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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.

Tell that to the folks in Africa who are starving. Tell them that its their fault that they don't live in America. Opportunities are not level throughout the world. Voltaire said, the comforts of the rich depend on an abundance of the poor. The great strength in capitalism is that anyone has at least a small chance of fighting there way up a rung or two. This works great in first world countries because as a whole, we are the rich and the third world is the poor.

But again my main issue that I take with capitalism is the fact that many many people are unable to spend ALL of their time pursuing their dreams natural talents. If everyone was able to get a job where they spent hours of everyday do exactly what it was that brought them life satisfaction, then my biggest problem with capitalism would be crossed out and I probably wouldn't had the ideas that caused me to write the book. Of course though that cant happen because the market determines if my natural inclinations are worth anything and if the market declares my talents to be meaningless then I'll just have to put my desires aside and either do something else that I don't exactly love for the rest of my life, or do something that I don't exactly love for multiple years until I have the ability to quit and do what it is that I exactly love. For me, those working to save and survive years, are an illustration of a lack of total freedom. I'm only going to live once, every person should have total freedom for their entire lives.

Also, the first line of my book's description is

Not a tale of Utopia...

I don't believe in utopias

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While I am responding, I find it necessary to point out once again that this discussion is taking place in a thread about a fictional book. I do not think that what happens in my book will occur at anytime in the near future, even if I do think that it is at least possible.

I do not think that capitalism should be replaced because in the current environment it offers the greatest degree of freedom that so far I can imagine.

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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.

I do have the goal of freedom now and by most standards, I am freer than most. Alas I am not 100% free as I would like because their are things I have to do on a regular basis to keep up that freedom. I have 3 apartment buildings (house conversions, not apartment complexes) which provide a level of rent that allows me to concentrate most of my time to my art, writings, etc. I also have no rent to pay, no car payment, no student loans and my total credit card debt is 1300 on limits of over 20000. Unfortunately as a landlord, I personally have to fix things, I have to take people to court, I have to coordinate others with others when a job is beyond me. Those precious hours are ones that are lost doing something that I don't want to do. There are those who are employed in their dream jobs (dream job by inclination not by pay scale) and there are those who aren't. I am as connected to the dissatisfaction of those who don't the same as Dagny Taggart was connected to the great men that she saw being shackled by the parasitic masses. I may not care about those people's personal lives but I know injustice when I see it and I definitely know it when I personally feel it.

Maybe injustice is too strong a word because I dont think there is anything unjust about struggle. Its more that I see how things could be better

Edit: Maybe I am being to greedy in wanting more and more freedom

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The fact is that I can totally believe that money can be the cause for abundance.

Derek,

Oddly enough, I can't believe that at all.

In my understanding, it's the contrary. Abundance is the cause of money.

Michael

thats interesting because I see that an abundant supply of anything is now, in our current society, only produced by the promise of monetary reward

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While I am responding, I find it necessary to point out once again that this discussion is taking place in a thread about a fictional book. I do not think that what happens in my book will occur at anytime in the near future, even if I do think that it is at least possible.

I do not think that capitalism should be replaced because in the current environment it offers the greatest degree of freedom that so far I can imagine.

Or how about: "Extreme freedom offers the greatest degree of capitalism [ever possible]". ;)

They both come together, hand in glove, but freedom is the absolute ideal. (Agreed).

Capitalism represents at the same time the truthful expression of men's minds and morality, their productive skill, benevolence and energy - as it is equally a means to an end ( of an enhanced, free life).

Freedom from what? To be free from yourself, your own reality, your physical needs, your chosen ethics, your productive output and spiritual inclinations - is not freedom.

Therefore being 'freed' from the reality of existence, is just another jail cell.

Freedom to do what? It's only the individual who knows his own consciousness, aspirations and concerns, so to impose on others his own personal ideal, is not to free them, but make them dependent (or to train them for slavery).

Freedom from whom? Is the crucial question. Only other men can divert or block one man's choice of direction, to engage reality as he sees fit (even if mistakenly) - so from them he needs preservation. ( He must be free to be wrong, to ever be able to be right. imo)

Men - including the well-meaning- are the highest obstacle to one's freedom..

