8-Bit Philosophy: Is Capitalism Bad For You?

Aerotrain

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Let's take heed of the Escapist name and escape the world we know to enjoy entirely new universes, he said.
Let's eschew the curmudgeon mentality, he said.
Let's focus on finding the good in the geekspace rather than focusing on the bad, he said.
Let's talk more about the things we love and less about the things we hate, he said.

And yet not even a month later: "Is Capitalism bad for you?".

Goddammit, Vanderwall. God freaking dammit.
 

Spyre2k

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On the topic of Automation making it so no one has to work, I think this is highly unlikely. What instead you see is a shift to more technical jobs as they need people to run those machines. The mass unemployment however comes from lots of unskilled labor jobs being replaced with skilled labor jobs. The unskilled people can't get jobs because they lack the skills for the new jobs and often have issues obtaining those skills as often they lack the fundamental education for those jobs.

After all it's hard to bring people who can barely read and have only basic math skills up to speed in a relatively short time. Even some of the decently fast courses which expect people to have many of the fundamental high school level skills could take several months or more, and they often take money. Plus once they get their certificate their is no guarantee they will get a job. Plus most certification programs cost money, and for someone just looking to make ends meet that's not really an option. Though still lots of people are doing it as you often hear how many people are going back to school these days.

Unless we develop a truly independent AI that can learn and self improve than some form of human work will be required. It's just there is a large reduction in manual labor jobs so people are free to pursue other things. The rise of youtubers, blogs, and other alternative media personalities who make a living off these new forms of entertainment are just one example. After all you don't have to make it big to be a success and earn enough to live on. Someone could easily have a decent size following and make $30-50K a year, they don't need to be the next major star and earn millions. So instead of having several dozen major celebrities earning millions it will be more likely to have several hundreds of thousands of minor celebrities making a live able wage. Same goes for lots of other areas in the media and arts.

Odds are in a society where everything is automated by a super intelligent AI so that human work is no longer required at all, because the system can self maintain, an entertainment driven society would practically be expected. Because people have needs beyond the biological. They have a need to socialize, a need for a sense of accomplishment, and a need for fun. Often people tie their sense of accomplishment to their jobs, but sometimes they tie it to a hobby instead such as learning to play a musical instrument. So in some sense most people would spend much of their time improving themselves. Kind of like what the Federation in Star Trek claimed was Humanities motivating factor even though it was a militaristic state with basically everyone else on one side and then those in Star Fleet work in a typical military organization on the other.

I think the closest thing I've seen to everything being almost fully automated in a Scifi series was on Andromeda, because on Star Trek it's made clear several times the ship needs it's crew for regular maintenance even though they have things like replicators. The ship's AI on Andromeda, named Rommie, was able to harvest raw materials from asteroids then use it's manufacturing bays to create what it needed. Though the process is never shown in full it is mentioned a few times by Rommie on how "happy" she is to have the resources or how when they have a shortage she would like to "resupply" in an asteroid belt. Most of the crew end up dealing with politics, issues off ship, training, side projects, or engaged in combat. The engineer often spends time tinkering just for fun to either create something new or try to improve Rommies system, though often with mixed outcomes. The times you see the crew helping with repairs are when the ship is heavily damaged and it's often to speed things along more than actually being required since the ship has humanoid robots for maintenance.


The transition to automation it seems lots of people fear because fewer jobs to go around but odds are there will be fewer people as well. In nearly every developed nation the population growth rate has become negative. The only countries where it hasn't, like the US, is due in large part to immigration. People are having fewer children or waiting much later in life to have them. The result is the number of old people to young people has been increasing. In order to sustain that the younger generations need to be even more efficient than the previous generation to pay for the upkeep of social programs that support the elderly. So automation is the perfect solution to this as fewer people can produce more goods.

The other thing is we don't know what kind of jobs will be created in the future. It's one of the problems the education system faces as how do you prepare the youth of a nation for a job you know nothing about? Thanks to the advances in technology many of the jobs today didn't exist 20 years ago and even trying to describe them would of sounded unbelievable.

Heck go back to the 1980s and tell an economics professor that you want to get together with a bunch of people and make a product then give it away for free. They would of thought you crazy and yet that's what open source projects do. Linux is one of the leading OS for servers and yet it's made and distributed for free. And while the software is free the hardware is not so people still make money off it by using it on their servers.
 

