The Priorities of Capitalism

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Croatoan's picture
Croatoan
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The Priorities of Capitalism

I was wondering why the market was taking off today so I went to the CNBC website. while I was there I saw a confluence of headlines that summed up the priorities of capitalism. So I took a screenshot and highlighted what I noticed. 

The Priorities of Capitalism

 

Croatoan's picture
Croatoan
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

You see, the market does not care when people get laid off or if you can't pay your bills. Just as long as the bottom line works out right. Totally unsustainable, yes?

Anarchism seems to be the only political and economic system that even talks about sustainability.  

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism
Croatoan wrote:

You see, the market does not care when people get laid off or if you can't pay your bills. Just as long as the bottom line works out right. Totally unsustainable, yes?

Anarchism seems to be the only political and economic system that even talks about sustainability.  

That was a great job of highlighting that screen shot. It's so true, so true!

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Hi Croatoan, we meet again.  Laughing

You're absolutely right the system we have today is structured against the people.  My quibble would be with labeling it capitalism, at least if capitalism means something related to economic freedom.  We have not been free for a long time.  In my view, we have been living in a two-pronged slavery system for a while:  1) debt-based monetary control with profiteers in charge of our money supply (fake money otherwise known debt, credit, derivatives) who are more powerful than feudal kings in their ability to make or break our economy and our lives, and 2) financial monopoly with a cartel of NY institutions whose job it has been to extract value from people measuring them as digits in their spreadsheet models built on false assumptions of perpetual growth.  Both of those systemic frameworks came from an alignment between DC and Wall St that's been arrayed for 100 years against the original design of the US as a free republic where states had the power and community-level capitalism used to occur.  It took them quite a while, but they have now successfully destroyed the US.  

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

This is Capitalism, at its best. This is the system we have chosen, and it is the closest system to human nature.

Stop crying that the system is stacked against the ordinary man, it always has been and always will be. You can not change human nature.

Beside, who were those who lost all the money this past year ? Have they not been the very rich  who got slapped real hard and lost their shirts ?  Who were the share holders of AIG, Leahman, CitiBank, etc. etc. who got wiped out ?  

The system is just fine. Leave the system alone.  There is no need for anarchy, no need to stop paying taxes,  no need to blame others. The system will take care of itself.

The blame is with all of us, all of US citizens. Big fat asses living beyond our means, wasting every resource to the tilt, driving our SUVs and crying why oil costs $3/gallon when in Europe they pay $9/gallon , wasting food, wasting energy, buying everything which has an LCD, then throw it in the garage storage, generating tons of paper per person a year, poluting the air and complaining about global warming, raping other countires and talk about human rights ( WMD in Iraq ? or was it all for oil), we hardly know who is our neighbor, because we don't give a damn who he is, yet we are politically correct and put on a smile when meeting strangers . The blame is with us, the citizens.  

 We deserve the lousy politicians we get, we deserve every corrupt gongressman and senator. Hopefully this economic shock will cause some of us to wake up and take charge. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Movazi, how can you hope people wakeup but then tell them to shutup when they do?  People on this site have been waking up, wising to the system, becoming informed because you need to understand it before you can try to take charge and change it...trying to inform the people you call 'fat asses' so they wakeup and understand the system they're subject to. 

You're right there's a massive demand-side aspect to the situation we're in...that's all your "fat asses" and I agree it's all about greed, laziness, wastefulness, fakeness...but there's a powerful supply-side infrastructure that pushes this.  It's naive to not look at both, but the supply-side is way more difficult to understand.   

It is not correct that the system is 'just fine.'  Do you think the mafia is just fine, like it's just natural capitalism and it shoudn't be prosecuted? I'm guessing no because you understand the mafia.  But it doesn't seem you understand the monetary/financial framework we live in...there's way more sophistication to it than just chalking it up to a generic sense of greed...it too is a mafia system but a far more powerful version.  [people on this site want statements like this to be supported/explained, but I've tried explaining it in 100 other posts and posted links to resources in those posts...don't want to do it again]

