Capitalism not working?

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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by garymcnally » 24 Oct 2008, 16:00

As a pre-emptive defence to the shit that I KNOW is going to be thrown at me for saying all of that...
Unfortunately there where several reasons why socialism failed in Russia. One reason was that after the revolution the capitalist powers backed with military aid the "white armies" of the old tsarist regime and the USSR was promptly attacked by 14 armies.

This civil war and invasions killed off the working class as well. It is VERY difficult to have a workers state without workers. This helped to allow the uber fuckwit Stalin to gain control and the USSR ceased to be socialist.

Another reason as to why socialism failed in Russia, was that socialism can not (despite what Stalin says) survive in one country. After the revolution in Russia there where attempted revolutions all over the world, the most promising being in neighbouring Germany. In 1918-1919 there were mutinies in the armed forces and factory occupations all over Germany. Unfortunately (for reasons that would take a thousand or so words to explain) the revolution failed.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 24 Oct 2008, 16:09

But the problem as I see it is this: people are always going to want pink fluffy dice (or whatever) for their cars. Even if we had society organised so that all decisions would be made by the people, there simply wouldn't be time to have a vote, referendum, whatever, about all the intricate little minutae of human existence. Fluffy dice would always be way down the agenda below health, public transport, and everything else, that they would never be made, so some enterprising individual would begin making and selling them. Short of making it illegal to start a business or to buy or sell anything, I don't see how you could prevent this. Furthermore I don't see why it should be prevented. I actually think it's a pretty fundamental thing, almost a right, to trade with your fellow man, and it's something that goes back to way before capitalism as we know it.

How would distribution of wealth work in this proposed society? Would everyone work jobs for the same pay? If so, what would motivate anyone to go out and become a doctor, a scientist, or any other profession that is of high value to society but requires years of study and hard work? Sadly I don't think people in general are altruistic enough to do these kind of jobs without financial motivation.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by campy » 24 Oct 2008, 16:31

As Gary said, the problem with capitalism is that it's all pervading. You simply can't have a country with another social structure if the rest of the world is still running under capitalism, the shift needs to be global.

As you said Chippy people aren't altruistic enough to work for nothing. It is this social psyche of the more money and stuff you have the better you are. Somehow we need to rewire ourselves to strive for something different. Strive for science, technology, teaching, helping your fellow man (in the myriad ways that we can) etc. Celebrate these things instead of the obese and frankly disgusting obsession we have with celebrity and money.

Of course its all good and well fantasising over some perfect future such as this, but there will still be the need for manual labour and the less unpleasant jobs society requires. It's going to take a long time and a lot of intelligent changes both technologically and to the way we think to even begin on the road for social evolution.

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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by garymcnally » 24 Oct 2008, 16:37

Revolution is a process not a single act. After the 1917 October revolution there was a lot of discussion over how much of the economy should be privatised. I remember reading one set of notes for a meeting in the Petrograd soviet on whether they should privatise fucking ice cream vendors or not. It was decided not to at that moment. People would still be aloud to sell pink fluffy dice if they wanted to.

Contrary to belief people do in general want to work. It is one of the things that I think defines us as human, the desire to pull together and try and make stuff happen. The problem with this society we have now has hundreds of shit jobs that are pointless, badly paid and fucking dreadfully boring.

There was an Anarchist economist that sat down and did the maths and realised that if you get rid of all of the jobs that would not actually be needed in a more sensible society (advertising, different factories making the same product to compete etc.) that we would only have to work 6 hour days. This guy wrote this back in the Victorian ages! With all of the technological developments that we have made in the past 100 years the amount of labour time (time spent doing a job) that is actually required to run a society would be even less than this!

In Marx's Capital Volume 1, he also describes the division of labour. This is the allocation of specific tasks involved in an industrial process. Eg. when making a table in a fictional factory, Chippy cuts the legs for the tables, Metal Dave smoothes them down, Idge places them in the table top, Draco polishes the tables and then I put them in the van...thats all we do all day.

With socialism there wouldn’t be this strict division of labour. You'd probably work a bit in the table factory, a bit as a medic, a bit as a librarian. The key is everything would be decided democratically.

