New Study Says; Upperclass People More Unethical Than Others.

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Overhead:

By realising that 'unethical' is a massive scale where people can be involved in the exploitation and horrors of Capitalism to far greater and lesser degrees. As long as you're minimising the amount of unethical behaviour you undertake and trying to restructure society to tackle this problem, then your own minute failings are kind of overshadowed.

Cool. So you're defining "rich" as "rich enough to own two houses, a 50 inch plasma TV and a Ferrari, and since I have a mortgage, a 40 inch plasma TV and a Volvo, that's makes me one of the good guys". How convenient. You realise that to a truly poor person, both you and a "fat cat banker" would look functionally identical, right? A roof over your head, surplus food to eat, clean water, leisure time. You both eat, drink and shit, and I assure you that neither of your respective faeces smell of roses.

...and in turn, each of those labourers should only spend what they need, and give the rest of their wages away to the poor, right?

No.

WHY, in f*cks name? We've "established" that it's unethical to take any more than you need because apparently any surplus gained from an activity is at the direct expense of somebody else (a patently false premise, in my opinion). If the CEO isn't allowed to accrue wealth, why are the workers?

I'd refer to the upper class as the weak and stupid personally, but otherwise, yes. It is the entire basis of the Capitalist system. Profit is extracted from the labour of workers. If someone performs work in a day that is worth 100 once everything is taken into account that person won't be paid 100, they'll be paid 70.

This is basically that I'd said several times already, but I'm hoping this time it will click because this isn't a pet theory I've pulled out of my ass, this is the economic basis of Capitalism.

You keep holding up statements like "the boss doesn't directly work, and yet makes a profit" or "the workers earn less than their product retails for", and then assume that you've conclusively made your point. What your saying may be true enough in isolation but you still haven't shown WHY THIS IS A BAD THING.

Do you honestly not understand how the monetary system works? Every person within the system needs to make a living. Nobody is "being robbed" as you and your sources melodramatically put it, since nobody is being deprived of something they previously had, everybody profits, and nobody is made to work against their will (unless you consider it tyrannical to not have the option to sit at home all day and have your basic needs paid for by the state). You consider it unethical that at each stage of the process, each person "takes their cut" by adding value to the finished product, rather than working for free.

The ethics of wealth isn't just relative in terms of size, the socio-economic conditions upon which it is created make a real difference. Someone who got rich by buying a lottery ticket is different from someone involved in human traficking which is different from someone who invented a revolutionary item. So how do I earn my wealth in this example, because I can tell you up front I wouldn't be a business owner or investor if my life depended on it.

Yes and no. Firstly; yes there are obviously degrees of business ethics, with some kind of utopian joined-owned business at one end and slavery at the other. But how does owning a business or investing make you a bad person? In both cases you've had to supply a large amount of money, likely accrued by your own hard work, to fund a speculative venture which will have a net positive effect for everybody who works there (if it's successful). If the initial money was stolen or being the boss was a hereditary position then you might have a point.

Haven't both of those systems been shown to be flawed, and ironically even more vulnerable to greed and corruption than capitalism?

No.

Oh. Glad we cleared that up.

Seriously though, as long as there's a free market and no monopolies then capitalism is democratic. Workers have the freedom to work for whoever offers the best pay and conditions, consumers have the choice to buy the products which are highest quality or most competitively priced. Sure, there may be more-advantageous and less-advantageous positions to hold in this system, but as long as competition keeps everybody honest(ish) and social mobility is attainable, how is this broken?

[edit]I read the first link, and pretty sure I already read the second one. Both are fallacious bits of prose which seems to be wilfully naive in attempting to deconstruct the concept of "profit" as some underhanded conjuring trick, and the lower-classes as the audience who is being duped. The third link is a genuine TL;DR.

Kopikatsu:

Hap2:
Laws can be unethical, just as some form of ethics are not necessarily laws. Just because it may be legal to kill someone, does not necessarily mean killing them is ethical. Case in point, the Holocaust and Nazi Germany during World War II towards people viewed as being of an 'inferior race'.

