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August 05, 2004

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Chris Corrigan

I like the idea of decentralization and have beenmusing about it's applicability not only to "charity" and community empowerment, but to capitalism as well. It clearly works, but does it work for everyone?

Lenore Ealy

It "works" best for everyone if we want to enable them to become whole persons. I don't expect that everyone will choose to do so, but without personal freedoms and responsibility--that is the capacity and capability to CHOOSE dwelling in community with other--community itself is rather a hollow thing. Can this be done apart from Christ--some do seem to approximate it in their own ways of life. For me, it would not work apart from my faith, which continues to teach me the social virtues of humility, forbearance, compassion, gratitude, and charity.

Phil

Choice, community, market, human depravity, Christian doctrine. How are these related? What theory of caritas encompasses the market, a vertitable Sodom and Gomorrah? Protect your kids from tv, particularly the diabolical ads. For the market is the devil's playground.

Gerry

Lenore, I think you are conflating markets with choice. Certainly freedom to choose is essential for markets to functions, but markets are no guarantee that good choices will be available.

Actually, the commons provides a wider field for choosing and living in truth. Markets are perhaps neutral in terms of transcendent values, but corporations, or "firms" to use http://www.benkler.org/CoasesPenguin.html>Benkler's terms.

Phil

"Would you like lust or greed? Sloth? Or pride?" - Market choice. What Satan introduced to Eden was market choice.

Harry

The anarchic and minarchic utopias of the libertarians are very fragile. Less self-restrained and less moral people can ruin them easily.

The prosperity of free markets, themselves human constructs, is just one of the conditions people need to make themselves whole.

Phil Cubeta

Caught up with The Happy Tutor at http://www.thehappytutor.com. Peering from his Dumpster, he had this to say:

"Add Christianity, Harry, and ordered liberty. Would that do it, for wholeness? At some point you have to look at the minds, hearts and souls produced by the market and ask - "Is that what it is to be human?" We are the foremost product of the market, and judged by that standard, markets are a failure. They have produced humans degraded into producers and consumers - and liking it. When the Prozac kicks in. Judged by a standard of excellence even our aristocrats, or oligarchs, or call them heirs, are nothing you could stack up against the elites of earlier empires. Unwilling to lead the charge in war, laggards in philanthropy, devoid, often of personal culture, demoralized and shamed, often, by their wealth, they are a miserable excuse for a cultivated aristocracy. The middle class is without taste, and the losers are left for dead. Where in this market morass do we find excellence? Survivor, Trump, best-sellers and pot-boilers? The Rapture Ready? The shinola produced by the policy think tanks in defense of their funders interests? In our public servants? Our CEOs? Where do you find excellence? Markets thrive on vice, mediocrity, stupidity, hype and bad taste. To sing the praise of the market is to be a Philistine."

Personally, the markets are fine with me. Just hope the planet lasts until I personally expire. After that eveyone can remember this as our Golden Age.

Harry

I fondly recall the transition from state capitalism to true communism. The vanguard established the conditions for devolution and common ownership and then, like Cincinnatus, they stepped aside.

In their retirement, they refused all honors and asked merely to be left alone in their quiet gardens where could play chess and talk of days gone by.

Children now play in streets than ran with the blood of martyrs and a renaissance has elevated the once loutish to manners as fine as any the Tutor could inculcate.

The debauched know shame, there, but if they choose to take another path, a gracious welcome and forgiveness are their lot. All that is asked is that seek to become true brothers and sisters.

This is what gives me confidence in the libertarian revolution, Phil. This, and the certainty that whatever is forbidden will find ready buyers.

Phil

Harry, surely, Freedom is not forbidden? I thought it was mandatory.

Harry

I had to post my answer on my battered VW bus of a blog.

Phil

Harry on mandatory freedom: mandatory">http://pierrotsfolly.blogspot.com/2004/08/harry-surely-freedom-is-not-forbidden.html">mandatory freedom

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