Living in the End Times (According to Slavoj Zizek)

Living in the End Times (According to Slavoj Zizek)

Ratings: 7.91/10 from 57 users.

Living in the End Times (According to Slavoj Zizek)Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, akaThe Elvis of cultural theory, is given the floor to show of his polemic style and whirlwind-like performance.

The Giant of Ljubljana is bombarded with clips of popular media images and quotes by modern-day thinkers revolving around four major issues: the economical crisis, environment, Afghanistan and the end of democracy.

Zizek grabs the opportunity to ruthlessly criticize modern capitalism and to give his view on our common future. We communists are back! is the closing remark of Slavoj Zizeks provocative performance.

Our current capitalist system, that everyone believed would be smoothly spread around the globe, is untenable. We find ourselves on the brink of big problems that call for big solutions.

Whatever is left of the left, has been hedged in by western liberal democracy and seems to lack the energy to come up with radical solutions. Not Zizek.

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6 years ago

B: That's a ridiculous oversimplification. If you think China and Soviet are actually communist you're just showing off your lack of knowledge. State capitalism is not communism.

sandy smithereen
7 years ago

Also, someone needs to take out their retainer when they speak.. So spitty.

7 years ago

"Zizek grabs the opportunity to ruthlessly criticize modern capitalism and to give his view on our common future. We communists are back! is the closing remark of Slavoj Zizeks provocative performance.

Our current capitalist system, that everyone believed would be smoothly spread around the globe, is untenable. We find ourselves on the brink of big problems that call for big solutions."

Really? Because the world's fore with communism went so well. If communism is so great, try living in the "utopia" called North Korea, or maybe China. Perhaps Venezuela or Cuba, anyone? Is that why they had to build the Berlin Wall? To keep West Berliners from crossing into East Berlin at their own peril? Gimme a break.

11 years ago

This guy is not the idea of philosophy, he is using broad descriptions such as "the system" as if their are precise principalities, ok there is something wrong with the system... but what is wrong with it, it breaks? duh, but why does it breaks, cause of the system. Come on, I don't but that.. why? The system.

11 years ago

I'm not myself a communist, but the only thing that is keeping communism in its "purest" form from working and spreading effectively across the world is, naturally, greed. I don't think it's possible to get rid of greed. It may be reduced in significant amounts, but that would require a social revolution, that perpetuates more altruistic than selfish behaviors.

11 years ago

good talk

Adam Buicke
11 years ago

I smell a Trotskyist.

11 years ago

There needs to be real democracy. The worst suggestion was to call for better leaders or managers. We need to disperse power and not let it be in a few people's hands (remember that it's not only governments and elected leaders that have the power but corporations). This means people coming together in their communities and solving problems together on a local level and developing ways to work with other communities. It was claimed in another documentary that the natives in North America had this form of government.Work places should be run the same way, like co-ops. Communism would be a good word for this system since it comes from the word community. There could be local reps directly answerable to the group they represent but we need a system that ensures that nobody gains power over others. Now everything is so centralised and monopolised, both in public and private sector, that leaders make decisions for people they never see, never have to face and are completely detached from.
Why do you think there has been constant propaganda in every state so far (both in semi-communist Soviet Union and semi-capitalist U.S.A. -they have never been tried in their purest forms)? Why do you think both public and private sectors spend vast amounts of money on pr and advertising? They have to constantly push it to us because without this continuous bombardment we wouldn't buy it. A good system doesn't need the pr because it is such that you don't need to convince people it's good for them. Well, except there will always be those few who want to rise above others, and I don't mean in actual personal achievement but status, and they would not like a system that guards against power accumulation but that's another matter.Some complain of stupid people overspending, taking mortgages they could never pay but people have been fed this american dream propaganda and told constantly to buy, buy, buy, implying their self-worth is tied to this. If there was no noise, no visual distraction, something or someone constantly telling us what we should want and how we should be, I bet we would be making very different choices.

