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Architecture and Capitalism

288
cipyboy

Our profession comes in all sorts of form and shape. I think the public's notion of our peak value is associated with a properly executed project with an interesting design. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum are those who makes tons of money pumping out prototypes for developers. 

More artistry, less revenue? or vice versa. where's your sweet spot?

 
Nov 24, 20 4:53 pm
x-jla

Personally, my business is simply a means to be able to do what I love, and support those I love.  I don’t find much joy in materialistic excess, other than travels, but money is freedom, and freedom enables creativity and risk.  You can’t seek artistry if you are worried about paying the the rent.  The idea that all businesses exist to suck up as much money as possible is false.  Business is a way to live the life that I want, engage creativity, and to create value for clients.  There is a balance.  Capitalism, like anything else, can be abused or used for good.  
 

Nov 24, 20 5:15 pm  · 
1  · 
newguy

If, as you say, "money is freedom," then the inverse must also be true, which completely negates your last sentence.

If freedom is achieved via owning a business, then it stands to reason that only capital can be free, and labor cannot.

 · 
x-jla

You’re changing the way I’m using the term freedom. “Freedom” as in freedom to pursue creative endeavors and business endeavors.

 · 
x-jla

“labor” is a voluntary exchange. You trade some freedom for less responsibility as an employee of someone’s business. Owning a business is a lot of responsibility, work, and stress. N

 · 
x-jla

And, “labor” is really individual humans right. They are free to start businesses too. When their business becomes successful, they will have capital which gives them the freedom to engage things that they want to engage.

 · 
x-jla

Entrepreneurs create value. Without business owners who have capital because of that value that they create for customers, labor doesn’t exist.

 ·  2
newguy

You're making a pointless distinction in how you interpret "freedom." Regardless of how you personally choose to define it, you are admitting that it comes via your relationship to capital. That is to say, your relationship to the means of production grant you the freedom to pursue creative and business endeavors. This is a freedom that those who rent their labor to you do not have. I imagine the rest of this exchange will be you engaging in an exercise to linguistically contort this fundamental power imbalance between you and your staff.

Value is created by labor.  Without it, you have nothing.

1  ·  1
x-jla

“You're making a pointless distinction in how you interpret "freedom." Regardless of how you personally choose to define it, you are admitting that it comes via your relationship to capital. That is to say, your relationship to the means of production grant you the freedom to pursue creative and business endeavors.”

Yes, it’s my business, so obviously I have the freedom to run it in the direction that I want. Capital allows me to expand, take risky projects, etc. when I first started I took any project that came along because I didn’t have the capital to be picky.

“This is a freedom that those who rent their labor to you do not have.”

They have to freedom to quit, work 80 hours a week, struggle, and start their own business as I did. But no, I’m not paying them to draw unicorns. Would you pay me to draw unicorns?

“I imagine the rest of this exchange will be you engaging in an exercise to linguistically contort this fundamental power imbalance between you and your staff.”

Can you imagine how shitty movies would be without a power imbalance between the director, actors, studio, makeup artist, etc. it would be madness

“Value is created by labor.  Without it, you have nothing.”

Value is not created by labor, value is created by having a service with a reputation that people want to pay for. Your statement is like saying architecture is created by drawing. Drawing is a necessary means to materialize a product; but the act of creating architecture requires a long backstory of education, passion, experience, etc. the relationship to labor is one of mutualism.

You are obviously a new guy.

 · 
newguy

"They have to freedom to quit, work 80 hours a week, struggle"

Workers are free to work--or free to starve. This is not a choice.


"value is created by having a service with a reputation that people want to pay for"


Without the labor provided to create that service, you have nothing.  You cannot do it on your own, hence the need to hire workers.

Billable Rate - (Cost of Labor + Overhead) = Profit

The labor creates the profit.  It is in your best interest to maximize the profit value created by your workers.  The surplus labor that they provide is what you keep for yourself.

2  · 
x-jla

So what do you want? Want someone to start a business for you? That’s what It takes to start a business

 · 
newguy

Yes, we already established this. "Capital" is what is needed to start a business. Something only those who are "free" seem to have.

 ·  1
x-jla

And it’s even harder to maintain one

 · 
newguy

pity

 · 
x-jla

What do you mean start”. You build a business. It doesn’t just start. And, freedom is gained after it grows to a certain level, it’s not a precursor. I started in actual poverty, so no, I’m not paying anyone to draw fucking unicorns all day, and I’m not

 · 
newguy

get back to work

 · 
x-jla

holding anyone back from doing that on their own either.

 · 
x-jla

“Workers are free to work--or free to starve. This is not a choice.” Such an entitled statement....lions are free to hunt or starve...welcome to existence. The universe doesn’t owe you anything. Freedom doesn’t mean that other people do things for you at your will. I’m guessing you’re under 30?

 · 
x-jla

“ The labor creates the profit.” No, the profit is the fee paid by the client - overhead. The workers are overhead. Sounds insensitive, but it’s true. If it wasn’t true, it would be infinitely profitable to hire infinite people. It’s not obviously.

 · 
x-jla

Good labor adds to the value though of course, which helps the company’s image, which brings in good clients, etc. It’s a mutual arrangement like I said. It’s really dumb to say that labor = profit. You can have the best staff in the world, but without a restaurant, the profit is zero.

 · 
newguy

"No, the profit is the fee paid by the client"

The fuck you think they're paying for, ya big dummy? Riddle me that, smart guy, and then i'll let you get right back to talking to yourself

 · 
x-jla

In my case, a small design and build firm, They are paying for my company to provide a service. My company is responsible for their project.

 · 
x-jla

Client: “My project isn’t done yet!” Company: “blame my employee Jim he’s been drawing unicorns all day”.

 · 
newguy

"They are paying for my company to provide a service."

Who produces this service?

Is it produced by your workers, or is produced by the unicorns you are disturbingly obsessed with?

1  · 
x-jla

Depends. Design is produced by me. Construction is produced by my subs or employees. All work is produced by my company. The client hires my company to do the work. They don’t hire my workers. I hire my workers. I appreciate my workers and pay them well, but if they quit the project continues.

 · 
x-jla

You have a negative attitude about business. Probably because your leftist professors told you that job creator is a myth like unicorns

 · 
newguy

"The client hires my company to do the work. They don’t hire my workers. I hire my workers"

The difference between what your client pays you and what you pay your workers (+overhead) is the surplus value created by your workers that you keep for yourself.

 · 
x-jla

No shit

 · 
x-jla

The monetary value of the workers doesn’t exist independently of the company in which they work. You are saying things as if the concept of a companies is to exploit workers. It’s not. It’s a mutual and voluntary relationship.
That’s what you are not understanding.

 · 
newguy

A company exists to make profit. Profit can be realized in many ways, such as increased assets, access to liquidity, or, in your case, a penchant for leisure. This profit, as you originally put it, is the means in which you enjoy your "freedom." This freedom was obtained via your access to capital and eventual ownership of the means of production.

So now that we've established the parameters that grant you your freedom, we can move on to analyze how you sustain your profits.

The profit your company enjoys is derived from the surplus value created by your workers that you keep for yourself. They generate X amount of dollars for their labor that you sell to the client, and you pay them Y amount of dollars for their labor. Your objective as a business owner is to increase the value of X as much as possible while keeping the Y value relatively static. The difference between X and Y is known as surplus value, which you as the business owner enjoy as profit. You bluntly acknowledged this premise with the declarative statement "No shit."

So what, pray tell, are you even whinging about at this point?

