Ev posted something on another, much longer, much more heated thread that caught my eye. I will quote it here, with the controversial part redacted so that we can (hopefully) stay on this topic and not ressurect the other one.
quote: I WILL NOT condemn any idea based on its outcome, unless the outcome is what the idea desires. Ideas and implementation are two totally different things, and for those who desire an idea, if the idea is not harmful, in of itself, I won't act to prevent the achievement of the idea. I may condemn an outcome (such as ***redacted***) but that doesn't mean that the idea (redacted) is wrong.
my question is: if the desire is good, but any implementation will forseeably result in a bad outcome, isn't that just proof of the aphorism about the destination of roads with well intentioned pavement?
For instance, communism, while it sounds good, requires that people be reformed so that they aren't trying to get the most utility fo rthe least effort. So, IMHO until man is reformed, ANY implementation of communism will be fatally defective, therefore communism is defective.
(edited to add the last paragraph)
[This message has been edited by maniacal_engineer (edited September 23, 2002).]
The question really is how bad an outcome in inevitable.
For instance, apply your criteria to capitalism. Capitalism rewards greed and selfishness, therefore any successful capitalistic system would breed those who are greedy and selfish. Greedy and selfish people are bad for a successful society. Therefore, one should never implement a capitalistic system, because it will eventually lead to destruction of society.
Obviously, this is not the case (at least from what I've seen), because people, even successful capitalists, are not purely greedy and selfish. So capitalistic systems do work, although there is always a danger of greed and selfishness in becoming overwhelming traits in those societies.
Same analogy can be applied to communism. People need not be totally reformed for it to work. A large enough segment of the population may be adequate, or the feeling of unity among the group. (Someone once told me that communist systems do succeed, but only among small religious groups, where identity with the group is stronger than individual identity.)
I would suggest that no system, even ones that work, are implemented perfectly. And so, you cannot judge a system purely from it's implementation, or it's expected implementation.
I would say that capitalism rewards the ability to enter mutually agreeable exchanges. Assuming that the capitalism we are talking about is one in which property rights are preserved. I would agree that not all of a society needs to be on board for it to work, but the deeper the schism, or the more flawed the system, the fewer it takes to bring down a system.
quote:I would suggest that no system, even ones that work, are implemented perfectly. And so, you cannot judge a system purely from it's implementation, or it's expected implementation.
Nothing is perfect, but I would say that it IS ok to judge a system by the results that can reasonably be expected from a realistically possible implementation. Posts: 962 | Registered: Nov 2000
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quote:Nothing is perfect, but I would say that it IS ok to judge a system by the results that can reasonably be expected from a realistically possible implementation.
Agreed. The only question is then how realistic is the expectation?
Ask a hard-core capitalist how well a communist system will work, and you will get a radically different answer than that from a hard-core communist. Ask the same two about a capitalist system, and the answers will similarily differ. Predicting the future is always a tricky business (ask anyone who invests in the stock market! ), and is highly dependent on one's beliefs about how things work. Add to that outside factors (like boycotts of communist governments or subsidies of capitalist ones), and reality gets even more muddled.
For instance, one could speculate that a democratic government could never be implemented in the Middle East, because the autocracies around it would always destroy it. Since implementation is believed to be impossible, would you then say that democracy in the Middle East is a therefore defective?
quote: Nothing is perfect, but I would say that it IS ok to judge a system by the results that can reasonably be expected from a realistically possible implementation.
The question then becomes what is reasonable, and what is realistic. For some systems, this can be defined as 'past behaviour of other systems under similar circumstances'. Unfortutaley most systems of interest in the political and social realm, rarely are the circumstances similar enough to make useful predictions. Ie do we judge any potential communisms or fascisms as bad, based upon the pathological behaviors of Communism and Fascism? Both were first implementations of complex ideas. We now have a great deal more knowledge about the potentials for pathology and can implement structures to mitigate them.
Software and flight would be a nonexistant fields (among many others) if we judged only upon the first implementation.
quote: any successful capitalistic system would breed those who are greedy and selfish. Greedy and selfish people are bad for a successful society. Therefore, one should never implement a capitalistic system, because it will eventually lead to destruction of society. … there is always a danger of greed and selfishness
Take your argument a little further, if they are really bad for society they would be bred out so there is no need to worry about breeding too many of them.
