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u/HippeHoppe · 3 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

I'm actually a minarchist who believes in a particular kind of restricted natural duty theory of social contract (Kant's justification for the state), but I was an ancap for a long time so I think I can give a good crack at an ancap answer.

>The social contract doesn't exist as a single legal document that one writes up and then signs, to be stored away for future reference.

As you say, the social contract is very clearly not a single historical event which establishes consent. However, this is one very common way of arguing for a particular kind of social contract (in particular, it's a common libertarian way of arguing for a social contract), so it's not as if ancaps are just strawmanning the position.

The general problem seems to be establishing:

(1) what the contract actually is

(2) how it's established

If the social contract is supposed to operate like any other contract, so that you 'consent' to the terms of the contract by an actual act of consent, then there are some pretty clear problems. For one thing, it's hard to identify what specific actions constitute consent - and, if you didn't perform those actions, would that constitute non-consent? For instance, if using government roads means that you consent to the government, then does not using those roads mean you don't consent? Second, it seems like the only way that a lot of these conditions for consent can "get going" in the first place is through something you did not consent to - for instance, in order for the government to begin to provide services for the "first citizens" who benefited from those services, the government probably coerced those citizens to make that provision possible (for example, by taxing them, or by preventing competing organizations from providing the same services). This is most clearly the case with law/security/defense.

For example, if the US government commanded the obedience of native Americans because they were "residing on US government land", this wouldn't be legitimate, because the only reason the US government "owns" that land is by conquering and subjugating the non-consenting Indians; so the conditions for consent depend on a coercive act, which invalidates the state's claim to those conditions.

This general approach to social contract theory, which establishes some way of providing actual consent, is called a transactional consent theory - the idea is that people have certain moral rights in a vacuum, but that that transact or transfer those rights to the state by an act of consent. There are other credible approaches to justification of a social contract, but I think it's pretty clear that the transactional model (which most libertarians criticize) is not one of them. It ends up boiling down to "you relate to the government by X, which means you consent", and libertarians saying (probably correctly) that "the only reason X exists is because the government coerced me prior to establishing X!"

> It exists as a state of relationships between people, communities and societies. We observe it's natural convention at work when we interact with our friends as opposed to strangers, family members as opposed to foreigners, and as one nation in contrast with other nations.

This is a more 'associative' theory of political obligation - the idea is that, because you exist in some unchosen association with other people, this establishes some sort of collective obligation for people due to this association. But it seems like the problem with this theory is that, absent some more ethical work to flesh it out, it's only begging the question: we have a political obligation to people based on X association (family, clan, race, nation, humanity, etc.) because... why, exactly? It seems like the answer is just "because of the association" (we can talk about all the details of that association - the fact that you share certain characteristics or have a shared history, or because you tend to cooperate together, or something else), but, again, it seems like it builds the conclusion ("unchosen associations imply obligations") into the premise.

I don't think it's quite as simple as that, because I think it is possible to mount a compelling defense of an associative theory of political obligation (it's actually a theory associated more strongly with conservative political philosophy - although your flair says you're a socialist, the best sources for this sort of theory are, imo, Aristotle and Edmund Burke). But it's not very compelling for most people today, because people today generally think that consent is a morally important factor for the sort of stuff that the state does, and the social contract is supposed to show us that consent actually exists. This associative theory might establish that we have a duty to obey the law and the state has a right to command us, but it doesn't establish that this relationship is consensual (for the theorists I have in mind who advocate this theory, however, consent simply isn't important for establishing political authority or obligation).

>In any country you live in, certain rights are accorded to you as a citizen that aren't available to other people who aren't.

First, ancaps will disagree with this characterization of rights. Ancaps think (and I do too, even though I'm not an ancap) that rights are logically and historically prior to the state: even if there exists no state, you have certain rights, and these rights don't depend on their being secured to be morally important (for instance, even if you have no way of defending yourself and you live in a stateless island, it would still be a violation of your rights for someone else to kill you).

Second, it's unclear what the sort of positive rights you're talking about have to do with the social contract without at least some further explanation. The mere fact that you are given special privileges doesn't seem to imply that your relationship with the person who grants those privileges is consensual - for instance, you might be accorded rights to water use against your neighbors (so that your neighbors can't use some water, but you can) because of a local warlord who prefers you to your neighbors. But this doesn't mean that everything else the warlord does to you is consensual; all it means is that he's nicer to you than everyone else.

>When someone talks about the social contract, this is simply what they're referring to (1).

Yes, yes, we all know who John Rawls is. However, the defense of social contract theory which you've provided is actually not much like John Rawls's theory of justice at all. If you're going to condescendingly posture yourself as better educated than we stupid libertarians, at least be better educated.

>Claiming that you're not part of a larger social system because nobody presented you with a piece of paper is just a straw man argument, you understand it in your public and private behavior every day.

