## Religion and Politics

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

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### Re: Religion and Politics

Well you can't be slave to yourself, but you could look at it as being slave to the activity because the activity of eating and sleeping is stealing productivity from our goals.
An activity is stealing??

Sounds rather absurd.
You cannot trade what you are not conscious of. Since you have no way of knowing what profit your labor is transferring to an employer, there is no way you could agree to it.
Or to use the technical
39:17
term economists like: he has to rip the
39:20
workers off, he has to steal from them
39:25
part of what their labor added.

That's a bold, passionate, and emphatic statement from a professor of economics with an alma mater of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Surely he's not confused.
This is an appeal to authority.
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 12162
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Religion and Politics

phyllo wrote:
Well you can't be slave to yourself, but you could look at it as being slave to the activity because the activity of eating and sleeping is stealing productivity from our goals.
An activity is stealing??

I could eat or I could talk to you, so if I eat, then it's stealing time from you. Or we could say that if I talk to you, then it's stealing time from eating.

You cannot trade what you are not conscious of. Since you have no way of knowing what profit your labor is transferring to an employer, there is no way you could agree to it.

But you don't know how much you're giving away in the trade. If people find out how much they are giving away, then they go on strike (I've had that happen to me when the guys figured out how much I was making in comparison). If they would strike if they found out how much they are giving away, then that means they would not agree to the terms if they knew what the terms are. They will agree to work for $10/hr if they don't know how much money per hour the employer is making off of them, but if they find out the employer is making$100/hr and only paying them $10, they probably wouldn't agree. Or to use the technical 39:17 term economists like: he has to rip the 39:20 workers off, he has to steal from them 39:25 part of what their labor added. That's a bold, passionate, and emphatic statement from a professor of economics with an alma mater of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Surely he's not confused. This is an appeal to authority. Yes I know, but it's to counter your appeal to the ridiculous. If a pedigreed professor of economics can make a claim, then surely it's not ridiculous. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2180 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics I could eat or I could talk to you, so if I eat, then it's stealing time from you. Or we could say that if I talk to you, then it's stealing time from eating. You can say anything that you like. Doesn't mean I or someone else thinks that it's a reasonable thing to say. Yes I know, but it's to counter your appeal to the ridiculous. If a pedigreed professor of economics can make a claim, then surely it's not ridiculous. What appeal to the ridiculous? I questioned whether employment is theft. I didn't know that it was all settled and carved in stone. phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 12162 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Religion and Politics phyllo wrote: I could eat or I could talk to you, so if I eat, then it's stealing time from you. Or we could say that if I talk to you, then it's stealing time from eating. You can say anything that you like. Doesn't mean I or someone else thinks that it's a reasonable thing to say. Hmm... let's try this: phyllo wrote: 1+1=2 You can say anything that you like. Doesn't mean I or someone else thinks that it's a reasonable thing to say. I don't know how else to address that. Yes I know, but it's to counter your appeal to the ridiculous. If a pedigreed professor of economics can make a claim, then surely it's not ridiculous. What appeal to the ridiculous? I questioned whether employment is theft. The implication that I'm in a hole says the idea must be ridiculous. You seem to act as if there is no merit whatsoever to the claim. I didn't know that it was all settled and carved in stone. It is settled in academia as far as I can tell. I don't see how Krugman and Stiglitz can be so revered if they preached bs. A round earth should be set in stone too, but people have their own opinions. The problem, though, with those going their own way regarding the economy is that they vote. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2180 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics I don't know how else to address that. 1+1=2 does not accurately represent your position. The implication that I'm in a hole says the idea must be ridiculous. You seem to act as if there is no merit whatsoever to the claim. Your hole is : Your insistence that eating and sleeping is slavery. Keep digging. phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 12162 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Religion and Politics Serendipper wrote:I could eat or I could talk to you, so if I eat, then it's stealing time from you. Or we could say that if I talk to you, then it's stealing time from eating. Obviously one can say this, you just did. So let's assume you are taking a stronger stand, but worded in a way that does not quite openly take that stand. You are saying that it is an accurate description of what is happening. You are using a