Should Capitalism be outgrown?

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dxm_dxm
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by dxm_dxm » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:24 am

How come the richest countries in the world are always the most liberal? (USA, Switzerland, etc.)

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:50 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:45 am
How is China Communist, Kim? Communism means everything is state-owned, there is no money, etc. It has private ownership of the means of production and exchange of money for goods and services, i.e. Capitalism.
Hi, Dan,
When the People's Republic of China is ruled, one-party style, by the Chinese Communist Party, it would seem fairly reasonable to call China "communist" - as does, in fact, 99% of the world (and counting). :thinking:
But you know all that and you're still saying that China is capitalist, so you obviously want to use a non-standard definition of "Communist" - presumably one which is truer to Marx than China is.
Is there any country, then, which you consider to be "Communist"?

On a slightly different aspect, and mainly for the benefit of other readers, Wikipedia uses "state capitalism" to describe modern China here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China#Eco ... and_growth - and defines it here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_capitalism.

:namaste:
Kim

Dan74
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Dan74 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:03 pm

China, like its ruling party, is Communist only in name and indeed State Capitalism is correct.

I guess the USSR throughout most of its history was Socialist, given that the State owned the means of production, and ostensibly was run by a Communist ideology aiming at introducing Communism eventually. I recall all the slogans from my childhood, like: "Communism is near!"

There are no actual Communist economic systems anywhere in the world, nor have there ever been, I don't think.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:00 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:03 pm
China, like its ruling party, is Communist only in name and indeed State Capitalism is correct.

I guess the USSR throughout most of its history was Socialist, given that the State owned the means of production, and ostensibly was run by a Communist ideology aiming at introducing Communism eventually. I recall all the slogans from my childhood, like: "Communism is near!"

There are no actual Communist economic systems anywhere in the world, nor have there ever been, I don't think.
:thanks:
Next question, then: Are there any actual socialist economic systems anywhere in the world?

:namaste:
Kim

chownah
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:06 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:00 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:03 pm
China, like its ruling party, is Communist only in name and indeed State Capitalism is correct.

I guess the USSR throughout most of its history was Socialist, given that the State owned the means of production, and ostensibly was run by a Communist ideology aiming at introducing Communism eventually. I recall all the slogans from my childhood, like: "Communism is near!"

There are no actual Communist economic systems anywhere in the world, nor have there ever been, I don't think.
:thanks:
Next question, then: Are there any actual socialist economic systems anywhere in the world?

:namaste:
Kim
I think a better question which is more pertinent to the topic of whether capitalism should be outgrown is: Is there any actual real world economic system anywhere in the world which does not rely on the basic principles of capitalism....just a few examples of the basic principles of capitalism being free market, laissez faire, stocks and stock markets, bonds and bond markets, private ownership of the means of production, etc. I encourage anyone to add things to this list as those things occur to them as I have just quickly put down whatever quickly came to mind.
chownah

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:06 am

That's actually what I was working my way towards, Chownah.
I suspect no-one is going to come up with a genuinely socialist society - or not one that's larger than a few dozen people, anyway - and the next question was going to be, "Well, do we have any society which isn't capitalist?"

But we can have both questions open at the same time. :smile:

:popcorn:
Kim

Bundokji
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Bundokji » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:14 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:06 am
That's actually what I was working my way towards, Chownah.
I suspect no-one is going to come up with a genuinely socialist society - or not one that's larger than a few dozen people, anyway - and the next question was going to be, "Well, do we have any society which isn't capitalist?"

But we can have both questions open at the same time. :smile:

:popcorn:
Kim
Or if we want to expand further, do we have any society that is purely capitalist?
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

Dan74
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:21 am

I guess Cuba is often held up as a socialist economy, since it is mostly state-owned and state-controlled with free education and health care, etc.

chownah
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:09 am

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:14 am
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:06 am
That's actually what I was working my way towards, Chownah.
I suspect no-one is going to come up with a genuinely socialist society - or not one that's larger than a few dozen people, anyway - and the next question was going to be, "Well, do we have any society which isn't capitalist?"

