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View Diary: Why Globalization and Connectivity Mean Capitalism Will No Longer Keep Americans Safe and Warm (30 comments)

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  •  consequentialism (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that pure capitalism, pure communism, or pure anything is bound to fail. Idealogies please the brain but not much else. Capitalism (or any system) needs to be mitigated by common sense and an eye towards social reality, not just political idealogy.

    Anything persistant in the environment that is crucial to survival can be expected to have an effect on evolution. It's my theory that the 1% you speak of that owns 50% of the stock is part of an elite group of people that has evolved an organ apart from the brain, which -- for lack of a better term -- I will call the "money grubber". I think we need to enact legislation immediately that forces those who are born with the money-grubbing organ to have it removed at birth.  I don't think there's any other way to restore world order.

    •  Purity (0+ / 0-)

      Well my thoughts are that pure free market or laissez-faire capitalism has never been tried. Neither has the pure communism of the non-Bolshevik Marxists. Lenin disbanded the worker councils, among other authoritarian policies, and developed a state with a state capitalist system that has parallels to the state capitalism of the US or more accurately modern China. Leftists in the US seem to think of populism when they think of communism and rightists seem to be intent on a sort of proto-fascism. The alternative, and one I believe, though only believe because I do not have substantial evidence to show its successful application in a large system, is socialist libertarism. This is letting workers control the production rather than commanders. It is a system of non-command economy and problems will arise if it is instituted just based on the fallibility of humans in the social context. Capitalism, true capitalism, also sounds to me like a reasonable idea. I cannot really decry capitalism because I cannot think of any examples of a truly free market economy being instituted and sustained. But above all, whatever system we use, we should proliferate sustainablity, rather than capital. Capital is predicated on a sustainable environment and stable sociotropic organizational structure. That is something about which one can be fairly certain, and that is also the problem I have with the current system, or systems.

      •  nervous lab animal (0+ / 0-)

        I would prefer not to be the guinea pig in any of these grand social experiments. A functioning government needs a starting point, but it must be able to mutate as well. In any case, what government has the right to ignore evidence of social pangs in pursuit of an idea. Will you call these birth pangs?

        •  ??? (0+ / 0-)

          I am not exactly sure where you are coming from, so perhaps you could qualify those statements. Is it your aim to imply that the problems that would naturally arise from the new systems I am talking about, and it would be presumptuous to say that it would be a seamless transition from state capitalism to a more humane form of government - but I would still prefer it to be a transition and not a revolution, would be birth pangs, or are you talking about those of the current systems. There are certainly "social pangs" in the current systems, mostly large scale oppression and exploitation of the majority of the population of the world. One could also argue that under the current system we are headed for collapse, is that truly a functioning government over the long term? It should be obvious that it is not; you may enjoy today immensely, but you may not enjoy tomorrow so much. What kind of effort would it be worth to engage in a grand social experiment for peace of mind - like knowing one has secured the  blessings of liberty for oneself and one's posterity?

          •  Communism (0+ / 0-)

            Well my thoughts are that pure free market or laissez-faire capitalism has never been tried. Neither has the pure communism of the non-Bolshevik Marxists.

            Perhaps you could transition to a more hands-off capitalism from, say, the current US system -- but how would envision the US transitioning to "pure Communism" without a revolution? Good revolutions overthrow bad governments, but don't impose an ideology on people. How would would you convince millions of people (anywhere) to suddenly start working for the good of the community when there is no primise of a reward proportional to the amount of sweat put into it? Maybe I don't understand Communism.

            •  The ideology is inherent (1+ / 0-)
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              The communal ideology is inherent in the human social animal. Perhaps because of a history of this type of lifestyle, all humans are so genetically similar it is feasible that we all came from the same breeding stock in the not-to-distant past. Furthermore, experiential factors should tell one that people intuitively care about one another. For instance, the reason we have laws like social security, is because people care about the war widow across town, if she has enough to eat, etc. That compassionate impulse has been subdued through the American propaganda system, that is why barbarians are always at the gate: Krauts, Commies, Black criminals, terrorists, and so forth. Fear and a framework, an imposed economic framework, of competitive success are designed to subdue people's natural compassionate impulses. If you do not intuit this, then you are already lost - one of the "bad guys." But, I think you do, or else you would not have devoted so much of your time to this blog. So you, like most people - and look at the vast amounts of charitable contributions Americans give every year - already have ideology of communism hardwired into your cognitive faculties. So you see, it is not such a hard sell after all, people must merely be de-programmed.

      •  a thing about capitalism (0+ / 0-)

        as i see it, the basic principle of capitalism is that you set up certain legal rights that establish the existence of property and ownership, with these concepts construed to imply that the owners have rather exclusive unilateral control over the disposition of the parts of the physical and cultural world that are considered their property. of course these control rights aren'y completely total, being subject to regulation by the political system, but they are strong enough to permit the establishment of fairly strong control hierarchies, for example, the practice of employment, backed up by the threat of the state's military force.

        One of my central objections to this process is the inherently unfair distribution of ownership. Historically, in the US this process involved genocide, slavery, invasion, mass mayhem on a grand scale. But even consider a completely egaltarian approach- suppose at the founding of the republic, the distribution of land, resources, etc. were settled by a process of democratic deliberation between all the members of society. What happens when a new child is born? Is the process renegotiated?  Also, by what right do you exclude people outside of the country from this process? By setting up borders you are essentially claiming the right to exlude others from this democratic process.

        another approach is to consider the fundamental rights to be not property rights, but the political right of participation in the decisions that affect you. the distribution of resources, and the guiding of the direction of cultural evolution, becomes a continuous process of democratic deliberation.

        you are human:
        no masters,
        no slaves

        by guidoreichstadter on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 12:58:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo (0+ / 0-)

          The fact of the matter is, at the founding of the Republic, the only people who really got to have any control, in spite of all the Enlightened rhetoric, were property owning Anglo males over 21. These are highly concentrated conditions to begin with, so of course they were not going to change dramatically, no matter the legislation of social civility; this was used primarily to placate the social activists. The reason the activism failed is because of division and isolation. The labor unions were rascist and chauvinistic. The Black revolutionaries were African nationalists. The liberal intelligentsia were obedient in their institutional roles q.e.d. That is why activism never worked, because it was never a revolution of the poor outright, and that is why the concentration of economic power remains the status quo. That is being further manipulated by the capitalist monocultural society that the media (the ultra-effective American propaganda system) portray to people makes them value things like fashionable consumptions rather than freedom. And this leads to further division, isolation, and distraction all to the background of a process of cultural homogenization that is making the populace obedient. This is why I am so frustrated, because few recognize the issue for what it is - the continued history of society: the class struggle.

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