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Is Capitalism the answer ?

Do we need more capitalism ?

Is it time to look beyond capitalism ?

What is our duty ?
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129 comments
 
If there is a problem, I think it's a cultural problem and a problem of people themselves, not of any monetary or political concept such as capitalism, democracy, communism or socialism.
 
Capitalism is not the problem in my view, greed is. +J. R. Nova is correct, greed is a learned addictive behavior much like heavy smoking, alcohol or drugs. Replace greedy people with responsible individuals with a high degree of integrity and capitalism will flourish just fine. The wrong people have the power and even worse people want to take it away, really bad. Mass education based on strong math,science and logic is our only salvation because we lack the intellectual fortitude to see past our very next and immediate ignorance 'fix'.
 
I love RSA Animate. Also, I am disappointed that I see no way to disagree with the proposition that, at this moment, any sensible person would have to be anti-capitalist. Labor has been beaten too far down and more than half of our economy is imaginary. Or, twice as imaginary, as it was.
 
+Stan Kain Yes, there is an issue with the concentration of wealth which is touched on briefly in the clip as well.
 
Yes. Basically he's saying we don't have balance, and we don't. I think that lack of balance stems from our Western culture (which is much more than just buying houses, as he described it) and personal greed, which is systemic to human beings. What he's advocating is another way, without capitalism, but what many people don't realize is that no matter what "system" we have, be it capitalism or socialism, we're going to have problems. That's why I don't think that is the direction to go in. We need a change in the way we think, not just in what we do.

When we have a downturn in the market, that is perfectly natural. The thing not to do is to blow everything up, which sadly, here in America we have a tendency to do. In nature, the same thing happens. A drought effects an entire area after a rainy season. We cling to this sense that we can control our world, but we really can't. I think a better solution lies within making a decision to flow with whatever happens and continuing to work to help people, rather than to fight this uphill battle of coming up with the perfect "system", as if that will cure everything. For as long as a system contains people, that system will inevitably break down.

Yet that "breaking down" is perfectly natural and is, if not fought against tirelessly, something that is even positive, because it lays the groundwork for the next boom. If given two options, one in which a decline is inevitable and I can fight it and prolong it, and one in which a decline is inevitable and I can swing with it and use that as momentum to the next boom, I'm taking option #2. Whether I'm a socialist, communist, or capitalist.
 
(Reacting to previous comments) The problem is the people? So we change the people and keep the capitalism? Lol.

It's always easier to think how to change people (mass murdering? eugenism?) rather than how to find a system that accomodates the most. It's understandable. But that doesn't mean it's ok.

Sometimes, you do have to push for a change in people's behavior. But it must be done along with a shift in the way the system works. Not a revolution, but a shift. That's what sustainable development is about.
 
+Cédric Lombion Who is talking about murdering anyone? I'm talking about behavioral changes in children, something simple like encouraging them to give, showing them how they can feel good by giving, giving them a book to read instead of letting the television babysit them. That's a long way off from what you're talking about.
 
+Tony Schwartz We have corporatism, not capitalism. To me capitalism is main street America, small business ownership, limited government involvement. Everything other than what we have in America and other countries. I agree as far as that goes.
 
At last, I've been saying that capitalism is flawed for years, its a system that perpetuates greed at the enormous expense of others.
 
+J. R. Nova Mass murdering and eugenism are the way some famous people in history decided to use to tackle the problem of "people are not good enough". That was little historic hint, not an accusation of any sort.

I as well mentioned in my comment that there is a need for change in people's behavior. We could call it a social change. But it must go along with a political change, i.e a change in the way the system works. Social and politics are linked, but not totally, so you must act on both to get a viable solution.
 
+Cédric Lombion But political change will come naturally from social change :)

I do not think people are not good enough. I do think many have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills, and I see a lot of pessimism in people who aren't suffering from the economy. A lot of the suffering is media-induced fear mongering. It's distracting us from helping those who really are suffering, by promoting greed and a sense or need to take care of ourselves first. The world we have right now is probably fine. But if we want something different, the solution will be found in changing ourselves first. imo
 
The animations and the video itself was awesome, btw :)
 
I like the ideas presented in The Venus Project. Resource based economy where we aren't required to slave our lives away making useless crap nobody really needs.
 
Those people on the Tele Commercial with the water balloon and the webcam and the lobster tank have that covered - you didn't get the memo?

second basic human right to be reinstated...free Slim Jims and Ho Ho's for every human AND ferret - non negotiable....now we are making progress!
 
dont foget the 6th human right - access to google+
 
I agree AADHITHYA AADHITHYA. Is it Communism? Yes and no. It's that idea in the hearts of millions, and billions... etc. We can use the evidence of Russia for that. And if a government enforces it, nobody gets it. If you want to be a communist, then be one. I am. I went to kindergarten. I know how to share, damn it. I don't like it all the time, but I don't mind. Share with friends, share with family, share with people you want to get to know, share with the guy, or girl you don't like. Do all these things because you decided, not because someone told you. This is only a suggestion. I have, personally, and found it to be very a/re-warding. Though I always end up paying the price in the end, it was always worth it. That is all.
 
But I wish to point out Capitialism is not a social order, it is an economic system set up in order to help a civilization in managing it's trade and industry and contrary to what people think it is NOT a part of government systems. You can be a capitalist and still have socialism, for example. There are not many options with the system and standards alone, so I agree to look beyond it, but the way things work in some economies we just need a better system....but it isn't easy...humans are not machines and emotions are more powerful then logic.
 
