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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 ralfy » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 22:18:34

vtsnowedin wrote:Quite the opposite. With 330 million people and vast natural resources the American economy can do quite well by itself and capitalism would be the engine that provides plenty for everyone not just subsistence.
But of course the experiment will never happen as we crave our coffee imported from Brazil and our cocaine from Columbia.


So, it's not quite the opposite. LOL.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 09 Dec 2017, 22:23:05

Tanada wrote:
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.


The two work hand-in-hand because the capitalist system referred to is free market capitalism. That involves competition, which means the drive for profit maximization. That in turn requires not only ever-increasing consumer markets but increasing consumption per capita. Hence, a growing global middle class:

The rise of the global middle class

which is not sustainable due to limits to growth:

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse

of which peak oil is part.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 28 Jul 2018, 15:31:03

Capitalism has done such an excellent job of destroying any country with dreams of equality under a socialist or communist banner, that not one country, not even the U.S.S.R. has ever existed that was actually truly communist. If any country threatens to bring equal rights to its citizens, its smashed by the U.S. which also has done an excellent job of brainwashing its workers into actually believing that being wage slaves to psychopaths is the only way to go. We eschew equality, we eschew decent health care based on healing rather than on profiteering, we eschew a decent and free educational system which is extant in every industrialized nation on the planet with the exception of the U.S. - which, to be fair, is no longer an industrialized nation, but a banana republic. But the serfs will defend their thieving, exploitative masters no matter how bad things get, no matter how bad and expensive and unavailable housing gets so the Jared Kushner's of the world can continue to leech off the work of others through privatized property, no matter how bad the educational or job opportunities. Amerikan workers will continue like zombies sleepwalking through life, accepting their masters' version of reality instead of the hell we're forced to live so the insanely bloated rich and powerful can become even more insane, more bloated, more powerful and even richer. One of these days, they'll cut down the last tree, murder the last animal for sport, destroy the last "enemy". Then we'll be the only enemy left for them to kill and I already know, as they do, that as many stupid and vicious people exist, they can always find enough hired hitmen among the working class to kill the other half. Then their collaborators will be the last to go and we'll have made of earth a Psychopath's Paradise and change the name of Earth to Earth, Inc.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 13 Sep 2018, 22:09:24

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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 14 Sep 2018, 06:53:14

onlooker wrote:Capitalism has done such an excellent job of destroying any country with dreams of equality under a socialist or communist banner, that not one country, not even the U.S.S.R. has ever existed that was actually truly communist. If any country threatens to bring equal rights to its citizens, its smashed by the U.S. which also has done an excellent job of brainwashing its workers into actually believing that being wage slaves to psychopaths is the only way to go. We eschew equality, we eschew decent health care based on healing rather than on profiteering, we eschew a decent and free educational system which is extant in every industrialized nation on the planet with the exception of the U.S. - which, to be fair, is no longer an industrialized nation, but a banana republic. But the serfs will defend their thieving, exploitative masters no matter how bad things get, no matter how bad and expensive and unavailable housing gets so the Jared Kushner's of the world can continue to leech off the work of others through privatized property, no matter how bad the educational or job opportunities. Amerikan workers will continue like zombies sleepwalking through life, accepting their masters' version of reality instead of the hell we're forced to live so the insanely bloated rich and powerful can become even more insane, more bloated, more powerful and even richer. One of these days, they'll cut down the last tree, murder the last animal for sport, destroy the last "enemy". Then we'll be the only enemy left for them to kill and I already know, as they do, that as many stupid and vicious people exist, they can always find enough hired hitmen among the working class to kill the other half. Then their collaborators will be the last to go and we'll have made of earth a Psychopath's Paradise and change the name of Earth to Earth, Inc.


This is pure, unadulterated BS. Communism has never worked, even though it has been attempted in slightly different flavors almost four dozen times. The five present communist regimes are either failing - like N Korea and Venezuela - or transforming slowly into Capitalist economies - like China and Cuba. We HAVE covered this ground before, and I think everybody understands this except our Commie members onlooker and Dohboi.

As for "How Capitalism Turned America Soviet", I got about halfway through that nonsense before I couldn't take it anymore. For those of you with memories destroyed by drug and alcohol abuse, I would remind you of the recent history of healthcare in the USA: basicly functional but needing tweeking before Obamacare pretty much rewrote the rules in favor of the insurance companies. Obamacare, if one will recall, was the US Congress and a Left Wingnut POTUS's lame attempt at Socialized Healthcare.

