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Vini

Capitalism FTW

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14 hours ago, McWickedSmawt85 said:

Capitalism is a requirement for healthy economies for the most part.  There are some exceptions, like Iceland.  The problem that capitalist economies tend to have is they throw a tantrum when it comes to a socialized safety net, which ironically is what keeps the middle class strong, which in turn supports capitalism.

 

Iceland isn't an exception. It has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world, and it's "tax revenue to GDP" ratio is lower than countries like France and Germany.

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14 hours ago, dakur said:

Capitalism won't last forever. It is already in a pretty big crisis. Competition for the sake of profit is going to deplete the resources we have left and capitalism preaches constant growth on a finite system (Earth) a thing which is logically and practically unsustainable. A change of system is much needed but I don't think it will happen before a huge collapse of the current one.

 

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8 minutes ago, Saucer said:

 

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Maybe not in our lifetime. People forget that the span of a human life is pretty much a second in historical terms. Capitalism is not a sustainable system in the long run and the crisis it is having now will only get worse unless we move into space or add a form of strict moral checks and balances in the free market rules.

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1 hour ago, dakur said:

Maybe not in our lifetime. People forget that the span of a human life is pretty much a second in historical terms. Capitalism is not a sustainable system in the long run and the crisis it is having now will only get worse unless we move into space or add a form of strict moral checks and balances in the free market rules.

 

Capitalism has cured poverty in most of the developing world. It has saved billions of lives. We've never had lower rates of extreme poverty in the world. It's unforgivably ignorant to not be aware of these amazing benefits and claim that it's outdated or somehow unfit and doomed, or to attribute this miraculous level of progress to anything else. 

 

 

 

Please watch that video and reconsider your views.

 

Edited by Vini

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22 minutes ago, Vini said:

 

Capitalism has cured poverty in most of the developing world. We've never had lower rates of extreme poverty in the world. 

 

 

 

Please watch that video and reconsider your views. 

Funny how the guy talks about ignorance yet pretends to summarize world history of the last decades to the factor or free enterprise alone. No serious analysis needed. Five minutes of a nice edited video is enough. Just have faith in the free hand of the market that everything fixes. It's like a religious dogma where the meticulous analysis of evidence is thrown away for preaching and "selling" (like the guy mentions) the idea that capitalism is good and is here to make your life better. The missionaries of god money.

 

It reminds me of when Kissinger was confused at the reaction in Chile when the US supported a coup that overthrew and killed their democratically elected president. Kissinger was recorded as saying something along the lines "why are they not praising us!? We are saving them for catastrophic consequences. They should be thanking us!". Putting it in today's terms would be like Putin saying "Why are americans not thankful about us controlling their elections!? We know what's better for them! They should be thankful and just bend the knee and accept our version of democracy which is elect whatever you like freely as long as you elect what we like!"

 

Let me point a simple fault in this free market argument just as an example. Take a look at this data: https://ourworldindata.org/hunger-and-undernourishment

 

If you manipulate the sliders of the several graphs you'll see a diminishing in hunger and malnourishment in most South American countries from the year 2000 on. Most of those countries were under heavily socialist governments. Even Venezuela diminished its malnourishment overall even though people say it is a chaotic failure of socialism. Cuba went down too even with economic blockage (Cuba actually had pretty low malnourishment in the first place after decades of a communist government). So are we supposed to give this period of time also to free enterprise? Even though most of these countries didn't support free market laws during this period or even before since many of the free trade agreements from the region are pretty recent?

 

Free enterprise alone can't solve all the problems. That's why people in developing countries don't accept the free market as their lord and savior, because they have seen the effect of it in their communities. The promises that a guy from a first world economy on a suit in a 5 minutes video makes means little to a farmer in a developing country who no longer can sell their product cause the highly subsidized cheaper alternative from the US or China reaches their market. Free market has created a dependency of developing countries on the economy of developed ones but it has hardly created wealth on developing countries except for a few people on the top. It's not free market but mostly a manipulated market, the bigger your economy is the easier it is for you to call the shots. Why do you think the US is now whining over China? Finally China became big enough that they can play economics on a leveled field with the US and the US doesn't like others calling the shots and manipulating like they've done with their "free market" dogma for decades. Because a free market is not actually free market. In the end it's only free for those on the top making the rules and calling the shots. The free market created the crisis in 2008, the government saved the "free market" from a complete collapse. Many of these libertarians preaching for free enterprise and small governments are the first to beg for government protections when their free utopia causes the shit to hit the fan. They are more dependent on a big government to survive and clean their mess than even lots of socialists.

