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View Diary: Socialism — what it isn’t (117 comments)

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  •  I never said all people are motivated solely by (2+ / 0-)
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    84thProblem, Sparhawk


    I wrote:

    People most typically act in ways that fit their perceived own best interest (and what they perceive as in the best interests of those they love).  People do this regardless of the economic system they live in.  
    Real world economists do not understand the world as people only placing value on money.  People place value on many other things in their economic decisions including: status, recognition, leisure, freedom to work on what is of interest, income security, fear of change, fear of risk, staying close to family, etc.. Of the many great entrepreneurs I have known, money was an important motivator but one of  many motivators.

    Not everyone is motivated by the same thing.  The world is a better place because of that.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:58:00 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  You said socialism (3+ / 0-)

      squelches innovation and invention because somehow it's against people's self-interest.  That assumed a money motive.  I gave you a widespread counter example.  Moreover, the case can be made that capitalism inhibits innovation and invention.  Look at the repetitive nature of the entertainment industry, for example.

    •  I would also add, that (1+ / 0-)
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      you have a rather inaccurate view of real world economists.  While there is a strain of holistic economists, they are at the margins of academia in the States, are mostly a European phenomenon, and contemporary economics in the United States is overwhelmingly dominated by Chicago school orientations that reduce these issues to money and a very abstract conception of what constitutes a rational agent.

      Your conception of self-interest seems to be premised on the idea of self-centered egoism and atomistic individuals.  You seem to assume that socialisms are necessarily of the Stalinist and Maoist variety, where people live in utter squalor, economies are centrally planned, and there is perpetual threat of political persecution.  The Northern European countries do not at all fit this model.  Many people are socialists precisely because socialism is in their self-interest, not out of any pie in the sky altruism.  Readily available social services such as health care and education increase their life potential, give them greater security, and reduce crime.  Tax dollars that would be spent on law enforcement and wars of conquest instead go back to the people in the form of these services.

      There is no dearth of innovation and motivation within these governments and economic systems, so it's unclear as to why you think that one has to have a capitalist system in order for innovation and creativity to exist, nor why you believe that only capitalism provides a system most in accord with our self-interest.  These socialists would argue, by contrast, that capitalism is against the self-interest of the vast majority of people insofar as it creates class stagnation that renders it nearly impossible for ordinary people to improve their lot in life (if you're born poor you're statistically likely to stay poor, and likewise with the middle class), and these economies are inherently unstable, placing the 90% in perpetual economic danger.  What we have under capitalism is a new feudalism that is the very opposite of average self-interest.

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