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Author Topic: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?  (Read 33248 times)

Paladiea

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2016, 02:18:49 AM »
To be fair, we are technically experiencing an extinction level event.
The most enjoyable way to think about heat transfer through radiation is to picture a Star Wars laser battle, where every atom and molecule is constantly firing at every other atom and molecule.

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #101 on: July 13, 2016, 05:56:50 AM »
ASLR

Ahh but that is missing the point I think.  Yes there are many less living in extreme poverty than a few decades ago... But how was this accomplished.  In a totally unsustainable manner right.  We went even further in exceeding the global carrying capacity and using even more amounts of fossil fuels.  So yes we temporarily pulled a lot of people up, but it is all going to come crashing back down due to the unsustainable methods we used.  All the green things one can think of cannot overcome this issue as even very low levels of lifestyles result in significant carbon emissions...add in a growing population which must have at least a minimal level of resource expenditure to survive and the problem only gets worse.  All that remains is crossing enough of the trigger points and we have a cascading failure.

...why would all learning and information technology disappear?...

Well it won't of course.  I expect that the 'knowledge' of how technologies work physically and the methods of how they are created will survive as we have the ability now to preserve such information for very long periods of time.  But that info better not be stored digitally as there is a much lower probability that those methods will be useful over a very long period of time.  But saving that info is important and doable via a variety of methods.

Saving the ability to build and use many technologies will not be possible however.

History has shown us that civilizational collapses result in decreasing levels of social and technological complexity.  This is almost certain to happen sometime this century and it will spread over some time ..perhaps several hundred years.  To give an example of what kind of decrease in complexity one might see we can look at the integrated circuit industry.  I am sure you have a better understanding than I do of the incredible levels of technological complexity and the vast global network of industries required to design and build our most sophisticated chips.  It is not just the knowledge of how to do it that is fragile it is the whole of the system.  There are literally dozens of places in this vast technological enterprise which could fail and result in one not being able to manufacture these chips.  And it is only one of how many thousands of industrial processes which our current civilization is built upon.  All of these things have to be paid for.

All of those processes are going to be under the guillotine as we lose the access to the wealth which we built this structure upon.  Look at the deterioration already under way here in the US (and we are better off by far than most).  We are going broke.  And we simply will not be able to pay for the maintenance of a great amount of our current infrastructure much less afford to rebuild almost all of it along the lines of green technologies more sustainable methods of living.  We already need to spend near a trillion dollars replacing the worn out water and sewer lines in our major cities.  This is not going to happen.  We need to spend hundreds of billions rebuilding worn out bridges and repairing and maintaining our roads, our rail systems, our public transportation systems, our water treatment systems, etc.  By the end of the century the vast majority of the worlds hydro dams will be non functional due to the silting full of the reservoirs. Then there is the power grid changes required if we are really going to switch to renewables ...not to mention the vast expenses to actually build those renewables.  Pretty much our entire housing and commercial infrastructure is totally incompatible with the concept of sustainable infrastructure.  Almost every living unit needs to be replaced.  If we are to be honest probably most of them are in the wrong place also.  We are going to lose a vast amount of our low lying coastal cities and ports and all this will need to be rebuilt.  While we are doing all of that the climate is still rapidly deteriorating and reducing our ability to do all these things.  Along side that the globes ability to provide us food and resources is also receding away from us as we further exploit the most productive resource deposits and lose the ability to grow as much food due to the combined effects of climate destabilization and resource depletion.  While we attempt to make this vast changeover from one kind of infrastructure to another we have to maintain the old one (else where and how are we going to live) while we build the new one.  Where is this wealth to do this going to come from?  The answer is no where.  To do this we have to give up many very expensive and complicated levels which can only be maintained during periods of high wealth.  And which of those levels are the most non-essential?  Computers, the internet, air travel, television, cell phones and the like.

So we are going to have to give up many of our most complicated technologies as we just will not have the wealth to maintain them in the face of more pressing requirements.  So we stair step back down the technological ladder a little bit at a time.  And this will happen over and over again until we reach a state of equilibrium.  Then we rebuild ... again.  Just like we did all the other times.

Will we drop clear back out of the computer age?  I don't think so for at least a long time, but one could expect that we will be back to chip technologies more similar to what existed 30 years ago at some point.  And maybe further.  Proper planning would allow some sort of 'lifeboat' centers who's purpose would be to save the ability to maintain certain critical technologies for use by ...those who end up in charge, but would not be available on a wide basis for everyone.  There are lots of possibilities still, but they are slowly being choked off following BAU paths as these all result in using up much of the resources which could be used to cushion and plan for the hard landing coming. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

TerryM

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #102 on: July 13, 2016, 04:10:57 PM »
Jim
Your "stair step back down" makes perfect sense in a perfectly sensible future, one where everyone recognise the problems and faces them in a rational manner.
What if there are dissidents who chose to believe that their problems are due to others who should be punished, starved, obliterated and made to pay. What if there are dissenting nations who decide that they should break the financial back of other nations, to the point the others can no longer service their nuclear power facilities. (Chernobyl II)?
I'm omitting deliberate detonation of thermonuclear devices since this would most likely end our species, but thinking more of the path taken by the Khmer Rouge, the animals that destroyed Libya, and those salivating for the destruction of Syria.
Will there be an anti-intellectual backlash when Bubba can't feed his kids? Will China continue sending us cell phones when we've shown them who rules the South China Sea? Do we have the technicians, the equipment and the capital to produce much of anything more complicated than your fathers Oldsmobile?
I don't see us stepping down from our peak of technology, but rather crashing through to the basement, where we huddle in fear.
Terry

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #103 on: July 13, 2016, 04:52:11 PM »
Terry

Well I would agree that many of the types of events you wrote about will happen.  It won't be easy, painless or simple.  But many of those things you mention can happen (and will) but they don't really preclude a stair step down situation.  Rather they help determine the height of the step perhaps.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #104 on: July 13, 2016, 04:55:25 PM »
Ian Welsh must have been reading our posts here the last couple of days as he has a very relevant post on his blog today on this very subject.

