From: Robert Bradbury <email@example.com>
>>On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Brian D Williams wrote:
>> I should have said the ecomomic apathy that results from
>>handouts was perhaps a fundamental flaw of human nature.
>This is an important point that should not be glossed over.
>In a full-nanotech era, assuming you don't copy yourself
>endlessly, you have more resources than you "need" (~= to the
>current situation for anyone with a net worth in excess of $1-10
>million at current interest rates).
>I'll make the general observation that many current high net-worth
>individuals do not have to work to survive (having reached pseudo
>communistic state condition), yet most of them still get up and go
>to work every day (Paul Allen being an extreme case in point).
I would argue that Paul Allen did not receive a handout, but earned
his wealth by hardwork and perhaps the mistakes of others. He has
invested wisely, (I'll skip the Mariners joke) and enjoys the fruit
of his labors. I'll further argue that his being so richly rewarded
for his efforts drives his ambitions.
>So, the question becomes whether the handouts generate apathy
>(implying communism is self-defeating) or whether a significant
>majority of individuals would do nothing if they could still
>survive (implying communism cannot work due to human nature). The
>question then becomes *what* would happen to capitalistic
>societies if you released a virus that killed all individuals that
>demonstrated a high degree of risk-taking/personal-drive (i.e. the
>high net-worth individuals who work when the really don't have
I would argue that the former welfare state in this country make's
If you succeeded in killing off those who work for a living the
rest would fight over the scraps.
>Extending this, will full-nanotech result in a pseudo-communistic
>condition where the desire to excel has little survival advantage
>and is bred out of the population (presumably dooming humanity
>and leaving the solar system to AI's programmed with a "succeed
>or commit suicide" mentality).
Sure could...... the ultimate couch potatoes.
>> Still playing DA, I could say that tens of thousands of years of
>> communism had left your villagers at the level of a stone age
>> tribe.... ;)
>I think that is a stretch. I suspect you could attribute most
>of Western "progress" to a few individuals with excessive
>curiosity, talent, or genius level mentality and not to
>capitalistic systems per se. It is worth noting that many of said
>individuals had state support in the form of the aristocracy or
>favor of royalty.
Yeah I was stretching it a bit.
Rewarding people for their effort is the very definition of
capitalism. In fact such people invented capitalism.
>One can note that communistic systems have been very effective at
>educating masses of people (do you *really* want to discuss the
>fraction of people *reading* on the Moscow metro trains vs. the
>NY metro trains???) and creating systems that can support a large
>base of engineers whose abilities seem to speak for themselves.
I would suspect that the New Yorkers can read (maybe not, they're
talking about electing Hillary) but the fact they don't read as
much could point back to the idea of handouts or maybe general
affluence as the culprit.
Nothing but compliments for the engineers and scientists. Of course
to such people the ability to learn is a form of reward.
Affluenza...<shudder> potentially deadly.
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