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Forum Post: Why Capitalism Must Be Abolished

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 28, 2012, 3:26 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

1) Undermining of democracy

It is undemocratic when the ones who have the overwhelming power in society are not elected by people. The financial elite have most of the wealth, they control the resources and the means of production - things that affect our lives - yet we´ve never voted for them. People don´t control their own lives, workplaces and communities; instead the super rich non-elected minority make big decitions and control huge part of the society with their enormous wealth which is very highly concentrated.

Not only are the rich and powerful in an undemocratic way controlling the economy as a whole in huge networks of transactions, investments and stock exhange, they also rule the institutions in society in a totalitarian way. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model; a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top - the CEOs, owners etc - dictate how the institution is being run, what´s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies. These structures are in no way not even recembling democratic organization.

2) Exploitation

Capitalism means that the means of production are privatly owned by individuals who make a profit from other people´s work. In other words, the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is then used for future investments, giving more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. Capitalism is in other words exploitatative by nature.

3) Demoralization and encouragement of greed

Cooperation, solidarity, altruism etc. are essential and fundamental elements of our nature, but these things are being suppressed to a large extent in Capitalism. In today´s (especially Western) societies things like greed and consumption are being encouraged. In fact, capitalism requires corporations f.ex. to only think about the "bottom line". If they don´t, they´re out of business, and corporations that do think profits and greed replace them. A society like this will of course produce a lot of greedy and immoral individuals. Capitalism encourages greed, and since human nature allows for some molding of the mind, the system we have manages to suppress many individuals´ core characteristics. Take advertisement f.ex: Private tyrannies spend huge amounts of money on this. We´re being pumped full of this garbage almost everywhere we look, whether it´s TV, radio, internet, newspapers etc etc, day in and day out. It is a highly unnatural phenomenon, it´s been a part of human history for an extremely small amount of time, yet it affects us, many of us in a huge way. This kind of demoralization is intolerable.

Capitalism must be abolished. It must be replaced by a society where democracy is the core; where capitalism and central state power are replaced by more direct democracy and direct participation. A society where the economic institutions are run democratically by the participants and the ones affected by them. That means democratic control of workplaces, democratic control of communities and so on; a society where people participate in the decision-making and are in control of their own work, life and destiny. A system of cooperative communities that benefit everyone and focus on people´s needs instead of short term profit:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

147 Comments

147 Comments


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[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

1) That's the fault of the people. You vote more money to a company with every purchase you make. Stay informed and vote out any politician anytime there is a hint of corruption. Too few people actually vote in elections and fewer know anything about the issues.

2) Workers could start their own business. If that's not possible are you suggesting taking property without just compensation? If so go change the constitution first. No one forces them to work in a particular place. In some cases there are more stockholders then workers. Workers are able to unionize if they choose and negotiate with owners.

3) Bull, people are going to want to get the most they can out of something for the least amount of work.

We certainly need better regulation but dumping capitalism for a worker's utopia is an outdated idea. It's also something that has been repeatedly rejected by society.

[-] -2 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

It is true what you say, consumer sheep with their eyes closed. Let me ask you this though how do you feel about labor laws, and PETA lol. Also we don't mind gov-municipal control of institutions that we all need use. Fire EMS Police Dep, Water and or Power. Also take note that the police and fire are always those guys, on the clock or not.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Labor laws as in regulating corporate behavior or as in minimum wage? The regulation part is necessary and has to be looked at on a case by case basis. Minimum wage is here, I can't see eliminating it, but I'm not sure raising it does much good. It seems intuitive that when costs go up companies simply increase prices to meet the higher payroll and inflation puts workers back to square one.

Capitalism in theory, should have checks and balances within itself to regulate it so that the consumer gets the best product for the least price. In reality it doesn't so some regulation is required, and we have to monitor corporations closely. That's a long way though from dumping it completely and giving private property to the workers.

Capitalism definitely requires monitoring, municipal companies or necessary monopolies earning a negotiated level of profits are necessary in some cases. It would be foolish and expensive to run half a dozen sets of power lines or sewer lines for example, just so that you could have competition.

Some cities experiment with private companies providing public services. I'm in favor of experimenting with different things on a small scale to find out what works best. As long as no one is afraid to admit an idea isn't working and go back to whatever does work.

As for PETA, they have their beliefs I have mine. Our teeth say we're omnivorous so it's our choice what to eat. I wouldn't want them making any laws to regulate what I do.

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Would you eat the sheep, or shepherd them. That is the PETA reference. I mean would you take advantage of stupid people, use them etc, or would care about them... They're on both sides of the battle rich and poor, democrat and republican, jew and muslim. Basically it goes like this, do you create anything, or do you consume? Are you a manager or an instructor? its really a moral question, we are asking. though most of us cant agree on what that is really about.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Right now I'm a student, I plan on being a teacher so I'm closer to being the metaphorical shepherd I suppose.

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Good, the youth is where our hope lies... teach them well.

[-] -2 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

It hasn't been rejected by my society! We can make a worker's utopia, where we are not ruled by a rich oligarchy. Just because something has never worked in the past, doesn't mean it might suddenly start working on its own. Secondly, people can't start companies, because that takes hard work and stuff. Why do yourself what you can steal from someone else?

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[+] -4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

1) That´s mainly the fault of the propaganda institutions in society, molding people to except the un-democratic capitalist system. "voting" with cash is awful because that means exactly what I mention in the article: the finacial elite having the overwhelming power.

2) The economy is all-encompassing. A couple of co-ops here and there does not change the fact that the resourses and capital is very highly concentrated.

It´s a matter of principle. Should people have more democratic influence and control over their lives and workplaces, or not.

3) You re wrong:

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

Now, we have to face the fact that we don´t know everything about human nature. We do, however, know that there are some fundamental human characteristics. Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior and it can be shaped to a certain extent, but there are certain things - such as solidarity for example - that make up some of the core features. Just look at the history of our evolution. For millions of years things like cooperation, sharing, caring, sticking together and so on, basing social organization on a relatively egalitarian principle, have been central parts of our evolution. Even as far back as Homo Habilis working together for the common good, cooperating on finding and getting food etc. were essential and crucial for the survival and further evolvement of the species. Now, there were also things like rivalry and violence that took place at that time, and these things have to a certain extent also been passed on, but as our ancestors evolved further, all the way up to Homo Heidelbergensis and later on Homo Sapiens, these things decreased and elements like solidarity and egalitarianism - in addition to cooperation - became more integrated in the social organization. Working together for the common good turned out to be a crucial and highly successful factor in our evolution. And with cooperation and working together, things like solidarity, altruism etc - a more collective mentality - also became a natural part of our ancestors´ way of thinking and acting. When our ancestors finally evolved into Homo Sapiens this had become a big part of our way of life: Some of the first human societies consisted of hunter-gatherers basing society on solidarity, cooperation and egalitarian principles. Marx and Engels studied and wrote about these types of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies; they called them "primitive communism" - a kind of preindustrial version of the modern classless stateless communist society they envisioned might come into place in the future.

In other words, evolution has allowed us to develop a free will, a mentality that allows for variation in behavior, making room for adaptation and molding of the mind; but our ancestors have also passed on certain elements - mostly good ones - that are determined and part of humans today. Things that were the main reason for our evolutionary success, like solidarity and cooperation, are parts of our nature.

In fact many of these things can also be seen among most species, simply because sticking together and helping each other increase the chances of species survival. Peter Kropotkin, a zoologist, philosopher and Libertarian Socialist - contributing especially to the philosophy of Anarcho-Communism - wrote about this issue in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution", looking at mutual aid and cooperation in nature, arguing that evolution naturally would develop things like commitment to helping others, and that these were important factors in the survival of the species.

