When 90% percent don't want Capitalism anymore, it has to go.

An Industrial Worker capitalist class critique
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I was recently sucked into a conversation with Libertarians which I found after they linked to me. I know I really shouldn’t have done that but some times I can’t resist. Unfortunately I can’t really continue commenting there because the comment form they have there is slow, ugly and buggy and it generally not good for having a comfortable conversation.

As is classic, the main argument that was raised there was that the “Free Markets are the best ev4r”. Anything wrong with the world is blamed on the government and everything good on the “Free” Markets. This is based on the idea that anything that moves towards deregulation does well but anything that moves away does bad. As an example for that, the US was proposed which apparently for the last 30 years has been moving towards socialism (I kid you not, the greatest push towards neoliberalism in the history of the US and the world was actually a move toward socialism).

Other than the usual strawmen like equating communism with USSR and failing to grasp how it does not require a state another argument was put forward:

So again, you do not care what the other 10% want, you will forcefully take from them what they have earned for yourself.  You are blaming them for your own failures.  I have no desire or need to exploit anyone else in order to get what I want out of life.  I wish to treat everyone as equals while knowing full well that we are not all equal.  Some people have more desire, more ambition, more knowledge, more energy, more perseverance, and more skill than others.  I know where my faults lie and I know what I am capable of doing and I know that I am not equal to everyone else and not better than them either.  I am my own man, with my own desires, and I want to fulfill those desires without the need to force other people to shares them with me.

Indeed, I do not care what the 10% want because what they want can only be achieved by exploiting the other 90%. When the majority of the world wants to move to an egalitarian system where nobody is exploited, nobody had to starve and nobody has to work where they do not want, why should we care that we don’t spoil the party of those 10% who are living the good life?

Apparently for the Libertarian, having the vast majority of the people in abject poverty is fine and dandy as long as some of them have theoretically the chance to rise to the top. He assumes that the majority of the wealthy have risen to the top from the lower classes but that’s just just untrue. The majority of the people are born into their position and there’s a small minority that manages to rise above their class. The later examples have more to do with luck than it has to do with skill. Yes the people who become wealthy from poverty, have to have skill, but there’s much more hard-working, skillful people who cannot rise,  not because they are worse, but because there’s simply not enough room at the top.

But for a Liberatian that’s alright. As long as those 10% of humanity have absolute freedom, he can simply assume that their position is deserved. And anyone who dares to disagree must be a lazy bum who is simply not hard-working, skilful or competitive enough to achieve it. This reminds me of the common U.S. American arrogance where they assume that their position as world power was deserved because of how hard-working and skilful as a whole they are.

So yeah, I have no qualms in taking the means of production from the 10% who owns them and forces the rest of humanity to wage-slavery. I have no qualms in wishing for a better society where everyone has a chance to happiness instead of the minority who just happened to be lucky. And yes, prosperity today has much more to do with where and from which you were born than with how hard-working or talented one is.

Making happiness and life-fulfillment a lottery is simply selling humanity short.

The thing that is telling about Libertarians is how little they understand the system they support. The “Free” market is equated with Capitalism and all together is provided as a panacea.

I answered for you because I knew you couldn’t. You proved it too. “Seizing the means of production” is that not force? You still fail to understand free markets. I do not support coercion by force of the state, that is not a free market and it is not capitalism. On the other hand you support the idea of force, workers forcefully taking over the means of production from the owners of that production.

The “Free” Markets you’re wishing for cannot work without a government force behind them. Otherwise there would be nothing to stop criminals or enforce contracts. It is this state force that the Capitalists who controls all the wealth and power will seize and increase, for their own interests. It is this state force that the Capitalist will use to bust unions who “illegally go on a strike”. The idea of Libertarianism is simply Government protection only for the rich (more than it is now that is). It is not a problem to force starving people in brutal “voluntary” contracts and then use the government to enforce them. That is the coercive force that the “Free” Markets use.

When this force is rejected by the majority of the human wage-slaves, they will revolt and attempt to seize the means of production. The “non-coercive” Libertarians will immediately claim that they are assaulted, even though what is simply happening is the majority rejecting the minority’s rules, and will send the state to intervene. This, for the Libertarian is fair game for they are only protecting their “rightful property” after all.

This has been the history of revolution everywhere however. The oppressed majority rising up, without force and demanding equality, and the minority using the state machine to put them into their place. First it was the slaves, then it was the peasants, and now it’s the proletariat. And in every case, the minority was, in their own minds, in the right.

But when the vast majority wants to play a new game, there is not reason to keep playing the old one, simply because the ones who were winning already don’t like it. When there is a difference on what is “right” between the vast majority of the working class and the small minority of the bourgeoisie, I do not see why the small minority must have its way.

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  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    First, you confuse socialism and communism. They are not the same. The socialist state dissolves before moving on to Communism.
    Second socialism has a state, but it is nothing like the state we have now.

    Third: Even if such an action towards a socialist state is not the best course of action towards communism, we can always modify it and not do it. Marx's words are not a dogma.

  • http://riseuprochester.org Andrew Slominski

    You are mistaken. I AM against people being exploited, but it is the CENTRAL BANKS that exploit people by inflating currency. If Marx cared so much about the common man, then why would he put the necessity for a central bank in the Communist Manifesto? http://www.fdrs.org/communism_faults.html

    It should make you concerned that Marxists and Communists were such good friends with the same central bankers that had already entrenched themselves across Europe and found their way into the US in 1914 with the establishment of the Federal Reserve.

    In fact, all of the poor in the US would be much better off today without central banks. Their wages might be the same or lower in nominal terms, but in relative terms to the price of food and housing and electronics, etc. it would purchase more.

    I suppose price theory is a bit to grounded for a leftist. It shatters the whole oceans of honey and "what if you didn't have to worry about costs" nonsense.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Er, I think you should actually read the Communist Manifesto yourself instead of believing nonsense like these.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I suppose price theory is a bit to grounded for a leftist. It shatters the whole oceans of honey and "what if you didn't have to worry about costs" nonsense.

    What the hell are you talking about? What "price theory" are you talking about?

    • http://sitakali.org sitakali

      Read economist Raj Patel's "The Value of Nothing." It shatters price theory, a foundation on which the entire neo-classical economic system lies. The person who created the theory has already denounced it as well.

      • http://dbzer0.com db0

        Cheers, I'll look it up

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I suppose price theory is a bit to grounded for a leftist. It shatters the whole oceans of honey and "what if you didn't have to worry about costs" nonsense.

    What the hell are you talking about? What "price theory"?

    • coda

      Wait, you're arguing about libertarianism vs. communism and you don't know anything about price theory? I think you're arguing against the wrong libertarians.

      — I just read a few more of your posts on this website and your fallacies are just *mindboggling*. Here are a few questions I have for you (providing links for me to read with answers would be perfectly good too)

      * In your communist utopia, what if I love to finger-paint but hate everything else. Should I be able to finger-paint for a living?
      * How in your communist utopia is labor distributed– that is who decides how many people make food, how many people build roads, how many people mine for metals, etc.
      * How does your communist utopia deal with freeloaders?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

        In your communist utopia, what if I love to finger-paint but hate everything else. Should I be able to finger-paint for a living?