Islamic finance is definitely the solution for all the economic disasters we are going through.
 
We do not have capitalism, nor anything close to it. In capitalism all property is individually owned, and individuals are free to trade if both parties consent. The current worldwide system is one of a mixed-economy, with significant government interference in money, salaries, housing, and prices, and massive regulations. The current crisis is not caused by the presence, but by the lack of freedom of persons to interact consentingly. The only economists that have been predicting this crisis were those of the Austrian School of Economics, which claim that loose monetary policy (i.e. the printing of money) has caused lower interest rates, and therefore malinvestment and overconsumption (e.g. lack of saving, housing market, car industry, college degrees). End the FED!
 
All "ism's" come with crony "ism's" capitalism, socialism, communism, feudalism etc. There will be the haves and have-not's in each model. Move away from all the ism's and move onto resource based economics...that is once we've reached a Utopian society that doesn't require billions to protect our nation states.
 
It's capitalism at a much higher level.
 
Yes to Capitalism. Capitalism with ethical regulation is the key.
Jim A
 
What B.S. we spread when we know not of what we speak. But a good example of what you get when our schools do not teach economics without politics.
 
Capitalism Works!!! You've been brainwashed to believe otherwise. We've become indoctrinated to think that everyone deserves everything without the responsibility of working/competing to succeed. No one owes us anything. I saw a local business sign today. It said: "Only in the dictionary does "success" precede "work"." Yes.
 
Nice to see THIS discussion on Hot on Google+.

Here are the two problems I see in the nutshell:

1. Population growth is slowing. This is a good thing as over-crowding is rampant and causes all kinds of problems. However, this means we are adding fewer new consumers. Capitalism cannot function without growth. If there are fewer new consumers, then each one must spend more to sustain growth. This leads to a spend and waste society and ultimately to people spending money they quite simply do not have...one of the root causes of our current economic crisis.

2. Technology is advancing faster than society can deal with it. Society is only really now absorbing the disruptive technology of the personal computer and struggling to absorb that of the smartphone. Society is in no way, shape or form, ready to deal with the disruptive technology of the 3D printer. Programmable matter just became an engineering problem. For the first time in history the power of production can be claimed by the people in the true sense...by individuals.

3. Technology is also promising an end to real scarcity. We already have people homeless while houses and apartments sit empty. And while our food supply is not as stable as it could be, many of the problems with it have to do with the demand for ethanol, which is likely to be temporary as electric cars become more feasible (most other uses of biofuels are biodiesel, which can be made out of just about anything). Once we get over that hump, with population growth slowing, the wealthy countries of the world will have enough food to feed everyone. Capitalism does not work without scarcity! If demand does not exceed supply at least some of the time, then capitalism breaks down. Where there is no real scarcity, then scarcity has to be invented. People will not tolerate their children going hungry if the country has warehouses full of food.

All of these three factors make market-driven capitalism as we now know it an unstable system. Its a relatively new system and it might be time to accept that it will not last forever.
 
The thread went to Hot on Google, Tony, that's why people are jumping in. I admit I didn't read all of the previous comments before posting, but I skimmed them now. I mostly wanted to toss my personal opinion on economics and the current crisis. With the caveat that I'm an archeologist by original training and a science fiction writer and 'speculator' by inclination, not a fully trained economist.
 
Yet you plussed your own comment +Tony Schwartz? Quick, unlike that before someone sees it! Then take a chill pill. This has been a really interesting thread before you unleashed the thought police.
 
It's not serious, it's the internet XD
 
No, but it does explain a ton of people randomly showing up ;).

And I am not saying none of that has anything to do with it, but that there are deep systematic problems caused by our current intersection of society and technological development. Either that or some Chinaman cursed us all...
 
Voodoo....plausible! Technology has done a lot to turn the world upside down. I think it's difficult for many of us, or even any of us, to put the last 50 years into any sort of perspective. We'll have to wait another 50 or 100 years to understand what the hell is happening to us now.
 
Voodoo is African!

And even for somebody who's trained in archaeology and thus in social history (a strong connection there), it IS hard to put the present into historical perspective.

I'm not talking about what might have happened in the 1950s or sooner, though, but about our current system and the way it is reacting and not reacting to extremely disruptive and rapid technological change. Because that is what we have to address. The past is there to learn from, yes, but saying that we had a failure that long ago does not change what we have to deal with now.
 
...There's a different between capitalism and corporatism. I'm for true competition without the government cheating specific corporations.
 
Why is it that I read the Chinaman thing as a joke. That's a joke, right? Cause it was funny!

Capitalism failing = your opinion, +Tony Schwartz. Unless you're sitting in a cardboard box stealing net from the local library on a stolen computer, I find it ironic that you claim that it's failed. The fact that we have all that we have means that at least capitalism hasn't gotten in the way of innovation,, which is a huge thing. Does life need some improvement here and there, sure. But if you want to talk about fear mongering, let's discuss this idea that the world is FUBAR, and we have to scrap all of our concepts and start over to fix it.

Go hug someone, it's the only way you personally can change the world for the better :)
 
Ali, we may see some of that as the power of production truly comes into the hands of the people for the first time. Ordinary people have rapid prototyping units now. You can put one together for what a printer cost ten years ago...

