Monday, March 21, 2016

Socialist magazine, formed in a dorm room the way Facebook was, turns arguments about Effective Altruism on their head

Facebook isn’t the only content business started in a dorm room.  Think about the socialist rag Jacobin, started at George Washington University in Washington DC.  Dylan Matthews of Vox writes “Inside Jacobin: how a socialist magazine is winning the left’s war of ideas” ,
 of course propagating itself with capitalist methods.  The publication’s “modesty … undersells it.”
 The rag is a creation of Bhaskar Sunlkara and actually has five employees.

I’ll point out the article by Mathew Snow, “Against Charity” (or “against Effective Altruism”).   He starts with the child-in-pool problem, and expands.  (I wrote a short story based on this idea in 10th grade and got a B on it – the rescuer had to deal with a nuclear explosion at the same time.)   I’m reminded  of a local church where teens raise money to send a kid to high school in Belize because the government (despite all the rich people with real estate there) doesn’t pay for it.  When should people give of themselves in charity for things that really should be public functions?  It seems like we are asking about the morality of volunteer fire departments.

Search for the text about “relatively affluent individuals” who “haven’t bought those necessities from the capitalist class for the hundreds of millions that need them.”  (Why not “who need them” – make it more human, at least.)
One of the tenets of liberty (in the views of conservatism) is that inequality becomes destabilizing unless the better off take care of their own and many others to boot.

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