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Why Is Capitalism Such a Sucky System?

charleslb
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10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What's so dreadful about capitalism? After all it makes at least a few people and corporations (and we're told that corporations are people too) quite rich. Well, that the means of generating wealth are privately operated by self-interested players with the driving motive and the end result of its boundless overconcentration in their personal and corporate coffers is glaringly symptomatic of precisely what's so dreadful about capitalism. I refer to a zeal, a drive for accumulation and a will to economic power unavoidably generated by the competitive dynamics of capitalism and that completely closes out the human factor, the factor of appreciating the social nature of economic production, the ethical factor, and the factor of an ecological consciousness from the capitalist equation.

Capital being an inclement and inhumane force majeure; the situation of individual capitalists and nations being in the inescapable grip of capital and the competitive, sociopathic-making imperative to amass it; i.e. their being subject to the ruthless domination of capital; and the bottom-of-the-foodchain lot of workingpeople being one in which the domination of capital is mediated to them, inflicted upon them via the domination of rich & powerful capitalist elites; all of the above explains the dehumanized and dehumanizing character of the modern world order. Defines a life orientation that focuses us, individually and collectively, away from values such as human decency and the actualization of human potential, and toward amoral economism and vulgar materialism. The qualities that were traditionally considered to characterize our humanity are replaced by those of Homo economicus and vulture capitalists, and the new god that we worship is the market. And some wonder why the world today is in so much trouble!

In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

Well, despite the ideological rationalizations of capitalism's patsies in the conservative camp, such a profoundly pathological system can't very well be viable, can keep going indefinitely. Its inbuilt evils will eventually end it, in one of two ways. Either they'll bring about its calamitous self-destruction, or its negation in the form of the evolution of a society based upon a more democratic distribution of economic power and well-being, i.e. an authentic form of communism. Personally, this latter option is the one that I'm rooting for.

In any event, there is a deadly real time limit, as it were, on capitalist "civilization", an ecological and a sociological time limit that we can only pooh-pooh for so long. In a nutshell, all aspects of life are organically interrelated and interdependent, therefore capitalist economics, given the imbalanced economic dynamics and asymmetrical power relations, plus the out-of-whack cultural emphases that are inherently characteristic of it, of course produces far-reaching imbalances and instabilities, some of which in fact go so far as to disrupt the equilibrium of the ecosphere in which we live, and move, and have our being. And so surprise, surprise, today we find the very survival of our species, not merely our "civilization", threatened by the fundamental unsoundness of our economic system, of capitalism. Yes, if we don't stop the insanity of capitalism the earth will.

The unabashed commercialization of life under capitalism, the crass reduction of the human experience to its sheer economic dimension of course also generates a host of social and existential ills that afflict the modern human condition and that don't exactly make for a sustainable form of "civilization". Capitalism is indeed going down, either as a result of revolution or catastrophic breakdown. If we the people stand by and allow a catastrophic scenario to play out, well, then capitalism's decline and fall will also mean the decline and fall of human civilization and perhaps even the demise of the human race. So yes, we all have a life-and-death choice to make about our collective future, let's choose survival, let's choose life, and a better way of life than what's unappealingly offered by capitalism.
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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10/22/2014 8:29:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, even "libertarians" are welcome to reply.
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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10/23/2014 3:28:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, capitalism may indeed prove to be the end of history, but not exactly in the fashion featured by Francis Fukuyama. That is, the worst case climate change scenario that may come to pass because of modern industrial capitalism may end human civilization, or human life entirely, and thereby quite literally end history.
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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10/23/2014 3:45:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, does anyone sincerely believe that the trajectory of capitalism is taking human civilization to a livable and happy place?! If you do then recall Joseph Schumpeter's prognosis for capitalism based on his analysis of the unsustainability of creative destruction. Schumpeter astutely recognized that the too frequent and too destructive (of stability and people's economic security) economic and technological changes prompted and driven by the capitalist's competitive drive for profit and expansion will eventually make capitalism unendurable and undermine its viability to the point that Marx's prophecy of the doom of capitalism will come true, if not entirely for the reasons identified by Marxist theory. Yes, capitalism is indeed a system constantly battered by Schumpeter's gale and awaiting its doom, and it would therefore very much behoove us to be proactive, to begin intentionally moving our social and economic evolution in the direction of a socialist form of life, lest capitalism's doomful prospects prove to entail our civilization's decline and demise.
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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10/23/2014 6:41:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Okay, for "libertarians" and Pooh Bears, I'll attempt to dumb it down as much as possible. Quite simply, capitalism - entailing as it does the commidification and exploitation of things, living creatures, and human beings, the workplace and sociopolitical disempowerment and the immiseration of working-class human beings, and the cruel hegemony of rich nations over poor - is a not very nice system, from a perspective of humanistic, social, ethical, and ecological values. And it's precisely the opposite-of-nice aspects of capitalism that are its weaknesses and that will eventually make it an unendurable and unsustainable system and cause its undoing.

