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Equality Of Outcome: Poll

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13 replies to this topic

Poll: Equality of Outcome (12 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you believe that equality of outcome is a desirable end?

  1. Yes (3 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  2. No (9 votes [75.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 75.00%

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#1
eacao

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I'm curious to know how many people believe that the notion of equality of outcome across different domains is a desirable notion. This is a broad topic with many shades of grey, but I think most people will know generally whether they agree or disagree with the idea. 

 

The notion can include economic considerations like wealth, as well as non-economic outcomes like gender or race distributions on corporate boards, in elected offices, and in specific professional domains like healthcare and STEM. 


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If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#2
rennerpetey

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*am ignorant.  please ignore vote and post*


John Lennon dares you to make sense of this

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#3
PhoenixRu

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I suspect this poll was intended to troll the "commies". Being one of them (though partially and with many reservations) i can admit that this "equality of outcome" would become the terrible profanation and evil caricature to real social justice.



#4
starspawn0

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I don't universally favor either one. One thing I'd like to do, though, is point out that rejecting Equality of Outcomes is a moral decision without the firm foundation people often think it has:

Imagine you have two people, one rich and one poor. They both take a standardized test and apply to a university, and the rich person does better than the poor person; yet, in service of "diversity", the poor candidate is chosen over the rich one. I can imagine the following conversation between two people, one "for" and the other "against":

Against: That's totally disgusting. You are taking away that guy's right to an education! He did better on the test, so deserves to be there!

For: Hold on there, pal. What do you mean he "deserves" to be there?

Against: He did better on the test. You are holding him back!

For: Maybe he is more naturally talented. So what? Who says being born smarter entitles them to more glittering prizes in life? I could also just as equally say that giving the chance to the rich guy is "holding back" the poor guy.

Against: But the other person doesn't deserve to be there!

For: Why don't they "deserve" to be there? You make it sound like there is a "god given right" that the best performer always gets the prize. Don't you see that's a moral decision -- and totally arbitrary?

Against: You're just disgusting! You disgust me! You're an SJW!

For: You're just proving my point. This is about values, and nature doesn't care about values. There is no arbiter of right and wrong. There is just your values and my values.


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#5
Erowind

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I believe in equality of opportunity. More importantly I believe that the reward for merit is not the right to dominate others through the accumulation of wealth but rather the accumulation of knowledge, self worth and the expansion of mutual freedom and liberty--where freedom only truly exists within a network comprised of individuals that make up a collective (the human race.) Your freedom is my freedom. There is no theory that I know of like this in any milieu I've traveled (perhaps I will help write it one day) but it would be fair to call me a networkist. Both pure collectivism and individualism are inconsistent theories as they are simply elements of a greater whole as is the network itself. The individual expands its range of choice (freedom) through interacting with other individuals forming networks. These networks and the individuals who participate in them are parts of a larger whole (the collective.) None of these elements can exist without one another. Social anarchist theory is the closest thing I've found to explaining this process, but even it fails to truly grasp the full theoretical picture of what's going on. My guess is that this is because anarchist theory hasn't evolved much philosophically for over a century instead opting to pull parts from other schools of thought to incorporate them into anarchism, with middling success. (Anarcha-pacifism, anarcha-primitivism, anarcha-transhumanism.) My movement needs intellectuals like it had during the First International or it will become a historical footnote just as the Anabaptists did. They exist, but not since the First International have they actually formed a cohesive community capable of generating grounded theory, I digress.

 

I also disagree with the narrative of your question Eacao. It implies merit breeds material wealth by nature, which is not true. No rich man lives in a mansion by the sweat of his own brow. The collective labours for him either because he directly or indirectly gets consent and or dominates the collective into building the mansion for him. Such domination does not justify him or imply natural law though. Perhaps it implies relative law to a given culture, but certainly does not speak to human nature. The collective provides him with his wealth, not the other way around. It is true yes that any rich man is also part of the collective, but he is also a sum of his parts. For every physicist that spends his life studying there are farmers that must feed him, architects that must design his home, workers who must build it, caregivers that must emotionally support him, doctors that must cure his ills and a myriad of others that make his scientific work possible. Each of these people are in turn responsible for his accomplishments and build him to a point where he even has the chance to fathom the mysteries of the stars.

