Greedy Goblin

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A bad post

I did not want to write this post, but I kind of have to. I keep getting comments like "Social Darwinism much? Why not just skip this step and go to eugenics right away?" or "But I've been wondering where do you draw the line in your way of thinking? Stealing can be efficient, murder and violence can solve quite a few problems. Shooting all illegal aliens would probably solve some border issues in the United States. Forced sterilization of the poor is an efficient way of stopping those who can't afford kids from having kids."

Of course I could just delete them as troll comments. I'd have harder time to delete them from other sites but could be done as most bloggers do not tolerate such namecalling. However I couldn't erase it from people's minds. The strongest weapon of socials in controlling others is the belief that if someone is not helpful to the weak, he is immediately Hitler himself planning some genocide. The fear from being perceived as a wannabe mass-murderer forces lot of people to do something nice and helpful although they do know that it's a waste.


So a bit of clarification about individualism and Hitler-like actions:
  • a social person gives resources to those who cannot or don't want to create resources for themselves (the M&S = morons and slackers)
  • an individualist do not help others. He keeps his resources to himself and share it only with those who will somehow repay it. He ignores the M&S.
  • a wannabe Hitler actively seek and destroy people he finds M&S.
Notice that an individualist cause no harm to nobody. If I would be abducted by aliens, it would have no affect on the life of the M&S, as I did them nothing when I was here.


Let's think with the heads of the social people:
  • a social person behaves "normally" (according to the status quo) supporting the M&S
  • an individualist takes aways the "rightful" resources from the M&S causing them to starve and die
  • a wannabe Hitler actively kills the M&S
From this point of view the individualist and the wannabe Hitler causes the death of the M&S, their difference is merely methodological. That's why social people see us equal.


Obviously their point is wrong for several reasons:
  • considering the status quo "normal" blocks all changes, therefore absolutely wrong. For example from the status quo of the Confederate, the North was evil as they wanted to rob rightfully owned property (the slaves) from their owners.
  • even if one assumes that the M&S deserve resources, there is a huge difference between killing someone actively and ignoring that he is in danger. The difference is obvious both legally and morally.
  • I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working.
  • People starve to death as we speak in the third world. A social person should explain why should we support the M&S countrymates and let the third world people (some M&S some victim of them) die. The individualist threat them equally.
  • The wannabe Hitler declares certain people M&S. The individualist never says "X is officially M&S". We let them define themselves by not having enough resources. We don't do anything actively to push anyone to this category, the very point is that they push themselves there by stupid decisions and laziness.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Thunderhorns

Good post. I get tired of people looking for a free ride because they're too lazy or dumb to earn their own resources. And under the guise of sympathy, too many people are buying into the "bad childhood theory of perpetual failure" where a person gets a free pass because mommy and daddy treated them poorly or they come from some supposedly disenfranchised minority group.

I earn all my own materials in WoW. If I ask a friend for a loan, I pay it back. The only time I've asked for a loan is to get my epic flying mount because it is a sound investment that allows you to earn faster in Northrend. No epic flier in Northrend lowers productivity. And I pay my loan back quickly because I hate to borrow money in the first place.

I maintain tight relationships with people, so that they are willing to provide services for no cost because they know I will do the same for them. That kind of relationship is as good as a business partnership based on coin and saves me tons of coin.

I'm not looking to make tons of money in WoW. But I do want to be self-sufficient and be able to obtain all the gear I want. I've found an effective means to do that by building relationships with crafters that can turn my raw materials into the gear I want.

Because as you stated in another post, crafting skills aren't worth the time and material to earn up. The only crafting skills I can see being great money are Jewelcrafting, Inscribing, and Alchemy because they all produce items that are in near constant demand. Engineering can be an earner in conjunction with mining because of the ability to acquire eternal fire with greater ease than would otherwise be possible. Which makes for efficient more gathering.

The nice thing about WoW is that you can filter out the "M & S" rather than have to support such losers as we working folk have to do in the real world. I can't stand supporting losers that leech off of society, and I'm glad I don't have to in WoW.

Lupius said...

Watch carefully what you're saying there, Gevlon. In your 2nd last point you have all but implied that people in 3rd world countries are starving to death because they're M&S. That's just way too ignorant of a generalization even for you.

Kotamundus said...

