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Capitalism, Theory vs. Reality

charleslb
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5/14/2011 9:38:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Fabian_CH, in a post by GeoLaureate8 (The Many Arguments Against Capitalism) commented to the effect that my criticisms of capitalism target a straw man definition ("Laissez-faire capitalism is bashed, while at the same time professing that there is some other definition of capitalism that is the "real" target of the bashing".). This reminded me of the tired refrain we often hear from the apologists and advocates of capitalism, you know, the one that goes: "It's unfair to lambaste capitalism with the flaws of our economic system, because our economic system isn't at all true to the core and classic principles of capitalism. If we only had a system that was fastidiously faithful to the philosophy of capitalism then everyone would see what a brilliant and splendorous system capitalism really is."

Translation: "I just want to think and talk about what a lovely, lofty system the "free market" is in theory, I don't wish to confront the hard-to-defend reality of the socioeconomic injustice and human wretchedness that masses of working poor and unemployed people are forced to routinely endure as they struggle to survive under capitalism."

The harsh and dehumanizing reality of capitalism, for the information of any free-marketarian ideologue who hasn't been down from his ivory tower lately, is as follows. Firstly, a morally unjustifiable asymmetry in the distribution of wealth, with the result that a predatory and plutocratic few enjoy extreme and opulent affluence while the plebian bulk of humanity suffers moderate to extreme poverty and privation (some literally scrounging in garbage dumps for barely edible foodstuffs to sustain their malnourished bodies).

Secondly, capitalism is an inherently dehumanizing system not merely because it degrades men and women with insulting and infra dig indigence, but because it objectifies them into mere factory robots, and supermarket checker robots, and office worker robots, etc., performing menial and servile tasks that generate revenue for owners. That is, under capitalism human individuals are no longer treated as such, instead they're constrained by the system to accept an existential state of affairs in which they're stereotyped as, related to as, and valued (or disvalued) as their commercial function, their role in the commerce of the market, i.e. their cog-like job in the economic machine . An economic machine that's geared to use people, to turn them into means to the ends, to the profits of their employers.

From a humanistic point of view then, the fundamental and enormous sin of capitalism is that it de-dignifies us into things, things that serve someone else's selfish purposes. And spiritually, this endemic capitalistic thingification and exploitation of working people does us the ultimate injury by alienating us from our own inner creative nature. That is, instead of our economic productivity being experienced as an expression of our indwelling quantum of divine creativity and ingenuity, it's reduced to an exploitable resource that belongs to a boss or corporation – we're effectively estranged from our ultimate nature and immanent godlikeness. It's not at all a rhetorical exaggeration to say that capitalism's commodification of ordinary Joes and Janes into wage-earning chattel excommunicates them from the beatitude of their own personal portion of cosmic creativity, that it condemns us to a spiritually forlorn state of living without a keen conscious sense of Transcendence actualizing itself through our daily constructive activities.

Doesn't this pretty much cover the existential and ethical badness of capitalism? What more can really be said against our system of predaceous and parasitic "private enterprise"? Well, there is the underlying primitive alpha dog mentalité that capitalism in both theory and practice is predicated upon and promotes. Since I'm engaged in critically slicing through capitalism's bourgeois and Babbittish baloney I'd be quite remiss if I neglected to mention that modern capitalism is just the same old sour and foul-tasting wine of to the strong go all the spoils in new ideological wineskins.

In the grandiose guise of the "free market", capitalism gives the ole heave-ho to the last 2,500 years of man's ethical growth and returns us to a system of society in which the only socioeconomic law in operation is the law of the jungle – dominate or be dominated. A system in which individuals are shamelessly unfettered from acting upon their animalistic aspiration to achieve and exercise social dominance over their neighbor. A system in which the brutelike striving for social dominance takes the crass form of economic dominance, and in which economic dominance is reached by ruthlessly and rapaciously reaping the fruits of other people's labors and losses so as to become "rich". The modern "rich man" is just a Neanderthaloid alpha male (or female) dressed up in a business suit and Rolex watch. The vaunted freedom of the "free market" boils down to little more than society granting people the licentious and amoral permission to conduct themselves in an atavistically self-assertive and avaricious fashion.

