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Reenvisioning Our Economic Way of Life

charleslb
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2/22/2014 6:45:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The social health of our body politic grows increasingly peaked because too many people are too taken up with the struggle for solvency and economic survival to adequately socialize the next generation. Because the pressures and priorities, urbanization and atomization imposed by capitalism upon families and communities are having an enormously disintegrative effect on them. Because capitalist-caused poverty produces harsh, anti-social, and dangerous environments where socially pathological levels of adversity, anomie, anxiety, and aggression generate street violence, domestic violence, crime, delinquency, gangs, and drug trafficking. Because we're relying on law enforcement and the prison system to keep our socioeconomic system's drug-abusing victims and immiserated ethnic minorities under control, which leaves a growing demographic feeling increasingly disaffected. Because a system based on and that makes us all complicit in exploitation militates against human goodness. Because the bourgeois economic individualism, materialism, consumerism, and hedonism blatantly promoted by capitalist "civilization" reduces life to a selfish, alienated, and superficial experience that revolves around work, money, stuff, and sex, which is certainly no foundation for a society. Because the axiological orientation of life away from spirituality and ethics mass produces people who have no sense of how to actualize their highest human potentialities; of how find fulfillment in life; of how to reach inner peace; or of their connectedness to each other, to the planet, to life, or to the divine. In short, human beings who are deprived of the inner resources and life-wisdom, the economic well-being and socialization to form happy and healthy communities are the ultimate product of the capitalist system.

We've tragically evolved a form of life and a lifeworld that have bred a new type of man, Homo economicus, who is utterly unfit to sustain human "civilization". To be blunt, capitalist society is profoundly pathogenic, causing sociological ills which will eventually prove to be terminal. And yet such a system persists, not merely because all of the economic, political, media, police, and military power is locked up by the capitalist power elite, but because there are those among us who are so deeply enculturated and indoctrinated with the capitalist worldview, or so keen on vicariously identifying with high-status capitalists that they persist in playing the apologists and boosters, the die-hard defenders of a moribund system. I'm referring of course to the blinkered fans of the "free market" who see and acknowledge only the bright bits, not the shadow side of our economic system; market fundamentalists, "libertarians", and conservatives who focus on the enormous capacity of capitalist economies to produce material goods and wealth, glossing over the reprehensible reality that this wealth is not distributed in an equatable or humane fashion, leaving the vast majority of men, women, and children chroncally insecure, struggling, and coping with some degree of poverty. These advocates of bad ole laissez-faire, evangelists of the godless gospel of greed-based economics, who in America are paradoxically even to be found in large numbers among fundamentalist Christians, hew to a bogus faith that capitalism is delivering beautifully on its promise of a better quality of life for everyone with a work ethic, and that it's only the lazy bums among us who whine about the lousiness of their lot. And of course capitalism's convinced also tie their faith in with patriotism, so that loving their country entails being enamored of its economic system. All of this makes them quite loath to acknowledge the validity of any deep criticisms of capitalism. The only fault that they find with actually existing capitalist systems is that they supposedly suffer from too much government interference; that is, actually existing capitalist economies don't satisfy the market absolutist because they don't embody the ideological purity that his mentality demands.

Yes, the free-marketarian's prescription and panacea for what ails our economy and social system is pure capitalism, capitalism in a more unmitgated, naked, untamed form. Capitalisme sauvage, as it's called in France, savage, wild capitalism is his ideal, and anyone who rejects it, who proposes placing more limits on capitalists and capitalist firms for the protection of workers and consumers, or who advocates an alternative economic form of life based on an ethical, egalitarian, and humanistic vision and value system is first rebuked in a reactionary fashion for being either a naive utopian or a crypto-communist and then promptly dismissed. The usual method is for the buzzword "communism" to be used to evoke the bogeyman of Soviet-style totalitarianism, and to activate and appeal to people's justifiable bias against systems of that insidious ilk. Once the free-marketarian's philosophical foe is pigeonholed as some kind of a psycho who would like to impose "communist" repression on his fellow man he can be made short work of, verbally run out of town on a rail.

