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#304813 - 01/03/18 04:52 AM Capitalism
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2099
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The United States has, as a basis, Capitalism. We live in a "Capitalist" society. Its just the way it is. I have, however, come to the conclusion that our system of Capitalism is badly broken. There are other capitalistic societies that work. Most of northern Europe, for instance, are Capitalistic yet they actually function. Ours, however, does not. I think the problem is kinda simple - greed, just pure greed. Our Capitalism has little or no honor, no responsibility for how business deals with society, and the tenants seem to ignore humans and is more like a machine. Business (corporate or private) has one goal, to show a profit. That profit is for either increasing the size and power of the business, or to be distributed to those who own the business. There is absolutely no concern for society, employees, etc. - NOTHING!

That's it, that's our capitalism, and its concern is to make sure that business has profit, anything that might effect profit negatively, is wrong and must not be. This includes stuff like taxes, poor people, any and all entitlements, all regulations, and any other services not directly paid for by the recipients, and that's it, that's all there is. If we can't fix it we are, I fear, kinda doomed.

If we can't figure out how we add some humanity to our 'capitalism' we are doomed...............

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#304817 - 01/03/18 11:25 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7886
Loc: North San Diego County
Just remember that without government regulations some baby oil company would be making their product out of real human babies, if it maximized their profit. In fact, they would have an obligation to do it!

That may be an exaggeration, but it shows a basic truth. Without government checks on corporations, they will do whatever makes the most profit for their shareholders even if it hurts somebody. Trump says: "No regulation, let businesses be free." But "free" business will hurt or kill real actual people and their family or friends will come after the people who made those decisions and kill them.

Getting rid of regulations is deadly. I guess Trump's rich supporters will find out when their 401Ks are stolen and their portfolios are sunk by fraud.

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#304820 - 01/03/18 03:43 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 965
I do not think we can have a humane capitalist system while trying to mantain an inhumane empire. So much of our economy runs on our empire. So much of our worldview is thru the lens of empire.
There are noises about the empire failing. It's the fall that may allow for something else to happen but a lot of people may get hurt during this period of decay.


A good take on our imperial state

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#304825 - 01/03/18 07:53 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2099
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
You are BOTH right! Thank you! I was beginning to wonder if I was moving to the dark side <g> I think the whole lot boils down to our particular brand of Capitalism. O believe that capitalism is the answer if its humane and takes responsibility. (I am also very good at wishful thinking!)

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#304828 - 01/03/18 09:48 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16204
Two points I have to make:

First, I'm sorry, but that whole "Imperial America" storyline is built upon a pile of misdirection (the nicest word I can think of). The fundamental premise is hogwash, and from that come fuzzy rationalizations. Let me start with definitions:

Imperialism is a very specific term, and it consists of "an action that involves a country (usually an empire or a kingdom) extending its power by the acquisition of territories. It may also include the exploitation of these territories, an action that is linked to colonialism. Colonialism is generally regarded as an expression of imperialism." Wikipedia.

Now, there was a period, at the turn of the 20th Century, when the United States joined the European powers in attempting an imperialistic expansion - the Spanish-American War. (One can accurately make the same argument about the "Manifest Destiny" period.) That was 1898, by the way. There are vestiges of that history that exist today (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, etc.), but that is NOT what these writers are talking about. It is about as relevant as saying that the United States still practices slavery. We're still dealing with the history of slavery, which must be acknowledged, but it hasn't been legal for 150 years. Similarly, we're still dealing with a history of expansionism, but we haven't practiced it for over a century (the Panama Canal was the last vestige I can identify).

Japan, Germany, and China engaged in imperialist expansion in the 1930-50s, and the Soviet Union as well. Russia today is engaging in imperialist practices, as is China in the South China Sea. That is considerably different than what the United States is doing, and deliberately blurring those lines kills rational discussion. The contours of the United States have not changed in over a century.

Instead, some elements in the United States want to engage in hegemony: "In International relations theory, hegemony denotes a situation of (i) great material asymmetry in favour of one state, who has (ii) enough military power to systematically defeat any potential contester in the system, (iii) controls the access to raw materials, natural resources, capital and markets, (iv) has competitive advantages in the production of value added goods, (v) generates an accepted ideology reflecting this status quo; and (vi) is functionally differentiated from other states in the system, being expected to provide certain public goods such as security, or commercial and financial stability." Again, Wikipedia.

Russia, the EU, China, and some other countries are similarly trying to divide up the globe into hegemonic territories (spheres of influence). The U.S., by this definition, is the greatest of the Hegemon, as the Dollar is the de facto international currency, and US culture dominates around the world. The EU is seeking to spread its influence and the use of the Euro.

These definitions are important and deliberately misusing them irks me no end. There is no such thing as "cultural imperialism" or "monetary imperialism" - those are loaded, ideological terms that have nothing to do with the way the world actually works.

Secondly, pretending that the United States doesn't face significant risks in the world is fantasyland. There is a reason the United States posts military forces around the world - because the threats are global in nature. The United States has, historically, provided stability around the globe. The EU would not exist, and many countries would no longer be independent if the United States had not been involved. Have we made mistakes? God, yes. Have we sometimes engaged in military adventurism? Uh huh. But, that is not imperialism. Period. End of statement.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#304829 - 01/03/18 10:25 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
Ujest Shurly Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/16/16
Posts: 348
Loc: Sterling Heights, MI, USA
Hear! hear!
_________________________
Vote 2018; give meaning and honor to those who made sure you have the right to vote.

Life is like a PB&J sandwich
The older you get, the moldery and crustier you get.

Now, get off my grass!

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#304832 - 01/03/18 10:53 PM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 353
'
A beautifully constructed argument, NWP, but vitiated by the fact that modern Imperialism is quite different from the forms it took before the Second World War.

Economic warfare is the dominant form of warfare today, and neo-colonialism differs in many ways from the colonalism of the past.

Importantly, many states and many factions can struggle for advantage in the same neo-colony: the Russians do not "own" Syria, and the Americans do not "own" Iraq and Afghanistan.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#304835 - 01/04/18 01:48 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
chunkstyle Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 965
No big suprise that I agree with Matthew on this hegemony vs. Imperialism symantics. If our flag isn't flying over their courthouse but we executed a covert (Allende, Mosaddegh) or an overt regime change (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, panama, Grenada) and sub out the administration of the state to our governments client state what is the difference? How is it different? Aren't the results the same for the interests being served wether our flag is flying over the capitols or not? How bout we call it hegemiperialism or Imperialgemony? The results look the same to me.
Then the question has to be asked who's interest is being served? Clearly not the majority of the citizenry within our countries boundaries. Our corporate interests? Our democratic interests?


Edited by chunkstyle (01/04/18 02:14 AM)

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#304839 - 01/04/18 02:44 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7886
Loc: North San Diego County
Imperialism versus hegemony, what difference does it make? A helluva difference to the citizens of that country! Imperial Spain dominated, plundered, and enslaved other countries for centuries. After WW II the US occupied Japan and Germany for a few years and gave them working democratic governments. Try telling Japanese or German citizens there's no difference.

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#304840 - 01/04/18 02:51 AM Re: Capitalism [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7886
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
{I} believe that capitalism is the answer if its humane and takes responsibility


No, by it's very nature it can't be. The conflict between government regulation and capitalism has to involve potential deadly force or it doesn't work. CEOs have to fear public humiliation, imprisonment, and even execution if they make decisions that make money and hurt or kill people.

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