Socialism vs. Liberalism: A conversation with my grandfather...Submitted by Matthew3306 on Mon, 04/02/2012 - 20:49
Grandfather: i not only call for a ALTRUISTIC world . i call it to be UTILITARIAN, ACTING IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE COMMON GOOD. the framers of our constitution/bill of rights tried to prevent the NIETZSCHE type from
dictating the new world by a balancing countermeasure to assure cooperation.today, the RIGHT WING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY/BUSINESS INTERESTS/1%ERS are reviving that" the world belongs to the powerful and wealthy " under the guise of individual freedom and competition vs cooperation in being governed for the common good.
Me: There is no such thing as altruism.
Granfather: w/o ALTRUISM, the pursuit of happiness in our constitution/bill of rights wud be moot. a follower of nietzsche, ayn rand, with their super man , individualist, me/myself and i philosophy, with their lets kill the poor, weak,and small, so that we can be richer, stronger
and bigger. lets kill the unhappy for that will leave us with happier people.
only a baby , and those with the mentality of one , thinks it is the center of the universe and demands that all its needs be met. it survives on the ALTRUISM of others bcuz it is poor,weak, and small and cries for attention. once its needs are met it is happy, temporarily. it is incapable of being altruistic until it realises that it is not the center of the universe and that there are others to be considered . it learns to share. to give. to cooperate. we call this MATURITY.
Me: Actually that thought comes straight from Mark Twain's "What is Man". You're misunderstanding of human nature is the core of your purely idealistic formulation of a system coordinating human action. There is no "greatest good". There also is no altruism.
When I walk an old lady across the street am I doing for her or for me? Well if I do it, I am certainly doing it for me only because if I hadn't done it I would not have been able to sleep as well that night. Perhaps, I did it because I was feeling crummy and wanted to feel better in the moment. Whatever the true reason, it ALWAYS has to do with MY feelings. If I give away all my money to a charity, do I do it because it makes me feel worse? Even that bullet I might jump in front of...I do it because I want to do it. Not for her sake, but for MY SAKE. Because if I didn't I would spend the rest of my days as a lowly coward and thus my choice is merely to ease my own suffering not hers.
What is a selfless act? What is an altruistic act? There is none. There never has and never will be. Unless some evil, amoral, un-human creature ever comes into being and acts in direct opposition to it's own nature, against it's own conscience, then there will never be an act called selfless. More despicable are those who frame their purely selfish actions as being "for the other fellow"...
So with that established, let's look at what the best, only, possible societal arrangement can be based on this fact of human nature; that man only acts in his best interest, whether it be based on a rationaly calculated cost/benefit analysis or a spur of the moment emotion laden whim. For society to be arranged in a way so as to hinder each individual mans pursuit of his own happiness would be immoral. It would be against the will of God, who presumably created man in his image. To create a society that demands each man act against his own, self-concieved, best interest would generate a pessimistic, non-productive society of grumps, louses, and unjust benefactors. So the best societal arrangement is one that balances mans self-interested pursuits with another mans self-interested pursuits.
This society would first and foremest be pledged allegience to the sanctity of each man and thus in the utmost be the protector of each mans life. Next, this creature of man (society) would be garnered with the duty of protecting one's liberty. The liberty of each man is paramount to a mans health and the health of the creature they each comprise. Protecting life without protecting liberty is a guarantee some nations have made and this results in a mass of apathetic drones, bent on the destruction of the creation they helped create; yet happily, it is only a matter of time til the creature of this nature destroys it's component parts and crumbles at it's own feet. Give me liberty or give me death. Without liberty life is not worth living to the moral man, yet without life liberty is null and void, therefore the order of importance. Lastly, you MUST protect a man's pursuit of happiness. This third order good is tantamount to a peaceful and most productive grouping of man. The pursuit of happiness is indefinable as a positive thing as this would be restrictive, it is only defined by what it cannot be; it cannot be anything that infringes on the right to life or liberty of another human being. Whatever endeavor it is, it can only be beneficial to other men too, since the product of one man's labor almost always increases the value of the materials and thus the livelihood of those around him.