On a different note, there are quite a few of us here that would disagree with your suggestion that selfishness by itself is a danger. Personally, I consider some types of altruism much more dangerous than selfishness. However, since neither has been bred out of the human race yet, I assume there is room for both in a healthy society.
"my question is: if the desire is good, but any implementation will forseeably result in a bad outcome, isn't that just proof of the aphorism about the destination of roads with well intentioned pavement?"
Here's the crux of the dilmena. What is the liklihood of a good implentation, and how likely is an implementation that resembles the idea?
I will grant to anyone that the liklihood of an implementation of communism that resembles the ideal on a broad level, is very small, perhaps approaching zero. But (in my view) the idea itself is a good one, and the attempt to APPROACH the idea is also good. However, trying to implement the full idea may be dangerous, because its a very very difficult idea to implement in a manner that resembles the idea, as the idea is taken from an idealistic world view.
Which brings me back to my point. Forms of implementation may be bad, but the implementation of an idea doesn't actually indicate whether the idea is good or bad. It simply indicates that the system constructed didn't work.
Its sortof like trying to look at the sky, unaided, and determine the age of the universe. How old the universe is effects what the sky looks like, but we can't see the subleties of the billions of years of existence from our small vantage point, and hence won't be able to get an accurate picture of what we are trying to see. We can only see what is before us.
Taking the metaphor slightly further, using research tools, we can get a better view of the age of the universe. Likewise, if we examine implentation of an idea, we can perhaps see where the breakdowns occured in transition from idea, to practice.
Isn't it better then to take the idea and add or take away as needed to change it into something acceptably close to the idea and yet much more reasonably implementable?
Posts: 176 | Registered: Mar 2002
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<puts on engineers hat> (boy I hate this thing - it looks like Im playing baseball)
In optimization theory there is a concept called robustness, which doesn't mean how robust the item is, but has to do with how robust the design is. If I am optimizing a design with two variables, for each combination of variables there is an associated measure of merit. a 3D plot of these values gives what is called a response surface. The high points are good, low points are bad. A robust design is at the high point of a gernerally high, nearly flat area. A 'brittle' design, or non-robust design is one that is on the sharp point narrow peak of a narrow peek. The top of half dome is robust, the top of the lost arrow spire is not. So, theoretically a column a mile high is not a problem. most materials are strong enough to do that easily. The problem is that if the column is not perfect then it starts to bend and if the section moment(how well it resists bending) is not large enough compared to the height then it will bucle and collapse. The imperfection inherent in any implementation are fatal. I am LDS and we have something called teh law of consecration, which we are not currently living. It is that everything is consecrated to the church, and IIUC you are given a stewardship over somethings, and get to draw as you need. It is essentially communism in that the conomy is communal. the problem is that we aren't god enough to do it. And this is a religious sect that is viewed by many as a bunch of mindless automatons, stepford believers etc etc.
I guess my point is that if you were trying to land somewhere in yosemite, lost arrow spire would be worst, halfdome better, tuolumne meadows best.
Actually, capitalism is based on rule of laws (not men); private property rights; and enforcing honest exchanges / contracts between consenting adults.
Which one does Ev disagree with? Private property? Hah! Children naturally learn immediately what is "theirs", what they have control over, and what is not. Who owns/controls which toy? Which car? Which house, factory, or other scarce resource? Even in "socialist" families of loving husband, wife, and children, who controls and makes decisions over the family resources is often a big issue.
Hey Ev, you ready to let your Mother in law tell your family what to do with your money? If not, why not?
Most poverty in the world occurs because property rights and contracts are not fairly enforced; in particular, between rich local elites and local peasants. This is a failure of government -- whose rightful job is to fairly define & enforce property rights and honest contracts.
Every communist HAS to believe: the end justifies the means. The "good socialist" end justifies the inevitable oppression against those who disagree.
The good means I specified above allow some greedy & selfish folk to lie/ cheat others, but this is far less harm than other alternatives.
On the other hand, "intellectual property" is BS -- copying increases the wealth of the world without "hurting" the one copied from. It does reduce, not eliminate, the market value based on scarcity of whatever is copied.
quote:Most poverty in the world occurs because property rights and contracts are not fairly enforced; in particular, between rich local elites and local peasants. This is a failure of government -- whose rightful job is to fairly define & enforce property rights and honest contracts.
