An Alternative to Capitalism?

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John Steinsvold's picture
John Steinsvold
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An Alternative to Capitalism?

The following link, takes you to a "utopian" article, entitled "Home of the Brave?" which I wrote and appeared in the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

 

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

 

John Steinsvold

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
John Steinsvold wrote:

The following link, takes you to a "utopian" article, entitled "Home of the Brave?" which I wrote and appeared in the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

 

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

 

John Steinsvold

C'mon John - this is old news:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.[1] The phrase summarizes the principles that, under a communist
system, every person should contribute to society to the best of his
ability and consume from society in proportion to his needs, regardless
of how much he has contributed. In the Marxist view, such an
arrangement will be made possible by the abundance
of goods and services that a developed communist society will produce;
the idea is that there will be enough to satisfy everyone's needs.[2][3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each...

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

John,

A quick read of your site reminded me of a similar post made by one of the regulars on this site which generated a lot of discussion.   You can find the thread here.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Communism?

A capitalist society brings great prosperity to all, provided that gov't doesn't tamper or try to control.  The problem is that since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and coordinated monetary inflation between foreign central banks true Capitalism hasn't had a chance to work properly.   Everyone blames the economic failures on a failure of Capitalism.  The problem is not capitalism but the gov't controlling their printing press.  Gov't inflating the money supply to create cheap credit to "stimulate" the economy is what creates boom/bust cycles.  The recession/depression we are now in was created by the Federal Reserve.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

To Bearing01,

Unregulated capitalism is my worst nightmare.  The strong thrive and the weak do not.  In my view, a person is equally valuable regardless of his intelligence or his background.  Therefore, a meritocracy seems especially cruel to me.  Also, in a capitalistic system, we are encouraged to do what is best for ourselves, and then hope that the collective effect will be something we can all live with, but this is a very selfish way to live.  It is not acceptable.

If capitalism is to survive, it needs to impose certain limits, such as a line below which no human can fall.  (Free food, education, health care, shelter, civil rights, and most importantly, no requirement to work.)  In addition to that line, the most important sectors of the economy would be owned by the government, not an individual.  (This is already happening - look around.)  Further, a maximum income should be imposed as well as a limit on the size of a corporation.  This isn't really a new idea, many conservatives supported this idea when a few large monopolies controlled America less than 100 years ago - they were broken up by anti-trust laws.  The same idea could be applied again, we just need to lower the bar.

I know some of this sounds radical to many, but actually these things are already happening.  Banks are being nationalized, health care systems are being taken over by governments, transportation, energy ... the list goes on and on.

The age of ruthless, cruel, and cowboy laissez-faire capitalism is over.  It remains to be seen whether the world will embrace a kinder, gentler version of capitalism or if they will pursue a more radical solution, such as socialism. 

FYI - Socialism is gaining momentum all over the world.  Japan is the most startling example.  More than 10,000 people per month are joining the communist party there.

I wonder if Castro will have the last laugh after all. 

Cheers,

Robert

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Sam,

As I envision a way of of life without money, we will gain economic freedom in addition to and without infringement on our present freedoms. The common denominator between a way of life without money and socialism/communism/Marxism is economic equality which, in my opinion, we desperately need here in the USA. Economic equality will eliminate poverty. It will also eliminate materialism which warps our sense of value and corrupts our system. It will also reduce crime dramatically. Otherwise, our government will remain the same. The Democrats will still do battle with the Republicans.

John 

 

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

The systems we've been living with for the past couple of hundred years are predicated on the availability of massive inputs of energy and resources of all kinds. In a world of relative scarcity it's difficult to imagine how any of these 19th century economic models can work effectively.

What's needed is an approach that acknowledges that things in the future will be different than they were in the past. Variations on tried (and failed) approaches will almost certainly not suffice.

Arthur 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
John Steinsvold wrote:

Sam,

As I envision a way of of life without money, we will gain economic freedom in addition to and without infringement on our present freedoms. The common denominator between a way of life without money and socialism/communism/Marxism is economic equality which, in my opinion, we desperately need here in the USA. Economic equality will eliminate poverty. It will also eliminate materialism which warps our sense of value and corrupts our system. It will also reduce crime dramatically. Otherwise, our government will remain the same. The Democrats will still do battle with the Republicans.

