Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?

Posted 3 years ago on March 24, 2013, 3:51 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

by Noam Chomsky, March 5, 2013

The term "capitalism" is commonly used to refer to the U.S. economic system, with substantial state intervention ranging from subsidies for creative innovation to the "too-big-to-fail" government insurance policy for banks.

The system is highly monopolized, further limiting reliance on the market, and increasingly so: In the past 20 years the share of profits of the 200 largest enterprises has risen sharply, reports scholar Robert W. McChesney in his new book "Digital Disconnect."

"Capitalism" is a term now commonly used to describe systems in which there are no capitalists: for example, the worker-owned Mondragon conglomerate in the Basque region of Spain, or the worker-owned enterprises expanding in northern Ohio, often with conservative support -- both are discussed in important work by the scholar Gar Alperovitz.

Read the rest here: http://chomsky.info/articles/20130305.htm

100 Comments

100 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by gsw (2982) 3 years ago
[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Wolff's awesome. Link bookmarked. Thanks.

btw, here's Moyers' interview with Chomsky if you're interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJU2c7YfQTE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjKwdWJsTk0

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1552) from Fredericksburg, TX 8 months ago

Can the human race survive civilization?

Civilization is a structure required by a settled agri-culture to dis-empower pastoral nomads by the invention of private property. Cain not only murdered Able, he disrupted his entire culture. Capitalism is latest expression of the inevitable concentration of property that agriculture/civilization presages. It's the concentration of wealth that threatens our survival today as it has over and over for the past ten thousand years.

We lived happily in the Garden of Eden for 0.25M to several million years, depending on whose estimate you choose. Civilization is the knowledge of how to do evil for your own good and your neighbor's loss. Just ask Able if you don't believe me. His god turned against him in the end as evidenced by the rise of civilized priest/kings and MBAs.

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1552) from Fredericksburg, TX 8 months ago

Civilization took a wrong turn when priests and kings started privatizing commons ten thousand years ago. The rise of agriculture brought it on. Just ask Able what that farmer did to him.

The pattern has been repeated over and over. Capitalism is just a mutation of feudalism which initiated the current privatization of the commons and concentration of wealth that threatens our existence.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

If you want a society of real worker owned operations and coops, then how much do you want government picking winners and losers, picking certain companies to get their awesome contracts while the rest are left on their own, etc?

The market is nothing but humans. And clearly, when you look at where we started - in caves- we are pretty good at putting stuff together.

Have faith in the market. Not in the few sociopaths who hoard power.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22558) 8 months ago

Capitalism is picking the winners and losers by those with the most capital buying the government. You have to get that straight. The economic system is the primary problem. It will always award those with the most capital.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

There is crony socialism and crony communism as well BW, we've seen this repeatedly.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (22558) 8 months ago

Socialism does not have at it's very root, exploitation the way capitalism does.

Without exploitation and inequity, capitalism doesn't exist. Making profit (the exploitation of capital and labor) is the end all of capitalism. This is not the case with socialism. Socialism has equalization at it's root. Finding a balance among the two is what democratic socialism does.

[-] 0 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

Well democratice socialism - or state socialism as it is usually called - is basically a total racket, take the company that got the 1 billion dollar website contract. Or JP Morgan, who gets to finance the food stamp cards. TONS of cronyism.

As far as real socialism goes, workers owning the means of production is still uber competitive, competition is a great thing. And with competitions comes people trying to get the upper hand on the other ones.

Humans in general are uber competitive. Always have been and always will be. To ignore this and force something that doesnt recognize this - state communism perhaps- always leads to revolt by said people.

No one wants to be held back. Start holding back an entire nation and you end up with revolt. Kinda like ows.

[-] 4 points by windyacres (1195) 8 months ago

Competition creates too many losers, useful in the evolution of humans, but not good enough for a species evolving toward spirit. If we committed to no human hungry, thirsty, or suffering, many more humans would be innovative. Humans no longer must survive by trying to get the upper hand. Incentive from money alone for personal security goes away because of no concern for basic security.

We can enjoy competing or watching games and other competitions. It doesn't matter if our new process has an, "ism", on the end, design it with no losers.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

""ism", on the end, design it with no losers."

