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  1. #91
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Capitalists can make money in their sleep, but they can lose it, too, especially recently.

    Capital is savings. That is how one becomes a capitalist: they save. Once you have savings, you can risk those savings on investments. In other words, capitalists are rewarded in their sleep, because they are always bearing the risk of what others are doing with their resources.

    Capitalists are indispensible to a well-functioning and growing economy, since savings represent the pool of resources with which to invest and increase future output. With capitalists, that is, people who save by foregoing consumption, and then risk those savings by investing in others, more people than before can have the opportunity to succeed in life. For example, many people on this forum could never have attended college, if it were not for capitalists taking a risk by allowing others to use their savings.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Capitalists can make money in their sleep, but they can lose it, too, especially recently.
    Wise sentence.

  3. #93
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    I would disagree. Capital is not savings. Capital is labor.

    Without labor, you have no product, without a product, you can't "save," etc. Even if machines are doing the labor, the labor itself is still the form of capital. Think about it. What's it "cost" to mine ore? The labor of a couple hundred men to build a shaft, another couple hundred to create the tools, so on and so fourth.

    The richest men in history became rich due to their ability to force other men to labor for them.
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    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  4. #94
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    People get wealthy in different ways. Some by intimidation and theft, and others by providing others with goods and services at lower prices. The trick is to establish institutions and legal traditions, which prohibit people getting wealthy at the expense of another. For the most part, this is what capitalism enables. It does not necessarily reduce inequality, because people have different values and motivations, but it does move some way top eradicating inequality created by theft and/or fraud. Unfortunately, the political process, despite often intervening in the name of social justice, usually does the exact opposite.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #95
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont believe that capitalism makes us better people, some of the claims made for capitalism are pretty nuts when you properly deconstruct them, posing ideal and utopian theory to the reality of dictatorship in largely agrarian, backward and under developed nations.

    Infact I would go so far as to say that capitalism has only endured for as long as it has because it has never been fully realised and quickly became a mixed economy and had so many counterbalances to itself culturally, materially etc.

    From its advent before the industrial revolution the cultural underpinnings making the accumulation of capital necessary for capitalism to emerge, ie protestantism and puritanism, made it possible but also militated against the complete rein of money values.

    When during the industrial revolution class struggles threatened to make money values the only values, which Marx journalistically recorded in The Communist Manifesto which is a literary rather than a political work, properly understood (it makes no recommendations besides reforms which wouldnt embarrass the most conservative regime in the US or UK), socialism emerged as a countervaling value-culture matrix.

    In order to be a perfect capitalist, practicing the Randian "virtue" of selfishness, you'd have to be a personality like Charles Manson, pretty psychotic, there's arguments about the indirect welfare consequences of selfishness, raising all the boats, trickle down effects but they are comparative to socialist arguments about the indirect welfare consequences of redistribution.

    The Cato arguments are well known, if you're interested in good alternatives consider Eric Fromm's points in The Sane Society as to why "super capitalism", I think he calls it, basically all the promises made for ideological capitalism, wont satisfy the psychological needs of individuals to behave as productive, socially orientated, socially relating individuals.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    The richest men in history became rich due to their ability to force other men to labor for them.
    So Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have forced people to work for them?

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont believe that capitalism makes us better people, some of the claims made for capitalism are pretty nuts when you properly deconstruct them, posing ideal and utopian theory to the reality of dictatorship in largely agrarian, backward and under developed nations.
    Then do so. I'd like to see what precisely is "utopian" about an evaluation of an economic system. Which dictatorships are you talking about?


    Infact I would go so far as to say that capitalism has only endured for as long as it has because it has never been fully realised and quickly became a mixed economy and had so many counterbalances to itself culturally, materially etc.
    What is a cultural counterbalance to capitalism? You're writing as if it were a process that is foreign to or imposed upon a society. It exists in every society in the world.


    From its advent before the industrial revolution the cultural underpinnings making the accumulation of capital necessary for capitalism to emerge, ie protestantism and puritanism, made it possible but also militated against the complete rein of money values.
    Uhhhh. . . what?


    When during the industrial revolution class struggles threatened to make money values the only values, which Marx journalistically recorded in The Communist Manifesto which is a literary rather than a political work, properly understood (it makes no recommendations besides reforms which wouldnt embarrass the most conservative regime in the US or UK), socialism emerged as a countervaling value-culture matrix.
    Please. Have you ever read The Communist Manifesto? Besides the advocacy of violent revolution, here are some choice policy points:

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.


    Yeah, abolition of private real property wouldn't embarrass the most conservative regimes in the U.S.


    In order to be a perfect capitalist, practicing the Randian "virtue" of selfishness, you'd have to be a personality like Charles Manson, pretty psychotic, there's arguments about the indirect welfare consequences of selfishness, raising all the boats, trickle down effects but they are comparative to socialist arguments about the indirect welfare consequences of redistribution.
    Nonsense. One doesn't even need to care for Rand to believe in and promote capitalism as a virtue. Personally, I don't care for Rand, although I enjoyed a few of her fiction pieces. Capitalism also doesn't preclude kindness or altruism, as we all know. In fact, charitable giving is higher in the United States than in other Western countries with more extensive welfare states. The rate of giving increases when taxes are lower, as well. "Perfect capitalist" doesn't make any sense. There is no such thing.