 · 
archi_dude

Interesting, you are describing a scenario where the capitalist owner of a business just sits back and takes it in. At almost every company I've been at the owners or main bosses definitely seem to put in theingest hours and have the most stress. I wouldnt call that freedom. But I think theres freedom in how you can choose to run the company. You can run it where you can choose the clients and the work or the hours. But that's providing management and guidance for your company as a manager. So you've elected to run your business as you want. Considering it just takes a laptop and a 55$ mo subscription to revit to start a business I wouldnt really say this is an only option for those with capital therefore it really is open to anyone to choose this. Alternatively I'm curious what you envision becuase it sounds as though a scenario where the labor has more choice really just means they have more flexibility within their labor owned business and the w

1  · 
archi_dude

Owner is told by labor what to do so now its scenario that no one has freedom. I'll choose the first scenario where with hardwork you can be free, becuase your scenario it sounds as though you've just made everyone a slave.

1  · 
x-jla

new guy, of course a business needs to make a profit. The profit is my income. Unlike an employee, that income is not guaranteed. There are months where there are no profits, and months where there are large profits, regardless I have to pay my guys. Freedom to run my company according to my dream of how I want to run a company has as much to do with creating good jobs for employees as it does creating a good job for myself. An owner has the freedom to craft a company, it’s ethos, and its culture. If you think “profit” is the driving motive behind everything you are completely wrong. Tell that to the thousands of restaurants that are trying to stay afloat in the midst of this pandemic. Tell that to to small businesses started by immigrants who fled from war zones and poverty. You have a misguided and negative attitude towards business.

 · 
x-jla

Like I said, and archi-dude also said, you don’t need capital to start a design business. It’s actually very accessible. Other types of businesses have a higher barrier, but I know plenty of families that came from nothing and built a business. Even the largest company in the US, Amazon, was started from modest means and built slowly.

 · 
Witty Banter

"Even the largest company in the US, Amazon, was started from modest means and built slowly." - This isn't even remotely true.

1  · 
newguy

"The profit is my income"

Yes, we've established this.

"regardless I have to pay my guys."

This is not even close to true. In fact, during down times, you would simply lay-off staff (something everyone on this website is probably familiar with during these times). Your labor pool exists as a barrier between you and lean times. Now, you could always drive your business into the ground, as have many fail-lords done in the past, but with the buffer provided by your workers and the profits you've reaped from their labor, these economic conditions will not impact you nearly as gravely as it will impact your staff. After all, you will have your capital, your business assets (which you could liquidate), and also your individual labor to provide (you could work for somebody else) should you need alternate streams of income. They will only have their labor.

 · 

Amazon was not started all at once, it was originally a website selling used books.

 · 
x-jla

Jeff Bezos came from a modest working class family. He started the company from his garage.

 · 
x-jla

What is not remotely true?

 · 
Witty Banter

Jeff Bezos was a hedge fund VP prior to starting Amazon. His stepfather was an engineer for Exxon that gave him $300,000 to start Amazon. "Modest working class families" don't have $300,000 in 1990's money to risk on a business that Bezos himself estimated at a 70% chance of bankruptcy. It's true that it wasn't the Amazon we know now on day one, but the company grew extremely fast, and would not have been started without Jeff Bezos' personal and family wealth.

4  · 
x-jla

new guy, yes owning a business has benefits and risks. What is you point? Have you considered liability? Debts? You have a false rosy image of what it is to own a business, probably because you’ve only observed very successful and well established businesses. It’s a struggle to build a business. If I didn’t build a business and pay my workers, then they wouldn’t have a place to be paid as you inadvertently admit in your last sentence. So, like i said, without a company to work in labor alone has no value.

 · 
x-jla

Senario A: i have a business that sells sub par design services and builds sub par work. The company has shitty customer service and gets only lowest bid projects. In then, the company uses low skill labor and the workers get paid the min wage. Because of the poorly run company, their jobs are also less stable.

Senario B: I have a company that designs and builds custom quality projects and delivers fantastic customer service. I as the owner forge relationships with clients and craftsman and advocate for high craftsmanship. The company is not the cheapest, but customers are happy to pay for good work and service and reliability. Because of this, a place for high paid high skilled labor is established. Because of the good reputation and safety net of profit, their jobs are more secure.

Which has more value?

 ·  1
x-jla

The company establishes the value and the stability of the labor.

1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Where's this company, Senario B, located, sounds like a fucking fantasy.

 · 
x-jla

Hint, Not in any commie country

 · 
newguy

/

Nov 24, 20 5:48 pm  · 
 · 
newguy

/

Nov 24, 20 8:50 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

\

Nov 25, 20 2:19 am  · 
1  · 
archi_dude

Newguy can you explain an arrangement where the worker is free and what that would look like? The only thing I can think of is possibly a governement job. They do not make a profit and the workers seem to have far more vacation and freedom yet their work seems extremely uninspiring, lacking all creativity. So is there another example? 

Nov 25, 20 9:48 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

I think he/she believes that the workers own the means of production. Funny thing is, nothing is stopping people from doing this. It’s perfectly legal. It’s just not happening because it doesn’t work. There is an imbalance of owners and workers for a reason- only a small minority of people have a strong enough desire to create a new company, the experience, and the self discipline needed to do so effectively.

 · 
SneakyPete

You try and sound smart, but you generally just make word salad using a bunch of buzzwords from 50 years ago, pour some recent trend sauce over the top, and show up uninvited to the party dressed in a tuxedo t-shirt.

2  · 
x-jla

Words from 50 years ago? I think the majority of words that we use are far older than that.

 · 
x-jla

Are you going to explain your disagreement or just piss on every conversation that challenges your
ideology?

 · 
SneakyPete

I'll just keep pissing on you, thanks. The day you treat people decently and debate respectfully I'll stop.

 · 
x-jla

I do though.

 · 
SneakyPete

You don't though.

 · 
archi_dude

Hmm no arrangement explained. Typical fanciful utopian BS.

 · 
SneakyPete

Typical of whom?

 · 
SneakyPete

Another thread to add to the x-lax death pile. He's like Ricky, but instead of bad architecture posts he's full of bad politics posts AND bad architecture posts.

Nov 25, 20 11:36 am  · 
4  · 
x-jla

“Bad politics”. Nuff said

 · 
x-jla

SP :my opinions are good and anyone who disagrees has bad opinions because I’m a special snowflake

 · 
SneakyPete

Adjectives describe the noun, my dude. Bad POSTS. And I'd like to point out you're doing exactly what you accuse me of. But you know, hypocrisy is literally the only reason you're here, amirite?

 · 
x-jla

I’m here to debate ideas. You refuse to engage the ideas. You just add snark.

 · 
SneakyPete

You aren't here to debate shit. You're here to pretend to debate, then proceed in bad faith to shout louder and pretend you won when everyone stops engaging. You're a toddler. I enjoy pointing out your bullshit.

 · 
x-jla

You haven’t pointed out anything. I responded to a post, and then newguy challenges the premise of my response with some anti-capitalist poorly reasoned talking points.

 · 
newguy

I beg your pardon, but what was poorly reasoned? The part where you agreed that your access to capital is what granted you your freedom? Or the part where you agreed with me that your income is derived from the surplus value created by your workers? I pointed out those two facts (of which you agreed) and then you began multiple, chain-long streams of consciousness where you lament the struggle of the poor oppressed and underappreciated business owner. You don't fundamentally disagree with anything I stated. Your just upset that hearing this criticism makes you feel bad and are now throwing a tantrum across multiple chains.

1  · 
x-jla

Your entire premise is flawed.

 · 
x-jla

And if you’ve read the post above you would see that you inadvertently agreed with me that labor without a company to work in has no value.

 · 
x-jla

“ After all, you will have your capital, your business assets (which you could liquidate), and also your individual labor to provide (you could work for somebody else) should you need alternate streams of income. They will only have their labor.”

 · 
x-jla

The value of Labor depends upon the value of a company Aka job creators

 · 
newguy

aka subservience to those with capital. You are not making the point you think you're making

 · 
x-jla

You are not making any point. The company pays the employee for a service. What’s wrong with that?

 · 
x-jla

The company makes profit. What’s wrong with that?

