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This is what stubborn refusal to understand Anarchism looks like

There we go again. Another blatantly dishonest anti-anarchist rant from the Barefoot Bum who apparently has no limits to how much he will twist the reality of the situation to excuse himself about throwing unsubstantiated and horribly misinformed slanders against anarchists and the movement.

Once again he whines about hostility coming to him when he innocently and pleasantly tried to understand the threory. He forgets to mention how he crassly insulted anyone who tried to explain things to him, how he alienated any anarchists who attempted to clarify some concepts and how he banned and silenced all discussion in his own blog when he had no arguments. Is it any wonder that he’s faced hostility after he practically goaded for it? There’s only so much abuse anyone will suffer when trying to explain a concept to someone who’s convinced they are “fucktards”.

The Barefoot Bum is a classic example of deliberate obtusity. It’s not that he cannot understand. It’s not that people have no tried to explain things politely. It’s not that Anarchism is difficult to grasp as a concept. It’s that he steadfastly refuses to listen. He has no interest to find out what the theory says because that would mean that he can’t strawman it by using definitional arguments or that he can’t compare it to US Libertarianism (which he egregiously calls “Right Anarchism”).

It may seem that I’m beating a dead horse by continuously pointing out the dishonest methods of TBB but I can’t help that he constantly places himself on the pedestal of bad argumentation. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving triggers to show how not to blog and how not to argue against Anarchism. Take this for example:

I do not understand what anarchists mean by “hierarchical authority” (or the related concept of Libertarian and right-anarchism of “initiation of coercion”). The best explanations I’ve read of these concepts boil down to the presence or exercise of authority or coercion the anarchist does not herself like.

Which is a blatant lie. A most cursory examination of available and primarily suggested material shows that anarchist opposition to hierarchical authority is far more nuanced than TBB claims. Any anarchist who understands the theory they espouse worth a shit will argue in a similar vein and in fact, I’ve done so already and he’s even seen it! To take all this explanation and clarification that I and other anarchists have provided on this exact issue and claim it is nothing more than “exercise of authority or coercion the anarchist does not herself like” can only signify intellectual dishonesty of epic proportions.

Unfortunately this is the classic way by which people have been arguing against Anarchism for far longer than when TBB first started cutting his lying teeth.  Lenin, Trotsky, Drapper and a great number of other Marxist-Leninists have a proud tradition of purposefully misrepresenting Anarchist ideology in order to convince people not take serious notice of it. Lest they become “infected” one imagines. It’s funny really how both sides of the statist camp, left and right, are so similar in the ways they oppose anarchism: By refusing to argue against what it really suggests. This should really point out to anyone how little they can actually argue against the actual anarchist suggestions. Lenin’s book State and Revolution is characteristic in this regard as it was written in a period where the Bolsheviks were practically acting like anarchists and thus he needed to completely misrepresent anarchism within the boook so as to clarify that they were not the same.

Much like Lenin, TBB persists in claiming that Anarchists only mindlessly oppose The System. He bases this conclusion on the fact that Anarchists do not support nonsense such as “Governmental Communism” or “Transitory States” which he himself supports. The argument is as stupid as “As long as you do not support the existence of a transitory state of some sort, you’re being naive or immature”. Read any Marxist-Leninist anti-anarchist tirade and you will see this argument at the core of it ad nauseum. It never gets old apparently. Just look at this:

In other words, I’m not sure it’s even important for me to understand anarchism. If anarchism labels an affinity group of people who simply want to oppose The System without worrying overmuch about the specifics, then good for them. Although it’s not my personal affinity, anarchists in this sense must exist and to a certain extent thrive in any good system, especially a system of governance.

You see? Anarchists are just rebels without a cause and nothing more.1

Much like all the classic anti-anarchist bullshit commonly flung around, TBB then proudly informs us that:

if anarchism really were, as many of its proponents suggest, a coherent, rational and practical political philosophy, then I do want to know about it and be rationally convinced.

…While stubbornly refusing to listen, understand or be “rationally convinced” of anything that does not already coincide with his currently held views.

