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sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1150 on: February 12, 2020, 11:55:52 PM »
[Warning: Satire] Cohen at McSweeney's: America must not become socialist

"America will no longer be the land of the free that all of us wealthy white people know and love."

"A socialist government could use its power to spy on its citizens, listening to their phone conversations, reading their email, even watching them through their laptop cameras. In America, our intelligence agencies can only do those things if they lie to Congress about it first. "

"A socialist government would merely invade your privacy, forgoing all that juicy profit! "

"private industry is far better at infringing upon your rights than the government."

"In socialist Venezuela, there is a question about who the rightful president is — is it the man the people elected, or is the puppet our government is desperately trying to install? Who can tell? It’s total chaos"

"in America, we know exactly who our president is — it’s the man who was just declared innocent in a sham trial with no witness and a jury predisposed toward acquittal. No confusion, no instability — the president is the rapist reality TV show host. "

"it’s our freedoms that make America great ... we are the freest country in history, and we have armies all over the world losing wars every day to defend those freedoms. The freedom for your landlord to charge you whatever they want. The freedom to pay back your exorbitant student loans over however many decades you decide. The freedom to walk into a grocery store and select one of the hundred different brands of cereal made by one of two global conglomerates ... it’s that last freedom, the right to participate in our democracy, that’s the most important. In America, we believe that anyone with money can participate in our corrupt political process. "

"America is not, and never will be, a socialist country. We will become Nazis before we ever allow that."

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/america-must-not-become-socialist-lest-we-abandon-what-makes-our-country-awful

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1151 on: February 29, 2020, 02:26:50 AM »
Appel at boston review: the power of debt

"can we use the massively unequal indebtedness that typifies this moment in racial capitalism in the United States to build power? And if so, how do we use that power to build the alternative financial systems and relationships we need?"

"what would happen if we saw the staggering $14.15 trillion in household debt today as a source of collective leverage ...  if you’re part of a collective that owes $14.15 trillion, you all own the banks"

"The very existence of proposed legislation that would abolish student debt and wipe out large swaths of medical debt, offering college and healthcare as public goods, is a tremendous victory. "

"The point of debtors’ unions, after all, is not merely debt cancellation or even robust public goods handed to us by state power: it is to build collective power—people power."

" debt’s ubiq­uity presents the opportunity to transform indebtedness from an issue of individual isolation and shame to a platform for collective action. Debt mobilized collectively as leverage through debt strikes or debtors’ unions could force the financial system to recognize people, in addition to banks, as systemically important and too big to fail. "

"The 2008 crisis was triggered by rising default rates on U.S. subprime mortgages. Small and unintentionally coordinated acts of nonpayment destabilized the entire global financial system. What if that nonpayment had been intentional and coordinated? "

" we might say that some debt­ors—banks and bondholders in particular—were bailed out, while others—mortgage holders—were not ... The banks have a powerful collective advocacy operation: lobbyists and a revolving door of regulators and cabinet members who move between the upper echelons of banks and govern­ment. Debtors have no such collective representation."

"The potential of debtors’ unions, in other words, is not merely to refuse and renegotiate illegitimate debts. The broader potential is to build power—with collective debt refusal as leverage—in the age of finance capitalism."

"we must continue to imagine and organize for the day after victory."

https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/hannah-appel-debtors-world-unite

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1152 on: February 29, 2020, 02:29:35 AM »
Church wipes out 46 million USD of medical debt:

"Crossroads Church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a medical debt relief nonprofit, to wipe out debts for people in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. "

"The church wiped out debt for 41,233 households in Ohio for a total of $42.8 million, 2,974 Kentucky households abolishing $1.9 million in debt, 503 Tennessee households for $1.5 million, and 136 Indiana homes for $200,000"

"For every $100 donated to RIP Medical Debt, $10,000 in medical debt is wiped out, according to the New York-based organization."

https://www.fox4news.com/news/cincinnati-church-wipes-out-46-5-million-in-medical-debt-for-45000-families

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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1153 on: February 29, 2020, 07:15:53 AM »
^^
Beautiful! That is great great news for many many desperate poor people.

Imagine their relieve and joy when they get the news...
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1154 on: March 17, 2020, 01:42:10 PM »
Guess it fits here as well...

Lets call it a bit off background...

Climate change: The rich are to blame, international study finds

The rich are primarily to blame for the global climate crisis, a study by the University of Leeds of 86 countries claims.

The wealthiest tenth of people consume about 20 times more energy overall than the bottom ten, wherever they live.

The gulf is greatest in transport, where the top tenth gobble 187 times more fuel than the poorest tenth, the research says.

That’s because people on the lowest incomes can rarely afford to drive.

The researchers found that the richer people became, the more energy they typically use. And it was replicated across all countries.

...

The researchers combined European Union and World Bank data to calculate how different income groups spend their money. They say it’s the first study of its kind.

It found that in transport the richest tenth of consumers use more than half the energy. This reflects previous research showing that 15% of UK travellers take 70% of all flights.

The ultra-rich fly by far furthest, while 57% of the UK population does not fly abroad at all.

...

Rich Brits

The research also examined the relative energy consumption of one nation against another.

It shows that a fifth of UK citizens are in the top 5% of global energy consumers, along with 40% of German citizens, and Luxembourg’s entire population.

Only 2% of Chinese people are in the top global 5% of users, and just 0.02% of people in India.

Even the poorest fifth of Britons consumes over five times as much energy per person as the bottom billion in India.

...


But Professor Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester, who was not involved in the study, told BBC News: “This study tells relatively wealthy people like us what we don’t want to hear.

“The climate issue is framed by us high emitters – the politicians, business people, journalists, academics. When we say there’s no appetite for higher taxes on flying, we mean WE don’t want to fly less

“The same is true about our cars and the size our homes. We have convinced ourselves that our lives are normal, yet the numbers tell a very different story
,” he said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51906530
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1155 on: March 30, 2020, 10:49:38 PM »
Vrettos interviews Hudson:

"Marx was the last great classical economist."

"today, the role of the landlords played in the 19th century of stifling industrial capitalism is being played by the banks and the rest of the financial sector. Right now the collectors of land rent, which was the main focus of the labor theory of value to isolate what was unnecessary, is being paid to the banks as mortgage interest."

"This industrial capitalist economy is wrapped in a financial sector composed of debt and property claims. These are external to the economy. They slow it and ultimately cause a crash."

