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Mindless Lip-Service to Capitalism

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Buzz Killington posted on Fri, Mar 8 2013 12:13 AM

I see a lot of these Austrolibertarian capitalists out here praising how wonderful it is that we have modern medicine and life extension.

Why? To me, it's absolutely disgusting. The whole reason people want government handing out healthcare is that these technologies allow the weak and frail to continue their pathetic existences.

The concept that life is inherently valuable is hilarious (not to mention socialist) - everyone is going to die someday. Why should they drag down functional life with them? "Oh, but we have to care for them!" Why? Because it's just "natural"?

"Under natural conditions, there is no haven for the wretched, no hope for the weaklings, no resting place for the weary, no quarter for the beaten. Nature loathes Infirm Ones."

"Nutty as squirrel shit."

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We are not arguing that life has any value or not, but we are saying that if you think that life has value then you should like capitalism.

But it is harder to see how your description of the dog-eat-dog world would be better satisfied under freedom than under government...

It is an interesting question, of whether all values can be fulfilled in capitalism. Can someone who truly loves, say, chaos live well in freedom? Or what about someone who wants everyone to be the same?

I would argue that either of these two positions are impossible and so no matter what -"archy" exists, these ends will always be self-defeating.

After all, if one valued chaos then one could not want chaos since wanting chaos implies an order to an end (you have to determine yourself to the end of liking chaos after all). Order and chaos are opposites so essentially you cannot want chaos in either a statist or non-statist world. Likewise if you wanted everyone to be/do x (like follow a single political philosophy). In this case, it seems that if everyone was guaranteed to like or do the same thing, then there would be no possibility of them not choosing that thing, and so there would not be inherent uncertainty in regard to that thing. And this contradicts the praxeological axiom that in practical life, uncertainty must be assumed. Plus people can misunderstand, have different temperaments, etc. so it is unlikely that they will all follow the same idea, unequivocally, even if they are all taught the same.

 

So in the end both propositions are in vain.

Short answer: if you believe that all should think like you, then you must forget about such a notion as being impossible, so no matter what your opinions on nature, you would have to accept that sooner or later people will stop believing likewise.

So one either likes ancap because it is a positive good, or you accept ancap as being simply the nature of how things are and the more realistic of all alternatives.

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Suggested by Willy Truth

I see a lot of these Austrolibertarian capitalists out here praising how wonderful it is that we have modern medicine and life extension.

Why? To me, it's absolutely disgusting. The whole reason people want government handing out healthcare is that these technologies allow the weak and frail to continue their pathetic existences.

The concept that life is inherently valuable is hilarious (not to mention socialist) - everyone is going to die someday. Why should they drag down functional life with them? "Oh, but we have to care for them!" Why? Because it's just "natural"?

"Under natural conditions, there is no haven for the wretched, no hope for the weaklings, no resting place for the weary, no quarter for the beaten. Nature loathes Infirm Ones."

What gibberish. How were these genes still present in the gene pool if they had not been coddled in the past?

I don't understand why you guys come on these forums and try to bait Social Darwinism. Austrian social science has no relationship with Social Darwinism.

The fact is that humans naturally care for one another when left to their own devices. Voluntary choice is the criterion for determining what sort of care is suitable and necessary. When you have charity based on the goodwill and free choice of the giving individual, what happens is that loafers and mooches are quickly given the boot, making charitable systems for helping the downtrodden, the feeble, the infirm, the ophraned, the widowed... actually able to get resources to them.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

 

... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock

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The quote at the end of OP comes from the book "Might is Right", published at the end of the 19th century by some coward who couldn't put his real name to it or later take credit for it. The book sets about to establish exactly what its title says, giving some kind of stripped-down Nietzschean philosophy of slave- and master-morality (ala Beyond Good and Evil). All this nonsense is derived from apparently rough-and-ready logic that is actually devoid of careful consideration and easily toppled.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Meistro:

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

 
"The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights." - Jean-Paul Getty
 
"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
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Buzz Killington:
I see a lot of these Austrolibertarian capitalists out here praising how wonderful it is that we have modern medicine and life extension.

Why? To me, it's absolutely disgusting. The whole reason people want government handing out healthcare is that these technologies allow the weak and frail to continue their pathetic existences.

The concept that life is inherently valuable is hilarious (not to mention socialist) - everyone is going to die someday. Why should they drag down functional life with them? "Oh, but we have to care for them!" Why? Because it's just "natural"?

"Under natural conditions, there is no haven for the wretched, no hope for the weaklings, no resting place for the weary, no quarter for the beaten. Nature loathes Infirm Ones."

 

I think empathy and altruism are an important trait of social animals.

Of course they are also very local, few people care for random lepers somewhere in India.

 

But the reason people value quality health care is mainly selfish. People want to live longer and healthier, in general, so they want good health care for them.

The divide between those who want private health care and those who want socialist health care is thus based not on the perceived benefits and costs of these systems for a "whole society", but for each opinion giver.

Defenders of state run health care, in general, believe that it makes health care more affordable and brings up quality, for them.

Defenders of free market health have their reasons to be skeptic about that.

Of course that's for the bulk of voters that actually use the mass medicine system.

For the decision takers on the congress and government, as well as lobbyist and the upper classes in general, the incentives are different.

