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Indymedia reader poll: Does Capitalism work?

Please respond
<i>Does capitalism work? Obviusly it's imperfect. But socialism seems to have failed in so many countries. And of course there are many variations of socialism, communism, marxism, and capitalism. But if you had to 'vote' for socialism or capitalism which system would you vote for?</i>

Capitalism! 10.Apr.2003 17:07

HeadWes

Capitalism--no reason to be equally poor and miserable when we can have diversity in our levels poverty and suffering.

Does capitalism work!? 10.Apr.2003 17:08

NO.

Look around. Capitalism is based on avarice. It entails exploitation of people and the environment. The result is a devastated world and a devastated populace. Capitalism is responsible for what is occurring in Iraq right now, and for the police crackdown here in our city.

Capitalism sux 10.Apr.2003 17:29

anti-capitalist

Capitalism is the reason the forests are gone. The rich and powerful timber magnates roll into town, strip the land of all it's life and value, then roll out again and onto their next target. The people who supported them by helping them to log the forests are left devastated, with a worthless, muddy, landslide-prone, pit. Capitalism is about putting greed and profit above all else. In short, it is immoral and wrong.

Socialism hasn't failed 10.Apr.2003 17:32

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

Where has socialism failed? Socialism works FINE. There have been countries which erroneously called themselves socialism (like the USSR's state capitalism) but were not at all socialist. There have been many states that have failed because they were undermined and destroyed by foreign covert operatives. The US's covert actors have been undermining and destroying any and all non-capitalist states for quite a while now. Who knows which systems would have worked had they not been intentionally destroyed by the CIA? The CIA calls it "the threat of a good example" and will not abide by any successful non-capitalist systems outside of the US because that would give the workers all over the world something to hope for and work towards. It's why the US is the ONLY country to have a non-socialist "left" - because the CIA created a parallel political "left" that was as anti-socialist and anti-communist as any fascist.

Some socialist states work excellently; Sweden for example. For all the taxes paid, you actually GET something for it; 2 month paid vacations, single-payer health care system, universal full medical coverage, rent subsidies and food subsidies.

Does capitalism work? Yes - but only if you are already ultra-wealthy. For the other 99.5 percent of the population; No, capitalism does NOT work at all.

I don't know 10.Apr.2003 17:41

.

but i prefer mercantilism, an actual free market with strict controls on corporations, wiser-use laws to reign in private interests' exploitation of the commons, and socialist components to stabilize more vulnerable members of society.

btw: i'm not saying that's what mercantilism is, just that i would like a mercantilist society with those safeguards.

box hater 10.Apr.2003 17:41

&quot;Refusal to be named&quot;

Your question is problematic. By pitting two economic systems against each other, you are limiting our options to binary thinking (which is the basis of capitalism anyhow). If we can critique these systems by thinking outside of the box, by (re)inventing the labels used to divide people and by fostering viable alternatives to this oppressive society, then we can subvert the power structures that keep us down.

We have a *socialism for the rich* already 10.Apr.2003 18:11

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

You could call Bushonomics "socialism" because it is a kind of socialism for the rich. It's like a reverse Robin Hodd; steal from the poor, then give to the rich. The tax cut was enough evidence of that. In the US after WWII, the richest Americans were taxed 90 percent. Since they were billionaires, they could afford it quite well.

A major difference between activists today is how educated they are about the effect capitalism has on peace and war. Those who have studied this are often identified as "radicals" and are aware that any economic system that requires constant growth (capitalism) demands periodic imperialist wars of conquest, for the good of the economy.

Then there are others, less educated (or rather maybe more educated by their tell-a-visions) who see no connection between capitalism and the wars that capitalist societies seem to constantly start. These comfortable types are often called "liberals."

It is not a difference between tactics but a difference between GOALS that differentiate them. In my not-at-all-humble opinion, I think it is necessary for capitalism to be dismantled in order for peace to come. As long as there are business leaders who rule the government (just as our fucking founding dickheads had planned) then the US government will continue to be a corrupt system of personal enrichment, politicians will continue to be careerist public leeches, and voting will continue to be a feel-good safety valve that fools people into thinking they actually had any input in the system.

