Socialism

No, the point is power, who has it and why and can people use it for exploitation. Poor are mentioned because they don’t have any. A fair free society can only exist where people have equal bargaining power.

A starving person will take any job, even if it means he will not see his children or have a life worthy of a human or any animal. A capitalist would say that without him he would die therefore he is better off. I would say he is exploited as the capitalist and the poor person did not yield equal power when negotiating the contract. This leads the poor person to accepting degrading terms and conditions. Is that right? Can he be exploited just because he has no power? Under socialism, he may still well be starving, but this won’t mean he will get a job where he is exploited.

Only in theory. Capitalism leads to a concentration of power and wealth into a few individuals who own/run a large corporation. They dictate the media agenda, political causes and yield big influence over governments by playing them against each other. People have very very little choice over what these corporations do.

Once you control the media, you control what people think or more importantly you don’t print what people should think.

I agree that giving power away is a good thing but not while big business is around. It is far more difficult for medium business to impact the federal government than state government. If too much power is given to the states, under Capitalism, why wouldn’t business threaten to move to another state unless they were given incentives? This does lead to situations where companies threaten to leave unless they are given tax breaks.

Not so, it corresponds to what the powerful people want. Aside from the other implications, like needing money to move, wanting to be near family, no jobs in other areas etc…

no one can force anyone else to work for him. if anyone is exploited, it is by their free choice-- they are free to leave whenever they wish. just because they “have kids to feed” is no concern or or responsibility of anyone but themselves.

what kind of “power” are you talking about that a poor person should have? poor people have the same political power as anyone in a pure capitalism: their vote is the same as a rich persons. they can join a political action group, campaign for a candidate, educate themselves via public libraries or the internet (non media-regulated information that is freely available)… in a pure capitalism, there is an INSURMOUTABLE line between government and economy: this means that government cannot influence or coerce economics, and ALSO that economics (business) cannot influence or coerce government. the fact that this always goes on is not a problem with theoretical capitalism, it is a practical problem. there would always be laws and agencies forbidding collusion and intimidation between government and business, in any direction; the enforcement of these laws is a practical problem for courts and the judicial and executive branches, it is not a problem with capitalism itself.

and in fact, it is socialism which lends itself to government being influenced and manipulated by businesses, because socialism and business are always so tied together. there is no definite line separating government from economics in socialism, so it will always be far easier to manipulate the system under the guise of “gifts” or “donations” or “charity” or “efficiency”…

back to poor people… you seem to want them to have the same purchasing power as a rich person… why is this? purchasing power is just the amount of stuff you can buy. this depends on how much money you have. a rich person can buy more things and be more comfortable materially than a poor person, there is nothing wrong with this. purchasing power and material comfort level is EXACTLY proportionate to how much you can spend, and this is the way it is supposed to be-- because if a poor person can spend more than he has, it means he is taking that extra from someone else, he is stealing it… theft is the only way to allow someone to spend beyond their means; even if you take lots of debt on via credit, you have to pay it back eventually, its not your money your spending.

who do you think needs whom? do you think the businessman needs an individual for his employee, or do you think the employee needs the businessman for the job? who gets the most benefit from the employee/employer relationship…? clearly, the individual himself. the employee gains the benefits of all the work time and energy invested by the business owner to develop and refine his production process-- he gains the ability to earn a living merely by association with the businessman’s hard work; the businessman merely gains one more body in the factory. how do you think that these two people would ever have equal “bargaining power”? you have as much bargaining power as the other person has desire for what you are selling… if your selling your labor and your work skills, then you have as much bargaining power as those skills are worth to your employer, nothing more; how could it be otherwise?

and since he is FREE to do whatever he WANTS and go wherever he can, the benefit he gets from employment is ultimately up to him alone.

in capitalism there are LAWS that FORBID business to collude with or influence government. as for influencing the media, of course this happens all the time. media is a business like any other, and it can trade or deal with whoever it wishes. of course there will be libel laws, so media would be forbidden from outright lying about someone, but in the end they will say whatever they want to, just like any individual or any non-media business. businessmen enjoy freedom of speech just like anyone else.

or would you rather have government pass laws that restrict and limit media speech…? wouldnt any such infringement or limitation of freedom of speech on the media represent exactly the kind of government influence over media information that you are objecting to? allowing media to function freely and independently as it wishes is the only way to guarantee, to the greatest possible extent, that a country has a free press-- when the press is refusing to do a good job, it is up to YOU and ME and the PEOPLE to object, educate themselves and turn elsewhere for their news and information. that is why competition is so important and essential to any industry, especially media.

