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Rated: E · Book · Philosophy · #2259982
The heart dreams of socialism. The mind knows that only capitalism can truly bring peace.
Another day, another debate. Some of the players are new, while others remain the same.
Let us investigate some old ideas, with some new perspectives.

(Lone Cypress Workshop):   This is my second attempt at trying to interact with a debate, which sounds a bit irrational, and I am not here to refute that. It is so difficult to find someone who is capable of sustaining a conversation of pretty much any subject, but no more so than a reasoned argument about something like Socialism or Capitalism.

My first foray was a bit more emotional, and I must admit that I let my emotions get the better of me at times, but the socialists involved were, from my perspective, completely unprepared to speak on the issues, and there were certain aspects of their personalities that I found wanting, as in unacceptable and repugnant. I hope to improve on my own performance with this new attempt.

While I found the opposition in this instance to be a bit more of a challenge, and better informed, to some extent, I still found them to be hesitant and resistant to being more engaged in the fundamental aspects of the debate itself. Both instances were to speak of the ‘morality’ of the respective ideologies, and it may be my bias talking, but I found the capitalists willing to spend time speaking of this component of morality, while the socialists were more interested in degrading and deconstructing capitalism, with unlimited historical misconceptions, more wishful thinking than substantial and verifiable information, when prosecuting their own positions on their own ideologies, which seems somewhat disconcerting, since I would think that would be, possibly, the more important objective in presenting a philosophy and ideology that has difficulty in being fully understood by the general public.

Having said that, I am here, not to promote capitalism, which I will be compelled to do often, but to learn about the philosophy of socialism, and to find an understanding of the ideology that to this point, and we are talking decades here, has eluded me. It may surprise some, but I actually think that the whole concept of socialism is something that has a chance of being implemented within a structured vision of societal interaction.

This is not to say that I agree with the principles in any rational way, because I do not. I find it anathema to my own perspective on life and society. While I think it possible, in essence, from a theoretical point of view, it tends to break down quickly when the absolute necessities to make it work are addressed and investigated. It cannot work without the almost unanimous agreement of its members, and that, at least at this point in time, human beings are just not capable of doing. This impacts my own position in relation to Objectivism and capitalism as well, and that does, indeed, make me a bit uncomfortable, and yet that is the reality as we speak.

In lieu of that unanimous understanding, the only way the ideology of socialism can be an alternative to what we have today, it is necessary to utilize a fair amount of coercion, too much, to even have a chance of success with its implementation. I hope to bring this perspective into much of my observations as the debate unveils its relevance through the comments of the participants.

The concept of coercion, or the ‘initiation of force’, as presented by Objectivism and, to some degree, capitalism, is one of the absolutes that need to be discussed and debated. This is an imperative if we expect to ever have any hope of coming up with a template for a life for ourselves as individuals as well as within a society, where freedom is maximized, and regulation and restrictions are minimized. I can accept no alternatives that do not at least make the attempt to achieve such a result.

There is so much more that I wish to present, even as a prelude, but it will already be a long and tedious journey, speaking of these things in the context of this debate, and I guess the best way to start is to find a beginning. I will offer some background on the players, as was done in the debate itself, for those that might wish to avail themselves of the information.