Corporatism 10.Apr.2003 20:59

Sephiroth

We have a sort of fascist economy here in the US at least at the big business level. Special profit interests nudge govt. policy and certain industries like steel and farming are protected to keep foreign competitors out. Not to mention corporate welfare. That makes America a little like Mussolini's Italy with its corporatist state.

I would say go for some moderate socialism that involves all four kinds of ownership: small business, private company, worker co-op, and public enterprise.

Capitalism Is Natural/Socialism Is Necessary 10.Apr.2003 22:02

Jumbo

Anti-capitalism is really silly if you ask me. To paraphrase Frank Zappa: "Communism will never work because people like to own stuff." Whatever system you envision it won't ever work in America if it doesn't include private ownership. American people want a place that they own, that they can fill with stuff that they own. They want police to protect their stuff. That said, there's no reason why we can't socialize certain elements of the economy to ensure that everyone has the basic necessities of life. Personally, I wish America had more diverse economic systems in the various states. But seeing the reaction Oregon gave to that Universal Health Care ammendment shows that there is some serious anti-tax, pseudo-McCarthyist elements still controlling the American mind. Revolutionaries and Anarchists (ideals which simmer on my back burner) spend too much time harping on how the System needs to be taken down and how its inherently evil. That's probably true but it doesn't help anything. Everyone, even right-wing republicans, can see these facts, (Shit Marx is how old now? WE KNOW!) it's just that capitalism has grafted itself like some degenerative nerve disease onto our collective Western DNA. Treating the symptoms won't cure it but it will...treat the symptoms. So I think We (as in the whole U.S., the Left, the people reading this site, or anyone who agrees with me) need to focus on harm-reducing goals that people can agree on. Things like reducing the prison population (now over 2 million), socializing the health care system, re-orienting America's (and thus the IMF/World Bank/WTO's) foreign policy mindset (this American Century shit has got to go) etc. Talking grand, theoretical theory talk is fun and all but REPUBLICANS CONTROL EVERYTHING!!! EVEN JOE LIEBERMAN'S BRAIN!!! Clear Channel has brainwashed everyone with an AM radio in their car and Fox News doesn't just exist, it's the MOST POPULAR NEWS CHANNEL IN THE COUNTRY!!!! Arrgh. Sorry, I just get tired of the "Marx! No, Bakunin! No Proudhon!" debates that I see here. My copy of the Society of the Spectacle is gathering dust on the bookshelf and I'm trying to get a little hopeful about Howard Dean. I'm willing to stay a wage slave my whole life just as long as Massa stops killing brown people I've never met. Pardon the ranting but we're living in rantful times.

Jumbo, you're right . . . but--- 10.Apr.2003 23:10

skeptic

agree with what you say about our copies of Debord--

great books and theories that explain much, but HOW can we effect MEANINGFUL CHANGE? Especially when we now face a corporate-media-brainwashed American public--masses who have been hypnotized into ignorance for generations?

you're also partly correct about the 'Republicans' owning everything--voting machines, preponderance of media outlets, etc.

but it really doesn't matter what 'political party' they put on the face of it . . . it's all a plutocracy.

America is not run by 'politics', but by corporations. 'Politics' is a dog-and-pony, rigged stage show to cloak and disguise the true conduits of power and wealth.

and this is where i think you're flawed in saying "Anti-capitalism is really silly"--

because when we go up against Bu$h & Co.--and more importantly THE CORPORATIONS THAT THEY **DIRECTLY** REPRESENT--

we are facing the Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy in the eye.

Do you really think Howard Dean has a snowball's chance in hell? It's just a placating game . . .

And what, really, is the difference between Vice President Cheney and Halliburton? The White House and Enron?
Jumbo, you're right . . . but---
Jumbo, you're right . . . but---

that's not quite how it works 10.Apr.2003 23:20

heimdallr

If you've read your Marx, you know that (at least according to Marx) Capitalism and Socialism are not opposites but rather successive stages of an industrial society's social evolution. The simplified version goes like this:

FEUDALISM (agricultural economy where ownership of land confers control of produced wealth and de facto political authority over tenant/slaves) is eventually replaced by CAPITALISM as production methods evolve to the point of producing surplus, which creates a new class of wealthy persons whose wealth is based on exchange of surpluses (Marx applies the term 'bourgeoisie') who develop political systems based on the defense of property rights and commerce. As production methods continue to evolve and an industrial system arises, the bourgeoisie develop the need for hired labor, thus creating a class of urban residents who subsist on wages rather than agriculture (the ever-popular 'proletariat'), whose commonality of interest will eventually compel them to organize and seize control of both economic production and create political systems that directly organize production and the distribution of wealth directly to the workers, (SOCIALISM, or the 'dictatorship of the proletariat') thus dissolving the property-owning classes until society is composed entirely of workers, at which point political institutions become unnecessary and 'the state will wither away.'

However valid this theory may or may not turn out to be, to say "socialism has failed" is somewhat disingenuous as the preceding succession has yet to take place. The Communist movements of the 20th Century (Lenin, Mao, etc.) did not arise in the societies where Marx predicted Socialism would initially occur, which would be the most advanced industrial states like England and Germany, but rather in countries that were not yet developed primarily capitalist economies. Leninism and Maoism were essentially attempts to 'skip a step' and convert largely agricultural, feudal economies directly into industrial socialist economies, which a faithful Marxist would tell you failed because societies like Russia and China lacked sufficiently developed proletariats and attempted to forcibly integrate peasants (who are naturally acquisitive, property-desiring types as opposed to communalism-inclined proletarians) into centralized systems of communal production. Meanwhile, the more advanced industrial states remain largely capitalist, and may or not experience the kind of Socialist change that Marx predicted. Certain historical developments, such as the rise of fascism, would seem to suggest that the question is a bit more complicated than it appeared to Marx.

Capitalism doesn't work or even exist 10.Apr.2003 23:49

Douglas Lain

Pure capitalism would be awful, even for the capitalist class. What we have is a version of state capitalism, with huge subsidies for private incorporations and price manipulation and nothing at all like a level playing field, or unfettered competition.

Even the ruling elites believe in cooperation, mutual aid, etc...only they only believe in these things for them, for their class.

I'm basically an socialist anarchist. That is I believe in cooperation and mutual aid, only I think it should be an operating principle in all relations.

Ms 10.Apr.2003 23:53

Sarada schulz@saber.net

I can see no difference between capitalism and socialism as now represented by world states. I truly believe that the only way to a better world consciousness is through Women. They must be the new way, that is through circles of elder women deciding the future. There is no system that will work unless the women make the decisions. Only by surrender to the goddess within, whether one is male/female/transgender/lesbian/gay and from whatever tribe or nation, can peace be achieved.


Yes 10.Apr.2003 23:54

Bee

Capitalism works the way its supposed to work, which is unfortunate for the poor and working class.

socialism of the heart 11.Apr.2003 01:36

Wapper nondedikke@hotmail.com

The individual is looking for respect, love, spare time, a life...
In capitalist society all of this is more or less computable by what a person owns moneywise. The respect and it's more useful face power are largely dependant of the production and the profit you represent in a country (and the amount of people you employ).
It's this simple argument used since Smith's inquiry into the wealth of nations that forces governments to leave their the freedom of enterprise and therefor the freedom to enslave foreign countries and fellow countrymen.
I therefor propose a system similar to socialism in which free enterprise is admitted. Theoretically in capitalist society someone encounters a need in society, fills up the gap and enriches himself while doing so. It's seems perfectly moral. In socialist society it must be possible to find a gap in the market, apply for the start of a production line or a service center, round up some fellow workers and start a cooparitive firm. If this firm's production rises quickly the respect for the founder of this firm can rise without him having to be an exploiter, nor should he get real power in the political society for this is a circle of people, not companies. Democracy is only possible in a socialist society because every man's opinion is weighs equally on the national and preferably international policy.
m


eco-conscious cooperative capitalism would 11.Apr.2003 03:08

perfactpasspiet

It worked so well that the evermore recurrage of risin rousal and swell
was most devastating after a particularly succesful stint and episode of the former, namely the prussian period; there are quite a few documents attesting this at linked site.