John 

John,

I'm sure you have the best of intentions with your concept (which even you called "utopian"), but I don't see it ever happening for many reasons. Rather than go into those reasons here, please see drbarbour's link in post #2 where I engaged in a long discussion around these very same ideas.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
robert2009email wrote:

To Bearing01,

Unregulated capitalism is my worst nightmare.  The strong thrive and the weak do not.  In my view, a person is equally valuable regardless of his intelligence or his background.  Therefore, a meritocracy seems especially cruel to me.  Also, in a capitalistic system, we are encouraged to do what is best for ourselves, and then hope that the collective effect will be something we can all live with, but this is a very selfish way to live.  It is not acceptable.

If capitalism is to survive, it needs to impose certain limits, such as a line below which no human can fall.  (Free food, education, health care, shelter, civil rights, and most importantly, no requirement to work.)  In addition to that line, the most important sectors of the economy would be owned by the government, not an individual.  (This is already happening - look around.)  Further, a maximum income should be imposed as well as a limit on the size of a corporation.  This isn't really a new idea, many conservatives supported this idea when a few large monopolies controlled America less than 100 years ago - they were broken up by anti-trust laws.  The same idea could be applied again, we just need to lower the bar.

I know some of this sounds radical to many, but actually these things are already happening.  Banks are being nationalized, health care systems are being taken over by governments, transportation, energy ... the list goes on and on.

The age of ruthless, cruel, and cowboy laissez-faire capitalism is over.  It remains to be seen whether the world will embrace a kinder, gentler version of capitalism or if they will pursue a more radical solution, such as socialism. 

FYI - Socialism is gaining momentum all over the world.  Japan is the most startling example.  More than 10,000 people per month are joining the communist party there.

I wonder if Castro will have the last laugh after all. 

Cheers,

Robert

Robert, can I ask you whether you have personal experience with socialism (e.g. living in some socialist country) or you just like that idea because you consider it (for any strange reason) more human than capitalism?

I would argue with particular statements from your post, but don't want to start another neverending ideological thread... Let me just counter with your Japan communist statement - here in Czech Republic, more than 16 members of communist party are DYING every DAY as their average age is reaching our current life expectancy. Hopefully, they will not be able to get into parliament 10 years from now. I have to admit however, that their "light" version, the socialists, are gaining significantly. I hope that when Castro will have the last laugh, I would watch it live on TV :-)

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

To Jmar8692:

 

Hi Jmar - I have lived in Japan, which is not a socialist country, but which does have elements which are certainly more socialist than in the USA.  (Healthcare, for example)  I've also visited Cuba multiple times, made many friends there, and have seen people freer and happier than any I've seen in any other country on the planet.  (And I've visited more than 40 countries and every continent with the exception of antarctica.)

If you are arguing that socialist countries NECESSARILY have shorter life expectancies, you are mistaken.  Cuba has a greater life expectancy than the vast majority of "capitalistic" countries.

 Also, I want to make it clear here now that I do not, in any way, support hard communism because it normally reduces human freedom.  I am hoping that we can all be adults and admit what has worked in each system and then take the best out of each to create a new hybrid.  Will it be anarcho-socio-capitalistic-light?  I have no idea, but I hope it allows those who want to make money the opportunity while allowing those who don't want to be wage-slaves to opt out.

I would also agree with a previous comment that all of our systems were created during the age of cheap energy.  That era is OVER, so we will need to rethink everything.  If communities must come together as never before, then doesn't it make sense to be a little bit more communal ... just a little bit.  ;-)

Cheers,

Robert 

 

 

 

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Great article John.

For what it is worth i personally believe that your time will come.  It is not here yet, it most certainly was not here when you published the original article.  Well done!

 We associate complexity with progress for some ungodly reason.

It is indeed an 'ungodly' reason, however i suggest that it is not an unknown one.

If you have the bandwidth and the time you could watch this BBC series.  I am 90% confident you will LOVE it! 

 http://freedocumentaries.org/  Go down the page until you find 'the century of the self'.  This explores how corporate america and then western governments came to use modern psychology to manipulate the masses away from their inate disorder [governments belief, not mine]  in order to control all the people in modern mass societies!  man, this is so well produced.  it will rock your boat!

