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Everything posted by Charles

  1. There is an essay in 'Capitalism; the Unknown Ideal' that deals with ownership/rights concerning the airwaves, re; radio, communications, intelligence. Perhaps the issue of water rights and air rights might be dealt with seperate to property. As such a company might be able to purchase rights off the owners of surrounding property that effectively ensure that when selling their land, such owners must put certain clauses into contracts that ensure pollution is kept to a minimum. If this is accepted, any water company that fails to buy the enviromental rights to the area surrounding its immediate water source would be legally responsible for failure to take measures to protect water in the event of a pollution causing factory moving in next store. The only caveat here is in the case of extensive water sources such as rivers; in which case I imagine a trade consortium under government auspices would have to agree the pollutant boundaries of certain river. If these were breached by Company B to the the detriment of Company A's (downstream) product a legal battle could ensue. Evidently a set of water laws would be created, aside from the property laws, in order to allow this complex level of exchange. Note: The Government doesnt give out licences for cash, it doesnt have a commision to select which deals benefit itself, it simply acts as guarantor of each parties rights.
  2. To make a choice you must have possibilities. To create false possibilities, or to offer something in the knowledge of its harm, and appeal to the irrational side of mans nature in order to sell it, is exploitation.
  3. Id have to agree with Betsy on point 8, Many repressed individuals of such opaque regimes as the Soviet Union will have been able to know quite obviously the cause of their disatisfaction. The fact that there individuality was being supressed, was blindingly obvious. In the West this fact is not so obvious - for many young and energetic people the media's demeaning treatment of them, and the pandering to communal consiousness can lead this repressed indivuduality to express itself in midguided forms...the faceless youth will grab onto anything which will let them express themselves - an opportunity objectivists can seize on by appealing to their sense of individuality. The key is choice.
  4. Fair point. That many companies make money by encouraging other peoples failings through the selling of dubious products isn't the worst example of twisted capitalism there is... ...perhaps the fact that such a large percentage of the extremely rich are so as a result of their 'work' in corporations that merely sell complex financial products that take advantage of the discrepancies in value systems is a better example. I am talking about the fact that by all accounts a huge percentage of wealth is contingent on certain theoretical figures on wall street, how 'playing' the stock market and interest rates are causing a massive, and unjustified shift in wealth. Its causes a sort of lava lamp effect - with the bubble rising and getting small as colder elements sink to the bottom until eventually the strand holding it to the bottom breaks... It cant go on forever, can it? Im not a qualified economist, but with banks collecting the interest they collect, and not investing it back into other enterprises - merely paying off there board members and securing there continued existence... In fact, theres a good essay in 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal' by Rand I recommend, which discusses how the Gold Standard is crucial to the preservation of true capitalism.
  5. That may be so, but it doesnt help that our dear and beloved GWBush hardly ever rationally justifies himself and constantly pulls religious rhetoric on us. That there's seldom a speech made by this man without the numbers '911' mentioned might lead one to see an exploitive death worship of his own at work...
  6. There are many types of individual, but one thing any rational individual has in common with another is an appreciation of life - as they understand their body is as much part of them as their mind. There is more than one understanding of Capitalism; as Rand herself explains, the moral understanding of it is quite different to the typical acceptance of it as common sense and practical. Capitalism in her sense is a philosophy, and philosophies are about how you approach life - and that Capitalism has never breathed a breath. Even in the most practical sense Capitalism has never, as many here keep reminding, had a full run - and those who say it is here, and is working have a warped understanding indeed. I think you need to check your premises; life is at the base of reason. Without life it has no purpose, and without reason life has a misguided understanding of itself, blacksabbath.
  7. I for one dont appreciate the fact that often people in this forum stand behind objectivism as a defence for making money in any way or form - there is a social side to objectivism, a selfish, but nevertheless social. As for the post two before this: appropriate member name...
  8. If you actually read the beyond the thread, not just the title, you might understand what was meant by it. The solution lies in companies taking more responsibilty for their products - realizing their long term effects on society, which in the end come back at them when they got a nation of senseless gorping fools trying to decide which logo will keep'em happy rather than actually trying to do something worthwhile with their lives. Oh, and y_feldbum, has it ever occured to you that by encouraging, even demonstrating how to think it may actually be better of for you in the long term?? What would the products be like in a world where people were self-aware enough to know that gorging yourself on alcohol, fags and colesterol is not conducive to living, where people were self-respecting enough to not waste away their lives in front of a tv screen? - That world isnt here, and the opposite is being encouraged - cos it turns a quick profit.
  9. One of the most power methods of control is by offering false choices. If you blind a consumer with choices, convincing him/her that he/she needs those products, be they music/films or cosmetics, you are intentionally making it harder for them to choose an other way. In order to sell, some try to blind people from thinking through in an objective way. Whilst I agree that it is a sad state of affairs for people to refuse to think, I would argue many are unconsiously and intentionally being duped into not doing so, in the interests of profit. Slaving peoples minds as a means to increasing ones means is a sure abuse of a the capitalist system that coulld otherwise be used to great ends.
