises the monopoly vulnerable position of such industries. As I see it you'll need central planning to make the society work. I happen to be a sergeant of the armored infantry in the dutch royal army and in my profession you can very well see how important it is that a select group of people have a bigger overview. A group of men who can instantly see wheter or not my actions will damage another platoon or team. The big stars at the top can see wheter or not I will need a bridge during my operations and will make sure I get that bridge in time at the proper place. Imagine a society without people at the top planning needed infrastructure. We would litteraly cross bridges when we come to them, by then it is too late. I'm very much for a liberal stand concerning politic-economic governing, but a society without a governing organ that keep the bigger overview seems pretty anarchist to me. the general statements I'm making here is that a society needs certain regulations on a political-economic level that invades the individuals rights at some level. This in order to keep the society dynamic and to ensure fair-play from businesses involved. Yes indeed. That is what Ayn Rand wrote. Every man has the right to life and the goverment is there to ensure that right is held up. This also brings other resposiblities, namely the fact there can be circumstances where a person cannot get a life merely because of the fact that he doesn't have the abilities to take care of himself. If I misinterpreted Ayn Rand here please correct me, but I didn't think capitalism took taken a severe darwinistic aproach to life. Should it read then:"Every men has the inherent right to life and to pursue his own happiness without going at the expense of others if he is inherently physically and mentally able to do so".
  6. Alright, I had some questions and comments that I came up with during your reply. One of the most urgent questions I had is written at the bottom. If you choose to reply at nothing then at least answer the last question I had at the bottom of this post. So, conclusion would be then that there is no sure way to protect those individuals rights, am I correct? It all depends on wheter a non-profit org is available there or wheter the retarded person allows himself to be helped? Even more, it is up to 3rd parties who have no obligation whatsoever to help to actually come forth and help him. The essential point I see here is that it all comes down to altruistic behavior. I've read alot about certain important organs being dependent on donations in order to exist. This meaning that there could be limited funds available though those means and that organisations would turn out to be Utilitarian and that altruism offers the existing right to those organisations. At some point in time this may be the case. Especially in smaller countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, etc Technology costs money. And more often than not technology is kept in the freezer untill it is really needed or when it can be exploited as much as possible. We have been kept back alot of years now because the big companies won't "allow" the use of alternative fuels. Also if you look at the electronics market and especially at the dvd market and such, this has been kept back for a long time untill the use of CD-R/rw and such didn't suffice anymore. This being while all the time more advanced tech was readily available. Thus my conclusion would be that although the individual's uniqueness and perserverence and ingenuity would allow for him to uncover great advancements, also actually that individual has the sole right to "hold-back" the greater community with his quest for economic advancement, right? If you look at North-America during 1850 and such a lot of large companies made it impossible for land owners to get any yields from their lands by boycotting them and therefor "focring" them by economical embargo's to give into pressure. Also if a large land-owner would catogorically refuse to give up the land that cuts through the land by 100's of square kilometeres than any infrastructural progress would be severly hampered, right? Again I must repeat that i'm not merely trying to debunk or troll here. I'm sincerely trying to gain more insights into essential problems I encounter with applying capitalism. One of the most urging question I came up with the other day was the following. What if a large state(or multiple), say China(and russia, etc), would buy up large companies, land, etc in a capitalist state and utilise those extra resources to enrich their own society (aka USA United fruit in Cuba). Wouldn't there be a point where all the countries in the world would own a piece of that capitalist state and the native people of that capitalist state own nothing? Thus living in a foreign colony? (I believe this is also a fear the Iraq people have right now, they fear shell, esso and whatmore to take over the oil industry amongst other things)
  7. I've read part 1 to 10 and must say i'm utterly bored up with the series. Part 1 was boring enough to get through, but all the other parts thereafter don't add much spice to the whole story. After reading all 10 parts you can tell exactly what everyone is wearing when going formal, casual and or on holiday. I can tell the names of most farmers in each country and there wives names and I know what clothes they prefer to wear during some national festivity. I know the names of indescrbitive characters who perform guard duties and what their emotional state is during the day. But I can't tell you, if my life depended on it, what the story is actually about and where all of this is going to other than the fact that the last battle is comming somewhere in the future. Probably when Jordan's bank account is fat enough. I wish that Robert Jordan would look more to the writing skills of Weiss and Hickman, they master the act of writing fantasy stories far better. They can conjure of a fluid, spectacular and gripping story like it's nothing. Just read the Dragonlance series as a testimony to their skills.
