How Capitalism Help Build Socialism or..........

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    How Socialism help build modern day capitalism?

    Written circa 1962' by Frank Chodorov but timely today when looking at the historical implications as we would see later.

    Just a bit of case-n-point to my title twist above, a recent poster here made the following comment on another thread:

    Although true that airlines had to "forkout" funds post 9/11 as it related to it's "free market" business model, those funds were later softened by other gov't givebacks that in effect socialized those costs onto the taxpayer. And yet no one dare ever think that all those airports across the land, those runways after runways, those eminent domain cases for airport creation and expansion are not an act of socialism in order to accommodate a capitalist business model by socializing the infrastructure costs on which the airlines operate onto the backs of taxpayers. And do we dare mention roads and the interstate highway? :nono2:

    If we are going to talk about really cutting gov't, limiting it's size and scope and yet in the same breathe we champion the great corp. America and it's economic engine, at some point that conversation is going to have to take place and it won't be pleasant by any stretch.
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Can we even call it capitalism? And would we even want to live in a purely capitalistic state? I think we can answer both "no". Although there is an adventerous streak in me that would really like to unveil my "go for the jugular" business instincts and let the bodies fall where they may. I doubt most people pining away for a true "fee market" with "little to no regulation" are thinking it all the way through.
  3. kmjs14

    kmjs14 New Member

    Well said!
  4. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I think those of you that want less freedom are not thinking it all the way through.
  5. kmjs14

    kmjs14 New Member

    How do government regulations for corporations affect our freedoms?
  6. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    By definition a regulation is a loss of freedom. To regulate is to control behavior by rules or restrictions or even simpler to regulate is to take away freedom of choice. When you demand the state regulate something to control an outcome the state takes away a choice. I tried to think of the most basic example that I could. I came up with many but a very simple one would be the DOT hours of service regulations. Everyone can agree that these are bad regulations since even the government is constantly proposing changes. Companies propose changes and drivers groups even lobby for changes. The government regulates the maximum hours that someone may work or drive. I lose the freedom to sell my labor beyond those hours. It does not matter if it would be a good choice or a bad choice for me to sell my labor to UPS the government has regulated away that freedom. Now if I work 50 hours in a week for UPS, which is not uncommon, I cannot even sell my labor to another company to drive 12 hours on Saturday then turn around and drive 12 back on Sunday even though I could be back at work on time Monday. That would violate multiple regulations.
  7. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    I agree that there are plenty of bad regulations, but I'm not so sure that it's a bad idea for the DOT to regulate hours of service. Isn't the purpose of these regs to prevent overtired commercial truck drivers from wrecking their rigs and putting everyone else on the road in danger?
  8. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    But that's going to infringe upon the business owner's right to create greater profit. Whether you like it or not, it is a loss of capitalistic freedom.
  9. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Thomas Frank Almost Gets It
  10. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I never said there was a shortage of people willing to trade liberty for security. It makes it easier to trade the liberty of others for security.
  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    So you are all about survival of the fittest and economic Darwinism?
  12. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Some of us who do advocate "free markets" have also never subscibed to the idea that "Selfishness Is A Virtue" and has even gone so far as to have never read the great "Atlas Shrugged" because of it. However, looking over some of your posts makes me wonder if you've read it and even subscribe to some measure of it?

    Free markets instead of survival of the fittest can be equal exchange between 2 market players to the benefit of both. Don't confuse statist economics (as in state protected) with free, open voluntary exchange!
  13. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I will go beyond that and say in a free market all exchanges must benefit both parties. The people that benefit the most from free markets tend to be the poorest in society. From my view people that seem to suffer the most in closed societies or Keynesian models tend to be the poorest. In part this is due to no matter what system is forced on people there is always a way to game that system. There is always the implication that when given freedom people will take advantage(somehow) of others. This is false. If you gain a reputation for bringing poor goods or services to the market(this includes labor) you lose your customers. In these situations you only harm yourself.
  14. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    "Selfishness, self-centeredness, that we think is the root of our problem. Arising from a thousand different fears and self-delusions...." No. I do not hold that selfishness is a virtue. I am intrigued by some concepts of the "free market" but am also intrigued by the theories put forth by Karl Marx. It should be noted that Marx much as the title of this thread suggested, that capitalism was necessary to bring about socialism. That the greed and selfishness of capitalism would bring about the "uprising of the proletariat". For that reason he believed the US to be fertile soil for that transformation. What he did not forsee was the ability of capitalism to adapt and even to morph into what we see today.

