It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Why my mind is closing towards Capitalism

page: 1
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

+82 more 
posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:26 PM
So after talking with ANOK in my thread on OWS and socialism, I've started looking around the net for PDFs to read about it. One of the first things I found, was a refutation of it by Ludwig von Mises. I've downloaded it, but I'm noticing how ambivalent I feel towards reading it.

I'm trying to keep an open mind towards both sides, here; and I know a lot of Capitalist advocates say that what we're seeing in contemporary society is not legitimate Capitalism. I think that's true; but at the same time, there is one overpowering reason why, whether pure or impure, corporate or otherwise, I can't advocate Capitalism as a system. What is said reason?

Somebody always goes hungry; and Capitalist advocates are ok with that. We still end up with a homeless problem. We still end up with Africa being essentially nothing but a giant pile of AIDS infested, rotting corpses.

Various reasons are given as to why that's morally acceptable. I tend to find that they usually reduce down to social Darwinism or the "useless eater," hypothesis; i.e., if someone can't or won't get a job, then let them die.

Contrary to how it might seem, I do not advocate avoidance of work. I do, however, think that society should put a lot more effort into creating a scenario where people are able to find the sort of work that they are best suited to. If that was to happen, it would benefit not only the individual, but society as a whole. I also don't think that a person should automatically be judged unfit to work, simply because they don't have the aptitude for a job that somebody else considers appropriate for them.

In other words, I'm not a fan of the, "I took whatever job I could find, regardless of how much it sucks, so those filthy hippie vermin should damn well do the same," argument. I don't think it benefits either the individual person or society as a whole. I've read a lot of stories online recently about Americans with PhDs or Master's degrees, working as janitors or at McDonald's. Is your country really benefiting from having its' intelligence wasted like that?

One more thing. I consider John D. Rockefeller to quite literally be the closest thing I've ever heard of to Satan incarnate, with his son David taking second place. If the definition of entrepreneurialism is the lives and natures of these men, then I absolutely will oppose it. If it is possible to become wealthy without being a raging psychopath, I have no objection to that; but can anyone cite even one example of a prominently wealthy individual, who is not openly evil?

Von Mises and his supporters might claim that the only alternative to a scenario where a single individual (or group of individuals) can theoretically own everything on the planet, to be complete chaos; but I personally am not willing to make the type of moral compromises that Capitalism seems to take for granted. Economics and compassion should not be at odds with each other. I'm writing this in a place where people come to get help, when they sometimes haven't eaten for a week; and where, in pouring sub-tropical rain, I've seen people in sleeping bags on the front verandah.

I'm tired of living in a society which treats any human beings like disposable garbage; and I'm especially tired of hearing people who advocate Capitalism, saying that such a situation is perfectly fine, and even express contempt towards the people in said situations.

I am not saying I have any definite idea of how to, just yet; but I think we can do better...and I think we have to.
edit on 1-2-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

+13 more 
posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:41 PM
I'm of the belief of LIMITED capitalism, government, religion etc.

I'm for limiting corporate CEOs etc to only 100x their lowest paid employee. If you're THAT good and SO valuable, surely you can raise the standard of those that enable you.

There is NO ONE on this planet that is 100x better or works harder than anyone else, but I do believe in incentives and rewards for success, whether deserved or they just got lucky. But not to the extent that we have today.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:49 PM
Its not just Rockefeller though, but that is definitely one of the big ones my friend. I am also in the same boat as you with these feelings. This form of capitalism has been warped and is really just a disguised oligarchy. We need people to be treated with respect,
No more illegal wars
No more taking advantage of developing countries and people
No more dictatorship support
Peacekeepers rather than soldiers

The truth will be revealed, and it will sweep the world over, and the elite will have a whole big problem to contend with, the rest of us. Financial tyranny.

We need something like. Meritocracy. Rule by the competent and compassionate rather than the rich sleezbags that have no connection with the average person.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:55 PM
I believe that capitalism works "best" in its true, unadulterated form, but you do point out some of its flaws. There is not one specific form of government that will protect each individual from failure and protect freedom at the same time.....

except a truly technologically advanced society in which the collection of wealth in no way effects the day to day needs of the individual.

Some people may call it socialism, I call it the eventual evolution of any society that values life and the direction in which their civilization is headed.

