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PhilosophyGround >> Origins of Capitalism


7/17/04 6:06 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 17-Jul-04
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I confess my ignorance about philosophical economy´s origins. I never read The Capital by Marx, neither anything by Adam Smith. I only heard of them. Can someone please give me a link for a brief text about it? Savage capitalism has been playing lately a huge role on poverty around the world, and I´d like to know more about it. I work in a bank, I feel my hands tied as a simple worker, but I know I´m doing the wrong thing on the proper way, obeying orders. :-/ What would be a counter to such state of things?
7/19/04 11:54 AM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 19-Jul-04
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Thank you!
9/6/04 12:35 PM
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Savitar
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Edited: 06-Sep-04
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
9/6/04 1:48 PM
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populist
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Edited: 06-Sep-04
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Like a lot of philosophers of his time, particularly others of the Scottish enlightenment, Smith both explicitly and implicitly counted on moral philosophy and religious behavior codes to circumscribe the instrumental philosophy he was proposing. In other words, he assumed Enlightenment Christian Humanism (or whatever you want to call it) would always guide capitalists enough to limit how far capitalism would go. Smith explicitly speaks of the need to see market economics as a means to serve the greater good and advance opportunities for people to reach their potential. In the absence of, or at least the dramatic truncating of, that overarching philosophy, "capitalism" becomes a kind of amoral economic Darwinism. Profit is not seen as a means to the greater good but as an end in itself, in service to nothing except perhaps to the egos of those who best prevail. What to do about it? Get politically involved. On a more day to day basis, identify alternative economies and support them as well as you can, e.g., non-sweatshop products, farmers markets, co-ops, that sort of thing.
9/11/04 9:28 PM
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marck
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Edited: 11-Sep-04 09:30 PM
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Is there a better system for creating wealth and raising the absolute standard of living for everyone, including the poor? If you look at the stats of "poor" people in the US, it's clear they aren't so bad off if you look at it from an absolute standard. Poor people are fat here. In fact, people right at the poverty line in the US are wealthier than 80% of all people throughout the world. This is because capitalism gives a considerable incentive for people to create technologies that in the long run end up benefiting the poor. Without incentives to create, of which capitalism provides the most, the poor people would be fucked judged from an absolute standard of living.
9/12/04 12:20 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 12-Sep-04
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"Is there a better system for creating wealth and raising the absolute standard of living for everyone, including the poor?"

perhaps a mix of capitalism and socialism, like in the Scandinavian countries?

 

9/12/04 3:58 PM
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toddseney
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Edited: 12-Sep-04
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No system is fair. Capitalism is merely the lesser evil. Without the American economy, would Scandanavia be as successful?
9/12/04 4:30 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 12-Sep-04
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"Without the American economy, would Scandanavia be as successful? "

probably not, everything depends in one way or the other on eachother. How succesful would the American Economy have been if it couldn´t have loaned  a huge amount of money on very favorable terms from Great Britain and other European countries post WW2 to build up it´s industry?

How succesful would American economy be if the rest of the worlds Economy crashed, or perhaps just only Asias?

How succesful would Americas Econmy be, if there weren´t willing regimes in the thirld world that allowed your companies to outsource the expensive productionpart to their sweatshops?

Etc

 

9/13/04 6:30 AM
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toddseney
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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Thanks for proving my point, the USA is successful because of capitalism.
9/13/04 11:16 AM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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So having 30 millions of poor people is being successful?
9/13/04 12:00 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"How succesful would American economy be if..." Any amature economist can tell you that the success and richness of an economy comes from the freedom to choose what you do and what you want, and enough recources to allow for internal trade. As a poor person living in the U.S. i'm pretty fucking well off (yes i am significantly below the poverty line). There are ALWAYS options here. I know very little about this stuff, but based on personal experience, and from what i've learned from respectable economists and political scientists, i'm pretty sure that some form of capitalism is the way to go. Our system may be able to be improved on, but i'm not going to complain in the meantime. -doug-
9/13/04 1:47 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"So having 30 millions of poor people is being successful?" "In fact, people right at the poverty line in the US are wealthier than 80% of all people throughout the world."
9/13/04 2:05 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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so if I understand this last argument correct.. that it exists worst places to be, makes a certain system succesful?

So by that standard, the east European countries are succesful aswell, because after all, they are better of there, then in most countries in Africa.

9/13/04 2:34 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04 03:35 PM
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"so if I understand this last argument correct.. that it exists worst places to be, makes a certain system succesful?" If a certain system creates a certain % of people which that systems calls on the line of "poverty", and if those mentioned in that part of the system are, on average, wealthier than 80% of the world's population, then yes, compared to the rest of the world collectivley, that system is probably very successful.
9/13/04 4:58 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"If a certain system creates a certain % of people which that systems calls on the line of "poverty""

where do you draw that line? Is it arbitrary?

9/13/04 5:15 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"where do you draw that line? Is it arbitrary?" No, the Gov't does. That's where DonnoTroy got her 30 million figure from.
9/13/04 5:19 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"No, the Gov't does."

But I was asking you personally, since you seem to be ok with where the Govt draws the line.

The Government is made up of and gets their power through the people, the voters.

9/13/04 5:49 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"But I was asking you personally, since you seem to be ok with where the Govt draws the line." I was addressing Donnatroy's comment about 30 mil living in poverty in the US. Her criteria for arriving at that figure is the same as the Gov't. I don't see how your question has any relavence to the topic. I've personally never sat down and calculated income, how many per household and income, utilities, cost of housing, income and health issues, etc... to give some broad, personally contrived quantitative judgment about what constitutes poverty.
9/13/04 6:15 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"I don't see how your question has any relavence to the topic."

because you argued along the lines that "30 mil living in poverty in the US" is a sign of succes, just because there are poorer people elsewhere.

I asked you to explain that position, which atleast to me seemed quite strange.

"I've personally never sat down and calculated income, how many per household and income, utilities, cost of housing, income and health issues, etc... to give some broad, personally contrived quantitative judgment about what constitutes poverty."

I think then that you totally missed my point. I wasn´t asking about this.

9/13/04 6:25 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04 06:17 PM
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"because you argued along the lines that "30 mil living in poverty in the US" is a sign of succes, just because there are poorer people elsewhere." "I asked you to explain that position, which atleast to me seemed quite strange." And I explained my position as to why it could, given how the gov't defines poverty, be seen as a sign of success. If you missed it, here it is again: If a certain system creates a certain % of people which that systems calls on the line of "poverty", and if those mentioned in that part of the system are, on average, wealthier than 80% of the world's population, then yes, compared to the rest of the world collectivley, that system is probably very successful. Is it still strange to you? "I think then that you totally missed my point. I wasn´t asking about this." Here's your question: "But I was asking you personally, since you seem to be ok with where the Govt draws the line." You seemed to be asking me where I would draw the line. I responded by telling you I have not sat down and done the necessary calculations with all the variables to be able to "draw a line".
9/13/04 6:38 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"Is it still strange to you? "

Yes, because as I pointed out, your conclusion rests on the (imo) strange premise that a system is succesful aslong it exists worst places to be.

Have I understood you correctly so far?

"I responded by telling you I have not sat down and done the necessary calculations with all the variables to be able to "draw a line". "

Is that necessary? Can´t you have any opinion about this %, without making all that numbercrunching by yourself?

 

9/13/04 6:40 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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man, am I that bad explaining myself..?

*signs up for more englishlessons*

 

9/13/04 7:00 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"Yes, because as I pointed out, your conclusion rests on the (imo) strange premise that a system is succesful aslong it exists worst places to be." Here's an analogy: You have two machines that make widgets that vary in quality, machine 1 and machine 2. If machine 1 makes widgets where their defined category of bad widgets are often better than team 2's average or even above average widgets, then it is safe to assume that machine 1 is superior to machine 2. Machine 1 is the U.S. and capitalism, machine 2 is the rest of the world judged by whatever economic system(their machine)they are using to make widgets. IMO, just because a machine churns out defective widgets doesn't mean it's not a successful machine. You have to look at that machine compared to others. No machine is perfect, but that doesn't preclude some machines from being the best or at least better than others. "Is that necessary? Can´t you have any opinion about this %, without making all that numbercrunching by yourself?" % of what? We were talking about poverty lines, so I'm not sure what % you're talking about.
9/13/04 8:15 PM
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toddseney
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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So having 30 millions of poor people is being successful?

Poor people in the USA have color televisions and feast on McDonalds to the point where they are obese. They live better than kings did 1000 years ago.

The USA is the very definition of economic success.

9/13/04 9:04 PM
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marck
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Edited: 13-Sep-04
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"Poor people in the USA have color televisions and feast on McDonalds to the point where they are obese. They live better than kings did 1000 years ago." Here are some facts: 50% of the poor have A/C in their home. 70% have one or more cars. 60% have microwave ovens and VCR's. 72% have washing machines. 77% have telephones. 93% have at least one clor TV. 98% have a refrigerator. I didn't find the % that own their own homes, but I have heard it before and it is amazing.

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