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Author Topic: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?  (Read 150646 times)

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1250 on: July 07, 2020, 09:08:30 AM »
The thing is I can't see, how can anyone defend a system in which gangsters, psychopaths, narcissists and egomaniacs are at the top of the hierarchy, irrespective of which ideology they stand for. People are capable of ruining any ideology you might think of, irrespective of how good it looks on the paper.

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1251 on: July 07, 2020, 04:55:13 PM »
This thread is not for humour

I created the thread, and I say humor/humour is welcome. :P
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jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1252 on: July 07, 2020, 06:57:08 PM »
To be honest, I'm leaning towards the view that the biggest problem is power structure and hierarchies, not wealth as such in itself. That's why we haven't had a working system, because they all involve power structures and hierarchies. Also for a narcissistic person the main motivator is power. Wealth is just a tool with which to manifest power and control others. If you have wealth, you can more easily dangle a carrot in front of others, make them do favours for you and use them in your interests. That's why wealth accumulation has been important, because that's the way to gain power over others.

Imagine someone living alone in the forest, but that person has an abundance of natural resources, plentiful of food, etc. You could say that person is "rich". However, if no-one knew about him or his place, nobody could care less. We start noticing "wealth" once we give it importance in the society, somebody is showing off, and trying to gain power over others.

What is "wealth" can be relative anyway. Let's take gold for example. If people didn't start thinking that this piece of shiny metal is somehow important and a sign of wealth and status, it wouldn't mean anything. If we didn't give meaning to gold, it wouldn't be anything apart from maybe a useful material in some tools or whatever practical we could try to build with it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1253 on: July 07, 2020, 08:20:52 PM »
To be honest, I'm leaning towards the view that the biggest problem is power structure and hierarchies, not wealth as such in itself. That's why we haven't had a working system, because they all involve power structures and hierarchies. ...

It might be fun to imagine how an economic system on a Mars colony could be organized.  You arrive with few possessions, and personal wealth doesn’t mean much because your options of what to do with it are limited.  Your housing is provided, although you might have a say in what future housing is built.  The super rich might be able to pay for personal items to be shipped from Earth, but I expect the colony (using a direct democracy) might vote on what is acceptable to bring and what would be done with it — because, given the limited food, water, breathable air and climate control, building something sizable only for yourself would not be tolerated. 

There will be jobs (somebody has to fix the robots that clean the solar panels, and make the pizza ;)), but money and wealth might not be a differentiator in day to day living.
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1254 on: July 08, 2020, 04:28:29 AM »
jens, wealth = affluence. Affluence is the fundamental thing because it has a meaning in reality.
Language is very important for how people think. Calibrate hypotheses with reality..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluence

Shiny metal -> status/resource value in civilisation -> (money -> ) more than enough = affluence = wealth

Non-civilisation tribes in general have no ovens to work metal because that is high tech and that is a hallmark of civilisation.
I am still trying (taking my time) to compile all hallmarks of a civilisation.

What you describe as 'rich' in your second paragraph is as living in the metaphorical Garden of Eden. That is how Earth was before civilisation plucked the metaphorical apple. With that, metaphorical evil manifested itself and created a path to metaphorical hell and armageddon (where we are now from 'outside' perspective).
Funny (?) how these biblical metaphores match quite well with my sketched interpretation.

Good philosophical thinking there jens. Very nice to see.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1255 on: July 08, 2020, 04:44:46 AM »
And how would all this look like in practice anyway? Say, a family builds a house. Once the parents die, who would live in that house afterwards or who would "own" it?
<snip>

That is another problem. That is implementation. The idea is that after your death, you can't pass on your wealth and posessions to chosen others so they'll have an unfair advantage. Fairness, equality, new-borns.

Without inheritance:

No rich family-'empires' anymore (where new-borns are already wealthy).
This might get a majority vote and thereby change the wealth accumulation incentive.

