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Capitalism vs communism (sustainable living, etc)


Jay
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With communism and veganism there would be plenty of room on this planet for twice as many humans. With capitalism (and meat eating) we will always be overpopulated.

Yeah, right. I'm afraid I'm going to need proof.

 

So let's take it slow then offense. I don't want to write a big long all encompassing essay.

 

For starters with "too many people" there will be too much pollution for the planet to handle.

 

I assert that in pure capitalism corporations don't have incentive to care about pollution. They have concern to produce the cheapest product possible. That furthermore, individuals generally can't actually vote with their dollars for a more expensive product (that has less pollution tied to it) as living in a capitalist society, they have to worry about having enough to eat and a place to live. Sure they may have decent savings in the bank, but they never really know what the future may hold. They may get fired and blacklisted from their profession, etc. There is always potential disaster for 98% in capitalism.

 

In communism there is at least a chance that some goal would be primary other than maximizing profit. They can be primarily concerned with human happiness. They can admit that the greenhouse effect is very real and begin to take the hard but necessary steps to do something about it.

 

OK. Your turn to say something.

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I look at all the land taken up for parking lots and I think what a waisted landscape. Imagine if this land was used to cultivate communal gardens. Surely there would be plenty for all to be fed. It seems a sad irony that large warehouses called "supermarkets" have some of the biggest parking lot. These warehouses could be greenhouses; producing plant-based food in even the cold months. Capitalism -- be it private or state capitalism -- makes dead earth. It produces dead land where people park their earth killing internal combustion machines so they can exchange an imaginary concept called "money" for processed goods in toxic plastic packages. I think free-communism is the best hope for the future.

 

Have you ever seen a tree spring from asphalt and thrive? I think it is one of the most inspiring images; it means it's life still has a chance.

 

http://static.flickr.com/15/22852348_c68af848b0_m.jpg

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What's free communism?

 

Capitalism is about competition. And the losers are destroyed. In the US the car beat the train, and the result is this asphalt jungle, tons more pollution, and probably millions dead in car wrecks over the years. (Not to mention lost time that could have been spent each day reading/sleeping/something while commuting to work each day on a train. What would have actually been best for the people was irrelevant.

 

...and the oil wars. And supporting/installing right wing dictators in oil rich countries....

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So let's take it slow then offense. I don't want to write a big long all encompassing essay.

Thanks

 

For starters with "too many people" there will be too much pollution for the planet to handle.

So, where is the limit and who decides it? Having a child is a personal commitment and a decition usually made by 2 individuals. The government or anyone else for that matter has nothing to do with their choice. I believe that incitements has to be given to make "greener" and more sustainable energy. This can be made by environment quoutas that turn more and more expensive over time. Right now it's simply too cheap to be dirty.

 

I assert that in pure capitalism corporations don't have incentive to care about pollution. They have concern to produce the cheapest product possible. That furthermore, individuals generally can't actually vote with their dollars for a more expensive product (that has less pollution tied to it) as living in a capitalist society, they have to worry about having enough to eat and a place to live. Sure they may have decent savings in the bank, but they never really know what the future may hold. They may get fired and blacklisted from their profession, etc. There is always potential disaster for 98% in capitalism.

They will care about pollution if it pays off to do it (see above).

Basic principle of nature: Any organism will try to get as much energy outcome from energy invested. Organisms that didn't do this are extinct. This to me is capitalism.

So, for me socialism and communism is just other theoretical versions of capitalism. If the workers decides that it's worth taking the risk of a revolution (taking a high risk to get more energy out of their work) to gain more, they will do it. It doesn't end capitalism.

Corporations work the same way. They will try to spend as little as possible to gain as much as possible. To make profit for the owners is a companys sole purpose.

Obviously companys go bankrupt all the time because their product wasn't strong enough so it's therefore just as obvious that you can vote with your dollars. Convincing people that fur or coca-cola aren't the best choices is done by interacting with people and make them do better choices. If you are successful in this, the company would gain on changing it's policies (get more profit for the owners) and will therefore do it.