For everyone else, I hope that TBB once more serves as a lesson on how not to behave. Anarchists are more than happy to help anyone understand and to clarify any concept you might have about the thory – as long as you extend the same courtesy you expect in return. Such examples are plentiful. But if you go out of your way to insult, silence and dishonestly misrepresent our opinions and those who try to engage you, then you have no leg to stand on to claim that you are open to being “rationally convinced” nor to complain about “hostility”.
  1. Even Better: “I have come to the conclusion (which I of course can change based on additional evidence) that left anarchists are infantile faithists because they passionately defend a concept they are unable to explain and seems basically incoherent.” []

Unwillingness to understand the Anarchist "opposition to authority"

Ah, another day, another horribly misguided anti-anarchist post from the Barefoot Bum who seemingly simply refuses to even listen to  what anarchists propose before criticizing Anarchism. It’s kind of sad really, especially seeing that it’s someone who wishes to pass himself as a radical intellectual and yet is too stubborn to know his enemy and rather prefers to imagine what their position is and counter that. It’s starts to feel as if he purposefully avoids knowledge just so that he cannot be accused of willful strawmanning. But one cannot avoid pointing out that this kind of behaviour goes far beyond simple misunderstanding, and rather points out a stubborn unwillingness to understand the other position. This is unfortunately only exaggerated when one is closed to all dialogue and would rather close his ears while shouting at the wind1.

Still, it does seem that when sufficiently demolished, TBB just might realize how egregiously wrong he is and jump to another strawman. At best, one can expect him to eventually run out of strawmen. At worst, this might serve to prevent someone who does not know better from being taken in by this kind of nonsense. So, without further ado, lets take a look at the arguments put forward in this article.

First of all anarchism is criticized for not having a sufficiently succinct definition like “Communism” which he mistakenly defines as governmental control of capital. One can provide quite a lot of descriptions of Anarchism but you cannot understand the sociopolitical system from just a description. That requires either reading, or a discussion with actual Anarchists and you cannot do the latter by acting like a twat. Nevertheless, one can describe Anarchism as egalitarianism via prevention of concentration of political or economical power. The replacement of hierarchical control with individual voluntarism and the replacement of competition as the driving force of progress with cooperation. As TBB said, the devil is in the details but fundamentally anarchism is predicated on the idea that distributed capital is order more effective than concentrated capital2 and that self-determination and mutual aid allows humans to achieve personal happiness that is orders higher than authoritarian top-down management can ever achieve.

TBB then moves to wonder what anarchists mean when they say that they “oppose authority” which is something that indeed needs clarification. But if one actually read what Anarchists had to say about this, they shouldn’t really have any confusion on this issue. This is really not a subject that is easy to explain, nor does it spring up from the definition of anarchism or from sound-bites one heard in a forum discussion and unfortunately that is precisely what TBB is doing and then wondering why it makes no sense. Anarchists recognise very well the distinctions of “authority” and are very clear on what exactly they oppose. In the words of Colin Ward:

“You can be in authority, or you can be an authority, or you can have authority. The first derives from your rank in some chain of command, the second derives special knowledge, and the third from special wisdom. But knowledge and wisdom are not distributed in order of rank, and they are no one person’s monopoly in any undertaking. The fantastic inefficiency of any hierarchical organisation — any factory, office, university, warehouse or hospital — is the outcome of two almost invariable characteristics. One is that the knowledge and wisdom of the people at the bottom of the pyramid finds no place in the decision-making leadership hierarchy of the institution. Frequently it is devoted to making the institution work in spite of the formal leadership structure, or alternatively to sabotaging the ostensible function of the institution, because it is none of their choosing. The other is that they would rather not be there anyway: they are there through economic necessity rather than through identification with a common task which throws up its own shifting and functional leadership.”Perhaps the greatest crime of the industrial system is the way it systematically thwarts the investing genius of the majority of its workers.”

It is blatantly obvious, when one retains intellectual honesty and does even a light attempt at discovering what anarchists oppose, that it is hierarchical authority. We oppose the authority which comes from people being in control only in lieu of them having more power than others. In very short, we oppose coerced authority. Either passively or actively coerced, that is either authority enforced by force of arms, or authority imposed by taking away all other choices. TBB proceeds to doubt wether coercion can be imposed as it’s always “within society” but that is blatantly false as any society which has been invaded by another should make abundantly clear.

He also argued:

The anarchist opposition to “hierarchy” does seems really nonsensical; a small group that exercised coercive power should be objectionable even if it were organized other than hierarchically. For example, the capitalist ruling class employs hierarchical structures, but is not itself organized hierarchically.

This is irrelevant, since the capitalist coercive power can only be maintained by hierarchical control. Taking away hierarchical control would necessarily require the abolition of capitalism and therefore the capitalist class. In short, it is not possible to have a “ruling elite” without hierarchical authority, ie someone to rule over.

