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Jul 07, 2006


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John Lunt

Great post. The reality is that it's just a question who has the power. Whether it is in the hands of capitalists or socialists.

At least the capitalists create wealth. Socialists tend to squander it - badly.

Chavez has amazing resources in Venezuela. I'm willing to bet they will be in serious economic problems within 10 years - or less.

Another point, look at what "capitalists" like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are doing with their resources. They'll pull off stuff no socialist state could.

Michael Kruse

Thanks John. Gates' and Buffet's gifts were not a compelled redistribution, but rather wealthy people exhibiting virtuous behavior of their own volition. Because the money is their money, and they are shrewd investors, you can be darn sure they will invest in enterprises that will get a bigger bang per buck than the money would get if it were confiscated by government entities and allocated by political operatives.

How many others will this set an example for and inspire to do the same? I hope all of inspres all of us with whatever talents we have been entrusted with.

Good to hear from you!

Ken Klewin

I'm also a Wright fan who finds his understanding of economics disturbing. There is a disturbing tendency for many folks to see that "helping the poor" means attacking the only system that actually has a record of making life better for large numbers of them. Why is it so hard to see that God works through his eikons to further His plan for creation?

Michael Kruse

Ken I think there are a number of reasons and that is part of what I am trying to address in this and the next few posts. If you have any thoughts on this I would love to hear them.

will spotts

For me, a working definition would be helpful for the terms "individualism" and "materialistic individualism". I say this because I need to be clear on what exactly you are addressing. I have seen something very sinister, harmful, philosophically bankrupt, and pretty much evil advanced recently under the fashionable rubric of "community", so I tend to react more strongly to certain terms. I know that is not what you mean, but I'm having trouble distinguishing.


Michael Kruse

Good questions. By materialistic I am referring to a mindset that is secularist and focused on the material aspects and realities of life, largely to the exclusion of what we might call spriitual and transcendant aspects of exsitence.

Earlier in the series (way back) I wrote that God created us as individuals to be in community. Both individuality and community have to be held in tension and integrated in God who is "the three in one."

The individuality I refer to here is the Enlightenment ideal of the autonomous object individual reasoning his/her way to truth and meaning.

I hope that helps.

will spotts

Indeed. Many thanks.

As long as both are respected I have no problem with it. And yes, you're a sociologist, so community is kind of a stock in trade . . ..

I have seen formulations of community that involve the annihilation of the individual -- in which case the individual is expected to squeeze into the community role, and deny the truth of his or her experience.

Thanks for the clarification on material reductionist views as well.

Michael Kruse

"...annihilation of the individual..."

'I am Locutus of Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.'

Something along those lines? *grin*

will spotts

Yeah, that about sums it up.

I was thinking more in terms of Jonestown . . . but a Star Trek analogy will do nicely.

David Giesen

Two things . . . and I'm back on the subject because it is expressly relevant. Distinguishing between gifts of nature and things made by humanity liberates one's political economic speaking and thinking to at once reconcile a species of communitarianism with individualism.

To socialize economic rent 1) deprives the individual of nothing the individual has produced; 2) eliminates non-merit based advantage; 3) liberates competition to operate based upon merit rather than upon the skewing asset of privatized economic rent; 4) abolishes the single most corrupting influence upon politics, namely the private-interest pursuit of unearned access to economic rent; and 5) recognizes the objective reality of community (the economic rent of land is a function of the geographic, three-dimensional relationship of people).

Second,addressing a comment far above, I challenge the assumption that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have earned their billions without having significantly taken advantage of the socially absurd norm that privatized economic rent is morally sound and economically cohernet. True, a lone assassin may do the deed more efficiently than a host of senators (J.C. . . . Julius Caesar) might, but murder is murder and mere market monopoly ownership, or access to earth at less than full economic rent paid to society hardly represents superior genuine business acumen.

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