A Philosopher's Blog

Kant & Economic Justice

Posted in Business, Ethics, Philosophy by Michael LaBossiere on January 27, 2014
English: , Prussian philosopher. Português: , ...

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One of the basic concerns is ethics is the matter of how people should be treated. This is often formulated in terms of our obligations to other people and the question is “what, if anything, do we owe other people?” While it does seem that some would like to exclude the economic realm from the realm of ethics, the burden of proof would rest on those who would claim that economics deserves a special exemption from ethics. This could, of course, be done. However, since this is a brief essay, I will start with the assumption that economic activity is not exempt from morality.

While I subscribe to virtue theory as my main ethics, I do find Kant’s ethics both appealing and interesting. In regards to how we should treat others, Kant takes as foundational that “rational nature exists as an end in itself.”

It is reasonable to inquire why this should be accepted. Kant’s reasoning certainly seems sensible enough. He notes that “a man necessarily conceives his own existence as such” and this applies to all rational beings. That is, Kant claims that a rational being sees itself as being an end, rather than a thing to be used as a means to an end.  So, for example, I see myself as a person who is an end and not as a mere thing that exists to serve the ends of others.

Of course, the mere fact that I see myself as an end would not seem to require that I extend this to other rational beings (that is, other people). After all, I could apparently regard myself as an end and regard others as means to my ends—to be used for my profit as, for example, underpaid workers or slaves.

However, Kant claims that I must regard other rational beings as ends as well. The reason is fairly straightforward and is a matter of consistency: if I am an end rather than a means because I am a rational being, then consistency requires that I accept that other rational beings are ends as well. After all, if being a rational being makes me an end, it would do the same for others. Naturally, it could be argued that there is a relevant difference between myself and other rational beings that would warrant my treating them as means only and not as ends. People have, obviously enough, endeavored to justify treating other people as things. However, there seems to be no principled way to insist on my own status as an end while denying the same to other rational beings.

From this, Kant derives his practical imperative: “so act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only.” This imperative does not entail that I cannot ever treat a person as a means—that is allowed, provided I do not treat the person as a means only. So, for example, I would be morally forbidden from being a pimp who uses women as mere means of revenue. I would, however, not be forbidden from having someone check me out at the grocery store—provided that I treated the person as a person and not a mere means.

One obvious challenge is sorting out what it is to treat a person as an end as opposed to just a means to an end. That is, the problem is figuring out when a person is being treated as a mere means and thus the action would be immoral.

Interestingly enough, many economic relationships would seem to clearly violate Kant’s imperative in that they treat people as mere means and not at all as ends. To use the obvious example, if an employer treats her employees merely as means to making a profit and does not treat them as ends in themselves, then she is acting immorally by Kant’s standard. After all, being an employee does not rob a person of personhood.

One obvious reply is to question my starting assumption, namely that economics is not exempt from ethics. It could be argued that the relationship between employer and employee is purely economic and only economic considerations matter. That is, the workers are to be regarded as means to profit and treated in accord with this—even if doing so means treating them as things rather than persons. The challenge is, of course, to show that the economic realm grants a special exemption in regards to ethics. Of course, if it does this, then the exemption would presumably be a general one. So, for example, people who decided to take money from the rich at gunpoint would be exempt from ethics as well. After all, if everyone is a means in economics, then the rich are just as much means as employees and if economic coercion against people is acceptable, then so too is coercion via firearms.

Another obvious reply is to contend that might makes right. That is, the employer has the power and owes nothing to the employees beyond what they can force him to provide. This would make economics rather like the state of nature—where, as Hobbes said, “profit is the measure of right.” Of course, this leads to the same problem as the previous reply: if economics is a matter of might making right, then people have the same right to use might against employers and other folks—that is, the state of nature applies to all.

 

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 8:35 am

    “To use the obvious example, if an employer treats her employees merely as means to making a profit and does not treat them as ends in themselves, then she is acting immorally by Kant’s standard.”

    Most people work for corporations. Are you implicitly saying here that corporations are people?

    • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      TJB: the real issue is significance of “Kant’s standard”–Kant is a joke

  2. WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Or…To use the obvious example, if an employee treats her employer merely as means of getting money and does not treat her employer’s goals as ends in themselves, then she is acting immorally by Kant’s standard. Right, TJ?

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

      How could it be otherwise?

  3. magus71 said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:14 am

    How would we apply Kant’s ethics on this matter to the military? The NCO Creed states: ” I will always place the mission first.” Is this ethical?

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Which is why they should have killed the goatherder.

      • magus71 said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

        Yup. I think that “mission first” should be applied to life and death, combat operations warfare, not to PowerPoint slides. Few blanket rules can cover all situations.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Interesting question. If it entails that people can be used entirely as means to achieve a mission, then the Kantian view would be that it would be unethical. That would be using people as things to achieve some end that is worth less than a person, which would be immoral and irrational.

      Of course, if ethics is a matter of utility, each mission would need to be assessed in terms of positive and negative value. If achieving the mission generates more positive value than the cost of the mission, then it would be morally correct.

      • WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

        If achieving the mission generates more positive value than the cost of the mission, then it would be morally correct.

        And we only know this after the fact. If we even know this then. There are huge unknowns. And this applies not only to military missions denominated in human lives, but business ventures denominated in creating greater aggregate comfort than discomfort. Who is in a better position to decide this, the actors (employer and employee) involved or some remote central planner who thinks he knows all?

    • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      U’re presuming significance of “Kant’s ethics,” which significance is non-existent. “Applying Kant’s ethics”?–ho ho ho–don’t even waste ur time, comrade.

    • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Note the basic ethical premise for the military is no diff. for individual–SELF-DEFENSE. Thus military relations follow fm this basic premise of self-defense and then social contract. One joins military offering and serving as a MEANS of defense of society, military men deliberately placed in the way of the on-coming enemy w. the understanding it’s CERTAIN DEATH for some, this all following fm that basic self-defense. And these foundational priniciples of military (self-defense) are not rocket-science. After basic ethics, everything else follows fm jurisprudence.

  4. magus71 said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The NCO Creed also states: ” I know my Soldiers and will always place their needs above my own.”

    • WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Well I hope the CO’s have a similar creed. Was able to google the NCO creed. The Army one came up as first hit. Googled CO Creed and got “Creed Rice Co., Inc.” Put “CO Creed” in quotes and got “Creed Ice Co. Inc”. Confidence is low.

      • magus71 said, on January 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm

        Yeah, I’ll get it to you when I get home from work. Let’s just say all of this hits at the heart of some of the problems I’ve experienced in the Army. Some of those problems are just human problems. Some of them are Army problems.

      • magus71 said, on January 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        WTP,

        Here it is:

        I will give to the selfless performance of my duty and my mission the best that effort, thought, and dedication can provide. To this end, I will not only seek continually to improve my knowledge and practice of my profession, but also I will exercise the authority entrusted to me by the President and the Congress with fairness, justice, patience, and restraint, respecting the dignity and human rights of others and devoting myself to the welfare of those place under my command. In justifying and fulfilling the trust placed in me, I will conduct my private life as well as my public service so as to be free both from impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, acting with candor and integrity to earn the unquestioning trust of my fellow soldiers — juniors, senior, and associates — and employing my rank and position not to serve myself but to serve my country and my unit. By practicing physical and moral courage I will endeavor to inspire these qualities in other by my example. In all my actions I will put loyalty to the highest moral principles and the United States of America above loyalty to organizations, persons, and my personal interest.

        • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm

          Magus: I presume u swore an oath to defend the US Constitution fm all enemies, eh?–I think that’s what is important.