It's gonna be OK in spite of your angst. Capitalism always breaks out in the end and saves those still alive after the latest Socialist/Communist nightmare.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 19 Sep 2018, 01:52:51

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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Wed 19 Sep 2018, 07:54:11

KaiserJeep wrote:
onlooker wrote:Capitalism has done such an excellent job of destroying any country with dreams of equality under a socialist or communist banner, that not one country, not even the U.S.S.R. has ever existed that was actually truly communist. If any country threatens to bring equal rights to its citizens, its smashed by the U.S. which also has done an excellent job of brainwashing its workers into actually believing that being wage slaves to psychopaths is the only way to go. We eschew equality, we eschew decent health care based on healing rather than on profiteering, we eschew a decent and free educational system which is extant in every industrialized nation on the planet with the exception of the U.S. - which, to be fair, is no longer an industrialized nation, but a banana republic. But the serfs will defend their thieving, exploitative masters no matter how bad things get, no matter how bad and expensive and unavailable housing gets so the Jared Kushner's of the world can continue to leech off the work of others through privatized property, no matter how bad the educational or job opportunities. Amerikan workers will continue like zombies sleepwalking through life, accepting their masters' version of reality instead of the hell we're forced to live so the insanely bloated rich and powerful can become even more insane, more bloated, more powerful and even richer. One of these days, they'll cut down the last tree, murder the last animal for sport, destroy the last "enemy". Then we'll be the only enemy left for them to kill and I already know, as they do, that as many stupid and vicious people exist, they can always find enough hired hitmen among the working class to kill the other half. Then their collaborators will be the last to go and we'll have made of earth a Psychopath's Paradise and change the name of Earth to Earth, Inc.


This is pure, unadulterated BS. Communism has never worked, even though it has been attempted in slightly different flavors almost four dozen times. The five present communist regimes are either failing - like N Korea and Venezuela - or transforming slowly into Capitalist economies - like China and Cuba. We HAVE covered this ground before, and I think everybody understands this except our Commie members onlooker and Dohboi.

As for "How Capitalism Turned America Soviet", I got about halfway through that nonsense before I couldn't take it anymore. For those of you with memories destroyed by drug and alcohol abuse, I would remind you of the recent history of healthcare in the USA: basicly functional but needing tweeking before Obamacare pretty much rewrote the rules in favor of the insurance companies. Obamacare, if one will recall, was the US Congress and a Left Wingnut POTUS's lame attempt at Socialized Healthcare.

It's gonna be OK in spite of your angst. Capitalism always breaks out in the end and saves those still alive after the latest Socialist/Communist nightmare.


Yeah, KJ, as always, you're great at name-calling and finger-pointing, but skip the part where, like socialism, capitalism is growth-dependent and resource-limited. Too many humans wanting more; not enough planet.

.... and you can't even drink the water? Capitalism did that too. You said so.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 19 Sep 2018, 09:03:59

Still, even a mental defective would eventually confront the truth of the matter. Communism/Socialism has never succeeded more than briefly, Capitalism always saves the oppressed victims afterwards. The defective musings of Marx and Engels are simply not reality. Furthermore, far from "dreams of equality", the Communist/Socialist regimes have produced the most unequal and repressive and genocidal real world conditions in modern history.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Wed 19 Sep 2018, 10:25:18

KaiserJeep wrote:Still, even a mental defective would eventually confront the truth of the matter. Communism/Socialism has never succeeded more than briefly, Capitalism always saves the oppressed victims afterwards. The defective musings of Marx and Engels are simply not reality. Furthermore, far from "dreams of equality", the Communist/Socialist regimes have produced the most unequal and repressive and genocidal real world conditions in modern history.


Your pretty good at beating nearly dead horses, KJ. I'll grant you that.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 07:14:31

So yes Capitalism over a relatively short period of time has been a smashing success for a certain number of people. But that is the problem it is not sustainable and never was going to be. So ultimately the myopic vision of those extolling Capitalism is going to be lethal most likely for our species
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 08:05:33

As if socialism and the gulag is a better choice. I'm little surprised that the peak oil death cult embraces socialism to enhance and accelerate the model of death squads to build their utopia.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 08:50:07

As for the "brief" success of Capitalism, the Silk Road trade routes were established around 200BC and are still in use although trucks have replaced camels.

Capitalism works and lasts. There never has been a single successful and lasting Marxist economy in four dozen attempts.

Reality, what a concept!
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:21:30

..... and the binary capitalism-vs-socialism idiocy continues, displaying an utter lack of imagination here; the inability to consider that neither will be viable in the near future. Not in their current highly extractive forms. It seems these ideas have been hard-coded into some of these folks, which is why the failure of current economic systems, and their supplanting, will be forced, chaotic, and anarchistic. It's already underway as proprietors of what-is continue to throw shit at walls and wondering why none of it sticks for long.

