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User information for Jonathan Ruff

Real Name Jonathan Ruff   
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Nickname Shingen
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
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Homepage None given.
Signed On Jun 6, 2000, 04:20
Total Comments 26 (Suspect)
User ID 5335
 
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News Comments > Microsoft Break-up Broken
136. Capitalism, etc. Sep 13, 2001, 00:38 Shingen
 
"Hey shingen, do you care if i paste this stuff to word? Its great."


Cyrezar, not at all, go ahead.

---

"Apparently, you failed too...
Most Americans just can't admit they are wrong / ignorant / etc. You just believe (not even think) you are right because you've been taught so by a stupid system (potitics, school, justice, etc.) so you just take this illusion of knowledge and voice it as if it was the truth (as stupid religion freaks do)... Go get a clue."


No, I have not failed at all, quite the opposite; if such were actually the case, you would be able to make a rational argument against what I have actually posted. You are demonstrating that you are unable to refute my arguments, and have moved on to unbacked, irrational statements, including ad hominem attack.

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"Shingen, I can't believe just how blinkered you are. You are certainly eloquent; let me respond to a few of your points (if I respond to all I'll be here all night...)

1. Stop using the term "statism". It's a made-up word. There is nobody out there saying "yep, I'm a statist"."


Statism covers such political systems (for example) as socialism, communism, fascism, and nazism; they all rely on the same philosophic principles - they do vary in degree of brutality and violation of individual rights.

Statism can also be called collectivism; it's the political expression of altruism. All statist political systems hold that an individual's life belongs to the state, society, group, gang, people, race, nation, [insert other term here], and that said collective may do with an individual's life as it pleases, based on whatever reason is declared, to achieve whatever goal is determined by the gang in power.

Under statism, the government becomes a legalized criminal entity. It is the concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual rights.

A 'statist' is someone that believes some individuals have the right to force, coerce, enslave, rob, and murder other individuals.

---

"What?? Look at Europe, please. We actually are moving towards living in harmony with our neighbours, knocking down borders, cooperating with one another. That is more than the USA can say about itself. And you dare call us "stangant"?!
Its's probably statements like this that make foreigners call Americans "arrogant" and "uneducated"."


In the section you quote, I didn't say anything about "harmony," "knocking down borders," or "cooperating with one another." And that isn't more than the USA can say about itself, the U.S. and Canada maintain the world's longest unguarded border. Mexico has been ruled by the same party politically for most of the previous seven decades, i.e. it has been a party-dicatorship (with the power being in the party, not solely in one person); so that combined with the issues of rampant immigration from Mexico, does require border protection.

A statist country, to the degree that it is statist, must put up walls to hold people in. The Berlin Wall, for example. It is never necessary for a capitalistic country to build walls to keep people in.

Yes, I dare call *most* of Europe stagnant, it mostly is and has been (from nearly every standpoint, in terms of producing new technology, in terms of expanding economically, etc.). Many countries in Europe have gotten better in the last decade, about removing government protected monopolies, lowering (or at least not raising) taxes, etc.

You say "Its's probably statements like this," is it or isn't it?

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"Ah, the old myth of the "American dream". I see where you're coming from, but you completely fail to acknowledge the fact that some people are born into less privileged circumstances that others. Someone who grows up in a poor family, in some bad inner city neighbourhood, might work and work all his life and still never manage to escape his low-down life."


There is no myth about the "American dream." Thousands of people flee countries like China and India every year and come to the U.S. because they are free to achieve and prosper here, to start their own businesses, etc.; check out Silicon Valley sometime (or Boston, or Northern Virginia, etc.).

I don't "fail to acknowledge the fact that some people are born into less privileged circumstances," I've stated that one person's need is not a claim on another person's ability, life, or success; if you fail, you have no right to pull me down with you (I do have a right to help you out however, if I choose to, and if you accept such help). If you think you need a yacht, you have no right to get the government to satisfy your 'need' at my expense. There is no such thing as a "privileged circumstance" under capitalism; there are only circumstances where individuals have *earned* values. Statism makes it fully possible to buy political favors (that becomes the method of operation), to protect from competition; capitalism does not. It is this aspect, that has caused Europe to remain so stagnant - look at all the government sanctioned sector monopolies that make up so many of Europe's largest companies (some of which are slowly being turned over to the private sector).

A privilege is granted (and depending on how you define it, works to the detriment of others); economic power under capitalism is not granted (it is earned), just as individual rights are impossible to 'grant.'

---

You mention the scenario of someone working all their life, and never making it out of poverty; how do you think Henry Ford made his money? Or Andrew Carnegie (who was most certainly not a rich man, he created his wealth). Bill Gates did not get 50 million in funding for Microsoft, he started it on shoe strings. The Intel founders chipped in some small amount like $500. Etc.

It is only statism that can *prevent* someone from working their way out of poverty; to the degree that a country is statist, it prevents such. See: USSR, India, China, etc. and how they make it almost impossible to actually create wealth.

Europe doesn't have many billionaires or millionaires because it has attempted to make every one equal in wealth and earning potential; regardless of ability. This is another example of economic stagnation (as is the extreme debt to GDP ratios that many European countries possess).

All individuals are not inherently equal in ability and effort; they should not be rewarded as though they were.

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"And don't tell me this is going to happen through voluntary donations. I think it's very noble if Gordon Moore gives millions to charity, but if you want to ensure a steady flow of money you will need to do more than just rely on the occasional goodwill of some millionaire."

&

"Where in your system are the provisions for charity? For helping the less fortunate?"


Provision for charity? Capitalism has proven to be the system that creates a vastly greater amount of charity than any other; as I've stated previously, America's wealthy do not spend a significant portion of their wealth on personal consumption (this is a fact, and it isn't difficult to track such). Americans give more money to charities every year than the rest of the world combined, several times over; take a look at the top 50 charities that operate in this country some time.

Capitalism doesn't prevent someone from giving to charity; if you want to give your money away to charity, you are very much free to do so. It *does* happen voluntarily. Check out how much is given to education each year by the wealthy, who donate to universities, to medical facilities, etc. The sum is likely greater than the GDP of some of the smaller nations in Europe. I can get you specific figures if you would like.

You're thinking in terms of "where is your provision for robbing people?". That is, "where is your provision for forcing people to give their money away?".


I'd like to point out also, that under capitalism, the 40% income tax (or whatever a country sets it at) on corporate profits would be removed, so unemployment would cease to be an issue any longer; charity would cease to be a significant issue (there would no longer be any significant number of homeless or very poor, because that 40% that normally would have gone to taxes, would be put toward expansion, i.e. job creation). However, as statist controls are introduced into a system, the statism becomes a rolling snowball; eg- see France, who often has 12% + unemployment, which is caused by the socialism. The statist controls cause the unemployment problems, and then more controls are passed to try and force unemployment to go away (eg- making it nearly impossible to fire people), which ends up creating even more unemployment (a business that cannot adjust to economic climate, or business failure, by firing people, will necessarily destroy itself). This scene has played out many, many times over the last several decades in Europe (in just about every country).

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"Anyway Shingen, a few posts back I asked you to outline how the US (or any other country) would look under your proposed "pure capitalism" - you haven't responded yet... Please? I would be interested to hear of a system as unregulated as the one you're proposing being made to work in a country containing well over 200 million people."


I have outlined such, throughout this thread. I should be able to just say "capitalism"; but you don't understand what that is. The number of people are irrelevant to whether capitalism works; whether it is 20 million, or 285 million.

You seem to have a serious issue with regulations, thinking that it is necessary to force people to act in a certain way. The initiation of force, and regulations that require such, are anti-individual rights. It isn't necessary to create a thousand regulations protecting freedom of speech; it is only necessary to protect an individual from having his/her right to speech removed by the initiation of force (if force isn't used to do such, then freedom of speech exists). This same concept applies to every other individual right.

Regulations that require the initiation of force are not necessary (and are in fact extremely detrimental); all that is necessary, to protect individual rights, is to banish the initiation of force (and to defend against an individual or group that does initiate force). The only proper functions of government are the court system, the military, and the police. A government is an entity that holds a legalized monopoly on the use of force, the three mentioned proper functions of government all relate to such monopoly on force (military is used to protect against foreign invaders by way of defense, etc.; police act to protect against the violation of individual rights domestically, and to uphold justice, etc.; the court system punishes those that do violate individual rights, and it acts to settle domestic disputes, etc.).

If you have a specific question about some aspect of capitalism, and how it functions, feel free to ask.
This comment was edited on Sep 13, 01:00.
 
