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Main - Serious discussion - Post-capitalist life / Emancipation from capitalism New reply


StapleButter
Posted on 10-08-16 06:43 PM Link | #78360
It's been said several times that capitalism isn't sustainable for several reasons. The gist of it is that capitalism aims at producing more and profiting more, but it can only work for so long -- Earth's resources aren't infinite. The current heavy industry has devastating effects.


But something we haven't talked about a lot is... how do we live outside of the capitalist system?


Debate is open. Go nuts.


A few false ideas that need to die:

* Rejecting capitalism doesn't mean throwing all progress and technology out the window. It means adopting more sustainable ways of development.

* We won't die from having less comfort/technology in our lives. Our ancestors have lived for ages without electricity.


Regarding the "less comfort/technology" part:

Doesn't mean going back to prehistory. There's a big middle ground between the prehistoric man and the Wall-E man. We may be leaning too far towards the latter.

It would be very good to be more self-reliant and less dependent on the capitalist system. You know, shit like making your own food, etc. Well, a modern society implies you will always depend on others, because you can't be producing everything. The idea is to lessen the dependence, and more specifically, not rely on a giant capitalist system that only cares about profits. The food industry is known to recklessly put bad chemicals in your food because it maximizes their yield.

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MusiMasta
Posted on 10-09-16 03:05 AM Link | #78401
I don't suggest us going back right now, I think the best way would be to stay where we are with the technology right now and then find more sustainable methods from where we are now.What I mean is (and probably won't happen or has a very little likelihood of occurring):

-Technology goes in a different direction: Useless "faster" processors, "higher" resolution monitors, etc aren't made and are discouraged by the government by means of taxes and and shit, and the government encourages sustainable development, like creating things out of less material and recycled material, creating things that last longer, etc, by means of tax breaks, etc.

-Also, the current capitalism system honestly doesn't suck too much. In my opinion, it's the government that sucks. They need to step up their game, make more laws and enforce them better regarding things like companies avoiding taxes, exploiting prison labor, etc. Also, they need to learn to listen to peaceful protests. Just going about and doing their own thing isn't fine, like in the DAPL situation.

-So basically, my main point is that instead of seeking ways to profit more from producing more, we should look at creating the same amount as now but using less materials and such. Also, we can still be self reliant on stuff, like making our own food and stuff. Not that we'll become farmers and such, because "that" would be throwing away progress. What this means is that instead of seeking cooking robots, we cook food ourselves using non processed food from the supermarket. Thus, we basically need to achieve a balance between the extremes, which is basically staying where we are now but not progressing towards being lazy, only caring about profits, exploiting natural resources, but instead, seeking sustainable methods. Not that this will happen, but it's good to think about.

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Hiccup
Posted on 10-09-16 12:27 PM (rev. 2 of 10-09-16 12:27 PM) Link | #78416
What I think is that there will be a big change when (or if) robots start doing everything for us...

LeftyGreenMario
Posted on 10-10-16 07:43 PM Link | #78515
I don't think there is any better alternative to capitalism. To paraphrase with democracy, it's the worst economic system to have been tried. I just think it needs heavy reforms. We are indeed living in not a purely capitalist society (such as we're not living in a total democracy; we're in a republic); we're living in a capitalist society with a lot of socialist nuances, which is more pronounced in France.

I think for starters, we should teach skepticism and rational thinking. In an ideal society, everyone that have developed those skills would immediately reject our presidents, we would be taking action to mitigate global warming, we would be vaccinating, and we wouldn't have stuff like the alt-right rising. It's unfortunate that political debate isn't about being rational and making valid points, it's about charisma and appeals to emotion. People need to also be willing to accept they are wrong, people need to stop making personal attacks, and people need to be open about their thoughts. I know people might call me close-minded because I'm strictly atheist, but I reject religion based on logic and rational thinking, plus with an understanding of how history made the Bible happen. I was also brought up in a secular household.

That's not easy though, since humans aren't born with skeptical and critical thinking. Even smart people can fall to irrationality or buy into things like quack remedies (since some quacks work really hard to sound convincing).

