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Old 31st December 2012, 04:45 PM   #281
bobwtfomg
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
I've never met an anti-capitalist that's worth taking seriously on economics. Can anyone name one?
I'm not sure whether he would call himself an anti-capitalist but I suggest Manfred Max Neef
Quote:
The principles of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.

One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.
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http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/2...ed_max_neef_us
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Old 1st January 2013, 07:57 PM   #282
theprestige
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Originally Posted by bobwtfomg View Post
I'm not sure whether he would call himself an anti-capitalist but I suggest Manfred Max Neef


interviewed a couple of years ago on DemocracyNow
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/2...ed_max_neef_us
All of his points could easily accommodate a system that uses capital investment as an enabler of economic development.

Does he discuss elsewhere the ways in which capitalism violates the principles outlined above?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:31 AM   #283
bobwtfomg
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Surely recognizing that "the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible" is not compatible with the drive to accumulate capital which is central to capitalism.
Also I would have thought "the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy" is antagonistic to the notion that the market is always the best and final arbiter of all economic decisions. he doesn't completely reject the market though, (my bold)
Quote:
Furthermore, in as much as the influence of the
conventional economic discourse increases the belief
in the efficiency of the market; ethical, political and
value judgments are plainly excluded or left along the
road. Economics, as it is still being taught in the
Universities, is presumed to be a value-free science. In
fact, the argument runs that the intromission of values distorts the economic process. This being so,
it should not be surprising that, for example, efforts to
overcome poverty tend to fail systematically. Contrary
to such naive assumptions, it should instead be
obvious that if ethical principles and values that
should conform a society oriented towards the
common good, are not made explicit, no policies
coherent with the challenge can successfully be
designed. As a matter of fact, the so called poverty
eradication policies, so abundant all over the world,
are, in general, not policies, but rather mere mechanisms
to stimulate economic activity, under the
assumption that that sole activation will point to the
solution of the problem. If equity and the components
of the common good, instead of remaining as electoral
rhetoric, were actually specified in term of concrete
purposes (like policies), the assumed role of the
market as supreme orientator of economic activity,
would be limited to that for which it is really useful
and efficient
, i.e. not for the overcoming of poverty.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 06:03 PM   #284
Virus
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Again no contradiction. Free markets and free trade is the only system with a proven track record of lifting people out of poverty.
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Old 4th January 2013, 01:01 PM   #285
jj
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
Again no contradiction. Free markets and free trade is the only system with a proven track record of lifting people out of poverty.
You mean like the 1890's?

Sorry. History disagrees with your revisions.
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Old 4th January 2013, 01:02 PM   #286
jj
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
That sounds a hell of a lot like Hate Speech to me.
Tu quoque to the bitter end, even considering the revisionist history you cite on down this thread, I see.
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Old 4th January 2013, 02:44 PM   #287
sir drinks-a-lot
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
You mean like the 1890's?
Huh? What happened in the 1890s?

Quote:
Tu quoque to the bitter end, even considering the revisionist history you cite on down this thread, I see.
What revisionist history has he cited?
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Old 13th January 2013, 03:13 PM   #288
Alcassin
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
I have challenged many people to provide me with evidence of any government in recorded history that has SUCCESSFULLY banned sex, drugs, or alcohol. A few people have come up with examples that don't stand up, but most people haven't gotten that far.
Taliban was extremely efficient in banning alcohol, but this argument has also a second side: Governments have never successfully banned murder, theft or rape. Without government meddling rape would be non-existant or something like that, a very weak argument.

Quote:
Four words: Prohibition does not work.
It can work, you have to get enough resources to induce a policy that will be very efficient and many zealots in the service. Also it may need some kind of assistance from other group authorities like churches and education facilities. After that everything is possible. Nazi Germany in fact banned sex with Jews quite efficiently. It is rather a question of how much faith and devotion you have in society, and how much you can use your power. In dictatorships these things are much easier.

I think that the whole thing is funny - my first answer to the question was: YES. Pol Pot, not a capitalism fanboy, killed 25% of Cambodians, you would have to treat people like Pol Pot seriously or you can be dead

However, the more I look at those discussions about free market, capitalism, socialism and so on I become more and more skeptic about the economics as a social science. It just has the same problems as political science - everyone tries to use the science for their own philosophy. I'm bored with ideological discussions, show me one known economist or political scientist who gathered rather scientific data and was a scientist and not an engineer who wanted to make the world better. Every economist I know has a strong ties with some kind of political philosophy and tries to make the world better based on his own worldview - instead of doing some kind of productive work. Like - why economists can't answer to this simple question: why in a productive organization constisting more than 50 people there is always hierarchical structure? That's something an economist would answer.

I also believe that the main factor of providing higher standard of living is particularly the access to goods and services which are produced within an economy. So to provide "higher standard" the number of those goods and services must be higher per capita than earlier. By whom they are produced it doesn't matter. I see that all production systems that can provide growth will also provide higher standard of living, and historical data shows us that throughout 20th century almost all countries had economic growth. It means they all provided more goods and services in 2000 than in 1900. Why? nobody really explains. I believe in 20th century people created more regulation of economy than ever before, so what was driving the growth?

History rather teaches us that industrial revolution didn't end up slavery (you cannot ban slavery efficiently too), didn't end up feudalism per se - it has just changed position within social and political structure of one group at the expens of others through the means of aquiring resources. Industry provided much higher benefits than the old nobility had from their land. Slavery was mainly abolished because some ideas spread that people should be seen as equal, a very new idea in human history, but there are some places where slavery exists and even in Europe women trafficking is a known fact (treating people as commodity is another thing goverment can't eradicate).

Hierarchy exists within every society, even in "anarchist" Somalia which is in fact ruled by few political bodies there are people on the top and the bottom of the society with different access to resources. Also every developed organization creates hierarchy which also differentiates with the access to resources. This goes to each enterprise where specialization of labor indeed needs decisiveness. So the hierarchy exists no matter what kind of economic structure we have, and I think hierarchy is going to exist unless we roll back to human prehistory.

Also the size of the corporations and gargantuan size of financial sector must be somehow explained. It is the size of world economy and financialization of that economy which brought us huge companies. With small companies you are not going to produce thousands tons of steel, or extract millions tons of coal, and you are not going to make a billion dollar loan. Private and public, centrally planned and capitalist economies will do that. I don't care whether it is capitalist or socialist, I believe that size of economy, flow of capital, size of production and size of project matter. Size also can create inefficiencies, because it creates space them to happen.

I think that economy is really a social phenomena and is not only governed by demand and supply, but also by values dominant within society and its elite. When an economist is doing a job of engineer (talking "more regulation" or "more freedom") then I feel he should subscribe to some political party and be removed from an university for simulating work. It would be quite odd when a physics professor would talk to construction engineer and an architect how they should build a house.

That is the main problem - we didn't really answer to the question how society works, but have recipes how it should work. Hubris
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