.........Regular readers know my baseline scenario: we are in for a world of hurt, having failed to deal with Climate Change until beyond the point of no return.  This is added to the radical mismanagement of the economy due to neoliberalism, ecosphere collapse, radical depletion of aquifers and so on.  Technology is enabling (and already has created much of) a radical dystopic panopticon like the world has never seen.

Nonetheless, I see reasons for hope. Oh, sure, a billion or more, way more, deaths are baked into the cake. They’re going to happen, the only question is how large the number.

But neoliberalism is dying.

I will state that in ten to fifteen years, maximum, almost no states will still be running based on neoliberal policies or ruled by neoliberal parties.

Neoliberalism has failed, and it is seen to have failed, by the younger generations and even much of the older ones. As demographics shift, as the old die and retire, neoliberalism will no longer be viable.

The future belongs to the populist right and left, and to those who are willing to stomp the boot hard.  Yes, there’s been boot stomping already, but in the first world it has been mild compared to what will be needed to maintain control.

Humans are a wasting asset.  As we move to autonomous fighting robots and to other forms of true automation, our lords and masters will be willing to give up much of the consumer society or will run it as a vast welfare gulag...


http://www.ianwelsh.net/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #105 on: July 13, 2016, 05:23:33 PM »
What we are transitioning to after capitalism is such a "wick problem" that there is plenty of room for many different opinions, and as I have already stated many of my opinions on this topic in the "Adapting to the Anthropocene" thread (see the first two attached images) and the "Systemic Isolation" thread (see the last two images), I will not repeat them here.
Nevertheless, I will note that in life all decisions are made on the margin & in capitalism the invisible hand of socio-economic life is guided by profit-margin in a global market; however, in a post-capitalistic society marginal decision will likely be made by "mindfulness" assisted by AI within a public-private legal framework (or Agora, see the second link).  Furthermore, I believe that this will likely occur in the scenario outlined by Ray Kurzweil via a human-computer fusion (cyborgization or holoborg) leading to a technological singularity circa 2045 (see the first link below):


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

Extract: "The technological singularity is a hypothetical event in which an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) enters a 'runaway reaction' of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence whose cognitive abilities could be, qualitatively, as far above humans' as human intelligence is above ape intelligence.  More broadly, the term has historically been used for any form of accelerating or exponential technological progress hypothesized to result in a discontinuity, beyond which events may become unpredictable or even unfathomable to human intelligence.

While some futurists such as Ray Kurzweil maintain that human-computer fusion, or "cyborgization", is a plausible path to the singularity, most academic scholarship focuses on software-only intelligence as a more likely path.

In 2012, a study of artificial general intelligence (AGI) predictions by both experts and non-experts found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040. Discussing the level of uncertainty in AGI estimates, study co-author Stuart Armstrong stated: "my current 80% estimate is something like five to 100 years." Kurzweil predicts the singularity to occur around 2045 whereas Vinge has predicted some time before 2030."

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agora
Extract: "The Agora (/ˈæɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly"."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

TerryM

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #106 on: July 13, 2016, 07:40:06 PM »
With a hat tip to Alvin Toffler!


When I first read in Future Shock of the predicted end of the USSR, I knew that he was wrong.


This was in 1971 & the Soviets looked very solid. When the Soviet Union collapsed I went back to the book and re-read his reasons for believing that the US would share a similar fate. (To big to be viable in a multicultural connected world.)


Brexit wouldn't have been a shock to the Toffler, nor would any future exits from the EU.


He missed Climate Change, but has been proven correct on so many of his assumptions that I'm thinking I should dig into Future Shock & The Third Wave one more time.


I think the greatest fear I have is that knowledge will again be chained to the walls of Monasteries, available only to the elite. The greatest advance in my lifetime has been the democratization of knowledge through the internet. I spent years researching Sumerian Nautical Archaeology, before the internet was fully functional. Today it could have been done in < one semester.


 If the internet survives, and most have access to it, great advances will still be possible even under collapse scenarios. If it dies, or becomes a tool only of and for the elite, we'll see Einstein's prediction of wars fought with clubs and rocks become a reality, even without the mushroom clouds.


Save the Internet - Save the world.
Terry

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #107 on: July 13, 2016, 10:12:33 PM »
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.


We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #108 on: July 13, 2016, 10:26:41 PM »
Not only did Toffler have insight but in 2012 the Club of Rome released the publication “2052—a Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years", in which they put climate change at the heart of their study. Their prognosis is mainly influenced by the assumption that a warming of more than 2.5 degrees Celsius is likely unavoidable.

http://www.globalforesightbooks.org/Book-of-the-Month/jorgen-randers-2052-a-global-forecast-for-the-next-forty-years.html

Extract: "This broad forecast is “an informed guess tracing the big lines in what I see as the probable global evolution toward 2052…the most likely global roadmap to 2052 so that I would know what I am in for.”  Since publication of Limits in 1972, “humanity remains in solid overshoot…and we can discern the early signs of the coming gradual destruction of the ecosystem.”  (p.xv)
 