That's actually a good example of my point. You say that killing people because they're considered to be inferior is unethical because of your individual set of morals, which have been imposed on you by your family, the society you live in, and shaped by your own experiences. For the Aryans, there was nothing morally reprehensible about killing inferior beings in the same way that one might crush an ant without a second thought. To you and the society you live in, such behavior/beliefs are unethical. For them and the society that they were a part of, it was not.

'Human rights' are no more than words on paper; and are largely meaningless. A human has no inherent value, thus no inherent rights; they are only worth what society deems their value at. For example, the POTUS has a large number of armed guards who are willing to die for him, as well as bullproof windows on his vehicles and such. As an ordinary citizen, you do not have the same value as the President. His life is demonstrably worth more than yours. (I add this part because I'm sure the immediate response to the first part is 'HUMAN RIGHTS SAYS IT'S UNETHICAL ANYWAY.') This is also why the death of Osama bin Laden was celebrated as opposed to the death of Milita Guy #49384.

You dodged or missed this point which I will repeat: Ethics can be influenced by society (amongst other things), but they are not based off of it necessarily. You do not have enough information to start blindly claiming that my sense of ethics were imposed upon me without my direct discretion and involvement in their creation, as if my sense of ethics only exist due to some deterministic nonsense and I were a vacuum. My will and my capability for critical thought are also involved in how I value things - I am responsible for my ethics, for I (that is, my will) am never not involved in their creation. For the record, my sense of ethics, though it may share some aspects with others, is still very much different from that of my parents and that of the society I live in. Although my perspective may be limited, I decide for myself whether I find something to be ethical or not. While I do not doubt there are those who have an ethics merely imposed upon them without criticism or involvement in their creation, do not assume that every person's sense of ethics must necessarily be so.

When did this become a discussion on human rights? If we are speaking from the universe's point of view, then yes, human rights do not matter - the universe itself cannot have ethics for it is not a being and does not have a particular perspective. Matter is still matter at the end of the day. However, since we can never be that point of view, what is your point? Objectively speaking, humans value other humans, albeit for very different reasons depending on the individual. You seem to agree with that notion yourself, given the examples you have provided.

However, you still have not made an argument for the supposed connection between laws and ethics. Rather, you have shown that some people are valued more than others within society, which I am unsure as to how that relates to what it was I said.

generals3:
My point was that determining said "surplus value" is near impossible.

I don't see why it's impossible.

For one, governments frequesntly do analysis of this kind anyway.

For one: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1863/theories-surplus-value/ch00.htm

For two: Governments tend to do the kind of investigations and intepretations of productivity and value needed to calculate surplus value at the moment anyway: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/productivity/labour-productivity/q3-2012/stb-lprod-q312.html#tab-Key-Points

It's not something I could do off the top of my head with just a pen and pencil, but governments have been doing in depth economic analysis of this kind for decades.

For all you know there are big companies that reward their workers what they actually deserve to get.

There are a very few that get there or close to doing so but these are exceptions, like the John Lewis Partnership where every single one of the 80,000+ employees is a partner of the business. In a typically structured company with investors and the like, that won't and indeed can't be the case.

And sure CEO's can make bad decisions too, but in the grand scheme of things you never know how much value they create/destroy.

With a multi-billion dollar company you're not going to know to the penny, but there's no reason that using benchmarks, economic forecasting and comparisons to competing businesses that you can't calculate the effect of high-level strategy.

And i would say enabling value creation is in itself creating value.

Nice tautology.

Also investors don't enable creation, they stymie every single avenue of creating value except the one they want.

Well it also depends on what you consider rich. I took a broad definition of rich considering I knew you're very left leaning (i thus included the upper middle class, to which many independents belong). And I didn't try to imply all independents were rich just that there are.

I don't even talk about rich or poor really when I can help it. Social status and interaction with the economic set-up is more important than wealth.

Cool. So you're defining "rich" as "rich enough to own two houses, a 50 inch plasma TV and a Ferrari, and since I have a mortgage, a 40 inch plasma TV and a Volvo, that's makes me one of the good guys". How convenient. You realise that to a truly poor person, both you and a "fat cat banker" would look functionally identical, right? A roof over your head, surplus food to eat, clean water, leisure time. You both eat, drink and shit, and I assure you that neither of your respective faeces smell of roses.

