I don’t want to sound mean… but I think you’re going about this be-the-change-you-want-to-see-in-the-world thing all wrong. (Look at me getting my Gandhi on) But this has likely been pointed out many, many times before. Don’t worry, I was also young, dumb and full of… actually, I hope the last part of that axiom doesn’t necessarily apply to you. If I have any life advice (having now sired girl-children) be discerning about the boys that you allow access to your lady bits. We are extra-ordinarily single minded and some of us are very, very cunning.
I’m inclined to believe that people confuse consumerism, greed and excess with capitalism. Off the top of my head isn’t that a lot like blaming modern medicine for the opioid crisis? Which I suppose, some people might do. Oh, modern medicine and the fact that we don’t keel over and die (from pustulant, weeping lesions all over our body)… eh, direct result of capitalism, because while we want to believe that people do altruistic things for the good of humanity with no expectation of remuneration (and some of them do), capitalism blows these achievements out of the water in terms of sheer scale when we compare actual good done for humanity. Seriously its like comparing the sun to the moon and imagining them to be more or less equal… which for those of you who are not cosmologically minded… the difference is mind bendingly massive.
When you resist capitalism what you’re actually doing is denying humanism and obfuscating the only real (and proven) system available for people to pull themselves out of extreme poverty. You are the economic equivalent of an anti-vaxxer. Sure you can donate mosquito nets to poor people living in Africa (one of the effective altruisms goto projects for apparently getting the most ‘goodness’ bang for your buck). But really, in my opinion, poor people need free markets, liberalism, property rights and rule of law so they can pull themselves out of the pit of poverty and help themselves (and then buy their own mosquito nets). But all they (for the most part) get is fucked by their own authoritarian leadership, populist agendas and the vicious bureaucracy of their trade ‘partners’. But… I suppose with mosquito nets they will live long enough to die young from something else.
If you’re going #Resist something. Resist corruption. Or gerrymandering. Or fucken lobbyists. Or a jingoist foreign policy. Or tariffs. Or farming subsidies… you know, all the things that are actual problems and lead to this perception that capitalism is the villain in the human success story.
I have a note scrawled in my journal that I’m going to attribute to Deirdre McCloskey. Mostly because it’s on a page that contains other McCloskey-isms that I feel more certain are in fact attributable to her. Hmm. This is actually the first time I’ve had to pronoun a trans-person, it feels less strange than I thought it might… and while I admit there is a small part of me that wants to be fractious about this and argue semantics, most of me doesn’t really care enough to get all bent out of shape. Although, to be completely honest, at least some of me wonders if this is personal bias and if I’d be as kind to someone whose work I didn’t necessarily admire. I like to believe I would be. (but who knows)
In any event she said something along the lines of ‘Households are socialist enterprises’.
And also ‘this is smallest group at which this kind of regulation can really work’. Ie Authoritarian control over other peoples lives. I’m paraphrasing that last part from memory (which as we’ve established before in previous posts isn’t great)… so… if I’ve messed this up completely, apologies to Deirdre.
I think I mostly believe this to be true. (although I reserve the right to change my mind without prior notice about anything I’ve previously asserted to be certitude). In your typical nuclear family there is a set amount of income that is distributed by an authoritarian figure (or figures if your parents share the management role to some degree) to non-income earning dependents to satisfy their needs. It works because… well…
…there are consequences for insurrectionist behaviour. Non income earning dependents have to take and accept what they are allocated (or face strangulation)
Once you start to add just one more family into the mix things start to get a little more challenging.
Decisions are still made to distribute the shared income pool and allocated based on perceived need… only people perceive needs very differently and the human condition discerns slight and grievance very easily. That and you’re always going to try and favor your particular ménage first. It starts to get very complicated, very quickly.
I tend to believe human beings are extremely dichotomous. They can come together and co-operate to achieve amazing, truly awesome inspiring things. But group them together and have them decide how to divvy up money and things just go to hell in a hand basket.
Also socialism is bullshit.
I am fascinated by ideological hypocrisy. I’m also fascinated by the occasional ingrown leg hair and how wickedly infected they can get when left to their own devices… so really my benchmark for fascination is relatively low
I have however recently (in moments of levity) been wondering why the Taliban and ISIS dynamited ancient statues, destroyed literature and generally took a dim view of anything Western … but hoarded US Dollars and paid the wages of their adherents in the much vaunted and hallowed USD, the currency of their most hated enemy.
Isn’t this ink saturated paper as Western Capitalist as it gets? I realize this is likely quite subjective but I’m struggling to think of another more representative icon. In any event, surely this particular currency should have been accumulated and then bonfired en masse on the pyre-of -principle™, coupled (obviously) with the ubiquitous chant of ‘Death to America’ and people firing their Ak-Su’s into the air.