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News Comments > More on the WTC Disaster (Updated)
422. Re: 417 Sep 12, 2001, 16:03 Shingen
 
"Yes, that is, as I understand it, the reason why the US failed to sign. They need to be able to execute children in some states."


The United States does not desire to sign many of the U.N.'s declarations, because the U.S. does not desire to cease being a sovereign nation in any regard, and in turn become a nation whose actions are determined by a 'united' group of nations, which is supposed to be dedicated to individual rights, but includes among its members the greatest violators of individual rights in history, including Red China.

The U.N. is like a neighborhood crime watch that invites the criminals to join.
This comment was edited on Sep 12, 16:05.
 
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News Comments > More on the WTC Disaster (Updated)
421. Re: My Considerations (Re: #412) Sep 12, 2001, 15:57 Shingen
 
"Also, it is not fact that it's wrong and sick - this is opinion."


It isn't an opinion; you have no right to initiate the use of force on another individual. Their life isn't yours to do with as you please.

Your ability to justify, by proclaiming "opinion" is disgusting, and then to cowardly back-track by stating "OK OK OK, I'm NOT saying I think it's OK." You cannot back up your claims, and you used that as a means to avoid having to.

---

"Hiding? Come on, they're not that stupid - no country could do this and openly admit it as the US (plus the UN) could crush any other 1 country (not that a country was directly responible for this)."


The U.N. has no power other than that provided by the governments that make up the U.N.; beyond that you are correct. That is precisely why those that are responsible for this are hiding. They are cowards.

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"I do not in any way think these attacks were morally right"


You think whether the actions were "wrong and sick" is "opinion," but then you declare that you do not think "these attacks were morally right." So you think morality is the realm of opinion. You're one of the middle of the roaders who appease such barbarians, by making it possible to excuse their actions on the grounds of: 'sick? wrong? twisted? oh but that is just silly opinion.'

It's a variation of the "don't judge!" argument.

 
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News Comments > More on the WTC Disaster (Updated)
406. Philosophical act of war Sep 12, 2001, 13:53 Shingen
 
I mourn for those who have had their lives taken from them in this horrific and cowardly act.

I wish 'God speed' to the rescue personnel, and thank them.

I hope retaliation will be swift and merciless (mercy is unearned forgiveness), when it can be determined with certainty who was responsible.

The philosophic ideas (and the root: irrationalism) that are the cause of such horror can no longer be treated as though they are "just as good" as other philosophies. It is philosophy that determines every individual's outlook; it determines whether one will wake up and go to work and earn a moral living; or wake up, go to the airport, proceed to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings, killing thousands of innocent people.

Every terrorist is an irrationalist, and every irrationalist is a potential terrorist; they can't all be killed, another would very easily replace each and every one. It is the philosophy of irrationalism (that which is anti-reason, anti-logic) that must be *intellectually* eradicated to as great an extent as possible. Terrorism will never cease to be a significant problem otherwise.

Killing terrorists that are responsible for such actions, is moral and just; it is an act of self-defense (America doesn't seek to gain an unearned value by defending itself against terrorists; just as someone who is being robbed gains no value by defending theirself from the robber - it is the robber who seeks to gain unearned value). However, terrorists are straw-men - as long as the philosophic ideas that lead to terrorism continue to be spread around the world, there will never be a shortage of straw-men. Destroy irrationalism, and it undercuts what leads to the terrorism in the first place (thus removing the process of new straw-men).

It obviously wouldn't be easy - it would require a sweeping philosophic movement the likes never seen before; one that the world only got a mere glimpse of with the Renaissance.

When it has gotten to the point where backpack nukes are an issue, and people hijacking planes and destroying large parts of civilization are a reality - the price payed for continued leniency and disregard toward those that are extremely irrational, is one that the civilized world can no longer afford to pay... if it is civilization that it hopes to maintain.

Make no mistake, the barbarians are philosophically (and physically) at the gates of Rome (not just the U.S., but the entire civilized world). Are you (I'm speaking to each and every individual reading this) going to stand around and watch it burn philosophically (and in line with the law of causality, burn in actuality)?
This comment was edited on Sep 12, 13:57.
 
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News Comments > Microsoft Break-up Broken
115. Capitalism, etc. Sep 11, 2001, 00:47 Shingen
 
"Like I said before in another forum before they closed it: Can't discuss with Americans because they don't have any clue about anything; they just think they know stuff but they don't, especially about Europe, socialism, communism, etc.
They don't even know anything about their own country...
Freedom, freedom... Bulls!it I say, they don't know what freedom is, they only know what the illusion of freedom looks like...
Ignorant, Illusioned, Hypocrites, selfish, and the list goes on and on..."


Prove it. Proclaiming all Americans "don't have any clue about anything" is not an argument, it is a failure to make an argument. You are apparently only capable of throwing out insults.

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"The US is on the path towards "socialism - ?" Is THAT what you said, Cyrezar?"


The U.S. is mixed; i.e. part statist part capitalist.

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"Corporate control over the US government (not to mention most of the world) has never been greater."


Again, a failure to understand the difference between economic power and political power.

Corporations don't use force, governments do. Economic power is based on voluntary trade; political power is based around force. If a corporation does use force, it is the job of the government to retaliate / protect individuals from that force / provide defense.

If a corporation uses force as a means, it has ceased to be a corporation any longer. A corporation can only use force as a means if the government fails to protect individual rights; if the entity that was formally a corporation is given the ability to use force *by* the government (i.e. government sanction of the use of force by the ex-corporate entity), such entity has become part of the government; if the entity formally known as a corporation grows to hold more political power ('force power') than the government, such entity has become some kind of rogue government entity unto itself.

---

"All those multi-national companies, the big pharmaceuticals, the big oil companies, etc, with the millions of dollars they "contribute" to both Republicans and Democrats - you are saying they are doing so to further SOCIALISM?"


Many of them are furthering socialism; they often pay for restrictions (on their competition, or other various threats to their business), or pay just to have restrictions removed (essentially extortion by the government).

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"Yet, you actually claim that "nothing less than a revolution will turn the US around from its path to socialism.""


The U.S. is becoming a lot more statist; for each tax or law that is passed, a dozen more are often passed for that one, and then those almost never get removed from the system - even if they fail to be actively enforced.

Europe has demonstrated for a hundred years how this works in practice.

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"In return, you give up some of your individual rights as well. There's no such thing as a free lunch!"


Capitalism has nothing to do with "a free lunch" it is the opposite; it removes the possibility of a free lunch. Statism makes possible the free lunch, and then enforces the right of some to have a free lunch at the expense of others - all backed up with the threat of force.

"in return, you give up some of your individual rights" - this statement is a declaration that it is ok to use force - individual rights can only be violated by force. Even if one individual declares that they do not wish to recognize their individual rights, that does not give them a right to declare that some other person does not wish to recognize their rights.

There is no way to "give up" individual rights anyway - there is only a way to take away (eradicate/remove) individual rights, and that is by force. In a capitalistic system, even if someone decides to *attempt* to "give up" their individual rights (through a simple declaration for instance), their individual rights do not fail to exist, and it remains the government's job to protect such rights.

Individual rights are not something that are 'granted' by a government (or some group, etc.), they are something that exist so long as force isn't used to impede them.

---

"The USA is about the most un-socialist country I can think of."


The USA is very likely the least statist country in the world; however most of the rest of the world is quite statist by comparison (countries violate individual rights to the degree they are statist; Red China, the USSR, Cuba, Nazi Germany, etc. demonstrate such).

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"So ... the fact that the DOJ--before BUSH INC. took over--tried to stop Microsoft from using illegal business tactics--that proves we're heading towards socialism?"


Anti-trust is just as immoral now as it was a hundred years ago; it was one of the first large holes for socialism to creep in - that is, it was one of the first major regulations that gave politicians power over the economy. Power over the economy is nearly like a holy grail for a politician, when it comes to expression of political power.

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"They are basically basing what his believes were on what other leaders claimed to be doing in his name such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who all followed little of Marx's ideas. Dictatorship of the workers did NOT mean there was an actually dictatorship, it meant that control of production and government would be moved away from the elitist ruling class and into the hands of the workers and common majority of the population."


Define "common majority of the population," there is no such thing. You mean, the "elitist ruling class" is not included in "common majority of the population"? What you mean, is that one group is given the right to violate the rights of others; there is no 'right' to enslave, which is what Marxist theory calls for.

