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Paul Mason: The Latest Pied Piper of "the Death of Capitalism" • Gary North

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posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 06:56 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit more, I tried to be terse. May have overdone it..

Anyway. My posting was a reacton to the rebuttal in which it is stated that the only "socialist" country left after the demise of the Sovjet-Union would be North Korea. Also, the same rebuttal suggest that socialism has failed. It actually has not, it has adapted. China is a socialist republic, at least by its own standards. And socialist countries like China often work with and within the capitalistic system, while maintaining their socialist systems. It an be done. China will own a lot of companies world-wide - and hence enlarge her influence on what happens in the world. You can bet your life that we will see more socialism in the world as a result. In Europe a lot of countries had or have, and some will have, socialist governments. So, the statement "socialism is a failure" is an exaggeration.

BTW: in my country (The Netherlands) we had to save said insurance company first, using tax payers money. So, in fact, it then became state owned. Because the capitalists do not like state owned banks here they decided to sell the bank again - this time to China. So far for the intelligence of capitalists..




posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 07:07 AM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

I don't know the history of this but, it sounds like the state used taxpayer money to nationalize a bank and then proceeded to pawn it off to the Chinese, is that about right?



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 07:14 AM
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a reply to: yorkshirelad

We're warning you that your paradise isn't. Right now, it looks like a gilded cage, but once the door slams shut on you and the gilding comes off, it's too late.

Once you lose the right to your basic property, the government that gives you everything can also take everything, and once you stop believing in your basic rights, they means nothing and the government will no respect them either.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: sensibleSenseless
a reply to: greencmp

Who hired the lazy guy??? You? Me???

Why? If you and I know that is true - Why Man??? Why do we have to be so stupid???? ON broken record inc.


Because most of us allow the state to educate us for "free."

C'mon that was an easy one.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

Is this the very same China that can't seem to keep its stock market out of the toilet?

China has some very big problems not the least of which is that much of their astounding growth has been fueled by state spending to build infrastructure that's never going to be used.

They have the same kind of debt we have except they keep it under wraps and now they're having a market correction of large proportions right now. So let's hold the phone on how successful China is. They may be no more bulletproof than anyone else.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko




posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 08:58 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

That's about right.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Dunno. They had the 1.4 billion euro's to buy one of our largest insurance companies..

Sure, that may be fake money - isn't all money fake money? But nevertheless, it was the SOCIALIST republic of China that bought it.

Please note that I'm aware of China's history of violation of human rights in the name of socialism. But then, on the other hand, I've read about 'waterboarding' and 'detention without trial' in the name of capitalism. Seems that both systems aren't flawless, to say the least.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 09:14 AM
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originally posted by: ketsukoOnce you lose the right to your basic property, the government that gives you everything can also take everything, and once you stop believing in your basic rights, they means nothing and the government will no respect them either.


Check. But that has nothing to do with leftwing, rightwing, capitalism or socialism. Governments of all sorts are known to violate the rights of the people. In fact, socialism AND capitalism would work nicely - if only the excesses would be reduced. There is no need for a super-wealthy 1 percent - it introduces a new subclass of poor. There is no need for the monopoly of just one party - it introduces a new subclass of outcasts.

But we never seem to learn.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 09:15 AM
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originally posted by: ForteanOrg
a reply to: greencmp

That's about right.


So, I feel like I must sound like I am being obtuse but, I really am not.

How does that exonerate socialism in any way or, for that matter, how does it impugn capitalism (being the derogatory name given to free private exchange by socialists) which appears to not have much to do with this scenario since the Netherlands and China are both heavily socialized?
edit on 28-7-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: greencmp (actually to all)

I happen to like (or have a propensity toward) reading discussions about economic models and the array of thoughts bent to fit a particular ideology.

Mostly it is a defense of maintaining ideas in a world that NEVER conforms exactly with the visions of dancing plums performing the prescribed minuet.

Since the models are normally projected from an ideal perspective, they FAIL. The world is not anything other than a statistical mash-up. This cause great fuzziness to develop in what had a been a clinical exercise.