Impossible. Trust me, I have some real fucked up friends, way bigger addicts than I am lol, there is no ism that they can't fuck up. They will find a way to the bottom, while others raise to the top, while I ride on the up and down roller coaster as usual lol.

Unless you have a system where people continually fuck up and still by a miracle keep up with the jones'.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22558) 8 months ago

So, by having a guaranteed basic income for life that no one could take away from you, and having healthcare for life that no one could take away from you, and knowing that your fellow man has the same security, you would feel held back?

Sorry, that makes no sense to me whatsoever. To me, a guaranteed basic income and healthcare frees us all to do and be whatever we want.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

Think of it like having a husband that gives you an allowance. Sounds great from the outside until you are living in it.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 8 months ago

I don't share the same negative view of gov't that you do. I think gov't exists to protect the general welfare of the people. If you don't have gov't in charge of running things for the people you end up with money/capital/corporations running things and their only objective is profit so, sorry, I'll take a gov't before I'll take a corporation running my life. (And, a woman getting an allowance from a bad husband is far better off and has a greater chance of freedom than one who is not getting the allowance.)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (32823) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 months ago

Government should be like a parental relation to civilization = we are all it's children and are due equal recognition consideration and support.

[-] 0 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

I would reverse that. They work for us, and its up to us to raise it properly.

[-] 0 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

Very surprised to see you think the woman who is "given an allowance" has more opportunity than the one who is free to do as she wish in the relationship.

My girl would smack me upside the head if I said I was gonna "give her an allowance" lol.

I am very suspicious of government, as it is concentrated power. Same for large corporations that are too big to fail, too big to know who works for them.

Centralized power imo is always a problem, and should be decentralized at all times to the smallest level to give communities the most say in what/who/how/when they want to do XYZ.

My local water department is government, they do an incredible job, billing on a small local scale, the city never has any issues. The highway dept, however, is tied to all sorts of state and national nonsense, and, well, check out the roads. Total mess.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 8 months ago

Re. ''competition is a great thing'' --- Is it always really so?!

Re. ''Humans in general are uber competitive.'' - Are they?!!

Re. ''democratize socialism'' --- BINGO! That's The Ticket!!!

''It was Marx who clearly explained in Capital the contradiction capitalism's leaders rarely grasp. Showing how capitalists compete (and survive in competition) by maximizing profits, he focused his readers on capitalists' strategies of "economizing" on the number of workers they hire (often by substituting machines) and/or replacing more costly workers with cheaper employees. The contradiction emerges when their economizing undermines the market for what capitalists must sell to survive. Boosting their profits by saving on labor often reduces laborers' total purchasing power, what they can afford to buy from capitalists. That hurts capitalists' sales and profits. Likewise, when workers' wages and salaries rise, the resulting benefits to capitalists' sales can be partially or totally reversed as higher wages cut into profits. The history of capitalism often wobbles between the poles of this contradiction.''

And - ''The eventual effect of capitalism's contradiction (notwithstanding its temporary postponement via credit) was predictable. Chinese production would slow down and thus cut its demands for raw materials, energy and many other basic production inputs. Falling sales of those inputs are now decimating the many national and regional economies that became dependent upon selling those inputs to the Chinese and other new capitalist centers. Thus global economic decline persists - notwithstanding the endlessly hyped "recoveries."

Have a great holiday and a happy christmas & NEVER stop questioning the status quo --- here on this forum or elsewhere! Maybe only by a step by step, thesis-antithesis, can we arrive at Objective Truths!

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

I prefer the anarchists over Marx any day, but thats just me.

Competition- yes, its how we improve. Its how we cure illnesses, create solar energy, etc etc etc.

Humans- I dont think thats even up for debate honestly. I mean, go outside and take a look around. Then ask your dog what their species has accomplished in 2000 years lol :)

And again, I like real socialism/anarchistic/decentralized platforms, not centralized state managed ones.

Merry Christmas to you too my friend, and everyone else. I appreciate the great debates here, and the great manners by most as well.

