Mudcat Café message #963220 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #963220
Posted By: Sam L
06-Jun-03 - 10:15 AM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Strick, I don't deny that people who consider themselves conservatives can sort it how they like. You may be missing the fun I'm having with the question. I don't mind the labels because they're kind of funny sometimes, like cartoons, but I don't take them all that seriously.

   Sure, the forces that drive economies of scale are real, and quite formidable. But I was pointing out that to say economies are based on productivity leaves a little something something neatly out.

   That's a very good question, whether I'm questioning basic theory or the choices that are made in practice. On the one hand I think the basic theory is perfectly good if the culture uses it perfectly, on the other hand I don't think you can really separate market theory from market culture in practice. People have some observable and predictable behaviors--and this is where some conservative thinkers throw up their hands and wonder Why are we evil? Even in virtual economies people hoard as if their lives depended on it. Most sociologists are liberals--I think it may be the most liberal field.

Take money itself. You can't separate the innumerable benefits of currency from the corrosive effects it can have on the imagination--simply, the fact that one can forstall the difficult process of forming and defining values by the easier thing of having a one-for-all value currency. Whatever you want, money can probably help get it.

   I think the kind of culture that best uses the market as a tool is one that views it as that, and nothing more, no matter how spectacular it's power, and is suspicious of it, rather than celebrative. Sure, within a market culture, trying to take many or most counter-measures against market forces is often pointless at best. And many of those attempts are counter-productive, posed, and unrealistic if not utterly cynical and false.

   But many attempts to feed market forces are false too. It does not necesarily help invigorate the market to give tax cuts to wealthy people who don't have to spend it, and very well may not care to, when things don't look so good. One way to be sure the money is spent is to spend it, on infrastructure, schools, roads, pay up some of the hidden costs of so-called free enterprise.

   I'm a liberal because when anyone starts talking about those people on welfare in the checkout line, buying twinkies and pepsi with food stamps, wearing jewelry, and having babies, I just give up, I concede, that's right--what's wrong with this country is: The poor people have all the money. Fine. I advocate a critical attitude toward market economy. It's a process. McDonald's is now suing a food critic for criticising their food, and reflexively I'm on the side of the critic.