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A lot of the changed values - particularly distrust of empire and patriotism - came about directly because of Marx and Engels. They were watered down in socialism, but the idea that a society could be about sharing instead of economic sharecropping can be blamed directly on them.

Considering that most Western economies are huge machines dedicated to making people make stuff and then buy stuff they don't need, don't really want and can't afford anyway, I don't think there's much evidence to support the idea that our values aren't materialistic.

Economies could be assessed on the amount of scientific innovation, art, and intellectual property they produce. Instead we get GDP and 'growth' - material values.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 06:02:46 PM EST
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What you're not realizing is that Marx and Engel's contribution to that distrust was cemented in a market framework -- the market for ideas.  The idea of imperialism being a bad thing was the result of anti-imperialists arguing to, and convincing, others that their ideas were better.  We call that advertising, today, when the subject is a good or service of some sort.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 06:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting metaphors, those: argumentation as advertising and the "market of ideas". Not everyone shares them. I find them annoying.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 06:36:03 PM EST
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I find them - well - fundamentalist.

There is no 'marketplace' for ideas because ideas don't cost anything. No one buys and sells ideas - except in the limited commercial setting in which IP is sometimes bought and sold.

You can agree or disagree with an idea at no direct personal cost. You can persuade or dissuade others at no direct personal cost.

So how is this a market?

And as Poemless pointed out, there is a huge difference between commercial advertising, which has more in common with the pro-party posters and slogans you'd find in the old Soviet states (only the people are better dressed and the colours are brighter), and public debate and discussion, which is based on persuading opponents by engaging with their ideas directly.

As opposed to yelling in their ear with a constant barrage of jingles and catchy video sequences.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 07:50:40 AM EST
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If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. — George Bernard Shaw


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 07:56:37 AM EST
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Absolutely, I consider the ideas to be the locomotive of human progress and development. And they definetely cost-can you estimate i.e. how much the idea of beverage like coca-cola brought back with respect to profit.

I'm not ugly,but my beauty is a total creation.Hegel
by Chris on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 08:04:49 AM EST
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Even in the case of IP it's generally not the idea but the legal right to use the idea that is sold.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 07:57:42 AM EST
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Not only that, the legal right to communicate the idea is also restricted, which is contrary to the nature of ideas.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 08:00:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this is what I mean by a totalising ideology.

a totalising ideology is one that captures all metaphorical space in discourse as well as control of physical structures and processes in facespace.

this is colloquially expressed as "if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail."

I could get into conceptual connections between totalising ideology and monocropping, etc.  -- but perhaps the most succinct subversion is from our old friend physics:  if you try to understand light as particles it doesn't really work, and if you try to understand it as waves it doesn't really work.  both metaphors need to be in play at once, mutually contradictory and mutually necessary.  which is a feature of complex systems...

but we'll be off to Happy Planet of the Verbositoids if I don't slam on the brakes here...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 06:09:32 PM EST
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üüps!

I was replying to Migeru, who opined:  Interesting metaphors, those: argumentation as advertising and the "market of ideas". Not everyone shares them. I find them annoying.


The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 06:11:39 PM EST
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I'm so disappointed, I wanted to see the Happy Planet of Verbositoids.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 06:27:35 PM EST
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Regarding marketism as a totalising ideology, some people in the European left used to quip "we want a market economy, but not a market society".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 06:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and now we're back to the separation of Commerce and State...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Apr 5th, 2006 at 08:01:35 PM EST
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The idea of imperialism being a bad thing was the result of anti-imperialists arguing to, and convincing, others that their ideas were better.

That's a rather relativist approach.  All movements or social changes require persuding people to get on board, so I don't think we can judge the merits of one system or another on that alone.  

As for "advertising", I might be parsing words, but telling people who don't have the right to vote that you think they should have it, who don't have the right to organize, ditto, who are starving due to class inqualities that you think that removing those inequalities will provide them with more sustenance is hardly comparable to pressuring people to buy things they do not need whatsoever to survive so that you can get rich.

Abolishionists had to convince people to follow them.  So did the NeoCons.  But one group wanted to make all people's lives better, and one wanted to make their own lives better.  

Calling it a "marketplace of ideas" rewards those who best sell their ideas, not those with the best ideas.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 06:46:25 PM EST
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The "marketplace of ideas" is a pervasive meme in the US. I was familiar with it in the context of one Supreme Court ruling regarding academic freedom, but I just found this:
The philosophical core that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes inserted into the freedom of speech debate over 78 years ago continues to beat like a young heart in the body of First Amendment law. His words were at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court's reasoning when on June 26 in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, it struck down the Communications Decency Act as a violation of the Constitution.

In 1919, Justice Holmes filed a dissent in Abrams v. United States in which he created the powerful and enduring "marketplace of ideas" metaphor to encapsulate the concept of freedom of speech. In the marketplace metaphor, ideas compete against one another for acceptance -- with the underlying faith that truth will prevail in such an open encounter.

Borrowing from John Milton's "Areopagitica" (1644) and John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" (1859), Holmes wrote in his Abrams dissent: "But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market ... . That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment."

Justice Holmes' pivotal concept gradually became the controlling metaphor in First Amendment jurisprudence. His voice was present in the high court's decision striking down the CDA.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 06:51:59 PM EST
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