Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Jub » 2019-05-23 07:19am

Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 07:04am
Oh I didn’t say you chose it. Just that it’s your problem (literally, because it’s something wrong with you). More importantly, it’s not Jeff Bezos’ fault.
So it's not the fault of the billionaires who lobby for governments that favor tax breaks for the rich and thusly deny the government funds that could be used to help the poor. Weird flex, but you do you.
Cus you’re not a kid anymore?
:roll: There was a time when education for kids wasn't free either should we go back to that?
More to the point, because the rest of the country hasn’t collectively agreed to set up free college. They should really, but there’s a whole world of difference between that being a good idea and you being literally entitled to it.
I guess children are also entitled too because of the benefits society gives them...
Only one, so long as that common person has the truth on their side and says the right thing to the right people at the right time.
How likely is that common person to have that correct ear compared to the super rich or one of their bought and paid for lobbyists? The difference in odds between the rich and the poor swaying political opinion is where the gulf in power comes from.
That’s not a problem at all, because it’s a direct consequence of people having rights like bodily autonomy and control over their possessions. When one person’s needs come into conflict with another person’s rights rights trump other people’s welfare because otherwise we can’t have basic rights because there’s nothing that can’t be overruled if other people want to enough. That’s why for example we don’t ban abortions even though the fetus really needs the mother’s body to survive and why you can’t forcibly harvest someone’s organs for transplant.
You might want to look at recent abortion laws in the US , as well as existing laws in other nations before saying this. Post-death organ harvesting could also be a good idea if done well, though hopefully cloned or printed/grown organs make this need obsolete in the near future.
Saying that you have a right to stuff like healthcare and housing and food falls apart because that means having a right that tramples over really basic rights, and then the whole system just falls apart. A right isn’t a right if you can’t use it to be a dick to everyone else.
UBI really tramples over the rights of my fellow man... Same with giving landowners the right to raise food animals on their land or grow crops, things that are banned or restricted in many cities; mostly due to NIBMYs.
Because other people have the right to own property and decide what to do with their time and bodies and you don’t have the right to create your own civilization from scratch using other peoples’ stuff?
Where did I say I wanted to take anybody else's stuff? I was talking about going onto public land and setting up shop out there. Why should a nation state, especially in North and South America have the sole rights to all land within its borders?

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Ralin » 2019-05-23 08:04am

Jub wrote:
2019-05-23 07:19am

So it's not the fault of the billionaires who lobby for governments that favor tax breaks for the rich and thusly deny the government funds that could be used to help the poor. Weird flex, but you do you.
Which tax breaks did billionaires lobby for which you blame for your mental illness?
How likely is that common person to have that correct ear compared to the super rich or one of their bought and paid for lobbyists? The difference in odds between the rich and the poor swaying political opinion is where the gulf in power comes from.
Pretty good, if they’re right. You can buy all the commercials in the world. That doesn’t force anyone to vote one way or another.
You might want to look at recent abortion laws in the US , as well as existing laws in other nations before saying this. Post-death organ harvesting could also be a good idea if done well, though hopefully cloned or printed/grown organs make this need obsolete in the near future.
Are you…against abortion rights or something? Because I think the recent anti-choice laws in the US are pretty terrible.
UBI really tramples over the rights of my fellow man...
In what way? I assume you’re being sarcastic.
Same with giving landowners the right to raise food animals on their land or grow crops, things that are banned or restricted in many cities; mostly due to NIBMYs.
Again with the HORROR of people making choices about how to use their property without YOUR permission!
Where did I say I wanted to take anybody else's stuff? I was talking about going onto public land and setting up shop out there.
There were all these posts in this thread about wiping out the wealthy as a class, how billionaires are slavers, etc.
Why should a nation state, especially in North and South America have the sole rights to all land within its borders?
Because a nation-state has the rights to all the land within its borders. Duh.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-23 08:15am

Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 07:05am
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-22 02:50am
Leave where?
To hell, I guess? Or ideally somewhere more tolerable.
Otherwise it is like being re-sold to a new slave owner on the slave market. You cannot seriously say choosing your servitude is “freedom”.

But sure, if choosing between Wise Masters and Good Masters is “freedom” to you, then the masters have truly enslaved you, mind, body and soul.
Do you actually think that using weird ass idiosyncratic terminology makes you more convincing? Because comparing people literally owning you to people who own stuff you want or need having the upper hand when it comes to getting them to pay you with some of it is pretty damned different from most people’s standpoints.
:lol: And what gives some shithead who got tons of cash exploiting others, or just inherited it from his robber baron daddy, a right to that cash and a high life? Nothing. People aren’t born with crowns on their heads.

If I should go to hell because someone got lucky and was born rich, I am afraid there is literally nothing that prevents me from taking that person to hell as well. After all, we are all humans. Who said he‘s any better than me? He might be much worse than me: a profiteer from blood diamonds, an arms dealer, a sweatshop fashion mogul, a slumlord rental shark.