 

In communism there is at least a chance that some goal would be primary other than maximizing profit. They can be primarily concerned with human happiness. They can admit that the greenhouse effect is very real and begin to take the hard but necessary steps to do something about it.

No country or region has ever made it to communism. Alot have had revolutions and then went into the stage of proletariats dictatorship. The capital never gets fully negated. The reason is of course that you try to work against the principle of the equation of energy in -> energy out mentioned above. Since noone will gain anything by thinking out better methods for production (there is no gain for the individuals energy surplus), very few will try. This leads to producing less stuff, more ineffective.

Human happiness? Don't even go there girlfriend . This is so different from individual to individual. The best way to reach utilitaristic goals is to have a system that stays out of peoples business.

Edited by offense74
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I look at all the land taken up for parking lots and I think what a waisted landscape. Imagine if this land was used to cultivate communal gardens. Surely there would be plenty for all to be fed. It seems a sad irony that large warehouses called "supermarkets" have some of the biggest parking lot. These warehouses could be greenhouses; producing plant-based food in even the cold months. Capitalism -- be it private or state capitalism -- makes dead earth. It produces dead land where people park their earth killing internal combustion machines so they can exchange an imaginary concept called "money" for processed goods in toxic plastic packages. I think free-communism is the best hope for the future.

 

Have you ever seen a tree spring from asphalt and thrive? I think it is one of the most inspiring images; it means it's life still has a chance.

Like I said earlier, it's too chaep to be dirty. If you have a SUV you invade my privacy simply by destroying the environment in which I live. It's unacceptable.

There are enough food today to feed the world. What's standing in our way are large protectionistic governments, corruption and war.

We are tought from childhood that to love and care for someone, you have to go through government. This is numbing us emotionally. Love should not be sent through a messenger, it should be direct. People would care more for each other if government would be slimmed down, in my opinion.

Note that you are working very hard to reach a society where you will be better off (emotionally). This too is energy in -> energy out. It's capitalism in practice, nothing else.

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What's free communism?

 

Capitalism is about competition. And the losers are destroyed. In the US the car beat the train, and the result is this asphalt jungle, tons more pollution, and probably millions dead in car wrecks over the years. (Not to mention lost time that could have been spent each day reading/sleeping/something while commuting to work each day on a train. What would have actually been best for the people was irrelevant.

 

...and the oil wars. And supporting/installing right wing dictators in oil rich countries....

Nature is about competition.

People chose cars over trains. So, therefore people chose what was best for people.

 

I never understood why the US went into Iraq and I belive, as you say, it was for oil. Not very bright at all.

On the other hand I am greatful to the US for alot of things. Yugoslavia, WWII and halting the expansion of soviet and other regions that had the proletariate dictatorship. Without the US the world would (according to me) be worse off.

 

I hope the US will stop trying to use violence to convince countries that liberalism is the best way to go. If they want socialism then they should pay the prize, high inflation, corruption and in the long run unemployment and widespread poverty.

The question for US citizens are weather you should finance loans (via tax) to pay for a system that is spending more than it takes in (would you loan it to a person that you didn't know that were spending more than he took in, without having any boundaries?). You will not ever see this money again. And as I mentioned earlier it will only lead to poverty.

Bolivia is going to get poorer (due to the new socialistic government). The left all over the world will blame the US. So as an american I think that you have to think about these questions.

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I'm somewhere between where you guys are. I'm in favor of capitalism with strong govt. Basically I want a free market with more environmental and labor protection, better and more long-term thinking in central and local planning, more state funded healthcare, and more progressive income taxes.

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For starters with "too many people" there will be too much pollution for the planet to handle.

So, where is the limit and who decides it? Having a child is a personal commitment and a decition usually made by 2 individuals. The government or anyone else for that matter has nothing to do with their choice.

Oh sorry, I wasn't saying that the government should limit reproduction. Supposing resources were being used correctly there's no need to do that anytime soon.