Mike Ellis
11 years ago

The "great" Karl Marx was a bum. He never had or earned any of his own money, he mooched off of wealthy friends to take care of his family's living expenses. He was dirty, disheveled and his wife and kids ran around in rags. Even his own mother is quoted as having said: "If Karl had spent more time earning money instead of talking about money, it would have been a lot better". Follow leaders who lead by example and experience ie: Gandhi, King, Washington, not by words: ie: Obama, Guvara, Marx. FYI Obama was also a bum mooching off wealthy college friends never earning a dime as a private industry employee. These are facts. If you wanna see what a being part of the REAL 99% is like, just follow the communist manifesto. You will never find yourself in the 1% if you do, even if you earn it!

11 years ago

He's great and entertaining!

11 years ago

indians figured this sh*t out long time ago. Humans dont own nature. Nature owns humans. We can f--k up as much as we want, even if we get extinct by random event like meteorite crash, nature will still exist. Not as we know it today, but microbes will survive. And it will go on from there as it always had.
Until the sun reaches the end if its cycle, and that is the end.

Sure we could pretend to develop tech to live without single species on earth, and synthesise all of our food somehow, but then we have to alter our genetics and neurology, because we are "hardwired" to the nature today (modern people have loads of diseases and mental health issues due to disconnect from the nature and synthetic lives we live).

So if we kill the biodiversity, and then alter ourselves to cope and thrive, we are not human anymore. Just humans wanting to be gods, its just ego in different shapes.

11 years ago

@ Princeton

Your logic is warped. If your moniker has anything to do with where you received your education you should consider asking for a refund.

You claim that "voting with our dollars is the only democracy that makes sense" and that this constitutes an "even playing field." Please explain how you've managed the mental gymnastics necessary to equate Democracy with Capitalism. In the meantime, let's look at a few basics:

Democracy = "One man. One vote."

Capitalism = "One man. 20,000 (dollars) votes. Another man. 20,000,000 (dollars) votes. etc." Is this what you meant by an "even playing field"? Doesn't look very even, does it?

Now, I'm not promoting the Communism of the past century... (and, neither is Zizek if you listen carefully. He says several times that he only uses the term "Communism" because any new Leftist response to the current "technocratic market democracy" would have as its foundation some concept of the "Commons." He states quite clearly in the video that any new form of "Communism" would not reinstate the system of the 20th century, but would need to be reconsidered in its entirety. He's simply asserting that a NEW Leftist popular refusal of, or alternative to, the current Capitalist system is necessary for the healthy functioning of the global political system.) ...but, wouldn't the completely equitable distribution of dollars (or, votes, in your opinion) under a Communist system more closely resemble the "One man. One vote." axiom of Democracy? You see, this is where one runs into contradictions when one tries to force politics and economics together. Capitalism is a 'mode of production', while Democracy is a political system. Again, I'm not promoting Communism, I'm simply trying to show how your logic is twisted.

You also attempt to blame government for the inefficient functioning of Capitalism - or, to paraphrase Zizek, (from the above video - btw, have you watched it?) you claim that "the only reason the current Capitalist system is not working is that it is not 'pure' enough" (a form of Capitalist Fundamentalism, as Zizek puts it - again, in the above video). In claiming that government corruption through lobbying and tax breaks/preferential treatment for corporate monopolies is an indictment of Government as a whole, you ably demonstrate your ability to contort logic to suit your ideology. Let me ask you: in your opinion, if there existed no politician to take the corporations bribe and to, say, limit regulation of criminal levels of environmental pollution, would this fictitious corporation cease polluting? Or, put another way, what is the corrupting force in your equation? Capital, or Government? In my opinion, it is clear that capital corrupts government, not the other way around! To heap ALL blame on Government for the corrosive effects of capital is like a fat diabetic blaming the cake for not objecting to being eaten! I agree that politicians are at fault when they take bribes from lobbyists/corporations, but capital (financial contributions and other gifts) is the corrupting force!

I suggest you reconsider your ideological persuasions. It seems to me that you may carry them to compensate for the vile imagery you help project out into the world as an "ad man."


Christopher Harrington
11 years ago

Yum yum Mr Fatty Boy

11 years ago

Arguing capitalism, communism, and socialism is really old news. These economic systems are all founded on the false premise that there are infinite resources and that infinite growth is possible. We all need to start revolutionizing our sociopolitical and economic beliefs. Debating which doomed-to-fail system is better in the short-run is such a waste of time!

