The tolkien comment video is not real. Here is a video from the same youtube channel, saying it is fake and explaining that he recorded himself impersonating Tolkien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmsF-oJdsE0

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Mar 22·edited Mar 22

I'm no socialist, but ... eeeeh. A couple things on this.

1) By any standard logic, the eagles could have done more than they did. Markets are apparently doing the best they can. Which is more points for markets.

2) Less points for markets: unlike with the Eagles: the question of tradeoffs due to markets having arisen. The benefits outweight the costs but *there are costs.* This post weakmans critiques of markets / capitalism quite egregiously IMO. Some better examples for of the costs that go along with all the benefits listed: Bowling alone stuff, marginal profit factors perverting incentives, hidden costs involved with the commodification of culture (the scope of which is debatable, granted), that creative destruction means destruction in a few different ways. Maybe this is an exaggeration, and on the whole I'm for the tradeoffs... but that's not analogous to the Eagles!! What tradeoffs would have been involved? Other than for the quality of the plot of course.

Sorry I know Bryan is far smarter than me but this felt kind of cheap.

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When given the power to regulate markets, politicians rarely fix market failures, they usually change aspects that are unpopular like "high prices" or "low wages".

By doing that, they remove features, not bugs.

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Mordor was a stand in for Nazi Germany, and the eagles for the RAF. They needed to take out the anti-air and radar before the eagles could get close! Agreed about the nirvana fallacy and all that, though.

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I'm pretty sure that Tolkien video is a joke. Here is a better one:


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No blog on this topic would be complete without a link to this magnificent explanation from J R R Tolkien:


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Markets are a blessing of Manwë confirmed.

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Two thoughts on this post (i overall liked it btw)

1: lorewise, the eagles cant enter mordor and would be insanely easy targets to be shot down. Also, if they were to carry the one carrying the ring for too long, they risk being overtaken by the rings corruption and that would be like setting off a nuke in that world

So in lore, the eagles did a huge amount of stuff

2: lots of people that complain about companies and them not doing enough havnt looked at the past poverty, just looking at present day: and they usually talk anout the problems being urgent, and unignorable and potentially disastrous

In morality we have a distinction between “must do” and “would be good”

The reason that peter singers pond experiment is strong is because most people think that when you see someone dying right in front of you and its easy to help them without being poverty stricken yourself, that you have a moral imperative to save that kids life

Many socialists i meet seem to think that global poverty is much like that pond experiment: we see them dy and suffer everyday, and companies and rich people could easily affort to lose a bit to save them, making them moral monsters.

I have several times seen graph like “ the true costs of capitalism” where they memtion things lika malaria deaths and other easily preventable deaths: in their eyes, the eagles/companies/rich people are idly sitting by and getting more money and profits, while millions of kids drown in the pond next to them, all because “they dont know them and have no duty”

Ps: I think socialism is terrible and capitalism awesome: and that capitalism has with its surplus productivity lifted billions out of poverty.

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People are not naturally grateful. That's why religions tend to insist upon gratitude as a way to contradict human nature.

Our modern age has rapidly secularized. If people don't feel grateful for what they have, they're prone to demagogues who promise that government can give them what they deserve or that people they don't like are preventing them from getting what they deserve. Either choice weakens markets--and freedom.

Maybe the perfect conditions for a market economy are a society where religion is strong enough that people get the message they should be grateful for what they have but not so strong that it becomes a theocracy that attempts to run the market. It's a tough balance.

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Looking at the entire Lore from Tolkien, its clear the he believes:

1) That people can't overcome evil unaided by God

2) That that aid should be as little as possible and leave as much room for free will as possible, even the will to damn oneself for all eternity.

Why the Eagles? Why not the Valar, or Eru himself? Why not just Gandalf using his full power (he was nerfed)?

Besides not being a good story its explained in the text over and over and links to his theology.

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"I didn't cheat on her! I was just following the First Law of Wing-Walking!"

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I just finished Slouching Toward Utopia and am rereading Polanyi's Great Transformation now.

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Doesn’t one eagle say something like “We have a lot of other things to do and we don’t think about you guys that much”?

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>Yes, you could spend your life condemning either for falling short of maximum performance. But is this not a petulant complaint?

"But a human being cannot live his life moment by moment; a human consciousness preserves a certain continuity and demands a certain degree of integration, whether a man seeks it or not. A human being needs a frame of reference, a comprehensive view of existence, no matter how rudimentary, and, since his consciousness is volitional, a sense of being right, a moral justification of his actions, which means: a philosophical code of values.

-Ayn Rand, "For The New Intellectual"

When man has no absolutes, things like Trump and transsexuality take their place.

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That "how it should have ended" is awesome.

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I, too, would encourage a feeling of gratefulness for market institutions.

But I'd tweak the phrasing, in particular Bryan's "gratitude" talk, which, I suggest, implies not only grateful-for but grateful-to:


If there is grateful-to, to whom are we grateful?

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