In other words, social Darwinism decked out as the doctrine of the "free market" is the order of the day. Say what?! Well, let me quote the better part of a paragraph here from the Encyclopædia Britannica's article on social Darwinism, "The theory was used to support laissez-faire capitalism and political conservatism. Class stratification was justified on the basis of "natural" inequalities among individuals, for the control of property was said to be a correlate of superior and inherent moral attributes such as industriousness, temperance, and frugality. Attempts to reform society through state intervention or other means would, therefore, interfere with natural processes; unrestricted competition and defense of the status quo were in accord with biological selection. The poor were the "unfit" and should not be aided; in the struggle for existence, wealth was a sign of success."

You might have noted how the article uses the past tense, as if social Darwinism is a dated worldview that no longer informs the thinking of folks who are pro-capitalist. But in actuality just about all of the backward thinking described above is still very much with us, deeply ensconced in the body of ideas espoused by right-of-center politicos, commentators, and businessmen – by disciples of Reganomics and "libertarianism" and all the in-vogue schools of economic thought. For example, believers in laissez-faire capitalism still tend to think in terms of the strong, i.e. of people who enjoy affluence, being superiorly endowed with morally excellent traits such as a stronger work ethic, enterprisingness, thriftiness, etc., which supposedly entitle them to the higher quality of life they enjoy. While the weak, i.e. the poor, the unemployed, and the homeless allegedly lack these good traits and therefore should disappear from our communities into the mendicant margins of society – the next best thing to them literally dying off. (What an eminently sensible & enlightened mentalité. NOT!)

The conclusion is located directly 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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5/14/2011 9:39:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Conclusion

Is this over the top of me? Alas no, according to contemporary conservatives, the weak and inferior, you know, the folks in the lower economic classes, aren't "entitled" to anything from society. The very concept of "entitlements" is every bit as abhorrent to them as to a classic 19th century social Darwinist. And our latter-day social Darwinists, the conservatives, certainly have no trouble with the class stratification of society – to the conservative mind-set a form of hierarchical society divided into disproportionately empowered socioeconomic classes is quite natural and acceptable. Indeed, rationalizing such an unequal status quo, and unrestricted competition and greed are the hallmarks of conservatism and free-marketarianism. So how exactly has our capitalist society moved beyond the unprogressive social Darwinism of the benighted 1800s?!

It seems that we're just less blunt and boorish about our regressively, cavemanly social-Darwinian attitudes nowadays, but they still fairly distinctly lurk beneath both the economic realities and ideals of our ostensively "civilized" world order. This makes for a world order that's hardly kind & gentle, and that in many instances is egregiously cruel and brutal.

Capitalism, it's plain to see, is certainly no utopia at all, though the staunch proponents of its theory tend to be quixotically utopian as far as their temperamental unwillingness and intellectual inability to confront the obvious negativity of capitalism's facts on the ground goes. That capitalism is a socially, morally, and spiritually dismal system in which the majority of mankind is locked into chronic lack and pauperism; is dehumanized and alienated from spiritual and personal authenticity; and has reverted to an uncompassionately Darwinian, downright troglodytic take on economics and society; that all of this is empirically the case, and conspicuously so, doesn't penetrate the clanky, clunky cognitive armor of free-market fanatics and capitalist cultists one bit.

How so?! The intellectually dishonest and facile defense of the conservative booster of a "free economy" is to simply reject disconfirming real-world data in favor of the elegance of laissez-faireism, to inanely cling to the psychological safety blanket of ideology in the face of so much human pain. This works well enough to keep Republicans and rich folk cozy in their pro-capitalist creed, but unfortunately it means no measurable change of heart in these dogmatic elitists at the top of the socioeconomic food chain, and no foreseeable altruistically-inspired amelioration of the lot of the average workingperson. Nope, workingpeople can no longer wait for business and political leaders who are invested in keeping the faith in capitalism to give us real change from the top down, we need to begin kicking the system and philosophy of capitalism to the curb of history ourselves, or keep getting our rear ends kicked by it.
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.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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5/14/2011 9:43:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Conclusion: When the commies killed millions of people last century, your response was "KILL MORE."
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
charleslb
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5/14/2011 9:52:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:43:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Conclusion: When the commies killed millions of people last century, your response was "KILL MORE."