What rapid prototyping, programmable matter and related technologies make possible is what some speculative fiction writers and futurists call the 'replicator economy'. The replicator economy starts with the base and, yes, socialist premise that it is possible to provide the BASIC needs of ALL citizens. Competition is then for the layers above that...better food, prettier clothes, new toys. And everything is, yes, resource-based.

J.R. Nova - thank you, yes, it was a joke. Which I'm apparently going to have to explain - the ancient Chinese curse of 'May you live in interesting times'.
 
Jokes aren't funny if we have to explain them :(
 
+Evan Borden That actually makes sense to me. With capitalism, I admit that we're stuck in a feeding frenzy, where the more we get the more we have to get and the resulting consumerism spirals upward and the train must stop sooner or later. But then it's a chicken or the egg scenario. Maybe humans are just naturally consumeristic?
 
No, they aren't.

I think that's a yes and no answer. Humans are naturally hierarchical. Conspicuous consumption is one way of displaying where we are in the hierarchy. (Look up sumptuary laws some time). Stopping people from spending money they don't have requires education and perhaps a shift in how we measure where we are in relation to others.
 
Then that goes to back to the cultural changes I mentioned in one of my original posts in this thread, +Jennifer R. Povey. We'd have to change how we see ourselves relative to others. Something like that runs very deep. It goes well beyond "Americans enjoy home ownership." Then to have change, it comes back to changing ourselves. Many people are in the rat race, partly because they are programmed to be, but also because they want to be. There's a certain level of enjoyment in it, I think. That hope that we'll get ahead some day. Sordid as it is.
 
It's proven his falure and the islamic system is the best choice
 
Capitalism may have periods of slump, renewal, shortages, and excessive gains, but capitalism will not disappear or end like Islamic autocracy. Why, because all other replacement fail in the word of progressive. Treating Capitalism with respect, honor, and commitment ensure its continued function inside of humanity. The expenditure factor in Capitalism only demands freedom of thought those who use it for captive wealth against humanity will meet its furious warriors to push back the scales of injustice. Mohammad & Stalin are the best examples why Capitalism wins over evilness of men. When people say Capitalism has an end they're admitting self-potential is dead; thus making their submission to the sideline like Islam has rightfully done centuries ago. Capitalism is not prefect that's the beauty of it, but dismissing it leave you void within working humanity.
 
It is the worst system possible, except for every thing else that has ever been tried.
 
Kevin - Saying capitalism should die is not admitting that self-potential is dead. It is having an imagination that exceeds the last, say, five hundred years? Just because other systems have failed (miserably and horrifically) does not mean that every system will. This has nothing to do with religion, either. Imagining a void without capitalism is the greatest failure of imagination.
 
I am curious to know one thing: If capitalism is a failure and socialism/communism is the key to the future, what happened to the Soviet Union? Why was the Berlin Wall torn down? Why are all of the current socialist governments and economies in Europe in complete disarray?
Could it be that those systems of government induce a culture of dependence upon the government? That is but one of the reasons why capitalism has survived as long as it has and socialism has not!
Your personal sense of just and fair has nothing to do with reality. By promising fairness and equality to all, socialism spreads poverty and misery equally. Some of the "wrongs" that you cite as examples of capitalism run amok are in reality lawbreaking that has gone unpunished.
Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
 
It seems that it has become fashionable to be, or claim to be a socialist.
Take a look at the socialist/communist systems of goverment in our past and in their current form. Do you think that this conversation would be happening?

You know the answer: NO.
 
But we aren't even a capitalist society anymore. We may think we are, but this is definitely Corporatocracy.
 
Communism does not work. And I am not in any way a socialist. Just in case that was somehow aimed at me.

Also, Communism is not Marxism. Marx predicted that there would come a time when the power of production would be in the hands of the people.

Leninism took that and tried to put it into action, but rather than hand the power of production to the people, they put it in the hands of the state, supposedly on behalf of the people.

If you actually study the dialectic, which is unfashionable in America due to a lingering fear of Communism from the cold war, then you realize that what Marx wrote and what the Leninist, Stalinist and Maoist regimes did...bear precious little relationship to one another.

It also seems to me that people are seeing a duality...there is capitalism OR there is socialism. What about something else?

Somebody from, say, the 15th century would be hard pressed to imagine or envision the system we have now.
 
You ask an interesting question: "What is our duty?"

Our duty is the ensure that the political leaders that we ALLOW to represent us are honest. The political leaders that we have had since the vietnam war era have not been true to American/Capitalist priciples.
We have turned a blind eye to the problems that the people that we elected to fix have continually ignored.
As such, we find ourselves in the current position.
Instead of looking inward at this time, we impulsively strike out at what we feel is the problem.
 
A) I am not pointing finger at anybody. IF you are a socialist, communist, democrat or republican that is fine by me. That way I know who I talking to.

B) The definition of Corporatocracy (sp?) - what is that, exactly? Seriously. I cannot agree or disagree with a term unless I understand the meaning in which it is being used.
 
BTW Jennifer: Lenin used marxism as a tool to rise to power and control people through fear. Don't be sucked into the notion that he was somehow above all of that....
 
Lenin was embalmed put out for view to remind people of the power of the state. It was meant to tell people that the state reaches from beyond the grave to control their lives.

