Weekend reflections

It’s time for another weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Side discussions to sandpits, please. Absolutely no personal criticism of other commenters.

35 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. GrueBleen – if the Fabian Society replaced its definition or meaning of Socialism from govt. monopoly capitalism to Social Concern or “being socially concerned”, then would it not come pretty close to your altruistic(?) principles of “putting people first”, and “make humanity great again” ?

    However – as in the case of an emergency on air travel they advise to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before aiding anyone else, is it not a natural and basic priority that normally (apart from some specific circumstances) oneself is “the people” one has to put first?

    And that only by doing so in a fair way are we able “to serve others best” in the interest of humanity ?

    Because how can we successfully “put others first” if we ourselves are not reasonably “up to scratch” on moral and physical health and wealth ?

    So – when reasonably “up to scratch” oneself, what is the most fair and effective way to “put people first” for “humanity (in physical and mental welfare) to be great” (again?) and more or less “rule the world” ?

  2. @Jens Meder

    Hmmm, now let me see:

    1. Put people first !
    2. Make humanity great again !

    Have you heard of somebody named Donald John Trump, Jens ?

    But I might just have to agree with you in the main, after all if everybody exhibited the ” natural and basic priority that normally (apart from some specific circumstances) oneself is “the people” one has to put first?” then it might get really hard to get enough people to fight wars. Unless “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” was the main one of the “specific circumstances” you had in mind.

    However, I do have to ask just how you somehow transmuted “Put people first” into “put others first” ? “Put people first” is usually used as a contradiction to those who “put profits first” (or fame or power or whatever). Some even use it to criticise the various animals rights movements (eg PETA) which they accuse of putting animals first.

    Well I do have a lovely, affectionate feline that I would certainly put way ahead of lots of people. You may guess who.

    As to “make humanity great again”, well, yes, again – we started heading along the right track back in 1685 when at least some of homo sapiens sapiens began the long, slow walk towards logic, rationality and science. But we just didn’t quite make it, did we. Now we’ll have to start all over again (yes, again) to once again dispose of those “alternative facts”. So it goes.

    As to socialism well is that a myth or is that a utopia ? If it were 100 years ago, we could have asked Georges Sorel in person, but at least we can read his works. If there ever will be anything such as Socialism, then if we have indeed made humanity great again, it will be treated as the simplistic means that it is, not some kind of religiously believed ‘end in itself’. If we accept that each individual is an end in his/herself, then nothing else ever can be, can it.

    However, let me just say that day after day after day people – eg Ikonoclast, but also Prof Quiggin – write about “the left”/or even “the Left”. And I simply try to ask them what they mean by this – who is the, what is the, “left” – but they can never tell me. They just say things like “go and do your own research, GrueBleen” which simply means that they have some idea that I should be able to guess the meaning(s) that they assign to words and terms in order to unscrew what they say.

    Unfortunately, I possess no psychic powers whatsoever, so what they say just whiffles off through the tulgey wood and is lost forever.

  3. GrueBleen – yes, I have heard of Trump, but would not like to be distracted from the more fundamental subject matter of our discussion.

    On that, in view of the many contradictions or exceptions possible to “put people first”, would not the answer be in “put the truth (or tangible facts) first ?

    On the truth I am almost embarrassed to draw attention to the reality, that since life as an energy consuming process, at least in its growing phase cannot continue without a profit over the energy consumed, or adequate energy reserves for that having been accumulated.

    If that is understood and not refuted as wrong or dubious, then according to the natural laws of physics, exactly the same applies to growth and decline on the economics of human welfare, which regardless of our ideologies and legislations, are ultimately all subject to the same natural laws of physics, which cannot be changed by human ideology and legislation.

    In other words – before any other needs can be met satisfactorily in a sustainable way – THE BASICALLY CRUCIAL NEED BEFORE ANY OTHERS IS PROFITABILITY IN OUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION.

    Without it – some people die of starvation until profitability has been restored again for supply to catch up with demand – or a state of economic stagnation has been at a “hand-to-mouth” level of poverty by all, with no profitability (permitted?) for progress, anywhere.

    If that is true, then would not the most successfully altruistic policy to enable “putting people first” be, in making sure, that the crucial factor of profitability over energy consumed is “part and parcel” of each individual’s life in the form of a basic personal “profit” or savings rate at the expense of consumption potential is built into our taxation system ?

    Would that not be acceptable to both the compassionate “Left” and “Right”?

  4. @Jens Meder

    yes, I have heard of Trump,

    No, I don’t think you have, otherwise you might have recognised this:

    1. Put America first / Put people first.
    2. Make America great again / Make humanity great again.

    You see, that’s called “ironic spoof”, not intended to be taken seriously.

    Would that not be acceptable to both the compassionate “Left” and “Right”?

    Now you’re using the terms “Left” and “Right” yourself and you haven’t explained what you mean by either of them. Do you intend to explain or am I just supposed to guess ?

    But just for interest’s sake:

    in view of the many contradictions or exceptions possible to “put people first”, would not the answer be in “put the truth (or tangible facts) first ?

    No, it wouldn’t: putting “truth or tangible facts first” is a MEANS not an END. It is simply a way in which we can work towards putting people first. The only END is to put people first and we should use any MEANS available to achieve that.

    Once again: if people are the only ‘ends in themselves’ then nothing else can be an ‘end in itself’.