Batou667:
Cool. So you're defining "rich" as "rich enough to own two houses, a 50 inch plasma TV and a Ferrari, and since I have a mortgage, a 40 inch plasma TV and a Volvo, that's makes me one of the good guys". How convenient. You realise that to a truly poor person, both you and a "fat cat banker" would look functionally identical, right? A roof over your head, surplus food to eat, clean water, leisure time. You both eat, drink and shit, and I assure you that neither of your respective faeces smell of roses.

You totally missed the point there. I don't mean that in the arrogant way where people assume that they are 100% correct and that because someone continues to disagree with you they didn't understand, but rather it's really obvious you didn't get what I was saying.

I said that it is an ethical scale. So someone who lives a working class life and doesn't directly exploit others through their job, but does cause suffering through their consumption of commodities and unthinking support of the Capitalist system is better than a rich Capitalist who has a direct hand in supporting their employees and is an active and vocal supporter of the Capitalist system who is worse than a human trafficker who isn't just economically exploiting people and perpetuating a system but is also directly harming and abusing people.

It's a sliding scale where we can say people are more or less unethical, but there's no set percent of engagement with the capatilist system which suddenly becomes unequivocally ethical. Numerous shades of grey as it were.

Your example is the exact opposite of what I said because it's goes into absolutes. Once a person reaches a set level of wealth you're calling them flat out good. Once they reach a certain level of wealth you're calling them bad. Not only does it ignore the way the people engage with the system rather than how much money they happen to have to hand, but you're assuming that I've said the direct and total opposite of what I actually said.

WHY, in f*cks name? We've "established" that it's unethical to take any more than you need because apparently any surplus gained from an activity is at the direct expense of somebody else (a patently false premise, in my opinion). If the CEO isn't allowed to accrue wealth, why are the workers?

Because it's the system that is the core problem. The solution you've come up with is a roundabout way of trying to deal with what's wrong. The solution isn't to make people give back the money, it's to stop the exploitation that's happening in the first place so that giving back money you've exploited is not only uneccesary but also impossible.

It's widescale systematic change that's needed.

I'd refer to the upper class as the weak and stupid personally, but otherwise, yes. It is the entire basis of the Capitalist system. Profit is extracted from the labour of workers. If someone performs work in a day that is worth 100 once everything is taken into account that person won't be paid 100, they'll be paid 70.

This is basically that I'd said several times already, but I'm hoping this time it will click because this isn't a pet theory I've pulled out of my ass, this is the economic basis of Capitalism.

You keep holding up statements like "the boss doesn't directly work, and yet makes a profit" or "the workers earn less than their product retails for", and then assume that you've conclusively made your point. What your saying may be true enough in isolation but you still haven't shown WHY THIS IS A BAD THING.

Tens of millions of people are dying from preventable causes each year, lacking the money to cure themselves because of capitalist exploitation and the labour aristocracy.

Billions of people live lives of unnecessary poverty and suffering for the very same reason.

The vast majority of people on earth are having the profit of the work they do taken from them to benefit a small elite of capitalists.

Do you honestly not understand how the monetary system works? Every person within the system needs to make a living.

Make a living?

Nobody is "being robbed" as you and your sources melodramatically put it, since nobody is being deprived of something they previously had

If my bank illegally creamed off 5% of my salary as it was being transferred from my employer to my bank account, I'd consider it robbery. Regardless, this is a lexical point. If you think the word doesn't apply then use a different word. Whichever name you give it, the process is still the same and that's what you need to be dealing with if you want to make your point.

everybody profits

Only for specific definitions of profit and only compared to a certain level. You can just as easily say everyone profited under feudalism. Sure the peasants had to give much of what they produced to their lord, but they kept a portion of it so they profited from the work they were doing.

I'm sure we can agree that we're not fans of feudalism even if 'everyone profited' under a certain definition of the word due to the socio-economic make-up of how it operated and due to to the conditions it caused even as people 'profited'. That's the same arguement I'm making against Capitalism.

and nobody is made to work against their will (unless you consider it tyrannical to not have the option to sit at home all day and have your basic needs paid for by the state).

Sorry, no. Due to the capitalist system still encouraging profit there are literally ten(s) of millions of slaves in the world today who work against their will in the most literal sense.

