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What Individualism Is Not • Frank Chodorov

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posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
I'm fairly well read and educated but will not even pretend to understand what is being said here:


The predisposition to vituperate laissez-faire is engrained in the miseducated but, hardly dogma yet. The near immediate failure of nearly every socialist policy is grating on even the most mindless state sycophants.


Sorry, but you're going to have to dumb it down a tad if you want folks like me to get the gist of your thread. On the other hand if your goal was to talk over the heads of most of your readers then you've had a smashing success.



In truth, it is nothing more than a supercilious disparagement intended to provoke bickering.

As it happens, I believe that is the only way to achieve some degree of dialog on topics as apparently esoteric as what I would have thought were sacred.




posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 01:37 AM
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originally posted by: greencmp

The principal that underlies all non-economic activity is political. That is, anything which denies economics is necessarily a morally or ethically motivated action and is therefore political.

Since private property in the means of production and economics alone unencumbered by the necessity of impetus, justification or explanation has proven to be the most productive mechanism, any society which embraces it benefits enormously.
What I am suggesting is that we try that other extreme, the completely free economy. It does not require us to be immoral at all rather, it is the only system that by its very nature automatically discourages foul play.


I want to be sure I am correctly understanding what you said...so with this you mean that "morality" and "politics" are synonymous?
I have never heard that point of view before. It is thought provoking.

I have had the perception, up to now, that they are not. That even though a basic value system of a culture will influence what type of political system they install, the morals of the culture can work independantly.

I mean, like what I have observed here, to use an example- there are insurance companies, as we have in the US, and there are mutuals, (one works for profit, the others not). But because of the cultural morals, the people choose mutuals predominantly. So much so that when I asked people about it, they claim there are no for profit insurance companies in France! I looked into it and they do exist, but are very few and unpopular).

This means they are free to exist and operate... but the people value paying for a person to have a decent salary they are fine with, but not for them to get very rich doing what they see as just moving paper around.
The products made within the country are much more expensive because of taxes, but the people, by a grand majority, buy only those and refuse to buy ones that are imported.
They prefer paying more for service or products by a local artisans, then to pay less for factory made or chain owned services.


Things like this, that I observe make me feel there is a split between the system and the morality of the people. Why I refer to it as a Capitalist economy, with a Socialist culture. The culture holds a very high value upon social conscience, and consider that the individual should consider the whole before the self. This effects the markets - even without the use of laws or legal restrictions.

There are legal restrictions, however- like pharmaceutical companies, doctors, lawyers,alcohol and cigarette manufacturers, are not allowed to advertise publicly. To protect the people from being manipulated into believing they have needs they do not. So there is some restrictions, all the same.

But my point being, if you have a true free market, and a cultural value system based upon individualism, you miss that balancing force, and it makes for totally different market results.

I guess that is why I will tend to focus on collective morals a bit more in such discussions. The idea that an individual with only his own well being in mind will somehow naturally have a beneficial effect on the society indirectly doesn't quite seem to work out in reality as well as in theory. (just as much as the self sacrificing citizen with only concern for the society didn't work either- we all have both individual and social drives, and repressing one or the other doesn't stop them from existing and just moving into hidden unbridled expressions).
edit on 16-3-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

You are not alone, that is the prevailing wisdom held by the majority of enlightened socially conscious morally justified ethical market advocates.

"Economics is not politics. One is a science, concerned with the immutable and constant laws of nature that determine the production and distribution of wealth; the other is the art of ruling. One is amoral, the other is moral. Economic laws are self-operating and carry their own sanctions, as do all natural laws, while politics deals with man-made and man-manipulated conventions. As a science, economics seeks understanding of invariable principles; politics is ephemeral, its subject matter being the day-to-day relations of associated men. Economics, like chemistry, has nothing to do with politics.

The intrusion of politics into the field of economics is simply an evidence of human ignorance or arrogance, and is as fatuous as an attempt to control the rise and fall of tides. Since the beginning of political institutions, there have been attempts to fix wages, control prices, and create capital, all resulting in failure. Such undertakings must fail because the only competence of politics is in compelling men to do what they do not want to do or to refrain from doing what they are inclined to do, and the laws of economics do not come within that scope. They are impervious to coercion. Wages and prices and capital accumulations have laws of their own, laws which are beyond the purview of the policeman."

