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Straw Man
RuHo
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Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
Capitalism automatically means invading and subjugating weaker foreign groups? Seems like a hard position to support.
Well, automatically might be a too strict word for you, but yeah when it comes to making profit above anything else, sure it is. Why care for anything else but making profit? Certainly the most profit can be made through acquiring the most amount of resources, and putting those resources to use with as little expenses as possible. Thats why Uncle Moneybags is packing his shit up and sending it to China.
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Like what, exactly?
Barter economies for example. I find you asking this absurd? I mean, anything that ISN'T communism or capitalism.
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Considering we have plenty of examples of capitalist systems working a lot better than Russia, I think the only meaning we can draw from that is "modern Russia's leadership sucks." Obviously capitalism is not a universal panacea, but the costs of scrapping it would be huge and we would need a solution worth the risk (especially when imperfect implementation of the alternative would be likely).
Again, capitalist units failing on something is seen as something unrelated to capitalism in itself but rather some other variable (leadership, the "degree" of capitalism), while the example of communism is always inherently just plain icky. Why is that?
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:01 PM Straw Man is offline  
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joemama
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Originally Posted by RuHo View Post

Again, capitalist units failing on something is seen as something unrelated to capitalism in itself but rather some other variable (leadership, the "degree" of capitalism), while the example of communism is always inherently just plain icky. Why is that?
Nobody is saying that capitalism is perfect, but you seem to be implying that communism can work just as well as an imperfect capitalist system. Care to provide examples either current or historical?
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:21 PM joemama is online now  
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Well, automatically might be a too strict word for you, but yeah when it comes to making profit above anything else, sure it is. Why care for anything else but making profit? Certainly the most profit can be made through acquiring the most amount of resources, and putting those resources to use with as little expenses as possible. Thats why Uncle Moneybags is packing his shit up and sending it to China.
Why are we talking about pure unrestrained capitalism, additionally capable of harnessing the power of government, as intrinsic to the system itself?
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Barter economies for example. I find you asking this absurd? I mean, anything that ISN'T communism or capitalism.
I don't really study economic theory, so I'm not really aware of a lot of modern alternatives. Barter is (if even an alternative to capitalism, not so sure how distinct they are) obviously implausible in the modern age. Scrounged around a bit and we've got stuff like fascism, anarchism, and technocracy.

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Again, capitalist units failing on something is seen as something unrelated to capitalism in itself but rather some other variable (leadership, the "degree" of capitalism), while the example of communism is always inherently just plain icky. Why is that?
We have examples of capitalism working relatively well. We have no examples of communism working well, and working rather poorly enough that it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to try the experiment again.
Old 03-12-2012, 05:39 PM Gibonius is offline  
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If by working relatively well you mean "causing cyclical global financial crises in which those who suffer the most are those least able to provide for themselves, while those who cause the crises laugh all the way to the bank", then yes, capitalism is working quite well (for the rich).

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I think it's important we critically analyze capitalism instead of accepting it as the default. Clearly it has a lot of faults, so maybe there's a better alternative? Maybe not. One strand of socialism didn't work, yes, but we shouldn't simply dismiss all of it because America.

FYI I'm a capitalist.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:00 PM 5ive is offline  
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I do like the idea of a barter economy. You don't have the arbitrary inflation of interest payments and vendors overcharging as much. Plus, there's no ambiguity of ownership possible.

It's a bad example, but let's use those collateralized debt obligations. You buy a home with a mortgage from a bank, who owns the home as security, but you hold the title deed. Now, the bank sells this mortgage to someone else as an investment product. Who the fuck owns the home now? The security is twice removed from the holder of the title deed, or is it? Does the bank still have a stake in this? Did the bank just steal some investor's money, the homeowner's money, and the property itself? Does the homeowner still have property rights at this point?

That shit should not happen in a barter economy. Capitalism, in it's root form, is little more than putting up money as an investment in a company in order to hopefully get some profit share. We know this as buying stocks. It seems to me that, lately, companies have been accepting this investment, and saying fuck off when it comes time to share the profits as much as possible. Next, we went to turning people into a budget item that can be eliminated without any regard to externalities whatsoever. People are just a liability; a cost. That's right, these dumbasses view the asset that keeps the company going, the worker, as a liability. They've been cooking the books for so long now that it's fucking with their business sense.

The problem is with how we view people and money. It's more of money makes the person now. It's more of the person costs money instead of the person makes money. People != money, not people = money, is the way it should be. We've been apathetic for so long that I'm not even sure if we know how to start a popular outrage anymore without tying it to some celebrity fucking their dog and snorting cocaine in the middle of a day care. I back that thought up with the piss poor effort of these OWS pukes. When was the last time we heard anything about them? Do they still have their little campgrounds up, shitting in the streets and calling the guys in suits that don't really give a fuck bad names?

I used to think I was the idiot, but damn... people are fucking stupid.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:36 PM Jack's raging erection is offline  
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If by working relatively well you mean "causing cyclical global financial crises in which those who suffer the most are those least able to provide for themselves, while those who cause the crises laugh all the way to the bank", then yes, capitalism is working quite well (for the rich).

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I think it's important we critically analyze capitalism instead of accepting it as the default. Clearly it has a lot of faults, so maybe there's a better alternative? Maybe not. One strand of socialism didn't work, yes, but we shouldn't simply dismiss all of it because America.