    To think that unbridled capitalism would not revert back to turn of the century abuse of labor and almost robber-baron capitalism is to me naive in the extreme. Think about it. What happens when a natural disaster (Katrina) threatens oil supplies? Do the oil companies lose money? Absolutely not. They raise the price at the pump. No regulation. No nothing. Now take away their subsidies. Think they are going to be selfless and caring. Oh, hell no. They will bleed every cent they can.

    The theory is intriguing. The practice impossible.
  15. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    In my case, the mistake you may be making is thinking that I consider the terms Free Market and capitalism as synonomous. That, I do not do and in fact I believe capitalism in fact opposes true free markets regardless of the glowing talk by so-called advocates of exclusive capitalism or monopoly capitalism. Capital is nothing more that one of 3 factors of production, those being capital, property and labor. Does one plant a backyard garden every year and then all who do so declare they've just committed an act of capitalism? No, but those backyard gardens are excellent examples of the 3 factors of production and yet we also don't take say propertyism or laborism and ascribe it in sigularity to having planted a garden and then taken that aspect of production and monopolized it as chief component of all things economic. Why have we thus taken capital, singled it out and then built all things economic around it while ignoring the other 2 equally important factors in economic production?

    If one can take capitial and convert it into a single unit we call money or medium of exchange, grant monopoly control over that medium including it's creation to an exclusive group whether that be gov't or a private collective of persons, pass legal tender laws making other potential forms of capital illegal, then just how hard is it then for abuse and moral wrongs to enter the marketplace and corrupt it? What should be a normal process of interaction between human beings that for the most part is peaceful and not a winners and losers situation but an honest exchange of equal value where bothsides of the action benefit to their own self interests becomes violent and fraud ridden as an embedded degree of shortage is encouraged. Once capital is controlled, property and labor shortly follow and what use to be a society where persons were typically individual craftsman, shopkeepers and farmers along with a widespread of wealth through society now see just the opposite and then all other manner and aspects of society follow into the centralized, monopolized world where the bigger only get bigger and less in number as wealth becomes even more concentrated and the rest are left in varying degree to be exploited.

    Marx analysis of exploitation by what was called capitalism does have a point as well as some of his class theory. His endgame of Stateless society was worth admiring but his system IMO was still largely flawed in that for one, when his communist theory was put into practice, his theory never advanced beyond the 2nd stage that being the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. In the great Soviet experiement, under Stalin the Soviet Union in classical definded terms actually became more rightwing than it's left roots from which it started, not unlike our own oligarchic system that birthed out of classical liberalism and classical liberal free markets which were root in the ideal of political left of the 18th century French system. I believe the Lord Acton principle in both cases to again having proven itself as the major root cause of this. As an aside, the major leaders who became the foundation of Neo-Conservatism ironically were themselves Trotskites in earlier times so to think many of these ideals as extreme opposites of one another is IMO missing a huge mark.

    Another reason I believe both the grand Marx experiement as well as the grand Jeffersonian experiment have failed is because both models although shared much in the endgame were doomed because they ended up trying to control not only ever larger & larger populations but also geographic areas. This may however be a discussion for another time and place. Of recent I've read much on what is called the Dunbar number along with the ideas of small scale from the likes of Kirkpartick Sale and Ralph Borsodi, both men being more ascribed to what is called left but both advocated not stateless societies but rahter vastly decentralized societies. Sale although a self described progressive and liberal is also a big advocate of successionism mostly and wrongly ascribed to rightwing tea party types only. Even Harvard Business Review has discussed the impact of scale in the busines world and for those UPSers who read the Harvard piece, I'm betting you'll have visions of UPS as well. :happy-very:

    As for capitalism itself and some of the thinking where I come towards it, Sheldon Richman, Senior Fellow Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) editor of it's house publication "The Freeman" and also senior fellow at "Future of Freedom Foundation" put it very well and over the last year his analysis has opened up a very large and even heated discussion about capitalism verses free markets.

