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Why Capitalism Is Doomed: The Contradictions at Its Core

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posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by Chewingonmushrooms
 


Look, I don't have all the answers OK?

All I can do is observe, comment, and hopefully educate. It's up to you to decide what to do about it.

The state only has power if we allow it to. But I'm not even convinced myself that socialism would work in today's world, as people have become so ignorant and naive of the reality of politics.

But that doesn't stop me talking about the reality of what socialism is all about, which is really my concern, not trying to convince anyone it could work, even though I end up doing that simply because people challenge that part of it, usually after losing the argument about what it is.

How can we debate politics when people think capitalism is free-markets, and socialism is big government?

Maybe it's my naivety, but I am convinced that if people learned what socialism really is they would embrace it.

edit on 3/23/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


I never implied that you did, nor would I think anyone would have all the answers. That's why I believe it is important to communicate and inform each other. Socialism has been given a bad rap to the point that it is a derogatory word to some which then acts as a sort of trigger. More people need to become aware that Capitalism isn't God sent like we've been told and Socialism isn't the devil's work as implied, but that requires education and right now the state has a monopoly on education.

But I am beginning to believe that the tide is changing and conventional education is a thing of the past. Most of the younger generation now learn through exploration and networking, primarily through the internet. Search engines provide the equivalent of thousands of libraries, and access to cutting edge ideas. This system that we have in place requires propaganda and misinformation and IMO they are starting (as in just now starting) to lose their grip. What I see is a domino effect which I think will change our direction into a new era.

Personally I think new systems and ideas will come into play, possibly with new terms attached to older ideas (similar to Anarchy being called libertarian socialism). Or maybe a new type of Socialism will be born with updated/modern take.
edit on 23-3-2012 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK

Originally posted by libertytoall

Last I checked it was the mega PUBLIC companies destroying the free market, not private business. Besides the point I disagree wholeheartedly.


Public companies are not worker owned companies, they work on the same principle as capitalist companies.
They make money for private individuals, not the workers who work at the company. That is not socialism.

So sorry, no soup for you.

That's bull because everyone is free to own part of those companies. It's called owning stock. Nothing stops a worker from owning part of their company that employs them unless it's a private company, and in that case they don't deserve to own part of it unless the OWNER/s decide.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by libertytoall

Originally posted by ANOK

Originally posted by libertytoall

Last I checked it was the mega PUBLIC companies destroying the free market, not private business. Besides the point I disagree wholeheartedly.


Public companies are not worker owned companies, they work on the same principle as capitalist companies.
They make money for private individuals, not the workers who work at the company. That is not socialism.

So sorry, no soup for you.

That's bull because everyone is free to own part of those companies. It's called owning stock. Nothing stops a worker from owning part of their company that employs them unless it's a private company, and in that case they don't deserve to own part of it unless the OWNER/s decide.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)


this is quite easily the most laughable notion i've read since i've joined these boards. the ignorance of some people, though not surprising anymore, utterly amazes me.



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
reply to post by petrus4
 


I somewhat agree, that is why I believe it needs to happen through education not violent revolution.

Well maybe a revolutionary change in the education system would be a good start.


I'm not saying anything here, ANOK, that isn't what I've seen first hand. Going to Nimbin was an extremely positive experience for me; and a radicalising one. It made me realise, on a more directly practical basis than I ever had in the past, that the only reason why we have the mess that we currently do, is purely because people have been brainwashed to believe that there is no other way; and they don't want to give said brainwashing up, because the one thing that they're more terrified of than anything else, is having to actually be responsible for their actions.

There's one other particularly nasty thing that happens, when you are not part of the conventional workforce. Your attention tends to get drawn to the fact that inevitably, you are eventually going to die; which means you'd damn well better make sure that whatever time you have here, is spent as effectively as possible. There are few things that people demand protection from more, than being consciously reminded of their own mortality.