-Frank Chodorov, Economics vs. Politics (sorry to drop another excerpt on you but, it is the best way to explain)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 06:57 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

I'm sure you've heard of Engel's Law? It talks about the elasticity of a product or good. Your example of an artist's artwork is an example of a product with a pretty low elasticity of demand. Therefore the artist controlling a monopoly doesn't effect much because people recognize that they don't need that product as much as the price goes up.

Bread is a similar story since it is only one type of food. People can just buy another type of food as price for it goes up. If you are going to instead talk about a monopoly in the automotive industry THEN we have a high elasticity of demand and monopoly power becomes a threat.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: TerryMcGuire

My first thought is pretty simple on this and it is just that people mature.

Children develop through various degrees of dependence and defiance, rebellion and compliance. Adults appear to be no different.

Would any of you try to tell me that your lives are currently being directed by advertising?


Yes indeed. SOME people DO mature. However, others may not. The degree of balance between those states you mention, defiance, rebellion and compliance guide maturing. To much of one, arrests our development. Many people are to defiant while others may be to compliant. But the point of my post was to point out that when we do not know we are being coerced we do not learn to defy it.

You ask 'Would any of you try to tell me that your lives are currently being directed by advertising?'. That is also my point. Just who would admit that they are being directed by advertising? No, we all want to show that we are adult, that we are independent citizens, mature individuals.

The advertising industry is huge. HUGE, and they employ people with deep knowledge of human behavior, what buttons to push, what strings to pull, the most in depth scientific understanding of the human psyche. They craft commercials to the n'th degree to slither into our minds and guide us to purchase. And to a high degree without our conscious agreement. They seek to reach us on an unconscious level. Our conscious minds in many cases will not recognize our unconscious manipulation.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

You are so right that there are many many ways people are influenced to act in certain ways -- from Bernay and Ericksson to LGAT and NLP and beyond. But it comes back to us and our free will... and ego. It happens because we allow it to happen, individually and collectively. We could stop it if we wanted. But who really wants to? Too many people like the conditioning because it makes them feel better somehow.

When my kids were young, I taught them to "spot the lie" in commercials, and we made a game of it. They got it then and they get it now. "Look Mom! They want us to believe that if we eat their cereal we'll be big and strong like a tiger!" The funniest one was for a beer commercial -- "Look Mom! They want us to believe that if we drink their beer that pretty girls will like us!" Today, my kids can be a little cynical, but they're not suckers. They still "spot the lie," and thank me for teaching them that.

But how many people really want to "spot the lie?" Especially when that lie makes them feel superior to others and therefore better about themselves? It's not just in advertising either.

When fraudclosure was running rampant and people lives were being destroyed, how many people blamed "deadbeat homeowners" buying their "McMansions" who couldn't make their payments? Did any of these people have personal knowledge of everyone else's mortgage? Nope. Did they take any time or effort to understand how the banksters were creating artificial defaults? Nope. Did they take the time and effort to see how these homeowners were being ramrodded thru courts where they could not even get a fair hearing on the evidence? Nope. And do any of them realize that this problem has not been fixed and will come back to bite them in their butt? Nope.

We do use our free will. Just not always wisely. Consider the Stanford Experiment:


Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building for a period of 7–14 days. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond Zimbardo's expectations, as the guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, at the request of the guards, readily harassed other prisoners who attempted to prevent it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his role as the superintendent, permitted the abuse to continue.


I'll bet the vast majority of posters here have been bullied and harassed by other posters simply for stating an opinion they didn't like... or, even worse, for stating facts they didn't like. I've been called "evil." How many other posters will pile on like a dog fight? How many posters will temper their remarks as a result? Or just stop posting?

I understand the influence of others, but in the end, it still comes back to our own free will.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

I'm sure you've heard of Engel's Law? It talks about the elasticity of a product or good. Your example of an artist's artwork is an example of a product with a pretty low elasticity of demand. Therefore the artist controlling a monopoly doesn't effect much because people recognize that they don't need that product as much as the price goes up.

Bread is a similar story since it is only one type of food. People can just buy another type of food as price for it goes up. If you are going to instead talk about a monopoly in the automotive industry THEN we have a high elasticity of demand and monopoly power becomes a threat.


