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Author Topic: Global Warming and Capitalism
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 09:43 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From this thread:

quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
It's such a radical change that it can't be done within the capitalist paradigm.

So, global warming will not be addressed as long as there is a capitalist system?

Does this include the capitalist system that exists in Sweden?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 10:05 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can see it now:

“You must only wear this pair of boots. You have no choice in the matter. These are the boots that the Special Committee on Clothing has decided that all people must wear.”

“Here is the list of locally-grown food that you must eat. According to the Special Committee on Food, you may not eat any other foods. Under no circumstances may you eat any food produced outside of a ten-mile radius of your domicile and all meat is prohibited!!”

“You may only have one manually-wound clock in your domicile. The clock must be a clock produced by the People’s Collective Clock Works. Wrist watches are prohibited!”

“You must only have one restaurant—which will be state-run, of course—per 10,000 people. You will be given an annual schedule of the particular dates on which you may eat at that restaurant.”

“You may travel only twice per year beyond a thirty-mile radius of your domicile and then only by mass transit unless you ride a bicycle. It doesn’t matter that half of the population lives in non-urban areas. That’s the rule.”

“You may only have one pet at any given time and its caloric intake will be strictly limited.”

“You must not own any books. The former production of hundreds of millions of books for personal ownership was wasteful and ignored the collective good. All books must be checked out from a local State Library.”

“You must only drink water.” Corollary: “You may only bathe once weekly and all family members must re-use the same water.”

“You must wash all cloths by hand.”

“Only one state-run stage theater may be used per 50,000 citizens. All productions must be during the daylight hours—and illuminated by natural sunlight—because no electricity will be allotted to any such venues.”

Capitalism gives people choices. Completely eliminate capitalism and the “choices” you have will be what the bureaucrats tell you what you can have. No more. No less.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 17 December 2007 10:35 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The biggest threat to the environmentalist movement, and thus to the biosphere, are the currently succesful attempts to bring it under the left-wing umbrella, rather than leaving it as a bipartisian issue.

There are all sorts of ridiculous dichotomies in our political system. For example, conservatives are pro-tobacco and anti-marijuana, whereas those on the left tend to be pro-pot but anti-tobacco, in both cases rejecting reason in favour of ideology. I suggest that manufacturing this sort of nonesense in the case of the environment should be avoided at all costs. If it means alienating religious people, anyone who's probusiness, et cetera, then there's no hope for success.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Blind_Patriot
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posted 17 December 2007 10:41 AM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The biggest threat to the environmentalist movement, and thus to the biosphere, are the currently succesful attempts to bring it under the left-wing umbrella, rather than leaving it as a bipartisian issue.
If the left ever wanted to get elected, they would propbably have to distance themselves from this policy.

I started a thread on this. "Story of Stuff" I had no feedback, but I do think it relates here as well.

http://www.storyofstuff.com/


From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 10:42 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
The biggest threat to the environmentalist movement, and thus to the biosphere, are the currently succesful attempts to bring it under the left-wing umbrella, rather than leaving it as a bipartisian issue.

There are all sorts of ridiculous dichotomies in our political system. For example, conservatives are pro-tobacco and anti-marijuana, whereas those on the left tend to be pro-pot but anti-tobacco, in both cases rejecting reason in favour of ideology. I suggest that manufacturing this sort of nonesense in the case of the environment should be avoided at all costs. If it means alienating religious people, anyone who's probusiness, et cetera, then there's no hope for success.


Well, “consensus” necessarily means “compromise”, which is not something that those on the extreme ends of the political spectrum are good at—or interested in.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 December 2007 11:01 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Moderators can you tell me whether or not you feel this is an appropriate usage of babble space? It is right wing spew and nothing more IMV.

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
I can see it now:

“You must only wear this pair of boots. You have no choice in the matter. These are the boots that the Special Committee on Clothing has decided that all people must wear.”

“Here is the list of locally-grown food that you must eat. According to the Special Committee on Food, you may not eat any other foods. Under no circumstances may you eat any food produced outside of a ten-mile radius of your domicile and all meat is prohibited!!”

“You may only have one manually-wound clock in your domicile. The clock must be a clock produced by the People’s Collective Clock Works. Wrist watches are prohibited!”

“You must only have one restaurant—which will be state-run, of course—per 10,000 people. You will be given an annual schedule of the particular dates on which you may eat at that restaurant.”

“You may travel only twice per year beyond a thirty-mile radius of your domicile and then only by mass transit unless you ride a bicycle. It doesn’t matter that half of the population lives in non-urban areas. That’s the rule.”

“You may only have one pet at any given time and its caloric intake will be strictly limited.”

“You must not own any books. The former production of hundreds of millions of books for personal ownership was wasteful and ignored the collective good. All books must be checked out from a local State Library.”

“You must only drink water.” Corollary: “You may only bathe once weekly and all family members must re-use the same water.”

“You must wash all cloths by hand.”

“Only one state-run stage theater may be used per 50,000 citizens. All productions must be during the daylight hours—and illuminated by natural sunlight—because no electricity will be allotted to any such venues.”

Capitalism gives people choices. Completely eliminate capitalism and the “choices” you have will be what the bureaucrats tell you what you can have. No more. No less.



From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 17 December 2007 11:05 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, that post certainly isn't. Sven, remember that you are to respect the mandate of this discussion board if you want to post here.

That said, the whole ecosocialism idea is new, and there isn't a broad consensus even on the left (or centre left) about what exactly it entails and why it's necessary. So I'll leave this thread open because this is new territory that needs to be fleshed out.

Sven, keep in mind that you are not to be ridiculing people on the left in this thread. That's not what this forum is here for, and I think you know it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 11:17 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So, global warming will not be addressed as long as there is a capitalist system?