I can smell the fear; the stench of people realizing (on some base level) that their precious systems are failing, and there is no Plan C anyone wants to consider. At scale, economies based on faux capital growth are essentially self-exterminating. It doesn't matter who thinks they are in control when nobody is.

Too many humans. Not enough real stuff.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:27:53

Do I need to imagine death camps and executions of the 20th century to know that communism and socialism is a bad idea? Wake up

Oh and in before it will be different this time because this time we will do it right.

GHung bemoans too many humans. Well socialism/communism is a good way to get rid of the Deplorables and undesirables he wishes to execute.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:34:07

Cog wrote:Do I need to imagine death camps and executions of the 20th century to know that communism and socialism is a bad idea? Wake up

Oh and in before it will be different this time because this time we will do it right.


Smell it?

That would be the difference between a democratic system and the rule of law vs totalitarianism. Political, not economic. You either don't know the difference or think no one else does.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:38:04

Contrary to popular and mistaken opinions, Capitalism deals quite well with resource shortages, lack of economic growth, lack of liquid money, and even lack of capital. The free market rules and those with money - because they participated in the economy, and set aside some cash, and invested wisely - prosper.

Fans of Marxism and those who would tax the rich to feed their lazy selves, can eat sawdust and die. It is a Darwinian world.
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:48:48

Yes, we are beating a dead horse here. It is about too many humans, living in unsustainable ways. And yes, the argument is a moot point now. But, my point remains that our species arrived at this juncture much faster than maybe it was destined to, because we fashioned our lives around an economic system whose fundamental tenents are about growth, selfishness and material pursuits. Our primitive ancestors did not have FF but they also tried to live in relative harmony with their surroundings and understood at some level the need for a certain modesty and frugality in their use of Nature. And they also were not so absorbed with the physical realm of their existence via pleasures etc. They had a spiritual orientation that allowed them to maintain a certain balance and peace to thwart the urges that would propel them to act rashly or recklessly. Being at peace should not be undervalued as it allows in my opinion a human or group of humans to be more in harmony with their surroundings including others and more in control of their actions
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 09:53:17

KaiserJeep wrote:Contrary to popular and mistaken opinions, Capitalism deals quite well with resource shortages, lack of economic growth, lack of liquid money, and even lack of capital. The free market rules and those with money - because they participated in the economy, and set aside some cash, and invested wisely - prosper.


Yes. This is why we have massive debt, growing economic divides, failing infrastructure, political stalemate and impotence, accelerating environmental decline, unaffordable healthcare for so many, increasing reliance on drugs, failing education systems along with an overall dumbing-down of the populace, increasing complexity becoming more unsustainable, legal systems that are a joke but pretend to serve "justice", and so many entitled/privileged people like you whistling louder past the graveyard.

I predict that all of those things will be lasting and getting worse, while, once again, your rising capitalist tide decides it can float fewer boats. What will you do when all of those folks come swimming onto your shore, KJ? Move to New Zealand?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 10:11:02

You hit it out of the ballpark with that one Ghung. But be careful to point out anything in which the Govt had a hand in, because rabid Capitalists are quick to say, "Look see, it is the Government's fault". Not taking a moment to reflect that the requisites of modern Capitalism require severe underfunding of the Govt and weakening of it. And also not taking into account how Capitalism has created an environment very difficult to allow ordinary folk to do anything other than work as wage slaves. That is why the middle class of America is a dying class. Where are they? Not in middle heartland America suffering from neglect and being adandoned by Corporations via Outsourcing. Not in the decaying cities of many states left no option but to become wards of the Federal Govt. Not in the suburbs where people are in over their heads with Debts and have to work and commute most of their hours awake to pay the bills. Where oh where is the Middle Class?
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Re: THE Capitalism Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby GHung » Thu 20 Sep 2018, 10:58:50

Where oh where is the Middle Class? A question with complex answers which boil down to one small end of the economic spectrum, in KJ's Darwinian world, feeling it's important to take far more than they need, the other end essentially dysfunctional in terms of producing anything tangible (essentially dead weight from a purely practical perspective), both mining the vast middle class who are trying to keep up the appearance of being middle class. All of them consuming stuff and ignoring their waste streams.

I agree that it's at least a warped sense of priorities; no "spiritual" throttling of our culture's need for more, whether or not we can pay for it in terms of real-time true capital.

So we steal from the future.
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