Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

The Question of Choice...HELP!

rated by 0 users
This post has 71 Replies | 3 Followers

Not Ranked
Posts 15
Points 430
Kaasproav Posted: Wed, Apr 24 2013 12:32 PM

 

I keep getting in debates with my philosophy teacher who comes from a sympathic background to Marx, Beavoir, and Hegel. 

The main question she has for me is that of 'choice'. I argue that poor people have the choice between a terrible job in a sweat shop, prostitution, and poverty, since they are in the sweat shop (given there is no coercion preventing them from quitting) it demonstrates that they prefer that choice to the others.

But she objects that there is coercion outside of the idea of physical force. I don't know how to articulate the Austro-libertarian position very well. 

Help would be awesome. 

  • | Post Points: 110
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 4,249
Points 70,775

Maybe this will help:

https://smilingdavesblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/so-called-wage-slavery/

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 1:34 PM

Coercion doesn't make sense out of some socially defined minimal standard that qualifies as "coercion". I don't see anything else the occurs within the capitalist society as "coercion". Even if you're a fool and you define depriving the laborer the full enjoyment of his produce as "coercion", I don't see how this is worse than threatening to kill someone if you don't give them your money.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

Why in sam hell is a Philo prof debating her students?  That's insane. ANd why in Sam Hell is shee even allowing the premise of this argument to take place: you are obviously closer to talking about what the nature of coercsion, it's scope, and context is.  If she allows this "debate" to occur it will obviously be nonsense. that's insane.  It may even be a form of propaganda.  Maybe it's Marxian "praxis-logic" techniques.  Whoever says Marx and Marxism is dead is liar.

Anyway throw Her Mises Socialism, tell her to get over it,  it's been uncontroversially over for 80 yrs for anyone outside of the humanities - academics department.  And if she likes Hegel-Marx throw her a copy of The Ego and It's Own and call yourself a "Petite Bourgoise" (which was essentially Marx's,umm... "argument", of the book), walk out, and see if you can get your money back for taking a worthless class, because you've been duped.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 87
Points 1,215
Albert replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 4:05 PM

Wow vive la, tell us what you rally think, stop holding back.

Kaasproav,

You did not say what the question about "choice" or "coercion" was exactly, but in my experience Marxists believe employment is exploitation by definition. That is why they think coercion is involved. They do not believe that in a free market a voluntary  exchange benefits both parties equally.

Once she acknowledges that, the other arguments of choice may make sense. If she does not acknowledge that, nothing else you say will make sense to her.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 5:41 PM

I'd just like to throw out there that the outrage and the charge of coercion does make sense from a Marxist standpoint. I've often considered this (although I don't at all agree with it) that one could theoretically take Rothbardianism to the letter, redefine property to fit the LTV, and you end up at some form of socialism. If you're a Marxist then you believe that it is only labor that creates value, and therefore all ownership is caused by production itself. Because it is the laborers who really produce the produce, then, it is their property, not the property of the greedy capitalists who only attain the produced goods through aggressive cultural norms that would brand the rightful owners of the property as thieves if they tried to retrieve their property.

This is the points that Marxists should really be stressing, in combination with their notion of wage slavery, if they hope to attract any libertarian converts. Still, it's always struck me how absurdly leftist, that is to say emotional and wishful, the concept of "wage slavery" really is. This is also one of the few cases where I go full Randian my outrage surrounding an issue.

Vive,

"Whoever says Marx and Marxism is dead is liar."

What do you mean by this? I feel like sociology and some political science still borrow from Marx, but by and large and especially in economics Marx is long dead. Marxism hasn't contributed a single iota of substance to mainstream economics. With that said, I have seen a disturbing rise in directly Marxist rhetoric with things like OWS, but this is far outweighed by the rise in libertarianism with Ron Paul and the like which is currently sweeping our generation. I've rarely ever met a real Marxist, only those who speak of Marxism and use the philosopher's terms. He's far too incoherent an economist, both in his writing style and in the things that he wrote, to ever develop a real mass following. The strength and superficial simplicity of his vision however... That has yet to be seen.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 50
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

that is to say emotional and wishful, the concept of "wage slavery" really is

I usually don't see it as emotional, but as a sly power play by and for certain people who have power- I have 0 sympathy for people who use that term, and it is usually one of those times where I want to do what Mencken said: rub my hands together, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 5:52 PM

So let me get this straight. If we assume enough false premises to be true, we could eventually justify a political theory? What a big win for Marxists...

  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 6:07 PM

I actually do not think its "aggression" in a strict libertarian sense if the only people harmed or killed are/were communists.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 6:52 PM

"What a big win for Marxists..."

Pretty much

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

we could eventually justify a political theory

This is a major aspect of Marxism (and a lot of other forms of socialism)- the "theory is the praxis".  One may even go so far as to say Marxism is almost nothing but some foundational political theory to seize power and let loose people's socialistic urges.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Wed, Apr 24 2013 7:17 PM

"Marxism is almost nothing but some foundational political theory to seize power and let loose people's socialistic urges."

yup

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

I just meant as an institution - and you see fairly "mainstream" people on news and politics (mostly not in the US obviously) advocating for Maxist economic policy by name - that's all I meant. 

Though, was actual Marxism ever mainstream in Academic economic circles?  It seems to me when Marxism was big, there were simply widely accepted "Economic schools" floating around with varying degrees of influence, and even there I'm not so sure where Marxism would ran among actual academia.

The damn thing will not die, no matter how one refutes it, or how obviously stupid it's outcomes are

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Thu, Apr 25 2013 3:34 PM

people who advocate marxism arent interested in truth, they just want to convince other people to change so that they (the marxists) can steal things and get away with it. 

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

 

This debate is generally between two groups of naive middle class first world white kids talking out of their asses of realities so complex and so far removed from their day to day lives they can barely fathom.

The "libertarians" who think sweatshop operators do not have mob enforcers threatening their families, loan sharks, drug dealers and other shady businesses effectively coercing their third world employees to work for them, and the "socialists" who think more government or NGO intervention can help about that.

