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Who will win the upcoming debate, Jordon Peterson, or Slajov Zizek?
in Politics

By piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
Peterson and Zizek will have a debate about capitalism, and it will take place in Toronto. Who will win?



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Arguments

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1653 Pts
    I honestly do not know who Zizek is, which shames me.

    That said, as much as I respect Peterson, I find his arguments more solid when he talks about human psychology or the subject of rights, than whenever he starts discussing economics. As far as economics go, I believe he does what most specialists do and tries to apply the knowledge from his area of expertise to things it is not applicable to.

    Will definitely try to get a glance at that debate though, provided it is broadcast or recorded!
    piloteer
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @MayCaesar

    I personally don't like either, and I don't care who wins. It seems it will be a philosophical debate rather than an economic debate.
  • I shall be the first one in this thread to point out that this debate is not one where either Peterson nor Zizek will look to 'win'. The audience of such a debate will be the true winners, depending on what is to be discussed. I hope that both bring valuable arguments to the stage and we can learn more about the conflicted ideas that both are intimate with. 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Marcus_Antonius

    Both those people have no credentials in economics, and that's what they're debating. I think the whole thing will be bogged down in philosophical semantics. It will be a an interesting waste of time.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1653 Pts
    @piloteer

    One does not need to have credentials in economics to be able to make a compelling argument on economics. At large, just like any other field, a lot of things in the economics can be understood by applying basic logic and common sense, and while more intricate details will remain unapproachable to non-economists, two intellectuals definitely can make strong arguments for their positions that will not directly contradict economical sciences.

    Much like two people can talk about black holes and give some insight on them, even if they are not professional physicists. Of course Edward Witten would be able to say a lot more, but even these two persons can say a lot about on which Witten would, at worst, say, "Well, this is a very strong oversimplification of what really is happening..."

    I myself do not have a degree in economics, and the closest I have ever worked on were a few mathematical statistical models that I liberally applied to certain economical calculations. Does that mean I have no business talking about economics? On a professional level, sure, but on a "commoner-insightful" level - why not?
    piloteerPlaffelvohfen
  • AmpersandAmpersand 624 Pts
    edited April 7
    Zizek will certainly from my point of view make the better arguments as Jordan Peterson's positions are just generally terrible. In terms of who presents their ideas best which is very much separate form the validity of the ideas themselves I'm not sure, though Peterson may have the edge due to being a native English speaker as opposed to Zizek who's pretty fluent but is speaking it as a second language.

    piloteer said:
    @Marcus_Antonius

    Both those people have no credentials in economics, and that's what they're debating. I think the whole thing will be bogged down in philosophical semantics. It will be a an interesting waste of time.
    Nonsense.

    I suggest you look up "Political Economy" and if you're interested in it maybe pick up a book like The ABCs of Political Economy. The economy is more than an assessment of whether a 34 or a 35% tax rate will give better returns but also the moral and political implications of what our economic intentions are. Before we can look at running an economy efficiency a moral a philosophical decision has to be made about what the goals are, what means are suitable for attaining them, on what moral basis people deserve to be compensated for work, etc.
    piloteerPlaffelvohfen
  • go zizal i love his crazy slavic commie ! he is my hero
    The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin

  •  Slajov Zizek?

    The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin

  • Slajov Zizek! love his crazy slavik !

    The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin

  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    I don't like Peterson at all, and I don't think Zizek will have all that much trouble with the language barrier. I agree with the philosophical implications in economics, but the debate is about capitalism specifically, which isn't a planned system of economics, therefore, it can be argued that capitalism was in place before any philosophical implications were ever applied to it. Hayek or Keynes would have been awesome on this subject because they both loved capitalism, and they both had a deep understanding of it's philosophical implications, and of course, they were well versed in economics. I don't know much about Zizeks understanding of economics, but I'd rather listen to economic standpoint of Kermit the frog over Jordon Peterson. That guy gives me heartburn just listening to him.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    Oh ya, thanx for the name dropping of the book. I will certainly seek it out.
  • AmpersandAmpersand 624 Pts
    piloteer said:
    @Ampersand

