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Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:25 PM

 

Is it Socialism or Capitalism that sucks?

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Reply Is it Socialism or Capitalism that sucks? (Original post)
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 OP
el_bryanto Mar 2015 #1
FrodosPet Mar 2015 #2
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #3
Throd Mar 2015 #5
Liberalynn Mar 2015 #18
sendero Mar 2015 #36
WillyT Mar 2015 #4
Throd Mar 2015 #6
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #7
hifiguy Mar 2015 #16
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #17
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #8
KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #9
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #10
KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #11
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #27
PowerToThePeople Mar 2015 #12
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #20
PowerToThePeople Mar 2015 #23
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #24
PowerToThePeople Mar 2015 #25
RadiationTherapy Mar 2015 #13
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #14
RadiationTherapy Mar 2015 #15
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #31
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2015 #19
NCTraveler Mar 2015 #21
Matrosov Mar 2015 #22
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #30
RedCappedBandit Mar 2015 #26
Amishman Mar 2015 #28
brooklynite Mar 2015 #29
99th_Monkey Mar 2015 #34
Matrosov Mar 2015 #32
PowerToThePeople Mar 2015 #37
randome Mar 2015 #33
Dpm12 Mar 2015 #35
RichGirl Mar 2015 #38

Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:31 PM

1. It depends on how you define socialism and capitalism

Which flavor of capitalism you are talking about - Laissez Faire Capitalism of the Robber Baron sort is pretty awful, and we are pretty close to that right now. Regulated capitalism seems to work out pretty well in much of Europe.

A command economy, like in Soviet Russia, doesn't seem that appealing either. I suspect the best option is some sort of combination of the two. Using capitalism to solve the problems it's good at solving, and using socialism to solve the problems that capitalism can't.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:39 PM

2. Stop making sense



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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:47 PM

3. Bottom-up Democratic Socialism geared to leverage Worker-Ownership

 

Workers own the means of production and the source of "profits", such that the private sector
becomes increasingly democratized and re-humanized.

Contrary to RW propaganda, Economic Democracy is a dear friend of healthy grass-roots
populist Political/Electoral Democracy.

Tom Hartman and Richard Wolff are way ahead of the curve, along the lines I suggest above.
#t=92

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:54 PM

5. Well said. n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:29 PM

18. I agree with you.

 

A combination of well regulated capitalism and socialism is always what I've thought would do best for a country's economy.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 05:00 PM

36. Yes...

.... several Scandinavian countries seem to have found a reasonable balance that actually works. But of course to our politicians, bought and sold, it is practically communism.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:49 PM

4. K & R !!!

 


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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 01:56 PM

6. Both are capable of sucking. How systems are implemented matters.

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Response to Throd (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 02:45 PM

7. I elaborated some on that here ...

 

Last edited Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:17 PM - Edit history (1)

we keep a 'private sector', but drive it "out of town" with an aggressive campaign of
conversions to worker-ownership via buy-outs leveraged with friendly-terms-loans
and/or grants by Federal Government
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=6413575

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:49 PM

16. Leave the private sector in place for the "options" of life and luxuries.

 

Ya wanna spend $10 K on an iWatch? Fine. I would hate to see high-end audio equipment, Ferraris and custom Alembic bass guitars disappear from the face of the earth. Artisanal goods will never lose their attractions and they should remain with us.

The basics of existence in the modern world - decent shelter, medical care, food, etc. - should be available to all. Socialize 'em. And tax the living bejesus out of the tenth-percent and above, not to mention inherited wealth, to make it happen.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 03:08 PM

8. Both suck without serious checks and balances.

 

As would every form of government discussed. Few things would be as ugly as unregulated capitalism. Today, no civilized countries come even close to unregulated capitalism. Probably because they wouldn't be civilized if they did try.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 03:14 PM

9. Feudalism and slavery (the two economic 'systems' that preceded capitalism

 

in history) sucked even worse than 'unregulated capitalism,' at least in my opinion.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 03:16 PM

10. Serfdom and slavery can easily be a part of regulated or unregulated. nt.

 

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 03:20 PM

11. Sorry, meant to say 'feudalism' (not 'serfdom'). Now edited to

 

reflect the change.

