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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:01 AM

 

The Extremist Cult of Capitalism.

"Perhaps it's best to turn to someone who actually practiced the art: "Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class." Al Capone said that.

Capitalism is a cult. It is devoted to the ideals of privatization over the common good, profit over social needs, and control by a small group of people who defy the public's will. The tenets of the cult lead to extremes rather than to compromise. Examples are not hard to find."
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/21

It is a racket that is slowly, but surely, killing all of us.

38 replies, 2866 views

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Extremist Cult of Capitalism. (Original post)
MadHound Jan 2013 OP
Cary Jan 2013 #1
MadHound Jan 2013 #2
dotymed Jan 2013 #4
AlbertCat Jan 2013 #11
Cary Jan 2013 #23
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #28
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #5
Cary Jan 2013 #24
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #32
Cary Jan 2013 #33
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #34
Cary Jan 2013 #36
modrepub Jan 2013 #8
kenichol Jan 2013 #14
modrepub Jan 2013 #31
kenichol Feb 2013 #38
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #9
kenichol Jan 2013 #12
kenichol Jan 2013 #21
bemildred Jan 2013 #3
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #6
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #10
The Wizard Jan 2013 #7
libtodeath Jan 2013 #13
kenichol Jan 2013 #15
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #16
siligut Jan 2013 #18
pampango Jan 2013 #19
thetonka Jan 2013 #17
valerief Jan 2013 #20
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #22
MadHound Jan 2013 #25
thetonka Jan 2013 #27
starroute Jan 2013 #26
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #29
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #30
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #35
davidthegnome Jan 2013 #37

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:12 AM

1. I don't agree.

Capitalism certainly isn't perfect. Nothing is perfect.

Capitalism just has to be tempered by a strong political will and good government, which are easier said than done.

Radical capitalism, like what "conservatives" preach, is just a bad idea. It leads to concentration of wealth and power and these are bad things.

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:16 AM

2. Nice in the ideal, impossible in terms of the practical.

 

If you hadn't realized it already, Citizens United should have clued you in. Our government has basically been bought by corporate America, it is their way of keeping control of the people in this country.

I once thought like you, that if we just regulated capitalism tightly, it would all work out. Well, it hasn't and it won't. And we the people are going to be ground down to dust in the millstones of capitalism.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:50 AM

4. MadHound, I agree.

Capitalism cannot be "tamed," it is a vicious system. It used to be our economic system and it is now our form of government. Sure, FDR did a lot of things to regulate our economic system. Capitalists cannot allow regulation. It violates the definition.
IMO, we had our experiment and it failed (us) miserably. It has led us to the logical next step, fascism (corporatism). We are not a democracy.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:10 AM

11. Citizens United should have clued you in.

Citizens United was an epic fail in the last election!


Capitalism is not a governmental system. It is an economic system...which can be tempered and controlled by government. Government, OTOH, needs to not have a slogan like Reagan's "Greed is good." however.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:02 AM

23. And, if you haven't noticed, the way to counter big money is to organize.

You can't buy the votes of people who vote their own interests.

And actually it has worked. It just isn't easy. There is no magic wand. There is no "it would all work out." There is just hard work and if if we allow ourselves to get ground down then, well, the failure is our own failure. It is a never ending battle. It is a never ending dialectic.

Actually I take that back. If we lose then it may very well end but in the end we have no one to blame for that but ourselves. We have to fight and we have to win.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:40 AM

28. It can work very well within a framework of an absolute (small 'c') communistic society.

 

When the goal is societal sharing, the principles and mechanism of capitalism can work really well.

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:58 AM

5. If you lived in China, you would see its success as a product of Communism.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:03 AM

24. What makes you think China has "succeeded?"

That judgment is yet to come.

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Response to Cary (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:49 PM

32. Because they have all our jobs.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:07 PM

33. Not really.

It's a little more complicated than that. They are a work in progress and it's not all good.

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Response to Cary (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:10 PM

34. Yes, really. It's that simple. Communism WIN.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:22 PM

36. Brilliant "analysis"

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:12 AM

8. Competition

is the key to "good" capitalism. Without it you get huge inefficiencies and suffering. It also helps to have a good strong third party to establish and enforce general rules.

That said we are missing many elements from this basic formula. Companies do their best to stifle unwanted competition and all to often it's cheaper for them to buy into the political system then to actually comply with the law (guess how many laws are written by industry lawyers?).

Religion can also creep into this. While some believe good Judeo/Christian values can temper the harsh edges of capitalism there are enough sects that truly believe their success is a reflection of "God" blessing for their actions; the more money I make the more God loves me and approves what I'm doing.