Defining the End of Capitalism 11.Apr.2003 03:59

merrill merrillcole@earthlink.net

Of course capitalism doesn't work. Not even for the elites: that's why they're working so hard to reinforce anti-competitive monopolies and to rule the world under a neo-colonial rubric, as evidenced by the takeover of Iraq. We cannot allow them to define what this endgame means. There has never been a better chance to act out for justice and peace.

Beyond revolution 11.Apr.2003 05:37

Bonnie Abbizug

If we as humans attempt to build a hierachy of power weather it be socialism or capitalism or any other social/governmental structure, every past example of history tells us that we will fail. Power saturated in the few corrupts.

In our lives we see sustainability in cycles, in communities, where there is no inflexable system in place.

Community living is the answer. It encompases both the flaws and short comings of human beings and lends order to a cluster of people.

VIVE ANARCHY!

all the same 11.Apr.2003 07:20

Ann R Key

What a banal discussion. None of these issues can be debated as a singularity. All of the institutions that define the current state of modernity are fully integrated and cannot exist without the other. For example industrialism is fed by concentrated capital, propped by social economics, secured by state authority, and justified by monotheistic religion(at least in the occidental paradigm). Many of these social ecologies exist, and for now, to exploit the masses and to benefit a few. Whether in the guise of communism where the elites are known as vanguards, or in the form of western capitalism where elites are just that, the institutions that faciltate these exploitive societies have been centrally designed to maintain the priveledge and authority of those who have access to the control of these institutions. To stand here and try to define an ecology that could benefit the majority is to never be able to achieve one. The only way we will ever move past this catch-22, is when the institutions that define the social landscape are created organically by the people existing and meeting their needs truly pluraly. In other words, we will never be able to define how humans can organize themselves in a non-exploitive, non-coericive manner until after humans have done just that very thing. Personally, I feel that chaos(in the form of a natural disaster, a major war or revolution, economic collapse, etc) is our best hope to create the social vacuum necessarry for the masses to begin organizing naturally and organically. Please practice random acts of chaos and disruption.

Hell no! 11.Apr.2003 07:45

Luis ghoste@hotmail.com

The very basis of capitalism is flawed, the fact that someone can make money out of "owning" something. In a system with finite resources, like say planet earth, this makes absolutely no sense and only ensures that we're going to sacrifice the quality of our lives as power becomes more and more concentrated and resources become more and more scarce. I mean, it's not like we're gonna starve just yet, but it means we'll have less choices as to where and how to live, eat and work for instance.

Also capitalism destroys aspects of human nature that I hold to be very important such as free cooperation and the guaranteeing of basic human necessities for everybody.

Finally I think capitalism is in direct contradiction with a lot of today's technology. Take music and software for instance. Under the capitalist model, they are commodities which the consumer must pay for individually when they buy a CD or a software app or license. With today's information technology, the cost of distribution and replication of these things is nearly zero, it is actually more wasteful in the big scheme of things to make, print and distribute little cd than to download it and listen to it or install it on your hard drive.

Oddly enough a lot of the collectivist and libertarian communist systems work a lot better with these technologies that probably would've never been invented without capitalism (either by remunerating the creators directly or by ensuring that they do not need a wage to live).

I'm not 100% sure whether what I or anyone else would propose to replace capitalism would work perfectly the first time around, but I think if society was serious about improving the quality of our lives, it would put as much R&D time into alternative teaching, learning and living environments as it would into making better televisions, cars and bombs.

Long live anarchy.
-Luis

A new ism 11.Apr.2003 08:13

anonymous

I think we need a new ism... the unfortunate part is that we have to choose one or the other- instead of allowing ourselves to be open-minded about an economic/social system. "Capitalism" in pure form, doesn't really address any social issues - it's more like pure math. Therefore, capitalism can't really exist by itself.

the question- does capitalism work? yes and no. yes - because there is the potential for anyone to succeed, no - because that potential can be stalled or crushed by those in power (monopolies, etc..).

