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Is Capitalism Self-Destructive?... NOT!!

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Fitch, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Fitch

    Fitch New Member

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    "At the moment, yes . . . because, when you look at the capitalist word today, there is always the threat of war, nuclear holocaust, the destruction of the environment etc largely due to the capitalist system. Although I don't think this necessarily has to be the case. I think all economic systems have the potential to self destruct, but I think capitalism has more potential that most."


    When I read that opinion that someone wrote, I was pretty pissed. That's pure BS. How the hell does capitalism have more potential to self destruct? Capitalism is the best economic systems there is. What an idiot.
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Exactly. It's not perfect, but even with her flaws, it is better than any alternative out there. It's the only system that consistently rewards hard work and gives individuals an incentive to motivate themselves and achieve.
     
  3. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    I agree. As long as we allow small businesses to keep competing capitalism is the best system for our economy.
     
  4. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    There is an ugly side to capitalism, and it's also one of its crucial parts - competition. A free market is a dog-eat-dog world for the working class because they have no personal connection with the owner of the business usually and the owner doesn't give a rat's ass about them (usually). This is good for the economy because it provides an incentive to work but it's not pretty by any means. So even though I disagree with that person I can see where they are coming from.

    I forgot to add that an argument against capitalism is that with new technology there won't be as many jobs, and that will create an huge mass of unemployed people all competing for the few jobs left. I don't believe this will happen since we can always create new jobs, but before calling that person an idiot maybe you should think about their point and perhaps come up with one of your own instead of simply saying "capitalism is the best".
     
  5. invest07

    invest07 Member

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    Capitalism is the only modern form of government that is sustainable indefinitely. Free people are resourceful and will always find a way to produce valuable goods and services. Doesn't matter if bombs are falling or there is famine. Free people will find a way.

    Communism is not sustainable in the long run. The USSR existed for around 70 years by turning it's satellite states into virtual slaves. Cuba has been a miserable failure. North Korea is one of the poorest countries on earth. The only 2 communists states that may be sustainable are N Vietnam amd China. And they both realized the inefficiency of the communist state and have embraced limited capitalism to stay competitive. (Although China does still use slave labor)

    Socialim is also not sustainable in the long run. Two W European states are near the brink of financial collapse (in the 2010-2012 window) due to rising social committments and falling income. The Muslims will not have to fire a shot to take over several W Eurpoean states by 2020. The financial collapse of socialism in W Europe is visble on the horizon for those who chose to see it.

    Theocracies will exist as long as the citizens of the theocracy are uninformed. Even the Middle east theocracies are showing aging cracks, as it becomes more and more difficult to keep people in the dark.

    I'm not sure if there are any kingdoms left. Saudi Arabia may be one but it is an exception to the rule. There is enough oil money to spread around to buy citizen support.

    The only modern economic system that is sustainable in the long run is capitalism coupled with a free society.
     
  6. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    I don't have a problem with capitalism, as long as its reasonably fair. That is, when the people at the bottom get a decent living too. The capitalism this world runs on doesn't always deliver that though, and so you have to wonder, when the rest of the world industralises and devlops, will capitalism be sustainable?
     
  7. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    When the rest of the world industrializes (or "if" depending on how cynical you are) we'll burn through Earth's remaining natural resources so fast it'll be like the world has whiplash.

    The question isn't whether or not capitalism will be sustainable; I can't think of any other modern economic systems that would do too well without resources. The question is whether or not civilization will be sustainable, as the global economy collapses and anarchy descends on the globe.
     
  8. DrWho

    DrWho New Member

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    Capitalism is the worst form of government there is with the exception of all the others.
     
  9. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    What is objectionable about capitalism is that everything is subordinate to the pursuit of profit.
     
  10. Justinian

    Justinian New Member

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    I always looked at capitalism as the closest economic structure to human nature.
     
  11. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    You consider enjoying the fruits of another person's labors natural?
     
  12. invest07

    invest07 Member

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    Justinian

    We share a similar assessemnt of basic human nature and of capitalism. The reality of the world is that each person will behave in what he/she thinks is their own self interest. Capitalism recognizes this and rewards self interest. Some will be rewarded more than others, based on their own abilities and luck.

    Every form of socialism/communism is based on idealism rather than reality.
    It is not basic human nature to subjugate self to the collective welfare. That is why soc/com will collapse in fairly short time because humans will not remain motivated to work when it doesn't directly benefit them. Soc/com also relies on a larger government than is ideal for capitalism and governments are highly inefficient provider.

    Numinus
    Isn't relying on the fruits of another person's labor an essential part of socialism or communism? You put your share in the collective pot and take out what you need. So, over time, why put the max you can into the pot when you will always get your needs out?

    Human nature says this is unsustainable in the long run. Over time there will always be more freeloaders than hard workers and the collective pot will shrink in size. (Example - the USSR)

    Capitalism is the only system that grows the pot sustainably. And despite all the bad press, capitalism raises the mininum standard of living for all. Out lowest standard of living in the US is miles ahead of what the big shots in N Korea have.

    Soc/com is based on reducing society to the lowest common denominator. Everyone will eventually be equal but living at a low level.

    Under capitalism, there will be inequalities in distribution of wealth but the "Jave nots" will be better off than even the "Haves" under soc/comm.
     
  13. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    It is one thing to 'rely' on another person's labors - quite another to 'expropriate' it for yourself.

    You want sustainability?

