Left is to communism as right is to ____?

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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:45 pm

gib wrote:
Gloominary wrote:For me, left/right politics is less important than real/fake politics.

Real politics is populism, going after the richest 1%'s wealth and liberty, while at the same time, protecting the bottom 99%'s wealth and liberty as much as possible.
Raising taxes and regulations on the richest 1% and big business while reducing taxes and regulations on the bottom 99% and small business as much as possible.


This sounds like just a relabeling of left/right. Your "real politics" is leftism.

Not exactly, because fiscally I'm a social democrat, not a democratic socialist or communist, and socially I'm a libertarian and nationalist, not a progressive or globalist.
In a nutshell, social progressives are in favor of Covid, climate and gun control, I'm not in favor of Covid, climate or gun control.
Social progressives are misandrists and antiwhite, I'm not a misandrist or antiwhite.

gib wrote:
Gloominary wrote:Communism in theory: What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine.
Capitalism: what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours.
Altruism: What's mine is yours, what's yours is yours.
Egoism: What's mine is mine, what's yours is mine.
Fascism: What's ours is ultimately the dictator's, what's the dictator's is the dictator's.


I'd be interested to know everyone's definitions of these terms. ^ I don't know if the above count as definitions, but I don't think fascism is defined as the dictator owning everything. And altruism and egoism aren't political systems.

I think a huge portion of confusion, and thus argumentation, stems from the use of conflicting definitions without questioning them. Even the thought that we might be using different definitions doesn't come to mind (and often one doesn't even care because the point is to attack your rival rather than come to a common understanding). Silhouette, for example, helped clarify a few things for me by reminding me that communism is originally defined in terms of collective ownership by the people in a governmentless state rather than the totalitarian regimes we call communist states today where there are no governments more powerful and where the economy is fully controlled by those governments.

So backup what you say with definitions (please).

Fascism is an absolute dictatorship, so in one sense, the dictator owns everything and everyone in the state, but in another, fascists prefer to delegate more than communists-in-practice/state capitalists.
A fascist economy is a mixed one, regulated capitalism, some corporatism/corporate welfare, some socialism/social welfare and a bit of state capitalism.
However, there's nothing to stop the dictator from heavily taxing, regulating or nationalizing any and all business and businesses, he has the power to do so in theory, but practically he'd alienate the middle and upperclass, who'd try to have him assassinated.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:47 pm

Gloominary wrote:
gib wrote:
This sounds like just a relabeling of left/right. Your "real politics" is leftism.

Not exactly, because fiscally I'm a social democrat, not a democratic socialist or communist, and socially I'm a libertarian and nationalist, not a progressive or globalist.


You know what this sounds like to me? "...fiscally I'm a glippy troobadub, not a troobadubic glippist or zerpijist, and socially I'm a brabavundian and shoopidoopist, not a rupleebative or serlaclist."

That's a lot of "ists". I have no idea what these terms mean to you.

Gloominary wrote:In a nutshell, a social progressive is in favor of Covid, climate and gun control, I'm not in favor of Covid, climate or gun control.
A social progressive is a misandrist and antiwhite, I'm not a misandrist or antiwhite.


Well, that's a start. As far as definitions go, are these the defining marks of a progressive or just some of their characteristics? If someone asks me: what is a progressive? Do I say: a progressive is someone who is for void, climat, and gun control, and is a misandrist and antiwhite, or is there a closer, more concise definition?

If you're against these things, then that puts you closer to the right (in my mind). But wanting to tax and regulate the 1% of the wealthiest people in the nation (particularly with a tone of disdain for them) is leftist. It's leftist not just because it's anti-capitalist but because it invokes taxation in particular, a government club with which to bat down inequalities and level the playing field.

Gloominary wrote:Fascism is an absolute dictatorship, so in one sense, the dictator owns everything and everyone in the state.
but in another sense, fascists prefer to delegate more than communists in practice/state capitalists.
A fascist economy is a mixed economy, regulated capitalism, some corporatism/corporate welfare, some socialism/social welfare and a bit of state capitalism.
However, there's nothing to stop the dictator from heavily taxing, regulating or nationalizing any and all business, he has the power to do so in theory, but practically he'd alienate the bourgeoisie, who'd try to have him assassinated.


So is "absolute dictatorship" how you define fascism? Because fascism, as I understand it, is the belief that some groups (usually race or nationalities) are better (more deserving, more entitled, etc.) than other groups. In this case, Nazi Germany would have been fascist but not Stalin's communism, even though both were absolute dictatorships.

And when you talk about a fascist economy being mixed, regulated capitalism, how does that follow from being an absolute dictatorship. I understand the dictator *could* allow for a mixed economy but he could easily disallow it too. Or do you mean that a political system is only fascist when an absolute dictator allows for a mixed economy? <-- And why just that?
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:50 am

gib wrote:
Silhouette wrote:I'd actually disagree that in conjunction with the extreme planned economy this exemplifies Communism though. In my understanding, Communism is collectively run - so it's basically the exact opposite of being run by some central autocratically led State.

Right, I'd forgotten about that. The idea of communism is that the society as a whole collectivizes and runs the show themselves, applying egalitarian principles for all. Marxism isn't the idea of a strong centralized government that plans and determines the means of production and the economy as a whole, but the dissolution of government, over time, giving way to the collectivist state--all that's needed is a temporary dictatorship of the proletariat. But no example in history exists where a communist system has been able to take it beyond the dictatorship stage--temporary is never temporary--and so I often think of communism as centralized economic power.

I also wonder what people are thinking when they talk about things like anarchic communism--collective ownership without a government--the idea of such a society. Are they saying the world could actually see such a society, or are they saying this is the idea only. I mean, suppose you setup a society to operate in some configuration--capitalist, anarchic communist, libertarian, whatever--and then let it go. What are the chances it will remain that way forever? What are the chances it will eventually undo and regress to a more natural state (whether that be a dictatorship, capitalism, anarchy, whatever). Does human nature always lead to a single type of society?

I think the "human nature" investigation is the core of the issue, about which everyone seems to make the most premature conclusions.
Firstly there is no uniformity to the nature of humans - there is (quite significant) variation.
Secondly, the nature of humans not only changes over time, but changes contingently upon environment - much of the "general" nature is specificially circumstantial.
The question is "what" influences "whose" human nature: when, why, where and how?

