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Regarding Debates About Capitalism and Economics

Discussion in 'The Political World' started by Stevicus, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I find that I often bump heads with a few posters around here when I go on periodic rants against capitalism. I've also seen others do the same, and sometimes, arguments over this topic can become quite heated and vitriolic.

    In my own experience, I have seen this neverending argument about "capitalism vs. socialism (or communism)" for pretty much all of my life. In the U.S., particularly during the Cold War era and various Red Scares, support of capitalism has been almost mandatory - otherwise one might be seen as some kind of "commie" or "traitor" to America. It's practically a religion to some people, and they argue in support of capitalism with such passion and extraordinary faith that their chosen system is the best that life will ever be.

    I'm not necessarily interested in a rehash of the same old debate. But I'm somewhat interested in what drives people towards one side or the other, particularly those who seem inordinately passionate about the subject as to become angry in the course of some debates. I recognize that this is a serious issue over which wars have been fought. People just don't let it go. This can be just as deadly as religion or race or nationalism or any other issue that people fight over.

    I can explain where my passion comes from and why I have such a dim view of capitalism and capitalists. I see too many poor people, people living in substandard conditions - or some without any homes at all. I see a lot of boarded-up businesses, people being laid off. Some of those who have jobs have to work two or three of them, and they struggle. They're tired, stressed out - many are depressed and on the verge of a nervous breakdown - anxious over the lack of money, high costs, bills, rising food prices, insurance costs.

    So, they're being stuck with low wages and benefits and high costs to where they can barely make ends meet. The irony is not lost on a lot of people when they see those paying the low wages and charging those high costs are living in far better circumstances and have more wealth than they know what to do with. The reason why people end up with low wages and high costs is because someone with more wealth and clout than they do decided "I want more money." Not because they actually "need" it, but just because they want it, and just because they can.

    People who fancy themselves as "experts" on economics can spew out all the BS about "markets" they want, but it doesn't change the fact that situation exists because some human being said "I want more than I deserve," and therefore everyone else must live on less. And they'll use every con game, every trick in the book, every political ploy - and if all else fails, brute force and naked aggression. We were ready to nuke the entire world in the name of the principle of "I want more than I deserve."

    That's the essence of capitalism, as I see it. I think that's absolutely infuriating and outrageous that they do what they do.

    At this point, I'm sure there will be those who will chime in and say "well, the socialists are much worse - look what they do," and they'll point out irrelevant historical examples from far-off foreign lands which have absolutely nothing to do with America. I hope we can avoid that for this discussion.

    Our system is cracking. There's a lot of squabbling and angst, and some people are just going completely off the deep end into utter insanity. Something has to change.

    I guess I just don't understand those who argue from a pro-capitalist viewpoint. Where does the passion and fire come from that feeds their stance?
     
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  2. Beauvoir

    Beauvoir MIA

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    I feel a lot of people on the right consider socialists and communists to just be optimists with no real backbone to their ideas, and while that might be true for many Bernie supporters and socialists, I do not see this at all with the farther left.

    Nothing is optimistic about wanting a revolution that will kill many initially, lead to imperialist war being waged against you, and then having to deal with the likelihood of eventual counterrevolution and bourgeois takeover.

    A lot of people would like to think Marxism has no sway in the first world because we are enlightened intellectuals who know the truth about communism, but that is an optimistic falsehood. Marxism is not popular with workers in the Global North because unlike the 19th century proletariat, the workers in the first worlds do have more to lose than just their chains.

    As a result of this, first world socialists cling to parliamentary ideals or hardcore revolutionary optimism. A communist genuinely concerned with a genuine workers movement in the first world will eventually burn out, like our own @Laika.
     
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  3. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    My passion for Communism comes mainly from wanting a "better future" and in a sense it has been directly to related to trying to find ways to beat depression. The sense of being powerless and unable to achieve anything in life is connected with self-worth really. That's not necessarily a sound set of motivations but it has been what gave me the passion to keep pursuing it until recently.

    No passion or fire for the pro-capitalist stance here even if I am now more sympathetic. But having debated it for so long, I've reached a point where I know merely criticising Capitalism is not enough. It is necessary to come up with a positive alternative that could reasonably be better. At the moment, that's something I'm not able to do.
     
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  4. Beauvoir

    Beauvoir MIA

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    I think to a degree that applies to my situation as well.
     
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Another way to look at economics....
    All Societies and financial systems are based on the continuous Growth in everything.
    Population, land use, Trade, Money, Resources and Energy.
    In a finite world this is madness.

    No one has the least Idea how to establish a stable but vital society based on renewable and sustainable resourses.
    and certainly not one that is equitable.

    The world needs a reduction in its over use, it is out of balance in so many ways. there are simply too many people needing too many resources.
    Every new human born to devours resources, This means that more and more of the flora and fauna that supports us dies.
     