the check on this is PUBLIC OPINION. people need to inform themselves, they need to CARE. if they do not, they will allow themselves to be controlled by anyone who dictates information to them, be it media or government or any business or scam artist. media has no OBLIGATION to give the “best” or “most objective” information it can, it can do what it wishes… but when media lies or deceives the public, then people should stop watching that media. it is up to YOU to be responsible for YOURSELF in capitalism; that is the nature of personal responsibility. people will always lie to you, theres no way around that-- its up to you to educate yourself, care about the issues, and work hard to develop an intelligence and awareness of issues that makes it so you cant be deceived.

further, there will always be competition in media, and according to an educated and interested public, the most objective media will get the most money, and be the most successful. if this is not the case, it means people do not care about their information and their media, which is their own fault, not media itself.

it all comes down to responsibility: if you are a manipulated unthinking cattle who believes everything MSNBC or FOX news tells you, then that is your fault. i am not one of those people. neither are many people i know, poor or wealthy. people are as intelligent and aware as they choose to be, through no ones fault but their own.

as i said, in capitalism (and not in socialism) there are laws separating business from government. that is why there are campaign contribution limits (which i disagree with however-- anyone should be able to contribute anything AS AN INDIVIDUAL (businesses themselves should not be able to give money to politics), but these donations need to be public information on the part of the politician, since he is a public figure). as for state power, putting taxation and economic laws in the hands of counties and to some limited extent states allows business to go where its best for them. this keeps counties and states seeking to attract business, and forces them to keep taxes low. this is the nature of competition; it is a good thing.

if you have a business, you have every right to move it to wherever you get the most money, such as arizona over minnesota. why should you not do this? states can intice you with low taxes all they like, its up to their people via their congress to pass these tax laws, but in the end businesses will go wherever they like. nothing wrong with this, its the nature of a free society.

there are always factors that make it hard for someone to move, like family and jobs. but this is no ones responsibility but the person themselves.

should we force businesses to stay where they are, or allow government to set them up where government wishes? i dont really see what you are advocating for, you are only attacking the fact that people are free to live wherever they like.

if someone wants to move somewhere else to get a better job, but they choose not to because they want to be around their family and moving is too expensive and risky, then that is their choice, and they made the right choice-- obviously the benefits of staying outweighed the risks for them, so they stayed. its up to them, and clearly if they stay, its because its what gives them the most benefit. only individuals can decide this… like i said, i dont see what your point is here.

I apologize for my late reply wonderer! :smiley:

I do not know where you are going with it. Please tell me.

So will you answer my question here wonderer please? I am curious about this because you defined freedom as being limited by invention in our discussion. That seems very illogical to me. I would love to hear your explanation of this. :smiley:

PART 1

I agree no one can force anyone else to work for him. I disagree if people are exploited they can just leave. You seem to think life is black and white. What if by leaving they don’t get any money? Yet the company makes reasonable profit. Is it unfair that a worker asks not to be exploited? If he has no power why would some employer not just play him off against someone else? Without power he can not bargain fairly and the outcome is exploitation, which we see.

That’s all I ask.

Corporations on legal persons, and its their influence ( vote ) that is above the poor/normal persons. When I say rich, I don’t mean someone who earns 200,000 a year etc… I mean the real rich players in society and corporations.

“Public choice theory, developed by George Mason University Professors Gordon Tullock and James Buchanan, recognizes that the probability of any voter’s ballot making any difference in the outcome of any election, including last year’s Florida election, is essentially nil. In other words, the only way my vote changes the outcome of an election is if my vote breaks a tie and the probability of a tie is close to zero.
Politicians exploit rational ignorance by conferring large benefits on certain constituents whose costs are widely dispersed and borne by the general population. Take the sugar industry. It pays the owners and workers to organize and tax themselves to raise money to lobby Congress for tariffs on foreign sugar. If they’re successful, it means millions of dollars in higher profits and wages. Since they are relatively small in number the organization costs are small and the benefits are narrowly distributed. The Fanjul family, who owns large sugar farms in the Florida Everglades, capture an estimated $60 million annually in artificial profits.
What about the costs? As a result of price supports and import restrictions, millions of American sugar consumers pay a few dollars more per year for the sugar we use. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that Americans pay between $1 and $2 billion a year in higher sugar prices. Forget about finding out and doing something about these costs. After all how many of us are willing to board a plane or train to Washington to try to unseat congressmen who made us pay $5 more for the sugar we bought last year? It’s not worth it; it’s cheaper just to pay the $5 and forget it. For workers and owners in the sugar industry it is worth it to descend on Washington to try to unseat congressmen who refuse to support restrictions on foreign sugar. It’s worth $1 or $2 billion to them, and who do you think congressmen will listen to: your complaining about higher sugar prices or the sugar industry complaining about foreign imports keeping their prices, profit and wages down?
You say, “What’s the grief, Williams? Five dollars won’t kill you.” Washington is home to thousands of business and labor union lobbyists looking for a leg up here and a handout there. After a while $5 here and $4 there adds up to real money. According to some estimates, restrictions of one kind or another cost the average American family $5,000 to $6,000 a year in higher prices…”
gmu.edu/departments/economic … rance.html

So someone who has the worlds best education from a library is equal to some guy who has got a degree from a university. Which companies will employee the library guy? An education, deemed worthy by employers must be paid for. The rich are born with better educational opportunities. That has been proven so many times. Is that fair?