Derek, I respect that you've made yourself clear. In doing so you've revealed your misperceptions, that 1. Freedom to you is a 'floating abstraction' (in Objecti-speak) out of touch with a single man, and the nature of man, and reality. 2. Reality is that fairly unpleasant thing that stops men doing what they really want to, and makes them do other things. 3. Wealth is an entity that was ~somehow~ accrued by the wealthy( and perhaps the slate should be wiped clean, and it all redistributed) - rather than it being the only honest symbol of a person's ability, and his reward.

The errors (as I see them) have much to do with the accepted, standard understanding of those concepts, as jts has remarked. Re-framing your understanding of them may require a slightl shift, or a great leap - both, in my experience!

And my point is this- the three concepts all integrate and align.

Your book, as fiction, could well be fascinating, well written and thought provoking. Frankly, though, I find the central premise quite frightening.

In all seriousness, have you considered marketing it as a Dystopian novel?

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Your book, as fiction, could well be fascinating, well written and thought provoking. Frankly, though, I find the central premise quite frightening.

In all seriousness, have you considered marketing it as a Dystopian novel?

you find the central premise of each person having full control over producing anything and as much of anything that they want to be frightening? I dont see why. Is the goal of being super rich (in which case everything is basically free to you and you are able to follow whatever dreams you so choose) somehow different from my premise of everyone being able to follow whatever dreams they so choose?

Even if you considered that society to be dystopian (and I'm sure there will be bad parts of that or any other society) I still wouldn't market the book as dystopian because, as I've said, that society never appears in the book. The book explores what path the world might take to take it to the point where that society COULD exist. That is the description of the book- what would it take to rid the world of money- not- now that we dont have money what should we do. Because my central idea is that I don't care what you do and you shouldn't care what I do and one of the ways we can completely separate ourselves from ever caring about what someone else contributes or doesn't contribute is for each person to have complete self sufficiency.

I will say though that I would welcome someone coming along after me, picking up my story where it leaves off, and creating a new story that shows how the society collapses. This was done with the book Looking Backwards which received at least 11 negative novelized responses

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thats interesting because I see that an abundant supply of anything is now, in our current society, only produced by the promise of monetary reward

Derek,

I'm confused now.

Is your interest in what makes money necessary in the first place, or is it in the motivations of some people in advanced and complex technological social settings?

You might be interested in recent psychological and neuroscience findings about money. Getting money is not a prime motivator in many work-related (and production-related) situations where traditionally people thought otherwise. In one repeatable experiment after another, other values have consistently been chosen over money. In fact, in oodles of them, the possibility of getting more money degraded performance and quality by quite a lot.

Here's an interesting book aimed at the layman audience that is a good introduction: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.

If you are interested, here is 10 minute talk where Pink discusses it (made more entertaining by the drawing animation):

Michael

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Your book, as fiction, could well be fascinating, well written and thought provoking. Frankly, though, I find the central premise quite frightening.

In all seriousness, have you considered marketing it as a Dystopian novel?

you find the central premise of each person having full control over producing anything and as much of anything that they want to be frightening? I dont see why. Is the goal of being super rich (in which case everything is basically free to you and you are able to follow whatever dreams you so choose) somehow different from my premise of everyone being able to follow whatever dreams they so choose?

Even if you considered that society to be dystopian (and I'm sure there will be bad parts of that or any other society) I still wouldn't market the book as dystopian because, as I've said, that society never appears in the book. The book explores what path the world might take to take it to the point where that society COULD exist. That is the description of the book- what would it take to rid the world of money- not- now that we dont have money what should we do. Because my central idea is that I don't care what you do and you shouldn't care what I do and one of the ways we can completely separate ourselves from ever caring about what someone else contributes or doesn't contribute is for each person to have complete self sufficiency.

I will say though that I would welcome someone coming along after me, picking up my story where it leaves off, and creating a new story that shows how the society collapses. This was done with the book Looking Backwards which received at least 11 negative novelized responses

But why oh why would you want to rid the world of money? The same thing by another name would take its place immediately. Money is the physical token of men's rationally selfish values - which relates and connects to all those abstractions like reality, morality and freedom, I've been going on about.

No one man can make and provide everything he needs, right? So you swap some of your 'tokens of value' for some of what you need from me, something I made with my personal 'creative value'.