        • WTP said, on January 28, 2014 at 9:55 am

          Thx. Is it just me or does the NCO Creed sound more like an actual creed, though with its own minor shortcomings due to the usual PC BS, while this CO Creed sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo mush that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence? I mean I like the parts that play to the officer and a gentleman meme, but “devoting myself to the welfare of those place under my command”. Really? As opposed to ” uppermost in my mind: The accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers”. The former seems a bit wishy-washy. The NCO will never “leave his men uninformed”. The CO, not so much. But perhaps in the context of classified information, that’s a nit…perhaps. CO “I will give to the selfless performance of my duty and my mission the best that effort, thought, and dedication can provide.” But again the NCO’s creed is not his “best effort” but “the accomplishment of my mission”. NCO “Competence is my watch-word.”, CO ” I will endeavor to inspire”, well good luck with that endeavor.

          • magus71 said, on January 28, 2014 at 7:31 pm

            The NCO creed is well-known in the Army. No one ever recites the officer’s creed. Officer’s do what they want, in my experience. I think it’s pretty much been like that in every military, even George Washington’s. The enlisted froze, while the officers drank wine. Worse still, before the current wars, there were clear lines of responsibility between officers and NCOs. Now officers take over whatever they please. NCOs historically dealt with the troops face to face. Officers were always in the background, supposedly with bigger fish to fry. Not now. As a staff sergeant, I’m really just an over-paid private,. In Vietnam, an E5 was a god to the troops, whom almost never saw the company commander. Modern NCOs have double the responsibility and half the power of their historic counterparts. Most NCOs do twice the work of say, a captain in the US Army, and get paid half as much. No joke.

            • wtp said, on January 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm

              Interesting. My father was a 1st Sargent and he had a very good working relationship with his Captain. Frissee or somesuch was the guy’s name. They worked together to setup the police force in Seoul, Korea after the war. Not sure if Dad was at that rank before Okinawa but I’m certain he was at that rank at least shortly after hostilities on the island effectively ended. It was at least 5-6 months post hostilities on Okinawa before Dad had enough points to go home and based on what he said about the man, he had high respect for him. The Capt wanted Dad to go to OCS, so there may have been some favoritism, but I’ve done some research with other children of men from his regiment and heard positive things about Capt. Frissee. Though for some reason Dad always would snort at officers of the Lt. Colonel rank when such were in the news. Never got to why that was.

            • wtp said, on January 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

              Ah..also wanted to add. Back in the 90’s I worked for an ex Army Colonel who served in Vietnam, a Mr. Hodge. He took over our software project, which was going miserably at the time. Bunch of civis, we figured we were in for sh*t. Turned out he was the best man I ever worked for. Under him, it was well understood that there would be respect up the ladder and down the ladder. Things were going badly and we were forced to work some long overtime. I spoke with him about it on both a personal and a team level. He gave me his word and assurance that he could turn things around. I’ve never seen such a large organization turn on a dime like that one did. Saved our project. He left shortly after things got straight. I used to go to lunch with one of his administrative assistants who sat outside his office. He told stories of how Hodge would close his office door when in conference with the big bosses in our headquarters and there would be some serious yelling going on. I even happened to walk by once when this was happening. Though H denied it when he left, I’ve always suspected that he understood the problem was mostly with headquarters, that they didn’t support the support he gave his people. A very principled man.

            • magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:29 am

              Even now, 1St Sergeants and Captains work closely together. A good 1st Sergeant is indispensable to a company commander.

              There are good officers in the Army, but as shown in a recent study commissioned by the Army, 20% of the Army’s leaders are considered toxic by subordinates. And just as my example I gace before of being punched by 1 in 100 men, it doesn;t take long before you flinch at everyone of them.

            • magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:49 am

              Also, I’m very much aware what many of the enlisted do that does not help the Army. But the officers have all the power. Still, it is frustrating trying to get the E3s and E4s to do even the basic things that need to be done, such as physical training etc. It’s a very big challenge becasue in the civilian work force one gets canned for being lazy in many cases at least. Though they may not get promoted in the Army, these types still usually hang around for years.

            • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:11 am

              Well, fwiw, 20% of managers in the public sector are probably toxic as well. Though one would expect better in a disciplined force. See my question concerning where these officers are coming from below.

      • magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:35 am

        I may also add that, just as with other areas of job performance, leadership in the Army is depends greatly in the raw material produced by society at large. I’m fully convinced that raw material is not what it used to be.

        • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:07 am

          Definitely agree with that. Could the officer corp be suffering from much of the same? FWIU, a commission requires a BS or BA. Does it matter what kind? Are people getting sociology degrees for example (or philosophy degrees), finding no work and thus joining the army? Of course the army doesn’t take anyone with a degree, but perhaps the pickings are slim. Any idea what the typical non West Point/Citadel/whatever officer has studied? Or are our military academies producing enough officers that my question is baseless?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Kant would see that as fine-it does not require the NCO to treat himself as an object, just give priority to his soldiers. I presume it does not require an NCO to apply this across her entire life-that is, you are not required to sell all your possessions to pay your soldiers’ bills or spend all your time off the clock babysitting their kids, doing their laundry and so on.

  5. ajmacdonaldjr said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Jesus & Economic Justice

    “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?‘ So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:1-16)

    • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Which goes to show magnificence of Christian philosophy and reason which understood validity of sanctity-of-contract way back when.

  6. T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I frankly don’t believe anybody holds the view that “economics deserves a special exemption from ethics” or that employees should not be treated ethically.

    Mike, can you name a serious thinker (or even one of his epigones) that make this claim?

    • WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Economics is economics. It’s peoples’ individual purposeful ethics and behavior that are in question. Those behaviors create the economy. You can form whatever laws you like, but if people themselves do not act ethically the economics will simply move underground with a lot more damage to society than otherwise. This is why religion and such are important. You can no more legislate what one regards as proper economic behavior than you can legislate any other form of morality. Unless you accept this reality, all other effort is in vain. Vain as in vanity.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on January 27, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      As far as I know, no serious thinker has held to that view. However, my claim is not that serious thinkers have held to this view. Rather, my concern is with the view that the economic realm is regarded as being distinct from the normal realm of ethics. Now, you seem to be claiming that everyone believes that employees should be treated ethically. However, if this were true we would need to infer that the employers who mistreat employees do so in ignorance, believe the mistreatment is ethical, or some other explanation.

      • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        Economics Is Mere Detail In Large Cultural Scheme Of Things

        The ethical problem for economics regards the legal system–like the US Constitution. For if u destroy the legal system, the economic system suffers and collapses–which situation is what we have now.

        Observe Obongo has accelerated the totally illegal ignoring of Constitution and law, arbitrarily ignoring laws, choosing to allow illegal invaders of the country to remain, this in blatant dis-regard of law, giving exemptions to his buddies for enforcement of various laws.

        Obongo additionally has issued totally illegal edicts, posing as executive orders, etc., violating the Constitution for the 4th & 2nd amendments.

        The large corporations are allowed to produce dangerous and un-tested drugs & vaccines which kill thousands, even millions, and these corp.s are either held legally immune, in the case of vaccines, or, in the case of the drugs, are allowed to get off w. mere slaps-on-wrists, etc.

        So it’s not primarily a matter of economics at all, economics mere symptom–it’s the underlying jurisprudential and even large cultural foundation which is falling apart in “Decline of the West,” by Oswald Spengler.

        • WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

          “Obongo”…that’s like “Obama” but with, like “bongo” added, like “bongo drums” right? Are you implying he’s some kind of beatnik throwback? I don’t see the beret or goatee. Am I missing something?

          • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

            Obongo is like one of those trained monkeys which dances, then when u put the coin into his cup, he tips his cap, a total tele-prompter -reader and front-man, and NOTHING else. Obongo is a good actor and speaker, though, I’d have to say–long as he has a script to read fm–without the script he flounders.

            Obongo is front-man, mouth-piece for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR–see NewAmerican.com for expo/ref.), Trilaterist commission, and Bilderbergers, these the main powers behind the primary weapon/instrument of Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) COUNTERFEITING.

            • WTP said, on January 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

              Ahh, monkeys. You mean like bonobos? I don’t really see the resemblance. If you meant to compare him to chimpanzees of the Niger, well that would be interesting. Perhaps that’s what you meant?

