a guest Aug 18th, 2018 67 Never
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- Why must an ethical code be enforced? We have one [...] but it's more individualist.
- I don't believe than an ethical code should be enforced. In fact, I don't believe that one CAN be enforced, insofar as coercion itself is unethical. This is precisely the idea that the soixant-huitards were so anxious to propound. CUSTOM cannot by itself be coercive in nature. There is a fundamental difference between to - say - wear a brimmed hat because this, as a mature adult, marks oneself out as part of a broader social milieu, as was the case in the west until the 1960s and, on the other hand to be forced to wear a brimmed hat by legal mandate, as was the case in Ataturks Turkey of the 1910s. Never, to my knowledge, has a dress code ever been enforced in Europe or North America by legal mandate. Even in the 1950s, if one felt strongly enough, one could dispose of one's hat without facing legal penalty. The scorn of the community is another matter, and is something that can't be changed, easily, by any legal act. But the power of custom as dictated by the COMMUNITY is not coercive in nature. That was the lie propounded in the 1960s by Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. I also don't believe that our modern ethical code is individualist, for reasons stated above, although it may represent itself as such.
- Why do you think consumerism is a religion?
- Because consumption is the only thing, generally speaking, that contemporary people are capable of being passionate about. Or at any rate things proximately connected with consumption.
- I say this as a classical liberal.
- After reading JS Mill and the Chicago/ Austrian economists, I considered myself a classical liberal for four or five years. I still believe that classical liberalism - tempered by a welfare state and restrictions on economic power is the best system.
- The problem with classical liberalism is that it rests upon a number of EXTREMELY subtle fallacies:
- 1. The idea that consumers are rational actors. This is an especially irresistible one as a result of the observer bias of the fact that those who are educated/intelligent enough to be studying economics are likely to at least consider themselves highly rational. Even more so still if one has AS! The trouble is that while the optimism of the mid-19th century, where this idea took shape, made the rationality of the average man (at least in times to come) a fairly plausible idea, it has been shown - alas - to be mistaken. JS Mill could not possibly have foreseen that in the 20th century there would emerge advertising industries whose sole purpose was to manipulate people into buying things that they don't need, voting for politicians who despise them and dictating the nature of their value system.
- 2. The idea that monopolies as such are impossible under conditions of perfect competition. Now this may well be true in a certain sense, and yet the proposition tacitly assumes that such a thing as perfect competition is POSSIBLE. This is mistaken. Perfect competition is an idealisation. Just as the Pythagoras theorem is only true of an idealised triangle and cannot be true of any PHYSICAL triangle (insofar as, at very least, there will always be minute deviations in its structure, if only at the atomic level), the perfect competition hypothesis can only ever be very closely realised by a real economy.
- 3. The idea that economic and political power are separate entities. This is patently false; nobody would claim that Rupert Murdoch and a vagrant have equal amounts of political power, just because in a liberal democracy they theoretically ought to have.
- How do you feel when peopple are warm and friendly towards you Prometheus18?
- I find that, with a few exceptions, people are only kind towards others nowadays if they believe that they might get something out of it. I find that sales assistants are extremely kind and helpful, but the reason for this is obvious. I don't believe that any kind of spontaneous compassionate behaviour ever really occurs anymore, or only very rarely. Certainly I can't remember the last time I saw such an act.
- I think this strive to define an acceptable level of individuality is counterproductive to the very idea of individuality.
- I agree that the question is not so simple as to admit of a formulaic answer, and yet, I think self-obsession, however we might define it, is a definite evil.
- You might find more happiness if you were more open to the idea that you really don't know someone at first glance.
- I really do wish my first impressions about people were more often wrong, and yet I find when I get to know people better that almost invariably, they're right.
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