        That's up to you to arrange with your peers. If they thought the art you created was worthwhile they would probably allow you to do it as part of your contribution to the whole. If what you did was worthless for everyone, then you would have to do something socially necessary as your contribution and keep this as a hobby.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

        In your communist utopia, what if I love to finger-paint but hate everything else. Should I be able to finger-paint for a living?

        That's up to you to arrange with your peers. If they thought the art you created was worthwhile they would probably allow you to do it as part of your contribution to the whole. If what you did was worthless for everyone, then you would have to do something socially necessary as your contribution and keep this as a hobby.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

        * How does your communist utopia deal with freeloaders?

        Social pressure should be enough. Ostracising in extreme cases. This is up to each community to decide how to deal with.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR SlomoUofR

    "5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly."

    Communist Manifesto #5,
    Karl Marx & Fred. Engels

    "Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens… while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some… who are (then) the object of hatred."

    John Maynard Keynes

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    Unfortunately I can’t really continue commenting there because the comment form they have there is slow, ugly and buggy and it generally not good for having a comfortable conversation..

    It's a bug with Disqus and I notified the programmers. They are working on it. Disqus is about as popular as IntenseDebate right now, but I will consider switching if they fail to help me resolve the issue.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    How can you be professing equal treatment and equal happiness while at the same time choosing to disregard 10% of the population.

    When I have the choice of having 10% happy and 90% unhappy and exploited VS 90% happy and unexploited and 10% unhappy and unexploited then I'm thinking the correct choice is the second. Whyever would the majority be able to block what the majority wants to do simply because they're not going to keep being in charge?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    All of your wishes do not change the fact that the most productive societies with the highest living standards in the history of the world are those that embrace free-markets.

    Hah! Iceland wholly embraced the "Free" Markets. Fat good it did them
    The last 30 years the US has been embracing the "Free" Markets. Fat good it did them.
    Africa has never been socialist. Fat good it did them.

    No, the highest living standards are not because of the free markets, it's because of the exploitation of the most productive societies in the third world through imperialism.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Let's take me for instance, for me to be happy I want to provide for myself the things that I desire without relying on anyone or having anyone rely on me. Under your system of so called egalitarian liberalism, you want to force me into something I don't want. But you just said the purpose was to make people happy. Well guess what I would not be happy.

    You can't please everyone all the time. I'm prepared to accept you being unhappy (while also being able to survive) in exchange of having the majority of the world happy (and able to survive). If the alternative is to have you happy while the majority of the world unhappy (and often unable to survive) then I don't really see the dilemma

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    And how can you claim that your communism does not require a state? Wouldn't you need some kind of authority to remove the wealth from one group and distribute it to the others?

    No

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Why should I get up everyday to work if the society will provide for my needs? Why should I work harder for the things that I want if they will just be taken from me in order to provide for others.

    I have explained this here

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    There is a reason that socialism, communism, and egalitarianism fail every time they are tried. It is because they are NOT sustainable.

    Quite a shallow view of history. I suggest you read the History of the Russian revolution before you making sweeping statements like that.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    If you LISTEN to the protesters in Iceland they are specifically pissed at their GOVERNMENT and the FINANCE MINISTERS that used CENTRAL PLANNING of the monetary system through CENTRAL BANKING. During protests they were calling for specific members of the government to resign that were part of the central banking scam. Expensive social programs cannot be funded through taxation alone and politicians turn to central banking as a quick and easy way to print the money out of thin air to sustain the system. Any temporary gains are to be expected but are synthetic and cannot become permanent because there is no additional wealth for society being created.

    In regards to Africa. The countries that avoid the grasp of the World Bank, UN and IMF should be expected to succeed in generating wealth for their populations faster than those which have intervention by these agencies. I would recommend they trade freely and have low tax rates, but they are free to use other systems if they wish.

    The world is not a zero-sum game. If I become better off I'm not necessarily making someone else worse off. A hug is a great example. So is sharing. So is trade.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    I don't think numbers are on your side if that's the game you want to play. It's apparent that you don't care about the morality – it's just ends justifies the means, but think about it. Many developed countries have seen their populations stabilize and have eliminated absolute poverty. Other nations are still growing while third world countries are growing very quickly. All this unable to survive stuff doesn't make sense when you consider populations are expanding in the third world and collapsing in the first world.

    What the third world needs is more productive workers and more capital: (http://riseuprochester.org/2008/12/05/why-are-wag

    If people in the third world were as highly educated and had as much capital per capita at their disposal it would quickly follow that they could be wealthy too. We don't need to destroy the first world to build up the third world so we can all be second world. I repeat, the world is NOT a zero-sum game.

  • Alicia

    I read some of the debate which you recently participated in on riseuprochester.org. I’m coming from a position somewhere in the middle, where I feel the communist and libertarian perspectives are working toward ideals that present real issues when implemented.

    On one hand, I see injustice in the world all around me. I see the U.S. government exploiting the rest of the world under the pretenses of the free-market. I see the World Bank and IMF forcing African countries into policies that only perpetuate neo-colonialism. I see the same corporations in bed with government controlling our lives and forcing us to consume. As a student of history I am aware that real government policies have barred groups such as African Americans (to name one example) from being anything more than free on paper. In addition, oppressed groups are expected to adhere to the path that the majority deems appropriate for achieving success (i.e. play by the “white American” rules of the game and go to school, get good grades, move up the ladder).

    At the same time, I think personal liberty is important and I don’t think that every person being exactly equal is something to strive for. Isn’t the kind of equality you are hoping for somewhat of a frightening 1984/Brave New World-esque utopia?

    I wish that every person would work to improve his/her situation and help those around them as much as possible. But what about people who are better at sports, or singing, or writing? Everyone should be able to use, without apology, his or her talents and skills. I know you’ve heard this before, but we can never have the type of equality which you seek, nor do I think that is a moral goal to strive for.

    Finally, you say “prosperity today has much more to do with where and from which you were born than with how hard-working or talented one is.”

    I am an exception to your rule and see countless individuals around me who don’t fit this example. My family had nothing, my father died at a young age, and no one else in my family has gone to college. Other young people in the U.S. certainly have more complete families, have had the opportunity to work with private tutors and have music lessons and play on sports teams. Do I resent them for that? No. I can ‘t spend my life contemplating how they were born with better opportunities.

    I decided myself that I valued education and that I was the happiest when I was reading, writing, and learning. My current prosperity has everything to do with how hard I’ve worked. No one has ever handed anything to me–I’ve taken the initiative to be happy and succeed using my talents. I don’t know that it is anyone else’s responsibility but my own to do that. I can see why Libertarians value the individual so much, and contrary to what you say, I don’t think they are happy with only 10% being “successful.” I think that they see true freedom as a means for the other 90% to live well.

    I look forward to reading more on your site and how you propose your ideal can be achieved.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • http://dbzer0.com db0

    In regards to Africa. The countries that avoid the grasp of the World Bank, UN and IMF should be expected to succeed in generating wealth for their populations faster than those which have intervention by these agencies.

    In case you didn't notice, they have had Capitalism for decades now. Where's the progress? If the world is not a zero sum game, they should surely be getting ahead.