    Is Capitalism Something Good?

    Much of what you say there is very, very true and what you pointed out about Keynes was excellent analysis on your part! Your analysis of people taking advantage of one another IMO is dead on. The current monopolistic markets have created shortages amongst the masses and it's corrupted the Lockean Provisio of one mixing property and labor to create wealth or capital. Legal tender laws further aggravate this condition that prevent the poor from joining together in beneficially mutual arrangements or contract and working their own micro economy thus lifting the entire community upward. Thus they find themselves dependent on a monopoly system of exploitation and then to make matters worse, when many in frustration throw their hands up and quit because the odds are against them, we want to blame them rather than stepping back and doing analysis on the system itself for the root cause.

    The Corp. state therefore has us too busy blaming "those lazy, worthless bums" rather than seeing the lack of true free markets that welcomes the skills they have and allow them to use as best allocation of local resources. Our centralization models do just the opposite.

    Can I make a suggestion on something you might try. Understanding (and I think we both agree with this) that a free market is truly free in that market actors outside of force or fraud are able to bring to the marketplace anything they so choose and that exchanges are made on conditions decided by the 2 parties of the exchange and in what manner the exchange is made is according to a voluntary, mutual contract reached upon by the 2 market players. Using that as a basis for free market, look across the entire spectrum of our economy for where those very conditions are violated, by who and at all levels both public and private. Just a suggestion!

    BTW: Another book worth consideration IMO and one that pushes into a very different realm of thinking is Ivan Illich's book Deschooling Society. Thought provoking as well as vastly radical in thinking towards a de-centralized as well as de-institutionized society and one looking for liberty and free markets I do think one can profit from what Illich has to say.
  16. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Your posts, while thought provoking still lead me to the unbelievable, the dreamland, the fantasy of human goodness. That people will act in a certain way because it is in their best interest. That simply is not the case. It reminds me of the astounded Alan Greenspan testifying to Congress and in what seemed to me sincere disbelief that the banking industry could have acted so foolishly. Well, why not act foolishly? Take the short-term gains and run with it. Make bad loans, re-package them and sell them off. And who gets caught holding the bag? Tax-payers. And then we have the likes of Av8 declaring that regulation is the problem. That if banks were just left to their own devices, that government left industry alone, all would have been fine. Really? And are we to suppose that elected officials will suddenly see the light and vote in the best interest of their constituents? Or what if the best interest of their constituents is not even the best interest of the nation (example: lucrative but unnecessary millitary contracts in their state). Here's the kicker. American industry isn't about Free market. It's about winning. It's not about a fair deal. It's about maximum profit. Even though I think that your destination is commendable, I think your trust in human nature is misplaced. I see absolutely no way to get from where we are now to a true "Free market" system without a catastrophic raping of the already mugging of the American economy. It's like planning a trip to the moon in a Chevy Volt: for all I know, it may be possible, but I'm not seeing it.
  17. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    So let's see, letting people act in purely voluntary relationships of their own making is, as you say, "dreamy" and unbelievable" because people can't be trusted to act in a moral and ethical manner. OK, before I answer that let me address the use of Greenspan and what you said in regards to AV. In my case, the use of Greenspan to argue my point is bogus because I'm talking a world that has no central bank to begin with and even money or medium of exchange is decided by the 2 parties in any given exchange. Maybe someone locally has a currency of some merit and the 2 market actors contract to use it or they find some other means to economic satisfaction, maybe some form of barter. That is purely up to them. I'm talking the complete tearing down of centralized institutions of all type so to take the ills of current institutional models and then ascribe that to a "no institutional" system is like telling a cattle farmer who only grows grass for his cattle that his idea is faulty because he hasn't prepared for a tomatoe hornworm problem. Now your arguement may hold some merit in the case of AV because at best or at least last time he spoke of, he's more a minarchist as he still has some measure of an organized state. He does seem to want to maintain some measure of the current capitalist model and therefore your counter arguement has some validity. From my POV as it concerns the Corp. State, AV and yourself share a lot in common and are only really at odds over some oversight issues. But from my POV, the very ills of which you speak are a result of there being a central authority in the first place and that gets to my response to your assertion.

