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Is capitalism good?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Mikey_C
    Regulation is the only way, folks.
    Hey Mikey_C! :D
    I was waiting for you to pop up in here.
    How's the union work going?

    BTW I'm reading up on Wallerstein (if you haven't noticed). And he gives a row of analysis on historical system and what may lie in store for us in the future. I dissagree with some of the results (mainly the future timespan for a "Bifurcation" to take place).

    But I like his take on what is going on now and the tendencies involved and mainly why they are happening.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Theocrat
      Hey Mikey_C! :D
      I was waiting for you to pop up in here.
      How's the union work going?
      Very well. thanks. You didn't hear from me last week because I was up in Glasgow for our conference. It looks as though a big strike to protect our pensions may be imminent: UNISON is joining with other public sector unions on this one - 5000,000 workers.

      As our lovely Portsmouth football hooligans sing "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough"!

      Now that Bill's back, we can stuck in for some heavy-duty debate... :)
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Mikey_C
        Originally posted by Theocrat
        Hey Mikey_C! :D
        I was waiting for you to pop up in here.
        How's the union work going?
        Very well. thanks. You didn't hear from me last week because I was up in Glasgow for our conference. It looks as though a big strike to protect our pensions may be imminent: UNISON is joining with other public sector unions on this one - 5000,000 workers.

        As our lovely Portsmouth football hooligans sing "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough"!

        Now that Bill's back, we can stuck in for some heavy-duty debate... :)
        Man! There are strikes everywhere!
        There really is a "capitalist accumulation crisis" going on!
        If they are starting to attack old people that is.
        Is it the same privatization procedure america's doing?

        There's the illusion of the freemarket that Bill seems to advocate.
        Let's make people like him change their minds.

        Sidenote:
        I didn't recieve my invitation for the union education that was to start in May.
        I yapped about this with the union representatives and it seems their had been a "missplacement" and whatnot. Seems alott of that is going on.
        They signed me up for the fall.. After my loooooonnggg vacation! :twisted: which virtually starts today to be precise.

        Comment


        • #34
          Theocrat said :

          >The problem is that the rich need to stop hoarding cash. Giving handouts >just to the third world inflamates the problem more deeply. I think getting >them to move and let go of the money without fear fear of losing their >position, or comfort, might be a new way of looking at it. What if Bill Gates >et al where to spread out those huge amounts of cash he gets, back into >the system.
          >A new kind of mentality might spring into their minds when they think:
          >"Did i do that!? Did i leave something good for the next generation?
          >Will i be remebered?"

          Bill Gates has. He is determined to get rid of 95% of his fortune (only 5% will be left to his heirs) and has set up the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation with his wife.

          http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_an...tes_Foundation

          After visiting Africa, he actually accelerated the program. Massive investments into vaccination research - in Africa, not in Western labs - which has already created at least one usable vaccine saving millions of lives. He and Melinda actually seem to be on the ball, considering health as the route out of poverty (it doesn't take a rocket scientist, you just need to look at Western history). I'm not keen on him as a businessman, but at least unlike his deputy (Paul Allen) and the twat that runs Oracle, he hasn't wasted his money on 'who can have the biggest luxury boat' competitions.

          Of course the real question is not what the rich do, but what we do - are we in the West willing to share our jobs with the Africans?
          The latest outsourcing news is IBM moving thousands of support jobs to South Africa (the rates Indian companies are charging - if not paying their staff - have risen to the extent that our company has started winning bids again). UK staff are, of course, up in arms. IBM certainly aren't doing it out of a commitment to global justice - but what's the real moral argument against it? Why don't those South Africans deserve a job? Or should we hog all the work and just throw them a bit of aid when we feel guilty?

          Comment


          • #35
            > market enterprise system, those examples will increase dramatically (I >think one of the previous posters was alluding to this when they said "how >long until culture rises up" or something like that). Rap is another great >example, at least within the confines of the US.

            Bill - welcome back - was me (another recent returnee). I think Rap's an excellent example - from regional to international to regional variations emerging - there's an unstoppable force.

            At the time I wrote it I was thinking more specifically of latin-American music, which has been threatened with extinction by Western pop for decades, yet is still going strong and throwing up distinctive hybrids. Why is this any less authentic than cultural isolation?

            And even if everyone spoke English . . . it would turn into something else, as it already has in so many places.

            Comment


            • #36
              On a tangential relation to this thread, there was an interesting radio essay on BBC Radio 4 by the Sunday Times (Right wing Murdoch paper) columnist Simon Jenkins :

              For the next week you can 'Listen Again' on the Radio 4 website - it's at the end of theWestminster Hour and is broadcast as 'Mad As Hell' on Wednesday.

