Total Posts:46|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

The Unrealism of Capitalism

charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 12:57:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Free-market fundamentalists remind me of the idealistic Christian apologists who just want to talk about the lofty and life-affirming theology of Christianity and gloss over all the cruelty and bloodshed in the Christian rap sheet. Yes, like staunch free-marketeers, such Christians also seem to think that there's nothing inherent in their belief system that's responsible for the cruelty and killing perpetrated by its adherents.

Such "true believers" usually try to chalk up the church's crimes against humanity to the imperfect human beings who have subscribed to the perfect theology of the perfect faith. But of course the Christian creed is not quite so perfect, there are beliefs in it, such as the exclusivistic belief that Christianity is the only "true" religion capable of saving people's souls, that have helped to promote intolerance and conflict, that have caused much of the suffering and terror of history.

All of this goes for capitalist theory and its dogmatic apologists in spades. Yes, although capitalism's devout diehards will balk like religionists in doctrinaire denial, it's most certainly because of deep flaws in capitalist theory, not just in human beings who take on the role of capitalists and CEOs, that capitalism in practice has produced massive human suffering and continues to do so. There are in point of fact tenets of free-market theology that bear a heaping degree of responsibility for this historical reality.

For instance, there's the highly dangerous fallacy that you can deregulate human greed with only economically positive consequences. The way it really works is when you unfetter greed too far, as free-marketeers have done, the result is disastrous for those on the wrong end of it, i.e. the poor and, and since no man is an island greed can eventually boomerang even on the fat cat himself!

I'll define greed here as a narrow understanding of and focus on self-interest that ultimately defeats your own and everyone's self-interest by the damage it causes, to the economy, to the society we all reside in, to the human condition we all have a stake in, to the ecology of the planet we all depend on, and to the whole enchilada of self-interest, to everything that determines the quality of our lives. Greed is self-interest focused on ourselves like a lazer, i.e. too narrowly and too intensely so that it burns a hole through our character, our personal welfare, and through the fabric of our society.

A fundamental problem for capitalist theory is that it rationalizes this lazer-like focusing of self-interest into greed, it stridently declares, like the Gordon Gecko character in the movie Wall Street, that "Greed is good!" And of course the rest of the house of cards of capitalist theory is constructed on this objectively wrong and socially dangerous belief in the virtuousness of greed.

Capitalism's ideological embrace of extreme and individualistically circumscribed self-interest might seem like just a sensible recognition of a fact of human nature, but capitalist theory and its adherents go overboard with hyping our natural instinct to look out for #1, and forget that for self-interest to produce socially desirable behavior it has to be so-called "enlightened self-interest", not the crudely understood concept of self-interest preferred by so many practicing capitalists and winked at by capitalist believers.

As for "enlightened self-interest", arguably it should lead us not to create an individualistic, dog-eat-dog system but rather one in which everyone pools their efforts and resources to produce the necessities of life and shares the fruit of their joint labors. Arguably, such a system would leave fewer folks out in the cold and would be more in the interest of the majority.

Sure, under capitalism a favored few can pursue self-interest to the point of becoming quite wealthy, but under a system based on communal ownership more people would be sure to enjoy well-being. And so unless your concept of self-interest means the crass attitude "To hell with everyone else, I'm going to try to get rich at their expense", a socialist system would be more indicated by our collective "self-interest" and more desirable.

(Hardcore and hairsplitting utilitarians can argue about whether the great joy of a few super capitalists outweighs the collective joy of the masses, but it's really a no-brainer that a system that ensures the general well-being and happiness of the majority of human beings is better than one that makes a minority extremely snug and happy and leaves the rest of us chronically anxious about how we're going to make ends meet.)

Those with a limited, egoistic understanding of self-interest of course think that pursuing one's interests means going about through life in a self-preoccupied fashion. But as the poet John Donne pointed out, this is a mistaken view because no man is an island unto himself, one's self-interest is actually bound up with the interests of everyone else. Which is to say that we're all networked in society in such a way that an "enlightened" approach to seeking our interests means making common cause with others, forming communities of people who strive together rather than against each other, to meet all of their economic needs. Socialism and its adherents get this, free-marketeers and their ideology fail to. Socialists realize that Murray Rothbard was right, the state is a "gang of thieves writ large", but we also realize that the capitalist elite is also just a "gang of thieves writ large", a gang who will eventually quash your own ability to successfully seek your self-interest if you let them.