But if our sphere of responsibility only extended to our physical person, the means to our existence (the material world) being cut off from possessive rights, there would be no point to protecting these rights in name only; for without the right to possess the materials of this earth, our right to life can be taken by any gang of fools claiming to have a greater need for our goods. Our liberty can be taken by giving us no material to express it upon and our pursuit of happiness a flimsy joke when the products of our pursuit belong to anyone and noone at the same time. There is no happiness in having your products grafted.
Therefore a system of private property wherein, the rights of the individual extend to that which he legally acquires, must be a guarantee in such a society. This allows for a mans full productive capabilities to be harnessed by him, due solely to his full knowledge that the fruits of his labor will be his to enjoy however he sees fit. The more men there are to create wonders of the world, with the free enjoyment and expression of his life, his liberty and in pursuit of his happiness, the more the material and spiritual existence of each and every man is raised by each and every others efforts.
This socialist, egalitarian, Greater good, communist, societal talk can only come after a long standing period of a societal arrangement of this type has been established because only after a society which harnesses the ultimate creative powers of each man to serve his own best interests has existed, can there be enough excess to loot, plunder, pillage, divide up and give away to those in "need", etc. etc.
Let me remind you that those in "need" today live better than a king of the late 1700's. True poverty exists only in remote places unseen by you "thoughtful planners", all else is relative in nature. God bless the system that creates the circumstance where a person with enough clothing to last them 2 years including winter, a car to drive, a cellular phone, streets to walk on, police to protect them, lights at night, refrigeration, heating, indoor bathrooms, running water hot/cold, a roof made of brick, fire extinguishers, a flame ready stove, precooked meals for less than an hour of work, access to church's, sporting events, opportunity to travel worldwide at a moments notice, to work without any formal training, books, books on the internet!, etc. etc., is considered in "need".
To destroy the foundation of the system that created all this excess, comfort and wonder in order to give to those in "need" today, just might be the first self-less act ever attempted; in that it does not consider anybody's self when making the decision.
Uncle: Man, reading this is truly depressing. What a primitive, outdated, sad outlook. One day men will look upon such writings as a vestigial remnant of the cave man mind. And I really disagree with your "facts" about humanity as you state "the rule". If you're speaking for yourself, ok.
Me: Cavemen, it can be argued, did not honor life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness NOR the protection of these from others aims. Their only claim to rights was the right of strength (in numbers or muscles) and a need for something. Which is precisely the philosophy backing up the implementation of a "socialist" state. Whom does science support? Which is really the caveman philosophy and which came from an enlightened state? Which is derived from the sins of envy, greed, and lust-for that which one does not posses and has not the ability to create? And which is derived from the virtues of rational thought applied to objects, creating the greatest number of goods for the greatest number of people? You're greatest chance at your plea for the unable to recieve a "lucky break" is much more likely to occur undr the rational, benevolent and moral system rather than under the system based on greed, lust, envy and immorality via theft, force, and brutality.
*mind you the system I've described only existed for a short while and has been slipping away slowly since it's very first days of creation.... (read this as meaning, the social system in place today DOES NOT fit this description much at all)
Me (again): Whatever you call it, basing a societal arrangement on one man "sacrificing himself for another man's benefit" and not for his own is ridiculous. Go work an extra job, give me your money and I'll give it to whomever I feel is needy. Does that sound good to you? Who would base a whole system of human interaction on this fallacious scenario of an impetus to human action, a sane man or one who is driven by greed, hatred, lust, and envy?
Seriously go to work. Do your job. Get paid and give your money to a stranger who will not tell you where your money is going. That is self-sacrifice, literally. You're sacrificing your life for no gain. Try it. Lemme know how it goes...