    But of course, the world IS a zero-sum game, as long as we are based on scarce resources.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    The answer to this problem lies in understanding that reward does not drop down from the non-existent state but that simply the reward of each worker comes from the work they do. One of the core tenets of communism is that the total value of labour, which includes the surplus value which currently goes to the non-working capitalist, belongs to the worker who produces it.

    Lets say that I work in a factory making cars with a thousand other people and we make a 1000 cars, each of us ends up owning one. Once I have a car, either I can keep working in the same factory (say because I like the work or because I do not care to learn anything else) or I can move to another job, say making computers.

    But what about the people who don’t want to work in the car factory. Don’t they get a car? Of course they do. It’s very easy for a car factory to give one car to each of its workers and after that, the rest of the cars can be given for free for anyone who requests one. And why not? After all, while working at the car factory, I got to eat food for free from the bakers, got the raw material for free from the steel and plastic workers, got to enjoy culture for free from the artists etc[1].

    But aren't some peoples work more valuable than others? Isn't a doctors work of saving a life more valuable than the work of a plumber (saving the life of a toilet).

    So let's say you do work in that car factory. Didn't you have to be trained to work there? If you just packed up and left because you got a car then how are cars going to be made when you leave? They would have to train someone to replace you, and that is assuming that enough of the workers were left to even train anyone. Who is to say that after the first car is made the worker who gets it leaves and now there are not enough workers to produce a car for everyone else. Who gets the first car made? What about the guy that designed the car and the equipment to make it, is it fair for him not to get a little more than the people who are simply pulling the levers for him? After all he is the one that invested the most time and energy.

    Yes, yes of course everyone gets a car just because they want it, not because they deserve it, not because they worked for it, but just because they want one.

    You still failed to explain how to entice people to work. Let's say I am not from your town where you make cars and bake things, and all I do is wander around places looking for things I want without ever working anywhere. Do I get a car just because I want one. After all no one knows me from Adam and they are making cars just because they like to, or something like that. So I would get a car for doing absolutely nothing, right?

    Oh yeah, and what happens when everyone has a car? Does the factory just shut down and the people work elsewhere? If so then what happens when someone needs a new car? Your going to have to get everyone back or find someone who can train new people. How long could that possibly take. Wouldn't it be terribly inefficient?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    So again you do not care about the choices of the 10%. So you favor a system with no choice? Tyranny of the majority is tyranny nonetheless.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    Andrew is exactly right. When the socialist programs in a free-market fail it is always the free-market that is blames and not the failed socialist programs, in the case of Iceland and the US, it is the enormous credit bubbles created by the central banks. Doesn't it disturb you that the entire financial problem in the US can be traced back to a credit crisis begun through expansion of credit and the answer given to fix it is more credit?

    Capitalism would dictate that the bad banks go under and are replaced with sound lending institutions. Can you not see what happens when the government or central bank decide that everyone needs to own a house regardless of ability to pay for it? In the end it harms us all.

  • http://badassbard.blogspot.com Thomas

    Saying first that I agree with your most fundamental assertions, I do have to ask what mechanism you would suggest, in a post – market system, would be an individual's impetus for innovation and excellence? I'm afraid that the simple desire to do one's best or to serve the whole is, in practice, simply not enough.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    So you are telling me that your system, the stated goal of which is to provide happiness, does not in fact provide happiness. How could this be? And not just for me, lets not forget everyone else who may want more out of life their your system of splitting everything equal could provide.

    Even after all of this you still can't tell me how you would get everything done that needs to be done without forcing some people to do things they don't want to do.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    How then do you go about producing the correct things for everyone and then distribute them accordingly?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I touched upon this shortly here

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    "Why should I get up everyday to work if the society will provide for my needs?"

    Who argues that?

    db0 does.

    I was simply making the case that not everyone wants to live in db0 society. Capitalism is a system of cooperation that does not involve forcing others to do anything. They choose to do what they do because they have something to gain from it. The egalitarianism that db0 espouses simply does not provide for any type of sustainable production.

    I've stated many times that I don't view collectives as anything bad, just that forcing people into them is wrong. In a free society people are free to work for profit or for share.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    We were not at the ultraboom of capitalism. We were at the ultraboom of money and credit expansion. Just look at the growth of the money supply since the beginning of the year, they are trying to replace the credit with printed money. Capitalism is not based on consumption and spending as our government wants us to believe, it is based on savings and production. Our economies our failing because price signals have been distorted by governmental and monetary fiat. Bad investments were made because government interference distorted prices. Is it going to help GM sell cars if we give them billions of dollars? No. Your system is exactly like that. You think that GM workers should just keep on making cars because they want to without any regard for the demand for cars. This is a tremendous waste of resources and is exactly what would happen under your system with or without a monetary system, you would still have labor wasted on unproductive activities.

  • TalentedChimp

    <quote>"How can you be professing equal treatment and equal happiness while at the same time choosing to disregard 10% of the population. It is hypocritical."</quote>

    It's hardly hypocritical when the 10% is already disregarding the happiness of, and exploiting for profit and personal gain, the other 90%.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    So again, you do not care about the happiness of the vast majority. Tyranny of the minority is tyranny nonetheless (and basically the norm).

    What I propose is not tyranny however. You would still have the same freedom as everyone else, barring the freedom to exploit.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Yes, of course. It's the govimmit's fault.
    Look, 3 years ago, Iceland was shown as the star of Neoliberalism, as the example of what those amazing "Free" Markets can achieve. Now that they have gone down the shitter, you point to the Central Banks? Why didn't you mention that before? Why didn't the tools that followed Friedman's plan disband them?

    All you're doing is, once again, trying to divert the blame when the shit hits the fan.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Thaks Chimp. PS. Use "blockquote", not "quote"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I didn't blame the free market. I blame Capitalism (which is not compatible with the "Free" Market). Marx has predicted these kinds of crises and explained the reasons why they happen. I do not have to blame either socialistic policies or free market. As long as we have Capitalism, these will happen.
    Deregulation however allows the Capitalists to play their game much more openly and aggressively which is what increases and exaggerates the crises, as is what happened now.

    What you say now about the Banks failing because they did not do well, happened back in the '30s. The reason they did not allow it to happen now, is because they did not want another Great Depression.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Ths is simply another way to say overproduction. Only this time we have an overproduction of futures, credit and other financial products. Another crisis because every capitalist humped in the same game and now there's no more profit to be made.
    But it is another crisis of Capitalism which just managed to break the ultrabubble which started in the 18th century.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Capitalism is not based on consumption and spending as our government wants us to believe, it is based on savings and production.

    Ahahahaa. Really? And how do you make profit if nobody consumes what you make? The truth is that the unexpected high standard of living of the US Americans is because of overconsumption financed by credit. It was bound to end at some point of course when you couldn't buy or borrow anymore but for someone who's sight does not go farther than 5 years, this could not have been foreseen. You simply saw the present and assumed that you're doing everything right (especially the neoliberals who were pointing at the success of their tactics) and failed to see the chasm ahead of you.