If such scumbags can rise „to the top“, that top is rotten. I won’t pity any of those psychos once people start looking for whom to blame for the climate crisis and pollution catastrophe.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Jub » 2019-05-23 08:36am

Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 08:04am
Which tax breaks did billionaires lobby for which you blame for your mental illness?
Given that my mental illness (Adjustment Disorder) is actually due to circumstances of my upbringing as well as the current state of the economy I'd say it would be easier to ask which ones didn't cause it in some way. Way to show your ignorance about environmental mental illness there champ.
Pretty good, if they’re right. You can buy all the commercials in the world. That doesn’t force anyone to vote one way or another.
Sorry, but that's pretty easily disproven by years of lower classes voting against their own interests due to years of advertisement and propaganda. You might also want to look into the psychology behind mass advertising and media influence in general to avoid looking like an idiot on this topic.
Are you…against abortion rights or something? Because I think the recent anti-choice laws in the US are pretty terrible.
You literally said, "That’s why for example we don’t ban abortions." I was pointing out that this isn't really the case, especially not outside of certain western nations.
In what way? I assume you’re being sarcastic.
You were arguing that the right to necessities, such as food and shelter, somehow trampled on the rights of others. I brought up UBI as a counterfactual.
Again with the HORROR of people making choices about how to use their property without YOUR permission!
Do you have a learning disability I don't know about? I was arguing for the right to do these things on private land not against it you fucking numbskull. Try reading the words I'm writing instead of skimming them and making something up.
There were all these posts in this thread about wiping out the wealthy as a class, how billionaires are slavers, etc.
Yes, they are and they shouldn't exist. I don't see redistributing that wealth as stealing any more than I consider existing taxes to be theft.
Because a nation-state has the rights to all the land within its borders. Duh.
Why? Just because it's commonly accepted that those with the guns make the rules doesn't make it right, especially when a government refuses to address basic issues like wealth equality or climate change in the face of evidence that both are serious and immediate issues.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Ralin » 2019-05-23 09:01am

Jub wrote:
2019-05-23 08:36am
Given that my mental illness (Adjustment Disorder) is actually due to circumstances of my upbringing as well as the current state of the economy I'd say it would be easier to ask which ones didn't cause it in some way. Way to show your ignorance about environmental mental illness there champ.
So wait, you not being able to deal with being poor and the economy having troubles is Jeff Bezo’s fault now? Seriously?
Sorry, but that's pretty easily disproven by years of lower classes voting against their own interests due to years of advertisement and propaganda. You might also want to look into the psychology behind mass advertising and media influence in general to avoid looking like an idiot on this topic.
Clearly those lower classes you claim to care so much about have a different viewpoint on the matter.
You literally said, "That’s why for example we don’t ban abortions." I was pointing out that this isn't really the case, especially not outside of certain western nations.
Well yes, and that’s a bad thing.
You were arguing that the right to necessities, such as food and shelter, somehow trampled on the rights of others. I brought up UBI as a counterfactual.
You misunderstand. Having welfare programs up to and including UBI as a way of providing a better life for people in general is a good thing for many reasons. Note the phrasing: good thing. Trying to expand that into an out and out right that other people are obligated to give you twists the concept of rights out of shape and ultimately cheapens the concept. Not everything that we should do because it makes life better is or should be a right. People are way too free about throwing that word around.
Do you have a learning disability I don't know about? I was arguing for the right to do these things on private land not against it you fucking numbskull. Try reading the words I'm writing instead of skimming them and making something up.
Wait I’m confused now. Are you against zoning regulations?
Yes, they are
False. Show me a billionaire in America who owns slaves. It certainly isn’t common.
and they shouldn't exist.
They totally should
I don't see redistributing that wealth as stealing any more than I consider existing taxes to be theft.
If you can’t understand why taking people’s things from them against their will is stealing I don’t know what to tell you. Happily basic rights don’t depend on your blessing.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Ralin » 2019-05-23 09:03am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-23 08:15am
:lol: And what gives some shithead who got tons of cash exploiting others, or just inherited it from his robber baron daddy, a right to that cash and a high life? Nothing. People aren’t born with crowns on their heads.
Because it belongs to them either because they somehow earned it themselves or were given it by relatives who did.

Also, we’re talking about rich people here, not ‘shitheads who got tons of cash exploiting others’ and you really should stop using slanted phrasing like that.
If I should go to hell because someone got lucky and was born rich, I am afraid there is literally nothing that prevents me from taking that person to hell as well. After all, we are all humans
Sure there is. Morality.
Who said he‘s any better than me? He might be much worse than me: a profiteer from blood diamonds, an arms dealer, a sweatshop fashion mogul, a slumlord rental shark.
What does any of that speculation have to do with his rights?
If such scumbags can rise „to the top“, that top is rotten. I won’t pity any of those psychos once people start looking for whom to blame for the climate crisis and pollution catastrophe.
Again with the ‘psychos’ rhetoric from the guy advocating wiping out entire classes. You really seem like you might benefit from talking to someone about these issues.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Jub » 2019-05-23 09:15am

Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 09:03am
Because it belongs to them either because they somehow earned it themselves or were given it by relatives who did.

Also, we’re talking about rich people here, not ‘shitheads who got tons of cash exploiting others’ and you really should stop using slanted phrasing like that.
Why does the current system of inheritance and wealth transfer make sense? You seem to be defending a system that you are unable to make logical arguments in favor of.
Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 09:01am
So wait, you not being able to deal with being poor and the economy having troubles is Jeff Bezo’s fault now? Seriously?
Where did I ever specifically blame any single rich person? The class as a whole tends to create poverty due to how their companies compensate their workers and how they price their goods and services.