  5. Aah, GrueBleen – by you apparently preferring any means available towards the end to be achieved, are you not aware of the inhumane means justified in the Soviet Union to achieve
    Socialism – and failing in that, because their ideological means of “production for needs, not profits” ignored the basic fact that profitability is the priority nee before any other needs can be met in a sustainable way after all the reserves have been consumed ?

    Is it not plain common sense, that any means to “put people first” regardless – or in conflict – of physical realities – is in danger of ending in disaster ?

    But my apologies – if your points 1 and 2 were supposed to be jokes.

    However, perhaps the following might help you to differentiate between Left and Right, in that the Left’s priority is in communal capitalism before individual capitalism, and the Right’s priority is in individual capitalism before communal capitalism.
    Propositions that apply to the whole nation in proportional equality are clearly of the Center and cannot be placed to the Left or Right of it.

    “Co-operative capitalism” might belong to the Center even though I think that based on individual share ownership with easy withdrawal options, it is more flexible and “participant friendly” than a communal co-operative with its administrative rigidities.

    If that is not good enough for you, GrueBleen, the please describe the proposition(s) that you find hard to place.

    But what sense is there in the statement, that “if people are only ‘ends in themselves’ then nothing else can be an “end in itself’ ?

    Surly say buying a house can be “an end in itself” ?

  6. @Jens Meder

    …by you apparently preferring any means available

    Hmmm. Now that’s the kind of distortion and misunderstanding that just ruins a nascent interlocution.

    the inhumane means justified in the Soviet Union

    And this is a clear case in point: if the means are “inhumane” then, by definition, by logic, by common sense and by any measure of reading comprehension, then those means can’t be a way of putting people first, can they. Putting “people” first. not Soviet Commissars. Can you grasp the subtle difference ?

    …the following might help you to differentiate between Left and Right,

    .
    No, I don’t want to “differentiate” between “Left” and “Right”, I want to know who you are talking(writing) about. Is that so totally recondite that it is incomprehensible to you ? I’ll try one last time: when you say “Left” (or “Right”) I want you to name names of people or oraginsations. So, for example, you might say “When I say Right I mean Cory Bernardi and his Australian Conservatives.”; “When I say Left I mean ??? (well, who do you mean ?)”

    Surly say buying a house can be “an end in itself” ?

    You mean people just buy houses in order to just own them ? They don’t live in them ? Houses aren’t a means to the ends of shelter, safety, capability for cooking, sleeping, having family time ? Or maybe just to rent out to others so as to make some money. People, you want to tell me, don’t buy houses to make any use of them, just as “ends in themselves” ? You must know a really weird set of people, Jens.

  7. GrueBleen – does not your statement “The only END is to put people first and we should use ANY MEANS available to achieve that” mean clearly, that you (unscientifically?) urge any means with no concern nor knowledge of the consequences of those means to “put people first” ?

    The Soviet Union only praised their means to achieve their end of “from everybody(the people) according to ability, to everybody (the people) according to needs”, only enemies of the Soviet Union accused them of inhumane means.

    I don’t think there is practical value in arguing whether house ownership is an end or a means to a variety of ends, because does not human life actually proceed in steps from one priority (end?) to the next ?

    On “Left” or “Right” give me the names, organizations and propositions – or statements of mine – that you cannot place, and I will see if I can place them for you with explanations on what grounds they are to be placed left, right or center.

  8. @Jens Meder

    …clearly, that you (unscientifically?) urge any means with no concern nor knowledge of the consequences of those means to “put people first” ?

    That would have to be the most absurd statement aimed at me for quite a while. Really, Jens, wake up and smell the chloroform, mate.

    On “Left” or “Right” give me the names, organizations and propositions – or statements of mine – that you cannot place, and I will see if I can place them for you

    This is almost as ridiculous. What I have asked – simply, clearly, repeatedly – is that when you use the terms “left: or “right” that you tell me who you are talking about. If you can’t understand that very simple statement, then we have nothing further to communicate about.

  9. O.K. GrueBleen.
    As long as anyone – e.g. Cory Bernardi – is and remains a member of a private enterprise liberal or conservative party, then he is “of the right” regardless what he/she might have said, and as long as e.g. you are a member of the “socialistic” or govt. capitalism preferring party (or the Fabian Society?),you, I, or anyone – would be of the left.

    However – if no party or other left/right association affiliation of a person is known – and it is not clear whether the statement made is on the social capitalistic or private capitalistic side – then it clearly qualifies as possibly being centrist – i.e. universally capitalistic – meaning 100% of citizen participation in private capitalism in a mixed economy including all imaginable varieties of it, e.g. govt., cooperative, corporative etc., etc. capitalism.

    I belong to the all-inclusive “Center”, which fits in very well with mixed capitalism based progressive Social Democracy.

    Is that not now a clearly understandable straightforward answer to your (simple?) question, GrueBleen, and if not, then why ?

  10. @Jens Meder

    You truly are a gem, Jens.

    Now what I want you to do, is sit down very comfortably, with a hot or cold drink (depending on whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere or between the Tropics, and try very hard to analyse what you’ve said above (#34) and then describe clearly just exactly how what you’ve said bears even a remote connection with my question.

    To help you, I will try once again:

    What I have asked – simply, clearly, repeatedly – is that when you use the terms “left: or “right” that you tell me who you are talking about.

    Capiche ?

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