Re: The Education Function

Michael Scarazzo (
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 08:43:21 -0800 (PST)

> Any defense of socialism I would mount would have to take into
account three
> basic assumptions:
> 1) Human nature is such that all people try to benifit themselves
(and to a
> lesser extent their friends/relatives) as much as possible.
> 2) 'Property' does not actually exist and is merely a way of saying
'I deny
> you access to this'.
> 3) Sufficient social/monetary inequality leads to social disruption.

You are correct in stating that humans try to benefit themselves. The term is greed. Greed is good when one group, such as government, does not control all of the rights to that facet of humanity. I agree that social inequality leads to social disruption. However, allowing governments to dictate the social benefits that individuals and groups of individuals will receive at the expense of others creates the most social disruption. Governments are monopolies of many services. They have no need to compete for pricing to provide the consumers with the best possible service and price. They waste money that hard working people and businesses have worked to earn. Then they give it to people who are not working. There is a need for organizations to provide people with assistance when they are down on their luck. However, this could be accomplished by the private industry, such as employment agencies. Without government interference by taxation, businesses and individuals would be able to do much more for the causes in which they believe. Why do you think that bureaucrats know how to spend my money better than I do?

The problems of inequity happen because government tries to solve all of the social ills the world has. It cannot be done without competition for ideas. Given what history has shown in cases of monopoly (ex. The FCC/AT&T monopoly), competition yields the best service and value for consumers.

> Communists tend to forget point (1) and focus on point (2).
> Capitalists tend to forget point (2) and focus on point (1)

Actually, socialism says that property does exist, but the state owns all rights to it. Property is a reality. Whenever someone adds value to something tangible, they have altered the properties of that asset. Therefore what that individual has done has value to him/her and possibly to others. That is the nature of trading. For intangibles, the idea applies, but the nature is different. I write a book. I own the value and the rights to the value, because I alone have created it (not counting publishers). The state and its' bureaucrats did nothing to create, to produce. Why should I work for someone else with no compensation, e.g. taxes? Free trade works because there is exchage of goods and services.

> (3) tends to cause problems in capitalist societies on an internal
basis (in
> the UK, under more capitalist policies the percentage difference
between the
> rich and the poor went up by about 7% over the 10 years the
> party was in power. This caused large amounts of social unrest,
> demonstrations and the biggest landslide in living history for their
> opposition party).

I do not know all of the specifics of the situation, but the UK is far from being a truly capitalist country. People are not equal. The government tries to change that rule by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, while at the same time taking from the hard working middle class and giving back to the rich. Socialist policy attempts to change what cannot be changed.

> (3) tends to cause problems for communist societies on an external
> (When the Soviet Republics realised how much better of Western
Europe was
> they revolted.)

No, the economy collapsed. They did not revolt. The socialist/communist government failed because it attempted to maintain a monopoly in every apect of the economy, micro-managing every supply and demand. Beginning around 1970, the Soviet economy began to shrink, because of the quota system for production. There was no revolution; only a demonstration in the futility of socialism.

> A fourth point is sometimes useful to remember.
> (4) Homo Sapiens is a pack animal that naturally speaking has a
> People are most comfortable with a chain of command. They like to
feel that
> the chain of command listens to them and considers their feelings
and that
> it is looking out for them. It is a mistake to indulge this too
much, but
> it is worth bearing in mind.

I can agree that people work in groups, but there are individuals who are not equal in skills and attributes. Socialism cannot change inequality. True Capitalism (free-markets with no government control) allows each individual to find a niche...his or her place in the sea of humanity. With little or no regulation, people can use whatever skills they have to make a living.

> Having shown that both Communist and Capitalist societies tend to
> about one of (1) or (2) thus causing (3), I would say that it makes
sense to
> mix them sluightly, taking into account of both (1) and (2) which
> socialism.

I would say that you are not Extropian. Socialism stifles that which Extropians seek to encourage.

> My preferred method of socialism would be to provide free Gealth
Care (of a
> standard necessary to get people back to work) and enough of a
handout to
> allow people to survive. This handout should _not_ be means tested
(if it
> drops as they start earning here is less incentive to start
earning). Free
> Education will also be provided (education leads to raised output
and higher
> GNP's as well as lowering reproduction), but not in the current form
- as
> has been pointed out most current education sucks.

TANSTAAFL. Nothing is free, except possibly the air you breathe. There are costs associated with that because of the pollution that humans create themselves. There should be no handout that individuals do not elect to give themselves. If you and I want to help an organization such as a soup kitchen, we can in a free market society. We could also seek those who are unemployed as employees in our private businesses that are not regulated to the point of stifling competition and business. No minimum wage, for example, means that I could hire two people for the price of one under minimum wage laws. Then they would at least have some money,possibly doing work for me and for you, acquiring skills to use to start their own businesses. I could pay them even more than the current minimum wage without having the fund the government welfare progams through oppresive taxes. All taxes are oppresive.

Our current education is not free market, except in the case of some US higher education institutions. With free market education and results being the goal, schools will compete to give make their students the best prepared, resulting in better education standards(supply) that are dictated by demand.


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