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Author Topic: why capitalism is unsustainable  (Read 18831 times)
MAM
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« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2014, 09:44:46 PM »

Love, have you heard of Post Civ?
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« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2014, 08:06:22 AM »

Money is used to make more money

Money is actually used to lead people. Its just money. But its also a great resource to make ventures that will lead people (give them work). It also motivates entrepreneurs, the people that lead the world.

There is also nothing wrong with resources running out, in capitalism nothing is a problem. A problem means profit when you solve the problem. If resources mattered, we would all die when they run'd out, and they would run out if it wasn't for capitalism.

Also, money is limited, but wealth is not. If someone has a net worth of 100 million he might only have 5m$ cash. The rest of his wealth is in his property etc. If we had no property, we limit the amount of wealth someone can have, therefore we limit the GDP. If we limit the GDP, we limit innovation.

Someone said something about the sun dying. In anything other than capitalism its gonna be a day everyone dies. In capitalism its gonna be a day we solve a problem. Who is gonna do it? The people that want the useless resource - money.

Money is the best invention human kind has ever had.

I said that one day the sun would die, to show him how his idea of sustainability didn't allow for anything to be sustainable.

Let me add something.

In free market capitalism, resources are measured in how much do they cost so if they're hard to find, hard to extract or scarce  his price will inevitably rise so its use will start to slow down, but... big enterprises arent stupid, if they extract resources they know better than no one how much are left and they  can predict easily if its going to run out or not.

 So they will have to put all their efforts to find a sustitute, and the more important is that resource is more investigated to find alternatives, all because their survival depends to find a subtitute BEFORE the resource becomes rarer.

 So you have rational self-regulation and strong impulse in I+D to solve the same problem. Goverment, will fix prices and use force to maintain the prices of those resources even if they become rarer to find, and when they cant maintain that lie prices explodes and everybody loses.
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FreeBornAngel
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« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2015, 02:26:38 PM »

How did I miss all those replies?

Anyway, if we continue to do the work that fills the shelves and don't pay at the register we eliminate the money masters but still have full shelves.

We have to have workers we don't have to have dollars.

We would need a way to insure that you have produced more than you have consumed.

How that would be measured is open to debate.
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« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2015, 12:57:38 PM »

How did I miss all those replies?

Anyway, if we continue to do the work that fills the shelves and don't pay at the register we eliminate the money masters but still have full shelves.

We have to have workers we don't have to have dollars.

We would need a way to insure that you have produced more than you have consumed.

How that would be measured is open to debate.


It's true that strictly speaking, we don't have to have a medium of exchange, i.e. dollars.  But what we really don't need are United States Federal Reserve Notes.  The private production of money is not only possible, but desirable to avoid government interference in the market economy. 

I realize you have some idea akin to mutual aid, wherein workers just produce a bunch of stuff anyway, and people are free to take what they need, but such charitable ventures don't really work on any large scale.  Being charitable to friends, neighbors and family is nice as long as you have the means to be charitable, but being charitable to strangers is a much more expensive and riskier option. 

Why should anyone want to work harder than they have to in order to supply their own needs?  It is here that a market comes into play.  People provide goods and services to other people because other people return the favor in goods and services.  Barter.  And yet, barter produces certain problems in the exchange of heterogeneous goods and services that limits exchanges and productivity.  A particular commodity used as a medium of exchange, i.e. money, solves these problems in barter, and allows more people to get what they need and want.  Money facilitates the development of the market so that greater production and distribution of goods and services can be achieved.  Money, or rather, money prices, help provide important decentralized information to tell producers what to produce and how much to produce, so that there is a more efficient allocation of resources, and what people truly want is better satisfied by the market. 

This is better than any democratic decision-making process, because on the market people "vote" with their own money, their own productivity--you don't have to worry about people consuming more than they produce unless you're specifically offering credit or loans to someone, and then it's your business to decide who is a good credit risk and who is not.

People can always *say* that they want such-and-such, but human desires are infinite, and greatly exceed our ability to meet them.  A soccer mom might want a Maserati, but even if she's not excited about her mini-van or SUV, she still appreciates its ability to efficiently move the kids and other stuff around when needed, something the Maserati can't do.
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« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2015, 06:37:17 PM »

It's true that strictly speaking, we don't have to have a medium of exchange, i.e. dollars.
Thank you very much, you wouldn't believe the amount of denial I have encountered to this simple fact.

