The problem with capitalism

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posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 03:43 AM
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I think when evaluating a world or society for it's health or well-being, one needs to view it (or conceptualize it) in terms of its fundamental existence.

We are basically a bunch of beings living together on a tiny rock hurling through space.

Though we are many, many beings, when contemplating things like government and social structure, to simplify things, we can instead visualize a small tribe of people living together.. simply - a small group of people living together.

Now, in order for this tribe to survive and have well-being - it requires a lot of work.

It would be nice if all the food we needed naturally grew on tree's, and we just lived outdoors in perfect weather, but life is not so idyllic. Early tribes have to forage or farm food, and hunt on a regular basis which requires a lot of work, and that is just for the production of food. You still have many other aspects of life which needs to be attended and it requires a lot of work.

So that is the most fundamental aspect of life - that we are just a bunch of people that live together, working to help each other - live, survive and to have (or pursue) our well-being. Naturally, that is what all beings want.

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Now what is the point of mentioning all this?

The point is that - we are just a group of people, and we can choose to live in any way that we want. There are infinite ways in which we can choose to live with each other. It is for us to choose. We can build the social structure with the main goal in mind - which is for the benefit and well-being of the whole.

The problem with capitalism is that it is a system that disregards this fundamental view of life - that we are simply a group of people trying to live together in a way that is to the benefit and well-being of the whole. The system has no regard for well-being. It is a blind - system.

It also makes people stupid in the regard they lose sight of this fundamental view. People become lost in their activities of building 'capital' for the sole purpose of building 'capital' and no other reason. There is no higher view or objective in mind. Their activities are so 'specialized' that all they understand are their capital building activities. People become simpleton-capital-building-robots with no regard for anything else.

A healthier society would be one that understands this fundamental view of life I mention, and works for the common goal of the well-being of the whole of life on this planet.

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In a book by Buckminster Fuller - Critical Path, he had some interesting speculations on the origins of government. He described the origins of the present structures of government, together with the rise of 'City-States', i.e. walled cites. His description went something like this: First, (before 'City-States') there were major trade centers, where people congregated to trade their goods. Then came organized bandits who would raid these trade centers on regular basis. Then, groups similar to 'bandits' in persona - weaponized violent/ruthless people who don't want to work - offered protection to the trade centers in return for a cut of the profits (i.e. a tax on the trade of goods) thus forming the early structures of 'government' similar to ours today for the trade centers which eventually developed into walled city-states.

This makes perfect sense to me, and explains the resulting persona of current governments.

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So from early tribes where most of the people *worked* together to survive and thrive, came social structures where many of the people (in a sense) lived a parasitic existence. I say parasitic because they themselves did not produce any - life sustenance. Instead, they learned how to exploit others to maintain their existence. They did it with might and power - with weapons, violence and ruthlessness to earn their living.

So from early tribal structures where most of the people worked together to survive and thrive, came a sort of stratification - people who were the exploiters (with the persona I describe above) and the exploited (peoples).

It seems that this was the natural progression. Not that things had to go this way, but this was certainly one of the paths of development.

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A message to those in power:

Humans as a whole also exploit other animal lineages particularly, for food and transportation.

One good point we can learn from this is that - even if it is out of pure selfishness - it is in the best interest of the exploiters to maintain the well-being of the exploited beings. With chickens or cows for example, healthier and happier animals produce better tasting and healthier meat; and happier and healthier horses provide better transportation.

Likewise in the case of humans (or non-humans) exploiting other humans, then one can say healthier and happier humans lead to a healthier culture with better goods, products, retail stores, entertainment, city structures or whatever else humans produce.

It is in the best interest of those who are exploiting to keep the exploited happy and healthy because they create the environment that you live in.

Screwing them is - screwing yourself.

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Now back to the problem with capitalism...