But what we see people answering instead is "what have I made of human nature in general so far in my life contingent upon my own human nature"? The answer they come up with is usually a projection of their own personal nature within their own particular circumstances, onto general nature across universal circumstances.

This is what seems to explain "rightist" evaluations of the left, and "leftist" evaluations of the right:
1) The right understand that looking after yourself is okay, that it's your responsibility and not that of others, and that the best person to communicate your own wants is your self.
2) The left evaluate this leaning as too uncaring about others, too self-centred and greedy, to underhandedly keep others down to the detriment of wider society.
3) The left understand that self-interest is ultimately hollow compared to the social completion of doing things for others, and that the best thing you can do for yourself is give to others.
4) The right evaluate this leaning as faking the favouring altruism and generosity for underhand reasons, so that the left can ultimately self-interestedly benefit from secret egotistical and greedy aims.

None of this subjectivity gets to the bottom of "human nature" at all, it just expresses one aspect of it per person out of many - an objective analysis is needed, and a scientific approach to all variables.
NOT just "let's see what happens when some backward basically-feudal countries rebel against their oppressive dictatorships a few times, under heavy counter-revolutionary pressure from more developed countries that already advanced to the capitalist stage in terms of historical materialism" - and call that a completed test. It's simply a joke to the scientific method to even think of claiming that.

Obviously it's problematic to get past the dictatorship stage, and it's easy to just assume that you can't - that we simply have to "choose our preferred tyranny" as Joker put it.
Maybe that's true, but looking at the quality of the testing so far, I don't think the jury is out yet by a long way. It's not meant to just be an "idea" - it's meant to be manifested in reality. It's not meant to merely replace one tyranny with another.

About "applying egalitarian principles for all" - I'm not convinced this is necessary. It's an issue of freedom:
Is it freedom to explore the limits of self-actualisation by allowing resources to accumulate in the hands of fewer and fewer people just to see what greatness they can accomplish with that much inequality acting in their favour?
Or is it freedom to open up the competition to all with equal opportunity to see who can achieve the most greatness from the same starting point? Does equal opportunity need to be consistently reset to maintain it?
This question of freedom is problematic from the outset because there is a natural restriction of available resources to go around - already constraining any possible freedom.

This isn't to be confused with there being a fixed amount of resources in the world, it's about what balance of production and what consensus on equity we can achieve. Extreme inequality can actually achieve huge amounts of production at the cost of equity (e.g. slavery), and Communism is meant to redress this balance more in favour of equity without compromising on production.
The issue here being the natural constraints on available resources means that you can only compromise on production after you've already built a history and infrastructure from maximising production at the expense of equity, which is able to chip away at this compromise incrementally over time after periodically fighting for human rights. You need to go through Capitalism to get to that point first, but at some point after that, Capitalism isn't needed as much as equity when inequality isn't really benefiting anyone anymore. Today there's so much wealth that's harder to spend than it is to earn by the richest people - why is that so necessary? Surely both left and right can agree that the degree of today's inequality is obscene and wasteful.
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Left is to equality as right is to hierarchy.

Postby Zeroeth Nature » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:05 am

gib wrote:It's said that if you go far enough out on the left wing, you get to communism. They also say, in a rather reactionary way, that if you go far enough out on the right wing, you get to fascism. But I don't think this dichotomy is right. For one thing, the right doesn't stand for racism. Right wing ideology stands for minimizing government and maximizing free markets. Laissez Faire.


Wrong. Minimising government and maximising free markets are two different things—I mean, they are not even on the same axis. In fact, your mistake is that you're thinking along a single axis. An example of a two-axis political spectrum is the Nolan chart:

Image

This is already a step in the right direction. I disagree with its axes, though, because they're really just two different kinds of the same axis, the liberalism axis: namely, cultural and economic liberalism.

From 2009 to 2011, I tried and determined the correct axes. The end result thereof is this thread's OP: https://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=175495&p=2225220. Note though that my coinage, "communitism", is terrible; I'd simply call it "illiberalism" now.

Your thread's title question is actually a trick question (unintentionally, I'm sure). The answer is: "Left is to equality as right is to hierarchy."

The reason the "right" is for economic freedom and against cultural/personal freedom in the contemporary West is the following. Economic freedom leads to economic inequality; and lack of cultural/personal freedom leads to cultural/personal inequality: the normative culture is exalted above all other cultures, the latter which are ranked according to how compatible they are with the former.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:03 am

gib wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
gib wrote:
This sounds like just a relabeling of left/right. Your "real politics" is leftism.

Not exactly, because fiscally I'm a social democrat, not a democratic socialist or communist, and socially I'm a libertarian and nationalist, not a progressive or globalist.


You know what this sounds like to me? "...fiscally I'm a glippy troobadub, not a troobadubic glippist or zerpijist, and socially I'm a brabavundian and shoopidoopist, not a rupleebative or serlaclist."

That's a lot of "ists". I have no idea what these terms mean to you.

By social democracy, I mean, you know, the usual: universal healthcare, higher education and basic income.
Keep most of the economy in private hands but increase regs on big business and taxes on the 1%, enough to pay for the UBI and so on.
By democratic socialism, I mean nationalizing, socializing and unionizing most of the economy, especially big, and essential business like energy, food and textile production and distribution.

Gloominary wrote:In a nutshell, a social progressive is in favor of Covid, climate and gun control, I'm not in favor of Covid, climate or gun control.
A social progressive is a misandrist and antiwhite, I'm not a misandrist or antiwhite.

Well, that's a start. As far as definitions go, are these the defining marks of a progressive or just some of their characteristics? If someone asks me: what is a progressive? Do I say: a progressive is someone who is for void, climat, and gun control, and is a misandrist and antiwhite, or is there a closer, more concise definition?

Basically, a social progressive is in favor of these three things:
One, gun control.
I'm against gun control.
Two, technocracy, mandatory education, healthcare and environmentalism.
While I'm in favor of making education and healthcare publicly available, I'm against making them compulsory, for example I'm against forcing parents to educate and vaccinate their children, and I'm against forcing adults to socially distance and wear masks, let alone get vaccinated.
Environmentally, I'm in favor of clean air, food and water, ending animal cruelty, wildlife conservation, but I'm against climate alarmism/hysteria.
Three, anti/reverse discrimination.
While I don't think government should discriminate against people on the basis of race, sex and so on, except for perhaps which people it chooses to surveil more, I don't think it should prevent discrimination either, including private businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, sex and so forth.
I believe in freedom of association, and I most definitely don't believe men and whites are bad or 'privileged', that we owe women and nonwhites reparations.