    I don't like Peterson at all, and I don't think Zizek will have all that much trouble with the language barrier. I agree with the philosophical implications in economics, but the debate is about capitalism specifically, which isn't a planned system of economics, therefore, it can be argued that capitalism was in place before any philosophical implications were ever applied to it. Hayek or Keynes would have been awesome on this subject because they both loved capitalism, and they both had a deep understanding of it's philosophical implications, and of course, they were well versed in economics. I don't know much about Zizeks understanding of economics, but I'd rather listen to economic standpoint of Kermit the frog over Jordon Peterson. That guy gives me heartburn just listening to him.
    The debate is "Happiness: Capitalism vs. Marxism" so I think it's clear that the discussion will be about comparing the two ideologies which will involve acknowledging the different underlying core assumptions and values that support each .

    Also a literal free market Capitalism doesn't exist. Every single Capitalist nation on the planet is regulated and planned to varying degrees. Even if an actual free-market nation did occur, it would still presumably be an intentional choice of the people in power who have chosen to implement that free-market Captialism over all the competing.

    Lastly it absolutely cannot be argued that "capitalism was in place before any philosophical implications were ever applied to it" as Capitalism cannot exist without certain core assumptions such as ownership and control of businesses (and the ability to then subtract surplus value from the workers of those businesses) being based around the capital invested in them.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    I didn't realize it was capitalism vs communism. I would have hoped the capitalist side had a stronger representative.

    I made an erroneous claim about the philosophical implications embedded in capitalism, but the amount of philosophy that will saturate their discussion isn't really found in the first instances of capitalist trade. I agree that the philosophical idea of private property was a driving force in capitalism, but the method of trade that capitalism was derived from was a naturally occurring method that had no reverence to any philosophical implications for society. The scale of the philosophical implications that will be brought into the discussion between these two are the result of thousands of years of capitalist systems being used by many different societies and countries.

     I disagree that a truly capitalist system doesn't exist any longer. Just because some centralized planning is involved, it doesn't necessarily mean it's no longer a free market system. There's no fine line between a free market system, and a totally planned government instituted system of distribution. The concept of a patent is a form of a regulation that goes beyond private property rights and awards intellectual property to people as well, but that regulation doesn't stop it from being a free market. There's also much debate right now on whether the Nordic system is a free market system, or a democratic socialism. The line between true capitalism and true communism is very hazy. One could argue that China uses an anarcho capitalist system, but rules are put in place to protect the business sector from small business competition that could threaten their profits. There's a difference between a free market system, and an anarcho capitalist system. Many Chinese businesses disregard existing patents, and there's so many of them doing it, the Chinese courts can't keep up with prosecuting them.
  • AmpersandAmpersand 624 Pts
    piloteer said:
    @Ampersand

    I didn't realize it was capitalism vs communism. I would have hoped the capitalist side had a stronger representative.

    I made an erroneous claim about the philosophical implications embedded in capitalism, but the amount of philosophy that will saturate their discussion isn't really found in the first instances of capitalist trade. I agree that the philosophical idea of private property was a driving force in capitalism, but the method of trade that capitalism was derived from was a naturally occurring method that had no reverence to any philosophical implications for society. The scale of the philosophical implications that will be brought into the discussion between these two are the result of thousands of years of capitalist systems being used by many different societies and countries.

     I disagree that a truly capitalist system doesn't exist any longer. Just because some centralized planning is involved, it doesn't necessarily mean it's no longer a free market system. There's no fine line between a free market system, and a totally planned government instituted system of distribution. The concept of a patent is a form of a regulation that goes beyond private property rights and awards intellectual property to people as well, but that regulation doesn't stop it from being a free market. There's also much debate right now on whether the Nordic system is a free market system, or a democratic socialism. The line between true capitalism and true communism is very hazy. One could argue that China uses an anarcho capitalist system, but rules are put in place to protect the business sector from small business competition that could threaten their profits. There's a difference between a free market system, and an anarcho capitalist system. Many Chinese businesses disregard existing patents, and there's so many of them doing it, the Chinese courts can't keep up with prosecuting them.
    I didn't state that capitalism doesn't exist, i stated a literal free market capitalism doesn't exist.