We are currently headed in that direction....
 
I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that I think anything at all positive about Lenin, although Stalin was arguably far, far worse. All of the Communist regimes have been about power and control, regardless of their flavor. Stalin had far more in common with Hitler than he did with Marx.

Marx was a scholar and a historian. It's unclear whether he intended people to put his ideas into practice, but what he believed was that communism was a natural evolution of society, the next step after capitalism. I don't think he was correct, but I do believe there is, and has to be, a next step after capitalism. The Marxist evolution - feudalism, capitalism, communism. If we're not careful, we may be heading right back to feudalism.

As for ensuring that the leaders we allow to represent us are honest...that's hard to do, simply because most people who choose to run for election simply aren't honest and the best one can do, a lot of the time, is to choose the least dishonest. To THAT, I have no good answer, except that what somebody earlier said about capitalism also applies to representative democracy...
 
It's human nature that needs tweaking not social systems.
Chan Li
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It had been debated for centuries , and yet , Capitalism still survived , what kind of ---ism do you expect then ? Communism ? You kidding , China ,really ?
 
I'm sorry for asking this. I'm kinda horrible on Economics(a doctor in the making FTW), and can someone slowly explain what is Capitalism in the simplest terms? The WIkipidea entry does not help at all.
 
We should be left alone to do for ourselves, no one will ever care for your well being as much as you with the exception of your family. If someone tells you different they are lying to you.
Honest capitalism provides for that.

Our problem is what we have now is called crony capitalism. Both sides are controlled by it. We have true capitalism on the lower levels but not the Multinationals. We need to get back to basics. Company's like GE or NBC should not be able to buy a presidency.

To Political theory,
Leaders in politics are by nature separated from the people for their own safety and lose the human touch. It's part of the curse of power and the longer they are in office the worse it gets.
It's do as I say not as I do, "I know better than you", that's whats wrong with most politics. It has always been that way. They only listen when it serves them not you.

Those that always think Socialism or Communism will work, they ignore the physical evidence before them from the damage it created everywhere it has been practiced, look at their leaders, they eat well and their people starve, even in England the Prime Minister eats better than the normal working man. That's the Socialist model most people point to as harmless.
For Socialism to work you would need saints running it, there are no saints.

People need to be educated in Business so they understand how it works, kids should have an apprenticeship in a small business to see how hard they work and get their feet wet.

Most of all Taxes should be lowered as well as all unneeded government spending and the money returned to the people so they can invest it in their own lives.

A small limited safety net can still be provided for emergency cases in health related issues but it should be adjusted to the persons needs. This should not be meant for a permanent lifestyle.
No Obamacare like system.
 
Capitalism could work without the greedy
 
Capitalism creates competition. Competition creates innovation. Innovation creates great changes we need right now. Just need to stop the greed by teaching our children to share and to change their paradigm to help others with their prosperity that they gain by hard work and innovative motivation.
 
I must say I really enjoyed this hot topic and reading the comments. Makes me feel that there's real hope in this world yet.
 
or is it more control of us, this new ORDER.
 
Kevin Thrapp you were right on the money (Pun intended.)
 
Capitalism will always exist as long as $ does.
 
So basically saying, that in a capitalistic system the technology grows much faster than the humans. Humans in term of social beings and social qualities. I mean, everyone in the comments says it's about conquering their own greed and stuff like that, meaning we have to develop human qualities, not just financial or technological. But, i wonder, how should we do that, if the whole system is against that? I mean, the capitalism IS based on personal greed! Take away greed and you don't have capitalism anymore. The whole system is made up using the greed and other not-so-right qualities. You will never be able to evolve if you live in that system.

And in the communism, yes, there were a lot of problems especially economic problems. But, if any of you have seen someone from the communism, they will be amazed at how much better humans they are. The moral duty was written BIG in the communism, everyone grow up exactly thinking that my own greed is bad, I should work for the community. They grew up thinking they should be working for the communities value and not for themselves! Only that way, human can continue to grow as humans.

And for those of you, who think the communism can not work, think again. It didn't work out because the people were betrayed by the government, not because it didn't work out. Because the government didn't allow anyone to say anything back, no free will of speech and stuff like that. If you look at the Regions of the Soviet Union, after 20 years, there has been NO!, I repeat, NO Advance in any regions except the financial. The people live there much worse, than they did 20 years prior (except for Moscow, they continue to steal from the nation and prosper, just like the Capitalism wants them to do). About 90% of the population there wishes to go back to the communism, where they had FREE Education (No stopping you in whatever you wish to study), FREE Medical care! ZERO (!!) Unemployment rate, etc. The mass media never covered those points because they wanted to show how great the capitalism was. The downsides of the communism CAN be solved, if you really want it to. Unlike Gorbatchov or Yakovlev, all they did was betray the nation for their own greed.
 
Btw, I wonder how many people actually know the differences between Communism and Socialism...
 
what one relly needs is a system that encourages ppl to be entrepreneurs etc but does not make ppl take on debt or do things that are finincaly/envermentaly damaging over the long haul
 
I remember reading something by one if the infamous economists that said eventually capitalism will no longer work and socialism will take its place in an industrial society. I don't think complete socialism is the answer but capitalism is broken
 
Perfect for me. I'm an Economics Major here in the Philippines. :)
 
Capitalism is the platform for imagination without it laziness and corruption breeds like my three example Mohammad, Hitler, and Stalin. What you are searching for is utopia. Religion has always been a driving force behind community capitalism in fact Judaism and Christianity are the springboard in basic principles of capitalism. There is no utopia built into creation if I might suggest a word here, offering clarity, it would be serendipity. People everyday are the gracious recipients of life's small lottery winnings in serendipity from a unknown kilo of rice , new shoes, heart transplants, and even large sums of winnings from lotteries. The driving force behind such blessing, great or small, is capitalism at its best!