The problem with 'capitalism' is that it is an arbitrary system, in a sense, where everyone blindly pursues capital. They become stupid and ignorant to the understanding of our existence, yet become clever and witty to the skill and method of developing capital - i.e. increasing the numbers and values in their bank accounts. Their increasing specialized habits, stupidity and ignorance is dangerous because it disregards the inherent nature and goal of all living beings - to pursue well-being and happiness. They become so stupid that they even disregard their own well-being and happiness. The danger of this system is amplified by the fact that this capital gives these ignorant people power, thus propagating even more unhappiness, and unhealthiness (if there is such a word) by their ill-effecting behaviors.

What person, or nation, can we call 'great' that cannot even find its own happiness?

We can choose how we live with each other. It doesn't have to be this way. I am sure we can think of better alternatives, or variations of our current system which strives to attain - well-being, happiness and the functionality/ability of Earth as a whole.

We just need better organization to project our influence.

I welcome everyone to share your thoughts.




posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 04:04 AM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 

Thank you for your well worded and thought out thread. One of the problems with Capitalism is that it is based on perpetual growth when that is inherently impossible in a closed system and our planet is a closed system. We cannot covert all raw resources to consumer goods. We cannot spew out constant pollution into the limited atmosphere we live in. Giving corporations rights as a person when their purpose is only to make a profit, creating poor quality goods that require replacement earlier than necessary, Giving corporations more potential to corrupt our politicians, write the laws, and avoid punishment for choices made that harm people and society..... both democracy, a fairly new idea in some respects, notwithstanding some ancient societies like some periods in ancient Greece, for example, or Iceland, the longest current democracy, and capitalism, especially when compared to the brief experiment with the soon corrupted Communism and the usually put down Socialism, have their weak points, but to even suggest or mention tweaking them brings up jeers and insults as though we had perfected them. Capitalism may have raised standards of living quicker than any other system but with an ever increasing population, this is suicide. Our planet simply cannot handle unlimited growth where there isn't unlimited clean water, air, food, species, and resources. We will out grow our ability to survive.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 04:08 AM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 


Just wanted to say that I agree. You put into words what I have been pondering recently.

So government started as a mafia. Makes sense to me!
edit on 1/3/2014 by ItCameFromOuterSpace because: the



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 04:23 AM
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Not out of conceit or recognition, but I think this is an important message that should be read, and my hope is that for anyone who agrees - to please star and flag this post so it hopefully makes it to the home page (though probably a stretch).. Thanks
edit on 3-1-2014 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 

As has already been mentioned capitalism is theoretically only possible with infinite growth and limitless resources. This was made possible in the 16-19th centuries (tailing off in the 20th) due to colonialism. With colonialism the "home" country had access to limitless raw materials. The USA didn't need colonialism due to the huge resources it had within its own borders (although you could argue that each native indians territory was akin to tribes in Africa , the treatment meted out by the invading white european was the same!).

The other problem with capitalism is its inherent drift towards monopolies and/or cartels. The most efficient way of maximising capital is NOT through competition !!! instead it is through monopolies and cartels (shared monopolies) that have a captive market and thus can charge any price they wish.

This is why heads of companies cry and bleat about legislation hampering growth.

That said, the competition element is certainly the second most powerful mechanism for driving growth and innovation. However, it is only truly effective when the goods produced are not essential. The top mechanism is war. Think about it carefully at any moment in time there are certain goods and services that are essential and others which are non essential/luxury. It is never the growth in essential goods and services that generates the wealth it is always the non essential. The anger and despair kicks in when people feel as if they are held to ransom when trying to access the essential goods and services. Over time some non essential items become essential e.g. electricity, the internet, transport, phones etc

There is a solution but it is not possible to implement whilst ideological nonsense pervades public thinking. Here's a classic :

Private is good and efficient, public is bad an inefficient

No chance for change whilst voters still believe the ideological nonsense fed to them by the beneficiaries of a warped capitalist system (ie people so rich they don't ever have to work)



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 06:45 AM
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I think it is the sneakiest of all forms of communism. Instead of just out and
out claiming it they make it a buy in club. Wanna buy into someones labor for
the next 10 years and take part of the money they earn? well just invest.