I'm happy, you're happy, a fair trade at approx. the 'market value' for my goods or services.

When we get to money, we get to the science of capitalism, economics- where my understanding is broad and shallow and I can't help you much. My previous input has been in an area I sorta think of as the 'art' of capitalism.

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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.

Tell that to the folks in Africa who are starving. Tell them that its their fault that they don't live in America.

A classic victim story...

And the choice not to see the self inflicted chain of causality from totally irresponsible people indiscriminately spawning when they know that they don't possess the resources to properly care for their own offspring. That's the ultimate form of cruelty... to inflict starvation upon your own offspring. Utterly shameful.

Voltaire said, the comforts of the rich depend on an abundance of the poor.

Voltaire was dead wrong.

Only failures swallow the Marxist lie that economics is a zero sum game because it justifies their own failure by blaming it on others.

In direct contrast, Capitalist producers understand the truth that abundance is created from the equitable value for value exchanges of goods and services where all parties involved profit.

The great strength in capitalism is that anyone has at least a small chance of fighting there way up a rung or two. This works great in first world countries because as a whole, we are the rich and the third world is the poor.

Wrong.

We are rich because America was built upon the moral foundation of Judeo Christian values. Africa is not poor in resources... it's poor in moral values.

But again my main issue that I take with capitalism is the fact that many many people are unable to spend ALL of their time pursuing their dreams natural talents.

The fault is not in Capitalism. The fault lies with the person who fails to choose to do useful practical work that develops and refines their own natural talents and abilities. Anyone who answers their calling in life by doing work that they truly love will always prosper. Everyone has a calling... a purpose to be fulfilled. It's just a simple matter of finding it and doing it.

If everyone was able to get a job where they spent hours of everyday do exactly what it was that brought them life satisfaction, then my biggest problem with capitalism would be crossed out and I probably wouldn't had the ideas that caused me to write the book.

Then you should rightfully cross out that problem, because it is not the fault of Capitalism, but in peoples' own failure to either get a satisfying job... or, if they can't, to create their own satisfying job.

I'm only going to live once, every person should have total freedom for their entire lives.

Freedom is can only be enjoyed by working to earn the money to buy it. There can be no freedom without economic freedom. Ayn Rand knew this. Why do you think her symbol was the sign of the dollar?

See the basic difference between our two views?

Your solution is outside-in.

My solution is inside-out.

Greg

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No one man can make and provide everything he needs, right? So you swap some of your 'tokens of value' for some of what you need from me, something I made with my personal 'creative value'.

C'mon, WhyNot, let's be honest. You really haven't been following the conversation at all have you? The idea of the book is a situation where every CAN (let's say it again- CAN) provide everything they NEED for themselves in any amount shape or kind that they shall desired, controlled by each individual. You really missed that part of the discussion. Whether you feel that that is a possible future is not up for discussion, in my sci-fi book, it IS the case.

So please answer my question. Here it is again if you missed it

you find the central premise of each person having full control over producing anything and as much of anything that they want to be frightening? I dont see why. Is the goal of being super rich (in which case everything is basically free to you and you are able to follow whatever dreams you so choose) somehow different from my premise of everyone being able to follow whatever dreams they so choose?

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Moralist,

you got me, we have solidly different views. I respect yours. I hope to continue our paths of persuasion into the future

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Michael,

Im very familiar with the studies that you speak of and how money has a diminishing returns as far as productivity is concerned. I believe those studies, thats why I don't think that my money-less society would collapse (but maybe it would) BUT I'm also aware of people saying things like "why would this or that CEO choose to work there if they are paying 5 million instead of the going rate of 7 million" Its not so much that the money itself makes them work, its that society dictates what the value of work is and the same society is coming more and more to outright worship money as an object of power, influence, sex etc. In such as society people will go onto shows like Fear Factor where people can be induced to eat sheep testicles if the money is right. The same society where "everyone has a price" is becoming more true by the day.

But anyways, my point that I was making when I said money can make abundance is illustrated by the housing boom. So for years there has been housing shortages, almost as if the home builders were a doing all they could and could just barely keep up with demand. Suddenly people started to invest in flipping homes and the prices went through the roof. Out of the blue there were THOUSANDS of homes, condos and apts built in a two year period, more then were ever needed. This shows me that the world does indeed have the capacity to house everyone but that abundance is currently materialized by the incentivization of monetary reward.