 
Five Big Issues toward 2052

 “The big question is how fast the transition to sustainability will happen…the sustainability revolution has started, but is still in its infancy.” (p13)  The transition will require fundamental change to a number of the systems that govern current world developments.  The next 40 years will be strongly influenced by how we handle five central issues:
1) The End of Uncontrolled Capitalism: “slow and insufficient response to our challenges will dominate”; old-fashioned capitalism will survive in parts of the world, but will be strongly modified elsewhere;
2) The End of Economic Growth: continuing technological advance will come to our partial rescue, but lack of space and cheap resources will force solutions with a lower ecological footprint to fit within the carrying capacity of the planet;
3) The End of Slow Democracy: the fundamental question is whether democracies will agree on a stronger state and faster decision-making before we run into the brick wall of self-reinforcing climate change;
4) Intergenerational Conflict: the era of generational harmony will come to an end, leading to slower economic growth and a smaller pie to share;
5) The End of Stable Climate: negative impacts will be significant, but not disastrous before 2052; there will be more droughts and floods, and sea level will be 0.3 meters higher; “self-reinforcing climate change will be worry number one, with methane gas emissions from the melting tundra leading to further temperature increase, which in turn will melt even more tundra”  (p47); the world will still be operational, but with higher operating costs and scary prospects for the rest of the 21C.
Several Highlights of the forecast: 1) “global population will stagnate earlier than expected because fertility will fall dramatically in an increasingly urbanized population”; 2) “resource and climate problems will not become catastrophic before 2052” due to increased social investment,  but there will be much unnecessary suffering; 3) the short-term focus of democracy and capitalism will ensure that “wise decisions needed for long-term well-being will not be made in time”; 4) “global population will be increasingly urban and unwilling to protect nature”; 5) the impact will differ among five regions analyzed here: “the most surprising loser will be the current global economic elite, particularly the US…China will be the winner.” (p355)"
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #109 on: July 13, 2016, 11:40:03 PM »
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.


The timing and nature of the probable collapse, and what comes after that, is still subject to human influence:


http://worldpopulationhistory.org/carrying-capacity/

Extract: "Our Ecological Footprint
One way to address the challenges associated with making future projections is to look at current human impact on the planet. The ecological footprint is a measurement of the anthropogenic impact on earth. It tracks how much biocapacity (biological capacity) there is and how much biocapacity people use by comparing the rate at which we consume natural resources and generate waste to the planet’s ability to replenish those resources and absorb waste. Today, our global footprint is in overshoot. It would take 1.5 Earths to sustain our current population. If current trends continue, we will reach 3 Earths by the year 2050.
 
Where Do We Grow From Here?
Our planet does not have the biocapacity to sustain our current levels of growth and resource consumption. So, what can be done to minimize our collective impact on the environment? In his book, How Many People Can the Earth Support?, mathematical biologist Joel Cohen classifies current solutions into three paradigms: those looking for a “bigger pie” (improving technology), those advocating for “fewer forks” (slowing population growth), and those looking to rationalize and improve decision-making though “better manners” (changing global culture). Cohen argues that, standing along, each paradigm is necessary in solving our environmental crisis, but not sufficient. Change must come from a combination of all three. “Promoting access to contraceptives, developing economies, saving children, empowering women, educating men, and doing it all at once,” he writes, is a way to both lower our impact on the planet and improve the quality of life for all. Perhaps Oxford economist Robert Cassen said it best, “Virtually everything that needs doing from a population perspective needs doing anyway”. Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Paladiea

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #110 on: July 14, 2016, 09:34:21 AM »
The planet cannot sustain *any* growth, much less the exponential infinite growth demanded by our current economic paradigm.
The most enjoyable way to think about heat transfer through radiation is to picture a Star Wars laser battle, where every atom and molecule is constantly firing at every other atom and molecule.

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #111 on: July 14, 2016, 04:58:57 PM »
ASLR

Re the Limits to Growth books.  I am strongly influenced by all of the different editions of those books and have read them multiple times as well as played with the computer model.  When the 2052 book came out I wrote numerous posts here about what it said. 

To date no one has presented any facts which dispute their conclusions.  It is a sobering thing reading how accurate they have been to date and then seeing where their projections lead us.  And as they point out their graphs chart various BAU scenarios and to change them all we have to do is to take meaningful action on the core problem factors and abandon BAU approaches.

I do have some disagreement with the following however,

... “the most surprising loser will be the current global economic elite, particularly the US…China will be the winner.”...

as I think we can logically see in the circumstances which will eventually arise that China will be a catastrophe and also that there will be no 'winner " at all.  As I have stated before one does not have to 'win' to end up on top of the rubble heap of collapse.  Ones goal is to just not lose as much as the other guys...wealth is a relative thing.  The global elites have access to great wealth and depending on how smart and ruthless they are they have a better chance to end up relatively further from the bottom then the average guy.  If you and I are cursed with long lives we just might get to see the end result of this shake out and see who was right.  But regardless of that it is going to be a wicked mess.

RE: your carrying capacity quote.  I notice that you quote the most optimist analysis of how far above carrying capacity we are..1 1/2 Earths.   The most conservative numbers are around 4 Earths.  To make this issue even more difficult is that the horizon is receding all the time due to rapidly rising population, the deleterious effects of climate change, and the damage to the Earth's ecosystems caused by using them in an unsustainable manner.  I note that we should probably in this circumstance be using the median perhaps?? Which is somewhere around 2 3/4 Earths...which is deep overshoot and an alarming number.  The Precautionary Principal would require us to use at least that number in our calculations of where we should make our efforts...if not use the higher number...as you often do in arguments relating to other subjects I note.

I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."

They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #112 on: July 14, 2016, 09:10:18 PM »
I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."

They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.

It seems to me that because we have not invested enough in improving individuals (not just their wealth but themselves), no one is willing to follow your call for dramatic actions, rather they all are more interested in looking after their own individual self-interests.  Which why we both agree that some form of socio-economic collapse is all but inevitable.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #113 on: July 15, 2016, 10:44:34 AM »
The dashed line needs to be moved to run just underneath the word 'now' where Information Era is shown as we are well beyond the global carrying capacity already.  Optimistic estimates are that we are at 1 1/2 Earths and pessimistic ones are about 4 Earths.  In any case we are already in overshoot.  The actions we take now and in the next decade (after another decade it will not matter either way) will determine how hard the collapse will be.  That is my constant point...we are already beyond the dashed line so options which assume we are below it are not viable.  Time has already run out.

Here is an image with a more pessimistic assessment of global population growth:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #114 on: July 18, 2016, 04:11:23 PM »
This link could easily go in the Renewables Reach A Tipping Point (they have not btw) or the Oil and Gas Issues topics, as well as the one on global economics issues.  But very suitable here.

