Your stance on capitalism.

3 years, 1 month ago

I am taking a philosophy class in school right now. I have learned that almost anyway you look at it, capitalism is immoral.

Utilitarians will see that the majority are not benefited by capitalism, therefore it is immoral.

Deontologists will agree capitalism cannot be universalized because it treats people as means to an end rather than means in themselves.

Virtue Ethics would say that it is virtuous to not have wealth, and not be poor. Possibly an argument for capitalism, but only if you are not planning to be rich someday.

These are not the only forms of philosophy, but they are among the most used.

I think it is fair to look at what an economic system says about the people who participate in it. What does capitalism say? One is an individual separate from a group, and one must follow the rules of the market.

Deepak Chopra tells us to ask ourselves, How can we serve? This is a wonderful reflection of self. The problem is: one should not have to consult an economic system when answering.

Capitalism exploits workers, alienates workers, and only benefits the few.

Why do we use it?

February 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

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Profile photo of WryJester WryJester (@wryjester) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

The problem with capitalism is that not everyone is born with the same opportunity. If you want capitalism to be a game of merit, everyone must start on equal footing. This means the free-market does not work as those who do well and make money and gain power work to keep their family and friends in the money and power. It then becomes an oligarchy instead of a meritarchy(?). The economists that talk about free-market and trickledown effect have good points, but they are ignorant to the societal barriers that they never had to deal with.

It is all about creating equal opportunity for every child that is born.

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Profile photo of Matt Matt (@greenthinker) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Austin, I completely agree. I used to think a “laissez faire” free market was what we needed. I still think it is a step in the right direction, which is getting money out of politics, but it still does not create a harmonious society.

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Profile photo of Athens Athens (@giraffe) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

I think Anarcho-capitalism is the best way forward. The fact that the majority of people (~97%+) are moral and arguments against the free market system are based on morality with poor people in mind tells me that that some kind of charity would naturally occur.

If you work from first principal; the non-initiation of force then it creates an airtight argument for Anarcho-capitalism as demonstrated by Stefan Moleneux.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@dannyboy) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

The great thing about Capitalism is that everyone has a chance to reach the top. The horrible thing about Capitalism is that everyone has a chance to reach the top.

We learn from a young age that there are always winners and losers. Even when parents would do things such as not keep score in a sporting match so that kids would not worry about it, we still kept score. We knew who won and lost. This can be applied to Capitalism as well; Can anyone be at the top? Yes. Can EVERYONE be at the top? No.

On paper, Communism is the best way to go. Everyone is provided for, who can complain about that. Unfortunately, as we have seen over and over again, straight communism simply does not work.

Socialism also looks great for those who are afraid of Communism. Everyone is still basically provided for, but you are more free to do as you please in business.

As for the immorality of Capitalism, I completely agree. It should be done with. So what am I proposing? Fascism.

Not really. But I do think that any form of economy that is strictly one of the above is bad. What really need is a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. This way we can still have a somewhat free market but everyone has a more fair shot at coming out on top.

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Profile photo of Em Em (@emily) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Austin~ “The economists that talk about free-market and trickledown effect have good points, but they are ignorant to the societal barriers that they never had to deal with.” –THANK YOU!!
Capitalism is based on the concept of money…which is artificial. Therefore, when our society is based on something artificial—the motivation for everything becomes toward something artificial. So… everyone is working toward, stealing from each other, and arguing over something that’s not even real. However… the way society is set up (with capitalism), we treat money as if it were a real thing. So, if you don’t have it, you die (or are ridiculed for being a lazy bum and plague on society). With capitalism there will ALWAYS ALWAYS be people at the bottom of the rung that are starving, no matter how hard they try. Capitalism separates people, puts them in competition with each other (when they could be on the same side working together toward something greater), it leads to people working jobs they hate to feed their families, it creates poverty, and yes Matt-exploits people…..the only people capitalism benefits are the people who have lots of money.
If you have lots of money you can do whatever you want in this society. You can do the things in life you enjoy, and it’s very easy to point the finger at other people and tell them they suck and “just don’t work hard enough” or “just don’t contribute enough to society.” If you’re part of the general population, you have to find your niche in society “to make money.” And you spend all your time trying so hard to just make enough money to pay your bills, and hopefully a little extra. Imo, capitalism sucks balls.
I think people should stop arguing over what labeled political structure is better than the other and just do “what works.” There is more than enough of EVERYTHING to go around for everyone. So long as there are people that are in poverty, there will always be crime. There’s no reason for it, it makes no sense to me why one person doesn’t deserve the same opportunities as another.
I’m sure Manimal will feel differently :)

