Time for Change

Time for ChangeMeet the new revolutionaries of the Do-It-Yourself cultures in Barcelona, Tallin and Jakarta. They are modern day heroes.

They do not wait for political parties or institutions to change their world; they simply do it themselves, by creating new local currencies, by working in social networks or by simply robbing the banks and redistributing their money.

The world economy is in crisis and public trust in financial institutions has hit rock bottom. As commercial banks were bailed out with billions of taxpayers money and continued to practice their old vices, many people lost faith in bank managers and politicians.

They got angry at the speculative financial system that brings extreme wealth to a few and instability and unemployment to many.

Could this dissatisfaction lead to social change? Can we imagine viable alternatives? Backlight goes on a worldwide search, with sociologist Manuel Castells and philosopher Peter Sloterdijk.

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  • Samuel Gallop

    OK, I must admit I'm only 10 minutes into the "documentary", but the opening is just too good to pass.

    " it is the end of the model of capital(ism) that we have been experiencing in the last 20 years: this laissez faire capital(ism) with no government control, no regulation. This is finished "

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Please, whatever this guy is smoking, I want a piece of it, now.

    See, it happens to be one of the most widely held misconceptions around the world these days. That we live under a capitalistic system, gone wild because of lack of supervision by the authorities. The mantra is told from one activist group to another, repeated as if repetition could make it true. The solution we are told, goes from increasing the powers of the government to keep this capitalism at bay, to a complete overhaul of the system and its replacement by the fad of the day ( and there is no shortage of fads, I'm afraid ).

    Let me school you in this:

    Man is a rational being, capable of rational thinking, owner of an ego ( self awareness ) with the ability to choose from an array of known to him options always what is best for him personally ( including generosity when he so wants to exercise it ).
    His life is not automatically sustained though. Ever since God ( yeah right ) expelled him from paradise, man has had to work to provide for his needs.
    What he does, the decisions he makes, the actions he takes to sustain his life is what we call ECONOMY, which is nothing more than a branch of all things human from the point of view of humans that we call PHILOSOPHY, together with metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and even arts.

    See, dogs in the wilderness are determined by their instincts, NO FREE WILL. That is why we call what they do... BIOLOGY instead.

    All right. Man can hold all kinds of philosophical views of the world, depending on how he sees reality (metaphysics), which conduct he uses to learn from reality (epistemology), how he decides to behave (ethics), and then relate to others with whom he may live in a community (politics), and how he goes about sustaining his life through production, trade, consumption, saving and investing.

    CAPITALISM is quite simply the system (political/economical) that arises NATURALLY when men are FREE to sustain their lives without been coerced by nobody. Freedom as the supreme value, responsibility as corollary, non aggression principle as the only limitation. That is capitalism.

    Now, like the fool in the opening paragraph, whoever defends that we are living in such a system is completely DELUSIONAL.

    The government is ever present in all fields of the Economy, SPECIALLY IN THE MONETARY SYSTEM, which is half of every trade made.

    I'll say it clear so that you can understand....... Current economic system IS NOT CAPITALISTIC.

    There is some freedom to produce some goods and services under a MONETARY AND CREDIT SYSTEM WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY SOCIALISTIC. And here lies the problem, not with capitalism per se but with the GOVERNMENT as the MONOPOLISTIC producer of the means of exchange, controller of his servant/protegeé the banking industry ( which is not capitalistic by any stretch of imagination ) for ITS OWN INTEREST which is not yours or mine.

    You are pissed off ? So am I. This a WAR mate. Not between us and the producers who put all sorts of goods and services in your plate, besides hiring your labor as a necessary input for such production, NO. The WAR is between us and the state. Find out when you lost your freedom and fight to get it back. Find out how you got tricked into giving away your liberties in exchange for the delusions of social visionaries. Then you will be in a position to make a change, a real one.

    But do not blame capitalism for your problems because you would be a complete fool and culprit of an involution of mass murder proportions. Blame CENTRAL PLANNING SOVIET STYLE OF THE MONEY AND CREDIT CREATION pushed down our throats by the very government the authors of this and other documentaries alike wanna empower.

    Educate yourself. THINK for once.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7NZ2QBWUQBBOWVRCZORZSV2TEM alans

    The current system, at least in United States, is a diversified government and economy, part capitalist (free market,entrepreneurship), part socialist(welfare, social security), but the US has been leaning more towards the socialist path(through government regulation and intervention into finance) within the last four years, because of the economic crisis. Many people do not know who to vote for in the upcoming election, because the political system needs an update and overhaul. Both candidates work along their party lines, instead of promoting any significant change. People need to realize that creating a better future does not as much depend on a political party, but more so on the competency of a leader and the efficiency of the political system. I think direct democracy should be implemented into the political system, so that people have a say in where and how their tax money will be spent. This could be done through a government website where citizens can log in, and voice their opinions, or make decisions on matters and issues. This can work together with the volunteer tax, as mentioned in this video, because if people know their volunteer tax donations will make a change, then they are more likely to volunteer to pay tax. This way, the government only gets paid for working and creating a better future, if not, then they do not get paid. This will give people real power to make change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Russell-Smith/576170859 Russell Smith

    I live in a small rural town and I am going to start a "bank of barter" what an outstanding idea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/seweryn.wozniak.9 Seweryn Wozniak

    I think we should just blame ourself for being greedy, selfish, ignorant... you name it. With any freedom given to society there will be an oportunity for those who wanna use it and always there will be lots of them and always there will be people who suffer because of them. But the main problem are not bad people who do 'bad job' but the good one...for not doing good enough, keeping calm, surviving another day at work, planning some holiday etc..

  • brianrose87

    I'm not knocking on you, but in response to your saying "I think direct democracy should be implemented into the political system, so that people have a say in where and how their tax money will be spent" you should recall that The United States of America is a REPUBLIC not a DEMOCRACY.

    If the U.S. were a democracy the Civil Rights Movement would have failed because a majority would have voted for separate water fountains and schooling.

    A Republic, on the other hand, allows morality to prevail above prejudice, and that is why the Founding Fathers created a Republic, not a Democracy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7NZ2QBWUQBBOWVRCZORZSV2TEM alans

    Direct Democracy implemented, not replaced with it altogether, just like socialist elements were implemented into the capitalistic system.

  • Jeremy Hughes

    18:33 so Spanish people from Spain actually know how to speak Spanish... Try talking to an American Mexican, their grammar and ability to enunciate is so horrible, I can understand everything this guy is saying, yet an American Mexican can't even pronounce their own language correctly. Very much the same as how the British think Americans sound like retards, because we speak so fast and don't really enunciate well at all. Just thought it was interesting, because most spanish speakers tell me my spanish is incredible, and is like poetry in their ears, yet I can't talk to the local spanish speakers, due to the inability for them to pause or not roll 7 words into one. : )

  • Luyang Han

    The idea of using rare metal coin is just absurd. Those people have 0 understanding of what money is. Gold and silver are by no means more stable or sustainable. If trading a bit larger than local community is involved, certain system similar to bank is simply inevitable.

  • pwndecaf

    Hello, Ayn! Oh, sorry...it's Sam.

    Same BS, however.

  • tomregit

    I don't believe a republic has anything to do with morality. The USA is a republic, but it is also a REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY where the head of state is chosen through indirect election. Republic and democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. Bush II stated that one of his missions was to bring democracy, not a republic, to dictatorships (humor me here) ;0). There are many types of republic; Federal Republic (USA), Socialist Republic (USSR & Russia), Parliamentary Republic (India), Islamic Republic etc. Some are democratic and some not. If you look at a dictionary, google, wikipedia, or any number of easily sourced references you will find that the definition is not as simple or easy to pin down as you may believe.

  • http://twitter.com/AbsolutLight Unity

    #1. Spanish people are obviously from Spain... it's like saying "Canadian people from Canada".

    #2. "American Mexican" (I hope you are referring to Mexicans who live in the USA (MexicanAmericans btw), because if you're not, we go back to #1).

    Generalizing about MexicanAmericans (and Americans), their grammar, and their ability to enunciate is an IGNORANT thing to say...
    The manner in which a person speaks is directly involved with his/her education and reflects whether the person reads or not. I've personally heard British speak horrendously, as well as some Spanish who have poor grammar and slur through the words.

  • tomregit

    "American Mexican can't even pronounce their own language correctly"
    They pronounce their own language perfectly.

    "British think Americans sound like retards, because we speak so fast"
    Depends where you're from. I've heard southerners turn single syllable words into at least two very musical syllables. Ever tried to understand a Cockney?

    In school I learned Parisian French and I think It is a beautiful language compared to our Canadian Quebecois dialect. However this does not mean I'm correct and does not make their patois any less beautiful or useful to them. English is extraordinarily successful because it is spoken in hundreds of dialects and has acquired words from dozens of other languages. Robert MacNeil (ex MacNeil Lehrer News Hour) did a wonderfully informative series called "The Story of English" that explained so much and applies to other languages.

  • Samuel Gallop

    You're right....It's Ayn, Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Jefferson, Bastiat, Spooner, Smith, Mill, Menger, Bawerk, Hayek, Mises, Rothbard, Reissman, Younkins, Hoppe, and too many other great thinkers to cite here. All of them contributed to my education ( yes, that thing you can't seem to find for yourself ), as it should because what we build, we do upon the shoulders of giants.

    What have you got instead ?........... Nothing ?......no argument ?....not even the communist manifesto BS ?.....I thought so.

  • Cian O'Dwyer

    You mention Ayn im guessing you meant Rand, anyway you know she hero worshipped a serial killer right ? a little girl murderer ? So whats this talk of what what we build ? Built a school lately ? a hospital maybe ? or just building wealth for yourself ? Ayn as you call her despised a giant if you will despided handouts. Yet in her ailing years lived off the public purse for health care all the way. So Samuel Gallop maybe with all that education you have you havent learnt s***.

  • Samuel Gallop

    And Spooner would have blown up the parliament if given a box of bombs. Mises was intolerant and moody. Bastiat believed in God, etc, etc, etc... So what ?
    Their rational thinking, some parts more than others contributed to my education. If you have anything relevant to say, I might be interested to hear it too, despite the fact that you might be a crappy lover, who knows... and who cares.

    I do not mix apples and oranges like you do. That's one of the blessings of an education.

    About the documentary, which I now have finished, the last part is valuable: Commodity money sets you free because it prevents the rulers from stealing from the ruled. Correct. Wouldn't you think so ?

  • http://1iotofoto.wix.com/otofoto oQ

    As a side note from wiki:
    In Quebec, Anglicisms are never used in formal documentation (government papers, instruction sheets) and very rarely used in informal writing (magazines, journals). Where the use of an Anglicism is unavoidable, it is generally written in italics.
    The use of English words is less of a mark of "coolness" in Quebec than in France.
    1i

  • http://princejaka.wordpress.com princeton

    ad hominid attacks are a weak substitute for lack of rational arguments.

  • JaceD

    Interesting comment, and I agree for the most part. However I'm intrigued as to what your ideal solution would be to government regulation?

  • Samuel Gallop

    What do you mean by government regulation ?
    Existing ? to come in the future ? in principle ?
    Be more specific, please.

  • Samuel Gallop

    The buffoon in Spain comments " can we live without capitalism ? Yes we can "

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Kind of can we live without freedom ? Of course we can, but you i**** go try it first. I'll pass on your delusion if you don't mind.

    He mistakenly thinks the banking industry and big corporations are the hallmark of capitalism. He proposes self sufficiency and barter instead.