Another important contribution to this topic is of course "The Selfish Gene" from 1976 by professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book he pointed out that altruism, and cooperation naturally would evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. And it makes perfect sense; individuals sharing the same genes would naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated. Most scientists on this field regard Dawkins´ contributions to be correct.

People can change their minds, you know. We have a lot of convincing to do, yes.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

There isn't much point to go back over all of this again. You think a socialist system would work I don't. You'll have to do more then offer beliefs, so set up a society and prove it works.

Dawkins theory explains why closely related people may be altruistic toward each other. It says nothing about genetically dissimilar individuals acting that way.

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

All humans have more or less the same genes...

[-] 3 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

That is incorrect, unless you mean it in very simplistic terms. If it were true you could receive a transplant from anyone and DNA identification would be impossible. We're talking about an area where 98 or 99% similarity is still a major difference. We're something like 96% genetically identical with chimps. You're reaching at straws to support something you only wish to believe is there.

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

Human beings are in a very unique situation compared to most other species. All humans decent from a very small population of humans a little over 100 000 years ago in Africa who had been suffering a long drought almost facing extinction. That small group of people were the first modern humans, and the decandance of these eventually spread thruout the entire world. 100 000 years in evolutionary perspective is nothing, its a blink of an eye. Because of these close ancectors, we humans are extremely alike genetically. So to put in perspective, two gorillas in the same forest share less common genes than a !Kung- man and a caucasian.

[-] 3 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You're taking a theory and misapplying it to cover a population it wasn't intended to cover. Another interpretation of the selfish gene could just as easily be that it explains why unrelated people from different places are not altruistic to each other, explaining tribal wars and hatred between groups.

Dawkins theory isn't universally accepted anyhow. Even if it were his theory isn't proof that all humans are altruistic to all other humans. There is too much empirical evidence to the contrary. Your date for man's origin is also a matter of debate. There is a theory that man evolved in separate population with some interbreeding about 2 to 2.5 million years ago. This multiregional hypothesis offers the presence of some genetic components of Neanderthal origin in some present day non-African humans. So we're not all as identical as you think.

I get it, you need humans to have some natural all encompassing altruism or a true socialism would never work. You just can't prove it, you're stuck with faith. Cherry picking from theories isn't proof that this altruism is there. You're working science backwards. If the altruism were there, we could use the selfish-gene theory to explain why. It doesn't work to use an unproved theory to try to prove the existence of another unproven quality.

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

But the point is that we have a common ancestor from not very far back in history. Our genes are in other words very similar and individuals sharing the same genes naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated.

Very few have rejected TSG. It´s accepted by evolutionary biology.

The evolutionary "theories" you present incl. the neanderthal-theory, has been rejected. HS did not reproduce with N. DNA shows very clearly our history far back. What I hae presented is established science.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You're letting your bias cloud your ability to reason. Some of the supporting genetic research on the multiregional hypothesis is less then a year old it's still being evaluated and debated as is the hypothesis for a recent out of Africa migration. You're cherry picking a theory and then twisting it to suit your political agenda.

Your using the selfish gene theory backwards and then adding a level of genetic similarity that doesn't exist in human beings. Try this as an example. All birds walk on two legs. A perfectly true statement, but it doesn't work in reverse, just because you or I have two legs doesn't mean we're birds. That's what your doing to Dawkins, altruism is seen in families, maybe a gene exists for it. You're turning it around and saying the gene exists (but no such gene has been found it's only theorized to exist) and therefore all people are altruistic. Not only is there is no basis in fact for your supposition.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

You've got it all wrong, young lady! Didn't they ever tell you that correlation always equals causation? tsk tsk!

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I guess i cut class that day. Better if I just didn't take him seriously anymore.

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

Lots of science is debated. That´s part of scince - coming up with new contributions, finding small things that can be improved etc - but what I have presented, including Out of Africa, is more or less accepted established science.

The Selfish gene: Altruism, and cooperation naturally evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. Individuals sharing the same genes will then naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated.

And like I mentioned, we humans are extremely alike genetically (much more so than most other species). So to put it in perspective, two gorillas in the same forest share less common genes than a !Kung- man and a caucasian. So if altruism/cooperation counts for a cluster of related gorillas in the same forest, It would count for all humans. The more similar the genes the more it applies. I dont understand why youre up in arms on this.

[-] 3 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Sorry it looks more like you're desperate to find any theory that will fit your needs. If we're as much alike and as altruistic as you claim, then people would act that way. They don't so apparently you're wrong.

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

With all due respect, Jen Lynn, It seems to me like you´re the one who is a little desperate.

I have presented established science accepted by more or less all scientists in Evolutionary biology, yet you can´t come to accept it. Just above I presented good arguments that this altruism and cooperation caused by the selfish gene certainly applies to the entire human race, yet you mainly just attack my person claiming I´m desperate.

So if solidarity, cooperation and altruism are huge parts of our nature, why don´t we see a lot more of this in our society today? Well, the problem is that today these things are being suppressed. In today´s (especially Western) societies things like greed and consumption are being encouraged. In fact, capitalism requires corporations f.ex. to only think about the "bottom line". If they don´t, they´re out of business, and corporations that do think profits and greed replace them. A society like this will of course produce a lot of greedy individuals. Capitalism encourages greed, and since human nature allows for some molding of the mind, the system we have manages to suppress many individuals´ core characteristics. Take advertisement f.ex: Private tyrannies spend huge amounts of money on this. We´re being pumped full of this garbage almost everywhere we look, whether it´s TV, radio, internet, newspapers etc etc, day in and day out. It is a highly unnatural phenomenon, it´s been a part of human history for an extremely small amount of time, yet it affects us, many of us in a huge way. But with that said, I think it s worth mentioning that even though we´re being encouraged to be greedy and selfish, we still see lots of kindness and solidarity. Even in a society based on greed and consumption, human characteristics, opposing this lifestyle, are lived out.

Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior, but in a Libertarian Socialist organization society would encourage all the good things in us. When society no longer encourages us to be greedy the true nature of humans would come to the fore. If a big part of our nature is based on cooperation and solidarity, and the society encourages cooperation and solidarity, guess what, it would produce cooperative and soldaric humans! There will of course be a few immoral individuals in a libertarian socialist society as well, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

"I have presented established science accepted by more or less all scientists" Your statement isn't true, Dawkins theories and the Recent Out of Africa hypothesis are not universally accepted they are still considered theories and valid opposing theories have scientific supporters too.

"So if solidarity, cooperation and altruism are huge parts of our nature" Wrong again! Here you take an unproven theory, misapplied it to suit yourself, and now incorrectly call it a fact. You haven't presented science, you've turned the scientific method upside down, presented misunderstood bits of unproven theories as fact, and ignored evidence for theories you personally dislike. All you have to offer is belief, not fact.

You believe in social libertarianism, most people don't. Most people have experience in the real world with too many individuals that are not altruistic. Experience trumps your incorrectly assembled theories. The level of fraud in Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment, disability, insurance, welfare, social security, all points to people being out for themselves at the expense of others.

It's not really important, just curiosity on my part. How old are you and how have you avoided contact with the American public so totally as to not understand how strongly the idea of libertarian-socialism both unworkable here and opposed?

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

@struggleforfreedom80 Well done, good sir! Don't let this crazy troll woman come on here and deceptively trick you into using logic and reason!

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

"Your statement isn't true(...)"