Which candidate to vote for? There are only two options, right wing and super right wing? Without money and a media outlet it’s very difficult to get a voice. Now we come full circle to the concentration of power. Papers rely mainly on advertisements to make money; revenue from the sale of the paper is small in comparison. So I set up my left leaning paper, it’s going to cost a lot dollars or so just to break even with no ads, Who will buy that? Not even I would buy that. If no one knows about me, how can they vote? Plus I’m up against millions of dollars worth of information, which says I’m wrong, in the form of TV, press and general media, sitcoms etc… Again concentration of power is bad. You agree that government, which has power is bad and yet you don’t apply the same logic to big business, why?

I agree. Do you really think pure capitalism can be achieved? So under pure capitalism, a lot is better. I would say that pure capitalism + strong unions = good society. But as I don’t think pure capitalism could be achieved… A society needs a strong social element. Just Google where airplanes, the internet, telecommunications, fiber optics, space exploration all came from. Big business does not take risks.

That is what the media call socialism. Under socialism, not all business is run by the state and neither is government particularity powerful. Think of Sweden and Norway and not Stalin. Then look which countries have less crime, better education and better health. Then look at how ALL capitalist countries do Rnd and how they developed. All used Socialism.

No, you read wrong. Purchasing power leads to more influence over companies. As companies have power to control taxes and general government policy, that is wrong. Rich people have more than one vote.

Both need each other. I don’t care about the businessman or the employee, it could be both are in the same boat. I care about shareholders and corporate power over peoples lives.

Part 2

I do not wish to control the media or anything that is my main point.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufactur … Mass_Media

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model

I would write myself but pressed for time and the fact I would only say this anyway :wink:

Part 3

What you mean is that corporate tax remains low. People are then taxed in other ways. Again the rich and powerful pay less than the poor, that is good?

Sure they are free but like Adam Smith said. Companies have a social responsibility to their community. Workers should not just be treated like they are meaningless. I don’t know best how to explain, I will need to think about it

But they’re not that is my point. Companies are free to move where they want. They have no emotional attachment. So people want to increase tax to pay for better parks. Company A moves, that is good for them but bad for the society and community. You advocate that people should be at the whim of companies, who they have not elected.

Again Adam Smith said it best:

“. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

of course its not always easy to just pick up and leave a job. it takes time to get interviews and transition-- so… what? you can still leave. if you dont like your job, tough it out for a few weeks while you go get another one, and then quit. if you cant afford to just leave immediately, then stay until you can leave. if your employer is treating you illegally or in a harmful or illegal way that violates OSHA or EEOC laws, then you can sue them and make millions… if they are not violating these laws, then likely this person is just frustrated that his job sucks so hard; as i said, in this case, TOUGH IT OUT and spend a couple weeks or maybe a month to find something else. then get the hell out.

why do you seem to think that people are compeltely powerless? “Without power he can not bargain fairly and the outcome is exploitation”, i already addressed this, there is no such thing as equal bargaining power between employer/employee. employer will ALWAYS have greater bargaining power in these situations, for the reason that the EMPLOYEE NEEDS the job more than the employer needs the employee to work there. simple as that, theres just no way around that. usually employers do not care if an employee walks out the door, so why would they care about retaining him? youre trying to look at life and work in an idealistic way that is not realistic or practical at all… there will N E V E R be equality of bargaining power between employer and employee, and there is nothing wrong with this. its the nature of any contractual agreement between consenting adults, which is what employment is: you have as much bargaining power as you are worth to your employer. simple as that.

i already agreed with you that in practice america government and business collude together all the time-- i also pointed out to you that this is not an issue in real capitalism. in capitalism, and ONLY in capitalism, there are LAWS that prevent this from happening; the problem with enforcing those laws is a practical problem for society, and just like the fact that there are always going to be criminals doesnt reflect on the criminal law of a society, the fact that some businesspeople will always break the law and collude with government officials doesnt reflect on these laws themselves.

