News Capitalist unemployment

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pi-r8s suggestion, I think, would quickly degrade into a corporate controlled state.

Theoretically I support the idea of a donation-only state. However in practice, should those changes be implimented with no other changes to the system, I do not.
 
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Why do you think that, Smurf? In my system, the government would have absolutely no power over the economy- it would be completely unregulated. So, even assuming that a corporation could take over the government, what possible motivation would it have for doing so?
 
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russ_watters said:
The reason I didn't go into that further is it has been argued to death here, most people agree that it is true (the question is whether or not it is good), and so isn't really at issue. Even you seem to agree that it is true, so I'm not sure what your issue is with it. Ie, you have acknowledged that your idea requries human nature to change in order for it to work. So why are you trying to argue this now?
I have never argued that human nature must change before Anarchy can be implimented. If I believed such I would be required to view the Zapatista's, or the Barcelona Anarchists, or Christiania Residents, et cetera, as another evolution, or mutation, of humanity. I find that absurd (as I would think everyone else does).

The idea that humanity's only incentive in life is the accumulation of material and monetary wealth is absolutely ridiculous and unsupported.
 
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pi-r8 said:
So, even assuming that a corporation could take over the government, what possible motivation would it have for doing so?
The only way that a corporation wouldn't have gained any power from taking the government would be if the government had no power at all. i.e. that it didn't exist. If the government has the right to enforce anything, then it can be used.

Scenario: The government is controlled completely by McDonalds because they're the only one's that donate money to them. A small restaurant opens up on the main street of New York. McDonalds doesn't like this. The police arrest the the restaurant owner on trumped up charges and execute him.

Solution: Don't give the government law enforcement power.

Problem with solution: No one to stop organizations, such as McDonalds or even GreenPeace, from starting their own private police force and executing the resaurant owner (or oil company CEO) themselves.
 
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russ_watters said:
This isn't an "in-name-only" situation, Smurf, like calling a dictatorship a democracy. Your example is quite simply a leader lying about what he's doing. Mine was a leader trying to do something and being up-front about it, and failing. Stalin and Lenin (among others) tried to impliment Marx's vision or their version of Marx's vision. All failed, to one extent or another. The closest thing to success was probably Cuba, and it is still a dictatorship and has a natural resource (beaches) that allows it to be horribly inefficient and still survive. That's true (that they didn't succeed), but you cannot claim that they didn't try to realize Marx's vision (or at least a part of it), because they did.
Fair enough. However, does the failed Republic of Rome, which degenerated into a dictatorship, necessarily mean that any other democratic experiments will be equally unfruitfull? Obviously not. Similarily the failed experiment of Communism in Russia does not necessarily mean that it can not be implimented more successfully.

Also, Cuba seems to be getting a lot of attention recently because, alledgedly, she does a lot of things better than us. Perhapse she's not a total failure after all and we should consider learning something.


...

I should be studying for my test. I'll argue more later.
 
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Art

russ_watters said:
The problem is that (from the quote two quotes up) that "unchecked capitalism" is a strawman argument. It makes capitalism sound like anarchy and that simply isn't what capitalism is or what capitalists want it to be.
George Soros doesn't appear to think it is a strawman argument and I'd imagine he probably knows somewhat more about the subject of capitalism than either of us. Here's what he had to say about it
"the biggest danger to democracy these days is laissez-faire capitalism, which threatens to tear apart the social fabric of societies that practice it."
or Robert Kutner, founding co-editor of the bimonthly American Prospect and a contributing columnist for Business Week. He says
"the gap between the haves and have-nots in U.S. society is eroding the social compact and undermining the country's moral authority."
or Harvard economist Richard Freeman, in a Harvard Business Review article he referred to
"our apartheid economy"
. or former labor secretary Robert Reich who in his farewell speech said;
"It used to be in America, a rising economic tide caused all ships to rise. But recently, the rising tide is elevating only the yachts. The rowboats in between have barely avoided taking on water and the little rafts and dinghies are sinking"
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russ_watters said:
One small example - no capitalist in their right mind would ever want to do away with the Sherman Act.
I can think of several, Bill Gates for example.
 
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Can I get sources for all those quotes?
 
