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Mark Atwood
Something from USENET, that I'm just saving to remember...

we have a rational means of sharing resources. It's called "capitalism" and works fine when people don't gum it up.

Tell that to a starving child. But you just don't care about that, do you?

I find this dynamic fascinating, largely because it occurs so often.

Statist: "Children are starving."

Capitalist: "If you want children not to starve, the way to go about that is to adopt a market economy with clear, well-defined property rights and the rule of law."

Statist: "You obviously don't care about the starving children."

Can somebody please explain to me *why* anti-capitalists find that last move so irresistible? I mean, it makes no logical sense at all, and yet I've heard it, or some variation of it, so many times that it cannot be coincidence.

6 comments or Leave a comment
jenkitty From: jenkitty Date: May 20th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, I'm an old cynic...

Because all capitalists are evil, moneygrubbing pigs, doncha know? They're all old white men in expensive but bad suits who smoke Cuban cigars and sit at huge mahogany desks in corner offices with lots of windows, on the 35th floor of a major corporation that saves money by dumping toxic wastes into pristine salmon runs in Alaska. They also kick puppies and drown kittens.

In other words, the only way they can maintain their positions is to paint their opposition as having no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. It's not that their opposition is wrong (which could be disproven), it's that they're evil. It's easier to drum up sympathy for your cause if you're supposedly fighting evil.
From: andreloire Date: May 20th, 2004 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Empathy plus Rational Discourse

I've often found it's about the Statist's reaction to whether the Capitalist displays empathy, or more likely to a perceived lack of it.

Statist: "You don't care about starving children." Translation: I don't feel heard. Here you are trying to "solve" the problem and I don't get your solution. You must not have heard me. Therefore you don't care.

An alternate approach I've had some luck with is along the lines of "Isn't it horrible that we live in a world with enough food and energy for all to be healthy and yet children are starving all over?! Even in our own country!" Then a building of both the relationship connection and an invitation to share problem solving where I get to contribute some "here's how I see capitalism makes a difference. Sometimes ruthless but usually just reality based (as in job destruction / creation), but a long-term positive difference."

(It does help that I can back that approach up since my partner and I take in homeless, sometimes starving or strained, youth abandoned by their families because they are GLBT and we help them learn life skills and get on their feet.)

One regular experience I've had, too, is that someone with the starving children 'issue' may not be able to balance "life is sometimes harsh" with their emotional connection to the 'issue or their projection onto the 'issue.'
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: May 20th, 2004 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Empathy plus Rational Discourse

Interesting. I shall ponder that, and try to hold back my ingrained annoyance at the mindset that feels the need to value "validation of my feelings" over "solution to my problem".

BTW, who are you, and why are you reading me? :)
From: andreloire Date: May 24th, 2004 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Empathy plus Rational Discourse


Just read your reply; we were at the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) State Convention in my hometown of Duluth, MN this weekend.

Who am I: someone who came upon your LiveJournal about two months ago(I've been trying to get a broad picture of LiveJournal by reading through Friend pages and following my intuition and interest), can't remember the path.

Why am I reading you: a goodly number of your entries are interesting so I return occasionally.

Tired. 'Night, for now.
docorion From: docorion Date: May 20th, 2004 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because they do not see how your solution solves the problem. Proposition: there are starving children. *Unstated additional proposition*: capitalism allows children to starve, and takes no affirmative action to prevent it (also: the capitalists system specifically prevents such action by institutions of governments, for instance). Conclusion: capitalists don't care about starving children.

You need to read the subtext, you see.
From: flying_pegasus Date: May 20th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Capitalist: "If you want children not to starve, the way to go about that is to adopt a market economy with clear, well-defined property rights and the rule of law."

I own my house and property; I have technoly two car garages with extra garages inside one garage, which is consider by Property Assessor a work room or tool room. Which I converted it in to a Cat Heaven Palaces, with fake Trees and wall to wall Cat Gym. With Extra full size room in back of this Cat Heaven Palaces, where my all cats sleeps at.

Well recently since I converted that work room, which was nothing but concrete and wasn’t weather proof or insulated. Property Assessor did their annually go around to see if you made an improvements or changes to your property.

Well my property taxes went up, instead of being charge for a run down work room their considering it living quarters…fit for humans. Since I put a drinking sink that is hook to my water wall that I have free rights too…it’s not free. I’m getting taxes up the ass for it.

I’m seriously debated if I want to go out of my way fix up the homestead old water unit for my dogs.

Property rights…. you can do anything on your own property, yet rule of the law is, they have the right to tax you up the ass for it.

Now in Yakima they came out with property law, you can’t have more than two cars on your property or on your own grass. Ephrata is trying to do the same dam thing. Dam, I did have Three, now I’m down to two…but I will have three or fours soon.

One for my animals to transport to the vets.
One to pull the fifth wheel of my horse trailer.
One for decent driving.
One for demolition – off road – anger control apparatus for Ephrata Speed way. (If I do it this year.)

So if that law passes, More taxes….for extra vehicles for I’m single. What I was told, never really look in to it. Which I should.

Anys you don't have any well defind property rights...Gorverment controls everything or your commuinty does. Exspeacily if you live in small town, like Ephrata.

You donate to this with X amount of dollars, your part of the Chamber of Commerences and play by their rules. We well look the other way....Hay I might not have to pay X amount of dollar on property Taxes. Or let them know about the updates of my property. KID YOU NOT!

Rule of Law...YOU kiss their ass - Their kiss yours.

I'm sorry if I got off the topic...I'm not in to politics.
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