This is just my image of what socialism could be like. The important thing is that it would certainly be better than this society with 25000 deaths a day from starvation, despite the fact that there is enough food to feed everyone. 50,000 pensioners predicted to die in Britain this winter because of fuel poverty despite this being the 4th largest economy on earth...just realised I'm ranting.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by garymcnally » 24 Oct 2008, 16:53

campy wrote:Somehow we need to rewire ourselves to strive for something different. Strive for science, technology, teaching, helping your fellow man


This is by no means an easy task, but it is also not impossible. Through times of hardship people do come to realise the class nature of the system that they live in and the obvious benefits to a reorganisation in society. Whilst working for Lewisham council I was involved in the two day joint national strike between UNISON and UNITE trade unions (Myself being a member of UNISON).

Over those two days I spoke to people on the picket lines, and it was clear that they where seeing things not just in an economic sense ("I want more money") but where seeing things more on a political basis ("Gordon Brown is taking the piss"). I've spent time on picket lines before (not when I myself have been on strike, but when I have gone along to support striking post/educational and fire workers etc.) and didn't come across the same level of politicisation that I came across on the strikes earlier this year. This is partly to do, I think, with the economic crisis that was looming at the time. People where starting to wake up and realise that the system wasn't working for them.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by fotch » 24 Oct 2008, 17:20

This civil war and invasions killed off the working class as well.


Woah, you're saying that because the capitalists killed off the working classes that the revolution failed? A large percentage of them wouldn't have even fought without the implementation of mandatory conscription by Trotksy.

Also, you're viewing everything in black and white, capitalists and socialists. The 'White' army the way you're depicting it is full of capitalists opposing the honourable socialist 'Red' Army, when it was made up of all sorts of people who opposed the new regime, pro-monarchists, landowners, liberals, the middle classes, former Tsarist Army officers. I should imagine they weren't fighting to uphold capitalism, rather to stop their country falling foul of a rather nasty bunch of people.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by Lord_Blacknose » 24 Oct 2008, 18:46

All my political and social ideas are far too idealist to ever actualy work without a major shift in how people aprpoach life and I think that is one of the things as a species we need to work towards - change. Not just change in how things work but how we think and act.

It seems that more and more people are being led to think that money is the be all and end all of everything leading to the credit crisis and to people being overwhelmed by greed and the desire for a mcmansion and the latest mercedes. There is no way that this is a healthy way for human beings to go on; it is a tool of the corporations to make people spend more money, even money they don't actually have, in order for said corporations to make more money. However they do this to the detriment of the people; a small minority becomes very rich, the vast majority live in debt trying to emulate their lifestyle and as such anyone unwilling to adopt that way of life (money borrowing, greed etc) will generaly have a lower quality of life than those who do.

Tom for example: if you wanted to you could right now be living in a brand new 3-4 bedroom house and driving a brand new audi. You don't because you aren't financialy retarded and have no desire to take out multiple loans with disgusting monthly payments. A lot of people however are more than happy to take out those loans for a house, a car, designer clothes, christmas presents and just about everything else in their lives.

To really change we need to not live beyond our means, look out for others financialy (this means the banks and corporations for the most part) and take some fiscal responsibility. Instead of lusting after a 6 bedroom mcmansion why not live in an adequate home for your needs, one which will still be more than pleasant and provide everything you need. If everyone does this then eventualy people will have a nice high standard of living because there won't be people paying over the odds for shit they don't need and as such higher quality homes and products will be available at a lower price to suit that market.

That said, personaly I am a socialist and lately finding myself leaning heavily towards social anarchism so fuck it, smash the state. No borders, no nations, no deportations innit. But what I said above I think would the first step towards a truly socialist society - not necesarily everyone equal but at least people not shitting on each other for personal gain. When the people at the top have only self interest and the desire for bigger pay checks in their sight everyone suffers including them, eventualy.

And don't even get me started on how the majority of politicians these days only have their own investors and investments in their hearts. No honest people seem to become politicians because to do so you have to tow the party line and that means being a bastard turncoat and as such we end up with mass marketed fops, profiteering vagabonds and puppets. Great.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by Lord_Blacknose » 24 Oct 2008, 18:49

fotch wrote:
This civil war and invasions killed off the working class as well.


Woah, you're saying that because the capitalists killed off the working classes that the revolution failed? A large percentage of them wouldn't have even fought without the implementation of mandatory conscription by Trotksy.

Also, you're viewing everything in black and white, capitalists and socialists. The 'White' army the way you're depicting it is full of capitalists opposing the honourable socialist 'Red' Army, when it was made up of all sorts of people who opposed the new regime, pro-monarchists, landowners, liberals, the middle classes, former Tsarist Army officers. I should imagine they weren't fighting to uphold capitalism, rather to stop their country falling foul of a rather nasty bunch of people.