    Those people you say we can't trust, those people being ourselves, are in your world the very same people who now hold the gun in the room. Among them they gather into gangs and from among their ranks emerge leaders whom they pick to lead the pack. Then the gang leaders face each other in a form of power struggle we call elections with the idea that all the gangs even though divided, will under the idea of "mutual interests" form under one leader and that leader moves around amongst at least 2 of the gangs. These gang leaders and a number of lieutenants broken out to represent smaller gang segements one might call a posse rule power and decide all things in life and death. They weld the power of force, they own the gun in the room and it's expected they will be fair, honest and rule morally and ethically and that society as a result will be good and prosper.

    So according to you, in my voluntary world, it's impossible that people will self organize and interact in some manner of mutual benefit and yet you claim these same people when given a gun and the rule of force will then do the right thing and organize in such a good and moral manner? We have around 10k years of history in which man has centralized himself in what some call the great civilizations. Yet throughout that history has been one common factor and that has been bloodshed, force, coersion, and brutality on a very widescale. From a purely historical perspective, you calling me "dreamy" seems a bit irrational and illogical to say the least.

    There is no utopia, man will always battle himself and have conflict but when he centralizes and uses force to coerse others unto his labor, the negative effects are amplified 100 fold but I ask you this. Was it voluntary, mutually and de-centralized societies that create mass weapons of war, inflict large scale warfare over lands and people and then subdue conquered peoples or is that the handy work of large centralized states who rule their peoples with force, coersion and the iron fist? Saddam Hussein, Hilter, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, the several Ceasars of Rome and a whole list of others, were they leaders and products of de-centralized societies, the ill effects of voluntary and free societies and people or were they products of centralized states? Was the atomic bomb, biological and chemical weapons a product of de-centralized peoples organized into voluntary societies or was it the product of large scale organized states? Has the organized state ended all poverty? Ended all fraud in business transaction? Ended harm to the defenseless by the powerful and privileged? I could make an argument in the history of organized and centralized states that these very ills are in fact magnified and amplified by such conditions. This may ruffle some feathers but, was it a de-centralized state that took the lies of Codename Curveball and launched a war using them? How much bloodshed must it be before it becomes to much using you ideal? Or was it just that the wrong gang leader was in there at the time?

    I may be dreamy in one respect that I'm willing to look at the current situation and realize it's not working and in truth never has but then I'm willing to look over the horizon, beyond the walls we've built around ourselves and ask the most important question of all, What If? Fear is the mind killer!

    Absolutely, you are dead on point and I agree completely but you rightly pointed out what we have isn't free market so understand I'm talking about a completely different animal.

    That's because you just fell back into the trap of equating the current sytem with a free market. You are trying to see a way to reform the current system into something it isn't or never was to begin with. I use to do the very same thing and it's so easy to do. Go beyond it all and come to it purely from the position of no absolute force, coersion or fraud to achieve an end for any reason and approach all actions using just basic morality and ethics. State controlled economics is about winners and losers and winner takes all. Free markets are about equal exchanges that benefit bothsides of the transaction or thus the transaction doesn't happen. Don't try and reform the existing market using free market contexts because it won't happen and you'll never achieve the end results. You have to first get the gun out of the room.

