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View Diary: Saving the Earth is Not An Ego Trip (44 comments)

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  •  If I may jump in with a few minor thoughts (1+ / 0-)
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    Cassiodorus

    I was originally going to post this in the thread with Maimonides, but I feel it makes more sense outside of it

    1.  Part of the problem is a question of truly how collectivist/socialist we have evolved to be vs how much our society can/has influenced us?  It is, in essence, a nature vs nurture argument.  
    1.  Furthermore, if you assume that you must sacrifice the individuals right to wealth collection, one must question why we should only stop there?  This may seem harsh, but resource utilization is the main point, and human activities.  In essence, if you decide that we must give up the acquisition of wealth, then we must be prepared to reconsider many other actions, ranging from property rights to religious worship.  
    1.  That said, the assumption that goes into a lot of modern social-economic theories have tended to be an unlimited resource system, although access to those resources are limited.  This is part of the reason I mention nature vs nurture in point 1.  We are, at least to a degree, programed to look on a much smaller scale, and not on a planetary scale.  And obviously, the earth does not have unlimited resources.  
    1.  Which brings me to a point a friend of my father used to make "Never sell the client an electric chair - he may sit down."  If socialism is more of a nurture choice, rather than an evolutionary development, then your suggestion about moving towards collectivism is a valid suggestion.  However, I am not convinced that is practical.  There was a science fiction book, called the currents of space.  Short version, this one scientist loses his memory, and is forced to relearn it.  It turns out he lost his memory because of a mental probe, which was designed to lower some apprehension he had, but instead attacked a deep psychological issue he had, which went to the core of his being.  The point of me citing this is that if human beings are more selfish, not by choice, but by natural programing, then relying on collectivism, and assuming that we can save the earth with it, is a false choice.  After all, it would be the equivalent of telling someone to learn to live without Oxygen.  

    I'd like to believe that we can move towards a collectivist society, but the history of civilization would argue, at least IMHO, against it.  

    1.  Therefore, if our choices are between hoping for a collectivist society that moves towards preserving the earth, or continued environmental destruction, I suspect that later is more likely than the former.  Therefore, I would submit that we need to find a 3rd alternative.  
    •  If you say so (0+ / 0-)

      Part of the problem is a question of truly how collectivist/socialist we have evolved

      Evolution did not produce socialism, nor, for that matter, did it produce gunpowder, the spinning jenny, or the French language.  Cultural development did.

      Furthermore, if you assume that you must sacrifice the individuals right to wealth collection

      1. None of this is "my" decision to make, but then again I understand that saving the Earth is not an ego-trip.
      1. An economic system which has existed for the past three centuries (at least) to fortify the ownership of the global means of production (and its supporting rate of exploitation) on the part of a tiny minority of owners as opposed to the vast majority of working people requires a vast lobotomization of its historical richness if it is to be conceptually reduced to being "the individuals (sic) right to wealth collection."  First off, you have the conflation of the concrete idea of the means of production with the generality of "wealth," secondly you have an effacement of the history of the capitalist state, and so on...

      The point of me citing this is that if human beings are more selfish, not by choice, but by natural programing

      Which fully justifies why only a tiny minority of the human race actually gets to take advantage of its "selfishness" in terms of having been granted membership in an investor class or a landowning gentry, whereas the rest of us must work for a living (if we are indeed so lucky as to be granted a job!).

      "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:57:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
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        Cassiodorus

        Evolution did not produce socialism, nor, for that matter, did it produce gunpowder, the spinning jenny, or the French language.  Cultural development did.

        But cultural development is dependent upon the mental workings of the human brain and human body.  Without the existence of the human brain and human body, human cultural development would not exist.  Therefore, if a social system, regardless of its goals or beliefs, is to be successful in maintaining its existence and expanding, it must take into account the biological needs of Homo Sapiens, whether those needs are physical (like food) or psychological (such as positive interaction).  Cultural development has its roots in evolutionary development.  There is actually a science that is trying to merge these points, of evolution and culture, but I can't remember what its called.  

        None of this is "my" decision to make, but then again I understand that saving the Earth is not an ego-trip.

        I really don't understand the point of that comment.  My intention was necessarily the you specifically, but rather the you in general ie - if the proposed argument accepts this point, then it MUST consider this additional point.  

        An economic system which has existed for the past three centuries (at least) to fortify the ownership of the global means of production (and its supporting rate of exploitation) on the part of a tiny minority of owners as opposed to the vast majority of working people requires a vast lobotomization of its historical richness if it is to be conceptually reduced to being "the individuals (sic) right to wealth collection."  First off, you have the conflation of the concrete idea of the means of production with the generality of "wealth," secondly you have an effacement of the history of the capitalist state, and so on...

        What you are discussing is some of the results of capitalism.  However, what I am talking about is the base assumption of capitalism, that is private ownership and control of methods to prouce wealth, which is very close to my point about "the individual's right to wealth collection."  Yes, this has a multitude of resulting consequences, some of which you highlighted, but my point was the basic tenets of capitalism, rather than its consequenes.  

        Which fully justifies why only a tiny minority of the human race actually gets to take advantage of its "selfishness" in terms of having been granted membership in an investor class or a landowning gentry, whereas the rest of us must work for a living (if we are indeed so lucky as to be granted a job!).

        I admit to being lost by what your point is here.  

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