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View Diary: What is the path to an America beyond capitalism? (179 comments)

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  •  Those are capitalist states. (6+ / 0-)

    The taxonomical confusion around here is too much to bear.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:26:03 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Labels are pointless (6+ / 0-)

      This is why I did not use labels.  yes all those countries have capitalism, much private industry, finance, manufacturing in private hands.  They also have national health care programs that cover everyone, extensive public transit, child care, family care and subsidies policies, various programs in senior/elder care well beyond what we do,  etc etc.

      I care less about the label, more about what government is doing and for whom.

    •  State socialism (6+ / 0-)

      The scandanavian countries have state socialism, which was an idea originally created as a middle step towards marxism.
         Real socialism/marxism doesn't have nation states. Socialism, as it was designed, was the anti-nationalism.

        People forget that nationalism, as we know it, was a recent development, and is only a few centuries old.
         Same goes for capitalism.

       We think from inside this tiny box, as if the future will look just like the present, but with brighter colors.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:42:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  state socialism (0+ / 0-)

        I thought that state socialism was that the means of production were owned by the state.  Aren't the Scandinavian countries more of a socialist/capitalist hybrid?

        One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above. Michael Harrington

        by tporky on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:59:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We could go full Immanuel Wallerstein (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        limpidglass, StrayCat

        Socialist World Government! Just saying that would be enough to set off FoxNews / TPers, lol.

        I must confess poverty of imagination, as I really can't think of any future political economy that wouldn't basically lie somewhere along a 'market socialism'. I mean, there will always be some kind of market at some level of the economy, and there will always be some form of government that will play a central role in interacting the economy. If it's more decentralized, it would almost have to be market based; if overarching directives (equality, efficiency, environment) were set, a government would have to be involved.

        Off the top of my head, maybe some kind of TechnoWorld where massive computers replaced the market mechanism for determining allocation of resources for production? Or perhaps an economy where all environmental costs were included at full value to maintain a self-perpetuating economy/environment.

        Absent Star Trek replicators, there will always be scarcity of some kind. Which leads to issues of allocation of resources and distribution of outcomes, good and bad.

        I would say that I don't think scientific and technological progress will favor lots of smaller organizations; cutting-edge manufacturing (think microchips) will require more power, which requires larger facilities, which require larger organizations to oversee. Once factors of production are mass-produced, then yes you can have smaller organizations in the chain (think Taiwanese electronics shops), but at the base the historical trend seems to be continual growth in size.

        •  Why is capitalism in its present form the only (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Berkeley Fred

          possible method of allocation? That Gosplan failed doesn't mean all other possible mechanisms will fail, or that capitalist allocation won't fail.

          •  I didn't say that (0+ / 0-)

            If I wasn't clear, I do think the most likely future is some hybrid of a market economy and a socialist economy; the question is what the relative balance is. And at least in the US, I expect we will move more towards socialist principles (we could hardly be more monopolistic capitalist).

            Capitalism is both successful in terms of generating profit, and a failure in terms of economic distribution. I don't know if or when conditions will deteriorate sufficiently to provoke popular resistance to our current political economy. However, I do think that environmental and energy constraints will ultimately force a radical change to capitalism.

            No amount of Koch PAC money or Fox propaganda can change the fact that there is not enough free energy left to increase consumption much more than today, and the environment will likely catastrophically collapse long before we meet those limits.

      •  No they don't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat

        The state doesn't own any means of production of consequence in those countries.  It used to, but then they privatized.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:55:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They're not pure capitalist states. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, TiaRachel

      They employ elements of capitalism. The US is tending towards pure capitalism, which preserves and amplifies existing power. State intervention is not a corruption of capitalism, it is the necessary consequence whilst there is a state. If the state were not there to act as a proxy, the same actions would be performed by the owners' institutions directly, or they would construct their own state. It's always good to have someone to blame and do the dirty work.

      •  They employ elements of non-capitalism. (0+ / 0-)

        They're capitalist states.  My point is that the diary is about transcending capitalism but there's no agreement in the comments among people who simply want to change the flavor of capitalism and those who want to replace it.  That latter group is respectable but how and why they're Democrats is beyond me.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 03:56:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't necessarily want to replace capitalism (0+ / 0-)

          I want us collectively to investigate alternatives in case better ones exist, or there are novel, overlooked or ill-understood ways it can be improved. Secondly, in a FPP system, it is not rational to vote  or to try to vote for or shape the policy (except for theoretical purposes, perhaps) of any other party unless you think Rs and Ds are the same, or live in a safe D area.

        •  Semantics. Yours is not the only used definition (0+ / 0-)

          of "capitalist state", and it seems too broad to be useful. Capitalism is an element of those states, it is not their defining characteristic. It's a (somewhat, certainly notably) widely held belief that those states are not truly capitalist, and that neither is the US, because they distort the free market. So I think your absolute pronouncements are a little hasty. If they are capitalist states, by what definition specifically?

      •  Well, in the present circumstance, do we have (0+ / 0-)

        states as applied to the financial activities, or have the owners already become a state with respect to anything that concerns their core interests?

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 04:32:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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