From: Dan Fabulich <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 10 December 1998 21:28
Subject: Re: BASICS: Re: Socialism <> Extropianism
>Here's a few ethical questions for you:
>1) Does equality matter? If so, how much?
>Ex: Suppose I had a magic button in my pocket. If I press the button, one
>group of people magically gains x (where x is something "good," created out
>of thin air) and another group gains Y, where Y is much greater than x.
>Morally speaking, should I press that button?
Yes. I don't demand equality. However, capitalism doesn't work for _everybody_, which is the point I was trying to make. Socialism is useful for tweaking the edges of it (and yes, you should have strict controls over the socialist part to make sure it only tweaks the edges.) Here in the UK we have several backlashes against companies giving their Directors 30% raises while giving the workers 2% raises. Not my problem. Not my concern. My concern is with people not having the choice of saying 'I refuse to work for a company that does this.' because they will starve to death. I find welfare very useful for giving people the ability to temporarily stop work and still survive to find other work (albeit at a greatly reduced level of comfort) to be an equaliser. The fact that providing all of this would take a (comparatively) minor amount of money while providing workers with a greatly improved leverage is something I consider worth doing.
>2) Suppose Alice and Bob are in a two-person communist society. Let us
>also suppose that Bob is greedy. Bob notices that Alice is making various
>goods. Can Bob use all of the goods Alice is making? Or should his access
>to the goods be restricted in some way?
Hmm. I do seem to remember stating that communist societies didn't work. And very few societies work with 2 people (except, possibly, marriages).