Feliz Navidad yall

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 8 months ago

Re. Marx, frankly it is now well nigh impossible (in my personal experience) .. to get Americans to think objectively on the matter because of a multi-generational, 0.01% Ruling Class PR & (mis?)-education re Totalitarian State Crapitalism (aka''Soviet Communism''/Stalinism)!

But there are very good reasons why people like: Richard Wolff; Gar Alperovitz; Noam Chomsky; Yannis Varoufakis and Chris Hedges and so many others - respect Marx! You do not have to agree with Marxist Solutions to get the analysis!! This is a really very important point!

Karl Marx is a political, economic, social and moral philosopher. Right after (& before tbh) the 2008 GFC people all over the world started to rediscover Marx and ''Das Kapital'' in particular. The - ''Dictatorship Of The Proletariat'' is NOT inevitable or even desirable probably. However - that does Not then automatically negate the scientific exposition of ''Dialectical Materialism'' -- imo!

It is far too easy to get bogged down by specific terms, language and jargon .. but I'll end by saying that Democracy will always tend towards Socialism & the people who Get That The Most are The US/Global 0.01% Parasite; Plutocrat; Kleptocrat; Oligarch Class. Also re.''Marx and Anarchism'' do try to consider:

I disagree with: ''Competition- yes, its how we improve. Its how we cure illnesses, create solar energy, etc etc etc. &, Humans- I dont think thats even up for debate honestly. I mean, go outside and take a look around. Then ask your dog what their species has accomplished in 2000 years lol :)'' & IF asked why, I'll explain why (it's to do with 'Evolution & Cooperation')! Furthermore if all the above seems a bit much, then maybe just simply compare & contrast the following:

Further, "We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Justice Louis Brandeis' famous words bear repeating!!

Socialism is a resolvable equation, however Crapitalism is inherently & fundamentally - an inequality!!

et veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

We can agree to disagree. Socialism- depending on the landscape on which it is applied - can work to an extent.

I don't look at things from some large national view, because in reality we are a bunch of communities all lumped together with artificially installed borders.

With that being said, for my community, what is the structure that would allow us to create, work and live together in harmony the best?

Keep in mind that the gov sticking its ugly face into everything considered a problem has directly led to people feeling like they dont need to do anything. This is where the anarchists are spot on - the more you have a king that declares he will take care of XYZ through taxation, the more your entire population will turn their backs on those in need.

Problem is, the king really could care less. He just wants the money. Or the votes. Or both.

We are losing our love and trust for another, and its because of all of this artificial nonsense by the king and his men.

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 8 months ago

Your visceral hatred of Government influences your p-o-v I think, but I do agree with bottom up but with top down too - IF ''top down governmentt.'' means a transparently expressed will of a majority, properly democratically elected representatives of The 99%! You know .. Just Like Democracy Was Supposed To Be!! Quantitative Easing was/is used to rebuild Corporate Banks' balance sheets so how about QE (aka ''Basic Income'') for The 99%?!!! Thus consider .....

Re. Keiser Report, Ep.#853 above - ''In this special Winter Why Not? episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert talk to Professor Steve Keen, about the solutions to our now unpayable debts, including: basic income, a People’s Quantitative Easing and also a Global Debt Jubilee. Professor Keen explains why a ... Modern Debt Jubilee - could please both debtors and creditors, savers and spenders''

I would also add the obvious truth in that ''Socialism'' is NOT about The 0.01% or the 1% .. but The 99%! OWS was so right with the "1%/99%" meme but now we know ever clearer - that it's The 0.01% who are the key! Furthermore, why d'you think that Corporations push hard for small govt. pseudo-libertarianism? Solidarity & regards at you and yours and never give up searching for the information that the 99% need!

From which, I quote .. ''When Marx described a major part of the ideology (belief system) that supported capitalism as a "fetishism of commodities" .. he meant the exaltation of the market. Marx's point was to show that behind the market were particular social interests - seeking to secure and enlarge their wealth and control atop the capitalist system of production. Hyping markets served their interests.'' Interesting?

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by Viking (394) 8 months ago

I can understand your concerns, but Socialism has to work. I'm being redundant, I know (it's my age:), but at this point in time there is no way that that the human species can survive with Capitalism. It cannot be tweaked enough to be an option for the future.

