Wednesday, April 20, 2005



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Which one is she?


Blogger Phil said...

Neither... she's the best girl to fingerbang on a first date.

1:32 PM  
Blogger April said...

as long as you are a Republican twit

2:47 PM  
Blogger popculturewhore said...

and as long as you don't work in a sweat shop . . .. And where's our transcript of tyrrany? Where? Where? Will someone please post it?

4:08 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Gravatar It seems that many want things because they feel like they deserve it, because that other person makes more money etc. As a believer in free trade and the free market I feel that raising the wages will force the companies to lay some people off, as well as cut back on benefits.

But so many people feel entitled to something, no matter if they are high wage or low wage earners, it is time people just shut up and get to work. We all have had to work under tight constraints at times.
Blue | Homepage | 04.12.05 - 11:22 pm | #

WOW! You are so attractive with your sweat shop clothes and your ignorance. ALLIANCE OF POWER.
ALLIANCE OF POWER | 04.13.05 - 12:26 pm | #

How could a woman so "conservative" dress like such a hooker?
ALLIANCE OF POWER | 04.13.05 - 12:30 pm | #

Its obvious you've gotten A's in all of your philospohy intro classes! Way to go! GET A JOB and shut up. This blog sucks.
ALLIANCE OF POWER | 04.13.05 - 12:31 pm | #

Gravatar Sweatshops are cool . . . except they aren't!
Alliance of power | Homepage | 04.13.05 - 3:49 pm | #

Gravatar Well. Protests as childish tantrums? Wow.
Alliance of power | Homepage | 04.13.05 - 3:51 pm | #

Too bad Martin Luther King threw a childish tantrum and segregation ended.This blog sucks.
ALLIANCE OF POWER | 04.13.05 - 4:30 pm | #

Gravatar Conservative? I never said I'm conservative. Why would you think that?

Unless you're unable to understand the very, very difficult idea that a person might make up her own mind about issues rather than just taking the position they're "supposed to" as a conservative/liberal.

I suppose we can infer from your attitude that you automatically take the liberal position on every issue? I guess that saves you from having to think very much.. and I'm sure that must be difficult for you.

Stick to blogging about Britney Spears - that's more on your level..
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.13.05 - 6:18 pm | #

Gravatar You call yourself "Hot Abercrombie Chick" and you tell the Alliance to blog about Britney? Is anyone seeing the obvious irony of that statement?
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:03 pm | #

Gravatar We own this blog. Surrender your password.
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:04 pm | #

Blah Blah Blah Blah. Just like the rest of stupid american women. You're a moron. take another philosophy course.
Alliance of Power | 04.13.05 - 7:04 pm | #

Gravatar Hey, I AGREE with you HAC, sweatshops ARE awesome! We need MORE of them--and people like you to promote them!
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:05 pm | #

Gravatar This blog is sweatshop-promoting poop.
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:06 pm | #

Gravatar *I guess that saves you from having to think very much.. and I'm sure that must be difficult for you.*

Not as difficult as reading your BORING BLOG.

AOP is the illest.
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:07 pm | #

Gravatar This blog SUCKS. I just felt like saying that.
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:08 pm | #

Gravatar Is there such a thing as a"conservative hooker?" HAC any thoughts? Oh, and one more thing . . . this blog SUCKS!
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:11 pm | #

Gravatar Haven't you ever questioned the giant POSTERS of pre-pubescent boys that grace the walls of Abercrombie stores? Not very conservative . . .
AOP | 04.13.05 - 7:13 pm | #

Gravatar "You call yourself "Hot Abercrombie Chick" and you tell the Alliance to blog about Britney? Is anyone seeing the obvious irony of that statement?"

Ah, irony - I'm surprised you can understand irony. How's this for irony: while you're regurgitating news about Britney Spears, someone called "Hot Abercrombie Chick" has actual content. There we go.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:05 am | #

Gravatar AOP - Can't say I've ever questioned that. Have you? And, if so, do these posters of pre-pubescent boys respond to your questioning?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:06 am | #

Gravatar Any by the way, what's up with this "You're either a liberal, or you're a conservative!" mindset?

Seems a close parallel to Bush's "You're either with us or you're against us" idea.

You don't really buy into that line of thinking, do you?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:11 am | #

The Alliance of Power deems you UNINTERESTING!
Nate | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:57 am | #

Gravatar OK someone put a link to my site on here and now I'm suddenly the complete alliance of power? What the fuck? Oh man.

