## In search of a definition of Capitalism

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Using money as capital is using money as a means toward making more money.

This is in contrast to using money to buy consumables and other essentials.

Investing capital (Capitalism) is buying the means of production: those who privately own business property control things, just like any -ism that describes an economic model: it's the prefix that specifies where the power lies.

As such, private property is a necessary foundation to the economic model, which requires protection backed by force when private property laws are breached.
But very little else is actually implied by the term, though commonly all sorts of associations are assumed to go with it. There can be a state, that state can have all kinds of degrees of power, or there can be no state. There can be a free market, there can be a regulated market.

Silhouette
Philosopher

Posts: 4357
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Silhouette wrote:Using money as capital is using money as a means toward making more money.

This is in contrast to using money to buy consumables and other essentials.

Investing capital (Capitalism) is buying the means of production: those who privately own business property control things, just like any -ism that describes an economic model: it's the prefix that specifies where the power lies.

As such, private property is a necessary foundation to the economic model, which requires protection backed by force when private property laws are breached.
But very little else is actually implied by the term, though commonly all sorts of associations are assumed to go with it. There can be a state, that state can have all kinds of degrees of power, or there can be no state. There can be a free market, there can be a regulated market.
Can one really have capitalism without a state? Who enforced property rights and contract conditions? Who regulates the limits of the use of force between individuals and organizations? Who sees to it that investments, which are a kind of contract, earn the money they are supposed to? I am sure there are some other facets of capitalism that need independent regulation. I suppose you could have something like guilds, but they would be a defacto state.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Can one really have capitalism without a state? Who enforced property rights and contract conditions? Who regulates the limits of the use of force between individuals and organizations? Who sees to it that investments, which are a kind of contract, earn the money they are supposed to? I am sure there are some other facets of capitalism that need independent regulation. I suppose you could have something like guilds, but they would be a defacto state.

Well when you privatise force you get things like gangs, mafia, kangaroo courts, vigilantism, no? Basically whatever you see in shitty countries or areas where governmental law and order has little to no sway - people still manage to find ways to protect property without a state, and in doing so enable the possibility of privately owning means of production. Sure it doesn't look much like the Capitalism we have in the West and it would have severe trouble getting anywhere near as advanced or as out of control as it has done here, but part of my point was that it can still be Capitalism at its definitional core.

Personally I think it's important to simplify these concepts down to their essence, because you can get much more specific and then build up with qualifiers like "free market Minarchist state Capitalism" to be absolutely clear what you mean when you use these terms that have colloquially deformed into such a mess that we can't really use them with any useful degree of meaning, which just ends up in arguments over endless equivocation fallacies.

I also like how force is highlighted when you reduce these concepts, when Capitalism is so often sold as a system free of force. Its foundation of private property is literally forcing others to abide by your terms and conditions when it comes to your property - ergo the more you have, the more power you have and the more finite the resources you control, the less power others have relative to you. This is where "voluntary" trading is revealed to be weighted more in favour of whomever has the most Capital because they control that which offers the most and can hold out for a better deal for themselves, which the less powerful party must then resort to "consenting" to. The person in charge of the means of producing the most valuable things values what they have less than the person who doesn't own them because they have them on tap, yet the owner does value the larger amount of money than it costs to run their means of production, which the non-owning parties must sacrifice due to valuing more what they need but don't control - thus the owner has even more share to invest in more capital and it's easy to see how they whole thing spirals into gross inequality (as long as the capitalist's investments keep up with what's valuable). The in-built control mechanism - market competition - actually degrades in its effectiveness the more the system rewards the winners because they gain increasingly more power to control the market, pricing out competition or buying them out. We see today the most reliably important resources entirely owned by the same company even if it maintains the brands it bought or made up to create the illusion that there is no monopoly. It's actually more stable a system in its infancy, or in poorer, more scarce and volatile economic climates, because the winners aren't able to win for long enough before power shifts to others. This is why, of course, Capitalism is highly praised for bringing undeveloped nations out of poverty where "perfect competition" can actually be approximated. We see the economic invasion of the system trying to take over as much of the globe as possible, lessening poverty in the poorest areas whilst not coincidentally increasing the opporunity for Capitalists to profit from even more people. The whole goal is to escape perfect competition and to tend towards monopoly, which is the whole issue that capitalist proponents have with the state. At this point, government has to prop up these monopolies whenever their obese size causes them to faulter, because the ripple effects of such massive organisations no longer being able to run costs everyone way more. The whole Ponzi scheme essentially ends up holding society to ransom and government have to back more right wing governments where they don't yet exist so that the feeding can continue, and complete collapse can be staved off for just a little longer.

This is why, beyond a certain point, Capitalism gets sick from eating itself and dies as soon as it stops growing.
The appeal is to those who lack theory of mind and/or care for the future, which luckily enough for Capitalists proliferates in conditions of poverty and social degeneration that it pushes civilisations back into after it so generously lifted them out to begin with. So as soon as its inherent disease starts showing in its latter stages, bad nutrition and upbringing and nostaligia to conserve past glory is so well cultivated that it's extremely difficult to communicate that it needs to stop.

I'd rather be in this version that stuck in the impoverished conditions where it works, but I'm just waiting for enough people to cotton on to what happens when Capitalism starts working "too well".
I'm interested in what happens when private property in the workplace becomes meaningless due to renewable energies and automation. Like anything of value that can be shared on the internet, securing private property can become more costly than the property is worth. This is another way in which Capitalism drives its own undoing, and I just hope I don't get too much older before it finishes the job.

Silhouette
Philosopher

Posts: 4357
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:27 am
Location: Existence

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Can one really have capitalism without a state?

Think "wild west capitalism". You find some gold or trap some beavers and try to capitalize on it through trade. But to truly capitalize, one needs slaves or employees who will compound his capital. So instead of finding his own gold to trade, he forces others to find it for him for pennies on the dollar... then pats himself on the back for providing a service to the community.

A state is really not required. What's required is a desperate population that's exploitable. Seems like a state is more likely to get in the way of the exploitation. If I were a real psychopathic capitalist with no regard for suffering whatsoever, I wouldn't want a state bugging me. I mean, the mafia may have bought the cops, but I don't think they really desired the existence of cops. Ideally, the mafia would eventually become the state if there were no state.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Serendipper wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Can one really have capitalism without a state?

Think "wild west capitalism". You find some gold or trap some beavers and try to capitalize on it through trade. But to truly capitalize, one needs slaves or employees who will compound his capital. So instead of finding his own gold to trade, he forces others to find it for him for pennies on the dollar... then pats himself on the back for providing a service to the community.
Capitalism includes private property rights, contracts, wage labor and much more that all depend on oversight and enforcement. That is a state. You can't call something private property if there is no oversight to consider it person X's property. Without a state it's just tribal or families using power. Ownership is non-existent in that. You just have the power to hold and or use something until you do not.

