Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Laika

Will Capitalism Collapse?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I disagree that capitalism "never" existed, its features are at least around, even if not full blown.

Obviously I meant Capitalism in it's pure state. I don't think there would be much debate that the closest we've ever been to laissez faire was a short period of time in the 19th Century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Unfortunately, lesser minds will quibble, squirm, equivocate, whine, and in the end babble some anti-conceptual, inconsistent, irrelevancy, and I am decidedly not talking about Laika. 

Are you referring to where I disagreed on the word "never"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

For those whom capitalism is still an unknown ideal, capitalism is the complete seperation of economics and state and that has never existed.

I agree it has not existed at large scale, but at smaller scale and for short times I'm quite sure it has. If nothing else then some people might have traded between themselves without any interference by any third party. So-called black markets is trade outside of the control of the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're missing the point Mindborg. Let me put it this way. There has never been a state which has in principle separated economics from interference of the state.

Black markets presuppose the state is involved in economics.

Edited by Plasmatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/29/2017 at 7:12 PM, Mindborg said:

I agree it has not existed at large scale, but at smaller scale and for short times I'm quite sure it has. If nothing else then some people might have traded between themselves without any interference by any third party. So-called black markets is trade outside of the control of the state.

Actually, in the case of black markets, third party or state interference is present, by the very definition. Image Al Capone becoming a successful entrepreneur without the assistance from the government, which prevented established breweries from competing on an open market. The most successful undocumented capitalists usually pay the highest bribes to the highest government officials.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/30/2017 at 7:26 AM, Plasmatic said:

You're missing the point Mindborg. Let me put it this way. There has never been a state which has in principle separated economics from interference of the state.

Black markets presuppose the state is involved in economics.

I might be missing your point yes, and I'm quite sure we're addressing different things.

As for having a modern state which in principle separated economics and state; I completely agree with you.

What I'm addressing though, is the claim that capitalism has never existed. I think it has on a very small scale, if as small as between two people on a desert island a thousand years ago where there were no involvement from any third party.

Never is a very strong word to me, it means never in the existence of the universe as we know it.

I see Eioul also reacted to the use of the word "never" in an earlier post.

21 hours ago, Repairman said:

 The most successful undocumented capitalists usually pay the highest bribes to the highest government officials.

That sounds plausible. I think people think of bribing as bad because they expect the government officials to be altruistic. The whole society is built around this altruistic morality, and then people are surprised when people are acting according to self-interest instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mindborg said:

That sounds plausible. I think people think of bribing as bad because they expect the government officials to be altruistic. The whole society is built around this altruistic morality, and then people are surprised when people are acting according to self-interest instead.

In these times, most people think of their government officials as untrustworthy, that is until it's time to cast a vote. Then, it's a matter of choosing the candidate who is less untrustworthy. As far as anyone in government being altruistic, my hope is to persuade as many people as possible to reject any candidate for making any claim to altruism. I agree that markets at present a not entirely free; I cannot think of any time in history when their wasn't some threat to merchants, whether they be highwaymen, pirates, or some other form of marauding army. In more stable times, the producer simply offered up some form of tribute to the most powerful warlord for protection. Today, we call that taxation. Government action in the form of prosecuting those who do not pay their tribute, taxes, (or for that matter, bribes) has historically led to instability, and often revolution or uprisings. In the short term, the officials may be acting in a greedy and irrational form of self-interest, but when the mob gets angry enough, they are voted out of office, or in the cases of the most unstable of times, it's "off with their heads."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Repairman said:

As far as anyone in government being altruistic, my hope is to persuade as many people as possible to reject any candidate for making any claim to altruism.

Imagine a society where nobody is expecting anyone to live altruistically. That's what I've done, and now I cannot get it off my mind. I think it's possible, and it's worth spending time and money on.

I don't think I can convince 10 million people. Most people cannot reason for themselves, and then I have nothing to convince them with. Arguments only work with people who think for themselves.

