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  1. #1
    Senior Member Thisica's Avatar
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    Question Capitalism...the successful economic system?

    My friend Addie said that capitalism is the only system of economics which satisfies aspects of humanity which has led to its success. Is this actually true...and why/why not?
    “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”—Statement from unpublished notes for the Preface to the Opticks (1704) by Newton.

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  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Same opening as always.

    Define capitalism. Suggest an alternative.

    EDIT: For that matter, what is success in this context?
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  3. #3

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    ^ That. And "aspects of humanity"? What aspects?

    I'm sure given those vague parametres she could have replaced "capitalism" with any other economic "ism" and it would have had the same meaning.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thisica's Avatar
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    I'm sorry in being vague...see, I'm learning about this so far, and to be frank, even the lecturer admits it's hard to understand

    But to put it shortly: it's an economic system which depends on the interaction of labour and capitalists [who own the means of production] to produce goods and services which are sold on the market. For this, profit is generated for the businesses involved, and thus this profit can be used to expand them. This analysis can be generalised over to national and international trade. The classical view of capitalism, espoused by Adam Smith, is one of self-interest which allows economic prosperity to occur in nations. It's this appeal to self-interest which allows individuals to participate in this market, and thus "get what they deserve".
    “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”—Statement from unpublished notes for the Preface to the Opticks (1704) by Newton.

    What do you think about me? And for the darker side, here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Thisica's Avatar
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    The idea of 'success' is probably a matter of historical contingency, rather than inevitability [which Addie thought about capitalism at the time]. So I don't agree with him on that point...
    “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”—Statement from unpublished notes for the Preface to the Opticks (1704) by Newton.

    What do you think about me? And for the darker side, here.

  6. #6
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    It works as long as people aren't inclined to game the system as much as they can. Which they are.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Well, it depends. Pure capitalism is just pure self-interest. If it gains you something (in non-emotional terms) it is good. if it loses you that, it is bad.

    Goldman-Sachs' or any other banking company's procedure in the past few years is pure capitalism. Breaking a law is a matter of potential gain or cost. The idea of murdering someone, be it a criminal or an innocent child, isn't wrong or right; it's just profitable or it isn't. They don't dislike or like their clients. They intentionally sell stocks they bet against, they intentionally sell bad loans they can game money off in the long run at the expense of their paying customers. But if helping people were found to be the most profitable way to manage a business tomorrow, they'd all start helping. No benevolence, no malevolence. Just self-interest.

    So, I guess it is the most economically advantageous system on an individual basis, assuming you can game or entice others, and assuming shit doesn't fall apart at the wrong time for you personally. On a community basis or on a basis for the progression of the the species or even the world, I don't see how it can be. Ultimately, more will be fucked than will be gaining in profit, and it will fall apart. Especially without regulation.

    The morality of pure capitalism isn't sustainable.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It works as long as people aren't inclined to game the system as much as they can. Which they are.
    Capitalism where no one wants to game the system is some kind of system I don't even understand. The whole appeal of capitalism is gaming the system or making your business more worthwhile than the other person's.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    The morality of pure capitalism isn't sustainable.
    Neither is the morality of any other economic system-and you are leaving out free exchange from the moral equation. Also, adherence to the rule of law in the pursuit of self-interests is generally assumed in capitalism.

  10. #10
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Neither is the morality of any other economic system-and you are leaving out free exchange from the moral equation. Also, adherence to the rule of law in the pursuit of self-interests is generally assumed in capitalism.
    Free exchange requires perfect information balance. Neither it, nor the adherence to the rule of law, exist in the practice of a capitalist system.

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