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zizek

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #950 on: July 02, 2019, 03:25:42 AM »
Holy shit. The Americans were explicitly fighting against communism.  This isn't a god Damn secret. This was public doctrine.  What the fuck do you think they killed millions of people for? Because they liked the beaches? God Damn Bob. You need to read a fucking book.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #951 on: July 02, 2019, 05:53:17 AM »
One difficulty with capitalism is the reduction of all values to a single number, the price in the market. This inevitably leads to questions like "how much for your children ?"

I have often thought, but rarely see the point raised, that the single dimension of price is incapable of encompassing all that humans value, and how they value them. Perhaps a market with multidimensional "prices" would be be better, that a human might value his children in a measure along an orthogonal axis to money, which outweighs what he might obtain for them in the single number that current markets are built on. And there might be multiple such orthogonal dimensions ...

But i have not seen this idea explored in any depth, pointers are welcome.

sidd

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #952 on: July 02, 2019, 06:35:14 AM »
What is left of capitalism when you cut out the system of inheritance?
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Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #953 on: July 02, 2019, 07:35:52 AM »
Quote
Let me ask you.  Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

I'm sure there have been lots of pre-agricultural tribes that worked for thousands of years where the community was generally 'happy'. You could even argue that the Fall of Man is an allegory for the shift towards agriculture, of which capitalism as we know it is the product. Those tribes would still exist if it wasn't for other tribes going sour and pursuing domination and expansion (because of concentrated wealth).

There's a lot of coercion going on in capitalism as well. For some of them it's profitable, like oligarchs and pensioners who profited enough from the system that they can spend their last days defending it (the hand that feeds, etc). But they're not free, far from it. And most of the other people are oppressed with propaganda and violence. Just look at all the addicts and sick people capitalism produces for profit. Look at the wars.

The problem is not that capitalism doesn't work.  The problem with capitalism is that, left unchecked, it can work too well.  Unfettered capitalism can lead to extreme monopolies and the accumulation of wealth into the hands of very few individuals.

When something works too well, it doesn't work. And given that it always ends up working too well (capital turning into concentrated wealth that destroys itself, a vicious cycle we have been in since the dawn of agriculture), perhaps that means it has never worked and never will work. Thanks for answering the question.

So, if the only alternative is to restrict the accumulation of capital on an individual level, the big question is: Is this still capitalism as we know it? Because if it isn't, we have found the answer to the question in the thread title. A lot of people will say it's socialism/communism, Bob will say 'it's good capitalism' and so we get hung up on terms.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #954 on: July 02, 2019, 08:38:44 AM »
What is left of capitalism when you cut out the system of inheritance?

That's one step on the way to abolish capitalism.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #955 on: July 02, 2019, 09:09:22 AM »
Interesting paper by Werner who argues that as was thought a century or more ago, banks loan money into existence as opposed to being intermediaries or a fractional credit view.

doi: 10.1016/j.irfa.2015.08.014

read all about it. open access.

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sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #956 on: July 02, 2019, 09:20:18 AM »
Lenin and the origins of the USSR deconstructed by Hedges: state capitalism is what Lenin constructed

 "with Lenin writing that “as long as there is a state there is no freedom; when there is freedom there will be no state.” But Lenin in power, like Leon Trotsky, was an opportunist who made promises, such as “all power to the soviets,” that he had no intention of keeping. "

"Stalinism was not an aberration. It was the natural heir of Leninism."

" Mikhail Bakunin warned, presciently, that Marxists proposed to replace the capitalist with the bureaucrat. The Marxist society, he said, was nothing more than capitalism under centralized state management and it would, he said, be even more oppressive. "

" He, like John Dewey, understood that as long as the capitalist class has control of the means of production no real democracy will ever be possible."

"The ossified systems of governance—evidenced in the United States by our corporate-managed elections, our dysfunctional Congress, our commercialized press and our failed judiciary, which just legalized gerrymandering,  ... are transparent puppets of the ruling cabal. Reform through these structures is impossible. This understanding creates a huge divide between the liberals, who hold out hope for reform—you can see them once again foolishly investing time and energy in the Democratic Party—and revolutionaries who seek not to placate or work within the system but to destroy it."

"Lenin had a temperamental dislike of intellectuals, but he knew there was no other class that could shape and lead a revolutionary movement. "

"These revolutionary leaders are not, Brinton points out, Plato’s philosopher-kings, but philosopher-killers. "

"Mass uprisings, Lenin understood, provide fleeting moments that if not seized by the revolutionary may never again occur ... Timing was all, Lenin repeated monotonously. At timing, Lenin was a master. “There are decades when nothing happens—and there are weeks where decades happen,” he wrote."