 

I believe that incitements has to be given to make "greener" and more sustainable energy. This can be made by environment quoutas that turn more and more expensive over time. Right now it's simply too cheap to be dirty.

This is a sort of communism. I agree with it.

 

Basic principle of nature: Any organism will try to get as much energy outcome from energy invested. Organisms that didn't do this are extinct. This to me is capitalism.

Maximizing profits is not the same as being efficient as possible. In anything you want to be highly efficient but only in capitalism does maximizing profits become the sole concern. Maximizing profits can mean doing a lot of things that are detrimental to the employees and the environment. In socialism/communism maximizing profits does not need to be the primary concern.

 

So, for me socialism and communism is just other theoretical versions of capitalism. If the workers decides that it's worth taking the risk of a revolution (taking a high risk to get more energy out of their work) to gain more, they will do it. It doesn't end capitalism.

Corporations work the same way. They will try to spend as little as possible to gain as much as possible. To make profit for the owners is a companys sole purpose.

Yes, on that being a companies sole purpose but No, on communism, etc being another version of capitalism. You seem to be defining capitalism as efficiency which just isn't quite right.

 

Obviously companys go bankrupt all the time because their product wasn't strong enough so it's therefore just as obvious that you can vote with your dollars. Convincing people that fur or coca-cola aren't the best choices is done by interacting with people and make them do better choices. If you are successful in this, the company would gain on changing it's policies (get more profit for the owners) and will therefore do it.

They are virtually never successful though. Individuals are not as strong as corporations. Only if they manage to unite together in huge numbers do they have a chance. And doing so is extremely difficult. It is not a fair fight. A billion or million dollar corporation against a bunch of disconnected individuals. The one has millions of dollars to move in an instant in any direction by the orders of one person or a board of people. The other has virtually no money to work with and no way to move as quickly as one. (They basically would have to invent communism/socialism to have a chance.) It's a hugely unfair battle. Capitalism ensures these huge concentrations of power and these unfair battles. Communism tries to reduce concentrations of power.

 

In communism there is at least a chance that some goal would be primary other than maximizing profit. They can be primarily concerned with human happiness. They can admit that the greenhouse effect is very real and begin to take the hard but necessary steps to do something about it.

No country or region has ever made it to communism. Alot have had revolutions and then went into the stage of proletariats dictatorship. The capital never gets fully negated. The reason is of course that you try to work against the principle of the equation of energy in -> energy out mentioned above. Since noone will gain anything by thinking out better methods for production (there is no gain for the individuals energy surplus), very few will try. This leads to producing less stuff, more ineffective.

First, if you have time, could you read this?

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

It's a very brief summary of US interventions in the politics of foreign countries. I post it to point out that the US has done it's best to stop communism from developing anywhere.

 

Secondly, this idea of efficiency (which I don't think is a good way of defining capitalism as I mentioned above) goes to the idea that capitalism is a competition. Communism (in the entire world), would not be a competition. You would not need to maximize profits. You could be less eifficient and still have plenty of food, shelter, etc. Those less efficient wouldn't have to starve to death. Those companies who are less efficient as a result of not polluting as much, would still be able to survive.

 

Thirdly, although the USSR obviously had some undesirable traits, they went from a third world nation monarchy to industrialized in 30 years. No other country in history has ever done what they did. Sure in some ways they were very inefficient/Didn't have as nice toys to play with. Lack of worker incentive resulted in crappy products, etc. They needed to make some changes. Of course they had Stalin's authoritarian rule, etc. But then look at what happened when they switched to capitalism. The country collapsed. Life expectancy dropped 10+ years. They've become a third world nation once again.

 

Human happiness? Don't even go there girlfriend . This is so different from individual to individual. The best way to reach utilitaristic goals is to have a system that stays out of peoples business.

Of course it's different for each person. But of course we should try to help each other reach it. Just like a large group of people would have to work together to take on a corporation that is harming the environment/people, people in general have to work together if we are going to maximize happiness.