Any serf preferred to be liberated from feudal obligations, as Napoleon discovered to his joy and amazement when he conquered Europe and freed the serfs. Any chattel slave preferred capitalism to slavery, as Abraham Lincoln experienced when he walked through liberated Richmond and the newly-liberated bondsmen threw themselves at his feet.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:38 AM

27. History of implementation and changes......

 

is really interesting. As are societal reactions. I am going to assume you are much better versed than I in that history. I really like your reply and the thought behind it. Really is food for thought in two sentences. Thanks.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 04:14 PM

12. haha, not

 

Nice, the "both parties are equally corrupt argument." How can you use it here and simultaneously hate it when it is used against corporate dems?

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:52 AM

20. I think you replied to the wrong post.

 

Socialism and capitalism are not parties. I really have no clue how your response to my post is relevant in any way.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:26 AM

23. no, I did not

 

Think about it.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:29 AM

24. No thanks.

 

It has nothing to do with my post.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:32 AM

25. you are incorrect.

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 05:01 PM

13. Capitalism is the chief cause of socialism and vice versa.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 05:57 PM

14. I'm not sure about that

 

doesn't the trajectory of history i.e. transition from feudalism to capitalism -- which in-turn then gives rise to capitalism's seeming antithesis, commonly called Communism/Socialism -- suggest otherwise?

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:12 PM

15. I don't know. My grasp of western economic history is not that great.

That's just a short-hand for advocating a more hybrid economic system. I am interested to know more about your point if your care to write.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:59 PM

31. I think we're on the same page

 

Last edited Thu Mar 26, 2015, 02:50 PM - Edit history (1)

Here are some links that summarize where I'm coming from, which is a 'hybrid' of democratic socialism and worker-owned 'capitalism'.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=6413575
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026413464#post30

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:35 PM

19. The answer to that question is "yes"

the simpler answer to that question is "no, it's people that suck, therefore any economic system designed and implemented by people is going to suck in one way or another".

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:53 AM

21. Concepts are implemented by people.

 

People are flawed.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:57 AM

22. Politicial Communism isn't economic socialism

 

No doubt many people will point to the repressive aspects of the Soviet Union as examples of why the answer is supposed to be socialism, but economic socialism has nothing to do with sending political opponents to the gulags.

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Response to Matrosov (Reply #22)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:24 PM

30. Precisely! A democratic socialist government subsidizing worker-owned co-operatives

 

instead of Big Oil, Big Pharma, MIC, et. al. is the goal, in my mind at least ...

Economic Democracy baby!
Tom Hartman & Prof. Richard Wolff

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:34 AM

26. Capitalism doesn't work.

There is not a single successful example of unregulated capitalism. Successful economies are a combination of regulated capitalist markets with socialized services. We need more of that. This nation needs to get over its fear of its mistaken views of socialism.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:53 AM

28. the problem is human greed

Any system which allows power to be in the hands of a few will inevitably be perverted to favor those individuals in power. It doesn't really matter if those individuals are elected socialist / communist leaders or plutocrats.

Direct democracy would bring its own problems, as most people are too ignorant about many issues to make informed decisions. Climate change is a good example of this, as are economic and trade issues.

As a whole people are screwed because as a whole people suck.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 11:11 AM

29. So you're saying every socialist is 100% ethical?

No Government officials misuses community funds?

No commune members takes an extra share of resources?

Conversely, 100% of capitalists are irresponsible and uncaring?

Any more stereotypes you'd like to throw out?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:20 PM

34. Of course not.

 

But it sounds like you're inference is "governments are all equally bad, i.e. Oligarchy, Socialism, Communism, blah blah, who cares".

Did I get that right?

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:01 PM

32. An important difference in how they appeal to self-interest

 

Humans are inherently driven by self-interest. That doesn't make us inherently good or bad, it just makes us like every other living create on this planet. Good and bad doesn't come into play until our interests are at odds with the interests of someone else. Some people are bad in the sense that they're willing to completely disregard others in their pursuit of self-interest, even if it is detrimental to another person. Many are tempered by empathy and morality. We're willing to donate, to volunteer, perhaps even to risk our lives for the well-being of others. Nevertheless, we make the majority of our daily decisions based on what is best for Number One.

The big difference between capitalism and socialism is in how they try to harness that pursuit of self-interest.

Capitalism argues that when people are free to pursue their self-interests, without interference from any regulations and such, it leads to universal prosperity. After all, nobody knows better what is best for us than we do, right? The problem is that capitalism completely ignores several important realities. One is that we don't all operate from the same equal footing. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. This means the richest are in the best position to make money, and the poor are in the worst position. This is precisely the reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Another reality ignored by capitalism is not everything which appears to be in our best interest actually is in our best interest. Pollution is probably a very good example. It might seem that a little bit extra pollution from one factory is worth the price of being able to manufacture something more cheaply, but when everybody thinks like that, the resulting pollution adds up to put the health and future of all humankind in jeopardy. Sometimes that blindness isn't a result of shortsightedness but of coercion, which brings me to another shortfall of capitalism.

While capitalism argues people prosper most when they are free of regulatory interference, it doesn't address the fact that people are subject to corporate coercion. Capitalism works great in that fictional universe where corporations are completely transparent and consumers have complete access to all information. In reality, corporations go out of their way to hide information and deceive consumers, for the sake of being able to squeeze more money out of us, and thus what we perceive to be in our best interest and what is actually in our best interest can be very different at times.

I'd go so far as to argue that socialism is actually what most people would support if people really had complete access to all information. Let's not forget that we are more powerful together than we are alone. This is the reason why we don't live in complete anarchy in the first place. Unfortunately, it seems when it comes to supporting ourselves financially, we've allowed the richest to convince the rest of society that survival of the fittest is somehow a better choice. Capitalism translates into freedom, they say, because capitalism leads to money, which translates into power, which translates into freedom.

Considering the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, this actually means that the people at the very top of the wealth pyramid are enjoying more and more freedom. Yet everyone below them, especially the poorest at the bottom of the pyramid, is becoming increasingly less free. Capitalism is essentially a system of corporate feudalism.

Of course, there are the 'socialist examples' like East Germany or the Soviet Union. As I mentioned before, political Communism and Socialism are not the same as economic socialism. The latter says nothing about how to treat political dissidents, for example. The labor and reeducation camps had nothing to do with the economic system. I'll be the first to admit that even though we look to government to protect us from corporate crimes, having too much power concentrated in the hands of too few is never a good thing.

At least workers in the Soviet Union could argue there was no question as to which group of elites was in charge. Soviet society was ruled by the top of the Communist party. Here we have a greater sense of freedom, but I'd argue the reality is more worrying. There's a reason why businessmen like to get into politics and why politicians land cushy consulting jobs in the private sector once they leave office. Under capitalism, the line between corporate power and political power is being erased. Companies are gaining the power to purchase legislation, and it's only going to get worse.

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Response to Matrosov (Reply #32)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 06:56 PM

37. great explanation! n/t

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:03 PM

33. It's over-population that sucks for any and all economic systems.

 

We have bred ourselves into disarray.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Aspire to inspire.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:56 PM

35. They both have pros and cons N/T

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 07:55 PM

38. Saw George Seros on Charlie Rose a while back...

He was asked...which is best Socialism or Capitalism. His answer was that either one would work out fine if the people at the top care for the people at the bottom. And no form of government works out if people at the top don't care about people at the bottom. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Each of the 3 heirs of Walmart are worth 40 billion...yes EACH one! If they cared about their employees they would pay them a good living wage, give raises, over-time, paid vacation, healthcare, pension.

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