"Violence was never a substitute for mass mobilization. It was never a substitute for the long and tedious work of building a revolutionary political party. And without a revolutionary party, Lenin warned correctly, revolution was impossible."

"Lenin warned that when capitalism is seriously threatened, fascism is always the default option ... liberals, who fear the radical left, become in a revolutionary moment the revolutionary’s enemy. "

"the most effective way to weaken the resolve of the ruling elite was to tell it exactly what to expect. "

"The late stage of capitalism inverts classical economics. What was considered unproductive—the parasitism of the rentier class—becomes the real economy. And what was considered the productive sector of the economy—labor and industry—is treated as the parasite. The ascendancy of global speculators is deadly to the capitalist system, which consumes itself."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-dilemma-of-vladimir-lenin/

Read the whole thing. I disagree with some of the article, but Hedges, as usual makes me think. I shall have to reread a little or perhaps a lot of Lenin.

sidd

Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #957 on: July 02, 2019, 09:22:03 AM »
Quote
Let me ask you.  Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

I'm sure there have been lots of pre-agricultural tribes that worked for thousands of years where the community was generally 'happy'. You could even argue that the Fall of Man is an allegory for the shift towards agriculture, of which capitalism as we know it is the product. Those tribes would still exist if it wasn't for other tribes going sour and pursuing domination and expansion (because of concentrated wealth).


From your comment I take it that you can't identify a country.  That's OK, I haven't been able to either.

Quote
When something works too well, it doesn't work. And given that it always ends up working too well (capital turning into concentrated wealth that destroys itself, a vicious cycle we have been in since the dawn of agriculture), perhaps that means it has never worked and never will work.[/b] Thanks for answering the question.

That is some strange logic.  I think we all realize that left unfettered free market capitalism tends to run to monopolies.  That does not mean that capitalism doesn't work, it just means that controls have to be put in place to keep things from getting out of hand. 

Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism I'm having a bit of a problem believing that capitalism has never worked. 

Quote
So, if the only alternative is to restrict the accumulation of capital on an individual level, the big question is: Is this still capitalism as we know it? Because if it isn't, we have found the answer to the question in the thread title. A lot of people will say it's socialism/communism, Bob will say 'it's good capitalism' and so we get hung up on terms.

If we allow people to acquire capital and use that capital to acquire more income/capital then that isn't either socialism or communism.  At least as I understand those terms.  Neither allow individuals to acquire capital. Capital is either held commonly or by the state.  If we allow people to acquire capital and use that capital that's capitalism. 

Bob's version of 'good capitalism' is adequately regulated capitalism that prevents too much power to accumulate to one person or group of people due to the amount of capital they control.  I really don't care if someone owns many tonnes of diamonds as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success.


b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #958 on: July 02, 2019, 09:28:38 AM »
The Marxist society, he said, was nothing more than capitalism under centralized state management and it would, he said, be even more oppressive. "

A logical misstep here Mikhail. There is no Marxist society. Marxism is a philosophy that analyses capitalism in order to understand and destroy it.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #959 on: July 02, 2019, 09:44:00 AM »
Re:  adequately regulated capitalism

And that is what Streeck argues is impossible. Really, read Streeck. He has a number of (open access) publications where he makes a good case.

"even the most sophisticated institutional arrangements cannot in the long run contain the dynamism of capitalist development"

I think that Mr. Wallace (and I) grew up during what Piketty and others called the "trente glorieuse," the thirty years or so after second world war, when capitalism was fettered. But it broke free, and Streeck has a powerful argument that it always will.

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b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #960 on: July 02, 2019, 10:02:26 AM »
Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism

There are degrees in freedom of markets. Any kind of country has a different set of framework as what they perceive as free.

For example, in Europe, markets are way better regulated than in the US. Less freedom for companies translates to more freedom for citizens/customer on the other side of the equation.

Quote
Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

So what do you mean by that? Are you asking if the people in the GDR, compared to the people in West Germany, had a job guarantee, universal health care, excellent childcare, free education, a strong communal spirit? Or are you asking how many sorts of toothpaste their planned economy produced compared to the free market in the west?

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I really don't care if someone owns many tonnes of diamonds as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success.

