Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

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Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 17th, 2017, 5:06 am 

It should be pretty obvious that Capitalism has finally started to show certain cracks for the poorer members of society.

We are essentially talking about a system which has led to the constant pursuit of cheaper and cheaper production with profits being confined more and more to a few wealthy individuals. What is also apparent is that this wealth has bled into the very running of governments and those with the wealth have become more and more able to influence things on a national, and to some degree a global, scale.

It may not become apparent to all for decades yet the direction capitalism will inevitably lead. Should we try and correct things before they get out of hand or is it already too late and we'll essentially have to wait for a violent revolution to wake us from slumber?

I am not saying capitalism is "bad" only that we'd be foolish to heap praise on the system instead being open to addressing its obvious faults. from there maybe we could propose a way to either place a Band-Aid on the system or replace it with a new system (obviously there is no other obvious replacement).
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Sivad on July 17th, 2017, 5:44 am 

The thing that strikes me about capitalism is that it's most likely the last ignorant socio-political dictum in history. We went from believing wealth and power were the entitlements of god-kings and religious castes to accepting that one guy paying another for ownership and holdings somehow obligates the rest of us to accept their arrangement. I'm not so obliged. If it doesn't suit me then it's not legit. Capitalists seem to think we owe them something according to the universe and I say that's nonsense.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Sivad on July 17th, 2017, 7:25 am 

If guy A buys a piece of land from guy B, I don't see how guys C,D and E, and every other third party in the universe is now bound to that agreement? Lomax can claim a piece of land and the sell it to BiV, but what in the hell does that have to do with Sivad? Not a damn thing as far as I'm concerned. Locke's proviso is the only reason there is for respecting the arrangement. That is the only social contract, outside of that an intelligent person goes to war. The only thing that protects the current regime is gullibility.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Braininvat on July 17th, 2017, 9:35 am 

One of the devil's, I mean Capitalism's, greatest tricks was convincing everyone that you shouldn't keep owning an object until it wears out completely. The whole notion that styles should change so rapdily that furnishings, clothing, vehicles, etc. should be thrown out after a few years is driven by Capitalism. It's one of the big reasons we impose such a heavy load of demand on natural resources. I was reminded of the insanity of this by watching a row of older houses being demolished in my neighborhood. All were structurally sound, provided affordable housing, and needed little more than cosmetic upgrades. What happened to the good wood in these houses? Hauled to a landfill and buried.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 17th, 2017, 9:49 am 

Yeah, but ... What kind of thing can we propose to possibly, if not practically, replace this economic system? Personally my preference is to see the disintegration of economics which is a rather drastic measure and not one we're close to grasping yet!
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 17th, 2017, 10:21 am 

BadgerJelly » July 17th, 2017, 8:49 am wrote:Yeah, but ... What kind of thing can we propose to possibly, if not practically, replace this economic system? Personally my preference is to see the disintegration of economics which is a rather drastic measure and not one we're close to grasping yet!

Some people already use a form or barter to circumvent the tyranny of banks. Many are choosing simplicity - buying less, repairing things instead of throwing them away, growing their own food, doing without frills, rejecting over-packaged goods shipped from around the world in favour of a local product, living in tiny houses, recycling, etc.
Meanwhile, progressive legislation in some countries curbs the power of the super-rich and redistributes a little bit of the wealth to the neediest. In functional democracy, that trend would eventually equalize the standard of living and political clout of all classes.

I can imagine a gradual transition away from big-profit retail to sensible production and consumption, sensible regulation and distribution. But I don't think that will actually happen. I think the crazy, top-heavy system will fall down, crushing millions underneath the wreckage.

Many, and a fast-growing number, have no disposable income already, so they can't push the capitalist machine: even if they fall ever deeper into debt, they will only make the interest payment for a little while before defaulting. A big enough rush of bankruptcies - personal, business and national - will bring down the whole edifice.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 17th, 2017, 11:27 am 

For the sake of pessimism:

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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby zetreque on July 17th, 2017, 11:50 am 

BadgerJelly » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:06 am wrote:Should we try and correct things before they get out of hand or is it already too late and we'll essentially have to wait for a violent revolution to wake us from slumber?