It would mean an extremely important reset of old families' wealth accumulation that has been passed on for centuries, growing the rolling snowball. Those snowballs have to be destroyed.
You want the old hierarchies and power structures gone (prerequisite for system change)? Abolish inheritance and within a generation the old power structures and accumulated family wealth is gone. And all new-borns will have a much more equal chance. The incentive to accumulate posessions and wealth will be much diminished because 1) you start with nothing and 2) you leave with nothing and your nobody benefits from what you have accumulated because it all goes to our shared wealth.
Inheritance is furthermore mostly important for the very rich and they are a minority and keep the systems as they are because only they are profiting from the current rigged and destructive systems. So abolishing inheritance will predominantly hurt and change the people that currently have all the power.

edit: I've misspelled 'possessions'.. too many esses and I get distracted  ;D
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 05:06:48 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?

kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1256 on: July 08, 2020, 09:42:25 AM »
To be honest, I'm leaning towards the view that the biggest problem is power structure and hierarchies, not wealth as such in itself.

But ´the wealth´ or wealthy people and big corporations get to determine much more how the power structure ends up then the people.

Thinking about Mars is limited. Maybe design a system from the ground up for earth?
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bluice

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1257 on: July 08, 2020, 10:29:14 AM »
Humans aren't inherently aiming for material wealth. We crave for status. This is normal for social animals such as ourselves. The strongest baboon on the top of the tree gets the respect of it's peers (and most females).

Money hasn't always been the measure for status. In Middle Ages the nobility and the clergy looked down on the bourgeois class, the money-greedy shopkeepers. Glory and respect was earned by doing chivalrous virtues.  There are records of men declared saints by giving up all their earthly possessions.  Hard to imagine present day philanthropists voluntarily begging on the streets.

Then again, money is power. Even then gold could buy you an army. Much later GDP was designed to measure a nation's ability to wage war. Herein lies the problem of degrowth ideologies.  By degrowing the economy one loses the ability to defend her ideals. Like indigenous peoples vs their colonial masters.

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1258 on: July 08, 2020, 01:19:40 PM »
Herein lies the problem of degrowth ideologies.  By degrowing the economy one loses the ability to defend her ideals. Like indigenous peoples vs their colonial masters.

This is why no country or region will voluntarily "green" their economy, because they would be then overpowered by their fossil-powered neighbours in many ways.

It is interesting to debate the different facets of human behaviour and societies, but it has to be said the "How" part in the topic title remains largely unanswered in this day and age. If "how" was easier, something would be either happening or would have been done already.

So in the end the best bet for anyone is to find people to start communities or something, and attempt to survive the onslaught of climate change and economical/societal upheavals. Ultimately change should come from the grassroots level, because it is never going to come from the top. It is up to people on the grassroots level to develop as much independence as possible, which in turn means that people in power have less options to "control" you the less tied to the society you are.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1259 on: July 08, 2020, 01:49:35 PM »
nanning:
Don’t worry about spelling possessions... I am lucky to get through one post without a typo.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1260 on: July 08, 2020, 07:14:23 PM »
...  Thinking about Mars is limited. Maybe design a system from the ground up for earth? ...

...
It is interesting to debate the different facets of human behaviour and societies, but it has to be said the "How" part in the topic title remains largely unanswered in this day and age. If "how" was easier, something would be either happening or would have been done already.
...

Exactly. The What is fairly easy to imagine, the How is difficult.  I use Mars as a backdrop because it lets one start from scratch and consider options without the distraction and dead weight of But This Is The Way It Has Been And Is Now So How Could We Possibly Do Anything Different. 

We haven’t agreed on the specifics of our goal yet....  Once we do, we can turn to developing the steps needed to get there — here on earth.

Edit:  Also, it’s less antagonistic to make rules that would affect distant people in a distant situation, rather than appearing to criticize people you know.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 07:25:54 PM by Sigmetnow »
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1261 on: July 09, 2020, 05:33:01 AM »
About this "How", has no one read my post above about abolishing inheritance? Do civilisation humans even want a solution or just easy solutions?
"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 #1262 on: July 09, 2020, 05:57:42 AM »
About this "How", has no one read my post above about abolishing inheritance? Do civilisation humans even want a solution or just easy solutions?