Kardsymalone

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This was disappointingly poorly researched shallow and poorly implemented/presented I hope the show isn't going to continue to be this obtuse while feigning the educational capabilities of its videos.
The concept of Anxiety isn't even given a basic definition the statement of Clavinism was incorrect as repeatedly explained in this thread.
Though what really gets me is the terrible presentation if you come in completely oblivious to the concepts being talked about you will be completely lost and misinterpret the message of the video

Many here see it as some sort of damnation of capitalism while promoting communism when its actually a presentation of the possible mental health drawback of the capitalist system presented through the ideas of Weber whose ideas may be a little outdated for modern applications.

Spyre2k said:
Yeah I know man its pretty painful to listen to someone who doesn't even understand the basic concepts of economics to speak about it
 

SNCommand

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I'm fairly sure capitalism isn't alone in trying to produce tireless and focused workers, in fact Weber, while not busy misrepresenting Calvinism spent his time theorizing about the perfect hard working state bureaucracy

What capitalism has a lot more of than other economic systems though is social mobility, capitalism has beaten the competition severely in regards to social mobility, it also out competed every other economic system that tries to oppose it, in Venezuela shit has hit the fan last time I checked
 

vallorn

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I'm not familiar with Weber's work but I'm somewhat unsure about the parallel struck between modern capitalism and Calvinism. Maybe I'll write a reply essay when I've finished the copies of Thus Spake Zarathustra and The Road To Serfdom I got today.
 

8-Bit Philosophy

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Lightknight said:
But seriously, if you or anyone things the quality of life here in the US is worse than a significant number of other nations then that's very very wrong. Even our homeless have it better than the poor in a non-trivial number of other nations.
Certainly not the 700 homeless who die from the cold each year. [http://nationalhomeless.org/WordPress/2010/08/response-to-homelessness-hot-or-cold/]
Lightknight said:
If you honestly believe that socialist and communist economies don't have people mooching off the system then you're entirely missing the point of those economies that are built to assist the moochers.
What communist economies?

Lightknight said:
Anyways, according to the HDI the US is number 5 in the world. Just behind Norway, Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Which one of those four do you hail from? Please note that Switzerland, the US and the Netherlands are within .003 points from each other so I guess I should be asking if you live in Norway or Australia? If Norway then I certainly agree that your HDI is better than pretty much anywhere and you have reason to boast.
Since you like statistic that much, have a look at this one [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index] If you can't find USA, keep scrolling down.
 

yukarin

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um, exactly what version of calvanism is this guy talking about!? (this is sarcasm, there's only one)
What happened to "sola fide" and "sola gratia"?? faith alone and grace alone...?
 

8-Bit Philosophy

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SNCommand said:
What capitalism has a lot more of than other economic systems though is social mobility, capitalism has beaten the competition severely in regards to social mobility, it also out competed every other economic system that tries to oppose it, in Venezuela shit has hit the fan last time I checked
A capitalist country is doing better than another capitalist country, what a surprise!

Also if you want fair comparisons you should compare economies of the same periphery and culture, that means Venezuela with other South American countries. Also the same country with its own past, that's way more logical than comparing Venezuela with the USA that have had little in common during their history.
 

SNCommand

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Full Metal Bolshevik said:
SNCommand said:
What capitalism has a lot more of than other economic systems though is social mobility, capitalism has beaten the competition severely in regards to social mobility, it also out competed every other economic system that tries to oppose it, in Venezuela shit has hit the fan last time I checked
A capitalist country is doing better than another capitalist country, what a surprise!

Also if you want fair comparisons you should compare economies of the same periphery and culture, that means Venezuela with other South American countries. Also the same country with its own past, that's way more logical than comparing Venezuela with the USA that have had little in common during their history.
Fairly sure Venezuela has a planned economy, in fact I just checked and both wikipedia and Venezuela's own webpage both confirm they practice planned economy instead of free market, which isn't communism, but it isn't capitalism either, a country that nationalized an entire industry with government mandate would never be called capitalist

Also if you compare Venezuela with other Latin American countries they still fall short, best at the moment would probably be Chile, enjoying a standard of living comparable to western nations, and not surprisingly also scores higher than their neighbors on competitiveness and ease of doing business

Seems like betting on Pinochet was smarter than Chavez
 

8-Bit Philosophy

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SNCommand said:
Full Metal Bolshevik said:
SNCommand said:
What capitalism has a lot more of than other economic systems though is social mobility, capitalism has beaten the competition severely in regards to social mobility, it also out competed every other economic system that tries to oppose it, in Venezuela shit has hit the fan last time I checked
A capitalist country is doing better than another capitalist country, what a surprise!

