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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Capitalism
    #26809540 - 07/07/20 05:34 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

In capitalism, entrepreneurship is the highest good.

If a system’s values are centered around something so crass and meaningless as entrepreneurship, that system is, despite its monetary gains, a very, very poor one.

That’s just imo.

The whole premise of defending capitalist societies is that, well, maybe it’s not so great, but it’s the best thing humans have come up with so far. First of all, humans didn’t come up with it. It evolved in Europe over hundreds of years, being formed out of feudalist economies between the 13th and 16th centuries (which then led to the Industrial Revolution, further transforming it). Many lifetimes and millions of individuals don’t “come up” with things. Secondly, there are a number of societies in the anthropological record whose inequities and inequalities were not nearly as sharp as they are in modern capitalism. We just don’t have access to their circumstances today.

So what would you say? Is there an alternative in today’s world? Even the more socialist societies of Europe are essentially capitalist, although I would say in a much more civilized way. Is their model a good one?

Can we expect radical change? My thinking is no, we can’t. So it might be nice if we got our shit together and created a somewhat more equitable society, and perhaps one that does not elect Trumps to political office. I’m not holding my breath.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26809553 - 07/07/20 05:45 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

did they not trade at markets in china and india
the whole silk road thing is about trade
is trade not the rudiment of capitalism

make or grow or catch stuff and bring it to market and sell it.

it's fundamental

probably goes back before writing.


--------------------


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OfflineThe Blind Ass
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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26809572 - 07/07/20 05:53 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

Definitely before writing. 

China’s got it.  Even N. Korea has open trading markets.

For real change to occur it will likely take place incrementally and very slowly - over a long period of time.


--------------------
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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26809574 - 07/07/20 05:56 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

But with capitalism, you have those with enough capital to invest in certain businesses. If their investment is a good one, they have no responsibility to anyone -- their own employees, society, the government, the poor -- to compensate them at all, for any reason. Publicly traded companies become a thing, so you get people who hoard stock, or manipulate markets, arbitrage, what have you -- the little guy, and really the middle guy, never see any of this. And the act of making as much money as possible, and ruthlessly outperforming your competitors, become good things.

The logical outcome of such a system is what we have today: a tiny plutocracy with more money than several small nations. And everyone else to pick up the crumbs, and the system is failing.

So capitalism is not simply synonymous with the word "trade." It is in fact far more ultra-materialistic than almost every economic system to come before it. Communism would be the one exception.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26809898 - 07/07/20 08:50 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

rapacious behavior in the capitalist framework has to be walled off legally.


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26809909 - 07/07/20 08:56 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

We can make the Mexicans pay for it.


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Invisiblelaughingdog
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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines] * 1
    #26809929 - 07/07/20 09:12 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

If anyone really gets into the topic they may end up researching:

slavery, colonialism
consumerism
invention of Department stores, shopping centers, then malls
franchises
when production out paced population
corporations as legal entities
corporate ownership of the media
the invention of credit
planned obsolescence
Patenting of life
bankruptcy law
mass production, factories, assembly line, Henry Ford, automation
branding,  brand awareness

A good place to start: This shit didn't just happen -- some of it was very deliberate:
the inventor of public relations: Edward Bernays (Freud’s Nephew)
& responsible for convincing women to smoke, in one media event ! ! !
his books are available free on the web & good documentaries about him are on Youtube


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Invisiblelaughingdog
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26809988 - 07/07/20 10:26 PM (1 month, 7 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
....Can we expect radical change? My thinking is no, we can’t......




What is the latest? perhaps prisons for profit, or their privatization?
Non stick cookware that is known to be toxic, for sale?
The same chemical is used on 'glide' dental floss that goes in the mouth.
How about 'spent' uranium bullets & agent orange to poison the troops, we supposedly honor?
The list of self sabotaging, short sighted, corrupt, & greedy endeavors has finally culminated in acid oceans, climate change, pollution, Fuckashima, Chernobyl, & un-preparedness for pandemics, while fostering virus evolution in wet markets, factory farms, and bushmeat.
We already had oil spills, multiple continuous wars, cyber war, nuclear stockpiles, genocide, militarization of space, monster camps for displaced persons in Africa, an off and on ozone hole, urbanization of populations together with monster slums in India & Brazil, silly contradictory religions, poor education, over use of pesticides, and organized crime, & human trafficking & a huge extinction event for wildlife & antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals, covid-19, & fools disobeying sensible protocols ....

So yes you are correct, it is no longer fixable...if it ever was.

