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

Heraldic

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
552
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.
Actually, this is what I’ve been thinking for years now. A hard AI is our only way out at this point. It is the new arms race. The first Country to develop a true hard AI, as depicted in the sci fi book (can’t find the book).
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
806
Actually, this is what I’ve been thinking for years now. A hard AI is our only way out at this point. It is the new arms race. The first Country to develop a true hard AI, as depicted in the sci fi book (can’t find the book).
This is a fantasy. What kind of AI are you even talking about here?
 

RSTEIN

Member
Nov 13, 2017
765
I think many on the left recoil reflexively at the word "capitalism". Rather than use that loaded word, think about the following:

- what is the mechanism for price discovery
- who owns the means of production

I've read a lot of history and I'm fairly confident that competitive price discovery and private ownership of production creates the highest standard of living for a nation's citizens. History is full of examples where bad things happen when prices are not set competitively or when production is controlled.

However, not all goods and services should be set competitively and/or privately owned. Essential services like health care, transportation, telecom infrastructure, and other public works should have tight regulatory oversight or be owned by the government.
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,560
Limburg
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.
Are you high? Or just not aware of Scandinavia?
 

Raster

Member
Feb 28, 2018
2,024
I feel like it's what the world is heading to currently - you can't please the masses with consumerism forever and hope they won't notice the oligarchy that's taken root. Contrary to what some people think, the next generations are even more progressive and conscious about issues like economic justice and climate change.

Right now the media is doing its hardest to delay the takeover of progressivism, this helping their corporate sponsors, but you cant stop a revolution like this from happening.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,925
I still can't believe people argue for socialism in 2019. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding. What exactly is socialism to people in here?
Worker control of the means of production and the subsequent elimination of classes.

You're out of the loop if you haven't noticed the surge in socialist sentiment over the last decade.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
I've read a lot of history and I'm fairly confident that competitive price discovery and private ownership of production creates the highest standard of living for a nation's citizens. History is full of examples where bad things happen when prices are not set competitively or when production is controlled.
Is this or is this not factoring in treatment of other, economically weaker nations? Because if your standard of living comes at the cost of sweatshop labor in another country, it's kind of zero-sum isn't it?
 
Oct 25, 2017
863
And socialism wouldn't? I'm for socialism but this thing where you compare the flawed version of capitalism that we know with your idealized vision of socialism is a fantasy.
Democratic control of industry would probably help idk. Our current system has failed to allow us to solve the problems it creates, it mortgages the future of the species and leave billions deprived of dignity for the benefit of a few.. If we aren't seriously willing to consider alternatives we might as well just give up now.
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
806
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.
I just don't get it. Why are you ignoring that people with money can directly influence legislation? Why are you ignoring that capitalism directly rewards greed, explicitly makes it to be a virtue, and therefore breeds people and an environment that will automatically want to challenge democracy?

I don't understand how you can think that the idea to stop steering some people towards greed, and some toward a position of submission (by making it so that your life depends on you working), how you don't think that that will have direct repercussions on the mindset of everyone? People will think it's the norm, that's how it should be -- you have bosses, you have workers. Workers listen to the bosses. It's completely incompatible with democracy, because in a democracy, everyone is the boss, and everyone needs to understand that we're all equals, and that the responsibility lies with us to change society for the better.

Instead we get a sick culture, where people are utterly perplexed on what to do, who to vote for, because our entire mindset is that of worker and boss, not that of equals working together. That's not how humans work, it only breeds strife. It doesn't make any sense.
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,979
Worker control of the means of production and the subsequent elimination of classes.

You're out of the loop if you haven't noticed the surge in socialist sentiment over the last decade.
There is no way you eliminate classes. It doesn't even make sense. How would you do that?

Socialist sentiment yes. It's clear there are industries that need it. I think the goal should be a a better algamation of what we have now, but full on socialism isn't argued by any socialist.
 
