Re: Free-Markets: Extro-Nazi's or Extro-Saints?

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 10:55:47 -0700 (PDT)

>> I never said that /they/ give a damn. Self-perception is not reality.

>No Lee, you missed my point. what I said was " to use that line of thinking
>to ignore the truth of that reality, to NOT acknowledge their very real
>experience of starving to death, is denial of the worst sort, and IMO
>downright mean. "
>Take for example the issue of Affirmative action. One could say " I don't
>care for it, it is obviously not working, it is discriminatory in itself, it
>has F**cked up many businesses, and it creates far more complex problems than
>the simple one ( racist hiring practices) it was conceived to deflect".
>But many people chose INSTEAD to claim : RASCISM IS A THING OF THE PAST.

>It sounds bogus and it is. Saying poor people are richer may sound
>comforting, but it doesn't address the reality * of those people*. Self
>perception may not have anything to do with YOUR reality, but it does for
>that individual. If I am hungry - you saying i am not doesn't do much to
>change it.

I didn't miss the point at all; your very use of phrases like "YOUR
reality" pegs the issue precisely: there is only one reality. Period.
If you insist on subjectivism, we can argue no further, for I refuse
to sacrifice the power of my mind to failed philosophies. My saying
that you are not hungry doesn't change the facts, nor does your saying
that you are--either you are or you aren't, and your feelings have no
more value than mine. We must judge the facts objectively. The facts,
objectively, are that racism exists, laws against it don't work, no
one in the US has inadequate access to food, and most people who feel
poor are pretty well off. My mother grew up in the Mississippi swamp,
with a drunkard father who tried to keep her out of school, two younger
siblings to take care of, gigging frogs and shooting squirrels for
dinner, but she didn't feel poor.

Hungry people need food. Real food, not sympathy, compassion, caring,
or concern; but food. Calories. Vitamins. Food is produced by labor
and technology, not by protests and political posturing. Today's poor
live better than my mother did--in absolute, objective terms--because
the free market produced more food, more goods, more medicine, and
more of everything else that people want. Yes, people stil suffer, as
those at the low end of technology always will. The best thing that
any of us can do for those people is to produce more things: work,
trade, invest, invent.

>> What's "proper"? "adequate"?

>Again, it is a perception. But it is up to the individual to decide, not
>some golden mean you make up. I say it means a fairly comfortable creature
>existence. Enough money to make ends meet.

If you refuse to define terms objectively, we have nothing to argue. If
I, as an individual, decide that "enough" means a T1 line to my house,
does that mean I can prevail upon your sympathy to give it to me? How
is that any different from a pauper begging for the services of a doctor
who spent $30,000 in medical school? I know that you are not in favor
of entitlements as a distribution method, and I'm not accusing you of
socialism, but subjectivist epistemology leads that way, and is every
bit as dangerous.

>>Name a single person in the US who does not have more
>> than sufficient food available to him at no cost.

>I am not on first name terms, but there are plenty - and lots of them are
>mentally ill and infants. BTW, I want to stop this now and make it clear: I
>am not saying that this problem exists because WE SHOULD FEED THEM -that is a
>different subject! It is maybe because they are too mentally ill to claim
>it, or on drugs, or brain deficient, or remote - or something else...but I am
>not going to be persuaded they don't exist because one cannot state one
>individual personally on a first name basis. This argument fails to convince.

It's the only argument that matters. The only proof that something
exists is to show the thing itself; point to one. I agree that there
may be people who, despite /access/ to adequate food, do not actually
get fed with it because of incapacity. That's a real problem, and to
the extent that we can identify those people and help them--great (and
note that identifying them, by name, is the very first necessary step
in helping them; a step you seem reluctant to perform).

>If one lacks the necessary tools to survive in that culture ( and by your
>description they will) then Evolution will be as unkind today as it is on
>our homeless little brothers in the streets...

Evolution is not "kind" or "unkind"; it is nothing more than a mathematical
consequence of a certain set of initial conditions: replication, mutation,
competition. Far better to understand and make use of an existing effect
than to try to fight it. You might as well try fighting pi.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC