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THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 09:01:18

onlooker wrote:Their motto will be something to the effect of their is enough for everyone's needs but not for anyone's greed


Hopefully when they get there they'll remember the difference between there, their, and they're.

It's hard to imagine a world post-die-off that has enough for everyone's needs unless there's almost none of us left.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby baha » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 09:06:24

Of course you're right Newfie.

I think there is some agreement on re-localization. It fits the model. Global layers of complexity and governments and banking cartels with their hands out are no longer affordable. Keep your money close to home and you avoid this.

I tend to look at things one step at a time...first we get to steady state and then we invent 'contractionism' :)

I know, we don't have much time. But there is no end...sooner or later we have to figure this out. Or maybe it will be 'crash-ism'
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 10:12:38

Cog wrote:
onlooker wrote:What Ghung says is very true, That is why any system resembling Capitalism would be highly detrimental to our descendants in trying to forge cohesive functioning societies in the future. I can envision communal societies stressing sharing and frugality. Their motto will be something to the effect of their is enough for everyone's needs but not for anyone's greed


Might as well have quoted Marx since that is exactly what he was pushing.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

The bodies of 100 million dead people are testament to the failure of this plan. Sharing at the point of a gun, enforced by the state, is how this plays out in reality. If you want to form a commune with like minded people, have at it.


Unlike you, I'm not "pushing" anything. Unlike you, I know better. And, unlike you, I try to not read things into other peoples' comments.

What I've determined is that capitalism is self-limiting when unconstrained and that people will forward their own self-interests at the expense of others when they can do so 'anonymously' and aren't held accountable by society. I'll gladly hold you up as an example. In a smaller society where all are expected to contribute and behave, people are generally held accountable because "we know where you live". Small societies can't afford parasitism or dead weight, especially on a cultural or institutionalized level. On a basic level, people are expected to get along, or get TF out.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:38:30

Whatever one proposes to replace Capitalism (aka normal primate behavior) it has to take into account the basic nature of mankind. Marx and Engels, for all their ernest efforts to describe an ideal economy, wrote convincingly of a vision that was pure BS, based as it was on the 19th century view of mankind, the conquerer and subjugator of the natural world. Their ignorance of the nature of Kudzu Apes, and the very eloquence they used to describe something better than Capitalism, in the end killed hundreds of millions of people. In one sense they are deadlier villians than Ghenghis Kahn, Adolf Hitler, or Mao Zedong, because their convincingly written prose inspired true villiany on the parts of others, who sought to implement their vision of a more advanced society.

Darwin's groundbreaking work produced the science of Anthropology, and the understanding of the true nature of mankind. Since about the middle of the 20th Century we have had the knowledge necessary to understand how fundamentally flawed are the writings of Marx and Engels. Sadly, we have had no one since then who can write of a better alternative to Capitalism.

In fact, with the knowledge we now have, there may not exist anything better than Capitalism. Not to mention, a better idea is only a start, you have to have an implementation plan as well. Marx and Engels had none, instead they believed that the economy would evolve beyond Capitalism through the stages they described. Unfortunately, thhey have instead inspired a whole legion of admirers who sought to hasten such natural evolution, and go directly to that impossible fantasy they had envisioned.

The lesson is quite clear. Two powerful forces exist today that Marx and Engels had no knowledge of, which are high technology and our information network. I am surrounded by legions of half aware cyber people, with cell phones, BlueTooth headsets, and virtual reality displays. I do not know if it is possible to replace Capitalism with something better, but I am certain that there is an opportunity do do so, because the new cyber humans are different from their parents. What that "better idea" that may replace Capitalism might be, I have no idea - but I am certain that it will only be workable on cyber humans, and that the likes of us who acquired tech toys late in our lives will not be participants in their new economy.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:57:12

Again, KJ, you display your techno-narcisism by skipping the part where the cyber age is turning on itself in every way imaginable. Your technology age is no different than previous ages where humans exploited, made war and subverted their fellow humans, except in their methods and frequency. At least, in the past, they could usually see their enemies coming. Indeed, growing reliance upon technology has made us more vulnerable in many ways.

How's your Equifax account doing? Do you have any expectations of privacy? Any at all? Fact is, your life is under attack from people you'll never know, in ways even a tech wiz like you can't predict. Do you really believe that is a viable future that has long legs? Seems your high tech future is not immune at all to that basic human nature you speak of.

Capitalism at its finest, eh?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 12:31:18

GHung wrote:In a smaller society where all are expected to contribute and behave, people are generally held accountable because "we know where you live". Small societies can't afford parasitism or dead weight, especially on a cultural or institutionalized level. On a basic level, people are expected to get along, or get TF out.