The reason any system will stumble forward is that humans endeavor to find a niche (think hermit crabs) that will suit them. The impetus to achieve Maslow's 'needs' causes all interactions in every system. Most of these systems do not acknowledge the complete list (and it's not perfect) and start as inadequate. They are fundamentally flawed.

www.deepermind.com...

Think of a Bell Curve with all of those extended edges. The vast majority of people can have similar interests grouped around that middle (any topic) but even within those interests a spectrum exists. Identical people do not exist and any system that wants to hold sway and keep influence can only form around the middle cohorts.

We ALL do not live merely to achieve a ranking in the hierarchy:i.e., live to work.
We ALL do not want to live so minimally that our health/family health/tribal health is afflicted.
We ALL do not have the same motivations which means we can not design an Utopia.

Government does a GOOD job on routine things. Governments are not real innovative because you must then fund it and live with the consequences of change. We do not like a lot of change when it comes to water delivery, electricity, trash removal, medical treatment, etc. These forms of socialized institutions, routine necessities, have been proven to be best served (efficiency/outcomes) by commonly owned agencies.
This is where government shines.

Capitalism (small economic units) is much more flexible as it is designed to be opportunist. The baying of the economic hounds lead everyone to areas where success can be had. Large unit capitalism is inevitable. This is where the poison lands lie.
Capitalism must be fair or it is just a means to form economic indenturtude for the VAST majority. These entanglements are principally the insistence of mortgaging a future to achieve socially accepted and desired goals.

We enter into fascism inevitably. The influence of the Elites becomes excessive and socio-pathic behavior becomes standardized as an admirable achievement. Unlimited consumption by the Elite while beggarhood swallows 90% of the population.

The only way to make a society turn to a bright sun is to give them sunscreen and sunglasses. Socialism considers this as a good that should be freely available. Capitalism can figure out how to assist with a budget provided by consumers for a minimal expenditure. It can offer gee-gaws to please the tastes (Bell Curve here) of the individuals and at added expense to those particular, discerning purchasers, but everybody is better off.

As most of us know, we are individually, mice. The enormous machinery that we wend our lives through can overcome us singletons without a concern. The government WE can vote for is not responsive but then it is not designed to be. It is designed for you to struggle with it in order to make changes. It is a monster for routine and a fractured egg when changed. It does permit changes by popular demand.
Corpserations (sic) SUPPOSEDLY have greater amounts of flexibility. This is a lie when the only purpose is profit. Then the bean counters rule. Amoral, uncommunicative, maniacal planners are in charge. They are essentially the enemy of humans as they reduce us to accountable resources.

Both of these concepts need a leavening of JUDGEMENT by the participants. Blending them with the purpose of meeting our needs with allowance for the triple sigma events is desirable. It could be robust, amenable (slowly), humane and efficient because it represents what we are, a freaking mob with as many characters and caricatures that must be shoehorned in while achieving a good solid base for futures unguessed.
No system will be perfect, no more than we are perfect. What is needed is to blend what works into a cohesive, comprehensible system. One that suits HUMANS with their foibles and differences as opposed to theoretical constructs based on metrics that are ALWAYS narrowly defined.

I think Danish folks have it mostly right and they are considered to be happier than just about anyone. That is what all your scenarios need to account for, happy masses do not form angry mobs.

These models are great in the abstract but as has been said, 'No battle plan survives contact with the enemy'.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 11:39 AM
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originally posted by: greencmp



1.The argument from the mode of production is as empty analytically as Marxism was from the beginning,

2. Socialists never did come up with a blueprint for how their system could deal with the problem of scarcity.

3.None of them ever described in detail a socialist incentive system that will rationally allocate wealth, and will also maintain economic incentives for high productivity -- incentives that will match, let alone exceed, capitalism's incentives.

4.This was openly admitted in 1990 by Robert Heilbroner, In it, he wrote these words: "Mises was right." Right about what?

5. About the impossibility of rational economic calculation in a world without private property and capital markets.

6.He then called for the next phase of socialism, one which will be based on environmentalism, not economic theory. He said that only by mobilizing the masses behind the idea that the government should intervene in order to save the environment, could socialism once again gain a hearing. Otherwise, the movement was dead.