The problem is that as a society, we have to have leaders. Even in anarchist groups there are leaders (i guess in this sense, anarchists are hypocritical). So, which combination of systems works the best? I think we should just keep trying and fighting. Maybe one day we'll figure it out.

It works and it doesn't work! 11.Apr.2003 08:55

StevetheGreen

I always find it humorous when the "capitalist bashing socialists" start to hammer away at the faults of our current system as though that has anything remotely to do with the concept of capitalism, itself.

Obviously, corporate personhood has allowed the mega multi-national corporations to run roughshod over our constitution by granting rights and privledges that were meant for "individuals", to these "mindless entities" who are nothing more than machines for profit.

Add to that, the lack of campaign finance reform has created a system of "legalized bribery" that enables these corporations to have access and influence on every aspect of our foreign and domestic policies.

What this has done is to transform the concept of capitalism that we grew up with, into something very, very different.

Capitalism without true "free enterprise" and competition is not really capitalism at all. The corporations have perverted the meaning of capitalism in America and used their access and influence to put roadblocks in place that will enable them to grow at unfettered rates at the expense of people and our planet.

But criticizing capitalism as an economic "concept" because of the perverted nature of it's status in America today, is like criticizing Christianity for Jerry Fallwell or Jim Baker.

I don't want to live in a country where an individual is not allowed to build a better and more secure life for his family as a result of his or her hard work by providing a product or service in their own business.

I realize that with our current version of perverted capitalism, that we can not do that now in many areas of business that were traditionaly ran by local merchants and service providers.
But to abandon the concept of freedom, in an effort to address the faults that are inherant in our current bought and sold system, is attacking the wrong problem.

PEACE!

Hmmmm... 11.Apr.2003 08:58

is

There are many problems with the original question, which is visible by the varied answers. "Does capitalism work?" On what level are you referring? Pure capitalism or what we have? How do you define 'capitalism' in this question? I've seen many different ideas of what it is. The question is asked as a hypothetical. My two cents is simply, what does it matter? If life isn't working for you, if you're homeless or just barely scraping by, if you're stuck with little or nothing while working your ass off, if you're being harrassed by police or any other officials of government, if you have to watch others have life handed to them on a silver platter simply because of birth, if you have to listen to these people tell you how worthless you are, really what does it matter if it is capitalism or socialism or anything else??

capitalshism 11.Apr.2003 10:54

mrLady

Nope, doesn't work. And like many other economic systems, when played out to its extreme, creates dire situations for all involved. Our situation - huge corporations who can't keep the profitability arrows pointed skywards, ever widening income gap, prison industrial complex, ad infinitum.

Socialist countries seem to fare better, but I'm no econ major.

Work for us or starve 11.Apr.2003 11:03

B

Any system that puts all the food, shelter, and medicine under armed guard and lock and key and then doles it back out to worker-slaves who must toil for their masters or starve, makes no new break with the set-up of the last 10,000 years.

Humble yerselves humyns and go ask the wolves and the bears and the salmon and the bees how they all worked this out with each other. You see them competing, but not locking up one another's food and then waging wars of extermination to win it all back.

Duh.

Economics 11.Apr.2003 11:21

harry

Please, read  http://www.mises.org/humanaction.asp
The current problem lies with the superstate. A 'democracy' wich consists out of 280 million people can only lead to tyranny. The problem is not 'kapitalism', but the governement, and coorperations in bed with it. So at least learn about these things and then maybe you can improve matters.

Yes..it works the way it is supposed to.. 11.Apr.2003 13:24

Chris

However, we do not have capitalism. We have here, especilly
now, a form of fascism/corporatism. Capitalism, like
communism really cannot exist because they are both based
on the assumption that most everyone will "play fair".

As long as the greedy and power-hungry are able to achieve
positions of power and control, neither can exist.