And no, the rich oligarchy are not the same people that lost their shirts.  You're talking about the average working rich dude in the Wall St firms and the average common shareholder.  I'm talking about the people that own those people, the people that own the capital of the world (not the common shareholders of lower tiered firms like Lehman whose 'assets' only look valuable before the crash because they're nominally valued based on inflated debt), the people those firms serve, the people that own the CDS's that just got elevated by congress above even secured debtholders...pure criminal mafia system that now has monetary incentive to drive companies into bankruptcy rather than negotiate because the CDS' will payoff + the underlying bond gets partially paid off more than if the companies stay alive (and the govt feeds our money to AIG to ensure the CDS's are paid off...this should cause a revolution folks...CDS's should be declared void across the board...but nobody cares).  These people own much of the "stuff" in the world...the hard assets, the gold, the plantations, the castles, the top tier firms like Goldman, JPMorgan...they take their rent from those institutions and buy hard stuff, or currencies, or fixed income with it.  In fact, they own the US as 100,000,000 people work hard to pay them interest via taxes.  And by the way, an additional $12 trillion has been stolen from all of us and a portion of it given to those people, and even the lower level rich workers that you're referring to (see the Merrill broker bonus stories).  And it's been given to Citi and AIG which you seem to think got wiped out...quite the contrary...the highly tiered capital holders behind Citi and AIG have been saved.  Gotta get up to speed, read the Financial Times, learn about corporate ownership and tiered capital structure, learn the history of the Fed system, learn the history of Wall St and its long fight to gain power over the 50 states and extract the value, and learn how WE and all future generations are the ones that will lose our shirts in this crash...but that's ok because we're all just fat asses.  Wink

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Don't paint ALL capitalist ventures with the same brush.  Yes, the banks and large corporations are raping America.  However, the small and medium businesses that fuel much of this country operate on the principles of capitalism and, I think, most do so without prioritizing profits over people.

It seems to me, with no economic training, that we have abandoned true capital and operate entirely on debt.  Is debt not capital that is pulled forward and we have now exhausted not only the present, but the future as well.

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

The Wall Street headline is characteristic. The stock market, just like the "Too Big to Fail" bankers, should be seen as an extortionist or terrorist, a gang demanding permanent protection money, or else they'll scuttle civilization.

Naomi Klein went so far as to say the market's euphorias and tantrums occur in inverse proportion to the extent the people are asserting themselves, or the government acting for the public good.

Thus for example the market crashes when Lehman isn't ransomed, or the first 3-page bailout dictatorship is voted down, or when Geithner publicly looks uncertain as to how he's going to wage class warfare on behalf of the banks. These brought down the stock market's punishment, because the American people were misbehaving.

On the other hand, now that there's a plan confidently in place to help continue the loot conveyance from the people to the banks, the market is happy. And again it is happy that these accounting changes will let the banks try to lie about the "value" of all this garbage paper they hold. The people have been beaten back into their proper place.  

   

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism
MarkM wrote:

Don't paint ALL capitalist ventures with the same brush.  Yes, the banks and large corporations are raping America.  However, the small and medium businesses that fuel much of this country operate on the principles of capitalism and, I think, most do so without prioritizing profits over people.

 

Second this!  My wife and I own/operate 2 small businesses, and one of the main planks in our "corporate philosophy" if you will is that if we don't take care of our people (both clients & the instructors that teach at our studios) then we're failing whether or not we're making money.  We deeply hold the belief that as long as we take care of our clients/instructors then the money will take care of itself.  We acted on this in a concrete way by giving our instructors raises in January, right into the teeth of the downturn/crash -- even though we didn't raise our fees, so this raise came straight out of our bottom line.  And we are definitely feeling it financially.  We're walking our talk, even though it hurts.

If I may paraphrase Winston Churchill:  "Capitalism is the worst economic system there is...except for all the other systems."

IMO, where capitalism goes wrong is in terms of scale:  once something passes a certain size, it's too easy to lose the trees for the forest.  I'm sure if we had 30 locations, 25 instructors and 700 clients it would be easier to say "hmmm...if we cut pay by 2% and raise fees by 3% that'd be...holy moly -- an extra $250,000 a year!  We'd be idiots *not* to!"  Once people and outcomes are just numbers on a spreadsheet, bad things can follow.

Another problem (although I think this is more a human failing than a failing of our economic system) is tending to think in the short term.  If we prioritize this quarter's/year's results over all else, then it's simple logic to expect that eventually you're going to get to a long-term future that's bleak indeed.  IMO, it's simply smart to think seven generations ahead, as the First Nations did. Or at least try.  If we could think *one* generation ahead I reckon we'd be much better off, and soon.

Of course, any economic system has any number of shortcomings and capitalism is no different.   

Viva -- Sager 

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism
movazi wrote:

 You can not change human nature.

 

Human nature or Human behaviour? because you can certainly change human behaviour by encouraging participation in a more positive future. To what extent is our behaviour molded by the systems and structures around us? Change the systems and change our behaviour.

 

A monetary system which excluded the use of usury would change our behaviour because the 'dog-eat-dog' mentality would not need to exist because there would not be a shortage of money, such as a LETS or Time Bank.

 

End the illusion of scarcity and you change the behaviours associated with competition into those of co-operation.

 

Robert Newman says some interesting things on the subject in his History of Oil which VanityFox posted, have a look:

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8957268309327954402&ei=GIvPSYrMLIO22wL61IzrBw&q=Robert+Newman%27s+History+of+Oil+

 

Peace and love

 

Crash 

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pleaseremoveme
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

If anachism is sustainable, why does it time and time again give way to oppression?