More applicable to today, yes, people do work against their will. Do I or the majority of people in my workplace (or in most workplaces) want to work their job they're in, with the pay they get, with the lack of control over their work life and have they always done so? I find it hard to believe.

Also, no-one has a gone to people's heads but you can't say that people aren't under duress to work. If people don't work they lose out economically, socially, they downgrade their children's futures, will be medically more at risk, etc, etc. That's of course in a nice country like our own where there's welfare. In many countries, you work or you risk starving to death.

You consider it unethical that at each stage of the process, each person "takes their cut" by adding value to the finished product, rather than working for free.

I consider it unethical that many people miss out on a good amount of their cut, sometimes even the majority, so that someone who has added no value but had money to invest in ownership of the means of production can take their cut for them.

But how does owning a business or investing make you a bad person? In both cases you've had to supply a large amount of money, likely accrued by your own hard work

Supplying money isn't in and of itself ethical, regardless of how it was accrued. Also in regards to accrued by their own hard work, all I have to say is pffffffffff.

to fund a speculative venture which will have a net positive effect for everybody who works there (if it's successful).

A net positive compared to what? Dying in the street?

To hark back to my prior example, making people your feudal serves is a net positive compared to no-one doing anything and civilisation falling apart. They benefit and can still live happy lives. That doesn't mean that it's not shitty and awful or that the fact that they in some way comparatively benefit excuses the inherent negatives and exploitation which is unnecessary.

Capitalism is better than feudalism. It's better than tribalism. However it still has a lot of flaws which can be avoided with a democratic economic structure like Socialism, compared to which the workers are experiencing a net negative.

Seriously though, as long as there's a free market and no monopolies then capitalism is democratic.

No it's not. This is just so crazy and out there I don't even know what to say.

That's an exaggeration, I know exactly what to say which is to point out how that isn't the case with just a cursory examination.

I mean the very first neo-liberal Chicago School experiment was with the overthrow of democratically elected socialist Salvadore Allende in Chile, where he was then replaced by Pinochet's Capitalist military dictatorship who enacted the most extreme free-market measures seen at that point in history. The entire Southern Cone of South America soon followed. There's the USA's friendly dictatorships in the Middle east. The chaos and anarchy and strong-man presidents of many parts of Africa. The corruption and nepotism and essential of newly (well, comparitively) Capitalist China and Russia.

Also are we talking about representing democracy in general or just being democratic internally? If I get to mention all the democratic leaders the USA had overthrown, killed or tried to have overthrown/killed then this gets even more ridiculous.

Workers have the freedom to work for whoever offers the best pay and conditions

Workers are forced to work for others, who will pay them as little as possible and make them work in the worst conditions they can (generally speaking, of course).

consumers have the choice to buy the products which are highest quality or most competitively priced

Consumers are limited to the quality and quantity of what they can buy based on the job they are forced to work.

Sure, there may be more-advantageous and less-advantageous positions to hold in this system, but as long as competition keeps everybody honest(ish) and social mobility is attainable, how is this broken?

Tens of million dying. Billions in poverty. Majority of people alive today being in the less advantageous position for no ethical reason but merely for reasons of exploitation.

[edit]I read the first link, and pretty sure I already read the second one. Both are fallacious bits of prose which seems to be wilfully naive in attempting to deconstruct the concept of "profit" as some underhanded conjuring trick, and the lower-classes as the audience who is being duped. The third link is a genuine TL;DR.[/quote]

They sum it up rather well, if briefly. What did you disagree with?

Overhead:
enormous snip for the sake of my sanity

Look, perhaps we are using two very different definitions and arguing past each other as a result. I have two main problems with what you're saying:

1 - Your belief that only workers - and preferably manual workers working in a primary industry, judging by your examples - "add value" and therefore anybody else in the system is a blood-sucking parasite. That's naive and simplistic. What about somebody who works in telecommunications, or entertainment, or education? At what point can we say "oh, the employees up to middle management all add value to the company, higher management and upwards are freeloading oligarchs"? We can't. Where would the lower-downs be without the higher-ups to enable their productivity, secure the contracts that allow their continued employment, balance the books, hire the lawyers to fend off copyright infringements, and so on? Sure, we could have a discussion about whether a CEO's pay is proportional to their actual contribution, but your argument has never been about shades of grey, but talking in terms of absolutes.

