The debate "Capitalism will consume itself to death" was started by
February 17, 2015, 1:59 pm.
33 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 16 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
I_Voyager posted 8 arguments to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 5 arguments, I_Voyager posted 2 arguments to the disagreers part.
I_Voyager, Mr_Anonymous, wmd, rubellum, liamjosephcash, Razzakel, Hjkp98, LeaderOfDiscussion, BloodyCarousel, Seraph, invincible_01, Egert_Clueless, ameliajane, rickrollross, Haelaeif, olilongboat, TmlxIss2cool, Vivinary, soullesschicken, WordSpeller and 13 visitors agree.
S2Sethi, Bailz, PsychDave, llthslvtr, priyanshukedia, jonatron5, Sosocratese and 9 visitors disagree.
Hey, check this out... Someone is putting into practice an idea very similar to mine:
I've contacted the developer and we're chatting about such economic methods.
I don't know if it'll ever be applicable, and for pretty much the same reasons. But in my life I'm going to act as if it's possible, and try to find the most reasonable method of application. This may not matter in the end if the power center is to powerful to be changed. But I feel very impelled to try anyways.
You are most welcome. I have no problem arguing if I disagree with something, but you have a very well thought out system. I don't know that your system could ever exist since the people with power have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are, but I would be interested to see how it would work if it ever was implemented.
That is honestly one of the nicest things anyone has said to me. Thanks a lot.
I honestly can't refute that. That is a very well thought out economy that, as you said, has some political and practical hurdles to overcome but, on the whole, would be revolutionary if it worked as intended. I had half expected a slapped together Bitcoin premise, and had mentally prepared basic rebuttals to use but, while I could point out problems with this theoretical economy, they are in the application, which you have already admitted would need work to apply since there are so many variables to account for. This is, by far, the most impressive and well thought out premise for a new type of economy I have ever seen.
In a capitalist economy you need to use contracts and agreements and laws to arrange everything. Thus, all the willing participants need to be able to read and write in order to participate on most levels. Similarly, to make sure an open source analytical algorithm was kept relatively pure, people need to be able to constantly scrutinize the algorythm, improve the algorythm and fix the algorythm if need be. This does open up an OSIO economy to being vulnerable to manipulation and lies. But I think there are many ways to go about ensuring the relative honesty or integrity of a given crypto-currency or a person participating. Example: someone fakes a powerful profile which would give them better currency-retrieving ability. But if this person lies about their capability, then their ability to actually work in that system to retrieve wealth is nil. Meanwhile if that person lies about their achievements, but has objective skills enough to participate then it doesn't matter. I don't like accreditation or certificates, they're clumsy and primitive. I'd rather an economy where if someone can prove their skills in the moment, they are used in the moment, and if they need to withdraw, then they can withdraw.
There are still places in the economy in which this OSIO Economy would be irrelevant for some time. Resource manufacturing, residential construction, agriculture... There may be remnants of capitalism in these economies. But I think these will be the "hard-currency" backbone which the bubble currencies need to be translated back and forth into.
And before you cite the political problems, I do have many similar philosophies of politics and law, even for the way geography is perceived and city/national boundaries are determined. Everything digital, boiled down to quick and dirty validation principles to get the most people participating in the OSIO economy possible.
My theory, and it is only a framework of a theory, lacking the more practical aspects of what is necessary for it to be a real testable idea (for now, as my self-education is leading towards this) is an "Open Source Input-Output Economy". This economy requires several prerequisite: universal and ubiquitous multi-material 3D printers, universal digital literacy (computer language and computer systems), a commonality of hardware knowledge and a communal decentralized internet (I think). Anything which can be regarded as "intellectual work" - science, computer programming, art, music, multimedia, literacture, hardware design, object design, etc... is contained within this economy. There is no legal system of regulation, there are automatic open source algorythm's which design new crypto-currencies and equate their value against a given bubble of development. Let's take a single project-type, like an operating system. Let's say this new idea for an operating system is being worked on across the world in an open-source capacity by three hundred people. These three hundred people enter into the OSIO Economy with a profile that sums up their education and work achievements (having worked on other projects in the past). The algorithm crunches the combined data of their potential for output to create a basic framework for value for a new crypto-currency unique to this project bubble. Investors can also convert their various currencies or the few remaining hard currencies into this currency type if they want.
But for people working on the project, to actually retrieve currency you must input work, and the value of the work is also algorithmically compared to the potential of use you've given to the operating system. But by giving the operating system new value you are also increasing the value of the currency. This would be a dynamic input-output economic system with hundreds of such bubbles rising and falling, people entering and exiting bubbles all the time.
The algorithm's which conduct these analysis' are the hardest part of my economic idea, and the fact of the difficulty of understanding how such an algorythm would operate is what keeps me saying this is a framework for an idea. But you can get a picture for how this wouldn't require CEO's and corporations. The reason why digital literacy being treated as true literacy here is a mirror for how literacy allows a person to operate within a capitalistic economy...
If we accept the general view that capitalism is unfettered business practice, communism is authoritarian controlled business, and socialism is government influenced business, then we must conclude that all these systems rely on common principles: the fact of paper contracts, the fact of licensing agreements, the fact of economic laws, I'll propose criticism that both cites Ayn Rand, but moves well beyond her thanks to the strong influence of scientific rationalism and computer science counter culture. I'll say:
Governments provide expensive public services to achieve the public will.