 

So people in developing countries like  those in Latin America keep fighting for fair trade instead of free trade because these differences in power have to be accounted for when you make trade treaties. A thing that is lost to the free trade apostles since they know nothing about the realities of the people in developing countries and they come from their point of view of the developed world to pretend to give solutions to people living in complete different realities. 

 

I think capitalism has indeed helped increase the production of wealth worldwide. I have defended that capitalism is actually a necessary step towards a more marxist configuration of society. Even Marx himself said that. So I think capitalism, even with all its faults, is a necessary (evil) step in the evolution of human society. i just don't think it is the end all of our evolutionary road towards becoming something better because capitalism is inherently flawed in its roots and unsustainable in the long run. I'm not a religious person, I don't believe in a God out of pure faith and I'm not going to start believing in capitalism and free market out of pure faith either. I come from a developing country and I know from first hand that what that guy in that video is saying is complete nonsense. I will instead, keep reading, learning and understanding society as a complex system that responds to complex factors and trying to understand the role each factor plays in the whole process because I enjoy that. I don't enjoy being led by dogmatic views of reality though.

 

And before you say anything I'm not saying countries like Cuba or Venezuela are the ideal models of society. I have also big criticisms about the implementation of socialist ideals in developing countries even though I could be using a simple graph or video to justify their superiority. It is a constant struggle to  find a system that manages to adapt to times and help the most people. I also don't also consider capitalism an evil that shouldn't even be mentioned like many of the apostles of capitalism do with socialism and communism. I think all systems have good and bad. But I think capitalism is reaching its usefulness period pretty fast now and society should start considering alternatives and being more flexible. Ironically that's what that guy in the video said, that more people are starting to question capitalism as if that's something bad. The only constant in the universe is change, things that don't change die from inertia and get broken eventually.

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3 hours ago, Saucer said:

 

Which in turn were mostly driven by market reforms in China and India. China began liberalizing its economy in '78, and the results have been incredible. 

 

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Right, my irony was mostly directed to the 'western' part of it

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Other results of the current implementation of capitalism:

- Gross inequality and concentration of wealth/power

- Climate change that will soon turn into climate disaster

- The growth of corporate conglomerates with a huge hold on the market. The number of Mergers & Aquisitions in the last few years almost outstrips the amount of new companies being created

 

 

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Interesting post from Dakur I will respond in a little bit I had shit to do

 

Edited by Vini

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On 2018-08-06 at 8:01 AM, dakur said:

 

If you manipulate the sliders of the several graphs you'll see a diminishing in hunger and malnourishment in most South American countries from the year 2000 on. Most of those countries were under heavily socialist governments. Even Venezuela diminished its malnourishment overall even though people say it is a chaotic failure of socialism. Cuba went down too even with economic blockage (Cuba actually had pretty low malnourishment in the first place after decades of a communist government). So are we supposed to give this period of time also to free enterprise? Even though most of these countries didn't support free market laws during this period or even before since many of the free trade agreements from the region are pretty recent?

 

Free enterprise alone can't solve all the problems. That's why people in developing countries don't accept the free market as their lord and savior, because they have seen the effect of it in their communities. The promises that a guy from a first world economy on a suit in a 5 minutes video makes means little to a farmer in a developing country who no longer can sell their product cause the highly subsidized cheaper alternative from the US or China reaches their market. Free market has created a dependency of developing countries on the economy of developed ones but it has hardly created wealth on developing countries except for a few people on the top. It's not free market but mostly a manipulated market, the bigger your economy is the easier it is for you to call the shots. Why do you think the US is now whining over China? Finally China became big enough that they can play economics on a leveled field with the US and the US doesn't like others calling the shots and manipulating like they've done with their "free market" dogma for decades. Because a free market is not actually free market. In the end it's only free for those on the top making the rules and calling the shots. The free market created the crisis in 2008, the government saved the "free market" from a complete collapse. Many of these libertarians preaching for free enterprise and small governments are the first to beg for government protections when their free utopia causes the shit to hit the fan. They are more dependent on a big government to survive and clean their mess than even lots of socialists.

 

The concept presented in this video is predacated on a heirarchy of empires using capitalism successfully to trickle wealth down to developing countries. I don't think capitalism can save developing countries, they may very well be better off having a socialist system on their own. 