You forget one important thing in this equation. In the US, you can buy legislation. This means the one with the tonnes of diamonds has influence that the other 99% of people don't have. This is inherently undemocratic. And here you have the proof why Biden is not a democrat (lower d). He is interested in holding up the oligarchy. He stands before his donors promising them he will not change this system, because, being the useful idiot for the oligarchs is his business model. He is not a politician, he is a businessman.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #961 on: July 02, 2019, 10:02:56 AM »
Here is some capitalism, where the market price rules all: Putting Grandma on the table

"The same vial of Lilly’s Humalog insulin that was priced at $21 in 1996 can cost as much as $275 today. Especially when research shows that the same vial is manufactured for about $5"

" a preliminary consensus forming around a price of about $500 per dose. That was no bargain: $500 was a hundred times more than the company’s manufacturing cost ... All of a sudden, the price everyone talked about was $10,000 per dose "

"As their Gilead counterparts did, Pfizer’s team ignored research and manufacturing costs, instead focusing on discovering the maximum price that insurers would be willing to pay, and at what price level physicians would balk at  ... "

“If Grandma is on the table, no one is going to blink at paying $10,000 to save her life,”

"Although Lilly consistently made $100 million a year from the drug, it was pulled from the market in 2011 after further clinical testing showed it did not have a positive impact on patient survival."

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/01/if-grandma-table-no-one-will-blink-price-former-drug-company-manager-explains

What I am seeing is that Grandma (and Grandpa and their families) are getting wise to the scam. I am seeing more and more elders who have a living will that sez in essence, "Do not Resuscitate, Palliative care only."

And as i posted elsewhere, a friend died recently in a hospital after he and his wife demanded all tubes be pulled out, and backed down hospital admins who wanted to milk him forawhile.

sidd
 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 10:11:36 AM by sidd »

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #962 on: July 02, 2019, 12:52:46 PM »
Can you please show me a time and place that capitalism worked?

Can you please show me a time and place that anything worked?
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zizek

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #963 on: July 02, 2019, 01:53:37 PM »

From your comment I take it that you can't identify a country.  That's OK, I haven't been able to either.


USSR!!!!!!!!!
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/29/in-russia-nostalgia-for-soviet-union-and-positive-feelings-about-stalin/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/166538/former-soviet-countries-harm-breakup.aspx

It's weird you claim these people were coerced to support communism when the majority of these people want to go back to communism.
 
And I don't discount the awful use of secret police and intelligence gathering during the Soviet era. but it's no different than what that CIA or NSA does. The CIA murdered revolutionaries and black power leaders. The CIA killed in the name of white supremacy and for the wealthy. The KGB spied because they were paranoid to the point of insanity from the encirclement and sabotage of American espionage. Communist countries were forced to deal with the real threat of of America trying to destroy their movement. It breeds the conditions for the spying that you claim to despise. Had America and colonial powers left communist states to their own devices, those states wouldn't be constantly forced to use shitty measures to counter American influence.

----
And what about China? Do you think every Chinese person is being coerced to support communism?

Or Cuba ?!

Or Burkina Faso?

Or Bolivia?



Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism I'm having a bit of a problem believing that capitalism has never worked. 


Well, Bob, the thing is, and I don't know if you've heard, but we're currently facing an existential crisis that threatens the existence of humanity. Because capitalism has caused us to lose any democratic control over our industry and environment, it's making it effectively impossible to deal with this crisis.  So, if causing the destruction of the only intelligent life in the universe is considered "working", then you must be one hell of a masochist. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 02:25:42 PM by zizek »

Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #964 on: July 02, 2019, 07:22:56 PM »
Re:  adequately regulated capitalism

And that is what Streeck argues is impossible.
sidd

What about Sweden? New Zealand?  Switzerland?   Are they failures? 

Are all countries in the world except North Korea failures? 


Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #965 on: July 02, 2019, 07:49:03 PM »
Quote
Quote
Can you identify a country which has a long period during which capitalism was not allowed to operate, people accepted that without being coerced, and the country enjoyed 'good times'?

So what do you mean by that? Are you asking if the people in the GDR, compared to the people in West Germany, had a job guarantee, universal health care, excellent childcare, free education, a strong communal spirit?

They built a wall to keep people from leaving the GDR and shot them if they tried to get over.  Did you not read the word "coerced"?

I have not made the argument that the worst capitalist country will alway be better than the best non-capitalist country in every single aspect.  Let's stick with the question presented, not make stuff up.


Quote
Quote
I really don't care if someone owns many tonnes of diamonds as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success.

You forget one important thing in this equation. In the US, you can buy legislation. This means the one with the tonnes of diamonds has influence that the other 99% of people don't have. This is inherently undemocratic
.

I clearly said "as long as they aren't able to 'enslave' others or prohibit others from seeking success".  You ignored that.  I didn't forget.  You chose to ignore.

Quote
And here you have the proof why Biden is not a democrat (lower d). He is interested in holding up the oligarchy. He stands before his donors promising them he will not change this system, because, being the useful idiot for the oligarchs is his business model. He is not a politician, he is a businessman.