So long as there is a capitalist religion that governs how we allocate resources, that is true.

And capitalism, to many, is a religion and the followers are dogmatic and unreasonable. They would rather see the planet and all life on it doomed than acknowledge capitalism does not provide all of the answers.

Global consumer capitalism is premised on mass exploitation of natural resources, the externalization of costs, and, ultimately, the infinite growth of consumption of finite planetary resources.

Wherever capitalism is triumphant and unfettered, there is destruction, poverty, and ecological crises contributing to global ecological crises and, often enough, violence.

In other words, left to its own devices, consumer capitalism is a system designed and intended to enrich a small, elite minority at the expense of both the great majority and the ability of the planet to sustain life.

That does not mean there is no place for capitalism. Regulated, local, systems of capitalist markets ought to have a role in any new economic system which to be effective must be based on a mixed economic system.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 December 2007 11:21 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
The biggest threat to the environmentalist movement, and thus to the biosphere, are the currently succesful attempts to bring it under the left-wing umbrella, rather than leaving it as a bipartisian issue.

What an interesting comment, and it makes one wonder at the mindset from which it was derived.

It sets up all sorts of false premises/notions.

1. Those on the left, who are trying to do something, are at fault for trying to do something, and are thus to blame for the threat to the biosphere.

2. They should've left it as a bi-partisan issue and not apparently have actioned it all.

Because in one clearly looks at the other partisan side in the equation, they either: are in denial, don't give a shit because it impacts their immediate bottom line and they will be dead anyway before it gets too bad, or believe in Divine intervention to fix things up. No matter their justification of inaction, it still means they were inactive, so 500_apples how do you be bipartisan if the other partisan side is doing nothing, and furthermore wants to do nothing?

Setting up a false premise, aka strawman, to say it is those on the left who actually give a shit, who are at fault for others inaction is beyond belief.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 17 December 2007 11:48 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven, what a narrow outlook you hold... Do you assume non-capitalistic distribution of resources immidiately equates to a rather bleak looking communist society?

quote:
Capitalism gives people choices. Completely eliminate capitalism and the “choices” you have will be what the bureaucrats tell you what you can have. No more. No less.

Capitalism also enforces consumerism... One of the key ways of making a profit remains selling people shit they don't need and producing that shit in the cheapest way possible (keeping in mind that waste = cheap).

There are a couple fundamental problems capitalism faces... Can consumerism be seperated from capitalism is just one of them, theres quite a few more (when can the world no longer sustain our unsustainable growth?)


I love this pure peice of bullshit... Your post is almost entirely strawmen for you to fight:

quote:
“Only one state-run stage theater may be used per 50,000 citizens. All productions must be during the daylight hours—and illuminated by natural sunlight—because no electricity will be allotted to any such venues.”

I like how quickly it becomes 'state-run' ^^ I'm surprised you didn't try to get a "state limit on snowfall" comment in there. Is this an environmental post, or just your rant on what you think anyone suggesting capitalism is flawed must agree with?

FM has it right with this quote...

quote:
So long as there is a capitalist religion that governs how we allocate resources, that is true.
Svens paranoia of how such a concept immidiately equals bleak communism is remiscent of an American in the 60s ^^

Apples:

quote:
The biggest threat to the environmentalist movement, and thus to the biosphere, are the currently succesful attempts to bring it under the left-wing umbrella, rather than leaving it as a bipartisian issue.

You are somewhat correct, but the problem is the left is not trying to bring it under their wing... The right completely denying it leaving it is leaving it only within the left... It'd be nice if it was a bi-partisan issue, but it can only be that when the right admits it's an issue in the first place. Unfortunately environmentalism is a direct conflict with corporate profits.

(and I now realize this is exactly what Remind finished saying. )

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Noise ]


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
West Coast Greeny
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posted 17 December 2007 11:56 AM      Profile for West Coast Greeny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't consider myself an ecosocialist or ecocapitalist. Rather, the best term would be an eco... um... ecomixedeconomist? Can I settle for moderate green?

Unbridled capitalism, with no regulations what so ever, would certainly lead to ecological oblivion. Just consider the tragedy of the commons.

But without using market mechanisms, its becomes very difficult to achieve environmentalist ends, certainly one as great as cutting CO2 emmissions. Carbon taxes, full cost accounting, cap and trade systems... all mechanisms designed to use the market to achieve environmentalist goals.


From: Ewe of eh. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 11:59 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
No, that post certainly isn't. Sven, remember that you are to respect the mandate of this discussion board if you want to post here.

[SNIP]

Sven, keep in mind that you are not to be ridiculing people on the left in this thread. That's not what this forum is here for, and I think you know it.


I’m not ridiculing people on “the left”. As you said:

quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
That said, the whole ecosocialism idea is new, and there isn't a broad consensus even on the left (or centre left) about what exactly it entails and why it's necessary. So I'll leave this thread open because this is new territory that needs to be fleshed out.

There’s actually a great diversity of opinion about what ecosocialism means. I would venture to guess that the majority of those who are left-of-center accept that capitalism (perhaps in a modified form, but capitalism nonetheless) will continue.

What I’m ridiculing is the extreme position taken by many on the left (which is not “the left”, per se): A complete destruction of capitalism. That necessitates, by definition, a complete (or near complete) lack of choice over our material world as individuals. If there is no free market—at all—then that means that the state will be making all of those choices: What you wear, what services are available to you (or not), etc.

Why is that necessarily so?

Because if I want to get some people together, along with a building and equipment, to make a certain type of boot and to sell them freely to anyone who wants to buy them from me, then that is “capitalism”. Take that away, and the only boots you will wear will be what the state tells you that you can wear.