you are unfortunately making the same mistake that every single anti-capitalist on ILP has thus far made when trying to argue against capitalism: you are forming your arguments as anti-america. you are arguing AGAINST a THEORETICAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM by using examples that are PRACTICAL EXAMPLES FROM AMERICA. first of all, america is not a capitalist economy. second of all, the problems that you point out with america (like the above quote) exist because american government refuses to enforce the few capitalist laws they do have… in america its a problem of enforcement and a problem of a lack of good laws, but as i said, america is not a prime example of capitalism. i already conceeded this point long ago… youll need to move on from it.

if you want to attack capitalism, thats fine with me, just ATTACK CAPITALISM THEN. dont cite countless examples of american problems with business and government corruption, because this is NOT a problem with capitalist economic theory, it is a problem with america (and ironically for you, although you cannot see it, america’s problems that you mention are the result of a LACK of capitalism).

im not talking about getting a job, we were talking in this part about getting accurate information from media, and not letting yourself be controlled by media lies… youre confusing the issues.

i have no idea where you get this from. between obama and mccain, youve got “extreme left wing” (obama was ranked the NUMBER ONE most LIBERAL senator), or “moderate right wing” with mccain, who in reality didnt know enough to even be able to decide whether he was right or left. mccain was not “super right wing”, he supported campaign finance, cap and trade, increasing medicare spending, etc…

please explain which “right wing and super right wing” candidates youre talking about…

thats correct. concentration of power in businesses IN A FREE ECONOMY is a good thing.

thats the caveat: in a FREE ECONOMY. because in a free economy, being a “big” or successful business can only happen when people CHOOSE to buy your product. if rupert murdoch has a concentration of power in his media empire, then this is fine, as long as it exists in a free system where people are willing to spend their money on his newspapers. when people stop liking what he has to say, they will turn to someone else.

you apply the same standards to business as to government: this is a mistake. government and business are NOT equivolent, and you cannot treat them as such. in a FREE system, in CAPITALISM (which is what we are talking about here) business can only succeed by the willing and free purchasing by individuals-- business cannot force or coerce people into giving it money. however, government does this all the time. government is a LEGAL MONOPOLY ON FORCE. they pass laws that force you to give taxes to them. businesses cannot force you to buy their products. you have to CHOOSE to make a business successful, and that is why there is nothing wrong with successful businesses, because they serve the public interest and are by definition good, as long as the public is educated and cares about the quality of what they buy…

once again, as always, it comes down to the public, and how most people are ignorant through no fault but their own. they choose to let people like rupert murdoch get away with lying and manipulating news, as well as conspiring with government, and they dont care. so they keep buying the product, like good obedient sheep. THIS is the problem. it is a PRACTICAL problem with AMERICA, and as i said, it does not reflect in ANY WAY on capitalist economic theory.

like i said, youre going to have to do better than citing examples of american problems if youre going to create a successful critique of capitalist economic theory.

all those inventions are the result of a free economy: they are the result of capitalism (whats left of it in america). big business takes risks all the time, in fact BIG business is the ONLY business that can frequently take risks, since they have the capital and savings to afford it. they take risks on new products, new services, new advertizing, new markets, new production methods, all the time… some of these risks pay off, some dont. its only because they are BIG that a company like IBM can swallow the millions of dollars of losses from a failed database system or microchip and still remain in business.

pure capitalism is a theory. and like all theories, in practice it will never be perfect. socialists hide behind this rule for socialism, claiming “its not socialisms fault, its good in theory, its just hard in practice!” while at the same time claiming that capitalism “can never be achieved in practice” as if this is an attack… its hypocritical. capitalism CAN be achieved, it HAS been achieved in america in the 1800s and early 1900s. observe the results. they speak for themselves.

as for “strong unions”, unions are one of the reasons why we are in this current economic crisis, and unions are NOT an essential or helpful aspect of capitalism. they are certainly not outlawed under a free economy, but neither should they have government influence, which in fact here in america they do. unions are counterproductive and harmful to a capitalist economy… as for capitalism itself, it can be implemented to near-perfection very easily, by establishing a strong barrier between government and economy, and by ENFORCING this barrier (what america didnt do) with a strong judicial and executive system-- the separation of government and economy needs to be WRITTEN EXPLICITLY INTO THE LAW and the CONSTITUTION, something that america failed to do.

if this were to occur, then “pure” capitalism would be certainly possible in a very near-perfect form… but like i said, nothing is perfect in practice, there will always be problems. this doesnt speak to the nature of capitalism itself, however, just to the nature of life itself.

the scandinavian model of socialism is successful for two reasons: 1) their population is relatively small, and 2) they have tremendous natural resources. any small country with large resources can afford to be socialistic because its entitlements and burdens are low, while its export wealth is high. this however cannot go on forever.