Oct 25, 2017
863
it does have it issues , but the alternative is well, fucking shit
The transition to liberal capitalism engineered the largest western drop in life expectancy since World War II. Context matters, no one system is categorically better for the average individual, the material context is the most important determinant.

I think many on the left recoil reflexively at the word "capitalism". Rather than use that loaded word, think about the following:

- what is the mechanism for price discovery
- who owns the means of production

I've read a lot of history and I'm fairly confident that competitive price discovery and private ownership of production creates the highest standard of living for a nation's citizens. History is full of examples where bad things happen when prices are not set competitively or when production is controlled.

However, not all goods and services should be set competitively and/or privately owned. Essential services like health care, transportation, telecom infrastructure, and other public works should have tight regulatory oversight or be owned by the government.
Yeah that's not incompatible with a Marxist worldview. Historical materialism tells us that capitalism is a stage in the historical development of the political economy and it can't be transcended until it is brought into intractable crisis by its contradicting dynamics. Authoritarian control of prices or government sponsored monopolies are not the same as democratic control of the means of production. Price discovery in the status quo is over the long run unable to incorporate externalities into prices because it's core principle of endless growth demands it capture and subvert the institutions which assign these costs. Public utilities are ultimately a superficial elements of the political economic structures which actually organize power in society.
 

demondance

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,434
Having unchecked immigration and strong welfare systems aren't compatible with each other.
Immigrant communities have a bigger berth between what their communities pay out compared to what they take in than average Americans do overall, this is such a suspect angle of attack.

Same goes for the crime angle, targeting the groups noted for *lower* crime than average Americans makes me question what the motive in demonizing them ocer that particular topic is.
 

Mewshuji

Member
Nov 11, 2017
3,330
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 why I'm frustrated by people willing to elect individuals who will compromise on if not flat out enable climate change.

It won't matter if the candidate gets everything else right. If we don't stop our climate catastrophe, progressivism cannot survive and will inherently give way to the worst authoritarian fascism the world has ever seen. People are just too selfish. Climate refugees from our own damn countries will get turned away from inland housing, let alone refugees from other areas of the world.

Osaka, Miami, New Orleans, Jakarta, Shanghai, Manila, Venice... All well on their way to major parts of their city being underwater if not entirely underwater by 2050.

Half measures that give major corporations too much control over our futures will not help anywhere near enough. We've had 40+ years to begin proper action. We wasted them, listening to lobbyists and a small handful of scientists hired by fossil fuel corporations over overwhelming scientific consensus. Now we need to go into crisis mode ASAP to save our future.
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,701
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.
The problem with AI development is that you need more capital. The quality of the results you get directly depend on how much data you have (exploiting the privacy of people) and how many processors you have (exploiting rare earth metals).
 
Oct 25, 2017
863
Rising water levels aren't even not longer the prime threat of climate change. If the accelerating trend continues heatwaves and the associated droughts will be here in 10-15 years
 

Arebours

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,636
Please show us an example of the ideal version of capitalism
It doesn't exist just like the ideal example of socialism doesn't and never will. But you guys act like that version is a real thing. I do think capitalism is breaking down and that we need to hand the baton to socialism but that isn't magically going to fix climate change.
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,560
Limburg
AI isn’t gonna solve these issues capitalism is creating in time. We need good policy and transparent accountable governments. Not technocratic solutions. So why is it being discussed? As an alternative to socialist policies?

It doesn't exist just like the ideal example of socialism doesn't and never will. But you guys act like that version is a real thing. I do think capitalism is breaking down and that we need to hand the baton to socialism but that isn't magically going to fix climate change.
Good thing I didnt say any of that then
 

remiri

Member
Nov 1, 2017
396
Liberalism/progressive fits well into promoting a better standard of living, but I think we as humans strive to compete and innovate, which is fostered by a capitalist economy. I don't think capitalism can apply to all things, and social/liberal/progressive programs need to be in place for what should be viewed as our unalienable human rights, such as healthcare.