 

On 2018-08-06 at 8:01 AM, dakur said:

 

I think capitalism has indeed helped increase the production of wealth worldwide. I have defended that capitalism is actually a necessary step towards a more marxist configuration of society. Even Marx himself said that. So I think capitalism, even with all its faults, is a necessary (evil) step in the evolution of human society. i just don't think it is the end all of our evolutionary road towards becoming something better because capitalism is inherently flawed in its roots and unsustainable in the long run. .

 

And what's the data suggesting Marxism is sustainable in the long run? All I know is judging by what we've seen in history and nothing has come close to adapting to human psychology and heirarchies like capitalism. 

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37 minutes ago, Vini said:

And what's the data suggesting Marxism is sustainable in the long run? All I know is judging by what we've seen in history and nothing has come close to adapting to human psychology and heirarchies like capitalism. 

Capitalism hasn't survived in the long run yet. The roman empire lasted 3000 years, our current industrial capitalism as we know it today has, what? 200 years if as much? That's not exactly long run and it is already having huge crisis.

 

It has already devolved into "crony capitalism" which Voidler mentioned. But crony capitalism is just the logical progression of a capitalist system. A perfect capitalist system is a utopia, meaning it doesn't exist.

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4 hours ago, dakur said:

Capitalism hasn't survived in the long run yet. The roman empire lasted 3000 years, our current industrial capitalism as we know it today has, what? 200 years if as much? That's not exactly long run and it is already having huge crisis.

 

It has already devolved into "crony capitalism" which Voidler mentioned. But crony capitalism is just the logical progression of a capitalist system. A perfect capitalist system is a utopia, meaning it doesn't exist.

 

No utopian system has or will ever exist, not with us in it. The thing that you're missing about capitalism, same thing Marx missed, is that it's the most honest attempt at a system that our species has ever come up with. 

 

It's based on the fact that we're hierarchical creatures and most of us will just play this dumb monopoly game we are born into without even questioning the nature of the game itself.  We're not these egalitarian creatures that want the best for each other, we're tribal, greedy, half good half evil comfort seeking ape things. Cronyism and greed are not signs of a failing system, they're signs of inevitable human nature and need to be punished by law in order to keep at bay. 

 

Marxism assumes goodness in people, and most people who believe it are good natured people.  Otherwise known as naive. People who think we are on our way to some utopian system if only we calibrate all the right metrics and turn the right valves. That this insane deadly game of monopoly has to be a stepping stone and can't possibly be the best we can do. Sorry, it is. And we're not ushering in utopia any time soon.

 

Edited by Vini
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3 hours ago, dakur said:

The roman empire lasted 3000 years,

Just wanted to correct you on that. The roman empire didn't last 3000 years, no civilization ever lasted that long and it followed an economic system that more closely resemble capitalism than anything else mixed with slavery. 

 

Sorry, couldn't help it.

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2 hours ago, Ramza said:

Just wanted to correct you on that. The roman empire didn't last 3000 years, no civilization ever lasted that long and it followed an economic system that more closely resemble capitalism than anything else mixed with slavery. 

 

Sorry, couldn't help it.

youre right 3000 is ridiculous. 1500 could be more accurate I think 

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12 minutes ago, dakur said:

youre right 3000 is ridiculous. 1500 could be more accurate I think 

If you count the Byzantine Empire as successors to the Romans and count the time since Rome's founding, then yeah, it would be around 2000 years (rough estimate). Otherwise the actual Roman empire lasted about 600 years. (From Augustus being first Emperor to the Fall of Rome to the Visigoths)

 

But this is just on top of my head, I didn't check any facts but that's probably about right.

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5 hours ago, Vini said:

 

No utopian system has or will ever exist, not with us in it. The thing that you're missing about capitalism, same thing Marx missed, is that it's the most honest attempt at a system that our species has ever come up with. 

 

It's based on the fact that we're hierarchical creatures and most of us will just play this dumb monopoly game we are born into without even questioning the nature of the game itself.  We're not these egalitarian creatures that want the best for each other, we're tribal, greedy, half good half evil comfort seeking ape things. Cronyism and greed are not signs of a failing system, they're signs of inevitable human nature and need to be punished by law in order to keep at bay. 

 

Marxism assumes goodness in people, and most people who believe it are good natured people.  Otherwise known as naive. People who think we are on our way to some utopian system if only we calibrate all the right metrics and turn the right valves. That this insane deadly game of monopoly has to be a stepping stone and can't possibly be the best we can do. Sorry, it is. And we're not ushering in utopia any time soon.