12 years ago

After listening to him I think I must be a far left liberalist.

12 years ago

Slavoj Zizek came to my University a few years back when I was still in school. As was noted below, he does utilize the theoretical works of jacques lacan, derrida, marx, freud, etc., but makes these theories current and relevant. "Images" in the documentary speak on a postmodern theory of the simulacrum--that is, the proliferation and repetition of so many images that anything "real" becomes impossible, reality becomes merely another image amidst other images. To reiterate the fact that the real and the artificial have no ground any longer is Zizek's greatest contribution. The below comments are uninformed, shallow, naive. They clearly miss the point, likely from an ineptitude and an inability to grasp the real issues. Liberal/Conservative have no place here. Republican/Democrat have no place here. Free Market Capitalism/Communism/Socialism/Government intervention in their typical form have no place here. One must know or learn history...

12 years ago

Useless, this "documentary" just raises the balls to the net for him. All the things that are bad, things about everybody knows, nothing about his own believes is in question here. Just bla bla bla. Mister obvious strikes again.

12 years ago


12 years ago

Some shhet is just two guys like tote making it real, loving too.

Phisiology is way cooler and only jerks say other.

So can a wh ore shut pa ha leeze the front dore.

Anthony Chapman
12 years ago

This guy is very confused. Sometimes difficult to watch him struggle and contradict. Before he goes on camera, he should better understand the concepts that he is trying to speak about.

Clever idea to show images and then have him nervously rant though.

12 years ago

Slavoj Zizek is not a person whom we can easly ignor. I personaly read some of his essays related to cinema,image and many aspects of media. The Pervert's Guide to Cinema by Sophie Fiennes,2006 was excellent.

''Žižek uses examples from popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and uses Lacanian psychoanalysis, Hegelian philosophy and Marxist economic criticism to interpret and speak extensively on immediately-current social phenomena, including the current ongoing financial crisis of global capitalism.''

12 years ago

K, not sure why counterproductive was censored with ******, but whatever. Thanks to the host for this vid!

12 years ago

Glad I watched this, and it is food for thought but I have to say I found his responses glib and often without support. I would much rather have seen a debate of sorts with people like Jim Rogers (who I think would have taken him to the woodshed) actually responding with him; that would have been more constructive - for Zizek most of all; often the people on the left, for lack of a better term, assume the other side is "insane" or stupid and therefore do not need to be debated, which is monumentally arrogant and counterproductive. Instead of spending their budget by surrounding Zizek with big screens, they should have tried to get an actual discussion going with an opposing view. Contrast often brings clarity.

12 years ago

Serious thought about "How we can live in selfish immortality" always promote the most comments. Because that state is what we desire the most.

We really need to move on from this left/right business and get on with investing and democratising technology.

We really are all the same. Drop the dogma or we're all screwed.

12 years ago

to me marxism and the chaos theroy run hand in hand the both belive in revolt and conflict and to me the usa is communist because i use to be a homless person on the street and been friom having every thing to having nothing all because of the economyand there is no help and the usa dosent take care of its own im am know disabled due to being a soldier in iraq and i feel my country has kicked me out to the curb like a puppy who took a dump on the carpet but yet i still love my country

12 years ago

@ toby

i saw it.. and slavoj IS trash.. he is just another socialist who wants a dictator & nanny state to control how everyone's time and energy is "distributed"..

this has been done over and over throughout history.. and it always leads to starvation & destitution on massive scales.

communism is nothing new homeboi!

12 years ago

@ alex b. & toby

you fail to understand the fact that money is a representation of something else, which is essential to civilized life, and that is free exchange of labor and resources.