ANyway honey, Abocrombie. That was ONE post in a bed of over 5 years of posts so get over yourself. but I'm not the alliance of power. You might want to check shit out before spewing it all over the internets.
Melissa | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:58 am | #

Gravatar Yes it wasn't me. You owe me an apology.
Melissa | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:01 am | #

Gravatar Oh and if you are going to get all "wah wah wah why are people calling me conservative" when you have an AD for "CONSERVATIVE MATCH dot COM" then maybe you need to read your own site more carefully before getting all "I'm just a person who has her own mind made up" and check your own comments more carefully as well.
Melissa | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:02 am | #

We are the most brutal online gang to ever hit the streets. Don't mess with us, Abercrombie Slag. I'm thinking of starting my own site. What do you think of the name
wotSAT | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:02 am | #

Hey Aberzombie, Two Wongs don't Make a White! hahahahahahahahahahhahahaha
Anderson Cooper | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:08 am | #

Gravatar OH my god. You think people who talk about me are STUPID! oh my god. You are one of the false tabloids! bad bad bad false tabloid girl.
Britney Spears | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:12 am | #

Thanks for making me a millionaire, Amberfloozy.
Dave Matthews | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:12 am | #

Alliance of Power | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:13 am | #

We're really upset. We ordered Chinese take out over 2 hours ago, and it still hasn't shown up yet.
Alliance of Power | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:14 am | #

We've been dying to know Abercrombie Chick... What's your take on Cassavetes?

We'll be awaiting your reply.
Alliance of Power | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 2:18 am | #

Gravatar Melissa - I didn't come up with the ad; they simply bought ad space. Why would that imply anything about my political views?

And anyway, come on, I need to read my own site more carefully? I've been supporting gay marriage and the legalization of all drugs since way back when - how conservative is that?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 3:47 am | #

Gravatar Nate - Of course you find it uninteresting, it's over your head

What is this 'Alliance of Power' rubbish anyway?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 3:48 am | #

Gravatar I NEVER! called you conservative. What part of THAT did you not understand?

Anyway, I said that if you use an AD for Conservative match (d0t) com then someone is going to call you conservative. Nothing more nothing less. But that was obviously over YOUR head.

Supporting gay marriage and legalization of drugs in combination with your other views is so conservative that its' libertarian.

But don't tell me how I think or don't as the case may be. I have told you repeatedly that I! am not the alliance of power so your insults towards me are misguided. And plainly stated. YOu miss the plainly stated and I am supposed to assume you think while applying stupid stereotypes towards me who just happend to have been linked here.

And you still continue even though I plain
Melissa | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 4:19 am | #

Gravatar Melissa - Well now, it doesn't appear that I claimed that you called me a conservative; I simply asked why a person would assume that I share the political views of someone who pays for an advertisement on my site. To quote you: "What part of THAT did you not understand?"

And what is this about insults directed at you? Perhaps you could quote one of them. While you're at it, could you quote me saying or even implying that you are the "Alliance of Power", whatever that might be?

Some comments were signed AOP, and my response to those was addressed to AOP (as designed by the "AOP - comments"). I addressed one or two to someone who signed as Nate, which was indicated in the same way, and those directed at you begin with "Melissa - comments".

I don't recall saying anything about who is or is not this "Alliance of Power", which I've never heard of. I did ask one person, Nate, about it, because he referred to it in his comment.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 5:37 am | #

Gravatar In any case, whoever/whatever the Alliance of Power is, thank you for the link and your comments.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 5:38 am | #

Gravatar I completely agree with AC. Nobody is twisting these college students to go out and have kids they can't afford, or forcing them to take a job on campus. They have the freedom to go get whatever job they can. If you don't like the pay, don't take the job, and quit your bitching, nobody wants to hear it.
Drew | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 10:04 am | #

Gravatar Shees. $8/hour would be good for me! I work in an unskilled job on the campus at Shepherd University and I make a big fat $5.67/hour. There haven't been any demonstrations here to get the pay rate raised. Maybe I should ask them to come complain the President Dunlop?

Great post HAC. You're absolutely right (as you almost always are). Those kids should shut up.