And in addition to the service that the capitalist system's and elite's free-marketarian champions perform by singing the market's praises and marginalizing capitalism's critics, there's also the way they absolve capitalism of all the cruelty that it inflicts by chiding the poor and needy for their own lack of well-being. To the social-Darwinan mentality of the conservative marketeer those who lack economic power and social status, i.e. the poor, are morally inferior, work ethic-deficient specimens responsible for their own misery, the system deserves no measure of blame. This judgmental view not only has the psychological payoff of allowing the conservative to enjoy a feeling of piety and moral superiority, it also exonerates the capitalist system that he's so ideologically invested in. Now social welfare programs and socialism can be opposed on the grounds that they just cater to the characterological shortcomings of loafers and losers.

Essentially, pro-capitalist conservatives function as both the apologists of the capitalist system and agents of indoctrination, inculcating in the minds of their fellow citizens the belief that capitalism works just fine, and that all of its failings are actually the failings of individuals and government. Thanks to conservatives performing this indoctrinatory function, and of course to the massive amount of power and resources controlled by capitalists, our mortally ailing system is able to keep going, threatening to take with it to its grave our entire "civilization". There's still hope, however, if enough of us begin to critically focus on the bleak bigger existential picture and prospects of capitalism and to envision alternative ways of life. But of course being a dissident, as it were, can be a downer; and having its ups and downs as our existential situation under capitalism does, whenever the economy is even slightly on the upswing we prefer to fool ourselves that our system is on the mend, and that it certainly isn't inherently inclined to unfairly dish out adversity to honest and hardworking people such as ourselves. That is, whenever circumstances permit, we opt for patriotic positivity and feel-good free-marketariansm, and we slack off from practicing critical thinking. If, however, enough of us cultivate a critical, and dare I say a class consciousness, with sufficient stick-to-itiveness, we absolutely can bring about a movement that will transform our condition and prospects.

What, concretely, shall we endeavor to transform it into; if we reject the misplaced idealism of market fundamentalism what ideal form of life should we seek to realize?

Continued below
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/22/2014 6:46:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Conclusion

Nothing more difficult to wrap our minds around than a form of life authentically based on principles already known to us through our ethical traditions, on democratic principles; on the principle of equality; on the recognition that the value of community needs to take precedence over private ownership, and the spirit of cooperation over that of competition; on a respect for human rights that includes the right to a decent and dignified material quality of life; and on an appreciation of and orientation toward nonmaterialistic values such as creative self-expression, personal rather than economic growth, and social compassion. Such, at any rate, is a broad-stroke picture of a preferable humanistic society (you may call it "communist" if you like, but I prefer the term "humanistic"). As for the details, the nitty-gritty logistics of constructing such a society, well, working them out will be a process, not something that can be preordained by a prefabricated program. It's a social, critical, ethical consciousness that will revolutionize our existence, not a program.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/23/2014 1:02:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, one of the criticisms that I suppose I can expect is something to the effect that: "You titled your post 'Reenvisioning Our Economic Way of Life', but much of it consists of criticism of capitalism and those who believe in capitalism!". Well, envisioning another, better way of life initially involves taking a critical look at one's current way of life, analyzing our existing socioeconomic system, and determining what one wishes to change about it. Reviewing the reality of our society to remake the reality of our society.

And what we find when we critically examine capitalism is much that richly deserves criticism, what we find is that it's a system in which the majority of us perform a job, an economic function that does not offer much if any opportunity for self-expression or self-fulfilment, for authenticity and "following one's bliss"; instead people spend the days of their lives engaged in activities that realize the economic interests of an employer, not in pursuit of their own creative interests; activities that have no payoff except a paycheck; the meaning of life becomes earning a wage not realizing the fullest and richest experience of life that one can; there's simply insufficient time for life, a humanistically well-rounded life that includes cultivating self-knowledge and spiritual growth and joy because we're otherwise occupied producing economic value, most of which is expropriated by capitalists for their own enrichment, most workers receiving the minimum remuneration that capitalists can get away with providing. It's thinly veiled by the illusion of being free agents, but human beings are objectified, dehumanized into worker androids who serve the economic purposes of inhuman corporations, their human needs frequently not being appreciated or respected. Thanks to capitalism the economic sphere of life is all business, there's little humanity in it anymore. Kant's categorical imperative that a human person should never be treated as merely a means to an end is systematically violated, with working people being thingified into items to be used, commodities whose only appreciated value is their economic value.