After all they are just unskilled labor, they don't deserve a bigger part of the
money they help earn. I just don't think this type economy can ever be sustained
for the long run.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 06:49 AM
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You are going to get plenty of arguments from those ignorant ones who are lost in this mess, who have never known anything but being exploited (most), young ones who are still strong enough and ignorant enough to think this system works to benefit other than the few who gain the most and contribute the least.

Capitalism is literally taking advantage, to exploit, to take advantage of every event for gain regardless of the damage done to the one or ones being exploited, and it has always surprised me that so few realize this.

It is totally true that there are entire classes of people which refuse to do their fair share, they have always been here, they used to be considered criminals and outlaws, now they are considered almost to be heroes. I do not refer to unemployed and welfare recipients in this statement regarding doing their fair share, I refer to those administering those funds which were pulled out of their arses (just print it, enter it into a ledger, fiat currency), and take credit for doing something other than making things worse for the majority for their own personal gain.

We are so dumbed down that we emulate and imitate those who abuse, exploit and take advantage of us from cradle to grave, and many who do the exploiting really believe they are doing good.

We, as a species, are kind of dumb. There is something in between out there which would work better, but those who wield the power, who accuse others of being extremists, are the extremists and refuse to look at any system other than the one they control.

Where to start?, revoke corporate personhood status for a start, considering corporations persons was a mistake from the very beginning. We really can't do anything to fix the system through using the current system of courts and so on, because the system is set up to protect itself and all of it's parts, but we can simply refuse to participate which would cause it to collapse if we could only wake more from their stupor and retreat from it in greater number before we are all forced out onto the street, out of our jobs and livelihoods.

As ignorant as the majority is, and there are an awful lot of those here on this site if you read enough of this crap, there really isn't much else you can do aside from live by example, and then they just call one a bum because one lives a modest lifestyle instead of trying to impress people with outward displays of wealth, when in fact they had to get a loan to buy that "impressive stuff" anyway, which only points out how broke they actually are.

Mortgaging their future to impress the Jonse's, can't get a whole lot more stupid than that now, can ya?.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 


The problem with Capitalism?

SLAVERY.. always without exception.


HE who has the most WINS..


Communism without cronyism and favoritism is the BEST method. Unfortunately human greed ruins any system over time.

BUT, none are as heartless as Capitalism. Capitalism is NAKED GREED.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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Weird that this thread have not been overrun by the people who have been educated that capitalism is the right way. The funny thing is if the greedy was not so insanely greedy then maybe it would not be noticed so much.

But when you have a company like Apple making record high profits while people killing themselves in the chinese factories manufacturing the products then you can see how parasitic the system is. Taking 10% of those profits and giving the workers better lives would have stopped the high level of suicides. But no the stock market shall have the highest number of profit even if humans are suffering for it. No moderation in the greed.

And what is the solution from the companies involved. Put up a net so people cannot jump to their death.
edit on 3-1-2014 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 


Corporations are machines. Neither moral nor immoral, they are amoral. Corporations build their own tribes of human automatons to operate, grow and defend the core. These automatons cease to work in ways that advance humanity biologically. They feed the machines and get rewards for doing so.

Somehow these machines have successfully installed programming in masses of humans that essentially over-writes organic human values with the values of the machine.

This is on display every moment of every day in the USA. IMO it could easily lead to extinction. There is no way to un-poison the Earth in 100 human lifetimes. We might be just a blip unless we reprogram with human biological values and recognize corporations as amoral machines.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 12:36 PM
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I'll concede to two of the problems mentioned: infinite growth (which isn't possible without a better space program) and an incentive to create cheap goods that will need to be replaced, therefore increasing total sales. However, I believe that a truly free market would lead to a space program where greater expansion would be a possibility. I also believe that our current "throw away" culture is a mindset not necessarily tied to capitalism, but rather the economic disparity that arises when government interferes with capitalism.