I am a retired "Off Wall Street Broker" of Common Goods. Having the privilege, by God's good grace, I have lived and experienced this great system of Capitalism, but the problem is not Capitalism's great foundation its the changing morals and education found in society today. Under President Ronald Reagan, in his lame-duck term, the human element of philosophy guiding the principles of doing business were lead into a dangerous territory of deregulation. With deregulation came the new kid on the block called spin, buzzword, terms being mixed without regulation or oversight like Broker for sales Representative. Under President Clinton hordes of Economic and Banking degrees were wasted while college grads with degrees in IT systems filled the once guarded defenses of Capitalism. This recent history of Capitalism I do not consider imagination with change, but the slippery slopes that Mohammad, Hitler, and Stalin once used on the masses. As supply and demand markets bear correction naturally so will the integrity of Capitalism correct its self.

I hate to become the bearer of bad news, but Capitalism's Rational Process of freedom warrants stability it is a science with laws and principles like the law of gravity, homeostasis in human physiology, and religious laws of reaping and sowing. What is needed, once again, is the level playing field bringing about justice and equality. Capitalism is what has brought about almost all modern today advancement.

Please don't take my argument to mean "hands off" in changing Capitalism to better serve humanity, but the framework of Capitalism is forever established until the providence of God inter-veins. The world is changing and its up to humanity to gain the betterment for everyone without imp-roaching upon the freedom Capitalism brings as the manual or road-map.

Dan Thrapp, Rev.Elder
Social Justice Missionary Baptist
Philippines
 
Capitalism gives you the tools to either measure your wallet or the common good for humanity. In the early years of Socialism its thinkers and writers used the term euphoria of utopia no less than a thousand times making it, Socialism, a god unto humanity. One can't help to reach for God's plan of nothing for something, but we are not the benefactors or demigods we dream to be! Socialism does have a heart to share goods and services, but where will the absoluteness in direction and control come from.....? A human mind who will delegate absolute power developing paranoia to rally the wagons around self. Diversity is a foregone conclusion for the animal called man! Yet again, will a system, Socialism, drive inspiration to allow diversity or will compliance without regard to the soul be our end? Socialism is but a spin upon individuals and governments who should be doing charity to their neighbors. The illusion is a system can be honest, complete, and charitable all at the same time over 7 billion people living today....I think not! The small battles of corrupt Capitalism refusing absolute control by anyone system or individual regardless of personal wealth.
 
I think that we need another way forward. Population increases, poverty versus obscene wealth, an ever smaller world with a moving population and ever increasing technological changes. We as a supposedly intelligent species need to find a better way to coexist with each other and more importantly preserve the amazing variety of life on our unique planet.
 
This video is pretty, but the thesis is shit. A claim that "Capitalism is broken so we must abandon it in favor of something anticapitalist" relies on the presence of capitalism. But we don't have that. We have mercantilism and corporate socialism. Of course, don't expect the marxist to remind you of that.
 
+J. R. Nova a cultural problem ? We have the biggest wealth disparity gap in history. The U.S economy always goes through cycles of recession and depressions. Does that look like a stable economic system. We have the federal reserve controlling interest rates like a bunch of crazy people. So much for free market that shit doesn't work. We can't let the free market be the free market because it will go into a free fall. The government needs to step in and help. Sounds more like socialism is saving the day not capitalism. 
 
In some minds it's ok to constantly lie to yourself, your employees,
your employer, your customers, your spouse, your children, your country
and your "God". More and more those "minds" call themselves conservatives.
"If the choice was between melting down poor children for their oil or paying for school lunches then maybe, just maybe, conservatives would try to find the center position."
 
The problem with a discussion of capitalism, is that what we call capitalism is a mixture of mercantilism and free-market capitalism. Unless you distinguish between the two, you're not making any sense.
 
I've lived in both communism and capitalism, in both eastern block countries and western europe. Both system in their pure form don't work. They make people unhappy and the government corrupt and rich. I think we need a healthy mixture. Germany has some good concepts. But I cannot tell what the solution could be. The root cause is us humans who seek control over others. Maybe there is no solution?
 
Communism is not an economic system however, socialism is the underlying economic system that form of government uses. Communisim is a combonation of ideas of moneyless, classless, and powerless system where everyone is an equal and everyone helps everyone and the government controls it all to make Utopia. (Marxist-Lennisim) But it is built off Socialism; this is an economic system which has several standards of a Planned Economy; this is a system by which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency.

Capitalism is known as a Market Economy based on the Laissez-Faire which is an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies.

(Most info provided by Wikipeadia, Government Information, and Economics web sites)
 
Reset switch here: Capitalism is not compatible with our finite eco-systems for NATURE will be and it is already if you care to look the demise of a corrupt and backward economic system -- humanity can do better.
 