You have no idea what you're talking about.  Those who run federal, state, county, or city governments have multiple tasks.  One is to keep stuff running.  You can't destroy the "oligarchy" in one fell swoop because if you did you'd crash the economy and we got a little taste of what that would be like in 2008/2009/2010 and years after.  None of us remember but we got a big taste in the Great Depression that started in the late 1920s.  Some of your parents or grandparents may be able to tell what things were like for them following World War Two which destroyed their economies.  We have no options other than gradual change that doesn't overly disrupt and cause crashing.  Leaders who want to make changes have to walk that tightrope.

I'll remind you, Joe Biden is in my small group of people I hope are not the Democratic candidate.  I think he's too old and somewhat out of touch.  I also don't think he's the sharpest knife in the collection.  I'm defending Joe because I think you are wronging him.  I'd do the same for you if I thought someone was unfairly attacking you.

Here's what Biden said to a group of rich potential donors recently -

Quote
“When we have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution,” Biden said at a recent fundraiser at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.

Biden has also floated the idea of closing tax loopholes and getting rid of exemptions that benefit the rich at these events. He recently noted that during the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan, there existed around $800 billion worth of tax exemptions, adding those exemptions have gotten closer to $1.6 trillion now.

“I could take about $400 [billion] away, and it wouldn’t change your standard of living one tiny little bit — not even an iota,” Biden told donors.

Biden, and anyone else running against Trump, will need a lot of money.  Poor people, workers living paycheck to paycheck, don't have much money to spare.  Pretty much every candidate will need wealthy people to give them money.  That is simply the reality of the times.

The US has a campaign finance problem and many of us understand that.  You seem to be ignorant of what we know inside the US.  Many of us want the rules to be changed but they won't be changed until we can get Republicans out of control.  Republicans are on their way to becoming a party that can't win a national election and will win in only rural states.  They know that and they are doing everything they can to delay their exile.  If we want to take back our government we have to play the game by the current rules and play to win.  Then, if we win, we can start fixing the system.

Shared Humanity

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #966 on: July 02, 2019, 07:51:12 PM »

Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism I'm having a bit of a problem believing that capitalism has never worked. 


So let's agree that human civilization's ultimate goal is to perpetuate itself and provide for the needs of people. Over our history, humans have organized themselves in a variety of ways to accomplish this objective. These have tended to move towards increasingly complex and larger methods of organizing. Some very impressive civilizations have come and gone over the past 5000 years.

Modern capitalism (the accumulation of capital to stimulate production) sprang into existence in the 1700's. Prior to this, European countries could more accurately be described as mercantilist states, accumulating wealth via trade. The concentration of capital and its use to develop productive enterprises exploded during the 1800's. To get a sense of the size and scope of this, I would recommend "The Empire of Cotton" by Sven Beckert, quite simply the best history book of early capitalism that can be found. The explosive growth of industrial capitalism fueled the creation of industrial empires that continue to dominate the planet today, laying waste to your lie that the U.S. military is not used to protect our economic interests and "keep people in line". The use of force occurs both internationally and internally as the state engages in violence against the labor movement and other efforts by citizens to have their voices heard.

The impact of this new system of capitalism can be measured quite easily. Below are a few charts. There are hundreds more that could be used as well. It is no coincidence that each of these capture an inflection point in the 1800's. Given that our fate, humans and the civilizations we build, are absolutely dependent on this home we call earth, how would you evaluate this system of capitalism as a means of organizing civilization?

In my opinion, I would call this 200 year blip in modern human's history (been around for say 250K years) a failed experiment. Our very future is dependent on us finding a new way of organizing ourselves and this new system must serve to reconnect us to as opposed to alienate ourselves from the environment in which we live.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 08:50:40 PM by Shared Humanity »

Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #967 on: July 02, 2019, 08:31:28 PM »
Quote
Modern capitalism (the accumulation of capital to stimulate development) sprang into existence in the 1700's. Prior to this, European countries could more accurately be described as mercantilist states, accumulating wealth via trade.

Artificial distinction.  Capitalism was operating far before the 1700s, only on a smaller scale.  Columbus had to search for someone with the necessary capital to finance his exploration.  Ships carried goods across the Mediterranean carrying goods for sales in ancient Greek times.  Someone put up the capital.   Money (capital) was fronted in the hopes of great returns.  I have no doubt that if we could go back before written history and find capitalism in full flower.

What has happened is that due to our more highly developed communication systems and improved transportation we've moved into a phase where goods can easily be sold by fewer and fewer vendors.  Where a small number of manufacturers can supply the world with whatever those factories make.  That has allowed for much larger companies that we've had in the past.  It's created a group of "almost instant" billionaires.  And now we have to figure out how to adjust to this new reality so that the ones of us who aren't billionaires can enjoy decent lifestyles.

