- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on May 24, 1999 at 14:41:26:

In Reply to: just some questions posted by Shannon on May 24, 1999 at 12:49:42:

As you asked for opinions, here are some

a. communist
Strictly speaking, communism means a scheme of equalising the social conditions of life; specifically, a scheme which
contemplates the abolition of inequalities in the possession of property, as by distributing all wealth equally to all, or by holding all wealth in common for the equal use and advantage of all. The means to achieve this is by collectivization of all property. No individual may own anything, not the product of his work (thus his mind), nor any personal material benefit he may achieve as a result of it. All material is centralised and distributed by some collective means (state or votes), the intention being to achieve equal utility(of material) by all. In my opinion such is doomed (follow my discussions with red deathy below)
b. libertarian
Summed up by the phrase "everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don't infringe upon the equal freedom of others. " Freedom being defined simply as freedom from other peoples coercions - not from bad luck, being born poor, losing an arm or any factors not caused demonstrably by the coercions of existing others.

Human interaction should be voluntary, not coerced. The only time physical force is acceptable is when it is used to defend against force. Many libertarians frame this in terms of the non-aggression principle: no individual or group of individuals shall initiate force against the person or property of any other individual.
c. anarchist
A doctrine that advocates the abolition of organised authority. Anarchists believe that all government is corrupt and evil.
Anarchism was a force in nineteenth century Russia, associated with Prince Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) and Mikhail Bakunin (1814-76). Types of anarchism range from pacifism to violent revolution. While most often anti-capitalist, there are pro-capitalist strains, depending on the view of private property.
d. democrat
There are two possible definitions for democracy. 1. Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by the people. 2. Government by popular representation; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but is indirectly exercised through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed; a constitutional representative government.

Unlimited democracies replace tyrrany by an elite (eg a dictator) to the tyrrany of a majority.
e. republican
A republican form or system of government, especially a state in which the exercise of power is lodged in representatives chosen by the people, rather than democratically exercised by the people directly.
f. socialist
Depends on who you ask! I'll let red Deathy explain stateless socialism - it most appears in state form where its a political system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are mostly owned by the state, and used, at least
in theory, on behalf of the people (whose 'good' is decided by the legislator). The idea behind socialism is that the capitalist system is intrinsically unfair, because it concentrates wealth in a few hands and does nothing to safeguard the overall welfare of the majority. Under socialism, the state redistributes the wealth of society in a more equitable way, according to the judgement of the legislator - hence its very dubious.

;2.) Why do some societies prosper economically and culturally wheras others don't?

(short answer) There are more reasons than just political systems, add things like weather, natural resources etc - but basically consdier this - if people are free to pursue their own goasl and own the results of their efforts then they are encouraged by this to produce (both out of necessity and the pursuit of gain and luxury) hence those societies where private ownership of property and freedom of association are paramount you will generally find lots of wealth being produced. Various arguments about imperialism and 'classes' do nothing to counter this dynamic.

3.) What form of order should our society take? By that I mean, should our society be governed by universal laws, no laws except that individuals establish for themselves, or somewhere in between?

If you are into deriving 'ought' from 'is' then I would certainly recommend the freedom to pursue self interest as the one that 'works' best at producing wealth, health and the *opportunites* for happiness - because people do have self interest as their driving force. Anything else requires the control of people in a non-voluntary manner in order to 'mould' the utopian society according to the ideal of the controller.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this and answer these. All responces would
be highly appreciated. Hope to hear from you guys soon
Youll get a varied response!

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