Scientist declares “Earth is F**ked" --Discuss?!

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Yminale, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Flamebait troll is flamebait
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And that's actually what a lot of people don't get. Down to the core, the key difference between capitalism and socialism is essentially "Who do the farmers work for?"

    In capitalism, the farmers work for businesses to whom their land belongs.

    In socialism, the farmers work for the government to whom their land belongs.

    The various sub-tropes of each are variations on a theme. Even Libertarian Socialism -- that bizzare stateless fever dream of deeply confused Marxists -- really just replaces the state with a large amorphous dis-unified entity that nevertheless remains a state.
     
  3. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    newtype_alpha

    But of course, newtype :rolleyes:.

    Posting what are logical conclusions of your...well, to put it euphemistically, inaccurate economic statements is trolling according to you.

    But the post I'm responding to is not trolling.

    Of course :guffaw:.
     
  4. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Under capitalism, we call those farm hands or employees. Our farmers overwhelmingly own their own land, with over 2.2 million farms, 2 million of which are family or individually owned, while only 10,000 are corporate. Only 907 corporate farms have 11 or more stockholders. Tenant farming is also rather rare, less than a tenth of the total. The US Census Bureau knows all.

    Under capitalism, farmers own their own farms. But you were correct that "In socialism, the farmers work for the government to whom their land belongs."
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I simply pointed pointed out that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about and you responded by posting irrelevant links and insults. If you're not a troll, you're certainly acting like one, and I grow weary of your shenanigans.

    Good day, sir.


    And therefore own the business to which that land belongs (which is to say, it is THEIR business and THEIR land).

    That's all just a complicated way of saying "private ownership."

    That is in contrast with social ownership, which is understood to be the ownership of the land by a state, a government, or some other body empowered to act on behalf of large groups of people who share a common community or other similar grouping. THAT term is only as vague as it is because socialism is designed to be applicable to just about any political structure, from various levels of government up to and include the state itself.

    Where it gets interesting, IMO, is where libertarian socialism sort of dovetails into anarcho-capitalism. Arguably, the only difference between them is their initial starting point; when giant corporations buy out your entire government and private enterprise BECOMES the state, it is essentially the same outcome as socialism: a single entity (or collective group of them working together) owns the means of production while those who do the actual work are completely shut out. All that really means that is that socialism and capitalism fail for the exact same reasons, and in the exact same way.

    Which brings us full circle back to where this debate started. Capitalism is NOT the only system on the planet that can work, and it is prone to collapse, in some cases spectacularly. Those instances of economic collapse are usually caused by the removal of limiting factors on capitalism, allowing the sort of monopolistic tendencies that lead to the centralization of economic power so that a very small number of people control the majority of the wealth. Every time an economy becomes that top-heavy and unbalanced, it begins to shake itself apart, and the shellshocked locals pick up the pieces and try to reform the industry, reinstall the existing safeguards to prevent it from happening again.

    The OP's study is going a bit further by predicting a systemic collapse BEYOND mere economic models, particularly social and environmental problems resulting from over-consumption and shortsighted policies. He's clearly overstating his case, but there's something to be said for long-term stability (at least in comparison to the "Constant Growth is Good" paradigm in modern economics). Capitalism alone doesn't provide stability... not because of the nature of capitalism as a system, but because of the nature of people: we have some, we want more, and we don't like to be told that we can't. Capitalism is an economic system that rewards behaviors that, in any other context, would be described as "being a greedy fuck." Since socialism obviously isn't a viable solution, it seems to me we're long overdue for a new option.
     
  6. gturner

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    If you want to complicate it that way, but the deed lists the farmer as the owner, and doesn't say anything about farming. If you start a home business, you don't think of yourself as living in a house owned by the business you started - in the house you already owned, and you certainly wouldn't transfer the deed so that you'd have to move if you closed up shop and took a different job. Many farmers farm a bit on again, off again, depending on the local job market and tax breaks.

    I don't quite understand what you mean. In capitalism, the government owns very little actual production, traditionally a small national amory and some locks and dams. If it got bought out, that's all the buyer would own. Buying the government doesn't buy the country's businesses, any more than it would buy everyone's houses or televisions. How is a big corporation supposed to end up owning the means of production when most people won't even sell, such as most farmers? What would be the point of doing this since most farmers won't actually farm someone else's land unless forced to, and certainly wouldn't give up ownership if they can avoid it?

    Even in buying up other businesses, corporations have learned that becoming too diverse decreases efficiency, and they end up selling off most of the additions or splitting up. Even corporations know that no single organization can competently manage too many different endeavors in too many fields, and that they have to stay focused on their core competency or smaller, more specialized firms will eat them alive.
     
  7. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's my line, newtype.
    I simply pointed out that you don't know what you're talking about (minus the vulgarities*) - apropos this, I see you still managed not to read the article I pointed out to - and you responded by ad personams (which manage to be utterly unsupported) - such as the one I'm responding to.

    In other words - you don't even have the minimal courage/decency to admit when you're dead wrong. An utter joke. Not a surprise, though, considering your consistent on-line behavior.

