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Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:16 AM

Capitalism is a Sickness

What do call someone that will destroy their own environment, the very ground they stand on, pollute the water they drink, genetically alter their own food supply with unknown consequences, flood society with deadly weaponry, work to eliminate health care for millions, and then finance a massive campaign to deny any of it is actually happening because admitting so would impact the incomes of the richest 1%? Maybe it should simply be called genocide by social construct? In this country we just call it Capitalism.

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Capitalism is a Sickness (Original post)
Joe Nation Apr 2015 OP
former9thward Apr 2015 #1
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #3
busterbrown Apr 2015 #6
DemocratSinceBirth Apr 2015 #8
busterbrown Apr 2015 #13
DemocratSinceBirth Apr 2015 #16
busterbrown Apr 2015 #18
DemocratSinceBirth Apr 2015 #22
busterbrown Apr 2015 #23
jwirr Apr 2015 #9
former9thward Apr 2015 #17
jwirr Apr 2015 #19
busterbrown Apr 2015 #21
Recursion Apr 2015 #25
Cayenne Apr 2015 #28
jwirr Apr 2015 #29
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #2
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #4
marmar Apr 2015 #5
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #7
Rolando Apr 2015 #30
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #10
Recursion Apr 2015 #11
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #12
Recursion Apr 2015 #14
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #24
Lee-Lee Apr 2015 #27
busterbrown Apr 2015 #15
Recursion Apr 2015 #20
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #26
Orsino Apr 2015 #31
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #34
FSogol Apr 2015 #32
Joe Nation Apr 2015 #35
ananda Apr 2015 #33

Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:19 AM

1. Socialism did all those things times 10 in Russia, China

and East Europe. Capitalism is not perfect but is the best way of creating wealth for the most amount of people.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:23 AM

3. It's not an either/or dichotomy

Capitalism as practiced after WWII was great for creating a large prosperous middle class but since Reaganomics, capitalism is pretty much just a system to enrich the wealthy.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:33 AM

6. So your conflating Russia and China with Countries such as...

Denmark, Finland, Netherlands countries which probably have the best living standards in the world..

China and Russia have turned into Capitalistic States on Steroids.. In other words Oligarchies ..

Need to catch up on current state of affairs in the world..

http://blog.peerform.com/top-ten-most-socialist-countries-in-the-world/

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Response to busterbrown (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:35 AM

8. I eschew labels but all those nations have market based economies.

Denmark, Finland, Netherlands countries which probably have the best living standards in the world..

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:48 AM

13. Market Based Economies..which are driven

by High Taxes... Certainly most Capitalistic Countries want little to do with Higher Taxes.. It’s an every man for himself mentality..

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Response to busterbrown (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:54 AM

16. I have no problem with redistributionist policies.

My point is that most successful economies are market based.


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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #16)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:59 AM

18. And I’m just saying strong “redistributionist policies” ..

are the driving force behind sound market based economies..

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Response to busterbrown (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:03 PM

22. The goal is to use the profits generated by markets to improve the lives of everbody

The goal is to use the profits generated by markets to improve the lives of everybody.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #22)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:08 PM

23. The profits of our Capitalistic Markets no longer induce strength..

to our economy.. Corporate Taxes are so low that businesses are now just reaping higher incomes for their own self interests. They now have little motivation to create, just to pile up their earnings.

And thats a fact! Also a fact that our economy presently stinks..

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Response to former9thward (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:38 AM

9. Socialism seems to have worked pretty well in the rest of EU.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:59 AM

17. Except there are no EU countries that are socialist.

All are market based capitalist countries. They have more social welfare programs than the U.S. does. They have been able to afford that largely thanks to the U.S. which defends them. They do not have a huge military budget like we do.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:02 PM

19. You are correct - kind of like the mixed economy that FDR favored. Only they made it work for them

while we let the Rs call it socialism and try to destroy it.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:03 PM

21. I’ll say it again, it’s the strong social welfare programs which..

drive the sound market based economies...

Take a look at our Market based economy,,, It’s on steroids and our economy stinks to high hell.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:14 PM

25. Yeah, I sometimes wonder how much of Europe the Europhiles in the US have actually seen

I mean, I guess Austria is still explicitly socialist (the SPÖ is a member of the SI, for instance). But for the most part they're much more corporate-friendly and market-oriented than a lot of Americans seem to think.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:32 PM

28. So has capitalism

We can't get too caught up in the isms.

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Response to Cayenne (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:36 PM

29. That is true until the trickle down ideas took over. Also I am not so sure you can make that

claim if we are talking about the inner cities. The are still waiting for the New Deal to work for them.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:20 AM

2. DSM-5 defines antisocial personality

The common features of a psychopath and sociopath lie in their shared diagnosis — antisocial personality disorder. The DSM-5 defines antisocial personality as someone have 3 or more of the following traits:
• Regularly breaks or flaunts the law
• Constantly lies and deceives others
• Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
• Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
• Has little regard for the safety of others
• Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
• Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt
Symptoms start before age 15, so by the time a person is an adult, they are well on their way to becoming a psychopath or sociopath.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:26 AM

4. Psychopaths Make Great CEOs

Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs

“The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry”: the incidence of psychopathy among CEOs is about 4 percent, four times what it is in the population at large. I spoke with him recently about what that means and its implications for the business world and wider society.

Are we really to understand that there’s some connection between what makes people psychopaths and what makes them CEO material?

At first I was really skeptical because it seemed like an easy thing to say, almost like a conspiracy theorist’s type of thing to say. I remember years and years ago a conspiracy theorist telling me the world was ruled by blood-drinking, baby-sacrificing lizards. These psychologists were essentially saying the same thing. Basically, when you get them talking, these people [ie. psychopaths] are different than human beings. They lack the things that make you human: empathy, remorse, loving kindness.

So at first I thought this might just be psychologists feeling full of themselves with their big ideological notions. But then I met Al Dunlap. [That would be “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap, former CEO of Sunbeam and notorious downsizer.] He effortlessly turns the psychopath checklist into “Who Moved My Cheese?” Many items on the checklist he redefines into a manual of how to do well in capitalism.

There was his reputation that he was a man who seemed to enjoy firing people, not to mention the stories from his first marriage — telling his first wife he wanted to know what human flesh tastes like, not going to his parents’ funerals. Then you realize that because of this dysfunctional capitalistic society we live in those things were positives. He was hailed and given high-powered jobs, and the more ruthlessly his administration behaved, the more his share price shot up.

So you can just go down the list of Fortune 500 CEOs and say, “psychopath, psychopath, psychopath…”

Well, no. Dunlap was an exceptional figure, wasn’t he? An extreme figure.

I think my book offers really good evidence that the way that capitalism is structured really is a physical manifestation of the brain anomaly known as psychopathy. However, I woudn’t say every Fortune 500 chief is a psychopath. That would turn me into an ideologue and I abhor ideologues.

Is it an either/or thing? It seems to me, thinking about it, that a lot of the traits on the checklist would be be useful in a corporate ladder-climbing situation. So maybe there are a lot of CEOs who simply have some psychopathic tendencies.

It is a spectrum, but there’s a cutoff point. If you’re going by the Hare checklist [the standard inventory used in law enforcement, devised by leading researcher Robert Hare], where the top score is 40, the average anxiety-ridden business failure like me — although the fact that my book just made the Times best sellers list makes it difficult to call myself that — would score a 4 or 5. Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.

There are absolutes in psychopathy and the main absolute is a literal absence of empathy. It’s just not there. In higher-scoring psychopaths, what grows in the vacant field where that empathy should be is a joy in manipulating people, a lack of remorse, a lack of guilt. If you’ve got a little bit of empathy, you’re kind of not a psychopath.

So maybe there’s a sweet spot? A point on the spectrum somewhere short of full-blown psychopathy that’s most conducive to success in business.

That’s possible. Obviously there are items on the checklist you don’t want to have if you’re a boss. You don’t want poor behavioral controls. It’d be better if you don’t have promiscuous behavior. It’d be better if you don’t have serious behavioral problems in childhood, because that will eventually come out. But you do want lack of empathy, lack of remorse, glibness, superficial charm, manipulativeness. I think the other positive traits for psychopaths in business is need for stimulation, proneness to boredom. You want somebody who can’t sit still, who’s constantly thinking about how to better things.

A really interesting question is whether psychopathy can be a positive thing. Some psychologists would say yes, that there are certain attributes like coolness under pressure, which is sort of a fundamental positive. But Robert Hare would always say no, that in the absence of empathy, which is the definition in psychology of a psychopath, you will always get malevolence.

Basically, high-scoring psychopaths can be brilliant bosses but only ever for short term. Just like Al Dunlap, they always want to make a killing and move on.

And then you’ve got this question of what came first? Is society getting more and more psychopathic in its kind of desire for short-term killings? Is that because we kind of admire psychopaths in all their glib, superficial charm and ruthlessness?

There’s a certain sour grapes aspect to accusing CEOs of being psychopaths. It’s very tempting to look at anyone more successful than you are and say, “It must be because he’s a monster.”

There’s a terribly seductive power in becoming a psychopath stalker. It can really dehumanize you. I can look at, say, Dominique Strauss Kahn, who, if one assumes that what one is hearing about him is true, certainly he hits a huge amount of items on the checklist — the $30,000 suits, the poor behavioral controls, the impulsivity, the promiscuous sexual behavior. But of course when you say this you’re in terrible danger of being seduced by the checklist, which I really like to add as a caveat. It kind of turns you into a bit of a psychopath yourself in that that you start to shove people into that box. It robs you of empathy and your connection to human beings.

Which is why people like Robert Hare are kind of useful. I’m against the way that people like me can be seduced into misusing the checklist, but I’m not against the checklist.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:28 AM

5. Professor Robert McChesney says it well:


"US capitalism is fundamentally flawed, and has a strong tendency toward stagnation. Left to its own devises, without exogenous factors, the private economy cannot generate sufficient jobs and incomes for full employment. That means low growth rates, rising poverty and growing inequality. Due to popular pressure, government politics can arrest these tendencies, with public works programs, progressive taxation, support for unions and the like. Capitalists generally oppose these measures as an impingement on their prerogatives and their control over the economy. Even in Scandinavia, where working-class victories created a much-admired social democracy (unless you are a FOX News fan), capitalists lie in wait always keen to reverse the victories and turn back the clock. In the United States, military spending became the one form of government stimulus spending that faced no serious opposition from capitalists coming out of World War II, and instead it created an army of corporate supporters: Eisenhower's military-industrial complex. Militarism is now so hard-wired into really existing capitalism in the United States that the call to reduce it to a level approaching sanity becomes a demand to rethink the entire structure of the economy."


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Response to marmar (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:35 AM

7. Absolutely spot on!

Try and close a military base in some congressman's district and they can't stop whining. We are becoming the bullies of the world with empire desires that would have made any 20th century dictator envious. Now, if corporations can successfully dumb down the population to nothing more than a herd of ignorant soldiers that will willingly fight wars of choice at great profit, how are we any different than those 20th century dictators?

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Response to Joe Nation (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 01:20 PM

30. Yes, try closing a military base in Texas or Arizona

 

The federal government virtually supports the State of Arizona, largely through military connections--bases and contractors. Much of the military is outmoded, and contracts are out for things we don't need. The money and the space could be put to better use. What if we shut down the Goldwater Bombing Range (east of the Colorado River) and turned it into a windmill and solar panel farm? We could use the government contractors to build energy collectors and hire local people to manufacture them. We would not be blowing money up.

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Response to marmar (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:40 AM

10. Orioles' COO John Angelos said....

Orioles' COO John Angelos, the son of owner Peter Angelos, then took to his own Twitter to deliver a powerful statement about the situation in Baltimore, USA Today reports.

"The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, one that far exceeds the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards," Angelos wrote. "We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans."


adding...

"My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts," Angelos wrote, "but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle-class and working-class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American's civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/orioles-exec-delivers-powerful-statement-on-baltimore-riots-20150428#ixzz3YiWfij2M
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:42 AM

11. What's socialism's record worldwide with environmental protection? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:46 AM

12. Not relevant ???

Like I already said, it is not a choice simply between Capitalism and Socialism. That assumption is just black and white thinking. How about something like a social democracy with aspects of both Capitalism and Socialism?

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Response to Joe Nation (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:49 AM

14. Sorry, I missed where you said it wasn't a simple binary choice

How about something like a social democracy with aspects of both Capitalism and Socialism?

I'd say even that is a problematic definition. It's how I'd describe the US, Norway, and India (though India is still much more of a command economy than either the US or Norway).

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:08 PM

24. That's OK....

Many people think Capitalism and Socialism are the only 2 choices even though blended hybrids that encompass aspects of both economic systems abound. I have nothing against Capitalism or even Socialism but either taken to the extreme are equally dangerous to freedom and the growth of the middle class.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:25 PM

27. Norway funds huge portions of its spendibg with petrodollars

 

Including its entire sovereign wealth fund.

Granted, they tax a petro powered vehicle highly and subsidize electrics with that same money, but they find all of this with massive offshore drilling sending that oil all over to be burned.

They pretend to be noble and green while ignoring they fund all of it with oil...

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Response to Joe Nation (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 11:52 AM

15. The thriving Socialistic Countries in Northern Europe..

Are Market Based...driven by high taxes, which leads to higher living standards, which means a vibrant middle class which is walking around with more money in their pockets.. Good for business!

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Response to busterbrown (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:03 PM

20. High regressive taxes (they use a VAT to fund their social programs)

Honestly for all the problems with a VAT I can't argue with how Europe has handled it.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 12:16 PM

26. Today...

I think we are seeing the extremes Capitalism can reach. The louder they scream about Socialism the tighter the Oligarchy wraps their hands around our throats. Socialism is their boogieman and by all economic indicators you simply can't conclude that Socialism is even a factor in this country. I would hate to live under a total Socialist model but Socialism emphasizes the role of the worker in society and we are sorely lacking consideration of that sector of society at this point.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 01:49 PM

31. The greed that prevents our regulating it is the sickness. n/t

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Response to Orsino (Reply #31)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 02:11 PM

34. Greed usually doesn't reeach the point of self-destruction until it is extreme

Greed is part and parcel of the same illness that Capitalism breeds. What is it that makes people that already have enough money want to destroy people, the planet, and anything else that they see as an impediment to gaining more money? It is a sickness that affects people than can never reach an endpoint to their own greed. It goes long past the point of having enough to survive. It is a sickness that continues to feed on itself when there is no rational reason to continue. Some praise the greed the see in others while others recognize it as the human abnormality it represents. If we even try to convince ourselves that we are in fact a Christian nation, we literally have to ignore everything Jesus taught. Wealth, and especially extreme wealth couldn't be more contrary to what Jesus taught. Not only were we never a Christian nation, we have even less reasons to pretend that we are today given the vast economic disparity that we see all across the country.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 02:05 PM

32. "What do call someone that will destroy their own environment, the very ground they stand on,

pollute the water they drink, genetically alter their own food supply with unknown consequences"

I know: YEAST!

What did I win?

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Response to FSogol (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 02:13 PM

35. You win the honor...

of removing the "S" and the "g" from your name.

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Response to Joe Nation (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2015, 02:10 PM

33. "All Spirits are enslaved that serve things evil."

This includes capitalist oppressors.

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