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

Zefah

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,482
Are you high? Or just not aware of Scandinavia?
To which country are you referring? They are all capitalist countries with varying degrees of strong social safety nets. Without ever having lived in any of them, I do think they represent a great model for society when most of its participants are on the same page in terms of what they value.
 

Zefah

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,482
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.
I don't think I'm ignoring anything. Capitalism does directly reward greed in many cases and money in politics will always be a problem, but I don't see how any socialist system would do better in actual practice, except for just a much smaller group of privileged people in control of and making decisions for society.

Humans are greedy. We tend to always want more for ourselves and our own. We typically want to work to better our situation and standard of living. I think that's just human nature and capitalism makes sense as a way to allow for people to act on those desires. Of course you need robust laws and a good social safety net to ensure that no one is completely left behind, and this is one area in which a lot of capitalist societies are not doing a great job.

You say "worker and boss," but that's not how I see it. It's more a relationship of leaders and followers. Ideally, the followers elect the leaders. As far as I'm aware, humans have always organized into systems where the many follow the few and I think that's just how we work as a species when our groups grow to a certain size.
 

Clefargle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,526
Limburg
To which country are you referring? They are all capitalist countries with varying degrees of strong social safety nets. Without ever having lived in any of them, I do think they represent a great model for society when most of its participants are on the same page in terms of what they value.
This is such a double standard. We have countries with varying degrees of capitalism and pretty much every single country globally is considered “capitalist”.

Yet when we talk about socialism, many countries around the world have socialized medicine or social safety nets or othe social programs that most people in the west would call little-s “socialism”. But because the whole world markets are globalized, we can’t consider ANY of those countries as “socialist” just because they have markets?

This is ridiculous and part of the issue of discussing socialism from within a capitalist framework.
 

RSTEIN

Member
Nov 13, 2017
760
What difference does that make? Regardless, socialism is characterized by social ownership, whereas capitalism isn't, in capitalism the concentration of wealth is an inherent part, you can't really get around it.
It matters a great deal. For example, contemporary democratic socialism as envisioned by my on the left will not address the wealth bubbles generated by free markets. That's why I said that I don't consider concentration of wealth to be a discerning factor between the two.
 

remiri

Member
Nov 1, 2017
396
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.
Point taken, my question would be without profitability in mind, wouldn't we still wish to strive for reward for our actions in the interest of progress? Universities and Government research are self-motivated to achieve and innovate, and they can't just be doing that in the interest of Charity, while i am sure some do there needs to be more. I guess I am attributing a 'Capitalist' model as one that fosters competition regardless of the end reward; be it profit, or legacy, or in the Universities' case better/more grant money from the Government. There has to be a carrot, and I am not convinced that a purely Socalist model can provide that carrot.
 

alexiswrite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
295
This is such a double standard. We have countries with varying degrees of capitalism and pretty much every single country globally is considered “capitalist”.

Yet when we talk about socialism, many countries around the world have socialized medicine or social safety nets or othe social programs that most people in the west would call little-s “socialism”. But because the whole world markets are globalized, we can’t consider ANY of those countries as “socialist” just because they have markets?

This is ridiculous and part of the issue of discussing socialism from within a capitalist framework.
Yes. Of course you can't consider them socialist. Your argument is the same as me saying that we should actually consider Cuba and Vietnam capitalist countries because there are elements of capitalism within those countries.
 

Dekuman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,407
Yes. Of course you can't consider them socialist. Your argument is the same as me saying that we should actually consider Cuba and Vietnam capitalist countries because there are elements of capitalism within those countries.
All Western democracies are mixed economy welfare states. They exist in a continuum. Even the US spend huge share of GDP on wealth transfers like medicate, social security , welfare etc.
 

alexiswrite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
295
All Western democracies are mixed economy welfare states. They exist in a continuum. Even the US spend huge share of GDP on wealth transfers like medicate, social security , welfare etc.
I agree with everything you've said, but that doesn't necessarily go against my point. I don't think that wealth distribution means you live in a socialist country. Having a policy in your country that could be described as socialist doesn't mean that your country is a socialist country. Especially when we have more accurate terms to describe most of the countries like social democracy.