In short, capitalism reduces people to abjectly living to work like wage slaves, not working to live a beautiful human life; to an existential state of affairs unworthy of a human being and that makes us less than human in the fullest sense. Capitalism is the dehumanization of the many for the profit of the few. This is the existential state of affairs that we must focus ample critical attention on and seek to remedy in formulating our vision of a very different form of economic existence and so this is the focus of my post.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/23/2014 2:35:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 2:14:28 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
You're a cool dude, charles.

Thank you.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Jifpop09
Posts: 2,243
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2/23/2014 3:40:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
*Yawn*, why do you argue something that will never happen In the US. Had not even read anything on this forum, but it probably is some rant about communism.
Leader of the DDO Revolution Party
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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2/23/2014 3:53:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 3:40:19 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
*Yawn*, why do you argue something that will never happen In the US. Had not even read anything on this forum, but it probably is some rant about communism.

It's a morality thing.
charleslb
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2/23/2014 3:56:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 3:40:19 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
*Yawn*, why do you argue something that will never happen In the US. Had not even read anything on this forum, but it probably is some rant about communism.

Why thank you, dear Whiffofpoop, a constructive, clever, and thoroughly impressive reply. NOT!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/23/2014 4:02:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 3:53:32 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:40:19 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
*Yawn*, why do you argue something that will never happen In the US. Had not even read anything on this forum, but it probably is some rant about communism.

It's a morality thing.

Yes, in a nutshell; i.e. my critique of capitalism is essentially an ethical and humanistic denunciation of the capitalist system's anti-human and socially destructive nature.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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2/23/2014 4:05:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 4:02:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:53:32 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:40:19 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
*Yawn*, why do you argue something that will never happen In the US. Had not even read anything on this forum, but it probably is some rant about communism.

It's a morality thing.

Yes, in a nutshell; i.e. my critique of capitalism is essentially an ethical and humanistic denunciation of the capitalist system's anti-human and socially destructive nature.

Same.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
nummi
Posts: 294
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2/24/2014 3:06:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.
They're probably out of season. Or too busy "earning" money... Or they're skills of ignoring have developed much farther (something they absolutely do excel at).
charleslb
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2/25/2014 2:36:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/24/2014 3:06:22 AM, nummi wrote:
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.
They're probably out of season. Or too busy "earning" money... Or they're skills of ignoring have developed much farther (something they absolutely do excel at).

Yes, perhaps you're right, perhaps they're off practicing what they preach by exploiting workingpeople to "earn" money.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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2/25/2014 4:41:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Unfortunately it seems that people are relatively dumb and selfish, whether or not that is the fault of the current system is largely irrelevant, though convincing to some extent... anyway, people currently are relatively dumb and selfish, and by that I mean beliefs such as 'the status quo is relatively comfortable for me and a safe option, so I'm going to stick with it'.

Moralising seems to be an approach that is not making the ground we need it to, likely due to the aforementioned widely-held belief. Therefore, I suggest that while general moral argument should remain a strong feature of persuasive essays, because quite frankly 'our' position on morality is unequalled, seeing as private property and social hierarchy is so easily annihilated by simply being skeptical, we ought to develop a deep analysis of the damage the status quo causes to the people who currently think that the system provides for them a good life. Perhaps controversially I also think that we need more detailed systematising, so that we can convince people of its practicality.

The people who oppose us hardly ever say 'That sounds evil to me', they say 'Oh, people are too evil to accomplish that', or 'It's simply not practical'. I don't think we can hope to make any advances unless we address those concerns in the same way that we have managed to so convincingly address questions of morality.

Just some thoughts on strategy; I'm not attacking anyone.
charleslb
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2/25/2014 6:09:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 4:41:39 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Unfortunately it seems that people are relatively dumb and selfish, whether or not that is the fault of the current system is largely irrelevant, though convincing to some extent... anyway, people currently are relatively dumb and selfish, and by that I mean beliefs such as 'the status quo is relatively comfortable for me and a safe option, so I'm going to stick with it'.

Moralising seems to be an approach that is not making the ground we need it to, likely due to the aforementioned widely-held belief. Therefore, I suggest that while general moral argument should remain a strong feature of persuasive essays, because quite frankly 'our' position on morality is unequalled, seeing as private property and social hierarchy is so easily annihilated by simply being skeptical, we ought to develop a deep analysis of the damage the status quo causes to the people who currently think that the system provides for them a good life. Perhaps controversially I also think that we need more detailed systematising, so that we can convince people of its practicality.

