• fdrake
    2.3k
    Again: your position is all emotion, which is fine. If you have an argument that has something logical or empirical to say about the matter, I'd be interested.frank

    Your position is literally just a myth divorced from material circumstances. A myth that serves very few people, and is perpetuated to make us venerate unholy saints. This is why the Lord of the Rings was so appropriate an analogy for you - you were already dealing with mythical rather than political structures.

    This is why it is so easy for you to bracket all of political reality and reduce everything to a symbolic opposition between good and evil, or between poor and rich. You've discovered that tyrants are made by the people they control, resistance movements are defined by the forces they oppose, policies are motivated along lines of ideological distinction. You have mistaken a conceptual dependence for a political one, but of course you won't notice this because all politics is reduced to myth anyway.

    When Sauron comes and burns your lands I hope you still love him after.
  • frank
    2.7k
    One other question I have around this is the people who rise to the top now often get there by damaging themselves, making themselves less human.Coben

    More please.
  • frank
    2.7k
    Is my sphere just my immediate family, my extended family, my whole tribe, or my entire raceHanover


    Historically, American socialism has been tied to either Marx or Christianity. Your strategy is confusion about what constitutes your sphere?
  • frank
    2.7k
    Your position is literally just a myth divorced from material circumstances.fdrake

    Not at all. It's going on all around you all the time. It's nature.
  • Hanover
    4.6k
    Historically, American socialism has been tied to either Marx or Christianity. Your strategy is confusion about what constitutes your sphere?frank

    I'm responding to your posts, not Marx. Libertarianism or Marxism is a false dichotomy.
  • fdrake
    2.3k
    Not at all. It's going on all around you all the time. It's nature.frank

    One wonders why regulatory capture and bribes for favours are necessary if the strong must survive unaided.
  • frank
    2.7k
    I'm responding to your posts,Hanover

    I wrote several paragraphs. Your response was one weird question.
  • frank
    2.7k
    'If we double our wealth and conquer the stars and be unequal to this issue, we will have failed as a nation and as a people. For it is true of a nation as it is for an individual: what is a man profited should he gain the whole world and lose his soul?'

    -LBJ

    What's wrong with you people?
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    @frank
    I may be reading too much into your thread, but I'm picking up an ambivalence between (1)a baiting reductio as a means of pushing 'mechanists' to self-contradict their own philosophy(?) and (2) actual veneration of the strong qua strong(?)

    maybe a third: logic-king/nietzschean drag for the kick? The rhetoric about your argument standing untouched except for emotional appeals - It seems disconnected from whats happening and more an example of a rhetorical type?

    None of the stuff about strength and lack of mercy follows from 'mechanism' as far as I can tell.

    Plus even if you believe in Zoroastrian Sauronism, you could make the point that in the battle of good and evil, the evil is itself falling prey to the argument for Zoroastrian Sauronism.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    I'm not psychoanalyzing you, I'm trying to understand the purpose of the thread, because it's confusing. If i were trying to psychoanalyze you, I'd offer a profile of how I see your psyche in order to explain why the thread is as it is. I didn't do that. I think I was perfectly new-critic here. I not asking 'what kind of person wrote this thing?' but 'what type of thing is this?'

    edit: well, except I did say 'for the kick', that one's on me.
  • Hanover
    4.6k
    I wrote several paragraphs. Your response was one weird question.frank
    The point remains that one is not faced with the choice of either laissez faire or Marxism. It's a false dichotomy. There are 1000s of points in between.

    You also fail to support your Darwinian ethical theory that you believe requires that the weak be left to die. When challenged, you insert undefinable ad hoc corrections related to the right to protect those within your sphere, whatever that is. It seems that the arbitrary limit set on the "sphere" will determine whether you're anything from a libertarian to a communist.
  • fdrake
    2.3k
    The Sauron thing is something that amused drake so he went on and on about it instead of allowing me to get the topic back on track.frank

    It was absolutely on topic. You even introduced it!
  • Andrew4Handel
    1.2k
    I am not sure I understand this thread, however it seems to me that weak and strong are not unambiguous terms.