"the word “gospel” was the “good news.” That good news was that there was going to be a debt cancellation. "

" the Ten Commandments were very largely about debt; that “one shall not covet the neighbor’s wife,” that means you don’t make a loan to the guy so he has to pledge his wife as a debt slave "

" “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” meant that a creditor couldn’t swear that so-and-so owes you money if he didn’t. All of this had to do with fact that the great destabilizing factor in society in the first millennium BC was debt beyond the ability to be paid, leading to bondage of the debtor, and ultimately forfeiture of land to wealthy creditors eager to grab it and do as Isaiah accused, join plot to plot and house to house until there were no more people left in the land."

"What early modern scholars could not believe, until our Harvard group began to compile the economic history of antiquity, that canceling such debts actually was what maintained stability. "

" Jesus went back to the temple in his hometown to give a sermon, and unrolled the scroll of Isaiah to readd the passage about the Year of the Lord – meaning the Jubilee Year – and said, that he had come to proclaim this year ... a lot of families got very angry and chased Jesus out of town. They didn’t like his message. The Pharisees in particular got upset, and complained to the Roman that Jesus wanted to be King. Well, the reason they said was that they knew that Rome hated kingship. Roman tradition as written by Livy and by Dionysius and Halicarnassus described Servius as cancelling the debts, and most other kings of trying to keep the oligarchy in its place. Rome grew by making itself a haven for immigrants, whom they attracted precisely by keeping the oligarchy in its place."

" the oligarchs took over and throughout the rest of Roman history down to the empire, the great fear was that somebody would do what the kings did: cancel the debts and redistribute the land to the poor. Julius Caesar was killed for “seeking kingship,” meaning that the Senate worried that he was going to cancel the debts after decades of civil warfare over this issue and the assassination of Catiline and other advocates of debt cancellation."

"what made the West “Western” was that it was the first society not to cancel the debts. It was to prevent this that oligarchies opposed a central authority. "

" if you want to conquer a town, the way to take it over is to promise to cancel the debts. The population will come over to your side. And conversely, he said, if you’re defending a town, cancel the debts and they’ll support you against the attacker. So that was one of the reasons that debts tended to be canceled by one group or another ... Here you have the imposition of a military force – really NATO – to enforce debt collection, not only from individuals but on debt entire countries. The job of the World Bank and IMF is to impose such heavy debt service on countries, and indeed to impose it in dollars, that countries have to earn these dollars to pay their debts. They can’t simply print the money to pay these debts like America can do. They have to obtain dollars by steadily lowering the price of their labor. "

"The World Bank is effectively part of the Defense Department. Their heads are usually former Secretaries of Defense, from John J McCloy, the first president, to McNamara and subsequent heads. What the United States discovered is that you don’t need to go to war to control other countries. If you can have them accept the assumption that all debts should be paid, they will voluntarily submit to austerity, which is class warfare against their own labor force."

"you can’t have a pro-financial free market – free of government regulation and its own public infrastructure and credit system – unless you’re prepared to assassinate everyone who wants a strong government. When they went to Chile and supported Pinochet, U.S. officials provided a list of who had to be killed – land reformers, labor leaders, socialists, and especially economics professors. They closed down every Economics Department in the country, except for the one at Catholic University, the right wing economics department teaching Chicago School neoliberalism. So, you have to be totalitarian in order to impose a free market pro-financial style – which, under today’s circumstances, means pro-US."

"You have the history of Western civilization now being taught almost everywhere as if what created civilization was the rule of contracts, not canceling the debts. So, you’ve created an inside-out view of history. "

"That’s what most U.S. arms are for: not really to use. You’re never again going to get Americans to be drafted and go into the army to actually, use them. These arms are not for fighting; they’re for making profits ...You don’t actually use the arms. You just pay to produce them and throw them away. It’s like what Keynes talked about, building pyramids in order to create domestic purchasing power ... Countries that don’t have Pentagon capitalism, like Russia or China, are able to produce weaponry that outshines America. Even broke Iran, can make missiles that apparently get right through the U.S. defenses in Syria and Iraq "

"Krugman serves in effect as a bank lobbyist – not only here, but in Iceland and other countries. To me, the current economic squeeze is that Obama didn’t let the banks collapse ...He kept their bad, outrageously priced loans on the books and evicted 10 million families. He called them “the mob with pitchforks,” and Hillary called them “deplorables.” That shows you where the Democratic Party is at, and why it was so easy for Donald Trump to make a left wing  run around the Democratic Party. That is how right wing Obama was. His legacy was Donald Trump  "

"The reason he’s [Krugman's] so well-popularized by the pro-financial class is precisely because he doesn’t understand money. "

"There was no question who the “lesser evil” was. It was Donald Trump."

"The good thing about writing down the debts is that you wipe out the savings on the other side of the balance sheet. Some 90 percent of the debts in America are owed to the wealthiest 10 Percent. So the problem is not only the debt; it’s all these savings of the One Percent! The world is awash in their wealth. If you don’t wipe out their financial claims – which are the basis of their wealth – they’re going to take you over and become the new financial Lords, just like the feudal landlords. The banks are the equivalent of the Norman invasion. and the conquering landlords that reduce the economy to a peonage!"

"So America, which people used to think was the most progressive capitalist country, suddenly becoming the most neo-feudal economy."

"today’s religion has become a handmaiden of wealth and privilege, and of “personal responsibility” to make people pay for education, health care, access to housing and other basic things that should be a public right."

"Today they’ve separated religion, as if only spiritual and has nothing to do with the economic organization of society. Religion used to be all about the economic organization of society. So, you’ve had a decontextualization of religion, taking away from analyzing society to justify the status quo by teaching that if things are the way they are, it’s because God wants it this way. That’s saying that God wants the wealthy and privileged to exploit you"

" it’s clear that the Democratic Party will be torn apart, and this means the end of it if he’s [Sanders'] not the nominee."

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/03/radical-imagination-imagining-how-the-world-of-finance-really-works.html

A good analysis of the 2008 crash by Bezemer[2009]:

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15892/1/MPRA_paper_15892.pdf

Hudsons version of the road to serfdom from 2006 telling of doom to come:

https://michael-hudson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/RoadToSerfdom.pdf

sidd


sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1156 on: May 01, 2020, 12:20:07 AM »
Vrettos and Hudson again at nakedcapitalism:

" it’s sort of like Obama’s bailout in 2009 and ’10 on steroids ... Trump simply lifted it wholesale from his campaign backers, who basically are the same as the Democratic National Committee."

" It’s not going to rescue the economy. The bill injures the economy, because the money ends up with the banks. Part of its $10 trillion – $2 trillion – goes to citizens to spend, but ends up largely being paid to the banks and landlords. Specifically, there is an enormous giveaway that makes real estate tax exempt for the next 30 years."