As for my mental illness, look up environmental mental illness, because right now you look like an idiot talking about stuff you don't know jack shit about.
Clearly those lower classes you claim to care so much about have a different viewpoint on the matter.
Lots of people do stupid and self-destructive things, and even more, don't take nearly enough interest in politics. It's an issue with democracy and will only get worse as more people are forced from the middle to the lower classes and education funding keeps getting slashed.
You misunderstand. Having welfare programs up to and including UBI as a way of providing a better life for people in general is a good thing for many reasons. Note the phrasing: good thing. Trying to expand that into an out and out right that other people are obligated to give you twists the concept of rights out of shape and ultimately cheapens the concept. Not everything that we should do because it makes life better is or should be a right. People are way too free about throwing that word around.
So UBI is good, but we shouldn't make it a right because...?
Wait I’m confused now. Are you against zoning regulations?
Why shouldn't a private homeowner be able to raise livestock or use their lawn as a working farm if they wish to do so?
False. Show me a billionaire in America who owns slaves. It certainly isn’t common.
I guess you wouldn't count wage slavery as slavery.
They totally should.
Resorting to sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting now are we?
If you can’t understand why taking people’s things from them against their will is stealing I don’t know what to tell you. Happily basic rights don’t depend on your blessing.
Many people begrudgingly pay their taxes and so even call taxes theft, should we listen to their logic about what theft is? If not, why can't more radical forms of wealth redistribution fall under the same umbrella? After all, there's no logical divide between taxation and more radical ideas.

So, I'm going to ask you to prove with scholarly logic why one idea is theft and the other isn't. Show your work and be sure to use proper notation.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Jub » 2019-05-23 09:34am

Ralin, instead of debating me point by point why don't you stop appealing to tradition and lay out a case for why the ultra-rich (defined as over $10 million per year in income or a net worth of over $100 million USD) are a good thing? Make your case for why the current system is so flawed that it only requires minor changes to fix major issues.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-23 10:52am

Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 09:03am
Because it belongs to them either because they somehow earned it themselves or were given it by relatives who did.
The logic is the same if I apply it to the landed estate of aristocrats or slaves of a slaveholder. „They somehow earned it“. So what? Kings are deposed, plantation owners expelled and the rich will follow. Property on means of production is a critical component of all exploitation. What was legal before (owning huge swathes of land as a noble or lots of slaves) was overturned by historical process.
Also, we’re talking about rich people here, not ‘shitheads who got tons of cash exploiting others’ and you really should stop using slanted phrasing like that.
Why should I not apply this slanted phrasing to the descendants of robber barons? Or the robber barons? The coalmine magnates? The sweatshop moguls? Fuck off, speech police.
Sure there is. Morality.
Morality of the masters? Of the rulers? Where rich people get a slap on the wrist for crimes, but the poor are thrown in jail to rot for a bit of weed? That morality? I am afraid that morality is not my morality.
What does any of that speculation have to do with his rights?
Who said he has any? Previously in history people had a right to own slaves; now they do not. Rights are only a social invention which relates to the rules set by the ruling class in a society in the course of its development. Rights take place of freedoms. Restrictions on freedom resulting from the development of a class society later are formalized in law and rights. Therefore objectively rights are only a reflection of real processes in society.
Again with the ‘psychos’ rhetoric from the guy advocating wiping out entire classes. You really seem like you might benefit from talking to someone about these issues.
So what? The aristocracy is gone, slavers are gone, but they can sure live as ordinary citizens if they like. Wiping out their class only means they lose their wealth - not their life. But to the poor they say „My property is sacred; but you must pay with your life“. As they do to others, so shall it be done unto them.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Tribble » 2019-05-23 10:50pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-23 10:52am
Ralin wrote:
2019-05-23 09:03am
Because it belongs to them either because they somehow earned it themselves or were given it by relatives who did.
The logic is the same if I apply it to the landed estate of aristocrats or slaves of a slaveholder. „They somehow earned it“. So what? Kings are deposed, plantation owners expelled and the rich will follow. Property on means of production is a critical component of all exploitation. What was legal before (owning huge swathes of land as a noble or lots of slaves) was overturned by historical process.
Also, we’re talking about rich people here, not ‘shitheads who got tons of cash exploiting others’ and you really should stop using slanted phrasing like that.
Why should I not apply this slanted phrasing to the descendants of robber barons? Or the robber barons? The coalmine magnates? The sweatshop moguls? Fuck off, speech police.
Sure there is. Morality.
Morality of the masters? Of the rulers? Where rich people get a slap on the wrist for crimes, but the poor are thrown in jail to rot for a bit of weed? That morality? I am afraid that morality is not my morality.
What does any of that speculation have to do with his rights?
Who said he has any? Previously in history people had a right to own slaves; now they do not. Rights are only a social invention which relates to the rules set by the ruling class in a society in the course of its development. Rights take place of freedoms. Restrictions on freedom resulting from the development of a class society later are formalized in law and rights. Therefore objectively rights are only a reflection of real processes in society.
Again with the ‘psychos’ rhetoric from the guy advocating wiping out entire classes. You really seem like you might benefit from talking to someone about these issues.
So what? The aristocracy is gone, slavers are gone, but they can sure live as ordinary citizens if they like. Wiping out their class only means they lose their wealth - not their life. But to the poor they say „My property is sacred; but you must pay with your life“. As they do to others, so shall it be done unto them.
IMO if the goal is the elimination of capitalism and the consumer-based society, merely abolishing private property and class won't do it. There will always be limitations on the amount of resources, production and labour available. To end consumerism production must be structured in such a way that only the essential and/or most efficient things are produced.

For example, if brown coveralls are found to be easier to make/maintain, are more useful and are more durable than blue jeans, then the production of blue jeans should cease since the continued production of blue jeans would be wasteful and not needed. Anything else is pure vanity and consumeristic. Again just one example, you could make the argument for any product really, like food, shelter, electronics etc.