It´s the mainstream science that most scientists agree on. There are people who question certain things, but that´s how science works. People present and criticize thru lots of publications, articles books, etc, and the cream eventually rises to the top.

"So if solidarity, cooperation and altruism are huge parts of our nature" Wrong again!"

So you don´t agree with "the selfish gene"?

"Most people have experience in the real world with too many individuals that are not altruistic"

I just told you why. It´s because the society is, to a large extent, based on greed and and cynicism.

In a Libertarian Socialist organization society would encourage all the good things in us. When society no longer encourages us to be greedy it would produce cooperative and soldaric humans! There will of course be a few immoral individuals in any existing society, incluing in a libertarian socialist society, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

Btw, check out my new article for more on this topic: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

Theres a lot of convincing that has to be done, yes.

"How old are you and how have you avoided contact with the American public so totally as to not understand how strongly the idea of libertarian-socialism both unworkable here and opposed?"

I´m 31, and I live in Norway :)

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Dawkins is nearly 40 years old and doesn't have the backing you claim he does. To accept him blindly would be saying nature is everything and environment means nothing. If everything is due to the genes then all criminal behavior as well as moral acts are beyond our control. There is a recent study in which the poor are shown to be less altruistic then the wealthy. Using your correlation equals causation logic they must not have the gene.

Something is wrong I can't reply to the other comment, some kind of system error. It probably doesn't matter I don't see anyway libertarian socialism will ever get accepted in the US. People don't trust it, don't believe in the altruism you have to hope is there to make it work, it has no real record of success, and see it as denial of personal rights in favor of the group. It has almost no support among the general population.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Dawkins(..)doesn't have the backing you claim he does."

Yes, he does.

"To accept him blindly would be saying nature is everything and environment means nothing."

No. There´s no contradiction between having a free will and a nature allowing "molding" and different kinds of behaviour, and having some core characteristics developed thru millions of years of evolution.

[-] 3 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I googled selfish gene and got quite a few studies that are just a few years old and some recent writings critical of Dawkins. Even studies that do show a genetic correlation to altruism show one third of the subjects didn't have the gene.

If you're also going to say our environment can shape us then we're back to the major flaw with a libertarian society. It depends on everyone working up to their potential. Those that don't work hard, and remember one third won't have this altruism gene, quickly teach the rest that only idiots work hard when we're all going to get the same benefits no matter what.

There's a guy on another thread that describes us as not having the maturity as a species for the type of system. He's right. You can't seem to see that, you want so much for us to be something that we're not.

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

You can easily find out that I have not turned anything on its head.

You should never trust someone else automatically, no. Everyone should question things they´re critical about, in you case LS. But I have presented good arguments why LS is what we should strive for:

Its not unreasonable that people should have a right to democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them, right? Well, then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society with real participatory democracy: it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism.

Btw, check out my new article for more on this topic: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

Theres a lot of convincing that has to be done, yes. I´m 31, and I live in Norway :)

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Speaking of science, I have heard that leeches do a bang-up job of removing black bile from the body and restoring the balance of the seven humors!

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[-] 2 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

I like a fair deal of the ethos presented in this piece, but some things jut out that I have to question. The pathos of this piece is certainly on track on the whole.

1) The usage of the term "democracy". The world has never seen a true democracy, and the misusage of the term bugs me hardcore as people here in the States misuse it all the time. Are you using it in the modern colloquialism meaning a republic with representatives elected by popular vote, or do you really mean full-on direct democracy i.e. absolutely everyone votes on every decision (plus gets to discuss it at any assemblies)? What is the definition of democracy as it pertains to this piece?

2) Undoubtedly Capitalism encourages greed, but a direct democracy wouldn't be necessarily be without one either. I can't see this model nor any model being without corruption as well. The real challenge of preventing corruption is designing a mechanism (or set) to combat the base human failings of greed & by extension lust for power and control. What is to keep a person in these communities as you propose from hoarding wealth and/or trying to seize undue power and influence over others? Or at the least, how would instances of corruption be rectified?

3) You cover people's needs, and I agree with the spirit of the way you put it. With local organization & public control of the means of production (not to mention a focus on needs instead of profits) it stands to reason there would still be a surplus. How would that be distributed?

As an aside. Don't let the hyperbole and outright intellectual dishonesty of some on here turn you away.

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

1) I favor as much direct participatory democracy as possible - Libertarian Socialism / Anarcho-Syndicalism: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

2) LS / Anarcho-Syndicalism is based solidarity, cooperation and democracy on all levels. When you´re no longer encouraged to chase profits true human qualities will come to the fore: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

3) By democratic process, improving conditions in the community and workplace.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

In my opinion, for what it's worth, it is not so much that capitalism needs to be abolished as much as large trans-national corporations need to be abolished. Such power results in worldwide Corporatocracy (one of my favorite words) and wealth inequalities due to mandated-by-law requirements of corporate executives and board of directors to maximize profits. Failure to do so can result in stiff fines, dismissal, and/or jail (possibly) due to publicly-traded shareholders "right" to those maximum profits/dividends.

In other posts, I have argued that the Corporate model be replaced with Cooperatives for companies in excess of 500 employees. Under such a model, stranger shareholders are outlawed, each employee owns an equal share of the company (from front-line to boardroom), has an equal say in the decisions made in running the business, and shares equally in the profits. This model can, and does, operate within the capitalistic system as can be attested by looking at examples in other countries.

FYI, the United Nations has declared 2012 the "Year of the Cooperative". Check it out here:

http://social.un.org/coopsyear/

[-] 0 points by WisePatman (-4) 2 years ago

So, someone takes the time, money, blood, sweat, tears, innovative ideas, and years of his life, and makes decisions born of unique life experience coupled with wisdom and talent, and grows his company to a point where he has provided jobs for 499 other people, and BOOM now all of them own just as much as he does?!? Sounds fair! Problem is, as soon as that law was passed, no one would bother anymore. USSR anyone? That was great! Just imagine how great companies would be, being run by huge groups of people who think like Underdog!

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

You have to draw the line somewhere. Doesn't have to be 500. That's an arbitrary number on my part. I guess you are happy with the status quo and the trans-national Corporatocracy. So what are you doing on this site besides trolling around?

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Are employees required to buy shares under that model or are then just given to them? Difficult to imagine that working considering GM has 200,000 employees and 100,000 stockholders. The new Boeing plant in South Carolina will have 4000 employees. In Boeing's case you might not be able to afford a cost effective facility if you banned investors.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

As I understand it, share value in a Coop is not the same thing as publicly-traded Corporate share "value". This will take some time to explain so stay with me.

As you are no doubt aware, the price of corporate shares on the open market such as the NYSE can and do fluctuate, sometimes in wild and unexpected ways, almost to the point of complete unpredictability. This can/does happen on almost a daily basis due in large part to large institutional investors and computer-driven buy/sell algorithms that take human decision making regarding trading out of the loop. Thus, the common perception on the part of the average person that investment in the stock market today has become an exercise in "playing" in the largest gambling casino in the world. So, the question comes down to how impactful are publicly-traded shares to the daily operation of a company? Fortunately, corporations do not actually rely on stock shares to run their businesses. Yes, they must keep up with it from an accounting standpoint in order to pay shareholder dividends, etc. but the actual running of their business is conducted with capital that is independent of the crazy fluctuations of the open market. That steady day-to-day capital comes in the form of loans, bonds, and other forms of debt instruments, as well as any profit and other revenue streams they may have. This goes into the calculations of their balance sheets (as well as stock pluses or minuses) and, from an accounting process (there are complex rules applied in the accounting process) a company will report either a quarterly gain or loss, but usually nothing catastrophic (unless the company is really in trouble due to poor management decisions,etc.). If publicly-traded corporations were as vulnerable in their actual businesses as their stock might indicate, very few of them would survive in the long-term. Yes, sometimes they can and do get into trouble when their stock declines consistently over a long period of time, but those situations are comparatively rare. So, the conclusion here is that publicly-traded stock, for the most part, is not a significant factor in the daily operation of a business.

