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Chris
08-12-2015, 09:53 AM
Whole Foods' John Mackey: Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism (http://reason.com/reasontv/2015/08/12/whole-foods-john-mackey-capitalism)


They're jealous, he says, they side with rulers, and they don't understand how markets work.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=188&v=_rYPp4ofXAs

"Intellectuals have always disdained commerce" says Whole Foods Market co-founder John Mackey. They "have always sided...with the aristocrats to maintain a society where the businesspeople were kind of kept down."...

This intellectual disdain for the market goes back at least to Plato and Aristotle: Ancient Origins of a Modern Debate: Socialism in Plato and Aristotle (http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/ancient-origins-modern-debate-socialism-plato-aristotle#.xnkl2h:4cjz):


The exposure of the various facets of human life to market forces has always been a point of contention between capitalists and socialists.1 “Commodification,” that is turning goods, services, and even ideas into marketable items to satisfy needs and desires, raises questions as to the limit of the market in governing human relations and, to some extent, humanity itself. Even before Marx argued that the development of capitalism alienated individuals from the products of their own labor and, as such, excluded them from enjoying full humanity, Rousseau, in two essays, questioned both the advance of the then burgeoning scientific revolution and increase of commercial society, both which he saw as contributing to the loss of man’s original, natural independence and to his moral corruption.2 And even before the advent of the modern age, as I will argue, these debates have been carried on. In Antiquity, Plato and Aristotle objected to the commodification of certain aspects human relations, especially politics and philosophy, which they saw were “elevated” and “noble” as contrasted with the “banausic” (base) and “necessary” facets of human life such as trade and commerce. As such, their noted penchant for excluding those engaged in trade and commerce from political life did not merely stem from their aristocratic biases, but was derived from their conceptions of the human Good and Virtue, as will be discussed shortly. Mainly, I hope to show that underlying various restrictionists’ anti-market positions is a teleologically-informed picture of what it means to be a flourishing human, a philosophical notion which has been handed down from antiquity, and which needs to be understood properly before it can be debated....


But the market is just the social order that emerges from the free, voluntary exchange of goods and services in a society.

Is it just that intellectuals, who think they know better, want to control others?

Cigar
08-12-2015, 10:03 AM
It's not just intellectuals who want to Control Others. :wink:

Green Arrow
08-12-2015, 11:06 AM
I don't think that's accurate. It's kind of a silly generalization.

Cigar
08-12-2015, 11:08 AM
I don't think that's accurate. It's kind of a silly generalization.

Most generalizations on this Forum are Silly.

decedent
08-12-2015, 11:37 AM
Capitalism has eliminated poverty. Commie intellectuals are telling us that poor people can't always afford food, which is nonsense.

kilgram
08-12-2015, 01:16 PM
Maybe because they are intelligent and understand very well the consequences of capitalism.

The most intelligent ones usually are anticapitalist like Einstein...

Enviat des del meu Aquaris E5 usant Tapatalk

Chris
08-12-2015, 01:19 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TANKw6eUMP4

kilgram
08-12-2015, 02:25 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TANKw6eUMP4
Sorry, I don't understand that guy.

His accent is too hard for me.

Chris
08-12-2015, 02:39 PM
Sorry, I don't understand that guy.

His accent is too hard for me.

"The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?"

"The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from 'society,' rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by 'society'."

Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

(That's the book he says he will write in the video.)

southwest88
08-12-2015, 05:21 PM
Do intellectuals hate capitalism? Hate is probably too strong a word. & besides, you have to sort out the terminology. Were the early Greek philosophers intellectuals? I don't think so - & I doubt they would have thought of themselves that way. TMK, they thought of themselves as seekers after Truth - & maybe rhetoricians, natural philosophers, studiers of nature, etc. Certainly as teachers - albeit they tended to specialize in teaching the boys & young men of the wealthy &/or powerful. Meritorious young men too, perhaps. I don't recall any exceptions made for young women - but that culture didn't value women for their intellectual capacities, TMK.

Capitalism in the form we recognize now doesn't exist formally until - what, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the West? Intellectuals pre-date that, but you would probably have to start counting from when secular knowledge workers began distancing themselves from the Church - pre-Luther, @ least.

