@tesseract @feld @eldaking

Definitely. We should absolutely dissolve the system responsible for lifting billions out of poverty and which led to the highest standard of living in human history and immediately replace it with, what.. communism I suppose?

Yeah, that’ll work out great. I mean, it always has before, right? :ablobrollingeyes:


@wolfie @feld @tesseract@witches.live @eldaking this "system responsible for lifting billions out of poverty" sounds like a good candidate for a capitalism replacement

@amsomniac @feld @tesseract @eldaking

this “system responsible for lifting billions out of poverty” sounds like a good candidate for a capitalism replacement

That system is capitalism.

@wolfie @feld @tesseract @amsomniac @eldaking Maybe some socialism mixed in there would help the rest of the people in poverty that capitalism doesn't lift out

@jookia @feld @tesseract @amsomniac @eldaking

Meh, socialism is really good at causing drag in the system as it were. There are other ways to accomplish such goals. That said, a bit out of scope at the moment :blobsmile:

@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract you mean the same system that does everything in its power to not pay people a living wage?

You mean the same system that literally invented slavery?

I think people forget what capitalism really is. Those who say socialism/communism killed more people are twisting facts and history.


- sweat shops
- slavery
- making people homeless and starving when not necessary
- denying people healthcare so they die
- #1 cause of pollution which kills people every day (air quality kills people every day; doesn't have to be toxic sludge or radioactive materials; it's less profitable to choose environmentally friendly approaches)
- the reason why America's food is terrible causing diabetes and heart disease at alarming rates

I could go on and on.

When you look at capitalism through a very narrow lens it seems like the best solution to everything. We should instead be treating capitalism like the danger it is and carefully regulating it to prevent this stuff.

A better balance that still promotes innovation can be achieved. We aren't even trying. We gave up around 1970.

@feld @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract

you mean the same system that does everything in its power to not pay people a living wage?

Yes, I mean the system that pays people what their labor is worth. As unpopular as it is to say, flipping burgers is not worth $15USD (or whatever the local currency equivalent is) an hour. Want to make more money? One should improve their skills. My goodness, it has never been easier in history to learn new things and pick up new skills.

You mean the same system that literally invented slavery?

Huh, wasn’t aware that capitalism went back to ancient Egypt or even before. Or did you think that slavery just simply didn’t exist prior to the 18th century or so? Slavery is awful and an affront to all humankind, however it was neither invented by nor made worse by capitalism.

You want to say that people forget what capitalism is and then that people who say that communism et al killed off more people is just twisting facts and history. Then off you list off a bunch of capitalism’s supposed terrible evils.

Even if we pretend that they’re all true, they aren’t but lets just pretend, none of them are inherent in the system nor a direct result of the guiding principals and ideas of the system. On the other hand, the hundred odd million dead or more that can be laid at the feet of communism are a direct result of the core principals and ideas of the system. For all its ills, capitalism doesn’t generally result in famines, forced labor, mass land evictions, totalitarianism and of course, failed governments. There are reasons communist governments tend to be highly oppressive authoritarian regimes.

People flee communist regimes and risk life and limb to get out and into the Capitalist hell-scape you seem to think exists. People build makeshift rafts to leave Cuba, not go to it. Why is that?

I could go on myself. However, I’ll just toss it over to history. No system is perfect. No implementation of any imperfect system will be perfect itself. However, one system or set of systems has reliably lead to mass death, starvation, oppression (for real oppression, not the pseudo-oppression people whine about from time to time), and worse. One system invariably leads to poverty and stagnation for the masses. The other has lifted more people out of poverty in less time than anything else in history. One leads to true concentration of wealth and power in the hands of those fortunate enough to be part of the State apparatus. The other may result in billionaires, but it also results in millions being far better off as well.

There is also supreme irony in bemoaning the evils of capitalism on the Internet, from a highly advanced computer or mobile, and so on. The only thing that would make it better is if you’re connecting from an iPhone or Mac :laughing_cirno:

@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract I'm on my phone so it's a pain in the ass to respond inline so I'll keep this short:

You're punching above your weight here. If there's anyone benefitting from capitalism here it's me. I'm definitely in the top 1% of people here in the Fediverse right now. Yes I'm responding from my iPhone/Mac in my Tesla. That doesn't matter. You can enjoy the fruits of capitalism while still criticism going the terrible issues it's causing.