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Like I said earlier, it's too chaep to be dirty. If you have a SUV you invade my privacy simply by destroying the environment in which I live. It's unacceptable.

Very leftist. I agree with you.

 

There are enough food today to feed the world. What's standing in our way are large protectionistic governments, corruption and war.

You are right about the corruption and war. Capitalism means war though. Seriously capitalism is a competition where the loser is free to starve. It's common sense that it leads to war and there is plenty of evidence which supports this.

 

We are tought from childhood that to love and care for someone, you have to go through government. This is numbing us emotionally. Love should not be sent through a messenger, it should be direct. People would care more for each other if government would be slimmed down, in my opinion.

Ah, so for example we should just donate to charity? The problem if you live in a capitalist system where you always have some financial insecurity (no safety net/could end up on the streets/starving/etc) then even if currently you have plenty of money to give someone else in trouble, you really shouldn't because you just might happen to need it someday for yourself. So you sit there with your money in the bank while others suffer malnutrition, etc. If instead you put together say, a charity bank that 50,000 people donated to, then just in case things went bad for you, you could take money out of the chartiy bank, etc. This "bank" is basically a government.

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What's free communism?

 

Capitalism is about competition. And the losers are destroyed. In the US the car beat the train, and the result is this asphalt jungle, tons more pollution, and probably millions dead in car wrecks over the years. (Not to mention lost time that could have been spent each day reading/sleeping/something while commuting to work each day on a train. What would have actually been best for the people was irrelevant.

 

...and the oil wars. And supporting/installing right wing dictators in oil rich countries....

Nature is about competition.

People chose cars over trains. So, therefore people chose what was best for people.

No, back in the 30's the automobile and tire industry used their power to get train tracks pulled up all over the place. The pushed the train system out with their superior concentration of power. People have not had a choice at all for over 50 years in the US. I would love to have taken a train to work all these years. Instead I've been forced to commute for on average an hour a day through crappy traffic and I've had near misses on serious accidents a couple of times to. If has not been the most efficient in any way at all.

 

I never understood why the US went into Iraq and I belive, as you say, it was for oil. Not very bright at all.

On the other hand I am greatful to the US for alot of things. Yugoslavia, WWII and halting the expansion of soviet and other regions that had the proletariate dictatorship. Without the US the world would (according to me) be worse off.

As in my first post they have indeed halted any alternate government system. In so doing they have killed over 10 million. That doesn't count the USSR at all with their 10+ year drop in life expectancy, etc. That doesn't count those who have died of malnutrition thanks to the disasterous structural adjustment loans of the IMF/WB, CIA funded coups, etc. Etc.

 

I hope the US will stop trying to use violence to convince countries that liberalism is the best way to go. If they want socialism then they should pay the prize, high inflation, corruption and in the long run unemployment and widespread poverty.

Any country that did not go to authortarian rule, did not have a chance against the violence, covert CIA ops, etc that the US brought to it. They most recently got rid of Aristide in Haiti in 2004 for doubling the minimum wage. In 2002 they tried to get rid of Chavez in Venezuela, he has not descended to authoritarian rule despite how he has been attacked. He will probably be killed eventually. Because that's what is done by the winners in capitalism: whatever they can get away with, because the losers die, better not be a loser.

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Maximizing profits is not the same as being efficient as possible. In anything you want to be highly efficient but only in capitalism does maximizing profits become the sole concern. Maximizing profits can mean doing a lot of things that are detrimental to the employees and the environment. In socialism/communism maximizing profits does not need to be the primary concern.

Call it whatever you want. If we hadn't found a way to make our efforts effective we would have had the same fate as many other species that are now extinct.

How one sees capitalism is very crusial in these discussions and it almost always ends with "well we have different views of capitalism so we won't get any further". Feel the vibes of this already ? When I read your posts you seem to blame everything bad on capitalism. I tend to blame everything bad on socialism. We are both wrong.

