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  1. #31
    Member TacEight's Avatar
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    To me it's simple: capitalism is a more-successful system than others in our current society, and has been for a long time. (Quite possibly due, in part, to the fact that capitalism has helped form our current society.)

    I would suggest that taking away capitalism in the world now--or trying to revert to a socialistic system--will remove a lot of necessary ambition and drive in individuals as well as governments, resulting in a less-focused race of humans, thus inherently less technological and societal growth and development.

    Past that, right now the evidence is that capitalism has been "the most successful" form of growth/development in economical and technological ways in the past several centuries; what motivations would a government have to switch/change, aside from the uneducated masses telling it that it should?

    Putting all that aside, I believe that a form of socialism is ideal for us all; capitalism has many negative side effects, most prominently the aforementioned focus on consumerism. Consumerism alone breeds envy, jealousy, greed, and other highly negative mentalities (albeit most are subjective), and generally has the one positive effect of increased individualism and economic/technological growth.

    Do these benefits outweigh the drawbacks? It is my opinion that right now, they do--but only because we are not ready for being more responsible for ourselves; as a race, we are not ready to take ownership and responsibility for others and our own decisions, to act like more than individuals. I hope that in my lifetime we "achieve" this, and can switch to a less "forced individualistic" mindset world-wide. But I'm also realistic. Change like that takes time or massive catalytic events. We will see.

    Right now, capitalism breeds individualism, which is the only long-term or "true" good in the system, that same individualism could be applied in a healthy manner inside a non-capitalistic state. If only the people would do that, instead of simply relying on their respective government and their fellow brethren to give them what they need/want, turning away from ambition and growth altogether.
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  2. #32
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    From what source does such confidence in Socialism spring?

  3. #33
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont think that capitalism breeds individualism, I dont think that consumerism is a side effect and I dont believe that its consumerism which is responsible for envy etc.

    I'm a socialist but I dont support socialism because I think its ideal, socialism or capitalism are going to be imperfect, in different ways granted but they will always be imperfect because we live in an imperfect world and it is and will remain necessarily so. I dont believe that socialism does or necessarily entails greater social responsibilty or responsibility for others, what it does or should entail is greater personal responsibility with a social conscience, I dont believe people are prepared for that because I think that economic trends and paternalism in government and other spheres of social life have caused a crisis in personal responsibility which challenges either socialism or capitalism.

    Capitalism, as I understand it, is a kind of bastardisation of classical economic theory, its the theory turned into an ideology of particular interest groups and agitators when there's sufficient evidence already to suggest that the economy and other attendent social structures simply arent so. I dont believe that all technological and positive growth and development is attributable to capitalism as a result, in fact a lot of it is in spite of rather than because of, for instance the reforms and reinvention ushered in by Keynesianism in some shape or form across the developed world.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    From what source does such confidence in Socialism spring?
    That is a good question, I dont personally have that great a confidence in socialism because its going to be as imperfect as any other system, I do believe that it could and should, where it realised in the space and fashion that I understand and there are as many varieties are there are varieties of capitalism, make an improvement on the status quo. That's mainly on the cultural and structural scale, which I dont expect to happen in my life time, not even in six generations, but on the personal scale I'm a socialist because it makes sense to me, perhaps in practice it is qualified but I consider myself as more or less congruent with the values and norms which I regard as socialistic. I dont know if that entails confidence though.

    Good points. Made me think.

  5. #35
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I tend to be more critical of capitalism, because that's the system we are under, and because so many fellow Christians have fallen into thinking it's God's system (and blaming all of its problems on socialism or other factors!) So they will swear up and down that I must be a "far left socialist". (Easily explainable from a typological viewpoint as a "J" attitude of the need to implement something, where I am simply "Perceiving" the problems of the current system, and how blame is being misplaced, but very much undecided as to which system is really better).

    But in fact, I grew up seeing a world run by suit-and-tie wearing powermongers of both the business and overnment variety. They were all the same, taking advantage of our dependence on them for products and services, raising proces, lowering quality, and the executives living richly, often spending the money on outrageous retreats around the world, as the economy kept crashing here.