As for 'your time will come'.  I firmly believe that the root of the problems we face are in our nature.  Our human nature.  Until we mature as a race we will not surmount the problems we face.  As a race we will not, have not, matured, so we will not surmount the problems.  I believe that we will crash and burn. 

Your time, my time, is after the crash.  Get your seat belt on.  Ride the Ride.  You will survive. Get ready to Govern!

You could be the leader of the new world!  Your new world.  A smaller world.

I say this because i believe that one of the reasons we, as a race, have failed is because of over population. There are simply too many of us to govern by democracy.  I believe that the new world will be either without democracy [highly probable] or smaller!  Hopefully it wont be both.

Please let me know what you think of 'the century of the self'?

 

 

 

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Robert,

Capitalism and Liberty (right to own property, to benefit from one's own labor and to profit while producing to serve mankind ) is what made the USA the land of opportunity and of great prosperity.  It was what enabled the industrial revolution to be fueled.  It is what fed and employed the starving.  It is what makes economies run efficently and productively.  It is what makes the most efficient use of the given resources. It is what gave us bottled water, telephones and airplanes.  If our population is to exponentially expand and we have forever increasing demand for natural resources then it is capitalism that will enable prosperity.  Government and their secular attempt to control the mass economy never works.  Government is a burden to the rest of society.  Government is not an efficient machine and they do not utilize resources as efficiently as one who relies on profitability.  They waste more capital than any private enterprise considering they can never go bankrupt.  They always have taxpayer dollars to compensate for loss.  Ever since the socialist programs were introduced by President Hoover in the early 1900's just before the great depression and the creation of central banking (Federal Reserve),  the US economy has been burdened by the hope and desire for a capitalist system.  However, it hasn't really been fully permitted.  Government intervention is always in place to collect even greater taxes, and to counterfit the money supply, to provide money to special interest groups.  Their interventions create economic boom/bust cycles via inflationary credit expansion which must be followed by a corrective recession.

Everyone is led to believe that Socialism is a good thing because it helps feed the poor.  Have you ever asked why there are poor people in the first place?  Government policies are part of the reason why we have poor people.  Minimum wage and/or not permitting wage rates to fall with changing economic conditions are why we have unemployment.  Welfare programs are a way to take from the productive & working individuals to subsidize those who are too lazy to work.  Granted there are impaired individuals in our society that truely cannot work and I consider them differently.  But poverty and unemployment are a result of government interaction in the economy.  If the US had a sound money and minimal government intervention and followed the constitution then we would have far less unemployment and significantly reduced boom/bust cycles.  As for services today like the post office, hospitals and schools, all those would still exist in a true capitalist society considering there is true need and demand for them.  They would just be ran better.  Businesses are profitable because they are ran well and provide a desirable service or product.  When business is no longer profitable then the capital goes toward something to provide another product or service that is in higher demand but not fulfilled.  And this happens not on the taxpayer's dime.

In the USA we need to revisit the constitution that was given to us by the founding fathers.  Their vision for this country is what provided a fertile country for prosperity.  It promotes free markets, minimal government, anti-war, sound money and doesn't include the demand for the above social-welfare programs.

I suggest you read some books about liberty and capitalism.

 http://mises.org/story/2223

http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1562

 http://mises.org/story/3306

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/edu/civil-liberties.php

And keep in mind that Socialism is what usually follows when the heads of the state claim they must be empowered to take control of the state (and for you to surrender your liberties) due to "failure of capitalism" (which they caused to happen).  And it is Socialism that leads to Communism.  Read German history.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Bearing01,

Nice try, but you are talking to someone who wrote posts EXACTLY like the one you just did about 15 years ago.

Capitalism is dead because it is unjust.  And the markets do not really work - you should have watched Greenspan's testimony more closely.

How funny it is that you added "secular" to your argument and the reference to Hitler.  You are really fired up about this, huh?  Well, there is no need to invoke God or Nazi's to make your point.

My point will be made by the daily news.  Stay tuned.