The people who oppose us hardly ever say 'That sounds evil to me', they say 'Oh, people are too evil to accomplish that', or 'It's simply not practical'. I don't think we can hope to make any advances unless we address those concerns in the same way that we have managed to so convincingly address questions of morality.

Just some thoughts on strategy; I'm not attacking anyone.

Thanks for some constructive input.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
kiryasjoelvillage
Posts: 190
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2/26/2014 3:04:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/25/2014 2:36:20 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/24/2014 3:06:22 AM, nummi wrote:
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.
They're probably out of season. Or too busy "earning" money... Or they're skills of ignoring have developed much farther (something they absolutely do excel at).

Yes, perhaps you're right, perhaps they're off practicing what they preach by exploiting workingpeople to "earn" money.
This is really different.Never thought that there is also this side of the coin.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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2/26/2014 8:16:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/26/2014 3:04:20 AM, kiryasjoelvillage wrote:
At 2/25/2014 2:36:20 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/24/2014 3:06:22 AM, nummi wrote:
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.
They're probably out of season. Or too busy "earning" money... Or they're skills of ignoring have developed much farther (something they absolutely do excel at).

Yes, perhaps you're right, perhaps they're off practicing what they preach by exploiting workingpeople to "earn" money.
This is really different.Never thought that there is also this side of the coin.

Thank you for your interest in the thread.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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2/27/2014 12:29:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
In massive numbers our society turns out Willy Lomans*, people who go through life profoundly and pathetically dissatisfied with life; inwardly desolate and alienated from their own true ontological nature, from their own creativity by forms of work that are repetitive routines and drudgery, and by the existential plight that capitalism reduces human creativity to economic production, to mere labor, something that's commodified, that one is forced to sell for a wage, for a mess of pottage, something that is no longer one's own, no longer one's miraculous inheritance from the universe. This is the terrible, objectified, and dehumanizing travesty that capitalism makes of human work and life. This is the ultimate reason to rebel against it and to aspire to create a new kind of life.

* For culturally illiterate, literarily challenged "libertarians", Willy Loman is the salesman in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
nummi
Posts: 294
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2/27/2014 2:56:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/27/2014 12:29:33 AM, charleslb wrote:
In massive numbers our society turns out Willy Lomans*, people who go through life profoundly and pathetically dissatisfied with life; inwardly desolate and alienated from their own true ontological nature, from their own creativity by forms of work that are repetitive routines and drudgery, and by the existential plight that capitalism reduces human creativity to economic production, to mere labor, something that's commodified, that one is forced to sell for a wage, for a mess of pottage, something that is no longer one's own, no longer one's miraculous inheritance from the universe. This is the terrible, objectified, and dehumanizing travesty that capitalism makes of human work and life. This is the ultimate reason to rebel against it and to aspire to create a new kind of life.


* For culturally illiterate, literarily challenged "libertarians", Willy Loman is the salesman in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman.
When I was working in a warehouse this was exactly what I saw. Everyone worked for money, and money alone, nothing else mattered. Their creative thinking, thinking in general, as good as non-existent. All they cared for was money, not one bit about the job they did, in fact they hated the job. They got paid a slave wage too... everyone did. Capitalism = slavery, no matter how you look at it. In their free time the favorite activity was of course drinking, drinking for the purpose of drinking; as if to escape from reality... pathetic. During the breaks, while working, almost every single person smoked, all the time, every day, so many times; again as if to get away from reality, to just forget it all. They are incapable of realizing that drinking is idiotic and only harmful at best, the same about smoking; most importantly - why they do it in the first place.
Not one person cared for the quality of job they did, except me. I liked it even, it was a physical job, lots of moving around and lifting things (for some reason most people hate this kind a job; I took the physical part as another reason to keep doing it, because it keeps you in a good physical shape). I looked after quality of my work, made sure what I did got done right and well. Others didn't care for that at all. Oh, there was one other that did perhaps care, but his caring was more toward an obsession, so it doesn't count.

