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  1. #101
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    Capitalism isn't about compulsion, its about self-interest. You don't have to engage in the Capitalist market, if you don't want to. There is just no big material incentive to leave the Market, so most will pass on that option.

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    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.
    Well that's the theory and its quite appealing, how much of a reality is that though?

    I know libertarians who've suffered from breakdowns because they've been failures in business or found it impossible to realise their "be the man" ideologies, the cognitive dissonance (spelling) that they've experienced has been unbearable for them.

    Again, I'd reference Eric Fromm in The Fear of Freedom he talks about how psychoanalysis had pointed up that fantasy and the unconscious where as great levers to human behaviour as a rational appraisal of the facts, if you ask me that's why capitalism endures. Hope.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of the Damned View Post
    Capitalism isn't about compulsion, its about self-interest. You don't have to engage in the Capitalist market, if you don't want to. There is just no big material incentive to leave the Market, so most will pass on that option.
    No, it is compulsive, you cant survive for long entirely self-sufficiently, especially as society develops and intermediaries such as Wal Mart have more market power than either suppliers or consumers, independence and individual freedom evaporated long ago.

    The Quakers and other moral capitalists like Rowntree, Guinness, Cadburies in the UK and Ireland (yeah, choclate and beer/stout) supported capitalism because it was compulsive, it compelled individuals to combine together in social production.

    Adam Smith felt that capitalism and markets where compulsive too, however it was to the individual good and, he believed, eventual equality of condition, like I say he stated that it was not from benefice, ie good will, that the butcher, baker, candlestick maker provided him their services.

    Present day conservatives support capitalism, free markets and weakening of welfare statism or charitable giving because it will compell people to work, support themselves through earnings etc. Its the whole appeal of that political ideology. It assumes the availability of work and earnings but that's a different topic.

    Its completely nebulous to argue that there is no compulsive element within capitalism, at the very best you can argue that it is the least compulsive all feasible alternatives considered but to argue that compulsion does not feature at all is simply false.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well that's the theory and its quite appealing, how much of a reality is that though?
    Works for me. I started and ended a successful part-time business. Ending it was a judgment call on my part; I had other, more important things to do. However, starting one's own business is definitely a reality. All the small businesses in the world were started by one or a handful of individuals with an idea and a set of skills. Many of the big businesses were started that way too.

  5. #105
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    No, it is compulsive, you cant survive for long entirely self-sufficiently, especially as society develops and intermediaries such as Wal Mart have more market power than either suppliers or consumers, independence and individual freedom evaporated long ago.

    The Quakers and other moral capitalists like Rowntree, Guinness, Cadburies in the UK and Ireland (yeah, choclate and beer/stout) supported capitalism because it was compulsive, it compelled individuals to combine together in social production.

    Adam Smith felt that capitalism and markets where compulsive too, however it was to the individual good and, he believed, eventual equality of condition, like I say he stated that it was not from benefice, ie good will, that the butcher, baker, candlestick maker provided him their services.

    Present day conservatives support capitalism, free markets and weakening of welfare statism or charitable giving because it will compell people to work, support themselves through earnings etc. Its the whole appeal of that political ideology. It assumes the availability of work and earnings but that's a different topic.

    Its completely nebulous to argue that there is no compulsive element within capitalism, at the very best you can argue that it is the least compulsive all feasible alternatives considered but to argue that compulsion does not feature at all is simply false.

    I think the theory was that self-interest leads interest of the whole of society(I think you call if compulsion).

    Its not always that clean. But human nature has been competing for scarse resources for thousands of years. I think it is bread into our DNA.

    Replacing self-interest for societal-interest seems like a fantasy that we aren't capable of.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Works for me. I started and ended a successful part-time business. Ending it was a judgment call on my part; I had other, more important things to do. However, starting one's own business is definitely a reality. All the small businesses in the world were started by one or a handful of individuals with an idea and a set of skills. Many of the big businesses were started that way too.
    So you consider your individual experience to be generalisation to the rest of the population.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    I think the theory was that self-interest leads interest of the whole of society(I think you call if compulsion).

    Its not always that clean. But human nature has been competing for scarse resources for thousands of years. I think it is bread into our DNA.

    Replacing self-interest for societal-interest seems like a fantasy that we aren't capable of.
    You'd have to define your terms here, what do you mean by societal-interest?

    I've alread stated that there is a great deal of unacknowledged co-operation, mutual aid and altruism required to make the competition, self-interest etc. considered the crux of capitalism possible.

    Where this not a truism then all nations of the world would resemble Somalia or one of the stateless third world nations of perpetual chaotic, hostile relations.

    I'm unconvinced that human kind has been competiting for scarce resources since time began, the present conditions and expectations of perpetual growth and change, and therefore competition, are contemporaneous, they wouldnt make any sense to, for instance, a serf in the middle ages who just wants to till the land and feed their family.

  8. #108
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    There's no point arguing that capitalism is an ideal system because it's not: on the other hand, it's not the devil either. Ultimately it's an unfeeling philosophy (as with all other philosophies) that strives above all to make money. To that end it keeps its client range as broad as possible, so it supports human rights, liberties, individualism, all that jazz that apparently makes people "better". The idea is that there's a competition of ideas and those with the good, applicable, demanded ideas are rewarded and those without them are punished. Of course hardcore rationalists saw where that lead to in the 19th-20th centuries, resulting in the existence of a welfare state (which I think is the best compromise, see Scandinavia). A dialectical approach could be useful: Capitalism as the thesis, Socialism as the antithesis and Welfare State as the synthesis.
    Not really.

  9. #109
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    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.
    Well being a business owner isn't exactly being a capitalist, because alot of business owners are still poor. But its a first step.

    As long as money is being tied to resources, capitalism will continue to exist in this world. Money has a strong relationship on how resources are being used on this planet.
    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. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Well being a business owner isn't exactly being a capitalist, because alot of business owners are still poor. But its a first step.

    As long as money is being tied to resources, capitalism will continue to exist in this world. Money has a strong relationship on how resources are being used on this planet.
    But there are many contradictions within capitalism when it comes to resources and money, there's more than a little truth in the saying about accountants or shopkeepers knowing the price of everything and the cost of nothing.

    A lot of the social contradictions of capitalism have been seriously ameliorated by the welfare state, so much so that the behaviour of every individual as a consumer almost out weighs that of each individual as a producer or worker.

    This is of course made possible not by agitation or ideological paradigm shifts but the productive powers of capitalism as the driving force in the economy. That ought to be a truth universally acknowledged and its not something that either Marx nor Engels would have any difficulty acknowledging.

    Likewise the ideological or cultural war between capitalism and alternatives has been won by capitalism, which Schumpeter didnt think would be the case when he wrote about capitalism, socialism and democracy (he thought that improved conditions, plus increased expectations would make burgeoning support for socialism inevitable).

    However, none of those things necessarily have anything to do with making people better characters. The appeal of capitalism is often to do with vice rather than virtue.

    For instance, the USSR didnt have anything like the markets/scenes in pornography and less capacity to develop that way. The superiority of western capitalism over alternatives in allocative efficiency has to be off set against differences in resources, technics, family and informal social systems, educational norms and expectations.

    More difficult than ameliorating social contradictions are ecological and environmental contradictions, externalities, the price and cost of pollution. These things should result in a later day capitalist calculation debate of the sort that undermined confidence in planning in the USSR. Before things even get that far I'd expect state rivalry and politics to reassert itself through war or something equally unpleasant.

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