  10. I accept the responsibility falls on the individual, but you can encourage indivuality or you can exploit their weakness; the latter makes the quicker buck.
  11. I was originally talking about soccer in the UK, where stars become idolized media icons and get paid more than they know how to spend. Just take a look at the entertainment industry - it is a culture machine that spurns out abysmal packaged crap that we are conditioned to 'appreciate' through a constant media drip. In the world of the media, happiness becomes mere recoginition of popular music/film. To be 'happy' people just have to be connected, plugged into these popular mediums. This isnt true aesthetic appreciation, it isnt even happiness, its just the negation of fear, the reassurance from big mother that as long as we're up to date things must be ok. It must be understood that happiness can be moulded, and moulded to bring great profit, but in some of these cases at the expense of some pretty basic principles. One should never compromise anothers humanity to make a profit.
  12. Yes availability is as important as value. In the case of football I still have reservations.
  13. People are accustomed to talking of Natural Selection and Evolution in the same breath, as though they were the same thing. Evolution has many mechanisms, and natural selection is a relatively under developed theory that pertains to biological ascendancy. Human beings have transcended Natural Selection as their primary means of evolution through the creation of society. It is the ability to use tools/technology to adapt to our environments, and social awareness to communicate with each other that have allowed us to define ourselves through our decisions as groups. The phylogenetic make-up of humanity can now be changed at a whim - for instance Hitler had a marked effect when he destroyed a large element of the Jewish population, and in Australia numerous aborigine bloodlines no longer exist, or are contaminated. Rather than diving into the deep end and offering various technological modifications to humanity at large, I would share it between people of a common cause, keeping it unadulterated and for the values they share. The idea of people demanding technological upgrades off the welfare system disgusts me.
  14. Then are views differ considerably. The price of a product will be relative to its demand; the demand is relative to peoples values. Even though Availability might be scare one can still correlate a link between the price of a certain product and the values.
  15. Supply and Demand - exactly It is the fact that Footballers, rather than engineers, are in high demand that demonstrates societies lack of perspective...
  16. The fact that it is a widely accepted understanding may show how the change has come about; i.e. how capitalism has been diluted with statism/socialism. People in general do not have a conception of capitalism as desirable ideal. It would be shocking to most people to realise that books like Rands (which are tantamount to a capitalist manifesto!) exist. Where you associate words like individuality with capitalism, the state/media complex has ensured that words like greed, and selfishness come to mind. Of the people who have read Ayn Rands books, most love or hate them passionately. I first bought Atlas Shrugged two years ago, read the first couple of pages, got distracted and put it down. Whilst sitting at a cafe in the foothills of the Himalayas recently, an American approached my table offering two books for sale before he returned them to the shop. One of which was Atlas by Rand, whom he described as an evil b*tch, and that her philosophy was pure evil. Recogising the book, and faced with an afternoon lazing on the beach I bought it, for the amicable price of 100rs- (about $2). Needless to say I was inspired by it. Indeed having read John Galts question 'which is the greater testament to human spirit - the filth-ridden shores of the ganges or the atlantic skylines of New York?' I was walking along the funeral pyres and rotting corpses of the ganges that run through the Hindu city of Death - Varanasi. Lol, my thread title was certainly sensationalist and seems to have attracted due attention!
  17. Capitalism Forever Perhaps you should concentrate you efforts, supporting internal government reforms in israel rather than advocating the current leaderships foreign policy, which is less than appealing.
  18. As I said life is something most of us want to preserve, its a pretty good starting point as far as core purposes are concerned. Only - selfishness can be and often is centred around one's desires - things that have little to contribute to life. These desires give us happiness - sure - but happiness, as I said, is mouldable - if one can be happy acting in the knowledge of whats right for your body then one can be selfish in an englightened way.
  19. To an extent this is a case of semantics. To identify America as a Capitalist country is in the absolute sense wrong; considering all that impedes it. This we all seem to acknowledge. This is partly what I mean I say it has failed in America - badly put I agree - I shall think more wisely about topic titles next time. However... There is a human element, upon which capitalism is contingent. Selfishness as a virtue cannot stand alone; it relies upon what is your core purpose. Its all very well acting for your own will, but what do you will for yourself? Essentially we should all find a will to survive, but people shortsightedly violate this in their choice of lifestyle. It depends upon how one defines them-self, what makes you you? Because whatever you do with you money, your means, is going to be dicated by that. Now you can argue that in a world where capitalism is fully applied this wouldn't happen, but we are not in that world, and im looking at it pragmatically and seeing why it is we are not achieving that. Indeed why many of us dont even share the vision. I think one problem is the management structure of public companies. For a company's means to be at the disposal of principal shareholders and CEOs who get paychecks, yet play no active role in the company causes association to be lost. Like humans, company's have a purpose, and that is by and large defined by the individual/s with the greatest decision making power. If those persons interests are beyond the workplace, and the company's profit making is only a means for his private interests then the company has no purpose of its own, it loses lits life and ceases to function under capitalist principles. A company, by definition presupposes co-operation, a common goal - people work in it because they have an interest in it. Of course with laborers the interest may be purely personal - to get money to provide themselves with the bare minimum, and further there own ambitions; but with the Managing director one expects better. I have editied my first post, addressing the grammatical errors and inserting paragraph breaks; it may help to re-read it now.