2 - Your whole argument revolves around nebulously-defined lines in the sand. At which point is personal wealth "immorally" large? At what stage of management are you an evil blood-sucker?

Look, I was browsing Youtube and in a genuine "Saw this and thought of you" moment (how romantic, huh?) came across this from Penn Gilette:

http://youtu.be/i3LnVa7zXgc

(6:00-6:30) Gilette points out the hypocrisy of anti-Capitalists - Occupy protestors in this case. Wealth is all relative and on a global scale, even the most righteous OWS protestor would find themselves in the 1%. The average protestor has a monthly cellphone bill that is bigger than the food budget of a third world family. This is what I was saying before: just because you're not conspicuously rich in comparison to other first-worlders doesn't mean you should start putting on undeserved airs of superiority. In the big scheme of things you're just as disproportionally rich as the average banker.

Yes, capitalism has some flaws. Capitalism as practiced to date certainly has shown that there's often a gross disparity in pay scales and plenty of scope for third-world exploitation.

Let me finish with a couple of questions. First: would you be satisfied with a more benign version of capitalism, where self-policing led to more equity in pay and ethical use of nonrenewables, third-world workers, etc, or is Capitalism irreversibly rotten to the core? Secondly, if not Capitalism, then what? Please don't just say "Marxism" and leave it there. Perhaps you could describe what an average working day would be like for me in a functional Marxist utopia?

I'm still convinced that capitalism is the least-worst system.

Batou667:
1 - Your belief that only workers - and preferably manual workers working in a primary industry, judging by your examples - "add value" and therefore anybody else in the system is a blood-sucking parasite. That's naive and simplistic.

Nope, people other than manual workers create value. For instance, when I said that CEOs can destroy value I phrased it as "CEOs can just as easily take value as create it", so I was acknowledging that people who aren't manual labourers can create value while also giving a more rounded and accurate view of thing by pointing out that's not always true. I've never held the position you're accusing me of.

What about somebody who works in telecommunications, or entertainment, or education? At what point can we say "oh, the employees up to middle management all add value to the company, higher management and upwards are freeloading oligarchs"? We can't. Where would the lower-downs be without the higher-ups to enable their productivity, secure the contracts that allow their continued employment, balance the books, hire the lawyers to fend off copyright infringements, and so on?

And I never suggested we did anything of the kind. When it came down the the analysis, I pointed out that governments and businesses have sophisticated analytic tools developed by academic experts over the decades for analysing productivity, efficiency and tracking profit and indicated that gives us an appropriate starting position and toolset. How from that you got "Let's draw a line in the sand to divide thhe good guys form the bad guys" I don't know.

Sure, we could have a discussion about whether a CEO's pay is proportional to their actual contribution, but your argument has never been about shades of grey, but talking in terms of absolutes.

I have never given an absolute about "people who earn this much are good and people who earn less then that are bad." I'm sorry but you're making stuff up. Actually quote me saying that and I'll explain what I meant, because in every single post I'm explaining again and again how I'm not talking about absolutes.

IN the first post where we start talking about it, I state

"Being rich means engaging in a system which impoverishes billions and kills tens of millions a year. Giving a small portion of your wealth back to charity so that a small portion of the harm caused in the process of accumulating your wealth can be counteracted does not constitute positive change. It's comparatively better to exploit people and give something back than to exploit people and hoard your wealth of course, but that doesn't make it good or ethical."

From the very first time it was brought up, I was talking about a sliding scale of morality where thigns aren't black or white but different shades of grey.

In my next post I again talk about levels of ethical behaviour, stating that even my low level engagement with the Capitalist system was unethical, although pointing out that there were people committing far more unethical consumerist activities:

"It's unethical of me to spend 18 on the Walking Dead video game when that could buy several courses of anti-malaria treatment for people in at risk countries, I admit that. But it's far less unethical than buying a new luxury sports car worth 90,000 which could create massive positive change in whole communities."

I then continued this throughout post:

"Oh, wait, no I explicitly said in my post that my behaviour was unethical and the bit you've quoted simply ignores the point that I built upon this bit, that the scale of unethical behaviour of the upper class compared to the working class in terms of their engagement in the capitalist system and their exploitation of others is massively different."