People are already trying to correct things to no avail. It's going to take violence to some extent because wealth is too hard to give up for many. The thing that puzzles me is how the poorest of the poor can just buy into this system of trying to emulate their "masters." They just don't understand the pyramid scheme.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby zetreque on July 17th, 2017, 11:55 am 

BadgerJelly » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:49 am wrote:Yeah, but ... What kind of thing can we propose to possibly, if not practically, replace this economic system? Personally my preference is to see the disintegration of economics which is a rather drastic measure and not one we're close to grasping yet!


This is an age old question that has already been asked at least a few times on this forum. The best answer I can see that is a reality is people going off-grid. Doing farmers markets, buying local products. Not being greedy by working as a community. The old days when people in the community would gather around and build a house for someone. They would support one another. I just watched a show on netflix in a time period where when someone's house burnt down, the whole town raced to put the fire out, then they all chipped in to rebuild for the family. Even that type of lifestyle is at odds with capitalism though because one person's farm is bigger than another persons. Which brings me to the main problem I see behind every other problem. Population growth. We are running out of space. In the past there was plenty of land for us all to live on where there was no need to fight over it. One much needed mechanism in society is a cap on how much land a person or corporation can use, mine, exploit for profit.

The demise of capitalism might lie in the limits to population growth which is limited by resources and space.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 17th, 2017, 12:29 pm 

The problem is what are you going to replace "capitalism"with. Their are no examples of successful alternatives. People like to offer countries in Western Europe as examples of successful socialist states but they are really just welfare states propped up by vibrant capitalism.

Equality of outcome is not a liberal idea. Liberalism has always been about equality of opportunity and blind justice. Any system in which people are free to make their own choices will result in inequality of out come.

Capitalism is in practice never what it states it is. Regulations and taxation are restrains on control and is control not the abstraction of ownership that is meaningful. You cannot possess that which you do not control. To control something requires at a minimum the passive cooperation of society. It is absurd to suggest that control should pass to members of society that have not shown merit by some competitive process.

All examples of alternatives to capitalism have demonstrated that control passes to those that are most competitive. New forms of dominance hierarchy replace old ones. Stalin replaces the tsar, Mao the emperor, the court with bureaucrat and the secret police with the secret police. The only thing that usually changes is the rules by which merit is determined and the transfer of physical assets to the less competent. Inequity continues it just changes it's face.

Many people mistakenly believe that capitalism is about ruthless efficiency. They are mistaken. Capitalism is about distributing control as broadly as possible based on merit. Survival of the fittest in this case is the least coercive of systems. More importantly it allows for the blind watch maker to work his magic. Just as with genetic diversity an economic system will stagnate and go extinct in the absence of a random generator.

The key point to remember is that capitalism is not capitalism if there are taxes and regulations and that socialism simply transfers power from one group to another based on a different merit system.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 17th, 2017, 1:14 pm 

It doesn't matter how civilizations have handled economics in the past; it doesn't matter who is in charge at the moment, or what various nations believe their financial system is doing, while it's really doing something quite different.
When the monetary structure breaks down, so will the communications networks and energy grids, as well as manufacturing and transport.

What will replace capitalism is the next thing.
And what the next thing is, in any given locality, depends on the conditions that prevail in that place, at that time. Who lives there, what happened to their previous economy; what natural and human resources they have, what flotsam is left over from the collapsed system; how the people relate to one another. The Amish won't have much trouble adapting, and neither will the Zuni. Calgarians will probably do better than Chicagoans, but all major cities, especially financial hubs, will be in deeper trouble than agrarian towns.


There is no "we" to make intelligent decisions. If there were such an entity, it could make a relatively painless transition to computer-controlled economies - a separate, autonomous one for each of several thousand regions, if "we" were smart enough to put in that failsafe - all connected to a communication network so they can co-ordinate their plans.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 17th, 2017, 4:54 pm 

Serpent » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:14 pm wrote:
There is no "we" to make intelligent decisions. If there were such an entity, it could make a relatively painless transition to computer-controlled economies - a separate, autonomous one for each of several thousand regions, if "we" were smart enough to put in that failsafe - all connected to a communication network so they can co-ordinate their plans.


We could quibble over the details of how practical anarcho capitalism or "true" communism may be but if our goal is to maximize individual freedom and minimize human suffering then a one size fits all is not the way to go. Collectivist solutions are always too authoritarian and free market solutions too chaotic. In the system described above people can not only participate individual but hopefully vote with their feet.

I'm very distressed that Europe has decided censorship and not more open discussion is appropriate in a world of diversity of psychological make up. When people stop talking about their desires the next step is usually violence.