A state is really not required. What's required is a desperate population that's exploitable. Seems like a state is more likely to get in the way of the exploitation. If I were a real psychopathic capitalist with no regard for suffering whatsoever, I wouldn't want a state bugging me. I mean, the mafia may have bought the cops, but I don't think they really desired the existence of cops. Ideally, the mafia would eventually become the state if there were no state.
Exactly and many states, like city states, were basically run by mobs:nobles. If you have no state, then you have ongoing skirmishes and wars. There are no property rights, there are no contracts that you can appeal to anyone about - you might have agreements, but not contracts.

I mean, I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I don't know any examples of stateless capitalisms.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Can one really have capitalism without a state?

Think "wild west capitalism". You find some gold or trap some beavers and try to capitalize on it through trade. But to truly capitalize, one needs slaves or employees who will compound his capital. So instead of finding his own gold to trade, he forces others to find it for him for pennies on the dollar... then pats himself on the back for providing a service to the community.
Capitalism includes private property rights, contracts, wage labor and much more that all depend on oversight and enforcement. That is a state. You can't call something private property if there is no oversight to consider it person X's property. Without a state it's just tribal or families using power. Ownership is non-existent in that. You just have the power to hold and or use something until you do not.

I'm actually inclined to call that socialism because most advocates of liberty would not require nor desire a state to protect their property and the state-protection of property would be for the good of society which is socialism.

I'm a property owner and I have guns and I'm in a state that doesn't mind if I use them in defense of my property, but I have to sleep sometime and would rather society protect my property for me, and they do a pretty good job other than the littering. It's for the greater good of society that the Hatfields and McCoys aren't having nightly shootouts. And I pay my property taxes so the state has an invested interest in protecting a valuable and reliable tenant.

A state is really not required. What's required is a desperate population that's exploitable. Seems like a state is more likely to get in the way of the exploitation. If I were a real psychopathic capitalist with no regard for suffering whatsoever, I wouldn't want a state bugging me. I mean, the mafia may have bought the cops, but I don't think they really desired the existence of cops. Ideally, the mafia would eventually become the state if there were no state.
Exactly and many states, like city states, were basically run by mobs:nobles. If you have no state, then you have ongoing skirmishes and wars. There are no property rights, there are no contracts that you can appeal to anyone about - you might have agreements, but not contracts.

I mean, I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I don't know any examples of stateless capitalisms.

The early wild west is the only example I can think of. There were small towns and whoever shot the guy who owned the town was the new owner.

Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Serendipper wrote:I'm actually inclined to call that socialism because most advocates of liberty
As far as I can see most advocates of liberty expect the state to make sure that contracts and property rights are upheld. They use the courts, Support laws around things like intellectual rights, taking property rights into abstract realms.

would not require nor desire a state to protect their property and the state-protection of property would be for the good of society which is socialism.
It is necessary for the individual property owner, business owner, body inhabitant.

I'm a property owner and I have guns and I'm in a state that doesn't mind if I use them in defense of my property, but I have to sleep sometime and would rather society protect my property for me, and they do a pretty good job other than the littering. It's for the greater good of society that the Hatfields and McCoys aren't having nightly shootouts.
It's also good for the Hatfield's and McCoys. They can sleep at night. They don't need to invest as much time and energy into night watchs and patrols, less of them die, etc.

The early wild west is the only example I can think of. There were small towns and whoever shot the guy who owned the town was the new owner.
I can't see that as capitalism. It is just force relations. There is no ownership, no property rights, it's just force. I don't mean that in a value judgment way, like it's bad because of that. I mean it in a definitional way. It's not a society. It's not an economic system, since they were likely all sorts of manners of exchanging goods, with no common culture.

The old West was mixed economies. Barter economies, areas where contracts and money and thus the accumulation of capital could happen, force acquisition and loss of access and use of resources. Where sheriffs and others could uphold order, patterns of expectation, then you would have pockets of things heading in the direction of modern capitalism.

IOW, for example, I don't think we can describe a native american tribe as capitalist, even if they consider bows and tepees and blankets, etc., owned by someone, and people could sell or trade X to other tribes and keep the gains. And not because tribes tended to share with eachother, which one is always free to do in any capitalism, but because there isn't wage labour, accumulation of capital in the wealth meaning in capitalism.

The old west is not a system, but a fringe mixed set of culturals and economies without any general rules, though many rules and guidelines inside the various cultures clashing and overlapping and changing each other.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:I'm actually inclined to call that socialism because most advocates of liberty
As far as I can see most advocates of liberty expect the state to make sure that contracts and property rights are upheld. They use the courts, Support laws around things like intellectual rights, taking property rights into abstract realms.

I was more referring to the boomers commenting on zerohedge and message boards who evidently live in the woods clutching their guns, but I suppose the next best thing to total anarchy is utilizing the state to enforce property rights. I guess I'm approaching it from the "ideal" world that these guys would rather inhabit vs the "real" world of how things are actually done now. Ideally, I think a capitalist is an anarchist, but if a state exists, he's going to manipulate the state into benefiting him at the expense of the community even though that isn't the situation he originally wanted.

Also, that Urwrong guy on here... he advocates anarchy because he says lawlessness = freedom. That seems to be a general theme with those sorts.

Stefan Molyneux is also an anarchist.

I probably haven't given as much thought as you to the state as a servant of the individual vs a servant of the community... probably because I just assumed the state existed for the service of the community, but you may be onto something. I'll have to mull it over more.

What do you think of this:

So I agree with you that there is definitely a huge incentive to pursue political action and gain economic advantage through the violence of the state over your competitors, but that's because there's a state; in a free market it would not be possible to do that.

Molyneux is arguing that the elimination of the state brings utopia because the state is used to gain advantage over competitors and tilt the playing field.

Joseph is arguing that the propensity exists and differential advantage will manifest even without a state.

Joseph is actually an anarchist too, but only after technology has eliminated scarcity (Marx view). Molyneux advocates anarchy in the midst of scarcity.

would not require nor desire a state to protect their property and the state-protection of property would be for the good of society which is socialism.
It is necessary for the individual property owner, business owner, body inhabitant.

