Young Master Smeet
Forum Replies Created
September 28, 2012 at 9:21 am in reply to: “socialism in one country” #89959
I always supposed the answer is the same as what would happen when (as is much more likely) socialists gain control of local authorities: we democratise administration, use resources available to make concrete plans for how production for use could be administered, and promote socialism generally. Such local adminuistration to go on (under a sort of capitalist basis) until the worldwide movement is ready to make to global change.September 28, 2012 at 8:17 am in reply to: Argumentation #89896
I’ve disagreed with Robin before about this ‘extended gift’ trope, so far as I am concerned, we are about breaking the link between labour and return outright. In our workplaces, right now, we don’t treat it as a gift economy. We co-operate (laterally) with our colleagues to get work done: we approach the person whose task is designated or who can achieve an end, and ask them to do things.This is faintly relevant to the main topic under consideration. In hunter gatherer tribes, so I believe, a general rule operates called the Own Kill Rule (or some variations on it).The principle is, if you kill it, you don’t get to eat it. Maybe hunter gatherers are just immoral in completely repudiating Lockean property principles. Of course, this works because you get to eat what others kill (either through a name relationship, or through clan connections). but that’s not a gift, because, you don’t have a choice, that’s just the arrangement, and it works because it’s in everyone’s generalised interest to keep the system going, the first to defect will be the loser.While I’m on this kick, I recall reading an account of, I think it was a polynesian man, who didn’t own a thing. the land he worked was his uncles, his trees belonged to his cousin, his spade was his neighbour’s dog’s, etc. He had full control and use of these things, but if asked, not a tiny bit actually belonged to him.September 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89882
It was exactly the same argument as before, just with longer words.As regards socialism. I think it would be incompatible with the founding logic:Quote:we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
I leave you to unpack the connotations of that.September 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89880
Go on, I’ll have one last crack.What I’ve been trying to get at is that “Self ownership” involves a category error. Being “Property” is an aspect/characteristic of Objects, not Subjects. To claim to own a person is inherently, thus, to objectify them, and deny their subjectivity. To claim “Self ownership” is fundamentally to internalise the objectification, or, alternatively, to alienate your self from your Being. If slavery is civic/symbollic death, self-ownership is suicide (emotive fallacy).September 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89878Fabian wrote:Quote:How are you applying the psychologists fallacy here?
You are dismissing an idea without adressing the idea itself, but insted appealing to the “sinister motives” of it’s supporters. As I said, if someone has the most ulterior motive possible to claim that 2+2=4, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that he’s rights, or if he would have the purest of motives to claim that 2+2=5, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that he is wrong.
That doesn’t tally with the psychologists fallacy as described on Wikipedia, nor with what I was doing. I no-where referred to “sinister motives” but to logical outcomes of holding a set of ideas, or to the essentially ideational character of certain concepts. If the consequence of a widely held idea that there were an invisible bridge over the English channel was that hundreds of people stepped off the cliffs of Dover, it would not be a pyschologist fallacy to point that out. I think the fallacy you are actually imputing to me is a mix of ad hominem and appealing to the gallery, neither of which I was doing.September 25, 2012 at 9:43 am in reply to: Argumentation #89873Fabian wrote:Young Master Smeet wrote:My cyber example (above) set out what would be required to truly own another person.
No, you talked about what would be required to truly control another person. Which is not a prequsit in owning another person, which was (and is) practiced in millions of cases.
And property involves the right and power to dispose of and control an article, exclusively. If I sell myself, and yet retain the capacity to scratch my arse, then I am exercising control over someone else’s property, illegitimately.Fabian wrote:And this nonsense has what to do with slavery (which, as I said, was, and is, a very real and practicable thing)?
The topic of discussion is “self-ownership”. However, my example of ‘owning a peice of the sun’ is apposite to slavery, etc. Formally, it would be possible to buy an unenforceable property rights, legally. that would have very little to do with the reality of substantial ownership.Quote:I really hope you are not being so presumptuous as to claim that you know the exact nature of every case of debt bondage and selling one self into slavery in history.
I hope so too, and I don’t understand why you have raised that irrelevent aspiration, since I made no such claim. But I do note your return to ad hominem argumentation.Quote:Being “forced” by biology not to be able to fly or breathe under water is not really coersion nor is it limitation of anyone’s freedom. The majority of barters and trades that exist are “forced” by people’s need to eat, drink, be protected from the elements, and can be said to be “coercion by circumstance”, but you’d just end up sounding ridiculous and look like someone just babbling nonsense to promote some ideology, in the lack of rational arguments.