That is, if someone is able to achieve great wealth by ability, intelligence, effort, etc. and that person comes to have *economic* power (which relies on voluntary trade, i.e. uncoerced trade), then suddenly that person's rights are negated. That person's wealth is declared to belong to "the people" (some group of people, chosen by whatever gang is in power) who did not earn it. For instance, John Carmack, who is a programmer of great ability; his *earned* wealth would, under proper Marxist theory, be redistributed to those that did not earn it, do not deserve it, and could not write a good 3D graphics engine.

Marxist theory revolves around giving unearned values; i.e. sacrifice. That is why it is immoral, that is why it doesn't work, that is why it has never worked, that is why it will never work.

The individuals who did not create the product, were not able to, did not try to, are rewarded as though they had. That is; from those according to ability, to those according to need. One individual's need is not a claim on another person's life, ability, or success.

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"Marx would say that government now is a dictatorship of the capitalists. Corporations and greed almost completely dictates government action... just look at the US's war history.. vietnam, iraq, etc. It was all done in the name of corporations and greed. What about US intervention and funding of brutal dictators in south america? The evidence is all there. All I have to say to capitalists now is that you better watch out... change is coming if the corporate globalization protests are any indication. The numbers of protesters is only growing. The myth of the "New Economy" is quickly falling apart... the income gap is growing and with it will only come more restlessness and distrust of capitalism, the rotten system."


There is no such thing as a "dictatorship of the capitalists." Capitalism is the only system that protects individual rights, and therefore is the only system that makes actual freedom possible. You are displaying an inability to conceptualize 'freedom.' Your mind is so used to "it is either this gang, or it is that gang." Capitalism eradicates such 'political pull' gangs (i.e. gangs that use force as a means to achieve their ends).

U.S. intervention or funding of dictatorships have nothing to do with capitalism; it has to do with the politicians who were elected, who declared such acts. The United States is a mixed system, yet it has always been capitalism that has taken the blame (even though statism has displayed that it is a system which requires force, which can be easily shown either through historical example, or by logic from the ground up). That statism now exists in the U.S. political system to perhaps as great a degree as capitalism does, and that statism has demonstrated how brutal it is in application, why do you think it is capitalism that gets blamed? Because the the statists that backed the initiation of force, use capitalism as an excuse; just as statists use capitalism as an excuse when regulations are passed, a market collapses, and then the statists declare the free market (which wasn't actually present) doesn't work and that the market must be nationalized (i.e. pass more of the same regulations that caused the problem in the first place).


Protests aren't inherently a good or bad thing, nor do they inherently indicate which side of an issue is good or evil; of course statists are going to resist and protest freedom (that is, capitalism) in all its forms - without slavery statism loses its power (or to be more specific, the gangs in power lose their power). All statism requires some level of slavery. The proletariat in the USSR were taught to denounce capitalism, were taught that it was evil, etc. Keep in mind that every statist that denounces individual rights, or capitalism, is proclaiming that he holds a right to some value that belongs to you. Watch Fidel Castro denounce capitalism, yet proceed to execute individuals without trial (estimated to be in the tens of thousands over the course of his reign); watch the Stalins denounce the capitalist system as being evil, unjust, etc. and then proceed to lock a million (or ten million) people up in slave labor camps.

And prove it is rotten, you haven't done such (and will be unable to do such). Statists have tried just about every variation of political statism; all of the systems have failed to work for any significant length of time - statist governments will butcher 250 million people in slave camps, but won't touch capitalism. Capitalism is a political system that requires the protection of individual rights; that is not something that statists are interested in.

Capitalism has existed in one form or another in the U.S. for 225 years; it has worked for that length of time, and it has made possible the only mass affluent middle class in the history of the world (which is something statists declared was not possible under a capitalistic system). It created wide-spread prosperity, which is what statists proclaimed it could not achieve. It has led to a technological society without rival, yet statists declared that only [insert statist political system] would make such possible. etc.

America's 285 million people (roughly 5% of the world), nearly out produce the other 5.8 billion combined. It isn't the aspects of statism present in the American political system that make such possible - or China would be full of nothing but millionaires. It isn't that Americans are superhuman or somehow better than the other 95% of the world's population; it is that Americans are freer to achieve, to innovate, to prosper. It is capitalism that has made such possible.

There is nothing to "distrust" about capitalism, it is a political system; the only thing to distrust are the people proclaiming their right to enslave you for the benefit of the "whole" or the "collective" or the "common people" (which includes some but not others, depending on what the gang in power decides) - that is, the statists who believe it is their right to use force to achieve whatever goal they declare.

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"In the US, we have socialism for the big arms manufacturers and other multi-billion dollar corporations ... taxpayers keep them in wealth whether their products work or not (take Bush Incorporated's "missile defense" for instance).

Big pharmaceuticals get help from the government, which pays for research, so they can then take the results and gouge consumers with incredibly high prices ..."


Unfortunately, what isn't often understood, is that these problems (some individuals bribing government officials, etc.) only grow worse under greater levels of statism (want to operate a business in China, get ready to pay hefty extortion taxes). Each regulation passed, acts as incentive for a corporation to pay to get exempt from said regulation; it's an extortion racket.

Capitalism removes such; then corporations can no longer buy special favor - there is no favor to be granted.

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"We have billion dollar taxpayer bailouts for big business, like the S&Ls, when they fail."


Such is eradicated under actual capitalism. The government is not allowed to interfere with economics.

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"We, the average citizens, get cutthroat, sink or swim capitalism."


Who do you think you are speaking for? There is no such thing as "the average citizens," an average is a mathematical device, it doesn't exist in actual. There is no "average person" or family with 2.5 kids.

Capitalism isn't sink or swim, and there is nothing "cutthroat" about it - it is a system of justice; those that have not earned values are not given them as though they had (at the expense of those that did earn them).

Statism punishes those that are able to succeed by taking from them through the use of force; there is no incentive to succeed if the products of your labor will be taken from you by some nearly random declaration by some politician or gang in power. This is why most of Europe has been stagnant for a hundred years.

---

"What will happen now to programs like Real player, WinAMP and Jukebox? It looks like this is the next 'browser' war.

Will there be any reason for a new user to install these other programs now?"


Re: WinAMP; I'm suprised AOL hasn't used their platform to build out a competing product to Windows. They have the applications which could be bundled from the beginning. AOL could probably team up with RealNetworks. This would provide a great deal of competition to the consumer edition of Windows.

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"Just because you may not have kids does not excuse you from paying taxes in order to support their education."


If I don't have kids... who does "their" refer to? Other kids that are not mine?

What right does my neighbor have to come across the street, rob me, and then spend that money on his/her kid's education? Right... that is considered a crime; what makes it legal and moral when the government does it? There is no rational justification - that money (which the government takes) is still spent on my neighbor's kid/s, it is simply someone else other than my neighbor who is robbing me.

If the government didn't take 40% from each individual in taxes, a large chunk of that could be put toward a system of education that would introduce competition. An element of competition would raise performance (because the schools that did not do a good job in producing results would fail to attract students). Parents would have more choices for education because they would have the money that is normally taken. New methods of schooling would be created to attract the money that consumers would now have to spend on such. This would introduce innovation into the education system; something that it has very noticeably lacked. America has many of the best colleges on the planet because the college education system is not quite so controlled by the government as is the public education system (usually K through 12th grade); that is, the college education system is open to competition.


Another thing. Americans, under the supposedly evil capitalist system, give more away in charity each year many times over than the rest of the world combined. Just because the capitalist system creates great wealth, does not mean charity is eradicated, quite the opposite. Wealthy Americans do not spend any significant percentage of their wealth on personal consumption; they invest in the economy (eg- through venture capital) - which helps to raise productivity, increase innovation, and create jobs; they create charities to help those that are homeless or very poor, and so on. Gordon Moore (a founder of Intel) wasn't going to spend $15 billion dollars on personal consumption, so he gave half of it away (and will likely end up giving the other half away). Bill Gates has limited use for his vast fortune... even his $100 million or so dollar house is not a significant portion of his wealth (one fifth of one percent), particularly compared to what he has spent on fighting all manners of disease via charity (and only thus far); so he has directed it towards creating new value.

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"Taxation is a fundamental part of how the government works. It would be great if they were smarter about how tax dollars are spent, but even then, you'd still need taxes in order to maintain society. Period."


Saying taxes are a requirement of society, is the same as saying that the initiation of force is required. A truly massive amount of money is spent on services like insurance, which is something that isn't needed everyday (in fact, it is rarely needed, essentially in emergency situations). There is no reason why individuals would not be willing to pay for government services, such as fire protection, police protection, military protection.