 · 
x-jla

“subservience” is an oddly negative way to look at it. My question would be, what is the alternative? Your lament is tantamount to saying that humans are slaves to food because our option is eat or die. It’s a useless point.

 · 
x-jla

And, of course, then subservient to farmers and hunters. You are looking at necessity as a negative, and then demonizing those who fill the necessity.

 · 
x-jla

snarky pete, new guy, please enlighten us....how can society function without capitalist business owners?   I’ll wait. 

Nov 25, 20 11:46 am  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Oh what lovely bait I will ignore.

2  · 
x-jla

It’s a question. Put up or shut up

 · 
SneakyPete

I'll take neither. But feel free to keep frothing at the mouth.

1  · 
x-jla

Because you can’t. Snark is white noise

 · 
SneakyPete

Because I choose not to. You know, choice. It's that thing you pretend to revere.

 · 
x-jla

Because you can’t. You obviously have the energy and time to post snark, shouldn’t take much more will to actually post a counterpoint

 · 
SneakyPete

I know that it'll get ignored and I'll be presented instead with a thousand word stream of rhetorical diarrhea. I don't really see the attraction.

1  · 
x-jla

Cop out

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

Is this a serious question?

 · 
x-jla

Yes, it is.

 · 

In a capitalistic system people have choices who to work for and what to work on. The Money = Freedom argument is true in that having money, adequate money, to be able to get buy without work for a while gives you the freedom to pass on work you don't want to do and to not be so desperate for any work or any job. Financial Independence means having an emergency fund, paying off debts and having passive income such as stocks or real estate. Choosing to opt out of the system is an option but then you will not get ahead as easily. Those who create wealth by investing in the stock market, real estate or building a business get ahead, those who earn all of their money from working are trying to run a marathon while holding a cement block, you can get there but it will be very hard. 

In capitalistic systems there are many ways to earn money through work, investing, and creating intellectual content that people buy over and over again (think royalties from designs, photos, or other media).  If you are dependent solely on one stream of income then you are more vulnerable/dependent on others for your livelihood.  The concept of letting your money work for you is how people get ahead in a capitalistic system opting out is your choice and choices have consequences.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Nov 25, 20 11:49 am  · 
1  · 
x-jla

If everyone is an owner/worker then you have no choice one way or the other.  You are required to take on that role because it’s the only role that exists.  And, if you dislike being a owner/worker for AOC INC too bad.  Then what?



Nov 25, 20 12:02 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

OAC INC. You can't help yourself, can you? The axe you think you're holding has been ground completely away. You're grinding your hands at this point.

3  · 
x-jla

I really can’t help it.

1  · 
square.

i should have known better, but this thread is incredibly uninteresting.

Nov 25, 20 12:22 pm  · 
5  · 
SneakyPete

Another Sneakypete slap fight. Sorry.

2  · 
x-jla

Why ar you here then?

 · 
SneakyPete

tweaking your nipples is a shitty job, bust someone's gotta do it

4  · 
x-jla

Freudian slip?

 · 
SneakyPete

pun.

1  · 
BabbleBeautiful

The blanket statement, "'labor' is a voluntary exchange" really, really irks me.

Honestly, if one cannot see how our system is both "voluntary" and "exploitative" then you need to get out of your bubble and see how the rest of the country and world operates.

Nov 25, 20 2:49 pm  · 
4  · 
newguy

Arbeit macht frei

1  · 
randomised

"nothing more satisfying than a job well done"

1  · 
x-jla

How is labor exploitive? You are voluntarily being paid to do something. Some companies pay low, have poor conditions, bad office culture, but it’s still voluntary whether you stay or not.

1  ·  2
x-jla

Again, what is the alternative?

1  ·  2
x-jla

As you once accurately said, a country is just a group of people. Thinking that the Country owes you something is the same as thinking that other people owe you something. They owe you for what you negotiate with them in exchange for work of goods. How is this exploitation?

1  ·  2
newguy

"Again, what is the alternative?"

Didn't realize Margaret Thatcher had an archinect account.

1  ·  1
x-jla

Typical lament without any solutions...

1  ·  2
x-jla

How can you walk around with that world view all day without even contemplating the alternative? Here’s one: drop out of the labor market all together. You can become a wildness man. But even then, you will have to catch your own food and build your own shelter. Your survival will depend on your labor, experience, and ingenuity. Here’s not an option: you walk into a company and demand that you get 2x more than you put in, or get ownership without assuming liability and risk.

1  ·  2
x-jla

Here is another option - If a certain labor market underpays for a certain labor, then form a union and collectively bargain.

1  ·  2
newguy

The entirety of this thread has been:

1) Me explaining the fundamental tenets of capitalism to you, as well as your position relative to that of your staff.

2) You agreeing with the substance of the observation but getting very angry about it for some reason.

3) You then posting 4-5 bite sized non-sequiturs involving unicorns, completely bereft of any meaningful contribution.

4) You then demanding an alternative economic model knowing full well that you will dismiss them out-of-hand because....AOC

3  ·  1
x-jla

Incorrect. The disagreement was you creating a false and simplistic narrative of capitalism, and then Shying away from stating what you believe should be an alternative. If the capitalist system is based on exploitation, you clearly have a more fair and productive model in mind?

 ·  2
x-jla

I’ve already dissected your previous points, so come up with new material or bow out.

1  ·  2
newguy

I think your workers should rise up and violently overthrow you in order to equitably distribute the profits which they created

1  · 
x-jla

And by the slim chance they succeeded, their jobs would soon be gone, because the company wouldn’t function.

1  ·  2
x-jla

Probably the kind of guy that shows up at Thanksgiving empty handed and complains about the pie.

1  ·  2
x-jla

Newguy, if you can run a business as good as your boss why not just start a business?

1  ·  3
BabbleBeautiful

You already answered your question:

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

Ahhh, lost my edit. More later.

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

x, since you acknowledge unions should be formed collectively fight against labor exploitation then it's reasonable to assume you acknowledge labor exploitation exists. So, what's your problem exactly?

 · 
x-jla

Of course labor can be exploited. I never said that it can’t. I was objecting to newguys notion that business IS exploitive and that all the value of a business is baked into its labor. This relationship is false most of the time, and doesn’t represent the bulk of capitalistic endeavors. Most employer-employee relationships are based on mutualism.
.

 · 
x-jla

And, most workplace hierarchies exist because they are functionally necessary and efficient. It seems like common sense to understand that once the labor violently takes over the company...in a month after they eat through their loot, the company fails and they are back on job finder looking for employment

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

I don't think it's "common sense." It's one possible scenario. Are there any real examples or case studies of "labor violently taking over a company"?

 · 
x-jla

It was proposed by newguy “ I think your workers should rise up and violently overthrow you in order to equitably distribute the profits which they created”

 · 
newguy

they shouldn't overthrow everybody. Just you specifically and only you

1  · 
x-jla

Sloppy dismount.

 · 
newguy

A boss who 'thumbs up' his own comments is probably a boss who leaves a 5 star rating on his company's own Yelp page

Nov 25, 20 6:56 pm  · 
2  · 

jla, what you lack in substance and clarity, you more than make up for it in quantity. This thread has 109 comments (including this one) and 62 are yours ... nearly 57%. 

You have over 10,000 posts on this site (many of them extolling the virtues of capitalism as you see it) so it's no shock that you'd be here to defend it sucking up all the oxygen. Maybe chill for a bit and let someone else post. I promise you that capitalism will be ok if you aren't here to defend it.

Nov 25, 20 7:15 pm  · 
5  · 
x-jla

What do you want I’m a fast writer...

1  ·  2

But are you a fast thinker?

4  · 

Speed should have nothing to do with it. Quick response or not, you're talking to yourself. 

