Is Capitalism an Immoral Economic Principle?

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by MagnetMan, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Are we gambling with stocks and bonds and commodities on the temple floor of the global estate?

    Can one make a profit without doing so at the expense of another?

    Is capitalism not simply an artificial extension of jungle law, with the biggest and strongest ending up with all the bananas?

    Will capitalism not eventually have enough power to over-ride state controls on monopolies and end up channeling all the money into a single coffer and put us back to where we started when we sacked the king?

    Is it right for one to privately capitalize on the combined genuis of Ages of ancestral effort, make use of our vast infrastructure to enrich one's self a thousand fold more than the minions who work to support it?

    Can we sustain the viability of capitalism's basic tenet of private ownership, when all the laws that define and register it, and the vast bureauccracy required to oversee and police its boundaries have already bankrupted the state treasuries and filled our prisons ot overflowing?

    What happens when the gap between rich and poor reaches the breaking point?

    Is "It aint' perfect but it is the best there is" the correct response to growing concerns over global inequality and rising resistence by poorer nations to America's over-powering economic hegemony.?

    If the answer as to whether capitalism is unethical is in the affirmative, then what can replace it as a viable ethical alternative?

    I am not advocating Marxist economic rationalism here. These are ligitimate ethical questions that are concerned with the sustainability of our current economic system and not simply a venue to attack others.
     
  2. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Bump due to error
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think it can be....but again free will enters the picture.

    I'm thinking Bill Gates....envisioning a computer on every desk and then parlaying that vision into a fortune and then giving a big chunk of the fortune away.

    Do all do that, no, the wallmart inheritance created five people amongst the wealthiest in the world who feel a 1% tithe for being of the lucky sperm club is sufficient.

    Many churches have created vast fortunes...are they using capitalism?
    I often think yes, as they are the ones that stuck their neck out, and they are the ones virtually paying the mortgages for all the minions. Now do they have the opportunity to do better, and should they spend the money by giving it back to those who make up their workforce, or put it back into the company so they can pay more mortgages, and put food on more tables? I sure wouldn't want to see this legislated, often seems the more the gov't trys to fix something it is the little guys that suffer.
     
  4. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    I don't think capitalism is an immoral economic priniciple
    If you've worked for it, took the chances and succeeded using a moral approach then good for you. It only becomes immoral when immoral values are used to build up business
     
  5. Guard

    Guard Member

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    Are we gambling with stocks and bonds and commodities on the temple floor of the global estate?

    Sorry Magnetman, I'm not sure I understand your question.

    Can one make a profit without doing so at the expense of another?

    Yes, and if you don't do it someone else will, this applies to all levels of trade from the individual to the corporates. It works for me. If no one made a profit, who in their right mind would go to work.

    Is capitalism not simply an artificial extension of jungle law, with the biggest and strongest ending up with all the bananas?

    There's nothing at all artificial about capitalism, it's simply an economic system, we all know how it works and why it sometimes doesn't. It's real enough to prompt you to ask these questions.

    Will capitalism not eventually have enough power to over-ride state controls on monopolies and end up channeling all the money into a single coffer and put us back to where we started when we sacked the king?

    Capitalism won't, but corporations might !

    Is it right for one to privately capitalize on the combined genuis of Ages of ancestral effort, make use of our vast infrastructure to enrich one's self a thousand fold more than the minions who work to support it?

    Yes, that's why the effort was made, so that future generations could benefit by it. same for the infrastructure.

    Can we sustain the viability of capitalism's basic tenet of private ownership, when all the laws that define and register it, and the vast bureauccracy required to oversee and police its boundaries have already bankrupted the state treasuries and filled our prisons ot overflowing?

    Can we possibly sustain the economic damage which would undoubtedly ensue by switching to an alternative economy ?.

    What happens when the gap between rich and poor reaches the breaking point?

    When the breaking point is reached, our perception of breaking point will be altered, by rich spin doctors of course.

    Is "It aint' perfect but it is the best there is" the correct response to growing concerns over global inequality and rising resistence by poorer nations to America's over-powering economic hegemony.?

    Yes, it's the only considered response.

    If the answer as to whether capitalism is unethical is in the affirmative, then what can replace it as a viable ethical alternative?

    The simple answer to that is, there isn't a viable alternative, but I suspect you already know that. In this case, affirmative or negative is irrelevant.

    All just my own opinions of course.
     
  6. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    There is free will for kids who want it all /and free will for adults who see the value in giving it all. Big difference here. It's your choice.

    I think Steve Jobs was the man who envisioned the PC in every home.

    If we are talking about access to the internet via Windows - the vision of instant information freely available to all, predated Bill Gates by decades if not centuries. I know as a documentary film maker thirty years ago, I was wondering how to get everything from a recipe for aunt Jamima's fruit cake, to how nuclear fission works, beyond book encyclopedias onto a world-wide projection system. Leaving thirty billion still tucked away when just one thousandth of that is more than enough for a life-time of personal security, makes no big deal out of giving away twenty billion. Besides, if he did not, somebody would probably do more than mash a cream pie in his face and I certainly would not use Windows.

    The point I was trying to make is that nothing can be manufactured or marketed if generations before had not built the infrastructure that allows us to do so. If Bill Gates had to pay for every step of the way, he would not get past his desk plan, let alone be rolling in billions Billionairs use all that hard effort virtually for free - even hire tax lawers to seek every loophole. The basic fact is that we all stand on the shoulders of the giants that preceeeded us. From this moral standpoiunt, everything belongs equally to all. The money he is giving to heal the sick is not getting to the root of the problem of what ails us. As humane and necessary as it is for us to care for the ill, the problem is growing exponentially, so all we are doing is applying a bandaid to a patient that is rapidly hemmoraging to death.

    I made a lot of other important points about the underlying moral implications of a fixed capitalistic mind-set as well - especially the over-riding problem about the sustainability of an inefficient economic system that has left more than half the world not only unemployed, but starving to death as well. The idea that what happens abroad has nothing to do with us is hogwash. We make big bucks out there. The buck stops where-ever the buck makes a profit. People are starving in Africa not because they are lazy or stupid - but because agri-business has put their small-holdings out of business, leaving then without collateral to make loans and start up anew.

    I would be intersted to see how you and anybody else answers each and every question I posed, not just a selected few. I think when you look at the economic problem from a global perspective, and take a little more time thinking it out, you might be in for a shake up and your current indoctrinated view might well undergo a drastic change. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Investment is a gamble. There was a time when we invested purely to advance a necessary technology. We knew and trusted the men who asked us for it. Now it is mainly a numbers racket for millions who simply do it for a quick turn-over, and could careless what the product is - even if the profit might be devastating for somebody on the other side of the globe. So the question is, is the gamble still moral? As far as I am concerned, the globe is a temple floor and I am concerned and angry enough to throw the traders out.


    Yes and that is what was said about the Abomb too - and via that logic initiated an insane arms race. You have not stated what you feel about the expense incurred by your neighbor who lost out on the deal. In a fair trade both should profit.

    Man is not innately lazy. We are several millions years removed from the ape. Most of that time was spent working without the idea of the profit motive. 600 generations of toiling in the soil during the Bronze Age has has imprinted a sound work-ethic in our genes. Try and loll around the house and let the rest of the family do the work and see how your conscience pricks you - or should. I personally do not need a carrot dangled in front of my nose in order to get up and do something that ensures my survival and that of my family. Nor should anybody else.

    Nobody suggested it was not real. If it is not artificial,(ie. man-made) why was it not around during the Stone, Bronze and half the Iron Ages?

    We're splitting hairs here.

    The effort was made to ensure equality. Our ancestors both worked and fought for it. They would turn over in their graves if they saw the paychecks corporate execs are taking home today.

    You ducked the question by asking another. There is another alternative. Show me that you are serious and answer the question honestly then we'll talk.

    Too flip for my taste.

    Hmm. dare I answer that? Don't you believe everything can be improved upon?

    Has it not struck you that I did not pose all these very serious questions without having pondered on all the answers myself? I believe that there is a viable alternative, and am willing to post it - but as the old adage goes, never cast pearls......

    [quote[ All just my own opinions of course.[/quote]

    I am afraid I have found all your opinions to be off the mark. If you are truly interested you might try again
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Investing in a family is a gamble. However the potential payoff well outweighs potential losses.

    Investing in one's eduction and health is a gamble, however the same applies as above.

    Capitalism is neither good nor bad. It just is a means by which to run business. How it is used is a different matter.

    Communism is neither good nor bad. It just is a means by which to run a society. How it is used is a different matter.

