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Why capitalism can never work

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posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 02:33 AM
The value of the wages in an enterprise is always just a fraction of the cost of the finished product. That is for all factories and hotels and whatever across the planet. What does that mean ? It means people will never be able to buy all that is produced. All the money go to the business owner. But how many finished products do they buy ?

Solution : credit. But now they turned off the money fountain (intentionally - people did not lose their jobs, then stopped buying ,it was the other way around). So people buy only what they really need, or not even that. And the system collapses. Very simple. There is not a shortage of products.

Capitalism, and the "economic need" are pyramid schemes. To satisfy the real needs it is enough for 10 % of the workforce to work. We could invent a system with no money, where people work let's say 8 years in agriculture, healthcare, schools and some light industry producing some stuff like clothing. Then they are changed by others. The rest of the time they do nothing and are provided with all these things for free. That does not mean they are forced to live only with those things.
Want more ? Gather people who want the same and do it. Improve your life beyond what you are provided, anyway you like.

Money or credit will be BANNED, and that means we will never end up where we are now - working not because we need what we produce , but because we need money, and we have to have something "TO DO" to get them otherwise it does not fits into the crazy philosophy of "life is hard work".
People will do things only if they want to have them as an extra beyond the basics. When they stop wanting them they stop working. Simple. Not like the death trap of the current system : "look nobody buys what I produce, what will I do ?". Nothing. As I said to cover real needs there is no need for 100% of the workforce to work.

Also see this :
The Gospel of Consumption | Orion Magazine

In a 1927 interview with the magazine Nation’s Business, Secretary of Labor James J. Davis provided some numbers to illustrate a problem that the New York Times called “need saturation.” Davis noted that “the textile mills of this country can produce all the cloth needed in six months’ operation each year” and that 14 percent of the American shoe factories could produce a year’s supply of footwear.

And these : The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

Google Video Link

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:07 AM
Credit is a by-product of Fractional Reserve banking, not capitalism.

Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership.

If we aren't all working then what are we all doing? We are just sitting around using up resources while other people sponge off the backs of others. Or put simply rotational slavery.

What your suggesting is a miserable life for everyone. Mediocre products and services. Then of course you have to train all those people. Then you also have people to run it.

Capitalism is great if the market is allowed to work. What America has been living under isn't Capitalism, and it hasn't been capitalism for a really long time.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:34 AM
"When we are not working we are using resources". Do you believe yourself ? Have you seen the movies from the above post ? 90% of what is bought in USA is in the garbage in 6 months, that is our "great work". And needs to be that way, then new things need to be bought, else this crazy system collapses. We destroy the planet just to have something to do.

So : you work 8 years, then you are free. Nobody makes you do or not do anything, you can work if you want.

"Miserable life" ? "mediocre products" ? Yes I know you like having slaves work for you now. Maybe they hate their jobs but what do you care, you are comfortable.

Don't want my system ? Go and find a slave master, that is a slave himself to some money creator, and work for him. Alone and fighting all the others for survival or for a bigger TV, while others don't have enough to eat - and nobody needs them or their "work". You can have your capitalist territory and look with envy at the crazy people next door that do nothing all day, just work in their garden for pleasure or travel or sit with their friends or whatever. And have no money and need no money.

In developed countries 3% of the workforce work in agriculture and they have more than enough food. Add more for education and health and you get kind of 20% the max. 1/5 of the work time of let's say 40 years is 8 years. More than enough.

The disappearance of money is very important for a real civilized society to form. There will be no more crime - nothing to steal. Steal what ? Food which is free for everybody ?
The only reason for organized crime will remain slavery. I am sure most rich people of today would hate my system. Not having anyone to do stuff for them, and having no means to lure people or to force people to work for them.

Today is very simple to have a slave cook your food, clean your house and so on if you have money. His survival depends on it.

"No" some say , he is free to go. Ya right, he is "free", you don't kill him if he tries to go away, like they used to kill slaves. Go where ?
Also slaves of the past got free food and home. Now slaves get only money, and indeed a better treatment. Obtained trough countless revolutions, not because of the good will of the slave masters.

"It's his fault, he should have gotten a better education, and then a better job" some say. Yes sure. Maybe he did not have the chance. And who will do all the dirty or repetitive and boring jobs if everybody will be a manager ? Capitalism and today;s society is based on slavery, without the threat to their survival there would be no people for those jobs.