    Being well adapted is another matter. Humans are not well adapted to living in the sea so we are weak if we classified ourselves as a sea creature.

    It seems easy enough to manipulate the environment to change which group of persons is weak.

    If humans relied only on brute force we would not have the humanities,science and technology.
  • Baden
    7.9k
    @frank

    The implication of all this seems to be we should all move to one of Trump's "shithole" countries for the good of our souls. Surely, compared to the spirit-strengthening joys of the DRC, Haiti, or Sierra Leone, namby-pamby advanced democracies are only killing us with kindness.

    But seriously... People need struggle, but surely it's preferable to be given the freedom to struggle with our own creative potential rather than to have that diverted into the life-draining swamps of impersonal bureaucracies, corporate greed, enforced poverty etc. It's the great self-defining struggle most people never get the chance to have that we should be fostering, no? And the fact that not all will take the torch passed is no excuse to blow out the light.
  • Baden
    7.9k
    Random news story from the Congo:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/ebola-outbreak-eastern-drc-reaches-2000-cases-190604133821153.html

    My advice to Frodo would be to get the fuck out of there.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    But seriously... People need struggle, but surely it's preferable to be given the freedom to struggle with our own creative potential rather than to have that diverted into the life-draining swamps of impersonal bureaucracies, corporate greed, enforced poverty etc. It's the great self-defining struggle most people never get the chance to have that we should be fostering, no? And the fact that not all will take the torch passed is no excuse to blow out the light.Baden

    [bunch of clap emojis]
  • frank
    2.7k
    None of the stuff about strength and lack of mercy follows from 'mechanism' as far as I can tell.csalisbury

    Sorry, I was having a mood. Social Darwinism doesnt seem mechanical to you? Freud likewise sees us being motivated in a mechanical way.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    No worries at all, I'm usually having a mood myself.

    My feeling is that, you're right, social darwinism and freudianism have a lot of mechanistic qualities. But that's not the same as saying mechanism entails them.

    To take an analogy from art, you could say that artist x's style depends on certain precursors and stylistic conventions, but those precursors and conventions don't lead necessarily to that artist.

    Or if you did say that, you'd have to provide a very robust argument for that.
  • Valentinus
    419
    By "strong," I mean creative individuals with ambition and determination. By rewarding such individuals with wealth and power, society in general becomes leaner and fitter.frank

    The proponents of the "strong" as a right in itself do not subscribe to the concept of society.
    Pick a lane.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    The proponents of the "strong" as a right in itself do not subscribe to the concept of society.
    Pick a lane.
    Valentinus

    To play devil's advocate, Roman society rewarded - and cultivated - ambition and determination. Rewarded it with wealth and power. And it worked! for quite a while. The two -ambition, society - aren't mutually exclusive. I'm not on board with the Thrasymachus thrust of the OP, but I don't think 'society' stops it cold.
  • frank
    2.7k
    My feeling is that, you're right, social darwinism and freudianism have a lot of mechanistic qualities. But that's not the same as saying mechanism entails them.csalisbury

    I guess my background question has to do with events in the US from the1870s to WW1: the idea of eugenics settled pretty quickly and deeply into the national consciousness.

    It was an age of revolutionary engineering feats. It made sense to look at humanity as something to engineer. Why was it that any counter view was too weak to temper that impulse?

    Most of the responses I got to the OP seemed to me to be in support of a perceived status quo. Maybe I was misreading, though.
  • frank
    2.7k
    The implication of all this seems to be we should all move to one of Trump's "shithole" countries for the good of our souls.Baden

    Aren't you already in one?
  • Baden
    7.9k


    No, as it happens I live in a country with better health care, better education, a higher GDP per capita, higher economic growth, lower corruption, a cleaner natural environment, lower inequality, and more civil liberties than the U.S. So, I really am in trouble I guess...
  • Baden
    7.9k
    Hint: It's one of the full democracies here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index
  • frank
    2.7k
    Canada?