The issue about "how" in practical terms is that who is going forward with the plan to abolish inheritance? I don't see any political powers going ahead with this, so there you go. There is also no voter pressure to go ahead with this that could influence election results and thus political agenda of parties.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1263 on: July 09, 2020, 06:32:37 AM »
Re: inheritance

How about matrilineal inheritance ? None of that either ?

I ask because i have direct experience with matrilineal societies ... Kerala, for example. Those seem to do better.

sidd

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1264 on: July 09, 2020, 08:36:20 AM »
Indeed sidd, it seems women are more realistic, less abstract, less status-sensitive and with more empathy and therefore a broader view of responsibilities and things to care for. I find the Iroquois tribes' culture very interesting, especially their matrilineal society and ways of controlling power and leaders (men).

But I didn't mean the order of descent. This is the economic system thread about alternatives to capitalism. What I mean by inheritance here are the possessions, money and other wealth that must not be passed on to family/trusts or other private interests, but to return to society as a whole so there is no more 'snowball accretion' whereby the already (old) rich families live in another world (supremacy->insanity). It WILL break all the old power structures and hierarchies and that is essential.

If civilisation humans cannot even contemplate this single change (abolishing inheritance), then I think there really is no feasible solution because any real solution requires a change. And a fundamental change at that.
"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 #1265 on: July 09, 2020, 09:48:06 AM »
If you ban inheritance, won't rich people just find ways to transfer their wealth to offspring before they die? And how about poorer people? Can't they leave behind something to their children who are already at a disadvantage?

The reason this won't work, is that providing for children and securing their future is a very strong incentive for people, as it gives their life some modicum of meaning (one illusion among many).

I think there is nothing wrong with inheritance, provided there's a cap on how much one person can own. The goal that must be achieved is deconcentration of wealth, because only that breaks through the dynamic of wealth wanting to become ever larger and more concentrated. I'm not sure this is achieved through abolition of inheritance. In fact, I think one can argue that it is legal theft by the state, which is in itself comparable to large corporations. It would leave to massive corruption and wasting of resources through bureaucracy.
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1266 on: July 09, 2020, 10:24:57 AM »
Thanks for that Neven.
I agree that one can expect rich people to transfer their wealth to their children pre-death but that can be taken care of by marking it as concealed inheritance. After one generation the old power structures and rich families' 'empires' are gone. A long overdue reset and the prerequisite for a new form of society/economy with, finally, some equality. The most important aspect is the one that should please you: Loss of incentive to accumulate wealth. No more billionaires and each new-born human will have more equal chances. It has to begin somewhere and I think this is a very good first step.
Redestribution of wealth from inheritance from, say, the top 10% will increase many people's wealth because the total amount of wealth is more than enough to make everybody quite rich.

Can you imagine a situation where the accumulation incentive is much diminished? Can you imagine another world where people are different; likely less egoistic and less greedy? The status and hierarchy ladder would change and be less important. Who knows what might emerge from that?
I realise that today's people will probably not vote en mass for abolishment because they 1) do not cricitally think 2) media will shoot it down for various reasons but mainly because media is owned by that top 10% (the Rupert Murdocks from the old power structures by extremely rich men) 3) will be branded as scary extreme leftist ideas by poiticians. Today there's almost no real social left left and they have been demonized 4) all business and finance will work against it because their owners have so much to lose.
But! With a majority vote it really is possible. Implementation will have to be worked out but it is far from impossible or very hard. It is just a large and much needed change to the capitalist system. That system will initially remain but in a much different form and will change even more in the years after because of the loss of incentive by the, now, very rich.

I could write that your proposed wealth cap will not work because rich people will transfer their money to off-shore or other assets. And that the old hidden power structures will remain so that no change will happen. Furthermore, at what amount(?) do you cap wealth? How do you measure wealth?