People are indoctrinated and taught to follow, but they are not taught to think. Since thinking goes against following in so many ways, they look at it disparagingly. They fear and hate whatever goes against their indoctrination that says "follow". If thinking promotes their indoctrination then they have no problem with it, they even welcome it.
This exact same quality applies to religious people. Thinking that produces contradictions to their fantasies they just demean, and ignore when they are rendered impotent against reality. But if the very same thinking produces that which promotes and advocates their BS they have no problem with it, they even welcome and promote thinking itself.

They should, no one should, be taught to follow, or to even think really. Everyone should be guided, and left to find a path specific to them. One after another, drinking and smoking, while ignoring and demeaning everything that goes against their indoctrination, while welcoming everything that goes for their indoctrination, is really not something to strive for. It's gone too far long ago.
charleslb
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2/27/2014 7:33:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/27/2014 2:56:59 AM, nummi wrote:
At 2/27/2014 12:29:33 AM, charleslb wrote:
In massive numbers our society turns out Willy Lomans*, people who go through life profoundly and pathetically dissatisfied with life; inwardly desolate and alienated from their own true ontological nature, from their own creativity by forms of work that are repetitive routines and drudgery, and by the existential plight that capitalism reduces human creativity to economic production, to mere labor, something that's commodified, that one is forced to sell for a wage, for a mess of pottage, something that is no longer one's own, no longer one's miraculous inheritance from the universe. This is the terrible, objectified, and dehumanizing travesty that capitalism makes of human work and life. This is the ultimate reason to rebel against it and to aspire to create a new kind of life.


* For culturally illiterate, literarily challenged "libertarians", Willy Loman is the salesman in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman.
When I was working in a warehouse this was exactly what I saw. Everyone worked for money, and money alone, nothing else mattered. Their creative thinking, thinking in general, as good as non-existent. All they cared for was money, not one bit about the job they did, in fact they hated the job. They got paid a slave wage too... everyone did. Capitalism = slavery, no matter how you look at it. In their free time the favorite activity was of course drinking, drinking for the purpose of drinking; as if to escape from reality... pathetic. During the breaks, while working, almost every single person smoked, all the time, every day, so many times; again as if to get away from reality, to just forget it all. They are incapable of realizing that drinking is idiotic and only harmful at best, the same about smoking; most importantly - why they do it in the first place.
Not one person cared for the quality of job they did, except me. I liked it even, it was a physical job, lots of moving around and lifting things (for some reason most people hate this kind a job; I took the physical part as another reason to keep doing it, because it keeps you in a good physical shape). I looked after quality of my work, made sure what I did got done right and well. Others didn't care for that at all. Oh, there was one other that did perhaps care, but his caring was more toward an obsession, so it doesn't count.

People are indoctrinated and taught to follow, but they are not taught to think. Since thinking goes against following in so many ways, they look at it disparagingly. They fear and hate whatever goes against their indoctrination that says "follow". If thinking promotes their indoctrination then they have no problem with it, they even welcome it.
This exact same quality applies to religious people. Thinking that produces contradictions to their fantasies they just demean, and ignore when they are rendered impotent against reality. But if the very same thinking produces that which promotes and advocates their BS they have no problem with it, they even welcome and promote thinking itself.

They should, no one should, be taught to follow, or to even think really. Everyone should be guided, and left to find a path specific to them. One after another, drinking and smoking, while ignoring and demeaning everything that goes against their indoctrination, while welcoming everything that goes for their indoctrination, is really not something to strive for. It's gone too far long ago.

Excellent feedback. Thank you.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
blaze8
Posts: 164
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2/27/2014 9:40:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Clearly a Marxist view. I hate to break it to you, but Marx's theory of Exploitation is based on an antiquated theory of Value that is no longer viable. Without the Labor Theory of Value, the Theory of Exploitation is completely useless. And unless you can provide an objective measurement of Labor hours which accounts for differences in what 1 unit of Labor hour means to each individual, let alone across time itself in a society, you must abandon it.

Second, I challenge the notion that the social ills you claim to be due to Capitalism are unique to Capitalism. The USSR experienced many of the same problems of Capitalism, including domestic abuse, serial killers, and drug abuse, along with it's own violations of human rights in state-sanctioned repression and imprisonment of ideological enemies, and a police state far more brutal than the US has ever had.