But we can have both questions open at the same time. :smile:

:popcorn:
Kim
Or if we want to expand further, do we have any society that is purely capitalist?
I thought that no one here would propose that there exists a purely capitalist society so I leap frogged this question and went straight to the consideration of the priciples usually thought of as being the basis of capitalism:
Is there any actual real world economic system anywhere in the world which does not rely on the basic principles of capitalism
......using the buddha's teachings as analogic let's not consider the chariot; lets consider the parts we consider to make up the chariot....or let's not talk of a perceived self; lets talk of the clinging aggregates which are the basis of perceived self....sort of....I guess.....don't know for sure.....
chownah

Dan74
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:21 am

dxm_dxm wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:24 am
How come the richest countries in the world are always the most liberal? (USA, Switzerland, etc.)
There are many factors that go into that, some of which is surely that doing business in a liberal economy is generally easier than in a heavily regulated one, or not possible at all. But it's a bit of a club - would a socialist economy be welcomed with open arms by these liberal capitalist ones? Let's see what happens if Jeremy Corbyn is elected in the UK. Socialism can only thrive within a large Socialist market, not surrounded by hostile Caitalist economies.

Observe also how monopolies in liberal Capitalism like Amazon are squeezing out so many out of the market. Observe what globalisation has done to the industries in W. Europe. There are many issues.

Bundokji
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Bundokji » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:20 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:09 am
I thought that no one here would propose that there exists a purely capitalist society so I leap frogged this question and went straight to the consideration of the priciples usually thought of as being the basis of capitalism:
Is there any actual real world economic system anywhere in the world which does not rely on the basic principles of capitalism
......using the buddha's teachings as analogic let's not consider the chariot; lets consider the parts we consider to make up the chariot....or let's not talk of a perceived self; lets talk of the clinging aggregates which are the basis of perceived self....sort of....I guess.....don't know for sure.....
chownah
Maybe it is not explicitly proposed, but implicitly presumed evident by how the discussion is evolving so far. In order to outgrow anything, it needs to be defined, and this process of definition becomes the main point of contention. On the one hand, we have a theoretical basis of the underlying principles of capitalism, and on the other hand, we have how these underlying principles are applied in practice, and there seem to be a gap between the two hence the debate becomes: which one is more true than the other. To put it differently, which is more true, what you think of yourself or what people think about you?

The above reflected itself in my discussion with fwiw, and between Dan and Kim. We have nations which describe itself in a certain way, and we have a standard definition of things, and then when the two are compared, the gap is found. The US calls itself a democracy and a capitalist country, and at the same time, they rushed into saving big corporations during the global financial crisis. China calls itself a communist country ruled by the communist party, but a lot of its practices are profit driven and allows room for private ownership. Then we began to wonder if there is a real/genuine communist, socialist or capitalist countries in the world.

More generally, an underlying value is the main driver behind all of these debates, and the criteria is often manipulated to confirm the underlying value. If you were an idealist who value order (equality), you would consider the standard definition to be more true when it comes to democracy or human rights and less true when it comes to gender, because this selectivness would feed into the underlying value. The opposite is true in the case of realists. Activism in the world we live in seem to be reduced into this, and if there is anything that needs to be outgrown, it is this, nothing else.

All in my opinion.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:06 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:20 am
... More generally, an underlying value is the main driver behind all of these debates, and the criteria is often manipulated to confirm the underlying value. If you were an idealist who value order (equality), you would consider the standard definition to be more true when it comes to democracy or human rights and less true when it comes to gender, because this selectivness would feed into the underlying value. The opposite is true in the case of realists. Activism in the world we live in seem to be reduced into this, and if there is anything that needs to be outgrown, it is this, nothing else.

All in my opinion.
Yes, that is true - all except the "nothing else". :tongue: Yes, most of us do often seek validation and confirmation of views we already hold, but our hope here on DWE is that we can be open to learning something new.

And at this point I would like to jump a step or two ahead (as Chownah did a while ago by invoking the chariot) and propose a re-framing of the question.

