Ten Myths About Capitalism

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posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by daskakik
 


I think that the government was much smaller in the 1800's than most any other time in history. It was certainly smaller than our government now. I can only see small government as a good thing. I rarely look to the 1800s however for an argument for freedom or capitalism.

It is again the principles I am most concerned with and have found no other ideology which is consistent with freedom other than the free market.




posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


Well along with that prosperity came electricity, machinery, trains, less famine, an improved quality of life for a large number of people and general advancement of man kind.

I'm not a fan of the 1800's I don't really care for them actually. But I do like the idea of freedom and I do think that capitalism exemplifies this.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by crankySamurai
 

Actually the moment in US history with the smallest government were the ten or so years under the Articles of Confederation. The federal government was made up of only Congress. There was no president, executive agencies, or courts. There were no federal taxes of any kind. That was given up when they ratified the Constitution.

The 1800's also had the federal government imposing itself on the southern states to the tune of over 1/2 million american deaths.



edit on 7-2-2013 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by crankySamurai
 




Well along with that prosperity came electricity, machinery, trains, less famine, an improved quality of life for a large number of people and general advancement of man kind.


That's always what people say when apologizing for Capitalism. It assumes that human progress can't be achieved without human exploitation which is complete and utter BS. Paying people fairly for their work or resources does not dampen the human drive to innovate, greed just causes people to want to profit to absurd proportion off innovation. The Capitalist version of a free market is only free to the exploiters.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by daskakik
 


I definitely agree will all of that.

Ten years isn't much time for progress though.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


You should stop drinking the tap water... you know it has fluoride in it right?



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by crankySamurai
 


So it's delusional or the result of some fluoridated brain defect to state that innovation is possible without exploitation?



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by crankySamurai
 

But I think it drives the point home that moving away from that and towards the Constitution was a move towards bigger government despite the claims to the contrary.

As for the innovations of that century, one must not forget that many technological advances took place outside of the US. Western Europe probably made an equal contribution to the advancements of the time as the US.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by hawkiye
 


My point is serious. Socialist theory in the mainstream world as well as Sociology would emphasize that the Stalinists and Maoist systems turned Marxist ideology upside down. Nowhere in Marx's theories can you read that a privileged class should rule a nation with iron fists - from this point on, it is not Socialism, it is Bolshevism. You can also point to many shortcomings of these states besides the terror we experienced, which simply contradicted Socialism. The eminent role of money and small-time private property never disappeared - we were told they would later in the stage of Communism. They also never got rid of nation states in Eastern Europe. According to theory, the working class should have had access to college education. Well, that didn't happen because you had to be supported by your parents and working class salaries were notoriously lower that those of bureaucrats and the intelligentsia - something that would not happen in a true Socialist enterprise.

Stop educating us like you know more about the subject, please, you do not. You come across as an ideologue.
I grew up in the Soviet Bloc, studied the theory of Socialism as most intellectuals had to at the time (and most realized that what we were living in was simply not that system). Sociologists underground (who since then became part of the Western mainstream) started to call the system "state capitalism" as that was the actual structure. It did have some Socialist measures and features, but far less than it could have had it been an honest Socialist system and not one that was claimed in name.

From a more critical viewpoint, you could argue that there were striking similarities between Hitler's system (called national socialism initially) and the Soviet Union itself. Though the Soviets claimed to have built on the struggle of the working class, it was, curiously enough, forbidden for ordinary students to read certain writings of Karl Marx, as they would have immediately discovered that the name of the game was large-scale cheating.

Bolshevism is a radical, violent ideology expounded by Lenin. Mao then added his stuff to it and that became Maoism. Both asserted that the capitalist system should be toppled by a class or layer of "professional revolutionaries" - you do not find this in Marx or his Western followers.

Back to the OP, I think every one of the ten myths is a valid score.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:14 AM
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First Id like to see any credible alternatives to capitalism. There are none. China? Nordic countries? These are capitalist, too. Contrary to popular meme, social safety net or authoritarian government is not socialism.
edit on 8/2/13 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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Well, the thing is, there is not one credible alternative somewhere, there are many little strategies. You cannot point to one single place where it has been realized. You can point to specific measures in largely capitalistic societies which are for humanizing an inhuman system. Or, to some periods and places where communal values superseded private greed.

In many ways the Venezuela of Chavez is like that, as was Castro's Cuba. However, without oil it would be difficult to duplicate the measures Chavez did to lift up the poor people in his country. And, while Cubans have some security we do not enjoy (e.g. free living place and medical care), it has been a far cry from democracy and no doubt many lived under surveillance who disliked the regime.