As one can see by comments in those topics there is a lot of deep misunderstanding about energy and oil and gas issues in general.  Berman is one of the very best at clearing this confusion up.  I won't bother excerpting the article as I would need to put all of it in here.  It is very good and explains a lot why we can't afford to do what people want and that it will be impossible to succeed at the energy transition in a meaningful timeframe while facing a crumbling global economy, climate change, carrying capacity issues and a growing population.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Oil-Prices-Might-Never-Recover.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #115 on: July 24, 2016, 05:33:16 PM »
Neoliberalism and Capitalism

I have commented before that the cruishing of labor was deliberate and a policy pursued by the capitalist elite in order to reverse the changes to their status generated by the Great Depression and Roosevelt's response to it.  This deliberate strategy was intended to return the elite to their former status of controlling almost all of the wealth and being in position to control financial and tax policies.  This project took decades to take effect as we see today. 

This history is well described here by David Harvey who published A Brief History of Neoliberalism, now one of the most cited books on the subject.

I’ve always treated neoliberalism as a political project carried out by the corporate capitalist class as they felt intensely threatened both politically and economically towards the end of the 1960s into the 1970s. They desperately wanted to launch a political project that would curb the power of labor......

With respect to labor, the challenge was to make domestic labor competitive with global labor. One way was to open up immigration. In the 1960s, for example, Germans were importing Turkish labor, the French Maghrebian labor, the British colonial labor. But this created a great deal of dissatisfaction and unrest.

Instead they chose the other way — to take capital to where the low-wage labor forces were. But for globalization to work you had to reduce tariffs and empower finance capital, because finance capital is the most mobile form of capital. So finance capital and things like floating currencies became critical to curbing labor.

At the same time, ideological projects to privatize and deregulate created unemployment. So, unemployment at home and offshoring taking the jobs abroad, and a third component: technological change, deindustrialization through automation and robotization. That was the strategy to squash labor.

This is the part of the process my brother was significantly responsible for as I have described previously.

What’s missing here is the way in which the capitalist class orchestrated its efforts during the 1970s and early 1980s. I think it would be fair to say that at that time — in the English-speaking world anyway — the corporate capitalist class became pretty unified.

They agreed on a lot of things, like the need for a political force to really represent them. So you get the capture of the Republican Party, and an attempt to undermine, to some degree, the Democratic Party.

From the 1970s the Supreme Court made a bunch of decisions that allowed the corporate capitalist class to buy elections more easily than it could in the past.

For example, you see reforms of campaign finance that treated contributions to campaigns as a form of free speech. There’s a long tradition in the United States of corporate capitalists buying elections but now it was legalized rather than being under the table as corruption.

One of big moves of neoliberalization was throwing out all the Keynesians from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 1982 — a total clean-out of all the economic advisers who held Keynesian views.

They were replaced by neoclassical supply-side theorists and the first thing they did was decide that from then on the IMF should follow a policy of structural adjustment whenever there’s a crisis anywhere.

In 1982, sure enough, there was a debt crisis in Mexico. The IMF said, “We’ll save you.” Actually, what they were doing was saving the New York investment banks and implementing a politics of austerity.

The population of Mexico suffered something like a 25 percent loss of its standard of living in the four years after 1982 as a result of the structural adjustment politics of the IMF.

Since then Mexico has had about four structural adjustments. Many other countries have had more than one. This became standard practice.

What are they doing to Greece now? It’s almost a copy of what they did to Mexico back in 1982, only more savvy. This is also what happened in the United States in 2007–8. They bailed out the banks and made the people pay through a politics of austerity.

So to the degree that resistance has disappeared, labor doesn’t have the power it once had, solidarity among the ruling class is no longer necessary for it to work.

It doesn’t have to get together and do something about struggle from below because there is no threat anymore. The ruling class is doing extremely well so it doesn’t really have to change anything.

Yet while the capitalist class is doing very well, capitalism is doing rather badly. Profit rates have recovered but reinvestment rates are appallingly low, so a lot of money is not circulating back into production and is flowing into land-grabs and asset-procurement instead.


There are also a variety of ways of talking about capitalism, such as the sharing economy, which turns out to be highly capitalized and highly exploitative.

There’s the notion of ethical capitalism, which turns out to simply be about being reasonably honest instead of stealing. So there is the possibility in some people’s minds of some sort of reform of the neoliberal order into some other form of capitalism.

I think it’s possible that you can make a better capitalism than that which currently exists. But not by much.

The fundamental problems are actually so deep right now that there is no way that we are going to go anywhere without a very strong anticapitalist movement. So I would want to put things in anticapitalist terms rather than putting them in anti-neoliberal terms.

And I think the danger is, when I listen to people talking about anti-neoliberalism, that there is no sense that capitalism is itself, in whatever form, a problem.

Most anti-neoliberalism fails to deal with the macro-problems of endless compound growth — ecological, political, and economic problems. So I would rather be talking about anticapitalism than anti-neoliberalism.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/david-harvey-neoliberalism-capitalism-labor-crisis-resistance/

Both black and green BAU are manifestations of the neoliberal capitalist system.  Capitalism is not sustainable and thus not a solution for the future.
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #116 on: July 24, 2016, 09:27:00 PM »
JimD

Thanks again for another one of your marvelous posts, and links.
Do you believe that we actually have the time to transition to a more rational method of governance?
I fear that the wounded beast now running the show will lash out in all directions rather than going quietly into the night. That the death throes of Neoliberalism & Capitalism will solve a great part of our population quandary & that those remaining will fight tooth and nail for salvage rights to anything that doesn't glow in the night.
TPTB have known what the future holds for some time. Their response has been to increase offencive military muscle, impose draconian 'austerity' programs on others, and put governments under the vassalage of multi-nationals through anything but Free Trade deals.
Perhaps they believe that a moderate nuclear winter will provide for the needs of a few. Perhaps some actually think that The Rapture, Carbon Capture, The Tesla, Clean Coal or The Move To Mars, will save them, and their wealth. Perhaps they just want to be in charge when the bottom falls out.
Perhaps.

Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #117 on: August 04, 2016, 08:50:00 PM »
 Five Reasons Sustainability Will Transform the Global Economy
Customers want it, regulations are moving toward it and investors are seeking it out.
Sustainability is the transformative economic catalyst that also happily aligns with our own basic self-interest. Specifically, it’s about “sustainable growth,” by which I mean increasing prosperity while at the same time improving environmental and social performance.

Why does sustainable growth matter so much? Because the great movers of our global economy are orienting toward it, rewarding better performance and punishing risk. ...
...
5. Values
With all of this movement toward finding and enforcing sustainable growth, we inadvertently are finding a common language across cultures, religions and even politics. The headlines are full of news about what divides us ideologically and spiritually, but these belie the great areas of commonality shared by the vast majority of human beings: the instincts we share for preservation of those we love and the desire to see subsequent generations enjoy meaningful and healthy lives.

Sustainability and sustainable growth will help to make these ethics transparent and explicit. It will celebrate them. Sustainability taps this common spiritual and psychological space, and creates a common ethical language around which the world’s innovators, investors, regulators and consumers can rally. And in this common space, we can find a new global prosperity.

http://ensia.com/voices/5-reasons-sustainability-will-transform-the-global-economy/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #118 on: August 11, 2016, 07:46:46 PM »
An organization needs money, but everyone hates fundraising by selling baked goods, wrapping paper or candy bars.*  So here's a new approach which does away with the pretense and the "junk."  ;D

http://shareably.net/funny-pta-fundraiser-form-v1

*OK, maybe except for Girl Scout cookies. ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #119 on: August 21, 2016, 09:51:09 PM »
The Hunt Is On for a New Way to Measure the World's Economic Output
Gross domestic product is so twentieth century.

The measure has risen from humble beginnings during the Great Depression to be an essential gauge for governments and central banks the world over. Long-term investors allocate capital based on its findings; traders buy and sell stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities in the blink of an eye after readings flash on their screens. One such closely-watched report comes this Friday, when the U.S. releases its revised estimate of second-quarter GDP.

Problem is -- whether compiled by production, income or expenditure approaches -- GDP is increasingly struggling to keep up with the pace of economic change.

In an age where $10 can buy one compact disc or a month of unlimited music streaming, it’s getting tougher to put a price on economic output. And as an aggregate measure that ignores distribution effects, GDP has masked rising inequalities that helped fuel anti-establishment politicians like Donald Trump or the backlash that contributed to Brexit.

So as governments in the rich world and emerging markets alike struggle to reproduce the growth rates and productivity leaps of previous decades, a more urgent search is under way to make the economic yardstick fit for purpose.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-21/inside-the-global-hunt-for-a-better-way-to-measure-the-economy
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #120 on: August 25, 2016, 01:21:37 AM »
Why B-Corps Hold the Future Promise of Business
... No less remarkable are the ways in which traditional corporations and B (short for Benefit) Corporations — for-profit enterprises both committed and legally obliged to use “business as a force for good” — are becoming increasingly aligned in their goals and purpose. Chief among those goals is creating value and impact for a broad range of stakeholders.

The movement is global. B Corps thrive in 130 industries in 50 countries. They are restaurants. Telecommunications firms. Pharmaceutical manufacturers. Producers of frozen foods and canned soups and wine. Companies that make cleaning products. Accounting firms and construction companies. So many kinds of businesses can and have found ways for their enterprise to be a force for good.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-schuyler/why-b-corps-hold-the-future-promise-of-business_b_9399654.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #121 on: September 25, 2016, 08:42:22 PM »
"It’s crazy that interfering with hurricanes is easier to think about than changing the rules of capitalism.  It really does show how locked in we are to this ideology."

From September 2015:  Eric Holthaus interview of Naomi Klein.

Fighting Climate Change and Capitalism at the Same Time:
A Q&A with Naomi Klein.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/09/this_changes_everything_naomi_klein_on_climate_change_and_capitalism.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #122 on: October 11, 2016, 07:15:18 PM »
How many clothes do you need?

We Wore The Same Outfits To Work All Week. Here’s What Happened.
This fall, The Huffington Post is taking a hard look at the negative environmental effects that result from our excessive shopping habits.

We’ve reported on the sheer volume of waste we create ― America produced 15.1 million tons of textile waste in 2013, and 85 percent of it ended up in landfills. We’ve cringed over the reality of what happens to our clothing once it’s been donated. We’ve also educated ourselves on ways to shop smarter and take better care of the clothes we already own. 

But everything we’ve learned is for naught if we can’t practice what we preach. Can we, ourselves, stop buying excessive amounts of clothes and make do with a smaller wardrobe? We’re putting ourselves to the test with one seemingly simple experiment.

Two editors at HuffPost, a man and a woman, were each asked to wear one outfit of their choosing to the office every day for an entire week. The goal was to discover, once and for all, if one can truly get away with repeating the same outfits over and over again. Would it be socially acceptable among their colleagues? Would our male editor have a different experience than our female editor? And would anyone dare make rude comments to them?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wearing-the-same-thing-everyday_us_57ebe81de4b024a52d2be5db
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Darvince

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #123 on: October 12, 2016, 09:09:57 AM »
I'm confused at that experiment that they didn't even consider washing the clothes themselves. ???

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #124 on: October 12, 2016, 04:58:06 PM »
I'm confused at that experiment that they didn't even consider washing the clothes themselves. ???

Me, too.  Perhaps they were testing the worst case scenario. ;)  Also, you'd have to consider that the convenience factor is negated if you wash your clothes frequently by hand.  Or consider the increase in energy and water use if you use a washing machine, let alone a dryer.... :o
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #125 on: November 06, 2016, 03:17:24 AM »
Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
Computers, intelligent machines, and robots seem like the workforce of the future. And as more and more jobs are replaced by technology, people will have less work to do and ultimately will be sustained by payments from the government, predicts Elon Musk, the iconic Silicon Valley futurist who is the founder and CEO of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX.

According to Musk, there really won't be any other options.

"There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation," says Musk to CNBC. "Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen."

