Re: Communism vs Capitalism

Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 06:30:28 MST

In a message dated 2/17/01 1:25:09 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

> Personally, I think one point that tends to be overlooked by extropians
> is that both communism and capitalism have one glaring similarity: they
> are economic systems designed to allocate resources under conditions of
> scarcity. Hopefully we're leaving scarcity behind us forever -- in which
> case triumphalism over the "collapse of communism" is premature because
> capitalism will follow it in due course, and good riddance to both those
> eighteenth century frameworks.

I agree that the technologies transhumanists look forward to promise to
alleviate much of the competition for scarce resources that have
characterized human history. Two points bear consideration. First, can we
look forward to real qualitative changes in human and trans- and post-human
life when "the basics" needed to sustain life can truly become abundant?
This is the question we've been discussing in the "guaranteed income"
threads. Second, some resources are likely to be "scarce" in any social
system. Novelty, at least will be a valued commodity that might well be
scarce in ANY social system. Further, when one projects out the implications
of "ultra-technology", some resources, based simply on unique physical
positions in space (and perhaps time), may be unavoidably scarce, requiring
SOME mechanism for allocation that is consistent with the values of the
entities who calue that resource.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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