 

And that's my goal, to make it so everyone can seize the stars if they wish. I make no illusions that the whole population will take the opportunity, those people will enable the rest to though. And in a non-coercive society they too would indirectly wield the benefits of such an endeavor. More importantly those who don't may take to charting the depths of the human mind through artistic expression or combating the demons within our souls by caring for their communities, and in turn caring for ours. A world were we are all provided and encouraged to seize the opportunity to self-actualize is a world that puts this one to shame. It is an affront to the human spirit to be forced to work in some place one does not desire. We all have more potential then being enslaved in telemarketing centers or sweatshops. The age we live in truly is a prehistory, not until there are more among us able to actually live than there are enslaved by lack of material position will we leave this wretched period of history behind. Our posterity will write of us in the same way we write of those before the dawn of agriculture itself. Primitive, lacking, uncivilized, fragile.  

 

And to the worst of labours, the ones that Yuli speaks of like cleaning sewers. Make the machines do the work, and if we find they cannot, honor those who must. The highest honor in society should be the necessary work that no one wants to do. Our sewer cleaners are heroes, they deserve to be treated like ones. If they were, I guarantee people would be jumping at the thought of hopping down that manhole. 

 

But what can I say, it's just a thought. 



#6
Yuli Ban

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I don't believe in equality.


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#7
Alislaws

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How do you define equality of outcome? 

 

Is it just what it sounds like? everyone gets the same no matter what?

 

In which case, a system which provides equality of outcome, (where that outcome is an acceptable standard of living) is superior to any system that leaves people dying from unmet needs but inferior to any system which, although less equal, provides for everyone, but at a higher average standard of living.

 

so as far as I'm concerned you need a minimum acceptable outcome applied to everyone, if your system can't do that its crap, because people are starving or homeless or whatever.

 

If it can't do that for some people, while allowing massive luxury for other people, its crap and immoral. 

 

If it can do that for everyone while providing only that minimum to all, then its acceptable, although its probably fairly inefficient. 

 

If it provides the basics for everyone with luxuries divided by contribution to society then this is an Ideal system. 

 

If it provide a high standard of living equally to everyone then its some sort of utopian post-scarcity situation. 


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#8
wjfox

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I believe in equality of opportunity.

 

I don't believe in equality of outcome.


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#9
starspawn0

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As usual, Matt Bruenig has some intelligent things to say about Opportunity versus Outcomes:
 
https://www.demos.or...ty-why-not-both

One of the minor points he makes is this:
 

Interestingly, although concern for equitable outcomes is now an almost exclusively left-wing thing, conservative defenders of the American economic system actually used to think outcomes matter. In the middle of the century, when incomes for the bottom and middle were rising faster than incomes at the top, the equitable distriubtion of goods was touted as a necessary component of a just economic system, and a component that our system featured. However, as our system has become increasingly unequal and income growth has flowed almost exclusively to the top, the conservative move has been to reject equitable distributions as unimportant. Equality is out and opportunity is in.


That's very interesting. When the wealthy classes were threatened by the rising poor (e.g. smart immigrants who were impoverished by circumstance?), they supported Equality of Outcomes, in order to maintain their status?

His main point:

Opportunity and equality are simply not in conceptual competition with one another and rhetoric that suggests otherwise is either totally confused or calculated to provide cover for unnecessarily constructing our economic system so as to deliver extremely unequal outcomes.


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#10
Outlook

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Doesn't matter either way. People wont change from their pleasure seeking selves. Best you can do is just be a good person yourself.

Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#11
Zaphod

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Equality of outcome is only attainable if equality of opportunity is not. I believe in equality of opportunity. 


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#12
Erowind

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Doesn't matter either way. People wont change from their pleasure seeking selves. Best you can do is just be a good person yourself.