So, I’m critiquing those who are taking an extreme position, a position that is indisputably not shared by everyone on “the left”. Therefore, I’m not ridiculing “the left”.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 12:02 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why is it the Right thinks that to tell a person they must wear a particular boot is a crime against humanity while to force someone to sacrifice his or her life in an imperial mission is perfectly okay?

Does the right care more about what boots they wear than their own lives? How weird.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 12:03 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
Sven, what a narrow outlook you hold... Do you assume non-capitalistic distribution of resources immidiately equates to a rather bleak looking communist society?

If there is a complete destruction of capitalism and free markets, yes. If buyers and sellers cannot freely enter into transactions of their choice, then the government must necessarily be making those decisions, no? Who else would make that decision?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 17 December 2007 12:04 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Noise,
There should be more work done bringing crunchy cons into the fold, as an example.

From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 12:04 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Why is it the Right thinks that to tell a person they must wear a particular boot is a crime against humanity while to force someone to sacrifice his or her life in an imperial mission is perfectly okay?

Does the right care more about what boots they wear than their own lives? How weird.


I'm not aruing in the least that the right is above criticism. It is not.

But, I think it would be enlightening for you to consider my question in my immediately preceding post.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 12:11 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
From this thread:

So, global warming will not be addressed as long as there is a capitalist system?

Does this include the capitalist system that exists in Sweden?


Yes, and it would include the semi-socialist system under attack in the USA since Carter and Reagan. We know the real capitalist system could not stand on its own after 1929. And it's looking as though the new capitalism is the source cause of world-wide problems today. It's time for strong governments to act. It's time for strong central planning, sweeping regulations and yoking of capitalism, once again.

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 December 2007 12:13 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
Noise,
There should be more work done bringing crunchy cons into the fold, as an example.

More work should be done bringing the crunchy cons into the fold?

Do actually believe that attempts have not been made to do this?

Again you are blaiming those who are actually trying to do something and to encourage the WHOLE world to do something for others chosen inaction.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 17 December 2007 12:16 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If there is a complete destruction of capitalism and free markets, yes. If buyers and sellers cannot freely enter into transactions of their choice, then the government must necessarily be making those decisions, no? Who else would make that decision?

Not sure if you realize that you are currently arguing that the leaving the descisions with corporations bent on profits (by explotation of people and land) is the best way to distribute resources. The only way this form of capitalism would work is with a truely educated public that can make educated choices as to the products they purchase (which is why mainstream media is such a large problem). Can you see an inbetween state, or are you an all or nothing kind of guy?

quote:
Noise,
There should be more work done bringing crunchy cons into the fold, as an example.

Heh, sure apples. Go read our local Conservatives stooge's posts here and see how well thats going. To sum it up, you'll see this "The variation of snowfall over decaeds is too large to observe any change in patterns (a negative result) therefore global warming must be a hoax (stupidity)"

There is some sign of it getting through, which is a decent part of the green parties support. I don't consider this an issue of the left trying to take control of an issue, but a complete refusal from the right... For it to become bi-partisan, we'll see the right embrace it.


edited : Remind beats me again

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Noise ]


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 12:25 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think "crunchy cons" are little red schoolhouse conservatives, no? I think they long for bygone days of the simple life. I'm thinkin' theme song from All in the Family, "Mister we sure could use a man like Herbert Hoover a-gain." ha ha
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 12:27 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
[QB]Not sure if you realize that you are currently arguing that the leaving the descisions with corporations bent on profits (by explotation of people and land) is the best way to distribute resources. The only way this form of capitalism would work is with a truely educated public that can make educated choices as to the products they purpose (which is why mainstream media is such a large problem). [QB]

But, most importantly this:

quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
[QB]Can you see an inbetween state, or are you an all or nothing kind of guy? [QB]

I’m definitely not an all-or-nothing kind of guy. I don’t favor unbridled capitalism (although there are those on the Right that do) any more than I favor absolute destruction of free markets (although there are those on the Left that do).

My list of (a bit of) tongue-n-cheek examples are not too far off base in a world with a complete absence of free markets. A complete absence of free markets means individuals have no (or microscopic) choice over their material world. Again, if individuals do not have a choice in material matters, then who does?

The answer is obvious: The state.

And, if the state is controlling those decisions, they will control what you wear on your feet, etc.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 17 December 2007 12:49 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My list of (a bit of) tongue-n-cheek examples are not too far off base in a world with a complete absence of free markets.

Ya, we know you were trolling for a hostile response It's resorting to a common tactic however... Using the extreme to try to protest change.

quote:
Again, if individuals do not have a choice in material matters, then who does?

The answer is obvious: The state.

And, if the state is controlling those decisions, they will control what you wear on your feet, etc.


I don't understand why you think the individual in a capitalist system has the choice in material matters? Their choice is to buy the stuff coming from the companies... How is that different from the state chosing? You're only arguement is the companies choosing for us will be more responsive to our choices in an attempt to further sales, while a mythical 'state' will say you have only one choice... And I would challenge that assumption, you're just basing it on the most extreme 'state' you can think of (refer to the first comment on using the extremes for examples).

Bluntly, your comments are quite disheartening Sven... It's amazing your conviction on something it doesn't seem you've thought through beyond a lil 'rah rah capitalism forever, communism never!' rhetoric.

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Noise ]


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 12:57 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Again, if individuals do not have a choice in material matters, then who does?

The answer is obvious: The state.

And, if the state is controlling those decisions, they will control what you wear on your feet, etc.


Do we really need 986 different styles of shoes to choose from, Sven?

There is no debate anymore as to whether free markets create wealth and provide the widest range of material goods.