I'm not 100% pro-capitalism; I'm torn between that and a resource based society as described in Zeitgeist (which are admittedly about as much polar opposites as you can find). That said, most anti-capitalist arguments I've seen tend to assume the existence of some form of central government. The problem with that, is that capitalism can never, ever work properly in tandem with central government. I believe a truly free market can only exist under a system of anarchy, and if we saw this scenario put into practice we would be amazed at how differently things would run.

The challenge, though, is that we would have to make a unified decision to make the transition to anarchy on philosophical grounds, much the same way as we adopted (or attempted to adopt) a democracy. If anarchy simply "happens" to a population, then it likely won't be long before the power vacuum is refilled.

However, if you disagree with everything I've said, and are still 100% anti-capitalism, you may enjoy a book I read that further backs your arguments. It's called "Capitalist Realism: Is There no Alternative?" by Mark Fisher. (A free PDF version is available here.) It's pretty short, so you can realistically get through it in one sitting, and it breaks down the problems with capitalism better than anything I've read before.
edit on 1/3/2014 by ValerieDivusen because: Added PDF link.


Edit: Just to be clear, I do agree that living without capitalism would be ideal. I see the transition to a free market (i.e. capitalism without central government) as the next step, not as an end-game.
edit on 1/3/2014 by ValerieDivusen because: Increased clarity of beliefs



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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There has always been poor people in history and there will always be poor people, and that's a natural fact.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:56 PM
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Zeppp
There has always been poor people in history and there will always be poor people, and that's a natural fact.



There are those that even chose a life of poverty on ideological or philosophic grounds, but the problem isn't poor people though is it? The problem is exploitation and greed and pseudo civilisation that lets capitalists exploit and believe their actions moral.
edit on 3/1/2014 by teapot because: edit



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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teapot

Zeppp
There has always been poor people in history and there will always be poor people, and that's a natural fact.



There are those that even chose a life of poverty on ideological or philosophic grounds, but the problem isn't poor people though is it? The problem is exploitation and greed and pseudo civilisation that lets capitalists exploit and believe their actions moral.
edit on 3/1/2014 by teapot because: edit


I'm not sure where you are going with this? There will always in every system be someone on top of the food chain, even in your so-called communist systems the party elite are way better off than the average worker. I prefer capitalism because I at least have a chance to excel. I do not want the government telling me what I can and cannot do with my money, frankly it's none of their d@mn business.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by nOraKat
 


Its interesting, isnt it? Its all a choice..

Capitalism is flawed from the start, though like any system, it has some things that work.

Greed is at the core, but so are short-sighted goals. The greed leads to pursuing goals to increase one's own quality of life. This can be done through many methods, but the one that we use currently focuses on attaining something which has no "real world value" (money). It can buy things that have real world value, but it cant create them itself. Those have to be made with actual effort, time, and resources of real people.

I believe that focusing on improving the quality of life directly, rather than what buys the quality of life, will create a healthier society. There are many ways to go about it, but they all require actual participation to have that real world value.

So, first, we need to come up with solutions and then we need to actually try them out (I do not believe cryptocurrency fits the bill).



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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First off, I agree that on a tribal scale, everyone has to be involved in productive, hands-on labor. That's what is needed for bare subsistence level of living. When every man or woman has to work to produce all of his or her own food, clothing, and shelter from scratch, that's all he or she has time to do, and your society will never be able to rise above that bare subsistence level.