As long as the guy with the most, has more say than the guy
with less, neither can exist.

homogeny is homogeny 11.Apr.2003 13:47

margaret

the problems we are faced with cannot be solved with a singluar, homogenous solution. the problem itself -is- homogeny. an attempt to homogenize thinking with this 'capitalism/socialism' duality is absurd.

decentralize!
decentralize!

liberatarian thought has a lot of cool shit involved, and it's based on capitalist exchange, but not monopolies. green party thought has a lot of cool sh involved, and so is it.
now, its the gift economy for me and if we decentralize, you all suckers can buy and sell and insist on private property all you want, as long as you stay the fuck away from my gift economy.
anarchy means not telling people what to do and that seems like good fun too me.

The possibility of socialism... 11.Apr.2003 14:03

*

Is socialism possible? Has it succeeded? Both complicated questions with no easy answers. In countries where even a modicum of socialist thinking was introduced, the US has been so quick to use extreme efforts to obliterate it that we have yet to see a successful socialist government in this hemisphere. Cuba has acheived a great deal but even so it has also been beseiged by the US and therefore limited in what it has been able to accomplish. On the surface, it seemed that marxism in Chile from 71-71 was a disaster but that's because the US drove down copper prices (Chile's main export) and incited truckers to strike in order to cause complete economic chaos and ultimately a brutal military coup to uphold capitalism. Even Peronist/ populist Argentina of the 40's was seen as a threat-- the US responded by including a clause in it's post-war reconstruction plan for Europe (the Marshall plan) that no countries who received aid from the plan could also purchase Argentine beef, a clear death-knell for the Argentine economy. In the 50's the United Fruit Company actually funded US Army bombings to wipe out a Guatemalan adminstration that dared to suggest redistributing unused UFC land to poverty-stricken peasants... which led to years of brutal civil war and the massacre of thousands. This is repeated again and again across the globe.
Europe is certainly way ahead of the US as far as socialism is concerned and has a number of northern European social democracies to show for it. These countries, however, are unique in that they are a good deal more homogenous than the US. In fact, when Sweden began making the change to social democracy in the 30's, providing generous maternity leave and child care benefits, near 100% unionization, etc, for example, this was spurred on by one legislator who essentially said that he would prefer to see Swedish women working than immigrants of other races or nationalities working in Sweden-- "better women than blacks" was what it came down to. People are more willing to accept forms of socialism when they do not see it as aid going to "illegal immgrants" or racial minorities. Unfortunate, but history suggests that this is the case. Now, as immigration to Europe increases, many of these countries are being forced to deal with having multiethnic societies.
Is socialism possible in the US? Perhaps, but only with the development of a new national vocabulary that does not include profits at all costs, only if the racism and ignorance that is ingrained in American culture is washed out and only if the numerous groups of people who lose out in the capitalist system realize that they are losing and that their struggle is one and the same.

Yes, it works fine. we are the proof! 11.Apr.2003 14:11

df

Capitalism works fine.

Its the clear choice in the world.

just look around..

Fuck this...you have a real choice! 11.Apr.2003 16:28

zeah

Don't get stuck by believing that the only choice you have is between capitalism or socialism, the lesser of two evils. You have the ability to choose revolution! RISE UP AND TAKE BACK YOUR FREEDOM! Anarchism, anti-authoritarianism, primitivism....... if you have the choice to "vote" for your future, "vote" for that which is sustainable and fair to all. "Vote" for that which will never discriminate based on race, gender, age, religion, species, etc. , and especially not based on socio-economic status. Abolish the socio-economic status. Come on, this question is entirely bullshit! When will you ever be denied the choice of revolution? I urge you all who are frustrated by this question to fight against the very system that brings it to existence, the very system that makes such a question sound logical and not maniacly obsurd! When faced with a choice between capitalism or socialism, or any other forms of government for that matter, MY VOTE GOES TO LIBERATION FOR ALL!

dissent 11.Apr.2003 16:35

charley

socialism as a political movement in the u.s.
has not failed but rather has been, and is, a vital
current for advocating the politics of dissent;
that it is quite possible to look out for your
neighbors, without looking over them.

invent 11.Apr.2003 16:47

nick winlund winlundn @ efn . org

>"i prefer mercantilism, an actual free market with strict controls on corporations, >wiser-use laws to reign in private interests' exploitation of the commons, and >socialist components..."