It might not always seem like it, but you and I are on the same side, ANOK.
edit on 23-3-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by eboyd


this is quite easily the most laughable notion i've read since i've joined these boards. the ignorance of some people, though not surprising anymore, utterly amazes me.


How is this a laughable notion? I'll wait patiently for most likely no reply.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by libertytoall

Originally posted by eboyd


this is quite easily the most laughable notion i've read since i've joined these boards. the ignorance of some people, though not surprising anymore, utterly amazes me.


How is this a laughable notion? I'll wait patiently for most likely no reply.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)


because it shows your ignorance of how publicly owned companies work. you claim that everyone is free to own a part of a publicly traded company, but this neglects the fact that a main function of worker ownership of a company is direct and equal control by the workers. in a publicly traded company, including one in which a worker owns stock, if the worker has any say at all it is always proportional to the amount of money he has invested in the company. with regular workers that amount is next to nothing. you only own the company according to some stock chart that has your name on it stating that you own one-one-thousandth of the company. publicly traded companies still have a hierarchy (one that is actually more intricate than private companies), force their workers to meet unrealistic quotas under threat of reduced wages or even termination, allow those with the largest investment in the firm to control the monetary flow and in essence to decide who gets paid what and where the corporations' money goes, etc. and publicly traded companies are actually worse than private firms in that they limit the liability the top officials are responsible for, allowing them to be irresponsible with their investments and get out of dodge with cash just before the company crashes into bankruptcy. here's a video that shows worker cooperatives in action. maybe this will give you an idea of what i am talking about and why your comment was ignorant:




posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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The term capitalism is loaded. It is defined by socialists for socialists

The starting point of a philosophy should be the basic interactions between people, not the system. Communism starts with "the system owns you", with the subtext being that you owe you life to other people, another name for slavery.

Private property and a free market are the only means by which to acheive real freedom and prosperity. No one does as much for another, over his whole life, as he does for himself. In collectivism much less is done and much more is wasted.

edit on 23-3-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Semicollegiate
Private property and a free market are the only means by which to acheive real freedom and prosperity. No one does as much for another, over his whole life, as he does for himself. In collectivism much less is done and much more is wasted.


The only problem with this is, that in nine out of ten cases on this forum, the only reason why anyone believes the above, is purely because of (in the case of Americans) nationalistic brainwashing. On closer analysis, they normally don't have a clue what they're talking about, other than what either the government or Bill O'Reilly has taught them to think.

I did say nine out of ten, however, and I've met the proverbial one; a guy in another thread who posted a very positive experience that he had running a business, in such a way that it benefited not only him, but a neighbouring business as well.

I'm also not against private ownership, for the record. I don't have a lot of possessions, but I am attached to some of those that I've got.

My problem isn't primarily with Capitalism. It's with conservatives on this forum who are extremely adamant in their support of it, (particularly in terms of the sort of generalisations used above) and who then reveal themselves to be frighteningly ignorant and unintelligent, when they are asked to actually defend their claims.



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by petrus4
 


I think communism is a description of what society will be like when everyone knows what needs to be done and does it. That stage would be reached eventually with any system when the point is reached that material goods of all kinds are readily available. Like drinking fountain water is today.

People who use the term capitalism like it is opposite of socialism are in my opinion schooled only in socialism. That is to say centrally controlled socio/eco/political systems. Kind of a coincidence that democracy(the United States) and propaganda (broadsheet newspapers) started at the same time. Late 18th century.

Free market competition makes all products at the lowest price and only products that the consumer wants (need being a subset of want).

Any other system is pie in the sky wastefulness.


edit on 23-3-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-3-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by eboyd

Originally posted by libertytoall

Originally posted by eboyd


this is quite easily the most laughable notion i've read since i've joined these boards. the ignorance of some people, though not surprising anymore, utterly amazes me.


How is this a laughable notion? I'll wait patiently for most likely no reply.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)


because it shows your ignorance of how publicly owned companies work. you claim that everyone is free to own a part of a publicly traded company, but this neglects the fact that a main function of worker ownership of a company is direct and equal control by the workers.

