- Dec 25, 2008
- Bologna, Italy
- VW Golf MkV
This is clearly not the religious-like levels I was talking about, but as sensible thinking as it is, it goes in the same direction: it is really strange to me to see that anything different from today's world is unvariably equated to sovietic communism.The centralized (command) economy fails precisely because it is centered.
I mean, good or not, western european and northen european systems are not full-on laissez-faire capitalism; the japanese system is something even different, as is the dictatorships blooming (and dying) around. Hey, it is possible to argue in favour of even the theocratic islamic republic of Iran... I purposedly made some disfunctional or not-working examples just to show how different things can get without even touching old-style russian communism.
The first step is understanding that the world is not black or white, that "capitalism" is not an organizational system, but part of it and that you may change part of the system without changing what works and without necessarily losing the good things your current system has.
You are right in this, and it is the same problem that ultimately and cyclically dooms the capitalist systems too.humans are terrible at self-regulation
The two main reasons for this problems are stupidity and selfishness (the second one being the behavioural expression of an exagerated individualistic push). When selfishness is coupled with smartness, you usually get very able individuals taking away a part of the total for them, without killing the system. Not good, but not necessarily dooming. When selfishness is coupled with stupidity, it kills the Golden Egg Goose, for greed or inability to manage the crises (or both: look at America now...)
What we should do is to build systems that simply prevent stupid selfish people from getting Power and Resources. Waaaaaaaay before they become a problem. And not directly.
For example: we know that the market mechanism works towards the increasing of wealth only if certain conditions are met, beyond which it actually generate problems rather than wealth. Let's build a tool that blocks the system from working outside those conditions, that make it unvaluable. The cases of rules regulating the job market are an example. Not all solutions are good, but "no rules" does destroy the conditions that bring the mechanism to increase wealth rather than destroying it. Ok, the example is banal, but I think you get the point.
Wherever there is an error, it must be addressed; to say that "that's life, deal with it" is wrong, because everything can be changed (and because those saying it are usually those profiting from the specific situation). Disclaimer: this does not mean that a system exist where everything is beautiful and the rainbow unicorns fly in the happy sky; everything brings pros and cons and what we have to do is minimize the cons and maximize the pros -for everyone-, not just for some people.
This is what a higher organizational level means: to get more out of the same Resources while possibly doing less work. Which is quite possible, given how much we do more with less compared to the past, just because we understand the world better.
By the way: the dialogue about how to stop the stupid and the selfish from getting to Power or getting contorl of Resources is more complex than this: it starts with a strong education towards the ability of knowing reality, of understanding one's own shortcomings, of seeing the real effects of people's actions, of getting the right information and making real choices. It is a vast discourse.
It is awful, and it is resourceful: nothing is only good or bad. We have to limit the bad and enhance the good.Capitalism is awful, it tends towards oligarchy, it creates duplication of efforts, it hinges on pitting people against one another to amass the biggest pile of shiny rocks. However, it is the most fault-tolerant of the economic systems tried so far.
By the way: capitalism is considered the best because we have had centuries of expansion and knowledge development and new resources to add to the table. Had we not, capitalism would have devolved in some sort of constant battling and warmongering. The main problem with capitalism is that it indulges the desire of people to get much while ultimately doing not enough work to get it.
It convinces them that this is possible to have all with nothing because some people seem to be getting so much, even more than one think it could be reasonably possible. It does not mean those people are that good, it means that those people got a loophole in which they get far more than they actually did either because they took hold of some Resource at a cost which was way lower than the real value of the Resource, or they got the help of other people at a price which is way lower than it should have been.
This does not mean those people are evil, they may be even very good and positive and good-oriented people, but they still entered a loophole and got more than they actually contributed. Disclaimer 2: the line between right and wrong, between enough and too much, is, for the most part, extremely fuzzy; but if you get a bit distant form the threshold, the difference becomes obvious.
A part of this is inevitable, but a part is avoidable. Mostly, people should be rewarded for the ideas they contributed, for the craft they put to use, for the time they employed. Not so much for the Resources they had. The Resources, in particular, shoul mostly be available to everyone at a fair price (for that Resource).
This is a good push. It is not the only one, though, and it is not even the most efficient. For example, many of the brightest minds in the world developed new solutions not to compete against other poeple, but to help them out. Or to discover something new, for spirit of exploration.Competition causes people to want to figure out new ways to do things better, faster, more efficiently.
Competition is ONE aspect of the human behaviour, and not the most important one. To let it die would be similar to let other aspects die, but to pump it beyond measure is greatly damaging.
Societies benefit from leaders who explore, or who care for people, or who organize, or who compete, or who think forward... it depends on what that society needs in that moment.Society as a whole benefits from this and the people at the helm of the groups that do this.
If another human group wants to overcome a society, then competitive people are important. If a famine looms, then forward-thinkers are more important. If inefficiency reigns, than organizers are the most important.
Life is balance. Blind focus on just one aspect is stupid.
I think that competition is one aspect, and the State is there to balance the differenct aspect with the long-term goal of maintaining or increasing the level of wealth of the entire society.The State is there just to keep this competition from getting out of hand and try and maintain a level playing field in as much as it can be done without giving an "Unfair" (I made it this far before using a term that can be contested philosophically) advantage to either party.
I think this is, up to now, the most different point of view we have on the argument.
Personally, I think there was no alternative, to talk about this topic in something better than slogan terms. And I can't avoid doing the same. I will rather say sorry in the name of the both of us (if you agree) to other users, should they get annoyed by the exchange.Sorry for the wall of text.