What would you consider China to be?
I'm not knowledgeable enough on China to make a confident assertion.
 

emesve

Member
Oct 25, 2017
799
I don't think I'm ignoring anything. Capitalism does directly reward greed in many cases and money in politics will always be a problem, but I don't see how any socialist system would do better in actual practice, except for just a much smaller group of privileged people in control of and making decisions for society.
A smaller group of privileged people? What? Why would it be a smaller group? Distributing wealth across the population would distribute that power, not concentrate it.

Humans are greedy. We tend to always want more for ourselves and our own. We typically want to work to better our situation and standard of living. I think that's just human nature and capitalism makes sense as a way to allow for people to act on those desires. Of course you need robust laws and a good social safety net to ensure that no one is completely left behind, and this is one area in which a lot of capitalist societies are not doing a great job.
Humans are not greedy. Maybe you are, but if you'd take any effort to empathize with others, you'd soon realize that humans aren't greedy at all. Capitalism breeds greediness, sure, but it's nothing inherent to people, where are you getting this?

You say "worker and boss," but that's not how I see it. It's more a relationship of leaders and followers. Ideally, the followers elect the leaders. As far as I'm aware, humans have always organized into systems where the many follow the few and I think that's just how we work as a species when our groups grow to a certain size.
It should never be about followers electing leaders, even though that's a big part of the status quo. We are all the leaders, people have to take responsibility for their part in democracy. Every follower that we as a society create is a failure. We as the people need to scrutinize, actively have our own opinion and communicate amongst each other in order to ensure we're working toward the best consensus possible. The representatives we elect shouldn't be our leaders, they shouldn't be someone we "follow", they should execute a consensus. I don't see this as being related to the point though.
 

Terrell

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,032
Canada
Point taken, my question would be without profitability in mind, wouldn't we still wish to strive for reward for our actions in the interest of progress? Universities and Government research are self-motivated to achieve and innovate, and they can't just be doing that in the interest of Charity, while i am sure some do there needs to be more. I guess I am attributing a 'Capitalist' model as one that fosters competition regardless of the end reward; be it profit, or legacy, or in the Universities' case better/more grant money from the Government. There has to be a carrot, and I am not convinced that a purely Socalist model can provide that carrot.
Tell that to Banting, MacCloud, et al. They put in a lot of work to keep insulin from being patented and exploited by pharma, to the point where their own ethics became more important than money.
Scientists don’t strive to win the Nobel Prize for the money, they do it for the notoriety.
That provides a key to what the carrot would be outside of capitalism. Even without fortune, people crave fame.
But that’s just one avenue, albeit one with the most influence to move innovation and progress forward.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
It's not exactly straight forward to just create your own power supply, grow your own food, build complex machinery, etc. You need natural resources which would be controlled by either a set of people or the community. The workers would have a say, and the fact that they are generating power and have the knowledge to do so creates a hierarchy where they stand above.
This is true to the extent. In the same way Bakunin trusted and separated the “authority of the bootmaker in the matter of making boots” from the artificial hierarchies of capitalism and the state, we can separate the legitimate authority of people who can build power plants from those who own them. But again I struggle to think of any reason that coal workers would continue to want using coal once it’s been stripped of its capitalist mandate. As for growing food collective action could easily construct greenhouses to feed smaller groups of people with minimal individual effort. The Amish do (similar) things all the time out of their collective sensibilities.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,463
This is true to the extent. In the same way Bakunin trusted and separated the “authority of the bootmaker in the matter of making boots” from the artificial hierarchies of capitalism and the state, we can separate the legitimate authority of people who can build power plants from those who own them. But again I struggle to think of any reason that coal workers would continue to want using coal once it’s been stripped of its capitalist mandate. As for growing food collective action could easily construct greenhouses to feed smaller groups of people with minimal individual effort. The Amish do (similar) things all the time out of their collective sensibilities.
Remember when the DNC reversed an environmental donation rule because of internal union pressure? The interests of labor and the larger business do often align. The coal workers will continue to want to maintain the status quo because people hate change, hate threats to their status, and will take action to artificially maintain their current position at the expense of other people.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
Tradition, cultural pride.
I already addressed how we can deal with those in a previous post. Traditionally acquiring health problems from working with coal probably isn’t the major selling point you think it is. Once their labor is divorced from their basic survival I really think they wouldn’t want to keep working with coal just for the hell of it. And pride can be transferred to their new labor.