Anyone who has read the Goblin much at all will realise that his whole approach is about "protecting myself from the M&S", not causing harm to the M&S. In fact as a business goblin who undercuts others in order to get the sale he exerts a downward pressure on prices which helps anyone who wants to buy - including most of the M&S.

Anyone posting comments that allude to equating "protecting myself from the M&S" = "kill those who are different from me" is not offering anything insightful or even remotely relevant.

Referring to previous posts - the Goblin has come to the conclusion that there is a purpose for guilds after all - they provide social protection from the M&S, at the cost of meeting a raid schedule. If the cost is too high for you, don’t join a guild, if the cost is acceptable, join a guild. Much of the social commentary in the Goblins posts has lead up to this conclusion (and some related ones). How is this in anyway like eugenics?

I don’t agree with everything the Goblin has said, but it is nothing like Eugenics or the social and/or medical insanity of Hitler.

Cheers,
Kotamundus

Rubymelon said...

@ Lupius

I find Gevlons postings interesting and at times entertaining because of the comparisons with RL theory and how things work in Wow.

I feel that M&S is a term specifically Gevlon is using within wow, and that taking that meaning into the world and pointing toward 3rd world countries is taking it a bit to far.

If you really wanted to think about M&S in real life, it would only be fair to try to compare it to something we see in a similar society. Where it is possible to work hard and make a living, but theres a group of people who don't. Trying to say that Gevlon is pointing this toward a society where earning a living is difficult to begin with, isn't really a logical connection I would see you making.

Anonymous said...

I don't think one can count third world poverty as M&S. To me, an example of M&S would be the welfare state of Sweden wherein 10 years ago it was actually more profitable to be unemployed than to be a doctor (this was my experience where my Swedish father in law GP was taxed so hard that he made less at the end than a purposely unemployed swede I knew).

But on a slightly different tack, I amm also against the blind "help africa" runs of the world. If we actually saved every child in the 3rd world, they'd either die of something else or end up producing more children and causing yet more population problems.

Sometimes you have to accept natural selection as natural population control.

aphex said...

As it was I who accused you with social darwinism I feel I must comment on this article of yours. Let's drive away a bit from WoW, as it is a game and has limitations compared to normal societies.

What caught my attention in your writings is that you apply your conclusions from WoW kind of directly to the normal societies, which is something very wrong to do in my opinion. As noone can accuse you of not helping the M&S in WoW, it is everybody's job in a normal society to help passively (meaning by paying tax and such) those fallen and weak. It is of your well understood interest as well: if the poor don't have anything to eat they will cause riots, risking your investments for example.

Also another thing that caught my attention and it is highly connected with the term „M&S”, which I find terrible to use (even though I do as well) as it holds in itself the process of exclusion by naming people something offending. It shows that you place yourself over somebody on a theoretical ladder, because of your wealth, knowlidge etc. (Social darwinism hello?) Applying this routine to normal societies is something very dangerous to do.

Now refering to your current article:
„considering the status quo "normal" blocks all changes, therefore absolutely wrong. For example from the status quo of the Confederate, the North was evil as they wanted to rob rightfully owned property (the slaves) from their owners. „ Being socially sensitive doesn't mean being a moron. One does help people because everybody deserves a chance and because of one's own interest which I already explained above.

„even if one assumes that the M&S deserve resources, there is a huge difference between killing someone actively and ignoring that he is in danger. The difference is obvious both legally and morally.” Legally there is, morally I don't see any difference between shooting somebody and watching someone bleed to death.

„I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working.” You might be right, however you must take into account that if there is no work and/or no market for goods produced, they would actually starve (which is the case in general). I think it's a matter of Say's law vs. keynsians. I support keynsians.

„People starve to death as we speak in the third world. A social person should explain why should we support the M&S countrymates and let the third world M&S die. The individualist threat them equally.” As far as my conscience goes I can help the fallen and weak in my country by paying my taxes (the government's work of distribution is another question) and throwing in my lot with them. However sending the ammount of money I pay in taxes to an aid programme would barely make a difference there (and wouldn't help a bit as of the structure of aid programmes, but that's another topic) and would simply cause me to die of starvation. Also it's cruel but I must drag one's own interest here as well: what interest does the average european have in Africa? I tell you close to nothing, which is a terrible thing to say, but it's a fact. All in all I think it's the duty of strong countries (and citizens of those by paying taxes) and people with interest in the the third world to help it develop.