But at some point, all this wealth creation dependent on material consumption ends up reducing possibilities for material consumption for future generations. I see that as impoverishing future generations and reducing overall choice in ways we could spend hours elaborating on. Capitalists say our material wealth is what matters, and they want to be sole providers of material goods. And a great deal of production of these material goods is reliant upon oil and its byproducts, and riduculous amounts of other finite resources like fresh water and clearcutting of the world's forests.

And now that the writing is on the wall for commodities based economies, capitalists want into health care, child care and education - public services around the world worth about $6 trillion dollars annually. This is not little red schoolhouse conservatism. This is leave it to the market laissez-faire. Plebiscites on privatizations of all kinds of public services show that people from Germany to France and Canada and several U.S. states are not agreeable to the deregulation and privatization of the common good. Globalization and deregulation were put in place in developing countries and without being put to democratic vote.

"G&D" and democracy are incompatible, and Richard Nixon arrived at this conclusion when Milton Friedman was an advisor to his government in the 1970's.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 01:06 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But, I think it would be enlightening for you to consider my question in my immediately preceding post.

I answered the question you asked when you initiated this thread, Sven. You did not respond to that.

To be honest, I do not believe efforts that begin with attempts to create false dichotomies to be fruitful.

What we often call the environment, when we mean the biosphere, really doesn't care how we organize our affairs. So really, the "environment" is not and cannot be an enemy of capitalists. It is quite the reverse. Capitalism has positioned itself as the enemy of the environment or the biosphere.

Put the capitalist dichotomy in plain language: "Your choice is the economy or the planet. Choose."

Of course the language is never so plain. Rather it is couched in coded words such as "balance" and "growth" and never is it stated that balance always, every single time, means surrendering more of the biosphere for extraction and development and growth always means, every single time, at the expense of the biosphere whether it is habitat, wetlands, forests, mountains, species, whatever ...

Unrestrained consumer capitalism is a cancer.

If regulated, local capitalism served the community rather than community being sacrificed to capitalism, there could be a future.

In another thread, webgear tells us the individual is more important than the group. And that is the core of the cancer. If I am more important than all of you, then why do I give a single shit if you have clean water, enough food, shelter, and clothing so long as I have it for myself?

Clearly I wouldn't. And so it is with capitalism. The earth, as a whole, is sacrificed for the immediate gratification of a tiny minority and everyone else including that tiny minority's progeny can go to hell.

Isn't that about right?


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 01:42 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
I don't understand why you think the individual in a capitalist system has the choice in material matters? Their choice is to buy the stuff coming from the companies... How is that different from the state chosing?

It’s the difference between night and day.

Take books, for example. There are tens of thousands of titles to choose from. Could you imagine the state making a decision about what books should be published and sold to the public? Again, in a complete absence of a free market, could someone establish a publishing house to produce books for sale to the public? No.

But, look at more pedestrian choices (those that aren’t tied to free speech issues like the first one):

Restaurants. In a complete absence of a free market, what kind of restaurants would expect from the government? Sure, the free market produces a lot of shit choices (fast food, in particular) but people are free to start a business by opening up a restaurant, choosing the fare and the ambiance, setting the prices, etc. As a result, there are a lot of great (commercial) restaurant choices out there, particularly in the cities.

Drinks. There are probably several thousand different kinds of drinks available to people. Soda, beers, wines, energy drinks, spirits, teas, etc., etc. Some are successful (because people choose to buy them) while others fail (because people choose not to buy them). I can only imagine what a government wine list would look like. You want a micro-beer? Forget it.

Shoes. There are thousands of different shoes available. Yeah, you have to choose from what corporations decide to make but how hard is it, with a little searching, to find a pair of shoes that work for you? Got narrow feet? Have a problem with low arches? Need more cushion due to back problems? It’s highly likely that you’ll find a pair (or more) that will work for you. I can’t even begin to imagine what government-issued shoes (or clothing generally) would look like. But, without any free market, you’ll take what you’re given.

Housing. Can you say, “Box”? Would you like to personalize your house (assuming you can own one) or apartment with paint or wallpaper or other decorating items? Forget having the kinds of choices you have now and get used to hearing one-size-fits-all (or, at best, a few-sizes-fit-all).

Theater. You want to start a theater company? Forget it. On Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, there is a theater called the “State Theater” that dates back to the 1920s. Well, this will be a new kind of “state” theater. If the government doesn’t actually write plays, the government would certainly decide what gets produced.

Endless List. You make your own list. Look around your house or apartment and think about your furniture, clothes, food, decorations, appliances, etc., etc. and think of a government deciding what’s available to you. One “all-knowing” entity making all of those decisions.

Again, this is a world without any “free market”. Individuals would essentially cede all control over their material world to the government. Yet, it’s more than that. When you cede control over the material world to the government, you would lose control over your living conditions.

A properly regulated free market is a much better alternative.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 01:46 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Isn't that about right?

I think that is exactly right if we are talking about unbridled capitalism, which I would disfavor as much as an absolute absence of the free market.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 01:47 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Again, in a complete absence of a free market, could someone establish a publishing house to produce books for sale to the public? No.

Sven, that is prep school nonsense. Publishing was born in the absence of a free market. In fact, in Britain, from which North American copyright (and what is copyright other than an regulation impinging upon a free market) has its roots in a state sanctioned monopoly.

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 01:52 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Sven, that is prep school nonsense. Publishing was born in the absence of a free market. In fact, in Britain, from which North American copyright (and what is copyright other than an regulation impinging upon a free market) has its roots in a state sanctioned monopoly.