It's a worthwhile field of inquiry - but Sowell poisons the well with his stance on the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed. If he means to convince me, he's lost @ anointed. That's not merely loaded language, it's blasphemous, given that anointing with oil, etc. is the mark of the holy in the Middle East in Judaism & Christianity.

I may track down Mackey's Conscious Capitalism. Depends on the reading load.

Chris
08-12-2015, 05:36 PM
Do intellectuals hate capitalism? Hate is probably too strong a word. & besides, you have to sort out the terminology. Were the early Greek philosophers intellectuals? I don't think so - & I doubt they would have thought of themselves that way. TMK, they thought of themselves as seekers after Truth - & maybe rhetoricians, natural philosophers, studiers of nature, etc. Certainly as teachers - albeit they tended to specialize in teaching the boys & young men of the wealthy &/or powerful. Meritorious young men too, perhaps. I don't recall any exceptions made for young women - but that culture didn't value women for their intellectual capacities, TMK.

Capitalism in the form we recognize now doesn't exist formally until - what, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the West? Intellectuals pre-date that, but you would probably have to start counting from when secular knowledge workers began distancing themselves from the Church - pre-Luther, @ least.

It's a worthwhile field of inquiry - but Sowell poisons the well with his stance on the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed. If he means to convince me, he's lost @ anointed. That's not merely loaded language, it's blasphemous, given that anointing with oil, etc. is the mark of the holy in the Middle East in Judaism & Christianity.

I may track down Mackey's Conscious Capitalism. Depends on the reading load.


Plato and Aristotle spoke not of capitalism, of course, but the market. When I speak of capitalism I mean the market, what remains free, but others tend to think in terms of market managed by the government rules by the wealthy.

Sowell is criticizing those thinkers who, in essence, believe in reason as faith and think they can thus reinvent man and society. Sowell himself is a great thinker, but like Hayek would argue "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." It's not well poisoning, it's a counter argument to the well poisoning of such pretense by the anointed--what Hayek called the fatal conceit.

You can find Mackay here: http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/resources/538. He's got some good ideas.

Mister D
08-12-2015, 08:51 PM
I understand what Sowell is saying and the overall gist of this critique of intellectuals. I take the term "intellectuals" here to refer to those who believe that a human society can be rationally planned.

Speaking of definitions, I don't think Plato et al were criticizing "the market" per se. In fact, I'd argue that unless we apply a somewhat trivial definition to the term "the market" it didn't exist in Plato's time and wouldn't exist for well over a thousand years. What I think he's criticizing are commercial values and "the market" (this is an anachronism, IMO) as a social paradigm. This view was prevalent in virtually all pre-modern societies and I don't quite see how it can characterized as 1) a disposition of intellectuals and 2) a dislike for capitalism which is again somewhat of an anachronism unless we apply trivial definitions to our terms. Markets and capitalism have always existed in so far goods etc. were exchanged but the market and commercial exchange as the basis of an ideal society is something relatively new in human history. The merchant as archetype goes very much against the grain of virtually all pre-modern cultures.

Just some thoughts.

Mister D
08-12-2015, 09:00 PM
I think the real conflict here is between two sometimes conflicting variations of liberalism. IMO, they all share an emphasis on rationalism and on the economic dimension of human life but whereas liberals like Chris will emphasize the rational economic behavior of individuals pursuing their own self-interests another school, if you will, relishes the prospect of treating society like a lump of clay that can be molded by "intellectuals" into the desired shape. The pottery analogy seems appropriate. :smiley:

William
08-12-2015, 09:33 PM
Capitalism has eliminated poverty. Commie intellectuals are telling us that poor people can't always afford food, which is nonsense.

Where has capitalism eliminated poverty? The richest, most capitalistic country in the world - the USA - has more than 46 million Americans living in poverty.

And anyone who thinks 'intellectuals' are the same people as Communists or Socialists is not very bright.


intellectual

noun a person of superior intellect.

a person who places a high value on or pursues things of interest to the intellect or the more complex forms and fields of knowledge, as aesthetic or philosophical matters, especially on an abstract and general level.

an extremely rational person; a person who relies on intellect rather than on emotions or feelings.

a person professionally engaged in mental labor, as a writer or teacher.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intellectual

This is the same rubbish that people go on about when they use the word 'liberal'.


liberal
adjective 1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberalism), especially the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.