„The wannabe Hitler declares certain people M&S. The individualist never says "X is officially M&S". We let them define themselves by not having enough resources. We don't do anything actively to push anyone to this category, the very point is that they push themselves there by stupid decisions and laziness.” While you may be right here I must point out that by ignoring the fallen and the weak pushes them even further to poverty (strictly speaking of normal societies here).

Also it just caught my attention that how did Hitler get into the discussion? That was a whole different story.

All in all (I might be wrong here) I understand your fustration, as I'm living in the same country as you do, and yes it sucks living here right now, but the conclusions you draw from WoW can't be and are very dangerous to be applied on normal societies.

shriekbob said...

While I find this kind of discussion interesting, I disagree with your entire stance on the matter. This, however, might be because I'm British.

We have an NHS, and Social Security. We feed the poor, house the homeless, and heal the sick. Not because it turns a profit, but because its the right thing to do. The problem with this system is that some people will exploit it, the "not needy" will sap resources meant for the "needy". There is a large quantity of scum in the UK who do not work, not because they can't, but because they won't. These people should not be supported, or if they are, they should be put to work doing *something*. Which is actually the plan of the UK government. People on Job Seekers Allowance after a certain period end up doing Community Service work. At this point though, I would dare say many of these people are unemployable. They've developed from parental teachings that its okay to drink to excess, not work, swear profusely in front of children, shop lift etc etc. In the North East we call them "Chavs". They walk around, pushing prams, wearing track suits tucked into their socks, claiming Benefits meant for those that need them, straining the system now, and straining the NHS later. Even taking that into account though, I wouldn't be without the system in place. Even with the abuses, its just the right thing to do. This is a long debate though, and one that has gone back and forth from far more eloquent people than me, for far longer than I can really do here.

This doesn't transfer over to WoW, because, in the end, your life isn't in danger if I take away all your gold, or take away your raiding spot by being a better player.

Najtrok said...

Well Gevlon,

I'm not that kind of individualist like you are. I realize the theory and I agree with you in almost all you points. It's just, if I would act like this I would feel somehow 'bad'. That's because my mother raised me as a social person and I don't regret it, therefore won't change it.

Now what people do, when they call you like in your introduction, they try just to point out, what your behaviour leads to, if, for example, introducing it in the whole world.

I agree, somewhat, with those people. But you point out an important difference:
"Hitler-like" acting has nothing to do with "take what you can, give nothing back".

Though, they are right in another way, since if you think yourself of the USA: Your money is going away for nothing (the aliens) and they maybe also be robbing your shops. So of an individualist thinking: Just stop giving anything to them, then when they rob, just react. Now either you might just kick them out or kill them.

A jail is somewhat idiotic for your kind of person, since it just wastes money. So kill or drop those people. Thats what's getting pointed out and they are somewhat right. There are problems, they need to be removed. That is maybe what they mean and I agree, from an individualist point.

Now I am a social person, for me it's not considerable. So I start helping those people, though my patience may reach its limit if those people refuse to work and stuff.

So for myself I say: I am a social person, that can take an individualist standpoint and review that from a social perspective.

A WoW example: I sell my glyphs on the AH, I put on about 800 every 2 days. But I one of my fellow guild mates of friends buys, then they get their money back (though I recheck it through BeanCounter).

Now why do I do that? I have much money and I don't need the money from friends, they can have it back. If I was dependant of this money I wouldn't do so.

Now maybe you may say I do so because I want people to like me or just for a good feeling - and both is right.

A very rare ability of social people is being able to take criticism - I proudly say for myself: I can take that criticism and review myself, so just go and take me down ;-)

Greetings, Najtrok

P.S.: I found it impressing, though not surprising that you didn't delete the comments but more like to talk about the opinions. Those guys aren't trolls, just people with a different point of view.

Gevlon said...

@Lupius: that line was clarified

@aphex: I disagree that it's everybody's job to support the M&S. Paying tax is very active, it cost me lot of money which I have to work for.

It is true that if we don't give them money they try to take if by force. That's exactly the reason I'm no longer believe in Libertarian ideas. We need a state with a strong armed force to defend us from the rioting M&S.

"Legally there is, morally I don't see any difference between shooting somebody and watching someone bleed to death.": people are bleeding to death as we speak in war zones. If you are a moral person, you sign up for the red cross and save them :-)

"what interest does the average european have in Africa? I tell you close to nothing, which is a terrible thing to say, but it's a fact." What interest do I have downtown? Are the downtown people are somehow better than the Africans? If you find it acceptable to exclude the Africans from our help, why is it inacceptable to exclude the European poors too?