Cheers,

Robert 

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Sam,

Yes, I used the word "utopian" to describe the idea of a way of life without money. Evidently, it was not a good idea. I thought by putting quotes around it; the reader would be warned not to take the word literally.

Today, the word "work" implies a means to "make a living". In a way of life without money, the meaning of the word "work" will change completely. Work will become a stairway to learning, creating and achieving our goals in life without any economic fear.

If I may quote Thomas Aquinas:

"There can be no joy of life without joy of work."

The best way to motivate people is to allow them to do the work they love to do. One of the goals of a way of life without money is to provide everyone with the opportunity to find a match between their abilities and the opportunity to serve society. If training is necessary, a free education is provided. Every effort will be made for each individual to find the work they love doing. There will be no pressure. I believe everyone has an ability or talent they want to use for the benefit of society. I believe gaining the proper balance between work and pleasure is a key to a rewarding life.

Yes, there may be a problem in getting the menial tasks done; but with people of below average intelligence, a menial job can be a challenge. In a way of life without money, cooperation will replace competition. Thus, the most menial task becomes easier when people work together. Also, technology is constantly eliminating menial tasks. In my essay, I offered "perks" as another option to consider.

In some respects, our economy will be the same. Our free enterprise system will remain in place as it is today; but no money will be exchanged. Profit will no longer be a factor and cooperation will replace competition. Government, industry and the people will work together as a team toward common goals.

Perhaps, the administration of a way of life without money is the toughest problem. As proposed in my essay, a web of "economic bodies" would be created; one for the federal, one for each state and one for each local level. These economic bodies will coordinate the economic traffic in our nation. They will interact with each other as much as modern technology will allow. A balance of supply and demand will be achieved taking every conceivable factor into consideration including conservation and our environment as well as the needs of the people and their craving for luxuries. In short, these economic bodies will be coordinating what is now our free enterprise system to fulfill the economic needs of our nation.

John

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Robert,

I will agree that the markets don't work well.  But I firmly believe it is not due to a faiure of capitalism.  Rather, it is due to government intervention with the economy and the money supply.  Capitalism will get the blame and we will be pushed further into socialism regime that empowers the governmemt to grow even larger, to tax more and to consume ever more resources.  Then when it is realized that socialism doesn't work either there will be a revolution.  That is the day I'm looking forward to.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Hear hear....  it's high time we abandoned those 19th/20th century ideologies.  The next 20 years....  and neither will the next 100.

We need a new ism, like Sustainism,

The problem with all the old isms is that they were ALL run by elites who were/are greedy.  Theywere/are all centralised, from here on, without the cheap and abundant energy we take for granted, everything will have to be relocalised, decentralised.  And you wonder why our governments can't cope, those governmebnts who never give up on globalisation?

One of the things that really appeals to me about the Transition Towns Initiatives is that the steering committee should build into itself a life of no more than six months......  I like that, I'm on one of them right now.

Mike 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
John Steinsvold wrote:

Sam,

Yes, I used the word "utopian" to describe the idea of a way of life without money. Evidently, it was not a good idea. I thought by putting quotes around it; the reader would be warned not to take the word literally.

Today, the word "work" implies a means to "make a living". In a way of life without money, the meaning of the word "work" will change completely. Work will become a stairway to learning, creating and achieving our goals in life without any economic fear.

If I may quote Thomas Aquinas:

"There can be no joy of life without joy of work."

<snip>

A balance of supply and demand will be achieved taking every conceivable factor into consideration including conservation and our environment as well as the needs of the people and their craving for luxuries. In short, these economic bodies will be coordinating what is now our free enterprise system to fulfill the economic needs of our nation.

John

John,

The following is excerpted from my post #8 at http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/what-if/9651

You presume that everyone would be as altruistic as you - taking only
what they need, creating food gardens for self-sufficiency, working
with, and for, their fellow man.