    I would liked to have seen you engage the question earnestly, but I'm guessing you're busy.
  • Baden
    7.9k


    I did and your question in response was pointless filler. The reply was appropriate.
  • boethius
    176
    I would liked to have seen you engage the question earnestly, but I'm guessing you're busy.frank

    has already pointed out the obvious implication of your thesis lead to the absurd conclusion that we should live in worse conditions rather than better, why is that not earnest engagement? If it seems to you too easy of a point to make, perhaps it was due to a too large a flaw in your claim.

    However, I would like to put to you two additional things.

    First, if your moral premise is correct, that we need evil entities to harm us in order to learn and express our goodness, shouldn't this be applicable to our teaching of children? Should parents and teachers seek to be the "Sauron in their pupils sky" and harm and abuse them so that they may grow strong and resilient?

    If you don't agree to this, then I assume you agree with the alternative method promoted among parents and teachers, which is to challenge students without harming them.

    If you want the market to be a sort of teacher, as you express in your OP, shouldn't you want to ensure that the market is suitable challenge for adults but, just like any educational situation, things are arranged that these challenges aren't more than what students can deal with and the consequence of failure is no potentially extreme and unmitigated harm. I.e. would you not want the social safety net which not only follows logically from your desire for "market as teacher", but also has been shown to work fine empirically in the countries that have developed such a regulatory system?

    Second, much more important thing, certainly you do not view the market as the source of only bad things, but also good things.

    Are you not setting yourself up, with your "harmful entities create good by making people struggle in a heroic way like Frodo", to be in a position to meet any and all information about unregulated market with approval? If you see something good in the unregulated market such as a new gadget, you say "look, the market provides a bounty" and if you see something bad, such as a person crushed by legal bills in an obviously bad faith dispute with a much larger corporation, you say "look, the market is such a great teacher, someone here will certainly learn to be stronger because of it" or if you see no perceptible benefit you say "look, these people had the chance to slay their corporate Goliath -- that the market has been so kind as to place in their path -- to slay the giant and become glorified as reddit memes, but they blew it; too bad for them, still they should be thankful for the chance, maybe the next people to come along will have what it takes".

    In other words, you have created an empirical theory, that an unregulated market leads to good results, that has no refutable evidence: good results are good, bad results are good too. Everything you ever experience can only confirm your theory.
  • frank
    2.7k
    I did and your question in response was pointless fillerBaden

    Nah. It was me taking you as seriously as you took the OP.
  • Valentinus
    419

    I agree that ambition and rewards for achievement are not antithetical to "society" as the collection of what people value at the same time. People have been raising children for time out of mind with the purpose of replicating what they see as the best thing to be. To that point, Margaret Thatcher once said: "Society does not exist. There are only people and their families."

    Her statement is absurd from the point of view that she said it while shaping the circumstances of such people. But there is a value in the point of view being expressed. There is a connection between civil institutions and what makes a person more or less effective within them. A parent makes their best effort at preparing their child for whatever that is. What is strong for some situations is a weakness in others. In some times, being strong and forthright and vocal about things will get you killed. In others, being silent and reticent will make you a door mat for others.

    And it is at this point the question of the best form of government should be framed. There are conflicting versions of the best things.

    We are not ready for Plato's discussion of the Good.
  • frank
    2.7k
    has already pointed out the obvious implication of your thesis lead to the absurd conclusion that we should live in worse conditions rather than better, why is that not earnest engagement?boethius

    Social Darwinists favor death for the weak, so why would they mind if some portion of the population moved to Sierra Leone? The kind of engagement I was interested in was: imagine radical rightists are taking over your country. What would your response be?
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