If you take a simplistic approach and say that you are just responding 1-to-1 to defend capitalism against the anti-capitalists... at most you'd have 50% of the responses. That's assuming that everyone else is advocating against capitalism. That's clearly not the case, so really your fast typing should be limited to less than 50% of the responses. Even then, you don't need to appoint yourself as the sole defender of capitalism. Let someone else chime in. 

Not to mention that despite the headline, the actual discussion the OP seemed to be trying to have has very little to do with capitalism itself and more to do with what type of practice you want ... one that focuses more on art or one that focuses more on revenue, and what your sweet spot is ... something no one has since addressed in the replies due to your monopoly of the thread.

2  · 
x-jla

Fast enough the slay half baked arguments

 · 
x-jla

*to....Why can’t we edit from iPhones.? It’s annoying.

 ·  1
b3tadine[sutures]

I'm on an iPhone, why can I figure it out, but you can't?

Hmmm?



1  · 
x-jla

Looks awfully similar to a Nazi boot

 · 
x-jla
SneakyPete

Wrong thread, genius.

2  · 
BabbleBeautiful

cipyboy, to answer your original question very simply, I don't think one has to necessarily sacrifice one for the other. It's possible to have good design(s) and be financially successful. I personally aim to do both when that day comes.

Nov 27, 20 5:01 pm  · 
2  · 
BabbleBeautiful

All while not exploiting my labor ;-)

 · 
x-jla

That’s good. It’s more productive to have well paid and well respected workers.

 · 
cipyboy

I would agree, my view is that art and technical is on both ends of the spectrum. Most common projects can’t be both, time is money- and high level designed buildings consume a lot of time to make. Usually some of these projects suffer a huge blows on backlogs, C.O.s, neverending variances, addendums etc. that everyone ends up losing money.

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

Our definitions of technical might be different. I don't agree that art and technical are on "both ends of the spectrum." To me, it's all part of the design process to make something good.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Dictatorship of the Proletariat


"By the nineteenth century political language had long included references to the “dictatorship” of the most democratic assemblies, of popular mass movements, or even of The People in general. All Marx did at the time was apply this old political term to the political power of a class.


But Marx’s usage in 1850 was significantly conditioned not merely by the long history of the word but particularly by its history in the revolutionary period he had just passed through."



Nov 29, 20 11:55 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

Like the modern left, he was pointing out legitimate problems, while prescribing a medicine that’s far far worse.

 · 
x-jla

What marxists don’t understand is that the state becomes the proletariat under socialism. The goods still need to be produced, needs still need to be met. The state becomes a giant centralized corporate entity with a nuclear arsenal and a police force in its hands. Socialism does nothing but rename and concentrate the power class, while expanding the underclass taking with it all of the liberties that make life worth living. Leave Marx in the past. His bad ideas have already killed 100 million.

 ·  1
b3tadine[sutures]

Wrong, as usual. Under Communism, we will abolish the state; there's no need.

 · 
x-jla

So you are for anarchy?

 ·  1
x-jla

Anarcho-communism?

 ·  1
x-jla

at least we agree that the state is an obstruction to individual liberties.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

The way I see this, is that you're a communist, but don't want to acknowledge that fact. The bourgeois state, and the idea that those we elect will take up the things that matter to poor people, slave wage laborers, is absurd, but through abolition of the state only can the people experience true freedom. Even in that true freedom, it means that the dictatorship of the Proletariat will make those that exist to subjugate the people will come under the control of the people. Libertarians won't exist, because the free people won't allow them to exist.


 · 
x-jla

“Even in that true freedom, it means that the dictatorship of the Proletariat will make those that exist to subjugate the people will come under the control of the people. Libertarians won't exist, because the free people won't allow them to exist.“. I’m not following this part. How can freedom exist if free people (majority I assume) won’t “allow” other people to exist on their own terms? Sounds like tyranny of the majority. A true free society will offer freedom to live as you please so long as you are not violating the rights of others to live as they please. A true free society will have pockets of coexisting sociopolitical spaces where one can move freely in and out of without consequence. Something like a “Night Watchman State” allows this. Communism, even the pure uncorrupted version you described, is not sustainable because human nature will always lead to tribal hierarchy, oppression, and power imbalances without an infrastructure to protect individual sovereignty. If not based on wealth inequality, it will be based on brute strength, gang/tribal affiliation, or a number or other factors that have played throughout history.

 · 
x-jla

Let me clarify....I don’t think that anarcovommunism is bad if it’s a pocket within such an infrastructure. A lesser version I guess would be a commune within the infrastructure of the US. This is obviously limited and subject to the authority of the state more so than such a community would be if contained within a night watchman state. Just an example of what I mean. Spatially/architecturally the figure ground map of such a society would look much more eclectic.

 · 
square.

when are we going to figure out that a conversation around this topic will never be nuanced, let alone remotely interesting, with x-lax involved?

Nov 30, 20 9:34 am  · 
1  · 
x-jla

Because you are so fragile that contrary ideas threaten you.
“Nuance” hahaha

 · 
shellarchitect

I've read this entire post and feel dumber for it. What a waste of time!

Nov 30, 20 11:32 am  · 
4  · 
square.

like i said..

 · 
x-jla

I’m yet to see a post by square that offers any substance. His posts are limited to “x is stupid” “y is wrong” “z is bad”. Imagine existing to just add white noise to the universe? I may be wrong here and there, but at least I put my thoughts out into the ether to be scrutinized. You guard them like precious china...probably because they are tethered so close to your heart...Unlike you, I’m not personally married to ideas...I throw them out there and let the world chisel at them.

 · 
x-jla

Unfortunately, many on here don’t have a chisel that’s hard enough...with the exception of Tduds (sometimes), EA, and couple others.

 · 
Wood Guy

You do throw out a ton of ideas, that part is true. It's hard to chisel a pile of crap, though. Gotta at least let it dry first.

3  · 
square.

hate to break it to you, but no one cares about your "ideas," (aka posting as much random shit as your possibly can) which should be quite clear based on the overwhelmingly negative reactions to the garbage you post.

if this is your idea of a good debate, i suggest trying to have a real conversation, in person, with someone you know. here, there is no audience, and you're not convincing anyone. keep at it though buddy.

 · 
x-jla

You’re not convincing anyone that you can actually dispute the points I’ve made. Progressivism is a religion, so absolutely not trying to convince anyone. That’s impossible.

 · 
square.

i'm not trying to convince anyone of anything- i'm just sick of your shit. i wouldn't mind reading an interesting discussion in the forums, but every time one potentially pops up you come in a soil the entire thing.

Imagine existing to just add white noise to the universe?

the irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

3  · 
x-jla

Have you considered that it’s because anyone who posts something that challenges the progressive narrative is attacked? You can’t converse with people like that. You want an echo chamber?

 · 
newguy

"Progressivism is a religion."

Now let me go back to preaching the prosperity gospel by extolling the virtues of "the market" that claims there is a guiding invisible hand that makes magical growing pies.

6  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

^this is good shit.

 · 
x-jla

“ magical growing pies“. Who bakes the pies in your senario?

 ·  1
x-jla

The market relies on human nature, spontaneous order, and human ingenuity. Nothing magical at all.

 ·  1
square.

humility is admitting when you've been defeated.

resoundingly in this case.

1  · 
x-jla

Hahaha....Dismiss a system that has historically lifted more people from poverty and has increased human freedom, by vaguely suggesting a a historical idealized version of a system that has failed time and time again leading to death, tyranny, and misery, then accuse the former or magical thinking. Never once claimed the former to be perfect by the way...Absolute gold!

 ·  1
tduds

Capitalism created poverty. It rescued some.

2  · 
x-jla

VOX article ^

 · 
tduds

Semi-serious. On one hand, it was provocative on purpose. On the other hand, the state of poverty defined as an absence of wealth can only exist in the presence of wealth, which is an outgrowth of capitalism.

