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I am shocked to see how many anti-capitalist’s there are these days. Capitalism is quite frankly the great western experiment that has historically been proven to promote technological and social progress through the understanding that hard work and freedom to communicate ideas brings success. The opposite would be forced ideology and mandated work schedules - this has historically brought famine, genocide and mass technological decline.

Let’s keep it clean and post a single question per post so it can be more easily digested.

@aeroplain
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gestures sporadically at everything

EDIT:

@CarlyDawson
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so if you remove capitalism no one starves or freezes ?

@stolenstalin
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I mean, there is currently more than enough food, water, and housing for everyone, so yeah.

@AxG68K
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The main idea of capitalism is the idea that no one is entitled to anything at all. This might seem cold and harsh, but it works well except for the lower band of the population that cannot for physical or perhaps circumstantial reasons meet the requirements. In these cases the government may step in to provide indefinitely or temporarily. There is no guarantee of salary. None. Even if your job is so called secure, there is no natural or governmental law that says your income will always be there. This is pure fantasy no matter how you look at it. One should always plan for the uncertainty of income in any government system. There is also no reason that you cannot step up and become the yellow guy in the pic above. In practice the employer will take care of his most expensive assets very carefully. You - being a hard working and very valuable to whatever it is that you strived to become will reap the benefits. The alternatives to capitalism at first glance seem enticing. In practice they are bloody.

@aeroplain
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The main idea of capitalism is the idea that no one is entitled to anything at all. This might seem cold and harsh, but it works well except for the lower band of the population that cannot for physical or perhaps circumstantial reasons meet the requirements.

Yeah… I think I’d rather live in a society based on mutual aide, but okay.

There is also no reason that you cannot step up and become the yellow guy in the pic above.

lol what?

“When education is not liberating, the dream of the oppressed is to become the oppressor”

@AxG68K
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Don’t understand this quote at all. You are not entitled to high pay no matter how many degrees you have. You must provide a valuable service to society. If you get your PhD in aerospace engineering and you fail to do anything with it, you deserve zero dollars. If you think this way you will be resentful. There is simply no way to get you this amount dollars you think you deserve if there is no mechanism to get it to you. You might need to move to a place that has this particular industry for example. If you however work diligently on the next fuel efficient power plant for passenger and freight airplanes, then you will be rewarded. Careful use of the reward will bring you out of your perceived “oppressed” identity if you want to see the world like this. I don’t find it very helpful or healthy though. I think its a better and healthier way to look at the differences in wealth as a difference in (value contribution to society + Time contribution) vs a patriarchy that is set in stone. As you get older, you will get wiser and contribute more and earn more. How you use these earnings are key in building wealth. There is no right or wrong way to use the earnings you should simply be happy with your choices. If you want to spend them all as they roll in - then that is your choice. Who am I to say that is wrong? What if you drop dead at 40? That would suck. What if you don’t? The choices you make are yours, just be happy with them and change your waypoint if you dont like where you are heading.

@aeroplain
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Don’t understand this quote at all.

The quote is relevant because the phrase “there is also no reason that you cannot step up and become the yellow guy in the pic above” suggests that one should work to become the caricature of a capitalist oppressor as displayed in the comic, instead of overcoming said oppressors.

Careful use of the reward will bring you out of your perceived “oppressed” identity if you want to see the world like this.

I see a world where an employer has the power to decide if a worker lives or dies. Unless there is a labor shortage or unless there is the protection of a union, the employee lacks the power to make demands lest that they be fired (losing the ability to feed themself). In this sense, employment contracts are very much not voluntary.

@AxG68K
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This is not a healthy view of the world. The employer might be a person just like you that has gone through great hurdles to get there. The smaller the employer the more difficult it is for him to be in business and the more he will value your work. To label employers as evil and repressive is a huge mistake. They need you to make the company profitable and keep the cash flow coming in and flowing into everyone’s pockets. The key in life is to pick employment that is compatible with your personality. 60% of small business in the United States is small business - it is not unlikely that you can become one of these employers. It is also true that not everyone has the will to do so - but that does not make them oppressed.

The most healthy view of the world puts responsibility on your own person not the perceived oppressive group. Change your sentence to “I have the power to decide if I live or Die” and see how that works out for you. You need to think of yourself as part of the operation that keeps people living and healthy. This is actually the case also in a capitalist society. I guarantee you will be much happier and positive things will start to happen quickly.

