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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 onlooker » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 09:31:49

Precisely. I mean natural carrying capacity. How many technological rabbits can we pull out of our hat. Not enough I fear
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 09:57:55

Cog wrote:Obviously that is not true onlooker because the population is still growing, albeit because humans can employ fossil fuel slaves to support that human population. Carrying capacity has no true meaning if you can manipulate the world and its resources to support more population. We aren't cows.


Right. Cows stop eating when they run out of pasture.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 10:13:31

Cog wrote:Obviously that is not true onlooker because the population is still growing, albeit because humans can employ fossil fuel slaves to support that human population. Carrying capacity has no true meaning if you can manipulate the world and its resources to support more population. We aren't cows.


Two points
There are limits to the manipulation. And, yes we very much are cows.

Tiresome arguments. Capitalism ONLY works in an environment of expanding resources. And we have manipulated things to release some otherwise pent up resources. Had we been forward looking and limited Earths population to say 500 millions we could have raised all those souls out of poverty and devised methods to feed them without depleting the souls and oceans. We didn’t; we used the extra resources to create more souls.

Cows, in our common parlance, are domesticated heard animals almost entirely existent upon humanities ability to feed and house them. Cows have no vision of the future. All that is true of humanity.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 11:08:36

Newfie wrote:Tiresome arguments. Capitalism ONLY works in an environment of expanding resources. And we have manipulated things to release some otherwise pent up resources. Had we been forward looking and limited Earths population to say 500 millions we could have raised all those souls out of poverty and devised methods to feed them without depleting the souls and oceans. We didn’t; we used the extra resources to create more souls.

Cows, in our common parlance, are domesticated heard animals almost entirely existent upon humanities ability to feed and house them. Cows have no vision of the future. All that is true of humanity.


That is demonstrably false. People on this thread constantly conflate Conspicuous Consumerism with Capitalism. They are not and never have been the same thing.

Capitalism is at its root simple and basic commerce. You do not need growth to exchange goods and services with your fellow humans, you just need to want to exchange and be willing to negotiate the means of exchange. Cash makes it easier than barter, but either system is simple Capitalism. What most of the hateful rhetoric is directed at is conspicuous consumerism, trying to keep up with the Jonse's instead of stopping when you have enough. If your iPhone 7 works well why do you need an 8 or 9 or 10? Just because Billy down at work got one? What kind of a messed up belief system is that, based solely on envy what your fellow man has instead of what you actually need?

Even conspicuous consumerism can work in a world of stable resources instead of growth, but to do that requires that someone else has less for you to have more. People tend to frown on that unless they are in the getting more at others expense portion, and the more they get the more people have to be on the losing end to balance things.

So in a growing economy everyone can get more at the same time and in a stable resource economy some can get more at the expense of those who lose. Unfortunately Marx and Engles did not understand the distinction and for 150 years their readers have been convinced that even in a growing economy the poor have to get poorer for the middle and upper class to grow wealthier.

The great boon of fossil fuels was that everything could grow at once, the poor in North America are vastly wealthier than the wealthiest Monarchy of the last thousand years before fossil fuels.

Growth on a finite world has finite limits. Once those limits are reached if conspicuous consumerism continues than the equation will once again balance by taking from the powerless to give to the powerful. That was reality before fossil fuel powered growth and will be the reality in the future, but it is not the reality today while energy remains abundant.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 11:14:56

Tanada

You will note I frequently write “Capitalism/consumerism.” I didn’t here simply because people frequently “conflate” one with the other. I’ve tired of attempting the distinction.

As to the rest, I agree.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 11:43:35

Tanada, I believe you misrepresent Marx and Engles. There were not idiots.

But as to your point; capitalism does depend on ever-expanding resource base. Even in lieu of a constant expanding population base, the very nature of money creation . . . it comes with debt, because it is an IOU for future work. The debt requires more money must exist in the future. That's to support the money lenders and the money-lending system.

So unless one believes in the tooth fairy, (or lives on Avatar where blue people fill the gas tanks with unobtainium lol) then you have to accept that the fiat money system requires overhead above and beyond the productive use of the money. Even bitcoin relies on copious amounts of coal energy.

    Home / Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index
    Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index


    Key Network Statistics
    Description Value
    Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh) 32.53
    Annualized global mining revenues $13,487,831,695
    Annualized estimated global mining costs $1,626,480,051
    Country closest to Bitcoin in terms of electricity consumption Serbia
    Estimated electricity used over the previous day (KWh) 89,122,195
    Implied Watts per GH/s 0.296
    Total Network Hashrate in PH/s (1,000,000 GH/s) 12,936
    Electricity consumed per transaction (KWh) 241.00
    Number of U.S. households that could be powered by Bitcoin 3,012,000
    Number of U.S. households powered for 1 day by the electricity consumed for a single transaction 8.15
    Bitcoin's electricity consumption as a percentage of the world's electricity consumption 0.15%
    Annual carbon footprint (kt of CO2) 15,940
    Carbon footprint per transaction (kg of CO2) 118.12
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 11:58:48

P,

Let us not too far drawn into semantics.