    Classic case of " I am so confused as to what the concepts I'm using really mean, that I mistake what my real enemy is and put forward solutions that would only bring misery to anyone s*upid enough to implement them ".

    He doesn't understand ( and unfortunately he's in good company here ) that there are no resources in this rock we call Earth, only raw materials. The only TRUE RESOURCE is the human mind that transforms those materials into GOODS applying ingenuity and labor. The human mind works well when free and that means under CAPITALISM. Or how the hell do you think we have reached the current global population ? Technology growing on trees ?

    Taking away capitalism and free trade ( markets ) is akin to pursuing an involution which would mean the mass murder by hunger of roughly 5000 million people. Talk to Maoist China survivors if you can find any and they'll explain it to you.

    The problem is the socialist monetary system that allows best buddies Government+Banking industry to rob a piece of your yearly produce and enslave you without chains. That is socialism, not capitalism. Stick it in your head for good.

  • ksm_mmd

    @Samuel Gallop -

    I enjoyed your post, and I agree with it. But there is an aspect of human behavior that I think you’ve neglected. For the majority of the world’s people, an “ideal” capitalist society is the last thing they would ever want. Such a thing would be incredibly detrimental, and perhaps even deadly to them. This is because, at least in the short term, capitalism is closely related to meritocracy. Both favor a very small percentage of individuals in any given population who consistently make better decisions than the vast majority of their peers. Thus, by definition, the majority of any society will suffer under a government based on these philosophies. Or perhaps I should say that they will suffer in relative way. This is, the differences between successful people and unsuccessful people in those societies will be more pronounced than under a different form of government or economic society. And as far as individual happiness is concerned, sociological studies are pretty conclusive in their assertions that “relative” success is more important than “absolute” success. Again, this is true only in the short term because if equality is achieved by suppressing the success of the most capable people in a society, the success of the society as a whole will eventually suffer as well. And let's face it, even though it may be true that misery loves company, it doesn't take long for "company" to become a seething, angry mob. And nobody can love that.

    Of course one could argue that to some extent, all governments may be categorized as meritocracies. This is because regardless of how we define the government of one nation or another (democratic, socialist, communist, etc …), or regardless of how we define the economies of the world (free market, planned, etc …), one constant remains: those individuals that are the most talented and most driven are generally the ones that will succeed. However, the catch is that particular types of governments or economic systems will influence how large of a percentage of that “most talented” group will succeed. Nonetheless, it’s pretty clear that somebody with talent has a better chance than somebody without.

    So I guess it comes down to finding the right balance. We want a form of government and a system of economics that rewards people for becoming successful, but also one that makes it as easy as possible to become successful. That’s a pretty difficult balance to strike.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @ksm_mmd,

    Thank you for raising valid points. I'll try to address them as best I can.

    It is very important to be extra careful when speaking of "society". I have found this alone to be the main mistake of people whose thinking is incoherent and convoluted. Society does not exist. Yes, you read it right. Society is a concept, a creation of the mind, an abstraction useful to incorporate to our thinking process provided one doesn't loose sight of the fact that society does not exist as a separate entity. Therefore society does not think, feel, opine, act or suffer. Keep that in mind each and every time a social visionary tells you what society wants or needs. He/she is just abusing the concept and what follows next in his speech is a pile of BS.

    So, if society doesn't exist..... an ideal society ( capitalist or any other kind ) exists even less. And why would it ? Are men perfect or ideal ? NO. Then a bunch of INDIVIDUALS can not be any better than the individuals themselves. Thus, it is foolish to speak of designing/wanting/building a society before we speak of how each individual behaves/relates with any other individual.

    Man is an imperfect rational being whose mind can only work at its best when is FREE, not coerced by anybody, least of all busybodies/do-gooders imposing their delusions about "society" on him. In all his imperfection, the most perfect he can be is when he understands he is at his best when free and respects the same freedom in others. Relative success then becomes a moot point. Of course men are vastly different in their talents and working ethics ( and luck ) but such is the nature of the game and NOBODY should have the right to destroy individual freedom to make his delusion about "society" possible.

    When I say that freedom is an inalienable right, I mean that NOBODY, NEVER, NOWHERE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES can touch my freedom. No means NO. When individuals DEMAND that for themselves and RESPECT that in every other, "we" get the best of what we can be.

    Applied to government, the most perfect it can be is when dedicated to preserve the right of individuals ( not society ) to be free. Only then again, individuals reach the best of what they can be.

    So government, please HANDS OFF. Just be there to protect individual's rights ( to freedom, life and property ) when another individual attacks them, and get the hell out of my life. Because if you don't, you become an aggression and therefore useless and unwelcome.

    And what is government anyway ? Just a bunch of individuals with an specific job to do. Historically it wasn't so. Government/Ruling was gained through military victory, imposed on other individuals under penalty of injury if not accepted as such. However we have come a long way, or at least your ( I'm assuming you are American ) very wise Founding Fathers did, when they established a limited government by the people, for the people. Government as a serving "entity" and not a ruling master. Long time has past and unfortunately now you are quickly becoming a fascist state where the president can order the killing of individuals not judged yet. You guys will regret having forgotten the wisdom of your constitution.

    And all for what ? Food stamp programs ? Social Security ponzi schemes ? Bloated offensive military ? socialized medicine ?

    Then you finally say "So I guess it comes down to finding the right balance. We want a form of government and a system of economics that rewards people for becoming successful, but also one that makes it as easy as possible to become successful. That’s a pretty difficult balance to strike."

    Not really. We shouldn't want a government that "rewards". Individuals need no reward. Individuals need to be left alone to pursue their own life, interact with their neighbors, contribute to their well being on a voluntary base. We don't need and shouldn't want a government to try and make it easier to become successful. Government can't do that using their monopoly of violence without necessarily looting another individuals. No, we want to become successful in the market, creating value for others and trading it willingly.

    Steve Jobs was hugely more talented than most. However, the only way he could benefit his own interest and increase that gap you are so worried about was to create many wonderful gadgets for our own ( lesser talented human beings ) use. In doing that, he benefited all of us.

  • Zachary Tyler

    You went on this rant after watching 10-minutes of the movie.
    Why even watch something that disagrees with your worldview if you're not even going to give it a chance?
    There's plenty of information out there that will convince you that you're right, just go there and camp out.

  • Zachary Tyler

    Ego Tripping!

  • http://www.facebook.com/daveewer David Ewer

    Great film! I really enjoyed this optimistic approach and felt inspired by the smiling folk from various parts of the world.
    It's up to all of us to make a better future, not politicians, bankers and the military, but the ordinary people.
    Not hierarchies but the Lowerarchy!
    Thanks :)

  • ksm_mmd

    @Samuel Gallop

    Well that was certainly an impressive extrapolation from my posted comment. I hardly know where to begin in my reply, but I think I will start with “society” and the question you raise of its existence. I may have used the term somewhat loosely, but I wasn’t using the word in any sort of esoteric or metaphysical sense. I’m not that complicated. Here, this is what I had in mind:

    society
    1. the totality of social relationships among organized groups of human beings or animals
    2. a system of human organizations generating distinctive cultural patterns and institutions and usually providing protection, security, continuity, and a national identity for its members

    By each of these two common definitions (from the World English Dictionary), it is clear that “society” is something that really does exist. Social relationships exist as do collections, or a totality, of those social relationships. Likewise human organizations with distinctive cultural patterns also exist, and so too do systems of these organizations. Society exists as a description of human interaction. And yes, as such, it cannot think or feel or want. I know that it is not an entity unto itself, and I apologize if my use the term implied otherwise.

    I agree that “ideal” societies do not actually exist because the term is an abstract concept used to describe the perfect conformity of human interaction to some rigorous definition. The nature of human interaction is far too complex to be captured in such a way. Nonetheless, it is still a useful concept when used in the sort of “thought experiment” I was trying to convey. I was simply trying to illustrate that as the implementation of any form of government or economy (both of which involve human societies, as defined above) is imagined to become increasingly “pure” or “ideal”, it is easy to see how troubling patterns and unintended consequences can begin to appear. At the extreme, I can’t think of any government or economic system that is capable of achieving its desired purpose unless one can somehow argue that it is possible to make very significant and large-scale changes to the nature of people themselves.

    You seem to have misinterpreted my statement about striving for a system of government and economics that rewards people for becoming successful. I did not say we want a government that rewards people. As you said, that would imply a nanny state that selectively doles out rewards to those individuals whose primary talent is sucking up to a bunch of bureaucrats. Did you really think that’s what I meant? No. A system of government and economics is a framework or set of rules for interacting with others in both civility and trade. The term says nothing at all about what form that system should take, only that some kind of system is needed. I used the term “reward” because different systems inherently enable (or inhibit) the success of the individual, and the success of the system itself, to different degrees. A system that is more “rewarding” is one that is more enabling (or less inhibiting) of the individual. It most certainly does not imply any sort of direct payment to the individual by some sort of regulating organization in exchange for services rendered.

    And yes, the distribution of wealth in a society is something I consider important. However, I did not say or even slight imply that I think wealth should be uniformly distributed by government eddict. Please note that the terms "distribution of wealth" and "wealth distribution" denote something that is inherent to a group of people. I am NOT using those terms in any sort of regulatory sense. But the reason I consider the concept important is because there is strong empirical evidence that people’s happiness and self-worth is highly dependent upon their wealth as measured relative to that of others in their community or nation. Also, there is evidence that whenever the wealth distribution of a nation swings too far either in the direction of imbalance or in the direction of uniformity, that the overall wealth and well being of that country begins to decline. This implies to me that there must be some optimal balance for wealth distribution. I do not advocate the imposition of some sort of strict and invariant distribution function. Only that it seems reasonable that the nature of a nation’s wealth distribution significantly influences the economical, psychological and emotional health and well-being of its people. (Refer to the term “Gini coefficient” for more information about this.)

    This is part of the reason I claim that the design of governments or economic systems is all about balancing lots of very difficult issues. But I did not indicate my support for any particular system. The reason is simple: there are no practical systems of government or economics that I find terribly impressive. They all have flaws that I consider unacceptable. However, by specifically criticizing some systems, I can see how I may have unintentionally given the impression that I support others. This is not the case. In fact, the systems I criticized most are actually the ones I consider the best of a poor lot. Personally, I favor economic systems with strong capitalistic leanings, and I favor governments that tend towards meritocracies and are as unobtrusive as possible. I assure you, there are few things I value more than personal freedom. It’s just that I am not blind to the shortcomings of these systems, and I would like to think that humanity can eventually come up with something better.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @ksm_mmd

    Thank you for your answer. It is a joy to find a thinking mind in these forums. It doesn't happen very often.

    " Society exists as a description of human interaction. And yes, as such, it cannot think or feel or want. I know that it is not an entity unto itself, and I apologize if my use the term implied otherwise......Nonetheless, it is still a useful concept when used in the sort of “thought experiment” I was trying to convey. I was simply trying to illustrate that as the implementation of any form of government or economy ....... At the extreme, I can’t think of any government or economic system that is capable of achieving its desired purpose unless one can somehow argue that it is possible to make very significant and large-scale changes to the nature of people themselves."

    I could see you are smart enough to understand the argument but you never know who else is reading and unfortunately these forums are full of very confused social wannabe planners. Thus my prevention. However I can still see that you talk about the "implementation of government and economy". I'm sorry mate but economy is the actions (informed by conscious decisions) INDIVIDUALS take to sustain their life. Trust me, this is not the definition you will get in a finance college but it is way more accurate. The economy is not a system that you can implement. Neither a system we give ourselves. Economy you make as you go, period.