I am now contemplating how a country could do this on its own in a globalized world? Either your wealth cap or my abolishing of inheritance. Preliminary thought analysis outcome = yes.

Do we agree that it is essential that the old power structures from rich families need to be broken for any chance of change?
"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 #1267 on: July 09, 2020, 11:49:12 AM »
The reason this won't work, is that providing for children and securing their future is a very strong incentive for people, as it gives their life some modicum of meaning (one illusion among many).

This is a good point. Basically survival and reproduction are the key drivers of humans as biological creatures. And we really need to look deep into humans psyche while finding solutions, looking at what would align most with humans as being part of nature.

But of course this brings a challenge on multiple fronts. We are looking for an economic solution that wouldn't overconsume natural resources, and in addition to that we would need to find a societal solution that people's drive to reproduce wouldn't lead to overpopulation and thus overconsumption of resources.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1268 on: July 09, 2020, 01:43:10 PM »
nanning:
I agree with you about men vs. women. I have had both male and female bosses. The female ones were noticeably better.
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1269 on: July 09, 2020, 03:33:36 PM »
Sorry jens, to pick this little bit from your post.
Quote from: jens
Basically survival and reproduction are the key drivers of humans as biological creatures

This is far too simple and not true. Most bigger creatures have a life outside of only survival and reproduction. Pleistocene humans lived in groups where not all men and women mated every year, and, because of their strong cooperation, intelligence and skill to create fire, had not many predators to fear. All the while living in 'The Garden of Eden' :)
"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 #1270 on: July 09, 2020, 04:06:45 PM »
You might be surprised by the mating habits. And yes it was not once a year.  ;)

We want the best for our kids.
If society gave absolute equal chances there would be no need to use private wealth for that.
But almost no one on the winners side wants to equal the chances. It is a very human thing.
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nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1271 on: July 10, 2020, 05:44:56 AM »
Thanks Tom, that is also my observation and experience.
Thanks kassy, I am curious about these mating habits of pleistocene humans. Their numbers were kept quite constant for millennia.

Sorry, couldn't resist:
Quote from: kassy
It is a very human thing.
"It is a very civilisation humans' thing"  (with exceptions: Good sportsmen/women want fair competition to see who's best)

With civilisation (agriculture, conquest and family) rises competition in stead of cooperation, and starts the erosion of empathy and sharing, our former strong characteristics. The 'Risk' game of conquest, armies and material & nature possessions started and still proceeds on many levels. We are now in the end game where the only remaining places to conquer seem to be the human psyche (world view bubble etc.), the abstract social hierarchical 'status' and abstract 'power' (i.e. money, possessions and connections).

Because of power structures, material accumulation and the hierarchy thereof, is capitalism in essence fundamental to civilisation? If you take the material accumulation incentive away, will civilisation crash (because finance and real estate etc. will crash)?

Is competition essential to civilisation and capitalism? Cooperation and sharing will in general not advance your status in the material accumulation hierarchy.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 05:52:40 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?

oren

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1272 on: July 10, 2020, 06:33:34 AM »
Quote
I am curious about these mating habits of Pleistocene humans. Their numbers were kept quite constant for millennia.
Not that this belongs in this thread, but I have a nasty feeling numbers were kept constant (were they?) by limits on survival rather than by limits on mating.

Re wealth and inheritance, there should be a cap on wealth and a cap on inherited wealth, especially as it pertains to common resources that somehow became private (e.g. land). One of many "should" that I guess will wait a while.

jens

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1273 on: July 10, 2020, 08:27:00 AM »
One thing remains largely unanswered in my view though. Basically we are looking for an economic model that would be most sustainable and most in line with living in balance with nature. I don't see, how wealth redistribution is going to change that. Economy would still be powered by fossil fuels. Majority of population don't want to give up on life based on fossil fuels, so this puts the brakes on it, if we assume the new societal model is still based on democracy.