Mercantilism, socialism, communism and capitalism are Old World words for an Old World scale of economies, now concurrently restructuring and collapsing themselves like never before in history.

Fiscal and monetary policies are fixed. In brief, these policies regulate the federal reserve/treasury dept. who decide how many dollar bills are printed (fiat money) and how this interoperates with gold supplies since the gold standard for money was abolished in the 1970s.

Provided regulatory mechanisms described above are stable and compliant with international law & long-established financal regulations (recently hijacked in some ways, albeit temporarily, by the Bush Cartel) the real challenge is permanently putting demand in the hands of the people. Since about the end of World War II there has been a measurable decline in consumers controlling their captial and spending this capital. One need look no further then corporations, Reaganomics & Ponzi schemes like Enron to know the top 1 percent of the wealthiest folks in the world have long seen a change in communities' perceptions and are doing everything they can to hold on to the Old Ways.

The other challenge is verifying both established & new systems of demand are held accountable and shown to be transparent at all levels and tiers of finance. George Soros from Hungary has taken this initiative on multiple fronts. It's proved exceedingly difficult with energy markets & marketplaces, i.e. Enron & Williams. In most markets according to financial experts generally speaking supply is at over capacity in this 3-year recession so the recession's origins are not really about lack of supply as the supply-siders continually assert but more about accesss to that supply. Speaking from a technological background, the supply is already here to continue building a civil society (telecomm, energy, materials for fabrication). What's needed is full ownership AND operations handled by none other then regionalities/communities.

>"By pitting two economic systems against each other, you are limiting our options to >binary thinking (which is the basis of capitalism anyhow)."

No actually the more economic systems compete with each other, the better off we as society are. Recent history has shown the exact opposite of what this person describes limits our options. What is plutocracy? Oligarchy?

I think most people truly want sustainability and competition in their day-to-day lives. People need sustainability most in their communities, but unequivocable definitions of ownership here as well. After Shrub and his Evil Empire depart the White House the federal government could stand to learn from the examples some of these communities will set, especially on issues of responsible finance.

One thing is certain: continuing in the same direction with Old World WTO/IMF policies will continue the wealth decline for the majority. To repeat the same cycle over and over again expecting a different result at the turn of each new cycle is, by definition, INSANITY! This is just one reason communties will have to forcibly demand what it is they own and demand the freedom they so desperately need now to do with what they own as they please. If community/joint ownership is the issue, then this sort of prerogative requires consensus. Americans will learn to better communicate with their neighbors. I predict there will be new financial incentives in the next decade to encourage better communication.

It isn't a matter of black and white anymore. Established as they are in the American service sectors, the Old Ways of Boss and Employee functions are going down the drain. People want to start their own businesses & collect their own checks. They should be able to do their own thing & collaborate with other people, at times assigning authority where needed, without becoming control freaks and attempting to monopolize finance over a given geographic region.

Somehow this has to happen applying tried & proven national/international business & brokerage house standards, taking it all into account where required by law. Seceding from the Union is not an option, unless you want to lose Posse Comitatus and see the troops sometime soon in your U.S. neighborhood instead of Iraq. :)

Before any of this can happen we need equal rights and justice for all, plus peace for all.


socialism 11.Apr.2003 22:57

jim

The wealthy who are responsible for this capitalist wasteland live under safety and comfort of social welfare in the form of government contracts, bailouts, and special tax incentives. Furthermore, they live in a country where the government cares about their safety and welfare (because they have become the government). If socialism is so bad, why do they get it and we have to live by the dictates of the market? To say that any certain socialist system has failed needs further analysis pertaining to exactly what factors the worlds big capitalist benefactor (U.S.) had in helping it fail. You can't sell guns, god and the American way if there is a good working political system that doesn't require all of that expensive crap to lead a country and feed a population. The next issue is who says that capitalism hasn't been failing for a long time and currently going down for the count. I get the feeling that this capitalist fantasy becomes more morally impoverished by the minute by trying to fill the endless need for more resources, so more crap can be sold, to clog more landfills.