If the 40% that is taken by taxes were erased, consumers would on average have $12,000 + more to spend each year (which would actually lead to an increase in that average salary of $30,000 because some of it would be put toward consumption/production, which would expand the economy a great deal, which would lead to higher wages). If $1,000 of that $12,000 were put toward military protection, that would come to around $300 billion, which is near what is spent now on the military in the U.S. (around 3% of GDP).

It wouldn't have to be done solely in the form of a contribution/donation; fees for the use of the court system, to protect contracts for instance, could be put toward such. There are many other methods that can be done in the form of *uncoerced* services.


Regarding the eradication of taxes, and the correlation to increase in wages. There was a joint study by Republican and Democratic politicians released not too long ago (in April), that showed on average for every dollar in taxes that is cut, the government gets around $1.25 back in increased taxes from economic growth that is stimulated (this is based on historical examples). This demonstrates by example, how the money that isn't taken in the form of taxation, ends up expanding the economy and increasing the level of real wages (in order for the government to get that $0.25 more, there must be increased productivity, investment, production etc.).

Hong Kong is another good example; from something like 1965 to 1985, where taxes were extremely low, the Hong Kong government saw the greatest percentage increase in tax revenue out of any nation. I think Hong Kong's income tax currently sits around 17% / 19% or such.

Ireland is another good current example; they've benefited tremendously from cutting taxes. Many European nations are annoyed with Ireland for cutting taxes; it has led to other European nations having to compete with Ireland's tax rates to attract investment and jobs.
This comment was edited on Sep 11, 01:54.
 
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92. Re: Capitalism Sep 8, 2001, 03:29 Shingen
 
"Fair enough. I don't think I need to resort on attacks based on nationality, you are quite right. It was not my intention. But given your particular virulent strain of libertarian capitalist political philosphy, I'd think it's highly unlikely you are anything but American. Am I right?"


I'm not a libertarian. I am a capitalist, and I am an American.

---

"Can you give me an example?"


An example of what? The lack of individual rights in Africa?

 
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91. Re: Individualism Sep 8, 2001, 03:25 Shingen
 
"That's the purpose behind government and organization at all levels, down to the family... It is part of who we are."


The rational purpose of government, organization, or family is not the initiation of force, or the nullification of individual rights.

---

"Are you an anarchist?"


No, but that a government exists does not mean that government must exploit by force.

---

"You tend to oversimplify things by taking them to an extreme. Laws are maintained through force, technically, but that doesn't make setting a minimum standard evil."


Simplification and "extreme" do not necessarily require one another. A middle of the roader would consider either communism or capitalism extreme, but that does not mean there is anything simple about the concepts involved in communism and capitalism. If you mean, however, that I over-simplify by stating that capitalism is good, and communism is evil, that is incorrect, I have stated much more than just broad generalizations or simplifications, I have backed up my arguments with pages worth of proof, none of the principles I have stated have been refuted (and not for lack of trying).

---

"It's also the idea behind democracy. Go figure."


Democracy has nothing to do with attempting to avoid reality, which is what social subjectivism attempts to do by the will of "the people."

---

"A is A but what is A?

It depends on how you abstract it. Every human is a human. Every human is a collection of atoms. Every atom is an atom."


A is itself. You state that A is A, but then ask what A is; it *is* A. This is a concept, it means, a thing is itself (whatever the 'thing,' it is itself).

---

"So, it is evil to feed the mouths of others if it is at your expense, but it is good to let them starve, if it is not at your expense?

That's pretty stupid."


Not at all, you're assuming my philosophy has to be the opposite. It is perfectly fine to be charitable toward others, if you value their survival (if you are giving food for example, etc.) over whatever value you are providing (money for instance). There is nothing stupid about it, except your assumption.

Another for instance; if you value your wife, who is dying from cancer, and you can cure her by spending all of your fortune on medical treatment, there is nothing evil, immoral, or selfless about spending all of your money to save her (because in your value hierarchy, your wife is more valuable to you than the money spent saving her).

---

"But sacrifice requires great effort and compassion. Not sacrificing something might require less effort and compassion. If compassion is important to your moral code, then sacrifice is rational. "


Sacrifice does not require compassion; to sacrific someone else to your own whim does not require any compassion. Effort is not a gauge of morality; a robber may have to exert great effort to rob someone, whereas an individual working a very simple job may not have to exert much effort to earn a moral living.

Compassion does not require sacrifice. I can very easily be compassionate to someone without accepting a lesser value in exchange for a greater value.

Sacrifice means to take a lesser value over a greater value (death in exchange for life being the ultimate example of sacrifice); there is nothing rational about it, and in the history of sacrifical philosophy, there has never been a rational argument for sacrifice (because there can be no such thing).

---

"I don't need to clarify who "we" and "our" refer to.

At a certain level, we are irrational in our thinking. It's an abstract concept."


You certainly do need to clarify, if you wish me to understand why you were using such terms when discussing your own position.

And prove it, your statement has not done such. At what level does this occur, explain the level; what concepts are involved in this "level"?

---

"If you're stranded on an island with a weaker companion, but there is no alternate food source, would you kill your companion? Seems pretty rational does it? Very selfish (which, by your definition, is good.) Would it be irrational not to do so? By your thinking, yes. But in my thinking, it would be good, not evil."


No, there is nothing rational or selfish about it (killing that other individual). Your setup is typical of a statist: the basis is that one individual must always sacrifice another.

No, it would be irrational to kill that individual. It would not be rational because one cannot gain a value by destroying what makes the concept 'value' possible: life. An individual does not have a right to sacrifice that other individual to their self, because that other person's life is not mine or yours to take, regardless of how weak they are. My need for food is not a claim on his/her life, such that it would be my right to take it. Need is not a claim on anything.

---

"Things become more rational as you go deeper down, but with abstraction, things can seem irrational, but yet serve a function."


"Seem" and 'be' are not the same thing.

---

"Europe was largely the same even prior to the middle ages. During antiquity, what do you think was happening outside of what we normally call the "civilized world" in the deep dark forests of Europe? Even prior to Christianity, common folks in much of pagan Europe lived in a world of despair."


No, Europe was not largely the same. Europe was still influenced by the philosophy of Aristotle prior to the dark ages; during said ages, it was not.

Define "common folks," again you keep at it with collectivist concepts. There is no such thing as a common person, or an 'average' person.

---

"I'm sure the common man still had some fun in his life time, and could feel good. Faith may have been a significant part of the life of the common man in those times, and some people are capable of being extremely happy in the darkest of situations through faith alone. Wether their faith is true or not is unknown (is it rational? Is it not? There isn't enough evidence to say), but the fact of the matter is, people can be satisfied with it. And if it IS false, this means people are being sort of irrational, aren't they? Yet they can achieve happiness. But this might not be in accordance with reality. That doesn't make it evil.

Reality is not an absolute judge between good and evil because all of this is based on our perception."


Again, with the common man.

Faith is the negation of reason; faith paralyzes the mind's ability to think, because faith means to ignore the judgment of your own mind. Faith did nothing to end the dark ages; reason did end it however. People can certainly pretend they are satisfied by faith. No, irrationality cannot lead to happiness; happiness is the achievement of rational values, irrationality is itself not a value - irrationality requires contradictions, and contradictions cannot exist, thus they cannot be values. There is no such thing as "not in accordance with reality," there is no other option.

You're really beginning to show just how irrational you are.


Reality is the absolute judge between good and evil; your statement declares that perception is the determining factor: reality however exists independent of the mind and thus of perception. So whether one claims to perceive it to be so, that does not change whether it is or not.

---

"I haven't studied the works of St. Thomas Aquinas in detail, but he was probably not opposed to the concept of Original Sin, and that makes him evil doesn't it? So here we just might have an example of someone who is both good and evil... which is stronger?"


You say "probably not" and then proceed to base your statement on that you had said "was not." (because you then stated "that makes him evil doesn't it?")

Your statement is useless unless you can clarify your error.

 
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85. Re: $LAVE$ Sep 8, 2001, 00:53 Shingen
 
"And interestingly enough it was exactly this kind of thing that brought about the rise of communist ideology in the early 20th century. Seeing the way workers were mercilessly exploited by their masters during the heyday of the industrial age was what led Marx to conclude that the only solution was the dictatorship of the proletariate. Might seem a bit of an anachronism nowadays, but it helps if you see it in its historical context."


Exploited? Masters? Then why didn't the workers start their own businesses and hire their own employees if they didn't like the jobs? Someone created the company that the "exploited" individuals worked for. If they didn't like the pay, they were free to start their own business and earn more money; an individual has no right to demand a certain standard of living from another individual, such standard of living must be *earned*.