See: all above.

u/Phanes7 · 6 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

If I was going to provide someone with a list of books that best expressed my current thinking on the Political Economy these would be my top ones:

  1. The Law - While over a century old this books stands as the perfect intro to the ideas of Classical Liberalism. When you understand the core message of this book you understand why people oppose so many aspects of government action.
  2. Seeing Like A State - The idea that society can be rebuilt from the top down is well demolished in this dense but important read. The concept of Legibility was a game changer for my brain.
  3. Stubborn Attachments - This books presents a compelling philosophical argument for the importance of economic growth. It's hard to overstate how important getting the balance of economic growth vs other considerations actually is.
  4. The Breakdown of Nations - A classic text on why the trend toward "bigger" isn't a good thing. While various nits can be picked with this book I think its general thesis is holding up well in our increasingly bifurcated age.
  5. The Joy of Freedom - Lots of books, many objectively better, could have gone here but this book was my personal pivot point which sent me away from Socialism and towards capitalism. This introduction to "Libertarian Capitalism" is a bit dated now but it was powerful.

    There are, of course many more books that could go on this list. But the above list is a good sampling of my personal philosophy of political economy. It is not meant as a list of books to change your mind but simply as a list of books that are descriptive of my current belief that we should be orientated towards high (sustainable) economic growth & more decentralization.

    Some honorable mentions:

    As a self proclaimed "Libertarian Crunchy Con" I have to add The Quest for Community & Crunchy Cons

    The book The Fourth Economy fundamentally changed my professional direction in life.

    Anti-Fragile was another book full of mind blowing ideas and shifted my approach to many things.

    The End of Jobs is a great combination of The Fourth Economy & Anti-Fragile (among other concepts) into a more real-world useful set of ideas.

    Markets Not Capitalism is a powerful reminder that it is not Capitalism per se that is important but the transformational power of markets that need be unleashed.

    You will note that I left out pure economic books, this was on purpose. There are tons of good intro to econ type books and any non-trained economist should read a bunch from a bunch of different perspectives. With that said I am currently working my way through the book Choice and if it stays as good as it has started that will probably get added to my core list.

    So many more I could I list like The Left, The Right, & The State or The Problem of Political Authority and on it goes...
    I am still looking for a "manifesto" of sorts for the broad movement towards decentralization (I have a few possibilities on my 'to read list') so if you know of any that might fit that description let me know.
u/NihilisticHotdog · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Wow, I'm seriously explaining this to someone on a debate forum.

> So, they move money from one rich person to another?

No, this applies to everyone with credit, loans, savings/checking accounts, and investments.

What do you think interest is?

Say you open up a Merril Edge account with BOA, they are able to store your money and give you some percentage atop of it depending on how much risk you take.

At no point are you forced to invest. You merely do so because you value future gains over access to that money immediately.

The bank, then lends your money as well as the money of many others in big lump sums to certain corporations and individuals. They promise to pay that money back with interest.

Additionally, depending on how much risk you wish to take on, the bank also buys stock in aggregate, using part of your money and the money of others.

> Yeah, so you are going to start a corporation by borrowing money from a corporation thru another corporation (a bank) so then you can lend money to another guy who wants to start another corporation in order to make more money? Where is any of this benefitting society?

I think I understand what you're saying. A corporation creates profit by providing immense amounts of value to people - which is how it makes money. For one reason or another, the corporation invests in securities(stocks/bonds).

So, without that initial startup investment from the bank/investors, the corporation likely wouldn't exist. By investing, the corporation allows other corporations to come into existence and provide value for many others.

Simply put, it's an equation of valuing money now vs valuing more money in the future(with some risk).

> So they make decisions to protect their own wealth like literally everyone else, how does that make them useful to society?

I addressed this. They allow efficient allocation of societal capital.

> By "overly confine" you mean bail them out and give them "free" money when they fucked up?

What are you talking about? The banks didn't have the wacky regional restrictions we did in the US.

> Yeah, so if you have money you give someone money and make money? Again, how is society being benefitted?

I addressed this repeatedly. At its most simplest, if I'm paying you to give me $50,000 immediately, it means that you're immensely valuable to me. You are benefiting society by giving my something I value. If I am able to pay you back, it means I've used your investment, earned it back, and with the interest I promised. The only way I can pay it back is to provide some service and benefit to others. That's why people paid me.

> Link one

Possibly the best and most succinct option

u/satanic_hamster · 4 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

> Yes and I agree, but some context here is they were also working with 1970s computers or just doing the calculations by hand down at the GOSPLAN building in downtown Moscow.

Yeah, I agree. But even then if you wanted to coordinate all that activity with an AI or something of that sort, it seems to me you'd still be doing it on the basis of mapping out all the various transactions and exchanges between people, and then just use Predictive Analytics or Markov Chains or something to predict the most efficient allocation of resources. It isn't an actual substitute for the Market like what the USSR did. It's just mapping it out.

> You see a lot of talk about A.I. for instance in the tech press and by Silicon Valley people but I don't see much productive investment going on in this sector -- at least nowhere near as much as there could be.

