Freedom or Equality?

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Unread postby Shi Tong » Fri May 04, 2007 8:18 am

But equally, the search for complete freedom (some kind of Capitolism), which is badly managed can also lead to complete inequality too.

Put it this way. If you're free to do anything you will, and you discover something amazing- say you discover oil- you the internal combustion engine- then you and your family will be the only rich people in the world because you will be the only one, along with your close colleges- to profit from this.

The way you'd do it would be is that you have the freedom to tell your workers how much they will be paid- and if there are no other good jobs out there they will have to work for you, regardless of how low that is- you will be able to dictate that there is no possibility of unions which will protest against you- you will be able to dictate how much you sell your products to (especially if there's an outside rich market).

Basically you'll be able to dictate terms, because you're "free" to do so.

If you're regulated in a strong way by a good government, you will be able to be free to profit from your great invention, and probably be much richer than your rivals, or your workers, but at least you will be controlled to the point where others will not be downtrodden by your great big free market boots.

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Unread postby Duncan » Tue May 08, 2007 10:45 am

Antiochus wrote:...this mostly feel like the difference between Communism(Equality) and Capitalism(Freedom).

I'm afraid I don't buy either equation. Communism does not equate to, nor does it deliver Equality (equality of opportunity and equality of choice to give two specifics), nor does Capitalism deliver Freedom - as indicated by Shi Tong and exemplified by the millions of people whose labour is currently exploited by Capitalism around the world.

I've had the argument over which of these two big Cs is best before, and it is like arguing whether apples are better than chalk. They are different things - one is a political socio-economic system dreamed up in an ivory tower in the mid-19th century, the other is purely an economic system without any socio-political basis. Both were first defined by the same chap, although I don't think he did a particularly good job on either. They don't work well together because they are based on entirely different premises.

Equality and Liberty (ie freedom) by contrast were two of the main principles espoused by the French revolutionaries on the basis of the Enlightenment. If any political and economic system is to work effectively, both of these idealist principles must work and must balance. Communism and Capitalism have each failed to deliver either of these two effectively partly because they do not offer a credible point of balance between them.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Wed May 09, 2007 11:41 am


To put it in the most basic way- freedom and equality are only achieved if the few are not selfish enough to take everything away from the many.

So- basically- If the few are rich and are selfish with it, they dont give to the many, therefore the many are not truly "free", regardless of policy because the few keep what the many need.

Communism and Capitalism can both work these ways.

What needs to be added is a little society- if the man next door needs help, then give him some help- if someone is ill, give them medicine.

That way people are given equal opportunity which leads to freedom of choice, which leads to education to a point where people can compete on a level playing field.
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