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The Problem with Utopia: Why Capitalism is our only option

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posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by JohhnyBGood
It is not so much that out inherent nature is greedy as in the biological imperatives of our 'selfiish genes' - but that it is the focus of our biological bodies.....


SIGHHhhh
It is not "Selfish genes" it is lazy genes.

Or call it Conservation of Energy.

Once reaching adulthood, animals including man work only as hard as is necessary to achieve "Comfort" (This can include satisfying curiosity)

It is really a biological necessity because the most "thrifty" organism is going to be the one most likely to survive. Using energy for reasons that are not to the advantage of the biological organism are not going to survive as a character trait. For social creatures there is a balance between usefulness for the group and usefulness for the individual.

Again supporting the lazy, useless ones is not a very good survival trait and people are "Hard wired" to resent the lazy or those who take advantage. That is why humans developed some sort of barter system - true free market capitalism.



Unfortunately for Socialism, the experiment has been tried again and again including here in the USA. It has failed every single time.


....In his 'History of Plymouth Plantation,' the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit....

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time," the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was "plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure." He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, "we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now."......
SOURCE




posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:55 AM
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Social experiments don't count unless they are global and independent of the monetary system.
To make this work, there has to be NO MONEY or monetary system at all, and global access to resources, with a global agreement to SHARE those resources equitably amongst every living being on the planet, in a sustainable manner within a static economy framework. Anything less than that is doomed to failure, IMO.



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by AnnoyingOrangeX
 


in an abundant society there would be no greed.

Never underestimate the human appetite for impotent display.



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



You don't have to understand it...but it's always going to be there. Even during cavemen times. The one with the most sticks got the bigger fire!



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by RogerT
 


That idea has a lot of loopholes and a lot of questions in order to be set up. People today love welfare but don't want to give their hard earned money to others. What makes you think it will be different with any other type of resource that would take the place of money?



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by crimvelvet




Unfortunately for Socialism, the experiment has been tried again and again including here in the USA. It has failed every single time.


Socialism is not the same thing as Communism.
God damn it.
Stop your propaganda.
We have a lot of socialism in the US and most people have enjoyed its benefits since Roosevelt.
Everything from schools,social security, medicaid,medicare,welfare, unemployment comp,the police,courts,military,roads,bridges,electric,waste,water has been
provided by our government socialism.
edit on 12-8-2011 by RRokkyy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by RRokkyy
 


Communism is the ultimate goal for socialists. Communism is similar to Socialism and many believe that you can't possibly have one without the other. Some go as far as to say it is an extreme form of socialism just as fascism is an extreme form of capitalism. But both systems are theories and when they have been tried they have failed! Capitalism is one of the longest working systems to date, and it's how society evolved.


edit on 12-8-2011 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by jjf3rd77
reply to post by RRokkyy
 


Communism is the ultimate goal for socialists. Communism is similar to Socialism and many believe that you can't possibly have one without the other. Some go as far as to say it is an extreme form of socialism just as fascism is an extreme form of capitalism. But both systems are theories and when they have been tried they have failed! Capitalism is one of the longest working systems to date, and it's how society evolved.


edit on 12-8-2011 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)

More propaganda.



Communism is similar to socialism like your house burning down is similar to a warm fireplace.
Communism is the goal of Marxists.
Capitalism is slavery and yes it has been around since the beginning of agriculture and civilization.
Socialism is what keeps capitalism from turning into fascism.
America is a socialist system as is Europe.
Cultural Marxists
want to turn socialism into communism. Capitalists want to turn capitalism
into fascism.



posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by jjf3rd77
 


You don't have to understand it...but it's always going to be there. Even during cavemen times. The one with the most sticks got the bigger fire!

That was exactly my point. Human males compete for the sexual favours of females by displaying marks of status. The size and cost of the display determines status, so too much is never enough. The entire known world wasn’t enough for Alexander. The largest structure on Earth was needed to satisfy Khufu. American presidents demand nothing less than the power to wipe out the human race.