And, furthermore, this undoing can either take the form of a catastrophic collapse of our modern "civilization", built up as it is upon the base of the capitalist mode of production and way of life; or, it can be guided by proactive, conscientized men and women in the more positive direction of a radically transformative denouement, as it were. That is, a socioeconomic and axiological revolution, an overthrow of the undemocratic capitalist status quo and a transvaluation of its crass cultural values. I refer to the world-historical project of saving civilization from self-destruction by embracing the social and humanistic form of life of authentic (anarchist) communism. The choice is ours, we can either take part in such a vital revolutionary project, or we can stand by and watch capitalism tragically terminate ten thousand years of human beings aspiring and struggling to create civilization. Let's hope that enough of us make a choice in favor of civilization, and that free-marketarians and "libertarians" are not the ones who determine humankind's fate.
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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10/23/2014 6:45:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sloppy typo correction. "... entailing as it does the commidification and ..."

should of course read:

"... entailing as it does the commodification and ..."
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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10/23/2014 8:41:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Hmm, no defenders of capitalism yet, is this perhaps a good sign?
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.
Libertopia
Posts: 28
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10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes. Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.
Libertopia
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10/23/2014 9:00:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes and a price system. Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,295
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10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".

Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing 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
Posts: 4,740
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10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.
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.
Libertopia
Posts: 28
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10/24/2014 6:08:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".



Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing you.

Stating that the Nazis (or Mussolini, if you want the actual phrase) made the trains run on time is no argument against my position, but is merely a sign of your ability to make a coherent claim. It's also not at all analogous, because the Nazis were a political party in control of a totalitarian state system, whereas capitalism simply means private ownership of the means of production.

And, no, I don't find anything "obvious" that seemingly can't be substantiated by anything except your own disagreement with it. You're saying my not being swayed by anecdote is a bad thing?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,295
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10/24/2014 6:35:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.

Do you believe the public (the common man worker and the poor) can be trusted to consume responsibly with the money they have?
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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10/24/2014 6:57:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
And, why is the reverse of capitalism any better?

The bottom-of-the-barrel employees have it rough, because they offer little. That sucks.
But, why is that better than letting those same people produce nothing of value, while taking away from others? How is that not the exact same abuse you bemoan?

Sure, under socialism, people at the bottom are likelier to be happier (or at least less envious), but is society really better off? Is having the ability to produce music no one wants to hear a net gain for society?
Under capitalism, there are many paths to being financially stable, and they all do with choices you make (even if some are impossible choices).
My work here is, finally, done.
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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10/24/2014 7:08:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.

Regardless of how much you want to discredit it, Stalinism is in fact communism. Virtually every important communist party in the free world supported it in the Cold War.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
Posts: 201
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10/24/2014 10:57:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why is Communism Such a Sucky System?

Many studies have shown that money after providing necessities like food, housing, and other necessities do not provide any additional happiness. In other words, just because you have a billion dollars, it doesn't make you any more happy than a guy who has a million.

With that said, why is the end goal which communism strives for an ideal state? In other words, why is it so important that society's wealth be divided equally? If wealth was divided equally among its citizens in the US, each citizen would have more than they needed. Everyone would end up with multiple fast cars and TVs which no one really needs. So, why is this end goal such a worthy goal?