If you read Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins, it becomes clear that aggressive capitalism (not the benign, liberal, welfare type) is all over the globe, so it is next to impossible to be isolated in a positive sense.

John Perkins

Just like for a better human and natural environment, there is not one sacred script one must realize, there are thousands of strategies. What works in Ghana may not work at all in Northern Russia.
It is clear that global corporate interests are against the interests of local communities in most places - the corporate system based upon privation works better in an environment where the masses are deprived and at the same time no responsibility is demanded - they should become passive consumers.

The main point is the bottom-up structure. Presently we have a top-down structure, far worse than the time when we were born. Private capital is having its heyday, especially since the deregulation of the Reagan times, and society has lost its balance in many Western countries - it stands to be toppled in the next decade, as the European kingship was toppled with the French Revolution. I don't think the new generation actually believes all this medieval dogma about the sanctity of free markets.

I do not think China at present could be considered as a Socialist country. In fact, a lot of people there do not even have access to unemployment benefits, or medical care. Actually many apart from cities are not registered by name in any registry these days. China is a very bureaucratic state - partly state capitalism, partly private capitalism, far more naked than ours. Enterprises can actually disappear overnight and crop up in another part of the country - while the rights and the safety of workers are very rarely considered.

Their slogans still pay lip service to Maoism, which in itself was a very controversial branch of Marxist thought. It did manage to resurrect a giant country into the modern age - but it did so at the price of terrible mass suffering, terror and totalitarianism. I hope young Chinese these days want something different. I have heard there are inequalities of income to the rate of 800 - this is certainly not what the European inventors of Socialist ideas would want.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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Let me quote from the preface of the cited John Perkins book:


Some would blame our current problems on an organized conspiracy. I wish it were so simple. Members of a conspiracy can be rooted out and brought to justice. This system, however, is fueled by something far more dangerous than conspiracy. It is driven not by a small band of men but by a concept that has become accepted as gospel: the idea that all economic growth benefits humankind and that the greater the growth, the more widespread the benefits. This belief also has a corollary: that those people who excel at stoking the fires of economic growth should be exalted and rewarded, while those born at the fringes are available for exploitation. The concept is, of course, erroneous. We know that in many countries economic growth benefits only a small portion of the population and may in fact result in increasingly desperate circumstances for the majority. This effect is reinforced by the corollary belief that the captains of industry who drive this system should enjoy a special status, a belief that is the root of many of our current problems and is perhaps also the reason why conspiracy theories abound. When men and women are rewarded for greed, greed becomes a corrupting motivator. When we equate the gluttonous consumption of the earth's resources with a status approaching sainthood, when we teach our children to emulate people who live unbalanced lives, and when we define huge sections of the population as subservient to an elite minority, we ask for trouble. And we get it.
(source site: pdf in my preceding post)



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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Capitalism is a great system if you're part of the upper classes and everything runs hunky dory.

The minute that everything collapses, you have zero safety net under Capitalism and can easily find yourself gone from living the highlife to out on the street in a matter of hours with a bad investment.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by crankySamurai
reply to post by daskakik
 


I think that the government was much smaller in the 1800's than most any other time in history. It was certainly smaller than our government now. I can only see small government as a good thing. I rarely look to the 1800s however for an argument for freedom or capitalism.

It is again the principles I am most concerned with and have found no other ideology which is consistent with freedom other than the free market.


Pure Capitalism is hardly consistent with freedom, at least unless you're part of the upper classes.

Pure Capitalism led to some of the most desperate times in human history during the industrial revolution, certainly for the working poor.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by daskakik
reply to post by crankySamurai
 

But I think it drives the point home that moving away from that and towards the Constitution was a move towards bigger government despite the claims to the contrary.


I in no way disagree with that. I would hope its obvious.



As for the innovations of that century, one must not forget that many technological advances took place outside of the US. Western Europe probably made an equal contribution to the advancements of the time as the US.


Its true that the US was not the only place to be prosperous but to me it seems like it had a bit of an edge on over all improvement of living and generation of wealth (houses, food, cloths, ect.).

To me the point is that freedom brings prosperity. If this is accepted then it has to be understood just exactly what freedom means.

Self-ownership to me seems to be the starting point of freedom for the individual. It must be understood what this is and what this means, the consequences of respecting the individuals claim on his or her own body. This means that the individual is also solely responsible for his or her actions and the consequences there of (If I hit Bob I am responsible and therefore Bob should be angry with me not Jerry. If I gather firewood into a pile I should be able to use the wood for a fire, not my neighbor) and this would be carried out to a societal level.