    Let's define a free market. I always say Wikipedia is pretty good for basic definitions of terms because even if the details are wrong they don't tend to screw up basic definitions, so: In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and by consumers. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, or by other authority

    So yes, government intervention stopping businesses from competing in the marketplace by enforcing patents would stop it from being free market. However it's not like there is a country where the enforcement of patents is the only regulation the government provides anyway. If you think free market Capitalism is an existing system in use today, how about you point out just a single nation on Earth that you feel is definitely free market and I'll do a quick analysis of their government interventions to show they're clearly non free-market?

    Lastly if you want to argue China is Anarcho Capitalist feel free, I could do with a laugh and you trying to argue that this nation with massive centralised state power and bureaucracy like China has no centralised state power and bureaucracy could provide me with one.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1653 Pts
    edited April 8
    @piloteer

    I think your first point (with which I agree) is better expressed by saying that a model does not have to be taken to the extreme in order to exist. For example, "free market capitalism" does not necessarily mean "perfectly free market capitalism", just like, say, "hungry lion" does not necessarily mean "lion that is going to die from starvation in infinitesimally small period of time". Every quantitative statement only makes sense in the appropriate context. "Free market capitalism" is a quantitative statement, as much as it is a qualitative one. There is no "absolutely free" market today, but there are markets that, by the modern and historical standards, are free.

    I do disagree, however, that a free market needs to be protected by regulations. The market can protect itself just fine, and its functionality is regulated by the customers and their wallets. Any degree of regulation or central planning goes against the spirit of a free market, which is based on the idea of unconditional freedom of people to perform consensual exchanges. Free market is not supposed to be a means to an end, like planned socialist market is - free market is supposed to be an end in itself. If it is regulated in the name of some collective goals, then it is not as free as it could be, or, should I say, should be.

    It is abominable to prevent two individuals from consensually trading goods and services on the basis of the "greater good for the society". This kind of reasoning is exactly why in this country one cannot legally announce a simple garage sale without going through countless bureaucratic hooks and hookers. It cannot be good for the economy in any way, and it is a restriction of fundamental rights all humans ought to have.

    I am also a bit surprised by your characterisation of Chinese economy. It has little to do with anarchism, or capitalism, for that matter. Rather, I would compare it to Mussolini's corporativism, where the private enterprise is allowed to exist, but the governmental corporations dominate the economy and dictate the economical rules everyone must abide by. It is very common for the Chinese government to expropriate a company for no reason other than "We do not like how this company is run".
    China has very lax regulations with regards to patents and intellectual rights, that is true. But those hardly exhaust the whole spectrum of freedoms a free market economy is supposed to feature. Add to that an unbelievable degree of corruption in China, and you get the picture.
    Their system worked well back when they strived for actual capitalism under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping. But as it often happens to reforms in totalitarian states, once he died, his successors quickly turned the ship 180 degrees and started demolishing all of his accomplishments.
    Today Chinese enterpreneurs in private conversations claim that the country has become less business-friendly than ever before. There is even a nice joke I read recently:
    - What is the only private industry in China that has not collapsed yet?
    - Tea industry. All other enterpreneurs sit at a table drinking tea and discussing how to survive.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

     So then, according to your definition (which I agree with), a truly free market system would mean that the government does not set the prices. Those prices are set by the open market and the consumers. Well then, I'd argue that there are too many countries with those qualities to mention here, but the United States comes to mind. There is no government intervention in most sectors of the free market system in the United States, which sets prices for goods sold on the open market. One could argue that there are certain sectors where the government does have a say in prices, like the medical industry. But I'd argue that the medical sector isn't a solely private business endeavour and it requires alot of government investment, so it would make sense that the government has some sway on prices there, but private business still has a free market. 

