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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:34 pm 
Still Lit wrote:
I think it amazing that you don't suppose colonialism has had long term, negative effects. The whole political make up of the middle east is a direct result, for instance. And this is not to say that much of Africa's problems is not due to inept, corrupt governments. I'd say that's the biggest problem. But Mugabe is a perfect example. He's still blaming the British, but the British are a large reason he's in power. Zimbabwe wasn't even an independent country until 1980!


I do think it's damaged those countries to an extent. But I don't think it's been the engine to our growth or progress. And we dump billions of aid to Africa every year. I don't see any ties to China or India.

Only in this country could progressives be described as liberal. Health care as a work related commodity is as conservative as you get. So are regressive unemployment rights.So is the unauthorized expansion of the WoT into Pakistan. So is the expansion of free trade. As is the failure to prosecute a single banker off the 2008 fraud. As is QE.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:38 am 
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Lit: Here is a video that superficially addresses your exploitation belief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0nsKBx77EQ

The person in that video wrote four books on bourgeois ethics. I am currently reading her first book, which in her mind explains the rapid industrial buildup. You might like it in that the book argues both against social justice types (Marxist), but also prudence-only or utility maximizing types (I tend to fall into this category). It is very much from the virtue ethicist-cum-economic historian perspective. It is (so far) a good read. I recall you having an interest in virtue ethics.

It may not compel you to believe that exploitation did not play a substantial role in Western build-up, but it is a good challenge nonetheless.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:13 am 
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Thanks for the tip, Zeke. You remember my biases correctly. I suppose it depends on how we define exploitation. I mean the removal of natural resources without compensation. Other factors contributed, but colonization is not a theory it is a historical fact. European countries colonized and removed natural resources unavailable in Europe, shipped those resources back without compensating the "natives", and used those resources for industry. I don' get what is controversial about that. (An obvious example I used earlier is rubber; no rubber trees in Europe. But also things like the need for cotton, coal, iron, various fibers, etc drove colonization. The British Empire wasn't about introducing tea and biscuits to the world!) BUT, I will certainly check out the video.

What is controversial is the effect colonization, now over as in terms of political dominion, continues to exert over a lot of the third world. Much blame is at their own door step. Corruption, corruption, corruption. With as much natural resources as African countries have, the state of affairs in many places there is heart breaking.

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:45 am 
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Ok Zeke:
1st, stop tape at 1:57

She presents this argument:
Why did wages skyrocket in 1800?
Cannot be exploitation.
Argument:
If increase in wages were due to exploitation (p), wages would have increased in the past (q).
Wages did not increase during the past (not q).
Therefore, cause in 1800 was not exploitation (not p).

The problem with this modus tollens argument (being an economic historian, she no doubt has a lot of evidence to back up not q) is that it assumes exploitation is monolithic or that the conditions under which exploitation is implemented are the same. Couple exploitation with major technological advances and we could be off like gang busters. And my claim was exploitation of natural resources made possible by colonization more so than exploitation of labor.

Stop tape at 2:52
She's right about the merchant middle class. Anyone who has seen Dowton Abbey (and who hasn't!) knows that the aristocracy spit on money makers. Working for a living was not honorable. But having a lot of money and thus the leisure to sit around and perform scientific experiments was honorable. And experiments lead to discoveries leads to advancement in technology, etc. Advancement in chemistry was a big deal.

So, the good Prof. McCloskey is being a little disingenuous in her use of exploitation. Yes, there have always been slaves. There had not always been colonization for the use not only people, but raw materials for industry. Technology was the driver, but without colonization and use of raw goods from this, we don't the widespread mechanization that lifts so many people up.

AND TO BE CLEAR, B/C THIS HAS GOTTEN LOST I FEEL, MY POINT WAS THAT WEST RODE THE USE OF CHEAP, DIRTY RAW MATERIALS TO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY BUT APPARENTLY THINKS THE THIRD WORLD SHOULD NOT DO THE SAME. THAT AIN'T GONNA FLY. I admit, I couched this point in some rather nasty sounding language. But let's not pretend the West was handing out lollipops in Africa, India, and the East Indies, and China.