The labor from that time period of initial industrialization was harsh because it was an early and primitive stage of industrialization; however it (the work) was no more difficult than the agrarian work that existed previously. It was industrialization that dramatically lowered the rate of mortality, such results were present even during the early years of industrialization.

The so called exploitation that occurred, was apparently preferred to what was occurring in Europe: immigrants fled Europe like it was a sinking ship, and it turns out that at the time it was.

If force was used to exploit workers, it was the job of the government to stop such; it has nothing to do with capitalism (it would be like blaming robbery or some other force-based crime on capitalism - capitalism does not absolutely prevent force, it does help to guard against it by declaring the government's job to be the protection of individual rights, the banishment of the initiation of force).
This comment was edited on Sep 8, 00:59.
 
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82. Re: Capitalism Sep 8, 2001, 00:28 Shingen
 
"OK, you're treading on thin ice here mate... and once again displaying your US-centred ignorance. The real reason Africa is the mess it is today is because it was exploited for over a century by European colonialist powers, who left a legacy of poverty, dependence and in-fighting. I'm not saying that is the root of all the problems we are seeing, but it sure accounts for much of the status quo. Did you know, before the Europeans arrived in Africa there were already advanced civilizations there, such as the Benin, Zulu, and of course Ethiopia."


I've never claimed to be an American, you're assuming; why don't you just ask (then you can be more certain in your attacks on me based on my nationality)?

I didn't say how most African nations ended up in a mess (i.e. what lead to their current situations), or deny that European powers wreaked havoc on the continent, which it has not recovered from (thus my statements on Africa were not ignorant, as I did not state what you apparently think I did). I said most are in a mess because they do not protect individual rights, which is true; individual rights are a prerequisite to freedom, and the most important individual rights are property rights, which is something that most African nations lack. The protection of individual rights (and therefore the establishment of freedom) are the necessary means for African nations to fix their bleak situations. Colonialism ended in Africa for the most part decades ago, individual rights have gone unprotected in the vast majority of African nations since then, and no coincidence, conditions have not improved in such nations.


My exact statement was:

"because few (if any?) countries in Africa have ever had protected individual rights, specifically property rights"

This is true. Without individual rights, Africa will remain in shambles.

 
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80. Re: Individualism Sep 7, 2001, 23:57 Shingen
 
"No "society"? Give me a break... that's completely untrue. Not everyone has a 100% unique opinion on everything, people tend to agree with one another. That's the idea behind representative democracies (too many individuals to participate in a direct democracy, so we have to take advantage of the fact that many people will vote in common ways.) Social trends, etc..."


I didn't say there was no society, I said society wasn't an organism unto itself: it is made up of individuals; if you violate the rights of individuals, you violate the rights of everyone. Social rights, or 'group' rights, or collective rights, mean that one group of people have the right to violate the rights of other individuals; this is why the distinction of society not being something beyond a number of individuals is important - because statism always falls back to for "the public good" or the good of "the people" etc. which doesn't mean every individual, it means the good of some people to the detriment of other people.

---

"While everyone IS a unique individual, our minds have a wonderful capability to abstract things, and we can view people in groups, or as a society."


Certainly, a number of individuals can be held to be a 'society' of individuals; but there is no such thing as "society" as statists use the term, to mean a collective mind (i.e. as though there is no individual).

---

"Also, what I find peculiar is that you say my philosophical statement would have been funny, if it wasn't so common. If it were a unique statement, would it have been funny, or "senseless", or stupid? Apparently you don't think like an individual, Mr. Invidual. You really are just a cog in the wheel."


No I'm not just a "cog in the wheel," there is no wheel (only a collectivist could think in such terms to begin with). Your attempt to destroy my argument by ad hominem will not work. Your statement would have been funny because evil, which is what your statement is, is impotent unto itself, but when put into action among a great number of people, it becomes a threat to freedom.

---

"Anyhow, I feel there should be a pretty high minimum standard for the living conditions of people. You should only be able to sink to a fixed low (unless you forcefully WANT to go lower.) This minimum standard should fluctuate as a society gets more or less properous, instead of being absolute."


Yes it was understood from your first post, that you think it is ok to force people to act according to how you would like them to. By determining that 'someone' should set such standards, you are stating that some group or gang should have power over the lives of individuals by way of force.

---

"It's not feasible to do such a thing in the US, at least not to the standard I would deem fair, but there are countries (such as Denmark) which do this quite well. Of course, Denmark is far wealthier per person than the US... they can guarantee nobody goes homeless."


The average American earns around $30,000 to $32,000 + per year; with somewhere around six or seven million millionaires in the US, with a total asset base in the U.S. of 45 trillion dollars (basically more than the rest of the world combined). The average person in Denmark by comparison, earns around $25,000; so no, the average person in Denmark is not wealthier on average than a person in the U.S.

There is only one way to "guarantee nobody goes homeless," and that is by force. But again, it is understood you think it is ok to initiate the use of force; and you also apparently think it is one individual's *duty* to support another individual (whether they want to or not).

---

"But it's only impossible within our current framework of thinking. Maybe in the future, it really will be possible, if so choose it."


Again back to the social subjectivism: "if it is willed to be by 'the people,' it will be."

---

"It depends on how you look at life. If you want to apply survival of the fittest to every individual, then so be it. But we can think of humanity as a whole (regardless of race, gender, creed, nationality, etc.) and support it, to ensure our survival."


No it doesn't depend on how you "look at life." A is A, existence exists; it doesn't depend on how you look at it - that does not change reality, it is called the law of identity, it is the base principle of logic, learn it some time.

If you want to "apply survival of the fittest to every individual" that does not mean that is in accordance with reality; whether you 'want' it to be or not.

Who does "we" refer to exactly? And who does "our survival" refer to?

---

"Once again, you show us a one-sided propoganda-based viewpoint.

Nazism and fascism were definitely not about selflessness in the sense I mean it: devotion to the good of others."


I knew how you meant it, and that is exactly how the Nazis 'meant' it. Devotion to the good of others is not a rational foundation for one's philosophy: there is always another mouth to feed other than your own, another desire to satisfy, someone else's "good" to be devoted to, another sacrifice to make.

---

"Nazism was highly selective, based on race, and on brutality."


Brutality goes along with statism and self-sacrifice (which is a fundamental of altruism, the philosophic system of selflessness): how do you suppose a socialistic government gets people to sacrifice? Practicing selflessness means that the well-being of others come before your own (thus statist governments, such as the Nazis, proclaim that it is your duty to serve the good of the 'whole' or the good of your neighbor or the good of the 'collective' or the party etc., and to not care about your self). Nazism, communism, socialism, fascism, put selflessness into practice as a political system.

Sacrifice means taking a lesser value over a greater value; there is nothing moral about that, and a rational mind would not accept such a deal - so force must be used.

---

"The most well known examples of selfless people are many of the Christian saints. Their stories were recorded eventually. Wether you adhere to their religion or not, you must admit their lives were truly remarkable. Perhaps they don't fit your bill of what life is about, but many of these people lived satisfying lives, not only to themselves, but to others as well. There's no harm in that. There have no doubt been many, many people who have lived lifestyles devoted to the good of others, but many are unknown."


If they were selfless, you are saying they had no self-interest in the work they did (otherwise it would be selfish work); so for instance if it was charitable work, they didn't care about it one way or another (if they did in fact care, it means the work would not be selfless). Will you please define what was remarkable about their lives?

---

"Your viewpoint is tainted with tainted with philosophy, as everyone's is, but I have the feeling you feel your philosophy is absolute. Humans are not fully rational, nor ought they be, in my opinion. We are both rational and non-rational, and this balance is vital to our identity."


Of course it is "tainted" with philosophy: everyone has a philosophy, some choose their philosophy knowingly, others accept such subconsciously (via the media, or by way of parents, etc.). Philosophy applies to every aspect of life.

To be rational means to act in recognition of and accordance to reality as it is; try disobeying reality sometime, reality does not bend to you. Individuals should act to be fully rational: rationality makes possible every rational value one could want to achieve, such as happiness - irrationality stands in the way of every rational value. The base of irrationality is contradiction, and a contradiction cannot exist in reality, in a thought process or in text (etc.) it is proof of error.

No, irrationality is not "vital to our identity." Identity is non-contradictory, a thing is itself (A is A). You have failed throughout your post to back up what you've proclaimed, but have simply stated 'it is' without stating why; you cannot back up what you say, because your argument is contradictory, i.e. wrong. Also, you seem to have a serious issue with using "we" or "our" when stating your own position, who are you referring to exactly?