"People got to work ! That is life !" No it's not. That is why we have invented machines, to work less. And see this :

Machines can save labor, but only if they go idle when we possess enough of what they can produce. In other words, the machinery offers us an opportunity to work less, an opportunity that as a society we have chosen not to take. Instead, we have allowed the owners of those machines to define their purpose: not reduction of labor, but “higher productivity”—and with it the imperative to consume virtually everything that the machinery can possibly produce

And this :

An oft-cited example is the !Kung of the Kalihari Desert in southern Africa, who were studied by the anthropologist Richard Lee.ii He followed them around for four weeks, kept a log of all their activities, and calculated an average workweek of approximately twenty hours spent in subsistence activities. This figure was confirmed by subsequent studies by Lee and other researchers in the same region. In one of the harshest climates in the world, the !Kung enjoyed a leisurely life with high nutritional intake. This compares to the modern standard of forty hours of work per week. If we add in commuting time, shopping, housework, cooking and so forth, the typical American spends about eighty hours per week aside from leisure time, eating, and sleep. The comparable figure for the !Kung is forty hours including such necessary activities as making tools and clothes.

Other studies worldwide, as well as common sense, suggest that the !Kung were not exceptional. In more lush areas life was probably even easier. Moreover, much of the "work" spent on these twenty hours of subsistence activities was by no means strenuous or burdensome. Most of the men's subsistence hours were spent hunting, something we do for recreation today, while gathering work was occasion for banter and frequent breaks.
Primitive small-scale agriculturalists enjoyed a similar unhurried pace of life. Consider Helena Norberg-Hodge's description of pre-modern Ladakh, a region in the Indian portion of the Tibetan Plateau.iii Despite a growing season only four months long, Ladakh enjoyed regular food surpluses, long and frequent festivals and celebrations, and ample leisure time (especially in winter when there was little field work to do). This, despite the harsh climate and the (proportionately) enormous population of non-working Buddhist monks in that country's numerous monasteries! More powerfully than any statistic, Norberg-Hodge's video documentary Ancient Futures conveys a sense of the leisurely pace of life there: villagers chat or sing as they work, taking plenty of long breaks even at the busiest time of the year. As the narrator says, "work and leisure are one."

I do not write here because of the economic crisis. Even without it there is something very wrong with our society. People forced to get money to survive, and they get money by building stuff that must be bought, then thrown away fast then bought again, else they lose their jobs. This life is more than survival, ownership and control. And people are not inherently evil, those who say : "this is the only way to live" are very wrong.
People want to be part of something , and seek a group to belong to. They would work for that group for "free" if allowed to. That is how tribal societies worked, each helped the group knowing he will be helped too.
Today's society denies that, it's each for himself, the only thing left for them is to get rich and "escape" and be "successful".

Look here a society where only to tell another what do do would have been very rude :

Crazy Horse, Tashunkewitko of the western Sioux, was born about 1845. Killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska in 1877, he lived barely 33 years.

As a boy, Crazy Horse seldom saw white men. Sioux parents took pride in teaching their sons and daughters according to tribal customs. Often giving food to the needy, they exemplified self-denial for the general good. They believed in generosity, courage, and self-denial, not a life based upon commerce and gain.

One winter when Crazy Horse was only five, the tribe was short of food. His father, a tireless hunter, finally brought in two antelope. The little boy rode his pony through the camp, telling the old folks to come for meat, without first asking his parents. Later when Crazy Horse asked for food, his mother said, "You must be brave and live up to your generous reputation."

It was customary for young men to spend much time in prayer and solitude, fasting in the wilderness --typical of Sioux spiritual life which has since been lost in the contact with a material civilization.

[edit on 18-2-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:35 AM
Capitalism CAN work, but only if it is well regulated. Capitalism without regulation will end up having a single monopoly.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:45 AM
So you have no problem having another work for you. Let's say you are with your friends and you make them do stuff for you, because let's say you have something they don't have, so you can make them work for you.

But "wait" you say, among friends there are no such things. Of course. Money is impersonal. You do not want to know the ones that work for you. Like when killing someone in a war, very impersonal, you don;t want to know anything about him.

