Very interesting thread to read through...
Herr Skinner even argues for evil capitalism in the thread;kentuck (61,473 posts)
Capitalism - Good or bad ?
Star Member Skinner (55,702 posts)
4. Good or bad is not really the point. Capitalism is well suited to human nature.
Last edited Sat Jun 2, 2012, 07:00 PM USA/ET - Edit history (2)
Humans are a product of evolution, which (broadly speaking) tends to reinforce behaviors that are self-serving. For better or worse, living creatures tend to look out for themselves and (to a lesser extent) their kin.
To be blunt: Capitalism works for humans because we are basically selfish. It turns our selfish nature into productive economic activity. Economic systems that ignore the reality of human nature are (unfortunately) doomed to failure.
So, the goal of public policy (in my liberal view) should be to keep the broad incentives of capitalism in place, while regulating it so harmful side-effects are avoided as much as possible, nobody accrues too much power, and the benefits are widely shared.Star Member rug (37,363 posts)
Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.
The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.
No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc. - Preamble to the Communist ManifestoStar Member Starry Messenger (18,261 posts)
Last edited Sat Jun 2, 2012, 08:24 AM USA/ET - Edit history (2)
Its early progressive phase away from feudalism ended quick, with exploitation, monopoly, slavery, poverty and colonialism sliming along in its wake like a gigantic snail trail. 300 years later the wealth of the entire globe has contracted upwards to 1% of humanity, while economic crisis that throws millions of people into misery is now accepted as "the cost of business". Capitalism will always cause overproduction, while forcing wages down. If you make too much shit and then don't pay people enough money to buy the shit that you made too much of (with their labor), you have lost the argument that yours is the superior plan for humanity.Mairead (9,442 posts)
59. Imagine, if you will, what the knock-on effects would be of four relatively minor changes
"Minor" in the sense that they wouldn't involve heavy machinery or a breakthrough in physics.
1) Shift to political democracy: everyone is their own legislator, if they want to be. Or, if it takes all their time just to live, they could delegate someone to vote on their behalf.
2) Devolve all decisions that don't impact civil equality to their effective level. E.g., decisions about school curricula would be made at the community level, not in DC.
3) Shift to economic democracy: disallow all forms of business except individual/immediate-family proprietorship, and cooperative corporation.
4) Make land-use, food, shelter, healthcare, and education public utilities available to all, like roads, rather than luxuries as they are today.
All those could be accomplished by lawmaking, but the effects would be immense.
Wars would stop because, as Smedley Butler pointed out, there'd be no money in them.
Government corruption would stop, because we'd all be the government and, as Jefferson humorously observed, we'd each have to bribe ourselves.
Vast fortunes like those of the Kochs' would go away, because they'd no longer be able to skim value from other people's work.
Education would probably improve, because there'd be no reason to keep training kids to be obedient work-units.
All the jobs dedicated to making the few richer would go away, freeing up an immense amount of time for more enjoyable work.
The cultural standards would go through the roof because of all the extra time available. People rarely notice it, but the wealthy elites almost never contribute to cultural richness. It's working people who play fiddle for dancing, repair the loved-to-pieces library books, paint the pictures, act in the plays and films, and sew the beautiful clothing. One of the things the anthros found is that most people in those original-flavor societies spend most of their time in cultural activities --music, dancing, conversation, and artistic craftwork. Time that we are forced to spend keeping the wealthy elites in idle luxury.If I didn't know better, I would think Herr Skinner is a closet Rethuglican!Star Member Skinner (55,702 posts)
77. That sounds nice. But how would anything get made that is technologically advanced?
And by technologically advanced, I mean 19th-century-or-later technology. Anything requiring mass production or large-scale human cooperation.
I don't see how your society creates the computer you are posting on. Or the railroad that your great-great-great grandparents rode on (if they were among the lucky few who could afford such things). Or even the films that your working people would theoretically be acting in.