Bubble check - Is liberalism/progressivism the true path forward? What are some of the critiques? Serious replies please.

Oct 25, 2017
3,102
No, neoliberalism will only exacerbate the problems the world has. Socialism is the only path forward, to guide us from neoliberal capitalism to a communist utopia.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,181
Liberalism and progressivism aren't the same.
The common American understanding of the word "liberal" collapses liberalism (the economic school) with social progressivism (gay rights, diversity, etc), into a single word, "liberal".

They "are/aren't" the same depending on who you talk to and in what context.

I like Olly's explanation of the word:
 

Televator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,034
Progressivism isn’t really liberalism, but would be a start at least. Liberalism isn’t looking to disrupt capital accumulation to any significant degree. Progressives, in contrast, usually are ones calling for heavy regulation. I don’t know that full on socialism is sustainable, but I’m not against the idea. I also can see that the this grotesquely unbalanced state of capitalism we currently have is definitely unsustainable, and so we really need to start sprinting left. How far left? We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but the argument can be made that it is in the very competitive nature of capitalism to erode regulation and perpetuate cycles of instability. I digress... right now we’re coming up on the brick wall of climate change/resource scarcity and the track we are on currently will only lead to heavier authoritarian practice from nations and the rise to global fascism. So we at least have pull left
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,673
No. Liberalism believes in private property and therefore supports capitalism. Capitalism is unsustainable and killing the planet. Capitalism is unstable and falls into continual crises, which gives rise to fascism. Capitalism is inherently authoritarian and contradictory to democracy, revealing the extent to which liberalism is ineffective at protecting its own values.

Capitalism will one day collapse, and there are only two options that come after it - socialism or barbarism.
This is where I'm at. Liberalism tries in vain, one incrementalist measure at a time, to resolve the inner contradictions of capitalism: capitalism against equality, capitalism against sustainability and the environment, capitalism against the humane, capitalism against labor with meaning...
 

Ecotic

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
731
I know I'm getting real wary of certain factions of liberalism/progressivism. Some people are getting so mentally overwhelmed by climate change or inequality that they're turning to a motley of radical ideologies or solutions. There's different groups and different ideologies, but many of them have the same reflexively unthinking or anti-intellectual stance as groups I fear on the right.
 

Boiled Goose

Member
Nov 2, 2017
7,865
The common American understanding of the word "liberal" collapses liberalism (the economic school) with social progressivism (gay rights, diversity, etc), into a single word, "liberal".

They "are/aren't" the same depending on who you talk to and in what context.

I like Olly's explanation of the word:
Progressivism goes beyond basic minority rights. This is actually critical.
 

Boiled Goose

Member
Nov 2, 2017
7,865
I know I'm getting real wary of certain factions of liberalism/progressivism. Some people are getting so mentally overwhelmed by climate change or inequality that they're turning to a motley of radical ideologies or solutions. There's different groups and different ideologies, but many of them have the same reflexively unthinking or anti-intellectual stance as groups I fear on the right.
Go on.
 

rarenight

Resident Novelist
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,830
This is where I'm at. Liberalism tries in vain, one incrementalist measure at a time, to resolve the inner contradictions of capitalism: capitalism against equality, capitalism against sustainability and the environment, capitalism against the humane, capitalism against labor with meaning...
Capitalism is like an insidious virus that the Earth tries to shed itself of through climate change. As long as capitalism is the driving force of our world we will perpetually be in danger and dystopia.

The drive for infinite growth overcomes the societal cost of business due to environmental degradation. Liberalism can patch that over but it can't solve the underlying drive towards destruction.
 

Hokahey

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,046
Wants to hear the other sides outside of liberalism, asks for it on a liberal website.
 

Exellus

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,092
Eventually we will be at a point where technology is able to feed every human. Renewable energy generating renewable food sources.

Now the question is: Who owns the factory? One super rich person who then uses that to hold power on everyone else? Or does EVERYONE own the factory?
 

Sibylus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,673
Capitalism is like an insidious virus that the Earth tries to shed itself of through climate change. As long as capitalism is the driving force of our world we will perpetually be in danger.

