Capitalism and the human psyche

  • #26
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RVBUCKEYE said:
I agree whole-heartedly with most of your post but I have one problem with the "ethical capitalism". It's a good ideal to be stived for, but it is counter-productive if you have just one unethical person not playing by the rules. Capitalism mirrors humanity in the way it is survival of the fittest. All it takes is one company to exploit a business practice that all others might feel unethical, thus don't get invovlved with. (such as using sweat shops versus production in which employees are offered fair wages, insurance, etc.) The expense that the unethical company saves by not treating employees fairly could, in theory, help gain that competitive edge needed to corner a market. Certainly it is up the consumer not to buy those products until the unethical practices are stopped. But sometimes a consumers purchasing decisions are based on what they can afford, rather than lack of ethics. (I still shop at Wal-Mart occasionaly).

Sure it is the consumer that decides if a comany "survives" or not. The quality of the company's product decides the fate of the company when matched or not with those tastes, practises and expectations of the consumer. But it is ultimately the responsibility of the company to provide a quality product. This ensures the maintainence of a large consumer base... along with equitable pricing.

If the employees of a company are unhappy, their work is less than quality. If the employees are under-educated and under-trained and have cultural values that do not match those of the target market of the company's market, then the company begins to slip on the stock exchange because of poor sales performance. If the consumer is rallying against overseas employees the company slips even more.

Quality of product is a major point. It is plain to see with the slow failure of McDonalds Restaurants that even the most uneducated market knows bad food when then eat it. Why else would Ronald try to save his market with 'healthy choice' sandwiches... that really taste bad too? Its failure all around for this practise. Good food cannot be mass produced. But McD illustrates my point that a poor product will, eventually, crash a company.

If the company only sees the consumer as its "environment" where it needs to survive as the fittest... it's not seeing the whole picture. The health and welfare of its employees is just as important in wooing the consumer as its flashy ad campaign or its change of label. If the company is decimating the countryside and the people of some "far away" nation to feed the demands of consumers at home... how long before news of what the company is doing to the people, their families and their land gets back home and there is a sharp decline in sales. Then another company does it better with quality and ethics. A company may even find an alternative product that blows the other company's methodology right out of the water.

Take Toyota or Honda for example. They marketed the hybrid system heavily (as opposed to Ford and GM etc...) they got the jump on ethical vehicles. Ford is hurting and so are its employees. The US car makers are hurting because of a blind spot they seem to have when it comes to quality and ethics. Its like they don't get the financial news when it comes to oil prices and production. Ford bought rights to Hydrogen Fuel cell production but, they didn't push it.
 
  • #27
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quantumcarl said:
Take Toyota or Honda for example. They marketed the hybrid system heavily (as opposed to Ford and GM etc...) they got the jump on ethical vehicles. Ford is hurting and so are its employees. The US car makers are hurting because of a blind spot they seem to have when it comes to quality and ethics. Its like they don't get the financial news when it comes to oil prices and production. Ford bought rights to Hydrogen Fuel cell production but, they didn't push it.

Now you're speaking my language. It so happens I work for Ford and GMC. And have in the past handled Honda's as well. Years ago the reason imports got the jump on american cars was due to quality, no question. But american cars have come along way but still need to get better to compete. I think you are straying when you factor in ethics. I don't think ethics were the major factor in introducing clean-cars. The financial news is that we are in bed with the saudi's and will go to war in an attempt to keep oil prices cheap for americans. Japanese manufacturers didn't have this luxury, thus devoted more resources to this clean technology. It wasn't ethics to save the earth, it was lack of natural resources. So true they got the jump. Ford and Gm have been producing hybrid cars for years, the reason they didn't produce many is because they were dramaticlly more expensive. The reason they didn't research it as much as the japanese, is because americans weren't buying them. (cause gas is cheap). The reason why it is an issue today is not in an effort to save the earth (ethics), it's because gas prices are expected to raise dramatically. (lack of money) I'll tell you this, if China can produce a hybrid car, americans will buy them too. Because far few people have the luxury of spending the extra money on the added cost of producing an ethically manufactured anything.
 