---

"Being humble has never been dominant code of behavior. Look at history... So much has been about greed, nationalism, individual prosperity... often at the expense of others. There have always been rulers, and much of history has been dominated by a rigid class system."


Humbleness (along with altruism and therefore selflessness and sacrifice) is a principle of Christianity and most every other religion; Christianity was the dominant philosophy of the dark ages. So yes, humbleness has been a dominant code of behavior.

---

"As for the middle ages, this is another poorly thought out example. The middle ages had to happen. They weren't necessarily a time of darkness."


They were a 'dark' period in history. A thousand years went by with extremely little to show for them. The dark ages were a period dominated by the philosophy of Saint Augustine, the evil man who concretized Original Sin philosophically.

---

"Sure, life wasn't peachy-keen in A.D. 600-1500, but the middle ages were a time of great political turmoil and set the stage for the Renaissance."


Not peachy-keen? It was worse in Europe than it has ever been there in recorded history. The middle ages did not set the stage for (other than that they came before) the Renaissance, Saint Thomas Aquinas (thanks to Aristotle) and other philosophers did.

The dark ages were dark on principle.

---

"Europe found crucial parts of its identity in those often unfortunate times. The middle ages were responible for the formation of European nations, which ended up, in a way, ruling the world."


Which "crucial" parts would those be exactly? And beyond that, crucial does not mean good.

---

"Much of the problems in the middle ages were due to a result of a lack of virtues. Who ruled Europe? Kings, feudal lords, knights, and the clergy. Many of these people were simply ruthless and semi-barbaric. This upper class went to church, and in the case of the clergy, proclaimed their beliefs, but did not adhere to them."


Statism is not an entirely new development; dictators, and socialist gangs are the modern variation of kings and feudal lords - they all rely on force (and forced sacrifice).

---

"They abused their positions of power... Kings did not often get off their high horses to lend peasants a helping hand."


Not only did kings not "get off their high horses to lend peasants a helping hand" but more importantly they made it next to impossible for peasants to help their own self.

 
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73. Re: $LAVE$ Sep 7, 2001, 22:22 Shingen
 
"I wish everyone who likes to equate a capitalistic economy and so-called "free" market system with actual freedom and/or happiness, would take a look at what is happening in both China and the former Soviet Union. Now that many in the latter are no longer enslaved by communism (not socialism, there is a big difference) they are enjoying the freedom to starve and other glories of capitalism. Organized crime and prostitution are skyrocketing while a few get rich and many fall further into poverty. As bad as communism is, many people in Russia now long for its return. "


One of Russia's biggest problem is that it is ruled by the mob; the gang that used to occupy the communist party, has turned into a mafia power after the fall. Russia isn't anywhere near capitalistic, it has very few components of capitalism. Beyond that, communism had destroyed the country to such a great extent, under the best conditions Russia would be hard pressed to get back on it's feet in a few decades. Russia is enjoying few if any parts of capitalism; and yes, freedom entails the freedom to starve if you don't *earn* your living. The few aren't getting rich, the few have always been rich under communism, it is just now a more public issue: the gangsters that used to hold the power in the communist party are still gangsters, just in a different political structure.

"Further into poverty," that is a slap in the face to the Russians who have known some of the greatest levels of poverty in history; there isn't much "further" to it.

---

"As for China, what better example could there be that a "free market" doesn't really "free" anyone, except for the freedom for some to make more money. Even with an economic system growing more capitalistic everyday the government still wages war on IDEAS and individuals--with the enthusiastic financial support of many American and international businesses all too happy to make a buck--who gives a shit if a few "pro-democracy" demonstrators get crushed by tanks, right? There&#8217;s money to be made!"


China does not have a free market. An economic system does not "grow more capitalistic" a political system does (an economic system would become more oriented toward the free market). China's political structure is not growing more capitalistic: the communists are simply accepting bribes (whereas before they did not allow any foreign investment), which isn't an uncommon practice with communism - communists in the USSR did the same thing, it's essentially an extortion racket; which is why the communist leadership (and their friends) does fine under communism, but everyone else suffers to a great extent.

 
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72. Re: Capitalism Sep 7, 2001, 22:05 Shingen
 
"A large amount of those 1.3 billion people are still working in the countryside on farms. Whereas out of the total population of the U.S., only 2% work on farms. China was not aided by the U.S. in industrialization as Japan was, plus they started a great deal later. It is unfair to compare a 3rd-world country's economy to a very well developed one."


It isn't unfair because a third world country is a third world country on principle; most African nations for example are in such horrid conditions not because of 'fate' or some other mystical reason, but because few (if any?) countries in Africa have ever had protected individual rights, specifically property rights.

China has failed to develop faster because their political system has kept them stagnant economically for a hundred years (particularly the period where Mao reigned). Most of China (the farm lands that you reference for instance) is ruled in a feudal agrarian manner, by lords that preside over a territory by consent of the communist leadership in Beijing.

When America went through industrialization, it didn't have the benefit of existent industrial technology and knowledge that could help speed up the process dramatically; China has that benefit, but their political system has held them back a great deal (although they've learned to be far more lenient than the Soviets were, or else their economy would get choked off to an extreme point (as it did with some of Mao's adventures in communism)).

China is being aided by the U.S. in its goal of further industrialization, and it is being aided by Japan to a great extent (that is, to the extent that China will allow either to invest in the country to help speed industrialization). China was not aided much previously because they wouldn't allow investment, or they wouldn't guarantee not to nationalize the investments (ownership stakes, new companies, etc.), or they would place so many restrictions on investment that it wasn't worthwhile to invest (such restrictions remain, but to a lesser extent).

 
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67. Re: Capitalism Sep 7, 2001, 16:19 Shingen
 
"The point is that they can or can not be related. There's no rule that says that the two must work in concert. Of course in America money buys politics (returning to the Mircosoft debate) so the two are virtually identical. Do they need to be? Not necessarily."


This is like saying that freedom and slavery can work together. It's an attempt to seperate cause and effect, the law of causality does not fail to apply however (causality is the rule that says they must work in concert). If you have a statist political system, you cannot have a free market because in order to be free, an individual must be free to keep the product of his/her effort; someone that is not allowed to keep such product, is a slave, and all forms of statism require some level of slavery.

The difference, is an issue of political power, vs. economic power. Political power is backed up by force, economic power is based on voluntary trade (not force). A socialistic system and the free market cannot exist together, because socialism requires economic sacrifice (high taxation in socialist Europe for instance, and all kinds of extreme welfare programs, etc.), in order for the government to pay for the socialism, it must exploit money from individuals by force. By reaching into the economic system, and exploiting money from individuals by force, a government is necessarily eradicating the possibility of an actual free market (which is a market free from force). Japan is currently paying the well overdue bill, on their socialism; which in Japan takes a very large form of 'public works.' Japan has run up somewhere around 8 or 10 trillion in debt, and has relatively little to show for it but a lot of unproductive public work ventures, and thousands upon thousands of companies that rely on public works to exist. Japan played an economic con-game for decades, and has been paying for it for a decade (and will continue paying for it).

What socialism comes down to, is always redistribution of wealth by force (from those according to ability to those according to need (ask yourself who determines and defines 'need')); this alone proves socialism and the free market cannot exist together (in order for the government to redistribute wealth, force is required). Force and the free market are contradictory, as are force and the mind - the mind does not function rationally under the use of or the threat of force (if one must use force to get another person to act, it means that the person is being forced to act against his/her better judgment, otherwise the force wouldn't be necessary). The correlation between economic, and innovation stagnation the greater the level of statism in a country, is no coincidence; Europe has been quite stagnant for over a hundred years, while America has produced countless products and inventions that are used by every industrialized nation. America in a short span of time has become the greatest economic power in history, not by force, but through the productive effort of some 22 million businesses, which produce 10 trillion in GDP.

China proceeds (as did the USSR) to steal technology from other industrialized nations, reverse engineer technology, etc. because their political system, based around the use of force, causes the minds being forced to fail to function rationally. China has 1.3 billion some odd people, yet they have an economy 1/9th the size of the U.S. economy; if it isn't obvious, the correlation between statism and the lack of prosperity, given that figure, then nothing will convince you.

And to cut short the argument: America's prosperity isn't due to exploitation. America has the world's first mass affluent middle class, and a standard of living that puts all but a few countries to shame (America's poor level is defined at around $15,000 per year or below, and by that standard over 95% of the world is poor; India's poor level is often defined in the $350 range by comparison).

Why would one desire to produce, if it is the lack of ability that gets rewarded, not ability? Whatever is a virtue, it is the lack of it that is rewarded under all forms of statism. 35% of the population ends of carrying the economic burden of the other 65% or so (including that 15% + that tends to remain constantly unemployed). Those 15% + that tend to remain unemployed under socialism, remain such because they can; because the government will force everyone else to pay for them to be unemployed.

