Can Capitalism be replaced ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by EmoBorg, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

    Oct 25, 2009
    I totally agree.
    About your comparisons, NATO is a military alliance whereas the EU is a half-assed economic-political alliance that is currently crumbling under its half-assed-ness. So why not compare it with the most decently functioning federation in our world, the USA?
  2. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Nov 9, 2005
    But capitalism isn't one form of economy, it's all forms of economy. It was never mentioned in the Constitution, and it didn't have to be. All we had to guarantee is that people were free to go about their affairs and could elect a government that would pass and enforce a system of rules that punished cheating.

    Other than cheating (and later strictures against exploitation, child labor, etc) everything is allowed as long as it meets certain levels of transparency and responsibility.

    Everyone is free to start a company, merge it, sell it, sell shares in it, etc. The company can pay all the employees equally or pay them according to their output or their character level in WoW, make them all co-owners or make their pets owners and have the employees work for their pets, or come up with almost any conceivable pay scheme that we haven't already banned for blatant abuses and unfairness. You can even not have the workers as employees, and instead treat them as contractors, or even treat them as customers who show up, build things, and then sell the things back to the company - or the company's competitors. You can choose the company officers in a poker game, or rotate them weekly, or declare that there will be no officers and everyone is equal. All those things are allowed and are part of capitalism.

    Basically, all niches, structures, and methods are wide open,
    and may the best ones win. It's like a zen koan. How do you design a better form and structure to defeat a system that takes all forms and structures? You can't. You can only limit yourself to one of the already allowed forms. All competitors to capitalism are just strict limitations on the forms it allows so that its many more optimal forms are disallowed, like rigging a footrace so that only nobles named Jonathan or Charles wearing purple T-shirts and sponsored by Tom Evans Chrysler Buick can win.

    You may imagine other forms that you think should win, and you're perfectly free to try them and show the world that they do win. If they do, you'll get to host management and business seminars for the rest of your life and capitalists will write books singing your praises. What we don't allow you to do is just ban everybody else from competing so you can claim a cheap plastic trophy.

    Merchantilism, bullionism, feudalism, fascism, and communism are only distinct from capitalism because they only allowed a tiny fraction of the possible business structures in capitalism to operate. Some capitalist companies focus on exports and balance of trade, some on gold, some on sharecropping, some on single-sourcing to the government, some on total vertical integration (but we disallow the mass murder of employees, etc). Under capitalism those are niches, some of them unviable, some of them lucrative but narrow. As I said, it's a zen koan, and they could not outdo the structure that is all structures.