Congratulations to us in really hitting the big post numbers.
This is ultimately why my posting has to have time in between -- I've been very busy lately, and these are big posts. I have another busy week so forgive me if it takes a long time to respond again.
ckaihatsu wrote:I have to mostly *disagree* here -- yes, there *are* federal labor standards (U.S.), but these are basically on-paper only, and the NLRB doesn't exactly represent *workers* interests in any disputes with the bosses.
The working class has an objective class interest in *no* national boundaries, because the work that workers do is basically the *same* no matter which country it may be located in. Militant labor organizations organize *across* national boundaries due to the *economics* of being laborers (wages, benefits, etc.). *Capital* is able to cross national borders, and does, and laborers shouuld *also* have the freedom to locate wherever they like for the sake of their own economic interests.
I disagree with this. There is nothing that inherently units the interests of a blue collar worker in Ohio and one in Honduras. Of course, they may be united in their basic humanity, and maybe even united across the borders through the chalice during Holy Communion, but ultimately, both workers want conditions of prosperity that may even actually be in conflict with one another. Both want prosperity, but this prosperity may actually come at the expense of the other, because there are only so many manufacturing jobs.
The obligation of the US government and the American people is foremost to themselves, and then to the rest of the world. Not because the rest of the world is our enemy, but because we best serve our own interests through directly working to serve them ourselves. Each locality has some responsibility to itself.
ckaihatsu wrote:Sorry, but I can't just agree with this on the basis of your say-so -- maybe you could provide some *reasoning*, or *examples*, for your summary comparison of religion to Marxism -- ?
I have to reiterate that Marxism is based on an observation of the empirical / real-world *class divide*, which is *not* a matter of 'faith'. I have no problems working with militant laborers who may happen to be religious, if we're all facing in the same direction, but I have distinctly *atheist* philosophical roots myself.
Here is what I wrote in post #15,130,539:
Verv wrote: If we take anything based on faith to be like a religion, then there is always a sort of ascendant value-system, based on faith, indistinguishable from religion, at the top.
All politics is reducible to theocracy. it only appears to not be theocracy when it is contrasted explicitly with religion.
So, Marxism believes that there ought to be some form of equal distribution of resources, in things like the theory of the alienation of labor, etc. There are plenty of assumptions worked into how they approach the world.
These assumptions are not actually different from any religious assumptions, other than the fact that they just aren’t actually religious.
But these assumptions do not become empirical because they are simply secular.
ckaihatsu wrote:If that 'one's private property' could be interpreted to mean one's *personal* property -- the items that one actually *uses* oneself -- then I would have no differences here, but if 'private property' means *capital accumulations* then it actually *encourages* the furtherance of the class divide. In particular it's the private property of society's means of mass *industrial* production that is most at-issue to Marxist politics / worldview.
I do not have a strong opinion on this. I am, of course, not a Communist, but I do not feel particularly passionate about protecting mass accumulation of wealth and capital. That does not strike me as a completely inalienable right.
ckaihatsu wrote:What about values of *honesty*, sound observation, reasoning ability, objectivity in investigation, imagination / conceptualization, experimentation, confirmation / verification, etc.?
I have a usable framework that's based on the scientific method, btw:
I can honestly say that any view that says that the mundane reality of the world is the only reality is incomplete.
You appear to fully agree with me – you are always talking about worker’s rights and bringing up very broad, general statements that have no basis in reality, “laborers shouuld *also* have the freedom to locate wherever they like for the sake of their own economic interests.”
These are not principles rooted in the science that you would appeal to in other circumstances.
You may say that it is ‘sound reasoning.’ But then, that is what the religious also are always engaging in. Sound reasoning is incredibly subjective.
ckaihatsu wrote:I have to ask, though, why does *government* need to be allowed religious expression and values? Isn't it merely a socio-political *function*, and could operate *generically*, meaning secularly, meaning scientifically, as it mostly does? I don't mean to say that I *agree* with bourgeois government premises, since they serve the interests of the bourgeois *ruling class*, but I do appreciate the Enlightenment worldview, that had to break out of the shell of monastic Christianity since the fall of the Roman Empire.
That is a great question…
So, I think it is the enlightenment position that the government is simply there to mediate our “rights” (whatever those are), and solve disputes in the marketplace
I think a more original view of government is that the monarch is a sort of vox dei or willed ruler on Earth. Even when he is wrong or a tyrant, he is a representative of the great order that exists beyond nature. That is not to say that tyrants should not be toppled, for there is no good argument to make based on Biblical principles on that, and you can even see this discussion occurring among Confucianists at some points.
