Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#21  Postby jamest » Apr 13, 2020 1:15 am

Spinozasgalt wrote:Pfft. Speed limits were the real end of democracy. And seatbelts.

You make a good point actually as JS Mill is my favourite philosopher when it comes to freedom etc.., but his (AND MINE) bottom line is that any democratic government should be protecting the freedoms of THE WHOLE at the expense of the few. Therefore, laws should be imposed to protect the many, such as restricting speed limits.

If we extend Mill's philosophy to THIS emergency, you will see that everything our government is doing now is to protect the needs of the few at the expense of the many, including themselves.


There is no nice way of saying this, as many people are going to suffer and die. But what needs to be stated here is that current policy will eventually kill more people than Mill's policies would have allowed for and that (into the price) democracy and capitalism will also die.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#22  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 1:16 am

*sigh*

Jamest, you don't seem to have a clue about what the government's role is in a modern democratic, capitalist mixed economy.

It's not to allow unfettered capitalism.

Capitalism is good at what it says on the tin: promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

But wealth is not the only concern of a nation. And other concerns - particularly social capital and environmental capital - are what government exists to serve, either by regulation of capitalist activity to limit social or environmental harms, or direct service provision.

And that's what governments are doing in the pandemic: taking action to protect public health; providing monetary compensation for those whose livelihoods are impacted, and directing the justice system to curtail anti-social behaviour.

For once, they're doing their jobs, rather than trying to line the pockets of their corporate donors. It's little wonder that approval rates for most governments have gone up.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#23  Postby Thommo » Apr 13, 2020 1:21 am

jamest wrote:Any democratic government SHOULD be enforcing laws to encourage personal and financial freedoms AT ALL TIMES.

NEVER forget that. Or else, resolve to change your political ideals!!!!!


No, I refuse. Just because you say something, even in caps, doesn't make it fact.

Taking emergency actions in an emergency is appropriate. Containing a pandemic is an emergency, if not quite on the level of the billions of deaths you're somewhat hysterically waffling about.

I don't like the lockdown, but I like tens or hundreds of thousands of people dying unnecessarily even less. The government has a duty towards the people it represents, and that includes preserving lives. They will make and have made mistakes in tackling the crisis, but to assert by fiat that any restriction on freedom, short term though it may be by statute, is one of them is as hyperbolic as it is ludicrously superficial and broad.

I suppose I could draw attention to the tension between this hysterical overreaction in one direction and a similar but polar opposite overreaction that might be perceived in calling one's family member "selfish bitch" for a pre-lockdown trip out or whatever it was, but it scarcely feels worth the bother.

For the record the UK law is summarised here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made

With key points being the temporary nature of the lockdown (a matter of some weeks at present), and the mandatory six month legislative review. This passage governs what reasons are allowed for leaving one's home without incurring that £30 or £60 fine:
Restrictions on movement

6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need—

(a)to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons and supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the household of a vulnerable person, or to obtain money, including from any business listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2;

(b)to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;

(c)to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph 37 or 38 of Schedule 2;

(d)to provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care within the meaning of paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006(3), to a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance;

(e)to donate blood;

(f)to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;

(g)to attend a funeral of—

(i)a member of the person’s household,

(ii)a close family member, or

(iii)if no-one within sub-paragraphs (i) or (ii) are attending, a friend;

(h)to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings;

(i)to access critical public services, including—

(i)childcare or educational facilities (where these are still available to a child in relation to whom that person is the parent, or has parental responsibility for, or care of the child);

(ii)social services;

(iii)services provided by the Department of Work and Pensions;

(iv)services provided to victims (such as victims of crime);

(j)in relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children, and for the purposes of this paragraph, “parent” includes a person who is not a parent of the child, but who has parental responsibility for, or who has care of, the child;

(k)in the case of a minister of religion or worship leader, to go to their place of worship;

(l)to move house where reasonably necessary;

(m)to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the place where a person is living includes the premises where they live together with any garden, yard, passage, stair, garage, outhouse or other appurtenance of such premises.

(4) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any person who is homeless.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#24  Postby gobshite » Apr 13, 2020 1:25 am

OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.


That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#25  Postby Thommo » Apr 13, 2020 1:36 am

gobshite wrote:Democracy seems fine, but capitalism is being shown to be a bit problematic.


Can't say I agree with that. Infectious disease isn't due to capitalism and restrictions on private ownership of the means of production have not demonstrably combated it.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#26  Postby jamest » Apr 13, 2020 1:40 am

OlivierK wrote:*sigh*

Jamest, you don't seem to have a clue about what the government's role is in a modern democratic, capitalist mixed economy.