word stealing, from the verb steal, and attributing it to an activity, rather than a person or what we think of as an agent. The agent, who makes the choice, is actually you, in this situation. No property was taken from you by an agent, someone unlawfully taking your property. So you are stretching the meaning, or, really using an active metaphor. It might be a useful metaphor, in some context. But in flat exchanges between people trying to understand a phenomenon, I don't think it's useful. IOW it might be useful to highlight a feeling. It might feel like you are stealing time with someone because of your basic needs and your choice to satisfy them. Or it might feel like non-sentient abstracted processes are stealing from you. Fine. Poetic use of language to get at ONE nuance of an experience. Or perhaps a few facets of an experience. But as a general description it fails. It does not match my experience. It does not match my understanding of what happens when I MAKE A CHOICE. As I experience it. If you want to bring in determinism and view it in the 3rd person, it still does not fit, since it is still not stealing. And in a deterministic universe there is only one outcome and you cannot say that the outcome which did not happen stole something, since that non-realized outcome did not and does not exist. I don't think it is useful or accurate to maintain these as good descriptions of these phenomena. If you are playing devil's advocate, rather than say, refusing to give up a position and being willing to argue whatever rather than admitting it was a dead end, OK that might be useful. A noble lie of some sort, but a temporary one. Karpel Tunnel Philosopher Posts: 3625 Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics phyllo wrote: I don't know how else to address that. 1+1=2 does not accurately represent your position. Yes it does, but you refuse to see it. Your dogmatism is starting to become flattery since I must be correct in order to be eliciting this much bullheaded pushback. If I were incorrect, you would simply point out my error, "Here's how you're wrong ____________" but apparently you can't and have resorted to clinging to dogma due to unpalatability of facts and your inability to draw a definitive line on a slippery slope of degrees of category. The implication that I'm in a hole says the idea must be ridiculous. You seem to act as if there is no merit whatsoever to the claim. Your hole is : Your insistence that eating and sleeping is slavery. Keep digging. I'm not insisting, but you push me into a corner by saying "Well if employment is slavery then what about eating a sleeping?" So from a certain point of view, you can be slave to an activity such as eating, sleeping, posting on ILP, but you cannot be a slave to yourself. That's clearly stated, is non-contradictory, and I'm not in a hole in spite of you baiting me and wishing I were. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2180 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics Yes it does, but you refuse to see it. Your dogmatism is starting to become flattery since I must be correct in order to be eliciting this much bullheaded pushback. If I were incorrect, you would simply point out my error, "Here's how you're wrong ____________" but apparently you can't and have resorted to clinging to dogma due to unpalatability of facts and your inability to draw a definitive line on a slippery slope of degrees of category. I enjoy watching you flop around. You made up your own definition of slavery. It's a silly definition. It means that everyone is a slave to literally everything. It means people are slaves to activities and inanimate objects. You're a slave to oxygen molecules because you need to breathe in order to live. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ... It's a bottomless pit of absurdity. But go on, tell us more. phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 12162 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Religion and Politics Karpel Tunnel wrote: Serendipper wrote:I could eat or I could talk to you, so if I eat, then it's stealing time from you. Or we could say that if I talk to you, then it's stealing time from eating. Obviously one can say this, you just did. So let's assume you are taking a stronger stand, but worded in a way that does not quite openly take that stand. You are saying that it is an accurate description of what is happening. You are using a word stealing, from the verb steal, and attributing it to an activity, rather than a person or what we think of as an agent. The agent, who makes the choice, is actually you, in this situation. No property was taken from you by an agent, someone unlawfully taking your property. So you are stretching the meaning, or, really using an active metaphor. It might be a useful metaphor, in some context. But in flat exchanges between people trying to understand a phenomenon, I don't think it's useful. That's actually really good commentary! Yeah I'm stretching. I've admitted that one cannot be slave to themselves, but have allowed for slavery of activity from a certain point of view. It's not essential for my argument and is a diversion tactic employed by phyllo to get me to concede there is something to which I'm bound that also does not steal from me. If there is no agent, then it's not an applicable analogy to challenge my wage-slavery assertion and the objection is moot. But as a general description it fails. It does not match my experience. It does not match my understanding of what happens when I MAKE A CHOICE. As I experience it. If you want to bring in determinism and view it in the 3rd person, it still does not fit, since it is