And I don't know who this alliance of power is, but (s)he should shut up. Telling people not to complain because they can't feed their 19 children with $8 and hour is not supporting sweatshops, it is supporting a little personal responsibility. If you can't afford 19 children with your current job, don't have 19 children or get another job.
jeff | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 1:33 pm | #

Gravatar HAC has hit the nail on the head with this one. Perhaps the protesters should go to the homes of the oppressed workers and offer free childcare or help with the household chores. That would be productive three-fold: families getting assistance, staff getting back to work, and me not having to smell them from across the street.
Chad Mott | 04.14.05 - 1:44 pm | #

Gravatar Alliance of Childishness should go find a more suitable playground.

Nice article HAC.
Publius II | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 5:39 pm | #

Gravatar Oddly enough, some graduates of my university actually start out making less money than the university workers.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.14.05 - 5:47 pm | #

Your opinions mean nothing.
Alliance of Power Representati | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 12:28 am | #

Gravatar HAC -

Don't you just love trolls? They make the internet such a wonderful place.

As for your actual post and not the juvenile trolling, I think you made some good points. While you're at it, why not mention that the SWA will have to apologize to the workers who lose their jobs if they're successful? I'm sure they think the money to pay that extra $2 an hour is all there, but in reality prices around campus are going to go up or a certain percentage of workers will lose their jobs because money does not just appear out of thin air. It's that whole reality thing.

While they're at it, why doesn't the SWA actually do some constructive work, like providing free childcare or raising money to augment these workers' wages? Oh, wait, that would be hard work! Protesting like this isn't nearly as hard and still looks just as virtuous. Win/win solution, except, of course, for everyone whose lives are being disrupted. But they don't count, since they're not virtuous like the SWA.

(The Quietist has an excellent post on the virtue issue.)

Anyway, those are my seven and a half cents.

(For those of the empty-headed persuasion who like to troll, my blog has moderated comments, so trolling will be futile.)
Quincy | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 12:30 am | #

We're just here to clean up the streets. Quincy--you're a pussy.
Alliance of Power Representati | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 9:14 am | #

And HAC--you're a fascist. Is it possible to think outside of your Abernazi clone head for once? Yeah, it's the poor's fault that they're poor. Great argument. Just like you made the life choices necessary to became a stupid rich bimbo.
Alliance of Power Representati | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 9:22 am | #

Gravatar It is said that people who cannot argue intelligently for or against ideas, resort to attacking the character of the person.
Publius II | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 11:29 am | #

Gravatar Explain how you clean up the streets by trolling on other people's blogs. TROLLS are the street bums of the internet.
Quincy | Homepage | 04.15.05 - 1:42 pm | #

Even if there wasn't a conservative match ad on your site, you're still brainwashed by the neo-con agenda. The brilliance of modern conservative politics is that they've gotten people like you to say things like "Why do we have to call it liberal and conservative... blah blah blah". They are words that describe political leanings just like light and dark describe shades... deal with it. You're ignorant. Maybe you should stop taking philosophy courses and start taking some history and sociology. Life choices have very little to do with the class stratification in society. The largest group of people in poverty are called the WORKING poor... they clean your toilets and make your big macs... I'm SURE their life choices led them there and not their access to good public schools or higher something besides the abercrombie catalogue.
Alliance of Power | 04.15.05 - 3:10 pm | #

Gravatar Hot.,

You have abstracted from the background, the true nature of the negotiation between owner/worker.

It is no more natural than the conflict between serf and master.

Workers face starvation if they do not accept jobs that they can get. And reply with a minimuim of violence. Sitting in a hallway hardly makes one violent or a demonic negotiator.

Capital bands together in stock , workers band together in unions and protests because they own nothing more than the ir labor power.

When capitalist own the means of productions ( the means to reproduce your life) it is quite natural that an antaganism will develop.
Romiustexis | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 2:11 am | #

Gravatar I'm a fascist? That's almost entertaining. The neo-con agenda? It seems that they'd have trouble brainwashing me if I don't even know what their agenda is. I'm as politically uninvolved and uninformed as one can be. It's been my experience that people who are very politically oriented usually aren't terribly bright - you AOP people only serve as another instance confirming that generalization. Bringing in politics simply dumbs down the level of discourse to the point that no real discussion is going on.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 3:33 am | #

Gravatar All of you who are whining about the workers seem to be desperately clinging to the assumption that society ought to be responsible for people who are less fortunate. Not only do you think that people have some moral obligation to help others, but you seem to think that you have the moral authority to force people to help others.