    So I came to see them, as, again, all the same. As I looked for jobs, I applied for both business and government, and then had both. A job was a job, and an employer was an employer. (Govt. did seem more stable on the employee end).

    So in this current debate between socialism and free enterprise, a lot of good points can be made on both sides, but it will always end up as the same old business as usual in one way or another.
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  6. #36
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    Maybe its not capitalism's fault, maybe (like everything else) it's just our current interpretation of it that's the problem.

  7. #37
    Member TacEight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    I tend to be more critical of capitalism, because that's the system we are under, and because so many fellow Christians have fallen into thinking it's God's system (and blaming all of its problems on socialism or other factors!) So they will swear up and down that I must be a "far left socialist". (Easily explainable from a typological viewpoint as a "J" attitude of the need to implement something, where I am simply "Perceiving" the problems of the current system, and how blame is being misplaced, but very much undecided as to which system is really better).

    But in fact, I grew up seeing a world run by suit-and-tie wearing powermongers of both the business and overnment variety. They were all the same, taking advantage of our dependence on them for products and services, raising proces, lowering quality, and the executives living richly, often spending the money on outrageous retreats around the world, as the economy kept crashing here.

    So I came to see them, as, again, all the same. As I looked for jobs, I applied for both business and government, and then had both. A job was a job, and an employer was an employer. (Govt. did seem more stable on the employee end).

    So in this current debate between socialism and free enterprise, a lot of good points can be made on both sides, but it will always end up as the same old business as usual in one way or another.
    I may not be a Christian, but how the hell (pardon the pun) is Capitalism "God's system?" I know a few Christians and I've never heard such antics before...

    DiscoBiscuit, I have no faith in Socialism in our current world/society. It has failed and will (I assume) continue to do so until we as individual humans take it upon ourselves to better first ourselves then our fellow man.

    Until then, most of us don't try to better ourselves or others, and only a few of us take it upon ourselves to better others (i.e. philanthropists, religious leaders, scientists, etc.), while a few of us take it upon ourselves to better ourselves (i.e. entrepreneurs, philosophers, most politicians, etc.). A extremely select and rare few take it upon themselves to first develop/mature themselves and then use their wisdom/understanding to better others.

    I am not saying that humans are capable of this type of change or mentality, nor am I saying they are incapable. Until we reach past strictly others (foolishly believing and giving to those who will waste it) and reach past our own designs (focusing on materialistic and/or short-term gratification), then a form of Capitalism is the only form I can see working well.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Maybe its not capitalism's fault, maybe (like everything else) it's just our current interpretation of it that's the problem.
    Maybe but you could as easily substitute the word socialism for capitalism in that sentence and it would amount to the same thing, maybe you're going for that, a sort of Habermas more perfect communication/seeing the matrix deal, but I dont think so.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacEight View Post
    Until then, most of us don't try to better ourselves or others, and only a few of us take it upon ourselves to better others (i.e. philanthropists, religious leaders, scientists, etc.), while a few of us take it upon ourselves to better ourselves (i.e. entrepreneurs, philosophers, most politicians, etc.). A extremely select and rare few take it upon themselves to first develop/mature themselves and then use their wisdom/understanding to better others.

    I am not saying that humans are capable of this type of change or mentality, nor am I saying they are incapable. Until we reach past strictly others (foolishly believing and giving to those who will waste it) and reach past our own designs (focusing on materialistic and/or short-term gratification), then a form of Capitalism is the only form I can see working well.
    I dont see that sort of individual a priori development, look out for yourself before you can look out for others deal, as being anathema to socialism, just about every social creedo has its own strucutural/systemic vs. personal/cultural issues, socialism or capitalism.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Not sure I agree with your definition of capitalism and socialism, it seems like you're associating capitalism with a work ethic and socialism with having your needs met, work ethics and getting your needs met could be associated with either or both to my mind, properly understood.
    Actually, I meant the opposite. Under extreme capitalism the lower class work hard for meager rewards. The upper class consume most of the output without having to produce. But we are suppose to pretend that it's fair and not envy the privileged.

    Under extreme socialism, we pretend that there are no lazy bums who wants to consume without having to produce. Therefore, we disconnect the reward from the labor.

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