Well I do know a lot of research and mathematical breakthroughs are being made here and there. Particularly from people in the community like MIRI, independent contributors like Gary Drescher and Judea Pearl, etc. But maybe you had a different idea of productive investment. The idea of an AI Cold War is a very real and dangerous prospect that I think will be of greater concern in years coming.

> Yeah I have a lot to learn about it as well. But the commune system in the "production brigades" sense from what I understand largely went away with Deng's reforms. But there's been some new histories showing that it was really productive and good, and that getting rid of it was largely a political decision aimed at concentrating political power under Deng. And I think China has backslided on education in recent years in the rural areas -- trying to do something about that is one of Xi's big things.

Anything interesting you could point me to here?

u/matthewkermit · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

Great question - my preferred “leftist” system - social democracy/welfare capitalism with a strong public sector.

Pretty much every important component in an iPhone - touchscreens, internet, search engine algorithms, GPS, microchips, computer memory, would not have been possible without government investment in basic and advanced research. No federal government funding the universities and government organizations conducting this research, no iPhones.

There are multiple examples of the public sector creating or fueling a new markets and future offshoots of innovation.

The problem with leaving innovation to the private sector is that it will usually only invest in things that are obviously able to be monetized. Basic and advanced research, which is absolutely necessary to innovate across a wide range of disciplines, - technology, medicine, transportation, etc - is not something that the private sector is good at because the way to profit from it isn't readily apparent.

Let's take Elon Musk launching a car into space. The technological know-how in order to safely launch and return something from space was done by governments in different countries funding their space programs, like NASA in the U.S. No NASA no Elon Musk launching cars.

The problem with this subreddit is that it sees the public sector vs the private sector as a zero sum game. A strong entrepreneurial public sector creates innovations and markets that the private sector can run with.

If you're serious about having a deeper understanding of this question, pick up the following:

This Financial Times Book of the Year

And this one by a political scientist working out of Yale.

Or, at the very least, read reviews of the books.

u/TheAvalonian · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> Demurrage the shares at whatever rate means that it would take you putting in the same portion of your stollars each unit of time to stay in the same place?

That makes sense. It's equivalent to my model, but with only a limited amount of companies you can vote for per "election" cycle. Neat solution for voting, as well.

> Are you sure that the ability to grow that large isn't just an effect of regulatory capture?

I guess I can't be? My point is that a monopoly on invested capital is as problematic as a monopoly on e.g. railroad stock, and as such a company that massively outranks the next competitor in terms of capital investment should be treated the same as a natural monopoly.

> If you can explain why even amazon as a co-op is a problem, then sure.

Coopazon would be able to insert itself as a crucial part of a supply chain and proceed to eliminate all competition through predatory pricing, then create class separation in the same way the Yugoslavian energy coop did.

> Woah, really? Source?

It's mainly linear programming (developed by Leonid Kantorovich and intended for economic planning. There's an absolutely excellent fictional novel about him), Krylov spaces (developed by Aleksey Krylov, a Tsarist admiral who switched sides during the war to become a Soviet admiral -- quite an interesting character as well), as well as a ton of work building on the works of Kantorovich, Markov (e.g. Markov chains), or Chebyshev (e.g. information theory) -- Markov and Chebyshev were both dead by the time of the revolution, but their students and their students' students published a ton of theory that is used today. You've also got Kolmogorov, famous for Kolmogorov complexity, as well his collaborator Vladimir Arnold. I don't have a good source, I just work in AI currently trying to teach a robot language with a bunch of old Soviet mathematics :)

Anyway, Kantorovich developed his theory of linear programming in 1939. He tried for years to convince people that the idea should be applied to economic planning, which is actually not a stupid idea (if economic allocation was not a nonlinear problem, his idea would give a provably optimal solution). Brezhnev finally told him to stuff it after getting into power, then proceeded to take away the majority of his funding for being insufficiently Stalinist in his approach to mathematics.

> Have you run into my concept of stratodemocracy

No, but please explain!

u/unconformable · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> But while it has some importance is't not at the core of our very society, like were obsessed with it or something, not at all.

I disagree. Profit takes priority over anything. If the capitalist can't get enough they will not invest, no matter how beneficial the product is.

>Oh yes the labour theory of value, 'exploitation' and other laughable long refuted nonsense.

I wasn't even referring to those, but you show how manipulated you are.

>Its still highly state regulated and controlled, and most of its problems are actually due to over-regulation/intervention.

Of the plutocracy. This is capitalism. The capitalists own everything, even the political system. Those "problems" are vehicles to profit for the capitalists.

>You said it didn't have [externalities] and now you say its not perfect, which is it?

Umm, both. Even without externalities, we still live in reality, people with emotions, the rules of science, etc.

>So like modern western liberal society then!

Now this is just stupid. What fantasyland do you dream of?

>You don't realize that you are displaying all your flawed assumptions here.

Reality is real. Read this if your ego can handle it.

You can't be pro-capitalist and an honest empathetic person.

>The leftist understandings of this system which call it capitalism are completely flawed so it doesn't really make sense to even use their term to refer to it, that just plays into their narrative.

