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  1. #21  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaughtintheMiddle1990 View Post
    Wei, what is best in life?
    this varies from person to person, so I can only talk about myself here. When I was younger, I would have said being happy or having fun, but not anymore.

    For me, there's the big things like family, friends, that sort of love. I believe what's best in life is giving it up for something greater. This means not living for yourself, but living for other people, living for good causes, and living for God. I think the best thing a person can do is give themselves up to God and become a vessel for His divine will, which benefits the people and world around you. I want to leave the world a better place than when I entered it, or If that's not possible, to at least change it for the better, and I know that I cannot do that myself. I think the only way people can really love others, love the world, or the love God is to engage in continuous struggle with oneself.

    As you can probably see, this reflects my spiritual beliefs so of course I cannot expect everyone else to agree with me.


    I don't always live up to this ideal, in fact I very rarely do. Most times I can be selfish or stupid or ego-centric or do things that are inconsiderate or hurt other people, and I feel guilty for it. Like everyone else I'm filled with sin and faults, but this is what I consider the ideal what I hope to live up to. This is one of my values that I fall short on, but try to aim for.

    I hope this answers your question
    Last edited by Wei Wu Wei; 05-09-2011 at 04:46 PM.
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  2. #22  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    For starters, for the record, I defended you in a thread on you getting banned while Hazldick gets to stay around(that has since been rectified). #2, you simply cannot go by what you just said and advocate for taking from one person by force and giving it to another. That is what we call a moral oxymoron. And it isn't like you're talking about clothing the lepers, as it were. You try to justify state sponsored robbery in order to support people who chose a lot in life and masking it behind the concept of "the greater good". In Jesus's time, the poor were really poor. I mean really poor. No pot to piss in poor. And there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities for people then. You were either a fisherman, farmer, or carpenter, as was Jesus and his family or some other menial vocation. And usually the really poor had some kind of affliction. The poor then didn't have color TV's or cell phones like the 'poor' today. Hell, people in this country who consider themselves poor don't know what poor is. So by the government taking from me so these people can keep up this facade goes against my moral fiber.
    The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
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  3. #23  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    huh?
    It is a Conan the Barbarian reference. The answer is, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."
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  4. #24  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    For starters, for the record, I defended you in a thread on you getting banned while Hazldick gets to stay around(that has since been rectified).
    i appreciate that.


    #2, you simply cannot go by what you just said and advocate for taking from one person by force and giving it to another. That is what we call a moral oxymoron. And it isn't like you're talking about clothing the lepers, as it were. You try to justify state sponsored robbery in order to support people who chose a lot in life and masking it behind the concept of "the greater good". In Jesus's time, the poor were really poor. I mean really poor. No pot to piss in poor. And there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities for people then. You were either a fisherman, farmer, or carpenter, as was Jesus and his family or some other menial vocation. And usually the really poor had some kind of affliction. The poor then didn't have color TV's or cell phones like the 'poor' today. Hell, people in this country who consider themselves poor don't know what poor is. So by the government taking from me so these people can keep up this facade goes against my moral fiber.
    I see small color tv's that are in working condition sitting next to dumpsters and cell phones are literally given away for free. Technological advancements have made many things possible today that were not possible then, but they also make possible even greater forms of exploitation.

    If you live in America, most of the land is owned, most of the resources are claimed, you can't just go out and live off of the land like people could then, the economic structure exists so that the only way to survive is to get money, and the means of getting money are often limited.

    Your argument supposes that the status quo is the natural God-given state of affairs, as if man enters the Capitalist System that God Created. that's just not true.

    Our society, our institutions, our laws, and our economy are all man-made. They are not perfect and they generate incredible amounts of suffering. You totally ignore this, accept it all as a given that cannot be questioned, and say that any activity that tries to lessen the negative effects are to be judged morally. Taxation is wrong but the economic system that makes taxation possible (or necessary) is not to be questioned?


    Why do you think Capitalism cannot be questioned or critiqued? Do you agree that it is man made, that it is flawed, and that perhaps it could be improved upon?

    Some people believe that our system is, or was, or theoretically 'should be' perfect, so that any problems that arise must come from some external factor. This type of logic culminated in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and other terrible regimes where instead of accepting the internal contradictions within their own systems, they obsessively tried to eradicate the system of the "x-factor".

    I strongly believe there is a moral argument to be made in regards to our economic system, but even this is not necessary to critique it.

    Even from a purely analytical standpoint, analyzing the system's functioning rather than it's morality, the problems are also very apparent. These problems inevitably result in morally abhorrent consequences, but these two perspectives can be looked at separately.

    If you look in the first several chapters of Marx's Capital, there is nothing in there about it being good or bad, right or wrong, or any sort of morally loaded language. It's a scientific analysis of how commodities are exchanged, how value is formed, how money comes to represent it, how money is converted to capital, and how these processes flow together.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  5. #25  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
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    I think as a society we need to get over this crazy idea that we are the hottest shit in history, everything we do is right, and nothing can be criticized.