1  · 
tduds

I just remembered a good tweet I saw the other day: "Missionaries thought Hawaiians were lazy because by noon Hawaiians were surfing, doing art, socializing. What they didn't see was that Hawaiians started the day at dawn & were so efficient & organized that they were done planting, harvesting and cooking for the entire day by 9am." 

In a contemporary capitalist system, these people would likely be considered "in poverty" and the system would drop a factory into their wilderness to "lift them out of it"

4  · 
tduds

Just tossin that out there. Feel free to, uh, chisel it or whatever.

2  · 
BabbleBeautiful

I did a quick look at the policy research report that article is referencing and I'm bugged the report doesn't define "extreme poverty," but it can be found elsewhere. I'm also curious as to how they got data from the early 1800s.

In any case, I would argue this is not the result only (laissez-fair)  capitalism.

 · 

Babble, you're leaving the door wide open for jla to go off on how we currently don't have laissez-faire capitalism and that if we did (get rid of government regulations), poverty would be completely eliminated worldwide.

 · 
BabbleBeautiful

I know, but I don't have the time to write a dissertation. Need to continue the fight to stay out of poverty.

5  · 
x-jla

EA, we don’t need regulation if we expand the concept of liberty and remove big government cronyism which is what we have. For example take environmental regulations. I think that “natural rights” should be extended to ecosystems and other species. In other words, the function of the state should be to protect natural rights and liberties and enforce the NAP (non aggression principal) rather than limit freedom through negative laws and police powers. So, in effect not being allowed to violate the rights of the salmon in the river is more powerful and effective than limiting the ppm of toxins that one can dump. I’d say I’m advocating for a non-anthropocentric globalist UBI backed libertarianism that allows all human liberties and relationships to exist including capitalism. Capitalism is good because it usually works (not because magic) but because spontaneous order is usually better than centralized planning in it dynamics and resilience. It’s not perfect, never said that, so poverty will never be eliminated unless we add a layer which is where UBI comes in. It’s just a relationship/transaction between humans that must be allowed to occur because preventing it requires authoritarianism.

 · 

yeah, isn't that what I said?

 · 
x-jla

I guess

 · 
newguy

"we don’t need regulation."

"In other words, the function of the state should be to protect natural rights and liberties and enforce the NAP (non aggression principal)."

These two statements are in contradiction with one another, but go off

2  · 
x-jla

Nope. They are absolutely not.

 · 
x-jla

I can’t enslave you because you have rights and liberties. Doing so would violate your rights. A regulation is not necessarily in violation of anyone’s rights.

 · 
x-jla

Zoning for instance should go into the waste basket

 · 
tduds

A statute preventing you from enslaving me is a regulation. That's the definition of the word.

 · 
x-jla

I’m talking about regulations that are not tied to a violation of another’s rights/liberties. Didn’t think I’d have to spell that out. It can be reasonably assumed from what I wrote.

 · 
x-jla

Laws and regulations can be synonymous I guess...but when we talk about rolling back regulations we all understand what types of regulations.,,no one assumes murder laws

 · 

The zoning of my and my neighbors' properties protects our freedom to not live next to a factory and all the associated noises, smells, wastes, pollution, etc. but it also restricts our freedom to build a factory on our property and violate those rights of our neighbors. What a paradox.

 · 
tduds

Very few assumptions following from what you write would be deemed "reasonable"

 · 
x-jla

Zoning is the cause of so many of the inequalities and socioeconomic stratification in our built environment. Remove zoning, yes the undesirable shit will spread out to your backyard. That’s kind of the point actually. Things need to stop being out of sight and mind.

 ·  1
tduds

The opposite of "bad" is not "none"

4  · 
square.

there is essentially no zoning in houston, and many of the same problems exist. note on this map that houston has a very high level of income inequality, one of the highest in the country in fact:


https://libertystreeteconomics...

most of your posts are abstractions that often run counter to reality and data- where is the proof to back up these claims?

 · 
x-jla

Income inequality is a different issue. I’m talking about removing a top down tool that is used to segregate “undesirables”.

 · 
square.

Zoning is the cause of so many of the inequalities and socioeconomic stratification in our built environment

i was responding to this. a major indicator of "socioeconomic stratification" is income inequality.

the question still remains: do you have anything besides opinions and anecdotes to back that up?

1  · 

When the undesirable stuff comes into a rich man's backyard because of lack of zoning, they can pay to get rid of it and/or pay to move themselves from the area. 

The poor man just suffers. 

The rich have the means to keep that stuff out of sight and out of mind, the poor don't and end up suffering the consequences. The rich get richer because they have the means to exploit everything around them, and the poor get poorer because they don't. 

Thank you for attending my TED talk.

3  · 
SneakyPete

Good zoning changes over time as we learn lessons from the consequences we didn't see coming, too.

 · 
x-jla

EA, and that’s then a result of spontaneous order. The zoning laws are not necessary and only further reinforce and exaggerate these organically Occurring divisions.

 · 
x-jla

Of course some inequalities will exist. You can’t remove inequality without creating a miserable existence for all. Inequality is natural because ability is natural. I’m saying that systems of government reinforce and enhance inequalities. Zoning, corporate subsidies, etc. These institutions institutionalize inequality. For instance, racism exists in the minds of some people. But an institution is required to create institutional racism. Zoning codifies inequalities that otherwise would be more malleable and dynamic.

 · 
x-jla

Another example...Segregation during Jim Crow without a legal structure to support it would not have had the backing of police powers.

 · 
x-jla

We all know that was a far larger Goliath to overcome had it just been a few rednecks with pitch forks.

 · 

Look, I'm not trying to wholeheartedly defend zoning. It's still bad in most cases, especially when it's used as a barrier to beneficial development that is attempting to address the inequalities zoning reinforces, but as tduds pointed out the opposite of "bad" is not "none." The spontaneous order and naturally occurring divisions that would result from "none" is not "better" than what we have currently. 

Anyway, what was the original topic of the comment we're all replying to? Oh yeah, this thread is dumb and a waste of time.

2  · 

You have a really rosy view of society in the Jim Crow era if you think it was just a few rednecks with pitch forks. I'm not going to get into it with you, but I will point out the opposite of "bad institutions" is not "no institutions."

 · 
x-jla

EA, I don’t have a rosy view. I understand that. Let me remind you that the antidote to “bad” isn’t “worse”

 · 
x-jla

And “good” institutions in a democracy can easily become “bad” institutions as we have witnessed over the last few years.

 · 
square.

this thread is dumb because rather than engaging with the arguments presented on face, xlax becomes slippery like a fish. example: he has yet to refute that data i showed, instead just pivoting and claiming that his definition of inequality is just different. he thinks it's smart, but it actually just dumbs down the conversation because no one ever gets passed surface level opinions and abstractions.

it's why there really isn't a point in trying to engage him in good faith, but instead call out his bullshit.

 · 

The counter argument that "'good' institutions in a democracy can easily become 'bad' institutions" wasn't really finished. What happens next? It seems like your right-leaning libertarianism would lead you to conclude "therefore we should get rid of institutions and let the free-market regulate." Whereas others might conclude, "therefore we should evaluate the institutions, their benefits and detriments, and determine if we need to change how those institutions are regulated, and if so, craft appropriate regulations to encourage beneficial results and discourage detrimental results." 

Take your complaint about socioeconomic stratification as a result of zoning. Your solution is to get rid of zoning and let natural stratification occur which arguably would lead to equal or worse socioeconomic stratification (see Houston's income inequality) ... but because it is unregulated stratification and the free-market is causing it, you think it's somehow good, or better because ... yay capitalism!

Another solution might be to change the zoning that is leading to that stratification and encourage development that would decrease that stratification (like rezoning large-lot SFR zones to allow for higher density and commercial uses to support mass transit, get rid of food deserts, etc. and also incentivizing affordable rather than market-rate housing development so different socioeconomic classes can afford to live in those areas).

