Is Capitalism Making Life Better?

Discussion in 'Activist Polls' started by TheoreticalShovenist, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. This Video:

    -Seems to debunk the myth that a rising standard of living provides adequate justification for a particular political/economic system. As, (to make an analogy), the rising standards of living in Stalinist Russia were astronomical; in a period of 10 years, Russia was transformed from a largely agrarian peasant-based society to an industrial economy. However, this was done through the use of: coercion, terror, slave labor, murder, secret police, and state-propaganda.

    (See the video for additional examples)

    If a rising standards of living are the necessary and sufficient conditions for justifying one's economic system, then capitalism AND Stalinism are justified.

    I doubt very much that any rational person would consider both economic systems to be justified.

    Thoughts anyone?
  2. cloud7

    cloud7 Member

    in america we don't have true capitalism anymore, we have government run by corporations

    capitalism in it's truest sense can be very good, but when the large players have the power to knock out any competition by just throwing legal threats and accusations around the small players cannot get in the game.

    for example monster audio products will sue any company with "monster" in it's name, regardless of whether it's monster mini golf, or that now small toy manufacturers have to spend huge amounts for lead testing on each toy, however one of the biggest companies (that did have problems with lead that spurred the new law) got an exception to the law for a few years
  3. zombiewolf

    zombiewolf Senior Member

    Chomsky is the man!

  4. Capitalism is vital for business. Money needs to be made. So in theory, a capitalist world cannot be a bad thing, as long as we something to buy and sell.

    But, of course, it's not so black and white. Greed comes into play, and improper use of resources and various monopolizing situations. Our carbon footprint for example, it is going through the roof due to selfish bastard who monopolize their market (shell), over price their product and pollute the planet.

    But governments like the tax benefits, and although capitalism can happen with a greener, or more consumer friendly society, the chances of change are little to none with such a huge degree of business already set up in such a fashion.

    So it should, for everybody, but it doesn't.
  5. Giancarlo

    Giancarlo Member

    A capitalist system, with some oversight of course, is a very good system. It's not perfect... but who says humans are perfect? Of course there will be some abuse in any system... but just do a comparative analysis.

    You'd really think socialism or communism are better systems? While there is some risk for monopolies in certain circumstances in capitalism, this can be easily broken up.

    The system works pretty well for most, but some will feel left out. But guess what? That's the case with every system. And I'm pretty socialism and communism do far more damage to far more people. For example, take the case of the AT&T break-up in 1984.

    Costs versus benefits analysis must be applied here... a sort of utilitarian approach must be used. What system provides the greatest amount of benefit, and the least amount of harm? Capitalism.
  6. sunfighter

    sunfighter Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    In America, more and more people are doubting capitalism, since it has worked so poorly for the last fifteen or twenty years. Only the rich are getting ahead, for the most part. The system seems rigged by the undue influence of big corporations on the government.

    I can't wait to see Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story".
  7. Giancarlo

    Giancarlo Member

    Michael Moore's movie is rather a poor one, doing the typical blame game. It also suggests a fallacy in the end. Moore suggests we replace capitalism with democracy. Such an idea makes zero sense. Democracy isn't an economic system. Moore is a stooge with no understanding of economics.
    mike1957 likes this.
  8. zombiewolf

    zombiewolf Senior Member

    Capitalism will eventually ruin everything.
    And I'm pretty sure there's not a goddamn thing we can do about it. :eek:

    We're fucking doomed...

  9. Giancarlo

    Giancarlo Member

    I'm pretty sure capitalism will save us.
  10. I don't support large corporations doing as they have done. I don't support a goverement which allows corporations to own so much of the wealth, when so many people live with the poverty bracket.

    I understand that the need for a monetary standard is required for exchange of goods, so in that sense I'm pro-capitalism... but like all idiologies, capitalism in practice isn't all it promises to be. Like someone earlier said, where there is capital, there is greed, and where there is greed, there is exploitation.

    I think that looking at this as if there are only two economic standards is the first mistake. There are thousands of Social Engineers devising thousands of other systems.

    All I'm saying is that I believe there is good to be taken away from capitalism, but those good things, those which add value to community and people as a whole, need to be taken and worked with, and start by changing some of the millions of variables, opposed to seeing the model as such a rigid definate.

    We're a species still working towards social equilibrium, and as such, need to build from the mistakes we have made. This is just one of them, over a long line of other mistakes, which have shaped us into what we now are.

    It's time to move forward...

    That's what I think anyway - Lol.

  11. Capitalism...depression.

    There is no free will. We have no free will. It's either kill or be killed. We are not free, we are slaves to this system. I am a slave to the system...after high school I went straight to University, because I thought it would be a great educational experience. Turns out that isn't the main focus of these institutions (little did I know). Just put up with a bunch of bullshit and go in debt for four years until they throw you the little piece of paper that you paid thousands of dollars for, and then hope to get a half-decent job.