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Smurf said:
Fair enough. However, does the failed Republic of Rome, which degenerated into a dictatorship, necessarily mean that any other democratic experiments will be equally unfruitfull? Obviously not. Similarily the failed experiment of Communism in Russia does not necessarily mean that it can not be implimented more successfully.
Also, Cuba seems to be getting a lot of attention recently because, alledgedly, she does a lot of things better than us. Perhapse she's not a total failure after all and we should consider learning something.
...
I should be studying for my test. I'll argue more later.
People have been risking their lives trying to escape Cuba using some of the most elaborate floatation devices for some time now. I think that speaks for itself about how great things are in Cuba.
 
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deckart said:
People have been risking their lives trying to escape Cuba using some of the most elaborate floatation devices for some time now. I think that speaks for itself about how great things are in Cuba.
irrelevant to my point.
 
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Smurf said:
irrelevant to my point.
Hey, you brought it up as some sort of example.:rolleyes:
 
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Mercator

pi-r8 said:
Well, the obvious way for a government to function without taxes would be to ask people to voluntarily donate money. Sure, lots of people wouldn't donate, but some would, and if the government wasn't supporting a welfare state it would require much less money to operate.
Another method I've heard suggested would be for the government to charge a fee to enforce contracts. If two people made a contract and didn't pay this fee, the government wouldn't enforce the contract, and it would just be so much paper. If they had paid the fee, and one of them tried to brake the contract, the government would force that person to uphold his end of the bargain.
At any rate, I hate the current system of fining people for being productive.
Voluntarily donate money? No taxes? Sounds like the pure communism to me. Do you actually need money in your system? :smile:
 
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Mercator

Actually Capitalism has only been able to survive because it has allowed social corrections. In my view, Marx and his theory and later the failed experiments in USSR and China were direct results of the pure capitalism. Worker's conditions in the 19 th century were appaling. No wonder that people like Marx came up with what looked like a more human solution. In West Europe worker's conditions were only marginally better than in the old Russia. But after the Russian revolution, workers started to revolt. In Belgium we had a priest, Daens who stood up for the rights of workers and in the beginning of the 20 th century there were constant clashes between the workers and the rulers. As there were in the US , by the way. Labour day, 1 st of may originated in the US. Frightened by the USSR example, the leading class had to find solutions. So they started to give in to worker's demands. One by one, universal suffrage, limited workweek, holidays, social security were introduced so that the situation would not deteriorate into another civil war. So, ironically, capitalism was saved by communism and introducing socialist elements.
 
Smurf said:
I see no difference between asserting that the system is flawed, and asserting that a system is corrupted by flawed people.
If a system, after being established, allows it's self to be exploited and changed by flawed people, it is, as far as I can see, as flawed as the people exploiting it.
Lol... a system requires people to run it Smurf. The original idea may have been great and worked just fine or perhaps needed some fine tuning once it's wheels actually hit the pavement and there were some minor problems. Just because certain people in influencial positions saw opertunities to flex their muscle and adjust the system to be more beneficial to them does not mean the system is flawed but that the operators are flawed and this is being reflected in the output of the system.

Just because people have been known to cheat at a game and maybe even force or trick others into allowing them to cheat does not mean that the game is inherantly unfair. In any of the systems we are refering to here the "pawn" has quite a bit of power. The fact that the pawn chooses not to utilize that power is no one's fault but it's own. If it allows itself to be tricked and forced into untenable positions it is still it's own fault. As long as there are those around who will exploit the pawns and the pawns are unwilling to flex their power it does not matter what system you put in place. The pawns will inevitably be exploited. Changing the rules of the game will not prevent the cheaters from cheating.

I could begin explaining why capitalism seems to work better, in my opinion(note please that I am not stating it is a fact), than communism (or other systems) but unless we can agree on what I stated above there isn't much point.
 
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Mercator

What I also notice on this board is that only few people bother to make distinction between anarchism ,communism , socialism and social welfare measures. I have the impression that many Americans think in left-right terms and in their mind "Liberal" stands for everything from libertarians to minimum wage defenders. In fact communism and socialism stand in each other's way. In China, after a period of communist experiment and "dictatorship of the proletariat", with the well known results, only the dictatorship is kept as the political system, while the economic system is as close to the pure capitalism as you can find in the world today. As spectacular as the results are, we here in China all know that this situation is not sustainable. There are already cracks in the ceiling. What China needs to do now, is to become a little more socialist, like the US , or Europe otherwise the capitalist experiment will not survive.
 