4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

6. of or relating to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.

7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.

noun
14. a person of liberal principles or views, especially in politics or religion.

15. (often initial capital letter) a member of a liberal party in politics, especially of the Liberal party in Great Britain.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal

When I'm fully grown up, I want to be an intellectual liberal. :grin:

Green Arrow
08-12-2015, 10:23 PM
I don't understand why anti-intellectualism seems to be in vogue lately.

Hal Jordan
08-12-2015, 10:27 PM
Where has capitalism eliminated poverty? The richest, most capitalistic country in the world - the USA - has more than 46 million Americans living in poverty.

And anyone who thinks 'intellectuals' are the same people as Communists or Socialists is not very bright.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intellectual

This is the same rubbish that people go on about when they use the word 'liberal'.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal

When I'm fully grown up, I want to be an intellectual liberal. :grin:

Please don't feed the trolls... :tongue:

Peter1469
08-13-2015, 04:12 AM
The US does have poor people. Like all nations, the US does not have unlimited resources. When one compares the life of the poor in the US to much of the world, one notices that the poor in the US are much better off. That is because our capitalist system does a better job at allocating scarce resources than other systems such as socialism and even social democracy.

Chris
08-13-2015, 07:55 AM
I understand what Sowell is saying and the overall gist of this critique of intellectuals. I take the term "intellectuals" here to refer to those who believe that a human society can be rationally planned.

Speaking of definitions, I don't think Plato et al were criticizing "the market" per se. In fact, I'd argue that unless we apply a somewhat trivial definition to the term "the market" it didn't exist in Plato's time and wouldn't exist for well over a thousand years. What I think he's criticizing are commercial values and "the market" (this is an anachronism, IMO) as a social paradigm. This view was prevalent in virtually all pre-modern societies and I don't quite see how it can characterized as 1) a disposition of intellectuals and 2) a dislike for capitalism which is again somewhat of an anachronism unless we apply trivial definitions to our terms. Markets and capitalism have always existed in so far goods etc. were exchanged but the market and commercial exchange as the basis of an ideal society is something relatively new in human history. The merchant as archetype goes very much against the grain of virtually all pre-modern cultures.

Just some thoughts.



I take the term "intellectuals" here to refer to those who believe that a human society can be rationally planned.

Exactly right.


Markets and capitalism have always existed in so far goods etc. were exchanged but the market and commercial exchange as the basis of an ideal society is something relatively new in human history.

Agree, but it was the former Plato and Aristotle criticized or, better, relegated to something beneath them.

Chris
08-13-2015, 07:58 AM
I don't understand why anti-intellectualism seems to be in vogue lately.

The OP is not anti-intellectual. It's criticizing the view that through reason all problems can be solved, that an economy and even a society can be planned. I brought in Sowell and Haey, two intellectual, who emphasize the limitations of reason and planning.

Chris
08-13-2015, 07:59 AM
Where has capitalism eliminated poverty? The richest, most capitalistic country in the world - the USA - has more than 46 million Americans living in poverty.

And anyone who thinks 'intellectuals' are the same people as Communists or Socialists is not very bright.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intellectual

This is the same rubbish that people go on about when they use the word 'liberal'.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal

When I'm fully grown up, I want to be an intellectual liberal. :grin:



Vernacular dictionary definitions often don't fit political discussion.

William
08-13-2015, 09:08 AM
Vernacular dictionary definitions often don't fit political discussion.

Or maybe - political discussion doesn't often fit dictionary definitions. People can be lazy and not use the right words. Maybe a word like 'liberal' doesn't mean what people think it means. :grin:

Captain Obvious
08-13-2015, 09:09 AM
I don't think that's accurate. It's kind of a silly generalization.

^^This

Chris
08-13-2015, 09:45 AM
Or maybe - political discussion doesn't often fit dictionary definitions. People can be lazy and not use the right words. Maybe a word like 'liberal' doesn't mean what people think it means. :grin:

Problem is it means too many things so you have to go by context to disambiguate.

Chris
08-13-2015, 09:47 AM
^^This

Superficially yes, but it was likely intended by the author to provoke thought and discussion.