Unfortunately, you forget that basic human nature is just not like
that. Given the opportunity to freely take whatever they want, way too
many people would take everything they could get their hands on to the
detriment of others. Grocery stores would quickly be wiped out as would
clothing stores, jewelry stores, furniture stores, etc. The world that
you envision would quickly degenerate into absolute anarchy and would
set civilization back to the stone age.

and the following is excerpted from my post #10:

Your suggestions, while altruistic and appealing, don't take into
account the ugliness of human nature. I once read all of Ayn Rand's
books and thought what a wonderful concept she put forth. Subsequent
years showed me that Ayn Rand was also an optimist. Her characters
exhibited fine morals and ethics and would always do the right thing.
The reality of today's world (see Wall Street and the automakers)
proves that her stories were just that - stories. The real world is
much, much crueler, greedy, and vicious.

Futuo stated in part: "Now, this could possibly work in a perfect sized community isolated
from the world, but not for long. It's a very utopian world that I
wouldn't mind living in, that definitely could be done. The annoying
part is, it won't happen."

In one of Ayn Rand's books, she had a number of her characters slip
away to a hidden village where everyone was ethical and the village
lived on a gold standard. It has been so long since I read that story
that I don't remember the name of the book (was it "Atlas Shrugged" ?)
nor much of the details. What I do remember was that it sounded just
like what Futuo described.

Please, please read the referenced thread. It would save both of us a lot of discussion time.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

John,

Great writing.  Great ideas.  "There can be no joy of life without joy of work."

I read an article from a link on these pages of a lady who had been ripped off by Made-off.  She had $7M in his account, he was paying 10%, so she had a stable income of $700K.  She had houses in two states, she moved with the seasons and she did not work.  She is a nurse by training and she lives alone.  She now goes to work each day to pay her rent. 

in my opinion  the middle class is dead.  It is a dead man walking.  The middle class is a class of people that have come to expect that their money will work for them.  its part of the dream.  Well, wakey wakey, it was a dream.

Money does three things, real money that is, and none of them is work. 

Money will not work for you, it cant.  It can pretend to for a while, but in the end it cant.  What is actually happening is that some guy in asia is working for you, your childrens children are working for you. 

Any system that relies on growth is doomed.  It seems to me that any system that pays interest on money is doomed.  Banks are ok if they lend at no interest.  Banks have no place being in business.  Business=investment=returns=risk.

Banks are too important, like water and clean air, to risk to the profit motive.  Your wealth, my wealth, is too important to risk to make a return on investment.

John, i love your writing.  keep it up.  No money or money at no interest.  Surf the collapse then set up a small utopia. 

Does anyone know of a place i can get silver bullion made into my own coins?

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Why not just go live in a communist country?

I highly doubt "unregulated" capitalism is anyones' worst fear considering it's the productive system of government that exsisted before the Great Depression and the creation of the USA as a military industrial complex.

 Personally, I see communism as a "retarded" concept, that literally attempts to handicap nature for 'feel-good' solutions for people who are simply put - less biologically suited for survival. 

I live and work within a communist system where each person is paid by grade - not ability, commitment or level of skill. "Leadership" is deliniated by a arbitrary line that does not denote experience, intelligence or capability - it's simply "awarded" by college degree.

All this system does is remove incentive for exceptional development; most intelligent, capable people become dejected and demoralized when they see someone who installed a dozen water fountains in a command building get an award while someone who literally saves lives does not.
Granted, when you inject the state in everyones homes, and private lives, forcing them to participate - eventually you'll produce true believers with talents.

If we still want to play make-believe and pretend that Communisms are a good idea, lets examine the three most notable Communist Societies:

1. Communist Russia (Stalinst Russia especially) Read 1984.
2. Cuba (Castro) Speak to a Cuban Expatriate.
3. Cambodia (Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge) 2 million dead, exterminated as enemies of the state.

Communism will be met with lead if it ever tries to take root in the USA, and I'll lend my rifle to the cause of sending it packing.

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

In this perfect world, where everyone works out of cooperation and mutual satisfaction, how are you going to convince the millions of gamers that doing something productive is better than playing WoW?  Once you have an answer for that, we can talk. 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Affert,

How about we take it one step further - how about you tell me how your opinion of what's "productive" is relavant?

Or why John Steinsvold's opinon should supercede my individual liberty to spend my time how I damn well want?