Not only does our acquisitiveness arise out of separation, it reinforces it as well. The notion that a forest, a gene, an idea, an image, a song is a separate thing that admits ownership is quite new. Who are we to own a piece of the world, to separate out a part of the sacred universe and make it mine? Such hubris, once unknown in the world, has had the unfortunate effect of separating out ourselves as well from the matrix of reality, cutting us off (in experience if not in fact) from each other, from nature, and from spirit. By objectifying the world and everything in it, by making an other of the world, we necessarily objectify ourselves as well in relation to that other. The self becomes a lonely and isolated ego, connected to the world pragmatically but not in essence, afraid of death and thus closed to life. Such a self, cut off from its true nature and separated from the factitious environment created by its own self-definition, will always be insecure and will always try to exert more and more control over this environment

[edit on 18-2-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:50 AM
reply to post by Hastobemoretolife

Buddha was right, you are wrong.
Keep denying.

People who don't have courage and strength to work on themselves, need to do anything in order to forget that fact. Human beings have been selected throughout history to become miserable like that. They have no idea what their real capacity is about. Now they will return to stone age, thanks to the total specialization and deprivation of knowledge.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:51 AM
reply to post by aaa2500

This most certainly is not about regulations.
It is about corrupted people who do not follow regulations.
System is not corrupted, people are.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 04:01 AM
Capitalism is an economic system predicated on consumption and expansion. The world contains finite resources. Therefore, eventually there will come a time when there can be no more expansion, when all the resources are used up. Because of this capitalism is doomed to failure.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:17 AM

Originally posted by TheComte
Capitalism is an economic system predicated on consumption and expansion. The world contains finite resources. Therefore, eventually there will come a time when there can be no more expansion, when all the resources are used up. Because of this capitalism is doomed to failure.

I could not agree more. Excellent point. The solution therefore is obvious... we eather moderate that, kill off a bunch of people, or we perish. (if there are other options, id be interested in hearing them)

Which one of those seems the most rational, yet also seems the most unlikely...?

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:25 AM
Excellent post and ideas by the OP, and I agree to a large extent.

Everyone is told to aspire the same things as everyone else in capitalism - either you have a big house with picket fences and a 100" TV, or you're nothing.

However... Having said that... Capitalism has worked, by and large, to this point. Technological advancement, generating different types of work, etc.

It all has to end some time, either natural resources run out, or it just plain collapses in on itself.

[edit on 18-2-2009 by mattguy404]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:26 AM
There was a short story I once read like this, Where a colony revolted and formed a society like you propose. It ended up being a Shining beacon, man worked simply for the betterment of its fellow men, In the end I believe it was destroyed by jealous nations.

It will vex me to no end trying to remember where I read it.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:36 AM
This can never become a society. In society there is distribution of responsibility. It can only be attained on personal level. That's why all societies fail in the end.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:37 AM

something very wrong with our society

Indeed there is.

I like the OP, I also agree to a large extent.

I know it's mostly unpopular to the majority crowd who says " I worked hard for mine and if you don't have the same then go to hell" crowd.

We are a soceity that bases our self worth on wealth.

Alas, as much as I like the idea of a society that works for the betterment of all, it's not very realistic. We are greedy, violent, selfish animals and are probably doomed to consuming ourselves to death.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 05:48 AM
reply to post by Merigold

No we are not that way. That is only what we become when we mold and force ourselves to play a role in today's society.

They know that there is a way the world is supposed to be, and a magnificent role for themselves in that more beautiful world. Broken to the lesser lives we offer them, they react with hostility, rage, cynicism, depression, escapism, or self-destruction—all the defining qualities of modern adolescence. Then we blame them for not bringing these qualities under control, and when they finally have given up their idealism we call them mature. Having given up their idealism, they can get on with the business of survival: practicality and security, comfort and safety, which is what we are left with in the absence of purpose. So we suggest they major in something practical, stay out of trouble, don't take risks, build a résumé. We think we are practical and wise in the ways of the world. Really we are just broken and afraid. We are afraid on their behalf, and, less nobly, we are afraid of what their idealism shows us: the plunder and betrayal of our own youthful possibilities.

Please read some books by Daniel Quinn. There was a world before capitalism and money and agriculture. I am not against science or agriculture. We can use them, because we have them, but not like today. We destroyed that old world, killed them all, and called ourselves "advanced" and our way of life "the only one possible" , "we were meant to end up like this because we are evil". Yes sure.

He must be cut off from the past. . . because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising."
--George Orwell, 1984

Why humans might have traded this approach for the complexities of agriculture is an interesting and long-debated question, especially because the skeletal evidence clearly indicates that early farmers were more poorly nourished, more disease-ridden and deformed, than their hunter-gatherer contemporaries. Farming did not improve most lives. The evidence that best points to the answer, I think, lies in the difference between early agricultural villages and their pre-agricultural counterparts—the presence not just of grain but of granaries and, more tellingly, of just a few houses significantly larger and more ornate than all the others attached to those granaries. Agriculture was not so much about food as it was about the accumulation of wealth. It benefited some humans, and those people have been in charge ever since.

