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Just a quick clarification, when you say collective social engineering, would you consider galt's gulch to qualify as such? Why or why not

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...why not

You called? Ha.

I'd respond, most definitely not. GG was association by choice, of a bunch of highly disparate individuals bonded by common purpose and principles.

It also wasn't permanent.

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Why not,

I didn't think,initially, that is was either, but when moralist used the statement collective social engineering, I started to see how my book could be interpreted as such even though my solution involves n o (at least not directly) government intervention. Then I started to see how galt's gulch could be interpreted as such as well. I mean the members had to to a pledge and follow the rules, even if those rules were very very few, and those rules were presented by 3-4 guys (rule by a minority, same as the basic definition of government)

But I'd love to hear moralists interpretation

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Just a quick clarification, when you say collective social engineering, would you consider galt's gulch to qualify as such? Why or why not

Not. There was no coercion.

If you don't like living in the Gulch... don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. :wink:

Shared values made Galt's Gulch work. And I found that it is possible to live by Galt's Gulch values even in a world where almost no one else does. I simply find people who are like me and we do business with each other. It's like an economic perpetual motion machine with no internal friction. Doing business among peers who share moral values is a genuine blessing in life because all parties involved prosper. Zero sum does not exist in Galt's Gulch.

There is also no such thing as a collective solution... there are only individual solutions. So go forth and lay claim to what is already rightfully yours. :smile:

Greg

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I'm sorry moralist, but I think their is a misunderstanding in how my solution could come to fruition (how it comes into effect in the book). This is probably my fault because, in an attempt to not spoil my story, I haven't leaked many of the pertinent details.

Just to get on the same page, what do you think my solution involves? Could you please spell out your complete understanding of what I am promoting in the book and how it appears to be collective social engineering. Then I could perhaps clarify my position

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Why not,

Could you participate as well and explain how you have interpreted my solution? It will help me to clarify as I move forward

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I'm sorry moralist, but I think their is a misunderstanding in how my solution could come to fruition (how it comes into effect in the book). This is probably my fault because, in an attempt to not spoil my story, I haven't leaked many of the pertinent details.

Hi Derek,

It's ok that you don't want to give away spoilers, and it's not necessary because I can respond directly to what you've already said.

Just to get on the same page, what do you think my solution involves? Could you please spell out your complete understanding of what I am promoting in the book and how it appears to be collective social engineering. Then I could perhaps clarify my position.

Sure... and I'll use actual quotes of your own words so as not to misrepresent your ideas. I may end up repeating some of my views already posted in this thread because I had already been responding to your thoughts. I'll juxtapose them so that it's clear exactly what I'm responding to.

I am a supporter of freedom, not necessarily a supporter of capitalism and I plan to write a post on why I think capitalism is not as free as I would like it to be...

Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned

The foundation of Capitalism is private property. If you don't support Capitalism you don't support privately owned property. You think that Capitalism is not as free as you would like it to be. Well, that's your own personal responsibility to make it free through working to produce useful goods and services. No one else can make it free for you. You have to do that for yourself.

(more later...)

Greg

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thanks moralist, this is exactly the sort of response I wanted (one where you quote me- though I didn't want to ask you to do all that research)

In one of my conversations with JTS I believe, it was revealed that I have a different definition of capitalism. The definition of capitalism I use is quite similar to the one that pops up on a google definition search:

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

This definition revolves around the pursuit of profit. The objectivist's definition, provided by JTS, was one that focused on the recognition of rights. Of course I'm not against that definition, nor am I against your definition's focus on private property. Hell, I'm not even against my personal definition. What I was trying to say in my welcome post was that I'm fine with capitalism AS LONG AS IT provides for freedom. I'm for ANY system that can demonstrate that it provides for freedom, and the more freedom the better right? The capitalism of the southern past had a large foundation of slavery. Slavery= non freedom= I'm not for it. Socialism, communism, marxism= extra controls= non freedom= I'm not for it.

