The Problem With [Philanthropy]

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  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Money is a single unit value we assign to materials and/or time spent, and is meant to be an intermediary to allow for the smooth functioning of things like trade. Like any single unit value representing a complex system, it can be perverted. But money isn't a "method of controlling the behavior of others." There is nothing that you compels you as an individual to participate in the exchange of money for goods and services, and there are people in the US who disavow entirely the use of money and instead live off the land and barter for the things they cannot make themselves. That's not to say it is easy, but it is possible to live a life free from money. It is up the the individual to make that choice.

    Money itself is just a unit of value. A dollar represents X amount of time from one profession, Y amount of time from another profession, or Z amount of material goods. It means I can buy an apple for $0.50 or a large industrial valve for $10,000, and could exchange 20,000 of my apples for one industrial valve without having to find an industrial valve manufacturer that wants 20,000 apples.

    Money can certainly be abused to control others, as is often done with the poor and minorities. But the problem in these cases isn't money, it's the society that represses them. And there are other systemic issues that need to be addressed as well, such as biased laws, a biased police and legal system, racism, etc. Money is just a tool.

    This feels like it's looking at money from a theoretical/intended perspective and not how it is regularly utilized in practice.

    Like money is totally a method by which control and power is exerted, in practice. It doesn't matter that it wasn't what it was meant for, people went and did it anyway, and it's the practical existing use that you need to be concerned about.

    Also I regarding "nothing that compels you" about using money for goods and services: People need to eat, people need shelter. Those things cost money in American society and thanks to, you know, the whole "literally founded as a colony that became an expanding settler nation" thing, there's not a lot of places in America where you could somehow go off the grid, live off the land, etc. even if you had the skills and knowledge about how to survive in the wilds.

    Which also like, how do you do that without money? What areas of the US are there where you don't have to have money to live a detached, wilderness lifestyle? And on top of which, there certainly isn't enough of it to support that for everyone in a nation of over three hundred million people.

    The system as it stands compels you to participate in money-based commerce, because we have by and large made it impossible to live outside of it at anything resembling societal scales, because we generally like living in cities or rural communities where most if not all the land belongs to someone or another (we really like the whole "land ownership" thing in America), be they individual, corporation or state entity.

    To say that nothing compels you to participate seems like a really, really ludicrous prospect for the practical lives of most of the people living in America. We might as well talk about bootstrapping your way up to billionaire status so you too can be a philanthropist.

    Heffling is more pointing out that money is not "a method for controlling the behaviour of others", it's a representation of value. It's purpose is not to control others and you don't need it to control others. It's only representing many of the things that you can use to do that and absent money you would just use those things directly and use a different representation. Societies without money are not societies without the ability to use power of one form or another to influence and control others. Seeing money itself, as a tool, as the problem is not really accurate.

    Again, this is worth breaking into its own thread, but to quote Banks "Money is a sign of poverty".

    At least in the current system we live in (there are potential ways to have a currency system that avoid these problems), the end result of our money system is to distinguish people who are allowed to have resources as opposed to those who are not. As a fiat currency, the only way in which the value of money is maintained is through the use of violence (US law ensures that violence will be used to back your right to your own assets, liquid or otherwise, in accordance with the law of the state/country). So in a very real sense the value of a dollar is that you are physically forced to respect it (if you don't, you will fall on the wrong side of the law), and that's fundamentally where it derives its stability and therefore value as a currency from. And, mind you, if you do not have money, you must starve or otherwise be severely limited in your ability to carry out basic life functions. There is no sense in which anyone can opt out from the repercussions of our economic system. Even the land itself is owned, taxed, and must yield interest or else put you deeper into debt.

    What in the hell are you talking about? Fiat currency is only maintained through violence? This is nonsense. Money is not a system to distinguish those are allowed to have resources as opposed to those who are not, it's a representation of those who have resources and in what quantities, as determined by the value of that money.

    But the basic point, again, is that trying to blame money is just silly. Inequality predates money and would still be around if you eliminated it. Money is not the source of the problems y'all keep harping on about.

    Shryke what stops me from taking these resources you have? What stops me from walking up to a billionaire's home and walking off with his wallet?

    The same thing that stops you under literally any system.