Capitalism has a definition and this fits it.

The only "free" market is a socialist, worker owned and run market. Otherwise the most profitable will inevitably create a state to protect their interests.

u/IvankaTrump2020 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism


Broadly speaking, the Enlightenment is the ideology that asserts all people should be set free, and so all progressive, humanist, and libertarian ideologies are implicitly Enlightenment ideologies. It's a good thing. In practice, the Enlightenment was the radical ideology espoused by the rising bourgeois as they toppled feudal regimes across Europe from 1789-1848. Socialism has its roots in the most radical forms of Enlightenment thought.

French Revolution:

The political revolution that united the French bourgeois with the starving peasantry against the Feudal aristocracy that had become obscenely slothful and decadent. It was a good thing. Many modern political ideologies, both left and right, can trace their roots back to the various factions vying for power during the turbulent years following the fall of the Bastille (speaking of which--happy belated Bastille day everyone).

Rise of capitalism:

It was a good thing for the rising middle class, a bad thing for the feudal aristocracy and the mass of peasantry. It was good for European nation-states, bad for most everyone else. In terms of historical significance, I agree with Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm--that the rise of capitalism is probably the most important event in human history, at least since the invention of agriculture and the establishment of the first cities (link):

> Some time in the 1780s, and for the first time in human history, the shackles were taken off the productive power of human societies, which henceforth became capable of the constant, rapid, and up to the present limitless multiplication of men, goods and services. This is now technically known to the economists as the 'take-off into self-sustained growth' ... for it was then that, so far as we can tell, all the relevant statistical indices took that sudden, sharp, almost vertical turn upwards. ... The economy became, as it were, airborne.

u/YY120329131 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> Even if you think that I was just duped by a system into getting a worthless degree and people shouldn't get worthless degrees, this system is still systematically duping millions of American teenagers year after year. If businesses need different skills, but aren't willing to train employees to do those jobs, colleges have to be restructured. There's no "market" forces to fix these problems.

Bryan Caplan who is professor of economics at George Mason University has a good book on this called The Case Against Education

Essentially, he argues that current higher education doesn't increase worker productivity. All the degree and education do is signal to employers that you can show up on time, follow orders, dress appropriately, turn in assignments on time, etc. Subsidizing education through government student loans, Pell grants, etc, only worsens the problem. In our current situation, if you don't have a B.S., many employers won't even look at your resume or even consider you as an intern. Essentially, these government subsidies are subsidizing the cost of companies looking for talent. Without subsidies, companies would have to consider resumes without a degree because it's likely the person is smart, capable, and productive but just doesn't have a degree.

Also, it's important to realize that increasing your productivity is the only way to earn more wealth through your work (and the wealth of society). If it is true that education doesn't (or hardly) increases productivity of those graduating, then -in addition to the above argument- it is doubly inefficient/bad to provide free higher education; as many left politicians are advocating.

u/hrnnnn · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Just responded to Hopped, but sounds like you might be interested too. Have you read ?

I read a huge blog post over a series of days going in depth about market planning and it single-handedly (and quite enjoyably) convinced me that a market economy is the only feasible (if imperfect) way to do things. This was the blog post I think:

It seems that it would take a computer the size of the sun to process the multi-million by multi-million matrix of inputs and outputs in an economy.

u/Linearts · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

The Undercover Economist might be one of the most enlightening books I've ever read, and it's what got me interested in economics in the first place. It's got pretty good explanations for the advantages and disadvantages of markets, and talks about when they cause good outcomes or bad outcomes.

Freakonomics isn't really about capitalism vs socialism, but it is a fun book written by economists.

u/Anenome5 · 0 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

Wrong, capitalism is the reason the world is as peaceful as it is today, built on mutual respect, appreciation of differences, and peaceful trade.

Fascism is also anticapitalism:

u/star_rev17 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Come on man, what is this!

It has been a nice conversation, why do you start insulting?

No need to do it if you have good arguments.


>So "good" that people are forced to pay for them against their will even when they won't use them. In other words not good at all. Good things survive on their own merits and not through force.

We were talking about economic performances, not moral issues. This isn't the place to talk about moral judgement about socialism and capitalism. I didn't talk about morality because we are discussing something really different, how well the public sector can achieve its goals.

Out of context.


>What I pointed out was that it's economic problems were due to the ECP which you haven't refuted.

I explained why in a synthetic way because it's a complex issue. The USSR had a dysfunctional dictatorship that was against any change of the status quo of their material balance planning, that led to stagnation. It was a system that was created for an underdevolped country with the need to develop capital intensive technologies. Look at what the great Polish economist Michal Kalecki had to say about that. Great soviet economists like Leontief advanced solutions, also Kornai and the Nobel laureate Kantorovich introduced linear programming models to change planning algorithms. The lack of clear knowledge caused by the dictatorship played also a role obviously: if the law is really harsh against dissent, economic planning can't work well.

However, Soviet politician didn't follow them. They made really bad decisions during the cold war, with a great focus on capital intensive military technologies and not on consumption. The Perestroika and the destruction of the tissue of Soviet society did the rest.