Great. A state-sanctioned monopoly over publishing. So, if that state-sanctioned monopoly doesn’t publish books addressing a particular subject (like what the government may be doing wrong), you have no alternative publishing houses—because in the complete absence of a free market, you can’t start one on your own (or with a group of other people). Because, that would be “capitalism”.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 01:58 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven, I am merely contradicting your claim that there cannot be publishing in the absence of a "free market". There can be.
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 17 December 2007 02:00 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Again, in a complete absence of a free market

Ahh, sorry Sven... 'Complete absence' of capitalism As I said, you're working with the extremist version to piss a few people off and provoke a response.

Why don't we do the extremist version of capitalism where the law is nothing more than a consumer good too, perhaps I could pay to revoke your freedom of speech? Come clean and admit that your stance here is complete rhetoric bullshit, save yourself a lil face. Reminds initial evaluation was completely correct, you're trapped in some theorectical loop so far detatched from reality that you've found a location where your warped view actually makes sense.


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 02:01 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Sven, I am merely contradicting your claim that there cannot be publishing in the absence of a "free market". There can be.

Well, of course there can be publishing in the absence of a free market. I didn’t say there couldn’t be. But, it would be government-controlled publishing.

That’s a significant difference.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 02:08 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
Ahh, sorry Sven... 'Complete absence' of capitalism

Do you doubt that there are many, many people who want to completely destroy and replace capitalism because they believe to do so is the only means of controlling global warming?

That’s what I’m addressing.

quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
Why don't we do the extremist version of capitalism where the law is nothing more than a consumer good too, perhaps I could pay to revoke your freedom of speech?

No one here, including myself, is even remotely arguing for extreme and unfettered capitalism. But, there are probably a few here who would like to see “free markets” gone—if not entirely, at least for all practical purposes.

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 03:27 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

It’s the difference between night and day.

Take books, for example. There are tens of thousands of titles to choose from. Could you imagine the state making a decision about what books should be published and sold to the public?


And yet the Soviet system produced about twice as many graduates of advanced university degree programs in Russia as the U.S.. And that's when higher ed was somewhat affordable here in North America throughout the cold war years.

Books have become a business in North America. And there are university students here in Canada reporting that they have given up trying to buy recommended texts for various courses required for their degrees. It's too expensive, Sven. I know you've said it's a bargain still, but I just don't see it that way, and neither do student groups protesting runaway costs. For one thing, Canada gouges its students with highest in the world interest rates on student loans. I can think of several ways in which our Liberal governments of the recent past have governed further to the right than U.S. hawks have dared to.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 17 December 2007 03:29 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
And yet the Soviet system produced about twice as many graduates of advanced university degree programs in Russia as the U.S.. And that's when higher ed was somewhat affordable here in North America throughout the cold war years.

Is that why the Soviet economy was so robust?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 17 December 2007 03:38 PM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Besides, the technology exists today for print-to-order book binding and delivery with 24 hour delivery.

Strange that devotees of consumer capitalism like Sven will always cite technology as the answer to the big question of global warming, but they can never imagine its application in the thousands of small meaningful steps necessary to combat it - particularly if it means disrupting their comsumer lifestyle.


From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 03:49 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Is that why the Soviet economy was so robust?


Actually, Sven, the Soviet economy was much simpler than our's, especially since the 1980's when our financial system was separated from productive economy and transformed into this make-believe DisneyWorld economy.

By the 1980's, the Soviets were said to be about eight years behind the west wrt technological advancements. I think that's impressive considering where the Soviets and ourselves started off from. The difference was that the Soviets had no private enterprise to handoff government military technologies to for glitzification and marketing.

At the same time, the U.S. ditched laissez-faire capitalism in the 1930's in favour of making your economy much more robust. And they achieved that with massive public investments in education, infrastructure, and by pouring taxpayers money into research and developement in academic and governmental agencies to develop everything from medical and metalurgical advances to computer technology, satellites, lasers and data communications. I think the hawks came to the realization that if they left everything to the market and private enterprise as it was during the 30 year-long experiment in laissez-faire capitalism, they really were going to be buried.

The Soviet system lasted 70 years. Laissez-faire collapsed after 30 in the U.S. The very next experiment in laissez-faire collapsed after just 16 years in Pinochet's Chile.

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 17 December 2007 03:52 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But, it would be government-controlled publishing.

And so what? Would the Tale of Two Cities be read any differently?

This is all besides the point anyway.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 17 December 2007 05:50 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Take books, for example. There are tens of thousands of titles to choose from. Could you imagine the state making a decision about what books should be published and sold to the public? Again, in a complete absence of a free market, could someone establish a publishing house to produce books for sale to the public? No.

But, look at more pedestrian choices (those that aren’t tied to free speech issues like the first one):

Restaurants. In a complete absence of a free market, what kind of restaurants would expect from the government? Sure, the free market produces a lot of shit choices (fast food, in particular) but people are free to start a business by opening up a restaurant, choosing the fare and the ambiance, setting the prices, etc. As a result, there are a lot of great (commercial) restaurant choices out there, particularly in the cities.

Drinks. There are probably several thousand different kinds of drinks available to people. Soda, beers, wines, energy drinks, spirits, teas, etc., etc. Some are successful (because people choose to buy them) while others fail (because people choose not to buy them). I can only imagine what a government wine list would look like. You want a micro-beer? Forget it.

Shoes. There are thousands of different shoes available. Yeah, you have to choose from what corporations decide to make but how hard is it, with a little searching, to find a pair of shoes that work for you? Got narrow feet? Have a problem with low arches? Need more cushion due to back problems? It’s highly likely that you’ll find a pair (or more) that will work for you. I can’t even begin to imagine what government-issued shoes (or clothing generally) would look like. But, without any free market, you’ll take what you’re given.