    An individual can take such actions freely or coerced. For his own rational interest or as a tool of someone else's ( not society's ) interest. There is no other alternative. To the degree the individual ( not society ) acts more or less free, we ( the collective if you may ) get the best of what this individual mind can produce...or not. Now line up 250M individuals and apply the same reasoning. The principle remains the same.

    However, a government we can give to ourselves, which is basically a "body" tasked with the protection of a legal framework. This legal framework will first have to be informed with a certain philosophy. Here it is where the rubber meets the road. Either individuals in the community acknowledge the individual right for freedom for themselves and their fellow man and commit to its protection or they believe that something else is a superior moral value and then strive to impose it, necessarily destroying freedom in the process. Bastiat explains this wonderfully well in his work THE LAW: How social planners think of themselves morally superior to the rest, and set off to implement ( impose really ) their vision upon others. They use the law to mold "society" to their vision ( delusion ) trying to change the nature of people themselves, instead of respecting it.

    "And yes, the distribution of wealth in a society is something I consider important..... the reason I consider the concept important is because there is strong empirical evidence that people’s happiness and self-worth is highly dependent upon their wealth as measured relative to that of others in their community or nation. Also, there is evidence that whenever the wealth distribution of a nation swings too far either in the direction of imbalance or in the direction of uniformity, that the wealth and well being of that country begins to decline. This implies to me that there must be some optimal balance for wealth distribution."

    Much has been written about distribution of wealth by authors who never had it very clear in their minds how wealth comes to be. The creation of wealth in a free market by free individuals using their own free minds, is in itself perfectly distributive of the wealth created, because each and every factor contributing to that creation is paid its own fair price depending on how much it contributed. And the price is fair because it is the outcome of individual's free will expressed in free trade with other individuals accordingly with their OWN SCALE OF PREFERENCES.
    Therefore, if you personally don't like the resultant distribution you can try to force a different one, but then you mean to impose your own scale of preferences upon the ones of your fellow men engaged in the creation of that wealth, destroying their freedom in the process. That, apart from useless, is detrimental and disrespectful.

    So, in theory the argument for a forced REdistribution of wealth is morally untenable.

    What happens in the real world ? The usual..... HUGE CONFUSION.

    Ignorant do-gooders ( with a passion for social overhaul and little respect for their fellow man ) take a look at the current situation and reach the conclusion that the gap between the haves and the haves not is far too wide for their liking. This they think, must be because there must be some inherent flaw in capitalism that favors the exploitation of the working "classes" ( again classes do not exist, show me one if you can ) by the rich, which they identify with the producers. Then in an act of extreme idiocy they come out on the streets to protest against capitalism and demand more protection from the nanny state and a "better redistribution" of wealth, which they will get to their own detriment.

    Why to their own detriment ???? Because they fail to understand the cause of the gap and attribute it to the wrong "entity". A few years down the line, they will find themselves in the same streets protesting for the same reason. Rinse and repeat.
    The Japanese say that if you are faced with a problem and you try a solution and after some prudent amount of time, the problem doesn't seem to be fixed, it is always because you didn't understand the nature of the problem to begin with.

    The cause of the growing inequality is not with free men sustaining their lives under a legal framework of respect for freedom and property..... CAPITALISM. How could it be a problem that free men produce and trade ???? It can't.
    The real cause is a massive FRAUD perpetrated by the wielders of the money power, the government + central bank + banking industry, which hold a MONOPOLY that allows them to control half of every transaction in the economy. A monopoly they always abuse ( of course ) to the detriment of their "customers".
    This monopoly allows them to rob the unsuspecting masses blind, until they wake up in a situation of poverty and debt slavery. That is socialism, not capitalism.

    Under a capitalist "system", money would be what the market ( people ) decides it is. Credit would always equal real savings. Bubbles would not exist. The banking industry would be unprivileged. Governments would be limited and serving and MEN WOULD BE FREE AND THEREFORE THE BEST THEY CAN POSSIBLY BE.

    Unless and until individuals are educated enough to understand this fact and start protesting the right enemy, the criminals behind this scheme are too comfortable and happy to dispense the mob a few crumbs and carry on business as usual.

    One last note.....paraphrasing Gandhi.... There are no paths for FREEDOM ... FREEDOM IS the path.

    Take care.

  • http://twitter.com/RaggedVixen RaggedVixen

    Empowering. Thanks.

  • WiseGapist

    The reason I'm not writing a fuller reply is because imo ksm_mmd nailed it with his response, though you totally failed to address his point about the well measured social effects of income inequality and instead descend into unrelated assertions about how you feel wealth is generated...
    The following quotes from you are so ignor@nt/absurd I find it odd that you post in such a condescending and insulting manner towards the people on this board,

    "Therefore, if you personally don't like the resultant distribution you can try to force a different one, but then you mean to impose your own scale of preferences upon the ones of your fellow men engaged in the creation of that wealth, destroying their freedom in the process. That, apart from useless, is detrimental and disrespectful."

    Lets unpack some of those terms shall we...
    resultant distribution = one man being born into a poor family with limited access to good quality education... Another being born into a rich family with access to drastically better education and surrounding social influences.

    'impose your own scale of preferences upon the ones of your fellow men' - poor person's scale of preferences being, to not be so disadvantaged/poor , rich man's preference to stay rich. I think it is very much the preference of a minority rich that the poor majority are subjected to in a capitalist system.

    'disrespectful' - Yes workers, show your f"&king rich betters their due respect, after all, they own the business.^^
    -------------------------------------

    "So, in theory the argument for a forced REdistribution of wealth is morally untenable."
    -And hording wealth, living in glutinous excess while millions die in poverty is more morally correct than 'REdistributing' a relatively small portion of that excessive wealth to the nation's most impoverished?

    --------------------------------------

    "Ignorant do-gooders ( with a passion for social overhaul and little respect for their fellow man )"
    -It is you who seemingly has little respect for your fellow man, those 'ignorant do-gooders' are responsible for every step society has taken toward greater equality and less prejudice.

    Here are some issues I have with a totally 'free' capitalist system, any banking involvement aside..
    -collusion of industry to fix prices and keep wages low.
    -the creation of market monopolies.
    -incentive to create artificial scarcity.
    -the system inherently supports the rich becoming ever richer and the poor, by and large, remaining poor...

    In your definitions you seem to mix the freedom of business and it's owners with the freedom of all citizens, as if an encroachment on business freedoms is akin to degrading all personal freedoms. This is not the case.
    -------------------
    Do you feel all state provided services should be privatised?
    If so, what is your stance on education?

    Capitalism in actuality is a rigged game, it's not a simple as 'he's trying harder so he has more money, whereas he's lazy and therefore has less money so it's fair' are you so naive?

    Also, capitalism is a massively inefficient way to utilize resources.

    You seem very certain that your definition of some terms is utterly correct. I feel that the definitions ksm_mmd brought forward were far more accurate. The balance is everything.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @WiseGapist,

    Sorry if my response isn't gonna be fully comprehensive but I keep fuller ones for people with valid arguments and sound reasoning. Yours however, is the classic case of someone whose view is built upon fallacies, and there are too many of those to address. You need to do your homework.

    "resultant distribution = one man being born into a poor family with limited access to good quality education... Another being born into a rich family with access to drastically better education and surrounding social influences."

    What the hell has the resultant distribution of income of an specific production have to do with your silly rant ??... (sigh)

    "-And hording wealth, living in glutinous excess while millions die in poverty is more morally correct than 'REdistributing' a relatively small portion of that excessive wealth to the nation's most impoverished?"

    There is no excessive wealth. That doesn't exist. Wealth is wealth, neither excessive nor insufficient. Whatever wealth is created in a free market is ALWAYS distributed fairly through the mechanism of prices, profits and losses. To force a different distribution, you have to do away with the decisions participants in that creation took to trade their produce for others'. You wanna do that ? Name your actions properly.... Theft.....not "redistribution".

    Hoarding you say ? Living in glutinous excess ?..... hahahaha. You don't know what you're talking about. The vast majority of income the rich make is invested dollar for dollar in capital goods ( factories and equipment ) so that their companies can keep using labor and produce even more goods and services. Or what do you think you would spend 50M$ if you could produce that kind of wealth ? Hookers and luxury cars ? Tax that "excess" away to "redistribute" it and all you get is a decreased future production of consumer goods and services and fewer jobs ( decreased real income = misery ). Great !!!....( another sigh )

    "those 'ignorant do-gooders' are responsible for every step society has taken toward greater equality and less prejudice."

    Your History is a little hazy. Do-gooders have always been the facilitators for the most gruesome tyrants in History. Every single mass genocide has always been applauded by retards on the basis of "the common good". As if you could show me the fallacious common good.... (more sighs)

    "Here are some issues I have with a totally 'free' capitalist system, any banking involvement aside..
    -collusion of industry to fix prices and keep wages low.
    -the creation of market monopolies.
    -incentive to create artificial scarcity.
    -the system inherently supports the rich becoming ever richer and the poor, by and large, remaining poor..."

    If these are your issues, you need to read and reflect on what real capitalism really is, before you keep citing every fallacy on the textbook. I recommend Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson.

    "Do you feel all state provided services should be privatised?
    If so, what is your stance on education?"

    Yes, except the ones that need an agent (the government) to be invested with the right to use force as retaliation, namely the military, police and judicial system.

    Stance on education ? That sadly, you don't have one. No, seriously now. Educational services are just another kind of consumer service, just like hairdressing. Why would any consumer want to get his from a monopolist ???? ( shrug here )

    "Also, capitalism is a massively inefficient way to utilize resources."

    Again.....what does capitalism have to do with efficiency ??!!! Like mixing apples and oranges. You don't know what you're spouting about.

    Capitalism is freedom to act in the sustainment of your life, to provide for your personal needs as you see fit, as long as you respect the same freedom in others. Everything else that you see wrong with capitalism emanates from your almost total ignorance of what the hell capitalism is.

    I already pointed where the real problem lies. Read my earlier post. Should you still not get it, I'm afraid there's not much more I can do.

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    November 1st is the world premiere of the movie THE CHANGE AGENTS in Nelson BC. Look it up, and go see it when it hits your town.
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  • WiseGapist

    Firstly, you argue like an insulting child.. hahaha *sigh* (shrug). At least attempt to argue your points with some dignity without the snide remarks and bs.

    You are preaching a purely theoretical free market capitalist model, essentially reading from an economics textbook without looking at the real world effects of capitalism as a mechanism for wealth distribution.

    "Whatever wealth is created in a free market is ALWAYS distributed fairly through the mechanism of prices, profits and losses."

    - Stop reading the theory... Look at the appalling income inequality that exists within the US. That is not fair distribution, and economic intervention by the state is not the cause. I suppose you're are against a fixed minimum wage?

    "The vast majority of income the rich make is invested dollar for dollar in capital goods ( factories and equipment ) so that their companies can keep using labor and produce even more goods and services."

    Capital goods = company assets, assets that generate further stockpiled/reinvested profit.. The company reinvests the vast majority of its profits into increasing its means of production to then produce more profit, further expanding its assets etc.. Yes the company continues to use labour, but the ever increasing wealth of assets and profit is never accurately distributed to the production line worker.. He will keep the same low wage (another capitalist incentive to maximize profit) while core stock holders enjoy disproportionately large bonuses and the company's (not the worker's) bank account swells.

    "Again.....what does capitalism have to do with efficiency?"
    Precisely the point. Do you not feel that, especially in these times of stretched resources, that the economic system we choose should centre very much on efficiency.