Wouldn't a better goal would be to keep the current system and simply make sure that basic necessities are provided for every citizen?
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/24/2014 6:23:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 7:08:16 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.

Regardless of how much you want to discredit it, Stalinism is in fact communism. Virtually every important communist party in the free world supported it in the Cold War.

They don't get to eternally define communism.
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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10/24/2014 6:58:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 6:08:10 AM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".



Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing you.

Stating that the Nazis (or Mussolini, if you want the actual phrase) made the trains run on time is no argument against my position, but is merely a sign of your ability to make a coherent claim.

In fact my point does not involve an incoherent comparison of Nazism and capitalism, or the commission of the sort of fallacy known as Godwin's law, rather I'm simply pointing out that by selectively describing the "successes" of a system, for instance emphasizing that the Hitler regime effected Germany's economic recovery and turned it into a superpower that conquered much of Europe, one can dishonestly make a system out to be more successful and wonderful than it really is.

It's also not at all analogous, because the Nazis were a political party in control of a totalitarian state system, whereas capitalism simply means private ownership of the means of production.

My point doesn't actually involve an analogy, I simply used the case of someone giving a one-sided description of Nazi Germany as a success story as an example that illustrates and drives home the dishonesty and lameness of defending/promoting capitalism by selectively citing its putative pros and eliding its egregious cons. (It seems that one can't make any reference to Nazi Germany without it being simplistically interpreted as an analogy or an instance of Godwin's law!)

And, no, I don't find anything "obvious" that seemingly can't be substantiated by anything except your own disagreement with it. You're saying my not being swayed by anecdote is a bad thing?

Well, this is not really a very good interpretation at all. You perhaps might wish to reread my comments.
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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10/24/2014 7:03:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 6:35:14 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.

Do you believe the public (the common man worker and the poor) can be trusted to consume responsibly with the money they have?

Firstly, I'm in favor of a socioeconomic form of life in which there would be no such thing as money.

Secondly, I most certainly think that human beings can be trusted to practice a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of From each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need.
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.
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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10/24/2014 7:13:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 6:23:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2014 7:08:16 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:32:59 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 9:26:36 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

This sounds dangerously like an indictment on people who consume "bad" things.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to caveat emptor.
This sounds like people cannot be trusted to look out for themselves.
This sounds like a premise to take control of people for their own good.

Ah, so I'm just another wannabe totalitarian? Let me once again clarify something about myself. No, folks, although I'm indeed a communist I'm certainly no statist villain who wishes to trade in capitalism for a totalitarian police state under the dictatorship of a vanguard party! This is not at all the vision of authentic communism. That is, please do not confuse communism with Stalinism or Sovietism or the bogeyman of the Cold War era.

Regardless of how much you want to discredit it, Stalinism is in fact communism. Virtually every important communist party in the free world supported it in the Cold War.

They don't get to eternally define communism.

No alternative parties of an importance have turned up, really. The Russian Communist Party idolizes Stalin, and the other major strain (Maoism) is no less dictatorial.
charleslb
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10/24/2014 7:50:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 6:57:33 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
And, why is the reverse of capitalism any better?

The negation of capitalism would be a socioeconomic system in which there would be an equitable, democratic, compassion-based distribution of economic power and well-being, which is something that a great many people would consider preferable. But obviously, of course, not those who vicariously identify with fat-cat capitalists.

The bottom-of-the-barrel employees have it rough, because they offer little. That sucks.

Their right to have their needs responded to in a caring fashion by their community and to enjoy well-being, which derives from the principle of grounding society in a recognition of the interdependence of life and in compassion and caritas, is what should determine their level of economic well-being, i.e. their intrinsic human value, not the economic value that they're able to contribute should indeed be the only consideration. That is, the foundational principle of society should of course include the stipulation from each according to her/his ability, but it should also stress to each according to her/his need ,not according to what s/he has to offer. This would in fact be the surest way to guarantee everyone a life that doesn't suck. And yes, it's called communism!

But, why is that better than letting those same people produce nothing of value, while taking away from others? How is that not the exact same abuse you bemoan?

Well, From each according to her/his ability ... is not exactly a principle that screams "Everyone go ahead and be a free rider contributing nothing.