@aeroplain
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The employer might be a person just like you that has gone through great hurdles to get there. The smaller the employer the more difficult it is for him to be in business and the more he will value your work. To label employers as evil and repressive is a huge mistake.

You’re right that it is not a good thing to explicitly label an individual as “good” or “evil” such as how I’ve been doing it. After all, they are just independent actors placed in their position by a larger system. Just because the system is bad does not mean that everyone favored by the system is bad.

The key in life is to pick employment that is compatible with your personality.

What I’ve been trying to say is that as an employee, one may not have the luxury of picking a job that is “compatible with your personality,” or even a job that pays well and treats you with dignity.

As long as workers must compete in a race to the bottom, they won’t have this luxury. As such, the power between employer and employee is imbalanced.

The most healthy view of the world puts responsibility on your own person not the perceived oppressive group. […] You need to think of yourself as part of the operation that keeps people living and healthy. This is actually the case also in a capitalist society. I guarantee you will be much happier and positive things will start to happen quickly.

Think whatever keeps you sane, but, this is not how the world actually is. In reality, exploitation is everywhere.

Change your sentence to “I have the power to decide if I live or Die” and see how that works out for you.

This ain’t it, chief.

@AxG68K
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As long as workers must compete in a race to the bottom, they won’t have this luxury. As such, the power between employer and employee is imbalanced.

Lets take a look at this thought. How does this work? As an employer you got there by knowing more about the business than the average person. If you hire someone then why should they have the same power as you? Employees are like apprentices - they learn with time on the job as long as they dedicate a good amount of energy to it. After a certain time you generally learn more of that industry and end up with different levels of competency. When you have learned enough to climb the corporate hierarchy, then you do so or you leave and start your own business and the cycle repeats. You train people to do something valuable to society.

Hierarchies in business are a natural barrier to prevent incompetence from destroying the business.

@aeroplain
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Well, I prefer the idea of horizontal organization and worker’s cooperatives.

@AxG68K
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Too many chiefs and too few Indians plague large corporations for sure. We cannot take the extreme crap of a concept and demonize it. There must be a hierarchy to corporations, there is just no way to get things done without wasting time with incompetence.

Take a look at Linux - this perfectly flat. Too many ideas going all sorts of places. Yeah its awesome and my main OS, but energy is wasted going in directions that make no sense and fail. Compare that to how Apple handled it’s operating system. There are countless ways to package apps in Linux. What a mess. In OSX - one. And it makes life easy. Not saying Linux should not exist as it does - it has sparked thousands of ideas and companies, just compare it to a mega profitable company that started using virtually the same technology (BSD vs GNU)

To make progress you must lean towards a corporate hierarchy vs a flat organization. Of course going too far is a big problem too - blackberry.

@aeroplain
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Horizontal organization is not when you have no organization.

@AxG68K
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Don’t think you will every be happy if you don’t take the responsibility of your own life in your own hands.

@aeroplain
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I don’t know what you’re asking here.

@AxG68K
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The core concept that the government knows what is best for you and is the only power that can make you happy. I argue the reverse. Sure there are roadblocks, but they are there for a reason. Get over them and you will be happy. The government is in my opinion like a TV repairman - you only call it when you need it. Are there cases where there is injustice - sure.

@aeroplain
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The core concept that the government knows what is best for you and is the only power that can make you happy.

Socialism is a wide concept, but it is not when you have a welfare state (like Norway), nor is it “when the government does stuff.”

@AxG68K
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So define mutual aide? I find capitalism self regulating in this area too. You help society by providing a valuable service or product then society helps you.

Thought Experiment: Say you are a manufacturing worker for a company that makes the hydraulic jaws of life rescue device used to help people. You get paid your part to make that device. The more you contribute to making that device the more you get paid. The people that need the device buy the device and help you.

You work at Starbucks and help people get their morning cup of joe. These people pay you. You help each other. Let me tell you how grateful I was every time I paid for a cup of coffee in the morning when I was on the go!

@aeroplain
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Thought Experiment: Say you are a manufacturing worker for a company that makes the hydraulic jaws of life rescue device used to help people. You get paid your part to make that device. The more you contribute to making that device the more you get paid. The people that need the device buy the device and help you.

Why not just make the device and give it to them? Why does there need to be a profit motive to make the device? What if no one with that medical condition can afford the device? Do they just have to die?

A lot of important work is left uncompleted due to the lack of a profit motive, and I’d rather that not be the case.

Mutual Aid is a guiding factor behind anarchist practice, and an essential framework for understanding anarchist views on social organization more broadly. So… what is it, exactly?