"The financial bailout aims to enable the financial sector to extract so much money from the economy and drive so many small businesses under that the big venture capital firms and private equity can pick them up at low all prices. "

"Profit you have to pay income tax on. Rich people don’t make profits. They make capital gains. Only the little people make profits."

"employers and creditors claim to be speaking for the workers. Their trickle-down economics says that “What’s good for us is good for the workers. We want to help the workers by lending them more money to afford nicer housing, and lend them enough money to afford to pay their rising debt charges.”

"The Chicago School says any government spending is the road to the gas chambers. I’ve heard that said literally. "

"Wall Street and England have discovered bad MMT [Modern Monetary Theory]. It’s Donald Trump’s or the Democratic Party’s Obama-style MMT version known as Quantitative Easing. This approach says that deficits are indeed wonderful, as long as the government is running a deficit to spend on Wall Street, not into the “real” economy ... You’re seeing an attempt today to turn the MMT that we all developed in the last three decades into a travesty of bailouts for Wall Street. "

"You really want the health sector to be public, because if it’s privatized, it’s going to be run with the objective of charging monopoly rent and lowering the quality. Basically it will be rife with the kind of fraud that we’ve seen whenever there is a kind of crisis."

"States and municipalities are so deeply in debt that this crisis is going to push them even deeper ... The State and local debt must be written off. "

"That is going to cost bondholders. They belong to the higher income brackets, because state and local bonds are tax-exempt. Somebody has to bear the costs, and the Republican and Democratic suggestion is the same: to make the 99% pay the the 1%. "

"The bailout has given an enormous giveaway to the real estate industry, and is backing its right to collect all the rents, or else to evict the tenants and grab their property and paychecks. This is a pro-landlord bill. What’s needed is nonpayment. "

"The 1% has no intention of letting its wealth trickle down. Its intention is to take even more wealth from the 99%. Its intention is to suck up, not trickle down. Its lobbyists write the laws to make sure that the wealth is sucked up, not trickled down."

"It wasn’t so much out of an idea of utopian idealism that the Mesopotamian rulers canceled debts. They wanted to prevent the economy from falling apart. They wanted to prevent the citizenry – the taxpayers and cultivators on the land – from falling into debt to an oligarchy that would use their money to overthrow the rulers and take over society, financial-style."

"The oligarchy in turn tends to our takeover religion. In Judaism, Jesus accused the Pharisees of loving money and replacing the Jubilee year with Rabbi Hillel’s prosbul in which debtors waived their rights to have a debt cancellation under the Jubilee Year."

" We are in a permanent depression. There can be no recovery without wiping out the debt overhead"

"today’s class consciousness of wage earners has to see that industrial companies have been turned into financial companies. They’ve been financialized. A relevant class consciousness must realize that it’s up to socialists to do what industrial capitalism failed to do – namely, to free society from the rentiersector, from the landlord class, the monopolists and financial creditor class. Without freeing society from them, you’re going to have a neofeudal economy."

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/04/finance-capitalism-vs-industrial-capitalism-how-financial-parasites-and-debt-bondage-are-destroying-us.html

Hudson refers to a another piece, "From Marx to Goldman Sachs" which discusses the flaw in Marx's prediction that industrial capitalism would reform and subordinate banking. Instead, the rentier class subverted, corrupted and destroyed industrial capitalism.

"Realizing that income not taxed is free to be capitalized, bought and sold on credit, and paid out as interest, bankers have formed an alliance between finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) to free land rent and monopoly rent (as well as debt-leveraged “capital” gains) from taxation."

" As economic planning has passed from government to the financial sector, the alternative to public price regulation and progressive taxation is debt peonage."

"the accrual of interest on savings and bank loans is constrained only by the ability of borrowers to pay the mounting interest charges on these debts."

"The problem is that the financial system, like military victors from Assyria and Rome in antiquity down to those of today, destroys the host economy’s ability to pay."

"Ignoring the debt dimension, Ricardo became the doctrinal ancestor of Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of monetarists. The difference is that whereas they insist that there is no such thing as a free lunch, he defined economic rent as unearned income. "

"Defeat of Germany and the Central Powers in 1917 paved the way for Anglo-Dutch banking principles to become ascendant. "

"the banking practices of finance capitalism have regressed toward short-term predatory lending. Reversing an eight-century trend, financial laws have become more creditor-oriented. The tax system also has become regressive, reversing the Progressive Era’s financial-fiscal program by un-taxing property and wealth, shifting the fiscal burden onto labor and industry."

"Marx expected industrial capital to use its rising power over governments to nationalize land and use its rent as the basic fiscal revenue. But it has been the banks that have obtained the lion’s share of land rent, capitalizing it into interest-bearing loans to new buyers."

"the financial sector now stands behind real estate interests as their major lobbyist for property tax cuts. Mortgage interest now absorbs most of the land’s “free” rental value, which is capitalized into debt overhead rather than serving as the tax base."

"untaxing property and finance obliges governments to make up these tax cuts by raising taxes that fall on consumers and non-FIRE-sector business. This shrinks the economy, lowering its ability to pay the rent needed to pay the bankers on their mortgage loans. "

"The fight to minimize rentier rake-offs in the form of economic rent from land, commercial monopolies, banking and kindred rent-seeking “tollbooth” privileges has failed. It has failed largely because of the symbiosis between the financial sector and the rent-seekers that have become its major customers "

"the ostensible “free market” lobbying effort sponsored by banks to shift the property tax onto labor and industry has become a campaign against government itself. The aim is to shift planning – along with public enterprises and their revenue – out of the hands of public agencies to those of Wall Street "

"the financial sector destroys life on a scale similar to military conquest. Birth rates fall, life spans shorten and emigration soars as economies polarize."

"the endgame of this dynamic is a financial crash, wiping out savings that have been lent out beyond the indebted economy’s ability to pay."

"It is at this point that the financial sector wields its political power to demand public bailouts ... as environmental polluters seek to shift the cleanup costs onto the public sector, so the financial sector demands cleanup of its debt pollution at taxpayer expense. "

"The actuarial fiction is that corporate, state and local pension funds (and Social Security) invested financially can grow exponentially by enough to pay for retirement and health care. This goal cannot be met in practice, because the “real” economy is unable to grow at a rate required to support the growth in debt service. Widespread awareness of this fact has led to the corporate ploy of threatening bankruptcy if unions do not agree to replace defined-benefit pensions with defined-contribution programs in which all that employees know is how much is docked from their paycheck, not what they will end up with."

"the pretense that fictitious finance-capital claims can be paid must be dropped at the point where financial managers desert the sinking financial ship. Their last act before the bubble bursts is the time-honored practice of taking the money and running "

"Finance capitalism has become a network of exponentially growing interest-bearing claims wrapped around the production economy."