After post:

"By realising that 'unethical' is a massive scale where people can be involved in the exploitation and horrors of Capitalism to far greater and lesser degrees. As long as you're minimising the amount of unethical behaviour you undertake and trying to restructure society to tackle this problem, then your own minute failings are kind of overshadowed."

After post:

"I said that it is an ethical scale. So someone who lives a working class life and doesn't directly exploit others through their job, but does cause suffering through their consumption of commodities and unthinking support of the Capitalist system is better than a rich Capitalist who has a direct hand in supporting their employees and is an active and vocal supporter of the Capitalist system who is worse than a human trafficker who isn't just economically exploiting people and perpetuating a system but is also directly harming and abusing people."

I don't think I could have been clearer, so if you still don't get it quote the bit where you think I'm saying that there's a certain level of wealth you go over and you suddenly become unethical and below that level you're ethical. I haven't said it, in fact I've said the opposite again and again and again, so whatever's made you think that is just a misreading of something I've said.

2 - Your whole argument revolves around nebulously-defined lines in the sand. At which point is personal wealth "immorally" large? At what stage of management are you an evil blood-sucker?

How do you mean immoral? Immoral to any degree at all, even if it's only the tiniest instance of immorality or completely immoral with not a single redeeming feature?

If it's the former, being anyone other than the world's poorest person (with PPP taken into account). With the latter, owning all the wealth in the world.

That's why absolutes are stupid and why I'm not talking in absolutes.

Look, I was browsing Youtube and in a genuine "Saw this and thought of you" moment (how romantic, huh?) came across this from Penn Gilette:

(6:00-6:30) Gilette points out the hypocrisy of anti-Capitalists - Occupy protestors in this case. Wealth is all relative and on a global scale, even the most righteous OWS protestor would find themselves in the 1%. The average protestor has a monthly cellphone bill that is bigger than the food budget of a third world family.

Yes, that is exactly the point I've been making.

Remember when I said:

"It's unethical of me to spend 18 on the Walking Dead video game when that could buy several courses of anti-malaria treatment for people in at risk countries, I admit that. But it's far less unethical than buying a new luxury sports car worth 90,000 which could create massive positive change in whole communities."?

I've already made this point to you! It's not even especially new. Lenin talked about it almost a decade ago and it was called the labour aristocracy. I've even referred to it as such in this thread.

Although Penn is obviously innumerate seeing as it's impossible for everyone in the USA to be in the top 1%, what with it having about 4.5% of the world's population.

This is what I was saying before: just because you're not conspicuously rich in comparison to other first-worlders doesn't mean you should start putting on undeserved airs of superiority. In the big scheme of things you're just as disproportionally rich as the average banker.

No, I'm not. My disproportionate income has never slipped my mind. Why would you bring it up after I myself have brought it up in several of my posts, suddenly make someone incredibly rich less so?

Let me finish with a couple of questions. First: would you be satisfied with a more benign version of capitalism, where self-policing led to more equity in pay and ethical use of nonrenewables, third-world workers, etc, or is Capitalism irreversibly rotten to the core?

The requirements for what I'd consider an ethical economic system can't achieved under capitalism. Capitalism requires profit, which requires a surplus value to be extracted, which requires exploitation, which then results in awful socio-economic conditions for the majority of people on earth.

At the point where you've changed it enough to be acceptable, it wouldn't be Capitalism.

The more you reform Capitalism and fight against it's most extreme depravities the better it gets and I'm glad that's the case, but rounding off a few corners isn't enough.

Secondly, if not Capitalism, then what? Please don't just say "Marxism" and leave it there. Perhaps you could describe what an average working day would be like for me in a functional Marxist utopia?

Democratic socialism transitioning to Communism.

How much so you know about democratic socialism already. if I said institute workplace democracy like a Wobbly Shop, would that make sense? It's just if I go in depth with this and want to be accurate, it would take me forever.

Basically your workplace would be democratic so you could vote or elect representatives to make structural decisions. Workplaces would be controlled by the workers, perhaps in a market-socialism style at first but hopefully transitioning to a democratic form of exchange as quickly as is possible. Pay would be generally equalised although there would still be some variability and it wouldn't be everyone on exactly the same wage.