Housing. Can you say, “Box”? Would you like to personalize your house (assuming you can own one) or apartment with paint or wallpaper or other decorating items? Forget having the kinds of choices you have now and get used to hearing one-size-fits-all (or, at best, a few-sizes-fit-all).

Theater. You want to start a theater company? Forget it. On Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, there is a theater called the “State Theater” that dates back to the 1920s. Well, this will be a new kind of “state” theater. If the government doesn’t actually write plays, the government would certainly decide what gets produced.

Endless List. You make your own list. Look around your house or apartment and think about your furniture, clothes, food, decorations, appliances, etc., etc. and think of a government deciding what’s available to you. One “all-knowing” entity making all of those decisions.

Again, this is a world without any “free market”. Individuals would essentially cede all control over their material world to the government. Yet, it’s more than that. When you cede control over the material world to the government, you would lose control over your living conditions.

A properly regulated free market is a much better alternative.


This is such a ridiculous caraciture that it hardly merits comment it's as though your entire understanding of socialism is based on 1950's government newsreels.

"Attention fellow Americans beware the REDS, they'll destroy everything that we hold precious and sacred!!

The Reds will nationalize your children.

The Reds will tell you what colour of underpants to wear.

The Reds will determine your household pets sexual partners and outlaw your saturday night card game.

Be Happy you're an American living in the land of Choice and Freedom did you get that CHOICE AND FREEDOM do YOU HEAR Me CHOICE AND FREEDOM your only choice to be free"

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Policywonk
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posted 17 December 2007 06:50 PM      Profile for Policywonk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If there is a complete destruction of capitalism and free markets, yes. If buyers and sellers cannot freely enter into transactions of their choice, then the government must necessarily be making those decisions, no? Who else would make that decision?

A properly regulated free market is a contradiction, because what is really meant by free markets is unregulated markets, and markets would not exist without some form of regulation, written or unwritten. If buyers and sellers cannot transact as they wish, it is often a corporation or group of corporations standing in their way (e.g. monopoly), and not government regulation, which can be beneficial or detrimental. Not that the only alternative to individual (illusory or not) or corporate control is government control; there are collective solutions that are neither private corporations nor government (cooperatives and not-for-profits).


From: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
1234567
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posted 17 December 2007 07:35 PM      Profile for 1234567     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why is it the Right thinks that to tell a person they must wear a particular boot is a crime against humanity while to force someone to sacrifice his or her life in an imperial mission is perfectly okay?
Does the right care more about what boots they wear than their own lives? How weird.

Well said. Ever watch Fashion File?


From: speak up, even if your voice shakes | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 December 2007 10:03 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know much about this web source, and it's definitely not mainstream. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.

The American empire is falling with the dollar

quote:
The US dollar is still officially the world's reserve currency, but it cannot purchase the services of Brazilian super model Gisele Bundchen. Gisele required the $30 million she earned during the first half of this year to be paid in euros.

Gisele is not alone in her forecast of the dollar's fate. The First Post (UK) reports that Jim Rogers, a former partner of billionaire George Soros, is selling his home and all possessions in order to convert all his wealth into Chinese yuan.

Meanwhile, American economists continue to preach that offshoring is good for the US economy and that Bush's war spending is keeping the economy going. The practitioners of supply and demand have yet to figure out that the dollar's supply is sinking the dollar's price and along with it American power.

The macho super patriots who support the Bush regime still haven't caught on that US superpower status rests on the dollar being the reserve currency, not on a military unable to occupy Baghdad. If the dollar were not the world currency, the US would have to earn enough foreign currencies to pay for its 737 oversees bases, an impossibility considering America's $800 billion trade deficit.

When the dollar ceases to be the reserve currency, foreigners will cease to finance the US trade and budget deficits, and the American Empire along with its wars will disappear overnight. Perhaps Bush will be able to get a World Bank loan, or maybe one from the "Chavez bank," to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Call to relax Basel banking rules

quote:
The Government must suspend a set of key banking regulations at the heart of the current financial crisis or risk seeing the economy spiral towards a future that could "make 1929 look like a walk in the park", one of Britain's leading economists has warned

Bank auditors are risking malfeasance under the current rules apparently. Are the major capitalist pillars of banking in London and New York insolvent?

[ 17 December 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 December 2007 05:27 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
This is such a ridiculous caraciture that it...

It's only a ridiculous caricature if we are talking about a modern-day socialist-capitalist economy (such as Sweden). It's not so far fetched if we're talking about an economic system without any free market.

So, if we shave off the sliver that represents the extreme Left end of the political spectrum (and a world in which free markets are completely absent), we are left with a broad spectrum along which there is growing choice (more free markets). For purposes of this discussion, let's cut the remaining political spectrum roughly in half and stay on the Left side of the spectrum).

This is where the intertwined questions about consumerism, choice, conservation, global warming, and free markets is keenly interesting: To what degree should people have choices about what they can purchase? And, in those instances where they do not have any choice, how are those choices made?

A related question: To the extent people have freedom to buy things, how can people be convinced to buy in a globally-friendly way? In other words, if people have a choice to purchase vegetables locally or from California, how do you prevail upon them that it's better from a CO2-emissions perspective to buy locally?

This is where the questions become far more interesting and challenging.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 18 December 2007 05:43 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You are asking these questions from a consumerist perspective that, in my opinion, highlight the extent to which consumer choice has been conflated with real choice.

In a post consumerist, sustainable society those questions will likely be irrelevant.

What if we were to turn the question around. What if I were to ask, how many pairs of boots do you need and how many styles? How many rivers are you prepared to pollute for those boots? How many carcinogens are you prepared to inhale for those boots? How many humans are you prepared to impoverish or enslave for those boots?