Aside from determining what is the best item to be produced, who is making that decision and how, IMO a big problem here is individuality. In the above example a lot people may still desire blue jeans even if there are no official means to provide for them... and perhaps if its illegal to make/possess a pair. Some of these people may even take it upon themselves to produce them and/or go to a black market to do so If that's the case it would mean that all you achieved was to drive capitalism and consumerism underground rather than eliminate it outright. As long as there is supply/demand and a profit/benefit to be made, someone somewhere will probably do it.

IMO in order for a non-capitalist, classless and non-consumerist-based society to really work you would need to have massive indoctrination and conformity, preferably from birth. In the above example ideally you'd want everyone conforming so that not only would they choose brown coveralls 100% of the time, they would be against the very concept of blue jeans since they are wasteful to society.

You'd also likely have to get rid of the "traditional" family structure as well since that forms a hierarchal hereditary mindset, not to mention a group loyalty which may conflict with society as a whole.

IMO it's in the areas of individual consumer choices and the hierarchical family structure where I feel that communism really has its work cut out for it.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Jub » 2019-05-23 11:15pm

Tribble wrote:
2019-05-23 10:50pm
IMO if the goal is the elimination of capitalism and the consumer-based society, merely abolishing private property and class won't do it. There will always be limitations on the amount of resources, production and labour available. To end consumerism production must be structured in such a way that only the essential and/or most efficient things are produced.

For example, if brown coveralls are found to be easier to make/maintain, are more useful and are more durable than blue jeans, then the production of blue jeans should cease since the continued production of blue jeans would be wasteful and not needed. Anything else is pure vanity and consumeristic. Again just one example, you could make the argument for any product really, like food, shelter, electronics etc.
It should help that if the US went this way today, it probably wouldn't be facing a cold war level existential threat.

As to the lack of luxury goods, this was a failure of past attempts, I think that in light of those failures more value will be placed on keeping people happy. This might mean allowing for a wider variety to certain goods to be produced where these additional patterns carry minimal extra material or work hour costs to produce. Thus clothing should remain rather varied while things like cars would probably see streamlining.

Even these issues will go away as automation continues to gain market share.

In fact, automation and the possibility of self-replicating/self-improving AI will always force the issue of what we do when the majority of our population no longer needs to work. Some form of radical socialism is almost inevitable at that point as does the taxation of machine labor to pay for it. This raises the question of why we don't start seriously moving towards these solutions now to make these almost inevitable transition happen more smoothly.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-24 03:12am

Tribble wrote:
2019-05-23 10:50pm
IMO if the goal is the elimination of capitalism and the consumer-based society, merely abolishing private property and class won't do it. There will always be limitations on the amount of resources, production and labour available. To end consumerism production must be structured in such a way that only the essential and/or most efficient things are produced.
Production constraints are not inherent to capitalism, but rather to all modes of production. To end consumerism, you would need to restructure production so that consumption is based on satisfying objective needs irrespective of purchasing power, first and foremost. This alone will put an end to the excesses.
For example, if brown coveralls are found to be easier to make/maintain, are more useful and are more durable than blue jeans, then the production of blue jeans should cease since the continued production of blue jeans would be wasteful and not needed. Anything else is pure vanity and consumeristic. Again just one example, you could make the argument for any product really, like food, shelter, electronics etc.
No; in reality one should use linear programming to determine the resources for a production plan, and population preferences (but not weighted for wealth, like they are now) to determine the plan itself. Individual manufacturing is also fine so as long as wage labour is not exploited. Nobody has made artisan manufacture illegal, except the capitalists themselves when they felt the heat (like when the British masters cut off the fingers of weavers in Bengal).
IMO in order for a non-capitalist, classless and non-consumerist-based society to really work you would need to have massive indoctrination and conformity, preferably from birth. In the above example ideally you'd want everyone conforming so that not only would they choose brown coveralls 100% of the time, they would be against the very concept of blue jeans since they are wasteful to society
Why? People are not „homo economicus“ who make rational choices everyday for everything. It suffices that large-scale industrialized production is planned in a logical fashion (as long as large-scale production is on the maximum capacity utilization curve or sufficiently near it).
You'd also likely have to get rid of the "traditional" family structure as well since that forms a hierarchal hereditary mindset, not to mention a group loyalty which may conflict with society as a whole.

IMO it's in the areas of individual consumer choices and the hierarchical family structure where I feel that communism really has its work cut out for it.
Capitalism has done more to destroy extended family and even the nuclear family than any other formation. We are already dealing with a society atomized to the extreme.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Surlethe » 2019-05-24 08:16am

No; in reality one should use linear programming to determine the resources for a production plan, and population preferences (but not weighted for wealth, like they are now) to determine the plan itself.
How would you measure population preferences? How long would the linear program take to run? How much discretion would those running the program have? Who would audit their decisions?
We are already dealing with a society atomized to the extreme.
Why is this bad? Seems to me to be the end goal of social justice: atomic people, unoppressed by their communities and able to move between relationships at will.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-24 09:19am

Surlethe wrote:
2019-05-24 08:16am
How would you measure population preferences?
I would have a basic goal function that is based on primary needs (housing/caloric intake) for the start. To enhance the basic goal function, I would employ online data collection. People should express order preferences, which then are aggregated and form the basis of production planning. Environmental protection and natural resources are constraints.
How long would the linear program take to run?
Good question. A megacorporation usually executes a global planning calculation within minutes/hours even if certain things are later adjusted by hand. I would assume that a calculation time within hours, perhaps days for a global national plan, would be acceptable.
How much discretion would those running the program have?
As much as specified by their role authorizations.
Who would audit their decisions?
Another good question. The public, I would say. Transactions in all advanced planning systems are logged. It would be possible to see who authorized what, when - perhaps even why. Direct workplace democracy would enable people to recall the authorizations of their candidate and bestow them upon a different person.
Why is this bad?