The drive for infinite growth overcomes the societal cost of business due to environmental degradation. Liberalism can patch that over but it can't solve the underlying drive towards destruction.
The way I see it, the end of capitalism is approaching sooner than many are prepared for, and what makes me existentially uncomfortable is the growing chance that it will be an involuntary hard crash, rather than the product of us coming to our senses en masse and swerving before we take our civilizations over the cliff.
 

rarenight

Resident Novelist
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,830
Wants to hear the other sides outside of liberalism, asks for it on a liberal website.
I mean, it's a fair question. I see liberalism as a necessary evil to stave off the laughably evil Republicans who seem hell-bent on destruction, but there are still plenty of contradictions and corruption.

Like how Chuck Schumer's daughter Alison was given a high level position at Facebook reporting to a VP in exchange for Chuck Schumer's unwavering support of the Facebook monopoly. That is a failure of liberalism to fight against the evils of capitalism. It shows how neo-liberalism still encourages the evil, just on a more socially acceptable scale.
 

Frimaire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
758
Burnaby, Canada
Eventually we will be at a point where technology is able to feed every human. Renewable energy generating renewable food sources.

Now the question is: Who owns the factory? One super rich person who then uses that to hold power on everyone else? Or does EVERYONE own the factory?
We already produce more than enough food to feed everyone on earth, so I think we already know the answer to that question.
 

MrMephistoX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,114
Might as well give Bernie and Warren a shot at this point everyone else isn’t going to be able to beat Trump. People have been voting for change since 2008 and really have yet to see it.
 

PoppaBK

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,435
My main criticism is that it is generally top down, progressives who will suffer little impact from the changes they wish to make hold all the power, and decide where and when progressive ideals should be applied. Look at the responses on this board for an H1B visa thread versus an illegal immigration thread for an example - when it hits people where they live suddenly immigration needs to be controlled, to protect jobs for Americans from people from India and Pakistan. Of course people are careful to avoid saying it's because where they are from, but the underlying message is the same, just more eloquent and (I hate to use the term, but it is apt) politically correct.
 

Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,329
The words are a big target. Realistically things are spread over many axes like economic policy, environmental policy (anyone an environmental liberal?), social policy, immigration policy, foreign policy etc. It depends on what we are talking about.

There is no one true way forward anyway. Most people are solving problems they can see today. That doesn't mean they've identified all the problems, or that all the problems have equal priority, or that problems are even correctly measured as problems. We can say that in 20 years we will have a similar but likely different set of problems brought on by labeling new things, new technology or events that influence public zeitgeist. The solutions to those will not be the same as the ones we are seeking right now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,094
Progressive policy has always been the path through which humanity has achieved. Conservative policy is merely the fear of the comfortable.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
30,169
Capitalism is a broken system and as long as we're beholden to megacorporations who put profits above people, the world can never truly move forward.

In that vein, classical American liberalism isn't far left enough. Especially when it's hamstrung by religious doctrine that also restricts our social growth and development as a society that's supposed to value equality and diversity.
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,281
Limburg
Genuinely can't tell if this is a troll post or not.

No one actually believes this right?
This thread is supposed to be for serious replies only.

Progressive ideas are definitely the path forward to a better life for all humans, but the broader west right now doesn’t have the gumption or the will to see it througg. People are still too concerned with keeping their ill gotten gains or unsustainable lifestyles. People are shrieking about “invading” immigrants, when many of their countries are facing demographic decline. The world will only get more unstable under the banner of capitalism, and the flow of migrants will get even worse. Because the industrialized countries are making the home countries of worse off countries unlivable.
 

kiguel182

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,511
I think you could make an argument that too much taxation can stiff the growth of new business because it takes a lot more money to start and grow. And if a country isn't able to have companies producing and creating jobs that's bad for an economy. Of course big companies have room to pay way more money than they currently pay but small businesses aren't always so lucky.

In terms of having a government regulating the market I don't think the arguments against it are great. Usually what the government regulates is cases where businesses have unfair advantages and monopolies or situations that are hurting the populace. Nothing wrong with that.