Quote
The private production of money is not only possible, but desirable to avoid government interference in the market economy.
How is what you are advocating any different than the wage slavery we experience to the fed today?
The only difference that I see is that instead of the fed exploiting those that have no money it is you.
Does exchanging one central master of the world for a local master change the fact that the rich are still exploiting the poor?
What you advocate is merely the change from one global master to you being master locally. 
The only exploitation you end is the level above your's,....you leave intact the exploitation that benefits you.

Quote
Why should anyone want to work harder than they have to in order to supply their own needs?
My question exactly.
Your answer, to make ME rich.
Why should I have to work Saturdays so that you can drive a Mercedes?
As I said above, you only wish to change the master over you.
If I have no money then I am still your wage slave.

My proposal ends that, as it ends poverty, prostitution, human trafficking and drugs being pushed to children or any body else.

It also will end dirty energy. 
If your car spews noxious gas for me to breathe that is a personal attack on me.
Without profits to bribe the greedy thugs that prefer violently controlling his neighbors to legitimate production we can respond that attack in kind.

Quote
It is here that a market comes into play,....blah blah blah
When you take the time to read the modern anarchist authors you will note that they are without exception anti-crapitalist.

Quote
People can always *say* that they want such-and-such, but human desires are infinite, and greatly exceed our ability to meet them.
Just as the demand for Iphones are met, so too will any demand for maseratis,...etc,....
Demand can easily be made up from the 1000's of unemployed managerial cogs of the crapitalists.
The secretaries, the accountants, the lawyers, and their support staffs will all be free to make whatever goods are in demand.
Without profits and crowd control to affect production I would assume that robots will be made to do most of the manufacturing/drudgery.

Please take the time to read some Kropotkin, Goldman, and Bakunin.

Once you have read why anarchists are anti-crapitalists maybe you will join us in properly using the term.



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MAM
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« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2015, 12:03:12 PM »

"How is what you are advocating any different than the wage slavery we experience to the fed today?"

You have to work, period. Wage slavery is flawed.
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« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2015, 07:25:53 PM »

We don't have to have dollars, we do have to have workers.

Money makes 0 pairs of shoes per hour, money loads ZERO trucks per hour, investment banksters live from a level of unawareness that is truly stupefying,.....do I need to continue?

I will if I have to,....

Hasn't anybody on this board read Proudhon or Kropotkin?

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/author
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« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2016, 08:23:29 PM »

People can and do live without money at all.  Your belief that anyone is a wage slave is just ignorant.  People can choose to spend less money to the point that they begin to save money.

No one here is advocating some rich bank guy controlling the money supply.  Your insistence on that being our stance is just ignorant yet again.  This whole thread is full of ignorant comments that really can't be defended because they are not what we advocate anyway.   You are looking at the world as it is now, mixed economies, and assuming it is capitalism.  No one with a basic understanding of economics calls what we have capitalism.  Your biased ignorance leads to an unending argument when really you should be over at mises.org learning economics.   

... you have completely failed to read anything on this forum.  I would suggest you reconsider your stance against ancap because you have a completely fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism, and anarchy. 
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« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2016, 12:17:41 PM »

We don't have to have dollars, we do have to have workers.

Money makes 0 pairs of shoes per hour, money loads ZERO trucks per hour, investment banksters live from a level of unawareness that is truly stupefying,.....do I need to continue?

I will if I have to,....

Hasn't anybody on this board read Proudhon or Kropotkin?

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/author

I've tried to explain money to you, but you don't seem to get it.  Without a halfway decent understanding of what money is, you're doomed to continue with your economic fallacies.  In itself, there's nothing bad about money; no inherent slavery or coercion is involved.  It's only when the government decides to monopolize the production of money that it becomes a problem. 

You need to read more about money.  The current Wikipedia article actually isn't too bad as a starting point, although I'll see if I can find a more authoritative source to refer to as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money

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« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2016, 01:58:54 PM »

Here's some more links on money.  Concentrate on the basics of what money is, don't worry too much about M1, M2, and other technical crap. 

http://www.shmoop.com/money-banking/economic-definition.html

http://www.economicswebinstitute.org/glossary/money.htm

http://economics.about.com/cs/studentresources/f/money.htm

I drew from multiple sources so you wouldn't think I was selecting for bias, but as you can see, the basic definitions of money are pretty well agreed upon:  medium of exchange, medium of account, store of value.

Some talk about barter and the double coincidence of wants problem, which money solved.  The Wiki article also notes that historically, money is an 'emergent market phenomenon'.  In other words, governments didn't create money; it was created by people voluntarily agreeing to use some commodity as a medium of indirect exchange.  This is obvious when you see that a wide variety of things were used as money: eggs, seashells, etc.  Nobody forced people to accept the idea of money in general; it made market transactions easier for everyone.  But the features that make a better money eventually led to the use of precious metals like gold and silver as a preferable form of money for most people.  The development of money substitutes like a gold certificate, where instead of gold, you got a piece of paper that represented some amount of gold, was a banking development. 

