The Poor Masses

John K Clark (
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 20:56:11 -0700 (PDT)


On Wed, 16 Oct 1996 Surest Naiad <> Wrote:

>[wealth] will always be done through ingenuity and innovation

That's true, and hard work is also needed to generate wealth, but if I can't
benefit from my labor there is no point in me working harder than the average
man, I'd much rather just sit under a tree and read a book. Also, there is
no point in me figuring out a way to do things any better than average,
it's a waste of time to make an invention, because whatever the invention
is it can have no practical benefit to me. As far as getting ahead in the
world I might as well study Turkish love poems of the 14'th century for all
the good it'll do me. You don't have to take my word for this, look at History,
time after time we find dictators preaching, screaming, at his subjects,
telling them to work hard, forget about themselves and do everything for the
state. It never, ever, works.

>There is plenty in the pie for all. The problem in the world
>is not lack of wealth

I can't find the smallest particle of evidence to support that assumption.
There is not one person in a thousand I would trade places with in the former
Soviet Union, the same with India, the same for South America, much less than
that for Africa. Since China started to embrace capitalism a little they've
improved their standard of living dramatically, but even so, very few are as
well off as the average American. Spread all that money around however you
like, the average person on Earth will be dirt poor. We desperately need a
bigger pie, and socialism sure as hell won't give it to us.

Besides, when you talk about spreading wealth around, it only makes sense
to speak of disposable wealth. Our new rulers could convert the large house of
the owner of a steel mill into an apartment house for his friends, but that's
just a tiny part of this rich man's wealth, the house is just a wealth
absorber. By far, the major part of his wealth in the mill itself, and this
is a wealth generator not an absorber, it makes steel and jobs. What are you
going to do with this factory, tear it down and give everybody a piece of the

>All the resources that go into making a sonic toothbrush
>that is only cared for by people with money to burn

Funny you should mention that, I've been thinking of buying a sonic
toothbrush. Feel free to disapprove of me, I intent to do what I want anyway.

>We also have severe food waste problems here, like McDonalds

Now just hold on a minute, that's going too far, some things are sacred! I'll
pray to Saint Ronald and ask Him to forgive you.

>some people have choices that suck more than others.

Yes, life is full of choices, some of them unpleasant. I hope I never have to
make the choice between sending my 7 year old child to work in a factory or
letting her starve to death, but if it ever came down to it, the decision
would be easy, if sad.

>Same thing in the soviet union. Created plenty of wealth,
>but wasted it in a system that was very bureaucractic and

The Soviet Union built many of huge dams. They built them in the wrong place.
The Soviet Union built the largest steel mills in the world. They built them
at a time when the world did not need more steel. Both projects, and many,
many, more turned into wealth absorbers not wealth generators, but that's
what happens when politicians think they're smarter than the market. How
could it be otherwise?

>So you think Libertarism will minimize force?

There are no guarantees in life, but there is reason for optimism. It's easy
to vote for some idiot politician who says he will stop your neighbor from
sinning, it's much harder to shell out cold hard cash for it. For example, in
this democracy many towns have laws against women wearing string bikinis on
the beach, and it's simple to see why, there are plenty of prudes and it
doesn't cost them anything to vote. Now let's consider this in a world of
anarchy. The prude is considering 2 PPA's that are identical except for one
thing, one has a decency patrol to harass women on the beach 20 miles from
his home, the other doesn't but uses the money saved to send an extra
security patrol through his neighborhood at 3Am. The prude would have to be
very prudish indeed to pick the first PPA.

>If a person builds an energy efficient house without taking
>too much resources from everybody else, we'll be the first
>to applaud. We won't confiscate it

As time goes on your ideas are becoming less clear to me. If I'm a harder
worker than you and a better architect than you, then the house I build will
be better than your house. If private property is not allowed then your claim
to the great house I just built is every bit as strong as mine, if you have a
bigger family than I do, then your claim is even stronger and you can take it
from me, or at least you can try, but if you want me to abandon my new
dwelling you're going to need some firepower. I don't think I'm unusual
in that regard.

The world you are describing is a fairy tale land, where everybody loves
everybody, nobody is selfish, everybody works hard, everybody is equally
talented, the correct decisions are always made, and most incredible of all,
everybody is always in perfect agreement about what is fair and what is not.

Ever notice that when somebody talks about what is fair, it always just
happens to be to the personal advantage of the speaker. Quite a coincidence.
I'll bet a baseball player has never in the history of the world complained
to the umpire " You must be blind! It's not fair, I was clearly out at home
base, yet you said I was safe and that we won the game, you're giving our team
an unfair advantage. We should louse. Your call was grossly unfair you bum! ".

>if it's a great house, then we'll all pitch in and help
>everyone get a good house too.

What's this "we" business. I had to sweat blood building my house, and
I'm not in the mood to build another one for you for free. Build your own
damn house.

>they'll get angry. Hell hath no fury like an anarcho-syndicalist
>commune scorned.

That I believe. It's a pity the people of France didn't believe it after
their revolution, or the people in the Soviet Union during The Terror in the
1920's, or the people of Germany in the 1930's at the start of The Holocaust,
or the people in China after the Cultural Revolution, or ...

>everybody, I guess, is a Thought Police, because when you
>screw us, we want to know.

Big Brother Is Watching You. War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is

>It's just extended democracy.

Democracy sucks. Extending it doesn't help.

John K Clark

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