    Socialism, I take exception to. The propensity for losing sight of the original goal of equalizing all citizens, for the darker robotisizing society to the conformity of the select few, is high, and very tempting as history shows.

    There is a town in Michigan called Dearborn. Prior to 1900 it was called Springfield and Springwells (just a farm community outside of Detroit). Then an entrepeneur from the community named Henry, met up with a buddy of his named Thomas, and another one named Alexander. With the three of them tossing ideas together and wanting to give something to America (a dream), Henry finally came up with his plan. He wanted to build something every American could afford, that would last, and he believed in paying his employees a decent wage, and insisted that they live in decent housing, have decent schools for the children, and provide a product to society that each employee could be proud of, and each American would respect and want. It was the Model-T. And from 1905 to 1917, Henry Ford's Model-Ts mobilized America. Ford employees earned an unprecidented $5.00 a day, and lived in sturdy brick and stone and western framed houses. Underneath the Rotunda/Rouge plant Thomas Edison created a DC powerplant to act as the city's backup in case General Electric's power grid failed. And Alexander Bell outfitted Detroit with instant communication.

    Henry Ford did not manage the finances (he was the dreamer), but had one hell of an accountant who understood capital investment both in the company and the community. Sure, there were issues (with unions, and the Pinkertons), but the original concept and design worked nearly flawlessly, and Detroit and Dearborn blossomed.

    Detroit became Motor Capital of the World, and Ford Motor Company put the US on wheels.

    Ford Motor Company built Fordson HighSchool in 1927 (top rated Technical High school until the 1990s), Later, Edsel Ford and Dearborn High were built (for accelerated Academics). Colleges and Univerty were built, Hospitals were built, and small businesses bloomed until Detroit itself reached 2,000,000 strong in population. Before Eisenhower ever came up with his Interstate freeway system, Michigan had intricate paved highway roads and traffic signals. Michigan Avenue (which runs from Detroit to Chicago) was nothing but a mud rut and wood planks. By 1920, it was a 525 mile concrete ribbon that linked the two cities.

    A family could by a Ford Model-T for $500.00 (half a year's wage), on a loan through Ford, with 1/4 % interest.

    The Dodge Brothers, Chrysler, Cadillac, Studebaker, AMC, Nash, and other car companies came along later, but Ford paved the way, not only for a reliable and quality product, but for giving back to society in ways the other companies never achieved. And Ford never told the governments how to run their offices. He was opinionated, but emphasized that point.

    He did not put up with Unions, however. He hated them. He considered them a blight. He wanted his employees loyal to him and his/their company. In return, his company was to be loyal to the people, the society and the community.

    And for awhile, his dream was realized...

    No, capitalism in not an immoral economic principle. But Pariahs must be watched out for by society, and dreamers and entrepeneurs.

    I will point out a crudety but a truism Magnetman. One drop of pure water cannot clear a cesspool, however one drop of excrement can ruin a pool of pure water...

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    I appreciate your respect for ancestral effort. Capitalism, like colonialism certainly served its purpose in establishing a New World Order in the American wilderness - as it did in all other European colonies. And men like Henry Ford were pioneer entrepreneurs to be admired. Without them and the exploitative economic system that financed their efforts, none of us would be enjoying the technological advantages that we do today. But there has been a huge destructive price to pay for it. There is a massive clean-up job waiting to be done - together with a doubling of the mouths to feed, educate, clothe, house and motivate, during each succeeding twenty five years of the 21st Century.

    In this thread I am exploring the massive global realities that are facing us in the "New Age" (the one that so many seem seem to think is simply a hippie fad) I am asking you and others whether or not it is time for massive social and spiritual change. In order to do so, many sacred cows will have to be sacrificed. Change never comes easy and it is natural for people to dig their heels in and refuse to budge on past principle, no matter how obvious or urgent the need to move on may be. We have lost scores of civilizations in the past because of that all-to-human reluctance to let go of old tried and true customs and face the unknown dangers of an entirely new paradigm.

    Our ancestors in all past Ages had to burn their totems, guillotine their kings, let go of animism and shamanism, challenge their sacred scriptures and so on, and go through the trauma of of four distinct past Ages of mass change. We are facing a 5th such mass shift today. I spent 35 years in Africa. Seven years in the Middle and Far East. Two years in Europe and 20 years here in America. That has given me a global perspective. There is no more room left for making a profit in it. Its resources are finite, while the population keeps doubling.

    Globalism is not just a buzz word. It is a reality that is already upon us. The world has become a single business - a family business. The 21st Century will require an entire new global philosophy to make all our cultures work together to steward the family estate harmoniously. In order to find common ground I have taken another look at basic family values - which are common the world over. The central ethic in family values revolves around meticulous sharing. I have come to believe that unless we return to that basic human value, nothing but increasing resistence and terrorism faces us.

    I am asking some very serious questions here, which require some very thoughtful answers. Money is the root of all our evils. That old adage has never been more true than it is right now. Every single social contract today, even just saying Good morning to your boss, is tainted by thoughts and dreams about money. We have lost our essential humanity to it. Our kids are raised on it - their dreams are focused on it. The artificial boundaries of ownership make us suspicious of our neighbors. We call them names like greaser and ******. The money we are paying to police and protect our accumulated hordes of cash, and sending our armies out to grab the last reserves of fuel, has already bankrupted the next generation. Poorer nations wish us dead. These are the realities I am trying to address.

    I have seen your posts and I respect the way you are moderating our discourses. But do us both a favor - try and look at each question I have put before you from a global perspective and not from narrow nationalism, and see if you can give some original and constructive feed back. Though I was born in Africa, my kids are Americans, born and raised in this country. It took courage for me to stand up and publically question our national values. I am asking the same from you. Quoting the same old platitudes that I was brought up with together with you, is not helpful and leaves me trying to figure out the way into the future alone.
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Thank you for your kindness, however you did miss my point. Three men, with dreams, from literally the same location on earth, in less than a decade, changed the world (most think for the better). Without those three, you and I would not be debating and discussing from such great distances intantaneously. Others would not be able to view our discussions/debates, while they transpire.

    And I will ask you the same thing. Look at my point of view, instead of trying to answer it before I present it. You may be older and "wiser", but I've been around the "world block" a time or six as well in my "young" life.

    Capitalism for example, is my back yard. I strongly suspect it is not yours.

    No one takes kindly to being told to shut up (no matter how intelligently and politely it is presented), especially those who have lived "intensely" in this life...

    Perhaps, you would do well to remember that, yourself, sir.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    Excuse me if I sounded rude or patronizing. That was not my intent. It would be pointless of me to chase away anybody interested enough to engage in this conversation. In fact I was ratrher looking forward to a more comprehensive reply from you. I have read over what I said and can't quite see what upset you. However I have always said the the written word is a two edged sword and suffers badly from interpretation. I, Brian also accused me of being rude. A point of view that I again did not share. Perhaps it is my in-bred English abruptness. I have found that at times to be misread us unkindness, when it is nothing of the sort.

    But you are wrong about me being unfamilair with capitalism. The colonial histories of South Africa, Australia. New Zealand and Canada are all linked to the same economic principles that America is. My family went through fourteen generations of capitalism in South Africa. In fact I was a businessman chasing millions for twenty years and made and lost same several times. I only listed my global experience in order to give some credence as to why I am so concerned, not to put you down in any way. How would I know where you have travelled? I heard all you had to say about Henry Ford and agreed with all of it. So too with Edison, the Wright Brothers and an endless list of other much-admired American pioneers who made the modern world the marvel it is today. All of that business was ethically conducted at the time, with the wellfare of the nation at heart. I never disagreed with that. It is the future of Capitalism and the damage that it is now doing elsewhere that bothers me.

    As an American citizen with eight kids born and bred here, I believe I am as much a part of our economic system as you are, and have the same constitutional right to express my opinion and question our ethics if I think they are on the wrong track. Especially if I feel it puts my children's future in jeopardy. If you could be a little more specific as to exactly what I said that offended you, perhaps we can patch that up and go forward from there.:) :confused:
     
  12. didymus

    didymus Well-Known Member

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    I think capitalism is a good thing if not taken to the extreme. Unfortuanately in this country I think it is. We live in a society so engrossed and saturated with marketing schemes and advertising that we can't see the forest for the trees. A good example is the billions of dollars spent on advertising to the public utilizing psychology that we aren't aware of. I do feel that I am above these tactics and that they don't affect me greatly, they're more of an annoyance than anything. I mute commercials and thank God for DVR's. I tape shows and fast foward through advertisements. Just because I'm not vulnerable doesn't mean that the other millions of viewers aren't. Therefore tThey actually think that they need to drink Coke to be cool and get a girl or they have to have a certain tv etc.