And yes this partial list addresses none of the deeper causes, that Buddhism, yoga, psychology, and shamanism/psychedelics may attempt to address -- but which they have never addressed in a way that made possible long term profound change for an ever growing number of people to a degree that enabled positive change on a societal level.

So since the fuckups are now starting to interact and reinforce each other in unpredictable ways, (methane, etc.) and the deep causes cannot be effectively addressed, the only conclusion we can draw is that the history of all empires falling, is about to repeat, & as at this point all nations are interdependent, in multiple ways, there maybe no escape. Already they say there may be plastic in us all.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nano+plastic+in+us+all&t=hk&ia=web
scroll down, then  click more results, for the 'better' results


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: Capitalism [Re: laughingdog] * 1
    #26811332 - 07/08/20 04:57 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Indeed, the problems are so complex, widespread and interlocking that, as you have pointed out, all this cannot possibly end well. And it probably won't take too long. This pandemic has exposed a lot of weaknesses inherent in the very core of modern civilization, and as you have pointed out, along with environmental devastation, catastrophic warming of the air and water, acidifying oceans, plastic pollution, etc., etc., etc., we are 100% in for a bumpy ride this century.

And there will probably be more pandemics!

Having a socioeconomic system that is exploitative, ultramaterialistic, inequitable and malfunctioning badly is about the very last thing we need in trying to deal with such complexity. The economic damage alone from this pandemic is going to reverberate for a decade. But, buckle up, there's no turning back, and no other road to turn into, at this point.


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Invisiblepineninja
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Re: Capitalism [Re: laughingdog] * 1
    #26811346 - 07/08/20 05:05 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Quote:

laughingdog said:
Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
....Can we expect radical change? My thinking is no, we can’t......




What is the latest? perhaps prisons for profit, or their privatization?
Non stick cookware that is known to be toxic, for sale?
The same chemical is used on 'glide' dental floss that goes in the mouth.
How about 'spent' uranium bullets & agent orange to poison the troops, we supposedly honor?
The list of self sabotaging, short sighted, corrupt, & greedy endeavors has finally culminated in acid oceans, climate change, pollution, Fuckashima, Chernobyl, & un-preparedness for pandemics, while fostering virus evolution in wet markets, factory farms, and bushmeat.
We already had oil spills, multiple continuous wars, cyber war, nuclear stockpiles, genocide, militarization of space, monster camps for displaced persons in Africa, an off and on ozone hole, urbanization of populations together with monster slums in India & Brazil, silly contradictory religions, poor education, over use of pesticides, and organized crime, & human trafficking & a huge extinction event for wildlife & antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals, covid-19, & fools disobeying sensible protocols ....

So yes you are correct, it is no longer fixable...if it ever was.

And yes this partial list addresses none of the deeper causes, that Buddhism, yoga, psychology, and shamanism/psychedelics may attempt to address -- but which they have never addressed in a way that made possible long term profound change for an ever growing number of people to a degree that enabled positive change on a societal level.

So since the fuckups are now starting to interact and reinforce each other in unpredictable ways, (methane, etc.) and the deep causes cannot be effectively addressed, the only conclusion we can draw is that the history of all empires falling, is about to repeat, & as at this point all nations are interdependent, in multiple ways, there maybe no escape. Already they say there may be plastic in us all.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nano+plastic+in+us+all&t=hk&ia=web
scroll down, then  click more results, for the 'better' results




"Thanks LD, now here's Jim with the weather"


--------------------
Just a fool on the hill.


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Invisiblepineninja
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26811352 - 07/08/20 05:09 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
In capitalism, entrepreneurship is the highest good.

If a system’s values are centered around something so crass and meaningless as entrepreneurship, that system is, despite its monetary gains, a very, very poor one.

That’s just imo.

The whole premise of defending capitalist societies is that, well, maybe it’s not so great, but it’s the best thing humans have come up with so far. First of all, humans didn’t come up with it. It evolved in Europe over hundreds of years, being formed out of feudalist economies between the 13th and 16th centuries (which then led to the Industrial Revolution, further transforming it). Many lifetimes and millions of individuals don’t “come up” with things. Secondly, there are a number of societies in the anthropological record whose inequities and inequalities were not nearly as sharp as they are in modern capitalism. We just don’t have access to their circumstances today.

So what would you say? Is there an alternative in today’s world? Even the more socialist societies of Europe are essentially capitalist, although I would say in a much more civilized way. Is their model a good one?

Can we expect radical change? My thinking is no, we can’t. So it might be nice if we got our shit together and created a somewhat more equitable society, and perhaps one that does not elect Trumps to political office. I’m not holding my breath.




Once the fires have stopped and the rain comes there will be life.


--------------------
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OfflineVahn421
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Re: Capitalism [Re: pineninja] * 1
    #26811880 - 07/08/20 11:48 PM (1 month, 6 days ago)

Capitalism > Socialism > Crony Capitalism > Crony Socialism


The problem with blaming capitalism is that it isn't capitalism that is the source of most of the problems we experience IN capitalism, it's human nature.

Any other system winds up being even worse. Our current capitalist system isn't utopia, it's simply one of the "least worst" models we can come up with, given the nature of humans being liars, cheats and murderers.

The general premise of socialism conveniently omits that these traits exist in all humans.

If we swapped to a socialist system, all the cronies just migrate from "big business" to, "big government." You haven't fixed anything, you've just let them monopolize their power in one place with ZERO checks and balances.

I'll take crony businesses competing over one centralized crony government, thanks.

ETA: Of course we should try to fix the system and weed out the cronies, but we can't be blind-sighted as to where the problem is actually coming from.


--------------------


Edited by Vahn421 (07/08/20 11:50 PM)


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vahn421]
    #26812079 - 07/09/20 04:49 AM (1 month, 6 days ago)

agreed though I would reorder after refining immunity from crony-re-infection.

socialism > capitalism > crony capitalism > crony socialism

socialism just expands the value of human protection already provided by military + police + transportation + sewage/water treatment + courts, to properly include  medical + education + housing + food.

Not having a good solution to social security around medical + education + housing + food is a real deficit in modern capitalist society.


--------------------


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Invisiblelaughingdog
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vahn421]
    #26812354 - 07/09/20 08:35 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

Quote:

Vahn421 said:
....The problem with blaming capitalism is that it isn't capitalism that is the source of most of the problems we experience IN capitalism, it's human nature.




"this was already stated above : "And yes this partial list addresses none of the deeper causes, that Buddhism, yoga, psychology, and shamanism/psychedelics may attempt to address -- but which they have never addressed in a way that made possible long term profound change for an ever growing number of people to a degree that enabled positive change on a societal level."

Quote:

Vahn421 said:
Any other system winds up being even worse. .... Of course we should try to fix the system and weed out the cronies, but we can't be blind-sighted as to where the problem is actually coming from.




again this is theoretical as the phrase "we should try to fix" indicates. Its just a repeat of the mentality that the fable "Belling the Cat" addresses ie. its simply denial masquerading as relevance.

This is what DQ & I are pointing out. (1) all empires fall  (2) this time around for all practical purposes (currently mainly climate change & virus transmission) there is only one human empire (3) the enormous list of other problems + the deep corruption in all governments (both capitalist/corporate/industrial and dictatorships and among constantly waring states in Africa and chaotic states like Venezuela, Libya, Somalia)+ the deep causes being unaddressed make, any idea of any solutions to the downward trend as regards quality of life for the vast majority of humans a total fantasy. And once the technological base and infra structure go, even the very rich (insulated though they may be), will find their lives changed for the worse.


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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InvisibleDividedQuantumM
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vahn421]
    #26812364 - 07/09/20 08:44 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

laughingdog covered it just fine. I am just bringing up capitalism for some conversation. Though the European welfare states are certainly not without their major problems, this is not really the point. Capitalism, socialism, communism -- these are not fundamentals. Our major problems as a global civilization go much deeper than political or economic structures. As ld pointed out, various suggestions of "solutions" involving social or political factors are too little, too late, by any reasonable consideration.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26812420 - 07/09/20 09:22 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

Since all empires fall,
let us build not an empire but an elastic security coalition to promote wellness and wisdom in the world; a safety net that helps us rebound as we fall.

empires are meaningless. roads and cities, universities and healthcare are meaningful additions to food and shelter.


--------------------


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Invisiblepineninja
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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines] * 1
    #26813250 - 07/09/20 04:25 PM (1 month, 5 days ago)

The competition narrative is powerful.

It becomes hard to organise a game if you cant get then to spilt into teams.


--------------------
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Edited by pineninja (07/09/20 04:25 PM)


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Offlineqman
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vahn421] * 1
    #26813788 - 07/09/20 08:56 PM (1 month, 5 days ago)

Quote:

Vahn421 said:
Capitalism > Socialism > Crony Capitalism > Crony Socialism


The problem with blaming capitalism is that it isn't capitalism that is the source of most of the problems we experience IN capitalism, it's human nature.

Any other system winds up being even worse. Our current capitalist system isn't utopia, it's simply one of the "least worst" models we can come up with, given the nature of humans being liars, cheats and murderers.

The general premise of socialism conveniently omits that these traits exist in all humans.

If we swapped to a socialist system, all the cronies just migrate from "big business" to, "big government." You haven't fixed anything, you've just let them monopolize their power in one place with ZERO checks and balances.

I'll take crony businesses competing over one centralized crony government, thanks.

ETA: Of course we should try to fix the system and weed out the cronies, but we can't be blind-sighted as to where the problem is actually coming from.




Crony capitalism is controlled by one centralized government and it's exactly what the US is today. It's called privatizing the gains and socializing the losses. This is why income and wealth inequality is near a 100 year high today. This isn't a good situation at all.


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Invisiblepineninja
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Re: Capitalism [Re: qman]
    #26814185 - 07/10/20 02:47 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

One central government is a ruse by front.
The comtrollers are now diffuse enough to be invisible.

The independent government that you speak of was once bailed out and is now forever indebted.


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OfflineThe Blind Ass
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Re: Capitalism [Re: pineninja]
    #26814231 - 07/10/20 03:58 AM (1 month, 5 days ago)

my government is full of losers :crankey:


--------------------
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Edited by The Blind Ass (07/10/20 04:08 AM)


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Invisiblelaughingdog
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Re: Capitalism [Re: The Blind Ass] * 1
    #26815676 - 07/10/20 05:36 PM (1 month, 4 days ago)

It has nothing much to do with any particular, government, capitalism, empire, communism, socialism, feudalism, or dictatorship. As soon as a population grows too large for members to actually know each other, (as in a tribe whose population just went above Dunbar's number), exploitation begins, which is followed by corruption.

After the hunter gatherer stage generally comes agriculture, a surplus store of grain, followed by exploding birthrate, followed by the beginnings of environmental degradation due to the need to feed even more people, and therefore cultivating more land, and chopping down more trees, and killing off of more of the local wildlife. This is accompanied by crowding & more waste, which is followed by more disease.

Next comes the temptation to conquer one neighbors and get their store of grain, goods, and possibly get their women and turn the men into sacrifices or slaves. (Welcome to your wonderful species with God given rights.)
In order to accomplish this, takeover, we get a soldier class, violence, torture, rape and pillage.

All the rest of civilized garbage from lawyers, taxes, & prisons follows shortly.
Today at around 7 billion unenlightened people, on the planet, all interconnected, with stores of nuclear weapons, on going cyber war, and the whole damn list of disasters, it is anybodies guess, of exactly where or when, the sand castle starts to crumble. Some might say it already did 6 months ago, or after WWII,...not that it matters now.


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26818428 - 07/11/20 11:10 PM (1 month, 3 days ago)

Capitalism is imperfect.  Any human developed system will be. 

BUT, capitalism encourages and maximizes innovation. 

It has given us medical advances, agricultural technology and helped reduce world poverty. 

Just like all things, it has a light and a dark side but I believe it’s better than any systems we’ve come up with so far.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vigilantevendetta]
    #26818724 - 07/12/20 05:00 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

how does capitalism provide medical advances?


--------------------


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26818819 - 07/12/20 07:13 AM (1 month, 3 days ago)

For instance, what company would spend billions developing life saving drugs, medical devices or new treatments with no financial incentive? 

The government *could* step in and act as that surrogate in other types of systems but when have they ever been good at anything?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Vigilantevendetta]
    #26818928 - 07/12/20 08:46 AM (1 month, 2 days ago)

many of the monopolistic capitalist drugs have natural variants that are equally effective but are not approved by the AMA + FDA, so what we have is a system that regulates who may or may not produce or approve the sale and use of drugs, a system of laws and oppressive practices but no clear benefit, only propaganda.

drug propaganda is actually why this site exists.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26819453 - 07/12/20 01:40 PM (1 month, 2 days ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
many of the monopolistic capitalist drugs have natural variants that are equally effective but are not approved by the AMA + FDA, so what we have is a system that regulates who may or may not produce or approve the sale and use of drugs, a system of laws and oppressive practices but no clear benefit, only propaganda.

drug propaganda is actually why this site exists.