I think agreements with private companies to help support public services can go either way. They can be helpful if the government lacks funds to, let's say, build a road somewhere and not every country can contract debt to do it so a private company being in charged (with rules) and then profiting from tolls or whatever can make sense. On the other hand if a company is interested in building something is because there's money to be made and the government could be the one collecting that (even if at lower profit margins) and that money could be used for public services.

I know (and agree) that the government and public services shouldn't be money making machines but they do need enough money to be built and to function. It's a tricky situation to manage. You can always have really high taxes but for countries with lower incomes that wouldn't solve things because the money coming in from taxes wouldn't be enough either way.

Anyway, big wall of text. But I believe that a strong government is the best way to rule a country. Sometimes the realities for a global market and of the economic system might get in the way of that. Economic liberalism is definitely just a way to screw poor people.

EDIT: My post doesn't mention social progressivism because there's no argument you can make that equal rights for everyone is not the way forward. And it's embarrassing that's even part of the political debate. It should be the default.
 

Haubergeon

Member
Jan 22, 2019
579
Liberalism is good in a vacuum but it is nowhere near enough to stop ecofascism. Liberal capitalism will only kill the world slightly slower - it'll just be marginally better to live in for a few extra years. Socialism is the only path forward for a truly happy, sustainable future, but the only thing Liberals and Fascists hate more than each other, is socialism.
 

Ovaryactor

Member
Nov 20, 2018
72
The biggest worry I have on this front is how will progressivism survive the havoc this world will experience as a result of climate change. What will western nations do when the rest of the world needs someplace to go...
This is literally the thesis of “Camp of Saints”, and Is pretty disingenuous as a worry.
 

NecroTechno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
273
geohell
I'd argue that we (my perspective being Australian, but assumedly applicable to the English speaking world) need an overhaul of the economic, legal and social systems that dictate how we address human rights and suffering. The structures and institutes that govern need to be rebuilt so that every single person is provided food, water, and shelter.

Personally, I believe that a socialist project developed through both official political channels and community organising is currently the most effective model for achieving this change.
 

Flygon

Member
Oct 28, 2017
105
ABC (Australia) Vote Compass suggests that I have most of my own interests in line with the Australian Greens Party.
I could joke and say that may as well make me a repressive communist by American standards, but I think that I will address this post in a serious manner.

I do believe that there is a strong place in this world for private enterprise, but I strongly feel that supporting small business rather than capitulating to big established corporations is a better way to go.
I have a strong belief in me that capitalism properly and responsibly regulated by the Government, to prevent booms from growing too big, and to help push the economy forward along when it's running more sluggishly, is a responsible platform to run with.
I believe in keeping the unemployment rate low, at around 1-2%. In addition to strong unionization of the workforce, anti-corruption commissions (this applies to the unions too, mind), and paying the unemployed enough money to safely live on in their circumstances - almost all research indicates that most unemployed really want to work; it turns out sitting around watching Diagnosis: Murder on afternoon TV isn't most people's view on living.

This implies a strong amount of Government involvement in the management of the economy.
Much moreso than currently exists in Australia.

Those are just some of my thoughts. And they are not all of them.
I am certainly not anti-capitalist, and I believe those that want to start their own businesses should be strongly supported. But I hold a very strong skepticism of the big business end's interest in anything other than their profit margins.
Businesses should serve the interests of the people, not just themselves.

I believe the only way for a long term, stable economy, that makes people feel included, non-exhausted, and worthwhile in life is a strongly worker driven one, with a powerful middle class.
The fact that there is a very clear cut, perpetually on the edge of poverty lower class existing is completely shameful for any fully functioning powerful economy. It is sad to see it happen - a lot of people in that sort of circumstance aren't in that sort of situation through apathy or lack of working hard.

In terms of social matters, I'm unsure what I'd say.
And there's probably a lot of Australian-specific issues that would fly over readers heads. And this post is already too long.


There is a lot of other thoughts I could get into. And I wrote a wall of text before deleting it, after deciding it goes well beyond the intention of the original poster's post.
My views are mostly within context of Australian politics, and I am almost certainly not representative of most Australians.

As many Australians in my position found out, we're very much in a bubble. The last Federal Election made that very clear to us. There's some stuff I could get into regarding the Murdoch's media influence on Queensland in particular, but this post is already a gigantic horridly thought out wall of text as it is.