BUt since my focus is on freedom and since I personally I feel that there is always a better way in all things, my book is my creation of a better way. I have previously defined freedom as- my ability to pursue whatever I care to in my life, and not, my ability to have others do things for me. Therefore freedom, for me, doesn't have to contain money. Money is a quite neccessary requirement for trade in an environment of scarcity. I would never deny that. But it is not necessary for freedom if there was no scarcity. Therefore my focus, and my book, is on how to eliminate scarcity.

So then I have to ask you, are you possibly hung up on how this elimination of scarcity may be implemented? I feel that that may be the issue for some people. They hear me say no money, and they assume that that would mean, government, or some group, forcefully taking or burning all the money and decreeing a new way of life on all citizens. Uhhh no, that would =non freedom which = I'm not for it. My book explores a path no the elimination of scarcity, then some citizens come to realize that they no longer need money. That's it. The beauty of the elimination of scarcity is that, if some people want to continue using money for what ever reasons, they can go right ahead, but if others decided to stop, then they are free to leave the game. You can leave the game today as well (move into the woods and live off the grid) but it will seriously impact your life. My book gives the freedom to make either choice and have NO impact.

So, does that sound like I want to social engineer something?

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in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned

by the way, in my book, everyone has the full means of production. In fact my solution only works if everyone has full and complete control over self production (that is what I mean by the elimination of scarcity) AND there is no way to take it away from them (and that doesnt mean by law, that would mean government controls)

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Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned

The foundation of Capitalism is private property.

That is the conventional definition of capitalism, not Ayn Rand's definition. With the conventional definition of capitalism, slavery is capitalism. Slavery is private ownership of the means of production, the means of production in this case being slaves. Ayn Rand's definition is social system based on recognition of rights.

The foundation of capitalism (Ayn Rand style) is rights, not private property. Private property without rights could include slaves.

(Anyone who wants to argue against $capitalism (the $ means Ayn Rand's definition) has to argue against rights. If he is going to argue that he has no rights, then maybe kick the shit out of him. What will be his response? He said he has no rights. )

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thanks moralist, this is exactly the sort of response I wanted (one where you quote me- though I didn't want to ask you to do all that research)

In one of my conversations with JTS I believe, it was revealed that I have a different definition of capitalism. The definition of capitalism I use is quite similar to the one that pops up on a google definition search:

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

This definition revolves around the pursuit of profit. The objectivist's definition, provided by JTS, was one that focused on the recognition of rights. Of course I'm not against that definition, nor am I against your definition's focus on private property. Hell, I'm not even against my personal definition. What I was trying to say in my welcome post was that I'm fine with capitalism AS LONG AS IT provides for freedom. I'm for ANY system that can demonstrate that it provides for freedom,

Your comment illustrates the difference between our views. You're looking for some system that will give you freedom. Your solution is "outside/in".

Whereas in my view, the responsibility for my freedom rests completely on my own shoulders. So I work to earn my economic freedom regardless of the system, because I create my own local economic ecosystem by choosing how and with whom I do business. My solution is "inside/out". :smile:

Another difference between us is how er each regard profit.

In your view, the pursuit of profit are dirty words.

In my view, the pursuit of profit is a moral virtue.

So while you're still waiting for a system to come and save you... I already found a system (American Capitalism) and am enjoying the fruits of my labors right now.

If I've misrepresented your view, please feel free to clarify it and how you have implemented it in your own life.

Greg

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So while you're still waiting for a system to come and save you... I already found a system (American Capitalism) and am enjoying the fruits of my labors right now.

If I've misrepresented your view, please feel free to clarify it and how you have implemented it in your own life.

Before I respond to this, I feel the proper thing for you to do is either admit that you were wrong in accusing me of social engineering, even if you came to that assumption based on the lack of information I provided, or show me where I am attempting to change peoples lives against their will for the so-called greater good.