It is impossible for a small number of people to foresee all possible events and perfectly plan: capitalism allows flexibility for unforeseen circumstances and allows individuals to legally pursue their dreams -- even if their dreams were not allowed by the official planning committee. Capitalism is not the enemy: greed is.
 
Greed cannot be gotten rid of; it can only be managed. Free market capitalism requires greedy people to first make customers happy. In this manner, their greed is controlled; subsumed to a higher end. Mercantilism (aka crony capitalism or corporatism; same thing) allows greedy people to gain a franchise from the government so they DON'T have to serve people, but can instead profit and leave a trail of unhappy customers behind them.

And ... here's the catch ... the more you regulate a business sector, the harder is is to compete in it. The regulations constitute a fixed chunk of cost, which has to be amortized across the entire output of the company, enabling big business to out-compete its smaller competition. It's very Zen, but when you see a business abusing its customers, the worst reaction is to try to regulate them. The best reaction is to out-compete them.
 
Did anyone forget the gorilla in the room ? China is communist and they are whopping our ass. We are at mercy of them rolling over there bonds. If one day they say we are not rolling over our U.S bonds it's over. 
 
DEMOS (Pueblo) y CRACIA (Poder) es, en griego antiguo, PODER QUE VIENE DEL PUEBLO.
Con conseguirlo habremos derrotado al CAPITALISMO NEO-LIBERAL
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@George Rodriguez: China is an interesting case. It shows the red flag but uses free market. Isn't the iPads built there? ;)
 
3/4 to the end he almost touches on Social Credit Theory.

I didnt see a sequencial link l between solving the US financial crises and that inducing the European Sovereign debt Crises. As far as I know it's the same crisis, just drawn out in Europe. Borne of a still-Unregulated Derivitives Debt Market Crises.

Its a red-Herring that the US mortgage crises sank the world. ITs mathematically impossible. The Value of all retail mortgages just isnt big enough. It was the unregulated derivitives market, lacking counterparties , ( or a financial stake ) in the mortgage debt market that sank the system. They could have bet on anything,---like European debt. 
 
+Adam Black Yes, it was the unregulated derivatives market but it was the US banks that used CDS and other devices to repackage the high risk debt and sell it as AAA rated products.  The ensuing fiasco damaged the entire banking system and consequently sank the world. 
 
I understand that, but it's important that people understand the cause, and not be fooled by the object of the bets. This flim-flammery has allowed the Derivitives market to go on unchecked. The Amount of packaged side bets for or against the debt, Vastly exceeded the size of the original bad debt by an exponential factor.

Derivitives need to be regulated or it will happen again.
 
the problem is not within capitalism as a whole, but in the manner it is carried out. the solution lies within protecionnalism, which, by giving control over all the strategical industries (communication, energy and heavy industry) and nationnal currency 1* provides an environment that allows the government to soften any crisis by nationnal-scale economic solutions as while the state is subject to internationnal market through neccesity of importing or purchase from the private sector such solutions cannot be applied. 2* nationnalisation of strategic industries provides the state with an excess of hard capital (as opposed to speculative capital) that creates economic stability (the state can be an important investor) as well as other ways benefical to the whole economy. 3*the strategic industries provide tremenduous amounts of capital. in the case of nationnalisation all this capital is no longer available for corporations to speculate, thus virtually removing the need of further reglementation by cutting down the speculative power of those corporations.
No wonder WTO has forbid protectionnism as it is the end of the power of the economists over governments.
 
i'd say our duty is to learn, then spread information. planting bombs or making revolution wont help anybody
 
+docteur mundele Sometimes that's the only way things can change unfortunately. Look at almost every single major change in global events or systems: it has occurred either through violent revolution, massive wars or technological advances, NOT learning and spreading information. The notion of having a moral means towards any end doesn't matter when you are willing to sacrifice yourself for the improvement of society, granted your end IS to improve society. And the notion that the smartest and most gifted should benefit more either financially or socially is classist and in itself inherently unjust. If people are to invent things they do not need any other incentive save for the benefit of society, which in turn benefits themselves in security. A seemingly altruistic motive is in fact a naturally selfish one: to ensure one's survival and happiness through benefiting all of society and their community WITHOUT a profit motive which only leads to societalcorruption.
 
Capitalism is democracy. We vote with our feet and money. Companies don't force us to buy their goods, Government does! It's government that is the monopoly! Not the entrepreneurs! Is government that steal our money and gives to their friends in wall street! Government is the only monopoly, so more government doesn't solve the question, stupid socialists academics! Freedom from the government is the only way. We should destroy monopolies, and when government loses power, no corporation can stand the flexibility of the free market. You want to fight fire with more fire! That's insane! 
 
+Jim Phoenix The freedom you postulate is preferential is negative freedom (or freedom FROM something, in this case government). That's all well and dandy, but you have to take into account that there are forms of force beyond that of law. The four commonly cited modalities of regulating people are Law, Social Norms, Architecture, and Markets. The way you are approaching it, you deny the oppressive nature of markets and social influence and pretend as though those are in fact liberating factors. We aren't saying that you are forced to buy one particular commodity by threat of violence, we are saying that the established system of capitalism relies on the consumption of commodities to survive. We are forced through necessity to contribute to the system, and exactly what elements of the system we contribute to are heavily influenced by norms and a falsified view of reality that this system has created and we embrace. Capitalism is hierarchically authoritarian and to deny that is pure unadulterated delusion. I'm all for democracy, and in fact probably moreso than you if you want to be truthful about it. Capitalism, even free market capitalism, biases society in favour of the capitalist class that controls the means of production and the wealth. No matter who you work for or buy from it is still that ruling elite that has power. That is not democracy. Democracy is when the working class owns itself. Socialism is just democracy on an economic level.