    This crisis has been the tombstone of Neoliberalism whether you like it or not. Nobody buys the Libertarian myths anymore. And this is nothing compared to how many people are going to be disillusioned in 1-2 years when the big effects start.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    It does, but as I said, You can't please everyone all the time. Certainly the person who is only happy when murdering puppies is not going to be happy and the person who is only happy when he can have a harem and 20 cars (and screw everyone else) is not going to be happy anymore.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Even after all of this you still can't tell me how you would get everything done that needs to be done without forcing some people to do things they don't want to do.

    Convince them that it's in their benefit if they do their part of the societal chores along with everyone else, so that nobody has to do it alone. Seems like a perfectly good proposition to me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Read the link

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    If you're going to comment on the article, please comment in it's own comments. Lets try to keep things organized

  • http://dbzer0.com db0

    Capitalism is a system of cooperation that does not involve forcing others to do anything.

    Aahahahahaha!
    I need to quote this as a joke somewhere…

    Capitalism is a system of competition and it involves forcing others to do stuff they do not want through economic pressure (i.e. work or starve)

    But your quote was brilliant!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    This is a reply to a comment left by Alicia in the wordpress comment form and then caught as spam due to lack of Javascript. I reply here

    I read some of the debate which you recently participated in on riseuprochester.org. I’m coming from a position somewhere in the middle, where I feel the communist and libertarian perspectives are working toward ideals that present real issues when implemented.

    On one hand, I see injustice in the world all around me. I see the U.S. government exploiting the rest of the world under the pretenses of the free-market. I see the World Bank and IMF forcing African countries into policies that only perpetuate neo-colonialism. I see the same corporations in bed with government controlling our lives and forcing us to consume. As a student of history I am aware that real government policies have barred groups such as African Americans (to name one example) from being anything more than free on paper. In addition, oppressed groups are expected to adhere to the path that the majority deems appropriate for achieving success (i.e. play by the “white American” rules of the game and go to school, get good grades, move up the ladder).

    At the same time, I think personal liberty is important and I don’t think that every person being exactly equal is something to strive for. Isn’t the kind of equality you are hoping for somewhat of a frightening 1984/Brave New World-esque utopia?

    I wish that every person would work to improve his/her situation and help those around them as much as possible. But what about people who are better at sports, or singing, or writing? Everyone should be able to use, without apology, his or her talents and skills. I know you’ve heard this before, but we can never have the type of equality which you seek, nor do I think that is a moral goal to strive for.

    When people talk about egalitarianism, we do not mean identical humans, we simply mean social equality. Equal in power in relation to each other if you wish. I have written a bit on this topic before

    Finally, you say “prosperity today has much more to do with where and from which you were born than with how hard-working or talented one is.”

    I am an exception to your rule and see countless individuals around me who don’t fit this example. My family had nothing, my father died at a young age, and no one else in my family has gone to college. Other young people in the U.S. certainly have more complete families, have had the opportunity to work with private tutors and have music lessons and play on sports teams. Do I resent them for that? No. I can ‘t spend my life contemplating how they were born with better opportunities.

    I decided myself that I valued education and that I was the happiest when I was reading, writing, and learning. My current prosperity has everything to do with how hard I’ve worked. No one has ever handed anything to me–I’ve taken the initiative to be happy and succeed using my talents. I don’t know that it is anyone else’s responsibility but my own to do that. I can see why Libertarians value the individual so much, and contrary to what you say, I don’t think they are happy with only 10% being “successful.” I think that they see true freedom as a means for the other 90% to live well.

    But you see, you're not the exception to that. You are still lucky to have been born a country where such education could be achieved and especially as a girl you could utilize your talents. Do you think you would be in the same position had you been born in Congo or Iran? Your place of birth itself is a matter of luck, along with who your parents are.
    And even we are to take the place of birth out of the picture, you are still lucky in that you had the break required to get ahead through personal will. There are also a lot of people who are as educated and hard-working as you but have to work at macdonalds. It is luck that among the hundreds of thousands of hard-working people, you ended up being better off. It's not that it has absolutely nothing to do with your talents but that it has more to do with luck. And overwhelmingly, the social status of someone, has all to do with luck and almost nothing to do with talents. Who you were born from, where and what opportunities you had.

    I look forward to reading more on your site and how you propose your ideal can be achieved.

    Sure, grab and chair and a subsription and stick around. Even bette rif you enable javascript and then be able to participate in the rest of the comments

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I don't think numbers are on your side if that's the game you want to play. It's apparent that you don't care about the morality

    I care a lot about morality actually but I just explained why I would make such a choice (if it was in my hand, which it isn't). Explain to me the moral basis on why 10% should live the good life while 90% suffer if it's possible to avoid it and 100% have a chance to enjoy life.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Many developed countries have seen their populations stabilize and have eliminated absolute poverty. Other nations are still growing while third world countries are growing very quickly. All this unable to survive stuff doesn't make sense when you consider populations are expanding in the third world and collapsing in the first world.

    You're going to see a lot of this progress reverting very very quickly now. The stabilization has already started evaporating since the start of October.
    As the third world nations grow, the power and wealth the 1st world nations enjoyed, through the exploitation of the workers of those nations, will disappear. We were at the ultraboom of capitalism and this is why everyone seemed to prosper. Now the bubble has burst and the slump is going to be catastrophic.

  • Michael

    "Let's take me for instance, for me to be happy I want to provide for myself the things that I desire without relying on anyone or having anyone rely on me."

    Ahh – well good luck with that mate. Just remember to throw away all the goods and items you didn't make or grow yourself, and do your own dentistry and doctoring while you're at it. Ahh not so easy is it, getting work done without any of the machinery or technology or goods that somebody else made. Human beings are not only social animals, they have combined their talents – and worked together – to rise above nature and get to where we are now. Individualism and selfishness and the rejection of working together is a losing strategy.

    Seriously, what do you think you go to work for? To make yourself rich in isolation? Why do you think you pay taxes? Oh you think you shouldn't? Well who pays for the roads? Whether you pay government tax or private tolls the result is the same – it's collective (ooh nasty word!) spending on facilities shared (ouch!) by all. Everyone works to support the society they live in – personal wealth and comfort are just the side-effects and the 'carrot' that keeps you working until you die. If you manage to climb upon others and exploit them for your own gains, well good luck to you, but that just demonstrates that you are even more dependent on others.

    "Why should I get up everyday to work if the society will provide for my needs?"

    Who argues that?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    You should consider switching anyway. IDC blows it out of the water in functionality and beauty

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    And base this assertion on nothing.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    You have a very distorted view of capitalism. Instead of seeing how some people benefit a lot (the idea people, the investors[…]

    Hah! You should tell that to Tesla. But you're wrong here as well. It's not the inventors and the scientists who benefit. These are most usually exploited like any other worker. Those who benefit are the innovators. The ones who do not create but only know how to sell a creation or manufacture a need for it.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    The freest country on earth became the most prosperous and every country that ever had communism or socialism has suffered great losses in productivity and the rise of authoritative forces. What has happened to Cuba since the revolution? What happened to Russia and China. Each of these countries was once considered wealthy and then they became communist. The systems broke down.