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1274 on: July 10, 2020, 10:47:44 AM »
jens, I think it will have a significant effect on growth. Growth must be stopped by us before it stops because of external (nature, climate etc.) pressures. Otherwise untold misery and death will hit us. Our numbers (consumption and behaviour) are completely unsustainable but when we stop growth there is a chance we might make a softer landing through mitigation and changing consumption patterns. And perhaps gain a more realistic world view.
The majority of the population doesn't have the faintest idea about what's happening in the world. Where do they get their information?

The only 'living in balance with nature' was our nomadic hunter-gatherer life imo. And I have doubts about whether it was ultimately sustainable.
"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 #1275 on: July 10, 2020, 02:37:15 PM »
I don't see, how wealth redistribution is going to change that.

Wealth redistribution isn't a goal in itself. It's about eliminating the demands that endless growth and concentration of wealth put on society (and by extension on the environment).
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johnm33

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1276 on: July 23, 2020, 11:11:28 PM »
If not Capitalism... then What? Cantillionism!
"It’s this:  When the Fed, or the ECB or the JCB or any other central bank prints money out of thin air, and then deploys that “liquidity” into the market, are you, or the firm you work for, among the first, second or third order recipients of that fresh injection of money? If so, then you’re a Cantillionaire."
https://outofthecave.io/articles/wait-why-is-the-fed-buying-my-biggest-competitors-bonds/

Paladiea

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1277 on: July 24, 2020, 02:21:12 AM »
I came across something that made me think the other day. Yes I know, it's a meme, please forgive me for this, but I think the idea is interesting.
The most enjoyable way to think about heat transfer through radiation is to picture a Star Wars laser battle, where every atom and molecule is constantly firing at every other atom and molecule.

kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1278 on: July 24, 2020, 04:11:32 PM »
Quote
An odd kind of reverse alchemy occurs as the newly created “money” flows downward toward the masses.

...

The nature of the change is this: After it gets a few iterations out from the money spigot at the top, it stops boosting asset prices and starts raising the cost of living. At the top end of the funnel it makes everybody in proximity wealthier, and then down at ass end of the funnel, where the rabble resides, it makes it more expensive to stay alive.

That’s The Cantillon Effect

Interesting article, thx johnm33!

And Paladiea that idea too.  :)
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sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1279 on: July 26, 2020, 08:12:08 AM »
Pandit 2020 in Human Nature on class formation:

doi: 10.1007/s12110-020-09370-9

Alas, not open source. I quote parts below. They have a model for power skwe and resource control that predicts splitting into classes.

Abstract:

"Most human societies exhibit a distinct class structure, with an elite, middle classes, and a bottom class, whereas animals form simple dominance hierarchies in which individuals with higher fighting ability do not appear to form coalitions to “oppress” weaker individuals. Here, we extend our model of primate coalitions and find that a division into a bottom class and an upper class is inevitable whenever fitness-enhancing resources, such as food or real estate, are exploitable or tradable and the members of the bottom class cannot easily leave the group. The model predicts that the bottom class has a near flat, low payoff and always comprises at least half the society. The upper class may subdivide into one or more middle class(es), resulting in improved payoff for the topmost members (elite). The model predicts that the bottom class on its own is incapable of mounting effective counter-coalitions against the upper class, except when receiving support from dissatisfied members of the middle class(es). Such counter-coalitions can be prevented by keeping the payoff to the lowest-ranked members of the middle classes (through concessions) well above that of the bottom class. This simple model explains why classes are also absent in nomadic hunter-gatherers and predominate in (though are not limited to) societies that produce and store food. Its results also agree well with various other known features of societies with classes."

From the article:

"We assume a discrete group of finite size, containing self-interested individuals (in most cases men) who strive to maximize their payoffs, and thus their fitness. These individuals compete for access to resources, leading to dominance ranks based on power. "

" the payoff distribution as a function of dominance rank (related tofighting ability) is a geometric series"

"Individuals can also form coalitions ... The power of a coalition is assumed to increase monotonically with the number of participating individuals and their individual power. "

"we introduce a new parameter, the exploitability (or equivalently, tradability or normalized price) of the contested resources.