The internet holds the promise of not only universal political participation but free education as well. As the legacy media is being swept away by citizen journalism so could the expensive and restrictive educational system. Net neutrality and universal access our key issues of our time.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 17th, 2017, 6:28 pm 

Trouble is, the 'net also presents huge financial opportunities, both legitimate and criminal. Not to mention 'intelligence gathering', propaganda dissemination, recruitment and political influence. This means there is a great deal of competition for control of it - and against regulation. Only governments could wield the authority to regulate, but governments, both democratic and despotic, are run by the same people who have been making such a hash of the monetary and military decisions. More mess. Afaik, at the moment, only China's government has the clout to give its decisions any teeth - and who knows how long that will last?

Everything is far too volatile now to control or predict.
Due largely to that same magical medium, no crisis stay on its own continent anymore.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 17th, 2017, 6:43 pm 

Serpent » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:28 pm wrote:Trouble is, the 'net also presents huge financial opportunities, both legitimate and criminal. Not to mention 'intelligence gathering', propaganda dissemination, recruitment and political influence. This means there is a great deal of competition for control of it - and against regulation. Only governments could wield the authority to regulate, but governments, both democratic and despotic, are run by the same people who have been making such a hash of the monetary and military decisions. More mess. Afaik, at the moment, only China's government has the clout to give its decisions any teeth - and who knows how long that will last?

Everything is far too volatile now to control or predict.
Due largely to that same magical medium, no crisis stay on its own continent anymore.


You are a seriously glass half empty kind of guy my friend. :-)
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 17th, 2017, 7:01 pm 

Ay-yup. No point budgeting precious fluid that isn't there anymore.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 17th, 2017, 9:32 pm 

Wolf -

I'm very distressed that Europe has decided censorship and not more open discussion is appropriate in a world of diversity of psychological make up. When people stop talking about their desires the next step is usually violence.


No idea what you're talking about here? "censorship'
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 17th, 2017, 11:22 pm 

BadgerJelly » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:32 am wrote:Wolf -

I'm very distressed that Europe has decided censorship and not more open discussion is appropriate in a world of diversity of psychological make up. When people stop talking about their desires the next step is usually violence.


No idea what you're talking about here? "censorship'


http://www.legal-project.org/issues/eur ... peech-laws

The fact that I have spent 40 years objecting to derogatory comments directed at or about minorities and woman does nothing to deter me from strongly objecting to any form of institutional restrictions on the right to express bigotry. In the long run these laws do more harm than good. Bigots should be encouraged to express themselves so their ideas can be ridiculed. That is why we have such a tolerant policy on these forums. Of course there are limits but allowing bigotry to fester in dark corners is dangerous. The Nazis didn't come to power because there were no hate speech laws but because the government allowed the brown shirts to suppress mockery. That is a lesson worth considering when
Looking at Antifa.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 18th, 2017, 12:42 am 

Wolf -

I am still confused? This is a problem in Europe?
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 18th, 2017, 2:18 am 

BadgerJelly » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:42 am wrote:Wolf -

I am still confused? This is a problem in Europe?


I bought it up because one of the characteristics of socialism seems to be thought policing. For everyone to be equal everyone has to ignore reality and agree that the differences in success are a fault of society not intelligence, hard work, conscientious or dedication, reliability, attractiveness, stress management, etc.

If you don't agree that everyone has equal potential. If you suggest success is tied to individual qualities and or group norms you are labeled a racist, sexist, Islamophobic Nazi.

Of course bizarrely it is ok to be racist, sexist, and a religious fascist if you happen to belong to an oppressed group that hates your culture.

If you happen to be a successful peasant then the lazy incompetence peasant can have you shot because you clearly did not get what you have by merit.
Then the land can be redistributed to the incompetent and everyone starves. With less dire consequences the same process happens with affirmative action. The logic is so twisted that by extension a 5 foot female is being discriminated against if they can't get a starting position in the NBA.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 18th, 2017, 11:04 am 

I don't think anti-defamation laws in Europe is what will bring down capitalism.
I think it's more likely to be bogus trades in non-existent money, and growing, unsustainable debt-loads, driven at least in part by hyperinflation at the top end of the scale.
The rich get crazier; the poor get angrier. (Bigotry is a vehicle, not an engine.)
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on July 19th, 2017, 12:00 am 

Image
Image
Image

Join the dots.

Sherman brought in antitrust law to avoid monopolies on "the necessities of life".