Because in the end it produces callous, extremely individualistic humans who severely lack empathy and want to shock-collar others.
Seems to me to be the end goal of social justice: atomic people, unoppressed by their communities and able to move between relationships at will.
Atomic people live and die alone, as I mentioned before. No friendship, no love, no family, no community. They already lost a huge part of human social interaction. What makes one a fully developed human? Free development of one is connected with the development of all. Otherwise it is a Mowgli or Robinson, a traumatized socially maladapted person. Very often such absence of relationships can cause psychological trauma. The whole „relationships at will“ thing is not working very well. As evidenced by the dismantling of community solidarity structures, even those outside the family, it increases misery and poverty. As an individual, any event of bad luck would be enough to kill you in such an „atomic“ world, because you would not have anyone who would care for your survival. Strong bonds are forged in long, life-time relationships: family, childhood friends, etc. Relationships that involve money and are formed later in life are often dishonest, rent-seeking or shallow, only based on convenience or weak mutual interest.

What does this have to do with social justice?

People who do not form strong bonds with others, have solidarity with no one, easily ditch others because they inconvenience them (see people ruthlessly throwing out older relatives to die alone) or are no longer profitable (see career marriages that break apart once goals are reached or a better rich partner comes handy) - these are exactly the kind of perfect candidates for sociopaths and psychopaths who would let others suffer or die, so as long as helping would inconvenience them.

If this is the end goal of social justice, I am afraid my view of justice is different.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Coop D'etat » 2019-05-24 06:52pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-24 03:12am

No; in reality one should use linear programming to determine the resources for a production plan, and population preferences (but not weighted for wealth, like they are now) to determine the plan itself. Individual manufacturing is also fine so as long as wage labour is not exploited. Nobody has made artisan manufacture illegal, except the capitalists themselves when they felt the heat (like when the British masters cut off the fingers of weavers in Bengal).
IMO in order for a non-capitalist, classless and non-consumerist-based society to really work you would need to have massive indoctrination and conformity, preferably from birth. In the above example ideally you'd want everyone conforming so that not only would they choose brown coveralls 100% of the time, they would be against the very concept of blue jeans since they are wasteful to society
Why? People are not „homo economicus“ who make rational choices everyday for everything. It suffices that large-scale industrialized production is planned in a logical fashion (as long as large-scale production is on the maximum capacity utilization curve or sufficiently near it).

I find immense and overwhelming fault with your logic here. The experience of modern economics is that planning on a firm level, in systems both capitalist and communist is not that insurmountable a problem.

Coordination of all the firms within a collective economic system is vastly more difficult and complex of a problem. This is not merely scaling up firm planning to a national or international level, it appears to be effectively an entire other species of problem to solve, that of an absurdly complex and dynamic system. by analogy to biology, its one thing to have a reasonable grasp how a single gene/protein functions from expression levels to molecular function, its a vastly more difficult problem to figure out how to make thousands of genes work together as a functioning cell.


It appears to me that you are merely handwaving away a problem of immense difficulty, under which the last grand Marxist experiment in building utopia floundered and imploded. It does not appear to me from how you are speaking about it that you've come close to an adequate beginnings of a solution to these very hard problems. Beyond that, it doesn't even appear like you've really grappled with the immensity of the task you're asking to be performed, but handwaving the issues away because you have an imagined end point you very much want to reach.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Patroklos » 2019-05-24 10:04pm

Remember gents, Stas is wealthy in most of the world populations eyes. He has free time for one, and he spends it on the internet after all.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-25 03:11am

Patroklos wrote:
2019-05-24 10:04pm
Remember gents, Stas is wealthy in most of the world populations eyes. He has free time for one, and he spends it on the internet after all.
In absence of a real argument, tireless defenders of the wealthy always skip straight to character attacks.

I would just remind you that Engels was a capitalist, which did not stop him from bringing forth a movement for its abolition.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Patroklos » 2019-05-25 08:22am

Says the wealthy person gratuitously displaying his wealth.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by montypython » 2019-05-25 06:15pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-24 09:19am
Surlethe wrote:
2019-05-24 08:16am
Seems to me to be the end goal of social justice: atomic people, unoppressed by their communities and able to move between relationships at will.
Atomic people live and die alone, as I mentioned before. No friendship, no love, no family, no community. They already lost a huge part of human social interaction. What makes one a fully developed human? Free development of one is connected with the development of all. Otherwise it is a Mowgli or Robinson, a traumatized socially maladapted person. Very often such absence of relationships can cause psychological trauma. The whole „relationships at will“ thing is not working very well. As evidenced by the dismantling of community solidarity structures, even those outside the family, it increases misery and poverty. As an individual, any event of bad luck would be enough to kill you in such an „atomic“ world, because you would not have anyone who would care for your survival. Strong bonds are forged in long, life-time relationships: family, childhood friends, etc. Relationships that involve money and are formed later in life are often dishonest, rent-seeking or shallow, only based on convenience or weak mutual interest.

What does this have to do with social justice?

People who do not form strong bonds with others, have solidarity with no one, easily ditch others because they inconvenience them (see people ruthlessly throwing out older relatives to die alone) or are no longer profitable (see career marriages that break apart once goals are reached or a better rich partner comes handy) - these are exactly the kind of perfect candidates for sociopaths and psychopaths who would let others suffer or die, so as long as helping would inconvenience them.