            • apollonian said, on January 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm

              Right, perhaps….

  7. T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Mike, let’s be concrete for a moment and consider adjunct professors. As you know, these positions are poorly paid and often lack benefits.

    In my view adjuncts are exploited and not treated very ethically.

    I’d be curious to know why you think this is the case when over 90% of the faculty and administrators vote Democratic and would probably agree with just about everything you write.

    • WTP said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      But adjuncts are not forced to do such work. They can get any other job they can convince others that they are qualified for. Or they could start their own company, in which case we must ask ” if customer treats a business merely as means of acquiring goods and services and does not regard the owners of a business as human beings, then she is acting immorally by Kant’s standard”, correct?

    • apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      There are only about a million people w. Ph.d’s in USA, so it’s a buyer’s market, don’t forget. Thought-control technicians are a dime-a-dozen, believe me.

    • T. J. Babson said, on January 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      When Mike is thinking of economic exploitation, I suspect he is thinking of a cold-hearted plutocrats. However, Mike wrote that “we would need to infer that the employers who mistreat employees do so in ignorance, believe the mistreatment is ethical, or some other explanation.”

      So, Mike, in the case of adjuncts–which is it?

  8. apollonian said, on January 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Kant, In Large Scheme Of Things Is Mere Crack-Brain, Though Amusing, To Be Sure

    Kant is a joke, but a very important one, well worth considering for all students of philosophy. For Kant wants us to WORSHIP “morality” and “good” and ends in themselves, which then he says is duty–duty to what?–no answer, just duty, ho ho oh ho ho. So u see, Kant, like Plato, posits the reality of “good,” without definition, and then says it’s end-all and be-all for everything.

    “Don’t u want to be morally virtuous”? Kant asks–as he then proceeds to build his entire philosophy around that premise, “good” and duty thereto. And if u observe, u can see how compelling this Kantian sort of fixation upon moralism/Pharisaism is for children, we all brought up wanting to be thought of as “good” little boys and girls.

    This is why Kant is soooooooo respected and revered by the Pharisaists, oligarchs, and thought-controllers of today–Kant’s sort of reasoning (circular and question-begging) is used for “green” “environmentalism,” etc., because we just should, u see–the heck w. humanity–it’s good, u see, because it’s just good, that’s all. Ho ho ho ho

    Otherwise Kant is quite accurate and astute for his commentary as he notes one could also heed Aristotle for the beginning (metaphysical) premise and assumption of OBJECTIVITY, hence determinism (though Aristotle himself didn’t make determinism [absolute cause-effect, no perfectly "free" will] a necessity of objectivity).

    Note also economics was also perfectly understood within and according to ethics by dear old Adam Smith (“Weath of Nations”) as he pointed out the “invisible hand” mechanism which provided for all of society as it provided for the individual, the individual only profiting as he benefits and serves his fellows among society.

    And even previous to Adam Smith we had good old Hobbes and Locke who pt. out that human self-interest is essentially axiomatic–humans are creatures of will, hence self-interested necessarily. Hence the only thing we can be to temper this self-interest is RATIONAL, thus the principle of rational self-interest.

    Thus jurisprudence (philosophy of law) follows ethics of self-interest for the principle of CONTRACT and agreement btwn and among rational creatures. Economics then is built upon jurisprudence for the social contract, etc.

    Note Immanuel Kant only properly deserves a footnote for history of philosophy and ethics, but he’s such a clever sort of a crack-brain to grasp and understand for philosophy students, he stumps most of the students for his sublimity and cleverness.

    The Greeks were the greatest philosophers by far, never forget, people like Kant mere pygmies by comparison. The only thing which needed development fm the Greeks was the working out of jurisprudence (done by the Romans), and then the political concept of individual sovereignty and social contract, done by such as Hobbes and Locke.

  9. wtp said, on January 28, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    So TJ, a question…I’ve got a group of engineers. We’re planning to form a PAC to try to get the minimum wage raised to $20/hr. Would you like to join us or do you think that would be unethical?