Many socialistic ideas were implemented during the New Deal, but even in its heyday when many of our ancestors did well, the pollution onslaught to our planet, and the inequities that many of us had to endure went on just about unabated. That is simply no longer acceptable. We're paying the price for our neglect now.

People today have already started to move towards a new more moral set of ethos (kudos to them), and do not want a system that relies on the exploitation other human beings, and one that justifies the huge disparity in wealth and wages. Still within those parameters, conversely I think Socialism can and should be 'tweaked' to account for the human condition.

The key tenets going forward IMO if we want ourselves and our progeny to retain our freedoms, and live on a livable planet that puts the interests of people first are; We need to have an accountable system; We have to maintain vigilance on it, and probably the most challenging one is; We have to continue and build on a change of ethos.

I wish you and your loved ones the best of Holidays, and a bright New Year!

I apologize for my repetitive use of words.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 7 months ago

''Democracy needs an informed electorate but Americans have been “dumbed down” enough to believe they have no power over government decisions and economic policies. They are paralyzed by it. In a relatively short span of time, beginning from September 11, 2001, democracy has been under attack by forces from within rather than from without. It has been stolen by hidden unelected financial, corporate and military-industrial cartels that have inculcated fear and exploited it as a pretext for citizens to relinquish liberties. By their own narrow vision induced by rampant consumerism, poor knowledge about government and economics, Americans have endorsed politicians who make wars, relegate human beings secondary to private profit and markets, who conquer dissent, diversity and strength-in-numbers using the mechanism of “identity politics”, who turn morality on its head by taking from the poor and giving to the rich, who call the peaceful weak and the warrior strong, who enshrine our Empire as “exceptional” and “indispensable” on the basis of myths that no longer exist and that fewer and fewer nations believe, including so-called “allies”. - from:

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 1 points by grapes (4520) 8 months ago

Markets require rules for participants. When some participants warp the rules with their under-the-table influence manipulations and rig the markets, once found out, other participants can rightfully demand redress or lose all faith in them.

Why be all hung up on the labeling, whether crony capitalism, crony socialism, or crony communism? Destroy ALL markets on tilted playing fields. Go Iranian, "Death to Cronyism!"

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 8 months ago

I get hung up on it simply because everyone wants to bash capitalism, but no one wants to put any thought into what type of system - and more importantly, how does it self manage itself- replaces it.

"We need a system that does XYZ... " Ok, well how does that work?

[-] 2 points by grapes (4520) 8 months ago

I proposed something before along the line of H.E.L.P. - Health, Education, Livelihood, and Passion, most importantly pursued in reverse order for an orderly emptying of the congested pipeline.

We should not care about what the labels are. We should care about the "fruits" of our program, such as peace, love, and joy. If anyone wants to call our getting the "fruits" hell, so be it - I have no reservation whatsoever to run to hell.

Capitalism got us far with exponential growth but now that our species has become Globally Dominant in resource depletion, exponential growth (driven by compound interest a.k.a. financial madness in a finite Earth) must NOT be pursued anymore. Socialism and even some features of Communism will necessarily be ascendant.

Mark my words, the blue states will eventually triump over the red states as Californica will shove its shock troops (or refugees) to Texass. In high population density areas, guns and the delusions of "free market" become Nonsense.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 3 years ago

Prof Wolff has a good approach. (W/ Goodman on Democraccy Now!)

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15295-detroit-police-officer-accused-of-shooting-7-year-old-will-go-to-trial

We will survive capitalism if we can change it enough.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago
  • The problem with Capitalism is that we have allowed ourselves to rely on it...
  • We have allowed Capitalism to control our every day lives...

  • Why ?

  • There are many, many of us... who value our desires for knowledge, for happiness, for free time, for quality of life.... far more than our desires for monetary wealth...

  • There are many, many of us who pride ourselves in only taking what we need...
  • There are many, many of us who would be far happier if we never needed to touch a dollar...

  • Why have we allowed money to control us ?

  • Because we have allowed Capitalism to control our only source of capital... and w/o capital we cannot participate..

  • Why do we allow the "Federal Reserve Note" to rule ?