FYI I'm a capitalist.

Communism is more than just "a strand of socialism." Pretty much every First World "capitalist" state these days is some variety of socialist, which serves to dampen a lot of the worst aspects of capitalism.

I think accepting capitalism as the default makes for a more meaningful critique. If our default path is "reforming capitalism" instead of "utopian alternatives," well, that seems more productive to me.

There may very well be a better alternative to capitalism, but I'm certainly not aware of one with enough of a track record for us to think about a serious teardown.
Old 03-12-2012, 09:39 PM Gibonius is offline  
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Straw Man
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Nobody is saying that capitalism is perfect, but you seem to be implying that communism can work just as well as an imperfect capitalist system. Care to provide examples either current or historical?
Do you want me to do that before or after you constantly undermine the capitalist system? Perhaps you should decide is it actually functional or not first.
Also, it's very interesting how empirical evidence of anything trumps everything else when it comes to beloved capitalism.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:46 AM Straw Man is offline  
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Straw Man
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Why are we talking about pure unrestrained capitalism, additionally capable of harnessing the power of government, as intrinsic to the system itself?
Because it pretty much ...is. Besides, people always whine how real capitalism doesn't exist because the gubmint is on their backs. Exploitation is the law, regardless.

I'm not sure are governments even needed anymore, people are actually willing to exploit each other viciously without government supervision
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I don't really study economic theory, so I'm not really aware of a lot of modern alternatives. Barter is (if even an alternative to capitalism, not so sure how distinct they are) obviously implausible in the modern age. Scrounged around a bit and we've got stuff like fascism, anarchism, and technocracy.
Why would it have to be modern? Sounds like you're looking for some profit-based variant whereas systems should focus on other things.

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We have examples of capitalism working relatively well. We have no examples of communism working well, and working rather poorly enough that it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to try the experiment again.
I can't imagine the horror of thousands of years of civilization and living in it until the joys of maximizing profit were discovered. Fucking african tribes have lived communally for thousands of years, but I guess that's just not profitable. You're not really talking about functional systems or ideologies, you're talking about powerful and profitable systems and ideologies.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:56 AM Straw Man is offline  
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Capitalism used to be a sort of communal thing. It started out as a guy going around asking for money to start up a business with the promise to pay them back plus a little extra from the profits the business might make. Thus, the investment is capitalized and paid back in full. Somehow, this system got bastardized into the shit we have today, where we fire thousands of people to make the balance sheet look good profit-wise just to turn around and say the company is healthy and viable, as long as you ignore the fact you just fired 5,000 people. It's just a massive con game, the capitalism of today. If it does evolve, it won't be a new form of capitalism, it will be returning to the roots of capitalism.


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Old 03-15-2012, 09:09 PM Jack's raging erection is offline  
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[There exists] a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:23 PM aoeoae is offline  
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[There exists] a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.
Senator Daniel Inouye
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_...ssional_career

You mean this?

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Old 03-15-2012, 11:50 PM Jack's raging erection is offline  
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Because it pretty much ...is. Besides, people always whine how real capitalism doesn't exist because the gubmint is on their backs. Exploitation is the law, regardless.

I'm not sure are governments even needed anymore, people are actually willing to exploit each other viciously without government supervision
You and I have very different definitions of "intrinsic" I guess.
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Why would it have to be modern? Sounds like you're looking for some profit-based variant whereas systems should focus on other things.
Because I don't think anybody wants to go back to the Dark Ages? Any potential solution would have to be applied to the world that exists now. Doesn't have to be profit based, but barter is so flawed for the modern world that I can't see much value in even talking about it.
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I can't imagine the horror of thousands of years of civilization and living in it until the joys of maximizing profit were discovered. Fucking african tribes have lived communally for thousands of years, but I guess that's just not profitable. You're not really talking about functional systems or ideologies, you're talking about powerful and profitable systems and ideologies.
Not really sure where this is coming from. Maybe those African tribes are content, maybe not. Humanity as a whole wasn't, and has been pushing for progress for pretty much our entire history. Capitalism has done a good job of that. I'd certainly be interested in superior alternatives, but "yeah man living in the fucking Stone Age on the savanna works for some people!" doesn't hold a lot of appeal. We've got six billion people on the planet, they fairly obviously cannot all live in villages hunting gazelles.

Personally, I'd be dead in some African tribe without modern medicine and technology. Quite literally.

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Old 03-16-2012, 01:50 AM Gibonius is offline  
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I can't recall you ever actually arguing for solutions with any clarity, just generally criticizing capitalism in extraordinarily broad terms. Pretty much the same in my eyes as the libertopians, but from the extreme other side of the issue. Neither is very interesting.
Funny, I don't find your status quo bullshit very interesting either. I guess if you want to stick your head in the sand and accept the monstrous state of the world then your attitude is fine, after all it works fine for the middleclass in the first world doesn't it? If you want solutions then there are plenty of historical socialist examples, both real world and theoretical to look to.
Old 03-21-2012, 02:51 PM Patriotic Eagle is offline  
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:51 PM Eileen36 is offline  
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This. This should be the guidance to the solution. Do you remember long ago? They told you a fairy tale about a piece of hemp parchment written in ink called the Constitution. What if that tale were true? Imagine that!

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:05 PM Jack's raging erection is offline  
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