Also if you want fair comparisons you should compare economies of the same periphery and culture, that means Venezuela with other South American countries. Also the same country with its own past, that's way more logical than comparing Venezuela with the USA that have had little in common during their history.
Fairly sure Venezuela has a planned economy, in fact I just checked and both wikipedia and Venezuela's own webpage both confirm they practice planned economy instead of free market, which isn't communism, but it isn't capitalism either, a country that nationalized an entire industry with government mandate would never be called capitalist

Also if you compare Venezuela with other Latin American countries they still fall short, best at the moment would probably be Chile, enjoying a standard of living comparable to western nations, and not surprisingly also scores higher than their neighbors on competitiveness and ease of doing business

Seems like betting on Pinochet was smarter than Chavez
The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of state ownership varies across different models of capitalism.[5] Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism, crony capitalism and state capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Many states have what are termed capitalist mixed economies, referring to a mix between planned and market-driven elements.
Still capitalist, maybe not the one you like the most.

Is eating vomit smarter than eating shit? I'd really prefer something else.
 

SNCommand

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Full Metal Bolshevik said:
SNCommand said:
Full Metal Bolshevik said:
SNCommand said:
What capitalism has a lot more of than other economic systems though is social mobility, capitalism has beaten the competition severely in regards to social mobility, it also out competed every other economic system that tries to oppose it, in Venezuela shit has hit the fan last time I checked
A capitalist country is doing better than another capitalist country, what a surprise!

Also if you want fair comparisons you should compare economies of the same periphery and culture, that means Venezuela with other South American countries. Also the same country with its own past, that's way more logical than comparing Venezuela with the USA that have had little in common during their history.
Fairly sure Venezuela has a planned economy, in fact I just checked and both wikipedia and Venezuela's own webpage both confirm they practice planned economy instead of free market, which isn't communism, but it isn't capitalism either, a country that nationalized an entire industry with government mandate would never be called capitalist

Also if you compare Venezuela with other Latin American countries they still fall short, best at the moment would probably be Chile, enjoying a standard of living comparable to western nations, and not surprisingly also scores higher than their neighbors on competitiveness and ease of doing business

Seems like betting on Pinochet was smarter than Chavez
The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of state ownership varies across different models of capitalism.[5] Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism, crony capitalism and state capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Many states have what are termed capitalist mixed economies, referring to a mix between planned and market-driven elements.
Still capitalist, maybe not the one you like the most.

Is eating vomit smarter than eating shit? I'd really prefer something else.
Well the communists and socialists do love to decide what constitutes public control over means of production, and it seems people disagree on capitalism as well "Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice."

So just as communists often tell me North Korea isn't communist I'll say Venezuela isn't capitalist, you're not capitalist if you advocate nationalization of private property, which is why I thought it was a stupid idea to bailout the banks and the automotive industry back in 2008, no capitalist should have condoned it

And my definition fits better with the dictionary definition than any bozo who claims planned economies can be capitalist

"a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government" [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism]

Venezuela running the oil industry in their country makes them non capitalists in my eye
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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Lightknight said:
The unemployment is viewed very closely. I think we'd know it pretty damn fast if something was wrong and what was causing it.

As long as the regulation is there across the board then it being in place won't harm competition. The alternative is to tax the companies the same amount and then the government would be in charge of distribution which would be terrible as you already noted.
Is it. does not feel like it. Government seems to be blind to things like people having to work 3 jobs to keep same purchasing power or those slave workers in food industry that are allowed to be paid as little as 0 because "tips will make up for it" leading to perpetuation of broken tip culture.

US are full of workaholics which means the unemployment does not look bad on paper but there are a lot of issues with unemployment that will come to a breaking point if left unchecked.

I'd say our biggest problem in the US is moreso healthcare than anything else. It's no less vital to human life than military or water and yet there aren't any good regulations to prevent price gouging like there is for other things in similar circumstances. Healthcare is generally the thing that knocks us down a few pegs on the studies. Not our capitalism like those other countries typically also have.

But seriously, if you or anyone things the quality of life here in the US is worse than a significant number of other nations then that's very very wrong. Even our homeless have it better than the poor in a non-trivial number of other nations.
Personal income nor oversized houses do not make peoples lives automatically better than everyone else. What most people forget when counting income is purchasing power. I can live entire month on the money you pay for two weeks of rent in US.

There are a lot of failing sectors in US, though healthcare is certainly one of the most visible lately. it is hardly the only one though. your public transport is a failure, your private transport is failing (road and railroad infrastructure is currently rated as in danger of complete failure and requires significant overhaul, yet noone cares), your school system is clearly not working (common core alone causes enough ruckus) and your law enforcement also seems to be going that road. And thats just a few examples of the top of my head.