The solution to the problem is not one system, but a healthy combination of both with the understanding that capitalism drives the economy, and socialism promotes a better life. Basically, we need more and better social programs which will enable more people to participate in the capitalist economy, and better checks and balances on the economy by the government without lobbyists whispering in their ear.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,925
There is no way you eliminate classes. It doesn't even make sense. How would you do that?
In Marxist terminology, class is determined by your relation to production. The bourgeoisie own the means of production. The proletariat operates the means of production. Eliminate bourgeois control of the means of production and give full democratic control to the proletariat.

but full on socialism isn't argued by any socialist.
lol what?
 

Deriok

Avenger
Nov 27, 2017
273
I believe the real way forward is through a hybrid of socialism and controlled capitalism. Where social programs ensure everyone has access to basic needs such as health care, food and housing. But also allow some form of capitalism to ensure innovation continues to push us forward. I would implement controls in the form of maximum wage/earnings for citizens as well as corporations.
 

Heraldic

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
552
AI isn’t gonna solve these issues capitalism is creating in time. We need good policy and transparent accountable governments. Not technocratic solutions. So why is it being discussed? As an alternative to socialist policies?
I get it, it’s crazy, but humans are a large equation/problem in this. Why? It’s simple. Current population is 7.7 billion and growing. We need resources to survive. Resources are finite. A byproduct of human life is waste. One of those wastes being carbon dioxide. Hence global warming, which cannot be undone.
One purpose of government is to manage economic life. But, as I’ve pointed out, human life is an unsustainable model (on earth).
So, technology IS the only possibility. Why? Because we need goods, at a massive industrial level. Technology could theoretically produce these goods in a clean way, but I’m skeptical. There is always a contaminant.
Politics cannot solve these issues. Particularly, with the American model of governance. To even speak of reducing the human population is anathema.(no, I don’t endorse this) China had instituted the one child policy, but this was for different reasons.
So are only hope is to colonize another planet, and let earth die. What was the topic again?
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,560
Limburg
I get it, it’s crazy, but humans are a large equation/problem in this. Why? It’s simple. Current population is 7.7 billion and growing. We need resources to survive. Resources are finite. A byproduct of human life is waste. One of those wastes being carbon dioxide. Hence global warming, which cannot be undone.
One purpose of government is to manage economic life. But, as I’ve pointed out, human life is an unsustainable model (on earth).
So, technology IS the only possibility. Why? Because we need goods, at a massive industrial level. Technology could theoretically produce these goods in a clean way, but I’m skeptical. There is always a contaminant.
Politics cannot solve these issues. Particularly, with the American model of governance. To even speak of reducing the human population is anathema.(no, I don’t endorse this) China had instituted the one child policy, but this was for different reasons.
So are only hope is to colonize another planet, and let earth die. What was the topic again?
You just did a switcheroo here. Human life on earth is not unsustainable, human life with the current methods of energy production using fossil fuels and farming are. Human beings don’t create enough waste to impact the planet without our technology. So that technology needs to be regulated. By government
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,543
Is this or is this not factoring in treatment of other, economically weaker nations? Because if your standard of living comes at the cost of sweatshop labor in another country, it's kind of zero-sum isn't it?
Those other nations are going through a transition period that those larger nations already went through. The key is to help push them through those transition periods w/ things like the TPP labor protections that force them to raise their working standards like we did.
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,560
Limburg
No a.i should ever rule over people. Used to inform decisions? Sure, but handing over control hell no.
We don’t even know what a true AI would look/act like. People using it as some panacea to solve current/future problems are essentially defeatist. We can solve these problems now with better policy combined with green energy sources.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
Those other nations are going through a transition period that those larger nations already went through. The key is to help push them through those transition periods w/ things like the TPP labor protections that force them to raise their working standards like we did.
We have reached the point where we outsource most of our manufacturing. In your model, where do developing nations outsource their labor? Undeveloped nations I assume. And when those become developing nations? The problem with the domestic manufacturing -> outsourced manufacturing model is that a developed nation always needs a poorer nation to outsource its manufacturing to once domestic labor laws become too stifling for capital, which then presupposes national inequality.