In order for society to grow beyond that bare tribal level, people have to be allowed to specialize, and at this level, goods and services have to be allowed to exchange hands. This is where the gathering and exchange of begin capital come in. In order for you to have someone who specializes in healing, that person has to pretty much dedicate his or her life to it, and that more or less precludes him or her from being able to devote time to gathering/growing food, building shelter, or making clothing. In this moment, capitalism begins because the healer starts to demand a fee for his or her service from those do not devote their time and efforts to being a healer. Those people exchange their excess food, clothing, or time to the healer in exchange for the service of healing.

Specialization and the exchange of capital also allows for a society that can afford to let individuals who are not able to hunt or gather or even perhaps build their own shelters to survive become productive or useful parts of the community. A clubfooted individual who might have been a burden before could now become a skilled craftsman whose weapons or tools command enough in exchange for him or her to support him or herself.

Specialization and the exchange of capital also allow more free time to develop things for the pleasure of the people. Instead of spending nearly all their time in the business of survival, free exchange of goods and services can leave free time for the pursuit and development of the arts and entertainment.

Understand, that any time you have the basic exchange of goods or services between two individuals on any level for any reason, this is capitalism.

What you are talking about is human greed, and it infests any system, even your idyllic tribal subsistence existence no matter how perfectly communal you might try to make it. Also understand that your tribal commune is also perfectly voluntary. People there are free to leave at any time and are not forced by any mechanism into living that way. In fact, nothing today stops you and your friends from buying some land and creating your own tribal commune except for your own willingness and means to do so.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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ketsuko
When every man or woman has to work to produce all of his or her own food, clothing, and shelter from scratch, that's all he or she has time to do, and your society will never be able to rise above that bare subsistence level.


The funny thing about this, is that many people in our modern society have less free time because keeping up with the demands of our system requires more work than these more primitive societies. Primitive lifestyles can be more difficult, but are rarely more time consuming. Many tribes around the world devote the majority of their time to leisure, whereas many people in modern society (maybe more-so in the States) struggle to find time to even sleep, which is as essential as eating and breathing when it comes to surviving and staying healthy.

I'm not using this as an argument against capitalism though; I agree with the rest of your post. I think this is specifically a testament to what is wrong with our current form of capitalism. Most of these problems come from governmental involvement as well as a mass distortion of values. Fiat currency and perpetual debt, combined with the government's "War on Poverty" (Which has only widened the economic divide) give us an environment where, for many, it takes everything they have to barely make ends meet.

It doesn't help, either, when people have children at a point when they can't even support themselves. I'm not advocating the whole NWO population reduction deal, but it is a factor that can't be ignored. Either we find a way to expand to other planets, or we limit population.

I don't think we're at a turning point yet though. As we currently stand, there is enough for everybody, and there is no reason anyone should be hungry or thirsty.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by ValerieDivusen
 


And you have to understand that what we have today is NOT actually true capitalism but something else. It's more of a cronyist, corporatist state. We're heading to something a lot more like what China has where the state often is the corporation or the corporation is the state. And it allows for a small, greedy oligarchy at the top to game the system to its own ends at everyone else's expense.

We have not had true capitalism in this country for a very long time.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 


Hi,

Please do not confuse my message.

I am not anti - "capitalism", nor anti - free market, nor anti - specialization.. that would be absurd.

I am anti - disregarding the inherent nature and goal of all living beings - which is to pursue well-being and happiness.

Government, law and social organization should have that as its end goal and safeguard it by "tweaking" the system of social organization we live under so that is cannot be undermined.

We do not have to (and should not) use strict terms like - "capitalism", "socialism", "communism", etc. It only limits the possibilities, and confuses our thinking.

The thought process to solving this dilemma should be kept simple - we are simply a group of people that live together, and we can choose to live together how ever we want.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:03 PM
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... the ultimate problem is the sort of thinking that has no regard for anything or the health of our world as a whole.

Right now, we live in a criminal world, run by criminals - the attitudes and views have pervaded society.

In a tribe what would happen if a person or small group was acting against the interest of the whole - they would be identified - then taken down.

We need to put an end to these rackets..
edit on 4-1-2014 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)





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