Here's an article that talks about Ludwig von Mises' view on money:

https://mises.org/library/mises-basics-money

Still basic, but quite interesting.  It included references that can be followed up on.  Mises was always concerned with the bigger picture, how things fit together. 

I'm going to look up Proudhon and Kropotkin on money to see if I can address those issues, as well.
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« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2016, 02:18:19 PM »

As near as I can make out, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Proudhon basically just wanted to replace current money with another form of money, "labor money" or "labor notes". 

http://libcom.org/forums/theory/proudhons-labour-money-05122009

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_%28economic_theory%29

Naturally, if that's the case, he would not really have gotten rid of money, just changed its form.

Found an interesting debate between Proudhon and Bastiat:

https://bastiatinstitute.liberty.me/bastiat-debates-proudhon-14-paper-money/

http://praxeology.net/FB-PJP-DOI-Appx.htm

They provide interesting, technical issues to consider, although well above the basics of money.  Primarily the argument seems to have been about interest.



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« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2016, 03:26:31 PM »

I couldn't find anything short and specific on Kropotkin and money, so I've been forced to take a broader look at his work and views.  But geez, why could he not write something short and to the point?  He actually says several things that an ancap can agree with, although he ultimately comes to some mistaken conclusions that are startlingly similar to modern liberals and leftists.

I'll follow up with another reply after I've done more research.
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« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2016, 09:07:02 PM »

As I said, I had trouble finding anything too specific about Kropotkin and money.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but in addition to abolishing the state, he apparently wanted to abolish private property, and he fully supported mutual aid.  His work, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902) had some interesting things in it.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/kropotkin-peter/1902/mutual-aid/index.htm

It was primarily intended to be a response to the Social Darwinists of the time who mis-used Darwin's theory of evolution to justify the political and economic status quo of their time.  And I do mean "mis-used", because it was an improper application of a scientific theory on the development of life to the socio-political structures of mankind.  Kropotkin didn't try to argue against it in that way, however.  Instead, he thought that undue attention had been given to competition (not that he thought it was entirely wrong), at the expense of the cooperative aspects of life.  "Mutual aid" was, in this book, primarily a generic term for cooperative behavior among men. 

While he was certainly right about this, what he may not have seen is how much cooperative behavior exists in capitalism, as well.  It is perhaps, not given enough stress, but whenever someone talks about division of labor and voluntary exchange, they are certainly talking about cooperative behavior, as well. Finished goods don't just appear on store shelves by magic.  It takes many people cooperating, from the people who gather the raw resources, to people who develop and provide the tools for working those resources, to people who distribute them to retail outlets, not to mention the people who transport the resources and goods at the various stages to the necessary locations.  Leonard Read's essay, "I, Pencil" http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html, attests to the extensive cooperation necessary to produce a pencil. 

Kropotkin spends a lot of time showing examples of mutual aid throughout the history of mankind, to show that without the State, people still organize spontaneously to solve various social problems and provide certain social functions.  But Frederich Hayek also talks much about spontaneous order, arguing that market economies *are* a spontaneous order. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_order

Most ancaps take it as a given that without a State, people would still find ways to voluntarily organize and deal with various social functions. 

Kropotkin's examples of mutual aid tend to be matters of common or customary behaviors and habits, even specifying examples of medieval common or customary law.  He mentions Iceland and its medieval legal system at one point, as an example.  David Friedman wrote much more extensively about Medieval Iceland and its legal system in the essay: PRIVATE CREATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF LAW: A HISTORICAL CASE.

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Iceland/Iceland.html

Certainly, as an ancap, I think it is inevitable that without the State, society would switch to some form of common or customary law.  Furthermore, I don't think that this conflicts with capitalism as I know it.  With examples like Merchant Law and modern private arbitration and mediation services existing smack dab in the middle of businesses and business operations, it seems to me that "mutual aid" as Kropotkin called it, is really complementary to capitalism, not hostile towards it.  Private Defense Agencies, or PDA's as many ancaps refer to them, may well be for-profit businesses, but they would have to rely extensively upon common or customary legal procedures to successfully operate their businesses. 

Charles Rembar is no libertarian, as far as I know, but his book "The Law of the Land", http://www.amazon.com/The-Law-Land-Evolution-System/dp/0671243225, is an interesting history of the Anglo-American legal system, and spends some time on common law, and how the "King's Law" was greatly increased at the expense of common law as part of the monarchy's power struggles with English barons. 