    To go back to your earlier post as you suggested...
    "CAPITALISM is quite simply the system (political/economical) that arises NATURALLY when men are FREE to sustain their lives without been coerced by nobody. Freedom as the supreme value, responsibility as corollary, non aggression principle as the only limitation. That is capitalism."
    -Where do you mention the part about private ownership? I'm talking about the numerous dictionary definitions ofc, not your slightly odd, "FREE to sustain their lives without been coerced by nobody" definition. Also, responsibility being corollary? You must be joking.

  • Samuel Gallop

    Haha. You don't expect me to argue with you, do you ? That could only happen IF you had in fact any knowledge with which to argue. You don't. Your "thinking" is the classic collection of fallacies, refuted "theories" and grave misunderstandings that only someone lacking basic economic training can have.
    To understand the world, one needs a correct theoretical framework. Otherwise, one can't make sense of their perceptions. That happens to you. It can be cured but I don't think you want to make the effort. Too bad.

    You make value judgments, unbacked claims and bring forward long ago discredited "theories" as if they were relevant. They ain't.

    It's embarrassing:
    - your insistence on "efficiency" and "the economic system we choose"....hahahaha. You/we don't get to choose s_it mate. Either you respect freedom or you don't. You don't. That's ok, but don't try to disguise it.
    - the minimum wage...hahaha. You can't be serious. Why would the price for the rent of labor have a floor by government decree ???!!!! hahaha. Why don't we have a minimum price for ram memory or paper or tomatoes ? Ridiculous. It is ridiculous because you never ever really stopped to think that a wage is just another price in the economy. Keep trying pal.
    - "profit is never accurately distributed to the production line worker.".... This is a good one. I was wondering how long would it take for you to mention the Marxist theory of labor value. It has been refuted a million times, discredited another million, logically trashed in the bin for good and yet here you are, oblivious to the whole thing. Good job !

    I can only reiterate myself here. Make an effort to educate yourself. Review my posts, there are leads you can use. There is plenty of material available for free on the net. Make use of it. Understand the difference between real thinkers and charlatans. Learn to think critically.

    I'm done here. All the best.

  • WiseGapist

    All I see is you claiming everything I say is fallacy with no actual argument to back up any of your points. In the time you've spent expressing how right you think you are and how fallacious my argument is, you could have actually attempted to disprove just one of my points for all to see. Idm if you paste it from another brainwashed capitalist's earlier refutation. You still argue like an insulting child, mixing in snide remarks and bs. Repeating how uneducated I must be and how correct you think you are is no substitute for a considered rebuttal. Also funny that you make a point about my 'unbacked claims'.

    I don't see how needing a 'correct theoretical framework' to understand perception explains your arguing in purely theoretical terms against real world examples of that theory applied.

    If you would like to throw any links my way that offer a sound refutation of any of my points I'll gladly take the time to view it. Reviewing your posts will not provide such information.

    Your assertions that:
    -society and a 'common good' doesn't exist.
    -that there are no social classes.
    -that capitalism can be defined without reference to private ownership of the means of production.
    -that excessive or insufficient wealth does not exist.

    could really use some backing up. Please show me why I am such a fool for believing to the contrary on those points... throw me links, paste definitions from cited sources, w/e you like to save you time and shut my anti-capitalist mouth.

    I'd also love to read why the collusion of industry to fix prices and keep wages low is fallacy, Adam Smith didn't seem to think so... Don't worry about typing and rewording, just toss me some good sources. ;)

  • Samuel Gallop

    Did I not say I was done here ? You may think my job here is to write a treatise to prove you wrong. It isn't. You can keep your anti capitalist mouth open for as long as you want.
    Besides, it is utterly impossible that you had the time to read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson since my last post until your new idiotic set of claims. Therefore I conclude that you are still in darkness as to the very basic flaws in your understanding of the economy and moral principles.

    All your assertions have been adequately addressed. By the way, your third one is laughable. I never said capitalism can disregard property. Much to the contrary, individual freedom includes the right to freely own, use, trade, and dispose of property, starting with your first property: one's body and brain. But you couldn't make the connection, could you ????? No wonder....

    Also, I've accused you and your silly claims of adding up to nothing more than a will to steal from others to benefit yourself on some perceived inequality. What do you think can be stolen if not property ?

    Again:

    - the short way....... read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, or Schiff's How Economies Grow and Why it doesn't, or Kelly's The Case for Legalizing Capitalism, or Murphy's Lessons for the Young Economist, or Rand's Capitalism The Unknown Ideal. They are not scholar works but they will suffice to convince you to drop your fairy tale economics and start learning properly.
    Complementary you could just google " free market economics " or "common sense economics " and see where it takes you. It'l do you good.

    - the long way....... here's the sequence I would follow: Smith, Menger, Boehm Bawerk, Lachmann, Mises, Hayek, Chodorov, Rothbard, Huerta de Soto, Rand, Younkins and Reisman. Allow a couple of years but you come out wiser.

    Francis Bacon said that "nature to be commanded needs first to be obeyed". You obey nature by first understanding how it works. Stop asking me to do the work for you and do your homework.

    Enough said. This time for real.

  • WiseGapist

    It is not your job to prove me wrong or even respond if you are 'done', it was a request that for you to provide a little more foundation to your argument instead of writing paragraphs about how correct you think you are. I'm not asking you to do my homework, I just wondered where you draw some of your assertions from.

    You failed to answer ksm's points.... You then failed to answer mine, and all with the same bs condescension you used in your initial comment. You can say w/e you like and then complain when people ask for an explanation, up to you if you want to spend the time clarifying. If you were as well read in that area as you are suggesting I become, I would think you could construct a better argument.

    "some perceived inequality" - remove your head from your @rse.

    Also, thanks for the reading recommendations, I have the day off today and intend to get stuck into Economics in One Lesson, I downloaded the pdf yesterday.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NBCT2R6JMZKGSYPULY5ZU6FT3M veggielife

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world. no one thinks of changing himself"

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  • ksm_mmd

    @Samuel Gallop –

    Haha! This is kinda fun. You really make my watch how I frame my comments. But should I hold you to the same standard? For instance, you claim that economies are defined by the actions that a network of people take to sustain their lives. Then you make an argument in favor of a very pure form of capitalism and a very limited form of government. Can’t you see that there is no way for the latter to exist if the former is true? Free trade, capitalism and limited government inexorably lead to a very, very small percentage of the population that has virtually all of the wealth and all of the power. In fact, it leads to exactly the sort of fraud, government manipulation and monopoly that dominates the world today.

    All of this is related to my earlier claim that, at some level, all forms of government may be viewed as a kind of meritocracy. If we imagine a random network of people (I use that phrase because you apparently dislike the word ‘society’), there will be some that become wealthier than others. As they become wealthier, they gain more personal freedom and more power to influence the behavior of others. This relative freedom and power allows them to manipulate the legal system in order to set up safeguards to protect their wealth. In other words, their increasing power allows them to change the rules of human interaction so that they enjoy advantages that the rest of the people in their network do not. Left unchecked, this behavior will lead to a very small percentage of people that possess nearly all of the wealth and exert virtually absolute power over the lives of the other people in their community. And they accomplish this by exactly those tactics that you rightly denigrate: massive fraud and monopoly. But what you miss is that they are able to employ these tactics only because they acquired so much power in the first place. In other words, there was no regulatory system preventing them from it.

    Perhaps you would claim that they deserve their wealth and power since it was earned through competition with their peers? But what about their subsequent ability to tilt the playing field forever in their favor? You can’t expect them to fight for wealth and power only to then never take advantage of what they have won. And what about the advantage that their children and their children’s children are given over the children of others? An advantage gained simply by being born ‘lucky’. Imagine the perpetuation of this process over dozens of generations, and what you have in the end is the world that we currently inhabit. All of the flaws in the system that you rage against are there for precisely those reasons you are championing. A natural companion of wealth is the power to control your life and, by extension, the lives of those around you. This is the principle reason most people want to become wealthy in the first place (whether they realize it or not). And after reaching a certain level of wealth and power, this ‘control’ comes in the form of government manipulation, fraud and monopoly.

    You go on and on about the inherent morality of free trade and the virtues of capitalism, but you’ve apparently never really thought about their eventual consequences. You cannot separate government and economy and sociology. They are so tightly and intricately interwoven that it is impossible to change one aspect of the system without changing the entire system. This is why I say it is all about achieving the right balance. And don’t start with that nonsense about how free trade leads to a perfect distribution of wealth. Just because a thing naturally occurs doesn’t make it perfect. What the system you are proposing would lead to is a very large population of serfs and a very tiny population of nobility, and that is certainly not a distribution that I would consider perfect.

    This is a hard problem. No question about it. I don’t claim to have the answers, but in my experience, the only way to even begin to understand where you stand on such complicated issues is to attempt to define what you consider to be the ideal outcome. In this case, what is your definition of the perfect civilization? Of the perfect state of human existence? And not just one individual’s existence! Assuming you can do this, the next step is to imagine a process that could bring such a world into existence. As you’re trying to imagine such a process, don’t neglect all of the conflicting desires and needs of every person in this make-believe perfect civilization. Remember that most of the rest of the world’s population is going to be in strong disagreement with whatever it is that you favor. And in the only way that really matters, their reasons are every bit as valid as yours - that is, their reasons are valid simply because they form an effective opposition to your own. Again, I come back to the issue of balance.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @ksm_mmd,

    I'll start at the very end if you don't mind. I'll do it ironically so that you can start to see the absurdity of your claims.

    I am a big fan of dogs. I own several, volunteer at a shelter and could probably lose my temper at the sight of one being mistreated by another person. I see people who dislike dogs as somewhat r******* Love for dogs ( who could be opposed to that, right ? ) is a supreme moral value for me. Therefore I consider that the ideal world/perfect civilization would be one in which dogs had a great life. If it was up to me laws would be enacted to punish very severely those individuals who mistreat them and incentivize caring owners. There's a slight problem though.... in order to reach my lovely view of a perfect world, those individuals who might not agree with me would have to be trampled. Their liberty has to be taken away so that I can get away with my "vision". Maybe if I can get some other like minded people on board with me on this, it wouldn't look so arbitrary, right ? I mean, there's strength in numbers. It wouldn't be just me but "society" driving this view forward. That should make it more acceptable, shouldn't it ? I better start a platform and get active. Next step is a political party. Wow, I'm getting there. I can feel it.

    Anyway. I'm shocked that you keep asking me to clarify something which is so crystal clear that is embarrassing. I advocate INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM and the NON AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE. Those are moral principles applicable individualistically. Line up a group of individuals who hold the same principles and voilá... a political system.
    I don't know why you ask me to "imagine a process that could bring such a world into existence"...... Have you not yet understood that I'm NO SOCIAL VISIONARY ????? That I despise them with all my heart !!!!! That anyone who thinks he has the right to imagine a world and impose it on others should be hanged from the highest tree we can find ??????

    I want freedom for me and I'm willing to respect yours. That is the only way both can be happy at the same time. That is how a "society" can be THE BEST WE HUMAN SO FRIGGIN IMPERFECT BEINGS CAN BE.

    I hope it is clear now because I'm running out of ways to say it.

    I'll be back to comment the first part of your post later. Suffice it is to say that I'm surprised how you can put together such a collection of non sequiturs and slippery slope "arguments" and press "Post" without remorse.... but we'll see about that later.