This is really synthetic. The book that I linked you above is good if you want to know more.


>No, we can't, because this is how you get shortages. People do respond to changes in prices which is why we don't have such shortages in market systems.

I mean, just read what I wrote until now to have a reply to this. It's like you forgot all the discussion.


>No it isn't. This is you going full retard and where I'm done with this conversation. You lost here.

Professor Anwar Shaikh wrote a great book that can explain better why the general equilibrium theory and in general the neoclassical model fail. Here.

Actually you don't need to go deep in heterodox economics, criticism of neoclassical model are really common.


I hope that you'll reconsider your decision, otherwise thanks for the discussion.

u/prinzplagueorange · 13 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

The Labor Theory of Value (LTV) precedes Karl Marx. It was the dominant theory of classical political economy. Both Adam Smith and David Ricardo adhered to it. Leftwing Ricardians built a defense of socialism out of it. Marxists debate the extent to which Marx was a critic of these leftwing Ricardians and the extent to which he was largely a leftwing Ricardian himself.


The fact that Smith and Ricardo were also associated with this theory should tip you off that it is not as dumb of a theory as you are making it out to be. Ricardo thought the prices of different commodities could be explained in terms of the amount of labor that went into making them. That's what the LTV meant; it did not mean that "labor [is] inherently valuable." The idea that prices are determined by the quantity of labor required to make them shouldn't strike one as dumb as labor is a big input in determining price. Marx modifies Ricardo's theory in the opening pages of Capital, Vol 1, but the role of the LTV in Marx's writings (whether anything important for Marx hinges on it) and whether Marx's version of the LTV holds up is debated among contemporary Marxists. One recent scholarly text defending Marx's LTV is Anwar Shaikh's Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises published by the University of Oxford Press. If this is just meaningless, it's rather odd that Oxford UP chose to publish 900+ pages of gibberish. Some other Marxists (Michael Heinrich) think Marx broke with the LTV . Others think that most of Marx's analysis is not wedded to the LTV and so could be re-phrased using the rhetoric of neoclassical economics.


Regardless, anyone who read even a page or two of Capital should notice that the basic idea that consumers value stuff is incorporated into Marx's version of the LTV. There Marx writes, "the commodity produced by its owner’s labour must above all be a use-value for the owner of the money [who buys the commodity]. The labour expended on it must therefore be of a socially useful kind.... Let us suppose, finally, that every piece of linen on the market contains nothing but socially necessary labour-time. In spite of this, all these pieces taken as a whole may contain superfluously expended labour-time. If the market cannot stomach the whole quantity at the normal price of 2 shillings a yard, this proves that too great a portion of the total social labour-time has been expended in the form of weaving. The effect is the same as if each individual weaver had expended more labour-time on his particular product than was socially necessary." Value is objective in the sense that there is a definite quantity of labor time that goes into making it; it is subjective in so far as it is "socially necessary" and is thus "useful" for others.


As I read him, Marx is not arguing that all labor is valuable, nor does he believe in "labor value" (whatever that is), nor does he say that capitalists "rob" workers. Rather, he argues that in order to make a profit, capitalists must discipline workers, and in order to be disciplined, workers must be vulnerable. Capitalism, therefore, requires a vulnerable labor force.

u/ABillionYearsOld · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> There are plenty of cites in this book.

A journalist's pop book is not demonstration of a conspiracy by every corner of the food industry to get people addicted to anything.

> You're mirroring. Reread your mistakes and let me know when you correct them.

Mmmmm yeah I kind of figured it was going to go this way eventually. A lazy attempt to source something you said and then running away.

AH well, maybe the 5th time I try to get you to clearly state what you're trying to say will be the charm.

u/PlayerDeus · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

If you are really interested in education, read books, you can start with this one:

Also on amazon:

You can also listen to an interview with him if you don't want to read:

u/End-Da-Fed · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

The fact remains reading Manifesto alone and adopting the proposals presented within wholeheartedly makes one a Marxist. Marxism is VERY easy to grasp and can be explained in under 20 minutes with graphs, slides, photos and quotes in a YouTube video.

It only requires two hours a day of intensive studying over a two week period to keep up in a conversation with any professor on earth.

Wholeheartedly accepting all the contents of [this] ( book alone can a Marxist make.

u/RevolutionaryMessiah · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

> Nope.

Straw man. It's not about the legality of slavery, but its execution.

> The personal computer?

based on federal researches.

> The smartphone?

based on federal researches

> What about Edison's inventions?

based on Edison ;)

> Yeah, like picking wheat from fields?

For example. And less harmful than the working conditions under capitalism.

> Under capitalism, kids dropped the sickle and picked up books.

nah, more like destroying their lungs in the textile industry.
Remember: We are not talking of today's industrialized countries.

Edit: Formatting

u/yhynye · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

So it's a question of who started it, like a playground gang fight? Because conservatives and right-liberals definitely do call leftists "fascists" all the time. Link. Link.

u/ChillPenguinX · 3 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

It’s way better than it sounds. Sowell is a skilled writer. You can consider the first chapter a short writing.