Which solution actually attempts to solve the socioeconomic stratification you were complaining about? 

2  · 
square.

i'm lacking patience... what ea said^

 · 
x-jla

EA, you are making one big assumption- that inequality of outcome is inherently “bad.”

I am saying that it is only “bad” if it is the result of an institutionalized inequality of opportunity, because then the state is creating advantages and disadvantages for different groups of people, which stifles meritocracy and robs us, as a society, of untapped potential.

Equality of opportunity, equal protection under law, etc are all desirable and necessary for a free society to function.

Inequality of outcome however, is also an inevitable and desirable feature of a free society, because people have different abilities and skills, and ones freedom to express one’s potential is essential. It’s the most important feature I’d argue.

Your post implies that it would be “good” to use zoning and other regulations to manipulate outcomes. I’m saying that outcomes can only be evened out through authoritarian controls, which is not desirable for many reasons.

 · 
tduds

Ah I see we're doing the Petersonian Opportunity / Outcome sleight of hand again. A true classic, a big one from the dusty archives.

2  · 

I didn't assume or make any statement regarding a need for equality of outcome. Try reading again, but this time don't assume you know what I'm saying before I say it.

 · 
tduds

The fun thing about this rhetorical dodge is it allows one to ignore inequalities of opportunity and then label attempts to equalize / equitize opportunities as secret attempts to manipulate outcome.

4  · 
x-jla

“Take your complaint about socioeconomic stratification as a result of zoning. Your solution is to get rid of zoning and let natural stratification occur which arguably would lead to equal or worse socioeconomic stratification (see Houston's income inequality) ... but because it is unregulated stratification and the free-market is causing it, you think it's somehow good, or better because ... yay capitalism!
Another solution might be to change the zoning that is leading to that stratification and encourage development that would decrease that stratification (like rezoning large-lot SFR zones to allow for higher density and commercial uses to support mass transit, get rid of food deserts, etc. and also incentivizing affordable rather than market-rate housing development so different socioeconomic classes can afford to live in those areas).

Which solution actually attempts to solve the socioeconomic stratification you were complaining about? “

Still coming away with the same conclusions from what you wrote. You are implying that something is a problem because it exists “socioeconomic stratification ”. I’m saying that it is only a problem because of why it exists - inequality of opportunity codified by a state that’s supposed to ensure equal treatment. If the organic result of a completely fair system and free system is socioeconomic stratification and inequality of outcomes, than that’s not something I’m concerned with.

 · 
x-jla

I’m also certain that a place like Houston is stratified because of past codified policies based on race, or lack their of the system to protect the natural rights of certain groups...and it’s not going to correct itself over night.

 · 
x-jla

So yes, I recognize that many artifacts of past policies will persist for some time, even if we made it all perfect now, unfortunately.

 · 

Maybe that's where I think your full of it. You're assuming a tabula rasa liberland without any of the historical baggage of past policy so you don't have to wrestle with them in your proposal. You claim to offer equality of opportunity, but tell me then, in your proposal where we get rid of all zoning, how do we reconcile the existing inequalities so that we truly have equality of opportunity? 

Wealth redistribution? Historical inequalities have benefitted some people more than others in terms of wealth accumulation that would offer them an advantage to being able to afford to build something at a disadvantage of someone else. 

Property redistribution? Obviously if we just get rid of zoning, the property I own offers me an advantage to build something over the person who doesn't own any. 

What about existing easements? My property has a utility easement on it, but I'd like to use that land for something else. Since I own it, I should be able to get rid of the utilities in that portion of my land regardless of what disadvantages that might offer someone nearby. They have the equal opportunity to access utilities some other way that doesn't rely on going through my property.

1  · 
x-jla

No. Past tyranny doesn’t justify present tyranny. “Redistribution of property” can only be done with police force and authoritarianism. Again, your medicine is far worse than that disease.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

EA, this is where it all falls apart, right? Gas, water, sewer and electric, are all - largely - shared services. We all own the means of delivery, if not for the shared delivery, we'd all have to become individual utilities, and provide our own services.

2  · 
newguy

this clown is the energizer bunny of shit takes

2  · 
x-jla

PUE’s are not at the top of the chopping block, but ideally in the future utilities will be so decentralized that PUEs wouldn’t be needed. It’s actually much more resilient and sustainable do it that way once the technology is available.

 · 
x-jla

It’s not yet there, so we couldn’t change that...and last I checked, a libertarian system allows for utilities, infrastructure, etc.

 ·  1
x-jla

And, those restrictions run with the land, meaning that you buy the land with that in mind. It’s a voluntary contract. Not a violation of property rights if that’s a contractually agreed upon conditions of the property

 · 

If you're not addressing the present inequalities due to past tyranny, how are you offering equality of opportunity?

 · 
newguy

the cool thing about being a pasty white libertarian is that you get to massively benefit from historical injustices while doing dick-all to correct them because tWo WrONgs DoN't mAKe A RiGHt

4  · 
x-jla

If you're not addressing the present inequalities due to past tyranny, how are you offering equality of opportunity? Like I’m saying, by removing all codified inequalities, and over time, society will self correct. “Wisdom is planting a tree knowing that you will never live to sit in its shade.”

 · 
x-jla

“ the cool thing about being a pasty white libertarian is that you get to massively benefit from historical injustices while doing dick-all to correct them because tWo WrONgs DoN't mAKe A RiGHt”. You don’t know me, so that’s a dumb assumption to be making. I didn’t benefit from anything. I grew up dirt poor in working class neighborhood. I just understand that the state is not my friend, or yours. Ive been beaten by police, mom on welfare, little supervision....I know what inequality of outcome feels like...This conversation is productive, refrain from making it personal. It’s just not interesting to me and I’m not going to sling insults at strangers over the internet, so you are throwing punches at a soccer game.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Where's the 40 acres and mule, and recognition of treaties with indigenous peoples fit in?

 · 
newguy

" I just understand that the state is not my friend, or yours. Ive been beaten by police"

The police are the guard dogs of capital. They exist to protect the economic model you tirelessly and relentlessly defend.  They are mercenaries for landowners and business interests. The worker who becomes a policeman in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop.

If you were an anti-state, anti-capitalist anarchist, I would believe you when you profess your desire to smash the state. But you're not. You're an American libertarian, which is a political ideology that was crafted by the Heritage foundation to steer anti-state sentiment into the conservative landscape while shielding it's most precious commodity: capitalism.

You're not an iconoclast. You're a mark.

3  · 
x-jla

“The police are the guard dogs of capital”. Do you not believe in property rights?

 · 
newguy

no

1  · 

Removing the codified inequalities doesn't result in equality of opportunity due to the lasting effects of those inequalities ... what did you call them, artifacts of past policies? My examples show that, yet you still claim to offer equality of opportunity because society will self-correct and presumably get rid of those inequalities? You've offered nothing that would indicate that, yet we've offered plenty that would signal otherwise. 

So again, how are you offering equality of opportunity if you don't address the inequality of opportunity that results from the artifacts of past policies? Or do you just ignore them as I've surmised?

 · 
x-jla

The state I’m advocating for, is more aligned with the concept of a “night watchman state”. Anarchy is not possible, because people are too inherently dangerous, and it would be impossible to ensure rights and liberties. A centralized Authoritarian state would be replaced with Decentralized authoritarian warlords/mafias/etc. it’s not possible with our particular species I’m afraid. I like the romantic idea of it...just can’t see anything that far working unless we undergo a great widespread enlightenment in the future.

 · 
newguy

"Decentralized authoritarian warlords/mafias/etc"

Funny how you left of 'corporations'

 · 
x-jla

If we do, I’m on board. Until then, I do think a night watchman state could be slowly implemented in theory. In practice, people who don’t believe in controlling other people also happen to be really bad at running for office.

 · 
x-jla

And corporations.