    Next on the list of points that your definition makes is government intervention of supply and demand. Again, there are too many countries where their respective governments do not intervene in the supply and demand of goods to mention here. One country that does come to mind though would be the United States. The United States government does not intervene in the supply and demand of private businesses. Enforcement of patent laws does not represent government intervention of prices. If a business has a patent, they are free to sell the product at what ever prices they'd like (in most cases). It is also not a method of control over supply and demand. If a business has a patent, they are free to supply as many of their consumers as they'd like, with how ever much product they'd like. Patents do not last for ever. The true purpose of a patent is let a person or business try and recover some of the money they've invested in developing a new product before other businesses can sell a similar product. After the terms of the patent is up, all other businesses are allowed to sell a similar product, at a competitive price. Enforcment of these laws do not stand in the way of open market/ consumer price setting, or a businesses freedom to supply the public at will.  

    @MayCaesar

    I wasn't arguing for centralized planning in a free market system. I generally disagree with protectionism. I was only arguing that some centralized planning does not automatically make a free market system crumble and become a totally planned socialist system. 

    I didn't realize China had become so stringent with business intervention in recent years. It used to be that there was a business class in China, and they were allowed to do what they wanted, and the working class were not allowed to compete with them, or rise to the rank of the business class. Pat Buchanan once called it a harsh capitalist system. He called it harsh because the working class were not allowed to reap any of the benefits of the free market system that the business class had, because the workers wages were set by the government. It was like a capitalist caste system. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1653 Pts
    @piloteer

    China has changed significantly in the last decade, unfortunately. It is still somewhat business-friendly, but, based on what little we hear of it, the government strengthens its grip over the economy gradually. The current president especially is an ominous sign, with the rhetoric dangerously resembling that of Mao himself. A lot of prominent enterpreneurs have fallen into disfavor and had their businesses taken away or severely penalised.

    I am not sure how much they control worker wages nowadays. It is noticeable, however, how Chinese arrivals on the West no longer are as surprised by the quality of life here as they used to be in the past. While the average income in China is still very low, it is not as horrible Third-worldy low as it was even a decade ago - in fact, according to many estimates, the average Chinese is now richer than the average Russian, something that would have been unthinkable even in 2010.

    I am now keeping a close eye on Singapore, as the trends there occurring ever since Lee Kuan Yew died are somewhat similar to the trends in China occurring after Xiaoping's death. Singapore may soon become a much less attractive destination than it is currently.

    This, unfortunately, is a common trend for dictatorships: no matter how benevolent and pragmatic the dictator is, the life expectancy of that benevolence and pragmatism rarely significantly exceeds that of the dictator.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    According to one article I just read, Zizek is going to beat Peterson so badly, it may cause Peterson physical pain. The mental beating he will receive will transfer over into the physical realm.  
  • @piloteer

    Let's look again at the definition.

    "In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and by consumers. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, or by other authority"

    Now does the US government literally force a farmer to sell beef for a certain amount of dollars per kilo? No.

    However is that all the definition above is limited to? No.

    The government goes not let the open market and the laws of supply and demand act freely without intervention. Let's look at a few examples:

    - Minimum wage for workers, effecting both the supply and the demand in varying ways depending on the economic set-up e.g. increasing demand by giving people more spending money or decreasing supply by forcing business owners to spend more on wages for the same work.

    - Agricultural subsidies, boosting the supply farmers deliver beyond what they'd be able to do themselves.

    - Environmental laws. Extra costs and restrictions by ensuring waste is taken care of properly, etc.

    - Welfare, unemployment benefits, etc which boost people's spending and increases demand.

    The amount of laws which will effect supply and demand are literally countless as far as I know. Here's a random one I just pulled out of my hat: It's illegal to feed garbage to swine without a permit unless the pigs are for your own personal use, unfairly placing restrictions of farmers who want to feed garbaage to their pigs to sell and make a profit - thus decreasing supply.