  • #28
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RVBUCKEYE said:
Now you're speaking my language. It so happens I work for Ford and GMC. And have in the past handled Honda's as well. Years ago the reason imports got the jump on american cars was due to quality, no question. But american cars have come along way but still need to get better to compete. I think you are straying when you factor in ethics. I don't think ethics were the major factor in introducing clean-cars. The financial news is that we are in bed with the saudi's and will go to war in an attempt to keep oil prices cheap for americans. Japanese manufacturers didn't have this luxury, thus devoted more resources to this clean technology. It wasn't ethics to save the earth, it was lack of natural resources. So true they got the jump. Ford and Gm have been producing hybrid cars for years, the reason they didn't produce many is because they were dramaticlly more expensive. The reason they didn't research it as much as the japanese, is because americans weren't buying them. (cause gas is cheap). The reason why it is an issue today is not in an effort to save the earth (ethics), it's because gas prices are expected to raise dramatically. (lack of money) I'll tell you this, if China can produce a hybrid car, americans will buy them too. Because far few people have the luxury of spending the extra money on the added cost of producing an ethically manufactured anything.


The physics of the whole energy swicheroo away from oil demands that it actually happen regardless of the reasons. That what makes it ethical. The physics. The reasons for the appearance of the Hybrid system and the Fuel Cell powered vehicle may not seem like they are meant to save the Kangaroos and children's brains and lungs. But, that's where the physics demands we go and conservation of clean air, water and health will be some of many results.

That's what ethics produces, the fabled "win win" situation. In fact ethics is best described in this manner. Ethics = Win win.

If a company is not generating a win/win relationship with everyone from employees to the community to the environment then the company is not going to survive very long. There are many examples of this.

In the end, a company is its product. If it doesn't balance itself off with all the other factors in its environment then it is unfit and won't survive long. This is where "survival of the fittest" really refers to the (long term) survival of the most ethically efficient.
 
  • #29
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quantumcarl said:
The physics of the whole energy swicheroo away from oil demands that it actually happen regardless of the reasons. That what makes it ethical. The physics. The reasons for the appearance of the Hybrid system and the Fuel Cell powered vehicle may not seem like they are meant to save the Kangaroos and children's brains and lungs. But, that's where the physics demands we go and conservation of clean air, water and health will be some of many results.

This is an example of coincidence, not ethics. Just because the by-product of of these cleaner running vehicles happens to improve the environment is not the reason why the development of the technology is starting to catch on. Purchasing a hybrid might be an ethical decision for you personally, but that can't be applied to the whole of society. Its often their financial situation which governs what they spend their money on. If the cost of oil wasn't rising, the American car manufacturers wouldn't even be thinking of mass producing these vehicles.

I'm not trying to downplay the importance of companies trying to be ethical. I'm just saying that in a capitalist society, sometimes it boils down to cost-vs-ethics (from a consumer prospective). Where a lower price wins out over a usually higher priced, ethically produced product.
(I can save $5 and by a shirt produced in a sweatshop and feed my child, or pay $10 and my child goes hungry). (spur of the moment example, sorry)

Therein lies the problem. As long as decisions are made like this by the consumer, decisions will likewise be made like this by a company. "Ethical Capitalism" is an oxymoron. It's a good ideal to strive for, but highly unrealistic. Sad to say but unethical business practices can often be overcome by good advertising.
 
  • #30
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RVBUCKEYE said:
This is an example of coincidence, not ethics.



When oil runs out, something takes its place... that is a physical inevitibility and a basic principal of ethics - ie: replenishment and balance.

Ethics is simply the study of physics and how humans and other elements interact with nature and the nature of physics.

When you pit something non-renewable against something renewable... guess which is the only physically efficient choice... to support long term survival.

Long term survival is another physical attribute supported by ethics.

Capitalism without ethics only sees the quick profit as the best preservative of the company. Capitalism does not see the immediate danger caused by ••••ing in its own backyard. Nor does capitalism see how it is increasingly evident that the whole planet is everyone's backyard and no one wants a bunch of no-neck, unethical CEO's pooping in it.