Im not saying that other nations are all golden either, merely that US is hardly the top of the world like some people believe. and that im amazed it hasnt collapsed on itself knowing its problems. it seems that each time i reaserach a different sector in US i end up thinking "how the hell hasnt this fell apart yet".

Spyre2k said:
I'm surprised they choose this video as their first on the escapist as it seems very bias. I checked their youtube channel and the other 8-Bit episodes seem to present two differing philosopher's points of view on a given topic and then ask which you thought was right.
It has 3 pages of comments, which is more than even old content creators gets majority of the time, so it obviuosly was a sucess start. Also unlike in Jimquisition the comments are almost unanomously hating on the author (and Kudos to Jim for learning from those comments and making the show better).

SNCommand said:
Fairly sure Venezuela has a planned economy, in fact I just checked and both wikipedia and Venezuela's own webpage both confirm they practice planned economy instead of free market, which isn't communism, but it isn't capitalism either, a country that nationalized an entire industry with government mandate would never be called capitalist
Planned economy is just a different type of Capitalism. it still has capital owners and employed people by them. It still has capital investment. Its just a form of capitalism that is heavily regulated by the state. Soviet Union was this type of capitalism as well.

SNCommand said:
you're not capitalist if you advocate nationalization of private property,

Venezuela running the oil industry in their country makes them non capitalists in my eye
by that definition there is no, and never been, a capitalist country in the world. Maybe Anarchistic Somalia....
 

jerubbaal07

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Lightknight said:
jerubbaal07 said:
As a Calvinist seminarian, I just want to point out one thing with the whole "work for salvation" thing: Calvinism (as stated by someone else in this thread) is actually positioned as a direct rebuttal to the idea that you work to achieve salvation. Nor is the way "predestination" is presented terribly true. The point in the Calvinist doctrine of predestination is that, ultimately, it's God who chooses who will be saved and who won't, not that few will be saved so you better work as hard as you can to be one of them.

All this being said, the point on "anxiety" is fair to a degree (not that I agree, but for the sake of argument), more as a function of "assurance" of salvation instead of actual achievement of salvation. The traditional difficulty w/ Calvinism is that, if it is ultimately God who chooses those who will be saved, how can I, as an individual, know that I indeed have been chosen? There has been a strain that runs through historical Calvinism which says basically what Weber's saying here - if you're really a true believer, you can know that because God gives you material blessing (through your hard work).

The point I'd like to make is that this "social gospel," or in its current form, the "prosperity gospel" (see Joel Osteen), is a distortion of genuine Calvinism, not its true heart. I'm not sure Weber draws that distinction, and the video certainly does not. The video is clearly positioned to place religion, specifically Calvinism, as the root of all evil in society, which, for obvious reasons, I might disagree with :)
Good, I was concerned that my criticisms would go unknown.

Calvinism's focus on salvation by God's mercy alone is in direct opposition to salvation by works. Protestantism in general was in opposition to works based faiths so they'd have to go to Roman Catholicism at best if they wanted to blame Christianity or faith. But remember, this is an article depicting the propaganda of a communist philosopher. The writer's ignorance of the area is surprisingly vast considering how authoritative the writer is being. I'm not sure if whoever made this video was intending to critique or support the philosophy or what.
It seems difficult to say that the writer was attempting to do anything other than unambiguously support Weber's perspective, considering especially the parting comments.

Obviously, I disagree w/ Weber's assessment on the matter, but I was disheartened at how rigorously the video seemed to misunderstand the doctrines of Calvinism. I know things need to be simplified for videos like this, but he seems to be operating from an understanding of Calvinism that's even below a broad popular understanding. If you actually take the time to read some of the excerpts from Weber presented in the video, you get the impression that Weber "gets" Calvinism a bit more than the video itself clearly does, but that's the internet for you.
 

Lightknight

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Full Metal Bolshevik said:
Lightknight said:
But seriously, if you or anyone things the quality of life here in the US is worse than a significant number of other nations then that's very very wrong. Even our homeless have it better than the poor in a non-trivial number of other nations.
Certainly not the 700 homeless who die from the cold each year. [http://nationalhomeless.org/WordPress/2010/08/response-to-homelessness-hot-or-cold/]
While sad, do you realize how small that number actually is? That's 700 out of more than half a million homeless individuals when 1,300 is around our average for the entire country in a year [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/winter-freeze-led-to-31000-extra-deaths-last-year--against-a-backdrop-of-soaring-energy-prices-8965427.html]. Again, this is comparing a 300 million person nation with a 63 million person nation with the smaller nation having 23.8 times our average in one year. Do you understand how extreme that disparity is? That a country with 1/5th the population of the US putting up 23.8 times the number of death by freezing? 10,000 of those actually owning homes and still dying?

