31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 11, 2013
====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2013 14:02:59 -0400 From: Fred Goldstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Smart Phones (Atlas Shrugged) Message-ID: <513CCAD3.firstname.lastname@example.org> ********************************************************************** * Moderator's Note: This is the last post in this thread. Usenet * * followups have been set to humanities.philosophy.objectivism. * ********************************************************************** On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 23:16:12, email@example.com (Garrett Wollman) wrote, ... >> > Really? I guess socialist is a word that means different things to >> >different people. That much is true. I think Fred Atkinson said that. >> > >> > To me, it means that the government provides for you and runs your >> >life, just the opposite of freedom. No, that's literally false. "Socialism" means that the government invests in the means of production. It has no conflict with democracy, since the government in such cases should be elected by the people. Many European Union countries practice such democratic socialism, though the ratio of socialist to capitalist investment varies with the political winds. The government doesn't run your life; it does however provide venture capital and takes care of life's necessities like fire protection, police, water, sewer, education, roads, trains, and medical care, since those are more efficient when not left to profit seekers. Private investment is however still welcome. "Communism" is a more extreme system, where the government monopolizes the economy. If socialism means you go to church on Sunday, hard-core Marxist-Leninist or Maoist Communism means you are a monk. > To Marx, it meant that the state owned the means of production, and > determined what goods and services would be provided and at what price > (relative to workers' wages). (It turns out that this is a > computationally intractable problem, but Marx had no way of knowing > that, since the notion of computational complexity wasn't even > formalized until nearly a hundred years later.) True. Lenin and Stalin tried full-bore communism, where Gosplan ran the economy without the communication signals of a marketplace. It turns out not to work. Markets are useful tools in all sorts of economies. However, working markets require regulation. > In today's modern economy, socialism is nearly nonexistent (Cuba and > North Korea are the main exceptions, and Cuba is inching away from > that model); Then why does Fox News yap "socialist" at Obama, whose economic policies are what used to be called "moderate Republican" and are a bit to the right of say Eisenhower? It's a semantic trick: Cuba and North Korea are totalitarian Communist, though of course they like the more inclusive, vaguer term "socialist" which also applies to those hard-core totalitarian tyrannical poverty pockets like France, where the ministry of cheese dictates exactly how much brie and how much boucheron everyone gets while waiting for the Death Panels to call their time. Which is why this discussion is so silly. It is using words with multiple meanings to apply the implications of one meaning against the actualities of another. Rand, like "Austrian" economist Hayek, was correctly noting problems with the Bolsheviks. Hayek's rants against "socialism", however, were against "soviet socialism", which is to say Bolshevism; modern teabaggers use his words against anything at all that interferes with the ability of the wealthy to screw the rest of us. Hayek did not mean that. Leading back to Ayn Rand, the patron saint of selfishness, Rand did. Her work is popular among geeks who have little understanding of the real world but who are doing okay and are sure that the only reason they're not rich and powerful is because of a gummint conspiracy against them. It is really not on topic for Telecom Digest so I think we should close out the thread, but I want to put in a last quote, from Raj Pate, made famous by Paul Krugman: "There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-kld's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs." -- Fred R. Goldstein fred "at" interisle.net Interisle Consulting Group +1 617 795 2701
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