When the reality is that in underdeveloped societies, raw violence is one the cheapest and most effective ways available to mobilize a productive workforce. Violence is one of that basic common denominators everybody from every miserably backwards culture understands. The others are food and sex.

That's the reality at the ground level in many places in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in some gethos and inner cities in North America and Western Europe, but that's not politically correct to assume among civilized peoples.

Coercion is organized and commoditized violence.

And coercion will exist in either "capitalism" or in "socialism", as long as it is a comparatively effective way of getting things done.

Slavery can be run or be subsidised by a government-size operation or by small private slavedrivers. It's only a matter of economies of scale.

You can fool yourselves into thinking that as long as there is coercion, there's no capitalism or free market or whatever is your ideal.

But then it only shows how unpractical and unrealistic are your basic notions about the world.

In the end, it's less a matter of political beliefs and ideologies, and more a matter of practical costs. And sometimes, it's cheaper to strike good deals by breaking a few legs or getting some serious ball busters whacked than by talking and being all civilized and offering options and alternatives.

Anybody with business/political interests in third world troubled regions knows that. But of course, naive middle class first world overfed white kids cannot even come close to understand it.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Posts 254
Points 5,500

Coercion outside of the idea of physical force. Sure: the threat of force. I don't think many people have had cops bust into their homes and physically force money from them, right? Are we any less coerced, though? Is a victim any less coerced in any of these situations?: 1) Someone calls and threatens to kill Jim unless Jim gives him $5.00 or 2) Someone approaches Jim pointing a gun at him and threatens to kill him unless Jim hands over $5.00. Even in the case of gunpoint, nobody is physically forcing money from Jim, but the coercion exists nonetheless in the form of the fear of physical violence.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 4,249
Points 70,775

You have it all wrong, Toxic.

And your atitude. Oh my!

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 947
Points 22,055
Student replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 8:26 AM

Kaasproav

interesting topic

you are right that staying in the sweat shop demonstrates that they prefer the sweat shop to their other alternatives, but i'm not sure what moral weight that carries. if you put a gun to my head and tell me to either poop or die, i will eat poop (yah i said poop). i have demonstrated that i prefer eating poop to dying, but does that tell us anything about whether you holding a gun to my head was "right" or "wrong"?

that isn't to say that this example is directly analogous to what you're talking about, i'm just saying i understand why your professor would want you to start connecting the dots to get from "this is (or is not) coercion" to "this is (or is not) wrong".

it looks like other people are weighing in on the steps you could follow to connect those dots. i don't have any answers to the quesiton personally, but i would recommend checking out the entry on coercion in the standford philosophy encylopedia on the subject. there are references to tons of good readings there.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/coercion/

personally, i think the more you read about the topic, the more frustrated you will get it. at least that was my experience with the topic when i wrestled with it. i could never really figure out how to sort out which acts were coercive let alone which acts were coercive and wrong. so i didn't find it a useful concept. but that's just me. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

that isn't to say that this example is directly analogous to what you're talking about, i'm just saying i understand why your professor would want you to start connecting the dots to get from "this is (or is not) coercion" to "this is (or is not) wrong".

Student,

The way  the OP has set this up it seems like a complete "armchair" discussion - where one is a Philo prof who has opposing political views to her 101 philo student and is debating him (which is insane) in a contextless void.  If that is the case, the teacher is wrong and the OP is wasting his time.

If I'm right, I think it may be best how to give the OP tips on how to cut his losses and minimalize damage on bad undergrad classes.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 7:09 PM

as long as it is a comparatively effective way of getting things done.

people are always making this assumption. why would coercion be comparatively effective tomorrow, or fifty years from now? its indicative of a lack of study with regard to coercive institutions. let me tell you something, victims learn. it is the task of the leadership of the coercive organization to continually refine the ideological/public affairs/indoctrination process so that it remains effective. 

left unspoken is the assumption that those leaders will always and forever remain one (or more) steps ahead of their victims. the funny thing is that those same leaders know that this is far from a given. 

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Posts 228
Points 3,640
Blargg replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 7:20 PM

They do not believe that in a free market a voluntary  exchange benefits both parties equally.

It doesn't necessarily benefit both parties equally, it just benefits each enough that they voluntarily choose to go ahead with the exchange. Since it's voluntary, each party can decide "actually, I'd rather keep this since I value it more". They don't, so you can't claim that one is taking advantage of the other.

The "libertarians" who think sweatshop operators do not have mob enforcers threatening their families, loan sharks, drug dealers and other shady businesses effectively coercing their third world employees to work for them

I've heard people argue against a sweatshop that didn't involve any of this, merely one that paid its voluntary workers less than it is thought they should be paid. I don't think any libertarian would disagree that ones involving violence are not desired by them either.

you are right that staying in the sweat shop demonstrates that they prefer the sweat shop to their other alternatives, but i'm not sure what moral weight that carries. if you put a gun to my head and tell me to either poop or die, i will eat poop (yah i said poop). i have demonstrated that i prefer eating poop to dying, but does that tell us anything about whether you holding a gun to my head was "right" or "wrong"?

So like your example, these people employed by the sweatshop and making some money would prefer that the sweatshop close its doors so that they can go work elsewhere for less? If so, why don't they just go elsewhere now? In your example, you would rather the person forcing this choice on you turn around and leave, because you would choose the alternative (no forced choice) if it were available. The sweatshop operator doesn't reduce the employee's choice; he adds one more. So your comparison is flawed.
 

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 3,055
Points 41,895

if you put a gun to my head and tell me to either poop or die, i will eat poop

Really?  I would die.

People that have no prospect of competing successfully default to violent seizure.  But instead of going around requesting/threatening that everyone give to them, which does not work broadly, or directly attacking individually, they market their personalized agendas as a social endeavor.  A typical part of that is co-opting others against their will into the supposed interest class.