  • Because it has no competition ...

  • Why not some good ole fashion competition ?... an additional "Social Reserve Note" that cares more about the Social Wealth and Prosperity of Society ... than the economic...

  • There is no reason we can't have both...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

What we must do is work to create a society in which the resources are controlled democratically by the workforce and the communities. We need to establish a participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives; a libertarian socialist society:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-libertarian-socialism-is-the-best-way-to-organ/

And here’s how we can get there:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/how-do-we-fight-capitalism-the-1/

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

What we must do is work to create a society in which the resources are controlled democratically by the workforce and the communities.

I agree that would work... how-ever, how difficult to implement ? Direct Democracy is on it's way for governing... but for economic competition ? ... I don't see that soon.... I will look at the links... but imo trying to dismantle capitalism would be like trying to drink the ocean ... best we can do is simply side-step it,,,, and eventually it will become an antique thing of the past...

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

It’s going to take time to dismantle capitalism, but it must eventually be done, because it’s destroying the environment and shuffling more and more wealth into the pockets of the financial elite.

As you can see here there are examples of libertarian socialist/libertarian socialist-like systems working just fine.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

;) I've been on many communes ... w/ Hippies in the blue ridge and with the Mennonites in Pa/Md ... they work fantastic ... but ... they really don't do much in the way of medical support/research ... energy development ... technology ... etc

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Please watch the videos, and then tell me what you think.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

ok... will do.. tonight

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

capitalism and socialism are both equally bad.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Could you elaborate? And what do you mean by "socialism"?

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Socialism=communal control

Capitalism=oligarchic control

I dont really want either. both denigrade individuality and humanity.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

What do you think about libertarian socialism?

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

I dont think the focus should be on economics or money. Not they arent important to some people, but i dont think yellow brick road always leads to the emerald city.

people shouldnt care about their economic status as compared to others. poverty is something to be embraced, not shot down.

ashrams werent gandhi's greatest idea.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

You didn't answer the question.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

yes, I did. You asked "what do you think about libertarian socialism?"

I answered: it is a bad idea.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Please elaborate on why you think it's a bad idea.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

See above, "I dont think the focus should be on economics or money."

It is a bad idea because it is an irrelevant idea.

Why do "things" matter so much to you?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Forget “things”. This is about the economy that affects us all. Who controls the resources, how are things produced and distributed and so on. These are important questions.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

"how THINGS are produced"

What is this obsession with THINGS?

Economics is irrelevant.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

Does money really matter that much?

I need to pay for food, rent and healthcare

now and in my future

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Why put a price on life?

Shouldn't thing like food and water be universal free?

70% of this planet is water, yet our government's focus is on murder and war rather than figuring out better ways to de salinate sea water.

Money is irrelevant.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

Is "politics is always about getting people jobs" opinion or fact?

If fact, Does it have to be?

an observation

jobs is the presented solutions to economic woes.

but money distributions is not anchored to jobs alone

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Why does money matter so much? Money is nothing but a fetish.

Everyone wants MORE; the poor want to be rich and the rich want to get even richer.

Does money really matter that much?

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

politics is always about getting people jobs

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Is that opinion or fact?

If fact, Does it have to be?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

what is this obsession with jobs ?

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

I don't have an obsession with employment status of other people.

Do you? Or Did I miss something?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 3 years ago

Any talk of an alternative currency to the petrodollar usually results in a "rebel force" oustering the govt, and a rather public execution of the leader of that nation.

It's taken a lot of time and effort to set up the US hegemony.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

maybe,,, but as more states begin to establish state owned banks... the next step is for the states together to establish a Social Reserve Bank....

I believe the capitalists will support this... because it would not rely on taxing them for the capital

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 3 years ago

So where would the capitalists spend their petrodollars?

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

with other capitalists with petro-dollars.... ;)

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago
  • "A dream you dream alone
  • is only a dream.
  • A dream you dream together
  • is reality." ~ John Lennon
[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

  • Henry David Thoreau
[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

eventually "Capitalism" will be Obsolete ... simply because machines will do everything for us...

in the interim ... answers lay in the ...creation of new job/economic opportunities in a world where everyone is not needed to make the system work...