Now let's look at the cooperative model vs, the well-known corporate model. To start off with, no publicly-traded shares to strangers outside of the company is allowed. All funds required to operate the business come from income streams and debt obligations (bank loans, bonds, etc). Depending on the size of the company, and the ability of the employee to purchase his/her share, the share price may be purchased outright or "financed" over a period of time via paycheck deductions, personal loans, etc. Each cooperative has different ways of accomplishing share allocation/purchase options, and it all depends on how creative the employees can get. This is the beauty of the co-op model since all business decisions (important ones anyway for sure) are made by all employees rather than just top management/Board. The main thing to note is that publicly-traded shares are not only not allowed, but not even needed. Funds, even millions or billions of dollars, can be obtained elsewhere. This removes the greed incentive for top execs and Boards to maximize profits for total strangers who have no interest whatsoever in the company except to make money off it. Cooperatives, then, function to provide goods/services purely for the use of society and the benefit of their employees, of which they all have an equal stake in ensuring the business is successful. Under the corporate model, the rank-and-file have no stake or interest in the success of the company as they are viewed/treated as cogs in the machine to be used solely as the means to produce product with nothing in return, and are subject to poor treatment and disenfranchisement, etc. The cooperative model does not view/treat the employee in this way as every employee has an equal stake and say-so in the success/failure of the business.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

It seems on the surface to be a model worth exploring further. It has the advantage of being something that can be tried in limited fashion and it's success evaluated. Then expanded as it proves itself.

I hesitate about eliminating the ability to invest. Here I'm not thinking of the gamblers trying to make money and run, but of things like pension funds looking for a stable return. I suppose the investment could take the form of secured loans instead. Again it's something that can be experimented with, examined, and adjusted without major disruption to society.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes indeed worth it, as the Co-op is gradually proving itself all over the world. Not many exist in the US, and those that do are generally small (for obvious reasons).

Regarding investment, as you say, we are now getting into the realm of its necessity due to the institutionalization of inflation and other factors that make up a capitalistic economy. What we're really talking about there is a complete overhaul of the economic system (a much larger task than the corps to co-ops conversion task previously touched on). Investment is based on the flawed concept of infinite money expansion necessitated by the equally and more greatly flawed practice of Fractional Reserve Banking which is responsible for the creation of up to 90% or more of the nations money supply through bank loans, and that money is created out of thin air as nothing more than account entries in a computer! No actual, physical money is created by the banks. Since the principle is created with a mandate for repayment with interest, this means more money is demanded in return than actually exists in the money supply, hence the need to constantly create more of it to cover interest requirements, hence more debt creation, hence more devaluation of currency, hence...well, you get the idea. Eventually you end up with a mess like ours.

A great book to read about that is "Web of Debt" by Ellen Hodgson Brown. Highly recommended.

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

If one likes the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for replacing capitalism with Libertarian Socialism. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Underdog is correct, multi-national corps are evil, and need to be destroyed, They earn more money than some countries, They seek to manipulate 3rd world governments, and have little or no loyalty to anyone nation. Similar to terrorists aren't they.

[-] 0 points by WisePatman (-4) 2 years ago

Yeah! destroy Apple and distribute their profits to us! Who needs technological advances anyway?

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Sorry I was wrong but mostly right... I forgot to mention B LAB and some of the corps who are trying to change and the state laws being passed to allow corps to be less accountable to their share holders.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

what also is inherent in us people is that we dont really want to work together. Ive been involved in forums of different topics for many years, and on such places as youtube, and the comments we see are attacking, and cruel and non-civil. When the monster in these people are unleashed by letting up the Iron Rule over them, I fear things could get alot worse, even to bloodshed. What do you think about this point?

People dont give a rats ass about whats right, for example there is this outhouse out by a lake near me provided for convenience for those who need a "restroom" with a big sign over it, "Please dont put trash into the pit because its extremely hard to get out" And then last thursday I saw a bunch of trash thrown down into it. There are not just one person like this but many. Shall we now start charging a fee for the restroom as billed to us by the company that empties it? Or just plain old tear it down. A real solution would be to put a camera over the toilet, I mean who cares if someone sees me naked, I care more about cleaning up the trashy people ruining our free society.

This may seem a small example, but Im telling you this is the kind of people we are and this example can easily be amplified out thruout much of our nation.

Another point: How do you encourage people to want to be good, when they would rather "laugh with the sinner than cry with the saint" cause the sinners are much more fun. ( From an old rock song) This is furthur evident by the ridiculously out of control movies that come out of hollywood, of violence, murder rape, vampires, I mean that crap got old for me like 20 years ago.

You know the way the brain works, is that actions are preceeded by a thought, and when people spend alot of their time and their thoughts watching violent and immoral movies, it tends to make them more violent and immoral. For example again: I had a friend to had a big ego, cause he was a green beret, carried a gun everywhere he went, he liked to look people into the eye and stare them down, well he got flipped off and guns got pulled and now he is dead, He was only 25.

Another guy from my town was celebrating a high school foot ball game at a house party, when he got into a fight with two other guys over an F word being said , but he got knived right into his lung.

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

You´re wrong, my friend.

Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior and it can be shaped to a certain extent, but there are certain things - such as solidarity for example - that make up some of the core features. Just look at the history of our evolution. For millions of years things like cooperation, sharing, caring, sticking together and so on, basing social organization on a relatively egalitarian principle, have been central parts of our evolution. Even as far back as Homo Habilis working together for the common good, cooperating on finding and getting food etc. were essential and crucial for the survival and further evolvement of the species. Now, there were also things like rivalry and violence that took place at that time, and these things have to a certain extent also been passed on, but as our ancestors evolved further, all the way up to Homo Heidelbergensis and later on Homo Sapiens, these things decreased and elements like solidarity and egalitarianism - in addition to cooperation - became more integrated in the social organization. Working together for the common good turned out to be a crucial and highly successful factor in our evolution. And with cooperation and working together, things like solidarity, altruism etc - a more collective mentality - also became a natural part of our ancestors´ way of thinking and acting. When our ancestors finally evolved into Homo Sapiens this had become a big part of our way of life: Some of the first human societies consisted of hunter-gatherers basing society on solidarity, cooperation and egalitarian principles. Marx and Engels studied and wrote about these types of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies; they called them "primitive communism" - a kind of preindustrial version of the modern classless stateless communist society they envisioned might come into place in the future.

In other words, evolution has allowed us to develop a free will, a mentality that allows for variation in behavior, making room for adaptation and molding of the mind; but our ancestors have also passed on certain elements - mostly good ones - that are determined and part of humans today. Things that were the main reason for our evolutionary success, like solidarity and cooperation, are parts of our nature.

In fact many of these things can also be seen among most species, simply because sticking together and helping each other increase the chances of species survival. Peter Kropotkin, a zoologist, philosopher and Libertarian Socialist - contributing especially to the philosophy of Anarcho-Communism - wrote about this issue in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution", looking at mutual aid and cooperation in nature, arguing that evolution naturally would develop things like commitment to helping others, and that these were important factors in the survival of the species.

