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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mr. Raceboy View Post
    They just tend to offer the most happiness for the most people. The alternative is stealing happiness from one person to give it to another.
    I'm not even sure I'd go that far.

    Pete (thinks "happiness" is an elusive goal)

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
      I'm not even sure I'd go that far.

      Pete (thinks "happiness" is an elusive goal)
      The most opportunity for the most people?
      "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses." H.L. Mencken

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Mr. Raceboy View Post
        The most opportunity for the most people?
        Possibly. What does that mean?

        Free market capitalism produces the most efficient results, almost by definition, from an economic perspective. What does this mean? Simply, it means that it produces, more accurately than other systems, that which will be bought, at the lowest possible prices (in terms of opportunity cost elsewhere) generally in both directions. This does not mean that there is no waste...clearly there will be, but the free market system punishes waste and rewards those who produce what is actually demanded, and so achieves an efficient sort of equilibrium in which waste is minimized because it is punished.

        Is that opportunity?

        From a political perspective, free market capitalism produces freedom, again by definition, as it is defined as the absence of government intervention, which itself is virtually certain to cause those same inefficiencies because it is incapable of punishing waste in the same way and relies on people always being right about what is produced. Is this opportunity? Freedom from government still may yield (and often does) oppression and misery from other sources.

        The trouble is that I can define "freedom" simply, as I can define "efficiency" rather concretely, and I can readily determine how to maximize those. But "happiness" and "opportunity?" These require philosophy and psychology, and those are much less concrete concepts.

        I can easily demonstrate to a Marxist that his policies will yield rampant inefficiencies and that they will devolve into oppressive structures which will be required to force compliance. I have no similar argument if he resolutely declares, "People are happier that way." That argument goes back to Plato (who really believed men could not be happy unless they were ruled) and Aristotle (who unequivocally stated that Plato's "Republic" would stifle human happiness) and likely long before them, and is not likely to be "solved" in my lifetime, or possibly not ever. Once you start trying to make people "happy" you go down the path where "anything goes." Happiness can be defined by anyone as meaning almost anything.

        Pete (sticks to statements that unhindered markets produce the most total wealth with the least amount of waste)

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
          That argument goes back to Plato (who really believed men could not be happy unless they were ruled) and Aristotle (who unequivocally stated that Plato's "Republic" would stifle human happiness) and likely long before them, and is not likely to be "solved" in my lifetime, or possibly not ever. Once you start trying to make people "happy" you go down the path where "anything goes." Happiness can be defined by anyone as meaning almost anything.
          Did he??
          For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
          If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

          "We’ve always assumed that you can’t bring back the dead. But it’s a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by dusty View Post
            Did he??
            Pete issued a private response that he thinks Aristotle did so unequivocally state. I think Pete has it wrong.

            Aristotle defined political systems both by their structure and by whether they operate in the interest of the public or whether they do not. So Monarchy and Tyranny are two systems, structurally similar (rule by the one), but they support different interests (Monarchy for the public, Tyranny for the tyrant). Similarly, he defines Aristocracy and Oligarchy as a second pair type of political structures; and then Polity and Democracy as a third.

            Plato's Republic posits that the best government is run by a class of "philosopher kings", people who would be identified for their abilities as children, and then raised specially to take on their role in the ruling class. In other words, he is describing a kind of Aristocracy as being the best for promoting happiness* among the people in the Republic.

            Pete is wrong because Aristotle also wrote that Aristocracy (and Monarchy) are the governing systems that most promote happiness* among the people. Aristotle adds a caveat however, stating that Aristocracy and Monarchy are both dangerous systems because of a ready tendency to devolve into Tyranny or Oligarchy, respectively. Therefore, says Aristotle, practically Polity is the political system worth advancing, even though it basically can never be so successful at causing happiness* in the people as would good Monarchy or Aristocracy.

            Happiness* - In both Plato and Aristotle's work, the Greek word generally translated as "happiness" had a unique meaning which may differ from our understanding of "happiness". Pete alluded to the problem of trying to economically analyze such a nebulous and shifting term as "Happiness*". To Plato and Aristotle, when they talk about "happiness" they mean "to have a flourishing, successful life" and what this itself means is also subject to many many words. One of the big questions of philosophy to them was to come to an understanding of what this "Happiness*" even was, or should be.
            For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
            If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

            "We’ve always assumed that you can’t bring back the dead. But it’s a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee

            Comment


            • #51
              I just want to know what the hell all this has to do with 5G.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by cart213 View Post
                I just want to know what the hell all this has to do with 5G.
                With 5G, Dusty and Pete can talk over my head even faster.
                They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
                -Mr. Raceboy

                Comment


                • #53
                  You're making the very common error of mistaking Aristotle's Aristocracy with the European form of hereditary aristocracy. Aristotle's Aristorcracy is rule by the most capable members of the citizenry, not by a "ruling class." He'd consider the latter to be Oligarchy. As to who can be a citizen, it was Aristotle's belief that most men could be citizens, and therefore eligible to be rulers. And his criticism of Plato's heavily oppressive and nearly totally dictatorial state is undeniable.