@shriekbob: "We feed the poor, house the homeless, and heal the sick. Not because it turns a profit, but because its the right thing to do." Why is it right thing? Because you feel so? Because other people around you tell so? Do you have any logical definition of "right thing"? Remember there are people in the world who believe it's the right to blow themselves up in the metro or by a checkpoint.

@Najtrok: I agree that prisons are good for nothing. However a robber is not a "poor" but a robber. He choose to be a violent criminal. And I have the right to defend myself armed. I also support a strong law enforcement force to do that for me. (and there goes Libertarianism)

Anonymous said...

To be quite frank I support a certain level of Eugenics, Hitler picked poor qualities to base a master race on. If we could eliminate stupidity, laziness, and malice from the gene pool (assuming they are at least partially genetic) the world would be a more productive safer place.

So I hate that a word has such negativity attached to it without just cause.

Anonymous said...

"We have an NHS, and Social Security. We feed the poor, house the homeless, and heal the sick. Not because it turns a profit, but because its the right thing to do."

Well, I'm English also and I tell you this, we don't do it because it's the right thing to do, we do it because the government forces our taxes into those things, amongst others. Given the chance to pay less tax and then pay for third party versions of the above, most average brits would choose to do so.

mouthoy said...

"I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working."

Well spoken!

Anonymous said...

Thunderhorns

It's nice to hear from some Swedes and Brits that don't buy into the whole Socialism garbage with their head buried in the ground.

My roommate is from Britain. Though he doesn't prefer American behavior, he much prefers American society...at least how it used to be.

Americans that believe in Socialism need only look at the history of socialism in Europe to see how damaging it is to the economy and human ingenuity. It is no wonder that America, even with all its flaw, is still the country to go to succeed economically.

Socialism drains the strong, making them carry the lazy and pathetic. Many countries are finding out how damaging socialism is to their long-term prosperity. I hope America never embraces it.

Freedom requires personal responsibility and acceptance of the consequences of mistakes. No man is free that relies too greatly on the government to provide for him.

I honestly don't mind a system that helps those who truly need it. But it has gone too far at this point. Too many people finding ways to abuse the system and live on welfare that are capable of working. The government is no longer a stern father giving help with a disciplined and wise hand. The government is now a fool with blinders on believing every vice of man to now be an incurable malady that must be taken care by draining money from those who produce to give to those who do not. It is a foul state of affairs when the government starts considering obesity a cause for disability.

I despise the idea of my tax dollars paying for some fat man to continue eating like a hog and doing nothing worthwhile for our world.

Sydera said...

America is still the country that succeeds economically? What?

I've lived in both France and the U.S., working at more or less the same job in both places. I have a "friendly helpful" job (teaching language) and I quite enjoy it. I'll never be one of the richest people in society, but I do fine for myself in either country. However, in France, where I pay more taxes, I live more cheaply overall and enjoy my life more with less worry. Why? Medical care, dental care, etc. become very affordable and easy. I also can rely on public transportation and do not have to maintain my car or insurance. I have to say that I enjoy the French system quite a lot, which is similar to the British one. I'd emigrate if I could!

In the U.S., in contrast, I end up paying out-of-pocket for expensive dental procedures because none of the local endodontists participate with my insurance. I have to be more careful with my money, because I need more saved up for emergencies. And there's always the threat of losing my job in the U.S. which would leave me entirely without a means of support, whereas if I were a French citizen and that happened, I would get enough government assistance to keep me alive and healthy until I found something new. In my field, unemployment is likely as colleges and universities are valuing second language learning---and humanities in general--less and less. The truth is, though, with the current state of the U.S. economy lots of young professionals are facing unemployment with not much of a safety net.

Carra said...

*I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working.*

What about people who actually can't work? Handicapped? Got a work accident? Get sick and hospitalized?
Let all of them starve to death too?

Santyn said...

I can actually say that for once, I agree completely with everything you have said in this post. Refusing to actively give to said M&S does not cause their downfall. That is caused through their own inactivity.

I have no problem helping someone who has hit hard times and is trying to better themselves, but if you are willing to sponge off of others then you are SoL in my opinion.

One-Eyed Jack said...