So yeah, 700 homeless people die in the US from the cold each year. Sad but amazingly small. The nation overall has a .42 deaths per 100,000 due to hypothermia. Compare to say, Australia that has a 3.6/100,000 or Switzerland that has 3.3/100,000. I bring those up only because they're both considered as being in the top five countries to live in and yet still suffer this problem. Consider that both Alaska (−80 °F)and the contiguous United States (−70 °F) have posted colder temperatures than Switzerland (−43.2 °F) and Australia (−9.4 °F). In fact, only three other nations have posted colder temperatures than the US and that's Canada, Russia, and Greenland. At least Switzerland has the excuse of being really cold for a lot more of the year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_weather_records

What's weird is that even with the fact that the US has some really warm areas the average temperatures are still quite low: http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/countryall.php3

So please, evaluate your facts and explain what point you're trying to make.


Lightknight said:
If you honestly believe that socialist and communist economies don't have people mooching off the system then you're entirely missing the point of those economies that are built to assist the moochers.
What communist economies?
China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. I understand that the term communist is weakly attributed to these nations but we can have a semantics debate on this point if you'd like. I'll warn you that the popular definition is the one that wins out and right now those countries are defined as communist nations by the common majority.

In my mind, a communist nation is really just a socialist nation with marxist ideals. However, I understand that I did say communist economy. I'm just not sure how a distinction between the state and economy is all that viable when the state clearly informs the economy.

Lightknight said:
Anyways, according to the HDI the US is number 5 in the world. Just behind Norway, Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Which one of those four do you hail from? Please note that Switzerland, the US and the Netherlands are within .003 points from each other so I guess I should be asking if you live in Norway or Australia? If Norway then I certainly agree that your HDI is better than pretty much anywhere and you have reason to boast.
Since you like statistic that much, have a look at this one [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index] If you can't find USA, keep scrolling down.
Oh? You mean the country that everyone else tells to get involved in wars where human rights are being violated ranks low on the peaceful scale? I'm shocked, simply shocked [/sarcasm]. Maybe if the index measured local "peace" then I'd actually matter to this discussion. That we're at war in Afghanistan and Iran (even if the wars are technically earmarked as over) has done next to nothing regarding my own personal quality of life aside from the loss of a few friends which happened over there, not here.

I assume you didn't realize that it included external conflicts (aka war or military excursions) or thought that was somehow relevant to what it's like to live here. You'd need to provide a resource that includes only internal conflicts that actually impact the quality of life of those living here. This would be like claiming that the main government district from the Hunger Games had shitty lives because all those external conflicts scored a lower ratio on the GPI. That's just nonsense.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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jerubbaal07 said:
Lightknight said:
jerubbaal07 said:
As a Calvinist seminarian, I just want to point out one thing with the whole "work for salvation" thing: Calvinism (as stated by someone else in this thread) is actually positioned as a direct rebuttal to the idea that you work to achieve salvation. Nor is the way "predestination" is presented terribly true. The point in the Calvinist doctrine of predestination is that, ultimately, it's God who chooses who will be saved and who won't, not that few will be saved so you better work as hard as you can to be one of them.

All this being said, the point on "anxiety" is fair to a degree (not that I agree, but for the sake of argument), more as a function of "assurance" of salvation instead of actual achievement of salvation. The traditional difficulty w/ Calvinism is that, if it is ultimately God who chooses those who will be saved, how can I, as an individual, know that I indeed have been chosen? There has been a strain that runs through historical Calvinism which says basically what Weber's saying here - if you're really a true believer, you can know that because God gives you material blessing (through your hard work).

The point I'd like to make is that this "social gospel," or in its current form, the "prosperity gospel" (see Joel Osteen), is a distortion of genuine Calvinism, not its true heart. I'm not sure Weber draws that distinction, and the video certainly does not. The video is clearly positioned to place religion, specifically Calvinism, as the root of all evil in society, which, for obvious reasons, I might disagree with :)
Good, I was concerned that my criticisms would go unknown.

Calvinism's focus on salvation by God's mercy alone is in direct opposition to salvation by works. Protestantism in general was in opposition to works based faiths so they'd have to go to Roman Catholicism at best if they wanted to blame Christianity or faith. But remember, this is an article depicting the propaganda of a communist philosopher. The writer's ignorance of the area is surprisingly vast considering how authoritative the writer is being. I'm not sure if whoever made this video was intending to critique or support the philosophy or what.
It seems difficult to say that the writer was attempting to do anything other than unambiguously support Weber's perspective, considering especially the parting comments.