As I have said on this site many times, there will come a day when we will all find a way to care for the basic needs of everyone on this planet, regardless of their inherent "value", and we come together to advance a greater cause. Be it knowledge, moving out into space or whatever else.

I believe Alex Collier said it best when he said "why do we pay to live on a planet we were born on?".

As we progress as a society, that statement will ring truer than ever, and we will eventually find a happy medium once money is ousted as the barbaric relic it is.

edit on 1-2-2012 by sheepslayer247 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:59 PM

So after talking with ANOK

Hey what a coincidence, I just made ANOK a friend today. So, I flag this thread, cause the reasons I friended them were pretty much the fact they could get people reading things about class warfare and stuff. They seemed knowledgeable in that thread, so I approached them. I agree with a lot of what you said here, nice read.

+19 more 
posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 09:59 PM
in our culture today, the word "capitalism" gets thrown around where the real thing that's meant is Free market.

a lot of people think that capitalism means having the freedom of choice of who to buy from or sell to, but this is really what is Free Market/Free Trade.

capitalism is the use of power or resources in order to CAPITALIZE over someone else, in order to gain their power or resources.

it's pretty plain and simple.

a socialist society could work very well, IF AND ONLY IF the participants in power do not subdue to greed and megalomania. we COULD all work in a cooperative manner in order to feed, shelter, educate, and make mankind thrive....

But, currently this idea is squashed by human greed. as a whole, we need to get over our Egos and learn that other people are other-selves.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:02 PM
People need to come to terms with the fact that there is no Utopian system, that someone will lose whatever 19th/20th century European intellectuals you're into following. Someone will always profit at the expense of someone else's loss, that is the way of humanity, nature at large and the whole universe.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:05 PM
Make a new system, obviously the systems of old aren't working
So make a new system
There are enough brilliant and caring people in the world that would be up to the task of making a system that benefits all people, and allow our species to thrive. Everyone. Not just the 'western nations', everyone on the planet could prosper from such a system.

Global Space Program for example, that would set humanity on a course of peace and of the stars. Think star trek, and think what kind of system they live in. And now apply that same system to ourselves. I believe star trek has a meritocratic government.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:11 PM

Originally posted by AzureSky

Global Space Program for example, that would set humanity on a course of peace and of the stars. Think star trek, and think what kind of system they live in. And now apply that same system to ourselves. I believe star trek has a meritocratic government.

Boring, really boring, Star Trek is fun because of the klingons and borgs!

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:12 PM
reply to post by AzureSky

Since you mentioned Star trek, 'The Federation' is often interpreted as a 'Utopian Socialist' society. I would love to see a global space program but seriously doubt humanity will ever progress that far. At this point in time it's more likely that we'll use all of our acquired scientific knowledge to send humanity back to the stone age rather than use it to overcome the superstitious, philosophical and ethnic divisions which have characterized society since the beginning of recorded history.
edit on 1-2-2012 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:13 PM
reply to post by AzureSky

haha, synchronistic, i was just about to watch some star trek...and i absolutely agree with you. the "star fleet academy" of the "federation of planets" has a VERY impeccable moral code. they do not practice capitalism at all, it's a very socialist-esque society. all have equal rights, period. no one is of lower class and no one abuses their power. they believe very firmly in free will and respect the natural rights of life and happiness of other life-forms.

the regular social interactions and the over-all societal structure should be a goal for our culture, we're a far way from it.

i grew up watching star trek and learning about their admirable morals and humility since i was about 8..

plus the awesome space and physics was a double bonus.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:15 PM
The USA is crony capitalism bordering on crossing over to fascism
edit on 2/1/2012 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:18 PM
Every economic systems has its flaws, including free market systems. That is why no country has ever been 100% socialist, 100% communist, 100% capitalist, or 100% free market. Every country has some mix of free markets, socialism, communism, and capitalism.

Given that no person in their right mind would want to live in a 100% pure capitalist system, the real question is how much capitalism you want thrown in the mix and how you would curb the bad aspects of capitalism while retaining the good aspects.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:19 PM

Originally posted by lifeissacred
People need to come to terms with the fact that there is no Utopian system, that someone will lose whatever 19th/20th century European intellectuals you're into following. Someone will always profit at the expense of someone else's loss, that is the way of humanity, nature at large and the whole universe.


It is the nature of the psychopaths. It is not the nature of 95% of human beings.