I'm not ignorant at all on how public companies work. Why should the workers have any say in how the company operates? Did the workers shell out the capital and thought to establish the business? Why do you assume workers should have control of a company as if it's a god given right when they didn't shell out the capital to start it?


in a publicly traded company, including one in which a worker owns stock, if the worker has any say at all it is always proportional to the amount of money he has invested in the company. with regular workers that amount is next to nothing. you only own the company according to some stock chart that has your name on it stating that you own one-one-thousandth of the company.

Yeah and if it goes up 20% you just made 20% regardless. What's the problem?


publicly traded companies still have a hierarchy (one that is actually more intricate than private companies), force their workers to meet unrealistic quotas under threat of reduced wages or even termination,

That is not an attribute only to public companies solely neither does it describe all of them. Some are like the way you describe and many are not. This can even happen in your Utopian socialist system. If someone is not pulling their weight it effects everyone's profit does it not? So they would be likely fired anyway if they don't reach quotas. As far as the reduced wages show me some examples of big companies reducing their workers wages. I think you will be hard pressed to give examples.


allow those with the largest investment in the firm to control the monetary flow and in essence to decide who gets paid what and where the corporations' money goes, etc.

But they have put up the most capital for the business to operate and expand. Why is this such a complex scenario for you to grasp?


and publicly traded companies are actually worse than private firms in that they limit the liability the top officials are responsible for, allowing them to be irresponsible with their investments and get out of dodge with cash just before the company crashes into bankruptcy.

There are thousands upon thousands of public companies and a few go foul and you hate the entire system? What you describe accounts for maybe 1% of the market..


here's a video that shows worker cooperatives in action. maybe this will give you an idea of what i am talking about and why your comment was ignorant:


I don't think I'm the one who's ignorant here. I think you are easily persuaded because of your lacking knowledge in economics.
edit on 23-3-2012 by libertytoall because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by libertytoall
That's bull because everyone is free to own part of those companies. It's called owning stock. Nothing stops a worker from owning part of their company that employs them unless it's a private company, and in that case they don't deserve to own part of it unless the OWNER/s decide.


How is it bull? And why is this making you so emotional?

Owning a part share in a company is not owning your own labour, it is not socialism. Socialism is the workers ownership of the means of production, not third party owners who do not work at the company.

Under socialism the workers themselves own and control the business they work at, no third party owners. (Shares holders that do not work at the company are in essence 'private owners'). This ensures the workers receive the full compensation for their labour, not a 'wage, while others take the profit.

Workers have been exploited by private owners since capitalism took over from feudalism, they are owed by the private owners imo.

But regardless no one needs to own someone elses company, people just need to be educated that there is an alternative. Workers can organize and open their own cooperative businesses. People just need to be educated on the benefits for everyone using the socialist economic model. There is nothing wrong with that. Workers need to empower themselves and not rely on the capitalist system to give them 'jobs'. It is already happening, there are worker owned companies that do better than private ones, the world is not coming to an end.





edit on 3/24/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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Capitalism will be saved. Just wait.

A huge period of growth is just around the corner.

I'm not making this up. Not being sarcastic. This is what happens.

Don't fix your sights on the bumps in the road.

Capitalism works not because it's perfect but because it frees people.

Only free people can create the sort of world where a smile is a smile.

Socialism and communism imprison people, just the opposite.

They attempt to control yet they destroy the spirit of the people and their freedoms.

It's no surprise that these arguments against capitalism happen when there're bumps.

Spin your arguments however you want, but capitalism has made life better for most people.
edit on 24-3-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 12:38 AM
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Originally posted by jonnywhite
Capitalism will be saved. Just wait.

A huge period of growth is just around the corner.

I'm not making this up. Not being sarcastic. This is what happens.


The problem with capitalism isn't a new growth period, they come and go. Capitalism has cycles of ups and downs, where the workers always lose while the capitalists wealth continues to grow.