Basic Economics

u/NuclearTurtle · 6 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

My first thought was Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, but Basic Economics works just as well

u/Continuity_organizer · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

If you want to know more about the effect of IQ on various social and economic metrics, do check out Charles Murray's The Bell Curve.

It holds up as well today as it did when it was first published 22 years ago.

u/classicalecon · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

I've made my way through most of the Marx Engels Reader, and I've read Marx's Capital in its entirety.

u/Rhianu · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Mormon historian Paul B. Skousen uses it as an argument against socialism in his book The Naked Socialist, and I also once had it presented to me in a university philosophy course I once took.

u/MitchSnyder · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

This act feeds their greed and power. The christian hierarchy and capitalists are the same people. Learn your history: it's One Nation Under God dontcha know?

The capitalists use the pulpits to control the workers and subjugate them under the capitalists.

u/wizardnamehere · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> Well I do know a lot of research and mathematical breakthroughs are being made here and there. Particularly from people in the community like MIRI, independent contributors like Gary Drescher and Judea Pearl, etc. But maybe you had a different idea of productive investment. The idea of an AI Cold War is a very real and dangerous prospect that I think will be of greater concern in years coming.

Do you mean an AI cold war between American state backed tech firms and Chinese state backed tech firms?

u/PerfectSociety · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> If you can't accept reality, just because it's dark, you make reality your enemy.

Your understanding of reality is one in which North Korea is a Democratic Republic. So yeah, I'm fine with rejecting it. Because it's objectively false.

> Yes, they did. Read up:

Nope. Again, it confirms what I said earlier.

> Democracy is collectivist, and collectivism essentially is socialism.

Syllogistic Fallacy.

> Socialism without collectivism is incomprehensible.

Argument from Incredulity Fallacy.

u/GruntledSymbiont · 0 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

There are only 4 categories of economies. 1.Traditional, 2.Command(Planned), 3.Market, 4.Mixed

Socialism falls squarely under category 2. I guess you intend more of a mixed economy with market socialism but commanding allocation of MOP which is the supply side and investment is going to make it far more of a planned economy than not.

I can't adequately explain in only a few sentences supply/demand and the role of investment in creating supply and generating new wealth. For the most convenient introduction I refer you to the classic:

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics Paperback – December 14, 1988
by Henry Hazlitt

Suffice to say such a socialist system controlling all supply will absolutely kill investment and collapse in a few short decades.

I am familiar with the labor theory of value. It was effectively refuted and replaced by the subjective theory of value in the second half of the 19th century along with the rise of the Austrian school of economics. Among professional economists today the LTV is a fringe idea with very few believers viewed mostly as kooks akin to physicians still practicing phrenology. LTV is still being widely promoted and popularized today mostly by non-economist academics when talking about economic issues which is a terrible travesty. They don't know what they are talking about and are doing great harm to students.

The failure of LTV is easy to recognize even with cursory consideration. You can have two products with identical labor content and identical material but one is valuable and the other is worthless or even dangerous due to poor design. You can have identical products with one containing far more labor content due to less efficient methods of production. Starting to see the breakdown? LTV was vaguely plausible in the context of a 19th century agrarian society but useless in industrialized economies today.

Money prices collect and convey information useful for comparison of otherwise not at all comparable goods and services. Without this information planners are reduced to 'groping about in the dark' as the great economist Ludwig von Mises predicted. This is called the 'calculation problem' and there is a related 'knowledge problem' which both prompted much debate starting in about the 1930s leading to the idea of market socialism where socialists ultimately conceded the problem was a real, crippling phenomenon but refused to give up completely.

So does market socialism function in the real world? I've seen a few not very persuasive arguments that market socialism could work but no decent examples where it actually has. For example some say Walmart is already a market socialist economy unto itself. Is anti-union Walmart running all their own factories now? No they are not and it's not even vaguely socialist with a hyper competitive corporate culture seeking to maximize profit at every turn. I've also read opinions that market socialism might work with the help of supercomputers (but no working code, just wild speculation accompanied by very evident lack of understanding of the scope of the actual problem.)

u/Arguss · 3 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

In that case, I found a lot of inspiration in the book American Progressivism: A Reader. It's a sampling of formative essays and speeches during the Progressive Era talking about reforming government, reducing corruption, and building a reliable administration. Reading it helps understand how the modern US government got to be where it is, because most of their proposals were eventually adopted.

I also read Leninism by Neil Harding, which went into the detail of the initial Communist revolution in Russia and how Lenin's political theories evolved as circumstances on the ground changed. I think it was helpful both in gaining more understanding of the history of the time and in learning about what Communism came to mean in a Russian context.

I liked Predictably Irrational and Freakonomics for really highlighting 1) economics is about incentives, and 2) our incentives sometimes lead us and markets astray, sometimes even in predictably bad ways.