I concur that presently our monetary systems are downright fraudulent, but that is because they are controlled and manipulated by governments which will not allow competing and spontaneous currencies to thrive. they only allow their buddies to print up more money (counterfeit) and sell it to the public for real goods and labor, which is why we always get poorer and they get richer.. its not the business owners that are the problem or the lady at the market with her produce.

to wish death to capitalism is to support theft, because capitalism is simply the free exchange of goods & services.

you are incorrectly blaming free trade for the effects of government sponsored crimes and monopolies. all major corrupt corporations are government sponsored.. remember, the government is the one who grants them limited liability/no liability status. if you are angry at companies filing bankruptcy... remember, its the government that allows this to happen. if you hate the fact that some companies swell in size and steal all the wealth... remember, they gain their monopolies through lobbying governments and not by openly competing in a free market, where more frugal competitors would certainly have every incentive in the world and the ability to beat them out.

if you dislike capitalism, you are against free trade.. which means you believe when i fix my clients computers.. i should not be able to choose what i get in return and what i chose to exchange for my services, which is no utopia.. i'm a utopian myself, and more so than you are, because i understand the problem in this world is not money or free trade, but the initiation of the use of force and widespread coercion for political gains and ideologies..

we need trade.. and completely free trade at that.. your notion of everyone working for free is not Utopian, its not even realistic, it is socialism and communism rehashed and repackaged in new-age speak.

12 years ago

I would also just say to addition of the movie that the man was mostly right. ( Conferming my views of life )

however i am dissatisfyied with some of the people commenting.
the ones like the first comment were pietro wrote :

''i love this site: but slavoj is trash, rubbish!!!!!!!!''

and it just makes me wonder if he even saw the film. and if he were open for new ideas whilst seeing it. otherwise it would have been a waste of time watching it, and commenting it.

setting a standard of their intelligence ( in my point of view) on the same level as of the creationist.

12 years ago

It is funny how some of the greatest thinkers of our modern civilasation, tend to have these ''socialist views''

watch philosophy - a guide to happyness for this.

how ever when one shares these socialist thoughts of life, one is beeing labeled ass dumb or naive, as if it is just an unrealistics dream.

we dont want money to rule us, we want freedom! we want a society with no leaders and no law and no currency!
every one works in the field, every one helps at the hospitals to make society run.

we could have this give and take society. its not a dream it is reachable. however first capitalsim must die. wich is the hardest part of my ''evil plan'' to have everybody live together equal and free.

eliminate the free market... in fact just elimante the entire market. i would give you free corn and milk, in return you wold bake the bread. and give it to somebody else for caring for your children, and so on.

''all system fails'' this is fact. democracy is a joke!
dictatorship dosnt work becouse people get power hungry.

take away the money and the power from the rich (who are rich becouse they already controls the money) and give it back to the people.

i talked with a co worker the other day and we discussed rich people. i said they are evil people destroying other peoples lives for their personel gain. but at some point my co worker argued that they have worked hard to earn their money. and im like f--k you i work hard every day just to get by! and im from a rich western country. you dont think african families have to work hard just to survive!

Anarchy and equality for everyone ! A//E

Reasons Voice
12 years ago

@Alex; Your beliefs are based in faith not fact. It is only your faith that thinks that all goods and services can or will ever be freely produced and distributed, without need of human labor, to the entire world. There is absolutely no Fact to the technology your ideal would require to run nor any example where such a society ever existed even on a small scale. By definition, since you have no facts uppon which you base all this, you are indeed running on faith alone. Watch Zeitgiest all day if you want. Watch similar utopian dream films all day. Read endless writings about your theory written by fellow idealists and considder their writings fact. If the basis of fact is only that it has been written down or put on film then we should all be scientologists I suppose.

12 years ago

From a man in Somalia this is tasty stuff in the sense of how elements of the ideology he pitches has been entertained albeit in a completely different manner! you see as its common knowledge here we are devoid of any system ruling fundamentally due 2 inconsistencies in attempts of various governing school of thoughts. Am talking from religious hardcore dictation to society to feeble democratic solutions not to mention the socialistic regime that had its last threads chewed off in excess of 20 years ago.

This has consistently made me question if it is we the people here who are genetically hardwired to rebel all forms of governance by default in contrast to the rest of humanity for failing to not only embrace a system but more crucially to sustain it and abide by it? or perhaps the only alternative logical explanation is that the implementation of rule where the human minds are confined to within a realm of certain political thinking is the actual hurdle to cohesive living.

I think Somalia epitomizes the global lunacy of governing in the sense that its a prelude model to the future as majority of the masses globally are seeking to emancipate themselves from the mental constraints of decisions of a few prominent folks shaping the very fabric of their existence! oh no am not advocating for anarchy but i tell you why i resorted to living here n retreating from the chains of the west its because amidst all of this chaos is the sense of being free, free from what one may from ascribing to a way of life that u did not have a chance to choose.