  • mickkeefy

    samuel gallop

    wake up hypocrite, the education is corrupted.. they teach you what they want you to learn, everything is corrupted and control by one percent of the populatio, can u not see whats going on?. Since u are born u have been taught about religion, patriotism, wealth, class, competition etc.. All of this elements are a myth used by martyrs in order to mislead and manipulate the public opinion. Capitalism socialism communism, all of them just dont work, read history and see the facts in front of your eyes. Because they have all the same common goal: maximizing profit, the best modern strategy of slavery cause we live in a system of debt and debt is slavery.. I really have pity for you, u have still time to discover the truth and see how the system really works.. First watch all the zeitgeist films for a start, stop reading the news ans watching the media, because its all a lie and be open minded for new information, forget what u have learn in school my friend, its all bull****

  • ksm_mmd

    @Samuel Gallop –

    I apologize for the length of my previous post. You were correct to recognize that the most important part was the last paragraph, anyway, and it was good of you to play along with the little thought experiment that I suggested. You and I start from very nearly the same place in our imagined perfect civilization. Also, you began a line of reasoning similar to my own with your discussion about how such a thing might be realized. But then, as soon as the problem became difficult, you stopped and retreated back to your ideal vision. Your argument seems to be that if only everybody else in the world would come to their senses and be exactly like you, then everything would be just fine.

    But of course, everybody isn’t like you. Not everybody has the same basic needs or desires as everybody else. For example, lots of people don’t have the same desire for independence as you and I, nor the same respect for the freedom of others. And not all of those people are stupid, either. In fact, many are quite brilliant; it’s just that their ultimate objectives arise from a different philosophical premise. As the name implies, this philosophical premise goes deeper than mere logic. To put it in mathematical terms, it is an individual’s axiomatic set for behavior. As such, logical arguments are built upon it. Logical arguments cannot change it, it changes them. By definition, if a logical argument conflicts with a set of axioms, then it is the argument that is false, not the axioms. It makes no difference if we disagree with an individual’s set of behavioral axioms, or to what extent we disagree. They exist, and not everybody’s are the same. That’s the important thing, and that one fact establishes all of the rules for my little thought experiment. Perhaps the precise nature of these guiding principles in any particular individual is the result of some complex soup of genetics and environment, but as I said, the how and the why of it is of little importance to the problem at hand.

    Now, some of these people that disagree with certain elements of your ideal civilization will have no compunction whatsoever in gathering together with large groups of others who share in a vision of one more similar to their own . They probably don’t think political processes are fundamentally evil, or at least they think that political processes offer greater potential for good than for bad. Regardless of whether we agree with that perspective, political parties begin to form, small ones merge to make bigger ones, and before long there are some that are huge and very powerful. In light of such developments, it doesn’t really matter if you are standing off to the side of this enormous organization, shouting that they have it all wrong. Wrong by who’s standard? They are behaving in accordance with their own guiding principles. To them, they are right and you are the stupid one. And after all, they ARE the ones with the power. By that very practical standard of measure, it’s hard to argue that they’re doing it all wrong.

    And by the way, your proclaimed respect for non-aggression would ring much truer if your comments included a bit more respectful reasoning and a lot fewer baseless insults.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @ksm_mmd,

    "as soon as the problem became difficult, you stopped and retreated back to your ideal vision. Your argument seems to be that if only everybody else in the world would come to their senses and be exactly like you, then everything would be just fine."

    If that seems to be my argument, I'm doing a very poor job to express my thinking.

    THAT IS PRECISELY NOT MY ARGUMENT.

    I didn't retreat back to my ideal vision. I don't have one. There's no need for one anyway.

    My argument is..... man is a mean, weak, miserable, lying creature. Man will try to hurt you, take advantage of you, manipulate you and rob you at the slightest opportunity he has available. This can't be changed.
    And you know what ? IT DOESN'T MATTER. REALLY, IT'S JUST FINE.
    Nature is not perfect, it just IS. All we can do is to accommodate it so that DESPITE this gruesome man's nature, individuals can live together in a community and reap the benefits of doing so.

    The only moral/political system that is congruent with our "can't be changed and it's perfectly ok as it is nature" and nonetheless allow us individuals to live peacefully and develop to be the best we can be is.................. FREEDOM AS SUPREME VALUE AND THE NON AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE AS THE ONLY LIMITATION.

    In the realm of economics, that means...... FREE MARKET CAPITALISM. Not interventionism, not socialism, not fascism, not corporativism, not the current non capitalist status quo, NO.... CAPITALISM.

    It is not just moral, but the ONLY moral "system". Any other "social vision" put together by some "social lunatic" has to be pushed down our throats because its "implementation" necessarily entails trampling someone's freedom.

    "By definition, if a logical argument conflicts with a set of axioms, then it is the argument that is false, not the axioms."

    Oh dear, it's exactly the other way round. If a perfect logical deduction leads us to contradictory conclusions, it is always because your set of axioms was wrong to begin with.

    The difference between you and me is that I have come to accept nature as it is. It is a much needed prerequisite to understand what is possible and good, and what is simply intellectual ma_tur_bation.

    "Wrong by who’s standard? They are behaving in accordance with their own guiding principles. To them, they are right and you are the stupid one. And after all, they ARE the ones with the power. By that very practical standard of measure, it’s hard to argue that they’re doing it all wrong."

    Wrong. Just wrong. Wrongness is an absolute. Do you find it hard to argue with deluded communists ? or Nazis ? Just because they gathered some impressive numbers and also had their "own guiding principles" ? Well, try the standard of freedom. You may find it easier to argue now.

    I find your idea of striking a perfect balance pretty odd. Which combination of a good ( freedom and respect ) and an evil ( coercion ) do you think is "perfect" ?????!!! I would take all the good and none of the evil, and strive to keep it like that, but that's just me.

    By the way, that notion of yours that we are in this current situation because we hold freedom as supreme value and just the normal course of events has led to massive fraud and monopoly is at odds with both logic and history. You should take a look at that.

    Everybody's ideals, visions, values, preferences and so on, are strictly personal and non transferable. As such, the only way to reconcile yours with mine is to hold your right to have them as the supreme value and willful consenting trade in a free market as the ONLY MORAL MECHANISM of interrelation between you and me.
    No third party regulation, no "perfect balance", no social pressure, NONE. Just you and me deciding what is best for each other's personal interest and trading accordingly.

    You see ? SIMPLE.

  • Samuel Gallop

    Thanks man for your contribution. Now I can see.

    Next please.....

  • ksm_mmd

    @Samuel Gallop

    If your only objective is to make a statement about the sort of world that you would like to live in, then that’s certainly your prerogative. But I have to say that there doesn’t seem to be much practical value in it. The world for which you’ve expressed a preference doesn’t exist. And from everything I have seen, it can’t exist. There are, will always be, and have always been people who do not respect the freedom of others. Some of them are good people who simply want to live in a world where everybody pulls together to achieve some common and admirable goal (yes, I too think that those people are naïve). And of course there are lots of others who will cheat, lie, steal, manipulate and do practically anything else in order to get whatever they think will make them happier. The mere existence of both of these types makes your ‘live and let live’ philosophy completely unattainable. This reality also invalidates your arguments in favor of any ‘pure’ form of free trade, capitalism and limited government. The only sort of world in which such systems could even exist, let alone function, is the one that you said was your ideal civilization.

    The most important step in solving any problem is to understand and accept the problem as it really is. It’s a useless observation to say something to the effect that “if only people were different, the world would be a better place.” Of course it’s true, but the fact remains, people are not different. So any form of government or economic system capable of achieving any success at all must recognize that. Any argument or proposal that includes the phrase “if only …” isn’t worth pursuing as a practical solution.

    In your comment about axioms and logic, you introduced the element of ‘conclusions’ which is obviously an important component, but one that I didn’t explicitly address. My point is that a logical argument which either does not start with an axiomatic set, or does not abide by that set once started, is an incorrect argument. But if a correct logical argument proceeds from a given set of axioms and arrives at an unexpected conclusion, then it is the expected conclusion that is incorrect; not the axioms and not the argument. Now it’s true that one has a choice in such a case: he may either modify his expectations and accept the conclusion, or change the axioms in hopes of reaching his original expected conclusion. But recall that in our discussion, this axiomatic set represents an individual’s fundamental nature. That means it is very unlikely that he will be able to change it even if he wanted to. In such a scenario, he is far more likely to reevaluate his expectations and decide that he didn’t really want what he thought he wanted in the first place. People often call this sort of thing a “revelation,” but they very seldom call it “transformative.”

    Your tendency to extrapolate my comments far beyond any reasonable interpretation in order to support your straw man arguments has become tiresome. As have your self-contradictory comments such as “I don’t have [an ideal vision]” only to follow-up with a description of your ideal vision. It’s clear that you’ve become vested in your beliefs to the extent that you cannot bring yourself to consider any other perspective. It is equally clear that you’ve arrived at those beliefs without fully thinking them through. The world isn’t as simple as you seem to believe.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @ksm_mmd,

    It's kinda funny how you can be so hellbent on the futile and dangerous mind's exercise of imagining "ideal worlds" and "paths to get us there". Do you not really understand that your ideals/preferences/visions are yours and yours only ? Accept reality, man. There isn't an ideal world. There can't be one, there's not need for one and I'm certainly not the kind of person you can accuse of promoting one. Ideal is an empty concept anyway. Show me "ideal" in nature if you can or stop discussing around it.

    By the way, find in my posts any "if only".... if you can. Weird, isn't it ?

    Freedom is the NECESSARY LOGICAL CONCLUSION if you want to reconcile everybody's interests. It is not a WISH or an IDEAL. It follows naturally from the premises..... man is rational, owner of his own body and mind, with his own set of interests and he can only achieve greatness through freedom. Take that away to pursue some other different moral principle and you nullify man.

    I'm not expressing a preference either. I'm only saying freedom as supreme moral value and non aggression principle are UNASSAILABLE conclusions logically derived from man's nature. And this principles hold in all places and all historic times, they can't be invalidated. You point out that the current situation can not be labeled as anywhere near it. No **** ! I hadn't noticed !!!! hahaha.

    Of course there will be men who attack others, no doubt. That is why there is room for a government: My freedom I can use in self defense when you attack me. As a practical, more efficient way to avoid being at each others throats all day long, a community can appoint some individuals and delegate in them the task of using force only as retaliation when some individual decides he doesn't want to respect other's life or property. All good as long as it is LIMITED.

    But what happens when that government acquires ( through violence or suffrage ) the "right" to use force not only as retaliation but also to initiate force against those same individuals whose individual rights once swore to protect for example by regulating strictly private matters ???? It becomes the aggressor. It's not there to serve you anymore. It turned the tables on you. With what excuse ? THAT DOESN'T MATTER. You are not free anymore and you have no way to protect your interests.

    And all those good but naive people that you mention ? DANGEROUS. Study History and you will find an interesting phenomena. Tyrants could only carry out their "social overhaul" because there was a mass of good naive people who JUSTIFIED the substitution of freedom as SUPREME VALUE for the fad of the time.

    To finish this exchange I'll say that it is foolish of you to say that I haven't thought this through. It should be obvious that is not the case. The end of the thinking road is pretty simple though. Once you learn to think in principles and let go of dreams and empty concepts, it all becomes clear. I hope you can find that clarity some day.

    It's been a pleasure to "talk" to you. All the best.

  • WiseGapist

    You're seriously wasting your time trying to use reason against Samuel's flawed and narrow-minded logic. You worded your argument more eloquently and less offensively than I did and he still responds in that poor tone with you. ^^ Pointless.