It's not to allow unfettered capitalism.

Capitalism is good at what it says on the tin: promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

But wealth is not the only concern of a nation. And other concerns - particularly social capital and environmental capital - are what government exists to serve, either by regulation of capitalist activity to limit social or economic harms, or direct service provision.

And that's what governments are doing in the pandemic: taking action to protect public health; providing monetary compensation for those whose livelihoods are impacted, and directing the justice system to curtail anti-social behaviour.

For once, they're doing their jobs, rather than trying to line the pockets of their corporate donors. It's little wonder that approval rates for most governments have gone up.

In my opinion, democracy and its associated freedoms are clearly meaningless ideals wrt to governments who have imposed policies upon its citizens which counter the universal ideals of democracy/freedom, which they've done.

JS MILL would not have closed down the World's economy for this virus and neither would I. Why? Not because we're greedy bastards, but because "closing down" freedoms is the biggest crime of all, and because it's UTTERLY short-sighted to think that the current strategy is going to save the most lives in the medium to long-term.

I might sound like a heartless cold-hearted bastard, but what I'm saying here is in the best interests of both democracy/capitalism and human life in the long-term.

History will unveil all of this, but it's fucking obvious anyway. Wake the fuck up. Your government is both selfish and short-sighted and is simultaneoulsly destroying the concepts of democracy/capitalism.

When one of you realise this, I'll get onto the "What next?" aspect of the title.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#27  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 1:40 am

gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.

Failures to price in externalities are failures of government. Companies are structured to maximise profit given their regulatory environment. It's not that they're unable to price in the costs of environmental impact mitigation, they simply don't do it if they're not required to. Requiring them to is government's job, albeit one made harder by the level of acceptance of corruption in the form of corporate political donations.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#28  Postby Spinozasgalt » Apr 13, 2020 1:42 am

jamest wrote:
Spinozasgalt wrote:Pfft. Speed limits were the real end of democracy. And seatbelts.

You make a good point actually as JS Mill is my favourite philosopher when it comes to freedom etc.., but his (AND MINE) bottom line is that any democratic government should be protecting the freedoms of THE WHOLE at the expense of the few. Therefore, laws should be imposed to protect the many, such as restricting speed limits.

If we extend Mill's philosophy to THIS emergency, you will see that everything our government is doing now is to protect the needs of the few at the expense of the many, including themselves.


There is no nice way of saying this, as many people are going to suffer and die. But what needs to be stated here is that current policy will eventually kill more people than Mill's policies would have allowed for and that (into the price) democracy and capitalism will also die.

The whole? How do you protect the freedoms of the whole at the expense of the few? The few are a part of the whole. You mean the many (which you switch to in the next para), I assume. No idea why you're citing Mill or what part of Mill you want to draw my attention to.

You're not communicating clearly.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#29  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 1:43 am

jamest wrote:I might sound like a heartless cold-hearted bastard, but what I'm saying here is in the best interests of both democracy/capitalism and human life in the long-term.

History will unveil all of this, but it's fucking obvious anyway. Wake the fuck up. Your government is both selfish and short-sighted and is simultaneoulsly destroying the concepts of democracy/capitalism.

When one of you realise this, I'll get onto the "What next?" aspect of the title.

Well, I'm game to go there now.

What's next is broadly a return to the previous status quo.

Whether you want to frame that as a massive flowering of liberty (relative to the lockdown), or just a return to the previous status quo is up to you.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#30  Postby Hermit » Apr 13, 2020 1:49 am

OlivierK wrote:
gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.

Failures to price in externalities are failures of government.

True, but are you perchance suggesting a disconnect between governments and economic systems?
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#31  Postby jamest » Apr 13, 2020 1:53 am

Thommo wrote:
jamest wrote:Any democratic government SHOULD be enforcing laws to encourage personal and financial freedoms AT ALL TIMES.

NEVER forget that. Or else, resolve to change your political ideals!!!!!


No, I refuse. Just because you say something, even in caps, doesn't make it fact.

Taking emergency actions in an emergency is appropriate.

This isn't a World War. Worst case scenario the UK will lose the low end of a 6-figure amount of people over the course of about 18 months due to covid-19.

What kind of short-sighted arsehole does it take to realise that closing the whole world's economy down (as each individual government has done) for several months this year and potentially next year, will have upon the global economy and subsequent global population?

That's it for tonight. Goodnight Thomas.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#32  Postby gobshite » Apr 13, 2020 1:56 am

Thommo wrote:
gobshite wrote:Democracy seems fine, but capitalism is being shown to be a bit problematic.