Slavery -- nobody enslaves people for anything but profit -- either financially or from the fruits of their labor in some other way. That's the point. It doesn't have to be modern free market capitalism. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

And you're a disgusting human being if you think any job should exist in our modern society that for 40 hours a week pays less than required to pay their rent and for their food and healthcare. That's a position of monsters and fascists. I'm not saying we need $15 universally -- honestly it should be indexed to the cost of living or some other appropriate metric. It's a big country.

Finally, if you think modern capitalism is anything but slavery for much of the workforce you are delusional. When people cannot quit their jobs and are held hostage by their employer for their housing and healthcare there is no difference. They just aren't being physically abused. (Usually... still happens! And sexually and emotionally, etc)

You need to do a lot of growing up, kid.
@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract additionally:

People who are working three jobs just to scrape by don't have the luxury of free time to learn a new skill. They can't take shortcuts in their life. They're cooking meals which take time because they can't afford to order out. They have kids. They're taking public transport which further eats into their free time. They have limited data plans and maybe no internet at home.

You're speaking from a place of privilege.

@feld @eldaking @wolfie @tesseract@witches.live this, and even if you do have the time to learn new skills good luck getting a job without credentials, networking, and lots of luck, assuming you're even in an area with a lot of jobs.

Let's do build a system that pays people what their labor is worth and lifts us out of poverty, though! Your intentions are in the right place even if you mistook capitalism for something good. I've been there, I think many of us have...

@amsomniac @eldaking @wolfie @tesseract honestly my tax liability could increase by $50k and it wouldn't affect my quality of life. I'd write that check today if it meant we cover public universities and healthcare. My friends and family need it. And the reality is that any legislation to cover those wouldn't raise my taxes by $50k anyway. That's where we are at in this country: there are so many _actually_ rich people paying low taxes that even well to do people like myself would barely be affected

@feld @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract

You’re speaking from a place of privilege.

Says the guy in the Tesla

I wasn’t going to respond because we obviously live on different proverbial worlds. However, the last bit there just rubbed me the wrong way so here we are.

I have two friends. We’ll call them A and B, they’re real people but I’m not dropping their names here for what should be obvious reasons. Financially speaking, they’re both in bad places. Both are currently living at home, one without even a bedroom of their own to speak of. “A” has dropped out of school and basically gave up (at least for now. “B”, who doesn’t even have a room to call their own and has student debt up to the sky is busting their ass in two jobs and will claw their way out of the hole their in. To be frank, they’re both in the holes their in due to various choices they made. The difference is that one decided they weren’t happy with their lot in life and did something about it. The other, didn’t. I’ve no idea when that one will ever leave home. “B” on the other hand is going to go on to do great things. It’s hard on “B”. But they aren’t giving up and they’ll make it. Everything you mentioned, aside from the kids, applies to her. She’ll make it though. The difference is choice.

Beyond this, I don’ t see any point in continuing this discussion with someone who wants to draw a parallel between having a job and such with legit for real slavery. Can you quit you job? Yes. You’re not a slave. Is it practical to quit? Maybe, maybe not. It just depends. Slaves don’t get to quit. Slaves don’t have a choice. Slaves don’t get to decide to take a better offer. Slaves. Don’t. Have. Choice. You want to make that comparison, there are for real slaves today and throughout the ages which would like to have a strong word for you.

Oh, and since you’re cool with your taxes going up $50k, here’s the address for the Treasury where you can send that in immediately: Gifts to the United States U.S. Department of the Treasury Funds Management Branch P.O. Box 1328 Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328

Assuming you’re in the US that is. If not, I’m sure whatever government would be appropriate has a similar thing. Have a good day

@wolfie @feld @tesseract@witches.live @eldaking are A and B as enthusiastic about capitalism as you are

@amsomniac @feld @wolfie while there is much avoidable tragedy in the world today,its not like we came from a garden of eden with cars, computers, agriculture, medicine AND THEN capitalism came along and corrupted it all.

natural states of existence include resource scarcity, cold, hunger, illness
also corruption, greed and nepotism seem to be in some human nature throughout history

i understand "capitalism" is the distributed approach to the economic question of 'how to allocate finite resources?', alternative to a centrally planned economy.
btw I am in no way affiliated with Capitalism, I am not trying to convince anyone to Capitalism, and im totally fine with anyone's opinions, but i must be missing something that Capitalism Haters find self-evident because i just don't understand.