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:47 am 
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Still Lit wrote:
Thanks for the tip, Zeke. You remember my biases correctly. I suppose it depends on how we define exploitation. I mean the removal of natural resources without compensation. Other factors contributed, but colonization is not a theory it is a historical fact. European countries colonized and removed natural resources unavailable in Europe, shipped those resources back without compensating the "natives", and used those resources for industry. I don' get what is controversial about that. (An obvious example I used earlier is rubber; no rubber trees in Europe. But also things like the need for cotton, coal, iron, various fibers, etc drove colonization. The British Empire wasn't about introducing tea and biscuits to the world!) BUT, I will certainly check out the video.

What is controversial is the effect colonization, now over as in terms of political dominion, continues to exert over a lot of the third world. Much blame is at their own door step. Corruption, corruption, corruption. With as much natural resources as African countries have, the state of affairs in many places there is heart breaking.


So how are steel mill hunkies exploitative European colonialists and why should we be on your guilt trip? To be honest I don't feel one wit of your guilt. Personally I find this mind set to be a preening pseudo intellectual waste of time. I LOL at this type of 18th century French aristocratic puffery. Its especially sad considering the state of our country in comparison to say 50 years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:50 am 
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Still Lit wrote:
Ok Zeke:
1st, stop tape at 1:57

She presents this argument:
Why did wages skyrocket in 1800?
Cannot be exploitation.
Argument:
If increase in wages were due to exploitation (p), wages would have increased in the past (q).
Wages did not increase during the past (not q).
Therefore, cause in 1800 was not exploitation (not p).

The problem with this modus tollens argument (being an economic historian, she no doubt has a lot of evidence to back up not q) is that it assumes exploitation is monolithic or that the conditions under which exploitation is implemented are the same. Couple exploitation with major technological advances and we could be off like gang busters. And my claim was exploitation of natural resources made possible by colonization more so than exploitation of labor.



It is no doubt possible. However, the idea that empire exploits resources is also very old. So, you are left with a few different explanations. One, that exploitation of natural resources is unnecessary to development. Secondly, exploitation of natural resources is necessary, but insufficient for economic development. You, I think, pick the second prong and believe the other sufficient clause is technological development. Maybe you are correct. Evidence suggests it is not always necessary.

For example, the East Asian Tigers developed without exploitation or natural resources, but via free trade. (One wonders why colonial powers did not trade as opposed to exploit. After all, empire building is expensive. My guess is that they thought fighting romantic and heroic, whereas they demonized commerce). Now, maybe the East Asian Tigers example is unfair, because the world was different due to the West's development. I admit it is not a bullet-proof rebuttal. But it does suggest the possibility that exploitation was not a primary cause of western development.

If you are correct, then the West should feel guilty. If McCloskey is correct, then the third world could have a way forward. That doesn't settle the argument, but it reminds me of pascal's wager.

Quote:
Stop tape at 2:52
She's right about the merchant middle class. Anyone who has seen Dowton Abbey (and who hasn't!) knows that the aristocracy spit on money makers. Working for a living was not honorable. But having a lot of money and thus the leisure to sit around and perform scientific experiments was honorable. And experiments lead to discoveries leads to advancement in technology, etc. Advancement in chemistry was a big deal.

So, the good Prof. McCloskey is being a little disingenuous in her use of exploitation. Yes, there have always been slaves. There had not always been colonization for the use not only people, but raw materials for industry. Technology was the driver, but without colonization and use of raw goods from this, we don't the widespread mechanization that lifts so many people up.