@ OP: If you want to shut your teacher up in 1 second flat, ask her if she did/does seek dating/marriage with men in poverty, working in a sweatshop or as a gigolo.  For the lulz.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

people are always making this assumption. why would coercion be comparatively effective tomorrow, or fifty years from now? its indicative of a lack of study with regard to coercive institutions. let me tell you something, victims learn. it is the task of the leadership of the coercive organization to continually refine the ideological/public affairs/indoctrination process so that it remains effective. 

left unspoken is the assumption that those leaders will always and forever remain one (or more) steps ahead of their victims. the funny thing is that those same leaders know that this is far from a given. 

Coercion is not a precise thing.

Of course, if you consider yourself a victim of frequent abuse you will eventually discover what to do in order to minimize or avert such coercion.

But at the same time, new possibilities and opportunities for exploitation are always being created by shifts in technological and institutional standards and by spontaneous asymmetries in knowledge of their practical uses.

You might be used to think of practioners of coercion as primitive tuggish warlords in africa, or perhaps the slightly more sophisticated italian or jewish mobsters in america.

But that's not all of the picture.

For instance, a powerful law firm in a civilized western first word nation has a lot of legal knowledge it can leverage in costly litigations against other businesses and operations. And if you think lawyers don't use these asymmetries to abuse and exploit you're being very naive.

And the same goes for think tanks, lobbist, unions, party factions, regulatory cartels, bankers and so on. They are all sophisticated machines of coercion.

You are right in thinking that today's leaders won't remain forever one step ahead of it's victims. Things change, yesterday's predatory tactics may not be very effective tomorrow.

But that doesn't mean tomorrow there won't be predatory tactics that are effective in tomorrow's environment.

There was a time where the elite infantry of the Persian empire were called Immortals. Well, Alexander the Great thought otherwise.

It's like biological evolution. Just because some preys evolve and make some apex predators obsolete, doesn't mean in the future there won't be some other forms of predation.

The vision of a future of social harmony based on pure voluntary cooperation is as plausible as biological vision of an ecossystem of only symbiotic creatures.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sat, Apr 27 2013 1:23 PM

But at the same time, new possibilities and opportunities for exploitation are always being created by shifts in technological and institutional standards and by spontaneous asymmetries in knowledge of their practical uses.

technology and knowledge asymmetry also make old ways of exploitation and coercion less effective. 

For instance, a powerful law firm in a civilized western first word nation has a lot of legal knowledge it can leverage in costly litigations against other businesses and operations. And if you think lawyers don't use these asymmetries to abuse and exploit you're being very naive.

I'm not sure why you felt the need to suggest that. those asymmetries are not static either, in fact they are subject to the same factors outlined above: learning victims, technology, knowledge asymmetry. if you dont think that the legal professionals of the world (who are in fact agents of the state) have to continually work to refine their system of exploitation, then youre being very naive.

And the same goes for think tanks, lobbist, unions, party factions, regulatory cartels, bankers and so on. They are all sophisticated machines of coercion.

yes, exactly. see above.

But that doesn't mean tomorrow there won't be predatory tactics that are effective in tomorrow's environment.

neither does it mean that those techniques will be more effective than catallacty. youre still trying to make the same assumption I identified above.

There was a time where the elite infantry of the Persian empire were called Immortals. Well, Alexander the Great thought otherwise.

they were called immortals because there were always 10,000 of them. any time an "immortal" was struck down, another soldier would be assigned to the immortals, pushing the number back to 10,000 even.

The vision of a future of social harmony based on pure voluntary cooperation is as plausible as biological vision of an ecossystem of only symbiotic creatures.

wow. ok, this statement has some serious problems. first of all, social harmony = pure voluntary cooperation. so if youre saying that social harmony cant happen unless there is some extortion and violence involved, you might as well say that food doesnt become healthy until you add some poison to it. 

secondly, your analogy makes a category error in that you equate inter-species relations to intra-species relations. this might have been intentional, for rhetorical purposes, or it might just be a symptom of your confusion. either way its not true. 

now if youre suggesting that the idea that violence between humans will become a thing of the past is utopian, I can agree with that. but if you mean to imply that systematic exploitation as a means of sustaining one's livelihood will always be present, then youre simply making the very same assumption again.

 

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 947
Points 22,055
Student replied on Sat, Apr 27 2013 2:20 PM

Vive,

I was assuming the "debate" had to really be a dispute over an assignment or something like that. If this really is just a professor wasting class time by arguing with a student, then you're right that shit is crazy. 

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 1,389
Points 21,840
Moderator

Oh, you probably have the better assumption, lol.

In that case I think the OP would really have to specify a bit more,  I mean if you are talking about questions like "sweat shops" in 3rd world countries there are some pretty standard answers to give from an economic point of view...but if that is eliminated (as this is a philo class) we really have to know in what way these terms are set so the OP can think in the direction that the course is trying to teach.

or maybe the OP is "high jacking" the class with his own views where they ought not be given - if that is the case, it would be best to suggest to just listen to the class and see what the class is trying to say - or else the OP is wasting his money and other peoples time and money

That said, if it is just a bad teacher in a typical undergrad elective class: if you're passing your class with a decent enough grade just try to keep with the teachers expectations and get out of there...everyone has been through one or two of these.  Mine was Sociology 101 and some Poly Sci class where the teacher was Nigerian and only delivered 2/3 of the lecture in English (and for me Nigerians tend to have the hardest accent for me to acclimate to anyway) at an 8 AM class.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

technology and knowledge asymmetry also make old ways of exploitation and coercion less effective. 

[…]

I'm not sure why you felt the need to suggest that. those asymmetries are not static either, in fact they are subject to the same factors outlined above: learning victims, technology, knowledge asymmetry. if you dont think that the legal professionals of the world (who are in fact agents of the state) have to continually work to refine their system of exploitation, then youre being very naive.

Yes, old technologies tend to lose competitive edge.