Third, you equate Capitalism with Free-market ideals. Considering Capitalism is only a system where the factors of production are privately owned, we can say absolutely nothing to the effect of Capitalism and Free Market ideals being equatable. The concept of the Invisible Hand is wrongly attributed to Smith, as the two words "Invisible" and "hand" appear together a grand total of one time in the entire Wealth of Nations, and the context had absolutely nothing to do with a self-operating or self- guiding market.

Fourth, Capitalism does not promise anything like better life, merely the opportunity to have a better life. Whether or not you have a better life is a different question. But we can arguably say that Capitalism has never been instituted in any form close to the Capitalism of David Ricardo. Adam Smith himself is not a Capitalist, for he despised the capitalist class, and observed that their interests were diametrically opposed to the interests of society.

Fifth, the prescription of the Libertarianism for the solution to the economic ails of society is called the Night-Watchman State. The State has a role in preventing monopoly, which would hurt the consumer, and promoting Competition in the economy, but little else. This is hardly unmitigated Capitalism.

You embarked on a long diatribe against Capitalism, it seems, with a limited understanding of capitalism itself, and furthermore, a fundamental lack of understanding for your own theory on exploitation. The Labor Theory of Value provides the basis for Marx's Theory on Exploitation. Yet, the Labor Theory of Value completely ignores the role of the mind in attributing price and value. It has been wholly rejected, not because it is inconvenient, but because it is not compatible at all with Economics as we know them today. Starting with Jevons, Walras, and Marshall, Economics began to incorporate the laws of Energetics and Mechanics in Physics into their Economic theories. The Labor Theory of Value, likewise, was based on the the sciences of the times. We see similarities in the crystallization of labor-power in a good, in the theories of the sciences of the time, such as phlogiston theory. It is in Jevons, Walras, and Marshall that we first find a theory of exchange, and in these economists too we first find the requirement of Calculus in order to conduct economic analysis. Irving Fisher streamlined the theories of Jevons and Walras, and Marshall developed the theory of Supply and Demand. If you wish to appeal to the theory of exploitation in Capitalism, you must inherently reject not only the empirical advances in the Theories of Economics, but you must also reject the scientific laws which formed the basis of those advances, and instead, assert the superiority of the sciences of the 17th century thru 1850.
"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."-Sterling Archer
charleslb
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2/28/2014 12:33:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/27/2014 9:40:50 PM, blaze8 wrote:
Clearly a Marxist view. I hate to break it to you, but Marx's theory of Exploitation is based on an antiquated theory of Value that is no longer viable. Without the Labor Theory of Value, the Theory of Exploitation is completely useless. And unless you can provide an objective measurement of Labor hours which accounts for differences in what 1 unit of Labor hour means to each individual, let alone across time itself in a society, you must abandon it.

I hate to break it to you, but my critique of and opposition to capitalist society isn't lamely invested in what you dismiss as behind-the-times Marxian theories. Essentially, you're attempting to strawman my point of view. I would say nice try, but it's not really such a clever try, now is it?

Second, I challenge the notion that the social ills you claim to be due to Capitalism are unique to Capitalism...

But they are endemic to it, a product of it, and quite damning of it. As for the Soviet Union, it accepted too many premises of the economistic, materialistic capitalist worldview and its system was in fact essentially a form of state capitalism.

Third, you equate Capitalism with Free-market ideals. Considering Capitalism is only a system where the factors of production are privately owned, we can say absolutely nothing to the effect of Capitalism and Free Market ideals being equatable. The concept of the Invisible Hand is wrongly attributed to Smith, as the two words "Invisible" and "hand" appear together a grand total of one time in the entire Wealth of Nations, and the context had absolutely nothing to do with a self-operating or self- guiding market.

No, I'm well aware that actually existing capitalism doesn't even make a good faith effort to actualize the ideals of market fundamentalists; I only equate capitalism and free-marketarianism to the extent that they share a sociomorally destructive, spiritually bleak, and anti-human axiological and ideological family resemblance.

Fourth, Capitalism does not promise anything like better life, merely the opportunity to have a better life.

Correction, its ideology dishonestly promises this, its empirical reality doesn't suggest such a promise at all. Offering individuals with a work ethic a fair opportunity to ameliorate their socioeconomic lot is most certainly not an inherent virtue of any real-world capitalist system.