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Mercator said:
Actually Capitalism has only been able to survive because it has allowed social corrections. In my view, Marx and his theory and later the failed experiments in USSR and China were direct results of the pure capitalism. Worker's conditions in the 19 th century were appaling. No wonder that people like Marx came up with what looked like a more human solution. In West Europe worker's conditions were only marginally better than in the old Russia. But after the Russian revolution, workers started to revolt. In Belgium we had a priest, Daens who stood up for the rights of workers and in the beginning of the 20 th century there were constant clashes between the workers and the rulers. As there were in the US , by the way. Labour day, 1 st of may originated in the US. Frightened by the USSR example, the leading class had to find solutions. So they started to give in to worker's demands. One by one, universal suffrage, limited workweek, holidays, social security were introduced so that the situation would not deteriorate into another civil war. So, ironically, capitalism was saved by communism and introducing socialist elements.
It's only logical that in any system all parties must be happy with the situation or all parties suffer. It may take revolution for the most powerful party to suffer but it will happen. In this I can agree with Marx.
 
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Mercator

TheStatutoryApe said:
Lol... a system requires people to run it Smurf. The original idea may have been great and worked just fine or perhaps needed some fine tuning once it's wheels actually hit the pavement and there were some minor problems. Just because certain people in influencial positions saw opertunities to flex their muscle and adjust the system to be more beneficial to them does not mean the system is flawed but that the operators are flawed and this is being reflected in the output of the system.
Just because people have been known to cheat at a game and maybe even force or trick others into allowing them to cheat does not mean that the game is inherantly unfair. In any of the systems we are refering to here the "pawn" has quite a bit of power. The fact that the pawn chooses not to utilize that power is no one's fault but it's own. If it allows itself to be tricked and forced into untenable positions it is still it's own fault. As long as there are those around who will exploit the pawns and the pawns are unwilling to flex their power it does not matter what system you put in place. The pawns will inevitably be exploited. Changing the rules of the game will not prevent the cheaters from cheating.
I could begin explaining why capitalism seems to work better, in my opinion(note please that I am not stating it is a fact), than communism (or other systems) but unless we can agree on what I stated above there isn't much point.
TSA, but a key factor in discussions if this or that system works IS people's nature. If you discuss communism in a vacuum, it sounds fantastic. But put one greedy bastard in the equation and the whole theory fails. And the same goes for capitalism.
To me, the old definitions of communism etc... have little use anymore in the present day situation. I rather look at socio-economic systems in a Darwinistic way. The systems have been constantly evolving into a very complex "living" body. Explaining the Chinese situation with terms like "communism" is like dissecting a body with an axe, in the hope to find the formula of DNA!
Like the evolution of living organisms, there will never be an end to the evolution of societies. There will be unexpected events, unsuccesfull mutations etc... The best we can hope for is that eventually we reach a state that is reasonable for a majority of people and that we can maintain and control.
 
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Smurf said:
The only way that a corporation wouldn't have gained any power from taking the government would be if the government had no power at all. i.e. that it didn't exist. If the government has the right to enforce anything, then it can be used.
Scenario: The government is controlled completely by McDonalds because they're the only one's that donate money to them. A small restaurant opens up on the main street of New York. McDonalds doesn't like this. The police arrest the the restaurant owner on trumped up charges and execute him.
I don't see how your scenario could possibly come to pass. Why would only ONE corporation be giving money to the government? Surely a few other people would be giving money. Asking about what would happen if only one corporation gave all the money to the government is like asking about what would happen if only person in the world possessed every single weapon. Whatever would we do?:surprised
 
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Mercator said:
Voluntarily donate money? No taxes? Sounds like the pure communism to me. Do you actually need money in your system? :smile:
Money is what makes capitalism work. One difference, however, is that in pure capitalism money would be printed by private banks, not the government.

Oh, and surely you see a difference between a system where the government completely regulates the economy (communism) and one where it doesn't regulate the economy at all (capitalism)?
 