[Quoting Marx:] "The credit system, which has its focus in the so-called national banks and the big money-lenders and usurers surrounding them, constitutes enormous centralisation, and gives to this class of parasites the fabulous power, not only to periodically despoil industrial capitalists, but to interfere in actual in a most dangerous manner – and this gang knows nothing about production and has nothing to do with it"

"Many Social Democratic and Labour parties have jumped on the bandwagon of finance capital, not recognizing the need to rescue industrial capitalism from dependence on neofeudal finance capital before the older conflict between labor and industrial capital over wage levels and working conditions can be resumed. That is what happens when one reads only Volume I of Capital, neglecting the discussion of fictitious capital in Volumes II and III and Theories of Surplus Value."

https://michael-hudson.com/2010/07/from-marx-to-goldman-sachs-the-fictions-of-fictitious-capital1/

sidd

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1157 on: May 19, 2020, 07:56:29 AM »
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 04:45:53 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1158 on: May 31, 2020, 07:34:55 AM »
Posit: Economic growth is incompatible with achieving climate goals.

In the assumption that growth means extracting even more from Earth's nature. And the fact that there are hard limits imposed by a finite planet.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1159 on: May 31, 2020, 05:12:12 PM »
Our Grim Future: Restored Neoliberalism or Hybrid Neofascism?
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/05/29/our-grim-future-restored-neoliberalism-or-hybrid-neofascism/
Quote
And that brings us to the direct link between the Anthropocene and what has been conceptualized by French economist Benjamin Coriat as the Capitalocene.

Capitalocene means that our current state of appalling planetary degradation should not be linked to an undefined “humanity” but “to a very defined humanity organized by a predatory economic system.”

The state of the planet under the Anthropocene must be imperatively linked to the hegemonic economic system of the past two centuries: the way we developed our system of production and legitimized indiscriminate predatory practices.

The bottom line: to go beyond it, the economy must be reoriented and rebuilt, part of a “big bang in public and economic policies.”

In the Anthropocene, Promethean humanity must be contained so the rape of Mother Earth can be properly tackled.

Capitalocene for its part describes Capital as the crucial root and conditioner of the current world-system. The result of the struggle against the ravaging effects of Capital will determine the possible future of eco-socialism.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1160 on: June 01, 2020, 03:19:24 PM »
As Trust Withers, So Will Humanity’s Progress
https://www.aier.org/article/as-trust-withers-so-will-humanitys-progress/
Quote
Before capitalism developed, Surowiecki explains, “trust had been the product primarily of a personal or in-group relationship—I trust this guy because I know him or because he and I belong to the same sect or clan—rather than a more general assumption upon which you could do business.” Capitalism made possible the trusting of a stranger “with whom you had ‘no prior personal ties.’”

“In place of relationships founded on blood or affection,” markets create relationships based on the benefits of mutual exchange. In short, Surowiecki observes, “Capitalism, ultimately, widens horizons, because it makes the idea of trusting only people within your particular ethnic or geographic group seem outmoded.”
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

SteveMDFP

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1161 on: June 01, 2020, 09:08:18 PM »
As Trust Withers, So Will Humanity’s Progress
https://www.aier.org/article/as-trust-withers-so-will-humanitys-progress/
Quote
Before capitalism developed, Surowiecki explains, “trust had been the product primarily of a personal or in-group relationship—I trust this guy because I know him or because he and I belong to the same sect or clan—rather than a more general assumption upon which you could do business.” Capitalism made possible the trusting of a stranger “with whom you had ‘no prior personal ties.’”

“In place of relationships founded on blood or affection,” markets create relationships based on the benefits of mutual exchange. In short, Surowiecki observes, “Capitalism, ultimately, widens horizons, because it makes the idea of trusting only people within your particular ethnic or geographic group seem outmoded.”

The article seems to have been removed.
The web site appears to be focused on being cheerleaders for capitalism, global or otherwise.
The argument excerpted here is just stupid.

No, capitalism does not foster trust among strangers.  The kind of trust he's talking about is from commerce in general.  You just need customers, vendors, and currency to enable this.  Capitalism does note equate to commerce.  Commerce predates capitalism by thousands of years.

Commerce does not depend on corporations, modern capitalism almost always does.  Corporations gather capital from investors, endows it to an artificial legal entity with little accountability.  The purpose of the corporation is to generate profits for the enjoyment of the investors.  Corporations are commonly far more ruthless, heartless, and unprincipled than most investors would ever want them to be.  But they generally don't know the details, they're just happy to get dividends and capital gains and keep their eyes, ears, and mouths shut.

No, capitalism does not foster trust among strangers.  A well-regulated marketplace does that.  Corporate capitalism erodes trust among people.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1162 on: June 02, 2020, 12:46:45 PM »
Well, Steve, there are plenty of other points on that website and I can see two sides to this, unlike abortion which is open and shut. I do admit that Capitalism has big problems but I thought I would give a look to the other side.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1163 on: June 02, 2020, 03:06:48 PM »
Well, Steve, there are plenty of other points on that website and I can see two sides to this, unlike abortion which is open and shut. I do admit that Capitalism has big problems but I thought I would give a look to the other side.

Hi Tom.  I was calling the core argument of the excerpt stupid, not you.
This is a discussion forum.  The concept of the distinction between commerce in general and corporate capitalism in particular is certainly worthy of discussion. 
Any thoughts to add to the topic?

blumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1164 on: June 02, 2020, 04:05:01 PM »
“I’m an introvert. I’m just different that’s all. I’m so sorry. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff... All I was trying to do was to become better. I’ll do it... You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful. And I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m sorry.”

Elijah McClain

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1165 on: June 02, 2020, 06:38:02 PM »
Well, Steve, there are plenty of other points on that website and I can see two sides to this, unlike abortion which is open and shut. I do admit that Capitalism has big problems but I thought I would give a look to the other side.

Hi Tom.  I was calling the core argument of the excerpt stupid, not you.
This is a discussion forum.  The concept of the distinction between commerce in general and corporate capitalism in particular is certainly worthy of discussion. 
Any thoughts to add to the topic?


Dear Nail-Biting Lockdown Lovers: Capitalism Makes Your Choice Possible
https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2020/05/27/dear_nail-biting_lockdown_lovers_you_cant_love_the_lockdowns_and_hate_the_rich_492432.html
Quote
For those out there “sheltering in place for humanity,” and who think skepticism about what you’re doing is the stuff of anti-science mouth breathers, stop and think for a minute or two. What would all of you self-proclaimed humanitarians have done if the new coronavirus reared its head in 2000 instead of 2020? How strident would your reverence for science and the “experts” have been then?

