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#311342 - 03/03/19 02:19 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9593
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Here's a question I don't recall being asked anywhere: Are capitalism and socialism actually polar opposites - apples and oranges, black and white? The norm is to discuss them as though they are, yet it is easy to make the case that practically all cultures function with a mix. I will note that capitalism is an economic system while socialism can be an economic or a governing system.

A second question, also not usually the main topic of discussion: What is the allure of capitalism? What are the fundamental anticipated superior aspects of it over the different forms of socialism (only rule is that its features can't be defined by listing socialism's weaknesses)?
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#311343 - 03/03/19 03:13 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1945
"Every so-called "communist" nation in the world has exceeded the depredations of every capitalist nation on that score, they merely substituted one group of oppressors with themselves. I'm happy to consider any counter examples anyone might suggest. I'll wait."

You asked for examples and I answered. Don't ask questions if there's a chance you might get an answer that isn't fitting your expectation of a correct one.
I think the 'who's killed more' argument is a fools errand anyway.
I find a list that omits the starvation a of chinese and Indians suspect.
I notice we're not on the list for North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and our more recent 'humanitarian, democracy spreading, foriegn military adventures that neocons and NeoLibs authored for the management of hedgemony.

Facism seems to be a nationalist populism that serves it's capitalism quit nicely. Both are hierarchical top down orginizational. They seem to complement more than compete. Frankly, I think the corporate state is fascism.

You want to frame the current or former manifestations of Socialism as imperfect and nothing but despotism NWP. You could say the same for our representative democracy. It's been largely representing money and not people. So I really don't understand what your point is. Systems of government are always evolving as is capitalism and socialism.

Yes, socialism can work well with capitalism. Witness China having supplanted the US as an economic hedgemon since the Great Recession.

It's been working well in Spain, Italy and now Greece has some fledgling Co-operatives. They have been ruthlessly suppressed in South, Central and North America.
Instead of a board of directors deciding who gets what, it gets decided by all employees.
'Democratize the Enterprise' as wolf has been calling for.


Edited by chunkstyle (03/03/19 03:15 PM)

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#311344 - 03/03/19 05:12 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: logtroll]
Greger Online   content


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15785
Loc: Florida
Quote:
Are capitalism and socialism actually polar opposites - apples and oranges, black and white?

Yes.
Private control vs government control.

Quote:
What is the allure of capitalism?

Wealth, power, and the accumulation thereof.

Quote:
socialism can be an economic or a governing system.

Only inasmuch as capitalism can also be an economic or governing system.

Quote:
it is easy to make the case that practically all cultures function with a mix

Yeah it's pretty easy because all cultures function with a mix. It's human nature, it's tribal. Things fall apart when they become unbalanced. Our current system of economic governance has become too heavily loaded on the capitalist side. it's unbalanced and it's falling apart.
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#311345 - 03/03/19 06:05 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: Greger]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17185
I'll restate two things that I've noted before: first, that capitalism and socialism spring from the same roots, and second, that I noted early in the discussion that I didn't think the opening question was actually valid - as it is expressed as alternative choices. In short, it's a stupid question.

Briefly, both capitalism and socialism were variations on the theme of spreading "the wealth" among participants. Capitalism was based upon "shares" that represented contributions by "investors", whereas socialism was premised upon roughly equal shares (later, based upon needs) of all "contributors." It was only later with the marketing/trading of shares as investments themselves in "exchanges" that capitalism took on the tenor that marks it out today. Similarly, the broadening application of socialism to larger and larger organizations, then nations and beyond, changed its nature. Both, in essence, though, are premised upon spreading, rather than concentrating, "capital".

In modern parlance, though, both are now focused on to whom power is accumulated. There, I think, is where the error in both lies. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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#311346 - 03/03/19 07:54 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2642
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I once had a professor of Philosophy tell me that he had once been a Communist. He got skewered by McCarthy, lost his job, got it back, etc. Anyway, he told me that he changed when he realized that anybody could actually actually participate and share in the economy, ie. they could buy stocks.

He was right. What he didn't say was the power capitalists had over the system. This was over 60 years ago. Now they have bought their way to inequity. This is not the fault of capitalism, its the failure of the state to do its damned job. That was a time, for instance, when congress actually worked more than three hours a day for a third of the year. Kinda different now.

As far as I can tell we now have a government run by a congress dedicated to self indulgence, lies, and greed. The current liberal swing of the Democrats, I believe, is the result of that. They are not going to get everything that they want but, hopefully, they can start a swing to a congress that actually is willing to at least make a try at doing some of the things that really need to be done?

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#311347 - 03/03/19 08:02 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8955
Loc: North San Diego County
And keep in mind that giving power to a committee or a majority does not always mean that they will use it wisely. An employee-operated company could simply starve the company into bankruptcy by giving too much of the profits and assets to the workers. We (US residents) certainly do just that in terms of high credit card balances and lack of retirement savings. We have a real problem with short-term thinking corporate raiders coming in and destroying viable corporations for immediate profit.

Trump is the political manifestation of this concept. Break anything that gets in your way and screw the long term consequences. It's kind of like having a 13 year old running the country.

The other side of that coin is wise long-term financial planning (on the capitalist side) and responsible competent governance (on the socialist side).

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#311348 - 03/03/19 08:47 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: pondering_it_all]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17185
Bow pia

Why Power Corrupts (Smithsonian) discusses a study to determine whether “When you give good people power, are they more able than others to enact that moral identity, to do what’s right?” It turns out, yes.

Quote:
People’s sense of “moral identity”—the degree to which they thought it was important to their sense of self to be “caring,” “compassionate,” “fair,” “generous” and so on—shaped their responses to feelings of power.
...
[T]he study found, power doesn’t corrupt; it heightens pre-existing ethical tendencies. Which brings to mind another maxim, from Abraham Lincoln:&#8200;"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."

So, we really are just electing the wrong people. People who seek power for power's sake have the wrong attitude, and aptitude. Just ask Julius Caesar.

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#311351 - 03/03/19 11:40 PM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9593
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
In modern parlance, though, both are now focused on to whom power is accumulated. There, I think, is where the error in both lies. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We can argue about one theoretical system for government or economies, or another, but the real issue is the control and regulation of humans.

Nothing is going to work all that well until humans are more evolved...
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#311353 - 03/04/19 01:17 AM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: logtroll]
Greger Online   content


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15785
Loc: Florida
Quote:
the real issue is the control and regulation of humans.

The proles are pretty easy to control it's the rich ones you have to watch out for.
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"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#311355 - 03/04/19 11:42 AM Re: The Debate: Is America’s future capitalist or socialist? [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline
member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1945
we could just democratize capitalism....

People are running up credit card debt and not saving for retirement because it's the only way to cover existing expenses. Wasn't there something about a large number of Citizens that couldn't cover an $800 emergency?
Housing costs are at an all time high
Labor uptake at a low
Household debt at a high
Auto loan defaults at a high.

The hat trick of neoliberalism is that it doesn't allow thier to be a critique of the system. Instead, it reflexively criticizes the individual working in the system's framework.


Edited by chunkstyle (03/04/19 11:43 AM)

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