" stored food, as found in sedentary or complex foragers (Keeley1988  ) or food-producing societies, or real estate is much more easily appropriated or taxed, and therefore exploited, especially if these resources are in high demand and their supply can be controlled."

"The feasibility of all-down coalitions requires a“pivot point” in rank index,Nu,such that the combined power of the individuals ranked above the pivot is greater than that of the individuals ranked below it"

" the bottom class constitutes at least half of the group and its size is a monotonically increasing function of the skew in power"

"we will define the term“revolution”as a successful coalition that prevents viable class-forming all-down coalitions, essentially eliminating the entire class structure (at least temporarily). One of the key results of the model is that the bottom class alone can never mount an effective revolution. However, inclusion of few members from one of the middle classes makes this coalition feasible. "

"No animal groups are known to form classes, in which an elite exploits other same-sexed individuals in the group. Importantly, neither do mobile foragers and simple horticulturalists among humans, whereas in human societies with intensive farming, class formation became ubiquitous"

"The upper class may split up in two or more classes, with higher classes becoming ever smaller"

"the bottom class is indifferent to the structural change swithin the upper class—for example, whether or not it splits into several subclasses, or how the elite internally apportions its gains. Under the model, revolutions can only happen when disaffected members of the middle class(es) join the bottom class because their payoffs have become too low to set them apart and they would be able to improve their payoff after a revolution and the subsequent renewed elite formation, which is inevitable under the model. The top members of the elite should therefore be especially concerned with preventing the lowest members of the upper class from defecting."

" the absence of classes among mobile foragers is due to the absence of resources that can be hoarded and thus exploited: food isconsumed immediately, and not stored (Sahlins1972  ). The same condition is found among simple horticulturalists: they also store little food because they tend to harvest resources (e.g., tubers) as needed (Scott 2017  ). The exploitability increased as foragers became sedentary and began to store massive amounts of food on a seasonal basis"

"The bottom class cannot prevent the subdivision in the upper class, but it can potentially make exploitation by the elite less profitable. Whenever the total amount of resource depends on production by the bottom class, they may refuse to produce the resources exploited by the elite, or they may escape altogether if emigration is possible ... the bottom class may also lower the“value” (exploitability) of the contested resource by changing either the availability of the resource or the nature of resource itself—for example, instead of relying on farming products, rely more on hunted or gathered resources"

"our simple model indicates that for societies in which resources available to individuals can be appropriated or traded, a class structure will spontaneously emerge, especially if less-powerful individuals cannot easily emigrate. It was developed with prehistoric small-scale societies with simple agriculture in mind to explain the transition from the egalitarian social system of nomadic foragers to a society with an elite, one or more middle classes, and a bottom class. Nonetheless, it also generated various other features generally associated with modern, complex states, which suggests that a class-based social structure is a fundamental feature of societies in which resources are exploitable or tradable, with considerable historical continuity."

sidd

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1280 on: August 05, 2020, 09:11:05 AM »
Morality WRT all other (intelligent) life
Minimising costs implies that succesful businesses must have no morality.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/03/coronavirus-animal-abuse-us-factory-farms
  by Andrew Gawthorpe
&
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/04/one-thing-ive-learned-about-modern-farming-we-shouldnt-do-it-like-this
  by Andrew Wasley
&
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/30/kfc-admits-a-third-of-its-chickens-suffer-painful-inflammation
  by Tom Levitt

Final paragraph of top article:

There is nothing natural or inevitable about factory farms, which have transformed human agriculture into a monstrosity which would be unrecognizable to previous generations. After they pass into history, future generations will view them as one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated by humankind. As coronavirus ravages our economies and our bodies, it is clearer than ever that only a pervasive and self-defeating blindness prevents us from seeing factory farms the same way.