Aha! So you agree, Tigger, that since capitalism cannot be properly implemented (since because government is run by people and people are not perfect, therefore there cannot be a perfect government), then capitalism is fatally flawed and should not be implemented?
if intellectual property rights are not enforced then no inventor, slaving away in his basement, or in a company lab, can expect to keep the results of his work. What incentive do they have to actually reduce things to practice? I design things for a living, the company( pdghightower.com - shameless plug) is basically a bunch of hired gun inventors. The frustrating thing about it is that when you come up with the really correct solution, the elegant simple solution, the uncomplicated integrated solution, the solution in which every piece complements every other piece, the solution.... (you get the idea) when you get that solution and show it to someone they say "of course, how else would you do it?" The correct solutions seem obvious, and will of course be copied. so the brilliant, elegant idea that you held in your mind until one came that was strong enough to posess it, that gets boosted and, yes, STOLEN by a knock off shop full of minimum wage types who can copy but not create.
<end of IP rant> (added shameless plug)
[This message has been edited by maniacal_engineer (edited September 24, 2002).]
One thing I don't understand about this discussion is how you can judge an idea by anything but its outcome. If the implementation of an idea brings about mainly bad things, or more bad things and/or less good things than the next best alternative, isn't that the definition of a bad idea? Someone enlighten me.
[This message has been edited by BanderLog (edited September 24, 2002).]
It could just be a bad implementation of a good idea. As I said, software is full of bad implementations prior to a good implementations.
For instance, the first implementations of a device driver, can erase data, destroy the hardware, and other bad things. However, that does not mean that the idea of device drivers is flawed per se., it only means we have a buggy/flawed implementation. We fix the flaws by examination of the pathological behaviors and try and find what caused them and either fix them, or 'work around' them.
[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited September 24, 2002).]
You answered my question perfectly, but I think I asked the wrong question, or at least I didn't clarify it enough. Many ideas are the same thing or at least must be taken part and parcel with their implementation. For instance, Marx's idea that for true communism to come about there must be a bloody revolution cannot be separated from the implementation of a bloody revolution. In other words his idea was to implement a bloody revolution.
Using your drivers example, it's a good idea to have drivers, but it's probably a bad idea to release a beta version of the driver.
Put yet another way (I know I'm probably beating this to death, but I don't express myself very well and I'll just keep making random shots until I think I hit the mark) ideas for outcome can be separated from ideas for how to acheive the outcome. If you want to get from point A to point B and you arrive at point C because you took road D, then taking road D was a bad idea, even if point B was a good place to be.
I hope that makes sense to someone, because I think I lost myself a while back.
[This message has been edited by BanderLog (edited September 24, 2002).]
LetterRip and Maniacal_Engineer are correct - but are talking primarily about closed systems. How about systems which are enacted because of purposeful disinformation which allows a foothold, or from systems which evolve or mutate into another?
The Native Americans' congress of nations supported many high-minded ideals, but also allowed severe civil right abuses and ecological mismanagement to be pervasive. We look at the "Red Man" as a primitive back to nature kind of guy who lived in accord with his environment - but much of our attributions are wrong. Look at the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs, who destroyed their environments long before Conquistadors ever sought after their gold and gave them diseases. In Michigan, over sixty tribes sold their land to white pioneers and businessmen out of a learned decision to profit from what they perceived to be better management than they could afford themselves. No trinkets for Manhatten sort of thing, but a cold-hearted business decision to gain sizable wealth with which they could become players in the new system evolving, and still profit from a betterment of their land.
The common thought today is of how decent and honorable were these societies, and how they were ruined by greedy land interests, when the actuality was something else. Our history is often distorted through a lens of wish-fulfillment, and we can't even agree on the way things were.
Is Capitalism a curse because a few Socialists label it so? Most systems are hybreds that evolve over time, and end up with total power in the hands of the uppermost few, except for the few with a Magna Carta or Constitution to hold the natural evolvement toward tyranny in check.
quote: For instance, Marx's idea that for true communism to come about there must be a bloody revolution cannot be separated from the implementation of a bloody revolution. In other words his idea was to implement a bloody revolution.
Agreed, but on the other hand, the original idea can evolve and be seperated from the implementation details ,especially if the original ideas for implementation was flawed, in our software example, this is called refactorization. Ask Everard, but I'd be surprised if modern communists believe that a bloody revolution is a prequisite.
quote: Using your drivers example, it's a good idea to have drivers, but it's probably a bad idea to release a beta version of the driver.