 

They are virtually never successful though. Individuals are not as strong as corporations. Only if they manage to unite together in huge numbers do they have a chance. And doing so is extremely difficult. It is not a fair fight. A billion or million dollar corporation against a bunch of disconnected individuals. The one has millions of dollars to move in an instant in any direction by the orders of one person or a board of people. The other has virtually no money to work with and no way to move as quickly as one. (They basically would have to invent communism/socialism to have a chance.) It's a hugely unfair battle. Capitalism ensures these huge concentrations of power and these unfair battles. Communism tries to reduce concentrations of power.

There are a few things here where you should be careful of blaming capitalism for.

Politicians needs to be reelected for office. People seem to think that it is the governments job to fix them employment. So, politicians fund the large corporations so that they will stay in the country. This means that you are investing in all kinds of crap through tax dollars. This pisses me off for alot of reasons. First, countries that need jobs don't get them because they don't have the dollars to pay. Secondly, competition on the market gets bent out of shape. The small competitors don't stand a chance.

WTO should be brought down and we should have free trade. Period. We are making poor people poorer first by giving tax money to agriculture and large corporations and then taxing poor people in other countries via customs and other protectionist crap. We need to stop it.

As long as we have this stupid ssystem the corporations (and individuals) in society will use it to get benefits. A liberalist in favour of free markets do not believe in this system.

 

Secondly, this idea of efficiency (which I don't think is a good way of defining capitalism as I mentioned above) goes to the idea that capitalism is a competition. Communism (in the entire world), would not be a competition. You would not need to maximize profits. You could be less eifficient and still have plenty of food, shelter, etc. Those less efficient wouldn't have to starve to death. Those companies who are less efficient as a result of not polluting as much, would still be able to survive.

In a free market companies compete, yes.

In a communist society you don't have to maximize anything. In fact since there aren't any money you wouldn't even know what was needed (supply and demand is gone). This will lead to innefective production of things we don't need and innefective underproduction of things we do need. It's a waste of all kinds of rescources.

I'm not an anarcho-capitalist nor a minarchist. I believe in government garanteeing that people don't starve to death. I also believe in healthcare (within reasonable limits) and schools for everybody. Just because your parents mess up doesn't meen that you have to follow in their foosteps.

 

Thirdly, although the USSR obviously had some undesirable traits, they went from a third world nation monarchy to industrialized in 30 years. No other country in history has ever done what they did. Sure in some ways they were very inefficient/Didn't have as nice toys to play with. Lack of worker incentive resulted in crappy products, etc. They needed to make some changes. Of course they had Stalin's authoritarian rule, etc. But then look at what happened when they switched to capitalism. The country collapsed. Life expectancy dropped 10+ years. They've become a third world nation once again.

Yes the USSR were at first very efficient in copying stuff that the west invented. Did you by the way ever come across anything that they had that we didn't?

What in the end brought them down was that they couldn't keep up.

Also, there are other examples that didn't suger their statistics (is it a mmystery that USSR politicians lied to their teeth?). Almost all of western Europe had the same flourishing after WWII. Note that Germany was one of the first to liberalize their economy and was also one of the first to gain the advantages of it. Other examples include Japan, South Korea. Poland, Chech repuplic and Hungary is more or less exploding these days.

Also, a free market takes time to adjust. It doesn't happen over night. Socialism however, does. You just loan money at get it going. At least that's the plan. Problem is it never gets going and you're stuck with debt and inflation.

 

Of course it's different for each person. But of course we should try to help each other reach it. Just like a large group of people would have to work together to take on a corporation that is harming the environment/people, people in general have to work together if we are going to maximize happiness.

I don't believe in people forcing me to help others. I help people all the time but if you tried to force me it would take all the fun and love out of it.

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I'm somewhere between where you guys are. I'm in favor of capitalism with strong govt. Basically I want a free market with more environmental and labor protection, better and more long-term thinking in central and local planning, more state funded healthcare, and more progressive income taxes.