EDIT: What NecroTechno said.

EDIT II: To be clear, yes, I believe the only sustainable path forward is through very "Left Wing" social and economic stances.
Having people feel fucking miserable through life is no way to have a stable society.
Give people stability, give people a happy safe living, and give people some god damn human decency in their life. This isn't anything radical or unachievable. It's been clawed over to before, and strong strides made in doing so.
It's only since the late 70s that things changed.

I'd rant more, but, eh. I'd get way too angry for posting on a public forum.
 
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Powdered Egg

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,108
Mainstream US Liberalism is unsustainable. It largely ignores race and class.

DSA is as far left as I'll go.
 

Birdseye

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
10,864
I should probably state that I started out more as an anti-George W Bush than pro-liberal or Democrat during 2004 elections. The idealogy I for the first time identified was...Ron Paul libertarian in 2008. But that only lasted a few months, until i researched Barack Obama's platform and got fully on board. Ever since then I identified as a strongly liberal, progressive democrat on pretty much every issue.

I do however try to see things outside the "bubble" so to speak constantly. To make sure we're not drinking the same kool aid as say, Republicans who are now basically part of a full bore cult. Meaning, I try to critique American liberalism, but I do not see much to critique outside of vague monetary philosophies. The ideals, of having equal rights for all, strong central government taking care of poor, taxing the rich, etc. all seem morally right and the true path forward for humanity. I can't say the same of conservativism, which is just mean-spiritedness and economically disastrous (trickle down garbage). What are some of the real critiques of liberal thought and ideals?
What does forward mean?
 

Netherscourge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,685
I don't think we'll ever get beyond Capitalism with Social Safety nets as the core economic system in America.

So, I'm just tempering my expectations.

Best I am hoping for is that the super rich don't try to suppress their own taxes any more than they already have. Otherwise, the safety nets will disappear and the poor and low-end middle class will suffer greatly.
 
Mar 16, 2019
93
A critique that doesn't get surfaced here enough is that market pricing is a signal of preferences. Absent externalities, giving people what they want is often a good thing. And competitive markets move towards giving consumers what they want.

In other words, capitalism has its merits.
I don’t entirely disagree, but “absent externalities” is doing a lot of work here.

Pricing doesn’t tell you much about the conditions under which the item was produced, which I think is a pretty big problem for say animal rights, and the working conditions of people in poorer countries.
 

Ziltoidia 9

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,732
If feel we need a restructing the puts more wealth in the hands of the majority and not have it so consolidated to a few, that is when capitalism can work at its best, and small businesses have the ability to actually compete. That restructing involves lowering the price that HC has put a strain on our economy, lowering the cost of college level schooling, and lowering the cost of real estate. I feel these 3 big things being so over inflated is what starts young people off in a completely diffrent position from earlier generations, and basically has locked them into a diffrent life style than what made the 50s and 60s seem so amazing (minus the sexist and racist components.)

We also need to drop the idea of "market value" as more and more jobs leave and newer ones that come on that arnt as straining. The rich in our society has made it culturally "known" that it is based on what you are worth to people that makes you earn what you earn. But the problem for that thinking is, people are what earn all the wealth for the top.
 

Heraldic

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
540
Good discussion. My background is psychology. Would people still be paid under a true socialist experiment? If not how do you motivate people. How would copyright law and profit operate under this paradigm? I believe humans do operate on a very selfish level, like Ayn Rand espouses to us and that capitalism, i.e profit, works best to motivate individuals.
 

Jam

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,610
A critique that doesn't get surfaced here enough is that market pricing is a signal of preferences. Absent externalities, giving people what they want is often a good thing. And competitive markets move towards giving consumers what they want.

In other words, capitalism has its merits.
Yup. I’m fully on board with social democracy wherein capitalism exists but with a social framework that limits it and looks after its population.

Unchecked capitalism is dangerous as we’re seeing, and full blown socialism is just a theoretical ideal. Meet them in the middle.

AOC/Warren/Bernie are all along the right lines.
 

Garrett 2U

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,899
We are all going to lose our labor to robots and AI in the next century. I’m not positive what the ideal path forward is, but it certainly isn’t pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.
 