I don't think a state is necessary. Henry Ford retained the services of Harry Bennett to beat the shit out of... well anyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett Ford could have just as easily formed an army to clobber anyone who tried to steal ideas that he considered his own. Ford didn't need a state. If I remember right, Ford had $30 million in the depth of the depression when most people were living the cars they used to make. The early wild west is the only example I can think of. There were small towns and whoever shot the guy who owned the town was the new owner. I can't see that as capitalism. It is just force relations. There is no ownership, no property rights, it's just force. I don't mean that in a value judgment way, like it's bad because of that. I mean it in a definitional way. It's not a society. It's not an economic system, since they were likely all sorts of manners of exchanging goods, with no common culture. Well the lack of structure is a free market. How can a market be constrained and also be free? The fact that capitalism is not a system is what makes it a system. Therefore to put constraints on it produces socialism since the only reason to have the constraints are for the good of society. So if we form a state to defend my property independent of my ability to defend it, then is that more of a service to me or to the community? It's probably more of a benefit to the community than out of concern for me in particular because if the state guarantees property rights, then it's made a market of property to be swapped and traded with people who aren't capable of physically protecting it. IOW, for example, I don't think we can describe a native american tribe as capitalist, even if they consider bows and tepees and blankets, etc., owned by someone, and people could sell or trade X to other tribes and keep the gains. And not because tribes tended to share with eachother, which one is always free to do in any capitalism, but because there isn't wage labour, accumulation of capital in the wealth meaning in capitalism. The natives were probably closer to primitive communism. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2180 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism If a lecture on Marxism were made lively and fun, you might make it through the whole thing. For this reason I've chosen wolff for the lesson. The guy sincerely enjoys what he does, and easily holds your attention. There's nothing dry or erudite about it. https://youtu.be/6P97r9Ci5Kg Last edited by promethean75 on Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total. promethean75 Philosopher Posts: 3379 Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:10 pm ### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism Serendipper wrote:I was more referring to the boomers commenting on zerohedge and message boards who evidently live in the woods clutching their guns, but I suppose the next best thing to total anarchy is utilizing the state to enforce property rights. I guess I'm approaching it from the "ideal" world that these guys would rather inhabit vs the "real" world of how things are actually done now. Ideally, I think a capitalist is an anarchist, but if a state exists, he's going to manipulate the state into benefiting him at the expense of the community even though that isn't the situation he originally wanted. But he also needs the state to keep his competitors in line. He signed a contract stating X and he delivered Y. Not to speak of banks and stock markets and what a corporation is and does. How does Joe Blow in the woods keep a corporatoin from taking his shack and pickup. Not with his shotgun, their security teams will laugh all the way to taking him out with a nightscope. Also, that Urwrong guy on here... he advocates anarchy because he says lawlessness = freedom. That seems to be a general theme with those sorts. Well, he may be consistant, but he's no capitalist. Capitalists need all sorts of laws, courts, contracts and lawyers and judgeds and ways to enforce even international agreements and...it just goes on. He sounds like a loner barbarian. And I do not use that term negatively. I like barbarians. Though the loner part gets very tricky. So I agree with you that there is definitely a huge incentive to pursue political action and gain economic advantage through the violence of the state over your competitors, but that's because there's a state; in a free market it would not be possible to do that. Well, you also want stability, some kind of stability. If there are no laws and contracts and agreements cannot be enforced except through your own threats of violence and rewarding others, it's hard to sleep at night and also to form other agreements. It's crips and bloods and a lot of mothers crying and getting raped. Molyneux is arguing that the elimination of the state brings utopia because the state is used to gain advantage over competitors and tilt the playing field. Yeah, I don't see any easy way out of this. I dislike states and I dislike corporations and I would dislike things like nobles and mafias which would be the highest possible organization I can think of if you have no state. And when they get big, they are states. And in wahtever area they control, they are states. And corporations are states with their own rules. Try to be an expressive anarchist while working for a corporation or being one of its suppliers or living in a town with one. They laugh at your dreams of freedom. I don't think a state is necessary. Henry Ford retained the services of Harry Bennett to beat the shit out of... well anyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett Ford could have just as easily formed an army to clobber anyone who tried to steal ideas that he considered his own. Ford didn't need a state. If I remember right, Ford had$30 million in the depth of the depression when most people were living the cars they used to make.
I'll bet the state was helping him. But sure, he was like a noble, allowed by Kings to rule his region of the country. I'll bet he used the courts. And I'll bet he used lobbying and more to create legislation, change tarriffs, perhaps he started a war or whatever via the state for his profits.

Well the lack of structure is a free market. How can a market be constrained and also be free? The fact that capitalism is not a system is what makes it a system. Therefore to put constraints on it produces socialism since the only reason to have the constraints are for the good of society.
I think your formulation is interesting. To say that any rules are socialism. It just seems to me that the moment you have ideas like private property you are talking about rights, not just force. It is redundant to call something private property if the only thing considered as maintaining this is the owners force.

So if we form a state to defend my property independent of my ability to defend it, then is that more of a service to me or to the community? It's probably more of a benefit to the community than out of concern for me in particular because if the state guarantees property rights, then it's made a market of property to be swapped and traded with people who aren't capable of physically protecting it.
Everyone likes some stability. Change within stability. Kings used the church and claimed divine right and they had lots of laws and rules, some of them binding them also. Most people like to go to bed at night without having their home ringed with armed guards and knowing that other rich men have small armies and perhaps bought off your head of security.

The natives were probably closer to primitive communism.
Communism implies a bureaucratic state enforcing equality, they just did not have a state. They had leaders who always had to be on their toes to maintain that leadership and a lot of de facto democracy shifting in and around those leaders, who needed support to lead. And they were pretty crankily individualistic. I can't see communism on that scale. It's a big state thing.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

promethean75 wrote:If a lecture on Marxism were made lively and fun, you might make it through the whole thing. For this reason I've chosen wolff for the lesson. The guy sincerely enjoys what he does, and easily holds your attention. There's nothing dry or erudite about it.

https://youtu.be/6P97r9Ci5Kg

And he has the pedigrees to be taken seriously:

Alma mater
Harvard University (BA)
Stanford University (MA)
Yale University (MA, 1966; MA, 1967; PhD)

This is an excellent lecture (Forward past the goofball in the beginning)

Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:I was more referring to the boomers commenting on zerohedge and message boards who evidently live in the woods clutching their guns, but I suppose the next best thing to total anarchy is utilizing the state to enforce property rights. I guess I'm approaching it from the "ideal" world that these guys would rather inhabit vs the "real" world of how things are actually done now. Ideally, I think a capitalist is an anarchist, but if a state exists, he's going to manipulate the state into benefiting him at the expense of the community even though that isn't the situation he originally wanted.
But he also needs the state to keep his competitors in line. He signed a contract stating X and he delivered Y. Not to speak of banks and stock markets and what a corporation is and does. How does Joe Blow in the woods keep a corporatoin from taking his shack and pickup. Not with his shotgun, their security teams will laugh all the way to taking him out with a nightscope.

I guess Joe Blow would say come and take it because that's a free market. Idk, I'm arguing from the perspective of people I don't think are that bright. From what I can tell, the only law they want is the law of the jungle, so if some corporation wants to take something of theirs, then they don't want any laws to protect them. The reason they don't want laws for protection is the laws would limit their freedoms to pirate and plunder as well.

Also, that Urwrong guy on here... he advocates anarchy because he says lawlessness = freedom. That seems to be a general theme with those sorts.
Well, he may be consistant, but he's no capitalist. Capitalists need all sorts of laws, courts, contracts and lawyers and judgeds and ways to enforce even international agreements and...it just goes on. He sounds like a loner barbarian. And I do not use that term negatively. I like barbarians. Though the loner part gets very tricky.

He's not alone. 90% of commenters on zerohedge agree with him. And the Molyneux crowd who are all anarchists.

So I agree with you that there is definitely a huge incentive to pursue political action and gain economic advantage through the violence of the state over your competitors, but that's because there's a state; in a free market it would not be possible to do that.
Well, you also want stability, some kind of stability. If there are no laws and contracts and agreements cannot be enforced except through your own threats of violence and rewarding others, it's hard to sleep at night and also to form other agreements. It's crips and bloods and a lot of mothers crying and getting raped.

Molyneux says anarchy will work if everyone follows the NAP (non-aggression principle). Idealistic if you ask me.

Molyneux is arguing that the elimination of the state brings utopia because the state is used to gain advantage over competitors and tilt the playing field.
Yeah, I don't see any easy way out of this. I dislike states and I dislike corporations and I would dislike things like nobles and mafias which would be the highest possible organization I can think of if you have no state. And when they get big, they are states. And in wahtever area they control, they are states. And corporations are states with their own rules. Try to be an expressive anarchist while working for a corporation or being one of its suppliers or living in a town with one. They laugh at your dreams of freedom.

Bingo! Exactly! If there are no laws, then someone will rise to the top and become the state and then enslave the people.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men

The people must have a government to secure their rights.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

We must have a government but we must be on guard that the government doesn't become tyrannical.

I don't think a state is necessary. Henry Ford retained the services of Harry Bennett to beat the shit out of... well anyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett Ford could have just as easily formed an army to clobber anyone who tried to steal ideas that he considered his own. Ford didn't need a state. If I remember right, Ford had \$30 million in the depth of the depression when most people were living the cars they used to make.
I'll bet the state was helping him. But sure, he was like a noble, allowed by Kings to rule his region of the country. I'll bet he used the courts. And I'll bet he used lobbying and more to create legislation, change tarriffs, perhaps he started a war or whatever via the state for his profits.

Whether or not the state was assisting him didn't matter because he had the resources and alliances necessary to be the state.

I recently became aware of a plot in 1933 to overthrow FDR. https://timeline.com/business-plot-over ... 59a012c32a

Here's the man himself:

So the question is whether 500,000 men could have overthrown the government. I think they could have because in peacetime the military was ragtag and scattered throughout the country. By the time the army could have been mobilized to respond, it would have been over.

Well the lack of structure is a free market. How can a market be constrained and also be free? The fact that capitalism is not a system is what makes it a system. Therefore to put constraints on it produces socialism since the only reason to have the constraints are for the good of society.
I think your formulation is interesting. To say that any rules are socialism. It just seems to me that the moment you have ideas like private property you are talking about rights, not just force. It is redundant to call something private property if the only thing considered as maintaining this is the owners force.

So if we form a state to defend my property independent of my ability to defend it, then is that more of a service to me or to the community? It's probably more of a benefit to the community than out of concern for me in particular because if the state guarantees property rights, then it's made a market of property to be swapped and traded with people who aren't capable of physically protecting it.
Everyone likes some stability. Change within stability. Kings used the church and claimed divine right and they had lots of laws and rules, some of them binding them also. Most people like to go to bed at night without having their home ringed with armed guards and knowing that other rich men have small armies and perhaps bought off your head of security.

Right, if the state protects private property so that I do not need my own personal army, then the state is doing a service for the community. Others feel the state should not protect private property because they want the right to pillage and plunder.

If I go to my neighbor with guns drawn and kick him off his land, then the cops come, then I ask what business is it of theirs? Performing a service to the community is the only answer I can come up with. The community thinks it's a good idea if the guy with the most guns, the least conscience, and requires the least amount of sleep doesn't own everything.

The natives were probably closer to primitive communism.
Communism implies a bureaucratic state enforcing equality, they just did not have a state. They had leaders who always had to be on their toes to maintain that leadership and a lot of de facto democracy shifting in and around those leaders, who needed support to lead. And they were pretty crankily individualistic. I can't see communism on that scale. It's a big state thing.

Communism can only arise naturally, like with the natives. Communism cannot be forced. Communism is an effect of prosperity and not the cause.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

^^^ watching the wolff video now. Love this guy's narrative story telling style. Wolff doesn't just give a lecture... he takes us on an adventure through history!
promethean75
Philosopher

Posts: 3379
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:10 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Serendipper wrote:I guess Joe Blow would say come and take it because that's a free market.
I suppose he could, though it's not a very open market, and it's certainly not capitalism.
Idk, I'm arguing from the perspective of people I don't think are that bright
I get that.

From what I can tell, the only law they want is the law of the jungle, so if some corporation wants to take something of theirs, then they don't want any laws to protect them. The reason they don't want laws for protection is the laws would limit their freedoms to pirate and plunder as well.
My guess is most of them don't really realize how the infrastructure and regulations managing banking, contracts, ownership, etc. in capitalism are necessary parts of capitalism and capitalists expect the state to manage these rules or it is a corpratocracy where they act just like a state.

He's not alone. 90% of commenters on zerohedge agree with him. And the Molyneux crowd who are all anarchists.
Wouldn't they be radical libertarians, not anarchists. Anarchists tend to be lefty.

Molyneux says anarchy will work if everyone follows the NAP (non-aggression principle). Idealistic if you ask me.
It's a big if. A thought experiment. And perhaps one that can be achieved, one day, way in the future, if people are raised differently, and somehow outisde the influence of corporate media. Not that I blame corporate media for everything, but I also blame it.

Bingo! Exactly! If there are no laws, then someone will rise to the top and become the state and then enslave the people.
Yeah, I agree. Though people with power want laws, they just don't want to be subject to them. Recently read a great book on how this is happening more and more and is not reported on in the US. The elite classes are treated differently by courts. Not simply because they have better lawyers and connections, but because the courts themselves are now set up to view with empathy powerful people, but not regular working people. One of the examples in the book was this hedge fund guy who killed someone on a hit and run, but since he had such a huge business and also because prison would be such a shock to someone like him - I kid you not, the court reasoned this way - he shouldn't do time. A plumber who did the same crime might be shocked to find out that courts think he will be OK in prison and his work does not matter. And this was not cherry picking examples, the book charts how this is the rule: powerful people and rich people are treated differently in taking things to court, in sentencing and pardons as a rule. It is a systematic change that has happened. The idea of one law for all is gone.....

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men

The people must have a government to secure their rights.
Yes, and to me capitalism has the idea of rights. Once you have rights in an economic system, you have something that sees to it that your rights are protected. A state.