    • T.J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 1:23 am

      Any engineer who would accept only $20/ hr is probably not worth hiring. He would be better off working for himself.

      • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 6:56 am

        Lead a horse to water…TJ, demand for what kind of labor would you expect to increase if the costs for service workers and such were to become economically in feasible?

        • T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 10:03 am

          “Lead a horse to water…TJ, demand for what kind of labor would you expect to increase if the costs for service workers and such were to become economically in feasible?”

          Not seeing the water with my presbyopia, I guess.

          I expect demand for “under the table” and “off the books” labor to increase. Presumably lots of those on disability would like to earn some extra money but keep their disability and medicaid eligibility.

          • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm

            OK, buddy..stay with me here…Let’s say a corporation, or even a franchise of such, spends a considerable amount on labor. Let’s use one of Mike’s favorite examples, McD’s. A large part of the cost for each franchise is getting the raw materials (raw for the franchise that is) of hamburger patties, buns, condiments, fries, etc. etc. from the back end of the store, processed (cooked), and delivered to the front of the store. Now if their labor costs were to increase significantly, yet their price points are not very elastic, what could they possibly do to stay in business? Perhaps train some monkeys or lemurs to do the job. Of course then money would need to be spent on monkey and/or lemur trainers. And now you’ve added health department concerns, etc. etc. But perhaps there could be some inorganic mechanism (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, knowhatimean) that would cost much up front but pay off over the longer haul, relative to paying $20/hr which, as I said, makes the enterprise unfeasible.

            Apropos of nothing and back to my original question:

            We’re planning to form a PAC to try to get the minimum wage raised to $20/hr. Would you like to join us or do you think that would be unethical?

            • T. J. Babson said, on January 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

              Very devious, WTP. Who knew engineers could be such deep strategists? All while getting the ethical stamp of approval from the libs.

              No doubt apollonian will pick up on the conspiracy and blame the usual suspects.

            • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm

              Well, that’s the beauty of the plan. Us engineers get more work, get the self-satisfaction, get the feel-good do-gooder pride in ourselves, and when those unskilled workers are out on the street trying to justify getting paid $20/hr when all they are capable of producing is $11/hr, we blame it all on the Jews.

            • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm

              We blame the Jews for the things that are of Jews, and we blame Caesar for the things that are of Caesar, never doubt–AND THIS IS WHAT JEWS HATE, eh?–ho ho ho ho ho ho ho

  10. magus71 said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Thoughts?

    • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Will have to watch when I get home tonight.

    • apollonian said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Magus: u should treat urself to reading a real hero’s book about G.C. Marshall who this bird admires so much, along w. Eisenhower, “America’s Retreat From Victory,” by Sen. Joe McCarthy. Here’s a book-review fm http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Retreat-Victory-Catlett-Marshall/dp/B000J4LD8U

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      By M. Robson on October 8, 2005

      Format: Paperback

      In 1951,Senator Joseph R. McCarthy made a lengthy speech(constantly interrupted)in the Senate,highly critical of the military and diplomatic career of General George C. Marshall(and other “public servants”)during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.The reaction from many quarters to this speech was one of indignant outrage.

      In questioning the wisdom-indeed the very loyalty to the US-of Marshall,revered and sanctified as the “Organizer of victory” during World War 2,even Senator McCarthy’s allies(such as Republican party chief Robert Taft),felt Joe may have gone too far.

      To this day,it is McCarthy’s “attack” on Marshall-Army chief,roving diplomat for Truman,Secretary of State and Defence Secretary-which is pointed to as being the “red-hunting” Senator’s greatest political crime.This book,published in 1951,is basically a condensed version of McCarthy’s speech,with some additional material.

      Whether McCarthy was wholly responsible for writing the speech/book-or if,as some believe,it is largely the work of one of his more academic assistants,such as J.B. Matthews,is debatable.

