Friday, April 30, 2010

The appeasement of the business man

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There is no more resounding acknowledgement of slavery than the resignation of a businessman. Quote:
"None of us like paying Income Tax or GST but it is a fact of life and we adjust our pricing to recognise those deductions".
This statement possesses two contradictions:
1. A dichotomy between what he wants (whether it is legitimate or not) and what he feels compelled to do in order to satisfy the external standards of government, the majority of voters, etc. This appears to be a justification for slavery.
2. Primacy of social values. The implication of this statement is that social values are superior to personal values, and that social values are not simply the sum of personal values, but that they transcend the sum of us. i.e. It matters little that 'none of us' like paying tax, the issue is that you are compelled to do so.
3. Moral values are actually not facts or 'facts of life', they are conceptual value judgements. In order to assess the legitimacy of moral imperatives requires a process of reasoning. They are not self-evident. The notion that 'none of us' like paying tax appears to imply that no one likes a gun in the head, and yet no one challenges the underlying justification for slavery. They just accept it. In truth, perhaps this businessman does not mean to imply all people dislike slavery. He simply feels compelled to be a slave because the majority 'in fact' desire that he should live in servitude to them.

Some people might reject this interpretation for two reasons:
1. They might not interpret their situation as slavery. I would respond that a slave is a person whose labour is the product of another. Whether you pay 30% or 100% taxation, it is still a matter of slavery, its just a matter of degree.
2. Some might argue that they are a beneficiary of their 'enslavement'. Actually this is not true because you pay a huge opportunity cost for your enslavement, and the enslavement of your fellow men. Irrespective, it is just a matter of degree. I will address the issue of opportunity cost in another post.

Assuming that he does not literary believe 'none of us' like slavery; that in fact the majority of people support slavery, either because:
1. They have some practical interest to derive from slavery
2. They believe slavery results in the betterment of those who cannot support themselves

I reject both of these premises because:
1. No one benefits from slavery for a number of reasons. The notion that because you have some pecuniary interest in some outcome ignores the greater benefits which would accrue if you were not a slave, and if you your compatriots were not similarly enslaved. i.e. Consider public education. You think you benefit from public education because it is free, but because it is free people will place less value on what they study. They might even become a 'professional student', in the profess deferring their ultimate responsibility as a human being to themselves. That is just one aspect of the inefficiency of taxation. Consider also the impact of the psychology. It is no accident that the education system is run by career socialists. It is a safe government job, but it is also an opportunity for the deluded unthinking, non-conceptual collectivists to indoctrinate your kids before they develop their own minds. Did you think you raised your kids to be 'thinkers' and wonder why they married a plumber? Probably because he had 'big hands'. He was so masculine. Because using your mind is so impractical by contemporary standards. Even money is not made with the mind, but because you have 'inside information', or a special bond with family, friends, or government. How social standards can change when you control the public education system. Oh, and if you thought you were safe with private education. Guess again. What is the standard of value for them? The public system. They don't even have to be marginally better, you will assume it without critical evaluation.
2. Helping others to help themselves. There is no question that we can give people help. I would however suggest however that it does not occur when you are obliged to give to beneficiaries. As soon as you are forced to do anything it ceases to be appreciated, and it starts to become an entitlement, and with it comes the expectancy that you will take care of them. Don't expect appreciation. Instead they will recent you when it is rescinded. The only way you can help people is if you have the power to rescind. The only way they can improve is if you have that power, otherwise they have no power to attain some form of self-discipline. Were you counting on their character? What made you think the education system or their abusive parents would give them any? What made you think the culture of enslavement would do any better for their children, than it did for their parents? I find people impossible to help unless there is a culture or 'ethic' of justice. If values or even 'love' is not conditional, then people are not accountable or rewarded for being good. i.e. Earning love/reward. I know - on some level you agree with this...but on another level you are thinking that 'love is unconditional'. Actually its not - but see my parenting blog for an explanation.

It is however not enough to renounce bad values, you have to stand up and defend the good values. It is not enough to vote for the conservatives. That will not change anything. This is an intellectual battle. Voting for conservatives is like playing craps instead of poker. Either way the game is fixed against you. The only way is to find like-minded people and organise to make a difference. More ideas on this here.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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