+15 more 
posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:20 PM
Boy, I got a bug to launch photoshop and make some nice infographics for all of you who loooove socialism.

These graphics are simplified of course - easy to understand. Wealth in these graphics I have represented by how full your beer glass is. Beer = Wealth. Okay?

Here is capitalism in its ideal form (it is not in its ideal form in this country right now. We have crony capitalism/fascism at the moment, and that needs to be changed, quickly. I did not make a graphic for fascism.

Anyway: In this graphic, you have a government that is small, performing the functions spelled out int he constitution, using as little money as practical do do it. Citizens are as well-off as their ambition allows.


Citizen A paid attention in school, went to college and got a degree and is making a decent living as an Engineer, maybe - like most folks.

Citizen B decided it would be more fun to smoke weed behind the school rather than go to class, so his grades weren't good enough to get into college. He's finally cleaned up his act but he's still only driving a garbage truck because it's been long enough since his last DUI.

Citizen C worked his way through business school and earned an MBA. As an entrepreneur, he started a garbage collection business. Citizen B works for him - unless he falls off the wagon again.

Citizen D went to Art School and is working as a painter. He doesn't make a killing at it, but he loves what he does. This was his choice and he's content with his life. Plus he has a hot artsy-fartsy girlfriend - that always helps a little.

So you see, everyone has the same opportunity (more or less) to make something of themselves. Some are more fortunate, some less in the beginning, but with hard work and ambition, anyone can achieve their goals in life.


Socialism (as promised by politicians):

All of you do-gooders who love love love the idea of making the playing field even, this is what you THINK socialism is. The government is big enough to administer the national wealth, and doles it out evenly to everyone. The citizens do the same jobs as in the graphic above. but the garbage man makes as much as the garbage company CEO, theoretically. I mean, why should he make more, he only spent 6 years in college and has an IQ twice that of his employee. Why should the engineer work hard? He's not going to benefit any more than the artist. Maybe he'll just cut some corners in that new building he's designing.

Socialism kills ambition, even in it's ideal form.


Socialism (The reality)

Oh, no, this won't happen here, this is America! Puhlease. Do you think power hungry elites are any different than they've ever been throughout history? Answer: NO.

This is the reality of socialism: The government takes it ALL, and doles out as little as it needs to to keep people quiet, no more. everyone lives in poverty, except the ruling elites and their comrades.

Until the inevitable revolution, of course.


So there you go, I hope this little lesson with pictures helped all you ignorant socialists understand what you are finding yourself enamored with. It is dangerous. It is destructive. So knock it off.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:22 PM
Capitalism is only an economic system. It's not political or philosophical. It's big concern is how to generate the most value from available resources, and it does that better than any thing else that's been thought of.

Everyone remembers Adam Smith's 1776 book on the Wealth of Nations, but few remember his book written 17 years before called the Theory of Moral Sentiments. The first sentence is:

'How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it'.

We can't donate to others' happiness unless the system has produced something to donate, and capitalism does that better than anything we've seen.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:23 PM
reply to post by petrus4

And as I was describing, it characterizes EVERY existing political ideology. Whether left wing or right wing, EVERY political ideology emphasizes profit at another's expense. It's by no means a pleasant thing or something we should be proud of, but the point is that everything has a cost, and it's cost is usually at the expensive of someone or something else. Until society develops to a point where it is no longer a necessity for people to perform menial jobs (i.e. a highly technologically advanced society) there will always be inequality and people using others for their own gain (economically speaking).
edit on 1-2-2012 by lifeissacred because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:25 PM
reply to post by AwakeinNM

I loved that!

+4 more 
posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:27 PM
reply to post by AwakeinNM

Your beer analogy doesn't hold water, capitalism relies on the citizens participation just as much as socialism does, socialism does not imply the empty glass is forever, capitalism does.

You can't just say that Socialism will not work because a government holds all the stock, socialist governments may have reasonable policies of only taking a small amount of production to make a surplus that everyone can enjoy.

Authoritarian Communism takes everything, but citizens much watch out for that as they engage socialistic practices, not flee the fact that it might be something that emerges.

posted on Feb, 1 2012 @ 10:30 PM

TextSomebody always goes hungry;


Awesome awesome OP

new topics

top topics

<<   2  3  4 >>

log in