Consumer choices are not just about you. They have much wider implications.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 December 2007 05:59 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
You are asking these questions from a consumerist perspective that, in my opinion, highlight the extent to which consumer choice has been conflated with real choice.

In a post consumerist, sustainable society those questions will likely be irrelevant.


That's what I'm trying to get a handle on. How would a post-consumerist society be structured? In other words, in a post-consumerist society, how (and who) would make economic choices about restaurants, clothing, food, drinks, home furnishings, etc.?

quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
What if we were to turn the question around. What if I were to ask, how many pairs of boots do you need and how many styles? How many rivers are you prepared to pollute for those boots? How many carcinogens are you prepared to inhale for those boots? How many humans are you prepared to impoverish or enslave for those boots?

Consumer choices are not just about you. They have much wider implications.


I need one pair of boots, although I have three pair of boots.

More generally, I recognize that there must be balance between individual freedom and choice and collective good. The question is how that balance is struck. It's theoretically easy to protect rivers in a command economy (although the actual record of Easter Bloc countries relative to Western Europe says otherwise). In the absence of a command-economy, the questions become much more difficult.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 18 December 2007 06:15 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's what I'm trying to get a handle on. How would a post-consumerist society be structured?

50 Million Farmers

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 18 December 2007 07:22 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's what I'm trying to get a handle on. How would a post-consumerist society be structured? In other words, in a post-consumerist society, how (and who) would make economic choices about restaurants, clothing, food, drinks, home furnishings, etc.?

I'm finding myself doubting your sincerity as it's taken around 50 posts to overcome the bullshit rhetoric you've posted to get to this, but no point ignoring the issue based on how it was brought up.

One of the usual ways of directing consumer spending tends to be taxes. Do you see any merit in the elimination of all income tax and instead directing taxes to a progressive model of consumption tax? (ignore implementation for now, this would in theory be the more you consume the higher rate of tax you would pay... Like an electricity tax that is 0% until a certain amount is reached and then increments itself the more that is consumed to the point where it hits 100%+ tax rate for mass overconsumption. The implementation nightmare is the need to track all of a consumers consumption to appropriately tax of course, but lets leave this as theory for now).


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 December 2007 07:52 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Noise:
One of the usual ways of directing consumer spending tends to be taxes. Do you see any merit in the elimination of all income tax and instead directing taxes to a progressive model of consumption tax?

Yes, actually. At a three-thousand-foot level, I like consumption taxes. Although, when you look at the mechanics of actually designing and implementing such a taxing scheme, it's fraught with difficulties. But, conceptually, I like it.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 18 December 2007 08:03 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are some inherant problems with attempting to implement a 10% tax for the first pair of boots, a 50% tax for the second, and a 100% tax for the third... It becomes a complete invasion of privacy to track consumption habits at the level, no?

Although some parts are easier to implement than others, I'd like to see a progressive consumption tax for water and electricity implemented as quickly as possible. Watching someone consume water at the rate of millions of litres per day be charged the same rate as someone living minimalist and conserving water at all costs is a crime. I won't even get into the wasteful practicies of companies... Imagine how fast corporate practices will change if they discover tax rates on water consumption increment based on how much they consume... One of the saving graces of corporations is their ability to react to something like that.


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 18 December 2007 09:00 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So, if we shave off the sliver that represents the extreme Left end of the political spectrum (and a world in which free markets are completely absent), we are left with a broad spectrum along which there is growing choice (more free markets). For purposes of this discussion, let's cut the remaining political spectrum roughly in half and stay on the Left side of the spectrum).

What you seem unable to grasp is that the all the assumptions you are putting forward are "free Market" ideological devoid of any critical analysis in the context of history,social structure or political economy.

Briefly "Markets" are a metaphor there is nothing beyond socially prescribed and agreed upon rules for exchanging goods and services,"Markets" have no power beyond that which is designated by them. Markets have never been "free" they have always been controlled and funded by those with the wealth and power to do so.

Humanity has been on the planet for 100-200.000 yrs Capitalism has been around for about 500, reducing human choice to varieties of meaningless consumption is ridiculous.

As has already been noted your caricature of a centralized economy in which a small elite determines what products are available is actually not far from the reality of corporate capitalism. Presently one could be parachuted into any number of small cities in North America and be faced with indistinquishable cookie cutter suburbs or Condo developments, the strips or fast food and the stores in Malls or Plazas would also be indistinquishable. Variety of consumer goods for the most can be reduced to 150 varieties of shoddily constructed crap, Coke vs. Pepsi, Mcdonald's vs. Burger King,etc. If to you this is the some total of choice that defines your humanity that you might want have a look at that.

As has been pointed out the distinquishing feature of Capitalism is ownership of the means of production by an elite. Socialism does not require Soviet style centralized planning this is part of your McCathyist fantasy. Just because we do away with Capitalism or ownership of a ruling class does not mean people will be unable to produce a variety or diversity of goods, in fact it could result in greater diversity than corporate dictated monoculture. The main point would be that human activity would not revolve around alienated production and meaningless consumption.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 18 December 2007 10:23 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
It's theoretically easy to protect rivers in a command economy (although the actual record of Easter Bloc countries relative to Western Europe says otherwise). In the absence of a command-economy, the questions become much more difficult.

I think minute details of a new way economic system should be left to the experts, and there are no shortage of smart people in the world begging to provide input. But I think something on the order of an FDR New Deal but for the entire western and developing world is in order.

