Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The extension of the rationale of helping people with disabilities to affirmative action and socialism

Pretty straightforward. If we're talking about providing a level playing field, then things folks have no responsibility for, due to historical wrongs, should be righted. No one chose to be a slave, women didn't choose to be denied the right to participate fully in society. Because of that history, simply declaring that everyone is equal in the present does not fully ensure complete participation in society. Extra help should be available. If there is an area where discrimination in the past has been demonstrated, that discrimination should be countered by affirmative action. Because education is so vital for social advancement and full participation, it should apply there as a matter of course. None of this means that people who are completely unqualified should be given positions and slots, but that folks who demonstrate potential should be given opportunities.

How this feeds into socialism is that if you're really serious about making the playing field level, the division between capital and labor creates a barrier that can't be repaired through papering things over. If the model of the free market economists, were everyone was a free, equivalent, agent participating in the market place and concluding contracts in freedom was true, there wouldn't be a problem. But that isn't how the society actually works. Those who direct the force of capital have advantages far beyond the people who confront them in the labor force with no access to the advantages of capital. To create a truly level playing field, the force of capital itself needs to be taken out of private hands and socialized. Then, people will be able to participate society, and in the job market, as individuals in this respect.

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