Marionumber1
Posted on 10-10-16 08:39 PM (rev. 2 of 10-10-16 08:41 PM) Link | #78521
Posted by LeftyGreenMario
I don't think there is any better alternative to capitalism. To paraphrase with democracy, it's the worst economic system to have been tried. I just think it needs heavy reforms. We are indeed living in not a purely capitalist society (such as we're not living in a total democracy; we're in a republic); we're living in a capitalist society with a lot of socialist nuances, which is more pronounced in France.

I think for starters, we should teach skepticism and rational thinking. In an ideal society, everyone that have developed those skills would immediately reject our presidents, we would be taking action to mitigate global warming, we would be vaccinating, and we wouldn't have stuff like the alt-right rising. It's unfortunate that political debate isn't about being rational and making valid points, it's about charisma and appeals to emotion. People need to also be willing to accept they are wrong, people need to stop making personal attacks, and people need to be open about their thoughts. I know people might call me close-minded because I'm strictly atheist, but I reject religion based on logic and rational thinking, plus with an understanding of how history made the Bible happen. I was also brought up in a secular household.

That's not easy though, since humans aren't born with skeptical and critical thinking. Even smart people can fall to irrationality or buy into things like quack remedies (since some quacks work really hard to sound convincing).


Well, I think that's the problem: turning humans into critical thinkers might be impossible. Our cognitive biases are "baked in" through evolution, and while they helped us survive in the wild, they're holding us back now.

It may indeed be true that capitalism is the worst system, except for all the others. I've had a similar impression as well. However, if a better system can be conceived of, it'd be worth it.

The problem with capitalism is that attempts to check its power are doomed. Unregulated capitalism inherently leads to immoral human exploitation (including slavery), environmental devastation, and extreme wealth inequality. So of course, we need a more powerful institution that can reign in these effects: a government.

When implemented properly, a government can make capitalism work well. But this is incredibly difficult. Corporate executives aren't going to simply acquiesce to government restrictions on their ability to make a profit. They'll attempt to own the government as well.

Their wealth allows them to insert their tentacles into every corner of our democracy. Politicians and regulators can be bought, the media (especially if corporate-owned) can become a propaganda machine for the rich, and elections (especially if electronic) can be rigged. Not to mention that free trade (which is often considered good due to the economic benefits of trade) provides an insidious means for corporations to strip our rights away.

Might it be possible to purge corporate control over our democracy? When we realize that right now, we're living with an entrenched deep state, it becomes hard to imagine. Most politicians are easily bought off by the allure of big money. If a politician tries to buck the system, everything will be thrown at them: biased media coverage, untold sums of money spent against them, the entire political establishment backing the corporatist, and rigged elections. Failing that, the deep state's "security" apparatus won't hesitate to intimidate or murder politicians.

I was hopeful that electing Bernie Sanders would result in a progressive wave that brought sweeping, systemic reform. Then I saw the rigged electoral system take away his victory. And that's when I realized that the same thing could happen all over the country. Some progressives, in some places, will win victories. But will they ever win enough to change the makeup of government significantly? Doubtful.

This is mainly due to the ubiquity of electronic voting systems. I've explained several times how much of a threat to democracy they are. Elections no longer have to reflect the will of the people, and the deep state can rig them on a massive scale. As long as we have electronic voting systems, politics will remain where they want it.

Let's say we do manage to eliminate those machines and return to hand-counted paper ballots. Finally, we might have a chance at electing progressives. Yet we still have the media and political establishment to contend with. I'll acknowledge that in recent years, people are becoming more independent of media and political parties. So maybe progressives will overcome all these obstacles.

What about when they're in office? The deep state is led by a cast of frightening characters: intelligence agencies like the CIA, known for running illegal covert ops, and the military-industrial complex (which are also bleeding into the police). If they absolutely have to, they will not hesitate to threaten or kill people that get in their way. I understand this part will sound nutty and conspiratorial to some people, especially since it evokes JFK assassination conspiracy theories, but it's the truth. The deep state is ruled by violent enforcers of its will.

Everything within our system resists peaceful political revolution. Drastic as it might sound, the system needs to be completely uprooted for change to happen. The corporate media needs to lose its status as the arbiter of "truth". Elections must be returned to the people. Military, defense, and intelligence officers need to lose their enticing seats of power that lead to abuse.