If you want more productive people, be better parents.
Don't blame Capitalism Undecided

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Capitalism is dead because it is unjust.  And the markets do not
really work - you should have watched Greenspan's testimony more
closely.

Robert

That's a common fallacy. Politicians use free market rhetoric to justify control of the market. That kind of logic is a contradiction in terms. When their controls fail, they blame the market. People like Robert who have never studied laissez faire capitalism, believe the failures they see are a consequence of capitalism when they are consequence of government corruption. This common fallacy gives the political class license for even more control over the market.

It is impossible to have a capitalistic economy when government consumes more wealth than what the market economy produces. Capitalism creates wealth through savings and production; socialism destroys wealth through confiscation and consumption. Capitalism is dead because it was displaced by socialism.The failures we are witness to are failures of socialism.

I recommend to anyone like Rober to make the effort to learn about liberty and economics at the mises.org site Bearing01 linked to at  #11. It will turn their world right side up. A good place to start is "Economics in one Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt. Hazlitt debunks many common myths with clear language.

 

 

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

 

I just found this interesting mp3 written by Ron Paul regarding Capitalism.  Ray, you pretty much hit all the bullet points.

http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/audioarticles/2895_Paul.mp3

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Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

I think there will always be problems with any anthropic theory that arises.  Let's say, rather than anthropic, we substitute a "system" with robots.  Any "system" with, even robots, can produce errors.  Errors may arise from programming, software, and hardware issues.

Most of us seem to be looking for the perfect system to run society but there will never be a perfect system because humans (our brains) were not meant to be steered within the boundaries of any one system.  1.  our brains and, therefore, our technology evolves faster than most other species; 2.  with the fast pace evolution of theories we will eventually negate our own progress by way of competing theories (or persons/scientist/communities).  We do this now.  There is no universal consensus on anything, let alone the simple and daily motions of our lives.  In a sense we all go our own ways with much effort into cooperation for the sake of self preservation (sticking together).

So to say that any one system does or does not work is beside the point.  It may work perfectly for a day- maybe.  As one looks at a "system" from the macro to micro scale there are so many variations of every type of economics one can imagine (where "every type" reflects a different method/system).

We could argue about "systems" 'till the moon turned blue.  Most people need the security of identification.  We feel better, or more secure, when we can "properly" identify someone or something.  What most people don't realize is that language, itself, is a barrier to much progress.  We just don't have enough definitions for all the "other stuff" we just can't articulate.  So on the one hand we need language because it makes life easier for us, and on the other hand as our minds and theories evolve, we find ourselves restricted by the language barriers.

There are an infinite number of systems, including "capitalism" that we could try, but why?  We could try these systems, till the end of time, to no avail.  The paradox lies at the point where we need something; and if it's a system that we find that doesn't work, then we can try another system ad infinitum.  Do I like this idea?  No.  But I know that something is needed.

I do see one problem that may not involve systems at all.  We tend to look at the "system" as the problem but I think the problems lie, mostly, with us.  We're human and we make a lot of mistakes.  Many of those mistakes might have been prevented if...

One thing I do know.  Most of us realize that we are animals.  We are part of the food chain.  If we are animals then we, like every other animal, live in a "kill or be killed" type of environment.  We do this now, and we kill a lot of other people.  The human civilization does kill, similarly to animals.  If we are, that much more intelligent from that of other primitive animals, then why are we fearful of our lives (war & etc.)?  Why are we still at war?  I mean, we only need systems because we want to comfort ourselves by knowing that "x" is likely to happen.  We are able to predict the length of time it takes us to go to work (by way of traffic light systems), we can predict getting our food at the second window even if we paid at the first window, and etc.  We have eliminated the "fear of", for most,  by increasing the number of systems within our society.  Why then are the systems failing us?  That brings us back to the top of this page.  The paradox shows us, again, that nothing is certain and at best we can gather a certain type of probability.

In the end we are just a bunch of animals, making a bunch a mistakes, in a world of a bunch of other species who go about doing the same thing every day- kill or be killed.

We're not as smart as I thought we were.  Maybe we weren't designed to be.

