- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on March 19, 1999 at 18:10:39:

In Reply to: You're referring to oligopolistic behavior posted by Joel Jacobson on March 19, 1999 at 12:06:15:

: You're referring to oligopolistic behavior, which historically has shown to disintergrate quickly. If one oligopolist pulls out then the whole structure evaporates; and parties always think other co-conspiritors are going to do this and try to beat them to the punch.

Fact remains, if I own the roads into Lancaster, can charge rent on their use, since its my property and I can do with it as I please. the rest of you have to put up or shut up. Anyone tries to build alternative roads, I smash them with my wealth.

: You mean profit? There is no such thing as "surplus value" it's mere metaphysical make-believe.

ISTR that I prooved to you why we must ahve a notion of Value (money being a commodity itself is just a commodity of the same value as the original product, inflation can change prices without affecting value...etc.)

: Actually, they need to evolve. And yes there would be limits on violence. The Icelandic Sagas are perfect examples of markets supplying law-enforcement.

I don't really rcall Nordic communities as being free-market orentated, the were-guild has a class system built into it.

: First, the term "capitalism" is pure idealist definitionism.

Sorry, but this is amateurish, masturbatory school-boyish sophistry, hows about I abolish the universe, logically? By this token democracy doesn't exist, America doesn't exist, economy doesn't exist. Capitalism is a mental construct, however it is a reififed mental construct, as can be found as SDF points out, through the M-C-M ritual.

: Second, "crisis" is a value judgement by the speaker of the term; what you speak of as "crisis" may be nirvana to someone else. So I guess it's up to you to give a detailed analysis of what will happen instead of alluding to vague generalities such as "crisis".

Erm, most peopel accept that there was a crisis in the thirties, in '68 and again in '73- overproduction (I beleive you called it misapplication of resources, trying to deny structural causation) leads to a fall in profits, credit crisis, unemployement, and bankruptcy- yes many capitalists benefit, which was my point, but many don't, and most workers don't, because they are thrown out of their jobs in oth failing and 'succeeding' firms.

: But it's not inevitable. See above.

No, after each crisis one of my rivals goes under, I buy him out, complete with cheap stock, or I merge with another competitor to stay in the running myself. This means that competition leads to concentration of wealth.

: Yes, but firms are continuously starting up. Such competition is necessary for the continuing process of finding better ways of doing things (i.e. competition).

Yes, but big firms, once they are established, can smash small firms, and without a state to stop it, they would do so.

: Read the history of trust-busting and you'll find that the type of monopoly you're referring to is impossible without psychologistic non-market forces. Contrary to revisionist historians companies like Standard Oil were prevented by the marketplace from engaging in such behavior. A perfect example of this is the case of Dow Chemicals. The only supplier for several chemicals was a German cartel that declared a price war on the miniscule Dow. By the end of the price war Dow had acquired 30% (or so) of the world market in those particular compounds. Companies taht behave in the manner you are reffering to, like Apple Computer, simply shoot themselves in the foot.

Stagecoach seem to be doing pretty well thank you very much, they own most of the bus firms in this country, and in lancaster they have a monopoly. atm we have 'competition laws' (I coulda sworn the market could do that for itself, why are they felt to be necessary?) to stop firms doing that.

: "Relative" being the key word that pretty much negates the next few sentences.

Relative enough to enable co-ersion, and to make sure that teh labourer feels less than human, and excluded from society. Any inequality in wealth breeds social disatisfaction. Relative poverty is as socially dmaaging as absolute poverty. ANd I forgot, under anarcho-capitalism, without a state absolute poverty would be the limit (unless the rich create 'charitable' workhouses, which would be the rich guiding the lives of the poor, very un-anarchic.)

: Why? Where? This is just speculation, which I feel is pretty much empirically falsified.

Can you show me a single country without unemployement? Here's an experiment for you, decrease unemployement, and if wages don't rise, I'm wrong, because if there is more work than workers available, wages go up, thus a small pool of unemployement is *needed* to keep wages down. Respectable bankers say that here.

: The whole structure of the arguement was destroyed by the term "relative". And this automization takes place over time which allows populations to stabilize and adjust.

No, it cna be very fast, entire generations thrown out of work (a factory buys new robots, throwing several hundred skilled labourers out of work). this si further disguised- 5,000 get thrown out of work, but 2,000 are created elsewhere, the media presents the net figure (3,000) and makes 2,000 unemployed workers disapear. It still means poverty and misery, and it means that more work can be done with fewer people, meaning some of the population becomes surplus to requirements.

: This has not been proven. And even if it does make significant differences that still is not a mark against it.

I think it has been proven in studies, and it means that terhe would not be 'equality of popportunities' because them as were born poor would more likely stay poor, being denied a quality education.

: Only relatively. In absolute terms there are many more rags to riches stories than vice versa.

But many, many more rags to rags. Even if 1 in 10 goes from rags to riches, 90% of teh population is gonna be stuck in its class of origin.

: (serious)First, systems are not human constructs. They are products of actions of myriads of human actors each with only a tiny portion of 'the big picture'. You are implying 'will' where there was none.

No, because it is the work of aggregates of humans, and we can work together to change it, it took a collective effort to bnuild teh society.

(parody)Second, how can you question society? You are, after all, merely an abstraction of the relative absolute of the world-spirit in its self-negating triumphal glory (there's some Hegel for ya). What is real is rational . . . what is rational is real.

And this system isn't rational. Actually I'm a subject, always in motion...

: "fair" and "freedom" are value judgements encumbent upon human beings to give them meaning.

Humans have.

: Okay, this relates to the fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of the word 'competition' in relation to economics. You are confusing 'absolute' competition such as in sports where one wins and the other loses with 'social' competition where different alternatives are explored. A monopolist does not pay $1000 to Bob's in order to get an extra dollar out of Jim; such behavior would be unprofitable. And isn't the focus on profit something you're always harping on?

No, but I could pay justice Bob $1,000 Dollars to seize Jim's house (worth $5,000) for going on strike, pour encourage les autres. Can you say McLibel?

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