If this is the end goal of social justice, I am afraid my view of justice is different.
Having seen this firsthand in my line of work with some outright callous and mercenary behaviour of people towards debilitated family members I definitely have to second this point. It is why I've considered the "social justice" presentation in social media in particular to be fundamentally reactionary rather than progressive as it feeds off of individualistic notions of entitlement rather than building up strong community interrelationships, which is critical to tackling the ever increasing complexity of problems facing the human condition.

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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-05-26 05:09am

Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-05-24 06:52pm
I find immense and overwhelming fault with your logic here. The experience of modern economics is that planning on a firm level, in systems both capitalist and communist is not that insurmountable a problem. Coordination of all the firms within a collective economic system is vastly more difficult and complex of a problem. This is not merely scaling up firm planning to a national or international level, it appears to be effectively an entire other species of problem to solve, that of an absurdly complex and dynamic system. by analogy to biology, its one thing to have a reasonable grasp how a single gene/protein functions from expression levels to molecular function, its a vastly more difficult problem to figure out how to make thousands of genes work together as a functioning cell.
I never said the problem is not difficult. I merely said that the general class of problems such as this belong to the realm of linear programming. The USSR did not use algorithmic optimization - attempts to do so were hijacked by the bureaucracy.
It appears to me that you are merely handwaving away a problem of immense difficulty, under which the last grand Marxist experiment in building utopia floundered and imploded. It does not appear to me from how you are speaking about it that you've come close to an adequate beginnings of a solution to these very hard problems. Beyond that, it doesn't even appear like you've really grappled with the immensity of the task you're asking to be performed, but handwaving the issues away because you have an imagined end point you very much want to reach.
Marxism is not about building a utopia, but rather working with concrete historical realities. If the realities are such that algorithmic optimization is not welcome because it threatens entrenched bureaucratic interests, this is a systemic problem that does not actually relate to the algorithms themselves. What exactly did I handwave away? I expressed my opinion on how planning on a national level should be organized, nothing more and nothing less.

I would prefer a concrete argument to vague criticism. What exactly you disagree with: that it is sufficient to be able to plan industrial mass production, no need to quash artisan or non-industrial manufacture? I did not make a statement regarding tractability, if you have noticed. Or maybe I am wrong about not using wealth-weighted preferences for determining the basics of a production plan? But if we go back on that (needs-based supply as opposed to purchasing power-based supply), then there is no difference from capitalism as-is, which only supplies people with goods based on how much wealth they have - not based on their needs as humans. What exactly has caused you to lash out?
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2019-05-29 10:55am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-16 07:58pm
Leaving aside for the moment the implied endorsement of murdering an entire class of people...
Ahem, lizard people.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Surlethe » 2019-05-30 10:35pm

oh geez i forgot how long a quote-by-quote back and forth could get
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-05-24 09:19am
Surlethe wrote:
2019-05-24 08:16am
How would you measure population preferences?
I would have a basic goal function that is based on primary needs (housing/caloric intake) for the start. To enhance the basic goal function, I would employ online data collection. People should express order preferences, which then are aggregated and form the basis of production planning. Environmental protection and natural resources are constraints.
How would you quantify environmental protection and natural resources? How would you balance environmental protection against value to people? How would you determine allocation of production between consumption and capital investment and research? (For example, would your method, retrospectively and globally applied, have identified the Green Revolution? or the IT revolution of the 1990s/2000s?)

It would be very interesting to see how the nationalization programs of the principal combatants of the second world war could be developed into something resembling this. I am (of course) most familiar with that of the US, which seems to have successfully balanced production for consumption, capital investment, and technical investment. It would also be interesting to see how this compares with the logistics programs of large enterprises like Amazon and Wal-Mart.
How long would the linear program take to run?
Good question. A megacorporation usually executes a global planning calculation within minutes/hours even if certain things are later adjusted by hand. I would assume that a calculation time within hours, perhaps days for a global national plan, would be acceptable.
I'm not convinced this is the case. In my experience, a single, simple planning calculation for tens of millions of individuals would take hours -- for one small aspect of the megacorp's business. The constraints were also very simple. Development took years, including debating the appropriate method of quantifying the relevant factors. So I think development of an economy-wide program would take decades and be much more contentious, and actually running the optimization would not simply be a matter of days.* (Later, the same megacorp took an opaque algorithmic approach to human resources allocation. Shortly thereafter I went out and found a new job :) )

*Of course there's the adage that Moore's Law proves that P=NP: take an exponential time algorithm and wait a linear amount of time for the exponential growth in computing capacity to render it trivial.
How much discretion would those running the program have?
As much as specified by their role authorizations.
Who would audit their decisions?
Another good question. The public, I would say. Transactions in all advanced planning systems are logged. It would be possible to see who authorized what, when - perhaps even why. Direct workplace democracy would enable people to recall the authorizations of their candidate and bestow them upon a different person.
I would worry about the development of information networks, selective publicization of logs and authorization, and eventual warping of those policies to serve newly-developed power hierarchies, but you can't really solve politics. (See, for example, how many people still believe the US president to have been totally exonerated by a certain publicly available report.)
Why is this bad?

Because in the end it produces callous, extremely individualistic humans who severely lack empathy and want to shock-collar others.
Seems to me to be the end goal of social justice: atomic people, unoppressed by their communities and able to move between relationships at will.
Atomic people live and die alone, as I mentioned before. No friendship, no love, no family, no community. They already lost a huge part of human social interaction. What makes one a fully developed human? Free development of one is connected with the development of all. Otherwise it is a Mowgli or Robinson, a traumatized socially maladapted person. Very often such absence of relationships can cause psychological trauma. The whole „relationships at will“ thing is not working very well. As evidenced by the dismantling of community solidarity structures, even those outside the family, it increases misery and poverty. As an individual, any event of bad luck would be enough to kill you in such an „atomic“ world, because you would not have anyone who would care for your survival. Strong bonds are forged in long, life-time relationships: family, childhood friends, etc. Relationships that involve money and are formed later in life are often dishonest, rent-seeking or shallow, only based on convenience or weak mutual interest.