But maybe I can convince 10 people? Then we can see if we can get something small working, then we might grow from there?

I'd rather have a few good friends with whom I can improve my life, than a hundred "friends" who try to live at my expense and who are envious of my every success and achievement.

 

27 minutes ago, Repairman said:

Government action in the form of prosecuting those who do not pay their tribute, taxes, (or for that matter, bribes) has historically led to instability, and often revolution or uprisings.

Imagine a society where the payment for the government is not based on your income, but just a fixed monthly bill, perhaps 100 dollars. That's it, just another bill like the utilities. Then all the income you earn is yours and yours alone. Imagine a society where the whole culture is one of rational individualism; where nobody expects a free lunch, but where each person takes responsibility for their own lives.

I know it might sound silly, but I don't care, I'm just on fire for the idea. I think of it day and night. I think Galt's Gulch in some form is possible, and I think it might be built into something so awesome we cannot imagine it today. Ayn Rand was optimistic for America. I'm not, I think there's less than 1:1000 chance that America will swing towards complete individualistic freedom in the near term. So I'm working on Mindshore.

Edit: sorry for changing the topic.

Edited by Mindborg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Mindborg said:

Ayn Rand was optimistic for America. I'm not, I think there's less than 1:1000 chance that America will swing towards complete individualistic freedom in the near term. So I'm working on Mindshore.

Edit: sorry for changing the topic.

I am optimistic about America, although very cautiously so. The hazards are obvious. My solution is to challenge the conventional perception of capitalism. Socialism, as an increasing influence in American politics and economics, was sold to the voters as a pragmatic solution to an increasingly unstable situation at the turn of the preceding century, and elevated to the new normal during the 1930s Great Depression. "Capitalism failed," was the overly simplistic motto espoused, not only in those times, but that bromide persists as the lessons learned by school children today. I agree entirely with your assertion that one must think independently in order to arrive at these solutions, and Americans are increasingly taught to think (and act) as their tribal identities directs them. Your vision of a 21st century capitalist utopia is less likely to survive in a world of global chaos than it would in a world in which the financial conditions of the industrial nations were to sustain their economic composure. The fundamental solution to sustaining global stability is through education. Objectivism is a fact-based philosophy. If the grown-ups can be persuaded to accept the reality of facts, their children will be the beneficiaries. We arrived in our present-day economic arrangement of muddled contradictions, not by accident, but by misguided philosophy.

"Give me the child in the first seven years, I will give your the man." - The Jesuit Maxim

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Repairman said:

I am optimistic about America, although very cautiously so. The hazards are obvious. My solution is to challenge the conventional perception of capitalism.

OK. I hope I'm wrong here, but what I see is "dumbing down" of more and more people.

I have changed a few people in a significant way towards rational thinking, capitalism etc. It took me literally years. The huge downside with Objectivism and all forms of individualism is that we're asking people to take responsibility for their own life. If a loser is going to accept this philosophy, they also have to accept that they are failures, and that it's their own fault that life sucks so bad. That hurts.

Is there a way? I think so. Technology can change people faster than anything. But aside from new technology not yet built I doubt it.

 

9 hours ago, Repairman said:

Your vision of a 21st century capitalist utopia is less likely to survive in a world of global chaos than it would in a world in which the financial conditions of the industrial nations were to sustain their economic composure.

I agree with that. I'm all for peace and prosperity in all ways possible.

That said, you remember when Dagny Taggart is in the valley and is about to leave, and Dagny says ~"They still want to live, and that gives us a bond". Hugh Akston tells her to check that premise?

I've checked it. The fact is that many people don't want to live. They don't enjoy it, they don't find it fun. They just suffer. They don't even have the desire to improve. If people don't even want to live, how can you possibly on a large scale improve their lives?

I don't think it's impossible. I think it can be done. But I think moving to Tahiti gives me more bang for the buck over the next couple of years, as well as the long term. And what if it works, and we can start from fresh, a blank big paper where we can draw whatever cool things that has never existed before.