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Response to modrepub (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:33 AM

14. Guess who will get the dough?

Competition, third parties, Judeo/Christian values, and the law have already been consumed by Mammon. You will be given just enough to get by as long as you are useful to the great God Mammon.

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Response to kenichol (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:59 AM

31. Who will get the dough?!?

Not those passive enough to allow it to happen. You have to work to keep things honest and you have to be willing to get involved otherwise you're just complaining.

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Response to modrepub (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:55 AM

38. And I've been an activist in my little corner of the world nt

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:20 AM

9. +1

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:22 AM

12. Mystical Thinking

Strong political will and good government has long been tempered by the greed inherent in capitalism. It is mystical thinking to believe that human nature combined with unmeasurable riches will produce anything but greed. The free market and capitalism, left unregulated, can only result in the eventual accumulation of all wealth into the hands of a very small group of people.

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Response to kenichol (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:57 AM

21. How unequal are we?

The richest 1 percent of Americans now own 40 percent of the nationís wealth!

The richest 1 percent of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9 percent.

The top 1 percent of Americans own half of the countryís stocks, bonds, and mutual funds: while the bottom 50 percent of Americans own only .5 percent of these investments.

The top 1 percent have 5 percent of the nationís personal debt while the bottom 90 percent have 73 percent of total debt.

Not only are the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans taking home a tremendous portion of the national income, but their share of this income is greater than at any other time since the Great Depression.

You get the idea.

Data lifted from: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/03/334156/top-five-wealthiest-one-percent/

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:45 AM

3. Yep, a secular dogma obviously inconsistent with the facts.

"There is a good answer for every questuion, neat, simple, and wrong."

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:00 AM

6. Capitalism has failed. Communism provides the worlds manufactured goods.

At least that's what my Chinese communist friends tell me (the ones from China).

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:45 AM

10. We get into trouble ...

when we conflate political systems with economic systems ... simply put, the US is a Democratic system of governance that practices a blend of economic socialism and capitalism; China is a Communistic system of governance that practices capitalism.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:02 AM

7. We're evolving into

predatory capitalism / social Darwinism where only the strongest survive. It's a very base approach to life and more suited to a primitive culture. Maybe the United States is a primitive culture.
Anyone who thinks the Book of Revelation is sound foreign policy.........

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:32 AM

13. Capitalism as it is today needs to die

maybe then we can honestly look at socialism as the best and fairest system.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:37 AM

15. Democratic Socialism

I think it will take a near total consumption of all wealth by capitalism for society to lay down its belief in the capitalist mythology. A socialist economy would require a strong democratic Socialism.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:39 AM

16. Denmark and Sweden are capitalist countries.

And they have generous social benefits and universal health care.

Perhaps capitalism is not always evil?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:51 AM

18. It is America's lack of patriotism

Not the cheap stuff the neo-cons generate. The real patriotism that comes with history.

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Response to siligut (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:57 AM

19. Too many Americans where 'patriotism' on their sleeves but do not really care about other Americans

the way that Danes and Swedes (for example) care about each other and protect each other. There is "flag-waving" patriotism and then there is "caring about your neighbors" patriotism.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:51 AM

17. Too many people do not know the definitions of the things they complain about


Take a good look at the two definitions below

cap∑i∑tal∑ism
noun \ˈka-pə-tə-ˌliz-əm, ˈkap-tə-, British also kə-ˈpi-tə-\
Definition of CAPITALISM
: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

so∑cial∑ism
noun \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
Definition of SOCIALISM
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2
a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

If you are honest and look at what these two systems are you will notice that the key difference is ownership. Under capitalism the individual can own capital, under socialism the individual can not own capital. In a perfect world with no greed, vanity or ambition in government socialism would be the best choice, but who here thinks we live in a world like that?

Under capitalism at least the individual has the right to ownership which is a better guarantee for freedom, liberty, and individual control of destiny and prosperity. Under socialism all are at the mercy of the government, or at least those that are in control of the government. A corrupt government in control of a socialist economy has far more control than a corrupt government in control of a capitalist economy.

Think about it this way, if the ultra-conservative republicans gained power over all three houses there is very little they could do to stop the people from owning property or owning, and thus control, their own means of production. If the same group was in charge of a socialist economy, they would control everything .... EVERYTHING!!!!!

The idealist reality needed for socialism to not be oppressive does not exist, and if you want to see how bad it can be just look at Cuba.

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Response to thetonka (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:57 AM

20. Under capitalism, only a handful own everything. That's how it ultimately works out.

Capitalism is NOT the answer.

Cuba was thwarted by capitalist embargoes.

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Response to thetonka (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:01 AM

22. Socialism is wonderful. Until the pigs keep all of the warm mash for themselves.

And send Boxer to the glue factory when he is too sick to work.

