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Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby dealing with it on Tue Aug 23, 2022 12:05 am

Regardless of whether Communism is a good alternative, is Marx’s criticism of capitalism on point? And, the secondary question, is there any value to Communism as an alternative?

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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Sepokku on Sat Sep 03, 2022 10:32 am

Yes and yes. Think Star Trek

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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Remæus on Tue Oct 04, 2022 2:43 pm

Marx's critique is based almost exclusively (if not entirely) on his racism, centered around anti-semitism:

Karl Marx wrote:What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.…. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.


He was a sad, broken man, angry at the world (mostly the Jews) for his own inability to provide for himself. If you think the above quotation is bad, just read some of his letters to Engels!

Aside from the racism, his arguments bear further weakness in that they only recognize monetary capital, with severe neglect for the (arguably) more important forms; human capital, intellectual capital, natural capital, social capital, etc. — all of which have been applied to great effect in lifting millions out of poverty, improving quality of life, etc.

Most of the critiques of "capitalism" are complaints about monetary capital, rather than the monopoly on money that the Government maintains through violence. The "violence of capitalism" is indeed a red herring, a complaint better bandied towards those who would restrict your right to produce goods & services for the market.

Communism, on the other hand, has been attempted numerous times, with each and every attempt resulting in death, despair, and suffering. Equality of opportunity is the natural order; equality of outcome (dividing up resources and dividing them equally) is unnatural and therefore inevitably results in negative effects.

I yearn for a day when capitalism can be realized; a world free from the tyranny imposed upon us by the State, running rich in the expression of our freedom through the abundance of choice offered in a robust, competitive market, and absent the dregs seeking nothing but to extract value from those who produce it.
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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.25 INK Postby VindicatedPurpose on Sun Oct 09, 2022 11:37 am

CW: rape, murder

Remæus wrote:Marx's critique is based almost exclusively (if not entirely) on his racism, centered around anti-semitism:

Karl Marx wrote:What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.…. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.


He was a sad, broken man, angry at the world (mostly the Jews) for his own inability to provide for himself. If you think the above quotation is bad, just read some of his letters to Engels!


I don't know. I feel like that's a bit of an ad-hominem even if, at the same time, it might be difficult to parse out Marx's actual arguments against capitalism from his anti-Semitism.

Remæus wrote:Aside from the racism, his arguments bear further weakness in that they only recognize monetary capital, with severe neglect for the (arguably) more important forms; human capital, intellectual capital, natural capital, social capital, etc. — all of which have been applied to great effect in lifting millions out of poverty, improving quality of life, etc.


Sure, we can say that Marx's critique fails to address the various forms of capital. Could someone clarify whether he was aware of these forms of capital during his lifetime, or did we coin them in retrospect?

However, when you say that all these forms of capital have been applied to great effect in lifting millions out of poverty, improving quality of life, I guess my issue is how do we really know for sure that they've been a great benefit to society?

For example, is it the quantification? We've lifted millions out of poverty even though we have almost 8 billion people on this planet. And who are the people being lifted out of poverty? Is it divided along racial lines, i.e. is it just white people being raised out of poverty? Or gendered lines, is it just men?

Then we have questions like, how does one measure quality of life? Is it a universal thing or a more cultural and therefore relative?

What metrics are we using, and whose are they, i.e. what stakes, if any, does the measurer have in this? Is there a conflict of interest there?

Remæus wrote:Most of the critiques of "capitalism" are complaints about monetary capital, rather than the monopoly on money that the Government maintains through violence. The "violence of capitalism" is indeed a red herring, a complaint better bandied towards those who would restrict your right to produce goods & services for the market.


I don't know.

There's a lot of examples of the free market enabling a kind of violence that doesn't get seen as violence because people are unwilling to make the connection.

For example, Mexico started the maquiladora policies in the 1960s, but when NAFTA became a thing, the maquiladoras expanded around the US-Mexico border zone. You had women entering the workforce then. During the 1990s, a string of femicides occurred in Ciudad Juárez with very few convictions. These were hundreds of women being raped and murdered.

The context for these included women traveling to work in the dead of night because they were working odd-hours shifts to bus stops in the middle of nowhere and being abducted and murdered.

Not just women but girls as well.

Teenage girls who had to work in the maquiladoras because they needed to support their families.

Furthermore, once on the job, women faced sexual harassment from male managerial staff.

Injuries on the job and aforementioned harassment were not reported, obviously due to low regulations.

Also, just a note, maquiladoras were often run by foreign companies, an effect of globalization combined with capital.

Over and over we have seen the forces of capital overreach in their greed, and it is the people at the bottom who have to pay the price often with their lives, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Hawk's nest disaster, the Bhopal disaster, etc.

How many examples, and I'm genuinely curious, does it take for us to see the connection between capitalism's valuation of capital combined with its devaluation of humans? Because if we're going to talk in quantities, then I would like to know.

Remæus wrote:Communism, on the other hand, has been attempted numerous times, with each and every attempt resulting in death, despair, and suffering. Equality of opportunity is the natural order; equality of outcome (dividing up resources and dividing them equally) is unnatural and therefore inevitably results in negative effects.