    Your argument, when you actually run it past the definition, can be summarised as "The USA doesn't pass any laws in any way restricting or benefiting businesses or placing any olimitations on what they can do and the same thing with people in general as all people are consumers". As you can see when you read it for a second and think about it, that argument is clearly insane.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    I will address your post at a later time, but for now, I will ask you what you thought of the debate between Peterson and Zizek? I thought it seemed like if it went on any longer, they were going to spoon each other on stage. They agreed more than they disagreed. In the end, it turned out to be a bashfest on individualism and postmodernism. The more I read about Zizek, the more I dislike him. Apparently, he rails against the plight of minority groups, and claims those struggles need to take a back seat when it comes to demolishing the inequalities of capitalism. Now, I'm no commie, but since the modern communist movement stresses equality for all, I would think the struggles of disaffected minority groups should be the most important aspect of that struggle, but hey, that's just me. And how trendy of them to be hating on postmodernism, yet they are oblivious to the fact that they are speaking the language of postmodernism, and use postmodern reasoning to make their points. What a waste of "intellectual" time that was!!!
  • @piloteer

    I've browsed it. Too much arguement over the liberal left, not enough going at each others throats.

    Generally Zizek is open to dealing racism with the proviso that he thinks the key inequality and driver of racism is economic and without attacking the root cause of racism you'll never get rid of it.

    I would also say Zizek isn't really especially postmodernist, hence his classical Marxist focus on economic equality and treatment of Capitalism as the great universal enemy.
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    Zizek is decidedly NOT a postmodernist, he's a revisionist. He wants to reconstruct what the post-structuralists have deconstructed. He disregards the hopes of the postmodernists who've rejected traditional Marxism because of the Marxists constantly minimizing the struggles of the disaffected minority. The left refused to ally themselves with minorities and gay and lesbian groups, and of course the right were vehemently against them, so they had nobody to rely on, hence the formation of postmodern thought. Ever since I've read up on postmodernism, I've come to respect it and embrace it, and it's changed me as a person. You don't have to follow every aspect of postmodernism to be a postmodernist. You can cherry pick your favorite aspects of it that you believe fits with your character. I also disagree with Zizek on his feeling that minority groups struggles are political or economic struggles. Exactly what about the plight of gay and lesbian groups is economic? If traditional Marxism isn't going to concern itself with their struggles, they should reject it fully. Not every struggle is political or economic, some are strictly social struggles. 
  • piloteerpiloteer 344 Pts
    @Ampersand

    So, getting back to your claim that "true" capitalist systems no longer exist. Enforcement of minimum wage laws do not represent any sort of government intervention of supply and demand. You make the point that it could effect demand by increasing demand because more people will have more spending money. Although it's arguable whether this is even true, because when the minimum wage goes up, so do the cost of many products, but for the sake of this argument, I will grant that it may be true that demand does increase. However, it's worth noting that just because demand has increased, the government doesn't force any business to serve that demand. There is no government intervention that effects the supply in this scenario. When it comes to your argument that minimum wage laws may decrease demand, you'd really need to supply us with hard economic evidence to prove that actually happens. There may be some grain of truth with that claim, but I could just as easily simply deny that it's true, but without economic numbers to fortify our claims, there really just claims without evidence. What we need here is evidence to prove that an increase in minimum wages does indeed cause a decrease in demand. 

    Your argument about enforcement of basic safety rules is kind of out of bounds here. I mean, sure, you could argue that since it's illegal to sell mustard gas bombs, that means a "true" capitalist system doesn't exist, but I don't think it's ever been anybody's argument that to have a true capitalist system, you need absolute anarchy and a disregard for basic rules of safety. You could let the pig farmer sell a potentially dangerous product to the public, but for the sake of the safety of the public, and the pig farmer, you could pass a logical law that fixes this problem before it even starts. You made a better argument regarding minimum wage laws. You should probably just stick with that argument.
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