Again, worst case scenario, another collective can simply form or change labor purpose to provide sustainable energy in lieu of them.

Remember when the DNC reversed an environmental donation rule because of internal union pressure? The interests of labor and the larger business do often align. The coal workers will continue to want to maintain the status quo because people hate change, hate threats to their status, and will take action to artificially maintain their current position at the expense of other people.
Interests of labor and larger businesses align when the larger businesses are the only lifeline to people in material conditions where they would otherwise starve. This is part of how capitalism rigs the game.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,840
Once their labor is divorced from their basic survival I really think they wouldn’t want to keep working with coal just for the hell of it.
Their self preservation instinct is dysfunctional. Not all of them, mind you, but some of them seem to be beyond reasoning.
Even on death’s doorstep, Trevor was not angry. In fact, he staunchly supported the stance promoted by his elected officials. “Ain’t no way I would ever support Obamacare or sign up for it,” he told me. “I would rather die.” When I asked him why he felt this way even as he faced severe illness, he explained: “We don’t need any more government in our lives. And in any case, no way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.”

I also used to believe that people value their self-preservation above all else, but having traced the rhetoric of Trump supporters for the last 2-3 years I'm beginning to think otherwise.
 

Pagusas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,410
Frisco, Tx
My absolute biggest fears with the end road of the far left liberal agenda is it’s a pathway to state controlled everything resulting in absolutely no true freedom left, esspecially if the wrong people control said state. I don’t have a solution, as capitalism is obviously much the same in the opposite direction (corporations/your job basically in control of your life)
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
Their self preservation instinct is dysfunctional. Not all of them, mind you, but some of them seem to be beyond reasoning.


I also used to believe that people value their self-preservation above all else, but having traced the rhetoric of Trump supporters for the last 2-3 years I'm beginning to think otherwise.
Some of them may well be beyond convincing but in collective action the direct majority is the most meaningful decision maker and I’m not sure that the direct majority would be unreachable. I suppose there’s a worst-worst case scenario where other collectives take militia action but I’d rather exhaust all peaceful avenues against other workers first.

My absolute biggest fears with the end road of the far left liberal agenda is it’s a pathway to state controlled everything resulting in absolutely no true freedom left, esspecially if the wrong people control said state. I don’t have a solution, as capitalism is obviously much the same in the opposite direction (corporations/your job basically in control of your life)
(This is what anarchism/anarcho-communism is for.)
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,840
Some of them may well be beyond convincing but in collective action the direct majority is the most meaningful decision maker and I’m not sure that the direct majority would be unreachable. I suppose there’s a worst-worst case scenario where other collectives take militia action but I’d rather exhaust all peaceful avenues against other workers first.
So here's one of my main snags with anarchism. It's not that I don't think it's possible, but I think that current humans are currently incapable of making it work, because there's too much cultural baggage (racism, homophobia, sexism) that started way before capitalism proper and won't disappear simply with the abolishment of material relations. Tradition doesn't abide by logic, tradition happens simply because it has always happened.

The road I see out of this cultural cul-de-sac is education, urbanization, diversification. Ideally, I'd replace traditional two-parent child-rearing with communal child-rearing in a mixed race/mixed sex environment where children can be regularly exposed to other children/other perspectives instead of being sheltered by their parents' prejudices. Unfortunately, this plan of mine to "fix bigotry" is incompatible with anarchism/anarcho-communism. There is no authority to compel you to submit your child to communal child rearing. If you want to take your child out of school and teach them how blacks are stealing their welfare and women are only good for making babies, there's nothing that can stop you from doing otherwise.

