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Old 12th November 2020, 05:36 PM   #229
Roger Ramjets
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
It always has been completely bizarre to me to see socialists describe capitalism, the voluntary exchange of goods and services in the private sector where both parties benefit from the exchange in a non zero sum way, as "greed" and describe the greed-based ideology of socialism as somehow not based on greed.
Capitalism and greed are not the same, but greed makes its home in capitalism. This has been known for very long time, long before 'socialism' started being used as a derogatory epithet.

Greed Is Good: A 300-Year History of a Dangerous Idea
Quote:
Not long ago, the pursuit of commercial self-interest was largely reviled. How did we come to accept it?

We sometimes forget that the pursuit of commercial self-interest was largely reviled until just a few centuries ago. “A man who is a merchant can seldom if ever please God,” St. Jerome said, expressing the prevailing belief in Christendom about the relative worthiness of a life devoted to trade. The choice to enter business didn’t necessarily deprive one of salvation, but it certainly hazarded his soul...

The problem of money-making was not only that it favored earthly delights over divine obligations. It also enflamed the tendency to prefer our own needs over those of the people around us and, more worrisome still, to recklessly trade their best interests for our own base satisfaction. St. Thomas Aquinas, who ranked greed among the seven deadly sins, warned that trade which aimed at no other purpose than expanding one’s wealth was “justly reprehensible” for “it serves the desire for profit which knows no limit.”

The second move Smith made was to effectively redefine “Greed.”... He acknowledged that pursuing our interests often entails getting what we want from other people, but he maintained that not all of these pursuits, morally speaking, were equal... That is how we distinguish the merchant from the mugger. Both pursue their own interests, but only one does so in a manner that confers legitimacy on the gains.

Originally Posted by portlandatheist
and by the way, social spending and welfare for the needy, is not socialism, It is the fruits of capitalism that provide us with the means to provide such goods and services to the less fortunate.
You don't get to redefine terms just to fit your argument. Social spending and welfare for the needy is indeed socialism, which has many forms.

Quote:
The current economic system in China is formally referred to as a socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics. It combines a large state sector that comprises the commanding heights of the economy, which are guaranteed their public ownership status by law, with a private sector mainly engaged in commodity production and light industry responsible from anywhere between 33% to over 70% of GDP... The current Chinese economy consists of 150 corporatised state-owned enterprises that report directly to China's central government. By 2008, these state-owned corporations had become increasingly dynamic and generated large increases in revenue for the state, resulting in a state-sector led recovery during the 2009 financial crises while accounting for most of China's economic growth.
Most countries with private sector 'market' economies also have state run enterprises that generate income for social services, and most governments are also involved in education, research, and support for businesses. It's not all 'the fruits of capitalism'.
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