Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism

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crisisofcivilization's picture
crisisofcivilization
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Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism

You may be interested in this new reprt by Dr Richard Smith

http://crisisofcivilization.com/2011/02/15/report-beyond-growth-or-beyond-capitalism/

"Dr. Smith demonstrates that irresistible and relentless pressures for growth are functions of the day-to-day requirements of capitalist reproduction in a competitive market, incumbent upon all but a few businesses, and that such pressures would prevail in any conceivable capitalism. Secondly, he takes issue with Professor Daly’s thesis, which also underpins his SSE model, that capitalist efficiency and resource allocation is the best we can come up with."

For more articles about the economy, peak oil, climate change and more visit our learning machine 

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Marie-Louise Almond

Assitant Producer The Crisis of Civilization

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ligiahag7902's picture
ligiahag7902
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crisisofcivilization
crisisofcivilization wrote:

You may be interested in this new reprt by Dr Richard Smith

http://crisisofcivilization.com/2011/02/15/report-beyond-growth-or-beyond-capitalism/

"Dr. Smith demonstrates that irresistible and relentless pressures for growth are functions of the day-to-day requirements of capitalist reproduction in a competitive market, incumbent upon all but a few businesses, and that such pressures would prevail in any conceivable capitalism. Secondly, he takes issue with Professor Daly’s thesis, which also underpins his SSE model, that capitalist efficiency and resource allocation is the best we can come up with."

For more articles about the economy, peak oil, climate change and more visit our learning machine 

http://crisisofcivilization.com/learningmachine/

Marie-Louise Almond

Assitant Producer The Crisis of Civilization

watch the trailer here: http://crisisofcivilization.com/trailer/

Such a very amazing link!

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taeftw1's picture
taeftw1
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Joined: May 30 2011
Posts: 1
Critical Thinking 101

I'll bite for the sake of the person wandering by who haven't been introduced to critical thinking skills yet and may be asking himself whether this argument holds water, not because I have an iota of hope that the OP would reconsider his/her position.

Step 1) Lookup the terms used in the conversation to verify that the speaker is not redefining terms so as to bolster their point.

cap·i·tal·ism –noun

An economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.

 This is the formal definition of capitalism. In layman's terms capitalism is an economic system which recognizes the private property of individuals and their right to do what they want with it as long as they don't affect the property of others (because if you're allowed to affect the property of others without their consent then they don't really have control over it, you do).

Step 2) Check the speaker's premises before even considering his argument. If you assume false things it's pretty easy to "prove" anything you want.

Here they make the assertion that capitalism invariably leads to growth. To support this argument they start with the following 3 premises:

  1. Producers  are  dependent  upon  the  market. This is true. In a capitalist system if you want something you don't have then you have to exchange something of value that you have (be it your property or your labor) for something that the other person has.
  2. Competition  is  the  motor  of  economic  development. This is where the arguments start falling appart. Here they're equating "economic development" with "growth" and saying that competition invariably leads to producing an ever increasing amount of stuff. Competition doesn't require you to produce more mouse traps than everyone else, only ones that people find better. 
  3. “Grow or die” is a law of survival in the marketplace. According to them you have to keep producing an ever increasing amount of stuff in order to stay in business. Truth is that to stay in business you don't have to keep producing/selling an ever increasing amount of stuff, you just have to keep selling products which people find better than the competition, period.
    • To clarify this point even further think about a baker in a secluded town. Imagine that he's so good at what he does that nobody can bake better and cheaper than him. According to this text his business will eventually die because once he has the bussiness from everyone in town he has nowhere else to grow his business therefore it will surely die. 

We don't have to continue because this paper doesn't even pass the premises check. That is, they haven't proved that competition invariably leads to producing an ever increasing amount of stuff and they certainly haven't proved that you have to produce/sell an ever increasing amount of stuff in order to stay in business.

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