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Nah, I'm not upset, I'm mostly amused at this point watching you talk yourself in circles. Clearly, it is you who has the rustled jimmies, with a three post spree and dropping lines like 'your basement-dwelling teenage stoner philosopher with not an ounce of real world experience' but that's cool man, you're still mostly arguing with what you think I'm saying and not what I'm actually saying, so how could my jimmies be rustled? I appreciate your careful use of logic, but I think you make too many assumptions about what you think I mean, and then go off to argue against that, but that's just chasing windmills homie.
Let me respond point for point:
>>no matter how mighty you are, you cannot force a demand to appearA person who has a thousand plumbuses to sell perhaps would think he has might equivalent to a thousand plumbuses, yet if there is no demand for plumbuses, then that perception of might is merely a delusion, there was never any might to begin with. The government propping up a product, if it is doing so purely on the merits of that product, is an example of meritocracy. However, the products the government does prop up are those it is coerced into propping up because of the power of special interests (I'm referring mostly to wasteful spending in the military-industrial complex) which is a case of 'might making right.'
>>ND pipelineUgh, I didn't expect you to take that position, gross. But be that as it may, you furnished me with a lovely sentence to drive home my points:
>> is stopping someone from performing an action they've built up the power and influence to perform wrong? Yes, it isSo basically you are admitting that the force of the government is not used to enforce an abstract morality, but is instead used to enforce the interests of those in power (in this case, the people who want to benefit economically because of the pipeline vs the theoretically legal authority Native nations have to control what goes on in their own territory) the fact that they have built up the force to do it legitimizes their authority to do it under your argument, which is the classic definition of 'might makes right.' I think you're missing the forest for the trees here.
>>defending financiersUgh, double gross. Not going to argue with you about it since you clearly have a certain perspective you are beholden to defend, but I deeply disagree with your valuation of the worth of the financial industry -- have you considered that if those people did not have anything to personally gain, the Recession couldn't have happened in the first place, regardless of how big or small the companies involved were, because there would be no incentive to behave so riskily (inappropriately)? Anyway, that's a total tangent.
>>they don't have the might the big guys haveAnd those banks died off...and the big ones got propped up on the public's dime...sure sounds like might making right to me.
>>how can you prove that capitalism isn't a meritocracy, and that it's instead effort-based?I'll unpack that by dealing with the next couple points you raise, because you reveal the root of the misunderstanding.
>>Dude, the ability to exercise force within the market =/= effort .I didn't say it was, I said exercising force = the ability to gain capital.
>>If Effort = attempting to exercise force within the marketOkay, you're the only one interested in 'effort' conceptually so I take this for granted.
>>and Merit = successfully attempting to exercise force within the marketNope, nope, nope, this is where I've got you. Successfully applying force is 'might making right' i.e. you had the resources to try to take what you wanted, and you succeeded in the attempt. Thus it means that you could take something (and did) not that you *deserved* to have something. Wikipedia defines meritocracy as: 'a political philosophy holding that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively based on ability and talent.' Individuals in capitalism are rewarded based on their ability to enforce their desired conditions on the market. Individuals in a meritocracy are rewarded based on their ability and talent. What proves that these two aren't equivalent is any situation where someone gains not because of their pure talent, but because of their connections. As another easy example; surely the two people running for president right now are not the ones with the most ability or talent to fill that role, and yet all the more talented and able people aren't in consideration, and the ones that are are there solely because of the entrenched might of particular interests to put them there. If capitalism were a meritocracy, we should expect to only see the most able and talented politicians receiving their parties nominations. Is David Rockefeller one of the richest people in the world because he is one of the most talented and able people in the world? No, he is because he happened to squirt out of the right dick and was placed into power solely because of his positioning, not because of anything innate.
>>Then your statement is in agreement with my original statement that capitalism is a meritocracy. Only under a definition of meritocracy which is inaccurate and non-sensical, as described above. Capitalism =/= meritocracy, for the reason cited above.
>>The definition of merit: deserve or be worthy of (something, especially reward, punishment, or attention).Sure, but the caveat in the case of meritocracy is that who deserves something is determined by intrinsic qualities of ability and talent, not by position, authority, hereditarily, etc. which could be construed as 'merit' under this broad definition. In my mind merit: actually possessing intrinsic positive qualities (and thus, under a meritocracy, instrinically deserving reward.)
>>The definition of effort: a vigorous or determined attempt.Yep, although I would suggest that simply adopting the thermodynamic definition of 'work' would more fully fill the category.
>>If you want to prove that capitalism is based on effort, you give me a sound example.I have no interest in proving this, nor do I believe it. I believe that capitalism is mostly based on nepotism and chicanery between monied interests as a way of leveraging capital into a universal system of social control. I explicitly disagree that reward is meted out under capitalism based on effort, or talent or ability, but solely on the degree of force with which actors are able to manipulate the market, independently of how much effort they apply, how much talent they have, or how able they are, and as such it cannot be defined as a meritocracy.
In summary, again, I do disagree with you, and the fact that you think I'm actually not disagreeing with you demonstrates my point that you are consistently imagining I'm saying one thing and arguing against that, which is why you are talking yourself in circles. To get me to accept that capitalism is a meritocracy, you will have to prove that financial reward is meted out to people solely on the basis of their intrinsic abilities and talents, and not any other factor; that's where the line in the sand has been since the beginning, that's the meaning of my claim that 'capitalism is little more than a window dressing for the natural state of affairs, where reward is determined by might makes right.' Live long and prosper friend.