It’s a question worth asking simply because “sheltering in place” in 2000 would have been an entirely different concept. Some would argue that it was an impossibility.

For one, it was more than a challenge back then for the virtuous in our midst to signal just that. How could they?
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1166 on: June 13, 2020, 06:10:32 PM »
Reacting in this thread to below post that I copied from the COVID-19 thread:

Just wanted to say that I didn't have a problem with Gandul's comment at all and I didn't feel insulted. It's a good thing to scan every source of information, whether it's a person, media outlet or institution.

As for my agenda: I have stated what it is multiple times in the Lessons thread.

SARS-CoV-2 is a logical outcome when one looks at the system that is at the core of all societies around the world. The goal of this system is the endless growth and further concentration of concentrated wealth. Every global problem is directly or indirectly caused and influenced by this system. To think that this system stands by idly when a crisis occurs is naive. The system will exploit this crisis, which is why I'm extremely wary of any official narrative. Call me paranoid, if you will.

The disease is real, the reaction is manipulated through propaganda and distractions.

That's how I see it.

Dear Neven, have you defined in real terms what 'concentrated wealth' means? In other words, do you have a solid basis for that abstract (because the 'system' is not real) theory?
  This is not about whether that theory is true or not. It think it certainly describes many phenomena, but, I think 'the system' is insane (i.e. not sane, not logical, not sensible, not rational) and understanding it is like describing the final phases of an erratic out-of-control fatal 'disease'. And there are more layers than just the financial/economic one.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1167 on: June 14, 2020, 03:24:16 PM »
Dear Neven, have you defined in real terms what 'concentrated wealth' means? In other words, do you have a solid basis for that abstract (because the 'system' is not real) theory?

I haven't. It seems rather self-explanatory. You could also define it as growing wealthy inequality. Every year, Oxfam reports during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos how many billionnaires own more than half the world population. This number is getting (exponentially) smaller.

If my name were Thomas Piketty,  I would refer you to my book Capital in the 21st Century. Or to the Wikipedia entry on concentration of wealth.

The reason I talk about 'concentrated wealth' rather than 'the rich' or 'the 1%', is because I believe people don't have all that much to do with it, and focussing on people is divisive and distracting. Rich people are simply the temporary stewards of their wealth. If all rich people would be put under the guillotine tomorrow, it would take very little time for new centres of concentrated wealth owned by other temporary stewards to emerge.

As soon as people take on some collective enterprise, a dynamic comes into being that ends up creating a system that is geared towards the endless growth and concentration of wealth. It's that dynamic I like to focus on, because if it isn't kept in check, no solution to any global problem has a chance of being effective.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

blumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1168 on: June 14, 2020, 04:13:07 PM »
If all rich people would be put under the guillotine tomorrow, it would take very little time for new centres of concentrated wealth owned by other temporary stewards to emerge.


Well, you can always keep the guillotines... ;)

(i.e. you have to establish a personal wealth sealing by (a worldwide) law)
“I’m an introvert. I’m just different that’s all. I’m so sorry. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff... All I was trying to do was to become better. I’ll do it... You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful. And I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m sorry.”

Elijah McClain

johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1169 on: June 14, 2020, 06:35:59 PM »
I agree with Neven, at least about it being nothing much to do with individuals. If you abandon morality and follow 'market rules' it is no different to abdicating responsibility for how society is set up. Society will inevitably follow the same 'game' plan which led to the structure the social insects have evolved, to whit a singular selfish center surrounded first by servants, then an uncompromising security service to defend against internal and external threats, and finally a disposable workforce pheremoned/hypnotised/terrorised/entranced into ignoring their own interests in favour of the center, a little like the USAs compliant client states.
Maybe honey ant colonies make a good analogy.

kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1170 on: June 14, 2020, 10:04:12 PM »
Maybe we should recognize the we are one individual but also one individual species on just one planet.

If you look at our current situation rationally we might be better of working to getting to get everybody to a better level. Not spend tons of money on weapons of destruction.

This is hard for individuals to see and there are always other lures like making big money as some lobbyist or way too much troubes to think about that.

An individual wealth cap is just a mere start.

Maybe rethink corporations. Think of them as organisms. As we configured them now they tend to control us. That is wrong.

Add other rules. 20 fold spread on salaries in companies, 20 fold spread max in society. 20 fold across the planet. You can pick lower numbers if you want to.

It would make things more fair and basically it is just a financial variant on War is a Racket which argues that the rich and powerful would be more wary if they send their sons to war too.

One problem is that people do not really like equality. So the relatively poor are more likely to vote against increases for the really poor etc. Of course this comes from our history of outcompeting eachother but maybe we should recognize our true role.

We dominate this planet.
It is also our only home for a while. Would you fill your home with plastics and toxic gasses?
Stoke up a fire that threatens to burn it down?

We are missing a paradgm shift.

The economics is about renters vs owners but with respect to earth we are neither.

Now go figure that out.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1171 on: June 15, 2020, 12:09:17 AM »
Very nicely put, kassy!
"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."

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1172 on: June 15, 2020, 04:01:39 AM »
Thank you for your response Neven and others with follow-up thoughtful posts.

Quote from: Neven
a system that is geared towards the endless growth and concentration of wealth

Wealth accumulation is at the very core of our contemporary culture.
Almost all grown-ups start the same process. It are you, the grown-ups, who prop up this system with grown-ups' culture, which is closely related with how your 'success' in life is measured by others (your 'peers' etc) i.e. a social hierarchy based on accumulated wealth. Non-grown-ups don't have that culture.

You are part of the system if you have any wealth (=affluence), i.e. when you're not poor.

(personal intermezzo, motivation) That is why I chose to be poor, to NOT PARTICIPATE IN BAD SYSTEMS.
Yes, it is a choice. A very hard choice if you consciously choose non-affluence, i.e. poverty. I did this and, as expected, people look down on me. It requires strength of character to be able to live with that. And to not belong anywhere.


Stop accumulating wealth! Stop participating in bad systems!

Being a modern consumer is also a part of it. Your wealth & your modern consumption are both propping up the system where concentrated wealth keeps growing and concentrating, because that's the result of this accumulation system. Of what all non-poor grown-ups in the world are doing.

There is no need to make profit. There is no need to grow. No need to accumulate.


Dear kassy, the reason that people don't like equality in this civilisation culture is because of the (insane, destructive, unnatural, abstract) social hierarchy based on accumulated material wealth. It is not a natural human characteristic, au contraire.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1173 on: June 15, 2020, 09:26:52 AM »
An individual wealth cap is just a mere start.