In a country with universal basic income, each individual gets a regular check from the government. Switzerland considered instituting a universal basic income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2578) a month this summer. Voters ultimately rejected the plan, but it sparked a broad, global conversation.

Also this summer, President Obama addressed the idea of a universal basic income in an interview with the Director of MIT's Media Lab, Joi Ito, and Scott Dadich, editor in chief of WIRED: "Whether a universal income is the right model — is it gonna be accepted by a broad base of people? — that's a debate that we'll be having over the next 10 or 20 years."

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/elon-musk-robots-will-take-your-jobs-government-will-have-to-pay-your-wage.html
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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #126 on: November 06, 2016, 05:22:43 PM »
You can't afford a basic income if a very small percentage of the population requires a maximum, limitless income, and the whole system is geared towards that. What will happen, is further enslavement of the population, that will be increasingly jobless, living in cities, totally dependent on a welfare that is just enough to scrape by, buying the unhealthiest kind of food (based on sugar and wheat) and addicted to all kinds of unhealthy entertainment (drugs, Hollywood culture).

Change the system, and then, yes, automation can free us from labour, so that we can all do the work we want to do. Now, that would be mind-blowing.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #127 on: November 06, 2016, 07:01:32 PM »
You can't afford a basic income if a very small percentage of the population requires a maximum, limitless income, and the whole system is geared towards that. What will happen, is further enslavement of the population, that will be increasingly jobless, living in cities, totally dependent on a welfare that is just enough to scrape by, buying the unhealthiest kind of food (based on sugar and wheat) and addicted to all kinds of unhealthy entertainment (drugs, Hollywood culture).

Change the system, and then, yes, automation can free us from labour, so that we can all do the work we want to do. Now, that would be mind-blowing.

But wouldn't it lift up the people who are so poor they can't afford food at all, let alone have any money for "entertainment"?  And free up the marginally poor to leave jobs they hate, giving them time to pursue their own interests and contribute to society in ways other than a menial job -- such as volunteer work, the arts, or charities?
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #128 on: November 06, 2016, 09:23:35 PM »
Yes, if the system is changed first. And the system can only change if the super-rich have 'enough'.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #129 on: November 06, 2016, 10:25:49 PM »
I like your (previously stated) idea of a top limit on wealth.  :)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #130 on: November 15, 2016, 08:26:22 PM »
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
Basic income, Standing says, is more than good policy. He calls it “essential,” given that more and more people in developed economies are living “a life of chronic economic insecurity.” He sees this insecurity fueling populist politicians, boosting far-right parties across Europe and the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. Economic stagnation increases the appeal of extreme politicians, and unless those insecurities are addressed, Standing said, that appeal is only going to get stronger.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #131 on: November 28, 2016, 08:55:55 PM »
"Demonetization" in India:

In his first radio broadcast after the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged for a movement to turn India into a cashless society. He asked young people to teach mobile banking and other e-commerce technology to at least 10 families.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Modi-urges-country-to-become-a-cashless-society/article16710453.ece
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AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #132 on: November 28, 2016, 09:45:50 PM »
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
Basic income, Standing says, is more than good policy. He calls it “essential,” given that more and more people in developed economies are living “a life of chronic economic insecurity.” He sees this insecurity fueling populist politicians, boosting far-right parties across Europe and the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. Economic stagnation increases the appeal of extreme politicians, and unless those insecurities are addressed, Standing said, that appeal is only going to get stronger.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/


The linked article is entitled: "Elon Musk says robots will push us to a universal basic income—here’s how it would work".  It will be interesting to see what the populist response to the 4th Industrial Revolution will be.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/elon-musk-says-robots-will-push-us-to-a-universal-basic-income-heres-how-it-would-work.html

Extract: "A 2013 study by Oxford University's Carl Frey and Michael Osborne estimates that 47 percent of U.S. jobs will potentially be replaced by robots and automated technology in the next 10 to 20 years. Those individuals working in transportation, logistics, office management and production are likely to be the first to lose their jobs to robots, according to the report.

In less developed countries, the potential for job loss is more severe. A 2016 analysis from the World Bank estimated that roughly two-thirds of all jobs in developing nations around the globe are susceptible to replacement by automation."
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ralfy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #133 on: March 05, 2017, 03:29:29 PM »

I presume this is a typo.  Did you mean to write 'socialist' in place of capitalist?  There are some extremely strong arguments out there which come to the conclusion that there is no solution possible in a capitalist system...whether global or national in scale.

Socialism comes in different forms. One of them is state capitalist.

What I mention is not a solution but what has to take place in order for most to survive.

But if resources are lacking, then localization is inevitable.

AbruptSLR

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #134 on: March 12, 2017, 06:02:18 PM »
I am in agreement with the end of your post with one large caveat.

...Adopting human-centered initiatives targeted at addressing both population growth and consumption habits, ranging from the individual to trans-national level, are our best hope for achieving a sustainable future."


They are not our best hope at all.  They are the minimum level of effort and totally insufficient by themselves to actually solve the problem.  A sustainable future absolutely does not result in a rising standard of living (as all the things promoted in that paragraph describe) as what is required is that all of the wealthy dramatically reduce this standard of living along with those of middle level wealth. We all need to become poor essentially.  We can't grow our way out of this problem..we have to deflate our way out of it.  Raising educational levels and empowering women is just what we should do because it is the right thing, but to think it will reduce fertility enough to make a meaningful difference is just to be ignoring the demographics.  We are past the point where gradual changes will make a meaningful difference in the end result..we have to take dramatic actions to do that.

Regards.


It seems to me that because we have not invested enough in improving individuals (not just their wealth but themselves), no one is willing to follow your call for dramatic actions, rather they all are more interested in looking after their own individual self-interests.  Which why we both agree that some form of socio-economic collapse is all but inevitable.