Sure, under socialism, people at the bottom are likelier to be happier (or at least less envious),

"Envy" is just the delegitimating spin that pro-capitalists like to put on the righteous resentment of underpaid and otherwise shafted workingpeople.

but is society really better off? Is having the ability to produce music no one wants to hear a net gain for society?

A society oriented to promote creativity, and that doesn't base this orientation on the crass economics of capitalism, is indeed in everyone's interest, since actualizing creativity is the fundamental telos and summum bonum of existence.

Under capitalism, there are many paths to being financially stable, and they all do with choices you make (even if some are impossible choices).

Under communism everyone makes common cause to ensure social and economic stability, fully appreciating the social-relational nature of economic production and life.
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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10/24/2014 8:05:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 10:57:31 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
Why is Communism Such a Sucky System?

Many studies have shown that money after providing necessities like food, housing, and other necessities do not provide any additional happiness. In other words, just because you have a billion dollars, it doesn't make you any more happy than a guy who has a million.

With that said, why is the end goal which communism strives for an ideal state? In other words, why is it so important that society's wealth be divided equally? If wealth was divided equally among its citizens in the US, each citizen would have more than they needed. Everyone would end up with multiple fast cars and TVs which no one really needs. So, why is this end goal such a worthy goal?

Wouldn't a better goal would be to keep the current system and simply make sure that basic necessities are provided for every citizen?

You're thinking here in the materialistic and bourgeois vein promoted by capitalism. The objective of communism and a communist distribution of economic wealth and power is quite simply liberation, from the oppression of economic need and pressures, from the socioeconomic atomization that condemns us all to a more arduous and chronic struggle for economic security and well-being, from a shallow-making preoccupation with material needs and wants, and from the domination of bosses and elite; liberation from all of the above to the end that all human beings in fact will finally be able to devote the majority of their time and energies to authentic self-actualization.
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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10/24/2014 8:07:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes. Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

I'd like to note, btw, that you're doing something sophistical here that capitalism's boosters often do, you're giving excessive and undue credit to capitalism for upgrading the material quality of life of modern people. The modern blessings that some would cite as the redeeming returns of capitalism are in fact ascribable to technology, to technological developments and "progress". And no, capitalism most certainly cannot claim credit for, is not the true engine of humankind's technological advancement. What capitalism is actually responsible for is taking "progress" in a materialistic and destructive direction. Co-opting technology as an instrument of the capitalist drive for accumulation, of the commercialization and axiological vapidization of modern life, of domination, and of death-dealing on a heretofore unimaginable scale. In short, and in the simplest terms, capitalism, its amoral dynamics and excessive emphasis on "enlightened" self-interest (a.k.a. egoism), helps guarantee that technology is used for evil rather than good. How lovely.
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.
Libertopia
Posts: 28
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10/24/2014 8:21:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 6:58:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2014 6:08:10 AM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".



Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing you.

Stating that the Nazis (or Mussolini, if you want the actual phrase) made the trains run on time is no argument against my position, but is merely a sign of your ability to make a coherent claim.

In fact my point does not involve an incoherent comparison of Nazism and capitalism, or the commission of the sort of fallacy known as Godwin's law, rather I'm simply pointing out that by selectively describing the "successes" of a system, for instance emphasizing that the Hitler regime effected Germany's economic recovery and turned it into a superpower that conquered much of Europe, one can dishonestly make a system out to be more successful and wonderful than it really is.

It's also not at all analogous, because the Nazis were a political party in control of a totalitarian state system, whereas capitalism simply means private ownership of the means of production.

My point doesn't actually involve an analogy, I simply used the case of someone giving a one-sided description of Nazi Germany as a success story as an example that illustrates and drives home the dishonesty and lameness of defending/promoting capitalism by selectively citing its putative pros and eliding its egregious cons. (It seems that one can't make any reference to Nazi Germany without it being simplistically interpreted as an analogy or an instance of Godwin's law!)


What on earth are you talking about? I didn't appeal to Godwin's Law anywhere.

