Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dumb Socialism vs Smart Socialism

You claim "you cannot change human nature by decree" .

Early revolutions attempted to change human nature. However we have learned a lot about society, politics, etc. in the last couple of centuries, and many effective reforms have taken place that take human nature as a given and try to construct incentives so that human nature will willingly perform according to plan. Your idea of the revolutionary state imposing behavior through decree is antiquated and no longer describes reality.

The science of economics has proven that there are many coordination problems in society that are not soluble merely by relying on market forces. Eliciting socially beneficial behavior by creating the socio-economic institutions that enable us to elude the impasses that the free market continually contrives is nothing but common sense.

Addressing the issues using rigid and indefinable concepts like "human nature" and "decrees" reflects a degree of oversimplification that borders on the infantile. No realistic discussion of political conflicts and their settlement can ensue from such crude artifacts.

What is really at issue is how to design social institutions capable of overcoming the many problems that the market cannot solve.

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