If you're against these things, then that puts you closer to the right (in my mind). But wanting to tax and regulate the 1% of the wealthiest people in the nation (particularly with a tone of disdain for them) is leftist. It's leftist not just because it's anti-capitalist but because it invokes taxation in particular, a government club with which to bat down inequalities and level the playing field.

I'm a green populist, to me that means economically and environmentally center-left and socially center-right (but more socially national libertarian than socially conservative, for example I'm in favor of legalizing abortion, euthanasia and all drugs).
By nationalism I mean ending illegal and mass immigration, if not immigration altogether, national sovereignty, protectionism, not letting Canadian land and housing be bought by foreigners.

Gloominary wrote:Fascism is an absolute dictatorship, so in one sense, the dictator owns everything and everyone in the state.
but in another sense, fascists prefer to delegate more than communists in practice/state capitalists.
A fascist economy is a mixed economy, regulated capitalism, some corporatism/corporate welfare, some socialism/social welfare and a bit of state capitalism.
However, there's nothing to stop the dictator from heavily taxing, regulating or nationalizing any and all business, he has the power to do so in theory, but practically he'd alienate the bourgeoisie, who'd try to have him assassinated.

So is "absolute dictatorship" how you define fascism? Because fascism, as I understand it, is the belief that some groups (usually race or nationalities) are better (more deserving, more entitled, etc.) than other groups. In this case, Nazi Germany would have been fascist but not Stalin's communism, even though both were absolute dictatorships.

And when you talk about a fascist economy being mixed, regulated capitalism, how does that follow from being an absolute dictatorship. I understand the dictator *could* allow for a mixed economy but he could easily disallow it too. Or do you mean that a political system is only fascist when an absolute dictator allows for a mixed economy? <-- And why just that?

Yea, an absolute dictatorship but with a mixed economy, cultural, ethnic and national supremacism but not racial supremacism (racial supremacism is a Nazi thing), patriarchy, imperialism, tough on drugs and crime.
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Re: Left is to equality as right is to hierarchy.

Postby Silhouette » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:11 am

Zeroeth Nature wrote:The reason the "right" is for economic freedom and against cultural/personal freedom in the contemporary West is the following. Economic freedom leads to economic inequality; and lack of cultural/personal freedom leads to cultural/personal inequality: the normative culture is exalted above all other cultures, the latter which are ranked according to how compatible they are with the former.

Economic freedom leading to inequality just leads to relative economic unfreedom for the majority.

Money for those who have it is freedom.
Money for those who do not have it is unfreedom.
A price is this line in the sand.

Cultural/personal freedom leading to inequality doesn't mean shit.
Some people get more popular than others when these factors are allowed to be unequal. Some people can be offended and have their feelings hurt, so what?
In Maslow terms, social needs are way up there in 3rd position - free them up and let them be unequal.
Economic freedoms determine the primary and secondary needs of humanity - your very means to live at all. How popular you are, a decline in mental health doesn't really figure if you're physically starving. Civilisation is the point where it's possible to prevent needless suffering at the base level - it's the point where it's possible for everyone to be sufficiently economically free by whatever means. So the pinnacle of civilisation is the peak balance of economic unfreedom until economic resources are no longer scarce for all.

This is why economic freedom must remain controlled until resources are sufficiently available to everyone.
This is why cultural/personal freedoms don't mean anything until economics have been solved. Maybe then we can have the SJWs fight it out (the current ones are only able to do so because they're a minority who are already economically spoiled) - but we still have wider economic problems to solve first - SJW shit can wait if it's ever needed (I don't think it is). Once nobody is suffering economically, then we can do whatever we like - that's true freedom. That's what Communism is aiming towards, no matter how unacceptably dirty its history of practice has been.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zeroeth Nature » Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:18 am

Silhouette wrote:
Zeroeth Nature wrote:The reason the "right" is for economic freedom and against cultural/personal freedom in the contemporary West is the following. Economic freedom leads to economic inequality; and lack of cultural/personal freedom leads to cultural/personal inequality: the normative culture is exalted above all other cultures, the latter which are ranked according to how compatible they are with the former.

Economic freedom leading to inequality just leads to relative economic unfreedom for the majority.

Money for those who have it is freedom.
Money for those who do not have it is unfreedom.
A price is this line in the sand.


Right, good to point that out: inequality means inequality of freedom (power!).

Wrong, though, to call this freedom economic freedom again. [See below.]


Cultural/personal freedom leading to inequality doesn't mean shit.
Some people get more popular than others when these factors are allowed to be unequal. Some people can be offended and have their feelings hurt, so what?


Well, to use iambiguous' favourite example, a pregnant woman who's not free to have an abortion is forced to have the child, and children are expensive. So here it's cultural/personal unfreedom, not economic freedom, that leads to a lack of positive freedom (economic and cultural/personal freedom are both negative freedoms!).


In Maslow terms, social needs are way up there in 3rd position - free them up and let them be unequal.
Economic freedoms determine the primary and secondary needs of humanity - your very means to live at all. How popular you are, a decline in mental health doesn't really figure if you're physically starving. Civilisation is the point where it's possible to prevent needless suffering at the base level - it's the point where it's possible for everyone to be sufficiently economically free by whatever means. So the pinnacle of civilisation is the peak balance of economic unfreedom until economic resources are no longer scarce for all.

This is why economic freedom must remain controlled until resources are sufficiently available to everyone.
This is why cultural/personal freedoms don't mean anything until economics have been solved. Maybe then we can have the SJWs fight it out (the current ones are only able to do so because they're a minority who are already economically spoiled) - but we still have wider economic problems to solve first - SJW shit can wait if it's ever needed (I don't think it is). Once nobody is suffering economically, then we can do whatever we like - that's true freedom. That's what Communism is aiming towards, no matter how unacceptably dirty its history of practice has been.


I like the reference to Maslow, and I don't disagree with what you say here about the importance of economic unfreedom for the realisation of positive freedom for all. However, I think you're downplaying the importance of cultural/personal freedom. In fact, the two cannot be strictly separated, as my "ambiguous" example has shown (and there are many more). As I said, I disagree with Nolan's axes. My axes are "left/right" (equality/hierarchy) and "liberalism/illiberalism" (individualism/collectivism). Marxian Communism and Mussolinian Fascism, for example, are both collectivist movements, but the former wants an egalitarian collective whereas the latter wants a hierarchical one. By passion I'm against both, since I'm an extreme individualist; but by reason I'm for the the latter, assuming I'd be ranked at the top (above the Leader) there... The self-actualisation of the fewest is infinitely more important than the basic needs of the many-too-many!