              The theme of the essay was people's increasing frustration and lack of engagement with democracy.

              While generally being in the right wing 'small state' camp he is as willing to attribute blame to the Thatcher government for centralising control as to Labour's wish for a larger state role.


              What I thought was the interesting point is that over wider European history, it's been the City State that seems to have given the 'best' results - a good connection between the goverened and the elected. Just think of Venice, Amsterdam, the Hapsburg cities, Mirenburg, and indeed Germany when it was a collection of city states. In terms of the UK he mentioned the Northern cities, which of course were pretty important in the development of Free Trade (Manchester) and mutualism (you need only look at the names of the UK Building societies to see how many have their roots in West Yorkshire mill towns).
              Where my wife if from, there is a miners social club, that was built by subscriptions from the miners - something it is hard to imagine a community doing today.
              The general thread of his argument is that centralisation has removed people's connection to democracy. That we want the government out of our lives but expect them to deliver better services.

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/progs/listenagain.shtml[/url]

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Jules
                I think Rap's an excellent example - from regional to international to regional variations emerging - there's an unstoppable force.

                At the time I wrote it I was thinking more specifically of latin-American music, which has been threatened with extinction by Western pop for decades, yet is still going strong and throwing up distinctive hybrids. Why is this any less authentic than cultural isolation?
                You might be interested in an interview we did with Zona Marginal, a Colombian rap band: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/i...rap_revolution

                However, I think they would be alarmed to be used as an argument in support of 'the market enterprise system', especially as they can't make a living from what they do. Still, it does show how commercialised forms of expression can be reclaimed and used to subversive ends.

                They also show how the spirit which built the miners' social clubs is still alive and well in some parts of the world.
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                Comment


                • #38
                  Not so much an argument in favour, just stating that I don't believe in homogenisation as a 'threat', it is too pessimistic a view of the creative nature of humans. And it is forever cited as a threat . . . it seems the same philosophy as thinking that British or American culture is threatened by immigration.

                  http://stereolab.koly.com/songs/lyrics.php?lid=148

                  Although I am, by and large, FOR Free Trade.

                  http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/his...ictorian2.html

                  But as we all know, we don't have it - third world countries are allowed to export raw materials (unprocessed cocoa and coffee) at a far lower tariff than chocolate bars and ground coffee; this helps preserve the artificial idea that Western countries are somehow more advanced and able to process these goods.

                  Are we prepared to lose those jobs to where they should be? And what sort of employment should be created for all the people working in coffee processing and chocolate factories?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Jules
                    Of course the real question is not what the rich do, but what we do - are we in the West willing to share our jobs with the Africans?
                    The latest outsourcing news is IBM moving thousands of support jobs to South Africa (the rates Indian companies are charging - if not paying their staff - have risen to the extent that our company has started winning bids again). UK staff are, of course, up in arms. IBM certainly aren't doing it out of a commitment to global justice - but what's the real moral argument against it? Why don't those South Africans deserve a job? Or should we hog all the work and just throw them a bit of aid when we feel guilty?
                    of course, a lot of workers and trade unionists are in that defensive position. I don't think that anyone who never reallywas under the threat of not being able to provide for themselves or their family can judge that. More importantly, this ambiguity in the defence of worker's right does in no way allow the advocates of free trade to stand on high moral ground - like, a blue collar defending their shit job because it's all they have is a selfish, privileged bastard while a company that outsources production is helping the third world. don't get me started on this.
                    Lower wages are not the only thing that make third world countries attractive to western companies. I'd say they're hardly the most important actually. there are so much more costs one can cut in a third world country: security rules, environmental policies, and so forth can be very costly in a developed country.
                    so the bottom line is not just slavery. it's slavery on a deadly workplace in a fucked up environment ... I don't mean that free market capitalism will ever go that far - just, that's what it tends to. and it's something that has to be fought.
                    corporations will screw their workers just as much as they can get away with. not just denying them bourgeois western comfort, but to the extent of killing them at work. to save money.
                    there are so many examples to illustrate this, i just don't undestand how anyone can deny it. the first story that comes to my mind, out of recent history, is this one

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Morden - absolutely correct. Of course that also describes Britain in the Industrial revolution. From Bhopal to the sweatshops we have moved the dangerous stuff out of sight and out of mind, yet for decades there has been relatively little objection. Your average person probably doesn't realise that it might be worth supporting international environmental organisations like Greenpeace to equalise the economic playing field.

                      It's ironic that a Worker's State like China has far less protection for it's workers than a Capitalist one like the USA . . .

