Re: [sixties-l] disparities

From: David Horowitz (
Date: 10/06/00

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    Whoever said they "always" are? There is no perfection in this life. The
    point is that in a framework where the laws are race neutral, the
    economy will work to eliminate economic disparities based on race.
    Jeffrey Apfel wrote:
    > Calm down, David. I was in a sense taking your point of view.  Note
    > that I wrote it "would be facile" to say no discrimination exists, not
    > that you denied its existence.  I was emphasizing the good elements of
    > Mark's post, which rightly argued that economic theory does not always
    > guide human action.  If you bothered to read to the end of my short
    > post, you'd note that I agree that market forces tend to be
    > indifferent to such things as skin color, and thus have formed the
    > backdrop for progressive notions that people typically think of as
    > divorced from, or antithetical to, capitalism.
    > So two cheers for capitalism, as they say.  But, c'mon, just because
    > market forces are allied with "the good" in this instance is no
    > guarantee that they always are.  The market is just a big, dumb force,
    > sometimes sweeping away segregation and sometimes contributing to the
    > dumbing down of the culture.  That's my problem with the Hayek set,
    > with which I assume you are now affililiated.  Capitalism is perfectly
    > able to tear down gods that I happen to worship.  In such cases I have
    > no obligation to pray at the altar of market forces--indeed I would be
    > foolish to do so.
    > Jeff Apfel
    > David Horowitz wrote:
    >> Whoever said anything about no discrimination. The point is that
    >> those who discriminate lose, because it means they pay more for
    >> poorer quality workers and force discriminated against workers to
    >> work for lower wages thus increasing the profits of  competitors who
    >> don't discriminate. Unless you think all employers are racists, then
    >> in the long run those who are not will benefit from the uneconomic
    >> bigotry of their rivals. Get it?
    >> Jeffrey Apfel wrote:
    >> > Mark Bunster wrote:
    >> >
    >> > > We do not, as people, generally walk around executing perfect
    >> > theoretical capitalism. My boss
    >> > > may be working (and thriving) under capitalist principles, but
    >> > he's not using a playbook. Did
    >> > > the owner of the lunch kitchen in Greensboro say to himself, "By
    >> > golly, it just doesn't make
    >> > > good capitalist SENSE to turn away business! Here, sit right down
    >> > and have some coffee! What
    >> > > can I get you?"
    >> >
    >> > I agree with both Mark and David, sort of.  Mark is correct that
    >> > pure supply and demand
    >> > capitalism only exists in theory.  Capitalism's operations are
    >> > conducted in the real world by
    >> > slabs of meat with gooey grey matter in their skulls and odd
    >> > impulses inherited via natural
    >> > selection.  So it would be facile to say that since we exist in a
    >> > capitalistic economy, voila, no
    >> > discrimination is possible since it is not logical.  We are not Mr.
    >> > Spocks.
    >> >
    >> > On the other hand, I would guess David's broader point is that the
    >> > creative/destructive aspect of
    >> > capitalism may have played, and continues to play, a significant
    >> > role in the movement toward
    >> > "equality".  We flatter ourselves to think that our noble motives
    >> > are divorced from history.  In
    >> > fact, good Marxists must certainly agree that capitalism's force
    >> > puts pressure on cultural values
    >> > to reorder themselves to suit its demands.  Sometimes it's violent
    >> > video games for ten year olds;
    >> > sometimes it's a cry for justice that seems on its face divorced
    >> > from the world of filthy lucre.
    >> >
    >> > Jeff Apfel

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