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Yes, perhaps I missed some, Derek. However, your central premise holds true, and hasn't changed. You want to modify, moderate, improve on, or whatever - reality.

Reality, no matter how much a pain in the ass it often is, gets my clock ticking.

And if, as you pose, men discover some amazing technology, that will still be reality.

Man, metaphysically, is never going to change - and that's his glory (or his down-fall, according to some). The same with reality.

My answer then, is yes, it's a frightening prospect. The *wish* to exchange real existence- for a fantasy; the economic impossibility of everyone getting what they want, when they want; the FORCE, since whatever you imagine it to be, many people are going to get hurt, implementing and protracting that less-than-brave-new world (me, for one); the stupefying minds when the struggle for life is superfluous; the loss of one's volitional faculty (who needs it, when you get anything you choose ); morality? redundant and amoral, when men's values fade away; and following from all that, the emotional regression, until all one's feeling goes. Any sane man would commit suicide. The rest will go insane.

I agree with Greg, this is an outside-in, en masse prescription, not in the least related to individuals .

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Why not,

I shall now concede you a major point.

While my ultimate goal is freedom, I have to admit that I am rather partial to scientific and technological advances. And when I was writing the book and examining certain implications, I did realize that human advancement could very well decrease by over 50%. People could become extremely complacent. I did multiple surveys among friends, family and total strangers asking them what percentage of the world would choose to do nothing at all if they lived in my society and some of the respondents felt that number could be as high as 90% (people who would literally do no productive work but simply sit on the beach or watch reruns of MASH) I think, honestly, that the number would be closer to 55-60% but that is still a majority and it would sadden me. I would rejoice in the freedom of people to make whatever choices they wanted, but would be traumatized if the world became the same as WALL-E. I have (partially) convinced myself that that complacency would only be for a generation or two or three before people's natural curiosity and social behavior caused the scientifically inclined to get together to perform this or that project and to continue the push of the human race into technological godhood (for lack of a better term)

You win this round. next time Gadget, next time....

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the loss of one's volitional faculty (who needs it, when you get anything you choose ); morality? redundant and amoral, when men's values fade away; and following from all that, the emotional regression, until all one's feeling goes. Any sane man would commit suicide. The rest will go insane.

But one wouldn't get anything one chose, in the sense of simply wanting it and "printing" it on a 3-D computer or whatever, even if one had all one's physical needs easily satisfiable.

For example, there are days when I'd like to be able to go wander around in the warren of courtyards at the Hofburg in Vienna, then have a bowl of Viennese soup and a sundae at a nearby cafe called Griensteidl and return home to sleep in my house. Can't do it, not without the procedure of getting from Connecticut to Vienna and back. The example could be multiplied ad infinitum.

Nor can one do everything one might want to do which one could do within a given time frame. And with increasing abundance comes a proliferation of plausible choices, not a diminution.

Nor do I see that "scarcity" would disappear. For instance, how many people could hang any given original Rembrandt on a wall in their home?

Also why do you think values would fade away? Has there been a fading of values as prosperity has increased? I'd say there's been an increase in possibilities which can be valued.

Ellen

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People could become extremely complacent.

I don't think that that worry is well founded. Again, have people become "extremely complacent" with increasing prosperity?

I think that few people would simply loaf around if they didn't have to work for income to pay for their needs. As it is, how many people are working only to pay for the minimum they need?

Ellen

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thats interesting because I see that an abundant supply of anything is now, in our current society, only produced by the promise of monetary reward

Derek,

I'm confused now.

Is your interest in what makes money necessary in the first place, or is it in the motivations of some people in advanced and complex technological social settings?

You might be interested in recent psychological and neuroscience findings about money. Getting money is not a prime motivator in many work-related (and production-related) situations where traditionally people thought otherwise. In one repeatable experiment after another, other values have consistently been chosen over money. In fact, in oodles of them, the possibility of getting more money degraded performance and quality by quite a lot.

Here's an interesting book aimed at the layman audience that is a good introduction: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.