still not stealing. But there is a sense in which there is an agent if that agent is the other in the self/other relationship wherein the other in this case would be the environment aspect of the universe that is not me. That agent is insisting that something be done immediately, but is counter to what I'd prefer to do with my time and is therefore stealing from me. And in a deterministic universe there is only one outcome and you cannot say that the outcome which did not happen stole something, since that non-realized outcome did not and does not exist. There is no deterministic universe in the sense you are using it. We are determined by randomness that is not predictable and not repeatable if the universe were rewound and started again. If you are playing devil's advocate, rather than say, refusing to give up a position and being willing to argue whatever rather than admitting it was a dead end, OK that might be useful. A noble lie of some sort, but a temporary one. It's not a deadend because the core issue is whether employment is in the category of slavery notwithstanding degrees of suffering or anything else. I have 2 observations on my side: 1) employment is not voluntary. 2) profit is extracted and productivity is stolen. Unfortunately for everyone who'd prefer it to be otherwise, that is slavery. Being compelled to participate in activities where theft of productivity results is the very definition of slavery. Slavery is not ownership; it is not physically abusive, but it's compulsion to participate in activities that results in theft. Phyllo brought the point that he may want agree to that system, but I countered that it's impossible to agree if you cannot be aware of the terms. Sure, if someone could layout plainly that I'd be making X and contributing Y to the company in profits, then I might be able to agree to the terms, but it's essential in a slave system to keep such things quiet lest the slaves view it as unfair because Y far exceeds X as evidenced by the great division of wealth that exists. Again, people are ok with that as long as it's quiet. People are happy with the bone that is thrown to them, and so long as they can count on that bone, it doesn't matter what the rich are eating. Well that's stupid, imo. It's giving something away for nothing in return. The slaves could argue that they're getting reliability in return, but they'd get that just the same if they demanded more of their productivity as evidenced by 50 years of high taxation (redistribution) in the US. The system did not break down; contrarily, it's the time Trump wants to take us back to because it was SO GREAT! But Trump is an idiot who can't figure out that it was great because of the redistributive mechanisms that FDR instituted, so where Trump is taking us is pre-1930 and we already know how that ended. The health of an economy is a function of the redistributive mechanisms because if the people do not have money, there is no economy. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2180 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics Serendipper wrote: But as a general description it fails. It does not match my experience. It does not match my understanding of what happens when I MAKE A CHOICE. As I experience it. If you want to bring in determinism and view it in the 3rd person, it still does not fit, since it is still not stealing. But there is a sense in which there is an agent if that agent is the other in the self/other relationship wherein the other in this case would be the environment aspect of the universe that is not me. That agent is insisting that something be done immediately, but is counter to what I'd prefer to do with my time and is therefore stealing from me. No. You decide to eat or you eat and don't go out with your friend. The going out with you friend never happened. That event cannot be stolen from you. It does not exist. What does not exist cannot be stolen. Further, if you, the organism, actually preferred to be with your friend, you would have done that. But you preferred to satisfy your hunger. There is no deterministic universe in the sense you are using it. We are determined by randomness that is not predictable and not repeatable if the universe were rewound and started again. It doesn't matter if we take in qm indeterminism or have a more newtonian pure determinism. There is no event where you went with your friend when you decided to eat. There was no stealing. What happened happened. What did not happen did not happen. It's not a deadend because the core issue is whether employment is in the category of slavery notwithstanding degrees of suffering or anything else. I have 2 observations on my side: 1) employment is not voluntary. 2) profit is extracted and productivity is stolen. Unfortunately for everyone who'd prefer it to be otherwise, that is slavery. Being compelled to participate in activities where theft of productivity results is the very definition of slavery. Slavery is not ownership; it is not physically abusive, but it's compulsion to participate in activities that results in theft. I think wage-slavery is a valid hyperbole. There was a time when one could head out to the frontier to some degree (and often steal, but that's another story), but now, yes, we are compelled. But I need to see the phrase wage-slavery, rather than just slavery. And, in any, case, I responded to eating as slavery. However as far as wage slavery I think it is hyperbole. For some people the situation can be closer to slavery, though even there I would say it is closer to the horrors of sharecropper South, than slavery. Phyllo brought the point that he may want agree to that system, but