    Our prison system is atrocious, our economic system is insane and perpetually on the brink of collapse, our foreign policy is imperialistic and devoid of moral consistency, the enforcement of our laws are classist, sexist, and racist. There are many flaws that if people dare to talk about, they are acussed of being America Hating TRAITORS.

    This sort of rhetoric is only used to shut down debate, the only point of this "if you criticize anything about America, GET THE FUCK OUT" mentality is prevent any good change from ever happening.

    I think that people who cannot accept honest legitimate criticisms about their country are projecting their own inadequacies, and probably cannot accept honest criticism about themselves either. It's an infantile fantasy that babies have, "I must be absolutely perfect, the thing my mother wants!" that they have an incredibly hard time getting over. The idea of not being seen as perfect is too much, but it's a sign of immaturity.

    If we cannot accept the flaws in our system, and insist they aren't there, and keep projecting the source of problems to outside factors, our society will not survive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  6. #26  
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    I never said that capitalism cannot be critiqued nor have I said that it's perfect. No one says that. However, comparing the system you embrace to the one I embrace and there's 2 fundamental differences:

    Communism or Socialism is designed to bring people down.

    Capitalism embraces achievement. And through capitalism, not only are you rewarded through hard work and determination, it's a system where you get out of it what you put in. Communism and socialism, everybody gets the same, no matter how much you put into it. You can be the hardest working person in the entire shop and you won't make a dime more than the laziest person in the shop. Is this what you consider fair? However, in a free market, if you work hard and put forth a major effort, you get noticed and you move up. In a free market, if you are unsatisfied with the amount of money you are making, you would be free to negotiate a higher rate of pay. If not, your employer's competitor would be happy to have you. In your economic mindframe, no matter what, everybody gets the same. This is such a childish concept that it's sad. There are winners and losers in life and no matter how you sugar coat it, there are the strong and not so strong. Changing the rules in order to make the strong weaker is idiocy and all it does is hold back progress. I'd rather take capitalism with all it's flaws than communism and socialism any day of the week and 10 times on Sunday.
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  7. #27  
    Senior Member Madisonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    It is a Conan the Barbarian reference. The answer is, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."
    Now that was fucking funny!:D
    Bravo, Sir!
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  8. #28  
    Super Moderator BadCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I think as a society we need to get over this crazy idea that we are the hottest shit in history, everything we do is right, and nothing can be criticized.

    Our prison system is atrocious, our economic system is insane and perpetually on the brink of collapse, our foreign policy is imperialistic and devoid of moral consistency, the enforcement of our laws are classist, sexist, and racist. There are many flaws that if people dare to talk about, they are acussed of being America Hating TRAITORS.

    This sort of rhetoric is only used to shut down debate, the only point of this "if you criticize anything about America, GET THE FUCK OUT" mentality is prevent any good change from ever happening.

    I think that people who cannot accept honest legitimate criticisms about their country are projecting their own inadequacies, and probably cannot accept honest criticism about themselves either. It's an infantile fantasy that babies have, "I must be absolutely perfect, the thing my mother wants!" that they have an incredibly hard time getting over. The idea of not being seen as perfect is too much, but it's a sign of immaturity.

    If we cannot accept the flaws in our system, and insist they aren't there, and keep projecting the source of problems to outside factors, our society will not survive.

    If you want to spew your America hating drivel, use the bandwidth of another discussion board.
    YOU are one of the biggest "flaws in our system".

    rm -rf obama*
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  9. #29  
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    I think it's tricky to compare our current existing economic system to various ideas of what 'communism' or 'socialism' is.

    If you ask different people what those mean, you will get different answers. Many people simply equate them to Stalinist USSR, many people assume they mean "everyone is equal", some poeple think it means The Government Rules Everything and some people think it means there is No State.

    The semantic argument here isn't really important. I'm not trying to argue that we should flip a switch from our current economic system into a system where everyone is forced to be totally equal. I am not arguing that.

    Even amongst groups of marxists, leftists, communists, there is a great amount of debate as to what should be done, so not everyone on the Left agrees with that.

    You can use Marxian analysis to understand and criqitue today's capitalism, without having a "perfect utopia" in mind. When we are examing a situation, often times it is not enough to simply "find the right answer", because often times everyone is asking the wrong questions. Marxist critique is more about asking the right questions. For most Marxists, critiquing capitalism is not about re-creating the USSR or even finding a blueprint for utopia, it's about thinking outside of the normal liberal-conservative framework in order to ask different questions.

    Just because someone recognizes capitalism as a flawed system, and seeks to overcome that flawed system, doesn't mean they "have the answer". Just because humans may never live in a "Perfect Society" doesn't mean we shouldn't continuously work to improve our society.

    Capitalism embraces achievement. And through capitalism, not only are you rewarded through hard work and determination, it's a system where you get out of it what you put in.
    This is idealistic. There are people who do hard dedicated work for their entire lives and struggle to pay the bills. Some people will say "well it's their fault for not getting a better job", but why should the system punish people for taking low-skilled jobs? These jobs are absolutely necessary for the function of society. On the other hand, there are people with connections who have cushy jobs where they don't do a fraction of actual WORK that working-class people do, and they are reawarded with millions of dollars and endless benefits.