I simply don't understand why that would be. You can rant about the dignity and human worth of the workers, how it's not their fault they're poor, how they deserve ten or fifteen dollars an hour, etc. and so on, all you want. But none of those touch the actual issue here.

Okay, we should respect their human worth and dignity - that doesn't imply that we owe them a certain level of pay, because pay doesn't reflect your human worth. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't their fault that they're poor - so what? Even if it's not their fault, that certainly doesn't imply that we ought to give them more money so they're no longer poor. Maybe they "deserve" more pay in some sense - in the sense that it would be nice for them to have it, perhaps. But they don't deserve it in the sense of the market because unskilled labor simply isn't worth that much, and employers don't pay people based on what they need or what it would be nice for them to have.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 3:39 am | #

Gravatar If you're interested in an actual discussion (rather than simply making yourselves and others who share your position sound like idiots), why don't you address the real question? Why not attempt an argument explaining why you or anyone else has the authority to force employers to pay what think they should? I assume you don't think I have the authority to use force to demand that you do just anything I want you to. Why would making a deal, exchanging money for labor, be different than most anything else?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 3:42 am | #

Gravatar Hot,

Your assuming that commodities exchange at equivalents but you offer no proof for your assertion.

"The Market" is not a pure exchange supply and demand. The real existing capitalism that we live in has price controls, government interference, monopolies, cheating and such.

When you suggest that exchange between employer and worker is an exchange of "things" time for money when in fact it is a social relation.

Your demand to treat the exhange of human labour like any other exchange cannot be allowed morally because humans are not things. ALL exchange between humans is simply a hidden abstraction of the SOCIAL relationship between them.

Have you read on Marx and Commodity of Fetishism?
Romiustexis | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 7:14 am | #

Gravatar Marx's argument

Persons within capitalist societies find their material life organized through the medium of commodities. They trade their labor-power for a special commodity, money, and use that commodity to claim various other commodities produced by other people.

Producers and consumers have no direct human contact or conscious agreements to provide for one another. Their productions take on a property form, meet and exchange in a marketplace, and return in property form.

The social connections between the people involved are thereby obscured (It should be noted that the term 'social', for Marx at least, refers to the essential organization of a society, i.e., those processes by which a society allocates the tasks necessary to its survival). Social relations between people are experienced only in the form of the commodities they see extracted from them as producers, and those returned to them as consumers. Both are private experiences, of person to commodity, and of material self interest.

The work of social relations seems to be conducted by commodities amongst themselves, out in the marketplace. 'The Market' appears to decide who should do what for whom. Social relationships are confused with their medium, the commodity. The commodity seems to be imbued with human powers, becoming a fetish of those powers. Human agents are denied awareness of their social relations, becoming alienated from their own social activity.

As a consequence of commodity fetishism, the basic political issues involved in social relationships are obscured, from both exploiter and exploited. Commodity fetishism ensures that neither side is fully conscious of the political positions they occupy.
Romiustexis | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 7:40 am | #

Gravatar "Your demand to treat the exhange of human labour like any other exchange cannot be allowed morally because humans are not things"

That might be the case if people were exchanging the labor of others - but at it's core, worker-emploter relationships are no more than a basic arrangement where you agree to give me a sack of potatoes because I mend your fence. Yes, it's more complicated because of the involvement of money, but you have something that you choose to give me based on my having/doing something (my labor) in return.

Granted, there is government interference. I don't consider monopolies a problem, unless they've been established through the use of force (which extends to government facilitation). But I don't see how putting what is at its core a simple agreement between people into a complex social reality would imply that you or I have any authority to prevent people from making the sorts of agreements they want.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 1:33 pm | #

Gravatar I'm certainly not from some sort of "Capitalism is God!" standpoint. I don't, in fact, find it a particularly desirable economic system - it tends to result in many undesirable results, including the impoverished class that often comes with it. Whether or not it "works" or is effective makes no difference to my supporting it.

The reason I support some sort of capitalist (as broadly defined) system is that I simply can't find any moral justification for any other system. I can't see how I or anyone else could possibly have any authority to force either person in the potato/fence-mending exchange to act any differently than they do, and I don't see how complicating the social background of the exchange would magically grant me with that authority.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 1:42 pm | #

Gravatar The most plausible argument for how to somehow pull that authority out of complicating the social background would require an argument showing that people have a moral responsibility toward other people. And, more importantly, that this responsibility granted them the authority to use force to aid those in need.