This kind of thing will end only when human nature changes, and – unless we all upload ourselves into computers or something – human nature will never change.

I disagree, however, that capitalism and socialism/communism are the only social options open to us. Remember, neither existed until about two hundred years ago. Before that we had imperialism associated with mercantilism, the reign of absolute monarchs, theocracies, feudalism and so on. Feudalism appears to be the ‘natural’ human social contract, although it is unequal and exploitative to the last degree and no-one in their right minds would prefer to live under it. Very little money circulates under a feudal system, by the way.

My personal view is that democracy mediated by the rule of law is the best social system, and that a large role exists for the state in ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism. In other words, the best government for human beings is the kind favoured in Nordic countries, where capitalism and a degree of socialism exist side by side. Incidentally, I think the American system is fine in theory but tends towards gigantism in practice, and is destined to choke on itself – probably quite soon. It will be interesting to see what system, if any, emerges from that catastrophe.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:09 AM
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Originally posted by jjf3rd77
reply to post by RogerT
 


That idea has a lot of loopholes and a lot of questions in order to be set up. People today love welfare but don't want to give their hard earned money to others. What makes you think it will be different with any other type of resource that would take the place of money?


Yes it does, you are right.
But then again, who said changing this toilet of a society we currently live in, into something we can actually be proud of, feel safe in, and be creatively expressed in, is going to be an easy, effortless move?
Personally, I don't think we are going to do this by choice anyway, at least not consensus. It's going to be the only available solution left once we're done screwing up the scene.
I give it less than 18 months to total global financial collapse, and I'll be surprised if we make it that far.
my 2c only, no sources, no references, no proof.
PS. I am not suggesting money be replaced by the way, I am suggesting money will cease to exist, except for humerous anecdotes at social gatherings.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by RRokkyy
 


So you think the people who love capitalism would love to have facism yet you don't think the people who love socialism would like to see communism be put in place???

You have to admit that it is similar and obviously an extreme form of it. You can't get to communism without socialism. It's just not possible.

And btw this is not propaganda it's just thoughts and facts and conclusions made from those. We already live in a global capitalist society, It's pretty much a fact that no other system could have developed naturally otherwise it would have.



posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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The fact that some tribes of hunters and gatherers are able to survive without money proves nothing. It certainly does not prove that their establishment is viable for larger groups, like the whole nation states or the whole planet. There is an inherent limit to the viable size of tribal moneyless egalitarian societies based on our brain. Its called Dunbar's number.

Money is a wonderful invention. Its one of the main reasons for the huge advancement of mankind in the last few millenias. I am yet to see some alternative system proposed which would be realistic, wont be vague, or which wont contain the equivalent of monetary system inside, just masked and called differently.

The flaws of pure capitalism can be fixed by some regulation and welfare state, without compromising the benefits.



edit on 15/8/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 03:59 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


Money has also enabled and empowered:

WAR
POVERTY
FAMINE
DESPOTS
VIOLENCE
CORRUPTION
CHILD SLAVERY
SEX SLAVERY
COMPETITION AT THE COST OF CO-OPERATION

in fact 95% of ALL CRIME is financially motivated.

The monetary system forces people into mindless, tedious JOBS (just over broke's), even when about 70% of all human labor could be replaced TODAY with automation. This robs humanity of an enormous pool of creativity and talent and breeds malcontent, apathy and boredom.

The monetary system breeds competition, secrecy, protectionism and perpetuates run-away greed.

True creativity to invent and produce socially beneficial products is smothered by financial motivation and results in garbage, socially useless products, that advertising and marketing (driven by money) conditions society to think they want and need.

Contrary to the Myth, money is not a motivational factor to the creative process, it is the exact opposite. The greatest leaps in technology have come from spontaneously arising inspired thought. Money motivation simply gets in the way. Really, this is rather self-evident when you think it through.

Within a monetary system, NO product can ever reach its true development potential. Money enforces a system of planned obselescence, or competition requires cheap materials and production environment creating low quality crapola.