“Under socialism, not all business is run by the state and neither is government particularity powerful” in theory, socialism is the state control and regulation of an economy, any and up to every aspect of the economy. socialist nations CAN and DO allow private ownership of businesses, although this ownership is a “gift” from the state and not a guarantee of a right: it can be withdrawn legally at any time. and the businessman pays a price since his taxes as a “profitable” entity are through the roof.

as i mentioned earlier, socialist nations tend toward further controls, because there is no explicit barrier or reason not to extend and expand these controls… socialism tends to communism. some countries can resist this, but it is a limited fix-- just like the scandinavian model, the european model cannot last forever. at some point, taxes and control need to be raised as the population ages and entitlements increase.

as i addressed before more than once: in capitalism there is a separation of economy and state. you are once again using practical problems with america to argue a case against capitalist economic theory, and this represents flawed reasoning.

i was not talking about who “needs” the other one, although this is a relevant point (of course employers need employees, just as employees need employers… this is just argument by definition, its a truism nothing more), i was talking about “who gets the most benefit”.

the employee enjoys the benefits of all the complex processes of design and production that it takes to develop a business, as well as to keep it running… the employee has no idea how to keep a business alive. only his employer knows this. in contrast, the employer knows EXACTLY how to do the employees job. he just chooses to contract that work out, to save himself time and money. the businessman creates the jobs. he is the one who EMPLOYS the employee.

employees just need to show up and do the basic work they are paid for: the businessman needs to run an entire complex economic system that is constantly changing; his knowledge needs to be far greater than the employees knowledge, and since the businessman was the one who DEVELOPED and STARTED the business, he has every right to hire whomever he wishes, or no one at all-- he has the right to pay his employees whatever he wishes, or nothing at all (of course it would be hard to find someone to work for free, despite all the altruistic talk about the evils of profit and self-interest :unamused:). its his property and its up to him. the employee holds no gun, legal or practical or moral or otherwise, to the employers head, and he has NO RIGHT to make demands on the employers property for himself. THE EMPLOYEE IS ONLY EMPLOYED AT THE WHIM AND DISCRETION OF HIS EMPLOYER.

as for “I care about shareholders and corporate power over peoples lives”, the shareholders are the owners of the company, along with the businessman himself. its their money that fuels and funds the profits and losses of the company. because they own the company, they can do whatever they wish with it. the employee does not own the company or any part of it, he is not essential to the company, and he exists there at the discretion of the businessman and the shareholders. if the employee wants to buy stock, then good for him, then he can attend the stockholders meeting and vote like everyone else there…

but until he does, he is not going to have any “corporate power” because hes not a part of the corporation-- only people who OWN something get to have a say in how its used or disposed of… how or why should it be otherwise?

this type of thinking is exactly what has destroyed the american free economic system, along with the american republic itself.

I think you’re right the USA is not capitalist and neither do I think pure capitalism is "bad as such but just not practical and unachievable. I will reply more later ( maybe tomorrow ) These are the types of things I’m against:

These are some of the people I mean:

James Madison and the creation of the USA:

Mr. MADISON. We are now to determine whether the republican form shall be the basis of our government. -I admit there is weight in the objection of the gentleman from South Carolina; but no plan can steer clear of objections. That great powers are to be given, there is no doubt; and that those powers may be abused is equally true. It is also probable that members may lose their attachments to the States which sent them-Yet the first branch will control them in many of their abuses. But we are now forming a body on whose wisdom we mean to rely, and their permanency in office secures a proper field in which they may exert their firmness and knowledge. Democratic communities may be unsteady, and be led to action by the impulse of the moment. -Like individuals, they may be sensible of their own weakness, and may desire the counsels and checks of friends to guard them against the turbulency and weakness of unruly passions. Such are the various pursuits of this life, that in all civilized countries, the interest of a community will be divided. There will be debtors and creditors, and an unequal possession of property, and hence arises different views and different objects in government. This indeed is the ground-work of aristocracy; and we find it blended in every government, both ancient and modern. Even where titles have survived property, we discover the noble beggar haughty and assuming.
The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa, or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge of the wants or feelings of the day laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe; when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be jsut, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered.

avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/yates.asp

EDWARD BERNAYS AND THE CREATION OF THE PR INDUSTRY:

In Propaganda (1928), his most important book, Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

Walter Lippman - adviser to President Woodrow Wilson

The basic problem of democracy, he wrote, was the accuracy of news and protection of sources. He argued that distorted information was inherent in the human mind. People make up their minds before they define the facts, while the ideal would be to gather and analyze the facts before reaching conclusions. By seeing first, he argued, it is possible to sanitize polluted information. Lippmann argued that seeing through stereotypes (which he coined in this specific meaning) subjected us to partial truths. Lippmann called the notion of a public competent to direct public affairs a “false ideal.” He compared the political savvy of an average man to a theater-goer walking into a play in the middle of the third act and leaving before the last curtain.