Alas no, capitalism is not at all the system par excellence for believers in self-interest, this is how it's sold to the public, and many people buy it on the basis of this false advertising, but in fact capitalism is just a philosophy that rationalizes and justifies our unfair status quo and the dictatorship of big money, the way once upon a time the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism was used to justify the tyranny of the nomenklatura in the now defunct Soviet system. Personally I'm not a big fan of the doctrine that self-interest is the only real human motive, but even if I try to see things from the perspective of those who believe that it is I still don't see that capitalism is the embodiment of a system designed to serve and protect everyone's best interests and I would still assert that it belongs on the dustbin of history along with Stalinism and Maoism.

A more democratic form of socialism is the better alternative to all of these dying and dead systems.

I'll wrap up with an "existential" argument for this point of view. A society's values shape its members and their lives. Under capitalism the normative and formative values are materialistic values. This is why ours is a society full of people who complain of feeling an "inner void", a society full of people who self-medicate, a society full of ethically-challenged citizens, etc. Socialism, on the other hand, is predicated on the values of caring and sharing, which build character and inner beauty that fills the inner void in man.

So, arguably, the values of socialism create more meaningful lives for us than the anti-values of capitalism and this is the ultimate reason why socialism is the better system. (And BTW, the humanism of socialism is the real reason why some people oppose it with such vehemence, they are misanthropic and negativistic [not rugged] "individualists" who just want to wallow in their self-interest and skepticism about human nature, any philosophy that suggests the possibility of a society based on life's life's deeper meaning and on humanitarian principles is profoundly annoying to them because it rubs their noses in the truth about their own character. This annoyance then gets projected as anger at the evils of straw men such as Soviet-style communism and an intensified belief in 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.
m93samman
Posts: 2,685
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:00:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
tl;dr
: At 4/15/2011 5:29:37 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
: Pascal's wager is for poosies.
:
: I mean that sincerly, because it's basically an argument from poooosie.
:
: I'm pretty sure that's like a fallacy.. Argument ad Pussium or something like that.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:08:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
So if someone wants to be a christian now, they have to apologise for all the things "christians" have ever done?
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:15:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"

This.

Tl;Dr

I already spanked you in our debate. You've obviously completely shut yourself off from any alternative perspective, so I really don't feel the need to respond to you anymore.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:16:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:15:58 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"

This.

Tl;Dr

I already spanked you in our debate. You've obviously completely shut yourself off from any alternative perspective, so I really don't feel the need to respond to you anymore.

troll line end here
__________________________________________________________________
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:26:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:16:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:

troll line end here

My thoughts only constitute "trolling" from the subjective point of view of believers in free-marketarianism and libertarianism. It's interesting how adherents of tough-minded philosophies can be so sensitive, when lefties complain about the insensitivity of conservatives we're derided for our "political correctness", but you right-libertarians sure want everyone else to be exceedingly sensitive to your sacred cows, i.e. capitalism and the tenets of capitalist theory. It seems that rightists have their own version of "political correctness" and won't stand for anyone running afoul of 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.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:34:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:35:33 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:34:44 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"

Oops, was changing my sig, meant to cancel instead of post.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:38:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:26:49 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:16:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:

troll line end here

My thoughts only constitute "trolling" from the subjective point of view of believers in free-marketarianism and libertarianism. It's interesting how adherents of tough-minded philosophies can be so sensitive, when lefties complain about the insensitivity of conservatives we're derided for our "political correctness", but you right-libertarians sure want everyone else to be exceedingly sensitive to your sacred cows, i.e. capitalism and the tenets of capitalist theory. It seems that rightists have their own version of "political correctness" and won't stand for anyone running afoul of it.

Man, I'm a Communist. I have an appreciation for your posts like I do everyone's but I think it is evident that you need a more efficient way of getting your points across to people you disagree with. You seem to have an inability to relate with them very well. The users here aren't as close-minded as you think.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:44:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:15:58 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:

I already spanked you in our debate. You've obviously completely shut yourself off from any alternative perspective, so I really don't feel the need to respond to you anymore.