7.His third erroneous conclusion has to do with the structure of capitalism. He thinks we are headed for decentralization. So do I. He thinks this is anti-capitalist. I do not. On the contrary, it is the essence of advanced capitalism.

8.How are we -- whoever "we" are -- going to create all this? How are we going to cooperate? If we do not cooperate through central planning, then we have to do it through the free market. There is no third choice. It is either the coercion of the state or the voluntarism of the free market that lets us do anything jointly on a large-scale basis. Society is not a small family farm. We face an either-or situation.

9.Leftists do not have an analytical blueprint. They also do not have a practical blueprint.

10.Yes, neoliberalism is a spent force. But, analytically speaking, it was always a spent force. There was never any analytical foundation to it.

11.The socialists' mythology and impulse have always been driven by one claim above all other claims: the absence of scarcity in nature. They always come back to the same theme: if we just get rid of free-market institutions, universal abundance will cascade over all of us.

12.The whole society is not like a factory. It is like an auction. It is governed by a fundamental principle: high bid wins. It is a system of competitive pricing. It is a system of allocation by means of competitive bidding. It is not like a factory; it has never been like a factory. That line of reasoning was Frederick Engels' line of reasoning, and it wasn't correct then. He never made it work in terms of economic analysis, and neither can Mason.

13.He steadfastly ignores the following fact: these new technologies are based on production for the market. The main thrust of the technological and digital revolutions is in the direction of decentralization and private ownership. Always, there is private ownership. Without private ownership, there are no prices. Without prices, there is nothing but economic blindness. That was Mises's point in 1920, and Leftists never respond to it.

14. Socialists specialize in stringing together slogans. They never offer any economic blueprints, but they are long on slogans. They never tell us how their dreams can be implemented. They never describe the system of sanctions -- judicial and economic -- by which people will get what they want through cooperation. They never discuss economic cause-and-effect, but they are really good at listing slogans.

15.This is utopianism.

16.Paul Mason is the latest example of Leftism's desire to bury free market capitalism. The end of capitalism is always just around the bend.

I tried to cut out as many empty insults as I could and numbered his "points" for a little clarity. I'll probably go over each in the next few days. Point by point.
edit on 28-7-2015 by JeanPaul because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-7-2015 by JeanPaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 11:53 AM
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a reply to: JeanPaul

Thanks, I look forward to hearing your take.




posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:03 PM
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originally posted by: largo
a reply to: greencmp (actually to all)

I happen to like (or have a propensity toward) reading discussions about economic models and the array of thoughts bent to fit a particular ideology.

Mostly it is a defense of maintaining ideas in a world that NEVER conforms exactly with the visions of dancing plums performing the prescribed minuet.

Since the models are normally projected from an ideal perspective, they FAIL. The world is not anything other than a statistical mash-up. This cause great fuzziness to develop in what had a been a clinical exercise.

The reason any system will stumble forward is that humans endeavor to find a niche (think hermit crabs) that will suit them. The impetus to achieve Maslow's 'needs' causes all interactions in every system. Most of these systems do not acknowledge the complete list (and it's not perfect) and start as inadequate. They are fundamentally flawed.

www.deepermind.com...

Think of a Bell Curve with all of those extended edges. The vast majority of people can have similar interests grouped around that middle (any topic) but even within those interests a spectrum exists. Identical people do not exist and any system that wants to hold sway and keep influence can only form around the middle cohorts.

We ALL do not live merely to achieve a ranking in the hierarchy:i.e., live to work.
We ALL do not want to live so minimally that our health/family health/tribal health is afflicted.
We ALL do not have the same motivations which means we can not design an Utopia.

Government does a GOOD job on routine things. Governments are not real innovative because you must then fund it and live with the consequences of change. We do not like a lot of change when it comes to water delivery, electricity, trash removal, medical treatment, etc. These forms of socialized institutions, routine necessities, have been proven to be best served (efficiency/outcomes) by commonly owned agencies.
This is where government shines.

