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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote katesisco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jul-2005 at 11:30

I am thinking capitalism MODERATED by an open society that allows for social mobility is the benefit of all the goodness that is claimed for capialism alone.  It seems that societies that have access to unclaimed resources do the least harm.  When all resources have been attached or claimed, capitalism moves onto profiting from inventing (pharma, etc) sources from which to profit, and the necessity of convincing others to purchase these items, the need for which is often created, not in existence.  So doesn't it follow that the wealth created by posing an illusionary need is a waste of society's resources? 

History shows us that the initial blossoming of civilizations is where the advances occur.  Later, the society succumbs from its own excesses of greed.  The mobility in a society is its greatest asset.  Our own young society here in the US is still mobile; but I would assert that it is developing its own case of arterialscloresis.  More and more, jobs that have traditionally been a road to upward mobility are becoming, unnoticed by most of us, jobs that are closed to most. 

If one looks at India's caste system, where birth determines rank, doesn't it give one pause to think that most of the government jobs go to individuals that have a father/mother/relation who also is a government employee?  Firemen have brothers, father, uncles who are firemen, as we saw from 9/11.  Teachers have parents who are teachers.  Police more than any other have begun to have an almost paternalistic aspect to hiring.  Does this not indicate ranks of upward mobility are closing to many, and society is becoming more strictured? 

China's long history came down to the peasant's loftiest ambition of having a son or daughter become a civil servant.  Japan settled its long interal warfare with the samuri uniting the country and establishing 5 castes of which the samuri were the top.  Youth in a civilization means looseness and more individual freedom and old age means closed ranks and regulation. 

I do not see capitalism as contributing anything different than other cililizations.  It is our youth that has led us this far, and we, like all other clivilizations, will have a future of restrictions for the many, unlimited wealth for the few. 

In the forseeable future, our conquest of the land for its resources has led to a challenged sea and atmosphere.  Much scientific research goes on now in determining how much toxic exposure the human body can endure before declining.  This is in direct response to the everywhere pollution that our current industrial society has created.  We face the daunting fact that our basic gene components will be manipulated to allow us to withstand this pollution in much the same way the incsects have evolved to survive organochlorine pesticides. 

We have allowed profit to be the overriding factor in this society and unfortunately technology has advanced sufficiently to allow many created toxins to be distrubuted throughout our world.  This seems to be the one major difference in our society.  It seems that we humans will change and we will be the ones to orchestrate the change, not nature.  Life evolved to breath carbon dioxide and changed to survive in an oxygenated atmosphere.  Our change will not be new, just different. 

 

So basically, if you get the change to be a member of a Mars colonization, take it.  Your culture will be fresh and individualistic, for a while anyway. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote katesisco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jul-2005 at 12:34

I like this discussion of capitalism and democracy from Harvard Business School.  Raises two salient points:  can the inherent evils of capitalism destroy it internally, and wether it can adapt after losing the resource-stimulated economic engine and adapt to its replacement, intellectual property. 

I have already posted my thoughts as to capitalism's inability to allow upward mobility for all, and the very real future of participation in capitalism in a consumer-only society.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jul-2005 at 12:46

All economic and political systems yet devised by man are cleptocracies and capitalism is the poster boy for cleptocracies. What I mean by that, is that in any society beyond a certain size, under all current systems, an unequal redistribution of wealth will occur. Whether the wealth gets siphoned off by a corrupt political elite, such as in communism, or accumulated by corporations such as in capitalism is a moot point. By the very nature of a cleptocracy, most of the wealth generated by the work of millions will inevitably end up in the hands of a few individuals.

When someone gets rich in a capitalist system, they don't get rich because that person worked very hard. They get rich because hundreds, thousands or millions of other people worked very hard and the person becoming wealthy has known how to exploit the system to place herself in a position to accumulate the wealth generated by all those other people. Somebody like Dave Thomas of Wendy's may have started off poor, but after a while his own work only provided an insignifcant addition to his wealth. Most of his wealth comes from  the work of thousands of underpaid workers, usually coming from poor families. For every Dave Thomas, there's millions of people who work for him to get rich.