  • tlo9966

    I agree with you! I will dream of a world where no one can possess a concentration of wealth and power. No one and no organization. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I disagree that we have to accept the way the world is. I will never accept this enslavement.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WLBNEV2QH2R5SWTEELOXOJQPEM N B

    @WiseGapist

    Yes, I think you are right. Even on those points in which we agree, Samuel can't seem to resist the temptation of presenting himself as a condescending a**. Even if he has to fabricate opposing arguments in order to do so. It's clear that he is more interested in arguing about issues than he is in discussing them. That's a shame because I really do think his views are generally on the right track. But his unwillingness to extend his perception of the world beyond a very limited set of ideas has led me to conclude that he simply hasn't taken the time to fully evaluate the problem. But he appears somewhat intelligent, so perhaps someday ...

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    Great comment, but help me here:

    "GOVERNMENT as the MONOPOLISTIC producer of the means of exchange"

    - nope, this would be the banking sector. Most signicantly since the vast majority of money production/creation became digital. See "97% Owned".

    "[GOVERNMENT is the] controller of his servant/protegeé the banking industry"

    - nope. Since governments don't produce their own money; they borrow it from the banks, at interest, and are therefore subject to the same paradigm as us. Many would even argue that IF governments created their own money, instead of borrowing it, this would be a step in the right direction and indeed force the banks into servitude. Right now it is the other way around. See "The Money Masters".

    "Find out when you lost your freedom and fight to get it back."

    - because of the above, we are in a type of Corporate Fascism in which the state answers to the corporations through its financial obligations, and even servitude, to the banks. The result being a well documented role of state and corporations existing as in a revolving door relationship. So any fight would be directed not to the state, but to ITS imprisoner, the banking sector. To reiterate my point, a democratic government serves the wellbeing of its people. Corporations serve profiteering.

    "Find out how you got tricked into giving away your liberties..."

    - To most this would appear to be a Governement driven agenda, but scratching beneath the surface it becomes quickly evident that the NATURE of our ''global free market capitalism' requires, nay demands infinite growth for its survival. Meaning wars over resources, and subjugation of the people from revolt and uprising. Our liberties have been (and are being) taken by the banks, via our reprogrammed subserviant Governments to meet the needs of the capitalist requirements of perpetual growth. See "Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine".

    "Educate yourself. THINK for once."

    - The insinuation here is that you see the truth that others do not, with the attempt to address this with a condescending style and tone; to shake people into your world view?

    Q: Do you work in the financial industry?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    I like the way you write. The "I don't suffer fools gladly" way of writing and the almost impatient reluctance to share your opinion, has the added illusion that you are somehow privvy to special knowledge. That, combined with your outspoken education that is.

    I'm paying attention, I'm reading...and reading...and well, I see a lot of condemnation, and smoke and mirror distractions, but not a lot of substance.

    I came across Ayn Rand in "All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace" (I watch all of Adam Curtis' docs) - a strangely, cold and defensive woman with souless black eyes...but found her ideas intriguing because she caught the attention of Alan Greenspan. Subsequently, I watched 'The Fountainhead' and Part 1 of 'Atlas Shrugged'...I watch a lot...and read...and listen. Ayn Rand is not without any merit - mediocrity and conformity doesn't bode well in my book.

    My father is a classic corporate psychopath, with OCD and a true love of money...not a very nice combination, not a very nice guy. But hey, I believe we can learn something from everyone, even if it's a lesson on how not to be.

    Which brings me to you. If I look past the bells and whistles of your whimsical whines, I'm sure I'll learn something from even you.

    Tell me, do you like apples?

    Quote: "The human mind works well when free and that means under CAPITALISM. Or how the hell do you think we have reached the current global population ? Technology growing on trees ?"

    - Capitalism (which you contradictively claimed earlier is NOT the system we are under) is not repsonsible for the global size of population. It is food production and energy RESOURCES. Energy is not a raw material, and furthermore the food production we have has only been possible due to that energy resource. In other words, the abundant supply of ENERGY is how we got to 7 billion people. Not money and certainly not capitalism.

    Quote: "The problem is the socialist monetary system that allows best buddies Government+Banking industry to rob a piece of your yearly produce and enslave you without chains."

    - Taxes...you are talking about taxes! Without those we ain't got no roads, no services and no way of caring for those in society who have gone before us and now require our support for their contributions. But social welfare aside, services and infrastucture made available to all (without private property rights applied to them) are the backbone of our civilisations!

    I could go on, but I don't want you to start crying and blurting out that you only wanted to be loved...like Ayn Rand.

    How do you like them apples? {rhetorical question}

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    Good work Samuel. But where's the nugget? The light switch of enlightenment? Glossed over, swiftly moved along and not unintentionally I imagine...

    Quote: "Because they fail to understand the cause of the gap and attribute it to the wrong "entity"

    - whether you drive labour costs to zero, or kick the workers out as liabilities the result is the same: people lose the ability to be consumers. Without consumers...? Aaah, wait...the producers become the consumers as they reign-in the wealth tighter and tighter, right? So what about everyone else in society...

    Quote: "SOCIETY DOES NOT EXIST" How f**ing convenient!

    - If companies protect and invest in their workers as consumer assets, there is no need to deny the existence of a society. That denial is a conveniently conceived construct of blatant pseudo science, that is necessary to fit the view and circumvent awkward questions of anarchy and any impending implosion of the system when the producers can no longer consume fast enough.

    Just because an idea it is constructed in a clever or plausible way, doesn't mean it is correct or will prevent a meltdown. It's just a narrow minded, greed driven, counterproductive denial afterall - and it's not going away.

  • Samuel Gallop

    Just a few leads.

    "- nope, this would be the banking sector. Most signicantly since the vast majority of money production/creation became digital. See "97% Owned". "

    Another one who confuses money and credit. Don't worry, you're not alone. Together with Mosler, Cullen, Moini, and yes Money Master's producer Bill Still, you also believe banks produce money. They don't. They buy money ( base money in a fiat system ) and sell credit. The fact that credit looks like money, walks like money and talks like money, doesn't make it money but as Mises named it "fiduciary media". I truly hope you never have to live through a bank run in order to learn the difference for good.

    "- nope. Since governments don't produce their own money; they borrow it from the banks, at interest, and are therefore subject to the same paradigm as us. Many would even argue that IF governments created their own money, instead of borrowing it, this would be a step in the right direction and indeed force the banks into servitude. Right now it is the other way around. See "The Money Masters".

    From my earlier remarks, it should be obvious that your above comment is also wrong, but I'll try to help you and the readers with that. If you take a look at how a fiat money ( socialist imposed ) system works as opposed to a free market system, you would notice that the only one who really creates "hard" money is precisely the government through its agent, the central bank. Commercial banks just pyramid credit on top of what the central bank decides to accommodate. Take a look at your notes: it says "federal reserve note", not "bank of America or Goldman Sachs note". Learn the difference. Mind you, it is the only thing the "modern monetary theory" does well ( to explain the workings of the current monetary system ) although they fail miserably trying to justify it.

    Government bosses the banks, not the other way around.

    "- because of the above, we are in a type of Corporate Fascism in which the state answers to the corporations through its financial obligations, and even servitude, to the banks."

    Corporate Fascism doesn't exist. It can't. To impose fascism you need the monopoly of force. Banks/corporations don't have it, despite their mighty financial power. Government does have it.
    Government helps the current crony banking industry that serves government because they know the alternative is a free banking industry serving customers, and that's scary...

    "Our liberties have been (and are being) taken by the banks, via our reprogrammed subserviant Governments to meet the needs of the capitalist requirements of perpetual growth."

    Capitalism doesn't require any perpetual growth. Capitalism provides perpetual growth. On the contrary, Total Market Credit vastly superior to Real Savings ( the natural consequence of the current socialist monetary system you don't understand but somehow favor ) does require perpetual growth for that debt to be serviced unless defaulted on. Maybe you mean that... Or maybe you just don't know what you mean. Take your pick.

    Advice: stop watching silly documentaries and start reading. Banking and money ? I suggest Rothbard and Huerta de Soto. Good luck.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    Great response Samuel, thanks for taking the time...

    You provided interesting counter arguments to much of my critisisms giving me food for thought and I appreciate the reading list. Thanks.

    "Capitalism doesn't require any perpetual growth. Capitalism provides perpetual growth."

    - I don't get this. Are you saying Total Market Credit is not a consequence of Capitalism? If this IS the case, then I'm truly about to learn something and possibly even befriend Capitalism...no mean accomplishment!

    We have to get in to debt to get in to the system. Right? When we get a job, we might have to buy suitable clothing, pay for transportation costs, etc. but where does this money come from? It's the same for creating a business - we have to speculate to accumalate. Everything in business is based on intial credit/debt, and nobody is exempt. Because of this, it's as though we have to play the game seriously (an almost kill or be killed approach), or the system will abuse us...

    If a business decides it does not want to expand (say a small family business), it will inevitably be squashed or bought out by a competitor. So grow, die or be consumed seem to be the only options - is this not Capitalism in action? Requiring perpetual growth?

    The problem of building in negative incentives...the more 'underhanded' a company behaves, the more it is rewarded, is it drives an expanding divide between the haves and have-nots (look at the effects of Wal Mart or Monsanto, and the difficulty of competing against them). As a fundamental part of the Capitalism model (?), this can surely only lead to destruction of the planet and more enslavery for those who don't play seriously.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @DigiWongaDude, ( we need more nicknames like this one hehehe... congrats ),

    " Are you saying Total Market Credit is not a consequence of Capitalism? "

    EXACTLY. It is not. I know it is tough to understand but people must let go of that childish notion that capitalism is about money, banks, big corporations, debt, exploitation and so on. It is nothing of the sort. Capitalism is not even a "system". Nobody designs and implements "capitalism". As I have said before, capitalism is nothing more, nothing less than a moral principle ( freedom ) with a corollary ( non aggression principle ) applied to a goal ( the sustainment of each individual's life ). Capitalism is the spontaneous order that arises NATURALLY when man is free from coercion to provide for the sustainment and betterment of his own life.
    To have capitalism all you need to do is......... NOTHING. Just respect the same freedom in others and mind your own life. That's all.

    Credit is a basic, necessary element of a capitalist ( free ) economy, of course. There is nothing wrong with borrowing real savings ( already produced goods not yet consumed, either directly or in the form of money ) by a debtor to fund new productive projects that if successful, will render more goods and with them better life in the future. However, that is not how credit works in the current monetary system. In the socialist imposed current system, a fraud is perpetrated: credit is not intermediated between savers and borrowers/investors but CREATED OUT OF NOTHING by the banking industry, and then only loosely tied to real savings through accounting relationships with capital and reserves.

    This relentless Total Credit Market Debt expansion has nothing to do with capitalism. It is the logical consequence of a FRAUDULENT centrally planned monetary system specifically designed to ROB the unsuspecting masses of their periodic produce and get away with it pretty much unnoticed. That, dear Digi, is SOCIALIST.

    To have socialism instead, you will have to get a lot more active..... enact laws, pass bills, design systems, produce propaganda, sing anthems, put people who disagree in jail, celebrate elections, appeal to all sorts of needs, pass more bills to correct the "unintended" disastrous consequences of your previous bills, etc... All done by the government/banking mafia in the name of "the greater good for the greater number" hahaha. Great !

    So, we have a world which is only mildly capitalist in the production of many different kinds of goods BUT socialist in the production and circulation of the general means of exchange ( money ). So in the end, as money surely permeates all layers of production, consumption, saving and investment, it distorts a great number of the decisions "free" men need to make to stay alive.

    Consequences ? The current mess we're living in, incorrectly blamed on capitalism by all sorts of defective pseudo-intellectuals.

