AlexL

NYT : Capitalism is predicated on bad behavior ...

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A recent NYT opinion piece: Capitalists and Other Psychopaths - particularly vicious, and stupid.

There are ethical corporations, yes, and ethical businesspeople, but ethics in capitalism is purely optional, purely extrinsic. To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “job creators,” a phrase begotten by Frank Luntz, the right-wing propaganda guru, on the ghost of Ayn Rand. The rich deserve our gratitude as well as everything they have, in other words, and all the rest is envy.

First of all, if entrepreneurs are job creators, workers are wealth creators. Entrepreneurs use wealth to create jobs for workers. Workers use labor to create wealth for entrepreneurs — the excess productivity, over and above wages and other compensation, that goes to corporate profits. It’s neither party’s goal to benefit the other, but that’s what happens nonetheless.

...

Sasha

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Here's another reason why the New York Times is dying. That article is straight-up Marxism and may be too much for even your average leftish New Yorker to take. As for the hardcore Lefties, why should they pay the New York Times for this kind of stuff when they can get it free at the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos?

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... That article is straight-up Marxism and may be too much for even your average leftish New Yorker to take...

"Christian Marxism" -- Marxist economics and the worst of Christian ethics of sacrifice. Notice the increasing explicit appeal to religion by the left.

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A recent NYT opinion piece: Capitalists and Other Psychopaths - particularly vicious, and stupid.

There are ethical corporations, yes, and ethical businesspeople, but ethics in capitalism is purely optional, purely extrinsic. To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “job creators,” a phrase begotten by Frank Luntz, the right-wing propaganda guru, on the ghost of Ayn Rand. The rich deserve our gratitude as well as everything they have, in other words, and all the rest is envy.

First of all, if entrepreneurs are job creators, workers are wealth creators. Entrepreneurs use wealth to create jobs for workers. Workers use labor to create wealth for entrepreneurs — the excess productivity, over and above wages and other compensation, that goes to corporate profits. It’s neither party’s goal to benefit the other, but that’s what happens nonetheless.

...

Sasha

Oh gosh, why did you even give them the hits? The political blog I like to read provides "safe links" when critiquing (making fun of) some particularly absurd NYT article.

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A recent NYT opinion piece: Capitalists and Other Psychopaths - particularly vicious, and stupid.
There are ethical corporations, yes, and ethical businesspeople, but ethics in capitalism is purely optional, purely extrinsic. To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself. There’s been a lot of talk lately about “job creators,” a phrase begotten by Frank Luntz, the right-wing propaganda guru, on the ghost of Ayn Rand. The rich deserve our gratitude as well as everything they have, in other words, and all the rest is envy. First of all, if entrepreneurs are job creators, workers are wealth creators. Entrepreneurs use wealth to create jobs for workers. Workers use labor to create wealth for entrepreneurs — the excess productivity, over and above wages and other compensation, that goes to corporate profits. It’s neither party’s goal to benefit the other, but that’s what happens nonetheless. ...
Sasha

That NYT screed is a repetition of the old Marxist Canard of surplus value. It is predicated on the notion that all use-value is created by labor and no value accrues to the folk who put the business firms together with their own capital. The owner is conceived of as a parasite. How well would our steel industry have fared without the work of that "parasite" Andrew Carnegie. How well would our petroleum industry have done without the work of that "parasite" Rockerfeller. Would we have a vibrant auto industry without that "parasite" Henry Ford?

Same old, same old. Karl Marx and his errors echoing down through the ages.

ruveyn

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The only problem Christians seem to have with Marxists, is the 'God' issue, not the ethics.

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The only problem Christians seem to have with Marxists, is the 'God' issue, not the ethics.

I know a lot of Christians who would strenuously disagree with you on that point. In America at least, most Christians live lives defined by rational self-interest, self-reliance, and honesty. If they didn't America wouldn't exist in the way it does. The protestant work ethic isn't Marxism...

A mistake I see very frequently amongst objectivists when evaluating christians is that some people equate the personal beliefs of Christians to the core philosophy of Christianity itself. Most Christians develop a sense of right and wrong organically as they grow up within their culture, and then after the fact look into the bible to try and rationalize why they believe what they do. They don't look in the bible first, and then deduce a sense of right and wrong from it and then adjust their life accordingly. For the average American Christian, Life comes first because Reality comes first, and the bible just has to be elastic to mold to their lives and reality as necessary.

I think this subtlety can be hard to understand for some (not all) objectivists because we have a high standard of expecting our actions in life to be in coherence with our sense of right and wrong, and our sense of right and wrong is coherent with our philosophy. With most Christians though there is no coherence. The ethics of Christian philosophy is wretchedly altruistic, but most Christians don't let altruism dominate the practical aspects of their life, because a lot of mental acrobatics and hand-waving occurs when it comes to reading and understanding the bible.

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With most Christians though there is no coherence. The ethics of Christian philosophy is wretchedly altruistic, but most Christians don't let altruism dominate the practical aspects of their life, because a lot of mental acrobatics and hand-waving occurs when it comes to reading and understanding the bible.

You make a fair point What you say is valid in that there is compartmentalization going on. No one can live with altruism without doing this. However, I am not so much addressing what individuals actually DO, but what lies in the 'compartment' they ignore or rationalize; the ethics they profess, not the one they live by. A 'good' Christian regards sacrifice as noble, a 'bad' one doesn't. My comments are about the 'good' Christians despite a possible Calvinistic work ethic they may live by.

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With most Christians though there is no coherence. The ethics of Christian philosophy is wretchedly altruistic, but most Christians don't let altruism dominate the practical aspects of their life, because a lot of mental acrobatics and hand-waving occurs when it comes to reading and understanding the bible.

Most Christians act like Objectivists but, thanks to altruism, feel guilty about it. They can be won over, not by attacking religion, but by attacking their unearned guilt.

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