As Columbus wrote of the Arawak (before murdering and enslaving them),
"They are so ingenuous and free with all they have, that no one would believe it who has not seen it... Of anything they possess, if it be asked of them, they never say no; on the contrary, they invite you to share it and show as much love as if their hearts went with it..."

Was an intense acculturation process applied to Arawak children in order to override their inherently greedy, selfish natures and impose the desire to share?

Columbus asked for gold, and when they did not bring him gold this is what happened :

[edit on 18-2-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:51 AM
Good work

When i ripped open the carton of my frozen pizza, suddenly a thought sprang to my mind: This pizza was probably done by some poor 40 year old woman, who gets 6.50 E per hour! Good god, i thought, all we have is done by SLAVES.

This system is dead already. We are just poking holes in an ugly corpse. Fortunately there are good alternatives. The one you describe is definitely such an alternative.

But there are some other, more likely, scenarios for the future. And they are not bright. To me, the world right now seems to be on the brink of dictatorship: USA threatens the East, UK with a huge contingent of surveillance-cameras and the economic crisis forces the people to do more and more and more silly labour. Think of it: Do we really need this vast amount of things? All type of cars, all type of frozen pizza. Just a waste of energy. Human energy should be precious.

So, to make a long story short: Your system is Utopia, and will never be seen on the face of this earth. Sadly. Maybe there will be some retreats, like communes, but i doubt it on a worldwide scale.

The world prefers slavery and dictatporship and orwellian worlds and fascism. Don't know why

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:57 AM
Its not so compicated...Capitalism will never work, because of 3 things..greedy CEO's, credit cards, and governemnts intervention (federal reserve).
CEO's will lay off or fire hard workers, to get that percentage at least.
Credit cards are plastic debt cards. How can yuo buy someting with cash in hand, and still end up owing?
Federal reserve, just keeps devaluating the dollar, and theirs NO reason government needs a bank. Thier job is to listen, protect, and obey us...not other way around.
I rest my case.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 08:28 AM
our long history as "man", was for the most part tribal in nature, we are going through a part of our history that is still very new. i grew up with the mantra "work hard and you'll do fine". and of course, the lightbulb went on early in life, when i would come to learn that farm workers that worked for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, were NOT getting ahead. new mantra became "live smart to avoid working hard". in the last few decades, it seemed whenever i started to get ahead monetarily, there was always a "change" that occured, that pushed me back down. at first i blamed myself with all the standard reasons that had been ingrained into me when i was younger. but it became apparent there were bigger forces at play, and i ended up adjusting accordingly. everyone has to find their own path (cliche' i know), but it is real practical advice. and i'm living it now.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by pai mei

Capitalism is superior. However, greed is the great destroyer. Capitalism worked fine until God was removed from the picture. When God and Christian thought was taken out of the equation, greed stepped in. How can you have ethics and morals without God?

However, perhaps capitalism would work with some type of checks and balances in place. i.e. regulation.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by SailorinAZ

How can you have ethics and morals without God?


I can be ethical and moral without the threat of eternal torture in a pit of fire.

Capitalism doesn't work not because of the lack of your gods, but because we have changed from a society where your labours fed you to a society where your labours bought you a 60" plasma tv.

We know NOTHING about true poverty. We are spoiled and fat and lazy and our bad habits are killing us and we don't give a rat's ass as long as we can buy a new car or get in deeper debt to fund our misguided notions of happiness.

When people stop putting value on things, and start putting value on family and love and respect for each other then we will truely have a society worth living in...major religions have had centuries to bring about that utopia and they haven't succeeded. Religion can't be part of any succesful society in my opinion as it tries to bribe people to be "good". Capitalism bribes people with 60" tvs, religion bribes them with heaven.

Maybe one day we won't need to be bribed but will be able to see the value of living simply.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 09:47 AM
Some say : "where will we be in a world without money ?" "There must be some reward or else people will just eat their free food and do nothing"

People who work for progress like Einstein for example need no reward. Their work is their reward and I am sure they don't even see it as work, when you do what you like it's not "work".