In my head, we need to fix the bigotry problem before we do anarcho-communism, and we need some level of state power to fix the bigotry problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
So here's one of my main snags with anarchism. It's not that I don't think it's possible, but I think that current humans are currently incapable of making it work, because there's too much cultural baggage (racism, homophobia, sexism) that started way before capitalism proper and won't disappear simply with the abolishment of material relations. Tradition doesn't abide by logic, tradition happens simply because it has always happened.

The road I see out of this cultural cul-de-sac is education, urbanization, diversification. Ideally, I'd replace traditional two-parent child-rearing with communal child-rearing in a mixed race/mixed sex environment where children can be regularly exposed to other children/other perspectives instead of being sheltered by their parents' prejudices. Unfortunately, this plan of mine to "fix bigotry" is incompatible with anarchism/anarcho-communism. There is no authority to compel you to submit your child to communal child rearing. If you want to take your child out of school and teach them how blacks are stealing their welfare and women are only good for making babies, there's nothing that can stop you from doing otherwise.

In my head, we need to fix the bigotry problem before we do anarcho-communism, and we need some level of state power to fix the bigotry problem.
I’m not going to pretend these aren’t massive challenges or anything. But every attempt at that intermediate stage has just resulted in a vanguard political class that’s just as brutal as the capitalists it overthrew. Several real-world examples have repeated this process. I just don’t have any faith in any centralized authority being able to complete the socialism-communism-anarchism transition as envisioned by Marx because power inevitably corrupts those in power to want to maintain that power.
 

Terrell

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,032
Canada
I’m not going to pretend these aren’t massive challenges or anything. But every attempt at that intermediate stage has just resulted in a vanguard political class that’s just as brutal as the capitalists it overthrew. Several real-world examples have repeated this process. I just don’t have any faith in any centralized authority being able to complete the socialism-communism-anarchism transition as envisioned by Marx because power inevitably corrupts those in power to want to maintain that power.
I don’t believe in the axiom that power corrupts absolutely. It’s just that we have to begin giving power to people who have fewer pressure points like greed or dirty secrets. The truth is that those with charisma or money tend to be easily corruptable because those pressure points work.
There’s no easy solution out of that at the moment, but I do believe there is a way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
I don’t believe in the axiom that power corrupts absolutely. It’s just that we have to begin giving power to people who have fewer pressure points like greed or dirty secrets. The truth is that those with charisma or money tend to be easily corruptable because those pressure points work.
There’s no easy solution out of that at the moment, but I do believe there is a way.
I disagree. I think people are malleable and being in a position of power will create those pressure points regardless of what the baseline was at the beginning.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,840
Yeah I've also run into the centralization problem in my self-philosophizing so I've rejected it and now am a staunch democratic socialist with a statist streak.

A state doesn't necessarily have to be corrupt, but the structure of the state matters a lot for how well it can handle corruption. I also prefer municipalism as far as anarchist-branches are concerned, because it preserves some form of authority but keeps it small and local.

Only, I believe a large state is necessary to fight climate change. States are very good at mobilizing their population for productive ends. Sometimes that mobilization is done by violence, sometimes it's done "ethically". Whatever the case, we will need state-level mobilization for the foreseeable future until climate change disaster is past, so I don't feel comfortable doing away with the state just yet.
 
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Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,463
Interests of labor and larger businesses align when the larger businesses are the only lifeline to people in material conditions where they would otherwise starve. This is part of how capitalism rigs the game.
If your coal mine closes you are not going to starve. You are, however, going to have to make massive life changes in the wake of it closing that those workers would prefer not to make. They don't want to have to change, to move, to abandon that town which existed only to support a business which is no longer necessary. Look at how heavily base closings get lobbied against.

And labor also being the owners does nothing to change how these things interact, it only intensifies the problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
If your coal mine closes you are not going to starve. You are, however, going to have to make massive life changes in the wake of it closing that those workers would prefer not to make. They don't want to have to change, to move, to abandon that town which existed only to support a business which is no longer necessary. Look at how heavily base closings get lobbied against.