Nothing says fuck you, like burning another nations currency. Assuming that countries currency still has some perceived value. Burning Zimbabwean dollars or Venezuelan Bolívar (for any reason other than to keep warm) seems a little silly.
‘Its not about money, its about sending a message’ – The Joker
While I love Thomas Sowell. I want to edit this quote. ‘most of what they saved up’ and ‘rather than to their heirs?’. That seems more inclusive. Pretty sure girls can save as well (as far as I know).
In any event. No. I can’t explain why this is. It’s a total ‘Dick move’ in my opinion, double taxation and just… did I say ‘Dick move’ already? Well lets just underscore that for effect.
Its likely because the dead just lie there. And take it. Instead of rising up to feast on the living in a vengeful night of… well… vengeance.
My strategies to counter this eventuality are two pronged (I mean taxation as opposed to the zombie apocalypse)
- Don’t ever die. Or
- Don’t have anything the government can take from me at the point of my demise.
Both of which are quite tricky.
Or we could you know… vote. And change (bad) laws. I have more faith in the not dying part of my strategy.
Of course you might (hopefully just initially) be inclined to argue that this is a ‘rich’ people problem and therefore doesn’t affect the majority of the population ergo, why should we care? Plus the rich people don’t care about poor people… so really ‘$%&# you’. There is also a school of thought that advocates total seizure of a dead persons assets and that there should be no inheritance of any kind ever… the idea being our society would be a lot more equal and that people should never get wealthier through luck of the draw (in terms of getting wealthy parents, good schooling etc) as opposed to having to (actually) work for it.
In my view it all depends on your view of freedom. And whether you believe in it or not.
Personally I believe that my stuff is my stuff. Feel free to moralize over my hoarding tendencies… but taking half my stuff when I die is stealing. I should be able to decide what to do with my stuff. And if I want to distribute it to my heirs (being aware of the problems this might cause) that is MY decision. I can also give it to charity or burn it all on a giant bonfire should I so desire.
Every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life – Adam Smith
As an aside I think I would like to have a statue erected in my honor. I feel my scalp, devoid of any folliclular interference would provide a most excellent staging area from which countless generations of pigeons can defecate on my glorious countenance. If you guys can just wedge me in between Winston Churchill and Jan Smuts in Parliament Square outside Westminster that would be great. You may need to remove David Lloyd George. But I feel that’s not really a big ask. Also (if at all possible) I’d like to be wielding an ax. Thanks (in advance).
I started reading the Wealth of Nations last night. I decided to delay my commute home somewhat because of the inclement weather conditions (and the vehicular cluster fuck that this would undoubtedly cause) and went to the MALL instead. I found the Wealth of Nations wedged between Das Kapital and Steven Pinkers overly cheerful ‘Enlightment now’ in the Western Philosophy aisle at the local bookstore… So I rescued it. I am quite accommodating that way and also I’ve never read it. There is a huge Adam Smith shaped hole in the rusted out sieve that is my retention sphere.
Found myself, after two chapters flipping back to the forward to remind myself when it was written. 1776! I utter some profane utterance to underscore my amazement. It feels very familiar… but to appreciate it in its originality makes me a little giddy. Ha ha. I’m pretty sure not so long ago boobs (and the application thereof to my face) made me giddy… now its a three inch tome by a long dead Scot. How the mighty have fallen.
Ooooh… only $2.
Vaguely I wonder what comes with the deluxe hug? Perhaps more square inch of mammary gland surface area contact? I might be willing to pay for that. I quite like boobs pushed up against me. (Nice boobs I mean… I am less enthused about strange looking, lopsided boobs that point in opposite directions)
Comparatively I imagine the free hug is like the hug you’re forced to give that creepy relative… while internally reciting the mantra ‘Don’t kiss me on the mouth, don’t kiss me on the mouth’ (while at the same time trying to breathe… through your mouth)
The Deluxe Hug must be… like that all encompassing, grappling, bear hug that takes your to edge of asphyxiation/orgasm? Or maybe there is some form of sanitation that takes place between events. Be sure your hugger is hepatitis free, here’s his certificate. I might be willing to pay for that…
Do you think one still needs to factor in GST?
Sometimes I worry about the future. (When I’m not sleeping I mean). I think about the long haul truck drivers that are going to be out of work. I think about the UPS guy in his chocolate (I wanted to say something else) colored overall getting replaced by… well probably a chocolate colored drone… but most of all I worry about the strippers!
In a cashless society… how would this work? How will these lithe, fearless acrobats be able to put themselves through college anymore? Will strip joints have to put these performers on a payroll? Where will the hedge fund managers go for lunch? Will society fall apart? Will boobs be relegated to mere mammary gland status?
Think about that next you hit up your crypto-exchange. You guys are killing an institutionalized industry (and maybe the world). I hope you’re proud of yourselves!