 

Be wary of calling anything as "our nature". Everything is historical and subject to change, even evolution is a historical process. There's not such thing as essences.

 

You mention that we are hierarchical but what type of hierarchy are we talking about here? If you have to go all the way back to lobsters to explain our social structure then I would call that reaching. Take a look at our closest cousins. Two species chimpanzees and bonobos are equally apart from us in the evolutionary tree. Those are the two species with which we share most of our genetic make up. And yes, their social structures are hierarchical, but their hierarchy is very different and much more horizontal than the hierarchy from species like, say, gorillas. Sexual dimorphism correlates well with how hierarchical a social structure is because bigger males dominate smaller females easier so the bigger the male more access to females, as well as other physical characteristics like the size of the fangs since in a highly hierarchical structure males have to fight each other for top positions. Humans have both, the lowest of sexual dimorphism in apes and the smallest fangs. So both characteristics actually correlate to a more horizontal social structure than our closest relatives.

 

Even in more hierarchical structures it is not so clearcut how things work. If you read about the social dynamics of chimpanzees for example (there's a fascinating book by the great primatologist Frans de Waal called Chimpanzee Politics) you'll realize the incredible complexity that is behind the shallow interpretation of a hierarchical structure that is apparent at first glance. The whole group participates actively in the political and social life of the group, even the females have lots of power in their own way.

 

Yes, we have characteristics that makes us good competitors but we also have many characteristics that makes us good cooperators. We couldn't have survived without being highly cooperative since we survived Africa not thanks to our big fangs and claws but our capacity to organize and cooperate within groups. So a system that champions our competitive traits will of course claim that is our nature while other which champions our cooperative ones would say the opposite. It's up to us which one we feed more. Also, yes, there's good nature and bad nature from a ethical point of view but, again, to survive in a group good nature must prevail otherwise you end up alone. So no, humans are not primarily greedy and bad natured, the system we live in probably promotes values such as those but we could perfectly well have a system that promotes our good natured characteristics and cooperative values instead. We have evolved a lot from understanding human nature as "survival of the fittest" nonsense and that's basically capitlaisms mantra all the way back to Margaret Thatcher and Ayn Rand. It was a complete misinterpretation of Darwins work made by an economist, in other words, pure ideology.  

 

It is like you said. Humans pretty much accept the reality we are put in. If people are born in a system such as ours and are told that everyone is greedy, everyone is out to save their own asses and not anybody elses, everyone is competing and competition is a value in itself. Of course you're going to accept that as reality and as our nature. Even the hierarchical part, as western cultures are based heavily on a christian conception of the world where there is just one God at the top. It is a highly hierarchical conception of the universe. Other cultures and other religions have championed much less hierarchical and much more unified conceptions of society, nature and the Universe itself so maybe we have a chance to evolve towards a different version of our reality that allows us to see and experience the world and society differently.

Edited by dakur

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Any system will never be perfect because we aren't perfect. We are flawed pieces of shit. Most of us have good intentions but there are bad ones that always seem to end up at the top of our hierarchy. Like Trump, Putin, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini,  Franco, the Kim Jongs, Mao etc. 

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44 minutes ago, Cookester15 said:

Any system will never be perfect because we aren't perfect. We are flawed pieces of shit. Most of us have good intentions but there are bad ones that always seem to end up at the top of our hierarchy. Like Trump, Putin, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini,  Franco, the Kim Jongs, Mao etc. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/why-psychopaths-are-so-good-at-getting-ahead.html

 

Psychopaths in power could also be a consequence of highly hierarchical structures and not the other way around. Only like 1% of the population has psychopathic tendencies by birth but the percentage of psychopaths in positions of power is way higher than that. In more horizontal social structures that doesn't actually happen because the non-psychopatic people keep psychopaths in check. Psychopaths are useful in a way because they're pretty fearless so they make good explorers and they're good at trying new stuff that could ultimately save a group from extinction but psychopaths as rulers is hardly a good thing I would say. 

 

I'm aware there are not perfect systems but things could probably improve. I'm not saying communism is the way but maybe something similar or something different but that shares some of those core values could be a possible goal to strive to. Anyways, my point is I don't think the current social and economic systems we live in now are sustainable for a much longer time.

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I've yet to find someone who can find me a convincing argument for a system better than nordic style welfare state mixed with free markets

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