Flygon

Member
Oct 28, 2017
105
Good discussion. My background is psychology. Would people still be paid under a true socialist experiment? If not how do you motivate people. How would copyright law and profit operate under this paradigm? I believe humans do operate on a very selfish level, like Ayn Rand espouses to us and that capitalism, i.e profit, works best to motivate individuals.
Humans are inherently selfish, and (at least, under my personal feelings, you're the professional here, not me!) feel that most people feel most comfortable owning their own things.
Have their own property, have their own house... I'm not a big fan of short term rentals. At least long term leases - 10 year ones, have some security and stability in them.

I don't think a pure Communist state would work. Too many issues with the way all humans are different to each other.
But there are strong and effective principles behind the concept of Socialism can be applied to the Capitalist system to get the best of both worlds - as has been tried and proven in many countries.

I deliberately mark the difference between Communism and Socialism. I know the two mean the same in much of US discourse, but in much of the rest of the world, I believe the nuance between the two is there.
I'd ramble s'more, but, I'm actually not an expert, so I don't want to make an ass of myself, hahaha.
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,812
I still can't believe people argue for socialism in 2019. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding. What exactly is socialism to people in here?
 

demondance

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,410
You're an ex-libertarian so bear with me: I can't help noticing you equate "taking care of the poor" with a strong central government

As if social programs, simple ones even, are what constitute a "strong central government" rather than having dozens of federal law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, the biggest penal system with the most prisoners on earth and an absolutely massive military apparatus aren't a bit closer to what a "strong central government" looks like.
 

Zefah

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,247
I still can't believe people argue for socialism in 2019. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding. What exactly is socialism to people in here?
It's odd. They talk about how Capitalism is broken and only hurts the world because of bad actors and how the system incentivizes bad behavior. I don't think any of that is a symptom of capitalism rather than human nature. For any system to truly "work" for everyone, requires its participants to be benign and virtuous. The same applies to any socialist system. The potential for corruption and abuse in a socialist system is just as strong if not stronger than a capitalist one. The only examples we have of attempts at socialist regimes are horribly oppressive disasters.
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
790

We should do the things that make sense.

The biggest problem at the moment, IMO, is that we have democracies, yet we do nothing to make them work. Education completely neglects to prepare citizens for participation in democracy. Nigh everyone is hugely apolitical because we don't get taught about politics, communication, empathy, psychology, and what our role is as a participant in democracy. By neglecting that, we've handed over all our power to those who have the capital, those who can afford to put their voice out there -- because that's all it takes to have your opinion considered, it doesn't need to be logical, it doesn't need to make sense, all you need to do is to have it be heard and have it not be abhorrent to a voter base that doesn't know what their role really is.
 
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Anomander

Member
Oct 27, 2017
279
I think put as much effort as possible into developing a self-learning AI which will eventually become a superintelligent one is the way forward. We can rely on it to show us the way to a sustainable living on Earth and finally come up with a better system than capitalism. Otherwise at this we'll go extinct before we can get past capitalism.
Yes, I'm dead serious.
 

Heraldic

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
540
It's odd. They talk about how Capitalism is broken and only hurts the world because of bad actors and how the system incentivizes bad behavior. I don't think any of that is a symptom of capitalism rather than human nature. For any system to truly "work" for everyone, requires its participants to be benign and virtuous. The same applies to any socialist system. The potential for corruption and abuse in a socialist system is just as strong if not stronger than a capitalist one. The only examples we have of attempts at socialist regimes are horribly oppressive disasters.
This was my sentiment exactly. Summing up the psychological side of this equation quite succinctly.
 

MrRob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,677
I'm not sure it was a great idea to make this thread so deep inside the bubble.

I do respect that you are being introspective and wanting to critique your own views though. It's admirable and we need more of that. I'm also with you in thinking that the progressive agenda is the only sustainable path forward. There are some aspects that are at odds with each other like immigration/social services, and some serious questions on how to pay for some of the services we want to offer. But, it is the only humane and moral path forward so I hope we can get the space to debate how to implement these policies instead of stuck in the phase of debating if proceeding with them makes us socialist instead of capitalist or some other dumbshit label.