---

"You are simply wrong. Please explain the seperation of government and the free market in Germany, or the entire EU for that matter. I'm quite interested to see how your imagination explains this."


You say I am "simply wrong" but you fail to provide any proof, this isn't unusual.

Germany doesn't have a free market economy; an *actual* free market economy means the seperation of state and economics. The "entire EU" does not have a free market either; France and others are borderline communistic (in France it is becoming near impossible just to fire an employee without approval of a government board, and may yet). Statists think the solution to the problems that statism cause, is... more statism; see: California energy problem.

The shabby little game that statists have tried to play, is to make capitalism into nothing more than an economic system so that they can claim to combine it with their statist system; i.e. to have their cake and eat it too.

So while the German government may proclaim to have a free market, it then proceeds to intervene in that market constantly, to enforce thousands of operational regulations, to collect massive percentages of tax on every profit, etc. all backed up by the threat of force. As I've said before, a market forced to be free (that is, a market controlled, and then proclaimed to be free), is not a free market.

 
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60. Re: Capitalism Sep 7, 2001, 13:55 Shingen
 
"#53... Did you go to BS University? You seem to believe that political ideology and economic structure go hand in hand. I think you're the one that suffers from propaganda."


First of all, prove it (that it is I who suffer from propaganda).

Second, political structure determines economic structure. Capitalism and socialism are not compatible, and the free market does not work with communism or nazism (thus Red China and the Soviet Union both lack/ed a free market economy). Political structure is one of the primary branches of philosophy, economic structure sits under (and is determined by) the political structure. A free market cannot exist without freedom; a market forced to be free at the point of a gun (a contradiction) is not a free market - all forms of statism must use force (initiate force) to achieve their goals, thus none of them are compatible with freedom.

---

"#53, you are talking out of your arse. You quote an impressive number of facts from the Nazi era, but in trying to equate that to Communism you completely fail to take account of the fact that the fundamental ideologies are diametrically opposed... why do you think one talks about "right-wing" and "left-wing"? It is true, that in extremism, both ideologies converge towards totalitarianism. That doesn't mean they're the same. Methinks you have gone totally overboard with your all-American commie witch hunt."


Communism and Nazism are not opposed, they are two rival gangs. I didn't say the were the same, I said they have the same philosophical basis.

---

"You also failed to separate the theoretical foundations of an ideology from their implementation. I suggest you read Das Kapital before throwing Marx (a political philosopher and economist) in the same category as Hitler (a despot who murdered millions, for Chrissake!) That alone is enough to disqualify your post completely."


Marx' philosophy has murdered far more than "millions." In its implementation it has murdered *tens of millions*, from Red China to the Soviet Union, in gulags and outright executions.

I haven't failed to seperate the theoretical foundations from their implementation. And no, it isn't enough to disqualify anything of what I have said. Marx was a political philosopher, he provided the method of implementing what Stalin, and Hitler accomplished; their actions are the implementation of his philosophy.

Your first sentence points toward the classic argument that communism works in theory, but not in practice. Communism fails in practice because it does not work in theory.

---

"And as for Kant: if you're not intelligent enough to read the original texts, then please refrain from passing judgement on this great thinker. His epitaph was (and I paraphrase): "There are two things that will never cease to amaze me - the glory of the firmament above, and the power of the moral imperative within." Does that sound like the grandfather of absolutist dictatorships to you?"


Oh Kant was definitely a genius, in his ability to attempt to destroy and undermine reason. You haven't refuted what I said about Kant, you've attempted to evade it. Kant believed that if you desired to gain a value (freedom, happiness, etc.), and you pursued it, you were immoral for pursuing that which you desired; he held that the virtuous is that which is done with complete selflessness, i.e. without any self interest. Kant held that an individual deserves moral credit only if his/her action is done from duty. Someone who is honest, because they are unwilling to compromise their integrity, but does not act honest out of 'duty' is not moral according to Kant; if an individual wants to be honest, that individual deserves no moral recognition according to Kant, but if that individual doesn't want to be honest, but is honest, then they do deserve moral reward.

Kant held that if there is any kind of reward involved, an action is no longer a virtue. So, if one proceeds to remain alive by their own productive effort, and receives the 'reward' of surviving, the person's actions are not a virtue; Kant banished one's effort in supporting one's own life from the realm of the virtous, thus it becomes okay to support your own life by the effort of others (i.e. to sacrifice others to your self, and your self to others; which is how statism functions).


Kant created the first philosophy of nearly pure self-sacrifice; it is no coincidence that individuals such as Marx who learned from (and followed) his philosophy have done such massive sacrificing.
This comment was edited on Sep 7, 14:00.
 
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News Comments > Microsoft Break-up Broken
56. Re: Capitalism Sep 7, 2001, 13:01 Shingen
 
"by your definition, USA wouldn't be a capitalist state either. The Right of Imminent Domain makes everything owned by the state if it so desires."

No, America isn't a purely capitalist nation (which is often called 'laissez-faire'). America does however feature a greater mixture of capitalism (capitalistic principles) than any other nation in history, but it still has a mixture of statism (a rapidly increasing amount of statism).

 
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News Comments > Microsoft Break-up Broken
55. Individualism Sep 7, 2001, 12:55 Shingen
 
"I think that statement embodies a lot of what's wrong with money-based philosophy. An economy should exist for the benefit of everyone, not for individuals."


This philosophic statement would be hilarious if it weren't so common. Who do you suppose 'everyone' is? They are individuals. There is no such organism 'society' or 'the whole.' There are only individuals.

What the quote really means, is that the economy should exist for the benefit of some, but not for the benefit of others.

BTW: who do you suppose makes an economy? Individuals do.

---

"I don't think it's proper to have a system which benefits those on whom fate smiles, with a small amount trickling down to the rest. It's too Darwinistic (which is the way things work, but IMHO, is something that humanity has the power to overcome.)"


Fate didn't smile on Edison, or Einstein, or Ford, etc. They *created* wealth, or ideas, etc. The Wright brothers didn't have fate smiling on them, they learned how to fly.

And, if that is "the way things work" (in reference to darwinism), then how is it you think "humanity" can overcome it? You mean, you think humanity can fight reality? This is an example of what I stated previously, social subjectivism. Thinking that 'somehow' the group or the collective or "humanity" can overcome anything (the law of identity even), just as long as they 'will' it to be.

The way things work, isn't by social darwinism. The rational success of one individual isn't to the detriment of another; the man that created the transistor did not do so at the expense of the man that did not create it, and did not know how.

The individuals who created 'push button' labor did not harm other individuals, they made their jobs easier, their labor less intensive. The individuals who created the graphical user interface, if they grew rich by their invention, did not gain a reward anywhere near the value their invention has given in return.

---

"Ray is somewhat correct. People don't mind screwing each other over, as long as they can "rationalize" it with "I have to take care of #1"/"I worked hard, I deserve it"/"Survival of the fittest.""


It isn't necessary to screw someone over to be successful, to make money, etc. in a free society.

Of course one has to take care of "#1," selflessness is not a virtue. Since I don't care to write a book explaining it to you, I'll point out that selflessness, i.e. self-sacrifice, was Hitler's philosophy (and communism's, nazism's, fascism's, and is socialism's), how did that work out again?

---

"This is the curse of prosperity: A subtle and deeply-rooted selfishness develops in people; the virtues of humility, humbleness, and self sacrifice are washed away, and concern for the well-being of others takes a back seat."


There is no curse of prosperity. Rational self-interest is the cause of prosperity. Which is a reason so much of the world has lacked such; the philosophy that has dominated the world is selflessness. There is no virtue to humility, humbleness or self-sacrifice; this has been proclaimed for two thousand years, and it wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. The middle ages, which were dominated by self-sacrifice, humility, and humbleness were the darkest period in recorded human history.

Care for the well-being of others does not require that you sacrifice your self to them. And care for others does not require humility, or humbleness.
This comment was edited on Sep 7, 13:34.
 
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News Comments > Microsoft Break-up Broken
53. Capitalism Sep 7, 2001, 12:34 Shingen
 
"Someone compared Marx with Hitler...

Blahahahaha... Sniff.. HAhahahahahaha...

Fact: Despite the name of the Nazi party Hitler's Germany was in fact capitalist in nature. What's Ironic is that at the time Nazi's and American's had much more in common than any other Allied power. Basically Hitler took power under a certain ideal and then changed the whole damn system. Do your homework Capitalist."