But the fact that the sabertooth tiger got extinct doesn't mean that the dynamics of a predator-prey system disappeared. It got extinct because it was well-adapted to environmental circumstances, and when those changed, it was outgunned by its competitors.

neither does it mean that those techniques will be more effective than catallacty. youre still trying to make the same assumption I identified above.

I think you and I have different concepts of effectiveness.

When I think of effectiveness of an strategy I think of fitness to an ecology of competing strategies. That is, how long and how much this strategy is expected to perform, being a better alternative for those players deploying it.

With that concept in mind, in large-scale complex systems with multiple strategies going on, there might be some room for cooperation and exploitation.

It's not a foregone conclusion that the whole system will evolve and/or default to either a dominant mode of cooperation or dominant mode of exploitation.

We cannot forecast what kind of opportunities the future strategies will explore.

It is a very complex thing, with all kinds of feedback loops, some negative other positive, which makes it very chaotic.

But one negative feedback loop is this. Consider a society of relative social tranquility. Nobody steals, everybody work, property is respected.

In this society, people consider the overall risk of being exploited to be low.

And therefore they spend less time protecting themselves from any sort of exploitation.

A few generations pass and people even forgot what was crime and abuse.

Cars and front doors are left open. And people having personal problems are assisted by the community.

Due to low crime life, most gun deaths are caused by accidents or by crazy people with access to gun, so they decide to ban guns altogether.

Now say a group of foreigners arrive to this nice society. And they came from places where everyday violence and abuse were much more common.

They will look at this people as sitting ducks and will pull all kinds of criminal shit against them. And others will parasitically infest the social safety nets installed previously to help people in distress.

It's not hard to find real life examples of this dynamics.

So that's one way a dominant mode of social cooperation and prosperity can create in the long run opportunities for a new class of exploitation, either by predation and parasitism.

I know you're tempted to say that these opportunities were created by collectivist welfare systems and that wouldn't happen in a libertarian society.

But no. These opportunities were created by the low perceived risk of exploitation. When people don't have to deal with these problems they eventually forget to prepare for them.

 

they were called immortals because there were always 10,000 of them. any time an "immortal" was struck down, another soldier would be assigned to the immortals, pushing the number back to 10,000 even.

Yes, and how many of them are now?

wow. ok, this statement has some serious problems. first of all, social harmony = pure voluntary cooperation. so if youre saying that social harmony cant happen unless there is some extortion and violence involved, you might as well say that food doesnt become healthy until you add some poison to it. 

I'm not saying that violence and extortion are "necessary evils" in order to create social harmony.

In my vision, social harmony is an ecological concept that emerges spontaneously, and in this system there will be some level of violence and extortion being employed.

Just because for certain operators it is indeed more effective to resort to violence.

Of course, the forms of violence will change in time and space.

secondly, your analogy makes a category error in that you equate inter-species relations to intra-species relations. this might have been intentional, for rhetorical purposes, or it might just be a symptom of your confusion. either way its not true. 

A cluster of sexually compatible organisms is considered a species, but that's an statistical artifact created by biologists.

Humans created the abstract concept of species, just like every other abstract concept.

In nature, things are not so clearly distinct. What you have are strategies being deployed by units of survival and replication.

Some units find it useful to co-operate with other units, perhaps of similar genetic structure. One of these co-operative interactions is sex.

now if youre suggesting that the idea that violence between humans will become a thing of the past is utopian, I can agree with that. but if you mean to imply that systematic exploitation as a means of sustaining one's livelihood will always be present, then youre simply making the very same assumption again. 

It depends on what you mean by systematic.

I fully agree that exploitation techniques do get obsolete after a while. But newer ones are created and older ones do become available once again, once they were forgotten.

That makes it difficult to forecast a stable future of systematic "voluntarism".

But if your point is that the concept of modern state will eventually disappear, I couldn't agree more.

History has seem many forms of government and anarchy come and go, and that will probably happen with the present one, once it becomes obsolete.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 11:18 AM

In this society, people consider the overall risk of being exploited to be low.

there isnt much in your post I feel the need to respond to. but this. its like you had to find a way to slip that silly assumption in there one more time just to taunt me. heh.

I know you're tempted to say that these opportunities were created by collectivist welfare systems

shut your ugly troll mouth. you are well aware that my entire focus has been this insistence of yours on assuming that, for whatever reason, "people will decide to be vulnerable to being victimized," then they will be victimized. its a very simple and unenlightening proposition for you to build three posts full of craplatitudes upon.

A cluster of sexually compatible organisms is considered a species, but that's an statistical artifact created by biologists.

Humans created the abstract concept of species, just like every other abstract concept.

the "cluster of organisms" is real. "sexual compatibility" is a concept. now if youre talking about social animals and their behavior, you have to recognize the difference between interspecies relations and intraspecies relations, or youre not going to get very far. if you like we can create new categories of thought based on the possibility of social (as opposed to violent) interaction. but since you seem to be backing away from making the assumption I identified earlier then theres not really a point.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

malachi:

there isnt much in your post I feel the need to respond to. but this. its like you had to find a way to slip that silly assumption in there one more time just to taunt me. heh.

What assumption? this one? 

ToxicAssets:
as long as [coercion] is a comparatively effective way of getting things done.

This is not an assumption, this is a fact. 

Coercion is an effective way of getting many things done. And that's why it is so widely used in many real life business situations.

But if you disagree, if you think coercion isn't good businesses practice ever, you can go ahead and outcompete all those motherfuckers out there that are still using these violent methods.

You can start small, you can start up a modest bookmaking business at your home. Don't ask permission from either government or the mafia, and you also don't harass gamblers that owe you money. See how long you will last.

If you don't think you can, that's perhaps an indication that you take my silly assumption as a hard fact of life as well. That you too understand that violence sometimes pays.

malachi:
shut your ugly troll mouth..