    *Apropos this - you obviously managed to not even read my signature.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Point taken, but it's not THAT complicated. We have this odd 21st century notion that "corporations are people." In the economic environment where socialism evolved it was more common to think of people as corporations. That is, in fact, the underlying premise behind the institution of marriage: not so much a union of people, but the joining of franchises involving the exchange of property to signify unified cooperation between two families.

    In addition to the things he ALREADY owned, which is the point.

    Imagine a Frankenstein's monster of corporations and hedge funds -- groups of monopolies who have already cornered the market in their respective industries and between them control 95% of their country's wealth -- all joining together to from a megacorporation called "OCP" (movie buffs get the reference). OCP, which already owns everything else in America, decides to buy out the entire Federal government; BEFORE they bought the government, they essentially owned the means of production already, and now they control both the government AND the means of production. For all intents and purposes, OCP is the government AND OCP is the industry.

    The implication here is that a the same kind of things that happen under socialism will also happen in capitalism if the means of production are consolidated into the hands of a very powerful corporation. The only thing that checks that power is a government, and the moment that a corporation operating within a country becomes more powerful than the government, economic bedlam is the direct result (and no, market forces DO NOT check the monopolistic pressures of capitalism; this is the specific reason why antitrust laws were created in the first place).

    Which means socialism has the same basic failure mode as capitalism: a very small number of people control the means of production, and those who actually do the production are unable to make any sort of living off their own labor.

    Buyout artists and big banks don't have this problem. A billionaire with a keen understanding of banking practices can manage to purchase a dizzying number of disparate corporations and assert ownership over every single one of them without doing anything drastic to their core competencies. Picture if, say, Bank of America managed to buy Walmart, Newscorps, Nestle and AT&T all on the same day. They wouldn't have to do anything much except to start paying themselvs dividends from those companies, asserting control only gradually while delegating control of those companies to the people who otherwise already ran them.
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Any further posts of yours -- in ANY thread -- will be ignored.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    newtype_alpha, Edit_XYZ: That is enough from both of you. If you want to ignore each other, do it, stop sniping. If either one of you continues this squabble, it'll be an infraction.
     
  11. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Any of that government production ownership IS Socialism. Our country and nearly every other country in the world run a hybrid of Capitalism and Socialism. No sane person would want to live under a purely Capitalist or purely Socialist economy.
     
  12. gturner

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    But monarchies, aristocaracies, dictatorships, and oligarchies also control those, so how is socialism differentiated?
     
  13. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    How many times do you need this explained to you?

    Monarchy, aristocracy, dictatorship, and oligarchy describe certain kinds of political systems, without regard for the type of economic system they use.

    Capitalism and socialism are economic systems, and either may exist under any of the aforementioned political systems (as well as other political systems.)

    Where a country's political system intersects with its economic system is at a much more basic level. It's not about who runs the government (or who is in the government), but what rights are held by the people, to what degree those rights extend, and how those rights and commerce are regulated.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ What he said. Basically, socialism and capitalism differentiate depending on what portion of the economy is owned by the government, regardless of what KIND of government that implies. In capitalist economies, something like 80 to 90% of all production is done by private companies while in socialist economies something like 80 to 90% is done by state-run corporations. What's interesting is that, sometimes, the state-run corporations behave like capitalist (for profit) agencies anyway; Citgo, for example, is owned by the government of Venezuela, but at least in the United States they use some of the same franchising practices as, say, BP or Mobil.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  15. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Again, Socialism isn't a political system. It's an economic one. Why is this simple concept so hard for you to grasp?
     
  16. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I don't find this surprising at all, I even like how he's modeling this...I'd agree Earth is fucked, all things remaining equal...Earth is not sustainable to vastly accelerating human beings. All things do not have to remain equal however. I am almost certain that vastly accelerating humans will have hard choices to make, a transition period from what we do now, to new ideas will be difficult, even tumultuous, but as of right this second we have choices. So let's not disappoint ourselves.

    Capitalism is successful for our current state of development(in fact, stock markets are highly undervalued), but at some point, it will cease to be useful as our best economic model. I've seen speculations on what this new economy might be, but I have no idea exactly what will come to pass. Of course i have some preferences...or what i think are more likely:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-capitalism

    Guess which?
     
  17. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    That Wikipedia page is a mess, conflating political and economic systems all over the place and failing to distinguish what separates them from current forms of capitalism.

    Also, no points for failing to mention technates, which I think become more of a possibility as energy grows more and more crucial and must be managed more effectively.
     
  18. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I did notice it was a mess, if I wanted to use it as a comprehensive treatise on future economic systems it would be useless, but as a list it works just fine.

    BTW it does mention it is not a complete list.

    RAMA
     
  19. Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The UC system... I'm starting to roll my eyes already... :rolleyes:

    How am I supposed to seriously consider what this hippie has to say? :confused:

    Having easier access to food and cultural exchanges with people around the globe is a GOOD thing, Dumbass. :klingon:

    Those factors tend to reduce the chances of...

    1.) A war breaking out over resources (like foodstuffs and fertile lands for agriculture) or...

    2.) Some kind of misunderstanding between two country's leaders who lacked perspective on each other's mindset.