I want to leave you with an analogy that, I think, illustrates why essentially we are having two different arguments. Picture ten people locked in a room. Not kept in at gunpoint, but by a lock on the door that they do not have the key to. Eventually, a slot in the top opens and a man tosses down a single apple and tells them to fight for it.
Asking why there is only one apple= Anti-capitalism
Demanding a key= Anarchism
Splitting the apple= Liberalism
Fighting tooth and nail to be the one that gets fed= Libertarianism
 
+Andrew Fullerton
The established system is not capitalism, it is statist socialism, and that is what is in place in every nation in the world.  Social Norms, Architecture, and Markets, are influenced by the state as well, not just law. One social norm is the distrust of convicts, regardless of whether the law they broke was just. The current global market is fueled by the enslavement that is called a monetary policy. 
Capitalism does rely on the consumption of commodities because consumption makes life sustainable at a biological level. If you don’t eat, drink, and breathe, you will die. If you want to live, you only have to contribute as much as you consume, there is no force in that. 
Again, the system you contribute to is socialism, not capitalism. Socialism is hierarchically authoritarian in nature because of the necessity of a state which is used to impose regulation. However free market capitalism supports whatever works best, whether it’s a hierarchy or a network. 
The capitalist class is everyone with any degree of free choice. “No matter who you work for or buy from it is still that ruling elite that has power.” I’d like you to expand on this; it seems like a non-sequitur.  Democracy is not when the working class owns itself, it is when the majority owns the minority. Socialism is democracy or any other form of authoritarianism on an economic level.
Your analogy does not pertain to reality. No magical man in the sky creates wealth from nothingness. No magical man in the sky forces conflict. This is overly simplistic and does not address how wealth is created because it does not take into account any preexisting resources or anything made possible by trade and free association. If you’re addressing the state, the people are kept enslaved through force, at gunpoint.
 
+Frankie Rekay I'm short on time, so my reply will only pertain to the first part of your comment.

Socialism is a class dynamic and the relation of the social classes to the means of production. The overwhelming economic powers in our societies, all semantics aside, are built on markets, privatization, a hierarchical labour structure, wages, and a centralized state. Whatever you choose to call that, it's not what the vast, VAST majority of socialists refer to when they use the word. While communists do believe on using the state to aid in seizing control of the economy for the working class (a point about which there is still much internal debate) this does not suit us.
My branch opposes markets as a method of distribution for being inefficient and biased against the poor, we endorse holding productive goods (land, factories, etc) in commons and subject to horizontally-organized collaboration where people eschew the production-for-the-sake-of-production model and produce commodities based directly on need so that work is kept to a minimum and people can be defined by their actual desires and what voluntary labour they contribute. We cast doubt on the stability and equitable functionality of a monetary system like the one you see the bankers using to control the state, and speaking of the state, I personally take the side of the argument that the necessary functions of the state can be decentralized and run more-or-less locally for many people. The biggest problem with this is that the transition from our current economic system into something like that requires a rather powerful popular movement and a total overthrow of the corporate-state.

Regardless, our current economic system fits my criteria for capitalism and it's certainly not anything close to free if you look just below the poverty line.
 
+Andrew Fullerton Well, first for you to go ahead with your utopia of voluntary work, you have to be free of state laws that prevents the free market to work. In capitalism, the work is voluntary. No one is forced to work in a sweatshop, it's their choice, because the alternatives are worst. You believe that there is market failures, and yes there is, but slavery was also a market failure, you couldn't imagine a world where everyone were free and still manage to have a quality life of plenty, but we strive and we now are better off without slavery. In a free market you can create your idea, if you want only voluntary work without money you can make a company, and if you are successful you can influence all market to your idea. But if it does not work, only you pay the consequences. The market is based on experimentation, centralized power is based on opinion. I want the people to be free to think and to experiment. And of course the market is authoritarian, but doesn't use force. But if you don't like the products you are free to create an alternative business.

Socialists are afraid of freedom and progress, they are religious about force, that that is the answer to all market failure, it's like using God to explain everything, and they couldn't imagine a secular society without everyone become savage animals. But actually non-religious persons are more civilized than religious. If you think that you need laws or God to have social norms, in a free society you could write personal notes to conduct yourself, but don't impose your limited ideas into others. Don't make good people pay for the bad people. People don't guide themselves with law books, they use common sense. And if they use force, they should be accounted for, and if they are not conventional, if they believe in a different way, the market will test that.

Socialists can't learn from history, they are so afraid of freedom that they have to deny history. The sad thing in this, is that history may have to be remembered with the USA. Go study what happened in Rome, when the republic became a dictatorship. They were a welfare state, that is people depended on state, and every elected governor was held like a hero that was going to make the life better, but it always got worst, more control less freedom, until people applauded the rise of the dictatorship. I predict the same think for the US. 