That whole era of history in russia was pretty fucked up. It's quite a bad example if you're trying to use it in a positive light for either side because they were pretty much all bastards. Admitedly they all thought they were fighting for the good of the people but when you make the people do that fighting it becomes a bit of a misnomer.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by garymcnally » 26 Oct 2008, 01:00

fotch wrote:
This civil war and invasions killed off the working class as well.


Woah, you're saying that because the capitalists killed off the working classes that the revolution failed? A large percentage of them wouldn't have even fought without the implementation of mandatory conscription by Trotksy.



First off I don't think I said it was THE reason, it was one contributing factor to the failure of socialism to maintain itself in the USSR.

As for "A large percentage of them wouldn't have even fought without the implementation of mandatory conscription by Trotksy"

If it wasn't for Trotsky, Lenin and the rest of the Bolshevik leaders they WOULD have been fighting, dogged down in the trenches of the first world war. If you want to blaim people for people having to fight, blame people like Kolchak, Wrangel and Denikin, counter revolutionary generals!

Trotsky was in a difficult position, he was defending a country with a border of 5000 miles from 14 different invading armies along with counter revolutionary cossacks (rich peasants).

After pulling out of the First world war people naturally left the army wanting no more of combat, the army shrank from 9 million to about 50,000. If Trotsky had not introduced conscription, the people of Russia would not have been safe! If the counter revolutionaries had won the war, you would not just have a return to the old oppressive tsarist regime where you get shipped off to siberia for joining a trade union, or you get gunned down by troops for offering a petition to "his holiness" the pope.

No, if the counter revolutionaries won you would have something far worse! You would have retribution against the workers, you would have safe guards including the rolling back of workers conditions and civil liberties to ensure that they do not have the opportunity to revolt again. "the word for fascism would not have been an Italian but a Russian word."

You are also right Fotch to point out that it was not just capitalists against socialists. The White army, you were right to say "was made up of all sorts of people who opposed the new regime, pro-monarchists, landowners, liberals, the middle classes, former Tsarist Army officers."

Pro-monarchists that don't like the concept of universal suffrage, landowners who hate the idea of not being able to crush the poor agricultural workers and peasants, liberals who back the idea of government legislation by decree from the Tsar, the middle classes who prefer to keep the working class right down at the bottom, below them and the Tsarist army officers...I'm sure you get the idea.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by fotch » 26 Oct 2008, 10:19

I want a pair of glasses as rose tinted as yours Gary.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by campy » 26 Oct 2008, 13:13

fotch wrote:I want a pair of glasses as rose tinted as yours Gary.


Think you're edging into ad hominem territory there fotch.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by fotch » 26 Oct 2008, 14:53

campy wrote:
fotch wrote:I want a pair of glasses as rose tinted as yours Gary.


Think you're edging into ad hominem territory there fotch.


Yeah, thats what happens when you argue about politics on the internet. My bad. :roll:
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 27 Oct 2008, 09:32

In Marx's Capital Volume 1, he also describes the division of labour. This is the allocation of specific tasks involved in an industrial process. Eg. when making a table in a fictional factory, Chippy cuts the legs for the tables, Metal Dave smoothes them down, Idge places them in the table top, Draco polishes the tables and then I put them in the van...thats all we do all day. With socialism there wouldn’t be this strict division of labour. You'd probably work a bit in the table factory, a bit as a medic, a bit as a librarian. The key is everything would be decided democratically.



There is a good reason for this division of labour. People get good at jobs they do repeatedly, and are generally crap at ones they've just started. Sorry but if I have some sort of accident I want a properly trained paramedic with years of experience to come and attend to me, not someone who's just filling in for a couple of days before they start at the toilet paper factory.

There was an Anarchist economist that sat down and did the maths and realised that if you get rid of all of the jobs that would not actually be needed in a more sensible society (advertising, different factories making the same product to compete etc.) that we would only have to work 6 hour days.


Would you really like this? Do you hate choice and variety? Because what I get from it is a vision of everyone queueing at their local Food Centre in identical flannel smocks to collect their identical weekly rations of basic foodstuffs in packets with black and white labels that simply say BREAD, BEANS, TOOTHPASTE, etc before filing home in their identical cars to sit and stare all evening at the one state-sanctioned and produced TV channel that's available, while 50,000 pensioners freeze to death when some noob at the power station cuts their gas off because he's only doing the job for a bit in between delivering the milk and producing the next album from the one band that can still afford to exist.

I don't want every aspect of my life decided by the majority of the population. The majority of the population are fucking idiots.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by garymcnally » 27 Oct 2008, 09:59

The kind of society that you just described seems a lot like Stalinist Russia or Orwells 1984.