Like I said, it’s an imperfect system.  I actually don’t have a nice opinion of pharma even though I started my career there.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum] * 2
    #26833688 - 07/20/20 06:16 AM (26 days, 1 hour ago)

When I imagine myself and others are things that possess other things
and
I judge myself ruthlessly in comparison to others
and
My value depends on the things I posses (whether they be character traits, experiences, objects or people)

Idiotic competition reigns supreme and its never ever ever enough

Striving and striving and striving to be something or get something
for imaginary value

I don't even know how many servants I have (slaves?) sewing my clothes, growing my food, assembling my cell phones

I'll never know their names or see their faces

They work for my imaginary value, for my fleeting pleasures, to entertain and distract myself so I can live in an illusory world.

____

I like to grow plants
they grow themselves
the air grows them the sun grows them the water grows them I grow them

Each one is so unique
alive
beautiful

I like to look at them
There is nothing I could say about looking at them
Magic is the closest I could come, and that word might be very misleading
the whole world is magic
and I feel awe at the magic of this world

along with the awe and beauty and magic
for this human
is despair, cause it doesn't mean anything at all

nothing I can buy will change that


--------------------


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Freedom]
    #26833872 - 07/20/20 09:19 AM (25 days, 22 hours ago)

possession should be redefined to access rights.

that way we can redefine matter, real estate, roadways, markets, factories, mines, farms, transportation, in conjunction with data using fair and equitable terms that respect human rights as well as rights of origination and creation.

it's all about access and authenticity in the request for access.

the next step is to explore the molecular level of this
particularly at the HTTP Get or Post
which is not yet in itself integrated with any localized or international rights brokering system.

we need to create that system to ensure that data is available to whom and to whatever needs or is entitled to it.

that system can also be tied to back end fact checking preventing runaway fake news, and prevention of unauthenticated data into a news feed.


--------------------


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Re: Capitalism [Re: laughingdog] * 1
    #26834282 - 07/20/20 01:19 PM (25 days, 18 hours ago)

Quote:

laughingdog said:

It has nothing much to do with any particular, government, capitalism, empire, communism, socialism, feudalism, or dictatorship. As soon as a population grows too large for members to actually know each other, (as in a tribe whose population just went above Dunbar's number), exploitation begins, which is followed by corruption.





:thumbup:    amen


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26834647 - 07/20/20 05:28 PM (25 days, 14 hours ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
many of the monopolistic capitalist drugs have natural variants that are equally effective but are not approved by the AMA + FDA, so what we have is a system that regulates who may or may not produce or approve the sale and use of drugs, a system of laws and oppressive practices but no clear benefit, only propaganda.

drug propaganda is actually why this site exists.




Sounds like unfair business and government policy. Not the fault of capitalism. Although, I think it's apparent at this point that capitalism can be corrupted like any other system. Monopolies were once frowned upon as a practice of good stewardship. Oppressive practices are inherently anti-capitalist aren't they?


--------------------
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Re: Capitalism [Re: Rahz] * 1
    #26834756 - 07/20/20 06:32 PM (25 days, 13 hours ago)

the creation of offshore factories staffed by slave workers (eg in Bangladesh) in order to provide products to Americans (and Canadians etc.) is oppressive, duplicitous, and flamboyantly capitalist.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26836031 - 07/21/20 12:39 PM (24 days, 18 hours ago)

Clearly no connection there....totally different countries....

Look at the amount of pollution they have...can't even keep their skies clean tsk tsk.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: pineninja]
    #26836293 - 07/21/20 03:10 PM (24 days, 16 hours ago)

maybe they can call the Swedish forest services to sweep the skies.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26845500 - 07/26/20 04:32 AM (20 days, 3 hours ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
how does capitalism provide medical advances?




Something to do with people being greedy and using greed for public gain instead of the Marxist world where nepotism leads to huge class divides.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: GandalfSon]
    #26845568 - 07/26/20 06:25 AM (20 days, 1 hour ago)

i would not trust advances from greed, but I would from careful scientists.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines] * 1
    #26845959 - 07/26/20 11:29 AM (19 days, 20 hours ago)

Admittedly these thoughts have come from my escaping the anger of the world around me and tripping or escaping with other substances. I fully admit these will likely be ill-formed, and I apologize for that upfront.

My stance on society is that having almost any society is a net good for the most people than having no society. This doesn't mean there are no atrocities in society and in fact because of society, but for my ideas to have any grounding, I had to accept that society and the social contract is a good thing.

