Pages

November 1, 2009

Some people ain't understanding the whole Socialist ethic

That whole brotherhood of man thing...

... sure does work out well, on paper at least:

Just as Le Corbusier's white cruciform towers once excited visions of the industrial-age city of the future, so Vélib’, Paris’s bicycle rental system, inspired a new urban ethos for the era of climate change.

Residents here can rent a sturdy bicycle from hundreds of public stations and pedal to their destinations, an inexpensive, healthy and low-carbon alternative to hopping in a car or bus.

But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.

With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program's organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them. And along with the dent in the city-subsidized budget has been a blow to the Parisian psyche.

"The symbol of a fixed-up, eco-friendly city has become a new source for criminality," Le Monde mourned in an editorial over the summer. "The Vélib’ was aimed at civilizing city travel. It has increased incivilities."

h/t no pasaran

31 comments:

Opus #6 said...

When will they learn. You can't fight human nature. Enlightened self-interest, Capitalism. That is what works. I am sad for their bicycles.

LL said...

I didn't ride the bicycles in Paris, but in Leon. You need a debit card to rent the bike - and honest people use the bicycles fairly. It's not a bad system. Things fall apart with the Muslim crime groups (mainly Muslim) who use counterfeit or stolen debit cards to "rent" the bikes, throw them on a truck and off they go to parts unknown to be re-sold on the black market. Therefore the trusting French spent 3,500 on a bicycle that is stolen readily and exported or simply ridden by a criminal. (the bikes all look alike - how would anyone know whether a particular bike is stolen or not?)

In the smaller towns in France, I'm sure that the system works because everyone knows everyone else. In the cities and in the high Muslim (=high crime) areas, it's a joke.

Rhod said...

They're hocking the bikes for cash to get them out of Velib and away from Corbusier minimalism and brutality.

cbullitt said...

Rather than scrub the idea--these merds spend more money to hire people to maintain the fucked-up program. That is hilarious.

As Clouseau would say, "I fart in your general direction."

Anonymous said...

Ope, Enlightened self-interest can potentially work well in an enlightened self-interested society.

Anonymous said...

LL, I have had the same experience trying to get third graders to share candies equally. To think I could leave the room and allow the better instincts of the mob to solve the problem would be naive.

Anonymous said...

Rhod... not to mention the ennui.

Anonymous said...

cbull... I believe that was Voltaire.

Unknown said...

I am quite certain the health care bill will have a billion dollar ear mark for this program in some small town in northwest Nebraska with a population of 106.

Doom said...

There is nothing like proving socialism is stealing than, well, stealing. It proves the point that the people who press these things are either ignorant or socialisticly so orthodox and dogmatic that they forget they are still on terra firma and people are simply people.

It is nice that some people are innocent enough to still believe, but these people should be protected from their own vote. And everyone else's taxes should be protected from those votes as well. If they have money for such causes, let them do it on their own nickel. I am sure Gates, Soros, and some of the others wouldn't mind... would they? They say they are for the "little man", they push for socialism, why not try it commercially first? Bah!

Anonymous said...

Arby, can you spell stimulus?

Anonymous said...

Doom...

"orthodox and dogmatic"? I prefer ignorant and inefficient.

Doom said...

Fine, and I think I know your sentiment, but I love batting the ball back into their court using their curses. It just has a... a ring to it. You should see one of their faces when THEY are called dogmatic, at least once it is explained. *ornery grin*

Anonymous said...

Sad. It's not actually the "socialists" that are ruining what could be a great scheme. If you feel part of a community you don't steal from it. The breakdown of society and the rise of individualism might be blamed for what has happened here. I must admit I wouldn't throw good money after bad - clearly this isn't going to work in Paris. Other European towns and cities do report success with cycle- and car-sharing schemes so all is not lost. And with the coming energy crisis we have to find alternatives to the car.

Rhod said...

The rise of individualism is responsible for the breakdown of society?

A positively evil proposition.

Anonymous said...

"Evil"? Strange choice of words .....

If you are focused only on yourself and your own route through life and don't give a damn about others then I personally don't see that as a great way to live. I have lived long enough to perceive that British society is not as cohesive as it was 30 years ago - my parents' generation feel things were even better in the 50s and 60s. I am attributing the change in Britain to what happened in the 1980s - the rise of individualism - not everyone agrees, that's fine ... that's called debate ......

I don't think your views, and those given by the other blog-owners are "evil", just different. I have enjoyed visiting this blog for intelligent debate but will desist if you continue using such terms. As a Christian I don't consider what I am proposing is "evil".

Rhod said...

We can begin here. Was your search for the "right" society in which to live - the US, Canada or Britain an expression of your individualism or just your Self?

Spare me your outraged righteousness.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point Rhod.

I, as an individual, was seeking like-minded people and a society that worked for me (I've not tried Canada yet!).

I don't reject individualism completely. If you read my posts on this blog you'll see I advocate social democracy not socialism. I think I've just got so sick of being labelled a "socialist" because I can see some of the benefits of society and working together as a community that I have reacted with "outraged righteousness". I apologise.

