I read the title of a debate on whether pure capitalism will ever work, then i thought of the premises on which the debate was based and it seemed futile. We cannot consider political systems working if they’re considered in foresight- every system, every dogma, theory and outlook on the world will always be met with an equally valid opposing system, dogma, theory or outlook. While the tensions between thesis and antithesis exist in regards to a political system there is always a resolution asking to be found, in which a new system will be formed which is closer to “working”. The process continues in a dialectical manner until a certain form of political system is reached and a “working” society formed. This process will take and has taken milenia. Hence the question of whether capitalism will ever work is redundant for it will work when it CEASES TO BE CAPITALISM and a resolution of forces forges it into something different. You might say that we can try to indentify the thesis/antithesis and find for ourselves a synthesis which will work, again this is not possible for while it is possible to speculate what the antithesis is we cannot KNOW what it is until a synthesis has already been reached and we look at the situation with heindsight. This is where MARX WAS WRONG he tried to use foresight to predict the antithesis and synthesis which can ONLY BE KNOWN AFTER IT HAS BEEN RESOLVED. This is how the dialectic method works.

what exactly are you saying? that we cannot predict how a system of governing/economics cannot be predicted as to how it will succed or fail? or are you saying we can only previous knowledge to make a judgement as to how it works? and in relation to lassiez fair capitalism, it has been used before, and has failed before. it either resulted in revolution, or the poor living in such poor living conditions steps had to be taken to prevent eppidemics of diseases.

and what is wrong with the title can pure capitalism work?, it’s a set question i used to re-start the debate.

i am saying neither of the above. My point is that the question “will a capitalist system work?” is not worth debating about because the answer is evidently a resounding NO. The term “work” in itself is loose but if it is taken to mean general content from ALL those who are being governed then a capitalist system, like any other current system, will not “work”. As i tried to explain all sytems are in a continuous state of flux; whatever foundations are laid down will, almost immediately, find an antithetical opposition - the mere existence of which is indicative that the system DOES NOT WORK. Hence we find resolution in a compromise of thesis and antithesis until yet again the system is proven not to work through the almost immediate appearence of new antithetical oppositions. It is a self-remedying problem of thousands of theses, antitheses and syntheses which will continue until the capitalist system is no longer what we know as the capitalist system but something more evolved which will work. The crucial point is though that we are unable to play an active part in the thesis/antithesis dialectic because it is impossible to correctly identify the relevent antitheses to a particular issue- they only emerge when we reflect on them once they are resolved by NATURAL FORCES. So the Capitalist system will never “work” but WILL naturally mutate over time into a more workable political system, a process which cannot be fowarded by debate but will occur nontheless.

Quite a few people have been referring to Hegel’s system of the dialectic across the boards but why do people refer to it as if it is set in stone, as if it is the only system of political philosophy that applies today? Surely the system is entirely paradoxical anyway. What happens if you apply the system of the dialectic to itself? Surely an antithesis to the thesis of the dialectic must arise, if it hasn’t already, to create a new hypothesis, rendering the old system useless and continually refining it?

Also, whilst it may be difficult (perhaps impossible) to predict whether a political system will work in foresight in the practical world. In the theoretical world, which Hegel’s system firmly belongs in, it is not impossible. Here is a simple example. A ceratin country exists in which every person in the country has the same desire, namely, X. I predict that a political system which provides nothing less and nothing more than X to every citizen will work. Theoretically, logically, this must be true.

Also to question the word “work” is a purely semantics issue. Even if Hegel’s system was applied ad infinitum, it would not reach a political system that worked. This is because any political system that did “work” would result in a social system that didn’t. See debate on the perfect world. No Utopia can be reached. Systems can only be refined.

This said, the titel of the debate was a bit stupid because, as I have said so many times now that I’m boring myself, there never would be a purely capitalist system - even classical economic theory shows that a perfectly free makret is undesireable in certain cicumstances.

… so he said whilst queuing for bread and cheese. applying the dialectic to the dialectic should seemingly produce an original idea. but by doing that, without invalidating hegel’s triad, you actually expose it as true and sovereign. the dialectic’s purpose is to explain the evolution of ideas, accepted as scientific method, or as general trends in the collective values of society. if your idea (thesis) is the system of dialectic itself, the only natural antithesis would be stagnation, which is the short-term dialectic i.e. nothing. and as ideas have over history been nothing other than transient, the long-term dialectic triad reveals to us why stagnation is merely a short-term illusion*. hegel’s dialectic cannot be subjected to its own dialectical analysis as it is entirely natural. in the natural world untouched by man, the evolution of species does not evolve itself, in the same way natural selection as an algorithm is not selected against.
to say that the dialectic as a system is ‘entirely paradoxical’ because it is incoherent when applied to itself is farcical. would you say that socialism is paradoxical because its exponents see it as a better system than capitalism. that it should see itself as on an equal par with other political ideas.
you cannot know how a system has worked until it has been allowed to work. the weight behind hegel’s dialectic concerns the fact that each person in a country cannot all desire X, for reasons i will not patronise you with. there is a wide range of material and spiritual wants in society, and people can accumulate those elements of living without them being spoon-fed by the state. there is and never has been any two social classes. society and nature are fluid, because time is too.
people conflict in what they want in themself, and from society. by saying capitalism (or anything for that matter) doesn’t ‘work’, what is being said is, that it does not leave every person in society satisfied. by achieving the sort of parity communist thinkers forsaw, all people theoretically would no longer have reason to conflict. the problem in reaching this ideal is that all people will have to stop realising their own ‘perfection’ through their dominance over others, who are deadlocked into imperfection. (see ‘perfect world’) my view is that this phenomenon of human relations can only be reversed by somehow encouraging people to form their own morality, and to not relax on the comfortable assumption that if a universal morality is adopted, then their personality will be perfectly ‘fit’ for society. because time moves, universal moralities move, hence, people with such a personality will fail to maintain their perfection, unless they realise their own perfection through their dominance over others.
communism will never be achieved until the above knot is untied. though, to be fair, equality of outcome is not necessarily the most suitable way of containing peoples’ will to power and allowing humanity to progress. unless you do not accept that time moves. though that would signal the death of life and the birth of existence for the human race …

*example in the very real world: the government increased its share of the uk economy last week. as i said in the perfect world: time moves, therefore we should too.

for those of us who don’t have the option to study philosophy, huh?

I could be totally off the subject and repeating someone else, but isn’t part of the question, who it actually works for? Noone can deny that capitalism works for the MNC chairman who’s on god knows how much per year. But that same system clearly isn’t working for the labourer earning 2p per hour in some third world slum. (no offence meant) … so it’s rather a case of horses for courses… but in any political system people are going to be suffering…

correct jane, but the rich can suffer alot for what they have inflicted upon the world without getting within an ace of knowing what it is like working in a third world slum.