Overhead:
Another huge snip

Look, I appreciate you trying to explain this but I still just don't get what it is you're proposing to replace capitalism with. Capitalism has the potential for being abused and for exploiting workers, I agree, but surely this could be fixed by either (optimistically) more ethical self-regulation or (cynically) government regulations. We already have human rights laws, a minimum wage, and so on. Your burning desire to hurl out baby along with the bathwater seems bizarre and unfounded.

You insist that there's a spectrum of unethical practices and it's all "shades of grey", and yet in the same sentence you're willing to make blanket statements like "all investors are immoral" and you keep singing the praises of those damn sainted proletariat workers who apparently can do no wrong - so, yes, you are delineating a clear good-bad divide. And for the life of me I can't see how that's motivated by anything other than Tall Poppy Syndrome and a teeth-grinding hatred of some straw-man Dickensian capitalism that doesn't seem to have a real-world equivalent.

Anyway, we're not getting anywhere fast, so I'm out for now. Cheers.

Batou667:
Look, I appreciate you trying to explain this but I still just don't get what it is you're proposing to replace capitalism with.

Democratic Socialism. I've gone over the very basics of it with you, but laying out an entire socio-economic theory is a bit much for an online messageboard discussion. If you've got any specific questions then I'll answer them, but otherwise I suggest getting a book or googling if you want to understand the basics.

Capitalism has the potential for being abused and for exploiting workers, I agree, but surely this could be fixed by either (optimistically) more ethical self-regulation or (cynically) government regulations.

The problems caused by Capitalism can be mitigated but it can never be made utopian and perfect. For one I doubt any system could do that as human nature is too chaotic and unpredictable, but more specifically for Capitalism is that it's defining features rely on exploitation.

Capitalism relies on people with Capital investing money in a company and generating a profit. How is a profit generated? By extracting the surplus value from labour. And if you remember, the specific definition of exploitation that I am using is the extraction of surplus value from labourers.

So no, the only way it can be fixed is if it stops generating profits for capitalists, in which case it is no longer Capitalism.

We already have human rights laws, a minimum wage, and so on. Your burning desire to hurl out baby along with the bathwater seems bizarre and unfounded.

I'm not suggesting to do anything to weaken welfare, which isn't connected to Capitalism anyway except in that Capitalism in itself is so bad at meeting the needs of people that nations are basically required to enact welfare to look after their citizens.

As stated, I'm suggesting we get rid of a system which causes tens of millions of deaths a year, leaves billions of people living in poverty and the majority of the world exploited.

You insist that there's a spectrum of unethical practices and it's all "shades of grey", and yet in the same sentence you're willing to make blanket statements like "all investors are immoral"

Those are not mutually exclusive statements. All investors are immoral (Unless as stated before they give all profits back to others for the purpose of the common good). That does not mean that all investors are equally as immoral as each other due to either the nature of their investments (Arms trade vs green energy) or their personal lives (miserly scrooge vs orphan adopting philanthropist) or that people who aren't investors aren't more or less immoral (Investors vs a nurse, investors vs a member of a 3rd world death squad).

So just to be very VERY clear for the umpteenth, I was saying they are immoral. That is true. I've also said I'm immoral, you're immoral and pretty much everyone is immoral. I did not say that the level of immorality between us and investors or between investors themselves is all the same or that any of them are in any way totally immoral with no redeeming features.

I'll use an easy example:

image

Are the colours above green? Yes, they are all green. Are they different greens with different levels of brightness and hue? Yes.

and you keep singing the praises of those damn sainted proletariat workers who apparently can do no wrong - so, yes, you are delineating a clear good-bad divide

Wrong

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/528.397846.16271538

"It's also worth pointing out that everyone is complicit to a degree. Even if you just lived off bread and milk and donated everything else to charity, that bread and milk would still be produced by a capitalist system reliant on mass exploitation. There simply isn't an alternative to engaging in the system to at least a small extent."

One of the very first things I pointed out is how pretty much everyone is complicit. I've no idea where you're getting this from seeing as you're quoting me saying the exact opposite.

And for the life of me I can't see how that's motivated by anything other than Tall Poppy Syndrome and a teeth-grinding hatred of some straw-man Dickensian capitalism that doesn't seem to have a real-world equivalent.