Anarchists of course do not aim to abolish all coercion, as that is simply impossible. At the most basic level, we still need to use coercion to prevent the imposition of coercion. Eg, we need to physically prevent someone beating up people who will not become his slaves. It is the use of coercion that matters and how it is applied and anarchists argue that using coercion to form coercive hierarchies is bad, because hierarchical coercion is bad for humans. The reasons why this is so, is a lengthy subject for another day.

Furthermore, his argument that distributed coercion is worse than hierarchical coercion is of course pure nonsense.

Finally, he also posits the following “paradox”

Another important consideration is that there are intrinsic variations in individuals and in the organization of more-or-less “voluntary” associations. These variations can combine naturally to afford some groups more power to effect their desires than other groups. And, of course, one natural desire is for more power. Not only does power naturally concentrate, but the concentration of power forms a positive feedback loop. In order to keep power distributed, some group would have to have the authority — the coercive power — to block or reverse natural concentrations of power. Concentration of power is necessary to stop concentration of power, a nifty paradox.

If there’s one thing that an anarchist who has had to debate quite a lot has learned to look out for, it’s the common fallacy from human nature. There’s key words and phrases which should automatically ring alarm bells to the heads of everyone reading such arguments as they attempt to call out to previous assumptions of the reader about “facts of human nature” and work from there. Such is the argument TBB is doing by saying “And, of course, one natural desire is for more power” where he doesn’t attempt to base his arguments on anything other than a very shaky assumptions of what is a “natural desire” for humans. Once you challenge this, the whole “paradox” topples down like a house of cards.

There is in fact no reason for humans to form coercive authority in order to prevent coercive authority. We can firstly prevent hierarchies from forming by not enabling them (which is where the abolition of private property comes in) and by distributedly coercing those who would impose them. But it is not tyranny to oppose tyranny. TBB would like us to believe that humans naturally would try to accumulate power and that groups of people will somehow manage to do this within themselves before extending over others. This of course will not work as within the group, those who are in the lower rungs of the hierarchy will soon rebel and demand equality. This “natural movement or humans within a positive loop” that TBB asserts is nothing more than an unrealistic idea based on assuming a human who acts however you’d like and on the pre-existence of a system which would  naturally select for such a behaviour (such as any propertarian system).

While I was writing this, TBB also wrote an article against voluntary co-operation, unfortunately filled with the same kind of misunderstandings of what Anarchism stands for. This is a perfect example of why it makes no sense to argue against a theory, any theory, without first bothering to at least understand what that theory suggests in the first place. It is unfortunate to say this but TBB is only following in the proud tradition of Marxist-Leninists (I’m certain he’ll reject this classification too and call it slanderous) who  go out and make strawman after strawman as they attempt to make people pre-emptively dismiss Anarchism.

Update: Also see joeldavis’ great point-by-point refutation in reddit.

  1. It’s not even worth pointing out how astonishingly hypocritical he is to claim that he faces “hostility and contempt”, when he is practically the one making people hostile by treating them like shit, banning them from his site when they disagree with him and then talking shit about others where he cannot be countered. When he is criticized elsewhere, he faces “hostility and contempt”. Hah. []
  2. And this is something sufficiently shown by looking at reality historically and empirically rather than pulling facts out of one’s own arse. []

The Barefoot Bum strikes back and the ethics of blogging.

8 12 09 Bearman Cartoon Freedom of Speech
Image by Bearman2007 via Flickr

…Sort of. In response to my internet drama post about banning me from his blog and my thoughts about it and his past actions he’s come out to clarify his position and why nobody deserves to call him an enemy of free speech or whatever. Of course that would actually be a valid defense if I had claimed that he was an enemy of free speech and open debate. Which, you know, I haven’t.

The Barefoot Bum thus, unwittingly, provides us with a perfect example to talk about blogger ethics and go further on why his actions were objectionable.1

He claims that he has no obligation to publish comments or be as nice to commentators and thus implies that shouldn’t be criticized for not doing that. He also claims that he doesn’t object to others criticizing them at their own locations…within a blogpost whining about me criticizing him at my own blog. The Irony is delicious once more.

But what he has failed to grasp is that I’m not criticizing him for being a hypocrite or an enemy of free speech. I’m criticizing him for being an arrogant elitist, for being a dick to people who don’t deserve it and for being hypocritical about being a “a honest seeker of truth” when he dismisses arguments which do not fit into his preconceptions.