And public opnion

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Opinion

i resent and disagree with every one of these quotes, because they assume that man is a weak and inherently incompetent being. this is not true. man is as intelligent, aware, compassionate and free as he chooses to be.

any belief to the contrary is just pessimistic determinism-- i cant believe that you could condone such actions as “manipulation of mass opinion” as for the public good, or necessity. this is an outright lie, because no one is benefited from being manipulated. only the manipulator gains from this situation (and of course the pseudo-intellectuals who feed as parasites off of them, in order to write books like the ones you mention)…

if you believe that people are destined to be and are inherently stupid, incompetent and unable to rule themselves, then i can see why you prefer socialism: because socialism is such a system, designed and built for control of man, of man’s life and his actions. socialist states do not guarantee man the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, because the only true right is the right of the State itself.

capitalism is a system for FREE MEN, for ADULTS who want to be independent, and who want to live their lives as they wish, for their own sake, not harming others and not expecting to be harmed by others… captialism enshrines personal responsibility and freedom into the economy and into politics via separation of government and economy and the limiting and separation of government branches and powers. capitalism is a system for FREE people who aspire to the best within themselves, who desire to be free, to freely accept both the benefits and the harms resulting from their decisions, and do not expect anyone else to shoulder the responsibility for them or for their own life.

i can see, therefore, why the above writers rejected capitalism… because capitalism is a place for independent and responsible adults… because only a child makes demands on others for his own selfish sake, only a child expects others to work and produce and live just to provide for his needs.

children need mommy and daddy to take care of them because they are not yet capable of being responsible for themselves-- to the same extent, socialists need mommy and daddy government to take care of them, guarantee them a good job at their employer’s expense, good union wages at the businessowner’s and consumer’s expense, “free” subsidized education and healthcare at the taxpayers expense, etc… and all that socialism asks in return is that you give up your right to your own life, give up your mature and self-responsible adulthood to lower yourself to the level of a worthless, pleading, pitiful child who is too scared and incompetent to secure his own survival…

its unbelievably sad that this is exactly what most people choose to do.

So, “pure capitalism” means Adam Smith and the wealth of Nations? If you mean this, then I have to agree that it would be a nice society to live in and I can’t find many flaws.

But if you’re willing to argue that this is a possibility and even practical then I’m game. Why have all developed nations used socialism to develop? I think you’re deluding yourself just like some Socialists that believe that everyone should have the same wage. In theory it’s nice but there’s a reason they have never existed.

Its not so much that people don’t like it’s the fact he reports what he wants to suit his business needs. People may love it but with little time to critically analyze the problem they are lead. Which apparently you are opposed to. People don’t have that much time due to work and family.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ignorance

So, this is just an example of how it is not practical. But if this utopia were to exist, why wouldn’t the rich just still do what they do now. Manipulate people and create their own army?

i personally have not read the wealth of nations, so i cant comment on it. as to “why have all developed nations used socialism to develop?”, i could answer this from a psychology perspective, and with another question: Why do so many people fear freedom?

most people are terrified of the idea of being truly free or responsible for themselves. psychologically this is called anxiety, or separation anxiety-- the feeling of separation from unity, from comforting security and peace. we all feel anxious entering new situations, because novelty represents risk, and also the need to deduce our own values and standards, since the scenario is new and unprecedented for us, and we therefore lack programmed responses to fall back onto.

i think that most societies have used socialism to develop because most people are still relatively comfortable being taken care of, they NEED that feeling of security… also, we are still a relatively young race evolutionarily, and capitalism is a very recent development-- the concept of free markets is as new an idea as there is compared to man’s history of economic stagnation, poverty, subsistence farming, slavery, etc. so i think that capitalist ideas are still so new that they represent a challenge to the orthodox way of thinking: that we need government and authority to dictate to us what is true, what is right, what we should do. this attitude is whats expressed in your previous references: we need to be protected from ourselves…

in addition to this pervasive attitude among many people, and also in addition to the historically recent development of free markets, we should consider that socialism is a tool of state power and of domination. modern dictators hide behind democracy and use marxist ideas about collective welfare and the greater good to do more damage and oppress and tyrannize more people than a dictator in the past could ever dream.