The issue I grapple with is the exploitation of others for the benefit of the few. I have only grown up in the US, and I have visited a couple of European and Central American countries. Growing up, I would see so many people my age whose parents were either blue-collar folks that had a pension or some solid retirement or were small business owners (either trades or as a doctor or lawyer). Because of the part of the US, I grew up in, conservative values were taught as part of capitalist values. These people that I saw growing up worked often enough where most of my childhood when I visited friends' homes their fathers were all absent at work.

By the time I got to college, I was a full-fledged Libertarian, reading Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, and other Free Market authors. I won't get too into it, but life really, really likes to shake up your beliefs like a hornet's nest, and through a series of events, I experienced large swaths of unemployment, medical bills, and legal headaches. I'll accept my privilege and not that I am nowhere near even a bad case. In fact, I was very lucky, and I was able to escape these potholes without a metric ton of debt to my name.

A lot of my friends and coworkers are not fortunate. At my age, more people are open about it, especially as they near the end of their debt, but these are people in their thirties and forties who were sold the notion that if you go to school, you'll get a degree. If you get a degree, you'll definitely get a job, AND THEN, at least when I was growing up, we were drilled daily to only work jobs you enjoy.  This is great if you enjoy a high-paying job, but unfortunately, that isn't the case. Again, I got lucky and my interests and skills opened a lot of doors for me, but it's a sad fact that for most Americans that never happens. I have a friend who graduated from college the same day I did. He's working three jobs, all having nothing to do with his degree.

With this anecdote in mind, I see prison stats that basically confirm the worst aspect of capitalism: slavery is still alive and legal. Twenty-eight or so states have private prisons, and in four states, they are not required to pay inmates anything whatsoever, yet they are allowed to force them to work. Further, private prisons are prisons that are owned by a private company. They don't do this for the good of society or to help the inmates, but they do it to contract the work out at a good rate for them, then make huge profits when the prison labor costs next to nothing. Then, they pay the county or whomever stocks the prison, usually based on a quota system. In fact, one state's prison industry change the bed count from two to three beds in a 5 x 8 room. Further, there's no attempts to separate non-violent crimes--drugs and abuse, property damage, loitering, or any other crimes that really deserve no jail time--from actual violent offenders. What ends up happening is a system where people make mistakes, get sent  to prison, then leave, but they have no money, and possibly are in debt, and no one will hire them because of their past. They join the recividism cycle, and they become a cog in the prison machine.

This can be extrapolated further with migrants and illegal immigrants who work for pocket change daily. So often, you'll hear from nationalists that we need to toss out all the so-called illegals, but it will never happen because Americans like fast, cheap labor, and Americans won't work for the low wages that migrants and other vulnerable populations are willing to work.

However, it's easy to take the idea that prisoners deserve it because they commited crimes or non-residents want this exploitation and the money is good to them.

Fine.

The US is run by so many billionaires (and multi-billionaires) that many bystanders believe they are one  good day from joining those ranks. For reference, I saw this on reddit, but if you are given $11,000 a day since 1776 to today, you still wouldn't be a billionaire. The fact is the billionaires own several media companies and other methods to reach the public, then they work on santizing their images as well as make them desirable. Reality TV about people who no one would know and who have no offerings to society beyond being rich for being known try to normalize this. Trump is a further extension of this as he tries very hard to "TV-ize" the presidency. I forget the exact exchange, but he announced he would make an announcement about some role, just like a TV show cliffhanger.

There are tons of systemic problems that I didn't even dare to touch in this, and I think that this shows how complicated and embedded capitalist ideals are within America writ large.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Weyland] * 1
    #26846001 - 07/26/20 11:52 AM (19 days, 19 hours ago)

Excellent post. As you imply at the end of it, even though you mentioned a multitude of the dysfunctions inherent in modern capitalist America, you barely even scratched the surface. We could go on and on about its failures.

The thing that really galls me is that most people buy into it totally. I don't know if they give any real thought to it, but they want their nice house with a white fence and a shiny car to drive and short vacations and debt and possibly children -- the American dream. And it just nauseates me.

We place more emphasis on the accomplishments of entrepreneurs in this country than anyone else. Writers, artists, playwrights, scientists, mathematicians, teachers, historians -- these are not especially celebrated positions. And philosophers, or what remains left of such a type of person, are at the bottom of the list, mocked for having their heads in the clouds and not making meaningful contributions to society, as in the form of material products and "hard work."