We must have a government but we must be on guard that the government doesn't become tyrannical.
I am by nature pro-secesssionist. IOW small governments. But yeah, you don't have nations if you have no government. IOW there is no USA if there is no state. You simply have people in the same region - except for Hawaii and Alaska - who use power sucessfully or not to get what they want. I cannot see how some fiefdom in mountains in Montana is a part of the US. In waht sense? They would be free to have their own traditions, a freedom maintained by their power. There is no country, just a swirling mass of stuff. Most of the freedom/free market crowd is also patriotic. I don't see how those mix. No state, no rule, total freedom. There is no country. Not saying that is wrong, it's just that patriotism goes out the window. I too wish there was an end to states, and like them do not wish for a one world government.

Whether or not the state was assisting him didn't matter because he had the resources and alliances necessary to be the state.
Well, that's the thing. The US has been an oligarchy for a while. The Robber Barons and their like were merged with the state. And they all wanted laws. IOW they wanted taxes to pay for police forces to break up unions and put away criminals who took the RB's property. And to build the roads to their factories and to go to war with other countries who did things they did not like and so on. So the individual RBs have always wanted states.
So the question is whether 500,000 men could have overthrown the government. I think they could have because in peacetime the military was ragtag and scattered throughout the country. By the time the army could have been mobilized to respond, it would have been over.
No idea on my part.

Right, if the state protects private property so that I do not need my own personal army, then the state is doing a service for the community.
Also a service to individuals. see above about the rich.

Others feel the state should not protect private property because they want the right to pillage and plunder.
And pretty much everyone has tacitly agreed to how this happens internationally.

If I go to my neighbor with guns drawn and kick him off his land, then the cops come, then I ask what business is it of theirs? Performing a service to the community is the only answer I can come up with. The community thinks it's a good idea if the guy with the most guns, the least conscience, and requires the least amount of sleep doesn't own everything.
Right. But it is generally not so easy to determine who that single person is. So the big guys like some stability also, so they can sleep at night. And the guy with the most guns could be taken over by an alliance. Rich people like stability also, even rapacious ones. They also want rules to keep the little people in line. So generally they also want a state, and then they want to ignore it personally as much as they can.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

promethean75 wrote:^^^ watching the wolff video now. Love this guy's narrative story telling style. Wolff doesn't just give a lecture... he takes us on an adventure through history!

Yeah man I'm delighted to meet another Wolff fan

Here's one on Reaganomics that I like:

And I keep coming back to this one:

Especially this part:

39:01
so to keep the game going he has to
39:03
replace the tools and equipment and he
39:05
has to pay the workers, but he has to pay
39:09
the workers... here we go folks:
39:11
less than the value added by the workers
39:14
when they work. Or to use the technical
39:17
term economists like: he has to rip the
39:20
workers off. He has to steal from them
39:25
part of what their labor added. You know
39:29
what the lesson here is? For those of you
39:32
who imagined that when you graduate from
39:34
here you will get a job, in fact the only
39:37
job you will accept is
39:38
one that pays you what you're worth. Uh
39:42
never gonna happen! The condition of your
39:46
employment is that you produce more by
39:50
your labor than you get paid.
39:52
Welcome to the capitalist system

40:03
The best way to
40:07
describe your work in a capitalist
40:09
enterprise is not that the employer
40:11
gives you a job, it's that you give your
40:15
employer the surplus. The giver and
40:19
the getter are in reverse order from what
40:22
the language suggests.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote: Idk, I'm arguing from the perspective of people I don't think are that bright
I get that.

That shouldn't be that funny but my face hurts from laughing.

From what I can tell, the only law they want is the law of the jungle, so if some corporation wants to take something of theirs, then they don't want any laws to protect them. The reason they don't want laws for protection is the laws would limit their freedoms to pirate and plunder as well.
My guess is most of them don't really realize how the infrastructure and regulations managing banking, contracts, ownership, etc. in capitalism are necessary parts of capitalism and capitalists expect the state to manage these rules or it is a corpratocracy where they act just like a state.

There are a lot of things they don't realize, like how giving back to the community is better for the selfish capitalists (like stores offering coupons translates to more profit for the store), but the root of the matter is they are willing to hurt themselves if they can hurt someone else (ie the poor) more.

He's not alone. 90% of commenters on zerohedge agree with him. And the Molyneux crowd who are all anarchists.
Wouldn't they be radical libertarians, not anarchists. Anarchists tend to be lefty.

Maybe. I just know there is a whole generation of people who have spent the last 40 years hating the government. Evidently they don't want any laws whatsoever and just want the government to go away. They tout capitalism and free markets. I don't know what label to put on them, but that's how they are. They support your freedom to one day become a billionaire and don't want any laws preventing that. I don't think they care about social issues like homos getting married, pot, booze, religion n such, but they viscerally hate minorities and the poor, don't have much respect for women, and pedestalize the robber barons of old: Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, Ford, etc.

Molyneux says anarchy will work if everyone follows the NAP (non-aggression principle). Idealistic if you ask me.
It's a big if. A thought experiment. And perhaps one that can be achieved, one day, way in the future, if people are raised differently, and somehow outisde the influence of corporate media. Not that I blame corporate media for everything, but I also blame it.

It's more than a thought experiment for him since he's made a career of it and people voluntarily send him money to support his ad-free youtube channel. He says the gov is guys with guns who steal by force which is a violation of his NAP.

Bingo! Exactly! If there are no laws, then someone will rise to the top and become the state and then enslave the people.
Yeah, I agree. Though people with power want laws, they just don't want to be subject to them. Recently read a great book on how this is happening more and more and is not reported on in the US. The elite classes are treated differently by courts. Not simply because they have better lawyers and connections, but because the courts themselves are now set up to view with empathy powerful people, but not regular working people.

Bingo again! You're honing in on what I discovered: hatred of the poor and idolizing the rich. That's the core of this issue. It's a polar mindset: either you do or you don't.

The Nazis were hostile to the idea of social welfare in principle, upholding instead the Social Darwinist concept that the weak and feeble should perish.[71] They condemned the welfare system of the Weimar Republic as well as private charity, accusing them of supporting people regarded as racially inferior and weak, who should have been weeded out in the process of natural selection.[72]

Meanwhile, in addition to being excluded from receiving aid under these programs, the physically disabled and homeless were actively persecuted, being labeled “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters.”[78]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_o ... l_policies

So the rich are obviously superior since they rose to the top in natural selection while the poor aren't human. I have yet to meet a rightwinger who, after taking a machete to their intellectual thicket, are not found to harbor visceral hatred of the poor.