I don't hate variety at all! When I say "different factories making the same product to compete etc" I don't mean BREAD, TOMATOES, BEANS. What I mean is, as an example, here is a list of brands of artificial turf;

Gecko Premium Synthetic Grass, ACT Global Sports, Artificial Grass and Landscaping inc. Better Putting Greens. Better Game. AstroPlay, AstroTurf, As Good As Grass, Artificial Grass, Aqua Bubble, BajaTurf - California and Baja California, Calsyn, CamTurf, Challenger Industries [1], Chemgrass (AstroTurf renamed), ClubTurf, Covenant Sports Turf (CS Turf), Deso-Turf, Duraplay [2], Durraturf, Edel Grass BV [3], Enduroturf Synthetic Lawns Australia, EnvyLawn [4], Artificial Grass Lazy Lawns, EZfield, Ezy Grass - The real grass alternative. Australia. FieldTurf, Evergreen, EverLast Turf Orange County, CA, Forbex, Forever Green, ForeverLawn, Global Sports Systems, Gras, Grasmere, Grass Tex, Greenfields, Hi-Tech Turf, Instant Turf, Kestrel Contractors, IntelliTurf [5], KonyGreen, LanoSports, LazyLawn, Lectron, Lifestyle Grass, MasterTurf, MONDO Turf, NewGrass, NeXturf, Nova Grass, Nurteks, OmegaTurf Residential Turf, Omnicourt, Omniturf, Perfect Turf, Poligras, Polytan, Poly-Turf (website), Pregra, ProGreen, Ryturf, Reform Sports, Regal Grass, Royal Grass, SafePlay TURF, Scotgreens, SmartGrass, South West Greens, Sow-green, Sportexe, SportSurface - Lucky7Turf, Sportsurface, SprinTurf, Supergrasse, SYNLawn, Synthetic Turf International Synthetic Turf Source, Sunshine Synthetics, Tartan Turf, TEAM Sports Surfaces, The Perfect Lawn, Inc. TigerTurf[6], TuFFGrass[7], Tuff Turf, Turf Headquarters, Turf Solutions, TurfTech, Wyco Turf, Xtreme Turf.

How many types of fake grass do you fucking need!... I must admit I do find "turf solutions" a bit funny.

As for the devision of labour, you've got a point that the paramedic should be well trained and have years of expeariance, there are certain jobs that you should be qualified to do before you should be aloud to do them, I never said otherwise. But how many years of expeariance do you need to do data entry? To stamp peices of paper? To file away records?

Capitalism causes death and destruction on HUGE levels, starving people to death when there is more than enough food to feed everyone in the world, because people are making a profit from food, something that I believe should be a human right, not a commodity to be bout and sold.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 27 Oct 2008, 15:39

One can only assume that the demand for artificial turf far outstrips what can be supplied by any one of those companies. I don't really see what the problem is, given they are providing employment and a wage to a lot of people.

I think your constant equation of capitalism with pensioners freezing, or people starving, is very blinkered. These problems could be alleviated without the abolition of capitalist principles, and I don't think it's very fair to directly blame it for them either. You talk as if if all these companies weren't supplying designer clothes or artificial turf and electronic goods to developed nations, they would be providing free heating to the elderly and shipping food out to the 3rd world instead. This is not the case.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 27 Oct 2008, 15:56

garymcnally wrote:
I don't hate variety at all! When I say "different factories making the same product to compete etc" I don't mean BREAD, TOMATOES, BEANS.


So what do you mean? Surely basic commodities like foodstuffs are at the very crux of your argument here? Are you saying that food companies should be in competition with eachother, but turf companies should be rolled up into one big nationalised one so they can get on with solving the food crisis?! Seems counter-intuitive to me. :scratch:
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 27 Oct 2008, 15:56

double post.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by JimmyBlind » 27 Oct 2008, 16:53

Lord_Blacknose wrote:All my political and social ideas are far too idealist to ever actualy work without a major shift in how people aprpoach life and I think that is one of the things as a species we need to work towards - change. Not just change in how things work but how we think and act.

It seems that more and more people are being led to think that money is the be all and end all of everything leading to the credit crisis and to people being overwhelmed by greed and the desire for a mcmansion and the latest mercedes. There is no way that this is a healthy way for human beings to go on; it is a tool of the corporations to make people spend more money, even money they don't actually have, in order for said corporations to make more money. However they do this to the detriment of the people; a small minority becomes very rich, the vast majority live in debt trying to emulate their lifestyle and as such anyone unwilling to adopt that way of life (money borrowing, greed etc) will generaly have a lower quality of life than those who do.