    I really think you need to study some history. Russia and China and Cuba were wealthy before the revolution? Really?! Are from this planet?! Russia & China were agrarian and the poverty of their population was incredible! Cuba was a fucking slave country with rich white people controlling all the plantations.

    The US became prosperous because it was libertarian? Really? Do you consider that the US was not really that powerful until the 1st and 2nd world war where they barely took part but were selling guns and products to both sides of the front? Did you consider any other factors instead of your assertion that "USA" was "libertarian" which is also plainly false?

    You are fast leaving the point of ignorance and are getting intellectually dishonest. And this is seriously pissing me off. Either start arguing with correct historical facts or GTFO. I don't care to play hide and seek with your blatant lies.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    I base this assertion on the fact that no one is going to be willing to work without some form of adequate compensation whether that be money, goods, pride, or the love of your family and friends. And pride and love only go so far since they can not give sustenance. You seem to believe that everyone will keep working just because everyone's needs must be met and they will feel duty bound to the rest of society. Here is a secret, most people feel no obligation to anyone whom they do not already have a relationship with beyond the usual manners displayed in public, and a lot of people don't have any manners either.

    Your assertions that people will produce at their own expense and give their production to others free of charge is based on nothing. Even if a group of people did want to do that an entire other group of people would take advantage of them with out providing anything in return. I could bring up the class of welfare recipients who are also able bodied workers as an example.

    So if half the people produce and the other half consume without producing then everyone is poorer as opposed to everyone producing at least as much as they consume.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    Absurd? What is absurd is to assume that people would continue to provide for others while being unable to meet their own needs because of that. They would renege on their deals because if they continued to provide their labor to others for free it would spell their own destruction. People would leave the society to focus on taking care of themselves and not others who are simply taking advantage of them.

    You keep saying that capitalism is based on greed and not need. But I say it is based on both. Both the greed of want to fulfill your own needs and the meeting of the needs of others. Thought experiment for you: If it takes 5 hours for you to make your own shoes and then I discover a method of making shoes in only 10 minutes and sell you those shoes for the amount of money you make in 1 hour have I taken advantage of you? You will say yes but the truth is I just saved you 4 hours and only charged you for 1. Therefore my greed fulfilled your need and benefited us both.

    You have a very distorted view of capitalism. Instead of seeing how some people benefit a lot (the idea people, the investors(i.e. savers, the people who deal consumption for the future), the engineers, the scientists), you need to look at how a simple thing like a factory, providing jobs and shoes for many many more people than could have been provided using the old techniques, has lifted everyone up. Yes people with the drive to lead and innovate will gain more from capitalism even through their greed and at the same time that greed has benefited many more people as well.

    Here is an interesting interview of Milton Friedman on the subject of greed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    Libertarianism does not require an organizing force it only requires authoritative forces to step aside. It does not require a confluence of thought other than the belief that people should have the choice to live life as they see fit without interfering with others right to do the same. When this country started we were exactly that way, that is how I know it is possible.

    History has proven me correct in both instances. The freest country on earth became the most prosperous and every country that ever had communism or socialism has suffered great losses in productivity and the rise of authoritative forces. What has happened to Cuba since the revolution? What happened to Russia and China. Each of these countries was once considered wealthy and then they became communist. The systems broke down.

    The saddest thing of all however is that China has realized its failures and is expanding economic liberties while in America we are destroying them. The news today is indicating that the president will appoint someone to oversee the US auto industry. What? Since when does Washington know how to make cars? Why would government officials be any more able to sell them than industry experts? Non of it makes any sense.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I base this assertion on the fact that no one is going to be willing to work without some form of adequate compensation

    So you base this assertion on another assertion which is blatantly false from a historical record. All pre-civilization societies were based on mutual cooperation without "adequate compensation" simply because people knew that their compensation lay in the future help for any of their needs.

    Yes, I do believe people will keep working when their needs are met because people want to work. They want to contribute and they like to help others. This is plainly obvious to everyone but libertarians it seems. Just look at the red cross or the free software movements.

    Simply because you cannot accept that people may work for a reason other than profit does not make it so.

    So I know that people will continue working even if they do not have to, because boredom is a strong incentive, especially when one knows that the surplus value of his work will not be skimmed by the capitalist but will benefit himself and his fellow humans.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    You assume that people would renege on their deals. But why would they when that would spell the destruction of their own life? That is simply absurd.

    i don't have to convince people to do something in this way, already many people want to do something in this way, without worrying about money or starvation, but they can't because Capitalism does not work on the basis of human need. Only on human greed.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    No, you'd better read Karl Marx's explanation of the Capitalist cycle.
    Also, since these esteemed economists could foresee it, and since the economists leading the Fed and the economic policies of most developed nations were of the same mentality (ie. Greenspan) why didn't they take measures to prevent it? Obviously because they can't, because what you call as the benefit of Capitalism, the invisible hand, is also its biggest enemy. When you need a centralized place to control the misbehaving deregulated market, you can't because you're deregulated it.

    PS: The vast majority of those people who "understand economics" come out and say they had predicted it only now, after the fact. Look at how many people invested accordingly to see who's lying and who's not. Hint: The ones who predicted it, are very very few.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    I have read about communism. I have read the communist manifesto. I have read about Keynesian socialist economics. I have read about the history of Russia. I have read books by people who have traveled the world and visited, intimately, places you have never considered. Which brings up a good point about when you talk about Africa, you neglect that many of the African nations became socialist before turning to capitalism. For some reason you expect capitalism to work miracles by turning around countries that have been devestated by war and mismanaged governments for centuries or else capitalism is a failure.

    But I have also read about free markets, libertarianism, capitalism. I have considered both sides and the only thing that makes sense is to let others have their liberty and not tell them what to do. You avoid conflict, promote mutual cooperation, and growth in the society without having any overseer.

    I know you are not a statist and I applaud you for that but it does not change the fact that your system would require an authority to oversee it in order for it to function, otherwise you might have answered my questions, How would you assure that everyone did the same amount of work? Why would one man want to pluck rocks from a field all day while another filled out paper work? Why would one man work 8 hours if you could just work 4 and spend more time with his family? Why would one man develop a way to make things faster if he can already get those things without exerting any extra effort?

    Capitalism can explain all of those questions with one answer: People work in order to fulfill THEIR needs and wants. This seemingly small need to fulfill your own needs and desires has the added benefit of also fulfilling other people needs and desires. Your theory on the other hand intends to fulfill the needs and desires of other people first, but once everyone else's needs are met they no longer have a drive to meet yours. That is why communism or any other form of socialization fails except at the smallest level, like the family unit. Even then, most kids are required to do chores. But why? It is in EXCHANGE for what their parents have provided them. Capitalism is just a system of exchange.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Absurd? What is absurd is to assume that people would continue to provide for others while being unable to meet their own needs because of that. They would renege on their deals because if they continued to provide their labor to others for free it would spell their own destruction. People would leave the society to focus on taking care of themselves and not others who are simply taking advantage of them.

    Why would they be unable to meet their own needs? They would have food and shelter so after than, anything else is up to them. They would only be unable to meet their needs if their needs were based on exploiting others. Once again you keep asserting that people would act like selfish assholes when that is simply not true from a historical record.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    You keep saying that capitalism is based on greed and not need. But I say it is based on both. Both the greed of want to fulfill your own needs and the meeting of the needs of others. .