The Myth of the Rational Market traces a history of financial economics going back to the early 1900s and how we conceptualized the idea of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. It also ends up introducing a lot of basic financial information I had in my finance classes.

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and the World on Fire goes into specific detail about the financial crisis and how central banks across the world responded to it. Useful if you aren't familiar with the specifics of the crisis.

The Working Poor: Invisible in America helps explore the hopelessness and despair of the working poor, and how a poverty mindset can develop. It also shows how systems of late fees, overdraft fees, payday loans, lack of benefits for part-time workers, the cost of healthcare, etc all combine to really rig the world against the poor succeeding.

That's all I can think of for now.

u/metalliska · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> because the scale of the system is such that we don't know what to control for

this is not really a good way to think about experimental design. this book goes into model development regarding controlling variables and randomizing inputs, and developing counterfactuals.

This course I took around 2013 also goes into what influence different graph nodes implicate on one another. So, no, scale wise, there's not a "hard limit". Not one present in this book's examples anyways.

>you have asserted that complexity is a work of fiction

Nope, just that "emergent order" has no boundary to tell which is fictitious and what isn't.

>Then letting them run a huge amount of iterations of a genetic algorithm until they can end up with the right answer vast majority of the time.

Right, wrong, and "end up" are all functions of input by a biased humanoid. Particularly involving "errors of input", data selection, and adapting older models (knowledge) to newer.

I'm currently planning and executing a FPGA Evolvable Hardware project, where "we don't know what our ignorance looks like" on the circuitry level". Doesn't default to "emergent order"; no more than a "God of the Gaps" defaults to "Must be God".

>Also, like, our universe is an example of emergent order as opposed to imposed order, unless you're quite deeply religious in which case carry on, I won't get in the way of that.

Quite the opposite. I'm an atheist, so I'm still asserting that any aspects of "order" are imposed. We don't have any "somewhat ordered", "non-ordered", "imposed ordered", "emergent ordered", "99.999% deterministic ordered", "43.2% non-deterministic ordered" (....etc...) Universes to compare against. Thus, no demarcation of repeatability and falsifiability. We're stuck with what we got, and any claims of "order" are likely made by someone with something to prove. Teleology ain't a science.

>has on the system in question and the wider system of systems system.

The fact that you can't articulate this doesn't reveal insidiousness, rather, it reveals the knowledge you've learned is biased. It's like bad set theory by reusing "error", "loss", "noise", and other "wrong" variables in inappropriate contexts.

u/jpeek · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

We need to first define it. Maybe I'm wrong here, but for me Fascism is control of the economy like it's the military. Complete dictation by the central government. Marching orders are handed down and little to no control is given to those down the line.

It appears to work, but it can't last. I highly recommend reading Vampire Economy. It goes in depth on doing business in Germany under Fascism.

So why does it work for a while, but not in the long run? Savings. Let's say that the government take over all business. One story, I'm recalling from memory, was about a business owner who had to give up control. The government wanted to produce more widgets. They noticed that there was a whole machine sitting idle. They say, well we can start producing a lot more if we spin this up. The business owner was saving that incase another machine needed to be taken down for repairs, it was his backup. The government instead decided it wasn't worth sitting idle. But instead of maintaining a constant flow of goods and when the machines started breaking down, they had no fall back.

It's things like this that a central authority will always fail to understand. They have no idea how to run a business. Dictating that X must happen has costs to it. They don't have to bear the costs so they will force it to happen, not realizing that they are destroying their productive capacity in the process.

Once you start depleting the productive capacity of the economy, it becomes a lot harder for people to save. Without savings no investment can happen. With no investment, no advances or new forms of production.

u/kitten888 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Michael Huemer discussed this in his book The Problem Political Authority

His argument is that your intent to withdraw your consent for the social contract explicitly is never recognized. The statist argument then follows, that you should move to another country. But why somebody claims his right to this land? It's similar to the situation when you go to your neighbour's place and say: "If you stay in this home any longer you must pay me". Why would they leave their home, why would they obey your demand? It is common sense, that you don't have the right or authority to do that. How comes that cops and IRS have this right? And the statist then goes back to the social contract, but trying to justify the social contract by the social contract itself is recursion.

Another Huemer's argument is that you have obligations under the contract and will be punished for violation, but the second party doesn't. If they violate the terms, there's nobody to enforce the contract and no independent arbitration available, cause all the branches of power, executive, legislative and court depend on your taxes.

u/potato_cabbage · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

>this is not really a good way to think about experimental design. this book goes into model development regarding controlling variables and randomizing inputs, and developing counterfactuals.

Expand on this. Why not?

Fundamentally to test in experimental conditions is to test a part of the system in isolation. This requires knowledge of what to isolate, what it does to the the overall system and confidence that all external factors have been accounted for.

Similarly, a model only conveys what we are aware of and its level of complexity is limited by what we think is sensible given available computational capability and the requirements for the model.

Looping back to my usual point, this makes such experimentation highly unreliable when applied to the economy as it is an immensely complex system.