P.S.: I'm no nationalist, so I'm really not much of a Fascist. But I am for a hierarchical collective as indicated.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby zinnat » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:36 am

In its true sense, neither right has anything to do with fascism not left with communism. However, if right goes bad, it can easily end up into fascism. In the same way, if leftism goes bad, it can end up as communism.

Take the example of Trump. he really stands for right but right now he is merely a step away from becoming fascist. Suppose, for whatever reasons and in whatever ways, he refuses to stand down and able to force himself for next term, US will see fascism.

Both of right and left ideologies and good and bad points and neither is absolutely perfect. So, an ideal society should use the merits of both while avoiding the wrongs within. My personal opinion is that slightly right( Not much) to the centre is an ideal position.

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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:12 am

I remember now why I stopped posting on ILP, I write long posts and nobody responds or they have me on ignore. [Or what I write goes beyond people's heads.] I wonder how many people at this forum have me on ignore right now. *Laughs*
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:29 am

Zero_Sum wrote:I remember now why I stopped posting on ILP, I write long posts and nobody responds or they have me on ignore. [Or what I write goes beyond people's heads.] I wonder how many people at this forum have me on ignore right now. *Laughs*
There aren't many people here, so don't draw conclusions on small information. As much as you like to trigger people, you're no troll and you do actually notice, at least sometimes when someone says a point you need to mull over.

Wait, where's your long post? ARe youZeroeth Nature ?
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zero_Sum » Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:49 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Zero_Sum wrote:I remember now why I stopped posting on ILP, I write long posts and nobody responds or they have me on ignore. [Or what I write goes beyond people's heads.] I wonder how many people at this forum have me on ignore right now. *Laughs*
There aren't many people here, so don't draw conclusions on small information. As much as you like to trigger people, you're no troll and you do actually notice, at least sometimes when someone says a point you need to mull over.

Wait, where's your long post? ARe youZeroeth Nature ?


The Satanist? No.

Well, I should of said multiple posts which added together is somewhat long.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:29 pm

Silhouette wrote:
Gloominary wrote:Economically, communism is state capitalism

Apparently I never get tired of pointing this out:

Wikipedia wrote:Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal')[1][2] is a philosophical, social, political, economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money[3][4] and the state.[5][6]

And no, it's not Wikipedia being wrong - Communist literature backs this up as wiki references (N.B. that famous quote about "the withering away of the state").

Historically, backward basically-feudal countries rebelling against their oppressive dictatorships with the promise of replacing it with Communism, and ending up merely supplanting the former model under a different name apparently confuses everyone.
It's too easy for rebellions against tyranny to merely replace one tyranny for another - absolutely.
This isn't the same as Communism necessarily being Statist, even if just "in practice at least". Even Marxist Historial Materialism places Capitalism after Feudalism: there needs to be a transition through Capitalism first to get to Socialism, and then Socialism to Communism once the Socialist State withers away. But it doesn't wither away when you try to skip steps, apparently it just ends up as the same thing claiming to be something else and confusing everyone. I'm even skeptical that revolution from late-Capitalism won't get us to the Statelessness that defines Communism. Does that mean there's no way to get there? Anyone with a remotely scientific approach knows that conclusion is far from confirmed.

The only thing that's certain is that Communism is in no way Fascism. The compass is laid out such that you can combine the two different things (e.g. Stalin) but like I explained: a highly regulated economy by the State isn't the same as workers collectively being free to decide how to organise the workplace without owning capital. The compass clarifies that social issues are distinct from economic ones, but the philosophy of politics goes deeper than just that.

Yea, there's a difference between state capitalism, where government nationalizes business and runs it for profit, in the interests of the governors, and socialism, where government nationalizes, and unionizes business and runs it in the interests of workers and consumers, covering the costs of production and distribution by taxing the 1%, paying workers handsomely and charging consumers nothing or next to it.
A difference between corporatism, where government taxes the 99% and small business to give to big, and socialism, where government taxes the 1% and big business to give to the 99% and small.
A difference between overregulating small business and underregulating big, and regulating them both evenly, which often means regulating small business less, for they can't afford to be regulated as much as big.
Unfortunately, most fiscal libertarians either can't, or are unwilling to see this difference, between government intervening on behalf of itself and corporations, or on behalf of workers and consumers.
For them, government is government is government and it is evil.
On the other hand, some 'socialists' are under the misimpression that government can do no wrong.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Gloominary » Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:08 am

And of course socialism has to be democratic.
And the people have to be politically informed and engaged.
Supporting the same corrupt establishment decade after decade won't get you socialism, or libertarianism, it'll get you corporatism.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:34 am

Silhouette wrote:I think the "human nature" investigation is the core of the issue, about which everyone seems to make the most premature conclusions.
Firstly there is no uniformity to the nature of humans - there is (quite significant) variation.
Secondly, the nature of humans not only changes over time, but changes contingently upon environment - much of the "general" nature is specificially circumstantial.
The question is "what" influences "whose" human nature: when, why, where and how?


I agree when it comes to individuals, but not so much when it comes to whole societies. I think whole societies will behave in a much more predictable manner over time than individuals. Otherwise, the social sciences wouldn't rely on large sample sizes to conduct experiments. The right would have nothing to fear about a move too far to the left turning the country into communism. Or the left fearing a move too far to the right turning into fascism or anarchy.

Silhouette wrote:None of this subjectivity gets to the bottom of "human nature" at all, it just expresses one aspect of it per person out of many - an objective analysis is needed, and a scientific approach to all variables.
NOT just "let's see what happens when some backward basically-feudal countries rebel against their oppressive dictatorships a few times, under heavy counter-revolutionary pressure from more developed countries that already advanced to the capitalist stage in terms of historical materialism" - and call that a completed test. It's simply a joke to the scientific method to even think of claiming that.


I agree with that.