The distinction have to be made from democracy to republic. The US is NOT a democracy, it's a republic. That is a grave mistake. The majority rule is a dictatorship, it's tyranny, so the state have to be a republic, not a democracy. You can't create more laws, the state has to be limited, and let the market do it's thing. You can't manipulate the state to everyone desires. The market is the true democracy, where you vote with your feet and money on what you want for society. It's about individual choice. And if you feel that the market is limited, go work on that, and help society by providing different alternatives, and by helping others you are helping yourself. 

Force is not the way! Reason is, so don't be lazy and use it.
 
+Jim Phoenix

In your system, how do you handle the problem of monopolies and concentration of wealth. 
 
+Jim Phoenix

Also would be curious to understand how you deal with the use of force without a state. 
 
+Euro Maestro Look at what we've done since we left the trees. Our creativity may be unlimited. But we tend to change when change is a matter of life or death. So to be here and convince you of every steps we should take to end the state, it's a little bit useless. But we can theorize all we want, because there may be infinite ways to deal with these things. But if you say force is the answer, there is no more argument, no more reason, no more creativity. It's just like saying God is the answer. Look at what we accomplished when we started to accept that we don't have all the answers. It's the same with force. God was an excuse for force, now the excuse is the poor and the greater good. I believe that when we create a free society, the explosion of accomplishments is going to be unimaginable by now (like the USA was in the beginning).

But we can theorize. I believe we should privatize everything. I think there is no doubt about the cost effective, quality and diversity of products made by private companies destroying by far the same government products. 
Beginning with school. That horrible schools that traumatize kids. What everyone says is because it's free, it's good. But of course nothing is free, and that argument should end there. If government didn't use taxes to finance the public school, all private schools would lower their price, and the same story with student loans. School, like everything, is a business, and when schools don't have access to cheats (taxes) that guaranties them, they are forced to change, or they would go broke, because no one would want to go there. And I think that logic can be applied to every battle between private vs government.

Now to have a society without government force. David Friedman has a great theory to abolish police. In the US, a great number of cops are now from private companies, because they have far more quality and are more affordable. In a free society you could have security agencies, that you contract to protect you. Instead of contact the police, you contact  the companies by their quality service. For these agencies to have success, it's useful if the crimes are reduced, because it costs money. When you are robbed, your agency would investigate, and if the robber is from another agency, to minimize the costs, the two agencies would reach a deal, and go to the court.

The private court system could work by the same logic, but I don't know much of courts to theorize about it. 

So if the robber is guilty, he have to return the stolen things and pay a fine. And if it doesn't hold him from rob again, he would be sent to a place, like prison where force is legal. We cannot imagine that contrast, between a free society where force is banned, and a society where force in legal. But if our kids were born at that time, it should be very scary to them. It should be like to be release in the middle of a jungle. 

One last thing that is said to be more difficult to privatize is the army. I think it's difficult because it's the line between a free society and a coerced society. First, a free society should be more productive than any other, and all nations would benefit from them. Second all people from other coerced nations, would want to run to that free society, like it was with the Berlin wall. That society could become so powerful  that if you assemble an army to invade it, you would face a major disband. Third, the people in the free society, are more deeply strong that any other nation, and the aggressiveness to defend their freedom, should be overwhelming to any attacker army. Fourth, the language of a free society, is business. And like the US learned, it's the best way of conquering the world. 

The essential thing is the motivation, so compare the motivation of the government workers with the private workers, is obvious which is the better. Stop trying to imagine a society without profit. Everything has a cost, and if that cost isn't well payed, we have a dysfunctional society like the soviets. Profit is law in the free market society, and everyone has a say on that. But that is only my view.
 
+Shiggity Diggity ::Logical correction:: So you'd rather like giving a government to profit-seeking, greedy companies? The people would have even less power on their lives. In a majority rule system (tyranny) people can only  vote the least repulsive people to force you on what they think it's good for you, but if all of this would be in the hands of private companies, everything would turn into democracy. Privatizing everything would create greater flexibility between classes when the poor could become the rich in society. 

Everyone would be benefiting from all this. If you give people the chance to act on ambition, they will sure as hell be successful. Soviet Union or any other "communistic" society did truly adapted the main point of Marx's socialism, MAJORITY RULE. If the government is becoming more powerful, the society, socialistic and not capitalistic, is bound to fail. There has never been a country that would have truly been able to implement the capitalist system properly the way it was originally intended for (based on freedom and natural private property). You are saying that the capitalist system is the worst, and we must have control on freedom (that's funny). A monopoly on force (government) always means that someone is going to abuse it to diminish the freedom of others. And freedom always leads to others having less control.  Control is the opposite of freedom, and we should pick the best:
Education, health care and banks should be in the peoples hands (private). Noting should be from the government. The government should be limited as possible, and the system should be as free as possible. - Everyone should have the same possibility to succeed in life. - (The only phrase I didn't touched!) 

If you think that the difference in income is "control" and something you must preserve, you truly are cancer and a social pollute who deserves to suffocate on a bag of cold porridge. (Yes! A second phrase I agree!)

Notes: You clearly are very confused about everything about society. But I too was on your place, until I really open my eyes I start to see all the logic behind the curtain. I hope you someday be able to see it too. If you do not, I'm sorry for you, and ultimately, if the majority doesn't see it, I think we are pretty doomed, and bound to repeat history all over again. We seem not be to able to learn with history, and that is truly sad. But life goes on. Enjoy yours the way you want. 
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