William
08-14-2015, 12:58 AM
Problem is it means too many things so you have to go by context to disambiguate.

But that means you have to guess what people mean. Like if a word means one thing to you, and another thing to me, then I guess we must accept the dictionary definition. Like words have meanings that have been agreed, and we can't just use any old word cos we can't think of the right one - can we? :smiley:

Chris
08-14-2015, 06:11 AM
But that means you have to guess what people mean. Like if a word means one thing to you, and another thing to me, then I guess we must accept the dictionary definition. Like words have meanings that have been agreed, and we can't just use any old word cos we can't think of the right one - can we? :smiley:

Right, we do that all the time without hardly a thought to it. What's the meaning of 'bank'? It's ambiguous. But seen in context we disambiguate: "bank teller", "river bank", etc. Capitalism can mean state (crony) capitalism or free market capitalism, right, but if I speak of capitalism as the social order that spontaneously emerges from the voluntary exchanges of individuals, you know which one I mean, and if you argued as if I meant the state's management of economy out of which arise a system of corrupt rent seeking, then you'd be deliberately distorting what I meant. Same goes for socialism: The OP is not talking about original conceptions of voluntary socialism but socialism as central planning.

Refugee
08-14-2015, 08:34 AM
1. Capitalism produces the wealth to distribute, without that there wouldn’t be a socialist welfare State.

2. Predictably, under communism where the State both own s and distributes the wealth, there is no welfare system. Kill capitalism and you kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

3. Relative or absolute poverty? In a welfare State there is no absolute poverty, but there is relative poverty, which under equality socialism isn’t supposed to exist.

4. Western governments have been trying for the past 70 years to eliminate relative poverty by increased welfare provision – all it’s done is increase it.

5. Oprah Winfrey, George Soros and Michael Moore didn’t make their wealth in a socialist society. Watch these so call phoney left wing intellectuals quickly emigrate if socialism ever takes off in the U.S.

6. Communism – Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ in which the masses are led by an elite into believing they own everything, but have nothing – real equality.

Chris
08-14-2015, 08:53 AM
1. Capitalism produces the wealth to distribute, without that there wouldn’t be a socialist welfare State.

2. Predictably, under communism where the State both own s and distributes the wealth, there is no welfare system. Kill capitalism and you kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

3. Relative or absolute poverty? In a welfare State there is no absolute poverty, but there is relative poverty, which under equality socialism isn’t supposed to exist.

4. Western governments have been trying for the past 70 years to eliminate relative poverty by increased welfare provision – all it’s done is increase it.

5. Oprah Winfrey, George Soros and Michael Moore didn’t make their wealth in a socialist society. Watch these so call phoney left wing intellectuals quickly emigrate if socialism ever takes off in the U.S.

6. Communism – Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ in which the masses are led by an elite into believing they own everything, but have nothing – real equality.



All one need do is look at the wealthy elites running Cuba while the people live in dire poverty to see where communism leads.

William
08-14-2015, 04:57 PM
Right, we do that all the time without hardly a thought to it. What's the meaning of 'bank'? It's ambiguous. But seen in context we disambiguate: "bank teller", "river bank", etc. Capitalism can mean state (crony) capitalism or free market capitalism, right, but if I speak of capitalism as the social order that spontaneously emerges from the voluntary exchanges of individuals, you know which one I mean, and if you argued as if I meant the state's management of economy out of which arise a system of corrupt rent seeking, then you'd be deliberately distorting what I meant. Same goes for socialism: The OP is not talking about original conceptions of voluntary socialism but socialism as central planning.

I guess so, but I didn't understand all that rent seeking stuff, so I don't know enough to argue. I just know that what the word liberal generally means is not how Americans use it, and the same goes for the words progressives and intellectuals. And that capitalism doesn't seem to eliminate poverty - in many countries, it creates exploitation and sometimes poverty. :wink:

Chris
08-14-2015, 05:02 PM
I guess so, but I didn't understand all that rent seeking stuff, so I don't know enough to argue. I just know that what the word liberal generally means is not how Americans use it, and the same goes for the words progressives and intellectuals. And that capitalism doesn't seem to eliminate poverty - in many countries, it creates exploitation and sometimes poverty. :wink:

Sorry, rent seeking is a special term for seeking favors from government. Another term for it is lobbying.