Governments achieve this by way of taxation.
Governments determine taxation in part by evaluating the economy and passing laws to control the economy.
Governments have to work with private institutions to to achieve services.
Governments have to appeal to use mass media to influence the public voter.
Governments need a lot of money to advertise.
Governments need donations from vested interests.
People are manipulated by media to have specific interests. The more time passes, the more knowledge, the better the manipulation, the weaker the counter culture.
Governments must fall in line with this manipualtion or with lobbiest to get the money to have the power.
Large money interests control government.
Large money interests control civilization.
The problem here lies in the arbitraryness of law and politicts. It WAS necessary when there was no better way. We built a civilization on law and contracts, and created formulae to govern these acts. But science recreates the way we interact with each other by better understanding the natural information exchange of the universe. We manipulate these systems to create the internet. As sub cultures die out, being more and more homogenized, what is left in response to the mass-media and corporate software opposition to piracy is a hacker sub-culture. The hackers rightly believe in the universal access of knowledge; what holds us back is the fact of patent laws and copyright laws, which is a fact of the bullshit theories from the 40's-80's about the nature of incentive.
Most people are workers. Most people have to be workers because either their nature is not regular enough to participate in specialization or they lack the ability to pursue it. I have a theoretical framework for a system which could make irrelevant these problems. But it'd require a whole new way of thinking about modern civilization. (continued...)
Your examples are what I mean by a digitally augmented capitalist economy. But don't mistake the fact of money for the fact of capitalism. Capitalism is a practical philosophy of how economy should be. If communism, and even socialism is the idea that economy should be regulated (and in the former, absolutely controlled) by the central governing body, capitalism is the idea that there should be no regulation of economy. Laissez Faire Capitalism is indeed that idea that the only role in government is in protecting people from the violent aggressions of other people, which would include purposefully breaching contracts (I think). Either way, capitalism is the idea that people can form their own business structures, their own contracts of employment, their own licensing agreements and that in a full capitalistic economy the fact of competition will keep the most rational and efficient participants in higher positions of authority, while those who lack the ability to thrive will naturally die off. It relates to social Darwinism in the belief that the weak should perish and the strong should survive. Indeed the reigning philosophical authority on this branch of capitalism - Ayn Rand, whose objectivism is not a philosophy to scoff at - proposes that the highest moral ideal is a person's rational self interest, and that altruism (in her view, not necessarily charity, but willing self-sacrifice) is the lowest moral idea, indeed a great immorality.
There hasn't been a true capitalist economy by this definition spectrum in a long time. What we've had is what these objectivists and other economists would call a mixed economy - capitalism and socialism combined. And socialism is thus only the idea that the governing body should have a hand in making laws that influence economy towards a social goal by using taxes and balances and anti-trust laws to ensure a "proper" balance of competition. A lot of it based on a science of economics which has more in common with mysticism. It's in this spirit that Ayn Rand calls for the seperation of economy and state, arguing that it must be done for the same reason one needs to seperate church and state. Either the state will control the economy towards some authoritarian means and it's inefficiency will cause havoc (see Atlas Shrugged), or the economy will control the government much to the same effect (see The Fountainhead's character Gail Wynand).
More proof you learn more from books than video games ;)
I conclude next post
I can't picture any digital economy that was not simply a digital version of money. We are moving that way with stock trading, banking, credit cards, and all sorts of other finances being done online. This doesn't change the fundamentals of the economy, just give new ways to interact with it.
What kind of digital economy were you envisioning that could potentially replace capitalism?
I think we need to imagine a new system altogether. Rather than digitally supplementing our economy, we need a system that is foundationally digital. The tribal comment was more-so a counter to the argument that capitalism will die when hhumanity dies. If capitalism consumed all resources relevant to infrastructure and we were left with little more than food and wated, we'd revert to tribal, and capitalism would die while humanity would go on.
But I'm not arguing that a tribal system is ideal.
So if I understand your position, you are using small tribes that use the barter system, have no economy at all, have no infrastructure like what we use, and saying that should be what we try to emulate? You seem to have lofty ideals, but there has never been a large economy without currency of some sort. The only way to avoid capitalism is to use the barter system, and that only works e a small scale.
It seems like you are saying that the most effective form of economy has no benefits or redeem qualities, which seems like a flawed statement if you can't suggest something better.
Either way, capitalism creates more impermenant wealth than lasting infrastructure and serves to satisfy base or irrelevant desires before it seeks to produce some future. It has no long-term goal nor do legal checks and balances work well enough to keep it in check. I would argue the nature of capitalism corrupts law in order to prioritize the arbitrary economic musings of mystics, at the cost of objective science. We assume the truth of their premises, but the evidence is anecdotal at best or biased at worse. Capitalism is slavery of many by the hands of a few, and the citizenry are the inheriters of pre-determined desires. Consume what we make for you, want nothing more than is allowed, least of all anything important. Values and morals are costly trifles.
This is only true of civilization. If your premise is true, capitalism consuming itself to death would be the death of humanity. But Anthropology studying old and modern tribes demonstrate a tendancy on that scale to live without capitalism, in spirit or otherwise. Capitalism might either be a consensus we all share imparted onto us by our made up society, or an implication of civilized life, of being in such large communities which allows us to engage in impersonal competition.
Capitalism won't die until humanity does. There will always be people who want more than what everyone else has. That is human nature. As long as that is true, every successful nation will have at least some capitalist leanings.