And labor also being the owners does nothing to change how these things interact, it only intensifies the problem.
You will literally starve without employment or aid in this country and if the town only exists for a single industry and that industry is eliminated you’re not going to have either. The idea isn’t that they collectivize the coal plant, you collectivize energy production at the local level. Most people in the coal industry are self-aware enough to be able to understand that working with coal is dangerous for themselves and the environment, so naturally they’d be pretty malleable to switching energy sources once it isn’t their only literal lifeline. They don’t even have to move in most cases. Pennsylvania and West Virginia have great topography for wind farms and Kentucky for wind and solar.
 

TheLostBigBoss

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,910
Legit, that American left isn't far enough left
American left is pretty much "fine"

Issue is American right is beyond extreme




Within the Democratic party you have people who are moderate and people who are further left due to where congressional representatives are from. But the GOP is pretty much a singular "white" party for white people, and have cultivated an extreme ideology which has warped public perception and discourse in terms of normality.

This isn't doing a bubble check, it's reinforcing it.

+ 5ish years ago I would have said hell yes, but these past couple of years I have seen plenty of flaws on the left(especially the American variant) and it has opened my eyes. The hyperbole, ignoring nuance and constantly going for absolutes, no self-reflecting, purity tests, shutting down of conversation, no self-critique, only when things ''aren't left enough''.... etc, too many things are regressive these days and there's barely any self-awareness. The (far) left even hurts minorities in indirect ways, and not to mention how good it has become at giving ammo to the far right.

And no, ending capitalism is not going to end climate change. Humans would need the resources in any system. We need to invest in science for something new down the road.

I still consider myself a progressive, but I want actual progressives to splinter away from the current left and form a critical liberal/progressive movement and group.
You're conflating a handful of posters on ERA (at least, that's how I'm reading your post) who are beyond extreme to the topic of the thread which is "is liberal/progressive ideology flawed"

ERA is a political bubble to varying degrees and has sub "bubbles" within it's own community. Conflating the political landscape of ERA for anything other than what ERA is, would be foolish.
 

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,463
You will literally starve without employment or aid in this country and if the town only exists for a single industry and that industry is eliminated you’re not going to have either. The idea isn’t that they collectivize the coal plant, you collectivize energy production at the local level. Most people in the coal industry are self-aware enough to be able to understand that working with coal is dangerous for themselves and the environment, so naturally they’d be pretty malleable to switching energy sources once it isn’t their only literal lifeline. They don’t even have to move in most cases. Pennsylvania and West Virginia have great topography for wind farms and Kentucky for wind and solar.
Businesses will often seek to artificially limit competition through regulatory capture. Local control of decisionmaking gets you NIMBY behavior where local residents prioritize policy that enriches current residents at the expense of everyone else. Why would local control of energy production behave in any sort of different way and not as a fusion of these types of behaviors?

You vastly underestimate the average person's resistance to change. Yes, the coal miners are aware that the work is dangerous. But if they have literally not known anything else for decades, they're going to be unwilling to give It up for the unknown. They're going to need to move if they're living in a place that only exists to support a coal mine that's not longer active. Taxation that supports government functionality is built on taxation of economic activity, and if there's no longer any significant amount of economic activity occurring, you're going to see a significant reduction. The places you put a wind or solar farm likely also isn't going to be the same location, and is likely to require transitioning to at least a slightly to very different role/skillset.
 

remiri

Member
Nov 1, 2017
396
Tell that to Banting, MacCloud, et al. They put in a lot of work to keep insulin from being patented and exploited by pharma, to the point where their own ethics became more important than money.
Scientists don’t strive to win the Nobel Prize for the money, they do it for the notoriety.
That provides a key to what the carrot would be outside of capitalism. Even without fortune, people crave fame.
But that’s just one avenue, albeit one with the most influence to move innovation and progress forward.
Call me a cynic but what comes with that notoriety? My feeling is not just a pat on the back, more like book deals, additional grant money, can charge more to host seminars...etc. People want to thrive and I don't think that's a bad thing. I worry that consensus is shifting towards "money bad" when it is just a way to represent worth.
 