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Profile photo of Rob Goughnour Rob Goughnour (@thegouj) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Every one does have a fair chance of coming out on top. Do spoiled brats get anywhere in life? what about those guys living in the ‘ghetto’ parts of the city? Yeah they can come out on top too. They just don’t think they can because they’re too caught up in gang life. The secret to life is to follow your dream and don’t let any one stop you, it sounds cliche but its true. It wont matter what system we have some asshole will always mooch. like John Smith said “If you don’t work you don’t eat”. Its just that simple.

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Profile photo of Alex Alex (@hollowinfinity) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Everyone does NOT have a fair chance. Tell that to someone who just inherited their fathers buisness, and got catered their whole life in relation to someone who was brought up in the ghetto, with the only hope of doing something is community college.

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Profile photo of Em Em (@emily) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

People that grew up in the ghetto (for lack of a better phrase :)) have unlimited barriers to getting anywhere, that the rest of society doesn’t have. I say this out of experience working in the education and criminal justice system…not out of pure “opinion.”

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Profile photo of Rob Goughnour Rob Goughnour (@thegouj) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

They obviously did do something to inherit that company, and if they are not ready to operate that company it will fall face first the the financial ground and then well see how nice their life is. If you grew up in the ghetto and cared about being successful rather than focusing on the bitch your gonna fuck the next night there are plenty of scholarship opportunities to get your ass out of there. Everything comes down to how badly you want it and if you don’t want to be successful badly enough, well then its not gonna happen.

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Profile photo of Alex Alex (@hollowinfinity) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

no dude, that is not the reality. Thats what you are told/think. It’s a fuckton harder for someon in the ghetto to break out. They don’t have as much opportunity. They really don’t. Fuck, I live in upstate NY, and people come from the city to up here for our COMMUNITY COLLEGE. And people that live here consider this the brain dead school. The ‘fake’ college..since we have a state college too. Those people don’t see it like that though..they think they are making something for themselves. You can get financial aid to go to a community college, but not enough for a state college..where the ‘magic’ happens. CC is just basically an adult HS. They don’t get the same opportunity.

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Profile photo of Alex Alex (@hollowinfinity) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Also, you are generalizing
and yes they did do something, they were born..which is more fucked up, because half the population is even denied that right now.

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Profile photo of Peter Peter (@searchingforthetruth) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

If you can’t get enough financial aid for state college, then your parents are making enough money to afford it..or your grades are shit. Those that go to community college go for affordable education. Afterwards they go on to state education or private colleges. Its not easy, but if people have the will and want, its do able. Its not easy to work, go to school and study. Every person has the chance to succeed. They just have to want it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with community college. College does not lead to success however. Its the knowledge you acquire outside of school that leads to success. Its a thirst for knowledge. I just graduated from a state college and am about to launch my business soon. College gave me a foundation, but I gained much knowledge from my outside reading. Reading is a very powerful tool and I guarantee those who traveled through to higher powers of success read very often.

Each and every person is born in different situations and environments..some much more forgiving than others. Those in worst situations have to work harder to get out of it..but there are hundreds of success stories.

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Profile photo of Rob Goughnour Rob Goughnour (@thegouj) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

It all comes down to the individual. Many people have made it out of the ‘ghetto’. Why can’t it be you? Some one has to do it, or else it wouldn’t have been done yet. Its not as much about opportunity as it is lifestyle, you have to change your lifestyle to change your opportunities. Even if the system does change what are you going to do to make something of it?

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Profile photo of Em Em (@emily) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

If you were BORN into poverty Rob, you’d have a much different opinion about all this. Are you saying that you’re down with this system? I’m just curious bc there’s a lot of opinions flying around & I’m not sure exactly where you stand on the issue.

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Profile photo of Em Em (@emily) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

If you were BORN into poverty Rob, you’d have a much different opinion about all this. Are you saying that you’re down with this system? I’m just curious bc there’s a lot of opinions flying around & I’m not sure exactly where you stand on the issue.

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Profile photo of alive alive (@alive) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

fuck capitalism! it’s not the way. socialism is the way to go. We should divide our huge governments and countries into smaller and more manageable socialist governments. people would get the attention necessary and a socialist community would be easier to maintain.