Live and let live just survive is the motto here and bot it gives meaning to life. Despite the picture painted of doom n gloom of an eminent forthcoming world of indecisiveness n counter conflicting political themes one thing is for sure its gonna be a nasty dog eat dog world! Unless of course we all do the sensible thing and let our free spirited thinkers like him at least have a platform to exercise their attempts to CHANGE.N by that i don't mean change in the Obama laughable context.

All that being said i love humans and we should cherish this life for i see it slip away on a daily basis something that will have a profound impact on any soul and completely change their perceptions on.almost everything those of you who have tasted daily war I'm lawlessness will know precisely what am on about. God help us all.

Alex B
12 years ago

To help turn the gears in your head, I have a question that could use some answering. Don't take this too lightly though. Really think about this one.

Can anyone name a situation where money benefited humanity and could not otherwise have been done without it?

Now, I have had a very rushed answer before where charity (like after a natural disaster where money is sent rather than goods) was just one of many apparently, (but no time to name a few more). This doesn't fit the criteria though, because what is charity? It's people volunteering goods and services to those in need and less fortunate? AND, food and water and aid still have to be provided, so transferring money was really an intermediate step that actually slows the process of helping people because rather than just help right away, we need to wait for donations. It wasn't money that actually brought aid, but people.

So now you know the level of logic that I take this and can prepare either an argument to my previous answer or come up with a better example. Good luck.

Alex B
12 years ago

***please disregard a typo

"attack me, not for being a utopian" -ignore the word "not", though the following sentences should make that clear, which then actually supports my point about taking things into context rather than verbatim.

Alex B
12 years ago

Everyone should stop and think for a second, without holding onto their beliefs for dear life. I do get how people can easily interpret my voice as one of a utopian mindset, dreaming outside of reality, but it is clear that no one is willing to do the research and expand their understanding beyond the status quot. Now, I may also appear firm in my beliefs, but they are not beliefs based on faith, but beliefs based on fact and critical thinking. Something I have yet to see from too many of you.

Now if you are taking any of what I say personally, I am sorry that you are so insecure with yourself and what you stand for, that anything that challenges "your identity" may actually threaten your existence. When people such as Reason's Voice or princeton and many others attack me, not for being a utopian, it just adds to this segregation of humanity that pins us against each other rather than the issues at hand. I have made many valid arguments and have yet to hear any reasonable counter that wasn't distorted with nonsensical projections of personal fears and phobias.

Don't argue with me, argue with what I say. This is the only way to progress. When people claim that I am a utopian, back that statement up. In what sense of the word have I proposed an end all be all society of absolute perfection? When I analyze the notion that capitalism and democracy are the way to go, but they only need to be done "right" I see this as utopian. Please observe. When people argue for these ideologies, they are usually saying "It always has been this way" or "It has given us everything great" Are these statements not saying that capitalism and democracy are the "best" things to happen to humanity? By that definition, what we have now, IS in itself a utopia. Believing without doubt that this is the pinnacle of civilization. Every establishment, by definition, is built on solidity, an unchanging framework, and bent on sustaining, not people or the environment, but the establishment itself.

When I read on, it seems to me that most of what we argue is semantics. When I talk about money or capitalism, we all tend to have our own ideas, including myself, about what we think we mean. This is why I am consistently trying to take myself out of the equation and analyze the situation for what it is and not the terms and symbols. Now, I may sometimes argue against someone's point only to realize later that their definition or interpretation was a bit different than what I had in mind. I guess that's a flaw with the language. My point is, maybe we should start off by either stating what our definitions are, or by not standing behind words or phrases. In turn, we should not argue against a word or phrase, but the context. Basically, most of what I see is name calling. (ie. He's a socialist, she's a capitalist, he's a utopian idealist) This gets us nowhere.