    Want a non scholarly pocket book which is fun to read and will help all of this sink in your head ? Try "How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't" by Irwin Schiff. Good luck.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    Sold: to the man in the funny hat!Thanks very much Samuel. Enlightening stuff indeed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LK6B2HGMK4EHZ6YJ3I6WFKY77U DigiWongaDude

    I have a question:
    Does the central planning of Socialism that [I concede] we see everywhere, expose a weakness of Capitalism at the large scale - in the same way that relativity and quantum physics are incompatible, yet both are necessary in the bigger picture? Capitalism works well at the small scale, while socialism relies on large numbers. Conversely, might it be true that Capitalism left unchecked at the large scale, inevitably requires (or leads to) the imposition of Socialist central planning to prevent Capitalism running amok? I know you will say Capitalism does not run amok, but I will qualify what I mean by the presence of such monsters as Wal Mart, Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Nestle...

  • Samuel Gallop

    @DigiWongaDude,

    Capitalism has no weakness. Whether you favor liberty ( capitalism ) or coercion ( socialism ) is you moral choice. It "works" because the same principles applicable to an individual, they stand the same when applied to a collective ( indeterminate sum of individuals ).

    Who knows what people left unchecked to pursuit happiness respecting the same right in others might bring .... ? I don't know about you, but I'm willing to find out.

    The imposition of socialism is always done for a benefit. Maybe the socialist can cheat people by sharing a few crumbs and the visions of a harmonically divine future society but the ultimate goal is as vulgar and old as humanity.... to get something for nothing thanks to the exercise of control of another human being.

    And Digi, none of the "monsters" you cite above has ever pointed a gun to my head in order to force me to buy their products. None of them has ever regulated my life, asked for a part of my yearly produce or threatened to put me in jail. Hmmmm... I guess they're not that scary after all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABN37MIPRDMRW3UX3U3LJOVLSA manfruss

    I don't vilify capitalism in my mind, and I do see it's "weaknesses". Here are some: The rich are favoured in health and education. It costs more for someone from a low income family to go to school vs. rich. Walmart can move into a town, lower it's prices and run a "loss leader" store. This brings in business, and drives others out who can't compete. The store runs at a loss because Walmart makes it's corporate income over all the stores everywhere not just one. Coca-cola produces a product that for all intents and purposes is toxic to life (coca-cola), and yet its legal to sell their crap. We feel we have choice about buying it, and yet advertisements are targeted at children who are too young to know anything else creating life long customers and is in part responsible for an epidemic of obesity. We're bombarded by advertisements which all but shape your desires... please feel your free .... it's cheaper to buy a bag of chips in the inner city of New York than it is to buy an apple.... we can thank our lobbying policies and the capital thrown at government from massive industry interests.....

    I could tear Communism and Socialism apart as well.... there are problems inherent in all systems we have use of. Please don't be so naive as to thing there are no weakness with capitalism. Any "ism" can become a problem. Freedom is not ensured because we run on a capitalistic system. It just means money calls the shots, those who have it or can get it, are okay, those who can't..... well.

    The worst thing today, is that capitalism seems to be beyond reproach. That speaking out against it is taboo, and none are willing to discuss the elephant in the room. By the way... the US is one of the least socially mobile countries, and one where the disparity of poverty and wealth is growing rapidly.... capitalism, a love story. Nothing should be beyond reproach. That being said, so far Capitalism does provide people some serious motivation to achieve. Something Socialism tends to murder, motivation to achieve.

  • Samuel Gallop

    @manfruss,

    I'm sorry if I have to be so blunt, but there really is no other way to say it...... you ain't got a clue.

    I can only recommend that you read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson if you want to know how it is that pretty much everything you believe to be true about capitalism is just a misconception. Sorry mate.

    Good luck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.barnes.792 Richard Barnes

    I would argue that "the state" is controlled by the bankers. Thus making the state a puppet of the capitalists controlling these institutions. Who controls the money? Not the state, they are slaves under their debts like the rest of us shmucks. They borrow the money at intrest and pay the intrest by taxing us... The only winners are the ones lending the money and that sure as hell isnt the goverments or the tax payers.

  • Samuel Gallop

    You're wrong. The State controls the bankers. Just one piece of evidence will support my argument. Recent japo elections winner Abe has warned the Bank of Japan's governor that they have to do as he says regarding "monetary policy" or else he will find someone who does, and if he can't find any man willing, he will change the law or do away with the bank if he needs to. The same easiness with which US Congress passed the charter for the FED 100 years ago, can be used to nullify and revoke its powers with a stroke of a pen.
    Why don't they do it then ??? Partly out of ignorance and partly because they want to keep the fiction that they don't have the money power, when it is clear that they have it.

    All that nonsense that you hear about in documentaries like "Money as Debt" is also wrong, typical misunderstanding from someone who confuses money ( base money ) and bank credit. Banks do not produce money but credit. The problem is not that credit is created at interest ( of course ) but that credit is created without relation to the real savings in the economy.

    So there you have it.... the banker is not a capitalist in the current system, but a socialist who gets away with fraud thanks to the complacency of the monopolist of coercion, the State.

  • Fromens1987

    my buddy's mom makes $82/hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for five months bu­t last mo

  • Joel

    Hi Sam, I've been seriously questioning my anti-capitalist instincts over the past year for the exact reason you initially outlined - the fact that the system(s) we live under are far from the ideallistic free market so often blamed for comtempory problems. Your many replies here have been valuable in my ongoing quest to thoroughly analyse my political values.

    I do however have a couple of issues with your statements above.

    "Man is a rational being, capable of rational thinking ... with the ability to choose from an array of known to
    him options always what is best for him personally"

    I disagree here. Firstly, I'd make a small but perhaps critical modification to that statement, as although we are capable of rational thinking we are frequently highly irrational. You only have to look at Libertarian responses to Climate Change and ecological degredation to witness how irrational even self-proclaimed rational beings can be when they feel their ideological foundations are threatened. Check out Dan Ariely for numerous other examples.

    Secondly, we only have even the potential to chose the best option for ourselves personally when we have full information of the options at our disposal. In reality this is pure fiction, and in numerous scenarios it is in the interests of the businesses involved to keep it this way.

    "CAPITALISM is quite simply the system (political/economical) that arises NATURALLY when men are FREE to sustain their lives without been coerced by nobody. Freedom as the supreme value, responsibility as corollary,
    non aggression principle as the only limitation."

    Capitalism may well arise naturally under the presupposition you describe, but there are two issues here. Firstly, you seem to consider 'natural' to be of some sort of value but I'm not sure what. Natural doesn't imply good, just, or any sort of objective morality. After all, a dominant aim of technological progress has been to separate ourselves from, and tame, the unforgiving natural world. Why then, should our political system be modelled on something natural? Can we not improve upon this?

    Secondly, the presupposition requires further consideration. In a free market system, those fortunate enough to be born with a talent that is rewarded financially by society, in combination with an aptitude to excersise this talent (yes, I'm claiming even the capacity for hard work may be an accident of birth; see Rawls) are most likely to accumulate a large amount of wealth. Those with none of this good fortune are likely to struggle to fulfill their basic needs, and their natural reaction would surely be to take basic necessities by force. The non-aggression principle, therefore, oppresses natural events that would benefit the poor in order to allow the more fortunate unrestricted flourishing.

    I'm certainly not advocationg violence here, rather a system which allows the talented to flourish but only on terms that also benefit those less fortunate. Specifically, Rawlsianism. A skillfully implementation of this system could minimise the need for a non-aggression priciple, as there would be little need for anything to be taken by force (although this is approaching utopia, I know). And the talented would still be free to accumulate riches if they so wished.

    Would you consider this to be unacceptable coercion?

  • Samuel Gallop

    Hi Joel. I must admit that your case is quite unusual. Normally anti capitalist people are so indoctrinated and their view of the world is so cozy for them, that they hardly ever react the way you do and start questioning their beliefs system. Congratulations for that.
    You points are very interesting:

    1. Rationality. You are very right that we act irrationally many times. That's why I said "capable of" and not directly "rational". Rationality is a virtue, a principled course of action. A very important one indeed because without it, man cannot survive and his true nature is debased to that of a mere "animal".

    2. Perfect information. It is usually argued against economic action but it is out of ignorance of what this means. I'm not arguing we all have all possible knowledge available before making a choice. That would be idiotic and unnecessary. On the contrary, it is a fact of reality that our knowledge is always limited and it is all well and good. Man has to live according with his present understanding of the world and be FREE FROM COERCION to act on that understanding, including the capacity to change action FREELY when his knowledge is challenged or better completed.

    3. Bear in mind English is not my mother tongue. By "natural" I meant "spontaneous", not directed and imposed from above according to a master plan.

    4. The meat of your contribution. Here you show incomplete understanding of how economy works under a "system" where man is free from coercion ( violations of his right to life and liberty ) and property rights are acknowledged and respected. In such a system, very talented men ( a fact of nature nobody is to blame for ) can only get ahead by SERVING his not so talented fellow men, for theft and coercion are not well seen, protected against and punished. In such a system, less talented individuals receive a myriad of goods and services (and job opportunities) that would simply not be available if not for these more talented individuals. Therefore, far from the usual cry... less endowed individuals benefit greatly off the genius of the most talented ( if only they could let them work and develop ). Would you ever have invented the computer yourself ? Did anyone point a gun at you to adopt it ? Have you benefited ? You get the point.

    Rawls is a disgrace by the way. His opinions, as is usually the case, stem from a misunderstanding of human nature and basic economics and most importantly from a vice that plagues almost all humanity: not understanding and accepting that reality IS ABSOLUTE and MUST BE UNDERSTOOD before messed with, or in other words: "Reality is what it is and not what you wish it to be". When someone forgets this, they tend to imagine all kinds of utopias and then ways to enforce them upon their fellow man, with disastrous results as History is good testament.

    So yes. Coercion is ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE UNACCEPTABLE and Rawlsianism IS COERCION.

  • Joel

    Thanks for the respose Sam, there's a lot there to think about. It's really refresing to be able to have such a civil debate with someone with such opposing views to mine. I would love to see more of this.

    1. I take the point regarding the original meaning of your statement, and I agree rationality is invaluable. But I'd also argue irrationality is not always dehumanising and animalistic - love is entirely irrational and yet deeply human and perhaps essential to emotional wellbeing (that's not to say I think irrationality is desireable very often though.)

    2. Just as taxes can be considered to be coercion, I'd argue marketing is frequently a coercion (or a violation) of mans capacity for reason - intentionally misleading, it often preys on the irrational. This can lead to situations when not only is a persons information incomplete but it is incorrect.

    3. Congratulations on a language mastered!

    4. I'm very aware of the pro-free market argument that if the talented are set free then their talent will work for the benefit of all (essentially the utilitarian argument for a libertarian system). But I'm not convinced by it, and my reasoning follows from my point above.

    Due to our inherent irrationality, talented persons can succeed without being of any service to their fellow men, but rather by tapping into this irrationality. Take the extreme example of an entrepreneurially-gifted heroine dealer - they may become rich through purely 'voluntary' exchanges and fairly obtained property, but their impact on society is toxic in multiple senses of the word. The same could be argued of smoking and junk food (take a look at how Edward Bernays' attempts to persuade women to smoke). It will always be easier to target peoples lower pleasures and sell them fatty, sugary food, than play to their rational desires for health and longevity.

    Therefore, all talent persons are not, and never will be, reflections of Rand's Atlas Shrugged heros, whose noble self-interest works for the progress of all. And in fact, for those whom the flourising of their talent does work in this way (for the benefit of the less fortunate) Rawlsianism would dictate that they are free to do so - this is exactly what the difference principle is. It would thus offer the rewards required to incentivise those capable of building computers, etc. to do just that.