    I've been working my ass of studying all day and all night and working part time, commuting back and forth to school, head aches, fatigue, frustration, and I suppose it will be worth it some day...but I'm telling you I feel like a slave. I feel pressured into this, because a college education is supposed to enable one to climb up the corporate ladder in life. I just don't want to have to worry about how I'm going to pay my mortgage, or how I'm going to afford groceries. For me, and/or my future children.
  12. sunfighter

    sunfighter Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Capitalism isn't all it's cracked up to be. But I think it's extremely important for people to know how it's supposed to work, because it often leads to the simplest, best solution.

    For instance, take U.S. energy policy. It's incredibly fucked up, almost completely written by lobbyists from the polluters. Huge amounts of corporate welfare are given to these wealthy corporations by the poor taxpayers, for no good reason.

    Even though I'm basically a progressive who strongly favors renewable energy, I think the best U.S. energy policy would be to repeal every single one of the subsidies and tax breaks and limited liability laws. Enforce strong environmental laws, level the playing field, create free markets, and let capitalism go to work. If nuclear energy comes out on top, so be it. That would be a far better system than what we have now. I think capitalism would work well in this situation.
  13. gEo_tehaD_returns

    gEo_tehaD_returns Senior Member

    I didn't know Michael Moore was making a new movie until I found this thread. Even so, based on the little information i have, I'm guessing Michael was referring to the fact that our current form of capitalism keeps our "democracy" from actually being a democracy since corporations are calling the shots rather than the masses. I think what he's trying to say is that we have to push capitalism out in order to put political power back where it belongs.

    You seem to be looking no further than textbook definitions of these systems and ignoring the deeper realities of and connections between the two. Yes, capitalism refers to an economic system and democracy refers to a political system, but that does not mean that each does not have consequences for the other.

  14. But also we have to bear in mind that the fact that capitalism as it stands in the USA and UK (and other leading westernised countries) isn't just pure capitalism. The fact that the Corporation call a lot of shots within the US legal system cannot be blamed on Capitalism alone. Capitalism only provided the framework for this to be come a reality.

    Capitalism offers one of the most comprehensive platforms on which to build a funtioning democracy (idealistically speaking). Unfortunately this is not the case right now. I see no power in the people.

    Also, capitalism is not only a economic system, it is a social system... but yeh.

    I dislike Michael Moore. It's not that some of what he says is not necessarily true, but he likes to use half truths. He's as bad as the goverement but fighting for the other team. Besides, there's a huge underlying hypocracy in '"Capitalism: A Love story"... Brought to you by Paramount©'

  15. gEo_tehaD_returns

    gEo_tehaD_returns Senior Member

    I can dig all that except for one thing:

    What do you mean by this exactly? Do you mean it is the most stable basis on which to build a democracy? Do you mean that it has more characteristics that make it compatible with democracy than other monetary (and social:cool:) systems? The meaning of the word "comprehensive" in this context is just so vague.
  16. def zeppelin

    def zeppelin All connected

    Its creates a society that is comfortable; it doesn't create a society that is happy.

    Even then, the comfort isn't all that great, definitely not worth the trade-off.
  17. lillallyloukins

    lillallyloukins ⓑⓐⓡⓑⓐⓡⓘⓐⓝ

    nature is based on exploitation and co-operation... capitalism is based on exploitation only... it is a monster out of control and will consume everything unless it finds some kind of balancing principles... i don't believe we are necessarily doomed... balance will find a way, and that could mean that capitalism will ultimately fall, one way or another.... there is one thing you can be certain of, and that is change...
  18. makihiko

    makihiko Official hippie since 2005

    I think so too!

    but if it doesn't...well the world will be a used up wasteland...

    I'm sure everything will be fine.........
  19. larryelkhart

    larryelkhart Member

    This answer may too simplistic but here goes. Capitalism=Freedom. Socialism, Facism, etc=Slavery. The only way humanity can really be free is when we control our own money. When a society tells us how to spend our money, then we are slaves. No one has a right to your money, but you. The government does not have a right to it, your neighbors don't have a right to it, just you. Only with a capitalist society do you have the freedom to fail or succeed.
  20. boguskyle

    boguskyle kyleboguesque

    The title and the poll question are not the same imo. The standard of living cannot be attained by either socialism nor capitalism. period.
    As for the title question, no, capitalism is not making life better. technology being restrained, the rich getting richer and vice versa, corporatocracy being the actual government, and fascist politic notions do not make life better. They may have made things better from England when America started, but it of course became corrupt.

    fundamentally, i prefer a socialistic society because i hate how there will always be the poor ruining some things, and how there will always be the rich ruining way more things than the poor. Also on government officials, I do not believe government officials should be average businessmen as many constitutionalists would say. The Founding Fathers even said that, and I wholeheartedly disagree because 1, the "average" man is never ever a government official. and 2, business will be merged with the government as most people will know because all of the government officials are businessmen! It makes a whole new frontier of business competition by using wars, and exploding buildings. everyday people's concerns mean nothing. In addition, i despise the fact that everything is money orientated. that in itself destroys the standard of life immensely.

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