Edit: If "results" like the production of renewable energy resources to offset a diminishing non-renewable energy resource are a "coincidence", then, apparently, it is an ethical "coincidence" brought about by the physics of a situation created by an unethical situation that was either wittingly or unwittingly created by a long precession of previous capitalists.
 
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  • #31
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sidebar

People seem to think ethics are a principal that can either be used or ignored. The truth is, ethics is a practise that strives to create a harmony and balance between the individual and the community, the community and the environment. When the cause of humanity (economics and lifestyles) and its effect on the environment and other communities create a balance that sustains both the community and the environment it is called ethics which is a manifestation of the physics of sustainability.

If the sustainable physics of ethics are not practised, the community, over various lengths of time and depending on the size of the population - fails. (See the history of the USSR)

The practise of ethics and sustainable physics also includes those interactions between the individuals, groups, companies and the nations of humanity. When the physics of these interactions are unbalanced, the culture of humanity falters. But the size of the population offers a second and third chance at getting it right. (See India/China)

I always like to use the rules of Driving as an analogy. When the physics that govern a vehicle do not ethically interact with the other vehicles, that vehicle fails to continue in its progress and slows other vehicle's progress. Its obvious.

So, to conclude my sidebar discourse, ethics may be a choice but it is ultimately a choice between the survival of an individual, group, company or nation
and the inablility for these entities to survive.
 
  • #32
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quantumcarl said:
People seem to think ethics are a principal that can either be used or ignored. The truth is, ethics is a practise that strives to create a harmony and balance between the individual and the community, the community and the environment. When the cause of humanity (economics and lifestyles) and its effect on the environment and other communities create a balance that sustains both the community and the environment it is called ethics which is a manifestation of the physics of sustainability.

Since when did "ethics" turn into "Ethics"? Like now it is some sort of idealistic lifestyle. Ethics means your morals. Simple and that. Not some "Jesus-like" lifestyle, where every tiny descision is scrutinized by whether or not it meets the bar of ethics. That's just not realistic. It's not what Capitalism was designed for either.

You are never going to weed out every morally questionable decision an individual has to make, or a business CEO. The morality bar can be either raised or lowered when the overall scope of the decision is based on survival. (personal, financial, survival of your group, survival of your business, survival of your country, survival of you corporate conglomerate). breaking a moral rule that falls in some proverbial "grey area" is an unnacoutable offense, thus no one can enforce adherence to the rules. (Unless ......you are able to convince every person on the face of the earth that there is some sort of person watching your every move and you better do the ethical thing or punishment will ensue....). Since that is physically impossible and there is no proof that that is true, we have to put our lot in with government. And use that as a tool of enforcement of mutually agreed upon set of ethical values. And since it is physically impossible to enforce every rule, in the world as we know it, "ethical capitalism" is neither completely possible or feasible. (you can't spend more on enforcement than you earn).

Capitalism's only purpose is a means to an end. Means- an economic strucure of trade, end- allows you to eat, feed you family, have shelter, and sometimes buy yourself a boat or something? Not enforcement of ethical values.

What you are proposing as inevitable is some capitalistic, democratic, religious conglomerate. But is that really better? I don't want big brother watching my every move either. What would you make you think human beings would willingly allow themselves to be controlled to that extent.

Maybe it will be as great as you predict it will be. But that ideal is like infinity- understood, but impossible to physically realize.


So, to conclude my sidebar discourse, ethics may be a choice but it is ultimately a choice between the survival of an individual, group, company or nation
and the inablility for these entities to survive

See, you can't even agree on your own 2 definitions of ethics. How can humanity agree on what actually is ethical? :smile:
 
  • #33
Capitalism as it is currently practiced will ultimately fail.
It is sucking up the planets resources at an unsustainable rate.
It polutes and therby destroys our health and the planet.
It is a product of our culture of greed and domination that breeds violence.
If human violence does'nt wipe us out mother nature will unless we wake up.
Besides, money itself is boring. Discovery and creativity are interesting.
 
  • #34
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RVBUCKEYE said:
How can humanity agree on what actually is ethical?

Humanity doesn't have a say in what is ethical and it isn't big brother that will take you down if you don't practise ethics.