I don't really have it in me to explain why right now. But let's just put a pin here and say I disagree. I think it's presumptious to reduce something as complex as humans to pleasure seeking formulas. This is one of my primary gripes with the pseudoscience of orthodox economics. Or should I say, the "science" of pulling rabbits out of hats.

#13
Outlook

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Well, mental and physical pleasures are different aren't they? Humans are complex in the way they percieve their pleasures, it's just that most people do not know how to act wisely in chasing happiness. I'd rather not associate my own thoughts with orthodox economic thought, because I don't know it and again, my own worldview is pretty shit. I havent studied much of any philosophy, and havent practiced logic amd argumentation. That being said, I'll make what I said more clear.

What I was trying to say was that the masses are ignorant of philosophy and consciousness, and awareness. They are ignorant mostly because of cultural upbringing, the focus on their loved ones in the modern system, and education. The extent to which they're unconscious is just too widespread for me, and while I also believe that all men and women have the potential to be aware of themselves and society, and how unwise all of us really are, stagnation is just too powerful, and the energy and time required to ferment change is too great.

I remember from a Mexie video, where she stated to aggressive far-leftists that after revolution, would you have really changed your moral and conscious value? Or would you fall for agression, and from my perspective fall for the pleasure of both power and anger.
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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/DGe_Sluth3A


#14
Erowind

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Well, mental and physical pleasures are different aren't they? Humans are complex in the way they percieve their pleasures, it's just that most people do not know how to act wisely in chasing happiness. I'd rather not associate my own thoughts with orthodox economic thought, because I don't know it and again, my own worldview is pretty shit. I havent studied much of any philosophy, and havent practiced logic amd argumentation. That being said, I'll make what I said more clear.

What I was trying to say was that the masses are ignorant of philosophy and consciousness, and awareness. They are ignorant mostly because of cultural upbringing, the focus on their loved ones in the modern system, and education. The extent to which they're unconscious is just too widespread for me, and while I also believe that all men and women have the potential to be aware of themselves and society, and how unwise all of us really are, stagnation is just too powerful, and the energy and time required to ferment change is too great.

I remember from a Mexie video, where she stated to aggressive far-leftists that after revolution, would you have really changed your moral and conscious value? Or would you fall for agression, and from my perspective fall for the pleasure of both power and anger.

 

Sorry, my "pulling rabbits out of hats" comments wasn't directed at you. Should have been more clear about that with my tone, it was directed solely at orthodox economics. 

 

The reason I associated that was because the argument you made is the basis for the entirety of orthodox economics and it's taken as a given by many people. Humans act in their own interest therefore a mathematical model can be built that represents economic units as pleasure seekers, selfish actors or some other very similar model. The problem is that no one has actually proven humans by their nature act in any of these ways making the whole field pseudoscience. On one hand I'm inclined to respect not associating your thoughts with seemingly unconnected things, but on the other hand I think a lot of these philosophical and political conversations actually do wrap back into each other in a way that demands making that connection sometimes. 

 

Are mental and physical pleasures different? I don't know if they are. If we break everything down to our experience of both of those pleasures they're both just information that our brain interprets as pleasure. Why do you think the body and mind are different in regards to pleasure specifically? I'm not saying they're the same, I'm saying I don't know. Explain to me why you're inclined to make distinction between them. 

 

I agree that the masses are largely ignorant in the way you describe. I also agree that both you and I are only ever so minutely more aware then they if at all. I disagree that the effort needed to ferment change is too great. There's something working in our favor here. Because there is so much cultural resistance to a paradigm shift in awareness every small action that one of us takes is magnified significantly by anyone who actually does find value in something we say or do. The pool of potential adherents to a new paradigm is so vast which makes it much easier for a message to resonate with someone. 

 

To illustrate this. If I go out and vote that does next to nothing. If I point out the flaws in political lobbying in the United States and someone bites, suddenly I've opened the avenue for that person to not only tell others but continue farther down different paths of reasoning. Is that enough to actually change the world? I don't know, I think it's fatalistic not to at least try. Especially when all the people who I have engaged with that want to talk about this sort of thing really enjoy new perspectives when we actually get to sit down irl and suss things out.