The sins of Soviet-style communists would only present me with a problem if I self-identified as a Soviet-style communist, which I don't. Also, I face no difficulty vis–à–vis Soviet-style communism because it's hardly the only alternative to capitalism. Ergo, your reductive retort simply isn't all that troubling.
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.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:38:18 PM, charleslb wrote:
I hate it when people say the status quo isn't true capitalism, but I do exact same thing when called to defend Stalin and Mao.

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Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?
charleslb
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5/14/2011 10:06:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

Remember when George Bush won two presidential elections (or at least one), did that make him right about anything at all? Did it make him the most brilliant candidate? Winning =/= vindication, not always anyway.
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.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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5/14/2011 10:12:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 10:06:28 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

Remember when George Bush won two presidential elections (or at least one), did that make him right about anything at all? Did it make him the most brilliant candidate? Winning =/= vindication, not always anyway.

George had outside help and Cheney pulling the strings.

Your debate was entirely dependent on YOU. And you failed miserably. In this case, J.Kenyon was able to show that your comprehension of capitalism is obscure and incorrect and that your idealization of communism is BS.

Also, when are we going to debate nihilism? That's another topic of yours that you love to attack but never challenge in a debate.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
badger
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5/14/2011 10:14:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

you shouldn't have won that debate you had with me on santa's existence... :P
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charleslb
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5/14/2011 10:15:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 5/14/2011 9:38:18 PM, charleslb wrote:
I hate it when people say the status quo isn't true capitalism, but I do exact same thing when called to defend Stalin and Mao.

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Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

Oh yeah, as I recall, you're one of those who believes that the strong alpha capitalists should survive and flourish, and the weak welfare recipients and homeless should perish. Yes, I'm sure the only time you're a bleeding heart is when your heart bleeds for the victims of those villainous communists.
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.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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5/14/2011 10:20:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
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: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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5/14/2011 10:42:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 10:12:34 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 5/14/2011 10:06:28 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

Remember when George Bush won two presidential elections (or at least one), did that make him right about anything at all? Did it make him the most brilliant candidate? Winning =/= vindication, not always anyway.

George had outside help and Cheney pulling the strings.

Your debate was entirely dependent on YOU. And you failed miserably. In this case, J.Kenyon was able to show that your comprehension of capitalism is obscure and incorrect and that your idealization of communism is BS.

I lost and deserved to lose, but not because I took an inherently losing position, i.e. not because capitalism is the superior system, nor because J.Kenyon is the superior debater; rather, I lost because I didn't play by the rules and didn't dignify J.'s derivative arguments by tackling them head on. I could have easily referenced economists who've formulated cogent refutations of the arguments that J. borrowed from von Mises et al, but frankly I'm more interested in how capitalism shapes up in the real world. So, essentially, I sacrificed the debate to say what I consider it important and an ethical duty to say about capitalism. (This might sound like being a bad loser, but it's just stating facts.)

Debate nihilism? What's the expression, "How do you disprove a negative?", since the nihilist stance amounts to an intellectual construct of various axiological, ethical, and ontological negatives, as it were; and since nihilists are next-to-impossible-to-convince radical skeptics; it should be loads of fun for you I know. Not being one to deny a fellow human being her fun I accept your invitation to debate, but I don't have the time just now, I'll let you know when I do. (Btw, I have read Nietzsche and like his writing, I even agree with much of what I've read, but alas not the nihilism.)
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.
annhasle
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5/14/2011 10:57:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 10:42:50 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/14/2011 10:12:34 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 5/14/2011 10:06:28 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism vs. communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

Remember when George Bush won two presidential elections (or at least one), did that make him right about anything at all? Did it make him the most brilliant candidate? Winning =/= vindication, not always anyway.

George had outside help and Cheney pulling the strings.

Your debate was entirely dependent on YOU. And you failed miserably. In this case, J.Kenyon was able to show that your comprehension of capitalism is obscure and incorrect and that your idealization of communism is BS.

I lost and deserved to lose, but not because I took an inherently losing position, i.e. not because capitalism is the superior system, nor because J.Kenyon is the superior debater; rather, I lost because I didn't play by the rules and didn't dignify J.'s derivative arguments by tackling them head on. I could have easily referenced economists who've formulated cogent refutations of the arguments that J. borrowed from von Mises et al, but frankly I'm more interested in how capitalism shapes up in the real world. So, essentially, I sacrificed the debate to say what I consider it important and an ethical duty to say about capitalism. (This might sound like being a bad loser, but it's just stating facts.)