To finish, I would like to say that we are ALL philosophers in our own right. We all have the capacity for critical thinking, but to what degree do we use it? You can't say one person is more credible SIMPLY because they have a PHD or are an economist. This does not mean it make someone more or less credible, but it means we have to understand what people are saying and stop basing our knowledge on what authorities tell us is right. My message is not to recruit for the Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project, but to empower people, as I have stated several times before on other pages. When we can get together and have rational round table discussions, solutions can be arrived at and these competitive conversations we continue to have will end. When you're in it to win it, we all lose out in the long run. You have to be willing to toss your beliefs should evidence make itself apparent. There's a lot more we can learn from our losses than our victories. Now, I don't need to send you my educational history in order to validate the points I've made. You have to take it in and see what works based off of whatever level of understanding you have. If you don't get it, then don't just dismiss it, but consider it and when you've become wiser, see if your opinion of it changes. We aren't born with a core set of beliefs, we arrive at them through experience and critical thinking, which is why I consider everyone a philosopher in their own right. We don't have to agree, but we should be able to present our case through evidence, observation, analysis, and analogy.

12 years ago

i believe that Zizek is creating "images" of his own "reality". Nothing much than Heidegger ,Lacan and Sartre all together. I think that he describes a capitalist system's neurosis (kind of). I hate labels but.. i dont think that he is a socioanarchist like Nomkski.

12 years ago

the capitalistic system is an expansion of our nervous system
;) we make it happen. It is not someting outside of us.

Reasons Voice
12 years ago

@Princeton; Lol. Just ribbing ya man. Me and you come from very different points of view on most subjects. Which is what makes it so cool to have dialog here. And the fact that we can differ on much and yet agree on others shows that we are not the typical ideological type. That our thoughts are just that, Our own. Much respect Princeton.

12 years ago

@ reasons voice

i don't believe I have been saying anything different all along, but maybe i didn't communicate my thoughts well.

Reasons Voice
12 years ago

Just to make a few points; Yes @Princton is messing with my head on this one. Since I agree with him here where on essentially every other thread I do not. His point seems to be that the concept of capitolism is not what we actually have as the existence of a central bank is antithema to a true capitolism. Also many of his points are in the direction of the fact that capitalism cannot work while simultaneously having copulsory charity. It is a system that works on competition not altruism.
The comment about the schools... Think reasonably here. Say you live in a district where your school tax is 2000 per year and the average class size is 30 students. If the parents of said 30 students paid for 1 teacher that teacher gets a 60k salary for the year. Sounds good. What we have instead is everyone in the area pays 2k per year. So instead of 30 families you have say 100 paying 2k. thats 200k per year and the teacher still gets 60k the other 140k is money coming out of the pockets of people who recieve nothing in return and pays for....the principals salary the super intendant the whatever head of needlessness et/al. You want your kid to get a great education find a really good teacher and 29 friends with a kid your age and hire a private tutor whose livelihood depends on your childs success.
And finaly please dont anyone respond to Alex B since he is obsessed with an impossible dream of a utopian society where everyone shares averything with everyone else for no reason other than why not. I believe they also S#%$ daisies in this world but not certain.

Rodrigo Pereira
12 years ago

Guys like this engineer mass murders without knowing, this guy is not a genius, he is basic and dangerous, these human themes are much more profound, to have the state as an answer.

The Existence of these guys, that makes me chill with the possibilities of the atrocities of world Wars and Stalinist murders.

12 years ago

@ waldo

great point. didn't think i was insulting anyone, but i now see how it can be interpreted that way and i do apologize for the condescending tone.

i was just under the impression that old communist and marxist ideologies had been refuted long ago and the proof is all around us: all communist dictatorships result in poverty, starvation & eventually collapse.

the western countries have done as good as they have because of capitalism, but my point was to say, even we have recently been getting a bit communist by allowing governments to manipulate the economy, allowing central banking and currency laws. we have killed competition in vital industries through bailouts and subsidies, and have debased our currency through counterfeiting. this is not capitalism's fault and its annoying to see the same government that has its hands all over our economy and markets, blame the markets when they crash.

I also believe you have confused the meaning of anarchy with some crazy lord of the flies scenario, but its understandable, that word has been abused by government schools so as to make it seem evil & chaotic. all it means is society not run on violence and coercion. our present systems are funded through taxation, and all taxation is involuntary and therefore theft. this is the root cause of many problems in society. I believe there are many ways to configure an organized and civil society without the need to rob your own citizens and initiate force against them.