It's too late for growth, all your 'jobs' have gone to cheaper markets. Capitalists will still get wealthier, but the workers will not. Just because the wealth of those at the top is looking good, it doesn't mean it helps the rest of us.

Wealth Gap Widens in Developed Nations: OECD



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 12:59 AM
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Originally posted by libertytoall
I'm not ignorant at all on how public companies work. Why should the workers have any say in how the company operates?


1. because, as a collective, depending on the size of the business, the workers generally do a majority of the work, not to mention they are not property. if the boss decides he wants to reduce the number of lunch breaks, or add any plethora of new policies that directly affect and conflict with the workers' interests, they deserve to at least have a say in the matter.

2. as was found through numerous studies, the first of which was done at MIT, incentive through the profit motive, while generally useful for rudimentary tasks, is actually counter productive in regards to creative work. rather it is what has been deemed the purpose motive that drives creativity. that is giving workers some form of control (this mainly refers to giving workers control over their own work day but could be extended to control over the running of the business itself, ie: if you have a say over the operations of the business you work in, you will have a purpose to be more productive in your creative work in the workplace). Dan Pink discusses this in detail here:



3. studies have been done on worker cooperatives around the world for decades. all of the empirical studies provide evidence to suggest that worker cooperatives generally...

-are more productive
-provide better job and income security
-survive longer
-provide superior products
-provide their workers with better benefits
-etc.

...than similarly situated capitalist firms. you can check some of these studies, and articles based on them, at the following links:

Business Ownership by Workers: Are Worker Cooperatives a Viable Option by Georgeanne Artz & Younjun Kim
Productivity in Cooperatives and Worker-Owned Enterprises: Ownership and Participation Make a Difference! by John Logue & Jacquelyn Yates
Worker Cooperative Productivity by David Schweikart
Participation and Productivity: A Comparison of Worker Cooperatives and Conventional Firms in the Plywood Industry by Ben Craig and John Pencavel

here are some quotes:


The member-employees in a worker cooperative control the firm democratically (one-member, one-vote).


Case study evidence suggests that worker cooperatives are more likely to provide employee benefits than similar conventional firms in their industries.


Greater employee participation in workplace decisions is linked to better firm performance and enhanced employee motivation, commitment, and job satisfaction in a number of empirical studies.


Giving employees an ownership stake in the success of the firm through profit sharing, ESOPs, or more directly as seen in worker cooperatives does in general seem to improve, or at least not reduce, firm productivity relative to comparable firms without employee ownership. Having rights to the returns of the firm provides employees an incentive to increase their efforts to enhance performance of the firm since part of their pay will depend on the profits of the firm.


Workers who have greater authority to make decisions about how they do their work, the type of work they do, and the products they develop will work more effectively and will be more invested in the fate of their employer.


It can also bring diverse perspectives and generate more ideas, particularly from those employees closest to the production process, the shop floor.


Just as the level of financial stake held by employees appears to impact the magnitude of productivity effects at the firm level, so may the level of employee participation in decision making.


this next quote explains why employee participation works best when combined with worker ownership:


If employee participation is not combined with some share in the firm’s profits, they may focus more on improving their working conditions than on decisions that improve organizational performance, and therefore, profitability of the firm.


continued....



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 01:32 AM
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Research focused on worker cooperatives tends to find positive productivity effects. For example, Bartlett et al. (1992) compared the performance of worker cooperatives to private firms using a set of Italian worker cooperatives in light manufacturing matched with similarly sized private firms in the same region and sector. They reported higher value-added per worker in the cooperatives relative to the private firm, indicating that the worker cooperatives were more productive. Craig et al. (1995) showed that worker cooperatives in the U.S. plywood industry are 6-14% more efficient than conventional mills in terms of output, holding input constant.


Perotin (2006) indicates that the creation of worker cooperatives has been higher than French firms in general, and the exit rate of worker cooperatives has been the same or slightly lower, using data for the years 1979-1998.


the difference in survival rates is not explained by increased productivity, financial strength, or compensation flexibility, but rather linked to greater employee stability in employee-owned firms.