Shared Humanity

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #968 on: July 02, 2019, 08:38:09 PM »
We live in a growth system (capitalism) constrained by a finite resource (mother earth). The manner by which we organize human civilization must change because our planet will not.

As informed people (I would count everyone who visits this site in this category), we are constantly reading up and gaining knowledge about the challenges facing us. We often treat these issues in isolation but I would invite everyone to view these in the context of the growth system (capitalism) that we inhabit. I would be surprised if we can find any of our biggest challenges not related to this system.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/

The good news is that once we realize the true "root cause" of the myriad of problems facing us, the solution becomes clear, if not easy.

Shared Humanity

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #969 on: July 02, 2019, 08:41:42 PM »
Quote
Modern capitalism (the accumulation of capital to stimulate development) sprang into existence in the 1700's. Prior to this, European countries could more accurately be described as mercantilist states, accumulating wealth via trade.

Artificial distinction.  Capitalism was operating far before the 1700s, only on a smaller scale.  Columbus had to search for someone with the necessary capital to finance his exploration.  Ships carried goods across the Mediterranean carrying goods for sales in ancient Greek times.  Someone put up the capital.   Money (capital) was fronted in the hopes of great returns.  I have no doubt that if we could go back before written history and find capitalism in full flower.

What has happened is that due to our more highly developed communication systems and improved transportation we've moved into a phase where goods can easily be sold by fewer and fewer vendors.  Where a small number of manufacturers can supply the world with whatever those factories make.  That has allowed for much larger companies that we've had in the past.  It's created a group of "almost instant" billionaires.  And now we have to figure out how to adjust to this new reality so that the ones of us who aren't billionaires can enjoy decent lifestyles.

What you are describing is the operation of the mercantilist state. This trade across the planet was generally in food stuffs and cottage goods produced by artisans. This is not capitalism.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #970 on: July 02, 2019, 08:49:13 PM »
Streeck's argument is not that capitalism cannot be fettered at all, but that it will eventually break the fetters. As we see in the USA where legislators and regulators are bought and paid for, and increasing fractions of the citizenry ground  into voiceless penury. When reasonable change is made impossible, unreasonable change becomes inevitable.

Hedges article on Lenin has some insights into what happens then.

sidd

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #971 on: July 02, 2019, 08:52:52 PM »
"Prior to this, European countries could more accurately be described as mercantilist states, accumulating wealth via trade."

Excellent post, but I would say it was generally more like robber economy or plundereconomy (Raubwirtschaft in German)...much of the wealth of Europe was stolen outright from the colonies.

Now it is still global robber capitalism,  but we are stealing from the future of humans and of pretty much all complex life.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 09:27:08 PM by wili »
"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."

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #972 on: July 02, 2019, 08:54:27 PM »
Re: beginning of capitalism

Agreed that capitalism began in the 1700-1800 period. Claiming that everything involving the use of capital is capitalism is a lazy argument.

Perhaps more people here should read Marx. Apparently some think everything involving the use of capital is capitalism.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #973 on: July 02, 2019, 09:02:35 PM »
What has happened is that due to our more highly developed communication systems and improved transportation we've moved into a phase where goods can easily be sold by fewer and fewer vendors.  Where a small number of manufacturers can supply the world with whatever those factories make.  That has allowed for much larger companies that we've had in the past.  It's created a group of "almost instant" billionaires.  And now we have to figure out how to adjust to this new reality so that the ones of us who aren't billionaires can enjoy decent lifestyles.

Paradoxically, this is not the solution to the rapidly approaching existential crisis.

Lets say, for example, that Socialists win the day and manage to effect a peaceful redistribution of some of the world's accumulated wealth so that all of us can enjoy "decent lifestyles." The impact would be an explosion of growth as consumption would climb dramatically, shortening the time it would take us to reach our demise.

Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #974 on: July 02, 2019, 09:14:27 PM »
I just want to say that some of you live in denial and use word games to maintain your denial.

Pretty much every economy in the world is capitalistic.  Some have done a reasonably good job of controlling the problems that unfettered capitalism can cause.  Others are working to get better.  Some are in bad shape and not doing much to improve.

The problem is the way countries are governed.  Some countries have allow oligarchies too much influence or dictatorial governments.  If you Europeans take a close look at the countries with whom you share a continent you can find both extremes, you don't need to look over the big water to find a country doing well or poorly. 

As for you doomers, grow up. 

Shared Humanity

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #975 on: July 02, 2019, 09:20:45 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Pathetic.

