SOC: Capitalism and Package Deals

Twink (
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 19:13:31 -0500 (EST)

At 16:45:48 Sun, 30 Nov 1997 -0500 (EST) Greg Burch <>
>>With these points in mind, I should have said that the fact that it has
>>taken so long bears out my thesis. I don't think that the idea of
>>"Confucian Capitalism" is some sort of cultural monolith. I just worry
>>about capitalism without concommitant values of individual liberty and
>>responsibility. All I'm really saying is that capitalism with too great a
>>stress on authoritarianism and orthodoxy seems like a weird and
>>possibly bad mutation.

The problem is even worse. Most people conflate capitalism with
authoritarianism BECAUSE these ideas are usually thought of in
terms of "package deals" -- to use Rand's term. An example of a
package deal in another field is equating atheism with Darwinism
-- or even the specific state of evolutionary theory at a given time.
This is often done so that one can reject one idea by its chance
association with others. In the atheist example, theists often argue
against a specific theory or aspect of a biological theory and then
say, "Aha, this theory is faulty, therefore, atheism in untenable and
you should follow my laundry list of religious tenets."

The same happens with capitalism. A good example in the Third
World is the confusion of capitalism with colonialism. People tend
to see the various colonial powers as capitalistic - even though
imperialism is an example not of market exchange but brute
governmental force -- and hence wind up being against capitalism.

(I'm not well read in memetics, but Rand's notion of a package deal
should be incorporated into the theory, as it explains the spread or
lack thereof of many ideas.)

Daniel Ust