J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 07-08-2018

basic capitalism

War -Ayn Rand Lexicon

Wars are the second greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. By the nature of its basic principles and interests, it is the only system fundamentally opposed to war. Men who are free to produce, have no incentive to loot; they have nothing to gain from war and a great deal to lose. Economically, wars cost money; in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizens-there is no overblown public treasury to hide that fact-and a citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses by winning the war. Let those who are actually concerned with peace observe that capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history-a period during which there were no wars involving the entire civilized world-from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. 

World War I was started by monarchist Germany and Czarist Russia, who dragged in their freer allies. World War II was started by the alliance of Nazi Germany with Soviet Russia and their joint attack on Poland. Observe that in World War II, both Germany and Russia seized and dismantled entire factories in conquered countries, to ship them home-while the freest of the mixed economies, the semi-capitalistic United States, sent billions worth of lend-lease equipment, including entire factories, to its allies. If men want to oppose war, it is statism that they must oppose. Capitalism wins and holds its markets by free competition, at home and abroad. 

A market conquered by war can be of value only to those advocates of a mixed economy who seek to close it to international competition, impose restrictive regulations, and thus acquire special privileges by force. If nuclear weapons are a dreadful threat and mankind cannot afford war any longer, then mankind cannot afford statism any longer. Let all those who are actually concerned with peace-those who do love man and do care about his survival-realize that if war is ever to be outlawed, it is the use of force that has to be outlawed. 

Keywords: [“war”,”own”,”capitalism”]
Source: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/war.html

Whole Foods CEO believes capitalism has higher purpose

At its core, and true to Mackey’s ability to avoid those hard-and-fast labels, the book out this week delivers a pointed critique on how capitalism can lead business astray if its practice isn’t grounded in a sound ethical foundation. For much of American industrial history, Mackey said, free-market capitalism was underpinned by a sense of Judeo-Christian values. That ethical underpinning has eroded as American society has grown increasingly secular, Mackey said. As humanity has evolved, their argument goes, so also must business evolve to integrate the needs of all the stakeholders. When vendors argued that Whole Foods didn’t put them on equal terms with customers and employees, for example, the company added suppliers to its list of core stakeholders. 

When animal rights activists picketed the company’s annual meeting in 2003, Mackey was initially offended by their accusations. After meeting with them and studying the issue, he wrote, he overhauled Whole Foods’ animal welfare standards and became a vegan. Those who have followed Whole Foods know that Mackey has drawn his fair share of critics in recent years, including government regulators who investigated him after he posted online messages about the company online under a pseudonym. Ultimately, it’s that notion of a constantly evolving and progressing consciousness that lies at the heart of both Mackey’s ardent support for – and his concerns about the direction of – free-market capitalism today. Once, underpinned by an ethics of compassion and care, capitalism created more value for humanity than any other political or economic framework in history, he said. 

As business rediscovers a higher sense of purpose – one that seeks to create value for employees, suppliers, investors and customers alike – it can create value for all stakeholders, he said. Because humanity is more conscious today than ever before, he argued, business has the capacity integrate a new, necessary ethical foundation on which capitalism can thrive and benefit humanity as a whole. 

Keywords: [“Mackey”,”Capitalism”,”Conscious”]
Source: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/3315374-74/mackey-capitalism-foods

Theodor Adorno and “Negative Dialectics”

IDENTITY Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno wrote their critique of the culture of Western civilization, Dialectic of Enlightenment during the Second World War. Perhaps it took the magisterial pessimism of Theodor Adorno in Negative Dialectics to articulate the true extent of the Fall of humanity outside the bounds of the Enlightenment. In order to do so, Adorno continued his critique of philosophy, a critique that went beyond the abstract realm of thought and grappled with the implications of the refusal to remember the past so prevalent in West Germany. Later Jean-François Lyotard would use deconstruction married to Adorno to discuss the Holocaust in terms of what he called the differend and the forced silence of those who were outside the dialectic. Like Benjamin who insisted on examining an object in its historical particularity, Adorno asserted that the danger of identity thinking could be averted through Negative Dialectics, which assesses relations among things according to the criteria the object had of itself. 

Adorno took up the Dialectic in order to negate the presumed progression from one term to the other. Most importantly, Adorno has eliminated the linear teleology of the Dialectic and once the possibility of progressive movement is negated within the constellation, the point of origin-Nothingness-is eliminated. As a Holocaust survivor, Adorno was profoundly suspicious of the universal. In an abstract way that is also concrete and psychological, it is important for Adorno that one recognizes not just that which as been refused but also to come to terms with one’s guilt for having turned away from the contradictions within the dialectic. Adorno insisted upon critical thinking, which was a moral imperative. 

Adorno had recurring dreams of being sent to the gas chambers and found himself not just a Survivor but also an alien in his own homeland. In his parting thoughts, Adorno wrote these famous lines,. 

Keywords: [“Adorno”,”through”,”culture”]
Source: https://arthistoryunstuffed.com/theodor-adorno-and-negative-dialectics

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