Actually beta drivers are a good idea, if the circulation is small, and those using them are aware of the potential problems going in. For a political philosophy this might equate to implementing the ideas in small scale communities and governments first, as opposed to implementation in a 'mission critical system' such as the Russian government.
Another possibility is incremental reimplementation/redisign, in which you maintain most of the features/benefits of the current design, but can examine some of the features proposed for the new design. Ie a 'right to work' or universal health care, might be considered 'features' of a socialist or communist system that could be implemented without full-blown communism or socialism.
me: "if intellectual property rights are not enforced then no inventor, slaving away in his basement, or in a company lab, can expect to keep the results of his work. "
You're wrong - he can keep ALL the results of his work, in his lab. What he can't do is produce something -- software, drugs, books, music, movies-- and expect to sell extremely cheap-to-produce copies at high "intellectual monopoly" prices.
It might well be that this means there is less incentive for him to create. Well, in fact a lot of people would like to get paid to play basketball, for instance, but not too many really get a ton of money. People have choices in what they do to try to make money. And to protect their chosen way of making money.
Maybe he should work on selling more good ideas to more people at lower prices?
The morality of using gov't violence to protect property rights is based on exclusivity: if I own a car and you steal it, I don't have it any more.
If an author like Charles Dickens writes a book and you copy it, the author still has the book, and now you do, too (so you won't pay much more than the copying cost to buy the book, agreed.) The author/ inventor's desire to use gov't force to get more money is an unjustified used of violence.
That's not necessarily part of capitalism, but it becomes a part when the gov't defines an idea as property. The gov't doesn't have to, and I don't think it should.
Ev -- I'd like to know what is the "good idea" of communism you have.
(edited to include the last q to Everard)
[This message has been edited by Tigger (edited September 24, 2002).]
If you eliminate IP protection, then you end up having to use stuff such as 'The Street Performers Protocol' in which you extract all of your profit up front, or you rely on trade secret law - which is useless for many type of IP, or you end up with public financing of IP.
While IP protection has been far to overreaching (ie the Disney extensions to copyright, the blanket extensions to Patent Protection), and too easily granted (the ridiculous ease with which patents are granted for trivial advances in the art, the automatic granting of copyright, the dropping of the requirment for an implementation), what is needed is IP law reform, not elimination.
quote: Maybe he should work on selling more good ideas to more people at lower prices?
without some IP protection the ideas are worthless. or the ideas are only as well developed as the discussion on planetary ejaculation. It is easy for me to think about rockets, rail guns, scramjets, and mount cameroon. It is very different for me to actually reduce this to practice and make it work. If I do all the work, and someone comes along and copies it for the cost of copying then there is no excess utility left to the producer. I have to be the cheapest copier to make a living. but if I am focused on being the cheapest copier, I can't be really innovative. If dickens writes a book and you make a copy, yes he still has the book. If Dickens writes a book and I copy it and sell a million copies, but dickens gets nothing, how many more books do you think he'll write? If OSC doesn't get paid to write, which is only possible if his IP is protected, how much time do you think he would have to create in his spare time from his software mangagers job(or whatever he would end up doing)? I have no problem with requiring an implementation for smaller inventions. And patents are already supposed to not be obvious to someone skilled in the art.
<posting again to differentiate this on topic post from the last one> LR said
quote: Agreed, but on the other hand, the original idea can evolve and be seperated from the implementation details ,especially if the original ideas for implementation was flawed, in our software example, this is called refactorization. Ask Everard, but I'd be surprised if modern communists believe that a bloody revolution is a prequisite.
I dont think that the problem is bloody revolution. overthrowing khaddafi, hussein, pol pot or their ilk willalways require bloody revolution because despots don't seem to want to willingly surrender power. I think the problem is that communism for instance requires a change in humanity, so a workable implementation requires a hugely intrusive re-education of mankind. In the case of communism it requires us to have a better nature. capitalism uses our nature to make us better off.
[This message has been edited by maniacal_engineer (edited September 25, 2002).]
for a bunch on patents. Your proposal is reasonable but doesn't address my moral problem with the gov't using violence to protect a creator's "intellectual monopoly" on a creation that has been sold to others.
I've had this minority opinion a long time, and it's a fine question about the end and means. A lot of folks here have gone on about how gay marriage doesn't hurt anybody. I'm genuinely not sure it does. But I am sure that copying a CD hurts less than that.
quote: I think the problem is that communism for instance requires a change in humanity, so a workable implementation requires a hugely intrusive re-education of mankind. In the case of communism it requires us to have a better nature. capitalism uses our nature to make us better off.