 · 
x-jla

EA, “ yet you still claim to offer equality of opportunity“. I’m not offering anything but seeds. The harvest is for future generations.

 · 

"Equality of opportunity, equal protection under law, etc are all desirable and necessary for a free society to function." --jla

So you're saying your proposal to get rid of zoning will not result in a functioning free society. Got it.

 · 
x-jla

Newguy, do the corporations that you bring up benefit from government? Do companies like Monsanto benefit from policy? Does Exxon mobile benefit from our military adventurism? Government has propped up corporations to levels of power that they could never have achieved without that “partnership”

 ·  1
x-jla

But blame the corporations! If your kid leaves food on the floor Do you blame the Dog for eating it?

 ·  1
x-jla

EA, zoning was one example. You are not reading what I already wrote. I clearly addressed this

 ·  1

Zoning was your example. You'd think if you brought up the example you'd be able to clearly explain it, or defend it, which you haven't. The reality is that you tried to cling to equality of outcome as a way to pretend like you're doing something when in fact you've made it worse. Your non-aggression principle would forbid you from doing it anyway, so add that to your list of contradictions. Libertarianism is not the solution you think it is.

 · 
newguy

"Government has propped up corporations to levels of power that they could never have achieved without that 'partnership'"

Backwards. Corporations have seized the levers of the state to secure and maintain their corporate hegemony. It is why they pour so much money into the coffers of politicians who do their bidding. It is why lobbying exists. Clown-ass Libertarians would refer to this as "crony capitalism." But those on the left would just refer to it as, "regular capitalism."  When an institution such as a corporation exists to make profit, utilizing the power of the state to tilt the table becomes the inevitable outcome.  But the power of the state would not simply disappear if the state were somehow dismantled, and those unfair advantages would not simply self-correct over time like you foolishly claim. Dismantling the state would leave a power vacuum, and the large corporations you noted would be able to use their substantial leverage to maintain their dominance, all the while taking a wrecking ball to any democratic safeguards that exist at both the state level and within their own privatized institutions by silencing the voices of their own workers.

3  · 
x-jla

It’s a bit of a catch 22,
The state

 · 
newguy

You're like stupid Lenin

2  · 
x-jla

...is funded by taxes....taxes find military...military protects oil...etc. it’s a cycle. Crony capitalism is not regular capitalism. It’s closer to fascism than anything.

 · 
x-jla

How do you end capitalism newguy? Please enlighten us

 ·  1
x-jla

“ Zoning was your example. You'd think if you brought up the example you'd be able to clearly explain it, or defend it, which you haven't.“. The conversation keeps taking detours. I assumed this was something we agreed on.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2016/08/16/zoning-as-opportunity-hoarding/amp/

 · 
x-jla

I can post dozens of articles...but you know this already.

 · 
x-jla

Again, zoning is just one example. Victimless crime laws are another example.

 · 
tduds

"Crony capitalism is not regular capitalism." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

3  · 

We agree that zoning has created issues, we differ on the solutions. In terms that have been brought up before ... the opposite of "bad" is not "none."

Good articles you've posted, if you read them you'd see they agree with what I offered as an alternative rather than with your libertarian solution. Neither offered that the solution was to get rid of zoning. Instead they suggested zoning reformation. Here's a quote from The Washington Post article (emphasis mine): 

"To be clear, even zoning reform’s most high-profile advocates don’t limit themselves to calling for fewer restrictions on private development. Even the Harvard economist Ed Glaeser, who could fairly be called a free-market sympathizer, has written that the market will never provide enough affordable housing on its own, and suggested massively expanding housing subsidies for low-income residents. Contrary to Gawker’s claims, opponents of restrictive zoning aren’t 'cheerleaders for laissez-faire development' — they’re advocates for the basic civil right that people ought to be able to live where they want."

Here's one from the other (emphasis mine):

"Zoning is one form of 'opportunity hoarding' that sharpens the divisions between ordinary and upper middle class Americans (a theme I develop in my forthcoming book, Dream Hoarders). There are hopeful signs that state legislators are waking up to this problem. Two separate bills in the Massachusetts state legislature, for example, would have required towns to create more multi-family zoning districts, though both died in the session that ended this July. Given the powerful vested interests involved in exclusionary zoning, reform will require some serious political determination."

1  · 

And just for good measure, I'll repost the alternative I brought up to your libertarianism (emphasis not original): 

"Another solution might be to change the zoning that is leading to that stratification and encourage development that would decrease that stratification (like rezoning large-lot SFR zones to allow for higher density and commercial uses to support mass transit, get rid of food deserts, etc. and also incentivizing affordable rather than market-rate housing development so different socioeconomic classes can afford to live in those areas)."

1  · 
x-jla

I disagree with their “solutions” but think they point out the problems pretty clearly, although they didn’t really talk about the impediment to small economic development....

 · 

lol, you bring up an example of a problem and offer a solution. Your solution is torn apart for exacerbating the problems you were trying to solve. You try to do some mental gymnastics rather than concede and acknowledge the alternative because it would conflict with your political ideals and in the process end up posting articles that prop up what I was offering as an alternative solution as a glorious self own.

Thank you

[takes bow]

Good. Night.

1  · 
x-jla

Incorrect. Like I’ve said before, one can correctly identify a problem, and still propose an incorrect solution. The articles identify problems, and that’s why I posted them. You asked for that info.

 ·  1
x-jla

I can post libertarian leaning articles too.

 ·  1
x-jla

Night night

1  · 
tduds

"Abolishing Single-Family-Only Zoning Expands Freedom and Choice"

That's very different from abolishing zoning, and also a change I very strongly support. If anything this article is a point in EA's court - it's an argument for reform, not repeal.

2  · 

It just keeps getting better

 · 
x-jla

DID you read the article? “ I believe in reducing regulations so builders can provide a wide variety of housing products—from duplexes, to apartments to homes with big lawns.“. The author is obviously promoting a market solution and removing sfr zoning. How is this in support of EAs argument?

 · 
x-jla

sfr zoning is the subject of the article. They are talking about abolishing it and letting the market work. Just because it doesn’t expand further to include other zoning issues, you are saying that it’s not in support of my point...hahaha....

 · 

It's a poorly written article. The author will say whatever buzzwords or loaded phrases is needed to make it sound libertarian (at least enough to convince you anyway). That's fine, I wasn't expecting exceptional rhetoric or journalism. It's written as a libertarian call to action, but it lacks the supporting substance because what is actually happening is not what he claims it is. 

He mentions measures in Oregon and Virginia to abolish SFR zoning. Sounds great, until you click the link and read the articles he's linked on those topics. Here are the first two lines of each (emphasis mine): 

"The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill that largely bans single-family zoning statewide. It's a notable win for zoning reform advocates.

"Virginia is the latest state to consider sweeping state-level housing reform. A new bill would legalize duplexes on residential land statewide, making the Old Dominion the third state, after Oregon and California, to essentially abolish single-family zoning.

In case you were wondering, "largely" and "essentially" are modifiers there that mean they're not actually abolishing it. So the supporting articles state what is really happening, and it is really just reform, not abolishment of SFR zoning. 

More specifically, it's changing the laws to allow duplexes and up to four-family homes on SFR-zoned land in Oregon, provided you meet population thresholds, otherwise the allowance for more units doesn't apply. Here's a pertinent statement from the article the author linked to for the Oregon law, HB 2001: 

"HB 2001 legalizes the development of duplexes on residential land currently zoned for single-family housing in all communities with a population of 10,000 or more. The bill also allows for the construction of 'missing middle' housing—a term which refers to three- and four-unit homes—on single-family-zoned land in cities of 25,000 or more.

Likewise, the Virgina bill is also only about adding two-units to land zoned for one. 

"[The bill] would require Virginia's local zoning ordinances to allow two-family homes on all land that's currently zoned to permit only single-family homes.