  8. I've been reading up on Capitalism by Ayn Rand and some questions came up while I was reading this. In the past I considered myself somewhat of a social-democrat, but recently my views have changed. As is stated by capitalists a men's only right is the right to live and therefor the right to pursue happiness without going at the expense of others. This is also what the goverments function must be. To protect the individual rights of men and to pursue those who initiate force against other men. Also it is said that men will be productive because they will be forced to compete with other laborers, because an employer is fully free to employ whomever is chosen. This raised a question: Let us say we have a guy who has a mental problem. He is not fully retared, but inable to compete at the eployment market. His natural right is ofcourse still the right to live and to pursue his own happiness without the expense of others. This guy is inable to find a job on the employment market and also is inable to start for himself. How in a Capitalist society are his rights ensured. He enjoys to right to live, but cannot do so without going at the expense of others. third parties will be needed to ensure his single right. Ofcourse this third party will need funding to do so, but this cannot be done by any govermental funds, because of course this will be an infringment on someone elses individuality by spending his funds in such an inappropriate way. 2nd question: Let us say we have a guy and he wants to be a farmer. He wants to be a farmer because the prices in his country have gone up so much and the quality is so low that he feels it is time to find that opening in the market and cash in on it. This happened because the farmers somehow agreed upon prices and such. (Ayn Rand describes this proces as a natural occurence in such circumstances) In his capitalist society all the land has been bought up by individual land owners and other firms. He is able to obtain funds to buy a patch of land, but all the land ran out. How does a capitalist society deal with this. How is he still able to pursue his own happiness without going at the expense of others? Or did his luck just ran out? third question: In a capitalist society is there a planning office? Is there a planning bureau wich decides when and where roads, houses and other infrastructure is built? Who decides if my patch of land is next up for demolishment for the further increase of the infrastructure? Who decides we need a better infrastructure? Are my individual rights still safe when my patch of land/house is up for demoslishment because a road is to be built there? Or am I evicted by the use of "illegal force"? fourth question: How can an individual who just started up his factory compete with the big business who have much lower expenses, because they have been running for years and have lower costs for various reasons? How is that individual able to pursue his happiness without the expense of others? I can at this point only reason that a mixed society must be the answer. I will explain. Ayn Rand was possibly mistaken in the first place by stating that "the only inherent right men have is the right to live". There is no such thing as the right to live. In animal societies where the population reaches it's saturation point the new youngs are cannibalized for the greater good. From origin human kind is tribal, altruistic and utilitarian. If a men had the inherent right to live then it would have been able to sustain it's own life from the start. How many years is an infant dependable by the whims of it's parents. How many years must the society(the family) sacrifice it's own individual aquired goods to an infant in order to raise it? How many altruistic acts to we suffer before we can act and function alone in society? The tribal essence of which men depend resonates through our daily life. Consider how many altruistic acts are performed each day on a global scale in order to make the tribe survive another day. I wonder how altruistic society will become when faced with immenent destruction by a foreign force. It is without a doubt that human kind has been able to get to the point we are today by Tribalism. consider how many contintents would have been colonized if it weren't for tribalism? Now, as you can clearly read I'm not a pure capitalist nor a strong suporter of liberalism, but I do see a lot of pro's in capitalism. I concur Ayn Rand views on a alot of free market aspects and the fact that individuality is very important. I eagerly await the reponses to further enlighten my views.