Apologies, I wasn’t clear, the circumstances of coercion were a deliberate policy to dominate and control by the slave taker.Quote:Another demagogical non-argument which is basically a psychologist fallacy.
How are you applying the psychologists fallacy here? You’ve just sacrificed thousands of electrons demonstrating that self ownership includes the capacity of selling yourself into slavery, so it seems evident to me that that seriously blunts its emancipatory connotations.Anyway, I think we’ve hit circularity, thanks for the discussion.September 25, 2012 at 7:20 am in reply to: Argumentation #89870Fabian wrote:Which is irrelevant to the question being that property is a normative ethical concept, and you’re talking about descriptive attributes. Being beaten up doesn’t make beating up ok/ legitimate/ right/ ethical/ moral; describing facts doesn’t address the question of whether some concepts are justified or not.
Excepting as when action does not align with the properties concepts in question. My cyber example (above) set out what would be required to truly own another person. Otherwise, the ghost in the shell retains real ownership.I could, juridicially, stake out a claim to a portion fo the surface of the sun, but that would be merely an imaginary claim.Or, a more blunt example, you cannot rape an orange, so discussing the ethical implications of that act is moot.Fabian wrote:Seems you don’t know much about history (including modern) of slavery. Selling yourself into slavery is mentioned in the code of Hammurabi, Codex Iuris Civilis mentions three types of slaves- those that were PoWs, those who were born slaves, and those who became slaves by selling themselver or as debt slaves. Even today there is multitude of debt slaves in the world.
I’d be more cautious, if I were you, as to staking claims to what people do or do not know based on the slender evidence of a short internet post (as you have done several times in this discussion), it undermines any confidence in your judgement. You can rebut a claim merely by stating the counter evidence without ad hominem commentary.As it happens, I am perfectly aware of the history of debt slavery, and the anthropological accounts of it that show it was an exercise in power, not a free sale (usually occurring as part of a deliberate policy of making slaves). It’s also questionable as to the extent the debt could be considered a market transaction, as opposed to a gift/dominance ritual.The point remains, that the debt slave did not “sell” themself, but were forced into slavery by circumstance. They were already under someone else’s thrall.However, this discussion does usefully illustrate that, far from carrying an emancipatory element, self-ownership is very much tied up in the ideology of dominance and class rule.September 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89862Quote:People sold themselves (their bodies, the same one you can shave) into slavery troughout history, to make money for their family, or by pledging themselves as collateral when taking a loan.
yet they also kept themselves, control of their own bodies, most specifically (and, to be frank, no one sold themself into slavery, they were taken and forced, always. Slavery is an exercise in power. Submission to power is not a free sale).If you sell me a newspaper, you leave the newspaper behind, you sell me, and you come with you, there is nothing left behind. The relationship is not remotely the same as a property/commodity relation.September 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89859Fabian wrote:As I said, it’s irrelevant whether the mind-body dualism is factual or metaphorical for the self-ownership (which means ownership of your body) principle to be put forward. Disregarding it on liguistical ground does nothing to disprove it. As one “anarcho”capitalist said- if to say that “we own ourselves” is nonsensical because we are ourselves, then it would be equaly nonsensical to say that we can shave ourselves, which we all both say and practice.
It is not a question of dualism or linguistics, it is to do with the properties of property. Property can be disposed of, transferred and owned and controlled. Whilst I can indeed shave myself, I cannot sell myself (without destroying myself as self).Now, as a matter of fact I do practice alienating myself and selling my labour power, but I don’t shave. Make of that what you will.If you will, I would counterpose Being to self ownership.September 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89856Quote:Looks to me like dodging debate, it’s slim.
Yet, singularly, you haven’t provided a refutation. Arguing about the rules of debate is a classic mechanism for dodging it.September 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm in reply to: Argumentation #89855Quote:There is nothing separate from you to do the owning (that is the substantive point, the inability to sell yourself is just the proof).
Sorry, remembered I was going to put this forward. Supposing you did sell yourself, to a weird cyber-punk doctor, who managed to subordinate your nervous system to another person’s control, every part of your body, including actions and thoughts would exist entirely at their cyber command. What of you would remain? My suggestion is nothing, you’d be effectively dead (as assuredly as if you sold your heart).As another wee point, this debate cannot be resolved factually, since it is primarily about how we see ourselves and our freedom. To someone who sees property as a good thing, seeing ourselves as property is a good thing. I spent years, once, arguing with an anarcho capitalist. Eventually we agreed that our fundamental premises regarding individualism versus collectivism were just insurmountable.I would say, though, that we do share one fundamental agreement with libertarians, which is that property is the route to liberty. The bone of contention is the possibility of universal emancipation via private versus collective property.September 24, 2012 at 11:41 am in reply to: Argumentation #89852Fabian wrote:Yet you can give as a gift or sell parts of “yourself”, like organs, blood, semen/ eggs, women can rent their uterus. It’s irrelevant whether the Lockean concept of mind not being the body is literal (like in the case of Locke, who was a Christian, or metaphorical), doesn’t change the fact that self-ownership principle has to be addressed with more then “it’s nonsense”.