Bruce Benson's, "The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State", http://www.amazon.com/The-Enterprise-Law-Justice-Without/dp/1598130447, is, in my opinion, an excellent book that details how private common and customary institutions can provide law without the state, and contrasts it with the current authorian legal system and how it works.  He has much to say about incentives, institutions, and customary legal systems.

Another thing Kropotkin may not have seen is that money itself is a good example of spontaneous order and mutual aid.  Money, a medium of exchange, resolved the problems of barter, allowed for greater trade among people, and also provided other social functions as a means of accounting and a store of value.  The State didn't create money; it merely appropriated its social functions as it did the other social functions that mutual aid had been providing, as Kropotkin pointed out. 

So you can see that there are several things that ancaps can agree with Kropotkin about, and hopefully you can see where Kropotkin's own statements and arguments can be used to defend capitalism, even if he couldn't. 

What I haven't found yet in Kropotkin's works is why he was anti-capitalist, although I may eventually come across it.  I certainly hope it's more than simply mistaking the existing government-manipulated, mixed socialist/crony-capitalist system as being "capitalism".  Many leftists think that capitalism can't work without government, but as you *should* already know, ancaps tend to argue that capitalism would work better (that is, for the betterment of humanity) without government interference. 

One problem I see with mutual aid, and why I think it is complementary to capitalism, is that it seems limited in how much it can do.  Can we agree that people willingly help other people in times of need or distress, especially if they are people we know, like family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and the like? If so, we can then ask questions that relate to the limitations of mutual aid.  How willing are people to help complete strangers, even strangers in distress, people that they know little or nothing about?  As a modern example, look at the current backlash against Syrian refugees, a backlash that is occurring not just in the U.S., but in many countries. 

A second question is this: if mutual aid is primarily to help people in extreme or uncommon situations, how much help are people willing to provide in the more ordinary or common situations?  Perhaps you have had the experience of a friend or relative who lost their home or job and needed a place to stay, "just temporarily".  You may have been glad to let them stay at first, but if the days turn into weeks or months, and they still haven't gotten back on their feet, how long are you willing to put with them being freeloaders, contributing little or nothing to your household? At what point do you say you can't help them any more?

Finally, mutual aid doesn't really seem to be an economic system of its own, as it provides little guidance for resource allocation, determining where goods and services are most urgently needed or desired.  This is, on the other hand, one of the things that capitalistic markets are good at doing.  Voluntary exchange is, of course, non-coercive, and therefore non-oppressive.  Division of labor creates an interconnecting network of voluntary exchanges, even among complete strangers, allowing people to help other people be more productive (mutual aid).  Concentration of capital allows us to invest in ways to make people even more productive.  Financial institutions provide better ways of managing exchanges and to borrow capital so that it can be reinvested in improving productivity.

So as I see it, there's not really too much overlap between Kropotkin's mutual aid and capitalism as I see it; they are complementary, each working in areas where the other doesn't work very well.  Kropotkin should have been an anarcho-capitalist, not an anarcho-communist.    Tongue
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« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2016, 04:55:25 PM »


And yet if societies knew only this principle of equality; if each man practiced merely the equity of a trader, taking care all day long not to give others anything more than he was receiving from them, society would die of it. The very principle of equality itself would disappear from our relations. For, if it is to be maintained, something grander, more lovely, more vigorous than mere equity must perpetually find a place in life. And this greater than justice is here.

Kropotkin, from Anarchist Morality (1897)


It's hard to see why Kropotkin would be hostile towards trades of equal value, but more importantly, it shows a mistake or misunderstanding that Kropotkin has made about trade.  To illustrate, suppose that I had a Hank Aaron baseball card and you had a Roger Staubach football card (I suppose that's showing my age, but bear with me).  If you and I decide to trade cards, it might seem like an even trade, especially to non-sports fans, a sports card for a sports card.

But Austrian economics and the concept of subjective value show that this is *not* an even trade.  If I liked the Hank Aaron card equally as much as I liked the Roger Staubach card, I would have a hard time deciding to go ahead with the trade, as there would be no benefit to me for doing so.  However, if I like the Roger Staubach card MORE than I like the Hank Aaron card, then it's obvious that I would want to trade.  I would be gaining a greater value than I would be giving away, at least from my subjective viewpoint.

But it takes two to trade, and you would only agree to trade if you value the Hank Aaron card more than you value the Roger Staubach card.  So while it might seem like an even trade, in fact it is not, because we each value what the other person has more than what we have; we each benefit from the trade.  If we did not, then we would not make the trade.

So Kropotkin's view that trade makes people no better off than they were is clearly fallacious.   


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