    Well, no, not literally any system. It is the law. The force of the state backs the value of the currency and the right of the proprietor. This is true in most countries, but it is not universally or necessarily the case by a long shot. Going any further would get into a big digression, but what I said isn't false. And the larger point is that the state is what holds the power to determine who is the legitimate owner of resources, exclusively. Yet we act as though money holds any value separate from that granted to it by the actions of the state. USD is not in any sense a representation of objective value, it is a representation of who does or does not have the backing of the power of the state. It is a representation of how much we are allowed to have or not have.

    Yes, what stops you from taking other people's shit is the law. Not money, not currency, the law. Same as under any other system. You can't steal his money any more then you can steal his clothes or his food or his anything.

    Robbery as a crime predates fiat currency by a LONG ass time dude. Shit, depending on how you want to define both money and laws, "don't steal" predates the existence of money. It's almost like they are two completely separate ideas. And money as a concept predates fiat currency and government regulation on it's use. One of the key points of money as a human invention is as an efficient means of exchange, which is a thing that happens even before the state.

    You can't steal someone's money because you can't steal their stuff period. Money or otherwise.

    You are almost completely, entirely missing the point. I was talking explicitly about fiat currency, now, in this system. I am not talking about the vague concept of money.

    I mean, I also have problems with the entire concept of legal property (as opposed to possession) itself, but again that's a discussion that deserves its entire own thread and discussion.

    If you are just talking about fiat currency your point makes even less sense. The idea of government enforced legal tender predates fiat currency dude. There's a huge famous speech over arguments about it and everything. That currency was backed the same way the current system is. I'm not sure what makes you think this is someone a fiat currency thing other then you've been reading some weird shit that has given you a very strange idea of how fiat currency works.

    As a note, since I guess this seems to be something else that is confused here, the actual value of fiat currency is not backed by government violence. It's value is influenced by government central bank policy and general views by others on the stability of the government backing the currency. You cannot in any reasonable way force people to believe that your money is worth X by the barrel of a gun.

    This is effectively what was done by World War II and the Bretton Woods agreement, followed by the US unilaterally removing the gold standard (thus demonstrating the value of gold was never what really backed the value of the USD to begin with, it was their massive military dominance).

    In a very real sense the stability of your government, and thus your currency, reduces to who has the monopoly on violence that is viewed as legitimate by the populace.

    SleepFeralMeeqeIncenjucarLord_Asmodeusdispatch.o
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 3
    Winky is mostly right about fiat currency. There are a lot of intermediate steps between "currency has value" and "threat of violence." And it isn't necessarily the case - there are many cases of town scrip (sometimes company scrip, sometimes not) and private banknotes throughout US and EU history that weren't backed by violence in any meaningful way.

    The fiat currencies that have survived the longest are those issued by a government, or pegged to a government-backed currency, for one major reason: you can pay your taxes and fines with them.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited January 3
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Money is a single unit value we assign to materials and/or time spent, and is meant to be an intermediary to allow for the smooth functioning of things like trade. Like any single unit value representing a complex system, it can be perverted. But money isn't a "method of controlling the behavior of others." There is nothing that you compels you as an individual to participate in the exchange of money for goods and services, and there are people in the US who disavow entirely the use of money and instead live off the land and barter for the things they cannot make themselves. That's not to say it is easy, but it is possible to live a life free from money. It is up the the individual to make that choice.

    Money itself is just a unit of value. A dollar represents X amount of time from one profession, Y amount of time from another profession, or Z amount of material goods. It means I can buy an apple for $0.50 or a large industrial valve for $10,000, and could exchange 20,000 of my apples for one industrial valve without having to find an industrial valve manufacturer that wants 20,000 apples.

    Money can certainly be abused to control others, as is often done with the poor and minorities. But the problem in these cases isn't money, it's the society that represses them. And there are other systemic issues that need to be addressed as well, such as biased laws, a biased police and legal system, racism, etc. Money is just a tool.

    This feels like it's looking at money from a theoretical/intended perspective and not how it is regularly utilized in practice.

    Like money is totally a method by which control and power is exerted, in practice. It doesn't matter that it wasn't what it was meant for, people went and did it anyway, and it's the practical existing use that you need to be concerned about.