See, that's what confuses me. You rant in the forums and have ample opportunities to express what you deem to be "important and an ethical duty" (barf) but only ONE opportunity to negate capitalism within a formal setting. You had the perfect opportunity to show how communism can be rationally supported (it really can't be but you could've tried) and you blew it simply because you wanted to rant again?

If you could have easily referenced experts and used refutations of others, why didn't you? Step down from your soapbox and join the masses, man. Actually have a conversation where you aren't talking AT someone. Where you at least appear to be listening instead of hiding behind verbosity.

If you did that, I think your responses would increase in quality and quantity.

Debate nihilism? What's the expression, "How do you disprove a negative?", since the nihilist stance amounts to an intellectual construct of various axiological, ethical, and ontological negatives, as it were; and since nihilists are next-to-impossible-to-convince radical skeptics; it should be loads of fun for you I know. Not being one to deny a fellow human being her fun I accept your invitation to debate, but I don't have the time just now, I'll let you know when I do. (Btw, I have read Nietzsche and like his writing, I even agree with much of what I've read, but alas not the nihilism.)

1. I'm not asking you to disprove nihilism.

2. You can pick from moral, existential and metaphysical nihilism and then create a resolution from whichever you choose that interests you.

For example, if you were to choose moral nihilism --> you'd then create a resolution like:

"It is detrimental to disregard morality" or "Moral Nihilism is logically inconsistent"

Since I'm defending nihilism, I'll be Con which means you are the Instigator. I'll give you that so you are sure to pick a debate which interests you. PM me whenever you have the time.

3. It doesn't surprise me that you'd enjoy Nietzsche. Many people on DDO love him and realize how intelligent he was -- even our resident genius PCP loves Nietzsche which surprises many people (for some reason).
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/15/2011 2:41:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:52:05 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/14/2011 9:43:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Conclusion: When the commies killed millions of people last century, your response was "KILL MORE."

The sins of Soviet-style communists would only present me with a problem if I self-identified as a Soviet-style communist, which I don't. Also, I face no difficulty vis–à–vis Soviet-style communism because it's hardly the only alternative to capitalism. Ergo, your reductive retort simply isn't all that troubling.
Thanks for refuting your thread. To put it in terms you can understand:

The sins of crony-style capitalists would only present me with a problem if I self-identified as a crony-style capitalist, which I don't. Also, I face no difficulty vis–à–vis crony-style capitalism because it's hardly the only alternative to communism. Ergo, your reductive retortee simply isn't all that troubling.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Fabian_CH
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5/15/2011 5:15:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Hahahahahaha. You try to defend yourself against me saying that you have no other definition for capitalism than laissez-faire - by pretending like you do, without ever naming it :)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Rob1_Billion
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5/15/2011 11:08:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:54:59 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Hey charles, remember when we debated capitalism versus communism and I won by like a million to nothing?

It's kind of hard for someone like Charles or I to debate communism on this site, for obvious reasons - debates are determined by popularity. Why would I possibly start challenging people to debates just to be voted on by capitalists 10 to 1? Sure, maybe one of those will actually go out on a limb and set aside the emotions and ideological predispositions, but it's pretty obvious that the debate is lost prior to the first round.

Your statement here is particularly problematic. You are implying that a win in the debates section indicates a victory to be used as evidence of truth in the future. IOWs, if I was to debate one of your drones on capitalism, you are admitting that you have a vested interest in seeing me lose. After all, a win for me or Charles is a win for communism.

I here Askbob talking a lot about legitimacy in debates. He proposes all sorts of rules to confine and control how we can vote. Does it make any sense to use this approach when the obvious problem is predisposition to the debate? Do you guys actually believe that you are going to continue to refine and add rules to the voting system and obtain an impartial system? The problem we have here, and it's nobodies "fault" in particular, is lack of diversity. I think that Innomen has a good position in this regard, in that he is focusing on the actual problem while Askbob is focusing on rules. With all the minarchists and anarchists on this site, it is surprising to me that so many people would jump on this bandwagon and think that it's just a matter of saturation and enforcement of rules that is going to magically make everyone get the votes they deserve.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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5/15/2011 11:22:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Charles, with the little bit of support communism has on this site, I don't feel you are helping much. You understand well by now that people are not expecting long posts and the accusations of advertising your blog are getting harder to deny. On DDO, we value succinctness. It's not just a matter of the skill to be succinct, it is a matter of creating a dialogue with many exchanges that can be productive. Imagine if Socrates did nothing but rant...

I am probably more resonant to your ideology than anyone that would glance at it on here, and I never read your posts because I'm not on DDO to read - I'm here to interact. Like a teacher that lectures too heavily, you are squashing the effectiveness of your style and giving the capitalists easy outs to derail your threads. Sure, they make themselves look immature while they are doing it, but that alone isn't going to do you any good.

I challenge you to start posting threads that promote exchanges of ideas instead of simply provoking people into taunting you. I have a feeling you do it on purpose at this point because you feel a sense of superiority that you don't need to sink to that level. Realize that your intentions are obviously ill in this regard. If all you're looking for is a catfight with these threads, then I guess I will continue to be the only communistic poster worth a damn on this site.
kfc
Grape
Posts: 989
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5/15/2011 12:41:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Do you have any evidence that 'capitalists' win disproportionately more in debates that are about economics versus other topics? I (and many others) generally avoid voting in our fellow libertarians' debates unless it was not close at all to avoid the effects of bias. You can't just point to the debate record of someone like J.Kenyon and conclude it's only the result of voter bias.

Who do you think won the debate between J.Kenyon and charleslb?
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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5/15/2011 1:24:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/15/2011 11:22:00 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
Charles, with the little bit of support communism has on this site, I don't feel you are helping much. You understand well by now that people are not expecting long posts and the accusations of advertising your blog are getting harder to deny. On DDO, we value succinctness. It's not just a matter of the skill to be succinct, it is a matter of creating a dialogue with many exchanges that can be productive. Imagine if Socrates did nothing but rant...

I am probably more resonant to your ideology than anyone that would glance at it on here, and I never read your posts because I'm not on DDO to read - I'm here to interact. Like a teacher that lectures too heavily, you are squashing the effectiveness of your style and giving the capitalists easy outs to derail your threads. Sure, they make themselves look immature while they are doing it, but that alone isn't going to do you any good.

I challenge you to start posting threads that promote exchanges of ideas instead of simply provoking people into taunting you. I have a feeling you do it on purpose at this point because you feel a sense of superiority that you don't need to sink to that level. Realize that your intentions are obviously ill in this regard. If all you're looking for is a catfight with these threads, then I guess I will continue to be the only communistic poster worth a damn on this site.

Firstly, yes, I realize that we live in a culture of reality show TV, and the age of twitterable information, i.e. that 21st century brains have been conditioned to be lackadaisical and blasé processors of simplistic and brief input. To such infotained, soundbite-accustomed, and complexity-intolerant brains long posts that don't boil down one's thoughts into a 30 second elevator speech are irritatingly inconsiderate and the height of pomposity. Yes, if one wishes to be a good internet citizen, a likable participant in a forum, one must cater to the atrophied attention span and disinclination to spend more than a full minute reading a post. My apologies.

As for the "teachers who lecture too heavily" comparison, well, perhaps such teachers are ineffective due not to their ponderousness, but to the preference and need of their ADDish students for a light and abridged version of the material. Heaven forbid that modern people be challenged to follow a longish and heavy-with-substance train of thought, or take a few minutes out of their fast-paced day to read an above-average-in-"verbosity" post!

Now then, shall we imagine if Socrates did nothing but rant? Well, what you might get is Plato giving readers a piece of his mind in "dialogues" in which everyone – including Socrates – is really a just character serving to spiel forth the author's views on forms and philosopher kings, his declamations and "rants" against poetry and democracy. In other words, Socrates – despite his famed dialectic method – was really little more than a mouthpiece for Plato's sophisticated and glorified rants. So then I ask you, does being a "ranter" really automatically invalidate one's message or style? "Rant" and "ranter" are just terms used to marginalize and dismiss people who rub us the wrong way – something that, once again, impatient and lazy minds are wont to resort to.

As to your accusation that I'm merely interested in provoking others into taunting me so as to enjoy a cheap feeling of superiority, well, thank you for your psychoanalysis Herr Doktor, but perhaps you're merely reading your own annoyance and middlebrow chauvinism into my motives. Or perhaps your own feelings of intellectual insecurity are being piqued and inverted into my perceived intellectual snootiness and superiority? Hmm? Well, did you take more than the briefest of moments to introspectively examine why you might not like my posts, or did you promptly begin reflecting on what's wrong with my style?

And yes, my posts can promote an exchange of ideas, if those who reply would do so without being ad hominem and psychologistic.
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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5/15/2011 1:28:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 10:57:27 PM, annhasle wrote:
See, that's what confuses me. You rant in the forums and have ample opportunities to express what you deem to be "important and an ethical duty" (barf) but only ONE opportunity to negate capitalism within a formal setting. You had the perfect opportunity to show how communism can be rationally supported (it really can't be but you could've tried) and you blew it simply because you wanted to rant again?

If you could have easily referenced experts and used refutations of others, why didn't you? Step down from your soapbox and join the masses, man. Actually have a conversation where you aren't talking AT someone. Where you at least appear to be listening instead of hiding behind verbosity.

I won't rehash, I'll just suggest that you read my above reply to Rob1_Billion.
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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5/15/2011 1:37:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/15/2011 5:15:40 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
Hahahahahaha. You try to defend yourself against me saying that you have no other definition for capitalism than laissez-faire - by pretending like you do, without ever naming it :)

Now then, back to the topic of the thread – which is not me, by the way; though I am a rather interesting fellow, in an annoying sort of way, apparently.

Dear Fabian, I have quite explicitly named my definition of capitalism, it's empirical capitalism – you know, capitalism as found in the big bad world that real poor people have to try to survive in. You, on the other hand, like your fellow free-marketeers, still haven't provided an example of what you would consider an authentically capitalist nation or era in history.

So, I ask once again, and for the umpteenth time, when, pray tell, did this quintessentially capitalist model of an economic system that free-marketeers tout ever actually exist in the real world? Back in the era of open sweatshop labor and the robber barons perhaps, was their brand of capitalism the real McCoy? Or was the capitalism of the early Industrial Revolution, when masses of folks were reduced to flesh & blood pieces of machinery in factories for subsistence wages, was that the time of "true" capitalism? Or do we have to push back even further, into the age of mercantilism, did an embryonic form of pure capitalism gestate into existence under that bygone system in which "the wealth of the nation rested on the poverty of the many"? When, I ask, has free-market capitalism ever existed in all its purity and glory? Or is it perhaps an ideal of its devotees, an ideal that has never truly and completely been actualized anywhere, anywhen. This of course would make free-marketeers and pro-capitalists utopians, people who believe in the perfection and attainability of an unproven dream system. As a socialist I welcome you'all to the club of utopians.
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
Posts: 4,740
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5/15/2011 1:48:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
A typo correction. In the reply above to Rob_1Billion, the following sentence contains a typo: "Well, what you might get is Plato giving readers a piece of his mind in "dialogues" in which everyone – including Socrates – is really a just character serving to spiel forth the author's views on forms and philosopher kings, his declamations and "rants" against poetry and democracy." It should read: ... just a character ...
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.
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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5/15/2011 1:59:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
charleslb, you complain constantly that we lack a concrete example of ideal capitalism put into practice. However, we also lack a concrete example of ideal communism/socialism/whatever it is that you advocate. So, I propose that we do one of two things:
1. We compare real-world attempts at "capitalism" (such as the United States and most of the West) with real-world attempts at "socialism" (such as the Soviet Union).
2. We compare ideal free-market capitalism with ideal socialism.

Any other comparison would be slanted, and therefore rather ridiculous. Comparing ideals to reality will always favor the ideals, making a discussion pointless.

It's your call, charles.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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5/15/2011 1:59:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Kill capitalism before it kills you.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Grape
Posts: 989
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5/15/2011 2:01:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
charles - Do you understand that the longer a post is, the better quality it has to be in order for it to be worth reading when one could read several shorter comments in the same time? I could read five 200 page books in the time it would take me to read a 1000 page book, so the 1000 page book has to be five times better to be worth reading. Four times better will not cut it. You write extremely long sentences that frequently convey very little information, and the actual ideas you express in your long rants are not very original and do not evolve in response to criticism. For that reason, why should I be interested in reading them?
Reasoning
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5/15/2011 2:05:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/14/2011 9:38:18 PM, charleslb wrote:
"It's unfair to lambaste capitalism with the flaws of our economic system, because our economic system isn't at all true to the core and classic principles of capitalism. If we only had a system that was fastidiously faithful to the philosophy of capitalism then everyone would see what a brilliant and splendorous system capitalism really is."