The linked reference recommends deemphasizing both 'anti-growth' and 'green growth' policy discussions and instead recommends that such discussion focus on a third policy call 'agrowth' that "… is precautionary as it makes society less sensitive to potential scenarios in which climate policy constrains economic growth. Hence, it will reduce resistance to such policy""

Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh (2017), "A third option for climate policy within potential limits to growth", Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3113

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n2/full/nclimate3113.html

Abstract: "Climate change has revived debates around the concept of limits to growth, 45 years after it was first proposed. Many citizens, scientists and politicians fear that stringent climate policy will harm economic growth. Some are anti-growth, whereas others believe green growth is compatible with a transition to a low-carbon economy. As the window to curb warming at 2 °C closes, this debate will intensify. This Review critically reflects on both positions, providing an overview of existing literature on the growth versus climate debate. Both positions are argued here to jeopardize environmental or social goals. A third position, labelled an 'agrowth' strategy, is proposed to depolarize the debate and reduce resistance to climate policies."

See also the associated linked article entitled: "The new theory of economic 'agrowth' contributes to the viability of climate policies"

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-theory-economic-agrowth-contributes-viability.html

Extract: "The economy has a tremendous flexibility to adapt, through new technologies and changes in the composition of consumption and production. However, adaptation will not be complete and rapid without severe environmental regulation. It is not clear beforehand, though, that the ensuing economic transition will concur with economic growth. In fact, the new study finds that the empirical evidence and theoretical support for green growth under serious climate policies is feeble. In other words, being categorically pro-growth is a risk-seeking strategy with regard to climate change.

Literature describes that economic growth in rich countries anyway no longer contributes meaningfully to progress. Most people amply satisfy their basic needs, while poor people stand to benefit more from distributional measures, such as progressive income taxes, social security, public health care and a decent minimum wage.

"If the GDP indicator does not capture societal progress in rich nations, the time has come to ignore it", says van den Bergh. Therefore, "degrowth" and "zero growth" proposals are not considered feasible either, since they actually seek to reverse growth and cause a decline in GDP. He also indicates that anti-growth proposals lack a basis in rigorous science and thus can easily do more harm than good for society.

"One can be concerned or critical about economic growth without resorting to an anti-growth position", states the author. He goes on to highlight that an "agrowth" strategy will allow us to scan a wider space for policies that improve welfare and environmental conditions. Policy selection will not be constrained by the goal of economic growth. "One does not need to assume that unemployment, inequity and environmental challenges are solved by unconditional pro- or zero/negative growth. Social and environmental policies sometimes restrain and at other times stimulate growth, depending on contextual factors. An "agrowth" strategy is precautionary as it makes society less sensitive to potential scenarios in which climate policy constrains economic growth. Hence, it will reduce resistance to such policy", he indicates.

In a practical sense, van den Bergh states that it is necessary to combat the social belief - widespread among policy circles and politics - that growth has to be prioritized, and stresses the need for a debate in politics and wider society about stepping outside the futile framing of pro- versus anti-growth. "Realizing there is a third way can help to overcome current polarization and weaken political resistance against a serious climate policy".
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #135 on: March 12, 2017, 08:11:13 PM »
Thanks for the links, ASLR
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #136 on: March 13, 2017, 02:36:40 AM »
Thanks for the links, ASLR

Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.
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wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #137 on: March 13, 2017, 06:23:14 AM »
From your lips to God's ear!
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #138 on: March 13, 2017, 11:40:30 AM »
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #139 on: March 13, 2017, 05:24:38 PM »
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

I haven't got a clue as where to put this post. So I thought to leave it with you as the article is about how academia has been taken over by the fossil fuel companies whose agenda is to preserve and increase the riches they have. The title of the article is:-

"The fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia: Corporate capture of academic research by the fossil fuel industry is an elephant in the room and a threat to tackling climate change."

The link is
"https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/13/the-fossil-fuel-industrys-invisible-colonization-of-academia"

The content indicates the extent of the spiritual corruption of Harvard, Stanford, MIT and University of Texas. I find it quite scary.

Yours,

Gerontocrat.
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #140 on: March 13, 2017, 05:29:15 PM »
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

on of the better reads for long, mainly because of two things, it contains the root cause and the only possible "direction" where a solution can eventually be found one day in the future.

thing is that such changes only ever came after huge distructions, mostly wars and it will happen again unfortunately, peace times are already over, matter of factly we are in full battle already just not a hot one yet, while all the ingredients and signs are there. things how they appear now are already rotten underneath a layer of mediocre fixes ( printing money, increase controls, lowering freedom, increasing envy levels and the likes )

but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.
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ivica

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #141 on: March 13, 2017, 06:02:19 PM »
...I find it quite scary.

Yours,

Gerontocrat.

How scary is: Political ponerology + Inverted totalitarianism ??

Is it OT? I'm too scared! ~


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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #142 on: March 13, 2017, 08:01:45 PM »
but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.


It took me a while to get there. I though I was there when focussing on economic growth and how nothing can grow forever in a finite system, etc. That insight came rather suddenly, having read about it in many places, of course. I even wrote a blog post about it somewhere else: Infinite Growth and the Crisis Cocktail.

I was nearly there, but then slowly it dawned on me that the problem isn't the economic system, but why it is the way it is. And for whom. It's to make the rich richer at an exponential rate.

So, to return on the title of this thread: If not Capitalism... then What?  And, How?

I think the What? is largely irrelevant, or at least less important than the How?. It's about creating a system(and thus an economy and culture)  in which power never gets concentrated to the point that it starts to violate limits.

I'm still working on this, but I know that this is as deep as you can go with this. If you go any deeper, you enter the realm of the spiritual and the embedded genetic flaws in the make-up of homo sapiens. I don't want to go that deep, because it makes it harder to explain and thus less convincing to others.

My wife says that's a fundamental mistake. I think I agree. But as much as I like philosophy and spiritual teachers, the food has to come from somewhere and someone needs to clean the toilet. And Jiddu Krishnamurti himself says that the inner and the outer transformation go hand in hand. That's my usual reply to my wife. ;)
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magnamentis

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #143 on: March 13, 2017, 09:31:49 PM »
but as we know this is a huge topic that is filling entire libraries, basically just wanted to express my pleasure about each individual that is able to see behind the curtains and willing to name it.