The chain of outsourcing can’t go on forever, unless one labor pool becomes the permanent manufacturing base for the world, at which point capitalism locks in international inequality forever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
863
Those other nations are going through a transition period that those larger nations already went through. The key is to help push them through those transition periods w/ things like the TPP labor protections that force them to raise their working standards like we did.
this would be great if the development of countries happened in a bubble. Unfortunately that's not the case.

 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,543
We have reached the point where we outsource most of our manufacturing. In your model, where do developing nations outsource their labor? Undeveloped nations I assume. And when those become developing nations? The problem with the domestic manufacturing -> outsourced manufacturing model is that a developed nation always needs a poorer nation to outsource its manufacturing to once domestic labor laws become too stifling for capital, which then presupposes national inequality.

The chain of outsourcing can’t go on forever, unless one labor pool becomes the permanent manufacturing base for the world, at which point capitalism locks in international inequality forever.
Do you not think the automation that his the US won't hit those nations as well? The big wrench in this is going to be China because China not being a democracy gives it no incentives to fix stuff like this because its politicians have zero accountability to anyone except other politicians.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
Do you not think the automation that his the US won't hit those nations as well? The big wrench in this is going to be China because China not being a democracy gives it no incentives to fix stuff like this because its politicians have zero accountability to anyone except other politicians.
Who owns the robots? Industrialization in the Western tradition works because wage labor gives the average person, man or woman, purchasing power and access to private property. Purchasing power and private property destroyed the old relation of wealth-by-birth. But this is contingent on them being able to sell their labor.

I ask you, how does someone in the middle class or lower class sell their labor when automation has replaced the bulk of unskilled factory labor?
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,543
Who owns the robots? Industrialization in the Western mode works because wage labor gives the average person, man or woman, purchasing power and access to private property. Purchasing power and private property destroyed the old relation of wealth-by-birth. But this is contingent on them being able to sell their labor.

I ask you, how does someone in the middle class or lower class sell their labor when automation has replaced the bulk of unskilled factory labor?
If such a thing is taking place, there will be a move to more consumer oriented positions, just like we've seen in other countries.

But the lower marginal bound for what makes a person worth hiring at minimum wage going upwards will be an issue that requires social safety nets to intervene. It's the same issue we have now here, even if it turns out the lower bound didn't go as far up after the Great Recession as some thought it did.
 

Nivash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
884
Immigrant communities have a bigger berth between what their communities pay out compared to what they take in than average Americans do overall, this is such a suspect angle of attack.

Same goes for the crime angle, targeting the groups noted for *lower* crime than average Americans makes me question what the motive in demonizing them ocer that particular topic is.
It doesn’t have to be true to have a mayor impact. There’s a theory suggesting that there’s a distinct drop in the support for welfare systems the more multicultural a population gets. Simply put, that people don’t want to support people too different from themselves.

I sometimes worry that this is true. I’m Swedish. In the last few decades we’ve recieved a lot of immigrants (20 % of the population is now born abroad) which coincided with a lot of taxes and benefits getting cut. These days, as the pace of immigration has increased, I’ve even seen outright sentiments that people don’t want to pay taxes if they go to immigrants. And now even the nominally left-wing social democrats seem to have accepted low taxes and cut benefits as a given.

Maybe it’s a coincidence but I can’t help but wonder.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
If such a thing is taking place, there will be a move to more consumer oriented positions, just like we've seen in other countries.
But you haven’t solved the fundamental problem of production, just passed it off to someone else. Yes, Western societies transitioned to consumption economies over production ones, but the production has to take place somewhere.

And it takes place in other poorer countries. However, these poorer countries will eventually shift to consumerism as well like China is doing. But not everyone can be a consumer. A consumer can only exist if some other entity is a producer.

You’ve circled back to the outsourcing problem. Who do countries outsource to if everyone is a typical Western style consumer?
 