Chill out kid… I'm not trying to piss you off or anything. Maybe you are having a hard time understanding my arguments, but that's ok, that's even expected. So relax, I'm not your enemy, I'm here to help :)

malachi:
you are well aware that my entire focus has been this insistence of yours on assuming that, for whatever reason, "people will decide to be vulnerable to being victimized," then they will be victimized. its a very simple and unenlightening proposition for you to build three posts full of craplatitudes upon.

That's not my point. People don't decide to be vulnerable, they just are.

Another way to put it, is that it costs to protect oneself from every possible form of exploitation, and people will accept some level of exploitation and risk insofar as the prospective costs of being exploited are lower than those of acquiring protection from exploitation.

For instance, you can always enhance the security of your property, with attack dogs, surveillance cameras, laser sensors and whatnot. But there's a point where it doesn't payoff anymore to make your house safer. And that will make you at least theoretically vulnerable to some high profile burglars.

Anyway, the point is that there will always be vulnerabilities points and systematic ways of exploiting them by those in the know.

It's an endless arms race between predators and preys. As it has ever been, and it will ever be. It's called life.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 1:41 PM

ToxicAssets:
as long as [coercion] is a comparatively effective way of getting things done.

This is not an assumption, this is a fact. 

Coercion is an effective way of getting many things done. And that's why it is so widely used in many real life business situations.

comparative to what? you just acknowledged that behavior is variable, as opposed to being static. now you want to pretend that you have a static basis for comparison. you dont.

But if you disagree, if you think coercion isn't good businesses practice ever,

leave your pathetic strawmen in your troll imagination where they belong.

That's not my point. People don't decide to be vulnerable, they just are.

wrong. people decide to invest time, labor, and other resources in things besides security. hence, they choose to assume the risk of being vulnerable.

Another way to put it, is that it costs to protect oneself from every possible form of exploitation, and people will accept some level of exploitation and risk insofar as the prospective costs of being exploited are lower than those of acquiring protection from exploitation.

you are a troll. youre trying to sneak the assumption in, under the guise of a conditional statement, where those conditions are provided by a risk assessment performed by an individual (someone deciding to risk vulnerability in some aspect, or not). people will accept some risk when, in their entreprenurial judgment, the benefit outweighs the risk times the loss. its like pot odds in poker, you perform the same calculations with slight modifications.

For instance, you can always enhance the security of your property, with attack dogs, surveillance cameras, laser sensors and whatnot. But there's a point where it doesn't payoff anymore to make your house safer.

see, this is where you put yourself in a bind. either youre too dumb to realize that you just contradicted yourself, or youre an active troll. either way, youre not doing a very effective job of responding to my point, because I am right (and you probably know this).

the point is that there will always be vulnerabilities points and systematic ways of exploiting them by those in the know.

as the attentive reader has no doubt gathered by now, I am fully aware that is your point. you appear to be unable or unwilling to respond to my point, which is that your point is an article of faith and far from certain.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

malachi:

comparative to what? you just acknowledged that behavior is variable, as opposed to being static. now you want to pretend that you have a static basis for comparison. you dont.

Compared to other ways of running certain business.

If you're a loan shark or a bookie you might find it that some violence here and there helps the bottom line.

That's how such business have been conducted in practice since the dawn of times. 

You have the "right to disagree", sure, but until you prove it by setting up a more profitable short term loan business that outcompetes loan sharks, or a flexible local betting company that outcompetes the local bookie, that's just a very worthless opinion.

Look, I'm not saying it's impossible in any circumstances. There are plenty of examples of micro credit and gambling business going on, and these legitimate business man are sometimes more profitable than the old school though guys that dominate the business.

But in many places and niches the though guys still run the show and that's because these places and niches are favorable to a more coercive approach to business.

malachi:

wrong. people decide to invest time, labor, and other resources in things besides security. hence, they choose to assume the risk of being vulnerable.

That's basically what I've said. People are vulnerable and to make themselves less vulnerable it takes investments.

They don't decide to be vulnerable, they decide to be less vulnerable, to a certain degree. And this leaves opportunities for those who make a living out of exploiting their remaining and also their not yet discovered vulnerabilities.

malachi:
you are a troll.

"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

I can't really argue with that. I'm trying to explore some points I consider interesting here. If you're not interested in discuss these points with me, or if you think I have some hidden agenda involving wasting your time, you can always opt to ignore what I'm saying.

malachi:
youre trying to sneak the assumption in, under the guise of a conditional statement, where those conditions are provided by a risk assessment performed by an individual (someone deciding to risk vulnerability in some aspect, or not). people will accept some risk when, in their entreprenurial judgment, the benefit outweighs the risk times the loss. its like pot odds in poker, you perform the same calculations with slight modifications.

Yeah, that's about right. So what's exactly the problem with that?

malachi:
see, this is where you put yourself in a bind. either youre too dumb to realize that you just contradicted yourself, or youre an active troll. either way, youre not doing a very effective job of responding to my point, because I am right (and you probably know this).

Well, I don't see why there's a contradiction. 

My point has always been that some sorts of violence and coercion are profitable and useful tactics precisely because protection against such abuses is somewhat costly and can only be acquired up to some point.

And as long as new forms of "systematic abuse" keep being invented, there will always be classes that exploit other's vulnerabilities.

Anyway, you're probably right about me not doing a very effective job responding to your point because so far I could not really identify exactly what that point is. Maybe you can help me out here.

But perhaps it's because you're "right" and I'm a "troll".

malachi:
as the attentive reader has no doubt gathered by now, I am fully aware that is your point. you appear to be unable or unwilling to respond to my point, which is that your point is an article of faith and far from certain.

Ok, so that's your point.

Well, that's not entirely wrong then. If we go deep enough in our philosophical investigations, every point is articulated upon belief systems that are ultimately articles of faith. There's no way of escaping this metaphysical trap.

Yet somehow I still feel that my "article of faith" is at least more correlated with the observed concrete reality of the world we live in than the usual libertarian creed and that's why I chose to present my point here.

Or maybe I'm just trolling, now you confused me.

