Thursday, January 26, 2012

John Carney — Kids are capitalists

Read it at CNBC NetNet (short)
Kids Are Capitalists
by John Carney | Senior Editor

John argues that methodological individualism has an ontological basis. I responded in a comment there that this is only partially true based on what we know from cognitive science:
Right, and every parent knows what a job it is getting kids to learn to share. It's called "socialization" and kids that don't get socialized sufficiently grow up to be a delinquents and go on to a life of crime. "Capitalism" may be by nature, but "socialism" is by nature. Although now we know that animals including humans have mirror neurons that induce empathy and sympathy, which are basic to fairness, sharing, and altruism. So socialization isn't all nurture.
See: "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories" by Ernst Fehr and Klaus M. Schmidt (2005


Matt Franko said...

Do we just let our children grow up without guidance?

Ephesians 6:4 "do not be vexing your children, but be nurturing them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord."

I dont think Paul here was thinking about heavy doses of "Ayn Rand cartoons"...

In any case Tom, do you really see that so-called "militant leftists" have their real problem with just "private property" per se, or the class structures that a system like that seems to nurture?


Clonal said...

I think Carney should also read Political Ponerology


Like a color blind man incapable of distinguishing red from green, a small minority of the human population cannot experience or fully comprehend the normal range of human emotions. And like those color blind who may conceal their condition by using the correct words while not understanding their meaning (e.g., the top traffic light is “red”, the bottom is “green”) - so does this minority conceal their condition by playacting an emotion's exterior signs (facial expressions, exclamations, body language). However, they do not actually experience the emotion in question. Their deception is revealed in the laboratory, where they respond to words like DEATH, CANCER, DISEASE, as if they were DAY, CREAM, or PAPER. They lack the ability to comprehend the emotional “punch” that certain words contain. They use others’ emotional reactions as cues, and they adjust their behavior to portray the correct ‘emotional’ behavior. (Hare, 129-30)

These individuals are known as psychopaths. Not only can they not feel the pain of others, they often seem to deliberately cause others pain. Lobaczewski refers to this disorder as an “essential psychopathy” to distinguish them from others with deficits in their genetic/instinctual endowment, essential psychopathy being the most severe and disturbing.

Many so-called “antisocial individuals” acquire similar characteristics in their life-time, whether caused by brain damage to certain areas of the brain, or functionally, because of close contact with and influence by such individuals. Lobaczewski terms such individuals characteropaths. The vast majority of both these groups cannot change. The acts that we call evil (especially on a macrosocial level) can be traced back to this deviant minority of human beings and the effects of their actions on their family, friends, and society.

Tom Hickey said...

The issues is not private property but socialization. Again, it comes back to the trifecta of liberty, equality, and community. Over emphasizing personal liberty and property rights is immature and lack socialization. Overemphasis on community involves free rider issues. Creating an effective and efficient socio-economic and political system involves the challenge of resolving the trifecta, along with the economic trifecta of economic growth commensurate with population growth, full employment and price stability. Lots of balls in the air there.

Letsgetitdone said...

Good comment at Carney's But, also on this:

"The idea was the concept of private property was something that was a cultural artifact."

How does one falsify this with experimental research on two year-olds in one culture? Don't people get socialized before they're two by other people from the same culture? And wouldn't the counterparts of these people in different cultures socialize them differently?

The study cited by Carney is worth nothing as a falsifier of the hypothesis he asserts. He's just straw-manning again.

The only reason anyone is paying attention to Carney at all is because he's got the CNBC megaphone.

WillORNG said...

So sophisticated, altruistic grown up mature society should regress to behaving like kids?