One of the examples in the book was this hedge fund guy who killed someone on a hit and run, but since he had such a huge business and also because prison would be such a shock to someone like him - I kid you not, the court reasoned this way - he shouldn't do time. A plumber who did the same crime might be shocked to find out that courts think he will be OK in prison and his work does not matter. And this was not cherry picking examples, the book charts how this is the rule: powerful people and rich people are treated differently in taking things to court, in sentencing and pardons as a rule. It is a systematic change that has happened. The idea of one law for all is gone.....

That doesn't surprise me a bit.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men

The people must have a government to secure their rights.
Yes, and to me capitalism has the idea of rights. Once you have rights in an economic system, you have something that sees to it that your rights are protected. A state.

I'm not sure you'd find anyone carrying the capitalist flag who'd go along with the idea of a state protecting rights.

"Government isn't the solution to our problems; government IS the problem."

We must have a government but we must be on guard that the government doesn't become tyrannical.
I am by nature pro-secesssionist. IOW small governments. But yeah, you don't have nations if you have no government. IOW there is no USA if there is no state. You simply have people in the same region - except for Hawaii and Alaska - who use power sucessfully or not to get what they want. I cannot see how some fiefdom in mountains in Montana is a part of the US. In waht sense? They would be free to have their own traditions, a freedom maintained by their power. There is no country, just a swirling mass of stuff. Most of the freedom/free market crowd is also patriotic. I don't see how those mix. No state, no rule, total freedom. There is no country. Not saying that is wrong, it's just that patriotism goes out the window. I too wish there was an end to states, and like them do not wish for a one world government.

I've been mulling the federalist vs republican position for months now and am no nearer a solution. On one hand, the only reason not to have a strong central government is for the division of rich and poor, but on the other hand, once we have a strong central government, a tyrant could easily take it over. For instance, if we did not have a federal government forcing min wage, the south would not have a min wage and the people would be veritable slaves serving the other states. It's a good thing for the southerners that they lost the war. I'd be in favor of a global government so long as the people had strict democratic control over it because then it would mean that corps could not flee to low-tax and low-wage areas to circumvent government regulation. But man, if such government ever lost its democratic control, there would be no stopping it. So I don't know where I stand between Jefferson and Hamilton.

Whether or not the state was assisting him didn't matter because he had the resources and alliances necessary to be the state.
Well, that's the thing. The US has been an oligarchy for a while. The Robber Barons and their like were merged with the state. And they all wanted laws. IOW they wanted taxes to pay for police forces to break up unions and put away criminals who took the RB's property. And to build the roads to their factories and to go to war with other countries who did things they did not like and so on. So the individual RBs have always wanted states.

Are you sure they actually wanted the state or decided to use the state once it was in place? If I were an RB, I can't see wanting a state because the state would also protect my competitors. I'd rather employ a private army that only worked for me. If I couldn't have that, then the 2nd best thing is taking control of the state police. This is like the mafia again where they buy cops, but would prefer there not be cops at all, if given a choice.

Right, if the state protects private property so that I do not need my own personal army, then the state is doing a service for the community.
Also a service to individuals. see above about the rich.

But primarily it's a service to the community. The only reason to protect an individual is to protect the community.

If I go to my neighbor with guns drawn and kick him off his land, then the cops come, then I ask what business is it of theirs? Performing a service to the community is the only answer I can come up with. The community thinks it's a good idea if the guy with the most guns, the least conscience, and requires the least amount of sleep doesn't own everything.
Right. But it is generally not so easy to determine who that single person is. So the big guys like some stability also, so they can sleep at night. And the guy with the most guns could be taken over by an alliance. Rich people like stability also, even rapacious ones. They also want rules to keep the little people in line. So generally they also want a state, and then they want to ignore it personally as much as they can.

I think ideally they want 100% control over the state, or to BE the state. I don't think they want 70% control over a state that could turn on them, but will take the deal if that's all that's possible. This is why I say private army + pillage and plunder = 100% control.

When FDR came along, the New Deal is not what they wanted, but Reagan et al enabled them to eventually worm their way inside and take control of the government. It wasn't the initial plan nor was it ideal, but they eventually got good enough control.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Serendipper wrote:I think ideally they want 100% control over the state, or to BE the state. I don't think they want 70% control over a state that could turn on them, but will take the deal if that's all that's possible. This is why I say private army + pillage and plunder = 100% control.
This seems to be our main point of contention right now. I am not sure, but I think they do in fact want a state. Very hard to test this, of course. Here's why I think they want a state. It is cheaper for them to manipulate and mainly control the police and armies than to pay for them. There were advantages to sharecropper relationships between whites and blacks over the earlier slave relationship. The blacks had little or no power and could be used like slave labor, but the whites were no longer responsible for feeding any particular sharecropper. They outsourced slavery and allowed racist laws and already existing dispararities in power to maintain the power dynamic. Let's say the Rockerfellers want WW1. In your model, they would prefer to have their own army take on the Germans, say. But it is much better for them to have a state they can manipulate, a state which taxes everyone to pay for a state army, that goes over to fight the Germans and this army then needs to be supplied with weapons made by arms manufactures, which are paid for by taxes. The soldiers are nto thinking they are employed by the Rockerfellers and also need never wake up from the bs propaganda and hate the Rockerfellers. It would be the politicians they would hate, the war also view in terms of honor and nationalism, not profit. Move that up to Haliburton and the Gulf wars. Then the corporations are not beholden to their mercenaries in any way after the war, health care and drugs and counseling also gets spread out as taxes on everyone, and the rich are good at minimizing their own tax burdens. They don't have mercenaries demanding higher wages, the state deals with them (and generally not well).

Notice you say 'they' want...There is a they. It is a group of rapacious people. Not just a single Robber Baron. While they each might simply want to be King, they know that there are other potential Kings out there. And also, let's say Rockerfeller makes the move to be King, he knows a coalition of the others, or even just two others, could challenge his Kingship, even if he, at th at particular juncture has the biggest army, biggest war chest, best arsenal.

These guys also like stability. There is a cost. It blocks each of them from becoming King. On the other hand, these guys have today more power to experience whatever they want than any king ever had plus they don't have to worry much about other potential kings killing them. Sure, they need security, but Warren Buffet does not need the security he would need if Bill Gates saw him as a threat to his power. Then Warren Buffet would need an army, probably nukes - for a kind of personal MAD defense, and much larger intelligence departments, one's analyzing military build ups and likely interrogating people and surveilling people in ways I sure they already do, but more like the CIA and NSA combined. It would always be war. The rich have outsourced much of their expenses to states. The price is they cannot necessarily do everything they want and they must jockey around with the other oligarchs, but there are security, stability, financial and other benefits that are really important.

I don't think these people necessarily like each other, but it allows them to focus on their real enemies and those they parasite off of - regular people.