Rupetta

Member
Oct 27, 2017
777
Boston/Helsinki
To quote MacIntyre, liberalism combines a drive towards ideals of political equality with an actual and perpetual fostering of economic inequality - and it offers no way out of this. Liberalism is indeed great progress but it does not resolve anything, and does not even promise a vision of resolve.

One can critique the socialists in here that they cannot propose a working system, but merely a vision that an alternative is possible. But it actually offers a vision of hope, which is far more than liberalism as an ideology can. ’Man is not freed from religion; he receives freedom of religion. He is not freed from property; he receives freedom of property. He is not freed from the egoism of trade; he receives freedom to trade’ ...
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
Businesses will often seek to artificially limit competition through regulatory capture. Local control of decisionmaking gets you NIMBY behavior where local residents prioritize policy that enriches current residents at the expense of everyone else. Why would local control of energy production behave in any sort of different way and not as a fusion of these types of behaviors?

You vastly underestimate the average person's resistance to change. Yes, the coal miners are aware that the work is dangerous. But if they have literally not known anything else for decades, they're going to be unwilling to give It up for the unknown. They're going to need to move if they're living in a place that only exists to support a coal mine that's not longer active. Taxation that supports government functionality is built on taxation of economic activity, and if there's no longer any significant amount of economic activity occurring, you're going to see a significant reduction. The places you put a wind or solar farm likely also isn't going to be the same location, and is likely to require transitioning to at least a slightly to very different role/skillset.
I doubt NIMBYism will occur at anything near a significant level once mutualist property rights are substituted for private property. And as always I think you underestimate people’s ability to change. People can and do learn new skill sets all the time.

The taxation stuff is irrelevant in this scenario because there’s no centralized authority collecting monetary tax.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,189


I think "Bubble Checks" are important. It's silly to think you can encompass everyones needs and ideologies under one umbrella/party.

I think what we are seeing now in America is a couple things,
1. Social Media is letting people form tribes/echo chambers that amplify what would be fringe stuff to the forefront. It also lets people share whatever they want so objectivity and nuance is seemingly out the window. You are either for xyz or against xyz.

2. Technology is becoming a double edged sword. More ways to spy/advertise to us. But more ways of sharing ideas. But some of these ideas are toxic or untrue. I am actually p terrified of the rhetoric against journalists Trump has created + the introduction of deepfake technology. It's going to become so much harder to verify anything and this shit has the potential to start wars.

3. Capitalism has run amok and needs to be reigned in. I don't think a fully socialist/communist system can exist. Not at a large scale. I think Humans just aren't wired that way. But we need to have more responsible capitalism with checks in place to limit it when it goes too far. Some people have way too much wealth. Amazon doesn't pay taxes. Resources are finite and yet our system is built upon increasing growth. We need to control income inequality and fight climate change and we need to have some pretty big changes to our economics to do so.


I think more liberal policies are the solution but we can't let them go crazy either. There is insane tribalism on the left that even leads to infighting because people care more about being on the right team than being right. We see a headline, and react based on that rather than reading the actual nuance of the article.

It just feels like we've lost the gray area of things and people just assume shit without knowing facts.
 

molnizzle

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,612
A smaller group of privileged people? What? Why would it be a smaller group? Distributing wealth across the population would distribute that power, not concentrate it.
Who decides how that wealth is distributed? A smaller group of elites than we currently have under our capitalist system.

Also yeah, humans are greedy. Maybe you aren't, but history has proven that there will always be those that desire more. They existed long before capitalism. Socialism won't make them disappear. These are the individuals who will be gunning for those "elite" positions in socialist society. A good example is every socialist society that has ever existed.

Social democracy is the way forward, not full blown socialism.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,840
Call me a cynic but what comes with that notoriety?
Top two sections on this pyramid:


Money is not an objective measure of worth. It is an estimate and it has its limits:


When you have "a lot of money", each extra dollar adds less utility. This is why, for example, some billionaires are still depressed, and people who "have it all" are still unhappy.