First of all, they go to clinics of boutique medicine, so they have little personal stakes on aspects such as quality and or costs of the mass medicine system. Any aditional taxes or loss of quality they'll pay due to a decision they support will be offset by the political gains they can leverage.

They will defend or oppose acts and reforms that are aligned with their political agendas at the moment. Sometimes they will seek to put a show for their constituents, others they will do whatever their financial backers want them to do, and others they will try to negotiate their positions in political bargains with other political figures.

Their role is to determine at each moment which of these and a few other basic strategies is more likely to project their carreer forward. 

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
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Random thoughts:

1. I wonder how OP will feel about all this when he gets weak and frail. Many people love the Might is Right philosophies when they have some might, but beg pathetically for mercy when they lose it.

2. The idea that "Nature loathes Infirm Ones" is a huge mistake, for several reasons:

First, Nature loves the productive. Even weak and frail and infirm people can be productive, thanks to division of labor.

Second, all creatures are born weak and frail and infirm. With some species, no mercy is shown them by anyone and they have to rely on sheer luck to survive. With other species, one or both of the parents feel protective to their offspring. With humans, these protective feelings to the infirm extend in some people to family, in other people to friends as well, and with saintly people to the whole human race and beyond. 

All these feelings do not come from the Twilight Zone. They are part of Nature.  

3. There is a difference between the "Austrolibertarian capitalist" and the people who want govt handing out healthcare. The former believe an individual has the right to do as he wishes with his money. This includes taking care of himself if he is weak and frail and infirm. Modern medicine and life extension came into being to meet the demands of individuals who were willing to pay for them. The OP is imposing his value judgements on all of humanity, thinking that it is "absolutely disgusting"  that people want these things. Very odd of him to think everyone should want what he wants.

The latter believe that violence and the threat of it is justified in taking away peoples money to take care of the infirm. "Austrolibertarian capitalists" think it is bad both from a moral and an economic point of view to take money away from anyone for any reason, even for reasons the OP might consider desirable, such as supporting the strong and healthy and firm, or the OP himself, for that matter.

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The whole reason people want government handing out healthcare is that these technologies allow the weak and frail to continue their pathetic existences.

If you're such an ubermensch yourself then you should be able to stop the "weak and frail" from getting free healthcare in the first place. The fact you can't indicates to me that you are maladapted to survive in the modern environment. Under your own logic I guess you would have to admit your own genetic inferiority.

Under natural conditions, there is no haven for the wretched, no hope for the weaklings, no resting place for the weary, no quarter for the beaten. Nature loathes Infirm Ones

Humans are part of nature. We are under natural conditions.

 

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Suggested by Clayton

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+1 Wheylous

But seriously, there are some excellent responses to this absurd position.

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What gibberish. How were these genes still present in the gene pool if they had not been coddled in the past?

They weren't. It's entirely a product of Judaeo-Christian values and society bastardizing empathy

I don't understand why you guys come on these forums and try to bait Social Darwinism. Austrian social science has no relationship with Social Darwinism.

That's why I posted this. ;)

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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If you're such an ubermensch yourself then you should be able to stop the "weak and frail" from getting free healthcare in the first place. The fact you can't indicates to me that you are maladapted to survive in the modern environment. Under your own logic I guess you would have to admit your own genetic inferiority.

Maladapted to survive? So you're admitting that subsidizing the weak and frail will lead to civilization's death?

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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It's entirely a product of Judaeo-Christian values and society bastardizing empathy

So, what you're saying is that in the last 1500-2000 years, humans have evolved new traits for, say, blindness, deafness, paraplegia, epilepsy, etc. etc.? These traits evolved de novo in the last 1500 years or so?? Forget history at this point, where is the science that shows this is even possible?? It's like claiming we could evolve wings sometime in the next 1500 years.

Clayton -

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Random thoughts:

1. I wonder how OP will feel about all this when he gets weak and frail. Many people love the Might is Right philosophies when they have some might, but beg pathetically for mercy when they lose it.

O rlly? How many social darwinists have you known throughout their old age?

2. The idea that "Nature loathes Infirm Ones" is a huge mistake, for several reasons:

First, Nature loves the productive. Even weak and frail and infirm people can be productive, thanks to division of labor.

And how's that?

Second, all creatures are born weak and frail and infirm. With some species, no mercy is shown them by anyone and they have to rely on sheer luck to survive. With other species, one or both of the parents feel protective to their offspring. With humans, these protective feelings to the infirm extend in some people to family, in other people to friends as well, and with saintly people to the whole human race and beyond.

The idea that people are naturally humanists is absurd.

3. There is a difference between the "Austrolibertarian capitalist" and the people who want govt handing out healthcare. The former believe an individual has the right to do as he wishes with his money. This includes taking care of himself if he is weak and frail and infirm. Modern medicine and life extension came into being to meet the demands of individuals who were willing to pay for them. The OP is imposing his value judgements on all of humanity, thinking that it is "absolutely disgusting"  that people want these things. Very odd of him to think everyone should want what he wants.

Hilarious that you criticize me for this right before saying:

"Austrolibertarian capitalists" think it is bad both from a moral and an economic point of view to take money away from anyone for any reason,

"Nutty as squirrel shit."
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