I mean, yes, based on our examples in history of communism, I don't think it's any better.

Remæus wrote:Equality of opportunity is the natural order


However, when you make this statement, unless you are God...

Remæus wrote:I yearn for a day when capitalism can be realized; a world free from the tyranny imposed upon us by the State, running rich in the expression of our freedom through the abundance of choice offered in a robust, competitive market, and absent the dregs seeking nothing but to extract value from those who produce it.


I don't know. It seems as though the system enables the dregs, who then tie themselves to the system.

Dwit, you're familiar with Derrida's 10 plagues of capitalism?

Derrida wrote:1. Employment has undergone a change of kind, i.e. underemployment, and requires "another concept".
2. Deportation of immigrants. Reinforcement of territories in a world of supposed freedom of movement. As in, Fortress Europe and in the number of new walls and barriers being erected around the world, in effect multiplying the "fallen" Berlin Wall manifold.
3. Economic war. Both between countries and between international trade blocs: United States - Japan - Europe.
4. Contradictions of the free market. The undecidable conflicts between protectionism and free trade. The unstoppable flow of illegal drugs, arms, etc.
5. Foreign debt. In effect the basis for mass starvation and demoralisation for developing countries. Often the loans benefiting only a small elite, for luxury items, e.g., cars, air conditioning etc. but being paid back by poorer workers.
6. The arms trade. The inability to control to any meaningful extent trade within the biggest ‘black market’
7. Spread of nuclear weapons. The restriction of nuclear capacity can no longer be maintained by leading states since it is only knowledge and cannot be contained.
8. Inter-ethnic wars. The phantom of mythic national identities fueling tension in semi-developed countries.
9. Phantom-states within organised crime. In particular the non-democratic power gained by drug cartels.
10. International law and its institutions. The hypocrisy of such statutes in the face of unilateral aggression on the part of the economically dominant states. International law is mainly exercised against the weaker nations.
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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby dealing with it on Sun Oct 16, 2022 5:45 pm

No, I’m not that familiar with Derrida. What is your opinion on the ten plagues? Do you think it’s a fair critique?

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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby VindicatedPurpose on Mon Oct 24, 2022 9:56 am

Yes, I do think it is a fair critique, but I would like to know if you think it's a fair critique.

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Re: Capitalism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby dealing with it on Sun Nov 13, 2022 8:22 pm

VindicatedPurpose,
Derrida wrote:1. Employment has undergone a change of kind, i.e. underemployment, and requires "another concept".

There shouldn't be such a thing as "underemployment". With increasing automation, there should be less work all around, and more leisure time.
Derrida wrote:2. Deportation of immigrants. Reinforcement of territories in a world of supposed freedom of movement. As in, Fortress Europe and in the number of new walls and barriers being erected around the world, in effect multiplying the "fallen" Berlin Wall manifold.

I'm not sure how immigrants are treated. It's not my lane to defend.
Derrida wrote:3. Economic war. Both between countries and between international trade blocs: United States - Japan - Europe.

China is treated very poorly on the global market. In my bioinformatics class, I learned that we don't even share genomic data with China. They have their own databases.
Derrida wrote:4. Contradictions of the free market. The undecidable conflicts between protectionism and free trade. The unstoppable flow of illegal drugs, arms, etc.

Yes, the free market is dictated by the wealthy capitalists, and is not necessarily dogmatic when it comes to principles of fairness.
Derrida wrote:5. Foreign debt. In effect the basis for mass starvation and demoralisation for developing countries. Often the loans benefiting only a small elite, for luxury items, e.g., cars, air conditioning etc. but being paid back by poorer workers.

Agreed.
Derrida wrote:6. The arms trade. The inability to control to any meaningful extent trade within the biggest ‘black market’

It's not always a black market, but it is certainly uncontrollable.
Derrida wrote:7. Spread of nuclear weapons. The restriction of nuclear capacity can no longer be maintained by leading states since it is only knowledge and cannot be contained.

There was a kid a few years back who built a nuclear reactor in his mom's garden shed. Nearly blew up his neighbourhood. He wasn't even particularly bright. He just knew how to read a book.
Derrida wrote:8. Inter-ethnic wars. The phantom of mythic national identities fueling tension in semi-developed countries.

I don't think this is the fault of capitalists. Nationalism is an old breeding ground for hate.
Derrida wrote:9. Phantom-states within organised crime. In particular the non-democratic power gained by drug cartels.

I don't think that we have meaningful democracy outside of organized crime. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) had a functioning democracy that did not involve the polarization of voting policies. They worked on issues until they reached consensus: they understood that if something was worth doing, it was worth taking the time to do it right. They have a non-capitalist, and also non-Marxist, view of society and law.

The non-democratic power of drug cartels are a sad parody of what our oligarchs represent.
Derrida wrote:10. International law and its institutions. The hypocrisy of such statutes in the face of unilateral aggression on the part of the economically dominant states. International law is mainly exercised against the weaker nations.

More evidence that what we have is not a democracy. People are not held as more important than profits. Maybe the Haudenosaunee's "Greet Law of Peace" (https://web.pdx.edu/~caskeym/iroquois_web/html/greatlaw.html) would be a healthy alternative.

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