His comment policy fits nicely into this picture since it’s a policy which works quite different from the examples he mentions about “no comments”, “no replies from the office”, and “open to all but trolls”. Putting aside the fact that any and all those comment policies can and should be discussed and criticized just as well, his own policy of “comments are heavily moderated and discouraged” is very vague on its guidelines and judging from the examples of what he ends up banning can thus be condemned for the thin excuse for intolerance of different opinions it is. Just because it’s his  policy in his own blog does not allow him to escape this, and this is precisely what I did.

One might ask, as he proceeds to do, why didn’t I do this before? Why I didn’t criticize his comment practices (or his Maoist tendencies) before this drama occurred. The answer is quite simply because I used to consider him an online friend at some point in the past and thus was trying to tactfully point out the errors of his positions without putting it bluntly and thus forcing him on the defensive which would have simply ended up with us speaking past each other. This is only common (n)etiquette between friends and acquaintances really as you’re trying to change the other’s position without breaking up all relations in the meantime. My attempts were especially cautious furthermore as I knew firsthand his intolerance and thus slow. But it was there, in the various counter-arguments I made in his comments and in this blog as well.

Of course, what ended up happening is that the more clearly I started opposing his position, the more annoyed he became at me and the more cold and stressed our interactions became. Still I kept hope that he would be willing to listen to opposing opinions  from someone who’s opinion he used to respect and thus I decided not to come out and condemn him openly until he took the first step to force my hand as I expected him to do, and as he proceeded to do. Instead of thinking why someone he used to read and agree with started arguing against his positions, he took the easier solution to consider that I must have somehow become stupid in the meantime and therefore not worth listening to.

In fact, this etiquette is what Larry seems to be severely lacking and something that he also deserves to be condemned for just as well. His reaction to people who express a different opinion is horrendous. He will accuse them of stupidity or “fucktardery” (to use his own words) at the drop of a hat and thus only manages to discourage and avoid dialogue. Is it no wonder why I consider such knee-jerk reactions counter-productive and do not follow them? And this is precisely the reason I now openly take the time and condemn Larry’s intolerant behavior. Because I wish to discourage it.

I don’t have any illusions that Larry will learn from this of course but he does serve as a great example of how not to act if you’re really looking for truth. Shutting down dialogue, especially when the other side is not being deliberately trollish or aggressive, is not in your interests as a freethinker. Larry may be too far gone with far too thin a skin to save but hopefully the rest of you aren’t.

For closing I am going to address Larry’s contention that he’s not a Maoist because he’s not explicitly said so. A claim so ridiculous on its face that I shouldn’t have to address anyway but I’ll do this just in case one can’t see it. Very much like Socialism or most other political theories do not apply via self-description, so does the opposite hold true as well: The lack of a self-described label does not automatically exclude one from the theory. Larry makes the fallacious reasoning that people are not a “Hitlerites” either simply for being vegetarians nonsmokers, missing the point that those factors do not a Nazi make. However someone who was intolerant to non-Aryan races and homosexuals and also an anti-semite would probably strongly point to Nazi-tendencies. Similarly, the Barefoot Bum’s promotion of governmental communism, his support and apologetics for various Maoist policies, his fawning over Bob Avakian and the RPCUSA and finally his intolerance for opposing opinion in a true Marxist-Leninist fashion, do point out that strong Maoist-tendencies certainly exist in his political orientation, even though he has not explicitly endorsed the whole theory.

If it walks like a duck and it looks like a duck but it hasn’t actually quacked yet to confirm it, you are still warranted to have a very strong suspicion that it is, in fact, a duck.

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  1. Really, It’s not worth wasting any more bytes explaining how he didn’t understand why I was annoyed at him. My post is quite clear on this even though Larry picked the parts which were the easiest to misrepresent and proceeded to do so. []

Arguments from Ignorants

If there is one thing that annoys me when seeing arguments against Communism is persistent ignorance. We’re not talking about simple ignorance where someone is not aware of a fact, but the kind of stubborn insintense on false ideas even when one has explicitly been told that they have it wrong. At this point we’re not simply talking about someone who has it wrong but about someone who is unwilling to learn.

Witness now this obtuse argument from BadTux who tries to explain why Communism is doomed to failure with arguments even a cursory look at an introductory text to Marxism should have put to rest.