Another important contribution to this topic is of course "The Selfish Gene" from 1976 by professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book he pointed out that altruism, and cooperation naturally would evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. And it makes perfect sense; individuals sharing the same genes would naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated. Most scientists on this field regard Dawkins´ contributions to be correct.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

i have since edited my post and added, what about my specific example that can be amplified out to a national level, how do we compensate for such people?

Interesting topic about the selfish gene, ill have to read up on that.

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

In a Libertarian Socialist organization society would encourage all the good things in us. When society no longer encourages us to be greedy the true nature of humans would come to the fore. If a big part of our nature is based on cooperation and solidarity, and the society encourages cooperation and solidarity, guess what, it would produce cooperative and soldaric humans! There will of course be a few immoral individuals in any existing society, incluing in a libertarian socialist society, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

Living together in solidarity, cooperating, looking out for one another and being creative on one's own terms in an egalitarian social organization is ,like I wrote above,in accordance with human nature. It would then logically follow that the most appropriate way to organize society would be one that is based on Libertarian Socialist principles: a free, egalitarian, non-hierarchical society where human characteristics like solidarity, kindness and creativity would come to the fore.

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[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

I have to disagree with your logic in #2. Your making an assumption that all owners perform no work. Even the CEO performs work. Management performs work. It just different than what others are doing. It takes the full company of workers to make the product, not just your definition of labor. And you are viewing that management or owners do not add value? Of course they do. From the original idea, improvments, innovation, methods of production, efficiencies, etc. And your also assuming that one worker's value added is greater than another? Not sure of how you measure "value added". Everyone that works for a company or business adds value. Just because the secretary did not work o. The production line, her value is also added in the form of overhead expense. Profit is required to grow the business, especially For product improvements, meeting demand, etc. Where else would it come from? Innovation and improvements give the product better quality, which in turn is better for the consumer. If the consumer likes the product , demand will create employment opportunities for others. Rethink your position on this one.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (21440) 2 years ago

Management is labor. Their wages are part of the overall labor costs. They are paid employees just like any other employee. Same thing for a CEO. Owners can be part of management or not. A 6 month old can technically "own" a company, but they would not be a laborer, though they would earn profit.

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

No, capitalists can of course do work/labor in addition. I was just making the point that they are making money by just owning.

Value added: Price of finished product minus value of product before worker´s processing.

Sure, everyone involved doing actual work adds value.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Here's what needs to be abolished: The link between government resources (military and police) and commerce. If commercial interests have no access to military and police forces (outside of seeking reparation for violations of right), they cannot lawfully force anyone to do anything against their will.

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

government and corporations are very tightly linked, but we should try to end that and working for replacing capitalism with democracy.

Capitalism is just private private tyranny and command economy.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

This country's economic system is not Capitalism. Capitalism is a system in which government plays no part in the economy; in which force has no place in the economy. It is the only economic system which recognizes property rights. Every other system places every individual's means of survival in the hands of others -- especially democratic economic systems. So I have to disagree with you there.

We can argue about the definition of Capitalism all day long, but that is pointless. What is important is this: implementing an economic system which recognizes property rights and bans the use of force in private dealings.

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

By "Capitalism" I here meant state-capitalism of course. But Laissez-faire or "libertarian" C is even more awful. Pure private tyranny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B0Q109uQ7o

[-] 2 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Please do not link me to videos, I can not view them. If you know of a reason why laissez-faire capitalism would not protect individual rights, just say it. As far as I know, it is the only system which protects (or even recognizes) rights.

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

You´re living in a dreamworld. These "voluntary agreements" you ultra-right wingers are talking about, taking place in a class / capitalist / state-capitalist society in which the wealth and resourses are very highly concentrated, and where some individuals are owning huge corporations or important means of production, (and other individuals are not owning these things) are simply just cognitive illusions since the ones owning the resourses - the wealth and the means of production etc - have much more power, hence having the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring/negotiations in a worker/non-owner - employer/owner relationship.

LF is handing over all the power to the fiancial elite and private tyrannies. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model; a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top - the CEOs, owners etc - dictate how the institution is being run, what´s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies.

If one likes the idea of people having the right to influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them then that would certainly incude workplace and community.

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

Capitalist-based property rights are not graven in in stone, Just like the wealthy business owners have been given the right to own the means of productions others are using and profiting on someone else´s labor, workers can be given the right to instead control their own work and workplace. Property rights are not unchangable and come in different variations, and it has to be the public who have to live by these laws that should get to decide these. In other words, democracy

[-] 2 points by WisePatman (-4) 2 years ago

Private tyrannies? If you do not like your boss, you can quit. Where is the tyranny? Another definition for true Democracy is Mob Rule. Historically true democracies have always failed, usually quite quickly, always in spectacularly bad ways. They are nasty places to be, ruled by the whims of the majority, which are often influenced by a charismatic "leader". They have always had Genocide, "cleansing", euthanasia, eugenics, etc. If democracy ruled the South, we would still have slavery. To illustrate my point, would you want to be ruled by the same people who thought avocado colored refrigerators were a good idea? Me neither.

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

Didn´t you read the article. The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model; a tyrannical non-democratic hierarchy in which the people at the top - the CEOs, owners etc - dictate how the institution is being run, what´s being produced, working conditions and so on, while people further down the hierarchy must follow their orders. Capitalist institutions are in other words private tyrannies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk

No, democracy - real democracy - is people being in control of their own lives

Read this: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

Democracy must be build from below in a decentralized libertarian socialist / anarcho-syndicalist society: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

[-] 2 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

I been watching this ping pong back and forth. Again you are assuming that only the wealthy have the means of production. You are mistaken. Anyone can get a means of production. It just requires effort. If your idea is good, you will find a way. Now obviously I not going to build railroad engines next week, but all companies started in a garage or shop somewhere. Even in today's world, this happens. You really need to re-evaluate your thinking on this. You have become much too fixed In your beliefs to consider other viewpoints. Step back and take another look.

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

The economy is all encompassing. A co-op here and there arent going to change the fact that the a huge amount of resourses, the important means of production, and capital and wealth, are very highly concentrated. It is this enequality in the economy that has to end (among other things)

[-] 2 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

Why are you equating state-capitalism as you call it with Laissez-faire? You're accusing Laissez-faire (which is a system which is NOT implemented in this country) of all the faults of the system which IS implemented in this country; whereby the United States grants coercive monopolies to corporations. Under laissez-faire, one man's generation of large amounts of wealth (goods) is not a detriment to any other man, except one who wishes to produce inferior goods of the same type.

The idea that "wealth and resources are very highly concentrated" implies that this world came into existence with a limited amount of wealth, and that the wealth just gets traded around and no more can be created.

"The economic institutions in a capitalist society have a totalitarian model." Yes, this is correct. Someone who creates a business (an economic institution) does have totalitarian control over that business only. It is his and he may do with it what he wishes. If you were referring to institutions like the Fed and the IMF, they are not Capitalist institutions. They deal in debt only. They produce nothing. They sell nothing. They trick governments into becoming indebted to them and then force those governments to subjugate their people in order to pay back the debts (which is designed to be impossible). This has nothing to do with individual human beings being free to make the contracts they wish to make; in fact it is the main reason such right is violated by governments today.

"LF is handing over all the power to the fiancial elite and private tyrannies." This is, of course, absurd if you are referring to political power. Under Laissez-faire, economy and politics (law) are seperate, which is not to say that businesses (and/or their owners/workers) cannot be prosecuted for violating law, but that law applies only to violations of rights, and not regulations of commerce as such.

[+] -4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I didn´t equate stateC L-faire, but Lf would still be a society run by private tyrannies and the wealthy to a very large extent.