Tom for example: if you wanted to you could right now be living in a brand new 3-4 bedroom house and driving a brand new audi. You don't because you aren't financialy retarded and have no desire to take out multiple loans with disgusting monthly payments. A lot of people however are more than happy to take out those loans for a house, a car, designer clothes, christmas presents and just about everything else in their lives.

To really change we need to not live beyond our means, look out for others financialy (this means the banks and corporations for the most part) and take some fiscal responsibility. Instead of lusting after a 6 bedroom mcmansion why not live in an adequate home for your needs, one which will still be more than pleasant and provide everything you need. If everyone does this then eventualy people will have a nice high standard of living because there won't be people paying over the odds for shit they don't need and as such higher quality homes and products will be available at a lower price to suit that market.

That said, personaly I am a socialist and lately finding myself leaning heavily towards social anarchism so fuck it, smash the state. No borders, no nations, no deportations innit. But what I said above I think would the first step towards a truly socialist society - not necesarily everyone equal but at least people not shitting on each other for personal gain. When the people at the top have only self interest and the desire for bigger pay checks in their sight everyone suffers including them, eventualy.

And don't even get me started on how the majority of politicians these days only have their own investors and investments in their hearts. No honest people seem to become politicians because to do so you have to tow the party line and that means being a bastard turncoat and as such we end up with mass marketed fops, profiteering vagabonds and puppets. Great.


An interesting pitch there fella.

I lost faith in politicians when I realised the very same. Any party campaigning for government is a product of everyday people (politicians) trying to further their own personal carreers. Tony Blair will no doubt spend his remaining years over in the States, getting paid to make after dinner speeches. I think it takes a certain type of cunt to want to lead a country. The leader of a country doesn't care for making the country great. He just wants to be the person who made the country great.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by phillip_banks » 27 Oct 2008, 22:13

I agree with that to a degree Jim, but the problem is that these days the politicians that wield most of the power aren't normal people at all; they are career politicians, ie they study a certain subject with the complete intention of going into politics. Long gone are the days when the people representing you in Parliment were normal working people. That's why it's the interests of normal working people are completely overlooked. It's a pretty basic principle, but how can a privately education man/woman born into wealth ever know what's best for the common man? Granted there are a few prominant politicians around at the moment that come from average working backgrounds (such as John Prescott) but even those people have become blinded the money and power and second-homes-in-the-country that seems to come with being a poitician these days.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 28 Oct 2008, 08:50

Can I just take this opportunity to point out out that I fully support the values of humanism, looking out for your fellow man etc. laid out by certain people in this thread, and certainly agree that more should be done to solve the problems faced by less fortunate parts of the world such as the food crisis. I just take umbrage with the suggestion that these are inherently caused by capitalism, and that there's no room for helping or solving these issues within a capitalist structure.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by JimmyBlind » 28 Oct 2008, 10:40

agreed
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by campy » 28 Oct 2008, 12:55

chippy wrote:I just take umbrage with the suggestion that these are inherently caused by capitalism, and that there's no room for helping or solving these issues within a capitalist structure.


I just think that in the end the striving for money that is at the very core of capitalism can only bring out the worst, i.e. greed & looking out for number 1, in people. Also the most successful people within this system will be those willing to sacrifice every living moment, choice and the well being/happiness of others in the dedication to money and the proliferation thereof. This leads to a bunch of sociopathic arseholes who couldn't give two shits about your problems being very rich; and as the phrase goes, money is power. Basically in my opinion capitalism leads to a big sack of cunts being in a worrying position of power.

So whilst we sit around eating 20 different delicious types of cake or astroturf or whatever the hell else you want to consume, the world as a whole is still having a solid one the wrong way up the pooper.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by phillip_banks » 28 Oct 2008, 13:50

any1 here like bill hix?!
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by JimmyBlind » 28 Oct 2008, 14:29

If I catch two animals in a trap to feed my family that only needs one, I will keep the other to feed them tomorrow. I won't give it to another who hasn't managed to catch one... because I do not benefit from it. I don't think there is anything morally wrong with this model unless we exploit other human beings for our own gain which, even then, is justified when we talk about survival.
I hear people saying "We must all change" etc, which is an admirable prospect, but hugely ambitious and unlikely. Someone will always want more and will always fight you to get more.