I do find the word "evil" particularly offensive though - I am sure fellow Christians on here will understand why.

Rhod said...

As a Christian, where do you stand on the primacy of the individual rooted in, say, the Protestant Reformation or its secular heir, Liberalism?

Satan is iar; maybe he lied to you.

Rhod said...

That is, Satan is a liar.

Anonymous said...

I consider myself a Christian because I follow Christ's teachings and example and ask myself "What would Jesus do?". I do not align myself with any particular Church or philosophy as these are a result of mankind's interpretation of the Bible/Christ's teachings.

Anonymous said...

Anyway .... just to move the debate back to the original very interesting post .... how do the advocates of individual responsibility envision tackling the looming energy crisis and the accompanying sharp rise in the price of gasoline. Please note, I am not inviting a debate on global warming/climate change ...... it's more to do with the fact that cheap fossil fuels can no longer be taken for granted (unless someone knows of an infinite reservoir of oil) and I don't see any viable alternative to powering the private car.

Thoughts?

el chupacabra said...

But, surely in a more civil, mature America a similar program would work right?

No, Chupa it wouldn't and stop calling me Shirley!

Ha, beat you to it.

Rhod said...

Instead of "mankind's interpretation of the Bible/Christ's teachings" you elevate your own? You're non-denominational and that's your reason, such as it is.

Yes, your proposition was evil; you chose to take it personally and flaunt your Christianity as insight into what "evil" is. In so doing, you excluded me from that insight, displaying your spiritual pride.

One aspect of evil is to depersonalize immorality, to assign some external cause to its expression...to an abstraction like "individualism" or capitalism rather than a disturbance in the soul.

Crime, which you call the "breakdown of society" is not an expression of individuality nor capitalism but the expression of individudal immorality.

A thousand crimes is simply a thousand departures from a moral code of conduct. No "social democracy" (questions about which you have evaded before)is going to instill a moral sense or make a person "good", or result in his personal salvation.

Jesus's temptation of the Kingdoms of the Earth while in the wilderness meant something important about the prospect of extending His reach through worldly power.

I'm sure that you don't see it that way.

T. F. Stern said...

Taxing my memory; but Rich De Voss, one of the fellows who started the Amway Corporation, made a motivational tape many many years ago where he explained the concepts which separate the free market from one which is dependent on the State.

In a nutshell, those who own the tools of production are the ones who produce more every time.

Farmers who own their own land and tractors will put lights on it so as to add productivity to an already difficult means of making a profit. Those who work for the State walk away at the end of the day and don't give it another thought.

We have a push here in America to subsidize low income folks, who ever they might be, with free cell phones; just give it to them as if it were a God given right to talk on the phone. Next will be free computers, free internet access, free cable tv and the list never ends when it's an entitlement that can be rationed by those in power.

Stop me quick, my veins are swelling.

Anonymous said...

Heavy ..... I only "flaunted" my Christianity because I felt you were using the word "evil" inappropriately. I do not elevate my interpretation of Christ's teachings .... I just try to understand him through my own eyes and not through another who might have their own agenda.

Crime is immoral - agreed - I condemn the people who stole the bicycles mentioned in this post as much as you. For whatever reason they didn't feel part of Parisian society - I am not qualified to guess why - and they didn't feel guilty about trashing what should have been a great scheme. Shame on them. In other European locations these ideas work well.

If the world were filled with advocates of individual responsibility with a strong moral outlook (regardless of religion) then your system would work fine I'm sure. Charitable giving and community schemes would substitute quite adequately for "big government". I am pessimistic that the world is such a wonderful place. (And by the same token pure socialism won't work either)

Rhod said...

TF, the pseudo-morality which hold socialism together don't value the self-interest you describe - unless a portion of the productivity can be allotted to others who have less.

A just society has an obligation to its weakest members without enlarging the ranks of dependency.

That's the problem.

Anonymous said...

"A just society has an obligation to its weakest members without enlarging the ranks of dependency."

I like that - at last something we can agree on Rhod! :o)

Rhod said...

CL, "individualism" is a pejorative to people who believe, generally, as you do.

To blame disreputable conduct on individualism is to merge a good thing, the individual, with a bad concept from a theological point of view, The Self or the ego.

Individualism as a social evil emerged in 19th century France, although I need to check my forty-five year old notes to refresh my memory on it.

Christianity - and I don't want to argue this point (anyone can disagree) - released the person from the hurdle of intermediaries to salvation and importance in the eye of God. Charity is something else entirely, and not dependent upon, or pivotable, to being loved by God as an individual.

I'm a fallen, skeptical, former Christian, but still believe that until something more acutely perceptive than Christianity describes the nature of man, I'll believe in it.

Nothing in it entails the subordination of individuality to the collective.

Anonymous said...

Rhod - thank you for your explanation of your philosophy. Definitely food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Wow.