No, you fell back on and took intellectual refuge behind classic arguments, i.e. the arguments of other philosophers, your entire case was highly derivative and so if anyone "spanked" me it was von Mises, Jan Narveson, Frederic Bastiat, et al. However, because my case for socialism doesn't really respond head-on to arguments that come out of schools of thought that are alien and irrelevant to it does not constitute a weakness or lack of merit, just a lack of interest. Yes, frankly I'm not at all interested in building cases against von Mises' economic calculation problem, or Narveson's metaethical contractarianism, my views rest more on the historical and current day reality of capitalism and on the social and ethical and axiological arguments I've given in favor of capitalism. If it gives you pleasure to think that you've "spanked" me to each his own, but, well, that's a little kinky for my taste, and I don't really agree that you have. But then you'll have all of your fellow free-marketeers and other pro-capitalists agreeing with you so you don't really need me to stroke your ego. Oh my, spanking and stroking, I'm no conservative homophobe but this is getting just a little too homoerotic for me, but who knows, maybe that's your bag?
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.
m93samman
Posts: 2,685
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:53:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:11:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:09:58 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Please, just write a book. I'll read it.

Title it "Everything That's Wrong With Everybody Except Me"

ROFTLMAOCOPTER
: At 4/15/2011 5:29:37 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
: Pascal's wager is for poosies.
:
: I mean that sincerly, because it's basically an argument from poooosie.
:
: I'm pretty sure that's like a fallacy.. Argument ad Pussium or something like that.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 1:56:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:26:49 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:16:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:

troll line end here

My thoughts only constitute "trolling" from the subjective point of view of believers in free-marketarianism and libertarianism. It's interesting how adherents of tough-minded philosophies can be so sensitive, when lefties complain about the insensitivity of conservatives we're derided for our "political correctness", but you right-libertarians sure want everyone else to be exceedingly sensitive to your sacred cows, i.e. capitalism and the tenets of capitalist theory. It seems that rightists have their own version of "political correctness" and won't stand for anyone running afoul of it.

Trolling is attention seeking behavior. You don't seek to discuss topics rationally but instead want to preach a message. If you receive an argument against you, you'll not only not answer it, but then go on to commit ad homenium attacks.

Your long posts would do better in debates.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 2:00:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:56:04 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:26:49 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 12/7/2010 1:16:40 PM, darkkermit wrote:

troll line end here

My thoughts only constitute "trolling" from the subjective point of view of believers in free-marketarianism and libertarianism. It's interesting how adherents of tough-minded philosophies can be so sensitive, when lefties complain about the insensitivity of conservatives we're derided for our "political correctness", but you right-libertarians sure want everyone else to be exceedingly sensitive to your sacred cows, i.e. capitalism and the tenets of capitalist theory. It seems that rightists have their own version of "political correctness" and won't stand for anyone running afoul of it.

Trolling is attention seeking behavior. You don't seek to discuss topics rationally but instead want to preach a message. If you receive an argument against you, you'll not only not answer it, but then go on to commit ad homenium attacks.

: Your long posts would do better in debates.


No, not really.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 2:08:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Seems to me like everyone is intimidated by charlesb.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 2:09:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 2:08:23 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Seems to me like everyone is intimidated by charlesb.

lol
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
vardas0antras
Posts: 983
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 2:26:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
kfc
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 3:28:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 1:44:43 PM, charleslb wrote:
No, you fell back on and took intellectual refuge behind classic arguments, i.e. the arguments of other philosophers, your entire case was highly derivative and so if anyone "spanked" me it was von Mises, Jan Narveson, Frederic Bastiat, et al. However, because my case for socialism doesn't really respond head-on to arguments that come out of schools of thought that are alien and irrelevant to it does not constitute a weakness or lack of merit, just a lack of interest. Yes, frankly I'm not at all interested in building cases against von Mises' economic calculation problem, or Narveson's metaethical contractarianism, my views rest more on the historical and current day reality of capitalism and on the social and ethical and axiological arguments I've given in favor of capitalism. If it gives you pleasure to think that you've "spanked" me to each his own, but, well, that's a little kinky for my taste, and I don't really agree that you have. But then you'll have all of your fellow free-marketeers and other pro-capitalists agreeing with you so you don't really need me to stroke your ego. Oh my, spanking and stroking, I'm no conservative homophobe but this is getting just a little too homoerotic for me, but who knows, maybe that's your bag?