"Yes, this is correct. Someone who creates a business (an economic institution) does have totalitarian control over that business only."

You´re at least honest. But you see, I don´t like tyranny in any way shape or form.

No, I´m talking about economic power. The wealthy (who are not democratically elected) will have an overwhelming power in society and over our lives - tyranny!

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

im just going to go and say this sounds like a bad idea. Since your from Norway i high doubt you completely understand our system. capitalism is not a diplomatic government its a type of economic system. You are right that money should be out of government and government out of business. I don't know how your system works in Norway but here we have a system that just needs a nice tune up nothing more

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

We should have a more democratic economy. If one likes the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

ok im just going to say no. what your looking for is a socialism based economy. You are entitled to that but most people don't want that. I don't want it but hey that is your opinion so ok. it seems like alot of wasted money and time. If we had free capitalism mean no government subsidies or anything we would not be in this mess that we are in right now because everyone would have the same base to start in.

question in your idea of a system who gets profits or do we share them also how do taxes work or are there taxes. The holes in your idea are just to big for me and im sorry

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

"what your looking for is a socialism based economy."

Libertarian Socialism, yes.

If we had free capitalism we´d have total private tyranny and command economy.

[-] 2 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

stop with Noam please look at another opinion even if you dont like it at least look. Well we would have a government that regulates and makes sure that the is not total control so No Tyranny (check) and command economy see if you mean what he means (i've watched those videos before) then i'm confused. A true capitalism the consumer drives the market meaning just simple supply and demand. where a command economy is where the government tells people what to do. i understand the private tyranny worries and if we have a government that does not have a hand in the profits of the business we will be fine.

question in your idea of a system who gets profits or do we share them also how do taxes work or are there taxes?

[+] -4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I am aware of the different opinions, but I want (as Chomsky) Libertarian Socialsim: people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words.

Corporations are private tyrannies and command economies. Totalitarian insititutions. It´s not just governments and states that can have a totalitarian model.

"and if we have a government that does not have a hand in the profits of the business we will be fine."

No, we´d have tyranny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B0Q109uQ7o

Read all about my wanted system here: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

"All the details in this free society would be too complex to sketch out here. All details must be decided and established when the time comes by the people participating in that society." this was on the website so the plan is to wing it alright because that never ends bad.

But what about this society that has never been built no proof of working why go out on a limb to it.

Then there was the video was so wrong it even stated that they didn't know if the society could work. You cant stop people form being well connected you just cant. Im well connected because i make friends with everyone i meet this does not mean i am evil or will be evil.

So answer my questions please

How would profits work since the society votes people in to lead business what happens to the money?

what if a person want to set up shop but te community is bblinded with ignorance about his idea and say no but this idea could revolutionize everything?

where does the idea of working hard to get a good education when everyone is paid the same or if they are paid?e

how do doctors work are they voted in?

how about universities are they new students voted in and by who?

what about crime who takes care of that, Who polices society?

who places regulation over products?

I have a thousand more questions but i know the answer that you will give me a Noam video and a link to a website. I want you to answer these questions

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

All attempts to create LS has always been crushed by existing power structures. The closest we have gotten was in the 30s in Catalonia, where workers, despite also having to fight fascists etc ,were able to create a, to a large extent, active direct democratic society with worker run workplaces etc. It was eventually crushed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YftlB3AxBws

Production, distribution, remuneration, and all other details involving the workplaces and institutions etc. would be decided democratically by the participants. Details must be decided by the ones who actually live in the society when that time comes, it s not up to us.

Crime would be down to the minimum since no one would have to turn to crime to make ends meet, but the ones who are a treath to others in society must be seperated from the rest of the public, treated as humane as possible.

But, think about it. Chomsky is much more knowledgable than I am, and have shared a lot of thoughts on this issue. If you are really interested in knowing more about libertarian socialism you should really check this collection of videos out. You´ll get a lot of answers to your questions :)

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

you answered no question further proving that this system is wrong your 5 mins are up goodbye

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

I did answer Production, distribution, remuneration, and all other details involving the workplaces and institutions etc. would be decided democratically by the participants. Details must be decided by the ones who actually live in the society when that time comes, it s not up to us.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

go jerk off to Noam and your false idols, Ignorance is bliss with you and a im disappointed

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

That´s too bad. I was hoping you´d come up with good counter-arguments so we could have a civilized debate.

[-] 0 points by DayumShame (148) 2 years ago

I think the nation should be a communist state. Run by me. Everything will be honest... pinkie promise.

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

I strongly disagree. Stalinism is awful.

[-] 0 points by DayumShame (148) 2 years ago

I'm not Stalin, I'm just awesome!

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

It doesn´t help. We should fight all tyrannical undemocratic hierarchies and concentration of power. Here´s what we should work for: http://occupywallst.org/forum/capitalism-must-be-replaced-by-real-democracy-libe/

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[-] 0 points by WisePatman (-4) 2 years ago

The problem is, that individual humans, as a rule, do not give a rat's **s about other people's "needs" unless their own are fulfilled. This is why rich people donate so much more than poor people. You may say it is because they can afford to. How true on so many levels. Yet if a "democracy" takes their treasure they become as necessarily selfish as any other poor person. It is difficult to share food when you are starving. Yet when we have capitalism, you get to own your own stuff. If you want more you have to please customers. If you want more still, you have to duplicate your efforts (hire people). If you want to stay in business, you have to not be too evil, or you will lose customers. When your needs are met, you feel responsible to "give back". All of these social benefits are BASED on individual selfishness, which will always exist. Even the charitable giving exists to make the giver feel good, SELFISH! Since we will never rid humanity of selfishness, we may as well employ a system which lets society benefit from it. No system is perfect, but at least capitalism has actually worked on a large scale (USA anyone?, largest charitable givers by both amount and percentage!) Show me anywhere where forced Socialism has EVER worked. Voluntary Socialism? ( like Israeli Kibbutzes) maybe, but if you want to, you can leave! Fighting human selfishness is like building sand dykes along a river, you can never hold it in. Socialism must, by its nature, fight selfishness. Capitalism on the other hand, mines human selfishness for the benefit of society. I know most of you OWS folks are young, but you would do well to read, and understand, history.

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

We have to face the fact that we don´t know everything about human nature. We do, however, know that there are some fundamental human characteristics. Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior and it can be shaped to a certain extent, but there are certain things - such as solidarity for example - that make up some of the core features. Just look at the history of our evolution. For millions of years things like cooperation, sharing, caring, sticking together and so on, basing social organization on a relatively egalitarian principle, have been central parts of our evolution. Even as far back as Homo Habilis working together for the common good, cooperating on finding and getting food etc. were essential and crucial for the survival and further evolvement of the species. Now, there were also things like rivalry and violence that took place at that time, and these things have to a certain extent also been passed on, but as our ancestors evolved further, all the way up to Homo Heidelbergensis and later on Homo Sapiens, these things decreased and elements like solidarity and egalitarianism - in addition to cooperation - became more integrated in the social organization. Working together for the common good turned out to be a crucial and highly successful factor in our evolution. And with cooperation and working together, things like solidarity, altruism etc - a more collective mentality - also became a natural part of our ancestors´ way of thinking and acting. When our ancestors finally evolved into Homo Sapiens this had become a big part of our way of life: Some of the first human societies consisted of hunter-gatherers basing society on solidarity, cooperation and egalitarian principles. Marx and Engels studied and wrote about these types of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies; they called them "primitive communism" - a kind of preindustrial version of the modern classless stateless communist society they envisioned might come into place in the future.