I countered that it's impossible to agree if you cannot be aware of the terms. Sure, if someone could layout plainly that I'd be making X and contributing Y to the company in profits, then I might be able to agree to the terms, but it's essential in a slave system to keep such things quiet lest the slaves view it as unfair because Y far exceeds X as evidenced by the great division of wealth that exists. You don't generally need slaves to think it is fair, you just need them to understand the power differential and consequences. You cannot force the person to live in a specific spot. You cannot separate them from their family members. They have recourse to take you to court for physical violence and other types of mistreatment. You can shift yourself between employers, though this is not fair or always easy. What you do in your own home is not restricted in the ways slaves were restricted. You can play drums and learn to read. Look, I hate the current capitalist system - and likely am more critical of it than Phyllo who went through the horrors of communism, which I am also not fond of - but just because X has a number of qualities that Y does it does not mean it is Y, at least not necessarily. As polemic calling it wage- slavery, in many contexts, I like. But it's not slavery, it is something that has some characteristics in common. Again, people are ok with that as long as it's quiet. People are happy with the bone that is thrown to them, and so long as they can count on that bone, it doesn't matter what the rich are eating. Well that's stupid, imo. It's giving something away for nothing in return. The slaves could argue that they're getting reliability in return, but they'd get that just the same if they demanded more of their productivity as evidenced by 50 years of high taxation (redistribution) in the US. The system did not break down; contrarily, it's the time Trump wants to take us back to because it was SO GREAT! But Trump is an idiot who can't figure out that it was great because of the redistributive mechanisms that FDR instituted, so where Trump is taking us is pre-1930 and we already know how that ended. The health of an economy is a function of the redistributive mechanisms because if the people do not have money, there is no economy. I'm with you generally on all this. Karpel Tunnel Philosopher Posts: 3625 Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm ### Re: Religion and Politics Karpel Tunnel wrote:No. You decide to eat or you eat and don't go out with your friend. The going out with you friend never happened. That event cannot be stolen from you. It does not exist. What does not exist cannot be stolen. Further, if you, the organism, actually preferred to be with your friend, you would have done that. But you preferred to satisfy your hunger. Opportunity cost represents the benefits an individual, investor or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/op ... tycost.asp What is stolen/lost is the opportunity to go out with a friend. Actually going out with the friend didn't exist, but the opportunity did, and because the universe (agent) decided to impose its will in making me too sick to go out, the opportunity to have a good time with my friend was stolen. There is no deterministic universe in the sense you are using it. We are determined by randomness that is not predictable and not repeatable if the universe were rewound and started again. It doesn't matter if we take in qm indeterminism or have a more newtonian pure determinism. There is no event where you went with your friend when you decided to eat. There was no stealing. What happened happened. What did not happen did not happen. Sure I concede that, but what I'm saying is that things are not destined to happen any certain way. Events are determined by randomness and not newtonian pure determinism. It's not a deadend because the core issue is whether employment is in the category of slavery notwithstanding degrees of suffering or anything else. I have 2 observations on my side: 1) employment is not voluntary. 2) profit is extracted and productivity is stolen. Unfortunately for everyone who'd prefer it to be otherwise, that is slavery. Being compelled to participate in activities where theft of productivity results is the very definition of slavery. Slavery is not ownership; it is not physically abusive, but it's compulsion to participate in activities that results in theft. I think wage-slavery is a valid hyperbole. There was a time when one could head out to the frontier to some degree (and often steal, but that's another story), but now, yes, we are compelled. But I need to see the phrase wage-slavery, rather than just slavery. And, in any, case, I responded to eating as slavery. However as far as wage slavery I think it is hyperbole. For some people the situation can be closer to slavery, though even there I would say it is closer to the horrors of sharecropper South, than slavery. You're still associating slavery with suffering. A slave can be paid$1 million and still be a slave if they transferred, say, $10 million in productivity to their employer without agreeing to. Have you heard the saying that the loss of a jewel from the crown of a king is the same pain as the loss of a doll to a little girl? We may not have much sympathy for the slave who is only getting$1 million of his productivity, or a better example is a rich guy who had some art stolen from his house because he's still rich, but it's still a theft. The law regards it the same whether theft occurred from someone of abundance or the theft caused someone to starve. Stealing my only dollar is the same crime as stealing $1 million of my$100 million.