What will take you down and what "has a say" is whether or not the physics of whatever an individual/community/company does is sustainable and in accordance with the laws of the physics of sustainability.

In effect, the physics of sustainability are either adhered to by an individual/community/company or else the individual, community or company fails... sooner or later.

If this is upsetting to a person then they are the type of person who is upset by the laws of gravity... etc... .:biggrin:
 
  • #35
russ_watters
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machapungo said:
Capitalism as it is currently practiced will ultimately fail.
It is sucking up the planets resources at an unsustainable rate.
It polutes and therby destroys our health and the planet.
It is a product of our culture of greed and domination that breeds violence.
If human violence does'nt wipe us out mother nature will unless we wake up.
Besides, money itself is boring. Discovery and creativity are interesting.
Didn't those things exist before capitalism? Did efforts to stop such abuses (as are now developing) exist before capitalism?
 
  • #36
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CEOs are the new monarchs. Private security firms are the new royal armies. Corporate benefit slaves are the new indentured servants. Immigrants are the new slaves. Energy is the new religion, offering life, death, warmth, coolness, transport to the heavenly realms, of the profit.
 
  • #37
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quantumcarl said:
Humanity doesn't have a say in what is ethical and it isn't big brother that will take you down if you don't practise ethics.

Sure humanity does. They do it by forming a government.

What will take you down and what "has a say" is whether or not the physics of whatever an individual/community/company does is sustainable and in accordance with the laws of the physics of sustainability.

Agreed. But I simply disagree with you changing the definition of "ethics" to mean "physics of sustainability". Using your definition we can say the creation of the gasoline engine was "unethical", because it utilized an unsustainable natural resource. If every past decision is scrutinized that way, we'd still be in the stone age. In fact, gasoline technology helped power the industrial revolution, but I guess that was unethical too.

In effect, the physics of sustainability are either adhered to by an individual/community/company or else the individual, community or company fails... sooner or later.

True as applied to the physics of sustainability.

If this is upsetting to a person then they are the type of person who is upset by the laws of gravity... etc... .:biggrin]

Your defenition(s) of ethics are upsetting because they don't cover all situations. I'm just fine with the laws of gravity. (makes people buy cars so they don't have to walk everywhere, and keeps me employed)

The government is responsible for requiring research into the after effects of a product. Governmental agencies are created to set standards and enforcement. Just because there are possible adverse side effects, does not mean that it shouldn't be used neccessarily. And doesn't make their use unethical. Apply that rationalle to cancer treatment drugs.
 
  • #38
Of course greed and domination existed prior to capitalism but unconstrained capitalism is an environment that breeds these unethical behaviors on a scale
that is new and I think it is accelerating. Using non replenishable resources
is not necessarily a problem. Its the rate of consumption that is the problem.
Also, the blocking of progress toward alternatives by those that are the major profiteers is a problem. I think these behaviors are unethical.
 
  • #39
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machapungo said:
Of course greed and domination existed prior to capitalism but unconstrained capitalism is an environment that breeds these unethical behaviors on a scale
that is new and I think it is accelerating. Using non replenishable resources
is not necessarily a problem. Its the rate of consumption that is the problem.
Also, the blocking of progress toward alternatives by those that are the major profiteers is a problem. I think these behaviors are unethical.
. . . and demonstrate a lack of personal responsibility.
 
  • #40
selfAdjoint
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Dmstifik8ion said:
. . . and demonstrate a lack of personal responsibility.


Whence this responsibility? Not from capitalism surely which assumes nothing about human nature except that it is acquisitive and gullible.
 
  • #41
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selfAdjoint said:
Whence this responsibility? Not from capitalism surely which assumes nothing about human nature except that it is acquisitive and gullible.
Buyer beware!
 
  • #42
russ_watters
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selfAdjoint said:
Whence this responsibility? Not from capitalism surely which assumes nothing about human nature except that it is acquisitive and gullible.
Not the words I would use to describe how capitalism is based on human nature (the typical word is "competitive") but regardless of the basis for capitalism in human nature, it doesn't mean we can't use other components of human nature to shape how capitalism is actually put into practice.
 