 

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 4:29 PM

That's basically what I've said. People are vulnerable and to make themselves less vulnerable it takes investments.

no, because without having accumulated capital and invested it in something besides security, they arent vulnerable to very much (because they have very little to take). this vulnerability only arises when people make profitable investments and do not make corresponding investments in security, a very simple condition to prohibit. in fact, in the security industry, they already use this as a metric. thats why bank heists are always enabled by new technology, deception, or a double agent. it simply costs too much to rob any decent bank using currently available tech.

They don't decide to be vulnerable, they decide to be less vulnerable, to a certain degree. And this leaves opportunities for those who make a living out of exploiting their remaining and also their not yet discovered vulnerabilities.

smiling dave was right on this one. you have it all wrong. youre upsidedown, backwards, inside out and time-inverted. people dont become vulnerable until they have done things to make themselves vulnerable, unless youre talking about an abandoned baby in the woods or something. a healthy, confident twenty year old woman is difficult to physically victimize without some sort of subterfuge, if you look at case reports, victims are either phsyically vulnerable because of age, disease, or deceived somehow. and if youre not talking about physical victimization, then they must have resources to be stolen. which means investments in things besides security. and we all know subterfuge has a limited time of effectiveness.

My point has always been that some sorts of violence and coercion are profitable and useful tactics precisely because protection against such abuses is somewhat costly and can only be acquired up to some point.

you have done absolutely nothing whatsoever to substantiate that proposition.

And as long as new forms of "systematic abuse" keep being invented, there will always be classes that exploit other's vulnerabilities.

you assume that systematic abuse would go unchecked long enough to sustain classes indefinitely. youre wrong to assume that. instead of making a case, you want to argue by proclamation.

Well, that's not entirely wrong then. If we go deep enough in our philosophical investigations, every point is articulated upon belief systems that are ultimately articles of faith. There's no way of escaping this metaphysical trap.

thats not true. there are inescapable laws of thought (its called "logic") and irrefutable axioms. 

Yet somehow I still feel that my "article of faith" is at least more correlated with the observed concrete reality of the world we live in than the usual libertarian creed and that's why I chose to present my point here.

well as youll see, thats hardly the case.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 7:08 PM

@OP: Another way to say it is that economic science fences its domain at the limits of cooperative behavior - economics only applies insofar as the behavior under discussion is, in fact, voluntary. Mises says:

Action always is essentially the exchange of one state of affairs for another state of affairs. If the action is performed by an individual without any reference to cooperation with other individuals, we may call it autistic exchange. An instance: the isolated hunter who kills an animal for his own consumption; he exchanges leisure and a cartridge for food.

Within society cooperation substitutes interpersonal or social exchange for autistic exchanges. Man gives to other men in order to receive from them. Mutuality emerges. Man serves in order to be served.

The exchange relation is the fundamental social relation. Interpersonal exchange of goods and services weaves the bond which unites men into society. The societal formula is: do ut des. Where there is no intentional mutuality, where an action is performed without any design of being benefitted by a concomitant action of other men, there is no interpersonal exchange, but autistic exchange. It does not matter whether the autistic action is beneficial or detrimental to other people or whether it does not concern them at all. A genius may perform his task for himself, not for the crowd; however, he is an outstanding benefactor of mankind. The robber kills the victim for his own advantage; the murdered man is by no means a partner in this crime, he is merely its object; what is done, is done against him.

So, the man who points a gun and orders you to hand over your wallet is not initiating a "wallet for life" exchange... he is acting unilaterally, that is, he is engaging in what Mises termed "autistic exchange". There are still economic considerations at work even in autistic exchange but there is no mutuality so the principle of mutual gains from trade no longer applies, that is, both parties do not simultaneously benefit from the transaction. Since most of the conclusions of economic theory (regarding the efficiency of markets and the other fortuitous outcomes of cooperative society, and so on) hinge on this principle, it follows that none of these fortuitous outcomes apply in the situation where there is de facto coercion.

This is a point on which Austrians agree with Marxists. The difference is that Austrians point to actual coercion (e.g. the wielding of military-police-legal power) whereas Marxists invent fictional coercion (employers' "coercion" of employees*) and then somehow manage to be completely blind to actual coercion by virtue of their distraction with their invented, fictional coercions.

Now, I will say that some Austrian theorists are not as sensitive to the more subtle causes and conditions of coercion within society... the systemic conditions which bring about the possibility of brute military-police-legal coercion. I don't want to go all Molyneux but there is something to be said for the idea that people need to get their hearts and minds straightened out - spiritually - before we can expect to see positive changes in the gross structure of the political order.

Clayton -

*I employ a landscaper to maintain my yard... I guess he is being exploited by me. Nevermind that he probably earns more than I do...

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 7:29 PM

Clayton:

*I employ a landscaper to maintain my yard... I guess he is being exploited by me. Nevermind that he probably earns more than I do...

As well he should, bourgeois scum.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 6,885
Points 121,845
Clayton replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 10:15 PM

ROFL, GL...

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

malachi:
no, because without having accumulated capital and invested it in something besides security, they arent vulnerable to very much (because they have very little to take).

Wrong. Peoples without worthwhile stocks of capital to be pillaged can still be raped, enslaved, tortured, butchered, cannibalized or otherwise ruthlessly abused, just for the sake of it.

Hence they are very vulnerable. 

Of course, the fact that you don't even consider those very real possibilities comes to show how much you were insulated from reality by some of the modern institutions of western civilization.

this vulnerability only arises when people make profitable investments and do not make corresponding investments in security, a very simple condition to prohibit. in fact, in the security industry, they already use this as a metric. thats why bank heists are always enabled by new technology, deception, or a double agent. it simply costs too much to rob any decent bank using currently available tech.

But many sorts of successful bank heists do still occur, right?

Therefore, they are still vulnerable, to a certain degree right?

And if new technology can also help the aggressors to overcome the defensive tactics, that means that we cannot be sure of what's going to happen in the future, right?