so there is the combination of factors that may explain the prevalence of socialism in our world today: 1) most people are still relatively ignorant and prefer to remain that way, provided someone is taking care of all the hard decisions, 2) capitalism is VERY NEW, and currently there still has not been a truly capitalist society (even america’s founders did not truly understand the concept of free markets, it was sort of an unforseen corollary from limited government and individual liberty), and 3) modern dictators and statists who desire power over other men still exist and still tend to gravitate to leadership positions within all societies, and socialism offers these men the greatest chance of power over others. man has not yet been able to see and determine the true nature of a free economy and a free system-- hence his inability to connect all the wealth, growth, prosperity, technology, standards of living, happiness and success that America has represented over the last 200 years with America’s economic system of limited government free-market capitalism… people just dont make this connection, because they have not yet been trained to see it.

that being said, capitalism is not impractical or hard to establish, and the above does not mean that people do not “deserve” or desire capitalism; it means that it represents the next phase away from dictatorship and tyranny by a state authority. man is rational, free, independent in nature: he THINKS for himself and CREATES his environment. we can discover truth and learn how best to live in the world around us, adapting nature to our needs. we develop technology and grow, learn knowledge and apply it to our world-- all these traits of man demand the freedom of mind and freedom of action that capitalism represents; they are the antithesis of the stifling state power and economic controls, taxes and limitations of socialism.

capitalism tends to incentivize good action-- it makes people EARN more depending on if they WORK harder or are more inventive: because you can keep what you earn, you can grow your wealth. and since wealth is the equivolent to our ABILITY TO SURVIVE in an advanced society, man is incentivized to fight for his survival by developing what his fellow man wants and needs, and trading with him. and since in capitalism we are responsible for ourselves and no one will come rescue us if we fail, we have that much more reason and incentive to work hard, educate ourselves, and think rationally and realistically about the world; the level of our self-deception, laziness or willful ignorance is, within a capitalist society, the level of our inability to generate wealth for ourselves and therefore our inability to survive.

whatever people like, whatever they DESIRE is the standard of value for capitalism. if people desire base, ignorant and fallacious information or entertainment instead of real media, then that is what they will get. likewise, if people desire to be informed and educated objectively and they reject the blind and unthinking entertainment of today’s media, they would not get it.

capitalism gives people what they want. thats what its good at. so its up to us to decide whats best for us, what we want out of life. the fact that the relative mixed-capitalism of america has tended media to become nothing but brainwashing and mass entertainment is NOT a reflection on the capitalist system-- capitalism did its job flawlessly-- its a reflection of what people wanted. its just showing us that as a species, we still have a long ways to go. thats not to say that we need to “protect us from ourselves” by giving up our rights, dignity and liberty to tyrants, its saying that we need to learn from our mistakes and grow as individuals and as a society.

i will read this in a bit here… as for utopia, capitalism is not utopian, it is practical and realistic. it is a realistic system for living on earth. in the sense that ‘utopia’ just means ‘ideal’ or ‘best’, then yes, capitalism is utopian, but thats not really what i understand it to mean… utopia encompasses far more concepts than economics, mainly psychology and spitiruality and politics. a free market economy would certainly be one aspect of any true utopia, but its not the whole picture.

“why wouldn’t the rich just still do what they do now. Manipulate people and create their own army?” there will always be some people who have more money than others. in any system. there will be rich people, and relatively poor people. i dont see how this could ever change, short of implementing a true communism, which always fails in practice because it is internally contradictory.

what do you mean about rich people still doing what they do now? all the bad things that rich people do these days, such as say buying political influence, manipulating public opinion, using slave and child labor oversees, employing illegal aliens, making products that are blatantly unsafe and then paying off government auditors to look the other way, etc etc etc… all these things are results from violations of the law. in a capitalist system, and unlike in america, the separation between business activity and government activity would be so enormous and well-legislated that these sorts of things would not occur, and when they did it would be relatively easy to detect them. for example, in a true capitalism, government would need to publically account for every dollar it spends, and where it gets all its revenue. the financial information of politicians would be public information, because they are public and not private employees-- so any discrepencies would be seen pretty quickly.

as for creating their own army, im not sure what this means… literally or figuratively? literally, this would not happen, because the army would be a branch of government and directly accountable to and overseen by the public via openness of finances and appropriations; in a capitalist system there would not need to be a huge powerful army, only one with the sufficient power to defend the nation if attacked. likely, the army could still defend america today in its present form with less than 1/10th of its current budget; all we need to do is stop stockpiling outdated weapons, stop making new B2 bombers every year, and pull out of the 100+ military bases we have in other countries across the world. and stop fighting other people’s wars for them. in this case, the army would be quite easy to finance and pay for.