AND TO BE CLEAR, B/C THIS HAS GOTTEN LOST I FEEL, MY POINT WAS THAT WEST RODE THE USE OF CHEAP, DIRTY RAW MATERIALS TO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY BUT APPARENTLY THINKS THE THIRD WORLD SHOULD NOT DO THE SAME. THAT AIN'T GONNA FLY. I admit, I couched this point in some rather nasty sounding language. But let's not pretend the West was handing out lollipops in Africa, India, and the East Indies, and China.


I think your history is a bit wrong about colonization being only in the 18th century. Empire has also used natural resources (sadly, this includes humans as resources). So, we disagree there. Also, I am not convinced aristocracy led to scientific development, as much as commercial necessity. A lot of the development of the steam engine for example came out of need to more efficiently mine. During the 1800s, there was an explosion of applied mathematics, needed to deal with economic problems.

Finally, regarding the legitimacy of third world countries using resources: I am unsure about the moral argument. I am unsure if they should even exploit resources (see resource curse). However, I think they will exploit resources AND I think anything we attempt to prevent this is futile.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am 
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Didn't mean to limit colonialism to the 18th century. It was certainly in full swing in the 19th century as well and didn't really begin to roll back until after WW1. I think that technological development intensified colonialism as way to ensure a steady supply of raw materials. I think the third world, especially Africa, was royally screwed over by colonialism. The problem with some conservatives is that they think a people that has not been allowed to govern themselves for generations on end are going to magically be good at it. But Africa's problems are mostly now due to corrupt, inept governments. It is a very very sad state of affairs in a lot of those countries. I don't think McCloskey is simply wrong. Gun to head, I would stake that colonialism was a necessary historical condition for the West's rise in standard of living, but not a sufficient condition. Could the rise have happened some other way? Sure. See East Asian Tigers. Did the rise happen another way? Not in my opinion.

Like you I am very ambivalent about the third world trying to raise up on cheap, dirty raw materials, but how in the world the West expects the third world to not take the route the first world did is beyond me.

You make some very fine points that temper my claims. Such a complicated issue. If only people were willing to treat it as complicated.

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:46 am 
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SteelerzEdsaL7 wrote:
So how are steel mill hunkies exploitative European colonialists and why should we be on your guilt trip? To be honest I don't feel one wit of your guilt. Personally I find this mind set to be a preening pseudo intellectual waste of time. I LOL at this type of 18th century French aristocratic puffery. Its especially sad considering the state of our country in comparison to say 50 years ago.


Since I never said I felt guilty or said anyone of European ancestry ought to, I have no idea how to answer your question.

Here's my original post.

Still Lit wrote:
The technocrat chest thumping in this thread is great.

Look, first world countries became first by exploiting, colonizing, and shitting on the third world (the people and the resources in their lands). Much of the rise of the first world was fueled by cheap, dirty energy. Now the third world wants to come up. Excluding the dysfunctional cluster fuck that is Africa—which if not for corruption, should be rising up like gang busters and who knows how to fix that mess—, China, India, et al would like to use cheap energy to come up.

Fixing the problem is not just technological because not all countries can afford expensive technology. I mean, how many wind turbines and solar panels would China need to equal the coal energy it requires? It's up to first world countries to acknowledge their historical ass fucking of the third world and to help these countries come up as quickly as possible. Otherwise, telling China et al it's ruining the planet is insane. Grinding poverty and corruption, but even setting corruption aside, these countries can't afford to increase their standard of living in any way other than cheap dirty industry for now. So it's up to the first world to develop and implement alternatives that are for now expensive.

And American lifestyle is crazy. I forget the statistics, but isn't 'merica like 5% of the world pop but a consumer of a 1/3 of the available energy supplies? Holy shit.


My point, dear sir, is that the West has no historical moral standing to be telling the third world to get clean and alternative. If the first world wants the third world to be clean and alternative, it had better figure out how to help the third world do so in an affordable way. Otherwise, the third world is going to do just what the West did: use cheap energy to come up.