    What can be more sustainable than producing ONLY what is USEFUL - as opposed to producing ANYTHING that would bring PROFIT, eh?

    And if you must give examples on the economic merits of socialism, why not the people's republic of china?

    When you are producing goods within a framework of FINITE global resources, there simply isn't room to indulge people's appetite for EVER-INCREASING profits.

    And you are saying capitalism is sustainable?

    The truth is, standard of living (human development index, per capita income, etc.) is a somewhat biased economic indicator. Despite the fact that the prc enjoys a trade surplus with the us, its per capita income is lagging comparatively primarily due to its immense population.

    This doesn't take into consideration the fact that the prc economy produces goods and services FAR CHEAPER than the modern industrial powers of the west.

    Economies develop in their own time and at their own pace.

    The capitalist states of the west have had 3 centuries of modern industrialization to get to where they are now. And they did it with hardly any competition from any hemisphere in the globe.

    The prc had a little over half a century, and had to compete with japan and the west. 10% annual growth rate since the 70's! And managing that with an increasing population of over 1 billion! You have to admit, these are truly astronomic figures!

    The idea is common ownership of the means of production, hence the profits derived from economic activity.

    This isn't something new since cooperatives function in the same manner. Heck, even the international monetary fund strongly suggests this as a the preferred solution to under-development in the third world.
     
  14. LeopardPM

    LeopardPM New Member

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    'expropriate'?1 Wow! Such strong, emotional language... are you talking about some sort of slavery, where people are being forced by other humans to work for them?

    PROFIT determines 'useful' - how 'useful' any particular good or service is, can ONLY be determined by each individual actually 'using' it. For instance, a ladder has a certain usefulness to me, but isn't worth much to someone in a wheelchair. That one was easy, this one explains why NOTHING can be determined through an outside perspective: How useful is a dozen roses? Depends if you like roses, have an allergy to them, have a significant other, are courting another, etc, etc, etc. Now, 'profit' is only garnered on the free market if people are willing to pay a certain price, which corresponds to their desire to 'use' the product. If I tie a few sticks together and attempt to sell the resulting contraption, I will receive no profit if no one sees any value in it. On the other hand, if the sticks are arranged in a certain fashion, say a 'chair', then perhaps I might make money depending on what others thought of it. Or, the sticks could result in something that has no 'tangible' use, but rather some vague, artistic value (which obviously cannot be measured by others). Don't be scared of PROFIT or MONEY which come at us in the form of PRICES, it contains information within which gives the consumer a relative index which fits uses human valuations of the resources used to produce the product versus all other possible resource uses.

    again, China's current 'economic miracle' so completely due to the liberalization of its markets and restriction of its government into the market which has brought it about.

    Profits and prices are the ONLY way to understand the relative quantity and abundance of ALL resources, including human labor - if someone is spending their labor towards one end (say accounting) they cannot simultaneously put their labor towards another end (say, making hospital beds).

    for ever and ever as long as the government or other coersive forces are not allowed to intrude.

    so-called 'common ownership' is perfectly compatible with capitalism: there is nothing about the workers owning the company where they work as being prevented or somehow hamstrung by capitalism. Fact is, capitalism is the only system which does not need or require governmental force to make work: socialism and communism REQUIRE its citizens to participate, and in extreme circumstances, these governmental types will restrict the possibility of people to 'opt out'. Shorthand restated: there can easilly be 'socialist enclaves' in capitalism... there cannot be a capitalistic enclaves in a socialistic government controlled nation.
     
  15. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Expropriate

    3. to take (something) from another's possession for one's own use: He expropriated my ideas for his own article.

    What's emotional about that? If I were emotional, I would have said 'steal'.

    No, no, no!

    There is a difference between USE VALUE and EXCHANGE VALUE.

    A piece of bread has use value in that one can eat it to assuage hunger.

    At the same time, it has exchange value in that you can sell it for a profit.

    In a capitalist society, exchange value not only precedes use value, it undermines it completely. If no one buys the piece of bread, it rots on the shelf - hence its use value is destroyed needlessly and profligately.

    What is truly reprehensible is the phenomenon of a market glut that happens periodically in capitalist economies. Employment of technology makes it possible to produce vast quantities without regard for its use. Hence overproduction occurs. In it, goods are deliberately destroyed in an effort to control price and the capitalists' profit.

    Nothing in 'market liberalization' can explain the abundance of cheap goods it produces.

    A market-oriented economy simply means extensive trade. Nothing in communism prohibits trade with other nations. It is one of the most fundamental economic activity. It has nothing to do with HOW goods and services are produced - which is what communism is addressing.

    The most liberal markets in the world can be found in the third world. That is why the industries in the third world can't developed - they are forced to compete with the technologically advanced industrial west.

    So you see, market liberalization couldn't have been the sole cause of china's economic performance.

    I was talking about finite, natural, non-renewable resources. The exploitation of these resources must not be entirely dependent on the unrestricted pursuit of ever-increasing profits - which is the motto of capitalist production.

    From above, it is clear that the pursuit of profit is NOT sustainable.

    I agree completely.

    That is why I do not quite agree with the revolutionary reconstitution of society happening in a fortnight. The inherent contradictions in capitalism must become apparent before the necessity to change it comes about.

    The point I'm making is that there are inherent contradictions in capitalism, as marx pointed out. It is these incongruities which would ultimately cause its demise - hence self destructive.
     
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