When FDR came along, the New Deal is not what they wanted, but Reagan et al enabled them to eventually worm their way inside and take control of the government. It wasn't the initial plan nor was it ideal, but they eventually got good enough control.
I am pretty sure if they had wanted a coup, the Robber Barons, they could have done it. Yes, they are not in full control and this can cause problems, but it has many advantages. And it makes it much harder to people to rise up. A Kingis a target. People know who the enemy is and Kings have been brought down.

Look at what they can do now. Politicians are the target. The members of the other party are the target and to blame. The hatred between the Trump advocates and the Hilary advocates is enormous. Regular people hating regular people.

They have outsourced the targets and a lot of the expenses a King needs to pay directly. And there is little chance they will be the target of assassaination attempts, either from the underclass or revolutionary groups or by other potential Kings.

It's primarily win win for them as a group, even though each of them sets aside winning over all and being world Hitler.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Serendipper wrote:I think ideally they want 100% control over the state, or to BE the state. I don't think they want 70% control over a state that could turn on them, but will take the deal if that's all that's possible. This is why I say private army + pillage and plunder = 100% control.
This seems to be our main point of contention right now. I am not sure, but I think they do in fact want a state. Very hard to test this, of course.

Well, let's test it by asking ourselves what we would do if we awoke in a jungle with no laws. Would you want to form a state that you'd have to wrestle with or would you rather be the state (the biggest guy around)?

Would you rather have general elections for positions of power funded by public taxation or to appoint a guy to power who is paid by you? I can see the manipulation of government to some extent, but I can't see that being an efficient form of control.

I think Hitler is a good example if we consider him a guy with a private army who didn't have to ask anyone permission for anything. He didn't have to run plans by congress and hope they'd pass it. He didn't have to worry about a supreme court. He seized every aspect of everything and appointed all positions of power. Hitler is about like the guy I'd imagine rising to the top in a laissez faire capitalist system then instituting a government under his total control and I think that's indicative of the aspirations of the free market capitalist. Why would it not be the goal to rise to the tippy top and rule everyone else?

Here's why I think they want a state. It is cheaper for them to manipulate and mainly control the police and armies than to pay for them.

Yes I thought of this while pondering my last reply. I thought it would be cheaper to simply let a public army parasite off the people then boss it around, but if I have an army funded by someone other than me, is it really under my control? It seems better if the army were funded by me through pillage and plunder.

There were advantages to sharecropper relationships between whites and blacks over slavery. The blacks had little or no power and could be used like slave labor, but the whites were no longer responsible for feeding any particular sharecropper. They outsourced slavery and allowed racist laws and already existing dispararities in power to maintain the power dynamic.

Yes, this is what's going on now: the workers are slaves who are responsible for their own upkeep. But because of the gov through min wage laws and welfare, those slaves are expensive to own. The gov has increased the price of human life. This is not in the capitalist's advantage.

Preferably, the capitalist would house his own slaves. I know a guy who did that: he'd get guys out of prison and move them into his trailerhouses. By the time rent and beer money was settled from throughout the week, they never saw a dime of money. Why allow workers to overspend on housing and luxury when you can be in total control and force them to get by with less? A government can only hurt the capitalist.

Let's say the Rockerfellers want WW1. In your model, they would prefer to have their own army take on the Germans, say. But it is much better for them to have a state they can manipulative who taxes everyone to pay for a state army, that goes over to fight the Germans and need to be supplied with weapons made by arms manufactures. Move that up to Haliburton and the Gulf wars. Then the corporations are not beholden to their mercenaries in any way after the war, that also gets spread out as taxes on everyone, and the rich are good at minimizing their own tax burdens.

I think that's still "making the best of a bad situation." The only reason to want war is to make money, so they see a way of making money and opportunistically seize it. If the gov didn't exist, then such plan would never occur to them.

Notice you say 'they' want...There is a they. It is a group of rapacious people.

Yes they are capitalists, class-oriented people.

While they might simply want to be King, they know that there are other potential Kings out there. And also, let's say Rockerfeller makes the move to be King, he knows a coalition of the others, or even just two others, could challenge his Kingship. These guys also like stability. There is a cost. It blocks each of them from becoming King. On the other hand, these guys have today more power to experience whatever they want than any king ever had plus they don't have to worry much about other potential kings killing them. Sure, they need security, but Warren Buffet does not need the security he would need if Bill Gates saw him as a threat to his power. Then Warren Buffet would need an army, probably nukes - for a kind of personal MAD defense, and much larger intelligence departments, one's analyzing military build ups and likely interrogating people and surveilling people in ways I sure they already do, but more like the CIA and NSA combined. It would always be war.

I honestly don't think they are smart enough to think far enough ahead to surmise that their own existence would be better if the slaves were allowed more resources because the main reason the capitalists are acting this way is brain damage to start with. If they could genuinely see that helping the poor helps them, then they wouldn't be hard on the poor; that being a king of slaves in a technologically sterile desert is less of a life than simply being a rich guy in a more modern time.

When FDR came along, the New Deal is not what they wanted, but Reagan et al enabled them to eventually worm their way inside and take control of the government. It wasn't the initial plan nor was it ideal, but they eventually got good enough control.
I am pretty sure if they had wanted a coup, the Robber Barons, they could have done it. Yes, they are not in full control and this can cause problems, but it has many advantages. And it makes it much harder to people to rise up. A Kingis a target. People know who the enemy is and Kings have been brought down.

Then a new king steps up, but the system doesn't change. FDR was an aberration who changed the system. He increased the value of human life.

Look at what they can do now. Politicians are the target. The members of the other party are the target and to blame. The hatred between the Trump advocates and the Hilary advocates is enormous. Regular people hating regular people.

Ideally Limbaugh should be tried for treason.

They have outsourced the targets and a lot of the expenses a King needs to pay directly. And there is little chance they will be the target of assassaination attempts, either from the underclass or revolutionary groups or by other potential Kings.

If their plan included controlling the gov, then it's about to backfire as the new demographic starts to dominate voting. Bernie, AOC, Abrams are just the beginning.

But at the end of the day, we can't define both left and right desiring a government, so it should be exclusively a leftist thing to want a government representative of the people to secure the rights of the people in a democratic fashion while the opposite extreme would desire less government and less protection for the people and less democratic control. If both sides wanted a government, then what would be the difference? A government controlled by a minority is not a government, but a private army taxing by force, even if the army is quasi-public. A government controlled by the majority is my only conception of a government. Dictatorships, monarchies, etc are not governments, but one guy ruling the roost with a private army wearing a public label.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2180
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Serendipper wrote:Well, let's test it by asking ourselves what we would do if we awoke in a jungle with no laws. Would you want to form a state that you'd have to wrestle with or would you rather be the state (the biggest guy around)?
But that is precisely not the situation they find and found themselves in. They have seen the Kings fall and sometimes their heads fall and seen their power wane. They live in spaces with states already present. That is the situation. If society collapses, sure, come of them will strive to be kings and history will likely have to repeat itself.
I think Hitler is a good example if we consider him a guy with a private army who didn't have to ask anyone permission for anything. He didn't have to run plans by congress and hope they'd pass it. He didn't have to worry about a supreme court. He seized every aspect of everything and appointed all positions of power. Hitler is about like the guy I'd imagine rising to the top in a laissez faire capitalist system then instituting a government under his total control and I think that's indicative of the aspirations of the free market capitalist. Why would it not be the goal to rise to the tippy top and rule everyone else?
These guys are not like Hitler. They are smarter than Hitler and they have less values. That's right, less values. Which does not mean Hitler had good ones. But he was an idealist and a very impatient one and he did not listen to experts for many things he should have. I mean, ANY expert, not just consensus or maintream ones.