I'm willing to go along with you, to some point at least, with the moral responsibility argument. But not far enough to allow for the authority to use force - I simply can't see how that would be the case. And that's the difference between individuals choosing to organize a charity, or employers choosing to raise wages, and forcible redistribution and mandatory minimum/living wages.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.16.05 - 1:47 pm | #

The Alliance of Power deems you INTERESTING! AHAHA! We're a bunch of people ON THE INTERNET! Now that's POWER, you lovely girl! HAHAHA.
ALLIANCE OF POWER | 04.17.05 - 2:30 am | #

Gravatar Good lord, through that back and forth I'm not even sure if someone took the time to agree with your views. What I really love is you're not afraid to tell the workers to find a different job if they want more money. It's just that -- unskilled labor.
Jason Lancaster | Homepage | 04.17.05 - 10:46 am | #

Gravatar Despite not totally agreeing with what they are protesting (but also not knowing the whole story), what i find funny about your article is that a girl who calls herself the Hot Abercrombie Chick is complaining about "liberal" students fighting for higher work wages to meet the financial school requirements for single-parent familes. Excuse me for stereotyping, but do you have a job? Are your parents rich and pay for your expensive schooling and your expensive clothes? This is what seems to seperate republicans and liberals - at least the ones my age. Seriously, this is not trying to insult or stereotype it's just what i've noticed: My republican friends are all children of priveldge who, while being smart and accomplished on their own, are also people who are blessed by their circumstance. While their liberal friends are poor and are cursed by their circumstances. Capitolism isnt as simple as survival of the fittest. While republicans who want as much money as possible and want to help nobody think that anyone who tries hard will get what they want, they forget very quickly that their parents paid their enitre tuition with one valid check, and they got into school because their parents have connections there, and they will get their high paying job because their dad has connections there, etc etc. It isn't quite as simple as rich people think.
I would also guess that you are Pro-Life... maybe? maybe not? i dont know, but if you are that would be a whole other issue with you saying that no one forced these people to have kids without being able to afford them. Again, life isnt that simple. Certainly not when we have a president who uses Christian Fundamentalist "ethics" to govern a diverse country with religious freedom.

i've sort of gone off track. The point is while the protest itself may have been uncalled for, I think you complaining about it is a little ridiculous.
Jordan | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 12:15 am | #

At the end of the day, Hot Aber Chick hasn't so much as touched upon her understanding of the dynamics of the class system in this country... and that automatically disqualifies her from validity. Ignorant. I can't wait till you get out of school and try to find a job with a philosophy degree... dumb bitch... I hear foot locker is hiring.
Alliance of Power | 04.19.05 - 12:47 am | #

Gravatar Jordan - I'm not a Republican, my parents aren't rich, and they aren't supporting me.

That you would assume this to be the case shows that you're simple-minded and probably not worth talking to.

This is the kind of argument people give when they realize they can't support their own position. "Uhh, well look, you don't know what it's like for people who have it rough, therefore your opinion doesn't matter."

Arguments stand and fall independently of the people who make them. Of course, you have to actually advance an argument for it to be considered... is "You're probably a Republican so I don't have to listen!" your best try?
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 9:52 am | #

Gravatar AOP - Rant about the 'dynamics of the class system' all you want. Until you can give me any good reason at all as to why it would be relevant to the question at hand, I see no reason to discuss it.

Your real intentions are, of course, no more than to advance another "Well you don't know what it's like for poor people so I'm not going to listen" type argument.

Emotional appeals are good for making gullible people feel bad. We're above that level here, so the sad, sad plight of the less fortunate simply isn't relevant.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 9:56 am | #

Gravatar "I can't wait till you get out of school and try to find a job with a philosophy degree... dumb bitch... I hear foot locker is hiring." --AOP

That made me laugh. You obviously put no value in education (or intelligent thought), so naturally you would view college as pointless unless it's no more than a glorified work training program.

In any case, I thought I'd inform you that there's actually more out there than college education. You see, the first four years (what people tend to call "college") are called your undergraduate years. People follow these with continued education - graduate programs, professional programs, and the like. I know the whole education thing isn't fitting for everyone, but at least now you know
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 10:03 am | #

Gravatar HOT,

Don't you think workers have a right to not just sell their labor, but deny their labor as well? If you wiew labor only from the employer perspective you will only feel workers have a right to sell their work.
Romiustexis | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 1:35 pm | #

Gravatar Of course I believe employees have the right to deny their labor - I don't think anything I've said contradicts that. I also don't have a problem with workers negotiating to get higher wages, forming unions, or going on strike.