Or do you think there's a fundamental reason why technology must favor the side of the good guys?

I'm just saying here that we cannot forecast these things precisely. But so far there were always people that lived from exploiting failures and vulnerabilities in these systems, and I don't see why they won't be there tomorrow.

people dont become vulnerable until they have done things to make themselves vulnerable

This looks like a pointless argument of frame of reference.

You can consider that someone who's not making oneself less vulnerable is making oneself vulnerable, it doesn't really matter which frame you chose.

What matters is that to be able to make oneself secure from prospective exploitation one need to incur costs, and one can only incur so much cost.

and we all know subterfuge has a limited time of effectiveness.

All opportunities for economic gain have limited time of effectiveness.

They vanish either due to retaliation costs (when they involve inflicting costs upon victims), or due to market competition.

But these distinctions are not so clear as they might seem.

you have done absolutely nothing whatsoever to substantiate that proposition.

I've been presenting you many real life examples of organizations that survive out of exploitation, and I've explained you how's that possible.

you assume that systematic abuse would go unchecked long enough to sustain classes indefinitely. youre wrong to assume that. instead of making a case, you want to argue by proclamation.

I've never used the word indefinitely. On the contrary, I think any form of systematic abuse is sooner or later is countered.

But that is not enough to conclude that systematic abuse and classes that survive from systematic abuse will disappear and the rest of us will live in peace and harmony in the land of cotton candy and chocolate rainbows.

As long as people keep finding creative ways to exploit one another, that won't be the case.

thats not true. there are inescapable laws of thought (its called "logic") and irrefutable axioms. 

Well, I'll let this one pass. I'm really not in the mood for this subject, and it's barely of any relevance to our main themes here.

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Mon, Apr 29 2013 4:14 PM

Wrong. Peoples without worthwhile stocks of capital to be pillaged can still be

exploited for material gain without some sort of deception or fraud? please do tell us how, and how this is supposed to be sustainable.

raped

to what end? we were talking about economic exploitation. now you just want to shoehorn any old crime in there. how many times can you rape someone without it coming back on you? 

enslaved

its well established that slavery is a grossly inefficient means of obtaining labor, that means its not comparatively effective.

tortured, butchered,

to what end? what material gain? so far you have just explained how you can lose resources by aggressing upon people, you havent done anything to establish how a criminal could gain materially.

cannibalized

can you identify any time when this has occurred in such a way that it would fulfill the conditions outlined earlier? meaning can you describe a historical or fictional situation where an aggressor sustained his livelihood through cannibalism?

otherwise ruthlessly abused, just for the sake of it.

so you didnt envision any material gain whatsoever, you simply lost the plot again. got it.

Hence they are very vulnerable.

they arent vulnerable to economic exploitation which is what we were talking about.

But many sorts of successful bank heists do still occur, right?

no.

Therefore, they are still vulnerable, to a certain degree right?

they arent vulnerable to long term systematic exploitation because they dont fulfill the conditions that you yourself outlined earlier.

And if new technology can also help the aggressors to overcome the defensive tactics, that means that we cannot be sure of what's going to happen in the future, right?

seems like you agree with me now. earlier you were sure that you knew what was going to happen in the future.

I'm just saying here that we cannot forecast these things precisely.

good.

But so far there were always people that lived from exploiting failures and vulnerabilities in these systems, and I don't see why they won't be there tomorrow.

thats because you dont understand how they lived from exploiting failures and vulnerabilities. youre still assuming that they will be able to continue as they have, which assumption you should not make. "why they wouldnt be there tomorrow" is that those vulnerabilities are temporal, not permanent. you cant assume either way.

You can consider that someone who's not making oneself less vulnerable is making oneself vulnerable,

thats not what I am saying. someone has to buy in to an idea or accumulate capital in order to be vulnerable to economic exploitation. if they never assent to a flawed ideology, and never accumulate more capital than they can effectively defend, they never become vulnerable to systematic economic exploitation.

What matters is that to be able to make oneself secure from prospective exploitation one need to incur costs, and one can only incur so much cost.

no, the costs are directly related to one's assets. the cost of protecting ones self from exploitation when one doesnt have much is very low.

All opportunities for economic gain have limited time of effectiveness.

thats not true. when you produce value and trade it for greater value, you can do that indefinitely, because the total amount of wealth keeps increasing. when you rob people of values either they figure it out and stop you or you run out of values (because more is being consumed than in being produced).

I've been presenting you many real life examples of organizations that survive out of exploitation

you absolutely have not been. quotes or it didnt happen.

I've explained you how's that possible.

you most certainly have not done any such thing. quotes or it didnt happen.

I've never used the word indefinitely.

you may not have used that word but that has been your position on this matter.

thats not true. there are inescapable laws of thought (its called "logic") and irrefutable axioms. 

Well, I'll let this one pass. I'm really not in the mood for this subject, and it's barely of any relevance to our main themes here.

youre "not in the mood" to discuss logic, and you dont think its very relevant to our discussion. hmmmm, no wonder youre not making any sense.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 371
Points 5,590

 

 

As I've said, you have no idea how much you and pretty much everyone else born in modern western civilization were insulated from the complexities of life in general.

 

You take for granted institutions and conventions that have no more than 200 years of existence, and that were valid for no more than a fraction of mankind during this time.

 

Well, I guess that's okay. We all have these chauvinistic tendencies.

But reality tends to be much more complex than the models we create to understand our local realities.

I mean, you say some off the wall stuff like: 

"its well established that slavery is a grossly inefficient means of obtaining labor, that means its not comparatively effective." 

This is entirely false, for almost entirely the whole history of human groups everywhere.

But you throw it away casually as if it were a foregone conclusion, a law of physics.

Reality is that slavery is one of the most effective methods of mobilizing certain kinds of labor under certain social conditions, and that's why it was one of the most ubiquitous institutions on earth for probably tens of thousands of years.

Slaves were captured, trafficked, seasoned, trained at a high operational cost, and this cost was justified by the existence of a market starving to buy slaves.