    Yee shall know them by their fruits?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  18. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    "If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."~ Jefferson

    "We can guarantee cash, but we cannot guarantee purchasing power."~ Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Fed, 2005

    "Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Jefferson
  19. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    "...get the gun out of the room." Coming to take our guns, are you Wk? Pinko:wink2:
    And how do you propose to do that? I see your point about centralized power, but here's the simple question: what society does not put forth a centralized government of some kind? Whether socialist, marxist, communist, capitalist, monarchy, where does a non-centralized government exist? Where does a non-corrupt centralized government exist? The point being that within the human experience, the self-governing or adherence to a social moral code seems to be insufficient to eliminate the need for centralizing power.
  20. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Stop doing it yourself first. Don't do it to other people, don't use force, aggression of fraud. Not a easy task but if people stop doing all 3, tell me what then is the purpose of the state?

    In one sense, there are none. Even self organizing groups and societies form some manner of centralization but it comes down to a matter of scale and being voluntary. Think in one sense about gov't if you will as you do about the various private businesses you deal with. One day you may shop for goods at store A, the next day at store B and the next day at store C. Your decison is based on a variety of reasons from price, quality, selection or just convience. But what would you say if you were told that from now on you were forbidden to shop at Stores B and C and that Store A now held exclusive monopoly? Would we hear the old cries of Robber Barons and Monopolists and the need for Anti Trust but in the case of Gov't we hear not a peep. What if gov't had to actually compete in an open market to get your business, to pay taxes and to support various general services?

    Last question first. I know of no "non-corrupt centralized gov't" at all. Lord Acton principle (Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely) as I see it is empirical in the human experience. The only chance a smaller scale central gov't might have in avoiding a lot of this would be complete and total transparency and IMO it would be the only way for all people to see and know who is doing what. There are no shadows, no back rooms, no nefarious plots if all "The Commons" were in complete sunlight at all times. You want to take my arguement away and I mean this seriously, make everything in gov't, all things in the common completely and openly transparent. Yet do I see those who advocate centralizing of the commons out hard fisted and demanding this as a "won't bend" first principle? Nope! Even when Ron Paul, who does want to abolish the Fed and I completely agree, just demands a complete and transparent audit, both sides block him at all levels. IMO that speaks volumes.

    As to a non-centralized gov't existing, the only thing close that you might find of some ideal to follow is the Swiss Canton system. Not without their warts I'm sure but all in all they IMO do a pretty good job based on the basic working model they have. I'm often amazed more folks in America don't consider this system as an option from a number of standpoints. It's not perfect as for one I consider any complusory service to the state as slavery and they have complusory military service but to their credit, they also uphold a doctrine against foreign interventions of any type. Admiral lesson we should learn IMO.

    I don't believe that is an empirical point although it may seem so from historical evidence. What you have to look at is under the surface of scale and see what people do at local levels over time and then what seems impossible begins to become possible. You have to consider over time many anarchistic communities and where they succeeded and failed and then learn from that. Some of these communities lasted many years and others only a few but taking you above statement as empirical, these communities should not even be around at all. It also IMO would mean that when a traffic light fails, massive wrecks and fatalities should take place but oddly enough the opposite tends to be the case. People self-organize, adapt to the risks and even the worse risk takers are considered and when they blow through the intersection like mad beasts, all others are on guard for such sudden occurances and the worst is avoided. Again, taking your position as empirical, this could not be the case and in fact utterly impossible.

    Now one has to ask you, what is you ulterior motive to use force and aggression against other human beings in order to force them into a society in which you are comfortable? If this world is so good and even accomplishes it's stated goals, why has it failed to not only accomplish it's intent but in fact all manner of evils are increasing at ever greater scale? Why are people not clamouring to join it and more important, why for example in certain areas of the Middle East they fight to the death not to join it? If it's so good as you would seem to suggest, human self interests alone would at least say a majority of people would want this and yet they don't. Why?

    The natural desire of man is to self organize, local autonomy and local self directing. Man has been around in various stripe for a couple 100k years but it's only in the last several thousand that we've tired to organize on a large, centralized scale. The fact is, we are not hardwired to do this and thus at least until some evolutionary event takes place, we will continue to fight it causing conflict after conflict.