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You really do seem to want to 'live' by ideals and values; I simply contend that this is impossible.

I believe it.


3,4&5-- Rand's justification for capitalism is that it's about moral agents acting out of rational self-interest. The math of their interaction seems to indicate that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. So yes, you're at a point where you have to choose: intent versus outcome.

First of all, that's a false dichotomy.  Capitalism, as such, has never and will never lead to poverty.

I know that so long as you are you, you will never accept that.  But for the record the very terms you've framed this in are fundamentally wrong.

Second of all there is no such contradiction, between intentions and outcomes, even by the terms you've framed this in.


My name-laden expostulation tries to show you that in no sense can it be said that markets produce rational outcomes. By choosing unfettered markets in the name of personal freedom, you're choosing chaos.

That's just the thing.  Capitalism is not good because it produces the most wealth with the greatest efficiency; it's good because it's the logical application of individual rights.

Even if allowing stock investors the freedom to make their own choices would lead to an irreparable economic depression, it would still be worth doing- because freedom is more important than money.


"Freedom" means the freedom to think for myself, to make my own choices and to act according to my own self-chosen desires, without premeditated interference.

Freedom is the logical application of my own mind to my own life.


And that is a value far beyond any amount of money; it's the very source of money's value, in the first place.  So there is no contradiction between intentions and outcomes.


The intention is freedom and through Capitalism, freedom is precisely the outcome.



If you have anything to say about whether Capitalism produces freedom then I will reply to it; the economic details are not worth the time or the stress.


Live long and prosper.

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But even Billy here has a potentially immeasurable value, in our efforts to grasp exactly what goes wrong in a collectivist mind. By way of dissection.

I believe it.   First of all, that's a false dichotomy.  Capitalism, as such, has never and will never lead to poverty. I know that so long as you are you, you will never accept that.  But for the

Its an argument from dependence. If you are dependent on something you can't argue with it. Its a basic method of abuse. Its horrible when done in non-coercive settings like work or romance. Its even

Bill said:

rational outcomes

This whole premise of yours is a position on the causal efficacy of volition or intentional causation. What in your view is the difference between the cognitive endeavor of coming to the conclusion that intentions don't lead to desired outcomes and the choice of market actors interacting according to their own values in trade? That is, what in your view enables you to achieve the causal efficacy of choosing to grasp the causal connection between intentional actions and the failure to achieve them that is not present in intentional causation in the market? Why are you exempt? Edited by Plasmatic
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His audience didn't applaud for the rejection of property rights.  They were applauding for the implicit assertion that it isn't their fault (whatever "it" happens to be) because they couldn't help it!



They were responding to absolution.  This is close to, if not dead on the mark of identifying the error in their reasoning; that absolution implies compensation.  After all, if being smart and working hard doesn't produce success and wealth in a free market society, or any other playground, those who are successful and wealthy must have gotten there by some other means.  How fair is that?!


Misery loves company, but requires a whipping boy to level the playing field. 

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The desire to escape responsibility.


Yes, and it's a powerful motivation for those who "try their best" and come up short.  Absolution is a hug; "There, there... it's not you fault."  The problem then becomes assigning "the fault" to someone more deserving.  Someone lucky enough to be more successful and wealthy than they deserve to be, and arrogant enough to believe they worked harder and were smarter, i.e., were better than everyone else.  Screw them!


Obama tacitly substitutes luck for initiative by focusing on hard work and being smart, and implying that these two elements aren't enough to provide wealth and success...


"I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)"


... and the same theme is presented by another advocate of progressive economic theory...


"I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.' No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along." ~ Elizabeth Warren




Notice how the claim, "You didn't build that" seeks to minimalize/ignore the fact that wealthy, successful targets also paid for the infrastructure they used.  Apparently their contribution is so weak that they need to make up for it by paying double or triple what other poor, unsuccessful taxpayers pay.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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On 3/14/2014, 8:39:02, Harrison Danneskjold said:


This is a clip of Barack Obama's "you didn't build that" explanation.  I know that almost everyone on this forum knows that the assertion is wrong, but I'm curious as to how many people know why.

What do you think is the fundamental problem with that assertion, which all other errors stem from, and which his audience apparently shared?

I think the first problem with the fundamental principle of socialism and anyone who claims that 'society has given you a lot so now it is your turn to give something back to it' or that "you couldn't have created everything on your own' is that such a premise treats society as a single living entity and that leads to treating justice not as it should operate on individual level but on a social level. To make myself clearer, an individualist would hold that if I take xyz from a person A, I have to return it only to A and am not in any obligation to return it to anyone else. But a socialist doesn't consider that I have taken a debt from A and simply says that I received xyz from society and so am supposed to return it to society without making any distinction as to which member or whom exactly in society as if an individual is an entity on one side and whole society is also a living entity on the opposite side.


Now when this principle is applied to broader things, when justice is not seen as something which operates on individual level, the who class of such socialists is produced who advocate it in different manner but the category of their premise remains the same.

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