Prior to the modern era, the government was an extension of Heaven, and the country was like a family. Still, people believe in things like this, even in secular societies. A good example of that is Hillary Clinton’s book “It Takes A Village.”
So, forgive me for going too long…
I think it is natural for the government to acknowledge God, and a state religion, and for the leader to be part of ceremonial expressions. Because the whole universe exists under Heaven, and the monarch is a representative of God on earth, so to speak, and this is also true of a President of a republic, or in any form of government. We only began stripping this away from government recently.
ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, so then how would a proposed Christian government handle *civil* marriages and divorces, for example? Or, perhaps, more crucially, what about *incarceration*?
I think you could come up with a way to make people who are Catholic or Orthodox to be married within the regulations and authority of their Bishops, and to also extend this to other religions, and have the Judge interact with declarations of the Bishops on these matters when settling issues independent of the Chruch, like the division of wealth when a divorce is granted.
Of course, people who have been excommunicated or who were born outside of the Church would have recourse to purely civil marriage unions.
I think incarceration would be trusted to occur just as it does in any modern state, with perhaps two exceptions:
(i) We would have to allow for people to claim sanctuary in religious institutions.
(ii) We may have to stipulate that the death penalty be outlawed in some of our Christian societies, as well as things like torture.
ckaihatsu wrote:And what is society / humanity to do when various nationalist kings / monarchs get into *disputes* with each other, as over territory, natural resources, etc. -- ? To me this is just a different form of elitist class rule, because, without democracy, most people will have *zero* say in how these critical social dynamics / policies play-out, even though such *affects* every last person within the nation-state.
Again you need to provide more backing than just your say-so.
I can only provide my theoretical take on this.
As it stands, 20th century secular states went to war and sent people to die for things that weren’t in their interests. I do not think that any such burden of achieving perfection in this regards would apply to more traditional forms of government.
ckaihatsu wrote:Isn't this, then, an argument for a liberal welfare-state kind of economics? Regulated markets, basically, which is what we have today, more-or-less, and *class rule* which favors the interests of corporations and of the wealthy.
I do not buy into the idea of class warfare. I think everyone should work, and I think there should be some sort of welfare state… But I do not necessarily accept the idea that there is some evil, shady group of Capitalists who want to crush us. I think they are actually trying to generally improve the world – failing regularly, yes, and being greedy? Sure, but this is also something that we see on a small scale.
Now, I will say this… If I was a Filipino or a Vietnamese or Indian person, I am sure I would have a hell of a lot more to say about class struggle.
Capitalism worked for the Americans and the Koreans. So, my criticisms of the system are not harsh at all. I guess I would advise other people to pursue policies like the South Koreans, who modernized and became wealthy quickly, but I do understand this visceral hatred of the wealthy by those who are born into such terrible circumstances. It’s very natural, and I am sure that, in some cases, the elites have exploited their advantage to just become marginally wealthier while stepping on the necks of common people.
This is maybe something of a cop-out answer, but I guess I have to give this anti-climactic response of “I am not a Communist or a Socialist, but I get it…”
ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, please see the previous segment, and I'll ask you to address the phenomenon / dynamic of the *class divide*. Since you support monarchical-type administration, do you think that such class elitism is *acceptable*? *Desirable*? *Better*?
How would you balance this with the treatment of the working-class issue, from earlier in the post? What would your preferences be between the interests of the ruling class (administrators / bureaucracy / elites / royals / etc.), against the interests of the *working class* (higher wages, more benefits, more social infrastructure in common, etc.) -- ?
A great question.
It makes sense to me that there will be millionaires, and there will be people who are very well compensated for their work and investments. I do not see a reason to eliminate the existence of such people, because often times their wealth is deeply tied into investments and is not liquid. I also think many of them use their wealth in positive ways.
Of course, the government is duty bound to treat the poorest as their primary clients. Those left behind by the economy ought to be given a strong social safety net, and measures must be taken to ensure equal footing in opportunities.
If we are talking about a state that has outright starvation and extreme poverty while elites live like pigs in palaces, to paraphrase Ceaucescu, then I honestly would support the monarch engaging in a form of class warfare against them. Not with the goal of the elimination of the free market or of there never being wealthy people who own businesses again, but out of the interest of making them pay for bleeding the country dry.
But, ideally, a good government would already regulate things and establish a system of taxation that properly took from those who are making excessive profits and reinvesting it in the regular people.
Because monarchy does have this advantage: the merchant has to serve the will of God and the King, and come to the aid of the society, and those who do not can be held accountable.
August 8th, 2019