Obviously, I disagree w/ Weber's assessment on the matter, but I was disheartened at how rigorously the video seemed to misunderstand the doctrines of Calvinism. I know things need to be simplified for videos like this, but he seems to be operating from an understanding of Calvinism that's even below a broad popular understanding. If you actually take the time to read some of the excerpts from Weber presented in the video, you get the impression that Weber "gets" Calvinism a bit more than the video itself clearly does, but that's the internet for you.
His assessment is not only something that can be disagreed with. It is factually incorrect. He's presenting a concept that is the absolute opposite of Calvinistic tenets. It would be like some knucklehead rambling on about how Trinitarians don't believe in the Trinity or that Universalists have the strictest policy on who can get into Heaven. Weber was apparently ridiculously ignorant of basic things he was talking about and assumed that no one in the Soviet Union would be able to verify his claims.
 

8-Bit Philosophy

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Lightknight said:
If you honestly believe that socialist and communist economies don't have people mooching off the system then you're entirely missing the point of those economies that are built to assist the moochers.
You're confusing with capitalism, that's an economy that assists the 'moochers', the owners of the means of production mooch of the value created by the workers.
Lightknight said:
China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. I understand that the term communist is weakly attributed to these nations but we can have a semantics debate on this point if you'd like. I'll warn you that the popular definition is the one that wins out and right now those countries are defined as communist nations by the common majority.

In my mind, a communist nation is really just a socialist nation with marxist ideals. However, I understand that I did say communist economy. I'm just not sure how a distinction between the state and economy is all that viable when the state clearly informs the economy.
That's bullshit and you know it. Communism is a classless, stateless society where the means of production are common ownership, I don't give a fuck about what the majority thinks. (altought without class consciousness we can't get to communism :S )

Lightknight said:
Oh? You mean the country that everyone else tells to get involved in wars where human rights are being violated ranks low on the peaceful scale? I'm shocked, simply shocked [/sarcasm]. Maybe if the index measured local "peace" then I'd actually matter to this discussion. That we're at war in Afghanistan and Iran (even if the wars are technically earmarked as over) has done next to nothing regarding my own personal quality of life aside from the loss of a few friends which happened over there, not here.

I assume you didn't realize that it included external conflicts (aka war or military excursions) or thought that was somehow relevant to what it's like to live here. You'd need to provide a resource that includes only internal conflicts that actually impact the quality of life of those living here. This would be like claiming that the main government district from the Hunger Games had shitty lives because all those external conflicts scored a lower ratio on the GPI. That's just nonsense.
Yes I noticed, but so what? ANd everyone tells to get involved? Do you only watch Fox News? There are millions of people protesting every year against those wars. But fine, take a look at this [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate] or this [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality]
 

Olrod

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How exactly does this lecture talk about if capitalism is bad for you?

It seemed like nothing more than a crash course in Calvinism.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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Full Metal Bolshevik said:
That's bullshit and you know it. Communism is a classless, stateless society where the means of production are common ownership, I don't give a fuck about what the majority thinks. (altought without class consciousness we can't get to communism :S )
In assumption you're correct, but since humans are a status conscious species. Once you eliminate classes, people will just make up new ones to make others feel inferior. It's our competitive nature that actually makes what we do work generally. Capitalism is basically the state we understand. Socialism which is the closest thing to Communism we've ever made on a national scale. Socialism generally devolves in to the elites of society, specifically those loyal to party in power, being the ones who control everything. China, North Korea, USSR, Nazi Germany, and many others are all good examples of this. But it's basically the same autocratic nature that ruled most of human history, but in the past the catalyst was the Church, and still is in some shira law based nations. The catalyst can also be money to buy your social power, or being a convincing speaker to win it.

Socialism and Communism are both actually much older ideas than one might think, they're just newer flavors of the same first wave civilization (agricultural) thinking. Which relied on everyone knowing their exact place in society, and social/economical roles being rather stratified with little to no class movement. When the second wave (industrial civilization) hit people started to have more class mobility, especially as industry became more democratic and regulated. Now we're in this odd transition in to an information technology based civilization, which further spreads democratization of the classes. That being said the class structure is rather central to human identity, mobility with in the class structure actually drives invention and innovation. Due to people seeking ways to better their social and economical situations, along with improving their quality of life. Usually to improve one's own quality of life it's required to somehow also improve the quality of life of others.