Yay !

Just one question: Do you believe that your son has more fundamental rights to go to school than a child in say Congo?

Taxation is a hinderence in free trade. It is also a hinderence in a free market.

When you pay tax to get your son to go to school or to go to see a doctor (on tax dollars) you are not spending them on produce from Congo. This means that a farmer in Cong can't pay the taxes in his country so that children there can go to school.

 

I believe that we should work globally, taxwise. When everybody on this earth can move freely, has the right to fundamental health care and can go to school even if his/her parents aren't rich I will shut up .

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You are right about the corruption and war. Capitalism means war though. Seriously capitalism is a competition where the loser is free to starve. It's common sense that it leads to war and there is plenty of evidence which supports this.

CIA often means war. CIA is not capitalism, nor is it liberalism. It's protectionism. I don't like protectionism.

A person who starts a company and has a good idea will get capital from other investors (who are trying to maximize profit for their owners). If it turns out that her idea didn't sell others have taken the monetary risk. Society benefits by having choices of produce. The starter of the company wins because she often can do something that she loves. The investor also seems to be doing quite good. Where's the catch?

 

Ah, so for example we should just donate to charity? The problem if you live in a capitalist system where you always have some financial insecurity (no safety net/could end up on the streets/starving/etc) then even if currently you have plenty of money to give someone else in trouble, you really shouldn't because you just might happen to need it someday for yourself. So you sit there with your money in the bank while others suffer malnutrition, etc. If instead you put together say, a charity bank that 50,000 people donated to, then just in case things went bad for you, you could take money out of the chartiy bank, etc. This "bank" is basically a government.

Woud you really stop caring for other people if someone didn't make you? I wouldn't. In a libaral society you will have more money to spend. And as I said earlier I believe that a guarantee for (at least) not starving should be available for everyone.

I also belive that if you give money to organizations that truly care for their cause they will be used more efficiently. I'd rather donate money to PETA than the government.

Edited by offense74
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No, back in the 30's the automobile and tire industry used their power to get train tracks pulled up all over the place. The pushed the train system out with their superior concentration of power. People have not had a choice at all for over 50 years in the US. I would love to have taken a train to work all these years. Instead I've been forced to commute for on average an hour a day through crappy traffic and I've had near misses on serious accidents a couple of times to. If has not been the most efficient in any way at all.

You're probably right, I've heard about this. It's a little sad that noone started it up again so that people could have a choice.

 

As in my first post they have indeed halted any alternate government system. In so doing they have killed over 10 million. That doesn't count the USSR at all with their 10+ year drop in life expectancy, etc. That doesn't count those who have died of malnutrition thanks to the disasterous structural adjustment loans of the IMF/WB, CIA funded coups, etc. Etc.

Free market adjustment takes time. Socialism does not. Like I said before, a socialist just have to take loans. Problem is if you are in debt, you're not free. Inflation and unimployment will follow. People in Poland, Chech repuplic and Hungary are now (10 years after the collaps) better of than they ever were. But it was very rough at first.

 

Any country that did not go to authortarian rule, did not have a chance against the violence, covert CIA ops, etc that the US brought to it. They most recently got rid of Aristide in Haiti in 2004 for doubling the minimum wage. In 2002 they tried to get rid of Chavez in Venezuela, he has not descended to authoritarian rule despite how he has been attacked. He will probably be killed eventually. Because that's what is done by the winners in capitalism: whatever they can get away with, because the losers die, better not be a loser.

Please tell your local politician that you don't want to pay taxes for the CIA, at least when it works the way it works today. Let the socialists have their society. It takes a while but sooner or later it all falls apart.

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Just one question: Do you believe that your son has more fundamental rights to go to school than a child in say Congo?

Taxation is a hinderence in free trade. It is also a hinderence in a free market.

When you pay tax to get your son to go to school or to go to see a doctor (on tax dollars) you are not spending them on produce from Congo. This means that a farmer in Cong can't pay the taxes in his country so that children there can go to school.