The monetary system encourages a raping of the planet's resources to support an ever expanding economy, not a sustainable co-existence with our environment and a static economy.

NO MONEY promotes: sharing, co-operation, quality focus
MONEY promotes: hoarding, competition, profit focus

Money was useful at one point, but has run its course and is now the greatest obstacle to a free, empowered, expressed and harmonious humanity.

Try this, look at any serious issue we currently face on either a global or local context, remove money, and see what's left over.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 06:09 AM
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reply to post by RogerT
 




WAR POVERTY FAMINE DESPOTS VIOLENCE CORRUPTION CHILD SLAVERY SEX SLAVERY COMPETITION AT THE COST OF CO-OPERATION


So you think these things wont exist without money? What makes barter economy immune to them?



in fact 95% of ALL CRIME is financially motivated.


Read: motivated by desire for material WEALTH. People dont desire money for money itself, but because wealth can be obtained with money - money represents wealth and material resources. Without money, the crime will still happen, people would just steal material wealth itself, without the money middleman.



The monetary system forces people into mindless, tedious JOBS (just over broke's), even when about 70% of all human labor could be replaced TODAY with automation.


[citation needed]. I really doubt 70% of jobs can be replaced today with robots. Anyway, its not monetary system which forces them to slave labor. Its bad social policy of the government. Do you think in barter economy everything will be suddenly automated and everyone will not have to work?



True creativity to invent and produce socially beneficial products is smothered by financial motivation and results in garbage, socially useless products, that advertising and marketing (driven by money) conditions society to think they want and need.


Capitalism has facilitated the greatest product innovation compared to other systems. Ever seen some socialist products? And you are wrong when you think marketing and advertising makes people buy products like some mind control. Its just an information.



Contrary to the Myth, money is not a motivational factor to the creative process, it is the exact opposite. The greatest leaps in technology have come from spontaneously arising inspired thought. Money motivation simply gets in the way. Really, this is rather self-evident when you think it through


No its not self-evident. Money certainly does not demotivate people from creating new things. If by "greatest leaps" you mean initial invention of something completely new, then maybe you are right. But perfecting and improving the implementation of invented new technologies is very motivated by money. Take for example IT, aviation or automobile industry. Where would the computers be without competition driven by profit motive between AND and Intel, or ATi and nVidia today?



Within a monetary system, NO product can ever reach its true development potential. Money enforces a system of planned obselescence, or competition requires cheap materials and production environment creating low quality crapola.


Really? How many times consumers buy new products because the old one broke, as opposed to simply wanting something new? If they want and buy new things even when the old ones are still perfectly functional now, why do you think in system without money they will suddenly use the same car or PC for 20 years?

I agree this is a valid point for some products, but the solution is simple - increasing mandatory warranty law. Not abolition of monetary system.



The monetary system encourages a raping of the planet's resources to support an ever expanding economy, not a sustainable co-existence with our environment and a static economy.


Because without money people will suddenly want far less material wealth and spend less of the planetary resources. I would say it will be the other way around - without available money limiting consumption, everyone will start to consume resources like the rich do now.



NO MONEY promotes: sharing, co-operation, quality focus MONEY promotes: hoarding, competition, profit focus


I fail to see how no money promotes sharing, cooperation of quality focus. You have not provided any system which will take the place of status quo once the money is abolished. Once we know what will replace the status quo, then we can compare. So, what is the alternative?



Try this, look at any serious issue we currently face on either a global or local context, remove money, and see what's left over.


All serious issues can be summed as caused either by human stupidity or human evil. The unlimited desire for material wealth and power is not caused by money. It can exist without money, they will just directly steal and hoard material wealth and products.



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by RogerT
 

I agree with some of your points, not all of them.

The point you have left out, I think – and that many others fail to understand – is that money, and the systems designed to account for it and multiply it impose certain imperatives of their own upon us.

Double-entry bookkeeping, for example, presupposes that all values can be converted into cash.

Interest creates all kinds of distortions in the assessed values of goods and provides lenders with an incentive for luring their customers into debt.

Derivatives markets make these distortions worse, and turn value into numerical abstraction.