Just to be clear, I don't necessarily disagree that communism is flawed, or that there is no reasonable implementation of communism. The seperation of idea and implementation was a universal concept.
Since I'm not particularly interested in the whole communism side issue, I won't comment upon it a great deal, except to note that it is unknown what a workable implementation requires. Your statement may be a reasonable assumption, and it may not. For a specific counter example, if commuinism were to be implemented by individuals who already believe in it in then no re-education would be needed. Thus your statement would only apply to the universal application of communism.
Ev "Which brings me back to my point. Forms of implementation may be bad, but the implementation of an idea doesn't actually indicate whether the idea is good or bad. It simply indicates that the system constructed didn't work."
Actually, applying this to decisions is extremely important. "Good decisions" sometimes have bad outcomes -- "bad decisions" sometimes have good outcomes.
Everybody makes decisions today, not knowing what the future outcome really will be. Uncertainty can be quantified in a probability function for any event.
... but not to lecture on Bayesian theory or decision analysis.
How bad the commie idea is depends on how it is defined. So please tell me what commie idea might not be so bad -- it's unbelievable to me that "dictatorship of the proletariat (workers)" is anything but unworkable.
wayward son: "Aha! So you agree, Tigger, that since capitalism cannot be properly implemented (since because government is run by people and people are not perfect, therefore there cannot be a perfect government), then capitalism is fatally flawed and should not be implemented?"
Certainly not. Implemented capitalism is less flawed than the humans implementing it, and if implemented well it is much, much less flawed the humans.
One of the main lessons of Enron is that lieing only goes on so long. It eventually costs a decision maker money, so that decision maker has a big incentive to reduce the lieing. What other system has anything close to this feedback/ shutdown response? Look at the waste, and especially the wasted opportunities, at all "other than capitalistic" systems.
[This message has been edited by Tigger (edited September 25, 2002).]
Fine, Ev; but how about just a brief one or two liner on a couple ideas of communism you like?
Meanwhile, Luny: "Isn't it better then to take the idea and add or take away as needed to change it into something acceptably close to the idea and yet much more reasonably implementable?"
First we should differentiate between physical law systems (like all tech), and human organization systems. So far as we know, once physical laws are known, they don't change -- though better measurement may indicate that the "knowledge", like Newtonian physics, is a simplification of a more complex relativistic physics.
"Ideas" about human organizations are fundamentally different, because human will can, and does, change behavior. Take slavery. From before history through around 1800, there had always been slavery. There was little reason to think there wouldn't always be slavery -- but human society changed and this terrible idea, accepted in the Bible among other places, has been almost eradicated. (Except for sex slaves, voluntary or criminally not.)
Besides ideas, there are “ideals” – noble standards that are goals to strive for. The America I’m proud of is based on both the Declaration (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) and the Constitution (establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity). There are different ideas about what the Ideals mean, and even more different ideas/opinions on how best to organize society towards them.
And there is the Machiavelli issue: do the ends justify the means? Or, if you agree with the means, do you accept the ends?
It occurred to me that one of the big criticisms of capitalism is that of “income inequality”, a popular measure of which is the Gini coefficient; another one the Robin Hood Index. (BTW, Robin Hood stole from the rich tax collectors to return the collected goods back to the poor tax payers ). Another important index is the unemployment index.
Commie systems, where unemployment is illegal, do better than capitalistic ones on both of these measures. I think there are a lot of ways of reducing unemployment in virtually all “capitalistic” countries – by reducing gov’t red tape and requirements on business. Capitalism is also better on absolute poverty.
Here’s a mid article quote: “Unfortunately, Marx was correct on one point at least; in large part, people judge their welfare in relative terms. This is why political envy is such a powerful weapon for politicians. So, no matter how wealthy we become, manipulative people will continue to tap into this dark well of the human psychology. Of course, it is illogical, but emotions often override logic and rationality.” http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ausapec/duncan.PDF
And eliminating income taxes for minimum wage earners and all who make less, by allowing a $10 000 individual deduction, would be a good step. But arguing about alternative tweaks to an existing system is exactly what “realpolitik” is mostly about.
It's really funny, I was just reading it thinking of another topic -- that of the PC abhorance of any hypocrisy. The desire to lower standards rather than "fail" to live up to them. Then I tried to save the thread (comm costs are high here), but had to reboot.
