Plainly, there are differences in capability among people, and this has implications for the way society must be organised. No sensible person can argue with this, and I happen to think natural inequalities are a good thing. But I think Keir is being naive about the shape of these inequalities, which are in reality mostly just different attributes and specialisms. Richard Branson is a very rich man and in his own way very capable, however I highly doubt he is as intelligent as most of the contributors to this forum. Could Richard Branson have got into Cambridge?
I doubt it.
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Not without help. The media often encourage almost a kind of hero worship of people like Branson, as if they are better people because they are rich and more successful than almost everybody else, but in truth Branson is just somebody with a particular mix of qualities. Thus we are of the same mind that the system has gone askew.
We agree there is a problem. But this is only a surface agreement, since we differ on so many things of substance.
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I differ from you in that I recognise that since capitalism is based axiomatically on market principles and private property ownership, we should put those concepts and institutions under scrutiny too. Therefore I disagree with Keir both in regard to his formulation of the problem, and his tentative solution to the problem he poses. It arises, I would suggest, because of the competition for resources that the market system creates. Problems of social order exist only because we do not have a social system that addresses human needs.
Instead, the market pits us against each other. I believe we are at a stage in human history when this competition has become archaic and unnecessary. I would like to suggest the real problem, the real kernel of all this, is what we started with in this discussion — the economic fascism of capitalism, or the tendency towards proletarianisation, in that capitalism creates a society that is ordered on gaping inequality of capital and incomes and a lack of economic independence for the proletariat.
This is just a reform of capitalism, and thus amounts to a reorganisation of poverty. It was a system that paid lip service to the needs of workers but in reality disregarded their needs for the benefit of the new Soviet ruling class. We can see that the social democrats today have joined with the liberal capitalists and that their reformism does not change the capitalist system. I would also bracket Keir with the reformists.
He believes that since human beings are unequal in the first place, a system that perpetuates inequality is required, albeit Keir wishes to advocate in distributism a resource-competitive system that sounds nicer than the present one, in that private property privileges will be distributed more widely than they have been hitherto. Admittedly, distributism does sound promising in theory and is not all that far removed from socialism proper.
But that perhaps is part of the problem. How will distributism address the capital needs of society?
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Due to the existence of the market system, what will happen under distributism is that a working class will re-emergence to provide for these capital needs, so that society can progress technologically. In short, just like any other minarchist non-capitalist market society, distributism will degenerate into capitalism.
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I believe that even if human beings are unequal in fundamental ways, both between individuals and groups — and I have every reason to believe we are — there is no need for a global system based on resource competition. To understand this properly, it is necessary to see society in terms of a class analysis.
The traditionalist Right holds that classes arise due to natural inequalities and this explains social relationships to resources — i. By contrast, in the Marxian sense, classes do not primarily arise due to natural inequalities, but due to social forces that cause particular economic relationships to be constantly reproduced in society. At first, sheer force compelled them to produce and part with the surplus. Gradually, however, it was found possible to induce many of them to accept an ethic according to which it was their duty to work hard, although part of their work went to support others in idleness.
By this means the amount of compulsion required was lessened, and the expenses of government were diminished. To this day, 99 per cent of British wage-earners would be genuinely shocked if it were proposed that the King should not have a larger income than a working man. The conception of duty, speaking historically, has been a means used by the holders of power to induce others to live for the interests of their masters rather than for their own.
Of course the holders of power conceal this fact from themselves by managing to believe that their interests are identical with the larger interests of humanity. Sometimes this is true; Athenian slave-owners, for instance, employed part of their leisure in making a permanent contribution to civilization which would have been impossible under a just economic system. Leisure is essential to civilization, and in former times leisure for the few was only rendered possible by the labors of the many.
But their labors were valuable, not because work is good, but because leisure is good. And with modern technique it would be possible to distribute leisure justly without injury to civilization. Whether Russell himself realises it or not, and whether or not he would acknowledge it, this is an incipient statement of revolutionary socialism. The interesting thing is that I think we are seeing a form of distributism become a reality before our eyes as the digital economy has the effect of devolving the means of production, but I believe this can only be a prelude to socialism.
Why not just distribute resources according to human need? In the truest sense, I think socialism will evolve into being as the market and private property gradually become redundant and archaic. Just as an aside that may interest some people, distributism — in a variant form — was for a long time a major plank of policy for the National Front and for all I know, it may still be.
That sounds a lot more Carsonian or even Knappist than paleo. You may have noticed that, while solid rightists, we have always taken Kevin Carson very seriously. Distributism seems to be enjoying a bit of a revival. I am not convinced that the Left has a monopoly on opposing corporatism or plutocracy call it what you will. The distributists were and are on the Right.
Pat Buchanan and the American paleocons are on the Right. Nigel Farage is on the Right.
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Sean Gabb is on the Right. The Traditional Britain Group is on the Right. I will not deny that the most insightful critics of the current economic order Kevin Carson, Keith Preston, and more have identified themselves as leftists. However, for one, calling yourself a leftist does not necessarily mean you are an orthodox leftist or indeed part of the Left.
Furthermore, the assumption that supporting the corporation, IP, globalism, central banks etc. By far and away the best writer on just what the terms Left and Right actually mean was Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, whose ideas have been presented a little more coherently by Hoppe. To Hoppe, to be on the Right is essentially to promote and support the natural order; it is the promotion of deviations from this natural order based on private property rights through any redistribution of income, whether up or down, rich to poor or poor to already rich i.
But of course, we agree on a number of issues, most obviously foreign policy and big business.
dieconmenksude.tk Where big business is concerned, we both seem to value economic independence and perhaps we at least agree on three of the reasons for this. Secondly, we believe that the current economic order makes no sense and is unjust even in the abstract. Thirdly, we believe in the independence and the dignity of small units of people, whether individuals, families, or communes. Indeed, perhaps the only major disagreement between us is over immigration, which is just another area where I prefer the idea of local control as opposed to central control. On that we are in agreement.
I believe that the traditional population of England constitute a distinct nation; that it is useful for them to regard themselves as such, and to preserve their control over the whole territory of England; and that the people of England would be well-advised to hold to their ancient liberties as individuals and groups of individuals, resisting the encroachments of a hostile ruling class and its associated clients and allies.
I think this qualifies me as a rightist, or at least a conservative, but explains why I align with certain aspects of the libertarian left. Indeed, perhaps we should give up on left and right as useful concepts, and instead look at what people actually believe. It covers most things that work.
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However, my confession is something to which I would have readily assented at any time since I was about twelve. It is at least implicit in the whole mass of my writings, both fiction and non-fiction. No one who knows me or has read me at any length has the right to be surprised. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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