What you did above is, quite obviously, argue that the oft-repeated claim that the Nazis made the trains run on time is analogous to a claim that capitalism has provided its own successes. Don't say it isn't an analogy. It clearly is. The fact that intended to use said analogy for a certain purpose doesn't change this. And, once again, your point is flawed due to the fact that the two cases are most certainly not analogous because the Nazis were a political party in command of a totalitarian system, whereas capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. And your little "successes" straw man is so ridiculous. The capitalist system, or the extended order of human co-operation, is the foundation of our civilization, was my actual point. Success or not. It just so happens that I think it has been a blessing, in light of the fact that human beings were living in subsistence levels under feudalism, that were alleviated by the emergence of private property and free trade. Indeed, these subsistence levels are on course to be eradicated globally by 2030 because of these things. It's nothing like the Nazis making the trains run on time.


And, no, I don't find anything "obvious" that seemingly can't be substantiated by anything except your own disagreement with it. You're saying my not being swayed by anecdote is a bad thing?

Well, this is not really a very good interpretation at all. You perhaps might wish to reread my comments.

I read your comments quite thoroughly. That you personally disagree with egoism, and see it as a source of the problems you identify, does not make it at all "obvious".
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/24/2014 8:24:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 8:21:50 PM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 6:58:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2014 6:08:10 AM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".



Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing you.

Stating that the Nazis (or Mussolini, if you want the actual phrase) made the trains run on time is no argument against my position, but is merely a sign of your ability to make a coherent claim.

In fact my point does not involve an incoherent comparison of Nazism and capitalism, or the commission of the sort of fallacy known as Godwin's law, rather I'm simply pointing out that by selectively describing the "successes" of a system, for instance emphasizing that the Hitler regime effected Germany's economic recovery and turned it into a superpower that conquered much of Europe, one can dishonestly make a system out to be more successful and wonderful than it really is.

It's also not at all analogous, because the Nazis were a political party in control of a totalitarian state system, whereas capitalism simply means private ownership of the means of production.

My point doesn't actually involve an analogy, I simply used the case of someone giving a one-sided description of Nazi Germany as a success story as an example that illustrates and drives home the dishonesty and lameness of defending/promoting capitalism by selectively citing its putative pros and eliding its egregious cons. (It seems that one can't make any reference to Nazi Germany without it being simplistically interpreted as an analogy or an instance of Godwin's law!)


What on earth are you talking about? I didn't appeal to Godwin's Law anywhere.

What you did above is, quite obviously, argue that the oft-repeated claim that the Nazis made the trains run on time is analogous to a claim that capitalism has provided its own successes. Don't say it isn't an analogy. It clearly is. The fact that intended to use said analogy for a certain purpose doesn't change this. And, once again, your point is flawed due to the fact that the two cases are most certainly not analogous because the Nazis were a political party in command of a totalitarian system, whereas capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. And your little "successes" straw man is so ridiculous. The capitalist system, or the extended order of human co-operation, is the foundation of our civilization, was my actual point. Success or not. It just so happens that I think it has been a blessing, in light of the fact that human beings were living in subsistence levels under feudalism, that were alleviated by the emergence of private property and free trade. Indeed, these subsistence levels are on course to be eradicated globally by 2030 because of these things. It's nothing like the Nazis making the trains run on time.


And, no, I don't find anything "obvious" that seemingly can't be substantiated by anything except your own disagreement with it. You're saying my not being swayed by anecdote is a bad thing?

Well, this is not really a very good interpretation at all. You perhaps might wish to reread my comments.

I read your comments quite thoroughly. That you personally disagree with egoism, and see it as a source of the problems you identify, does not make it at all "obvious".

I would simply suggest that you reread my previous replies, and a bit more carefully.
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.
Libertopia
Posts: 28
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10/24/2014 8:28:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 8:24:11 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2014 8:21:50 PM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 6:58:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/24/2014 6:08:10 AM, Libertopia wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:27:39 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes.

And the Nazis made the trains run on time and effected Germany's economic recovery. A limited definition of efficiency and success can indeed be used to portray even an outrageously wicked system as a "blessing".



Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

If you don't find it to be empirically obvious that egoism is not working out too swimmingly as a basis for a socioeconomic system then there's probably no convincing you.