Capitalism (small economic units) is much more flexible as it is designed to be opportunist. The baying of the economic hounds lead everyone to areas where success can be had. Large unit capitalism is inevitable. This is where the poison lands lie.
Capitalism must be fair or it is just a means to form economic indenturtude for the VAST majority. These entanglements are principally the insistence of mortgaging a future to achieve socially accepted and desired goals.

We enter into fascism inevitably. The influence of the Elites becomes excessive and socio-pathic behavior becomes standardized as an admirable achievement. Unlimited consumption by the Elite while beggarhood swallows 90% of the population.

The only way to make a society turn to a bright sun is to give them sunscreen and sunglasses. Socialism considers this as a good that should be freely available. Capitalism can figure out how to assist with a budget provided by consumers for a minimal expenditure. It can offer gee-gaws to please the tastes (Bell Curve here) of the individuals and at added expense to those particular, discerning purchasers, but everybody is better off.

As most of us know, we are individually, mice. The enormous machinery that we wend our lives through can overcome us singletons without a concern. The government WE can vote for is not responsive but then it is not designed to be. It is designed for you to struggle with it in order to make changes. It is a monster for routine and a fractured egg when changed. It does permit changes by popular demand.
Corpserations (sic) SUPPOSEDLY have greater amounts of flexibility. This is a lie when the only purpose is profit. Then the bean counters rule. Amoral, uncommunicative, maniacal planners are in charge. They are essentially the enemy of humans as they reduce us to accountable resources.

Both of these concepts need a leavening of JUDGEMENT by the participants. Blending them with the purpose of meeting our needs with allowance for the triple sigma events is desirable. It could be robust, amenable (slowly), humane and efficient because it represents what we are, a freaking mob with as many characters and caricatures that must be shoehorned in while achieving a good solid base for futures unguessed.
No system will be perfect, no more than we are perfect. What is needed is to blend what works into a cohesive, comprehensible system. One that suits HUMANS with their foibles and differences as opposed to theoretical constructs based on metrics that are ALWAYS narrowly defined.

I think Danish folks have it mostly right and they are considered to be happier than just about anyone. That is what all your scenarios need to account for, happy masses do not form angry mobs.

These models are great in the abstract but as has been said, 'No battle plan survives contact with the enemy'.


Fantastic elucidation and a great example of the level-headedness that is lacking in discussion about the appropriate role of government in society.

I don't agree completely (who ever does, frankly) but, much of what you say is sufficiently accurate and your conclusions are likely transposable to a more rigorous set of examples as to allow me little in the way of specific counter arguments other than minor details.

I emphatically agree that the only place where government shines is at the local level, not the national level. The global level is, therefore, completely out of the question.


edit on 28-7-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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We'll start with 12. The old Walrasian auction. This dovetails into his other assertion that its an "either or" situation. 14 will also be addressed.

It's quite simple really. It's called market socialism. It has existed since Proudhon's time. It actually irritated Marx, to see socialists agree with some of the market economists.

We have the Lange model (more of a planned system), Proudhon's body of work, Richard D Wolf has recently come to the market socialist side of the debate.

There's also papers such as this- which would serve as better material to critique:

ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu...

No slogans in the above. No slogans in the Lange Model. There wasnt any slogans in Proudhon's market socialism a nor are there slogans in the Illyrian model of market socialism.

The author attempts to ignore market socialism by saying it's an "either or" situation. That's simply not true, in fact, any "free market" attack on socialism melts away when we introduce market socialism. That's why he attempted to ignore market socialism and focus on Leninist centralized planning in the 20th century, namely, Russia and North Korea.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: JeanPaul

The distortions in the marketplace created by interventionism unavoidably create de facto monopolies who, it is later asserted, can only be brought to heel through confiscation and nationalization.

The road always leads to the end of private property which is the indispensable component of the ability to assign price.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:33 PM
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2. On scarcity.

I think that's a straw man. This also involves point 15. Ya, that's a utopian vision if I've ever seen one. A global industrial economy with no scarcity! It's impossible. Yes. Especially with today's level of consumer goods. Today's level of waste. Landfills full of useless junk the world over.