      Be that as it may,whoever has(like me)been informed by our “media” for decades that McCarthy’s public attack on Marshall was a prime example of Joe’s unholy wickedness,may have to revise their opinion after reading this book.The case made against Marshall,his proteges and advisors,is carefully argued,well supported by evidence-and devastating!Drawing on published memoirs by the politicians,military figures and such who were involved in the momentous events in which Marshall played a leading part,one is staggered by the scope of the indictment against him,and sobered by the thought of the other horrors which would have occured if Marshall(and others discussed here)had managed to get their way all the time(instead of just a lot of the time!).

      Here we see Marshall’s murky role in the Japan/Pearl harbour debacle,his monomania about opening a “Second front”-at a time when neither the US or the Britain could have mounted an assault on Nazi held Western Europe without colossal casualties and inevitable failure,solely to take the pressure off Stalin’s forces in Russia(Stalin having been until very recently Hitler’s ally and fellow plunderer of Europe);his sabotaging of the efforts of Churchill and others who were trying to prevent Russia occupying swathes of eastern europe and taking Berlin;his moves to see that Russia was brought into the war in the east(a strengthening of Stalin’s hand quite unnecessary to the Allied war on Japan);his insistence on there being a land invasion of Japan(then defeated militarily,without supplies-as its Navy had gone-and suing for peace with the Allies)which would have seen massive needless loss of life among Allied servicemen;his role in ensuring Stalin got the territory he craved during behind the scenes manoevering at the big conferences like Tehran and Yalta;his willingness to forward the cause of Mao and his communist rebels at the expense of the Nationalist regime which led to decades of the Chairman’s gory incompetent rule over China(turning it into an impoverished charnel house).

      Anyone reading the indictment here will probably begin to wonder how on earth Marshall gained such a reputation as a sagacious guardian of the US and the free world’s interests,and why he was thought of so highly by clever political operators like FDR,Truman and Eisenhower.Is this the story of a naive serial blunderer,whose errors were somehow turned into epics of reasoned statesmanship by a fawning gullible left/liberal media and political establishment-or were all these activities(which promoted the aims and ends of Stalin)coldly calculated and deliberate.We have the evidence from the previously secret US and Soviet intelligence archives that the infiltration into the power structure of the US by Soviet agents and fellow travelling allies was on a quite breathtaking scale in the 30’s and 40’s.Much more still remains locked in the archives of the Soviet intelligence services.There is uncontrovertable evidence that many of those previously declared by the “liberal consensus” to have been innocent victims of unscrupulous political witch hunters like McCarthy and the Un-American Activities Committee-from Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White to the Rosenbergs-were in fact guilty as charged all along.Joe McCarthy came close to calling Marshall a traitor.Dwight Eisenhower,who coasted to prominence on Marshall’s coat-tails,never forgave McCarthy for attacking his old mentor-it was one of the reasons why,as President,Ike finally joined the pack who were out to get the Junior Senator from Wisconsin,and helped destroy him politically during the 1954 Army Hearings and their aftermath.

      Reading this book will help any impartial reader decide who was right about George Catlett Marshall.

    • WTP said, on January 29, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Yeah, watched a bit more than half. Not too impressed. He has some points, but it’s a lot of 20/20 hindsight thru which he seems rather self satisfied. The generals are doing the crappy job we give them. Win the war but try not to kill too many people. They’re given this crappy job and it would be bad military form to say no. So they say yes and then engage in bad military form in execution. What do we expect. If you’re going to war, you go all out. No mercy except to those who capitulate without reservation or qualification.

      I read a very good book on Alexander The Great many years ago. Can’t recall the title but I do recall it wasn’t exceptionally long. What impressed me was his strategy of total annihilation or pay tribute and we leave you alone. Not that I believe in such as a general foreign policy, but once you’ve committed to war, you don’t pussy foot around. I sense that Ricks and his NPR host would find fault with that strategy as well.

      • magus71 said, on January 30, 2014 at 5:56 am

        I’ve always disliked Ricks, because as you say, he always seemed rather happy the military was failing. I think he had some good points later in the video, mainly that we should reward success and get rid of failure.


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