    And how about credit card company's, this is the grossest violation towards a nation so deep in debt that it could be the ultimate downfall for everyone. I think that the average american is $9,000 in debt to credit card companies. This doesn't inclue other debt either.These companies could care less about you or your financial situation. The government doesn't do diddley to stop it either and they really should because it is completely out of control. I receive 7-10 solicitations a week filled with blank checks. On the other side of the offer lies the reality, APR 25%:mad: .
     
  13. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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  14. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Capitalism has been run down a lot. It is easy to take a shallow view of it and blame it for the troubles of the world. But I see no other system that is as fair as it is. There are problems with everything- most of which goes back to human nature.

    But what other system has as it's fundemental core the idea that one man does not own another?

    Yes, cultures that have called themselves capitalist have had slaves. That is a let down of the principal and capitalist countries are not the only one that have had slavery.

    You can have a society that is capitalist without slavery. Indeed I would say that it is not a true capitalist society unless all men are free. But no other system other than capitalism preaches that no one should have control over another's wealth or the product of his mind and/or labor.

    I am not against doing good for your fellow man. In fact I encourage it. I am against forcing people to do "good" for their "fellow man." Capitalism does not prevent anyone from giving their wealth to another. It merely states that no person can come along and take it with some self- rightous excuse. You want to help people- great! We will not stop you. But if you want someone else to be forced to help others, then you do not respect their right to make decisions and are treating them like a slave.

    Some people have taken the task that there are some great threats to us all that force us to limit the freedoms of capitalism. That scare tactic has been used by every tyranny since they started recording those types of things. The same people I see protesting (rightly) any move to limit our freedom of speech in the name of fighting terrorism will then turn around and say that we all must be forced to sacrifice what we have to save humanity.

    Part of the problem is that when people really do have a threat like that, some parts are sacrificed to save the group. Who does the choosing? I admire people who would sacrifice for others. But when a mob comes to my door saying that I have been choosen as the sacrifice.....

    Again, others can sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They can't morally force others to sacrifice for them.

    So, can anyone else point out any other system that treats people as anything other than as a slave to be sacrificed if needed with the excuse of it being "for the greater good"?

    Don't get me wrong though. As with social issues there needs to be fundamental regulation to ensure equal opportunity. I also think the government should pay for the expanses of children because they cannot use the capitalistic system (public school, group homes, ect.). But after the fundamentals it becomes like an authorian regime on economic issues. Liberty works the best.
     
  15. suanni

    suanni Confused

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    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. I don't know what kind of society you live in MagnetMan but the company I keep don't value each other by what is in their bank balance, they are evaluated by the person they are and grasping, greedy money servers aren't liked. We can't live without some currency. And currency is currency whether its £s, $s or 2 goats for a horse. Its still the same thing, a value.
    And the type of capitalism you describe combines 2 of the 7 deadly sins, greed and avarice. It is the avarice driving the greed, envy of another's riches and greed because you don't really need it.
    I'm in agreement with didymus that much of the greed/avarice is created by the hidden psychology in advertising. Much of the produce/products that people buy they don't really want but they are convinced by clever marketting campaigns that they really need them.
    If you speak of the big corporations like Walmart, it is the consumer that is in the driving seat. Big corporations rise and fall at the will of the consumer and it isn't just poorer country farmers that are feeling the pinch. The farmers in my country, the UK are feeling the pinch as massive supermarkets underprice their produce on a daily basis.
     
  16. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    MagnetMan, I may have not traveled the world over like you have but I have been to a few countries that has the poverty you are referring too. I have been to India a lot and have seen poverty and living conditions that would make anyone puke. India, although rapidly growing in economy and living conditions, is still one of the most malnutritioned regions in the world.

    You cannot however say capitalism is the problem. Without capitalism India wouldn't be rapidly growing at an ever so rapid rate.

    In regards to the rest of the world, well think about it! Is capitalism really the reason why some nations can do better than others or is there another explanation? Remember I advocated a World Government. So what is the useless concept that I refer too? Nationalism. America with its big bucks won't help some of these starving nations not because of capitalism. It has to do with the whole "us and them" mentality.

    Think about it. If poverty was as bad as it is in Africa in a US state what would the US do? Most likely it would lend federal aid to help those states. Would the US do the same thing to the rest of the world? Not really.