                      My view is that Capitalism seems to have proven itself the best Engine for economic development (something the Chinese have learnt that the USSR didn't), but in a car an engine needs regulation - and of course a car needs many other things, like a chassis, steering, a driver and a destination, to be useful. And brakes.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
                        Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                        Plus, Bill has over a thousand posts. Is he a troll or just sharp with the words?
                        Oh, Bill's quite sharp with words, yes. I agree with your assessment, Adlerian, of the apples-and-oranges thing. Bill's [broken link]anarchist comment in another thread was worse, IMHO.

                        What gets me about Bill is that he pops in, writes a bunch of flame-bait, then leaves for another couple months. If he'd stick around, I would see his participation as a much-needed conservative view for the debate, but his current modus operandi is nothing more than stirring the pot.
                        Well it's just flim-flam and erroneous conclusions that seem to go with the conservatives desire for a "free" market..

                        I see it as weird when conservatives like to use neoliberal economic policies. i.e. Neoliberalism is Conservatism in a different package.
                        Last edited by Rothgo; 04-12-2010, 04:33 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by TheAdlerian
                          It was socialism that helped workers in the US.
                          The New Deal and Keysianism helped create a 'welfare state'.
                          It was created in the northern countries to keep the, so called, "Dangerous Classes" at bay.
                          But Yes!.. It was socialism that helped US workers.
                          It was because of the stockmarket crash that Franklin D. Roosevelt taxed the rich to get money back in the system again. Much to the consternation of the rich. The former presidents before and during the depression exclaimed that the workers where just "lazy" etc. I can't point out which one's but i read that somewhere in a paper somewhere. Maybe i should read up on the presidents of the US..

                          The politics where mainly "social-liberal" at the time of Franklin D. Roosevelts reign.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Jules
                            Of course the real question is not what the rich do, but what we do - are we in the West willing to share our jobs with the Africans?
                            The latest outsourcing news is IBM moving thousands of support jobs to South Africa (the rates Indian companies are charging - if not paying their staff - have risen to the extent that our company has started winning bids again). UK staff are, of course, up in arms. IBM certainly aren't doing it out of a commitment to global justice - but what's the real moral argument against it? Why don't those South Africans deserve a job? Or should we hog all the work and just throw them a bit of aid when we feel guilty?
                            No, I'm against the whole aid thing, I'm more on the lines of giving them a fishing rod... But the first thing to do is to stop international companies from strip-mining Africa for resources. Thats the root of the problem I think.

                            When I was hired and later went an introduction course for the company I work at. I asked a clear question if workers abroad get the same
                            wage-level that we recieve. They answered "Yes! Of course!", but I'm a bit sceptic about that answer. I'm not against other people getting jobs in other countries. As long as I can keep working in my country, and my wagelevel isn't lowered. Or theirs for that matter. I think solidarity in wage improvement for other workers is a good thing to dabate about.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Insisting on the same wage levels in all countries would be a protectionist measure as it robs poor countries of their competitive advantage. It has been a thorny issue, but it is generally recognised that there are certain 'core labour standards', which should apply universally: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/st...ndam/index.htm

                              Does it have to be a case of 'sharing our jobs'? I'm not convinced that much of the benefit goes to workers in the recipient countries - all the extra profits flow back into the capitalists' pockets. So I see no essential contradiction in defending our jobs and demanding justice for the developing world.

                              Trade unions' commitment to internationalism may often look like lip service (all those fun trips abroad for the leadership), but at the same time, noone's going to convince me that IBM et al are outsourcing out of sheer altruism!
                              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Mikey_C
                                Insisting on the same wage levels in all countries would be a protectionist measure as it robs poor countries of their competitive advantage. It has been a thorny issue, but it is generally recognised that there are certain 'core labour standards', which should apply universally: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/st...ndam/index.htm
                                Thanks for the link!

                                I know.. But I was considering it from out of fairness to them. Maybe problems would evolve like lack of competitive wage-levels. But i'm thinking long term here. There are other ways of being competitive
                                I think. But underdeveloped countries are the ones who don't have an edge in technology et al. Thats why I think Latin America does a good thing by taking control over their oil production,et al, and profits presumably go to the majority instead of the greedy minority.

                                Originally posted by Mikey_C
                                Does it have to be a case of 'sharing our jobs'? I'm not convinced that much of the benefit goes to workers in the recipient countries - all the extra profits flow back into the capitalists' pockets. So I see no essential contradiction in defending our jobs and demanding justice for the developing world.

                                Trade unions' commitment to internationalism may often look like lip service (all those fun trips abroad for the leadership), but at the same time, noone's going to convince me that IBM et al are outsourcing out of sheer altruism!
                                Amen to that!

                                Outsourcing is the disease of capitalism. I wonder if it's just a 'flu' due to the fact that wages are increasing in most parts of the, at least, northern world.

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