If all that happens, and then we return to capitalism, they'll just rebuild in the shadows. And slowly but surely, it'll creep back into our lives. Especially for military and intelligence agencies. We try to reduce or eliminate their role? The military industrialists will eventually manufacture a crisis that forces us to come begging for their help.

Capitalism inherently creates the conditions for our government to be hijacked. And if we remain with it, we're just going to have either:

1) A cycle of revolutions that never change things in the long-term
2) A long stagnation that eventually leads to planetary collapse

StapleButter
Posted on 10-16-16 08:12 AM Link | #78805
To add ideas to this debate: a good example of emancipation could be the ZAD, in France.

Maybe it's utopic. Maybe it won't work. Time will tell. But so far, it's going strong.

The ZAD is located near Notre-Dame-des-Landes, in the Loire-Atlantique region. The area is originally partly wilderness and partly farmland. It's supposed to be repurposed to build a big airport.

The government started by telling the few farmers living there to fuck off. This is plain theft, but it has already happened before.

Not only have the farmers not fucked off, but they have been supported by a lot of people who oppose the airport project and more generally capitalism.

The airport project is useless. There's already the nearby Nantes-Atlantique airport which is doing fine. The new airport would only enrich Vinci (multinational company responsible for building it) and increase France's debt. Not to mention the sheer environmental impact of destroying all the natural land.

The people living on the ZAD don't only protest. They self-organize, living in a way that provides everyone shelter and food, and respecting the environment. There's a deep sense of community and solidarity.

It is pretty strong, and a pretty big issue for the government.

They have attempted to evict the ZAD inhabitants in 2012. Police has been sent there for almost 5 months in total. The operation has failed. The ZAD inhabitants have been working hard to rebuild whatever was destroyed by the cops, barricade the roads, and resist the cops. Support to the ZAD has grown not only on the ZAD itself but also everywhere in France, causing several protests, sabotages and other actions.


What is it like today? Growing, building shit, offering more comfort to its inhabitants.

The government wants to evict said inhabitants this Fall. Will they succeed? Likely not.

The ZAD has grown into something pretty powerful and strong. It has gained a tremendous amount of support from all of France and even outside. There's no doubt that any police action would cause quite the mess. Escalation of violence would eventually lead to a revolution or civil war.


However, will the solidarity last in time? After the useless airport project is cancelled? After capitalism is defeated?

____________________
NSMBHD - Kafuka - Jul

what do you use to measure bolts? a boltmeter

MC708
(post deleted) #78808

StapleButter
Posted on 10-31-16 08:17 PM Link | #79364
I thought about the possibilities of producing items other than food from a system like that of the ZAD. Basically, something like a communist factory.

My opinion is that the ZAD is nice but it will need to create a higher level of comfort than what it is right now to attract more people. If a decent comfort level is reached, and people on that side are happier, the revolution will happen on its own and the current system will die.


Anyway, we know why previous iterations of communism were failures. Basically, workers were all paid the same salary no matter what. So why should I bother working if I'm going to get paid either way? And similarly, why should I bother working if Derpo gets paid the same as me while slacking off? There we go, nobody works, system collapses.

BUT

The base idea behind that is that the average worker doesn't enjoy their job. They're mostly working their job because they need the money to buy food, pay rent and basically survive. They will limit themselves to the bare minimum it takes to get the money, caring more about their own survival than about the system.


The part where the ZAD differs is that you aren't required to pay to survive. You don't buy land or pay rent, you just build your house wherever possible (new houses are typically built with materials found on the place or salvaged). Food is 'sold' at free price, you give whatever amount of money you like, you can choose to take food for free and nobody will force you to pay.

This renders the whole "force yourself to work to survive" thing moot. People could choose to work because they enjoy something or because they want to help the community.

Well, this kind of production is already in place or planned on the ZAD, for things like bricks or soap or chestnut cream. But if the ZAD system extends, these methods of production could be applied to computers, cars, etc...


Interesting to think about.

____________________
NSMBHD - Kafuka - Jul

what do you use to measure bolts? a boltmeter


Main - Serious discussion - Post-capitalist life / Emancipation from capitalism New reply

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