He flies right off the bat by separating the political aspect of Communism from the economic, not obviously undertanding that this is impossible. Communism is not simply an economic system but a complete one, ecompassing social, political and economic aspects. You cannot disconnect the economic aspect of Communism from the social simply because it requires a specific type of society to work.

Communism is about having a classless, stateless society. It’s that simple. If you have a state or separation of classes, whether in the form of government bureaucrats or simple capitalists, you cannot claim to be in Communism. In any sense. It’s that simple. So by taking the economic aspect of the Soviet Union and calling it “Economic Communism”, you are using a flawed system as an example.

Next, we have the argument of how people would not join communes by themselves and they would have to be forced. Something which is of course totally away from any historical reality. If BadTux had bothered to actually read the History of the Russian Revolution he would have seen how “few” people were willing to to form soviets. The reality was that people were joining Soviets by the thousands, both the proletariat in the cities and the peasants in the armies. They were very much the majority and did not have to use any force.

He at least tries later to improve the validity of his article by talking about “modern communism” not realizing that there is nothing “modern” about it but rather that the original idea was about industrial societies. The idea for Communism was that it always required an industrialized society before it could take hold. This was the original idea from the time of Marx. The lack of a big proletariat in Russia and China was a large, if not the largest reason why the revolutions failed. A feudal peasant population is incompatible with Communism.

Then we’re treated to the impossibility of handling the modern production under communism simply by bringing up all the elements required for a product. But that’s just it. There’s no explanation of why this makes it impossible other than the inability of the author to think about it.

And with these arguments we are then told “So this, then, explains why communism as an economic system has failed every time it has been tried” and then goes on to bring the Soviet Union as an example. So he has failed to grasp what Communism even is, and then brought up State Capitalist society as proof. Incredible!

We then continue with the “other aspect” of Communism which is the political which apparently has been shown to fail…in a capitalistic society. What BadTux does not realize is that Communism does not work on an per-nation basis. Communism has to be achieved internationally so as to not have the need for standing armies or a state apparatus.  Even Lenin recognised the need for International movements for Communism and this is what he was counting on. He knew that if that did not happen, the Russian Revolution was in a really tight spot.

It is no worth looking at individual communes in a Capitalist society as they are not the point or an example of socialism. Their struggle to survive in a Capitalist society is what creates contradictions among the people within. This “problem of power” that BadTux keeps referring to does not exist in a society where people can easily leave a syndic they do not like and immediately join another or form their own.

And indeed. there is no better example for this than the Free Software movement. Therein you have groups of people clustered around any specific application and you have a benevolent dictator at the top. This “leader” or group of leaders that BadTux claims would always cause problems and dissolving the group. However not only does this work our, but it works admirably. When the leaders are indeed benevolent, the group prospers and keeps them in their place due to their abilities. If the leaders misbehave enough however, the dissatisfied people simply fork the project and start a new group. What “problem of power”?

This is why such arguments from ignorants are so annoying. You end up having to refute arguments which have nothing to do with Communism at all. This is not productive at all to the Communist who does not learn anything new but rather has to waste time pointing out strawmen left and right. Argue why the Labour Theory of Value is wrong. Argue how exploitation of the worker does not exist. Argue, in short, for things that Marxism actually explains and proposes, not whatever half-truths you gathered from school and popular news sources.

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What's the best compliment you can give to a freethinker?

Quoth Eric Evans

The great thing about db0 is that he made me really strive to refute what he was saying. Always reading material by people who agree with you is easy. Reading disagreeing opinion is difficult. db0 has made me think about the solidity of my position for a day now. Every road I’ve gone down has its problems.[…]

Personally, as a blogger, this is one of the best comments anyone can make about what I write. I do not write to simply reinforce your own preconception and solidify what you already believe. I criticize in order to create discussion. I write what I think in order to make others think as well.

I’ve been brutally assaulted in discussions by the vocal minority of both Marxists and Misians because I challenged their core beliefs and opinions, but as long as some people in the silent majority get to thinking (even if they dismiss what I say eventually), then I consider my work as a job well done.

So thank you Eric for the kind words. Opinions like these is what keeps me going and makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day. Even if in the end you can refute my arguments, you will know that your ideas more solid than before. I hope that in the 3000 people that visited the Division by Zer0 from mises.org these days, there are a few more “Erics”.

