Re: The International Forum on Globalization - More suitablefor Halloween th...

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 19:51:57 MST

Neal Blaikie wrote:
> Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > Have I flushed one out of the woodwork, as it seems?
> "One" what? This seems a bit inflammatory, especially since you really don't know me.
> Are you trying to be funny?

Funny, but since I've never seen a post from you here that I recall, I
suppose I was assuming you might possibly be a lurker who is a green
keeping an eye on us.

> > "Human nature" being the evolved behavioral psychology of the human
> > animal. Do you dispute?
> Of course I don't dispute this in general terms. I was responding (somewhat
> flippantly, I will admit) to what I perceived to be a tired and over-used blanket
> application of the term, as if it means only one universally agreed upon thing rather
> than a continuum of things. I see it used this way all the time by people who are
> simply trying to rationalize or excuse specific behaviors, and by defeatists who have
> given up on the idea that we can change and/or improve ourselves. If you meant it in
> a more specific way, an elaboration would have been useful. If I read more into it
> than was there, I certainly apologize for misinterpreting you.

THanks. Sorry if I was not detailed enough.

> > Communism is only non-despotic in its perfect state. Perfection is an
> > unstable state, which is a truism of all natural systems. It is
> > impossible to attain equilibria in a perfect state due to this
> > instability, thus communism will always be despotic, and given the
> > nature of power to corrupt and attract the corruptible, communist
> > societies will always result in tyranny. Ant colonies may be cute, but
> > they are heinously despotic and irrespective of the individual. Just
> > because communist despotism (i.e. imperfect) works for ants doesn't mean
> > it works for humans.
> I have no argument with this either, again in general terms. Did I sound like I was
> defending communism? Ouch. My personal political philosophy is nowhere near it,
> believe me. I was simply trying to make a point, which I obviously failed to do. I
> was irritated by what I again saw as a tired tactic, that of labeling other people as
> communists simply to somehow demonize them or put them down. I think this is a
> counter-productive strategy and can weaken one's credibility.

No, reading from my entire post, you see that I've been spending a large
amount of time talking with such people, so my statements are not
stereotypes, prejudices, or any other sort of unsupported statements,
they are reflecting statements made to me by many such individuals who
are highly active in the green/anarchism movement, people who are
organizers of things like the Seattle, DC, and other protests. They are
invariably anti-capital, and blame all of society's ills on
corporations. They refuse to see government as the problem, using the
same sort of excuses they use to apologize for the USSR: government is
just a tool that has been corrupted by corporations because it was
structured to protect the rich, etc. etc etc.

> > Libertarianism has no perfect state, that is its nature. It is about
> > attaining an equilibrium between individuals that is flexible based on
> > the abilities, wants, and needs of each individual.
> Hmm. We'll have to part ways on this one. While I would personally prefer a
> libertarian system over a communist one, I think it too can be used by corrupt
> individuals to oppress or exploit others (which is what has always, historically,
> been the case with communism). Not to pose a conundrum, but isn't the idea that
> libertarianism has no perfect state itself a perfect state? I have always felt that
> the libertarian ideal is just that, an ideal, although one that certainly allows more
> tolerance of others than most. Perhaps I just think about things differently.

It is only an ideal in that despots and demagogues have warped the
political landscape so much that we think the current state is 'the
norm', that the middle of the current political landscape is 'centrist'.
Its not.

> > You don't get a stable functioning society by making everyone
> > give up their entire days work to the collective, because it IS human
> > nature for an individual to believe they produced more than they did and
> > deserve more than they do, and to expect additional reward for
> > additional or better work.
> Again I feel like you are using the term "human nature" as if it means only one
> thing. Have you personally interviewed everyone on the planet to see if they agree
> with you? Of course not. People who are raised in a capitalist or market driven
> society are going to feel this way (I certainly do), but that does not mean it is the
> only way to look at things. It is ultimately a personal or cultural preference, not a
> given, no matter how much we detest it.

If your statement is true, then why do the people in every other culture
invariably want the sort of society we have? They want 4 door cars, PCs,
internet access, good neighborhoods and schools, honest elections, and
all of the other features of the America that isn't marred by big city
welfare state problems.

Now, I do make exceptions. The French, for example. ;) They are the
exception that proves the rule...

> > It is human nature for a person to put more
> > importance in the safety, security, freedom and happiness of themselves
> > and loved ones versus anybody else.
> I agree with you on this one because it can be traced to our biology. This applies to
> most animals in varying degrees.

Then you should accept the previous one as well. Animals always want to
get the greatest benefit for the least investment possible, and will
engage in pecking order behaviors.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:37 MDT