Ok, how about you pick some examples and I will try to disprove them, fair enough?
edit on 16-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire

originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: TerryMcGuire

My first thought is pretty simple on this and it is just that people mature.

Children develop through various degrees of dependence and defiance, rebellion and compliance. Adults appear to be no different.

Would any of you try to tell me that your lives are currently being directed by advertising?


Yes indeed. SOME people DO mature. However, others may not. The degree of balance between those states you mention, defiance, rebellion and compliance guide maturing. To much of one, arrests our development. Many people are to defiant while others may be to compliant. But the point of my post was to point out that when we do not know we are being coerced we do not learn to defy it.

You ask 'Would any of you try to tell me that your lives are currently being directed by advertising?'. That is also my point. Just who would admit that they are being directed by advertising? No, we all want to show that we are adult, that we are independent citizens, mature individuals.

The advertising industry is huge. HUGE, and they employ people with deep knowledge of human behavior, what buttons to push, what strings to pull, the most in depth scientific understanding of the human psyche. They craft commercials to the n'th degree to slither into our minds and guide us to purchase. And to a high degree without our conscious agreement. They seek to reach us on an unconscious level. Our conscious minds in many cases will not recognize our unconscious manipulation.


But, this line of reasoning is only justifiable by categorically reducing the vast majority of the population to automatons, fools and human clay. While these presumptions are the life blood of socialist philosophy, they have no place in any understanding of human nature which does not expressly recognize the automatic subservience of the subject to the prima facie benevolent overseer.

Clearly, I give a lot more credit to people than you do and I believe that is the stumbling block to this whole conversation.

It would seem that the presumption of ineptitude is the crux of all of the arguments which make the case that there are some people who are presumed to know better how another group of people should live their lives.

I simply disagree wholeheartedly with that assessment.
edit on 16-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Bluesma

What it sounds like the French have is a strong degree of Nationalism. I'll bet they take pride in France and being French and that in part expresses itself in their choice to patronize French artisans and French goods and services.

You can't replicate that in America very well these days because our children are raised to believe that American is a bad nation that has raped the rest of the world and it is wrong to be too proud to be American or take too much pride in anything American. So tell me why that would foster and strong nationalistic need to go out and seek and buy uniquely American products?

Also explain to me where raising a generation to have a strong degree of nationalistic pride and identity is different from advertising? In one you are fostering pride in a national brand while the other fosters an interest in corporate brand.

edit on 16-3-2015 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Actually I want to apologize. It has been a while since I studied engel's law and I am misusing it here. Please disregard the line of thought I was walking down.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:35 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Actually I want to apologize. It has been a while since I studied engel's law and I am misusing it here. Please disregard the line of thought I was walking down.


No worries, the whole monopoly subject is complicated, I have been thinking of making a thread about it but, I am not yet completely comfortable with the topic myself. Indeed, I presume that there must be some examples that I would be forced to concede though, I haven't found them yet. Only the military jumps out at me and that is specifically described in our constitution so as to remove all doubt.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.
edit on 16-3-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: ImaFungi
a reply to: greencmp

What does laissez faire free market capitalism say the nature of law should be, or no laws at all? How does the nature of law be born of and related to and exist beneficially with laissez faire free market capitalism? Does law and the nature of law come into existence via free market commerce?


The wikipedia article for Laissez-faire is actually pretty good.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 09:48 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.


The free market argument against an exploitative monopoly is that; whenever a company demands a higher than fair price, other companies have an opportunity to start up in that market because the high prices offer high profits, and the new companies need only charge less or provide better service to receive assured profits.

A good monopoly respects virtual competition, where a single company that supplies an entire market maintains fair prices in order to keep out new competitors.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 10:38 PM
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1. Humans are herd animals. Humans alone die. Why do u think we formed tribes, then cities and govs?

2. The free market does not exist. The free market is based on monopolies. A company undercuts its competition, or buys them out, which then reduces or eliminates any free market choice that might have existed. They then write laws giving themselves advantages over the competition and get the politicians they donate to to pass them.

How many radio stations do you get? Only 43 are independently owned in all the u.s.

Regulations on business are just like laws for real people.