October 30, 2021 at 11:31am
The Players are Christopher Hitchens and John Judis for the socialists and John Ridpath and Harry Binswanger for the capitalists. Add an objectivist in the guise of yours truly, and we have our speakers. Morality is the issue ... [Read more]
Opening Comments: Harry Binswanger
October 30, 2021 at 11:37am
Dr. Binswanger believes that mankind realizes his purpose through his rationality. He has a right to exist and to a personal and rational self-interest. He lives by his own decisions and on his own terms. ... [Read more]
Opening Comments: Mr. John Judis
October 29, 2021 at 10:44am
Mr. Judis considers himself a radical socialist, and that he is. He sees a future socialism that will arise from the ashes of a failed capitalism, and yet incorporate many of the aspects of that failed attempt ... [Read more]
Opening Comments: Mr. John Ridpath
October 29, 2021 at 10:52am
Mr. Ridpath finds the two fundamental conflicts between the ideologies rest over the issue of the initiation of physical force and the fact that the socialist perspective seems to embrace the inevitability of it ... [Read more]
Opening Statements: Mr. Christopher Hitchens
October 29, 2021 at 10:59am
Mr. Hitchens is an unyielding opponent to the concept of capitalism. His belief that socialism is the only ideology that is capable of cooperation and seems to embrace the collective over the individual under all circumstances ... [Read more]
Rebuttal: Dr. Harry Binswanger
October 29, 2021 at 11:04am
Dr. Binswanger sees a distinct difference between the camps as to equality. He rejects the imperative of exploitation and greed within economies and feels the concept of property is integral to a life of peace and harmony ... [Read more]
Rebuttal: Mr. John Judis
October 29, 2021 at 11:15am
Mr. Judis believes in a single concept of selfisness and is reluctant to accept capitalism as a philosophical ideal, simply recycled feudalism. A radical new socialism is his future, and capitalism exists only as a historical failure ... [Read more]
Rebuttal: Mr. John Ridpath
October 29, 2021 at 11:21am
Dr. Ridpath questions the issue of socialist liberty and requests clarification on the ideological values. The concept of self-sacrifice eludes him greatly and especially in the context of the state versus the individual ... [Read more]
Rebuttal: Mr. Christopher Hitchens
October 29, 2021 at 11:28am
Mr. Hitchens makes the distinction that altruism and the concept of 'from each according to ability and to each according to need' are not the same, but embraces both. His belief is capitalism is built on exploitation and theft ... [Read more]
Audience Questions & Responses - ( I thru IV )
October 29, 2021 at 11:37am
Questions about which ideology imposes coercion upon members, the idea socialists believe morality is superfluous, the comparison of liberal political view in relation to the debate, and what concepts may compare religion with morality ... [Read more]
Audience Questions & Responses - ( V thru VIII )
October 29, 2021 at 11:47am
More questions about the violence perpetrated by socialism throughout history, the embrace of socialism by third world countries, peripheral issues as to Indian colonialism and if Marx fits into the conversation ... [Read more]
Audience Questions & Responses - ( IX thru XIII )
October 29, 2021 at 11:54am
Questions about the disabled under capitalism and objectivism, the concept of environmentalism in the context of the debate and the importance of such as Stalin and Lenin in relation to the issues. The conflict between altruism and welfare... [Read more]
Closing Statements: John Judis
October 29, 2021 at 12:03pm
Mr. Judis inserts negative aspects of mankind, such as selfishness and the pursuit of profit as our nature and characterizs objectivism as as 'utopian' while suggesting that the answer just may be altruism and loving one another ... [Read more]
Closing Statements: Christopher Hitchens
October 29, 2021 at 12:09pm
Mr. Hitchens again rejects the concept of capitalism as an 'idea', dismisses rational self-interest out-of-hand, and tries to make the connection of capitalism with any instance of depravity from the beginning of time ... [Read more]
Closing Statements: Harry Binswanger
October 29, 2021 at 12:16pm
Mr. Binswanger remarks on Mr. Hitchens seeming to conflict with his own comments on determinism and makes a quick contrast with the concept of free will and the ability to think and decide for oneself ... [Read more]
Closing Statements: John Ridpath
October 29, 2021 at 12:30pm
Mr. Ridpath refutes objectivism is hopelessly utopian. He supports the social requirements of existence. He addresses the philosophical base of both ideologies, the socialists want acceptance, the capitalist only rational thought ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - A
October 29, 2021 at 12:42pm
Political power and corruption. Regulation of the state and the existence of idealism. Imperatives of wealth in relation to expropriation, exploitation and non-physical coercion. Do socialist states exist? Free-markets and the nanny state ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - B
October 29, 2021 at 12:53pm
European healthcare and taxation, civilization and colonization. The means of production and productivity itself. concepts of rational self-interest and what constitutes a debate? The issue of free will ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - C
October 30, 2021 at 9:54am
Defining rational self-interest, the relationship between Marx, socialism and exploitation. Difficulties understanding the concept of capitalism. Personal vs. Private vs. Public property. Inappropriate players within economics ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - D
October 30, 2021 at 10:02am
Colonialism in India. Economic and political equivalency. Was Hitlers' National Socialism actually socialism? the importance of education, public education and private education. Nature and Henry George. The dangers of government ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - E
October 30, 2021 at 11:16am
Capitalist benefits and the affects on poverty, choice and convenience. Logistics of small business. Downside to altruism and envy. What is greed? Wealth in the court system. More healthcare. Is that socialism you're touting? ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - F
October 30, 2021 at 10:23am
Drugs in society. Force as integral aspect of socialism. Social Security and Medicare, socialism or capitalism? Do freedom and liberty exist in the collective mindset? Are they necessary? Should altruism be forced or completely voluntary? ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - G
October 30, 2021 at 11:13am
Freedoms and responsibility. Is socialism moral? Individuality and community are not exclusive. Objectivism and anarchy. What are life advantages? Can money buy a good education? Has socialism ever fixed anything? What is fair? ... [Read more]
Reader - Online Commentary - H
October 30, 2021 at 11:24am
Capitalism as a system or a philosophy. Is corruption more a socialist or capitalist paradigm? Is the concept of evil a component of economics? the genesis of the concepts of freedom and liberty. Is morality the system or the players? ... [Read more]

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