Well… in its simplest form, mutual aid is the motivation at play any time two or more people work together to solve a problem for the shared benefit of everyone involved. In other words, it means co-operation for the sake of the common good.

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/sub-media-what-is-mutual-aid

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/kropotkin-peter/1902/mutual-aid/ch01.htm

@AxG68K
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Why not just make the device and give it to them? Why does there need to be a profit motive to make the device? What if no one with that medical condition can afford the device? Do they just have to die?

Because humans just don’t work that way. Passion drives innovation. The government holding a gun to your head does not. It just has not happened ever. If it has please enlighten me.

I talked about the MRI machine in another thread. This is a perfect example of the core technology that came from a passionate astrophysics in the 1940s. In the 70s a passionate doctor came up with the idea to use it to scan human tissue. How in the world would the government even think that this is possible? The government is staffed by rather normal to incompetent people. How in the world would they even think to think of a concept like nuclear magnetic resonance? This requires innovation that comes from people with passion.

It just does not happen without passion. Look at every single innovation that propels the economy.

@aeroplain
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But like you said, these people built these machines out of passion, not because they wanted to get rich off of the patents!

@vegai
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@aeroplain
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This is a really good question, one that I’d like to answer, but that I can’t answer confidently.

I suppose a modern example might include Rojava, but I can’t talk about any of the details. A prominent historic example would be the Paris Commune, but again, I can’t talk about any of the details.

You might want to try to ask this question over on !anarchism@lemmy.ml.

@AxG68K
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The United States system is as good as it gets in my opinion. The perception of a ruling class is just that. Sure those at the top get to influence everyone else more but there is no written rule that says you cannot move up the ladder. Once you dispose of the idea that you are stuck where you are, you at the very least have the possibility to start moving up the hierarchy of wealth. Just remember that Marxism has failed countless times. Its best not to repeat that experiment.

@dlvoz
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If there is no reason one cannot simply “step up” and become big yellow guy please explain why they had to build nets around a foxconn factory so their employees couldn’t express their humanity in the only way they had left. The argument isn’t whether you should expect to not get anything from the government, it’s that you shouldn’t be treating the things you yourself were given (if not by another person by God, or the universe, or whatever power you want to worship) as somehow special to you, and try your hardest to take those things from everyone around you.

@AxG68K
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Lets talk about two things: Foxconn is a corporation in a communist country. These people are essentially being exploited by the government. When the CCP opened up a bit of capitalism - the people suddenly had a form of income albeit small. This is a far cry from the pure capitalism practiced in the west.

The idea that you are taking peoples freedoms, livelihood or self worth away in a capitalist economy is puzzling. This might be true if money was not a dynamic thing that had no growth mechanism attached to it. If money was constant, then yeah sure there is a limited amount of it and there will be a fierce fight at the top for it. Extra money in the system is created by mechanisms like interest or government intervention. Example: There is 10$ in the pot, you get a loan, you pay it back now there is 11$. There is always something to strive for. It is the individuals job to provide value to society. This will be rewarded. There is never a shortage of rewards - only a shortage of desire.

@AxG68K
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forgive the use of my word “simply”. It is quite the opposite. You must dedicate your life to that goal. At the very least a decade or two if luck is not in your cards. It is impossible to achieve relative success without a decent amount of effort and perseverance. One thing that I cannot grasp is why so many people think that the wealthy do not deserve to be wealthy. Some obviously don’t, but if you are in the top 5% of the income generating range of the country then you have done something that the 95% have not. What that is exactly will differ, but it will differ considerably and one of the main characteristics of those that are self made millionaires is that they spend way less than they earn. They do this throughout their entire life - even when making average wages. Yeah - I hear you, small earners are really at a disadvantage here.

@dlvoz
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There’s the issue, you only give a shit about your own country. Capitalism doesn’t care about borders. Foxconn being in China is proof of that. Yes in American capitalism may work well for anyone but America and the countries like it are only a fraction of the people in existence. Unfortunately, and as many capitlist try to ignore, there is not infinite resources. Capitlist argue that by virtue of luck and nothing else a few are entitled to the means of survival for many. Yes it takes hard work to succeed in capitalism, but hard work isn’t the same as success. “keep working and you will be rich someday” is the carrot the few wealthy dangle in front of the gullible masses to keep them running on the treadmills. This ignores the fact that being rich is pointless and pursuing it by depriving others of the things they need to live is abhorrent. Capitalism breeds wealth, but wealth cannot exist without poverty. There is no rich without poor. You can’t pretend away the lives of thousands of people because they aren’t in your country.