Both Socialism and Communism have the issue of trying to demand that humanity back slide in to first wave civilization. This is partially because we're a competitive animal, and if we have the ability to vote with our wallets, then we'd need to back slide to make it work. This is the same reason a pure Democracy will never work. People are competitive and self interested, which means that such things will lead to people, specifically in large groups see these systems as ways to undermine others positions to better their own. That means that pure Socialist or Communist, or Democratic governments lead to the gathering of power/wealth/social standing through abuse of others. For that matter pure Capitalism also suffers from these issues, but only when those who run industry realize they can abuse the populace for their own gain.

This is why we've shifted towards representative Government, with regulated Capitalistic systems, and Socialistic welfare programs. The fusion helps lubricate class movement, allows people to state their grievances, and gives the populace some control over the larger more nebulous things. Things like industry and government specifically. We haven't perfected it yet. Governments still infringe on individual rights too much and the less fortunate tend to get buried by bureaucracy. Where industry still tries to cut corners, and sees the consuming masses as a well of money rather than as individuals with needs to fill. We haven't quite gotten to the point of balance anywhere. Either Governments or Industry have too much power leaving the individual under someone's thumb either way. Hopefully we'll eventually sort it out, but it'll probably require more ethical politicians and a matter replicator based economy.
 

Spyre2k

New member
Apr 9, 2013
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I think this video covers quite nicely why capitalism is not Imperialism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wy4Sigqd3A&
 

Lightknight

Mugwamp Supreme
Nov 26, 2008
4,860
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Full Metal Bolshevik said:
Lightknight said:
If you honestly believe that socialist and communist economies don't have people mooching off the system then you're entirely missing the point of those economies that are built to assist the moochers.
You're confusing with capitalism, that's an economy that assists the 'moochers', the owners of the means of production mooch of the value created by the workers.
Wait, does this mean you agree with everything I said about the whole freezing to death numbers? Because it looks like you chopped that part off and instead replaced it with this quote of me from a previous post that you've already responded to for some reason.

Mooching means you take without contribution. Someone who owns a business and pays you an amount that you agree to take is not mooching off of your labor. The only way an employer could mooch off a laborer would be if the laborer was actually a slave. However, a layabout mooch can absolutely collect a paycheck in a communist country as part of the system.

That's not to say capitalism doesn't also have moochers. But that's far more relegated to the areas of our government in which we are more socialist than not as well as a failure to police who is abusing the system. Russians not working was a well known issue with Russia's failed attempt at communism. So you can try to turn it around, but the buck still ends with people getting paid whether or not they contribute anything.

And by the way, you do realize that in a communist setup that everyone but the most skilled laborers doing the most difficult jobs are mooching? A street cleaner is mooching off of the nuclear engineer, for example. All communism does is redistribute the excess to people who may or may not be deserving. At least people who run companies facilitate the environment where people may be employed. At least people who started a company took the risk at the start to do so and deserve the rewards of the undertaking they started that now employs so many individuals. But in communism, some asshole that sleeps on the job keeps getting a paycheck that includes money produced by the hard working individuals. It's a shame.

Lightknight said:
China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. I understand that the term communist is weakly attributed to these nations but we can have a semantics debate on this point if you'd like. I'll warn you that the popular definition is the one that wins out and right now those countries are defined as communist nations by the common majority.

In my mind, a communist nation is really just a socialist nation with marxist ideals. However, I understand that I did say communist economy. I'm just not sure how a distinction between the state and economy is all that viable when the state clearly informs the economy.
That's bullshit and you know it. Communism is a classless, stateless society where the means of production are common ownership, I don't give a fuck about what the majority thinks. (altought without class consciousness we can't get to communism :S )
Yep, communist state is an oxymoron. But no, what it means in your mind isn't relevant to how it's actually used. You and I know the common vernacular is bullshit, sure, and yet literally is currently being redefined to include the definition of "emphasis" or "hyperbole" rather than literally literal. So there we are.

Lightknight said:
Oh? You mean the country that everyone else tells to get involved in wars where human rights are being violated ranks low on the peaceful scale? I'm shocked, simply shocked [/sarcasm]. Maybe if the index measured local "peace" then I'd actually matter to this discussion. That we're at war in Afghanistan and Iran (even if the wars are technically earmarked as over) has done next to nothing regarding my own personal quality of life aside from the loss of a few friends which happened over there, not here.