It is only when certain technological and institutional conditions become available that the tradeoffs between slavery and  contract based alternatives begin to favor the the latter.

And this happens at different points for different kinds of labor.

And slavery still exists in some places and industries, from diamond mining to prostitution.

As for the other forms of abusing vulnerable people, the raping, butchering and cannibalization of weaker peoples had been a staple of pre-civilized barbarians and some ancient civilizations. And it still happens from time to time when civilized places fall into anarchy and civil war.

Of course most of these forms of abuse of destitute populations are not conceivable to the currently spoiled generations of the western world, but they are very real.

As for the poorest citizens today in the western world, they have a lot of tacit capital that can be exploited. They can vote, they have credit, they have rights you can hustle and alienate.

And there are entire industries dedicated to exploit them. I'm sure you can think of many examples.

Another thing, economic gain from exploitation doesn't need to be "sustainable". Like a fucking everyday job. 

Most exploits and scams are single-shot deals. If they are expected to pay enough, you don't need to do it many times over.

What are you talking about? You can rob a bank once or twice, you don't need to do it every day.

As for bank heists in the US, I've checked the FBI stats for the year 2011.

You can look at them here: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/bank-crime-statistics-2011/bank-crime-statistics-2011

The total looted was $38 M and the total recovered was $8 M.

Of course, some of the money that should have been recovered may have been stolen again by the law enforcers, and criminals have to cover other costs with what rests.

So, all in all, it's a dying industry, but there's still some money being made.

And we all know that high tech robbery are more likely to take the form of electronic fraud and computerized financial voodoo than old school heists against brick and mortar facilities.

As for those who live from exploiting the system, of course I'm aware they need to refine their tactics to survive. I've been saying it all along.

There's no reliable away to make a profit, not in legit business, nor in politics, nor in crime.

There's always pressure for change created from competitors and technology. It's always a game of survival of the fittest, I've been saying that all along.

What I'm saying is not that the future will see the same forms of exploitation we see today. This is probably not true.

But there will be others. Does that make sense to you? Evolution?

Just because the Tyranossaur got extinct it doesn't mean that there are no predators today.

About discussing foundational logics, maybe some other time. This is a very abstract and complicated subject. I know it because I've spent quite some time of my academic life getting acquainted to it. And as you've pointed out, all that still didn't help me making any sense. 

"Blood alone moves the wheels of history" - Dwight Schrute
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Tue, Apr 30 2013 5:25 PM

I mean, you say some off the wall stuff like: 

"its well established that slavery is a grossly inefficient means of obtaining labor, that means its not comparatively effective." 

This is entirely false, for almost entirely the whole history of human groups everywhere.

please tell me you are a troll and you really do understand what "comparative" means so I dont decide that youre too dumb to even discuss this topic. tell me what slave-owning cultures existed and outcompeted non-slave owning cultures. 

it is in fact well established that slavery is indeed grossly inefficient, thats why it isnt a viable economic system except when it has little to no competition and it is enabled by an ideology. surely you dont think people just decide to spend their lives working for someone else's gain at the crack of the whip? they have to be indoctrinated.

Reality is that slavery is one of the most effective methods of mobilizing certain kinds of labor under certain social conditions,

what social conditions?

Slaves were captured, trafficked, seasoned, trained at a high operational cost, and this cost was justified by the existence of a market starving to buy slaves.

of course they could have gained more by hiring people but they didnt realize that at the time. 

It is only when certain technological and institutional conditions become available that the tradeoffs between slavery and  contract based alternatives begin to favor the the latter.

youre basically saying that friday could gain more by enslaving crusoe than by cooperating with him. thats not the case, because in the absence of crusoe's willingness to serve (at which point its voluntary and not slavery) and in the absence of fraud, it would cost much more in resources to bend crusoe to friday's will than it would to do the work himself, or pay crusoe to do it. if you dont see this, let me know.

And slavery still exists in some places and industries, from diamond mining to prostitution.

of course it does, and it is always in a position with no major catallactic competition and it is always enabled by an ideology. you keep referring to these examples in ways that reveal you know they exist but dont know anything about how they actually work or worked.

As for the other forms of abusing vulnerable people, the raping, butchering and cannibalization of weaker peoples had been a staple of pre-civilized barbarians and some ancient civilizations. And it still happens from time to time when civilized places fall into anarchy and civil war.

first of all. we are talking about economic gain, remember? are you now using "profit" to include "assault" without material gain?

secondly, you dont need a breakdown in government to get this. it happens in first world cities and towns everyday. that doesnt somehow make it economically profitable. youre losing the plot, this time I think its on purpose.

Another thing, economic gain from exploitation doesn't need to be "sustainable". Like a fucking everyday job.

it does in order to support your initial point. if its not sustainable then dont worry, it will go away. the behavior cannot be sustained.

Most exploits and scams are single-shot deals. If they are expected to pay enough, you don't need to do it many times over.

if someone is losing that much money, they wont be in business long and the exploitative behavior will cease as well. hence me being right all along.

As for bank heists in the US, I've checked the FBI stats for the year 2011.

You can look at them here: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/bank-crime-statistics-2011/bank-crime-statistics-2011

The total looted was $38 M and the total recovered was $8 M.

thats not very much money, considering how much risk is involved and how big the pot is. 

What I'm saying is not that the future will see the same forms of exploitation we see today. This is probably not true.

But there will be others. Does that make sense to you? Evolution?

it doesnt make sense to me that you admit that current forms of exploitation will become obsolete but then assert that new forms of exploitation will come about in sufficient quantity and quality to support a class of exploiters.

if it were possible for exploiters to outcompete producers indefinitely then the exploiters would consume until there were no resources and then both would starve. while that outcome is locally possible, it is the only alternative to my assertion, that producers will globally outcompete exploiters and exploitative behavior will progressively become less gainful. as you can see, both logic and history are on my side, in the big picture.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 35
Page 1 of 2 (72 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS