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A Political Criticism of Capitalism

Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 5:02:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Unlike times of the past, when politics were based on class interests or unquestioned authority, politics today are shaped by ideology. Therefore, ideologists are perhaps the most important thinkers in politics for our time.

Of course, this makes the books we read extremely important.

Recently, we discussed what shaped our political ideologies. A typical response, and for good reason, it was books. Well, I'd have to say that books have shaped me more than any other source of information.

But, to narrow it down to just one book is so... misleading. The political path is along one, as it is really based in our interpretation of sociology and philosophy. Indeed, political philosophy is an essential competency for anyone who intends to participate.

So, I'm going to share with you guys the basic ideas that have led to my political perspectives, which will ultimately serve as my criticism of capitalism. It sounds long, and it probably will be, so I'll put it in a second post. If you're not interested and this post didn't change your mind, then it really doesn't matter how long it will be, anyway.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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12/18/2011 5:04:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Its always fun listening to socialists whine about the system which has led to the greatest prosperity under the shortest amount of time.

Shoot!
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 5:37:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've decided this undertaking is far greater than I initially presumed. Sooooo... I'm just going to start with an introduction and we can take it from there:

in The Watchdogs, Paul Nizan explains how French intellectuals rationalized the French Algerian war and subsequent colonialist leanings to a series of misunderstandings and "temporary insanity" that disrupts and otherwise ideal state for the "powers that be," and it is now both their interest and responsibility to regain their "lost paradise."

This, of course, is counter to their initial rationale, which was flagrantly racist, culturally deleterious, and religiously intolerant. However, in light of more stable and affluent times comes a certain profundity that embraces human nature and diversity, acknowledging its benefit in a functional society. Nonetheless, obscurantism like this only works within the society in which it derives; the rest of the world always remembers the premise and reality behind colonial struggles between the European/Western world and the Second as well as Third world.

This was to the French's chagrin, though, because it led them to make all information nearly impossible to access, leaving French society completely defenseless in the wake of WWII.

In The New Imperialists, Colin Mooers (Chair of the Department of Politics and School of Administration at Ryerson University of Toronto) draws direct correlation between the French elite of the 1940's and the upper class of today. Due to this residue of colonial imperialism by the Western world, "contemporary imperialism has had to drape itself in new ideological clothes; its defenders must now speak the language of democracy and human rights; of freedom and dignity; of inclusiveness and respect for difference; of gender equality and the alleviation of poverty; of good governance and sustainable development."

This is possible due to "up-to-the-minute" technologies and mass deception.

One example is the Internet. That is our new connection to the world. However, it is an American network run by majority Americans, and within our borders, under American control.

Wikileaks is an excellent example. Information that we don't know, that we should know, and that they will not let us know.

But, what is the point of all this?

To globalize, expanding the power of those who currently have control over the Western world to the entire world, with people like us allowing it to happen, because we believe (incorrectly) that we could ever become one of them, unless we already are one of them.

The real problem lay with the fact that we're not entirely sure what "one of them" is. Moreover that, if they ever achieve these ends, Capitalism will no longer exist, as there will be nothing new to capitalize upon.

Which means that they will be accepting no new members to their club.

History will laugh at us, in all of our ignorance and distraction.

They will see television, review the beginnings of the Internet, research our news, and laugh.

And laugh and laugh and say we fcking deserved it.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 5:38:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Oh, I forgot to explain what we'd deserve.

I'm almost certain that class divisions would actually evolve into what we now consider world divisions (First, Second, and Third), which is pretty similar to how things microcosmically work within our society.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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12/18/2011 6:02:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Capital is ever-expanding.
As the human race evolves and prospers, new sources of capital will be found.
Hell, as soon as we start settling on planets and mining them, another huge market will open up.
New capital will never run out.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Ren
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12/18/2011 6:24:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 6:02:41 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Capital is ever-expanding.
As the human race evolves and prospers, new sources of capital will be found.
Hell, as soon as we start settling on planets and mining them, another huge market will open up.
New capital will never run out.

That's pretty shortsighted.

The point is that all capital will already be owned. See: totalitarianism.
comoncents
Posts: 5,647
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12/18/2011 6:38:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Capitalism has many problems. Much is found only in the complete self regulated market. Read Polanyi and "The Great Transformation."
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 6:52:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 6:38:32 PM, comoncents wrote:
Capitalism has many problems. Much is found only in the complete self regulated market. Read Polanyi and "The Great Transformation."

You don't find that the least bit unrealistically idealistic?
comoncents
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12/18/2011 6:57:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 6:52:57 PM, Ren wrote:
At 12/18/2011 6:38:32 PM, comoncents wrote:
Capitalism has many problems. Much is found only in the complete self regulated market. Read Polanyi and "The Great Transformation."