Can't say I agree with that. Infectious disease isn't due to capitalism and restrictions on private ownership of the means of production have not demonstrably combated it.


I'm thinking more about the repeated need for bailouts.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#33  Postby OlivierK » Apr 13, 2020 1:58 am

Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.

Failures to price in externalities are failures of government.

True, but are you perchance suggesting a disconnect between governments and economic systems?

I'm suggesting that government and capitalism both have roles, and that those roles are distinct, in a mixed economy social democracy.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#34  Postby gobshite » Apr 13, 2020 1:59 am

OlivierK wrote:
gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.

Failures to price in externalities are failures of government.


It's not mutually exclusive. If capitalism won't do it (which it repeatedly shows it won't), then governments are left to do it.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#35  Postby Thommo » Apr 13, 2020 2:04 am

gobshite wrote:I'm thinking more about the repeated need for bailouts.


I fail to see the relevance, sorry. I struggle to conceptualise any non-pathological socialism based system of government that would not make equivalent efforts to underwrite affected areas of economic activity in response to a pandemic. Something that happens in both cases is not an argument for or against either one.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#36  Postby jamest » Apr 13, 2020 2:10 am

Spinozasgalt wrote:
jamest wrote:
Spinozasgalt wrote:Pfft. Speed limits were the real end of democracy. And seatbelts.

You make a good point actually as JS Mill is my favourite philosopher when it comes to freedom etc.., but his (AND MINE) bottom line is that any democratic government should be protecting the freedoms of THE WHOLE at the expense of the few. Therefore, laws should be imposed to protect the many, such as restricting speed limits.

If we extend Mill's philosophy to THIS emergency, you will see that everything our government is doing now is to protect the needs of the few at the expense of the many, including themselves.


There is no nice way of saying this, as many people are going to suffer and die. But what needs to be stated here is that current policy will eventually kill more people than Mill's policies would have allowed for and that (into the price) democracy and capitalism will also die.

The whole? How do you protect the freedoms of the whole at the expense of the few? The few are a part of the whole. You mean the many (which you switch to in the next para), I assume. No idea why you're citing Mill or what part of Mill you want to draw my attention to.

You're not communicating clearly.

Mill's 19th century philosophy, which I was fortunate enough to encounter several years ago, is similar to Spock's: "The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few". It's a democratic philosophy of the whole, which seeks to encompass the differences thereof.

The point of it all (wrt this thread) is to reconcile freedom/democracy with law. It should be fucking obvious, for sure, that a democratic government imposes the MINIMUM amount of laws in order to honour the ideal of democracy, which should seek at all costs to maximise the freedoms of its people.

Why do I even need to explain this, especially in a room half-full of Americans? :scratch:
Last edited by jamest on Apr 13, 2020 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#37  Postby gobshite » Apr 13, 2020 2:10 am

gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
gobshite wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well.

That's debatable, given a general inability to price in externalities and longer term costs like global warming.

Failures to price in externalities are failures of government.


It's not mutually exclusive. If capitalism won't do it (which it repeatedly shows it won't), then governments are left to do it.
Put it this way, capitalism is good at stealing wealth from the developing world and future generations.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#38  Postby Thommo » Apr 13, 2020 2:12 am

I disagree.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#39  Postby gobshite » Apr 13, 2020 2:12 am

Thommo wrote:
gobshite wrote:I'm thinking more about the repeated need for bailouts.


I fail to see the relevance, sorry. I struggle to conceptualise any non-pathological socialism based system of government that would not make equivalent efforts to underwrite affected areas of economic activity in response to a pandemic. Something that happens in both cases is not an argument for or against either one.
Red herring. That socialism may or may not likewise bail out an economy says nothing about capitalism's success/failure.
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Re: Endtimes for Democracy and Capitalism? What next?

#40  Postby Thommo » Apr 13, 2020 2:14 am

gobshite wrote:
Thommo wrote:
gobshite wrote:I'm thinking more about the repeated need for bailouts.


I fail to see the relevance, sorry. I struggle to conceptualise any non-pathological socialism based system of government that would not make equivalent efforts to underwrite affected areas of economic activity in response to a pandemic. Something that happens in both cases is not an argument for or against either one.
Red herring. That socialism may or may not likewise bail out an economy says nothing about capitalism's success/failure.


Not so. The epidemic was not caused by capitalism and capitalism's response* is directly equivalent to the response of the proposed alternative. That's completely relevant to the comparison.

An alternative is only preferable (in some regard) if it offers gains (in that regard and according to some system of values).

*Strictly speaking the response of governments who operate capitalist economies.
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