 

I believe that we should work globally, taxwise. When everybody on this earth can move freely, has the right to fundamental health care and can go to school even if his/her parents aren't rich I will shut up .

 

You think taxing someone with enormous wealth, like Bill Gates or the owners of Wal-Mart, at a higher rate, would hinder free trade?

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What's free communism?

"As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism - at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable." -- Petr Kropotkin, "Anarchism," Encyclopedia Britannica (1910).

 

Nature is about competition.

While I'm quoting Kropotkin: "competition . . . is limited among animals to exceptional periods . . . Better conditions are created by elimination of competition by means of mutual aid and mutual support . . . 'Don't compete! -- competition is always injurious to the species, and you have plenty of resources to avoit it!' That is the tendency of nature, not always realized in full, but always present. That is the watchword which comes to us from the bush, the forest, the river, the ocean. 'Therefore combine -- practise mutual aid! . . .' That is what nature teaches us." (Mutual Aid, quoted in Alfie Kohn's No Contest)

 

Kropotkin was trained in, and respected for, his work in the natural sciences. Economics isn't my field, but I have studied ecology and interpersonal relations and the research does support Kropotkin's view that "competition is always injurious".

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Just one question: Do you believe that your son has more fundamental rights to go to school than a child in say Congo?

Taxation is a hinderence in free trade. It is also a hinderence in a free market.

When you pay tax to get your son to go to school or to go to see a doctor (on tax dollars) you are not spending them on produce from Congo. This means that a farmer in Cong can't pay the taxes in his country so that children there can go to school.

 

I believe that we should work globally, taxwise. When everybody on this earth can move freely, has the right to fundamental health care and can go to school even if his/her parents aren't rich I will shut up .

 

You think taxing someone with enormous wealth, like Bill Gates or the owners of Wal-Mart, at a higher rate, would hinder free trade?

Yes. If you tax Bill Gates in the US the peolple of Congo will not benefit, only people in the US will benefit from this.

Also, Bill wants his money to grow. Putting them in the closet won't do that. So he invests, loans and gives his money to different projects or organizations that can create new methods or products. By loaning his money to research new medicines can be developed, for example.

With taxation combined with protectionism (as is the situation today) you can't choose where your money goes. This means that you actually are spending tax dollars to support factory farming in the US and holding back organic produce of pineapples in Kenya. Raising the tax for Bill in the US will only worsen the situation.

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Nature is about competition.

While I'm quoting Kropotkin: "competition . . . is limited among animals to exceptional periods . . . Better conditions are created by elimination of competition by means of mutual aid and mutual support . . . 'Don't compete! -- competition is always injurious to the species, and you have plenty of resources to avoit it!' That is the tendency of nature, not always realized in full, but always present. That is the watchword which comes to us from the bush, the forest, the river, the ocean. 'Therefore combine -- practise mutual aid! . . .' That is what nature teaches us." (Mutual Aid, quoted in Alfie Kohn's No Contest)

 

Kropotkin was trained in, and respected for, his work in the natural sciences. Economics isn't my field, but I have studied ecology and interpersonal relations and the research does support Kropotkin's view that "competition is always injurious".

"If an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can only gain at the expense of another" -Milton Friedman

 

So, through capitalism we are helping each other. Evidence of this is quite large too.

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By loaning his money to research new medicines can be developed, for example.

 

And by giving more tax money to the government more poor people can afford the medicine they need through subsidies.

 

I can see where you're coming from, I'm just not a big fan of trickle down economics though

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Just a quick comment on trickle down economics for now.

 

Trickle down only works if these rich people are actually spending the extra money they will have under such policies. But as they are rich they don't have to spend that money. They can just stick it in the bank. It doesn't necessarily create jobs, get money down to the poor. But if you directly give it to the poor there is no doubt that they will spend it. And as long as someone is spending it, jobs are being created.