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

*****Anarchism seems to be the only political and economic system that even talks about sustainability.*****

LMAO......Where is an anarchism economic system you can point to that has succeeded? And anarchism is a political and economic system that works? In what countries, when and where? Educate me, please. Smile

Croatoan's picture
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Yes, anarchism has come and gone in the past. The anarchist movement in Spain in the lte 30's is one good example that worked for a while:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_Spain

Yes, it has given way to oppression because anarchism's default is not to oppress. To me that is the one fault. When it is time to kick ass to protect against oppression you should kick ass. 

And just because anarchism has not taken hold does not mean it is not a better system. There has been a long war of propaganda against the anarchists and the world has already been cut up and divvied out. Plus, your main assumption is that capitalism works. I think we are in the midst of seeing the fruit of that tree.

You can do two things at this point; read more about anarchism or not. Just planting a seed here. 

 http://www.infoshop.org/faq/index.html

 MOVAZI,

You say the system is fine but then blame the people for doing things that the system is telling them to do! Look at all your complaints about lazy people and then look at the commercials and adverts put out everyday by capitalists trying to sell you the SUVs, crap food, and LCD tv's.

 The percentage of people who were involved in the bad businesses who got wiped are tiny in comparison to the collateral damage. I care about the people like my mother, who got sold an "retirement savings plan" that was not a savings plan at all but an investment in the market. 

 

And capitalism (or mercantilism) was invented by europeans in the 13th century and has nothing to do with human nature. It allowed the human population to get us to the wonderfully overpopulated, polluted planet. It is a meme that grab us by out collective crotches and led us to the precipice we are looking off of today.

 

 

 

 

 

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pleaseremoveme
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

So you need a central government in charge of an army for protection, but then an anarchy can work. ;-)

Croatoan's picture
Croatoan
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Listen, educate yourself. Read the link I sent. It is all answered in there. You can have an army without a centralized government.

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

I do intend to study up on this subject. I admit I'm ignorant and simply don't understand why anyone would be attracted to it.

paranoid's picture
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism
movazi wrote:

"stop crying" The blame is with all of us, all of US citizens. Big fat asses living beyond our means, wasting every resource to the tilt, driving our SUVs and crying why oil costs $3/gallon when in Europe they pay $9/gallon , wasting food, wasting energy, buying everything which has an LCD, then throw it in the garage storage, generating tons of paper per person a year, poluting the air and complaining about global warming, raping other countires and talk about human rights ( WMD in Iraq ? or was it all for oil), we hardly know who is our neighbor, because we don't give a damn who he is, yet we are politically correct and put on a smile when meeting strangers . The blame is with us, the citizens.  

 We deserve the lousy politicians we get, we deserve every corrupt gongressman and senator. Hopefully this economic shock will cause some of us to wake up and take charge. 

Great advice - stop crying. Not sure why you then started crying yourself?  Interesting thread, and its true - there really is no one to blame. The science of all this backs up the spiritual truths as well. They all come together in harmony.

Neuroscience shows free will is largely an illusion, but as Isaac Asimov said "We've got to beleive in free will, we have no other choice" - and Jesus said, "they know not what they do" and "Judge not" - or "blame not" - See? There is no one to blame in a deterministic universe. We're all along for the ride! (Not that we can't try to change things - life, and individuals, do evolve)

 Anarchy if you understand it - actually works very well - ants have been around for over 70 million years - far longer than homo sapiens and their system is anarchy. and one of the brightest individuals to walk the earth in recent times - Noam Chomsky - does a great job justifying anarchy. Anarchy is more akin to localism - have small local communities self organize and deal with local problems. Its not the Wild West you might preconceive.

Capitalism, anarchy, they are all just a roll of the evolutionary dice - God DOES roll the dice. lol...Dominant-deferent heirarchies happened to work for our ancestors so we are wired this way. But from genes to memes - we all need to hope and pray that some day the memes of compassion and cooperation, just as viable as 'survival of the fittest' - gain strength. 

Survival of the most cooperative!

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pleaseremoveme
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

You can have an army, sort of... but what keeps the militias from fighting wars with each other?

Croatoan's picture
Croatoan
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Sheesh, read the FAQ I posted. There is no single plan for what an anarchist society would look like. Anarchism is not a plan, it is a framework. 

You are still thinking of this in a capitalist framework. Since there is no ownership without use there is no need to fight for resources. But I could ask "what keeps different police forces from going to war with each other"?

 

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pleaseremoveme
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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

I read the faq, hence my question: I haven't been able to find the answer there!

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Re: The Priorities of Capitalism

Anarchy isn't a framework - it's a transitory period that ultimately will give way to another form of government.

There is no other possible course of action for Anarchy other than to morph into some form of political system, be it feudalism, communism, autocracy or whatever else.

The human animal disallows social stasis.

Aaron

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