Stating that the Nazis (or Mussolini, if you want the actual phrase) made the trains run on time is no argument against my position, but is merely a sign of your ability to make a coherent claim.

In fact my point does not involve an incoherent comparison of Nazism and capitalism, or the commission of the sort of fallacy known as Godwin's law, rather I'm simply pointing out that by selectively describing the "successes" of a system, for instance emphasizing that the Hitler regime effected Germany's economic recovery and turned it into a superpower that conquered much of Europe, one can dishonestly make a system out to be more successful and wonderful than it really is.

It's also not at all analogous, because the Nazis were a political party in control of a totalitarian state system, whereas capitalism simply means private ownership of the means of production.

My point doesn't actually involve an analogy, I simply used the case of someone giving a one-sided description of Nazi Germany as a success story as an example that illustrates and drives home the dishonesty and lameness of defending/promoting capitalism by selectively citing its putative pros and eliding its egregious cons. (It seems that one can't make any reference to Nazi Germany without it being simplistically interpreted as an analogy or an instance of Godwin's law!)


What on earth are you talking about? I didn't appeal to Godwin's Law anywhere.

What you did above is, quite obviously, argue that the oft-repeated claim that the Nazis made the trains run on time is analogous to a claim that capitalism has provided its own successes. Don't say it isn't an analogy. It clearly is. The fact that intended to use said analogy for a certain purpose doesn't change this. And, once again, your point is flawed due to the fact that the two cases are most certainly not analogous because the Nazis were a political party in command of a totalitarian system, whereas capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. And your little "successes" straw man is so ridiculous. The capitalist system, or the extended order of human co-operation, is the foundation of our civilization, was my actual point. Success or not. It just so happens that I think it has been a blessing, in light of the fact that human beings were living in subsistence levels under feudalism, that were alleviated by the emergence of private property and free trade. Indeed, these subsistence levels are on course to be eradicated globally by 2030 because of these things. It's nothing like the Nazis making the trains run on time.


And, no, I don't find anything "obvious" that seemingly can't be substantiated by anything except your own disagreement with it. You're saying my not being swayed by anecdote is a bad thing?

Well, this is not really a very good interpretation at all. You perhaps might wish to reread my comments.

I read your comments quite thoroughly. That you personally disagree with egoism, and see it as a source of the problems you identify, does not make it at all "obvious".

I would simply suggest that you reread my previous replies, and a bit more carefully.

I don't have to reread anything. My responses are aimed directly at your specific points.
Libertopia
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10/24/2014 8:36:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 8:07:36 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/23/2014 8:58:35 PM, Libertopia wrote:
Capitalism is not a sucky system. Rather, it has been a blessing for humanity, resulting in improvements of standards of living and poverty alleviation unknown in the history of the species. The division of labor that emerged during the Industrial Revolution serves as the very foundation of our civilization. The computers we are writing on would not exist in absence of the spontaneous ordering of free market processes. Despite your rant, you still need to show that selfishness is itself a bad thing.

I'd like to note, btw, that you're doing something sophistical here that capitalism's boosters often do, you're giving excessive and undue credit to capitalism for upgrading the material quality of life of modern people. The modern blessings that some would cite as the redeeming returns of capitalism are in fact ascribable to technology, to technological developments and "progress". And no, capitalism most certainly cannot claim credit for, is not the true engine of humankind's technological advancement. What capitalism is actually responsible for is taking "progress" in a materialistic and destructive direction. Co-opting technology as an instrument of the capitalist drive for accumulation, of the commercialization and axiological vapidization of modern life, of domination, and of death-dealing on a heretofore unimaginable scale. In short, and in the simplest terms, capitalism, its amoral dynamics and excessive emphasis on "enlightened" self-interest (a.k.a. egoism), helps guarantee that technology is used for evil rather than good. How lovely.

But either you fundamentally misunderstand what capitalism is, or cannot discern that without private property and division of labor the technological advancements you discuss would never exist in the first place.
Greyparrot
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10/24/2014 9:49:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 7:03:30 PM, charleslb wrote:
Do you believe the public (the common man worker and the poor) can be trusted to consume responsibly with the money they have?