Anomander

Member
Oct 27, 2017
292
Read this, if interested in what an actual self-improving superintelligent AI would be: (and no, it's not a fantasy. the only real challenge is to get up to human level of intelligence)


Here is some excerpt:

And here’s where we get to an intense concept: recursive self-improvement. It works like this—

An AI system at a certain level—let’s say human village idiot—is programmed with the goal of improving its own intelligence. Once it does, it’s smarter—maybe at this point it’s at Einstein’s level—so now when it works to improve its intelligence, with an Einstein-level intellect, it has an easier time and it can make bigger leaps. These leaps make it much smarter than any human, allowing it to make even bigger leaps. As the leaps grow larger and happen more rapidly, the AGI soars upwards in intelligence and soon reaches the superintelligent level of an ASI system. This is called an Intelligence Explosion,11 and it’s the ultimate example of The Law of Accelerating Returns.

There is some debate about how soon AI will reach human-level general intelligence. The median year on a survey of hundreds of scientists about when they believed we’d be more likely than not to have reached AGI was 2040
What we do know is that humans’ utter dominance on this Earth suggests a clear rule: with intelligence comes power. Which means an ASI, when we create it, will be the most powerful being in the history of life on Earth, and all living things, including humans, will be entirely at its whim—and this might happen in the next few decades.


 

RSTEIN

Member
Nov 13, 2017
765
Is this or is this not factoring in treatment of other, economically weaker nations? Because if your standard of living comes at the cost of sweatshop labor in another country, it's kind of zero-sum isn't it?
Capital will always flow to where it is treated best. That't not zero sum. In fact, the opposite. The benefits compound throughout the economic system. For example, outsourcing manufacturing to China has many positive benefits for the United States. Some jobs are lost but that's not really material. Those jobs are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
Capital will always flow to where it is treated best. That't not zero sum. In fact, the opposite. The benefits compound throughout the economic system. For example, outsourcing manufacturing to China has many positive benefits for the United States. Some jobs are lost but that's not really material. Those jobs are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not denying the positives of outsourcing, but you make the same assumptions I think Kirblar is making. You assume there’s always someone else to outsource to. For example, 50 years ago we moved our manufacturing needs to China. Now China is moving its manufacturing needs to SEA/Africa. Where do those regions move their manufacturing to when it’s their “turn” at playing consumerist economy?

I think both of you hinge on a vague gesture towards automation, “the robots will take care of it in the end”, but neither of you seems to have an answer for who owns the robots, and where will wage labor come from if it can be automated away? As far as I can tell, you both think that automation will handle the vast majority of manufacturing and that there will be enough non-manufacturing wage jobs to sustain a global population of a few billion.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,543
But you haven’t solved the fundamental problem of production, just passed it off to someone else. Yes, Western societies transitioned to consumption economies over production ones, but the production has to take place somewhere.

And it takes place in other poorer countries. However, this poorer countries will eventually shift to consumerism as well like China is doing. But not everyone can be a consumer. A consumer can only exist if some other entity is the producer.
If trade standards going up raise the price of production in those other countries due to advances in standards of living and such, it lowers the marginal cost of doing the production in other countries. This won't change things overnight, but slowly the calculus should even out over time as developing nations keep developing into more modern economy.

The idea that there are only "consumer nations" and "producer nations" w/ a clear delineation is rooted in the same black/white bougie/proletariat nonsense fixated on a primarily production economy of a bygone era that doesn't reflect the world today. It's the same problem as Trump/Navarro's obsession w/ Trade Deficits and such that leads them to self-destructive policies, it just manifests differently depending on the person's underlying ideology. The US still does a lot of production w/ exports, as you can see with the farms getting murdified by Trump's insane tarriffs. The world is much, much more complicated than that- the lines are never clean and there's always give and take.