What is your obsession with original arguments? What difference does it make who came up with them? The best arguments against communism have already been thought up by other people, does that make them off limits to me? If I limited myself only to arguments that no one has though of yet, it'd make for a pretty lousy debate.

When I debate evolution like I did here http://www.debate.org... do you expect me to go out and do original research? By citing other scientists do I somehow lessen my credibility? I used the best arguments that I know of. You, on the other seemed content to make bare unsupported assertions about capitalism, which I easily refuted using both actual statistics and a priori economic reasoning.

And actually, I did make an original argument (that communism is inherently coercive under 3B). I'm sure other people have made similar arguments elsewhere, but I thought of it myself. Maybe you forgot, but you cited Rawls' veil of ignorance thought experiment and various other authorities as well.
HandsOff
Posts: 504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 4:03:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 12:57:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
Free-market fundamentalists remind me of the idealistic Christian apologists who just want to talk about the lofty and life-affirming theology of Christianity and gloss over all the cruelty and bloodshed in the Christian rap sheet. Yes, like staunch free-marketeers, such Christians also seem to think that there's nothing inherent in their belief system that's responsible for the cruelty and killing perpetrated by its adherents.

True capitalist are unapologetic, because they know capitalism is not meant to benefit all evenly. It is meant to reward producers and brutally punish non-producers. We capitalists realized there is moral way to curb poverty other than by voluntary charitable donations from free people. But again, the goal is not to wipe out suffering, but to make sure it is visited upon only those who ought to be poor.

In contrast, proponents of socialism are bent on punishing producers for the sins of the non-producers, while at the same time rewarding lack of production. Since human nature dictates that undeserved rewards lead to more laziness and dependence, non-producers are happy to stay unproductive and may ven convince their friends to enjoy the spoils of personal failure by accompanying them to the polls. Socialists realize their unaffordable and undeserved handouts must become popular to survive in a democracy. As far as they are concerned, the more non-producing dependents the better. It's a loser's mentality.
HandsOff
Posts: 504
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 4:05:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
CORRECTION: We capitalists realize there is NO moral way to curb poverty other than by voluntary charitable donations from free people.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 4:10:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 4:05:19 PM, HandsOff wrote:
CORRECTION: We capitalists realize there is NO moral way to curb poverty other than by voluntary charitable donations from free people.

Voluntary by what standard? According to rules set forth which say who owns what. If anyone tries to claim something your standard says they cant they are put in jail.

The only voluntary society is a stateless society and one does not need run by the rules of Capitalism in a stateless society, indeed, usually they don't.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/7/2010 5:23:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 12/7/2010 4:03:57 PM, HandsOff wrote:
At 12/7/2010 12:57:56 PM, charleslb wrote:
Free-market fundamentalists remind me of the idealistic Christian apologists who just want to talk about the lofty and life-affirming theology of Christianity and gloss over all the cruelty and bloodshed in the Christian rap sheet. Yes, like staunch free-marketeers, such Christians also seem to think that there's nothing inherent in their belief system that's responsible for the cruelty and killing perpetrated by its adherents.


True capitalist are unapologetic, because they know capitalism is not meant to benefit all evenly. It is meant to reward producers and brutally punish non-producers. We capitalists realized there is moral way to curb poverty other than by voluntary charitable donations from free people. But again, the goal is not to wipe out suffering, but to make sure it is visited upon only those who ought to be poor.

In contrast, proponents of socialism are bent on punishing producers for the sins of the non-producers, while at the same time rewarding lack of production. Since human nature dictates that undeserved rewards lead to more laziness and dependence, non-producers are happy to stay unproductive and may ven convince their friends to enjoy the spoils of personal failure by accompanying them to the polls. Socialists realize their unaffordable and undeserved handouts must become popular to survive in a democracy. As far as they are concerned, the more non-producing dependents the better. It's a loser's mentality.

I say nuke them all!!!
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.