I am optimistic in that I am certain we can avoid the catastrophe approaching us. The solution, however, is not to deny the problem exists.

Why do you come here Bob? Do you see yourself as the person to pat informed people on the head and say "Now, now, everything is going to be alright."? I have very little patience to engage with someone who is as intellectually dishonest as that. I use this term because I have no doubt you are intelligent and informed.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #976 on: July 02, 2019, 09:33:54 PM »
Bob. The world is in a bad shape and if we go by sidds time line this is the result of 300 years of capitalism. So it might not be worthy to cling on to even if it feels safe because it is the control system you grew up in.

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.

Bob Wallace

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #977 on: July 02, 2019, 09:37:20 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Pathetic.

I am optimistic in that I am certain we can avoid the catastrophe approaching us. The solution, however, is not to deny the problem exists.

Why do you come here Bob? Do you see yourself as the person to pat informed people on the head and say "Now, now, everything is going to be alright."? I have very little patience to engage with someone who is as intellectually dishonest as that. I use this term because I have no doubt you are intelligent and informed.

If you believe we can avoid the catastrophe approaching us then you aren't one of the doomers.  There was no reason for you to reply to something that did not involve you.

I come here to learn and share.  I have never claimed that everything is going to be alright.  Not ever. 

I have never claimed that we would definitely avoid extreme climate change.  I have pointed out how we might and I have reported on progress we have made but never have I said we have already done enough or that it is guaranteed that enough would be done.

I have never claimed that all countries would find solutions to capitalism allowed to grow out of control.  Not once.  I have tried to get some people living in fantasy land to understand what 'destroying capitalism' would mean and how fruitless that effort would likely be.  That we need to accept the fact that capitalism is how humans operate and that we then need to find ways to protect ourselves from the worst practices.

Please represent my views and opinions accurately. 

As an aside, I detest it when people intentionally misrepresent what others have said and make stuff up.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #978 on: July 02, 2019, 09:38:33 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Wasn't it the boomer generation screwing up the planet?

I remember this generation always telling me to grow up when i told them what they did.

Bob, aren't you a boomer?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 09:45:04 PM by b_lumenkraft »

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #979 on: July 02, 2019, 09:38:51 PM »
Re: "The problem is the way countries are governed. "

Streeck and many others have argued that capitalism eventually results in bad governance.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #980 on: July 02, 2019, 09:49:32 PM »
Bob. The world is in a bad shape and if we go by sidds time line this is the result of 300 years of capitalism. So it might not be worthy to cling on to even if it feels safe because it is the control system you grew up in.

The world is in the best shape it has ever been in.  Wars are at a modern history low.  Fewer people live in abject poverty.  We enjoy healthcare that is astoundingly better than it was only fifty years ago and better than it has ever been.  People have access to education and information unlike any time in the past.  The age of monarchs is behind us and the time of dictators is fading. 

That capitalism has existed only 200 or 300 years is ridiculous.  Do you really believe there weren't rich people who took advantage of the poor or that if you wanted to do something that required capital you didn't have you had to look to someone who had the capital you needed in the 1600s, the 1500s, ..., the 700s, ..., the 300s BC, ...?

sidd should throw out his literature and dial in on the real world.  We need to find the best mix of 'free' markets and regulation along with social support programs that give is thriving economies without stepping on whoever isn't in the top echelons. 


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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #981 on: July 02, 2019, 09:53:50 PM »
Re: "The problem is the way countries are governed. "

Streeck and many others have argued that capitalism eventually results in bad governance.

sidd

Did you ever consider whether this Streeck guy might have his head firmly up his own butt?

You want bad governance?  Put pretty much any individual in total control for several years and that will give you bad governance.  Or let the government be run by popular impulse.

Bad governance comes and goes.  Look to some of your European countries for examples.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #982 on: July 02, 2019, 09:55:55 PM »
Bob, as we can see, is sunny optimist...no matter how bad things actually are, he is going to present them as the best ever. So it is no surprise that any who state concern of the enormous evidence that things are not going so well are cast aside by him as 'doomers.'

For those actually interested in a perspective on the plundering nature of our current and past economic systems, one could do worse than to start with "Ecological Debt" By Andrew Simms.

"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 #983 on: July 02, 2019, 09:57:18 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Wasn't it the boomer generation screwing up the planet?

I remember this generation always telling me to grow up when i told them that they did.

Bob, aren't you a boomer?

I'm a boomer too.

The problem we are facing is not primarily due to bad actors. All of us are willing participants in this growth system. We each act in good faith within the system, work hard, save our money, give to charity, loan to family and friends. None of this is bad. The simple fact is that individually acting in good faith fuels the engine of growth. Capitalism is absolutely dependent on growth and each of us act so that, in the aggregate, growth is achieved.