@hushroom @amsomniac @feld

while there is much avoidable tragedy in the world today,its not like we came from a garden of eden with cars, computers, agriculture, medicine AND THEN capitalism came along and corrupted it all.

Good lord so much this.

i understand “capitalism” is the distributed approach to the economic question of ‘how to allocate finite resources?’, alternative to a centrally planned economy.

It also happens to be the one that works more often for more people under more circumstances than anything else

i must be missing something that Capitalism Haters find self-evident because i just don’t understand.

To be honest, I’ve never been able to come up with a satisfactory answer to this that is particularly good for civilized discussion so I tend to keep that to myself :shrugfelix:

@wolfie @hushroom @amsomniac @feld capitalism is good at generating wealth but bad at distributing it.

@georgia @amsomniac @hushroom

Hmmm… there is some truth in the statement. Though, to one degree or another this is a thing with all known systems. Thankfully, ‘wealth’ is not zero sum and that some billionaire has more doesn’t automatically mean someone else has less or that it was taken/stolen from anyone. Ironically, in more centrally controlled systems this tends to be less true and wealth does tend to end up more zero sum and actually is taken from ABC to give to XYZ

To my way of thinking, the solution for those who are ‘down’ is not to pull the top down but to pull the bottom up

(Untagging anyone who disengaged earlier)

@wolfie @georgia @hushroom there are alternatives to capitalism besides central planning-- I recommend @xj9's wiki walkaway.wiki/ if you're looking to sidestep the central planning vs. markets questions and improve communities. 40% of food produced is wasted while people starve, electronics are designed to resist repair, there are plenty of houses but no one can live there-- we're not post-scarcity yet, but austerity is rarely necessary and we can do better.


@wolfie @georgia @hushroom oh, and as for before/after capitalism, I think it's wild that land was literally held in commons before it was enclosed!

For more on the relationship between (US) capitalism and slavery, check out this article from nytimes magazine:

Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" is also a good book on the global effects, and Noam Chomsky can also be good but a bit dry, Bookchin's formulated a community based alternative, and Doctorow makes it fun ^_^

@amsomniac @georgia @hushroom

Doing better is a good thing. There are a lot of things on the wiki there and I’m not sure as to which part your referring to. That said, yeah, a lot of things could be improved.

One thing I’d like to see is relaxed laws and regulations or such so that the food that gets wasted isn’t wasted so much. That has started to happen in some places and this is a good thing. Push back on electronics being unrepairable is also a very very good thing especially as we end up with more and more such things in our lives.

I think the difference here though is that I don’t see any of these things as unique flaws to/in capitalism so much as inefficiencies in the system that could be adjusted. The irony is, that capitalism tends to produce surplus and other systems don’t do so well at that production. However, where society will sometimes fail is what to do with that legitimate surplus. Sometimes, giving it away is simply the best path. I just want it to be people’s choice to do so and not something dictated from on high at the point of a literal or veritable gun

@amsomniac @georgia @wolfie i'm a fan of @xj9 and personally think the next 'revolution' will just be smaller groups of ppl collaborating irl for their collective benefit, but i think this is a social/personal/cultural revolution rather than a change in economic system.
many experimental communities that have been both successful and introduced helpful ideas and inventions were established and operated within a capitalist economy. Oneida Community, New Alchemy Institute, and Christiania are a few that i've researched a bit.
capitalism isn't stopping these things because they can exist in it.

@amsomniac @tesseract @eldaking

As a matter of fact, yes, yes they are. Neither are overly political to be honest, however if asked in those terms I know them well enough to make an educated guess as to what they’d say.

You see, while A seems to have decided to ‘meh’ out at the moment, they’re both adults who realize that the only one who is really responsible for improving their situation are themselves. So, there you go. Yes.

@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract guess what happens when you overpay your taxes? They don't keep it. Writing checks to the treasury doesn't fix this.
@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract that's not going to be allocated towards universal healthcare or public education

@feld @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract

No, probably not. However, if that is something you want to happen, $50k would entirely pay off the student loans of some or pay down on a bunch. Give it to them and be the change, as it were.

In any case, this isn’t likely to go anywhere productive so I’ll leave off here. Have fun :02smile:

@wolfie @amsomniac @eldaking @tesseract charity doesn't solve systemic issues

And also you keep talking about this "choice" but it's the illusion of choice. If my friend with type 1 diabetes quits his job and loses his health insurance it's a death sentence.

I don't understand why you can't see this.

Good luck in your endeavors
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