If these were talking about abolishing zoning in the way that you've been presenting it all day, these would be presented as a failure to that goal because: 

  1. They're still zoned residential (so still restricting other uses and stifling freedom), 
  2. They don't allow greater than two- or four-unit developments (so still restricting higher densities and stifling freedom), 
  3. And most importantly they are simply reforming zoning laws already on the books, so not abolishment (basically stifling freedom). 

Don't get me wrong, like tduds, I support this kind of thing ... so I'm not attacking the effort in any way. I'm just pointing out that when it comes to supporting my argument of zoning reform, you're doing a pretty good job of it.

2  · 
x-jla

You are supporting deregulation. Calling it reform does not change the fact that it’s calling for less restrictive zoning to allow for more variety in housing types. Are we really going to argue on semantics? This is a topic that libertarians and progressives can mostly agree on. I’d rather meet half way then get caught up in arguments over semantics. Drug “reform” prison “reform” etc....call it what you want. Point is, the overall spirit is to remove government restrictions which is consistent with libertarianism.

 · 
x-jla

I think the libertarian parties biggest marketing error was to align with republicans. They should have taken a more eclectic left-right libertarian umbrella approach imo. The Green Party and libertarian party ought to just get married.

 · 
x-jla

They would be getting further,
and would have much more influence.

 · 
x-jla

What you don’t understand is that libertarians don’t expect their philosophy to be implemented in its pure form. The philosophy/activism/voting block is a counterweight to the persistence of authoritarianism and bureaucracy.

 · 
tduds

"Are we really going to argue on semantics?" 

Yes, because you opened with: "Zoning for instance should go into the waste basket" and when we called that rightfully ridiculous you doubled down. 

In any case it seems like now we mostly agree, but it was you who had to move towards what we were already saying, not the other way around. Frankly, it kinda reads as a dodge. Like you're trying to weasel out of your original absurd absolute statement by adopting the more tempered statement that EA originally countered with & then pretending it was your point all along. Even if we agree it leaves a bad taste, which I think is why you're still getting some pushback.

1  · 
x-jla

I’m not changing my original statement. I think that all/most zoning should be abolished. I think that all drugs should be legalized too, but It’s still a victory if only marijuana gets legalized. I’ll take some zoning deregulation over more more zoning regulation. Sfr zoning seems to be one part of this that we agree on. This does not mean that I think deregulation should stop there either, but baby steps.

 · 
x-jla

If we look at the commercial landscape, I’d argue that it’s even more stifling to upward mobility. Street vending, running businesses from home, food trucks, etc have all historically been the seedlings of small businesses. I’m old enough to remember when nyc was completely covered with an informal street marketplace until the city “cracked down”.

 · 
x-jla

Some of this is restricted through zoning regulations, some through other regulations...zoning certainly has been used to support the monied entrepreneurial class while stifling the small business (mostly immigrant) start up class.

 · 
x-jla

Inequality is being codified in other words. The state is giving advantages by restricting the use of the “public“ spaces that flank established businesses, while prohibiting others from utilizing those “public“ spaces to engage in free trade, and by creating a barrier to entry that often has a very high buy in cost (commercial property) by prohibiting the use of residential property for entrepreneurial functions (having a home based nail salon, catering business, mobile taco cart, etc). Both public and private property is restricted. However you want to dice it, this absolutely helps to reduce competition and fixes the market in favor of the established larger businesses to some degree.

 · 
x-jla

I believe LA and Houston rolled this back a little and now allow food trucks and similar things which is also not just good for startups, but imo it makes the city richer and more vibrant culturally.

 · 
tduds

"I think that all/most zoning should be abolished." 

Yeah, and we think that's wrong. Both extremes are bad. Just because you want one bad extreme doesn't mean anyone here is arguing for the other bad extreme, & it certainly doesn't make your bad extreme less bad. (I'm sure I'll come to regret using these oversimplified terms but, it's a simple argument).

1  · 

The semantics are what everyone argues over on most things; "defund the police" vs "police reform" vs. "ACAB" vs. whatever else is being used; "they're going to take our guns" vs. "gun reform" vs. "background checks" vs. whatever; plus plenty of other examples. Surely you can understand this as you use it to your advantage many times in these forums ... the issue is you got owned and are trying to get out of it without admitting defeat.

1  · 

Anticipating more wiggling around to save some face on this ... it's ok. Take this as a lesson that your extreme takes on things might need more preparation before you throw them out there. 

As you indicated earlier in this thread, and Wood Guy riffed on, you throw ideas out there to get scrutinized and chiseled ... but sometimes you got to let that pile of crap solidify before you present it for chiseling. 

Had you started with "calling for less restrictive zoning to allow for more variety in housing types," we probably would have been perfectly fine with that and we could have gone somewhere other than taking down the extremist, "Zoning for instance should go into the waste basket."

 · 
x-jla

“the issue is you got owned” I don’t see how components of one’s argument being successfully implemented is getting “owned”. Is the defund the police crowd getting “owned” when more moderate changes are implemented? You are refusing to align with a libertarian idea by claiming that it doesn’t count because it’s a moderate form of the more extreme vision. It’s like saying that universal healthcare isn’t a leftist idea because leftists want complete state run everything.

 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

"human nature" nothing magical at all..



Nov 30, 20 7:13 pm  · 
1  · 
x-jla

You’re right. That’s a loaded term.

 · 
archi_dude

Maybe if architecture offices embraced capitalism and incorporated sound business practices focused on providing real business value rather than relying on passion and utopian ideas they wouldnt but such shit places to work. Is that what the original question was?

Nov 30, 20 8:54 pm  · 
3  · 

I think you've just worked at shitty firms archi.

1  · 
SneakyPete

They aren't mutually exclusive.

3  · 
x-jla

Agree with the embrace capitalism part...but having big ideas is a driver of innovation. Elon Musk’s big idea of colonizing other planets drives the technical Nuts and bolts engineering.

 · 
astronaut

x-jia, you're barking up the wrong tree here... this place is filled with left leaning ideologues (Not that there is anything particularly wrong with their beliefs, some of which I also agree as well). Majority of threads (especially polarizing topics) are simply echo chambers where opposing viewpoints are addressed with condescension and snobby elitism on both sides. Take for example the career burn out, low wages, career change, portfolio review threads etc. Like the rest of the internet, many on here are armchair 9-5 academics that have nothing better to do other than waste their employer's time.

Responding to OP's question - I think it's a balance. Finding the right balance is incredibly difficult and not many get the luxury to be in that position. However one thing I noticed is that you need a lot of work, money, luck to be in a place where you can truly be creative and select your clients. Majority of the 'acclaimed' firms and architects started out on the lower end of the spectrum dealing with shitty clients or projects to build enough capital and connections to pursue their own creative interests or clients that align with their vision. Its just the way things works, you can't expect yourself to bat a home run the first try. It all takes time and is part of the 'design process'.

Dec 3, 20 9:42 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Based on your few previous comments, you've probably been out of architecture school for a couple of years at this point?

2  · 
SneakyPete

I particularly love the condescending tone
 they use while condemning others' condescending tones.

3  · 
x-jla

astronaut, I try to be the dampening panel to their echo chamber.

 · 
tduds

More like the air horn drowning out the conversation.

1  · 
Wood Guy

x-jla, you dampen it alright ;-)

1  · 
luvu

" Majority of the 'acclaimed' firms and architects started out on the lower end of the spectrum dealing with shitty clients or projects to build enough capital and connections to pursue their own creative interests or clients that align with their vision "

Don't think this statement is true. The career path of people like Hadid, Bjarke, Koolhass or HdM is quite the opposite. Hadid's first built-project came after more than 15-20 years of practicing/teaching. The firm purely survived because of her wealthy background and that's just one way of getting ahead in architecture.

 · 
luvu

-

Dec 6, 20 1:59 am  · 
 · 

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