The simple truth is we cannot grow our way out of a crisis whose root cause is growth. Bob would choose to call it "destroying capitalism". I have more faith in humanity and see this as a problem that is solvable. On a finite planet we need to do more with less. We need to change our definition of the good life. We need a more fair and equitable distribution of resources (rich and poor nations, rich and poor people) We need to identify the things that really matter (food, shelter, clothing, intellectual pursuits, the arts, human connectedness) and dispense of those things that are a distraction.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 10:06:56 PM by Shared Humanity »

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #984 on: July 02, 2019, 09:59:45 PM »
"On a finite planet we need to do more with less. We need to change our definition of the good life. We need a more fair and equitable distribution of resources (rich and poor nations, rich and poor people) We need to identify the things that really matter (food, shelter, clothing, intellectual pursuits, the arts, human connectedness) and dispense of those things that are a distraction."

Thanks again for your doses of sanity in the face of increasing absurdity.
"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."

b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #985 on: July 02, 2019, 10:01:25 PM »
I'm a boomer too.

You don't defend the status quo. You are not of the types i'm addressing here. :)

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #986 on: July 02, 2019, 10:01:42 PM »
Bob, as we can see, is sunny optimist...no matter how bad things actually are, he is going to present them as the best ever. So it is no surprise that any who state concern of the enormous evidence that things are not going so well are cast aside by him as 'doomers.'

No, Bob is an optimistic realist.  Bob is not a sunny optimist.

Bob believes that we will face difficulties for some long time to come and some of those difficulties are going to be painful.  If we want to minimize the pain those difficulties bring then we need to look for ways to deal with those difficulties.  And he believes that we need to recognize the progress we are making so that we don't get discouraged and quit trying.

We may not succeed but we certainly can create failure by declaring all efforts worthless and sitting down to await our fate. 

Doomers are certain of failure. 

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #987 on: July 02, 2019, 10:02:21 PM »
Re: "rich people who took advantage of the poor or that if you wanted to do something that required capital you didn't have you had to look to someone who had the capital "

Thsese do not imply capitalism. Again, use of capital by itself is not capitalism. Please read.

Re: Streeck and others might be wrong

Or you might. Given the choice between Streeck and random internet commenters, gee, that's a tough one.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #988 on: July 02, 2019, 10:08:07 PM »
As for you doomers, grow up.

Wasn't it the boomer generation screwing up the planet?

I remember this generation always telling me to grow up when i told them that they did.

Bob, aren't you a boomer?

I'm a boomer too.

The problem we are facing is not primarily due to bad actors. All of us are willing participants in this growth system. We each act in good faith within the system, work hard, save our money, give to charity, loan to family and friends. None of this is bad. The simple fact is that individually acting in good faith fuels the engine of growth. Capitalism is absolutely dependent on growth and each of us act so that, in the aggregate, growth is achieved.

The simple truth is we cannot grow our way out of a crisis whose root cause is growth. Bob would choose to call it destroying capitalism. I have more faith in humanity and see this as a problem that is solvable. On a finite planet we need to do more with less. We need to change our definition of the good life. We need a more fair and equitable distribution of resources (rich and poor nations, rich and poor people) We need to identify the things that really matter (food, shelter, clothing, intellectual pursuits, the arts, human connectedness) and dispense of those things that are a distraction.

Capitalism would exist and does exist during times of non-growth.  If you just want to replace your house that just burned down (not a growth event) you'd need to borrow the money and you'd have to borrow from someone who had money.

The fact is that we need to rapidly grow our wind, solar, storage, and electric transportation industries.  But at the same time that will kill fossil fuels and ICEVs.  More of a replacement event than a growth event.

On a finite planet we need to do with things that are sustainable.  That may or may not allow growth, it depends on how clever we are.

We do need to improve wealth distribution across countries and within most countries.  That can be done with or without growth.


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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #989 on: July 02, 2019, 10:10:27 PM »
I'm a boomer too.

You don't defend the status quo. You are not of the types i'm addressing here. :)

I'm not a boomer.

I suspect I've missed some comments here.  If anyone feels I've purposely ignored a comment aimed at me please bring it up again.  I'm tired of going back and searching for stuff and the software this site uses is primitive. 

b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #990 on: July 02, 2019, 10:13:47 PM »
I'm not a boomer.

Sorry, Bob, entirely my fault. I just assumed that somehow.