 

Also even if trickle down does create jobs, etc it does so in a haphazard fashion. Whereas you might now have a job, but not one that necessarily pays enough to get proper nutrition/healthcare, etc. And maybe you don't anyway, it's all been left to chance. You must admit that the whole idea of trickle down is counterintuitive and the evidence supporting it is not so great.

 

Finally the proof shows that right wing economic policies don't work. The loan stipulations of the IMF/WB have been a disaster. Really, their failure rate is almost perfect. But the mainstream media (controlled by highly biased billion dollar interests) does not report on this subject.

 

More later.

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Trickle down only works if these rich people are actually spending the extra money they will have under such policies. But as they are rich they don't have to spend that money. They can just stick it in the bank. It doesn't necessarily create jobs, get money down to the poor. But if you directly give it to the poor there is no doubt that they will spend it. And as long as someone is spending it, jobs are being created.

Again, energy in -> energy out is the key here. If you have a choice between having 3 million or 4 million dollars at the end of the year you will choose the way that gives you 4 million. Same thing if it were 300 or 400 dollars. Just the amount differs. What is needed is growth. You get that from a free market. Few are arguing with that any longer.

 

Also even if trickle down does create jobs, etc it does so in a haphazard fashion. Whereas you might now have a job, but not one that necessarily pays enough to get proper nutrition/healthcare, etc. And maybe you don't anyway, it's all been left to chance. You must admit that the whole idea of trickle down is counterintuitive and the evidence supporting it is not so great.

So you mean a worker doesn't want to maximize profit for his work? In the US politicians take a stance against unions. It's stupid, the government has nothing to do with how people organize themselves. In many cases workers will have alot to win on a union. In other cases they win on not joining a union. In China this is a huge problem for workers, for example.

A few countries where trickle down has worked (there are more): Sweden, Germany, Poland, US and basically every country that was part of the industry revolution in the 19th century. Globalization was at an all time high back then.

 

Finally the proof shows that right wing economic policies don't work. The loan stipulations of the IMF/WB have been a disaster. Really, their failure rate is almost perfect. But the mainstream media (controlled by highly biased billion dollar interests) does not report on this subject.

Yes, many of them have been a disaster. If someone is spending more than they take in a loan is always a disaster. It doesn't matter if it's a country or an individual. Today IMF tells whoever wants a loan that they have to fix the budget and work out a plan that gives growth first. It's seems sane.

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By loaning his money to research new medicines can be developed, for example.

 

And by giving more tax money to the government more poor people can afford the medicine they need through subsidies.

Yes. But you paying tax in the US would only benefit poor people in the US. In Africa the problems with malaria and AIDS are large. You paying tax in the US won't help these people.

You're paing for burger-eating, obese, smoking Americans instead of poor Somalian children with AIDS. It's not fair.

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Yes. If you tax Bill Gates in the US the peolple of Congo will not benefit, only people in the US will benefit from this.

 

What do you use to support that viewpoint? 19 billion dollars of US tax money went to foreign aid in 2004. Not much in terms of percent of gross domestic product, but 10 billion dollars more than japan, who is second in giving. I would say the Congo and most other nations would benefit from a US tax increase.

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Yes. If you tax Bill Gates in the US the peolple of Congo will not benefit, only people in the US will benefit from this.

 

What do you use to support that viewpoint? 19 billion dollars of US tax money went to foreign aid in 2004. Not much in terms of percent of gross domestic product, but 10 billion dollars more than japan, who is second in giving. I would say the Congo and most other nations would benefit from a US tax increase.

 

Assuming that the incumbent administration would use that extra tax revenue to increase its foreign aid expenditure. That to me seems to be a dubious assumption though. The Liberal Party of Canada, for example, has been faced with many scandals recently about the inappropriate and even unaccounted for use of Canadian tax dollars. We are talking MILLIONS of dollars that have mysteriously disappeared.

 

(I have to admit that I only read MH's last post - not the whole thread, so sorry if this was a point already stated).

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