It took me a while to get there. I though I was there when focussing on economic growth and how nothing can grow forever in a finite system, etc. That insight came rather suddenly, having read about it in many places, of course. I even wrote a blog post about it somewhere else: Infinite Growth and the Crisis Cocktail.

I was nearly there, but then slowly it dawned on me that the problem isn't the economic system, but why it is the way it is. And for whom. It's to make the rich richer at an exponential rate.

So, to return on the title of this thread: If not Capitalism... then What?  And, How?

I think the What? is largely irrelevant, or at least less important than the How?. It's about creating a system(and thus an economy and culture)  in which power never gets concentrated to the point that it starts to violate limits.

I'm still working on this, but I know that this is as deep as you can go with this. If you go any deeper, you enter the realm of the spiritual and the embedded genetic flaws in the make-up of homo sapiens. I don't want to go that deep, because it makes it harder to explain and thus less convincing to others.

My wife says that's a fundamental mistake. I think I agree. But as much as I like philosophy and spiritual teachers, the food has to come from somewhere and someone needs to clean the toilet. And Jiddu Krishnamurti himself says that the inner and the outer transformation go hand in hand. That's my usual reply to my wife. ;)


extremely well said, and nothing else to add without going deeper which is not helpful without having the solution ready :-)

BTW a general thing, the day we get there we know that we never get there which is why our brain, from a certain point onward is (has to) turn in circles, which brings as back to the food and the toilet, we have to set priorities and deal with daily and real-life, philosophy for me is a tool to develop/discover ethics and find
conviction to apply those findings (ethics) over all other interests, perhaps with the exception of self-defence
in which on can hardly expect a lot of consideration and pondering before getting down to action LOL ;)
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magnamentis

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #144 on: March 13, 2017, 09:38:28 PM »
as to the thread title, interestingly i have a (very thick) book in the making on that topic and i'm very convinced that there will never be a single truth and "once and for all" solutions, for that humans are too different and too numerous, but i believe that we can, from history and experience, map out one after another of the definitely bad things, those which have proven leading to doom and why over and over again. by doing so, following the "negative principle" we sooner or later have to end up in the "good range" means that by avoiding wrongdoing to the highest possible extent, we should shift slowly towards to good side, which, BTW, we are doing already.

with all due respect to all the things mankind is doing wrong, we've definitely raised our ethical standards over the centuries and millenia and will probably continue on that path until we reach a bearable point, at least provided that we do not self-extinct ourselves before getting there ;)
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #145 on: March 15, 2017, 04:39:16 PM »
Now if only I could figure out how to motivate decision makers to move beyond greed, materialism and objectification and into working on how to create an environment in which to develop the full human potential; we might start to make progress towards a more sustainable situation.

You need to get a discussion going on how much one person should own. How much is enough? 20 million? 50 million? 100 million? Once there is a limit on how much one person can own, greed won't disappear, but you will have put a brake on its system-altering properties. This is the only way the system can be changed.

Once enough people are convinced that this is the solution to make all other solutions possible, it can be accomplished policy-wise. I don't know how exactly, and I'm not saying it will be easy.

But at some point the rich have to stop getting richer. It's better for them too. Not many people can handle being rich.

I suspect that after the coming socio-economic collapse that there will be very few rich people; and if the 4th Industrial Revolution advances sufficiently before the collapse then some fraction of the remaining population may live a 'Star Trek' type existence where within the Federation proper there is little, or no, need for money, but rather would focusing on improving human potential (which requires freedom).
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 06:16:35 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #146 on: April 19, 2017, 12:08:34 AM »
Canada Must Manage Harmful Effects of Automation, Wilkins Says
Canada should manage the potential negative distributive impacts of a coming wave of automation that will ultimately boost national productivity, the Bank of Canada’s second-highest ranking official said.

In a Toronto speech meant to tout the benefits of adopting new technologies such as artificial intelligence, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins spent much of the time discussing the need to keep income inequality from worsening.

“If we seek out and embrace new technologies while successfully managing their harmful side effects, we will create inclusive prosperity,” Wilkins said in a speech entitled ‘Blame it on the Machines?’

“That means proactively managing the transition period and the longer-term implications of the distributions of incomes,” she said....
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-18/canada-must-manage-harmful-effects-of-automation-wilkins-says
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gerontocrat

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #147 on: April 21, 2017, 12:47:13 PM »
On bad days I am oftimes reminded of Jevons Paradox.

In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈdʒɛvənz/; sometimes the Jevons effect) occurs when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used (reducing the amount necessary for any one use), but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand. The Jevons paradox is perhaps the most widely known paradox in environmental economics. However, governments and environmentalists generally assume that efficiency gains will lower resource consumption, ignoring the possibility of the paradox arising.

1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

The issue has been re-examined by modern economists studying consumption rebound effects from improved energy efficiency. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use, improved efficiency also lowers the relative cost of using a resource, which increases the quantity demanded. This counteracts (to some extent) the reduction in use from improved efficiency. Additionally, improved efficiency accelerates economic growth, further increasing the demand for resources. The Jevons paradox occurs when the effect from increased demand predominates, and better efficiency leads to more resources being used.

Fir a full exposition goto:-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

In other words, it is too often that the consequences of a solution to a problem create even greater problems. Changing the source of energy from fossil fuels to renewables may simply fuel further the current mix of economic growth that has such dire consequences for the planet.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #148 on: May 26, 2017, 01:17:56 AM »
Another call for universal basic income in the US.

Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on the need to consider universal basic income for Americans during his Harvard Commencement Speech.

Zuckerberg's comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.

"Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract," Zuckerberg said during his speech. "We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."

Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don't have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.

Altman's view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinks "everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don't yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this." Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements "generate an abundance of resources" that help decrease the cost of living.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #149 on: May 26, 2017, 01:23:14 AM »
Thanks, SMN, that's interesting.

I don't believe there can be a universal basic income, unless Zuckerberg's income and wealth is capped. Would he agree to that? I wish I could ask him. 'Mark, how much is enough?'
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