Firstly, I'm in favor of a socioeconomic form of life in which there would be no such thing as money.

Secondly, I most certainly think that human beings can be trusted to practice a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of From each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need.

A barterless society? That hasn't existed for around 6000 years....
Thanksfornotraping
Posts: 238
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10/24/2014 9:56:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
What's so dreadful about capitalism? After all it makes at least a few people and corporations (and we're told that corporations are people too) quite rich. Well, that the means of generating wealth are privately operated by self-interested players with the driving motive and the end result of its boundless overconcentration in their personal and corporate coffers is glaringly symptomatic of precisely what's so dreadful about capitalism. I refer to a zeal, a drive for accumulation and a will to economic power unavoidably generated by the competitive dynamics of capitalism and that completely closes out the human factor, the factor of appreciating the social nature of economic production, the ethical factor, and the factor of an ecological consciousness from the capitalist equation.

Capital being an inclement and inhumane force majeure; the situation of individual capitalists and nations being in the inescapable grip of capital and the competitive, sociopathic-making imperative to amass it; i.e. their being subject to the ruthless domination of capital; and the bottom-of-the-foodchain lot of workingpeople being one in which the domination of capital is mediated to them, inflicted upon them via the domination of rich & powerful capitalist elites; all of the above explains the dehumanized and dehumanizing character of the modern world order. Defines a life orientation that focuses us, individually and collectively, away from values such as human decency and the actualization of human potential, and toward amoral economism and vulgar materialism. The qualities that were traditionally considered to characterize our humanity are replaced by those of Homo economicus and vulture capitalists, and the new god that we worship is the market. And some wonder why the world today is in so much trouble!

In short, the capitalist system is very much like criminal drug cartels and the dope fiends whom they supply, it has no morals or conscience whatsoever and is exclusively animated by an all-consuming and destructive addiction, to profit. To a game whose first rule or precept is "Greed is good". It's in fact not rhetorical overkill to say that the capitalist enters into a covenant with his/her god, the market, the first commandment of which is Thou shalt insatiably accumulate capital, lest ye be outaccumulated by the competition. And of course the victims of this mania for moneymaking, this craze for capital accumulation, are working-class people, poor people, people of color, Third-World peoples, other living creatures, and ultimately the entire planet.

Well, despite the ideological rationalizations of capitalism's patsies in the conservative camp, such a profoundly pathological system can't very well be viable, can keep going indefinitely. Its inbuilt evils will eventually end it, in one of two ways. Either they'll bring about its calamitous self-destruction, or its negation in the form of the evolution of a society based upon a more democratic distribution of economic power and well-being, i.e. an authentic form of communism. Personally, this latter option is the one that I'm rooting for.

In any event, there is a deadly real time limit, as it were, on capitalist "civilization", an ecological and a sociological time limit that we can only pooh-pooh for so long. In a nutshell, all aspects of life are organically interrelated and interdependent, therefore capitalist economics, given the imbalanced economic dynamics and asymmetrical power relations, plus the out-of-whack cultural emphases that are inherently characteristic of it, of course produces far-reaching imbalances and instabilities, some of which in fact go so far as to disrupt the equilibrium of the ecosphere in which we live, and move, and have our being. And so surprise, surprise, today we find the very survival of our species, not merely our "civilization", threatened by the fundamental unsoundness of our economic system, of capitalism. Yes, if we don't stop the insanity of capitalism the earth will.

The unabashed commercialization of life under capitalism, the crass reduction of the human experience to its sheer economic dimension of course also generates a host of social and existential ills that afflict the modern human condition and that don't exactly make for a sustainable form of "civilization". Capitalism is indeed going down, either as a result of revolution or catastrophic breakdown. If we the people stand by and allow a catastrophic scenario to play out, well, then capitalism's decline and fall will also mean the decline and fall of human civilization and perhaps even the demise of the human race. So yes, we all have a life-and-death choice to make about our collective future, let's choose survival, let's choose life, and a better way of life than what's unappealingly offered by capitalism.

Answer: It's brought America to this- its destruction...