Tanada is using Capitalisim in its most basic definition

You are describing how it has expressed itself in a human world.

I argue that we have deviated from Capitalisim so far as o make it almost unrecognizable today (as happened to Communisim). What we have today is Consumerisim. One only needs to look at our health care costs to see that nothing there is driving the system towards effiency a la capatialisim. What IS happening is we are generating “jobs” which fuel “growth”.

I don’t care if we call it “my aunt sally”, what is occurring is pretty stupid and unsustainable.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:04:23

Newfie wrote:P,

Let us not too far drawn into semantics.

Tanada is using Capitalisim in its most basic definition

You are describing how it has expressed itself in a human world.

I argue that we have deviated from Capitalisim so far as o make it almost unrecognizable today (as happened to Communisim). What we have today is Consumerisim. One only needs to look at our health care costs to see that nothing there is driving the system towards effiency a la capatialisim. What IS happening is we are generating “jobs” which fuel “growth”.

I don’t care if we call it “my aunt sally”, what is occurring is pretty stupid and unsustainable.

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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:26:31

Newfie my point was not semantic; the theoretical capitalism that loves us and the natural world probably can not exist. Christ understood that.

The money supply must expand beyond the consumer society and its demands. Modern money is fiat money, a system that requires information and additional overhead above and beyond the productive use of the money. When the Federal Reserve buys notes from the Treasury (or visa versa, I forget?) to create money then interest is charged. That interest compounds.

Maybe the gold-buggers have a point?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:36:17

As soon as Agriculture was invented it allowed for the accumulation of wealth/food that then made desirable the creation of currency to represent that wealth. It also allowed for the division of labor, creation of cities etc. In turn this wealth needed to be stored and accounted for hence Banks. Then of course debt issuance makes alot of sense in a world of commerce and money. Fair assessment ?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:47:41

onlooker you tied together the historical components of our modern economic system. Awesome job. I would suggest one change however:

onlooker wrote:As soon as Agriculture was invented it allowed for created the accumulation of wealth/food that then made desirable necessary the creation of currency to represent that wealth. It also allowed for created the division of labor, creation of cities etc. In turn this wealth needed to be stored and accounted for hence Banks. Then of course debt issuance makes alot of total sense in a world of commerce and money. Fair assessment ?


Man is a tool-using ape by nature and genes. I suspect that small, handy, hardy material things (especially shiny stuff, see the Bower Bird) has intrinsic value. It's why the wheat berry is on the original penny. (It's also a carb thing, very addictive and fun!) Everywhere in the world, folks created coins of some sort.

Wampum: a quantity of small cylindrical beads made by North American Indians from quahog shells, strung together and worn as a decorative belt or other decoration or used as money.


That is why capitalism is really the only system. It's not particularly evil or taken over by the wealthy. It's just who we are. We like to hoard and get over on other humans. Is that evil? I don't think so. It seems to be tribal and natural
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:51:59

A great even more basic dissection P, of all this. By the way, hope my grammar is improving , so boring haha. Even back in elementary school, I found it tedious
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby dissident » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 12:52:14

onlooker wrote:As soon as Agriculture was invented it allowed for the accumulation of wealth/food that then made desirable the creation of currency to represent that wealth. It also allowed for the division of labor, creation of cities etc. In turn this wealth needed to be stored and accounted for hence Banks. Then of course debt issuance makes alot of sense in a world of commerce and money. Fair assessment ?


Agriculture created an easy target for extortion and intimidation and gave rise to a ruling class. Farmers are tied to their land and can be threatened with the burning of crops. This gave birth to protection rackets. All governments originated as mafia thugs.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 13:09:22

So, turning forward, what do we do with this understanding? How do we use this to project into the future what it holds and how we should adapt?

Personally.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 13:12:48

dissident wrote:
onlooker wrote:As soon as Agriculture was invented it allowed for the accumulation of wealth/food that then made desirable the creation of currency to represent that wealth. It also allowed for the division of labor, creation of cities etc. In turn this wealth needed to be stored and accounted for hence Banks. Then of course debt issuance makes alot of sense in a world of commerce and money. Fair assessment ?


Agriculture created an easy target for extortion and intimidation and gave rise to a ruling class. Farmers are tied to their land and can be threatened with the burning of crops. This gave birth to protection rackets. All governments originated as mafia thugs.

So we pay government thugs to protect us from criminal thugs. Kind of trickle-down protection racket lol
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 13:24:27

onlooker wrote:A great even more basic dissection P, of all this. By the way, hope my grammar is improving , so boring haha. Even back in elementary school, I found it tedious

I have become a better writer posting here at peak oil. It's a great opportunity to hone ones grammatical and intellectual machine. (how's that for fancy-talk lol)
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 15:23:48

Some here, ducking behind their religion they call "Capitalism", are poor students of history, and are determined to repeat it, governmental regulation be damned.

By October, 1929, the government had made itself irrelevant almost by habit; business was left to its own devices. Managers appreciated this but did not grasp the consequences: they were marching purposefully into a pit of their own making, there to remain until the rise of a more ‘innovative’, ‘entrepreneurial’ government in Hitler’s Germany … and the world’s necessary response to it.

..............................

Today, the government purposefully aims to do the same thing, to become irrelevant, to shrink itself until it can be drowned in a bathtub; to give free rein to gamblers without heed, to do so in order to answer obsolete ideological concerns. How can this end well? Speculation by nature escapes all bounds, taking on a life of its own. In the late ’20s there was a speculation frenzy in stocks and real estate. Now it’s bonds, stocks, real estate, art … the ‘everything bubble’. The consequences are not grasped: the fact of out-of-control speculation indicates the economy of physical goods and services is kaput: there is no more ‘real economy’: it’s gambling or nothing.
..............................................

Q: How would you describe the economy?

A: It is a system that allows a select few to borrow immense fortunes. The rest of us; you, me, everyone else, repay the debts.

Q: That’s it?

A: That’s it.


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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 17:24:33

Useless meanderings for the most part. Some of you have finally come around to the realization that Capitalism is a label for normal primate behaviors. Now go one step further and look to the savagery to come when energy gets expensive and all at once every other resource is in short supply.

The outlook is grim. Look at the way baboon troops compete over food resources and eat the losers. There is one answer for all of our problems, but most of you would rather ridicule it than think "outside the box".

The box is the planet we inhabit. Outside the box are virtually unlimited amounts of energy, materials, and living space. Enough for trillions of humans, and without any requirement to change our selves from the primates we are.

No, Marx and Engels were not idiots. They were however as abysmally ignorant of the true nature of mankind as was every other ninteenth century writer, and as a consequence their entire works are virtually useless.

So go ahead, if you wish, again heap scorn on the best hope of mankind to survive the ecology he destroyed.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 17:32:34

KaiserJeep wrote:Useless meanderings for the most part. Some of you have finally come around to the realization that Capitalism is a label for normal primate behaviors. Now go one step further and look to the savagery to come when energy gets expensive and all at once every other resource is in short supply.

The outlook is grim. Look at the way baboon troops compete over food resources and eat the losers. There is one answer for all of our problems, but most of you would rather ridicule it than think "outside the box".

The box is the planet we inhabit. Outside the box are virtually unlimited amounts of energy, materials, and living space. Enough for trillions of humans, and without any requirement to change our selves from the primates we are.

No, Marx and Engels were not idiots. They were however as abysmally ignorant of the true nature of mankind as was every other ninteenth century writer, and as a consequence their entire works are virtually useless.

So go ahead, if you wish, again heap scorn on the best hope of mankind to survive the ecology he destroyed.


Yes, KJ, it's all useless meanderings, except for your brilliant comments of course.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 18:14:31

GHung wrote:Some here, ducking behind their religion they call "Capitalism", are poor students of history, and are determined to repeat it, governmental regulation be damned.

Q: How would you describe the economy?

A: It is a system that allows a select few to borrow immense fortunes. The rest of us; you, me, everyone else, repay the debts.

Q: That’s it?

A: That’s it.


http://www.economic-undertow.com/author/steveludlum/

Gee, another doomer blog site, making claims doomers want to point to.

So let's pretend like only a "select few" are able to borrow. As though the entire mortgage system, consumer debt system, government debt system, and all the rest of it, doesn't exist, or only gets utilized by a "select few to borrow immense fortunes".

When these sources and your posts can't even get by the obvious common sense laugh test, maybe you doomers should try for more credible sources. But based on how much nonsense of this quality that gets thrown out by doomers in hopes of spreading FUD, I know, that's highly unlikely.

When zerohedge (calling that a proxy for such sources) predictions of imminent economic doom start coming true frequently, be sure and let us know. Hint: thus far there seems to be NO danger of THAT. :idea:
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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