On Friday, September 14, 2012 12:33:45 PM UTC-4, Stephen Paul King wrote:
> On 9/14/2012 8:07 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
> Hi Craig Weinberg
> Fortunately or unfortunately, capitalism is Darwinism, pure and simple.
> So it can prepare for a better future, although it can be painful
> at present. My own take on this is that there needs to be
> a calculus of pleasure and pain. Jeremy Bentham suggested
> perhaps an impfect one.
> In lieu of that, I am all for food stamps and safety
> Dear Roger,
> I completely disagree. Darwinism does not consider valuations beyond
> the concept of relative fitness. Capitalism is a theory of valuation and
> exchange between entities. It does include concept that are analogous to
> those in darwinism, just as the "fitness" of a trader to make multiple
> trades, and so I can see some analogy between them, but to claim
> equivalence is simply false.
Yes! People conflate Social Darwinism
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism) with Darwin's evolution.
The idea of 'survival of the fittest' is also (see the Wiki) a
misinterpretation. Evolution is just a blind statistical filtering of
organisms which happen to survive in any given niche. Being fit has nothing
whatsoever with being aggressive, greedy, or selfish, and indeed most
species on Earth seem much more relaxed and gentle than human beings most
of the time.
> IMHO, Food stamps and safety nets encourage risky behavior that is
> better if suppressed for the general welfare of the population, thus I am
> against them in principle. Why work to sustain my physical existence with
> my own toil if I can depend on the coercive taxation on others to sustain
Eh, I would rather increase that stuff by 10 times than five one more
dollar to subsidize corporations. The amount of money set aside for that
stuff is tiny compared to everything else. It can certainly be a
disincentive for people to look for work, but I think we need to confront
the reality that the US doesn't really need very many people to work
anymore. Most of what the US does is own things. That doesn't require a
large workforce. Without manufacturing or a growing middle class, there
really isn't much demand for more undereducated, unhealthy, unrealistically
ambitious American workers.
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