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pi-r8 said:
Money is what makes capitalism work. One difference, however, is that in pure capitalism money would be printed by private banks, not the government.
Oh, and surely you see a difference between a system where the government completely regulates the economy (communism) and one where it doesn't regulate the economy at all (capitalism)?
pi-r8 , here is a definition of communism:
An economic theory which stresses that the control of the means of producing economic goods in a society should reside in the hands of those who invest their labor for production. In its ideal form, social classes cease to exist, there is no coercive governmental structures, and everyone lives in abundance without supervision from a ruling class. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels popularized this theory in their 1848 Communist Manifesto.
What you proposed comes pretty close, probably to your own amazement.
If you want to use the government argument, you should talk about "regimes using the label communist (but are far from it's principles)"
 
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the proper term (i.e. accoring to neoclassical economics) for what you refered to as communism, pi-r8, is a "command economy".
 
Mercator said:
TSA, but a key factor in discussions if this or that system works IS people's nature. If you discuss communism in a vacuum, it sounds fantastic. But put one greedy bastard in the equation and the whole theory fails. And the same goes for capitalism.
To me, the old definitions of communism etc... have little use anymore in the present day situation. I rather look at socio-economic systems in a Darwinistic way. The systems have been constantly evolving into a very complex "living" body. Explaining the Chinese situation with terms like "communism" is like dissecting a body with an axe, in the hope to find the formula of DNA!
Like the evolution of living organisms, there will never be an end to the evolution of societies. There will be unexpected events, unsuccesfull mutations etc... The best we can hope for is that eventually we reach a state that is reasonable for a majority of people and that we can maintain and control.
I agree mostly. The thing is finding a system that best accomidates for the trouble with human nature. Russ and I believe that Capitalism does this. Ofcourse there need to be rules (laws) which prevent the system from being perverted to suit the needs of the few over the needs of the many. It seems to me though that the inherant checks and balances in capitalism reduces the need (reduces, not nullifies) for a governing body to keep things fair and the need to trust in that governing body. Micro managment is more or less taken care of by the citizens in a society with a capitalist economy.
Another point which favours capitalism in my opinion is the way in which it parallels Darwinism. For an investment of resources to continue it must survive in the market. Theoretically a mismanaged investment should not survive and the resources will cease being wasted once the endevour sinks. No one person then is necessarily trusted to make that decision for us. Unfortunately here in the US the government is fond of bailing out mismanaged operations.

be back in a minute
 
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pi-r8 said:
Money is what makes capitalism work. One difference, however, is that in pure capitalism money would be printed by private banks, not the government.
While we're on the subject of definitions what you're refering to isn't really "capitalism" either. You're refering to is probably best called neoconservatism. Also known as Uber-privatization or Reaganism.
 
to continue...

Once the government gets involved by bailing businesses out we start to see something more like corporatism. Corporatism is a system under which the government allows favoured individuals to run business (corporations) to the exclusion of others. What we have currently in the US has been described as Neo-Corporatism. There are certain indivduals whose businesses (or corporations) are favoured by government legislation allowing them certain benefits and added survivability. This goes against the capitalist ideology because the government is now stepping in and meddling in the market, more or less. The capitalist (not the one of epithetical fame) should not stand for such meddling.

I will concede though that there are certain matters which are too important to allow to be gambled on in a capitalist market. In some areas it is probably better for the government to take control so that vital resources are not mismanaged and allocated in a manner that best suits the needs of the society.
 
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Mercator said:
pi-r8 , here is a definition of communism:
An economic theory which stresses that the control of the means of producing economic goods in a society should reside in the hands of those who invest their labor for production. In its ideal form, social classes cease to exist, there is no coercive governmental structures, and everyone lives in abundance without supervision from a ruling class. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels popularized this theory in their 1848 Communist Manifesto.
What you proposed comes pretty close, probably to your own amazement.
If you want to use the government argument, you should talk about "regimes using the label communist (but are far from it's principles)"
All I can say is- don't make me laugh. Do you think it's a coincidence that the more communist countries have ALWAYS had more government control of the economy? The ONLY way that the laborers will have complete control of production is if the government FORCES those who own it to do what the laborers want.
That being said... that definition is nothing like what I was describing. A capitalist government would protect property rights. I'm quite sure that there'd still be social classes, and that the laborers would NOT own the means of production, if there was a capitalist government. Whoever owned the factory could do what he wanted with it, even if it made all his workers poorer.
 

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