But I do have a problem with the argument that employers are obligated to pay any certain amount for work - this is the perspective most all of the Wash U protestors are coming from.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 6:10 pm | #

You should rename yourself STILL MISSING THE POINT CHICK. You're dumb. You dress like a hooker. You're uninteresting.
Alliance of Power | 04.19.05 - 7:00 pm | #

Gravatar Dear Abercrombie Chick,

"AOP - Rant about the 'dynamics of the class system' all you want. Until you can give me any good reason at all as to why it would be relevant to the question at hand, I see no reason to discuss it."

I will try to interpret (correct me if I'm wrong) the concerns of the AOP, particularly why the dynamics of the class system or of really existing capitalism are important to support the argument that workers ought to have higher wages.

Firstly, your comment that the argument had been politicized was amiss. Philosophy cannot, by itself, give us the answer to all rights and entitlements, lest we subscribe fully to the type of political philosophy purported by John Rawls. And if we would, then surely the workers would be granted as high of a wage as possible while maintaining economic sustainability. Another philosophical alternative, that supported by Nozick, takes ownership as the starting point and argues that government intervention is (almost) always wrong. But there is no philosophical mid-point from which we could adjudicate whether we should start with a social contract consisting of first principles (Rawls) or with an existing ownership society (Nozick).

So we will have to move on from that dead end of foundationalist political philosophy to address the problem at hand. AOP mentioned sociology and history. I may add economics to the list of subjects relevant here as well.

The AOP pointed out that the current exchange of labor for money in the market is not a free and open exchange, but rather a system of social relations. An inherent asymmetry exists between the workers and their employers. Workers have a very limited choice, or, at times, no choice at all regarding their position of employment. If they refuse their only job opportunity, it would lead to unbearable impoverishment - eliminating it as a viable choice. Employers, on the other hand, benefit from the structural unemployment necessary to keep the economy efficient (around 4%), which secures a permanent base of potential workers. Workers are, sadly, replaceable; Employers aren't.

The dynamics of the class system simply point out that this relationship is a mere social construction. It is not an inexorable development. Other social relations are possible. Why shouldn't we explore them, as a society, for human betterment? As a society, not as philanthropic individuals, because the decision between warfare state and welfare state is not only governed by rights; it affects the compound social character of a state. It makes all the difference between the benevolence of Norway towards its subjects and the carelessness of the US.

Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 9:35 pm | #

Gravatar Your answer has been that no one has the right to use force in order to redistribute wealth. Why not? Surely, as a philosophy student you have read Michel Foucault, who shows rather credibly that force is not restricted to observable force. He demonstrated that violence is inherent in social structures, for instance, social structures that create, re-create, and constrict one's life opportunities arbitrarily. The implicit force (e.g. the danger of losing the basis of one's livelihood) constantly resting on the worker is different in degree to the type of force exerted by income taxation or minimum wages, but it does not differ in kind. Both are socio-economic pressures that were not chosen. Why favor one over the other? You are being blatantly political.

Statements of the kind "if they don't like the job, don't bitch and leave" are therefore no longer plausible. If we recognize that their choices are so much more constricted than those of the employers, then by not widening the workers' life choices we are doing nothing to rectify a wrong. By being passive onlookers, we are perpetuating a system that is unfair, arbitrary, and does not dignify human beings in their functions beyond supplying labor.

Depending on your philosophical outlook, it is not as bad to not interfere when someone gets killed as to actively kill someone. However, I see nothing objectionable in taking away a bit of property to save one's life or open up life choices that are otherwise so unattainable as to reduce the human below others in status. What argument is there not to interfere if it makes the world a better place and takes individuals seriously?

Preventing murder, you must agree, is fine. But where do you stop your trade off, where do you put an end to the slippery slope of non-intervention??

Perhaps you disagree that workers' life choices are all that constricted and that an efficient market would provide everyone with an equal opportunity to rise to the top. Disregarding all types of inequalities from the outset (money, connections, education, etc.) the way you describe the market makes it so inefficient that it only perpetuates status quo relations:

"I don't consider monopolies a problem, unless they've been established through the use of force (which extends to government facilitation)"

Well, natural monopolies, as Stiglitz has shown, are exceedingly more harmful to society at large than government monopolies. Market ineffiencies, like natural monopolies (unregulated by governments), insider trading, price-setting, etc. lead to a market that is not based on merit whatsoever.