I agree 100%, but it's an essential start without which proposed solutions don't stand a chance of being put into practice and have an effect. If wealth is allowed to grow and concentrate endlessly, it will co-opt, twist, destroy any initiative that threatens its bottom-line.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1174 on: June 15, 2020, 12:05:57 PM »
nanning:
Can you tell us how, if you are so impoverished, you are able to enjoy an online presence?
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1175 on: June 16, 2020, 04:37:11 AM »
I don't like that tone of questioning Tom.
I don't have affluence. Are you prepared to make all the sacrifices I have made? How devoted are you?
How about if you defend your wealthy position (how's the stock market?) as a devoted christian = Jezus follower. But, and that's the point Tom, I don't 'attack' you and don't call for a defense.

I don't enjoy my online presence. It is abstract and not real and inhuman (no verbal communication & no non-verbal communication). You should enjoy my online presence; enjoy my truths and new original ideas, the fruits of my successful research, my acquired alien perspective, my high morality with arguments and my 'purity' of life example. These are not feathers I was born with. All those things took .. a ..  lot... of effort and sacrifice!

On topic:
My lifestyle and worldview are outside the capitalist system. I do not participate in bad systems if I have a choice. If everyone would follow my example, the capitalist system would stop and something else would emerge.

Having no richnesses in material accumulation, I have managed an enormous personal richness which is built up through my sacrifices and understanding and attained purity. Choosing the difficult but righteous path. Does that ring a bell Tom? Please don't respond here, preferably only to yourself.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 04:43:09 AM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1176 on: June 16, 2020, 10:46:56 AM »
This is a good question. The problem is human nature, or at least the way humans have been wired to live. Basically humans are used to consuming and expanding, but this is detrimental to the environment. Capitalism is like an extreme version of activating these instincts in humans to consume as much as possible, and get as many comforts as possible.

Personally I'm not fond of dictatorships either, which would forcefully clamp down consumption and force all people to live "within means". Totalitarian regime just creates different kind of hardships and nobody would be happy in the end. I think ideally the problem would be solved with education, but really we have gone so far already that it seems impossible to turn the ship at this stage.

So in the end I would think that perhaps some kind of community-kind of life would suit humans and environment most, and would be most in line with nature and also  mentally for humans. However, the problem is that there are a lot of egocentric people in the world, who won't stay in the box, but try to seize power and waste resources, so in the end we are back to the square one.

I think there is certain logic in how the civilization has developed, and the logic is based on how egocentric people are. Of course from ecological point of view we have reached the tipping point now, so this means that ultimately humans have lived just like animals in the "overshoot and collapse" mode, and humans didn't have the brain capacity to think wider and have more foresight, concentrating more on immediate personal needs.

bluice

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1177 on: June 16, 2020, 02:03:54 PM »
A consumerist materialist culture is not a hard coded feature in our dna, rather it is just a ruling paradigm. So much so that we have difficulties imagining anything else to replace it.

As social animals we have a need of being recognized and admired by our peers. At this day and age this is mainly done by accumulating material wealth. There have been times and cultures where other virtues have been dominant. Whether related to religion or knowledge or something more vague such as honor or harmony, history shows us plenty of examples.

What is needed is a change in values and culture, no more, no less. It is certainly possible but difficult, but nobody said life was supposed to be easy.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1178 on: June 16, 2020, 02:23:23 PM »
Anyone and everyone who posts on this forum is living an affluent lifestyle, just by the fact that you are doing it. If you go to the library to do it you are riding on the affluence of the library. We all on ASIF enjoy a lifestyle that would make a Medieval king swallow his tongue. I at least admit I am doing this, and push for technology to solve the problem of pollution by solar power, nanotechnology, etc. which is the only way to solve this without 7 billion people dying.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1179 on: June 16, 2020, 02:43:49 PM »
The neccesity for perpetual growth comes down to the way we choose to create 'money'. It's created when some entity enters into a contract to borrow/repay a sum, whether this is an individual, company or a nation/gov. . This is the way all bank deposits originate, you borrow 250k buy the asset you indicated then hand over 'ownership' of the asset to the bank until the 'debt' is cleared, meanwhile the 'money' sits somewhere in a bank account or is spent and moves to another bank account, rinse repeat; but that money now 'lives' for perpetuity in the banking system. If no interest charges were applied then there'd be no need for growth, but since there are and no 'money' is created to fill this void growth must continue to create more 'money' to balnce the books. It can't go on forever and we may be at peak usury, in the US and UK upstream interest charges of @40% apply to almost all purchases, naturally this imposes costs on consumers that price them out of all but menial jobs that can't be exported, or those jobs which are essential to maintaining the staus quo. Simply put the bankers brought nothing to the banquet, except some basic bookeeping skills, and yet end up owning everything.
Perhaps a better approach would be to give everyone equal access to government created credit/money, and see how society evolves from there.

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1180 on: June 17, 2020, 03:19:34 AM »
I enjoyed reading above posts. Thanks for that, it started my morning much better than yesterday. Hereunder my reactions even though the posts were not directed at me. I wish that my views will help others.
Good that more are doubting current systems and think in a wider context of possibilities. Interesting.


jens I liked your post even though I don't agree with your premisses because I am certain that they are wrong. They are another example of the extreme strength of wordview-'bubbles', in this case civilisation bias:
Quote from: jens
"Basically humans are used to consuming and expanding"
"the logic is based on how egocentric people are."
You think that because civilisation's human behaviour is all you know. It is not the wiring but the culture you observe from within the bubble. Even in civilisation there are many who are not egocentric. Consuming and expanding are only found in civilisation cultures; conquering and expanding using tens of thousands of specially trained violent men. Weapons and violence. Kings, soldiers and peasants. A hierarchy where the top position is held by the most successful terrorists/exploiter. Insanity.


Bluice, those are great observations imo. And I completely agree. Beautiful.


johnm33 I find that interesting but am weary to study the inside of Finance. I stay away from its abstractions and inner workings as if it were the plague.
You say capitalism is closely connected to Finance (correct?). I agree. More spotlight on the role of Finance would be good because it has almost all of activities on a leash with a noose imo (economy, commerce, personal finance & material accumulation, culture, media, AGW/FF infrastructure, transport, councils, governments).
I think we should do away with money, trade, commerce, value, ownership, borders, inheritance and thereby lose the hierarchy. On a more fundamental level, supremacy must go and the system of father/mother/children/house-units.