    Also I regarding "nothing that compels you" about using money for goods and services: People need to eat, people need shelter. Those things cost money in American society and thanks to, you know, the whole "literally founded as a colony that became an expanding settler nation" thing, there's not a lot of places in America where you could somehow go off the grid, live off the land, etc. even if you had the skills and knowledge about how to survive in the wilds.

    Which also like, how do you do that without money? What areas of the US are there where you don't have to have money to live a detached, wilderness lifestyle? And on top of which, there certainly isn't enough of it to support that for everyone in a nation of over three hundred million people.

    The system as it stands compels you to participate in money-based commerce, because we have by and large made it impossible to live outside of it at anything resembling societal scales, because we generally like living in cities or rural communities where most if not all the land belongs to someone or another (we really like the whole "land ownership" thing in America), be they individual, corporation or state entity.

    To say that nothing compels you to participate seems like a really, really ludicrous prospect for the practical lives of most of the people living in America. We might as well talk about bootstrapping your way up to billionaire status so you too can be a philanthropist.

    Heffling is more pointing out that money is not "a method for controlling the behaviour of others", it's a representation of value. It's purpose is not to control others and you don't need it to control others. It's only representing many of the things that you can use to do that and absent money you would just use those things directly and use a different representation. Societies without money are not societies without the ability to use power of one form or another to influence and control others. Seeing money itself, as a tool, as the problem is not really accurate.

    Again, this is worth breaking into its own thread, but to quote Banks "Money is a sign of poverty".

    At least in the current system we live in (there are potential ways to have a currency system that avoid these problems), the end result of our money system is to distinguish people who are allowed to have resources as opposed to those who are not. As a fiat currency, the only way in which the value of money is maintained is through the use of violence (US law ensures that violence will be used to back your right to your own assets, liquid or otherwise, in accordance with the law of the state/country). So in a very real sense the value of a dollar is that you are physically forced to respect it (if you don't, you will fall on the wrong side of the law), and that's fundamentally where it derives its stability and therefore value as a currency from. And, mind you, if you do not have money, you must starve or otherwise be severely limited in your ability to carry out basic life functions. There is no sense in which anyone can opt out from the repercussions of our economic system. Even the land itself is owned, taxed, and must yield interest or else put you deeper into debt.

    What in the hell are you talking about? Fiat currency is only maintained through violence? This is nonsense. Money is not a system to distinguish those are allowed to have resources as opposed to those who are not, it's a representation of those who have resources and in what quantities, as determined by the value of that money.

    But the basic point, again, is that trying to blame money is just silly. Inequality predates money and would still be around if you eliminated it. Money is not the source of the problems y'all keep harping on about.

    Shryke what stops me from taking these resources you have? What stops me from walking up to a billionaire's home and walking off with his wallet?

    The same thing that stops you under literally any system.

    Well, no, not literally any system. It is the law. The force of the state backs the value of the currency and the right of the proprietor. This is true in most countries, but it is not universally or necessarily the case by a long shot. Going any further would get into a big digression, but what I said isn't false. And the larger point is that the state is what holds the power to determine who is the legitimate owner of resources, exclusively. Yet we act as though money holds any value separate from that granted to it by the actions of the state. USD is not in any sense a representation of objective value, it is a representation of who does or does not have the backing of the power of the state. It is a representation of how much we are allowed to have or not have.

    Yes, what stops you from taking other people's shit is the law. Not money, not currency, the law. Same as under any other system. You can't steal his money any more then you can steal his clothes or his food or his anything.

    Robbery as a crime predates fiat currency by a LONG ass time dude. Shit, depending on how you want to define both money and laws, "don't steal" predates the existence of money. It's almost like they are two completely separate ideas. And money as a concept predates fiat currency and government regulation on it's use. One of the key points of money as a human invention is as an efficient means of exchange, which is a thing that happens even before the state.

    You can't steal someone's money because you can't steal their stuff period. Money or otherwise.

    You are almost completely, entirely missing the point. I was talking explicitly about fiat currency, now, in this system. I am not talking about the vague concept of money.

    I mean, I also have problems with the entire concept of legal property (as opposed to possession) itself, but again that's a discussion that deserves its entire own thread and discussion.