America and Europe, and lately East Asia have gotten to be very rich by siphoning off wealth from other countries. African, Asian and Latin American colonies have exported wealth to most of Europe for hundreds of years. America exploited its black slaves, its satellites in Latin America and the Pacific, and of course its very large poor population. It also got a lot of its wealth during the 2 world wars, mostly in capital from Britain. Capital which had been gained over centuries of the African slave trade, the Chinese opium trade, trade with sugar worked off by slaves in the Carribean, etc.

 


Now, capitalism has proved itself to be more efficient in the motivation of people and therefore in the ultimate creation of wealth. That is, society as whole gets richer under capitalism than under any other system. Communism for example simply does not motivate people to work as hard. But capitalism also creates a huge problem in the unequal distribution or wealth. What people often forget, is that there isn't a set wealth target that society must attain: it doesn't really matter how rich the society as a whole gets, if most of its members don't benefit from the wealth. To quote an often heard saying: "it's the journey that matters, not the destination".

I believe that until a non-cleptocracy comes along (which may be never), the best alternative is to moderate capitalism to allow for more wealth to be distributed to the poorer segment of the population, which actually constitues the majority. This is popularly termed socialism. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 12:19
Take it from a political science major. Capitalism is flawed and unstable. I believe that people tolerate capitalism because of two reasons: they don't know any other alternative and second they cling to the hope that they can become wealthy under capitalism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 17:34
Originally posted by Winterhaze13 Winterhaze13 wrote:

Take it from a political science major. Capitalism is flawed and unstable. I believe that people tolerate capitalism because of two reasons: they don't know any other alternative and second they cling to the hope that they can become wealthy under capitalism.


Nice to you hear from you again, winterhaze13.

so what is a more stable alternative?

Edited by hugoestr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 17:44
Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

thats not true, captilism was adopted by South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and SInghapore, hence they are more sucessful than their beighbors and most have living conditions on par with western countries , soem even greater.


But Capitalism is also the rule in most Africa and Latin America and see how they're doing. Russia sunk after transition to Capitalism and now it's a mafia-state like Nigeria.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 22:09

Because they were idiots about it.  Russias collapse I have personally studied and it reall yhas to do with two things, first the complete and total collapse of the old system, and second, jumping in too fast.  No system no matter how good or bad can be succesfully adapted to a society without any plan or contingency.  Why did Japan become a succesful capitlaist country? Lok at the gradual changes in policy and a smooth intelligent transition throughout the Meiji era. 

And Africa and much of Latin America relative poorness has nothing to do with any economic system.  They are victims of poor geography and resources only valuable to foreigners.  They can catch up but they have a long way to go no matter what system they use.  Trust me and Im speaking as an African History Major, do not underestimate how thoroughly geography can screw you over no matter what economic system you use.

And anyway, where was that article Cywr linked to about business starting to boom in SOmalia now that theres no government?  Government is the bane of all mankind, regulating commerce and behavior and ruining all of our individual chances to really prove ourselves.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 22:44
Ok. So let's everywhere Somalize ourselves. Nothing about Taiwan or Singapore models. Somalia is the model to follow. Chaos rules!

Latin America isn't poor for lack of resources. It's poor for colonial practices and corruption. But corruption is one of those things that always go hand by hand with Capitalism.

Cuba is in the same Latitude as Singapore, Argentina in that of Australia... there are many other factors.

Some seem to put Capitalism as something that only applies in rich countries but that's not true. Nowadays and for a long time that rule has applied to most of the world and most of the world is still absolutely poor. Only directed economies like socialist states and SE Asian despotisms have managed to break that rule. In fact Britain and the USA are the only two exceptions to the rule that a country with pure economic market can prosper. All others have needed socialist tactics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 22:55
certainly you sometimes need other methods, Im no ideologue and I would mix and match whatever to get a working model.  And no, its not just about lattitude, its about land-sea connections and were certain things are located.  No one temperature is best, its all in the combination.  I really think the Japanese model is the best way to take a 3rd world nation and make it first class in free trade, Im just saying that Somalias economy is pulling ahead of its neighbors, and it probably does have to do with the chaotic situation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2005 at 23:00
Capitalism is simply masked communism... in capitalism most wealth is in the hands of those that exploit through business... in communism most wealth is in those who exploit through the state and force. Hey Stalin worked hard to get to the top too!!