That is also a function of limited resources and technology. For instance, the original settlers in the Americas, the Mayflower crew, etc..., sure, they were surrounded by the bounty of nature, but there were so few defenses against it that they had to keep functioning like a single crew, a single unit. Everything each member of society did was vital to their survival, and had to be done within certain time-windows. You couldn't afford to take a sick day. People were counting on you constantly. This was, of course, a dual-edged sword. You were important, but you may not have had a lot of say in how you wound up responsible for this or that task. Once you were the blacksmith, you couldn't just quit and take up basketweaving.

Today society has surplus up and down the chain. Surplus energy, surplus products on the shelves, and surplus people. That means there's a lot of individual choice and yet, paradoxically, a lack of value in any one thing. Everything has been commodified, even dating, as well as certain people who will rush to try to convince us that this is alright.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 12:49:16

GHung, some of us participated in the advent of the cyber age. My career spanned the period of the large IBM mainframe to the mobile devices of today, and I was never overwhelmed, as I was an EE who was implementing my small piece of the cyber world. I built a PC back in the day of the IBM AT and before Windows was born, and I still have my hands-on approach after retiring. We have had our shredder and have practiced safe internet forever. Now I have a comfortable retirement account, two expensive homes, and will collect my first Social Security check in January - I waited to maximize the payout. I don't spend on credit any more except in special circumstances, we have even paid cash for our last three vehicles. I have no secrets and don't really care if anybody tries to pry into my life, we practice safe internet.

All of which is a diversion from my point above. My professional career is over, my attention is now on enriching my experiences for the remainder of my life, now that I'm free of financial need. Meanwhile, I never was overwhelmed by technology, and I'm not now. I am however an interested observer of the cyber society that you seemingly would deny. Good luck with that.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 13:23:36

GHung wrote:How's your Equifax account doing? Do you have any expectations of privacy?

Ah, more babbling about doom.

As though because Equifax is run by incompetent idiots, computer security doesn't exist, and in fact can't possibly exist.

As if because someone opens up a false credit card account under your name, you're doomed. As if you can't monitor your credit. As if credit cards don't have lots of rules that protect consumers (who report problems promptly upon discovery) from fraud.

Yes, there are bad actors on the internet. And this is different now than the past decade plus?

Relax. Inconvenience isn't doom. If incompetence were doom, the Beltway would have doomed America long ago. You'll give yourself a stroke.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 13:52:40

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
GHung wrote:How's your Equifax account doing? Do you have any expectations of privacy?

Ah, more babbling about doom.


It seems you want to view every post here as a battle between imaginary doomers and your own victorious optimism. So you intentionally misrepresent Ghung's comment. Ghung's mention of Equifax was a mere tangental bit of evidence . . . his main point is that technology succumbs to the same forces that other capitalistic endeavors succumb to.

KJ has a long history of techtopian romanticism. Ghung's comment was in response to KJ's techtopian vision. KJ argues that mankind's tribal Will-to-Power will be defused or properly channeled by technology.
Again, KJ, you display your techno-narcisism by skipping the part where the cyber age is turning on itself in every way imaginable. Your technology age is no different than previous ages where humans exploited, made war and subverted their fellow humans, except in their methods and frequency. At least, in the past, they could usually see their enemies coming. Indeed, growing reliance upon technology has made us more vulnerable in many ways.

KJ, has a long history of promoting the Singularity, the final complete universal mind and entity. Outcaste do you also promote the Singularity? Will the Virtual Overmind replace humanity as KJ as posited? Will technology overcome the limitations of Capitalism, Socialism or Human Tribalism. Or worse . . . will technology render human society meaningless, create us as a legion of slaves?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Cog » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 14:24:30

To expect humans, to all of the sudden adopt a self-less cooperation strategy, even though that has never happened with humans throughout history, is either hubris or just plain wishful thinking. Those that long for the hunter-gatherer days and romanticize them, forget about the anthropology record of cracked bones and skulls, so that the other tribe could get at the tasty stuff inside.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 14:31:11

There you go again, interpreting things never said.

I think you are quite right to believe we will never adored t a selfless cooperative society. Also we will likely pursue capitalism on smaller and smaller scales as we compete our way back into the Stone Age. No one here is advocating for a return to h-g, they are looking, hoping for some alternative.

And to be quite blunt how is small h/g communities competing against one another not the most pure form of capitalism?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Cog » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 14:38:49

Newfie wrote:There you go again, interpreting things never said.