 

"I remember from a Mexie video, where she stated to aggressive far-leftists that after revolution, would you have really changed your moral and conscious value? Or would you fall for agression, and from my perspective fall for the pleasure of both power and anger." 

 

I've actually changed my perspective on this quite a bit over the past few months. The picture in our heads of a violent upsurge that suddenly propels the population forward into a new golden age is inaccurate. The United States specifically would not survive the counterrevolution if revolt occurred today. Successful revolution is made when people have a new common culture to rally behind and they have built up significant organizational and economic leverage prior to revolt. Where organizational leverage is the presence of institutions capable of filling the void left by the old society and economic leverage is the productive capacity to either force the old world to hand over the economy to the new society or enough productive capacity to simply ignore the old economy. The United States has neither of these right now. Despite what I may have said a year or so ago I make no illusions that revolution would work right now. (For what it's worth I also think people aren't as bad as we might often perceive them. Not many people dedicate their lives to the pursuit of pure power. It might be hard to conceptualize given all the rhetoric around this, but just consider for a moment that teachers, doctors, scientists and other such humanitarians vastly outnumber the businessmen of the world.) 

 

But let's shift our focus a bit. What of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS?.) What of Catalonia? What went wrong in Russia? In the first case the people of the DFNS surely have both the organizational and economic leverage to maintain the revolution. And I don't think it's fair to to call them a failure when they inevitably get invaded by a country magnitudes larger than themselves. The same could be said for the Catalonians in 1936. The CNT-FAI actually refused political office when it was offered to them. As for Russia. The problems were multifaceted but I think it's fair to say that as seems to be the case with both Northern Syria and Catalonia external pressure is at fault once again. The authoritarian elements of Russia's revolution were a small minority. Their rhetoric only became effective once the Kaiserreich had already seized vast swaths of land threatening to stamp out the revolution. The only organizational leverage capable of surviving that pressure was authoritarian out of necessity. It's no coincidence that the only revolutions that survived long enough to form long lasting states were the ones that turned authoritarian. If you want a working example of all the people who didn't betray their ideals proving humans are capable of such a feat just look at the revolutions that were defeated through hostile conquest (Catalonia, The Paris Commune and soon the DFNS.)

 

What's my point? That revolutions take generations of social change before they actually happen and there are long periods of unrest and social evolution beforehand. The economy and political institutions lag behind the shift in cultural consciousness. If there is ever to be revolution in the west, we surely are living through the first generations of its nascent birth just as the Spaniards who were opposing the monarchy even prior to the 1860s had. It took nearly a century for true sustained resistance to appear there. The case is similar with Russia and I'm sure many here are familiar with how long the Kurds have been resisting the Turks. 

What does this mean abstractly though? In reference to the species as a whole? Where does our global culture shift in the future? If one looks at the revolutions in China, Russia, Spain, Syria and many others as symptoms of a larger approaching event in the same way that one can map out the smaller cultural shifts and acts of uprising prior to those individual revolutions. Then, a global revolution starts to appear. I think that global social revolution will not come overnight, or dramatically. In fact, I don't think we'll even notice it as it happens. Future historians will chart it in the same way we charted the renaissance though. 

 

These smaller events are just pieces of a larger meta-narrative on cultural evolution. There are competing meta-narratives to leftism yes, but capitalism isn't one of them. It's already fading just as monarchism before it did. The true competitor that I can personally identify is authoritarianism. And when presented with that ultimatum I'd rather take a chance and die than submit to domination. It's against the human spirit to just lie down and die.

 

""I remember from a Mexie video, where she stated to aggressive far-leftists that after revolution, would you have really changed your moral and conscious value? Or would you fall for aggression, and from my perspective fall for the pleasure of both power and anger." 

 

So yes, we will have really changed our moral and conscious values. We will not fall to aggression and power or raw pleasure. This will happen gradually, none of us alive today will likely live to see it or ever be fully enlightened with what form this new culture takes. But it will happen, or at least I must act as if it will for to do otherwise is the same as death. 


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