So what entitles anyone to regulate natural monopolies, to set minimum wages, to tax the rich more than the poor?

Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 9:37 pm | #

Gravatar Simply the fact that there is no reason not to. Why keep property relations the way they are? The market was inefficient, most money was made in unfair ways, and the current class stratification is no more justified in its arbitrary existence than any other. The status quo is not a priori privileged over any other scenario. Perpetuating the status quo is just as much a political action and an interference in people's (especially workers') lives as active interference.

What philosophical argument would privilege the status quo, shown to be restrictive to the many, unjustified by its own development, over a different state of affairs? The burden of proof rests with you.

Cheers, in good humor,

Prospective Despot

PS: to be fair, check out my views on
Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 9:38 pm | #

Gravatar It's not that i necessarily assumed you are a rich republican whose parents are paying her way... ok, well i kind of sort of assumed. I only did this based on the few bits of things i've read on your webpage, including comments about it. But i also said that i don't know either way and either way it doesnt matter.. then i went on a tangent about young republicans I know who are like that. It's funny that you say I come off as simple-minded because that is exactly what I thought when i read your article. you seem to pretty much dismiss all depth behind why students might be holding a protest to this and their situations, when that is what is important.

I don't think they should be making secretaries cry though.
Jordan | Homepage | 04.19.05 - 11:54 pm | #

Gravatar Pros -

Whether or not Foucault credibly showed anything is certainly not a settled question...

I don't see the "force" of economic pressure and the force as wielded by states as the same in kind at all, nor no I see how it could be plausibly argued that this is the case.

In the case of the state, you comply or you will be acted upon - something will be done to you, and done by someone.

Does the threat of losing a means of supporting themselves put pressure on workers? Sure, but only because they prefer to eat and stay alive. Basic drives, I won't deny - but it's not the same as the state's use of force. That's external force, and force period. The workers might experience internal pressure because of things they want in life, but that's not the same as external pressure. I hardly see how refusing to give a person something they want (assuming they aren't entitled to it unless you choose to give it to them) is using force of any kind against them.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.20.05 - 12:15 pm | #

Gravatar "However, I see nothing objectionable in taking away a bit of property to save one's life or open up life choices that are otherwise so unattainable as to reduce the human below others in status. What argument is there not to interfere if it makes the world a better place and takes individuals seriously?"

If taking my property to "make the world a better place" is to be justified, you would first need to establish that I have some sort of duty to help people. And not just that I have this duty, but that you have the authority to force me to abide by it.

Since you're the one making the positive argument, that I have some sort of obligation to assist, you're going to have to convince me why that would be.

If you're going to give me some sort of utilitarian-based argument, which the making the world better thing makes me suspect as a possibility, we have no more to talk about. I have no interest in maximizing gross or average happiness/pleasure/etc., so even if there really was some sort of utilitarian moral law, I would see no reason to abide by it.
Hot Abercrombie Chick | Homepage | 04.20.05 - 12:22 pm | #

Gravatar "Does the threat of losing a means of supporting themselves put pressure on workers? Sure, but only because they prefer to eat and stay alive. Basic drives, I won't deny - but it's not the same as the state's use of force. That's external force, and force period. The workers might experience internal pressure because of things they want in life, but that's not the same as external pressure"

Could you please clarify the distinction between internal and external pressure again?

Why, exactly, is the type of pressure resting on a workforce plagued by the enduring prospects of structural unemployment different from pressure exerted by the state?

In order for there to exist a real difference, economic affairs would need to work completely independently of political affairs. They don't. I explained that the current economic system in the U.S. is one of many possible configurations, the status quo resting on unfair (inefficient, arbitrary, and unjustified) historical developments. Economic regulation, and the extent of it, is a political decision. Why? Because certain socio-economic structures - like the current inefficient market coupled with an (almost) minimum of welfare (the least in the highly industrialized world) places EXTERNAL economic pressures on workers - which reduces their actual opportunities in life. It's not that they prefer to eat and stay alive, as you put it. If a political system influences the market in such a way as to create a choice between life and death, then the pressure felt by the workers has nothing to do with personal fulfilment. It is a pressure exterted by the economic super-structure, which is in turn decided by the state. The individual ramifications are internal, the psychological reaction of the worker to his position in the economy, but the pressure exterted is external. Little in this world is more external to us than the workings of the economy steered by the technocrats in the Federal Reserve and Treasury, Wall Street, and a super-imposed corporate culture. We have a range of decisions but we didn't structure the nexus of possible decisions. That makes the structure external to us.