Actually the main problem is fundamentalism 12.Apr.2003 07:07

Sephiroth

Economics can explain why different classes exist and why you have wars and police states, but as for culture, which explains a lot of social, cultural, religious, racial, sexual, gender, etc, etc, etc. discrimination and injustice, one need look only as far as Fundamentalism for an answer.

Fundamentalism, a system of self-righteous logic, tries to prove its enemies wrong by spreading false propaganda and incriminating lies about the groups and practices it condemns. This has been done against blacks, socialists, working people, scientists, environmentalists, homosexuals, occultists, pot-smokers, and any other group that challenges the authority of their fascist deity and his (almost never her) totalitarian "moral" laws. From the original Red Scare in the 1920s through the Scopes-Monkey trial, the anti-civil rights movement, the anti-gay movement, the anti-drug movement, the "Satanic Panic" and anti-Halloween movements of the 1980s, and so on and so on, Fundamentalists have played leading roles in all these. They are the real "enemies of the people." Fundamentalism is the evil that must be smashed!

Compare this to the Sephirothian view of human culture, which states that persecuted members of society must be fiercely defended against their oppressors, as long as the activity or state of being they are being persecuted for is not violent or antisocial (Sephirothians wouldn't step in and defend murderers). As a result, the Sephirothian will defend homosexuals, Wiccans, Druids, environmentalists, Quakers, Muslims, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, women, "heterodox" men, and all other victims of discrimination, provided it is understood that no non-revolutionary or counter-revolutionary violence is tolerated.

Hmmm... let me see... oh, yeah - FUCK CAPITAL 12.Apr.2003 09:03

J Black pleasestaycalm@hotmail.com

socialism vs. capitalism...

In isolation, these concepts are meaningless - simply economic rubrics.

The actual working realities of any economy depend on the social/political/cultural/historical and environmental milieu as much as on the economic paradigm that defines goals and sets values - hence the concepts of 'political-economy' and the 'development studies vs. economics' debate...

That being said, anyone with eyes sees capitalism fucking this world like a five dollar whore, 'justified' by a paradigm and systematic mindset that is absolutely berift of any real sanity or logic in its assignment of values and identification of goals. Money and profit are the only things that register.

Capitalism is systematized insantity. If you can't think up your own examples to back that claim, I'd advise you to pull your head out of your ass and take a look around.

HOWEVER, capitalism, although on the forefront of the worldbeating in our time, is only one aspect of the problem... WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE 'DEMOCRACIES' IN WHICH WE SUPPOSEDLY LIVE?

Real people are as disempowered and voiceless as could be. We vote to 'choose' which fuckin politikin power-monger is gonna decide FOR us. As quite aptly demonstrated by Bush's war, we can shout and act out as loudly as we like, this system has no obligation to even regard us... I could settle for capitalism, therefore, if we at least had some kind of actual fuckin DEMOCRACY!! (participatory; issue based - as opposed to party/'platform'/candidate based; fueled by proposal, forum, debate, concensus, and referendum; run by the duty and obligation of every citizen, not by the empowerment and prerogative of politicians... in other words, get it out of the 'hallowed halls' and into the our homes, out of the banks and boardrooms and onto the streets!)

Then, we can just vote capitalism, greed, and gross inequality out, and get on with life from there.

JUCHE Idea 15.May.2003 19:04

JP CUPP anti_imperialist_solidarity@yahoo.com

I am a big fan of Kim Jong-Il, myself!!!
www.korea-dpr.com

But, unfortunately, this is America... 18.May.2003 00:11

Lori pnkrkgrrl@yahoo.com

I'm a socialist. It can work. The problem lies in the fact that too many (dare I say, most) people simply don't understand what the hell it's all about. In this country we have been taught that socialism is a very naughty word! And, as some of you have already mentioned, the American psyche has linked socialism with the largely failed attempts of countries that were going about it all wrong, rather than with the ones where it's worked out like a dream!

But, alas... this is America... home of the good 'ol boys.... hell, we can't even seem to make capitalism work out the way it was supposed to around here! God forbid we get our hands on any other "ism" & screw that up too, then try to force it down the throats of the rest of the world!

Try imperialism... yes, that seems to be a much more fitting word for our glorious nation...