Re: [OPE] free competition

Date: Fri Apr 29 2011 - 08:49:24 EDT

> Jerry wrote:
> “at the time that the ideal of free competition arose it did not exist”>
> At the time that the ideal of “beauty” arose, did it exist?


Conceptions of beauty, including ideal types, are largely a consequence
of the cultural practice (and standards, and mores, and folkways, etc.)
and social relations of different societies.

I certainly wouldn't deny that ideal conceptions often reflect social
practice. But, in the case of the concept of free competition, it was
not at the time it was conceived, a reflection of a social practice. It
rather represented an ideal which reflected the aspirations of one
segment of the capitalist class.

If I am understanding what you are saying, it is that ideals represent
"shadows" (Bapuji) or mirrors of real relations. To which I would respond -
sometimes yes, sometimes no.
In THIS case (the case of 'free competition') I think the historical record
makes it pretty clear what came first. Moreover, at no point after the
genesis of the ideal did the ideal of free competition become a social
reality. In contrast to this, while different societies have different
ideals of beauty they also put forward actual examples of what they
consider to be beautiful. Even the advocates of free competition, though,
haven't said that there IS free competition. They can't point to a period
of time when there WAS free competition. In some ways it is for them
like an existential goal - something they think should be strived for but -
like 'Waiting for Gidot' or the search for the Holy Grail - never achieved.
There is an ideal, for instance, put forward of what communism would
look like even though, imo, there has NEVER been a modern communist
society. Do you agree? Do you think this ideal of communism mirrors
or is a shadow of an actual communist society? (NB: yes, I know that the
conception of communism is controversial and there are some - e.g. Toni
Negri - who consider that communism is a social movement which is already
in the process of becoming, but I think this confuses and conflates a number
of issues and questions.)
> At the time
> that the idea of “horse” arose, did it exist?
Horses existed before humans did.

> What makes any ideas or ideals real? Or are you saying that ideas and
> ideals are never real?

No. See above.
In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Fri Apr 29 08:50:18 2011

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