I assume you didn't realize that it included external conflicts (aka war or military excursions) or thought that was somehow relevant to what it's like to live here. You'd need to provide a resource that includes only internal conflicts that actually impact the quality of life of those living here. This would be like claiming that the main government district from the Hunger Games had shitty lives because all those external conflicts scored a lower ratio on the GPI. That's just nonsense.
Yes I noticed, but so what? ANd everyone tells to get involved? Do you only watch Fox News? There are millions of people protesting every year against those wars. But fine, take a look at this [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate] or this [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality]
How about I listen to the B.B.C and hear European callers call in and act all frustrated about why the US hasn't gotten involved in this or that. In several cases there is global support for US intervention as if we were the global police which seems to be a roll that we're actually filling for some odd reason.

However, there are certainly bullshit wars like Iraq where NO ONE was calling for us to do it and there is no foreseeable reason for it to happen and yet it did. But if you don't see external pressures on us to step into certain conflicts then you're just being blind to it.

Income equality doesn't show the relation of the average citizen in relation to other average citizens of other nations. It is only the inequality within that nation between the highest fee earners and the average fee earner. Yeah, we have Bill Gates and his like here but the average take home pay and purchasing power is generally much better than in other nations. It really doesn't mean shit if the upper class is making six figures and the average house is making $40k if the country that got a better score has the upper class making $2k and the average making $1.5k. Sure, the equality is better in the second country but what does that matter if they still can't make ends meet? There is no imperative to ensure wage equality. The man at the top is not inherently evil for being there as long as the people at the bottom are earning a fair wage and are able to enter and exit the job as desired.

In the US, we have the highest average disposable income and the 4th highest monthly salary in PPP (purchasing power parity) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage]. So pay equality be damned because the average American can purchase far more than inhabitants of the rest of the world despite us being the third most populated country. You can try to spin this in some negative way but at the end of the day we can afford our flat screens, we can go to the movies, and generally move up in the world. The truth is, owning a house is even cheaper than renting right now. One of my properties is $800/month to own which is a good $200-$600 cheaper than any apartment that would also have 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms with a yard, garage, and other amenities. I made enough for that house back when I was making $12/hour which is actually pretty low pay here. So I'm not seeing much of a complaint for people that have work. I'm seeing complaints from people that don't have jobs at all. It sucks that many of them decided that finishing highschool wasn't worth their time but I'd hardly consider that anyone's fault but theirs.

Our evil icons in movies aren't the wealthy. It's the asshole wealthy. The greedy people that have more than they could spend and yet still squeeze everything they can. We abhor that sort of person and praise the individual who take a cut commensurate to the value of their position or return on investment of starting the company without trying to squeeze every penny out of their workers. Just a little bit of generosity from them ends up absolving them in our eyes and we turn our gaze instead to the other ones that just can't be satiated.

As for the murder rate. This is where being such a large country sort of works against us. We have a few large cities that are absolutely tanking our numbers. New Orleans for example has a 52/100,000 murder rate. Countries with a lot of major cities seem to have a higher murder rate than countries with just one or two and we have a LOT of densely populated areas. So I'm not sure if other countries would fair any better with a similar distribution of population. Murders are notoriously under-reported in the only two countries with higher populations that we have and it's not like other countries all across the world don't also have a problem in their major cities [http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/30/new-york-crime-free-day-deadliest-cities-worldwide]. That's because large populations tend to pump out organized crime like gangs and something like 80% of gun related homicides in the US are actually gang related rather than just two random people on the street with the vast majority of homicide victims not being average citizens but instead having a criminal record. Even so, homicides in the US have declined by 49% since the 90's so we've fairly clearly put policies in place that are working now that our homicide rate is at the lowest it's been in four decades.

I'm also not sure how big of a difference every 1/100,000 is. People use terms like "double" and such but if 5/100,000 is low then double may not be all that meaningful. Seeing as the US still falls in the medium/low side of the link you sent me I'm not sure it's that big of a deal. Statistically significant? Sure. It is statistically higher than other first world countries. But we also directly border a country that is in the high homicide area and a lot of our highest crime-rated states hug the body of water we border with those countries.

But I digress. Let's treat homicide like a method of dying. Like a disease that is unique to a country. You could point to countries that suffer from malaria in much the same way without actually making a point about the overall safety of that country. The way to really deal with that is to look at the mortality rate by country and that's going to look very bad on your point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_mortality_rate

As of 2013, the US has a mortality rate of 8.39. As it turns out, that's lower than the other countries we've been touting. Germany is 11.7, Belgium is 10.7, Finland is 10.42, Sweden is 10.22, the UK is 9.33, Norway is 9.21, France is 8.96, and Switzerland is right along with us at 8.08.

Basically, the only thing new I've learned from all of this research is that Australia is pretty damn good in most charts. Is there some other nation you're trying to portray as hot stuff?