Ayn Rand Institute's Neo Nazi Forestry web page!

Loren Petrich petrich at netcom.com
Thu Nov 2 04:07:29 EST 2000

In article <8tpfpo$39r$1 at nnrp1.deja.com>, Langrrr <Langrrr at aol.com>

> In article <311020002043037133%petrich at netcom.com>,
>   Loren Petrich <petrich at netcom.com> wrote:
> > In article <8tmofe$qq3$1 at nnrp1.deja.com>, Langrrr <Langrrr at aol.com>
> >    However, in practice, US soldiers are mercenaries.

> Are you intentionally obtuse? ...

   Of course not.

   However, "we're only in it for the money" is a capitalist ideal, is
it not?

> >    However, most big businesses, by that definition, are collectively
> > owned, because their owners are almost always only part-owners. And if
> > ownership by several part-owners is not collectivist, then there is no
> > such thing as collective ownership of anything, because the supposed
> > collective is a lot of part-owners.
> And would you say that "big businesses" are collectively controlled?

   Why not? And why the scare quotes? Is there no such thing as a big

> > > In point of fact _ALL_ real property was so owned by the _PEOPLE_ of
> > > the Soviet Union - assigned by the government.
> >    Comrade Langrrr has swallowed Soviet propaganda whole.

> >    The Soviet Government only *claimed* stuff like that; in practice,
> > it acted like it was the owner of all the xUSSR's major assets, as if
> > the whole nation was one big company town.

> Do you think the statement above conveyed what you thought in conveyed?

> I said, "All real propery was owned by the people of the Soviet Union,
> assigned by the government."

   At best, that was a legal fiction.

> You responded that the Soviet Government acted like it was the owner of
> all of the USSR's major assets.
> I never said that it didn't act that way.  In fact, I made it clear
> that the management of all of the real property assets of the USSR was
> in the hands of the government, who were _SUPPOSEDLY_ managing it in
> the name of the people.

   So you are now admitting that your earlier claims about the xUSSR
are wrong? At least it is good of you to recognize your fallibility.

> And as the Soviet Union was a marxist-leninist state, these assets were
> managed _COLLECTIVELY_.

   The way a big business manages its assets.

> >    The xUSSR had tried to do *exactly* that with international trade.
> It tried to create a profit.  It did not try to maximize capital in
> order to create that profit.

   Is maximizing capital an absolute necessity?

> > In fact, the Soviet system has sometimes been described as
> > a form of capitalism where the State is the sole capitalist.
> And Cuba was described as a workers' paradise.  What of it?

   In the xUSSR, the government acted as if it was the only entity with
the right to practice capitalism, which does support that criticism.

> >    Pure horse manure. Calling the Soviet system an example of the T of
> > the C is such remarkable idiocy that I don't even know where to begin.
> Textbook example, in the extreme.  Resources being managed, in theory,
> for the people of the state by the state itself.  No incentive for
> sustainability, no incentive for pollution control.  No singular
> responsible caretaking entitiy.

   Horse manure. ALL the arguments for the supposed virtue of private
ownership would also demonstrate that the Soviet Government had had
strong incentives to protect the environment: a poisoned nation would
not be a strong and powerful one, and neither would a nation that had
used its resources unsustainably.

> Loren, all of this is irrelevant to the issue at hand:

   It IS relevant, because it shows what sort of control the Soviet
Government had been willing to exert.

[Soviet-censorship details...]

   If everything Mr. Langrrr wrote had to go by some US government
official who had a long list of things that were not supposed to appear
in print, would he still think that governments do not act like owners?

   If he had to remove from his writings references to the planned
travels of US leaders, the censorship system itself, calculations of
the dollar's exchange rate, accidents and natural disasters, crime and
drug-addiction rates, the audibility of foreign radio stations, the
prizes that athletes receive, etc., would he still think that
governments do not act like owners?

> This has nothing to do with the issue of the tragedy of the commons,
> Loren.

   Except to prove that it had not been the cause of the xUSSR's
environmental troubles.

> >    Seen in that light, Mr. Langrrr's position that the xUSSR was
> little
> > different from anarchy looks absolutely absurd. And his attacks on
> > Solzhenitsyn's descriptions of gulags -- I wonder if Langrrr's idea of
> > a fun vacation is to be dragged off to an Arctic prison camp on absurd
> > charges, where he must then mine gold in a streambed with a pick and
> > shovel in subzero weather.

> We've been over this very issue before, Loren.  I find your assertion
> as nauseating now as I did then.

   If Solzhenitsyn was wrong about Soviet gulags, then how was he wrong?

> >    It had been the Tragedy of the Commons due in part to de facto
> > laissez-faire policies by various governments. When those governments
> > decided to put their feet down, the T of the C disappeared.
> I see - so you lay it solely at the hands of the government.  The fact
> that the industrial sector in Ohio is a fraction of what it used to be
> has nothing to do with it?

   So what? That's an evasion, pure and simple. Why not look at some
honest, non-rewritten history some time?

> But thank you for admitting that the Cuyahoga River is a prime example
> of the tragedy of the commons.

   As a result of that river having no serious de facto owner. The
river cleanup effort was a result of governments acting like owners.

Loren Petrich
petrich at netcom.com
Happiness is a fast Macintosh
And a fast train

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