    Errr, no. It has nothing to do with the needs of others. The only needs the Capitalist cares is the ones who make the most profit. If there is no profit to be made from a need, no matter how large, it will not be fulfilled. If there is more profit to be made by manufacturing needs, to the detriment of the real needs of humanity, then this manufacturing will be pursued, as it obviously has.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Thought experiment for you: If it takes 5 hours for you to make your own shoes and then I discover a method of making shoes in only 10 minutes and sell you those shoes for the amount of money you make in 1 hour have I taken advantage of you? You will say yes but the truth is I just saved you 4 hours and only charged you for 1. Therefore my greed fulfilled your need and benefited us both.

    No, you would have benefited both of us if you told me the method to make the shoe. Now you're simply hoarding the knowledge in order to create a bottleneck and benefit. If I need to have a shoe but I do not have enough money to pay for 1 hour's worth, I will not get it , even though it costs you only 10 minutes. If I need the shoe but someone with a 1000 shoes can pay you 10 times as much as me, my need will not be fulfilled, even though the other person does not need it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    But how can you know that you will get anything in return for your work?

    You are right, Capitalism is based on competition and economic pressure. The competition to produce a better product than the other guy and the economic pressure to do it at a price that is affordable, while at the same time satisfying your customers. Because without customers you have no business.

    I could go through a litany of innovations in production quality, capacity, and speed, and inventions that have taken place through the means of competitive capitalism but it would take forever. Whether or not you will admit it, you know that society has benefited greatly from these achievements. But I will give one example, all of the factories that you want to take over with your social paradigm, they are not the result of some communist organizing, they are the result of competitive capitalism.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    you need to look at how a simple thing like a factory, providing jobs and shoes for many many more people than could have been provided using the old techniques, has lifted everyone up. Yes people with the drive to lead and innovate will gain more from capitalism even through their greed and at the same time that greed has benefited many more people as well.

    Sure, and now that all these techniques and factories have been created, there will be much more benefit to move to Communism and be able to fulfil our needs. Arguing that we should stay in Capitalism because it created the basis of what we have is like arguing to stay in Feudalism in the 17th or 18th century because it created the basis where Capitalism stood to take society to the next step.

    Yes, Capitalism was required to reach the stage we are now, similar to how slavery was required to reach the stage of civilization but by holding on it when it becomes a detriment will have the same result the slavery had to the Romans.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Libertarianism does not require an organizing force it only requires authoritative forces to step aside. It does not require a confluence of thought other than the belief that people should have the choice to live life as they see fit without interfering with others right to do the same. .

    And it fails because as long as economic inequality exists. people will be interfering with other's rights to do the same through passive coercion.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    When this country started we were exactly that way, that is how I know it is possible.

    Nope, it wasn't

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I have read about communism. I have read the communist manifesto. I have read about Keynesian socialist economics. I have read about the history of Russia.

    Whoah? You really read the Communist Manifesto? A propagandistic piece with no detail? And you now know all about Communism eh? Brilliant. And Keynesian socialist economic eh? The ones what saves your ass from depression and now Nobel price economists are proposing once again to save your ass from the mess neoliberal economic bullshit of the likes of Friedman have put you in?
    As for the history of Russia, I outright call you a liar for you wouldn't have made comments like "Russia was rich before socialism" if you had.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    For some reason you expect capitalism to work miracles by turning around countries that have been devestated by war and mismanaged governments for centuries or else capitalism is a failure.

    For some reason you expect socialism to work miracles on countries with no industrial infrastructure which were of third world status before the revolution and were about 300 years behind the rest of the industrialized nation, while being imperialistically assaulted economically and militarily or else communism is a failure…

    I see Capitalism is a failure when after 400 years it still has the same problems of crises and huge amounts of human population expiring because there's no profit. What evidence do you have to show that communism is a failure except the argument that you just basically countered yourself?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    But I have also read about free markets, libertarianism, capitalism. I have considered both sides and the only thing that makes sense is to let others have their liberty and not tell them what to do.

    Except if you're rich and control all the food and land. Then you get to tell everyone what to do.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    How would you assure that everyone did the same amount of work? Why would one man want to pluck rocks from a field all day while another filled out paper work? Why would one man work 8 hours if you could just work 4 and spend more time with his family? Why would one man develop a way to make things faster if he can already get those things without exerting any extra effort?

    Nobody has to pluck rocks from a field. If it is something necessary and nobody wants to do it, people can share the duty as a societal chore. They simply arrange it between them in a fair way for everyone so that nobody is stuck with it.
    If everyone could work 4 hours and spend the rest with their families, everyone would do so. I don't see the problem.
    One would develop a way to make things faster because it would mean he had to work less.

    There you go.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Your theory on the other hand intends to fulfill the needs and desires of other people first, but once everyone else's needs are met they no longer have a drive to meet yours.

    That is a classic prisoner's dilemma which only affect individualists like yourself. Most humans know how to cooperate. Just because you can't wrap yourself around the concept does not mean it does not happen.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Capitalism is just a system of exchange.

    Nope. You conflate Capitalism with the "Free" Markets. They are not compatible.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    But how can you know that you will get anything in return for your work?

    Because everyone has agreed to it, and people want to cooperate because it's in their best interest.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Whether or not you will admit it, you know that society has benefited greatly from these achievements. But I will give one example, all of the factories that you want to take over with your social paradigm, they are not the result of some communist organizing, they are the result of competitive capitalism.

    Of course not. That does not mean that Capitalism is the end of the line of human societies. That's just like arguing that because Feudalism provided the serfdom and the superstructure to base Capitalism on, we should have stayed in Feudalism. But that's just as absurd as claiming that we should stay with Capitalism because it produced what we have now.

    The time for Capitalism is over. It took us far enough but to proceed more, we need Communism. Of course we could never achieve Communism without Capitalism but that's not an argument to stay stagnant, or even more backwards.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    It was bound to end at some point of course when you couldn't buy or borrow anymore but for someone who's sight does not go farther than 5 years, this could not have been foreseen.

    Actually it was forseen by pe3ople who do understand how economics works in the real world. You would do well to learn about the Austrian theory of the business cycle.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    I am not talking about murdering I am talking about living. And you know that, shame on you. Please stick to the topic.

    So because you can't have what the rich have you feel that no one should have anything, because that is the exact result of your theory. If you have no expectation of receiving anything in return for your work why would anyone bother to work for anyone else's gain?

    If I have the ability to produce some kind of good, I am not going to make one for you UNLESS you can give me something in return. This is the basis of capitalsim, trade and exchange. We could barter or we could use money to make exchange easier, but I am not going to make anything for you unless you are a friend or you give me something in return.

    Could you just imagine your theory for a second? You work all day making what you make for other peoples benefit, lets say half of those people give you something in return. What is going to keep you making stuff for the other half?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    If you are going to comment on my comments please do so own my comments instead of linking to another article. The discussion is here. If you have evidence somewhere else, fine. But we are discussing your theory here.