Taxation is another external pressure, also created through the choices of the government and highly influential for economic policies.

True, one of them is singularly attributable to the government (taxation) while the other appears to have several sources of influence, but in what sense is the pressure COLLECTIVELY felt by a poor working-class with barely any leverage of negotiating power to exchange its labor for money INTERNAL to each person??

Something will be done to them if they don't work. They won't face a trial, like a tax evader, but they will be MADE unable to subsist. In Norway you are granted the means to live a basic life (earning more than US minimum wage) even if you are unemployed. Clearly the difference is not reducible to the differences between what psychological pressures Norwegi
Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.20.05 - 5:31 pm | #

Gravatar Norwegians and Americans feel when they are out of work. How is economic pressure INTERNAL??

Perhaps you could explain to me your understanding of the difference between microeconomic analysis and macroeconomic analysis?
I was under impression that the differences in economic structure were attributable to macroeconomic management (which is largely political, just like taxation). Microeconomics focuses on the rational choices available to a single actor in a given economic environment. Your argument amounts to saying that pressure, as such, is confined to the microeconomic scenario in which an economic actor (individual) finds himself since all microeconomic choices are generated internally. My argument amounts to claiming that macroeconomic policies define the range of choices available within that microeconomic decision-making scenario. This macroeconomic circumscription of microeconomic choices is an external pressure. I agree with you that the microeconomic decision, and its pressures, are internal. But perhaps you simply neglected to look at the macroeconomic level of analysis?

"I hardly see how refusing to give a person something they want (assuming they aren't entitled to it unless you choose to give it to them) is using force of any kind against them."

You wrote about refusing the worker's higher wages. How are the rich entitled to their income?

Because they earn it? The surplus of economic cooperation is divided not only unevenly but unfairly. Without the maintenance of a certain market structure none of the profits could be made. The CEO with the most hideous record in the S&P 500 - driving several stable companies into bankruptcy - earns more than a 1000 fold the average unskilled workers' income p.a. How? He strikes deals with the board of directors that decide his salary. They give him exorbitant bonuses and in return they get advisory positions. The executives certainly don't deserve it. I have worked as an i-banker and the industry is mostly a mix of nepotism and highly rewarded incompetence.

Most high school drop-outs could have probably managed some of those corporations better. But it doesn't matter because the system is self-perpetuating.

Well, they don't deserve those perks. Give 'em back to the economic backbone. I agree with you that "I can hardly see how refusing to give a person something they want is using force of any kind against them." The workers need basic support for subsistence. High income earners just want that money that was (often) awarded to them regardless of merit. Let's withhold the amount decided to be adequate based on the contribution of the market as a whole. That's not using force, we are not even placing great pressures on them.
Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.20.05 - 5:33 pm | #

Gravatar Firstly, I am not a utilatarian but that's besides the point. Anyhow, you could have guessed so much from my remark about enhancing life choices and taking individuals seriously. Moving on.

"Since you're the one making the positive argument, that I have some sort of obligation to assist, you're going to have to convince me why that would be."

Establishing a universal duty (in the Kantian vein) is a dead end in philosophy. This is certainly not the place (and space) to expound duty-bound philosophical systems.

My argument was not meant to be positive at all. I pointed out that your arguments could support a different view as well. I was merely trying to show that the status quo was no more justified than any other scenario. I also pointed out that more welfare based systems are more empowering for individuals and take human choice more seriously.

If we take humans as the cornerstone of our philosophical outlook - as opposed to GDP growth, for instance - then the welfare arguments seem to be more convincing for more interference.

Or why shouldn't people interfere? Entitlements aren't natural. Property relations are not justified in their current existence.

You, on the other hand, made the positive argument:
"The reason I support some sort of capitalist (as broadly defined) system is that I simply can't find any moral justification for any other system."
So it is implicit that you have a moral justification for capitalism!

Why, then, is a more liberal capitalism (less minimum wage, welfare, etc.) that you have supported more moral than a more welfare-oriented capitalism?
Prospective Despot | Homepage | 04.20.05 - 5:52 pm | #




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