You don't find that the least bit unrealistically idealistic?

What? The problems with capitalism? I find people speaking to the utopian nature of the self regulated markets as being unrealistically idealistic. If we are taking capitalism for the fact of what it is, then it is dangerous without some form of regulation.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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12/18/2011 7:00:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
What is so idealistic about capitalism? Capitalism is just the way things are.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
mongoose
Posts: 3,500
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12/18/2011 7:24:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 5:37:06 PM, Ren wrote:
I've decided this undertaking is far greater than I initially presumed. Sooooo... I'm just going to start with an introduction and we can take it from there:

in The Watchdogs, Paul Nizan explains how French intellectuals rationalized the French Algerian war and subsequent colonialist leanings to a series of misunderstandings and "temporary insanity" that disrupts and otherwise ideal state for the "powers that be," and it is now both their interest and responsibility to regain their "lost paradise."

This, of course, is counter to their initial rationale, which was flagrantly racist, culturally deleterious, and religiously intolerant. However, in light of more stable and affluent times comes a certain profundity that embraces human nature and diversity, acknowledging its benefit in a functional society. Nonetheless, obscurantism like this only works within the society in which it derives; the rest of the world always remembers the premise and reality behind colonial struggles between the European/Western world and the Second as well as Third world.

This was to the French's chagrin, though, because it led them to make all information nearly impossible to access, leaving French society completely defenseless in the wake of WWII.

In The New Imperialists, Colin Mooers (Chair of the Department of Politics and School of Administration at Ryerson University of Toronto) draws direct correlation between the French elite of the 1940's and the upper class of today. Due to this residue of colonial imperialism by the Western world, "contemporary imperialism has had to drape itself in new ideological clothes; its defenders must now speak the language of democracy and human rights; of freedom and dignity; of inclusiveness and respect for difference; of gender equality and the alleviation of poverty; of good governance and sustainable development."

This is possible due to "up-to-the-minute" technologies and mass deception.

One example is the Internet. That is our new connection to the world. However, it is an American network run by majority Americans, and within our borders, under American control.

Wikileaks is an excellent example. Information that we don't know, that we should know, and that they will not let us know.

But, what is the point of all this?

To globalize, expanding the power of those who currently have control over the Western world to the entire world, with people like us allowing it to happen, because we believe (incorrectly) that we could ever become one of them, unless we already are one of them.

The real problem lay with the fact that we're not entirely sure what "one of them" is. Moreover that, if they ever achieve these ends, Capitalism will no longer exist, as there will be nothing new to capitalize upon.

Which means that they will be accepting no new members to their club.

History will laugh at us, in all of our ignorance and distraction.

They will see television, review the beginnings of the Internet, research our news, and laugh.

And laugh and laugh and say we fcking deserved it.

This seems more like a critique of imperialism than one of capitalism. They aren't the same thing.
It is odd when one's capacity for compassion is measured not in what he is willing to do by his own time, effort, and property, but what he will force others to do with their own property instead.
comoncents
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12/18/2011 7:37:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 7:00:50 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
What is so idealistic about capitalism? Capitalism is just the way things are.

It is how you define capitalism...?
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 9:01:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 6:57:21 PM, comoncents wrote:
At 12/18/2011 6:52:57 PM, Ren wrote:
At 12/18/2011 6:38:32 PM, comoncents wrote:
Capitalism has many problems. Much is found only in the complete self regulated market. Read Polanyi and "The Great Transformation."

You don't find that the least bit unrealistically idealistic?

What? The problems with capitalism? I find people speaking to the utopian nature of the self regulated markets as being unrealistically idealistic. If we are taking capitalism for the fact of what it is, then it is dangerous without some form of regulation.

Oh, I'm sorry, I misunderstood you. It appears we're in complete agreement.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/18/2011 9:17:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/18/2011 7:24:17 PM, mongoose wrote:
This seems more like a critique of imperialism than one of capitalism. They aren't the same thing.

They go hand-in-hand. Or, more accurately, capitalism requires imperialism. That was one of the main points of my post.

To explain:

Capitalism is the capitalization of available resources by converting them into tender through units of labor. However, resources are limited. This puts a strain on capitalism. This is because once resources are capitalized upon, the resulting growth in resources must be disseminated throughout the units of labor and the conversion factors the labor used to make it profitable. Therefore, to prevent stagnation (which, in capitalism, translates into reduction), you must increase the resources you utilize. This requires expansion into resources that are owned by others. So, you acquire these resources imperialistically.

There is no alternative; or, if there is, it has never been used.