First, no, that isn't a fact. I've done far more homework than you have; you're relaying propaganda.

Second, I wasn't comparing; however Marx was far more evil than Hitler: Marx makes Hitlers and Stalins possible. Ever read Mein Kampf? Hitler mirrors Marx. They were both collectivists, they were both statists, they were both altruists. No coincidence that Hitler killed a lot of people, and Marx' philosophy has killed a frightening number of people (hundreds of millions over the 20th century).

Statism means the concentration of power in the state (political leadership), at the expense of liberty. Kant, Hitler, Marx, Stalin, Hegel, Mao, Lenin, Mussolini, etc. all share the same philosophical principles, collectivism, statism, altruism. Care to do the math on their combined death toll? If you are unwilling to accept reason: then just look at the results. America in its 225 year history has yet to have a dictator, a king, etc. It is the aspect of capitalism (the only political system compatible with freedom) present in America that has made that possible; as capitalism gets removed, it becomes more and more likely that a fascist leadership will develop in America.

If you want a more specific comparison: USA & the KKK, vs Germany & the Nazis; capitalism made it impossible for the KKK to seize actual power (it gave men like Martin Luther King, JR an opportunity to defeat the ideology of the KKK) - the lack of capitalism in Germany made it easy for the Nazis to seize power, by merely chanting some vague promise (more space, more whatever).


Communism is unjust in practice because it is unjust in theory. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"; that is unjust and evil in theory, and so it is unjust and evil in practice. The USSR didn't fail because they didn't practice communism purely; it failed because if it had, there would be noone left to practice it, i.e. communism to be pure must kill everyone (because it is a system of sacrifice, and the ultimate sacrifice to make is your own life).

Fascism, nazism, socialism, communism are merely flavors of same philosophy: irrationalism. They all sacrifice human lives on the "public good" altar (the real meaning of that phrase, is the good of some at the expense of others; i.e. that it is ok to violate the rights of some people, and those some are defined by the gang in power - for the communists it was the burgeois specifically, and everyone in general).


No, Nazi Germany wasn't capitalistic (not even close); a capitalistic system has never existed, only 'mixed' systems have. Capitalism is a social (political) system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

Capitalism is a system that holds there are only individual rights (not 'collective rights'); Nazism is a political system that denies individual rights (and holds that some individuals have the right to violate the rights of other individuals); thus they can't both exist at the same time, that alone proves you wrong, but I'll go further. The Nazi party controlled all aspects of life (including economy); thus it wasn't capitalistic. As Friedrich Sieburg (a Nazi writer) stated: "There are to be no more private Germans," this is contradictory to capitalism, again you're wrong. Or to quote Robert Ley, another member of the Nazi leadership "each is to attain significance only by his service to the state, and to find complete self-fullfillment in this service." "The only person who is still a private individual in Germany, is somebody who is asleep." Again, this is contradictory to capitalism.

The Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production (they allowed pretend ownership, which wasn't ownership, because the State still held absolute control); thus it wasn't capitalistic (private ownership of the means of production is essential to capitalism, it cannot exist without such). The Nazis demanded that the government run the economy; Nazis held legal ownership to be irrelevant, what they declared is their right to control the property and the ownership. The Nazis held that one could 'hold' property, but that The Party had the right to do with it as it pleased; thus it wasn't capitalistic. Under nazism, collective ownership is de facto, under communism collective ownership is de jure; neither are compatible with capitalism.

In Germany, the Food Estate, the Estate of Trade and Industry, and the Labor Front, took control of the economy. This again proves Nazi Germany wasn't even remotely capitalistic. All prices, wages, and interest rates were fixed by the central authority. The Nazis worked hard to keep an appearance of a free market, they completely failed however. Businessmen retained the responsibility of production, but gained none of the benefits. The State determined the purpose and conditions of the production, and reaped the benefits of it (the benefits were put toward destruction). In one form or another, the State expropriated all profit; this is anti-capitalistic. Germany had so many controls, directives, taxes, welfare organizations and fees, special provisions, economic policies, compensations, reliefs, freezes etc. that it is quite ridiculous that you could even bring your mind to think it was capitalistic in any sense; you either lack knowledge, or are mentally deranged.


Or better, I'll let Hitler prove me right, that Germany was not capitalistic:

"Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is socialism - not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our socialism goes far deeper."

"The people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them. They gaze fascinated at one or two familiar superficialities, such as possessions and income and rank and other outworn conceptions. As long as these are kept intact, they are quite satisfied. But in the meantime they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force has caught them up. They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

Or to quote Goebbels: "To be a socialist, is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole." There certainly is no doubt that fascism, communism, nazism, socialism have sacrificed hundreds of millions of individuals to the 'whole' the 'total' the 'collective.'

Also, notice that Hitler states "possessions" (i.e. property) as being outworn; that is, his philosophy is anti-capitalist down to the root. When Hitler says the right to property is outworn, he is saying freedom is outworn.


---


"Yes, Germany has produced some of the most evil men in history, but I'm not sure why you rank Immanuel Kant up there with Hitler."


Because Immanuel Kant (and to a lesser degree, Hegel) made Marx, Hitler, Stalin, etc. possible (they were the philosophic products of Kant). Kant's philosophy swept through Europe like a disease; and Europe exploded with two massive wars. Europe was a mess on philosophic principle; and the philosophic principles that dominated the 20th century were that of Immanuel Kant (and his philosophy remains popular; pragmatism is an Americanized version of Kant's philosophy).

Capitalism for the relatively short period it was being spread produced the longest period of world peace in modern history, from the end of the Napoleonic wars, to the beginning of WW1 (roughly 100 years), at which point the statist regimes (which had been gaining power) exploded into conflict.

Kant, Marx, Hitler all share the same philosophical foundation: that humans are there to be sacrificed (and no coincidence, that is what has been achieved when their philosophies have been put into practice). Kant provided the philosophic foundation, Marx applied it to the political realm, and Hitler, Stalin etc. put it into action.

Immanuel Kant is the man that undercut most of the last remnants of reason that existed in Europe (left over from the Renaissance); his philosophy helped produce the most irrational political systems ever devised. Kant's goal was to save the philosophy of self-sacrifice - and he did.

Kant created the philosophy of social subjectivism; that is, if the 'collective' or 'group' wants it to be so, it is so; if the group wills it to be, it will be; if the collective wants there to be no absolutes, there are none; etc. Previously, individual subjectivism had existed, that stated if one desires it to be so, it is so (regardless of whether it breaks the law of identity or not); Kant took that and applied it to the group. Marx taught a form of social subjectivism, on the basis of 'class struggle,' the Nazis took social subjectivism and applied it to race.

This is why the social subjectivists always fall back to "the greater good" or the "public good" or the "good of the greatest number," because they believe if one wants to make the impossible possible, the best shot at it is to get the greatest number of people to 'will' it into existence.

No amount of 'willing' will break the law of identity however; reality cannot be conned.

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
33. Re: Logo Sponsorships Jul 27, 2001, 16:24 Shingen
 
Well, you don't necessarily have to lose his wonderful artistic talents... talk to him about profit sharing (and the creative control issues involved). It is very likely that Walter fully understands the economic situation that Blue's is going through, given that Walter has been doing Web design / advertising for such a long time.

I can't imagine how a publisher or game company wouldn't like to have him do the logo either... (with their approval on the final work) make it a stipulation perhaps (if they want to advertise using that method, Walter gets first option on doing the logo); if no companies are willing to go along with that, keep the system as is (that is, the logo not being sponsored).

And you could even alternate, one week do a sponsor, the next week don't; so that you can still do Quake1 logos (and other such).

Obviously though, if you're getting into corporate approval of the ad - well, that can be a major pain (Walter does an ad, the company doesn't like it, Walter has wasted time, etc.). But if it helps to keep the site running...
This comment was edited on Jul 27, 16:27.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
32. Re: Logo advertising Jul 27, 2001, 16:13 Shingen
 
"Given the massive number of readers visiting Blue's News, one would think there would be many logo options to choose from regarding offers from publishers or game companies that might want to publicize their game via the logo; so quality of logo (and the fun faction involved in the logo) wouldn't have to inherently suffer."


That should be 'fun factor involved'.

One of these days I'll learn to log in everytime I post.

 
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News Comments > More on New id Games
5. All wrong Jul 9, 2001, 22:46 Shingen
 
You're all off the mark.

Carmack figured out a way to merge polygons with reality. But only so he could optionally turn off that giant ball of fire in the sky.

'bad fire ... bad fire ... bad fire burn my skin ... away fire!'

 
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