    Imagine if we lived in a global federal republic. If Nigeria needed economic aid the government can take money out of the federal reserve and help them without taking away the capitalist system. That is the change we need. We don't need economic change, we need social change. We need to get rid of the whole "us and them" mentality and treat all humanity how we treat fellow Americans.

    No system in this world is evil. Liberty is not evil. Only people who abuse liberty are "evil". However why do the rest of the population has to suffer when another person abuses liberty.

    This not only applies to economic liberty. I bet you are a big supporter of civil rights and freedom of speech. These are great rights all people have. However some people can abuse it and spread hate toward a particular race which may lead to many racists. Does that mean we have to replace freedom of speech with regulated government-controlled speech? Of course not! There will always be those certain people that will abuse liberty but these small minorities can't make it bad for the rest of us.

    I find it rather extreme you talk about the market system of the past as being better than the one we have today. Back in the day when everyone used to live on their own land, farm, and live the simple life, seems like the best and only way people should live. It isn't that bad unless you consider it was the tyranny of the Bourgeoisie. Yes it was except instead of the bourgeoisie going after mere profit, it used its military to go after the entire rival feudal power.

    Yes I refer to the old feudal economic system. Feudalism and communism may seem like opposites (one is rule by the Bourgeoisie and the other by the Proletariat) but there are many similarities between the two. For one most of the population were given all they need to survive and there was no real money problems. However these economic systems always lead to trouble. Feudalism treated rival feadal powers in most cases like dogs. Communism could never work and has lead to more crimes against humanity than any other ideology. Pure socialism is very similar to communism.

    So where am I getting at? Market economy is the only moral system (whether laizze-faire or regulated). It is the only system where one class does not have tyranny over the other despite there being classes. It is often thought that the Bourgeoisie have all the power in the capitalist system but this is far from the truth. Both the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat have power over each other. If the Bourgeoisie don't supply the Proletariat with a decent wage and hours they will get no workers and thus no profit. If the Proletariat doesn't compromise with the Bourgeoisie he has no job. Of course one can say the Bourgeoisie can hire other employees, the same goes with the Proletariat looking for other Bourgeoisie to work for.

    Capitalism protects all because it follow the "Supply and Demand" curve. The advertising of the Bourgeoisie cannot mislead the public for long. For example if a company sells a product that claims to give muscle but in fact produces fat, the company will go out of business because they didn't supply the demand the people wanted. In a way people do control business. Especially today in the age of science and medicine where we can be advised on who are the tricksters.

    Capitalism is a whole series of checks and balances, sort of like our republic system of government. There is no other known way out of it. Government can however regulate capitalism to ensure equal oppurtunity and like I stated in my last post, protection for children.
     
  17. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    I appreciate the sincerity of both of you as appologists for the capitalist system. But you are only repeating arguments that my family has heard for fourteen generations.

    Few people realize that the Dutch East India Company was the first Capitalst corporation to be formed more than three Centuries ago. One of its first business ventures was to establsih a European colony at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, as a victualing way-station for its ships travelling around the Cape to India. South African capitalism predates America by at least a century.

    On top of that, during the first half of the 20th Century, when the Gold Standard underpinned world commerce, it was the gold mines of South Africa that provided that base of stable exchange and not the dollar. The Anglo-American corporation in Johannesburg is one of the richest in the world (De Beers diamonds is a small subsidery) and I worked for it for a couple of years as a diamond prospector in the late 1950's.

    So let us agree that I know as much about the history of capitalism and its subsequent development as you do. And also share the respect for what it has done over the past three centuries for human development. This being so, then at the very least you should respect that I have sincere concerns when I question an economic policy that was initially designed for nation building during the colonial era, and ask - not only if it has become corrupted by it's own power (in the same way all other economic systems have throughout history) but also if it is capable of dealing with the exponential factors of deminshing finite resources and the population demands of a whole new world order in the 21st century. When I made this post, that challenged America's most sacred icon, I suspected that there would be some startled backlash. The same thing happened to Galileo at the end of the Iron Age.

    Is the the reason why you will not do that is because you feel it would be disloyal and unpatriotic? Which is understandable up to a point. But if our ancestors had been to afraid to step off a known platform and peer into the void, then where would we be now? Common, ask me a few honest questions? I promise you, hellfire will not yawn and it can only make you a bit wiser.
     
