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  1. #111
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    The striking thing about science fiction over the last 70 years is the absence of computers.

    In fact it is fair to say that science fiction, until very recently, entirely missed computers.

    This is no surprise as the future is inherently unpredictable.

    We are, for instance, good at extrapolating in a straight line, but our imagination fails when faced with exponential growth.

    And technology is on an exponential growth path, so even science fiction can't show us the future.

    And the Free Market also can't show us the future, as the Free Market is inherently unpredictable.

    So the future will be a surprise.

    However over the millennia we have developed a way of dealing with the unpredictable future, and surprisingly, that is morality.

    So when we don't know what to do, we follow moral rules.

    This is important because morality does not depend on consequences.

    Morality is concerned with means and not ends.

    Morality says, unequivocally, that the end does not justify the means.

    And it is for this reason that morality is our best guide to the future.

  2. #112
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    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.

    Well, basically I understand what you say. You are saying capitalism is the cause of inequality. The market is not always fair about the distribution of resources.

    I have read about Marx and his theory of surplus value, Marx is saying that society's economic surplus always flow back to the capitalists, making them wealthier and wealthier while the poor gets poorer and poorer.

    But there is a reason why money is attached to resources (although i do not know what that reason is). Why can't the earth's resource be free and we can all chew and eat our fill?
    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.

  3. #113
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    But is capitalism likely to undermine or reinforce that morality?

    The economy is a powerful, powerful source of behaviourist conditioning/socialisation, in theory we create it but in reality it also creates us. This is a relative truth about the environment in general but the economy in particular. Economies have underpinning values, norms, motives are predominant, the free market has brushed aside church, state, independent ideology and culture pretty much.

    The free market's reductive models, characterisations and conceptualisations have become normative, reinforcing some developmental traits, militating against others.

    When it results in family breakdown, unemployment etc. particularly when it results in those things rapidly enough without any provision the consequences have even greater developmental consequences.

    People are not blank slates, they come into the world with certain underlying behavioural operating systems to ensure they survive and thrive, which are actived according to their age, stage and environmental interaction. For instance a baby's facial recognition, proximity seeking behaviours, attachment behaviour.

    When economic and social trends prevent parental prescence then they develop entirely differently, if they dont straightforward perish. The lack of parental prescence may not be complete/physical abscence but merely being abscent minded, neglectful, drunk, stoned.

    Its possible to argue that those mindsets are fostered by "free money" through welfare programmes, perhaps, although that's only means, its the market and advertising which teaches the ends to devote your means to and teaches priorities to children and parents alike.

  4. #114
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Well, basically I understand what you say. You are saying capitalism is the cause of inequality. The market is not always fair about the distribution of resources.

    I have read about Marx and his theory of surplus value, Marx is saying that society's economic surplus always flow back to the capitalists, making them wealthier and wealthier while the poor gets poorer and poorer.

    But there is a reason why money is attached to resources (although i do not know what that reason is). Why can't the earth's resource be free and we can all chew and eat our fill?
    Well, I wasnt so much talking about equality, too often it just means uniform results, but rather contradictions within capitalism.

    Those are pretty much denied because of their sources most of the time, yet greater and greater promises are made of capitalism as a system. Now it doesnt simply deliver meat, bread and candles but makes you a better person too? Adam Smith would not have made such sweeping promises.

    Surplus value is the one big theory which is associated with Marx which has been roundly disproved and dumped by all economists, Marxists included.

    The other contradictions, largely investigated by other precursors to Marx too, like monopoly power, boom and bust business cycles, the reinforcement of class distinction, division, antagonism and the social exclusion of the unemployed are generally ignored. Especially by anyone making simplistic arguments about how it results in better people.

  5. #115
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well, I wasnt so much talking about equality, too often it just means uniform results, but rather contradictions within capitalism.

    Those are pretty much denied because of their sources most of the time, yet greater and greater promises are made of capitalism as a system. Now it doesnt simply deliver meat, bread and candles but makes you a better person too? Adam Smith would not have made such sweeping promises.

    Surplus value is the one big theory which is associated with Marx which has been roundly disproved and dumped by all economists, Marxists included.

    The other contradictions, largely investigated by other precursors to Marx too, like monopoly power, boom and bust business cycles, the reinforcement of class distinction, division, antagonism and the social exclusion of the unemployed are generally ignored. Especially by anyone making simplistic arguments about how it results in better people.
    Here is where things become interesting.

    Capitalists profit comes from price change. Price itself is a reflection of demand and is determined by the market.The higher the price, the higher the demand. Meaning it is profitable to enter the market for whatever goods sold at an inflated price.