The hypocrisy of people ranting on about anti capitalism and money, working in already comparitively high paid jobs, working their way up the promotional ladder for more money. So called militant anti-establishment, citizen-smith type students, studying for their qualifications. To what end? To get a decent 'high-paid' job at the end of it? Of course. These people still wear label clothes produced in sweat shops, use machines made from components in third world factories & eat mass-produced foods. The ideals are admirable but virtually nobody actually reduces their own lives to neccessity. There really are only a small handful of genuine anti-capitalists worth any merit who are needless & self sufficient.

Please excuse my thinking out loud. I don't have much to offer on the subject of economics. It kinda evolved into flaming the people who try to be anti-establisment just to look cool.
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Jim

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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by Lord_Blacknose » 28 Oct 2008, 14:52

JimmyBlind wrote:It kinda evolved into flaming the people who try to be anti-establisment just to look cool.


The best bit is when they buy anarchy t-shirts from a trendy shop.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by JimmyBlind » 28 Oct 2008, 14:59

Totally off-topic, but I was bought a brand new Transformers T-Shirt for christmas that came with designer, retro-looking wear and fade on the picture. It looks fucking shite.
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Jim

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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by campy » 28 Oct 2008, 15:14

JimmyBlind wrote:If I catch two animals in a trap to feed my family that only needs one, I will keep the other to feed them tomorrow. I won't give it to another who hasn't managed to catch one... because I do not benefit from it. I don't think there is anything morally wrong with this model unless we exploit other human beings for our own gain which, even then, is justified when we talk about survival.


This is an example of what I see as an archaic (sorry Jimmy) way of thinking. As a race we are way beyond the necessity to survive, all our wonderful technological advances have taken care of that. So isn't it time we stopped trying to survive as hard as possible by buying bmws and six bedroom houses and do things differently? Sadly I can't offer some social panacea to stop this, but I do genuinely hope that someday someone or some people will start something (bring on the singularity eh?).


JimmyBlind wrote:The hypocrisy of people ranting on about anti capitalism and money, working in already comparitively high paid jobs, working their way up the promotional ladder for more money. So called militant anti-establishment, citizen-smith type students, studying for their qualifications. To what end? To get a decent 'high-paid' job at the end of it? Of course. These people still wear label clothes produced in sweat shops, use machines made from components in third world factories & eat mass-produced foods. The ideals are admirable but virtually nobody actually reduces their own lives to neccessity. There really are only a small handful of genuine anti-capitalists worth any merit who are needless & self sufficient.


I'm sure there are plenty (see: majority) of people who do think like this, and as you said it's a ridiculous hypocracy. Unfortunately as stated before, we are stuck in a society completely run in a capitalist fashion and as such is incredibly hard to survive (there's that word again!) doing anything but.

To be honest, fuck the revolution, bring on the apocalypse.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 28 Oct 2008, 15:30

campy wrote:This is an example of what I see as an archaic (sorry Jimmy) way of thinking. As a race we are way beyond the necessity to survive, all our wonderful technological advances have taken care of that. So isn't it time we stopped trying to survive as hard as possible by buying bmws and six bedroom houses and do things differently?


The thing is, I don't think it's a way of thinking so much as it's something deep within our instincts. There are no sabre toothed tigers or constant threat of starvation, but the survival/hunter gatherer instinct is still there, and ends up instead driving us to the acquisition of big cars and high end electronic goods. Not that that makes it right, of course, but it does make it a lot harder to change your thinking.

I'm not much of a materialist. I wear clothes until they fall apart and begrudge buying new ones, I resist a lot of new tech like high-def televisions that I don't deem all that necessary. I don't feel the need to spend lots of money to validate myself. My main weakness is that I like to buy really nice food, because I love it. However I do feel the impulse to earn as much as possible, and therefore take any opportunities to do so. This is more of a security thing than anything, because who knows what's round the corner.

However at the same time, I give a fair bit to charity every month, I love to splash out on my mates. At some point when I'm finally sick of this contract in T-Mobile I intend to do a bit of travelling and do some volunteer work where it's really needed. I don't feel that my capitalist tendencies preclude me from trying to do some good in the world. In fact, if I lived in Gary's homogenous, 'fair' society where everyone receives the same income and works different jobs month in month old, I think I would feel rather insignificant and much less empowered have any sort of positive influence.
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Re: Capitalism not working?

Post by chippy » 28 Oct 2008, 15:37

I'm no economist, but I can't picture a world without capitalism and all these competing companies vying for your money, that doesn't also have huge levels of unemployment.
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