Some people acknowledge these faults, but reason that, despite them, capitalism is the best system ever devised. Which can be easily shown false with some understanding of history and anthropology. I don't expect much to change, even despite the current crises, but we're as asleep at the wheel as ever as a nation, and all one can do is point it out.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26846115 - 07/26/20 01:11 PM (19 days, 18 hours ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:We place more emphasis on the accomplishments of entrepreneurs in this country than anyone else. Writers, artists, playwrights, scientists, mathematicians, teachers, historians -- these are not especially celebrated positions. And philosophers, or what remains left of such a type of person, are at the bottom of the list, mocked for having their heads in the clouds and not making meaningful contributions to society, as in the form of material products and "hard work."




This stuff bothers me to my core. Humans evolved and became so dominant because of our ability to not only become good at a multitude of things but also because we can recognize where we are weak and give those roles to people where that's their strength.

I do a lot of work with art projects and things like that, and the biggest hindrance I had for a long time was that I couldn't quite figure out how to monetize my work. If I was working on something creative but not for profit, what's the point? Realizing that was kind of liberating.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Weyland]
    #26846419 - 07/26/20 04:32 PM (19 days, 15 hours ago)

Yes well, the arts are not a particularly viable way to make a living these days. On the one hand, our culture is at a low ebb in appreciating serious art and writing, and the film industry is shit these days. It's just all part of our general decline. Given the lack of widespread interest or enthusiasm for high quality work, there's just no money in things like poetry or painting or philosophy or lots of stuff. All the publishers and film studios and art patrons want is the lowest common denominator, to make as much money as they can. Certainly, there is not a one to one relationship between quality and profitability in creative endeavors.

I myself do a lot of writing, a fair amount of which is released in various places. I make next to no money doing it, and I don't know of anyone in my circle that does. John Grisham and Tom Clancy can make a million dollars with a book, but when I look at books like that, I'm glad I didn't write them.

But capitalist culture has decided that art and entertainment are the same, and all these companies care about is money. So to be even an excellent artist, it is a struggle to make a living at it.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Weyland]
    #26846428 - 07/26/20 04:38 PM (19 days, 14 hours ago)



--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26846466 - 07/26/20 05:10 PM (19 days, 14 hours ago)

Quote:

DividedQuantum said:
....

I myself do a lot of writing, a fair amount of which is released in various places. I make next to no money doing it, and I don't know of anyone in my circle that does. ...




.    What sort of subjects do you write about?


--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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Re: Capitalism [Re: laughingdog]
    #26846489 - 07/26/20 05:26 PM (19 days, 14 hours ago)

Lots of poetry, general philosophy, philosophy of mind and consciousness, hunter-gatherers, currently in the process of publishing a book about an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics, and other stuff here and there.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26846570 - 07/26/20 06:35 PM (19 days, 12 hours ago)

Remember to notify the book club.:lookslucrative:


--------------------
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Re: Capitalism [Re: pineninja] * 1
    #26846630 - 07/26/20 07:14 PM (19 days, 12 hours ago)

Will do.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: redgreenvines]
    #26856003 - 07/31/20 06:36 PM (14 days, 12 hours ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
i would not trust advances from greed, but I would from careful scientists.




Who funds the scientists so they have time to be careful? It's a double edged sword no matter which blade you see first.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26856085 - 07/31/20 07:33 PM (14 days, 12 hours ago)

Much of science is funded by government. :shrug:


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26856255 - 07/31/20 08:59 PM (14 days, 10 hours ago)

Quote:

Microsoft's research and development expenditure amounted to around 19.3 billion U.S. dollars in its 2020 fiscal year




Quote:

In the last reported year, Google's parent company spent 26 billion U.S. dollars on R&D across its many properties.




Quote:

Amazon research and development expenses for the twelve months ending March 31, 2020 were $37.329B




Quote:

Social networking company Facebook spent 13.6 billion U.S. dollars on research.





Those 4 companies amount to almost 100 billion in R&D funding last year.

In comparison, the National Science Foundation was given a budget of 8.1 billion last year, a record high. Yes, most "basic" research is performed by the government. Meaning students and professors of universities which gives a disproportionate volume of mostly benign findings. Yet most of the research that gets put to use is completed by companies. Whether that be a tech company or a pharmaceutical company. Some companies do receive government funding and it usually has strings attached.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26856260 - 07/31/20 09:03 PM (14 days, 10 hours ago)

Indeed, most research funding is either corporate or private, and for profit. I was just playing devil's advocate.  :satansmoking:


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26856296 - 07/31/20 09:28 PM (14 days, 10 hours ago)

Since the earliest trading, has there been any system besides capitalism? Doesn't trade itself indicate private property and ownership? Even if not in the same sense that we understand it today.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26856590 - 08/01/20 02:44 AM (14 days, 4 hours ago)

Trade is time spent also.
My time for yours
Doesn't need to be material.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: pineninja]
    #26856598 - 08/01/20 03:07 AM (14 days, 4 hours ago)

We call our system (here - where I am / US) capitalist - but really I have no idea what it actually is, other than being something similar to - yet altogether different from the ideal form of capitalism as was taught in college.  Something about how grand systematic ideals mutate from their original form when implemented by man at large.  I also can’t seem to get the right height & depth needed for a sustained look upon what it actually is.  .