It seems that I have made some waves…

Rant in E-Minor album cover
Image via Wikipedia

It seems that my latest post refuting the Austian refutation of Marxist exploitation theory has been noticed by none other than the official mises.org blog. The reaction was only to be expected.

I provide to you a sample of AnCap civility for your amusement 😉

This guy admits he’s no economic or marxist sholar, yet he’s calling our theorist hollow!? What a moron!

No, I said that your system sounds hollow. Learn to read?

He also has a laughable article on his site trying to debunk Rothbard’s “Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature”

The only laughable thing about this article is Rothbard himself really. What a douchebag.

Yawn. Another crank. Let him “refute” to his heart’s content. Just more nonsense to ignore for me

Not bored enough to write a comment about it obviously. But I also got the crank title at least.

Like most marxoids dedicated to proving that capitalism is evil because if the worker didn’t work for a wage the worker would starve, the role of the people who actually sell food is mysteriously overlooked.

Marxoid? Ok Misoid, I do not ovelook the role of people who sell food at all. If they are the intermediary for selling the item, then they simply pay the worker for the food he produced. Their labour is the act of selling and they should get to keep the full suplus value they create with that.

In short, this moron does not know what he is talking about.

Thank you. Hugs and kisses back.

The site also seems to have been designed to make reading a chore, irritating like chalk on a blackboard.

Does my mother smell of Elderberries too?

Who gives a damn if some commie loser wastes his time jostling with chimaeras he made up?

Who indeed.

So there you have it. And this is simply the product of half a night’s gnashing of teeth. I can’t wait to see what more beautiful gems of indignation I’m going to receive.

All is not bad though, I already had 2 civil comments so there is hope that not all AnCaps are twats. Nevertheless, I’m glad I put up my warning to them yesterday. It might reduce the number of inane comments I get.

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Back to the needs of Capitalism

It seems I’ve been informally challenged to a debate. Robert from Making my Way is attempting to refute the points I raised in the needs of Capitalism.

There were various points raised which I will attempt to counter.

There can be no infinite goods.

Yes and no. While Robert took ‘infinite’ in the literal sense, I did not mean or require it that way. My first example was not of machines producing infinite food but quite enough food to feed everyone five times over, thus bringing the price of food to nearly zero.

Robert’s explanation of how such thing can never happen due to limited resources is simply skirting the issue. Not only that but we already have the capability to produce infinite goods (digital goods due to their nature are infinite, and yes, Copyrights are very much indeed a form of artificial scarcity) and enough food to feed the world population. The reason why we do not is exactly the problem I raised in misery and profit.

This is not strictly about self-generating goods. It is about having enough goods so that the price, due to supply, drops to (nearly) zero. Even when such thing would be overwhelmingly positive for the whole of humanity, as in the case of food or shelter, for capitalism this is negative.

The argument about trends is laughable. They do not apply to everything and people impoverished do not care about them. Honestly I don’t even know what you are replying with that.

Basic needs for free are not possible

Here I believe I need to clarify. Of course someone will have to do the work to produce the food people eat but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about having enough increased production from each food maker that the amount of food produced by very few people (or none as in the case of the theoretical incredible food machines) is enough to feed everyone in the earth. As these few people do not need to be paid a lot for the staggering amount of food they would provide, the relevant costs of this for each person would be close to zero.

Now you have to realise that we’re talking theoretically here. It may very well be the case that we may never reach this level of production (although the rising production per worker in the modern day points otherwise) but we’re talking that if it were possible, it would not be even feasible under capitalism.

It’s unclear why you conflate work with misery, when work is simply a fact of life. You might as well say life is misery.

You misunderstand, I do not say that work is misery. I say that misery is what Capitalism uses to make people do the unwanted work.

Capitalism is the best thing we have because of how the world is

This is actually false. Capitalism is not here because it’s the best thing. We can already feed and shelter everyone in the world, even without infinite resources (as humans are not infinite either) but that would mean that there would have to be a redistribution of wealth. The rich would have to become less rich in order for poverty to go away.

Because of Greed, these people do not allow that to happen. Because of misery, the endless brutal cycle continues.

The fact that Capitalism is what is in force now does not make it exempt from criticism. Shutting your eyes does not make it’s problems go away. There are indeed systems that can work better than Capitalism and even if there weren’t, it should be our duty as humans to invent them.

Things that were not addressed

While Robert attempted to refute or skirt what was generally easy, the basic issues were not addressed.

Capitalism requires misery and Capitalism requires greed.