If you are interested, here is 10 minute talk where Pink discusses it (made more entertaining by the drawing animation):

Michael

Michael... I love that little video. :smile:

Autonomy

Mastery

Purpose

They're the Holy Trinity of a successful prosperous happy life.

Greg

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Capitalism represents at the same time the truthful expression of men's minds and morality, their productive skill, benevolence and energy - as it is equally a means to an end ( of an enhanced, free life).

You had so many good points, but this one jumped right off the freaking page! Capitalism is not an end in itself, but serves something greater than itself...

"the truthful expression of men's minds and morality, their productive skill, benevolence and energy"

I'm not in business with the only goal as making money, business to me is my own personal artistic expression of the beauty of moral values. I found that by putting that higher purpose first, money comes naturally as a byproduct.

So as long as I do what's right out of my love for it... I never have to worry about money. :smile:

Your book, as fiction, could well be fascinating, well written and thought provoking. Frankly, though, I find the central premise quite frightening. In all seriousness, have you considered marketing it as a Dystopian novel?

That was my first thought too... because Derek has yet to address the issue of evil. And that blind spot to human nature is a first class one way ticket to Dystopia.

Greg

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:smile: One thing's for certain, Greg - you're a capitalist, through and through.

I've wondered elsewhere if in today's world Rand would still perceive big business as "a persecuted minority". For all the cronyism and special privilege (happily received) by which governments for all this time, have allowed the Golden Goose to continue breathing and kicking - for their self-serving justifications of 'the good of the People' - I ask, how is it remotely possible for one to separate the deserved from the undeserved? The real from the artificial? I have no idea, just lingering doubts.

Also, I think I'm deeply disappointed that men and women in business and industry haven't (in general) grasped the principle (the "unknown ideal") which supports and upholds what they do and who they are! And consistently opposed Statism on those grounds.

With the explosion of AR's ideas, there's no excuse for not knowing about them any longer. What are those people ashamed of? They folded, it seems.

So I take a huge measure of encouragement from seeing or hearing of the small businessman in action. The small entrepreneur, like the guy who comes to clean our carpets - who could claim his "right" to a position in some company under our Affirmative Action policies - but chooses to go it alone. Not highly educated, but thoughtfully-spoken and more 'real' and moral than any of our poxy political elitists in power. The grassroots are the future of Capitalism, I feel.

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That was my first thought too... because Derek has yet to address the issue of evil. And that blind spot to human nature is a first class one way ticket to Dystopia.

Do I need to solve the issue of evil? Has any system ever solved the issue of evil? Of course mine is not as system but a new environment in which people will be people. I don't seek to change anyone, to stop evil or to make people more moral or even to have them read the philosophies of great people. A new environment will change some things though, I'm just not smart enough to predict what would happen.

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For example, there are days when I'd like to be able to go wander around in the warren of courtyards at the Hofburg in Vienna, then have a bowl of Viennese soup and a sundae at a nearby cafe called Griensteidl and return home to sleep in my house. Can't do it, not without the procedure of getting from Connecticut to Vienna and back. The example could be multiplied ad infinitum.

Ellen,

This scenario is covered in my book.

If you weren't following the previous conversation, my book ends with a 40 page conversation between a guy who is trying to recruit for a money-less society and Joe-Blow recruitee. The recruitee asks questions as to how the society would work and the recruiter provides answers. Your scenario is what I call the "vacation problem" and I believe I have solved it in three parts.

Before I begin, I have to state of course I really don't know how it would work out, it is a work of fiction, reality has a way of throwing monkey wrenches into every situation. Secondly, while I surveyed many folks as to what their initial reactions would be to someone offering a money-less society (in order to generate as many real questions for my final conversation of the book) while writing the book, I am open to the fact that there are many things I may have missed and if you come up with other points that I didn't tackle satisfactory then I regret you were not one of the people I surveyed.

So how do you fairly distribute trips to far off places? The ability to travel will not be solved by the two technological advances that end scarcity in my book, but I do feel that they will still be solved by technology. This three points which follow will cover most "wants" which will still be scarce in any future society.

1. When I stopped working full time 6 years ago, I found I had the weirdest reaction. It seemed that though I had the time to travel, my desire to travel actually went down. Its because many times that people want vacations, it is to get away from work and the "real" world. But when your time is your own and you spend it doing something you love, it is actually harder to tear away from it to go somewhere else. Therefore while the entire world in my theoretical society would have the time and ability to go places, the demand on such vacation would not be equal in number, though, I admit, it will rise so that...