This cup of coffee I drink right now - if I trace back from it, I got some vision of how it came to me & the myriad transactions, toils, and endeavors needed to do so.  I simply picked up the beans from a local grocery store - but there’s a lot more to it’s story than meets the eye.  These dear little beans have been on quite the trip, and all the people that had a hand in it too-  pure joy!


--------------------
Give me Liberty caps - or -  give me death caps


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26856875 - 08/01/20 08:54 AM (13 days, 22 hours ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Since the earliest trading, has there been any system besides capitalism? Doesn't trade itself indicate private property and ownership? Even if not in the same sense that we understand it today.





I noted earlier in the thread:

Quote:

But with capitalism, you have those with enough capital to invest in certain businesses. If their investment is a good one, they have no responsibility to anyone -- their own employees, society, the government, the poor -- to compensate them at all, for any reason. Publicly traded companies become a thing, so you get people who hoard stock, or manipulate markets, arbitrage, what have you -- the little guy, and really the middle guy, never see any of this. And the act of making as much money as possible, and ruthlessly outperforming your competitors, become good things.

The logical outcome of such a system is what we have today: a tiny plutocracy with more money than several small nations. And everyone else to pick up the crumbs, and the system is failing.

So capitalism is not simply synonymous with the word "trade." It is in fact far more ultra-materialistic than almost every economic system to come before it. Communism would be the one exception.





So capitalism requires unlimited resources, and is based on the principle of "enlarging the pie" for all of society (although of course this has seldom applied to the poor). This mindset does not really apply to other forms of trade. Private property is a concept that goes back to the origins of civilization, but capitalism, though private property underlies it at its base, involves a lot more than this, in terms of the evolution of economics over time. For example, private property existed during the Middle Ages, but that was quite far from a capitalist world.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26857202 - 08/01/20 12:17 PM (13 days, 19 hours ago)

so it's like quantum mechanics:
everything reduces to a mysterious relationship between time and gravity.


--------------------


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum] * 2
    #26857226 - 08/01/20 12:29 PM (13 days, 19 hours ago)

I still think capitalism was born in the first trade. And as private property becomes broader and broader, ecompassing more and more, then that ownership emerges under the umbrella of capitalism. And it shifts over time. At one point in American history we had human beings who were private property. Hard to think of that as being in a capitalistic society, but it was. But would you define capitalism around owning a slave?

IMO the idea of private property is the crux of capitalism rather than the specifics of what is owned. We are a complex nest of ownership now but at the end of the day ownership is tied to what one can claim and defend. It always has separation at it's heart. Then and now IMO


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26857540 - 08/01/20 04:46 PM (13 days, 14 hours ago)

Well that's a perfectly valid opinion. On the other hand, we can distinguish capitalism from many other economic systems in history that are related but not the same. I would associate private property and trade as something more generalized to civilization itself than the specific category of capitalism. However, as you point out, capitalism is shaped by history, and so has an unbroken link with the past. So it just depends on how one wants to talk about it.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum] * 1
    #26859119 - 08/02/20 03:10 PM (12 days, 16 hours ago)

Yeah I think I'm into the human nature stuff more than the specific manifestation of said nature. Bad habit in some ways because it's like seeing the forest but not the trees. And if you are looking for solutions to current problems, you're better changing a tree or several than trying to change a forest. Hopefully that wild analogy makes some sense :lol:


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Re: Capitalism [Re: Kickle]
    #26859604 - 08/02/20 07:36 PM (12 days, 11 hours ago)

Sure it makes sense. As long as we are consistent with how we frame our perspective, confusion can be avoided.


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Re: Capitalism [Re: DividedQuantum]
    #26861815 - 08/03/20 11:19 PM (11 days, 8 hours ago)

An example of American capitalism run amok:

"What is Right to Repair? An introduction for curious people."



--------------------
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” or  “Science advances one funeral at a time.”
― Max Planck

"The situation is hopeless, but not serious."

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend,
inside of a dog its too dark to read."


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