Ayn Rand Institute's Neo Nazi Forestry web page!

Loren Petrich petrich at netcom.com
Sat Nov 4 05:04:30 EST 2000

> In article <021120000107303003%petrich at netcom.com>,
>   Loren Petrich <petrich at netcom.com> wrote:
> > In article <8tpfpo$39r$1 at nnrp1.deja.com>, Langrrr <Langrrr at aol.com>
> > wrote:

> > > And would you say that "big businesses" are collectively controlled?
> >    Why not?
> I'll take that as a yes.  Why not?  You tell me the last time Ford
> employees voted on new product lines.

   What difference is that supposed to make? One can ask *exactly* the
same thing about Ford's stockholders. I'd be surprised if most of them
were *ever* asked their opinions on what Ford ought to do next.

   In fact, I must ask when was the last time any stockholder among the
readers of this message were *ever* asked about which direction the
company should go; the impression I get is that many stockholders might
as well be owning Pokemon cards. Of course, many stockholders seem to
treat stock as a sort of adult Pokemon card.

   The collectivism here is still collectivism even if the collective
in question is the biggest stockholders and top-level management.

> I put quote around it, Loren, because given your misapplication of
> terms, who knows how the hell you define "big business"?

   That ought to be a reasonably straightforward term.

> > > 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.
> And?

   I'm not impressed by this attempt to advocate Soviet propaganda. I
know what they claimed about themselves, and it was just like "Animal
Farm". Of course, "Animal Farm" was inspired by the Soviet Union.

> > > 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.
> Which claims are those?  Please point them out to me.

   Your claim that the Soviet Union was truly owned by its citizens.

> > > And as the Soviet Union was a marxist-leninist state, these assets
> were
> > > managed _COLLECTIVELY_.
> >    The way a big business manages its assets.
> Ah, yes - I see just how much Lysenko has in common with the CEO of ADM.

   This would be more like the case of some company whose CEO had a
fondness for the ideas of some quack geneticist. Which is what had
happened in the xUSSR in the Stalin years.

   In general, however, "USSR, Inc." is a good picture of how their
economy had been run.

> > > > 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.
> Marxist-Leninist dialectic, Loren, marxist-leninist dialectic.  In the
> transition from a capitalist to a communist system, the transitional
> phase of socialism will be marked by state-run businesses.

   I'm not impressed with such weirdo ideological theorizing. I've
always found Marxist dialectical gibberish to be incomprehensible.

> >    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.
> If your system has at its disposal nearly limitless resources but no
> incentive for capital maximization (as such a thing is not a part of
> your philosophy), and no single entity to take responsibility for the
> upkeep of those resources, that, coupled with a system which does not
> encourage efficiencies and relies upon labor intensive extraction
> practices in order to make up for economic shortfalls, you have a
> recipe for disaster.

   That does NOT describe the Soviet system very well. Because it was,
in a sense, the de facto owner of *everything* that was not personal
property. Consider what the Soviet Union's leaders had done to suppress
private farming in the early 1930's, for example.

> Face it - the Soviet system failed, and in order to stave off failure,
> the Soviet Government, in the name of the people, raped and pillaged
> the peoples' resources.

   Only in someone's ideologically overheated imagination.

> Tragedy of the commons wins out again!

   It's not the T of the C because there were not several independent
entities, but a single supreme sovereign entity.

> > > 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.
> Which is irrelevant to the issue at hand - I know _ALL_ about Soviet
> control.  In fact, I use these self-same examples in discussions about
> why it is so important to protect private property rights.

   However, such property rights can mean in practice *exactly*
USSR-style control. Consider that slavery has been in existence for
centuries in many societies; 18th-cy. Africans had been more than
willing to sell fellow Africans to those honkies who'd come by in their
big boats.

> >    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?
> No, I would think that it acts as a despot.

> But that is completely irrelevant, of course.

   It IS completely relevant, because acting like a despot is a sign of
de facto ownership.

> >    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.

   It shows that there was not much opportunity for it to happen in the

> >    Except to prove that it had not been the cause of the xUSSR's
> > environmental troubles.
> Not as proven by you.

   However, Langrrr's belief that economy vs. environment is either-or
would suggest that the xUSSR had done the Right Thing.

> So, laying it entirely at the hands of the government is completely
> wrong.  If there are fewer factories, Loren, there is less pollution.

   However, the cleanup effort was government-sponsored.

> >    As a result of that river having no serious de facto owner.
> Yes, that is what the tragedy of the commons _IS_.

   Mr. Langrrr is correct there, so his repeated misunderstandings are
more likely some sort of ideological posturing.

> > The
> > river cleanup effort was a result of governments acting like owners.
> In other words, asserting private property rights.

   I don't know where Mr. Langrrr got that from.

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

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