What does this have to do with social justice?

People who do not form strong bonds with others, have solidarity with no one, easily ditch others because they inconvenience them (see people ruthlessly throwing out older relatives to die alone) or are no longer profitable (see career marriages that break apart once goals are reached or a better rich partner comes handy) - these are exactly the kind of perfect candidates for sociopaths and psychopaths who would let others suffer or die, so as long as helping would inconvenience them.

If this is the end goal of social justice, I am afraid my view of justice is different.
What is oppression but the good of the individual being crushed beneath the will of the community? Therefore to allow people to flourish, I'd submit they must be able to choose their own communities and families. "Relationships at will" is working great for LGBT people, for example - many of whom experienced the bonds of the strong community relationships of their childhoods as true bonds.

So I tend to think the dismantling of many traditional community structures is associated not with poverty and misery, but with the dynamic creation of new community structures and systems of support. People naturally seek out community; the atomic individual is not one without relationships, but one who has chosen their own relationships.

As empirical matters, have there been any measurable increase in sociopathy or psychopathy associated with what I'm describing? Have there been measurable decreases in empathy across the population, associated with found families?

At a meta-level, I'd love to dig in to how our different experiences growing up in post-Soviet Russia and rural midwestern US during the 1990s and 2000s
have informed our different perspectives on this point.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-06-01 09:23am

Surlethe wrote:
2019-05-30 10:35pm
How would you quantify environmental protection and natural resources?
For natural resources you can use in-kind calculations. Environmental & health protection is usually a hard constraint imposed by legislation and is primarily sociopolitical in nature - discovered by research, not by the means of calculation itself (ie forcing the industry to use substitutes, reducing or outright banning the use of some chemicals, etc.). They are not so easily quantified, but nor is this necessary. The banning of DDT or the banning of thalidomide were done without specific considerations of economic impact. Just as regardless of whether an economic calculation is centralized or decentralized & price-mediated (like in a market), there is no impetus to consider environmental protection arising out of the production & distribution mechanism itself.
How would you balance environmental protection against value to people? How would you determine allocation of production between consumption and capital investment and research? (For example, would your method, retrospectively and globally applied, have identified the Green Revolution? or the IT revolution of the 1990s/2000s?)
For a planned economy, the impact of any substitution or a ban can be likewise estimated, down to the final form, ie the end effect of any measures on the final production goal. Investment decisions would be made based on a form of valuations similar the ones proposed by Kantorovich (ODV), which would have a tendency to push the industry to efficient substitution. The Green Revolution (introduction of high-yield cultivars plus mechanization and chemization) occured in real planned economies, so it very likely would have occured under more efficient forms of planning likewise. In any case this is not a matter of alternative history, but rather of where we go from the current point.
It would be very interesting to see how the nationalization programs of the principal combatants of the second world war could be developed into something resembling this. I am (of course) most familiar with that of the US, which seems to have successfully balanced production for consumption, capital investment, and technical investment. It would also be interesting to see how this compares with the logistics programs of large enterprises like Amazon and Wal-Mart.
That point in time is lost (although experience has demonstrated a sufficiently high-technology society can be built even from a primitive tech base with far from optimal planning), with high consumption levels (high caloric intake, full employment, no homelessness, access to most modern technologies such as flight, nuclear energy, medical novelties like antibiotics).
I'm not convinced this is the case. In my experience, a single, simple planning calculation for tens of millions of individuals would take hours -- for one small aspect of the megacorp's business.
Are you also a production planner? I am, but I have yet to encounter such slow general planning calculations.
The constraints were also very simple. Development took years, including debating the appropriate method of quantifying the relevant factors. So I think development of an economy-wide program would take decades and be much more contentious, and actually running the optimization would not simply be a matter of days.* (Later, the same megacorp took an opaque algorithmic approach to human resources allocation. Shortly thereafter I went out and found a new job :) )
Development does take years, but if the end result is properly set up, the time of calculation is actually fairly small. I guess our experiences do differ a bit.
Of course there's the adage that Moore's Law proves that P=NP: take an exponential time algorithm and wait a linear amount of time for the exponential growth in computing capacity to render it trivial.
I would say we are now at a stage where disaggregation issues are more serious and require rigorous algorithms to make sensible decisions, as opposed to the general problem of calculating in kind with inputs/outputs.
I would worry about the development of information networks, selective publicization of logs and authorization, and eventual warping of those policies to serve newly-developed power hierarchies, but you can't really solve politics. (See, for example, how many people still believe the US president to have been totally exonerated by a certain publicly available report.)
With significant time and education, you can (see Swiss public referendums). However, they only reflect the thinking of people of a particular nation-state in a particular formation. You may want for Star Trek people, but you now have the people of now; at some point in the future they may be more like Star Trek people and start making more informed and sensible choices, become more aware of the pitfalls of applying individualism to global risk management and such. We are not there yet. Politics of class society reflect its primitive nature. They cannot be fixed.