@AxG68K
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There is no rich without poor. You can’t pretend away the lives of thousands of people because they aren’t in your country.

Please elaborate on this.
I do not follow. There is no set amount of money in the world, so you don’t need to take something away from another to make them wealthy. Money is dynamic in this respect. It is not like Monopoly, the bills multiply. As for having a world government - I think the best choice would be capitalism. This world view would only be true if we traded in something like gold and everyone kept it in their safes.

As for poverty in the world today - it has never been less no matter how you look at it. The numbers I found point to less than 3% of the worlds population that are in absolute poverty. Let me know if you find something different. Relative poverty is a tricky thing to define, but not being able to eat and feed your child levels of poverty are very low. Id say humanity is doing very good right now - regardless of what the media is removed about.

When I hear someone talking about communisms and how great things will be - I am always reminded of the USSR in the 1920. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4076244/Distressing-photos-1920s-Russian-famine-turned-hopeless-peasants-cannibals-five-million-people-starved-death.html

@AxG68K
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Here is why thinking of two groups - the wealthy oppressor and the poor oppressed is self defeating.

I am paraphrasing a local example I am familiar with.

Example: You are a mechanic in your early 20s and work hard and save your dollars for a rainy day. You earn about 40K/year to start off. One day in your late 20s you decide that the large corporation you work for is no longer compatible with your needs. You quit (and you don’t burn any bridges and give them 2 weeks at least - although you don’t have to) With the money saved you rent a small location an start to do independent repairs on automobiles. You dedicate most of your energy to building this business and re-investing your profits. By your mid 30s you employ 2 people and pay their salary and contribute to 50% of their health insurance. By your early 40s you employ 8 people and are able to now pay for 80% of their health insurance too. You decide to bring home about 125K/year. Your employees start at 40K/year. The employees that work harder get more raises. The ones that are lazy are fired. The ones that contribute more to the company get more out of it. They all work together to make everyone profitable. A top employee will probably make more per hour than the business owner (this is actually common). The employer has alot on his mind. The logistics of the entire company are not trivial. Paying for health insurance for everyone is not cheap. There is lots of stress at night when you fall asleep because all these peoples lives depend on your sucessfull running of the business. To think these people are oppressor’s is not the way to go.

One thing not factored into this story is innovation. Add innovation to the business and then it will thrive because the consumer will choose your product over others. See iPhone and what is has done for the global economy. Capitalism does care about other countries.

The idea that there are two groups is self defeating because you will never try to move up or even contribute to an organization that ultimately helps everyone that is employed by it.

I cannot think of a more elegant and self fueling solution to mutual aid than the capitalist system with free will, true free speech and employment at-will.

@vegai
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@AxG68K
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I would say the United States practices true capitalism and is almost unique for it has the first and second amendment that puts way more power in the peoples hands than any other government.

@aeroplain
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Everyone in the United States should have learned in middle school that the United States is considered a mixed economy, and that no country on earth has a pure market economy.

Also, “capitalism” and “market economies” are two different concepts.

it has the first and second amendment that puts way more power in the peoples hands than any other government

Were you not paying attention to what happened in Georgia this past month?

@AxG68K
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Please enlighten me as to what event bothers you regarding the 1st or 2nd amendment?

@aeroplain
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Uh, nothing? They’re not relevant to this discussion.

@vegai
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@aeroplain
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Please don’t cite any metrics from The Heritage Foundation and pretend that they mean anything.

@vegai
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@aeroplain
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Well, I’m more arguing that no useful conclusions can be drawn from their “Economic Freedom Index.”

@vegai
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@AxG68K
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That’s the result of the great western experiment. Capitalism is the systems that has had the upper hand in all these areas. I think we can all agree to be more compassionate and fair - but it seems that bashing capitalism is self defeating. The most free and less brutal system has proven to be capitalism. Efficient - hell no! Communism is efficient for sure. I’m not so sure you want an efficient legal system - you want it blind and slow. Think about it - all other experiments have ended or are in a state of implying human suffering. The only way in my opinion to live peacefully is via capitalism with some compassion to the lower 10% of the population and a watchful eye on the top 1%. Your definition of compassion and watchful eye will vary, but the less the better in my opinion.

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!pro_capitalism

    Capitalism: The great western experiment that has proven the most humane, peaceful and fair of all government models.

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