Phyllo brought the point that he may want agree to that system, but I countered that it's impossible to agree if you cannot be aware of the terms. Sure, if someone could layout plainly that I'd be making X and contributing Y to the company in profits, then I might be able to agree to the terms, but it's essential in a slave system to keep such things quiet lest the slaves view it as unfair because Y far exceeds X as evidenced by the great division of wealth that exists.
You don't generally need slaves to think it is fair, you just need them to understand the power differential and consequences. You cannot force the person to live in a specific spot. You cannot separate them from their family members. They have recourse to take you to court for physical violence and other types of mistreatment. You can shift yourself between employers, though this is not fair or always easy. What you do in your own home is not restricted in the ways slaves were restricted.
You can play drums and learn to read.

Fine, all that is true, but we're back on the slippery slope looking for a place to draw a line differentiating one degree from another. The fact remains that I can only voluntarily work if I do not need to work, so even though I'm not forced to move or undergo beatings, I'm still forced to do something in order to go on living. So either I go make someone else rich, or I lay down and die.

Look, I hate the current capitalist system - and likely am more critical of it than Phyllo who went through the horrors of communism,

Phyllo went through communism? I'd like to hear more about that.

In my view, there are two forms of government: consolidations of power and dispersals of power. I'd group communism with capitalism in the consolidation of power category because the inevitable result of a free (totally lawless or it wouldn't be free) market is the eventual consolidation of power. So either the people make for themselves a government to prevent that or else someone will become the government and make slaves of the people.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
131 - Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago
July 2, 1932

There are two ways of viewing the Government's duty in matters affecting economic and social life. The first sees to it that a favored few are helped and hopes that some of their prosperity will leak through, sift through, to labor, to the farmer, to the small business man. That theory belongs to the party of Toryism, and I had hoped that most of the Tories left this country in 1776
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=75174

As polemic calling it wage- slavery, in many contexts, I like. But it's not slavery, it is something that has some characteristics in common.

Well, common characteristics make for a category of things with common characteristics.

Again, people are ok with that as long as it's quiet. People are happy with the bone that is thrown to them, and so long as they can count on that bone, it doesn't matter what the rich are eating. Well that's stupid, imo. It's giving something away for nothing in return. The slaves could argue that they're getting reliability in return, but they'd get that just the same if they demanded more of their productivity as evidenced by 50 years of high taxation (redistribution) in the US. The system did not break down; contrarily, it's the time Trump wants to take us back to because it was SO GREAT! But Trump is an idiot who can't figure out that it was great because of the redistributive mechanisms that FDR instituted, so where Trump is taking us is pre-1930 and we already know how that ended.

The health of an economy is a function of the redistributive mechanisms because if the people do not have money, there is no economy.
I'm with you generally on all this.

Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

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