All of ruth_schlenker's Comments + Replies

I think almost all critiques of capitalism rest on a failure to understand what capitalism actually is. Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. Socialism is public or common ownership of the means of production. Capitalism is not greed. Socialism is not benevolence and love. They are systems of ownership. Once you see this, a lot of criticisms of capitalism melt away. 

This is one important contribution that Jason Brennan has made to philosophy - http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2014/06/socialism-%E2%89%A0-love-and-kindness-capi... (read more)

I'm surprised this comment was downvoted so much. It doesn't seem very nuanced, but here's obviously a lot going wrong with modern capitalism. While free markets have historically been a key driver of the decline of global poverty (see e.g. this and this), I don't think it's wrong to say that longtermists should be thinking about large scale economic transition (though should most likely still involve free markets).

A lot of people seem to hate EA because they come convinced they know the solutions to this and that, but EA tells them those solutions don't work and stuff they reject works.

For instance, if "neoliberal" means anything, it means kind of mixed economy with lots of liberal markets but with various regulations and welfare programs. Empirically, this seems to work better than anything else we've tried--by a lot! But lots of people want to reject that a priori and they hate how comfortable EAs are with doing what...works. 

A Case and Model for Aggressively Funding Effective Charities

I am more and more concerned with the neoliberal and undemocratic decision-making processes I constantly see being endorsed in EA. Sure, nonprofits are efficient in allocating funds in the short term, especially when they rely on singular billionaire donors as the author correctly notes. But a true longtermist perspective would focus more on government infrastructure development so that we don't have to rely on individual billionaires to get anything done. In fact, because of EA's commitment to intellectual humility in the decision-making process, we out t... (read more)