If you actually believe trade is zero-sum, just say so so that others can avoid entering into a discussion on the topic with you.
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
806
Read this, if interested in what an actual self-improving superintelligent AI would be: (and no, it's not a fantasy. the only real challenge is to get up to human level of intelligence)
"The only real challenge". Yeah, that only real challenge is going to take another 50 years, and that's with an incentive to make artificial intelligence that's not specifically purposed. Furthermore, we have no idea if that graph holds up, just having more connections available might mean nothing. Even if it's faster, and bigger, we'd still need to "raise" it, if it's like us.

All in all, it's highly speculative, and it's nonsense to include it in any short term projections.
 

Lesath

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
858
As a former classical liberal, I'd say the problem with the approach is that there is this implicit faith, quiet but terrifying in its unfounded zeal, that the free market and incrementalism will somehow carry us through the greatest challenges of our time. Climate change, as many have mentioned, is one such problem.
 

RSTEIN

Member
Nov 13, 2017
765
I’m not denying the positives of outsourcing, but you make the same assumptions I think Kirblar is making. You assume there’s always someone else to outsource to. For example, 50 years ago we moved our manufacturing needs to China. Now China is moving its manufacturing needs to SEA/Africa. Where do those regions move their manufacturing to when it’s their “turn” at playing consumerist economy?

I think both of you hinge on a vague gesture towards automation, “the robots will take care of it in the end”, but neither of you seems to have an answer for who owns the robots, and where will wage labor come from if it can be automated away? As far as I can tell, you both think that automation will handle the vast majority of manufacturing and that there will be enough non-manufacturing wage jobs to sustain a global population of a few billion.
I haven't talked about automation so you might be confusing me with another poster in the thread.

Regardless, I'm not sure it really matters who owns the robots when it comes to manufacturing. It's very commoditized, low value add. What really matters is who owns the IP, know-how, brand, global supply chain, distribution network, etc. Who has access to financial markets is also critical.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,967
Democratic socialism is the way to go. Neoliberalism has shown its inability to solve massive income inequality or climate change.
Ehhh socialist democracies don’t seem to scale well with larger populations and typically only thrive after decades of pure growth coupled with small infrastructures to manage.
 

dabig2

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,131
As a former classical liberal, I'd say the problem with the approach is that there is this implicit faith, quiet but terrifying in its unfounded zeal, that the free market and incrementalism will somehow carry us through the greatest challenges of our time. Climate change, as many have mentioned, is one such problem.
Climate change is definitely THE problem I would say. Capitalism is completely incompatible with what has to happen in regards to ensuring we not only survive, but thrive as a species in a 2C+ world, which is guaranteed at this point, - literally baked in and if you're under 60 you'll be around to feel all of it.

Not even democratic socialism will do the trick. But it'll be far better than the garbage shit that continues to be enforced on all of us in this oligarchy.
 

Dekuman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,426
Serious answer is none of the existing systems seem up to the task. We as a race need new institutions and structures.

I think some see it as an opportunity to rag on capitalism to advertise their.econonic systems so the critique is often self serving. A state controlled autocracy is not going to be more green than a capitalist democracy, it's pure fantasy.

With climate change the economic system is less relevant because the competitive and tribal nature of human societies will push any fragmentation of political power into opposition.

You need global control and cooperation imho a human and global democratic society is what we should aspire to. But realistically were staring down a future of giant power blocs in competition with each other.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,896
If trade standards going up raise the price of production in those other countries due to advances in standards of living and such, it lowers the marginal cost of doing the production in other countries. This won't change things overnight, but slowly the calculus should even out over time as developing nations keep developing into more modern economy.
So you think the rising cost of labor in other countries will render outsourcing financially unfeasible and then manufacturing will return to domestic markets, where it will be automated away and the vast majority of domestic wage labor will take the form of service jobs that resist automation?

If you actually believe trade is zero-sum, just say so so that others can avoid entering into a discussion on the topic with you.
I do not. In fact I think it’s probably a net gain for the country in the dominant position. For example, coffee. The amount of wealth we extract from one bean of coffee as it goes through the American economy is far larger than the hourly wage of coffee farmers. Chocolate is another example of a product that’s too expensive for cocoa farmers to partake in.

