[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Stephen D. Williams sdw
Wed Jul 6 16:25:27 PDT 2005

Bill Stoddard wrote:

> Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) wrote:
>> On 6-Jul-05, at 12:22 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> It isn't hard to imagine that Western Democracy has pretty much  
>>> proven better than all other tried or known alternatives.
>> It sure isn't, as long as you're a Western capitalist.  I should  
>> suggest that the game is undoubtedly rigged for Western Democracy to  
>> look great if you only view the political spectrum from a Western,  
>> Democratic perspective.  Just because Communism (Soviet-style)  
>> doesn't really exist anymore doesn't mean it's better or worse than  
>> Western Democratic (read:  Free Market Capitalism) systems ... it  
>> means that it has difficulty existing in competition with Western  
>> Capitalism.
> Guess that pretty much explains the actions of Pol Pot. And Chairman 
> Mao. And Stalin.
> I'm honestly astonished you would say such a thing.

Ian, "Difficulty existing in competition with" is the essence and 
ultimate measure of "better".  Read: "The Selfish Gene" - Richard 
Dawkins, second half where he defines a "meme".

For these purposes, it was not just that it had difficulty competing, 
but that it didn't work in the first place.  Central planning and 5 year 
"plans" along with aggressive removal of all incentives falls into the 
category of things that don't even work without competition.

I don't believe that everything that has been competing successfully 
(urban legends, mysticism, anti-intellectualism, rabid religiousity, 
etc.) is correct.  Politics and social engineering are the practice of 
working to enhance the survival of your world and conceptual view over 
others.  In the US, and most of the "Western" world, this is a polite 
chess game.  In less sophisticated environments, it leads to genocide 
and other poor strategies.

Eventually, truth becomes clear and overcomes even airtight 
self-reinforcement mechanisms (religion and the flat Earth, etc.).  In 
capitalism vs. communism, this was the case long ago; before I was born 
probably, but certainly not later than the 80's.


swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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