    Let me tell you something. Your theory is quite simple which is one thing it has going for it. But you can tell it could never work just because of the amount of explanation it requires. It would be nice if everyone could just work all day with no expectations of others and everyone just shared but you completely ignore human nature and fail to explain it away.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    However, your ideas could not work without centralization.

    Another assertion on your part. Simply untrue.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    So because you can't have what the rich have you feel that no one should have anything, because that is the exact result of your theory. If you have no expectation of receiving anything in return for your work why would anyone bother to work for anyone else's gain?

    A false dichotomy. Not having rich people does not mean that everyone will be poor. You work for everyone else's gain because everyone else works for your gain as well.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    If I have the ability to produce some kind of good, I am not going to make one for you UNLESS you can give me something in return. This is the basis of capitalsim, trade and exchange. We could barter or we could use money to make exchange easier, but I am not going to make anything for you unless you are a friend or you give me something in return.

    And this is why Capitalism is flawed. Because it is based on ROI, not on need. And the world situation obviously shows that it does not work.

    Of course I can imagine my theory. I work all day making what I make for other everyone (including me) and all of those people give me something in return when I ask it. If course, I do not need what everyone makes, I need, let's say 0.01% of what everyone else makes. But each person's 0.01% is different and thus we're all happy because even if there's nobody making out 0.01% that I need, I can always make it my work, even if under Capitalism it would not be economicaly feasible, and fulfil that niche for me and anyone else who wishes it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I don't have to convince 1 mil people before we get it to work. We're not talking about Libertarianism here where they simply wish Libertopia to manifest itself if only everyone was convinced at the same time. Communism will come about because the majority of that city, country, nation and the world is already convinced that this will work.

    You keep asserting again and again the same stuff. Nobody will be convinced, nobody will work, nobody will..blah blah blah.
    I already explained why these things do not need to happen but if you insist I have nothing more to argue.

  • http://dbzer0.com db0

    No, you see, this is my blog and as long as I'm participating in the discussion, I can decide where I wish a discussion to continue in order to retain some measure of order. If we start pulling quotes from my other articles around, nobody will be able to follow. So if you want to comment on the points of another article, do so there.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Let me tell you something. Your theory is quite simple which is one thing it has going for it. But you can tell it could never work just because of the amount of explanation it requires. It would be nice if everyone could just work all day with no expectations of others and everyone just shared but you completely ignore human nature and fail to explain it away.

    You haven't read anything about Communism, you come here with preconceptions of Soviet Russia and then complain that I have to explain a lot?
    If you wish to discuss without a lot of explanation, educate yourself on what Communism really does and then come and bring up valid points. Not only that but you keep bringing the same arguments over and over again. I have already explained why Human nature is closer to Communism than to Capitalism but you simply ignored it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Under Communism, they do not hope they get something in return. They know it.

    Also your point does not change the fact that Capitalism is based on competition and economic pressure.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    No, the 100% should simply cooperate. There's no exploitation going on (and yet you insist). I have already explained how and why people work in the articles I linked.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    No most economist are not Austrian. They are Keynesian. Please read about the Austrian theory of the business cycle and you will understand the difference. Ludwig von Mises predicted the great depression and his theories have accuratly predict this latest collapse. You may not be aware but people who know about the Austrian theory have been talking about a financial collapse in America since the 70's and more recently the early 2000.'s The Austrians have predicted it. The Keynesians however, as most governmental officals are, think that the state can just spend moeny to pull us out of a credit cycle that they have created.

    It is in insult to Austrian economists everywhere for you to think that those leading the Fed are of the same mindset. No, the Austrains have been predicting it long before the fact, please look it up. go to mises.org and check wikipedia.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    I'm not saying that not having rich will make everyone poor. I am say that your system would make everyone poor.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    No most economist are not Austrian. They are Keynesian.

    I doubt it. Keynesian economics was discredited in the '70s and neoliberal economics and politics took over. From Friedman to Greenspan to Thatcher, the path was the same. Deregulate.

    Karl Marx predicted the how and why Capitalism suffers from crises and his theories seem current everytime the system fails
    In 1880, Marx's collaborator Frederick Engels described capitalism's periodic crises in words that could have been written last week:

    Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution.

    The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again.

    Little by little, the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began–in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    You're exactly right. Greenspan and Bernanke are price-fixers. They fix the price of money which wrecks havoc on savings and investment. Capitalism is supposed to be based on capital – companies expand through investment. Instead, we have a system where expansion is done through inflation and borrowing. This is exactly what needs to be done in a centrally-planned system to overcome deficits. That's why Marx advocated for central banking.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    Finally you admit that the value of a product is dependent on whether people want to buy it. Now can you see why Marx's economic theories were incorrect when he asserted that the amount of labor put into a product dictated its value? It is not just the labor, but the capital used, any technology, marketing talent, patents, capital and many other factors that influence the value of something, but ultimately it comes down to the value that consumers place on a product. I don't know how anyone could put much stock in Marx's theories of economics when he can't even understand basic price theory.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    It does but it doesn't, don't you get it! People are equal but their not! They're going to be happy or they're not, but that doesn't matter. As long as the disenfranchised become enfranchised and the other way around, we will have made a perfect society.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Er, no? Marx economic theories are correct because he explained how value is created. Labour is what creates surplus value which is defined by the market.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    I've heard all about Alica's life and I can attest that she's not successful because she's lucky. She's successful because she busted her ass to overcome some tough shit. Plenty of people that were in the same situation as her (more or less) have not done a fraction of what she has done with her life.

    Even if your egalitarian society means that people are only socially equal I don't understand why that's fair. You don't have the moral highground on this one and I really have to disagree with you. Her friends from other points in her life (including relatives) had every opportunity (or lack of) to be someone with their lives and they choose not to. It's not "fair" to penalize Alicia for her achievements and reward them for slacking off. In fact, I doubt Alicia would have tried so hard to break out of her situation if she knew she'd just wind up in the same place as her friends.

    That said, she's still a great person with a great heart. Just because she's going to earn more than some of her friends and family doesn't mean she's greedy. Envy is a dirty vice and it's all to easy to initiate class warfare by pointing the lower-middle class at the upper-middle class and saying "get-em! they're exploiting you!" She does want to help people with her life and I'd say she deserves whatever resources come her way to do so. If she's going to give back much of the money to the community anyway and lead a modest life, I'm not sure how that's greed.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    She's lucky because of all the hard-working and ass-busting people who pass through tough shit, she's the one that's managed to be where she is. That's not saying that she's not hard-working but that it has to do more with luck than that.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    May I suggest "Gold, Peace and Prosperity: the Birth of a New Currency" by Ron Paul – 1981
    Or perhaps "The Case for Gold: A Minority Report of the U.S. Gold Commission" by Ron Paul – 1982,3

    Marx' interpretation of the Capitalist cycle is bunk. The Austrian School believes that the cycle actually barly exists naturally (or is very much less pronounced). It's actually the central banking that causes the boom and bust cycle. Want to know where the next boom is going to be taking place? Look where the new dollars are being spent first. Hint: government spending and "investment".