12 years ago

great comedy.

what a nut.

Kara Kittle
12 years ago

This is a pro-Communist documentary. Nothing more.

There were people in Communist societies that were deeply impoverished without and freedom to stand up for their own rights.

That is what Marxism was based on...hate rich people for having money, fight them, take the rights away from everyone else who supported the stupid cause that was supposed to guarantee their rights in the first place.

Communism fails. If you don't believe that, just ask the millions of elderly people starving to death in Communist countries. Capitalists didn't create starving people in Russia. Communism did.

12 years ago

@ the loler

I agree with most of what you say, except for "competition kills competition". this is sometimes possible, but not necessarily true, because there is always constant innovation , and no-one can predict with accuracy what that will be or where it will come from. competition drives innovations and reduces costs. without competition , most businesses would just charge prices that grant them outrageous profit margins.

but in capitalism without government regulations, any guy on the street can come up with some innovation, thereby taking a large chunk of some major company's clients.

also, I find a little skewed to say the least the notion that marketing/advertising controls us. you honestly mean to say that you jump up and respond to every ad on you see/hear without any critical thought whatsoever. I studied advertising and marketing and run a few businesses, & its not easy stuff. Many ad campaigns flop leading to business failure.

but even if that were the case, it is all the more reason to have a capitalistic even playing field, where anyone can put up an ad for their service without worrying about govt red tape. the market is unpredictable for anyone and voting with our dollars is the only democracy that makes sense, not cheering politicians to go and attack people whom we disagree with.

do you think war on drugs and the war in Iraq would happen if people had to voluntarily pay for that crap?

12 years ago

@ all
"you have no choice. you are free to choose between pepsi or coke. even if you want an orange juice it will most likely be made by coke." actually I have no problem getting juices and teas without any high fructose corn syrup from local producers.

anarchism is not every man for himself. someone raised a good point when they said something to the effect of "was it theft when my child eats and goes to school"
but this proves my point though, which is that just because there is capitalism, does not mean people will stop sharing or freely giving to each other or loved ones and charities. all capitalism and anarchy are saying is that people should get the choice of when to do so and at their own discretion, instead of some government policy imposing "charity" through threat of force. Just because you have a purely capitalistic system does not mean kindness goes away. almost everyone alive is philanthropic in many ways so your argument about every man for himself says more about your state of mind then society at large.

anarchy means society without centralized coercion and the initiation pf use of force on citizens. it sounds good and great to speak of public services, welfare and other such programs, but the harsh reality is that the money to fund all those programs is taken by force from hard working civilians, then shoveled around by a group of politicians who will inevitably please special interest groups for kickbacks and to stay in power.

the truth is that all of those humanitarian services can be provided without initiating force against the citizen. many people constantly give money to charities they deem worthwhile and would spend a good portion of their income to benefit their community, without needing to be threatened with jail time.

the reason some companies and business get so bloated now is because they can bribe politicians to reduce competition, so that they can dominate their industries.

as I stated before, there is no true capitalism, and it is incorrect to blame capitalism for present economic woes, because a central bank has been printing money out of thin air and artificially tampering with interest rates, as well as shoveling billions of dollars to bailout special interest groups as opposed to letting the fittest businesses survive through their own efforts.

I do not think I am confused about this, its common knowledge and factual.

thinktanks like the economists who contribute to the mises institute have come up with many solutions to social problems and different social arrangements that do not and will not require initiating force against the citizen or some centralized power attempting to regulate something which is too complex to be regulated.

the loler
12 years ago

well, I enjoyed that and some of the comments. I will not back capitalism or communism in the true senses of the words, because I dont believe they have ever been properly tested on a wide scale. Same with democracy, in the west we dont have democracies, not real ones, just like we dont have real capitalism.

There are major problems wth the twisted versions of them we have. As someone has said, competition wipes out competition. the more people buy a product, the more money that company has, the more they can shut out the competition using marketing and finanicaly influenced product placement. Eventually not only does all competition get priced out of existence, but the customer themselves and what they want is controled and manuipulated through the marketing. So the whole idea that the customer 'votes with their dollars' is absolute nonsense, after a while they not only have a limited choise but they dont even have a balanced view of the marketplace to make that choice in and are completely manipulated.