    In summary, I would argue that Rawlsianism has grasped human nature and the naturally random distribution of talent pretty well, and proposes to deal with it in an admirably just and fair way.

  • Samuel Gallop

    You should check your premises every now and then, you know...

    1. Love is actually a very rational emotion ( canned reaction to the facts of reality ). It is our reaction to our values "embodied" in another human being. Are you sure you're not conflating love with lust / attachment / psychological dependence ??

    2. No I don't think your argument holds water. To me, you haven't managed to grasp what coercion is and is not. Try not to pay taxes and watch what happens. Then compare it with resistance to marketing seductions. Still not clear ?

    4. This point is full of fallacies. Man in NOT inherently irrational. Are you sure you understand man's nature and what this implies ? So far as men don't exercise rationality, their chances of survival and flourishing diminish greatly, for reason is our ONLY true means for survival, absent sharp teeth and claws. You may think that men hooked on drugs and junk food are somehow as productive as men who understand that their health care is important, but I can assure you that their attitude is detrimental to themselves in the long run and nature does and will weed them out, together with their suppliers.
    The last point is poor confused Rawls. If all you have done is to go from Marxism?? to Rawlsianism.... I'm sorry for you but you're in no better intellectual position. Obviously I'm not going to debunk Obama's main "philosophical" influence in one post ( got better things to do ) but I want to bring your attention to a couple a simple points.
    1. Despite the fact that Rawls best known work is called "A theory of justice"... Rawls doesn't understand what Justice is. It is a very common mistake ( you yourself do it in your last sentence ) to use "justice" and "fairness" as synonyms. They're not. And the distinction is crucial to understand and root ethics. It's also a very common mistake to think of justice as a "social value" when no such thing can ever exist. Anyway, I will let you investigate further.
    2. As it is common with all proponents of socialism, Rawls is utterly confused about the hierarchy of moral values. He doesn't understand ( apparently neither do you ) what the requirements for production and human flourishing are and how extremely fragile this process is. This explains how little attention and care he gives to freedom and the many deeply flawed ways he advocates to circumvent it. The results of such tinkering with coercion is no better than old pure unadulterated socialism ( misery, hunger, genocide ).

    In conclusion: if you thought Rawls gets you closer to a true understanding of how the world works and your place in it, I'm sorry to have to tell you that you're seriously mistaken and still have a lot of thinking to do.

    For me this exchange is over now and I thank you for your comments. Take care.

  • Joel

    OK, so you've played the same game you seem to have one with a number of the other commenters - out poured a seemingly compelling arguement which nevertheless avoids directly addressing the most significant point.

    Instead you've deduced something that I never said or implied...
    "You may think that men hooked on drugs and junk food are somehow as productive as men who understand that their health care is important"
    ... and attacked this statement.

    This, in conjuction with utter dismissal of views contrasting with your own as you have convinced yourself that your moral values are objective and absolute. Hence your distaste of Rawls.

    Your clearly intellegent, and hence it's very easy for you to defend systems that amplify the inequlities between the gifted and the less so. Just like it's very easy to defend free speech when someone is expressing your own values.

    So yes I'm hapy for this exchange to be over now too. Although I'm dissappointed that it couldn't have developed into more of a Socratic exchange.

  • Joel

    Actually, one final response to your answer, r.e. (2). I take your point - marketing is not coersion of one's free will. It is however, an violation of one's free will. The important critique of marketing in my opinion is that it treats people as a means to an end NOT an end within themselves in the Kantian sense, and indeed the Randian sense.

    Thus, my point still stands that allowing the talented unbridalled economic power and freedom will not serve the many, as they may simply exploit others irrationality as a means to their end of increasing wealth.

    EDIT:
    Thus, my point still stands that a system which maximises the potential for a talented minority of the population to gain positions of dominant economic power will not serve the many, as they may simply exploit others irrationality as a means to their end of increasing their personal wealth.

  • Samuel Gallop

    Hint: if it's not coercion, it can not be a violation. Persuasion is not a crime.

    No, your point does not stand. Sometimes us humans use words that combined with a flawed understanding of basic economic principles, lead us stray. You last paragraph is a case in point.

    "allowing" is a funny word, you know. The only moral interrelation that you can have with another human being is through pacific means: this is being respectful for his nature as a self governed individual. "Allowing" is a relation of FORCE. I allow my dog to do this or that because he is my property. I don't allow him whenever I feel my moral judgment is above his instincts, which happens pretty often. "Allowing" has no place among humans. I may use force to defend myself from an aggression but by no means I can defend an intellectual position consisting of "allowing" my fellow man anything, because he HAS the RIGHT to do anything that's peaceful. Your "allowing" attitude makes you immoral for you would be treating men as lesser beings, essentially animals.

    "economic power" is another funny expression. You see, there is no such thing as economic power. You may have a better position to negotiate but you have no power over anybody unless you can physically coerce them into doing something they don't wanna do. The only power that exists is political power, the power of a gun to your head. No business owner has that and I'm certainly not advocating that anybody should have that. The only power they have is to try to persuade you to buy their stuff, which in reality is the power to better serve your needs. I would say... let them have lots of that "power". Compare how much power over you Steve Jobs had in comparison with the classic bureaucrat. Which one do you prefer ?

    "unbridled freedom" is another funny term. You see, when one understands "freedom", one doesn't need qualifiers. Freedom is a self limited objective concept, not the result of a whim. When you claim your right to freedom ( right to do anything that is peaceful ), you are equally acknowledging the same right in others. In that you have you own limitations established. No need for extra words.

    "they may simply exploit others irrationality as a means to their end of increasing wealth."..... hahaha. Well, let me school you in this briefly. "Wealth" is defined as REAL goods and services in the market. You can not increase your wealth unless your fellow man has something real to offer you. Imagine a world composed of you and your cousin. If you can't coerce your cousin ( suppose because you are moral and won't do that ) then your idea of exploiting his irrationality will not give you an increase in wealth. It is actually to your long term self interest that he stays as rational and productive as possible if you ever are to get real goods and services from him.
    Where you go wrong is surely in conflating money ( currency actually ) with wealth. A very classic mistake indeed. However, I'm not an advocate of having money unlinked from real wealth, as it is currently the case. What you are concerned about is the result of the present time's criminal monetary and credit system, which is purposely built to allow such exploitation, and NOT the result you would expect from a truly free market capitalism.

    So, there you have it. It is funny when you can make so many mistakes in just one paragraph ( that surely sounded good to you when you wrote it ) because of clear misunderstandings of basic concepts. Let this teach you to be more rigorous in your thinking.

    Now for sure this time. Farewell and take care.

  • Joel

    Again, an excellent array of tangents you've compiled to distract from my main point, presumably due to the fact that your response is the exact same decredited economic reasoning I originally questioned.

    Admittedly my choice of wording in the final para could have been better (now edited), but the main point was clear and remains unrefuted.

    Ironically, your method of arguing would make you a fantastic politician ;-)

    You take care, too.

  • Joel

    Oh, God, I'm sorry keep at this, but the deeper irony here is just too spectacular not to mention.

    There is overwhelming evidence of the significant role of irrational behaviour both in economics AND in peoples interpretation of evidence when it undermines their political views.

    But Sam, your political views are utterly dependent upon the supremity of Man's rationality.

    And this has left you in a trap leading to this wonderful irony: you're in irrational denial of the evidence of the importance of irrationallity!

  • Samuel Gallop

    Unrefuted ? hahaha... boy, you make me laugh.

    It doesn't matter how many times you edit your last paragraph. Your PREMISES are WRONG, thus your CONCLUSIONS are INVALID.

    Get over it. The sooner you do it, the sooner you'll acquire true knowledge.

    Adios.

  • Joel

    No. They are not. You merly have a concept of Justice that differs from that of mine, any many others.

    You believe that Justice involves allowing the the natural distribution of talents and the naturally varying starting points of people in life (some more advantageous some far less), to play out as they will in a free market. This is a perfectly valid view point.

    I simply believe that as RATIONAL beings capable of seeing the random and inherently cruel nature of these distributions, we should encourage societies to deal with them in a way which brings JUSTICE to our reason's ability to recognise this randomness and cruelty.

    Your only mistakes are in refusing to accept the potential for other valid moral codes to exist. And more importantly, my primary argument (and yes it is UNREFUTED by you), that your moral system cannot be defended by the utilitarian argument that it will inevitably lead to the benefit of all.

    My major mistake has been to try to debate reasonably with a moral absolutist.

  • Samuel Gallop

    The more you write, the more obvious it is that you do not grasp the basics.

    Justice is justice. It is an objective concept, not subject to your arbitrary whims. You should begin to learn that, if you want to be taken seriously.

    There is nothing "cruel" about nature. Nature simply IS. Cruel is a moral judgment. Nature does not understand morals. The sooner you drop your Disneyfied view of reality, the better.

    The "encouragement" you want to bring to societies in order to conform to your views is very well known to me and a few others. Boy, you don't need to use metaphors....call it for what it is...COERCION. People who accept and justify the use of force to attain their goals ARE IMMORAL, not just have a "different moral code" hahahaha.

    Geez, you begin to annoy me with your idiocy. Yes, morality is ABSOLUTE. Moral relativism is not moral, by definition. And your primary point is ridiculous. I'm not making an utilitarian argument ( I never do ) BUT a MORAL argument.

    You are the one making statements. The burden of proof in on you. I have only destroyed your premises and I've shown here that you don't even understand the concepts and ideas you use to form your conclusions.

    People should know when they've been refuted. You apparently lack that ability. Worse for you. It will hold back your mental development.

    One of your comments is right though.... debate is futile with a moral relativist. One can only prepare for battle for when you decide to come with "encouragement". You know by now where you can stick it.... Byeeeee

  • Joel

    "...less talented individuals receive a myriad of goods and services (and job opportunities) that would simply not be available
    if not for these more talented individuals. Therefore, far from the usual cry... less endowed individuals benefit greatly off the genius of the most talented"

    This is alluding to the standard utilitarian argument for the free market, is it not?

  • Samuel Gallop

    Nope, that is my rebuttal, in the same grounds as your ORIGINAL argument. You were the one arguing from a utilitarian perspective to begin with.

    My argument is NOT utilitarian but moral, derived from CORRECT epistemology, the same epistemology which I've gone through great lengths to show that you have it wrong.

    The concepts you use DO NOT mean what you think they mean. And claiming that you just use a different definition will not get you far with someone like me.

    I believe I have already dedicated too much time to your delusions. Forgive me if I don't want to waste a single more minute with you.

  • Joel

    Like I said before, I accept a great deal of your arguments and I see there value as a basis for justice and morality.

    I understand that any system that attempts to limit inequalities in some form and support the least fortunate is potentially open to serious exploitation, even if it strives not to.

    But your additional belief that the talented will naturally exercise there talents in the service of the less talented, and that it is also in their best interests for the less talented to behave rationally, seems to me to be pure fiction - you simply have to look around the world to realise this. The talented will very often benefit from exploiting the irrational of others and treating them as means to their ends at no detriment to themselves.

    And simply asking me the rhetorical question of whether I could have built a computer doesn't answer anything, given that you rightly point out that a free market simply does not exist - thus this technology clearly emerged from some other system.

  • Joel

    In fact, what has epistemology got to do with this?

  • Vinay

    Metal coin is a pretty bad idea if you want stability, but the point of this documentary is that through living in local communities we don't need the capitalist system. You don't "trade a bit larger than local community" in this proposed alternative.