I think you are quite right to believe we will never adored t a selfless cooperative society. Also we will likely pursue capitalism on smaller and smaller scales as we compete our way back into the Stone Age. No one here is advocating for a return to h-g, they are looking, hoping for some alternative.

And to be quite blunt how is small h/g communities competing against one another not the most pure form of capitalism?


Was I responding to you in some way? I think not. What I was stating was a general rebuttal to those starry-eyed creatures which in inhabit this forum who believe if we just went back to H/G it would be great. We would spend our days painting, having sex, occasionally hunt some meat while the women gather herbs and berries. That is not the reality of any primitive man. But the thought persists and I've seen it for the last ten years here and other places that engage in fantasy.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 14:59:05

Cog wrote:
Newfie wrote:There you go again, interpreting things never said.

I think you are quite right to believe we will never adored t a selfless cooperative society. Also we will likely pursue capitalism on smaller and smaller scales as we compete our way back into the Stone Age. No one here is advocating for a return to h-g, they are looking, hoping for some alternative.

And to be quite blunt how is small h/g communities competing against one another not the most pure form of capitalism?


Was I responding to you in some way? I think not. What I was stating was a general rebuttal to those starry-eyed creatures which in inhabit this forum who believe if we just went back to H/G it would be great. We would spend our days painting, having sex, occasionally hunt some meat while the women gather herbs and berries. That is not the reality of any primitive man. But the thought persists and I've seen it for the last ten years here and other places that engage in fantasy.


"....rebuttal to those starry-eyed creatures which in inhabit this forum who believe if we just went back to H/G it would be great...."

See the part about interpreting things never said. Seems you can't be honest at all about other peoples' comments. I haven't seen anyone posit that reverting to an H/G society would be great. Ever. Not sure why you insist on twisting other folks' comments to your need to establish some sort of superior position. IMO, that is usually the result of a deeply-held insecurity, but I'm no expert. I just call it dishonest, at best.

O_S is prone to do the same thing. Nothing about my comment, above, was a 'doomer' position when read unfiltered and honestly. It just meant that technology is as much of a liability as most of our "progress" and endeavors seem to be. Calling the rising number of serious cyber crimes and data breaches, which can and are having life-altering impacts on peoples' lives and costing billions, "an inconvenience" is minimizing to the point of denial (or lying).
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 15:11:24

As usual Ghung is spot on. Technology and the "modern" world have just allowed us to reach this stage of planetary overshoot. They are not a panacea to the basic problem of our nature. This is not the same as advocating we go back to H/G bygone days. It is simply a recognition that our main task collectively is to improve "ourselves' rather than the world around us
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 17:23:30

And another point of view.

https://www.google.com/amp/bigthink.com ... arkets.amp

A well-known example of irrational decision-making people's tendency to overvalue the things they own (I would pay $1 for a coffee mug but will demand $5 for an identical coffee mug that happens to be mine). This bias of "the mind" is called the "endowment effect" and is often assumed to be universal (and therefore explained as the work of evolution). But in this paper Coren Apicella, Eduardo Azevedo, James Fowler, and Nicholas A. Christakis found that some people and some minds don't have this bias at all. Rather than being built-in to human nature, they write, the endowment effect may be a habit of mind that people learn in market-oriented societies. If that's true, it means that (for this trait at least) the hunter-gatherers described in the research were more rational before they were exposed to modern capitalism.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 24 Nov 2017, 20:07:40

This is really now where we are in terms of predatory exploitative Capitalism. The middle classes of the West are being eviscerated in the never ending search for profit. The consumer base is shifting towards the East with the last gasps of the Debt Growth based Capitalism reaching natural limitations. And the modern Industrial Civilization will wither and collapse under resource shortages and its own internal flaws especially its tendency of concentrating wealth
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 16:52:10

I really wonder just who it was that filled your young mind with Marxist twaddle. But then, there's no excuse for not growing out of such early educational abuse.

The actual thing that happened was WW2, and a large population bump we called "the Baby Boom" which followed that most desperate conflict. Those babies are now retiring in numbers unprecedented in human history. Most of them have accumulated wealth in the form of real estate, retirement accounts, and the like, which is no longer pumping money into the economy. These retired folks are also owed an enormous unfunded Social Security pension, plus medical insurance (Medicare) which constitutes a major portion of the Federal Government's debt.

Reasonable and prudent Congress Critters and Senabores would have planned for these financial expendatures which have been known about for 70 years or so. However, they did not, they continued to spend money like proverbial drunken sailors, while "kicking the can" down the road for the next Congress to demonstrate austerity. So we have a He!! of a financial mess to clean up.