If however you do not agree that freedom brings prosperity or is in the best interest of people then that's a different debate.

If it is agreed that freedom is the moral avenue then it seems like the discussion should be about what exactly this means and that your energies should be focused there on discovering what freedom is.


edit on 8-2-2013 by crankySamurai because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by crankySamurai
To me the point is that freedom brings prosperity. If this is accepted then it has to be understood just exactly what freedom means.

The truth is that freedom doesn't always bring prosperity. One can look at Somalia and see that in the absence of government, those who are willing to use force are the ones who gain control and often keep prosperity from the rest. One can argue that this is not freedom but the freedom at the onset is what led to the present order.

On the other hand, countries under the rule of monarchs, despite being less free by american standards, also experience the prosperity of the 19th and 20th century.

So, while prosperity can't be had without a certain amount of freedom, I don't think that freedom is a guarantee for prosperity since it does not ensure that others will not employ the use of force.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:34 AM
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reply to post by crankySamurai
 

Abstract nouns like "freedom" are used in empty ideology to wash together significant differences.
Freedom of who or what specifically?

Grammatically, freedom means [someone] is free [from something].

First let's see who the "someone" is.

Classical, Enlightenment-type liberalism of the French and American Revolutions wanted to achieve the maximum freedom of the individual, the citizen - whether or not he/she has money or power - from arbitrary control and tyranny of kings, popes and the like, and as a corollary, even from the State (and checks and balances are designed on the functions of democratic-type states to ensure this).

Neocon ideology, however, wants freedom to corporations, not to individual citizens. It is easy to see that corporations are non-democratic, top-down, authoritarian institutions.

Now let's see the "from something" part.

While the Enlightenment movements wanted freedom of citizens from unreasonable search, arbitrary arrest, freedom from being afraid to speak your mind on subjects like politics and religion - even if it displeased the current rulers, neocon ideology wants freedom of capital and corporations from all and any control by the citizens and their representatives.

The State in democratic countries represents the will of the majority of citizens, the interests of whom are in many cases is directly in conflict with the human and environmental interests of individual citizens as well as the communities they freely join.

In other words, neocon ideology primarily wants to award freedom to big money and the naked power and aggression that usually goes with it, from any and all democratic control by "we the people," but cleverly using the very words and phrases originally invented to ensure the freedom of individuals from tyranny.

While modern global corporations are not much better in terms of freedom than the Communist Party of the Soviets or the Chinese, they do take advantage of Enlightenment principles originally invented to counter exactly such types of unjust and unequal power.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:34 AM
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edit on 2/9/2013 by Kokatsi because: double post



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by daskakik
 


Somalia never had freedom. It was not out of freedom that the system of defacto clans and warlords sprung up. These entities had been around and were always looking to gain more control. When the government fell it took little time for them to assert themselves as the new authority over their regions. Simply having no government does not mean freedom for the individual and this is not what I am claiming.

Your argument is that of a utilitarian, we should pursue means solely on the basis of helping the most number of people or which leads to the most prosperity. While my appeal to you may of been similar, it is not my basis for a free market argument. My basis is it is the only moral system. The only system which claims absolute non-contradictory freedom for the individual. Meaning that simply a prosperous end is not enough to justify the means taken.

I will concede that freedom of the individual is no guarantee for prosperity, but I think it the ideology which offers the best chance at it.

When a group of people are "given" more authority than other individuals, I believe it is nearly impossible to keep this in check. History shows there is a natural tendency to claim superiority when in this position and expand on that basis. In order to eliminate such situations the individual must be able to claim sovereignty with no infringements deemed morally acceptable. For it is under this cover of "morally accepted" violations against the individual that a group is able to expand its functions without mass objection.


edit on 9-2-2013 by crankySamurai because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by Kokatsi
 


I detest neocon ideology. Neocons don't have the slightest clue what a free market is and in no way support the freedom the individual.

The freedom I am talking about is the only freedom there really is. For the individual. The individuals claim on his or her own body and all of the logical consequences there of.

To assert that this is an empty ideology is nothing short of moral bankruptcy for the alternative is the assertion that an entity beside oneself has a higher claim on ones body, the actions of ones body and the products which result from these actions. I am very clear that I am referring to the freedom of the individual and not some legal entity or group of people. Your rant against neocons has nothing to do with the argument I am making. They no more understand individual liberty than you do.

I am referring to freedom of the individual (the someone) from any other individual, or group, who claims to have a right to your body (the something) and the events set in motion there of.

Is that clear enough for you?


edit on 9-2-2013 by crankySamurai because: (no reason given)






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