2. For the millions who do want to travel, the first thing that must be worked out is where to stay. This is a problem easily reduced to ashes by "house trade" sites which are around now and would explode in popularity in the future. You live in Florida and want to visit London. The software matches you with that person in London who wants to visit Florida. In fact the software could easily connect "20+ person chains" if needed. Example. You want to visit London but the person there wants to visit Vegas, and the person in Vegas wants to visit Boston and the person in Boston wants to visit Florida. Easy- Solved!

3. How to get there? Of course planes trains and boats will be in limited supply, so how to distribute? Today it is worked out by the formulas of supply and demand. As demand goes up, so does price, which causes those at the bottom of the resource ladder to rethink their priorities. There is nothing wrong with that. But in my society there is no money or value system to fall back on. Again we can look at today. There are wants now that a majority of people can easily afford if they save for a few weeks or months (the new Iphone, XBox One, etc) so ask yourself how do we solve a situation where a large number of people have the resources and the desire. The answer is simple, first come first serve. There are probably people right now, or at least by Monday, who will/are camped out in front of a Best Buy in anticipation of Black Friday. Those who don't want to wait will have to rethink their priorities. There's nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong if some people never get to travel. I'm sure the majority of people in the US never visit more then a state or two beyond the one they grew up in, so what.

3a. The physical planes trains and boats. Where do they come from if no one will own and operate them for profit? In the future, I'm sure we all agree that all those things will be auto piloted. So Imagine fleets of these vehicles, all produced with space age materials which, endure more stresses, last much longer than today's materials, and are made for free from technology two in my book. They are powered by technology one and simply loop routes 24 hours a day, picking up and dropping off passengers.

Edit: Sorry forgot to mention...

How do the tracks, tunnels or other such infrastructure needed to carry the vehicles get built. How do the large vehicles get built even if the materials they are composed of are free?

Lots of infrastructure will already have been made and still used. Example, there is no need to build a new tunnel between London and Paris if we already have one. New infrastructure and vehicles would be put together by volunteers. People who, and there are many of them, who either love to build or who love to be apart of big projects. If there is a lack of volunteers for a project, then it doesn't get made, so what? Its only a "want" so if there aren't enough planes on Sunday to take the kids to Vienna, then take them down the street to the Zoo instead.

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Derek,

Your reply next above isn't actually addressing the point I was making (in #66). The point of the Vienna example had nothing to do with allocating travel but instead with the sheer physical impossibility of satisfying some desires a person might have. The only way I could do what I described myself as sometimes feeling I'd like to do is if teletransportation were possible, and Star Trek notwithstanding, I don't think it ever would be.

My abstract point is that there would always be limits, whatever technology was developed, on feasible desire satisfaction.

I was addressing Tony's post in which he wrote, in part:

the loss of one's volitional faculty (who needs it, when you get anything you choose ); morality? redundant and amoral, when men's values fade away; and following from all that, the emotional regression, until all one's feeling goes. Any sane man would commit suicide. The rest will go insane.

Ellen

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Ellen, I thought I did answer it, not by the specific Vienna example but within it I emphasized that if you couldn't get a "want" then you would have to reprioritize. My goal in my book is to provide abundance in the "need" department. A person can want all they want and my example with the vacation is to show how one specific desire can be fulfilled. But even that wouldn't be fulfilled for everyone and then it would be up to them to either make it happen through their own ingenuity or reprioritize. Needs shouldn't stand I'm the way of one's dreams so I provide abundance there. Wants, desires... That's another subject

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That was my first thought too... because Derek has yet to address the issue of evil. And that blind spot to human nature is a first class one way ticket to Dystopia.

Do I need to solve the issue of evil?

Oh, not at all, Derek... except for ourselves, of course. :wink:

I was only taking note that you had never even mentioned people who do evil in in the descriptions of your non Capitalist no money no scarcity future. Every Utopia is destroyed by underestimated evil. Ayn Rand was quite aware of the insidious termites constantly chewing away the ethical foundations of America. She named them moochers and looters.

Greg

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