Silhouette wrote:About "applying egalitarian principles for all" - I'm not convinced this is necessary. It's an issue of freedom:
Is it freedom to explore the limits of self-actualisation by allowing resources to accumulate in the hands of fewer and fewer people just to see what greatness they can accomplish with that much inequality acting in their favour?
Or is it freedom to open up the competition to all with equal opportunity to see who can achieve the most greatness from the same starting point? Does equal opportunity need to be consistently reset to maintain it?
This question of freedom is problematic from the outset because there is a natural restriction of available resources to go around - already constraining any possible freedom.


This is where my knowledge of Marxism is limited. I'm not sure if Marx envisioned "applying egalitarian principles for all" or simply envisioned a governmentless society where the people collectively own everything and collectively decide on what to do with it. Certainly I think a sovereign nation, if it reached that stage of collective ownership without government, should be free to make whatever decisions they feel is best. If they want to hand over specific resources to a select few who they deem in their estimation to be best qualified to use those resources optimally for the whole society, then so be it. If they choose to distribute those resource to everyone equally in the name of fairness, so be it. But whatever Marx envisioned, it seems the left of today are steadfast against anything other than equal distribution (however, that also depends on how you're measuring equal distribution. Kamala Harris's distinction between equality and equity turns on just this question).

Silhouette wrote:This isn't to be confused with there being a fixed amount of resources in the world, it's about what balance of production and what consensus on equity we can achieve. Extreme inequality can actually achieve huge amounts of production at the cost of equity (e.g. slavery), and Communism is meant to redress this balance more in favour of equity without compromising on production.
The issue here being the natural constraints on available resources means that you can only compromise on production after you've already built a history and infrastructure from maximising production at the expense of equity, which is able to chip away at this compromise incrementally over time after periodically fighting for human rights. You need to go through Capitalism to get to that point first, but at some point after that, Capitalism isn't needed as much as equity when inequality isn't really benefiting anyone anymore. Today there's so much wealth that's harder to spend than it is to earn by the richest people - why is that so necessary? Surely both left and right can agree that the degree of today's inequality is obscene and wasteful.


I would have to be a lot more educated on the economics of these matters to comment. I had an interesting discussion with Eric_The_Pipe a while back here (I wonder where Eric is these days) in which I started out, like you, wondering what harm it could do to redistribute some of the wealth more uniformly, but Eric brought up some interesting points that aren't so intuitive.

If you were to ask for my (uneducated) opinion, I'd say just throwing money at a problem can itself be the cause of the problem. Those with money can do a lot of good for society, alleviating a lot of the strife the poor have to endure, not simply by donating their money to the poor but by investing their money in strategic ways--for example, building schools, contributing to medicine, etc.--let them decide how best to use their money to solve problems. One of the biggest problems the poor face is not knowing how to manage money properly. It's why they're poor in the first place. So just giving them money can sometimes be a waste of money. And those who do know how to use money to lift themselves out of poverty have probably done so already--since Johnson's Great Society initiatives--and what's left are people for whom throwing money at them doesn't help. I think a whole different strategy has to be contrived--really figure out what's at the root of the problem, and start making changes there--social programs, cultural change, whatever--which will obviously require money but only as a means. The end product will probably be something not many people are expecting.

Zeroeth Nature wrote:Wrong. Minimising government and maximising free markets are two different things—I mean, they are not even on the same axis.


I never said they were.

Zeroeth Nature wrote:the liberalism axis: namely, cultural and economic liberalism.


Which means what?

Zeroeth Nature wrote:The answer is: "Left is to equality as right is to hierarchy."


Is this everyone's consensus?

Gloominary wrote:By social democracy, I mean, you know, the usual: universal healthcare, higher education and basic income.


So the "social" part means the government provides all these things for the people, correct? And the "democracy" means what? That we vote on what the government should provide?

Gloominary wrote:Keep most of the economy in private hands but increase regs on big business and taxes on the 1%, enough to pay for the UBI and so on.


So the "social" part also means regulating businesses, and that the tax money required to pay for all these social services and regulations comes from the 1%. Is that correct?

Gloominary wrote:By democratic socialism, I mean nationalizing, socializing and unionizing most of the economy, especially big, and essential business like energy, food and textile production and distribution.


Oh boy, now what do these mean? By socialism, I assume you mean the same as above--the provision by the government of social services (the essentials), presumably by means of tax dollars. And what do you mean by nationalizing? Does it mean, for example, that basic healthcare is provided at the federal level to all citizens, effectively subverting the state's right to choose whether to implement social healthcare? And unionizing... everyone pays via taxes for unions to which all have equal access? And unions are made of the people and serve the interests of the people, fighting as a force against unethical business practices?

How about the "democratic" part? Does it mean nationalized and unionized socialism within a democracy? Or maybe the details of the socialist programs, or even to have socialism, is put to a vote by the people?

Is there any overlap between social democracy and democratic socialism? Does the "social" part of social democracy make it a form of socialism, the kind referred to in democratic socialism? Or does it pivot around the "nationalized" part? Or the "unionized"? As soon as you nationalize social services within a democracy, it becomes democratic socialism? Or as soon as you unionize, it becomes democratic socialism?

Go easy on me, Gloomy, treat me like I'm in kindergarten.

Gloominary wrote:Basically, a social progressive is in favor of these three things:
One, gun control.
...
Two, technocracy, mandatory education, healthcare and environmentalism.
...
Three, anti/reverse discrimination.


Ok, since I'm asking for formal definitions here, I'm going to take this as a formal definition. A social progressive is someone who is in favor of gun control, technocracy, mandatory education, healthcare, environmentalism, and anti/reverse discrimination. <-- That's actually 6 things, but who's counting (we could lump mandatory education, healthcare, and environmentalism together and label it with your "social democracy", which requires generalization, but I'm guessing you're ok with that; still leaves us with 4 though).

It still leaves out why we'd call such a person a "social progressive". You see, Gloomy, you're giving what seems like rather arbitrary definitions. You might as well say a social progressive is someone who in their 20s, like plane cheese pizza, and has an uncle named Merve. Sure, we could work with that definition, but then you're kinda stuck with it... such that if we met someone who meets all the criteria above except isn't a technocrat, they wouldn't be a social progressive. An alternate way of defining terms is to break down into its component terms. What does the "social" part mean? Well, probably "socialism". That could be further defined, of course, since socialism means something different to each person, but at least it's a common term for which we all share a general understanding of its meaning. And "progressive"? From what others say, a progressive is someone who believes in progress--that is, change--that society as it stands is in need of change, that progress needs to be made, and we should go about enacting that change. So you see how I tie "progressive" to a word that makes sense--progress--which makes it much less arbitrary. So a social progressive is someone who believes in making progress--in change--by way of socialism.

