Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

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Herainestold
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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Herainestold » Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:37 pm

plebian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:38 pm

I'd abolish money and property and after the rich are eaten, anarco collectivist ideas seem most equitable.
Its been tried and didn't work out so well.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plebian » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:01 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:37 pm
plebian wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:38 pm

I'd abolish money and property and after the rich are eaten, anarco collectivist ideas seem most equitable.
Its been tried and didn't work out so well.
I'm more interested in working out ways to fix the previous errors for future deployment as desired and in the meantime find ways to locally effect similar structures on a grass roots level.

Capitalism is failing everybody, that it's a failure of its own success is moot for what comes next.
Pithy, well, a right helmet at least.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bjn » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:16 pm

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:40 pm
bjn wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:12 pm
plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
for sure, i think there’s a lot to like about the most sensible european models, but they are still distorted by monopolies. capitalism is supposed to be a brutal perpetual struggle to the death, not a cosy coexistence where the biggest firms merge to stop start ups.

look at the car industry and the skepticism about whether one of the world’s richest men can break into it with a vastly improved product (tesla). It isn’t supposed to be like this.

barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.
Don’t conflate capitalism and free markets. They are not the same, capitalists love carving things up among themselves if they can get away with it. And there are limits to what markets can achieve anyway.
Wut
Capitalism is a way of owning the means of production. It can quite happily happen without a free market in sight.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Herainestold » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:32 pm

bjn wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:59 pm
dyqik wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:51 pm
Some things like the Google and Microsoft IT infrastructure/ecosystems work better when they are ubiquitous...
Same goes for railway lines, water pipes, telephone lines and electricity. Regulate them like a utility.
Nationalize them and then regulate and control them.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by jimbob » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:06 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:25 pm
Herainestold wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:47 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:03 pm

It seems to me that one thing which is necessary to preserve the commons (which include the climate) is the ability of people to mobilize and call for change. Of course outcomes might be similar under a benevolent authoritarian system, but they seem to be few and often short lived. For the OP, one issue is whether it would be possible to have a communist system which also allowed people to independently organize and criticize the government.
To protect and preserve the environment, policies cannot be changed on a whim every four or five years,and they need to be protected from the rich and corporations. Some kind of benign authoritarian system is required, yet it needs to be flexible enough to be changed where necessary.
There's no such thing as benign authoritarianism you bootlicking imbecile, and this is especially evident with the system you shill for and its campaign of ethnic cleansing and racist forced labour - Uighurs are being forced to pick cotton by hand just as African-Americans were in the antebellum south.

Nor is there any tradeoff between competence and freedom - authoritarianism naturally leads to corruption and failure of government due to lack of scrutiny.
Well said. And even if an individual ruler was benign and competent, there would be nothing preventing their successor from being neither. I guess that when people did believe in the divine right of kings, it would have been easier for a king (not a queen) to be benign, simply because they might be secure in their position.


But even so, it rarely happened. And any system where the ruled do not get to chose the rulers ends up promoting corruption and patronage.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by jimbob » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:20 pm

bmforre wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:00 am
After the fall of nazism people in Germany seriously asked and debated how the economy could be governed to serve the common good without being stifled by bureaucracy. Some ecomists proposed "social market economy" where the overriding goals are to be decided by political debate and elections while the details of business decisions are to be left to the market.

The Soviet-controlled part of the country had communism imposed while the rest ran regulated capitalism leading to a gigantic 'one country - two systems' experiment.

There is enormous difference between 'social market economy' and 'cowboy capitalism'. Health services, education and social security not least.
Exactly. To paraphrase Mark Steel (I've just watched his lecture on Marx) You can't say you have a really great party, and the absolute best, when you've built a wall to keep people at the party and still people are building hot air balloons to fly away from it.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:44 pm
Regulations from a sufficiently byzantine democracy can't be overturned so easily - for instance, the EU's environmental regs have been reasonably stable for decades, with major changes in interpretation owing more to case law.

Or, you can have intergovernmental bodies making environmental law (via democracies' delegations) with a longer time frame. The Convention on Biological Diversity sets targets every 10 years (though none were met in the past decade, so perhaps that's not the best example).

A benign dictatorship of ecological technocrats could be fine in theory, if you found the right team, but I'd still be uneasy about removing individuals' agency. I'd far rather environmental protections were enforced by bodies that are ultimately accountable to the people.
What bjn said
bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:32 pm
Dictatorships don't stay benign, they become nasty and can do so quite rapidly.

Democracy sucks, it is imperfect and can be corrupted, but the alternatives are worst and gives you Stalins, Beria's and Xis.
Until one gets to the fictional Minds of The Culture, the systems are going to have humans in positions of power making decisions and they will naturally tend to favour themselves and their friends.

"From each according to their ability, to each according to their need" sounds great. But in reality, those assigning the resource allocation think that their need is greater. After all, it is a difficult job, so they need luxuries in order to help with the difficult decisions, whilst those doing the work are simple souls, who don't need or want much.

