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What is better than Capitalism?
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morfe lux
301 posts

moral concerns
Sep 08, 2003, 20:51
I agree with your analysis completely. That's why I get (toatally guilty of this myself) angry with 'lazy protesting' that attacks 'capitalism' without any alternative, or in some cases any sound argument. I was hoping this discussion would spawn several threads as I'm aware my question was as broad brushed as can be. That wasn't laziness though, it was a kick-off. I'd love to be able to discuss these issues that face us right here right now, without either getting Baker-Acted off a socialist board or brayed off a capitalist one (I'd beat the lot of 'em in truth!!). This is the best place I know of. Thanks for comments.

Capitalism can be seen to encourage immorality (greed being the obvious). But d we actually support a system (imaginary or otherwise) that would 'regulate' our earnings? Or does anyone advocate a complete meritocracy? Or does anyone here advocate a 'token' or credit system that would bypass money changing hands? Just ideas...
Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

"Natural capitalism"?
Sep 08, 2003, 21:11
Sometimes this debate is framed in terms of "freedom to" vs. "freedom from".

In other words, would you give up your freedoms "to" live where you want, work the career that you want, etc. in exchange for being free "from" pressures to make money, feed & clothe your family, etc.

Personally I think so-called "capitalism" is more or less the natural order -- people would rather do for themselves than have the state do for them. For instance any time an economy is regulated, a black market springs up. It's true in most of the west today re: "illegal drugs" and the Soviet union, China, etc. have rampant smuggling and black marketing in all sorts of "consumer goods."

"Self interest" and "supply & demand" seem pretty basic to humans throughout history and everywhere in the world. People having been trading and seeking profits since long long long before the term "capitalism" was invented. In fact the development of these "economic instincts" may have been what brought about "civilization" in the first place. Without them we'd probably still be small tribes of hunter-gatherers with limited technology and collective activity of any sort. (Which interestingly sounds like the vision that "socialists" often have of a utopian society. But how do you get there from here? Want to give up your computer, cellphone, car, etc? Didn't think so.)
anthonyqkiernan
anthonyqkiernan
7084 posts

Re: moral concerns
Sep 08, 2003, 21:13
Personally, I think that the "what's your alternative" arguement the lazy one. For example, in the recent war protests it's the people that positted that who now think "would you rather Saddam was still there" is all the justification they need.
mistletoe
5 posts

Re: What is better than Capitalism?
Sep 08, 2003, 21:43
The main problems with capitalism and competition are that poverty is endemic, and conflict is inevitable. In brief, therefore, my solution is to abolish money and national boundaries.
PaulMakesMusic
951 posts

Sorry. That was me not mistletoe...
Sep 08, 2003, 21:47
on my better 1/2's PC and forgot to log-out first...
anthonyqkiernan
anthonyqkiernan
7084 posts

Radio 4 in the next half hour
Sep 08, 2003, 22:16
They're doing a feature on the world tonight (10pm UK time) on exactly the same question in realtion to the Anti movement.
Proserpine
195 posts

Re: What is better than Capitalism?
Sep 08, 2003, 22:26
An owl.
Proserpine
195 posts

Re: What is better than Capitalism?
Sep 08, 2003, 22:44
I finished trawling through "The Sane Society" by Erich Fromm earlier this year, which asks and attempts to put forward answers to this kind of question.
It was written a relatively long time ago (1950s) so examples/references are a bit outdated but the 2nd half of the book looks into various alternatives, though they fall more into the "reformist" bracket rather than anythin too radical.

One of Fromm's often repeated points is that (as AQK says) "capitalism is concerned with purely the making of more and more capital". It gives more importance to dead "things" over living "people" (in a king Midas stylee...) To have or to BE indeed!

The word "Free trade" is all very contentious, especially when those who espouse it don't actually practice what they preach (re:subsidies/tariffs/protectionism by the "West")

There's a Trade pullout thing in the guardian here today, with an intro by Joseph Stiglitz. Anyone check out the new Monbiot book btw??
Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

Re: What is better than Capitalism?
Sep 08, 2003, 22:55
What system has a better record of lifting people out of poverty? In fact the most impoverished nations are the least "capitalist" ones, in the free-market sense ("crony capitalism" as practiced in the Mideast, etc, isn't "free" and poverty is endemic there to a much greater degree.)

What system prevents conflict? Surely not Marxist systems which are entirely predicated on conflict between classes and preach "permanent revolution."

What would you replace money with -- barter? How would that work on a global scale?

Your answers just seems to raise even more questions.
MonkeyBoy
1008 posts

Re: "Natural capitalism"?
Sep 08, 2003, 22:57
Production, services & resources don't necessarily have to be owned by individuals (directors & boards) or be owned by the state (nationalisation) they can be owned by everyone and at the same time no one. No one person would be able to have ownership over anything but personal & private property.
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