Well I honestly can't see your thought process seeing as in the last few posts you haven't even been referencing things I've said, you've been taking what I've said, assuming the complete opposite and then attacking this strawman you've just made.

I can see why you don't quote me any more, seeing as if you quote me saying "and here is how everyday people are complicit and immoral" it's hard for you to pretend that I'm saying they're saintly and perfect, or if I say there are shades of immorrality then quoting that makes it hard for you to pretend I said there are absolutes of good and evil.

I mean honestly, throughout this topic there must be about 20 different points you've brought up which I have thoroughly answered and then you have just dropped the point because there's no rebuttal you can make.

You don't know why I'm motivated to say what I'm against Capitalism? This whole thread I've been explaining it and you've been trying to rebut it and failed.

I provided literary and academic sources which you said didn't count, but when I asked you to explain why they didn't count you didn't reply.

When you said how Capitalism gives everyone good nice lives and it's not like you've got dickensian style child labour and I pointed out that Capitalism enables the 100 million child labourers currently working today, you dropped that point without any rebuttal.

When you tried to make a point that many people are content under Capitalism so it therefore must be good, I pointed out the flaw in your logic by mentioning how that would mean feudalism was alright as many peasants were happy under their lords and you were making an argumentum ad populum arguement and you never came back on that.

You tried to draw on social mobility as the saving grace of Capitalism, until I pointed out that there is a negative correlation between the income inequality which is exacerbated by the free market and social mobility and that it was a moot point seeing as social mobility just means some of the rich and poor change places - not that there aren't poor suffering starving people. Yet another Batou arguement that you never tried to rescue.

You accused me of making a priori arguments until I pointed out that you didn't seem to even know what that meant because the context was wrong. You didn't make the accusation again after that.

You tried to point out how spending money on humanitarian aid rather than personal luxury would cause there to be less demand for personal luxuries and therefore less jobs, at which point I explained how spending the money on humanitarian aid would just create jobs in sectors related to that instead.

That's just from a brief flick through. You've brought up point after point which it turns out you're unable to defend and now in your last couple of posts you're not even quoting me, avoiding every single point I've made (presumably because you can't answer them) and instead just making your own points which in themselves are strawmen because they accuse me of making statements which are the direct and total opposite of what I've actually said.

If that's all you're going to post fine, that's up to you. However I just want to make it clear that as far as I'm concerned, I've torn apart every argument, every fallacy and every faulty understanding you've thrown at me and you're not posting because everything you have to say has been comprehensively rebutted.

Overhead:
snip

Yikes.

Sorry if that's the impression you got, but after trying to engage with your argument from a few different directions I just found myself unable to swallow any of the truths you assured me were self-evident or alternatives which you assured me were better (but didn't mention how). If the most concise precis on the subject you can provide equates to several evenings of self-study then I'm afraid I'll have to pass, thanks.

Batou667:

Overhead:
snip

Yikes.

Sorry if that's the impression you got, but after trying to engage with your argument from a few different directions I just found myself unable to swallow any of the truths you assured me were self-evident or alternatives which you assured me were better (but didn't mention how). If the most concise precis on the subject you can provide equates to several evenings of self-study then I'm afraid I'll have to pass, thanks.

Ignoring my entire argument so you can just bang on about what you want to without having to engage with anything I've said, misrepresenting what I'm saying by making up the complete opposite of what I've directly and consistently stated and trying to raise arguments but quickly dropping them when you realise you can't support them don't constitute engaging my argument.

As for me not explaining how, the one bit I've not explained is basically summing up the entirety of Marxism for you because that would take hours of effort and just as easily be accomplished by you sticking it into google. Everything else I have directly and totally addressed. If you disagree then please quote it. In fact, for you to even bring this up is massively hypocritical. In your last three posts you've ignored everything I've said, not bothered to respond to any point and just started talking about your own points as if what I'd written was invisible.

Lastly the most concise piece I could link you to but that still had enough depth was a 10 minute youtube video, the very first link I offered, which you wouldn't watch because it was too long and the person had an accent. I also linked you to two pieces of fiction which sum up the ideas a bit more roughly and you said that you didn't like them but refused to say why or offer any reasoning. I also gave a basic explanation written by myself which you ignored and didn't bother to respond to.

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