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 3 years ago

Yes this is a great point. We need to keep automation of labor in mind (moving forward) and create meaningful Wolff-style employment on a global scale.

The finite, life-sustaining world cannot support corporate capitalism much longer.

No system based on money has worked for the people.

As more jobs are lost to automation, capitalism may turn into something far worse.

We need to keep capitalism alive just long enough for the people to gain control of it, united against the elite. We can consume capitalism and transform it before abandoning it, because we are better than it.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Id like to think someday that people will stop caring about how much money they have as compared to others.

Pipe dream I know, but............

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 3 years ago

If civilization doesnt want to participate, it cannot survive any "ism" because people act in self interest, and very power hungry people will always be around.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

What we need is a system that encourages participation and that decentralizes power. This is often referred to as libertarian socialism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

[-] -1 points by RoccoXXX (8) 3 years ago

I am beginning to doubt that human civilization as we know it, regardless of the monetary or social "isms" that prevail, is sustainable. World priorities seem out of sync with actual needs. The single best current example is the US exploration of Mars. How does all that money spent help one homeless person? It would appear that human civilization is totally FUBAR.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

World priorities seem out of sync with actual needs because we don't have good enough systems established. If we work towards creating a real democratic society with a participatory democracy and workers' self management, we'd be moving towards a just and sustainable society

[-] -1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 3 years ago

If a capitalistic nation is not controlled by a constitution that recognizes human and civil rights, no one may survive. Chomsky does not recognize the accountability created with the Magna Carta also carried in the US constitution.

[+] -5 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Can civilization survive without capitalism?

No.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Capitalism is immoral, dehumanizing, unsustainable and tyrannical; it must eventually be abolished and replaced by a free and sustainable democratic society in which the workers and the communities control the resources in society.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

In other words you want "communism"?

You want central/communal control, not individual control.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I want individuals to be able to control their own lives, work and community. A libertarian socialist society is where real individual freedom is achieved.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

There shouldnt be communities, only collegia.

The focus should never be on the 'greater good'. The 'greater good' is the enemy of freedom.

[-] -3 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Honestly, how are cellphones advancing so rapidly in capitalism? It's a fair question.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Technological development is not happening because of capitalism; it's happening because of increased knowledge and so on.

Also, lots of technology has not been developed in the private sector.

[-] -3 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

So Samsung ISN'T trying to outcompete apple?. Hilarious.

Naive

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

No, what’s “hilarious” is you defending a system you obviously haven’t studied well enough. Let me ask you something: Are cooperatives unable to compete with one another?

Private ownership on the means of production is not why we have technological development.

[-] -3 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Please answer my question. Avoiding offers no insight. Why is Samsung building cellphones to compete with apple?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

The answer to your first question is: yes, they're competing. The answer to your second question is: for many reasons, including because they want to make money.

Now answer mine.

[-] -2 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Now we are getting somewhere. Thank you. So capitalism does create and allow for innovation and profit and we, in this narrow example, are all the better for it.

Can you articulate the other reasons, that dont include profit? I think it's profit entirely.

Yes I would guess cooperatives are able to compete with each other. Why would they do so?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

“So capitalism does create and allow for innovation and profit and we, in this narrow example, are all the better for it.”

That’s not what I said. And again, you don’t need private ownership on the means of production in order for there to be innovation.

“Can you articulate the other reasons, that dont include profit?”

Depends on which individuals you’re talking about.

“Yes I would guess cooperatives are able to compete with each other.”

So then you agree that we don’t need capitalist organization in order for there to be competition, right?

[-] -2 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

If they compete, they are engaging capitalism. Not entirely, but ultimately there is a profit motive.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

When there’s no private ownership of the means of production, it’s not capitalism. An economy with worker-managed businesses competing in a market would be some kind of market socialism etc.

Capitalism is unacceptable because it allows some individuals to have undemocratic control and power over others. Capitalism should be abolished and replaced by a society where the institutions are controlled democratically be the workers and the communities:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/abolish-capitalism/

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

Capitalism should be abolished and replaced by a society where the institutions are controlled democratically be the workers and the communities:

  • well... why throw out the bad kid ... just because he is the black sheep... he can still help with some of the chores ...

  • Why not a duo system... one that focuses on fairness, sharing and social prosperity & growth ... and one that focuses on speculation, incentives & materialistic growth ?

  • The primary problem with Capitalism as is... is that it stagnates artistic creativity, promotes the creation of trash, pollution & the accumulation of wealth for the few...which ultimately stagnates economic growth & job opportunities....

  • The primary problem with Socialism as is... is that it stagnates materialistic creativity, invention and the expansion of overall world capital....which also stagnates economic growth & job opportunities for the impoverished nations....

  • Until the world is united without borders, we truly need both....

  • Currently, the primary reason both systems do not work well together in the same jurisdiction or country, is that one or the other controls the financial end... and therefore one or the other is taxed to support the other...

  • The immediate solution is simple ... support both a "Federal Reserve Bank" for supporting Capitalistic ventures... and a "Social Reserve Bank" for supporting the Art's and the needs...

  • New job creation would flourish ...

  • Then... we can move towards building a system that protects the earth and needs no borders or war...

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

There will be lots of growth, creativity and fairness in a libertarian socialist society. We don’t need capitalism to build a decent society; in fact capitalism is one of the main obstacles to achieving this.

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

I argue... that not all people are driven by fairness & the noble idea of sharing ... their loss... but ours also...

so why cut them out of the game ? ... that is what Capitalism has been doing to us...

better to use them... just not let them control us anymore... thru their monopoly of the control of the capital ...

we need our own source of capital... and all will fall into place

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

Do you beleive in 'self ownership"? or absolutely no private ownership whatsoever?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I believe individuals have the right to control their own bodies and lives. It is private ownership of the means of production that must be abolished. Your personal possessions that has no affect on others, like your CD-collection and Ipod are yours to keep.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

i think that 'private ownership' of all kinds should be embraced. Especially Self-ownership.

End: state capitalism, socialism and communism.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I believe in individual and collective rights. This video explains Libertarian Socialism pretty well, and might answer some of your questions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

I didnt say "rights", I said "ownership".

Do you beleive in 'self ownership"? or absolutely no private ownership whatsoever?

Ive seen that video before. he wants delegative democracy, as opposed to direct democracy. He says it cant work with more than 150 people.

[-] -3 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Who says? Immoral? Why? Go into a cellphone store and tell me capitalism is dehumanizing.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

“Immoral? Why?”

Because it allows for exploitation, the destruction of the environment and tyrannical control and domination.

“Go into a cellphone store and tell me capitalism is dehumanizing.”

Products are the results of human hands and brains, not by x profiting on y. Production does not stop if private ownership on the means of production is dismantled.

[-] -3 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Innovation does. Capitalism yields innovation. Or, why does Chomsky sell books at retail?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

We don't need private ownership on the mop in order for there to be innovation (cf co-ops f.ex)

[-] -2 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Why does Chomsky sell his books at retail? Please offer an answer.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2982) 3 years ago

And you were told by? Please see video http://billmoyers.com/segment/richard-wolff-on-capitalisms-destructive-power/

Or from post

There have been serious debates over the years about whether capitalism is compatible with democracy. If we keep to really existing capitalist democracy – RECD for short – the question is effectively answered: They are radically incompatible.

It seems to me unlikely that civilization can survive RECD and the sharply attenuated democracy that goes along with it. But could functioning democracy make a difference?

Let’s keep to the most critical immediate problem that civilization faces: environmental catastrophe. Policies and public attitudes diverge sharply, as is often the case under RECD. The nature of the gap is examined in several articles in the current issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Researcher Kelly Sims Gallagher finds that “One hundred and nine countries have enacted some form of policy regarding renewable power, and 118 countries have set targets for renewable energy. In contrast, the United States has not adopted any consistent and stable set of policies at the national level to foster the use of renewable energy.”

It is not public opinion that drives American policy off the international spectrum. Quite the opposite. Opinion is much closer to the global norm than the U.S. government’s policies reflect, and much more supportive of actions needed to confront the likely environmental disaster predicted by an overwhelming scientific consensus – and one that’s not too far off; affecting the lives of our grandchildren, very likely.