Edited by vulkan02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mord Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2005 at 09:51

Originally posted by vulkan02 vulkan02 wrote:

Capitalism is simply masked communism... in capitalism most wealth is in the hands of those that exploit through business... in communism most wealth is in those who exploit through the state and force. Hey Stalin worked hard to get to the top too!!

Stalin did indeed work hard to  get to the top of a supposedly workers' paradise whose goal was a classless society.  Unfortunately, he also left millions of dead bodies on his climb to the top and continued to kill in order to stay at the top (something like 22 million?).

I find your idea that capitalism is masked communism simply absurd.  If you read Karl Marx (try reading Das Kapital, as opposed to his political pamphlets), you will see that capitalism is the main apparatus of class warfare of the Bourgeosie.  The problem with capitlism is that it always requries an expanding market, but once the market has expanded to its limit, the dicotomy between the The Bourgeorsie (who own the business) and the Proleitariate (those who work) also continues to expand; the rich get richer because there are less rich folks; the poor get poorer because there are more poor folks.  Eventually, the system of capitalism collapses under its own weight, and Proleitariate revolution occurs. 

This is my understanding (only partial) of Marxism in a condensed version. The market has not finished expanding, and we are still in an time of industrial expansion--witness China's capitalist growth in the last couple of years. 

Mord.

errr...left turn at vinland?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2005 at 12:06
Originally posted by vulkan02 vulkan02 wrote:

Capitalism is simply masked communism... in capitalism most wealth is in the hands of those that exploit through business... in communism most wealth is in those who exploit through the state and force. Hey Stalin worked hard to get to the top too!!


It's actually the other way around. Stalin's communism (actually Socialism as communism by definition assumes that no state exists anymore, read the classics, please) was very capitilistic in many senses. Even Lenin admitted (in a more flexible time of transition) that they hadn't achieved the socialist revolution but they may well have brought Russia to the capitalists stage.

Still Stalinist model only worked well in the time of mass production, the second phase of Capitalism, also known as Fordism or formal subsunction of work into capital (Negri). In the post-Modern days of Toyotism or actual subsunction, that model isn't efficient and eventually, after a failed attempt of reform, sunk.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 12:10

Statistics say more then words ever could. In 1979-2000, the real income of the poorest fifth of American households rose by 6.4%, while that of the top fifth rose by 70%. But that's not it. The top 1% of American households rose by 184%. THIS IS NOT PROGRESS!!!

Source: The Economist July 16th, 2005. Article named The Missing Rungs in the Ladder Page 17.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 12:59
Its also not capitlism either.  America is hardly a true capitalist nation, it has ingrown nepotism like any stagnating society.  The government policies stifle true free trade and simply concentrade waste into the hands of a few.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 13:29

Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

Its also not capitlism either.  America is hardly a true capitalist nation, it has ingrown nepotism like any stagnating society.  The government policies stifle true free trade and simply concentrade waste into the hands of a few.

 America's the most capitalist nation in the world.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 14:25
Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

Its also not capitlism either.  America is hardly a true capitalist nation, it has ingrown nepotism like any stagnating society.  The government policies stifle true free trade and simply concentrade waste into the hands of a few.


It's the unavoidable destiny of Capitalism.

Before, having competence from the Socialist field, it had to moderate itself a little and avoid being stagnated but now, with no true competence... can abandon itself to its true nature and worst vices.



Edited by Maju
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Winterhaze13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 14:35

Originally posted by Maju Maju wrote:

Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

Its also not capitlism either.  America is hardly a true capitalist nation, it has ingrown nepotism like any stagnating society.  The government policies stifle true free trade and simply concentrade waste into the hands of a few.


It's the unavoidable destiny of Capitalism.