Tom you keep repeating your opinions without arguments and in the knowledge that I already told you that I am not affluent. In this culture that means that I don't have money to buy stuff outside of basics and I have to live frugal to make ends meet. If my fridge breaks down, I won't have a fridge anymore. I am still struggling to end the debt I had to make from my moving from Amsterdam to here. Last week I've bought a 2nd hand Quad 405 stereo amplifier because mine broke when I moved here in nov2018. This has cost me 275 euro's and is the largest expenditure I have made since 2012 when I've bought new wheels for my racing bike. I still had a job back then. These 275 euro's increase my debt. I have to really think long and hard before I spend that amount of money. Clearly this must be something really important to me. To have my music again in the last years of my life. I hate debts.
My Internet connection is more expensive than my energy bill but it's my only means of getting information and interacting with intelligent people. Do you think public libraries have books on climate science?
I wroe above explanation out of respect for you but I won't elaborate further on my situation. It should be clear now.
Please state your arguments about my affluence. But not in this thread.
And be aware that you are not being nice, kind or respectful to me. Try making your apologies when you've been wrong. That will improve you.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1181 on: June 17, 2020, 09:07:03 AM »

You think that because civilisation's human behaviour is all you know. It is not the wiring but the culture you observe from within the bubble. Even in civilisation there are many who are not egocentric. Consuming and expanding are only found in civilisation cultures; conquering and expanding using tens of thousands of specially trained violent men. Weapons and violence. Kings, soldiers and peasants. A hierarchy where the top position is held by the most successful terrorists/exploiter. Insanity.


My point is more like how civilization has evolved throughout history. Even though once upon a time there were tribes, they were ultimately overthrown by power-hungry strong machos, who seized power. Egocentric people have always existed, certainly as far as we can trace back civilization at its infancy. And back when we can't talk about capitalism in current form, or brainwashing or education in its current form.

Of course within civilization there are a lot of different people, but somehow the nasty ones end up at the top of hierarchies and force everyone else to obey them. Why is that so? Because they lack empathy and are prepared to reach their goals violently. So what are more laid-back people going to do about it? How do you tame lions? That's the question.

Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1182 on: June 17, 2020, 09:27:01 AM »
You put a cap on how much they can own.
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1183 on: June 17, 2020, 10:05:02 AM »
A cap is not nearly enough imo.
You could say "but larger changes cannot happen, we need steps". Then I'll say "there is no spare time left, no time budget, to save Earth's life and the future of humanity because we are in an emergency situation".

To change the capitalist system, you have to remove the incentive to accumulate wealth. The material affluence hierarchy is an insanely unequal and destructive system, especially combined with inheritance. The paradigm of eternal growth has its roots there. Our all-life-destroying growth must stop.

There is not a lot of future left for civilisation to change its culture and capitalist systems. I think that humans, but especially civilsation, cannot survive the extremely fast transition to a hothouse Earth. Expect a lot of turbulence as more energy goes into the atmosphere! We have seen nothing yet. I observe from science that previous worst case scenarios are becoming more and more likely and getting closer.

Capitalism and finance are closely tied to our culture's social hierarchy of material affluence. Let's get rid of the hierarchy, starting with abolishing inheritance. I realise that this could also go into the economic inequality thread and that's not surprise because one is an effect of the other.

8 of 11 known tipping points are already activated. Long term view and the precautionary principle should favour my case.
Let us see how resilient and intelligent civilisation-bubble humans really are. Can they change? Even when governments don't change it for them?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

bluice

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1184 on: June 17, 2020, 11:15:17 AM »

My point is more like how civilization has evolved throughout history. Even though once upon a time there were tribes, they were ultimately overthrown by power-hungry strong machos, who seized power. Egocentric people have always existed, certainly as far as we can trace back civilization at its infancy. And back when we can't talk about capitalism in current form, or brainwashing or education in its current form.

Of course within civilization there are a lot of different people, but somehow the nasty ones end up at the top of hierarchies and force everyone else to obey them. Why is that so? Because they lack empathy and are prepared to reach their goals violently. So what are more laid-back people going to do about it? How do you tame lions? That's the question.
IMHO you’re too cynical. Yes there has always been violent strongmen, but OTOH also altruism has very long roots. After all we need cooperation to succeed as groups or societies.

The big picture of civilizationial development is towards more equality and empowerment of people. Things we take for granted such as abolishment of slavery or universal suffrage were unconceivable not too long ago. This is happening because it’s beneficial for the society. Now we must understand that taking care of the planet is also essential.

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1185 on: June 17, 2020, 11:59:56 AM »
I'd argue that a lot of the civilizational development has been possible due to practical factors. Hierarchical structures and wealth accumulation become possible with the adoption of agriculture, which created surplus energy, so that everyone didn't need to be involved in food production and job specialization appeared. The improvement of human rights conditions in the last 200 years has been largely possible due to development of economy, which has been possible due to usage of fossil fuels.

This is true that co-operation has also been necessary for humans to survive. However, I wouldn't call this co-operation 'harmonious'. Usually all these forms of co-operations include internal tensions, which get resolved due to need to reach a common goal, i.e survive.

Maybe I'm cynical, but I have learnt to be fairly cautious about humans, and I wouldn't want to put our species on a pedestal. Ultimately we are animals just like other animals. Certainly based on all the evidence that has been happening in the world. Also one has to take into account brain evolution, which is a slow process over time. And means that a lot of people have been stuck in the "greedy" mode and other forms of egocentrism. People are the sort of animals, who usually learn by shock therapy, which pulls them out of their comfort zones. This is exactly why facing climate change is a problem in this context, because once you start seeing the outcomes it's way too late to do anything, but people aren't wired to think and plan so far ahead.

Ultimately brain evolution and "world awareness" should be boosted by education. But it's a slow process and time has run out. Arguably it takes at least 5 years for a person to move to another level in terms of understanding the complexity of the world, provided all conditions are right for such personal development. But even then there are people, who don't have any empathic ability to undergo such development.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1186 on: June 17, 2020, 01:50:45 PM »
nanning, you just admitted you have electronic music equipment, a refrigerator and a racing bike. I expect that Napoleon lacked all three. In the context of human history you are in the One Percent.
EDIT: And I don’t know what you mean by AGW books in libraries. My library system has plenty.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 02:02:12 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1187 on: June 17, 2020, 05:05:33 PM »
I will accept that nanning is the most sustainable member of this board. He is certainly more sustainable than me, although my stock dividends and Father's Trust kept me barely above the poverty line and I don't know what my income is now that almost all my stocks have been sold. But how many "slaves" does even he own? He says he uses 37 kWh/week. I will take him at his word that this is his direct usage, but what about his indirect (for example, does he factor in how much energy is needed to make his clothing? And if you use a pencil, read the essay I, pencil to see what even that entails). 1 kWh is 1.34102 "horsehours". Say he uses 50 horsehours a week, and that a horsepower is equal to four humanpower (I think a horse weighs more than four people, but smaller animals are more powerful...think of an ant). So 200 hrs slave work a week. Say a slave works 66 hours a week, that means he "owns" three slaves. How may white people in antebellum South owned three or more slaves?
I submit that the rest of us are even worse. If I am the "problem" then we are all the "problem".
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Bruce Steele

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1188 on: June 17, 2020, 05:48:46 PM »
Jens, Hierarchical and wealth accumulation were the direct result of storage of crops as agriculture provided excesses that could be hoarded. Food stores provided incentive for raiding neighbors and
strong men and hierarchy resulted.
 When we roam free again mobility will limit hoarding. Hoarding will invite raids so living lean will have benefits not inferred under civil society.
 Civilization and hunter gatherer societies don’t coexist . We as civilized humans don’t know the benefits of a system we have spent 10,000 years trying to destroy.
 