Improved information sharing characteristic of worker cooperatives and employee-owned firms can directly impact product quality.



Did the workers shell out the capital and thought to establish the business?


in the case of worker cooperatives, generally they either purchase a start up business by pooling money, or they pool resources to purchase an already existing business. newly hired employees generally need to pay a membership fee which can be paid upon being hired, paid in payments, or otherwise financed through their paycheck over time. in the case of conventional firms, consider this: the workers labor using capital (ie: tools and raw materials) to create finished products that generate more capital (ie: revenue). if there were no workers, there would be no capital in the first place. whether they "shell out" the capital up front or generate it after the fact, the capital exists because of the workers. while the owner may have had a hand in the creation of said capital, it would never have happened without the workers, unless it is a very small scale business.


Yeah and if it goes up 20% you just made 20% regardless. What's the problem?


1. the workers who do not own stock see a miniscule amount of those profits at best (and often they see none of them) and that is after everyone at the top takes their shares of those profits.

2. if i own $100 of stock in the company, my stock goes up to $120 when the stock increases by 20%. in the same scenario, the CEO, who has $1,000,000 invested in the firm, sees his stock go up to $1,200,000 AND he gets HUGE bonuses and other payoffs for doing labor which, i would argue, doesn't warrant even a percentage of that amount.

3. for the reasons listed above, worker participation is vital. even the worker who does own stock doesn't get any increase in decision making power from his stock increase.


That is not an attribute only to public companies solely neither does it describe all of them. Some are like the way you describe and many are not. This can even happen in your Utopian socialist system. If someone is not pulling their weight it effects everyone's profit does it not?


the first part of my comment you are referring to here is vital. workplace hierarchies (ie: relationships between owners or managers and low end workers) create environments where bosses rule over their employees and order them to work hard, often requiring them to meet deadlines that are unrealistic, causing highly stressful workplace conditions. this doesn't happen in worker cooperatives because they are not profit driven, but rather values driven, and ironically, as stated above, they are more productive than profit driven firms:


Whereas, conventional firms are assumed to maximize profits, worker cooperatives have an explicit purpose to provide employment for their members. Historically, worker cooperatives have tended to emerge in times of economic downturn and social upheaval in response to high unemployment as a means of preventing plant closings and creating new jobs.


Creation of worker cooperatives has often been driven by factors other than expected economic returns, particularly social and economic justice concerns. When asked to define success, respondents to a survey of worker cooperatives in Canada listed: longevity, living wages, meaningful work, personal development, financial success and profitability, and provision of values-driven products.


continued...



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 01:44 AM
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There are thousands upon thousands of public companies and a few go foul and you hate the entire system? What you describe accounts for maybe 1% of the market..


that 1% accounts for 90% of the world's economic perils as those businesses are the ones we call "too big to fail". i'm not sitting here trying to claim that every big business is partaking in corrupt practices, but the very system breeds greed and a social and economic pecking order that is the very essence of the extreme economic inequalities that exist in America today.

i believe that if people were educated on all of the economic alternatives, if we had a truly free market, where "too big to fail" businesses were allowed to fail and government didn't prevent worker cooperatives from taking their place, people would naturally shift to economic structures under worker control. that is my socialist vision. that is the essence of socialism.



I don't think I'm the one who's ignorant here. I think you are easily persuaded because of your lacking knowledge in economics.


lol really?? i'm ignorant regarding economics, yet i'm the one who just cited papers based on studies done by people that work in some of the most prestigious college economics programs in the country while you bring no empirical studies to the table, just make empty assertions?? ok then haha.



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by petrus4

Originally posted by Semicollegiate
Private property and a free market are the only means by which to acheive real freedom and prosperity. No one does as much for another, over his whole life, as he does for himself. In collectivism much less is done and much more is wasted.