Taking a vacation once a year makes that vacation very valuable to you. When you can take vacations whenever you want, the happiness you derive from each vacation is drastically reduced.
 

Terrell

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,032
Canada
Call me a cynic but what comes with that notoriety? My feeling is not just a pat on the back, more like book deals, additional grant money, can charge more to host seminars...etc. People want to thrive and I don't think that's a bad thing. I worry that consensus is shifting towards "money bad" when it is just a way to represent worth.
What comes from having children? They’re not fiscally-positive, that’s for damn sure, but people keep having them. Trust me, I’m a cynic too, but I understand the selfish desire one gets from doing something outside of their immediate best interest like procreation and it informs my position.
It’s about a legacy, leaving something behind as a contribution to the species, that has substantive value across all of human history and is evidenced by the need for people to leave behind a person to carry on when they’re gone, despite the financial burden it carries.
Everyone wants something notable left behind when they’re dead and gone. Notoriety or fame achieves that on a massive scale and will always have tremendous appeal because of that.
Yeah I've also run into the centralization problem in my self-philosophizing so I've rejected it and now am a staunch democratic socialist with a statist streak.

A state doesn't necessarily have to be corrupt, but the structure of the state matters a lot for how well it can handle corruption. I also prefer municipalism as far as anarchist-branches are concerned, because it preserves some form of authority but keeps it small and local.

Only, I believe a large state is necessary to fight climate change. States are very good at mobilizing their population for productive ends. Sometimes that mobilization is done by violence, sometimes it's done "ethically". Whatever the case, we will need state-level mobilization for the foreseeable future until climate change disaster is past, so I don't feel comfortable doing away with the state just yet.
Perhaps a sensible division of power where the state can only intervene on issues that require massive collaborative scale?
I disagree. I think people are malleable and being in a position of power will create those pressure points regardless of what the baseline was at the beginning.
You can disagree all you like, that’s your prerogative, but if what you say is true, NO system of governance, even anarchism, is free of corruption and will always trend towards it. And if that’s the case, may as well just give up.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
You can disagree all you like, that’s your prerogative, but if what you say is true, NO system of governance, even anarchism, is free of corruption and will always trend towards it. And if that’s the case, may as well just give up.
That’s the whole point in anarchism. By having horizontal directly Democratic bodies making political and economic decisions, you limit the amount of consolidated power -and thereby corruption- any individual can gain. So even when corruptions occurs it’s highly contained.
 

Terrell

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,032
Canada
I’m just speculating. You know where I fall on this, I believe in the state, just simply not how it exists currently.
That’s the whole point in anarchism. By having horizontal directly Democratic bodies making political and economic decisions, you limit the amount of consolidated power -and thereby corruption- any individual can gain. So even when corruptions occurs it’s highly contained.
But if every person on earth is corruptable, you just end up with less individual corruption and corruption of large blocs of people with aligned goals. Communal corruption is corruption all the same.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
I’m just speculating. You know where I fall on this, I believe in the state, just simply not how it exists currently.

But if every person on earth is corruptable, you just end up with less individual corruption and corruption of large blocs of people with aligned goals. Communal corruption is corruption all the same.
I don’t assume that every human is equally prone to corruption, though. But no screening process exists for that. So barring such a screening capability it’s the best way to govern groups. Participation of the whole group rather than any select few individuals.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,502
explain this for me?
Anarchism doesn’t concentrate decision making power in the form of a state or representative political class. All decisions are made by local collectives. Economic ones by worker’s collectives and political ones by all people within a given collective. These videos will break it down for you better than I can in this format.


 

Opto

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
3,745
I don't think the left has provided a satisfying answer to certain groups in the US who work in fossil fuel extraction. So even with the answers, which I feel murky at best, there has not been the right kind of communication with those people to feel okay about the needed changes to happen to stave off the worst of climate change.