What we seem to have been moving towards is a consensus that there is no real alternative to (some form of) capitalism around the world at present, i.e. that there is no truly communist country, no truly socialist country (except perhaps Cuba) and no other form of economic organisation worth considering.
To me, that suggests that (some form of) capitalism is natural to us, and is (in the long term) pretty much unavoidable - almost as natural and unavoidable as our sexual appetite, in fact. And that shouldn't be a big surprise, since capitalism is the expression in the economic sphere of greed.

Yes, we're back to the Three Poisons.

Capitalism structures our natural greed, just as marriage customs structure our natural lust. And I really doubt that we're going to "outgrow" either greed or lust in the next century or two - or our ignorance, for that matter. :tongue:
(Just as an aside: the urge to breed is one thing that every living thing on earth shares and can trace all the way back to the first sexually-reproducing critter, because if any descendants didn't have that urge as a high priority, they haven't got any living descendants. And the other high priority we share is the drive to possess enough food, because if any descendants didn't have that urge as a high priority, they starved before they bred and again haven't got any living descendants. And there's the origin of two of the Three Poisons, built into every cell of our bodies. :thinking: )

Back to capitalism: it stops our greed breaking out as constant violence by giving us property rights and police and all the rest, just as marriage customs stop our lust breaking out at random. Neither system is anywhere near perfect, of course, but it's better than nothing and, importantly, is improvable.

So the smart thing to do would be not to try to "outgrow" capitalism, but to modify it, ameliorating its nastinesses. We've come a fair way in the last 150 years, getting rid of slavery in the US and child labour in the UK, for instance. Let's see how much further we can go.

:namaste:
Kim
Kim

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fwiw
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by fwiw » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:12 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:06 pm
So the smart thing to do would be not to try to "outgrow" capitalism, but to modify it, ameliorating its nastinesses.
Some of the disagreement may just be a matter of choice of words to describe things. I sense that several participants in this discussion may have misunderstood my assumptions regarding the original framing of this discussion, and by the way I would like to apologize for, partly as a result, losing patience earlier in this discussion.

What I mean to say is that the wikipedia page for capitalism lists 8 fundamental characteristics of capitalism. If we modify some of them and add 2 or 3 more, I guess we can either say we have created a new system that "outgrew" the former one, or we can also say we are just modifying capitalism and ameliorating its nastiness. It's just a matter of which description one prefers.

This being out of the way, I would like to throw an idea into the mix, which I think is an example of what "tweaking" capitalism might look like. In 4 words, the idea is democracy at the workplace. A more detailed exposition starts as follows:
In capitalism, private owners establish enterprises and select their directors who decide what, how and where to produce and what to do with the net revenues from selling the output. This small handful of people makes all those economic decisions for the majority of people – who do most of the actual productive work. The majority must accept and live with the results of all the directorial decisions made by the major shareholders and the boards of directors they select. This latter also select their own replacements.

Capitalism thus entails and reproduces a highly undemocratic organization of production inside enterprises. Tina ('there is no alternative') believers insist that no alternatives to such capitalist organizations of production exist or could work nearly so well, in terms of outputs, efficiency, and labor processes. The falsity of that claim is easily shown. Indeed, I was shown it a few weeks ago and would like to sketch it for you here.
Anyone interested can read the rest here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -mondragon

In short, the idea is that in the vast majority of cases, the internal organization of a capitalist enterprise looks much more like a dictatorship than a democracy, which causes a lot of undesirable outcomes. Why not propose another form of organization that would be more democratic, could coexist with regular capitalist ventures and if appropriate supplant them one day?
... in my opinion

dxm_dxm
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by dxm_dxm » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:44 am

fwiw wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:12 pm
Why not propose another form of organization that would be more democratic, could coexist with regular capitalist ventures and if appropriate supplant them one day?
It has been tried, a hundred times, in a hundred conditions. It never worked. All the time it has lead to catastrophic poverty, famine and not to mention brutal oppression. It just doesn't work.