The founders hated large corps and strictly regulated them. They could only sell one thing. They could only be in business for 30 yrs. They could not donate money to politics.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.


The free market argument against an exploitative monopoly is that; whenever a company demands a higher than fair price, other companies have an opportunity to start up in that market because the high prices offer high profits, and the new companies need only charge less or provide better service to receive assured profits.

A good monopoly respects virtual competition, where a single company that supplies an entire market maintains fair prices in order to keep out new competitors.



Not possible.

The monopoly will buy the competition, get their paid for politicians to block the application, or drop prices till the competition folds then jack the price back up.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.


The free market argument against an exploitative monopoly is that; whenever a company demands a higher than fair price, other companies have an opportunity to start up in that market because the high prices offer high profits, and the new companies need only charge less or provide better service to receive assured profits.

A good monopoly respects virtual competition, where a single company that supplies an entire market maintains fair prices in order to keep out new competitors.



This is my understanding as well. In every example of the manifestation of monopoly prices I have found that the entity in question was operating with official sanction as an authorized state sponsored monopoly.

In the absence of the support of the threat of state violence, monopoly prices are self defeating.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:07 PM
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originally posted by: stormson

originally posted by: Semicollegiate

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.


The free market argument against an exploitative monopoly is that; whenever a company demands a higher than fair price, other companies have an opportunity to start up in that market because the high prices offer high profits, and the new companies need only charge less or provide better service to receive assured profits.

A good monopoly respects virtual competition, where a single company that supplies an entire market maintains fair prices in order to keep out new competitors.



Not possible.

The monopoly will buy the competition, get their paid for politicians to block the application, or drop prices till the competition folds then jack the price back up.


Nothing changes when a monopoly buys out the competition, except that the monopoly spent a bunch of money to get more stuff that it doesn't need. The situation remains, if the monopoly charges too high of a price, then new competitors have a very easy shot at for sure profits, no matter how many companies get bought out.

There are no politicians with power in a free market laissez faire economy.

Dropping prices could put a competitor out of business, but then a subsequent competitor gets to buy the bankruptcy at pennies on the dollar and undercut the monopoly even more than the average start up would.
edit on 16-3-2015 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:10 PM
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originally posted by: stormson
1. Humans are herd animals. Humans alone die. Why do u think we formed tribes, then cities and govs?

2. The free market does not exist. The free market is based on monopolies. A company undercuts its competition, or buys them out, which then reduces or eliminates any free market choice that might have existed. They then write laws giving themselves advantages over the competition and get the politicians they donate to to pass them.

How many radio stations do you get? Only 43 are independently owned in all the u.s.

Regulations on business are just like laws for real people.

The founders hated large corps and strictly regulated them. They could only sell one thing. They could only be in business for 30 yrs. They could not donate money to politics.


The negative circumstances which you are describing are all outcomes of regulatory preference made possible by state ordinances.

Individual people also become more corrupt when subjected to regulation, they must if they wish to stay in business.

Regulations are intended to make a market less volatile but result in limiting the available pool of competitive actors.

The founders hated the idea of a central government having too much power, being able to print fiat currency was the major concern.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 11:13 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: Semicollegiate

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

Yes, monopolies are what I truly fear in an open market economy... There is a fine line that must be walked to avoid them and it is tough to maintain it. With Engel's Law, I remember talking about it in my Macroeconomics class, but I guess I didn't fully remember what it was and posted it way too quickly. It is a neat concept though, but it has to do with income and demand rather than supply and price.


The free market argument against an exploitative monopoly is that; whenever a company demands a higher than fair price, other companies have an opportunity to start up in that market because the high prices offer high profits, and the new companies need only charge less or provide better service to receive assured profits.

A good monopoly respects virtual competition, where a single company that supplies an entire market maintains fair prices in order to keep out new competitors.



This is my understanding as well. In every example of the manifestation of monopoly prices I have found that the entity in question was operating with official sanction as an authorized state sponsored monopoly.

In the absence of the support of the threat of state violence, monopoly prices are self defeating.


The original definition of monopoly dates back to the age of Mercantilism, when it meant "permission to engage in business by the government". At that time, there were often direct taxes involved and getting permission by the government usually meant the requirement or ability (depending on how you look at it) to collect taxes.







 
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