Meanwhile, the idiotic economic musings of Marx and Engels have been tried over three dozen times, and seldom does a Marxist pretend economy last beyond a decade without imploding. The two that did so were China (which transformed itself into a curious Authoritarian Capitalism) and the USSR which created enormous human rights abuses with Gulags and the like, while trying to cleanse itself of Capitalist tendancies - impossible because Capitalism arises from the basic set of primate instincts that evolution equipped humans with.

But it really doesn't even matter what the rules are in whatever economic system you have, if the abusers of the rules are tolerated versus prosecuted. The abusers being those that cheat on taxes, pay for special interest legislation, and refuse to prosecute certain offenders who are members of their own political party. The fall of every Latin American version of Marxism is the clearest example of this, as the Latin American culture favors and excuses offenses by family and extended family members. Latin cultures are the least likely to create a successful Marxist state - if such is even possible.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 17:17:21

I do not dispute these succession of events. But that is just part of it. The other part is Globalization and how it has been designed by the rich and ruling classes to allow exploitation of the entire planet. Exploitation of the resources and of the people. So, we do not have to discuss Marxism or such. I never said Communism was some sort of panacea. But, I think you should admit the terribly unequal and unjust Capitalistic system. After all it is quite in line with your assertion of the primate underpinnings. In fact it is more fundamental. It is the Maximum Power principle seen in Ecology and among creatures within it. Here is link and a short synopsis. "Step 1. Individuals and groups evolved a bias to maximize fitness by maximizing power, which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of natural resources (overshoot), whenever systemic constraints allow it. Differential power generation and accumulation result in a hierarchical group structure.

Step 2. Energy is always limited, and overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power available to some members of the group, with lower-ranking members suffering first.

Step 3. Diminishing power availability creates divisive subgroups within the original group. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals, who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain power.

Step 4. Violent social strife eventually occurs among subgroups who demand a greater share of the remaining power.

Step 5. The weakest subgroups (high or low rank) are either forced to disperse to a new territory, are killed, enslaved, or imprisoned.

Step 6. Go back to step 1.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 19:01:32

onlooker wrote:I do not dispute these succession of events. But that is just part of it. The other part is Globalization and how it has been designed by the rich and ruling classes to allow exploitation of the entire planet. Exploitation of the resources and of the people. So, we do not have to discuss Marxism or such. I never said Communism was some sort of panacea. But, I think you should admit the terribly unequal and unjust Capitalistic system. After all it is quite in line with your assertion of the primate underpinnings. In fact it is more fundamental. It is the Maximum Power principle seen in Ecology and among creatures within it. -snip-


I simply believe that there is nothing more fundamental than instinctual primate emotions instilled by evolution. The problem I am having with your viewpoint on this matter is the part of Marxism that you can't seem to let go of: the struggle of the social classes, which Marx dubbed the Proletariat (and you call the people) and the Bourgeoisie (which you call the rich and ruling classes).

In fact I don't believe those classes exist except as abstract concepts. In everything that one can measure about human beings, meaning intelligence and strength and visual acuity and even depth of emotions, ambition, and all manner of things, when you graph the results, you get a bell curve - with a low extreme, a bulging middle, and a high extreme. Individuals have a place somewhere on that bell curve, and one thing you could easily graph - because the government requires you to report such annually for purposes of taxation - are things such as income, capital assets, real property, personal property, etc. That which you call the "rich and ruling classes" are the high extreme of the bell curve.

There's no class of people who designed something called Globalization, or who conspired to exploit resources and people. Some people are better at such things than the vast majority, some are much worse, and suffer poverty for a variety of reasons. These people exist at different points on a bell curve of ability. Some of their behaviors cannot be taught, ever hear the term "trust fund baby", referring to an adult who is paid an income allowance his entire life, because a parent recognized a lack of ability, yet did not want their offspring to starve?

The Huffington Post is not a reasonable source of unbiased news, try balancing it with another publication such as The Wall Street Journal. Read the differing news in each and then decide where the truth lies.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Sat 25 Nov 2017, 20:05:14

Abandonment of the proletariat is the first order of the bourgeois in the aspiration to join the apparent ruling class, effectively established capital. Bourgeoisie can only succeed by either leeching off the proletariat (imitation of the ruling class) or by selling something manufactured by the proletariat. As soon as the proletariat gain wealth, it is their class duty to squander it, lest become one of the despised bourgeoisie. When the prollies gain power, the result is predictably vicious, genocide madness & mayhem. Oh this crazy world huh.
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