EnviroLink Forum

Community • Ecology • Connection
It is currently Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:33 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:56 am 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Capitalism is the driving force in the destruction of the non-human world and natural resources. Due to the nature of capitalism, the requirement of constant expansion, it will consume the planet and massively degrade human life, if not worse. 'Greening' and technological innovation cannot change this, it might possibly slow the consumption of resources but it can also accelerate it as per Jevon's Paradox. The dictum in business is 'grow or die', if you don't play by those rules you will not be a capitalists for long, you'll not see may bailing for the common good, such a thing does not exist in the operations of capital.

Some might wish to blame 'industry', this is foolish and futile. First, there is no going back to some idyllic Pleistocene existence, this is impossible, the great herds are gone, the human population is great, the world is hugely altered. What those who endorse such a vision think about reducing human population to the 'appropriate' level makes me very leery.

Industry in capitalist society has one aim, to deliver profits to the capitalist. To be sure value which people desire must be produced but this is secondary to the primary goal. Capitalism takes no account of so-called 'externals, the environmental damage of resource extraction, pollution. No place on the balance sheet for that and attempts to shoe-horn this concept onto capitalism meets great resistance and 'greenwashing'. Capitalism is anarchic, every capitalist produces as much as possible with little regard to overall human need, as long as they can sell their product they don't care if their competitors product goes to the landfill, there is incredible waste. Were industry operated according to human needs this incredible waste might be greatly reduced by planning. And as science confirms more every day, 'human need' includes a viable environment, 'ecosystem services', even biodiversity.

Of course the toll taken on the masses of humanity are well documented, the majority must live in marginal conditions so the the few can live very well indeed. There must be unemployment in order that workers will accept low wages which make the capitalist's profits. As in England three hundred years ago people are driven off the land in Africa and Asia to make way for capitalist agriculture. The people must go to urban ghettos and take whatever work is offered at less than living rates. And the land is intensively exploited with an eye to the next quarter and not the next generation.

Capitalism alters the way we live entirely for it's own purposes, the massively wasteful and alienating 'automobile\suburban culture' of the US is entirely it's product.

Humanity requires a viable Earth, we all deserve justice, equality, a decent life. While capitalism has certainly delivered the technical innovations which make these possible it cannot deliver, for example, were workers paid fully for their labor there would be nothing left for capital. And we've all heard the captains of industry or their flaks complain that 'onerous' regulation will put them out of business. This is true, regulation is not in the capitalist playbook.

The necessity of a sea change in human relations has never been more necessary. It's socialism or barbarism, and it's up to us.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:20 pm 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Whoops, forgot to mention population. The massive upsurge in human population is largely the result of capitalism. It's a fairly cut and dry proposition: capitalism impoverishes the masses. Excessive replacement rate is closely associated with poverty. When people rise from poverty and(very important) women are empowered and educated the replacement rate drops to a more reasonable level. To be sure there are religious sects for which this does not apply but they are irrelevant.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:38 pm 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 20582
Location: Southeastern US
Unrestricted capitalism does have its share of problems, but restricted capitalism can be made to work very well. Think of the combination of the carrot and stick for motivation.

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:40 am 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Wayne Stollings wrote:
Unrestricted capitalism does have its share of problems, but restricted capitalism can be made to work very well. Think of the combination of the carrot and stick for motivation.


Both of the Roosevelt boys tried that and failed. The nearly complete rollback of the New Deal speaks volumes. Consider the catastrophe in the Gulf, where the government, a supposedly enviro-friendly Democratic administration, sat on it's hands and allowed the perps to cover up their crimes. Their money is their power to influence, regulation is always subverted, delayed or annulled, if not in the short then certainly the medium term. It is past time to get off of this merry-go-round of inertia, we are approaching critical.

Regulation, such as we have, has staved off the worst, most dramatic manifestations of capitalism's effect upon the environment, no rivers are burning today, yet landfills become mountains as real mountains are levelled, the Chesapeake Bay is on life support, alligators are hermaphrodites, the entire class of amphibians is crashing and on and on and on.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:32 pm 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 20582
Location: Southeastern US
The process of government is ongoing and cannot ever be expected to remain static. Thus, any positive movement must be continually maintained or it may be lost over time.

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:29 pm 
Offline
Member with over 1000 posts!
Member with over 1000 posts!
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:59 am
Posts: 2301
Location: Central Colorado
What a name for a communist/socialist apologist anti-capitalist backwards logic spewing nonsense critter!!!
How about Steady State Environmental Economics as first started by Herman Daly???? :mrgreen:

_________________
"With every decision, think seven generations ahead of the consequences of your actions" Ute rule of life.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”― Chief Seattle
“Those Who Have the Privilege to Know Have the Duty to Act”…Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:51 am 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The process of government is ongoing and cannot ever be expected to remain static. Thus, any positive movement must be continually maintained or it may be lost over time.


