04-28-2012, 09:14 PMNo, it's actually a major component of my argument against socialism. Equality of results demands that the state ignore individual differences in talent and effort.
A socialist state that demands the expropriation of property to distribute equally will end up giving the same-sized parcels of land to skilled farmers and unskilled urban dwellers, with the result that the former will grow food and the latter will starve.
Eventually, the state will have to collect the food and redistribute it. A skilled farmer cannot buy his neighbor's land with his surplus and make it productive, and the neighbor cannot sell his parcel and use the money to build a business that he might be able to run. Stultifying conformity is imposed.
It is not purely symbolic. It is very real. It exercises real power. When you use phrases like "social symbolic entity", you are babbling.
Humans live in a world that is partially symbolic, and they react to those symbolic structures as if they were actually physical realities.
Physical reality is stuff like matter, energy, mass, momentum. Laws, social roles, organizational structures, relationships, and so on are not part of physical reality.
Although symbolic structures have real effects on people, they are not part of physical reality, and they should not be looked at in the same way that physicists look at atoms. Their status as concepts, symbols, and relationships means they need to be examined differently, taking into the account how concepts, symbols, and relationships function, rather than treating them like hard aspects of material reality.
The government of the United States is a group of institutions, defined by law and populated according to law. It has legally mandated divisions, which have legally mandated powers which are limited by the basic documents which established it, and which were ratified by the representatives of the governed. It is real, and it is a solid, physical thing.
Can you tell me the atomic weight of Law? Can you tell me the density of law at sea level? How much energy is required to accelerate Law from 0 to 100 mph in a vacuum? Which periodic elements constitute law?
It is not a physical, material thing. Neither are the relationships in question, the roles in question, etc. etc.
To pretend otherwise is to attempt to deconstruct reality, but reality doesn't take kindly to being deconstructed.
this seems like a different discussion but I'd enjoy having it.Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
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