To give an example: you can gate communities and put massive fences on windows, instead of actually reforming society to make poverty almost nonexistent and crime rates negligible. The first is exactly like trying to improve politics of class society without trying to reform it.
What is oppression but the good of the individual being crushed beneath the will of the community? Therefore to allow people to flourish, I'd submit they must be able to choose their own communities and families. "Relationships at will" is working great for LGBT people, for example - many of whom experienced the bonds of the strong community relationships of their childhoods as true bonds.
Common oppression forges strong bonds; you may as well say people of colour have strong bonds. Is this “relationship at will” or a relationship forced by the rejection from “normals”, homophobia from the general population? In societies where homophobia never developed or was a foreign introduction, the pattern of LGBT relations in society must look different compared to the communities they form in the West to socialize with others likewise oppressed. Also “ability to choose families” sounds like the ability to reject others because you don’t like them. It is exactly what some families in homophobic societies are doing to the LGBT members of their family - rejection, expulsion, isolation. How is expanding this practice beyond the absolute necessity (like, of ending abusive relationships) good? What good does it serve?

What is the reason for a stranger who has nothing in common with you to form strong bonds with you, if he or she has been brought up to treat social connections as expendable goods that can be severed and created anew as a matter of individual convenience?
So I tend to think the dismantling of many traditional community structures is associated not with poverty and misery, but with the dynamic creation of new community structures and systems of support. People naturally seek out community; the atomic individual is not one without relationships, but one who has chosen their own relationships.
Huge rise in loneliness among younger generations does not indicate great success in forming relationships by atomic individuals.
As empirical matters, have there been any measurable increase in sociopathy or psychopathy associated with what I'm describing? Have there been measurable decreases in empathy across the population, associated with found families?
I must look for some data, but good point - will come back if I find anything interesting here.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by Alferd Packer » 2019-06-01 09:54pm

Also “ability to choose families” sounds like the ability to reject others because you don’t like them. It is exactly what some families in homophobic societies are doing to the LGBT members of their family - rejection, expulsion, isolation. How is expanding this practice beyond the absolute necessity (like, of ending abusive relationships) good? What good does it serve?
Just thought I'd pop in with the following: one should consider the position of the minority against the position of the majority when attempting to compare the relative good served by their behaviors, and the relative power each group wields and to what end. To wit: A gay or trans person's ability to find community by A) severing ties with abusive biological family and/or community and B) discovering people of similar inclination and situation is, quite often, the difference between life and death, if not between relative happiness and abject misery. The same might hold true of an ethnic, religious, or racial minority, but generally such minority groups tend to self-sort with varying degrees of interaction and integration with the larger society, because they are microcosms of that larger society. Gay and trans people are unique in that they are appear at a relatively constant rate in all societies and do so randomly, and therefore do not have the ability to self-sort until adulthood (or, at the very least, sexual maturity).

So, if we grant that minorities should have ability to, for want of better term, find their own families (by forming unique, like-minded communities and granting them the ability to extricate themselves from negative pre-formed relationships), should member of the majority be able to do the same? My gut says yes, but I know that's not a good enough reason. Still, I'm having difficulty imagining why it would be an inherently bad thing for everyone to be able to do.
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Re: Survival of the richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-06-03 04:45am

Alferd Packer wrote:
2019-06-01 09:54pm
Just thought I'd pop in with the following: one should consider the position of the minority against the position of the majority when attempting to compare the relative good served by their behaviors, and the relative power each group wields and to what end. To wit: A gay or trans person's ability to find community by A) severing ties with abusive biological family and/or community and B) discovering people of similar inclination and situation is, quite often, the difference between life and death, if not between relative happiness and abject misery. The same might hold true of an ethnic, religious, or racial minority, but generally such minority groups tend to self-sort with varying degrees of interaction and integration with the larger society, because they are microcosms of that larger society. Gay and trans people are unique in that they are appear at a relatively constant rate in all societies and do so randomly, and therefore do not have the ability to self-sort until adulthood (or, at the very least, sexual maturity).

So, if we grant that minorities should have ability to, for want of better term, find their own families (by forming unique, like-minded communities and granting them the ability to extricate themselves from negative pre-formed relationships), should member of the majority be able to do the same? My gut says yes, but I know that's not a good enough reason. Still, I'm having difficulty imagining why it would be an inherently bad thing for everyone to be able to do.
I mentioned that it is necessary to give an option to end abusive relationships, which is exactly the case of minorities who are not treated with respect or even are oppressed by their communities.

However, the commodification of relationships (“market of people”) is not at all limited to, or exclusively linked to, ending abusive relationships: it is the idea that you can end any relationship at will, simply because it is more convenient for you not to have it. I would be wary of pursuing such a vision. Not out of any particular fondness for others, but merely because it has already had its effects on everyone:
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/upsh ... ng-us.html

PSI is related adversely to both social and health outcomes (hence my comment earlier that atomization is increasing the misery of people).

Disruption to social contacts has been found to cause adverse outcomes and likely deaths, especially in studies related to changing place of residence which usually involves severing old community ties and forming new ones.

The sad truth is that relationships are not goods which you can buy; if you lose a lifetime friend or a loved one, you don’t automatically get to re-establish such a relationship with a person of your choosing at will. Considering the inability of modern people to form stable relationships and families, it is indicative of a daunting pattern - long-lasting relationships are simply very hard to establish later in life. It is not only a matter of “marriage” as a traditional institution, as all forms of cohabitation, which is the strongest form of long-term relationship among humans, have taken a hit in our time:
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... nered_age/

So by saying everyone should atomize themselves by letting prior relationships be gone and “simply” form new ones at will, you are actually pushing most people further on the path of total alienation from others, with increased loneliness, PSI and all the adverse outcomes associated therewith.
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