Yes, you can sell parts of yourself, but they are products, you cannot sell yourself. You are you. There is nothing separate from you to do the owning (that is the substantive point, the inability to sell yourself is just the proof). On that basis, it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to dismiss the “self-ownership” principle as nonsense without further debate.If I wanted, I could develop it further into how it is just ideology and the natural extension of commodity fetishism. But you asked how to deal with it in debate, that’s how, stick doggedly to the key question, there is no part of you separate from you to do the owning.Fabian wrote:Quote:Property is a social phenomena, you can only have property in so far as other people recognise the fact and act accordingly.
This whole message of yours is stating of an opinion, without argumenting it, and without attacking the agruments of the oppossite opinion.
The substantive point was that property cannot be inherent, like a kidney, it only can exist when other people acknowledge it, hence it is inevitably social, thus we enter into Rousseau’s realm and the notion that property only exists at the grant of the community.I gave two quick propositions which rebut those arguments, no opinions. Those propositions are open for debate and disproof.September 24, 2012 at 8:14 am in reply to: Ethical questions #89846
Some of these matters are addressed in our pamphlet Women and Socialism which is a touch old. But, it seems to be the nearest thing we have as a formal statement, so:Quote:Clearly there are very real medical and ethical problems involved in the question of abortion and ultimately it is for the individuals themselves to decide. However these problems are exacerbated because of the nature of the society in which we live. In a sane world, probably no one would opt for abortion as a method of contraception. The fact that women are forced to do so in present society says something about that society and the conflicting pressures to which people are subjected; for example the cost and responsibility of parenthood, the ambivalent attitude towards contraception advice for young people and the lack of resources that are devoted to researching and developing new, safer and more effective alternatives to present methods of contraception.
More generally, I’d point out it isn’t the role of the socialist party to have an opinion on everything. Our aim is the emancipation of the working class, after that humans will (for the first time) have the genuine luxury of settling ethical questions, freed from economic necessity.We deliberately and consciously avoid drawing up blueprints for socialism, or saying that everyone will be vegan or carnivorous (for example).September 24, 2012 at 8:00 am in reply to: Argumentation #89849Fabian wrote:Being that world socialists put much weight in educating workers, spreading the idea, including through debates, were there any debates with or responses to “libertarians”, I would like to see what arguments you give against self-ownership principle, and private property as a deontological ethical theory.
Self ownership is nonsense and bunkum. I am myself, I cannot own myself. If I tried to sell myself, I’d still be me, I am inseparable from myself. This fact lies at the heart of Marx’ theory of alienation. In principle, within the wages system, we are meant to alienate our labour, and sell it. However, we come attached. Psychologically and aesthetically, we are aware of that.Self ownership libertarians often are into the tyranny of contract, after all, anyone can be free to make any contract, and so theoretically can sell themselves into perpetual slavery. Caveat Emptor applies, and just because a deal might be badly made doesn’t make it binding.Property is a social phenomena, you can only have property in so far as other people recognise the fact and act accordingly.September 19, 2012 at 10:33 am in reply to: Materialism, Determinism, Free Will #89785robbo203 wrote:Your conscious self, you say, is a “by-product of the facility for language”. While I struggle to understand how a “by product “of something cannot be said to exist if it really is a by product, language itself is a form of communication and communication exists by virtue of the existence of individuals who communicate between each other.. Language itself , in other words, is a by product of interacting individuals and presupposes them. It is not some wonderful gift from the gods handed down to a speechless race of human beings
Language existed before this particular lump of animated meat had to accomodate itself to it.robbo203 wrote:While I cant believe that what you are literally trying to do is deny your existence of an empirical material entity – that would be rather odd thing for a “materialist” to do – I take it that by “you” you mean a sense of selfhood or self-apprehension. Because it is an internalised construction developed through language and socialisation, this makes it an “illusion” in your view. In short, you cant actually touch feel or taste what you call your “self”. Therefore its not real – it doesnt “exist”
No, not because I cannot touch it, but because that so much of what the meat does is not controlled by the talking voice in the head, which really is a specialist in retroactive justifications (the owl of Minerva spreads it wings with the dying of the light, and all that). So much of what we call ourselves is in fact many different processes/devices doing different tasks.