Secondly, I take issue with your statement that I am waiting for something to "come save me"

That is ridiculous and again you are assuming too much. I am looking objectively (scientifically) at the system of capitalism (my/google's definition) and I see many merits and I see some downsides. I'm quite sure you see at least one downside as well. The next thing you do, or maybe it is the next thing a creative mind does, is imagine if the situation could be improved. Next, if imagination allows for improvement, then you run that solution up against reality and whether the solution is actually possible. If it is then you can speak about what that possibility is. That is all I'm doing. I have stated time and time again that capitalism IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST SYSTEM for providing the greatest quality of freedom (my personal goal which drives my thinking) for the greatest amount of people and because of that I sought out objectivists in order to take that ABSOLUTE BEST SYSTEM to its absolute best limits. I have stated as well that capitalism works within a environment of scarcity and that my book proposes that humans, working in great scientific endeavors, "may" be able to change the environment. I have stated time and again that there is always the possibility that we cannot change the environment and even if we could it certainly wont happen in my lifetime. I don't expect ANYTHING to come save me. Save me from what? I work in my chosen field so I have the greatest freedom and life satisfaction available.

Maybe I should just out of no where claim that you expect something to save you or that you are a fascist or any other random thing that has no bearing on anything that you have said. I apologize that I hadn't provided an ample amount of information as to the story of my book but you cannot simply assume. AND my posts outside of this thread that specifically has to do with my book, have all been in objective analysis of capitalism, where objectivism can make it work better (my thread on the gold standard) and where I see it lacking in certain freedom (my thread on capitalism is not as free as I would like). In all my threads I have said time and again what make capitalism great and at NOOOO time did I EVER say that we should replace it. Find a single statement of me on this site, on Facebook, anywhere where I say that the thing we should do is scrap capitalism for a better system.

Man, you sound like a tea party member when as soon as someone points out the smallest problem with America you have to brand them a traitor....

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Derek:

Greg employs "psychologizing*" as a standard method of argument.

*

A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions—not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious.

A man is not to be condemned or excused on the grounds of the state of his subconscious.

While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation

A...



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Greg is a fundamentalist, and as such, any argument with him quickly becomes a reenactment of B'rer Rabbit and the Tar Baby.

If you are walking home tomorrow and a satellite crushes you from space, Greg will argue it was your fault for not tracking its movements or buying sateliite protection services. There is no point in engaging such obstinance on any level.

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Greg is a fundamentalist, and as such, any argument with him quickly becomes a reenactment of B'rer Rabbit and the Tar Baby.

One of the credos of Greg's catechism is that he doesn't engage in "argument," he merely exchanges views.

Ellen

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So while you're still waiting for a system to come and save you... I already found a system (American Capitalism) and am enjoying the fruits of my labors right now.

If I've misrepresented your view, please feel free to clarify it and how you have implemented it in your own life.

Before I respond to this, I feel the proper thing for you to do is either admit that you were wrong in accusing me of social engineering, even if you came to that assumption based on the lack of information I provided, or show me where I am attempting to change peoples lives against their will for the so-called greater good.

Are these your own words?

what would it take to get rid of all money?

Is it time that we end capitalism?

That's social engineering.

And why is it social engineering?

Because you're seeking to do it without my effing permission, that's why. Is that clear enough for you?

And by the way, I don't actually believe for a nanosecond that you could ever actually do this. I'm only responding as if your premises were valid. :wink:

Ok... so now it's your turn to convince me how getting rid of money and ending the only economic system whose basis is private property and working to earn a profit is better than what I have right now.

I'll wait for your response before I comment any further.

Greg

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Because you're seeking to do it without my effing permission, that's why. Is that clear enough for you?

Are you serious? I said it was voluntary. I'm guessing you didn't read my private message on what my book is about.

You can't possibly be saying that simply because some individuals do something (voluntarily) and you don't like it, that they need your permission to do it?! That is what Galt's gulch is.

And why do I think it would be better? First I don't think that SIMPLY getting rid of money would be better, it is in conjunction with getting rid of scarcity. You don't think it can happen, I also don't think the probability is very high in the short term but then I guess Im optimistic on what humans can achieve scientifically in the long run. I would be willing to wager that the first component of an abundance environment- fusion, WILL be achieved within our life time. The agreed upon energy reserve of the ocean (using the deterium as fuel) is over 100 BILLION years. That sort of achievement, difficult as it may be WILL change the energy environment of the world forever.