Liberal does mean different things in American from the rest of the world. What's it generally mean in Australia?

William
08-14-2015, 06:00 PM
Sorry, rent seeking is a special term for seeking favors from government. Another term for it is lobbying.

Liberal does mean different things in American from the rest of the world. What's it generally mean in Australia?

It usually means generous, flexible, not condemning things cos they're different, open to change, etc. but in the political sense, this -


The Liberal Party of Australia (LPA or colloquially Libs) is a centre-right (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre-right_politics) political party in Australia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia). Founded in 1945 to replace the United Australia Party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Australia_Party) (UAP) and its predecessors, the Liberal Party of Australia is one of the two major parties (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_party) in Australian politics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Australia) along with the centre-left Australian Labor Party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Labor_Party) (ALP).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_of_Australia

So if someone calls himself a liberal in Australia, politically it means a centre-right conservative. :smiley:

Chris
08-14-2015, 06:11 PM
It usually means generous, flexible, not condemning things cos they're different, open to change, etc. but in the political sense, this -


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Party_of_Australia

So if someone calls himself a liberal in Australia, politically it means a centre-right conservative. :smiley:


The first part I get, it's what liberal generally means. And, yes, the rest of the world tends to see liberal like you do and not like Americans do--except when Americans talk about liberal trade policy or even economic liberalism.

Refugee
08-14-2015, 06:12 PM
I guess so, but I didn't understand all that rent seeking stuff, so I don't know enough to argue. I just know that what the word liberal generally means is not how Americans use it, and the same goes for the words progressives and intellectuals. And that capitalism doesn't seem to eliminate poverty - in many countries, it creates exploitation and sometimes poverty. :wink:

Terminology is constant; it’s just that people use it in different ways.

Many Americans for instance think socialism is State ownership of private wealth, which is actually communism; but as the State doesn’t own the private wealth, many think that they haven’t got socialism, but call it ‘Change you can believe in’ - socialism by the back door.

‘Progressive’ is another false term used to deceive, originally termed ‘Liberal Fascism.’ Doesn’t everyone want progression? The term ‘Progressive’ is actually an ideology from the American early 20th century. It’s where Hitler got many of his ideas from – race, eugenics, ‘Planned Parenthood’ (abortion) . . . Hillary Clinton for instance, is a self-confessed ‘Progressive’. It’s a top down elite rule on the lines of the European Union disguised as the progression of society. Progression v Progressive – totally different. The people now in power throughout the west use socialism, but are actually Progressives.

America elects a gay Cultural Marxist President, who thinks sharing private wealth is a good thing and if you produced something you didn’t do it on your own, socialised medical care, half its population government welfare dependent – but denies its socialism.
Bernie Madoff didn’t actually mention he was running a Ponzi scheme and when people get the email that says there’s $5m to give away if you send them $50, they don’t mention the term ‘scam’ either – it’s something people have to work out for themselves. I believe Americans call it, ‘Selling a bridge.’

Capitalism was never designed to solve the problem of relative poverty, it’s an economic system. Nowhere in history has everyone been equal and socialism wherever it has been tried has failed. As Margret Thatcher once famously implied, ‘Socialism runs into problems when it runs out of other people’s money to spend’ – that’s what’s happening now in the west – you can’t have one half of a country supporting the other half in a relative lifestyle through taxation.

Refugee
08-14-2015, 06:20 PM
The Modern Social Liberal, as opposed to classical liberalism

http://www.academia.edu/11730219/The_Modern_Social_Liberal

Chris
08-14-2015, 08:19 PM
The Modern Social Liberal, as opposed to classical liberalism

http://www.academia.edu/11730219/The_Modern_Social_Liberal



Despite an entitlement welfare society, poverty is at an all-time high, inner city riots and no-go areas, ghetto’s reflecting culture and/or ethnicity are commonplace and the UK indigenous population are fleeing in their millions. In half a century of liberalism, the western world has already swung so far to the left that the principles of free speech, controlled immigration, national identity and minority integration produce a labelling of right wing extremism.


Our modern neocon/social con is not much different.