  18. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    No offence, but you seem a bit too assuming here. It seems like you are saying that anyone who supports capitalism hasn't "asked enough questions" or really pondered the "evil truth" about capitalism.

    I stated in my posts that I believe that I am against blind nationalism and more of a humanationalist. In other words I have no fear of being unpatriotic or disloyal because I don't view myself as a citizen of America. Rather, I view myself as a citizen of the world. I never look at only the interests of our country and it is rather rude to assume that. Especially with someone who is for a one world government.

    You still haven't showed us how all capitalists have used the free market system to exploit others. I know my father and myself would not do this. My father for example has been a proletariat that worked his way up to a bourgeoisie. He treats his customers with a lot of respect. If you are calling him "an evil capitalist" then you know little about the bourgeoisie. There are probably some bourgeoisie that abuse their employees. At least in a capitalistic system the proletariat can find work elsewhere and a more nicer bourgeoisie.

    Where as in pure socialism or communism the only provider is the government monopoly. Is that not tyranny? You may trust the government with our money but I view the government like any other business if they go into the business of the means of production.

    Look at communism as a whole and look how much more damage it has caused than even radical capitalism. Stalinism wasn't the fairest representation of communism but Stalin new without iron fist policies people would start making profits illegally. As a result he killed 20 million people. When Mao took communism he made it far closer to the Marx's vision and in turned out to cause the greatest mass death of all time. Over 30 million people were killed under Mao.

    Pol Pot took it a step further. He was pretty close to exactly what Marx wanted. But because he could not keep the system going he killed 2 million people. Unlike Stalin, his intentions were probably better. But this didn't stop the genocide which was a result to the fear that a capitalist may make a profit.

    What alternative do you have in mind? If you wanted like it was in the old days we should perhaps return to a feudal economic system. Is that what you want?
     
  19. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

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    It is encouraging to see you trying to gain more prespective by remaining on the subject. Perhaps I am assuming too much. But based on your previous comments, which refute all the questions originally posed without fully explaining why you did so, and lecturing me on how uninformed I am instead, (presumptuous on your part) you cannot blame me too much.

    I am very glad to hear that we are on the same track as regards one world government. That gives us a common base to work from. Rudeness has never been my intent. It is undiplomatic and serves no constructive purpose. Children engage and accuse each other of rudeness in the playground, not adults. To become a citizen of the world one must live and work and worship for at least a year amidst a culture entirely different to one's own - and try to see your own culture through their eyes. Tourism helps but rarely gives one a clear picture of ourselves. For instance: My wife is an Iraqi-born American citizen. Can you honestly claim to have any real idea of how differently she and our children view the pros and cons of American Capitalism and our war in her ancestral country?

    Shall we begin with the history of slavery - and the modern farming out of mass production for cheap labor - not to mention the myriad covert operations of our CIA in supplying arms to keep capitalism viable in undeveloped countries no matter how many conscientious objectors are murdered in the process - and work our way towards a consensus of opinion from there?

    I am sure both you and your father are nice people. So are the vast majority of people in America. It is our ignorance of what is actually happening in the world beyond our shores (domestically as well) and continuing to support it without making extensive investigations into the morality of our position that is "evil". Why do you think perfectly sane young people are resorting to strap bombs to their bodies to blow us up? Does the label of terrorist assuage your conscience? Have you read the pleas for forgiveness in their last letters to their parents, hoping that via their supreme sacrice, things might change for the better for their familes?. Are they really insane fanatics? Or are they really martyrs? What do you think their families think of them and of us?

    The government is always us - the students, workers and retirees - in any system. If we shoot ourselves in the foot or allow ourselves to be tyrannized by the bullies and the greedy among us it is our own fault. Representative government. whether it be via a congress or by party bosses - has always been subject to corruption and always will be. The real government is of the self - the control of our personal appetites and our care for each other. When we all do that conscientiously, we become self-policed and need no vast bureaucracy to pass laws and oversee our imprinted instinct to excel at everything we do.

    Like I said, if you do not have the courage to challenge and stand up against the bully in the playground, you deserve what you get. The millions who died defying Stalin and Moa and Pol POt are all heros. The rest need to seriously examine their courage and ask themselves if ignorance of what their government was doing behind their backs is any excuse.

    Now we have come at last to the questions I have waited for all along. I have searched for three decades to find that exact answer. I am certain that I have it. But first I want to see how thoughtfully you respond to this post. Giving away something for nothing is worth nothing.;)
     

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