And how well has that worked? What happened to 'Trust Busting', What is happening to the New Deal? Every time reform is enacted it is rolled back. There is a very good reason for this, reform inhibits profits, due diligence requires that they be opposed. It is not about greed and bad actors, it is implicit in the system. The longer this goes on the more things deteriorate.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:56 am 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
What a name for a communist/socialist apologist anti-capitalist backwards logic spewing nonsense critter!!!
How about Steady State Environmental Economics as first started by Herman Daly???? :mrgreen:


And good day to you, Johnny. Why don't you address some of the particulars or is insults all you got?

As per 'Steady State', it completely contradicts capital's requirement of continual growth. If it is steady state then it is not capitalism.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:50 pm 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 20582
Location: Southeastern US
blindpig wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The process of government is ongoing and cannot ever be expected to remain static. Thus, any positive movement must be continually maintained or it may be lost over time.


And how well has that worked? What happened to 'Trust Busting', What is happening to the New Deal? Every time reform is enacted it is rolled back.


Not supported by the evidence since the new deal is several decades old and still has not been repealed.

Quote:
There is a very good reason for this, reform inhibits profits, due diligence requires that they be opposed. It is not about greed and bad actors, it is implicit in the system. The longer this goes on the more things deteriorate.


Only if reform stops and is never supported afterward, which is why the support must be ongoing and the reform maintained over time.

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:56 pm 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 20582
Location: Southeastern US
blindpig wrote:
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
What a name for a communist/socialist apologist anti-capitalist backwards logic spewing nonsense critter!!!
How about Steady State Environmental Economics as first started by Herman Daly???? :mrgreen:


And good day to you, Johnny. Why don't you address some of the particulars or is insults all you got?

As per 'Steady State', it completely contradicts capital's requirement of continual growth. If it is steady state then it is not capitalism.


Capitalism does not require continual growth. It does require private ownership by definition, but continual growth is not in any definition I can find.

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:04 pm 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Wayne Stollings wrote:
blindpig wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The process of government is ongoing and cannot ever be expected to remain static. Thus, any positive movement must be continually maintained or it may be lost over time.


And how well has that worked? What happened to 'Trust Busting', What is happening to the New Deal? Every time reform is enacted it is rolled back.


Not supported by the evidence since the new deal is several decades old and still has not been repealed.

Quote:
There is a very good reason for this, reform inhibits profits, due diligence requires that they be opposed. It is not about greed and bad actors, it is implicit in the system. The longer this goes on the more things deteriorate.


Only if reform stops and is never supported afterward, which is why the support must be ongoing and the reform maintained over time.


The New Deal has been eroding for decades, since the end of WWII with the attack upon labor(Taft Hartley, for instance). The crown jewel, Social Security, is about to take a hit, bipartisan, of course.

If ya gotta keep re-doing reform is it working? Don't think so, that is a treadmill of futility. We have a raft of laws to protect the environment, clean water, endangered species, and we have damage in the Gulf that will take decades to fully ascertain yet BP gets a hand slap and Tony Heywood is not in jail. Reform? The laws on the books aren't even applied. We must do better but profits will always trump real needs in a capitalist world.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:22 pm 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:26 am
Posts: 7
Wayne Stollings wrote:
blindpig wrote:
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
What a name for a communist/socialist apologist anti-capitalist backwards logic spewing nonsense critter!!!
How about Steady State Environmental Economics as first started by Herman Daly???? :mrgreen:


And good day to you, Johnny. Why don't you address some of the particulars or is insults all you got?

As per 'Steady State', it completely contradicts capital's requirement of continual growth. If it is steady state then it is not capitalism.


Capitalism does not require continual growth. It does require private ownership by definition, but continual growth is not in any definition I can find.


Have you never heard the business dictum, 'Grow or Die!'? Capitalists must continually get bigger or they will be subsumed by their competitors, it's in the papers all the time. Cancer is an apt analogy for capitalism. We are not talking about mom&pops, little guys, they are irrelvant as a matter of scale.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:15 am 
Offline
Member with 50 posts!
Member with 50 posts!
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:24 am
Posts: 87
Capitalism requires continuous growth as explained here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism ... c_elements

Put simply, the profit (the difference between revenues and expenses) is used as capital to increase production or is invested in other businesses for which a return on investment is expected. In the second case, the borrower has to pay for what is lent plus an interest. Usually, what is lent is used to buy means of production to produce or provide service, and receive a profit (part of which is used to pay for the interest). The only exception is a non-profit organization which does not usually dominate a capitalist system.