    The Cato arguments are well known, if you're interested in good alternatives consider Eric Fromm's points in The Sane Society as to why "super capitalism", I think he calls it, basically all the promises made for ideological capitalism, wont satisfy the psychological needs of individuals to behave as productive, socially orientated, socially relating individuals.
    I have not read this text, so I cannot comment as to its merits. I will say, however, that Fromm was a member of the Frankfurt School, and much of what I have read from that school has been (I'll be generous) "arguable," especially Adorno. That guy was a straight-up fraud.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #98
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Then do so. I'd like to see what precisely is "utopian" about an evaluation of an economic system. Which dictatorships are you talking about?
    Articles like this generally compare the capitalist theory with the "socialist" reality, no messy market failures to contend with, only central plan ones.

    What is a cultural counterbalance to capitalism? You're writing as if it were a process that is foreign to or imposed upon a society. It exists in every society in the world.
    Hmm, someone doesnt know their history. Consider The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism and then come back to me.

    If for a day money values existed without any countervailing principles what so ever, family ties, traditions, conventions, norms which are nothing to do with money or markets, I'm pretty sure we'd all perish pretty quickly.

    For instance the competition of the market place presupposes a great deal of unacknowledged co-operation, infact its the greater norm and is ontologically a priori to the competition of capitalism.

    Please. Have you ever read The Communist Manifesto? Besides the advocacy of violent revolution, here are some choice policy points:

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.


    Yeah, abolition of private real property wouldn't embarrass the most conservative regimes in the U.S.
    Yeah I've read it, and understood it, which clearly you didnt.

    Tell me where Marx advocates violent revolution. He charts the rise of capitalism which he's actually pretty cracked up about and defends against other socialists who the believes, probably correctly, where hankering quite nostalgically after a bygone golden age, labelling them utopian in the process. He then suggests that capitalism has become a frankenstein monster out of the control of its creators, in a pretty literary fashion he talks about all values disappearing, "all that is solid melts into air".

    He then returns to his opening theme, class struggles and states that economics isnt a science anymore that its become an ideology which serves the ruling class, he didnt live long enough to see the same thing happen to socialism.

    Those list of goals, they have in one way or another been realised, all of them, contextualise what Marx is suggesting. That's in the day when the state was nothing besides a standing army, perhaps a small police force.

    While radical libertarians, outside of the political process, will suggest that any of the laws on the books presently dealing with property suggest that it is infact only leased to any such owners as exist at present. Perhaps they are being incendiary. The conservatives who take part in the political process are seen as in one way or another supporting the system.

    Nonsense. One doesn't even need to care for Rand to believe in and promote capitalism as a virtue. Personally, I don't care for Rand, although I enjoyed a few of her fiction pieces. Capitalism also doesn't preclude kindness or altruism, as we all know. In fact, charitable giving is higher in the United States than in other Western countries with more extensive welfare states. The rate of giving increases when taxes are lower, as well. "Perfect capitalist" doesn't make any sense. There is no such thing.
    Really? Capitalism has at its heart a personality profile and character typology to which all are expected to conform, to a certain extent it is a moral or "political" economy, it was supported by Smith and the Quakers because it promised to harness individual selfishness, avarice, vice to the public good and bring people together in society for mutual ends.

    Hence all the high minded remarks about how it was "not from benefice" that the butcher, baker and candlestick maker produced to meet anothers needs and Smith's remarks about no society in which the greater number where destitute could be prospering and happy.

    However I think a tipping point has been reached, capitalism's contradictions are more recognisable than ever, for instance supposing infinite growth with finite resources and its no longer harnessing existing selfishness to a common good but making an unhealthy selfishness normative.

    You are correct to suppose that it does not preclude altruism but it does not support it, you are at a real personal loss and behaving sub-optimally if you behave altruistically, you lose. Altruism is one of the culturally conditioned counter vailing or counter balancing value complexes I mentioned. Try giving a percentage of your money to other players every time you pass Go in monopoly and see how it goes for you.

    I have not read this text, so I cannot comment as to its merits. I will say, however, that Fromm was a member of the Frankfurt School, and much of what I have read from that school has been (I'll be generous) "arguable," especially Adorno. That guy was a straight-up fraud.
    I've not read anything by Ardono so I cant comment on him, I know that Fromm was for a time associated with the Frankfurt School but having read about it and read all of Fromm's books and bios I find it a strange thing, he quarrelled seriously with all of them and probably was the only one to have properly read and understood either Marx or Freud.

    His attacks on Marcuse are difficult to find but brilliantly argued and prefigured many of the neo-con arguments about sixties counter cultural permissiveness, he's one of the few people who I think has really exposed material like One Dimensional Man as hate fuelled disturbing and destructive.

    Fromm wound up thinking that most of them where ill, check out his books, their narratives are unique in that he is categorically socialist but most of his narrative, with the passage of time, such as work ethics would, contemporarily, be claimed as the opposite.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    So Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have forced people to work for them?
    No they don't. But then again, capitalism give tyou no choice but to work for a capitalist. In a way , the relationship can be defined as "force" because you get fired when you can't contribute to their company's wealth.
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

    "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses"~Sulla

    Conquer your inner demons first before you conquer the world.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    No they don't. But then again, capitalism give tyou no choice but to work for a capitalist. In a way , the relationship can be defined as "force" because you get fired when you can't contribute to their company's wealth.
    Except that you also have the option to be a capitalist yourself. Don't like working for The Man? Start your own business, and YOU can be The Man.

    Yes, it's difficult. It's really a lot easier, really, to put in your eight hours punching a clock and collect your check from The Man. Working for yourself you'll put in 12- or 16-hour days, get lousy pay at the beginning, and still might not be successful.

    Hey, life is all about risk vs. reward.

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