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posts by Azcarnoth Commoner | joined 06 Feb 2006 | 1

posted 06 Feb 2006, 23:02 in Philosophy DiscussionAMERICAN POLITICS... by Azcarnoth, Commoner

Wandering the internet I came across this board and post, more specifically the contents of Bakkers post of Mar 8th is what I was most interested in. Though I have no formal education in politics or philosophy (I'm an engineering student) it seems that much of what has been posted in response has rather missed the point. Bakker seems to be suggesting that those who are relatively wealthy are responsible for the rest of society due to the nature of the interdependant relationship between actors in our society/economy. That we are not, in fact, the "rugged individualists" that many of us americans claim to be. If we are truely dependant on others in our society for our own prosparity (of which I have no doubt that we are) then is it not in our best interest see them prosper and, by extention, do so ourselves. If you beleve the we are but one cog in a great machine, it seems painfully obvious that keeping as many of them as you can in repair is to most efficient path to prosperity. From my limited understanding of the "Nash Programme" which seems to suggest that "what is best for the whole is best for the individual" has been mathematically proven, though if someone with a better understanding of that would care to comment on and or correct my broad statment that would be helpful. To create an analogy using a situation I better understand, lets say I'm the engineer in charge of the construction of a large office building. I would think it would be in my best interest to insure that things procede efficiently for all parties involved. Though I have special skills that make me (relatively) unique, the actors that actually build the building do so more efficiently that i ever could... so i need them just as they need me to design and organize the project. Just as well all need the roads, cars and gasoline to get to work in the first place. I could go on and on; food to eat, the gathering and preperation of tar and gravel for the roads, scientists to make better and more efficient materials and methods for us to work with, philosophers and artists that remind us that sometimes we need to look with better eyes at the world around us, etcetera. Howerver, one thing about your argument i wonder at is that its simplified to see money as the only manifestation of power, (influence over the actions of others) the only "wealth." I would argue that there are many types of wealth, and some of them can't be bought or sold on a market, and if wealth doesn't derive soley from material gain than the wealthy arn't necesssarily so at the expense of the poor. Though i believe that the point is that all actors in this society, in some way depend on it. If our decisions affect the society, then arn't we bound to it's consequences? I agree with what I think you're trying to suggest in pricipal, however it's application seems tenuous at best. One would have to consistantly overcome the "shortest path" and take long term prosparity over short term. I just don't believe that humans (the great survivalists) are hardwired that way. Even I ask myself, what good is a prosperous future when I have to sacrafice a prosperous present to achieve it, and likely die before it ever comes about... and of course this requries the cooperation of a vast number of people of which that idea is just as apparent, even if they're not consciously aware of it (as I said, it seems hardwired). Also, I wonder if Capitolism is not itself baised on these hypothesis and consessions to make it practical haven't simply distorted it beyond recognition. Excuse the bit of wandering ramble, I'm truely a novice when it comes to philosophy and politics. I welcome any response to this and especially a clarification of your opinion if I have misrepresented it. view post


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