EDIT: I was ruminating over this some more and I've come to the conclusion that some trade is postive sum, some trade is negative sum, and some of it is zero sum, depending on the commodities being traded and where they fit into the overall economy.

Positive sum: most types of crops, utensils and furniture, medicine
Negative sum: diamonds, oil (with autocratic states), slaves
Zero sum: I can't name one off the top of my head but it probably exists
 
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Xiao Hu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
968
Liberalism/progressive fits well into promoting a better standard of living, but I think we as humans strive to compete and innovate, which is fostered by a capitalist economy. I don't think capitalism can apply to all things, and social/liberal/progressive programs need to be in place for what should be viewed as our unalienable human rights, such as healthcare.

The solution to the problem is not one system, but a healthy combination of both with the understanding that capitalism drives the economy, and socialism promotes a better life. Basically, we need more and better social programs which will enable more people to participate in the capitalist economy, and better checks and balances on the economy by the government without lobbyists whispering in their ear.
Innovation isn't a phenomenon that is exclusive to private enterprises, and in my opinion it is also not something that should have its merit derived from a 'market value' as promulgated by the Oslo Manual. Public investment, either through universities or government run research institutes, has brought us a myriad of technological breakthroughs without having profitability in mind.

In the end, you're promoting a social democratic system which is clearly superior to what ever is haunting the contemporary West. Yet social democracies are also prone to reversing tendencies as has been witnessed with the inception and subsequent encroachment by neoliberalism. Social democracies are unfortunately too tame and complacent when facing defiance by capitalists. Instead of further promoting the economic liberation of labourers on a national as well as international level, social democrats begin to feel content with the status quo. Rest assured that capitalists will not remain at ease and will exhaust any opportunity possible to reverse social progress.

Do you not think the automation that his the US won't hit those nations as well? The big wrench in this is going to be China because China not being a democracy gives it no incentives to fix stuff like this because its politicians have zero accountability to anyone except other politicians.
That is not how China and her domestic power arrangement works though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Liberalism, progressivism, and even further leftward ideologies like Marxism-Leninism can not deliver a society in true equality, solidarity, and liberty. The ultimate goal of a human society should be to allow the free exercise of self-directed, self-improving activities for all people. The main obstacle to this within the systems mentioned above is hierarchy. Examples of hierarchies extant within these systems are: statism, capitalism, racism, ableism, and cisheteropatriarchy. On their own, these systems may be able to address a few of these, but they are all still reliant on the hierarchy of the state.

Marxism-Leninism, for example, still requires a state hierarchy to oversee the will of one class (workers) over another (bourgeoisie). While there can be no question that in order to achieve a truly egalitarian society the bourgeoise must be stripped of their class consciousness, in the long term this only serves to create a distinct political class that ultimately will work to advance their own interests over that of the workers they claim to represent. We can see this in the failure of every M-L or vanguard socialist state (USSR, China, Vietnam, etc) to ultimately transition into the stateless society that Marx envisioned. It is easy enough to blame the CIA and capitalist efforts for these failures, but Occam’s Razor will pretty clearly illustrate that it is in fact the self serving interest of the political class that leads to this failure. Similarly, liberalism and progressivism require the presence of “legitimate” violence and coercive authority to function.

Therefore the only system which has a hope of establishing true egalitarianism for all humans is anarchism. A horizontal, directly democratic system built on the foundations of solidarity, equality, and liberty. It is the onus of hierarchies to establish their legitimacy through their benefits to human society rather than through monopolized violence as is currently the case. Control of the means of productions by workers councils, automation where jobs are genuinely undesired, ability to explore other human pursuits not valued by the market system. The destruction of racism, ableism, and cisheteropatriarchy through solidarity and the abolition of social hierarchies. No gods, no masters.

For more, please see: Or fee free to ask me questions here. (Note: I am not the creator of the video.)