First on the agenda will be a New Deal for the world banking system. The whole thing is collapsing anyway. Britain's Rock Island was bailed out recently for 40 billion pounds. Peter Spence is calling for what amounts to another bail out of banks for their gambling losses around the world. Goldman Sachs is basically bankrupt. Mitsubishi of Japan is essentially bankrupt. Scottish Royal Bank is insolvent. The Queen and Phil's bank, Coutts, is bankrupt. So the whole western financial system needs to be put into bankruptcy proceedings and sweeping away mountains of worthless debt. But pumping more money into the casino economy, and deregulating banking even further isn't going to work. Governments will need to do something on the order of an FDR wrt banking and finance and create firewalls of regulation to protect us from another 1929 but on a global scale sometime between now and the next few years.

I think our governments need to step in and start spending on green infrastructure, and lessen our dependence on long haul transport trucking as the backbone for food and goods and raw materials. We should be building new railways across the continent instead of crazy ideas for a NAFTA superhighway which will increase the presence of diesel-fueled tractor trailers on our highways.

And our governments should be investing in energy conservation and efficiency on a large scale. The state of California is a good example since turning their backs on deregulated electric power generation and distribution. If they do decide on more nuclear power stations, then that's going to take a lot of money that our governments don't have since they've handed issuing of nearly all money and credit to private banks since the late 1980s-1990s. What we need is for our governments to stop feigning powerlessness and do the jobs they were elected to do.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 18 December 2007 11:33 AM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is no solution unless humans change what is at the core of our societies. If it is wealth creation through consumption (and if wealth is only measured in material terms) then we remain on the path of eventual collapse.

In fact, the real question is, is it too late to get off that path?


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 18 December 2007 11:40 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In fact, the real question is, is it too late to get off that path?


Would you call me a pessimist if I said yes? We'll seek a drastic solution only when presented with a drastic situation (drifting away from extreme materialism and over consumption being drastic). Heh, does the real question become will a collapsed society be capable of getting off the path?


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 18 December 2007 12:09 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Would you call me a pessimist if I said yes?

No. A realist. I agree with you. That is why I think the debate ought to be on weathering the storm. If not for yourself, depending on age, your children and grandchildren.

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 18 December 2007 12:12 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Due to location, we might have the luxury of being slow to respond... Most of the immidiate effects won't seem to harm us (minus some costal regions... Though I may be underestimating the effect on water across the praries), and I think we might even hit some benefits in the north as other countries feel the stress from what our Western society has inflicted.

With that in mind, I think our weathering the storm outlook should be expanded to aiding others weather the storm.


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 December 2007 12:43 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Talking Jesus (the Messenger of Faith)

Get 'em while they're hot!!!


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 18 December 2007 01:51 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
There is no solution unless humans change what is at the core of our societies. If it is wealth creation through consumption (and if wealth is only measured in material terms) then we remain on the path of eventual collapse.

In fact, the real question is, is it too late to get off that path?


I think the answer is democracy. Full democratization of the system would provide more citizens input. We don't have that right now. Even though the U.S. is referred to as a constitutional democracy, it operates more like a republic. And Canada is run more like a banana republic. We have plutocrats running the show in both countries. And with this political setup, Alberta is going to be transformed into a toxic wasteland of poisonous chemicals and sulphuric settling ponds by criminal energy companies influencing our stoogeocrats in Calgary where colonial administrators to the administrorship in Ottawa are suffering whiplash from nodding up and down in agreement to absentee corporate landlords and their agendas to become incredibly rich at our expense and at the expense of the environment. They call it freedom when themselves are free to raid and exploit and pollute Canada and siphon off our finite fossil fuel reserves and paying next to nothing to our colonial administratorship in Ottawa while doing it.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 18 December 2007 03:56 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Due to location, we might have the luxury of being slow to respond... Most of the immidiate effects won't seem to harm us (minus some costal regions... Though I may be underestimating the effect on water across the praries), and I think we might even hit some benefits in the north as other countries feel the stress from what our Western society has inflicted.

Now you're being optimistic.

It is true we don't know what the full impact will be. But keep in mind the IPCC reports are political documents and they have been consistently wrong. Scientists keep reporting the changes are occurring faster and on a much larger scale than has been predicted by the IPCC. I do not have to resort to hyperbole or alarmist language when scientists themselves, normally the epitome of the understatement, are being quoted as saying "the Arctic is screaming".

One of the big, under examined issues of climate change is the impact on rain patterns and our dependence on weather predictability. For example, farmers count on rain in the spring to nourish their crops and on dry conditions in the fall to harvest them. But what if the rain doesn't fall when its needed and does fall when it's not? What if it doesn't fall at all? What if we get a frost in early June? Or what if a long warm spell in February causes fruit trees to bud?

There is also the reality that we are not just facing climate change. We are facing water scarcity, energy depletion, soil depletion, and rising food costs all at exactly the same time.

Wheat right now is $10 a bushel. Is it sustainable? I don't know, but the National Farmers Union are saying we have reached peak wheat.

When the IPCC says that climate change will hurt the poor the most, I read the USA, Australia, and Canada all over that as it says to our populations, don't worry, it ain't you, babe.

But it is us. It is our Arctic that is melting. Our tundras that are melting. It is our forests falling to new invasions, our salmon that is abandoning habitat, it is our bodies that will be infected by viruses and bacteria on new vectors.

And that hardly scratches the surface.

There is no escaping, on this earth, what will be a global calamity.

quote:
I think the answer is democracy.

I agree but it is not going to happen.

We are an educated and informed population and yet we can't elect a government that will put the interests of our life support before the interests of global capital. And we can't agree among ourselves that it is better we have a sustainable earth than a billion pairs of boots to choose from. How in hell will we ever chart a course to a truer democracy? I will tell you not so long as there is television and celebrity gossip.

[ 18 December 2007: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 18 December 2007 06:24 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is that optimistic, or do we have different reads on 'immidiate' effects?

but everything in you post rings true.


From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged

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