Before, ahving competence from the Socialist field, it had to moderate itself a little and avoid being stagnated but now, with no true competence... can abandon itself to its trye nature and worst vices.

Also, in the early 21st century most of the economic growth comes from population growth and immigration. Hence middle-class incomes are stagnate, while the upper classes are making a killing. Likewise, jobs are not being created rather they are being recreated by evidence of the employment floor that exists. It doesn't create growth for those who need it the most.



Edited by Winterhaze13
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Originally posted by Decebal Decebal wrote:

All economic and political systems yet devised by man are cleptocracies and capitalism is the poster boy for cleptocracies. What I mean by that, is that in any society beyond a certain size, under all current systems, an unequal redistribution of wealth will occur. Whether the wealth gets siphoned off by a corrupt political elite, such as in communism, or accumulated by corporations such as in capitalism is a moot point. By the very nature of a cleptocracy, most of the wealth generated by the work of millions will inevitably end up in the hands of a few individuals.

For convenience I left out the rest of the post which I think just detailed the main point.

I generally agree, but concentrating on 'wealth', certainly in the narrow sense, I think fails to generalise the proposition as much as it can ne generalised.

What happens in any society is that power accumulates to the most powerful, because people with power use it to get more. 'Power' may or may not be expressed in wealth: it may be simply bureaucratic status as in the Soviet Union and Imperial China (bit of a question mark there because china went on so long).

That is an unstable situation. It can lead to the French Revolution or it can lead to the 1927 crash and the '30s depression (which essentially resulted from too many people being virtually excluded from the economic process, with the consequent collapse of demand).

There may not be too much point in arguing over the morality of the situation. That's the way things are, as the little mice sang in 'Babe'.

It can only be stabilised by institutionalising power 'leakage', a negative feedback system in which come centralised power/wealth is fed back to the less favoured. In a money-centred society where power derives from wealth that entails income redistribution (possibly capital redistribution) from the wealthy to the poorer groups.

In both the UK and the US in recent decades, the failure to provide such a mechanism - more, the removal of existing mechanisms - has created an unstable economic situation that can only lead to economic distress if not political/economic revolution (which may not be violent: there was a non-violent economic revolution in Britain and Europe in the late forties and fifties).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2005 at 09:42
Originally posted by gcle2003
<P>I generally agree, but concentrating on 'wealth', certainly in the narrow sense, I think fails to generalise the proposition as much as it can ne generalised.</P>
<P>What happens in any society is that power accumulates to the most powerful, because people with power use it to get more. 'Power' may or may not be expressed in wealth: it may be simply bureaucratic status as in the Soviet Union and Imperial China (bit of a question mark there because china went on so long).</P>
<P>That is an unstable situation. It can lead to the French Revolution or it can lead to the 1927 crash and the '30s depression (which essentially resulted from too many people being virtually excluded from the economic process, with the consequent collapse of demand). </P>
<P>There may not be too much point in arguing over the morality of the situation. That's the way things are, as the little mice sang in 'Babe'. </P>
<P>It can only be stabilised by institutionalising power 'leakage', a negative feedback system in which come centralised power/wealth is fed back to the less favoured. In a money-centred society where power derives from wealth that entails income redistribution (possibly capital redistribution) from the wealthy to the poorer groups.</P>
<P>In both the UK and the US in recent decades, the failure to provide such a mechanism - more, the removal of existing mechanisms - has created an unstable economic situation that can only lead to economic distress if not political/economic revolution (which may not be violent: there was a non-violent economic revolution in Britain and Europe in the late forties and fifties).</P>
<P>[/QUOTE gcle2003

I generally agree, but concentrating on 'wealth', certainly in the narrow sense, I think fails to generalise the proposition as much as it can ne generalised.

What happens in any society is that power accumulates to the most powerful, because people with power use it to get more. 'Power' may or may not be expressed in wealth: it may be simply bureaucratic status as in the Soviet Union and Imperial China (bit of a question mark there because china went on so long).