Until those within a democracy recognise that equal access to sociopolitical resources - such as the chance to become president, or have one's personal interests 'lobbied' or valued - is a necessity of life, and therefore there should be antitrust laws prohibiting monopolies on access to sociopolitical resources via wealth, then it seems nothing is going to change.

Special interest derails democratic opinion towards supporting that special interest - most often through 'money talking', like a cuckoo who lays its egg in another bird's nest and then flies away - it "cucks" the populace.

Wealth accumulation through hard graft is one thing, however, just like Amazon apparently needing to have its wings clipped for the good of society, so apparently do the increasingly wealthy Capitalists who do not waive the opportunities to buy their socioeconomic future from the government.

So the answer does not seem to be socialism per se, but antitrust laws for the wealthy who tend to monopolize sociopolitical influence through lobbying and so forth.

Political sway is a much more valuable a commodity than those commodities being sold by Amazon. The commodity of democratic opinion (hopefully not blind opinion) should, just like a human being, never be sellable, and thus this maybe requires the greedy wealthy not to be given such potential power. It was for similar reasons the checks and balances were put in place, was it not?

It seems its time for an update - a fine tuning.

The nuke codes are not given to whoever wants them - there are protections in place. Some things - like grotesque wealth - are too powerful to put in the hands of whoever inherits fortunately, or wins the lottery.

Money talks - especially in government, and it so easily pollutes the voice of the masses. Thus, greater wealth needs to be regulated just like large corporations' monopolies.

For when one individual holds the same wealth as an entire small nation, then they are, on the global stage, effectively a king of sorts, and that's just 'un-American'.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 19th, 2017, 5:48 am 

I'm not sure that the "masses" are anymore trustworthy than the overly wealthy.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Serpent on July 19th, 2017, 8:43 am 

It's not a lack of trust that will bring down capitalism, either. The masses have trusted and trusted the wealthy and had their assets purloined, and their losses didn't cause the economy to stabilize. So I don't think it's a question of who trusts whom.
It's more a question of capability. The 7 billion people who control half the world's wealth can each do very little damage to the economy of their own countries, let alone the whole monetary system, while the 82 people who control the other half of the wealth can each topple quite a large domino.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby wolfhnd on July 19th, 2017, 7:33 pm 

Serpent » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:43 pm wrote:It's not a lack of trust that will bring down capitalism, either. The masses have trusted and trusted the wealthy and had their assets purloined, and their losses didn't cause the economy to stabilize. So I don't think it's a question of who trusts whom.
It's more a question of capability. The 7 billion people who control half the world's wealth can each do very little damage to the economy of their own countries, let alone the whole monetary system, while the 82 people who control the other half of the wealth can each topple quite a large domino.


Marx has been wrong for almost two hundred years now :-)
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on July 19th, 2017, 8:56 pm 

wolfhnd » July 19th, 2017, 6:48 pm wrote:I'm not sure that the "masses" are anymore trustworthy than the overly wealthy.

This is the kind of thinking that leads to dictatorships, I imagine.

Choose your poison: the tyranny of the 'untrustworthy' masses, or a dictator.

At least the masses have a dignity of sorts within a democracy.

And no matter the shade of democracy - like in Russia, the corrupt amassing of capital continues.

I don't think Capitalism is the problem here, it is how it is managed. For if SciAmerikans's cookies taste better and cost the same as BiV's, then I know where I'm going to be buying them for my family, and that person can invest their edge over the competition to make it even sharper. That's just normal sense and economics.

Antitrust laws seem to be perfectly acceptable by free market enthusiasts, so that 'healthy competition' can take place within the marketplace - no barriers to entry, and so forth.

So Capitalism, which arises perfectly naturally, must be regulated, and it is just a question of how much, and in what key areas of society.

Large reserves of capital tend to become wielded politically, and so private individuals who have amassed such reserves, as well as the owners of hugely successful companies, threaten the equal sociopolitical status of other citizens within a democracy.

Why not just study what constitutes 'a good life' (society already seems to accept it does not involve drug abuse, rape, theft, and so on), and then come up with a percentage of GDP per capita nominal, or whatever relevant figure it needs to be (just like tax brackets) and draw a line on private and corporate capital reserves. Wouldn't that go some way to balancing the situation?

Having the equivalent to the GDP of a small developing nation in one's pocket is seemingly a bit too 18th century for our modern world, and as we know, year on year those capital reserves earn the possessors even more of the worlds wealth.

