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StrictlyLogical posted a topic in Political PhilosophyHypothetical: A very wealthy individual has built an extension on her home which houses an automated factory for the production of flour. The automated factory includes facilities for accepting wheat, grinding it up, doing all the necessary processing and generating flour. Intelligently the factory is arranged so that gasoline, propane, oil, natural gas, or portable electric power, may be supplied to the factory to make it work, and that oil, water, and cleaning supplies may be easily provided to it to ensure proper operation of flour production and self-maintenance and self-cleaning operations. Ingeniously, the premises housing the factory also includes a foundry and various molds, for accepting raw metals and manufacturing of parts, wire, PCBs, computer chips, etc. which form part of the factory which makes the flour. The wealthy individual decides that this automated factory is to be open for business to anyone in her village who wants to produce flour for a fee. The arrangement is first come first serve and the contract involves in exchange for the use of the factory, payment of money and conditions of use: users must supply their own wheat meeting certain conditions to ensure working order of the factory, users must supply the power (gasoline, propane, oil, etc.) required to operate the factory, and other raw operating material such as oils, water, cleaning agents, according to specifications, so that proper self-automated maintenance and cleaning operations may be performed. Part of the deal includes a small deposit of raw materials for part production by the foundry, in anticipation of the need for part replacement, such as iron for main parts, copper for wires, etc. The amount of materials deposited accumulate slowly at a rate designed to cover any replacements for failures of the parts and components of the factory. The deal also requires the user to promise that if something in the factory has broken down, that he is to use the foundry facilities to fashion replacement parts and repair the factory, and to clean up and otherwise put the foundry back to its ready to use state. Replacement instructions and access to broken parts is arranged ingeniously so that no one ever has full access to how the entire flour factory works and the contract prohibits disassembly otherwise. As it turns out the village is full of mechanics working at a nearby (unrelated) aviation factory. Anyone who would be expected to use the flour making facility would likely know someone capable of or be able himself to operate the foundry and take care of the needed repairs to the flour factory. None of the villagers has the knowledge required to build a flour factory, nor are they interested in obtaining it, primarily because, fortunately for all, the price of using the factory to make flour, and all the conditions included, are such that a great many of the villagers voluntarily decide to use the factory rather than buy flour from someone else (its cheaper) and rather than make their own factory. They decide that all things considered it IS in their interest to make flour there. The factory is so well made and automated that the entrance to the facility (which is very well secured) has a computer system for users to obtain information about availability, make reservations, and read and sign any and all contractual agreements. The electronic system is recognized as solemnizing a deal with the wealthy individual (she has "pre-signed"... if you will)... all that is required is agreement by each user to abide by the terms. After 20 years in operation (the factory having paid for itself in the first 3 years), with the wealthy individual only setting foot at the facility a handful of times, very few episodes of down time, only a few attempted security breaches requiring the police, and only two law suits (instituted by the wealthy individual on the basis of breach of terms), a Marxist-Communist and an Objectivist-Capitalist come out of the facility after having gone on a free tour put on by the owner, who happens to love heated philosophical exchanges. The owner looks to both of them and asks with a grin, "What do you think?" Please start the dialogue either as the Marxist-Communist or the Objectivist-Capitalist, stating what you think. Please choose the view which most closely parallels your own view in THIS CONTEXT, and identify yourself as the Marxist-Communist or the Objectivist-Capitalist, and voice your outrage or approval with fervor.
TWO KINDS OF MORALITIES, MARXIST VERSUS THEOLOGICAL I am reading interesting comments about communist morality, in a book devoted to Judaism, published in 1975. The authors are two rabbis, D. Prager and J. Telushkin. A Christian theologian would probably make similar observations. Marxists and theologians, they write, "are both motivated by the desire to perfect the world and establish a utopia on earth. ... Both promote all-encompassing worldviews. But they diametrically oppose one another in almost every other way." The authors remind us that communists rejected "all morality derived from nonhuman [i.e. God] and nonclass concepts," as stated in 1920 by Lenin. ... "Marxist morality sanctions any act so long as that act was committed in the interest of [economic and political] class struggle." Nothing that Stalin, and Mao did was immoral, according to such ideology. Theologians, on the other hand, hold "that morality transcends economic, national, and individual interests." God's commandments are objective rather than subjective. Evil human acts are condemned, no matter what economic or political gains are derived from them. That is the essential difference. Greed in human nature, they emphasize, "may have helped create capitalism, but capitalism did not create greed in human nature." Theologians also deplore social injustice. But they reject brutal proletarian revolutions because "the roots of evil and injustice lie not in economics or society but in man himself." This has to do with the concept of freedom. "For Marxism, which conceives of the world in materialist terms, bondage is defined solely as servitude to external sources such as slave owners, capitalist bosses, or other forms of material inequality. Freedom is liberation from such servitude." People, as stated in the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, must get rid of economic chains binding them. Then they will automatically cease to be evil. Theologians, on the other hand, see two kinds of liberation, from external and from internal bonds. "Once liberation from external servitude takes place, one must then liberate oneself from internal domination, the domination of one's life by passions, needs, irrationality and wants." The conflict between theologians and Marxists "is not economic, it is moral." Proletarian dictatorship was practiced in several countries; the results show that "when Marxist revolutionaries attain power they are at least as crual as their predecessors." Philosophical differences about morality, among different kinds of theologians, are minimal, as far as I know. But attempts to impose morality are not very successful. Why is it so? What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams? Ludwik