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #991 on: July 02, 2019, 11:09:58 PM »
I'm in a better mood today, and I'm still done with the Panglossian arrogance, the paternalistic insults and the soft AGW denial. Bob will have to protect the status quo elsewhere, as he's banned from this forum. It's a pity he sneaked back in after slamming the door.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #992 on: July 02, 2019, 11:13:16 PM »
Dank je wel! :)
"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."

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #993 on: July 02, 2019, 11:20:15 PM »
Brilliant article by Solomon at commondreams on buying and selling politicians: Satire ? You decide.

"Investors are pondering where to put their money this week after the sudden decline in the assessed value of presidential candidate Joe Biden."

"hopes have eroded in recent days amid reduced investor confidence. "

"many top investors felt overexposed and looked for shelter. Gathering new topline data and considering several prospectuses that had been previously submitted, investors are now reassessing assets and liabilities as well as potential growth in market share"

"Venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, powerful CEOs and other wealthy individuals ... are moving to widen financing spigots for Kamala Harris ... elevated interest in Pete Buttigieg ... Beto O’Rourke, is now considered to be too underperforming"

" goals are to quickly shore up capitalization of aligned political products and to implement sustained brand enhancement. "

" market conditions have abruptly changed "

"Wall Streeters understand that Sanders and Warren would be bad investments"

"Joe Biden ... damaged brand and a faltering business plan—prudence requires a new set of calculations"

Spot on. "capitalization of aligned political products and to implement sustained brand enhancement" indeed

I laugh, so I do not cry.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/01/after-bidens-sharp-decline-wall-street-investors-reassessing-other-blue-chips

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #994 on: July 04, 2019, 06:01:52 PM »
... Bob ... [is] banned from this forum. ...

I am shocked and saddened at this.  I agreed with almost everything Bob Wallace wrote. 

I am sure there are others who, like me, agreed with his views and found the heated arguments he faced to be distasteful and excessive.  The Forum has lost a valuable resource and a valid point of view.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #995 on: July 04, 2019, 06:48:11 PM »
I agreed with almost everything Bob Wallace wrote. 

I take it you are not reading the political threads Sigmetnow?

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #996 on: July 04, 2019, 07:30:31 PM »
I agreed with almost everything Bob Wallace wrote. 

I take it you are not reading the political threads Sigmetnow?

Correct, for some time now.  Science and technology are more my thing.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #997 on: July 04, 2019, 07:34:33 PM »
Correct

Bob was like two completely different people. Logical, knowledgeable and reasonable in the Tesla and renewables threads, and the complete opposite in the political ones.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #998 on: July 08, 2019, 09:02:12 AM »
Jack reviews "The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain" by Christophers at LRB:

" the transfer of land from state to private ownership is the biggest of the privatisations that began under Margaret Thatcher and have continued under every administration since, dwarfing in both scope and value the more prominent sales of utilities such as gas, electricity and water, or social housing under the Right to Buy scheme, or nationalised industries such as British Rail."

" Christophers is at his most enlightening on the process by which land could be deemed ‘inefficient’ or ‘surplus’ – a late 20th-century echo of the argument that justified the enclosures of the 18th century, when landowners sought to put common land that was tilled or grazed by the peasantry to more profitable use. The notion of idleness is important to the argument: land cannot be allowed merely to sit there minding its own business – it needs somehow to be put to work, to be efficient. "

"The hardly radical figure of Oliver Letwin identified the real brake on house-building when he published the interim conclusions to his inquiry into low completion rates last year. What governed the numbers, he decided, was the absorption rate – ‘the rate at which newly constructed homes can be sold into (or are believed by the house-builder to be able to be sold successfully into) the local market without materially disturbing the market price’. For ‘materially disturbing’ read ‘lowering’: to protect profits, developers are sitting on land that has been given planning permission. ‘Efficiency’ in this instance is a concept confined to the shareholder."

"‘As soon as the land of any country has all become private property,’ Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, ‘the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.’ This is the beauty of land: it is an asset that increases in value according to demand, without any expenditure or labour on the part of its owner."

"the biggest corporate buyers of privatised land have been financial institutions and property developers (including investors and house-builders), sectors that have always given significant sums of money to the Conservative Party, and which have been the party’s two biggest donors since 2015, during which time the pace of land privatisation has quickened."

" Whatever the truth of the idea that land was being hoarded by the state, it is undeniably now being hoarded by private owners who seek to keep the supply of houses below the level of demand, and in this way sustain high house prices and their own profits."

" in modern Britain, it seems, putting up the rent is somehow regarded as economic growth … "

"the people of Britain are increasingly being distanced – economically, socially and politically – from the land they inhabit"

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n10/ian-jack/why-did-we-not-know

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #999 on: July 10, 2019, 10:27:16 AM »