Gloominary wrote:I'm a green populist, to me that means economically and environmentally center-left and socially center-right (but more socially national libertarian than socially conservative, for example I'm in favor of legalizing abortion, euthanasia and all drugs).


*Uuuggh!!!*

Gloominary wrote:By nationalism I mean ending illegal and mass immigration, if not immigration altogether, national sovereignty, protectionism, not letting Canadian land and housing be bought by foreigners.


Ah, that's better. Defining your "isms" without recourse to other "isms" (I mean, you have protectionism but I happen to know what that means). Is this the same nationalism that you referred to when you defined democratic socialism? If so, you see how this adds a lot of clarity. It's not the implementation of social programs at the federal level as I interpreted, but protecting your national integrity from outside influences.

Gloominary wrote:Yea, an absolute dictatorship but with a mixed economy, cultural, ethnic and national supremacism but not racial supremacism (racial supremacism is a Nazi thing), patriarchy, imperialism, tough on drugs and crime.


But the Nazis were fascist. And what if one of these elements was missing. If Hitler's Germany legalized drugs, it wouldn't be fascist? What about matriarchies? Can feminist dominated regimes not be fascist?
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:46 am

gib wrote:I would have to be a lot more educated on the economics of these matters to comment. I had an interesting discussion with Eric_The_Pipe a while back here (I wonder where Eric is these days) in which I started out, like you, wondering what harm it could do to redistribute some of the wealth more uniformly, but Eric brought up some interesting points that aren't so intuitive.

If you were to ask for my (uneducated) opinion, I'd say just throwing money at a problem can itself be the cause of the problem. Those with money can do a lot of good for society, alleviating a lot of the strife the poor have to endure, not simply by donating their money to the poor but by investing their money in strategic ways--for example, building schools, contributing to medicine, etc.--let them decide how best to use their money to solve problems. One of the biggest problems the poor face is not knowing how to manage money properly. It's why they're poor in the first place. So just giving them money can sometimes be a waste of money. And those who do know how to use money to lift themselves out of poverty have probably done so already--since Johnson's Great Society initiatives--and what's left are people for whom throwing money at them doesn't help. I think a whole different strategy has to be contrived--really figure out what's at the root of the problem, and start making changes there--social programs, cultural change, whatever--which will obviously require money but only as a means. The end product will probably be something not many people are expecting.

I clicked the link you provided and I also watched the youtube video he linked with Thomas Sowell.

My attempt to appear humble will sorta fail when I admit that I didn't come across anything I hadn't pondered before, and that I developed no small disdain towards Sowell.
He presents himself as an intellectual (fitting unequivocally in with his own definitions of one from the video) pleading that we ought to disregard intellectuals.
Ought we to begin with disregarding him?

Such an argument is a poorly veiled conservative one: to respect only experience in competently conducting current affairs as they are, and to disregard those who attempt otherwise...

It's evidently obvious that new, untested ideas will fail far more often than currently viable ones. That's the whole point though. We learn through failure, and we attempt to mitigate the collateral along the way.
Academics have their place and achieve their results exactly because they challenge limits and assumptions - and that's how they consistently progress their fields. Sowell basically argues to keep that the hell away from everyday life...
I find that attitude to be detestable and the lowest of low-hanging fruit in terms of intellectual points to make: "let's just stick to what we know because it's safe".
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zeroeth Nature » Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:22 am

gib wrote:
Zeroeth Nature wrote:Wrong. Minimising government and maximising free markets are two different things—I mean, they are not even on the same axis.


I never said they were.


Well, 1) you said right wing ideology stood for those things, and 2) the left/right axis is a single axis. So there.


gib wrote:
Zeroeth Nature wrote:the liberalism axis: namely, cultural and economic liberalism.


Which means what?


Good question, except that I already answered that in the post I linked to: 'Liberalism is for freedom. The kind of freedom determines the kind of liberalism. Economic liberalism, for example, is for economic freedom. All kinds of liberalism, however, are for the individual's freedom from the community.'

And in my reply to Silhouette: 'My axes are "left/right" (equality/hierarchy) and "liberalism/illiberalism" (individualism/collectivism). Marxian Communism and Mussolinian Fascism, for example, are both collectivist movements, but the former wants an egalitarian collective whereas the latter wants a hierarchical one.'


gib wrote:
Zeroeth Nature wrote:The answer is: "Left is to equality as right is to hierarchy."


Is this everyone's consensus?


Of course not. So what?

I suppose though that if you want to stick to your original question, the answer is indeed: "Left [i.e., egalitarianism] is to Communism [i.e., egalitarian collectivism] as right [i.e., hierarchism] is to Fascism [i.e., hierarchic collectivism]."

As for "consensus":

"The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties based on issues of social equality and social hierarchy." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left–right_political_spectrum, opening sentence.)
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby gib » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:38 pm

Silhouette wrote:My attempt to appear humble will sorta fail when I admit that I didn't come across anything I hadn't pondered before, and that I developed no small disdain towards Sowell.
He presents himself as an intellectual (fitting unequivocally in with his own definitions of one from the video) pleading that we ought to disregard intellectuals.
Ought we to begin with disregarding him?


I think you misunderstand his argument. He's not saying we ought to disregard intellectuals outright. He's saying we ought to be skeptical about them when they speak as authorities outside their field of expertise. His point is that, as intellectuals, people like university professors tend to use their intellectual prowess as leverage to claim authority on nearly any subject, regardless of whether they know what they're talking about or not. Ought we to disregard Sowell himself? I'm sure he would agree that we have every right to disregard him, and he'd probably even encourage it insofar as he admits he's not an expert on the topics he talks about, but that's never stopped anyone from voicing their opinion. I think you could call Sowell a hypocrite if he claimed to be an expert, and that we should all trust him, on subjects he knows nothing about, just because he's a smart intellectual. But if he freely admits his words are just opinion (however informed they may be) then I don't think that would be hypocritical and I think he'd see it as reasonable to be skeptical.