One could go on, but why bother? When one is up to one’s ears in money or debt, how to listen to reason?



posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by RogerT
reply to post by Maslo
 


Money has also enabled and empowered:

WAR
POVERTY
FAMINE
DESPOTS
VIOLENCE
CORRUPTION
CHILD SLAVERY
SEX SLAVERY
COMPETITION AT THE COST OF CO-OPERATION

in fact 95% of ALL CRIME is financially motivated.

The monetary system forces people into mindless, tedious JOBS (just over broke's), even when about 70% of all human labor could be replaced TODAY with automation. This robs humanity of an enormous pool of creativity and talent and breeds malcontent, apathy and boredom.



So you think we won't have all those things without money??

WAR- We would still have war over resources because we do not have equal resources on this planet
Poverty- No money = everybody will be poor. Nobody will be able to advance in class status
Famine- People will still die of disease, natural disasters, and lack of equal resources
Despots- Who do you think will set up the moneyless system? The Rich! They will be above the system. Whoever controls the resources will be in complete control of society. Take a look at what happened to USSR and why Communism there didn't work. People got too greedy.
Violence- Some people are just born violent and born competitive.
Child slavery- People will still trade children for other purposes without money. Money is just easy access to these kids.
Sex Slavery- Same reason as Child slavery^ People will trade their bodies for power and other resources.

Competition- There will be NO Competition in this type of society. If everybody is working for the good of society, then we would all be mindless drones. We won't stray from what the people want us to do. We won't be creative because there would be no point to creativity. We would just do our menial jobs.

And while I believe that most jobs will eventually be over taken by computers, there is still a lot of questions that need to be answered for us to put in this type of utopian system in place. I honestly wouldn't mind the idea of the Venus Project sometime in the future. But It is IMPOSSIBLE to put it in place now, and it was IMPOSSIBLE to have it in place during any other period in time!!!!!


edit on 16-8-2011 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


Sorry bro', you're just not getting it. No worries. Each to his own. No point commenting on your post.
One exception, why do you think the only alternative to money is a barter system?



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Exactly, well said.
Getting rid of money removes the facilitator of my quoted issues. Root causes are obviously social, that's not in question. We'll never learn to share whilst a monetary system empowers corruption, greed and privilege through power. Get rid of it, and we might just have a chance.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by jjf3rd77

And while I believe that most jobs will eventually be over taken by computers, there is still a lot of questions that need to be answered for us to put in this type of utopian system in place. I honestly wouldn't mind the idea of the Venus Project sometime in the future. But It is IMPOSSIBLE to put it in place now, and it was IMPOSSIBLE to have it in place during any other period in time!!!!!


edit on 16-8-2011 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)


Dude, argue for your limitations and they're yours. would you mind terribly if I don't agree to share your view of impossibility. Call me a renegade, call me a fool, just don't call me Mary. hugs.



posted on Aug, 17 2011 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by jjf3rd77
 




The Problem with Utopia: Why Capitalism is our only option


Well first, there is no utopia and never will be as long as we, mankind, hold the keys to the kingdom.

After that, the virtue of (80 proof) capitalism is that it allows the individual the opportunity to develop and expand themselves to their fullest potential... when it comes to things like inventiveness and occupations and life in general. It's downfalls are the open avenue for the greedy and dishonest to abuse the system at the expense of the individual.

Socialism, on the other hand, moves the greed factor from the private sector and into the government. And since the human condition doesn't mind, the greed breeds true there as well and the outcome is the same except minus the individual's freedom to develop and profit from their work.

Socialism looks out for the poor by placing the burden on the wealthy.
Capitalism looks out for the wealthy by placing the burden on the poor.
Neither extreme works well because there is always someone looking for a loophole. The wealthy hate to pay taxes and the poor hate to work for peanuts.

Now, like a good drink, a proper blend might bring a certain utopian feeling... but that too will eventually be defeated by the greed or laziness of someone and all you'll end up with is another hangover and a revolution.

Nice topic. S&F!




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