    High prices enable capitalists to make a profit, At the same time, high prices reflect shortage and demand of a particular good. So by incresing the supply of goods sold at a high price, capitalists are solving the problem of the shortage while at the same time enters a profitable market.

    Capitalism does not make you a better person, but it does help solve the problem of economic shortage.

    If prices are not determined by the market, as per say but rather determined and regulated by corporations and the government, there would be no chance of profit and no one would know what goods to produced. Price itself is the best indicator of resource shortage.

    But then again , i hated capitalism because it causes massive unemployment and gross inequality. It also deprive people of the most essential resources like food and water if they fail to work, so i am not exactly supporting it
    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.

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Here is where things become interesting.

    Capitalists profit comes from price change. Price itself is a reflection of demand and is determined by the market.The higher the price, the higher the demand. Meaning it is profitable to enter the market for whatever goods sold at an inflated price.

    High prices enable capitalists to make a profit, At the same time, high prices reflect shortage and demand of a particular good. So by incresing the supply of goods sold at a high price, capitalists are solving the problem of the shortage while at the same time enters a profitable market.

    Capitalism does not make you a better person, but it does help solve the problem of economic shortage.

    If prices are not determined by the market, as per say but rather determined and regulated by corporations and the government, there would be no chance of profit and no one would know what goods to produced. Price itself is the best indicator of resource shortage.

    But then again , i hated capitalism because it causes massive unemployment and gross inequality. It also deprive people of the most essential resources like food and water if they fail to work, so i am not exactly supporting it
    That's a nice summation of some of the points from the calculation debate, now I dont believe that that debate was comprehensive enough to stretch to all alternatives to capitalism or even properly appraise capitalism itself.

    There's certain assumptions about markets at the heart of this formulation, that goods are undifferentiated/generic, consumers have perfect information, there is perfect competition or a tendency towards that by a number of suppliers, there are no great barriers to exit or entry of the market by producers or suppliers, ie massive start up or closing down costs.

    In reality there's not a market in existence that conforms to those assumptions, apart from perhaps the very odd farmers or country market where two or three stalls together are trading potatoes.

    I can accept that even with computer software capable of simultaneous equations central planning, like that carried out by state or private monopoly suppliers and producers, in theory distorts prices, leads to even less accurate information on demand and supply and leads eventually, so the theory goes, to a break down. However, the conclusion that some of the remedies are or could be about as bad as the disease does not lead to the conclusion that the disease wasnt really a disease to begin with.

    However, those are questions about economics proper, the point as to whether or not market forces make people better people I still think is a mute point made by ideologically motivated people who are looking for accumulated correlations with their own entrenched opinions. Its just a more sophisticated version of the children who decide and then argue the bit out at school about who is the greatest sports hero etc. Evidence can become quite besides the point.

  7. #117
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    I thought this thread might prove interesting again, JHB might like it anyway.

    If I'm posting on this topic again I'm going to try not to make up such long, long sentences with so many long words and jargon. What?! I was traumatised at the time or something :p

  8. #118
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    To be honest I trully don't understand American people when it comes to this.

    Large number of Americans wants markes as free as possible. While that same market exports jobs overseas where workforce is 20-100 times cheaper. Which is because the only thing free market wants and desires is profit.

    Plus a number of them is annoyed by goverment protectionism. What is basicly the only thing that keeps things working.


    Did I got something wrong ?

  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    To be honest I trully don't understand American people when it comes to this.

    Large number of Americans wants markes as free as possible. While that same market exports jobs overseas where workforce is 20-100 times cheaper. Which is because the only thing free market wants and desires is profit.

    Plus a number of them is annoyed by goverment protectionism. What is basicly the only thing that keeps things working.


    Did I got something wrong ?
    I can understand it, you're right that the majority is consistently coming out against their own interests when they support free markets, oppose government intervention but they have a very proud tradition and appealing ideology associated with Capitalism and the early days of their independence which were very different from today.

    Properly understood the ideology of capitalism IS very appealing, it makes socialism look positively plausible by comparison its so utopian, and it does a lot of things, tells you temptation is fine, greed is good, its optimism and positive psychology incarnate.

    This is something that its critics all the way back to Marx and before that, whether they were conservative or anti-establisment, never really understood. Capitalism's so appealing in so many different ways and has such a capacity for reinventing itself it'll out last anything and everything.

    It'll win support from its natural enemies and remain appealing when its obviously obsolete, unlike monarchism or any of the conventions which preceeded it.

  10. #120
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    Increasing prosperity leads to better child raising practices. And better child raising practices lead to better people.

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