  • #43
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Capitalism has libertarian parts but also totalitarian parts such as cultural uniformity, extreme division of labor and hierarchy.
 
  • #44
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octelcogopod rised several questions:

But is society built the right way?

as it was noted, define "right way", but putting this aside i would say that its not build the right way as the world is in motion and is subject to change. perhaps better question to ask would be:

What will succeed our, capitalistic, society? Or is "this" the end of history? The ultimate truth?

is capitalism destroying human rights? Is humanity living as good as it should? Is competition good or bad on a grand scale? Was this actually the only way humans could have evolved? Is this at the deepest level an after effect of biology and psychology?
What does this tell us about humans?


"pure" capitalism, which is no doubt amoral, wihout any socio-ethical goals, leads to survival (prosperity) of the stronger. this, however, directly implies lesser diversification and thus lesser individualism. on the other hand, a system which has certain socio-ethical goals, and which is willing to redistribute resoruces from the strong to the weak, is more suitable for survival (prosperity) of those who would not be able to survive (prosper) otherwise, leading to greater diversfication and greater individualism. yes this goes against "the nature", but that is the essence, that is why humans are perhaps the most individually diversified species on Earth.

--
Why Socialism?
by Albert Einstein

http://www.monthlyreview.org/598einst.htm
--
Life's diversity 'being depleted'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4826262.stm
--

Without competition one of the main driving forces behind mankind goes away. The human race would become apathic, useless and decadent. What point is it if you cant improve in some way - Azael

im not really sure if that is a true statement. i mean says who? :) the, main?, reason for competition is that resources are finite. why couldnt Cooperation be the driving force? because resources are finite or because of "human nature"? define human nature then?

say we have store with apples and we put out offer saying: "everyone can take as many apples as they like". now, how many apples we need? infinite ammount?

--
Evolution of Cooperation

How can we explain the evolution of complex cooperative organizations (altruism, ultrasociality) in humans, given that the "survival of the fittest" predisposes individuals to selfishness?
-
http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/COOPEVOL.html
--

Evolution, Selfishness and Cooperation

ftp://ftp.vub.ac.be/pub/projects/Principia_Cybernetica/Papers_Heylighen/Memes&Cooperation.txt
--

Ethical Capitalism - quantumcarl

reminds me of "communism with human face" we, living in under the so called "communist" system, were told so much about. but seriously now, what is Ethical Capitalism? Social state of Scandinavian type for example?
 
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  • #45
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tuco said:
Ethical Capitalism - quantumcarl

reminds me of "communism with human face" we, living in under the so called "communist" system, were told so much about. but seriously now, what is Ethical Capitalism? Social state of Scandinavian type for example?

See "Ethical Stocks" (stocks in companies with no sweatshops, no environmental deteriments, no aggressive military contracts, no social deteriments and so on)

and check out these sites:

www.richarddnorth.com/10_[/URL] propositions/ethical_capitalism.htm

[url]http://www.lrn.com/library/whitepapers/ethical_cap_leaders_print.php[/url]

Ethical Capitalism will, in the long run... and I mean over several generations, prove to be the most lucrative system to humans. The concept is that grab and dash economics leaves nothing in its wake for subsequent generations... neither for the elite capitalists families nor for the families of the people who made the elite rich.

Everyone thinks ethics is purely social and totally concerned with human interaction. What they forget is that all humans are dependent upon clean water, clean air and diverse and healthy produce (for food).

So, it is obvious that ethics will include environmental studies as well as social studies.

When capitalism takes into account all these factors is when it will succeed as the means of economic survival for mankind. The way Capitalism has been carried out in the past has left some major scars on the environment that can't be reversed and will be one of the down falls of the whole human culture.

The old method of "grab and dash" capitalism has also left damaging scars on corporate and govt. relations with other countries and societies. Examples of these scars are plain to see in recent events (see Terrorism, Insurgents and related chaos) which deter capitalistic ventures around the world. Capitalism has turned to relying on government military systems to secure new territories rather than making ethical advances into desireable regions.

Ethical capitalism is what I would call the only way to avoid the certain termination of the western way of trade and economics. Because of the environmental damage and the social damage that is caused by traditional capitalistic endevours, the tradition must be overhauled to include a wholeistic approach to the economy, the planet and the people who support the economy (namely, mankind). Comprende?
 