I don't think you can conclude very much because you were compared to Hitler. Everyone gets compared to Hitler whenever they say something publicly.

One thing I've noticed, Gevlon, is that you lump M&S together as though they are the same thing. I'm going to assume "morons" means incompetent, whether by choice or not, so the seriously disabled and elderly would fall in this category. "Slackers" and "morons" are not, however, the same thing. A "slacker" can be "clever" and taking advantage of social people. A "moron" can be a "moron" either by choice or not by choice.

This distinction is important because one does not create dependency by helping the "non-slacker morons". So, almost all of your concern about the benefits of competition and worries about the creation of dependency go out the window in the case of "non-slacker morons".

Is there some way to help those who can't contribute without creating dependency in those who can contribute? I would suggest that there is, though there will be some mistakes at the margins between the two. However, that would take careful distinctions, not incautious lumpings.

Do we have some obligation to those who can't contribute - not those who are slackers, not those who refuse to develop job skills and not those who are pretending - but to those who can't contribute?

That's a bigger moral question that can be solved by pointing out that there is a different between killing and letting die. There is obviously a difference, but it's not obvious what the difference is or that the difference is that we have an absolute obligation to not do the former and absolutely no obligation to do the latter. Have a look at some stuff on perfect and imperfect duties to see the other ways this distinction is cached out.

My suggestion is that, because we are able to not kill anyone, but we can't save everyone, we can be obliged to do the former, but not the latter. However, we can still be obliged to save someone. The latter duty is imperfect, however, because we may choose whom we save. It is mistake, however, to think that the permissibility of choosing whom we save creates a permissibility of choosing whether we save.

So, what you're saying is by no means "obvious". In my experience, the moment someone says something is "obvious" is the moment they say something false or at least extremely controversial.

Anonymous said...

@Sydera - you misunderstood Anonymous. He meant America is the place to go if YOU want to succeed financially. There are not many other countries where your upside is limitless...or only limited by your desire and work ethic. Good luck trying to become a millionaire or billionaire in France.

On tap of that, you sound like one of those who is happy to live off of the government, which makes you one of the M&S yourself. You like free/cheap healthcare, transportation, etc. But, you also pay the price in freedom. You can't take your car and drive anywhere you want on any given day. If the public transpo fails, you are out of luck. Not in America. If you work had, pay your insurance, keep your car in shape, you can drive anywhere at anytime.

And, by the way, the US does have unemployment, which is enough to get you on your feet again until something else comes along.

Let's face it, you prefer an easier lifestyle where you are taken care of by others. That is fine, if you prefer that and your country supports it, but I would suggest that is why France is a third-rate country and clearly unable to keep up with the US in any measurable, meaningful way. Except maybe in wine and cheese production.

Yaggle said...

Comparing Wow to RL in this respect is only flawed in that, in the game, we have a controlled environment. The people at Blizzard make sure that things are in place so that everybody has an opportunity to succeed. There are always quests so anybody can make money, and there are materials that can be gathered for anybody who wants to sell or make items out of. So there is always opportunity to succeed in Wow. In real life, this is not always the case. And this is why I am a bit of a populist in real life. I believe governments must take action sometimes to maintain economic balance and in particular make sure that children have nearly equal opportunities despite economic differences of their parents. Some people would say that government provided health-care for children is too much socialism. To them I would ask if their education is also too much socialism? In real life, the government must play the same role that the Blizzard people do. If they do too much, then people feel controlled and restricted in either the game or RL. If the government or the game designers give people everything they want, they have no desire to better themselves or their characters. It is not all one way or the other, it is about balance.

Althalas said...

I think you are mispeaking here. It is not a social person. Being social is human. having friends, family, co-working, and interacting with them is normal. Not to mention has nothing to do with your M&S examples.

I think what you mean is a Socialist person. As a mothod of living as opposed to a capitalist or, as Ayn Rand put it "individulaist". For example in your line of thought a child would be a M&S, or an elderly family member. this is untrue and unfair. Or having friends and lending them a hand would be a bad thing. this is also untrue. these are part of being a "social" human being.

On the other hand giving money to people who do not wish to work, or bringing people to a raid who do not meat the requirments could be considered "socialist". this is wholly different.

So please do not denegrate or condemn people for being social. Being social is a neccissary part of being human. Being Socialist on teh other had has a whole different connatation, and is what I think you are really attacking in this blog.