Whether or not you have a better life is a different question. But we can arguably say that Capitalism has never been instituted in any form close to the Capitalism of David Ricardo. Adam Smith himself is not a Capitalist, for he despised the capitalist class, and observed that their interests were diametrically opposed to the interests of society.

Well, I'm quite glad that Adam Smith isn't an idol of yours, as he was an absentminded nut job who literally wandered about town conversing with himself and lived with his mother for most of his life.

Fifth, the prescription of the Libertarianism for the solution to the economic ails of society is called the Night-Watchman State. The State has a role in preventing monopoly, which would hurt the consumer, and promoting Competition in the economy, but little else. This is hardly unmitigated Capitalism.

Translation, the brilliant "libertarian" panacea for the many and various ills and pathologies of capitalist society is inflicting their ideological purity on everyone, creating a politico-economic system incapable of adequately reining in the destructive drives and behaviors of capitals, and totally and uncompassionately devoid of a social safety net for the vast majority of us who are not well-off capitalists.

You embarked on a long diatribe against Capitalism, it seems, with a limited understanding of capitalism itself, and furthermore, a fundamental lack of understanding for your own theory on exploitation.

Correction, I simply don't share your ideologically-biased and favorable understanding of capitalism. And again, although I find much value in Marxism my critical views about capitalism aren't grounded in an outmoded 19th-century version of that philosophy.

... Walras, and Marshall that we first find a theory of exchange, and in these economists too we first find the requirement of Calculus in order to conduct economic analysis. Irving Fisher streamlined the theories of Jevons and Walras, and Marshall developed the theory of Supply and Demand. If you wish to appeal to the theory of exploitation in Capitalism, you must inherently reject not only the empirical advances in the Theories of Economics, but you must also reject the scientific laws which formed the basis of those advances, and instead, assert the superiority of the sciences of the 17th century thru 1850.

And Joseph Stiglitz and Bruce Greenwald have conclusively refuted the Walrasian, neoclassical models according to which it's possible for capitalist economies to maintain equilibrium, etc. So who hasn't reconciled himself with developments in the dismal "science" of economics?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
blaze8
Posts: 164
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2/28/2014 7:36:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/28/2014 12:33:42 AM, charleslb wrote:

I hate to break it to you, but my critique of and opposition to capitalist society isn't lamely invested in what you dismiss as behind-the-times Marxian theories. Essentially, you're attempting to strawman my point of view. I would say nice try, but it's not really such a clever try, now is it?

The only Economic school of thought which uses the words "bourgeoisie," and "exploitation" in it's critique of Capitalism is Marxism. If you aren't a Marxist, please bring to the table your new theory of Exploitation. If you are, then your theory is grounded in Labor Theory of Value, which is, I'm sorry to say, way behind the times.

But they are endemic to it, a product of it, and quite damning of it. As for the Soviet Union, it accepted too many premises of the economistic, materialistic capitalist worldview and its system was in fact essentially a form of state capitalism.

Not necessarily. Which type of Capitalism are you talking about? Shareholder Capitalism? Corporate Citizenship? The problems you see in Capitalism are a product of Humanity's violent nature, and exist in all forms of economic systems. Trying to establish causal story linking domestic violence to capitalism is about as ridiculous as Sunspot theory.

No, I'm well aware that actually existing capitalism doesn't even make a good faith effort to actualize the ideals of market fundamentalists; I only equate capitalism and free-marketarianism to the extent that they share a sociomorally destructive, spiritually bleak, and anti-human axiological and ideological family resemblance.

Capitalism doesn't require us to be atheists. Case and point: Corporate Citizenship capitalism, the form we had in the US before Shareholder capitalism. The Corporation was a member of the community, holding fundraisers for good will, and being a social force for good. Blame Shareholder Capitalism for your problems, and even then, you would be very hard pressed to show those problems didn't exist outside Capitalism. Heck, they existed in totalitarian regimes who employed state-monopolies.

Correction, its ideology dishonestly promises this, its empirical reality doesn't suggest such a promise at all. Offering individuals with a work ethic a fair opportunity to ameliorate their socioeconomic lot is most certainly not an inherent virtue of any real-world capitalist system.