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  • #46
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couldnt get the first link to work but the second one was ok. thanks for defining the term for me.

well, yes comprende, however, how will this become reality?

one quote taken out of context:

And capitalism is most effective when it is ethical.

http://www.lrn.com/library/whitepapers/ethical_cap_leaders_print.php

say you own McDonalds and i tell you its not ethical to advertise your products simply because they are not healthy. what will you do?

i think i understand the logic/theory beind it, what i dont understand is how can anyone persuade McDonalds to close down? wouldnt any mandatory regulations be against the principle of the free market capitalism is build upon?

so far history tells me that capitalism lead us to consumer society, because the invisible forces of supply and demand are not so invisible, but rather the opposite. the demand is not real but artifical so who or what will regulate this? who will set the ethics for the business to follow?
 
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  • #47
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tuco said:
couldnt get the first link to work but the second one was ok. thanks for defining the term for me.

well, yes comprende, however, how will this become reality?

one quote taken out of context:

And capitalism is most effective when it is ethical.

http://www.lrn.com/library/whitepapers/ethical_cap_leaders_print.php

say you own McDonalds and i tell you its not ethical to advertise your products simply because they are not healthy. what will you do?

i think i understand the logic/theory beind it, what i dont understand is how can anyone persuade McDonalds to close down? wouldnt any mandatory regulations be against the principle of the free market capitalism is build upon?

so far history tells me that capitalism lead us to consumer society, because the invisible forces of supply and demand are not so invisible, but rather the opposite. the demand is not real but artifical so who or what will regulate this? who will set the ethics for the business to follow?

I meant "comprede" in a jockular way... not unethically demeaning by any standard~~!

I think the answers to all your questions are fairly simple especially with the McDonalds question.

The consumer dictates what the capitalist company puts out.... (unless there are aggressive advertising campaigns that push unethical foods and behaviours.... or.... a company simply and over-aggressively buys out all its competition and leaves the consumer no choice in the matter of what they eat, wear etc..... which is the case in some instances). Even then, there will be consumer revolt and they will go elsewhere or build - cook - grow - smuggle their own consumables.

McDonalds is a sinking capital investment these days (due to growing education about diet and health etc...) and organic and natural foods are on the rise in the consumer index. So, in this case, ethical choice is winning out.

Ultimately, according to the physics of survival and health and life in general, all unethical behaviour will eventually be erradicated because it is an unbalanced way to conduct business and generates hostilities that will evetually bring down the capitalist who first thought they could get away with enslaving children or dumping toxic waste in a small village where they thought it was remote enough to get away with it.

Not today... unless the company happens to own all the major media outlets... as well as the lessor ones... where news about the plight of the small village will be aired and attention brought to the unethical behaviour of the company in question. Bad for stocks.

So, look at it this way. We call ourselves intelligent, foreward thinking, civilized etc........ and because of these interesting traits we have two or three choices when it comes to capitalism and the survival of global trade, the western economy and so on.

1. We can continue as though we're a bunch of Industrial Age capitalists with no ethical thought toward the environment, social impacts and sustainable economies.
Doing so will bring us to the end of a very short 100 years of Capitalism as we know it. It will be erradicated by its own incompatibility with the environment and the majority (98%) of the global society. Physically it will exhaust its natural and human resources in another 40 years.

2. We can use our knowledge of environmental sciences, our anthropological and social sciences as well as sustainability tactics and use them to build an ethical and capitalistic economy... because ethics has been shown to work very well in trade etc... and capitalism has been known to work well in certain instances. This would preserve Capitalism for its ability to develop education, trade, inventions, and all those good things about it in countries that choose to employ it.

3. There may be other, more socialist, economies that rival ethical capitalism... but, as you mentioned earlier, Switzerland, Holland and whatever other scandinavian countries seem to be less "foreward looking" and more interested in collecting taxes. The mean wage and profit margins are hindered by this system and I believe there must be a happy medium that can be reached to foster more challenges in the people which eventually leads to more inventivness as in "necessity is the mother of invention"... not Frank Zappa.
 