                  All quotes in this post shameless lifted from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/
                  Although his own political views were influenced by his teacher Plato, Aristotle is highly critical of the ideal constitution set forth in Plato's Republic on the grounds that it overvalues political unity, it embraces a system of communism that is impractical and inimical to human nature, and it neglects the happiness of the individual citizens (Politics II.1–5). In contrast, in Aristotle's “best constitution,” each and every citizen will possess moral virtue and the equipment to carry it out in practice, and thereby attain a life of excellence and complete happiness (see VII.13.1332a32–8). All of the citizens will hold political office and possess private property because “one should call the city-state happy not by looking at a part of it but at all the citizens.” (VII.9.1329a22–3). Moreover, there will be a common system of education for all the citizens, because they share the same end (Pol. VIII.1).
                  Aristotle admits that his "best constitution" of Aristocracy is often unworkable, and that Polity might be the best system that a city-state can attain.

                  If (as is the case with most existing city-states) the population lacks the capacities and resources for complete happiness, however, the lawgiver must be content with fashioning a suitable constitution (Politics IV.11). The second-best system typically takes the form of a polity (in which citizens possess an inferior, more common grade of virtue) or mixed constitution (combining features of democracy, oligarchy, and, where possible, aristocracy, so that no group of citizens is in a position to abuse its rights). Aristotle argues that for city-states that fall short of the ideal, the best constitution is one controlled by a numerous middle class which stands between the rich and the poor. For those who possess the goods of fortune in moderation find it “easiest to obey the rule of reason” (Politics IV.11.1295b4–6). They are accordingly less apt than the rich or poor to act unjustly toward their fellow citizens. A constitution based on the middle class is the mean between the extremes of oligarchy (rule by the rich) and democracy (rule by the poor). “That the middle [constitution] is best is evident, for it is the freest from faction: where the middle class is numerous, there least occur factions and divisions among citizens” (IV.11.1296a7–9). The middle constitution is therefore both more stable and more just than oligarchy and democracy.
                  Note also that I did not state that Aristotle thought all government would stifle human happiness...he reserved that criticism specifically for Plato's Republic, which was so transcendently absolute and totalitarian that it exceeded the evils of all three of his "deviant" governmental forms.

                  Aristotle's hylomorphic analysis has important practical implications for him: just as a craftsman should not try to impose a form on materials for which it is unsuited (e.g. to build a house out of sand), the legislator should not lay down or change laws which are contrary to the nature of the citizens. Aristotle accordingly rejects utopian schemes such as the proposal in Plato's Republic that children and property should belong to all the citizens in common. For this runs afoul of the fact that "people give most attention to their own property, less to what is communal, or only as much as falls to them to give attention" (Pol. II.3.1261b33–5). Aristotle is also wary of casual political innovation, because it can have the deleterious side-effect of undermining the citizens' habit of obeying the law (II.8.1269a13–24)
                  Pete (stands by his statement above)

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by cart213 View Post
                    I just want to know what the hell all this has to do with 5G.
                    ha ha. that's why Pete said he didn't reply in thread, at first.

                    dusty (derails)
                    For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
                    If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

                    "We’ve always assumed that you can’t bring back the dead. But it’s a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by dusty View Post
                      ha ha. that's why Pete said he didn't reply in thread, at first.

                      dusty (derails)
                      I gave it 24 hours (23 hours...just checked) and then when it looked like the thread was going to fade into oblivion anyway, I figured "what the heck?"

                      Pete (isn't exactly having his arm twisted to talk about this stuff)
                      Last edited by Plezercruz; 08-22-2018, 01:03 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
                        You're making the very common error of mistaking Aristotle's Aristocracy with the European form of hereditary aristocracy. Aristotle's Aristorcracy is rule by the most capable members of the citizenry, not by a "ruling class." He'd consider the latter to be Oligarchy. As to who can be a citizen, it was Aristotle's belief that most men could be citizens, and therefore eligible to be rulers. And his criticism of Plato's heavily oppressive and nearly totally dictatorial state is undeniable.

                        All quotes in this post shameless lifted from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/


                        Aristotle admits that his "best constitution" of Aristocracy is often unworkable, and that Polity might be the best system that a city-state can attain.



                        Note also that I did not state that Aristotle thought all government would stifle human happiness...he reserved that criticism specifically for Plato's Republic, which was so transcendently absolute and totalitarian that it exceeded the evils of all three of his "deviant" governmental forms.



                        Pete (stands by his statement above)
                        No I didn’t mistake aristotle’s Aristocracy for European Aristocracy. However I did see in your initial comment the suggestion that Aristotle’s critique of Plato was that Plato assumed men needed rulers, as if Aristotle had concluded that the ideal state would have no rulers. He did not, as you have now clarified and we’ve now both expounded upon.

                        If Aristitle’s aristocracy is rule by the most capable, then it is generally equivalent to the “aristocracy” defined in Plato’s republic. At least insofar as my point was to counter the suggestion I had read into your comment. Plato envisions that the philosophically-minded will be identified as small children, and then separated from society to be raised and trained to enter the “class*” of “philosopher Kings” . There is no heredity to entering he class, but it is an elite subclass of society. They are selected for being the best, and in that sense are like Aristotelian Aristocracy which is rule by the Best. But yes the methods and systems of the State envisioned in the Republic are certainly oppressive.

                        I am much more familiar with Plato’s Repiblic than Aristotle’s Politics, so many of the details of his concepts and critiques you have highlighted above has been new to me. My studies of Aristotle as I recall was mostly Nicomachan ethics, and summaries and commentaries, etc.

                        dusty (continues)
                        For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
                        If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

                        "We’ve always assumed that you can’t bring back the dead. But it’s a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee

                        Comment

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