Thus, money supply increases through profit or interest, and that in turn is employed to increase production further.

This explains why capitalist economies have or want economic growth each year (i.e., an increase in GDP) and why resource use in the global economy continues to increase in the long term, together with money supply.

You can see the same thing on a small level. For example, individuals generally want a promotion or a raise in order to pay for increasing costs or to buy new things, either to replace something old or to follow what is seen through marketing and advertising. Not surprisingly, when they go to work, they are told that production has to increase, that they have to be more efficient, that they have to sell more than previously to make investors happy, to win against other businesses competing against them, and so on.

How is all this possible? Through private property, which essentially began with enclosures during the late Middle Ages and brought about by force. Prior to that, land was used commonly, and people grew food or took care of animals as they needed, with little surplus. But as soon as armed groups enclosed the lands and referred to them as private property, the same people now had to work for the owners and were paid wages. Since the owners wanted to earn from the land, the people now had to grow more than what they needed, with what was produced sold back to them in markets or sold to other kingdoms or regions in exchange for other goods. Thus started the capitalist mode of production explained here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalist ... production

Thus, private property is only one component of capitalism. The others are the use of money, exchange, profit, labor power, etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:26 pm 
Offline
Member with 50 posts!
Member with 50 posts!

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:30 pm
Posts: 156
The problem with capitalism or any --ISM term is it becomes like a GOD term. It can mean whatever you want it to mean. On another forum we have a bunch of folks arguing libertarianism and if it implies a state or doesn't. If you take either position it runs you straight into a bunch of contradictions that makes everybody's stance on matters of specifics, absurd.

Discussions that deal with hard real world limits seem more fruitful. I think ultimately they lead toward an economics based on sustainability. Why? Because Mother Nature in fact does have her limits and these limits more and more can be detailed out and of course it passes the standard of just plain common sense.

Richard Heinberg in this interview seems to have a good range of thoughts on the matter.
http://www.alternet.org/environment/com ... paging=off

Quote:
Well, less economic growth translates to recession and depression in highly financialized economies, such as we have today where the economy booms and busts on a regular basis due to fads and manias in the financial industry. It wasn't always quite this way. Prior to the last 100 years or so, we really didn't anticipate constant economic growth. It just wasn't a feature of anyone's thinking. It's really only the last few decades when we've had such cheap energy that economists have gotten the idea that somehow economic growth is normal, and if it's not happening, there's something terribly wrong. We need to essentially get back to normal, and normal is a non-growing economy. A steady-state economy in which we pursue goals of human well-being, rather than goals of pure financial speculative enrichment.

There are a number of economists who have been talking about this for some time. The idea of a steady-state economy and a getting off of GDP -- of using alternative indicators, like gross national happiness or a genuine progress indicator. If we did that, I think we could have a way of life that is not only satisfying, but also secure and stable over the long term. Unfortunately, I think we sort of boxed ourselves into a corner in the last while by growing the financial industry to such a scale that it's just cutting it down to size. It's going to be a shock to the system.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:37 pm 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 20582
Location: Southeastern US
blindpig wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The process of government is ongoing and cannot ever be expected to remain static. Thus, any positive movement must be continually maintained or it may be lost over time.


And how well has that worked? What happened to 'Trust Busting', What is happening to the New Deal? Every time reform is enacted it is rolled back.


blindpig wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
Not supported by the evidence since the new deal is several decades old and still has not been repealed.

Quote:
There is a very good reason for this, reform inhibits profits, due diligence requires that they be opposed. It is not about greed and bad actors, it is implicit in the system. The longer this goes on the more things deteriorate.


Only if reform stops and is never supported afterward, which is why the support must be ongoing and the reform maintained over time.


The New Deal has been eroding for decades, since the end of WWII with the attack upon labor(Taft Hartley, for instance). The crown jewel, Social Security, is about to take a hit, bipartisan, of course.


Which still does not support yor claim because it has not been repealed in the better part of a century during which it has been in place.

Quote:
If ya gotta keep re-doing reform is it working?


Yes, since nothing else is stagnant and changes, both intentional and unintentional occur.


Quote:
Don't think so, that is a treadmill of futility. We have a raft of laws to protect the environment, clean water, endangered species, and we have damage in the Gulf that will take decades to fully ascertain yet BP gets a hand slap and Tony Heywood is not in jail.


What laws would have required such jail time exactly?

Quote:
Reform? The laws on the books aren't even applied. We must do better but profits will always trump real needs in a capitalist world.


It did not work that well in a communist society either, what economic system do you propose would work?

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group