On testing new ideas, Sowell is the first in line to advocate testing new ideas. I don't know if it was in that video, but I remember a video in which Sowell criticized racial integration into schools explicitly on the grounds that the idea was never tested for its merits. He's all for testing ideas as a means of moving society forward, but here testing means something very specific. It means trying the idea out on a small enough sample size on a small enough scale to not cause too much harm if something goes wrong, but large enough so that the results are significant. And if the results are promising, move to a larger sample size and a larger scale. Your idea of testing new ideas is to implement the idea wholesale right out of the gate. Like taking an idea for a new kind of political system, and establishing a whole state on that idea with the expectation that it will just work and will last for centuries to come. In fact, it's not even a test--not really--except in the sense that the idea really will get tested--oh yeah, it will definitely get tested--with possibly huge numbers of lives lost, or widespread injury, or numerous lives ruined, etc.--oh yeah, we'll know for sure whether the idea works or not. But in fact, proponents of the idea will probably cover up all the fail cases, or deny them, or make excuses why all such failures weren't "really" an application of the real thing, or some such, because as ideologues, that's what they tend to do--the conviction that the idea is right comes first, and consideration of any failed tests comes second if at all. This is why the tests for communism around the world and throughout history keep getting tried over and over again despite their staggering failure rate. We always need just one more test, one more tweak, one more twist in how it is implemented, and this time it will work--effectively rendering any test useless.

Would you have wanted the COVID vaccine released earlier this year, skipping the whole testing phase? The amount of damage and possibly number of deaths caused by a beta-version would have been a great test.

Silhouette wrote:Academics have their place and achieve their results exactly because they challenge limits and assumptions - and that's how they consistently progress their fields.


That is not how they make progress in their fields. They make progress by noting real world instances of their subject matter and publishing objective and scientifically rigorous commentary on it. Challenging limits and assumptions might be a way to make a name for yourself, to stir the pot, to incite discussion, but if the implementation of those challenges goes untested, particularly if they fail, I wouldn't call that progress, I would call it a disaster.

Silhouette wrote:I find that attitude to be detestable and the lowest of low-hanging fruit in terms of intellectual points to make: "let's just stick to what we know because it's safe".


Talk about low hanging fruits--your rant doesn't even have anything to do with the subject matter. You responded to my comment about what to do about poverty and crime, and the link I provided to the other thread, with something else from the thread I wasn't even referring to just because it offered a springboard from which you could post a scathing retort.

Zeroeth Nature wrote:Well, 1) you said right wing ideology stood for those things yes, and 2) the left/right axis is a single axis.


No, I didn't even say that.

Zeroeth Nature wrote:
gib wrote:Is this everyone's consensus?
Of course not. So what?


Well, then we're back at square one.

And that was addressed to everyone in this thread, not you specifically. I'm trying to determine if the definitions of left/right are really as varied as I initially assumed, or if everyone understands them to mean egalitarianism and hierarchicalism respectively. <-- In that case, I happily admit that I'm out to lunch.

Zeroeth Nature wrote:"The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties based on issues of social equality and social hierarchy." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left–right_political_spectrum, opening sentence.)


Then I happily admit that there is a consensus among most people on this definition, and mine is (mostly) out to lunch.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Silhouette » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:24 am

gib wrote:I think you misunderstand his argument. He's not saying we ought to disregard intellectuals outright. He's saying we ought to be skeptical about them when they speak as authorities outside their field of expertise. His point is that, as intellectuals, people like university professors tend to use their intellectual prowess as leverage to claim authority on nearly any subject, regardless of whether they know what they're talking about or not. Ought we to disregard Sowell himself? I'm sure he would agree that we have every right to disregard him, and he'd probably even encourage it insofar as he admits he's not an expert on the topics he talks about, but that's never stopped anyone from voicing their opinion. I think you could call Sowell a hypocrite if he claimed to be an expert, and that we should all trust him, on subjects he knows nothing about, just because he's a smart intellectual. But if he freely admits his words are just opinion (however informed they may be) then I don't think that would be hypocritical and I think he'd see it as reasonable to be skeptical.

Sure, be skeptical - that's intellectualism 101, which includes its application towards one another. That's how science functions and is intended to function - to be skeptical of the experimental evidence gathered by others, any analysis of it, and any conclusions that may appear to emerge from such testing within the context of its controls. The beauty of science is that anyone can replicate a test.

Sowell defines intellectuals as those whose end product is ideas - and he is presenting his ideas as his end product. His ideas are that intellectuals don't know everything "not even 1% of consequential knowledge", which first off is that exact same skepticism that I just mentioned, which intellectuals repeatedly and openly apply to themselves. Perversely it's almost a brag about how much one knows to confess how little one knows - that old Socratic paradox, but not quite as paradoxical as a self-presenting intellectual disparaging intellectuals: if we side with his intellectual knowledge, we doubt him, and if we doubt him, we side with intellectual doubters anyway. Just seems like a waste of effort to write a book to say this less-than-nothingness. He might as well have said we SHOULD listen to intellectualism, and pick up on their own doubt of themselves, and he'd have acheived his goal through less of a paradox.

His efforts are bizarre when you break it down like this, do you not agree?

Generally one is less of an intellectual the more they portend to their own authority. This is why you get the dumbest of people publically praising themselves and insisting they're right and strong, never admitting defeat and turning to the worst of human psychology and cognitive biases in direct contradiction to intellectualism. THEY are the people who warrant the most skepticism, and to those not educated in skepticism, a message like Sowell's could all too easily be interpretted as a license to lean back towards the ideologues that we agree do not warrant any authority.

gib wrote:On testing new ideas, Sowell is the first in line to advocate testing new ideas. I don't know if it was in that video, but I remember a video in which Sowell criticized racial integration into schools explicitly on the grounds that the idea was never tested for its merits. He's all for testing ideas as a means of moving society forward, but here testing means something very specific. It means trying the idea out on a small enough sample size on a small enough scale to not cause too much harm if something goes wrong, but large enough so that the results are significant. And if the results are promising, move to a larger sample size and a larger scale. Your idea of testing new ideas is to implement the idea wholesale right out of the gate. Like taking an idea for a new kind of political system, and establishing a whole state on that idea with the expectation that it will just work and will last for centuries to come. In fact, it's not even a test--not really--except in the sense that the idea really will get tested--oh yeah, it will definitely get tested--with possibly huge numbers of lives lost, or widespread injury, or numerous lives ruined, etc.--oh yeah, we'll know for sure whether the idea works or not. But in fact, proponents of the idea will probably cover up all the fail cases, or deny them, or make excuses why all such failures weren't "really" an application of the real thing, or some such, because as ideologues, that's what they tend to do--the conviction that the idea is right comes first, and consideration of any failed tests comes second if at all. This is why the tests for communism around the world and throughout history keep getting tried over and over again despite their staggering failure rate. We always need just one more test, one more tweak, one more twist in how it is implemented, and this time it will work--effectively rendering any test useless.