Ideology as claimed by who? Ricardo never says anything of the sort. Mill never did. Second, you run into problems with an economic system the minute you start appealing to any objective notion of fairness. Why should you decide for me what is a fair wage? Of the two of us, I know my circumstances exponentially better than you do, so for you to come in and say "here's a fair wage," when I think otherwise, is quite totalitarian. Third, for fair wages again, how can you know that your notion of fairness is the correct one? If it leads to higher production costs for the company (which empirical studies across the board have shown it does), and to less hours for me (again, hundreds of empirical studies show this), haven't you just made my life worse? Now prices go up, but my net real wages are decreasing!

Well, I'm quite glad that Adam Smith isn't an idol of yours, as he was an absentminded nut job who literally wandered about town conversing with himself and lived with his mother for most of his life.

Laughing off an influential book such as the Wealth of Nations is less insulting to me as an Economist as it is hilarious. Without Smith, Ricardo never writes his work, and in turn, Marx never gives his extrapolation of Labor Theory of Value. You wouldn't have a theory of exploitation without Smith.

Translation, the brilliant "libertarian" panacea for the many and various ills and pathologies of capitalist society is inflicting their ideological purity on everyone, creating a politico-economic system incapable of adequately reining in the destructive drives and behaviors of capitals, and totally and uncompassionately devoid of a social safety net for the vast majority of us who are not well-off capitalists.

Where did I mention a safety net? How is the state an inadequate mechanism for reining in the market tendency towards monopoly? Translation: "Allow competition, which drives costs and prices downwards, to exist, and snuff out anyone who attempts to consolidate market power and take advantage of the consumer." Explain how this is a bad idea?

Correction, I simply don't share your ideologically-biased and favorable understanding of capitalism. And again, although I find much value in Marxism my critical views about capitalism aren't grounded in an outmoded 19th-century version of that philosophy.

Neo-Marxist? If that's even possible? Why use Exploitation to describe Capitalism if you have no theory on how it takes place?

And Joseph Stiglitz and Bruce Greenwald have conclusively refuted the Walrasian, neoclassical models according to which it's possible for capitalist economies to maintain equilibrium, etc. So who hasn't reconciled himself with developments in the dismal "science" of economics?

Stiglitz and Greenwald refuted General Equilibrium Theory, not Partial Equilibrium Theory, which is literally exactly what you learn in Microconomic Theory in every University and College in the US.
"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."-Sterling Archer
Juris_Naturalis
Posts: 273
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2/28/2014 8:07:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.

Or maybe they see no reason arguing with people with un-realistic and radical world views. *GASP* the thought""..
nummi
Posts: 294
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2/28/2014 8:30:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/28/2014 8:07:32 AM, Juris_Naturalis wrote:
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.

Or maybe they see no reason arguing with people with un-realistic and radical world views. *GASP* the thought""..
Exactly the kind of "argument" a pro-capitalist would provide... How about you say, in detail and as a product of objective thinking, why it is unrealistic? Something I have always noticed, when I bring up absolutely essential points that in truth refute the BS of "your kind", is that all those points are completely ignored, to say the least.
Radical it is for an extremely good reason... just look around! Look at what is going on in the real world, not in some fantasy you live by and hold true in your mind!

How about you take what is already said, bit by bit, and provide an opposing argument from objectivity for each point made?
blaze8
Posts: 164
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2/28/2014 8:55:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/28/2014 8:32:22 AM, nummi wrote:
At 2/28/2014 7:36:48 AM, blaze8 wrote:
Epic bias you got there...

Not really, unless you'd care to correct the deficiencies of Labor Theory of Value, while still maintaining it's core assertion of value generated in production?
"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."-Sterling Archer
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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2/28/2014 6:50:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/28/2014 8:07:32 AM, Juris_Naturalis wrote:
At 2/24/2014 2:27:42 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 2/23/2014 3:36:40 PM, charleslb wrote:
Where are all of the delightful "libertarians" who used to leap to capitalism's defense? Perhaps you've begun to hear how empty and sophistical your arguments sound?

Yep, perhaps the site is no longer quite so dominated by aggressive "libertarians", advocates of Austrian economics, Rothbardians, et al. That's certainly a positive development.

Or maybe they see no reason arguing with people with un-realistic and radical world views. *GASP* the thought""..

So you have nothing substantive to contribute?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.