As Jon A. Krosnick and Bo MacInnis report in Daedalus: “Huge majorities have favored steps by the federal government to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated when utilities produce electricity. In 2006, 86 percent of respondents favored requiring utilities, or encouraging them with tax breaks, to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit. Also in that year, 87 percent favored tax breaks for utilities that produce more electricity from water, wind or sunlight  [ These majorities were maintained between 2006 and 2010 and shrank somewhat after that.

The fact that the public is influenced by science is deeply troubling to those who dominate the economy and state policy.

One current illustration of their concern is the “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” proposed to state legislatures by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded lobby that designs legislation to serve the needs of the corporate sector and extreme wealth.

The ALEC Act mandates “balanced teaching” of climate science in K-12 classrooms. “Balanced teaching” is a code phrase that refers to teaching climate-change denial, to “balance” mainstream climate science. It is analogous to the “balanced teaching” advocated by creationists to enable the teaching of “creation science” in public schools. Legislation based on ALEC models has already been introduced in several states.

Of course, all of this is dressed up in rhetoric about teaching critical thinking – a fine idea, no doubt, but it’s easy to think up far better examples than an issue that threatens our survival and has been selected because of its importance in terms of corporate profits.

Media reports commonly present a controversy between two sides on climate change.

One side consists of the overwhelming majority of scientists, the world’s major national academies of science, the professional science journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

They agree that global warming is taking place, that there is a substantial human component, that the situation is serious and perhaps dire, and that very soon, maybe within decades, the world might reach a tipping point where the process will escalate sharply and will be irreversible, with severe social and economic effects. It is rare to find such consensus on complex scientific issues.

The other side consists of skeptics, including a few respected scientists who caution that much is unknown – which means that things might not be as bad as thought, or they might be worse.

Omitted from the contrived debate is a much larger group of skeptics: highly regarded climate scientists who see the IPCC’s regular reports as much too conservative. And these scientists have repeatedly been proven correct, unfortunately.

The propaganda campaign has apparently had some effect on U.S. public opinion, which is more skeptical than the global norm. But the effect is not significant enough to satisfy the masters. That is presumably why sectors of the corporate world are launching their attack on the educational system, in an effort to counter the public’s dangerous tendency to pay attention to the conclusions of scientific research.

At the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting a few weeks ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned the leadership that “We must stop being the stupid party … We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters.”

Within the RECD system it is of extreme importance that we become the stupid nation, not misled by science and rationality, in the interests of the short-term gains of the masters of the economy and political system, and damn the consequences.

These commitments are deeply rooted in the fundamentalist market doctrines that are preached within RECD, though observed in a highly selective manner, so as to sustain a powerful state that serves wealth and power.

The official doctrines suffer from a number of familiar “market inefficiencies,” among them the failure to take into account the effects on others in market transactions. The consequences of these “externalities” can be substantial. The current financial crisis is an illustration. It is partly traceable to the major banks and investment firms’ ignoring “systemic risk” – the possibility that the whole system would collapse – when they undertook risky transactions.

Environmental catastrophe is far more serious: The externality that is being ignored is the fate of the species. And there is nowhere to run, cap in hand, for a bailout.

In future, historians (if there are any) will look back on this curious spectacle taking shape in the early 21st century. For the first time in human history, humans are facing the significant prospect of severe calamity as a result of their actions – actions that are battering our prospects of decent survival.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (32823) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 years ago

I think the way crapitalism is going - that it would likely do better under a dictatorship/puppet government - hence we see the battle on-going today to completely take over the government - not just of the USA - but all world governments.

[-] -2 points by Perfectcast (-168) 3 years ago

Baloney. Here is capitalism: I need to upgrade my smartphone. The number of selections was mind boggling. Iphone5? Galaxy 3? Galaxy note? HTC? Droid? Razor ? There are engineers fighting to create a better phone entirely in my benefit because of capitalism.

I had to buy a car. The engineers at Subaru made me a terrific car because they wanted my money.

[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 3 years ago

If that is the case, then why would I want civilization in the first place?