Would you have wanted the COVID vaccine released earlier this year, skipping the whole testing phase? The amount of damage and possibly number of deaths caused by a beta-version would have been a great test.

If he's first in line to advocate testing new ideas, I'm behind him. Not sure it came off great on a video advertising his book about not trusting people who advocate testing new ideas (intellectuals), but I'll take your word for it. Placing him as an intellectual would thereby place him as an advocate for testing new ideas, so the fact that he's skeptical of people who advocate new ideas just plays into the above bizarreness.

Not sure how I managed to get pegged as someone in favour of "testing" ideas "wholesale right out of the gate" - I've said nothing about that being my idea. I can't expect you to have read other posts of mine on other threads on this topic, but on pretty much all of them I absolutely derogate the idea that this kind of approach is anywhere near scientific. The conclusion that Communism doesn't work because it's been sufficiently tested is scientifically ridiculous - and by that I mean the opposite of cramming through more and more of the same terrible approach. I completely agree that targetted small-scale testing must be the beginning of the process, and I completely oppose the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. There is the denial that "Communism doesn't work" out of ideological stubbornness and there is the denial that "Communism doesn't work" because the testing wasn't remotely scientific and the definition of Communism insufficiently applies to what was "tested" in too many of the key respects. The former is illegitimate, the latter is completely legitimate, and it's just lazy to accuse of the former when the latter is being clearly specified. Whether you meant to do that or not, others certainly have - and it's no coincidence that they have been the least scientifically minded and the most attracted to ideologue authority.

No I absolutely would not have the COVID vaccine released before testing. I've re-read my posts on this thread and I don't get where you're getting this idea from at all...

gib wrote:
Silhouette wrote:Academics have their place and achieve their results exactly because they challenge limits and assumptions - and that's how they consistently progress their fields.

That is not how they make progress in their fields. They make progress by noting real world instances of their subject matter and publishing objective and scientifically rigorous commentary on it. Challenging limits and assumptions might be a way to make a name for yourself, to stir the pot, to incite discussion, but if the implementation of those challenges goes untested, particularly if they fail, I wouldn't call that progress, I would call it a disaster.

Whilst I've acknowledged the general mundanity or at least general lack of drama of the scientific process (again, on another thread) I completely reject the notion that science can't challenge limits and assumptions. Of course the testing process is obviously "noting real world instances of their subject matter and publishing objective and scientifically rigorous commentary on it", but the subject matter itself is completely open to whatever warrants testing even if it challenges limits and assumptions. That's how we ended up with things like relativity and spending billions of dollars to detect a particle that some scientists theorised should exist with a large hadron collider. The theorising is what challenges limits and assumptions, and the testing is the boring bit that can go wrong or show no evidence of the phenomena being tested countless times before we finally pin down how to do it right.

That's science, and any idea that we can't apply the same principles to alternative economic models is extremely suspicious.
In all cases of scientific experiment, the greatest concern for safety is involved, and this must be transferrable as well.

gib wrote:
Silhouette wrote:I find that attitude to be detestable and the lowest of low-hanging fruit in terms of intellectual points to make: "let's just stick to what we know because it's safe".

Talk about low hanging fruits--your rant doesn't even have anything to do with the subject matter. You responded to my comment about what to do about poverty and crime, and the link I provided to the other thread, with something else from the thread I wasn't even referring to just because it offered a springboard from which you could post a scathing retort.

Yeah, I got caught up in the video. Your point was that Eric_the_Pipe brought up some interesting points that aren't so intuitive, but it was all stuff I'd already long considered so I didn't have anything to say about them. So I "ranted" about the video instead. You said something about investing in the poor in strategic ways, and there's certainly better and worse ways to do this. But it's not as simple as the poor being bad with money. There are effects of poverty that cause real physiological damage, such as poor nutrition inhibiting frontal cortex development, and choices degenerate with the resulting compromise of the self-control centre of the brain, which is only compounded when you have to resort to moving into environments where everyone else is experiencing the same deprivation. The immediate effects of "just giving them money" might appear wasted - but just like the ancestors of today's rich people moved their familes out of this spiral over time by gaining the ability to acquire more resources, the same can happen to today's poor. They're not simply "better" or "worse" as people - physiologically their constitution is more similar than different, but the effect of environment on their similar physiology over time is what ends up dividing them - and naturally the physiological consequences affect gestation of offspring and how foetuses develop, and the spiral gets passed down over generations. Giving money is a lot more effective at solving poverty than it might at first appear if it's a long term investment. I'd recommend checking out professor Robert Sapolsky at Stanford University, who is a neuroendocrinologist, if you want to learn more about this kind of thing. He more than sufficiently exhibits exactly what one should expect from an intellectual and a scientist, and his area of research is just the kind that I hope Sowell isn't putting people off learning about.
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Re: Left is to communism as right is to ____?

Postby Zeroeth Nature » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:46 am

gib wrote:
Zeroeth Nature wrote:Well, 1) you said right wing ideology stood for those things yes, and 2) the left/right axis is a single axis.


No, I didn't even say that.


And I didn't say you said that. :wink: I intentionally wrote "1) you said [...], and 2) [...]", not "you said 1) [...], and 2) [...]". Anyway, the left/right axis is by definition a single axis, although it could be analysed further, say in a top left/bottom right axis and a bottom left/top right axis...


Zeroeth Nature wrote:
gib wrote:Is this everyone's consensus?
Of course not. So what?


Well, then we're back at square one.

And that was addressed to everyone in this thread, not you specifically. I'm trying to determine if the definitions of left/right are really as varied as I initially assumed, or if everyone understands them to mean egalitarianism and hierarchicalism respectively. <-- In that case, I happily admit that I'm out to lunch.


Most people use those terms, and others like it, wrongly. I have thoroughly investigated them and have determined what they actually mean. You're welcome!


Zeroeth Nature wrote:"The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties based on issues of social equality and social hierarchy." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left–right_political_spectrum, opening sentence.)


Then I happily admit that there is a consensus among most people on this definition, and mine is (mostly) out to lunch.


Well, at least among most scholarly people, yes.
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