  • #48
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compredne is fine by me, no problemo.

i see, so the strenght of Ethical Capitalism lies in educated, responsible and ethical consumer. in another words, people will willingly and consciously restrain themselves in their desires and consumption, and will accomodate their needs according to ethical behaviour and according to available natural resources. is that correct?

like.. instead of having gas guzzler they would drive Mini Cooper or better yet they would use public transport, or instead buying botteled water they would drink tap water or perhaps instead of buying cheap can opener from China which breaks within a year they would buy expensive one from Germany which last a life time?

well, the sooner we'll have this Ethical Capitalism, free market with ethical customer, the better i guess :)

side note: Scandinavian refers to Scandinavia which is region in Northern Europe .. Sweden, Norway and Denmark but yeah Swiss or Dutch will do just as good i guess.
 
  • #49
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tuco said:
compredne is fine by me, no problemo.

i see, so the strenght of Ethical Capitalism lies in educated, responsible and ethical consumer. in another words, people will willingly and consciously restrain themselves in their desires and consumption, and will accomodate their needs according to ethical behaviour and according to available natural resources. is that correct?

like.. instead of having gas guzzler they would drive Mini Cooper or better yet they would use public transport, or instead buying botteled water they would drink tap water or perhaps instead of buying cheap can opener from China which breaks within a year they would buy expensive one from Germany which last a life time?

well, the sooner we'll have this Ethical Capitalism, free market with ethical customer, the better i guess :)

side note: Scandinavian refers to Scandinavia which is region in Northern Europe .. Sweden, Norway and Denmark but yeah Swiss or Dutch will do just as good i guess.

Yes, its funny because Capitalism (of the unethical sort) has led to a more educated society by way of people actually earning wages and supporting their family. Better food and shelter (roof and clothes) and children getting away from the farm or the scavanging and into schools has built a society that recognizes sustainable products and practices.

Thusly, the consumer base has... ideally... upgraded its standards to the point of forcing ethical changes in some of the Captialist institutions that rely on consumer choice.

We can see an attempt to reign-in the consumer made by companies when they... for example, lower prices on unethical items... SUVs for example... or lower the tax on vehicles like that. Also, there are tantalizing commercials and advertisements that make a consumer feel inadequate for not owning a product.

There are pharmaeceutical co. commercials that play into fears of psychological diseases and conditions that don't exist but that are promoted to be avoidable if you buy their pill. This is thouroghly unethical in that it can create undesirable conditions in suseptable people simply by proxy of suggestion.

These and other attempts to bolster sales are the dieing gasps of the Feudal method of Capitalism. What I hope to see as do many others like yourself is the slogan Truth Sells. And, for all intense purposes, this is true because when you break ethics down into its functions and processes... down to the physics of ethics... you can see that it is governed by the truths that compose survival, integration, cooperation and sustainability. When people see that a product has been carefully prepared for them, without haste and with respect to all the processes surrounding its manufacturing, they buy it.

Of course, someone with a severely limited income will buy a 5 dollar shirt from the Shanghi Ministry-of 5-cents-a-day-abused-underaged-workers and not know or care where its made... as long as they have a shirt. So, responsibility for product and manufacturing processes often will fall in the realm of the manufacturer. What many of them don't realize is that they can make the same shirt without harming anyone... it only takes some imagination and know-how.

Take some of the world's largest Diamond Mines. Not 30 years ago people who worked for diamond companies were poorly paid, under educated and dieing at a high rate or imprisoned for activism.

Today the same Diamond mines sell diamonds at a higher price because they are "bloodless" diamonds. Bloodless meaning ethical methods of mining and mine management were used to extract the diamond. The producers, the CEOs and the miners are using Environmental Sciences and Social Sciences before, during and after extraction.

There are mines of differing varieties that no one would know were in the area... after they've left. This is because the evidence of their activities have been cleaned up. Tailing ponds, slag heaps, the whole nine yards taken care of. And not just in North America. This is happening Internationally. Even in South America. It doesn't seem to depend on Government Regulations. Its more to do with the conscience of the producer.
 

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