Anon said...

"that is why France is a third-rate country and clearly unable to keep up with the US in any measurable, meaningful way."

Haha - oh sorry you were serious? You ever been to France? Or left the States at all? I've lived in Europe and the US and believe me, there's a lot the US could learn from these "third rate countries" that you must be so knowledgeable about.

I think that Sydera summed it up perfectly, though I guess that rabid patriotism and the fear of a 'socialism' bogeyman (is it still the 1950's?!) will probably prevent the US from learning any meaningful lessons from other countries for some time.

I mean, when 21% of Americans can barely afford to pay their health and medical bills, they just must not be working hard enough rather than the system is broken, right?

Sebas said...

To the last Anonymous, which by the sound of it is american; you said "... You can't take your car and drive anywhere you want on any given day..."

Thats utter bullS%&T, any body in any Eropean country can take his car any day and drive anywhere.

I drove through 5 countires in day last year.

"...France is a third-rate country and clearly unable to keep up with the US in any measurable, meaningful way..."

How come France is part of the G8 group as well as the USA?

thats quite keeping up with the US, wouldnt you say?

and i feel i have to say i am not french but the ignorance of classing a european industrial county as third rate country is just stupid of you.

Before you make a comment over any country like that you should read up on it wikipedia or probably u might prefer the CIA fact book.

Anonymous said...

Ayn Rand.


/Salute

Anonymous said...

@Sydera

We obviously want different things. You seem content with what you have. I would not be.

Though you would have a safety net, your ceiling for success is much lower. I have no interest in a society like that.

Life should be hard. You should work until you die. You should be productive your entire life. You should not ever feel comfortable about your job or position nor should you feel it acceptable to take any time off should you lose your job.

You should have to earn your medical insurance and constantly be expected to provide for yourself and your family, not at all feeding off the system.

You should have to save for emergencies and manage your money well. That is part of being free. Free people are expected to manage their own resources without interference good or bad from the government. Economic independence and responsibility is part of being free.

All the things you hold up as the pluses of French society, I think of as signs of weakness. It is no wonder that France and England are no longer considered the world powers they once were.

And if I knew you, I'd bet you money that both France and Britain will move farther and farther away from the socialist systems you now think so highly of. The costs are exorbitant and during economic downturns as we have now, they will have a great deal of difficulty paying for their systems without bankrupting their government.

Now if only we can get the politicians in America to stop borrowing so much money to fund their ill-advised spending, we might actually pay down the deficit in America.

Sydera said...

@ Anonymous: I think you should try living in both Western Europe and the US before you make a judgement.

I resent the implication that I'm lazy. I DO work and contribute to society. I've never been unemployed, but I know it could happen--it can happen to anyone, and if you don't see that, you're fooling yourself. It's not just teachers who are out of work these days--it's real estate agents and accountants to (both of whom make more than I do). I willingly chose a profession that won't make me rich out of love for what I do. It's not out of laziness--I never would have finished my PhD if I were lazy! That dissertation would still be sitting there unfinished. My job lets me contribute to society through teaching, but it doesn't pay as well as any other professional field. My earnings are just a hair above what a high school teacher makes in a good school system. That's not a safety net.

I do have insurance, of course, through my work. However, the American system leaves the individual with a huge portion of the costs. I know this well, because I've just paid $1000 out of pocket for a root canal despite having dental insurance--that I pay for monthly, of course. There are corruptions and excesses in the American system, and one major illness would bankrupt all but the richest people--and that's with insurance. It wouldn't be that way in France. You'd pay high taxes either way, but if you needed a medical procedure, you wouldn't have to spend your savings on it. There are benefits to either system, I admit, but I happen to prefer a system that cares for its citizens.

Sydera said...

Also, why the hell is it "M&S" to use public transportation?

You pay for it.

It's also the most efficient use of resources. You CAN drive in Paris. It's just not as fast or cheap as using the Metro. Doesn't that make the person who drives in Paris M&S? I always laugh at people who try it--have fun looking for parking for 2 hours in a city that wasn't built for auto traffic.

If I go to the French countryside, I just rent a car if the train's not convenient.

On the whole, my carbon footprint's lower and I've transported myself around effectively. I'm still wondering how I'm a moron for being able to figure out how to most efficiently use resources in a different society from my own.

Townes said...

