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Old November 15th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1
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Is Capitalism History's Biggest Loser?

When the fall of the Berlin Wall was televised, when the system of the former Soviet Union flung itself on the dustbin of history, triumphalist conservatives crowed that capitalism had won, won the Cold War, won the contest of economic systems, won the competition for men?s minds. They also hubristically declared that we had reached the end of history. That man?s last struggle had come to an end, and that there were no struggles left to fill the history books of the future. Conservative intellectuals really tried to make the case that humankind had finished its social evolution, and that there was nowhere else for civilization to evolve to, that for the rest of our days on this Earth we would live under capitalism. This is how overconfident conservatives were that capitalism is a winner system.

But if we assess the state of the world that capitalism has brought about, if we do so with a mix of clinical objectivity and values such as compassion and justice, does capitalism really look like such a splendid winner? Is it really delivering, by which I mean delivering a decent quality of life and a sense of satisfaction with life, for the majority of humanity?

Globally, and increasingly in the richer countries, capitalism is a system that starkly divides humanity into a few privileged and powerful haves and masses of disenfranchised and socially debilitated have-nots. A system in which the very concept of economic justice is alien and stigmatized as ?Marxist?. A system in which millions die every year from causes that would not exist if there was a more just and equitable distribution of the world?s resources. Capitalism, when it no longer has any competition from socialism and can let its hair down, is an amoral and heartless system that creates mass pauperism, unemployment, and homelessness.

It?s deregulated capitalism that?s given us the current worldwide recession, that?s thrown millions who once had a fairly comfortable existence on hard times, that caused the ?housing crash?, the collapse of financial powerhouses, stock market ?downturns?, etc.

All of this was not, I repeat not a fluke. It was the inexorable result of the behavior of the big players of capitalism, when they?re given too much license to follow the greed in their hearts it?s the working poor who always pay the price.

Capitalism being a system in which the business and financial establishment has too much influence, a predisposition to periodic recessions and depressions is endemic. Our current lapse from economic health is nothing new, it?s happened before and will happen again. It?s the cruel cycle of things under capitalism.

As for the spiritual effects of capitalism, well, they?re no more cheery. The unabashed materialism and consumerism that?s taken over our culture under capitalism has entered John and Jane Q. Public in a ?rat race? that does not reward them with a profound sense of meaning and fulfillment when they reach whatever finishing line they had been aiming for. It?s become so common that it?s almost clich? for people who?ve achieved their ?American dream?, who have a big house, a big SUV, a widescreen TV in their living room, and all the other trappings of material success to speak of feeling an ?inner void?.

Single-mindedly practicing the values of capitalism seems to make us one-dimensional, shallow people who settle for pleasure and have little concept of what true happiness is. The capitalist system itself suffers from an ?inner void?, it?s devoid of life-wisdom, so of course it can?t very well help set our lives on the path to inner contentment, understanding, and growth.

And then there?s capitalism?s environmental impact. Capitalism is quite simply an unsustainable system, period, end of sentence. As we near the disturbing turning point of ?peak oil production? this fact looms larger in our consciousness. Today we can still try to fool ourselves that alternative forms of energy will swoop in to save the day for the capitalist way of life, but the bleak reality is that all the alternative energy sources combined aren?t going to be able to keep the global economy chugging along when it literally runs out of gas. Modern industrial capitalism is a system with an expiration date. It will expire, painfully, when we?ve finally parched the planet of petroleum.

And billions of human beings will begin to expire painfully when the climate change our abuse of fossil fuels is causing reaches catastrophic proportions. Yes, the ultimate damning failing of modern industrial capitalism is what seems to be the likely fact that in the not-too-distant future it will bring down upon us ecological consequences that will prove to be the undoing of our human civilization and the cause of an extinction level scenario that will kill a mind-boggling number of people.

Alas then, as socio-economic systems that?ve turned out to be flops go, capitalism may have them all beat hands down if the global warming it?s bringing about gets as hellishly bad as scientists are predicting. Capitalism may very well be the system that destroyed humanity. If Marxism-Leninism was a washout because of the demise of the Soviet Union, well, the demise of the human race will make capitalism history?s biggest loser. Yeah, capitalism may cause the end of history yet, by causing the end of us. Or at least the end of literate societies that write history. Instead of the brilliant high-tech future that people have been envisioning our posterity may be reduced to a Stone-Age-like existence in which no one can afford to take any time away from the struggle for survival to read and write and create literature, art, music, or beauty. Thanks a lot capitalism! So what do you think, should we try something else before it?s too late?

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Old November 18th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #2
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More communism and socialism? Those have got nothing but glowing historical marks as far back as anyone can search. But what the hell, we should "try" them here... That would kick a$$!!
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Old November 19th, 2010, 02:49 AM   #3
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I'm not even going to read this Charleslb, I already know what it is going to say. "Capitalism is evil", "capitolism has ruined the US", "oh and so have conservatives and religion", and then mostlikely no ideas about what economic system would be better and why.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillypHD View Post
I'm not even going to read this Charleslb, I already know what it is going to say. "Capitalism is evil", "capitolism has ruined the US", "oh and so have conservatives and religion", and then mostlikely no ideas about what economic system would be better and why.
[COLOR=#323232] If idiots like chuckylib called the shots I bet more people would die in this country because of starvation and impoverished conditions than those who starved to death in Russia during the early part of the last century. Just my two cents...I would shudder if any of the economic policies lunatics like chuckylib espoused were enacted. Might as well sell my cars, tv, lamps, furnace, stove, refrigerator and basically anything that draws an electrical current. The ****ing lunatics like chuckylib won't be happy until we're all burning fires in our fireplaces for heat and survival... And they?d eventually realize that was causing epidemic deforestation and worldwide smog problem and revoke that privilege.
[FONT=Times New Roman]
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 03:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JooseBox View Post
[COLOR=#323232] If idiots like chuckylib called the shots I bet more people would die in this country because of starvation and impoverished conditions than those who starved to death in Russia during the early part of the last century. Just my two cents...I would shudder if any of the economic policies lunatics like chuckylib espoused were enacted. Might as well sell my cars, tv, lamps, furnace, stove, refrigerator and basically anything that draws an electrical current. The ****ing lunatics like chuckylib won't be happy until we're all burning fires in our fireplaces for heat and survival... And they?d eventually realize that was causing epidemic deforestation and worldwide smog problem and revoke that privilege.
I would have to agree with you on that Joosebox. But hey at least we would all be "Equally" misserable lol.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JooseBox View Post
[COLOR=#323232] If idiots like chuckylib called the shots I bet more people would die in this country because of starvation and impoverished conditions than those who starved to death in Russia during the early part of the last century. Just my two cents...I would shudder if any of the economic policies lunatics like chuckylib espoused were enacted. Might as well sell my cars, tv, lamps, furnace, stove, refrigerator and basically anything that draws an electrical current. The ****ing lunatics like chuckylib won't be happy until we're all burning fires in our fireplaces for heat and survival... And they?d eventually realize that was causing epidemic deforestation and worldwide smog problem and revoke that privilege.
equality is only acheivable by force

there are fewer rich than poor

the easiest route to equality is through equality in poverty
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Old November 29th, 2010, 05:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by obtuseobserver View Post
equality is only acheivable by force

there are fewer rich than poor

the easiest route to equality is through equality in poverty
This is exactly what I feel many powerful people in the world are striving to achieve.
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