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Profile photo of alive alive (@alive) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

fuck capitalism! it’s not the way. socialism is the way to go. We should divide our huge governments and countries into smaller and more manageable socialist governments. people would get the attention necessary and a socialist community would be easier to maintain.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@dannyboy) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Peter

Where exactly are you getting that from? Because I was on the honor roll all four years of high school (graduated with a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale) AND my parents can not afford for me to go to college. Oh, and we’re not getting any financial aid.

I’m not saying community college is bad, it is great for those that want to save money. But it is not true that everyone has a chance at a higher education. These days, if you are a minority race, have a disability, are female (not being sexist, it’s true), or come from low income areas, you’re more likely to get a scholarship than if you’re a white male living in suburbs with no disabilities.

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Profile photo of Dan Dan (@dannyboy) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Peter

Where exactly are you getting that from? Because I was on the honor roll all four years of high school (graduated with a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale) AND my parents can not afford for me to go to college. Oh, and we’re not getting any financial aid.

I’m not saying community college is bad, it is great for those that want to save money. But it is not true that everyone has a chance at a higher education. These days, if you are a minority race, have a disability, are female (not being sexist, it’s true), or come from low income areas, you’re more likely to get a scholarship than if you’re a white male living in suburbs with no disabilities.

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Profile photo of TheSkaFish TheSkaFish M (@theskafish) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

To borrow from Thomas Hobbes, I think capitalism is war against all by all. I don’t feel that a system that uses unmet needs as a tool of subjugation and coercion can really be considered a civilization. Also I think the ownership of land is total bullshit. It makes it so that most of us are homeless on our own damn planet except for the few people who claim to own the land, by force.

Sure you can be anything you want to be, but suppose I don’t know what I want to be at age 5, or 15, or however young you need to be to get good at something before you have to work. At the bare minimum you have to feed yourself while you’re building your skills, so you have to make money whether you want to or not which means you most likely have to get a job, and most jobs are very time-consuming and pay relatively little to what you lose in time. You pretty much just get enough to eat (badly) so you can come back to the grind again tomorrow. Also suppose I’m not interested in just one thing? Since most people spend so much of their time working just to pay bills, you pretty much have to put all your eggs in one basket interest-wise. There’s only so many hours in a day.

That being said I’m hoping to find a way to make a lot of money not because I want excess or believe in capitalism, but simply because I want out and I don’t want to spend my whole life being victimized by it (poor, sick, homeless, jail, etc). I want all my time cause it’s the only thing anyone really has.

Also I don’t feel anarcho-capitalism is the way to go, I look around and I really don’t think 97% or whatever of the people are moral.

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Profile photo of TheSkaFish TheSkaFish M (@theskafish) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

To borrow from Thomas Hobbes, I think capitalism is war against all by all. I don’t feel that a system that uses unmet needs as a tool of subjugation and coercion can really be considered a civilization. Also I think the ownership of land is total bullshit. It makes it so that most of us are homeless on our own damn planet except for the few people who claim to own the land, by force.

Sure you can be anything you want to be, but suppose I don’t know what I want to be at age 5, or 15, or however young you need to be to get good at something before you have to work. At the bare minimum you have to feed yourself while you’re building your skills, so you have to make money whether you want to or not which means you most likely have to get a job, and most jobs are very time-consuming and pay relatively little to what you lose in time. You pretty much just get enough to eat (badly) so you can come back to the grind again tomorrow. Also suppose I’m not interested in just one thing? Since most people spend so much of their time working just to pay bills, you pretty much have to put all your eggs in one basket interest-wise. There’s only so many hours in a day.

That being said I’m hoping to find a way to make a lot of money not because I want excess or believe in capitalism, but simply because I want out and I don’t want to spend my whole life being victimized by it (poor, sick, homeless, jail, etc). I want all my time cause it’s the only thing anyone really has.

Also I don’t feel anarcho-capitalism is the way to go, I look around and I really don’t think 97% or whatever of the people are moral.

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Profile photo of FeralOne FeralOne (@paradoxone) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Capitalism only works as long as third world countries are totally fucked over by it. It’s very easy to say “capitalism is the best option we have” when you’re part of the “we” aka. the western world. People living in poverty work their ass off every day for little to no money in order to survive, so people in the western world – the capitalists and imperialists – can buy cheap stuff and make profit. It’s all about profit, who the fuck cares about people when we can have profit?

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil” — Robert Kennedy

People don’t die of aids, they die due to lack of money.