TTG, you’re a nice guy and all, but “capitalism enshrines the separation of economy and state”?! Please…

Capitalists care about profit, pure and simple, skimming what they can off the top, money for its own sake, and they don’t care how they get it. It’s a religion of empty accumulation and monopolies. What socialists learned about command economies and cultural homogenisation they learned from the masters - that’s right, the capitalists.

Don’t tarnish shopkeepers, artisans, farmers and labourers (even entrepeneurs and inventors) with the brush of capitalism - they’re beneath it and they don’t deserve it. In their world capital might occupy a functional role, but it serves them rather than the other way around.

yes, capitalists do care about profits, of generating efficient production processes; capitalism as a system doesnt care about profits, it doesnt care about anything: it is the accumulation of laws and statutes that define legal and illegal economic activity-- and in a real capitalism, this means that government activity and spending is separated from the public and private transactions of individuals and businesses.

“skimming what they can off the top, money for its own sake, and they don’t care how they get it. It’s a religion of empty accumulation and monopolies” why do you say this, what evidence do you have for this? i certainly understand that this is the view you are taught living in the UK and europe, but still… “not caring how you get money” is a recipe for disaster in capitalism, because if you try to steal it, deceive others out of their money, cook the book, “skim off the top”, bribe government officials or threaten your competition, ANY of these actions by “capitalists” results in economic loss and likely imprisonment, because in a capitalist system there are very clear and well-enforced rules against the USE OF FORCE.

all the negatives you describe of capitalists represent the use of force or coercion by one against another, but in a true capitalism this is expressly forbidden, and policed against. this is one of the proper roles of government, because it amounts to protecting each individual’s life and property rights from forceful harm, which is what government is intended for… so it sounds like you would embrace a true capitalist system, since you seem to reject all the downsides of socialist systems and mixed systems which lack these strict controls against the use of force.

“What socialists learned about command economies and cultural homogenisation they learned from the masters - that’s right, the capitalists”, how can this be, since capitalism has 1) never actually been successfully implemented or achieved, and 2) socialist ideology and collectivism and statism have all existed for countlessly longer than capitalist ideology. im not talking about marx specifically, im talking about the idea that government either has or does not have the power to intervene and dictate individual economic decisions, actions and incentives-- im talking about government either having or not having the power to print and regulate the money supply… in capitalism, government does NOT have these powers, yet in every other government and economy in history before capitalism, they did (marxism or modern democratic-socialism is an outgrowth of previous statist ideology and philosophy, which recognizes state and government authority as superior to and supreme over individual authority and power; marxism is most definitely NOT an outgrowth of capitalism!).

so how can you say that these other systems took their ideas from capitalism, when systems of state power and government economic direction, control and intervention have PRECEEDED capitalist theory?

Yet these things happen in “capitalist” societies ALL THE TIME. Funny that. Nor do they reduce to the interference of purely statist forces - marketing, for example, or depletion of energy resources, or waste disposal. Or are you going to tell me that without “socialism” that McDonalds and Wall Mart and Apple would be nice fluffy, friendly corporations who respected the social structures that made them?

So it’s alright for you to develop a completely new understanding of the term “capitalism”, but if someone tries to do the same for “socialism” then they are called deluded or something similar? That’s a fairly shocking double standard, if you ask me.

First you say not to tarnish them with the brush of capitalism, and then you “tarnish” them. Please peddle you class warfare elsewhere.

walmart colludes with government all the time, they are subsidized with taxpayer money and they receive free loans to start up their locations from cities and counties; walmart is also guilty of exploiting workers abroad. these are not capitalist practices. mcdonalds gives people what they WANT, cheap good food; its just that its bad for your body, but since people dont seem to care, why should mcdonalds? like i said, capitalism gives people what they WANT-- it makes them SELF-responsible, so any harm from eating mcdonalds is their own fault. as for Apple, i dont know what youre referring to that is considered harmful about their business practices.

i am not making up a definition of capitalism. i am describing true capitalism, “pure” theoretical capitalism which HAS NOT YET EXISTED ON EARTH-- laissez-faire free market capitalism. you can google or wiki it if youd like, i will go get you some definitions when i get home from work since you seem to not understand the definition of a true laissez-faire economy.

and where do i develop a new definition of socialism? i use the common and real definition, which is an economic model that gives government authority and power to control and plan various aspects of all levels of the economy, from distribution to central planning to various nationalistic services such as subsidized medicine and subsidized education.

so what are your definitions of ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’…?

Read it again, PT. Can haz comprehenshunz?

btw, mcdonalds prints the ingredients right on their products-- if you chose not to read it, or to read it and not care, thats your choice. they are not LYING to you.

sorry, i dont know what this means…

ill ask again: what are your definitions of capitalism and socialism, and how do they differ from mine?