>This course I took around 2013 also goes into what influence different graph nodes implicate on one another. So, no, scale wise, there's not a "hard limit". Not one present in this book's examples anyways.

What do you mean by "hard limit"? To what?

Logically that statement does not align. It sounds like: You took course, therefore there is no hard limit, at least according to the book.

This doesnt make sense. I can't respond to that. Expand please.

>Nope, just that "emergent order" has no boundary to tell which is fictitious and what isn't.

We know a-priori that, say, the solar system emerged and wasnt imposed by deliberate action of some conscious entity, specifically not through human action. I get what you mean, we can't prove it empirically. I argue we don't have to.

>Right, wrong, and "end up" are all functions of input by a biased humanoid. Particularly involving "errors of input", data selection, and adapting older models (knowledge) to newer.

Look, if my goal is to train an AI to identify trees, then a tree would be right, a non tree would be wrong. The fact that we call a stick with dangling bits a "tree" has little significance in this context.

>I'm currently planning and executing a FPGA Evolvable Hardware project, where "we don't know what our ignorance looks like" on the circuitry level". Doesn't default to "emergent order"; no more than a "God of the Gaps" defaults to "Must be God".

Within the framework that I have outlined emergent order is an order that occurs naturally without deliberate outside interference by means of human action.

Its been a while since I did anything with FPGAs/ASICs but you essentially run a genetic algorithm of sorts to come up with the most efficient design given initial parameters and restrictions.

Either way you clarified that you don't deny existence of complexity as a whole so lets just leave this point be.

>Quite the opposite. I'm an atheist, so I'm still asserting that any aspects of "order" are imposed. We don't have any "somewhat ordered", "non-ordered", "imposed ordered", "emergent ordered", "99.999% deterministic ordered", "43.2% non-deterministic ordered" (....etc...) Universes to compare against. Thus, no demarcation of repeatability and falsifiability. We're stuck with what we got, and any claims of "order" are likely made by someone with something to prove. Teleology ain't a science.

>The fact that you can't articulate this doesn't reveal insidiousness, rather, it reveals the knowledge you've learned is biased. It's like bad set theory by reusing "error", "loss", "noise", and other "wrong" variables in inappropriate contexts.

This looks to me like an argument of definitions with an ultra-empiricist twist.

Arguing definitions across frameworks is pointless. Definitions dont prove anything in their own right but are merely tools to assist in conveying a message.

Lets take a step back, and before we continue this discussion define "emergent order" the way you see it within your framework, then lets compare to the way I define it to see if we are discussing the same thing to begin with.

u/Flip-dabDab · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

If we look at fascism in Italy instead of Germany we see a bit of a different picture. The fascists in Spain also didn’t seem to use race/ethnicity within their identity politics the same way Germans did.

Fascism requires a group identity to exist,
but this can be national identity, religious identity, cultural identity, political identity, class identity, age group(generational) identity, etc.
Ethnicity is only one of many possible divisions.

Modern usage of the term ‘fascism’ has become ethnocentric through connotation, which eventually solidified into definition. This is because we have separated the original ideology into three new main groups and relabeled them as progressivism, neoconservatism, and neofascism, but only associate “fascism” with the latter.

An interesting thing to note is that the original ‘progressive’ movement (which fought against ethnocentric fascism throughout its history) has nearly the same economic philosophy as fascism, and both were influenced by the same individuals.
Chomsky famously noted this phenomenon, and gave the rationale behind why the debate was limited to these bookends within fascist nationalism and fascist globalism. Excerpts from The Common Good

If we consider the work of Carl Schmitt, Edward Louis Bernays (check out the Philosophy section and also about his influence on Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels), and Giovanni Gentile as being the foundations of fascism, then FDRoosevelt was as much a fascist as Mussolini or Hitler.

Later on in the west (post WW2), we see politics show thinly veneered fascism through focus on the group “communists” as becoming the standard “other” rather than Jews or any racial group. The pre-Civil Rights era Democrat party attempted to use a black/white metric, and the post-Civil Rights era we see the Republicans and Democrats using a urban/rural metric. This idea of setting up political bookends of polarity within a confined ideological context and then polarizing the bookends is “the very meaning of life” according to Carl Schmitt, and should be expected in any fascist society. Carl Schmitt- The Concept of the Political, section 3

Through propaganda, we’ve attached the term “fascism” to a very limited and manipulated subsets and offshoots of German fascist ideology, even though most modern politics are directly influenced by or even founded upon the work of Carl Schmitt and EL Bernays. There’s a reason why everyone can compare everyone else to Hitler, and that’s because very few modern political viewpoints actually reject the basic tenets of fascism, but simply argue about the fringes, all while pretending they’re anti-fascist because they’ve reframed what they define as fascism to be exclusively authoritarian racism.

(To the credit of communist anarchists, they seem to have been influenced the least; but I don’t particularly sympathize with their views either)

Summary: when someone tells you that a problem is the responsibility of “society” rather than the responsibility of individuals, and then goes on to assume that government is a representative of/surrogate for society,
you are talking to a political fascist.