- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More of the same...

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on February 17, 19100 at 19:06:32:

In Reply to: HD 30 wt., Pennzoil please... posted by Frenchy on February 15, 19100 at 13:25:40:

: (My '69 VW bug would never forgive me for adding silicon to oil...)

: : : I was wondering if any of you have taken current (and future) technology into account when deciding your blueprints for the future? Taking into account that alot of ideologies that move back and forward were penned before the "communications revolution", and while alot of it is fundamentally true, are they relevant?

: : As Barry would say, the fact that people are getting screwed from a longer distance doesn't mean they're not being screwed any more.

: I wonder what that means?

It means that the computer revolution makes worldwide co-ordination of efforts much easier; regardless of what those efforts are.

In the old days, if someone wanted to make life unpleasant for you, they would have had to come somewhere near your physical location to do so; these days, they can do so without ever leaving their chair. It's akin to the difference between stabbing someone and firing a gun at them; the end result is the same, but you can do it from much further away.

: : (except he'd probably phrase it slightly differently).

: : I say this as someone who has been connected to the net for 8 years now (I remember the 'net before it was a graphical medium!); the recent history of the Internet has shown nothing as much as the existing capitalist companies engaging in colonialism; lacking a new country to invade, they just decided to try and invade the 'net and exploit it. There's no noticeable change in power relationships.

: Colonialism via the net. It's much easier that way I suppose. The capitalist companies make their demands over the net and if the countries being colonized don't agree to those demands, why, it's a simple matter of...what? spamming them to death? C'mon Far...

Knowledge is power, Frenchy; don't be obtuse. The worldwide legislative and regulatory bodies all run using computers and via bureaucracies that use those computers; not being able to talk to them is like living in the wilderness when it comes to polling day; you effectively have no power in the running of things.

: : (Except the geek one; a geek in real life is usually a scrawny wimp; here, we are the masters and the magicians; as sundry companies found out last week.)

: (Masters and magicians? I liken them more to hit and run drivers.)

Hit and run drivers don't design cars, Frenchy.

: : : Dont take this as a stab at any particular ideology, but surely computers/telecommunications must be figured into your equations.

: : They can be useful; as the existence of McSpotlight demonstrates; the message can go to a larger selection of people than ever before. Of course, the flip side is also true; you can be tracked and traced as never before.

: I haven't been around that long, not as long as you, but the message that is going out, while it is reaching people who may not otherwise have received it previously, is also being countered by other's with their own message.

Which results in something of a freer debate.

This is good, whether you like McDonald's or not. In the U.K., prior to 1994, McDonald's issued over 30 writs against companies because they dared to criticise McDonald's. The UK libel laws are set up to favour the plaintiff; this goes double when the plaintiff is big and rich, like McDonald's; they used their size and aggressiveness to stifle one side of the debate completely; the only comments about McDonald's that ever got into the mass media were favourable.

The 'net changed all that; McSpotlight isn't located physically in one country; and thus the law can't be used to silence critics; as such, this is a place where all the things that were previously censored about McDonald's can be made public - and there's very little McDonald's can do to stop it.

A free debate is now possible, where McDonald's always stopped it beforehand; both sides of the message can be freely heard (because McSpotlight has never tried to silence McDonald's).

Whether or not you agree with McSpot, you have to admit that a free debate requires both sides to be allowed to speak freely.

: : Where the wealth division is bad is that it reinforces the class divide; the educated and wealthy classes will receive a better education and have access to more learning materials than the lower classes. This isn't per se the fault of the book.

: The class divide? Capitalism, combined w/ the rule of law, allows people to escape that divide. It is a divide only to the extent that the individual allows. The poorest quintile today are not the same as those of twenty years ago. Or fifty. The rich of a century ago are not necessarily the rich of today.

The poorest quintile are now worse off than they've ever been before; the current globalist situation widens the gap between rich and poor to unprecedented amounts, as the UN Human Development Report shows quite clearly.

: : : I just want to hear how you think present and future technologies will fit into society under a different regime, for surely it has a large bearing on what will work and what wont.

: : Well, to be perfectly frank, unless we as a species clean up our act PDQ, we quite probably don't have a high-tech future. Computers, books and heavy industry are wonderful things in the right hands for the good of all, but when precious natural resources are consumed to make Happy Meal toys we are frittering away energy we can ill afford to lose.

: It's always the "...in the right hands..." that worries me. May I take a guess though? I suspect the 'right hands' would be defined by you as those with advanced degrees. The new Bhramins.

Frenchy, have you ever tried to get funding for an academic project? - you need to make a precise and detailed justification to your peers of why you want the resources and funds to do something; you have to be able to explain what you're trying to achieve in order to win funding.

I'm not suggesting that an elite be formed who decide who gets computers and who doesn't; I'm saying that you should justify to your equals why you need to consume scarce natural resources.


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