There will always be inequality, but such extremes of inequality is the issue here, it appears.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Mossling on July 19th, 2017, 9:12 pm 

Serpent » July 19th, 2017, 9:43 pm wrote:It's more a question of capability. The 7 billion people who control half the world's wealth can each do very little damage to the economy of their own countries, let alone the whole monetary system, while the 82 people who control the other half of the wealth can each topple quite a large domino.

Indeed - the political influence does not even have to touch government circles - large companies can threaten to move business elsewhere (as we've seen with Brexit), and the decisions of the directors of 'too big to fail' private companies ripple through society on multiple levels - it's difficult for them not to begin to consider themselves social architects of sorts - especially when new tech is involved. Steve Jobs comes to mind, for example.

If the state can and must step in on potential corporately-owned monopolies within markets, then it can also step in on monopolies on the sociopolitical level. 'Too big to fail' is also too big to be given significant sociopolitical freedom, perhaps?

Once you are 'too big', you are too significant, and then you become of essential national interest - more of a sociopolitical entity by default. And that needs to be addressed legislatively for the economic and emotional stability of the whole nation.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Sivad on July 20th, 2017, 12:54 am 

Mossling » July 19th, 2017, 6:12 pm wrote:
Serpent » July 19th, 2017, 9:43 pm wrote:It's more a question of capability. The 7 billion people who control half the world's wealth can each do very little damage to the economy of their own countries, let alone the whole monetary system, while the 82 people who control the other half of the wealth can each topple quite a large domino.

Indeed - the political influence does not even have to touch government circles - large companies can threaten to move business elsewhere (as we've seen with Brexit), and the decisions of the directors of 'too big to fail' private companies ripple through society on multiple levels - it's difficult for them not to begin to consider themselves social architects of sorts


Concentrations of private wealth constitute a virtual senate which through the threat of capital flight and other inducements has the power to shape labor, environmental, and trade policy for entire nations. I think it's becoming clear to more and more people that aside from being a danger to long term security and prosperity, mega wealth is also completely illegitimate. There is no sound rationale for allowing a tiny superclass to hold sway over the entire planet, this current system of wealth and power isn't one whit less ludicrous than the old feudal theocracies.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 20th, 2017, 1:48 am 

Still looking for suggestions on how to "transition"? What kind of things do you see as being either idealistic or plausible changes?
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby Sivad on July 20th, 2017, 2:07 am 

wolfhnd » July 19th, 2017, 6:48 pm wrote:I'm not sure that the "masses" are anymore trustworthy than the overly wealthy.


The problem isn't rich people or poor people, the problem is people in general. Democracy is important because no one group is really fit to rule and through democracy we get a balance. Right now the wealth gap is killing democracy, it's giving one small group of people much more power than they're fit to wield. It would be bad to have any one faction in control but having the mega rich in control is especially hazardous because too much money inevitably distorts personality and perspective to the point where people become demented. And it's not just extreme wealth that warps people, poverty also tends to breed base mentalities and ignorant attitudes, so really we want to eliminate both extremes and keep the disparity as moderate as possible.
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Re: Capitalism: Its decline/reformation

Postby BadgerJelly on July 20th, 2017, 2:34 am 

Sivad -

The above is generally talking about applying pressure to the wound rather than dealing with the sharp instrument being thrust in our direction. Any chance of some actual form of solution being presented to deal with the decline of Capitalism?

I think I am fair to assume we all see the general symptoms of society well enough and understand the contrasts between the wealthy and the not so wealthy. I am more concerned with things like the idea of "wealth" and public conception of "value" being inherent problems. Not to mention attitudes of "winning at all costs", "patriotism" and want over need.

Essentially this thread is here to make some predictions about the near future and how humanity will cope with the collapse/reformation of capitalism? What sort of "thing" can we expect to fully replace it? My thinking is if we can understand the idealistic solution to the problems of capitalism we may just about be able to glimpse the problems these solutions will expose and reveal the outline of some revolutionary change in society?

My guess at revolution is to somehow destroy economics as a political theme. My view is extreme upheaval may be the only way? Considering I don't see how this is plausibly going to be non-violent I wish to look for another option/s.

I just think the time is fast approaching where see-sawing won't work anymore and a whole new ideology will have to replace the over all "economic" approach (meaning dismissing both capitalism and socialism).
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