Some food sources like acorns are easy to collect and difficult to process so stealing them doesn’t make any sense.  We are so far removed from the old systems before agriculture that we can’t really compare the positives and negatives .

How about we limit wealth to zero or to what you can carry on your back ?  Civilization was an experiment that is dying . Good riddance. Our comfort was far overrated.


kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1189 on: June 17, 2020, 06:25:16 PM »
Reply #1187 is a general point so lets end it there. Further discussion about persons or feelings about persons can be done the OTOT thread.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1190 on: June 17, 2020, 06:30:43 PM »
Impact=Population*Affluence/Technology. To lower impact you must lower affluence or population, or increase technology. When I was young I thought we would have turned the corner by now with technology...renewable energy, nanotechnology, space mining and manufacturing, probably in that order. I think we still have an outside chance of making it, late as it is. Else we will have a drastically reduced affluence (and with the condition Asia, Africa and Latin America are in I would actually want a little more) or else a population drop that, given that it took China’s draconian birth control measures half a century to lower the population, implies a huge rise in the death rate.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1191 on: June 17, 2020, 10:39:06 PM »
Shakespeare:
“Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.”


Iago to Othello. Othello, act 3, sc.3, l.176-8.

Emphasis added. ;)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1192 on: June 17, 2020, 11:58:47 PM »
Re: Impact

I have always seen it as I=PAT , never I=PA/T

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_%3D_PAT

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1193 on: June 18, 2020, 12:40:26 AM »
Re: Impact

I have always seen it as I=PAT , never I=PA/T

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_%3D_PAT

sidd
Well that is how I heard it described to me...
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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1194 on: June 18, 2020, 05:39:47 PM »
Hearsay, your honor!  ;)
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1195 on: June 19, 2020, 12:48:21 PM »
Thinking it over, I shall apologize to nanning. He is the best of us in sustainability, and the perfect is the enemy of the good. I was bothered by his misspelling of the name of my Lord and Savior, and that kind of boiled over. I may be reading things into the tone of his posts that are not actually there...maybe he is not calling the kettle black explicitely, and my reading between the lines is just a hallucination. Sorry, nanning.
But I will still point out that we need a technological revolution to get out of this without gigadeath. If everyone lived like nanning that would just delay the collapse to later this century, and depending on what such a lifestyle revolution would do to carrying capacity might even bring it about sooner.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1196 on: June 19, 2020, 04:30:14 PM »
Quote
If everyone lived like nanning that would just delay the collapse to later this century, and depending on what such a lifestyle revolution would do to carrying capacity might even bring it about sooner.

If everyone lived like nanning, there would quickly be no food (even for him) because no one would be working the fields, or transporting it, there would be no one in the factories to process it, no fuel for trucks to distribute it to people (or ways for people to get to distant food supplies) and no one making the tools or manufacturing the parts to maintain vehicles to continue to do so.

Similarly, most places would have no electricity (no fuel being transported to power plants; no workers in those plants), and no public water or sewer. ...

Thankfully, many people still work for a living.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 04:48:34 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1197 on: June 19, 2020, 05:25:38 PM »
Gee, I tried looking for examples of divine disrespect, and while I found a few, they were not nanning's.
Now I'm really sorry!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1198 on: June 19, 2020, 07:39:35 PM »
This just illustrates the benefits of diversity.  The last thing you want is for everyone to be the same, or live the same way, or hold the exact same beliefs. 
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1199 on: June 20, 2020, 04:30:38 AM »
Tom (and kiwiGriff), my solution has everything to do with all other life on Earth and its ecosystems. It is not just us on this planet. Civilisation collapse will come and billions of humans will die. It is impossible to stop that from happening. The effects on all other life must be minimized because otherwise there will be nothing left. I don't think human-centric.

I am not trying to be perfect but apparantly have a different view on what constitutes perfect. Perfect is impossible to attain but one can do much more in changing ones life to not be part of the destructive systems. I will make a list later because there seems to be some misunderstanding about what I mean with personal responsibility. Please don't forget that I have made extreme sacrifices to be at my current position of minimal destructive influence. This is absolutely not just about emissions but about awareness of the impact of ones lifestyle on all other lifeforms. Of course all that has to be done within ones means and possibilities. All solar panels and wind turbines have many impacts on other lifeforms such as habitat loss, pollutants, long distance transport etc. The tentacles of making high technology has destructive effects on many levels. High technology also makes one very dependent on many international supply lines, half products, resources and infrastructure for replacements and repairs. When civilisation has collapsed, these high tech solutions cannot be maintained anymore without parts and people to perform specialised repairs. Then you're suddenly in a much different and precarious situation. Also, if you have energy and most haven't in a post collapse situation, you will get desperate visitors.

It would've been nice if interest in my way of doing things would be out of respect and openness to the less comfortable solutions from my research and experimentation, and not out of irritation (as I sense it is for some) because of wrongly perceived holier-than-thou posts. I live by the truths that I have found, I am not fake or hypocritical and try to help others with seeing the, in my view, right personal path to the future. I will follow up on this. I see myself as a messenger and good example and not as someone who puts blame on others. You can blame me and accuse me of holier-than-thou because I may function as holding up a sort of mirror where you don't like the reflection. I understand what's seen as 'normal' life and behaviour and blaming that would be stupid and ineffective. Better to try to let (intelligent) interested people see other ways, other solutions and have clear arguments to support those.
Soon I will post a list of my sacrifices and arguments/effects.
Sorry for the lack of formatting and make-up of this text. The birds started singing, the sun comes up and I have to skin the potatoes and make dinner. Haven't even proof-read the above so it may contain errors. Forgive me.

Sigmetnow, that was nasty. Do you think I am voluntarily unemployed? I've had years of frustration and stress about it and finally accepted my predicament. And then you come with this. Bah.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?