9 hours ago, Repairman said:

Objectivism is a fact-based philosophy.

That's the problem. :)

 

9 hours ago, Repairman said:

"Give me the child in the first seven years, I will give your the man."

Don't the government own the children for 15 years? Government schools? You think the teachers unions are going to give that up?

15 years of wreaking the brain. Most people never recover from that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

You think the teachers unions are going to give that up?

Is it up to the teachers unions? Unions may be influential among the workers, and hold sway with some producers. Ultimately it is the consumer that chooses the product to purchase in a free market. Montessori and homeschooling options have been trending up.

Politically, making these options more difficult pits ~1.5 million union teacher votes to ~1.5 million children's parents votes at this time (per estimations from a few google searches.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Is it up to the teachers unions? Unions may be influential among the workers, and hold sway with some producers. Ultimately it is the consumer that chooses the product to purchase in a free market. Montessori and homeschooling options have been trending up.

Politically, making these options more difficult pits ~1.5 million union teacher votes to ~1.5 million children's parents votes at this time (per estimations from a few google searches.)

Maybe not. I would love to be proven wrong. I love the idea of home-schooling.

How many years do you guys need to change the US to become a society of rational individualism? Another 5? 10 perhaps?

I really do hope that the US changes course. But I tend to think that the momentum that the US has is going to continue. The US at this stage is a planet moving through space. Someone firing a rocket here and there is not going to change the trajectory of that planet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mindborg said:

How many years do you guys need to change the US to become a society of rational individualism? Another 5? 10 perhaps?

How did it become my responsibility to change society at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Mindborg said:

Imagine a society where nobody is expecting anyone to live altruistically. That's what I've done, and now I cannot get it off my mind. I think it's possible, and it's worth spending time and money on.

Whose time, and whose money?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Repairman said:

How did it become my responsibility to change society at all?

I'm not saying it is. I'm saying that's my job, and I will probably fail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Repairman said:

Whose time, and whose money?

My time. My money. And it will probably be wasted. But I have to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Mindborg said:

My time. My money. And it will probably be wasted. But I have to try.

If you think you will probably fail, then you will fail.

If capitalism is generally hopeless, a pipe dream, then it is doomed to collapse no matter what. Much of the OP helps to think about what projects are hopeful and would probably succeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

If you think you will probably fail, then you will fail.

Yeah, you're right. Thank you for correcting me. I thought of it after I wrote it, that I should focus on the probability of success, not the chance of failure.

1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

If capitalism is generally hopeless, a pipe dream, then it is doomed to collapse no matter what. Much of the OP helps to think about what projects are hopeful and would probably succeed.

I think capitalism and individualism is going to win, one way or the other. There are so many projects these days that are focused on freedom, all we need is for one to succeed.

Most projects are more libertarian in nature, and not so much objectivist. While libertarian is quite awesome I think, they miss quite a few components, including the importance of self-esteem and ambitions. I think objectivism adds so much to the conversation and way of life. Still, if it's a choice between where I'm living now and a libertarian society, I'll take the libertarian every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/3/2017 at 5:50 AM, Repairman said:

"Give me the child in the first seven years, I will give your the man." - The Jesuit Maxim

This made me think of the Behaviourist John B. Watson's quote:

 

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New Buddha,

I hope I'm not being taken as a behaviorist. I wasn't raised by Jesuits, but a little too close to it. Young people are often burdened in their early years with unwrapping the tangle of illogical lessons they've been taught as children. Alternatives to our public (and parochial) school systems would be a great step forward to teaching children to think independently. If capitalism is to survive, the role of education is critical. I'm not an expert on primary education, but I think we'll never know how many little socialist/collectivist monsters were unleashed by the comprachicos of modern education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Repairman said:

I hope I'm not being taken as a behaviorist.

Not at all!

The Watson quote goes to show the thinking that dominated much of the Left in the 20th Century and their assumptions about human nature that lies at the heart of social engineering, centralized planning, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×