: I can't believe that a smart guy like you, Dave, could have written the post "Capitalist Morality ".
Lark: It doesnt surprise me, at root capitalist is illogical and irrational, just observe the mixture of anti-intellectualism, shameless prejudice and utopian economic faith that the various capitalist prophets advocate.
: Dave: I don't quite understand what you are saying. It does not matter if they disrespect it so long as they have no power to affect it. For instance, if I own a logging company and I own the land which I use for logging, I can pursue any policy that I so choose, regardless of whether the people condone it or not. As the sole proprieter of that land, I can do with it as I please within the constraints of the law.
Lark:Everybody observe the self-destructiveness of this type of capitalism, the 'I can do what I like and if you try and stop me I'll get my heavies to deal with you' school of thought, this really is Capitalist Morality.
: Hank: Have you ever seen a strip mine? Have you ever heard of Union Carbide in India? By your logic, we should just turn over the oceans to private corporations and that would solve the over-fishing problem. What about the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Are you telling me that wouldn't have happened if Exxon had owned Prince William Sound? Are you telling me that if the companies had OWNED the community of Love Canal, then that environmental disaster wouldn't have happened.
100% Hank, you cant do what you like because it has a high individual and consequent social cost.
: Lark: -The 'fly by night' out fits that you describe that are interested in turning a short term profit are the ones that prosper the most under capitalism, it's about competition and you dont win competitions by planning longterm and taking heavy immediate losses.
: Hank: Right on, Lark!
: Dave: Not necessarily. Here is an example: Amazon.Com went public more than a year ago (maybe longer) and the chairman immediately made the statement that shareholders would see some of the heaviest losses ever. The price of the shares still sky rocketed because investors were valuing it by its potential, not by how much its bottom line was. And, a few weeks ago, Amazon.Com actually turned a profit for the first time. As a result of its purposely taking losses in order to stay competitive with the larger chains like Barnes and Noble and Borders, it is now worth something on the order of twice their combined net worth.
: Hank: Dave, need I remind you that amazon.com is a company that sells BOOKS and VIDEOS over the Internet? Why don't you talk about companies that have some relevance to natural resources, such as Exxon, Shell, Phelps Dodge, Archer-Daniels Midland. You are not thinking here, Dave, rather you're merely demonstrating your ALLEGIANCE TO DOCTRINE and the CLASS INTO WHICH YOU WERE BORN!
Lark: This is a fact. It's not impossible, especially if your a reformist like the DSA socialists, that you wouldnt mind the activities of Amazon.com etc. because they are not engaging in production or individually and socially harmful activities.
: Lark: -You believe that companies have some interest in perserving the environment, they dont, it is all resources, the logic of capitalism is that:
: Dave: PLease do not confuse capitalists with capitalist companies.
: Hank: WHAT? (More foul, more filth, mixed with ridicule of the most cutting variety.) What if I were to say "don't confuse communists with communist countries"? You'd roll over laughing, wouldn't you?
Very Excellent Point Comrade, the it's the driver not the car stuff is nonsense.
: Dave: Many capitalists are all for not polluting and keeping the environment clean, however capitalist companies are beholden to their stock holders to turn a profit and are run by a board of directors who may or may not look after the environment.
: Hank: Exactly, Dave. I 'll bet your Dad is a capitalist and he's a nice guy. But that doesn't matter--there are plenty of capitalist Dads (and some Moms) out there who are nice people who do care. IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER! IT'S THE SYSTEM which is by nature exploitive!
Hank man, I can appreciate the angst but rein it in man (well that's what I keep getting told, especially in public debates, where I've been told waving bottles is counterproductive). Dave is comming from a situation where he likes capitalism in theory and has problems with it in reality, this involves apologetics etc. similar to Stolly's apologetics for the Russian Utopian Massacre of the workers.
What we have to do is demonstrate to Dave that his values and ours correlate, we both hate big useless government, big useless companies and the interfering of bosses regulate the world individuals, but that the utopian theories of capitalism will never be realised in reality.
Whereas with work and objectivity the theories of socialism may be.
: Lark: 1. The capitalist knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
: Hank: Right on again, Lark! But since Dave took offense to this comment, I'll re-write it to make it more precise. "Good capitalists, when acting as capitalists know the price of nothing and the value of nothing." It's the role that matters. It's the same thing as saying "Good fathers love their children." There are bad fathers out there, and good fathers aren't necessarily in the father role 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
: The same holds true for capitalists. They go sailing, contribute to charities, some even help in soup-kitchens for the homeless. some even contribute to the Sierra Club and the Audobon Society. But AS CAPITALISTS THEY ARE BEHOLDEN TO MAKING THEIR COMPANIES TURN A PROFIT.
: Dave: And Socialists are a bunch of greasy self-impoverished whiners who constantly clammor for more government freebies. Now that we have the misinformed rhetoric out of the way, lets continue.
Hank was right read his point above. By the way I agree with that statement, there are a lot of socialists like that but I think their commitments to socialism are dubious, they are just self-interested loafers, like the scrouging rich.
: Hank: This isn't true. I'm a Socialist, and I'm a greasy, self-impoverished whiner who constantly clamors for A WORKER'S STATE. It's the spittin' clean, self-important LIBERALS who clamor for government freebies.
: And if you want to talk about hand-outs, you shouldn't forget to mention the from-some-angles clean, from-some-angles- greasy CAPITALISTS who get government freebies via BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN CORPORATE WELFARE!
More good points, although I dont like the idea of a workers state, it's a bit conservative for my liking.
: Lark: Capitalism thinks it is possible to infinitely grow the economy on exhaustable finite resources.
: Dave: I heard an excellent description of the worlds resources. Yes they are finite, just like one inch is a finite distance. However, the amount of points you can put in an inch is infinite, similarly, the amount of uses that you can use your resources for knows no bounds. When fossil fuels become horribly depleted, we will find something else. Who knows, perhaps we will be manufacturing synthetic fossil fuels.
That is the blind faith, 'something will turn up' dimension of capitalist theory, I think it's more likely that the coroprate power lords will just re-engineer their target audience, EG only the rich deserve electricity etc., and everyone else can go to hell.
Scarity doesnt result in the pursuit of abundance but the fight over what scare resources remain.
: Hank: Here again you're demonstrating your faith in the official doctrine. But you're not thinking straight, because points and inches are abstractions. How about this: My shopping bag is finite, but the amount of Big Macs I can put in it is infinite. Does that make many sense?
: Dave, please put your fine mind in service of real human progress. We need guys like you, but you're on the wrong side.
I'd agree. The more suspicious and anti-authoritarian, anti-voluntary poverty socialists we can get the better and those type of people could be readily carved from the wood of ex-capitalists.
P.S. I just seen [sic] wrote behind words in books like he, his etc. I thought it was about being politically correct.