What is possible is a shift in what we produce while minimizing the waste we see in our modern economies. This would in fact involve less consumer goods. A lot of socialists don't really talk about this much but a socialist economy, if done right, would have both market components and planned aspects. A mixture of the Lange Model and Illyrian model.

Right now, with capitalism, world
hunger and poverty is lingering like a festering wound. China and India's mixed economies have been responsible for most of the decrease in global hunger/poverty. If we take these two nations out of the statistics the numbers tell quite a different story. They show abundance in the west and scarcity in the global south. Capitalist production squeezes resource rich countries like a vacuum. While working people in the advanced west work longer hours for less pay.

Socialist (market or planned) economies would focus more on basic needs rather than an endless stream of non essential consumer goods- desires which are largely generated by mass media marketing campaigns via tapping into our ego's. 6000 sq ft homes? Ego, not a need. Luxury cars? Ego. Even the so called need for a new phone every year or every other year is generated by marketing campaigns. This was explained in detail in the 4 hour documentary "Century Of Self". How Edward Bernays worked with corporations to manufacture all sorts of consumer desires.

Another aspect is planned obsolescence. We can in fact produce cars, electronics and other goods that will last much longer. Not only that but public transportation/infrastructure can be changed in a manner which minimizes the need for car ownership/driving in general.

Clean energy is also possible, but under today's conditions not profitable. Which is why we see expanding use of fossil fuels. Not only for energy but also for producing this endless stream of consumer junk. Why the endless stream of junk?

Perpetual growth. Capitalism requires perpetual growth. More things being produced, bought, sold and eventually thrown away. This would also be an issue with market socialism which is why democratic "planning" would have to be introduced at some level. Rational production with either market simulation (Lange Model) or a mixture of the Lange/Illyrian models.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: JeanPaul

The distortions in the marketplace created by interventionism unavoidably create de facto monopolies who, it is later asserted, can only be brought to heel through confiscation and nationalization.

The road always leads to the end of private property which is the indispensable component of the ability to assign price.


Corporations were formed to pool risk and to collectively undercut competition. Which is a form of competition in and of itself. Competition also creates "winners and losers". Over time the winners accumulate much more wealth, more productive capabilities, more influence over the government.

Have you ever played Monopoly? Welcome to capitalism, a system where wealth compounds and accumulates into the "winners" hands via collusion and competition. Corporations are the natural flow of accumulated wealth. The rich have always used the government to create favorable conditions for themselves (and shareholders).

Edit:

Joseph Schumpeter also predicted socialism would manifest via corporations. Talking about failed predictions. We can use Joseph Schumpeter's work to advocate a form of market socialism where corporations are run by workers with no singular owners or majority sharholders.

The issue that comes up with that scenario is the lack of political will to make it happen. Joseph Schumpeter's prediction was at a time when many advocated socialism. This is no longer the case. As far as the economics of the whole thing, market advocates will claim a need for the entrepreneur. How do we maintain innovation in a socialist system? I think by maintaining privately run small businesses, and or compensating inventors etc. publicly funded R&D is already taking place. How did the Internet come to be?
edit on 28-7-2015 by JeanPaul because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-7-2015 by JeanPaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: JeanPaul

Monopoly (the game) is a fantastically foreign representation of what equitable trade is. It really couldn't be further from how people actually behave and migrate or how resources are in fact utilized.

On the first point, that prices are only possible with private property, without the assignment of value as dictated by demand, no allocations can be made.

I do believe that this is a boolean choice, a compromise is not possible without organizing injustice.



posted on Jul, 28 2015 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: JeanPaul

Monopoly (the game) is a fantastically foreign representation of what equitable trade is. It really couldn't be further from how people actually behave and migrate or how resources are in fact utilized.

On the first point, that prices are only possible with private property, without the assignment of value as dictated by demand, no allocations can be made


Not true at all. It doesn't matter if the firm is privately owned or owned by the workers themselves. This the heart of socialism. Production run by workers. Singular owners or majority shareholders aren't necessary.

Is this an uncomfortable fact? Yes, so you'll deny it till your face turns blue. An example:

en.m.wikipedia.org...



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