Yes I thought of this while pondering my last reply. I thought it would be cheaper to simply let a public army parasite off the people then boss it around, but if I have an army funded by someone other than me, is it really under my control? It seems better if the army were funded by me through pillage and plunder.
Armies turn on Kings. And as I said above, being King stop working.....They know we know this too.

Yes, this is what's going on now: the workers are slaves who are responsible for their own upkeep. But because of the gov through min wage laws and welfare, those slaves are expensive to own. The gov has increased the price of human life. This is not in the capitalist's advantage.

Preferably, the capitalist would house his own slaves. I know a guy who did that: he'd get guys out of prison and move them into his trailerhouses. By the time rent and beer money was settled from throughout the week, they never saw a dime of money. Why allow workers to overspend on housing and luxury when you can be in total control and force them to get by with less? A government can only hurt the capitalist.
Yes, we have taken some steps back. Back to the factory store, worker barracks and not just with sex workers. And I think once the elites have the right technology, they make come out of the closet and try to get eveyrone in them. But they need more control. They don't have it yet.

I think that's still "making the best of a bad situation." The only reason to want war is to make money, so they see a way of making money and opportunistically seize it. If the gov didn't exist, then such plan would never occur to them.
If they were the state, they sure would and they did, back when they Kings. And mafia leaders will go to war now and then against competitors.

I honestly don't think they are smart enough to think far enough ahead to surmise that their own existence would be better if the slaves were allowed more resources because the main reason the capitalists are acting this way is brain damage to start with.
I am not saying they want to be nice to the slaves. I am saying they know there are other 'nobles' out there. The state keeps them from beheading each other. Bill Gates becaomes King. Now he's a target for others who want to be King. Not a target for just industrial espionage and smear campaigns and lawsuits. People will try to kill him. And the other 'nobles' will gang up to do this. And this is basic history. They are not smart in many ways, but this is pretty right on the table easy to see history. The era of Kings ended. For it to come back they must have technological solutions they may be close to but do not have yet.

I am in no way suggesting they want to be nice to poor people or even middle class people. They don't-

If their plan included controlling the gov, then it's about to backfire as the new demographic starts to dominate voting. Bernie, AOC, Abrams are just the beginning.
Bernie bowed down to Hilary and fucked his voters over after the Democratic party fucked him and his voters and broke their own rules.

But sure, I see countertrends. even Trump, sick as he is, is a sign that things are shifting. He's not what the tired with elites should have jumped for. But they jumped. Bernie an avowed socialist is also a radical exception. And that people talk about deep state and fake news and the mainstream media.

It is interesting times.

But the elites as individuals are safer than if they became king.

But at the end of the day, we can't define both left and right desiring a government, so it should be exclusively a leftist thing to want a government representative of the people to secure the rights of the people in a democratic fashion while the opposite extreme would desire less government and less protection for the people and less democratic control. If both sides wanted a government, then what would be the difference? A government controlled by a minority is not a government, but a private army taxing by force, even if the army is quasi-public. A government controlled by the majority is my only conception of a government. Dictatorships, monarchies, etc are not governments, but one guy ruling the roost with a private army wearing a public label.
And here's what the elites managed. They each don't get to be the one king. They share with each other by taking as an interest group from everyone else. They hide within what gets called a democracy and very very smart well educated people, en masse, will say it is a flawed democracy. It's not. I think poor people get it better that it is not a democracy. What they do with that insight is nt great.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

The only reason for war isn't money. If anything it originally was women. Money as a reason to own women is an objective, sure.

Now war over women is fared ideologically. The Left is the porn industry and the silicon valley opinion monopolists who cooped Communist sensibilities. It's filthy.

Another reason for war is man's desire to exert his force. Whoever denies that such desire is natural is surely not in touch with his force.

Solution? To keep fighting, as we will. The strong with honesty and the weak with hypocrisy.

The question. .. whether honesty or hypocrisy is more "fit"; turns out dominant.

For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals

Jakob
ILP Legend

Posts: 7193
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:23 pm
Location: look at my suit

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Socialism is everyone having to work for their bread.

Communism is no one having to.
Antithesis

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Jakob wrote:The only reason for war isn't money.
I agree. Recent US wars seem to me to also be about 1) extending privitization - as in they privitized much of the military in GW 2) the use of resources and better control of how they will be used. This is money, but also the spread of a particular kind of oligarchy based capitalism. The form matters to the movers and shakers also 3) The extending areas where free markets will rule. Or 'free' markets. The choice of citation marks or not dependent on one's politics. 4) Distraction from domestic issues. 5) empowerment of the intelligence and military communities and also private versions of these in security, private intelligence contracters, etc. 5) The making of the world a certain way. IOW those who like hammers want a world where hammers are used and seem the tool of choice.

Of course many people on the ground and even in offices are in the wars for reasons less driven by stupid self-interest (and I mean that as something that is not the same as intelligent self-interest: it's not the self-interest part that's the problem)

Solution? To keep fighting, as we will. The strong with honesty and the weak with hypocrisy.

The question. .. whether honesty or hypocrisy is more "fit"; turns out dominant.
There are are certainly many noble warriers, but they very rarely have anything to do with the decisions to have war. Of course there are many arenas to fight in, and at the national level, certainly these days, the chances of it being an honest war are next to nothing. Of course one can carry out one's part with honor and honesty. But might as well find a place where the whole thing is honorable.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Socialism is everyone having to work for their bread.

Communism is no one having to.

I quite agree with this.

For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals

Jakob
ILP Legend

Posts: 7193
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:23 pm
Location: look at my suit

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Of course one can carry out one's part with honor and honesty. But might as well find a place where the whole thing is honorable.

Nah, if you run you lose your honor.

For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals

Jakob
ILP Legend

Posts: 7193
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:23 pm
Location: look at my suit

### Re: In search of a definition of Capitalism

Jakob wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote: Of course one can carry out one's part with honor and honesty. But might as well find a place where the whole thing is honorable.

Nah, if you run you lose your honor.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 3328
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

PreviousNext