Also the left needs to come together to work as hard to breed politicians and judges to place whenever there's an opening
 

The Watcher

Member
Oct 29, 2017
913

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.
This makes too much sense. It'll never be received by the Powers that Be, even if voted for.
 
OP
OP
RustyNails

RustyNails

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,188
Anarchism doesn’t concentrate decision making power in the form of a state or representative political class. All decisions are made by local collectives. Economic ones by worker’s collectives and political ones by all people within a given collective. These videos will break it down for you better than I can in this format.


What about a religious one? Say Christian groups want exemption from something like an Obamacare mandate, or an establishment/collective says people with Hijabs are not allowed on beach/restaurant?
 

Pagusas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,410
Frisco, Tx
Anarchism doesn’t concentrate decision making power in the form of a state or representative political class. All decisions are made by local collectives. Economic ones by worker’s collectives and political ones by all people within a given collective. These videos will break it down for you better than I can in this format.


I can see a whole lot of negatives from such a setup, like tribalism hitting the extreme levels.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,189
I can see a whole lot of negatives from such a setup, like tribalism hitting the extreme levels.
Last thing we need.

I do think the left has an outrage machine problem. I feel like I'm fairly lefty but damn do I cringe at people who seem to care more about being perceived as being on "the right side" than being actually right. There's a very "guilty till proven innocent" vibe going around that I think is dangerous.

I mean just look at the 2 threads we had on streamers that allegedly said the N word. The OP sets up you to hear the N word, and then before people can really think logically about the context and whatnot its an immediate "Yep what a piece of shit, twitch should ban her, for sure 100% N bomb"

I think there are a lot of purity tests and the worst part is it extends YEARS into the past. We want to #cancel certain comedians because they joked about something in 2003 that we have deemed not acceptable in 2019. It's fine if a culture matures and we no longer say certain words etc etc but to not take into account the context of the time period is just idiotic.

I mean shit if you could pull up my middle school xbox live chat logs I'd stand no chance. But theres this reluctance to accept that people can learn, grow, and change.
=
 

1.21Gigawatts

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,774
Munich
Popular criticism about liberalism are that its lacks a unifying element. Since the recent anti-liberal right wing take over of the US and the UK was mainly fueled by a populist exploitation of identity concepts(mostly nation and ethnicity), this seems to be a pretty obvious weakness.

Another criticism often brought forward by China and Russia is that it's assumes its values are universal, even though they are not.


As to whether or not its the "true path forward":
Humanity is at a point where its technologies are so advanced that international conflict becomes more and more irrational since consequences are global and permanent. Yet we have no way to avoid them effectively.
Furthermore challenges like climate change require global cooperation on an unprecedented scale and if we don't want to see genocide on an unprecedented level(meaning billions of victims) we kind of have to find a global common sense that includes liberal individualist values to protect the lives of individuals from the interests of majorities or the powerful.

In other words, I don't think there is another ideology that would allow us to solve the challenged of the future without civilization being replaced by a "survival of the fittest"-mechanism that abolishes any and all moral standards we had.


But thats were we end up at an initial problem again. Attributing an inherent worth to any human life, inherent goodness to the concept of freedom, are things that can't be backed up by anything and making non-western countries agree with these axioms is a near impossible task.


Overall I think it is very likely that we just happened to be born into an extremely short period of human history where freedom and individual rights were in trend in a small part of the world, but things will quickly go back to the status quo that is inherent to all life on earth: Might is right.


I actually think this could be one of the great filters. For a civilization to venture beyond the limits of its own planet it needs to shed itself of its animalistic roots, it needs to leave competition behind in favor of cooperation and its needs its actions to be guided by progressive rationality instead of an interplay of interests voiced by players with different levels of power within the respective system.

Since any intelligent civilization evolved on the basis of survival of the fittest, competition and a distinct form of selfishness I think its extremely hard for every intelligent life that might have appeared anywhere is the universe to leave behind the traits inherent to its genetical code and instead embrace a kind of behavior thats informed by rationality, rather than the mechanisms of evolution.