There isn't even too much wriggle room in a capitalist country. You have a very tighly defined space. If you move a little more left than that, you end up in either economic stagnation for decades like it happened in scandinavian countries in the past, either much worse. You can't move too right either. It depends entirely on the country where it should be. Western countries have astronomic taxation compared to developing ones cause that's what is recommended. These things are thankfully decided by economist and normal people have no say in them no matter what they vote, especially in USA where you have 2 parties and both are liberal when it comes to the economy. So everything is safe at least in USA.

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fwiw
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:05 am

dxm_dxm wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:44 am
fwiw wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:12 pm
Why not propose another form of organization that would be more democratic, could coexist with regular capitalist ventures and if appropriate supplant them one day?
It has been tried, a hundred times, in a hundred conditions. It never worked. All the time it has lead to catastrophic poverty, famine and not to mention brutal oppression. It just doesn't work.
Hi dxm, you sound like you are referring to communist regimes here. Am I correct?

However, if you read the article, you will see this is not about states but the Mondragon Corporation, a worker coop:
The MC rule that all enterprises are to source their inputs from the best and least-costly producers – whether or not those are also MC enterprises – has kept MC at the cutting edge of new technologies. Likewise, the decision to use of a portion of each member enterprise's net revenue as a fund for research and development has funded impressive new product development. R&D within MC now employs 800 people with a budget over $75m. In 2010, 21.4% of sales of MC industries were new products and services that did not exist five years earlier.
...
The largest corporation in the Basque region, MC is also one of Spain's top ten biggest corporations (in terms of sales or employment). Far better than merely surviving since its founding in 1956, MC has grown dramatically. Along the way, it added a co-operative bank, Caja Laboral (holding almost $25bn in deposits in 2010). And MC has expanded internationally, now operating over 77 businesses outside Spain. MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.
... in my opinion

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fwiw
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:08 pm

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... in my opinion

chownah
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by chownah » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:46 pm

fwiw wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:05 am
color=#FF0000]MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.[/color][/b]
This is saying that worker cooperatives can successfully compete with your usual corporate businesses in today's business climate.
chownah

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fwiw
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by fwiw » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:10 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:46 pm
fwiw wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:05 am
color=#FF0000]MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.[/color][/b]
This is saying that worker cooperatives can successfully compete with your usual corporate businesses in today's business climate.
chownah
Yes, because this one does
... in my opinion

chownah
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by chownah » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:31 pm

fwiw wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:10 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:46 pm
fwiw wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:05 am
This is saying that worker cooperatives can successfully compete with your usual corporate businesses in today's business climate.
chownah
Yes, because this one does
Indeed there are no doubt others I think.....mandragon is just the biggest one or at least one of the biggest ones.
It is my understanding that not all of the workers there are owners.....do you know what percentage in fact are owners?.....and.....do you know why only some of the workers are owners and why it is not that all of the workers are owners?
chownah

chownah
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Re: Should Capitalism be outgrown?

Post by chownah » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:37 am

Here is an article that gives some answers to my questions:
https://drpop.org/mondragon-how-do-you-become-a-member/
It says that (among other things...go read it) to become a member requires a 15,000 euro investment in the company. What this means is that to become a member you must make a captial investment in the corporation. This sound quite a bit like capitalism what with the capital investment required to be part of the decision making process which is very much like the usual corporate structure where a purchase of a share (or more) of stock is required to be part of the decision making process. I think that this means that while mondragon seems to me to be a vast improvement on the usual corporate structure it has not outgrown capitalism (see the topic title).

Note that I said "mondragon seems to me to be a vast improvement on the usual corporate structure ".....and I mean it......and my comments here are not meant to malign mondradon but its just that going out to joust against capitalism per se seems to me like a waste of energy which could be used to try to improve on what mondragon has done or at least to duplicate it.....and.....to duplicate what they have done requires an acceptance of some of the principles of capitalism rather than some rhetorical railing against it.

It is alot easier to complain about capitalism than it is to work everyday to bring about a better corporate ethic.
chownah

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