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    I've finished my Economics degree at the University of Rochester and I can most confidently assure you that most economists are indeed Keynesian. Regulation isn't the main arm of Keynes' ideas: it was the idea that government could fix any problem so long as they pass the right laws and spend money in the right way. Marx and Keynes are rotting in hell together and I'm sure they're great friends as their ideas are very compatible.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SlomoUofR Andrew Slominski

    Ah, yes. The withering away of the state. People with great power rarely are willing to give it all up and live a life where they must be socially equal to those they used to rule (and those they removed from power).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    There's not going to be people who have to give up the power.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Marx and Keynes are rotting in hell together and I'm sure they're great friends as their ideas are very compatible.

    Obviously you need to actually read Marx before you say anything to that extent

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Marx' interpretation of the Capitalist cycle is bunk.

    I'd say that it's more accurate than ever. It's the Neoclassical that have proven horribly flawed.

    Read "The Capital"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    As long as the disenfranchised become enfranchised and the other way around, we will have made a perfect society.

    No, as long as nobody is disenfranchised we will have a perfect society. I don't know what the fuck you on about before that but I guess your brain has finally reached its intellectual limit.

  • Pingback: Anarcho-Capitalists, pay attention! I will not tolerate your bullshit. » A Division by Zer0()

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/easye easye

    I doubt it. Keynesian economics was discredited in the '70s and neoliberal economics and politics took over. From Friedman to Greenspan to Thatcher, the path was the same. Deregulate.

    That is what I said if you bothered to read what I wrote. Except for the deregulation part. What exactly is deregulatory about an auto czar, sarbanes-oxley, or emissions controls?

    Modern economics is dominated by Keynesians and have consistently proven themselves wrong while at the same time blaming free-markets. The Austrians recognized the flaws in the economy and accurately predict everyone major downturn the US economy has had.

    Yes perhaps Engels described the crises but the Austrians have described the cause and the cure. The business cycle is created by the ever expanding of credit which in turn collapses when prices are beyond the reach of the average person. This process is lead by the central bank. Learn about it and you will understand what I am talking about. Please do not lump Austrians with Keynesians. It is obvious you do not understand the difference, please educate yourself http://www.mises.org

    Here it is described by Lew Rockwell:

    When the Fed feeds artificial credit into the economy by lowering interest rates, it spurs investments in projects that don’t eventually pan out. In this economic boom, the high-tech and dot com manias resulted from a decade of sustained money growth via lower interest rates. When the Fed stepped on the brakes to prevent prices from rising, it prompted a sell-off, and hence a downturn.

    What’s tricky to understand is what can’t be seen. Just because prices aren’t going up doesn’t mean the money supply is in check. Just because people in some sectors are getting rich doesn’t mean that the prosperity is on solid ground. Just because the stock market is going up doesn’t mean that the architecture of investment (to use Jim Grant’s phrase) is in good working order.

    This theory is strongly supported by the data. The dot come runup coincided with a money supply runup, beginning in 1995. The money supply (the Fed’s MZM) slightly flattened in 1996 and the begin zooming again in 1997, peaking at a 15% increase in January of 1999. The rate of increase began to fall precipitously thereafter, triggering a much needed sell-off. The money supply as measured by MZM began at $3.2 trillion in 1997 and sits at $4.7 trillion today. Clearly, the judgments of investors and entrepreneurs were being distorted by massive injections of money and credit.

    http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=606

  • http://twitter.com/apiston APiston

    Are you not exploiting the 10%? Even if their unfair resource is inherited wealth, neither the born rich nor those with great drive and ambition will try anymore. More people will be content to watch tv and play xbox 360 and the world will suffer for it. Right now, everyone in America still has a chance to be a self-built person if they're willing to bust their ass to get ahead. We don't need to force everyone to be equal in wealth, but instead make the playing field more level. We need to encourage better behavior, but not by the state. We need people to vote with their dollars by constantly staying on top of the practices of our business and by having better transparency and reporting. We should be able to put bad business out of existence in days by watching their every move and how much influence they're buying in Washington. People are only unexploited when they're free to purchase what they want and to not have their money forced away from them. We just need a better balance than what we have now.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Are you not exploiting the 10%

      No. That was the basic premise of the comment you are replying to

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Even if their unfair resource is inherited wealth, neither the born rich nor those with great drive and ambition will try anymore. More people will be content to watch tv and play xbox 360 and the world will suffer for it.

      This doesn't have to be the case

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Right now, everyone in America still has a chance to be a self-built person if they're willing to bust their ass to get ahead

      .

      That is very far from the truth. If anything else, recent events in America have shown that all those people that busted their ass to get ahead summarily got their ass handed to them when things got bad for the poor.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    * How in your communist utopia is labor distributed– that is who decides how many people make food, how many people build roads, how many people mine for metals, etc.

    People decide upon themselves. First people choose what is necessary to be done in the society (grow food, build houses, generate power etc). People who like to do that can then pick positions in these areas. If there are necessary jobs that nobody prefers to do, people can either assign then via shift of cooperative work (ie 1 hour working in the power plant per person) or find ways to replace them or reduce the workload (so that each person only has to do 30 mins for example)

  • coda

    So, as a fingerpainter, I really don't have any positive freedom. I basically just have to do whatever the majority of society wants me to do.

  • coda

    Again, this is just majority rule. And besides, it is impossible for society to "communally" distribute labor on the scale of any modern economy. That kind of distribution of labor can only happen spontaneously through market forces.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Wether that is impossible is one thing. Wether it's necessary to distribute labour on such a scale is another. Do not forget that labour was distributed so much not because of necessity but because of cost savings (cheaper to have chinese make microchips than Americans). Economies managed to work in the past in a smaller and more local scale just fine. A future newly fledged Anarchist/Communist society might need to go back on a teechnological step until it figures out how to deal with distribution but that's less important than dealing with starvation and poverty, something that I will point out, Capitalism still hasn't managed to eradicate even after 400 years, and has actually made much worse.

  • coda

    Societies change. Some societies would sympathize with freeloaders. Your argument relies heavily on circumstances.

    Also, "social pressure" really isn't an argument. The same "social pressure" could be used as capitalist defender talking about charity.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

      Also, "social pressure" really isn't an argument. The same "social pressure" could be used as capitalist defender talking about charity.

      Not really. Capitalism breeds alienation due to the crass individualism it promotes. Further to that, due to the inequality, you cannot feel social pressure from different social classes (ie a rich person doesn't care what the poor feel of him as he gets to hang out with his rich buddies)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    Of course you do. Even if your finger painting is horrible you can still practice it as a hobby on your (considerable) leisure time. This is more than you can say for capitalism where you may not have time to even practice it as a hobby or evem while a brilliant finger painter, might never manage to make a living out of it and will have to work a normal job on top of it.

    So yes, you have the positive freedom to practice finger painting. You may have to contribute your part to the community who provides you with the means to fulfil this positive freedom (food, shelter, tools) but I don't see why this is a bad thing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/db0 db0

    I can honestly not imagine a society which sympathises with freeloaders and doesn't summarily implode from the majority of members becoming freeloaders.

  • http://sitakali.org Sitakali

    No. There is no exploitation going on. If you enslave me, but then I manage to attain freedom and take some of the products of MY labour back from you, that is not exploitation. That is justice.