  20. An example of where Capitalism has failed? America. I agree with Auto JC that over-governing, has created a mixed, shall we say, impure capitalism. But undoubtedly people would classify America as a capitalist nation. The country hosts an aggregation of disenchanted ethnic groups and sub-cultures alongside a highly irrational 'pop' christianity that dominates public opinion. Forms of enterainment are cheap and decadent, yet form a vital part of the nations economy. If Capitalism was succeding would this be one of the biggest industries? Would we idolize film stars whom we prize on account of their 'moral' promiscuity? The American dream outlined by JFK in his inaugural address as president has never been attained. Wherever Capitalism is practiced, it is always reliant on the human element. It wont run itself, and its decades of abuse that have reduced it in America.
  21. These are qualities I would associate with certain elements of the Israeli state. Judaism is certainly rooted in mysticism, kabala anybody? and its milaristic policy - its cutting off of peoples lands, their source of a living is tantamount to terrorism. I cannot advocate the Palestians a great deal, I cannot advocate Islam - but I do not support Israel either, I do not support Zionism, Sharon or have much time for Jewish culture.
  22. I have not and do not specifically point to the rich movie stars/footballers as being negative entities in themselves. It is the fact that these people become rich that demonstrates how capitalism is merely a tool and requires will power also to function correctly. It is for instance a system much more likely to yield sucess than communism, however - it is not infallable, and there are plenty of instances where tax has not been the cause of its failure. I prefer to stress Rand's reason rather than capitalism, it is from reason that we decide what is best for us, what is our purpose. As I described, the most logical common purposes we share are survival and happiness, and I believe that in a place and time, these can been rationally harmonized to greatest effect. I.e. in my life at this time, there are certain actions I should take in order to achieve and optimal balance of these two things. Of course this depends on many factors - but it is a way to navigate, a way that seems lost on most of us. Everybody know smoking kills, yet people continue to smoke in the face of this knowledge. It seems this shows either an indifference to life or perhaps a craving for more desperate circumstances out of which a reason to be might arise. Taking responsibility for your life takes courage, its so easy to live as though the onnus wasnt yours. When you live, life becomes quite vivid, quite real - and that can be quite wonderful and quite shocking. Better for the young than the old.
  23. I am sometimes asked whether I think Capitalism works. Do I support it? I hesitate. To answer, it is going to be necessary to differentiate between the questions; 'is it working?' and 'can it work?'. I believe it can do, the free exchange of values, whether money, love or hope is something fundamentally human. Suppress it, it creeps out wherever it can, it mutates, it will die to survive in a different form, it is life. But the quality of it, the values being exchanged are the means by which we judge a capitalism a success or failure. One uses reason to assess the value of what is being offered relative to certain key axioms. What key axioms hold together are reason? Life. If there are two things any human wants - its life and happiness; quality of life and quantity of life. Happiness, by its very nature can be derived from any number of things - from sex, drugs, religious fervour, satisfaction of a job well done etc. Surely, the most logical means to by which to acquire happiness is by acting in such a way that the length of life is extended. Was not the very creation of society itself a step in that direction? People bind together because they share a common purpose, that which the greatest majority share is life, and that most commonly misunderstood element about life is that are greatest power over it is to shorten/extend it at our will, whether as an indivdual or an association of individuals. Capitalism will work, when people exchange that which contributes to this greater purpose, any commodity that is in its use and purpose destructive, decadent and shortsited will example capitalisms misuse, its going wrong. Does Capitalism work? It is a tool, it depends on its use. It is a great tool for that which I have described, though as most tools, it can be applied in more than one way. In games of power, where the parties involved are not in contract out of mutual advantage or interest, but - as I believe is the case throughout a great deal of our enterprises (particularly the entertainment/media) out of fear, out of compulsion. Those who waste their time concerning themselves with the wrongs of the system are missing the point entirely, the system will change as it suits the will of those who use it. It is the will of the user that counts, each conscious beings purpose that matters. Education is the crux of it all, it is from the media, our social origins, our experience that our wills are by and large defined. They say you can judge a society by its criminals. I say you can judge it by its millionaires. If football stars and porn barons are those with the biggest means at their disposal - then it reveals a great deal about the kind of people that country is encouraging to exist. If those with the biggest wallet, the most means, blindly consume it - then that capitalist nation is doomed. When people have the forsight and rational to spend wisely, the capital any individual holds will be proportional to the type of man he is. We are a long way off from there.
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