Count Lucanor wrote: ↑
November 14th, 2020, 9:44 pm
There are many ways to see cooperation and many forms of cooperation. In general, it's simply collective action, in other words, working together to produce an outcome. Some forms of cooperation involve agents working in the same task, at the same time, for example two workers helping each other in an assembly line. But there may be other workers from the same company in a completely different location, doing other tasks, without necessarily having knowledge of the job done in the other factory, and yet it will be said that they'll be cooperating to produce the same final, assembled product, or the company's goals. But at the same time, by producing the assembled product or achieving the company's goals, all these individuals working in cooperation might be producing other outcomes, the nature and extension of which the individual agents are not necessarily aware. Yet they are cooperating, consciously or unconsciously, to produce those results with the combined effect of their individual actions. What happens at the production unit can also be seen at the level of society as a whole: individuals do things in relationship with other people, and their combined effect will produce outcomes. This is cooperation, too, regardless of whether they are completely aware of the results or not. What makes it cooperation is that they are working together to do it.
You were doing fine until this point: "But at the same time, by producing the assembled product or achieving the company's goals, all these individuals working in cooperation might be producing other outcomes, the nature and extension of which the individual agents are not necessarily aware. Yet they are cooperating, consciously or unconsciously, to produce those results with the combined effect of their individual actions."
No, they are not cooperating
to produce those unintended results. As commonly understood, the term "cooperation" implies intention. Their diverse but uncoordinated efforts may result in some outcome --- every effort of everyone will have some
outcome --- but unless that outcome is intended and those efforts intentionally directed to that end it does not count as "cooperation."
1. The process of working together to the same end.
1. a situation in which people or organizations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them.
https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dic ... ooperation
What happens at the production unit can also be seen at the level of society as a whole: individuals do things in relationship with other people and the effect of their actions combined is an outcome not necessarily foreseen by the agents, nor they are aware how these actions work in combination. For the independent observer who sees the whole picture, this is cooperation, too.
Same mistake. The interactions among members of the myriad species in an ecosystem drives evolution, and the state of the system at any given time will be an "outcome" of those prior interactions. But it would be absurd to claim that those species "cooperated" to achieve that outcome. E.g., it would be absurd to claim the gazelle "cooperated" in her being devoured by the leopard.
You're equating an intentional, cooperative effort to achieve a desired end with the unpredictable and transitory states of a complex adaptive system (CAS). See comment to Ecurb above.
You could, I suppose, define "cooperate" so broadly as to embrace all states of affairs brought about by the actions of multiple actors, whether coordinated or not, intentional or not. But that Newspeak definition would be useless for collectivists, who invaribly have certain definite outcomes in mind.
You may think that by painting your own house you're not cooperating, but since there's a widespread agreement that maintaining the properties in good conditions gives value to the neighborhood, and that benefits everyone, you're actually part of a collective, cooperative effort. And in general, life would be very hard for everyone without a sense of community and the cooperation it involves.
No, I am not cooperating with anyone when I paint my house. Nor is painting it a "collective effort." The "neighborhood effects" of my doing so play no part in my decision to paint it. Not even the increase in value that may result need play a part; I may paint it for personal aesthetic reasons, or because I'm tired of its current color, or in order to protect the siding from the weather. I would paint it even it was in a remote area with no neighbors.
While they do that for their particular reasons, whether selfish or altruistic, their combined effect is producing something larger than their original goals. If collective means cooperation, society is definitely collective.
Only if you define "cooperation" in the Newspeak manner mentioned above.
Now, about your definition of collectivism and its shortcomings. You have defined it as a political doctrine that views society as a collective that pursues a common task or goal. But by definition, a political doctrine entails the pursue of a common goal by a group, so what you're actually saying is that collectivism is the pursue of a common goal by a collective.
Yes. Any group working cooperatively toward a common goal or task is a collective. Most collectives found in contemporary societies are single-focus collectives; their members constituting a collective only with respect to that particular goal. Most of them will have many other goals as well, which they pursue individually or as members of different collectives with different memberships.
One should suppose there are groups that don't view society as a collective and promote that view as their common goal, but they are themselves a collective, nevertheless. And if they organized and cooperated to convince all other members of society to adopt that view, they would be collectivists, too. And so, the best way to identify a true non-collectivist would be that they don't engage in any political practice, nor promote the adoption of non-collectivism in society, right?
Well, no. That some number of people share a goal or a belief or a political viewpoint, and work to promote it, is not sufficient to make them a collective. They are only a collective if they work together in a coordinated way
--- they cooperate
--- to bring about the outcome they desire. E.g., the Democratic National Committee in the US, which is the planning and management arm of the Democrat party, is a collective (the Republicans have a similar organization). They place ads in various media, schedule speakers, hold fund-raisers, etc., all for the purpose of electing their candidates to various offices. Its members work on different, assigned aspects of an overall plan to achieve that result. But three guys in different bars in different cities, each ignorant of the efforts of the other two, who try to persuade the guy on the next stool to vote for Trump do not constitute a collective.
Think through what you seem to be claiming there: Is everyone who believes the cloudless, daytime sky is blue make them a collective? Everyone who patronizes a MacDonald's on a given day?
To be consistent with your own claim, you would have to say that a free trade policy (if such a thing existed) cannot be good for society as a whole, and therefore it would be bad for some part of society.
Yes. It would be bad for inefficient producers who could not compete successfully in free trade environment. No public policy is ever "good for society as a whole."
You can check his horrible performance in the debate with Zizek, only saved by Zizek's own incompetence, although the latter still showed to be very well-read in comparison. And if you want to look at a thorough exposure of Peterson's lack of competence in political science, I always recommend Taimur Rahman:
A Marxist Response to Jordan Peterson
I'll check it out, but won't comment further here. I don't want to turn this into a Marxism thread.