So all of you who are racking your brains to find the economic system that, "you know" is the correct one, should just live life and look inward upon yourself and others to find the solution.  Humans have come a long way (from the stone age) to get where they are now.  We didn't do that by one system alone.  Most of that time there were no "systems".  They just tried survive day by day.  Those days weren't "given" to them; they were earned.  As they smartened up, they were able "cheat time".  In our time, we're not only cheating time, but we are at light speed trying to get in x (to the nth power), every day.  We have gotten in so much within our lives but, to many, it's still not good enough.

One of the smartest things we could do, in our "advanced" age/society (now), is agree upon a foundation of ethics.  I suppose that's laughable.

 

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 624
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
Aaron Moyer wrote:

If you want more productive people, be better parents.

Smile

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Caroline,

Brilliant post.
I remember a woman who babysat me when I was fairly young told me the story of why she left Russia, she said:
"Do you know the feeling of when you room becomes such a mess, it's easier to find a new room than to clean it?"

Of course, like every 10 year old boy - that was an easy point to reach!
She went on to elaborate that Communism attempted to equalize possession to eliminate greed - but greed can't be contained by equality.

I know something of the Russian people... and let me tell you - when I listen to my elders talk about life in Russia under the communists... it makes me steam that people would be so naive to think it'll work somewhere else.

Like you, I believe in Ethics, and I do not think it's laughable... I think it's emminent.

That said, I also believe that it will take a massive, humbling, society breaking event in order to bring us back to what's truly important - be it in Animal terms or human. Your family (pack), your ability to self-sustain (food water and basic sanitation/shelter), and your ability to defend what you've created for yourself.

Thanks for your post - very insightful and intelligent.

Cheers!

Aaron

bearing01's picture
bearing01
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 153
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Here's another good lecture that discusses two points:

1. Why Nazi Germany was a Socialist state

2. Why a Socialistic society requires a Totalitarian dictatorship.

http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/ss05/ss05-Reisman.mp3

Fast Forward to 21:50 mark where he starts talking about Democratic Socialism (like say in Sweeden or the future USA).  Such a system is claimed to be socialist, but really isn't.  Then the author goes into implications of democratic socialism in the USA.

bearing01's picture
bearing01
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 153
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

Why Socialism does not economically work:

Start at 7:20 mark:

http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/MU2008/12_Salerno.mp3

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?

"Capitalism and Liberty (right to own property, to benefit from one's
own labor and to profit while producing to serve mankind ) is what made
the USA the land of opportunity and of great prosperity."

So how come there's so much poverty in the US?

"It was what enabled the industrial revolution to be fueled."

Oh yeah?  Ever heard of fossil fuels?  Slavery?

"It is what makes the most efficient use of the given resources. It is what gave us bottled water, telephones and airplanes." 

Are you having a laugh?  Bottled water?  Bottled water is a scam to separate people from their money.....

Capitalism squandered easily half the oil your country started with....

Airplanes are the most wasteful way of getting around, and are MAJOR contributors to the greenhouse problems.....

I could go on.....  but I won't bore everyone. 

Thanks but no thanks.  Sapitalism sux.

MIke 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
bearing01 wrote:

Robert,

I will agree that the markets don't work well. But I firmly believe it is not due to a faiure of capitalism. Rather, it is due to government intervention with the economy and the money supply. 

What nonsense.....  the money supply comes from the Fed, which is NOT owned by the government but by the richest people on the planet....

Boy they got you sucked in.....

Mike 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: An Alternative to Capitalism?
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Why not just go live in a communist country?

I highly doubt "unregulated" capitalism is anyones' worst fear considering it's the productive system of government that exsisted before the Great Depression and the creation of the USA as a military industrial complex.

Some of you people have a truly warped sense of history.

The USA became the superpower that it was because it was awash in OIL, and it learnt to exploit that energy to the max.  NO OTHER REASON.  You also had a lot of coal.

Just like the British Empire became as powerful as it was because Britain was awash in coal, and they invented the steam engine, were the first nation to have fast ships and trains.  But it only lasted until the US dicovered OIL.  And what could be done with it.

Now that you have to import 2/3 of what you need, and it'll soon be unavailable...... well you're FINISHED as a superpower.

He who has the most energy wins.  Just ask Hitler.

Mike 

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