You need a negative feedback loop to stop the system going bad. Without the change in power, you end up with positive feedback loops, and benign slides to malign. Benign authoritarianism is inherently unstable.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:26 pm

@dyqik It wasn’t at all clear, from the first line. Glad we agree though!

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bmforre » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:34 pm

Those who may believe competition drives solutions towards optimum: Regard US cars from the Big Tailfins times. For years carmakers wasted steel, tooltime and labour on pushing out these environmental and mobilitywise far-from-optimum status sculptures.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bmforre » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:37 pm

Another way to compete is by taking political positions that are regarded favourably. Lysenko did just that. Soviet agriculture, science and food production suffered gravely.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bmforre » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:51 pm

Motivation and reward in pure and applied science.

More a duty than a competitive opportunity.

I warmly recommend that portrait of some first-class people and a fascinating process.

Note that Trump likes the name Warp Speed, shades of science fiction, while Biontech went for Light Speed, a fundamental and well-established science concept.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by dyqik » Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:18 pm

bmforre wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:34 pm
Those who may believe competition drives solutions towards optimum: Regard US cars from the Big Tailfins times. For years carmakers wasted steel, tooltime and labour on pushing out these environmental and mobilitywise far-from-optimum status sculptures.
There was some serious failures in the market there. It's not that competition is a good or efficient solution. It's just that it's the only solution that doesn't get permanently stuck in seriously non-optimum results.

The thing that ended that state of affairs, btw, was competition from Japanese and then European auto imports, at a time of increased external pressure from oil price rises.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:10 am

plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.
Some of the most effective barriers to entry are put there by governments. Some consist of intellectual property barriers - I can't just design a variant of an existing car without either illegally copying the other parts or buying them from the original manufacturer. Then you have safety regulations. It is very easy for them to impose a large fixed overhead. So for the incumbent who makes 100,000, compliance may cost $10 per car, but for the newcomer who hopes to make 1000, the compliance costs $100,000. Large companies can show how responsible they are and how much they care for society by supporting rules and regulations which also have the side-effect of raising the barriers.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:14 am

Herainestold wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:32 pm
bjn wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:59 pm
dyqik wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:51 pm
Some things like the Google and Microsoft IT infrastructure/ecosystems work better when they are ubiquitous...
Same goes for railway lines, water pipes, telephone lines and electricity. Regulate them like a utility.
Nationalize them and then regulate and control them.
If you think that's a good idea, read about the history of the telephone networks.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:18 am

jimbob wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:20 pm
"From each according to their ability, to each according to their need" sounds great.
I have always thought it sounded truly appalling. A form of slavery like the cruellest battery farming of chickens. They are given according to their needs and have their eggs taken as they produce them.

Then there's the question of what to do with the surplus. Assuming that the principle produces a society which is not borderline starving all the time, what happens to the surplus to everyone's needs? Of course, I have a pretty good idea what happens to it - it goes to those in positions of power.
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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:24 am

bmforre wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:34 pm
Those who may believe competition drives solutions towards optimum: Regard US cars from the Big Tailfins times. For years carmakers wasted steel, tooltime and labour on pushing out these environmental and mobilitywise far-from-optimum status sculptures.
It does find an optimum, You seem to think it should prefer what you prefer instead. The optimum that it seeks is what people actually want (which, most importantly, is not always what they say they want). You might a swell complain that natural selection doesn't work because it results in peacocks with unwieldy and impractical tails.

And the US car inductry benefitted enormously from tariffs and quotas, which were anti-competitive factors imposed by governments to restrict competition.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:16 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:10 am
plodder wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:00 am
barriers to entry should be examined and removed where possible. things like the app store can do one. way more effective than nitpicking regulation, which often creates its own barriers to entry.
Some of the most effective barriers to entry are put there by governments. Some consist of intellectual property barriers - I can't just design a variant of an existing car without either illegally copying the other parts or buying them from the original manufacturer. Then you have safety regulations. It is very easy for them to impose a large fixed overhead. So for the incumbent who makes 100,000, compliance may cost $10 per car, but for the newcomer who hopes to make 1000, the compliance costs $100,000. Large companies can show how responsible they are and how much they care for society by supporting rules and regulations which also have the side-effect of raising the barriers.
Each of skoda, seat and vw is capable of meeting those standards. please explain the benefits of them all being part of the same conglomerate.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:49 am

plodder wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:16 am
Each of skoda, seat and vw is capable of meeting those standards. please explain the benefits of them all being part of the same conglomerate.
In the car production industry one of the the main barriers to entry is R&D. In 2019 VW spent EUR 13.6 billion on R&D, which was about 6.7 per cent of sales revenue.

Split VW into three parts and you'll get, very roughly, three competing companies spending a third each. However, as they're all in competition they aren't going to share their innovations. So those three companies are going to have to spend money replicating each other's innovations (with enough variation to avoid patent infringement). There would be two negative outcomes, firstly, consumers everywhere wouldn't get the innovations produced by much of what VW are currently spending on R&D (and much of R&D spending is on electric and autonomous vehicles). Secondly, if other car manufacturers weren't split up, VW would over time produce cars that were technologically interior. Perhaps its BEVs wouldn't have the same range, or its self driving systems were more prone to crashing. The three successor companies would risk slowly going out of business or being bought up by massive corporation that can afford the R&D spend.