The only problem with this is, that in nine out of ten cases on this forum, the only reason why anyone believes the above, is purely because of (in the case of Americans) nationalistic brainwashing. On closer analysis, they normally don't have a clue what they're talking about, other than what either the government or Bill O'Reilly has taught them to think.



I agree, many people are "right for the wrong reason". Which I guess also means many people are wrong for the right reasons. Sad and distressing.

I like to think that in free market economics, anyone can make the slow, thought about for a while, decisions dead right. The smartest people can make complex quick decisions to their own advantage but not at the expense of the regular folks because a free market wouldn't fluxuate (go through business cycles) like our artificially controlled economy does.

If everyone understood economics, there wouldn't be monopolies or financially enabled boom-bust cycles.



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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Originally posted by eboyd
that 1% accounts for 90% of the world's economic perils as those businesses are the ones we call "too big to fail". i'm not sitting here trying to claim that every big business is partaking in corrupt practices, but the very system breeds greed and a social and economic pecking order that is the very essence of the extreme economic inequalities that exist in America today.


What would your suggestion be for repairing this perceived inequality?



posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by Semicollegiate
reply to post by petrus4
 


Free market competition makes all products at the lowest price and only products that the consumer wants (need being a subset of want).


There's a few problems, here.

a} Price shouldn't necessarily be the ideal metric, where products are concerned. If I buy something that is dirt cheap, only to have it fall apart the moment I get home, or a couple of days later, then I'm not going to be happy. Some of us actually consider quality and robustness to be more important than price. When I was a child, to a degree it was still possible to buy a quality product, if you were willing to pay a higher price. These days, that no longer really seems to be true at all. Everything is rubbish now, with low price used as the chief justification of that.

b} When you say "only products that the consumer wants," you're not talking about individual consumers, but about a group. I say this from direct personal experience, as someone who in a variety of ways, demographically represents around 7% of the overall population.

One of the main examples I can think of, is that the Orc in my avatar, in World of Warcraft, played a character class which, in the game, was referred to as a Survivalist Hunter. The demographic of the playerbase which chose to use this character class, was about that number; 3-7%. We were at times a vocal group, despite being small; or at least I was, and we were generally people who were extremely loyal to the game, yet Blizzard decided to change the class in a manner that effectively destroyed it in terms of the reasons why we valued it, because they thought it didn't have sufficient popularity. Blizzard has made a number of these types of decisions, and I think they have a lot to do with why that game has begun to decline in the last two years.

Another example; one of my favourite foods is tempeh. (Fermented soybeans) I know of a single vendor who consistently stocks it within an hour's travel by car from my location, and another in the town I'm in, who does so intermittently. When I was in northern New South Wales recently, for close to six months, tempeh was available in abundance not only from a local supermarket there, but from another store as well. It typically sold out within 4-5 days, so it wasn't just me who was buying it. I also genuinely love the stuff, even by myself; if they were selling it here, I'd probably buy two blocks a day of it, quite seriously.

They do it with television series as well, though. You might remember a science fiction show called Firefly which was on several years ago. A lot of people loved that, and yet the executives axed it independently of the desires of the viewers. There was such a big outcry about it that they ended up making a movie about it; but I've noticed that again, Fox in particular does it with any show which they worry requires too much thought from the audience. They're more worried about something being "widely accessible," than they are about it being good quality.

I originally had several other examples of that, but I got rid of them to have space for the most important point.

You say need is a subset of want. This is psychopathic thinking. Needs are defined as things which we will die if we don't have. Wants are things which might well be nice, but which we can survive without. I've seen in other places that Capitalism at best assigns equal value to both, and at worst assigns higher value to wants; when again, it should be the other way around.


Any other system is pie in the sky wastefulness.


This is a generalisation. It's also bigotry, and truthfully has a rote, brainwashed sound to it as well.

I've never come across any other system, which was incapable of being improved over time. If Capitalism has the self-perception of being perfect, then to me that is probably the single strongest piece of evidence that it perhaps needs to be thrown out.
edit on 24-3-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)





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