I've said before ad I'll say again that capitalism is a poor word choice for market anarchists to describe the system they favor. Capitalism is associated with the current system in the United States and similar societies and that is not at all what the market anarchist wants. The goal of the market anarchist is a radically different society than what exists at present or has ever existed for a great period of time.

Comparing capitalism as it exists to he freed market of the market anarchists is to compare black to white.

Translation: "I just want to think and talk about what a lovely, lofty system the "free market" is in theory, I don't wish to confront the hard-to-defend reality of the socioeconomic injustice and human wretchedness that masses of working poor and unemployed people are forced to routinely endure as they struggle to survive under capitalism."

Most market anarchists realize that the current order is horrendously unjust and inequitable. They are just as opposed to the state of affairs as yourself.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Reasoning
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5/15/2011 2:08:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The market anarchists posit that Orwell had it backwards. The past, the present is the boot stamping on a human face. Whether the future is the same depends on what we do.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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5/15/2011 3:49:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/15/2011 12:41:24 PM, Grape wrote:
Do you have any evidence that 'capitalists' win disproportionately more in debates that are about economics versus other topics? I (and many others) generally avoid voting in our fellow libertarians' debates unless it was not close at all to avoid the effects of bias. You can't just point to the debate record of someone like J.Kenyon and conclude it's only the result of voter bias.

Who do you think won the debate between J.Kenyon and charleslb?

I debated Sieben on ancom and it was a libertarian J.O. session. http://www.debate.org...

I recieved one vote, and it was determined that it must be a vote-bomb.

The voters:
Danielle - was libertarian at the time
Tidin - libertarian
M93samman - admitted he only voted against me because he thought Sieben was being vote-bombed (2 wrongs=right)
Mongeese - libertarian
LaissezFairre - see name
RoyLatham - come on now
Orionsgambit - voted for me, but was determined to be a vote-bomb. Whether it was or not makes little difference to my argument.

I'm not really trying to dig up some old debate that is long forgotten about, but rest assured I am not going to be making any debates about capitalism until there is a healthy community of non-capitalists on this site so that I at least have a fighting chance to get a fair shot in the voting.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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5/15/2011 3:53:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/15/2011 3:49:16 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 5/15/2011 12:41:24 PM, Grape wrote:
Do you have any evidence that 'capitalists' win disproportionately more in debates that are about economics versus other topics? I (and many others) generally avoid voting in our fellow libertarians' debates unless it was not close at all to avoid the effects of bias. You can't just point to the debate record of someone like J.Kenyon and conclude it's only the result of voter bias.

Who do you think won the debate between J.Kenyon and charleslb?

I debated Sieben on ancom and it was a libertarian J.O. session. http://www.debate.org...

I recieved one vote, and it was determined that it must be a vote-bomb.

The voters:
Danielle - was libertarian at the time
Tidin - libertarian
M93samman - admitted he only voted against me because he thought Sieben was being vote-bombed (2 wrongs=right)
Mongeese - libertarian
LaissezFairre - see name
RoyLatham - come on now
Orionsgambit - voted for me, but was determined to be a vote-bomb. Whether it was or not makes little difference to my argument.

I'm not really trying to dig up some old debate that is long forgotten about, but rest assured I am not going to be making any debates about capitalism until there is a healthy community of non-capitalists on this site so that I at least have a fighting chance to get a fair shot in the voting.

J.Kenyon decided not to vote in that debate, despite the fact that he was licking his chops in the comments section before it even started, and I believe that if there had been some actual votes in my favor that he and others would have been ready to descend on it - there would have been many more capitalists ready to offset any votes if there was anyone actually ready to vote for me :)
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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5/15/2011 4:18:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/15/2011 3:54:27 PM, mongeese wrote:
Rob, it doesn't help that your example Communist was basically a troll.

Who... Charles or Orion?
kfc