But, why do I think that getting rid of scarcity is better than the current system, because then those who are uncomfortable with the pursuit of profit, probably 30-40% of the world, can choose a different lifestyle and be just as happy in it and free as Dagny Taggart would be in a Lassiez faire environment. Again, if you wanted to continue to use capitalism, then feel free to do that, it would be a voluntary choice to move to a money-less society. Second, I have already pointed out my other reasons why I think capitalism (my/google's definition) is not as free as it could be. Let me ask you this and you dont have to answer in any specifics but you should be honest with yourself. When you wake up in the morning do you look forward to doing exactly what you want to do everyday? Do all your friends? And I mean exactly what you want to do (outside of harming others)- absolute freedom. Or do you find yourself having to perform work for others in order to earn the money needed for you to do what you really want to do. Or maybe you work for yourself. But then do you REALLY work for your customers, afraid that if you dont provide exactly what they want then you will lose business and thus the money and the ability to do what you really want to do. Even if you only work for others for 1 hour a week, if that work is NOT what you would really like to do, then I don't think of that as absolute freedom. But imagine if you had the means of complete self production in your home. There would be NOTHING that anyone could say or do to get you to do a DAMN thing for them unless you really wanted to. And they better not crack slick neither cause you could walk away from them at a moments notice without it ever effecting your ability to do what you really want to do with your time in the slightest bit. No need to worry about what the boss thinks, no need to worry about what the share holders think, no need to worry about what the customers think, no need to worry about what the President thinks. Complete self sufficiency.

Lets think of Native Americans. The settlers had no leverage over them because they were self sufficient, sure there may have been somethings that the settlers could provide that the natives wanted, but NOTHING that they NEEDED. So the settlers had to use force and then once they claimed the land, they could force the natives into their specific economic system by requiring the natives to pay land taxes and rent and other things but it had to be paid in the settlers' currency and under their terms. They set the values, they said what was owed and what wasn't. Same now, the value of my services are determined by the market, a force outside of my own. I can choose not to provide my service at any of these low ass values but then I have to deal with the consequences. I have to worry about where am I going to get clothing for Empress (my five year old) What if I was 100% self sufficient (as in I don't NEED the association of other for anything) and could provide those clothes on my own? Then I could truly say to those customers of mine, I'm not providing you with shit! You got nothing on me. My life, my associations are only what I choose. If me and my friends want to build a spaceship to Mars, well I'm not asking you to help and I don't need your tax dollars because THERE WOULD BE NO MONEY. We would be able to make our own parts and then fail or succeed on our own virtue. If someone was a part of the association and they decided right in the middle of the job that they were through, well that's on them, I couldn't stop them, I wouldn't have a paycheck to rub under their noses.

This means that everything you can do in a capitalistic society, I can do in an abundance based, money-less society except I have the added bonus of complete and total freedom over my actions. No direct pressure, no indirect pressure, no "green belts wrapped around our minds", no threat of starvation, no "I can't afford the ticket out of Germany, so I guess I'll just die in the Blitzkrieg," no social rankings based on how much someone is "worth", no kissing up to those that are "worth" more than you, no " I'm sorry son, but you can't participate in that sport because we can't afford the equipment and travel costs", no "I can't go to the private school, not because I don't have the talent, but since I don't have the money, I can't even get to the places where I could showcase my talent and thus get a scholarship", no having to go in the direction that upper management says even though I think they are dead wrong, no, "I really need the job but some random hiring guy doesn't like my tattoos." none of that.

Oh, you feel like you would have preferred that I do it this way? Fuck you. Oh, you guys are going there but I can't go? Fuck you. Oh, the shareholders are ditching the stock because we didn't make our quarterly whatevers? Fuck them. You don't like my music? Fuck you. You are racist? Fuck you. This is the way it has always been done and you want me to do it the same way? Fuck you. So and so says my stuff is crap so we don't want to support me. I wasn't asking for your support in the first place, FUCK YOU!