Another problem is growth, anything that bases its sucess on growth is a disaster waiting to happen. We cannot keep growing, more people, mopre products, using up more resources endlessly, it cant go on, unsustainable. You see people talking about how bad it is that a given countries popultion is decreasing, oh no everyone else will over take them, how will they keep up? On one hand we have peek oil etc saying theres finite resources we have at our desposal. We look at nature being obliterated and creatures dying out and it tells us there is finite room for humans and animals to co-exist on the planet and we are already pushing our luck too far. These sort of factors point to the fact that we need to stop expanding, but the entire system is based on growth. It cant go on. People make the analogy to cancer, a small element that does not find harmony with its surroundings but grows unchekced untill it kills its host, and hecne itself. People are right when they make that observation, any system based on continual growth is akin to a cancer and will end badly.

I also find it amusing when I see people say 'oh our leaders were stupid thats why we got in this mess' does anyone out there really believe this crisis is a mistake? I mean really? Come on, if you cant see this is a planned event that benifits the few who have the power to trigger it then god help you.

Dr. Dunkleosteus
12 years ago

@ Canne, exactly. I was getting dizzy trying to watch the camera man try to keep up with him pacing about the stage.

Also, why the omnipotent voice? That was weird.

The visuals also were confusing. They didn't explain very well why the images were chosen or what was being implied. One was in another language without subtitles...

And that microphone is going to hurt really bad when he goes to take it off...

12 years ago

Princeton seems very confused to me. I am not trying to be arguementative , but I have read on other threads that Princeton is an anarchist. Yet he says he supports capitalism and talks about currencies facilitating trade. Without government there is no currency and there is no certain method of trade. Anarchy is every man for himself with no rules and no one to print currency nor decide the value of each unit of currency. How can capitalism work with no rules to decide what each unit of currency is worth and no central power to print the currency or set up rules for trade. You would have merchants selling something for one thing here and that same something might be worth muchless or more just a few miles away. You would have local groups printing there own currency, soon you wouldn't know what you needed to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, nor if that bread and milk might kill you and your family. What about rules of ownership and so forth, how would you know when you shipped your product here or there, assuming any shipping companies could operate in such a fickle environment, that it would sell for the projected price or not just get taken by whomever decided they wnated it. Businesses can't function without being able to predict the short and long term future, which is immpossible in an anarchist system. Even if all merchants got together and decided on certain rules and so forth, which is simply recreating what ou have destroyed, they would simply break these rules as needed to make the most profit as there is no way to inforce these rules in an anarchist system. They break the rules now, even when there is a price to pay and a power to inforce them. Besides, there is no currency in an anarchy so really there is no reason for merchants or any of the above to operate. Yet you come to this thread and insult others for not having a grasp of basic economic principles?

Oh well, believe as you will. I just don't think it is fair to be so insulting and assertive. Even if you didn't contradict yourself over and over with this weird idea of capitalism existing in an anarchy, I can tell you for sure no one will listen as long as you open with such condecending and insulting arguements.

The same can be said for you Alex B. You open with this statement, "Capitalism IS a great problem, and those who don’t see that are not well informed or plainly in denial of a failing system, unwilling or unable to imagine anything other than what we already have." Yet you think people are going to listen to you. After you have insulted them and thousands of economist around the globe, they are going to listen to you. Do you have any degree or accomplishments as an economist or business professional that make your opinions more valid than the rest of the public? Or are you just some guy that watched a documentary called zeitgeist and became smitten with the ideas it expressed?

Listen, I am not saying that niether of you have the right to express your opinions, but they are just that, opinions. And unless you can prove otherwise they carry no more weight or validity than the next guys, so maybe be a little nicer. Maybe explain your point of veiw and let it go at that without bursting out with insults and arrogant assertions of your supreme knowledge. Or, continue the way you started- its your business. I just don't think either of you are going to change too many minds the way you are going about it. Sorry if I have come off as insulting, I swear that was not my intent.

12 years ago

how fruity is that editing. what happening to having a good old conversation. interviewer, interviewee, a couple of seats, a few notes, a glass of water maybe...

12 years ago

@ princeton

i thought nature created apples