I promise to read it (in process) and won't do my own cutting & pasting of your quotes (with side remarks about intellectual laziness).
The first half looks interesting, but Red's "fascism" def hasn't gotten to the part of overriding all constraints, all human rights, in pursuit of whatever goal the current leader has -- a trait shared by all real commie systems.
I hope you know that I know I don't know all about all I'm talking about.
I meant "commie system" in reality. But the similarity between fascism and communism are in these descriptions: fascism - a system of blah blah blah where ultimate power rests with a leader/dictator; communism - a system of blah blah where ultimate power rests with a leader; [and capitalism - a system of blah where cumulative ultimate power rests with buyers and workers.]
Consensus decision making suffers from being slow, economically. You want "total economic control" without a leader? Fine. Easy. First, all economic stakeholders vote for their representatives to form a sort of "central economic controlling committe". And these good folks, in turn, will elect (select?) an inner core; and these "members" will control the economic decision making. There will likely be a "prime controller" -- but we wouldn't ever call him a leader ... If you don't mean this kind of BS, what is "economic control"?
If you truly believe in communism with a small c, meaning no Party; why aren't you living in a commune? (or are you?)
But in any case, why do US communes fail? I actually don't know; haven't cared enough to find out. Had the feeling it was because the family/generational conflicts -- every good parent wanting their child to be more equal than others -- led to breakdowns in the consensus decision making.
If the philosophy doesn't work, over time, in the best conditions, it's a failure. Any philosophy which requires world adherence, first, is a joke. It's not even worth the saliva needed to spit on it.
(Actually don't mean that so personally, but I'm getting more easily annoyed at too much intellectual masturbation; maybe it's evidence I'm getting older)
My own key issue on judging a political philosophy is a focus on the power structures, who has what power to make what decisions. Please look at "capitalistic failures", and I think you most often find the gov't, police and judges, not protecting the property rights of the poor.
By the way, don't you think it ironic that you want to defend/differentiate "communism", but you're quite willing to pollute the meaning of "marriage"?
[added a bit, just can't keep it simple; maybe tomorrow.]
[This message has been edited by Tigger (edited September 28, 2002).]
"By the way, don't you think it ironic that you want to defend/differentiate "communism", but you're quite willing to pollute the meaning of "marriage"?"
A) There are two actual communism's out there. One is an idea, one is a party. They are two distinct ideas. I don't find it ironic, in any way shape or form, that I am pointing out that one is not the other (which its not, despite the definitions you posted that are completely false).
B) "Pollution" is an interesting term.
C) I don't find it ironic that I support a system in which everyone has equal rights, while supporting the idea that everyone should have equal rights.
D) I actually don't think that "marriage" should be a state function, and hence I don't think that the term can be "corrupted" by any laws that bring more rights to more people.
E) I DO think that homosexuals should be able to have the legal rights of union that heterosexuals currently have.
Just so that you don't keep misinterpreting my stance, I think many homosexuals are upstanding citizens who, from everything I can gather from you, have a better shot of raising long-term healthy children then you've got, but that many engage in dangerous activities, and although they do so, I'm not inclined to argue that this means gays are evil. Rather, I'm inclined to argue that everyone should be able to choose their life partner without discrimination, and perhaps if we encourage safer behaviors among homosexuals by NOT killing them for being homosexual, by NOT throwing them through greenhouse windows for being homosexual, by NOT saying that their genetics or choices (whichever, and probably a combination) make them LESS worthy of being full citizens of our nation with equal opportunity to make choices, then perhaps we'll see a reduction in totally unsafe practices, etc.
Hence, my position is that marriage should be a religious institution, as it usually is anyways, seperating out the legal ramifications of that marriage from the religious aspect, and allowing civil unions between two consenting adults, of whatever gender, granting the legal rights of marriage ONLY through civil unions.
It is an article regarding the 'commons' but an interesting extension of the article might be to suggest that the ultimate economic and social utility might come from a dual communism/capitalism system.
EV my idea for the appropriateness of govt sanctions unions is this: unions of a type that can produce children should be condoned and sanctioned by the state. others are no one's business and the state should stay out. let those be defined by contracts. people who get married or not based on tax status, health benefits, pensions, etc, are gaming a system that was set up to protect kids.
(this is way off topic - what am I doing with this on this thread?)