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Profile photo of FeralOne FeralOne (@paradoxone) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Capitalism only works as long as third world countries are totally fucked over by it. It’s very easy to say “capitalism is the best option we have” when you’re part of the “we” aka. the western world. People living in poverty work their ass off every day for little to no money in order to survive, so people in the western world – the capitalists and imperialists – can buy cheap stuff and make profit. It’s all about profit, who the fuck cares about people when we can have profit?

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil” — Robert Kennedy

People don’t die of aids, they die due to lack of money.

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Profile photo of daveb daveb (@daveb) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

nice thread so far. first, no matter the system, there is no such thing as worldwide equality of birth. Beyond genetics, some are born into areas where arable land is plentiful and life is relatively easy; others are born into places where survival of the fittest in it’s purest form eliminates many of the newborn and life is hard and short. some are born to horrible parents and communities, others are more fortunate. All of these things are more impactful on one’s life than economic structure. I don’t think we can blame “capitalism” for the difficulties in escaping the ghetto, – poverty, hunger, and lack of education still exist in non-capitalist societies.

another point to consider is that the current economy is *not* capitalism. Tarriffs, subsidies, and embargoes are not tenets of capitalism. If capitalism is allowed to continue, wage inequality among countries will continue to shrink – working conditions and wages are improving in China and India (and the gov’ts of those countries are impediments to that improvement, we play within their rules). Part of the “problem” with capitalism is that there are countries with vastly different pedigrees working together; in any system, the experienced will exploit the new until the new elevate themselves in the system as equals. Equality will mean falling/stagnant pay in the US; we’ll need to get by on less when capitalism starts working for all. Every American here who wants a living wage should recognize that any living wage must be global; otherwise your “living wage” is propped up at the expense of others.

A true global economy, with global capitalism and free trade, would encourage both local-sourcing and greater wage equality. but we’re quite a ways from that.

The real problem is not capitalism; it is consumption. And no matter the system, humans currently over-consume resources, sacrificing future for present (such as harmful farming practices in Africa). Humans need to hoard, to insulate ourselves from future famine – and money seems like the universal way to protect ourselves, except that there isn’t enough for everyone to protect themselves, and never will be.

If humankind can learn to scale back it’s needs – more to the point, when we’re forced to do so – there will be enough to go around and capitalism will work much better. I think the fastest (maybe only) way we’ll learn that lesson is through making the mistakes that capitalism grants us the freedom to make. socialism and communism amount to never letting the baby walk, for fear of falling down.

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Profile photo of daveb daveb (@daveb) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

nice thread so far. first, no matter the system, there is no such thing as worldwide equality of birth. Beyond genetics, some are born into areas where arable land is plentiful and life is relatively easy; others are born into places where survival of the fittest in it’s purest form eliminates many of the newborn and life is hard and short. some are born to horrible parents and communities, others are more fortunate. All of these things are more impactful on one’s life than economic structure. I don’t think we can blame “capitalism” for the difficulties in escaping the ghetto, – poverty, hunger, and lack of education still exist in non-capitalist societies.

another point to consider is that the current economy is *not* capitalism. Tarriffs, subsidies, and embargoes are not tenets of capitalism. If capitalism is allowed to continue, wage inequality among countries will continue to shrink – working conditions and wages are improving in China and India (and the gov’ts of those countries are impediments to that improvement, we play within their rules). Part of the “problem” with capitalism is that there are countries with vastly different pedigrees working together; in any system, the experienced will exploit the new until the new elevate themselves in the system as equals. Equality will mean falling/stagnant pay in the US; we’ll need to get by on less when capitalism starts working for all. Every American here who wants a living wage should recognize that any living wage must be global; otherwise your “living wage” is propped up at the expense of others.

A true global economy, with global capitalism and free trade, would encourage both local-sourcing and greater wage equality. but we’re quite a ways from that.

The real problem is not capitalism; it is consumption. And no matter the system, humans currently over-consume resources, sacrificing future for present (such as harmful farming practices in Africa). Humans need to hoard, to insulate ourselves from future famine – and money seems like the universal way to protect ourselves, except that there isn’t enough for everyone to protect themselves, and never will be.

If humankind can learn to scale back it’s needs – more to the point, when we’re forced to do so – there will be enough to go around and capitalism will work much better. I think the fastest (maybe only) way we’ll learn that lesson is through making the mistakes that capitalism grants us the freedom to make. socialism and communism amount to never letting the baby walk, for fear of falling down.

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