For those with some morality concerning other intelligent lifeforms:
  You should eat less meat and eat only organic meat


Edit: the images are sourced from a general Internet search
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 03:45:15 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?

oren

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1281 on: August 05, 2020, 11:00:14 AM »
Welcome back nanning.

Thomas Barlow

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1282 on: August 05, 2020, 02:43:48 PM »
"If not Capitalism... then What?"
Minimalism.
But that wouldn't be our species that could achieve that.

nanning

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1283 on: August 05, 2020, 03:59:42 PM »
Hi Thomas, nice of you to respond.
Re: "minimalism"

We did that before. Before civilisation.
Non-civilisation tribes are still doing it.
It is civilisation's culture (capitalism) that done it.

What would help is changing your own individual culture by not feeling yourself 'above' other lifeforms; no supremacy. To able to have some empathy for the animals mentioned in above post. To conclude that you no longer want to take part in that. Even the rural people of a couple of centuries ago would be horrified by the above images.
Changing yourself to have empathy and respect for other lifeforms. Doing that is part of what 'higher morailty' means.

But could it work? Will people start thinking like that? It is not minimalism in any way. That's another part of 'higher morality'.

--
edit: thank you oren
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 04:11:22 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?

wili

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1284 on: August 05, 2020, 04:19:35 PM »
Good to have you back, nanning. I hope your contemplations went well.

::::::::::::

On minimalizing capitalism, I like a paraphrase of Grover Norquist's famous quote:

I don't want to abolish capitalism. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub

I can't remember whether this has been brought up on this thread, but an economist who has done quite a bit of work thinking through what might replace or displace growth-based capitalism is Herman Daly, particularly, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future . Probably a bit out of date by now, but worth building on, perhaps.
"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 #1285 on: August 05, 2020, 04:58:07 PM »
Thanks wili, and re contemplating; nothing important yet but some changes of scenery. I was missing the only place to have intelligent interaction and possible influence. This is, apart from an occasional Guardian comment, the only place where I write publicly via the Internet.

Interesting guy this Daly. I guess that he's a recent economist?

I think that current civilisation-humans' extensive social hierarchy of material wealth & power, is created by (neo-liberal) Capitalism, and there doesn't seem to be a way out of this because the ones higher-up only want more and most down-below believe the lies of the ones higher-up. There's no motivation to change and no 'higher force' to, indeed, force them.
We have powerless governments, it's all commerce, vested interests and banks. Well, come to think of it, Russia or China could perhaps do it. Or Cuba or Uruguay :). Venezuela?  :'(
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 05:05:12 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?

Neven

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1286 on: August 05, 2020, 11:56:00 PM »
Herman Daly is an absolute legend, still living. I've learned so much from that man.
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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1287 on: August 06, 2020, 12:23:28 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Daly
He's 82 so I don't know how long he will keep living.
Here is the information on the mentioned book:

Daly, Herman E.; Cobb, John B., Jr (1994) [1989]. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (2nd updated and expanded ed.). Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807047057. Received the Grawemeyer Award for ideas for improving World Order.
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sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1288 on: August 06, 2020, 06:55:21 AM »
Late stage capitalism: unemployment system is designed to not pay out claims

" Let’s put as many kind of pointless roadblocks along the way, so people just say, oh, the hell with it, I’m not going to do that "

"Now, the DeSantis Administration is preparing to award more than $130 million contract to the same company in charge of the troubled unemployment system. That website will manage Medicaid data."

https://nbc-2.com/news/state/2020/08/05/governor-desantis-admits-floridas-unemployment-system-was-designed-to-not-pay-out-claims/

Amazing, they say it out loud on TV.

sidd

blumenkraft

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1289 on: August 06, 2020, 02:33:19 PM »
Amazing, they say it out loud on TV.

Just another thing straight out of the fascist playbook, Sidd: Normalizing/mainstreaming the atrocities.
“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.”

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