    This is just a tiny example, and I could elaborate endlessly, but American Capitalism is not a Meritocracy.

    There is some degree of reward for merit, yes. I know this because I was born and raised in a poor family. I lived in the projects as a child and was the first in my family to go to college. I am relatively successful by those standards, so I recognize that there is potential, but I also know that the bootstraps mythology that preaches "Equal Opportunuty" is just that - a myth.

    Here's another obvious example, in fact someone I know is in this situation (he is the landlord).

    Suppose you inherent your parents' house, but do not live in it. Without working for it, you become a property owner. You then send some papers to a realty company and before you know it, someone is renting your home. You set up an account for repairs and you pay your taxes on it, but every single month you get a large check in the mail. The check pays for the cost of property taxes, it pays for the cost of repairs and other expenses. Then there is more, this is essentially free money. You continue to "make" this money simply because your name is on the deed, and the check keeps coming in, but it's not like it comes from no where.

    The tenants are hard-working people with blue-collar jobs. They work hard, they sweat, they come home, and the vast majority of their paycheck goes to rent. They don't make enough money to save, and the little they can save is put into a college fund for the kids.

    If you are the landlord, you quite literally don't have to work. As long as you are comfortable living a modest lifestyle, you can live off of the rent alone. For the tenants, this isn't a possibility. They have to work very hard for every dime, and most of it goes to the landlord.

    Does this reflect your idea of a merit-based system?

    Communism and socialism, everybody gets the same, no matter how much you put into it. You can be the hardest working person in the entire shop and you won't make a dime more than the laziest person in the shop. Is this what you consider fair? However, in a free market, if you work hard and put forth a major effort, you get noticed and you move up. In a free market, if you are unsatisfied with the amount of money you are making, you would be free to negotiate a higher rate of pay. If not, your employer's competitor would be happy to have you. In your economic mindframe, no matter what, everybody gets the same. This is such a childish concept that it's sad.
    I'm not arguing for an "everyone is the same no matter what" system. I know this is what comes to mind when someone hears "Marx" or "anti-capitalism", but that sort of world is so far removed from now that it isn't even worth talking about.

    The problem of lazy workers is a problem that comes from being aliented from the products of your labor. This is true in capitalism and it was also true in the Soviet Union. If workers own the factory they work in, and they own the products they create, and they share in the profits that they generate, then why would they want to be lazy? In the system we have now, workers can entirely run and operate a business, but the products of their labor are not their own, and neither are the profits.

    Think about it, if you owned a HUGE share of stock in a company, you would be personally more motivated to work hard, because you are working for yourself. When workers own the products of their labor, it becomes a fulfilling, self-directed activity.

    Of course there is still a need for managers or team leaders to keep organizations functioning, but having an owner who takes all of the products for himself totally changes the nature of the game.

    There are example of business cooperatives where the workers are the owners, and they run the company in a democratic fashion and share in the profits. These businesses run very well.Their products might be more expensive, but if everyone had a job where they owned their own labor, they could afford it.


    There are winners and losers in life and no matter how you sugar coat it, there are the strong and not so strong. Changing the rules in order to make the strong weaker is idiocy and all it does is hold back progress. I'd rather take capitalism with all it's flaws than communism and socialism any day of the week and 10 times on Sunday.
    Again, the only way you can make capitalism seem better is by comparing it to a caricature of communism.

    Instead of comparing it to a caricature of communism, can't we just examine it, critique it, and see how we could make it better? It doesn't have to be one or the other, heads or tails, American Capitalism or Stalinist Communism. It doesn't even have to be "somewhere in the middle". If we try to honestly think, we can find new directions, but you can't just shut downthe debate by saying "it's either capitalism or SLAVERY".
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  10. #30  
    Senior Member Madisonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I think as a society we need to get over this crazy idea that we are the hottest shit in history, everything we do is right, and nothing can be criticized.

    Our prison system is atrocious, our economic system is insane and perpetually on the brink of collapse, our foreign policy is imperialistic and devoid of moral consistency, the enforcement of our laws are classist, sexist, and racist. There are many flaws that if people dare to talk about, they are acussed of being America Hating TRAITORS.

    This sort of rhetoric is only used to shut down debate, the only point of this "if you criticize anything about America, GET THE FUCK OUT" mentality is prevent any good change from ever happening.

    I think that people who cannot accept honest legitimate criticisms about their country are projecting their own inadequacies, and probably cannot accept honest criticism about themselves either. It's an infantile fantasy that babies have, "I must be absolutely perfect, the thing my mother wants!" that they have an incredibly hard time getting over. The idea of not being seen as perfect is too much, but it's a sign of immaturity.

    If we cannot accept the flaws in our system, and insist they aren't there, and keep projecting the source of problems to outside factors, our society will not survive.
    The problem is that you keep recommending some non-existent political socio-economic system that bears the same name.
    The concerns are valid and not many will deny some or all what you claim.
    But tell me, what nation of over 300,000,000 or even 200,000,000 do you claim as better?
    You say we should abandon what we have, flawed as it may be in theory or in practice, to accept what?
    Russia? China? India, Indonesia?

    Look up the top 10 and tell me where you would rather be right now?
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