    If you are just talking about fiat currency your point makes even less sense. The idea of government enforced legal tender predates fiat currency dude. There's a huge famous speech over arguments about it and everything. That currency was backed the same way the current system is. I'm not sure what makes you think this is someone a fiat currency thing other then you've been reading some weird shit that has given you a very strange idea of how fiat currency works.

    As a note, since I guess this seems to be something else that is confused here, the actual value of fiat currency is not backed by government violence. It's value is influenced by government central bank policy and general views by others on the stability of the government backing the currency. You cannot in any reasonable way force people to believe that your money is worth X by the barrel of a gun.

    Joke Section:

    I don't know, the barrel of a gun can accomplish many belief changes, in the moment at least:
    WeilConvincingArgument.png
    Unlike Hegel and Marx, who had more teleological theories of history (meaning they thought history in general moved in a given direction, more or less towards a given thing), Simone Weil thought history was more like biological evolution, where the stronger species survive and the weaker perish in any given environment, nothing is evolving towards anything, and you can't even say that species are "improving" beyond their survivability in their environment.
    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/307

    Existential Comics makes comics about philosophy and the philosophers who philosophize


    Serious section:

    Shryke I honestly have no idea how on earth you follow any of the events in the economy in the last few decades and somehow come away with the idea that profit losses at major companies are not frequently followed by mass layoffs. It honestly feels like you're just ignoring the inconvenient reality of the market in order to ignore the deeper rot in the system because it's a severe discomfort as to how precarious anyone's job is in an economy that is increasingly tilting further and further into a neo-Gilded Age

    Lanz on
    waNkm4k.jpg?1
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Fuck we need to get more LED lighting on shit so we can go full cyber punk, neon-Gilded Age.

    Aridhol
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Here's a good video of the changes in the meaning of freedom throughout US history and how it became tied to modern capitalism.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    In news that should surprise nobody, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has problems dealing with race:
    More than 70 employees at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy are calling for significant internal change at the organization to combat systemic racism. It’s a rare display of activism inside the walls of a major charity.

    Dozens of people who work on the education team at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are asking Zuckerberg and his co-CEO, his wife Priscilla Chan, to commit to 12 changes that will make the philanthropy more inclusive as it spends millions to reform the American education system. The proposals run the gamut from boosting the number of black leaders in CZI’s management ranks to assembling an advisory group of people from historically marginalized backgrounds to advise CZI on its priorities.

    But the real significance of the letter is that 74 people who work for Zuckerberg — 60 of whom are on CZI’s education team — are attaching their names to the public document, braving possible consequences. Bottom-up activism is extremely rare in the world of philanthropy, even though is it becoming less so in Silicon Valley more broadly.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    MayabirdTicaldfjamsanstodo
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    That reminds me:

    It looks like Jack Dorsey's Start Small fund has donated 140 million to different COVID-19 related causes and is now branching into social justice funds since a few days ago.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Re/code has how the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is compromised by Zuckerberg and Facebook:
    Ridiculous or not, that one employee was speaking for a group of employees who over the past few years have found it difficult to work for the philanthropy that — although legally distinct from Facebook — is inextricably linked to a business empire they find disreputable. And in recent weeks, years of built-up angst at CZI have come spilling out, due to the ongoing protests in the US calling for an end to systemic racism after the killings of several Black Americans. These CZI employees take particular issue with the unwillingness of their boss, Zuckerberg, to place restrictions on Trump’s Facebook posts about the protests, in which he wrote, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

    The line between the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Zuckerberg’s $80 billion-plus charity, and Facebook, his $600 billion-plus public company, legally exists, without a doubt. But what happens at one affects what happens at the other, according to interviews with a dozen current and former employees at CZI, along with others close to it, granted anonymity due to nondisclosure agreements.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    edited September 16
    The only somewhat decent billionaire philanthropy: giving it all away. Guy amassed a fortune of $8 billion. Then, he turned around and gave away all but $2 million of it while still alive, not waiting until after he died, not giving away pennies on the million, not making some "foundation" as a tax-free hidey-hole.

    But it also serves to show just how much obscene wealth a billionaire collects. He gave away 99.99975% of his fortune and still left himself a large nest egg that he could comfortably retire on, still with more money than most people.

    Mayabird on
    kimedispatch.oGnome-InterruptusDoodmannPolaritie38thDoeDarkPrimusRingoElvenshae
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