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Mar
22

One small analogy to ponder

Place 100 men on a bountiful, virgin island that has no way of escape. Have an omnipotent, all seeing, all powerful entity lay down the law and grant one of the two conditions below.

Give one of the men ownership, as defined by the property laws of your country, of the all of the land. Or give one of the men ownership of the other ninety nine as his chattel slaves.

How would the material reality of the ninety nine differ in these two situations? How would the material reality of the one man differ?

If you can explain to me how the first situation is just, fair and right and the second situation is evil and immoral, I am here and willing to listen with an open mind.

But after considering this analogy you cannot explain the why, I encourage you to broaden your horizons and look for explanation.

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4 comments

  1. Bill Baran says:

    It sure is a convenient explanation – there's noone to really argue with them.
    It's also a natural extension to "not in my backyard"

  2. maricela potoc says:

    The ultimate question is how do we crack the all powerful entity ? If we are not capable of doing it, then can we blame the superior entity for wanting to master the inferior ones ? Humans used animals for work, we took their land, etc…

  3. Chris George says:

    +maricela potoc The justifications are many and various. Most fall back on "we stole it fair and square".

    I simply fall back on looking at root causes and addressing them instead of constantly battling symptoms. The entire capital/labour divide is a smoke screen to keep the sheep from recognizing the truth. People work to create wealth. Once created, wealth can be used for consumption or it can be used as capital in the pursuit of more wealth. So to pit labour against stored labour does not make a lot of sense but people have fought and died for this concept in huge numbers so it is surely effective.

    To point to the concept of private property in land as the culprit behind poverty and the fact that "rent" is where every single drop of increased productivity, whether generated by technology or education, goes and that this system of private land ownership perpetuates the original "we stole it fair and square" on generations unborn will never make anyone popular. I have put the analogy above to as many people as I possibly can and no one has yet come up with a convincing response. But I keep hoping. Somehow I keep hoping that the past 10,000 years of kings and nobles and gentry and land barons and speculative fortunes won has been just and moral and right from a systemic point of view. It is either that or far too many people have suffered and died to perpetuate an immoral, unjust and evil system. Looking at the massive disparity between the rich and the poor in America, I am pretty much resigned to the latter position.

    But I remain hopeful that someone can clue me in.

  4. William Arndt says:

    Or, that people will clue themselves in on their own form of enforced labor and self slavery in order to deal with the rules provided by society.

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