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Response to thetonka (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:10 AM

25. LOL!

 

"Under capitalism at least the individual has the right to ownership"

Do you own your house? No, you don't, not if you have a mortgage, the bank owns it. Even if your house is paid off, it can still be seized by the government for any number of reasons, failure to pay taxes, eminent domain, or having a few dope seeds lying around inconveniently.

In fact just about anything you "own" can be seized under the right circumstances, and sometimes no circumstances at all.

As far as which is better, that depends upon what form of capitalism or socialism that you're talking about. Capitalism, as we knew it forty-seventy years ago, actually worked well, because it was heavily regulated, and we had a strong social safety net in place to assist those who got hammered by the system. However today's capitalism is an entirely different animal. Poorly regulated, predatory, and frankly it has bought the government. Our social safety net is being shredded before our eyes, and those who can't make it out there are left to fend for themselves, or die.

Socialism has, and can work. Don't look at Cuba(though I actually think that it would have worked much better if the US hadn't made a concerted effort to destroy Cuba economically), but rather at Native Americans. They lived a pretty ideal socialist lifestyle, where virtually everything was owned in common. Granted, the kicker is how to scale that up from a tribal society to a much larger national society, but there it is.

But hey, thanks for being so very condescending, giving me definitions and everything like I'm some sort of sixth grader. For your information, I know quite a bit more about economics, socialism and capitalism than your trite little definitions, and probably more than you do in general. But hey, it makes you feel so very superior to be so very condescending, doesn't it.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:26 AM

27. I agree with everything you post

Both Capitalism and Socialism can work, but neither are inherently good or bad, they are just fundamental economic systems. Just as a road is not inherently good or bad, but can be used for good or bad or can be a good or bad environment depending on how it is used and how it is controlled/regulated capitalism and socialism can be used for good or bad or can be good or bad environments depending on how they are used and how they are controlled/regulated.

Blaming capitalism for the problems we see today ignores the real problem, failure on the part of government to represent and protect the people. I don't blame the road or the car when a drunk driver kills someone, I blame the drunk driver.

If we ignore the accepted definitions of words and instead elect to use perverted or manipulated definitions we can not communicate. Just look at the propaganda machine that is in place to label Obama and the Democratic Party as Socialists. It doesn't really matter if they are, the perception is enough to derail any conversation or debate about real issues. The perception of evil associated with the term "Socialist" is enough to make people run away without listen to a word the person or group labeled as "Socialist". The same goes for those that try to define "Capitalist" as evil. Both of these cases are not based in facts, reality, or accepted definitions, they are both based in fear, lies and the manipulation of terminology.


Instead of blaming a system for something it has no control over, blame the people and organizations that have abuse the system to their gain and others loss. You can find examples of this abuse with Socialist and Capitalist systems.



And yes I do have a mortgage, two in fact, and both are quite small. I have also owned my own businesses and worked for others. Personally I'd prefer the co-op ownership model, owned by individuals. This model works best under a capitalist economy where the co-op can be owned by the individuals, not the government. I do not trust government, specifically this government in the US, primarily because it is run by two political parties who are more interested in their party and platform than the people. Giving the decisions that have been made in the past by the government of this country, I would hate to see them in control of a Socialist economy.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:23 AM

26. Capone is closer to the heart of the matter than it might appear

When the feds finally nabbed Al Capone on tax evasion charges, it inspired Meyer Lansky -- the criminal genius of accounting -- to start devising the system of money-laundering and offshore banking that dominates our financial system today.

It took about thirty years for all the pieces to fall into place, but Lansky was patient, and by the 1960s the basics of the current setup had all been constructed -- with some help from the CIA, which had its own reasons for being interested in covert financial manipulations.

When the Mitt Romneys of this world stow their wealth in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands, they're making use of a system that was explicitly devised by Lansky to make sure that no high-profile crook would ever again have to suffer Capone's fate.

And this isn't just some kind of sad irony. It means that a system designed with purely criminal intentions has now morphed into the heart of capitalism. And it explains a lot of what is wrong with the world.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:45 AM

29. K&R!

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:47 AM

30. An excellent MLK quote on the subject:

 

Occupy Chicago ‏@OccupyChicago

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar..It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." #MLK

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:21 PM

35. rec

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:49 PM

37. Does anything else work better?

I'm not crazy about Capitalism, but as far as I know it works better than most other forms of government. I figure it's a choice of bad, worse - and terrible. Sort of like Capitalism, Socialism, Communism.

I've studied some world history, but the major workings of government and policy were never all that fascinating to me. As far as I can tell, pretty much all of them have sucked.

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