No, I'm pretty sure I'm following it fine. I think the problem is more that I'm not sure you're really engaging with what people are saying, because you're too busy telling them what they think with a misleading series of binaries and abolutes.
Because there are people here who operate that way. Can you not appreciate that the main person I'm actually arguing with here is saying things like capitalism has worse concentration of power than feudalism? Why is it such an offensive suggestion to say someone like you or Silvanus doesn't have the same position?
After all, that's how the public debate goes: and you need to look at how the right wing contributes to this. I don't think a 60% top rate income tax band truly makes a country socialist, but if you and yours are going to point and scream "socialism" at the idea, then you're merely asking your opponents to not believe in capitalism.
I make this point often: demonizing normal things normalizes demons. Screaming about socialism or communism when the subject is reasonable policy encourages people to think more softly on communism, and I wish the right would knock it off. That being said, there are communists on this forum. There are people who don't say "maybe we need higher tax rates", they say "any business profit is theft and/or exploitation". And when I try to address those people, I get the moderates (and Buyetyen who has no opinion) sliding in to tell me I'm off base. That's why I need to point to what other people believe.
If you didn't witness it, or don't remember, the peak example of this was a thread I was arguing with people who wanted to abolish the police. Lil Devils attempted to step in and claim nobody wanted to abolish the police, defund the police was just about using funding more wisely on other services to help people, at which point a bunch of communists responded to her to say "no, we really do want to abolish the police."
I'd like to suggest something to you: I engage with more of the people on here more than most. Because I and a select few others are here, the left-wing people spend their time arguing with us, and not a lot of time scrutinizing each others beliefs. Unless I point out to people what other users believe, it's unclear most people here are even always reading the posts they enter a conversation to defend. You are an exceptional person here, who can both come at me from the left and contradict the others arguing with me. But my point is, by the general idea that the more you talk to someone the better you understand their beliefs, I know the politics of most people here better than they know each others politics. Don't just brush it off if I say you're not the same as someone else, seriously consider it.
It really is astounding how you seem to think yourself the ultimate arbiter of semantics. You're not a progressive, dude. Never have been. You're a straightforward conservative with all the baggage that implies.
Progressivism is the baggage implied by conservatism. The logic of conservatism is "what we've inherited as a society is good, and we should maintain it". The logic of progressivism is "we should make a better society for the future to inherit." Those are the exact same position, just looking different ways. Anyone who tries to maintain one of those positions without the other is a fool.
The reason I heckle you is because you're not a serious person and have no intention of changing your mind about anything. Why try to educate the ineducable? I admire the patience and tenacity of people who keep engaging with you, but it's also a waste of time because you're not here in good faith. As the Chinese say, there's no sense carving on rotten wood.
You heckle me because you enjoy it. I obviously am not going to condemn that behavior, but I'll certainly recognize it for what it is. They enjoyment you get from being here is not in argument or conversation, it's just in being the peanut gallery.
There is a limited amount of available wealth,
No, there isn't. Unrealized wealth is infinite, it is a measure of people's desires, and since people's desires are not finite, wealth is not finite.
and it is far, far easier for the wealthy to accumulate more wealth than it is for the poor to do so.
This is true, but it is far easier in any system for the powerful to acquire power, no matter the currency. Those with an army already have better chances conscripting more, those with fame gain more fame more quickly, those with political clout gain more clout, those who know more people meet new people faster, those with more education more easily learn new things... the haves always have an easier time than the have nots, on average, no matter how you measure it.
Unless you are already wealthy, you have to sell your labor to those who are, and the more concentrated wealth becomes within the population the more power those with it have to dictate the terms of those arrangements. The end result is an entrenched ruling class accumulating a greater and greater share of the available wealth and consequentially a greater and greater share of power.
I see your logic, I'm not going to say this is illogical, but I don't think it's grounded in real observation. Like, some people are born into wealth, and the overwhelming majority of them have blown their wealth within a few generations. The people getting wealthy in the first place all needed talent or exceptional luck to get there, and those aren't things you can inherit. To put it quite bluntly: every person I've ever met born with a silver spoon in their mouth has been an idiot, completely incapable of maintaining that position. Arrested Development I think is more grounded in the reality of the wealthy class than your analysis, and the statistics on social mobility and the durability of generational wealth support that claim. Most people born into wealth blow it.
Which is to say, I think the factor your analysis is missing is time. If people were immortal and the world was relatively unchanging, if we played out capitalism in perpetuity, I think what your describing would likely play out in exactly the way you describe, increasing concentrations of wealth and power among the select few, and even if we imagine they got there by the merits of what they could provide to others, it's still an undesirable end state. But that concern is moot, because death exists. Musk, Gates, Bezos, etc. will all die like the rest of us, at which point their score on the capitalism leaderboard becomes irrelevant. To put it another way:
That is how capitalism works in the absence of countervailing forces, and we live in a world with very few of those left.
Death is a countervailing force to the concentration of wealth.
When I say that capitalism and democracy are opposed, I don't mean the state is actually opposed to the interests of capitalism, I mean the ideals on which the state is supposedly built are incompatible with capitalism. In practice, once you have a ruling class who dominates the economy, they will tend to dominate the state as well, and they will use the state to advance their own interests even if doing so violates the supposed democratic function of the state itself.
That is why these two things are antagonistic. They're not locked in perpetual struggle, either democracy succeeds in restraining capitalism or capitalism dominates and subverts democracy. One has to die so the other can live, and usually it's democracy.
Is the inverse not true? Setting aside democracy for a moment and considering just the idea of state power vs economic power, is it not equally true that power concentrated in the state works to dominate and subvert the economy? The way I see it, it is a feature that capital has the power to fight the state, as otherwise someone looking to dominate a society would need only gain power over a single system overthrow societal order entirely.
Logistics is worth about 10% of global GDP (admittedly, more than agriculture). The service industry as a whole is worth about 2/3rds of global GDP, and represents the vast majority of the workforce in most developed countries. Now, services are important and some services have always been needed, but this is not the mark of an economy which is struggling to meet the basic needs of human survival. For most of human history the service industry barely existed because people simply couldn't afford not to be farming. We live in an economy which is, in historical terms, unimaginably prosperous and labour efficient.
I apologize for my phrasing, I intended something different. I did not mean to refer to "the logistics industry", meaning the commercial movement of goods. I meant much more broadly the concept of logistics in a general sense, the coordination of goods and services. A small percentage of people may work in actual food production, but that is without value unless you can get the food to hungry people. The farmer gets credit for that, but so does the person who made his tractor, the person who drove the truck to transport it, the person who built that truck, the people maintaining the roads, the person who orchestrated the purchase of the food for their restaurant, the people who constructed that restaurant, the cook in the kitchen, the plumber and electrician that made the kitchen work, the waiter who took the order, the person who printed the menu from which to order... there just aren't that many jobs that can't be tied to food, medicine, clothing, or housing, and without which would leave people hungry, sick, naked, or out in the cold. The coordination of all human efforts to support people's needs should not be minimized to counting what percent work in growing or manufacturing food.
In fact, why are people working harder than their ancestors did when subsistence farming was the norm?
Because people want a higher quality of life than their ancestors.
Imma cut this post now before responding to anyone else, as this might already be to long to post...