In other words, evolution has allowed us to develop a free will, a mentality that allows for variation in behavior, making room for adaptation and molding of the mind; but our ancestors have also passed on certain elements - mostly good ones - that are determined and part of humans today. Things that were the main reason for our evolutionary success, like solidarity and cooperation, are parts of our nature.

In fact many of these things can also be seen among most species, simply because sticking together and helping each other increase the chances of species survival. Peter Kropotkin, a zoologist, philosopher and Libertarian Socialist - contributing especially to the philosophy of Anarcho-Communism - wrote about this issue in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution", looking at mutual aid and cooperation in nature, arguing that evolution naturally would develop things like commitment to helping others, and that these were important factors in the survival of the species.

Another important contribution to this topic is of course "The Selfish Gene" from 1976 by professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book he pointed out that altruism, and cooperation naturally would evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. And it makes perfect sense; individuals sharing the same genes would naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated. Most scientists on this field regard Dawkins´ contributions to be correct.

Robert Trivers` work is also very interesting and worth mentioning in this context. He focuses on what he calls "Reciprocal altruism": the phenomenon of an organism, or individual, acting in a way that might reduce its fitness ,being a cost or loss, while increasing the fitness of another organism, with the expectation that this other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time.

Now, with all this mentioned so far in mind, it would logically follow that cooperation, solidarity, altruism etc. are essential and fundamental elements of our nature.

But if these things are huge parts of our nature, why don´t we see a lot more of this in our society today? Well, the problem is that today these things are being suppressed. In today´s (especially Western) societies things like greed and consumption are being encouraged. In fact, capitalism requires corporations f.ex. to only think about the "bottom line". If they don´t, they´re out of business, and corporations that do think profits and greed replace them. A society like this will of course produce a lot of greedy individuals. Capitalism encourages greed, and since human nature allows for some molding of the mind, the system we have manages to suppress many individuals´ core characteristics. Take advertisement f.ex: Private tyrannies spend huge amounts of money on this. We´re being pumped full of this garbage almost everywhere we look, whether it´s TV, radio, internet, newspapers etc etc, day in and day out. It is a highly unnatural phenomenon, it´s been a part of human history for an extremely small amount of time, yet it affects us, many of us in a huge way. But with that said, I think it s worth mentioning that even though we´re being encouraged to be greedy and selfish, we still see lots of kindness and solidarity. Even in a society based on greed and consumption, human characteristics, opposing this lifestyle, are lived out.

In a Libertarian Socialist organization society would encourage all the good things in us. When society no longer encourages us to be greedy the true nature of humans would come to the fore. If a big part of our nature is based on cooperation and solidarity, and the society encourages cooperation and solidarity, guess what, it would produce cooperative and soldaric humans! There will of course be a few immoral individuals in a libertarian socialist society as well, but that shouldn´t prevent us from organizing society in a way that is best suited human nature in general.

So, in other words: living together in solidarity, cooperating, looking out for one another and being creative on one's own terms in an egalitarian social organization is in accordance with human nature. It would then logically follow that the most appropriate way to organize society would be one that is based on Libertarian Socialist principles: a free, egalitarian, non-hierarchical society where human characteristics like solidarity, kindness and creativity would come to the fore.

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

Better to Advance Capitalism ....

the answers lie... in Advancement ... in Enlightenment ... in Renaissance ... in implementing all the goals of...

"Individual Freedom" ...

"Economic Prosperity" ...

"Economic Freedom" ...

& "Individual Prosperity" ...

All together ... working together...

The Capitalistic system of "Individual Freedom" & "Economic Prosperity" , alone... eventually fails ... and needs to be restructured or regulated for a while ... it is failing right now ...

as does the Socialistic system of "Economic Freedom" & "Individual Prosperity" , it alone eventually fails ... and needs to be restructured with incentives ...

Why one way or the other ... when we can have it all ... We are ready for a new way ... or else we All will fail...

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

I´ve said it before: If one likes the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

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

ok...but where's the "Libertarian Capitalism" side of that coin ?

why can't we have all ? working together in harmony .. in support of each-other ?

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

Because the economy is all encompassing.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago
[-] 0 points by Apercentage (81) 2 years ago

I'm not even going to argue this one. Dumbest suggestion I've heard in a while.

[+] -4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

It´s the dumbest suggestion you´ve heard, but you still weren´t able to present one single counter argument..

[-] 0 points by bpf0653 (0) from New York, NY 2 years ago

OWS must be ran by complete idiots or puppets for the George Soros's of the World. 99% my butt most you are the "useful idiots" of the Saul Alinsky, and the Cloward–Piven strategy to destory Freedom and the Republic. Wake the heck up you are just a bunch of brown shirts, maybe if you went to college for a real trade up wouldn't living in tents and being envious of those who made it.

[+] -4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You´re making absoultely no sense.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

sure, abolish capitalism because socialism and communism work so well.

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

No, actually I want us to live in a highly advanced technological, modern Anarcho-Syndicalist Society :)

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

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

Yes, libertarian socialism.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

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[-] -1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

You all do know that capitalism is responsible for these computers you are using, your heat and homes and cars and medical care (yep, I said that) and education and etc.... Marxism has brought only death.

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

Actually, computers internets etc mostly evolved out of the state sector. In Norway we actually have universial health care for all and more or less free eduaction, including college and university But that aside, it´s not x profitting on y (capitalism) that creates goods, that would be human hands and brains.

Marxism is mostly an economic theory and analysis, youre probably thinking about totalitarian stalisnist and leninist models. I don´t agree with everything KM advocated.

[-] 1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

So Norway does not have a capitalist economy?

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

Norway has a state-capitalist economy, but with less privatization and capitalist-principles than in the US, f.ex. Commonly known as "Social Democracy"

[-] 0 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

no, it was private industry that developed the computer FOR the state, not the other way around, and the advances that brought that technology into your home is wholly due to private industry and the profit motive, engaged in capitalist effort......

It IS x profiting on y that creates most of the goods and services that we use and that advance the human condition......it is the individual who thinks they can invent a better mousetrap that creates those products, long before there was ever a "demand" for them......and that creation, and the enterprise that springs from it is what propels society at-large, forward in technological advancement.......

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

No, no. Humans want to contribute, work and be creative. Its part of our nature.

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

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

It is human hands and brains that create goods and wealt, not one person profitting on somebody elses labor

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

I disagree with the idea that capitalism is bad, it fosters innovation and healthy competition. The real problem is the corporation and the systems in support of them. When were corporations first invented and what were some of the laws involved with that? We need reforms to balance out the good aspects of capitalism with the bad side.

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

No, no. The urge to be creative, work and create is a part of us as humans

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

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

And when working together we can have a lot of innovation. It´s also a matter of principle If one likes the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism.

[-] -2 points by rhawk301 (-2) 1 year ago

Unfortunately, democracies always end in 51% telling the other 49% how to live. You have a society where when one person gets a great idea and wants to expand on it, the other people come in take that idea and could very well make it worse. Innovation in democracies ceases to exist as there is no incentive to be brilliant. In the end, you will get an oligarchy of power when power hungry individuals come in and control people. In general, people want to be led. All people have different roles in life, because human nature simply works out that way. So there are those who lead, and those who follow.

We don't have capitalism today, we haven't had true free markets and capitalism since the late 1800's. When the federal reserve was founded in 1913 we sealed our fate. This is what you see, the result of crooks and robber barons who "pulled one over" on everyone.

What people need to do is understand why we are here, and why the problems we have are happening. We need to end the federal reserve system and remove the debt based currency. I guarantee you we can then talk about next steps.

[-] -2 points by Perspective (-243) 2 years ago

Lol you poor,pathetic,loser.