The original post may be an overreaction to a misunderstanding. I remember reading the quoted comments some time back. Unless I misunderstood the intent, the person's point was not "the blogger is a Nazi", but "efficiency isn't everything - and here are some extreme examples to prove it."

Anthony, New Zealand said...

What can I say? I work for Trade Union, whose aim is to ensure that individuals all gain a reasonable return on their time at work.

Yet I also subscribe to the notion that, while this approach may be fine for many people, it will make none of them welthy. For that a person needs a degree of individualism, such as is shown at this site.

Using this individualism-streak, and a decision to stop always struggling to find enough gold to do anything useful, I have used some of Gevlon's tips to now make over 500g a week on a saturated server.

I do understand Gevlon's point very well: especially in a game like this one, you have the amount of money you decide to have. If you decide the AH is too hard/ too boring/ run by the unscrupulous among us, then you will remain gold-poor - or be running dailies etc forever.

I'm levelling an alt at the mometn, who has just made it to level 71. Ive taken him to Quel to raise his rep for the necklace. It is SO enjoyable doing this solely for the rep and no in order to have money. The money is just the icing on the cake!

Cingy said...

It is interesting to see that a post starting to distinguish individualist ideas from nazi ideas has gone on to a discussion on the pros and cons of European and American wellfare policies. To me this clearly shows that the identification of individualists with nazis is very much a real issue. Fascism however is almost the exact opposite of liberalism, as fascists take all individual power and put it with the leader.

On the issue of wellfare, I have always found the analyses of Schumpeter insightful. He argues that it is capitalism that has been the source of our current wealth, as the entrepreneur engaged in competition both creates accessible jobs and cheap, mass produced goods. In his 1942 work "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" he shows that in the long run this is what helps the poor most. (the book is a very good read as well, Gevlon will like it). Interestingly Schumpeter also thinks socialism is in the end a viable system.

Transferred to WoW, it is people like Gevlon that get items like the Eternal Belt Buckles and Glyphs available at an effordable price to the masses, saving alot of people from endless grinding.

The discussion on wellfare, in my opinion gets to much derailed towards the morality of giving to the helpless. In most social democratic countries however, this is not the approach of wellfare at all. The idea is, that the currently employed insure themselves for unexpected events like illness and unemployment. Wellfare is thus a social insurrance rather than giving away tax money. Since it has been the experience that people will not take care of their insurance themselves (in other words they gamble), this has been made a state organized system.

Another interesting read on the subject is the work "urban dynamics" by Jay Forrester. In this work, it was shown empirically, from data on social housing projects, that giving cheap housing to the poor will increase poverty in a city in the medium term, even thought the short term effect is positive. The modelling he used was later applied to the third world problem, and showed that the hunger problem cannot be solved by giving food. What is needed is a combined effort that raises life expectance, lowers birth rates and increases trade and entrepreneurship. No simple solution there.

Tobold said...

I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working.

No, actual experience shows that if you stop feeding the M&S, they don't starve, they don't work, but they start stealing and dealing drugs. Then you end up putting them in jail. And after you jailed over 1% of your population, you find out that every person in jail costs you MORE than it had cost you to feed them. That is why European welfare ends up being cheaper and more effective than US non-welfare.

mwigdahl said...

@Tobold -- references please? You make a lot of assertions. Please point us at your facts.

Anonymous said...

*I don't think that many of the M&S would starve to death if we would stop feeding them. I think most of them would simply start working.*

What about people who actually can't work? Handicapped? Got a work accident? Get sick and hospitalized?
Let all of them starve to death too?

The romans would leave those that can't contribute positively to society on the side of the mountain to be eaten by the wolves.

*vlad* said...

"He ignores the M&S"

Actually you don't ignore them. You take pleasure in deriding them, so not quite true.

Trolls are going to post on your blog no matter which of the 3 categories you fit into. Obviously the more anti-social your posts appear, the more people will take it as being aimed at them.

mwigdahl said...

@gevlon -- I called on Tobold to provide facts to back up his assertions above. I call on you to do the same. You state that you favor a strong police force in order to protect against property seizure and destruction by the underclass.

What is your rationale for favoring this over traditional welfare programs?

A true individualist/objectivist/goblin should base such decisions on a cost/benefit analysis, so I assume you have done so. What are the facts you used to arrive at the conclusion that the a strong police force provides a better cost/benefit ratio in social stability than balanced law enforcement and welfare, or welfare alone?