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  6. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    burned out is the right thing to call it. I reached the point where I couldn't come up with any more ideas to try and it just got more and more painful to keep trying. I hit my limits and couldn't bring myself to do anymore. In the long-run that's not a solution and I am burying my head in the sand so I can recover, but for me personally I still want to be happy and that's something I have to pursue before I can do anything else. There is so much ******** in politics that thinking you can make it all right will kill you. self-preservation said "stop" and that was all I could do. :shrug:
     
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  7. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    I'm of the opinion that neither capitalism nor socialism alone work particularly well. I think both work in certain areas of govt. In the economy ,capitalism inspires people to do better, make better products, etc. But in some areas IMO, socialism is necessary , for example, the health industry. I think some form of socialized medicine needs to be put in place in America. I know too many people who lost everything simply because they or their child became ill, and due to the limited coverage, and super expensive cost of insurance, they could not pay the remaining bills. No one should ever lose their livelihood or go bankrupt because they dared to get sick without being wealthy. So we do need a balance between the two.
     
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  8. Beauvoir

    Beauvoir MIA

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    Take care @Laika

    It's not like you're going to miss anything on the far left :p
     
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  9. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. And You're right of course. Most of the far left is mainly about sounding like revolutionaries. They wouldn't and couldn't actually do it. There isn't really a program behind the rhetoric that could get stuff done which is very sad really. I won't miss that.
     
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  10. Beauvoir

    Beauvoir MIA

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    Hey, we could always move to the Philippines. :cool:
     
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  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I mostly don't care what economic system we have. I see all systems as having pitfalls. There's always a trade off.

    Capitalism is at it base about private ownership. You get to own your home, business, resources, etc. What capitalism is good at is setting value. Basically everyone gets a say in setting value. The value of the work you do, the value of your house, the value of the food you eat, the clothes you wear.

    In capitalism there is an incentive to increase your wealth. Through innovation, through efficiency. The smarter you work, the faster you are able to accomplish tasks the higher the reward.

    Folks I've talked to from communist countries. Their biggest complaint is a lack of freedom, a lack of choice. Since there is no incentive to accumulate wealth, there is a lack of wealth. This translated into a limited availability of resources. The result of spreading the wealth is there is much less wealth to spread.

    Everyone gets fed but it is eating government rations. Every family gets the same allocation of oatmeal, vegetables, milk, meat etc. You live where you are assigned to live. Someone else gets to decide where you work, live and what you eat.

    With communism there is no incentive for growth. The only way to get ahead is the take the power a governmental job offers. This way you get a hand in deciding value. So generally you end up with a well to do political elite and a barely above poverty worker class.

    Socialism IMO tends to suffer from the same lack of incentive for growth. Increased efficiency, increased ingenuity is not rewarded. So as the population grows you have less and less wealth/resources to distribute amongst a growing population.

    The result is the economic collapse in places like Greece and Venezuela.
     
    #11 Nakosis, Oct 20, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  12. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    Not to mention the total economic collapse of socialist Scandinavia!!
     
  13. Beauvoir

    Beauvoir MIA

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    Scandinavia is built upon exploitation of the global south. It is not a model to be followed.
     
  14. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    ????????????????????????????????
     
  15. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I think it's a large part due to the fact that we here in the U.S. are not really a capitalist country-- we're called economically a "mixed economy", which is a blend of capitalism and socialism.
     
  16. Father

    Father Devourer of Truth

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    Love how on this site there is a communist only section but not a Fascism section. even though communism not even in total just counting China and Russia killed one hundred and one million.
     
  17. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    Yes, a Nazi DIR, great idea!!!!
     
  18. Father

    Father Devourer of Truth

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    Nazi and fascism. not synonymous. one is an ideology one is a political system.

    a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts one's nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

    so a Fascist of let's said Russia. would exalt Russian ideals and race above all other's. not german. so while a German fascist could technically be a Nazi. a fascist of any other country would not be able to be a fascist and a Nazi as The Nazi's exalted German ideals, not that of let's say Russia. unlike communism which is pretty much the same across the board

    and again the communists killed more so to give them a seat but not a fascist shows a messed up set of morals.

    no fascist btw prefer capitalism and monarchy but am a advocate of equality of stupid ideals
     
  19. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    There's nothing wrong with such motivations at all, in my opinion. To me, the central cause of depression and angst in people is because of capitalist mind games which are designed to make the individual feel "powerless" and "useless" and therefore should only be too glad to accept a pittance for their work.

    As far as alternatives, there are some. One thing that I've observed in my review of history and the way various schools of thought originated, it can be said that socialism, capitalism, and nationalism all came from the same basic root beliefs, which were anti-monarchism and the belief in republican government which considers "the people" the primary and ultimate power base in a society.

    I think that's the key to finding a better alternative to capitalism.
     
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  20. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Yes, I've looked at economics and the world situation in this way, and to me, that's all the more reason to abandon capitalism. We need a world-wide controlling body to ensure that resources are managed more wisely and that they are distributed more fairly and evenly. It may not be totally equitable, but at least we're capable of making it more equitable than it is now.

    As for population growth, that's also a problem. I think population growth has slowed somewhat in some countries, so we might be able to get the problem under control.
     
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