The real thinking is "if people are not forced to fit and maintain this system there will be no progress". That is not progress for me. There's all this talk, all this philosophy about not caring about material things, but you think people need rewards like money and status to "progress" ? People who need those things are weak people and there is no progress in following them. Look at all the geniuses and whatever - did they require money and "status" ? They were far beyond those, even if other gave those things to them I am sure that was not the motivation.

In my system people would be really free. Imagine you wake up and know you have nothing to do and will never have. You improve your home, improve your street, then you gather with others and say "let's do this", and start building a monument to last for many centuries, not because you are forced or rewarded, just because you have nothing to do, and you like it.

Your result is your reward. Like children do when they play, of course adults say "a just children, they do nothing", and in fact they are real creators.
Anybody does what he likes. You are interested in science, gather together with others and do research. You do it because you like it and want to make life for everybody better. Look at the art work of the American Indians. I am sure nobody forced or paid them for it. They did it, they had more "free time" then we the "Advanced" have today. All their time was "free" and they did not "work" or "not work" they just lived.

The lack of money and the free food and housing means - no crazy glory seeking madman will ever rise. He will have no means to lure or to threaten others to work for his plan. If some people gather and do a thing they will do it out of their own will, quitting anytime they want, and never able to impose their will on others.

Thor Heyerdahl - Kon Tiki:

It did not matter anymore if we were in the year 1947 AD or BC. We were living an we were feeling it with intensity.We understood that the lives of humans were full even before the age of technology, without a doubt more full and rich in many ways than the life of the modern man.
Time and evolution somehow did not exist anymore: everything that was real and had meaning was today the same as yesterday, the same as tomorrow. We were engulfed by the absolute measure of history by the deep and continuous darkness under the myriads of stars

Have you ever wondered why your childhood friendships were closer, more intimate, more bonded than those of adulthood? At least that's how I remember mine. It wasn't because we had heart-to-heart conversations about our feelings. With our childhood friends we felt a closeness that probably wasn't communicated in words. We did things together and created things together. From an adult's perspective our creativity was nothing but games: our play forts and cardboard box houses and pretend tea parties and imaginary sports teams and teddy bear families were not real. As children, though, these activities were very real to us indeed; we were absolutely in earnest and invested no less a degree of emotion in our make-believe than adults do in theirs.

Yes, the adult world is make-believe too. Roles and costumes, games and pretenses contribute to a vast story. When we become aware of it, we sense the artificiality of it all and feel, perhaps, like a child playing grown-up. The entire edifice of culture and technology is built on stories, composed of symbols, about how the world is. Usually we don't notice; we think it is all "for real". Our stories are mostly unconscious. But the new edifice that will rise from the ruins of the old will be built on very different stories of self and world, and these stories will be consciously told. We will go back to play.

As children the things we did together mattered to us. To us they were real; we cared about them intensely and they evoked our full being. In contrast, most of the things we do together as adults for the sake of fun and friendship do not matter. We recognize them as frivolous, unnecessary, and relegate them to our "spare time". A child does not relegate play to spare time, unless forced to.

I remember the long afternoons of childhood when my friends and I would get totally involved in some project or other, which became for that time the most important thing in the universe. We were completely immersed, in our project and in our group. Our union was greater than our mere sum as individuals; the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. The friendships that satisfy our need for connection are those that make each person more than themselves. That extra dimension belongs to both partners and to neither, akin to the "fifth voice" that emerges in a barbershop quartet out of the harmonics of the four. In many of my adult relationships I feel diminished, not enlarged. I don't feel like I've let go of boundaries to become part of something greater than my self; instead I find myself tightly guarding my boundaries and doling out only that little bit of myself that is safe or likeable or proper. Others do the same. We are reserved. We are restrained.

Our reservedness should not be too surprising, because there is little in our adult friendships that compels us to be together. We can get together and talk, we can get together and eat and talk, we can get together and drink and talk. We can watch a movie or a concert together and be entertained. There are many opportunities for joint consumption but few for joint creativity, or for doing things together about which we care intensely. At most we might go sailing or play sports with friends, and at least we are working together toward a common purpose, but even so we recognize it as a game, a pastime. The reason adult friendships seem so superficial is that they are superficial. The reason we can find little to do besides getting together and talking, or getting together to be entertained, is that our society's specialization has left us with little else to do. Thus the teenager's constant refrain: "There's nothing to do." He is right. As we move into adulthood, in place of play we are offered consumption, in place of joint creativity, competition, and in place of playmates, the professional colleague.

[edit on 18-2-2009 by pai mei]

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