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

No, no. I presented many arguments in an article; you didn´t manage to come up with one single counter argument, so if there´s a "pathetic loser" here, it´d be you.

[-] 0 points by Perspective (-243) 2 years ago

Lol whatever helps you get by. Your whole post is garbage. you have no sense of personal responsibility and I venture to say you never will. Get off your lazy ass and earn your own way moron.If you don't like working for someone else and them making money off you(and in turn paying you money) then start your own business and be the Boss who makes money from other peoples labor. Instead you prefer to whine about how unfair it is.What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are.

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

"Get off your lazy ass and earn your own way moron."

Stop attacking my personal life (which you obviously dont know anything about.)

"If you don't like working for someone else and them making money off you(and in turn paying you money) then start your own business and be the Boss who makes money from other peoples labor."

So you didn´t get that it is this kind of system I think we should dismantle..? Have you read the article that you have commented..?

"Instead you prefer to whine about how unfair it is.What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are."

How is that pathethic? How is advocating justice, freedom and democracy pathetic?

[-] 0 points by Perspective (-243) 2 years ago

What I get is that you obviously don't have the drive or initiative to succeed so you hate any system that rewards that. Maybe if you took a little responsibility for your life you might get somewhere.Somehow though I don't think that's going to happen. So keep on whining while others work hard and succeed.

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

Again, please stop attacking my personal life (which you obviously dont know anything about.) My person is not the focus here. Stick to the political issues and present counter arguments against my article if youre able.

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[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Please, define "free." I am an American citizen by birth, but don't understand what you mean, except that somehow you believe Scandinavians are less "free" than we, or that we, Americans, enjoy benefits they don't. Quite the opposite is true.

Sweden, for instance, one of the Scandinavian countries has socialized medicine, which provides universal "free" health care that is superior to privatized American health care as is proven by the lower rates of infant mortality and higher life expectancy in Sweden. More or less the Swedes, using socialized medicine provide better health care for less cost per person.

I could use other indicators of greater "freedom" in other countries, but I believe the health-care comparison makes my point.

No, I do not want to leave my native country, I simply want to improve it. If you don't, what's wrong with you?

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Our Empire is a complex and diverse thing, far larger more varied than say Norway, We have problems of this great mixing that they won't have. Ethnic, Religious, and Regional issues that they dont ever have to consider.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Freedom means differing opinions, its hard to like it but he can even burn the flag on top of some Korans.

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

First of all, I live in Norway. Second: "Why dont you just move" is the worst argument ever. So if a state or government conducts all sorts of horrible inhumane destructive policies, and people start to object and disagree, the ones in power can just say "Well, if you don´t like our policies, why don´t you just move"..?

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I'm not questioning anyone's right to an opinion. I'm just wondering if you have spent much time in America to understand a sort of general distrust of anything socialist.

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

I do that as well :)

[-] -3 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

The biggest reason you believe this is simple.....

YOU ARE A FAILURE....and you want to blame the system for it, instead of looking in the mirror, assessing your weaknesses, working on them, and becoming a more advanced and successful human being through attempt and adjustment until you do......

I wish you failures, slackers, shirkers and bums would stop blaming the system and stop being so whiny and lazy, and expecting some force outside yourselves to provide you with everything......

Time to grow up and face the realities of life........

[-] 1 points by Puerile (12) 2 years ago

Fail

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

that's it? did you learn that response in self-esteem building?

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

You´re making absolutely no sense, dude. So you couldn´t come up with a single counter argument against what I presented in the article?

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

your failure is the counter argument......if you had experienced any success in life you wouldn't need to make such foolish and, in fact, stupid, claims about the negative effects of capitalism....

I encourage you to do some research on the history of collective systems, in all it's forms, such as socialism, communism, despotism, etc.....capitalism unleashes the individual to create whatever he thinks will benefit others, in the marketplace, and by extension, benefit himself.....

Your myopic and puerile assessment only points to your own inadequacies, and instead of addressing and correcting them, you choose to blame the system......a system which has created more good for mankind than all others that existed in human history.....

Time to grow up, Mommy and Daddy aren't gonna be there to feed you and wipe your ass any more.......nor is any substitute you can dream up for them, like a large centralized government or anarchical fantasy.......

It's time for you to earn your own way in life, so develop your skills, cultivate your attitude and effort, and get with the program......or be a loser/slacker and reap the rewards of that foolish choice...

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

I kindly ask you to stop attacking my personal life (which you obviously know nothing about) and stick to the political issues.

Libertarian Socialism strongly opposes all kinds of despotism and tyranny and strongly advocates individual rights: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

It is human hands and brains that have created wealth and goods, not x profitting on y.

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

sorry, you are simply wrong.....the profit motive is responsible for most of our success as a species....

It's no different than planting a single seed, cultivating, and harvesting a large yield...that is "profit" too

I am attacking your idea's, which could only be held by a loser/failure/quitter........sorry if that gets your panties in a bunch....

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

Nope. You´re wrong. Humans want to contribute, work and be creative. Its part of our nature:

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

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

It is human hands and brains that create goods and wealth, not exploitation.

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

I love how fools like you call giving someone a thing they don't have on their own (like a job, and pay) "exploitation"

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

What are you talking about?? Don´t you know what exploitation is? Exploitation is when the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is then used for future investments, giving more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value.

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

it is the system of the enterprise that creates the value, not the total of the various individual efforts, it is the organization and direction of the effort that creates the value.......a value that far exceeds the sum total of the individual efforts....

You really don't understand how division of labor works, obviously.....

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

But the final result is caused by different individual inputs. It doesnt change anything

But, listen, we all live in a free ride society, we all get free rides all the time, so therefore we should just share the wealth created :)

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

no, again....the result exceeds the individual inputs

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

It doesnt change the fact that x makes money by just owning.

Yes, we all live in a free ride society, we all get free rides all the time, so therefore we should just share the wealth created :)

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

I'm not wrong, you're just a delusional fool, and a collectivist drone who thinks you'll get part of the plunder if you empower government.....

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

Yes, you are. I actuallly want to dismantle government, and I´m actually a huge fan of individual rights: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

except the freedom of individual success......and self-determination

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

No, no. I want individuals to be successful, getting a decent life, but not by exploiting. It depends on what you mean by "successful" I guess.

Self-determintaion? Absolutley! (but if when you do stuff that affects others and together with others you have to expect others demanding a say) Watch the video below the article.

[-] -1 points by slammersworldwillnotbecensored (-184) 2 years ago

I don't watch video's, if you have a position, make it yourself, don't link or parrot the opinions of others......if you link to hard data, like a gov site: census, bls, cbo, etc....that's one thing, but to read someone else's opinion makes discussion with YOU unnecessary......know what I'm sayin'

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

The video is very good, though. It explains very well Libertarian Socialism and its principles. You should check it out.

[-] -3 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

and replaced with what ? have you come up with a better system?

[-] -2 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

and where has that worked?

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

There were no examples of parlamentary democracy in the times of feudalism..look what happened.

But to answer your question: All attempts to create LS has always been crushed by existing power structures. The closest we have gotten was in the 30s in Catalonia, where workers, despite also having to fight fascists etc ,were able to create a, to a large extent, active direct democratic society with worker run workplaces etc. It was eventually crushed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YftlB3AxBws

[-] -1 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

sounds like a winner

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

Hopefully the ideas of libertarian socialism will gain more and more popularity.

[+] -5 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

Geez you've got a lot of time on your hands.

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Let´s stick to the political issues, shall we..

[+] -5 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

yea - your jerking off - go get a job

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

I already have a job, thank you.