Im doing this because I want to...PERIOD

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BTW, asking what would it take to get rid of all money is just a thought exercise. The point worked out in the book is logically figure out all the elements that would need to fall into place if such a goal were possible. I find that those elements to be scarcity and my end goal stated time and again is more freedom for more people. Everything should be voluntary

AND the events that lead to the abundance environment in my book are not coordinated in any way, nor is there a goal in any of those actors minds to rid the world of money. The same as it wasn't the goal in the mind of the inventors of washing machines and microwaves, to engineer a world where women all got jobs. Simply because their inventions led to less housework and more time for women doesnt mean they had some grand scheme on changing the social structure of the world against the wishes of the traditionalist men

So again, your accusation is null and void

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I find that those elements to be scarcity...

Derek,

Just a question. What if a deeper fundament of money is abundance, not scarcity? Specifically, abundance and how to distribute it within the confines of the free will of each individual within the distribution pool?

I don't like that jargon, but I used it to make a point--or at least ask a question. And the concepts behind the jargon are valid.

Michael

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My main problem with Derek's ideas is usage of certain words, among them: capitalism, monopoly, freedom, coercion or force. Derek uses these words differently from the way they are used in Objectivism. So in order to understand Derek, I must program my brain differently. I'm not sure I can or want to.

($ means as defined in the Ayn Rand Lexicon http://aynrandlexicon.com/ Bookmark this link; you will find it useful.)

$freedom is the absence of physical coercion. To maximize $freedom, you respect $rights. This is done by $capitalism, the social system that is based on recognition of $rights.

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First I don't think that SIMPLY getting rid of money would be better, it is in conjunction with getting rid of scarcity. You don't think it can happen,

(I'll just respond to this comment for now, while leaving the rest of your post unresponded.)

You're right, Derek. I don't just think that getting rid of scarcity can happen.

I already know that it can happen because it has already happened in my own life. :smile:

In your view... money is connected to scarcity.

While in my view... money is connected to prosperity.

This is one fundamental difference between our views... and here's another.

In your view... success is off somewhere in the future, dependent upon what others do..

While in mine... success is already right here and right now, dependent upon what I do.

It's obvious that there is an irreconcilable chasm between our two views, so it's sufficient that each of us describes their view as clearly as possible, and how it differs from the other.

Greg

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I find that those elements to be scarcity and my end goal stated time and again is more freedom for more people.

Why don't you have that goal of freedom right now?

Exactly what keeps you from enjoying it right now?

This is the flaw in your future non monetary non scarcity Utopia.

You falsely believe that it is off somewhere in the future,

when it's already right in front of you right now.

And as a contrast to your view I'll answer the same questions I asked of you:

Q: Why don't you have that goal of freedom right now?

G: I do.

Q: Exactly what keeps you from enjoying it right now?

G: Nothing.

Greg

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Just a question. What if a deeper fundament of money is abundance, not scarcity? Specifically, abundance and how to distribute it within the confines of the free will of each individual within the distribution pool?

The fact is that I can totally believe that money can be the cause for abundance. Absolutely, the problem why I think that it hasn't become a total (it has produced a extremely wide degree but not total) degree of abundance is because of either real scarcity, such as the amount of certain minerals, metals, etc in the world (high demand on low resources creates a situation with lower resources) but more more important is the FALSE scarcity that is maintained in the world by those who control certain things and use elementary logic to aid in their quest for greater profit. Example diamonds. The DeBeers company controlled 90+ percent of the diamond mines and distribution until the 1990s. They, as anyone would, decided to artificially control the supply in order to make diamonds appear to be rare and thus more valuable. OPEC did the same thing until they got competition from oil fields all across the world. So the analogy that occurs in my book is one where every single household on the planet has their own unlimited supply of all requirements for life, and most other "wants". At that point OPEC, DeBeers and everyone else loses their power to control the supply.

For everyone else who decided not to read my book (its all good!) I have to restate that none of these abundance/scarcity changes occur with the idea of creating a world without money.

So in summary Michael, I see the world as having the capacity to feed, clothe, shelter and provide for everyone. But I also see artificial scarcity AND I also believe in freedom, so that if someone doesn't want to produce for someone else, if they don't want to use their land to produce for someone else, if they don't want to sacrifice their time to do things they don't want to do, then they shouldn't have to. This is why my book offers a technological solution.

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