Hopefully this makes my point clearer. I can see why you took me the way you did. As for your insults, since you chose to be so uncharitable, you can go fuck yourself. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:59 pm 
My point is this. I'm not concerned with the past. Not a bit.

I'm mostly concerned with free trade and the myth that it raises the standard of living in the third world and doesn't hurt middle/working class wages here. I'm concerned with things like median American income increasing at 11% despite each worker contributing to a staggering 59% increase of GDP over the past 30 years. I'm concerned with capital taxed at a lesser rate then labor. I'm concerned with an immigration policy that doesn't consider this isn't an industrial economy anymore. I'm concerned with the myth that there are jobs that Americans just won't do. I'm concerned with skyrocketing underemployment and tuition and the idea that more education is the solution. There is no political alternative to these beliefs in America.

I see no evidence that climate change is of real concern. I just don't understand at how you can point at carbon emissions as the prime mover when they have increased by 30% and there is no gain in temperature. I don't see how the historical data can have the sort of precision that makes a 1.4 degree rise in temperature over 150 years a real concern. The tree ring data is inaccurate when compared to the 150 years of temperature on record...and we are to trust it for anything, let alone such radical policy? Policy that hurts the already struggling middle class and poor disproportionately?

Finally, I think the idea that anyone has any influence on China, India, Russia, and Pakistan's energy policy ridiculous. It's not that we are letting them do anything...they are going to do whatever they think is best to line there pockets. It is a bit strange that some assume that some of these "countries" that consist of nomadic traditions and beliefs want a modern state or economy, be they in Asia, Africa, or South America. You are concerned with the well being of a culture yet you seem to be advocating for one of the points that bad imperialists make one of there best arguments...a cultures right to self determination. But then so much of what so many of you seem to believe in most...global equality for women, children, and minority populations is right out the window. And I don't have a clue how anyone can hold a climate change alarmist POV and support free trade simultaneously...unless there goal is to fuck the working and middle class of this country for the sake of the shareholder.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Huggers in my Pocket...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:49 pm 
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Zivco wrote:
My point is this. I'm not concerned with the past. Not a bit.

I'm mostly concerned with free trade and the myth that it raises the standard of living in the third world and doesn't hurt middle/working class wages here. I'm concerned with things like median American income increasing at 11% despite each worker contributing to a staggering 59% increase of GDP over the past 30 years. I'm concerned with capital taxed at a lesser rate then labor. I'm concerned with an immigration policy that doesn't consider this isn't an industrial economy anymore. I'm concerned with the myth that there are jobs that Americans just won't do. I'm concerned with skyrocketing underemployment and tuition and the idea that more education is the solution. There is no political alternative to these beliefs in America.

I see no evidence that climate change is of real concern. I just don't understand at how you can point at carbon emissions as the prime mover when they have increased by 30% and there is no gain in temperature. I don't see how the historical data can have the sort of precision that makes a 1.4 degree rise in temperature over 150 years a real concern. The tree ring data is inaccurate when compared to the 150 years of temperature on record...and we are to trust it for anything, let alone such radical policy? Policy that hurts the already struggling middle class and poor disproportionately?

Finally, I think the idea that anyone has any influence on China, India, Russia, and Pakistan's energy policy ridiculous. It's not that we are letting them do anything...they are going to do whatever they think is best to line there pockets. It is a bit strange that some assume that some of these "countries" that consist of nomadic traditions and beliefs want a modern state or economy, be they in Asia, Africa, or South America. You are concerned with the well being of a culture yet you seem to be advocating for one of the points that bad imperialists make one of there best arguments...a cultures right to self determination. But then so much of what so many of you seem to believe in most...global equality for women, children, and minority populations is right out the window. And I don't have a clue how anyone can hold a climate change alarmist POV and support free trade simultaneously...unless there goal is to fuck the working and middle class of this country for the sake of the shareholder.


I am not going to go out of your way or mine but look up the American system vs the British system. Yet look it up. If you understand the difference between thenyou will be better infored.

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