Similar logic applies to other huge corporations that have a high R&D spend, eg production of airliners, pharmaceuticals, or the tech industry its self.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:38 am

No, the opposite. Small funky R&D firms have all the best ideas, and they service and eventually are bought by the mega corps. Innovators don't get a salaried role at Pfizer or VW or Facebook, they work out of small labs in Cambridge, garages in Brands Hatch or non-descript offices in a major capital.

You're describing how ideas are bought, captured and controlled.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:04 pm

plodder wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:38 am
No, the opposite. Small funky R&D firms have all the best ideas, and they service and eventually are bought by the mega corps. Innovators don't get a salaried role at Pfizer or VW or Facebook, they work out of small labs in Cambridge, garages in Brands Hatch or non-descript offices in a major capital.

You're describing how ideas are bought, captured and controlled.
The link above states that in 2019 VW had 54 947 employees working in R&D, and the company filed 7 614 patent applications. Do you have any data on all those small funky tech companies?

That's a serious barrier to entry. Want to start a company to challenge VW? First hire 50 000 people and get them to start inventing stuff.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by bjn » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:50 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:04 pm
plodder wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:38 am
No, the opposite. Small funky R&D firms have all the best ideas, and they service and eventually are bought by the mega corps. Innovators don't get a salaried role at Pfizer or VW or Facebook, they work out of small labs in Cambridge, garages in Brands Hatch or non-descript offices in a major capital.

You're describing how ideas are bought, captured and controlled.
The link above states that in 2019 VW had 54 947 employees working in R&D, and the company filed 7 614 patent applications. Do you have any data on all those small funky tech companies?

That's a serious barrier to entry. Want to start a company to challenge VW? First hire 50 000 people and get them to start inventing stuff.
Having read too many patents that come out of IBM, Microsoft etc... alot of them are very simple iterations on existing techniques, which often die anyway in the giant behemoths as they never see the light of day. Generally territory staking to sandbag competitors as opposed to genuinely bringing new things to market.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by jimbob » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:07 pm

plodder wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:38 am
No, the opposite. Small funky R&D firms have all the best ideas, and they service and eventually are bought by the mega corps. Innovators don't get a salaried role at Pfizer or VW or Facebook, they work out of small labs in Cambridge, garages in Brands Hatch or non-descript offices in a major capital.

You're describing how ideas are bought, captured and controlled.
Fancy ideas are great. But most "development" is indeed development rather than a revolutionary change. If you come up with an idea for a new microprocessor, you might be able to become the next ARM and sell the IP, but unless it's something utterly revolutionary (say an organic computer) you are going to be unable to make it economically without using someone else's manufacturing facility.

State of the art semiconductor manufacturing facilities cost billions:

https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/new ... ional.html

And even if you do use a foundry like TSMC to do your processing - *they* have spent the billions on researching the process and how to make it.

Even in the projects I do, most of the cost is in actually making the experimental lots to work out how to make the product in the first place. Simulation is moderately expensive too, but dwarfed by the cost of masks and processing.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by noggins » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:47 pm

bmforre wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:34 pm
Those who may believe competition drives solutions towards optimum: Regard US cars from the Big Tailfins times. For years carmakers wasted steel, tooltime and labour on pushing out these environmental and mobilitywise far-from-optimum status sculptures.
O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life is cheap as beast’s.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plebian » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:27 pm

I'm glad you've all drunk the coolaid and are characterising any attempt at more communal modes of living as requiring dictatorship and then listing the crimes and woes of dictatorships.

Not sure why a democracy can't be allowed in communal structures, in fact I'd say it was essential.

And now you're going to call me naive and explain that human nature is competitive and any such structures (non ruling, democratic, communal) will be taken over my malicious power hungry people.

And then mock that the only way such structures could exist is within a capitalist market economy, as a theoretical plaything of middle class hippies.

Enjoy your horrid barely society, enjoy the racist, classist system that merrily ignores it's destitute and disadvantaged, lining the pockets of ghoulish vampiric upper class, so their already swollen bank balances have another zero on the end.

Well done.
Pithy, well, a right helmet at least.

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by plodder » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:24 pm

not at all. many forms of syndicalism are close to ultra-competitive capitalism, especially once you really start smashing up monopolies .

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Re: Capitalism bad. Communism bad. What else?

Post by Herainestold » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:11 pm

plebian wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:27 pm


Enjoy your horrid barely society, enjoy the racist, classist system that merrily ignores it's destitute and disadvantaged, lining the pockets of ghoulish vampiric upper class, so their already swollen bank balances have another zero on the end.

I would tend to agree, I just don't see any evidence that democracy can cope with the ghoulish vampiric upper class, which has the ability to subvert and control democratic governments.

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