That is an unstable situation. It can lead to the French Revolution or it can lead to the 1927 crash and the '30s depression (which essentially resulted from too many people being virtually excluded from the economic process, with the consequent collapse of demand).

There may not be too much point in arguing over the morality of the situation. That's the way things are, as the little mice sang in 'Babe'.

It can only be stabilised by institutionalising power 'leakage', a negative feedback system in which come centralised power/wealth is fed back to the less favoured. In a money-centred society where power derives from wealth that entails income redistribution (possibly capital redistribution) from the wealthy to the poorer groups.

In both the UK and the US in recent decades, the failure to provide such a mechanism - more, the removal of existing mechanisms - has created an unstable economic situation that can only lead to economic distress if not political/economic revolution (which may not be violent: there was a non-violent economic revolution in Britain and Europe in the late forties and fifties).

[/QUOTE wrote:

As someone who has lived in a communist society, actually one of the most oppressive communist regimes ever (1980s Romania), I can tell you that an increase in power or bureaucratic status will invariably be accompanied by an increase in wealth. I would argue that the great majority of people who climb up the social ladder, don't do so to get more power, but rather to get more wealth. People try get a better position in the government to accumulate more wealth from bribes. From what I know of Russian and Chinese history and other societies, such as Ottoman, bribes were central to the functioning of the society. Trust me: when you live in a society where most people don't have enough to eat (which has been the case with most societies in history), getting more money is a lot more important than ordering people around. Being in a position of authority is nice, since it also provides a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, but it is the increase in wealth that is most sought after.

Couls you please elaborate more on power leakage systems? With examples and ways to introduce these systems.

As someone who has lived in a communist society, actually one of the most oppressive communist regimes ever (1980s Romania), I can tell you that an increase in power or bureaucratic status will invariably be accompanied by an increase in wealth. I would argue that the great majority of people who climb up the social ladder, don't do so to get more power, but rather to get more wealth. People try get a better position in the government to accumulate more wealth from bribes. From what I know of Russian and Chinese history and other societies, such as Ottoman, bribes were central to the functioning of the society. Trust me: when you live in a society where most people don't have enough to eat (which has been the case with most societies in history), getting more money is a lot more important than ordering people around. Being in a position of authority is nice, since it also provides a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, but it is the increase in wealth that is most sought after.

Couls you please elaborate more on power leakage systems? With examples and ways to introduce these systems.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2005 at 11:26
Originally posted by Winterhaze13 Winterhaze13 wrote:

Originally posted by Maju Maju wrote:

Originally posted by Tobodai Tobodai wrote:

Its also not capitlism either.  America is hardly a true capitalist nation, it has ingrown nepotism like any stagnating society.  The government policies stifle true free trade and simply concentrade waste into the hands of a few.


It's the unavoidable destiny of Capitalism.

Before, ahving competence from the Socialist field, it had to moderate itself a little and avoid being stagnated but now, with no true competence... can abandon itself to its trye nature and worst vices.

Also, in the early 21st century most of the economic growth comes from population growth and immigration. Hence middle-class incomes are stagnate, while the upper classes are making a killing. Likewise, jobs are not being created rather they are being recreated by evidence of the employment floor that exists. It doesn't create growth for those who need it the most.


Well, I'd actually say that in post-Modern Capitalism (the age of real subsunction of Work in Capital, if we follow Negri) what actually creates wealth is speculation: real-state speculation, speculation on farming products leading to sick corporations-controlled farming, speculation on health issues, leading to so many plastified and replastified products, as well as the gratuitous consuption of so many unnecessary drugs, credit speculation, R&D speculation, oil speculation, etc.

In fact nowadays, truly productive activities as agriculture and industrial produtcion are almost marginal in the GNP of any developed country. Today GNP is made up basically on speculative and other commercial activities... a bubble that eventually will blow... with unavoidable destructive effects.

As W.S. Burroughs would say, the perfect Capitalist product is something like the drug (he meant heroin but it can also apply to other drugs and simmilar products): it serves no practical purpose (producing only subjective satisfaction) and the consumer becomes dependant on it quickly, coming always for more even if prices rise and quality peaks.


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